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high an opinion of the benefits they confer : they view them in too strong a light; and expect more in return, than reason or justice will warrant. This is peculiarly the case with little minds; and most unhappy is that man, who is under the necessity of receiving favours from such. A whole life of gratitude is not sufficient to return their obligations; which, in the general, infolence and contempt fully cancel." The great mind, as it finds the most satisfactory, delight in obliging, is never hurt more, than : when its kindnesses are repeatedly mentioned ; it enjoys greater pleasure from the noble reflection on the good it does, than froin the felfish pride of the return it receives. And he who is so fortunate as to have favours conferred by men of such minds, will never fail in gratitude ; for he will never meet with vanity and infolence'; and vanity and infolence are the bane of gratitude.”
And one falfe fep entirely damns her fame.
To the VISITOR.
1 and the higheft gratifications arise from the fair sex; it is too certain that we often treat their characters with disrespect, and censure them with a feverity, which our own conduct will by no means juftify. Perhaps that pecullar delicacy, with which we conceive the fe. male virtue is to be preserved, and that unforgiving austerity, with which we look upon their once blasted reputation, may arise from a sense of the superior satisfactions they afford; from a confession of the excellence and utility of their amiable and tender endearments. Conscious how necessary their affectionate and pleasing society is to soften the rough journey of life ; we are jealous of the minutest stain, which may lessen them in our esteem, and deprive us of the comforts flowing from their virtuous friendship.-This however is the best apology, whether true or false, that we can offer to the
fair fex; for condemning fo grolly liberties in them which we ourselves indulge so licentiously.
I do not mean, on any account, to plead for such liberties on their side ; virtue is the distinguishing excellence of a woman ; and she, who can live easy, under the loss of it, deserves as little estimation as she will find. But while we think ourselves above censure, and perhaps without blamé, in our conftant pursuit of unlawful pleasures, and in our continued gratification of sensual appetites, Thall we either condemn to everlasting infámy the woman, who (by what means · I enquire not) hath unhappily made a false step, and been subdued by that paffion, whose strength and universality ought much to alleviate its guilt (at leaft in our judgment)? or Thall we suppose, that the, who hath once been led into the path of evil, is so much, sò totally corrupted, as to have no single ray of virtue yet remaining in her mind, to enlighten her in her return, and to thèw her the føulness of indulg. ed vice !-It were to be wished, that the men who judge thus, would inform us, in what particulars they suppofe the female mind to differ from their own; and upon what principles they conclude that the women have less sensibility, ge. nerosity, resolution, and virtue than the men. For my part, I verily believe, if the matter were brought to the test, and examples on either side
produced, it would perplex the most fagacious lawyer to make an equitable decision.
I know, that the men are very fond of believing that the fofter sex are more prone to love ;--- shall I say, more prompt, than their own: the men of pleasure, who converse with the miferable part of the sex, may believe this; the men of virtue, who are happy in their acquaintance with women of a different fort, will universally proclaim the contrary. And let me observe, that the man of pleasure is no adequate judge; since the prostitute for hire is compelled to an affe&tation of luft, which possibly her heart at the same time abhors ; a heart, which often is compelled to assume the greatest gaiety when opprest with the deepest distress.-But fuppofing the passion equally strong on both sides, Mall the man find no taint on his reputation, no prejudice in his connections, from an acknowledge ed and continual gratification of his desires; and shall the woman, (to enfame whose affections possibly all methods have been used) shall the be the constant inark of unforgiving reproach; and never be allowed to recover her character by a series of the most blameless conduct ? surely we act here not only with great inconsistence, but with a cruelty ill-becoming our mutual humanity.
However, the lovely part of the creation, whose cause we thus far have undertaken to plead,
may and ought to learn one lesson, and that of high importance, under the present circumstances: Which is, “ that since so fatal, and almost irremediable, is the lots of reputation, they can never be too careful of their conduct, or too delicate in their behaviour. They should consider, that with their virtue, they will lose all things valuable ; and therefore should arm themfelves against the softnesses of nature, and the artifices of seduction. While they remember, that not only the preservation of virtue, but the appearance too, is always necessary. Many women, truly virtuous, lose their reputation, by not attending sufficiently to those appearances, which their own innocence leads them to esteem indifferent; but which the severity of censure will construe into criminal.”
To Thew us, that a woman is capable of the highest virtue, who hath unhappily wandered from the fair and happy path ; as well as to teach us more lenity to the fex, and to inspire us with desires to forward every scheme calculated to aid the reformation of the more wretched amongst them ; I shall conclude with an account of the behaviour of Madam de la Valiere, the first mistress of Lewis the XIVth. “ His connection (Lewis's), says my historian, with Madan de la Valiere, always continued, notwithstanding the frequent infidelities he was guilty of. These infidelities cost him but little trouble ;