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229 Marriage and Conjugal Virtues.
274 Detraction. Talkativeness.
315 Impertinent Curiosity. Pride. Contentment. Retirement.
390 Age. Death.
328. -341 368
EING the other Night in the
Company of some Ladies of B
a polite Conversation, and the Mixture of Sexes turning the
Discourse upon the Raillery of each other, the brisk Florimel, and her witty Associates, ran, hard upon the Mens want of Conduct. Celadon, who was the most induftrious Advocate for the Party, with an oblig. ing Smile and insinuating Air, faid, That he hop'd the Ladies now would not give his Sex the Opportunity of retorting that Reflection upon them, since their Conduct, in
every Stage of Life, was to be regulated by their Library: That if the Advice to a Daughter was too compendious to reform all their Errors, yet Three Volumes of Advice could not fail of correcting every faux pas. Florimel easily perceiv'd the Malice of Celadon's Meaning, and striking in with his Irony, told him, She was not so partial to the Petticoat, but that she would venture to confess, she believ'd, that many a Female Reader of those Lessons of Morality would still, through Indolence or Misapprehension, remain unimprov'd, and stick to the darling Indecorums of frail Nature, Cuftom, and Fashion : That she wish'd the same Learned Lady, who had wrote so happily for her own Sex, would have employ'd fome few Pages on those lordly Creatures, who priding in the Advantages of Nature and superior Endowments, think themselves above the Guidance of Precepts : That for her part, she had no such elevated Notions of their Capacities or Oeconomy; had seen them carry'd away by Caprice and Humour as much as weak Wo. men, and believ'd could prove them as much the Subject of Poetic Satire.
What says Dryden
Men are but Children of a larger Growth ;
And And yet the Soul, fut up in her dark Room, Viewing so clear Abroad, at Home fees nothing ; But like a Mole in Earth, busy and blind, Works all her Folly up, and cafts it outwards, To the World's open View.
Celadon here interrupting her Progress in Quotations, told her, Frailty was so conspicuous and epidemical, that he did not care to put her to the Trouble of farther Proofs ; nor had any Thoughts of entring into a Debate with her, to assert the Men free from Faults, either in Conduct or Principles : That he would rather chuse to impeach them of Infirmity, but that it might be fear'd the Prosecution would sooner harden than convert. Not that he disputed, but by artful Methods, and apt Insinuations, Virtue, Prudence, Justice, and Conduet, like the mechanical Parts of Life, might be taught and made acceptable : That as only a dull and impenetrable Ear could find no Charms, no Sensation in Music ; so only Absence of Reason, and stubborn Ignorance, could resist the Harmony of Virtue feelingly recommended : For chat Libertinism, which some wild young Fellows, for want of more happy Education, mistake for Li. berty, subjects them to harder Tyrants than their dreaded Tutors and Masters ; even to their own vicious Inclinations, which,