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· fider them as patriots, they appear distinguishable; when we consi
der them as men, and as citizens of the world, they almost excite our horror. Other nations made laws to make nature better, and to enforce humanity. Those of some of the Grecian states were calculated to cradicate nature and humanity from the human heart. In mort, in whatever view we contemplate this people, we find them remarkable only for an unnatural austerity of manners, for the most inflexible severity, and a life hardly softened by one agreeable shade in the whole picture.'
Dr. Alexander introduces what he says upon the subjects of delicacy and chastity, in the following manner:
• Of all the virtues which adorn the female character, and enable the sex to steal imperceptibly into the heart, none are more confpicuous than that unaffected implicity and shyness of manners which we diftinguish by the name of delicacy. In the most rude and savage ftates of mankind, however, delicacy has no existence; in those where policeness and the various refinements connected with it are carried to excess, delicacy is discarded, as a vulgar and unfashionable restraint on the freedom of good breeding.
"To illustrate these observations, we shall adduce a few facts from the history of mankind. Where the human race have little other culture than what they receive from nature, and hardly any other ideas but such as the dictates; the two sexes live together, unconscious of almost any restraint on their words or on their actions : Diodorus Siculus mentions several nations among the ancients, as the Hylophagi, and Tethiophagi, who had scarcely any cloathing, whose language was exceedingly imperfect, and whose manners were hardly distinguishable from those of the brutes which surrounded them. The Greeks, in the heroic ages, as appears from the whole history of their conduet, delineated by Homer and their other poets and historians, were totally unacquainted with delicacy. The Roa mans, in the infancy of their empire, were the same. Tacitus informs us, that the ancient Germans had not separate beds for the two sexes, but that they lay promiscuously on reeds, or on heath along the walls of their houses ; a custom still prevailing in Lapland, among the peasants of Norway, Poland, and Russia; and noi altogecher obliterated in some parts of the Highlands of Scotland and of Wales. In Terra del Fuego, on several places of the Gold Coast, in the Brazils, and a variety of other parts, the inhabitants have hardly any thing to cover their bodies, and scarcely the least incli. nation to conceal any natural action from the eyes of the public. In Otaheite, to appear naked, or in cloaths, are circumstances equally indifferent to both sexes : nor does any word in their language, ner any action to which they have an inclination, seem more indelicate or reprehensible than another. Such are the effects of a total want of culture; and effects not very diffimilar are in France and Italy produced from a redundance of it; delicacy is laughed out of exiftence as a filly and unfashionable weakness.
• Among people holding a middling degree, or rather perhaps something below a middle degree, between the most uncultivated rusticity and the most refined policeness, we find female delicacy in its highest perfection. The Japanese are but just emerged some Еe 2
degrees degrees above favage barbarity, and in their history we are prefented ty Kempfer, wich an instance of the effect of delicacy, which pertaps has not a parallel in any other country. A lady being at table in a promiscuous company, in reaching for something that the wanted, accidentally broke wind backwards, by which her delicacy was so much wounded, that the immediately arose, laid hold on her breasts with her teeth, and tore them till the expired on the spot. In Scotlard, and a lew other parts of the north of Europe, where the inhabitants are some degrees farther advanced in politeness than the Japanese ; a woman would be almost as much ashamed to be detected going to the temple of Cloacina, as to that of Venus. In England, to go in the most open' manner to that of the former, hardly occasions a blum on the most delicate cheek. At Paris, we are told that a gallant frequently accompanies his mistress to the fhrine of the goddess, flands centinel at the door, and entertains her with bon mois, and protestations of love, all the time she is worshipping there ; and that a lady when in a carriage, whatever company be along with her, if called upon to exonerate nature, pulls the cord, orders the driver to fop, steps out, and having performed what nature required, resumes her seat without the least ceremony or discomposure. The Parisian women, as well as those in many of the other large towns of France, even in the most public companies, make no scruple of talking concerning those secrets of their fex, which almoft in every other country are reckoned indelicate in the ears of the men ; nay, so lit:le is their reserve on this head, that a young lady on being asked by her lover to dance, will, without bluh or hesitation, excuse herself on account of the impropriety of doing fo in her present circumstances. The Icalians, it is said, carry their indelicacy fill farther: women even of character and fashion, when asked a favour of another kind, will with the utmost com posure decline the proposal, on account of being at prefent under a courfe of medicine for the care of a certain disorder. When a people have arrived at that point in the scale of politeness, which entirely difcards delicacy, the chastity of their women muft be at a low ebb; for delicacy is the centinel that is placed over female virtue, and that centinel once overcome, chastity is more than half conquered.'
