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ferent opinions is the best founded. literature, partake of the spirit of The character of the elder na- republicanism ; and lead, as far as tions of the world, especially in the order of things, and the nature point of science, is formed from of man will permit, to an equal a very small portion of the indi- distribution of honours, wealth, viduals which compofe them. and knowledge. Take a viow of the state of science Whatever ignorance may have in those, who boast its higheit conceived, or prejudice asserted, cultivation : Their distinguished Americans are not more distinscholars, philosophers, and poets, guished for avarice, and low arts compared with the vast number, in pursuit of gain, than by a laudwhich Horace calls the profanum able thirst, and noble emulation vulgus, exhibit the unnatural light, for the acquirement of the greatest of now and then a tall cedar, a ornament of art, and the highest venerable oak, and exuberant wil. perfection of nature, a good edu. low, astonishing the eye at a dif- cation, Nor have they honoured tance; with the deceptive appear. themselves more by that perseveance of a luxuriant forest, but ring spirit of industry, and unwhich are found, on nearer ap. bounded enterprize, which withproach, to be thinly transpersed in two centuries, has changed a over an extensive heath, whose continent, from a wild forelt, to a barren soil scarcely affords «nutri- cultivated field; adorned its shores ment to the humble shrubs that with numerous seaports, and encover ijs surface.
riched its States with an extensive A Newton, Young, Johnson, commerce to every part of the Pope, Addison, Hume, Boling- world ; than by an equally rapid broke, and a few other literary improvement in the useful arts, and giants at the commencement and a landable attention to private and middle of the present century, gave public institutions for cultivating the name of great scholars, to feven the mind, and diffusing knowledge million pigmies in science; and of among every class of citizen's. an enlightened people, to a nation, Perhaps no country on the face the greater part of whom, were of the earth can boast of a larger far more ignorant than the poor- proportion of inhabitants, verted er and least informed class of in the rudiments of science, or American citizens.
fewer, who are not able to read To draw a right conclusion, and write their names, than the and form a just comparison of our United States of America. This literary character with other na- general distribution of useful knowļ. tions, we must take into consider- edge and competency, saared by ation tlie general diffusion of almost every individual, is the beit knowledge, among every class of security of moral virtue; the strongpeople, and the peculiar genius of eit tie of social order, and the American science. In most coun. firmelt pillar of a republican gov, , tries, science, wealth and honours, ernment. are engrofled by a comparative Yet this fair and honourable few. With us, not only our hab- trait of our national character, has ats, manners, and laws, but our been entirely overlooked by for
eigo and domestic pedants, who of education tend to partial pero view every thing with a malignant fection ; ours to general improveeye, that does not fiatter their own ment.
Their science, unequally vanity; and think every thing out distributed as it is, may be comof joint, that does pot bend to their pared to the expanse of heaven; own wishes.
displaying now and then a daz. The literary epicure, having no zling meteor, but covered with a relisia for our simple and nutritive vapour, which hides the numerous fare, has turned away disgusted, fears of inferiour order : while the because we have not spread be comparative few, of the first magfore him the luxuries of learning. nitude, appear more conspicuous And the ignorant dolt, having from the mist which surrounds neither appetite nor digestion, has them. Ours is the clear hemifnever learned how to appreciate phere of a serene night, exhibiting that wholesome, common food in all its parts, stars of various which nourishes and invigorates, magnitudes, diffusing their beams without surfeiting, the mind of in every direction, without a fun every American, and is the fairelt to eclipse their glory; a cloud to production and noblest ornament veil their mild lustre; or a come of our country.
