Imágenes de página

You may

I am

leading laconic questions, which “ I have already observed, that may put him into the way of discover the duties of their sex are more easiing the truth.

ly known than practised. The first On the present occafion ; having thing they should learn, is to be in for some time contemplated the love with their duty from a princirising sun, and made your pupil ple of interest; which is the only observe the hills and other neigh- means to render it easy. Every bouring objects on that fide, per- ftation and every age has its pecumitting him the while to talk about liar duties. We are easily acquaintthem without interruption, stand ed with them, provided we do but silent a few moments and affect a love them. Respect your condition profound meditation.

as a woman, and whatever station then address him thus : " providence thinks fit to allot you, " thinking that, when the sun set you will always be a woman of vir“ last night, it went down yonder cue. The effential point is to be “ beyond us: whereas, this morn- what nature formed us; we are al“ ing, you see, he is risen on the ways too propense to be what the opposite side of the plain, here, world would with us. " before us.

What can be the Researches into abstract and spe“ meaning of this ?" Say nothing culative truths, the principles and more; and, if he ask you any axioms of sciences, in short, whatthing about it, divert his attention, ever tends to generalize our ideas, for the present, by talking of some- is not the proper province of wothing else. Leave him to reflect on men; their studies should be reit himself, and be assured he will lative to points of practice; it bethink of your observation.

longs to them to apply those prinTo accustom a child to give at- ciples which men have discovered; tention to objects, and to make and it is their part to make observasensible truths appear striking to tions, which direct men to the eftahis imagination, it is necessary to blishment of general principles. All keep him some time in suspence the ideas of women, which have before they are explained or disco- not an immediate tendency to vered to him. If he should not points of duty, should be directed fufficiently comprehend the nature to the study of men, and to the atof the present question by the means tainments of those agreeable accomproposed, it may be rendered ftill plishments which have taste for more obvious, by diversifying the their object; for as to works of geterms of it. If he cannot compre- nius, they are beyond their capacihend in what manner the sun pro- ty: neither have they sufficient preceeds from its setting to its rising, cision or power of attention to suche knows at least how it proceeds deed in sciences which require acfrom its rising to its setting; he curacy: and as to physical knowhath ocular demonstration of this. ledge, it belongs to those only who Explain the first question, then, by are most active, moft inquisitive; the second, and if your pupil be who comprehend the greatest vanot extremely dull indeed, the ana- riety of objects ; in short, it be. logy is too obvious to escape him. · longs to those who have the strong

Such is our first lecture in cof- est powers, and who exercise them mography.” Vol. ii. p. 8.

molt, to judge of the relations be


tween sensible beings and the laws timate acquaintance both with ourof nature, A woman who is natu- felves and others, of which our narally weak, and does not carry her ture is capable; and it is thus that ideas to any great extent, knows art has a constant tendency to perhow to judge and make a properfect those endowments which nature eftimate of those movements which has bestowed. The sets to work, in order to aid her The world is the book of woweakness; and these movements men; if they do not read well it is are the passions of men. The me. their own fault, or fome passion chanism she employs is much more blinds them. Nevertheless, a true powerful than ours; for all her le- mistress of a family is not less a yers move the human heart. She recluse in her own house, than a must have the kill to incline us to nun in her convent. Therefore, do every thing which her sex will before a young virgin is married, not enable her to do of herself, and we ought to act with regard to her, which is necessary or agreeable to as they do, or at least ought to do, her; therefore the ought to study towards those who are to be conthe mind of man thoroughly, not fined in nunneries ;, that is, we the mind of man in general, ab- should thew them the pleasures they stractedly, but the disposition of the are to quit, before we suffer them men about her, the disposition of to renounce them, lest the false idea those men to whom she is subject, of pleasures to which they are straneither by the laws of her country, gers, should mislead their minds, or by the force of opinion. She and interrupt the felicity of their should learn to penetrate into their retirement. In France, young ladies real sentiments from their conversa- live in nunneries, and wives go tions, their actions, their looks and abroad in the world.

