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in that shadowy hour, unseen, except to the of the most beautiful and glowing specimens answering heart that consciously knew it, a of woman, and though his imagination and brow clear, unclouded, serene with truth- pencil depict such, yet his worldly self, the earnest truth, loving truth, human truth- educated man and calculating Scotsman, withstamped on it, so that in after-coming years draws prudently from all such the crowning neither might quail nor blanch beneath the point of woman's glory-love, and the devotion downcast, averted glance of the other, for the of the heart, leading to marriage. And why? breach of any of the commandments, lesser or Because they were not capable of carrying out greater, sacred to both ?
into daily life and practice, with firm and gentle But to return to Thackeray's sentiments on devotion, their duty as women ? No; but bethis subject. He may unchallenged assert that cause men have for ages, allowed themselves 80 Scott's ladies are many of them as he describes low a standard of moral excellence, that even and believes; for it was the error, the want, in in those instances of rare intellectual endowScott's brilliant depictings of life's pageantries, ments they dare not put themselves on a lovel that these low views of women scarcely ever in daily contact with a clear-sighted woman of allowed him to do justice to himself or to his pure and elevated views. heroines, the actual love-heroines of his novels. It is not that men are so mean or narrow in Those who, at the conclusion of his tales, are their range of vision, or do not acknowledge led to the altar, and in the true Prince-and- the beauty of high excellence, that they will not Cinderella style, are united to the heroes in all allow a rival near the throne of mental supredue form, in the holy bands of matrimony, are macy. Nature has so distinctly marked their rarely, in any of his works, the woman of heart, supremacy in points essential for duty in their soul, character, and, withal, true womanliness, different spheres, that few men, even of limited who, as a delineator of human nature, under capacity, but must be conscious of a difference a necessity to make his book interesting, he of powers. Allowing their superiority in many was forced to describe as they are, and around respects over women of fine intellects, they whom entwine every interest and warm affection never can interfere with each other, their powers of the reader. Yet, as a man reared and and the needs for their exercise are so diverse. tutored by custom and the force of received The whole error exists and has arisen from deopinions, he dared not brave, with the usual fective moral training in men for untold ages ; clap-trap necessary for stage-effect, after rousing lowering the standard of excellence at which our sympathies for, entwining our minds by, they are to aim, and lessening their responsiand enchaining our hearts to one of those bility, and the force of moral perceptions of noble exhibitions of woman as she might, ought right. Here lies the evil. Let but a Decalogue to be, and oftentimes is, he leads us gradually be acknowledged for men as well as women ; down from the height of this well-placed let but both sexes be trained to clear and admiration and noble aspiration, causing earnest views of right, truth, and duty, and glowing feelings, by slowly-winding descent there need be no clashing or collision of in. to the worldly termination of necessity-for terests, or jealous claims for superiority. Men the hero to marry the tame piece of smiling will have manliness enough to see, to feel, to propriety, capable of becoming all that admire, to allow and acknowledge the beauty, Thackeray describes, and who has for this pur- purity, refining and beneficial influence of clear, pose, through these pages, in a shadowy, im- bigh-minded, right principled woman; will palpable manner, only made aware of know that bread and puddings can be as well another presence beside the real woman, to be concocted, and buttons and braids as neatly ready at the close for the approved and expected put on, by a woman of such qualifications, consummation.
as by one who has striven earnestly to be Who-what man even-has not felt indgnant a wheedling, fondling, lying one through life ; that, despite the strong prejudices of the age the woman will look up with delighted reverence against her name and nation, and the prestige and proper homage to her lord, her governor, of Rowena's royal Saxon descent, the noble, her king, in the broad place of rightful head queenly Rebecca should be calmly put aside for and superior, where God and nature placed the fair-haired Saxon lady-Flora MacIvor for him. It is the false basis upon which each is Rose Bradwardine ? Even little Fenella seems placed by the accumulated defective training wronged, and oh! how many others! Die of ages, that renders it necessary for men to Vernon alone, of all bis lady-heroines, acts out ignore, despise, and contemn-or endeavour to her part, and shines throughout the book, from do so-all intellectual women, and necessary for first to last, the sole, sole charm; and why? intellectual women to hide their light under a Because, forsooth, her fine abilities are per- bushel, more than half-afraid or ashamed to mitted to be more than balf obscured by her show it, and consequently, as Thackeray says, physical powers and abilities, horsemanship, etc. "fondly lie" through life. Jeanie Deans, of course, is below the mark. But Shakspeare-Shakspeare to be put in Scott could allow that a true woman, in her the same category with writers who are not begrade of life, might be as clever as she could; yond or above their age !--Shakspeare! he who but even here the wilful, wayward, spoiled wrote for the whole world, for all ages-of all beauty is the love-heroine. Though Scott's men, for him to be accused of having drawn manly and cbivalrice heart allows the existence affectionate, motherly, that sort-of-thing wo.
