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expreffes it, fince the appearance of that poem *. She is a warm and able advocate for the fex, but fhe feems to speak, fometimes, as though her temper bad fuffered a degree of injury from thofe afflictions, thefe years of ill health,' of which The feelingly complains;—and as if her regard for this world were less than we really think it ought to be.
Some of her obfervations in a kind of dedication to a Lady, deferve particular notice:
It may perhaps be objected, says Mifs Scott, that it was unneceffary to write on this fubject, as the fentiments of all men of fenfe, relative to female education, are now more enlarged than they formerly were. I allow that they are fo; but yet thofe of the generality (of men of fenfe and learning I mean, for it would be abfurd to regard the opinions of thofe who are not fuch) are fill very contracted. How much has been faid, even by writers of diftinguished reputation, of the diftinction of fexes in fouls, of the ftudies, and even of the virtues proper for women? If they have allowed us to ftudy the imitative arts, have they not prohibited us from cultivating an acquaintance with the fciences? Do they not regard the woman who fuffers her faculties to ruft in a state of liftless indolence, with a more favourable eye, than her who engages in a difpaffionate search after truth? And is not an implicit acquiefcence in the dictates of their understandings, efteemed by them as the sole criterion of good fenfe in a woman? I believe I am expreffing myself with warmth, but I cannot help it; for when I fpeak, or write, on this fubject, I feel an indignation which I cannot, and which indeed I do not wish to fupprefs: it has folly and cruelty for its objects, and therefore must be laudable; folly, because if there really are thofe advantages refulting from a liberal education which it is infinuated they have derived from thence, the wider thofe advantages are diffufed, the more will the happiness of faciety be promoted: and if the pleasures that flow from knowledge are of all others the most refined and permanent, it furely is extreme barbarity to endeavour to preclude us from enjoying them, when they allow our fenfations to be far more exquifite than their own. But I flatter myself a time may come, when men will be as much afhamed to avow their narrow prejudices, in regard to the abilities of our fex, as they are now fond to glory in them. A few fuch changes I have already feen; for facts have a powerful tendency to convince the understanding; and of late, female authors have appeared with honour, in almoft every walk of literature. Several have ftarted up fince the writing of this little piece; the
See Review, vol. x. p. 371.
public favour has attefted the merit of Mrs. Chapone's "Letters on the Improvement of the Mind ;" and of Mifs More's elegant paftoral drama, intituled, "A Search after Happiness." "Poems by Phillis Wheatley t, a Negro Servant to Mr. Wheatley of Bofton ;" and, "Poems by a Lady," printed for G. Robinfon in Paternofter-row, lately publifhed, alfo poffefs confiderable merit.'
We think Mifs Scott's own poem would lead one to be of opinion, that the ladies have at all times fhared confiderably with the gentlemen in literary honour. She feems however to hint as if this was the æra of their approaching liberty. We confefs ourselves unacquainted with the figns of the times, if her expectations are well grounded. They are not furely occafioned by any improvements in the general mode of female education. Although boarding-fchools are conducted, much as they ever have been, yet a prepofterous fpecies of literature has been introduced into fome of them, by the humble imitators of a wretched orator. It is called English reading. These oratorical mafters, ignorant for the moft part as their fcholars, teach them to ftamp and tear and mouth out of Shakespeare and Milton. The poor girls are thus rendered worse than ignorant; conceited without knowledge, and fupercilious without tafte. Hence the prejudices of the men, with refpect to female learn ing, are by no means likely to be leffened. It is dreadful for a man of real knowledge and politeness to encounter one of thefe literary vixens. They are always ready with their paffages and their speeches; they throw themfelves into a theatrical attitude, and give you a fpecimen of their fine reading. You are offended with an empty mind, bloated with vanity; while politenefs obliges you to fupprefs your difguft, and perhaps to feign fome degree of admiration.-The effects of real knowledge are gentleness and modefty, particularly in a fex where any thing approaching to affurance is intolerable. We think, therefore, that the ladies can never hope, in any confiderable numbers, either to rival the men in literary fame, or to render themselves fuch rational, entertaining, and improving companions, as to reconcile us to their learning, till fome perfons of real and extenfive knowledge introduce confiderable improvements into their education.
The following lines on a celebrated female genius, now living, will prove an acceptable fpecimen of Mils Scott's poetical talents:
+ Surely Mifs Scott has impeached her own judgment in thus affociating the celebrated Mifs More with the poor negro girl, whofe talent for poetical imitation we mentioned fome time ago!
• Say MONTAGUE can this unartful verse
O, fweet Philanthropy! thou guest divine!
Mrs. Montague, Author of the "Effay on the Genius and Writings of Shakespeare, compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets."
MONTHLY CATALOGUE, For NOVEMBER, 1774
Art. 12. A new Effay (by the Pennsylvanian Farmer) on the Conftitutional Power of Great Britain over the Colonies in America, c. 8vo. 2 s. Almon. 1774.
