« 上一頁繼續 »
If these things are so, for what a frightful amount of all dropped on their knees.' Alas, poor childhood, crime are the coercing and repelling influences of thus doth • church and state' provide for thee! The society responsible.
state arms thee with wooden guns, to play the future I have not been happy since that visit to Black murderer, and the church teaches thee to pray in well's Island. There is something painful, yea, ter- platoons, “at the first tip of the whistle.' Luckily rific, in feeling myself involved in the great wheel they cannot drive the angels from thee, or most asof society, which goes whirling on, crushing thou- suredly they would do it, pro bono publico. sands at every turn. This relation of the individual The sleeping-rooms were clean as a Shaker's to the mass is the sternest and most frightful of all apron. When I saw the long rows of nice little the conflicts between necessity and free will. Yet beds, ranged side by side, I inquired whether there here, too, conflict, should be harmony, and will be was not a merry buzz in the morning. They are so. Put far away from thy soul all desire of retali. not permitted to speak at all in the sleeping a partation, all angry thoughts, all disposition to overcome ments,' replied the superintendent. The answer or humiliate an adversary, and be assured thou hast sent a chill through my heart. I acknowledged that done much to abolish gallows, chains, and prisons, in such large establishments the most exact method though thou hast never written or spoken a word on was necessary, and I knew that the children had the criminal code.
abundant opportunity for sun and frolic in the sunGod and good angels alone know the vast, the in shine and the open fields, in the after part of the calculable influence that goes out into the universe day; but it is so natural for all young things to crow of spirit, and thence flows into the universe of mat- and sing when they open their eyes to the morning ter, from the conquered evil, and the voiceless prayer, light, that I could not bear to have the cheerful inof one solitary soul. Wouldst thou bring the world stinct perpetually repressed. unto God? Then live near to him thyself. If di. The hospital for these children is on the neighvine life pervade thine own soul, every thing that bouring island of Blackwell. This establishment, touches thee will receive the electric spark, though though clean and well supplied with outward comthou mayest be unconscious of being charged there forts, was the most painful sight I ever witnessed. with. This surely would be the highest, to strive About one hundred and fifty children were there, to keep near the holy, not for the sake of our own mostly orphans, inheriting every variety of disease reward here or hereafter, but that through love to from vicious and sickly parents. In beds all of a God we might bless our neighbour. The human row, or rolling by dozens over clean matting on the soul can perceive this, and yet the beauty of the floor, the poor little pale, shrivelled, and blinded earth is every, where defaced with jails and gibbets! creatures were waiting for death to come and release Angelic natures can never deride, else were there them. Here the absence of a mother's love was loud laughter in heaven at the discord between man's most agonizing; not even the patience and gentleperceptions and his practice.
ness of a saint could supply its place; and saints At Long Island Farms I found six hundred chil- | are rarely hired by the public. There was a sort of dren, supported by the public. It gives them whole. resignation expressed in the countenances of some some food, comfortable clothing, and the common of the little ones, which would have been beautiful rudiments of education. For this it deserves praise. in maturer years, but in childhood it spoke mournBut the aliment which the spirit craves, the public fully of a withered soul. It was pleasant to think has not to give. The young heart asks for love, that a large proportion of them would soon be reyearns for love - but its own echo returns to it ceived by the angels, who will doubtless let them through empty halls, instead of answer.
sing in the morning. The institution is much lauded by visiters, and That the law of Love may cheer and bless even not without reason; for every thing looks clean and public establishments, has been proved by the excomfortable, and the children appear happy. The ample of the Society of Friends. They formerly drawbacks are such as inevitably belong to their had an establishment for their own poor, in the city situation, as children of the public. The oppressive of Philadelphia, on a plan so simple and so beautiful, feeling is, that there are no mothers there. Every that one cannot but mourn to think it has giveo thing moves by machinery, as it always must with place to more common and less brotherly modes of masses of children, never subdivided into families. relief. A nest of small households enclosed, on In one place, I saw a stack of small wooden guns, three sides, an open space devoted to gardens, in and was informed that the boys were daily drilled which each had a share. Here each poor family to military exercises, as a useful means of forming lived in separate rooms, and were assisted by the habits of order, as well as fitting them for the future Society according to its needs. Sometimes a widow service of the state. Their infant school evolutions could support herself, with the exception of rent; partook of the same drill character; and as for their and in that case, merely rooms were furnished gratis. religion, I was informed that it was beautiful to An aged couple could perhaps subsist very comfortsee them pray; for at the tip of the whistle, they ably, if supplied with house and fuel; and the friend
BY ELIZA COOK
ly assistance was according to their wants. Some SONG OF THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY. needed entire support; and to such it was ungrudgingly given. These paupers were oftentimes ministers and elders, took the highest seats in the meet. A song, a song, for the Beldame Queen, ing-house, and had as much influence as any in the A Queen that the world knows well, affairs of the Society. Every thing conspired to Whose portal of state is the workhouse gate, make them retain undiminished self-respect. The And throne the prison cell. manner in which they evinced this would be considered impudence in the tenants of our modern I have been crown'd in every land, alms-houses. One old lady being supplied with a With nightshade steep'd in tears, load of wood at her free lodgings, refused to take it, I've a dog-gnawn bone for my sceptre wand saying, that it did not suit her; she wanted dry, Which the proudest mortal fears. small wood. < But,' remonstrated the man, I was ordered to bring it here.' I can't help that. Tell No gem I wear in my tangled hair, 'em the best wood is the best economy. I do not
No goloen vest I own, want such wood as that.' Her orders were obeyed, No radiant glow tints cheek or brow,
Yet and the old lady's wishes were gratified. Another, say, who dares my frown ? who took great pride and pleasure in the neatness of
Oh, I am a Queen of a ghastly court, her little garden, employed a carpenter to make a
And tyrant sway I hold, trellis for her vines. Some objection was made to
Baiting human hearts for my royal sport, paying this bill, it being considered a mere super
With the bloodhounds of Hunger and Cold. fuity. But the old lady maintained that it was necessary for her comfort; and at meetings and all public places, she never failed to rebuke the elders. My power can change the purest clay
From its first and beautiful mould, 10 you profess to do unto others as you would be Till it hideth away from the face of day, done by, and you have never paid that carpenter his
Too hideous to behold. bill.' Worn out by her perseverance, they paid the bill, and she kept her trellis of vines. It probably Mark ye the wretch who has cloven and cleft was more necessary to her comfort than many things The skull of the lonely one, they would have considered as not superfluous.
