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together, are no deceivers. They are not intended to betray the sexes into a state of misery. The wife does not bid adieu to happiness, though she leaves a magnificent mansion to take up her abode under an humbler roof. Youth, health, employment, affection, hope, are more than a compensation for all. The privations of commencing life in narrow circumstances are borne with cheerfulness and alacrity. If there be on both sides good sense and generous feeling, as well as true affection, nothing will seem hard, and they will experience a happiness unknown to those, who shut up or disappoint their affections from false pride, or from dread of losing caste, by beginning life precisely as their fathers and mothers did before them.
The good wife! How much of this world's happiness and prosperity is contained in the compass of these two short words! Her influence is immense. The power of a wife, for good or for evil, is altogether irresistible. Home must be the seat of happiness, or it must be forever unknown. A good wife is to a man wisdom, and courage, and strength, and hope, and endurance. A bad one is confusion, weakness, discomfiture, despair. No
condition is hopeless when the wife possesses firmness, decision, energy, economy. There is no outward prosperity which can counteract indolence, folly, and extravagance at home. No spirit can long resist bad domestic influences. Man is strong, but his heart is not adamant. He delights in enterprise and action, but to sustain him he needs a tranquil mind, and a whole heart. He expends his whole moral force in the conflicts of the world. His feelings are daily lacerated to the utmost point of endurance by perpetual collision, irritation, and disappointment. To recover his equanimity and composure, home must be to him a place of repose, of peace, of cheerfulness, of comfort; and his soul renews its strength and again goes forth with fresh vigor to encounter the labors and troubles of the world. But if at home he find no rest, and there is met by a bad temper, sullenness, or gloom; or is assailed by discontent, complaint and reproaches, the heart breaks, the spirits are crushed, hope vanishes, and the man sinks into total despair.
Let woman know then, that she ministers at the very fountain of life and happiness. It is her hand that lades out with overflowing
cup its soul refreshing waters, or casts in the branch of bitterness which makes them poison and death. Her ardent spirit breathes the breath of life into all enterprise. Her patience and constancy are mainly instrumental in carrying forward to completion the best human designs. Her more delicate moral sensibility is the unseen power which is ever at work to purify and refine society. And the nearest glimpse of heaven that mortals ever get on earth is that domestic circle, which her hands have trained to intelligence, virtue, and love, which her gentle influence pervades, and of which her radiant presence is the centre and the sun.
It may be thought by some prosaic persons, that thus far in describing the sphere and duties of woman I have drawn too much from the regions of sentiment and imagination. I can only say in my defence, that nothing is prosaic, which concerns human hearts and human happiness. Woman is made to live in the regions of the sentiments and imagination. Her sorrows and her joys are there. It is they which to her clothe the dull affairs of this every day life with an interest unknown to the rougher sex. And she herself is the very poetry of the world.
ON THE SPHERE AND DUTIES OF WOMAN.
In my last lecture I gave a general outline of the distinguishing characteristics, the sphere and influence of woman. It will be the object of the present lecture to point out her privileges and her trials. I shall examine the charges which are current in the world against the sex, and show the cause and manner of her failure, whenever she does fail, to accomplish that high destiny to which she was appointed.
And I commence by saying, that every American woman ought to thank God every day of her existence, that she was born in this country, and at the present period. The happiness of her being depends more on outward circumstances than that of the other sex. Man's greater power of action and endurance makes him more at home in all
conditions and all periods of the world. Man in a state of barbarism can be as rough and as barbarous as his associates. In the absence of law and moral restraints he can defend himself. In the absence of physical comfort he can appropriate to himself the best that is to be had. But without law, without moral and religious restraint, without physical comfort, the condition of woman is wretched indeed. Her more delicate frame, and the care of infancy and childhood, which every where falls to her lot, expose her to greater suffering from the want of physical comforts; the ruder the cabin, the more scantily it is supplied with the necessary furniture for cooking, warming, and repose, the more pitiable is her condition. And where there is no law but individual will, whatever wrong is inflicted, she is generally the sufferer. Her lot varies then, in different ages, precisely with the progress of civilization. In the United States civilization, including in that term physical comfort and abundance with the subjection of society to the restraints of morality and religion, has reached a greater perfection than has any where else been known. Woman, for the