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in it. You will tell me I did not make it a part of your education; your prospect was very different from hers. As you had much in
your circumstances to attract the highest offers, it seemed your business to learn how to live in the world, as it is hers to know how to be easy out of it. It is the common error of builders and parents to follow some plan they think beautiful, (and perhaps is so,) without considering that nothing is beautiful which is displaced. Hence we see so many edifices raised that the raisers can never inhabit, being too large for their fortunes. Vistas are laid open over barren heaths, and apartments contrived for a coolness very agreeable in Italy, but killing in the north of Britain: thus every woman endeavors to breed her daughter a fine lady, qualifying her for a station in which she will never appear, and at the same time incapacitating her for that retirement to which she is destined. Learning, if she has a real taste for it, will not only make her contented, but happy in it. No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions, nor regret the loss of expensive diversions, or variety of company, if she can be amused with an author in her closet. To render this amusement complete, she should be permitted to learn the languages. There are two cautions to be given on this subject : first, not to think herself learned when she can read Latin, or even Greek. Languages are more properly to be called vehicles of learning than learning itself. True knowledge consists in knowing things, not words. I would no further wish her a linguist than to enable her to read books in their originals, that are often corrupted, and are always injured by translations. Two hours' application every morning will bring this about much sooner than you can imagine, and she will have leisure enough besides to run over the English poetry, which is a more important part of a woman's education than it is generally supposed. Many a young damsel has been ruined by a fine copy of verses, which she would have laughed at if she had known it had been stolen from Mr. Waller. I remember, when I was a girl, I saved one of my companions from destruction, who communicated to me an epistle she was quite charmed with. As she had naturally a good taste, she observed the lines were not so smooth as Prior's or Pope's, but had more thought and spirit than any of theirs. She was wonderfully delighted with such a demonstration of her lover's sense and passion, and not a little pleased with her own charms, that had force enough to inspire such elegancies. In the midst of this triumph, I showed her that they were taken from Randolph's poems, and the unfortunate transcriber was dismissed with the scorn he deserved. To say truth, the poor plagiary was very unlucky to fall into my hands; that author, being no longer in fashion, would have escaped any one of less universal reading
than myself. You should encourage your daughter to talk over with
you what she reads; and as you are very capable of distinguishing, take care she does not mistake pert folly for wit and humor, or rhyme for poetry, which are the common errors of young people, and have a train of ill consequences. The second caution to be given her, (and which is most absolutely necessary,) is to conceal whatever learning she attains, with as much solicitude as she would hide crookedness or lameness: the parade of it can only serve to draw on her the envy, and consequently the most in veterate hatred, of all he and she fools, which will certainly be at least three parts in four of her acquaintance. The use of knowledge in our sex, besides the amusement of solitude, is to moderate the passions, and learn to be contented with a small expense, which are the certain effects of a studious life ; and it may be preferable even to that fame which men have engrossed to themselves, and will not suffer us to share. If she has the same inclination (I should say passion) for learning that I was born with, history, geography, and philosophy will furnish her with materials to pass away cheerfully a longer life than is allotted to mortals. I believe there are few heads capable of making Sir Isaac Newton's calculations, but the result of them is not difficult to be understood by a moderate capacity.
It is a saying of Thucydides, that ignorance is bold, and knowledge reserved. Indeed, it is impossible to be far advanced in it without being more humbled by a conviction of human ignorance than elated by learning. At the same time I recommend books, I neither exclude work nor drawing. I think it is scandalous for a woman not to know how to use a needle. I was once extremely fond of my pencil, and it was a great mortification to me when my father turned off my master, having made a considerable progress for the short time I learned. My over-eagerness in the pursuit of it had brought a weakness in my eyes, that made it necessary to leave off; and all the advantage I got was the improvement of my hand. I see by hers, that practice will make her a ready writer: she may attain it by serving you for a secretary, when your health or affairs make it troublesome to you to write yourself; and custom will make it an agreeable amusement to her. She cannot have too many for that station of life which * will probably be her fate. The ultimate end of your education was to make you a good wife, (and I have the comfort to hear that you are one ;) hers ought to be to make her happy in a virgin state. I will not say it is happier, but it is undoubtedly safer than any marriage. "In a lottery, where there is (at the lowest computation) ten thousand blanks to a prize, it is the most prudent choice not to venture. I have always been so thoroughly persuaded of this truth, that, notwithstanding the flattering views
I had for you, (as I never intended you a sacrifice to my vanity,) I thought I owed you the justice to lay before you all the hazards attending matrimony: you may recollect I did so in the strongest manner. Perhaps you may have more success in the instructing your daughter; she has so much company at home, she will not need seeking it abroad, and will more readily take the notions you think fit to give her. As you were alone in my family, it would have been thought a great cruelty to suffer you no companions of your own age, especially having so many near relations, and I do not wonder their opinions influenced yours. I was not sorry to see you not determined on a single life, knowing it was not your father's intention ; and contented myself with endeavoring to make your home so easy, that you might not be in haste to leave it.
I am afraid you will think this a very long, insignificant letter. I hope the kindness of the design will excuse it, being willing to give you every proof in my power that I am your most affectionate mother.
JOHN BYROM. 1691-1763.
John BIROM, the son of a linen-draper at Manchester, was born in 1691, and at the age of seventeen entered the University of Cambridge. Here he cultivated with great assiduity a taste for elegant letters, and especially for poetry, to which, even in his earliest years, he had shown a marked propensity. After taking his degree, he obtained a fellowship in the university, through the influence of Dr. Richard Bentley, whose daughter Joanna is the “ Phæbe” of his pastoral poem, the best of his poetical efforts. As he de. clined “taking orders," he vacated his fellowship, and soon after married. Having no profession, he went to London, and supported himself by teaching short-hand writing, till, by the death of his elder brother, he inherited the family estate, and spent the remainder of his life in easy circumstances, devoting his time to literary pursuits. He died on the 28th of September, 1763, in the seventy-second year of his age.
Byrom's best piece is his pastoral poem of “Colin and Phæbe," remarkable for its easy and flowing versification, and its sprightliness of thought. He also wrote a poem on « Enthusiasm,” and one on the « Immortality of the Soul.” His comic poem, entitled “ The Three Black Crows," has a most excellent moral in it, well illustrating the nature of Rumor, the “Fama” of Virgil. The Spectator is indebted to him for four or five numbers, of which Nos. 586 and 593 are upon the nature and use of dreams.
My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent,
But now she is gone, and has left me behind;
With such a companion, to tend a few sheep,
The fountain that wont to run sweetly along,
you be so cheerful while I go in pain? Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me complain.
When my lambkins around me would oftentimes play,
My dog I was ever well pleased to see
When walking with Phæbe, what sights have I seen!
Sweet music went with us both all the wood through, The lark, linnet, throstle, and nightingale too;
Winds over us whisper'd, flocks by us did bleat,
Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue ?
How slowly Time creeps, till my Phæbe return!
Will no pitying power that hears me complain,
THE THREE BLACK CROWS.
Two honest tradesmen meeting in the Strand,