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THE Lady's New-years Gift: OR, ADVICE TO A DAUGHTER, Under these following Heads: Viz.

  • Religion,
  • Husband,
  • House and Fa­mily.
  • Servants,
  • Behaviour and Conversation,
  • Friendships,
  • Censure,
  • Vanity and Affectation,
  • Pride.
  • Diversions,
  • Dancing.

The Second Edition Corrected by the Original.

London, Printed for Matt. Gillyflower in Westminster-Hall, and James Partridge at Charing-Cross, 1688

ADVERTISEMENT.

THis Book being sent to a Scrive­ner to be Copied out, the Scri­vener surreptitiously took another Co­py of it for himself, and disposing it to a Person that knew not what to do with it, and ignorant of its worth, he sold it us: We getting a Licence for it, as a Book of an un­known Author, put it to the Press; but finding such a multitude of Faults in it, as hath made us ashamed and troubled that so excellent a Piece (according to the Universal Judg­ment) should be so mangled and abu­sed, we have made all the haste we could to get the Original Manuscript it self, which the said Person had, and Printed this new Edition. The Reader shall know this right Copy from the other by the Engraved Fi­gure before the Title.

Matthew Gillyflower. James Partridge.

THE Lady's New-Years Gift: OR, ADVICE TO A DAUGHTER.

INTRODUCTION.

Dear Daughter,

I Find, that even our most pleasing Thoughts will be unquiet; they will be in [Page 2] motion; and the Mind can have no rest whilst it is pos­sess'd by a darling Passion. You are at present the chief Object of my Care, as well as of my Kindness, which sometimes throweth me in­to Visions of your being happy in the World, that are better suited to my partial Wishes, than to my reasona­ble Hopes for you. At other times, when my Fears prevail, I shrink as if I were struck at the prospect of Danger, to which a young Woman must be expos'd. By how much the more Lively, so much the more Liable you are to be hurt; as the finest Plants are soonest nipped by the Frost. Whilst you are play­ing [Page 3] full of Innocence, the spiteful World will bite, ex­cept you are guarded by your Caution. Want of Care therefore, my dear Child, is never to be excus'd; since, as to this World, it hath the same effect as want of Ver­tue. Such an early sprouting Wit requireth to be so much the more sheltred by some Rules, like something strew'd on tender Flowers to pre­serve them from being bla­sted. You must take it well to be prun'd by so kind a Hand as that of a Father. There may be some bitter­ness in meer Obedience: The natural Love of Liberty may help to make the Commands of a Parent harder to go [Page 4] down. Some inward resi­stance there will be, where Power and not Choice ma­keth us move; but when a Father layeth aside his Au­thority, and persuadeth only by his Kindness, you will never answer it to Good Na­ture, if it hath not weight with you.

A great part of what is said in the following Discourse may be above the present growth of your Un­derstanding; but that becom­ing every day taller, will in a little time reach up to it, so as to make it easie to you. I am willing to begin with you before your Mind is quite form'd, that being the time in which it is most ca­pable [Page 5] of receiving a Colour that will last when it is mix'd with it. Few things are well learnt, but by early Precepts: Those well infus'd, make them Natural; and we are never sure of retaining what is valuable, till by a continu­al Habit we have made it a Piece of us.

Whether my Skill can draw the Picture of a fine Wo­man, may be a Question; but it can be none, That I have drawn that of a kind Father: If you will take an exact Copy, I will so far pre­sume upon my Workmanship, as to undertake you shall not make an ill Figure, Give me so much Credit as to try, [...]nd I am sure that neither [Page 6] your Wishes nor mine shall be disappointed.

RELIGION.

THe first thing to be considered, is Religion: It must be the chief Object of your Thoughts, since it would be a vain thing to direct your Behaviour in the World, and forget that which you are to have towards him who made it. In a strict sense, it is the only thing necessary: you must take it into your Mind, and thence throw it into your Heart, where you are to embrace it [Page 7] so close, as never to lose the Possession of it. But then it is necessary to distinguish be­tween the Reality and the Pretence. Religion doth not consist in believing the Le­gend of the Nursery, where Children with their Milk are fed with the Tales of Witch­es, Hobgoblins, Prophecies, and Miracles. We suck in so greedily these early Mi­stakes, that our riper Under­standing hath much ado to cleanse our Minds from this kind of Trash: The Stories are so entertaining, that we do not only believe them, but relate them; which makes the discovery of the Truth somewhat grievous, when it makes us lose such a Field [Page 8] of Impertinence, where we might have diverted our selves, besides the shame thrown upon us for having ever receiv'd them. This is making the World a Feast, and imputing to God Almighty, That the Province he assign­eth to the Devil, is to play at Blind-mans-buff, and shew Tricks with Mankind; and is so far from being Religion, that it is not Sense, and hath right only to be call'd that kind of Devotion, of which, Ignorance is the undoubted Mother, without competi­tion or dispute. These Mi­stakes are therefore to be left off with your Hanging­sleeves; and you ought to be as much out of counte­nance [Page 9] to be found with them about you, as to be seen playing with Babies, at an Age when other things are expe­cted from you.

The next thing to be ob­serv'd to you, is, That Re­ligion doth as little consist in loud Answers and devout Convulsions at Church, or Praying in an extraordinary manner. Some Ladies are so extreme stirring at Church, one would swear the Worm in their Conscience made them so unquiet. Others will have such a Divided Face be­tween a Devout Goggle and an Inviting Glance, that the unnatural Mixture maketh even their best Looks to be at that time ridiculous. These [Page 10] affected Appearances are ever suspected, like very strong Perfumes, which are general­ly thought no very good Symptoms in those that make use of them. Let your ear­nestness therefore be reserv'd for your Closet, where you may have God Almighty to your self: In Publick be still and calm, neither indecently Careless, or Affected in the o­ther Extream.

It is not true Devotion, to put on an angry Zeal against those who may be of a differing Persuasion. Par­tiality to our selves makes us often mistake it for a Duty, to fall hard upon others in that case; and being push'd on with Self-conceit, [Page 11] we strike without mercy, be­lieving that the Wounds we give are Meritorious, and that we are fighting God Al­mighty's Quarrel; when the truth is, we are only setting out our selves. Our Devoti­on too often breaketh out into that Shape which most agreeth with our particular Temper. The Cholerick grow into a hardned Severity a­gainst all who dissent from them, snatch at all the Texts of Scripture that suit with their Complexion; and because God's Wrath was some time kindled, they conclude, That Anger is a Divine Vertue; and are so far from imagin­ing that their ill-natur'd Zeal requireth an Apology, that [Page 12] they value themselves upon it, & triumph in it. Others, whose Nature is more Credulousthan ordinary, admit no Bounds or Measures to it; they grow as proud of extending their Faith, as Princes are of en­larging their Dominions; not considering, that our Faith, like our Stomach, is capable of being over-charg-d; and that as the Last is destroy'd by taking in more than it can digest, so our Reason may be extinguish'd by oppressing it with the weight of too many strange things; espe­cially if we are forbidden to chew what we are command­ed to swallow. The Melan­choly and the Sullen are apt to place a great part of their [Page 13] Religion in Dejected and Ill-humour'd Looks, putting on an unsociable Face, and de­claiming against the Innocent Entertainments of Life, with as much sharpness as they could bestow upon the great­est Crimes. This generally is only a Vizard, there is sel­dom any thing real in it. No other thing is the better for being Sowre; and it would be hard that Religion should be so, which is the best of things. In the mean time it may be said with truth, That this surly kind of Devotion hath per­haps done little less hurt in the World, by frighting, than the most scandalous Examples have done by infecting it.

[Page 14]Having told you, in these few Instances, to which ma­ny more might have been added, what is not true Re­ligion; it is time to describe to you; what is so. The or­dinary Definitions are no more like it, than the com­mon Sign-posts are like the Princes they would represent; the unskilful Dawbers in all A­ges have generally laid on such ill Colours, and drawn such harsh Lines, that the Beauty of it is not easily to be dis­cover'd: They have put in all the forbidding Features that can be thought of; and in the first place, have made it an irreconcileable Enemy to Nature; when, in reality, they are not only Friends, [Page 15] but Twins, born together at the same time; and it is do­ing violence to them both, to go about to have them separated. Nothing is so kind and so inviting as true and Unsophisticated Religion: In stead of imposing unne­cessary Burdens upon our Nature, it easeth us of the greater weight of our Passions and Mistakes: In stead of subduing us with Rigour, it redeemeth us from the Sla­very we are in too our selves, who are the most severe Ma­sters, whilst we are under the Usurpation of our Ap­petites let loose and unre­strain'd.

Religion is a chearful thing, so far from being always at [Page 16] Cuffs with Good Humour, that it is inseparably united to it. Nothing unpleasant be­longs to it, though the Spiri­tual Cooks have done their un­skilful part to give an ill Relish to it. A wise Epicure would be Religious for the sake of Pleasure: Good Sense is the Foundation of both; and he is a Bungler who aimeth at true Luxury, but where they are joyn'd.

Religion is exalted Reason, refin'd and sifted from the grosser parts of it: It dwel­leth in the upper Region of the Mind, where there are no Clouds or Mists to dar­ken or offend it: It is both the Foundation and the Crown of all Vertues: it is [Page 17] Morality improv'd and rais'd to its height, by being car­ried nearer Heaven, the only place where Per­fection resideth. It cleanseth the Understanding, and brush­eth off the Earth that hang­eth about our Souls. It doth not want the Hopes and the Terrors which are made use of to support it: neither ought it to descend to the borrowing any Argument out of it self, since there we may find every thing that should invite us. If we were to be hired to Religion, it is able to out-bid the cor­rupted World, with all it can offer to us, being so much the Richer of the too in every thing where Reason is admit­ted [Page 18] to be Judge of the Value. Since this is so, it is worth your pains to make Religion your choice, and not make use of it only as a Refuge.

There are Ladies, who finding by the too visible decay of their good Looks, that they can shine no more by that Light, put on the Varnish of an affected Devotion, to keep up some kind of Fi­gure in the World; they take Sanctuary in the Church, where they are pursued by growing Contempt, which will not be stopt; but followeth them to the Altar: such late penitence is only a disguise for the tor­menting grief of being no more handsom. That is the killing thought which draw­eth [Page 19] the sighs and tears, that ap­pear outwardly to be applied to a better end.

There are many who have and Aguish Devotion, Hot and Cold Fits, long Intermissions, and violent Raptures; this unevenness is by all means to be avoided: let your method be a steady course of good Life, that may run like a smooth Stream, and be a per­petual Spring to furnish to the continued Exercise of Vertue. Your Devotion may be earnest, but it must be unconstrained; and like other Duties, you must make it your Pleasure too, or else it will have but very little effi­cacy. By this Rule you may best judge of your own [Page 20] Heart. Whilst these Duties are Joys, it is an Evidence of their being sincere; but when they are a Penance, it is a sign that your Nature ma­keth some resistance; and whilst that lasteth, you can never be entirely secure of your self.

