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Miss Apemode to quit his house; for we may fairly conclude, that
ACTIVITY OF THE WOMEN.
ART. VIII. On the Meriis of a Residence in France.-From the
(London) Monthly Magazine. A
T the hotel or inn where you arrive, you may find the husband in
the habit of going to market, and of keeping the books; but all other business, such as receiving the travellers, adjusting the bills, superintending the servants, male and female, falls under the province of madame. Again, if you go to an upholsterer's to buy a few articles of furniture, you may observe the husband superintending his workmen in the back shop or yard, but leaving it to his fair partner to treat with customers, to manage all cash receipts, and payments, and, in many cases, to fix on the articles to be purchased out of doors. The mercer's wife does not limit her services to the counter, or to the mechanical tasks of retailing and measuring—you see her at one time standing beside the desk, and giving directions to the clerks; at another you hear of her being absent on a journey to the manufacturing towns, and are desired to suspend your purchases, not till her return, which would be remote, but for the few days necessary to let her send home marks of her progress, 'car madame nous fait ses envois a mesure qu'elle fait ses achats.' In short, women in France are expected not only to lend an assisting hand to their husbands in business, but to take a lead in the management, to keep the correspondence, to calculate the rate of prices, and to do a number of things that imply not merely fidelity and vigilance, but the habit of deciding and acting by herself in the most important departments of the concern. We need hardly add, that they are abundantly zealous in points so nearly connected with the welfare of their families, and that the extent of assistance thus afforded to the husband far exceeds any idea that can be formed by those who have not resided in France. But all advantages have their drawbacks, and this assistance is not afforded without several important sacrifices, among
which we are to reckon the almost universal neglect of neatness in the interior of the house, and the more serious charge of inattention to the health of their children. The greater proportion of the latter are separated from their mothers at the time when parental tenderness is most wanted, and entrusted to country nurses, who are frequently very deficient in the means of preserving their health, or providing for their comfort.
If we look to the higher circles, we shall find every where examples of similar activity
and address. Your readers may have fresh in their minds the multiplied letters and applications of madame Ney, and the more fortunate exploit of madame Lavalette. They will not have forgotten the courageous stand made by the dutchess of Angouleme at Bordeaux, in March, 1815, and her repeated addresses to the troops of the garrison.
MORALS. This is a very delicate topic, and one on which I take the 11berty to differ from a great number of our countrymen. In nothing does the exaggerating propensity of the French appear more conspicuous than in the tale of scandal; not that such tales are particularly frequent in this country, but, because, when they do come forth, they are arrayed in a garb that would hardly ever enter into the imagination of any of our countrywomen. On our side of the channel a rumour, whether
of the public, generally has probability, in some degree, for its foundation; but in France all you require is the direct allegation, the confident assertion. Nobody thinks of scrutinizing your evidence, and you are in no danger of being afterwards reminded of your fallacy, in a country where almost every thing was absorbed in the thirst of novelty. A lady in France, who may happen to have a quarrel, or or who may give rise to a hostile feeling by her vanity or affectation, is not, as with us, merely satirised for the eccentricity of her dress or manner, but is doomed forthwith to encounter the most vehement attacks on her reputation. Lovers are immediately found out for her, and the circumstances of assignations are recapitulated with as much precision as if the parties had been present at the forbidden interview; if she has eclipsed her rivals at a ball, or received the marked attentions of a leading personage, the unkindly rumour will fly from mouth to mouth, without exciting, among at least ninetenths of the public, the least doubt of its reality. It lasts, indeed, only for a few weeks, until some other female becomes equally the object of jealousy, and is made to furnish materials for a fresh series of wondrous anecdotes. It is ten to one that, at the time of the arrival of an English traveller in a French town, the haute noblesse are occupied with some precious rumour of this description, and our moralizing countryman records it in his journal with a sad conviction of the depravity of the nation.
A residence of several years in a provincial town of considerable size, and of much genteel society, has satisfied me that nine-tenths of the tales circulated against particular individuals are unfounded, and were never meant by the inventors to produce any thing beyond a temporary discredit to the obnoxious party. Common sense tells us, that in every civilized country, a woman will look for her happiness in the affection of her husband, and in the esteem of the respectable part of her sex; nor can France be accounted an exception, unless it can be shown that, by some strange peculiarity, the men in that country are indifferent to the chastity of their wives and daughters, or the women callous to every thing in the shape of
vice. Gallantry is the vice of an idle man; it is characteristic of the higher ranks in France, in the same manner, and perhaps in a somewhat higher degree than in other countries; but how small is the proportion of these idlers to the great mass of the population! The middling and the lower ranks follow the same habits of industry as with us; a married couple can find a maintenance for their family only by a cordial support of each other; and the time of the husband is occupied to a degree that leaves him very little leisure for planning projects on his neighbour's wife.
