Зображення сторінки

assumingness, good nature without being undignified, simplicity, good taste, and gracefulness in speech, attitude and movement, are all attainable in proportion as no direct effort is made for them.

5. Since it is the lot of the female sex to make others happy and to be made happy, by love, education must teach them to set the greatest value, not upon external beauty, which fades in a few years, but upon such lasting virtues as endure under all circumstances; upon mental beauty.

6. As the duties of the housewife and mother require many sorts of mechanical labor, sometimes alone and sometimes in the family circle, her instruction and education should be adapted to give her mind activity and regularity, and the habit of reflection even upon the smallest matters. She should also however learn to live with reference to others than herself. Instead of permitting herself to be absorbed in silent fancies and reveries, she should be conversable and sociable, cheerful and joyous, and should bring cheerfulness and pleasure into life, so often troubled and burdensome.

Elaborate intellectual training, half-learning, ingenious reasoning on such matters as their husbands are concerned with, does not promote a husband's happinoss, but rather interferes with it; often occasions others to admire her more than he does; and leads to vanities and crrors of all kinds.

But quick intelligence and a modest desire for information, “which gladly hears when acute men are talking, and takes pleasure in understanding them," a genial manner of discussing affairs, and the display of real sympathy with others, will be a source of pleasure to parents and to companions, and afterwards to a husband; and will animate the social circle of every house in which exists a real family life.

While the husband and father feels care, both within and without the house, it almost never leaves the wife and mother, who does her duty; and often increases with advancing years, with every increase of household and family. With reference to this state of things, picty, which gives resignation and faith, is infinitely valuable.

Even an unbeliever respects real religion in a woman; for it often mod. erates the impatience and anger of a husband, gives that meek and quiet spirit (I. Peter, iii; 4) which is of great price not only before God, but before man; and which is so often able to avert even the stormy violence of wrath and passion.

Such religion, if only it remains free from devotion for mere show, and from metaphysical speculation or that visionary exultation which is often nothing but disguised over-sensibility, is a most valuable possession, which parents can not be too early solicitous to secure to their children, and which they may perhaps be able also to hand down to their grand-chil. dren, and to render a permanent family trait.

But if irreligiousness gets possession of women, the prospects for the education of their children are much obscured.

NIEMEYER. For girls, domestic education should be as stringently insisted on, as public education for boys.

Girls' schools are the very worst means ; only to be used in case of absolute necessity, and when private education within the family is quite impossible.

When it becomes absolutely necessary that part of the education of girls should be given outside of the family, this external education ought not to have any influence upon the development of the disposition.

This portion of the education should proceed, for girls, wholly within the family ; so that any education to manual skill, given outside of the family, should not occupy too much space, for fear of making some unde.

sirable impressions, which may weaken the influcnce of the family on the disposition.

SCHLEICRMACHER. Errors and failures in the education of girls can only be made up for with great difficulty.

The independent power of the masculine mind can regain its purity, after crror ; but the more sensitive and plant-like nature of girls loses its proper growth forever by one injury.

Hence arises the cducational rule, with boys to seek to strengthen their power of independent exertion for the struggle with the world; but with girls, to preserve their susceptible natures from evil impressions, and the pure tone of their minds from being untuned.

Therefore fathers and educators should avoid all coarseness, harshness and rudeness in the presence of female pupils; and to give no shocks to those feelings which pertain to the department of exterior observances, in which it is the special privilege of the female sex to govern, and to exercisc a very stringent dominion.

BAUR. For house and family, the husband is everything,

But within the house, within the family, the wife is all; she is the inspiring, embellishing and controlling power.

Man acts in the outer world.

But for woman, the representation of that world on the stage is a recreation in her moments of leisure.

Home is the central point for all the exertions of the man, how various soever in direction; for home he traverses, searches, conquers, all the world.

But the wife rules by goodness over the sanctuary for which man has exerted his powers; she is the economical preserver of the treasures which he earns.

Man, surrounded in the outer world by deceit and hatred, often forced by circumstances to conceal his real nature and to seem other than he is, finds again in the love and naturalness of woman, himself and his own natural character.

Naturalness is woman's most beautiful ornament.

Upon this depends her wise attractiveness, and her tender love of family life.

Everything assumed, forced, artificial, displeases; is dead outside paint; and indicates that something disgusting is behind it.

As the child pleases by innocence and truthfulness, so does the maiden, the wife, the matron, by simple, modest, loving, cheerful, childlikeness.

