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to attack either of them, both the sexes féll upon him at once, and quickly brought him to reason. It was remarkable that for many ages this agreement continued inviolable between the two states, notwithstanding, as was said before, they were husbands and wives; but this will not appear so wonderful, if we consider that they did not live together above a week in a year,
In the account which my author gives of the male republic, there were several customs very remarkable. The men never shaved their beards, or pared their nails, above once in a twelvemonth, which was probably about the time of the great annual meeting upon their frontiers. I find the name of a minister of state in one part of their history, who was fined for appearing too frequently in clean linen ; and of a certain great general, who was turned out of his post for effeminacy, it having been proved upon him by several credible witnesses that he washed his face every morning. If any member of the commonwealth had a soft voice, a smooth face, or a supple behaviour, banished into the commonwealth of females, where he was treated as a slave, dressed in petticoats, and set a spinning. They had no titles of honour among them, but such as denoted some bodily strength or perfection, as such an one ' the tall, such an
the stocky,' such an one 'the gruff. Their public debates Were generally managed with kicks and cuffs, insomuch that they often came from the council-table with broken shins, black eyes, and bloody noses.
When they would reproach a man in the most bitter terms, they would tell him his teeth were white, or that he had a fair skin and a soft hand. The greatest man I meet with in their history, was one who could lift five hundred weight, and wore such a prodigious pair of whiskers as had never been seen in the commonwealth before his time. These accomplishments, it seems, had rendered him so popular, that if he had not died very seasonably, it is thought he might have enslaved the republic. Having made this short extract out of the history of the male commonwealth, I shall look into the history of the neighbouring state, which consisted of females. The girls of quality, from
six to twelve years old, were put to public schools, where they learned to box and play at cudgels, with several other accomplishments of the same nature ; so bome at night with a broken pate, or two or three teeth knocked
was more usual than to see a little miss returning ont of her head. They were afterwades taught to ride the great horse, to shoot, dart or sling, and listed into several companies, in order to perfect themselves in military exercises. No woman was to be married till she had killed her man. The ladies of fashion used to play with young lions instead of lap-dogs; and when they made any parties of diversion, instead of entertaining themselves at ombre and piquet, they would wrestle and pitch the bar for a whole afternoon together.
There was never
any such thing as a blush seen, or a sigh heard, in the whole commonwealth. The women never dressed but to look terrible ; to which end they would sometimes, after a battle, paint their cheeks with the blood of their enemies. For this reason, likewise, the face which had the most scars was looked upon as the most beautiful. If they found lace, jewels, ribbands, or any ornaments in silver or gold, among the booty which they had taken, they used to dress their horses with it, but never entertaind a thought of wearing it themselves. There were particular rights and privileges allowed to any member of the commonwealth who was a mother of three daughters. The senate was made up of old women; for by the laws of the country, none was to be a counsellor of state that was not past child-bearing. They used to boast that their republic had continued four thousand years, which is altogether improbable, unless we may suppose, what I am very apt to think, that they measured their time by
There was a great revolution brought about in this female republic by means of a neighbouring king, who had made war upon them several years with various success, and at length overthrew them in a very great battle. This defeat they ascribe to several causes : some say that the secretary of state, having been troubled with the vapours, had committed some fatal mistakes in several despatches about that time. Others pretend that the first minister being big with child, could not attend the public affairs, as so great an exigency of state required; but this I can give no manner of credit to, since it seems to contradict a fundamental maxim in their goverment, which I have before mentioned. My author gives the most probable reason of this great dis
for he affirms that the general was brought to bed, or (as others say) miscarried, the very night before the battle : however it was, this single overthrow obliged them to call in the male republic to their assistance ; but, notwithstanding their common efforts to repulse the victorious enemy, the war coutinued for many years before they could entirely bring it to a happy conclusion.
The campaigns which both sexes passed together made them so well acquainted with one another, that at the end of the war they did not care for parting. In the beginning of it they lodged in separate camps, but afterwards, as they grew more familiar, they pitched their tents promiscuously.
From this time, the armies being checkered with both sexes, they polished apace. The men used to invite their fellow soldiers into their quarters, and would dress their tents with flowers and boughs for their reception. If they chanced to like one more than another, they would be cutting her name in the table, or chalking out her figure upon a wall, or talking of her in a kind of rapturous language, which by degrees improved into verse and sonnet. These were as the first rudiments of architecture, painting, and poetry, among this savage people. After any advantage over the enemy, both sexes used to jump together, and make a clattering with their swords and shields, for joy, which, in a few years, produced several regular tunes and set dances.
