Hold Up Your Heads, Girls!
by Annie H. Ryder
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But, girls, I am talking chiefly to those among you who have left the high school or academy, and have reached an age when you have ideas of your own. I shall be glad when it is possible, in the college or the home, for every girl, who wishes, to follow, special or grouped studies; and when she will no longer censure herself because, outside of elementary knowledge of it, she is not acquainted with the study her neighbor is pursuing.

In the programme of the new Bryn Mawr College, I have noted, with a feeling of satisfaction, the strong recommendations to follow grouped studies. If I understand the calendar of the University of Michigan, and the register of Cornell University, I find in these institutions a broad chance for taking electives and studies which properly belong together. These should be high commendations.

There is as much to be said on how to study as on what to study, yet I believe the question may be briefly answered. Study so that the ideas of authors may become your own, though remoulded into such forms as your own character, reason, experience and highest thoughts allow. Suppose you are studying English literature. Be watchful, first, for the writer's ideas: be sure you get his thoughts, not such as some one else says are his, according to some one's else interpretation; then observe the manner in which those ideas are expressed. The merits of a literary work lie quite as much in style as in the thoughts which it contains. The cause or purpose of a book, the thoughts it holds, its suggestiveness, its style, seem to me important points to bear in mind when reading or studying a work.

You may be reading George Eliot's "Romola." Be sure, when the book ends, that you see somewhat the purpose for which it was written. Be impressed with its story: follow its wonderful descriptions, its analysis of character; remark the knowledge which was brought to bear in representing that great historical character Savonarola, the Florentine republic, and the rule of the De Medicis; be moved by the pathos of the story, its dignity and beauty; but remember most, that she who begins with virtue grows, though through fiery furnaces of tribulation, into a radiant, clear, crystal womanhood.

Perhaps you are reading Dowden's "Life of Southey." Be delighted with the ease, the charm, of Dowden's style: dwell upon it. Consider his fine powers as a biographer, but be impressed with the unsurpassed diligence of Southey's life.

Are you reading Emerson's shorter essay on "Nature"? So peruse it that, when you go out among the trees and grass and flowers, you will feel the same kinship with them as did he.

History and biography, the sketch and criticism even, have been made truly charming of late years by the vividness in which actions have been depicted and characters portrayed, as well as by clearness and beauty in expression. We turn to an historical work with as much zest as to a romance, and find in it, now, that enthusiasm, that liveliness, that interest in human affairs which old historians allowed to be obscured by dates and names. If you are studying Roman history, be never so particular about when each battle was fought as about the great causes of the rise of Rome,—energy, pride, deprivation, hardihood, union of citizens, sturdiness, ferocious perseverance, courage, abstinence, valor: remark the results attained by these qualities,— Rome, the mistress of the world, with an empire stretching to the ends of the earth. Then note the causes of her fall,—greediness, wealth, luxury, effeminacy, satiety, corrupt morals,—and bring the lesson home to your own nation, and to your own selves. Says Mr. Ruskin, "It is of little consequence how many positions of cities a woman knows, or how many dates of events, or how many names of celebrated persons—it is not the object of education to turn a woman into a dictionary. But it is deeply necessary that she should be taught to enter with her whole personality into the history she reads,—to picture the passages of it vitally in her own bright imagination; to apprehend, with her fine instincts, the pathetic circumstances and dramatic relations which the historian too often only eclipses by his reasoning, and disconnects by his arrangement. It is for her to trace the hidden equities of divine reward, and catch sight, through the darkness, of the fateful threads of woven fire that connect error with its retribution."

If you are studying the natural sciences, so follow them that you may see more clearly the rocks, the sea, the sky, the verdure of the earth, the mountains and the valleys, the rivers and the lakes,—all the creations upon the earth, as far as you have studied them,—so that a new heaven and a new earth shall be spread before you, and you shall learn to appreciate more fully the beneficence of God.

Are mathematics your choice? Then learn from them the value of stability, fixedness; the worth of accuracy in all studies and in all callings; the power of durability, especially as it refers to the durableness of right against wrong; the perfections of forms and symbols; the truths of reasoning; the necessity of discipline.

Are you translating from this or that author? Be sure that you are first accurate; then, that you have entered into the spirit of the writer and the work, that your own language is being made more copious, and fluency of speech or written discourse acquired. The discipline of translating accurately is next in value to that obtained from the study of numbers. The difficulty of turning this accurate translation into the idiom of one's own language is most stubborn.

It would be very pleasant for us to talk about the choice of books we ought to make in our reading, and I think it would be quite profitable to hunt up those authorities who have given most attention to the subject of reading. There are many such authorities.

David Pryde, in his practical papers called "The Highways of Literature," thinks the true method of dealing with books is, "(1) To read first the one or two great standard works in each department of literature; and (2) to confine, then, our reading to that department which suits the particular bent of our mind." Then he lays down these definite rules, telling us how to read: "1. Before you begin to peruse a book, know something about the author. 2. Read the preface carefully. 3. Take a comprehensive survey of the table of contents. 4. Give your whole attention to whatever you read. 5. Be sure to note the most valuable passages as you read. 6. Write out, in your own language, a summary of the facts you have noted. 7. Apply the results of your reading to your every-day duties." These rules ought, every one of them, to be emphasized in our association with books. In my own experience, I find Number 4 of great importance, as well as Numbers 5 and 7. I would add, by way of caution, that the moment you become weary from reading, or grow nervous with studying, you should stop. Studying never does harm, but nervous excitement does. When you have puzzled your brains an hour over a problem in arithmetic, the probability is that you have ceased thinking rationally, and are only plunging deeper and deeper into confusion. Nervous prostration comes from unreasonable taxation of the brain oftener than from real, systematic study.

I think you will find a little book by Charles F. Richardson very helpful in regard to your reading. It is called "The Choice of Books," and it treats of such subjects as, "What Books to Read," "How Much to Read," "What Books to Own," "The Motive of Reading," and other topics of a similar nature.

It will make an agreeable conclusion to our thoughts on what to read, and how to read, to quote the following from Richardson: "Homer, Plutarch, Herodotus, and Plato; Virgil, Livy, and Tacitus; Dante, Tasso, and Petrarch; Cervantes; Thomas a Kempis; Goethe and Schiller; Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon, Sir Thomas Browne, Bunyan, Addison, Gray, Scott, and Wordsworth; Hawthorne, Emerson, Motley, Longfellow, Bryant, Lowell, Holmes, and Whittier. He who reads these, and such as these, is not in serious danger of spending his time amiss. But not even such a list as this is to be received as a necessity by every reader. One may find Cowper more profitable than Wordsworth; to another the reading of Bancroft may be more advantageous than that of Herodotus; while a third may gain more immediate and lasting good from historical novels like Eber's 'Uarda,' or Kingsley's 'Hypatia,' than from a long and patient attempt to master Grote's 'History of Greece,' or Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.' Each individual reader must try to determine, first of all, what is best for himself. In forming his decision, let him make the utmost use of the best guides, not forgetting that the average opinion of educated men is pretty sure to be a correct opinion; but let him never put aside his own honesty and individuality. He must choose his books as he chooses his friends, because of their integrity and helpfulness, and because of the pleasure their society gives him."



In the majority of our higher schools, and probably in the education of most persons, a deficiency in the knowledge of English is to be remarked. Now, if girls are not fond of science, nor inclined to the study of philosophy, foreign languages, music, or painting, why do they not follow certain courses in English? Why do they not study English literature, paying heed to its history, its rhetoric, but more especially to the works of its greatest authors? Literature is the most cultivating to the mind, the most necessary to a general education, and it affords the most pleasure to persons, no matter what their condition may be. Easily pursued, it requires no capital but time, and costs no more than a walk to the public library. The liberal educations which some persons have acquired from what they have read in English literature demanded only wise choice of books, time, and perseverance.

I find, on an examination of the requirements for entrance to college, that English is the least regarded. It rarely goes beyond spelling, punctuation, figures of speech, and the reading of prescribed books, few in number, and which do not require a month's study. The absurdity of demanding all the rules of Latin prosody, when the student never read a line of the "Deserted Village," and probably will not, through his college course! Says one catalogue, which represents a great institution, "A large proportion of those who seek admission to the university are found to be very deficient in their preparation in English." It is not surprising. May they be helped before they graduate from the university.

In looking over the catalogues of numerous colleges where girls are educated, I have been indeed gratified with the great advantages they present to young women. How I wish I could enjoy even a few of these privileges,—these opportunities for a higher education! Is it not much to be grateful for, that so many of you girls not only can go to college, but really do go? I am glad for you all. Smith and Wellesley, Boston University and the Annex at Cambridge, Michigan University, Cornell, Bryn Mawr, and the rest, are all magnificent attractions to the student. Yes, indeed! But how I wish that English—English literature—was more earnestly pursued in every one of them!

Within the limits of this talk, I can say but little on the study of English; so I shall confine my suggestions to a few courses of reading, which I hope may be helpful to some of you.

A knowledge of literature implies an actual acquaintance with the works of authors; and no lists of names and dates, no anecdotes, nor literary gossip, can take the place of this acquaintance: but, to make these works more useful and intelligible, we should connect history with them. How can I fully appreciate the oratory of the American Revolution, if I know nothing of the war between England and the Colonies? How can I get the real value out of "The Talisman," "Kenilworth," or "Ivanhoe," if I have no knowledge of the Crusades, of Elizabeth's reign, or of that period in English history when Richard of the Lion Heart was king? Again, how can I understand why any age in English prose or poetry was characterized by a peculiar kind of thinkers, if I do not know the history and tendency of that age? Why, in one epoch, do we have men writing on classical subjects in a way which represents form as more important than matter? and why, in another age, are writers turning from an artificial to a natural style?

