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mortals by nature, as to be absolutely to say, they have a right to both. If incapable of taking the least care of they imagine ihey can elude the force themselves. “ It is therefore, say of ihis truth, by saying that the men, they, a cruel tenderness, a false com- whom this accusation ragards, have plaisauce, to abandon the fair sex to not made use of the advantages which their own conduct. The more they their sex in general has, and therefore are made to please and charm, the might as well have been without more it imports them to fly from those them; that no way lessens the truth dangers, to which they are exposed of what I have advanced; that most by being so." A plain proof of their women are ruined, instead of being speaking from their hearts is their improved in heart or mind under the imagining us weak enough to be conduct of the men. And therefore, wheedled out of our liberty and pro- since we are at most in no greater perty, by such jingling empty stuff. safety under their government than Bat where have they proved that we our own, there can be no solid reason are not as capable of guarding our- assigned why we should be subject selves from dangers, as they are of to it. guarding us; had we the same power But it seems we are already conand advantages allowed us, which demned to it by a judge of their own they have? Again, are we safer un- erecting, a blubbering dotard, too der their conduct than our own? Is conceited of his own sense, to be imit not manifestly launching from proved by that of his wife; Cato, the Scylla to Charybdis, to fly to their wise Cató, who grown obstinate in protection from danger? There is wrong by age and humoured prejuscarce an instance in a million among dice, chose rather to die a fool of his weinen, of one woman of a middling own making, than live a man of sense capacity, who does not, or would not, by a wife's advice : this Cato has progovern herself better than most men nounced sentence against us. And in parallel circumstances, if the cir- so disinterested a judge, we cannot cumvention, treachery, and baseness surely except against. Let us hear of that sex did not interfere. Whereas then what this oracle says. for one woman who is bettered in un- “Let us treat women as our equals, derstanding or morality under their (says he) and they will immediately tuition, many millions are betrayed want to become our mistresses.” "Tis into inevitable ruin. As this is unde- Çato says it; and therefore, it seems, niable matter of fact, it needs no there needs no proof. Besides, to proofs to support it. Neither will it oblige men to prove all they advance bear retorting upon us. For granting by reason, would be imposing silence some few men to have suffered by upon them; a grievance to which they petticoat-government, the number is are perhaps full as unequal as they extremely small in proportion. And pretend we are. But granting Cato were it equal; the women's conduct to be infallible in his assertions, what in this case is to be charged wholly to then ? Have not women as much the men's account, who robbed them right to be mistresses, as the men of those advantages of education, have to be masters ? No, says Cato. which would have enabled them to But why? Because they have not. act better; which they were suscepti, Such couvincing arguments must ble of; and which they had a natural make us fond of hearing him farther. right to. The same apology cannot “ If we make the women our equals, be made for tbe men's misconduct in (adds he) they will demand that togoverning us: they have all the ad- morrow as a tribute, which they rejantages requisite to qualify them; ceive to-day as a grace." But where and, if, spite of all, we are worse un- is the grace in granting us a share in der their government than under our what we have an equal right to? own; the consequence speaks itself, Have not the women an equal claim that either they have a natural want to power and dignity with ihe men ? of capacity, or want of honesty. They If we have; the wise Cato nods : it are at liberty to chuse which imputa- we have not; Cato would have been 1son pleases them best : though with. wise indeed, to convince us of it. But out judging rashly, I might venture supposing it to be a favour, a grace,
what he pleases to call it; would not be imputed to blind chance than to the men reap the chief benefit of it? his wisdom : since the greatest fools, The reserve peculiar to our sex proves, when active, may blunder into the that knowing how to curb ourselves, right sometimes: and great talkers, we are quanted to govern them ; and among many absurdities, must here the meekness and tenderness, which and there drop a good saying, when make part of our characteristic, are they least design it. Of this stamp, sufficient to persuade them that our are the generality of evidence brought yoke would not be heavy. But no, against us. Men aversed to the lasays Cato, " we may thank ourselves bour of thinking; who find reason a for that sweetnes i and reserve which drudgery, and therefore, rather chuse they shew in our presence. This to prostitute than wed it; who have shadow of virtue is owing to the ne. gained all their reputation by a pretty cessity we impose upon them of dis- gimness of expressions, which would sembling." Then 'Cato is forced at no more bear examination than their last to own that the subjection we are heads, their hearts, or their faces i kept under, by that arrogant sex, is and who, to mimic this sage, would the effect of violence and iinposition ? rather see common sense in confuThis he does to compliment his own sion, than a word misplaced in one of sex with attributing all our merit to their sentences. Yet these are sages them. A sorry complinent, consi- among the men, and their sentences dering the un rateful truth it extorts are so many divine oracles; whereas from him And yet how against the perhaps, had we lived in their