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how honourable it is for a man to raise himself in the world by fair means, and then to help forward his poor relations and friends; engaging their services by his kindness, and endeavouring to turn his own advancement in life to the best account, that of making it the instrument of assisting those who had a natural claim to his protection.
Mrs. Bragwell was an excellent mistress, according to her own notions of excellence; for no one could say that she ever loft an opportunity of scolding a servant, or was ever guilty of the weakness of overlooking a fault. Towards her two daughters her behaviour was far otherwise. In them she could see nothing but perfections; but her extravagant fondness for these girls was full as much owing to pride as to affection. She was bent on making a family, and having found out that the was too ignorant, and too much trained to the habits of getting money, ever to hope to make a figure herself, she looked
to her daughters as the persons who were to raise the family of the Bragwells; and in this hope she foolishly submitted to any drudgery for their fakes, and bore every kind of impertinence from them.
The first wish of her heart was to fet them above their neighbours; for she used to fay, what was the use of having fubstance, if her daughters might not carry themselves above girls who had nothing ? To do her justice, she herself would be about early and late to see that the business of the house was not neglected. She had been bred to great industry, and continued to work when it was no longer neceffary, both from early habit, and the desire of heaping up money for her daughters. Yet her whole notion of gentility was, that it consisted in being rich and idle; and though she was willing to be a drudge herself, she resolved to make her daughters gentlewomen on this principle. To be well dreffed, to eat elegantly, and to do now thing, or nothing which is of any use,
was what she fancied distinguished people in genteel life. And this is too common a notion of a fine education among a certain class; they do not esteem things by their use, but by their show. They estimate the value of their children's education by the money it costs, and not by the knowledge and goodness it bestows. People of this stamp often take a pride in the expence of learning, instead of taking pleasure in the advantages of it. And the filly vanity of letting others see that they can afford any thing, often sets parents on letting their daughters learn not only things of no use, but things which may be really hurtful in their situation; either by setting them above their proper duties, or by taking up their time in a way inconsistent with them.
Mrs. Bragwell sent her daughters to a boarding school, where the instructed them to hold up their heads as high as any body; to have more fpirit than to be put upon by any one; never to be pitiful about
money, money, but rather to shew that they could afford to spend with the best;' to keep company with the richest and most fashion. able girls in the school, and to make no acquaintance with Farmer's Daughters. - They came home at the usual age of leaving school, with a large portion of va. nity grafted on their native ignoránce. The vanity was added, but the ignorance was not taken away. Of Religion they could not possibly learn any thing, sinće none was taught, for at that place Christianity was considered as a part of education which belonged only to charity schools. They went to church indeed once a Sunday, yet effectually to counteract any benefit such an attendance might produce, it was the rule of the school that they should use only French prayer.books; of course, such superficial scholars as Miss Bragwells would always be literally praying in an unknown tongue: while girls of better capacity and more industry would infallibly be picking out the nominative case,
the the verb, and participle of a foreign language, in the folemn act of kneeling before the Father of Spirits, “who search“eth the heart and tryeth the reins.” During the remainder of the Sunday they learnt their worldly tasks, all except actual Reedle-work, which omission alone marked the distinction of Sunday from other days; and the governé s being a French Roman “Catholić, it became a doubtful point with fome people, whether her zeal or her négligence in the article of religion would be most to the advantage of her pupils. Of knowledge the Miss Bragwells had got just enough to laugh at their fond parents' rustic manners and vulgar language, and just enough taste to despise and ridicule every girl who was not as vainly dressed as themselves.