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it of such a work after it is ended, is much inferiour to a single striking observation, expressed with purity, simplicity, energy and precision.
IT seems to be the fashion to despond because the French army has made some progress in Spain, and to consider the glorious struggle for liberty and honour, in which the whole Spanish nation is opposed to the greatest oppressor whom the world has ever seen, as utterly ineffectual and hopeless. But whilst we remember the wonderful resources of the French emperour,his numerous well appointed armies,his talents, and his intrigues, we cannot forget the cause in which the patriots are engaged, the enmity and the unsubdued spirit of hostility, which they express towards their enemies. Bonaparte, in traversing Spain without effectual impediments, will not necessarily conquer the determinations still to resist him. If the Spaniards are actuated by an ardour as inextinguishable, and a courage as invincible as ours were during our revolutionary war, though they may be beaten as we were in almost every pitched battle, we may expect that, as we did, they will rise up like hydras in every corner, and gather fresh strength from fresh opposi. tion.
There is nothing contained in any news we have yet received from Spain, which should incline us to despair of the ultimate success of the patriots. Who has been so foolish as to imagine the Spaniards capaple of resisting the discipline and numbers of the French armies in general engagements? Who could have supposed that Napoleon would have been suddenly defeated, when the Supreme Junta expressly ordered their generals by all means to avoid coming into actions, the issue of which might determine the fate of the country. Under such instructions, what have the Spaniards lost that might not have been foreseen? They have avoided all general actions. They have maintained defensive positions on high grounds. They have wisely separated their forces. They have retreated when they expected defeat. They have fought bravely, but not rashly. The consequences have been, that even by the French bulletins, they have not suffered severe losses of men ; they have received irritating wounds, but not fatal blows. And after all Napoleon's successes, there are as many ar. mies ready to fight him, and certainly as capable of opposing him, as when he first attacked General Blake, at Sonorsa, in the beginning of the campaign.
The Spaniards must fight hard to drive the French out of their coun. try ; but long contests make good soldiers ; and it is admitted by one of the first generals of the age, that the Spanish troops are as courage. ous and hardy as those of any other nation in Europe, and much more docile and easily led on. They will begin soon to gain partial success. es over the French; this will revive their spirits, correct their discipline, and above all confirm their steadiness under a galling fire. New generals, if the old ones are killed, will be found to rise up ; they are always produced during great struggles. And perhaps in a few months we may hear of another battle of Pultowa, at Salamanca, or under the walls of Saragossa.
LETTERS FROM BOSTON.
No. II. To
Boston, September, 10, 1808. I FIND the Bostonians so impressed with their political importance in the union of the states, that they think, write and talk upon nothing else but politicks, and the embargo is the first and last subject, which has engaged the attention of every company of gentlemen into which I have yet been introduced. I do not wonder at the circumstance ; the increasing prosperity and happiness of the country has been suddenly impeded, and as the whole community depend upon commerce for all their pleasures and enjoyments, it is natural that the embargo should almost exclusively engage their attention. The ladies, however, act a different part. As they are uncommonly fond of the company of strangers, they employ all their arts, of dress, conversation, and personal charms, to engage their devoted attention. The women here, when I first landed, as I had for so long a time been familiar only with the sight of swarthy beauties, appeared bike so many divinities. But I have recovered the use of my reason, which was bewildered by the glare of their charms, and I now can discover their defects, and discriminate pretty accurately between one beauty and another. I brought letters to your old friend Mr. ******, who has treated me with uncommon civility. Indeed the hospitality of the Bostonians to strangers is pro- . verbial. As soon as I made myself known to Mr. ******, he offered to shew me the town, as he called it; I accepted his invitation, and he conducted me to all the remarkable elevations, of which there are a number, pointed out the buildings most remarkable for beauty, historis cal importance or general utility, and introduced me to such institutions as he thought it would be most agreeable for a stranger to be acquainted with. As I shall have occasion hereafter to describe with some minuteness, my impressions in relation to these topicks, it will not be ne. cessary to enter into the detail at present. I only mention it, as an instance of your friend's attention, who employed himself the whole day in contributing to my amusement and information. In the evening, at liis house, I had the pleasure for the first time, of viewing an assembly
of American ladies. I think their predominant defect is want of taste
