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Why thus amused with empty toys,
Forget her native skies?
The mind was formed to mount sublime,
To everlasting things;
Upon her drooping wings.
The world employs its various snares,
And chained to earth I lie:
fettered powers And leave these seats of vanity,
And upward learn to fly?
Bright scenes of bliss, unclouded skies,
Nor leave a thought below!
“ Heaven calls, and I must go.”
Heaven calls, and can I yet delay?
Ah! wretched, lingering heart!
And bid the world depart.
CAUSES OF FEMALE INFLUENCE.
Time is, in many ways, a reformer. It produces the same kind of change in the opinions of men as familiarity does in their feelings; it has a tendency to do away with superstition, and to reduce every thing to its real worth.
It is thus that the remains of the feudal system are every where disappearing,—that there is so much less of chivalrous feeling than there once was,—and that men act now, not so much from impulse, as from conviction.
It is thus, also, that the sentiment for women has undergone such a change. The romantic passion, which once almost deified her, is on the decline; and it is by intrinsic qualities that she must now inspire respect. There is less of enthusiasm entertained for her, but the regard is more rational, and, perhaps, equally sincere; since it is in relation to happiness that she is principally appreciated.
Domestic comfort is the chief source of her influence, and the greatest debt society owes her; for happiness is almost an element of virtue, and nothing conduces more to improve the character of men than domestic peace. make a man's home delightful, and may thus
A woman may
increase his motives for virtuous exertion. She may refine and tranquilize his mind,-may turn away his anger, or allay his grief. Her smile may be the happy influence to gladden his heart, and to disperse the cloud that gathers on his brow. And she will be loved in proportion as she makes those around her happy,--as she studies their tastes, and sympathizes in their feelings. In social relations adaption is therefore the true secret of her influence.
Where want of congeniality impairs domestic comfort, the fault is generally chargeable on the female side; for it is for woman, not for man, to make the sacrifice, especially in indifferent mat ters. She must, in a certain degree, be plastic herself if she would mould others. And this is one reason why very good women are sometimes very uninfluential. They do a great deal, but they yield nothing; they are impassible themselves, and therefore they cannot affect others. They proceed so mechanically in their vocation, and are so frigid to every thing beyond it, that their very virtue is automatical, and is uninteresting, because it appears compulsory. Negative goodness, therefore, is not enough. With an imperturbable temper, a faultless economy, an irreproachable demeanour, a woman may be still far from engaging, and her discharge of family relations be compatible with much domestic dulness. And the danger is, lest this dryness alienate affection which sympathy might have secured,
and nullify an influence which might otherwise have been really beneficial. To be useful, a woman must have feeling. It is this which suggests the thousand nameless amenities which fix her empire in the heart, and render her so agreeable, and almost so necessary, that she imperceptibly rises in the domestic circle, and becomes at once its cement and its charm.
If it be then really her aim, to increase her hold on the affections, and to mature the sentiment which passion may have excited, let her not forget that nothing conduces more to these results than congeniality. Perhaps conjugal virtue was never more aptly panegyrized than in the following eulogy on a matron of the last century:was a lady of such symmetrical proportion to her husband, that they seemed to come together by a sort of natural magnetism."
Domestic life is a woman's sphere, and it is there that she is most usefully as well as most appropriately employed. But society, too, feels her influence, and owes to ber, in great measure, its balance and its tone. She may be here a corrective of what is wrong, a moderator of what is unruly, a restraint on what is indecorous. Her presence may be a pledge against impropriety and excess, a check on vice, and a protection to virtue.
And it is her delicacy which will secure to her such an influence, and enable her to maintain it. It is the policy of licentiousness to undermine what it cannot openly attack, and to weaken by stratagem what it may not rudely assail. But a delicate woman will be as much upon her guard against the insidious as against the direct assault, and will no more tolerate the inuendo than the avowal. She will shrink from the licentiousness which is couched in ambiguous phrase or veiled in covert allusion, and from the immorality which, though it may not offend the ear, is meant to corrupt the heart. And though a depraved taste may relish the condiments of vice, or an unscrupulous palate receive them without detection, her virtue will be too sensitive not to reject the poison, and to recoil spontaneously from the touch.
Delicacy is, indeed, the point of honour in woman. And her purity of manner will ensure to her deference, and repress, more effectually than any other influence, impropriety of every kind. A delicate woman, too, will be more loved, as well as more respected, than any other; for affection can scarcely be excited, and certainly cannot long subsist, unless it is founded on esteem.
Yet such delicacy is neither prudish nor insipid. Conversation, for instance, is one great source of a woman's influence; and it is her province, and her peculiar talent, to give zest to it. She is, and ought to be, the enlivener of society; if she restrains impropriety, she may promote cheerfulness; and it is not because her conversation is innocent that it need therefore be dull. The sen