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ease and cheerfulness of their conversation, our desirable retreat from the labors of study and business. They are confined within the narrow limits of domestic offices, and when they stray beyond them, they move eccentrically, and consequently without grace.*

Agrippina, born with an understanding and dispositions which could, at best, have qualified her for the sordid helpmate of a pawnbroker or usurer, pretends to all the accomplishments that ever adorned man or woman, without the possession, or even the true knowledge, of any one of them. She would appear learned, and has just enough of all things, without comprehending any one, to make her talk absurdly upon every thing. She looks upon the art of pleasing as her master-piece, but mistakes the means so much, that her flattery is too gross for self-love to swallow, and her lies too palpable to deceive for a moment; so that she shocks those she would gain. Mean tricks, shallow cunning, and breach of faith, constitute her mistaken system of politics. She endeavors to appear generous at the expense of trifles, while an indiscreet and unguarded rapaciousness discovers her natural and insatiable avidity. Thus mistaking the perfections she would seem to possess, and the means of acquiring even them, she becomes the most ridiculous, instead of the most complete of her sex.

Eudosia, the most frivolous woman in the world, condemns her own sex for being too trifling. She despises the agreeable levity

(The spirit of the whole of this article is much the same with that of the Memoir of Catherina Alexowna. But in this passage, and in the allusion to Hercules, the author repeats himself, as is not unfrequently the case, literally: “ Women are not naturally formed for great cares themselves, but to soften those of the opposite sex. Their tenderness is the proper reward for the dangers men undergo for their preservation : and the ease and cheerfulness of their conversation, our desirable retreat from the fatigues of intense application. They are confined within the narrow limits of domestic assiduity: and when they stray beyond them, they move beyond their sphere, and consequently without grace."-See vol. ii. “Ctizen of the World” Letter lxi ]

and cheerfulness of a mixed company; she will be serious, that she will; and emphatically intimates, that she thinks reason and good sense very valuable things. She never mixes in the general conversation, but singles out some one man, whom she thinks worthy of her good sense, and in a half voice, or sotto voce, discusses her solid trifles in his ear, dwells particularly upon the most trifling circumstances of the main trifle, which she enforces with the proper inclination of head and body, and with the most expressive gesticulations of the fan, modestly confessing every now and then, by way of parenthesis, that possibly it may be thought presump. tion in a woman to talk at all upon those matters. In the mean time, her unhappy hearer stifles a thousand gapes, assents universally to whatever she says, in hopes of shortening the conversation, and carefully watches the first favorable opportunity, which any motion in the company gives him, of making his escape from this excellent solid understanding. Thus deserted, but not discouraged, she takes the whole company in their turns, and has, for every one, a whisper of equal importance. If Eudosia would content herself with her natural talents, play at cards, make tea and visits, talk to her dog often, and to her company but sometimes, she would not be ridiculous, but bear a very tolerable part in the polite world.

Sydaria had beauty enough to have excused (while young) her want of common sense. But she scorned the fortuitous and precarious triumphs of beauty: she would only conquer by the charms of her mind. An union of hearts, a delicacy of sentiments, a mental adoration, or a sort of tender quietism, were what she long sought for, and never found. Thus nature struggled with sentiments till she was five-and-forty, but then got the better of it to such a degree, that she made very advantageous proposals to an Irish ensign of one-and-twenty: equally ridiculous in her age and in her youth.

Canidia, withered by age, and shattered by infirmities, totters under the load of her misplaced ornaments; and her dress varies according to the freshest advices from Paris, instead of conforming itself (as it ought) to the direction of her undertaker. Her mind, as weak as her body, is absurdly adorned ; she talks politics and metaphysics, mangles the terms of each, and if there be sense in either, most infallibly puzzles it; adding intricacy to politics, and darkness to mysteries, equally ridiculous in this world and the next.