If you are often unquiet, and too nearly touch'd by the cross Accidents of Life, your Devotion is not of the right Standard, there is too much Allay in it. That which is right and unmixt, taketh away the Sting of every thing that would trouble you: It is like a healing Balm, that extinguisheth the sharpness of the Blood; so this softneth and dissolveth the Anguish of [Page 21] the Mind. A devout Mind hath this Privilege, of being free from Passion, as some Climates are from all manner of venomous kind of Crea­tures; it will raise you above the little Vexations to which others for want of it, will be expos'd, and will bring you to a Temper, not of stupid Indifference, but of such a wife Resignation, that you may live in the World, so as it may hang about you like a loose Garment, and not tied too close to you.

Take heed of running into that common Error, of apply­ing God's Judgments upon particular Occasions. Our Weights and Measures are not competent to make the Di­stribution [Page 22] either of his Mercy or his Justice: He hath thrown a Veil over these things, which makes it not only an Imperti­nence, but a kind of Sacri­lege, for us to give Sentence in them without his Commis­sion.

As to your particular Faith, keep to the Religion that is grown up with you, both as it is the best in it self, and that the reason of staying in it upon that Ground is some­what stronger for your Sex, than it will perhaps be allow'd to be for ours; in respect that the Voluminous Enqui­ries into the Truth, by Read­ing, are less expected from you. The Best of Books will be direction enough to you [Page 23] not to change; and whilst you are fix'd and sufficiently confirm'd in your own Mind, you'l do best to keep vain Doubts and Scruples at such a distance, that they may give you no disquiet. Let me re­commend to you a Method of being rightly inform'd, which can never fail: it is in short this: Get Understand­ing, and practice Vertue; and if you are so Blessed as to have these for your Share, it is not surer that there is a God, than it is, that by him all Necessary Truths will be re­vealed to you.

HUSBAND.

THAT which challen­geth the next place in your Thoughts, is, How to live with a Husband: And though that is so large a Word, that few Rules can be fix'd to it which are unchangeable, the Methods being as various as the several Tempers of Men to which they must be suited; yet I cannot omit some Gene­ral Observations, which, with the help of your own, may the better direct you in the part of your Life upon which your Happiness most dependeth.

[Page 25]It is one of the Disadvan­tages belonging to your Sex, that young Women are sel­dom permitted to make their own Choice; their Friends Care and Experi­ence are thought safer Guides to them, than their own Fan­cies; and their Modesty often forbiddeth them to refuse when their Parents recom­mend, though their inward Consent may not entirely go along with it: In this case there remaineth nothing for them to do, but to endea­vour to make that easie which falleth to their Lot, and by a wife use of every thing they may dislike in a Husband, turn that by de­grees to be very supportable, [Page 26] which, if neglected, might in time beget an Aversion.

You must first lay it down for a Foundation in general, That there is Inequality in the Sexes, and that for the bet­ter Oeconomy of the World, the Men, who were to be the Law-givers, had the lar­ger share of Reason bestow'd upon them; by which means your Sex is the better pre­par'd for the Compliance that is necessary for the better perfor­mance of those Duties which seem'd to be most properly assign'd to it. This looks a little uncourtly at the first appearance; but upon exa­mination it will be found, that Nature is so far from be­ing unjust to you, that she [Page 27] is partial on your side: She hath made you such large Amends by other Advantages, for the seeming Injustice of the first Distribution, that the Right of Complaining is come over to our Sex; you have it in your power not only to free your selves, but to subdue your Masters, and without violence throw both their Natural and Legal Autho­rity at your Feet. We are made of differing Tempers, that our Defects might be mutually supplied: Your Sex wanteth our Reason for your Conduct, and our Strength for your Protection: Ours want­eth your Gentleness to soften, and to entertain us. The first part of our Life is a good [Page 28] deal of it subjected to you in the Nursery, where you Reign without Competition, and by that means have the advantage of giving the first Impressions; afterwards you have stronger Influences, which, well manag'd, have more force in your behalf, than all our Priviledges and Jurisdictions can pretend to have against you. You have more strength in your Looks, than we have in our Laws; and more power by your Tears, than we have by our Arguments.

It is true, that the Laws of Marriage, run in a harsher stile towards your Sex. Obey is an ungentle word, and less easie to be digested, by ma­king [Page 29] such an unkind distincti­on in the Words of Contract, and so very unsuitable to the excess of Good Manners, that generally goes before it; besides, the universality of the Rule seemeth to be a Grievance, and it appeareth reasonable, that there might be an Exemption for extraor­dinary Women, from ordina­ry Rules, to take away the just Exception that lieth a­gainst the false measure of general Equality: it may be alledged by the Council re­tained by your Sex, as there is in all other Laws, an Appeal from the Letter to Equity in Cases that require it, It is as reasonable, that some Court of a larger Jurisdiction might [Page 30] be erected, where some Wives might resort and plead, espe­cially, and in such Instances, where Nature is so kind, as to raise them above the level of their own Sex, that they might have Relief, and ob­tain a Mitigation in their own particular, of a Sentence which was given generally against Woman-kind.

The causes of Separation are now so very course, that few are confident enough to buy their Liberty at the price of having their Modesty so exposed, and for disparity of Minds, which above all o­ther things requireth a Re­medy, the Laws have made no provision; so little refin'd are numbers of Men, by [Page 31] whom they are compil'd. This, and a great deal more might be said to give a co­lour to this Complaint; but the Answer is, in short, That the Institution of Marriage is too sacred to admit of a Li­berty of Objection to it; that the Supposition of your be­ing the weaker Sex, having without all doubt a good Foundation, maketh it rea­sonable to subject it to the Masculine Dominion; that no Rule can be so perfect, as not to admit some Exceptions; but the Law presumeth there would be so few found in this Case, who would have a sufficient Right to such a Privilege, that it is safer some Injustice should be conniv'd [Page 32] at in a very few Instances, than to break into an Esta­blishment, upon which the Order of Humane Society doth so much depend. You are therefore to make the best of what is setled by Law and Custom, and not vainly ima­gine, that it will be changed for your sake. But that you may not be discouraged, as if you lay under the weight of an incurable Grievance, you are to know, that by a wife and dexterous Conduct, it will be in your power to relieve your self from any thing that looketh like a disadvantage in it. For your better dire­ction, I will give a hint of the most ordinary Causes of Dissatisfaction between Man [Page 33] and Wife, that you may be a­ble by such a Warning to live so upon your Guard, that when you shall be married, you may know how to cure your Hus­band's Mistakes, and to prevent your own.

First then, you are to con­sider, you live in a time which hath rendred some kind of Frailties so habitual, that they lay claim to large Grains of Allowance. The World in this is somewhat unequal, and our Sex seem­eth to play the Tyrant, in di­stinguishing partiality for our selves, by making that in the utmost degree Criminal in the Woman, which in a Man passeth under a much gentler Censure. The Root [Page 34] and Excuse of this Injustice is the Preservation of Families from any Mixture that may bring a Blemish to them: And whilst the Point of Ho­nour continues to be so plac'd, it seems unavoidable to give your Sex the greater shane of the Penalty. But if in this it lieth under any Disadvan­tage, you are more than re­compens'd, by having the Honour of Families in your keeping. The Consideration so great a Trust must give you, maketh full amends; and this Power the World hath lodg'd in you, can hard­ly fail to restrain the Seve­rity of an ill Husband, and to improve the Kindness and Esteem of a good one. This [Page 35] being so, remember, That next to the danger of com­mitting the Fault your self, the greatest is that of seeing it in your Husband. Do not seem to look or hear that way: If he is a Man of Sense, he will reclaim him­self; the Folly of it, is of it self sufficient to cure him: If he is not so, he will be provok'd, but not reform'd. To expostulate in these Cases, looketh like declaring War, and preparing for Reprisals; which to a thinking Husband would be a dangerous Re­flexion. Besides, it is so course a Reason which will be as­sign'd for a Lady's too great Warmth upon such an occa­sion, that Modesty no less than [Page 36] Prudence ought to restrain her; since such an undecent Complaint makes a Wife much more ridiculous, than the In­jury that provoketh her to it. But it is yet worse, and more unskilful, to blaze it in the World, expecting it should rise up in Arms to take her part: Whereas she will find, it can have no other Effect, than that she will be served up in all Companies, as the reigning Feast at that time; and will continue to be the common Entertain­ment, till she is rescu'd by some newer Folly that cometh upon the Stage, and driveth her away from it. The Im­pertinence of such Methods is so plain, that it doth not [Page 37] deserve the Pains of being laid open. Be assur'd, that in these Cases your Discretion and Silence will be the most prevailing Reproof; and an affected Ignorance, which is sel­dom a Vertue, is a great one here: And when your Hus­band seeth how unwilling you are to be uneasie, there is no stronger Argument to perswade him not to be unjust to you. Besides, it will na­turally make him more yield­ing in other things: And whe­ther it be to cover or redeem his Offence, you may have the good Effect of it whilst it lasteth, and all that while have the most reasonable Ground that can be, of presu­ming, such a Behaviour at [Page 38] last will intirely convert him. There is nothing so glorious to a Wife, as a Victory so gain'd: [...] Man so reclaim'd, is for e­ver after subjected to her Vertue; and her bearing for a time, is more than rewarded by a Triumph that will con­tinue as long as her Life.

The next thing I will sup­pose, is, That your Husband may love Wine more than is convenient. It will be grant­ed, That though there are Vices of a deeper dye, there are none that have greater Deformity than this, when it is not restrain'd: But with all this, the same Custom which is the more to be la­mented for its being so gene­ral, should make it less un­easie [Page 39] to every one in particu­lar who is to suffer by the Effects of it: So that in the first place, it will be no new thing if you should have a Drunkard for your Husband; and there is by too frequent Examples evidence enough, that such a thing may happen, and yet a Wife may live too without being miserable. Self-love dictateth aggravating words to every thing we feel; Ruine and Misery are the Terms we apply to whatever we do not like, forgetting the Mixture allot­ted to us by the Condition of Humane Life, by which it is not intended we should be quite exempt from trouble. It is fair, if we can escape [Page 40] such a Degree of it as would oppress us, and enjoy so much of the pleasant part as may lessen the ill taste of such things as are unwelcome to us. Every thing hath two Sides, and for our own ease we ought to direct our Thoughts to that which must be least liable to exception. To fall upon the worst side of a Drunkard, giveth so unpleasant a Prospect, that it is not possible to dwell upon it. Let us pass then to the more favourable part, as far as a Wife is concern'd in it. I am tempted to say (if the Irregularity of the Ex­pression could in strictness be justified) That a Wife is to thank God her Husband hath [Page 41] Faults. Mark the seeming Pa­radox, my Dear, for your own Instruction, it being in­tended no further. A Hus­band without Faults is a dan­gerous Observer; he hath an Eye so piercing, and seeth eve­ry thing so plain, that it is ex­pos'd to his full Censure; and though I will not doubt but that your Vertue will disap­point the sharpest Enquiries; yet few Women can bear the having all they say or do re­presented in the clear Glass of an Understanding without Faults. Nothing softneth the Arrogance of our Nature, like a Mixture of some Frailties; it is by them we are best told, that we must not strike too hard upon others, because we [Page 42] our selves do so often de­serve Blows: They pull our Rage by the Sleeve, and whisper Gentleness to us in our Censures, even when they are rightly applied. The Faults and Passions of Hus­bands bring them down to you, and make them con­tent to live upon less une­qual Terms, than Faultless Men would be willing to stoop to; so haughty is Man­kind till humbled by com­mon Weaknesses and Defects, which in our corrupted State contribute more towards the reconciling us to one ano­ther, than all the Precepts of the Philosophers and Di­vines; so that where the Errors of our Nature make [Page 43] amends for the Disadvantages of yours, it is more your part to make use of the Benefits, than to quarrel at the Fault.

