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heart. But truth or love must be the grand stand-point, to which these playful basis of all genuine social enjoyment. witticisms are but so many erordia, Not intoxication of the spirits-not mere seems to be this :-" The present posicompliance with formalities--not fullest tion of women in society is the result of occupation of rank--but that genuine physical force.”—(p. 234.) This is a heart-flow which two or three may make distinct and full proposition. The conup as fully as a thousand. They alone firmatory testimony is in a nutshell, and will create and keep alive such charms is equally satisfactory * Whoever as will outlast life, and only make the doubts it, let her reflect why she is afraid domestic state happy. Without them, to go out in the evening without the prothe subjects of the education mentioned tection of a man." We repeat it again above must look for an appreciation of now reversing the terms, and supplying their unreal and factitious attractions, to the minor of the premises—thus reduca constant, and, as it appears to us, im- ing it to the form of a proper enthymeme: modest, connection with publicity. This Woman is afraid to go out in the evening connection matured, forms that gangrene without the protection of a man; man's on our social life which is called Fa- physical force is the occasion of the fear; .shionable Society,—that society of which therefore, the present position of women Madame de Stäel says justly :-"How in society is the result of physical force. hard it makes the heart, how frivolous The logic is even better than the sentithe mind! How it makes us live for ment; and the logic is shocking. She what others may say of us !" Of this follows her proposition in this language: monarch among women, Mrs. C., by the “ What constitutes the danger of aggresway, frequently reminds us—from her sion? Superior physical strength uncon. impassioned bursts of feeling, and exag- trolled by the moral sentiments. That ani. gerated tones. This much, even, we mal instinct and brute force now govern count high praise.
the world, is painfully apparent in the conBut what have we here? “You ask dition of wornen everywhere,-from the my opinions about Women's Rights. Morduan Tartars, whose ceremony of mar. We must confess, that after our happy riage consists in placing the bride on a mat, agreement with Mrs. C. upon a some- and consigning her to the bridegroom, with what kindred topic, we approached this
the words, Here, wolf, take thy lamb'chapter with some tremor—(for not wil- to the German remark, that • Stiff ale, lingly would we disagree)—feeling that stinging tobacco, and a girl in her smart the subject was one which required a
dress, are the best things. The same thing, great deal of quiet tact and shrewdness, peeps out in Stephens' remark, that 'wo
sostened by the refinements of civilization, and very little of impassioned or imagi- man never looks so interesting as when native feeling, for proper management, leaning on the arm of a soldier:' and in And we knew, and the reader knows
Hazlitt's complaint that it is not easy to from what glimpses he may have already keep up conversation with women in com. had, that Mrs. C. could not bring to the pany. It is thought a piece of rudeness to discussion the requisite faculties, and differ from them: it is not quite fair to ask held in excess those which were unfit. them a reason for what they say.'”-(pp.
She opens with some pleasant retorts 234–5.) upon those who have fancied that wo- We fear we shall be guilty of a piece man's interference with public business of rudeness, in saying that these reasons, would be necessarily accompanied with which we have without the asking, ap'boldness and vulgarity, Next, she ad- pear to us to be no reasons at all. Such vances the agreeable idea, that the mild- a silly remark as this--a man never apness of woman's nature approaches more pears so interesting as when in the dress nearly to the Gospel standard of excel- of a soldier, with a woman leaning on his dence than any attainments of manly su- arm, would seem to our obtuse senses as premacy, or any manifestations of men- good proof that “animal instinct and brute tal courage. The boldness of her opin- force now govern the world,” as the ion on this point goes so far as even to equally silly remark which Mrs. C. quotes liken the meek expression and beauty of from Stephens. If she wishes to make woman to the Great Head of Christian- out the fact—that woman is everywhere ity;* but the acute intellect and political dependent upon the superior energies and cunning of man, to-the Devil! But her physical power of man for protection
* Vide p. 234.
