« PreviousContinue »
The fact of greater numbers of females becoming pious, than males; has been often referred to by infidels, to prove the fallacy of religion, by asserting their inferiority in strength of mind. The argument proves the reverse in the abstract. Religion is the loftiest subject that can engage the attention of the human mind, and is more enrapturing to a strong, than a weak one.
Base must be that heart, that aims to destroy the one and degrade the others, with the same poisoned arrow. The very fact, that Woman depraved, excites in the breast of man, a stronger feeling of regret and disgust, than to see the male sex degraded; arises from our innate consciousness of her more refined nature, and her less frequent appearance in the arena of vice and crime. This trait in her character, is of vast importance in a moral and religious point of view. From the mother, the child receives its first impressions, which are most lasting. Her example is its model, her lessons its sentiments, her precepts, its laws. These impressions have a strong influence in forming the character of the adult. To their mothers, Washington, La Fayette, Sir Philip Sidney, and many other great and good men; were indebted for their bright and noble career. To mothers, we are indebted for the liberty we enjoy ; on mothers its perpetuity depends.
Montesquieu truly observed, “The safety of a State depends on the virtue of Women,” and I will add, the virtue of Women depends on their being properly treated by men. By elevating them in the scale of being and intelligence, their virtue is best protected. By elevation, I do not mean an introduction into the poisonous atmosphere of fashion and gaiety; the danc
ing school, the ball room, the theatre, the levee, and whist parties; that, in our day, are disqualifying thousands for the duties of wife and mother, by keeping them in utter ignorance of domestic life. By intelligence, I do not mean a knowledge of French, Italian, instrumental music, wax flowers, or fancy drawing ; that are also depriving many of that solid education, fit for every-day use, and calculated to improve the mind, correct the head, inform the understanding, and better the heart. The mother of Washington was ignorant of them all, and was never contaminated in the gay circles of the upper ten thousand. Let girls, no matter how wealthy their parents, be first thoroughly instructed in the solid branches of an English education, including the Bible, and in all the duties of housewifery, from the cellar to the garret. Without these, they are not qualified to be wives or mothers. If they should never be under the necessity of laboring, they need all these, to enable them to manage the affairs of a house. Here is the sphere designed for Woman by the great Creator, where she should have as unlimited control, as the man in his sphere; not to be cooped up, like a hen with chickens, but with as much liberty to go and come, as the interests of her department will permit; and with as full scope for her mental powers, as man. In no circle is Woman as lovely, as safe, and as useful, as in the domestic; and on errands of mercy. Such was her circle when Greece and Rome flourished. When she became a student of the school of fashion and gaiety, they fell; an awful warning to those in our country, who are making fearful innovations upon the republican simplicity and domestic habits, that characterized our nation fifty years ago.
I again repeat, that upon intelligent, domestic, pious mothers; the perpetuity of our liberty depends. If v are sacrificed, it will be at the shrine of fashion, sensual pleasures, and infidelity, in their various shades; which mutually beget each other, and have borne, on their fiery billows, the wrecks of numerous nations that once flourished as happily as our own—but have sunk to rise no more.
Such women feel not, while they sigh and weep;
XANTIPPE was the wife of the great Philosopher Socrates, and the greatest scold of which history gives any account. To use an illustration—She could scold at a target for hours together, hit the nail every shot, keep her own tally, and, like a well regulated air-gun, her ammunition was as exhaustless as the atmosphere. Whether this aided in producing that extraordinary composure, manifested by Socrates, when he took the fatal hemlock ordered by the tribunal that unjustly condemned him to death; the historian does not inform us, but it is reasonable to suppose, that such a battery of words, discharging its whole fury upon even a philosopher, for fifty years, must have made some impression.
This scolding propensity is still one of the ugly excrescences of human nature, and, occasionally, its thrilling music may be heard. Habit has much to do with it. Indulgence gives it strength, and greatly increases its volume, but not its melody. It converts a sour disposition into elixir vitriol, and a sweet one into vinegar. Of all scolds, the crying ones most disfigure the human face divine. They remind me of the flutter wheel of a saw-mill, clogged with brushwood. They produce no dry thunder gusts.
This unfortunate, unnecessary, self tormenting, others provoking, all annoying habit, is not confined to females, as in the case of Xantippe. I have known some husbands and wives, who were all honey and dear to each other, when entertaining company and on visits, who were both adepts in this business; as their poor children and servants could attest. Occasionally, by way of change; they would open their battery on each other, and make the splinters fly freely, and sometimes the crockery too. O shame!
I have known master mechanics, who converted their workshops into bedlams by scolding ; spoiling good apprentices, making the bad worse, and driving away each journeyman in quick succession.
A scolding teacher in a school, is worse than New Orleans mosquitoes in dog days. I have known a scolding physician destroy the usefulness of brilliant talents, and they highly cultivated, by indulging in this mad freak. I have known scolding lawyers make themselves a butt, and often injure, and sometimes ruin the cause of a client, by indulging in this sad propensity. I have known scolding preachers drive away all their parishioners, and have seldom known one to do any good. It is no where sanctioned or recommended in the Bible, in ethics, or by any philosopher, although some have been cynics. If once fixed on a person by habit, it is difficult of cure. Solitude increases its force, like pent-up waters; for the scold seldom stops to reflect. Religion has sometimes cured the disease, but, like cancers that are cut out, their fibrous roots are very apt to be left, and still torment the patient. Unless nipt in the bud, this noxious plant will grow. As a continued dropping of cold water upon the head, will eventually stop the circulation of the blood, and produce a most horrid death; so will perpetual scolding dry up the life-stream of affection, esteem, and respect ; and destroy all social order that comes under its pestiferous influence. Lay this to heart ye scolds, and
. pray God to give you grace to overcome this freezing, ice-bound habit, and thereby increase your own comfort, and that of those around you.
What is life?
'Tis to be free.-Addison.
XENIADES was a citizen of Corinth, who purchased Diogenes, when sold as a slave. He asked the tub philosopher what he could do. Command freemen, was the prompt and laconic reply; which so pleased his purchaser, that he immediately set him at liberty. Independence, as is usual with true lovers of freedom, was a strong trait in the character of Diogenes. Alexander the Great once visited him in his tub, and asked what favor he could bestow upon him. Get out of my sunshine, was his quick and sarcastic answer. The