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not conceive it possible that politics should admit a moral element, in a pure or adulterated state, sufficiently often, or with sufficient sincerity, to compensate woman for putting in jeopardy the private advantage of her love over the disposition of her husband. Then let one place be kept remote from corruption and animosity, untempted by specious partisan morality, and unruffled either by triumph or defeat. There let the educated woman reign, deriving her authority from the inalienable right of her redeeming nature, and owing her success to the policy of a heavenly temper rather than to the contradictions of her votes. The country needs the pure and loyal home, whose atmosphere, like that of the Church itself, no suspicion of party temporalities shall poison. Let the home proclaim immutable morality to minds unrepelled by the assumption of worthless rights. We have no faith in votes. Domestic peace and trust, the attachment of marriages that are tried but never broken, the conscious sway and holy indignation of religious women, may at last bring the time when our fortunes shall be established upon unalterable justice, and the womanly nature shall elect righteousness to places of authority without descending to the polls.
We continue our consideration of the nature and duties of woman, with the design to show how they can be best reinforced by a more liberal culture, which secures also increase of freedom.
There is an excellent book, notwithstanding its par. tiality for an exclusive view of woman's condition, which has been widely read and admired. We have heard many a noble and care-worn woman respond to it with such warmth and tenderness, and indeed with such an overflow of thanksulness, that we are quite convinced the womanly element will not, during this generation at least, be reformed out of nature or society. Its title is “ The Angel over the Right Shoulder," and its object is to show to woman that the petty routine which enslaves her brings out noble traits of character, and furnishes moral and spiritual compensation. The wife is represented as a person loving mental discipline and culture, but now debarred from all her old delights by the developing cares of her married state. The husband expresses a willingness to reinstate her, as far as possible, in her old freedom; to which end her day is regularly laid out, by mutual agreement, and a certain portion of it is to be kept tabooed for intellectual improvement. The husband is the first person to invade the sacred precincts; the alternative being presented to him of going down to his business wanting several buttons of incalculable value, or of calling her from her polite retirement to accomplish her destiny. And thus the matter goes on from day to day; husband, children, domestics, and callers dissipate the sacred leisure into numerous frag. ments, upon errands of very unequal necessity. The Creator might withdraw himself from his intricate connection with the universe, as safely as she can keep aloof from the varied concerns of her household. If ever knowledge is pursued under difficulties, it is by the responsible house-partner of a modern family. Taught by the embarrassments of every minute, she gives up the idea of creating this little oasis of freedom and graceful culture in the midst of her howling wilderness; but the book concludes with a sudden opening of her inner sense, which grants her the faith that the trifles from which she would fain escà pe are the schoolmasters which bring her to Christ. They labor, with steady, wearing stroke, to unseal at last the fountain of her womanly nature, and to give her a personal knowlege of faith, hope, and charity, instead of philosophy, history, and the piano-forte.
In the picture presented by this popular book, it seems to us that a truth and an error are mingled; and the woman who reads it is so captivated on the side of her tenderness and loyalty, that she is not likely to separate them. Let us offer a few suggestions which also lie in the direct line of our subject.
The truth of such a picture is as important as it is pathetic. What mercy and skill has the Heavenly Father employed in mingling the grave hours of a woman's life! What foresight which ordained that these superficial cares of our modern housekeeping, so distant both in time and in idea from the first morning of creation, should subserve woman's personal salvation, and call into lively play the Christian elements with which her Maker's breath first distinguished her! Blessed necessity of care, - holy fate of maternity, — heavenly trials of the home economy! We have seen the face of a married woman bearing still the smoothness of her undeveloped girlbood, as of one who thought to carry her soft dulcimer for ever, with bounding step, through life and society, forgetful of culture, regardless of high ideas, till the first days came, when, rising from her weakness, the new voice in her dwelling saluted her yearning heart, the feeble wail of the new immortality intrusted to her keeping. Then what a delicate transfigurement of thought and feeling has befallen that girlish face, hanging like a sober twilight in the eyes, settling like a constant word of meditation over lips and forehead. Now she seldom tosses her dulcimer to the light measures of society; but let the days be ever so cruel to her with cares and watching, the faith of the first moment of her soul's awakening never fades from her brow's summit, — no, it creeps over every feature, deepening with the time's necessity, strengthened with new principles of love and duty at every fresh enforcement. Truly her soul was born with her child into the world. She never thought before with anxiety and awe of the mysterious attribute of prayer; but now never a moment of joy or sorrow sweeps her landscape