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mani The male mind is formed to defend, deliberate, fore. see, contrive, and advise ; the female one to confide, imagine, apprehend, comply, and execute : therefore the proper temperament of these different sexes of minds, makes a fine moral union; and the well proportioned opposition of different or contrary qualities, like a due mixture of discords in a composition of music, swells the harmony of society more than if they were all unisons to each other. And this union of moral sexes, if we may express it so, is evidently more conducive to the improvement of each, than if they lived apart: for the man not only protects and advises, but com. municates vigour and resolution to the woman. She in her turn softens, refines, and polishes him; in her society he finds
repose from action and care ; in her friendship, the ferment into which his passions were wrought by the hurry and distraction of public life, subsides and settles into a calm ; and a thousand nameless graces and decencies, that flow from her words and actions, form him for a more mild and elegant deportment. His conversation and example, on the other hand, enlarge her views, raise her sentiments, sustain her resolutions, and free her from a thousand fears and in. quietudes, to which her more feeble constitution subjects her.
Of the conjugal alliance the following are the natural laws. First, mutual fidelity to the marriage-bed. Disloy. alty defeats the very end of marriage, dissolves the natural cement of this relation, weakens the moral tie, the chief strength of which lies in the reciprocation of affection, and, by making the offspring uncertain, diminishes the care and attachment necessary to their education.
2. A conspiration of counsels and endeavours to promote the common interest of the family, and to educate their com. mon offspring. In order to observe these laws, it is neces. sary to cultivate, both before and during the marriage state, the strictest decency and chastity of manners, and a just sense of what becomes their respective characters.
3. The union must be inviolable and for life. The na. ture of friendship, and particularly of this species of it, the education of their offspring, and the order of society and of successions, which would otherwise be extremely perplexed, do all seem to require it. To preserve this union, and render the matrimonial state more harmonious and comfortable, a mutual esteem and tenderness, a mutual deference and forbearance, a communication of advice, assistance, and authority, are absolutely necessary. If either party keep within their proper departments, there need be no disputes about power or superiority, and there will be none : they have no opposite, no separate interests, and therefore there can be no just ground for opposition of conduct,
CONNEXION OF PARENTS WITH THEIR CIIILDREN-THE AU.
The connexion of parents with their children, is a natural consequence of the matrimonial connexion; and the duties which they owe them result as naturally from that connexion. The feeble state of children, subject to so many wants and dangers, requires their incessant care and atten. tion ; their ignorant and uncultivated minds demand their continual instruction and culture. Had human creatures come into the world with the full strength of men, and the weakness of reason and vehemence of passions which prevail in children, they would have been too strong or too stubborn, to have submitted to the government and instruction of their parents. But, as they were designed for a pro. gression in knowledge and virtue, it was proper that the growth of their bodies should keep pace with that of their minds, lest the purposes of that progression should have been defeated. Among other admirable purposes which this gradual expansion of their outward as well as inward structure serves, this is one, that it affords ample scope to the exercise of many tender and generous affections, which fill up the domestic life with a beautiful variety of duties and enjoyments; and are of course a noble discipline of the heart, and a hardy kind of education for the more honoura. ble and important duties of public life.
The above mentioned weak and ignorant state of children, seems plainly to invest their parents with such authority and power as is necessary to their support, protection, and education ; but that authority and power can be construed to extend no farther than is necessary to answer those ends, and to last no longer than that weakness and ignorance cor.. tinue: therefore the foundation or reason of the authority and power ceasing, they cease of course. Whatever power or authority then it may be necessary or lawful for parents to exercise, during the nonage of their children; to assume or usurp the same when they have attained the maturity or full exercise of their strength and reason, would be tyrannical and unjust. From hence it is evident, that parents have no right to punish the persons of their children more severely than the nature of their wardship requires ; much less to invade their lives, to encroach upon their liberty, or transfer them as their property to any master whatsoever. But if any parent should be so unjust and inhuman, as to consider and treat them like his other goods and chattels, surely, whenever they dare, they may resist; and whenever they can, shake off that inhuman and unnatural yoke, and be free with that liberty with which God and nature invested them.
The first cla of duties which parents owe their children respect their natural life, and these comprehend protection, nurture, provision, introducing them into the world in a manner suitable to their rank and fortune, and the like.
The second order of duties regards the intellectual and moral life of their children, or their education in such arts and accomplishments as are necessary to qualify them for performing the duties they owe to themselves and to others. As this was found to be the principal design of the matrimonial alliance, so the fulfilling that design is the most important and dignified of all the parental duties. In order therefore to fit the child for acting his part wisely and wor, thily as a man, as a citizen, and a creature of God, both parents ought to combine their joint wisdom, authority and power, and each apart to employ those talents which are
the peculiar excellency and ornament of their respective
The father ought to lay out and superintend their ed. ucation, the mother to execute and manage the detail of which she is capable. The former should direct the manly exertion of the intellectual and moral powers of his child: his imagination and the manner of those exertions are the peculiar province of the latter. The former should advise, protect, command; and by his experience, masculine vigour, and that superior authority which is commonly ascribed to his sex, brace and strengthen his pupil for active life, for gravity, integrity, and firmness in suffering: the business of the latter is to bend and soften her male pupil by the charms of her conversation, and the softness and decency of her manners, for social life, for politeness of taste, and the ele. gant decorums and enjoyments of humanity; and to improve and refine the tenderness and modesty of her female pupil, and form her to all those mild domestic virtues, which are the peculiar characteristics and ornaments of her sex.
To conduct the opening minds of their sweet charge through the several periods of their progress, 10 assist them in each period in throwing out the latent seeds of reason and ingenuity, and in gaining fresh accessions of light and virtue; and at length, with all these advantages, to produce the young adventurers upon the great theatre of human life, to act their several parts in the sight of their friends, of society, and mankind! How gloriously does Heaven re. ward the task, when the parents behold these dear images and representatives of themselves, inheriting their virtues as well as their fortunes, sustaining their respective characters gracefully and worthily, and giving them the agreeable prospect of transmitting their name, with growing honour and advantage to a race yet unborn !*
* With pleasure I annex in a note a few lines, written by a much valued friend, and addressed during absence, To one of the most amiable of her
As they are the spontaneous effusions of the finer affectionate feelings attending the conjugal and parental relations, they are offered as naturally connected with the important and pleasing subjects of the last two numbers.