Experience proves that it is profitless to study the formative periods of English literature before trying to get acquainted with it in its present condition. One should work backwards, and not forwards, in this study. The practice of beginning with Anglo-Saxon writers, and studying down to nineteenth-century authors, is to be utterly condemned. How can I hope to like or even comprehend an English version of Caedmon, or, later, Chaucer, if I cannot yet see the beauty of Whittier? The history and philosophy of English literature are indeed important, but they are entirely subordinate to the works themselves.

English literature was not hatched full-fledged; its feathers have been growing for centuries; it did not even fly high till Elizabeth's reign; and it has not been prolific till within a century or two. We want to see what the bird looks like full grown, before we can understand about the embryo in the egg.

In the first place, I should get familiar with some very concise manual, so that I might refer to it for guidance; but my most earnest work should be with certain epochs in literature, and with special representative authors, around whom I could group other dependent writers, or such as did not so nearly represent the period I was studying.

If you are studying epochwise, why not read choice selections from the prose of the nineteenth century,—some of its masterpieces? Get a general notion of the earlier parts of the century by consulting some manual on the subject, such as Spalding's "English Literature," chapters XIII., XV., and XVI. When you have ascertained that the reviews founded in the first quarter of the century contained the most valuable literature, read some of the papers in the "Edinburgh Review," the "Quarterly," and "Blackwoods." Very good collections have been made from them, especially in a series of books known as "Modern British Essayists." Read, for example, Sydney Smith's essay on "Female Education"; one of Jeffrey's criticisms on the early poets of this century; an historical or a biographical article by Alison; or one of Professor Wilson's sketches in his "Recreations of Christopher North." But be most desirous of reading that brilliant essayist, and that most impressive of contributors to the "Edinburgh Review,"— Macaulay. I wish you would read his articles which have special reference to literature, perhaps in this order: Moore's "Life of Byron," "Mme. D'Arblay," "Goldsmith," "Samuel Johnson," "Addison," "Dryden," "Leigh Hunt," "Bunyan," "Milton," "Bacon." Of miscellaneous essays, please note "Von Ranke," "Warren Hastings," and "Frederick the Great."

After Macaulay, study Carlyle, though only in parts, reading "Heroes and Hero Worship," and "Burns." The last is especially valuable to you. Note Carlyle's sincerity, his "gospel of work," his love of Nature, his earnestness, his despair, his giant intellect. If you are interested in his peculiar merits, read the "French Revolution."

Read selections from Emerson; but always slowly, carefully, dwelling longest on this writer's more practical essays, those which inspire impulses within you to nobler living.

Realizing how great an influence Nature has exerted over the prose as well as the poetry of this century, study Emerson's two essays on "Nature"; selections from Thoreau, especially from "Excursions"; Kingsley's "Winter Garden"; passages from Ruskin, particularly those written about "The Sky," "Clouds," "Water," "Mountains," "Grass."

You will appreciate the critical spirit of this age. Though most of the authors so far mentioned were critics, as well as essayists, you will find it helpful to read from the following: De Quincey, Hazlitt, Hallam, Ruskin, Whipple. If you can read but one work from DeQuincey, take, instead of a criticism, his "Confessions of an English Opium Eater," the style of which is considered masterly. Its sentences are melodious, its English elegant and classical. From Ruskin, that writer who founded art criticism, read those delightful passages brought together in the volume called "The True and the Beautiful"; and carefully peruse the little book known as "Sesame and Lilies." Hallam I should refer to for special information in regard to European literature. Our own Whipple will aid you to a knowledge of Elizabethan learning.

Next, read the essays of Lamb, such as are included in "Elia." Love the quaint, beautiful spirit of the author; and take delight in his witticisms, his reveries, and playful fancies.

Perhaps, just here, it would be well to introduce Irving. Pay especial heed to his "Sketch-Book," "The Alhambra," and "Bracebridge Hall." In order to appreciate the position this writer holds in American literature, and the feeling with which he is regarded, both in our own country and abroad, get some knowledge of the condition of our literature before Irving placed it upon a firm basis, and learn about the grace and dignity of this man's deportment. Appreciate, too, the beauties of this author's style in writing.

Then examine the sketch as it appears in Leigh Hunt's "Wishing Cap Papers," Thackeray's "Roundabout Papers," Curtis's "Potiphar Papers." You might include under this head such rare bits of prose as you cannot conveniently classify, as, for example, Dr. Brown's "Rab and His Friends," Curtis's "Prue and I."

Now look a while at the uses of biography. I think the study of every great author's works should be either prefaced or supplemented by a good biography or correspondence. This necessary aid to literature has been amply afforded by the celebrated "English Men of Letters" series, and also by the "American Men of Letters." The influence of biographies upon your lives you will find of the highest importance. There are other lives than those of purely literary men and women which I should recommend.

You must have become aware of the great value of historical literature in this age. Note what additions it has received from the intellects of such historians as Macaulay, by his "Life of Frederick the Great" and by his "History of England"; as Motley, by his "Dutch Republic"; as Prescott, by his "Ferdinand and Isabella"; as Alison, by his "History of Europe"; as Froude, by his "Life of Caesar." One can hardly be without such valuable reference-books as Green's "History of England," Freeman's various histories, and those included in the Epoch Series. But, before reading any of these works, it would be well to read various essays on how history should be written. There is an article by Macaulay on this subject, very brilliantly written, and truthfully. There are also valuable essays on the same subject by Froude, Freeman, Carlyle, Emerson, Miss Cleveland.

You might profitably combine with this topic of history that of travels. You know works of travel form a large, and certainly a delightful, part of our reading.

You have doubtless noticed the popularity which fiction always receives. It embraces the majority of the books written in this age. Try to study, in a concise way, the development of the novel from the time of Richardson and his immediate followers, and find its most perfect expression in the works of George Eliot, Dickens, Thackeray, Hawthorne. Look a little at the history of the romance previous to this century, beginning, if you like, away back with Thomas Malory's "Morte d'Arthur." Find the best illustration of the romance in Scott. To such a writer as Scott you might add Cooper and Kingsley, though the romance is presented by the last writer in but one powerful book, "Westward, Ho!"— at least, it seems so to me. Novelists always require a very just choice of their works. If you start with a novel of Dickens which does not lead you gradually into an appreciation of his genius, you will throw the book away in disgust. One needs to be particular about the order in which one reads Thackeray, or Scott, or Cooper, or Kingsley, even. I think the same may be said of Hawthorne.

In whatever good novel you read, be as careful to notice the artistic merits of the work, the beauties and graces of its style, as the construction of its story.

If you prefer to study the poetry of this century, you should strive first to gain a knowledge of that which was written in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. You should remark the great changes produced in the minds of writers by the French Revolution, and note the growing love for freedom of opinion and freedom in government; also the increasing love for the natural world. Then you are ready to begin with a programme like this:—

1. A General Survey of Poetry in this Century.

2. The Study of Nature and Man.

3. Wordsworth and his Poetry.

4. The Imaginative,—Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner."

5. The third Lake Poet,—Southey.

6. The History of the Ballad.

7. Campbell.

8. The Narrative,—Scott's Poems.

9. Byron's "Childe Harold."

10. The Melodies of Moore.

11. A Study of the Beautiful,—Keats and Shelley.

12. Various Secondary Poets accomplished in Verse.

13. The Song Writers.

14. The Victorian Era.

15. Tennyson.

16. Woman as Poet,—Mrs. Browning.

17. Humor in Verse,—Hood, Holmes.

18. Poetry in America,—Bryant.

19. Longfellow and Whittier.

20. Lowell and Taylor.

21. Robert Browning.

How delightful it would be to follow a programme which should include only American writers, in either prose or poetry!

Again I feel the necessity of urging you to study these authors for the thought there is in their works, and for the style in which those thoughts are expressed. Make these works text-books and pleasure-books.

If you should wish in a more general way to get acquainted with such specimens of English as combine the best style with the best matter, or with such as present either excellency in thought, or beauty in form, you might find help in the following selections. I have culled their titles, for the most part, from the catalogues of our leading schools and colleges:—

Chaucer's "Clerk's Tale;" Shakespeare's plays, particularly "Julius Caesar," "Merchant of Venice," "Macbeth," and "The Tempest;" Milton's "Paradise Lost" and "Comus;" first five cantos of Spenser's "Faery Queen;" Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" and "She Stoops to Conquer;" Scott's "Lady of the Lake" and "Marmion;" Burns's "Cotter's Saturday Night;" Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner;" Keats' "Eve of St. Agnes;" Lowell's "Vision of Sir Launfal;" Longfellow's "Courtship of Miles Standish" and "Evangeline;" Tennyson's "Princess" and "In Memoriam;" Whittier's "Snow Bound;" Sidney's "Defence of Poesie;" Bacon's Essays; Carlyle's "Burns;" Emerson's "Eloquence;" Macaulay's essay on "Milton;" Thackeray's "Henry Esmond" and "English Humorists;" Dickens's "David Copperfield" and "Tale of Two Cities;" Scott's "Kenilworth" and "The Abbot;" George Eliot's "Silas Marner" and "Romola;" Kingsley's "Westward Ho!"; Irving's "Sketch Book;" Ruskin's "Sesame and Lilies;" Addison's De Coverley papers; "Essays of Elia;" Longfellow's "Hyperion;" Whittier's essay on "The Beautiful;" Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" and "Twice-Told Tales;" Thoreau's "Excursions;" Leigh Hunt's "Wishing Cap Papers;" Arthur Helps's essay "On the Art of Living with Others;" Curtis's "Potiphar Papers;" Prescott's "Last of the Incas;" Motley's "Siege of Leyden." You will observe these names are given without regard to system.

