« 上一頁繼續 »
on this point needed among the highest classes.—(7) Digressive :-illiberality of our social laws and customs, in reference to the commerce between the sexes.
FEMALE EDUCATION. $ 1.-Present modes of educating women, false and mischievous.—(2) Public seminaries, or boarding-schools; their moral, and other, evils; character of the intellectual instruction there furnished: emptiness as well as misuse of what are termed accomplishments. ---(3) True direction for the female mind: the heart and social affections should be first cultivated.-(4) Practical knowledge; including the cultivation of domestic duties.—(5) Religion and morality; essential features in every course of instruction for the young. (6) Needful bounds of study, in the intellectual formation of the female mind: general character of studies befitting it.—(7) Advantages resultingfrom private and domestic education of women: importance of some alteration in our present system.
SPHERE OF DOMESTIC LIFE. § 1.-The female character, in its perfection, included in a domestic condition of life: virtue of reasonable submission from Woman: her existence, in great measure, relative to man.-(2) Digressive: an argument, showing the natural authority of man.—(3) Household and minor duties naturally incumbent on the female division of the species: opinions confirmatory of such a dispensation : happiness in the human creature is inseparable from an appropriate sphere.(4) Care of children, an occupation equally important and honourable: Woman's whole sphere, as bounded in domestic life, so far from being a humiliation, is her especial glory.
AS SHE IS, AND AS SHE SHOULD BE.
Women are illustrious in history, not from what they may have been in themselves, but in proportion to the mischief they have done, or caused. The best female characters are precisely those, of which History never heard, or dis
dains to speak
$ 1.-We purpose in this chapter to observe how fame, or the possession of power of any kind, has personally and individually affected women. Let it not, however, be supposed that we have here any sinister intention to stamp the prevailing character of Woman, from the examples with which history furnishes us of
be as to the possible fitness of women for exalted station, there can be none as to the fact, that the specimens before us of female celebrity are, in the main, a disgrace, not only to that sex, but often to human nature. Women who have attained notoriety in any way, have been, for the most part, wanting in the accompaniment of virtue!
Experience teaches, that to entrust power into female hands, is to ensure for it abuse ; for it shows that, whenever greatly tempted, female nature has been frail. Where is the human creature, of whichever sex, that when placed on an eminence transcendently too high, has not grown giddy with its false grandeur?
§ 2.-Female celebrity is attainable by the following methods:-1st. By the actual possession of rank and power, hereditary or acquired.--2ndly. By a character (an attributed character) for genius.-3rdly. By beauty.4thly. By the possession of masculine qualities.
Those who are known for their virtues, are so little known, that their names occupy but
in the lists of fame. The number too of these, as compared with the crowd of distinguished women, is small, -indeed so small, that, like certain insignificant quantities in the science of algebra, it might be neglected. But we venture to express a hope, — nay, a belief, that this meritorious, however humble a class of women, is by no means a fractional portion of the sex at large.
To set out with our own country, its most distinguished queen was ELIZABETH. Much as the name of this princess has been lauded, history lays little stress on her private virtues. With all the violent passions of her father, she had weaknesses of her own that sit heavily on her character. “ Does Elizabeth,” says Lavater, “rise gigantic among queens? Yet how little, how mean, was the superannuated coquette !” Her vanity surpassed the ordinary bounds of that failing, and there was no lack of all those little passions which have ever perplexed a female reign. Who will excuse her dissimulation, her jealousy and ungenerous treatment of Mary? --whose beauty, it seems, was an aggravation not to be forgiven, despite the strong masculine
sense attributed to her rival by the courtly penmen of the day.
The queenly fame of Elizabeth for wisdom, is a mistake, (1) The praise belonging to those acts which distinguished her reign, is due rather to her ministers, who were indeed among the ablest to whom this island ever gave birth. It has been asked, whether a weak sovereign could choose wise counsellors ? But this is a remark not at all applicable to Elizabeth, who claims only the negative merit of retaining in office those appointed by her father and brother.
It never was pretended that the learning of Elizabeth had depth. She was a dabbler in languages, (a mechanical accomplishment at best,) but in all the graver walks of learning Elizabeth was a mere pedant in petticoats.
Lastly, her character for chastity was somewhat unsteady. Though she assumed the title of the Virgin Queen, her conduct was, in many respects, such as to render her right to that title more than doubtful. Such was
Our own half-chaste Elizabeth,