Puslapio vaizdai
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TALE OF THE TIMES.

CHAP. I.

Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells

of homogeneal and discordant springs
· And principles; of causes, how they work

By necessary laws their sure effects;
Of action and reaction. He has found
The source of the disease that nature feels,
And bids the world take heart, and banith fear.

COWPER.

Mrs. PRUDENTIA HOMESPUN again begs leave to return thanks to the world for its very favourable reception of her lucubrations. She is now firmly.convinced, that the clamours which are circulated against the injustice and bad taste of the times, may be considered VOL, I.

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either as the declamations of disappointed ambition, or the ebullitions of malevolent spleen, soured by the success of some happier rival. She conceives her. self to be particularly fortunate in exifting at a period more favourable to mental exertions than those which have been commonly deemed the golden ages of literature. Contemplating from her easy chair the vast extent of modern dilcoveries, not only in the sciences, but in morals and government, and extending her meditations from reflection on what her learned co-adjutors have done, to speculation on what they propose doing, she is compelled to acknowledge, that the close of the eighteenth century claims distinguished pre-eminence for those indubitable marks of genius, originality in enterprise, and boldness of invention, over the colder eras of Pericles, Augustus, and the

Medici.

Medici. Nay, she will go so far as to affirm, that the labours of the “ New Philosophy” will be remembered by their effects, when the theories of all former schools shall be forgotten.

It must be very gratifying to a retired old woman, to consider that her productions may sail down this swelling stream of fame with those of her immortal contemporaries. She confeffes that her ideas differ in some refpects from theirs ; but as every one professes the same end, namely, the improvement of the universe, she rejoices that she is permitted, by the liberality of the times, to diffeminate her own peculiar sentiments. If she be of opinion, thac Morality appeared to better advantage when she was contented to be the handmaid of Piety, than fince she has set up for an independent character; if she be convinced, that the abilities and attainments of man are in

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this life so limited, that he will never be able to “ wield there elements, ” to endow a machine with intellectual powers, or to array himself with a self-invested immortality ; if she be persuaded, that the filial and conjugal ties are no remnants of feudal barbarism, but happy inftitutions, calculated to promote domestic peace; if she has been taught, that religion is more than sentiment, and female virtue something stronger than exterior decorum; if the shudders at the eloquence which extenuates impiety, terms seduction an amiable frailty, and gaming an elegant amusement condemned by the infane morality of the law: surely she may hope for that celebrity which a bold opposition to received opinions generally ensures. Nay, should she even prefer the Gothic ruff and pinner, as better adapted to British wives and mothers than the loose drapery of Grecian

Bacchanals, Bacchanals, cr the more offensive appearance of unćivilized favages, though recommended by the fanction of Parisian enthusiasts, when, with more than Pagan

infatuation or cannibal insensibility, they meet to commemorate in their fertive dances-not the triumphs of their Gods, nor the death of their enemies but the murder of their parents, their husbands, and their children; may she not plead a close attention to the costume of manners, and reproach the sensual copyists of a Cleopatra or an Aspasia with want of energy, who adopt all the characterists of the archetype, of which they exhibit a degrading model ?

Her intention in resuming the pen is to enforce her opinions by argument, and to illustrate them by example; and The reveals those intentions thus early, that the lover of the wonderful, and the admirer of the horrific, may not comB 3

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