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not wives? Were not they well prepared and sufficiently educated for that holy and happy state? Is Hannah herself a “widow bewitched, or a non“ descript wife.” Ye ladies of the middling classes, you are here told that she does not write for your instruction, “ but a more important class of “ females;" and I suppose she, consequently, does not wish you to read her book!
Dancing is ignorantly ridiculed. I suppose she herself does not like dancing, and is of Cicero's opinion, that “ Nemo fere saltat sobrius," because perhaps she never was taught, or if taught, was but a bad proficient. Dancing not only teaches to sit, stand and walk, but to act gracefully. There are beauties besides those of the face; beauties of förın, of action, motion, rest. As she is so fond of inculcating the fall of woman, I wonder she is not more desirous the ladies should recover the graces of the body, as well as of the mind, of the primæval fair. “ Grace was in all her steps,” &c. I confess, for my own part, I would not like for a wife a person who could not jig, and foot it a little. I would not indeed be ambitious of her dancing on a slack-rope at the opera, or on the stage ; but I think it indispensible she should be able to dance a country dance, do the Irish and Scotch steps (p. 84) and by all means “ setting," after Mr. Spectator's method. I love a little music too. It adorns a woman's graces and virtues, for it charms; and those who hate it, are fit for all the dark crimes the poet enumerates, as well as for “ private accusations." I dislike a timber
tuned wife! Every woman ought assuredly to be drilled, and learn to walk, and march as well as to step and foot it : but I would not bestow on either of these teachers a “ stipend that would “ make the pious Curate rich and happy.” As an ecclesiastic, I thank the benevolent lady; but I recollect, that but lately, she was not so very charitable to the Curate of Blagdon, whom she endeavoured to strip of his whole income. To intimidate the British ladies from cultivating the fine arts, the act is represented as a sure token of the degeneracy, fall, and speedy, dissolution of the empire, and any advancement to excellence as incompatable with female virtue, ranking them with the Phrynes (p. 88) Lais's, Aspasias, and Glyceras, all women of easy access in ancient times; courtezans, the most beautiful and accomplished in the world. Ladies ! throw away your pencils, and your pens also. The “ fa“ mous ode of Horace” is quoted, to Mrs. Hannah's shame ; for it would lead one to suspect her of being a matron; it ought never to have been metioned by her. I would not, as a inan, venture to read it in her hearing, yet she herself is not ashamed to call the attention of men and women to it, to tell the public she can read and talk of what ought not to be spoken of. So gross are some poems of that great moralist Horace, that a purged edition was a few years ago published for the use of young gentlemen. The woman that would mention such a poem, or its contents, before men, would be considered, not unjustly, as offering herself. Her words are, p. 89,
" 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 thụs “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, teach6 ing how to multiply its sources, and inventing new and “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 peer- a age 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 flourish. 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 reprobated, as having an 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 crite rion 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 enquire 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