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again into shade, until ihe door at the bottom of the
С "игу finally closed after her. I felt a sadness of rt at the idea, that this was an emblem of her lut ; a few more years of sunshine and shade, and nil ihis lite, and loveliness, and enjoyment, will have ceased, and nothing be left to commemorate iliis beautiful being but one more perishable portrait : to awaken, perhaps, the trite speculations of »itïie future loiterer, like myself, when I also and my scribblincs shall have lived through our brief existence and been forgotten."—Vol. i. pp. 64, 65.
We can scarcely afford room even to allude to the rest of this elegant miscellany. "Ready-money Jack" is admirable throughout—and the old General very good. The lorers are, as usual, the most insipid. The Gvpsies are sketched with great elegance as well as spirit—and Master Simon is quite delightful, in all the varieties of his ever versatile character. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about all these personages, is the perfect innocence and singleness of purpose which seems to belong to them—and which, even when it raises a gentle smile at their expense, breathes over the whole scene they inhabit an air of attraction and respect—like that which reigns in the De Coverley pictures of
Addison. Of the exotic Tales which serve to fill up the volumes, that of " Dolph Heyliger" is incomparably the best—and is more characteristic, perhaps, both of the author's tuin of imagination and cast of humour, than any thing else in the work. "The Student of Salamanca" is too long; and deals rather largely in the commonplaces of romantic adventure :— while "Annette de la Barbe," though pretty and pathetic in some passages, is. on the whole, rather fade and finical—and too much in the style of the sentimental afterpieces which we nave lately borrowed from the Parisian theatres.
On the whole, we are very sorry to receive
Mr. Crayon's farewell—and we return it with
the utmost cordiality. We thank him most
sincerely, for the pleasure he has given us—
for the kindness he has shown to our country
—and for the lessons he has taught, bom
here and in his native land, of good taste,
goodnature, and national liberality. We hope
he will come back among us soon—and re
! member us while he is away; and can assure
: him, that he is in no danger of being speedily
A Portraiture of Quakerism, as taken from a View of the Moral Education, Discipline, Peculiar Customs, Religious Principles, Political and Civil Economy, and Character of the Society of Frwiuls. By Thomas Clarkson, M. A. Author of several Essays on the Subject of the Slave Trade. 8vo. 3 vols. London: 1806.
This, \ve think, is a book peculiarly fitted for reviewing: For it contains many things which most people will have some curiosity to hear about; and is at the same time so intolerably dull and tedious, that no voluntary reader could possibly get through with it.
The author, whose meritorious exertions for the abolition of the slave trade brought him into public notice a great many years ago, was recommended by this circumstance to the favour and the confidence of the Quakers, who had long been unanimous in that good cause; and was led to such an extensive and cordial intercourse with them in all parts of the kingdom, that he came at last to have a more thorough knowledge of their tenets and living manners than any other person out of the society could easily obtain. The effect of this knowledge has evidently been to exciti: in him such an affection and esteem for those worthy sectaries, as we think can scarcely fail to issue in his public conversion; and. in the mean time, has produced a more minute exposition, and a more elaborate defence of their doctrines and practices, than has recently been drawn from any of their own body.