own grain does be own any merit in us! times, to have heard the many more No, we have but the shadow of virtue, foolish things they said than sensible and all their impositions and violence ones, we should have found them as can only induce us to disemble. Is oaffish as the dupes who revere them. not this cailing all his own sex fools? And though perhaps we might have For 'rely nothing can be a greater been more surprized to hear such doproof of tolly in the men than to use tards talk sometimes rationally, than violence and imposition, and to take we now are, to read their sayings ; perpetual pa ns io support both, only we should have had reason still to to make us act with affectation; when think them more fit to extórt our admuch less labour would make us miration than deserve it. Care has shew ourselves in a more natural been taken to hand down to us the light : especially since it is impossible best of their sentences, many of which ever io govern subjects rightly, with- are still weak enough: bút had the out knowing as well what they really same care been taken to register all are as what they only seem ; which their absurdities : how great a share of the men can never be supposed to do, their present applause would they while they labour to force women to have lost! As the infidel observed to live in constant masquerade. So that the priest of Neptune, when proving either all- the men are downright the god's divinity from the trophies in changelings, by Cato's own contes- his temple. siou, or this mighty oracle himself is a driveler, and to be heeded by none "Tis true their pictures who escaped you but such.
keep, I should not myself have thought
But where are they who perish'd in the deep?
GARIH. him worth so much notice as I have here taken of him, but that the men But we have a more formidable set of are weak enough in general, to suffer enemies than these laconic gentletheir sense to be led away captive by men; men who pretend to build their such half thinking retailers of sen- assertions, upon very good grounds, tences. Among whom, this in par- and who would scorn, say they, to ticular, was he worth the pains, tight exclude us from power, dignity and be easily proved to have been often public offices, if they could not shew grossly in ihe wrong in other matters us the best of reasons.
It will be as well as in the present case; and proper therefore to hear their reasogs, therefore, when he happens to be in before we undertake to say they are the right, the merit of it is more to in the wrong.
man at the head of an army giving Whether the IVomen are fit for public battle, or at the helm of a nation Offices, or not.
giving laws; pleading causes in quali
ty of counsel; administering justice It is enough for the men to find a in a court of judicature; preceded in thing established to make them be- the street with sword, mace, and lieve it well grounded. In all coun- other ensigns of au:hority, as magitries we are seen in subjection and strates; or teaching rhetoric, mediabsolute dependence on the men, cine, philosophy, and divinity, in quawithout being admitted to the advan- lity of university professors. tages of sciences, or the opportunity If by oddity they understand someof exerting our capacity in a public thing in its nature opposite to the station. Hence the men, according genuine unbiassed rules of good sense ; toʻtheir usual talent of arguing from I believe the men will find it a diffiseemings, conclude that we ought to cult task, to prove any oddity in such be so. But supposing it to be true, a sight, or any real inconsistence in it that women had ever been excluded with rectified reason. For if women from public offices, is it therefore ne- are but considered as rational creacessarily true that they ought to be tures, abstracted from the disadvan$0? God has always been more or lages imposed upon them by the unless resisted by ungrateful man, a fine just usurpation and tyranny of the conclusion it would be then to infer men, they will be found, to the full, that therefore he ought to be so. as capable as the men, of filling these
But why do the men persuade them- offices. selves that we are less fit for public I must own, indeed, in this age, to employments than they are ?' can see a woman, however well qualified, they give any better reason than cus- exert herself in any of these employ-. tom and prejudice formed in them ments, could not but as greatly surby external appearances, for want of prize us as to see a man or woman a closer examination? If they did drest in the garb in vogue at ibe time but give themselves the leisure to of Queen Bess. And yet our wonder trace things back to their fountain- in either case would be the sole effect bead, and judge of the sentiments and of novelty, or of the revival of an ob. practices of men iv fornier ages from solete custom new to us. If from what they discover in their own immemorable tiine the men had been times, they would not be so open as so little envious and so very impartial they are to errors and absurdities in as to do justice to our talents, by ad. all their opinions. And particularly mitting us to our right of sharing with regard to women, they would be with them in public action; they able to see that, if we have been sub- would have been as accustomed to jected to their authority, it has been see is filling public offices, as we are by no other law than that of the to see them disgrace them; and to stronger : and that we have not been see a lady at a bar, or on a bench, excluded from a share in the power would have been no more strange and privileges which lift their sex than it is now, to see a grave judge above ours, for want of natural capa- whimpering at his maid's knees ; or, city, or merit, but for want of an a lord embroidering his wife's pettiequal spirit of violence, shameless in- coat: a Schurman, with a thesis in justice, and lawless oppression, with her hand, displaying nature in its most theirs.
