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by which they, like their brothers, may distinguish themselves and rise to eminence; are occafionally heard to declare their opinion, that the sphere in which women are deftined to move is fo humble and fo limited, as neither to require nor to reward affiduity; and under this impreffion, either do not discern, or will not be perfuaded to confider, the real and deeply interesting effects which the conduct of their sex will always have on the happiness of society. In attempting to obviate this error, I should be very culpable were I to flatter the ambitious fondness for distinction, which may, in part at least, have given rise to it. To fuggeft motives to unaffuming and virtuous activity, is the purpose of the following brief remarks.
Human happiness is on the whole much less affected by great but unfrequent events, whether of prosperity or of adverfity, of benefit or of injury, than by fmall but perpetually recurring incidents of good
or evil. The manner in which the in-
In three particulars, each of which is of extreme and never-ceafing concern to the welfare of mankind, the effect of the female character is most important.
First, In contributing daily and hourly to the comfort of husbands, of parents, of brothers and fifters, and of other relations, connections, and friends, in the intercourse of domestic life, under every viciffitude of fickness and health, of joy and affliction.
Secondly, In forming and improving the general manners, difpofitions, and
conduct of the other fex, by fociety and example.
Thirdly, In modelling the human mind during the early ftages of its growth, and fixing, while it is yet ductile, its growing principles of action; children of each fex being, in general, under maternal tuition during their childhood, and girls until they become women.
Are these objects infufficient to excite virtuous exertion? Let it then be remembered, that there is another of fupreme importance fet before each individual; and one which she cannot accomplish without faithfully attending, according to her situation and ability, to those already enumerated; namely, the attainment of everlasting felicity, by her conduct during her present probationary state of existence.
ON THE PECULIAR FEATURES BY WHICH
OF THE FEMALE
MIND IS NATURALLY DISCRIMINATED
THE commander, who fhould be em ployed to ascertain, for the fecurity of the inhabitants of a particular country, the moft efficacious means of guarding the frontier against invaders, and of obstructing their progress if they should ever force their way into the interior, would fix his attention, in the first instance, on the general afpect of the region which he is called upon to defend. He would ftudy the mountains, the defiles, the rivers, the forefts. He would inform himself what quarters are open to inroads; what are the circumstances which favour the machinations, what the undif
guised violence, of the enemy; what are the posts which the affailants would find it moft advantageous to occupy; what the ftations from which, if once in their poffeffion, it would be moft difficult to diflodge them. The plan of defence which he would prescribe, while, on the one hand, it would. be formed on those fundamental principles which military experience has established as the basis of all warlike operations, would be adapted, on the other, with unremitting attention to all those discriminating features which characterise the particular district in which thofe general principles are to be reduced to practice.
A writer, in like manner, who ventures. to hope, that in fuggesting observations on the duties incumbent on the female fex, he may be found to have drawn his conclufions. from the fources of nature and of truth, should endeavour, in the first place, to afcertain the characteristical impreffions which the Creator has ftamped on the female mind;