HE authority of parliament over the colonies was contefted in the House of Commons foon after the firft migrations to America, and the feveral attempts in favour of the bill for free liberty of fishing on the coaft of that continent were all fruftrated by King James the Firft, Charles his fucceffor, and their minifters, whe held America to be without the realm and jurisdiction of parliament: a very different policy was however introduced in the time of the Commonwealth, by the Long Parliament, who having ufurped the right of the crown, and the fupreme legislative power not only of England, but of Scotland and Ireland, paffed an act on the 9th of Oct. 1651, for the Increase of Shipping and Encouragement of
Navigation," and extended the fame to America. This act, at the Restoration, was among others, with a few alterations, reenacted by the King, Lords, and Commons; but being confidered as a grievance by the colonies, was at firft very little regarded any where in America, and not at all in Maffachusetts Bay, until the Affembly of that colony had paffed an act to enforce the obfervance of it, without which they held it to have no authority there. From this time the power of parliament being feldom and moderately exercifed over America, fometimes for the manifeft advantage of the colonies, and always on plaufible pretences, the oppofition which had formerly fubfifted to it, gradually fubfided, and was indeed forgotten, when the late ftamp act, by the novelty of its operation, revived a dispute new to the prefent generation. The people of America had, at that time, a fenfe of their more important rights, but knew not well how to define them: they were befide averfe from contending with the parent ftate, and therefore admitted the power of parliament, as far as could confift with a denial of the juftice of the stamp act. A fucceffion, however, of different measures afterwards obliged them to prefcribe different limits to parliamentary authority; and hence, at different times, they have diftinguished between internal and external taxation; between a right of making laws and the right of impofing taxes; and between taxes for the regulation of trade, and thofe for the purpose of a revenue. At the commencement of this controverfy, legislative authority was hastily conceded to parliament by the colonists; but their opponents having abused this conceffion, and endeavoured to infer from it a right of taxation alfo, the Affembly of Matlachusetts Bay, in 1773, having confidered their political hiftory and feveral charters, retracted this conceffion, and (adopting a fyftem before propofed by an American advocate) maintained the colonies to have been originally constituted distinct ftates, fubject to the King, but independent of the parliament; and fince that time the claims and arguments of the colonists have been generally founded upon this fyftem, which therefore becomes an object of importance. The uncommon attention which the American controverly now claims, has occafioned, and will, we hope, juftify this retrospect.
The pamphlet before us appears to have been written by the celebrated Mr. Dickenfon. It confifts chiefly of an argumentative part, in fupport of the inftructions of a committee of the province of Penn. -fylvania to their reprefentatives in Affembly, and well deferves an attentive perufal.-The following extract exhibits the claims and conceffions, proposed by the delegates of a province particularly respectable from the number of its inhabitants, and the moderation with which their political oppofition has been usually conducted.-After profeffing true and faithful allegiance to the King, and submission to all the lawful prerogatives of the crown, the delegates proceed as
"But it is our misfortune that we are compelled loudly to call your attention to the confideration of another power totally different in kind, limited, as it is alleged, by no bounds, and wearing a most dreadful aspect with regard to America; we mean the power
claimed by parliament of right to bind the people of these colonies, by ftatutes, in all cafes whatsoever;" a power as we are not, and from local circumstances cannot, be reprefented there, utterly fubverfive of our natural and civil liberties :-past events, and reafon convincing us that there never existed, and never can exist, a ftate thus fubordinate to another, and yet retaining the lighteft portion of freedom or happiness.
"The import of the words above quoted needs no defcant; for the wit of man, as we apprehend, cannot poffibly form a more clear, concife, and comprehenfive definition and jentence than these expres fions contain.
"Honour, Justice, and Humanity call upon us to hold, and to tranfmit to our pofterity, that liberty which we received from our ancestors. It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children; but it is our duty to leave liberty to them. No infamy, iniquity, or cruelty can exceed our own, if we, born and educated in a country of freedom, intitled to its bleffings, and knowing their value, pufillanimously deferting the poft affigned us by Divine Providence, farrender fucceeding generations to a condition of wretchedness, from which no human efforts, in all probability, will be fufficient to extricate them; the experience of all tates mournfully demonftrating to us, that when arbitrary power has been established over them, even the wifest and bravest nations have, ́in a few years, degenerated into abject and wretched vaffals."
After recommending the appointment of deputies to a General Congrefs by the Affembly, they defire,
"First, that the deputies you appoint may be inftructed by you ftrenuously to exert themselves, at the enfuing congrefs, to obtain a renunciation, on the part of Great Britain, of all powers under the statute of the 35th of Henry VIII. chap. II. of all powers of internal legiflation-of impofing taxes or duties internal or external-and of regulating trade, except with respect to any new articles of commerce which the colonies may hereafter raife, as filk, wine, &c. referving a right to carry thefe from one colony to another-a repeal of all ftatutes for quartering troops in the colonies, or fubjećting them to any expence on account of fuch troops-of all ftatutes impofing duties to be paid in the colonies, that were paffed at the acceffion of his prefent Majefty, or before this time, which ever period fhall be judged advifable of the flatutes giving courts of Admiralty in the colonies greater power than courts of Admiralty have in England of the ftatutes of the 5th of Geo. II. chap. XXII. and of the 23d of Geo. II. chap. XXIX.-of the ftatute for shutting up the port of Boston, and of every other ftatute particularly affecting the province of Maffachusetts Bay, paffed in the last feffion of parliament.
"In cafe of obtaining thefe terms, it is our opinion, that it will be reasonable for the colonies to engage their obedience to acts of parliament, commonly called acts of navigation, and to every other act declared to have force at this time in thefe colonies, other than * thofe above mentioned, and to confirm fuch ftatutes by acts of the feveral Affemblies;"-and alfo "to fettle a certain annual revenue