Though her exterior changes, yet her soul shall preserve everlasting youth.

Nature has taught her to love; has taught her the duties of wife and of mother.

She will always remain a true pupil of nature, down to the latest times. What is foreign to her real destiny, she must remove as unnatural.

But it is the chief fault of female education, that girls are even more than boys, educated to untruthfulness, pretences, and dissimulation.

We seek to root out of them the natural, unpretending simplicity and Jostiness of their innocence, and to supply its place with a feigned nature.

ZsCHOKKE. Loveliness belongs to women. Even its bodily manifestation is the glory of womanhood.

Only the delicate mental chracter of woman can cherish the feelings, impulses and tendencies, which exist in her, and the beautiful appropriatencss of the numerous phases of her character; and only her delicate frame can permit these easy and unrestrained motions which in graceful persons so much delight us.

Physical beauty excites desire; loveliness, intellectual pleasure.
Happy in itself, it causes happiness in others.

An imperious woman may detain us for a moment; but we are never weary of waiting near a lovely one.

Beauty departs with the fresh bloom of youth; loveliness shines even among the ruins of age, with an indescribably delightful brightness.

Beauty is for the eye alone; loveliness rather for the heart.
Purity and goodness are the essential constituents of loveliness.

Out of its clear and peaceful eyes looks an unspotted heart, unconscious of any wild passion or inner rebellion.

EHRENBERG. Only in cities, where men pervert nature and the natural order of things, making man womanish, and turning night into day, and among universal corruption, do we find it not surprising that women become mannish, pursue literature, and consider themselves better fitted for the admiration of society than for the quiet of the domestic circle.

There it is thought admirable for maidens to become remarked for making conquests; to be well read in romances; and to act romances; while they waste the substance of their parents by their expenses, and repay their blind affection with shameless disobedience. There it is thought admirable for mothers to be more devoted to public amusements than to their children; and for wives to belong more to other men than to those to whom they have pledged their faith. And there it may be very proper for women who have grown too old for such luxurious follies, to end by becoming devotees or intriguantes.

ZSCHOKKE. Early let woman learn to serve, for that is her calling: For by serving alone she attains to ruling;. To the well-deserved power which is hers in the household. The sister serves her brother while young; and serves her parents; And all her life is still a continual going and coming, A carrying over and bringing, a making and shaping for others. Well for her if she learns to think no road a foul one, To make the hours of the night the same as the hours of the day; To think no labor too trifling, and never too fine the needle ; To forget herself altogether, and live in others alone. And lastly, as mother, in truth, she will need every one of the virtues.

GOETHE. In educating girls, the mode of instruction required is entirely different from that which is proper for boys.

The latter, by reason of their natural tendency to lawlessness, must be early brought under discipline, sent to school, accustomed to regular mental labor and to obedient subjection to regular rules, as is required by the future lives and duties of men.

On the other hand, as Fenelon says, "a too pedantic regularity, which requires incessant study without any intermissions, is very injurious to girls."

A definite daily order of exercises should be prescribed to girls to be strictly followed.

But they must from childhood up be accustomed, whenever it is neces. sary, to leave their book or their piano, to take care of some little child, or to be of some assistance to their parents.

Such interruptions can not of course be put down in the order of exercises; they are exceptions to the general rule.

Then, after doing these kindnesses, they should return to their work and read or play on as quietly as if they had not been interrupted.

[ocr errors]

This species of discipline should teach them to love not merely with words, but in deed and in truth. Goethe says, “By such services they attain to ruling, to their proper power in the household.”_

Vox RAUMER. In order to avoid one-sidedness and defects in female education, it must not be without female influence; for male instructors are liable to influence girls too much towards their own character, which may result in losing the delicacy of the feminine character, and in the acquisition of some traits of an inappropriate kind.

Still, the supreme direction of the education of girls should be in charge of a man.

BAUR. Inspiriting music, breathing courage and boldness, is proper for men; but that which imports moderation, mildness, modesty, for women.

Plato. The principle that children should read nothing bad or vulgar, admits of full application to music.

For if they have from an early period only heard, sung and played what is good, it will become a second nature to them, as their sphere of vision enlarges with their growth to flee from all bad music, and to like what is beautiful and good, in whatever form it may appear.

