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mind he was pictured as not less amiable, generous and kind, tfiafl great, wise and exalted. In fact, she had received few lessons of religion in her youth, and her religion was almost entirely of her own creation. But she was not on that account the les» attached to it, or the less scrupulous in discharging what she considered as its duties. She could not recollect the time when she had believed the doctrine of future punishments. The tenets of her system were the growth of her own moral taste, and her religion therefore had always been a gratification, never a terror, to her. She expected a future state; but she would not allow her ideas of that future state to be modified by the notions of judgment' and retribution. From this sketch, it is sufficiently evident, that the pleasure she took in an occasional attendance upon the sermons of Dr. Price, was not accompanied with a superstitious adherence to his doctrines. The fact is, that, as far down as the year 1787, she regularly frequented public worship, for the most part according to the forms of the church of England. After that period her attendance became less constant, and in no long time was wholly discontinued. I believe it may be admitted as a maxim, that no person of a well furnished mind, that has shaken oiF the implicit subjection of youth, and is not the zealous partizan of a sect, can bring himself to conform to the public and regular routine of sermons and prayers.'
The matrimonial happiness which Mr. and Mrs. G. enjoyed was but of short continuance. Their marriage was declared in April 1707, and on the 10th of September following she died in childbed, aged 38. The last chapter relates the particulars of her death, perhaps with more than necessary minuteness: but Mr. G.'s feelings on the occasion do him credit, and it is impossible not to feel with him. It is added;
'Her remains were deposited on the 15th of September, at ten o'clock in the morning in the church-yard of the parish church of St. Pancras, Middlesex. A few of the persons she most esteemed attended the ceremony; and a plain monument is now erecting on the spot, by some of her friends, with the following inscription:
"Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin,
"of the Rights of Woman.
A portrait of Mrs. Godwin is prefixed to this volume, engraved by Heath, from a painting by Optc.
Art. XIII. Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the
*the contents of these posthumous volumes are a novel, or ■* rather the fragment of a novel, Intitled "The Wrongs of Woman, Or Maria;"—Lessons for a child;—a series of Letters to a gentleman (we conclude, Mr. Imlay) who lived with her for a short time at Paris in matrimonial intimacy, but without marriage, and who left her pregnant, and finally formed another attachment;—a letter on the present character of the French nation, written from Paris, Feb. 15, 1793 ;—an introductory letter on the management of infants, with heads for a series of letters on the subject;—letters to Mr. Johnson, the bookseller;—extract from the Cave of Fancy, a tale;—a short essay on Poetry, and our relish for the beauties of nature ;— and Hints, chiefly designed to have been incorporated in the. Second Part of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Mr. Godwin, the editor, with a partiality which all readers of feeling will be tempted to excuse, supposes that, had his wife lived to fill up the sketch exhibited in the fragment intitled "The Wrongs of Woman," (which, in its present state, occupies the first and second volumes,) it would have given * a new impulse to the manners of the world.' Novels, however, though generally read, and though it is now the practice to make them the vehicles of new opinions, do not make so permanent an impression on the mind as their authors may imagine. That writer must be vain indeed who fancies that, by a fictitious tale, however well told, and interspersed with fine sentiments, he can give a new impulse to the manners of the world. Had Mrs. Wollstonecraft Godwin lived to finish her M Maria," the story might have been more satisfactory to her readers: but its moral effect or utility would not, we apprehend, have been at all increased. It is a proof of her genius; and the incidents are designed to justify an opinion respecting marriage, which circumstances of her own history, together with her husband's system, might have impressed deeply on her mind, viz. that it is the source of the greatest evil in society, and that women particularly suffer by it: but we ought to recollect that a particular recital, whether real or feigned, of matrimonial vice and mU sery, is no argument against the institution of marriage; which, on the whole, as Dr. Johnson says, " is no otherwise unhappy than human life is unhappy." Though the laws concerning it • are far from being perfect, and might be much improved, we should beware of lessening the respect that is due to this legitimate bond of love; and of so blackening the piqture of mar
tied life, as to leave an impression on the public mind favourable to love unrecognized by the law.
Mrs. Godwin says, in her preface, that 1 she should despise, or rather call her an ordinary woman, who could endure such »n husband as she has sketched ' but we would observe that the atrocious conduct of the husband does not justify all the subsequent conduct of the injured wife; and it is better to persuade the sex to submit to some inconvenicncies, than to encourage them to break dr:wn all the barriers of social virtue, and to prompt them to exclaim with Eloisa
** Curse on all laws but those which love has made."
We offer these remarks not because we wish to abet tyranny ia husbands, and to persuade wives, under the most cruel treatment, to think of nothing but tame unconditional submission, but becausewe think it a pernicious doctrine that a woman, when she deems herself ill-used by her husband, has a right to leave him, and to select another man to supply the husband's place. In all connections,evils or disagreeable circumstances may arise: but society is at an end if every individual be permitted to redress his own grievances;—and we add that religion is at an end if every female, who is crossed in love, or disappointed in her husband, is to be encouraged to commit an act of suicide.
While, therefore, we would do ample justice to the abilities manifested in this fragment, we cannot admire its moral tendency. Mrs. Godwin might tell us, perhaps, were she now alive, as she said of us in one of her letters to Mr. Johnson, that we have a "cant of virtue:" but we hope that we love it, and are sincerely anxious to promote its interests; especially among the fair sex, who, by reading novels, may possibly be turned out of its paths. Indeed, we are almost ashamed to prgue on these topics against the opinions of Mrs. Godwin; for we think that no great portion of experience, of common sense, and of consideration, can be requisite to enable every reader to controvert her doctrines.
