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and the sophistry which she employs in arguing and persuading others, and in silencing any truths which her own conscience suggests, will by degrees deprive her of the power of thinking justly, and as her judgment becomes weaker, her management will be more and more preposterous and apparent, and her success consequently very rare.

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In fact, sincerity is as essential to the health of our minds, as wholesome food and pure air are to our bodies. Whatever may be our other deficiencies and defects, this sterling virtue should be our sheet anchor. This alone ought to secure to us the friendship, esteem, and confidence of our social and relative connections, and by this may we best rescue from sinking into corruption, our good and amiable qualities and endowments; this will counterbalance in our minds the effect which worldly cares, pleasures, and hopes, have in diminishing their purity and lustre.

Amongst the causes of self-deception, pride and vanity must be numbered, since it is evident that they blind the understanding, and teach it to value unduly either the gifts of nature or fortune.

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MRS. L. Do not some persons contend for the utility of these two propensities, the one keeping us from degrading our natures, and the other urging us to the attainment of excellence on some point or other. If this be true, and if they really be instruments of improvement, how is it that the moralist calls them vices of the mind?

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MRS. B. It is a part of the wise constitution of our natures, that our passions, guided by reason, should be instrumental of good, furnishing us with

a variety of inducements to pursue our true interests; yet, without the controul of reason, we know how productive the passions are of mischief and misery in the world. All, therefore, that the moralist requires, is their government, not their utter extinction, which would deprive us of an essential part of our intellectual nature.

Pride, in its usual acceptation, is an opinion of our superiority, far beyond what we can justly entertain. In different individuals we see it variously directed: some pride themselves on intellectual, others upon personal gifts; some derive to themselves merit from their ancestry, and others value, more than they deserve, the favours of fortune. In all these cases, admiration, submission to the will or judgment, and sometimes adulation, are required from surrounding connections and dependents, while the return granted (degrading the objects on whom it is bestowed,) is either condescending affability, or contempt and scorn. Pride is easily mortified, when the homage it demands is not duly paid; and by this mortification many disorders of the heart and mind are engendered or cherished, unjust anger, dislike, revenge and tyranny, ill-humour, and the loss of that cheerful spirit which is common to those only who are neither discontented with their fellow-creatures, nor with themselves or their lot in life.

By the indulgence of this passion, habits of expence not consistent with prudence, are sometimes adopted; poverty is deemed a disgrace, and to avoid its appearance the reality is incurred; and, what is worse, pride frequently produces a disdain

of laudable exertions for independence. They who have been thus influenced have chosen to eat the bread of charity, and have preferred their children to be dependent on the bounty of others, rather than to be known to the world as capable of overcoming the frowns of fortune, by an honourable employment of their talents, so that meanness, a quality apparently contrary to the nature of pride, is the result.

Pride produces unamiable feelings towards our fellow-creatures; kindles and inflames petty feuds and jealousies among relatives and neighbours; excites uncandid and severe reflections upon each other's conduct and measures; renders the heart swollen with self-importance, and the whole world a cypher, in comparison to itself. Indeed, it would be endless to enumerate all the evils and consequences attendant on pride.

Shall we enquire into the nature and

MRS. L. effects of vanity?

MRS. B.

Vanity is considered as a a meaner vice of the heart than pride; the one believing in, and asserting its claim to the superiority, to which vanity only pretends; vanity is solicitous of admiration and praise, but not scrupulous to deserve them. When, however, it is not attended (as is often the case) by a weakness of parts and an unsound judgment, it may prove an incitement to real improvement, and give a spirit at once eager to attempt, and equal to overcome difficulties and obstacles, which to the humble and diffident would appear insuperable.

In young women, vanity is sometimes turned from frivolous pursuits and delights, and converted into an amiable desire to please, and to obtain the approbation of worthy and estimable people: this promotes in them the cultivation of good qualities, and the acquisition of desirable attainments. Yet regarding vanity as it is most commonly beheld, we should affirm it to be hollow and deceitful, and the origin of female folly, in every shade and degree.

To attract and please the eye by personal attractions and by gay and fashionable attire; to obtain notice and admiration by the supposed possession of talents and acquirements, exceeding what is usual; to be signalised by the spendour and éclat of routs and parties; to affect a striking or novel manner, and to entertain peculiar notions, which may obtain some kind of distinction where real merit is wanting, are amongst the chief objects which woman's vanity has in view. Sacrificing three parts of an existence, wasting the whole mental and rational powers, for the sole gratification of fluttering in the atmosphere of admiration, during a few short hours of life; expending in the brilliancy of a single night, a sum not inferior to the year's income; envying those whom superiority renders rivals, and detracting from their merit; indulging the fretfulness to which the disappointment of false pretensions has given rise, are some of the effects of woman's vanity.

It is vanity, also, which exposes young women to the impertinence of undisguised flattery, and leaves them open to the folly of interpreting it into the language of admiration. It is vanity which

induces still greater breaches of prudence and propriety, kindling the train of flirting and coquetry, which, if not ending in essentially injuring a woman's character, always diminishes its respectability. It attaches a suspicion and apprehension, that levity of manner will end in levity of conduct, and is the symptom which betrays to the sensible part of soci ety, a woman's unfitness to maintain the propriety, and to perform the duties of a wife or mother.

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MRS. L. I do not think an opinion of this kind, formed from the gaiety and inconsiderateness of a young woman's manner, is always just. I have known some, who have, drawn upon themselves, not only the animadversions of crabbed and malignant people, but even the censure of the candid and liberal minded; yet these, notwithstanding, have proved themselves possessed of many valuable and desirable qualities, when in afterlife they have been drawn into exercise; on the other hand, I have known one or two young people, who have been marked as patterns of propriety, and who have imposed on opinion by a grave ex→ terior, while their hearts and minds have been so ill-regulated, if not corrupted, as to cause the end of their admired courses to be far from correct, and which exposed a system of art and management in them scarcely credible.

MRS. B. It would be very uncandid not to make every allowance for juvenile gaiety of heart, and, indeed, I know not who would desire to impose any constraint, which would diminish the proper and natural enjoyment of all the amuse ments of youth. It is the levity of manner excited

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