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brated orators of those times laid on action, how ex-ceeding imperfect they reckoned eloquence without it, and what wonders they performed with its assistance, performed upon the greatest, firmest, most sensible, and most elegant spirits the world ever saw it were easy to throw together a number of common-place quotations, in support, or illustration of this, and. almost every other remark that can be made upon the present subject.
But as that would lead us beyond the intention of this paper, we need only recollect here one simple fact, which every body hath heard of, that whereas Demosthenes himself did not succeed in his first attempts, through his having neglected to study action, he afterwards arrived at such a pitch in that faculty, that when the people of Rhodes expressed in high terms their admiration of his famous oration for Ctesiphon, upon hearing it read with a very sweet and strong voice by Eschines, whose banishment it had procured, that great and candid judge said to them,
How would you have been affected, had you seen. him speak it! For he that only hears Demosthenes loses much the better part of the oration."-What an honourable testimony this, from a vanquished adversary, and such an adversary! What a noble idea doth: it give of that wonderful orator's action! I grasp it with ardour; I transport myself in imagination to old Athens. I mingle with the popular assembly, I behold the lightening, I listen to the thunder of Demosthenes. I feel my blood thrilled, I see the auditory tost and shaken like some deep forest by a mighty storm. I am filled with wonder at such marvellous effects. I am hurried almost out of myself. In a little while, I endeavour to be more recollected.. Then I consider the orator's address. I find the whole inexpressible. But nothing strikes me more than his action. I perceive the various passions he would inspire rising in him by turns, and working from the depth of his frame. Now he glows with he love of the public; now he flames with indigna
tion at its enemies; then he swells with disdain of its false, indolent, or interested friends; anon he melts with grief for its misfortunes; and now he turns pale with fear of yet greater ones. Every feature, nerve, and circumstance about him, is intensely animated: each almost seems as if it would speak.. I discern his inmost soul, I see it as only clad in some thin transparent vehicle. It is all on fire. I wonder no longer at the effects of such eloquence: I only wonder at their cause.
Women Polish and Improve Society.
AMONG the innumerable ties by which mankind are drawn and held together, may be fairly reckoned that love of praise, which perhaps is the earliest passion of human beings. It is wonderful how soon children begin to look out for notice, and for consequence.. To attract mutual regards by mutual services, is one chief aim, and one important operation, of a princi-ple, which I should be sorry to think that any of you had outlived. No sooner do the social affections unfold themselves, than youth appear ambitious to de-serve the approbation of those around them. Their desires of this kind are more lively, as their dispositions are more ingenious. Of those boys who discover the greatest ardour to obtain, by their capacity, their spirit, or their generosity, the esteem of their companions, it may be commonly observed, that they shoot up into the most valuable characters.
Eagerness for the admiration of school fellows and others, without distinction of sexes, is felt at first: but when, in process of time, the bosom becomes sensible to that distinction, it begins to beat with a peculiar anxiety to please the female part of your ac
quaintance. The smiles, the applause, the attach ment of Young Women, you now consider as conferring felicity of a more interesting nature; and to secure such happiness, is from henceforth an object that incites and influences you on a thousand occasions. By an increasing susceptibility to the attractions of the softer sex, you are carried more and more into their company; and there, my brothers, your hearts and manners, your tastes and pursuits, receive very often a direction that remains ever after, and that will probably decide your destiny through the whole of your existence.--I am aware, indeed, that to underate their importance, and cultivate their commerce only as subservient to convenience, amusement, or voluptuousness, is common among the ignorant, the petulant, and the profligate of our sex : but, happy as I have been in the conversation of many worthy and accomplished persons of the other, L would willingly, if possible, prevent your adopting a system alike ungenerous and false.
It is certain, that savages, and those who are but little removed from their condition, have seldom behaved to women with much respect or tenderness. On the other hand, it is known, that in civilized nations they have ever been objects of both; that, in the most heroic states of antiquity, their judgment was often honoured as the standard, and their suffrages often sought as the reward of merit and though in those states the allurement of feminine softness was perhaps not always sufficiently understood, owing probably to that passion for public interests, and extensive fame, which seems to have overpowered all other emotions; it must yet be acknowledged, that the Ladies of ancient days frequently possessed a wonderful influence in what concerned the political welfare, and private affections, of the people to whom they belonged.
But say, my friends, does it not reficct some lustre on the fair sex, that their talents and virtues have still been most revered in periods of the greatest re
Down! And tell me, I beseech you, what age or country, distinguished in the annals of fame, has not received a part of that distinction from the numbers of women, whom it produced conspicuous for their virtues and their talents? Look at this, in which you live, does it not derive a very considerable share of its reputation from the female pens that eminently adorn it? Look into the history of the world at large: do not you find, that the female sex have, in a variety of ways, contributed largely to many of its most important events? Look into the great machine of søciety, as it moves before you: do not you perceive, that they are still among its principal springs? Do not their characters and manners deeply affect the passions of men, the interests of education, and those domestic scenes, where so much of life is past, and with which its happiness or misery is so intimately blended? Consult your own experience, and confess,. whether you are not touched by almost every thing they do, or say, or look; confess, whether their very foibles and follies do not often interest, and sometimes. please you?
There cannot, I am persuaded, be many worse symptoms of degeneracy, in an enlightened age, than a growing indifference about the regards of reputable women, and a fashionable propensity to lessen the sex in general. Where this is the case, the decencies of life, the softness of love, the sweets of friendship, the nameless tender charities that pervade and unite the most virtuous form of cultivated society, are not likely to be held in high estimation : and when these fall into contempt, what is there left. to polish, humanize, or delight mankind?.
Fondness for Fashion injurious.
As it is probable that most of you will, after the confinement of the school, of the college, of an apprenticeship, or of whatever other early study, pass much of your time in the company of women, it deeply imports you to consider, with what sort of women you should associate. The infinite mischiefs attendant on communication with those miserable females, who have forfeited their honor, I will not attempt to relate. At present I will take it for granted, that the sons of Reason should converse only with the daughters of Virtue.
Of these last, the number is greater than many of you have been told; much greater than bad men, who judge from bad samples, will ever be persuaded to believe; and even greater than would be readily expected by the candid and virtuous themselves, were they to take their estimate from the general appearance of women in public life, instead of those private scenes where show and noise are excluded, where the flutter of fashion is forgotten in the silent discharge of domestic duties, and where females of real value are more solicitous to be amiable and accomplished, than alluring and admired.
Little, indeed, do those women consult either their own interest, or the reputation of their sex, who enter eagerly into the bustle of the mode, obtrude themselves on the gaze of the glittering throng, and sacrifice the decent reserves, and intellectual attainments, by which men of sentiment and delicacy are most taken, to the passion for dress, and visiting, and splendor, and prat-ling, and cards, and assemblies, and masquerades without end.
The coxcombs of the age, may be caught by such arts of display, as much as those can be who are so generally captivated with themselves... They, no