NECKAR is hardly better known in our day, as the Minister of Louis XVI. than as the father and friend of the most celebrated woman in modern times, perhaps in some particulars the most remarkable of her sex that has appeared in any age. If among statesmen her title to a place should be questioned, no one can deny that her writings and her conduct produced an important influence upon the politics of Europe during many years; and, as the potentates in whose hands the destinies of nations were placed, repeatedly acted towards her, some as benefiting by her support, others as injured by her opposition, nay, as she suffered persecution in consequence of her political influence exerted honestly for her principles and her party, it seems at once fair and natural to regard her title as confessed, and to number her among the political characters of the age.
It was, however, as an illustrious member of the republic of letters that she claimed the highest place, and as such that she has the clearest right to the respect of posterity. She was undeniably a woman of genius; and she had this peculiarity among authors of her sex, that, while many have signalized themselves in the lighter walks of literature, and some in the more rugged field of science; while works of fancy have come from some female pens, and mathematical speculations from others; while an Agnesi has filled the