Thus in case a drunken Husband should fall to your share, if you will be wise and patient, his Wine shall be of your side; it will throw a Veil over your Mi­stakes, it will set out and im­prove every thing you do, that he is pleased with. O­thers will like him less, and by that means he may per­haps like you the more, when after having dined too well, he is received at home without a Storm, or so much as a reproachful Look, the Wine will naturally work out all in Kindness, which [Page 44] a Wife must encourage, let it be wrapped up in never so much Impertinence: On the other side, it would boil up into Rage, if the mistaken Wife should treat him rough­ly, like a certain thing called a kind Shrew, than which the World, with all its Plenty, cannot shew a more Senceless, Hl-bred, forbidding Crea­ture. Consider, that where the Man will give such fre­quent Intermissions of the use of his Reason, the Wife insensibly getteth a Right of Governing in the Vacancy, and that raiseth her Character and Credit in the Family, to a higher pitch than perhaps could be done under a so­ber Husband, who never put­teth [Page 45] himself into an Incapa­city of holding the Reins. If these are not Intire Consolati­ons, at least they are Reme­dies to some Degree: They cannot make Drunkenness a Vertue, nor a Husband gi­ven to it a Felicity; but you will do your self no ill of­fice in the endeavouring, by these means, to make the best of such a Lot, in case it should happen to be yours, and by the help of a wife Observati­on, to make that very suppor­table, which would otherwise be a Load that would oppress you.

The next Case I will put is, That your Husband may be Cholerick or Ill-humour'd. To this it may be said, That [Page 46] passionate Men generally make amends at the Foot of the Account: such a Man, if he is angry one day without any Sense, will the next day be as kind without any Rea­son; so that by marking how the Wheels of such a Mans Head use to move, you may easily bring over all his Pas­sions to your Party; in stead of being struck down by his Thunder, you shall direct it where and upon whom you shall think it best ap­plied. Thus are the strongest Poisons turn'd to the best Re­medies; but then there must be Art in it, and a skilful Hand, else the least bungling maketh it mortal. There is a great deal of nice Care re­quired [Page 47] to deal with a Man of this Complexion; Choler proceedeth from Pride, and maketh a Man so partial to himself, that he swelleth a­gainst Contradiction, and thinketh he is lessened if he is opposed; you must in this Case take heed of increasing the Storm by an unwary Word, or kindling the Fire whilst the Wind is in a Corner which may blow it in your Face: You are dextrously to yield every thing till he beginneth to cool, and then by slow degrees you may rise and gain upon him: Your Gentleness well timed, will, like a Charm, dispel his Anger ill placed; a kind Smile will reclaim, when a [Page 48] shrill pettish Answer would provoke him; rather than fail upon such occasions, when other Remedies are too weak, a little Flattery may be admit­ted, which by being necessary, will cease to be Criminal: If Ill-Humour and Sullenness, and not open and sudden Heat is his Disease, there is a way of treating that too, so as to make it a Grievance to be endured: In order to it, you are first to know, that natu­rally good Sence hath a mix­ture of surly in't; and there being so much folly in the World, and for the most part so triumphant, it giveth fre­quent Temptations to raise the Spleen of Men who think right; therefore that [Page 49] which may generally be call'd Ill Humour, is not al­ways a Fault; it becometh one, when either it is wrong applyed, or that it is con­tinued too long, when it is not so: For this Reason, you must not too hastily fix an ill name upon that which may perhaps not deserve it; and though the Case should be, that your Husband might too sowrly resent any thing he disliketh, it may so hap­pen, that more Blame may belong to your Mistake, than to his ill Humour. If a Hus­band behaveth himself some­times with an Indifference that a Wife may think offen­sive, she is in the wrong to put the worst sense upon it, [Page 50] if by any means it will ad­mit a better. Some Wives will call it his Humour, if their Husbands change their Style from that which they used whilst they made their first Addresses to them: Others will allow no intermission or abatement in the Expressions of Kindness to them, not e­nough distinguishing Times, and forgetting that it is im­possible for Men to keep themselves up all their Lives to the height of some extra­vagant Moments. A Man may at some times be less careful in little things, without any cold or disobliging Reasons for it; as a Wife may be too expecting in smaller matters, without drawing upon her­self [Page 51] the Inference of being unkind: And if your Hus­band should be really sullen, and have such frequent Fits, as might take away the Ex­cuse of it, it concerneth you to have an Eye prepared to discern the first Appearances of Cloudy Weather, and to watch when the Fit goeth off, which seldom lasteth long if it is let alone; but whilst the Mind is sore, every thing galleth it, and that maketh it necessary to let the Black Humour begin to spend it self, before you begin to come in and venture to un­dertake it.

If in the Lottery of the World you should draw a Covetous Husband, I confess it [Page 52] will not make you proud of your good Luck; yet even such a one may be endured too, though there are few Passions more untractable than that of Avarice. You must first take care that your Definition of Avarice may not be a Mistake; you are to examine every Circumstance of your Husband's Fortune, and weigh the Reason of every thing you expect from him before you have right to pronounce that Sentence: The Complaint is now so ge­nerally against all Husbands, that it giveth great suspicion of its being often ill-groun­ded; it is impossible they should all deserve that Cen­sure, and therefore it is cer­tain, [Page 53] that it is many times misapplyed: he that spareth in every thing is an inexcusable Niggard, he that spareth in no­thing is as inexcusable a Mad­man; the mean is, to spare in what is least necessary, to lay out more liberally in what is most required in our several citcumstances; yet this will not always satisfie; there are Wives who are impatient of the Rules of Oeconomy, and are apt to call their Husbands Kindness in question, if any other measure is put to their expence than that of their own Fancy; be sure to avoid this dangerous Errour, such a partiality to your Self, which is so offensive to an un­derstanding Man, that he will [Page 54] very ill bear a Wife's giving her self such an injurious pre­ference to all the Family, and whatever belongeth to it: But to admit the worst, and that your Husband is really a Close-handed Wretch, you must in this, as in other Cases, en­deavour to make it less afflict­ing to you; and first you must observe seasonable hours of speaking.

When you offer any thing in opposition to this reigning Humour, a third hand and a wise Friend, may often pre­vail more than you will be allowed to do in your own Cause: Sometimes you are dex­trously to go along with him in things, where you see that the niggardly part of his Mind [Page 55] is most predominant, by which you will have the better op­portunity of perswading him in things where he may be more indifferent: Our Passi­ons are very unequal, and are apt to be raised or lessened, according as they work upon different Objects; they are not to be stopped or restrained in those things where our Mind is more particularly en­gaged: In other matters they are more tractable, and will sometimes give Reason a hear­ing, and admit a fair Dispute. More than that, there are few Men, even in this instance of Avarice, so intirely abandoned to it, that at some hours, and upon some occasions, will not forget their natures, and for [Page 56] that time turn Prodigal; the same Man who will grudge himself what is necessary, let his Pride be raised and he shall be profuse; at another time his Anger shall have the same effect; a fit of Vanity, Ambi­tion, and sometimes of Kind­ness, shall open and inlarge his narrow Mind; a Dose of Wine will work upon this tough humour, and for the time dis­solve it: Your business must be, if this Case happeneth, to watch these critical moments, and not let one of them slip without making your advan­tage of it; and a Wife may be said to want skill, if by these means she is not able to secure her self in a good measure a­gainst the Inconveniencies this [Page 57] scurvy quality in a Husband might bring upon her, ex­cept he should be such an in­curable Monster, as I hope will never fall to your share.

The last supposition I will make, is, That your Husband should be weak and incompe­tent to make use of the Privi­leges that belong to him; it will be yielded, that such a one leaveth room for a great many Objections; but God Almighty seldom sendeth a Grievance without a Remedy, or at least such a Mitigation as taketh away a great part of the sting, and smart of it. To make such a Misfortune less heavy, you are first to bring to your Observation, That a [Page 58] Wife very often maketh the better Figure, for her Hus­bands making no great one, and there seemeth to be little reason, why the same Lady that chuseth a Waiting-Woman with worse Looks, many not be content with a Husband with less Wit; the Argument being equal from the advantage of the Comparison: If you will be more ashamed in some Ca­ses, of such a Husband, you will be less afraid than you would perhaps be of a wise one; his Unseasonable Weak­ness may no doubt sometimes grieve you, but then set a­gainst this, that it giveth you the Dominion, if you will make the right use of it; it is next to his being dead, in [Page 59] which Case the Wife hath right to Administer; therefore be sure, if you have such an Ide­ot, that none, except your self, may have the benefit of the forfeiture: Such a Fool is a dangerous Beast, if others have the keeping of him; and you must be very undextrous if when your Husband shall resolve to be an Ass, you do not take care he may be your Ass; but you must go skill­fully about it, and above all things, take heed of distin­guishing in publick what kind of Husband he is; your in­ward thoughts must not hin­der the outward payment of the consideration that is due to him; your stighting him in Company, besides that, it [Page 60] would, to a discerning By-stan­der, give too great encourage­ment for the making near­er application to you, is in it self such an undecent way of assuming, that it may pro­voke the tame Creature to break loose, and to shew his Dominion for his Credit, which he was content to forget for his Ease: In short, the furest and the most approved me­thod will be to do like a wife Minister to an easie Prince; first give him the Orders you afterwards receive from him; with all this, that which you are to pray for, is a Wife Husband, one that by know­ing how to be a Master, for that very reason will not let you feel the weight of it; one [Page 61] whose Authority is so soften'd by his Kindness, that it gi­veth you ease without abridg­ing your Liberty; one that will return so much tender­ness for Iust Esteem of him, that you will never want pow­er, though you will seldom care to use it; such a Hus­band is as much above all the other Kinds of them, as a rational subjection to a Prince, great in himself, is to be pre­ferr'd before the disquiet and uneasiness of Unlimited Li­berty.

