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is called 'curious and unnatural;' and the unfortunate poet is said to bave exposed himself more than those who indulge in open abuse," After all, the offence seems to be nothing more than his having made the female character at once both meek and dignified ; qualities which we must still think to be perfectly compatible, notwithstanding the convincing assurance of this ingenious writer, that meekness is always meekness.' From what particular class of ladies, his own ideas of the female character seem to be taken, may be better conjectured than expressed. : Theireatment, however, of which Milton has most right to complain, is not so much in the misrepresentation of bis meaning, as in the barbarous attempt on bis versifie cation; Hé for valour formed-she for modesty and loveliness!
The observations on the 'civil relation of woman to governa ment,' are not at all more satisfactory than the preceding. Who besides this writer erer thought of comparing women to 'oxen' and ' utensils ;' or who ever disputed that they rank above cats and dogs in being allowed to be amenable to the laws of their country? The chapter on the influence of rank and character, so far from being the production of a cap and bonnet, would disgrace the declamatory harangue of a sans-culottes. One passage will be quite sufficient as a specimen.
The higher classes envelope themselves in a mist of superiority, presumption, conceit and prejudice : which tends to shut out truth and pature, and in causing them to imagine themselves above the rest of the creation, hide all the real sympathies and data of truth that lie between them and the vulgar, which alone forms the basis of all reasoning and true knowledge. They travel in a fog, and pay the costly price of ige norance for their arrogance. They are ignorant that John, who drives the eoach in which they loll, has the mind of Pericles and the soul of Alexander, &e
.. After this, we are not in the least surprized to find bis ladyship espousing a notion, which has been recently so much amplified and adorned, ---that it is amongst shopkeepers, petty farmers, &c. that we would descend to find real feeling and affirnying that, with these interesting personages, we are not made sick with the exotic tontun ely of the great.'
Under the head of education, our bearded country woman has the goodness to inform us, that teaching children (we believe, however, she means young children) to read in the holy scriptures is a flagrant mistake'; and a few pages forward! we find him pouring a formidable broadside upon Mrs. Hannah More.
Mrs. H. More has lately given herself the trouble of compiling a one of notions ridiculously exact and severe, on many trifles which are perfectly harmless, and some which are even meritorious. When she walks of restraining girls from employing their fancy in making verses,
she certainly betrays more of the schoolmistress than the philosopher. Indeed, there is an air of disproportionate gravity throughout, above what the importance of the points upon which she insists will bear, which will never attract converts. Mankind are more deterred than invited by mere gravity itself. Her books are likely to sink into the hands of preceptresses at seminaries: for they are calculated for no other medium; and even there they will be read with disgust by the young and lively, and forgotten as as the task is over..Virtue lives with the greatest freedom and ease. Gayety is her delight, and nonsense a child she loves to play with. But, according to Mrs. More's account, it would take the wings of an eagle to get up to her temple: the claws of a dragon to open the door, when one got there: the appetite of a cormorant to swallow her food, and the stomach of an ostrich to di.
We believe our readers are now qualified to form a pretty correct notion of this author's capabilities as a critic; and are satisfied they will be quite willing to excuse us, if our subsequent remarks are rather cursory. From so profound a thinker as his ladyship appears to be, very original observations, no doubt, will be expected on such passions' as those of reserve, arrogance, sullenness, moroseness, gravity, obstinacy, patriotism, humanity, politeness, economy, liberty, candour, good temper, honour, and vivacity... A person who is possessed with the passion of superciliousness, we are told,
can comprehend nothing but the laugh of the hyena, and begins and ends with the wolves of the desert.' As for the passion of modesty, it should seem that “ in fact a modest manner seldom or never pleases.'
Modesty is a subdued sense of personal merit, a certain humility of mind.'...' People think they like modesty, but the description is all they like : the reality is too clumsy, too awkward, too inanimate.'- Modesty prevents a man from evincing himself. Emotions are struggling in his mind that he cannot place in order, and which he does not manifest: they become disorder,' (and dreadful catastrophe] . his wounded physiogBomy is a heap of ruins.
What sort of a lady wrote this ? Not less curious and original is the lucubration on love.
• To die for love is no proof of tenderness, but of stupidity of mind and obstipacy of temper. You may see people dying for love who have not docility enough to give up a conmon argument. And why do they die? because they have not docility enough to submit to the correction of disappointment.'
• As to women, they all wish to marry, because it is the most splen. did thing that can happen to them. If they do not advance in rank they acquire much consequence in the character of a matron, which as spinsters they cannot possess. And then the duties of a mistress of a house develops and exercises all the latest energies of genius of which most of them are possessed.',
The most surprising specimen of originality, however, is the
every sod be.
ingenious criticism on the decapitation of Irene by the Sultan Mustapha
• There is something in the story which would certainly be rather too barbarous in a Christian prince, but it is far from a brutal piece of barbarity. It was done in the true spirit of a monarch, a hero, and a man, who felt his dignity above being tarnished by a woman (there's a sneer for you !] And when you reflect that the eastern women are without education, and have nothing to recommend them but a fair outside, you may not only venture to pardon, but to allow there was some thing grand and elegant in the idea.
In perfect conformity to this hypothesis, is this writer's opis nion of a battle, as propounded under the passion' of Taste.
• A crowd is a very fine sight; but a battle is the most interessing grand spectacle that earth can ever afford. There all that is human is summed up in the present moment, felt without explanation, completed and understood by every one.
