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.

‘A propos’ of exercises, I have prepared everything for your reception at Monsieur de la Gueriniere’s, and your room, etc., will be ready at your arrival.  I am sure you must be sensible how much better it will be for you to be interne in the Academy for the first six or seven months at least, than to be ‘en hotel garni’, at some distance from it, and obliged to go to it every morning, let the weather be what it will, not to mention the loss of time too; besides, by living and boarding in the Academy, you will make an acquaintance with half the young fellows of fashion at Paris; and in a very little while be looked upon as one of them in all French companies:  an advantage that has never yet happened to any one Englishman that I have known.  I am sure you do not suppose that the difference of the expense, which is but a trifle, has any weight with me in this resolution.  You have the French language so perfectly, and you will acquire the French ‘tournure’ so soon, that I do not know anybody likely to pass their time so well at Paris as yourself.  Our young countrymen have generally too little French, and too bad address, either to present themselves, or be well received in the best French companies; and, as a proof of it, there is no one instance of an Englishman’s having ever been suspected of a gallantry with a French woman of condition, though every French woman of condition is more than suspected of having a gallantry.  But they take up with the disgraceful and dangerous commerce of prostitutes, actresses, dancing-women, and that sort of trash; though, if they had common address, better achievements would be extremely easy.  ‘Un arrangement’, which is in plain English a gallantry, is, at Paris, as necessary a part of a woman of fashion’s establishment, as her house, stable, coach, etc.  A young fellow must therefore be a very awkward one, to be reduced to, or of a very singular taste, to prefer drabs and danger to a commerce (in the course of the world not disgraceful) with a woman of health, education, and rank.  Nothing sinks a young man into low company, both of women and men, so surely as timidity and diffidence of himself.  If he thinks that he shall not, he may depend upon it he will not please.  But with proper endeavors to please, and a degree of persuasion that he shall, it is almost certain that he will.  How many people does one meet with everywhere, who, with very moderate parts, and very little knowledge, push themselves pretty far, simply by being sanguine, enterprising, and persevering?  They will take no denial from man or woman; difficulties do not discourage them; repulsed twice or thrice, they rally, they charge again, and nine times in ten prevail at last.  The same means will much sooner, and, more certainly, attain the same ends, with your parts and knowledge.  You have a fund to be sanguine upon, and good forces to rally.  In business (talents supposed) nothing is more effectual or successful, than a good, though

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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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