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ART. VI.-Woman.

SINCE the most remote ages, the virtues and vices of the female sex have been the subject of commendation or censure. Their imperfections have swelled the page of the satyrist, while the lines of the amatory enthusiast have acquired new attractions when their charms were blazoned in his melodious verse. But when we reflect upon the important duties which it is their part to perform in society, it deserves some attention to inquire, whether we consult our own interest, much less our happiness, in making women, heedlessly, the subject of malicious invective, sarcastic ridicule, or extravagant eulogy.

It is a vulgar notion, that women held a very degraded state in former times; and this unmanly debasement of the last best gift to man, is cited as a proof of the savage manner in which men lived, before they had submitted to the restraints of civilization. But the customs of ruder times, as recorded in the testimony of intelligent travellers or the pages of history, so far from giving any probability to this opinion, rather establish the contrary.

The nature of man leads him to prefer what is lovely and gentle to what is deformed and stern.

Woman, be fair, we must adore thee,

Smile, and a world is weak before thee.


Hence we find the wandering savage repairing with eager delight to the feet of his mistress, after he has roamed through the wilderness. There he sinks under a disdainful frown, after pursuing the chace unappalled by the yells of wild beasts, that sought his blood, and undaunted by the threats of adverse chieftians who strove to impede his course. The ferocity of the warrior is lost in the tender assiduity of the lover: He feels all those emotions of fear and hope, of anxiety and tenderness, which agitate the bosom of the most accomplished gentleman who adorns the circles of polished society. It is true, he does not besiege her with reams of sonnets, nor despoil the trees that shelter her cabin by carving her name upon their tender trunks. These are the refinements of modern courtship. But the untutored lover evinces his affection by proofs more solid and unequivocal. With a perseverance and courage which no other motive could inspire, he pursues the chace that he may tempt her with its spoils, or rushes into battle that her heart may be moved by the tale of his renown.

In all nations some resemblance to the institution of marriage is discovered; and in that union the superiority of woman is distinctly acknowledged by personal solicitation or by bribes to the parents of the female. Among the ancient Germans, whom modern refinement, less just than fastidious, has saluted with the epithet of barbarism, they attended the debates and mingled in the

counsels of the nation. They were carried to the field of battle, that the sight of them might animate the breast, and nerve the arm of the warrior, and a female hostage was considered as the most unquestionable pledge of sincerity.

To woman chiefly we owe the valour, the wildness, and the generosity of chivalry. Her charms inspired the breast of the youthful knight with noble emulation, and her love repaid the valour of his arm. The obligations were reciprocal. When a knight entered the lists, he announced, with every circumstance of pomp and parade, the name of her to whom his breast paid willing homage. Her smile inflamed his ambition, and the splendid achievements of her knight shed new lustre upon her perfections. None but the virtuous awakened the love of the brave, and he who had proved recreant in the combat, never basked in the favours of the fair.

As chivalry derived its origin from the operations of love, the beams of its glory faded when women no longer beheld the contest and rewarded the victor.

Europe became the seat of tumultuous commotions, and a long night succeeded the day of chivalric lustre. But if we descend to modern times, we shall find the female sex still maintaining its influence, either by those hidden ornaments of a meek and quiet spirit, which the apostle describes, or by more striking, though less durable qualities. In France, according to the ancient Salic law, no woman could wield the sceptre; but they could govern the monarch.

I do not hesitate to extend these observations and say that women deserve to hold this rank in society, because their influence is rarely devoted to pernicious principles. They possess in an eminent degree all the virtues which adorn the mind and polish society. Their passions are not so rude and mischievous as those which tear the breast of man. I have heard it remarked, by a profound observer of human nature, that whenever he met with a great man, he had almost invariably been able to attribute his superiority to the lessons of a prudent mother.

How sacred are the duties, how anxious the feelings and how delicious the enjoyments of the mother!-In sickness and in sorrow she produces one more traveller on the thorny path of life. She has trod its mazes and she knows its difficulties. She has seen the fragrant flowers of vice which entice the weary and the heedless. A long and bitter experience has taught her that what is fair to the eye, often imparts no fragrance to the heart. She has tasted the sweets of prosperity and drunk, to its very dregs, the cup of adversity. Warned by the past and fearful of the future, how painful and yet how delicious are her reflections as she gazes on the helpless offspring that derives its nourishment from her bosom. Alternately her forboding heart is distracted and delighted as she endeavours to unveil the hidden mysteries of time. At one moment her aching

sight is dazzled by glittering prospects of future glory: in the next-but who can depict the feelings of her who anticipates evil days to her son, to the pledge of affection, the living monument of love, the stay of her declining years? That agonizing theme is imprinted on the heart of woman, and nothing but the pencil of inspiration can copy its glowing colours.

But when we contemplate the bright side of the picture, how delightful is our view. Behold the fond mother invigorating the frame and embellishing the mind of a beloved son. See him, like the parched earth imbibing the wholesome dews of virtue and wisdom. His arm is raised in defence of his country against the depredations of lawless invasion or to stem the torrent of imperious despotism. She follows him to the tented field. Neither smoke, nor tumult nor carnage obscures him from her anxious gaze. In the eries of the wounded, her heart sinks, but it is animated again by the voice of patriotism. It is that of her hero, who rallies his fainting followers, and conjures them to live free or follow their fathers to the silent tomb.

Oh! ever sacred be the character of the virtuous mother. None can know its pains but those who have suffered them; and few, alas! a very few, are doomed to taste its delights.