to dart its baleful fires. In Europe, the mode and means
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
of bodies changed to various forms I sing. DRYDEN I HAVE been always pleased ing from barbarity or policy, was with that fiction of the poets, such as scarcely to entitle them to which marked the different de- the character of rational beings. grees of human excellence by the Writing and reading were qualifidifferent metals, and have lately cations respectable from their rariamused myself with the question, ty ; but the Arts and Sciences whether the state of female man- were thought objects so much beners may not be denoted in the yond the reach of their intellects, fame way, and at separate stages that it was thought presumptuous resolved into Gold, Silver, Iron, in a female even to name them. or Brafs? The question has at The few thining exceptions that least novelty to recommend it, and were fortunate enough to burst may perhaps in future call forth through the barriers of prejudice, the powers of some more inge- could not boast of exciting cither nious investigator.
admiration or esteem, but were In the last century, the educa- rather looked upon as lufus nature; tion of women, whether proceed as a warning rather than an exam
ple. It is observable, that at this might be very dutiful and very period female excellence was fup- dull. They now, in a secret posed entirely to confift in man- manner, mingled with the pleafaging the affairs of the kitchen. ures of the town ; they frequentA lady knew of an admirable re- ed plays, where it had hitherto ceipt to make Marmalade, but per- been considered infamous for wohaps could not spell the words of men to be seen, but cautioully which it was compofed; and could made their appearance muffled up fet an excellent dinner on the ta- and concealed in a hood and mark. ble, when the vulgarity of her They'ventured to walk out, atconversation rendered her unfit tended by their maid, and would for fitting at the head of it. The even appoint a lover in fome repeedle was the ceaseless inftru- tired part of St. James's park. ment employed by that hand, Love affailed their willing hearts which now wields the pen ; books in serenades and poems; thei (if we except The Family Phyl- most trivial actions were magniiician, The Complete House-Keep-ed in hyperbolical poetry, and the er, and a few more of a similar humble suitor taught his mistress tendency) were held in abhor- to believe that her frowns killed, rence, as stopping the labours of and her smiles revived him. This the needle or the wheel, and fill- was the Silver Age of woman. ing their heads with idle nonsense. The tuneful tribe dignified while Love, that natural paßon of the they celebrated the beauty of the heart, was bound in severe fub- other sex, who on their part found jection ; “ his weapons blunted, modesty the most effectual female and extinct his fires." The lover charm. The artless felt, and the passed through a probation little hypocritical feigned it. short of the sufferings of the re- The Age of Iron and the Age nowned Oroondates. The lady, of Silver having each for a while with every look and motion watch- reigned in this our changeable ed, was thought a mere child till kingdom, it was thought adviseafive-and-twenty, and the fighing ble by those mighty though secret swain made his approaches with beings who mould female fashions, all the tardiness and regularity of that a third race of beings should a siege. This era of female man- give the law to fociety. They at ners, when despotic map lorded it first had some thoughts of revivover the suffering fex ; when wo- ing the Iron Age or Age of Dumen were taught every thing that ty, but it was discovered that the could make them menially useful, trouble and renewed subjection atand nothing that could make them tendant on fuch a scheme, would rationally agreeable, and duty was more than counterbalance the fame the only lesson enforced, may which its novelty would be calcu. properly be denominated the Iron lated to produce. It was found Age of the female sex.
that women had so long been unIn process of time this quaker- accustoined to the “ muzzle of like stiffness abated; women were restraint,” that any new attempt weary of acting the part of fer- to reduce them to obedience could vants, and men found that a wife only be followed by difaster and
defeat. The beluties of Bond- Dauntless her air, her gesture proud, ítreet took alırm at the bare mea.
