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Let her, moreover, not eat in public, that is, be present at her parents' meals; lest she should see dainties to excite her longing. For though some persons think it a higher virtue to despise present pleasure, to my mind there is greater security for temperance in not knowing the object of desire. I remember reading in a book at school, "that you will hardly find fault with that which has become habitual." Let her learn, even now, not to drink wine, "wherein is excess.' However, abstinence is irksome and dangerous to the young, before the body has attained its full strength and proportions. Up to that time, therefore, let her use the bath, if necessity requires; and take a little wine, for her stomach's sake; and have animal food, lest her limbs fail her before they begin to do their duty. I say this as a matter of indulgence unto her, not of command to you to prevent weakness, not to inculcate luxury. Otherwise, why should not a Christian virgin do that altogether which Jewish superstition does in part, by the rejection of certain animals and meats; not to mention the Indian Bramins and Egyptian Gymnosophists, who live entirely upon barley flour, and rice, and fruits? If glass is of such a value, are not pearls of greater price? Let the daughter of promise live as those lived who were the children of promise. Where the grace is equal, let the labor be equal also. Let her be deaf to instruments of music, and be a stranger to the very use of the pipe, and harp, and lyre. Let her every day repeat a lesson culled from the flowers of Scripture, learning a number of verses in Greek, and immediately afterward being instructed in Latin; for, if the tender mouth is not properly molded from the very commencement, the pronunciation will acquire a foreign accent, the faults of which will pass into her native tongue. You must be her governess, and the model of her untutored infancy; take care that she sees nothing in you, or in her father, which she would be wrong in doing. Remember that you are her parents, and that she learns more from your example than your voice. Flowers are soon dead; the violet, and the lily, and the crocus, soon fade in an unwholesome air. Never let her go into public, unless accompanied by you; nor enter the sanctuaries built over martyrs' tombs, or churches, without her mother. Beware of the nods and smiles of the young and gay; let the solemn vigils and nocturns be spent without departing from her mother's side. Do not let her attach herself too closely to any one of her maidens, or make her ear the depositary of her secrets. All should hear what is said to one. Let the companion she chooses be not well dressed or beautiful, or with a voice of liquid harmony; but grave, and pale, and meanly clad, and of solemn countenance. Set over her an aged virgin, of approved faith, and modesty, and conduct, to teach and habituate her, by her own example, to rise up by night for prayer and psalms, to sing her morning hymns, and to take her place in the ranks, like a Christian warrior, at the third, and sixth, and ninth hours; and, again, to light her lamp and offer up her evening sacrifice. Let the day pass, and the night find her at this employment. Prayer and reading, reading and prayer, must be the order of her life; nor will the time travel slowly when it is filled by such engagements.
Teach her also the working of wool, to hold the distaff, to place the basket in her lap, to ply the spindle, and draw out the threads. But let her have nothing to do with silk, or golden thread. Let the clothes she makes be such as to keep out the cold, and not a mere compromise with nakedness. Her food should be a few herbs, and so forth, with sometimes a few small fishes. But not to go into details on this subject, of which I have elsewhere spoken more at length,-let her always leave off eating with an appetite, so that she may be able to read and sing immediately. I do not approve of protracted and inordinate fastings, especially for those of tender years, where week is added unto week, and the use
of oil and fruit prohibited. I have experienced the truth of the proverb, "A tired ass will not go straight." But the rule to be constantly ob served in fasting is this: take care that your strength is equal to your journey, lest, after running the first stage, you break down in the middle of it.
But to return to the subject: when you go into the country, do not leave you daughter at home; she must neither be able or know how to do without you, and be afraid of being left alone. She must not converse with people of the world, or be in the same house with ill-conducted virgins. She must not be present at the marriages of her servants, or have any thing to do with the games of noisy domestics.
