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domestick occupations, in the arrangement of the household, in needle work, &c. but he would find the use of the distaff almost unknown to them, and that the knowledge of fashions had succeeded to the knowledge of domestick economy. Should he examine, whether they had acquired the accomplishments, to which they boast their time had been devoted, he would find their knowledge of musick sufficient to make them unwilling to play, but in the partial hearing of their own family ; he would see them fond of dancing, but unable to move with , grace ; pleased with poetry, but confining their admiration to the daily effusions of the newspapers; so enraptured with romance, as to devour every novel placed before them ; making perhaps an unusual effort to paint, and producing what is deemed exquisite by themselves and friends, because at the first view any one may know for what it was designed ; discarding the decent dress of their ancestors for ridiculous fashions, imported, from abroad ; and much more attentive at the playhouse, than at church. With such a picture before him, he might, without being deemed a skeptick, doubt the boasted superiority of our present manners ; whether the solid qualities of his day had not been exchanged for mere tinsel to catch the eye ; and whether women were now more useful members of the community, than formerly. Should he then observe onr morals, which were formerly preserved by strictness of authority, now left exposed to the rude buffets of the world, without one established. principle to guide thern amid the quicksands of passion, or to guard them against the contagion of corrupt examples, imported with our

fashions; and that they has (6 look to feeling alone for assisstance, I tremble lest his deubts should be removed, and the verdict be given in favour of his own age. Though we could not deny the justice of this decision, no one, I believe, would wish to bring back the manners of that age, when the mistress was little more than an upper servant in her own house, and her ideas not raised above that condition. Hin the first, settlement of this country, the men were wholly occupied in obtaining a bare subsistence ; and the aid of the female was necessary to add to their hard fare a few of the comforts of life. Custom continued what was commenced from necessity, even after an intercourse with other nations had introduced more liberal ideas. Most men, rivetted. to old habits, were unwilling to see their wives and daughters employ that time in improving their minds, which they thought ought to be occupied in domestick employments. These prejudices are now nearly removed; women are raised from their station in the kitchen to a rank in society; but no means are taken to prepare their minds for their new situation.” The infant is sent to sehool, because the avocations of the mother will not permit her attention to it. At school, its mind is first opened; but instead of having goodness instilled into it, and made a part of its constitution, it receives the knowledge of evil, from which the female mind, not designed for the bustle of the world, should be kept as long as possible. - At different schools she remains nine or tety years, learns to read, to answer by: rote such questions in geography as the common school-books contain, and perhaps may be enabled. to cast up a shopkeeper's account. From her dancing master she has not even learnt to walk; and ere she is a mother, the little musick she may have acquired, is quite forgotten. But is her mind now prepared, and has her education fitted her for acting her part in society 2 or are women born without minds, and only designed to continue the species 2 If so, we ought to have a tribunal of marriages, that by crossing the breed the race might be improved. But, without recurring to such monsters as Catharine and Elizabeth, history and our own experience inform us, that woman has ever possessed a mind fine and delicate ; and although its texture may frequently be destroyed by education in its infancy, that she was designed for the companion, not for the servant df man. This mind then should be cultivated, she should be taught to think as well as to read. For many, with a laudable desire of knowledge, but undirected in the means of obtaining it, feed with avidity on whatever books chance throws in their way, and think they have stored their minds, by lodgr ing the principal ideas in their banks of the river, orchards, meadows, and corn fields, cultivated by a laborious people, form varied pictures. Below the town the valley opens, presenting on one side an extensive meadow watered by continual springs, and on the other fields crowned by a circle of hills, whose gentle slope forms a pleasing contrast with the opposite rocks. Farther on, this circle is broken by a torrent which, from the mountains, rolls and bounds through forests, rocks, and precipices, till it falls into the Dordogne ... by one of the most beautiful catar racts of the continent, both for the volume of water, and the height of its fall ; a phenomenon which only wants more frequent spectators to be renowned and admired. It is near this cataract that the little farm of St. Thomas lies, where I used to read Virgil under the shade of the blossoming trees that surrounded our bee hives, and where their honey afforded me such delicious repasts. It is on the other side of the town, beyond the mill, and on the slope of the mountain, that the garden lies, where on welcome holidays my father used to lead me to gather grapes from the vines he himself had planted, or cherries, plums, and apples from the trees he had grafted. But the charm that my native village has left on my memory arises from the vivid impression I still retain of the first feelings, with which my soul was imbued and penetrated, by the inex. pressible tenderness that my parents shewed me. If I have any kindness in my character, I am ersuaded that I owe it to these gentle emotions, to the habitual happiness of loving and being loved. Ah! what a gift do we receive from heaven, when we are blessed with kind, affectionate parents : -