The book, which is full of repetitions and plagiarisms, is distributed into a number of needless sections, arranged in a most unnatural and inconvenient order. All that any body can want to know about the Quakers,
I might evidently have been told, either under the head of thuir Doctrinal tenets, or of their
i peculiar Practices; but Mr. Clarkson, with a certain elaborate infelicity of method, chooses
! to discuss the merits of this society under the
; several titles, of their moral education—their discipline—their peculiar customs—their re
, ligion—their great tenets—and their character; and not finding even this ample distribu
j tion sufficient to include all he had to say on
I the subject, he fills a supplemental hall-volume, with repetitions and trifle?, under the
I humiliating name of miscellaneous particulars. Quakerism had certainly undergone a con
j siderable change in the quality and spirit of its votaries, from the time when George Fox went about pronouncing woes against cities, attacking priests in their pulpits, and exhorting justices of the peace to do justice, to the time when such men as Penn and Barclay came into the society "by convincement,1' and published such vindications of its doctrine, as few of its opponents have found it convenient to answer. The change since their time appears to have been much less considerable. The greater part of these volumes may be considered, indeed, as a wilful deterioration of Barclay's Apology: and it in only where he treats of the private manners ana actual opinions of the modem Quakers,
! that Mr. Clarkson communicates any thing
! which a curious reader might not have learnt from that celebrated production. The laudatory and argumentative tone which he maintains throughout, gives an air of partiality to his statements which naturally diminishes our reliance on their accuracy: and as the argument is often extremely bad, and the praise apparently unmerited, we are rather inclined to think that his work will make a less powerful impression in favour of the "friends," than might have been effected by a more moderate advocate. With many praiseworthy maxims and principles for their moral conduct, the QuakerSp we think, have but little to say for most of their peculiar practices; and make a much better figure wnen defending their theological mysteries, than when vindicating the usages by which they are separated from the rest of the people in the ordinary intercourse of life. It will be more convenient, however, to state our observations on their reasonings, as we attend Mr. Clarkson through his account of their principles and practice.
He enters upon his task with such a wretched display of false eloquence, that we were very near throwing away the book. Our readers will scarcely accuse us of impatience, when we inform them that the dissertation on the moral education of the Quakers begins with the following sentence :—
"When the blooming spring sheds abroad its benign influence, man feels it equally with the rest of created nature. The blood circulates more freely, and a new current of life seems to be diffused in his veins. The aged man is enlivened, and the sick man feels himself refreshed. Good spirits and cheerful countenances succeed. But as the year changes in its seasons, and rolls round to its end, the tide seems to slacken, and the current of feeling to return to its former level."—Vol. i. p. 13.
This may serve, once for all, as a specimen of Mr. Clarkson's taste and powers in fine writing, and as an apology for our abstaining, in our charity, for making any further observations on his style. Under the head of moral education, we are informed that the Quakers discourage, and strictly prohibit in their youth, all games of chance! music, dancing, novel reading, field sports of every description, and, in general, the use of idle words and unprofitable conversation. The motives of these several prohibitions are discussed in separate chapters of extreme dulness and prolixity. It is necessary, however, in order to come to a right understanding with those austere persons and their apologist, to enter a little into the discussion.
The basis of the Quaker morality seems evidently to be, that gaiety and merriment ought, upon all occasions, to be discouraged; that everything which tends merely to exhilaration or enjoyment, has in it a taint of criminality; and that one of the chief duties of man is to be always seiious and solemn, and constantly occupied, either with his worldly prosperity, or his eternal welfare. If it were not for the attention which is thus permitted to the accumulation of wealth, the Quakers would scarcely be distinguishable from the other gloomy sectaries, who mainUin, that man was put into this world for no
other purpose?, but to mortify himself into a proper condition for the next;—that all our feelings of ridicule and sociality, and all the spring and gaiety of the animal spirits of youth, were given us only for our temptation; and that, considering the shortness of mis life, and the risk he runs of damnation after ,:, man ought evidently to pass his days in dejection and terror, and to shut his heart to every pleasurable emotion which this transitory scene might hold out to the unthinking. The fundamental folly of these ascetic maxims has prevented the Quakers from adopting them in their full extent; but all the peculiarities of their manners may evidently be referred to this source; and the qualifications and exceptions under which they maintain the duty of abstaining from enjoymeu;, serve only, m most instances, to bring upon their reasonings the additional charge of inconsistency.
Their objection to cards, dice, wagers, horsíraces, &c. is said to be, first, that they may lead to a spirit of gaming, which leads, again, to obvious unhappiness and immorality; but chiefly, that they are sources of amusement unworthy of a sober Christian, and tend, by producing an unreasonable excitement, to disturb that tranquillity and equanimity which they look upon as essential to moral virtue
"They believe," saya Mr. Clarkson, "thaiiu'ness and quietness both of spirit and of bodv. ire necessary, as far as they can be obtained. Hence, Quaker children are rebuked for all expressions of anger, as tending to raise those feelings whkb ought to be suppressed: a raising even of the toic* beyond due bounds, is discouraged as leading to the disturbance of their minds. They are isuer.t to rise in the morning in quietness; to go about their ordinary occupation with quietness; and ю retire in quietness to their beds."
