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exposed, few are more ensnaring than those, the primary and immediate effect of which is to encroach upon time. The public amusements, which the metropolis and its precincts afford, are daily feen to prove fo fascinating by their number and their variety to the younger part of the polite world, as to occupy a very large proportion of the day and of the evening; or, to speak with more propriety, of those hours, whether before or after midnight, during which the polite world is abroad. For it is not merely the time actually spent in the .enjoyment of the amusement which is to be placed to the account. The hours of
preparation which precede, and those of languor and inactivity which follow, equally belong to it. Neither do the scenes of public entertainment lose their power, as far as the consumption of time is in question, over those who, fatiated and palled by tedious familiarity, no longer find in spectacle or mode of diversion the gratification which it once bestowed. The delights of novelty are past; but the chains of fashion and habit are rivetted. The mind, incapable through disuse of relishing better pursuits, experiences in the theatre and the rotunda, if not a positive fatiffaction, yet a relief from the dulness of vacancy, and the painfulness of intercourse with itself. But it is unnecessary to dwell on a topic which has already been the subject of much observation. Let us turn our thoughts to other circumstances, which, if not peculiar to the capital, yet èxist there to an extent not to be paralleled elsewhere ; and occasion in all places, according to the degree in which they exist, an unprofitable consumption of time, and all the evils attendant on the waste of irrevocable hours.
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London is the centre to which almost all the individuals who fill the upper and middle ranks of society are successively attracted. The country pays its tribute to the supreme city. Business, interest, and curiosity, the love of pleasure, the desire of knowledge, the thirst for change, the ambition to be deemed polite, occasion a continual influx into the metropolis from every corner of the kingdom. Hence a large and a widely dispersed and a continually encreasing acquaintance is the natural consequence of frequent residence in London. If a married lady suffers herself to be drawn into the system of proceeding, to which such an acquaintance is generally seen to lead; useful occupations and improving pursuits are either at an end, or are carried on with extreme disadvantages, multiplied interruptions, declining activity, ardour, and satisfaction. The morning, at least what is called the morning, is swallowed up in driving from street to street, from square to square, in pursuit of persons whom she is afraid of discovering, in knocking at. doors where she dreads being admitted. Time is frittered away
in a sort of small intercourse with numbers, for whom she feels ļittle regard, and whom she knows to feel as little for herself. Yet every thing
breathes the spirit of cordiality and attachment.
The pleasure expressed at meeting is so warm, the enquiries after each other's health so minute, the solicitude, if either party has caught a cold at the last
fo extreme; that a stranger to the ways of high life, and to the true value of words in the modern dictionaries of compliment, would be in astonishment at such effusions of disinterested benevolence. Invitation succeeds invitation; engagement presses on engagement: etiquette offers, form
accepts, and indifference assumes the air of gratitude and rapture. Thus a continual progress is made in the looks, the language, and the feelings of insincerity. A lady thus busied, thus accomplished, becomes disinclined to friendship, or unqualified for it. She has too many acquaintance to be at leisure to have a friend. The unrestrained communication of sentiment, the concern of genuine sympathy, the manifestation of kind affections by deeds of kindness, require time, and calmness, and deliberation,
and retirement. They require what diffipation is least able and least willing to bestow.
Next to those principles of Christian " sobriety," which the Scriptures again and again inculcate on women, whether single or in matrimonial life, as well in precepts addressed immediately to the female sex(), as in others directed to Christiansin general (9), one of the most powerful preservatives against this prevailing abuse of time, and all its unhappy effects on the mind, is a settled habit of methodical employment. Let it be founded on a fair review of the several duties daily to be performed, and of their relative nature and importance. To devote with regularity certain hours to certain purposes may be somewhat more difficult in the crowd and hurry of the metropolis, than in the tranquillity of a rural residence.
() Titus, ii. 4.-1 Tim. ii. 9. 15.-iii. 11.
(9) Thef. v. 6. 8.-1 Peter, i. 13.-iv. 7.-v. 8. &c. &c.