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LETTER VI.

The Daughter to the Mother. Dear Mother, THOUGH we begin to have such cold weather, I am got up into my chamber to write to you. I am now grown als inost quite easy; which is owing to my following your good advice, and the kindness that is already shewn me in the family. Betty and I are bedfellows; and she, and Robin, and Thomas, are all so kind to me, that I can scarcely say which is the kindest. My master is sixty-five years of age next April, but by his looks you would hardly take him to be fifty. He has always an easy smiling countenance, and is very good to all his servants. When he has happened to pass by me, as I have been dusting out the chambers, or in the passage, he generally says something to encourage me, and that makes one's work go on more pleasantly. My mistress is as thin as my master is plump; not much short of him in age, and more apt to be a little peevish. Indeed that may easily be borne, for I have never heard my master say a single word to any of us, but what was kind and en-' couraging. My master, they say, is vastly rich; for he is a prudent man, and laid up a great deal of money while he was in business, with which he purchased his estate here, and another in Sussex, some time before he left off; and they have, I find, a very good house in London as well as this here. But my master and mistress both love the country best, and so they sometimes stay here for a whole winter, and all the suminer constanıly; of which I am very glad, because I am so much nearer you; and have heard so much of the wickedness of London, that I do not at all desire to go there. As to my fellow-servants, it is thought that Betty (who is very good natured, and as merry as the day is long) is to be inarried to the jovial landlord over the way, and 10 say the truth, I am apt to believe that they are actually promised 10 one another. Our coachman, Thomas, seems to be a very good worthy man, you may see by his eyes ibat it does his heart good whenever he can do a kind thing for any of the neighbours. He was born in the parish, and his faiher has a good farm of his own in it and rents another. Robin, the footman, is good natured too; he is always merry, and loves to laugh as much as he loves to eat, and I ain sure he has a good appetite. But I need not talk of that, for, now mine is come again, I eat almost as hearty

as he does. With such fellow-gervants, and such a master, I think it would be my own fault if I were not happy. Well in health I assure you I am, and begin to be pretty well in spirits, only my heart will still heave a little every time I look towards the road that goes to your house. Heaven bless you all there! and make me a deserving daughter of so good a inother !

So prays your affectionate daughter.

LETTER VII.

From a Mother to her Daughter on a visit in London,

Dear Child, The last piece of advice that I gave you was, “ To think often how much a life of virtue is to be preferred to a life of pleasure, and how much better, and more lasting, a good paine is than beauty."

If we call things by their right names, there is nothing that deserves the name of pleasure so truly as virtue: but one must talk as people are used to talk ; and, I think, by a life of pleasure, they generally mean a life of gaiety.

Now our gaieties, are al best very trifling, always unsatisfactory, often attended with difficulties in the procuring them, and fatigue in the very enjoyment, and too often followed by regret and self-condemnation.

What they call a life of pleasure among the great, must be a very laborious life; they spend the greatest part of their nights in balls and assemblies, and throw away the greatest part of their days in sleep; their life is too much opposed io nalere, to be capable of happiness; it is all a hurry of visits, twenty or thirty perhaps in a day, to persons of whom there are not above iwo or three that they have any real friendship or esteein for (supposing them to be capable of either); a perpetual seeking after what they call diversions, and insipidity and want of taste, when they are engaged in them; and a certain languishing and restlessness when they are without them. This is not living, but a constant endeavour to cheat themselves out of the little time they have to live; for they generally inherit a bad constitution, make it worse by their absurd way of life, and deliver a still weaker and weaker thread down to their children. I do not know any one thing more ridiculous than the seeing their wrinkled sallow faces all set off with diamonds. Poor mistaken gentlewomen! they should endeavour to avoid

people's eyes as much as possible, and not attract them; for they are really quite a deplorable sight, and their very faces are a standing lesson against the strange lives they lead.

People in a lower life, it is true, do not act so ridiculously as those in a higher; but even ainong them too there is a vast difference between the people that live well, and the people that live ill: the former are more healthy, in better spirits, fitier for business, and more attentive to it; ihe latter are more negligent, more uneasy, more contemptible, and more frequently the subjects of disease.

In truth, either in high or low life, virtue is only another game for bappiness, and debauchery is the righi road to misery; and this, to me, appears just as true and evident, as that moderation is always good for us, and excess always hurtful.

