Page images
PDF
EPUB

can only extend to a few villanous individuals, who are concerned in that nefarious scheme. And because some of the American traders are knaves, and violate neutral rights, is it just to brand the whole American people with infamy, as being dishonest, and fraudulent?

Mr. Moore is a poet ;—but we sincerely hope, that he is logician enough to discover the fallacy of that reasoning, which would attempt to infer, that because some very few of the English people are smugglers, that, therefore, all the inhabitants of Britain, not excepting even the royal family, are rogues, and vagabonds.

In a subsequent note Mr. Moore says

“ Norfolk, it must be owned, is an unfavourable specimen of America. The characteristics of Virginia, in general, are not such as can delight either the politician or the moralist, and, at Norfolk, they are exhibited in their least attractive form. At the time, when we arrived, the yellow fever had not yet disappear-ed, and every odour, that assailed us in the street, very strongly accounted for its visitation. It is, in truth, a most disagreeable place, and the best the journalist or geographer can say of it is, that it abounds in dogs, in negroes, and in democrats. For further particulars see Weld and Liancourt."

As we are not particularly acquainted with Norfolk, we are unprepared to say, whether or not there be in that place any other animals, than those, which Mr. Moore has enumerated. We entirely concur in his opinion, that the yellow fever is produced by the putrefation of the animal and vegetable filth, which is so abundant in all the towns of the union.--At Grand Cairo, in Egypt, the people are annually visited by the plague ;-which rages during the hot months of the year, and regularly disappears, when the over-flowing of the Nile carries away all the offal, and filth, which the inhabitants throw into a large ditch or canal, near the city, and which is always dry, except, when the periodical rising of the river fills and cleanses it.--Yet, notwithstanding so many ages of miserable experience have proved, that the pestilence is engendered by the putrefactive steams, continually issuing from this ditch of corruption, the barbarous Egyptians, still continue their savage practice of making their canal the grand deposit of their offal, and the great hot-bed of the plague ; and stupidly wait, till the overflowings of the Nile come and carry away the

pestilence, by a temporary removal of its cause,-i. e. their filth, which they again hasten to renew, with all the blind presumption of besotted idiocy; and incorrigible ignorance.

Thus, as Frederic the second of Prussia observed of the French,—all misfortunes and misery are thrown away upon these barbarians ; for they never teach them either wisdom or experience.

It should seem, as if the Americans, from their sturdy, and obstinate perseverance in refusing to call in the aid of scavengers to clean their streets, and in their determining, because they have been long filthy, that they will, therefore, be filthy still, are as much enamoured of extra-domestic nastiness, at least,—(not to notice now, the internal ceconomy of their houses)—as were, some years since, the inhabitants of Madrid.

In the year 1756,- if we mistake not the date,--the king of Spain, then, newly seated on the throne, issued a mandate, commanding his subjects, no longer to adorn the streets, but to erect temples to Cloacina, one, at least, for each family.

This horrible decree was no sooner known, than it excited the most lively indignation among all orders of men. The nobles pleaded long and ancient custom ;—the physicians declared, that a pestilence would immediately follow the removal of these salubrious steams, which issued from the stercoraceous heaps, daily, or, rather, nightly, precipitated into the streets ;-the popish clergy denounced the vengeance of heaven, and the wrath of Almighty God, upon so impious, and blasphemous a deed, as that of imagining and contriving necessary-houses ;-and the mob highly resented so gross and palpable an infringement of their privileges, and so daring a violation of their rights.

All Madrid was in a state of insurrection ;-what was the monarch to do?-he had not a moment to lose; he must, either, resolutely, enforce the execution of his orders, and pass through the streets of his capital without the fear of nastiness before his eyes, or be bullied into a compliance with the demands of his subjects, and still continue to see the metropolis of his kingdom one large depot of that, which civi. lized people are generally anxious to exclude from sight, and

observation. He, therefore, immediately, ordered his dragoons

into actual service; and these worthy gentlemen soon made use of arguments, that convinced the grandees, put a stop to the prating of the doctors, silenced the thunders of the church, and deluged the streets of the royal city with the life's-blood of the people.

But, notwithstanding these weighty and powerful reasons, which there was no gain-saying, and to which all opposition was useless; yet the reasoning of the medical men had its force ;—for, although obliged to erect temples to the goddess of necessity, they, in order to profit as much as possible, by the health-giving effluvia, even unto this day, continue to place these temples as near as they can to the kitchen-fire.

