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quainted with facts, and thoroughly investigating them, before they draw conclusions, they would perceive the necessity of allowing first principles, which are so self-evident as not to admit of any direct proof. Indeed, I do not hesitate to assert, that almost all the errours of metaphysicians have arisen from their neglect of natural philosophy.—The extreme accuracy, and exact precisions that is requisite in the investigation of the phenomona of the material world, would induce like habits of reasoning in regard to that of the mental: while that Colossus of Scepticism, I mean Atheism, would, by an acquaintance with the works of Nature, be utterly annihilated. “I have endeavoured to explain myself to my noble friend as clearly as possible on the subject of his letter; and shall only add, that true philosophy is never the companion of arrogance and vanity. While it investigates with assiduity, and pronounces with diffidence; they assert with boldness, and

give the crude conjectures of fancy, for the sound deductions of truth. “The natural turn of my mind, and still more the objects which have for the greatest part of my life occupied my attention, have effectually precluded me from sceptical opinions, and rendered me callous to the sophistry of their promoters—but it has al. ways appeared to me, that where freedom of discussion is permitted, there scepticism and infidelity will be but little known.” Such, Maandaara, are the opinions of the natural Philosopher. The Philosophers at Ardent-Hall declare, that it is a pity so good a man should have so many odd prejudices. I eonfess, that, to me, who have been accus: tomed to behold with reverence, the self. inflicted torture of holy men—the noble enthusiasm of the worshippers of system is object of more veneration. It is true, these philosophers hold it not necessary to mortify the body, or to bring the irregular passions under subjection. But what is the severest penance of the most pious Yogee, compared

to the utter dereliction of eternal happiness? By hope, a man is supported through many sorrows, but, on the shrine of his Idol, the philosophick Sannaszee, makes a voluntary sacrifice of even Hope itself—On the system that he worships, his thoughts for ever dwell ; on it, his tongue for ever runs: and while it exclusively occupies every avenue to his soul, he, with a superlative degree of modesty, bestows the epithet of prejudiced enthusiast, on the votary of Christianity. How amiable is this condescension : Shall I confess to my friend—that to my weak mind, the enlightening conversation of the philosophers had become so tiresome, as to render the arrival of Lady Grey, and her blooming party, a considerable relief to my wearied spirits 2 Till then, I was destitute of all resource: Miss Ardent, being too fond of disputing with the philosophers, and too much engaged by them to attend to me; and her Ladyship so entirely engrossed by her darling boy, as to be incapable of attending to any other object. This boy is suffered to become so troublesome, that it entirely eradicates that benevolent complacency which one is accustomed to feel at the sight of infant innocence. His parents behold the capriciousness of his desires increase with gratification, and the irrascibility of his temper receive fuel from satiety; yet do they continue to pamper the over-pampered appetite, and to indulge each caprice of the wayward fancy, in full expectation, that, in the age of reason, he will be able to exercise the virtue of self-control l—Yes, Maandaara, when, from the pressure of existing circumstances, sparrows are taught to make honey, then shall the passions, which have been fanned into a flame by the breath of indulgence, listen to the voice of Moderation : You may, perhaps, imagine, that the society of a young and lovely female, such as is Miss Julia Ardent, would be a dangerous trial to a man of my sensibility. But, alas ! my friend, you know not how effectually the mixture of insipidity and haughtiness

can blunt the arrows of Cama! It is, perhaps, for this reason, and to preserve the hearts of young men from the influence of female charms, that these qualities are so carefully instilled at the seminaries of female education, which were described in such true colours by the good Bramin Sheermaal. I was, at that time, too much blinded by the mists of ignorance, to give credit to his report.—I had read the Christian Shaster, and was it not natural for me to suppose, that all who called themselves Christians, were guided by its precepts From it I learned, that Christian women were not prohibited from the cultivation of their understandings; and how could I conceive, that fashion should lead them to relinquish so glorious a privilege 2 How could I imagine, that Christian parents should be so much afraid of the improvement of their female offspring, as to give encouragement to seminaries formed on purpose for the exclusion of knowledge? It is true, the information of Sheer

maal might have instructed me in these WOL. II. 19

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