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INTRODUCTION.

LMOST every moral

A

Writer or Effayist that I have happened to meet with, from the days of Solomon to the prefent æra, have complained of the profligacy and degeneracy of their Times. From hence we are led to believe, that folly and vice have been equally prevalent in all ages, and that there is no fuch

A

period

period to be found in the annals of Human Nature, as that Golden Age in which Wisdom and Virtue dwelt with Men.

THAT perfection is not the lot of mortals, I readily admit, and cannot therefore prefume to point out the exact modes of any particular period of time as objects of general imitation; but without venturing to oppofe my flight opinion against the common and wil

lingly

2

lingly-received adage, that the world is just as good as it was a thousand years ago, I will pronounce, that though Virtue and Vice may have travelled progreffively upon the fame fcale 'fince the Creation to this day, the influence of Folly, and her infeparable companions Vanity and Diffipation, have, within the prefent century, been extended in Britain to a degree not only unknown to, but inconceivable by, our Ancestors.

A 2

THE

THE chief caufes of this fad effect, we are told, originate in the improper plan of education which has been adopted for our young Ladies.

But

as new and useful lights have upon this fubject

been thrown

by abler pens than mine, particularly by thofe two excellent and elegant Writers Mrs. CHAPONE and Mifs MORE, I shall not dwell upon it; but mean humbly to offer my fentiments to those of my sex who,

having

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