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and the dangers of their wretched assailants, not merely tolerable to female eyes, but a spectacle gratifying beyond every other in the way of amusement; let it not be thought very improbable, that in our own country fashion may, on some occasions, prove herself able to attach women to amusements, which, though neither stained with blood, nor derived from the infliction of pain, may be such as for other reasons ought to be universally reprobated and exploded. And whenever such occasions may arise, let every woman remember, that modes of amusement intrinsically wrong, or in any respect unbecoming the female sex, are not tranfformed into innocent recreations by the countenance of numbers, nor by the fanc

Henry's History of England, vol. vi. p. 671. An amusement thus countenanced was probably acceptable to English ladies in general. It appears, at a later period, to have still maintained a place among the recreations of women of rank. Among the spectacles displayed for the diversion of Queen Elizabeth, when she was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by the Earl of Leicester, bear-baitings and boxingmatches are enumerated by the historian of the festivity.

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most vehement in their applause when the scene of danger is at the height. I state these facts as affording an impressive example of the force of custom; and a warning of the firmness with which the despotism of fashion may

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many cases require to be withstood, even when it is aspiring to jurisdiction merely over amusements. If in the present age, in a christian country, among a people which lays claim to considerable refinement, fashion has power to benumb the sympathetic emotions of humanity which characterise the female heart; to render exhibitions of cruelty and bloodshed, the miseries of tortured animals (b),

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He concludes his account in the following terms:
“ fondness of the Spaniards for this diversion is scarcely to
's be conceived. Men, women, and children, rich and poor,
“all give the preference to it beyond all other public spec-
“tacles.” His testimony might receive confirmation, were
it necessary, from other authorities.

(b) In the former part of the fixteenth century, Bearbaiting is affirmed to have been “ a favourite diverfion, « exhibited as a suitable amusement for a Princess.”

Henry's

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and the dangers of their wretched assailants, not merely tolerable to female eyes,

but spectacle gratifying beyond every other in the way of amusement; let it not be thought very improbable, that in our own country fashion may, on some occasions, prove herself able to attach women to amusements, which, though neither stained with blood, nor derived from the infliction of pain, may be such as for other reasons ought to be universally reprobated and exploded. And whenever such occasions may arise, let every woman remember, that modes of amusement intrinsically wrong, or in any respect unbecoming the female sex, are not transformed into innocent recreations by the countenance of numbers, nor by the fanc

Henry's History of England, vol. vi. p. 671. An amusement thus countenanced was probably acceptable to English ladies in general. It appears, at a later period, to have still maintained a place among the recreations of women of rank. Among the spectacles displayed for the diversion of Queen Elizabeth, when she was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by the Earl of Leicester, bear-baitings and boxingmatches are enumerated by the historian of the festivity.

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tion, if they should obtain the sanction, of nobility, or of a court.

Conscientious vigilance to avoid an improper choice of amusements is a duty of great importance, not only because time spent amiss can never be recalled, but particularly because, by the nature of the engagements in which the hours of leisure and relaxation are employed, the manners, the dispositions, and the whole character, are materially affected. Let the volume of

any judicious traveller through a foreign country be opened in the part where he dslineates the pursuits, the general conduct, the prevailing moral or immoral sentiments of the people. He will there be found to bestow attention on their customary diverfions, not only because the account of them adds entertainment to his narrative, and is necessary in order to complete the picture of national manners, but also because theyform one of the sources to which national opinions, virtues, and vices, may be traced. It

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is true, that the amusements which prevail in any country will depend, in a considerable degree, on the tone of sentiment and opinion prevailing there; because a conformity to the existing state of general sentiment and opinion is necessary to render public amusements generally acceptable. But it is also true, that the latter exert a reciprocal influence on the former; and are among the most active of the causes by which it may be altered or upheld. If he who affirmed that, were he allowed to compose the ballads of a nation, he would, at pleasure, change its form of government, uttered a boast not altogether unfounded in the principles of human nature; with juster. confidence might he have engaged to produce most important effects on the manners, opinions, and moral character of a nation, should he be invested with full power over all the public diversions. The influence of amusements on character is manifest in both sexes. A young woman, however, must be deemed more liable than an individual of

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