it is granted, before it is stated; and the that I consider prevalent opinions and cusreasons why it is so, are demonstrative; toms highly unfavorable to the moral and and the reasons why it should be so, in- intellectual development of women; and I tuitive,
need not say that in proportion to their true We cannot resist the temptation to
culture, women will be more useful and quote here a paragraph from an ingenious True Culture in them, as in men, consists
happy, and domestic life more perfected. treatise, by a lady writer, which covers
in the full and free development of indithe whole matter with sufficiency of rea
vidual character, regulated by their own soning, and wonderful aptness of illus- perceptions of what is true and their own tration :
love of what is good." “ All inconvenience is avoided by a slight We lay down the book here a moment, inferiority of strength and abilities in one
to express our general assent with the of the sexes. This gradually develops a last-quoted opinions, with this demurrer particular turn of character, a new class of only: we do not apprehend, with the affections and sentiments that humanize writer, that women anywhere need be and embellish the species more than any instructed to regulate their individual others. These lead at once, without art or hesitation, to a division of duties, needed character by their own perceptions of
what is true"-the need in the case we alike in all situations, and produce that order without which there can be no social suppose to be simply this : that those progression. In the treatise of The Hand, perceptions, and that "love," should be by Sir Charles Bell, we learn that the left rendered strong and definite. hand and foot are naturally a little weaker But we quote again; our writer apthan the right; the effect of this is to make pearing now in the new character of a us more prompt and dexterous than we prophetess :should otherwise be. If there were no difference at all between the right and left
“ The nearer society approaches to divine limbs, the slight degree of hesitation which order, the less separation will there be in hand to use, or which foot to put forward, the characters, duties, and pursuits of men would create an awkwardness that would
and women. Women will not become less operate more or less every moment of our gentle and graceful, but men will become lives, and the provision to prevent it seems
more so. Women will not neglect the care analogous to the difference Nature has made and education of their children, but men between the strength of the sexes.”
will find themselves ennobled and refined
by sharing those duties with them; and will We shall take the liberty of quoting receive in return co-operation and sympathy two or three detached passages from Mrs. in the discharge of various other duties noto C.'s chapter, that the curious reader may deemed inappropriate to women. The more be enabled to arrive a little more fully at
women become rational companions, parther peculiar ideas.
ners in business and in thought, as well as in
affection and amusement, the more highly “ There are few books,” says she," which will men appreciate home.” I can read through, without feeling insult. ed as a woman; but this insult is almost Is this true? The heart is an odd one universally conveyed through that which that feels it to be so. Home-why, it is was intended for praise. Just imagine, for the blessed, and ever to be blessed absence a moment, what impression it would make of worldly thought and anxiety, that on men, if women authors should write makes it let in such glimpses of Heaven. about their rosy lips,' and 'melting eyes,' What could breed quicker or fiercerand voluptuous forms,” as they write about than the coming-in of life's business and us! That women in general do not feel this kind of flattery to be an insult, I read
harassing cares--the ily admit: for, in the first place, they do
troublous storms that toss not perceive the gross chattel principle, of The private state, and render life unsweet! which it is the utterance; moreover, they But we quote once more-her closing have from long habit become accustomed paragraph : to consider themselves as household con
“ The conviction that woman's present veniences, or gilded toys. Hence they con. sider it feminine and pretty to abjure all position in society is a false one, and theresuch use of their faculties as would make fore reacts disastrously on the happiness them co-workers with man in the advance. slow degrees, on the common conscious
and improvement of man, is pressing, by ment of those great principles on which the
ness, through all the obstacles of bigotry, progress of society depends."
sensuality, and selfishness. As man apAgain : “I have said enough to show proaches to the truest life, he will perceive more and more that there is no separation Is it wrong for us to inquire, in this or discord in their mutual duties. They connection, where some of the more promwill be one, but it will be as affection and inent duties lie? And we fall back here thought are one; the treble and bass of the upon what we have previously said relasame harmonious tune."
tive to the sickening formalities of social We have thus given Mrs. C. the ben- life. Here lies work, in subduing, purgefit of her own representations; nor ing, and building anew.
It is an urgent would we let our language jar discord- duty of women everywhere to direct the antly upon the rich tone of prophecy in- weight of their influence against those to which she so naturally falls. We, too, dicta of fashion which are ridiculous in believe and trust in a higher harmony to themselves, and which curb every natube heard yet on earth ; but so far as the ral expression of thought or manner; respective duties of man and woman are which, discarding appropriate distincconcerned, we believe it will consist in tions between refinement and vulgarity, perfect and well-ordered distinction. education and ignorance, set up their Treble and bass make harmony, it is own unreal distinctions, guarding them true; but amalgamate them in a common with despotic sway, and blazoning them utterance, and the charm of the music is over with the false glare of their own degone. Affection and thought appear to ceits and follies. Tell us, Mrs. C., looking us in no way one. And if it were possi- back to your eloquent chapter of regrets ble to conceive of every thought as made at the mockery which invests social up of affection, and every affection as a usage, tell us, is woman fulfilling her mental act, the beauty of the one and the right vocation in adding to, more and force of the other would be lost. The more, the frivolities which consummate universe is in a noble sense one ; and in a the evil; and if she has not an appropriate conceivable sense distinct in parts. As work-more appropriate than new-moone, it has entireness, likeness, and gran- delling alms-houses, or satirizing civil deur of movement;-as many, its parts justice-in frowning down those pompous have their proper and peculiar action: vanities, and that empty ostentation, as one, it possesses a glorious harmony, which, together, are doing more to teach limited only by itself, and as more than ignorance and vice, that society is rotten, one, its several units possess the attri- is tottering and deserves to fall, than all butes of individual perfection, compara- the misregulations of prisons, or the erble only with themselves.
