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suits. But, at length, age will come upon him, and the afflictions of disease and the ills of adversity. Then he will find himself alone and miserable. The companions of his youth are dead; the friends of his manhood have deserted him in the hour of need; wife and children he has not. What has he gained to repay him for the wanton sacrifice of the holiest affections? Little-nothing-even if he be rich or honourable.
The last hours of his existence are unhappy, for he finds himself friendless; and he regrets, too late, that for the sake of objects of little consequence to his happiness, he should have neglected one of the most desirable of the mere earthly blessings of Providence.
The foregoing Essay was politely presented by the author, Stephen Congar.
CON PARATIVE ESTIMATE
OF THE TWO SEXËS CONSIDERED,
OR THE FEMALE SEX VINDICATED.
"Under his forming hands a creature grew,
It seems evident, that there are certain moral boundaries, which nature has drawn between the two sexes; and that neither of them can pass over the limits of the other, without equally deviating from the beauty and decorum of their re . spective characters. Boadicea in armour, is, to me at least, as extravagant a sight, as Achilles in petticoats.
In determining, therefore, the comparitive merit of the two sexes, it is no derogation from female excellency, that it differs in kind from that which distinguishes the male part of our species. And if it generally shall be found (what, upon an impartial inquiry, I believe, will most certainly be found) that women fill up their appointed circle of action with greater regularity and dignity than men; the claim of preference cannot justly be decided in our favour. In the prudential and economical parts of life, I think it undeniable that they rise far above us. And if true fortitude of mind is best discovered by a cheerful resignation to the measures of Providence, we shall not find reason, perhaps, to claim that most singular of the human virtues as our peculiar pri. vilege. There are numbers of the other sex, who from the natural delicacy of their constitution, pass through one continued scene of suffering, froń their cradles to their graves,
with a firmness of resolution, that would deserve so many statues to be erected to their memories, if heroism were not estimated more by the splendour than the merit of actions.
But whatever real difference there may be between the moral or intellectual power of the male and female mind, nature does not seem to have marked the distinction so strongly as our vanity is willing to imagine : and after all, perhaps, education will be found to constitute the principal superiority. It must be acknowledged, at least, that in this article, we have every advantage over the softer sex, that art and industry can possibly secure to us. The most animating examples of Greece and Rome are set before us, as early as we are capable of any observation; and the noblest compositions of the ancients are given into our hands, almost as soon as we have strength to hold them: whilst the employments of the other sex, at the same period of life, are generally the reverse of every thing that can open and enlarge their minds, or fill them with just and rational notions. The truth of it is, female education is so much worse than none, as it is better to leave the mind to its natural and uninstructed suggestions, than to lead it into false pursuits, and contract its views, by turning them upon the lowest and most trifling objects.
We seem, indeed, by the manner in which we suffer the youth of that sex to be trained, to consider women agreeably to the opinion of certain Mahometan doctors, and treat them as if we believed that they have no souls : why eise are they
Bred only and completed to the taste
This strange neglect of cultivating the female mind can hardly be allowed as good policy, when it is considered how much the interest of society is concerned in the rec. titude of their understandings. That season of every man's life, which is most susceptible of the strongest impressions, is necessarily under female direction; as there are few instances, perhaps, in which that sex is not one of the secret springs, which regulates the most important movements of private or public transactions. What Cato ob. served of his country women is in one respect true of every nation under the sun—" The Romans,” said he, “ govern the world, but it is the women that govern the Romans.”
If it be true, then, (as true beyond all peradventure it is,) that female influence is thus extensive; nothing, certainly, can be of greater importance, than to give it a proper tendency, by the assistance of a well-directed education. Far am I from recommending any attempts to render women learned, yet surely it is necessary that they should be raised above ignorance. Such a general tincture of the most useful sciences, as may serve to free the mind from vulgar prejudices, and give it a relish for the rational exercise of its powers, might very justly enter into the plan of female education. That sex might be taught to turn the course of their reflections into a proper channel, without any danger of rendering them too elevated for the feminine duties of life. In a word, I would have them considered as designed by Providence for use as well as show, and trained up not only as women, but as rational creatures.
The views entertained half a century ago of the duty and destiny of woman, by those panegyrists even who es. sayed to be the most generous, were mistaken and prescribed. Softened as they are by the courteous savingclauses demanded of a tender gallantry, the limits then assigned to the elevation of the female character are humiliating and derogatory. There is a ready and abundant assent to that pre-eminence in the social attributes of the heart which nature has fitly established in them; and abundant encouragement to the all-engrossing “ study of household good,” as the "ne plus ultra,” of feminine perfection. It is, however, stopping far short of the dignity which the female mind is capable of attaining, to exalt thus those lively graces and ready promptings of the heart, that are but the beautiful characteristics of the sex. These at. tributes by which the Author of being has stamped a bold yet blending variety in the sexes, endearing and inestimable as they are, are but a feeble boast compared with mental and moral persections that result from the culture of the head and heart. From their affinity to the physical texture of our frames, “ mysteriously and wonderfully wrought," they must at least be humbled to the grade of virtues made of necessity. The encomium then, in its length and breadth, is but the rightful homage always yielded to feminine charms—the dutiful recognition of
Surely there is a degree of worth, which the mind of woman was destined to reach, of an order high above these “ thousand daily decencies." A later day of im. provement enables us, without the aid of a compassionating gallantry, to bear testimony to her elevated entellectual and moral dignity. An elevation attained without impairing at all her characteristic “ softness,”—that “sweet attractive grace,” to preserve which it was thought fit to eschew learning as a contagion—while its influence on the social interchanges of life has been to deepen the affections of the heart, ennoble its sympathies, and enlarge its charities. Partial as the standard of education among females still is, a later age has seen the above aspiration of the liberal and classical Melmoth more than answered. It is found that the culture of mind carries with it its own cure for all the ima. gined ills of rendering women learned; that the severity of