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P R E F A CE.
Ta Boarding-School for young Ladies,
fome Miles Distance from London, it has been the constant Custom of the Governefs to make her little Scholars, just before Breaking up, undergo a Kind of Examination, that she might thereby be enabled the better to judge whát Improvements they had made. One Time, in particular, she iffaed her Orders, that the whole School should afsemble every Saturday Night, till the Holidays, when they should choose from among themselves one, who should address the rest on some moral and entertaining Subject. Such, as had not had Experience enough to make Obfervations of their own, were permitted to repeat, from their Memory only, whatever useful had occurred to them, as worthy of Notice, in the Course of their Reading. It is easy to foresee, that the AdvanA 2
tages arising from such a Conduct must be confiderable and pleasing, since it raises among them an Emulation to exert every Faculty of their little Minds, to acquire Credit and Reputation.
Misş Deborah Grace was the first appointed,, who, after having had a Week allowed her to consider of the Matter, on the next Satur. day Night, in the Presence of her Governess, and the whole Assembly of little Females, delivered herself as follows.
LITTLE FEMALE ORATORS;
Nine Evenings Entertainment.
THE FIRST NIGHT.
My little Schoolfellows, 'HE best Method I can propose for
filling up those empty Spaces of Time, which are tedious and burthensome to idle People, and which we little Ones often enploy in the Pursuit of Trifles, is to apply ourselves to the Acquisition of useful Knowledge. I remember my Pappa, speaking of some Mineral, told me, that a Person may consume their whole Life in the Study of it, without arriving at the Knowledge of all its
Qualities. The Truth of it is, there is not a single Şcience, nor any Branch of it, that might not furnish a Person with Business for Life, tho' it were much longer than it is.
I shall now endeavour to fhew how those Parts of Life, which are exercised in Study, Reading, and the Pursuit of Knowledge, are long, but not tedious; and by that Means discover a Method of lengthening our Lives, and at the same Time of turning all the Parts of them to Advantage. I shall not engage on the beaten Subjects of the Usefulness of Knowledge, nor any of the Pleasures and Perfections it gives to the Mind, nor on the Methods of attaining it, nor recommend any particular Branch of it, all which have been often told us by our Governess; but fall indulge myself in a Speculation that is more uncommon, and may therefore perhaps be more entertaining 3. Do not be frightened, my little Compani. ons, if I mention the Name of Mr. Locke : I am only going to quote an Observation of his, which I have somewhere met with in my little Library." He intimates, that Time appears longer or shorter in Proportion to the