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“ The famous ode of Horace, too gross to be either « quoted or referred to, &c.”
No modest woman could write so. When I read · this to Lady Mac Sarcasm, she blushed. It did not put me in mind of the “ fiddling figure" of “high-toned morality," but of the “ famous “ Dr. Graham's figure of full-toned virility." I incline to think her Levitical friend and assistant, « kind lad,” has here played a trick on Miss H. by introducing the story of the “ famous ode of “ Horace, which ought not to be quoted or re“ ferred to," with a view to gratify her affectation of learning at the expence of female delicacy! My wife is ashamed of it.
“The arts,” she adds, “ become agents of voluptuousness. “ They excite the imagination; and the imagination thus “ excited, and no longer under the government of strict “ principle, becomes the most dangerous stimulant of the “ passions ; promotes a too keen relish for pleasure, teach«ing how to multiply its sources, and inventing new and "s pernicious modes of artificial gratification."
To this I would answer, that degeneracy is not to be expected at least from our sailors; for as long as a midshipman may by merit rise to peerage and the highest command, so long will emulation and an active spirit exist. It is not so in the army, where every step is purchased. This island will always Aourish. Stabit quocunque jeceris. We have the commerce of the world, and manufactures ought to be encouraged. As . to the form and mode of dress, that is always, and always will and ought to be changing. Mac
Laurin says the use of the mechanic powers makes the difference between the civilized and savage state. Ought we not to wear the produce of our manufactures? To cavil at the cut of a man's coat, or the shape and fashion of a woman's robe, is as childish and absurd a habit of mind in the self-elected sumptuary censor, as the style of dress can be supposed to be extravagant and fantastic in the people. Nature ought to be assisted and directed. If it be desirable and practicable, by any speculative and theological doctrine that a system-monger should fabricate, to attain or recover that degree of purity, that rendered all costume unnecessary to the first pair, let Mrs. More set the example of going naked, without being ashamed. What deformities of person might then appear, when she shall have exposed herself will be known; but, unfortunately for her mental costume, cunning and artfulness have uniformly been of consistence not sufficiently dense, though strongly wove, to conceal the distortions and depravities of the heart; “ private accusations.". “ Not read Athanasian creed these seven years." “ He is a socinian, and a jacobin.” “ I will have “ him turned out of the curacy, deprived of his “ living, and unfrocked.”
Whatever may be said of Mrs. More's person; by her allusions to the “ famous ode of Horace,” and her “ agents of voluptuousness,” “ exciting “ the imagination,” “ stimulants of the passions,” &c. &c. her mind and imagination certainly are
far from pure, having apparently waded through many a dirty lane to acquire experience."
Hired Teachers (p. 97) are universally repro-bated, as having än immediate interest in, and deriving a rich and present crop from“ not caring “ how much the ground is impoverished for fu“ ture produce;" and parents are recommended to look to “permanent value, and continued fruit“fulness." If French, Italian, music, and dancing masters charge high for their lessons, it is certainly far more reasonable than the expence of having a set of these professors in every school, and in every family. These gentlemen owe no obligation to Miss Hannah. In case some superor sub-orthodox parent, or non-descript governess, should hereafter receive Mrs. More's criterion of " qualifications for instructors," she would do well to write a forma, or catechism for music and dancing masters, that they may know how to answer parents and governesses, when they en: quire into their faith, and fitness for giving lessons on the piano-forte, or the Scotch and Irish steps. This will be one step in proselytism, and securing and adding fiddlers, at least, to the society of nondescripts.
In every page, as my author advanceth, she more and more proves, that to make a book, rather than to furnish a plan of useful education, is her only object. Even children's balls furnish her with matter for some pages, but they are pages of folly, if not inanity. If children are to
learn to dance, they ought to dance together in numbers; and in a ball there can be no impropriety, but protracting it to too late an hour. It is always easier to censure, than correct or propose a better méthod; and this is uniformly verified in H. More. • Under the greatest alarm at “ the evils we are “ sustaining from modern France (p. 105) we for“get,” she says, “ those we were systematically “ importing under the old government;" and she is almost in hysterics lest governesses from that country should privately instil some opinions into their mind, and teach their pupils some pretty manual evolutions of catholic institution, although not long since she informed us, that, by law, all religion was abolished in France! · These alarms, at the same time they help to fill her volume, to answer a political purpose also, shew her mind is sick or depraved. But to be just and impartial, what have we which came not from France? Were not the French before us a free people? Ought we to blame them for endeavouring to recover their 'liberties? Did not we receive our vérý parliaments from that country? Are not our language and laws mixt with theirs? Have we not our best wines from them? Have they not civilized Europe, and rendered even the horrors of war more tolerable? I grant their enormities and crimes; but I would not de- , liberately tell a falsehood of them or of Mrs. More. The danger to religion is nothing but affectation, or a desire that non-descripts should be univer
sally our teachers (for if we believe her, the education of the infant Princess of Wales is directed by her) chosen by the grand test of the “ original “ corruptions of human nature ;" and this belief so easily assumed, so frequently the cloak of knavery, a succedaneum for all the virtues, is, in instructors,
to supply the place of all learning. . Mrs. More! Mankind and womankind will
dance and sing, to all which you declare yourself an enemy, and smile and laugh, and eat and drink, and be merry (for there will be evils enough, without allowing you to keep them in your Tropho“ nius's cave) and at proper seasons I hope they will pray, preach, and sing psalms too, whatever feeble dissuasives your unstable principles may propose. In hopes that it may do you good, I will here sing you a song, for, every hour this and every day of my life, I have either enunciatively prayed, or mentally lifted up my soul, to those regions where I hope one day magora canere; and I have no reason to be sad while the Omnipotent reigneth, while I avoid“ private accusations," and such naughty doings, and professing religion, more for the profession's sake than the practice. Alms-deeds are a very humble part of charity! Allons! Chantons !
Come gie 's a song, Sir Archy cry'd,
For what 's been done before them.
Whig and Tory, Whig and Tory,