The Young Lady's Mentor eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 263 pages of information about The Young Lady's Mentor.
II., where they reached their climax.  The vicious influence of which we have spoken was then at its height, and the degradation of women had brought on its inevitable consequence, the degradation of men.  With some few exceptions, (such exceptions, indeed, prove rules!) we trace this evil influence in the contempt of virtue, public and private; in the base passions, the narrow and selfish views peculiar to degraded women, and reflected on the equally degraded men whom such women could have power to charm.[107]

A change of opinions and of social arrangements has long been operating, which ought entirely to have abrogated these evils.  That they have not done so is owing to a grand mistake.  Women having recovered their rights, moral and intellectual, have resumed their importance in the eye of reason:  they have long been the ornaments of society, which from them derives its tone, and it has become too much the main object of their education to cultivate the accomplishments which may make them such.  A twofold injury has arisen from this mistaken aim; it has blinded women as to the true nature and end of their existence, and has excited a spirit of worldly ambition opposed to the devoted unselfishness necessary for its accomplishment.  This is the error of the unthinking—­the reflecting have fallen into another, but not less serious one.  The coarse, but expressive satire of Luther, “That the human mind is like an intoxicated man on horseback,—­if he is set up on one side, he falls off on the other,” was never more fully justified than on this subject.  Because it is perceived that women have a dignity and value greater than society or themselves have discovered,—­because their talents and virtues place them on a footing of equality with men, it is maintained that their present sphere of action is too contracted a one, and that they ought to share in the public functions of the other sex.  Equality, mental and physical, is proclaimed!  This is matter too ludicrous to be treated anywhere but in a professed satire; in sober earnest, it may be asked, upon what grounds so extraordinary a doctrine is built up!  Were women allowed to act out these principles, it would soon appear that one great range of duty had been left unprovided for in the schemes of Providence; such an omission would be without parallel.  Two principal points only can here be brought forward, which oppose this plan at the very outset; they are—­

1st.  Placing the two sexes in the position of rivals, instead of coadjutors, entailing the diminution of female influence.

2d.  Leaving the important duties of woman only in the hands of that part of the sex least able to perform them efficiently.

Project Gutenberg
The Young Lady's Mentor from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook