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uninterruptedly secure an education ? By no means, she is blest with none of these advantages. Of the two hundred and fifty colleges in this eountry, no more than half a dozen admit woman to their privileges. And woman too pays her full share for their support.
In all candor, let me ask if our country could boast of as many great minds, if this had been the encouragement man had received ? It would not, I am sure, have been the case.
We must admit that it is not the want of talent, but the positive hindrances that woman meets, which detain her in her upward career, since it has been proven in too many instances to be doubted, that her capacities and aspirations are equal to those of man.
Our Queen Catharines and Elizabeths in the olden time, our De Staels and Martineaus, have shown abilities in far seeing political sagacity which have been envied by all, but not surpassed by any. When it could be said of one of these, that she was the most profound politician of her time, and of another that she is doing more for political reform than any man of her nation ; does it not show what woman is capable of becoming. It may be said that these are rare instances, they are, but we might bring forward many others from the records of history not inferior to these; and then too, if they are selected instances from the few on record, it proves nothing against the point. If one woman elevates herself, then others are capable of aspiring to and reaching positions, perhaps less in degree, but the same in kind. Our Edgeworths, Mitchells, Moores, Morgans, Thorntons, Hemans, Childs, Sommervilles and a host of others, prove positively her scientific and literary abilities. If there were but few, if there were but one, who had reached these positions in spite of the obstacles that surround woman's advancement, it would prove positively that woman should have all the advantages that man possesses. It is with a feeling of exultation, of pride, we say, that notwithstanding all these disadvantages, and notwithstanding due rewards have been withheld from woman, we have noble examples of women for whom the innate and irrepressive impulse of a capacious mind has sufficed ; and whose immortal genius has surprised, while it has rebuked the world.
But the mass of woman have lacked the stimulus which is afforded
by the contact of mind with mind. The avenues to the political, scientific, and industrial world have been closed upon them. In the earlier stages of the world, man's lower passions bore sway, and he was the valiant hero, who possessed the strongest muscles, and could boast the greatest shrewdness in their use. Woman being less in size, was degraded in proportion as he was elevated on account of this supposed superiority. His greater might, decided it to be right that she should be his slave. Accordingly we find her, even among those who felt themselves to be the chosen people of the Lord, oppressed, degraded ; allowed as a wife in the family no higher position than that of a servant, to tend the flocks and perform menial services. We find her, notwithstanding her weakness, engaged in those employments which were necessary for the maintenance of the family ; while her lord indulged his warlike, lubidinous and bacchanalian propensities. The services of the daughter also, were used to increase the wealth of the household ; accordingly when the daughters were to be given in marriage—and woman has always been giren in marriage—the father exacted a bonus, and man's wealth was estimated by the number of his wives.
But as ages rolled on, woman in common with man progressed. Still however she was the subject of lustful man, and those charms which fed his low desires, were impaired by constant hardships and exposures. Still being a subject, being directed, controlled and governed by man, and becoming by the means I have already mentioned less and less beneficial, pecuniarily, the terms of agreement changed hands, and the father for the sake of getting rid of his daughter, offered a reward with her to him who should take the responsibility of providing for her wants. Now who shall say that this is not to a great extent true at this day? My sisters, do not your cheeks burn with indignation, that now in the nineteenth century, woman is regarded as an article of commerce yes lustful commerce! and that marriage is the one idea of her life? On her part, it is because she is to a great extent shut out from the means of providing for her own subsistence, and that this is the main recourse left, bearing the name of respectability. Accordingly she enters with the
greatest avidity into the contemplation of that, which can be the only change in life. We cannot wonder at the result.
Let woman be rightly educated, not because she is to be a wife, and the mother of the race; but because she has an immortal mind, which needs cultivation for her highest good here, and to fit her for life eternal. Then those other duties will take their place in natural order. She will not hasten prematurely to assume them. Being fitted for her own highest enjoyment, she will know how to contribute to the happiness of her family.