Before I leave this Head, I must add a little concerning your Behaviour to your Hus­bands Friends, which requi­reth the most refined part of your Understanding to ac­quit [Page 62] your self well of it; you are to study how to live with them with more care than you are to apply to any other part of your Life; especially at first, that you may not stum­ble at the first setting out; the Family into which you are grafted will generally be apt to expect, that like a Stran­ger in a Foreign Country, you should conform to their Me­thods, and not bring in a new Model by your own Authori­ty; the Friends in such a Case are tempted to rise up in Arms as against an unlawful Invasion, so that you are with the utmost Caution to avoid the least Appearances of any thing of this kind; and that you may with less diffi­culty [Page 63] afterwards give your Directions, be sure at first to receive them from your Hus­bands Friends, gain them to you by early applying to them, and they will be so sa­tisfied, that as nothing is more thankful than Pride, when it is complyed with, they will strive which of them shall most recommend you; and when they have helped you to take Root in your Husband's good Opinion, you will have less dependance up­on theirs, though you must not neglect any reasonable means of preserving it.

You are to consider, that a Man govern'd by his Friends, is very easily inflamed by them; and that one who is [Page 64] not so, will yet for his own sake expect to have them consider'd. It is easily impro­ved to a point of honour in a Husband, not to have his Re­lations neglected; and no­thing is more dangerous, than to raise an Objection, which is grounded upon Pride; it is the most stubborn and lasting Passion we are subject to, and when it is the first cause of the War, it is very hard to make a secure Peace: your Caution in this is of the last importance to you; and that you may the better succeed in it, carry a strict Eye upon the Impertinencies of your Ser­vants; take heed that their ill humour may not engage you to take Exceptions, or their [Page 65] too much assuming in small matters, raise Consequences which may bring you under great disadvantage.

Remember that in the case of a Royal Bride, those about her are generally so far su­spected to bring in a Foreign Interest, that in most Coun­tries, they are insensibly redu­ced to a very small number, and those of so low a Figure, that it doth not admit the be­ing Jealous of them. In little, and in the Proportion, this may be the Case of every New-Married-Woman, and there­fore it may be more advise­able for you, to gain the Ser­vants you find in a Family, than to tye your self too fast to those you carry into it; you [Page 66] are not to overlook those small Reflections, because they may appear low and inconsi­derable; for it may be said, that as the greatest streams are made up of the small drops at the head of the Springs from whence they are derived, so the greatest circumstances of your Life, will be in some de­gree directed by these seeming trifles, which having the ad­vantage of being the first acts of it, have a greater effect than singly in their own nature they could pretend to.

I will conclude this Article with my Advice, that you would, as much as Nature will give you leave, endeavour to forget the great Indulgence you have found at home, after [Page 67] such a gentle Discipline as you have been under; every thing you dislike will seem the harsher to you, the tender­ness we had for you, My Dear, is of another nature, peculiar to kind Parents, and differ­ing from that you will meet with at first in any Fa­mily into which you shall be transplanted; and yet they may be very kind too, and afford no justifiable reason to you to complain. You must not be frighted with the first Appearances of a differing Scene; for when you are used to it, you may like the House you go to, better than that you left; and your Husband's Kindness will have so much advantage of ours, that we [Page 68] shall yield up all Competition, and as well as we love you, be very well contented to Surrender to such a Rival.

HOUSE, FAMILY, and CHILDREN.

YOU must lay before you, My Dear, there are de­grees of Care to recommend your self to the World in the several parts of your Life, in many things, though the do­ing of them well, may raise your Credit and Esteem, yet the omission of them would draw no immediate reproach upon you; in others, where your duty is more particularly ap­plyed, the neglect of them is a­mongst those Faults which are [Page 69] not forgiven, and will bring you under a Censure, which will be much a heavier thing than the trouble you would avoid; of this kind is the Government of your House, Family and Children, which since it is the Province allotted to your Sex, and that the discharging it well, will for that reason be expected from you, if you ei­ther desert it out of Laziness, or manage it with want of skill, instead of a help you will be an Incumbrance to the Fa­mily where you are placed. I must tell you, that no respect is lasting, but that which is produced by our being in some degree useful to those that pay it: where that fail­eth, the Homage and the Re­verence [Page 70] go along with it, and fly to others where something may be expected in exchange for them; and upon this prin­ciple the respects even of the Children and the Servants will not stay with one that doth not think them worth their Care, and the old House-keeper shall make a better Figure in the Family, than the Lady with all her fine Cloths, if she wilfully relinquish her Title to the Government; therefore take heed of carrying your good Breeding to such a height, as to be good for nothing, and to be proud of it: some think it hath a great Air to be a­bove troubling their thoughts with such ordinary things as their House and Family; o­thers [Page 71] dare not admit Cares for fear they should hasten Wrin­kles; mistaken Pride maketh some think they must keep themselves up, and not de­scend to those Duties, which do not seem enough refined for great Ladies to be im­ploy'd in; forgetting all this while, that it is more than the greatest Princes can do, at once to preserve respect, and to neglect their business; no Age ever erected Altars to in­significant Gods; they had all some quality applyed to them to draw worship from Man­kind; this maketh it the more unresonable for a Lady to ex­pect to be consider'd, and at the same time resolve not to deserve it; good looks alone [Page 72] will not do, they are not such a lasting Tenure, as to be relyed upon; and if they should stay longer than they usually do, it will by no means be safe to depend upon them; for when time hath abated the violence of the first liking, and that the Napp is a little worn off, though still a good degree of kindness may remain, Men recover their sight which be­fore might be dazell'd, and allow themselves to object as well as admire; in such a Case, when a Husband seeth an empty airy thing that sails up and down the House to no purpose, and looks as if she came thither only to make a Visit, when he find­eth, [Page 73] that after her Emptiness hath been extream busy about some very senseless thing, that she eats her Breakfast half an hour before Dinner, to be at greater liberty to afflict the Company with her Discourse; then calleth for her Coach, that she may trouble her Ac­quaintance, who are already cloy'd with her: And having some proper Dialogues ready to display her Foolish Eloquence at the top of the Stairs, she setteth out like a Ship out of Harbour, laden with trifles, and cometh back with them; at her return she repeateth to her faithful Waiting-Wo­man, the Triumphs of that day's Impertinence, then wrap'd up in Flattery and clean Li­nen, [Page 74] goeth to Bed so satisfied, that it throweth her into plea­sant Dreams of her own Fe­licity; such a one is seldom serious but with her Taylor; her Children and Family may now and then have a random thought, but she never taketh aim but at something very Impertinent.

I say when a Husband, whose Province is without Doors, and to whom the Oeconomy of the House would be in some degree Indecent, findeth no Order nor Quiet in his Family, meeteth with Complaints of all kinds springing from this Root, the Mistaken Lady, who think­eth to make amends for all this, by having a well-chosen Pet­ty-Coat, will at last be con­vinced [Page 75] of her Error, and with grief be forced to undergo the Penalties that belong to those who are wilfully In­significant; when this scurvy hour cometh upon her, she first groweth Angry; then when the time of it is past, would perhaps grow wiser, not remembring that we can no more have Wisdom than Grace, when ever we think fit to call for it; there are Times and Periods fix'd for both; and when they are too long neglected, the Punish­ment is, that they are Irreco­verable, and nothing remain­eth but an useless Grief for the Folly of having thrown them out of our Power; you are to think what a mean Figure [Page 76] a Woman maketh, when she is so degraded by her own Fault; whereas there is no­thing in those Duties which are expected from you, that can be a lessening to you, ex­cept your want of Conduct make it so: You may love your Children without living in the Nursery, and you may have a competent and discreet care of them, without letting it break out upon the Com­pany, or exposing your self by turning your Discourse that way, which is a kind of Lay­ing Children to the Parish, and it can hardly be done any where, that those who hear it will be so forgiving, as not to think they are over­charged with them. A Wo­mans [Page 77] tenderness of her Chil­dren is one of the least de­ceitful Evidences of her Ver­tue; but yet the way of ex­pressing it, must be subject to the Rules of good Breeding: And though a Woman of Qua­lity ought not be less kind to them, than Mothers of the meanest Rank are to theirs, yet she may distinguish her self in the manner, and avoid the course Methods, which in Women of a lower size might be more excusable. You must begin early to make them Love you, that they may Obey you: This Mixture is no where more necessary than in Children; and I must tell you, that you are not to expect Returns of [Page 78] Kindness from yours, if ever you have any, without Grains of Allowance; and yet it is not so much a defect in their good Nature, as a shortness of Thought in them; Their first Insufficiency maketh them lean so entirely upon their Pa­rents for what is necessary, that the habit of it maketh them continue the same Ex­pectations for what is unrea­sonable; and as oft as they are denied, so often they think they are injured; and whilst their Desires are strong, and their Reasons yet in the Cradle, their Anger looketh no farther than the thing they long for and cannot have; and to be displeased for their own good, is a [Page 79] Maxim they are very slow to understand; so that you may conclude, the first Thoughts of your Children will have no small Mixture of Mutiny; which being so natural, you must not be an­gry, except you would in­crease it; you must deny them as seldom as you can, and when there is no avoid­ing it you must do it gently, you must flatter away their ill Humours, and take the next Opportunity of pleasing them in some other things, before they either ask or look for it: This will streng­then your Authority, by ma­king it soft to them; and con­firm their Obedience, by ma­king it their Interest.

[Page 80]You are to have as strict a Guard upon your self amongst your Children, as if you were amongst your Ene­mies; they are apt to make wrong Inferences, to take Encouragement from half Words, and misapplying what you may say or do, so as either to lessen their Duty, or to extend their Liberty far­ther than is convenient: Let them be more in awe of your Kindness than of your Power, and above all, take heed of supporting a Favou­rite Child in its Impertinence, which will give Right to the rest of claiming the same Privilege. If you have a di­vided Number, leave the Boys to the Fathers more peculiar [Page 81] Care, that you may with the greater Justice pretend to a more immediate Jurisdiction over those of your own Sex: You are to live so with them, that they may never chuse to avoid you, except when they have offended; and then let them tremble, that they may distinguish; But their Penance must not continue so long as to grow sowre upon their Sto­machs, that it may not Har­den in stead of correcting them: The kind and severe Parts must have their several turns seasonably applied; but your Indulgence must have the broader mixture, that Love, rather than Fear, may be the Root of their Obedi­ence.

