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subject he was painting, and who found it often convenient to turn a dog into a wolf, or a man into a donkey, used discreetly to answer-"as may happen." History says the painter was but a dauber. Are we in our social system to imitate the painter, and suffer Human Nature to receive its finish only "as it may happen?" If so, we cannot be surprised to experience the same results. In this country I am apt to believe that one great cause of the rarity of striking examples of Public Virtue is owing to the perfect unappreciation they would receive from the other sex. All that women know of public life is, that it may afford a provision by and by for little Augustus. It is remarked in the present fervour for reform, that the women by no means share the enthusiasm of the men-from the palace to the cottage this difference holds good. Why? because women, not being taught to look beyond externals, are necessarily aristocrats at heart-fond of the glitter of life rather than sensible of the dignity of its true aims, and more susceptible to all that addresses their vanity, which is incessantly cultivated, than their reason, which has been left implicitly to chance. In small matters that reason avails them-their common sense is more steady than that of men from the very circumstance of their inquiring lessthat is to say, of their entering less into the speculative and analyzing; but common sense is a dangerous quality when not allied with a loftier knowledge than itself. Common sense, if not elevated to true wisdom, leans to self-interest, and the woman advises well for the fortunes of her husband or her son rather than for his nobler interest. She advises well for the individual exactly because it is not well for the community. And this is the reason why the community have a right to inquire into the formation of an influence so vast in itself, and yet so seldom excited in behalf of the higher objects of society.

The great mistake which the more philosophical opponents to true female education incur is, that they fancy we wish to increase the influence of women, and believe that that influence is nugatory at present. We do not wish to increase that influence, but to direct it to loftier VOL. 11.-19

and more salutary purposes. That influence at present is singularly, almost fearfully, extensive. It is not only the tone of society, of conversation, that is formed by them, but how great is their power over that of literature; and, through literature, (the main moral lever) over the world. In a country like ours, where active pursuits, commerce, politics, professions, engage so vast a proportion of our men, the women, as every publisher well knows, are the great dictating portion of the reading world. And to this, coupled with their education, which enables them only to appreciate the lighter and more brilliant order of letters, we owe the great preponderance in point of sale and circulation which novels bear over every other class of composition. Few women will read a history-a moral treatise-even a grave poem, or an elaborate tragedy; and if they do not read, and do not praise, cold indeed is the success of the generality of publications-excepting only such as come home at once to some particular body of men, and obtain their attention by addressing their interests. I grant that the work of the true poet, and the true historian, and the true philosopher finds its ultimate road to fame, and an “audience fit though few;" but how much greater would be the competition-how much more stirring the desire— how much more lively the ambition that hoped for what nine men in ten under fifty years of age will always consider the most dazzling of literary rewards-the approbation of those who give its glory to youth, and will (till Nature herself be no more) sway our earliest hopes and colour our most aspiring visions.

The influence is great-let it be directed nobly: instead of debasing our ambition to the externals of dress, and wealth, and rank-the mere coral and bells of the Baby Fashion-why may it not stimulate us to independence to a disdain of the selfish deities we now adore-and make Love, which we at present do right in confusing with Vice, the aliment, the support, the inspiration of Virtue? To be the "Idol of a drawing-room!" what praise so equivocal?—what distinction can imply qualities so frivolous?-why should it be so? Hereafter it may not. Even in France, which always dandling

the true principles of social improvement, has never suffered them to grow so strong as to reject swaddlingclothes, and walk erect and alone-even in France, there was a time when that phrase was bestowed on the most brilliant wit, on the deepest author, as well as on the wealthiest peer, or the most accomplished gallant. This was only because women could appreciate wit and genius according to its true dignity; here they do not appreciate -they affront-they make lions, not deities-think of the oddity of talent, not its value, and rather ask a man of genius to be stared at than to be honoured. With women, whose organization renders them so susceptible to new impressions-who are ever the first to recognise the truth of the nobler sentiments-who are ever prone, when their emotions are deeply roused, to forego and forget self-who, in all great revolutions of mind, from the uprising of a new genius in letters to the promulgation of a new doctrine in religion, are the earliest to catch the inspiration and lead on opinion-with women it will always rest to expedite and advance the career of social reform-may they be sensible to the benefits that such reform promises for themselves as for us! But to do this they must first examine those prejudices they at present acknowledge, and by acknowledging, maintainthey must first examine what is the true sphere of woman; and if convinced that it extends to a broader circle than that which limits them

"To suckle fools and chronicle small beer,"

they must resolutely dismiss those jealousies of superior endowment in their own sex which at present make it perilous for women to cultivate talent or acquire knowledge. With us, as a woman exalts herself in genius, she recedes in reputation. What social position can be so pernicious as that which, in proportion as a woman adorns society, excludes her from the advantages that (for her) society deems the highest? In a free country like ours, women should know something of the science of politics; for their ignorance of its principles does not prevent them from engaging in its intrigues. Women are Tories and place-hunters, for they know no other

object in politics-they might as well be taught what other objects that glorious study teaches and proposes; and thus the influence, now evil, may be made salutary. As to domestic virtues, such knowledge will not lessen attention to them. A king's tea can be equally sweetened by a woman who knows that kingdoms rest on the opinions of the people, as by one who believes they are preserved by combating their resolve; and we have yet to learn that by studying the principles of Morals, women incur any risk of impairing their morality.

When Illo is urging Wallenstein to his ruin, that magnificent dreamer answers somewhat in the terms that man's pride loves to apply to his helpmate:

"The common-the terrestrial, thou mayest see
With serviceable cunning knit together
The nearest and the meanest; and therein
I trust thee and believe thee; but whate'er
Full of mysterious import Nature weaves
And fashions in the depths-the Spirit's ladder
That from this gross and visible world of dust
Builds itself up-"

that, Wallenstein, with a very sounding solemnity, implies that he alone is acquainted with; nevertheless the "common," the "terrestrial" Illo obtains his object, and Wallenstein is tempted: it might have been otherwise had the great man chosen his advisers only from those to whom the "Spirit's ladder" in its true sense was not denied.



THE New Year-and when, within our memory, did the year open with such omen of ill, and yet with such promise of good? But how are our own minds prepared for the coming events? At this moment a certain weariness-a certain apathy pervades the higher classes of society. The little great world is sick of the eternal Reform, blasé with the cholera, and tired of the more novel horrors of the dissecting-room and the Italian Boy. But slowly, darkly, fearfully rolls the great current of Opinion, among those orders who have no leisure for weariness, and who, where their worldly betters relax into listless indifference, harden into despairing discontent. Sometimes we employ ourselves in looking at the numerous penny publications which (like the disorders said to belong to the poor, but ultimately extending to the great and wealthy of the land,) are found circulating only among those classes with whom the higher rarely come into contact, but which are gradually generating that atmosphere of disease which shall ultimately equally endanger all, whether the inmates of the palace or the hovel. We look into those publications with a painful and foreboding interest. Opinions are not only increasing in violence; but what is far worse, in fantastic speculation. One of these papers recommends an immediate "calling in," as it mildly terms it, "of all the property in the kingdom; and the utter renunciation of individual rights." Pushing the dreams of Owen into their farthest excess, this writer, who calls himself "a philosophical Radical," insists upon men being portioned off into colleges, living together, dining in common, and working

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