[Dedicated "To the Hon. Samuel E. Sewall, Faithful Always to 'Women and Work,' and One of the Best Friends of The New-England Female Medical College, the Editor Gratefully Dedicates This Volume."]
P. 6 [from Dall's introductory remarks]: One thing I felt profoundly: as men sow they must reap; and so must women. The practical misery of the world -- its terrible impurity will never be abated till women prepare themselves from their earliest years to enter the arena of which they are ambitious, and stand there at last mature and calm, but, above all, thoroughly trained; trained also at the side of the men, with whom they must ultimately work; and not likely, therefore, to lose balance or fitness by being thrown, at the last moment, into unaccustomed relations. A great deal of nonsense has been talked lately about the unwillingness of women to enter the reading-room of the Cooper Institute, where men also resort.
[P. 7] "A woman's library," in any city, is one of the partial measures that I deprecate; so I only partially rejoice over the late [recent] establishment of such a library in New York. I look upon it as one of those half-measures which must be endured in the progress of any desired reform; and, while I wish the Cooper Institute and its reading-room Godspeed with every fibre of my consciousness, I have no words with which to express my shame at the mingled hypocrisy and indelicacy of those who object to use it. What woman stays at home from a ball because she will meet men there? What woman refuses to walk down Broadway in the presence of the stronger sex? What woman refuses to buy every article of her apparel from the hands of a man, or to let the woman's tailor or shoemaker take the measure of her waist or foot; try on and approve her coiffure or bernouse?
What are we to think, then, of the delicacy which shrinks form the reading-room frequented by men; which discovers so suddenly that magazines are more embarrassing than mazourkas; that to read in a cloak and hat before a man is more indelicate than to waltz in his presence half denuded by fashion?
Of course, we are to have no patience with it, [P. 8] and to refuse utterly to entertain a remonstrance so beneath propriety.
The object of my whole life has been to inspire in women a desire for thorough training to some special end, and a willingness to share the training of men both for specific and moral reasons. Only by sharing such training can women be sure that they will be well trained; only by god ordained natural communion of all men and women can the highest moral results be reached.
"Free labor and free society:" I have said often to myself, in these two phrases lies hidden the future purification of society. When men and women go everywhere together, the sights they dare not see together will no longer exist.
. . .
When neither has any thing to hide from the other, no social duty will seem too difficult to be undertaken; and, when the interest of each sex is to secure the purity of the other, neither religion nor humanity need despair of the result.