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"It is true, without any flips of prolixity, or crofi "ing the plain high-way of taik, that the good Anthonio, the honeft Anthonio-O that I had a title "good enough to keep his name company!"
Gratiano is likewise a character of exquifite entertainment. His reply to Baffanio, who had exhorted him to caution, is in that fort of folemn ludicrous file, almost entirely peculiar to Shakespeare.
"Signior Baffanio, hear me ;
"If I do not put on a fober habit,
"Talk with refpc&t, and swear but now and then," &c.
In his addrefs to Shylock, however, in the beginning of the fourth act, he kindles into the most gene rous and eloquent indignation.-We fee, with much fatisfaction, that good humour does not merely play on the furface of his mind, but is ingrafted on a manly feeling heart.-During the trial that follows, he preferves a strict and becoming filence: But the moment that his friend is out of danger, the poet, ever attentive to chastity of character and to nature, reprefents him relapfing into the moft tumultuous exultation.There is a whimfical portrait of this charming phantom drawn by Baffanio, which I beg leave to recommend to James Bofwell, Efquire, as a motto for the title page of his Life of Dr. Samuel Johnfon, if print and paper shall ever be prostituted on a fecond edition.
Gratiano fpeaks an infinite deal of nothing, more "than any man in all Venice his reafons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff! you "fhall feek all day e'er you find them; and when you "have them, they are not worth the fearch."
The learned and facetious Lord Monbeddo, was converfing fome years ago on this laft topic: "I have "lived," faid his Lordship, "to fee my country hum"bled in arts, and humbled in arms; but I never ex"pected to have feen England humbled to the admira"tion of Dr. Samuel Johnson." Laurence-Kirk, June 24, 1771. S
Sophia's fourth letter to the Editor of the Bee, on the fubject of the Education of young Ladies.
I AM charmed to think that my artless description of the mode of education I adopted for my daughters, has given any fatisfaction to the public, and that my communications fhould have been in any degree ferviceable to your publication, which I truly admire, and should be happy to promote.
When I had advanced fo far as I have described in my last letter, with the education of my Alathea, I found her fifter growing up to profit by the fame mode of inftruction, which I adminiftered, and was fuccefsful. Two of the clergyman's daughters continued in my academy (as I may so say) day scholars, and a niece of my husband's was my boarder; fo my fchool confifted of fix, and I did equal justice to them all.
Being fortunately capable of giving my young ladies a learned education, I did not fail to give them every instruction that youths of the other fex receive at the fame age: In grammar, in the languages, and in the fciences, in the belles lettres, and in the beaux arts. While I was thus happily and profitably engaged, we received a visit from an old maiden fifter of my hufband's, who was rich, and from whom Eugenius had confiderable expectations for his family. The day after Mrs. Grizzel's arrival, fhe was present at my inftruction of the children, with which the feemed not to be displeased; but after tea in the afternoon, fhe opened pretty fully to me on the subject of her disapprobation of the plan I had adopted. Sifter, said she, you have got a very numerous family indeed, and have brought upon yourself a great deal of trouble, for which I wish you may be rewarded according to your expectation; but I
hope you will not take it amiss, if I tell you, that I think giving young ladies a learned education very prepofterous, and may hereafter give you and my brother much uneafiness. After all you can do for them in this way, you will never be able to raise your girls above the attainments of a young school-boy; and filling their mind with a fmattering of learning, you will render them pedantic, troublefome, preticufes, difagreeable to the women, and troublesome to the men, by their pretenfions to fuperior knowledge. My brother has a handfome eftate; and the world will expect that his daughters fhould either have an accomplished French governefs, or be fent to an eminent boarding school at London, that they may be inftructed in all the fashionable accomplishments, and learn that maniere which i. indifpenfibly neceffary for their proper introduction into our polite circles, and for their establishment in marriage. Madam, faid I, your brother approves of my plan of education, and though I allow, that a fmattering of learning would be injurious to my daughters, I do not forefee the fame confequence from the mode I have adopted of carrying them forward as far as their genius or the other engagements of their fex will permit. Mrs. Grizzel fhook her head, and with great deliberation and politeness ended the converfation, by faying, fhe had done what fhe thought her duty, and fhould remain filent for the future on the fubject of female education.
