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AN

ENQUIRY

INTO THE

DUTIES OF THE FEMALE SEX.

CHAP. I.

PLAN OF THE WORK EXPLAINED.

In the outset of the present undertaking it may

be proper briefly to state the plan on which it is conducted.

The duties of the female sex, in general, are the objects which it is proposed to investigate. The observations contained in the following pages will, in many cases, have an especial reference to the conduct of women placed in the higher or in the middle classes of society ; but they will seldom be directed exclusively to any rank or station. It has been my wish and my endeavour, that this treatise, as far as it is capable of being useful, may be useful to readers of every description.

The sphere of domestic life, the sphere in which female exertion is chiefly occupied, and female excellence is best displayed, admits far less diversity of action, and consequently of temptation, than is to be found in the widely differing professions and employments into which private advantage and public good require that men should be distributed. The barrister and the physician have their respective duties, and their respective trials. The fundamental principles by which both the one and the other is to regulate his conduct are the same. The occasion, however, on which those principles are to operate, and the enticement, whether of pleasure or of interest, by which their present effea is im-,

peded,

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