Let her delight not in silk and jewels, but in the holy writings, where there is no gold or mosaic painting, like that on Babylonian leather, to arrest the eye; but sound learning, corrected by sound faith, to inform the mind. Let her first learn the Psalter, and give her hours of leisure to these holy songs. From the proverbs of Solomon she will gather practical instruction; Ecclesiastes will teach her to despise the world; in Job she will find examples of virtue and endurance. Then let her go to the Gospels, and never lay them down. The Acts of the Apostles, with the Epistles, must be imbibed with all the ardor of her heart. When her mind is thoroughly stored with these treasures, she may commit the prophets to her memory, together with the Heptateuch, and the books of Kings and Chronicles, with those of Esdras and Esther. The Song of Solomon she may read last without danger; if she reads it earlier, she may not discern that a spiritual union is celebrated under carnal words. All the Apocryphal books should be avoided; but if she ever wishes to read them, not to establish the truth of doctrines, but with a reverential feeling for the truths they signify, she should be told that they are not the works of the authors by whose names they are distinguished, that they contain much that is faulty, and that it is a task requiring great prudence to find gold in the midst of clay. The works of Cyprian should be ever in her hands. She may run over the Epistles of Athanasius, and the books of Hilary, without any danger of stumbling. Let her pleasures be in such treatises and writers of such character as most evince the piety of an unwavering faith. All other authors she should read to judge of what they say, not simply to follow their instructions.
You will answer here, "How can a woman living in the world, in the midst of so vast a population as that of Rome, look after all these things?" Do not, therefore, undertake a burden which you are unable to bear; but as soon as you have weaned her with Isaac, and clothed her with Samuel, send her to her grandmother and aunt. Restore its most precious jewel to the chamber of Mary, and place her in the cradle of the infant Jesus. Let her be brought up in the convent, in the company of virgins; let her never learn to swear; to think falsehood a sacrilege; be ignorant of the world; live the life of an angel; be in the flesh, but not of it; believe every human being to be of the like nature with herself. Thus, to say nothing more, you will be released from the difficulty of keeping her, and the risk of watching over her. Better to regret her absence than to be in perpetual anxiety, what she is saying, with whom she is conversing, whom she is recognizing, whom she is glad to see. Resign to the care of Eustochium the infant whose very cries are even now a prayer for thine own good. Make her the companion of her holiness, hereafter to be its heiress. From her earliest years let her look to her, love her, admire her, whose very words, and gait, and dress, are a lesson of the virtues. Let her dwell in the bosom of her grandmother, who may reproduce in her grandchild what she before experienced in her daughter, and who knows by experience how to bring up, and keep
and instruct virgins, whose glory it is, in the virgins she has nurtured, to be daily bringing forth fruit a hundred fold. O happy Paula! happy virgin! happy child of Toxotius, more ennobled by the virtues of her aunt and grandmother than by her high descent! O Læta, that you could see your mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and the mighty souls that animate their feeble bodies! I doubt not your natural modesty would then set the example to your daughter, and change the first command of God for the second law of the Gospel. You would then care little for the longing after other children, but would rather offer up yourself to God. But as there is a time for indulging, and a time for abstaining from it; as a wife has no power over her body; as unto what calling soever a man is called, in that let him remain in the Lord; as he, who is under the yoke, ought to run so as not to leave his fellow in the mire,restore that whole in thy daughter which thou hast divided in thyself. Hannah never received again the son whom she had vowed to God, after he had been once presented in the temple, thinking it unbecoming that a future prophet should be brought up in the house with one who was yet looking to have children. When she conceived and brought forth, she dared not enter the temple and appear empty before God, till she had first payed what she owed; but after this sacrifice she returned home, and brought forth five children, because she had brought forth her firstborn unto God. Admirest thou the happiness of that holy woman? Imitate her faith. If you only send Paula, I will undertake the office of her nurse and teacher; I will carry her on my shoulders, old as I am; I will mold into form her lisping words, much prouder of my office than any worldly philosopher,-training up not a Macedonian king to die by Babylonian poison, but a hand-maiden and bride of Christ, a fit offering to an everlasting kingdom.
SUGGESTIONS ON FEMALE EDUCATION.
It is an evidence of the corruption or of the over-refinement of female education, that far more care is bestowed upon the art of outwardly pleasing, than upon the cultivation of inward good qualities.
