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mate, to being flattered and trifled with as his toy-she will be careful to use no influence but that of reason and goodness, to let no artifice degrade the playful tenderness which in itself has so winning a charm, and to preserve unsullied the integrity on which depends his confidence and esteem.
Having fully admitted the faults of women in these respects, their partiality and tendency to dissimulation, it is but fair to point out how these faults are fostered by the position in which they are placed. That position depends not on their own merits, not on any acknowledged rights, but on the character of the men they happen to be connected with. As this character is amiable or the reverse, they meet with kindness, with lavish indulgence, or with every degree of harshness and ill-usage; but simple justice is never awarded them. Whether in the laws of the country, in the conventional rules of society, or in the habits of domestic life, the just claims of women are never taken into consideration; and the gradual ameliorations in their condition, which have raised them from household slaves to their present position, have been always regarded as concessions made by more indulgent and civilized masters, not as the acknowledgment of actual rights. While the caprice of a husband or father is the sole arbiter of a woman's happiness or misery, it is hard to tax her with the want of that keen sense of justice, which, if she had it, would perhaps make her life intolerable.
The habit of yielding to feeling, which is the source of so much female partiality, is also fostered by the very men who censure so severely the faults which result from it. In men's portraiture of female character, we generally find that their beauideal of female excellence is the mere creature of feeling, and that even the weaknesses into which that uncontrolled feeling betrays her, are more amiable in their eyes than virtues of a sterner kind. In their horror of female independence, they are apt to represent strength of mind, judgment, and decision, as unfeminine. No wonder that women, thus practically taught that the admiration and devotion of the other sex are won by anything rather than the nobler qualities of heart and intellect, should be found deficient in them. When women shall have generally a keen sense of justice, and a contempt for the petty arts which wheedle a man into granting as an indulgence, that which ought to have been conceded as a right, much else around them must also be changed.
We do not say these things in the mean spirit of recrimination, which tries to palliate a fault by accusing another; we say them to prove the necessity of raising women's own estimate of their position, and of their moral equality with men, which will gradually raise them in the eyes of the latter; for the best argu
TREATED WITH JUSTICE.
ment for the concession of a right is to show that the claimants are worthy to exercise it. We say them, also, because the remedy is in great measure in women's own hands. Let them cultivate in themselves the love of truth, the spotless integrity which shall raise them above suspicion; let them train their sons by their own example to that high sense of justice which shall ensure the protection of the weak, and the next generation will cease to hear of the oppression of the one sex, or the artifice and partiality of the other.
LOVE OF MORAL EXCELLENCE.
IT has been well and eloquently said, in speaking of the distinctive attributes of man, that "It is the love of the great, and the good, and the beautiful, detached from all personal, and even from all individual interests, which makes him in a true sense a man, and establishes a sensible relation between himself, and somewhat more extended, more durable than the world."*
This principle, like the love of truth, may be considered under two aspects: as it affects our moral nature, or our intellect. When acting on the latter, it becomes the source of the higher efforts of imagination, of all that is beautiful in art, sublime in poetry, and inventive in science. When it is developed in the moral nature, it becomes one of the strongest motives to virtue, and from the love of goodness, purity, and truth, rises to its full consummation in the love of God. That virtue of which it is not the motive, that religion of which it is not the essence, are the offspring of fear or of superstition, and deserve not the sacred names which they venture to assume.
We shall revert hereafter to the influence of this lofty affection of the mind on imagination, and those arts which flow from it; here our remarks will be confined exclusively to its moral effects on character. Few inquiries are more important; for if we find that the love of goodness and truth is the ruling motive of every really virtuous act, we at once exclude all those lower motives which have led some philosophers to suppose that virtue was only a more refined selfishness. The characteristic of love is disinter
"Woman's Rights and Duties," vol. i., p. 288.
estedness, and our love of what is good and great must be as disinterested as any other affection we are capable of feeling. To the mind animated by it, goodness and purity become objects of desire in themselves, and are pursued for their own sake; they seem emanations from Him who, on His invisible throne, is known to us only by His attributes; and His will is submitted to with loving reverence, because we trust and believe that, however mysterious to us, it is still the expression of those unchangeable attributes of wisdom and goodness that we reverence and adore. Where this feeling exists, the lower motives of emulation, desire of praise, and self-interest, which are too often the secret springs of actions seemingly virtuous, find no place in the heart.
