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in Italy and France, and one lady you know, the celebrated Laura Buffi, has obtain❜d a profefforship, and been made member of the academy at Bolognia, which fhe fupports with honor, and has a chair in their affemblies destined for her alone.
To defpife the understanding of women, is to lose the grace of many kinds of writing, and fometimes the matter; knowledge from the fex, like diamonds from the hands of the lapidary, receiving its figure and brilliancy, tho' they do not create the gem. Adieu; I am,
Your most obedient fervant.
To the Reverend Father BATISTA
GUARINI, at Rome.
T is by nations, as by individuals, there is no more pretence to expect perfection from one, than the other; the most exalted people; like the most exalted understandings, have their foibles and vices, like those who bear no rank in the nations of the earth; and tho' there may have been certain æras in which they feem to affume the nature of angels, there are others where they join that of the brute; it is the condition of a whole community, as well as of those individuals which compose it.
NOTHING is more common than to fee a man of fuperior understanding duped, in the most common articles of life, where men of much less sense would have escaped; the most prepofterous and abfurd paffions, the most ridi
culous and ill-founded prejudices, poffefs minds, which if we faw no part of them but their fuperior hours, we fhould fcarce credit the weaknefs into which they fall.
No nation is more replete with experiments of this kind, than this which I now live amongft; indeed the inhabitants of the whole earth have the fame feeds of foibles, but the plant does not thrive to the fame degree, which is to be feen here; every thing commonly met with of that kind in England is a caracatura, compared with what is to be found in other kingdoms.
Ir feems to be the particular defign of this government, as it is now adminiftred, to let the minds and difpofitions of the inhabitants run wild, into all extremes which do not intermeddle in their maxims of state.
THERE is one weakness which feems almost univerfal, which is, the unwillingness to allow any merit in the French productions of arts, fcience, and literature; and tho' there are a thoufand inftances, in which, many customs amongst the French might be adopted with advantage,
in the encouraging arts, fciences, learning and commerce; yet it is fufficient that they are French, to inhibit their being introduced into this country.
A PERSON who gives the due praise which belongs to that nation, and to his own country-. men, is confidered as little lefs than a rebel, and runs no fmall rifque of receiving fome difpleafing expreffions; he will most certainly be ill thought of, and confidered as a well-wisher to the Gallic nation.
THE averfion to all which is the product of that people, is the reigning paffion amongst the number of this island; and many a useful purfuit has been quitted, because it was originally French.
THIS difpofition is of much differvice to the national good, and this envy or hatred is for ever breaking out in companies, where any one fpeaking in the favour of French manners, is generally confidered as depreciating English; tho' the whole intent of that speaker be, to have the fame introduced into his own country, and make 0 3
it as perfect as poffible: in truth, to speak well of France, is the fame as to fpeak ill of England, and is generally received in that manner.
THIS tafte is notwithstanding to be confidered as general, rather than universal, and yet, it is perhaps, as univerfal as any custom in the kingdom; the people of good fenfe and knowledge of the nation, are not to be numbered amongst them however.
IF you praife the Spanish honor, the Italian mufic, painting, fculpture, and architecture, the German bravery, there is not the least visible jealoufy; an Englishman is the most ready creature to avow their fuperiority, in these particulars; but if the French are mentioned in the like manner, there will be ten thousand difficulties started, he will make a hundred evafions to avoid acceding to that truth, which he cannot abfolutely deny; there is a kind of contempt for all that is French, and yet a base fear of their fuperiority.
THIS has its influence in the statesman also, and under the delufive notion of the fuperior