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which he got them. The stings of his conscience will not even let him sleep quietly ; but he will dream of his crimes : and in the day-time, when alone, and when he has tiine to think , he will be uneasy and melancholy. He is afraid of every thing: for as he knows mankind must hale liim, he has reason to think they will hurt him if they can. Whereas , if a virtuous man be ever so poor, or unfortunate in the world , still his virtue is its own reward, and will comfort him under all afflictions. The quiet and satisfaction of his conscience make him cheerful by day, and sleep sound of nights : he can be alone with pleasure; and is not afraid of his own thoughts. Besides this, he is universally esteemed and respected; for even the most wicked people themselves cannot help admiring and respecting Virtue ia others. All these, and many other adVantages, you would ascribe to Virtue, if you were to compose upon that subject. Adieu.
THE ART OF PLEASING.
he art of pleasing is a very necessary one to possess; but a very difficult one to acquire. It can hardly be reduced to rules; and your own good sense and observation will teach you more of it than I can. Do as you would be done by , is the surest method that I know of pleasing. Observe carefully what pleases you in others, and probably the same things in you will please others. If you are pleased with the complaisance and attention of others to your humours, your tastes, or your weaknesses , depend upon it, the saine complaisance and attention, on your part, to theirs, will equally please them. Take the tone of the company that you are in, and do not pretend to give it; be serious , gay, or even trilling, as you find the present humour of the company: this is an attention due from every individual to the majority. Do not tell stories in company ; there is nothing more tedious and disagreeable : if by chance you know a very short story, and exceedingly applica
ble to the present subject of conversation , tell it in as few words as possible; and even then , throw out that you do not love to tell stories ; but that the shortness of it 'tempted you. Of all things, banish the egotism out of your conversation, and never think of entertaining people with your own personal concerns, or private affairs; though they are interesting to you, they are tedious and impertinent to every body else: besides that, one cannot keep one's own private affairs too secret. Whalever you think your own excellencies may be, do not affectedly display them in company ; nor labour , as many people do , to give that turn to the conversation, which may supply you with an opportunity of exhibiting them. If they are real, they will infaillibly be discovered , without your pointing them out yourself, and with much more advantage. Never maintain an argument with heat and clamour , though you think or know yourself to be in the righi ; but give your opinion modestly and coolly, which is the only way to convince; and, if that does not do, try to change the conversation, by saying, with good humour, « We shall hardly convince » one another, nor is it necessary that we
« should, so let us talk of something else. »
Remember that there is a local propriety to be observed in all companies, and that what is extremely proper in one company , may be, and often is , highly improper in another.
The jokes , the bons mots , the little adventures, which may
well in one company, will seem flat and tedious, when related in another. The particular characters, the habits, the cant of one company may give credit to a word, or a gesture, which would Lave none at all if divested of those accidental circumstances. Here people very commonly err; and, fond of something that has entertained them in one company, and in certain circumstances , repeat it with emphasis in another, where it is either insipid , or, it may be, offensive, by being ill-timed, or misplaced. Nay, they often do it with this silly preanble; « I will tell you » an excellent thing; or, I will tell you the » best thing in the world. » This raises expectations, which , when absolutely disappointed, make the relator of this excellent thing look , very deservedly, like a fool.
If you would particularly gain the affection and friendship of particular people :
have one ,
whether men or women, endeavour to find out their predominant excellency , if they
and their prevailing weakness, which every body has ; and do justice to the one, and something more than justice to the other. Men have various objects in which they may excel or at least would be thought to excel ; and, though they love to hear justice done to them, where they know that they excel, yet they are most and best flattered upon those points where they wish to excel, and yet are doubtful whether they do or not. As for example ; Cardinal Richelieu , who was undoubtedly the ablest Statesman of his time, or perhaps of any other, had the idle vanity of being thought the best Poet too : he envied the great Corneille his reputation and ordered a criticism to be written upon the Cid. Those, therefore, who flattered skilfully, said little to him of his abilites in state affairs, or at least but en passant, and as it might naturally occur, But the incense which they gave him, the smoke of which, they knew, would turn his head in their favour, was as a bel esprit and a Poet. Why? Because he was sure of one excellency, and distrustful as to the other. You will easily discover every man's,