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great cause to fear; but because security hath been the overthrow of many a new plantation, it is their care, according to their abilities, to secure themselves by fortifications as well as they can. Thus, having shown what commodities are most useful, it will not be amiss to show you what men be most fit for these plantations.
"First-Men of good working, and contriving heads; a wellexperienced commonwealth's-man, for the good of the body politic, in matters of advice and counsel; a well-skilled and industrious husbandman, for tillage and improvement of grounds; an ingenious carpenter, a cunning joiner, a handsome cooper, such a one as can make strong ware for the use of the country, and a good brickmaker, a tiler, and a smith; a leather-dresser, a gardener, and a tailor; one that hath good skill in the trade of fishing, is of special use; and so is a good fowler. If there be any that hath skill in any of these trades, if he can transport himself, he needs not fear but he may improve his time and endeavours to his own benefit and comfort; if any cannot transport himself, he may provide himself of an honest master, and so may do as well. There is as much freedom and liberty for servants as in England, and more too; a wronged servant shall have right volens nolens from his injurious master, and a wronged master shall have right of his injurious servant, as well as here: wherefore let no servant be discouraged from the voyage, that intends it. And now, whereas it is generally reported, that servants and poor men grow rich, and the masters and gentry grow poor: I must needs confess that the diligent hand makes rich, and that labouring men having good store of employment, and as good pay, live well and contentedly; but I cannot perceive that those that set them a-work are any way impoverished by them: Peradventure, they have less money by reason of them, but never the less riches; a man's work well done being more beneficial than his money, or other dead commodities, which otherwise would lie by him to no purpose. Many men be so improvident as to set men about building of castles in the air, or other unnecessary employments, he may grow poor; but such as employ labourers about planting of corn, building of houses, fencing in of ground, fishing, and divers other necessary occasions, shall receive as much or more by poor men's labours, than those that live in England do from the industry of such as they hire wherefore I do suppose this to be but the surmisings of some that are ignorant of the state of the country, or else misinformed by some ill-willers to the plantations. Many objections, I know, are daily invented to hinder the proceedings of these new plantations, which may damp the unsettled spirits of such as are not greatly affected with those undertakings.
"Some there are who count, with Claudian, that it is an incomparable happiness to have their birth, life, and burying in the same place these are never likely to remove further than the shell of their own country. But because there are some noble spirits that devote their estates and their persons to the common good of their king and country, I have therefore for their direction and delight made this relation. For as the end of my travel was observation, so I desire the end of my observation may tend to the information of others. As I
have observed what I have seen, and written what I have observed, so do I desire to publish what I have written, desiring it may be beneficial to posterity;-and if any man desire to fill himself at that fountain from whence this tasting cup was taken, his own experience shall tell him as much as I have here related."
The "note of preparation," so remarkable in the abundance of provisions which Wood recommends, shows that our forefathers were accustomed to enjoy comforts, in a degree somewhat surprising to modern readers. The picture either designates a class of emigrants, very different, indeed, from that which now is well satisfied with the ordinary "ship's allowance" or, if the bulk of the adventurers were from the poorest classes, their habits of living must have been widely different from that of the same rank in life in the 19th century.
Our author's interesting discussions upon the character of the native inhabitants of the country, must be reserved for a future occasion. It is a subject to which justice can only be done by undivided attention. It is full of difficulty; and from the gross barbarity with which they have been treated by white men, demanding the most serious regard. We promise that it shall not be neglected; and we are glad to be able to announce, that the views of the government of our own country, as well as that of the United States of America, are greatly changed towards the unhappy tribes whom they have supplanted.
ART. IV.-Lettres de Ninon de l'Enclos au Marquis de Sévigné, avec sa Vie, &c. 2 tom. in 18mo. Amsterdam, 1757.
Mémoires sur la Vie de Mademoiselle de l' Enclos. Par Mr. B****. 12mo. Amsterdam, 1758.
We are by no means inclined to verify the prediction of Voltaire in our own persons, who has prophesied, in the bitterness of his heart, against certain forgers then, as now, in the practice of uttering false letters under celebrated names, that the works, whose titles are prefixed to this article, would one day be taken down from the shelves of dusty libraries, and proclaimed by some ignorant scribbler as precious monuments of history. From his personal acquaintance with the reputed authoress of the letters to the Marquis de Sévigné, Voltaire had undoubtedly better means of judging of their originality than we can pretend to possess. As he has decided against them, and has also thrown a doubt upon the Memoirs of the
life of their pretended writer, we shall proceed with requisite caution to the performance of our task. This is fortunately rendered less difficult by the information we are able to gather from other sources of unquestioned authenticity, and especially from Voltaire himself, who has left us many anecdotes on the subject of the works before us, which check and correct the errors of their anonymous authors.
