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which indicated that his peace was built upon the prospect of a future life, and not a reconciliation with the present. He never after spoke to me of his love, or desired my company in his evening walks to the wood; but fell, by swift degrees, into a hectic fever, which ended in a consumption; and Eugenio died in my arms.
About an hour before his departure, he put into my hands a little packet, which I afterwards found to contain many passages of his life, and some letters to his dear Amelia; which, in the course of my papers, I shall give to the public, to serve as an example to the gay youths of the present day, and those dull merry fellows to whom solitude is penance, and reflection is loss of time. Ever since the death of my poor friend Eugenio, I have loved to indulge the melancholy recollection of him in solitary moonlight walks, and have ever entertained a particular fancy for natural vistas. I revere, methinks, St. Austin the more, because his conversion happened in a grove; and my contempt for Xerxes is lessened, when I consider, that, in passing through Achaia, he would not permit a grove that was dedicated to Jupiter to be violated, but ordered his army to regard it as sacred.
But for these meditations and reckonings with one's self, little that is decent or honourable would ripen into action ; life would be the anarchy of humours, and glory the grave of virtue. I am no friend to the Platonic system of ravings and reveries; but sometimes to cultivate the soul, and dilate its capacities by silent thought and reflection, is to turn our rest and indolence to account, and fit ourselves for the seasons of labour and exertion. A habit of serious thinking arms us at every point, and plants securities round our virtue in the moment of greatest
danger, when our minds are careless and unbent, and most accessible to passion and vice.
I shall conclude my paper of to-day with an agreeable little poem, though I cannot tell the reader how I came by it. I can only tell him it is not my own: it was among some loose papers, and caught my eye yesterday as they lay on my table. I introduce it, as being applicable to my present purpose. “ Says Body to MIND, 'Tis amazing to see,
We're so nearly related, yet ne'er can agree ;
I've a friend in reserve, who though slow is yet sure,
N° 9. SATURDAY, APRIL 7.
'Ορα γε μεν δη, καν γυναιξιν ως Αρης
WHEN I reflect upon the great influence which the characters of women have upon the lives and conduct of men; that our constitutions are determined, in a great measure, at our births ; that our infancy is moulded by their methods and maxims; that the first tendencies of our minds depend chiefly upon the direction they give to them; and that it is in a great measure the pride and emulation of our youth to gain their commendation and regard; I cannot think I have chosen my part ill, in determining to dedicate to them a great portion of my labours. The scheme of education is usually first considered in every endeavour to reform the manners of an age : but I look upon this as only watering the root of the tree; while such labours as have in view the improvement of the female world, reach to the very nature and condition of the soil itself, and reader it more kindly and productive.
What led me to this subject, was an account I received, a day or two ago, from a correspondent in town, who is always on the watch for any sudden growth of idle opinions that have novelty enough to seduce, and speciousness enough to betray. He tells me of a claim, just set up by some pretty theorists, about the rights of women.
Now the worst of it is, that these rights of women involve a question of competency very difficult to adjust: for suppose they prove ever so plainly, that the order of things has been shamefully reversed, and that nature designed that men should preside at the tea-table, regulate the household, and rule the nursery; while all the offices of state, and business of commerce, should pass into the hands of the ladies; yet it would be impossible for them to make unreasonable men come into these suitable arrangements, till they could acquire strength enough to strip us of our usurpations, confirmed to us by such long prescription, and such ancient prejudices.
As if, however, a violence of this nature was ac- . tually intended us, I find some very spirited lamentations, in a treatise that was handed about at our female society a few days ago, on the pernicious neglect of all muscular exercises at our female boarding-schools; so that it is plain how little the fair author agrees with Mons. Rousseau on that head, who thinks that “ the empire of woman is the empire of softness, of address, of complacency : her commands are caresses; her menaces are tears."
In this clamour about rights, my friend the projector has contrived to make himself heard ;, and is actually on the point of finishing the draught of a new system of female education, on a basis of justice, nature, and truth. He has favoured me with an abridgement of his plan, which I read at the last
meeting of our society, till my neighbour Blunt, and some of our married men of the old school, began to draw in their horns; and Mr. Barnaby, the churchwarden, gave the table such a resolute blow, that the echo was raised, three tumblers were shattered, and a general shock was given, of so unusual a violence in our society, that it seemed like an earthquake, or the return of chaos; and my curate could not close his mouth upon a very fine Colchester oyster, for the space of half a minute.
My friend the projector lays down a regular course of discipline for the week, in which nothing seems neglected, that can fit his fair students to shine in the civil, ecclesiastical, or military departments.
Monday.-- In the morning, being all equipped in buff jackets for the occasion, they will take their lessons in fencing, to bring their muscles into play after the repose of Sunday. The forenoon will be employed in their different studies, according to their different destinations. Some will be exercised in logic and polemic divinity; some will be lectured in litigation and forensic oratory; and others will be instructed in fortification and gunnery. The evening will be dedicated to athletic exercises and games, among which the Pyrrhic dance must never be omitted ; in which, according to ancient custom, the
young ladies will be armed with swords of box.
Tuesday. This day is to be devoted to polite arts: there will be models in each kind exhibited for the direction of their respective talents and geniuses ; care being taken to select such as are calculated to fill their conceptions with the sublime and noble. A Hercules, or Gladiator, are to be preferred to a Venus or a Niobe; and the soft graces of a Titian or a Guido, must give place to the bolder de