Her voice theatrically loud, tion of the idea, and Lady Lucy
Asd masculine her itride. Termagant declared with fome
This third race of beings are in thing very like an oath, that fie full blossom at the present period, would sooner die outright, than and as the Sirit class was called the suffer her inlignificant husband to Iron Age, or the Age of Duty ; assume the reins of government, the second, the Silver Age, or after having detained him in fub: Age of Pleafure ; fo we may dejection upwards of fifteen years. nominate the third, the Brazen The Age of Silver, or, to speak Age, or Age of Rights: We without
a metaphor, the Age of fall presently see that this latter Pleasure, had continued long appellation is by no means imenough ; and besides, women of proper: an cxalted turn of mind were We will here pause for a moweary of being either the dolls or ment, and reflect on the progress the slaves of men ; they felt the which the female sex has gradualenergies of man beat in their ly made in what some people are bosoms ; they vented their com- pleased to call civilization. They plaints at first in duodecimo fighs, at first, as we have observed, ad. and afterwards in quarto upbraid. hered to their Duties ; afterwards, ings. Their fentiments assumed a as duty became irksome, they martial form ; many even aspired fastened on their Pleasures and to the Senate, and the exploits of now, on a sudden, a formidable Semiramis and Thalestris were no fair has started up, and profeffed longer reckoned fabulous. It had to teach her sex their Rights. The formerly been the fashion for a la- Rights of Man had already been dy to faint at sight of
tried with considerable success a spider, and to court the protecs among the refufe of male fociety, tion of the other fex by throwing and she who professed to teach the herself
it : it had also been Rights of Woman, was fure of customary to consider a blush as finding an audience equally nuthe greatest ornament of the fe- merous and select among her owa male cheek; but the very reverse fex. The hint ran like wildfire of this is the cafe at present. A through the nation ; complimentfashionable fair one of the presentary verses and mellifluous sonnets day, so far from courting the pro, dropped from the pens of the miteáion of man, takes some young nor poets, girls quitted their fellow under her protection, in or- samplers, housemaids threw aside der to bring him out, as the phrase the untwirled mop, and nothing is ; affumes the air and manners resounded from shore to shore but of a martial hero ; laughs and Mary and the Rights of Woman. talks at the opera louder than the This third feet, I am sorry to performers ; toffes her head, and observc, daily increases in the exhibits her ancle with as much number of its partizans ; the highfang froidl as any of the figuranti er ranks teeni with these indeon the stage :
pendent amazons, who take a box
at the theatre in their own name, The all-wise Author of the uni. and drive to the opera without verfe has so disposed it, that real even a boy chaperon to save ap- good frequently proceeds from appearances. They will even ride parent evil ; the lightning that on Sundays in Hyde-Park unes- is rends the knotted oak,” gives corted, and familiarly nod to their new vigour to the atmosphere, and male or female acquaintance with the storm which beats on the head as much assurance as if they were of the weary traveller imparts ferperforming a meritorious action. tility to the earth. In like manIn literature they wade through ner, the storms of faction have every novel that Leadep-hall-Street been known to strengthen and produces, because they are deter- ameliorate Governments, by pointmined to read every thing as it 'ing out their errors, changing their comes out, in defiance of the re- administrations, and rousing their peated shocks which morals, mod- flumbering energies. If such be esty, and sense must receive from the case in the natural and politsuch productions:
ical, may we not conclude that I had proceeded thus far with the moral world is bound by the my Lectures, when the entrance same law; and that a fourth Age of Benignus into my apartment is not far diftant, which moralifts caused me to lay down my pen, shall hail as a new and glorious at the very moment when inability epoch in female manners, under to proceed was about to have the the denomination of the Golden fame effect. I stated my situation Age, or Age of Virtue ? When to him without reserve, and con- the rigour of duty, the dalliance fessed that having set out with an of pleasure, the bold display of intention to create four Ages, I philofophic rights, shall not singly had illustrated three of them to and exclusively usurp the female my entire satisfaction, but felt my- mind, but Thall each be cleansed felf somewhat puzzled about the from its impurities, and be insenfourth. He smiled at my dilem- fibly mingled in one golden stream ma, and, seizing the pen I had of Humility, Modelty, and Wifthrown aside, produced the fol- dom. lowing conclufion to this Essay:
Humour, A FARMER having settled by much the best of all his cattle, in a country village, on a little and he was extremely mortified at farm, gained the esteem of the it ; but this was nothing to the whole neighbourhood. The first grief which he felt a short time year was hardly expired when he afterwards, when death also took very fine cow, which was away his wife. His neighbours P