And quail'd not at purpling his blade to the heft, The poor of this establishment did not feel like
To make sure that the deed was done. dependents, and were never regarded as a burden. They considered themselves as members of a family, Fair seeds were sown in his infant breast, receiving from brethren the assistance they would That held goodly blossom and fruit, have gladly bestowed under a reverse of circum- But I trampled them down-Man did the reststances. This approaches the gospel standard. And God's image grew into the brute. Since the dawn of Christianity, no class of people have furnished an example so replete with a most He hath been driven, and haunted, and scourged, wise tenderness, as the Society of Friends, in the For the sin I bade him do, days of its purity. Thank God, nothing good or true He hath wrought the lawless work I urged ever dies. The lifeless form falls from it, and it Till blood seem'd fair to his view. lives elsewhere.
I shriek with delight to see him bedight
In fetters that chink and gleam,
" He is mine,” I shout, as they lead him out TO THE DAISY.
From the dungeon to the beam.
See the lean boy clutch his rough-hewn crutch,
With limbs all warp'd and worn,
While he hurries along through a noisy throng,
The theme of their gibing scorn.
Wealth and Care would have rear'd him straight
As the towering mountain pine,
But I nursed him into that halting gait,
And wither'd his marrowless spine.
Pain may be heard on a downy bed,
Heaving the groan of despair,
And abideth everywhere.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND DUTIES.
Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird's return, Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.
BY LYDIA MARIA CHILD.
But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best; And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;
This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;
For She who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill, Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfil.
High on the trunk's projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's span above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest,
The prettiest of the grove !
The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things; but once
Looked up for it in vain :
'Tis gone—a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, 'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.
You ask what are my opinions about Women's Rights.' I confess a strong distaste to the subject, as it has been generally treated. On no other theme probably has there been uttered so much of false, mawkish sentiment, shallow philosophy, and sput. tering, farthing.candle wit. If the style of its advo. cates has often been offensive to taste, and unacceptable to reason, assuredly that of its opponents have been still more so. College boys have amused themselves with writing dreams, in which they saw women in hotels, with their feet hoisted, and chairs tilted back, or growling and bickering at each other in legislative halls, or fighting at the polls, with eyes blackened by fisticuffs. But it never seems to have occurred to these facetious writers, that the proceedings which appear so ludicrous and improper in women, are also ridiculous and disgraceful in men. It were well that men should learn not to hoist their feet above their heads, and tilt their chairs backward, not to growl and snap in the halls of legislation, nor give each other black eyes at the polls.
Maria Edgeworth says, We are disgusted when we see a woman's mind overwhelmed with a torrent of learning; that the tide of literature has passed over it should be betrayed only by its fertility.' This is beautiful and true ; but is it not likewise applicable to man? The truly great never seek to display themsevles. If they carry their heads high above the crowd, it is only made manifest to others by accidental revelations of their extended vision. · Human duties and proprieties do not lie so very far apart,' said Harriet Martineau; if they did, there would be two gospels and two teachers, one for man and another for woman.'
It would seem, indeed, as if men were willing to give women the exclusive benefit of gospel-teaching. • Women should be gentle,' say the advocates of subordination ; but when Christ said, · Blessed are the meek,' did he preach to women only? «Girls should be modest,' is the language of common teaching, continually uttered in words and customs. Would it not be an improvement for men also to be scrupulously pure in manners, conversation and life? Books addressed to young married people abound with advice to the wife, to control her temper, and never to utter wearisome complaints, or vexatious words, when the husband comes home fretful or unreasonable, from bis out-of-door conflicts with the world. Would not the advice be as excellent and appropriate, if the husband were advised to conquer his fretfulness, and forbear his complaints, in consideration of his wife's ill-health, fatiguing cares, and the thousand disheartening influences of domestic routine? In short, whatsoever can be named as loveliest, best, and most graceful in woman, would likewise be good and graceful in man. You
Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light, the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth,
And felt that all was well.