One extract more, and we have done ; it shall be taken from the twenty-third chapter of this work, wherein our Author treats of Courtship.
. Of all that variety of passions which so differently agitate the human breast, none work a greater change on the sentiments, none more dulcify and expand the feelings, than love ; while anger transforms us into furies, and revenge metamorphoses us into fiends, love awakes the most opposite sensacions. While benevolence warms our hearts, and charity stretches out our hands, love, being compounded of all the tender, of all the humane and disinterested virtues, calls forth at once all their soft ideas, and exerts all their good offices *.
* The reverend Mr. Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, ufed to fay, That he never felt the vibrations of his heart so much in unison with virtue, as when he was in love; and that whenever he did a
The declaration of this social and benevolent passion to the object that inspires it, is what we commonly call courtship; and the time of this courtship, notwithstanding the mony embarrassments and uneasinesses which attend it, is generally considered as one of the happiest periods of human life, at least so long as it is supported by hope, that pleasant delirium of the soul.
i Though the declaration of a paffion so virtuous, so benign and gentle, as that which we have now defcribed, seems to reflect so much honour on the breast in which it is harboured, that neither sex can possibly have any occafion to be ashamed of it ; yet the great Author of nature, throughout the wide extent of his animated works, appears to have placed the privilege of asking in the male, and that of refusing in the female. Nor, when we except man, has it ever been known among the most favage and ferocious animals, that a rape has been committed on the female, or that she has been attempted by any other methods than such as were gentle and soothing. Man, however, that imperious lord of the creation, has often departed from this rule, and forced a reluctant female to his hated embrace; and though he has not any where by law, deprived women from relifting such illicit attempts, yet he has gone very near to it; he has in many nations, from the earliest antiquity, deprived them of the power of refusing such a husband as their fathers or other relations chose for them; thereby taking from them what the Creator of all things had given them, as a common right with the females of all other animals, and dalhing at once courtthip, and all the delicate feelings and pleasures attending it, out of cxiitence.
• Though it is presumable, that the mutual inclination of the sexes to each other, is, in each, nearly equal; yet as we constantly see the declaration of that inclination made by the men, let us en. quire, whether this is the effect of custom, or of nature? If what we have just now observed be a general fact, that only the males of all animals first discover their passions to the females, then it will follow, that this is the effect of nature: but if, on the other hand, it be true, as some travellers affirm, that, in several savage countries, the female sex not only declare their pasions with as much ease and freedom as the male, but also frequently endeavour to force the male to their embraces, then it will seem to be the effect of custom. Cuftom, however, that whimsical and capricious tyrant of the mind, seldom arises out of nothing; and in cases where nature is concernea, frequently has nature for her basis. Allowing then that it is cultom ; which in Europe, and many other parts of the world, has placed the right of aking in men, by a long and almost uninterupted poffeífion ; yet that very custom, in our opinion, may fairly be traced to nature; for nature, it is plain, has made man more bold and intrepid than woman, less susceptible of shame, and devolved upon him almost all the more active scenes of life; it is, therefore, highly probabie, that, conscious of these qualities, he at first assumed the right of
mean or unworthy action, on examining himself strictly, he found that at that time he was loose from every sentimental attachmen: to the fair sex.
aking ; a right to which custom has at lait given him a kind of ex. clusive privilege.'
The foregoing extracts, we apprehend, are fully sufficient to justify the character we have given of this work. If any of our Readers are pleased with the specimen we have laid before them, we must refer them to the history itself, in which they will meet with abundance of entertainment of the same kind.
