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Essays on Various Subjects Principally Designed for Young Ladies   By: (1745-1833)

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First Page:

ESSAYS FOR YOUNG LADIES.

ESSAYS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, Principally designed for YOUNG LADIES.

AS for you, I shall advise you in a few words: aspire only to those virtues that are PECULIAR TO YOUR SEX; follow your natural modesty, and think it your greatest commendation not to be talked of one way or the other.

Oration of Pericles to the Athenian Women.

LONDON: Printed for J. WILKIE, in St. Paul's Church Yard; and T. CADELL, in the Strand. MDCCLXXVII.

TO MRS. MONTAGU.

MADAM,

IF you were only one of the finest writers of your time, you would probably have escaped the trouble of this address, which is drawn on you, less by the lustre of your understanding, than by the amiable qualities of your heart.

AS the following pages are written with an humble but earnest wish, to promote the interests of virtue, as far as the very limited abilities of the author allow; there is, I flatter myself, a peculiar propriety in inscribing them to you, Madam, who, while your works convey instruction and delight to the best informed of the other sex, furnish, by your conduct, an admirable pattern of life and manners to your own. And I can with truth remark, that those graces of conversation, which would be the first praise of almost any other character, constitute but an inferior part of yours.

I am, MADAM, With the highest esteem, Your most obedient Humble Servant,

Bristol , HANNAH MORE. May 20, 1777.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION Page 1 ON DISSIPATION 15 ON CONVERSATION 37 ON ENVY 63 ON SENTIMENTAL CONNEXIONS 77 ON TRUE AND FALSE MEEKNESS 107 ON EDUCATION 123 ON RELIGION 158 MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS ON WIT 178

INTRODUCTION.

IT is with the utmost diffidence that the following pages are submitted to the inspection of the Public: yet, however the limited abilities of the author may have prevented her from succeeding to her wish in the execution of her present attempt, she humbly trusts that the uprightness of her intention will procure it a candid and favourable reception. The following little Essays are chiefly calculated for the younger part of her own sex, who, she flatters herself, will not esteem them the less, because they were written immediately for their service. She by no means pretends to have composed a regular system of morals, or a finished plan of conduct: she has only endeavoured to make a few remarks on such circumstances as seemed to her susceptible of some improvement, and on such subjects as she imagined were particularly interesting to young ladies, on their first introduction into the world. She hopes they will not be offended if she has occasionally pointed out certain qualities, and suggested certain tempers, and dispositions, as peculiarly feminine , and hazarded some observations which naturally arose from the subject, on the different characters which mark the sexes. And here again she takes the liberty to repeat that these distinctions cannot be too nicely maintained; for besides those important qualities common to both, each sex has its respective, appropriated qualifications, which would cease to be meritorious, the instant they ceased to be appropriated. Nature, propriety, and custom have prescribed certain bounds to each; bounds which the prudent and the candid will never attempt to break down; and indeed it would be highly impolitic to annihilate distinctions from which each acquires excellence, and to attempt innovations, by which both would be losers.

WOMEN therefore never understand their own interests so little, as when they affect those qualities and accomplishments, from the want of which they derive their highest merit. "The porcelain clay of human kind," says an admired writer, speaking of the sex. Greater delicacy evidently implies greater fragility; and this weakness, natural and moral, clearly points out the necessity of a superior degree of caution, retirement, and reserve... Continue reading book >>




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