Special topics may offer themselves to your mind without reference to an epoch, as the History of Fiction, the History of the Drama; or it may often be most profitable to study the literature of a certain reign or age,—as the Age of Elizabeth, the Reign of Queen Anne, the Period of the English Reformation, the Revolutionary Period. Another way of studying literature is suggested by those who, having a general knowledge of it, devote their hours of reading chiefly to one author, as, for example, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton. Experience proves to me that the study of a certain number of masterpieces, around which selections of less worth may be grouped, is the most thorough way to proceed.

Intimately connected with the study of literature is the science of rhetoric. By means of it we learn to appreciate good style, we are better fitted to criticise the works we read, and are certainly made better able to correct our own faults in writing. It is indispensable to the study of English literature.

As I have already stated, history and literature are closely connected, yet it is quite possible to study history so that it will have no direct bearing upon literature.

It would be an agreeable task to map out here courses in history; but the work has been so admirably done by Professor Charles K. Adams, there is really no need of any suggestions except such as are found in his "Manual of Historical Literature." In this work you will find the names and descriptions of all the books required to get a knowledge of any historical subject. The author has also given definite courses of reading on historical subjects, including in his plan all valuable works which border upon the subjects.

In history, as in literature, the most attractive and thorough way of studying is by epochs. In this connection, the little histories known as the "Epoch Series" are most valuable. The books are divided into the two general classes of ancient and modern history. Each work attempts to give a picture of an important epoch, and to faithfully discuss the period. The series pertaining to modern history includes "The Normans and the Feudal System," "The Crusades," "The Beginning of the Middle Ages," "The Early Plantagenets," "Edward the III.," "The Era of the Protestant Revolution," "The Thirty Years' War," "The Houses of Lancaster and York," "The Age of Elizabeth," "The Fall of the Stuarts," "The Puritan Revolution," "The Age of Anne," "Frederick the Great."

I should study these subjects, and group about them such works, in history, biography, fiction, or poetry, as Professor Adams suggests.

I have not selected for special remark literature, rhetoric, and history because you are girls. If this were so, I should have followed the dictates of society, and added the study of languages. Young women and young men need no particular educational differences. It has been proved that girls are as capable of excelling in any study as boys are. Let me quote to you the following:—

"A very common belief is, that women, even when studious, are rather literary than scientific. Statistics prove either that they are changing in this regard, or that the notion is erroneous. The great majority of women at the universities of Zurich and Geneva study not letters, but science and medicine. M. Ernest Legouve reported in a recent competition for fellowships in the University of France, 'The papers of the scientific candidates were greatly superior to those of letters. This result contradicts a very general opinion, which I myself have strongly supported, that scientific studies—the abstract sciences and mathematics—must hold a subordinate place in women's education, because they are incompatible with the nature of the female intellect. We have been mistaken.' In England, Miss Ormerod has distinguished herself by her observations on insect life. Very recently a paper was read before the Mathematical Society of London by Mrs. Bryant, Sc.D., on the geometrical form of perfectly regular cell structure, illustrated by models of cube and rhombic dodecahedron. In another section, Mme. Traube Mengarini studies the function of the brain in fishes; while, in our own country, Mrs. Treat and others have made valuable progress in scientific research." [Footnote: Graphic.]



Commonplace! Why, what is commonplace? Were it not better to call all things ordinary, or else nothing common? I suppose the pyramids are commonplace to the Egyptians, and St. Peter's to the Romans, drawing forth no words of wonder unless on special occasions; just as the stars, in their thronging pilgrimage across the sky, elicit no remarks from us, unless one falls out of the procession; and just as the dawn comes to us unfolding the new day without our ever greeting it, unless it be heralded with pomp of crimson and gold. Travel over the world, make your path a belt around the earth, visit all that is wonderful, and see all races of people,—do this without ever thinking deeply on the objects presented to sight or mind, and all things will become commonplace, unsatisfactory, dull, dronish.

Believe me, girls, there is nothing commonplace that is worth thinking about. And, pray, has God made any object which is not worth a thought?

Are you living in a city, girls, surrounded by opportunities for improving your mental faculties; blessed by association with persons of refinement; favored with that peculiar culture which only great cities can freely offer in their art-galleries, their museums, their lecture-rooms; and stimulated to do good to the poor about your streets? You are, indeed, favored: your lot is an enviable one.

Do you live out of town, and quite removed from the attractions of a metropolis? Ah! your home, then, is under clearer skies, which the city artists can only imitate; you live amidst the decorations which highest Nature imparts but to country landscapes. Without the especial occupations of city life, you escape its rush and tumult. You are being taught by slower, yet as attractive, methods, the grand lessons of life. The instruction which comes from woods and streams and hills, and the intercourse which arises among hearty country people, are more thorough and more cordial than the brick walls and hurrying crowds of a city can afford. Your chances for even aesthetic culture are not to be despised. Though you see fewer objects of art, listen to fewer men of genius, perhaps are obliged to be less among books, you learn to know the artistic works more truly, you appreciate the lecture more fully, and you remember the books you read longer.

Is your home by the ocean, on some sterile length of sand or rock, and amongst sea-faring people? Still, you are girls to be envied; for the sea has grand thoughts to tell you, and the rocks are full of meaning. The bracing air, the salt breeze, the impetuous beat of the sea, must arouse energy within you which even the heat of summer cannot wholly allay. Surely, the hospitable, the generous-hearted, people of your town must prove to you the worth of intercourse with them.

Considering, now, the position of a girl in her home, in society, in the world, I suppose we must make the confession that a large part of the discontent we have found among girls has arisen from dissatisfaction with their positions. Her resources, her industries, her pleasures, are all too narrow for her, the girl complains. Now, my dear girls, just think one moment! Isn't it rather your ignorance of your surroundings, your lack of effort to find out everything good and joyful in them, which have made you discontented? Don't you think you may be looking for something above your heads which really lies under your hands? Have you made the most of what you already possess? When one has seen England and France, then one is seized with an ardent desire to visit Germany, Italy, Russia, and Spain. When a girl has a watch, she feels a great longing for a diamond. The means of gratifying one wish are the surest passports to another wish. Oh, yes! it is well to be dissatisfied sometimes. It is never quite right to be fully contented, after a noble endeavor; but do let us stop, now and then, to see if our present condition, and what it brings to us, have not something in them as good as the future can offer.

Would it not be a good rule to make, never to get a new book till we have read the last one we bought; not to look at the second picture in the gallery till we have some idea of the first we see; not to climb Mount Washington till we have had the view from the hills in our own neighborhood?

But I suppose you think that persons, rather than objects, are commonplace,—that even some girls are so? Well, it may be you have the truth on your side; but I should as soon think of commonplace flowers, or gems, or rainbows, as of commonplace girls. You remark, "Oh, she is very ordinary, is not at all interesting! She is neither cultured, rich, stylish, nor pretty. She is stupid!" Ah, girls, girls, do you really know what she is, or what she may become? A girl commonplace! Suppose she is not lively, is not fond of parties, does not use slang appropriately at all, is utterly ignorant of the last freak of fashion, and hardly knows whether her skirt is draped or plain; suppose she has, on the whole, a rather forlorn appearance, being pitifully unconscious of what is unbecoming in dress, or gait, or habit; suppose, in fact, she does not at once show you she has any special faculty,— well, I have seen such a girl win a prejudiced person completely, and show that, though it cost patience to get acquainted with her, the acquaintance was worth every effort. A girl of this kind often takes us by surprise, and proves reliable in an emergency. Something remarkable is done, and we want to know who did it! We are amazed when we hear in answer the name of some quiet girl of whom we had never thought much, and we exclaim, "Why, I did not know she could do any thing! Where did she ever get the courage? I didn't know she had a speck of brains, or heart, or any kind of faculty,—no brilliancy to her!"

Yes, girls, it must be charming to be brilliant, to be apt at repartee, to scatter bright remarks among a company as a queen scatters largess among the throngs on coronation day, to have a following in society who are like ladies in waiting. Oh, it must be delightful, for a while, to be a society heroine! You know just such a girl. She leads a dozen in her steps, and her remarks are quoted whenever the dozen are together. Ah, she is so much admired! The way in which she lets a stray look hang down over her forehead, the becoming toss of her head, the coquettish raising of her eyes, the shrug of her shoulders, the ring of her laugh,—the way she does every thing with her pretty face, her graceful form,—is so lovely! She is such a very "bright" girl too! Yes, "bright" is the word now used to distinguish one who is in appearance somewhat more than the average person.

But, girls, why not say that your friend is pretty, graceful, good-natured; that she dresses becomingly, is rather cultivated in her tastes; that she is confident of herself, and a little conceited and imperious; that she is quick, and ready with somewhat pert answers; and that she is seen at her best in society?