Now this, we think, is а тегу miserab> picture. The great curse of life, we beliere, in all conditions above the lowest, is its eicessive stillness and quietness, ana the want of interest and excitement which it affords: and though we certainly do not approve of cards and wagers as the best exhilarators oí the spirits, we cannot possibly concur in the principle upon which they are rejected w¡:h such abhorrence by this rigid society. A remark which Mr. Clarkson himself makes atterwards, might hare led him to doubt of the soundness of their petrifying principles.
"It has often been observed," he says, " thit » Quaker Boy has an unnatural appearance. Thr idea has arisen from his dress and hi« eedatenro. which, taken together, have produced an appearance of age above the youth in his countenance. I tiave often been surprised to hear young Qink« talk of the folly and vanity of pursuits in whirh p?r sons, older than themselves, were then embark:-; in pursuit of pleasure." &c.
We feel no admiration, we will confrf?. for prodigies of this description; and think that [he world is but little indebted to those moralists, who, in their efforts to ameliorate our condition, begin with constraining the тоЫЗо spirit of childhood into sedateness, and extinguishing the happy carelessness and animation of youth, by lessons of eternal quietne»
The next chapter is against music; and is. as might be expected, one of the most absurd and extravagant of me whole. This is Mr. Clarkson's statement of the Quaker reasoning against this delightful art.
"Providence gave originally 10 man a beautiful and a perfect world. He filled il with ihings neres«ary, and thin« delightful: and yet man has ofien turned these from their true and original design. The very wood on the surface of the earth he has cut down, and the very stone and metal in its bowels he has hewn and cast, and converted into a graven image, and worshipped in the place of hie beneficent Creator. The food which he has given him for his nourishment, he has frequently converted by his intemperance into the means of injuring his health. The wine, that was designed to make his heart glad, on reasonable and necessary occasions, he has used often to the stupefaction of his senses, and the degradation of his moral character. The very raiment, which has been afforded him for his body, he has abused also, so that it has frequently become a source for the excitement of his pride.
"Just so it has been, and so it is, with Music, at the present day."
We do not think we ever before met with an argument so unskilfully, or rather so preposterously put: Since, if it follows, from these premises, that music ought to be entirely rejected and avoided, it must follow also, that we should go naked, and neither eat nor drink! and as to the arguments that follow against the cultivation of music, because there are some obscene and some bacchanalian songs, which it would be improper for young persons to learn, they are obviously capable of being used, with exactly the same force, against their learning to read, because there are immoral and heretical books, which may possibly fall into their hands. The most authentic and sincere reason, however, we believe, is one which rests immediately upon the general ascetic principle to which we have already made reference, viz. that "music tends to s'.lf-grattfication, which is not allowable in the Christian system." Now, as this same selfdenying principle is really at the bottom of most of the Quaker prohibitions, it may be worth while to consider, in a few words, how far it can be reconciled to reason or morality.
All men, we humbly conceive, are under the necessity of pursuing their own happiness; and cannot even be conceived as ever pursuing any thing else. The only difference between the sensualist and the ascetic is, that the former pursues an immediate, and the other a remote happiness; or, that the one pursues an intellectual, and the other a bodily gratification. The penitent who passes his days in mortification, does so unquestionably from the love of enjoyment; either because he thinks this the surest way to attain eternal happiness in a future world, or because he finds the admiration of mankind a sufficient compensation, even in this life, for the hardships by which he extorts it. It appears, therefore, that self-gratification, so far from beins an unlawful object of pursuit, is necessarily the only object which a rational being can be conceived to pursue; and consequently, that to argue against any practice, merely that it is attended with enjoyment, is to give it a
recommendation which must operate in its favour, in the first instance at least, even witn the most rigid moralist. The only sound or consistent form of the argument, in short, is that which was manfully adopted by the mortified hermits of the early ages; but is expressly disclaimed for the Quakers by their present apologist, viz. that our well-being in this world is a matter of so very little concern, that it is altogether unworthy of a reasonable being to bestow any care upon it ; and that our chance of well-being in another world depends so much upon our anxious endeavours after piety upon earth, that it is our duty to employ every moment of our fleeting and uncertain lives in meditation and prayer; and consequently altogether sinful and imprudent to indulge any propensities which may interrupt those holy exercises, or beget in us any interest in sublunary things.
