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setting the imagination in play-by the urgency of our wants, and the passions by the imagination, produces that increased sociability, that more refined sensibility, that elevation of the feelings and active energies, whereby the circle of our pleasures is enlarged, and our capacity for rejoicing in existence, is at once increased with our desires? Let us therefore follow Nature, a conductress who cannot lead us wrong. It is not she, but our impatience, our greediness of enjoy-reach, transports and bliss, and sweet oblivion ment, our inattention to her warnings, that lead || of every care. In this she seemed to find her us astray. Every higher step to which mankindown full pleasure. But her bounty extended advance, requires another method of life; and only to the present moment. Her dissolution therefore because the great mass of mortals are imperceptibly became that of the whole nation, to be regarded as infants, who know not how to which the more easily happened, as no other is govern themselves, this office must be consigned more natural to man. Life was enjoyed, and to a legislative power, capable of surveying the no one bestowed a thought on the future. whole, and prescribing rules of conduct adapted to every remarkable alteration in their circumstances. Long live the beautiful Lili! She has acquired a claim to our gratitude; for she has done us good. But if she now should please to give us as complete a police, as is necessary for preserving her gifts from being pernicious, then she certainly deserves, at least as much as the
great monkey, that we should build pagods to her!
The beautiful Lili skipped along the flowery path in which a voluptuous passion led her, regardless of the menaces of the one, or the cautions of the other. She enjoyed the satisfaction of being the object of the love and adoration of the whole nation. Fanned by winged loves and joys, she shed around her, as far as her view could
I love this Lili, exclaimed the Sultan, in a tone of vivacity that had not been observed in him for a long time past. I must be better acquainted with her. Good night, Mirza and Danishmende, Nurmahal shall stay to give me the picture of the beautiful Lili.
[To be continued.]
ON THE STRUCTURE OF LANGUAGE;
RULES FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF EPISTOLARY COMPOSITION.
A knowledge of the due import of words, is one of the first steps towards the attainment of perspicuity, accuracy, and elegance in epistolary composition. There are in the English, as in
SOCIETY being dependent on an interchange || writers, through inattention to their phraseology, of ideas, it is of the utmost importance that we should cultivate the art of unfolding them with accuracy. If we attain not this art, we store our minds with valuable knowledge to little purpose; for one of the greatest pleasures and the principal advantages of society, arises from the communi-every other language, a number of words, termed cation of what we have acquired by it. It is synonymes, which have some resemblance to each not always sufficient that we have a clear con- other, and agree in expressing a leading idea, ception of what we would make others under-but stand; to succeed in transfusing our ideas into the mind of another, we must know how to express them by appropriate words, and by such an arrangement as renders it impossible for them to be mistaken.
express it under some diversity of circumstances which render an indiscriminate application of them very improper. Every word in our language has a limited and determined signification, and whenever it is used to express more or less than this sense, or to express an idea that differs from it, precision is violated.
Words may be ill chosen from three causes. They may not express the idea we wish to convey, they may express it, but not in its fullest
It is a common error to believe that every thing essential to a correct phraseology is comprised in the rules of grammar; but style may be regu. lated by the purest grammatical rules, and yet be so loose and ill connected, so obscure, embar-extent, and they may express all that we mean, rassed, and inelegant, as to offend against the and something more than we mean. An example fundamental laws of composition. This will be will make this understood. made apparent by the following remarks and illustration, the latter of which exhibit some great inaccuracies that certain distinguished
They may not express the idea we wish to convey. When an author speaks of his hero's courage in the day of battle, the expression is pre
cise, and we understand it fully: but if, from a desire of multiplying words, he should praise his courage and fortitude; at the moment he joins these words together, our ideas begin to waver. He means to express one quality more strongly, but he is in truth expressing two: courage resists danger fortitude supports pain. The occasion of exerting each of these qualities is different; and being led to think of both together, when only one of them sh uld be considered, our view is rendered unsteady, and our conception of the object indistinct.
To be precise, signifies that we fully express the idea we wish to convey and nothing more. To wish or to speak, therefore, with precision, we must pay a strict attention to the specific meaning of the words. The following instances show a difference in the import of many words that are synonymous.
The foregoing instances show the utility of
To avow, to acknowledge, to confess. The synonomy of these words consist in their agree-paying attention to the distinct import of words. ing to express some truth; the distinction between them is marked by the difference of the circumstances under which the declaration is made. We avow what we are not unwilling should be known, we acknowledge an error, and e confess a crime.
