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and better, we shall see these truths more clearly, and feel them more deeply; woman's place will become more distinctly defined, her influence more fully recognized and increasingly more potent.
In conclusion, it may be allowed me to offer a hint or two, as worthy and weighty subjects for thought, to every enlightened and conscientious woman in the country.
Our girls leave school and enter society at too early an age. The mischief resulting therefrom is incalculable. To this is it owing, in part, that we have so few well-educated women; so many precipitate and ill-assorted marriages, so much discontent and unhappiness in after life. Let it be recollected that most of our young women are “finished” by the time they are seventeen, and then tell me what familiarity with study, what real discipline of mind, they can have acquired. They need and should have a thorough classical and scientific training, and to this end should be kept at school, or supplied with masters, until they are twenty at least. Out of New England the women know nothing of science, and very little of classical learning, and even there, those who do, constitute the exceptions. I have heard it bitterly complained that the men who draw up the courses of study for our highest schools assign so narrow a limit to the curiosity and capacity of the female, and one 80 much wider to the male scholars. How is it
sible to do otherwise when these programmes have to be prepared to suit our exigencies, in which the young lady is to leave school the moment she is prepared to study? Is it surprising that the course should be meagre and inadequate, when the girl's head is full of beaux and parties, from the time she puts on long dresses, and is allowed to act upon the assumption, that she is competent to take upon herself tho most awful responsibilities of human life, before she is out of her teens? I pronounce the opinion after not a little careful inquiry and reflection, that the greater number of fashionable boarding-schools among us are as pernicious and baneful institutions as any nourished by our over-stimulated civilization. Let us have as provision for the education of the future wives and mothers of the Republic, a more comprehensive course of instruction ; fewer "accomplishments” as they are called-apparently in derision; and more earnest patient study, and a drill as systematic and thorough as any now prescribed for boys.
My other suggestion is in the form of an appeal to my countrywomen to cultivate simplicity of life, taste, and manners. Renounce ostentatious display, extravagant expenditure; abjure the outré, monstrous styles of dress in vogue. Study the colours and fashion most becoming to yourself, and dare to follow the dictates of a refined taste in apparel. Refuse a servile compliance with the reigning mode. Strivo
to keep your children young, and thus secure your self against the advance of age. In ornamentation seek beauty rather than splendor, and in the decoration of your house, select articles for the excellence of their form and color, and the harmony of their proportions, rather than for their showy costliness. Enough money is spent on expensive carpets in New York houses to foster a national school of art, and yet most of our painters and sculptors are living in poverty. Throw around your children every influence that will soften and refine their nature. If paintings and marbles are too expensive, engravings and plaster are within the reach of all. Tolerate no license of manners, no rudeness of speech towards yourself, or in your presence. Let your self-respect be so strong that others will be forced to respect you. Suffer not the tongue of scandal, nor the voice of tattle, and mischief-making, in your hearing. Defend your children as far as you are able from the pestiferous passion for fine dress, and glittering display. Save yourself and them from hollow and vulgar pretension, and give us an example of cheerfulness under toil, of fortitude amid trial, and of contentment united with diligence and effort.
I have had occasion in these remarks to speak plainly; at times, perhaps sternly. At parting it is only fair that I should use words of different tone. It is usual for our countrymen returned
from foreign travel, to descant upon the superior qualities of the women of other lands—the seductive grace and passion of those of southern Europe; the animated manners, the sprightliness and perpetuated bloom of the Parisienne ; the sustained strength of constitution, and pure white and red of the complexion belonging to the Germans; the robust freshness and plump round figures of the Dutch. That there is a want of physical stamina and development in our women, I readily concede; that more fresh air, systematic out-door invigorating exercise would be serviceable, all must agree. It is a sad fact that beautiful feet and ancles are often purchased at the price of bodily torpor and enfeebled frames. But taking them for “all in all," there are no such women in the world, and never have been, as those speaking the English tongue. In moral fibre and elevated tone; in perception of duty and loyalty to it; in a deepening Christian consciousness, and a heroic life of self-renunciation; in the unmurmur.
! ing endurance of privation, hardship, and pain ; in the cheerful and disinterested sacrifice of personal comfort, ease and happiness, for the good of others, they are without peers in the past or present. Other climes may produce more brilliant, attractive, and fascinating women—those who dress, dance, walk, coquette, and talk, more gracefully and invitingly; but there are no such wives and mothers as our own.