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the vital pressure of universal Progress, she arises from the trance of ages, to find her narrow horizon of liberty and responsibility slowly widening as she advances. Ini this unprecedented domain of human history, my sisters, we stand to-day, intent to prove to a doubting civilization how liberty may be a blessing, and responsibility a delight. For we clearly apprehend that the value and beauty of Freedom depend wholly upon its uses; and I am certain that the purpose lying nearest the heart of every woman present, is to ascertain how our opening opportunities may best subserve universal interests.
To wisely assist in the advance of civilization, we should have something of a philosophical comprehension of the laws of universal progress; while a just estimate of the quality and impertance of our work can only be obtained through a knewledge of the history of culture. When the Woman of the Nineteenth Century fully comprehends the philosophy of her present awakening, and its relation to human destiny, she will confront with serenity the incompleteness of things, and mould them with the artistic potency of a God.
That she has but recently come into a recognition of all this, is the simple proof that the nature and quality of her work were not required in the immature processes of civilization ; that only as the great scheme of all existence advances to higher and finer phases of completeness and unity, does the Woman-nature become the needed and fitting participant in all departments of thought and action. In the primitive stages of progress the great mystery but roughly outlines the picture of human destiny; but, age after age, eon after eon, it groups, retouches, and fills in the plan, till arriving at the higher and more refining processes of human advancement, Woman passes in at the eleventh hour to perfect and synthesize the work. Let her not distrust her capabilities for the exigency, since all the cycles of human experience have moulded her to fitness for this occasion. For it is the largely receptive nature that is eminently fitted to take up the products of an analytic age and reveal their synthetic values; eminently adapted to prove that the specialties of science, while largely increasing the stock of human knowledge, contribute very little to human welfare, till made to serve the constructive genius of Art in all departments of society.
No words can justly portray the wonderful auspices under which Woman passes into her heritage of freedom and action, Civilization heralds her advance by exquisite minutiæ in all the affairs of life; and what hand but hers is delicate and exact enough to utilize the materials of a microscopic age? What brain but her own is sufficiently versatile and apprehensive to determine the methods by which the present complexities of society may contribute to the simplicity of a grand unity?
Wonderful also are the cotemporaries of thought and principle that attend her awakening, and wait on her advance. It is a time of paradox, revealing the greatness of little things, the infinite value of trifles. To-day it is not a mere dew-drop that freshens the heart of the rose, but a peopled sphere, with its own laws of life and evolution. The plant breathes, palpitates, devours, and the simplest form of organic life presents valid claims to a kinship with human nature. So, with tender reverence, Woman follows the feet of Science, filling all the channels of human thought with the vital influence of her appreciation and enthusiasm, and warming the heart of Humanity to a recognition of its consanguinity with all phases of organic life.
Into the religious atmosphere, year by year has crept the light of purer and nobler sentiments, spiritualizing the understanding, refining the perception, until religion no longer hesitates to make public demand for Woman's assistance, so that the battered walls of intolerance and superstition may fully give way under the permeating influences of her love, devotion and humility, and the magnetic power of her eloquence and purity. Thus the austerities of theology are melting into the equality of ethics, and human fraternity is made possible.
In the social world also, the auspices of welcome to Women's influence are unmistakable. The crushing and disintegrating spirit of individualism and the selfishness of competition, begin to react upon themselves with destructive certainty, and the social instinct has become adventurous for the “ Better Way.” Nor does its search prove fruitless. Co-operative industry, community of interest, homes enlarged and developed to the opportunity of integral education, households, where division and separation are not in order, nor idiots and paupers a necessity,--all these lie on the Delectable Hills before us, toward which the social nature is slowly making way. And, with a grace that had well nigh become obsolete, Man petitions the Womansoul to make this promised kingdom available to Humanity, to render it valid and permanent with the methodizing qualities of her artistic genius, to fill it with an atmosphere of reverence, tenderness and devotion, which shall balance the excessive intellectuality of the age, win human nature to its normal poise, and prove the possible perfectibility of the race.
Commensurate with these movements of progress has been the development of the science of government, the establishment of just relations between nations, and the alliance of all peoples in special purposes for universal good. A new God prevails in the political arena. Nameless, but divine, it espouses the interest of neither race, sex, nor nation; but in the larger name of the Human it advances, establishing step by step its unmistakable supremacy. It smiles encouraging welcome to Woman's proffered assistance, for it divines her purpose. It augurs that ignorance, crime, prostitution and intemperance will gradually yield before the quality of her influence, and the exercise of her just prerogatives.
