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by the consciousness that the foolish frippery in which they are compelled to appear,
has cost them more than their own better judgment assures them they ought to expend in the decoration of their persons. This, together with preposterous hours and sumptuous entertainments, operates in each circle as an intolerable oppression to that immediately below them in point of wealth, and so down to those whose means are most limited, and often renders I fear, that social intercourse which ought to be a blessing and a privilege, little better than a curse. To one whose observation has penetrated behind the scenes, and seen the miserable struggles and subterfuges to which the tyranny of fashion compels people to resort, a splendid party of pleasure suggests any idea rather than that of unmingled enjoyment. It is this oppression moreover, which exasperates to incurable alienation those feelings of jealousy, which are too apt to spring up between the different orders of society, and finally break out in violence and blood. Every woman then, no matter what may be her wealth, who gives into these fashionable follies, much
more who commences and fosters them, commits a sin alike against humanity, morality, and religion. She is doing all she can to destroy the pleasures and advantages of society, and make it a miserable slavery, to shut out of it those, who would adorn and improve it the most, and give it up to the empty, the ostentatious, and the weak.
Beware then, I would charge every woman who hears me, beware how you are drawn into the vortex of fashion. You will not only wrong society, but do an irreparable injury to yourself. You will not have travelled far on that road, before you will find a fearful change take place in yourself. You will find the old and home bred virtues of fidelity and sincerity fast taking leave of you. You will find yourself first talking merely to have something to say, then saying what
you think will be agreeable, then with no higher temptation, saying what is not true. You will find yourself gradually alienated from the friends of your heart, to be surrounded by the insincere and the sycophantic. When
When you have cut loose from all natural ties, and smothered every natural affection, you will find yourself utterly dependent on a circle, who you know in your heart would shake you off on the first reverse of fortune. And you will be moreover, conscious to yourself, that you stand up before the world the most odious of the things which the sun shines upon-a woman without a heart.
ON THE SPHERE AND DUTIES OF WOMAN.
In the lecture before the last we instated woman in that sphere which she was created to fill, that of the wife, the mistress of a home, the head of a family. In that position we shall contemplate her in the present lecture. I intend to show that it is one eminently calculated to promote her happiness, to develope and perfect her character. We have a right to infer this antecedently from the nature of the Deity. Being infinitely wise as well as infinitely benevolent, he could not fail to fit woman to her sphere, and her sphere to woman in such a way, that when she follows the leadings of his hand she shall attain to all the happiness that is compatible with this imperfect state.
She is fitted to find happiness in that relation by the affections of her heart. The grand
essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. We all must have something to love. Especially is this the case with woman, , whose capacity for affection is much greater than that of man.
There is a famous passage in the writings of Rousseau, that great delineator of the human heart, which is as true to human nature as it is beautiful in expression; "Were I in a desert I would find out wherewith in it to call forth my affections. If I could do no better, I would fasten them on some sweet myrtle, or some melancholy cypress, to connect myself to; I would court them for their shade, and greet them kindly for their protection. I would write my name upon them, and declare that they were the sweetest trees throughout all the desert. If their leaves withered, I would teach myself to mourn, and when they rejoiced I would rejoice along with them.” Such is the absolute necessity which exists in the human heart of having something to love. Unless the affections have an object, life itself becomes joyless and insipid. The affections have this peculiarity, that they are not so much the means of happiness, as their