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band's faults. As long as he believes they are not discovered, his vanity, if no better feeling influence him, will induce his studious concealment of them, which is the first step towards their amendment: but, when once he knows they are exposed, he becomes reckless and callous.
Heaven forbid, my dear Augusta, that I should have any doubts of your conduct being always what it ought to be ; what I dread in you is a disregard of appearances --a neglect of the shadow of goodness, while you are satisfied with possessing the substance. This is what is most to be dreaded; for all very young women, too early thrown into the vortex of the artificial stream of fashion in which so many reputations, if not virtues, have been ingulfed. Invaluable as is the honour of a woman, be
assured the possession cannot console her for the loss of its reputation,-a loss to which her own
heedless inexperience, or levity, continually conduces, and which leaves her, through the remainder of her life, a target for the arrows of
I learn, with regret, that Miss Montressor is to take up her abode with you this season. Beware of following her counsel, or letting her introduce into your home circle any of the persons with whom she associated while on the Continent; of many of whom report speaks most injuriously.
You know how I dread giving credence to, or repeating scandal, but I cannot reconcile it with my sense of duty towards you, to conceal the real character of this unworthy person, whom I sincerely wish you had never known, as she is the last woman I should wish to see installed beneath your roof.* Let no human being know that your husband is not an object of your strongest attachment; for, that once known, you will become an object of speculation and distrust to those who, judging of all women by a few of the worst specimens of the sex, conclude, that she who loves not her husband, either loves, or is ready to love, some one else.
* Here follows a statement similar to the one made by Lord Delaward 10 Lord Nottingham, which, to avoid repetition, we have suppressed.
Avoid intimacies, either male or female, except with persons whose reputations are calculated to add lustre to yours, for much evil is often occasioned by a contrary conduct. All the faults attributed to a woman in society are supposed to be known, and shared, by the females of the clique in which she lives, and, if they have ever been suspected of indiscretion, she shares in the censure.
The habitués of a house give the colour to the reputation of its mistress. The men are invariably supposed,
by the good-natured world, to be more than mere acquaintances; and the women, confidentes. It is by such imprudent habits of familiarity that many a woman has lost her reputation, while her virtue has remained unimpaired.
Your excellent parents are well, and as cheerful as our united attention can make them ; but they pine for you, and intend soon joining you in London.
Lord Nottingham leaves us to-morrow ; he is a very agreeable companion, possesses
a highly cultivated mind, and great warmth of heart. He is one of the few with whom I would consent to share my husband's friendship. His attention to your father and mother has been unremitting; and they have formed a strong attach
ment to him.
Write to me often, dearest Augusta; tell
all you think and feel, to one who, if she sometimes chides you like an elder sister, always feels the love of one.
THE COUNTESS OF ANNANDALE TO THE
COUNTESS OF DELAWARD.
Dearest Mary, -I kept my resolution; and, in defiance of Lord Annandale's representations of the unreasonableness of the measure, I proceeded to Richmond, the day after my arrival in London. My perseverance in this scheme at first discomposed him, for he had, as he asserted, made engagements for me ; but at length he yielded, and, to my dismay, said something about his considering my impatience to see his child as a flattering proof of my affection for its father. I blushed, from con