There is evidently a tacit aspiration after this sublime absurdity in almost all the Quaker prohibitions; and we strongly suspect, that honest George Fox, when he inhabited a hollow tree in the vale of Beevor, taught nothing less to his disciples. The condemnation of music and dancing, and all idle speaking, was therefore quite consistent in him; but since the permission of gainful arts, and of most of the luxuries which wealth can procure, to his disciples, it is no longer so easy to reconcile these condemnations^ either to reason, or to the rest of their practice. A Quaker may suspend all apparent care of his salvation, and occupy himself entirely with his worldly business, for six days in the week, like any other Christian. It is even thought laudable in him to set an example of diligence and industry to those around him; and the fruits of this industry he is by no means required to bestow in relieving the poor, or for the promotion of piety. He is ailowed to employ it for self-gratification, in almost every way—but the most social and agreeable! He may keep an excellent table and garden, and be driven about in an easy chariot by a pious coachman and two, oreven four, plump horses; but his plate must be without carving, and hie carriage and horses (perhaps his flowers also) of a dusky colour. Hie guests may talk ot oxen and broadcloth as long as they think fit , but wit and gaiety are entirely proscribed, and topics of literature but rarely allowed. His boys and girls are bred up to a premature knowledge of bargaining and housekeeping; but when their bounding spirits are struggling in every limb, they must not violate theit sedateness bv a single skip ;—their stillness must not be disturbed by raising their voices beyond their common pitch ;—and they would be disowned, if they were to tune their innocent voices in a hymn to their great Benefactor! We cannot help saying, that all this is absurd and indefensible. Either let the Quakers renounce all the enjoyments of this life, or take all that are innocent. The pursuit of wealth surely holds out a greater temptation to immoralilyj than the study of music. Let them, then, either disown those who accumu late more than is necessary for their subsislence, or permit those who have leisure, to employ it in something better than moneygetting. To allow a man to have a house and retinue, from the expenses of which fifty poor families might be supported, and at the same time to interdict a fold in his coat, or a ruffle to his shirt, on account of their costliness and vanity, is as ridiculous, and as superstitious, as it is for the Church of Rome to permit one of her cardinals to sit down, on a meagre day. to fifty costly and delicious dishes of fish and pastry, while it excommunicates a peasant for breaking through the holy abstinence with a morsel of rusty bacon. With those general impressions, we shall easily dispose of their other peculiarities.
The amusements of the theatre are strictly forbidden to Quakers of every description; and this, partly because many plays are immoral, but chiefly because, on the stage, "men personate characters that are not their own; and thus become altogether sophisticated in their looks, words, and actions, which is contrary to the simplicity and truth required by Christianity!7' Wo scarcely think the Quakers will be much obliged to Mr. Clarkson for imputing this kind of reasoning to them: And, for our own parts, we would much rather hear at once that the play-house was the De vil's drawing-room, and that the actors painted their faces, and therefore deserved the fate of Jezebel. As to the sin of personating characters not their own, and sophisticating their looks and words, it is necessarily committed by every man who reads aloud a Dialogue from the New Testament, or who adopts, from the highest authority, a dramatic form in his preaching. As to the other objection, that theatrical amusements produce too high a degree of excitement for the necessary sedateness of a good Christian, we answer, in the first place, that we do not see why a good Christian should be more sedate than hie innocence and natural gaiety may dispose him to be; and, in the second place, that the objection proves Mr. Clarkson to be laudably ignorant of the state of the modem drama,—which, we are credibly informed, is by no means so extremely interesting, as to make men neglect their business and their duties to run after it.
