Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of humanactions.... Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert.... I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.
Young men are as apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are to think themselves sober enough. They look upon spirit to be a much better thing than experience; which they call coldness. They are but half mistaken; for though spirit without experience is dangerous, experience without spirit is languid and ineffective.
I am not of the opinion generally entertained in this country [England], that man lives by Greek and Latin alone; that is, by knowing a great many words of two dead languages, which nobody living knows perfectly, and which are of no use in the common intercourse of life. Useful knowledge, in my opinion, consists of modern languages, history, and geography; some Latin may be thrown into the bargain, in compliance with custom, and for closet amusement.
Women of fashion and character--I do not mean absolutely unblemished--are a necessary ingredient in the composition of good company; the attention which they require, and which is always paid them by well-bred men, keeps up politeness, and gives a habit of good-breeding; whereas men, when they live together without the lenitive of women in company, are apt to grow careless, negligent, and rough among one another.