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8. Some with contempt the brute survey'd,
Nor would a name bestow;
And call’d the thing a BEAU !
MENTAL DISSIPATION.-REV. JOHN EDWARDS.
1. MANY dwarf the intellect, and dissipate the power of thought, by flitting from subject to subject. This week they are down in the bowels of the earth with the geologist; the next they are soaring through the stellar spaces with the astronomer. Now history is all the rage with them; and the next time you meet with them, they are arm in arm with Milton and Shakspeare. Now they are encircled with glasses, and jars, and blowpipes; again the analysis of matter has been given up for the analysis of mind, and the chemical gases supplanted by the mists of metaphysics.
2. To-day they are skipping through the Elysian fields of poetry and romance; to-morrow they are attempting to square the circle or discover the perpetal motion. They begin Greek to-day, and exchange it for German tomorrow. This month is spent in magazine and review reading; the next they are mastering grammar and composition. To-night they are off to a popular lecture; the next they are spouting at a debating club.
3. Thus the mind is never permitted to settle itself to continuous and concentrated action ; its capacities are frittered away; it loses the tone of health and soundness; it becomes sickly and capricious like the bodily appetites of the man who is continually passing from dish to dish, asking a slice of this and a spoonful of that, now something hot and then something cold, now something sweet and then something bitter, crowding and enfeebling his stomach with the strangest and most incongruous mixtures.
THE SONG OF THE CIGAR.-M. Y. Y.
1. I'll smoke no more,
Though sweet enough,
Cigars to puff,
In pamp'ring taste,
Than we who use,
But not abuse,
The potent look
I mean the FAIR!
Whose troubled air,
4. And yet, to burn,
And chew in turn,
Is more than I
Could ever try,
5. To mitigate
My lapsed estate,
My love of smoke,
Without a joke,
6. But e'en this boon,
I found too soon,
Did aggravate my lot;
For, once begin
To wink at sin,
I'll smoke no more,
Though sweet enough,
Cigars to puff,
LEARNING NO BAR TO DOMESTIC DUTIES. SYDNEY SMITH.
1. Now, there is a very general notion, that the moment you put the education of women upon a better footing than it is at present, at that moment there will be an end of all do mestic economy; and that, if you once suffer women to eat of the tree of knowledge, the rest of the family will very soon be reduced to the same kind of aërial and unsatisfactory diet.
2. These, and all such opinions, are referable to one great and common cause of error; that man does everything, and that nature does nothing; and that everything we see is referable to positive institution rather than to original feeling. Can anything, for example, be more perfectly absurd than to suppose that the care and perpetual solicitude which a mother feels for her children, depends upon her ignorance of Greek and mathematics; and that she would desert an infant for a quadratic equation ?
3. We seem to imagine that we can break in pieces the solemn institution of nature, by the little 'laws of a boardingschool; and that the existence of the human race depends upon teaching women a little more or a little less ;-that Cimmerian ignorance can aid paternal affection, or the circle of
* See 2 Kings, Chap. iv., v. 40.
arts and sciences produce its destruction. In the same manner, we forget the principles upon which the love of order, arrangement, and all the arts of economy depend.
4. They depend not upon ignorance nor idleness; but upon the poverty, confusion, and ruin which would ensue for neglecting them. Add to these principles, the love of what is beautiful and magnificent, and the vanity of display ;-and there can surely be no reasonable doubt but that the order and economy of private life is amply secured from the perilous inroads of knowledge.
5. We would fain know, too, if knowledge is to produce such baneful effects upon the material and the household virtues, why this influence has not already been felt? Women are much better educated now than they were a century ago; but they are by no means less remarkable for attention to the arrangements of their household, or less inclined to discharge the offices of parental affection. It would be very easy to show, that the same objection has been made at all times to every improvement in the education of both sexes, and all ranks and been as uniformly and completely refuted by experience.
6 A great part of the objections made to the education of women, are rather objections made to human nature than to the female sex: for it is surely true, that knowledge, where it produces any bad effects at all, does as much mischief to one sex as to the other,-and gives birth to fully as much arrogance, inattention to common affairs, and eccentricity among men, as it does among women. But it by no means follows, that you get rid of vanity and self-conceit because you get rid of learning
7. Self-complacency can never want an excuse; and the best way to make it more tolerable, and more useful, is to give to it as high and as dignified an object as possible. But at all events it is unfair to bring forward against a part of the world an objection which is equally powerful against the whole. When foolish women think they have any distinction, they are apt to be proud of it; so are foolish men. But we appeal to any one who has lived with cultivated persons of either sex, whether he has not witnessed as much pedantry, as much wrong-headedness, as much arrogance, and certainly a great deal more rudeness, produced by learning in men, than in women.
8. Some persons are apt to contrast the acquisition of important knowledge with what they call simple pleasures; and deem it more becoming that a woman should educate flowers, make friendships with birds, and pick up plants, than enter into more difficult and fatiguing studies. If a woman has no taste and genius for higher occupation, let her engage in these to be sure rather than remain destitute of any pursuit. But why are we necessarily to doom a girl, whatever be her taste or her capacity, to one unvaried line of petty and frivolous occupation ?
9. If she is full of strong sense and elevated curiosity, can there be any reason why she should be diluted and enfeebled down to a mere culler of simples, and fancier of birds ?--why books of history and reasoning are to be torn out of her hand, and why she is to be sent, like a butterfly, to hover over the idle flowers of the field ? Such amusements are innocent to those whom they can occupy ; but they are not innocent to those who have too powerful understandings to be occupied by them.
10. Light broths and fruits are innocent food only to weak or to infant stomachs; but they are poison to that organ in its perfect and mature state. But the great charm appears to be in the word simplicity-simple pleasure! If by a simple pleasure is meant an innocent pleasure, the observation is best answered by showing, that the pleasure which results from the acquisition of important knowledge is quite as innocent as any pleasure whatever ; but if by a simple pleasure is meant one, the cause of which can be easily analyzed, or which does not last long, or which in itself is very faint, then simple pleasures seem to be very nearly synonymous with small pleasures; and if the simplicity were to be a little increased, the pleasure would vanish altogether.