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ſensſibility, as warns her to ſhun the firſt appearance of every thing which is hurtful.
"In modeſt salons there are certain rules,
"Which to tranfgreſs, confirms us knaves and fools.
"Immodeſt words admit of no defence,
"For want of decency is want of ſenſe."
The ancients had ſo great a veneration for Modeſty in a married ſtate, that Epicharmus, a Sicilian Poet, had a fine ſet upon his head, only for bolting out a wanton word in the hearing of his wife. And we read of a Roman ſenator degraded, barely for kiſſing his wife to the preſence of his daughter.
'Tis to be regreted, that the ſame delicacy is not obſerved amongſt the moderns: for there are many people now a-days in this part of the world, who, ſo ſoon as they are married, lay aſide all decent reſerve, and take a liberty to extend the privilege of their condition beyond the bounds of ſobriety and good manners. Modeſty is the duty of a wife, as well as of a virgin: and it is no longer a virtue, than while it continues all of a piece, in thought, word, and deed: for looſe words lead naturally to looſe actions; and the very provocation to lewdneſs is within one degree of the thing itſelf.
Modeſty heightens the charms of a woman, and in a more peculiar manner becomes the fair ſex. Milton introduces our mother Eve.
"Yeilding with coy ſubmiſſion, modeſt pride,
"And ſweet reluctant amorous delay."
And Thomſon, our celebrated countryman, makes Lavinia engage the Young and generous Paloemon, thus,
"When poor Lavinia drew his eye,
"Unconſcious of her power, and turning quick,
"With unaffected bluſhes from his gaze,