[Page 82]Your Servants are in the next place to be considered; and you must remember not to fall into the mistake of thinking, That because they receive Wages, and are so much Inferiour to you, there­fore they are below your Care to know how to mannage them. It would be as good Reason for a Master Workman to despise the Wheels of his Engine because they are made of Wood. These are the Wheels of your Family; and let your Directions be never so faultless, yet if these En­gines stop or move wrong, the whole Order of your House is either at a stand, or discomposed: Besides, the In­equality which is between [Page 83] you, must not cause you to forget, that Nature maketh no such distinction, but that Servants may be looked upon as humble Friends, and that Returns of Kindness and good Vsage are as much due to such of them as deserve it, as their Service is due to us when we require it. A foolish haughtiness in the Style of speaking, or in the manner of commanding them, is in it self very undecent, besides, that it begetteth an Aversion in them, of which the least ill Effect to be expected, is, that they will be flow and careless in all that is injoyned them, and you will find it true by your Experience, that you will be so much the more [Page 84] obeyed as you are less Imperi­ous. Be not too hasty in gi­ving your Orders, nor too an­gry when they are not alto­gether observed; much less are you to be loud, or too much disturbed; an evenness in distinguishing when they do well or ill, is that which will make your Family move by a Rule, and without Noise, and will the better set out your Skill in conducting it with Ease and Silence, that it may be like a well-disci­plin'd Army, which knoweth how to anticipate the Orders that are fit to be given them. You are never to neglect the Duty of the present Hour, to do another thing, which though it may be better in [Page 85] it self, is not to be un­seasonably preferred. Allot well chosen Hours for the Inspection of your Fami­ly, which may be so distin­guished from the rest of your Time, that the necessary Cares may come in their proper Places, without any Influ­ence upon your good Hu­mour, or Interruption to o­ther things. By these Me­thods you will put your self in possesson of being valued by your Servants, and then their Obedience will naturally follow.

I must not forget one of the greatest Articles belong­ing to a Family, which is the Expences: It must not be such, as by failing either in the Time [Page 86] or measure of it, may rather draw Censure than gain Ap­plause. If it was well Exa­mined, there is more Money given to be laughed at, than for any other thing in the World, though the Purcha­sers do not think so. A well-stated Rule is like the Line, when that is once pass'd we are under another Pole; so the first straying from Rule, is a step towards making that which was before a Vertue, to change its Nature, and to grow either into a Vice, or at least an Imperti­nence: The Art of laying out Money wisely, is not at­tained to without a great deal of thought; and it is yet more difficult in the Cafe of [Page 87] a Wife, who is accountable to her Husband for her mistakes in it: It is not only his Mo­ney, his Credit too is at Stake, if what lyeth under the Wife's Care is managed, either with undecent Thrift, or too loose Profusion; you are therefore to keep the Mean between these two Extreams, and it being hardly possible to hold the Balance exactly even, let it rather incline towards the Liberal side, as more suitable to your Quality, and less sub­ject Reproach; of the two, a little Money mispent is soon­er recovered, than the Credit which is lost by having it un­handsomely saved; and a Wife Husband will less for­give a shameful piece of Par­simony, [Page 88] than a little Extrava­ance, if it is not too often repeated; Mind in this must be your chief Direction; and his Temper, when once known, will in a great mea­sure justifie your part in the management, if he is pleased with it.

In your Cloths avoid too much Gaudiness; do not va­lue your self upon an Imbroi­dered-Gown; and remember, that a reasonable Word, or an obliging Look, will gain you more respect, than all your fine Trappings. This is not said to restrain you from a decent Compliance with the World, provided you take the wiser, and not the foo­lisher part of your Sex for [Page 89] your Pattern: Some distincti­ons are to be allowed, whilst they are well-suited to your Quality and Fortune, and in the distribution of the Ex­pence, it seemeth to me, that a full Attendance, and well-cho­sen Ornaments for your House, will make you a better Fi­gure, than too much glittering in what you wear, which may with more ease be imitated by those which are below you; yet this must not tempt you to starve every thing but your own Apartment; or in order to more abundance there, give just cause to the least Servant you have, to complain of the want of what is necessary: Above all, fix it in your thoughts, as an un­changeable [Page 90] Maxim, That no­thing is truly fine but what is fit, and that just so much as is proper for your Circum­stances of their several kinds, is much finer than all you can add to it; when you once break through those bounds, you launch into a wide Sea of Extravagance, every thing will become necessary, because you have a mind to it; and you have a mind to it, not because it is fit for you, but because some body else hath it: This Lady's Logick setteth Reason upon its Head, by carrying the Rule from things to Per­sons, and appealing from what is right to every Fool that is in the wrong; the word neces­sary is miserably applyed, it [Page 91] disordereth Families, and o­verturneth Governments by be­ing so abused: Remember, that Children and Fools want eve­ry thing, because they want Wit to distinguish: and there­fore there is not a stronger Evidence of a Crazy Under­standing, than the making too large a Catalogue of things necessary, when in truth there are so very few things that have a right to be placed in it; try every thing first in your Iudgement, before you allow it a place in your De­sire, else your Husband may think it as necessary for him to deny, as it is for you to have whatever is unreasona­ble; and if you shall too of­ten give him that advantage, [Page 92] the habit of refusing may per­haps reach to things that are not unfit for you; there are unthinking Ladies, who do not enough consider, how lit­tle their own Figure agreeth with the fine things they are so proud of; others when they have them, will hardly allow them to be visible; they cannot be seen without Light, and that is many times so sawcy and so prying, that is like a too forward Gallant to be for­bid the Chamber to. Some, when you are ushered into their Dark Ruelle, it is with such so­lemnity, that a Man would swear there was something in it, till the Unskilful Lady breaketh si­lence, and beginneth a Chat, which discovereth it is Puppit-Play [Page 93] with Magnificent Scenes; many esteem things rather as they are hard to be gotten, than that they are worth get­ting: This looketh as if they had an Interest to pursue that Maxim, because a great part of their own value dependeth upon it. Truth in these Ca­ses would be very often un­mannerly, and might derogate from the Prerogative, great Ladies would assume to them­selves, of being distinct Crea­tures from those of their Sex, who are inferiour, and of less difficult access in other things too. Your Condition must give the rule to you, and there­fore it is not a Wifes part to aim at more than a bounded Liberality; the farther extent [Page 94] of that Quality (otherwise to be commended) belongeth to the Husband, who hath better means for it.

Generosity wrong placed becometh a Vice, and it is no more a Vertue when it grow­eth into an Inconvenience. Ver­tues must be inlarged or re­strained according to the dif­fering Circumstances; A Princely Mind will undo a private Family, therefore things must be suited, or else they will not deserve to be Com­mended, let them in them­selves be never so valuable; and the Expectations of the World are best answered when we acquit our selves in that manner which seemeth to be prescribed to our several [Page 95] Conditions, without usurping upon those Duties, which do not so particularly belong to us.

I will close the considera­tion of this Article of Ex­pence, with this short word, Do not fetter your self with such a Restraint in it as may make you Remarkable; but remember that Vertue is the greatest Ornament, and good Sence the best Equipage.

BEHAVIOUR and CON­VERSATION.

IT is time now to lead you out of your House into the World. A Dangerous step; where your Vertue alone will not serve you, except it is at­tended [Page 96] with a great deal of Prudence: You must have both for your Guard, and not stir without them; the Ene­my is abroad, and you are sure to be taken, if you are found stragling: Your Beha­viour is therefore to incline strongly towards the Reser­ved part: your Character is immovably to be fixed upon that Bottom, not excluding a mixture of greater freedom, as far as it may be innocent and well-timed. The Extravagan­cies of the Age have made Caution more necessary; and by the same reason that the too great Licence of Ill Men hath by Consequence in many things restrained the Lawful Liberty of those who did [Page 97] not abuse it, the unjustifiable Freedom of some of your Sex have involved the rest in the Penalty of being redu­ced. And though this can­not so alter the Nature of things, as to make that Cri­minal, which in it self is In­different; yet if it maketh it dangerous, that alone is insuffi­cient to justifie the Restraint. A close behaviour is the fittest to receive Vertue for its con­stant Guest, because there, and there only, it can be secure. Proper Reserves are the Out­works, and must never be de­serted by those who intend to keep the Place; they keep off the possibility not only of being taken, but of being at­tempted; and if a Woman [Page 98] seeth Danger at never so re­mote a Distance, she is for that time to shorten her Line of Liberty: She who will al­low her self to go to the ut­most Extents of every thing that is Lawful, is so very near going farther, that those who lie at watch, will begin to count upon her.

Mankind, from the double temptation of Vanity and De­sire, is apt to turn every thing a Woman doth to the hopeful side; and there are few who dare make an impudent Appli­cation, till they discern some­thing which they are willing to take for an Encouragement: It is safer therefore to prevent such Forwardness, than to go about to cure it: It gathereth [Page 99] Strength by the first allowances, and claimeth a Right from having been at any time suf­fered with Impunity: There­fore nothing is with more care to be avoided, than such a kind of Civility as may be mistaken for Invitation. It will not be enough for you to keep your self free from any criminal Engagements; for if you do that which ei­ther raiseth Hopes, or crea­teth Discourse, there is a Spot thrown upon your Good Name; and those kind of Stains are the harder to be taken out, being dropped upon you by the Man's Va­nity, as well as by the Wo­man's Malice. Most Men are in one sence Platonick Lovers, [Page 100] though they are not willing to own that Character; they are so far Philosophers, as to allow, that the greatest part of Pleasure lieth in the Mind; and in pursuance of that Maxim, there are few who do not place the Felicity more in the Opinion of the World, of their being pro­sperous Lovers, than in the Blessing it self, how much so­ever they appear to value it. This being so, you must be very cautious not to gratifie those Camelions at the price of bringing a Cloud upon your Reputation, which may be deeply wounded, though your Conscience is unconcern­ed. Your own Sex too will not fail to help the least Ap­pearance [Page 101] that giveth a Han­dle to be ill turned; the best of them will not be displea­sed to improve their own Value, by laying others un­der a Disadvantage, when there is a fair Occasion given for it; It distinguisheth them still the more, their own Cre­dit is still the more exalted, and, like a Picture set off with Shades, shineth more when a Lady, less Innocent, or less Discreet, is set near, to make them appear so much the brighter. If these lend their Breath to blast such as are so unwary as to give them this Advantage, you may be sure there will be a stronger Gale from those, who, besides Malice or Emulation, have [Page 102] an Interest too, to strike hard upon a Vertuous Woman: It seemeth to them, that their Load of Infamy is lessened, by throwing part of it upon others; so that they will not only improve when it lieth in their way, but take pains to find out the least mistake an Innocent Woman commit­teth, in Revenge of the In­jury she doth in leading a Life which is a Reproach to them. With these you must be extream wary, and neither provoke them to be angry, nor invite them to be inti­mate.

