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It has always been the unfortunate error of mankind, to bestow most care and attention on what, in their calmer moments, they confess is least deserving solicitude. Thus it happens, that the present world gains the ascendancy of the future; that agreeableness procures more admirers than desert; and that the appearance of enjoyment is preferred to the reality. The same erroneous judgement has elevated the secondary end of study into undue ascendancy; and hence it cannot be wondered at, that when the superstructure is not founded on a really enlightened intellect, a good heart, and a corrected temper, the desire of pleasing and the passion for shining should be confounded. Nothing is more natural to an ingenuous soul, than a wish to be thought amiable by all with whom we converse. To have our approach hailed with the smile of undisguised complacence, and our departure deprecated by something less equivocal than the cere. monious entreaty of good breeding, constitutes a species of personal importance which even a stoic can but affect to de. spise. But I must tell the young lady whose whole soul is engrossed by the determination of pleasing, that this propensity will carry her beyond the desired goal. Admiration and affection are very distinct sentiments: you cannot excite the foriner in any considerable degree without alarming a host of competitors, who, being engaged in the same pursuit, will narrowly investigate your conduct ; and if
any indirect steps, or unfounded pretensions, can be discovered, you must dread the consequences of vigilant scrutiny. Affection, on the other hand, is won not vanquished; when we cherish it, we indulge ourselves, instead of paying homage to others.
It has the agreeable property of veiling those imperfections which the envy attached to adıniration never fails to expose. It is therefore better adapted to the disposition of our sex, who must ever feel their desire of éclat checked by the timid apprehension of reproach. We cannot stray far from that privacy which is our happiest and most natural soil, without incurring danger.
The love of admiration has never been more prejudicial to women, than in the article of literary pursuits ; for knowledge and understanding are distinctions, of which the lords of the creation are highly tenacious ; and they are most unwilling to allow, that more than a few particles of those precious metals can possibly unite with that vast preponderance of quicksilver irritability, which they affirm constituted the stamina of the superadduced rib. Though I verily believe there are many more male than female pedants, and though
I maintain that our understandings are equally well adapted to the duties that we are called upon to perform, and therefore cannot in strictness be denominated inferior; I would wish my sex to remember, that advantageous reading, being peculiar and personal, may be enjoyed in its fullest extent, with out exciting those constant attendants of celebrity, detraction and scurrility. I wish also to add, that by securing those principal ends of study, the secon. dary uses follow of necessity. She who has really improved her understanding, her principles, and her temper, by knowledge or science, must be courted as a companion and loved as a friend; and though the general diffusion of literature, and increased liberality of opinion (I do not now use that word ironically), permit our sex to display acquirements that would formerly have been deemed ridiculous, it is certainly safer for us, as a general rule, to consider science rather as the mirror of Juno, by which she attired herself for Jove, than as the lambent flame which played around the head of Julus, and distinguished him from his young compeers. The enlightening of our understandings should not be our first aim when we enter upon a course of study. Our distinctions as moral and immortal beings, are superior to the faculty of enlarged intelligence ; our hearts and lives, therefore, should be amended through the mediuin of our intellectual powers, or we read and reflect in vain. Improved capacity always implies increased responsibili. ty: knowledge is a most precious talent, and must pay the highest premium. The errors of ignorance are sometimes an excuse for crimes; but the backslidings of sapience ever imply crimina. lity.