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the former seems not only to remove obitacles to the operations of the latter, but even to communicate to its powers an accesfioii of strength. Wholesome food, early hours, pure air, and bodily exercise, are instruments not of health only, but of knowledge. Of these four indispensable requisites in every place and mode of education, the two first are seldom 'overlooked ; in schools the two which remain frequently do not awaken the solicitude which they deserve. Is pure air to be found in the heated atmosphere of low and crowded rooins ? Is it exercise to pace once in a day in procession down a street or round a square; or in regular arrangement to follow a teacher along the iniddle walk 'of a garden, forbidden to deviate to the right hand or to the left ? Pale cheeks, a languid aspect, and a feeble frame, answer the question; and prognosticate the long train of nervous maladies which lie in wait for future years. It is not necessary that girls should contend in the hardy amusements which besit the youth of the other

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sex. But if

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wish that they should pofsess, when women, a healthful constitution, steady spirits, and a strong and alert mind; let active exercise in the open air be one of their daily recreations, one of their daily duties (Z).

(2) For the purpose of encouraging a propensity to falubrious exercise in the open air, it seems desirable that girls fhould be allowed, when educated at home, and if possible, when placed in schools, to possess little gardens of their own, and to amuse themselves in them with the lighter offices of cultivation. The healthiness of the employment would amply compensate for a few dagged frocks and dirtied gloves. Besides, an early relilh for domestic amusements lays the foundation of a comeftic character. The remembrance of delights experienced in childhood disposes the mind in riper years to pursuits akin to those, from which the recollected pleasures were derived.

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CHAP. V.

ON THE MODE OF INTRODUCING YOUNG

WOMEN INTO GENERAL SOCIETY.

W

HEN the business of education, whether conducted at home or at a public feminary, draws towards a conclusion, the next object that occupies the attention of the parent is what she terms the introduction of her daughter into the world. Emancipated from the shackles of instruction, the young woman is now to be brought forward to act her part on the public stage of life. And as though liberty were a gift unattended with temptations to unexperienced youth; as though vivacity, openness of heart, the consciousness of personal accomplishments and of personal beauty, would serve rather to counteract than to aggravate those temptations ; the change of situation is not

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2

from every

unfrequently heightened by every possible aid of contrast. Pains are taken, as it were, to contrive, that when the dazzled ftranger shall Atep from the nursery and the lecture-room, The fhall plunge at once into a flood of vanity and dissipation. Mewed up prying gaze, taught to believe that her first appearance is the subject of universal expectation, tutored to beware above all things of tarnishing the lustre of her attractions by mauvaise bonte, stimulated with desire to outfhine her equals in age and rank, she burns with impatience for the hour of displaying her perfections : till at length, intoxicated beforehand with anticipated flatteries, she is launched, in the pride of ornament, on fome occasion of feftivity; and from that time forward thinks by day and dreams by night of amusements, and of dress, and of compliments, and of admirers.

I believe this pi&ture to convey no exaggerated representation of the state of things which is often witnessed in the higher ranks

of

of society. I fear, too, that it is a picture to which the practice of the middle ranks, 1hough at present not fully corresponding bears a continually increasing resemblance. The extrenie, however, which has been defcribed, has, like every other extreme, its opposite. There are mothers who profess to initiate their daughters, almost from the cradle, into what they call the knowledge of life; and pollute the years of childhood with an instilled attachment to the card-table ; with habits of flippancy and pertness, denominated wit; with an "easiness" of manners, which ought to be named effrontery; and with a knowledge of tales of scandal unfit to be inentioned by any one but in a court of justice. Both these extremes are most dangerous to every thing that is va+ luable in the female character; to every thing on which happiness in the present world and in a future world depends. But of the two the latter is the more pernicious. In that system war is carried on almost from infancy, and carried on in the most detest

able

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