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justice of others or inevitable accidents, but virtue depends only on ourselves and nobody can take it away. [Headed only Sunday.]
THE REWARD OF VIRTUE.-If a virtuous man be ever so poor or unfortunate in the world, still his virtue is his own reward and will comfort him under his afflictions. The quiet and satisfaction of his conscience make him cheerful by day and sleep sound of nights; he can be alone with pleasure and is not afraid of his own thoughts. Besides this, he is esteemed and respected ; for even the most wicked people themselves cannot help admiring and respecting virtue in others. A poet says:
“Ipsa quidem virtus, sibimet pulcherrima merces." *
POLITENESS A NECESSITY.-Know then, that as learning, honor, and virtue are absolutely necessary to gain you the esteem and admiration of mankind; politeness and good breeding are equally necessary, to make you welcome. and agreeable in conversation and common life. Great talents, such as honor, virtue, learn
* So also Home,
Douglas, Act iii. Sc. 1. And Claudian, quoted by Chesterfield,
Ipsa quidem virtus pretium sibi. solaque late
ing, and parts, are above the generality of the world; who neither possess them themselves, nor judge of them rightly in others : but all people are judges of the lesser talents, such as civility, affability, and an obliging, agreeable address and manner; because they feel the good effects of them, as making society easy and pleasing.
GOOD BREEDING AND GOOD SENSE.-Good sense must, in many cases, determine good breeding ; because the same thing that would be civil at one time, and to one person, may be quite otherwise at another time, and to another person ; but there are some general rules of good breeding, that hold always true, and in all cases. [About Feb., 1741.]
RUDENESS AND CIVILITY.—I dare say I need not tell you how rude it is, to take the best place in a room, or to seize immediately upon what you like at table, without offering first to help others: as if you consider nobody but yourself. On the contrary, you should always endeavour to procure all the conveniences you can to the people you are with. Besides being civil, which is absolutely necessary, the perfection of good breeding is, to be civil with ease, and in a gentlemanlike manner. For this, you
should observe the French people; who excel in it, and whose politeness seems as easy and natural as any other part of their conversation. Whereas the English are often awkward in their civilities, and, when they mean to be civil, are too much ashamed to get it out.
MAUVAISE HONTE.—Pray, do you remember never to be ashamed of doing wnat is right: you would have a great deal of reason to be ashamed, if you were not civil ; but what reason can you have to be ashamed of being civil ? And why not say a civil and an obliging thing, as easily and as naturally, as you would ask what o'clock it is ? This kind of bashfulness, which is justly called, by the French, mauvaise honte, is the distinguishing character of an English booby ; who is frightened out of his wits when people of fashion speak to him; and when he is to answer them, blushes, stammers, can hardly get out what he would say, and becomes really ridiculous, from a groundless fear of being laughed at: whereas a well bred man would speak to all the kings in the world with as little concern and as much ease as he would speak to you.
YOUTHFUL EMULATION.—This is the last letter I shall write to you as to a little boy ; for, to-morrow, if I am not mistaken, you will attain your ninth year; so that for the future I shall treat you as a youth. You must now commence a different course of life, a different course of studies. No more levity; childish toys and playthings must be thrown aside, and your mind directed to serious objects. What was not unbecoming of a child would be disgraceful to a youth. Wherefore, endeavor, with all your might, to show a suitable change; and, by learning, good manners, politeness, and other accomplishments, to surpass those youths of your own age, whom hitherto you have surpassed when boys.* May the Almighty preserve you and bestow on you his choicest blessings.
TRUE RESPECT.—The strictest and most scrupulous honor and virtue can alone make you esteemed and valued by mankind; [remember] that parts and learning can alone make you admired and celebrated by them; but that the possession of lesser talents is most absolutely necessary, towards making you liked, beloved, and sought after in private life. Of these lesser talents, good breeding is the principal and most necessary one, not only as it is very important itself; but as it adds great lustre to the more solid advantages both of the heart and the mind.
*Written in Latin. Philippus Chesterfield, Phillippo Stanhope adhuc puerulo, sed cras e pueritiâ egressuro. S. D. Dated, Kalend. Maii, 1741.
MANNER.-An easy manner and carriage must be wholly free from those odd tricks, ill habits, and awkwardnesses, which even very worthy and sensible people have in their behavior. [May, 1741.]
MANNER-ABSENCE - AWKWARDNESS-ATTENTION.—However trifling a genteel manner may sound, it is of very great consequence towards pleasing in private life, especially the women; which (sic), one time or other, you will think worth pleasing : and I have known many a man, from his awkwardness, give people such a dislike of him at first, that all his merit could not get the better of it afterwards. Whereas a genteel manner prepossesses people in your favor, bends them towards you, and makes them wish to like you. Awkwardness can proceed but from two causes : either from not having kept good company, or from not having attended to it. As for your keeping good company, I will take care of that; do you take care to observe their ways and manners, and to form your own upon them. Attention is absolutely