There is, however, a very marked distinction in the degree of reprobation affixed by French and English ladies to individuals of their sex, labouring under unfavourable imputations. While, with us, the exclusion from society takes place on a general scale, in France, it is only partial, owing (not as the wags will argue) to a community of impropriety on the part of those who still continue their countenance; but to a facility of temper, a wish to view things on the favourable side, a credulity in listening to the vindication of the accused party, a partiality to whoever courts protection; in short, to a variety of causes that do more honour to the heart than the head.
Parents in France are very scrupulous in regard to their daughters, and make a rule of not allowing them to go into company or to places of amusement without the protection of a relation or friend, whose age or character will prevent any loose conversation from the young or giddy part of the other sex. This, to be sure is paying but a bad compliment to the male part of the society; but it gives an English family residing in France an assurance, that their daughters may go without hazard into female society, particularly of an age corresponding to their own. Music, drawing, and dancing, form in that country, as with us, the general occupation of unmarried ladies.
PARIS. There is a material difference between the French of Paris and the provincial towns, so that the favourable part of my picture is to be understood as applicable chiefly to the latter. Paris has always been the residence of an extraordinary number of oisifs, whether officers, noblesse, or others, who have just money enough to pay their way from day to day: and who, without being absolute adventurers, are perpetually falling into all the exceptionable habits of the inexperienced and idle. A Frenchman is the creature of habit, he has no fixed principles, and follows, with all imaginable pliancy, the example or solicitation of those with whom he happens to be connected for the moment. Such a flexibility of character must inevitably pave the way to a variety of irregularities; and eventually to vices; time is wasted at theatres, at shows, or at the more dangerous occupation of the gaming table? and, although the habitual exaggeration of the French leads them (when speaking of the vices of the metropolis) to exhibit a very outré picture, particularly in what relases to the fair sex, there can remain no doubt that Paris is a place to be avoided, and that it is the scene where, of all others, the national character of the French appears to the greatest disadvantage.
ART. IX.-Notoria; or Miscellaneous Articles of Philosophy, Lite
rature, and Politicsı The following Biographical Sketches are selected from the · Dictionary of
Living Authors' noticed in a former number of our Magazine. HANNAH MORE This distinguished leaving the fruits to justify both her ornament of her sex was one of the motives and her conduct. When the five daughters of a village school-mas- education of the princess Charlotte beter in the parish of Hanham, near Bris came an object of serious attention to tol. Her parents were so meanly situ- her illustrious friends, Mrs. Hannah ated as to be incapable of giving her More was consulted by the first lady in that education which she desired. The the kingdom, on which occasion she casual reading of an odd volume of published a work which was deservedly Richardson's Pamela, excited a thirstof stamped with the royal approbation, as knowledge which could not be allayed, well as that of the world at large. For and the kindness of some ladies in the
some years past, this valuable woman neighbourhood enabled her to gratify has been confined almost wholly to her her inclinations. Her improvement bed, by an exruciating illness, notwithwas so rapid as to attract general no- standing which writing is her chief detice, and among others who distinguish- light, and in this condition she has aced themselves as her friends, was the tually produced some of her most eslate Dr. Stonhouse of Bristol, who in- teemed performances, particularly a terested himself so zealously in her religious novel, calculated to render behalf as to enable her to set up a that species of literary amusement school, which prospered greatly under more serviceable to the diffusion of her management and that of her sisters. sound principles and virtuous practice By the doctor's kindness, she was in than seems generally to have been controduced to the acquaintance of Mr. sulted in works of fiction. Garrick , who encouraged ber to write JAMES Hogg a self-taught poet, born for the stage. Her performances in about 1772, who received no instructhis line became very popular, but af- tion after his eighth year, and was first ter some years the religious views of a cowherd, and afterwards a shepherd Miss More took so serious a turn as to at Ettrick, N. B. Mr. Walter Scott is produce a declaration in the preface to said to have interested himself so warmthe third volume of her works, that ly in his behalf as to bave obtained for she did not consider the stage, in its him by the sale of his works a decent present state, as becoming the appear- competence, consisting in a little farm ance or countenance of a Christian, on in the Highlands. which account she thought proper to JAMES LACKINGTON, a native of Sorenouuce her dramatic productions in mersetshire, of very humble origin, any other light than as mere poems. and originally a shoemaker, which proHaving realized an independence by an fession hệ quitted and became the venhonourable profession and the fruits of der of second-hand books in Chiswellher pen, this lady, with her sisters, re street. His