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Ah! who can paint the feelings of her mind ?
. And now return'd in peace, the warrior-train
• Though Time, with rapid wing, has swept away
• O'er those romantic mounds, whenc'er I fray,
• But ah! too faint my numbers to display
And lives those pleasing moments o'er anew.' There is an excellence in this poem which few writers attain to, and which, from a female pen especially, is not always expected-it is uncommonly correct. The two Odes which are subjoined are evidently effusions of the same elegant and ingenuous mind.
Art. XIV. Advice from a Lady of Quality to her Children; in the
lat Stage of a lingering Illness. Translated from the French, by S. Glasse, D. D. F. R. S. Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty. 2 Vols. Small 8vo. 55. iewed. Rivington, &c. 1779. THIS work is recommended, in one of Pope Ganganelli's
1 letters, as a complete treatise on education. Such respectable testimony to its merit has induced the Translator to put it into an English dress. It is divided into twenty evening conferences, which a Lady of Quality is supposed to have had with her children, during the last stages of a lingering illness.
The Author seems no stranger to the human heart, nor to those arguments by which it may be influenced. The precepts laid down are, in general, striking and judicious, and the language in which the Translator has clothed them, is simple, concite, and elegant.
Our Readers may form fome idea of the style and spirit of this performance from the following extract, taken from the conference on Female Conduct :
• I have long wilhed, my dear daughter, for this opportunity of freely conversing with you on subjects of the utmost consequence to you. Your youth, the world into which you are going, the snares which it lays, and the few days which I have yet to live, all induce me to open my heart to you, and to give you some instructions relarive to your dangerous situation."
• If you could poflibly entertain a doubt of my affection; the ef. fort I am now making, when my soul is bowed down with fickness and sorrow, and sees nothing before it but the horrors of the grave, must needs convince you how earnestly I wish to secure your happi. ness. My wishes will never be realized, but while you are careful to lay down proper roles for your conduct, and suffer nothing afterwards to tempt you to break through them.
• If you are so unhappy as to give yourself up to the distraction of the world, you will no longer be able to maintain the dominion over your own heart : you will live an utter stranger to yourself ; and there will not be a single day, which you will know how to dispose of in a proper manner. The world is never to be satisfied ; che more we bestow upon it, the more unreasonable are its demands.
" Your sex requires the utmost circumspection ; what among men is reputed a venial fault, is an absolute crime with us. There are a thousand things said and done in their company, which a 'womaa ought neither to hear nor see. I would wish that a young woman should be filent and modeft ; and the world, diffipated as it is, expects the same. Its judgment of us is very severe ; and it offen fixes our character for life.'
• If you are over-solicitous to please ochers, you will run into a ridiculous affectation : you must make yourself agreeable to every one you converse with, without letting them fee that you are think ing about it. Nothing pleases which is not natural. A woman, who sets herself to draw the attention and admiration of all upon her, will soon become an arrant coquette, if she is not one already.
It is only a natural and virtuous behaviour, which will secure to you' esteem and approbation : if this should not succeed, so much the worse for those you meet with. Whatever happens, this truch is indisputable ; that one of the brightest ornaments of the sex is mo. defty: and that a young lady can never appear to greater advan. tage, than when she is utterly divested of affectation in her beha. viour.
Do not confound the ideas of modesty and timidity; the one pleases; the other distresses ; we cannot avoid being hurt, when we see a young person confused and disconcerted. There is such a thing as an ingenuous confidence, which should make you not un.
willing to speak, when the subject requires it; and to sing or dance, when a proper opportunity presents itself. If you are not vain, you will not be limorous to a fault.
• I shall be very sorry for you, if ever vanity takes postession of your heart; for then, inttead of being agreeable and communicative, you will be always unhappy in yourself, and your boldness will only serve to make you ridiculous to others. A difdainful carriage is that of a person of mean talents, and a bad heart; people of qua. Jity are less apt to assume it, than those of an inferior rank. We feldom endeavour to set ourselves off by pride, but when we have no other means of diftinguishing ourselves ; this is a ridiculous affecta. tion, which the world always laughs at, but never forgives: the more humiliating our behaviour is to others, the more pleasure do they take in letting us down.
• Affability will supply the want of those qualities, which you do pot postess: it is the best apology that I know for little imperfec. jions. Great allowances are always made for one who has no pride or pretensions to superior merit::but self-love naturally raises in us an oppontion to arrogance and presumption. Many women have become the subje&is of latire, only by their haughty behaviour. Your figure is not without its Thare of elegance; and the handsomer a lady is, the more ready people are so suspect that the is vain,
"The education I have hitherto given you convinces me, that the toilette will not engage your chief attention ; you ought to spend as much time at it, as is necessary for your decent appearance in com. pany. We must not fly in the face of fashion, or make ourselves remarkable by our fingularity : but there are certain crifies in dress, which we ought to despise. I hose, which make a woman a slave to her dress, are fit only for such weak minds, as the present age, with all its attachment to trifles, hath not yet learnt to eiteem.'
As to the last remark, even we Reviewers, seldom as we shew our thread-bare coats in the regions of elegance and fashion, know enough of the female world, to be sensible of its truth. Our fair countrywomen will, we doubt not, profit by an argument which has the sanction of our AUTHORITY. ist
Art. XV. Moral and Historical Memoirs. 8vo. 55. Boards. Dilly.
