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was,- Calmer and calmer !' Once he looked up with a gleam of animation, and said, “ Many things were growing plain and clear 6 to him.' Soon after he sank again into a slumber, which gradually deepened into the sleep of death.
Schiller died at the age of forty-five, while his faculties were in their full vigour, and a long and brilliant course of intellectual activity apparently lay before him. In the variety and excellence of his productions, one name only in the literature of Germany can be placed beside his—that of Goethe. Their genius does not fairly admit of comparison ; for each was great within a peculiar sphere: nor would it be easy to weigh in opposing scales qualities of mind so essentially different. But one remark is forced upon us by the association of their names—the moral influence of Schiller has always been, and will remain, far greater and more beneficial than that of Goethe. Perhaps Goethe's devotion to literature was as lofty and disinterested as that of Schiller, and his views of the dignity of his vocation not less elevated and pure. But he imparts little of this pure and elevated feeling to his works. In them, he rarely seeks to enlist our sympathies on the side of virtue or moral courage; his favourite characters, on the contrary, seem to be beings in whom all decided character had dissolved away; who cultivate their tastes rather than their feelings; and passively allow all emotions and impulses to take their course. A smooth Epicureanism is the general characteristic of Goethe's works, as decidedly as it is of Wieland's. Schiller could not contemplate literature in such a light. He could not trifle with the solemn realities of human duty, as Goethe had done in the • Wahl-verwandschaften ;' or flatter the weaknesses and vices of society, by an airy, theatrical pageant of life, as in Wilhelm • Meister. Knowing the power of literature both for good and evil, he viewed his genius as a sacred trust lent him for a time, to be expended only on themes that might support, instruct, or elevate his fellow men. He has found his reward. He is eminently the favourite poet of his country women. With the gentler portion of creation with all who have preserved the heart unstained, and the affections unchilled and unperverted—he will always be so; for he speaks to the best feelings of their nature, in words and images elevated as the deeds which he loved to paint-chaste and noble as the fancy from which they sprung. Amidst the difficulties and discouragements of life, we can turn with confidence to his manly and enthusiastic pages for solace and encouragement. They calm the fever of the spirit—they brace the sinews of the mind to exertion or endurance—and we rise from them as from some health-giving fountain, purified, invigorated, and refreshed.
Art. VIII.-1. Woman and her Master By LADY MORGAN.
2 yols. 8vo. London : 1840. 2. Woman in her Social and Domestic Character. By Mrs John
SANDFORD. Sixth edition. 12mo. London : 1839. 3. Female Improvement. By Mrs JOHN SANDFORD. Second
edition. 12mo. London : 1839. 4. The Women of England, their Social Duties, and Domestic Ha
bits. __By Mrs Ellis. Thirteenth edition. 8vo. London
and Paris : 1839. 5. Woman's Mission. Eighth edition. 12mo. London: 1840. 6. Woman's Rights and Duties, considered with relation to their In
fluence on Society, and on her own Condition. By a Woman. 2 vols. 8vo. London : 1840.
rights, and condition of women, sufficiently proves that increased attention has been directed to that subject. Here are six of the more important of these publications, which have appeared within the last few years ; all of some merit
, and all exclusively devoted to the consideration of various branches of this interesting and extensive theme. We will briefly advert to each of them, before we proceed to give our own opinion upon the subject which they discuss.
The two works by Mrs Sandford, entitled Woman in her Social and Domestic Character, and Female Improvement, may justly lay claim to the merit of a pure and sound tone of moral and religious feeling. Their object is educational, rather than the discussion of woman's social position, or the assertion of what some deem to be her rights; and it is due to the authoress to say, that in this comparatively unobtrusive province, she has acquitted herself very creditably. We cannot, however, add, that we find in them either such originality of thought, or such force or felicity of style, as are calculated to make much impression, or to be highly attractive to the generality of readers.
The Women of England, their Social Duties, and Domestic Habits, by Mrs Ellis, is another well-intentioned work of respectable ability-written in a serious and devout spirit, and indicative of a sincere desire to do good. Her attention is confined, as she states in her Preface, 'to the cultivation of habits—to the minor morals of domestic life ;' and she lays before the women of England a manual of their duties, both social and domestic. It is perhaps to be regretted that she should have addressed herself so exclusively to English women; for her observations.
are susceptible of a much more extensive application-and that she should have invested her work with a nationality, which, prevailing in the context as well as in the title, assumes too strongly, that only in these realms can we find many good examples of what an amiable and enlightened woman ought to be. Our high admiration for our own countrywomen, does not oblige us to be illiberal in our estimate of those of other countries. With much that Mrs Ellis says, we entirely concur; and particularly in deprecating over-education and the laborious exercises to which youthful minds are sometimes subjected. But we cannot sympathize with her in a disposition from which she is not free, to contrast amiability and practical good sense with science and accomplishments; as if there were any thing in these, we will not say incompatible, but even at variance with the former. This prejudice was so effectually exposed in one of the early numbers of this Journal, and has, as we believe, so much subsided, that we will not now undertake the superfluous office of refuting it again.
