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street, that our author requires so much formality: in her directions as to the intercourse of brothers and sisters, she shows that it is a first principle with her in all the intercourse of life. In a chapter upon the relation of brothers and sisters, which, in the main, we highly approve, she says :-"Never receive any attention from them” (your brothers) “without thanking them for it; never ask a favor of them but in cautious terms; never reply to their questions in monosyllables.” A sufficient comment upon these directions is furnished in the fact that some brothers and sisters we wot of, who are all to each other that Mrs. Farrar would say they ought to be, have been greatly amused at the idea of such a style of intercourse, and have entertained themselves with trying how far they could recollect not to be monosyllabic, and not to ask favors otherwise than with great caution. There should be kindness and generous devotion on the part of brothers and sisters towards each other ; but no formality, or, if you please, “grave politeness." This delightful relation ought not to be placed on a footing with the accidental associations of society in this, more than in any other respect. Besides, there is danger that, by a sort of moral metonymy, the sign will come to be taken for the thing signified, and the affections will degenerate into mere form.
We come now to a subject, one of the most important of which our author treats, and that in regard to which we differ from her most widely, namely, Behaviour to Gentlemen. We have before said that her book would have been more useful in many parts had she addressed young ladies as predestined wives and mothers. So far from doing that, however, she bids them “ let the subject of matrimony alone, until properly presented to their consideration by those whose right it is to make the first advances." Yet she shows the impossibility, not only of their obeying this injunction, but of acting consistently with it herself
, by saying "since a refusal is to most men not only a disappointment but a mortification, it should be prevented if possible.” And again :"if you do not mean to accept a gentleman who is paying you very marked attention, you should avoid receiving them whenever you can," &c. &c. All this is highly proper, and could not well be omitted in a chapter on Behaviour to Gentlemen ; it only shows the folly of attempting to enforce any theory so completely at variance with nature herself that it must be impracticable.
But Mrs. Farrar does not deviate from her theory upon this subject merely when she cannoi avoid doing so.
In several instances she addresses young ladies as if she would make the getting of a husband the grand incentive to all
the duties and proprieties of life. This is a view of the subject which we strongly dislike, and would never have presented to them. For example : after a long exhortation, and many instructions upon the subject of pouring out tea and coffee at table, she says :-" I knew one very happy match that grew out of the admiration felt by a gentleman on seeing a young lady preside well at the tea-table. The graceful and dextrous movements there first fixed his attention upon her, and led to a further acquaintance.” Indeed, she would have their imaginations continually haunted by these very gentlemen whom they may not permit to assist them in putting on their shawls or cloaks. Even in bidding them (p. 130) put up their bed-rooms neatly before going to bed-she gives this reason, namely, that in case of some sudden alarm from fire or other circumstances, it would be so mortifying to see
a gentleman stumbling over their petticoats," or,“ kicking a stray shoe or stocking before him !!" And is it not fair to infer, that her earnest injunction to let the cap fall well over the curl-papers, which she denominates “a frightful appendage to a woman, has reference also to the possible apparition of “ a gentleman”? It is quite curious to observe these perpetual outbreaks of womanish nature in a book which inculcates so earnestly its suppression.
Again, in the very chapter in which young ladies are enjoined not to think of marriage at all, until the subject is "properly presented,” &c., speaking of a class of girls whose minds are always running upon beaux, and who manifest this prevailing tendency in every possible way ; she says, “ such girls are not the most popular, and those who seem never to have thought about matrimony at all, are sought and preferred before them." This idea is enlarged upon and repeated, in a long paragraph which concludes as follows:
“ Those who are free from all anxiety about being established, will generally be the first sought in marriage by the wise and good of the other sex ; whereas those who are brought up to think that the great business of life is to get married, and who spend their lives in plans and manæuvres to bring it about, are the very ones who remain single, or, what is worse, make unhappy matches. Policy and propriety both cry aloud to the fair ladies of this happy coun. try, to let the subject of matrimony alone, until properly presented to their consideration by those whose right it is to make the first advances." p. 290.
All this is undoubtedly true ; and yet, what strange inconsistency there is in holding up the fear of not getting married as a reason for not thinking of marriage at all! Setting aside
the inconsistency, is it the best, the most proper reason to give for observing the restraints of delicacy and good sense upon the subject ?
It is one thing for a woman to contemplate marriage as her probable destiny, because that of the majority of her sex—and appointed by Him who made them—and to aim at some fitness and completeness of preparation for her future responsibilities; Land quite another to think of getting a husband as the object upon which whatever she does may have some bearing—as the great end of her life—the reward of all her virtues and accomplishments. The latter is as odious and disagreeable as the former is right and proper.