memories. But not knowing how to use their knowledge, it is of no more service to them, than treasure is to the miser, who always keeps it fast locked, and fears to look at it himself. She who only reads, instead of useful and nutritious herbs and flowers, will collect nettles and weeds, and at best will only obtain useless trash. If she really wishes to improve her mind, she must be willing to study, and thoroughly to understand every thing she undertakes ; and she will not then in yaän request the direction of her friends. She may do this, without neglecting those exteriour accomplishments, which give a captivating and irresistible

dignity to the female person. She

may be able to participate in all our joys, and alleviate all our cares; temper our ardour with moderation, and excite our dormant benevolence into action. She would then neither be regarded in the degraded state of a housekeeper, nor as a pretty toy to be admired; but as our best companion, for o God and nature designed

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* I also owed much to a certain amenity of manners that then distinguished my native place ; and indeed the simple gentle life we led there must have had some attraction, since nothing was more rare than to see the natives desert it. Their youth was instructed, and their colony distinguished itself in the neighbouring schools; but they returned again to their town, like a swarm of bees to the hive, with the sweets they had collected.” Marmontel is to be regarded as the immediate cause of the great change which has taken place in the dramatick world ; of simplicity in declamation,and truth in the costume of the theatre.- I

"had (says he) long been in the habit

of disputing with Mademoiselle Clairon, on the manner of declaiming tragick verses. I found in her playing too much violence and imretuosity, not enough suppleness and variety, and above all a force that, as it was not qualified, was more a-kin to rant than to sensibility. It was this that I endeavoured discreetly to make her understand. “You have,” I used to say to her, “all the means of excelling in your art; and great as you are, it would be easy for you still to rise above yourself, by managing more carefully the powers of which you are so prodigal. You oppose to me your brilliant successes, and those you have procured me; you oppose to me the opinions and the suffrages of your friends; you op. F. to me the authority of M. de oltaire : who himself recites his verses with emphasis, and who pretends that tragick verses require, in declamation, the same pomp as in the style ; and I can only answer I have an irresistible feeling, which tells me that declamation, like style, may be noble, majestick, tragick, with simplicity ; that expression, to be lively and profoundly penetrating, requires gradations, shades, unforeseen and sudden traits, which it cannot have when it is stretched and forced.” She used to reply sometimes with impatience, that I should never let her rest, till she had assumed a familiar and comick tone in tragedy. “Ah no, Mademoiselle,” said I, “ that you will never have ; nature has forbidden it ; you even have it not, while you are speaking to me ; the sound of your voice, the air of your countenance, your pronunciation, your gestures, your attitudes, are naturally noble. Dare only to confide in this native talent, and I dare warrant you will be the more tragick.” • Other counsels than mine prevailed, and, tired of being importunate without utility, I had yielded, when I saw the actress suddenly and voluntarily come over to my opinion. She came to play Roxane at the little theatre at Versailles. I went to see her at the toilette, and, for the first time, I found her dressed in the habit of a sultana ; without hoop, her arms half naked, and in the truth of Oriental costume : I congratulated her. “You will presently be delighted with me,” said she. “I have just been on a journey to Bourdeaux ; I found there but a very small theatre ; to which I was obliged to accommodate myself. The thought struck me of reducing my action to it, and of making trial of that simple declamation you have so often required of me. It had the greatest success there : I am going to try it again here, on this little theatre. Go and hear me. If it succeed as well, farewel my old declamation.” “The event surpassed her expectation and mine. It was no

