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Men independent of Society. B.I. men, from their low state in savage tribes, to their elevated state in civilized nations.
With regard to the outlines, whether of internal disposition or of external figure, men and women are the fame. Nature, however, intending them for mates, has given them dispositions different but concordant, so as to produce together delicious harmony. The man, more robust, is fitted for severe labour and for field-exercises: the woman, more delicate, is fitted for sedentary occupations; and particularly for nursing children. That difference is remarkable in the mind, no less than in the body. A boy is always running about; delights in a top or a ball, and rides upon a stick as a horse. A girl has less inclination to move : her first amusement is a baby; which she delights to dress and undress. I have seen oftener than once a female child under fix getting an infant in its arms, caressing it, singing, and walking about staggering under the weight. A boy never thinks of such a pastime. The man, bold and vigorous, is qualified for being a protector : the woman, delicate and timid, requires pro
tection *. The man, as a protector, is directed by nature to govern : the woman, conscious of inferiority, is disposed to obey. Their intellectual powers correspond to the destination of nature : men have penetration and solid judgement to fit them for governing : women have sufficient understanding to make a decent figure under good government; a greater proportion would excite dangerous rivalship. Women have more imagination and more sensibility than men; and yet none of them have made an eminent figure in any of the fine arts. We hear of no sculptor nor ftatuary among them; and none of them have risen above a mediocrity in poetry or painting. Nature has avoided rivallhip between the sexes, by giving them different talents. Add another capital difference of disposition : the gentle and insinuating manners of the female sex, tend to soften the roughness of the other fex; and where-ever women are indulged
* From which it appears to proceed, that women naturally are more careful of their reputation than men, and more hurt by obloquy.
with any freedom, they polish sooner than men *.
These are not the only particulars that distinguish the sexes. With respect to matrimony, it is the privilege of the male, as superior and protector, to make a choice; the female preferred has no privilege but barely to consent or to refuse. Nature fits thein for these different parts : the male is bold, the female bashful. Hence among all nations it is the practice for men to court, and for women to be courted : which holds also among many other animals, probably among all that pair.
Another distinction is equally visible : The master of a family is immediately connected with his country ; his wife, his
• The chief quality of women, says Rousseau, is sweeiness of temper. Made by nature for submillion in the married state, they ought to learn to suffer wrong, even without complaining. Sourness and stub. borness serve but to increase the husband's unkindness and their own distresses. It was not to indulge bad humour, that Heaven bestowed on them manners insinuating and persuasive: they were not made weak in order to be imperious : a sweet voice suits ill with scolding; delicate features ought not to be disfigured with passion. They frequently may have season for complaints ; but never, to utter them publicly.
children, his servants, are immediately connected with him, and with their coun. try through him only. Women accordingly have less patriotism than men; and less bitterness against the enemies of their country.
The peculiar modesty of the female sex, is also a distinguishing circumstance. Nature hath provided them with it as a defence against the artful solicitations of the other sex before marriage, and also as a support of conjugal fidelity.
A fundamental article in the present sketch is matrimony; and it has been much controverted, whether it be an appointment of nature, or only of municipal law. Many writers have exercised their talents in that controversy, but without giving satisfaction to a judicious inquirer. If I mistake not, it may be determined upon folid principles ; and as it is of importance in the history of man, the reader, I am hopeful, will not be disgusted at the length of the argument.
Many writers hold that women were originally common; that animal love was gratified as among horses and horned cattle ; and that matrimony was not
known, till nations grew in some degree to be orderly and refined. I select Cicero as an author of authority : “ Namn fuit “ quoddam tempus, cum in agris homi“ nes passim, beftiarum more, vagaban“ tur, et sibi victu ferino vitam propaga“ bant: nec ratione animi quicquam sed “ pleraque viribus corporis administra“ bant. Nondum divinae religionis non « humani officii ratio colebatur. Nemo " legitimas viderat nuptias, non certos “ quisquam inspexerat liberos * (a)." Pliny, in fupport of that doctrine, informs us, that the Garamantes, an African nation, male and female lived promiscuously together, without any notion of matrimony. Among the Auses, a people of Libya, as Herodotus says, matrimony was not known, and men cohabited with women indifferently, like other
* « For there was a time, when men, like the s brutes, roamed abroad over the earth, and fed like “ wild bealls upon other animals. Then reason bore “ no sway, but all was ruled by superior strength. 6. The ties of religion, and the obligations of mora. " lity, were then unfelt. Lawful marriage was uner known, and no father was certain of his offspring." (a) De Inventione, lib. I.