The little volume named Woman's Mission is a very meritorious endeavour to introduce to the notice of the English readers the work of Aimé Martin, Sur l'Education des Mères ;translating and avowedly embodying those portions which appeared to be of greatest interest, and were, at the same time, not characterized by that nationality which might militate against the equally favourable reception of the whole work. It displays, in a small compass, much good sense and good feeling well expressed, especially in the chapters on · Influence,' and its application to woman's duties.
Woman and her Master, by Lady Morgan, is the first portion of a work not yet completed, and which-if its completion is not prevented by an infirmity of vision,' of which we regret to hear from an allusion in the prefatory advertisement—is intended to carry on its graphic description of the position of women to the age we live in. The present portion, after describing the women of savage and semi-civilized life, takes up the subject historically; and beginning at the earliest recorded times among the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, sets before us, with all that vivacity and strength of colouring which are the well-known characteristics of Lady Morgan's style, a succession of pictures of remarkable women-from Semiramis, to women under the decline of the Roman empire-Constantia and the Empress Helena. The descriptive and anecdotical portions of the work are interesting and effective. The arguments and reasonings interspersed, are not equally successful. It embraces, on the whole, an agreeable collection of historical statements, somewhat impaired by the tone of zealous advocacy which is too uniformly
adopted in behalf of women ; and contains little which seems capable of being applied to the solution of the questions respecting their rights and position at the present day. But, as we have already said, the work is still incomplete; and it would be unfair to pronounce an opinion decisively on this point, till we see what use is made of the materials which have been collected with so much care.
Woman's Rights and Duties, considered with relation to their Influence on Society, and on her own Condition, is a work of very great merit, and one which well deserves perusal. Its chief faults are diffuseness, and the occasional enunciation of ela• borate truisms, of which indeed the writer is conscious, and for which she apologizes in her preface ;-reminding the better informed among her readers, that much which is obvious to
them, is quite the reverse to the unthinking ; that from their own habits they cannot be fully aware how wide, in the minds • of the many, is the distance between assent to a proposition and the power of applying it to practice ; and to bear in mind that the present purpose is not to unfold new truths, but to
render what are established known and practical.' She first enquires into the prevailing condition of woman in primitive, savage, and barbarous states, and under ancient civilization; next, into their condition in the ages of chivalry, and in civilized Christian countries. Then follow two chapters, in which the grounds and limits of female subordination, and the grounds on which the authority of man have been rested; and in which the comparative condition of men and women, and the present condition and influence of women, considered with regard to their further improvement, and the effect on society, are discussed with a comprehensiveness and justness of reasoning, and a tone of temperate good sense, and freedom from partiality and distortion of views, highly creditable to the judgment and talents of the writer. The remainder of the work is also praiseworthy; but not so immediately applicable to the subject of this article.
Among the foregoing writers, Lady Morgan and the authoress of Woman's Rights and Duties, have entered at considerable length into an examination of the treatment and position of woman under various circumstances, and in various countries and periods; beginning with the remotest periods, or with savage or semi-civilized life. They find that in savage life woman is almost invariably oppressed; the handmaid rather than the helpmate; the slave rather than the companion. She is in the position which necessarily belongs to her inferiority in physical strength, among those with whom bodily prowess is almost the only basis of power, and where mental gifts are scarcely recognized. The same is observable among the lowest and least educated portions of civilized communities. It is every where the tyranny of strength over weakness. The same odious principle explains the degradation of woman; and where there are ameliorations of her condition, it will be found that she has purchased them by the circumstance of man being dependent for his comfort or success in a larger proportion on her willing aid.
This painful portion of the history of mankind, is so remotely and slightly applicable to the present social position of educated women in civilized communities, that to dwell on it would be needless; nor will we notice it further than by pointing out the undue use which may be made of it, in reasoning upon what the position of woman, in the social system, is and ought to be. If woman is most oppressed and degraded when civilization is least apparent, and is raised in the scale as civilization advances, it is a natural deduction, that the universal tendency of civilization is to redress the inequality of the two sexes, and reduce the ascendancy of man. It is also true, that we can assign no limits to the progress of civilization ; that the whole human race is interested in desiring its advance; and that its tendency is not to cramp and deteriorate human nature—as was absurdly advanced by Rousseau—but to develope all its best faculties, and make it more truly what it ought to be. It may therefore plausibly be urged, that, as the rightful course of civilization tends to raise woman to the level of man, it will, or ought to end in establishing the equality of the sexes in power and influence upon the affairs of the world, and that every thing short of this equality, is a wrongful contravention of the ultimate designs of Providence. This mode of reasoning is plausible, but unsound. Civilization ameliorates the condition of woman, because it lessens the influence of physical strength in proportion to that of mind; and because woman is more nearly equal to man in the power of intellect than in strength of limb. But it does not thence follow, that in mental faculties she is equal, or that the height to which her position may be raised, by the advance of civilization, may not have its limits far short of complete equality.
The theory of the mental equality of the sexes, has not wanted eminent supporters. Plato says there is no natural superiority of man over woman, except in strength. Professor Dugald Stewart is of the same opinion, and thinks that the intellectual and moral differences which we observe, are only the result of education. Voltaire thinks that women are on a level with men in every talent but invention. With all due deference to these high authorities, we cannot subscribe to their views.
It will not be denied, that, be they assignable to education or