There numbers call forth solemn ideas, while the heavens stretch over man, and in the presence of thousands of his brethren he seems to appeal to the bosom of his God.-The army of Xerxes was such a sight as the world never saw before or after. The plains are covered, the skies are witnessing, and s comes a soldier's sepulchre." (Another improvement in the art of versió fication.) Never was there a line of more eloquent interest written by the band of man. The history of the world is brought to a crisis in the thought. Man struggles, his brother resists, " and every sod becomes a soldier's sepulchre." With similar eloquence and discernment we are assured, that
the expanse of the ocean would certainly swell the soul to much higher sublimity than all the horses of Arabia.'-But we have already condescended too far; and are really ashamed of dwelling any longer on a performance so utterly insignificant and contemptible. From the extract just quoted, one would inagine it to be the production of some half-witted ensign, stultified by the perusal of a hiap of French and Gerinan sentimental novels. That he now and then discovers a little ingenuity we will not deny it is only, however, in the way of attempting to think ; and it would be difficult to descry a thought fully formed in the whole treatise. Of its general merits, with the exception of the unhappy writer, it is impossible, we imagine, to entertain two opinions; we will only just add as some sort of consolation, that we should have contented ourselves with a much shorter exposure of his ladysbip's dull and vacuouse performance, had we not perceived, in the paltry artifice of emasculation, such a dishonourable attempt to stay the proceedings of criticism,--and in the employment of newspaper puffs and advertisements, such diligent efforts to take the public by surprize, and procure for the contrababe cargo a premature and very undeserved circulation,
Art. VIII. Report of the Committee of the African Institution, read at the
general Meeting on the 15th of July, 1807. 8vo. pp. 48. Price 1s.
Hatchard. 1807. Art. IX. Second Report of the Committee of the African Institution,
read at the annual general Meeting, on the 25th of March, 1808. To which is added a List of Subscribers. 8vo. PP. 58. Price 1s.
Hatchard.' 1808. Art. X. Third Report of the Directors of the African Institution, read
at the annual general Meeting, on the 25th of March, 1809. With
a List of Subscribers. 8vo. pp. 64. Price 1s. Hatchard. 1809. Art. X1. Fourth Report of the Directors of the African Institution, read
at the annual general Meeting, on the 28th of March, 1810. With a List of Subscribers. 8vo. pp. 120. Price 1s., 6d. Hatchard.
1810. WHOEVER is the person conscious of having originated
the idea of this institution, that person, it may fairly be presumed, can have very few consciousnesses equally gratifying ; since it is an institution of which he may justly be confident of the permanent existence, and of which the operation must be infallibly beneficial as far as it can be ex. tended, and may probably be at length extended, by at least an indirect influence, to the greater part of the least known and the most despised and oppressed division of the human race. That division has been regarded as so utterly abandoned to moral desolation, that it has been comparatively but little comprehended, excepting with respect to the abolition of its trade in human creatures, within the schemes, or even the speculations, of benevolent projectors: and the references made to it have so ordinarily been those in which European and national pride has expressed contempt, or those in which philanthropy has expressed despondency, that our very language seems reluctant to admit such phrases as African cia vilization, African literature, African science. And it is proper to observe, that the Institution which is prosecuting the designs unfolded in these reports, avoids affionting this hauteur of our language. It is not found talking of the African editions of the classics, or translations of the works of New ton; nor does it say a word of the future universities, or aca demies of arts and sciences, or observatories, of Kassina or Tombuctoo. In truth, the whole plan and the whole language are distinguished by an enlightened sobriety. While there is bo degree, even the most splendid, of African improvement, which the Institution deems it necessary to avow that it places beyond the limits of its remote and ultimate hopes, it does not suffer its attention to be fixed on those magnificent possibilities that may be dimly descried on the shadowy ridge that terminales a slope of extremely gentle ascent, and at Vol. VI.
taining its utmost elevation only at a vast distance. The preparation of means requisite in order to take the very first steps with full advantage is quite enough to occupy, for the present, the society's best deliberations and exertions. Yet the measures it is judiciously devising as a commencement, are not of a nature to onerate only to some assignable extent, to supersede themselves therefore by their own success, and leave, in process of time, the friends of Africa to the neces. sity of contriving quite a new system of means for following on the execution of the design: they are calculated to operate
. onward indefipitely, to admit of numberless modifications according to circumstances, and to coalesce, we trust, with all future well-judged projects of a specifically Christian philanthropy.
Most readers will recollect that this institution was formed immediately after the abolition of the slave trade, for the general object of attempting, for the benefit of the African nations, any thing which could be devised by a combination of the most enlightened understandings, aided, for practical efforts, by whatever pecuniary means might be furnished by individual liberality,--and for the particular one of exercising an extensive vigilance respecting the effectual enforcement of the abolition act, and detecting those attempts at evading it which it was natural to expect would be made, but of which no man had anticipated the ample success and impunity which are now proved to have attended them.-The meeting at which the first of these four reports was read, was that in which the institution may be regarded as having taken a complete consistence. That report explains the intentions of the society, and the subsequent ones relate its proceedings thus far. We will attempt a brief abstract of the explanation ånd the history.
The most essential particulars of the constitution, the objects, and the proposed expedients of the society are pere spicuously stated in the form of preliminary and constituent resolutions. The following resolutions, entered into at a meeting previous to that at which the first report was read, announce the origin and general design of the institution.
• 1. That this meeting is deeply impressed with a sense of the enormous wrongs which the natives of Africa have suffered in their intercourse with Europe; and from a desire to repair those wrongs, as well as from general feelings of benevolence, is anxious to adopt such measures as are best calculated to promote their civilization and happiness. -.2. That the approaching cessation of the slave-trade, hitherto carried on by Great Britain, America, and Denmark, will, in a considerable de gree, remove the barrier whicb has so long obstructed the natural course of social improvement in Africa; and that the way will be thereby