In spite of frowns and closed ears, girls, I am going to insist that all the attractions of a brilliant, or outwardly beautiful, girl are as nothing compared with the attractions of character which spring from many a plain, modest, quiet girl. Are you to wear your choicest attributes as you do your clothes? A sure, strong arm in danger, a gentle word in sorrow, an honest bit of counsel in doubt, courage in times of trial, hearty praise in periods of endeavor,—all qualities which have their origin in noble character,—you will come to feel are infinitely better than brilliancy. You will appreciate them in those from whom external beauty has departed, or you will recognize the loveliness of these characteristics in the ever-living beauty which the soul draws upon faces otherwise plain and homely. Cultivate that power of insight which will enable you to look beyond eyes and nose and mouth into the heart and soul of your friends: then you will see beauty indeed, then you will know how precious and how beautiful a woman's mind and a woman's character is. Then you will understand how the poet writes her song, how the artist paints her rose, how the musician meets out harmonies, how the teacher makes truth attractive. More than this—much more than this—will come from insight. When you have learned to look for inner beauty you will learn to make it your own. Behind your lovely faces and your beautiful forms there will be nourished the loftiest ideality of womanhood, which will make you not only comprehend the worth of another, but will help you to interpret all that is best and loveliest everywhere. It's very sweet to us to recall that such women as Alice and Phoebe Cary, Helen Hunt, Mrs. Browning, and Jean Ingelow were able to express in words such beautiful thoughts as could arise only from beautiful souls; but it is dearer yet to remember that women, whose numbers cannot be counted, are living those thoughts by daily acts. Learn to lift the cover from the casket of a woman's soul and you shall see jewels that never yet have been exposed to the glance of one who looks for them in sparkling eyes, in glowing cheeks, and radiant hair. If there is any thing most sweet and lovely, any thing which ought to distinguish one girl from another, it is character.

I wish, as a favor to your friend who now talks with you in print, since she cannot speak with you face to face,—I wish you would read an essay on "The Beautiful," to be found among the prose works of Whittier. There is such delicate admiration of womanliness in it; there is so much encouragement, so much love of that beauty which shows itself in character, rather than in form and presence; there is such an emphasis put to the truth that from the purity of our own minds and hearts come our knowledge of the beautiful, and our ability to find the beautiful everywhere. "'Handsome is that handsome does!—hold up your heads, girls!'... Be good, be womanly, be gentle, generous in your sympathies, heedful of the well-being of all around you; and, my word for it, you will not lack kind words of admiration. ... Every mother's daughter of you can be beautiful. You can envelop yourselves in an atmosphere of moral and intellectual beauty, through which your otherwise plain faces will look forth like those of angels. Beautiful to Ledyard, stiffening in the cold of a northern winter, seemed the diminutive, smoke-stained women of Lapland, who wrapped him in their furs, and ministered to his necessities with kindness and gentle words of compassion. Lovely to the homesick heart of Park seemed the dark maids of Sego, as they sung their low and simple song of welcome beside his bed, and sought to comfort the white stranger who had 'no mother to bring him milk, and no wife to grind him corn.' Oh, talk as we may of beauty as a thing to be chiselled from marble, or wrought out on canvas!... what is it but an intellectual abstraction, after all? The heart feels a beauty of another kind. Looking through the outward environment, it discovers a deeper and more real loveliness."

Girls are so often afraid of the commonplace in people that they will not marry unless some one, with a true or false claim to distinction, offers himself. We have seen quite a company of girls charmed with the "de" or the "von" attached to a man's name. Every foreign capital can show its scores of American girls who have made themselves ridiculous by giving up property, home, American ideas, and American ways,—alas! by giving up much that stands for character,—for the sake of marrying a "pendant to a moustache," said moustache belonging to a worn-out title, and being in need of money to keep its ends waxed. Why, girls, just think! a hundred thousand dollars for the privilege of being called the wife of Monsieur le Comte de Rien, and of living, eventually, in an attic on the outskirts of Paris!

Why is it that if a young man has not certain points of distinction in the way he combs his hair, wears his collar, or affects the English gentleman, some of the girls hesitate about receiving his attentions?

If they do finally accept his kindness, they feel obliged to excuse his commonplace appearance, and exclaim to their friends apologetically, "But, then, he is really good at heart, you know, and very agreeable!" Oh, pride is a valuable characteristic sometimes, but is one of the worst of evils when it tries to despise the ordinary.

Do you not think we should all be happier, girls, if we took more time to appreciate the commonplace? I have observed in the lives of great naturalists, that not only the stone which all other builders had rejected became the head of the corner in their temple of knowledge, but that the most patient observation of simplest things was the material out of which the edifice was made. Thoreau wanted to account for the fact that when a pine grove is cut down an oak forest often grows up; so he went, each year, to visit a pine lot in Concord. In his earliest observations he could see nothing except pines; but, burrowing around in the leaf-mould, he found, at last, tiny oaks an inch or two high. Year after year he visited the grove; still he could observe no special growth of the oaks. Finally the grove was cut down. Up sprang the tiny oaks, and flourished in the light and sunshine now freely admitted to them. Thick and tall, they grew into a very forest, and the pines had never a chance to rise up and crowd them out. Do you think the naturalist's search stopped then? Oh, no! He next found out how the tiny oaks came among the pines; he inquired into the habits of squirrels as planters, into the character of winds and birds as farmers and bundle-boys; and was at length able to account for the succession of our forest trees.

The commonplace will never advance to meet us; but have faith in its intrinsic merit, look for beauty, and you will find it. Could you predict that from the plants lying in the stagnant pool such a perfect flower as a lily would spring? If you were passing a low, thatched cottage made of rough stone, its only pretence being a coat of whitewash, would you guess it held a poet? And, if you were riding along in a horse-car, interested only in the foreign-looking faces and the remarkable clothes, would you be likely to know that a great philanthropist sat beside you? No, not unless you had learned to observe more wisely than most girls; and not unless you had found out the noble worth of certain ordinary men and women whose faces are not pictured in books, nor raised on medallions.

How cautious we ought to be in forming our judgments! Have you never made the mistake of replying carelessly to one whom you thought was stupid, but whom you discovered to be a person of marked ability? The older we grow, the more we are amazed at our lack of good sense in framing an opinion of those whom we meet. We are so frequently surprised at what persons do or become, we feel we can never be sure that any one is common, or of the every-day sort. We almost believe Novalis speaks the truth when he says, "We touch Heaven when we touch a human body." Let us remember then, girls, not to trust our first impressions. In forming our judgments let us be very sure our knowledge is sufficient to tell which are the sheep and which are the goats, before we begin to separate them.

Just once more let me insist on the necessity of training the observation for enjoyment of the commonplace. We call things stupid, dronish, monotonous, because our faculties are not sufficiently exercised to see any other qualities in them. Do you not suppose an artist sees more in a birch swamp than we do? Is not even he likelier to be successful in painting new wonders in the commonplace than in trying to show objects we seldom see?

Have you never noticed Albrecht Durer's drawing of Praying Hands? Look at a photograph of it, please. Is it not wonderful? We cannot describe all the feeling those hands suggest. If you had passed them on the street, you would not have noticed them, unless to remark that they were grimy, perhaps, or lean. The great German artist saw them folded in prayer, and heard all the language of a despairing soul as it came out in the expression of those hands,—wonderful hands, "instinct with spirit." Look at them again, girls.

We talked about commonplace duties when we spoke of work. Let me repeat here that life is made up of commonplace deeds. We do not have great national disturbances every day; and the surest proof that we have greater need of common events rather than startling ones, ordinary duties rather than extraordinary, is, that the moment we scorn an ordinary occurrence, or omit a daily duty, we find ourselves and every one else miserable, for a while, at least. We are stopping a part of the machinery necessary to human happiness. Let us not despise the lowliest duties. George Macdonald, the writer who has given strength to the souls of so many people, was contented to write, "If I can put one touch of a rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God."

Do you begin to think, girls, I would have you always prosaic, plodding, self-satisfied, unambitious? Oh, no! do not understand me so. Why, I believe that even dreaming about doing, and seeing, and having things is sometimes very helpful, and not at all inconsistent with the commonplace. It is almost necessary for some people to build air-castles. They get more real pleasure in them than they would from real castles on the Rhine, the Danube, or along the rivers of sunny France. Have you never read Curtis's "Prue and I"?

Ah, how beautiful it is to be dreaming about a future, though it may never come true!—to be floating on the sunset tide of Venice; to be journeying over the passes of the Alps in summer, and always approaching Mount Blanc; to be resting by the fountain in Alhambra's Court of Lions; to be gazing at the Sistine Madonna in Dresden, or at the Ascension in the Vatican; to be dosing in an orange grove in southern California; to be awed by the deep canons of the Colorado, or to be filled with the sublimity of the Yosemite!

How glorious to be dreaming of what we will do when we are women with wills and purses all our own!—with long rows of books in our libraries, elegant pictures in our drawing-rooms, and oh! such beautiful boudoirs, all, all of our own; or, at least, a room which shall be a sanctum sanctorum, where the fire on the hearth never smoulders, and where loving friends, beautiful mementos, and peaceful thoughts make us always happy. How fine to fancy longings achieved, and present desires gratified!

All dreams, yes; but they do sometimes come out better than true. The only thing wiser than dreaming is doing,—working in such a way as to bring the distant near, and getting out of the veriest commonplaces the joy we fancied lay only in the future, in other lands, or only in dreams.

Build castles and dwellings out of the commonplace, and you shall see them shine with splendor, and glow with beauties which can never be exhausted. She alone is rich who has estates in her soul.



Blues, dumps, megrims, odd spells,—do they ever visit you? Drive them out of doors; chase them down the yard, over the fence, up the tree, till they go riding off on their own broomsticks, or vanish in thin air! If ever they come tapping on your window-pane again, don't open the casement; but turn your backs, stop up your ears, laugh as loud as you can, then seize the first piece of work which waits to be done. These demons are afraid of a laugh; and when they have the least suspicion that a smile wreathes the lips of a mortal, they will slink away and coil up in remote corners. They are equally alarmed by work, because it puts an armor of steel all over their opponents. This coat of mail is absolutely impenetrable, though blue imps should hurl their arrows of torture forever.

