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state are too frequent not to be known, and too fatal not to be avoided.

Whenever a young lady in easy circumstances appears to possess a genius and an inclination for learned pursuits, I will venture to say she ought, if her situation and connexions permit, to be early instructed in the elements of Latin and Greek. Her mind is certainly as capable of inprovement as that of the other sex. The instances which might be brought to prove this are all too well known to adunit of citation. And the method to be pursued must be exactly the same as that which is used in the private tuition of boys, when judiciously conducted.

And here I cannot refrain from adding, that though I disapprove, for the most part, of private tuition for boys, yet I very seriously recommend it to girls, with little exception. All sensible people agree in thinking, that large seminaries of young ladies, though managed with all the vigilance and caution which human abilities can exert, are in danger of great corruption. Vanity and vice will be introduced by some among a large number, and the contagion soon spreads with irresistible violence. Who can be so proper an instructor and guardian as a tender and a sensible mother? Where can virgin innocence and delicacy be better protected than under a parent's roof, and in a father's and a brother's bosom? Certainly no where, provided that the parents are sensible and virtuous, and that the house is free from improper or dangerous connections. But where the pareuts are much engaged in pleasure, or in business; where they are ignorant or vicious; where a family is exposed to the visits or constant company of libertine young persons; there it is certainly expedient to place a daughter under the care of some of those judicious inatrons who preside over the schools in or near the inetropolis. But I believe it often happens that young ladies are sent from their parent's eye, to these seminaries, principally with a view to form cons nexions. I leave it to the heart of a feeling father to determine, whether it is uot cruel * to endanger the morals of his offspring for the sake of interestf.

* It must be remembered that only those parents can incur this, censure, who keep their daughters at school after a certain age,

t One of the strongest arguments in favour of the literary edncation of women is, that it enables them to superintend the domes..

ON THE POETRY OF CHAUCER,

AND MORE ESPECIALLY OF THE CANTERBURY TALES.

Letter II.

Our pilgrims having partaken of the good cheer which the host of the Tabard set before them, who is described as “ bold of his speech, and wise, and well yťaught," were thus addressed by him :

tie education of their children in the earlier periods, especially of daughters. We are told, in the very elegant Dialogue ou the Causes of the Decline of Eloquence, that it was the glory of the ancient Roman matrons to devote themselves to economy, and the care of their children's education. Jamprimum filius ex castâ parente natus, uon in cellà emptæ nutricis educabatur, sed in gremio ac sinu matris, cujus præcipua laus erat, tueri domum et inservire liberis:

. : Sic Corneliam Gracchorum, sic Aureliam Julii Cæsaris, sic Attiam Augusti matrem, præfuisse educationibus liberorum accepimus. As soon as a son was born of a chaste parent, he was not brought up in the cottage of some hireling nurse, but in the lap and the bosom of his mother, whose principal merit it was to take care of the house, and to devote herself to the service of the children. ... Thus are we told, Cor: nelia, the mother of the Gracchi, thus Aurelian of Julius Cæsar, thus Attia, of Augustus, presided over the education of their children. And, with respect to its not being the custom to teach ladies Latin, we inay say, in the words of the learned Matron in Erasmus, Quid mihi citas vulgum, pessimum 'rei gerendæ auctorem? Quid mihi consuetudinem, omnium malarum rerum magistram ? Optimis assuescendum; ita fiet solitum, quod erat insolitum; et suave fiet, quod erat insuave ; fiet decorum, qulod videbatur indecorum. Why do you tell me of the generality of people, the very worst pattern of conduct ? Why do you talk to me of the custom, the teacher of all that is bad? Let us accustom ourselves to that which we know is best. So that will become vsuul which was unusual, and that will become agreeable which was disagreeable, and that fashionable which appeared un fashionable.

He of whom antiquity boasts itself, as of the wisest of mortals, was instructed in many elegant and profound subjects of learning by a lady.

Ασπασια μεν τοι ή σοφη του Σωκράτους διδασκαλος των ρυToporiuw hoywy. Aspasia, the learned lady, was the preceptress of Sodrades in rhetoric.

ATHENÆUS.. Πλατων τον Σωκρατην παρ αυτ ης φησι μαθειν τα πολιτικα. Plato says that Socrates learned politics of her. HARPOCRATION.

See some excellent remarks on the subject of giving daughters a learned education, in Eras. Epist. to Budæus, cited in Jortin's Eras. vol. ii. p. 366. - 10-36 3

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« Lordings, quoth he, now hearken for the best,
But take it not I pray you in disdain ;
This is the point to speak it flat and plain,
That each of you, to shorten other's way
In this voyage, shall tellen tales tway,
To Canterbury ward, I mean it so,
And homeward he shall tellen other two,
Of adventures, whilome that did befal;
And which of you him beareth best of all;
That is to say, that telleth in this case,
Tales of best sentence, and of best solace,
Shall have a supper at our common cost,
Here in this place, and sitting by this post,
When we come back again from Canterbury,
And for to making you the more merry,
I will myself civilly with you ride ;
Right at mine own cost, and will be your guide.”

