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readers; we will not therefore adduce more from her pen. Nor will they have forgotten the troubles so graphically recorded by our countrywoman arising from the independent class of 'helps.' American writers themselves are eloquent upon the evils of the present aversion to domestic service, ås derogatory to their dignity, which characterises the poorer classes in America ; and from all these we gather that the ladies of that country still suffer from the same inconvenience. Mr. Theodore Parker, as a theorist, argues that in the present advanced state of science American women have an immense deal of time upon their hands unemployed, and indulges in the following comparison between past and present: . When all manufactures were domestic—when every garment was made at home, every web wove at home, every thread spun at home, every fleece dyed at home when the husband provided the wool or the sheepskin, and the wife made it into a coat when the husband brought home a sack of corn on a mule's back, and the wife pounded it in a mortar, or ground it between two stones, as in the Old Testament—then the domestic function might well consume all the time of a very able-headed woman. But now. a-days, when so much work is done abroad—when the flour-mills of Rochester and Boston take the place of the pestle and mortar, and the hand-mill of the Old Testament—when Lowell and Lawrence are tub enormous Old Testament women, spinning and weaving year out and year in, day and night both-when so much of woman's work is done by the butcher and the baker, by the tailor, and the cook, and the gas-maker, and she is no longer obliged to dip or mould with her own hands every candle that “ goeth not out by night," as in the Old Testament woman's housekeeping—you see bow very much of woman's time is left for other functions. This will become yet more the case. Ere long, a great deal of lofty science will be applied to housekeeping, and work be done by other than human hands in the house, as out of it. And accordingly, you see that the class of women not wholly taken up by the domestic function will get larger and larger.'—The Public Function of Woman, pp. 8, 9.
As a theory, this is plausible. Indeed it would be true if women, freed from their household labours, were content to live on in the homely way necessary when all these cares fell upon them. But as it is human nature to rise in our desires as our facilities increase, as a taste for elegancies and luxuries will come with the wealth to obtain them, and as fashion is infectious, we find that the ambition of American ladies to equal in style of living their sisters of the old world, entails upon them the same amount of labour as before, only bestowed upon different objects, and without the same amount of help that formerly could be reckoned on. So far from its being a common idea that these labours are indeed lightened, the practical experience of a democracy tells quite a different tale. Mrs. Beecher Stowe is pathetic upon the loss of early bloom, and the ravages upon health and beauty, which the domestic toils of a modern American lady entail upon her:
There is one thing more which goes a long way towards the continued health of these English ladies, and therefore towards their beauty, and that is the quietude and perpetuity of their domestic institutions. They do not, like us, fade their cheeks lying awakē nights, ruminating the awful question who shall do the washing next week, or who shall take the chambermaid's place who is going to be married, or that of the cook who has signified her intention of parting with the mistress. Their hospitality is never embarrassed by the consideration that the whole kitchen cabinet may desert at the moment the guests arrive. They are not obliged to choose between washing their own dishes, or having their cut-glass, silver, and china left to the mercy of a foreigner, who has never done anything but field-work. And last, not least, they are not possessed with that ambition to do the impossible in all branches, which, I believe, is the death of a third of the women in America. What is there ever read of in books, or described in foreign travel, as attained by people in possession of every means and appliance, which our women will not undertake singlehanded, in spite of every providential indication to the contrary? Who is not cognisant of dinner parties invited, in which the lady of the house has figured successively as confectioner, cook, dining-room girl, and lastly, rushed up stairs to bathe her glowing cheeks, smoothe her hair, draw on satin dress and kid gloves, and appear in the drawing-room as if nothing were the matter? Certainly the undaunted bravery of our American females can never be enough admired. Other women can play gracefully the head of an establishment; but who, like them, could be head, hand, and foot all at once ?'-Sunny Memories, p. 251.