The next thing to be considered is the arrangement of them. As the grammar of our language is comparatively not extensive, there may be an obscure order of words, where there is no transgression of any grammatical rule. The relation of words, or members of a sentence, are, with us, ascertained only by the position in which they stand. Hence a capital rule in the structure of language is, that the words, or members most clearly related, should be placed in the sentence as near to each other as possible, so as to make their mutual relation clearly appear. The importance of this rule will appear from the following instances of faulty arrangement; but in order more clearly to determine the proper application of it, what is meant by a member of a sentence must be explained. A sentence, or period, is what extends from one full stop to another; a member is what runs from one rest, or pause, to another.
Surprized, astonished, amazed, confounded. We are surprized with what is new and unexpected; we are astonished at what is vast or great; we are amazed at what is incomprehensible; we are confounded by what is shocking or terrible. Custom respects the action; habit the actor. By custom, we mean the frequent repetition of the same act; by habit, the effect which that repetition produces on the mind or body. By the custom of walking often in the streets we acquire a habit of idleness.
disdain, on the low opinion which we have of
Difference, inequality, disparity. Difference marks a distinction in kind; thus we say different animals, different plants. Inequality relates to number, and disparity to qualities. There is a great difference between men and brutes; a great inequality in the population of different places; and a great disparity in the character and talents of the human race.
Durable, constant. That which is durable does not cease; that which is constant does not change The friendship of a virtuous man is durable, and he is constant in giving proofs of it.
Wisdom, prudence. Wisdom leads us to speak and act what is most proper; prudence prevents our speaking or acting improperly.
Entire, complete. A thing is entire by wanting none of its parts; complete, by wanting none of its appendages.
To imitate, to counterfeit. We imitate from admiration; we counterfeit for amusement.— We imitate a particular style of painting, and may improve upon it; we counterfeit the voice, or the manners of another, and to succeed we must be exact.
EXAMPLES OF ILL ARRANGED WORDS AND
Only, alone. Only, imports that there is no other of the same kind; alone, imports being accompanied by no other. An only child, is one that has neither brother nor sister; a child alone, is one who is left by itself There is a difference, therefore, in precise language, between these two phrases, "virtue only makes us happy," and "virtue alone makes us nappy;" the first phrase imports that nothing but virtue can make us happy; the last, that virtue itself is happiness.
"By greatness," says Mr. Addison, "I do not only mean the bulk of any single object, but the largeness of a whole view." From the improper place in which the adverb only stands in this sentence, the question may be put-what does he mean more? The arrangement would have been equally faulty if the adverb had followed the word bulk, as, "I do not mean the bulk only;" for it might then have been inferred that he meant its shape also, or its colour, or some other property which it possessed. As the word object is what the adverb relates to, this last should have stood thus:-" By greatness I do not mean the bulk of any single object only;" for then if we ask,-what else does he mean?
Haughtiness, disdain. Haughtiness is founded on the high opinion we entertain of ourselves;
the answer comes out as the author intended,the largeness of a whole view."
theism, or atheism? This is what the words literally import, through the wrong placing of the adverb only. It should have been, "Theism can be opposed only to polytheism or atheism." "The Romans understood liberty, at least, as well as we." These words are capable of two
different senses, according as the emphasis in reading them, is laid upon liberty, or upon at least “Theism can only be opposed to polytheism, The words should have been thus arranged :-or atheism." Is it meant that theism is capable"The Romans understood liberty as well, at of nothing else besides being opposed to poly-least, as we;" for as the adverb stands in the first sentence, we may suppose, either that if the Romans understood nothing else as well as us, they understood liberty as well, if not better; or simply, that their knowledge of liberty was equal, or superior to ours. [To be continued.]
THE LADIES' TOILETTE; OR ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF BEAUTY,
[Continued from Vol. I. Page 383.]
O TREBLY and quadruply cursed be the unlucky Spaniard who, walking abroad one fine morning in Jucutan, discovered that famous plant from which was made the black and filthy powder which came and widened the noses of our belles, sullied the purity of their breath, and added to the disgusting tax of a frequent emunc-sensations it has since occasioned. tion.
Of all the fashions invented by caprice, none is more ignoble than that of taking snuff, which was so universally practised.