Among the gestures. She should also have the ancients it was just the reverse; the art, by her own conversation, acti- maidens, as I have observed, were ons, looks and gestures, to com- indulged with entertainments and municate those sentiments which public festivals; but wives lived are agreeable to them, without retired. This custom was more raseeming to intend it. Men will tional, and had a better tendency argue more philosophically about to preserve morals. A kind of cothe human heart; but women will quetry is allowed to young girls sead the heart of man better than who are unmarried; their grand they. It belongs to women, if I concern is to amuse themselves. But may be allowed the expression, to wives have other employment at form an experimental morality, and home, and they are no longer in to reduce the study of man to a fy- pursuit of husbands; but such a reftem. Women have most wit, men formation would not be for their have most genius ; women observe, interest, and unhappily they lead men reason; from the concurrence of the fashion. Mothers, however, both we derive the clearest light and make companions of your daughthe most perfect knowledge, which ters! cultivate in them a juft unthe human mind is, of itself, ca- derstanding and an honest heart, pable of attaining: in one word, and then hide nothing from them from hence we acquire the most in- which a chalte eye may view with


[ocr errors]

out offence. Balls, entertainments, hold them themselves. Her ež. public fights, even theatres; every ample, more efficacious than rea. thing which, seen improperly, de- fon itself, juftifies them in their own lights indiscreet youth, may with- eyes; and the authority of a moout danger be presented to the eye ther is an unanswerable plea for a of prudence. The more they are daughter. When I propose that a conversant with these tumultuous mother should introduce her daughpleasures, the sooner they will be ter to the world, it is upon the fupdisgusted with them.

position that she will represent it to But I hear the clamour arising her such as it is. against me! What girl is capable The evil begins still earlier. Conof refifting such dangerous exam- vents are, in fact, schools of co. ples ? They have no sooner seen quetry; not of that honest cothe world, than their heads are quetry of which I have just spoken, turned with every object; not one but of that which produces all the of them will resolve to quit it. extravagancies in women, and makes Perhaps this may be the case; but them the most ridiculous of all cobefore you have thewn them this quettes. When they quit the condeceitful picture, have you prepar- vents, to enter all at once into ed them to view it without emotion? mixed assemblies, young girls find · Have you acquainted them before- themselves where they could with.

hand with the objects it represents ? They have been educated for such Have you described them such as fociety, and is it to be wondered they really are? Have you armed that they are fond of it! I am cauthem againit the illufions of vanity ? tious of advancing

what I am going Have you inculcated into their ten- to say, for I fear I should mistake a der minds a relish for true pleasures, prejudice for an observation ; but which are not to be found in these it seems to me that, generally tumultuous scenes ? What mea- speaking, in protestant countries; fures, what precautions have you women have stronger attachments used to preserve them from that to their families, make more amiafalse tafte which misleads them? ble wives and more tender mothers So far from having opposed any than in catholic countries ; and if principles against the prevalence of this be the case, there is no doubt public prejudices, you have rather, but that the difference in part arikes nourished them. You have pre-' from the education al convents. viously made them enamoured with To love a tranquil and domestic those frivolous amusements they life, we ought to be well acquaintmeet with. You make them more ed with it; we should have expein love with them, by affording rienced the sweets of it from our them an opportunity of devoting infancy. It is in the house of our themselves to them. Young girls, parents that we must contract a reat their first entrance into the world, lish for our own family, and every have seldom any other governess woman, who has not been educated than their mother, who is often by her mother, will not choose to more filly than they, and who can- bring up her own children. Un. not thew them objects in any other happily private education is baniltlighcy than such in which they be- ed from great cities. Society is



become so general and fo inter- iodividual among you who has a
mixed, that there is no afylurn left mind thoroughly virtuous, then I
for retirement, and we even live in am a stranger to the manners of the
public at our own houses. In con- times." Vol. iv. p. 73.
Sequence of associating with all the
world, we have no longer any fa-
mily, and we scarce know our rela-

The doétrine of grace : or the office tions; we see them as ftrangers ;

and operations of the Holy Spirit and the simplicity of domestic man- vindicared from the insults of inners is lost, togecher with that

fidelity, and the abuses of fanatiagreeable familiarity which confti

cism: With some thoughts (humbly tutes its principal charm. Thus

offered to the confideration of the we imbibe with our very milk a re

established clergy) regarding the lith for the pleasures of the age, right method of defending religion and of the maxims which prevail in against the attacks of either party. the world.

In three books. Py William bishop Parents impose an outward re

of Gloucester. Atraint on their daughters, in hopes to meet with dupes who will marry WEAK friendfip, in almost them from their appearance. But every circumstance, proves as examine these young girls atten- noxious as false friendship; and tively for a moment.