But, beware! Do not stop to think work and good cheer will put these creatures to flight. Sing your song, laugh your laugh, and make work, if none is at hand. Then only will these poor miserable prowlers shrivel up and crawl under ground.

What are gloomy moods good for? What are they not bad for? Why are we always making excuse for entertaining such company? If we are ashamed of them, let's send them packing, as we would any disreputable visitors, such as cheats, biting dogs, or poisonous insects.

How weak is our apology for enduring moods, when we blame some person, long since dead, for handing down to us an inheritance of megrims! We need not accept such a legacy, though of course we must fight very hard to resist its allurements. It may be convenient enough to censure inheritance for this or that oddity. Our grandmothers had strange moods,—spoke to people on some days and did not speak on other days,—so we have diligently doubled our bequest, and have spells odder yet,—find our friends quite delightful for a week or more, and then as distasteful for a still longer time.

The patrimony of evil can be, and will be, shamefully increased with every new generation, if good sense, sound principles, and a cheerful heart do not constantly defend the right and strive to annihilate inheritance. I am not going to discuss this matter of inheritance, girls, for there is much in it not well for us to consider at present. We are simply to remember to preserve and increase the good left us, and fight to the utmost all evil that may have come from ancestry. Every girl has peculiar forms of temptation; and what is hard for one to resist is easy for another to repel, because to the latter it is no temptation. If moods, grim moods, are worth any thing to us, they are simply worth conquering,—merely valuable for the strength we get from their defeat.

Plainly, it is our selfishness, our indulgence, our idleness, our vanity, which make us allow such wretched company within our walls.

See what wily creatures the blues are!—full of conceit! They grow powerful while looking at us. They are like those little wood creatures which can take the hue of the tree on which they rest, so that for a long time we do not perceive them. They sit beside us by hundreds when we fancy we are alone; and change their colors and their wheedling tones to suit our inclinations, while they pour into our ears deceitful whisperings that the world is all wrong, and we are all right,—the vile flatterers! They paint all our surroundings with dark colors, make all our pictures Mater Dolorosas or St. Sebastians, turn all our music into requiems, and all our books into Stygian epics.

I cannot think there is any thing much more destructive to human happiness than the blues. I wonder how they ever came by their name? It must have arisen from the weirdness of the tempest, from the changing hues of the snake's skin and the lizard's back, from the blue of sharp steel, from lighted brimstone, and from driving sleet.

Now, girls, why do you, of all people in the world, allow yourselves to be mastered by freaks? Do you not have troubles? Of course you do,—real troubles, which are full of pain and discouragement. Your feelings are so acute, you are so susceptible, I do not see why a sorrow should not be deep with you. But with your vigor, your pure affection, your generous impulses, with all the future before you in which to keep on trying, I cannot understand why you should hug such a phantom as a mood. Just think again how dangerous gloomy moods are,—how bold! Why, with the least hint at an invitation, they will come in, not for a call, nor for one meal, but to stay and stay,—the impudent creatures! And such despoilers as they are while they remain! They eat you out of house and home, they even take away your own appetite,—the harpies! They make you cross,—yes, ugly. They bring frowns, tears, and age into your faces, and they banish all loveliness to the ends of the earth. Oh, do not let them in!

When you come home tired out, your energy all gone, your patience exhausted, why,—rest. Do not think you are desolate, that everybody has deserted you, and that fate, destiny, grim despair, are all after you. You are tired and need to go to bed, or to engage in some light talk which will rest you but at the same time occupy you. Read the newspaper, build aircastles, hope with all the combined powers of your fancy. If the clouds of misfortune pile up, and it pours bad luck,—mother scolds because you did not sweep your room carefully; father threatens because of an approach to familiarity with the new young man over the way; brother frets because his stockings are not well darned; lessons all went wrong in the morning; your best friend said a careless word to you; you have broken the main-spring of your watch, and spilt coffee on your new dress,—why, these are all trifles! I know a good many bad trifles coming together are worse than a misfortune; but the best way to prevent them from bringing on dejection is to let in such a flood of light and determined cheerfulness as to drown out despair.

Mr. Emerson, in an essay on "Behavior," tells a capital story about a man who was so bent on being cheerful he put to shame the torments of hell itself. "It is related of the monk Basle, that, being excommunicated by the Pope, he was, at his death, sent in charge of an angel to find a fit place of suffering in hell; but, such was the eloquence and good humor of the monk, that wherever he went he was received gladly, and civilly treated, even by the most uncivil angels; and, when he came to discourse with them, instead of contradicting or forcing him, they took his part, and adopted his manners, and even good angels came from far to see him, and take up their abode with him. The angel that was sent to find a place of torment for him attempted to remove him to a worse pit, but with no better success; for such was the contented spirit of the monk, that he found something to praise in every place and company, though in hell, and made a kind of heaven of it. At last the escorting angel returned with his prisoner to them that sent him, saying that no phlegethon could be found that would burn him; for that, in whatever condition, Basle remained incorrigibly Basle. The legend says his sentence was remitted, and he was allowed to go into heaven, and was canonized as a saint."

Do not give away one day to despair: better lose it in idleness. When friends seem careless of you, when poverty encroaches, when suffering ensues from wrongs others have done, when sickness or any kind of calamity besets you, and when you are hunted to the verge of gloom, cling to the ropes which hope suspends about you, and they will surely pull you back from the abyss. These trials all have their uses.

And, pray, be mindful of the way you look at things. Do not try to see evil: have on your kind eyes, magnify every dot of goodness. "In all things throughout the world, the men who, look for the crooked will see the crooked, and the men who look for the straight will see the straight." [Footnote: Ruskin.] Try especially to see what is good in your own lot. If you have not fine carpets, luxurious chairs, fresh bouquets every morning, remember you can better appreciate a cane- seated rocker when you are tired, a well-swept floor which has a rug or two, and a single flower purchased with well-earned money.

As I suggested in the beginning, work is as sure a cure for dejection as cheerfulness is. Why, I have seen one hour's solid labor eat up all the blue tribe which had been hatching and hatching by millions. Sometime will you read from Carlyle's "Past and Present" his chapters on work, particularly that on "Labor and Reward"? Mr. Carlyle has written much that is unintelligible to most readers. He has a very grotesque, volcanic style not good to imitate. He is often sad and hopeless about the human race, but he knew from hard experience what work could do against despair. So, in spite of his ravings, notwithstanding his eruptive style, and his sorrow for what is, he has given us, in a masterly piece of prose, this noble "Gospel of Work."

His sentences, alive with enthusiasm, and terrible in their seriousness, contain great reaches of thought, poetry, prophecy, like that of the ancients; and all are full of the praises and rewards of labor. "Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work! Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like hell-dogs lie beleaguering the soul of the poor day-worker, as of every man; but he bends himself with free valor against his task, and all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring far off into their caves. The man is now a man. The blessed glow of labor in him, is it not as purifying fire, wherein all poison is burnt up, and of sour smoke itself there is made bright, blessed flame!" "Doubt of any kind can be ended by action alone."

What makes us blame the weather so much for our moods, girls? The day is gray everywhere,—in the skies, on the trees, in the air, on the ground,—and gray in us therefore. Ah! but these gray colors are beautiful, even in November and December. In their variety they are soft and shimmering on the tree branches, a slightly ruddy gray on the branchlets, and a serener gray on the tree trunks. Overhead, even when a storm is gathering in the sky, there are the colors of the moonstone tinting into silver, and shading into pearl and blue. On the ground are delicate wood-colors,—umbers, siennas, greens toned down to gray. The atmosphere, from its lack of sunlight, only sets off the more visibly beautiful forms of trees and branches.

No, the day is not moody: we are. We are not in harmony with her, but have arrayed our-selves against her. "When we are at one with Nature we have great peace; when fretted and unmindful of her presence, we are irritated, and out of our true element." In our megrims we have found something whose defenceless condition we think ought to bear the burden of our misery.

Well for you the weather affords a chance for an excuse; for a moody girl on a bright June morning, when all Nature is radiant with beauty, is the veriest parody on life,—worse than that, a sad mockery.

If you are very sensitive, do not censure yourselves too severely, nor foster distrust; for the latter is worse for you than self-conceit.

Be sure to make the blues as dangerous as possible; be always mindful of their direful attacks.

Some one asks me, just here, if she is never to feel serious? Of course she is to have very thoughtful hours! The merely gay, happy-go-lucky kind of a girl is not the most helpful, nor the most valuable. There is very deep happiness sometimes in thoughtfulness,—do you not know it? What makes you quiet when you row in and out of the shadow-filled coves along the river-border, or when you drift among the islands purple with sunset light? What makes you want to shut your eyes, and to throw away the mask of seeming, when some one sings the song you love? and what makes you feel a kind of dead, low, dreadful pause, when the reader's voice ceases, and the story conies to an end? Are you moody? No; only resting. Your being is suspended in thought,—thought so serious yet so delicate, so subtle, you cannot weave it into words. Sometimes, to be sure, a girl who is determined to be morbid will distort such serene feelings into moodiness; but, then, these sudden spells of dejection are only distantly related to the real blue urchins.

Perhaps, girls, it will be better for you if you make up your minds early in life that your lot will probably be about like that of the average girl,—that trouble must come, and even a skeleton must hang and gibber behind your door; but that, be the skeleton what it may, you will nail the door back on the unsightly thing, clothe it in some decent garments, and make it as respectable as possible in its niche, since it must stay with you. Events, decrees, circumstances, will not change for just you and me; but we can change ourselves, and so defeat them. Do not mind untoward circumstances. "Seize hold of God's hand, and look full in the face of His creation, and there is nothing He will not enable you to achieve." A crust with contentment is better than a pudding with the bitter sauce of discontent.