We must not, however, deprive snuff of an honour to which it is justly entitled; let us be impartial, and acknowledge that there is nothing but what is productive of some little benefit. The wisdom of nations has said," 'Tis an ill
When the use of snuff began to gain ground, all the physicians declared either for or against this new sternutatory, and more than a hundred volumes were written by both sides on this sub
Cursed be the ambassador, Jean Nicot, who gave his name to tobacco, and who imagined that he was making a valuable present to a powerful queen, by sending her his adopted daughter, theject. The sage doctors forgot even their favourite young Nicotana, who, proud of having raised faciamus experimentum, and were wholly intent herself to the nasal ducts of Catharine de Mc- on supporting to the last drop of their ink, the dicis, and of having irritated the pituitary mein-opinion they had thought fit to adopt in this brane of a royal nose, then assumed the pompous celebrated dispute. How many patients were appellation of the Queen Plant. † indebted for their recovery to this lucky armi tice! At length the contest ended; the medical men were tired of waging war with each other, they returned to their functions, and fell to work again upon their patients. Snuff came off victorious, and it was soon in general use.
Cursed be also that grand-prior of France, and those two cardinals who contested the ridiculous honour of perpetuating their memory by giving their name to this royal powder.
I shall not here pursue the history of snuff, which would, however, be a curious subject; I must say, to the honour of our ladies, that for some years they have almost relinquished the practice of taking it. As every thing, however, depends on fashion, should it please that omnipotent deity to revive this disgusting custom, we should soon again see it become general. Nay,
A province of Terra Firma. This was about it is even said that we are threatened with such the year 1520.
a circumstance; the women have lately begun to carry very small boxes which they denominate demi-journées.
Must then the most ridiculous abuses be renewed at certain periods? Have we not heard
+ Catharine of Medicis was desirous of giving her name to tobacco, and that it should be called Medicea; but she could not accomplish her wish.
No. XIII. Vol. II.
wind that blows nobody profit;" and here this proverb may be very happily applied. Were snuff productive of no other advantage than that of having excited, at its origin, a long civil war among physicians, this service ought to compensate, in some measure, for the disagreeable
of every age, by the testimony of all nations that the luxury of women destroys population, private happiness, and the harmony of families; that it undermines public morals, nay, even overturns the fundamental constitutions of empires, and at length effects their total subversion. This truth must justify the conclusion, that supposing general luxury ought to be encouraged, the luxury of women ought to be rigidly restrained by the laws.
My conclusion will appear extremely severe; it is but just if the proposition from which I deduce it be true. Let us exainine whether this is the ca.
Luxury is inimical to the real destination of women; the exorbitant expence required by the refined elegancies of the toilette deters men, and especially such as have any prudence, from thinking of a serious establishment, which most frequently presents to their view no other prospect than the shameful waste of their fortune. The young man, then, who is about to try the uncertain chance of a legal union, seeks a wife whose fortune may, in some measure, indemnify him before hand for future expence. Money, therefore, becomes the only merit; money compensates for figure, talents, and loveliness.Beauty, adieu! adieu, ye native graces! adieu, ye mild and amiable virtues! ye are now but an empty name! adieu, ye endearments of love! no longer are ye the bond of union between two youthful hearts! Love! what do I say? The brisk coquette who reads this word, shrugs her shoulders with contempt, and laughs at the Gothic author who would thus couple love and matrimony. “As if love," she will exclaim, "had any thing to do with the choice of a husband! For my part, if I ever marry, give me a man with plenty of money; I will always be fond enough of him if he complies with all my fancies. What a charming thing it is to have elegant apartments, a fashionable chariot, and rich jewel-; to display continual variety in dress, to humble all one's rivals by superior splendor and magnificence!" Which of us has not repeatedly heard this kind of language! Such is the way of thinking of the sex in the ages of luxury. Accordingly, it is in the ages of luxury that marriage sinks into contempt; that the con
It is luxury that awakens in the bosom of the youthful female new desires, wants that are not avowed by nature. It is luxury that banishes from her mind the image of the man she loves, in favour of another for whom she feels none of those tender sentiments that would constitute his happiness the former, it is true, has given the power of language to her heart; the latter has done more, he has imposed silence on her virtue, and gold has obtained what she could have refused to love. Luxury is therefore the first seed of corruption, especially in the lower and most numerous class of society. This truth is so evident that I have no occasion to enlarge farther upon it.
Much has been written both for and against luxury, but the reader must not expect me to repeat here the different arguments ad-jugal union becomes more rare; nay, even that
vanced by its enemies or by its partizans. I shall adopt, with respect to luxury, the system that is approved by each; I will not side either with its enemies or with its partizans. I am, therefore, ready to admit with the latter, if they please, that Juxury is essential to the prosperity of great states, though in my own mind I am not convinced of the truth of the position. But I shall state one grand truth, a truth confirmed by the experience
declamations enough against the use of snuff! If the ancients held in such abhorrence women who used a handkerchief in their presence, what would they have said of those that took snuff, had the practice then existed? Is it still necessary at the present day to employ the weapons of ridicule against this filthy preparation?