1779. THESE miscellaneous Essays (one of which, On un
1 restrained power, has already been noticed with approbation in our Review for July 1778,) contain a great variety of useful reflections on men and manners, which are evidently the result of a judicious and attentive observation of the world, and are manifestly written with the laudable design of stemming the torrent of fashionable follies, and restoring that fimplicity of manners and integrity of character, the present decline of which is too justly lamented by all wise and good men. The Author's remarks are illustrated and confirmed by a great variety of pertinent historical facts. Nothing seems wanting to render this Miscellany as pleasing as its general design is useful, but a greater attention to correctness and elegance of style, with respect to which we are sorry to remark, that the Author has discovered a great degree of negligence. ,
We select the following Essay on Conversation, partly on account of its brevity, but principally because it contains many useful remarks on a subject, which, perhaps more than most others, needs the correction and improvement of philosophy.
One of the greatest alleviations of the cares and troubles of life, is the amusement and relaxation we receive from the fatisfactions of conversation. They heighten the enjoyments of the table, which without their seasoning would be merely fensual, and are a grateful interruption of our serious and interested pursuits. They excite a mutual desire to please, foster benevolence, friendship, and good humour; they brighten wit, exercise me. mory, and gently solicit all the powers or fancy, imagination, and reason.
Were it necessary to define conversation, it might be called the free and personal communication of our opinions and senti. ments on domestic, political, or literary subjects ; for such are the topics to which Cicero seems to confine this intercourse, and to which perhaps it ought to be restrained. Hence, it is only in civilized countries, and among the learned and polished part of mankind, that any thing can sublist deserving the name of conversation. In the convivial mectings of savage life, the subject of discourse can be little but the incidents of hunting and the chace, or the events of irregular incursion, attack, or defence. In communities also, where the arts and sciences have made but inconsiderable progress, it must be very circumscribed and limited. Even in highly polished states, none can be said (with propriety) to converse, but those who have been fortunate in a liberal education, whose thoughts are raised above the common and vulgar cares and pursuits of life, and whose minds have been adorned and enlarged by reading, by company, and by travel. The more a man knows, the more he has seen, the more various and extensive his curiosity, and information, and knowledge of human affairs, the more qualified and capable he is of entertaining and interesting in society and good company.
In reading the accounts by sensible travellers of those countries, where science and letters are in a manner unknown or nea glected, and whereby the forms and corruption of the govern. ment, the attention of the community and individuals, is estranged from public affairs, one pities the languor and liftlessness of social and private entertainments. The enjoyments of the company seem entirely sensual. It is the palate, the senses only, that are excited and gratified, not the understanding and the fancy, the taste and the heart. The parties are enlivened, neither by wine nor by coffee: the one cannot give
che pain, to recimal nature and love
of philite and lead to and
them clearness of apprehension, because they have no materials for thought; the other supplies them not with fluency of expression, because they have nothing to communicate. It humbles and gives one pain, to see human reason fo greatly degraded, and lunk to a level with animal nature. The famous traveller Della Valle (whom a noble curiosity and love of knowledge conducted through Turkey, Persia, and a great part of India) gives a very natural description of such a sort of assembly or entertainment. It is during his stay at Hamadun in Persia. As it is long, I refer the reader to it. Let it fuffice to observe; there was plenty of every thing, the provisions and cookery of the country, wine, coffee, &c. but hardly a word passed, all was duiness and filence. « Non fi diceva mai una parola, e stavano tutti in filentio."
"In reading those two beautiful pictures of Grecian mana ners, the banquets of Plato and Xenophon, I have often wondered that so polite and learned a nation as Greece, nay; that a
company of philosophers, should be obliged to have recourse for , entertainment to the petulance and extravagance of buffoons, the unnatural postures and attitudes of singing boys and dancing girls. Yet we find this to have been a frequent practice even at Athens. It is alluded to in Plato's banquet, and Xenophon's; three of the principal characters are Philip, a fort of buffoon or merry Andrew, a singing and dancing or pofture-girl, and a boy that plays on the flute. If such helps to entertainment and cheerfulness were thought necessary in so polished a nation as Greece, and even admitted to the tables of philosophers, it is the less surprising they thould be so much in request where science and letters have made but little progress. Every body knows how necessary a character what they called a fool or dwarf, was during several ages at all the great tables of modern Europe; and even so lately as the times of our first . Charles, all persons of sense, moderation, and good nature, highly censured the morose and unbecoming severity of Bishop Laud to the satirical Archy. In countries where the topics of conversation are still more confined, the company is either ab. folutely silent (as we saw just now in Persia), or have recourse to a variety of games, of chance, or of kill, in order to banish languor, and keep attention awake. La Loubere tells us, that the Siamese (a civilized people) carry to such excess their passion for play, that they commit to the bazard of the die, not only their whole property, but their personal liberty, and even in spite of · natural affection, that of their wives and children. The same has been said of the ancient Germans, and of several savage and barbarous nations, made known to us by the discovery of America. The inhabitants of these less equal governments and forms of society, are driven to these fatal expedients in order to