Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1750 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 121 pages of information about Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1750.
may as well win, you dread ‘l’embarras des richesses’, ever since you have seen what an encumbrance they were to poor Harlequin, and that, therefore, you are determined never to venture the winning above two louis a-day; this sort of light trifling way of declining invitations to vice and folly, is more becoming your age, and at the same time more effectual, than grave philosophical refusals.  A young fellow who seems to have no will of his own, and who does everything that is asked of him, is called a very good-natured, but at the same time, is thought a very silly young fellow.  Act wisely, upon solid principles, and from true motives, but keep them to yourself, and never talk sententiously.  When you are invited to drink, say that you wish you could, but that so little makes you both drunk and sick, ’que le jeu me vaut pas la chandelle’.

Pray show great attention, and make your court to Monsieur de la Gueriniere; he is well with Prince Charles and many people of the first distinction at Paris; his commendations will raise your character there, not to mention that his favor will be of use to you in the Academy itself.  For the reasons which I mentioned to you in my last, I would have you be interne in the Academy for the first six months; but after that, I promise you that you shall have lodgings of your own ’dans un hotel garni’, if in the meantime I hear well of you, and that you frequent, and are esteemed in the best French companies.  You want nothing now, thank God, but exterior advantages, that last polish, that ‘tournure du monde’, and those graces, which are so necessary to adorn, and give efficacy to, the most solid merit.  They are only to be acquired in the best companies, and better in the best French companies than in any other.  You will not want opportunities, for I shall send you letters that will establish you in the most distinguished companies, not only of the beau monde, but of the beaux esprits, too.  Dedicate, therefore, I beg of you, that whole year to your own advantage and final improvement, and do not be diverted from those objects by idle dissipations, low seduction, or bad example.  After that year, do whatever you please; I will interfere no longer in your conduct; for I am sure both you and I shall be safe then.  Adieu!


London, April 30, O. S. 1750

My dear friend:  Mr. Harte, who in all his letters gives you some dash of panegyric, told me in his last a thing that pleases me extremely; which was that at Rome you had constantly preferred the established Italian assemblies to the English conventicles setup against them by dissenting English ladies.  That shows sense, and that you know what you are sent abroad for.  It is of much more consequence to know the ’mores multorem hominum’ than the ‘urbes’.  Pray continue this judicious conduct wherever you go, especially at Paris, where, instead of thirty, you will find above three hundred English, herding together and conversing with no one French body.

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Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1750 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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