Whereas most of the young gentlemen who are sent abroad raw and unprepared, as if to wonder at every thing they see, and to be laughed at by all that see them, do but expose themselves and their country. And if, at their return, by interest of friends, by alliances, or marriages, they should happen to be promoted to places of honour or profit, their unmerited preferment will only serve to make those foreigners, who were eye-witnesses of their weakness and follies, when among them, conclude greatly in disfavour of the whole nation, or, at least, of the prince, and his administration, who could find no fitter subjects to distinguish.
This, my dear friend, is a brief extract from my observations on the head of qualifying young gentlemen to travel with honour and improvement. I doubt you’ll be apt to think me not a little out of my element; but since you would have it, I claim the allowances of a friend; to which my ready compliance with your commands the rather entitles me.
I am very sorry Mr. and Mrs. Murray are so unhappy in each other. Were he a generous man, the heavy loss the poor lady has sustained, as well as her sister, my beloved friend, in so excellent a mother, and so kind a father, would make him bear with her infirmities a little.
But, really, I have seen, on twenty occasions, that notwithstanding all the fine things gentlemen say to ladies before marriage, if the latter do not improve upon their husbands’ hands, their imputed graces when single, will not protect them from indifference, and, probably, from worse; while the gentleman, perhaps, thinks he only, of the two, is entitled to go backward in acts of kindness and complaisance. A strange and shocking difference which too many ladies experience, who, from fond lovers, prostrate at their feet, find surly husbands, trampling upon their necks!
You, my dear friend, were happy in your days of courtship, and are no less so in your state of wedlock. And may you continue to be so to a good old age, prays your affectionate and faithful friend, P.B.
My dear Lady G.,
I will cheerfully cause to be transcribed for you the conversation you desire, between myself, Mrs. Towers, and Lady Arthur, and the three young ladies their relations, in presence of the dean and his daughter, and Mrs. Brooks; and glad I shall be, if it may be of use to the two thoughtless Misses your neighbours; who, you are pleased to tell me, are great admirers of my story and my example; and will therefore, as you say, pay greater attention to what I write, than to the more passionate and interested lessons of their mamma.
I am only sorry you should be concerned about the supposed trouble you give me, by having mislaid my former relation of it. For, besides obliging my dear Lady G., the hope of doing service by it to a family so worthy, in a case so nearly affecting its honour, as to make two headstrong young ladies recollect what belongs to their sex and their characters, and what their filial duties require of them, affords me high pleasure; and if it shall be attended with the wished effects, it will add to my happiness.