The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves; And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.
Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent, Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,
Rest, Mother-bird ! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam, When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,
Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the un violated grove, Housed near the growing Primrose tuft
In foresight, or in love.
will perhaps remind me of courage. If you use the prily cruel. And profligates, who form the lowest and word in its highest signification, I answer, that most sensual estimate of women, are the very ones woman, above others, has abundant need of it in her to treat them with an excess of outward deference. pilgrimage; and the true woman wears it with a There are few books, which I can read through, quiet grace. If you mean mere animal courage, without feeling insulted as a woman; but this inthat is not mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount, sult is almost universally conveyed through that among those qualities which enable us to inherit which was intended for praise. Just imagine, for a the earth, or become the children of God. That moment, what impression it would make on men, the feminine ideal approaches much nearer to the if women authors should write about their « " rosy gospel standard, than the prevalent idea of manhood, lips,' and melting eyes, and voluptuous forms, as is shown by the universal tendency to represent the as they write about us ! That women in general Saviour and his most beloved disciple with mild, do not feel this kind of flattery to be an insult, I meek expression, and feminine beanty. None speak readily admit; for, in the first place, they do not of the bravery, the might, or the intellect of Jesus ; perceive the gross chattel-principle, of which it is but the devil is always imagined as a being of acute the utterance; moreover, they have, from long habit, intellect, political cunning, and the fiercest courage. become accustomed to consider themselves as houseThese universal and instinctive tendencies of the hold conveniences, or gilded toys. Hence, they human mind reveal much.
consider it feminine and pretty to abjure all such That the present position of women in society is use of their faculties, as would make them cothe result of physical force, is obvious enough ; who workers with man in the advancement of those great soever doubts it, let her reflect why she is afraid to principles, on which the progress of Society depends. go out in the evening without the protection of a . There is perhaps no animal,' says Hannah More, man. What constitutes the danger of aggression ? so much indebted to subordination, for its good Superior physical strength, uncontrolled by the behaviour, as women.' Alas, for the animal age, in moral sentiments. If physical strength were in which such utterance could be tolerated by public complete subjection to moral influence, there would sentiment! be no need of outward protection. That animal in Martha More, sister of Hannah, describing a very stinct and brute force now govern the world, is impressive scene at the funeral of one of her Charity painfully apparent in the condition of women every School teachers, says: "The spirit within seemed where; from the Morduan Tartars. whose ceremony struggling to speak, and I was in a sort of agony ; of marriage consists in placing the bride on a mat, but I recollected that I had heard, somewhere, a and consigning her to the bridegroom, with the woman must not speak in the church. Ob, had she words, · Here, wolf, take thy lamb,'— to the German been buried in the church yard, a messenger from remark, that istiff ale, stinging tobacco, and a girl Mr. Pitt himself should not have restrained me; for in her smart dress, are the best things.' The same I seemed to have received a message from a higher thing, softened by the refinements of civilization, Master within.' peeps out in Stephens's remark, that “woman never This application of theological teaching carries its looks so interesting, as when leaning on the arm of own commentary, a soldier :' and in Hazlitt's complaint that it is not I have said enough to show that I consider prevaeasy to keep up a conversation with women in com- lent opinions and customs highly unfavourable to the pany. It is thought a piece of rudeness to differ moral and intellectual development of women: and from them; it is not quite fair to ask them a reason I need not say, that, in proportion to their true cul for what they say.'
ture, women will be more useful and happy, and This sort of politeness to women is what men call domestic life more perfected. True culture, in them, gallantry; an odious word to every sensible woman, as in men, consists in the full and free development because she sees that it is merely the flimsy veil of individual character, regulated by their own perwhich foppery throws over sensuality, to conceal its ceptions of what is true, and their own love of what grossness. So far is it from indicating sincere es- is good. teem and affection for women, ihat the profligacy of This individual responsibility is rarely acknowa nation may, in general, be fairly measured by its ledged, even by the most refined, as necessary to the gallantry. This taking away rights, and condescend spiritual progress of women. I once heard a very ing to grant privileges, is an old trick of the physi- beautiful lecture from R. W. Emerson, on Being cal-force principle; and with the immense majority, and Seeming. In the course of many remarks, as who only look on the surface of things, this mask true as they were graceful, he urged women to be, effectually disguises an ugliness, which would other. rather than seem. He told them that all their la. wise be abhorred. The most inveterate slaveholders boured education of forms, strict observance of genare probably those who take most pride in dressing teel etiquette, tasteful arrangement of the toilette, their household servants handsomely, and who would &c., all this seeming would not gain hearts like be most ashamed to have the name of being unnecessa. being truly what God made them; that earnest sim