When a young lady shows that she has this false view of the subject, she gives convincing proof of an ill-ordered, ill-informed, vacant mind; for if she were occupied with the actual as she ought to be, she would not be unduly absorbed in what is to her contingent and ideal. She discloses, too, a want of that native delicacy which should be the universal characteristic of her sex ; for if the married state was God's appointment, he also appointed that she should be led to enter into it through the exercise of her deepest, tenderest affections, and not as a matter of cold speculation. There is no danger that a young lady, who has been properly trained to the duties of life so as to have her mind constantly occupied, as it should be, with her own improvement, and the good and happiness of others, should commit this error.
We quote the following, as we think, highly objectionable passages from this same chapter on Behaviour to Gentlemen :
“ If a finger is put out to touch a chain around your neck, or a breast-pin that you are wearing, draw back, and take it off for inspection. Accept not unnecessary assistance in putting on cloaks, shawls, over-shoes, or any thing of the sort. Be not lifted in and out of carriages, on or off a horse ; sit not with another in a place that is too narrow; read not out of the same book; let not your eagerness to see any thing induce you to place your head close to another person's.” p. 293.
There is a great deal implied in these few lines ; whether more was meant than meets the eye or not, far more is involved. We object to the nature and spirit of these directions, not merely on the score of good taste, but of principle too. In the first place, the style of manners here prescribed implies great want of confidence in the other sex. It presupposes that they are not worthy of trust; that they have neither delicacy nor honour ; that they are on the alert to take advantage of the slightest circumstance, which they can pos
sibly turn to advantage in prosecuting sinister ends. If such were the race of men, it would be quite wrong to trust young ladies in society at all; the best and most proper expedient would be, a grand, universal nunnery.
The tendency of all unjust and ill-founded want of confidence in all the departments and relations of life, is to make those towards whom it is manifested what they are suspected of being. Such a style of manners, therefore, on the part of ladies to gentlemen, if universally adopted, would have a positively demoralizing tendency. There is still another view of the subject, another reason for the same result. Primness and prudishness are so repugnant to the taste of gentlemen, they so completely rob woman of her charm, that were all the virtuous to become prim and prudish, their influence would very much diminish, and that of the vicious increase proportionally. The kind of precision which our author inculcates, never commands respect; for it is in itself of the very essence of indelicacy. It supposes the mind of the precieuse full of all sorts of naughty thoughts. Honi soit qui mal y pense.
One cannot help suspecting, that a lady who thinks it necessary to build up all these fences about herself, and to cry out so loudly, “ thus far shalt thou come and no farther," is conscious of wanting that inherent power of self-protection which is always found associated with native dignity and refinement in woman. We, of course, do not mean to include in our censure that native shrinking reserve of character which is sometimes met with, for nothing of the kind, which is natural, offends, but that which is artificial, and worn as a sort of garment. We maintain that any woman of sense and propriety may be free, frank, confiding, untrammelled by rules, in her intercourse with gentlemen; and yet command whatever style of manners she pleases on their part. A glance of her eye, a tone of her voice, some sudden change of manner,
will immediately set at a proper distance all disrespectful or undue fari. liarity.
There is a mutual desire between the sexes to appear well in each other's eyes, which God undoubtedly implanted for wise purposes. Without reference to the institution of marriage, which unites so many of them in the closest earthly bond, it was intended that each sex should exert great influence over the other. Whatever counteracts the designs of Providence, must be bad ; and we repeat, that woman cannot have her just influence where she deprives herself, in any degree, of her power of pleasing
In concluding this article, we should be glad, if we could, to add some sanction to these excellent precepts and principles which are scattered throughout the book—which spring from an enlightened humanity; and which, in most things, not relating to the artificial forms of society, are marked by good sense and high moral principle. But we must put our veto upon her mawkish sentiments about marriage, because we are unwilling that any woman should be indifferent in regard to it; or should form false and mistaken views of an institution which is the well-spring and pure fountain of all social happiness and civilization. We would have her thoughts turned towards it, and her mind fitted for it, as her probable and high destiny.
We protest, too, most earnestly, against the whole scope and spirit of the author's remarks upon - Behaviour to Gentiemen." From whatever source they are derived, they depreciate the power of one sex and the virtue of the other; and have a tendency togive to their mutual intercourse associations degrading to both.
In regard to such a book, its style is comparatively a matter of so little consequence that we have forgotten to speak of it. It is extremely well written; but it would have been a more agreeable as well as a more useful book, had there been less of detail in regard to many subjects already well understood, and more illustration connected with those of greater importance.
ART. IX.- The Christian's Defensive Dictionary ; being an
alphabetical refutation of the general objections to the Bible, f.c. _ By W. W. Sleigh, the successful Advocate of Divine Revelation in the late Discussions with the NewYork and Philadelphia Infidels. Philadelphia: 1837. 12mo. pp. 437.
NOTHING seems to take attention now-a-days unless it is out of the way, and calculated to startle and excite. The author of the book before us seems fully aware of this. He has not failed to make the discovery, that people, and especially in this country, must be addressed in a new and exciting manner. ACcordingly, on his first arrival here, we find him advertising to prove, in a course of lectures on some branches of natural science, that all the objections against Scripture are based