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 102 pages of information about Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1750.
it to myself, rather than by telling it give anybody room to doubt, for one minute, of my veracity.  It is most certain, that the reputation of chastity is not so necessary for a women, as that of veracity is for a man; and with reason; for it is possible for a woman to be virtuous, though not strictly chaste, but it is not possible for a man to be virtuous without strict veracity.  The slips of the poor women are sometimes mere bodily frailties; but a lie in a man is a vice of the mind and of the heart.  For God’s sake be scrupulously jealous of the purity of your moral character; keep it immaculate, unblemished, unsullied; and it will be unsuspected.  Defamation and calumny never attack, where there is no weak place; they magnify, but they do not create.

There is a very great difference between the purity of character, which I so earnestly recommend to you, and the stoical gravity and austerity of character, which I do by no means recommend to you.  At your, age, I would no more wish you to be a Cato than a Clodius.  Be, and be reckoned, a man of pleasure as well as a man of business.  Enjoy this happy and giddy time of your life; shine in the pleasures, and in the company of people of your own age.  This is all to be done, and indeed only can be done, without the least taint to the purity of your moral character; for those mistaken young fellows, who think to shine by an impious or immoral licentiousness, shine only from their stinking, like corrupted flesh, in the dark.  Without this purity, you can have no dignity of character; and without dignity of character it is impossible to rise in the world.  You must be respectable, if you will be respected.  I have known people slattern away their character, without really polluting it; the consequence of which has been, that they have become innocently contemptible; their merit has been dimmed, their pretensions unregarded, and all their views defeated.  Character must be kept bright, as well as clean.  Content yourself with mediocrity in nothing.  In purity of character and in politeness of manners labor to excel all, if you wish to equal many.  Adieu.

LETTER CI

London, January 11, O. S. 1750

My dear friend:  Yesterday I received a letter from Mr. Harte, of the 31st December, N. S., which I will answer soon; and for which I desire you to return him my thanks now.  He tells me two things that give me great satisfaction:  one is that there are very few English at Rome; the other is, that you frequent the best foreign companies.  This last is a very good symptom; for a man of sense is never desirous to frequent those companies, where he is not desirous to please, or where he finds that he displeases; it will not be expected in those companies, that, at your age, you should have the ‘Garbo’, the ‘Disinvoltura’, and the ‘Leggiadria’ of a man of five-and-twenty, who has been long used

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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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