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.

To woman, the power of abstracted thought, and the enjoyment derived from it, is even more valuable than to man.  His path lies in active life; and the earnest craving for excitement, for action, which is the characteristic of all powerful natures, is in man easily satisfied:  it is satisfied in the sphere of his appointed duty; “he must go forth, and resolutely dare.”  Not so the woman, whose scene of action is her quiet home:  her virtues must be passive ones; and with every qualification for successful activity, she is often compelled to chain down her vivid imagination to the most monotonous routine of domestic life.  When she is entirely debarred from external activity, a restlessness of nature, that can find no other mode of indulgence, will often invent for itself imaginary trials and imaginary difficulties:  hence the petty quarrels, the mean jealousies, which disturb the peace of many homes that might have been tranquil and happy if the same activity of thought and feeling had been early directed into right channels.  A woman who finds real enjoyment in the improvement of her mind will neither have time nor inclination for tormenting her servants and her family; an avocation in which many really affectionate and professedly religious women exhaust those superfluous energies which, under wise direction, might have dispensed peace and happiness instead of disturbance and annoyance.  A woman who has acquired proper control over her thoughts, and can find enjoyment in their intellectual exercise, will have little temptation to allow them to dwell on mean and petty grievances.  That admirable Swedish proverb, “It is better to rule your house with your head than with your heels,” will be exemplified in all her practice.  Her well-regulated and comprehensive mind (and comprehensiveness of mind is as necessary to the skilful management of a household as to the government of an empire) will be able to contrive such systems of domestic arrangement as will allot exactly the suitable works at the suitable times to each member of the establishment:  no one will be over-worked, no one idle; there will not only be a place for every thing, and every thing in its place, but there will also be a time for every thing, and every thing will have its allotted time.  Such a system once arranged by a master-mind, and still superintended by a steady and intelligent, but not incessant inspection, raises the character of the governed as well as that of her who governs:  they are never brought into collision with each other; and the inferior, whose manual expertness may far exceed that to which the superior has even the capability of attaining, will nevertheless look up with admiring respect to those powers of arrangement, and that steady and uncapriciously-exerted authority, which so facilitate and lighten the task of obedience and dependence.  This mode of managing a household, even if they found it possible, would of course be disliked by those who, having no higher resources, would find the day hang heavy on their hands unless they watched all the details of household work, and made every action of every servant result from their own immediate interference, instead of from an enlarged and uniformly operating system.

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The Young Lady's Mentor from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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