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"As I know you are, and ever have been, an accurate, close, and penetrating observer of life, in all its various modes and conditions, I wish to call your attention to, and ask your advice concerning, a subject which is to me of no small importance. I live, as you well know, in what is termed high life, but, our family being numerous, am under the necessity of studying a profession, to enable me, in future, to support the style and splendour to which, from my childhood, I have been accustomed. The Law was proposed, and agreed to. I began the study of it with alacrity; but, alas! brought up and educated at home, with a well-endowed college in the city where I live, my indulgent parents would not permit me to leave their house, to go to a more distant university for those instructions, which they imagined I could receive so much more pleasantly and agreeably under the shelter of my paternal roof. This, sir, is the great source of my trouble and grievance. We are in the habit of keeping much company; my father, poor man, is fast advancing to that period of life in

which the bodily powers begin to decay, the sight to grow dim, the hearing to be dull, and the mental faculties to lose their wonted vigour. His sinking energies, his debilitated frame, however, seem to revive, and the spark of animation to rekindle on his aged face, when, surrounded by his friends at the genial board, he places his favourite son at the bottom of the table, after the ladies have retired; for he is yet able to take the head, and circulate the glass, till overcome with its exhilarating effects. Thus, at the age of eighteen; a time which, if ever a man intend to rise above the level of his fellows, to soar above the common herd of mankind, he must devote to unremitting study and application; I spend half the day at table, listening to the dull, often-told tales of men hoary in age, but young in learning and in wisdom; auecdotes of their youth; long, dry, and insipid stories of their friends in Court, in Parliament, and on 'Change, now and then varied by the blustering relations of what happened in the last German war, by some superannuated captain, or one-eyed major. Then I am had up into the draw

ing-room, where I find my mother, who is some years younger than my father, and remarkably gay and high spirited, waiting, with eager anxiety, and earnest expectation, for her dear James to fill up a vacant place at the card-table; wondering I could stay so long, when I knew Lady Manning could never play without me. I will not weary your patience, or trespass upon your indulgence, by describing what I have so often heard you descant upon, the uncouth grimaces, and horrid distortion of countenance, with, now and then, the escape of words, not the most elegant and refined, which so dreadfully affect the delicate female frame in the course of an evening at cards. In the morning, when I wish to make up by redoubled diligence and study for the waste of the preceding day, I am solicited, and my disposition is not firm enough to venture a refusal, to attend the female part of the family upon a walk, or a ride, and not unI frequently to make a morning call.-Here, after the usual salutations, the merits of the different shops in the city are discussed, the new dresses and fashions glanced at, and


the engagements of the remainder of the week talked over. On Sundays we have a little variation in the routine, for my father is one of those good sort of beings, who yet think it a sin, and an unpardonable offence against religion and morality, to suffer card-playing on a day set apart for the worship of the Almighty. But company must be had, and my mother generally invites a select party of female acquaintances, somewhat in years, to tea. she finds peculiarly grateful and delectable; for during the ebullitions, and wranglings, and squabblings attendant upon cards, she has no time and opportunity for any sober and edifying conversation, of which she thus once a-week gets a tolerable supply. They begin with the preachers whom they heard in the morning, investigate their characters and pretensions to merit, and criticise upon their sermons; such a one's being too long, another's too short; one man was too lively, another foppish; one quite theatrical, and another a handsome good-looking young man, but really very affected; another had such an impediment in his speech as to be

prodigiously frightful. Next pass in review the ministers' wives, with an accurate account of their behaviour during churchtime, &c. This, being a very copious theme, lasts long, and is even so productive as to be renewed with fresh vigour, and new intelligence, for many successive Sundays; but when it fails, or becomes in the least tedious or irksome, the theatres, the balls, the concerts, the assemblies, and the dancing parties, afford most ample sources of pleasurable and intellectual discourse; so that, by a judicious alternation of these most interesting topics, the evening is really tolerably well got over. I assure you, Sir, this kind of life is not peculiar to our family, I know several, who pass from day to day, from week to week, and from year to year, in the same torpid round of insipid amusements and sensual gratification; whose days and whose nights are spent in devising means to kill that time I am so desirous of gaining. Is it for this, and purposes like this, that man is endowed with a soul, whose expanse can grasp the earth, the heavens, and their God? Is it for this the Almighty has clothed

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