To the Men you are to have a Behaviour which may secure you, without offend­ing them: No ill-bred affe­cted [Page 103] Shiness nor Roughness, unsuitable to your Sex, and unnecessary to your Vertue; but a way of Living that may prevent all course Railleries or unmannerly Freedoms; Looks that forbid without Rude­ness, and oblige without In­vitation, or leaving room for the sawcy Inferences Mens Vanity suggesteth to them upon the least Encourage­ments. This is so very nice, that it must engage you to have a perpetual Watch upon your Eyes, and to remember, that one careless Glaunce gi­veth more advantage than a hundred Words not enough considered; the Language of the Eyes being very much the most significant, and the most [Page 104] observed. Your Civility, which is always to be preserved, must not be carried to a Com­pliance, which may betray you into irrecoverable Mistakes. This French ambiguous word Complaisance hath led your Sex into more blame, than all other things put together: It carrieth them by degrees into a certain thing called a good kind of Woman, an easie Idle Creature, that doth nei­ther Good nor Ill but by chance, hath no Choice, but leaveth that to the Company she keepeth. Time, which by degrees addeth to the signifi­cation of Words, hath made her, according to Modern Stile, little better than one who thinketh it a Rudeness [Page 105] to deny, when civilly requi­red, either her Service in Per­son, or her friendly Assistance, to those who would have a meeting or want a Confident. She is a certain thing always at hand, an easie Companion, who hath ever great Compassion for distressed Lovers: She cen­sureth nothing but Rigour, and is never without a Plaister for a wounded Reputation, in which chiefly lieth her Skill in Chirurgery: She seldom hath the Propriety of any particular Gallant, but liveth upon Brokage, and waiteth for the Scraps her Friends are content to leave her.

There is another Character not quite so Criminal, yet not less Ridiculous; which is that [Page 106] of a good-humour'd Woman, one who thinketh she must always be in a Laugh, or a broad Smile; and because Good-Humour is an obliging Quality, thinketh it less ill­manners to talk impertinently, than to be silent in Company. When such a prating Engine rideth Admiral, and carrieth the Lanthorn in a Circle of Fools, a cheerful Coxcomb com­ing in for a Recruit, the Chat­tering of Monkeys is a better noise than such a Concert of senceless Merriment: If she is applauded in it, she is so en­couraged, that, like a Bal­lad singer, who, if commend­ed, breaketh his Lungs, she letteth her self loose, and o­verfloweth upon the Compa­ny. [Page 107] She conceiveth that Mirth is to have no Intermission, and therefore she will carry it about with her, though it be to a Funeral; and if a Man should put a familiar Question, she doth not know very well how to be angry, for then she would be no more that pretty thing called a Good humour'd Wo­man. This necessity of appea­ring at all times to be infinite­ly pleased, is a grievous mi­stake; since in a handsom Wo­man that Invitation is unne­cessary; and in one who is not so, ridiculous.

It is not intended by this, that you should forswear Laughing; but remember, that Fools being always painted [Page 108] in that posture it may fright those who are wise from do­ing it too frequently, and go­ing too near a Copy which is so little inviting, and much more from doing it loud, which is an unnatural Sound, and looketh so much like ano­ther Sex, that few things are more offensive. That boi­strous kind of Follity is as contrary to Wit and Good manners, as it is to Modesty and Vertue; besides, it is a course kind of quality, that throweth a Woman into a lower Form, and degradeth her from the Rank of those who are more refined. Some Ladies speak aloud and make a noise to be the more mind­ed, which looketh as if they [Page 109] beat their Drums for Volun­tiers, and if by misfortune none come in to them, they may, not without reason, be a good deal out of Counte­nance.

There is yet one thing more to be avoided, which is the Example of those who intend nothing farther than the Vanity of Conquest, and think themselves secure of not having their Honour tainted by it. Some are apt to be­lieve their Vertue is too Ob­scure, and not enough known, except it is exposed to a broader Light, and set out to its best advantage, by some publick Trials; these are dan­gerous Experiments, and ge­nerally fail, being built up­on [Page 110] so weak a foundation, as that of too great Confidence in our selves; it is as safe to play with Fire, as to dally with Gallantry.

Love is a Passion that hath Friends in the Garrison, and for that reason must by a Woman be kept at such a di­stance, that she may not be within the danger of doing the most usual thing in the World, which is conspiring against her Self, else the hum­ble Gallant, who is only ad­mitted as a Trophy, very of­ten becometh the Conquerour; he putteth on the style of Vi­ctory, and from an Admirer groweth into a Master, for so he may be called from the moment he is in Possession. [Page 111] The first Resolutions of stop­ping at good Opinion and Esteem, grow weaker by de­grees against the Charms of Courtship skillfully applyed. A Lady is apt to think a Man speaketh so much reason whilst he is Commending her, that she hath much ado to believe him in the wrong when he is making Love to her, and when besides the natural In­ducements your Sex hath to be merciful, she is bribed by well-chosen Flattery, the poor Creature is in danger of being caught like a Bird listening to the Whistle of one that hath a Snare for it. Conquest is so tempting a thing, that it of­ten maketh Women mistake Mens Submissions; which with [Page 112] all their fair Appearances, have generally less Respect than Art in them. You are to remem­ber, that Men who say ex­tream fine things, many times say them most for their own sakes, and that the vain Gal­lant is often as well pleased with his own Compliments, as he could be with the kindest answer; where there is not that Ostentation you are to suspect there is a Design; and as strong perfumes are seldom used but when they are necessary to smother an unwelcome scent; so Excess of good Words, leave room to believe they are strewed to cover something which is to gain admittance under a Disguise: You must be therefore upon your Guard, [Page 113] and consider, that of the two, Respect is more dangerous than Anger, it puts even the best Understandings out of their place, till the time of their second thoughts restore them; it stealeth upon us in­sensibly, throweth down our Defences, and maketh it too late to resist, after we have given it that advantage, whereas railing goeth away in sound, it hath so much noise in it, that by giving warning it bespeaketh Cauti­on. Respect is a flow and sure Poison, and like Poison swel­leth us within our selves, where it prevaileth too much, it groweth to be a kind of Apoplexia in the Mind, turn­eth it quite round, and after [Page 114] it hath once seized the under­standing, becometh mortal to it: For these reasons, the sa­fest way is to treat it like a fly Enemy, and be perpetu­ally upon the watch against it.

I will add one Advice to conclude this head, which is, that you will let every seven years make some alteration in you towards the Graves side, and not be like the Girls of Fifty, who resolve to be al­ways Young, what ever Time with his Iron Teeth hath de­termined to the contrary; un­natural things carry a Defor­mity in them never to the Dis­guised; the Liveliness of Youth in a riper Age, looketh like an old patch upon a new Gown; [Page 115] so that a Gay Matron, a chearful old Fool may be rea­sonably put into the List of the Tamer kind of Monsters: There is a certain Creature call'd a Grave Hobby-Horse, a kind of she Numps, that pre­tendeth to be pulled to a Play, and must needs go to Bartho­lomew-Fair, to look after the young Folks, of whom she onely seemeth to take care, when in reality she onely ta­keth them for her excuse; such an old Butterfly is of all Creatures the most ridiculous, and the soonest found out. It is good to be early in your Caution, to avoid any thing that cometh within distance of such despicable Patterns, and not like some Ladies, who [Page 116] defer their Conversion, till they have been so long in possession of being laughed at, that the World doth not know how to change their style, even when they are re­claimed from that which gave the first occasion for it; the advantages of being reserved are too many to be set down, I will only say, that it is a Guard to a good Woman, and a Disguise to an ill one. It is of so much use to both, that those ought to use it as an Ar­tifice, who refuse to practise it as a Vertue.

FRIENDSHIPS.

I Must in a particular man­ner recommend to you a strict Care in the Choice of your Friends; perhaps the best are not without their Objections, but however, be sure that yours may not stray from the Rules which the wi­ser part of the World hath set to them; the Leagues Offen­sive and Defensive, seldom hold in Politicks, and much less is Friendships; the violent Inti­macies, when once broken, of which they scarce ever fail, make such a Noise, the Bag of [Page 118] Secrets untied, they fly about like Birds let loose from a Cage, and become the En­tertainment of the Town. Be­sides, these great Dearnesses by degrees grow injurious to the rest of your Acquaintance, and throw them off from you: There is such an Offensive Distinction when the Dear Friend cometh into the Room, that it is flinging Stones at the Company, who are not apt to forgive it.

Do not lay out your Friend­ship too lavishly at first, since it will, like other things, be so much the sooner spent; neither let it be of too quick a growth; for as the Plants which shoot up too fast are not of that continuance, as [Page 119] those which take more time for it; so too swift a Progress in pouring out your Kindness, is a certain Sign that by the Course of Nature it will not be long-lived. You will be responsible to the World, if you pitch upon such Friends as at the same time are under the weight of any Criminal Objection; in that case you will bring your self under the disadvantages of their Cha­racter, and must bear your part of it. Chusing implieth Approving; and if you fix upon a Lady for your Friend against whom the World shall have given Judgment, 'tis not so well natur'd as to believe you are altogether averse to her way of living, [Page 120] since it doth not discourage you from admitting her into your Kindness; and Resem­blance of Inclinations being thought none of the least Inducements to Friendship, you will be looked upon at least as a well-wisher if not a Partner with her in her Faults: If you can forgive them in an­other, it may be presumed you will not be less gentle to your self; and therefore you must not take it ill, if you are rec­koned a Croupiere, and con­demned to pay an equal Share with such a friend of the Re­putation she hath lost.

If it hapneth that your Friend should fall from the State of Innocence after your Kindness was engaged to her, [Page 121] you may be slow in your be­lief in the beginning of the Discovery; but as soon as you are convinced by a Ra­tional Evidence, you must, without breaking too rughly, make a fair and quick Retreat from such a Mistaken Acquain­tance; else by moving too slowly from one that is so tainted, the Contagion may reach you so far as to give you part of the Scandal, though not of the Guilt. This Mat­ter is so nice, that as you must not be too hasty to joyn in the Censure upon your Friend when she is accused, so you are not on the other side to defend her with too much warmth; for if she should happen to deserve the Re­port [Page 122] of Common Fame, besides the Vexation that belongeth to such a mistake, you will draw an ill appearance upon your self, and it will be thought you pleaded for her not without some considerati­on of your self. The Angel which must be put on to vin­dicate the Reputation of an injured Friend, may incline the Company to suspect you would not be so zealous, if there was not a possibility that the Case might be your own: For this reason you are not to carry your dearness so far, as absolutely to lose your Sight where your Friend is concerned: Because Malice is too quick-sighted, it doth not follow, that Friendship must be [Page 123] blind: There is to be a Mean between those Extreams, else your Excuse of Good Nature may betray you into a very ridiculous Figure, and by de­grees may be preferr'd to such Offices as you will not be proud of. Your Ignorance may lessen the Guilt, but will improve the Jest upon you, who shall be kindly sollicitous to procure a Meet­ing, and innocently contri­bute to the Ills you would avoid; whilst the Contriving Lovers, when they are alone, shall make you the Subject of their Mirth, and perhaps (with respect to the Goddess of Love be it spoken) it is not the worst part of their Entertainment, at least it is the [Page 124] most lasting, to laugh at the believing Friend, who was so easily deluded.