Art. III. A Preliminary Discourse; wherein are delineated the very
great Disorders which prevail in Affairs of Insurance; their prise cipal Causes explained ; and Methods proposed for better Regulation and Prevention : Together with the Plan of an entire New and Comprehensive Work (preparing for the Press), containing the Theory, Laws, and Practice, of lorurance in General. By John Weikett, Merchant. Folio. 55. fewed. Richardson and Urq.chart, &c. 1779. A S the subject of commercial insurance is of the utmost imA portance to the trading world, we may presume, that it is, in general, well understood by gentlemen of the mercantile profeffion. It is not, however, universally so well understood, as to preclude the necessity of a treatise on its theory, laws, and practice, such as that which Mr. Weskett proposes to lay before the public. New and difficult cases are almost perpetually oca curring, the adjustment and determination of which require every aslistance that professional skill and experience can afford. We have but few books on this branch of the lex mercatoria, or custom of merchants; and none which have treated it on the very extensive plan proposed by our Author.
The very elaborate eslay, by the late Mr. Nicholas Magens, is a work of very considerable merit; but it is chiefly confined to what has been done in the practice of insurance; whereas, Mr. Weskett proposes to enter, largely, into the better regula tion and improvement of both its practice and its laws.
Mr. W. appears to be amply qualified for this important undertaking. He writes, in general, with correctness and perfpicuity; and he is allowed to be a master of the subject.
If we discern any defect in this copious announce of his design at large, it is that of a certain redundancy of explanation, which seems to carry with it a supposition of greater ignorance of the common principles of insurance, in his readers, than ought to be supposed. The requisite matter of this large and diffusive introduction (which is a volume of itself, consisting of eighty-four folio pages) might, we think, have been comprised
* See an account of Mr. Magens's work, in the xiith vol, of our Review, p. 335
in half the compass to which the ingenious Author has, by the means of amplification, extended it: though, we believe, without intention to amplify. It is not every writer who possesses the art of compressing his meaning within the feweft pofible number of words; and at the same time, clearly conveying that meaning to the understandings of his readers.
This Preliminary Discourse, nevertheless, abounds with useful and sagacious observations; from which some curious extracts might have been here given, had not the subject been deemed of a nature too confined for the generality of our readers. We must not, however, omit his proposal for remedying the inconveniences, sometimes resulting from the interference of lawyers, in deciding the disputes which frequently arise between the insurer and the insured.
From whence is it that the most profound adepts, and sages of the law, derive their fancied superiority of skill, in the rules of justice, in matters of commerce and insurance ? - Hath it not, always, been from the informations and explanations of experienced and judicious merchants and insurers; from time to time given, in the several cafes, which have been introduced, discussed, and decided in courts of judicature?-and, what lamentable abfurdity, and confusion of ideas, might not have been often observed, in the argumentations there, upon such matters !-yet, do we not, sometimes, idly look up to, as oracles, those, whom intelligent men amongst ourselves have, in reality, instruct.d?
Those affairs are often accompanied with such new and various circumstances and contingencies; and depend so much upon nice distinctions of special cufioms and usages; that the common law of England tacitly acknowledges its own imperfection, in this respect, by allowing the LEX MERCATORIA, i. e. the custom of merchants,- wherein themselves, only, are properly skilled; and of which, confequently, themselves, only, can be the proper judges,-to pass as law.
The frequent futility, therefore, of trials, and the invalidity. of fundry decisions, AT LAW, in mercantile, and especially insurance cases, are as evident as the vexation, and embarraflment (yet, unavoidable necesity which, hitherto, there often is) of recourse to it: owing as well to causes already assigned, as to the formal, dilatory, defective, and circuitous modes of proceeding; sometimes from court to court,ếor for new, and repeated trials, in the same court, on one and the same policy, question, or point; very simple perhaps in itself; which might easily, in much shorter time, more effectually and certainly, in almost every instance, be elucidated and decided by and amongst merchants themselves ; were they to acquire that judgment in their respective branches, and to deport themselves towards each other Ee 4