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masticate animal food, and possibly no organ to digest it, he did not exactly know how he was to get it. The Spaniel generously promised to remove the latter difficulty, by sharing with him his own food-as to his teeth, if he could not masticate the meat, he might swallow it whole; it would save appearances, and nobody would know whether he digested it or not. The ambitious Rabbit, eager to place himself on an equality with his friend, and willing to imitate him in every thing, most assiduously swallowed the meat the Spaniel brought him, and if he did not enjoy his meals to the full as much as when he fed on cabbages and parsley, the idea of growing more genteel quite reconciled him to the privation. But, alas! nature prevailed, and poor Bunny
A Fly, who had been born and bred among his kindred behind a drawing-room curtain, determined to go forth and see the world, and make himself better acquainted with the beings that inhabit it. On his return, he was observed to be morose and melancholy-he shut himself up in a creek of the ceiling, and could scarcely be persuaded to go out in search of his necessary food. His friends, greatly concerned, questioned him upon the cause of this sadness, to which he only answered, that what he had seen of the world had so disgusted him, he was determined to have no more intercourse with ithe would rather stay in his creek and starve. His companions, who except a few Spiders, had seen nothing in society so much amiss, continued to express their surprise; till the poor Fly explained, that during his recent intercourse with the world, he had observed that the animals had the folly to wear their eyes in the front of their heads-of all the living creatures he had become acquainted with, there was not one, beside themselves, that could see behind him-he would sooner starve in solitude than associate with creatures so senseless-and he is supposed to have died of cold soon after, because
he would not go to the hearth to warm himself, lest he should meet a creature without eyes at the back of his head..
My readers, I am sure, must feel much affected at the mournful state of society in the animal creation at that period, and the sorrows that overwhelmed alike the innocent and the guilty. I can imagine that nothing, while they read it, stays their tears from falling, but the hope that such a state of society never has existed. I cannot certainly pledge myself to the historical truth of what I have related-though it appears to me quite as probable as many things that are believed-but I can assure you, I have seen something very like it, in the state of society among certain young ladies and gentlemen of my acquaintance in various parts of the habitable earth: I say young ones, more especially-because it is an evil the experience and self-knowledge of increasing years, tend in some degree to correct. But habit not unfrequently perpetuates what began in folly; which +makes it the more necessary that early habits, the habits to which ignorance and inexperience mostly tend, should be watched, and as far as may be restrained, lest, confirmed by repetition and become insensible to ourselves, the fault remain when the excuse is gone.
Young persons, ignorant of the world and mostly ignorant of themselves, receive from their parents or their governess, or from the combined circumstances of their education, a certain set of opinions, ideas, and habits-very good ones, perhaps, but confined as the sphere in which they are collected. This set of notions is made into a standard of excellence differing materially according to the difference of education-but every girl thinks her own standard the best, or rather the only one, for she knows no other, and she comes into society fully prepared to measure all, and every thing by her own set of notions. If, to discover her mistake and correct it were the only results, it would be very wellthe best and easiest remedy for a temporary evil-but
this is not all. Censoriousness, contempt, impertinence, ill-humour, contention, and injustice, are the abundant product, and self-esteem is the parent of them all. Too high an opinion of ourselves, and too low an opinion of others, is the certain position assumed by a mind so conditioned the very worst that can possibly be maintained for all that is most lovely and valuable in the human character.
I observe a young woman who has been brought up in a London school-she has been taught to do every thing by the rules of politeness-she walks by rule, and talks by rule, and eats by rule, and thinks by rule and she is withal a very genteel young person. She goes into the country, and meets persons who have had an education quite as good as her own, but they do every thing as nature suggests with the careless freedom of home and a country life. She decides at once that they are coarse and rude. She treats them with contempt→→ speaks of them with ridicule, and decides that it would be an outrage upon her good-breeding to become their companion and friend. She is mistaken they are neither coarse nor rude-there is more elegance very frequently in their ease than in her mannerism-more grace in their carelessness than in her high polish. They have feelings as refined, and minds as well-cultivated as her own. And these too return her the compliment of aversion-they call her fine, affected, artificial-they think she can have no simplicity of feeling, or honesty of heart under an exterior that betrays so much design. They are unjust too-she is not affecting any thing or designing any thing-her heart is as open and as true as theirs but artificial refinement has, by education and habit, become natural to her.
Again, a girl has been brought up abroad-under skies where lighter spirits and less thoughtful minds, and less cautious temperaments, give to the manners more ease and cheerfulness, and the feelings, from their very want of depth, acquire an appearance of more warmth and vivacity.
She goes into society in England where more thought, more feeling, more moral sensibility, encumber the mind whose intrinsic value they enhance, and give to the manners a degree of restraint, reserve, and heaviness. Now, if this young lady says these manners are disagreeable to her, she is not used to them, and cannot enjoy such society, that is very well, and she may be free to avoid it. But if she affects contempt for her countrywomen, exults in her own superiority, fancies they are admiring in her what she desires in them, or believes that they are not ten times more agreeable to each other than she is to them, she is mistaken. They have turned the glass, and at the very moment she is rising in her own esteem on the comparison, they are seeing her bold, flippant, heartless, imprudent, indelicate: not at all more just than herself, they attribute to character what is mere manner, or do not make allowance for circumstance in their estimate of character. Both parties seeing themselves in the other's glass, had gone away humbled, perhaps-but having looked only in their own, exalted in their own esteem, they have separated highly pleased with nothing but themselves.
Here are persons brought together by providential circumstance they might be the happier for each other's friendship, the better for the counterbalance of each other's peculiarities, mutually improved by the very opposition of their characters-but they despise each other -when they meet, a bare civility and haughty distance ill conceal their aversion-when apart, they ridicule and traduce each other without mercy.
The woman who, with considerable natural powers, has been placed in a situation to cultivate them highlywhose taste for literary pursuits, never checked by the claims of domestick duty, or encumbered with attention to the homely necessities of existence, revels in the full delight of intellectual employment; and while she indulges her own inclination, fulfils the wishes of those she loves, and gratifies by her improvements and her talents
all around her comes in contact with some quiet, domestick girl, whom smaller powers, or smaller means, or different example, has consigned to other occupations and other pleasures: her business is the direction of household affairs, and the plying of the indefatigable needle-her amusements, the weeding of her garden, the feeding of her canaries, or a five miles walk in the mud: the comfort no less of those about her, the cheerful and useful assistant of her parents, the prudent adviser of her inferiors, and the affectionate friend of her equals. What should these be to each other, but objects of mutual kindness and admiration, each fulfilling her own destiny, improving the peculiar talents committed to her charge, and contributing to the happiness of those around her? And what are they to each other? The clever and accomplished woman turns her back on the useful, domestick friend, repels her friendly intimacy, wonders she wastes her time in work when she might be improving her mind-laughs at her amusements, despises her plain good sense-and when not restrained by the civilities of society, treats her with disregard and impertinence. The other does not remain her debtor in this reckoning of mutual depreciation. She thinks women should keep their sphere-better be a good housewife than set up for a great genius-it is waste of time to be always reading-why does not her friend do something that is useful? She does not approve of learned ladies-she cannot bear blue-stockingsit is only for display women learn so mnch-it is not consistent with feminine modesty to be so much distinguished for talents and attainments.
To speak more generally of what I have thus evidenced by a few examples. Young people think every one who does not know what they happen to have been taught, is ignorant-every thing they happen not to have learned, is useless-every thing that is not the custom of the society in which they happen to have 'moved, is vulgar-every one who does not like what