Let the good Sense of your Friends be a chief Ingredient in your Choice of them; else let your Reputation be never so clear, it may be clouded by their Impertinence. It is like our Houses being in the Power of a Drunken and Careless Neighbour; only so much worse, as that there will be no Insurance here to make you amends, as there is in the Case of Fire.

To conclude this Para­graph; If Formality is to be allowed in any Instance, it is to be put on to resist the In­trusion of such forward Wo­men as shall press themselves [Page 125] into your Friendship, where, if admitted, they will be ei­ther a Snare or an Incum­brance.

CENSURE.

IT will come next to your Consideration, how you are to mannage your Censure; in which both Care and Skill will be a good deal required, to distinguish is not only na­tural but necessary; and the Effect of it is, That we can­not avoid giving Judgment in our Minds, either to ab­solve or to condemn as the Cafe requireth. The Difficulty is, [Page 126] to know where and when it is proper to proclaim the Sentence. An Aversion to what is Crimi­nal, and a Contempt of what is ridiculous, are the inseparable Companions of Understanding and Vertue; but the letting them go farther than our own Thoughts, hath so much dan­ger in it, that though it is neither possible nor fit to sup­press them intirely, yet it is necessary they should be kept under great Restraints. An unlimited Liberty of this kind is little less than sending a Herald to proclaim War to the World, which is an angry Beast when so provoked: The Contest will be unequal, though you are never so much in the right; and if you be­gin [Page 127] against such an Adversa­ry, it will tear you in pieces, and with this Justification, That it is done in its own defence. You must therefore take heed of Laughing, ex­cept in Company that is very sure; it is throwing Snow­balls against Bullets; and it is the disadvantage of a Wo­man, that the Malice of the World will help the Brutality of those who will throw a slovenly Untruth upon her. You are for this Reason to suppress your Impatience; for Fools, (which besides that they are too strong a Party to be unnecessarily provoked) are, and of all other the most dan­gerous. In this Case, a Block­head in his Rage will return [Page 128] a dull Iest, which will lie heavy, though there is not a Grain of Wit in it. Others will do it with more Art, and you must not think your self secure because your Reputati­on may perhaps be out of reach of Ill-will; for if it findeth that part guarded, it will seek one which is more exposed; it flieth, like a cor­rupt Humour in the Body, to the weakest Part: If you have a tender Side, the World will be sure to find it, and to put the worst Colour on all you say or do, give an Aggravation to every thing that may les­sen you, and a spiteful turn to every thing that might re­commend you. Anger laieth open those Defects which [Page 129] Friendship would not see, and Civility would be willing to forget. Malice needeth no such Invitation to encourage it, neither are any Pains more superfluous than those we take to be ill spoken of. If Envy, which never dyeth, and seldom sleepeth, is content sometimes to be in a Slumber, it is very unskilful to make a noise to awaken it: Besides, your Wit will be misapplied in it, if it is wholly directed to discern the Faults of others, when it is so necessary to be so often used to mend and prevent your own. The send­ing our Thoughts too much abroad, hath the same Effect, as when a Family never stay­eth at home; Neglect and Dis­order [Page 130] naturally followeth; naturally followeth; as it must do within our selves, if we do not frequent­ly turn our Eyes inwards, to see what is amiss with us, where it is a sign we have an unwelcome Prospect, when we do not care to look upon it, but rather seek our Consolati­ons in the Faults of those we converse with. Avoid be­ing the first in fixing a hard Censure, but let it be confirm­ed by the general Voice, be­fore you give credit to it: Neither are you then to give Sentence like a Magistrate, or as if you had a special Autho­rity to bestow a good or ill Name at your discretion. Do not dwell too long upon a weak Side, touch and go a­way; [Page 131] take pleasure to stay lon­ger where you can commend, like Bees that fix only upon those Herbs out of which they may extract the Juice of which their Honey is com­posed. A Vertue stuck with Bristles is too rough for this Age; it must be adorned with some Flowers, or else it will be unwillingly enter­tained; so that even where it may be fit to strike, do it like a Lady, gently; and as­sure your self, that where you take care to do it, you will wound others more, and hurt your self less, by soft Strokes, than by being harsh or violent. The Triumph of Wit is to make your good Nature sub­due your Censure; to be quick [Page 132] in seeing Faults, and slow in exposing them. You are to consider, that the invisible thing called a Good Name, is made up of the Breath of Numbers that speak well of you; so that if by a disobli­ging Word you silence the meanest, the Gale will be less strong which is to bear up your Esteem. And though no­thing is so vain as the eager pursuit of empty Applause, yet to be well thought of, and to be kindly used by the World, is like a Glory about a Wo­mans Head; 'tis a Perfume she carrieth about with her, and leaveth where-ever she goeth; 'tis a Charm against Ill-will; Malice may empty her Quiver, but cannot wound; [Page 133] the Dirt will not stick, the Jests will not take: Without the consent of the World, a Scandal doth not go deep; it is only a slight stroke upon the Party injured, and return­eth with the greater force up­on those that gave it.

VANITY and AFFEC­TATION.

I Must with more than ordi­nary earnestness give you Caution against Vanity, it be­ing the Fault to which your Sex seemeth to be the most inclined, and since Affectation for the most part attendeth it, I do not know how to [Page 134] divide them: I will not call them Twins, because more properly Vanity is the Mother, and Affectation the Darling Daughter: Vanity is the Sin, and Affectation the Punish­ment; the first may be called the Root of Self-Love, the o­ther the Fruit; Vanity is ne­ver at its full growth till it spreadeth into Affectation, and then it is compleat. Not to dwell any longer upon the de­finition of them, I will pass to the means and motives to a­void them: In order to it, you are to consider, that the World challengeth the right of distributing Esteem and Ap­plause; so that where any as­sume by their single Authority, to be their own Carvers; it [Page 135] groweth angry, and never faileth to seek Revenge; and if we may measure a Fault by the greatness of the Penalty, there are few of a higher size than Vanity, as there is scarce a Punishment which can be heavier than that of being laughed at. Vanity ma­keth a Woman tainted with it, so top-ful of her self, that she spilleth it upon the Com­pany; and because her own thoughts are intirely imploy­ed in Self-Contemplation; she endeavoureth, by a cruel Mi­stake, to confine her Acquain­tance to the same narrow Cir­cle of that which only con­cerneth her Ladiship, forget­ting that she is not of half that Importance to the World, that [Page 136] she is to her self, so mistaken she is in her Value, by being her own Appraiser; she will fetch such a Compass in Dis­course to bring in her beloved Self, and rather than fail, her fine Petty-Coat, that there can hardly be a better Scene than such a Tryal of ridicu­lous Ingenuity: It is a Pleasure to see her Angle for Commen­dation, and rise so dissatisfied with the Ill-bred Company, if they will not bite. To observe her throwing her Eyes about to fetch in Prisoners, and go about Cruizing like a Pri­vateer, and so out of Counte­nance, if she return without Booty, is no ill piece of Co­medy: She is so eager to draw respect, that she always mis­seth [Page 137] it, yet thinketh it so much her due, that when she fail­eth she groweth waspish, not considering, that it is impos­sible to commit a Rape upon the will. That is must be fairly gained, and will not be taken by Storm; and that in this Case, the Tax ever ri­seth highest by a Benevolence. If the World instead of ad­miring her Imaginary Excel­lencies, taketh the Liberty to laugh at them, she appealeth from it to her self, for whom she giveth Sentence, and pro­claimeth it in all Companies: On the other side, if incoura­ged by a Civil Word, she is so obliging, that she will give thanks for being laughed at in good Language: She taketh [Page 138] a Complement for a Demonstra­tion, and setteth it up as an Evidence, even against her Looking-Glass; but the good Lady being all this while in a most profound Ignorance of her self, forgetteth that Men would not let her talk upon them, and throw so many senceless words at their heads, if they did not intend to put her Person to Fine and Ran­some for her Impertinence. Good words of any other La­dy, are so many Stones thrown at her, she can by no means bear them, they make her so uneasie, that she cannot keep her Seat; but up she riseth, and goeth home half burst with Anger and Strait-Lacing; if by great chance she saith [Page 139] any thing that hath sence in it, she expecteth such an Ex­cessive rate of Commendations, that to her thinking the Com­pany ever riseth in her Debt; she looketh upon Rules as things made for the common People, and not for Persons of her Rank; and this Opini­on sometimes provokes her to Extend her Prerogative to the dispencing with the Com­mandments: If by great For­tune she happeneth, in spite of her Vanity, to be honest, she is so troublesome with it, that as far as in her lieth, she ma­keth a Scurvy thing of it; her bragging of her Vertue, look­eth as if it cost her so much pains to get the better of her Self, that the Inferences are [Page 140] very ridiculous. Her good Hu­mour is generally applied to the laughing at good Sence. It would do one good to see how heartily she despiseth any thing that is fit for her to do. The greatest part of her Fan­cy is laid out in chusing her Gown, as her Discretion is chiefly imploy'd in not paying for it. She is faithful to the Fashion, to which not only her Opinion, but her Senses are wholly resigned; so obse­quious she is to it, that she would be ready to be recon­ciled even to Vertue with all its Faults, if she had her Dan­cing-Master's Word that it was practis'd at Court,