success in this line was so tired, about twenty years ago, from great that he erected a spacious house Bristol to Mendip, where amongst the and shop in Finsbury-square, to which colliers and the labourers in the lead he gave the name of the Temple of the works, they have effected a wonderful Muses. Mr. Lackington was chiefly alteration, by erecting and superin- indebted to the members of Mr. Westending charity schools. Even this ley's society for his success in trade, good work, however, could not escape yet in his first literary performance opposition, and sorry we are to record, he treated the Methodists with unthat the attack came from a quarter warrantable severity. At that time, which ought to bave provided the most however, he had become the disciple prompt and zealous support to the dis- of Paine, but since his retirement from interested and Christian undertaking. business his religious impressions have A sharp controversy was carried on by been renewed, and he has built a meeta neighbouring clergyman against the ing-house for the people of his commuschools, and several others in their fa- nion at Taunton, where he now resides. Tour: but, to the honour of the founder Sir RICHARD PHILLIPS, Knt. was herself, she took no part in the strife, born in London in 1768, and educated
first at the school in Soho Square, and Thrale, an eminent brewer in Southnext at Chiswick. At an early period he wark, and for some years representaconceived an aversion to animal food, tive in parliament for that borough. On in an abstinence from which he has the death of that gentleman in 1781, continued to persevere ever since. He his widow and four daughters went to was brought up under his uncle, a reside at Bath, where, in 1784, Mrs. brewer in Oxford Street, but in 1786, Thrale gave her hand to an Italian he became partner in the management teacher of music named Gabriel Piozzi, of a school at Chester, from whence he with whom she visited the continent, removed, two years afterwards, to Lei- and remained at Florence some years. cester, where, in 1790, he opened a Mrs. Piozzi was the intimate friend bookseller's shop and began to publish and correspondent of Dr. Johnson, the Leicester Herald. In 1792 he dis- whose displeasure she incurred by her tinguished himself by his concern in very imprudent marriage; and when several canals, towards which he was the doctor died, she published letters a subscriber on paper, and turned his and anecdotes of that venerable chaenterprizing schemes to some advan- racter, without paying much regard to tage. The following year he was prose- the propriety of the selection, or the cuted for selling Paine's Rights of Man, verity of her relations. The late ingeand having been found guilty, was sen nious Joseph Baretti, in particular, tenced to be imprisoned twelve months was very severe in his animadversions in Leicester gaol. In 1795 his house on her conduct, and Dr. Wolcot puband printing office were consumed by lished an admirable poem, in which he flre, soon after which he came to Lon- exposed the literary lady and her comdon, and was enabled by the democra- petitor, Mr. Boswell, under the approtic party to set up the Monthly Maga- priate titles of “ Bozzy and Piozzi.” zine, which was designed to be the In the Miscellanies of Mrs. Apna Wilorgan of that faction, and in which liams, printed in 1765, is a very beaucause it has continued to operate effec- tiful tale written by Mrs Thrale, entitually enough from the period of its tled, “ The Three Warnings,” besides commencement to the present hour. which she communicated many light The success which the publisher ex essays and poetical effusions to other perienced in this work induced him to collections. embark pretty largely, first in the ho Madame DE STAEL-HOLSTEIN, is siery, and next in the bookselling busi- the only daughter of the celebrated ness, so that he found it expedient to M. Necker, by his wife Susan Curchod, remove from St. Paul's Church Yard the friend and correspondent of Gibbon. to New Bridge Street, where he carried She was born at Paris in 1768, and on a very extensive concern. In 1807, received the most liberal education he was chosen, by the management of under the eye of her accomplished pahis friends, one of the sheriffs of the rents. But as Madame Necker encity of London; and on going up with couraged an assembly of literary charan address in behalf of ministers, he acters at her house, in which questions accepted the honour of knighthood, to of morals, metaphysics, and politics, the greatastonishment of his republican were freely discussed, the young lady, friends. After various maneuvres to who witnessed these debates, very early support his establishment, his name ap- contracted a disputatious and paradoxipeared in the Gazette, and for some cal spirit. When young, she married months he led a life of obscurity at the baron de Stael-Holstein, Swedish Pimlico, but on obtaining his certifi- ambassador at the court of France, but cate, he again burst forth as a meteor the union was far from being an harin the sphere of literature. His Ma- monious one, as the husband soon pergazine having been purchased in by ceived that his wife was too proud of some of his friends, he became the her own intellectual powers to pay any avowed editor of that publication. deference to his opinions. She was
Mrs. HESTER Lynch Piozzi. This besides little attentive to those graces lady is the daughter of John Salusbury, which give a charm to the female char. Esq. of Bodvel in Caernarvonshire, acter, and her appearance was frewhere she was born about the year quently such as to create disgust by 1744. In 1763 she married Mr. Henry the carelessness of ber dress, and the