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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about The Young Lady's Mentor.

The principle of divided labour seems to be a maxim of the Divine government, as regards the creature.  It is only by a concentration of powers to one point, that so feeble a being as man can achieve great results.  Why should we wish to set aside this salutary law, and disturb the beautiful simplicity of arrangement which has given to man the power, and to woman the influence, to second the plans of Almighty goodness?  They are formed to be co-operators, not rivals, in this great work; and rivals they would undoubtedly become, if the same career of public ambition and the same rewards of success were open to both.  Woman, at present, is the regulating power of the great social machine, retaining, through the very exclusion complained of, the power to judge of questions by the abstract rules of right and wrong—­a power seldom possessed by those whose spirits are chafed by opposition and heated by personal contest.

The second resulting evil is a grave one, though, in treating of it, also, it is difficult to steer clear of ludicrous associations.  The political career being open to women, it is natural to suppose that all the most gifted of the sex would press forward to confer upon their country the benefit of their services, and to reap for themselves the distinction which such services would obtain; the duties hitherto considered peculiar to the sex would sink to a still lower position in public estimation than they now hold, and would be abandoned to those least able conscientiously to fulfil them.  The combination of legislative and maternal duties would indeed be a difficult task, and, of course, the least ostentatious would be sacrificed.

Yet women have a mission! ay, even a political mission of immense importance! which they will best fulfil by moving in the sphere assigned them by Providence:  not comet-like, wandering in irregular orbits, dazzling indeed by their brilliancy, but terrifying by their eccentric movements and doubtful utility.  That the sphere in which they are required to move is no mean one, and that its apparent contraction arises only from a defect of intellectual vision, it is the object of the succeeding chapters to prove.

FOOTNOTES: 

[103] We hare come to the close of the Letters.  The following pages are quoted from writers of eminence, and bear directly upon the main subject of “Female Education.”  The first quotations are from the anonymous author of “Woman’s Mission.”  They are of inestimable value.  EDITOR.

[104] Aime Martin.

[105] Aime Martin.

[106] Ibid.

[107] See the Memoirs of Pepys, Evelyn, De Grammont, &c.

THE SPHERE OF WOMAN’S INFLUENCE.

“The fact of this influence being proved, it is of the utmost importance that it be impressed upon the mind of women, and that they be enlightened as to its true nature and extent.”

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