And again, writing from Paris, where she is visiting some compatriots, and admiring the smooth waxed floors as so suited to a hot climate, she asks if they could not be introduced into - America :
L., who is a Yankee housekeeper, answered with spirit, “ No, indeed, not while the mistress of the house has everything to do as in America. I think I see myself, in addition to all my cares, on my knees waxing up one of these floors.
6" Ab,” says Caroline, “ the thing is better managed in Paris; the frotteur comes in before we are up in the morning, shod with great brushes, and dances over the floors till they shine." - Ibid. p. 509.
These are her household cares, anxious, vexatious, absorbing, and yet so far undignified, that a wise woman will brood over them in secret, and say as little about them as may be. We have said that a mother's authority over her children is more short-lived in America than elsewhere, and never so stringent. For this we adduce not one book or one opinion, but the universal literature of America. Every book or story written for the instruction of young people that we have seen-and America is peculiarly prolific of these-practically ignores the mother's office, and teaches children to do without her altogether. They are all told to make themselves and each other good and wise. The mother has no hand in it. Little motherless girls, with only their own sense to guide them, are the salvation of households. They are wise, expert little women of business. They buy and sell, and conduct affairs. They are
discreet in conduct, well-informed in mind, graceful in carriage, all without a mother's training. Indeed, we cannot call to mind a single mother beyond the first few pages of an American child's book, unless she happen to be an unwise one, whom the child has to reform. Jacob Abbot, author of "The Mother at Home,' has lately written a series of children's books, · The Franconia Stories, all based on this motherless principle of showing children how they are to train one another. Some of the children must have parents, but they never seem to presume to exercise any control, and the children do perfectly well without it. The parental office might seem a superfluity; and it cannot play the same part, it cannot fill the general mind, in a society whose literature makes this grand omission, as it does with us; and besides, the fact of the early dispersion and independence of the sons, and early marriage of the daughters, would necessarily and without design conduce to the same unfavourable results. In both cases the mother has lost her charge, and sinks in importance.
Judging, then, not from observation, but from general report and from all these data, we see that the social position of American women is not as noble and dignified as it ought to be, and that those who desire a change have some plea ; though we believe the remedies they propose are neither practicable in any large sense, nor tolerable if they were.
It is not a little agreeable to our patriotism to perceive the envy with which our institutions are regarded by these candidates for emancipation. We have queens, regents, peeresses.
They have hunted through our archives, and find that women may be anything with us, and bring to light facts which we certainly did not know to be such before. In more than one document it is stated that women in England may be parish clerks; and it gives no small idea of the eagerness for office amongst our fair neighbours, that this apocrypbal distinction should be so coveted and dwelt on. The following list, gallantly collected by Mr. Higginson, may, perhaps, open a new view of their privileges to the ladies whom we hope to class among our readers :-
"In England, “in a reported case, it is stated by counsel, and substantially assented to by the court, that a woman is capable of serving in almost all the offices of the kingdom; such as those of queen, marshal, grand chamberlain, and constable of England, the champion of England, commissioner of sewers, governor of a workhouse, sexton (parish clerk], keeper of the prison, of the gate-house of the Dean and Chapter of WestIninster, returning officer for members of Parliament, and constable, the latter of which is in some respects judicial. The office of gaoler is frequently exercised by a woman."'-Woman and her Wishes, p. 12. Going on' to cite examples of noble dames in our chronicles,
who were champions, judges, sheriffs, grand chamberlains, réturned members to Parliament, and gloriously did what they pleased; while, in America, it is pathetically proved that their public documents forget the existence of the sex altogether. An able commentator on American institutions remarks, In the * Free States, except criminals and paupers, there is no class of persons who do not exercise the elective franchise. Women are not even a class of persons; they are fairly dropped from the human race.'
