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domestick occupations, in the ar- fashions ; and that they had to rangement of the household, in look to feeling alone for assisst needle work, &c. but he would ance, I tremble lest his doubts find the use of the distaff almost should be removed, and the verunknown to them, and that the dict be given in favour of his own knowledge of fashions had suc- age. Though vs could not deny ceeded to the knowledge of domes- the justice of this decision, no one, tick economy. Should he exam- I believe, would wish to bring back inc, whether they had acquired the the manners of that age, when the accomplishments, to wnich they mistress was litile more than an doast their time had been devoted, upper servant in her own house, he woald find their knowledge of and her ideas not raised above that musick sufficient to make them condition. In the first settlement anwilling to play, but in the par- of this country, the men were tial hearing of their own family ; wholly occupied in obtaining a he would see them fond of danc- bare subsistence ; and the aid of ing, but unable to move with the female was necessary to add to grace; pleased with poetry, but their hard fare a few of the comconfining their admiration to the forts of life. Custom continued daily effusions of the newspapers; what was commenced from necesso enraptured with romance, as to sity, even after an intercourse with devour every novel placed before other nations had introduced more them; making perhaps an in- liberal ideas. Most men, rivetted sual effort to paint, and producing to old habits, were unwilling to what is deemed exquisite by them- see their wives and daughters emselves and friends, because at the ploy that time in improving their first view any one may know for minds, which they thought ought what it was designed ; discarding to be occupied in domestick emthe decent dress of their ancestors ployments, These prejudices are for ridiculous fashions, imported now nearly removed; women are from abroad ; and much more at raised from their station in the tentire at the play house, than at kitchen to a rank in society ; but church. With such a picture be- no means are taken to prepare fore him, he might, without being their minds for their new situation. cleemed a skeptick, doubt the The infant is sent to school, beboasted superiority of our present cause the avocations of the mother inanners ; whether the solid qual- will not permit her attention to it. ities of his day had not been ex- At school, its mind is first opened; changed for mere tinsel to catch but instead of having goodness inthe eye ; and whether women stilled into it, and made a part of were now more useful members its constitution, it receives the of the community, than formerly. knowledge of evil, from which the Shonld he then observe our morals, female mind, not designed for the which were formerly preserved by bustle of the world, should be kept strictness of authority, now left as long as possible. At different exposed to the rude buffets of the schools she remains pine or ten world, without one established years, learns to read, to answer by principle to guide them amid the rote such questions in geography quicksands of passion, or to guard as the common school-books conthem against the contagion of cor- tain, and perhaps may be enabled rupt examples, imported with our to cast up a shopkeeper's account. From her dancing master she has memories. But not knowing how not even learnt to walk ; and ere to use their knowledge, it is of no she is a mother, the little musick more service to them, than treasshe may have acquired, is quite ure is to the miser, who always forgotten. But is her mind now keeps il fast locked, and fears to prepared, and has her education look at it himself. She who only fitted her for acting her part in so reads, instead of useful and nutriciety ? or are women born without tious herbs and flowers, will collect minds, and only designed to con- nettles and weeds, and at best will tinue the species? If so, we ought only obtain useless trash. if she to have a tribunal of marriages, really wishes to improve her mind, that by crossing the breed the race she must be willing to study, and might be improved. But, without thoroughly to understand every recurring to such monsters as Ca- thing she undertakes ; and she tharine and Elizabeth, history and will not then in vain request the our own experience inform us, direction of her friends. She may that woman has ever possessed a do this, without neglecting those mind fine and delicate ; and al- exteriour accomplishments, which though its texture may frequently give a captivating and irresistible be destroyed by education in its dignity to the female person. She infancy, that she was designed for may be able to participate in all the companion, not for the servant our joys, and alleviate all our cares; of man. This mind then should temper our ardour with moderabe cultivated, she should be taught tion, and excite our dormant beto think as well as to read. For nevolence into action. She would many, with a laudable desire of then neither be regarded in the knowledge, but undirected in the degraded state of a housekeeper, means of obtaining it, feed with nor as a pretty toy to be admired; avidity on whatever books chance but as our best companion, for throws in their way, and think they which God and nature designed have stored their minds, by lodg- her. ing the principal ideas in their
