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mite towards social amelioration, to be able to feel, as death draws near, that, as far as lay in his power, he has striven to leave the world better than he found it, and that in his sphere, great or small, he has exerted social influence with a serious feeling of responsibility to God for the exercise of the power given to him.

Whether we consider the question of happiness, then, or that of social progress, or try to decipher the will of God from the tendencies of our nature-in whatever manner we look upon life, it acquires a new dignity and importance the more closely it is connected with the hope of immortality. Our views of it expand, our own condition seems more noble, and the duty of self-improvement and discipline is more and more strongly marked. It follows, evidently, that the object of education is to supply the means of performing that important duty-to cultivate all the powers with which we are endowed, irrespectively of any peculiar worldly aims and advantages; and this is the point which it is so essential to establish with reference to women, with whom those worldly motives have no force, and who, therefore, must remain without education if these are the only or chief incentives to it.


If knowledge, enlargement of mind, power of thought and reasoning, cultivated imagination, and exercised judgment, are of value only in the busy marts of the world where gold is to be earned and laurels won, then education must remain a mere name for women. They are right who leave her ignorant, helpless, and frivolous; they are right who would decorate her with such ornaments of education as may serve to forward the small ends they have in view, and justly refrain from better gifts, since glittering spangles may well seem better fitted to trick her out for her poor, trifling part, than true gems and gold twice refined. The consequence is logically correct; and hence we see that female education has too generally remained a mere blank, or, worse, a tissue of laboured frivolities under a solemn name, a patch-work begun without aim, fashioned without method, and flung aside, when half-finished, as carelessly as it was begun. It can take a higher scope only when founded on the conviction of woman's indefeasible right to every privilege that belongs to man as a spiritual and immortal being.

But the best education in point of principle and direction would be defective if suddenly cut short at the early period when female education is supposed to be finished. During the years of childhood and early youth, the mind is only partially developed, and the tendency of character is still undecided, while many principles necessary for our future guidance have never yet been called forth. It is the same with intellectual as with moral training,


and if, at the close of what is usually termed education, we have learnt how to learn, if we have acquired the power of using our faculties for future acquisitions of knowledge, we shall have gained an advantage as great as it is rare. But how far is this from completion?—and in what way is it less absurd, to rest satisfied with such a skeleton work, than if a man should undertake to build a house, and, having erected the scaffolding, should dismiss his workmen and proceed no further?



When worldly objects of gain or ambition are at stake, no such errors are committed; the preparation for a profession begins when school education is concluded; it is only the class of idlers (in which every woman who is above the necessity of manual labour is indiscriminately included,) among whom such folly is practised. There can be few clearer proofs of the superior estimation in which worldly objects are held above those which relate to the true dignity and importance of our immortal nature. The defective education of women is more apparent in the mental than in the moral training. The latter is, indeed, too often narrow and weak, as it must be when the reason is neglected, and firmness and self-dependence (the great bulwarks of moral strength) are so frequently considered rather as defects than as virtues; but at least the aims are pure, and the value for moral qualities very high. Mental cultivation, on the contrary, has been not only neglected, but its objects mistaken and its value overlooked. Considered only as a necessity for the worldly callings of men, it has been looked upon for women as a mere ornament; harmless amusement at best; prized or ridiculed according as the taste of the day marked some superficial results of it as fashionable or not. For this reason, in dwelling on the disastrous effect of the system, we more often have occasion to dwell on the mental than the moral deficiencies; not as deeming them of more importance, but as the most glaring and the most fenced in by prejudice; and also because the moral defects most common among women arise, in great measure, from the neglect of that mental discipline, which should enlighten conscience and control the vivacity of feeling and imagination. Frovolity and want of stability of character, which both exercise so baneful an influence on conduct, are striking exemplifications of this fact.



It is a general subject of reproach against women that they are too easily led, too much carried away by their own feelings; the fault is seen, not merely in the morally weak, but in persons of strong religious principle, and who are capable, on some occasions, of the severest efforts of self-denial. We believe this to be owing to the great preponderance of feeling and imagination over



reason, which so many things in woman's life and education tend to foster; to the judgment being too weak and unexercised to discern the right course in the midst of circumstances that agitate the feelings, or to detect the fallacy of argument, addressed to the affections.

The strong and ardent feelings with which Nature has provided woman, to fit her for her peculiar course of duty, find abundant food in her quiet home life, and are not only cultivated by moral and religious training, but are strengthened by all that kindles imagination in an inactive existence. Reason, on the other hand, dependent for its nurture on such careful cultivation as female education rarely supplies, attains only a stunted growth, and, except under peculiar circumstances, or in peculiarly constituted minds, rarely attains vigour enough to vie with the luxuriantly developed feelings. Hence it is that every impostor and quack, every disseminator of new doctrines, every enthusiast who can borrow a specious morality, and skilfully touch the chords of feelings, finds easy converts among women; all the easier, very often, the more sacrifice or self-devotion is required; and hence also that the language of passion, used by some men as a cold-blooded instrument of destruction, is so often successful in lulling a woman's purer moral perceptions, by rousing the feelings known to be too powerful for the judgment.

