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had, which never can have, any existence. They may learn that it is not the reserve of hypocrisy, the affected demeanour either of a prude or a coquette, that we admire; but it is the simple, graceful, natural modesty of a woman, whose mind is innocent.-With this belief impressed upon her heart, do you think, my dear friend, that she who can reflect and reason, would take the means to disgust where she wishes to please; or that she would incur contempt, when she knows how to secure esteem ?
think that she will employ artifice to entangle some heedless heart, when she knows that every heart which can be so won is not worth the winning ?-She will not look upon our sex either as dupes or tyrants; she will be aware of the important difference between evanescent passion, and that affection founded upon mutual esteem, which forms the permanent happiness of life.
I am not apprehensive, my dear Sir, that Cupid should be scared by the helmet of Minerva; he has conquered his idle fears, and has been familiarized to Minerva and the Muses.
• And now of power his darts are found,
Twice ten thousand times to wound."'* That the power of beauty over the human heart is infinitely increased by the associated ideas of virtue and intellectual excellence, has been long acknowledged.—A set of features, however regular, inspire but little admiration or enthusiasm, unless they be irradiated by that sun-shine of the soul which creates beauty. The expression of intelligent benevolence renders even homely features and cheeks of sorry graint agreeable ; and it has been observed, that the inost lasting attachments have not always been excited by the most beautiful of the sex. As men have become more cultivated, they have attended more to the expression of amiable and estimable qualities in the female countenance; and in all probability the taste for this species of beauty will increase amongst the good and wise. When agreeable qualities are connected with the view of any particular form, we learn to love that form, though it may have no other merit. Women who have no pretensions to Grecian beauty may, if their countenances are expressive of good temper and good sense, have some chance of pleasing men of cultivated minds.- In an excellent Reviews of Gillier's Essay on the Causes of the Perfection of Antique Sculpture, which I have just seen, it is observed, that our exclusive admiration of the physiognomy of the Greeks
* See the introduction of Cupid to the Muses and Minerva, in a charming poem of Mrs. Barbauld's--" The origin of song-writing,"—Would it not afford. a beautiful subject for a picture ?
arises from prejudice, since the Grecian countenance cannot be necessarily associated with any of the perfections which now distinguish accomplished or excellent men. This remark in a popular periodical work shews that the public mind is not bigotted in matters of taste, and that the standard is no longer supposed to be fixed by the voice of ancient authority. The changes that are made, in the opinions of our sex as to female beauty, according to the different situations in which women are placed, and the different qualities on which we fix the idea of their excellence, are curious and striking.--Ask a northern Indian, says a traveller who has lately visited them -ask a northern Indian what is beauty, and he will answer, a broad flat face, small eyes, high cheek bones, three or four broad black lines across each cheek, a low forehead, a large broad chin, a clumsy hook nose, &c. These beauties are greatly heightened, or at least rendered more valuable, when the possessor is capable of dressing all kinds of skins, converting them into the different parts of their clothing, and able to carry eight or ten stone in summer, or hául a much greater weight in winter.—Prince Matanahbee, adds this author, prided himself much upon the height and strength of his wives, and would frequently
' say, few women could carry or haul heavier loads. 'If some years ago, you had asked a Frenchman what he meant by beauty, he would have talked to you of l'air piquant, l'air spirituel, l'air noble, l'air comme il faut, and he would have referred ultimately to that je ne scais quoi, for which Parisian belles were formerly celebrated.-French women mixed much in company, the charms of what they called Esprit were admired in conversation, and the petit minios denoting lively wit and coquetry became fashionable in France, whilst gallantry and a taste for the pleasures of society prevailed. The countenance expressive of sober sense and modest reserve continue to be the taste of the English, who wisely prefer the pleasures of domestic life.-Domestic life should, however, be enlivened and embellished with all the wit and vivacity, and politeness for which French women were once admired, without admitting any of their vices or follies. The more men of literature and polished manners desire to spend their time in their own families, the more they must wish that their wives and daughters may have tastes and habits similar to their If they can meet with conversation suited to their taste at home, ihey will not be driven to clubs for companions; they will invite the inen of wit and science of their acquaintance to their own houses, instead of appointing some place of meeting from which ladies are to be excluded. This mixture of the talents, and knowledge of both sexes, must be advantageous to the incerests of society, by increasing domestic happiness.--Private virtues are public benefits : if each bee were content in his cell, there could be no grumbling hive, and if each cell were complete, the whole fabric must be perfect.
When you asserted, my dear Sir, that learned men usually prefer for their wives, women rather below than above the standard of mental mediocrity, you forgot many instances strongly in contradiction of this opinion.—Since I began this letter, I met with the following pathetic passage, which I cannot forbear transcribing.