It is a common observation that the men who are most esteemed, are those who are found in the society of virtuous women. It is there that the licentiousness of vice is restrained, the forwardness of impudence abashed, and the buds of excellence are cherished until they expand and diffuse their genial influence through the various situations of life. There, in the enjoyment of those tranquil pleasures which result from virtuous emotions, the malice of the vindictive dares not whisper its guilty designs, and the wretched forget those consuming cares which distract the brain, and add another link to the lengthening chain of human life.

This is the current that glides with gentle murmur, and makes sweet music to the ear when its fair course is not hindered.* On its tranquil bosom we are borne through the voyage of life: when the wind whistles and the storm rages it bears us to a cheerful port. If a wreck does happen, we shall generally discover, that the waves were not treacherous, but the mariner unskilful. SAMUEL SAUNTER.

CONSCIENCE, says St. Austin, is like a wife; the best of comforts, if good; the worst of naughts, if bad.

• Shakspeare.

For the Port Folio.

ART. VII.-Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains; performed in the years 1819-20 by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, secretary of war, under the command of S. H. Long, Maj. Topl. Engrs. From the notes of Maj. Long, Mr. Say and other gentlemen of the exploring party. Compiled by Edwin James, botanist and geologist for the expedition. Philadelphia. Carey and Lea. 2 vols. 8vo. with an atlas.

THIS expedition was performed in pursuance of a plan conceived several years ago, by the federal administration, of exploring our western possessions. In his selection of the persons to whom this duty was assigned, the secretary of the war department was fortunate in finding agents in whom exact and various knowledge was combined with ardent zeal and untiring perseverance. The command of the party was given to Maj. Long, of the engineer corps; a gentleman whose talents for observation are happily united with that suavity of deportment which is so agreeable in polished society and so important in an intercourse with the rude and suspicious savage. The work, of which the title is placed at the head of this article, is the result of this exploratory tour. It does not aim at elegance of style, nor is the arrangement so regular as could be desired. It is a faithful and unambitious account of what the writers saw among a singular race of beings and in a country almost unknown to civilized man. Accordingly it abounds with traits of aboriginal manners and character which scarcely yield in attractiveness to the events of an Arabian tale; and they are blended with scientific information which is far more instructive.

To Dr. Baldwin was first entrusted the duty of acting as botanist for the expedition. He was required to describe all the products of vegetation; to note the diseases and observe any phenomena in our species which might deserve attention. His death, which occurred in about four months, after they sailed from Pittsburgh, deprived his associates, of an able cooperator, and a companion who had won their liveliest esteem. To the latest moment he was devoted to that fascinating science, with which his name is advantageously connected. He was honoured with the friendship and correspondence of the celebrated Bonpland; and he was a liberal contributor to the several works of his friends, Pursh, Nuttall, and the venerable Muhlenbergh.

Mr. Say was engaged, very much to his own satisfaction, and to the edification of the public, in the examination of objects in zoology. Mr. Jessup found subjects for investigation in the important branch of geology. The name of Mr. Peale will at once intimate to an American reader, that he was employed as a naturalist; and to Mr. Seymour's pencil, we are indebted for the beautiful landscapes and other pictorial embellishments of these volumes.

Lieutenant Graham and cadet Swift acted as assistant topographers and superintended the drilling of the boat's crew, in the exercise of the musket, the field piece, and the sabre. The journal of the expedition was ordered to be kept by major Biddle; but it does not appear that this task was performed, or if it was, that the compiler of these volumes derived any advantage from his labours. This is unaccountable to us, because by the general orders, journals of every kind relating to the expedition were to be placed at the conclusion of the trip, at the disposal of the commanding officer, as the agent of the government. The other gentlemen are constantly referred to and largely quoted, while Mr. Biddle is but incidentally mentioned on two unimportant occasions. In the second orders issued at "Engineer Cantonment," where they took up their winter quarters, he entirely disappears from our notice.

Although the incidents of the narrative present no very romantic features, yet a lively interest is excited in the mind of the reader, by the perilous adventures of the travellers, the diversity of scenery, the contrast of manners, and the important additions to the several departments of natural science, which are here described. What may be the ultimate condition of our tawny neighbours is a fruitful subject of speculation. Fancy may pierce the vista of their futurity and behold them transformed into a race of cultivated beings. The christian religion may supplant the mistaken though devout worship of an unknown God.* The loom may be heard on their silent prairies, and lofty spires may glitter in the place of humble cabins. Nations may contend on those noble streams which are now skimmed by the light canoe, and the plough invade the path of the hunter.

But we must awaken from these day-dreams of the imagination, in order to describe the progress of our enterprising countrymen. Pittsburgh was selected as the place of rendezvous. At this place, the party embarked on board of the United States' steam boat," Western Engineer," on the 4th of May, 1819.

Their outfit consisted of books, instruments, stationary, &c. together with such provisions as were deemed necessary. They proceeded down the Ohio river, making observations and surveys along the banks, thereby augmenting the stock of information, already before the world. This part of their route, however, having been often visited and described by scientific men, but little matter of a novel or interesting character could be expected. Still, an investigation of the numerous organic remains and mineral productions, which are constantly found on the shores of this beautiful stream-(La Belle Riviere, as it was originally called by the

* How much more wise, and honest, and humane, would it be to employ our superfluous wealth in promoting the comfort of these poor savages, instead of pouring it into the large coffers of foreign missionary societies, to be wasted among the followers of Juggernaut. 63


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