P. 16 "It is not," says Mrs. Ellis, "presumed that women possess more moral power than men; but happily for them, such are their early impressions, associations, and general position in the world, that their moral feelings are less likely to be impaired by the pecuniary objects which too often constitute the chief end of man, and which, even under the limitations of better principle, necessarily engage a large portion of his thoughts."
P.23-24 Mental improvement should always be made conducive to moral advancement: to render a young woman wise and good, to prepare her mind for the duties and trials of life, is the great purpose of education. Accomplishments, however desirable and attractive, must always be considered as secondary objects, when compared with those virtues which form the character and influence the power of woman in society. Home has justly been called "her empire:" and it is certain that to her it is a hallowed circle, in which she may diffuse the greatest earthly happiness, or inflict the most positive misery: it is never so narrow but from thence may stream many a benignant ray to illume a neighbour's dwelling, and it may be wide enough to give light to thousands. The virtues of a woman of rank and fortune, extend far beyond the mansion where she presides, or the cottage which she protects, by the example she offers, even in the most unostentatious manner and in the most trivial actions, to those around her and below her. Gently, imperceptibly, but most certainly, will she imbue with her own purity and beneficence the atmosphere in which she moves; softening the obdurate, correcting the depraved, and encouraging the timid. Those who are not placed by Providence in so brilliant a sphere, may, by their conduct, produce the same effects, in a more limited circle and in a less degree, but with equal hour and satisfaction to themselves.
P. 27 Fortitude, like Integrity, may be termed one of the severer virtues; but it is not the less necessary for the weaker sex, since with less physical strength, and fewer opportunities of improving it, either mentally or corporeally, woman is yet called upon to exert great powers of endurance, both actively and passively. The pains of sickness, the misfortunes of life, the inflictions of calumny, call upon her for patience under suffering; and firmness, resolution, and perseverance in conduct; without these qualities, a woman, however engaging or attractive as a companion, must be found deficient in all the nearer relationships of life, and incapable of fulfilling its more important duties, all of which, in her own person, or that of some near connection, demand the assistance this virtue, in one of its many forms, can alone supply.
pg 221 Of industry, I need scarcely make mention to you. No moment of a young person's day ought to be unemployed, and she should remember also, that it is right to do every thing in the best manner, if it be only the folding of a piece of paper. Activity of body produces activity of mind; and again, activity of mind quickens the feelings of the heart, and makes us more alive to happiness; while slothfulness of body causes sluggishness of mind and heart; the one will seek for no new idea, nor keep in action and strength the few it may possess; the feelings of the other will be supinely centered in ourselves, and will never be moved by the happiness or misery of others. There is yet something more which I wish to impress strongly upon your mind, namely, that a woman is essentially a being of retirement and seclusion, and that their nature becomes deteriorated by any employment which brings her before the public. Home is our province, an let your greatest wish and endeavour be, to perform the duties belonging to it perfectly and properly; do not seek to raise yourself by your talents or acquirements, to be the rival of the other sex, but let your delight and desire be, to contribute to their happiness; nature has make us subservient to man, and relying upon him for support and assistance. take from us our dependence upon him, and we shall lose a great portion of our claim upon his love and tenderness, while we shall rob him of the great softener of his character; our helplessness naturally induces in him a tenderness of manner, thought, and feeling towards us, it increases our gratitude to him, while the giving and receiving protection forms an affectionate link to bind us together.
pg.142 I do not know a family made more miserable by a single bad habit, unless it be in the case of on or two drunken husbands, than is the family above mentioned, by the mother's late rising.
In the first place she makes herself miserable. She is not unfrequently found repenting most bitterly of her error. But then she never seems to exercise a strong will - the first step towards cureing it. Besides the bitterness of a kind of half repentance, she is always in a fret. By rising late, as I have before hinted, she gets behind her business, and is driven and harassed by it the whole day.
In the second place, she makes her husband extremely miserable, and always has done so. His plans, if he forms any, are often broken up, and he feels that he loses the best part of the day, and of life. You will say, Why does he not go to work before breakfast? He is a farmer, and a part of his fields lie at the distance of a mile from his house; and it would be very inconvenient to do so.
In the third place, this perpetual quarrel, as i might call it, has had a very bad influence upon a large family of children. Not only are they nearly all late risers, but they are fretful, peevish and bad tempered. In short, to repeat what I have already said, it is a miserable family.
pg.128 What grieves me most is, that my poor wife herself suffers a great deal on my account, although her suffering - like many other sufferings from sin - does not tend at all to her reformation. She goes on just as before. She is up late, has the tea on the table late, and everything late. At last, before she hardly thinks of it, and before breakfast is half ready, she perceives that it is within a few minutes of eight o'clock.
As soon as she perceives that the clock is about to strike eight , she begins to fret and hurry herself, and all others concerned; and in flying from place to place to get just so may plates, and cups, and saucers, and knives, and forks, and spoons, she not only knocks down chairs, and perhaps breaks one or two, but throws down one or two of the children, who immediately set up and outcry, which renders the " confusion worse confounded" than before. Moreover, she gets so much excited, not to say fatigued, in the scrape, that she loses half the comfort of her own breakfast.
How many times have I told her, that if she could not get breakfast ready at eight without so much trouble, I was quite willing she should fix the hour at half past eight, or even at nine. But no, that will not do, she thinks. Half past eight, or especially nine, would be an unfashionable hour; and what would people say about it?
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