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criticifm hall fully have emptied its quiver, and the indignation of public cenfure is overpaft.'
The first of these effays contains a flight review of the treatment of women in the different nations of the world. The fecond is on the influence which the treatment received by the female fex will have on the public tafte, manners, and morals of a people, and on private happiness. The third enquires concerning the nature, quality, and extent of female talents. The laft confifts of reflections on the dangers and infufficiency of boarding-schools, confidered as a mode of female education.
This Author writes with fepfe and fpirit, and prefents many obfervations worthy of attention. If at times he speaks of the fair and amiable fex with freedom, yet he evidently discovers a warm attachment to their comfort and happiness. In some inftances, his remarks are, perhaps, too general; or may admit of objections which would confiderably alter their nature. When he mentions that degrading treatment of the fex with which, in his apprehenfion, the earliest ages of the world are disfigured, he recurs to the facred writings, which, fays he, exhibit women engaged in the moft laborious and fervile employments, tending flocks, carrying water, and performing many other domeftic drudgeries, which, while they ftrike us as unfuited to the dignity of their character, or the delicacy of their frame, evidently bespeak the very low eftimation in which they were held.'-Now we must acknowlege that we do not entirely accord with this conclufion; for is it not very conceivable that they might meet with the trueft affection and refpect, that they might have real enjoyment, and take their fhare in moral culture and rational inftruction,' notwithstanding thofe employments which the nature and fimplicity of the times called for? Our Author farther adds, a confiderable civilization muft have taken place in any age or country, before the manners of women will be fufficiently captivating to raise our admiration, or we ourselves fhall have any fufceptibility of their many little nameless and delicate attractions.'-Here again we have fome hesitation; fince fweetness of difpofition, with innocent and artlefs manners, may probably do more to captivate and engage the heart, than the affectations, or hauteur, or artificial behaviour, too often produced by modern refinement. He tells us, in another place, after Tacitus, that of all people, perhaps, the ancient Germans had the greateft veneration for women:' now they, we imagine, were not in any confiderable ftate of civilization.
Whether that period has ever yet exifted in which women would find all that rational confequence he has defcribed, this writer is inclined to doubt. It is not vifible,' fays he, in the prefent face of Europe: has it been in the paft?' He proceeds to obferve that the morals of women will not fail to fuffer in the
general corruption occafioned by profperity, luxury, heated paffions, and unprincipled minds; all aided and increafed by licen tious writings, romances, novels, pictures, and the varied, indelicate reprefentations of the ftage, which, fays he, will accelerate the laft convulfions of virtue, and fmother the juft expiring embers of female referve. We will not ftay to examine the juftice of fo unpleafing a picture; nor to enquire minutely into his farther affertion, which, if true, affords the moft debafing character of the men; viz. That, whatever a cold-hearted politeness fays, or the affectation of fenfibility may pretend to feel, women, in this country, are confidered by the majority of men, but as inftruments of vanity or pleafure.-We would hope better things! -At the fame time it is to be feared there may be many to whom the full severity of fuch an account belongs. May they feel the lash in all its acutenefs! But we will not detain the reader by our animadverfions. With these fentiments of the fex, he obferves, a correfponding education is given. Perfon and manner are the great object. This in general is the employment of the governess. To this are devoted all the labours of the toilet. The confequence is, that they dazzle or inflame the fenfes, but convey no joy or relish to the heart. Young men, he adds, become infenfibly affimilated to the frivoloufnefs they addrefs and affect to admire. Hence we have very pretty preachers, we have amiable fenators, we have very polite officers, and few great men. Confequences, he adds, fo malignant, and fo comprehenfive in their effects, deferve confideration.
To these few extracts let us join the following paragraph, relative to a neighbouring kingdom: France is to far from being any proper model of female education, that I conceive it to be the vitiated taffe of this people, which, fet off with a graceful and bewitching manner, has infected many other countries of Europe, but particularly our own, and overwhelmed them, at leaft, with a deluge of frivolity, if not of crimes.'
In eftimating female talents, this writer allows every thing to their vivacity, their fenfibility and fancy; and obferves, that fo far as the qualities of the heart are concerned, the fexes will not bear a comparison. Women in this refpect have a marked fuperiority. If their retired domeftic life did not, of itself, lead to more innocence and contemplation, their natural difpofitions are certainly more favourable to piety and virtue. At the fame time we are told, that ftrong judgment and nice difcrimination are the more peculiar prerogative of the men. Were the female fex, fays he, conftituted to have our firmnefs and our depth, they would want their native and their strongest attractions: they would cease to be women, and they would ceafe to charm.
Nor let the fex,' he proceeds, fuppofe me their for. If I have not wholly mistaken the method, I mean to be their advo
cate and friend. I have left them the feeds of every thing that pleases and captivates in woman. Their brows were not intended to be ploughed with wrinkles, nor their innocent gaiety to be damped by abitraction. They were perpetually to pleafe, and perpetually to enliven. If we were to plan the edifice, they were to furnish the embellishments: if we were to lay out and cultivate the garden, they were beautifully to fringe its borders with flowers, and fill it with perfume. If we were deftined to fuperintend the management of kingdoms, they were to be the faireft ornaments of thofe kingdoms, the embellishments of fociety, and the fweetners of life.'
On a fubject fo delicate, we will not prefume to venture any decifion. We have endeavoured, as far as our limits would allow, to make our Readers a little acquainted with this Writer. He prefents us with a confiderable lift of literary ladies in former times, and mentions fome in the prefent.-I wish not, fays he, to deny their fame, or pluck one fingle well-earned laurel from their temples: but, he continues, prodigies of female genius do not prove at all the general state of female talents, or the ordinary level of female understanding.