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
EXTRACTS FROM MEMOIRS OF MARMONTEL, WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
MARMONTEL informs us that annihilation by a chain of volcanick he was born at the small town of rocks, some planted like towers on Bort in the Limosin, of which he the height that commands the gives a beautiful portrajt ;' town, and others already hanging
Bort, seated on the Dordogne and half torn from their base. But between Auvergne and Limosin, Bort assumes an aspect more gay, presents a fearful picture to the as these fears are dissipated and first view of the traveller, who, at the eye extends itself along the a distance, from the top of the valley. The green and woody mountain, sees it at the bottom of island that lies beyond the town, a precipice threatened with inun- embraced by the river, and anima, dation by the torrents that the ted by the noise and motion of a storms occasion, or with instant mill, is filled with birds, On the banks of the river, orchards, mea. I also owed much to a certain dows, and corn fields, cultivated by amenity of manners that then disà laborious people, form varied tinguished my native place ; and pictures. Below the town the val. indeed the simple gentle life we ley opens, presenting on one side led there must have had some atan extensive meadow watered by traction, since nothing was more continual springs, and on the oth- rare than to see the natives desert er fields crowned by a circle of it. Their youth was instructed, hills, whose gentle slope forms a and their colony distinguished itself pleasing contrast with the opposite in the neighbouring schools ; but rocks. Farther on, this circle is they returned again to their town, broken by a torrent which, from like a swarm of bees to the hive, the mountains, rolls and bounds with the sweets they had colthrough forests, rocks, and preci. lected. pices, till it falls into the Dordogne Marmontel is to be regarded by one of the most beautiful cata- as the immediate cause of the racts of the continent, both for the great change which has taken volume of water, and the height place in the dramatick world; of of its fall; a phenomenon which simplicity in declamation and truth only wants more frequent specta- in the costume of the theatre.- 1 tors to be renowned and admired. had (says he) long been in the habit It is near this cataract that the lit- of disputing with Mademoiselle tle farm of St. Thomas lies, where Clairon, on the manner of declaimI used to read Virgil under the ing tragick verses. I found in her shade of the blossoming trees that playing too much violence and imsurrounded our bee hives, and petuosity, not enough suppleness where their honey afforded me and variety, and above all a force such delicious repasis. It is on that, as it was not qualified, wa's the other side of the town, beyond more a-kin to rant than to sensibilthe mill, and on the slope of the ity. It was this that I endeavourmountain, that the garden lies, ed discreetly to make her underwhere on welcome holidays my stand. “ You have," I used to say father used to lead me to gather to her, “ all the means of excelling grapes from the vines he himself in your art ; and great as you are, had plan ied, or cherries, plums, it would be easy for you still to rise and apples from the trees he had above yourself, by managing more grafted. But the charm that my carefully the powers of which you native village has left on my mem- are so prodigal. You oppose to ory arises from the vivid impres- me your brilliant successes, and ision I still retain of the first feel- those you have procured me; you ings, with which my soul was im- oppose to me the opinions and the bued and penetrated, by the inex- suffrages of your friends ; you oppressible tenderness that my par. pose to me the authority of M. de ents shewed me. If I have any Voltaire : who himself recites his kindness in my character, I am verses with emphasis, and who persuaded that I owe it to these pretends that tragick verses regentle emotions, to the habitual quire, in declamation, the same happiness of loving and being lov- pomp as in the style ; and I can ed. "Ah! what a gift do we re- only answer I have an irresistible ceive from heaven, when we are feeling, which tells me that declablessed with kind, affectionate par mation, like style, may be noble, ents
ty; that expression, to be lively longer the actress, it was Roxane and profoundly penetrating, re- herself,whom the audience thought quires gradations, shades, unfore- they saw and heard. The astonseen and sudden traits, which it ishment, the illusion, the enchantcannot have when it is stretched ment, was extreme. All inquired and forced.” She used to reply where are we? They had heard sometimes with impatience, that nothing like it." I saw her after I should never let her rest, till she the play ; I would speak to her of had assumed a familiar and comick the success she had just had. tone in tragedy. « Ah ! no, Ma- « Ah !” said she to me, “ don't you demoiselle,” said I, “ that you will see that it ruins me? In all my never have ; nature has forbidden characters, the costume must now it ; you even have it not, while you be observed ; the truth of declaare speaking to me ; the sound of mation requires that of dress ; all your voice, the air of your counte- my rich stage-wardrobe is from nance, your pronunciation, your this moment rejected ; I lose gestures, your attitudes, are natu- 1200 guineas worth of dresses ; rally noble. Dare only to confide but the sacrifice is made. You in this native talent, and I dare shall see me here within a week warrant you will be the more tra- playing Electre to the life, as I