As the two armies romped together upon these occasions, the women complained of the thick bushy beards and long nails of their confederates, who thereupon took care to prune themselves into such figures as were most pleasing to their friends and allies.
When they had taken any spoils from the enemy, the men would make a present of every thing that was rich and showy to the women whom they most admired, and would frequently dress the necks, or heads, or arms, of their mitresses, with any thing which they thought appeared gay or pretty. The women observing that the men took delight in looking upon them when they were adorned with such trippings and gewgaws, set their heads at work to find out new inventions, and to outshine one another in all councils of war, or the like solemn meetings. On the other hand, the men observing how the women's hearts were set upon finery, began to embellish themselves, and look as agreeably as they could in the eyes of their associates. In short, after a year's conversing together the women had learned to smile, and the men to ogle; the women grew soft, and the men lively.
When they had thus insensibly formed one another, upon finishing of the war, which concluded with an entire conquest of their common enemy, the colonels in one army married the colonels in the other; the captains in the same manner took the captains to their wives : the whole body of common soldiers were matched after the example of their leaders. By this means the two republics incorporated with one another, and became the most florishing and polite government in the part of the world which they inhabited.
There is at present living, (says the Stirling Journal) at a place called Glenarie, six miles from Inverary, a person of the
name of John Munro, at the advanced age of 95, who makes a point of walking daily, for the sake of recreation, the six miles betwixt his residence and Inverary, or to the top of Tullich-hill, which is very steep, and distant about two miles. Should the rain pour in torrents, so much the better, aad with the greater pleasure does he perambulate the summit of the bill for hours in the midst of the storm. Whether it is natural to this man, or whether it is the effect of habit, cannot be said ; but it is well known he cannot endure to remain any length of time with his body in a dry state. During summer, and when the weather is dry, he regularly pays a daily visit to the river Arca, and plunges himself headlong in with his clothes on; and should they get perfectly dry early in the day, so irksome and disagreeable does his siuation become, that, like a fish out of water, he finds it necessary to repeat the luxury. He delights in rainy weather, and when the
sky lowers, and the clouds threaten,” and other men seek the “ bield or the ingle side,” then is the time that this “ man of habits” chonses for enjoying his natural element in the highest perfection. He never bends his way homeward till he is completely drenched ; and, on these occasions, that a drop may not be lost, his bonnet is carried in his hand, and his head left bare to the pattering of the wind and rain. He at present enjoys excellent health : and, notwithstanding his habits, he has been wonderfully fortunate in escaping colds, a complaint very common in this moist climate-but when he is attacked, whether in dry or wet weather, whether in summer or winter, his mode of cure is not more singular than it is specific. Instead of confining himself and indulging in the ardent sweating potions so highly extolled among the gossips of his country, he repairs to his favourite element, the pure streams of the Arca, and takes one of his usual headlong dips, with his clothes on. He then walks about for a few miles, till they become dry, when the plan pursued never fails to check the progress of his disorder. In other respects, the writer has never heard any thing singular regarding his manners or habits.
Whether Suicide may be considered as a proof of courage,
I will not now discuss. In my opinion self-murder is always an act
highly unnatural, and men who do not live in a state of civil society, will never be guilty of it. Various causes have been assigned, to account for this propensity of the English to suicide. Sometimes the blame is laid upon the climate, sometimes upon the melancholy disposition peculiar to them, and sometimes upon their eating too much animal food, besides an hundred other reasons. But I believe it to be a natural consequence of that education which prevails in this country. The passions are in youth little controled, much less subdued ; and when, in years of more maturity, they cannot be gratified in their vehemence, they will sometimes produce that fatal resolution to finish a disagreeable life, by violent means ; which, in an hundred instances, is more easily taken, because religion, the support of the unhappy in adversity, is too often totally neglected. The Quakers in England, are a plain proof of the truth of the opinion here advanced ; for they have the same climate and diet as the rest of the English, and yet suicide is unheard of among them, or at least extremely seldom. The reason of this must undoubtly be looked for in the difference of the education which the Quakers receive, when compared with that of the rest of the English.
Should the following, transcribed for your next GLEANER, be thought, in addition, to what you have already given, en epitaphs, acceptable, it is at your service.
I am, Sir, your's &c. December, 27. 1822.
An epitaph is a monumental inscription, in honour or memory of a person deceased.
It has been disputed, whether the ancient Jews inscribed epitaphs on the monuments of the dead; but be this as it may, epitaphs, it is certain, of very ancient date, are found amongst them.