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which from nine to fifteen is succeeded by an equal attention to the affections.
And now, from fifteen and a half to twenty, comes the period of the passions; a period for which M. Fourrier has created two orders; one which he calls the order of the Vestalat, intended for those whose desires are still restrained by natural feelings of chastity and
Another called the Damoisellat" où tout est l'amour!" to use the French interpretation, "mais pas encore la paternité."
The philanthrophist blushes before the infamy of these regulated disorders for so tender an age-and which the English reader would be rather startled to find advocated on the ground of morality.
Le Damoisellat is a substitute for prostitution and adultery; a preventive to marriage from the mere animal feeling which is afterwards followed by disgust. The serious proposal of such an infernal institution almost reconciles one to the vices it was intended to remedy; - still let in France the gallantry of proper ladies be treated leniently by society, and the frailties of improper ladies licensed by the state!
In all this, we find a proof of that laxity in respect to female conduct, and of the indulgence with which the public regard the sexes' failings without which such a code would scarcely have been invented-certainly not avowed.
But what can be said-unless we recur to what is reported of the ancient mysteries-for those scenes in which the privacies of the marriage couch are made a public ceremony-and philosophy, forsooth, appears arranged in the shameless attire of a Parisian brothel ?
Besides the two sects that I have mentioned -sects which suppose, or did suppose, that a new system of religion or religious philosophy was found-there are other sects, declaring themselves still on the search after this ignis fatuus of their time. "O mes contemporains," exclaims one of the most distinguished of these, "je vous vois tous en quête d'une religion, ni pour vous, ni pour votre postérité immédiate; mais chaque jour dans vos désillusionnemens, ce mot religion erre sur VOS lèvres."
The author of the words I quote says that "religion is philosophy and philosophy the science of life;"-every age, he believes, has
understood human existence in a particular way, from which has proceeded a particular philosophy, generating a particular religion.
The character of the present epoch, he concludes, is "founded on the perfectibility of mankind-the history of science, literature and the arts."
Hence the principles of equality and fraternity, from which are to arise a philosophy that our era will receive, and a religion that our era will recognize.
The world exhibits, according to these doctrines, a series of perpetual changes; and as there were different epochs in its material formation -epochs when it could only produce vegetables, when it subsequently produced fish, animals, and ultimately mankind-so in its moral organization there are also epochs, when the present-sown with the past-will produce a future,—not independent of preceding events because begotten by them-not bound by preceding events because beyond their region; and thus, if equality, and liberty, and authority have not yet been compatible with each other -they may be so; the ideas of each proceed from antiquity, their union may be the work of modern times.
"Inspirons-nous de ce désir de notre époque,
et cherchons des formes nouvelles qui puissent satisfaire ses besoins."*
Those are equally in error, preaches this youthful sage from whom I quote, who think to establish new systems without the aid of our older chronicles-or who would circumscribe the growing desires of mankind by any ancient system inapplicable to modern days.
"You are right," says he to the catholics, "to attach yourselves to your tradition; on that tradition all subsequent theories have been founded-but do you not see the faith which gave life to catholicism, first migrated to protestantism, and then to philosophy. Why, when its young shoots have taken root in the earth, go seek the old and withered trunk? see you not that nature has conspired its ruin, that the seasons which nourished it of old now alternately assail it ;-and that the worms begotten in its core are silently crumbling it to pieces?"
The error of this doctrine is in the idea on which it is founded. The condition of humanity changes, and society is, therefore, wisely subjected to a perpetual series of laws. But
* Let us inspire ourselves with this desire of our time, and seek new forms which shall satisfy its wants.
human nature itself does not change, and it is to human nature, and not the condition of humanity, that religion properly belongs.
Let people talk, if they will, of christianity appertaining to another civilization !—that creed which, at its birth, invaded the wildernesses of Africa and the groves of Greece, which in after times was equally received by the polished refinements of the East and the barbarous heroism of the West-and which, even at the moment that I write-demands new churches in the metropolis of the British Empire-is climbing the steps of the temple of the Indian Idol-and raising shrines amidst the blazing woods of America-that creed is for mankind and not for any peculiar condition of our race;-its foundations are laid-not in our habits-but in our hearts; and after all this farrago about the history of science, literature, and the arts, and the principles of equality and fraternity which rest thereon-in what system of that modern philosophy, by which christianity, forsooth, has been or is to be absorbed, do we find the principles of equality and fraternity so firmly seated as in those very doctrines preached by Christ Jesus 1835 years ago, and which have been gaining proselyte from that year to this?