rors of legislation, or the most wanton Women's rights are one thing; wo- scapements of justice? To that woman, men's duties quite another. Very many your neighbor not the man, gross though women are disposed to discuss the first, he is—to the woman, following every shift. who are exceeding shy of the latter. ing tide of fashion in her dress and manMrs. C., in a rambling way, (all letters ner, obeying every idle requirement of are rambling,) runs over hoth grounds, its voice in her home and with her chiland ends with assuming that man's du- dren, levelling her distinctions with igties and women's should coalesce. This norant pride, sucking ever at the faintseems to us a meager handling of the est hope of enlisting public attention-no great issues-very meager. The grand from the prudence of her domestic manquestion is this—what duties, in this agement, not from the entireness of constrange, perplexed lifetime of ours, be- jugal devotion, not from the depth and long more appropriately to women than richness of her social qualities, not from to men? The next question is equally the diffusion of her benevolence, but from plain and to the point-are these duties the exquisite nicety of conformance with performed—fully, rightly, advantageous- certain arbitrary and soulless forms—to ly performed ?
her we bid you go, good Mrs. C., with your The question of man's duties and their pleading voice and your sharp invective, performance is another, and one for his and you will find work enough without conscience to deal with. And woman enlisting in man's duty of directing civil must have her question of duty, and be progress. Do you resort to the old bugguided in answer by her perception of bear, the criminality of society, in breed. what is true, and her love of what is good. ing and fostering its own ailments ? This And would to Heaven that those percep- is idle-idle before, and idle now. Such tions and that love were better fortified reasoning falls voiceless. with reason, and more familiar by frequent mentum ad hominem must be the appeal. appeals, than we have cause to think. Besides, we have not now to do with so
VOL 1.NO. I.
ciety in its corporate capacity. Social in dreams! What a book would it have life is the word, and here woman should been for a companion in summer-time, rule supreme arbitress of forms. She is for one to lounge with of a hot afternoon, responsible, and justly so, for every con- under grand old trees, whose leaves let trolling usage.
no spangle of the sunshine through upon We regret that our space compels us the grass where you lie-watching sun to leave the subject with this mere glance and shadow chasing each other far away, at one of its features. We may possibly and then the lights and shades of the take some future occasion to pursue our book, the original and the copy, at a thoughts further upon this and kindred glance. As it is, we see everyday scenes topics.
when we see them at all—for it is wonA word or two now about the book; derful how the writer, living in a city, for we should hardly be true to our office has found extrinsic sources of interest of reviewer without some such note. Yet through a prism. Every beggar we meet it would be scarcely fair to test its mat- is a Belisarius or Cervantes ; every ramter, as a whole, by any rules of critical ana. bling songstress a Corinne forsaken ; lysis. Written, as it seems to have been, every outcast a Lear without his crown; at different times, and without compari- every street-walker an Olivia Primrose. son of the parts, there is of necessity fre. And if she were to write us a novel--as quent repetition of some opinions and who knows but she may—there would phrases. Many things are for the like be in it enormities, but few realitiesreason carelessly said—some unprettily personifications, with few persons said ; and her illustrations, though fanci- there would be witches, but no Macduff; ful, are many of them crude and undi- Rob Roy, but no Nicol Jarvie ; Meg, but gested. But there is little that is com- no Dandie Dinmont; Burchell, but no mon-place in the volume. This is praise; Vicar; Titania and Peas Blossom, but no better praise than we wish we could give Snug or Bottom ; Ravenswood, but no parts of it, which seem to us objectiona. Caleb ; Juno, but no Andromache. ble in sentiment. Moreover, there is a It is, in short, a book for a steamboat vivacious naturalness about the book, ride, but not upon the Hudson ; to recompassing even its oddities, covering lieve a sick chamber, but the patient up its minor defects of rhetoric, that to must not be nervous; to engage a man one like ourselves, tired with the heat after business hours, but he must avoid and dust of this dry September, is re- the Woman's Rights. It is a book for freshing as an April shower. At times, you, indulgent reader, to run through too, there are scattered up and down over after this hasty comment, and say if you the letters little eloquent apostrophes, will be most her friend or our friendwhich, if we liken its general vivacity to or, better, friend to both. a shower, may in sequence be likened to One word more, and a kind one, to an iced draught of the pure element. Mrs. Child. We wish not to lessen oneWe have not even now said what we iota the amount of your influence, which might say, that there is an extravagant we believe to be considerable ; and so tone pervading the whole, which being believing, we implore you, by your hatred at once natural and graceful in the writer, of formalism and cant, of ostentation and we can by no means condemn; but the pride-by your sympathy with human same being strange and unsuited to a want, and your hearty relish for all that running comment upon practical matters, is natural and noble in thought and in .and such occasionally are sublimed by action, to direct that influence against the writer's touch, we cannot wholly the crying evils of social life. Your enerpraise. Mrs. C. should have written gies misdirected will avail less than those
Letters from the Country.” How re- of a weak man; rightly directed, they dolent would they have been of fresh air will avail more than those of the strongand springing verdure! how full of the est. “ Vale, nunc-tibique persuade, esse music of birds, and of leaves, and of te quidem mihi caram; sed multo fore brooks murmuring softly—as brooks do cariorem, si talibus preceptis lætabere.”