innocent nseful lights, would liave Nevertheless, so weak are their in- been as familias a sight, as a physician tellectuals, and so untuned are their in Iris chariot, conning Ovid's Art of organs to the voice of reason, that Love: and, an Amazon, with a hela custom makes more absolute slaves of met on her head, animating her emtheir senses than they can make of battled troops, would have been no ns. They are so accustomed to see more a matter of surprize ihan a milthings as they now are, that they can- liner behind a counter with a thimble not represent to themselves how they on her fingers, or than a peer of can be otherwise. It would be ex. Great Britain playing with his garter. fremely odd they think to see a wg. Not reason then, but error and ignorance cased in custom, makes these bave not proved them the most presuperficial creatures think it an un- valent counsel; and few pleaders, who natural sight.
have not experienced them to be tho There are few nations, beside our most clear-headed equitable judges. own, which think women capable of When women speak on a subject, holding the sceptre; but England has they handle it with so delicate a touch, learned by repeated experience, how that the men are forced to own they much happier a kingdom is, when feel what the former say. All the under the protection and rule of a oratory of the schools is not able 10 woman, than it can hope to be under give the men that eloquence and ease the government of a man. Matter of speech, which costs lis nothing. of fact then plainly points out the And, that, which their mean envy ab urdity of the contrary prejudice. call loquacity in us, is only a readiHow many lidies have there been, ness of ideas, and an ease of delivery, and still are, who deserve place which they in vain labour, for years, among the learned; and wiró are to attain tó. more capable of teaching the sciences With what hesitation, confusion, than those who now till most of the and drudgery, do not the men labour university chairs The age we live to bring forth their thoughts? And in has produced as many, as any one when they do utter something toleraheretofore; thoutgh their modesty ble; with what insipid gestures, disprevents their making any public tortions, and grimaces, do they not shew of it. And as our sex, when it murder the few good ihings they say? applies to learning, may be said at Whereas, when a woman speaks ; least to keep pare with the men, so her air is generally noble and preventare they more to be esteemed for their ing, her gesture tree and full of dige learning than the latter : since they vity, her action is decent, her words are under a necessity of surmounting are easy and insinuating, her stile is the sofiness they were educated in; pathetic and wivning, and her voice of renouncing the pleasure and indo. melodious avd tuned to her subject. lence to which cruel custom seemed She can soar to a level with the bighto condemn them ; to overcome the est intellect without bombast, and, Citernal iinpedimients in their way to with a complacency natural to the study; and to conquer the disadvandelicacy of her frame, descend to the tageous notions, which the vulgar of meanest capacity without meanness, both sexes entertain of learning in What is there we are unfit to reason women. And whether it be that ypon, which does not othend against these difficulties add any keenness to decency? Wben we discourse of good a female understanding, or that na- or evil, it is well known we are capabure has given to woman a quicker ble of winning to the one and weanand more penetrating genius than to ing from the other the most obstinate man; it is self-evident that many of nieu, if they have bụt minds susceptiour ser have far out-stript the men. ble of reason and argument: and Why then are we not as fit to learn that character of integrity, which is and teach the sciences, at least to our imprinted on our countenances while own sex, as they fancy themselves we speak, renders our power of perto be?
