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110t the virulence of hate ; a transient dispute among fit to bear arms. Now, as we have seen the na friends, not an implacable feud that admits of no tion governed by old women, I hope to make it ap reconciliation. The history of all ages teems with pear that it may be defended by young women; the fatal effects of internal discord; and were his- and surely this scheme will not be rejected as untory and tradition annihilated, common sense would necessary at such a juncture,* when our armies, plainly point out the mischiefs that must arise in the four quarters of the globe, are in want of from want of harmony and national union. Every recruits; when we find ourselves entangled in a school-boy can have recourse to the fable of the new war with Spain, on the eve of a rupture in rols, which, when united in a bundle, no strength Italy, and indeed in a fair way of being obliged to could bend; but when separated into single twigs, make head against all the great potentates of Eva child could break with ease.
But, before I unfold my design, it may be ne
cessary to obviate, from experience as well as arESSAY X.
gument, the objections which may be made to the I have spent the greater part of my life in mak- delicate frame and tender dispusition of the female ing observations on men and things, and in pro- sex, rendering them incapable of the tevils, and in
All the jecting schemes for the alvantage of my country : superably averse to the horrors of war. and though my labours met with an ungrateful re
world has heard of the nation of Amazons, who turn, I will still persist in my endeavours for its inhabited the banks of the river Thermodon in service, like that venerable
, unshaken, and neglect. Cappadocia ; who expelled their men by force of ed patriot, Mr. Jacob Henriquez, who, though of arms, defended themselves by their own prowess, the Hebrew nation, bath exhibited a shining ex
managed the reigns of government, prosecuted the ample of Christian fortitude and perseverance.* operations in war, and held the other sex in the utAnd here my conscience urges me to confess, that most contempt. We are informed by Homer, that the hint upon which the following proposals are
Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, acted as auxbuilt
, was taken from an advertisement of the said iliary to Priam, and fell, valiantly fighting in his patriot Henriquez, in which he gave the public to cause, before the walls of Troy. Quintius Curtius understand, that Heaven had indulged him with tells us, that Thalestris brought one hundred armed seven blessed daughters.” Blessed they are, no
Amazons in a present to Alexander the Grent, doubt, on account of their own and their father's Diodorus Siculus expressly says, there was a navirtues ; but more blessed may they be, if the scheme tion of female warriors in Africa, who fought I offer should be adopted by the legislature.
against the Libyan Hercules. We read in the The proportion which the number of females voyages of Columbus, that one of the Caribbes born in these kingdoms bears to the male children, who kept all the neighbouring Indians in awe;
Islands was possessed by a tribe of female warriors, is, I think, supposed to be as thirteen to fourteen ; but as women are not so subject as the other sex but we need not go farther than our own age and to accidents and intemperance, in numbering country to prove, that the spirit and constitution adults we shall find the balance on the female side of the fair sex are equal to the dangers and fatigues It; in calculating the numbers of the people, we
of war. Every novice who has read the authentic take in the multitudes that emigrate to the planta
and important History of the Pirates, is well actions, whence they never return ; those that die at quainted with the exploits of two heroines, called sen, and make their exit at Tyburn ; together with Mary Read and Anne Bonny. I myself have had the consumption of the present war, by sea and the honour to drink with Anne Cassier, alias molanet, in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, in the Ger-ther Wade, who had distinguished herself among tan and Indian Oceans, in Old France, New the Buccaneers of America, and in her old age l'rance, North America, the Leeward Islands, have likewise conversed with Moll Davis, who had
kept a punch-house in Port-Royal of Jamaica. I Geridany, Africa, and Asia, we may fairly state the loss of men during the war at one hundred served as a dragoon in all queen Anne's wars, and thousand. If this be the case, there must be a su- was admitted on the pension of Chelsea. The latu perplus of the other sex, amounting to the same
war with Spain, and even the present, hath proluniber, and this superplus will consist of women
duced instances of females enlisting both in the land able to bear arms; as I take for granted, that all and sea service, and behaving with remarkable those who are fit to bear children are likewise bravery in the disguise of the other sex. And who
has not heard of the celebrated Jenny Cameron, • A man well known at this period (1762), as well as during and some other enterprising ladies of North Britain, many preceding years, for the numerous schemes he was who attended a certain Adventurer in all his ex daily offering to various ministers for the purpose of raising peditions, and headed their respective clans in a money by loung, paying off tho national encumbrances, etc. etc. none of whickhowever, were ever known to have ru. ceived the smallest notice.