“ The greatest part of the observations contained in the foregoing pages were derived from a lady, who is now beyond the reach of being affected by any thing in this sublunary world. Her beneficence of disposition induced her never to overlook any fact or circumstance that fell within the sphere of her observation, which promised to be in any respect beneficial to her fellow-creatures. To her gentle influence the public are indebted, if they be indeed indebted at all, for whatever useful hints may at any time have dropt from my pen. A being, she thought, who must depend so much as man does on the assistance of others, owes, as a debt to his fellow-creatures, the communication of the little useful knowledge that chance may have thrown in his way. Such has been my constant aim; such were the views of the wife of my bosom, the friend of my heart, who supported and assisted me in all my pursuits.—1 now feel a melancholy satisfaction in contemplating those objects she once delighted to elucidate."*
Dr. Gregory, Haller, and Lord Littleton, have, in the language of affection, poetry, and truth, described the pleasures which men of science and literature enjoy in an union with women, who can sympathize in all their thoughts and feelings, who can converse with them as equals, and live with them as friends; who can assist them in the important and delightful duty of educating their children ; who can make their family their most agreeable society, and their home the attractive centre of happiness.
Can women of uncultivated understandings make such wives or such mothers ?
* J. Anderson. Essay on the Management of a Dairy.
In vain, dear Caroline, you urge me to think ; I profess only to feel.
Reflect upon my own feelings ! Analyze my notions of happiness! explain to you my system !"_My system! But I have no system: that is the very difference between us. My notions of happiness cannot be resolved into simple, fixed, principles. Nor dare I even attempt to analyze them; the subtle essence would escape in the process: just punishment to the alchemist in morality!
You, Caroline, are of a more sedate, contemplative character. Philosophy becomes the rigid mistress of your life, enchanting enthusiasm the companion of mine. Suppose she lead me now and then in pursuit of a meteor; am not I happy in the chase? When one illusion vanishes, another shall appear, and still leading me forward towards an horizon that retreats as I advance, the happy prospect of futurity shall vanish only with my existence.
“ Reflect upon my feelings !”—Dear Caroline, is it not enough that I do feel ?-All that I dread is that apathy which philosophers call tranquillity. You tell me that by continually indulging I shall weaken my natural sensibility ;-are not all the faculties of the soul improved, refined by exercise, and why shall this be excepted from the general law?
But I must not, you tell me, indulge my taste for romance and poetry, lest I waste that sympathy on fiction which reality so much better deserves. My dear friend, let us cherish the precious propensity to pity! no matter what the object; sympathy with fiction or reality, arises from the same disposition.
When the sigh of compassion rises in my bosom, when the spontaneous tear starts from my eye, what frigid moralist shall “stop the genial current of the soul;" shall say to the tide of passion, so far shalt thou go, and no farther ?-Shall man presume to circumscribe that which Providence has left unbounded ?
But, Oh Caroline! if our feelings as well as our days are numbered; if by the immutable law of nature, apathy be the sleep of passion, and languor the necessary consequence of exertion; if indeed the pleasures of life are so ill proportioned to its duration, oh may that duration be shortened to me! Kind heaven, let not my soul die before my body!
Yes, if at this instant my guardian genius were to appear before me, and offering me the choice of my future destiny; on the one hand, the even temper, the poised judgment, the stoical serenity of philosophy; on the other, the eager genius, the exqusite sensibility of enthusiasm :-If the genius said to me “chuse:"_The lot of the one is great pleasure, and great pain-great virtues, and great defectsmardent hope and severe disappointment-extacy and despair:—the lot of the other is calm happiness unmixt with violent grief, virtue without heroism, respect without admiration, and a length of life, in which to every moment is allotted its proper portion of felicity :-Gracious genius, I should exclaim, if half my existence must be the sacrifice, take it; enthusiasm is my choice.
Such, my dear friend, would be my choice were I a man; as a woman, how much more readily should I determine!
What has woman to do with philosophy? The graces flourish not under her empire; a woman's part in life is to please, and Providence has assigned to her success' all the pride and pleasure of her being.
Then leave us our weakness, leave us our follies; they are our best arms.
6 Leave us to trifle with more grace and ease,
Whom folly pleases and whose follies please." The moment grave sense, and solid merit appear, adieu the bewitching caprice, the “ lively nonsense,” the exquisite, yet childish susceptibility which charms, interests, captivates.Belive me, our amiable defects win more than our noblest virtues. Love requires sympathy, and sympathy is seldom con