Page images

a remarks on the German drama, from the admired -> play The STRANGER; and she forbids the ladies

to see or read a play! She tells the ladies of Great Britain and Ireland, that The Female 9 Werter" asserts, in a work entitled “ The "Wrongs of Women,” that“ adultery is justifiable,

and that the restrictions placed on it by the “ laws of England constitutes one of the Wrongs « of Women.For H. More to advertise the existence of such a book, is an irremissible crime. There is no father or husband in England that will not reprobate her for it, and she cannot be considered but as a corrupter of the morals of the sex. She descants on depravity as gravely, and details its grossest acts as frigidly, as if its object were to allay the tumult of the passions, while it is letting them loose on mankind.

In p. -57, an apostrophized and awful address is directed to parents on this subject.

K Abuse not,” says she, “ so noble a quality as Chris. "tian candour, by misemploying it in instances to which

" it does not apply. Pity the wretched woman you dare 3“ not countenance; and bless Him who has made you to

“differ.' If unhappily she be your relation or friend, " anxiously watch for the period when she shall be deserted “ by her betrayer; and see if, by your Christian offices, "she can be snatched from a perpetuity of vice. But if, " through the Divine blessing on your patient endeavours, " she should ever be awakened to remorse, be not anxious " to restore the forlorn penitent to that society against " whose laws she has so grievously offended; and remem“ber, that her soliciting such a restoration, furnishes but too “plain a proof that she is not the penitent your partiality " would believe; since penitence is more anxious to make

K 2

« its peace with Heaven than with the world. To restore sa criminal to public society, is perhaps to, tempt her to “ repeat her crime, or to deaden her repentance for having committed it, as well as to insult & to injure that society." -

Reader! let me address thee! Is this the spirit of the religion of Jesus, which H, professes? Did he not command to forgive not seven, but seventy times seven? Did Jesus condemn the woman taken in adultery? When all left the i room, and he asked her, (since there was not an innocent person found among her accusers to cast a stone at her; and the cruel Hannah, if she had ) been present, would have perhaps, convicted by her own conscience, been obliged to go out also) “. Where are thine accusers? Hath no man con“demned thee?” She said, “ No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “ neither do I condemn “ thee-go, and sin no more." Let me ask Han nah, how she would like to be so treated by sa ciety. “Patere legem quam ipse tuleris.” Mrs. More is not yet brought to a sense of her sins: she has christianity yet to learn. Adultery is a great sin; but there are greater. It is more venal than “private accusations.” It is more venal than many falsehoods of which she is convicted. i Marvel not, Hannah, that I say, “ you must be “ born again.” . But, politically speaking, may not an adulteress reclaimed become a useful member of society, educate her children, discharge her duty to her husband and servants, and be again a mother. But driven out of society, the loss of which she has sustained perhaps by no

fault of her own, at most by the frailty of human nature, she, deserted by the virtuous part of the world, plungeth into iniquity, and debasing every virtue, losing every resemblance of the divine image, callously depraved, ends her existence in cursing that race, which, by shutting the door of human mercy against her, has taught her to despair of the divine pardon. Rigid and unrelenting virtue, is this the lesson thou teachest? No! the virtuous are always forgiving and humane. The Disciples only marvelled, like H. More, that

Jesus talked with the woman; yet no man durst į ask him, why talkest thou with her? But H. is : bolder, who would have us cast her out. ' * Oh! Hannah! “ If thou knewest the gift of 8 « God, and who it is that saith unto thee give me

“to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and « he would have given thee living water.”Mrs. More, pray always, “ Lord, give me this “ water (christian charity and candour) that I " thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

For candour and christian charity, the waggish Peter shames thee, thou cruel Hannah! “ I cannot drag the nymph to grinning day,

“ I cannot curse the nymph of yielding charms: “ Instead of casting the poor girl away,

“ Lord! I wou'd rather clasp her in my arms ! “ Hang on her lips, bestow the generous kiss ;

“ Catch the pure drop that leaves her liquid eye: “ And gently chiding the unlicensed bliss,

« Reclaim the beauteous mourner with a sigh.

“O think of love, ye ladies of hard hearts,

“ Lo, Nature weaves it close in every cranny!. “ Ey'n from OLD WOMEN rarely it departs,

- The subject sweet of many a shaking GRANNY. *** Oh, be the wounded prude who dares reprove,

“And furious charge the feeble MAID Or DAME, “ A nymph, who, cautious of the torch of Love, i “ Has never singed her honour at its flame!" · " In the meantime,” the lady continues, p. 58, “ there “ are other evils, ultimately perhaps tending to this, into 6 which we are falling, through that sort of fashionable so candour which, as was hinted above, is among the mis“ chievous characteristics of the present day; of which pe\riod perhaps it is not the smallest evil, that vices are made “ to look so like virtues, and are so assimilated to them, that it

requires watchfulness and judgment sufficiently to analyze 'ct and discriminate. There are certain women of good « fashion who practise irregularities not consistent with “ the strictness of virtué ; while their good sense and know“ ledge of the world make them at the same time keenly 66 alive to the value of reputation. They want to retain “ their indulgencies, without quite forfeiting their credit; 6 but finding their fame fast declining, they artfully cling, “ by flattery and marked attentions, to a few persons of “ more than ordinary character ; and thus, till they are i “driven to let go their hold, continue to prop a falling fame.”

One mode of doing all this, is to become a “ non-descript," and writé " cheap pious tracts," and “ strictures on female education.”

“ Christianity (p. 64) driven out from the rest « of the world, has still, blessed be God! a “ strong hold? in this country.". Is the former clause of this sentence true. Christianity is established in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Ger

many, Russia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and all America. Oh! Hannah, thy “ Young Levite” is surely a better historian and geographer than to tell you all this! This is not historically nor: morally orthodox. '

“ Let that very period which is desecrated (this is non-, “ sense) in another country, by a formal renunciation of “ religion, be solemnly marked by you to purposes diame“ trically opposite."

This is not true; for all religions have ever since the revolution been equally tolerated in France. But there was a time, a more consecrated period, a period, to restore which we have squandered hundreds of millions, and shed the blood of myriads, for which Mrs. More voted, when the pious, wise, and good Dr. Young, a christian indeed, could not get a grave in all France for his angel, his Narcissa,

O’er putrid earth to scratch a little dust.” I will not in my virtuous indignation at thee, weak woman, call their religion accursed. No! christianity is reverence to God, and love to man. But it has been perverted by the selfish, the designing, and, instead of a blessing, has been frequently a curse to man; and were it not for man's false education, and imposture, and for woman's false s strictures" on woman's education, would every where be man's friend. It is the non-descripts of every country, in their impious and ignorant zeal, would set man against man, and nation against nation, turning the gospel, God's best legacy to man, into lasciviousness, the motive,

« PreviousContinue »