- Letter: Of Friend-chastisement.
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IF you have a dear female-friend whom you suspect of any youthful excursions, especially levity, and would reduce her to a better understanding, mildly lay open her errors; and therein discover what an enemy she hath been to God and to her own reputation; that there is no way | | 220 to reconcile her self to God and the World, but by her future exemplary modest carriage. And that she may not think, your reproofs have their original from malice or hatred to her person, declare what a great esteem you ever had for her excellent parts, and rare endowments of mind; and what a pity it is, such excellencies should be eclipsed by such foul miscarriages; that is not your sorrow alone, but the grief of several of her friends; and then subtilly insinuate this, That had it not been a friend you so dearly loved, you could have been well content to have been silent; but contrary, the love you bear her, obliged you to reveal the evil reports you have heard of her, and how troubled you are to see her commendations so limited with exceptions. Were it not that she is - she is absolutely one of the finest Gentlewomen in Europe. Then conclude, that you hope she will take all in good part; and that she will highly oblige you, to use the same freedom as you have done with her, if she hears ought amiss.