suasion more prevalent. Sure then, CHP, 1.
if we are endowed with a more comWhether the l'omen are naturally municative eloquence than they are, capable of teaching Sciences, or not. we must be at least as well qualified
as they to teach the sciences; and if Of rhetoric we must be allowea to we are not eeen in university chairs, be by nature designed mistresses and it cannot be attributed to our want of models. Eloquence is a talent so na- capacity to fill them, but to that viotural and peculiar to woman, that no Jence with which the men support one can dispute it her. Women can their unjust intrusion into our places ; persuade what they please; and car: or at least to our greater modesty and dictate, defend, or distinguish between less degree of ambition. right and wrong, without the help of If we were to apply to the law, we laws. There are few judges, who should succeed in it at least as well as
the men. The natural talent we have out whether beyond the utmost cirundisputed, of explaining and unra- cumference of the universe there be velling the most knotty intricacies; any imaginary space, and whether of stating our own and other people's that intant of our own dream be inpretensions; of discovering the finite or finite: whether an atom be grounds of a dispute, with the meaus splittable into infinite parts, or how to set it right; and of setting engines a column of air upon a man's head, to work to do ourselves justice, is reaching to the sky, shall feel less sufficient to prove that, were we to heavy than a hob-nail
. fill the offices of counsel, judges, and Were we to express our concepmagistrates, we should shew a capa- tions of God, it would never enter city in business which very few men into the head of one of us to describe can boast of. But peace and justice him as a venerable old man. No is our study, and our pride is to make we have a more poble idea of him, up those breaches which the corrup- than to compare him to any thing tion of that sex renders them indus- created, We conceive that there must trious to make.
be a God, because we are sensible Our sex seems born to teach and that neither we nor the objects which practise physic; to restore health to surround us can be - the works of the sick; and to preserve it to the chance, or of self-production. And well. Neatness, handiness, and com- as we daily see that the success, pliance are one-half of a patient's which attends our undertakings, is cure; and in this the men must yield scarce ever the natural effect of the
Irdeed in our turns we must means we made use of to attain to it, yield to them in the art of inventing we are convinced that the conduct of hard names; and puzzling a cure our affairs is not the consequence of with the number, as well as adding to our own prudence; and therefore a patient's grievance with the costli- conclude that it must be the effect.of uess, of remedies. But we can in- a superior, general, providence. We Fent, and have invented, without the should never take it into our heads to help of Galen, or Hippocrates, an run divisions upon our own chimerical infinity of reliefs for the sick, which hypotheses, and to fill a volume to they and their blind adherents could answer an impossible: as whether, if neither improve nor disapprove. And man had not sinned, the Son of God an old woman's receipt, as it is terın. would have died: or whether by suan inveterate distemper which has litted to the beatific visica. And yet balled the researches of a college we might without vanity aspire to of graduates. In a word, the obser- beiug as able philosophers or divines vations made by women in their as the men, perhaps better : if I unpractice, have been so exact, and derstand rightly the sense of those built upon such solid reason, as to words. And surely philosophers and shew more than once the useless pe divines according to the acceptation dantry of the major part of school of the words, are such as are perfectsystems.
ly versed in the secrets of nature and I hardly believe our sex would mysteries of religion. If so, as we spend so many years to so little pur- know that the chiet fruit of all learupose as those men do, who call them- ing is a just discernment of true from selves philosupliers; were we to ap: false, and of evidence from obscurity, ply to the study of nature. But I we are equally capable of boil. And believe we could point out a nuch were we to aim at being both, we shorter road to the desired end. We should make it our business to form should scarcely do like some men as just ideas of the divinity and its rewho waste whole years (not to men- relations as the weakness of bam in tion many of them who dwell for nature woull permit, and to trace . life) on mere entia rationis, fictitious nature up to its true source in all its trifles, no where to be found but in effects. And as we are sensible that their own noddles. We should find the knowledge of ourselves and the more useful employments for our objects about us, is absolutely necesinquiries, than idly plodding to find sary to render the aforementioned