So delicate is the pleasure, so superior to defending is the dignity of confessing one's follies, that the wonder is to see so few capable of it. Yet, what does such a confession cost, but the sacrifice of a paltry, miserable, false self-love, which is for ever misleading and betraying us? And of all its illusions there is not perhaps a more dangerous or a more silly one, than that which hinders us from discerning that there is scarce a less merit in acknowledging candidly one's faults, than in not having been guilty of them. For my own part, I speak experimentally. I never felt so pleasing, so sensible a consolation for the misfortune of having been a coxcomb, and an eminent one, too, as this proof of the sincerity of my conversion, in the courage of coming to a fair and open confession of the follies I drove into, in the course of that character. And though nothing is truer than that the desire of pleasing the ladies first engaged me to take it up, and seek with uncommon pain to shine in it, it is but justice to subjoin that, if I owed to that amiable and unaccountable sex my having been a coxcomb, I owe to a select one of it, too, the being one no longer. But let the following history of my errors and return to reason, which I now go into without further preamble, substitute facts to reflections. These ever follow with a better grace than they lead. My father and mother died long before I knew all that I lost, in losing them. I was their only child, and under that title heir to two of the best estates in two of our richest counties in England, besides a sum that did not want many thousand pounds of making what is called, in the language of Change-Alley, a plumb: and which was secured to me much more effectually, as it happened, than a good education. For to say that I had not a bad one was barely all that I dare venture, and keep any measures with truth. Being left as I was, under" the care and tuition of an old, rich aunt, who was a widow, and past the possibility of having any children herself; her declared and real intention to leave me all her fortune, which was very considerable, though most certainly I could not want it, engaged my guardians to acquiesce in my education being trusted without the least interposition or control, on their part, to her management and direction. There was the less reason, 3 too, for this choice, for that a woman who had from her infancy constantly lived, in the country, and of course had been but little acquainted with the world, could not be the fittest person in it, to superintend the bringing up of a young gentleman of my pretensions to make a figure in it, both from my birth and my fortune. But such is the power of interest. My aunt insisted, and the expectation of that distant, superfluous addition to my fortune formed in the eyes of my guardians a sufficient excuse for giving way to my aunt's fondness.