L. 790, et seq This proposal of the host's was assented to by the whole party, who proceeded on their journey the following morning, escorted by their new companion. They decided the order of the tales by lot, and it fell to the Knight to relate the first. Of the Knight's tale Dryden thus speaks. " I prefer in Chaucer, far above his other stories, the noble poem of Palamon and Arcite, which is of the epic kind, and perhaps not much inferior to the Ilias or the Æneis : the story is more pleasing than either of them, the manners as perfect, the diction as poetical, the learning as deep and various, and the disposition full as artful, only it includes a greater length of time, taking up ten years at least.” The story was taken by Chaucer from an old Italian author, for Boccacio refers to it in his seventh Giornata. I think Dryden, in his great zeal to praise his favourite author, has said more than the poem in question will warrant, especially when he talks of the manners being perfect, since Chaucer has strangely enough jumbled together the customs and practices of chivalry with the times and persons of remote antiquity. However, it is certainly la proof of the great and intrinsic excellence of the poem, that we acquiesce in this incongruity, and find ample amends for it in the interest of the story, and the vivid colouring of the poetry.

The Knight having finished his tale, the Miller, the Reve, the Cook, the Man of Law, the Squire, the Mer chant,and the rest of the party in turn, each relates a story, The prologue prefixed to each contains the observations of the company on the preceding narrative, mapy of

which are highly descriptive of the manners and the tem, pèr of the times. The Friar having inveighed against the bribery and corruption of the spiritual courts, the Som pnour * retaliated very severely on the Friar by relating in his tale an instance of their fraud and hypocrisy. After the Prioress had related her story of the murder of a Christian child by the Jews, who, notwithstanding his throat had been cut, sang, to the amazement of the beholders, “ both loude and clere," it came to Chaucer's turn to tell his story.

« When said was thiş miracle, every man

As sober was, as wonder was to see,
'Till that our host to joke again hegan,

And that at length he looked upon me,

And speaking thus" What man art thou,” quoth he,
“ Thou lookest as thou wouldest find a hare,
For ever on the ground I see thee stare.
“ Approach more near, and look up merrily,

Now ware you, Sirs, and let this man have place ;
He in the waist is shap'd as well as I,

This were a puppet in arms to embrace

For any woman small and fair of face.
« Say something now, since other folks have said,

Tell us a tale of mirth, and that anon."
“ Host,” quoth I, “ be not ill afraid,

For other tale of certain can 1 none,

But of a rhyme I learned years agone.”
« Yes that is good,” quoth he, “ now we sball hear

Some dainty thing, me thinketh, by thy cheer.”
Chaucer then begins to relate “ The Rime of Sir

Thopas" in a metre and style quite different from the rest, as if he was not the author, but merely the reporter of the tales. This story, however, does not at all please “ mine host, who interrupts Chaucer, after he had related about two hundred lines,

.“ No more of this, for God bis dignity,"

Quoth then our host-
Thou dost nought else but to dispend our time;
Sir, at one word, thou shall no longer rhyme,
Let's see whether thou can'st tell ought in jest,
Or tell in prose of somewhat at the least,

In which there may be some mirth or doctrine.”
Chaucer accordingly obeys, and tells his story in " plain,

* The Sompnour was an inferior officer, whose business it was to gummon delinquents before the ecclesiastical courts.

simple 'prosé." The Parson, whose turn 'was last, excuses himself from telling a story, but offers to give them an exhortation, as more suitable to the gravity of his character. This is agreed to on the part of the con, pany, and with his discourse the tales finish, for we are not informed what befel the company on their arrival at Canterbury, nor whether they journeyed home together. . Oct. 30, 1808.

É. D..

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Was, at'her first setting out in the world, a plebeian of the lowest rank, and sold oranges at the playhouse. Some affirm that she was born in a night-cellar; certain, it is, that she rambled from tavern to tavern, entertaining the company with her songs. As early as the year 1667, she was admitted in the Theatre-royal, and was mistress to Hart, to Lacy, and to Buckhurst. She became eminent in her profession as an actress, and performed the most spirited parts with admirable address. The pert prattle of the orange-wench by degrees refined into a wit, which pleased our Charles the Second, Shę ingratiated herself into her sovereign's affection, in which she retained a place to the time of her death, Dryden was very partial to her, and greatly assisted her in her rise at the Theatre; in return, when possessed of the power, she distinguished the poet by particular marks of gratitude. Many benevolent actions are recorded of her; and perhaps she was the only one of the King's mistresses who was never guilty of any infidelity towards him. It is ludicrous, perhaps, but it is never. theless trué, that Madam Gwynn (for so she was latterly called) piqued herself on her attachment to the Church of England. She was low in stature, and careless of her dress; but her pictures represent her as handsome, She died in 1687.

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