We have stigmatized democracy as a form of government opposed to the influence of women: we believe Puritanism to be not less so. Queen Elizabeth felt this, and kept it down. Knox set himself against the 'monstrous regimen of women.' Milton struck a blow, in his character of Eve, at the intellectual pretensions of the sex, and made her, even in Paradise, an inferior creature, a
fair defect;' and for a hundred years and more this epithet expresses the universal sentiment;-veiled in the tender monitory gallantry of the Spectator, more scornfully and openly avowed by the poets, novelists, dramatists, and humourists of that age, and borne with apathetic submission by the sex itself, content with the extravagant homage paid to their beauty, and appa'rently resigning themselves for this equivalent to the reproach of frivolity, vanity, lowness of aim, and weakness of purpose. As far as the literature of an age shows its spirit, never was woman's state and consequence in a Christian country at a lower ebb than in the eighteenth century. All their advisersthe moralists who devoted themselves to their amendmentthought another and inferior set of motives necessary for their very subordinate place and intellect, than were offered to men. Women were not to be influenced by a frank love of right and hatred of wrong, but by a code of lower morals, involving artifice, concealment, suppressions ; and unscrupulously recommending selfish interest and a desire for conquest as motives of action. · When Mary Wollstonecraft denounces this class of teachers, she carries our sympathies wholly with her. It is incredible to our ears by what low inducements the preachers and teachers of that age sought to win women to a love of virtue. Fordyce's Sermons formed part of every young woman's library. There he addresses his countrywomen, smiling innocents,' beauteous innocents, the British fair, the fairest of the fair,' recommending them to the practice of piety by such persuasions as these: 'Never, perhaps, • does a fine woman strike more deeply than when, composed ' into pious recollection, and possessed with the noblest considera
tions, she assumes without knowing it, superior dignity and 'new graces; so that the beauties of holiness seem to radiate * about her, and the bystanders are almost induced to fancy her
' already worshipping amongst her kindred angels.' This same divine also tells his fair and youthful disciples—for it is evident he would own to no other to regulate their health and physical development solely with a view to what is admired by the opposite sex. Men of sensibility desire in every woman soft fea
tures and a flowing voice, a form not robust, a demeanour 'delicate and gentle.' Such passages as these reconcile us very cheerfully to the use assigned to this moralist in the Rivals,' where Lydia Languish is preparing her room for company :
So so, now lay Mrs. Chapone in sight, and leave Fordyce's Sermons open on the table.
Lucy. O burn it, Madam ; the hair-dresser has torn away as far as Proper Pride.
Lydia. Never mind-open at Sobriety.'
Dr. Gregory, in his Legacy to his Daughters, advises them : ‘Be ever cautious in displaying your good sense. It will be 'thought you assume a superiority over the rest of the company. * But if you happen to have any learning, keep it a profound ' secret, especially from the men, who generally look with a
jealous and malignant eye on a woman of great parts and a cultivated understanding. On which we find this just comment: 'If men of real merit,' as he afterwards observes, ‘are *superior to this meanness, where is the necessity that the
behaviour of the whole sex should be modulated to please 'fools ?' But this was a level to which women were deliberately condemned, though they are consoled by the assurance that 'the 'power of a fine woman over the hearts of men, and of men of “the finest parts, is even beyond what she can conceive. This
power,' not over herself but man, is the great aim set forth; for this every art and dissimulation was to be practised, for this woman was always to seem to be something different from what it was her nature to be. Rousseau followed in the same track, The celebrated women of the day took up the strain-Mrs. Piozzi, Madame de Stael, Madame de Genlis. "Maiden meditation fancy free,' the step of virgin liberty,' were charms not appreciated by that narrow, trifling, and artificial generation; and though, doubtless, innumerable women were doing their duty in all dignity and simplicity because it was their duty, yet the historical aspect of the women of the period was universally tinctured and lowered by these debasing motives of action.
Puritanism and the licence that succeeded it were alike opposed to the sex's just influence; but the earlier ages of Christianity were free from this jealousy. Then high motives were acknowledged, though they might be mistaken ones, and women were allowed a sphere independent of man, and were reverenced in it. Men never talked of 'woman's rights, it is true, but