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Bell's

COURT AND FASHIONABLE

MAGAZINE,

For JANUARY, 1807.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

OF

ILLUSTRIOUS LADIES.

The Thirteenth Number,

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS SOPHIA.

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS Her Royal Highness the Princess Sophia SOPHIA was born November 3, 1777.-- || is rendered extremely prepossessing by a The education of this Princess has been loveliness and delicate vivacity in her similar to that of her Royal Sisters. Under || manner, which, as softened by the most the eye of her Majesty, and the superin- gracious affability, and heightened by the tendance of her truly amiable governess, most perfect modesty, are, perhaps, the Lady Charlotte Finch, she commenced most attractive qualities in a young wothat course of study, which had been man. One of her amusements is the une traced out for the Royal pupils, with a zeal fashionable employment of the needle. and an industry not inferior to any of her The knowledge of this once famed instrufamily.

ment of housewifery has long ceased in Music and drawing, as we have often the upper circles; it still, however, preobserved, are the most favourite studies | serves its importance at Windsor Castle; of their Royal Highnesses; and in their and whilst the more elevated and refined pursuit of excellence in these branches of arts are cultivated with an enthusiasm, to science, they have not only distinguished which nothing but more serious duties are themselves as scholars and amateurs, but suffered to give way, the primitive and two of the Princesses have attained to a truly English employments of our British perfection which would not pass without matrons are not spurned or neglected. its just applause in a master.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

ON THE ADVANTAGES OF A WELL CULTIVATED MIND.

!ות

IT is not without reason that those who have ,, mind, give scope to its exertions, expand its tasted the pleasures afforded by philosophy and ideas, present new combinations, and exhibit to literature, have lavished upon them the greatest | the intellectual eye images new, various, sublime, eulogiumi. The benefits they produce are too or beautiful. The time of action will not always mary to enumerate, valuable beyond estimation, continue, the young ought ever to have this and various as the scenes of life. The man who consideration present to their minds, that they has a knowledge of the works of God in the grow old unless prematurely cut off by creation of the universe, and in his providential | sickness or accident; they ought to contemplate government of the immense system of the ma the certain approach of age and decrepitude, and terial and intellectual world, can never be with-|| consider that all temporal happiness is of uncerout a copious fund of the most agreeable amuse tain acquisition, mixed with a variety of alloy, and ment; he can never be solitary, for in the most in whatever degree attained, only of a short and Jonely solitude he is not destitute of company and precarious duration ; every day brings some disa conversation; his own ideas are his coinpanions, | appointment, some diminution of pleasure, or and he can always converse with his own mind. some frustration of hope, and every moment How much soever a person may be engaged in brings us nearer to that period when the present pleasures, he will certainly have some moments scenes shall recede from the view, and future to spare for thought and reflection; no one who | prospects cannot be formed. has observed how heavy the vacuities of time This consideration displays, in a very intereste hang upon minds unfurnished with images, and ing point of view, the beneficial effects of fur. unaccustoined to think, will be at a loss to make nishing the mind with a stuck of ideas that may a just estimate of the advantages of possessing a amuse it in leisure, accompany it in solitude, copious stock of ideas, of which the combinations dispel the gloom of melancholy, lighten the may take a multiplicity of forms, and be varied pressure of misfortune, dissipate the vexations to infinity. Those who have heard the frequent arising from baffled projects, or disappointed complaints of ennui among such as have no hopes, and relieve the tediousness of that season source of amusement in themselves, must feel of life when new acquisitions can no more bo some degree of cominiseration for these whose | made, and the world can no longer fatter and minds, destitute of cultivation, must either be delude us with its illusory hopes and promises. melancholy from the immediate impulse of ex When life begins, like a distant landscape, ternal objects, or sink into a lethargic state of gradually to disappear, the mind can then receive torpid inaction. Mental occupations are a plea- | no solace but from its own ideas and reficctions; sing relief from bodily exertions, and that per-| philosophy and literature will then furnish it petual hurry and wearisome attention which, in with an inexhaustible source of the most agreemost of the employments of life, must be given able amusements, as religion will afford substan. to objects which are no otherwise interesting than tial consolation. A well spent youth is the only as they are necessary. The mind, in an hour of sure foundation of a happy old age; no axiom of heisure, obtaining a short vacation from the per- | the mathematics is more true, or more easily plexing cares of the world, finds in its own con- || demonstrated ; old age, like death, comes un. templation, a source of amusement, of solace, | expectedly on the unthinking, and unprepared, and pleasure. The tiresome attention that must | although its approach be visible, and its arrival be given to an infinite number of things, which certain. Those who have in the earlier part of singly and separately taken, are of little moment, || life neglected to furnish their minds with ideas, but collectively considered form an important to fortify them by contemplation, and regulate aggregate, requires to be sometimes relaxed and them by reflection, seeing the season of youth dissipated ly thoughts of a more general and and vigour irrecoverably past, its pleasing scenes extensive nature, or at least of a different kind, annihilated, and its brilliant prospects left far and direcied to objects of which the examination behind, without the possibility of a return, and may open a more spacious field of exercise to the feeling, at the same time, the irresistible en