. In the year 1762
military character ? That strength of body is often armed with light carbines and long bayonets, with equal to the courage of mind implanted in the fair out the encumbrance of swords or shoulder-belts. sex, will not be denied by those who have seen the I make no doubt but many young ladies of figure water-women of Plymouth ; the female drudges and fashion will undertake to raise companies at of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the fish-women their own expense, provided they like their colo of Billingsgate; the weeders, poulders, and hoppers, nels; but I must insist upon it
, if this scheme who swarm in the fields; and the bunters who should be embraced, that Mr. Henriquez's seven swagger in the streets of London : not to mention blessed daughters may be provided with commisthe indefatigable trulls who follow the camp, and sions, as the project is in some measure owing to keep up with the line of march, though loaded with the hints of that venerable patriot. I moreover bantlings and other baggage.
give it as my opinion, that Mrs. Kitty Fisher* There is scarcely a street in this metropolis shall have the command of a battalion, and the without one or more viragos, who discipline their nomination of her own officers, provided she will husbands and domineer over the whole neighbour- warrant them all sound, and be content to wear hood. Many months are not elapsed since I was proper badges of distinction. witness to a pitched battle between two athletic fe- A female brigade, properly disciplined and acmales, who fought with equal skill and fury until coutred, would not, I am persuaded, be afraid to one of them gave out, after having sustained seven charge a numerous body of the enemy, over whom falls on the hard stones. They were both stripped they would have a manifest advantage; for if the to the under petticoat ; their breasts were carefully barbarous Scythians were ashamed to fight with swathed with handkerchiefs; and as no vestiges of the Amazons who invaded them, surely the French, features were to be seen in either when I came up, who pique themselves on their sensibility and deI imagined the combatants were of the other sex, votion to the fair sex, would not act upon the ofuntil a bystander assured me of the contrary, giv- fensive against a band of female warriors, arrayed ing me to understand, that the conqueror had lain. in all the charms of youth and beauty. in about five weeks of twin-bastards, begot by her second, who was an Irish chairman. When I see the avenues of the Strand beset every night with
ESSAY XI. troops of fierce Amazons, who, with dreadful imprecations, stop, and beat and plunder passengers,
As I am one of that sauntering tribe of mortals, i can not help wishing that such martial talents who spend the greatest part of their time in taverns, were converted to the benefit of the public; and coffee-houses, and other places of public resort, 1 that those who are so loaded with temporal fire, have thereby an opportunity of observing an inand so little afraid of eternal fire, should, instead finite variety of characters, which, to a person of a of ruining the souls and bodies of their fellow citi- contemplative turn, is a much higher entertainzens, be put in a way of turning their destructive ment than a view of all the curiosities of art or na. qualities against the enemies of the nation.
ture, In one of these my late rambles, I accidentHaving thus demonstrated that the fair sex are ally fell into the company of half a dozen gentlenot deticient in strength and resolution, I would men, who were engaged in a warm dispute about humbly propose, that as there is an excess on their some political affair ; the decision of which, as they side in quantity to the amount of one hundred were equally divided in their sentiments, they thousand, part of that number may be employed thought proper to refer to me, which naturally drew in recruiting the army as well as in raising thirty me in for a share of the conversation. new Amazonian regiments, to be commanded by Amongst a multiplicity of other topics, we took females, and serve in regimentals adapted to their occasion to talk of the different characters of the
The Amazons of old appeared with the left several nations of Europe ; when one of the gentle. breast bare, an open jacket, and trowsers that de
men, cocking his hat, and assuming such an air of scended nu farther than the knee; the right breast importance as if he had possessed all the merit of was destroyed, that it might not impede them in the English nation in his own person, declared, that bending the bow, or darting the javelin : but there the Dutch were a parcel of avaricious wretches; js no occasion for this cruel excision in the present the French a set of flattering sycophants; that the discipline, as we have seen instances of women Germans were drunken sots, and beastly gluttons ; who handle the musket, without finding any in- and the Spaniards proud, haughty, and surly convenience from that protuberance.