Next comes dancing.—The Quakers prohibit this strictly; 1st, because it implies the accompaniment of music, which lias been already interdicted; 2dly, because "it is useless, and below the dignity of the Christian character;:; 3dly, because it implies assemblies of idle persons, which lead to thoughtlessness as to the important duties of life; 4thly, because it gives rise to silly vanity, and envying, and malevolence. The lovers of dancing, we think, will be able to answer those objections without our farther assistance; such of them as have not been already obviated, are applicable, and are in fact applied by the Quakers, to every species of accomplishment. They are applicable also, though the Quakers do not so apply them, to all money-getting occupations in which there i* room for rival;y and competition.
The reading of novels is next prohibited,
not so much, Mr. Clarkson ашшеэ at. on г-count of their fictitious nature, though ùiu ,ground enough for the abhorreuc« о; mar,;
, Quakers, but on account of their genera! immorality, and their tendency to produce к
i undue excitement of mind, and to alie&ale the attention from objects of serious importance. These are good reasons against tie reading of immoral novels, and agair..-¡ cuing them our sole or our principal ^c..'\ Other moralists are contented with «eiíc:.:,; and limiting the novels they allow to be reai The Quakers alone make it an abomination to read any; which is like prohibiting a!! c~; w wine or animal food, instead of resiricu.: ou; censures to the excess or abuse of ihnu
Last of all, the sports of the field are prohibited, partly on account of the animal at
I fering they produce, and partly from the habits of idleness and ferocity which uV\ nsupposed to generate. Thjs is Mr. Clark»:;'; account of the matter; but we shall probably form a more correct idea of the true Quaker principle, from being told that George Foi '• considered that man in the fall, or the apostate man, had a vision so indistinct and vitiated, that he could not see the animals </ tin creation as he ouehl; but that the maij «1* was restored, or me spiritual Chrisuau. Ы..1 г new and clear discernment concerning ¡bee which would oblige him to consider ani Pen them in a proper manner.7' The Quakerhowever, allow the netting of animale (« food; and cannot well object therefore te shooting them, provided it be done abrir. :•* the same economical purpose, and to: ;••• self-gratification,—at least in the act of kill-'.: Mr. Clarkson proceeds next to diste« uV discipline, as he calls it. or interior gorer.ment of the Quaker society; but we ü¡:.t ú more natural to proceed to the considérant-:/ of what he announces as their peculiar даtoms, which, for any thing we see, mish: '<-> have been classed among the ргоЫЬ which constitute their moral education. The first, is the peculiarity of their The original rule, he says, was only du'- •' should be plain and cheap. He vmii.wtr? George Fox, we think very successfully. !"-"• the charge of having gone about in a Itaib-ra doublet : and maintains, that the present Up^of the Quakers is neither more nor less '•'•*'ihe common dress of grave and sober per.-ccof the middling raí k at the first institutor.: the society; and that they have reiair.-:<: .' not out of any superstitious opinion 01 :•* sanctity, but because they thought it *<«.•! indicate a frivolous vanity to change il, uu-* for some reason of convenience. We sboew have thought it convenience enough to а ч .•-•. singularity and misconstruction of motirts. Except that the men now wear loops in tr.-1:' hats, and that the women have in a ere»: measure given up their black hood? anJ &<••'aprons, their costume is believed to be airuf exactly the same as it was two hundred ^'""^ ago. They have a similar rule as io th-.r furniture; which, though sometimes fif-ar:1 and costly, is uniform!/ plain, and free t glare or ostentation. li conformity with th* principle, they do not decorate their houses with pictures or prints, and in general discourage the practice of taking portraits; for which piece of abstinence Mr. Clarkson gives the following simple reason. "The first Quakers considering themselves as poor helpless creatures. and as little better than dust and ashes, had but a mean idea of their own images!"
