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[MRS. HANNAH MORE is widely known through her writings. They are very numerous, and have exerted an important and beneficial influence both in England and America. She made by her literary labours about $150,000, of which she left $50,000 to various charitable institutions.]
A young lady may excel in speaking French and Italian; may repeat a few passages from a volume of extracts; play like a professor, and sing like a syren; have her dressing room decorated with her own drawing, tables, stands, flower-pots, screens, and cabinets; nay, she may dance like Sempronia herself, and yet we shall insist, that she may have been very badly educated. I am far from meaning to set no value whatever on any or all of these qualifications; they are all of them elegant, and many of them properly tend to the perfecting of a polite education. These things in their measure and degree, may be done; but there are others which should not be left undone. Many things are becoming, but "one thing is needful." Besides, as the world seems to be fully apprised of the value of whatever tends to embellish life, there is less occasion here to insist on its importance.
But, though a well bred young lady may lawfully
learn most of the fashionable arts; yet, let me ask, does it seem to be the true end of education, to make women of fashion dancers, singers, players, painters, actresses, sculptors, gilders, varnishers, engravers, and embroiderers? Most men are commonly destined to some profession, and their minds are consequently turned each to its respective object. Would it not be strange, if they were called out to exercise their profession, or to set up their trade, with only a little general knowledge of the trades and professions of all other men, and without any previous definite application to their own peculiar calling?
The profession of ladies, to which the bent of their instruction should be turned, is that of daughters, wives, mothers, and mistresses of families. They should be, therefore, trained with a view to these several conditions, and be furnished with a stock of ideas, and principles, and qualifications, and habits, ready to be applied and appropriated, as occasion may demand, to each of these respective situations. For though the arts which merely embellish life, must claim admiration; yet, when a man of sense comes to marry, it is a companion whom he wants, and not an artist. It is not merely a creature who can paint, and play, and sing, and draw, and dress, and dance; it is a being who can comfort and counsel him; one who can reason and reflect, and feel, and judge, and discourse and discriminate; one who can assist him in his affairs, lighten his cares, soothe his sorrows, purify his joys, strengthen his principles, and educate his children.
Franklin's First Entrance into Philadelphia.
I HAVE entered into the particulars of my voyage, and shall, in like manner, describe my first entrance into this city, that you may be able to compare beginnings, so little auspicious, with the figure I have since made.
On my arrival at Philadelphia, I was in my working dress; my best clothes being to come by sea.I was covered with dirt; my pockets were filled with shirts and stockings; I was unacquainted with a single soul in the place, and knew not where to seek a lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, and having passed the night without sleep, I was extremely hungry, and all my money consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling's worth of coppers, which I gave to the boatmen for my passage. As I had assisted them in rowing, they refused it at first; but I insisted on their taking it.
A man is sometimes more generous when he has little, than when he has much money: probably, because, in the first case, he is desirous of concealing his poverty. I walked towards the top of the street, looking eagerly on both sides, till I came to Market Street, where I met with a child with a loaf of bread. Often had I made my dinner on dry bread. I inquired
where he had bought it, and went straight to the baker's shop, which he pointed out to me.
I asked for some biscuits, expecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia. I then asked for a threepenny loaf. They made no loaves of that price.Finding myself ignorant of the prices, as well as of the different kinds, of bread, I desired him to let me have threepenny-worth of bread of some kind or other. He gave me three large rolls. I was surprised at receiving so much. I took them, however, and, having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating a third.
In this manner, I went through Market Street to Fourth Street, and passed the house of Mr. Read, the father of my future wife. She was standing at the door, observed me, and thought, with reason, that I made a very singular and grotesque appearance.
I then turned the corner, and went through Chesnut Street, eating my roll all the way; and having made this round, I found myself again on Market Street wharf, near the boat in which I arrived. I stepped into it to take a draught of water; and, finding myself satisfied with my first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down with us in the boat, and was waiting to continue her journey.
Thus refreshed, I regained the street, which was now full of well-dressed people, all going the same way. I joined them, and was thus led to a large Quaker meeting-house near the market-place. I sat down with the rest, and, after looking round me for some time, hearing nothing said, and being drowsy from my last night's labour and want of rest, I fell
into a sound sleep. In this state I continued, till the assembly dispersed, when one of the congregation had the goodness to wake me. This was, consequently, the first house I entered, or in which I slept, at Philadelphia.
The handsome and deformed Leg: showing the unhappiness of a fault-finding Disposition.
There are two sorts of people in the world. who, with equal degrees of health and wealth in the world, and the other comforts of life, become the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniences and inconveniences; in whatever company, they may find persons and conversation more or less pleasing; at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in whatever poem, or work of genins, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities.
Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people abovementioned, fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the convenience of things, the