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ART. XIX. The Sizar: a Rhapsody. To be completed in 50

folio Volumes. 12mo. Pp. 158. Rivington, London. 1799.

WE have received a small volume bearing this title, accompanied with a letter, dated St. John's College, Cambridge. The letter, and the book, appear to us equally unintelligible ; and all that we can discover of the author's meaning is, that he is very angry with the course of education at present prevailing in that University,

Whether the point he wishes to accomplish, namely, to pay less attention to algebra and geometry, is likely to be effected by such labours as those before us, we will not take upon us to determine, but will leave it to be settled by that authority to whom it more pro. perly belongs, the caput of his Alma Mater. We will reit satisfied with addreliing him in his own words :-" Your humble servant, Mr. Rhapsodiit-fo you take it for granted that you are a poet, or a Tristram Shandy, or fome such sentimental gentleman or other— My dear Sir, Ne vanis credite verbis." (P. 85.) If this writer will believe us, he is neither the one nor the other; and we would recommend to him the consideration of one of his own mottos : “ No man ever made an ill figure in life who understood his own talenis, nor a good one who mistook them.To his determination denounced, of "fbooting folly as it flies, and wherever it flies,” (p. 112.) we have nothing to oppose, but the friendly caution, beware of suicide.

THE REVIEWERS REVIEWED.

ART. I. Memoirs of Emma Courtney, By Mary Hays. I amo,

2 vols. Price 6s, Robinsons, London. 1796. Art. II. The Victim of Prejudice. A Novel. By Mary Hays.

2 vols. Price 6s. Johnson, London. 1799:

I 2mo.

peared about three years ago. The Monthly Review of April, 1797, thus speaks of it:

“ These memoirs rife beyond the class of vulgar novels, which aspire only to divert the unoccupied mind by occasional illufion from an irksoine attention to the daily occurrences and trivial incidents of real life.”

Meaning, as we suppose, to praise this attempt of the "fair writer” to find other employment for the female mind, than that which nature, lituation, and sex, have designed it.

“This author,” they proceed “attempts the solution of a moral problem which is eminently imporeant, viz. Whether it be prudent

in minds of a superior mould, whether it will bring to them a greater ba'ance of happiness, in the whole account, to exe.npt themselves fro:n the common delicacies and hypocrisies of life, and, on all occalions, to give vent to their wildett feelings with confcicnticus finierily, or patiently to submit to the incumbent mountains of circumstances, without one volanic effort to shatter the oppreffive lond into ruin.”

Setting aside this slang of modern philosophy, the plain question is-Whether it is most for the advantage of society that women should be su brought up as to make them dutiful daughters, affectionate wives, tender mothers, and good Christians, or, by a corrupt and vicious system of education, fit them for revolutionary agents, for heroines, for Staels, for Talliens, for Stones, setting aside all the decencies, the fort ness, the gentlencss, of the female character, and enjoying indiscriminately every envied privilege of man?

The aim of this novel is to claim for the female sex the rights of the latter character. The heroine for such she is literally meant to be, is, even in early years, described

" --as active, blythrome, bounding, sporting, romping, light, gay, alert, and full of glee; as offending all the pious ladies at church by her gamesome tricks."

She is next pourtrayed in still stronger terms:

My desires were impetuous, and brooked no delay; my affic. tions wire warm, and my tenper irascible; opposition would alwayo make me vehement, and coercion irritaied me to violence.... never but once do I recollect having received a blow, but the boiling rage, the cruci tempeit, the deadly vengeance it excited in my mind, I now remember with thoudering."

An excellent beginning this, and fully calculated to produce the fruit intended. The next advance of her mind is effected by the perusal of Plutarch :

I went down into the dining-room, my mind perraded with republican ardour, my fentiments elevated by a bigb.toned philofosky', and my bosom glowing with the virtues of patriotism.”

Does not this out-Helen even the wife or mistreso of Stone ? Not less alive does the appear to have been to the softer affections—let her speak for herself:

« In the course of my researches the Hcloife of Rouleau fell into my hands--ah! with what transport, with what enthufilin, did I purule this dangerous, enchanting ! How that I paint the icoluzions that were excited in my mind i The pleasure I experia enced approached ihe limits of pain--it was timuit-all the ardeur of my character was excited,”

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That the mind here displayed should run into errors of no inferior enormity, was naturally to be expected, and, of course, we all along find her disdaining all those holy restraints which the wisdom and virtue of ages have esteemed necessary for the controul of human pafsions. But, left we should be supposed prejudiced againit her, we will quote her own sentiments on some important points :

“ The wildest speculations are less mischievous than the torpid ftate of error. He who tamely refigns his understanding to the guidance of another, finks, at once, from the dignity of a rational being, to a mechanical puppet, moved, at pleasure, on the wires of the ariful operator. Imposition is the principle and support of every varied description of tyranny, whether civil or ecclefiaftical, moral or mental ; its baneful consequence is to degrade both him who is imposed on, and him who imposes--obedience is a word which ought never to have had existence," &c. &c.

What stuff is here !—but a little more, and we have done with the filthy labour :-

“ To the profession my objections are fill more serious; the study of the law is the study of chicanery-the church is the school of hypocrity and ufurpation !---you could only enter the Universities by a moral degradation, that must check the freedom and contaminate the purity of the mind, and, entangling it in an inexplicable maze of error and contradiction, poisoning virtue at its jource,'' &c. &c.