Shakspeare! we do indeed view all, far-searching glance of fearless rectitude : things through the colouring of the glasses that Rosalind, with her powers of wit and winning necessity, education, or habit induce us to wear. brightness ? Beatrice, even, in her sparkling, Shakspeare! what play of his is there in which diamond-jewelled robe of raillery and talent, the women-the clever, brilliant, noble, gifted, shows through its folds and brilliancy freshtalented women, right women--are not the glowing gleams of real woman's heart as well as main-spring of the plot; the more than half- will. essential charm of the whole, which removed, Thus it will ever be: a clever woman beneath the play would seem stale, flat, and unprofit the protecting ægis of a noble man, if not seem. able? Change them, and try the effect. Re- ingly so brilliant as herself, yet feels that the place Portia, in the “Merchant of Venice,” by power is there, the strength; and beneath the one of those tame, motherly, deceiving dames, overshadowing ægis of his beaming, fostering and where is the play-the interest, pcwer, love, such a woman will live and breathe only foree? Even Nerissa and Jessica--remove gently, and bless and soften and purify; and them and insert in their places insipid Amelias, man, yes man—the world, will yet see these ensee the effect, and how every other character shrouding mists of probation vanish away, and would fail in interest !
prove that the error is not in woman, or in their Where can a specimen of more noble woman being clever women, but in men being educated hood, in the whole range of literature, be shown to false views of life, duty, and self. than Portia, with her wit, her brilliant sallies, ber intellectual riches, her clear, cool judgment, keen perception ? And did Shakspeare allow the possession of these qualities to lessen her attractiveness as a woman; her gentle, fervent, earnest, tender devotion and submission to her
NELLIE. bosom's lord, to whom she gave herself so freely and so beautifully. No! but Bassanio A sweet little maid is my own pretty Vell, was a man worthy to be loved by such a woman And how I adore her my lips cannot tell ; as Portia; and therefore he gloried in her glory. For her beautiful face and her innocent heart He feared not her rivalry; he knew still that, as
Neither distance nor time from my memory part. in every true woman's heart and character, the brightest light, the clearest radiance, was that For wooing, alas! she's too young, and I fear derived from him who has to love and cherish That full slowly will creep on the course of each year ; her-her husband, and that the beams of his But long though the lane be, or weary the way, excellence and glory must, as the sun's rays do, There's an end to the road and a close to the day. illuminate and display, in softened splendour, the mountains, hills, vales, and waters of the Hope can smoothen the roughest of paths, darling Nell; moon, which, without the possession of these It can cheer with its rays, it can darkness dispel ; inherent qualities would not by half so well So we may bide on through the tedious hours, reflect it from arid inoor or desert sand. Look For the wilderness stern will at length yield us flowers. through the whole range of his plays : is one woman made capable of interesting our sympa. Then, meantime, I'll strive for all honour and fame ; thies or winning our admiration, in whatever | Both to gain and to merit a fair, honest name; circuinstances placed, without the charms of And when the time's o'er, and to wed her I'm free, intellect and cultivated mental faculties ? Where is Isabella, in her holy beauty and her | Through life nonght shall part darling Nellie and me.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Poetry received and accepted, with thanks: "I'll Prose declinell: “The Dcerings of Deerings Drati.'
Hope no more;' “To the Little Eastern ;” “In We very regretfully return this story, which opens Te Speravi ;” “A Woman's Song ;” Lines ;" so well that we were the more disappointed at the “The Mysterious Visitor.”
want of sustained power in the second part. UnM. W., Ballymoney, will perceive we have not over- happily, the alterations have rather weakened than
looked her graceful favour. We shall be glad of improved it. others from her pen.
W. E. and Co.- We have not received the music rePOETRY declined, with thanks : "The Bluebell ferred to by this correspondent, but will notice it
Wreath" (pretty, but imperfect); “ The Contre- in our next, if received in time.
temp” (clever, but unsuitable) ; Life's Wayfarer." | Jíusic, books for review, &c., must be sent in by the Prose accepted, with thanks : “A Voyage froin 10th of each month, to receive notice in our next Corfu,” &c.; "Lord Byron's Letters.”
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