Of the Luxury of Women.
"Le superflu, chose si necessaire,
THIS humorous idea of Voltaire is certainly fully justified by modern manners. Luxury has become so general that we may assert, without fear of being thought paradoxical, that superfluity is now an object of the first necessity. Are we on this account the more happy? How many actually stint themselves of real necessaries in order to display in appearance a small portion of this so necessary superfluity!
When I observed in a former chapter, that a taste for dress is natural and commendable in the sex, every reader must be aware, that I was not alluding to luxury in dress. As natural as taste and the coquetry of dress are in the sex whose principal destination is to please, so widely different is luxury from the object which nature has proposed to herself.
the man who has entered into this contract dreads the fruit it may produce, and that what ought to be its highest pleasure is converted into a deprecated scourge. Thus luxury is the bane of posterity.
In proportion as marriage becomes more rare, we witness the multiplication of that class of useless females who take not even the trouble to throw the veil of illusion over the false de
lights which we seek to enjoy in their company. Sterile priestesses of love; each of their sacrifices to Venus is a robbery committed on population. Thus the indolent fly, without benefit to herself, plunders the calix of the flower of that precious dust with which the industrious bee would have produced honey.
But if the fortune of the husband is inadequate to the devouring luxury of his beloved half, need I describe the irregularities, the intrigues, the corruption that ensues; need I paint the honor of the wife eclipsed by insatiable avarice, the departure of happiness, the introduction of misunderstanding and discord, with all the evils that accompany them, into the bosom of the family? Let us draw the curtain over this picture, unfortunately too faithful, of female luxury.
But this is not all. Women are seducing, they are artful; we are weak, we love them in spite of their faults. When love is extinguished in the bosom of man, self-love still survives; he is desirous of having a handsome wife not always because he loves her, but because she is handsome. Such is the empire which woman exercises over our sex. With many men the possession of a beautiful woman is a glory even after it has ceased to be a pleasure. Thus they still continue to pay the same tribute of homage to their charms, only under another name. But in an age when women are spendthrifts, what must that man do who is solicitous to captivate them? The answer is easy, he must spend immense sums of money. Thus man himself will be led to sacrifice every thing to the thirst of gold, since gold alone can procure him all the objects of his desires.
Hence springs that avidity for wealth, so fatal to every other species of merit; hence the credit, the honours, the consideration, and even the esteem so prodigally bestowed upon riches; hence the bad faith of the merchant, the duplicity of the statesman, the partiality of the judge, the intrigues of the factious, the hardihood of the conspirator; hence all the abuses, all the crimes that desolate society, disturb order, and corrupt the whole mass of the nation. It is the thirst of gold, very often combined with the desire of presenting it to an ambitious and intriguing woman, that gives action to the arm of the traitor, that whets the dagger of the assassin How many crimes would never be committed
were the luxury of women rigidly restrained by
But, it may be asked, why should luxury in the fair sex alone be the object of such pointed censure? Why, because among them it makes such rapid progress, which nothing is able to check, as the history of the luxury of the Roman ladies evinces; because in women, no consideration whatever can stem the destructive torrent of their desires; because women who have once launched out into the career of pleasure, never set bounds to it; ever running into extrenies, they would consume in an instant the fortune of ten families, witness Cleopatra.
Why, because women are never satisfied, and because the pleasures of luxury, like all others, fatigue without satiating them.
Why, because the luxury with which they are environed, gives them an influence too powerful, an influence invariably pernicious to
all that surround them.
But how is luxury to be repressed? By sumptuary laws which should permit the higher classes alone to make use of the most costly substances? By no means; the great number of laws which have been made to that effect are sufficient evidence of their inutility. To allow articles of luxury to the great, is to confer a merit on such objects, and to double their value in the eyes of the multitude. It was not by such a measure that Zaleucus checked the inordinate luxury of the Locrians, but by prohibiting superfluities among the most distinguished persons in the state. By his laws no woman of rank could be attended by more than one slave, unless she was intoxicated; he allowed ornaments of gold and embroidery to be worn only by courtezans, and rings by men notorious for depravity. These laws produced all the effect that could be wished, whereas the numerous statutes of our kings on this subject have tended only to excite the cupidity and desire of possessing the brilliant vanities that they designed to prohibit. I could enlarge still more on this subject, but I dare not. It is not always adviseable to cry out against abuses. How many are there who subsist by them! and with such the feelings of private interest are always too powerful for that of public benefit. I shall therefore leave all those gentlemen at rest, and that I may not disturb their repose, I shall quietly terminate this chapter.
(To be continued.}