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In many instances, the conduct of the one sex, influences that of the other; and while some women will be coquets, some men must be fools ; but there are many, very many, of us, who (if we would but embrace the Catholic religion just so far as to make a “ confession”) must adınit, that the greater part of those by-gone hours, which we dare reflect on, have been passed in the society of virtuous women!! Tell me, too, kind readers, tell me seriously, each one of you, am I right in believing, that virtuous and amiable women possess the power of soothing the cares of life, assuaging its sorrows, and of strewing the pathway to eternity with roses! Have they, or have they not, this power? Those who are of my opinion say “ aye," and those who are of a contrary opinion say “ no :” say aye---say no (I wait a division on the question). The “ ayes" have it, and woman triumphs! I cannot, however, dismiss this fair subject, without proving my opinion to be correct. Revelation assures us, were indeed any proof wanting, that woman is, equally with ourselves, a thinking, accountable being, “ the last best gift” to man, the sharer of his reason, the mitigator of his toil. Superior delicacy of organization, renders her incapable of undergoing severe corporeal fatigue, which, indeed, the duties of her station do not require. Dependant upon man, generosity cannot prompt hiin to do less than afford her protection and support, not only against open violence, but against the less apparent, and therefore more dangerous, insinuations of the artful and specious part of mankind, those
“ Knaves, who in full assemblies have the knack*
Of turning truth to lies, and white to black.” I may clearly argue, that intellectual capacity is not so strongly marked upon the countenance, as are vicious inclinations; hence the reason why we are so much more deceived in our first judgments of the mind, than of the disposition, whenever that judgment is formed from visual observation. The operations of vice are violent and severe; they leave behind them marks of desolation, and furrows of anxiety; but reason, on the contrary, moves on calmly and in silence, shedding tranquillity within, and serenity without, and this serenity may most frequently be mistaken for a mark of incapacity; I believe I shall run no great hazard in asserting, that in general the imperfections of material conformation, and crookedness of disposition (probably resulting therefrom), are more strongly depicted in our features, and are more perceptible to our organs, than the gradations, affections, and qualities of the mind.
Lavater, perhaps, had not associated much with women in private society, he probably knew them only by sight, and formed opinions in his closet, drawn from observations made in public. The true character of no one person can be ascertained with certainty, through the medium of such observations; when the determinations of the mind are biassed by custom; when sense is deemed madness, and study called folly ; when folly is deified as virtue, and virtue ridiculed as ignorance, at a time when fashion makes its deepest impression upon our features, and our whole conduct is regulated by its tyrannical influence, are we to sit for our pictures ? if so, how unreal a likeness would be produced, and how ridiculous an appearance would even the wisest of us exhibit. Rather let woman be shown to us as she appears, fulfilling the circle of domestic occupations; it is there she shines conspicuously bright-it is there her real character appears---it is there her virtues are unfolded, her attainments blossom with vigour, and bear fruit in abundance and perfection! She fills with propriety the relative duties of her station; what more can vaunting, proud, imperious man do? See them exerting their faculties to please man, by whom they are abused ; mild, meek, submissive without servility, and humble without meanness ; see them submitting to direction, scarcely daring to put forth powers which we have taught them to distrust, or if exerting them, rendering that exertion beneficial to us; and yet what return do we make them. We too often impose upon their humility, we are the source of all their errors, and shame is, or ought to be, the portion of man's ingratitude.
That woman can “ think,” and deeply too, who can doubt, when, in running over the instructive pages of history, he is informed, that a learned and polite nation, a people fond of abstract disquisitions and metaphysical researches, left the schools of far-famed philosophers to seek for better tuition under the auspices of an Aspasia, captivated, and listening with rapture to the brilliancy of her elocution and the depth of her philosophy. When we see the half-deserted philosophers themselves proud to be numbered in the list of her followers-an eloquent Pericles struck with wonder at her powers, and the penetrating genius of a Socrates bending before her for tuition, we are forced to believe that women can “ think.” The remains of the inimitable Sappho, the report of the powers of the sublime Corinna, who vied with, and even received the prize of conquest from the Theban Pindar by her verse, confirm us in our opinions; and in reading the erudite Dacier, the abstruse Wolstonecraft, and the thoughtful De Stael, we are convinced of its truth. From all evidence we are forced to acknowledge, that the contempt for female capacity, which so many men express, must proceed either from envy or inattention; it evidently has not its foundation in truth. It would be curious to inquire why the moderns have, in this instance, deviated so widely from their tutors---the ancients. We observe that truth. justice, wisilom, religion, and every attribute that can dignify humanity, are depicted by female forms; but how does it happen that geniuses otherwise so happy in their allusions, should fail in this instance? They seldom made use of weak instruments to work strong purposes; and yet, if women did not really possess capacity to produce these attributes, they (the ancients) must be accused (nay, more stand convicted) of folly, in making use of improper symbols to express their notions. If we examine the weaknesses and failings of women, we shall find that ignorance is the source of them; an ignorance not proceeding from want of capacity and penetration, but from want of culture and direction, as a machine of great mechanic force, in the hands of a person ignorant of the secret springs, which give it motion and effect: such is the intellect of woman without proper education. Women of cultivated understanding, entertain as ready an apprehension of truth or falsehood, and as nice discrimination, as any man of equal education, and similar pursuits. Let the man of knowledge and taste declare, whether he is obliged to descend to folly when conversing with a well-educated woman? or whether all the faculties of his mind are not then called forth, in a manner far exceeding that which most men are capable of producing ?