But is it not a charming thing to have youth and beauty -to be followed and admired to have presents offered froin all sides to one-to be invited to all diversions, and to be distinguished by the men from all the rest of the company? Yes, my dear child; all this would be charming, if we had nothing to do but to dance and receive presents, and if this distinction of you were to last always. But the mischief of it is, that these things cannot be enjoyed without increasing your vanity every time you enjoy them, and swelling up a passion in you that must soon be balked and disappointed. How long is this beauty to last? There are but few faces that can keep it to the other side of five and twenly; and how would you bear it, after having been used to be thus distinguished and admired for some time, to sink out of the notice of people, and to be neglected and perhaps affronted, by the very persons who used to pay the greatest adoration to you?

Do you remember the gentleman that was with us last autumn, and his presenting you with that pretty flower one day on his coming out of the garden? I do not know whether you understood him or not, but I could read it in his looks, that he meant it for a lesson to you. It is true the flower was quite a pretty one ; but though you put it in water, you know it faded, and grew disagreeable in four or five days; and if it had not been cropped but suffered to grow in the garden, it would have done the same in nine or

Now a year is to beauty, what a day was to that filower; and who would value themselves much on the possession of a thing, which they are so sure to lose in so short a time?

Nine or ten years are what one may call the natural term of life for beauty in a young woman, but by accidents, or misbehaviour, it may die long before its time. The greater part of what people call beauty in your face, for instance, is owing to that air of innocence and modesty that is in it. If once you should suffer yourself to be ensnared by vicious inclinations, all that would soon vanish, and assurance and ugliness would come in the room of it.

But persevere in the path of virtue, and that will be a beauty which shall last to the end of your days; for it will be ouly the more confirmed and brightened by time : that will secure your esteem, when all the present form of your face is vanished away, and will be always ripening into greater and greater charms. These my sentiments you will take as a blessing, and remember they come from the heart of a tender and affectionate mother.

LETTER VIII. Miss in Answer to Mrs. —, making an Apology for not

answering her Letter sooner. Dear Madam, It is paying you an ill compliment to let one of the most entertaining letters I have met with for some years remain so long unacknowledged: but when I inform you I have had a house full of strangers almost ever since, who have taken up all my time, I am sure you will excuse, if not pity me.

Who steals my purse, steals trash :
"Twas mine, 'tis bis, and has been slave to thousands :
But he who filches from me precious moments,
Robs me of that which not enriches bim,

But makes me poor indeed.” It is owing to this want, I should not say loss of time (for the hours have not passed by unimproved or unentertaining) that I have not been able to tell you sooner, how inuch I envy that leisure and retirement, of which you make such admirable' use. There it is the mind unbends and enlarges itself; drops off the forms and incumbrances of this world (which, like garments trailed about for state, as some author has it, only hinder our motion) and seizes and enjoys the liberty it was born to. Oh, when shall I see my little farm ! that calm recess, low in the vale of obscurity, my imagination so often paints to me! You know I am always in raptures about the country; but your description of Richmond is enough to intoxicate the soundest head.

Adieu! I am interrupted, and in haste, so obliged to conclude.

Yours truly.

LETTER IX.

Miss J. to Miss L. on Letter Writing. WaŅt of time, I think, the greatest complaint of all letter writers; and, yours in haste, concludes wit, business, every thing. For my own part, my whole life is little more than a perpetual hurry of doing nothing; and, I think, I never had more business of that sort upon my hands than now. But as I can generally find time to do any thing I have a mind to do, so I can always contrive to be at leisure to pay my respects to Miss L.

But the most universal complaint among scribblers of my rank, is want of sense. These generally begin with an apology for their long silence, and end with that moving petition, Excuse this nonsense.

This is modest indeed; but, though I am excessively good natured, I am resolved for the future, not to pardon it entirely in any one but myself.

I have often thought there never was a letter written well, but was written easily; and, if I had not some private reasons for being of a contrary opinion at this time, should conclude this to be a masterpiece of this kind, both in easiness, in thought, and facility of expression. And in this easiness of writing (which Mr. Wycherly says is easily written) methinks I excel even Mr. Pope himself, who is often too elaborate and ornamental, even in some of his best letters; though, it must be confessed, he outdoes me in some few trifles of another sort, such as spirit, taste, and sense. But let me tell Mr. Pope, that letters, like beauties, may be over-drest. There is a becoming negligence in both; and if Mr. Pope could only contrive to write without a genius, I do not know any one so likely to hit off my manners as himself. But he insists upon it, that genius is as necessary towards writing, as straw towards making bricks; whereas it is notorious, that the Israelites made bricks without that material as well as with it.

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