In the formation of the human race it was deemed wise by our creator to make it incumbent upon man as a happy being, that he should engage in useful employments. I claim the same right for wo man to choose her occupation, as for man; she should be an equal aspirant with him, to all the useful and honorable employments of life. But society is all wrong upon this question. It condemns the woman, as out of her sphere, as indelicate or masculine, who endeavors to live out her desire for usefulness. Should she venture to do this, she is pointed to as unwilling to act in her sphere; as wishing to be a man. It is this crushing weight of public sentiment, that operates more powerfully against her than all the laws upon the statute books. In addition to all this she receives no encouragement in point of remuneration. Even the limited circle of employments to which she has access, affords her no more than one third the compensation which men receive in the same employments. Then too it happens to be the case that the employments, to which she has no access, are those which pay most largely. We may search the records of the past, and look over the present, and we shall find it has been always true, that in whatever employments they do engage, they occupy a secondary position in remuneration. I noticed this morning, a list of Lawyers' fees in this city. The list ranged from three to fifty dollars, according to the labor performed. Woman would become more independent, were she also admitted to such advantages as these, might she have the advantages of independence which equality with man in this respect would afford
It is admitted by all, that women are better adapted for instructors,
than men are. In the addresses and reports of superintendents and other school officers, the people are advised by all means to employ women, because they are better instructors. Yet notwithstanding this is admitted, should a woman's endowments and capacities be found equal or superior to those of man, where he would receive fifty dollars, she would get not more than twenty-five; perhaps only twenty. In looking over the report of the Boston school some time since, where there were eight teachers, five females and three males, I saw that the salaries of the male teachers ranged from one thousand dollars to fifteen hundred dollars per year; while the salaries of the females were three hundred each. The combined salary of five female teachers, only equalling that of one male teacher. Now why is this? There is no nation on earth where industrial arocations are open to women with equal facilities for success and equal stimuli to greatness and usefulness. Hence she is limited to a very inferior circle of employments, and even there, is forced to starve on half pay. What a contrast does this present to the position of man. The wide world is his sphere, hence he never goes beyond its limits, although he engage in the most ennobling employments; and never falls below it, although he descend to the most trifling occupation. His sphere is a peculiarly graduated circle, having the power of self adjustment, to suit any occasion. Literature, Fine Arts, Government, Politics; any thing he chooses, and with every prospect of success, are departments of industry open to him, which stimulate him to action. What wonder Chat woman is not equal to man? What wonder that she binds herself in marriage, without duly considering the objects of that sacred relation? A ye worse! What wonder that she prostitutes all her God-given powers--that she lives a life of immorality and vice, and goes to her grave anpitied, un wept, unhonored, and unknown; without having fulfilled the object of her earthly pilgrimage, and destitute of preparation for a higher and holier state. Ye advocates of moral reform, look at the causes of her demoralization, nor expect with all the means you now employ, that the soul destroying dens of civilized cities will be removed, until you arouse woman's energies to the same encouragement to high endeavor; not until you remove from our midst the giant prejudice which paralyses her arm, and renders her powerless;
not until you permit her the well earned remuneration, for her toil ! Then will she have no overcoming temptation to a life of immorality; and then will this mildew of society, this leprosy in our midst, be wasted away and known no more forever. My soul sickens at the wrong, society imposes upon my sex. When I see them refused all ennobling employments, and compelled to accept the crumbs which fall from their master's table, their minds dwarfed for want of mental culture; my soul in anguish for the wrongs of womanhood exclaims-Heavenly Father! why hast thou permitted thy purer but weaker child, to be trampled upon by her stronger, but, in thy sight, only equal brother? But the clouds of darkness part, and on their light fringed curtains behold the response—“Bid woman not despond, but prepare for the dawning of a glorious day; see upon the white draped clouds of the East, the golden light breaks forth. Soon her propitious sun will rise, and illumine a glorious pathway for her weary feet to tread.
My sisters take courage, the promise is given and the day of fulfilment cannot be far distant! Go to work in good earnest, relying on yourselves. Do your part to correct public sentiment ; in as far as you cannot correct it, go in opposition to it. Do what your consciousness tells you to be proper and desirable.
• I believe in the equal right of both sexes, to all employments. When we remember that in England, France, Germany, and in our own country, we have specimens of those who excel in agriculture; I would say to women who are disposed, become manufacturing capitalists, agriculturalists; study and practice the fine arts, establish your Daguerrian galleries, and galleries of painting. Engage in all or any of these employments towards which you feel any attraction, and for which you have ability.
In short insist upon your right to engage in the better paid employ. ments. There are other stations which we may not expect to occupy so soon; as for instance, the political and governmental situations. But woman must soon recover the right to her part of the fortress. Stop not to reason upon her capabilities, but mov on steadily and resolutely; your capabilities will then come to be seen and acknowledged, and need not be reasoned upon. We shall for some time, as