As a special result of our position as spectators of the great movements of progress, we observe that in every transition phase of past civilization, in the fusion of nation with nation, and in all the reactionary moods of advancement, something of excellence has been dropped out and left by the way. As gleaner, to restore these lost graces to mankind, we stand in our field of labor. Permit me, then, to direct your attention to the one excellence which Woman should first reclaim to the race, and I would suggest others which might now be fittingly introduced for the first time into human history. In my judgment, the lesson of all lessons that we should first extricate from the debris of the past, a lesson wrought out and contributed to human experience so many years ago, by the Egean Sea, is the purity and integrity of health. Wan victims of its loss, let the world of women unite in a practical enunciation of this gospel—the integrity of health. Each, according to the measure of her conviction, fulfi}ling it in her own life, thus securing it as her children's richest inheritance, and her most needed gift to posterity. Let us deepen the significance of Scripura? injunction, and, before the judgment seat of a future humanity, present a more creditable account of the “ deeds done in the body." We need but to visit the Annex of the Centennial Art building profoundly to realize our great transgressions in this
All that marble perfection is such an eternal rebuke to the living deformity which passes before it, that the heart saddens and sickens to repentance as we gaze, and before those white shrines we pledge our individual efforts to bring back this grace of form and feature to the race.
To secure such a result we shall necessarily differ in method, yet, if we are earnest and united in pupose, it will gradually necessitate, throughout the higher grades of society, a return to simpler and purer habits of life. And we shall carry up into that simplicity all the fineness of quality which complexity and detail have thus far evolved. In the words of Pericles, in his picture of Athenian institutions, we will * combine elegance of taste with simplicity of life, and pursue knowledge without being enervated.” What a needless burden will then crop from the weary shoulders of modern life! Let us refresh ourselves with a sigh of deep content over the mere contemplation of such a state; for not only will it secure a normal condition of body and mind, but grace and beauty will no longer be alien to the race. Motherhood will be Woman's crowning joy, her life's purest enthusiasm and most perfect expression.
It is all in our own hands; for method, habit and organization commence with the household; if the home-life is not at present graciously moulded by the wife and mother, this is in most instances to be attributed to her own short-comings; to a lack of stamina, or of faith in herself. Now no power can give this faith to us; we must evolve it for ourselves. The professional revivalists say “only believe.” Let us pass this word down our ranks and nole how the weak shall be made strong.
* * *
Another truth, which is but faintly realized by our civilization, and which woman is pre-eminently fitted to emphasize, is the fact that only moral purity is able to perceive the divinity of things. To see the gods, we must become their peers.
And yet another duty, which especially demands our attention, is the development of a just perception of the rights of children and of the aged. A recognition of the existence of these rights has crept into the understanding of the age, but they remain for the most part undefined. It is for Woman to determine their quality, and quicken public sentiment to this acceptance.
It is now generally conceded that Woman is largely the moral teacher of the race ; that, by the sacred office of motherhood, she becomes the primary instructor of ethics. But she has consulted Man's text-book of morals, imparting its lessons, age after age, generation after generation. Yet in this period of her awakening, she discovers that Man's ethical standards are in great need of revision; in short, that woman herself should now largely determine the standard and method of moral education for the
This work she will perform, for the most part, through all womanly methods, in the home-life and through all the gracious spheres of her loves and friendships. She will thus fertilize the roots of social life with the genius of an unselfish spirituality.
This mere glance at the outline of the work that is before us convinces us that to accomplish it successfully we should become students. Not in the college acceptation of the word, but students of human nature of its past and present phases. Yet how, with all the present claims of home and social life upon us, are we to obtain the leisure for the study, observation and reflection that shall qualify us for this work ? I have answered this in a former portion of my remarks. An independent and conscientious return to simple methods of home-life, must open the way to the fulfillment of all our opportunities. That duty discharged, the others fall naturally into line. Expenditure which contributes neither to æsthetic culture, comfort, utility nor convenience, should be made odious. Wastefulness and extravagance should be ranked as vulgarities. Then, and not till then, shall we have strong as well as willing hearts for this work.
There should be no lack of courage. All reforms that commence at the roots of civilization, that relate primarily to the home-life, are as naturally in the hands of Woman as is her own existence. Let her enter upon them with a quiet, self-reliance that knows no failure. In short, if women are united among themselves in their efforts for human weal, the crowd of obstacles will give way before them, as did the angry multitude of Judea before the serene countenance of the sinless One.