longer the actress, it was Roxane herself,whom the audience thought they saw and heard. The astonishment, the illusion, the enchantment, was extreme. All inquired where are we ? They had heard nothing like it. I saw her after the play ; I would speak to her of the success she had just had. “Ah!” said she to me, “don’t you see that it ruins me 2 In all my characters, the costume must now be observed ; the truth of declamation requires that of dress ; all my rich stage-wardrobe is from this moment rejected ; I lose 1200 guineas worth of dresses ; but the sacrifice is made. You shall see me here within a week playing Electre to the life, as I have just played Roxane.” • It was the Electre of Crébillon, Instead of the ridiculous hoop, and the ample mourning robe, in which we had been accustomed to see her in this character, she appeared in the simple habit of a slave, dishevelled, and her arms loaded with long chains. She was admi, rable in it; and some time afterward, she was still more sublime in the Electre of Voltaire. This part, which Voltaire had made her declaim with a continual and monotonous lamentation, acquired, when spoken naturally, a beauty unknown to himself; for on seeing her play it on his theatre at Ferney, where she went to visit him, he exclaimed, bathed in tears and transported with admiration, “It is not I who wrote that, 'tis she: she has created her fiart 1" And indeed, by the infinite shades she introduced, by the expression she gave to the passions with which this character is filled, it was perhaps that of all others in which she was most astonishing. * Paris, as well as Versailles, recognised in these changes the true tragick accent, and the new degree of probability that the strict observance of costume gave to theatrical action. Thus, from that time all the actors were obliged to abandon their fringed gloves, their voluminous wigs, their feathered hats, and all the fantastick apparel, that had so long shocked the sight of all men of taste. Lekain himself followed the example of mademoiselle Clairon ; and from that moment their talents, thus perfected, excited mutual emulation, and were worthy rivals of each other.” Marmontel speaks thus of an interview with Massillon : “In one of our walks to Beaurer gard, the country-house of the bishoprick, we had the happiness to visit the venerable Massillon. The reception this illustrious old man gave us, was so full of kindness, his presence and the accent of his voice made so lively and tender an impression on me, that the recollection of it is one of the most grateful that I retain of what passed in my early years. * At that age, when the affec, tions of the mind and soul have, reciprocally, so sudden a communication, when reason and sentiment act and re-act on each other with so much rapidity, there is no one to whom it has not sometimes happened, on seeing a great man, to imprint on his forehead the fear tures that distinguished the character of his soul and genius. It was thus that among the wrinkles of that countenance already decayed, and in those eyes that were soon to be extinguished, I thought I could still trace the expression of that eloquence, so sensible, so tens der, so sublime, so profoundly penetrating, with which I had just been enchanted in his writings. He rmitted us to mention them to #. and to offer him the homage

of the religious tears they had made us shed.” The origin of Marmontel's celebrated Tales does him great credit. He had procured the apr pointment of Editor of the Mercure François for Boissy, a man of letters in distress; Boissy found himself unequal to the task of supporting the publication, and applied to Marmontel for his friendly aid : * Destitute of assistance, finding nothing passable in the papers that were left him, Boissy wrote me a letter, which was a true picture of distress. “You will in vain have given me the Mercure,” said he ; “this favour will be lost on me, if you do not add that of coming to my aid. Prose or verse, whatever you please, all will be good from your hand. But hasten to extricate me from the difficulty in which I now am ; I conjure you in the name of that friendship which I have vowed to you for the rest of my life.” “This letter roused me from my slumber ; I beheld this unhappy editor a prey to ridicule, and the Mercure decried in his hands, should he let his penury be seen, It put me in a fever for the whole night ; and it was in this state of crisis and agitation that I first cony ceived the idea of writing a tale. After having passed the night with, out closing my eyes, in rolling in my fancy the subject of that I have entitled Alcibiade, I got up, wrote it at a breath, without laying down my pen, and sent it off. This tale had an unexpected success. I had required that the name of its aux thor should be kept secret. No one knew to whom to attribute it; and at Helvétius's dinner, where the finest connoisseurs were, they did me the honour of ascribing it to Voltaire, or to Montesquieu.' .

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