To a Woman so compos'd, when Affectation commeth in [Page 141] to improve her Character, it is then raised to the highest Perfection. She first setteth up for a Fine thing, and for that Reason will distinguish her self, right or wrong, in every thing she doth. She would have it thought that she is made of so much the finer Clay, and so much more sifted than ordinary, that she hath no common Earth about her: to this end she must neither move nor speak like other Women, because it would be vulgar; and therefore must have a Language of her own, since ordinary English is too course for her. The Looking-glass in the Morning dicta­teth to her all the Motions of the Day, which by how much [Page 142] the more studied, are so much the more mistaken. She com­eth into a Room as if her Limbs were set on with ill-made Screws, which maketh the Company fear the pretty thing should leave some of its artificial Person upon the Floor. She doth not like her self as God Almighty made her, but will have some of her own Workmanship; which is so far from making her a better thing than a Woman, that it turneth her into a worse Creature than a Mon­key. She falleth out with Nature, against which she ma­keth War without admitting of a Truce, those Moments ex­cepted in which her Gallant may reconcile her to it, when [Page 143] she hath a mind to be soft and languishing: There is something so unnatural in that affected Easiness, that her Frowns could not be by ma­ny degrees so forbidding. When she would appear un­reasonably humble, one may see she is so excessively proud, that there is no enduring it. There is such an impertinent Smile, such a satisfied Simper, when she faintly disowneth some fulsom Commendation a Man hapneth to bestow upon her against his Conscience, that her Thanks for it are more visible under such a thin Disguise, than they could be if she should print them. If a handsomer Woman taketh any liberty of Dressing out [Page 144] of the ordinary Rules, the mi­staken Lady followeth, with­out distinguishing the unequal Pattern, and maketh her self uglier by an Example mis­placed; either forgetting the Privilege of good Looks in another, or presuming, with­out sufficient reason, upon her own. Her Discourse is a sens­less Chime of empty Words, a heap of Complements so equal­ly applied to differing Per­sons, that they are neither va­lu'd nor believ'd. Her Eyes keep pace with her Tongue, and are therefore always in motion; one may discern that they generally incline to the compassionate side, and that, notwithstanding her pretence to Vertue, she is gentle to di­stressed [Page 145] Lovers, and Ladies that are merciful. She will repeat the tender part of a Play so feelingly, that the Company may guess, without Injustice, she was not altoge­ther a disinteressed Spectator. She thinketh that Paint and Sin are concealed by rail­ing at them; upon the latter she is less hard, and being divided between the two op­posite Prides of her Beauty and her Vertue, she is often tempted to give broad Hints that some body is dying for her; and of the two she is less unwilling to let the World think she may be sometimes profan'd, than that she is never worshipped. Ve­ry great Beauty may perhaps [Page 146] so dazle for a time, that Men may not so clearly see the De­formity of those. Affections: But when the Brightness goeth off, and that the Lover's Eyes are by that means set at liber­ty to see things as they are, he will naturally return to his lost Senses, and recover the Mistake into which the Lady's good Looks had at first engaged him; and being once undeceived; ceaseth to wor­ship that as a Goddess, which he seeth is only an artificial Shrine, moved by Wheels and Springs to delude him. Such Women please only like the first Opening of a Scene, that hath nothing to recommend it but the being New: They may be compared to Flies, [Page 147] that have pretty shining Wings for two or three hot Months, but the first cold Weather maketh an end of them; so the latter Season of these fluttering Creatures is dismal: From their nearest Friends they receive a very faint Respect; from the rest of the World, the utmost de­gree of Contempt.

Let this Picture supply the place of any other Rules which might be given to pre­vent your resemblance to it. The Deformity of it, well considered, is Instruction e­nough, from the very same reason, that the fight of a Drunkard is a better Sermon against that Vice, than the best that was ever preach'd upon that Subject.

PRIDE.

AFter having said this against Vanity, I do not intend to apply the same Cen­sure to Pride, well placed, and rightly defined. It is an ambiguous Word; one kind of it is as much a Vertue, as the other is a Vice: But we are naturally so apt to chuse the worst, that it is become dangerous to commend the best side of it. A Woman is not to be proud of her fine Gown; nor when she hath less Wit than her Neigh­bours, to comfort her self [Page 149] that she hath more Lace. Some Ladies put so much weight upon Ornaments, that if one could see into their Hearts, it would be found, that even the Thoughts of Death are made less heavy to them by the Contemplation of their being laid out in State, and honourably attended to the Grave. One may come a good deal short of such an Extream, and yet still be suf­ficiently Impertinent, by set­ting a wrong Value upon things which ought to be used with more indifference. A Lady must not appear sol­licitous to ingross Respect to her self, but be content with a reasonable Distribution, and allow it to others, that she [Page 150] may have it returned to her. She is not to be troublesomly nice, nor distinguish her self by being too delicate, as if or­dinary things were too course for her; this is an unmanner­ly and offensive Pride, and where it is practised, deser­veth to be mortified, of which it seldom faileth. She is not to lean too much upon her Quality, much less to de­spite those who are below it. Some make Quality an Idol, and then their Reason must fall down and worship it; they would have the World think, that no amends can ever be made for the want of a great Title, or ancient Coat of Arms: They imagine, that with these Advantages they [Page 151] stand upon the higher Ground, which maketh them look down upon Merit and Vertue, as things inferiour to them. This Mistake is not only senseless, but criminal too, in putting a greater Price upon that which is a piece of good Luck, than upon things which are valuable in themselves. Laughing is not enough for such a Folly; it must be se­verely whipped, as it justly de­serves. It will be confessed, there are frequent Temptations given by pert Upstarts to be angry, and by that to have our Judgment corrupted in these Cases; but they are to be resisted, and the utmost that is to be allowed, is, when those of a new Edition will [Page 152] forget themselves, so as either to brag of their weak side, or to endeavour to hide their Meanness by their Insolence; to cure them by a little sea­sonable Raillery, a little Sharpness well placed, with­out dwelling too long upon it. These and many other kinds of Pride are to be a­voided. That which is to be recommended to you, is, an Emulation to raise your self to a Character, by which you may be distinguished, an Ea­gerness for precedence in Vertue, and all such other things as may gain you a grea­ter share in the good Opinion of the World. Esteem to Ver­tue is like a cherishing Air to Plants and Flowers, which [Page 153] maketh them blow and pros­per; and for that reason it may be allowed to be in some degree the Cause as well as the Reward of it. That Pride which leadeth to a good End, cannot be a Vice, since it is the beginning of a Vertue; and to be pleased with just Ap­plause, is so far from being a Fault, that it would be an ill Symptom in a Woman, who should not place the greatest part of her Satisfaction in it. Humility is no doubt a great Vertue; but it ceaseth to be so, when it is afraid to scorn an ill thing. Against Vice and Folly it is becoming your Sex to be haughty; but you must not carry the Contempt of things to Arrogance towards [Page 154] Persons, and it must be done with fitting Distinctions, else it may be Inconvenient by be­ing unseasonable. A Pride that raiseth a little Anger to be out-done in any thing that is good, will have so good an Effect, that it is very hard to allow it to be a Fault. It is no easie matter to carry even between these differing kinds so described; but remember, that it is safer for a Woman to be thought too proud, than too familiar.

DIVERSIONS.

THE last thing I shall re­commend to you, is a wise and safe method of using Diversions; to be too eager in the pursuit of pleasure whilst you are Young, is dan­gerous; to catch at it in riper Years, is grasping a shadow that will not be held; besides, that by being less natural it groweth to be indecent; Di­versions are the most properly to be applied, to ease and relieve those who are Oppres­sed, by being too much Im­ployed; those that are Idle [Page 156] have no need of them, and have no need of them, and yet they above all others give themselves up to them. To un­bend our Thoughts, when they are too much stretched by our Cares, is not more natural than it is necessary, but to turn our whole Life into a Holy-day, is not only ridicu­lous, but destroyeth pleasure instead of promoting it; the Mind like the Body is tired by being always in one Posture, too serious breaketh it, and too diverting looseneth it: It is Variety that giveth the Re­lish, so that Diversions too fre­quently reaped, grow first to be in indifferent, and at last tedious; whilst they are well chosen and well timed, they are never to be blamed; but [Page 157] when they are used to an Ex­cess, though very Innocent at first, they often grow to be Criminal, and never fail to be Impertinent: Some Ladies are bespoken for Merry Meet­ings, as Bessus was for Duels; they are ingaged in a Circle of Idleness, where they turn round for the whole Year, without the Interruption of a serious hour; they know all the Players Names, & are Inti­mately acquainted with all the Booths in Bartholomew Fair; no Souldier is more Obedient to the sound of his Captain's Trumpet, than they are to that which summoneth them either to a Puppit-Play or a Monster; the Spring that bringeth out Flies, and Fools maketh them [Page 158] Inhabitants in Hide-Park; in the Winter they are an Incum­brance to the Play-House, and the Ballast of the Drawing-Room; the Streets all this while are so weary of these daily Faces, that Mens Eyes are over-laid with them; the sight is glutted with fine things as the Stomach with sweet ones; and when a fair Lady will give too much of her self to the World, she groweth lushious, and oppresseth in­stead of pleasing.

These Jolly Ladies do so continually seek Diversion, that in a little time they grow into a Jeast, yet are unwilling to remember, that if they were seldomer seen they would not be so often laughed at; [Page 159] besides, they make themselves Cheap, than which there can­not be an unkinder word be­stowed upon your Sex. To play sometimes, to entertain Company, or to divert your self, is not to be disallowed, but to do it so often as to be called a Gamester, is to be a­voided, next to the things that are most Criminal. It hath Con­sequences of several kinds not to be indured; it will ingage you into a habit of Idleness and ill hours, draw you into ill mix­ed Company, make you neglect your Civilities abroad, and your business at home, and im­pose into your Acquaintance such as will do you no Credit. To deep Play there will be yet greater Objections; it will [Page 160] give Occasion to the World to ask spiteful Questions, how you dare venture to lose, and what means you have to pay such great sums. If you pay exactly, it will be enquired from whence the money cometh; if you owe, and especially to a Man, you must be so very Civil to him for his for­bearance, that it layeth a ground of having it farther improved if the Gentleman is so disposed, who will be thought no unfair Creditor, if where the Estate faileth he seizeth upon the Person; be­sides, if a Lady could see her own Face upon an ill Game, at a deep Stake, she would certainly forswear any thing [Page 161] that could put her looks un­der such a Disadvantage.

DANCING.

TO Dance sometimes will not be imputed to you as a fault, but remember that the end of your Learning it, was, that you might know the better how to move grace­fully; it is only an advantage so far; when it goeth beyond it, one may call it excelling in a Mistake, which is no very great Commendation: It is better for a Woman never to Dance, because she hath no skill in it, than to do it too [Page 162] often, because she doth it well; the easiest as well as the safest Method of doing it, is in private Companies, as a­mongst particular Friends, and then carelesly, like a Diver­sion; rather than with Solem­nity, as if it was business, or had any thing in it to deserve a Months preparation by seri­ous Conference with a Dance­ing-Master.

Much more might be said to all these heads, and many more might be added to them; but I must restrain my thoughts, which are full of my Dear Child, and would overflow into a Volume, which would not be fit for a New-Years-Gift. I will conclude with my warmest Wishes for [Page 163] all that is good to you, that you may live so as to be an Ornament to your Family, and a Pattern to your Sex, that you may be blessed with a Husband that may value, and with Children that may inherit your Vertue; that you may shine in the World by a true Light, and silence Envy by deserving to be esteemed, that Wit and Vertue may both conspire to make you a great Figure; when they are separa­ted, the first is so empty, and the other so faint, that they scarce have right to be commended: May they there­fore meet and never part; let them be your Guardian An­gels, and be sure never to stray out of the distance of [Page 164] their joint-protection: May you so raise your Character, that you may help to make the next Age a better thing, and leave Posterity in your Debt for the advantage it shall receive by your Exam­ple: Let me conjure you, My Dearest, to comply with this kind Ambition of a Father, whose thoughts are so ingaged in your behalf, that he rec­koneth your Happiness to be the greatest part of his own.

FINIS.

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