Were the love of excellence more carefully developed in education, it would combine with the love of truth to sweep away that enormous mass of shams which makes the surface of society a hollow mask. Instead of fair appearances, we should have the reality of goodness; instead of the constant effort to seem, we should have the earnest endeavour to be, what is good and true. We should care less for praise, and more for praiseworthiness.
The striking want of humility, which is almost a characteristic of youth in our days, indicates the absence of that reverence for superiority which is a part of the love of excellence. There is, indeed, plenty of that spurious humility, which is but vanity in disguise; the affected confession of inferiority, which conceals real mortification at the superiority of others; or the unreasoning submission of the understanding to an authority arbitrarily chosen ; but real humility, earnest as it is simple, is truly rare. It is founded on the perception and love of excellence, which makes us feel how far we fall short of our standard; and is not mortified at superiority, because ever striving to attain the excellence it admires. Humility is seldom found in the ignorant, never in the frivolous; for they are as incapable of appreciating what is above them, as they are of feeling their own deficiencies. It belongs only to those earnest minds whom the long contemplation and pursuit of excellence has taught to bow down before it in lowly reverence, and to estimate the distance which separates the noblest human soul from its own ideal. Shallow minds survey the universe with a careless glance, and think they have sounded all its depths; while Newton, looking back on labours which had opened a new world to science, spoke of himself as of a child on the shore of a vast ocean, where he had gathered a few shells, but had left the ocean itself unexplored.*
WANT OF HUMILITY.
It is this characteristic of humility which gives it such decided prominence in the Christian code of morals. Christianity, by
* See Life of Newton. Library of Useful Knowledge. p. 87.
revealing to us a moral perfection of which the human mind had formed before only very inadequate conceptions, naturally placed humility, or the sense of our immeasurable distance from that perfection, among its essential principles. Its object was to arouse mankind, by the perception and love of goodness, to earnest endeavours after moral purity; but these endeavours could only result from the deep-felt sense of imperfection. As all education, whether of ourselves or others, should have the same object, it must, to be successful, be worked out by the same principles.
Reverence, on which such humility is founded, is inseparably connected with the love of excellence; it is the emotion with which we contemplate whatever is morally beautiful; the homage of earnest minds to whatever in human nature still bears the impress of the Divine. There is much said in these days concerning this quality, and a great outcry made about the want of it; but the complaint comes from two very different parties, and therefore bears with each a very different meaning. One party considers reverence as synonymous with deference to authority, and especially to their authority, or that which they have set up and called sacred, because they are satisfied to bow to it themselves. The reverence they would exact, is mostly for forms and names, for shadows and formulæ, the "idols of their own den," which they would fain enshrine in the sanctuaries of other men's hearts. The other party consider reverence in its true and noble sense, but unfortunately they have occasionally carried their views to an extravagant length, which has exposed them to ridicule; or have expressed them in feeble poetry, or in prose that can be called English only from the difficulty of assigning to it any other more appropriate name.
The importance of reverence is best proved by showing the defects of character which follow the want of it; and indeed, if we remember that reverence is only another word for respect for what is truly respectable-admiration for what is truly admirable, it would seem that even the labour of this exposition might be spared. The frivolity of the young, the worldliness of the old, the influence exercised by wealth and fashion, apart from all those moral qualities which alone should win approbation and command deference, the unworthy attachments, the degrading marriages, the shallow ridicule which sneers from society the expression of earnest and lofty feeling, the worldly and servile religion which unites the worship of God to the service of Mammon, all these would vanish if we could introduce into the seething mass of levity, worldliness, and superstition, that one regenerating principle of love of moral excellence, with that reverence for whatever partakes of its nature, which necessarily flows from it.
Great admiration for intellectual acquirements is sometimes a