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obsequio persequeris, eo magis te me studiosum, et observantem existimabo. *

A STUDY IN VERSE.—To use your ear a little to English verse, and to make you attend to the sense too, I have transposed the words of the following lines; which I would have you put in their proper order, and send me in your next :

Life consider cheat a when 't is all I

Hope the fool'd deceit men yet with favor
Repay will to-morrow trust on think and
Falser former day to-morrow's than the
Worse lies blest be shall when and we says it
Hope new some possess'd cuts off with we what."

[This is curious, and truly no bad way of teaching a child the structure of verse. The citation, a fine one, is from Dryden :

" When I consider life, 't is all a cheat,

Yet fool'd with hope men favor the deceit.”

The reader may puzzle out the rest. ]

* CAREFUL IMITATION.-Philip Chesterfield to his dear little boy Philip Stanhope, wishing health, etc. Your last letter was very grateful to me; not only was it nicely written, but in it you promise to take great care and to win, deservedly, true praise. But I must say plainly that I much

suspect you of having had the help of a good and able master in composing it; and he being your guide and adviser, it will be your own fault if you do not acquire elegancy of style, learning, and all that can make you good and wise. I'entreat you, therefore, carefully to imitate so good a pattern; the more you regard him the more you will love me. (About July, 1741.]

VIRTUE DISCOURAGED.-If six hundred citizens of Athens gave in the name of any one Athenian, written upon an oyster-shell (from whence it is called ostracism), that man was banished Athens for ten years. On one hand, it is certain, that a free people cannot be too careful or jealous of their liberty ; and it is certain, too, that the love and applause of mankind will always attend a man of eminent and distinguished virtue; and, consequently, they are more likely to give up their liberties to such a one than to another of less merit. But then, on the other hand, it seems extraordinary to discourage virtue upon any account; since it is only by virtue that any society can flourish, and be considerable. There are many more arguments, on each side of th question, which will naturally occur to you; and when you have considered them well, I desire you will write me your opinion, whether the ostracism was a right or a wrong thing, and your reasons for being of that opinion. Let nobody help you, and give me exactly your own sentiments and your own reasons, whatever they are. [Oct., 1740.]

AMBITION.-Everybody has ambition of some kind or other, and is vexed when that ambition is disappointed; the difference is, that the ambition of silly people is a silly and mistaken ambition ; and the ambition of people of sense is a right and commendable one. For instance, the ambition of a silly boy, of your age, would be to have fine clothes, and money to throw away in idle follies; which, you plainly see, would be no proofs of merit in him, but only of folly in his parents, in dressing him out like a jackanapes, and giving him money to play the fool with. Whereas a boy of good sense places his ambition in excelling other boys of his own age, and even older, in virtue and knowledge. His glory is in being known always to speak the truth, in showing good-nature and compassion, in learning quicker, and applying himself more than other boys. These are real proofs of merit in him, and consequently proper objects of ambition; and will acquire him a solid reputation and character. This holds true in men as well as in boys: the ambition of a silly fellow will be to have a fine equipage, a fine house, and fine clothes ; things which anybody, that has as much money, may have as well as he ; for they are all to be bought; but the ambition of a man of sense and honor is to be distinguished by a character and reputation of knowledge, truth, and virtue—things which are not to be bought, and that can only be acquired by a good head and a good heart. [Not dated.] HUMANITY.—It is certain that humanity is the particular characteristic of a great mind; little, vicious minds are full of anger and revenge, and are incapable of feeling the exalted pleasure of forgiving their enemies, and of bestowing marks of favor and generosity upon those of whom they have gotten the better. Adieu ! *

NOVELS AND ROMANCES.-A novel is a kind of abbreviation of a romance ; for a romance generally consists of twelve volumes, all filled with insipid love nonsense, and most incredible adventures. The subject of a romance is sometimes a story entirely fictitious, that is to say, quite invented ; at other times a true story, but generally so changed and altered that one cannot know it. For example : in “Grand Cyrus," “Clelia," and Cleopatra,” three celebrated romances, there is some true history ; but so blended with falsities and silly love adventures, that they confuse and corrupt the mind, instead of forming and instructing it. The greatest heroes of antiquity are there represented in woods and forests, whining insipid love tales to

* In the beginning of this letter, which contains a lesson upon Julius Cæsar, Chesterfield says : “ You know so much more and learn so much better than any boy of your age, that you see I do not treat you like a boy, but write to you on subjects fit for men to consider."

their inhuman fair one ; who answers them in the same style. In short, the reading of romances is a most frivolous occupation, and time merely thrown away. [The little boy was then reading the historical novel of “Don Carlos,” by the Abbé de St. Real. (Not dated.)]

VIRTUE.–Virtue is a subject that deserves your and every man's attention; and suppose I were to bid you make some verses, or give me your thoughts in prose, upon the subject of virtue, how would you go about it? Why you would first consider what virtue is, and then what are the effects and marks of it, both with regard to others and one's self. You would find, then, that virtue consists in doing good, and in speaking truth; and that the effects of it are advantageous to all mankind, and to one's self in particular. Virtue makes us pity and relieve the misfortunes of mankind; it makes us promote justice and good order in society : and, in general, contributes to whatever tends to the real good of mankind. To ourselves it gives an inward comfort and satisfaction which nothing else can do, and which nothing can rob us of. All other advantages depend upon others, as much as upon ourselves. Riches, power, and greatness may be taken away from us by the violence and in

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