tyrants; but that in bravery, generosity, clemency, As the sex love gaiety, they may be clothed in and in every other virtuc, the English excelled all vests of pink satin and open drawers of the same, the rest of the world. with buskins on their feet and legs, their hair tied
This very learned and judicious remark was behind and floating on their shoulders, and their bats adorned with white feathers: they may be
*A celebrated courtezan of that time
received with a general smile of approbation by all what "countryman he was,” replied, that he was the company-mall
, I mean, but your humble ser-"a citizen of the world." How few are there to vant; who, endeavouring to keep my gravity as be found in modern times who can say the same, well as I could, and reclining my head upon my or whose conduct is consistent with such a proarm, continued for some time in a posture of affect- fession! We are now become so much Englished thoughtfulness, as if I had been musing on men, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Spaniards, or Gersomething else, and did not seem to attend to the mans, that we are no longer citizens of the world ; subject of conversation ; hoping by these means to so much the natives of one particular spot, or avoid the disagreeable necessity of explaining my members of one petty society, that we no longer self, and thereby depriving the gentleman of his consider ourselves as the general inhabitants of the imaginary happiness.
globe, or members of that grand society which comBut my pseudo-patriot had no mind to let me prehends the whole human kind. escape so easily. Not satisfied that his opinion Did these prejudices prevail only among the should pass without contradiction, he was deter- meanest and lowest of the people, perhaps they mined to have it ratified by the suffrage of every might be excused, as they have few, if any, opporone in the company; for which purpose, addressing tunities of correcting them by reading, travelling, himself to me with an air of inexpressible confi. or conversing with foreigners ; but the misfortune dence, be asked me if I was not of the same way is, that they infect the minds, and influence the of thinking. As I am never forward in giving my conduct, even of our gentlemen ; of those, I mean, opinion, especially when I have reason to believe who have every title to this appellation but an exthat it will not be agreeable ; so, when I am obliged emption from prejudice, which, however, in my to give it, I always hold it for a maxim to speak opinion, ought to be regarded as the characteristi. my real sentiments. I therefore told him, that, for cal mark of a gentleman; for let a man's birth be my own part, I should not have ventured to talk ever so high, his station ever so exalted, or his forin such a peremptory strain, unless I had made the tune ever so large, yet if he is not free from nationtour of Europe, and examined the manners of these al and other prejudices, I should make bold to tell several nations with great care and accuracy; that him, that he had a low and vulgar mind, and had perhaps a more impartial judge would not scruple no just claim to the character of a gentleman. to affirm, that the Dutch were more frugal and in- And, in fact, you will always find that those are dustrious, the French more temperate and polite, most apt to boast of national merit, who have little the Germans more hardy and patient of labour and or no merit of their own to depend on; than which, fatigue, and the Spaniards more staid and sedate, to be sure, nothing is more natural: the slender than the English; who, though undoubtedly brave vine twists around the sturdy oak, for no other and generous, were at the same time rash, head- reason in the world but because it has not strength strong, and impetuous; too apt to be elated with sufficient to support itself. prosperity, and to despond in adversity.
Should it be alleged in defence of national preI could easily perceive, that all the company be- judice, that it is the natural and necessary growth gan to regard me with a jealous eye before I had of love to our country, and that therefore the formfinished my answer, which I had no sooner done, er can not be destroyed without hurting the latter, than the patriotic gentleman observed, with a con- I answer, that this is a gross fallacy and delusion. temptuous sneer, that he was greatly surprised how That it is the growth of love to our country, I will some people could have the conscience to live in a allow; but that it is the natural and necessary country which they did not love, and to enjoy the growth of it, I absolutely deny. Superstition and protection of a government, to which in their enthusiasm too are the growth of religion ; but who hearts they were inveterate enemies. Finding that ever took it in his head to affirm, that they are the by this modest declaration of my sentiments I had necessary growth of this noble principle? They forfeited the good opinion of my companions, and are, if you will, the bastard sprouts of this heavenly given them occasion to call my political principles plant, but not its natural and genuine branches
, in question, and well knowing that it was in vain and may safely enough be lopped off, without doto argue with men who were so very full of them- ing any harm to the parent stock: nay, perhaps, selves, I threw down my reckoning, and retired till once they are lopped off, this goodly tree can to my own lodgings, reflecting on the absurd and never flourish in perfect health and vigour. ridiculous nature of national prejudice and prepos. Is it not very possible that I may love my own session.
country, without hating the natives of other coun. Among all the famous sayings of antiquity,'tries? that I may exert the most heroic bravery, the there is none that does greater honour to the author, most undaunted resolution, in defending its laws or affords greater pleasure to the reader (at least if and liberty, without despising all the rest of the he be a person of a generous and benevolent lieart), world as cowards and poltroons? Most certainly than that of the philosopher, who, being asked it is; and if it were not-But why need I suppose what is absolutely impossible?—But if it were not, Nec rude quid possit video ingenium : alterius sic I must own, I should prefer the title of the ancient Altera poscit opem res, et conjurat amico. philosopher, viz. a citizen of the world, to that of
Hor. Ars. Poeta an Englishman, a Frenchman, a European, or to Tis long disputed, whether poets claim any other appellation whatever.