On the subject of female chastity she is confitent with herself, in her defence for offering hier honour to a man who avoided her. Individuality of affection,” she says, confti, tutes chastity;" or, in other words, the mistress is, in all refpects, as honourable as the wife, provided the hath but one lover. If such a sentiment does not strike at the root of every thing that is virtuous, that is praise-worthy, that is valuable, in the female character, we are at a loss to discover by what wickedness they are to fall.

The tale of this novel is not at variance with the opinions we have extracted. That it is in all points reprehensible, in the highest degree, would be doubted by none, but the Monthly Reviewers, and their liberal fellow-labourers. Their concluding remark upon it is worthy of them :-

" Many remarkable and several excellent reflections [precious guardians of a nation's literature) are interspersed, and the whole displays great intellectual powers. There are also sentiments which are open to attack, [indeed!) and opinions which require serious difcultion ; but we leave every reader to form his or her own judgement."

Had

Had the tendency of this novel been favourable to virtue, honour, religion, morality, the liberality of these critics would have been less conspicuous. But we have already bestowed, perhups, too much notice on this performance. We must now {peak to this lady's second production, namely, The Victim of Prejudice”--of what prejudice !---the old Itory: A young lady, of at least equal ardour in the cause of liberty and of love as even Emma herself, is restrained by fone few limits which the world has thought proper to fix to certain unruly paflions. The heroine of the tale, “ Mary," (we are fick of Mary,] is educated according to the plan of Rouleau : no check, no controul; freedom of enquiry, and extr.vagance of hope, however dangerous, and however fallacios, are the prevailing features of this performance; the fame indifcriminating and mischievous cenfure of every thing fociety has hitherto deemed sacred, and neceflary to its existence, is here molt lavishly displayed. In the dishonour, as we old fashioned moralists thould call it, of “ Mary,” there is something like an imitation of Clarissa ; but how unlike to the original !--In conformity to the general spirit of this authorets, and her party, (for that she is of the party her quotations from Godwin, Holcroft, Mary Wollstonecraft, Helvetius, Roulleau, &c. moft clearly evince,) religion is utterly, and with zealous care, excluded from her writings. The pious addreffes of Clarissa to her Creator, affect the heart of the reader with the most delightful and grateful sensations; while the furious declamation of Mary's to the God oi nature, and the God of reason, excite no sentiment but difpuit.

The event of this story is such as might be expected from its title : Mary, after a llurdy opposition to the best opinions and practices of the world, sinks in the unequal contest; and, while suffering under the effects of her extravagant desires, thus laments her fate :-

Almighty nature, [is this like Clarissa ?} mysterious are thy decrees--the vigorous promise of my youth has failed: the victim of a barbarous prejudice, (namely, that she was not allowed to marry the son of a man of high rank,] fociety has cait me out from its bofom."

Again, in conclusion :

“ Ignorance and despotism, combating frailty with cruelty, may go on to propose partial reform in one invariable melancholy round; reason derides the weak effort ; while the fabric of superstition and crime, extending its broad bafis, mocks the toil of the visionary projector."

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To the very last she is true to her principles.-Oar opinion of these two novels is now clearly known, and we have said more of them than their intrinsic merit could poslibly entitle them to expect. We have noticed them merely to guard the female world against the mischievousness of their tendency, " left the venom of the shaft should be mistaken for the vigour of the bow."-As usefulness seems to be the watchword of this author and her friends, we will tell her how the may be much more ufeful than the can possibly make herself by devoring her time to litcrary labours-io your distuff, Mary, to your dijaff:-On the style of her writings it is needless to remark; who says to admire the workmanthip of a dagger wrenched from the hand of an allailin?

To tbc Editor of the Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine. SR, Nyour review of Meil, Wilberforce, &c. &c. (No. V. Pp. 550—

500.) Ioblerve you have flightly noticed the clain, fet up by the Illuminizers of the prefent clay, to fuperior learning and witdom, To the public, who are no less concerned in this claim than the Bluminizers themfelves, I take the liberty of offering a few observations on this fubject, through the medium of your impartia! Review. Thele Illuminizers firit set up a claim to fuperior learning and wisdom in behalf of the present age; they, then, with a becoming modefty, peculiar to illumiuifm, give us to underliand, either directly or indirc&tly, that this simperiority is almost excluifively, their own, or evidently in their favour.

This is more particularly the calc in fubjects of religious controversy, and sacred criticilin; and with Griesbach's edition of the New Testament, whichi, I suppose, is to be the Ithuriel's fpar of illuminitin, they are to illuttrate every thing, and leave not a lingle corner dark or obtcure. . On the subject of the syrior learning and wisdom of the present age, I shall be brief; as you have already anticipated me. (See No. 1. Pp. 112, 113.) I can readily agree with any illuminizing philofopher whatever, that the preient age is confpicuoully eminent for loud wisdom, deep learning, and extensive science, and that it furpattes, perhaps, every other that preceded it; nor, indeed, is this a matter of lyrprize, fince we have had the ex: perience of all former ages as a foundation whereon to crect our fuperfiructure, to enlarge, and to extend, our improvements. This circunfiance, however, instead of canling us to trium; h in our fuperiority, to boast of it, and to arrogate the whole merit of it to burcles, ought rather to humble us in our own eyes, and make us than. Rul for the advantages we be derived from past experience; iliis circumstance, initead of leading us to make a compariion of ourteles with them of old time," (a comparison particularly odious and invidious, fince we ove them a dibt of obligation which we can never repay,) instead of leading us to draw that come

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