Oh, I know, girls, it sounds very much like dull preaching. But, really, do we enjoy moods? Do we have any respect for ourselves while in them? Aren't we always trying to blame some one else? Shocking business, hunting up scape-goats!

Just see how you look when you have given place to these evils. You respect beauty: you would resent any criticism on your personal appearance at a party; but if one should truly describe how careless, how unmindful of beauty in looks or beauty in disposition, how ugly you are, when in this deplorably moody state, you would shun your very self, and want to get out of your body somehow. You watch a girl who has an attack of the megrims. She seems to hang from her shoulders, or thereabouts; her nimbleness is gone; her muscles seem flabby; she reels more than she walks; she picks up a book to let it fall down; she will not look her neighbor in the face; the meaning has all gone out of her eyes; her mouth is the only expressive feature; her lips are either tightly pressed or curled in scorn; there is a don't-care look all over her, and it lurks in the folds of her dress, in her slouching hat, her unbuttoned coat, and in her shambling gait.

Sometimes the picture is quite the reverse. The muscles seem tense and powerful. The eye is set and firm, ferocious in fullness. The step is quick and heavy. The strength is doubled, and every object has to yield to the ugliness which attacks it. The form appears to gather passion more and more with each hour, till, at last, full of violence, the human frame sways, heaves, and the girl breaks her mood into a flood of scalding tears. The contest is fierce while it lasts. It is dreadful to see beauty put on such deformity, but let us be thankful it is soon over. If the lightning does not strike anywhere, perhaps all will be clearer after the storm.

These violent squalls are not to be compared with those periods of long, low mutterings, nor with those seasons of painful silence, hours of uncertainty, which at times cloud so many girls. Why, the moods of some persons are like yellow days, dark days, and judgment days. A girl shuts herself up for an afternoon, for a day, for two days A stone sepulchre is all about her, and she only reaches out of it when she wants bread and water. She, herself, does not seem to be in her body: she is a ghost. When we pass by her tomb-like body, perhaps a head will nod to us, or lips will mutter monosyllables. If our dress touches her garments we feel like begging pardon, A kind of horror and at the same time a sort of pity invade us, yet we are paralyzed and cannot help her. I hardly think the word is employed by lexicographers with this meaning, and I apologize for using the expression; but this kind of an odd spell is what I call smudging.

It seems so strange that a girl can use her will so powerfully about controlling others, and yet remain herself the dupe of an unkind mood. To be sure, there are causes for ill-humor arising nearly every day,— ill-health, poverty, sorrow, cares that haunt and harrow, unaccomplished desires, ungratified longings; but the indulgence of dejection, the lack of resistance to a mood, only increase hardship. How is the doctor to help your body, if you do not help your spirits? How are your surroundings to be improved, if you do not go to work? How are you to get work, if you do not seek it, and try with all your might to find it? How is trouble to be lessened or endured, if from it we do not reach to higher, nobler living? The way out of trouble is not through despair. Hope unlocks the temple doors, Despair rusts the keys. Each must know her own anxieties best; but the trials of all, we shall sometime see, are but bitter on the outside, sweet and nourishing within. Believe in the sometime.



There is something in woman fascinating to woman herself, and something in a girl irresistibly attractive to a girl herself. Mere words being unsufficient to express the emotion caused by this charm, a girl makes use of a large force of ejaculations, utters her indescribable "Oh's!" and "Ah's!" in every variety of crescendo and diminuendo, and emphasizes her pitch with gestures that point her meaning, till not the slightest doubt exists that she has been impressed by something wonderful. She does not know, indeed, just what it is that makes Sallie Henderson so delightful; but "Oh, she is per-fect-ly lovely!—too sweet for any thing!" Now I think the quality which so attracts is womanliness, the most desirable of all the gifts a girl is permitted to cultivate. All the littlenesses in the social customs of girls; all their raw, untrained, ungenerous acts, their indulgences, their prejudices, are the weak and despised signs of unwomanliness.

Womanliness is not primness, let me be understood. The straight, smooth hair, the folded hands, the demure face and exact deportment from ten years of age to eighty, do not always indicate womanliness; nor does the attempt to turn young girls into elderly women produce it. So many patchwork quilts, so many hand-stitched shirt-bosoms, so many worsted stockings, made before a girl is fourteen, are so many quilts, bosoms, and stockings more than she will make when she is forty. Hours for sewing, for helping in the home, for studying, are necessary to even children, because industry, patience, application, and system must be encouraged in earliest years; but the hours girls spend in the house doing things neatly and in order, as their grandmothers did before them, ought to be balanced by hearty exercise in the fresh air, by seasons of mirth, and by freedom from restraint. The out-of-door exercise, the gayety, the deliverance from tasks, are quite as necessary for older girls as for younger ones.

There is a value to be placed on the very trappings of girlhood which do not in the least interfere with womanliness. At sixteen or eighteen, perhaps at twenty, a girl can toss a jaunty little felt hat upon her head, pin it in a twinkling above her wayward hair, tie on a bit of blue or red somewhere about her blouse, tuck in her handkerchief in a pardonable way, brush her short walking-skirt into becoming folds, tie up her tennis shoes, and there she is in five minutes, prettier, fresher, more becomingly dressed than all the older women of the household, who have been standing before the mirror trying this effect and that for the last hour. Ask a girl how she does it, how she manages to make her hat bend down and up, and in and out, in all kinds of alluring ways, and she does not know,—it belongs to girls to do such things. Of course it does! Whatever they do must be bewilderingly charming sometimes, because they are girls. You know, when we buy choice roses from the gardener, we are always particular to select those just approaching blossom. A delicacy, and yet a richness of color and fragrance are upon them; a brightness and yet a tenderness in tone,—the bloom is there more soft and beautiful than in the fully opened rose. That bloom and color, that tenderness and dreamy softness, that richness and freshness, are yours, dear girls.

Yes, indeed! there is something charming in a girl simply because she is a girl. It is in the ring of her laugh, in her irony, in her frankness or her coyness, in the way she does the commonest things,— puts on her scarf, or catches hold of your arm,—things that only too soon disappear in conventionalities, ceremonies, and proprieties. But there is no need of this change as concerns much that is now called only girlish. The womanly element is the main quality to be nourished into greater perfection, but only the weakness of girlishness is to be excluded from character. Girls are to grow wiser, and to avoid what must bring harm, but still to keep the attractive freshness of maidenhood. Some of the most delightful women we meet are those who can be girls with girls, and women with women. The young do not lose their respect for them because they appreciate them, nor do elders lessen their regard for these women because they have kept the loveliness of girlhood.

Girls, I am not trying to defend you: your girlhood needs no such effort; but I do want to make you all feel that the very sweetness of your natures, the loveliness of your lives and conduct, your attractive grace, which ought to strengthen with years and become something more than beautiful,—become divine,—is womanliness.

God did not make all the girls beautiful, strong, or intellectual; but He did make them all capable of becoming womanly. You may well doubt this ability the next time you see an intelligent and pretty girl avoid the glance of a former friend who is now miserable and weak; and you may question its very existence in the wretched and outcast one. Ah! but who can judge, or even know, the inner life of one's past acquaintances? It is not for you, nor for me, to slight, to scorn, to condemn the fallen. Of this we are sure,—that no beauty, no intelligence, can compare with womanliness; and that no girl, weak and wicked as she may be, is utterly lost to a return to womanliness. May I here appeal to you, dear girls, to hasten this return? May I urge you not to slight even the sinful? As you are girls with most precious endowments, remember to encourage the growth of these gifts in other girls. Then will womanhood seem even more blessed than now,— when girls defend it and purify it. A girl may have all the privileges that a boy has; a woman, all the rights that a man now has in excess,—pray, do not let us stand in the way of such favors!—but the fact remains that "woman is not undeveloped man, but diverse"; and the one thing she owes to the world, to herself, to her Maker, is a reverence for her own sex. Girls, I repeat, you cannot sufficiently realize your obligations to your own kind. Because you are girls and not boys, women and not men, oh, try to be loyal to girls and women! Pay homage to womanhood; adorn it, place sacrifices upon its altars, rejoice in unceasing service to it, exalt it by every worthy endeavor!

This reverence for woman is the first and truest step towards womanliness. When this has not been taken, and a girl is therefore unkind to her social inferiors out of fear of what rumor will say,—"the fume of little hearts,"—I blush for an indecent girlhood, and I grieve for an unpromising, unchristian womanhood. We know that encouragement, not intimacy, the gentle rebuke of a bow or a greeting, are more helpful to arouse the sparks of womanliness than the cold stare or averted head. Next to the respect of woman for woman, comes the regard of woman for man,—a deference (when physical, mental, or spiritual strength in man demand) that is due from her who, constituted differently, has greater power to pay respect and gratitude, to honor and love. Gentlemanly boys and men have a right to expect you to be refined, courteous, agreeable towards them in all the ways of ladyhood,—not that they are your superiors, but your helpers: made after a different pattern, but still your sincere friends.

The womanly in girls implies the lady, no doubt, more than the manly in man indicates the gentleman. We ought always to find in girls that gentleness and delicacy of manner, that minute attention to the comforts of others, that visible respect towards others, so agreeable and so refining in all circles. Marguerite de Valois wrote, "Gentleness, cheerfulness, and urbanity are the Three Graces of manners." I believe they bear a close relation to ladylike deportment.