The case is far otherwise with very many who have had the ill fortune from their childhood to hear and practice and live in associations with bad music only. It is very uncommon, and very difficult, for such persons to bring themselves back from their impure music to that which is pure, to cure themselves of their seated habits, and to accustom themselves to such music only as is correct and beautiful.

Von RAUMER. Music is on some accounts a dangerous study.

If a painting containing a mis-drawn limb, or anything immoral, a correct eye will find abundant grounds for criticism ; or shame, at least in the presence of others, will direct the observation elsewhere.

But everything impure, unnatural, immoral, may creep into music; and thus we may look plainly and fully at what we should for decency's sake be obliged to turn away from if presented by the pencil or by words.

Plato wrote in opposition to immoral music. What would he have said if he could have witnessed the misery which we have now-a-days to endure from our present music, so unnaturally composed, so excessively feeble or wild or amorous, and yet so seldom rising to true fire and energy.

In music as now too often employed in education, we find everywhere art and ornament, a mass of wonderful difficulties, overloading instead of feeling and clearness; but after subtracting what is to be attributed to the gratification of the composer's vanity, we have left very little that gives us hope or pleasure. And accordingly our young ladies, as soon as they have a home of their own to live in, usually fling all their artistic music, with delight, to the winds.

Music will only seem divine to us, when it carries us into a state of ideal sensibility, and the musician who can not do this is nothing but a mechanic-nothing more, even, than a vulgar hod-carrier.

Healthy feeling is never confused, nor does it go beyond self-control.

Your favorite symphonies, fantasias, pot-pourris, &c., are often the most ridiculous stuff in the world. They begin with some passage full of mystery ; then comes a volley as if of artillery ; then a sudden silence; then an unexpected waltz-movement; then, just as this begins to be inspiriting, an equally sensible and sudden plunge into a passage full of depth and melancholy; then into a furious storm; then, out of the middle of the storm, we are presented, after a brief pause, with somo mere trifling,


and lastly with a finale in the nature of a hurra! and then everybody gathers around with cries of delight.

Such things please, it is true ; but how?

But the worst thing of all is, that under the favorite name of “ effects," we find the most destructive and poisonous matter recommended ; espe cially such convulsive, distorted, extravagant, astounding, raving confusions of sounds, as excite everything evil in man.

If many of our virtuous maidens knew what that music is which they often have to hear, and even to sing and play, they would perish with shame and indignation.

The house should be free from unpleasant pictures, and from ambiguous or wanton ones. It should, on the contrary, be adorned as much as possible with such as are pure and beautiful; whose silent, but ennobling and constant companionship will be found to exercise upon children an immeasurable influence for good.

Girls particularly, should from an early age be allowed to amuse themselves with pictures of celebrated works of art, churches, palaces, galleries of painting, &c.

Productions of art make deep and lasting impressions, even upon the minds of children.

But all premature criticism on such subjects should be avoided, for fear of affected admiration and pert foolish fault finding.

A silent and natural examination of works of art, where the beholder “forgets self and the world, and lives in the objects only," is the true one; and can not do harm.

Girls should learn drawing chiefly for the sake of practising at home. The teacher should pay especial attention to drawing from nature; and should use copying as a mere technical exercise.

Such instruction, but above all, the quiet and intelligent study of the works of great masters educates girls to the love of what is beautiful and good, and to disgust at what is ugly and bad. This love and disgust will have much influence even upon their daily life at home; for their eyes when thus trained, would quickly detect anything inconsistent, untasteful or misplaced about them, and would never be at case until it was corrected.

Botany, as a science in the masculine sense, is not a proper study for girls.

Girls should rather be trained in the direction of art. They should look upon flowers, not as an analyzing botanist does, but as a sensitive flower-painter would.

The love of girls for flowers is to be cultivated; they may tend them most carefully, and follow their development from their first sprouting up to the ripening of the seed.

This pleasure in flowers is like the pleasure that girls find in taking care of domestic animals, lambs, poultry, pigeons, &c. Von RAUMER,

The gods have destined and fitted the nature of man and woman for society; in that not each of them is capable of everything, but that each is suited for that in which the other is deficient; in order that both together may fulfill a complete destiny.

The one is stronger and the other weaker, that the timidity of the latter may make her more prudent, and that the strength of the former may make him a protector.

The one procures what is needful without, and the other takes care of it in the home.

The woman is weaker and better fitted to a sedentary life and can not so well endure wind and weather,

Man can not so well bear quiet and stillness; and movement is natural to him.


« НазадПродовжити »