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remarkably dark in the complexion of his own private character. But MEZENTIUS, not fatisfied with being vitious, has at length determined to be ridiculous; and after having wretchedly fquandred his youth and his patrimony in riot and diffoluteness, is contemptibly mis-spending his old age in meafuring impotent fyllables, and dealing out pointless abuse. I am, &c.



THAT haughty Sachariffa has put you


out of humor with her whole fex? for it is fome difappointment, I fufpect, of the tender kind, that has thus fharpened the edge of your fatire, and pointed its invective against the fairer half of our fpecies. You were not mistaken, however, when you supposed I fhould prove no convert to your doctrine; but rife up as an advocate, where I profess myself an admirer. I am not, 'tis true, altogether of old Montaigne's opinion, that the fouls of both fexes font


font jettez (as he expreffes it) en mefme moules: on the contrary, I am willing enough to join with you in thinking, that they may be wrought off from different models. Yet the cafts may be equally perfect, tho it fhould be allowed that they are effentially different. Nature, it is certain, has traced out a separate courfe of action for the two fexes; and as they are appointed to distinct offices of life, it is not improbable that there may be fomething diftinct likewise in the frame of their minds; that there be a kind of sex in the very foul.


I CANNOT therefore but wonder, that Plato should have thought it reasonable to admit them into an equal share of the dignities and offices of his imaginary commonwealth; and that the wisdom of the antient Egyptians should have so strangely inverted the evident intentions of Providence, as to confine the men to domeftic affairs, whilft the women, it is faid, were engaged abroad in the active and laborious fcenes of bufinefs. Hiftory, it must be owned, will supply some few female inftances of all the moft masculine virtues: but appearances of that extraordinary kind are too uncomO


mon, to fupport the notion of a general equa lity in the natural powers of their minds.

THUS much, however, feems, evident, that there are certain moral boundaries which nature has drawn between the two fexes, and that neither of them can pafs over the limits of the other, without equally deviating from the beauty and decorum of their respective characters: Boadicea in armor is, to me at leaft, as extravagant a fight, as Achilles in petticoats.

IN determining, therefore, the comparative merit of the two fexes, it is no derogation from female excellency, that it differs in kind from that which diftinguishes the male part of our fpecies. And if in general it shall be found (what, upon an impartial inquiry, I believe, will most certainly be found) that women fill up their appointed circle of action with greater regularity and dignity, than men; the claim of preference cannot juftly be decided in our favor. In the prudential and economical parts of life, I think it undeniable that they rife far above us. And if true fortitude of mind is best discovered by a chearful resignation to the measures of Providence, we


fhall not find reason, perhaps, to claim that moft fingular of the human virtues as our peculiar privilege. There are numbers of the other fex, who, from the natural delicacy of their conftitution, pafs thro one continued scene of suffering, from their cradles to their graves, with a firmness of refolution that would deferve fo many ftatues to be erected to their memories, if heroism were not eftimated more by the fplendor than the merit of actions.

BUT whatever real difference there may be between the moral or intellectual powers of the male and female mind; nature does not seem to have marked the diftinction fo strongly as our vanity is willing to imagine : and after all, perhaps, education will be found to constitute the principal fuperiority. It must be acknowledged, at least, that in this article we have every advantage over the fofter fex, that art and industry can poffibly fecure to us. The moft animating examples of Greece and Rome are fet before us, as early as we are capable of any observation; and the nobleft compofitions of the antients are given into our hands, almoft as foon as we have ftrength to hold them:

them: while the employments of the other fex, at the fame period of life, are generally the reverse of every thing that can open and enlarge their minds, or fill them with just and rational notions. The truth of it is, female education is fo much worse than none, as it is better to leave the mind to its natural and uninftructed fuggeftions, than to lead it into falfe pursuits, and contract its views, by turning them upon the lowest and most trifling objects. We seem, indeed, by the manner in which we fuffer the youth of that sex to be trained, to confider women agreably to the opinion of certain Mahometan doctors, and treat them as if we believed they have no fouls: why elfe are they

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Bred only and completed to the taste
Of lustful appetence, to fing, to dance,
To drefs, and troule the tongue, and roul the

THIS ftrange neglect of cultivating the female mind, can hardly be allowed as good policy, when it is confidered how much the intereft of fociety is concerned in the rectitude of their understandings. That season


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