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being of thought and reflection instead of a creature of the senses, prepares him more thoroughly to comprehend, and more deeply to be affected by those divine words which are spirit and life.
We call upon the patriot to aid us, the patriot who must be more and more convinced by the experience of every year,
that the fate of our republic is entirely involved in the problem, whether a people spread over so vast an extent of territory, increasing with unexampled rapidity, and receiving into its bosom each year nearly a hundred thousand of foreign ingredients, can be made and kept sufficiently intelligent to govern themselves and secure their own happiness. We ask him to reflect on the melancholy spectacle of a great nation, overflowing with wealth, with physical comfort and every natural resource, but without taste, without literature, without refinement, degraded by ignorance, and engulfed in the pleasures of the senses.
We ask them if the delusion is never to be dispelled, that life is to be spent in dull drudgery to acquire the means of living without the least reflection how those means are to be used in procuring the
greatest possible enjoyment? We ask him if there is to be but one pursuit over the length and breadth of this land, absorbing and subordinating to itself every other, the pursuit of wealth, which when accumulated, can be enjoyed only in precise proportion to the enlargement of the mind, and the cultivation of the taste?
We invoke the aid and encouragement of parents, who are connected with the future by bright hopes, as well as with the past by tender recollections. While you gaze with unutterable love upon your rising offspring, and realize whose blood runs in their veins, whose name they are to inherit, does there no solicitude arise in your breasts how they shall bear their part in the great line of existence, what standing they shall assume among men of sense and education, how they may be inspired with high aims and noble purposes,
how secured from low pursuits and vicious indulgences? Be assured that next to true religion there is no other guaranty so certain for their safety, their prosperity, their honorable career through life, as an early and decided taste for moral, intellectual, and literary culture. In this
young, free, and enterprizing country, where change is written so legibly on all things, nothing can be more chimerical than the hope of transmitting family distinction sustained only by wealth. The genius of our institutions is altogether against it. No where has Mind obtained a supremacy so entire. Wealth may here be an accessory, and a comfortable appendage to greatness, but the estimation of humanity is too high among us to make a man a mere appendage to his possessions.
Finally we appeal to woman, in whose heart every enterprize for human good is sure to find a warm and a powerful advocate. When we tell her that the cause in which we are engaged, is the endeavor to elevate and refine our species, she recognizes it as the cause in which she has ever been engaged since the beginning of time. When we describe to her a state of higher mental and moral culture, and of course accompanying it a greater refinement of manners and correctness of deportment, she welcomes the
the prospect as a state of things where her gentle virtues will be best appreciated, and the sphere in which she moves be most
replete with honor, happiness, and contentment. We do not flatter her when we remind her how much influence she has in forming the taste and directing the pursuits of the other sex, how far the hope of her favor determines the aspirations and the efforts of those who are forming characters for life. She needs not be assured, that it is for her own sake that we invite her into the pleasant walks of letters, that there is nothing more congenial with her retired and quiet occupations, no better solace for her solitary hours, no better resource against ennui and depression, nothing which so prepares her to adorn and enjoy society, nothing, except piety, which can so arm her against those troubles which are the lot of all.
Let her know that there is nothing which rules by diviner right than woman, and there is nothing to which the human heart more involuntarily bows down than to woman when she adds to the natural charms and loveliness of her sex, the crowning glory of a vigorous, a refined, and cultivated intellect.
ON THE SPHERE AND DUTIES OF WOMAN.
I HAVE promised to devote a portion of this course of lectures to the Sphere and Duties of Woman. Meditation upon the subject, while it has more and more opened to me its magnitude and importance, has more and more convinced me of the difficulty of treating it with profit to you, or credit to myself. While I addressed my own sex, I felt at home and at ease. As all I said, was drawn from my own experience and observation, I knew my ground and felt sure at every step. I felt that what I said could not be mistaken or misjudged. I could not be suspected even of being any other than just and fair. I am now to address the other sex, a task which I had much rather had fallen to one of them. selves. The very circumstances of the case render it impossible for me to be as well