croachments of age with its disagreeable append-,, and enquiry. The various phenomenon of the ages, are surprised and disconcerted by a change moral, as well as the physical world, the investiwhich, although they knew to be certain, they gation of science, and the information commuhad scarcely expected, or for which at least they i nicated by literature, are calculated to attract had made no prepararion. A person in this at:ention, exercise thoughi, excite reflection, predicament, finding himself no longer capable and replenish the mind with an infinite variety of taking, as formerly, a part in the busy walks of ideas. of life, of enjoying its active pleasures, and The evening of life is a melancholy season sharing its arduous enterprises, becomes peevish when the whole day has been spent without and uneasy, troublesome to others, and burden- | any preparation for its arrival. The man who, some to himself; destitute of the resources of in youth, has been favoured by fortune with philosophy, and a stranger to the amusing pur- | affluence, or at least with competency, or has suits of literature, he is unacquainted with any enjoyed fair opportunities of acquisition, and agreeable method of filling up the vacuity left having squandered the former, or neglected the in his mind by his necessary recess from the latter, feels the pressure of age and infirmity active scenes of life; ignorance renders him ob- without any other resource than the precarious stinate, things that pleased him please him no assistance of friends, the penurious support of longer, and experiencing this revolution in his || parochial allowance, or the humiliation of men own notions and inclinations, he thinks it ought | dicity, is in a situation truly deplorable, and also to take place in those of others. The plea- | with anguish of heart has reason to reproach sures and amusements of youth, however inno- himself as the author of his own misfortunes. cent, he stigmatizes with the name of folly and The condition, however, of that man, is scarcely vanity, merely because they are no longer ac- is less miserable, and certainly not less blamable, commodated to his period of life, censures the who having possessed abilities and leisure, has conduct of the rest of the world, and because his made no provision of knowledge for that season own head is covered with grey hairs, thinks every | when the mind, no less than the body, requires one else should be old through complaisance. to be well supported, when the gaiety of youth, Finding the world neither able nor willing to and the vigour of mani:ood are no more, when consult his pleasures, or comply with his whims, the festive song and dance have lost their power he turns fretful and peevish, and wanting mate- | of pleasing, and when the glittering shew, the rials for the exercise of his mind, perplexes delusive hopes and Aattering prospects of the himself with useless cares, teazes himself for would no longer fascinate the imagination. The trifles, and instead of looking back on the illu- | man of letters, when compared with one that is sory scenes of life with magnanimous indiffer- || illiterate, exhibits nearly the same contrast as ence, and waiting for the conclusion with equa- | that which exists between a blind man and one nimity and fortitude, too often consumes his that can see; and if we consider how much literalatter years in whimsical peevishness, and stupid ture enlarges the mind, and how much it vacuity of thought.

multiplies, adjusts, rectifies, and arranges the All this is the consequence of squandering the ideas, it may well be reckoned equivalent to an days of youth and vigour without acquiring the additional sense. It affords pleasures which habit of thinking; excepting the case of the wealth cannot procure, and which poverty canvery lowest classes of society, to whom indigence not entirely take away. A well cultivated mind has precluded the means of education, and con- places its possessor beyond the reach of those tinued labour has allowed no leisure for reflec- | trifling vexations and disquietudes which contion, the period of human life, short as it is, istinually harrass and perplex those who have no of sufficient length for the acquisition of a con resources within themselves, and, in some mea. siderable stock of useful and agreeable know. | sure, elevates him above the smiles and the ledge, and the circumstances of the world afford | frowns of fortune. a superabundance of subjects for contemplation

No. XIII. Vol. II.

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