MR. CLAY—THE TEXAS QUESTION.
The life and character of Henry Clay nity of wide-seeing statesmanship, than are fully before the public. Were it that in which he now, at last, stands beotherwise, no brief space, which alone fore us, on the exciting question of the this journal could afford—a few pages admission of Texas into our Union. quickly and easily run over-would suf- And we esteem ourselves fortunate that fice for such a purpose. No scattered we can fortify our opinion by such a words of tribute could bring a man be- communication as follows, from one not fore us, who, for half a century, has filled blinded by the dust of any political arena, so large a space in the eye of the nation, but whose vision is the clearer, that he who, for all coming time, will occupy looks forth upon men and things from and adorn so large a portion of the na. the calmness of academic shades and the tion's history. But it is in all respects quiet repose of Letters. unnecessary. His humble childhood and early struggles, his subsequent long and
To the Editor of the American Review. brilliant career, his great public services and eminently noble qualities, have been Sir-I am no politician in the ordinary many times set forth and with the great- sense of that term; that is, I never have est distinctness. The various distin- held, and I never expect to hold office. guished positions which he has occupied My daily professional employments refrom the first are, perhaps, more familiar move me far from the strifes of elections to the people than those of any man, but and mass-meetings. T pursuits in Washington, who has arisen in the com- which I am constantly engaged are such monwealth. From his birth in a farm- as, in any ordinary condition of our counhouse of Virginia amid the conflict of try, would entirely shut me out from all the Revolution, and his entrance, an un- active participation in the political confriended youth, into the hardships of a tentions of the day; and yet I must con. professional life in the West, to his last fess a deep and, at times, a most exciting exit from the chief council of the nation interest in the result of the present elec-whether lifting the hand of eloquence tion. The reasons of this interest I wish at the bar or in the senate-chamber, to state, because they are somewhat difwhether raising a determined voice for ferent from those which are most usually the birth of other republics in the New urged upon the country. profess no World, and against the oppression of long- very deep understanding of the real struggling, famished, and down-trodden merits of those questions of tariff, curGreece, or presenting an equally deter- rency, and distribution, which most remined front towards the encroachments gard as the main matters at issue. As of executive power at home-whether far as I understand these points, I am in representing the dignity and worth of the favor of the Whig measures, at the same American name in a foreign country, or, time admitting that their opponents may in our own midst, forming, defending, es- possibly be right, that they present some tablishing, the great American System of fair arguments, and that their policy, if Finance, or, by the efforts of an almost wrong, could only produce a temporary despairing eloquence, saving the republic evil, soon to be rectified when the misfrom dishonor, disunion, and ruin-no chief should be so palpable that a desire one of these, or the many other high for its removal would become stronger stations occupied by him in the public than any party ties. But, sir, I go much eye, during the course of a long life, did further than this. If I were opposed to Mr. Clay ever leave with one stain upon the Whig policy on all the points which his public character, or without an addi- have been mentioned, and decidedly in tion to his honorable fame. But, of all favor of all the Loco-Foco views on the those elevated positions, though some same subjects, I should still give my may have been by externals more brilliant, vote, and a thousand if I had them, for no one has appeared to us more truly ex- Henry Clay. For such an apparent inalted by purity of patriotism and the dig- consistency many reasons might be given,