All can acquire these habits of politeness and attention to others, though they come not with ease to those of us whom unfavorable surroundings continually influence. A woman in an almshouse, a girl serving a ship's crew, can be a lady and not cost her masters more, though her efforts cost her much.

But, valuing all that constitutes a lady, believing that these gentle graces are necessary to every girl, I believe the ladylike is but a part of true womanliness,—that infinitely precious, indescribable something in woman that makes her royal by birth, queen of herself, and fit to occupy the throne that is placed beside the king's throne,— not higher, not lower, but beside it; not his, but like his; her own, from which, with equal though with differing eye, she looks in blessing on the world.

Oh, how, girls, shall we get this womanliness into our characters, or, rather, how shall we make it shine out of them? If we stop to think once in a while what it is, if we remember that it is unassuming as it is beautiful, and only waits for our acquaintance, we shall the sooner embrace it. And then, if we are reminded that it does not despise common things, lowly homes, simple pleasures, any more than it does benevolent acts, patient lives, and ordinary toils, we shall oftener be found cherishing it. Let us remember that womanliness is in our elders,—women like Susan Winstanley, of whom "Elia" tells in "Modern Gallantry." You know she was cold toward her lover, and when asked why, she replied she was perfectly willing to receive his compliments and devotion, as was her right; but that, just before he came to pay his regards, she had overheard him roughly rating a young woman who had not been quite prompt with his cravats, and she thought what a simple change of place might have caused, and said, "I was determined not to accept any fine speeches to the compromise of that sex the belonging to which was, after all, my strongest claim and title to them."

Let us remember that womanliness is in all the motherliness we see in our mothers; that it is in all the sacrifices and noble deeds of silent women, as well as in those of celebrated women, like Elizabeth Fry or Mrs. Browning; that it is in the acts of all those who make the ordinary home "like the shadow of a rock in a weary land," and a "light as of a Pharos in the stormy sea." If we are impressed with the remembrance that womanliness is in such and such characters, we shall try harder to imitate them; we shall be more thankful we are women, and more grateful that it belongs to us especially to impart what man lacks, and what he must depend on us to supply.

Here, again, I want to emphasize the fact that womanliness does not require a girl to abandon merriment, vigorous exercise of the body, or brain, or heart, freedom in sports, and "a jolly good time." But let us have every thing in its place. Kid-gloved hands in a huckleberry pasture, or on a row-boat, would be as unbecoming to a girl, you will agree, as a soiled collar in the school-room, or a dusty jacket in church. We do not object to boys sitting astride a fence: it is rather manly than otherwise, if they do not concoct a plan to tear their clothes; but it does seem a bit out of the womanly way for a girl. To be sure, there is not much difference between climbing fences and many of the gymnastic performances for girls; but time and place must be regarded. I should not frown if I heard a girl whistling, under two conditions,—she must be a good whistler, and confine her musical exercise to the woods. I think it is fine to see a girl go over a fence without sticking between the bars, and it really is too bad to have to be pulled through by an "I told you so!" It is fine to see a girl play ball or tennis; to see her row or ride, or climb a tree when there is need. But all this climbing, and striding, and shouting, womanly enough at times, become most unwomanly under certain circumstances, especially in the home.

Such indications go far to pronounce us loose in manner, immodest in deportment, coarse and vulgar, where we are not understood. No girl can afford to wilfully bring upon herself the criticism of bad manners. She can afford to do right when she feels the world is wrong; but she is accountable for her example, and the influence she exerts upon those not as strong as she is. Beyond this lies the fact that womanliness is opposed to mannishness, and that unwomanliness grows faster than its virtuous opposite. "Ill weeds grow apace," says a German proverb. One plantain in a garden will eat out not only the flowers in the plats, but the very grass in the borders. Any thing that takes away from modesty, refinement, gentleness, takes away from womanliness. Says Beaconsfield, "The girl of the period,—she sets up to be natural, and is only rude; mistakes insolence for innocence; says every thing that comes first to her lips, and thinks she is gay when she is only giddy."

I sometimes think, girls, it is the motherliness in some of you that often makes you womanly; not altogether the quality that makes little folks hug their dolls,—not altogether that,—though, in their gentle cares, their tender caresses and assumed anxieties, they are little women in themselves; but I mean, too, the motherliness that makes girls careful of others. It is an all-sheltering fondness; it is a delicate superintendence over the comforts of another; it is a brooding thought about the nestlings of one's heart, hearth, or associations; it is a cultivated instinct that smooths out difficulties, and steps right along beside purity and loveliness.

This characteristic of womanliness is not that weak, unsubstantial quality which we sometimes associate with effeminacy.

I would not imply that womanliness does not exist in those women whom superior talents have raised above the average man. A great lecturer, after holding her audience long by her eloquent appeals for reforms, stepped down into the crowd slowly departing, and earnestly inquired after this sick friend, that poor one, and the prosperity of another. The marvel of her womanliness was even more striking than the power of her oratory.

As I said at first, girls, girlishness, while inferior to womanliness, is no hindrance to it. It is most proper for girls to discuss tucks and ruffles, gloves and boots, bangs and twists. They think about these things properly enough, too, or they would not make such good use of them. They are in no danger of becoming less worthy women, provided they do not exclude thoughts on higher things. But girlishness, construed to mean just a love of dress and finery, does not make womanliness. If it did, every well-clothed girl on the street would be virtuous. I confess, however, that it would require a good deal of persuasion to make me believe that untidy skirts, buttons clinging by a thread, or utter inattention to style, to neatness and wholeness, were traits in a womanly woman.

We are told that true manliness and true womanliness are one and the same. At some points, these qualities meet and mingle. In the strongest parts of character, men and women are the same. In trying moments, in hours of great interest, in times of rare experience, men and women do the same work in the same way, and then the high quality which ennobles their characters is human kindness. It is well that great artists have painted the face of Christ so that it is as womanly as it is manly. It is a beautiful way some persons have of thinking of God as father and mother too.

But with all these resemblances of manliness to womanliness, there is a difference which all may recognize if they will. Allow a boy to stretch out his legs, climb spouts, jump gutters,—he is still perfectly manly; but a girl cannot do these things in a community without censure, unless necessity requires. I know that the custom which demands different decorum for a girl is arbitrary, and not of divine origin. To go unveiled is not allowed in some countries. But conformity is surely enjoined upon us; and that, so far as it is reasonably observed, is a really womanly trait. I cannot help thinking that girls are made of finer material than boys, but of stuff that will wear just as well as the stockier goods in boys. Inasmuch as a girl has more confided to her keeping than a boy has, she ought to be so much the more watchful. A girl ought to guard purity, modesty, patience, hope, trust, because she has had these things given her in large measure.

What can there be more beautiful than womanliness! The next time you see the Sistine Madonna, look behind all the mother in the lovely face for the woman in it. Then see if you do not remark the same in Raphael's St. Cecilia, and in the Venus de Milo, Wherever masters have succeeded in painting the Virgin, notice, aside from the holy look,—if any thing can be aside from that,—the womanly look. What is it which makes us love some women's faces the moment we see them? Sometimes it is because the loveliness of their character beautifies most ordinary features. Sometimes it is because we expect them to do some very womanly deed,—to heal us of diseases, to right wrongs, to defend causes, to uplift the fallen. Girls are not all weak and uncertain, because they are girls. No; they are strong and brave, and reliable in danger. The boiler of a steam-yacht exploded; several girls were on board; the crew were busy saving themselves; the girls, with an electric shock of mother-care, jumped to save one another. They neither fainted nor screamed, with one exception, which was a somewhat feeble serving-girl, who was stoutly shaken and told to faint if she dared.

Perhaps you think that refinement and good education produce greater womanliness than ignorance and low surroundings. So they do; but the worst of circumstances, as we have already shown, cannot crush it. There is much to be feared from over-refinement, or, rather, superficial cultivation, which breeds selfishness, vitiates strength, encourages false pride, enervates the whole life of a girl. Look at the girl half clad, sleeping in the lazy sun that falls across her narrow doorway, droning out life; now and then, in an hour of wakefulness, muttering some coarse word. And then regard the over-cultured, the wrongly-bred girl; the peevish, dictatorial, selfish, haughty miss of a certain other door-way,—a parlor-way. The womanliness in both would not amount to so much as is in one bright gleam from the eye of an Evangeline.

We cannot tell so much what womanliness is in girls as what it does. It lies mostly in the little acts they perform,—those things which are so often done that we neglect to speak of their worth, and yet should feel most sad without them. The humblest deeds, the oft-repeated ones, form the beauty of characters and faces. They put beautiful lights into girls' eyes, softness into their cheeks, and winsomeness into the whole face. Then, too, deference to the feelings and notions of others has much to do with the sweetness of womanhood. It cannot be wrong to read a letter on the street, to shout to one's friend on the opposite side of the way, to whistle to a horse-car driver; but, so long as these offend preconceived notions of good manners, deference to the opinions of others should forbid such habits.

Now let us see, just once more, what we mean by a womanly girl. Exact attention to points of etiquette, gracefulness, accomplishments, proper subservience to the will of others, do not of themselves make womanliness; many more than these characteristics, and greater, are needful. First of all, a girl must feel she is a woman, with a heart to cultivate in its affections, restrain in its desires, curb in its selfishness; with a mind to enrich by such means as shall promote its best peculiarities, and supply its needs; with a soul to enlarge into more generous impulses, and into the performance of more worthy deeds. Such a girl looks practically, but at the same time cheerfully, on life. She is willing to make the best and most of her lot, and, though out of patience with it sometimes, is not always battling against circumstances.

