Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746— 47

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Author: Philip Dormer Stanhope

Letter VI

LONDON, March 6, O. S. 1747

DEAR BOY: Whatever you do, will always affect me, very sensibly, one way or another; and I am now most agreeably affected, by two letters, which I have lately seen from Lausanne, upon your subject; the one from Madame St. Germain, the other from Monsieur Pampigny: they both give so good an account of you, that I thought myself obliged, in justice both to them and, to you, to let you know it. Those who deserve a good character, ought to have the satisfaction of knowing that they have it, both as a reward and as an encouragement. They write, that you are not only ’decrotte,’ but tolerably well-bred; and that the English crust of awkward bashfulness, shyness, and roughness (of which, by the bye, you had your share) is pretty well rubbed off. I am most heartily glad of it; for, as I have often told you, those lesser talents, of an engaging, insinuating manner, an easy good-breeding, a genteel behavior and address, are of infinitely more advantage than they are generally thought to be, especially here in England. Virtue and learning, like gold, have their intrinsic value but if they are not polished, they certainly lose a great deal of their luster; and even polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. What a number of sins does the cheerful, easy good-breeding of the French frequently cover? Many of them want common sense, many more common learning; but in general, they make up so much by their manner, for those defects, that frequently they pass undiscovered: I have often said, and do think, that a Frenchman, who, with a fund of virtue, learning and good sense, has the manners and good-breeding of his country, is the perfection of human nature. This perfection you may, if you please, and I hope you will, arrive at. You know what virtue is: you may have it if you will; it is in every man’s power; and miserable is the man who has it not. Good sense God has given you. Learning you already possess enough of, to have, in a reasonable time, all that a man need have. With this, you are thrown out early into the world, where it will be your own fault if you do not acquire all, the other accomplishments necessary to complete and adorn your character. You will do well to make your compliments to Madame St. Germain and Monsieur Pampigny; and tell them, how sensible you are of their partiality to you, in the advantageous testimonies which, you are informed, they have given of you here.

Adieu. Continue to deserve such testimonies; and then you will not only deserve, but enjoy my truest affection.

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Chicago: Philip Dormer Stanhope, "Letter VI," Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746— 47, trans. Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853- in Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746—47 Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CQHFUJGM9TNJNWT.

MLA: Stanhope, Philip Dormer. "Letter VI." Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746— 47, translted by Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853-, in Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746—47, Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CQHFUJGM9TNJNWT.

Harvard: Stanhope, PD, 'Letter VI' in Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746— 47, trans. . cited in , Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746—47. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CQHFUJGM9TNJNWT.