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and Graces as Females. Men of true Taste fee! a natural Complaifance for Women when they .Converse with therrij and fall, without knowing it, upon every Art of pleasing; which is the Disposition at once trie most grateful to others, and the most fatisfactory to! ourselves. An intimate acquaintance with the other Sex fixes this Competence into a Habit,- and that Habit is tire -very Ef•fcdfee:df &>me&pj'< *- ;a >• U;'' '•,*!-•• '-"""
Nay, I presume to fay, PdBeh$ &&Wh^&-fher way attained. Books may fostaik? tis: with right LteavExperience may improve our Judgments; but it is the Acquaintance of lire Ladies only, which'can- bestow that Easiness of Address, whereby the fine Gentleman h distinguished frdrri the Scholar, and the Man -of Busfhess.
That my Readers may bepeffectly fatisfied in a •Point, which I think of soI great Importance, let us examine this a little mote strictly.
There ii a cSrtahi constitutional Pride in Men, which hinders their yielding, in point of Knowledge, Honour, or Virtue, to one another. This immediately forfakes us at the Sight of Worharh And the being accustomed to submit to the Ladies, gtve6 a new turn to our Ideas, and opens a Path to Reason, which she had not trod before. Things appear in another Light; and that Degree of Complacency seems now a Virtue, which heretofore we regarded as a Meanness. - . •
I have dwelt the longer on the Charms of th<S Sex, arising from the Perfection visible in theif exterior Composition ; because there is the strong* est Analogy between them, and the Excellencies which, from a nicer Enquiry, we discover in the Minds of the Fair. As they are distinguished from the robust Make of Man by that Delicacy, expressed by Nature, in their Form; so the Severity Si masculine Sense is softened by a Sweetness peculiar to the female Soul. A native Capacity of pleasing attends them through every Circumstance of Life; and what we improperly call the Weakness of the Sex, gives them a Superiority unattainable by Force.
The Fable of the North-wind and the Sun coiv tending to make the Man throw off his Cloak, is not an improper Picture of the specific Difference between the Powers of either Sex. The blustering Fierceness of the former, instead of producing the Effect at which it aimed, made the Fellow but wrap himself up the closer; yet no sooner did the Sun-beams play, than that which before protected became now an Incumbrance.
Just so, that Pride which makes us tenacious in Disputes between Man and Man, when applied to the Ladies, inspires us with an Eagerness not to contend, but to obey.
To speak sincerely and philosophically, Womenseem designed by Providence to spread the fame Splendour and Chearfulness through the intellectual ©Economy, that the celestial Bodies diffuse over the material Part of the. Creation. Without them, we might indeed contend, destroy, and triumph over one another. Fraud and Force would divide the World between them; and we stjould pass our Lives, like Slaves, in continual
• Toil, Toil, without the Prespect of Pleasure or Relaxation.
It is the Converfation of Women that gives a proper Bias to our Inclinations, and, by abating the Ferocity of our Passions, engages: us to that Gentleness of Deportment, which we style Humanity. The Tenderness we have for them, soften* the Ruggedness of our own Nature ; and the Virtues we put on to make the better Figure in their Eyes, keep us in Humour with ourselves.
I speak it without Affectation or Vanity, that no Man has applied more assiduously than myself to the Study of the Fair Sex; and I aver it with the greatest Simplicity of Heart, that I have not only found the most engaging and most amiable, but also the most generous and most heroic Qualities amongst the Ladies; and that I have discovered more of Candour, Disinterestedness, and Fervour in their Friendships, than in those of our own Sex, though I have been very careful, and particularly happy in the Choice of my Acquaintance.
My Readers will, I dare fay, observe, and indeed I desire they should, a more than ordinary SLeal for inculcating a high Esteem of, and a sincere Attachment to, the Fair. What I propose from it is, to rectify certain Notions, which are not only destructive of all Politenefs, but, at the fame Time, detrimental to Society, and incompatible with the Dignity of Human Nature. These have, of late Years, spread much amongst those who assume to themselves the Titleof fine Gentlemen and, in Consequence thereof, talk with ^reat Freedom of those from whom they are in
no no Danger os being called to an Account. There is so much of Baseness, Cowardice, and Contempt of Truth in this Way of treating those who are alone capable of making us truly and rationally happy, that, to consider the Crime, must be susficient to make a reasonable Man abhor it. Levity is the best Excuse for a transient Slip of this Kind; but to persist in it is evidently descending from our own Species, and, as far as we are able, putting on the Brute.
Framed to give Joy, the lately Sex are seen;
I choose to put an End to my Lecture on Politeness here, because, having spoke of the Ladies,^ would not descend again to any other Subject. In the Current os my Discourse, I have taken Pains to shew the Use and Amiableness of tfyat .Art which this Treatise was writ.ten - to recommend; and have drawn, in as strong Colours as I. was a.ble, those Solecisms in .Behaviour, which.^fen, either through Giddiness, or a wrong Turn of Thought, are most likely to commit.
Perhaps the grave may think I have made Politeness too important a Thing, from the Manner ia which I have treated it; yet, if they will but reflect, that a Statesman, in the most august Assembly, a Lawyer of the deepest Talents, and a Divine of the greatest Parts, must, notwithstanding, have a large Share of Politeness, in order to engage the Attention, and bias the Inclinations of his Hearers, before he can persuade them; they'll be os another Opinion; and confess, that some Care is due to acquiring that Quality which must set off all the rest.
The gayer Part of my Readers may probably find Fault with those Restraints which may result from the Rules I have here laid down; but I would have these Gentlemen remember, tliat I point out a Way whereby, without the 'Trouble of Study, they may be enabled to make no despicable Figure in the World; which, on mature Deliberation, I flatter myself they will think no ill Exchange. The Ladies will, I hope, repay my Labours, by not being displeased with this Offer of my Service. And thus, having done all in my Power towards making Folks agreeable to one another, I please me with the Hopes of having procured a favourable Reception for myself.
When gay Petronius, to correct the Age,