So much for the books themselves. As for the singular person whose life and character are pourtrayed in these Memoirs, we have something farther to add, before we proceed in our undertaking. If it be asked why we have selected her as the subject of our criticism, we reply, that we have done so on the usual grounds which determine our choice of subjects; which are, that we believe them to be either instructive or amusing, or both. In the present instance, as in all, it remains with the reader to decide how far our judgement is correct. For many reasons, we are induced to believe that the books before us are neither devoid of interest nor altogether uninstructive. However trite the comparison, it is one too true to be omitted, that the life of Ninon de l'Enclos bears a great resemblance to the histories we read of the most celebrated of those women, in ancient times, who occupied a middle station between the honourable condition of marriage and the infamous state of prostitution—a class of females whose Greek name has been of late familiarised to our ears by the English translator of Aristophanes. Ninon was of the order of the French hetare; and as by her beauty and her talents, she attained the first rank in her class, her name has come down to posterity with those of Aspasia and Leontina, while the less distinguished favourites of less celebrated voluptuaries, have shared the common oblivion which hides from remembrance every kind of mediocrity, whether of vice or virtue. A class of this kind, a status of this singular nature existing amongst accomplished women, can never be uninteresting or uninstructive; and as a distinguished specimen of such a class, Ninon de l'Enclos will peculiarly strike the attention of all, who, whether for knowledge or amusement, are observers of human nature under all its shapes and circumstances. We shall not inflict upon the reader an historical digression on the state of female manners in ancient Athens, or at Paris in the last two centuries. We are only anxious that he should not discard them from his memory when he peruses the life of Ninon. At the first view, and to a narrow intellect, a woman of such a character would seem hopelessly lost to all virtue, abandoned by every feeling of shame, and irreclaimable to any sense of social or private duty; but only at the first view, and to the most circumscribed of narrow minds. We cannot inculcate too frequently, or with too great
a diligence in the mind of an Englishwoman, the opinion that every other virtue is bound up in that of chastity. Our manners, our laws, our national religion, and national sentiments and feelings-all our most serious opinions, as well as our dearest and most rooted prejudices, forbid the dissevering in the minds of women, of any class, the ideas of virtue and female honour. To raise a doubt on this head, or to disturb, on a point so vital, the settled notions of English society, is equally inconsistent with common prudence and common honesty; and, as tending to such an end, we are apt to consider all discussion on the subject as at least officiously incurring danger, without a chance of producing good. But however strongly we insist on this opinion for such purposes, there are others in which it is not useless to relax that severity for a moment, and to view the question not through the medium of English sentiment, but with the eye of philosophical impartiality. That the French are a nation of jack-puddings, because they excel in dancing every other people in Europe-or of half-starved slaves, because their wealthiest epicures indulge in the hinder quarters of well-fed frogs-every man one degree removed from the lowest vulgar, has long since ceased to believe. Prejudices of a higher cast, and affecting more important interests, are less easily eradicated, even from instructed minds. We have accordingly not quite got rid of the notion, that because a degree of laxity offensive to our insular habits and opinions, prevails amongst Frenchwomen-although even that is grossly and foolishly exaggerated-no virtue of any degree or quality can be found in the females on the other side of the channel. This is not strictly true. In certain conditions of society, one failing is not wholly incompatible with a general practice of virtue-a remark to be met with, we should think, in every homily since homilies were written. We are surprised it has never occurred to any moralist of the common order, who deal chiefly with such general reflections, to apply this particular maxim to this particular case. We read that Aspasia had some great and many amiable qualities; so too had Ninon de l'Enclos; and it is worthy consideration, how far we judge candidly or wisely in condemning such characters in the gross, and treating their virtues as St. Austin was wont to deal with those of his heathen adversaries-as no better than splendid vices. The truth is, that in spite of this failing, the women of the continent-for they are all included in a general suspicion of frailty-have many more virtues than we are accustomed or willing to believe. Of this, the history of Ninon is sufficient evidence.
Anne de l'Enclos was born at Paris, in 1615. What her father was, or of what family, is a matter of little moment.
all persons in the world, their original rank and station is of least consequence to those who have reached celebrity by the route pursued by Ninon de l'Enclos. The author of her Memoirs, however, is indignant at the humbleness of the situation assign+ ed by some to her father If we may trust his evidence, M. de l'Enclos was a gentleman (gentilhomme) of Tourraine, and connected through his wife with the family of the Abra de Raconis, a race of no mean repute in the Orleanois. It is nevertheless strongly asserted, and amongst others by Voltaire, that Ninon had no claim to a parentage of such distinction. The rank of her mother, according to this statement, was too ob scure to deserve attention, and her father's profession was of no higher dignity than that of a teacher of the lute. This account is not the less likely, from the remarkable proficiency acquired by Ninon, at an early age, in the use of that instrument. The subject of these memoirs was luckily an only daughter; and her parents were therefore enabled, in whatever station, to give her a decent education. Their cares were, in this respect, well seconded by the docility and aptness of their pupil. We shall not dive into the dispute which has occupied some learned pens, as to the truth of their assertion, who tell us, that she had read both Montaigne and Charron at the early age of ten. Examples of such precocious talent are neither singular nor important. It is more certain, that in the course of her education she acquired a competent knowledge of Spanish and Italian, both of which languages she is said to have spoken fluently. Her mother and father died within a year of each other, and left her, at the critical age of sixteen, without any near family-relation or natural protector. By this event, she found herself sole mistress of an income amounting to eight or ten thousand livres, a considerable sum at that time, and which is singly sufficient to account for her subsequent mode of living. When we are likewise told, that she was more than commonly beautiful, accomplished, in the bloom of youth, and equally courted and admired by the gayest and best informed society, we find but little to wonder at in the course she afterwards adopted. Still less shall we be surprised, if we admit the statement of Voltaire, that the first favours of this accomplished creature were obtained by the Cardinal de Richelieu. This story, though differently told by the author of the Memoirs, is undoubtedly true. It is corroborated by Cardinal de Retz, and is at bottom admitted by the writer of her life, who does not question the attempt of the all-powerful minister, but denies its success, and attributes its failure to the virtue of Ninon. Besides, he adds, amongst all her failings and her follies, it is universally allowed, that she never made a traffic of her favours—and excepting, perhaps, this single instance,