Let those, who fancy themselves more than commonly squeamish and fastidious, more than ordinarily wise, remember, or, if they have never known, now learn that cleanliness, personal, and domestic, is the barometer of civilization, that in proportion as a people is refined and polished, it is, also, cleanly and neat, both in person, and all its appendages. Cleanliness is the offspring of virtue, of sobriety, of refinement, and of good order.-Let the moral philosopher, or the statesman, be informed of the degree of cleanliness, which prevails in the habits of the great mass of any people, and he will, without the imputation of precipitancy or of rashness, undertake to rank that people in its just scale of civilization, without requiring any more premises, from which to draw his inference.

Let the remembrance of this truth serve, as an incitement, to stimulate us to greater exertions, in favour of those human beings, who have not yet struggled up against the obstacles, which are thrown in the way of those perpetual sources of tranquillity and of comfort, personal neatness, and domestic cleanliness!

(To be continued.)

THE MENTAL Flower GARDEN, or an instructive and

entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. In two parts, containing-1. A variety of entertaining and moral dialogues, partly original, calculated for misses from eight to twelve years. A collection of useful rules relative to genteel behaviour, and a polite address. Poetic pieces, devotional poems, writing pieces, &c.—2. Miscellaneous Essays, worthy the perusal of women, at any period of life. To which are added interesting sketches of female biography. Ornamented with appropriate copper-plates-by D. Fraser, author of "Select Biography,the Columbian Monitor," &c. New-York,--printed by Southwick & Hardcastle, No.

2 Wall-street, 1807-12mo.-1 Vol. pages 299. THI THIS book is a mere literary fraud ;-a mere literary

We should not, indeed, have stooped to notice, or to rake from their native bed of nothing, these pages of inanity and periods of servility, had they been only foisted upon the public by the unassisted, intellectual courage of the author, ycleped Donald Fraser ;—but, as they are obtruded upon our notice by the vigorous recommendations of “ that eminent patron of the fair sex,”—Benjamin Rush, M. D. who wishes, that all the Union would read this book; and divers and sundry teachers, both male and female, in this city of New-York,—it is necessary to use our endeavours, as the vigilant votaries and servants of the cause of sound literature, to prevent the reception of such miserable trash, as that which constitutes, what Mr. Fraser is pleased, facetiously, to call—“ The Mental Flower Garden."

That the reader may not have any cause to imagine, that we condemn the dismal effusion of dulness and ignorance, without sufficient reason, we shall submit to the drudgery of transcribing a few sentences, first, from Mr. Fraser's dialogues “to little Misses,”-and, secondly, from his advice to “Women, at any age.”—And first of the first, hear the precepts of wisdom, addressed to young ladies.

“ To give, or receive any thing” “15.-Keep yourself upright. Let your head be held up and easy, and your shoulders fall easily. Let your left arm hang to

your waist, bringing it a very little forward. Bring the hand of that arm forward to the waist. Hold the right hand a little forward. Bend the arm at the elbow, and a little at the wrist. Being in this genteel posture, step slowly and genteelly forward.”&c, &c, &c.

We cannot endure the misery of transcribing any more of these genteel instructions. If the reader be desirous of more, let him consult the book,—and then, go into the hopital of Incurables ;-for, in such a state of his brain, he is far beyond our care :-he is fit for nothing but a dark-room, a strait waistcoat, water gruel, and a smart flaggellation, at least, once in the four and twenty hours.

Now for Mr. Fraser's instructions to women at any period of life.

“ They”—(the women)" are always decided in giving themselves up to what they love ; and it is hardly necessary to invite the fair sex to listen to an engagement. The retirement, to which custom has condemned young girls, as well as a soft kind-heartedness, speaks in our favour; all young women consent, with blushes to the proposal, which is made them to become wives ; but all are not equally disposed to take the proper steps to remain long happy and cherished wives."

We suppose that these instructions are the offspring of Mr. Fraser's own head, and, with some other literary stuff of the same order, induced him to call his book,"partly original.

If such etourderie, such diablerie, as this can convey either improvement or delight tom“ women at any period of life;"-may such sluggish, inert masses of untempered clay, -such idiot-abortions of mistaken nature,-be very far from us, and from our friends ;-for they cannot easily rise to the degraded level of becoming—mere breeders of sinners,-fitted only to suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.

To conclude,-it is now full time, to begin to brush away the insects of literature, whether creeping, or fluttering, which have too long crawled over and soiled the intellectual ground of this country. It is high time to shake the little, sickly stems of many a puny plant, and make its fading flowerets fall. And ill, indeed, does that man deserve the notice, or the respect of the public, who suffers himself to be intimidated by the war-whoop of disappointed, discontented authors, or moved by the feeble shrieks of witlings and poetasters;

« PreviousContinue »