Under an

false friendship is without doubt the affected air of constraint, they do most dangerous kind of enmity. but ill disguise the eager desires. This observation has never been which prey upon them; and you more fully verified, than in the may already read in their eyes their weak and the pretended friends of violent inclination to imitate their religion, fanatics and hypocrites. mothers. But they do not covet ? Their reasoning exposes it to the husband; they only long for the scorn of infidels, as absurd; their licence of matrimony. What oc- conduct raises a prejudice against it, casion can they have for a husband, either as a false pretence, or an inwhen they may have so many sufficient director of life. It is im. lovers ? But they stand in need of a possible for a man of real, that is, husband as a cover to their in- rational religion, to employ his. trigues*.. Modesty is in their time and abilities better than in looks, but licentiousness in their discrediting jointly, as well those bearts: That affected modesty is a who openly attack that facred bula symptom of it. They affect ii on- wark, as those whose conduct and ly to get rid of it the sooner. La- opinions expofe it to such attacks. dies of Paris and London, pardon This is the profeffed intention of me, I entreat you. Miracles are the work before us, on one of the not excepted in any place, but for most fundamental, the most valuamy own part I am not acquainted ble, and the most abused points in with any; and if there be a single the Chriftian fyftem. The learn

* The way of a man in his youth was one of the four things which the wise Solomon could not cump: ehend : the fifth was the impudence of an adultress, Quæ comedit, & tergen, os luum, dicit; non fum operatı malum. Prov. XXX, 20.


ed and right reverend author first whom they had brought to the labours to let in a just light the true knowledge of, and faith in, Jesus, office and operations of the Holy the Mefliah; 2, and the care of Spirit, and the true scripture-idea compofing a WRITTEN RULE for of inspiration. This point establish- the direction of the Church throughed, he sets up to scorn and ridicule out all ages. Now it being grantthe false and pretended schemes of ed, because, by the biftory of the methodists and other fanatics. Asts of the Apostles, it may be pro

This work, like all others of the ved, that they were divinely inspirfame author, is full of uncommon ed in the discharge of the temporesearches, conducted by a remark- rary part; it muit be very strong able spirit of fagacity and penetra- evidence, indeed, which can induce tion ; an extreme subtilty and re- an unprejudiced man to fufpect, finement appears in all his reason that they were left to themselves in ings, which are sometimes very sa. the execution of the other. Their tisfactory, as being drawn from a preaching could only profit their profound erudition, and a perfect contemporaries : For, instructions knowledge of the ideas of the times conveyed to future ages by Tradiand countries, where the sacred tion, are foon loft and forgotten; books were written, of the occasion or, what is worse, polluted and corof writing them, and of the connec- rupted with fables. It is reasonable tion between the old and the new therefore to think, that the Church testament. Where his reasonings was provided with a WRITTEN carry less conviction, they are, ne

The good providence of vertheless, and from the fame cause, God hath indeed made this proalways agreeable and entertaining. vision. And the Scriptures of the This order is not so exact as to New Testament have been received prevent his discufling several points, by all the Faithful, as divine Orawhich are buc slightly connected cles, as the inspired dictates of the with his principal subject. His Holy Spirit, till Superstition exfile is original and animated, but tending the notion of inspiration to abrupt and unequal. Few books an extravagant height, over-cautiabound with more lively fallies of ous believers joined with libertines, wit and humour, for which the au- (who had taken advantage of that thor has uncommon abilities, and folly) to deny or bring in question which he sometimes finds it diffi- all inspiration whatsoever. For excult to restrain, suffering them now tremes beget each other; and when and then to degenerate into too thus begotten, they are suffered, in great a degree of carelessness and order to preserve the ballance of freedom. We subjoin as a speci- the moral System, as frequently to men of his manner in the serious support as to destroy one another; and the ludicrous, the fifth chapter that, while they subsist, each may of his first book.

defeat the mischiefs which the other “ We may observe that the Mic threatens; and when they fall, both nistry of the first preachers of the of them may fall together. Gospel consisted of these two parts ;

I shall therefore take upon me to The temporary

and occafio- expose the extravagance of either nal instructions of those Christians folly; and then endeavour to fetele






« AnteriorContinuar »