Discontent, to be sure, is as unmanly as it is unwomanly; but I fear it is an ill more widely spread among girls than among boys. It is an evil seed, and brings forth nothing but choking weeds and noxious plants. No position, nothing that a girl can do, harms her, provided she be womanly; therefore, choice of position cannot help, unless she is sure she has power to do better in another place. Some servants are more womanly than the women who employ them. We are all servants to one another: each holds the mastery. Surely we must be novices before we can be superiors. In one sense, servitude is an ornament; for politeness is but a visible sign, of glad service. Surely, politeness is a real property of womanliness.

A truly womanly girl is genuine in what she says and does. Avoiding the bombast, the occasional coarseness of rougher natures, the self- esteem, and the dictatorial manner, she yet says no, when she means no. If that causes hurt, she is not slow to express her sympathy and show her sorrow. She does not do things for effect, nor to arouse unjust indignation.

If we were to study the points of character that have made women celebrated, we should find them within the power of any earnest girl to obtain through great strength of womanhood. I mean those women who have been the bravest, truest, tenderest, most loved by the world. Philippa pleading with bended knee before Edward III. to spare the lives of the men of Calais, Catherine urging her suit before Henry VIII., Madame de Stael supplicating Bonaparte for her father's liberty, Marie Antoinette ascending the steps of the scaffold, are but few of the women of history who furnish us examples of highest womanhood. Literature supplies as great illustrations: Antigone going to bury her brother's ashes in spite of the king's threat to take her life; Zenobia in chains in the midst of a great Roman triumph,—a woman still, with firm though downcast eyes; Rebecca, in "Ivanhoe," standing on the tower ready to give the fatal spring the moment Bois Guilbert should approach with dishonorable purpose,—all furnish vivid pictures of what strength of womanliness can accomplish. Simple traits caused their noblest actions,—love, sympathy, tenderness, purity, bravery, resolution, endurance; but these qualities, grown almost to their utmost, make these women dear to us. It was not intellect, it was not pride, it was not position; but it was the womanhood perfected in them that enabled them to do their work, and enables us to love and follow them.

We are under the strongest obligations, girls, to our sex, ourselves, and the world.



My dear girls, do not fancy that I am going to preach on friendship: so wide a theme is beyond the scope of these little talks with you. I simply wish to express a few old-fashioned opinions about girls and their friends.

Though now and then I may seem to be talking about that which is less than friendship, or that which means more, please understand I fully recognize the fact that, though acquaintance, friendship, love, often merge into one another by advancing steps of familiarity, they are really three distinct qualities.—One's acquaintances are many, one's friends comparatively few, one's lovers fewer yet,—or they ought to be. Do you know, girls, you do suggest the most delightful subjects for a talk! There is no such thing as resisting your attractive traits! But I am going to say a few very plain things about what may not be charming in you.

Girls feel very quickly. They are not in the least slow to comprehend with the heart; in fact, it often seems as though that organ were constructed with as much delicacy as is the Aeolian harp, which quivers and utters sounds when the air just stirs about it. The most of you are very emotional; and that quality of emotion, when it is pure, is your blessing, and a part of the womanhood in you: it is the necessary expression of your soul. I know the word emotional has not a pleasant sound, and, in common use, implies lack of reason and want of control; but it is a good word, and what it truly means is good. Feeling, or the product of feeling, which is emotion, does for us what reason cannot do,—it frequently causes faith where reason would destroy it. Do not boast you are not emotional, and have no care nor sympathy for fine sentiment; for this boasting is not laudable in a woman. The girl who reasons more than she feels will make a calm philosopher, but a very poor friend.

Though we are not to speak so much about God's highest gift to us,— the power of loving,—I would like to show you just what feeling is capable of doing. You know most girls have an affection for somebody or something, and if that love is not bestowed on a friend, it will be on a cause, an ambition, an absorbing desire. Hypatia, Joan of Arc, Charlotte Corday, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Hosmer, Rosa Bonheur, Mrs. Siddons, represent as much love for the causes they lived or live for as did Vittoria Colonna for her husband, Hester and Vanessa for Swift, Heloise for Abelard, Marguerite for Faust, Ophelia for Hamlet, Desdemona for Othello, or Juliet for Romeo. These last, I repeat, were bound in the cause of love not less than the former; and they all owed their endeavors—their success, if they gained it—to the feelings and emotions of their natures.

But the trouble is, girls, you do lack judgment in the management of your feelings. It has been suggested by an able philosopher that persons differ from one another principally in the amount of judgment they possess. Really, you do not always bestow your friendship worthily, but too often let your emotions master instead of guide you; then your eyes become blind to every thing that is best for yourselves and your friends: you get selfish, passionate, and demoralized.

Hold the reins of feeling in obedience to what is good and right, no matter what the suffering is which follows. Do you remember how Irma loved the king in that grand struggle for character which Auerbach paints "On the Heights," where the full, rich nature of Irma, so capable of loving, so prone to err, yearns for the fulfilment of her longing, yet will not yield an inch of conscience when once she knows it is wrong for her to love? You know she dies struggling, but it is on the heights, where, Goethe tells us, "lies repose." There are many and many women martyrs who go to their graves unknown, suffering no pangs of the Inquisition, the gallows, or the guillotine, but tortured by unrequited affections,—by a love which it was not possible to gratify without a loss of principle or a sacrifice of conscience. Is it not better to break one's heart than to break one's soul?

My dear girls,—I would not say it were I not obliged to do so,—you seem the least conscientious in making friends, rarely thinking how grave and yet how sweet a joy a friendship is. In the first place, you seize upon a friendship as though it were something to be worn already made, like a new bonnet which pleases you. No matter what the girl is, she suits your present whims; so your swear an eternal friendship with her, when you do not begin to realize that real friendship depends upon time and growth,—that it consists largely in a mutual finding out of two persons.

Then, again, you frequently choose friends for some material advantage to yourselves. Do you think you ought to do that? You see something in a girl which you believe will promote your interests: perhaps she is in society a good deal; maybe she is very bright and sharp at repartee; possibly she is stylish, and absorbed in dress; perhaps her father has money, or she has an eligible brother,—at any rate, she can advance your purposes in one way or another, so you presume to make her your friend. Now you know you ought to value friendship for just its sake alone. If you are to make a friend, do so because you cannot honestly help it, and no strong reason exists why you should help it.

Naturally, like chooses like: some point of beauty, some mark of excellence, some trait of character, will draw us to another, because these things exist in ourselves, though undeveloped, or because we wish them to so exist; so friendship will spring up and flourish till it ripens into love. This is the best and most loyal way of making friends; and, if this be called choice, indulge in it, though not from any material profit you are to get, but simply because you are fond of one who is worthy of the best you can give her.

Then you will see that, if a girl and her traits were lovable when she and you were school-mates, they deserve to be loved still: then a year after graduation you will know the girl when you meet her on the street, and recognize her as you did in school. Girls and boys do not change so completely after leaving school. Eleanor, though in plain clothes washing up the kitchen-floor, is Eleanor still; and Frank, though only patching fences, is still Frank. Changes in circumstances and in ourselves sometimes prevent the keeping of a friend, and we no longer find friendship in the places where we used to seek for it; but inconstancy in ourselves is a greater enemy to the holding of a friendship than any external circumstance.

One great reason why certain girls of good parts remain in the same position in which their ancestors had lived—struggling with poverty, with bad tempers, with an indifferent lot, and wrestling with a savage discontent—is because they are not encouraged to any thing better when they get out of school. The free institutions of learning in the United States begin a noble work of co-education and co-friendship; but, when these are passed, there remains nothing to continue the work. A black pall falls between the past and the future, and strives to cover the very memory of bygone school years. Money, influence, position, make havoc, striving in the freest land to set up classes and aristocracies separated from what is common by impassable barriers,—as though there were any other aristocracy than that of character and personal worth!

Ought girls to have intimate friends? How carelessly we use that word "intimate." Well, this is a very trying question, and needs a careful answer. Says Mr. Alger, "School-girl friendships are a proverb in all mouths. They form one of the largest classes of those human attachments whose idealizing power and sympathetic interfusions glorify the world, and sweeten existence. With what quick trust and ardor, what eager relish, these susceptible creatures, before whom heavenly illusions float, surrender themselves to each other, taste all the raptures of confidential conversation, lift veil after veil, till every secret is bare, and, hand in hand, with glowing feet, tread the paths of Paradise!" But what do you mean by "intimate"? If you understand by that word entire confidence in another under all circumstances; an unbosoming of every thought and feeling; a complete surrender to your friend, or mastery over her; a slavish adoration of her, and hearty concordance in all she does,—do not, then, indulge in an intimate friendship. The majority of women who have passed middle life will utter, out of their own experience, the truth that such confidence, such intercourse and familiarity, cause regret; and that such friendships are seriously detrimental to human happiness, wearing the mind, grieving the spirit; they cannot continue for many years. Our elders go even beyond that, and say that woman cannot love woman as woman can love man. Why is it that the friendships of boys usually last longer than those of girls? I cannot believe it is because girls are less constant or less friendly: I know they are not. Can it be because boys are less sensitive, and more sufficient for themselves? or is it because they are less intense, less confidential, and move along more slowly and suspiciously? Does it ever come from peculiarity of temperament in the case of both boys and girls, there being girl-boys and boy-girls? I am inclined to think that, because a boy is a boy, and a girl is a girl, the characteristics of both are required to make a perfect friendship. Of course there are broad exceptions to this opinion.

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