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The principal duty of woman, as well as the peculiar sphere of her efforts, has been much more distinctly defined by nature than that of men, whose sphere of activity is out of all comparison wider and more various.
Man needs to develop all the infinite endowments of his nature; to gradually bring into activity all the perfections whose germs slumber within him; and to make use of all these powers in all the relations and changes of life.
But how much more limited is the sphere of the activity of the other sex!
The destiny of the young girl is, to be a wife and a mother.
The wife must live for her family ; must watch over its property; must thus have special charge of the ordering and management of all little matters as they come up; and above all, must nurse, or at least watch over and take care of the children to whom she has given birth, until they can take care of themselves, and have become so far educated and independent by her example and her teaching, as not to need her protection. This period is earlier reached by sons, who receive their education from the world, than by girls, who usually go from their mother's care into the charge of a husband.
The bodily organization of women in part prepares them for this sphere of duty; as do also the mental endowments and powers of that sex, the perfectibility of which clearly shows that woman as well as man belongs to a higher race of beings.
The cultivation of their understanding, judgment and reason, in part by studies of a generally useful character, in part adapted especially to the needs of the sex, should be the main purpose of their education.
Learning, properly so called, is useless to them, and commonly injurious.
The education of the sense of beauty-of the taste-is only harmful when it is made the principal object.
As the cultivation of the taste is closely connected with that of the fancy and of the feelings, it must be conducted with the extremest care; and the materials for it must be chosen with the utmost caution.
Most of our novels and plays, and very many poems, can be used in education only with the greatest risk.
The languages, the native language in particular, are a valuable means for educating the mind, and this the more because the study of them will act as a preservative against an unhappy tendency to read indiscriminately all manner of German books; and because only the best foreign books will be read.
Geography and history should be not mere lists of names, but should be shown to be rich in great deeds and great men, the knowledge of whom will elevate the soul, and will prevent from seeking after foolish novelties.
Music, singing, drawing, rightly studied, will excellently occupy many hours ; will keep the student at home, and are capable of being brought into a useful harmony with the moral feelings.
Intercourse with intelligent men is a far more certain and effectual, means of cultivating the mind, than reading books. The latter is of but little use in cultivating the understanding; and we often find persons of extensive reading, who are quite destitute of comprehensive ideas, and are unable to carry on an intelligent and connected conversation.
That all this may be accomplished-at least among the educated classes -without derogating from the most faithful fulfillment of all the womanly duties, has been so often proved by experience, that it can no longer be pretended that girls must devote all their lives to sewing, washing, cooking and nursing children. All these things should be understood and done; but it is degrading the female sex to set it down as fit for these things only
VI. THE OHIO FEMALE COLLEGE.
AT COLLEGE HILL, OHIO.
The Ohio FEMALE COLLEGE, is the oldest of a class of Seminaries of learning that have sprung up in the Western States within the last few years of very marked peculiarities and characteristics. They have not yet assumed their adult form; but their youth is one of great promise and of most commanding interest to every Christian philanthropist They have worthily taken a new family nameFemale College—a name, if not to be preferred before any that a classic genius might invent for them, is significant and has become now too firmly rooted in use to be extirpated. They aim to furnish to the young women of our land a truly “liberal” culture, equally thorough, complete, and worthy of the name of “liberal,” as that furnished in our best colleges for young men, although of somewhat different style. The education they offer is not, indeed, that which will best fit for the bar, the forum, the pulpit, the public walks of life; it is shaped, rather for the domestic sphere, that in it there may be the light and cheer and wholesome air of solid learning, and refining art, of invigorated, enlarged, and furnished intellect, of generous and refined sensibility, and cultivated manners; in short, a genuine Christian culture.
The Institution was opened under this name on Thursday, the fifteenth day of September, 1849. On the nineteenth day of February, 1851, it was incorporated by the legislature of the State of Ohio, under a special charter conferring the amplest powers and privileges of a close corporation. Hon. John McLean, of the United States Supreme Court, was the first President of the Board of Trustees, and continued in this office till his death.
The site selected for the College was on the highest and most commanding of the several elevations overlooking the city of Cincinnati, and the Ohio River in its vicinity-since called College Hill. The site is five hundred feet above the river at low water; and as the ground falls away somewhat in the direction from the river into the extended table-land reaching into the interior of the State, the view from the tower of the College sweeps an horizon of fifty miles radius. Embracing a landscape as diversified and beautiful as it is extensive. With easy access to the city, from which it is but six miles distant, it enjoys the quiet and undistracting seclusion of the country, together with command of ready intercourse with all that in the life of a great city should interest the student.
The grounds first secured for the Institution embraced an area of about fifteen acres, to which additions have since been made, so that the College plot now comprises about twenty-three acres. They lie most invitingly to all the decorations of art, and are made to present a landscape of uncommon beauty and in admirable keeping with the high objects of the Institution. A botanic and flower garden and conservatory and an extensive kitchen garden are connected with them, affording ample supplies for the table as well as for the needs of study and of taste. From the beautiful artificial lake on the grounds, that covers one or two acres in surface, and is filled with living water to the depth of from two to ten feet, a hydraulic ram forces water in abundance for the supply of the jet d'eau in front of the main building, and to make up any accidental deficiency in the supply of rain water, on which reliance is chiefly placed for the ordinary wants of the Institution.
Four buildings were early provided for the uses of the college; one of which was designed for the chapel, the other three for dormitories and other accommodations for boarding the pupils from abroad. Provision was thus at once made for one hundred and fifty pupils. Of these structures the largest, erected at a cost of about twenty thousand dollars, was burned to the ground on the morning of the tenth of September, 1854.
On the same ground, another structure was at once built, far exceeding the former in size and beauty, and the character of its arrangements for the health, comfort, and good order of its inmates. This model structure is of brick, three stories high above the basement, one hundred and forty-seven feet long and eighty one feet deep. It contains ten spacious halls, and ninety-seven principal apartments. It is heated by fresh air received through a tower some twenty feet from the ground and conveyed into chambers of steampipes heated by steam generated some two hundred feet distant, and thence conducted through separate flues in the partition walls which are for that purpose, and for security double, and of brick, into the several apartments. In this way and by a reverse order of valves and Alues for summer use, the atmosphere in all the rooms is kept ever pure and fresh, as well as even of comfortable temperature.