in the disposition of their dress. Their clothes are by no means well put on; and they carry to a great extent the too dangerous and very disgusting practice of reducing the waist, by bracing it as much as possible. The effects of this habit on the other sex are by no means so favourable as the ladies have erroneously supposed; for while it causes a more lavish exhibition of their personal charms, the charm of modesty and diffidence seems entirely forgotten. The Boston ladies walk ivery ill; they are so accustomed to the uncommonly bad pavements of their city, that they hobble along like the Chinese. They are yery fond of shopping, or rather of displaying their persons in publick; and they Parade for that purpose through the principal street; which they call Cornhill, after our London street, and completely fatigue the shopman about goods which they frequently have no intention of purchasing. Shopping serves as an excuse for young women to show themselves in publick ; they remain in Cornhill, often a whole forenoon, overturning half the goods in half the shops in the town, and return home without any other bargain than perhaps a pretty ribbon, or a bauble yet more insignificant. I do not mention this circumstance as an objection to the Boston ladies ; on the contrary I am delighted to observe the frequen.cy with which they repeat it. As it is considered indecorous, according to the motherly phraseology of the old ladies, for the young women to be always in the streets,' the going a shopping answers for a sufficient excuse, and under that guise, they can become the theme of remark among the sauntering beaux, or can be accompanied by them without giving rise to any scandalous stories, which even common civility from a young gentleman is apt to produce among the old maids of the city. I have often remarked how readily scandalous stories are propagated, in a community where there is a large proportion of old maids. The state of Massachusetts it is estimated has about three females to two males, and the males generally continue single, particularly in the city, until they are at least thirty years of age ; so that it may be fairly supposed that there are few towns in the world, where a greater number of disappointed prudes and affected belles have ended their career in stale virginity, than this same city of Boston. And certainly there is no city in which a story which may involve the chastity of a fine woman or the character of a celebrated man, spreads with a more rapid circulation than this. I had not been in my lodgings more than two days, Before the gossiping tales of the day were begun, believed and disposed of with most pertinacious volubility, by a certain gentleman at the dinner table, whose name, for distinction sake, I shall call Mr. Gossamer Gadfly.
Gossamer, without a particle of real understanding, has a kind of affected humour, and Aippancy of utterance, which renders him eminently well calculated to communicate stories about his acquaintance ;
and he is extremely fond of, raising a laugh at the indiscretions of his friends, by relating with all the force of mimickry and drollery any ridiculous event or particularity by which their lives or manners may be distinguished. This kind of behaviour in him, I have heard attributed to a mere effervescence of youthful hilarity, that it begins and ends in good humour, and that as all his acquaintances, and even his relations experience the same treatment, every body laughs at his jokes, his grimaces, and his volubility without ever once being offended. For my part, if I could discover any thing like sense in all his vivacity, I could readily enough forgive the eccentricity he displays. But under all this exteriour, he has no intellect ; his conversation is mere whip syllabub, which, however, seems to please the beaux and belles infinitely more than the solid sense and polite learning of another gentleman, who generally accompanies Mr. Gadfly to all parties of pleasure.
Your sincere friend, C. S.
POETRY, THE opposition of rational religionists to the dangers of fanaticism can hardly be expected to obtain any very remarkable success. The force of reason has but little effect, in counteracting the settled prejadices and determinations of men who are fixed in them by habit, pride, fear and resentment. It is only by little and little, by slow, vigorous and patient attempts, that truth can hope to eradicate errours so deep. ly rooted in the feelings and passions of mankind. Ridicule is the most effectual weapon left us to frighten away prejudice guarded by fear. A man under such circumstances, can more readily be laughed out of his folly by ridicule, than reasoned out of it by the clearest and most illuminated understanding. Yet under its best aspects, the process is peculiarly tedious though good effects may ultimately follow from frequent repetitions ; it seems to resemble that of moistening magnesia, or any other fine powder with water. Though very dry and thirsty it will by no means unite with the fluid at first, but is sure if rashly handled, to run into troublesome knots and masses, or to fly up in the eyes of the operator. By adding but a little of the water at a time, however, and carefully and patiently rubbing it up with the refractory pulvil, he may always be sure of effecting an incorporating union and producing a smooth and indissoluble compound of great virtue and efficacy.'
With these impressions, we think the following lines from a celebrated American satire, may well be administered at this time, and be attended with salutary effects.
With tabernacle phizzes,
By faces longer than my arm !
O what a set of quizzes !
Or vile Old Baily culprits ;
From barn-erected pulpits.
The porcupine's surpasses ;
A barrel of molasses.
Receives from heaven a calling;
Sets up the trade of bawling.
He howls in dismal tone ;-
And you're the devil's own!'
His every tone respond, Sir,
To duck him in a pond, Sir.
Adieu to all decorum ;
Are blasted all before 'em.
Or dreams of things uncommon ;
O, what a nice old woman !