This converfation had hardly clofed, when my excellent Eugenius entered the room, and feeing my countenance a little clouded, he took me by the hand, and propofed to us a walk, which Mrs. Grizzel declined on account of an obftinate rheumatifm, with which she had been long moft grievoutly afflicted. Away we fallied to the garden, with the children, the parfon, and an accomplished gentleman in the neighbourhood who had come to play duets on the German flute with the parfon, which they performed in a little caffirio in the thrubbery. Eugenius and I repaired to a feat adjoin
ing, and having fat down on a bank of violets, Eugenius asked me the cause of my being difcontented when he came into the drawing room; I told him, and asked him if he was moved by the arguments of his fifter. Eugenius, with a look of divine complacency, addreffed me thus Sophia, my dear Sophia, bear with the prejudices of my fifter; they are the prejudices of a whole world, but they will be gradually removed, and can be removed only by the fuccefs of experiments such as thofe in which you are now engaged; had I any doubts of their fuccefs, I would not consent to their being tried upon my daughters; but perfuaded as I am of their being founded upon the principles of eternal reason, I befeech of you to proceed with unremitting zeal and application, to complete them according to your plan. The great difficulty to be furmounted in the foundation of a new and proper system of education for women, is to find a groupe of women capable of teaching their own fex, that there may be no Abelards to bring the practice of it into disrepute. Form the clergymen's daughters for this important purpofe; others following their inftructions and example, will be formed in the fame manner; and fucceeding generations will feel the effects of the Catholic tradition, and blifs the apostles of the philofophy of women.
The caufe, my dear Sophia, of the inefficacy of the accomplishment of women, to render them independent and happy in their own refources, is, that the mind and. its philofophy enters not into the knowledge which they have acquired of the mechanism of mufic, poetry, needlework, or any of their amusements; so that their enjoyment is not intellectual, and muft yield in the theatre of the real world to sensual delights, which have a higher influence on the nervous system than they have: then farewell industry and the progreffive improvement in fcience and the fine arts, and will come every thing that can fupply their places with more fenfual enjoyments; farewell every thing that renders women the 05
naments and folacements of domestic fociety. In you, Sophia, I fee the happy proof of the truth and efficacy of your system; and in that plan you have my approbation to proceed. Here Eugenius ended his delightfuldiscourse. The children were playing around us on a meadow greener than velvet; the sheep were sporting around them; the fun was about to defcend into the western wave, and fpread a golden light on the empurpled hills at a distance; the thruth, the wood lark and all the evening birds were joining in chorus with our friends in the caffirio; the fragrance of the dewy flowers filled all the ambient air; my hand was grasped by my affectionate Eugenius; and my thoughts were elevated by all that nature, and fentiment, and extafy, could infpire in the contemplation of their respective. beauties. Every thing smiled around me; and I refolved to deserve it.
I fhall not trouble you with the progreffive fteps of my inftruction to my young ladies, as it refembled in moft refpects, the ordinary mode adopted in the best academies for the education of boys, with due attention, when neceffary, to the difference of the fex. I difcovered the various propenfities of my daughters and their friends; one had a decided turn for mufic, another for drawing, a third for natural history in general, a fourth for botany, a fifth for history and the fciences connected with it, and the fixth for astronomy and the study of natural philofophy. All of them were taught in perfection, what was effentially neceflary for women, as housewives; and the clergyman's daughters were completely fitted for governeffes in the belt families, with the additional capacity of being able to teach the fciences in the manner of preceptors.
I was particularly careful, as their capacities opened, in the inftitution of my young ladies in the principles of universal grammar, logic and ethics; after which, from natural theology, I led them to the ftudy of the principles of