One of the most prominent peculiarities in the Quaker customs, relates to their language. They insist, in the first place, upon saying thou instead of you; and this was an innovation upon which their founder seems to have valued himself at least as much as upon any other part of his system. "The use of thou," says honest George Fox, with visible complacency, "was a sore cut to proud flesh!" ami many beatings, and revilmgs, and hours of ilurance in the stocks, did he triumphantly endure for his intrepid adherence to this grammatical propriety. Except that it is (or rather was) grammatically correct, we really can see no merit in this form of speech. The chief Quaker reason for it, however, is, that the use of "you" to a single person is a heinous piece of flattery, and an instance of the grossest and meanest adulation. It is obvious, however, that what is applied to all men without exception, cannot well be adulation. If princes and patrons alone were called "you," while "thou" was still used to inferiors or equals, we could understand why the levelling principle of the Quakers should set itself against the distinction; but if "you" be invariably and indiscriminately used to the very lowest of mankind,—to negroes, felons, and toadeaters,—it is perfectly obvious, that no person's vanity can possibly be puffed up by receiving it; and that the most contemptuous misanthropist may employ it without any scruple. Comparing the said pronouns together, indeed, in this respect, it is notorious, that "thou" is, with us, by far the most flattering compellation of the two. It is the form in which men address the Deity; and in which all tragical love letters, and verses of solemn adulation, are conceived. "You" belongs unquestionably to familiar and equal conversation. In truth, it is altogether absurd to consider I;you"as exclusively a plural pronoun in the modern English language. It may be a matter of history that it was originally used as a plural only; and it may be a matter of theory mat it was first applied to individuals on a principle of flattery; but the fact is, that it is now our second person singular. When applied to an individual, it never excites any idea either of plurality or of adulation; but excites precisely and exactly the idea that was excited by the use of '•' thou" in an earlier stage of the language. There is no more impropriety in the use of it, therefore, than in the use of any modern term which has superseded an obsolete one; nor any more virtue in reviving the use of "thou," than there would be in reviving any other antiquated word. It would be just as reasonable to talk always of our doublets and hose, and eschew all mention of coats or stockings, as a fearful abomination.
The same observations apply to the other Quaker principle of refusing to call any man Mr. or Sir, or to subscribe themselves in their letters, as any man's humble servant. Their reasons for this refusal, are, first, that the common phrases import a falsehood; and, secondly, that they puff up vain man with conceit. Now, as to the falsehood, we have to observe, that the words objected to, really do not mean any thing about bondage or dominion when used on those occasions; and neither are so understood, nor are in danger of being so understood, by any one who hears them. Words are significant sounds; and, beyond question, it is solely in consequence of the meaning they convey, that men can be responsible for using them. Now the only meaning which can be inquired after in this respect, is the meaning of the person who speaks, and of the person who nears; but neither the speaker nor the hearer, with us. understand the appellation of Mr., prefixed to a man's name, to import any mastership or dominion in him relatively to the other. It is merely a customary addition, which means nothing but that you wish to speak of the individual with civility. That the word employed to signify this, is the same word, or very near the same word, with one which, on other occasions, signifies a master over servants, does not at all affect its meaning upon this occasion. It does not, in fact, signify any such thing when prefixed to a man's propei name; and though it might have been used at first out of servility, with a view to that relation, it is long since that connection has been lost; and it now signifies nothing but what is perfectly true and correct.
Etymology can point out a multitude of words whicn, with the same sound and orthography, have thus come to acquire a variety of significations, and which even the Quakers think it sufficiently lawful to use in them all. A stage, for example, signifies a certain distance on the road—or a raised platform—or a carriage that travels periodically—or a certain point in the progress of any affair. It could easily be shown, too, that all these different meanings spring from each other, and were gradually attributed to what was originally one and the same word. The words, however, are now substantially multiplied, to correspond with the meanings ; and though they have the same sound and orlhoirrnphy, are never confounded by any one who is acquainted with the language. But there is, in fact, the same difference between the word master, implying power and authority over servants, and the word Master or Mister prefixed to a proper name, and implying merely a certain degree of respect and civility. That there is no deception either intrmlrd or rflrcted, must be admitted by the Quakers themselves : and it is not easy to conceive how ihn guilt of falsehood can be incurred without some such intention. Upon the very same principle, they would themselves be guilty of falsehood, 'if thev called a friend by hia name of Walker, when he was mounted in his one-horse chaise, or by hie name of