The laft effay reprobates boarding-fchools, with fomé few exceptions. In this mode of education, he apprehends, are loft juft fentiments of piety and virtue, the religious government of the paffions, with all the lovely train of Chriftian graces: this, be conceives, firft infpires the rage for pleasure and diffipation; and whatever undomefticates a woman, fo far unmakes her, as to all the valuable purposes of her exiftence, and is at once the bane of her ufefulnefs, her happinefs, and virtue: nor can he imagine, that boarding-fchools give the fo much valued excellence of politeneis, but rather a formality and fliffness. He concludes with remarking, that-reafon, religion, the thrillings of affection, the voice of nature, the voice of God, the interefts of fociety, the happiness of private life, the dignity and true policy of women-all fay, that a mother fhould be the preceptress of her children. We ought to add, what he farther obferves himself, that the general tenour of his remarks on boarding-schools, principally applies to people in the higher ranks of life.
It is natural, in the clofe of this article, juft to fay, that no age has abounded fo much as the prefent with difcourfes and rules on the fubject of education; what benefit has been produced, every one must determine by the effects and events to which they are continually witneffes.-If, in any refpects, the prefent performance fhould be thought defective, it, however, certainly merits the regard and attention of the Public; as it contains many obfervations, reflections, and hints, which the judicious reader may apply to advantage.
ART. VII. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Vol. I. Continued. See Rev. for June, [vol. lxxviii.]
PAPERS OF THE PHYSICAL CLASS,
Experiments on the Motion of the Sap in Trees. By John Walker, D.D. M.D. &c. &c.
LTHOUGH the motion of the in plants is a fact
A which none of the writers on vegetable ftatics have doubt
ed; they have not however been uniform, or even confiftent, among themselves. Satisfactory experiments feemed to be wanting in order to determine the direction, velocity, and quantity, of the moving fluid. Dr. Walker has afcertained thefe points, by numerous experiments on trees, especially on the birch, which fhew, that the bleeding fap begins to flow at the root, to afcend flowly upward; and that, as it afcends, the tree bleeds fucceffively to the utmost extremities. One year the fap required 43 days to afcend twenty feet in the trunk of a birch, that is, on an average, nearly fix inches each day; another year, in the fame tree, the fap afcended to the fame height in 33 days, or about nine inches each day. In none of the experiments here related could any fap be perceived to arife, either by the pith or the bark; the whole fap was conveyed by the wood, and between the wood and the bark; it appears alfo, that it moves both in the fubftance of the ligneous circles, and in the veins by which they are separated; that in both it is in an afcending ftate; that it moves more expeditiously in the veins than in the circles themfelves, and more freely in young than in old circles, and confequently more freely in the exterior than in the interior parts of the trunk.
The caufe of the afcent of the fap is a curious and important point in the hiftory of vegetation; it remains, however, ftill invelloped in darkness. Dr. Walker's experiments, indeed, fhew, on many occafions, that heat is the prime agent in producing this effect: the incifions on the birch ran freely in the day time, efpecially during fun-fhine, but dried up regularly as the cold of the evening advanced. With a few exceptions, Dr. Walker generally found the afcent of the fap conftantly promoted by heat, and retarded and even ftopped by cold; yet the manner in which heat and cold produce these effects does not appear. It is probable that other caufes co-operate. A thorough knowlege of the ftructure of the plant might perhaps explain the pheno
The principal fact which Dr. Walker has afcertained is, that the fap, before the leaves of the tree appear, continually rifes ; what courfe it takes after that period is yet undetermined. The Doctor fays, that from a few trials which he has made, he has
been led to fufpect that, while the tree is in leaf, its fap obferves a different courfe.. We hope the ingenious Author will favour the Public with the relation of his experiments fubfequent to those which he hath already given.
The Theory of Rain. By James Hutton, M. D. F. R. S. Edin. and Member of the Royal Academy of Agriculture at Paris. It is a known fact that atmospheric air is capable of diffolving, with a certain degree of heat, a given quantity of water. Dr. Hutton, in the first part of the prefent memoir, afcertains the ratio of the diffolving power of air, in relation to water, in different degrees of heat; and fhews, that by mixing a portion of transparent humid warm air with a portion of cold air, the mixture becomes opake, and part of the water will be precipitated, or, in other words, the vapour will be condenfed into rain.
Having formed his theory of rain, founded on a general law refpecting the condenfation of watery vapour contained in the air, the Author proceeds to apply his theory to natural events; and, by confidering the meteorological obfervations, he either explains appearances that are not otherwife understood, or, from appearances that are evident, draws conclufions in confirmation of his theory. In doing this, he treats of the generality of rain, of its regularities and irregularities, of the comparative eftimate of climates, of the rife and fall of the barometer, and of feveral meteorological phenomena.
On the Caufes which affect the Accuracy of Barometrical Measurements. By John Playfair, A. M. F. R. S. Edin. Profeffor of Mathematics at Edinburgh.
The method of meafuring heights by barometrical obfervations has been brought to great exactnefs by M. de Luc, and other obfervers, who have followed his footfteps. Their forms, however, are all defective, being deduced from the fuppofition that the density of the atmosphere varies as the heat. Mr. Playfair thinks other circumstances ought to be taken into confideration. He fuppofes that the atmosphere is warmed by the earth, from the furface of which a quantity of heat is continually flowing off, and afcending through the different ftrata of the atmosphere into the regions of vacuity, or of æther: he fhews that this afcent of heat is uniform; and he inveftigates the degree of heat at a given height.
Though the decrease of heat in the fuperior ftrata of the atmosphere is proportional to their elevation, yet the condenfation produced by that decrease is not uniform, or, in other words, the variations in bulk of a given quantity of air are not proportional to its variations in temperature. Experiments for eftablishing these variations are wanting. Mr. Playfair therefore