From art or nature their best right to fame;
Are useless both; but when in friendship join'd,
Francia. Amidst the frivolous pursuits and pernicious dissipations of the present age, a respect for the
We have seen genius shine without the help of qualities of the understanding still prevails to such art, but taste must be cultivated by art, before it a degree, that almost every individual pretends to will produce agreeable fruit
, however, we have a taste for the Belles Lettres. The spruce
must still inculcate with Quintilian, that study, 'prentice sets up for a critic, and the puny beau precept, and observation, will nought avail, without piques himself upon being a connoisseur. With the assistance of nature: Illud tamen imprimis out assigning causes for this universal presumption, testandum est, nihil præcepta atque artes palete, we shall proceed to observe, that if it was attended nisi adjuvante na:vā. with no other inconvenience than that of exposing
Yet even though nature has done her part, by the pretender to the ridicule of those few who can implanting the seeds of taste, great pains must be sist his pretensions, it might be unnecessary to un- taken, and great skill exerted, in raising them to a deceive the public, or to endeavour at the reforma- proper pitch of vegetation. The judicious tutor tion of innocent folly, productive of no evil to the must gradually and tenderly unfold the mental commonwealth. But in reality this folly is pro- faculties of the youth committed to his charge. He ductive of manifold evils to the community. if the must cherish his delicate perception; store his reputation of taste can be acquired, without the mind with proper ideas; point out the different least assistance of literature, by reading modern channels of observation; teach him to compare obpoems, and seeing modern plays, what person will jects, to establish the linắts of right and wrong, of deny himself the pleasure of such an easy qualifi-truth and falsehood; to distinguish beauty from cation? Hence the youth of both sexes are de- linsel, and grace from affectation ; in a word, to bauched to diversion, and seduced from much more strengthen and improve by culture, experience, and profitable occupations into idle endeavours after instruction, those natural powers of feeling and 83literary fame; and a superficial false taste, founded gacity which constitute the faculty called taste, and on ignorance and conceit
, takes possession of the enable the professor to enjoy the delighis of the public. The acquisition of learning, the study of Belles Lettres. nature, is neglected as superfluous labour; and the
We can not agree in opinion with those who best faculties of the mind remain unexercised, and imagine, that nature has been equally favourable indeed unopened, by the power of thought and re-to all men, in conferring upon them a fundamental flection. False taste will not only diffuse itself capacity, which may be improved to all the refinethrough all our amusements, but even influencement of taste and criticism. Every day's experience our moral and political conduct; for what is false convinces us of the contrary. Of two youths edutaste, but want of perception to discern propriety cated under the same preceptor, instructed witb and distinguish beauty?
the same care, and cultivated with the same as It has been often alleged, that taste is a natural siduity, one shall not only comprehend, but even talent, as independent of art as strong eyes, or a
anticipate the lessons of his master, by dint of na delicate sense of smelling; and, without all doubt, tural discernment, while the other toils in vain to the principal ingredient in the composition of taste imbibe the least tincture of instruction. Such inis a natural sensibility, without which it can not leed is the distinction between genius and stu exist; but it differs froin the senses in this particu- pidity, which every man has an opportunity of seelur, that they are finished by nature, whereas taste ing among his friends and acquaintance. Not that can not be brought w perfection without proper we ought too hastily to decide upon the natural cacultivation ; for tuste pretends to judge not only of pacities of children, before we have maturely connature but also of art ; and that judginent is found. sidered the peculiarity of disposition, and the bias ed upon observation and comparison.
by which genius may be strangely warped from What Horace has said of genius is still more the common path of education. A youth incapa. applicable to taste.