To this era of Woman's awakening let us bring, my sisters, a loyalty and devotion that shall make our work nothing less than a religion—the religion of Humanity. And if the service to which we seem best adapted is not before us, let us take up the duty that lies nearest at hand, and discharge it with fidelity. So, through patient persistence and faith in the Woman-nature as a perfecting element in human progress, we may assist in developing a civilization, that shall merit eternal survival.
REMARKS BY LUCRETIA MOTT.
The venerable and beloved Lucretia Mott, whose presence is a bepediction, was warmly greeted, and from the rich storehouse of her reminiscences traced the growth of Woman's education for the past thirty years, She referred in terms of affectionate regard and esteem to Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the other pioneer workers in the cause of Woman's emancipation and enfranchisement.
After alluding to the excellent speeches on the various duties and enjoyments of life, she said there seemed little need of any added words. The opening address of the president, recommending scientific study, seconded by the first speaker, was especially interesting, and brought to mind the appeal to woman thirty years ago, by Catharine Beecher :--“Woman has never wakened to her highest destinies and holiest hopes. The time is coming when educated females will not be satisfied with the present objects of their low ambition. When a woman now leaves the immediate business of her own education, how often, how generally do we find her sinking down into almost useless inactivity. To enjoy the social circle, to accomplish a little ! reading, a little domestic duty, to while away her hours in self-indulgence, or to enjoy the pleasures of domestic life,--these are the highest objects at which many a woman of elevated mind and accomplished education aims.
But when the cultivation and development of the immortal mind shall be presented to woman, as her especial and delightíul duty, and that, too, whatever be her relations in lise ; when by example and experience, she shall have learned her power over the intellect and the affections then we shall not find her
satisfied to pass lightly away the bright hours of her maturity and youth * seeking the light device to embroider on muslin and lace, but
with the delighted glow of benevolence, seeking for immortal minds whereon she may fasten durable and holy impressions that shall never be effaced or wear away.”
DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER IN SCHOOLS.--WOMAN AS A MUSICIAN. 65
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER IN SCHOOLS;
OR, WHAT SHALL WE, THE PEOPLE, DO TO BE SAVED?
Abstract from “Woman's Journal” of a Paper
BY ABBY MORTON DIAZ.
AS CHARACTER makes the individual, and as individuals make the State, therefore the State should endeavor to raise the character of its individuals to the highest possible standard. Although character is largely the result of indirect influences, there is in this field an immense working ground left for direct human effort. In considering character there are, first, the part which comes by inheritance; second, the part which comes from immediate pre-natal influences, and, third, the part which comes from education. The moulding and modifying of character can be most effectively done at the period when character is in its formative stage. In view of all the thoughtless, careless, foolish, forceless, ignorant, iniudicious parents, and especially of the deprived and vicious ones, it is evident that home training cannot be wholly depended upon for this work, which should, therefore, be supplemented by other endeavors. The State, in its Normal and other schools, possesses the means of assisting in this supplementary work. An intellectual education alone is not sufficient. The “statistics of crime” mislead on this point, inasmuch as they do not include the wrong-doing which is committed inside the law, and which, by making sin respectable, does more to lower the moral tone of society than the more startling kinds which mike it infamous. Heart-culture, equally with brain-culture, should be considered a legitimate part of the teacher's work, and a part for which they should receive a spe. cial preparation. It cannot be satisfactorily accomplished by moral maxims, or direct moral instruction. Suggestions were made as to methods, and Fenelon, Fellenberg and others were cited as examples of educators who have been successful in this direction. Our present system of education is one-sided, and does not truly educate. The State is spending two hundred million dollars a year in the punishment of crime; in education, one hundred million. The Power which claims the right of punishing, should assume the duty of directing. Prevention is better than cure. The State should be urged to bring its educational forces to bear upon character, hy giving its teachers the just-named special preparation, no matter at what money cost. It should he urged to do this, not only in the name of common-sense and of justice, but as a measure of public economy, a measure which will diminish pauperism and crime, and, to sum up the whole, as something which we, the People, must do to be saved. This is a work which lies behind all reforms, all reformatory institutions, and all charities.
WOMAN AS A MUSICIAN.
BY FANNY RAYMOND RITTER.
DURING the long and tumultuous period that followed the decline of the Roman Empire, two spirits, the inward and the outward spirits of humanity, seemed through. olit Europe, to struggle for mastery; and in that struggle--itself a manisestation of the intense, newly awakened vitality of the Middle Ages ---these spirits, approaching each other more nearly, perceived that they had many traits in common, that their