which does not carry off with it the voluntary whispers of her womanly reliance upon God. This God she never knew, she never found, before ; her children, made in the Divine image, reveal him to her, so closely do the little fortunes of their life and health run with the eternity out of which they came to her. Fever and accident, undutifulness and moral blame, night-watches and daily fears, lay the foundations of a character not surpassed by any other type of man or woman upon earth, — the motherly character. The expansive statesman, the emerging hero, the subtile thinker, must submit to the judgment which pronounces their tone and quality inferior to that of the true mother, whose native wit has been deepened into judgment, whose fluttering energies have been concentrated into untiring service, whose rev. eries the preaching of life has converted into prayers, and whose girlish innocence has been chiselled by innumerable strokes and worn by countless tears into the eternal shapes wbich Christianity would own. And let us ask if the statesman and the hero spring in full panoply from the bosom of the earth. There is another bosom which lent the first nourishment, and another voice
than that of nature's which whispered the first truth and liberty to the public actions that, by saving or adorning us, command our admiration. To the mother's nature be the praise and the glory. The finer quality of her spirit, made vital and regenerative by the sharp air of her trials, penetrates everywhere the masculine element, and makes it capable of furnishing leaders and advisers. The woman may often rebel at the grinding tyranny of her household, and not be able to command faith enough at the moment to repress the piteous exclamation, “I am a slave." She is a queen, — she commands, if she chooses, the next generation; she can prepare the minds of its men to obey or to originate that which is true and good. Even so Jesus took upon himself the form of a servant, and gave his life a ransom for many. While the woman thinks only to make herself, like her Lord, perfect through suffering, she spreads a Gospel through the hearts of her family; and who can set bounds to a Gospel's propagation ? While the daily crosses remind her of the Master's crucifixion, and her soul obeys its affinity for the womanly element in the Man of Sorrows, she repeats the Christian era ; and let her life be ever so barren of leisure and amenity, as His was who had not where to lay his head, the holy function of redemption descends upon her, and she keeps the knowledge of the beatitudes fresh in the midst of the adulterous generations. Such great results has God affixed to trifles. Could man devise a better way for developing the qualities of the womanly nature, that the tenderness and devout principle of early Christianity may be the inheritance of every age, than by placing woman in the midst of a routine which compels her to renounce, to ponder, and to pray, which identifies her own love and gratification with the fidelity of a wife and mother, and excites within her such a sense of responsibility that she finds it necessary to make the loftiest principles her daily food ? Could you invent a better scheme for making the sullen earth put forth the glory of heaven, - a better way for making faithful service and personal salvation identical in the case of woman? Not till you first alter the womanly nature, and expunge from the Gospel the peculiar spirit which makes it redemptive. Had God given a different constitution to the generations of this planet, woman might have won her nobility in a different sphere. But the word was spoken in the beginning, which makes the mother the highest style of humanity; and the true woman will forget her sorrows when she sees that God's word is continually re-created, and that men can be saved by her.
The writer of the little book above mentioned would probably accept this as a development of her views ; but nevertheless they require a modification to make them perfectly just to all the requirements of woman's condition. In showing how difficult it is for a housekeeper to continue her culture, and how the trifles which embarrass her have unexpected spiritual results, she drops out of sight the absolute necessity for a better mental discipline for woman, and she fails to answer the question how the service of Martha may be combined with the opportunities of Mary. But, it will be said, if the mother in the midst of her household cares really occupies the place that develops to best advantage her womanly nature, why is it necessary to raise this question, or why does she require ampler mental discipline? Convince her that her soul thrives best in the midst of her present restrictions, and she will cease to lament her former freedom and to complain that the daily burdens enslave her mind. To which we reply, that woman needs more discipline and a wider culture, to enlarge her own personal freedom, to improve her education of her chil. dren, and to increase the moral influence of her womanly qualities over man. It is to confirm and direct the Christian elements of the mother, that a more systematic mental culture should be sought. How, in the present social system, shall it be obtained? Let us here attempt to criticize the manner in which the young woman is turned loose upon society. In the greater number of cases she is supposed to have completed her education at the age of eighteen; and thenceforward she appears in the ranks of society as an object for the attentions and honors of womanhood, a confederate of all the fashions and amusements which are current in her sphere. She has long sighed for these days and evenings of freedom, has chafed impatiently on the bench of the academy beneath the drill which girls may need, but not women. She has wondered how long her parents intend to keep