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maid,” let her read Xenophon and Sallust; no one has a right to condemn her. But if she means to cast her lot with the common destiny of women, let her labour to strengthen and embellish her mind by every species of knowledge within her reach. Let her learn the eternal distinction between right and wrong; let her heart be im. bued with every Christian virtue; let neatness, industry, and economy, be the attending graces of her person and her fireside; then will she be an ornament to society-an helpmeet for her husband—and “ her children will rise up and call her blessed,” although she should never know a Latin word during her whole life.
A paragraph in one of our daily newspapers a few days ago, announces the murder of one of our youths in a duel; and after a few just reflections on the enormity of this crime, the female part of the community is entreated to contribute its mite to the abolition of the practice. The advocates of duelling, (for we call every man an advocate, -pretend what he may,—who pronounces one word in palliation,) are accustomed to tell us, that laws cannot prevent it—while it is supported by opinion: and in conformity with this plausible doctrine, women have often been especially called upon to discountenance the practice. We listen with an incredulity, somewhat' bordering on contempt, when we hear it asserted that our legislatures are unable to stay the hand of the duellist. When the effort has failed, we will believe them, but not until it has been made with an honest desire to root the pestilence out of the land. Let the duellist be completely disfranchised let him be rendered incapable of holding any office of honour,
trust or profit, in any constituted body in the United States and we shall soon hear no more of duelling. Will it be believed that the aspiring youth of this Republic, to whose ambitious hope she has opened every door of trust and dignity, would consent to bear a mark upon their faces, and like Cain, the first murderer, to become “ a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth ?" We rather think that the puny
courage of a man who cannot brave the scorn of fools would shrink from such a degradation. But these remarks are by the by-our present business is with those who have been told that their influence on opinion is paramount. Had we the privilege of legislating—I believe we should have virtue enough to deliver our country from blood by efficient penalties on the atrocious crime of duelling. But we ask not this honour--we believe it is no part of our inheritance. If it be true, as we are flattered—that the conduct and sentiments of women have an ascendency in society—then are we bound to improve the talent which Providence has given to us. We inherit from nature a powerful influence on the characters of men, and reason and religion have now enlarged our sphere to the extent of our wishes. We are permitted to take a part in useful institutions, nor are we forbidden to enter the academic porch. Shall we not then lend our aid to discountenance vice in every shape? Let it not be said that we shrink from our duty!
In the case in question, are women uninterested spectators, because their own lives are never put in jeopardy? The lives that are dearer to them than their own, are in hourly danger! Can a mother-a wife—a sister, be at peace while the deadly weapon is pointed at the breast of her nearest relatives? Do you ask what you can do? Banish the duellist entirely from your society—let them be to you as aliens and strangers. Never let false modesty keep you silent, when duelling is the subject of conversation in your presence—but speak of it with the same degree of abhorrence that you do of any other mode of as
sassination, and avow your determination to hold no intercourse with any one who participates in a practice which is not less savage than silly. Let young ladies declare firmly, their resolution never to unite their fate with that of either principal or agent: and surely, they would but consult their own interests in adhering to a resolution so wise in itself. For what reliance can they have on the man who deliberately commits the greatest possible crime; or what sympathy can she expect from a man who does not hesitate to plunge a whole family in the deepest anguish, perhaps to deprive them of their only hope and stay! Let each woman remember that although she may now be an unconcerned spectator of a combat, less excusable than that of the gladiator, another hour may bring it home to her own bosom-her own heart may be wrung by the last groan of a husband a son a brother!
If it was ever the privilege of women to be distinguished by a virtuous opposition to immorality, it is now, more than at any former time, their duty to give their utmost aid to the suppression of duelling. They have now emerged from the seclusion of a domestic life, and in every part of Christendom are taking an active part in societies for the promotion of benevolence and religion-of that religion which requires the suppression of all vindictive passion, and forbids a man to take the life of his fellow man. Let me ask then-does your practice correspond with your professions ? Does that Bible, which you are straining every nerve to circulate, declare that the Supreme Lawgiver will not commute with the murderer-has He said, “Thou shalt take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, he shall surely be put to death ?”—and do you encourage or even palliate duelling? I know you will repel the charge and proclaim your innocence. But do you seize every opportunity of bearing your testimony against it? Do you not approve by your silence ?—Do you not rather even accede to the impious proposition that there may be cases where men are compelled to fight? Be not imposed on—such a case can never occur! Yield not your principle to the infidel who tells you
what is intrinsically wrong, can by any possible conjuncture of circumstances be made right. Let not your understanding be imposed on by the fallacious argument that injured honour is satisfied by the exposure of life! A more absurd position never insulted common sense! No man ever incurred the guilt of destroying human life, without being an object of horror to all the upright part of mankind ;-nor, if he be not lost to every virtuous feeling—without being haunted by the spectre of his crime during all the remainder of his miserable days. Then they will tell you that the pistol alone will awe men into good-manners,—a precious confession truly in the nineteenth century! In this enlightened age when all the arts that cheer and polish social life are cultivated—when that religion which breathes only peace and good-will to men is leading barbarism in triumph! Gentlemen—for the vulgar are not duellists—seem not to reflect upon the disgrace implied in this declaration. Very few men are so audacious as to vindicate this violation of all that is wise and good, in the abstract. Their better sense is ever throwing in the salvo_“I am no advocate for duellingit is only to be resorted to in extreme cases;" and women