I shall not now enter into an examination of the lesser affectations (most of them are pardonable, and many of them are pretty, if their owners are so), but confine my present animadversions to the affectation of ill-suited characters; for I would by no means deprive my fair countrywomen of their genteel little terrors, antipathies, and affections. The alternate panics of thieves, spiders, ghosts, and thunder, are allowable to youth and beauty, provided they survive them. But what I mean is, to prevail with them to act their own natural parts, and not other people's; and to convince them, that even their own imperfections will become them better than the borrowed perfections of others.

Should some lady of spirit, unjustly offended at these restrictions, ask what province I leave their sex? I answer, that I leave them whatever has not been peculiarly assigned by nature to ours. I leave them a mighty empire-Love. There they reign absolute, and by unquestioned right, while beauty supports their throne. They have all the talents requisite for that soft empire, and the ablest of our sex cannot contend with them in the profound knowledge and conduct of those arcana. But then, those who are deposed by years or accidents, or those who by nature were never qualified to reign, should content themselves with the private care and economy of their families, and the diligent discharge of domestic duties.

I take the fabulous birth of Minerva, the goddess of arms, wisdom, arts, and sciences, to have been an allegory of the ancients, calculated to show, that women of natural and usual births must not aim at those accomplishments. She sprung armed out of Jupiter's head, without the co-operation of his consort Juno, and, as such only, had those great provinces assigned her.

I confess one has read of ladies, such as Semiramis, Thalestris, and others, who have made very considerable figures in the most heroic and manly parts of life; but considering the great antiquity of those histories, and how much they are mixed up with fables, one is at liberty to question either the facts, or the sex. Besides that, the most ingenious and erudite Conrad Wolfang Laboriosus Nugatorius, of Hall, in Saxony, has proved to a demonstration, in the 14th volume, page 2891, of his learned treatise De Hermaphroditis, that all the reputed female heroes of antiquity were of this epicene species, though, out of regard to the fair and modest part of my readers, I dare not quote the several facts and reasonings with which he supports this assertion; and as for the heroines of modern date, we have more than suspicions of their being at least of the epicene gender. The greatest monarch that ever filled the British throne (till very lately) was queen Elizabeth, of whose sex we have abundant reason to doubt, history furnishing us with many instances of the manhood of that princess, without leaving us one single symptom or indication of the woman; and thus much is certain, that she thought it improper for her to marry a man. The great Christina, queen of Sweden, was allowed by every body to be above her sex; and the masculine was so predominant in her composition, that she even conformed, at last, to its dress, and ended her days in Italy.*

(Christina, daughter of Gustavus the Great, succeeded her father in 1633, and abdicated the crown in 1654. On quitting the kingdom, she dismissed her female attendants, and laid by the habit of her sex: “I would become a

I therefore require that those women who insist upon going beyond the bounds allotted to their sex, should previously declare themselves hermaphrodites, and be registered as such in their several parishes; till when, I shall not suffer them to confound politics, perplex metaphysics, and darken mysteries.

How amiable may a woman be! what a comfort and delight to her acquaintance, her friends, her relations, her lover, or her husband, in keeping strictly within her character! She adorns all female virtues with female softness. Women, while untainted by affectation, have a natural cheerfulness of mind, tenderness and benignity of heart, which justly endear them to us, either to animate our joys, or soothe our sorrows; but how are they changed, and how shocking do they become, when the rage of ambition, or the pride of learning, agitates and swells those breasts, where only love, friendship, and tender care should dwell!

Let Flavia be their model, who though she could support any character, assumes none; never misled by fancy or vanity, but guided singly by reason, whatever she says or does is the manifest result of a happy nature, and a good understanding; though she knows whatever women ought, and it may be, more than they are required to know, she conceals the superiority she has, with as much care, as others take to display the superiority they have not: she conforms herself to the turn of the company she is in, but in a way of rather avoiding to be distanced, than desiring to take the lead. Are they merry, she is cheerful; are they grave, she is serious; are they absurd, she is silent. Though she thinks and speaks as a man would do, still it is as a woman should do; she effeminates (if I may use the expression) whatever she says,

man,” said she, “yet I do not love men because they are men, but because they are not women.” Having abjured Protestantism, she retired to Rome, where she died in 1689, at the age of sixty-three.)

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