have just played Roxane.” Other counsels than mine pre It was the Electre of Crébillon. vailed, and, tired of being impor. Instead of the ridiculous hoop, and tunate without utility, I had yield the ample mourning robe, in which ed, when I saw the actress sudden- we had been accustomed to see ly and voluntarily come over to her in this character, she appeared my opinion. She came to play in the simple habit of a slavë, Roxane at the little theatre at Ver. dishevelled, and her arms loaded sailles. I went to see her at the with long chains. She was admitoilette, and, for the first time, I rable in it; and some time afterfound her dressed in the habit of a ward, she was still more sublime sultana ; without hoop, her arms in the Electre of Voltaire. This half naked, and in the truth of part, which Voltaire had made Oriental costume : I congratula- her declaim with a continual and ted her, “ You will presently be monotonous lamentation, acquirdelighted with me,” said she. “I ed, when spoken naturally, a beauhave just been on a journey to ty unknown to himself; for on Bourdeaux ; I found there but a seeing her play it on his theatre at very small theatre ; to which I Ferney, where she went to visit Was obliged to accoinmodate my him, he exclaimed, bathed in tears self. The thought struck me of and transported with admiration, Teducing my action to it, and of “ It is not I who wrote that, 'tis she: anaking trial of that simple decla- she has created her part !” And mation you have so often required indeed, by the infinite shades sho of me. It had the greatest success introduced, by the expression she there : I am going to try it again gave to the passions with which here, on this little theatre. Go this character is filled, it was perand hear me. If it succeed as haps that of all others in which Well, farewel my old declamation.” she was most astonishing.
The event surpassed her ex- Paris, as well as Versailles, re. pectation and mine. It was no cognised in these changes the true
tragick accent, and the new degree of the religious tears they had of probability that the strict ob- made us shed.' servance of costume gave to the- The origin of Marmontel's celatrical action. Thus, from that ebrated Tales does him great credtime all the actors were obliged to it. He had procured the apabandon their fringed gloves, their pointment of Editor of the Mervoluminous wigs, their feathered cure François for Boissy, a man of hats, and all the fantastick apparel, letters in distress ; Boissy found that had so long shocked the sight himself unequal to the task of supof all men of taste. Lekain him- porting the publication, and appliself followed the example of ma- ed to Marmontel for his friendly demoiselle Clairon ; and from that aid : moment their talents, thus perfec- Destitute of assistance, finding ted, excited mutual emulation, and nothing passable in the papers that were worthy rivals of each other.' were left him, Boissy wrote me a
Marmontel speaks thus of an letter, which was a true picture of interview with Massillon :
distress. “ You will in vain have • In one of our walks to Beaure- given me the Mercure,” said he ; gard, the country-house of the 5 this favour will be lost on me, bishoprick, we had the happiness if you do not add that of coming to to visit the venerable Massillon. my aid. Prose or verse, whatever The reception this illustrious old you please, all will be good from man gave us, was so full of kind. your hand. But hasten to extriness, his presence and the accent cate me from the difficulty in which of his voice made so lively and I now am ; I conjure you in the tender an impression on me, that name of that friendship which I the recollection of it is one of the have vowed to you for the rest of most grateful that I retain of what my life.” passed in my early years.
This letter roused me from my At that age, when the affec- slumber ; I beheld this unhappy tions of the mind and soul have, editor a prey to ridicule, and the reciprocally, so sudden a commu. Mercure decried in his hands, nication, when reason and senti. should he let his penury be seen. ment act and re-act on each other It put me in a fever for the whole with so much rapidity, there is no night ; and it was in this state of one to whom it has not sometinies crisis and agitation that I first conhappened, on seeing a great man, ceived the idea of writing a tale: to imprint on his forehead the fea. After having passed the night withtures that distinguished the char- out closing my eyes, in rolling in acter of his soul and genius. It my fancy the subject of that I have was thus that among the wrinkles entitled Alcibiade, I got up, wrote of that countenance already decay. it at a breath, without laying down ed, and in those eyes that were soon my pen, and sent it off. This tale to be extinguished, I thought I had an unexpected success. I had could still trace the expression of required that the name of its authat eloquence, so sensible, so ten- thor should be kept secret. No der, so sublime, so profoundly pen- one knew to whom to attribute it ; etrating, with which I had just been and at Helvétius's dinner, where enchanted in his writings. He the finest connoisseurs were, they permitted us to mention them to did me the honour of ascribing it hiin, and to offer him the homage to Voltaire, or to Montesquieu.'