Women, indeed, possess more ready discernment than men; and if it be inquired how then do men dive deeper into the recesses of knowledge, it may be answered, the fire exists, the capacity remains, and only wants collision to bring it into action-it is a right education which must do it: it is from that, and that only, we can draw any advantage to ourselves from their powers. If the flint and steel had never come into contact, the fire which they contain would never have appeared; and if improperly applied, would have been worse than useless. If it were necessary that woman should be learned, in order to fill the circle marked out for her by Providence, she most undoubtedly has the ability to become so; but I wish not to ipsinuate that deep knowledge is essential to her, or that she possesses, in general, that power of exertion which men have. All I wish to establish in opposition to the slander of our “Rhodesmen” is, that woman is a companion fit for the most intelligent being, capable not only of “ thinking,” and going far, very far beyond mere " perception," and “ association of ideas,” but capable also of judging for herself; not a mere machine (as Lavater bas attempted to prove), dependant, but a free agent like ourselves; and equally the candidate for happiness, heaven, and eternity.
“ Our Grandsire Adam, ere of Eve possess'd,
THE TYRANT'S FUNERAL.
Is as the ocean billows, dashing on
And where are they the lords of empire ?-Gone,
He too---the mighty one, before whose sway,
In trembling awe a suppliant pation bow'd,
Has thrown aside the mantle for the shroud, ---
Through the long aisles the dazzling torches wave;
Their monarch's relics to the silent grave :---
Oft as his thoughts grow calmer, turns awhile
To his---but when along the column'd aisle
No tear-drop o'er her sovereign's dast; she brings
And voiceless hang her lute's melodious strings :---
To be the hope, the pride of their lone age,
At the first dawn of Life's fair pilgrimage ;
Thou, who hast sbiver'd Nature's firmest ties;
No nation's sorrow grac'd thy obsequies;
What-but the curse that brands a tyrant's name.
“ POPPING THE QUESTION.”
“ 'Tis a question to be asked."
SHAKSPEARE. Ou! 'tis an easy thing for young and gay gallants, conversant as they are in fashionable talk and modern devices, it is an easy thing for them to ask any question. I have known men, hair-brained fellows, who dine at the Clarendon, sup at Long's, and take their nocturnal repose in either St. George's or St. James's Watch-house, men who would say or do any thing. It was as easy for them to seek a lady's hand for “ the honorable estate of matrimony," as it was to solicit its partnership in a quadrille. Nay, my friend Virgilius Sayntbleu has, in his time, courted ten ladies in the course of one evening, and at one ball, and made a deliberate tender of his heart
and hand to every one of them. There is no calculating to what an extent your modern beaus will carry their firtations. Charles Calletback, or as he called himself, “ Caillebacq,” kept a regular book of account, containing entries of all his love affairs; and during a cursory glace over it, which I was once enabled to obtain, I counted no less than 79 young ladies who had accepted his offers in one year, besides numerous doubtful cases, and a vast number who had offered themselves to him. With such men, there is no difficulty whatever in popping the question; but it is strangely different when the questioner has arrived at the full maturity of fifty-eight, and instead of sporting an assortment of ringlets of jetty black, and manufactured by Holmes, presumes to wear his own hair, and addresses the young lady without mustachios. Such a man takes the field at a great disadvantage; but still, such men there are ; and it is our present purpose to speak of one, who, if strictly questioned, must admit all these particulars to be correct.
Milton Sanderson went to the East Indies, in some very inferior capacity, when quite a boy. His pliability, some say his servility, but, perhaps, that is envy, procured him friends, and the climate, very fortunately, removed them precisely at the time when young Mr. S. was capable of stepping into their places. He remained in India about five-and-thirty years, during which time he was enamoured of several black women, and amassed an immense sum of money. Upon his return to England, he found his situation strangely altered
-relations he had none, or if he bad, they were too poor to be owned .by a Nabob; friends and acquaintances were procured for him, in
the same manner as his breakfast or his dinner-by his money; but such friendship, such acquaintance, can never fill the aching void which is found in every human heart--the yearning after society, which in hours of difficulty and distress is felt by all. At such moments flattery and obsequiousness but convince us how lonely we are, and render more apparent the want of some truly kind and affectionate heart, upon whom we may rely. In vain, old Sanderson mixed in all the coffee-house gaieties which Cheltenham, Brighton, or the Metropolis, alternately presented; in vain he drank hard, and played at whist till day-break; in vain were his curries and mulgatawny of heat sufficient to have scorched a salamander; notwithstanding all these, he could not persuade himself that he was happy. He rose at two, coursed the park or the town till six, Jined at eight, and retired from the vulgar world at the hour when its common-place inhabitants were about to resume their daily avocations—but all would not do; he was in plain truth miserable. To read, or occupy. himself with any pursuit approaching to the intellectual, was out of the question; when in India, he was immersed in trade, and had never looked into any book, save his ledger; had never exercised his intellect, except for the purpose of gain; and now that his ledger was closed for ever, and his gains invested in India bonds and British securities---he was indeed a lost man. Even the politics of his country, those very lungs of a resident Englishman, were strange to