Thus we see young women at great pains to adorn themselves, wherever they have an opportunity to be seen; but all the careful order and neatness of their costume is mere artifice; and not an expression of their actual character.
They learn dancing and music, foreign languages, all to make an impression on strangers in society; to excite astonishment; but to establish and maintain unity and love amongst all the members of a household, by humility, courtesy, childlike attachment, judicious treatment of servants, a kind indulgence to the weakness of others, and encouragement to doing good, is an art unknown to them.
They read books, study works of art, attend plays, chatter about scientific affairs, and know how to be witty and to say cutting things; but in their own homes to comfort those who suffer, to make up for deficiencies, to be content with a little, to do nothing for themselves and all for others, and quietly but efficiently, voluntarily, without bustle, to give new attractions to the uniformity of the quiet life of home, the art of doing this is unknown to them. And yet it is here that their true sphere of greatness lies.
In learning, wit, artistic knowledge, in everything which is the business of a man, man can surpass her.
The more a woman departs from that sphere of activity which nature has designed for her, to shine upon the theatre of masculine action, so much the more does she lose her natural grace, and become intellectually ugly. ZSCHOKKE.
For scientific education, so far as this belongs to girls, instruction by a man is best. For how entirely different, how much clearer and deeper are the perceptions of the masculine mind!
The delicate feminine feelings can be developed only in a woman.
All girls taught among boys by men, retain all their lives more or less of an unwomanly character.
Women who grow up under the care of women only, as in convents, or in very large boarding-schools, are liable to pass entirely under the dominion of feminine littleness, from which they never escape.
Men who live long, or always, without the beneficial influence of the female sex, are punished for it by the infliction of the most wretched pedantry. This is the revenge of insulted nature.
Awakened from this dream,
What is left to me of this angel?
A hybrid between man and woman;
Unfit either for dominion or love;
A child with the weapons of a giant;
A creature half way between a wise man and an ape.
Who, in order to crawl painfully along after those who are stronger,
Who has also submitted to be cast down from a throne,
Said a king to his son, "Be diligent
In learning all arts, in acquiring all manner of knowledge.
If you do not, they will always be accomplishments.
Girls are destined to become prudent and economical housewives, and the faithful helpmeets of citizens; and as mothers, to have charge of the first education of their children.
For these domestic and civic duties they should be educated, from childhood up. ARETIN.
Of the moral qualities which education should always aim to cultivate in the young, there are some whose development we feel to be especially appropriate to the female character; such as softness and tenderness of feeling; depth of sensibility; mildness; pliability; patience; self-forgetting and self-sacrificing love; contentment; and submission to limitation within a narrow sphere; a quality the most important of all.
But as these qualities border upon many faults, such as excessive excitability and variableness, irritableness and willfulness, passion, pretentiousness, coquetry, envy, detraction, injustice, talkativeness, meanness, and indolence, these tendencies should be allowed to indicate objects to be sought by education; and the following principles in particular should be established:
1. The education of girls should, from their childhood up, be a preparation for their future duties. Playing with dolls is proper for their younger years, and after that, they should be made acquainted with household work.
2. They should of course be therefore trained to industry and economy; which are under all circumstances prime virtues for women; and
3. In domesticity; which nothing will better teach, than the mother's example.
Too frequent visiting and going out with companions of the same age, however innocent, gives girls a habit of chattering about nothing, and makes them afraid of work, lazy and disorderly, and inclines them towards dissipation.
But there is nothing more useful as a means of moral training, than judicious familiar intercourse with high-minded and intelligent men and women. This is a protection to feminine virtues, and instructs in the real tone of good society, far better than idly frequenting the ordinary heartless and mindless circles. In domestic life, where they are much more secure from the foolish flatteries of superficial youths and men, they will learn practically the virtues of accommodation, patience, perseverance, contentment, subordination, etc.
4. Education ought not to destroy the desire of pleasing, which is natural to women, but to keep it pure and to elevate it. To this end it should be deeply impressed on their minds, that unfeigned good will, un