Governments will never be perfect till all distinction
between private and public virtue, private and public
honour, be done away! Who so fit an agent for
the operation of this change as enlightened, unselfish
woman? Who so fit, in her twofold capacity of
companion and early instructor, to teach men to prefer
honour to gain, duty to ease, public to private interests,
and God’s work to man’s inventions?
And shall it be said that women have no political existence,
no political influence, when the very germs of political
regeneration may spring from them alone, when the
fate of nations yet unborn may depend upon the use
which they make of the mighty influences committed
to their care? The blindness which sees not how
these influences would be lessened by taking her out
of the sphere assigned by Providence, if voluntary,
is wicked—if real, is pitiable. As
well might we desire the earth’s beautiful satellite
to give place to a second sun, thereby producing the
intolerable and glaring continuity of perpetual day.
Those who would be the agents of Providence must observe
the workings of Providence, and be content to work
also in that way, and by those means, which Almighty
wisdom appoints. There is infinite littleness
in despising small things. It seems paradoxical
to say that there are no small things; our littleness
and our aspiration make things appear small.
There are, morally speaking, no small duties.
Nothing that influences human virtue and happiness
can be really trifling,—and what more influences
them than the despised, because limited, duties assigned
to woman? It is true, her reward (her task being
done) is not of this world, nor will she wish it to
be—enough for her to be one of the most
active and efficient agents in her heavenly Father’s
work of man’s regeneration,—enough
for her that generations yet unborn shall rise up
and call her blessed.
 Aime Martin.
The conventual and monastic origin of all systems
of education has had a very injurious influence, on
that of women especially, because the conventual spirit
has been longer retained in it.
If no education be good which does not bear upon the
future duties of the educated, it follows that the
systematic exclusion of any one subject connected
with, or bearing upon, future duties, must be an evil.
The wisdom of employing those who had renounced the
world to form the minds of those who were to mix in
it, to be exposed in all its allurements, to share
in all its duties, was doubtful indeed; and the danger
was enhanced by the fact, that the majority of recluses
were any thing but indifferent to the world which
they had renounced. The convent was too often
the refuge of disappointed worldliness, the grave of
blasted hopes, or the prison of involuntary victims;
a withering atmosphere this in which to place warm