ble of retaining one rule of grammar, or of acquiring
the least knowledge of the classics, may nevertheNaturâ fieret laudabile carmen, an arte,
less make great progress in mathematics; nay, he Huusiu'm est. Ego nec studium sine di vite rena, I may have a strong genius for the mathematics
without being able to comprehend a demon-wary mind and young imagination are often fasciotration of Euclid; because his mind conceives in nated. Nothing has been so often explained, and a peculiar manner, and is so intent upon contem- yet so little understood, as simplicity in writing. placing the olject in one particular point of view, Simplicity in this acceptation has a larger signifithat it can not perceive it in any other. We have cation than either the annour of the Greeks, or the known an instance of a boy, who, while his mas- simplex of the Latins; for it implies beauty. li ter complained that he had not capacity to com- is the dancov na ndur of Demetrius Phalereus, the prehend the properties of a right-angled triangle, simples munditiis of Horace, and expressed by had actually, in private, by the power of his ge- one word, naïveté, in the French language. It is, nius, formed a mathematical system of his own, in fact, no other than beautiful nature, without af. discovered a series of curious theorems, and even fectation or extraneous ornament. In statuary, it applied his deductions to practical machines of is the Venus of Medicis; in architecture, the Pan. surprising construction. Besides, in the education theon. It would be an endless task to enumerate of youth, we ought to remember, that some capa- all the instances of this natural simplicity that occities are like the pyra præcocia ; they soon blow, cur in poetry and painting, among the ancients and soon attain to all that degree of maturity and moderns. We shall only mention two examwhich they are capable of acquiring; while, on ples of it, the beauty of which consists in the pathe other hand, there are geniuses of slow growth, thetic. that are late in bursting the bud, and long in ri- Anaxagoras the philosopher, and preceptor of pening. Yet the first shall yield a faint blossom Pericles, being told that both his sons were dead, and insipid fruit; whereas the produce of the laid his hand upon his heart, and after a short other shall be distinguished and admired for its pause, consoled himself with a reflection couched well-concocted juice and excellent flavour. We in three words, ndur SuntcUS gogerincces, “I knew have known a boy of five years of age sur they were mortal.” The other instance we select prise every body by playing on the violin in such from the tragedy of Macbeth. The gallant Macà manner as seemed to promise a prodigy in mu- duff, being informed that his wife and children SIC. He had all the assistance that art could were murdered by order of the tyrant, pulls his afford; by the age of ten his genius was at the hat over his eyes, and his internal agony bursts out acme: yet, after that period, notwithstanding the into an exclamation of four words, the most ex. most intense application, he never gave the least pressive perhaps that ever were uttered : “He has signs of improvement. At six he was admired as no children.” This is the energetic language of a miracle of music; at six-and-twenty he was simple nature, which is now grown into disrepute. neglected as an ordinary fiddler. The celebrated By the present mode of education, we are forciDean Swift was a remarkable instance in the other bly warped from the bias of nature, and all simextreme. He was long considered as an incor- plicity in manners is rejected. We are taught to rigible dunce, and did not obtain his degree at the disguise and distort our sentiments, until the University but ex speciali gratia ; yet, when his faculty of thinking is diverted into an unnatural powers began tv unfold, he signalized himself by channel; and we not only relinquish and forget, a very remarkable superiority of genius. When but also become incapable of our original disposia youth, therefore, appears dull of apprehension, tions. We are totally changed into creatures of and seems to derive no advantage from study and art and affectation. Our perception is abused, and mstruction, the tutor must exercise his sagacity in even our senses are perverted. Our minds lose discovering whether the soil be absolutely barren, their native force and flavour. The imagination, or sown with seed repugnant to its nature, or of sweated by artificial fire, produces nought but vapid such a quality as requires repeated culture and bloom. The genius, instead of growing like a length of time to set its juices in fermentation. vigorous tree, extending its branches on every side, These observations, however, relate to capacity in and bearing delicious fruit, resembles a stunted general, which we ought carefully to distinguish yew, tortured into some wretched form, projecting from taste. Capacity implies the power of retain- no shade, displaying no flower, diffusing no fraging wliat is received ; taste is the power of relish- rance, yielding no fruit, and affording nothing but ing or rejecting whatever is offered for the enter- a barren conceit for the amusement of the idle tainment of the imagination. A man may have spectator. capacity to acquire what is called learning and Thus debauched from nature, how can we rolpohilosophy; but he must have also sensibility, be-ish her genuine productions? As well might a fore he feels those emotions with which taste re. man distinguish objects through a prism, that preceives the impressions of beauty.
sents nothing but a variety of colours to the eye; Natural taste is apt to be seduced and debauched or a maid pining in the green sickness prefer a by vicious precept and bad example. There is a biscuit to a cinder. It has been often alleged, that dangerous tinsel in false taste, by which the un- the passions can never be wholly deposited; and