We need not dwell here upon the numberless cases, whether in the management of children, in their intercourse with the poor, or in other relations of life, in which women are guided only by their feelings; not, indeed, yielding to mere capricious impulse, but habitually acting upon the dictates of sentiments and not of reason. The sentiments themselves may be pure and good, but they will ever prove uncertain guides of life. This would seem to be generally acknowledged in the frequent remark we hear made on certain persons, namely, that they mean well, but are wanting in judgment or common sense; but it appears to be forgotten too often that judgment and common sense are the exercise of reason in practical matters, and that reason is not to be cultivated by moral precepts and religious tenets, still less by a routine of accomplishments or a smattering of history, but by sound and careful mental discipline, by means of such studies as are most fit to draw out the power of thought and create habits of reflection.

Conduct, which is the result of mere feeling, is so little to be relied upon, that, in matters of business, it is avowedly safer to trust to the man who is actuated by steady, though low, principles of worldly policy, than to one who is swayed by the irregular impulses of generous sentiment. The selfish ends of



interest or ambition which the former aims at are best served by a general adherence to the principles of honesty and a general propriety of conduct, and the world has no concern with the motives which may prompt this fair exterior; while, on the other hand, nothing consistent, no course of action to which the actions of other men may be suited, or on which they can depend, is to be expected from the man who is governed by his feelings thus the high-minded and generous actually sink in public esteem and confidence below the calculating and the selfish.


But the conclusion forced upon men by the hard necessities of business is true only of them; it cannot be applied to women; their world is home, and there, whatever evil may result from the over activity of the feelings, nothing can compensate for their absence. In the routine of the world, qualities of no very high order may be, under certain aspects, of more value, but in women, however desirable it is to cultivate sterner qualities, the affections cannot be impaired without irreparable injury. Their very luxuriance in her nature points out her mission among her fellow-creatures; a mission of gentleness and consolation, of soothing and gladness. It is hers to make goodness beautiful, and to associate the love of virtue with man's deepest and warmest affections. It is hers to bring peace, to gather up that golden chain of sympathy, which should bind the whole human race, but the links of which are too often severed and dropped, one by one, in the busy scenes of the world. Such is her appointed task, and a woman without active and tender sympathies and affections is a mere rebel against nature. It is well-nigh— we might, perhaps, say altogether-impossible for the feelings to be too warm, the affections too tender or too strong: but the greater their intensity, the more unfit are they to be our guides; and the more indispensable they are for women's usefulness and happiness, the more necessary is it that some other power should be brought into action to control and regulate their excrcise. That power, as we said before, is that of well cultivated and well balanced mental faculties, giving tone and vigour to the whole character.

Few principles in education are more essential, and few more neglected, than the necessity of preserving a due balance in the mind. The exclusive cultivation of any one class of faculties can only be at the expense of others, while real progress towards the proper development of our nature is made by training all in due proportion. In consequence of the neglect of this principle, the practical intellect is, generally speaking, called forth in men almost to the exclusion of the moral sentiments, while the latter


are cultivated in women at the expense of vigour of understanding and strength of character.


It cannot be too carefully remembered that the mind is not a bundle of faculties, but essentially one, though endowed with varied powers; and therefore that we cannot select a certain class of the latter for exclusive cultivation without injuring the health and vigour of the whole. It is the inter-action of the moral and mental faculties which gives the prevailing tone to thoughts and character; and the exercise of each is necessary, in a greater or less degree, to the full development of the other. While, on the one hand, as we have remarked above, the warmest feelings and most amiable qualities will only lead, in undisciplined minds, to vacillating conduct, and to the loss of that important influence which should rightfully belong to moral character; so, on the other, our affections being the motive power in the mind, our conduct mainly depends on the practical habits which flow from them. Intellect itself receives its direction for good or evil from the moral character, and becomes a blessing or a curse according as it is thus directed. We may love the virtues of an uncultivated mind, notwithstanding the mental defect that obscures them; and we may admire the powerful intellect which made a Cæsar or a Napoleon, the terror and Scourge of his race; but our veneration is reserved for the virtue whose authority and influence are aided by mental vigour, for the genius whose beneficent character resembles that of the Divine wisdom, and whose light, instead of a consuming flame, becomes the guide and beacon of succeeding generations.

The objection most commonly urged against giving to women. more serious mental cultivation, is that the numerous small cares of her position make any close attention to higher pursuits impossible; and therefore, that it is useless, if not dangerous, to give the taste for them. This objection seems to us one of that numerous class in which "the wish is father to the thought;" but it is so common, and so apparently plausible, that it cannot be passed over. The small cares of life must undoubtedly fall to woman's share; not only all the lesser machinery of existence must be kept in order by her, but all that throws a grace over the vulgar detail of life--all the slight touches that mark refinement, all that gives a charm to social intercourse, must belong to her province. These things, which, though individually trifling, are great in their consequences, must in no wise be neglected; they are connected by so many ties with the great duties of life as to assume something of their serious character; the only question is, whether they require so much time and attention as to demand the sacrifice of all other pursuits.

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