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Precis Paragraph 8

The most sensible people to he met with in society are men of business and of the world who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be. Women have often more of what is called good sense than men. They have fewer pretensions, are less implicated in theories, and judge of objects more from their immediate and involuntary impression   on the mind, and, therefore, more truly and naturally. They cannot reason wrong: for they do not reason at all. They do not think or speak by rule; and they have in general, more eloquence and wit, as well as sense, on that Account. By their wit, sense, and eloquence together, they generally contrive to govern their husbands. Their style, when they write to their friends (not for he booksellers), is better than that of most authors. Uneducated people have most exuberance of invention and the greatest freedom from prejudice. Shakespeare’s was evidently an uneducated mind, both in the freshness of the imagination and in the variety of his view; as Milton’s was scholastic in the texture both of his thoughts and feeling. Shakespeare had not been accustomed to write themes at school in favor or virtue or against vice. To this we owe the unaffected but health tone of his dramatic morality. If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. if we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators. (250 words)

Vocabulary

Spinning cobweb distinctions—making unnecessary and unreal distinctions. Pretensions—false claims. Implicated-involved. Exuberance- enthusiasm. Scholastic-scholarly; learned. Unaffected-genuine; not artificial.

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