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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 102 pages of information about Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1750.
at a toilette.  From sitting down to dinner, the proper business of the day is pleasure, unless real business, which must never be postponed for pleasure, happens accidentally to interfere.  In good company, the pleasures of the table are always carried to a certain point of delicacy and gratification, but never to excess and riot.  Plays, operas, balls, suppers, gay conversations in polite and cheerful companies, properly conclude the evenings; not to mention the tender looks that you may direct and the sighs that you may offer, upon these several occasions, to some propitious or unpropitious female deity, whose character and manners will neither disgrace nor corrupt yours.  This is the life of a man of real sense and pleasure; and by this distribution of your time, and choice of your pleasures, you will be equally qualified for the busy, or the ‘beau monde’.  You see I am not rigid, and do not require that you and I should be of the same age.  What I say to you, therefore, should have the more weight, as coming from a friend, not a father.  But low company, and their low vices, their indecent riots and profligacy, I never will bear nor forgive.

I have lately received two volumes of treaties, in German and Latin, from Hawkins, with your orders, under your own hand, to take care of them for you, which orders I shall most dutifully and punctually obey, and they wait for you in my library, together with your great collection of rare books, which your Mamma sent me upon removing from her old house.

I hope you not only keep up, but improve in your German, for it will be of great use to you when you cone into business; and the more so, as you will be almost the only Englishman who either can speak or understand it.  Pray speak it constantly to all Germans, wherever you meet them, and you will meet multitudes of them at Paris.  Is Italian now become easy and familiar to you?  Can you speak it with the same fluency that you can speak German?  You cannot conceive what an advantage it will give you in negotiations to possess Italian, German, and French perfectly, so as to understand all the force and finesse of those three languages.  If two men of equal talents negotiate together, he who best understands the language in which the negotiation is carried on, will infallibly get the better of the other.  The signification and force of one single word is often of great consequence in a treaty, and even in a letter.

Remember the graces, for without them ‘ogni fatica e vana’.  Adieu.

LETTER CXIII

London, May 17, O. S. 1750

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