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My mother was not fo much prepoffeffed with an opinion of my natural excellencies as not to think fome cultivation neceffary to their completion. She took care that I should want none of the accomplishments included in female education, or confidered neceffary in fashionable life. I was looked upon in my ninth year as the chief ornament of the dancingmafter's ball, and Mr. Ariet ufed to reproach his other scholars with my performances on the harpfichord. At twelve I was remarkable for playing my cards with great elegance of manner, and accuracy of judgment.

At laft the time came when my mother thought me perfect in my exercifes, and qualified to display in the open world thofe accomplishments which had yet only been discovered in felect parties, or domestick affemblies. Preparations were therefore made for my appearance on a publick night, which fhe confidered as the most important and critical moment of my life. She cannot be charged with neglecting any means of recommendation, or leaving any thing to chance which prudence could afcertain. Every ornament was tried in every pofition, every friend was confulted about the colour of my drefs, and the mantua-makers were haraffed with directions and alterations.

At laft the night arrived from which my future life was to be reckoned. I was dreffed and fent out to conquer, with a heart beating like that of an old knight-errant at his firft fally. Scholars have told me of a Spartan matron, who, when the armed her fon for battle, bade him bring back his fhield, or be brought upon it. My venerable parent difmiffed me

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to a field, in her opinion of equal glory, with a command to fhew that I was her daughter, and not to return without a lover.

I went, and was received like other pleafing novelties with a tumult of applaufe. Every man who valued himself upon the graces of his perfon, or the elegance of his address, crowded about me, and wit and fplendour contended for my notice. I was delightfully fatigued with inceffant civilities, which were made more pleafing by the apparent envy of those whom my prefence expofed to neglect, and returned with an attendant equal in rank and wealth to my utmost wishes, and from this time stood in the firft rank of beauty, was followed by gazers in the Mall, celebrated in the papers of the day, imitated by all who endeavoured to rife into fashion, and cenfured by those whom age or disappointment forced to retire.

My mother, who pleafed herself with the hopes of feeing my exaltation, dreffed me with all the exuberance of finery; and when I represented to her that a fortune might be expected proportionate to my appearance, told me that the fhould fcorn the reptile who could inquire after the fortune of a girl like me. She advised me to profecute my victories, and time would certainly bring me a captive who might deferve the honour of being enchained for ever.

My lovers were indeed fo numerous, that I had no other care than that of determining to whom I fhould feem to give the preference. But having been steadily and industriously instructed to preserve my heart from any impreffions which might hinder me from confulting my interest, I acted with lefs embarrassment, because my choice was regulated by

by principles more clear and certain than the caprice of approbation. When I had fingled out one from the reft as more worthy of encouragement, I proceeded in my measures by the rules of art; and yet when the ardour of the first vifits was fpent, generally found a fudden declenfion of my influence; I felt in myself the want of fome power to diversify amusement, and enliven conversation, and could not but fufpect that my mind failed in performing the promises of my face. This opinion was foon confirmed by one of my lovers, who married Lavinia with lefs beauty and fortune than mine, because he thought a wife ought to have qualities which might make her amiable when her bloom was past.

The vanity of my mother would not fuffer her to discover any defect in one that had been formed by her inftructions, and had all the excellence which she herself could boast. She told me that nothing fo much hindered the advancement of women as literature and wit, which generally frightened away thofe that could make the best fettlements, and drew about them a needy tribe of poets and philofophers, that filled their heads with wild notions of content, and contemplation, and virtuous obfcurity. She therefore enjoined me to improve my minuet-step with a new French dancing-mafter, and wait the event of the next birth-night.

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I had now almost completed my nineteenth year: my charms had loft any of their foftness, it was more than compenfated by additional dignity; and if the attractions of innocence were impaired, their place was fupplied by the arts of allurement. I was therefore preparing for a new attack, without any

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abatement of my confidence, when, in the midst of my hopes and schemes, I was feized by that dreadful malady which has fo often put a fudden end to the tyranny of beauty. I recovered my health after a long confinement; but when I looked again on that face which had been often flushed with transport at its own reflection, and faw all that I had learned to value, all that I had endeavoured to improve, all that had procured me honours or praises, irrecoverably destroyed, I funk at once into melancholy and defpondence. My pain was not much confoled or alleviated by my mother, who grieved that I had not loft my life together with my beauty; and declared, that he thought a young woman divefted of her charms had nothing for which thofe who loved her could defire to fave her from the grave.

Having thus continued my relation to the period from which my life took a new courfe, I fhall conclude it in another letter, if, by publishing this, you fhew any regard for the correfpondence of,

SIR, &c.

VICTORIA.

NUMB. 131. TUESDAY, June 18, 1751.

--Fatis accede deifque,

Et cole felices; miferos fuge. Sidera calo
Ut diftant, flamma mari, fic utile reco.

Still follow where aufpicious fates invite ;
Caress the happy, and the wretched flight.
Sooner fhall jarring elements unite,
Than truth with gain, than interest with right.

LUCAN.

F. LEWIS.

THERE is fcarcely any fentiment in which,

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amidst the innumerable varieties of inclination, that nature or accident have scattered in the world, we find greater numbers concurring, than in the wish for riches; a' wish indeed fo prevalent that it may be confidered as universal and tranfcendental, as the defire in which all other defires are included, and of which the various purposes which actuate mankind are only fubordinate fpecies and different modifications.

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Wealth is the general centre of inclination, the point to which all minds preferve an invariable tendency, and from which they afterwards diverge in

numberless directions. Whatever is the remote or ultimate defign, the immediate care is to be rich; and in whatever enjoyment we intend finally to acquiefce, we feldom confider it as attainable but by the means of money. Of wealth therefore all unanimously confefs the value, nor is there any disagreement but about the use.

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