The Letters to Mr.Imlay, which occupy the third and part of the fourth volume, would probably have been suppressed by most husbands: yet Mr. Godwin not only publishes them, but Introduces them with a preface, in which he declares them * to contain the finest examples of the language of sentiment and passion eyer presented to the world, and to bear a striking resemblance fr> the celebrated romance of Werter.'—They are indeed, as Mr. G says, « the offspring of a glowing imagiuation, and an heart penetrated with the passion it essays to de7 scribe and, in reading them, we have lamented that a he.art so animated with true, passion should have met with so cold a 3 return. return. Her love, however, was not combined with sufficient prudence; and hence perhaps arose her misery, of which these letters will now remain a monument. Some expressions in them are not the most delicate:—but, instead of attempting to give a general character of them, we will extract Letter II.
'I obey an emotion of my heart, which made me think of wishfrig thee, my love, good-night! before I go to rest, with more tenderness than I can to-morrow, when writing a hasty line or two under Colonel ——'s eye. You can scarcely imagine with what pleasure I anticipate the day, when we are to begin almost to live together; and you would smile to hear how many plans of employment I have in my head, now that I am confident my heart has found peace in your bosom.—Cherish me with that dignified tenderness, which I have only found in you; and your own dear girl will try to keep, under a quickness of feeling, that has sometimes given you painYes, I will be good, that I may deserve to be happy; and whilst you love me, I cannot again fall into the miserable state, which rendered life a burthen almost too heavy to be borne.
'But, good-night!—God bless you! Sterne says, that is equal to a kiss—yet I would rather give you the kiss into the bargain, glowing with gratitude to Heavefl, and affection to you. I like the word affection, because it signifies something habitual: and we are soon to meet, to try whether we have mind enough to keep our hearts warm.
* * * *
* I will be at the barrier a little after ten o'clock to-morrow.— Yours'
This was an assignation; and we are told, in the note, that a child was the consequence, and that it is called the " barrier girl," from a supposition that she owed her existence to this interview!—
The other pieces require no particular notice.
For NOVEMBER, 1798.
EDUCATION. Art. 14. OutUncs of a Plan of Instruction, adapted to the varied Purposes of active Life. To which is added, a detailed View of the System of Studies [Commercial and Professional], Moral Management, Discipline, and Internal Regulations, adopted in the Literary and Commercial Seminary established by the Rev. Samuel Catlow, at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Folio, 5 s. Boards. Johnson. 1798.
I N the first part of this tract, Mr. Catlow has detailed his ideas on the subject of education in general; and he submits them to the mercantile and other middle classes of the community, with a view of remedying the defects ia the prevailing mode of educating youth. .> Z 4' Thejc These defects, he conceives, arise principally from the want of a systematic plan of instruction, which would comprehend not only the ordinary objects of education, but a strict attention to the formation of the moral character and the communication of liberal knowledge; for he complains that the first feelings of our youth are not sufficiently arrested in the cause of virtue and morality, nor their first dawnings of sentiment and intelligence so skilfully directed, as to promise a considerable share of meridian splendor; 'it is,' he thinks, ' too much the lot of mankind to pick up their notions of morality, as they lie accidentally scattered in the walks of life, and not to gain them from a liberal scheme of instruction, early commenced, and perseveringly pursued; and also to glean their scanty scraps of knowledge from the desultory conversation of more privileged characters.'
In order to form a system of education which shall comprehend both these valuable objects, the author proceeds to consider the proper province of classical acquirements, the general tendency of mathematical studies, the importance of Philosophical Tuition, Natural History, the Study of the Human Mind, the Religious,. Social, and Moral Relations of Man, and lastly History.—The observations which occur on these topics display much good sense, but are very general and abstract; and seem calculated as much to display the learning of the writer, as t© assist the judgment of those to whom they are professedly directed, ' the mercantile and middle classes of the community.'
In the second part, we find a detailed view of the system of studies in the Mansfield Seminary.
For young people under the age of thirteen, whatever may be their future employment, the prescribed studies are Pronunciation and Reading, both Prose and Verse; Writing; Arithmetic and Bookkeeping; First Principles of Mathematics; Geography, in its general principles and application; General Grammar, combined in the accurate study of the English, Latin, and French Tongues, &c.
The line of Studies immediately referable to commercial life consists of, a critical attention to Grammar and the rules of Composition ; Arithmetical, Algebraical, and Mathematical Studies, till the, pupil shall be prepared tor the simple and the complex operations of the counting-house, and also for an investigation of the laws of nature and the general system of the universe; Natural Philosophy, with a view to the general illumination of the mind and the security of important advantages in various lines of trade and manufactures; Geography, antient and modern, with the use of the globes; Natural History; general view of the natural and intellectual Powers of Man; System of ethical or moral Principles; and History, antient, and modern, Sec.
Of those who are destined for the Professions, the studies are Latin translation, &c. English composition founded on classical authority v Logic, and the Belles Lettrcs; the Greek and Hebrew Languages, where required; antient Geography, combined with modern; Mythology of the Anticnts; Natural History ; Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; History, antient and modern*