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delicate business, and therefore I have recourse to the wise and experienced for assistance in conducting it.
Mrs. Care. The assistance of the dancing, music, and drawing master is all I require for my children. They shall indeed know something of reading, writing and needlework; but to give them a polite education, and make them accomplished, is my aim.
Mrs. Fr. I fear, my dear Mrs. Careless, you do not distinguish the advantages, which arise from a useful rather than a polite education; since you speak with so much indifference of the former, and with such raptures of the latter.
Mrs. Care. Pray what are the mighty advantages of educating children in what you style a useful manner? I never yet saw them.
Mrs. Fr. Then you are no very strict observer. (I beg your pardon for speaking thus freely.) But surely each day brings instances of its advantages; and each day shows the mischief of a contrary mode. The kind of education I mention is that which tends to give females well regulated minds and agreeable manners; and render them beloved, esteemed and admired. For it is by no means necessary in order to this, that a young lady should be mistress of all polite accomplishments. They often belong to some of the most disgusting and insignificant of the sex. No, let parents form the growing mind to virtue, religion, and the calm pleasures of domestic life; at the same time endeavoring that cheerfulness play round the heart, and innocent gaiety enliven the behaviour. Let the habit of self government be early produced; for all the world conspiring cannot make a woman happy who does not govern her passions. Let the first appearance of stubbornness in them be checked and resisted, and let them be taught cheerfully to deny themselves every object of desire, inconsistent with reason, prudence or virtue. Thus cultured, their tempers will be sweet and placid, and their manners gentle and engaging. If they are put under the care of tutors abroad, they will not be unteachable and refractory; and the presence of their parents will not be necessary to make them behave with discretion and propriety. *
* Instruction is re-productive, ad infinitum; and the domestic station of females gives them the best opportunity of transmitting virtuous sentiments to future generations. The beautiful sentiment expressed in the following extract from the letter of the Corresponding Secretary of the American Academy of Languages and Belles Letters, William S. Cardell, Esq. to Gov. Robertson, of Louisiana, deserves to be cordially cherished
Mrs. Care. Well, after their minds are thus taken care of, how would you have them further accomplished ?
Mrs. Fr. They should be well versed in reading, writing, arithmetic, and English grammar. If their natural genius strongly led them to poetry, painting, or music, and easy fortune admitted, it should be indulged and cultivated, but by no means to such a degree as to interrupt or supersede domestic employments. For these require attention in a greater or less degree from every woman; and unless she understand and discharge them according to her circumstances, she is contemptible and useless.
Mrs. Care. Fine accomplishments, truly! a perfect skill in handling the broom and duster ! Mrs. Friendly, if you educate your children in this way, they will be ruined ; they will be strangers to the charms of dancing, dress and company.
The graces will never condescend to adorn those who are accustomed to the kitchen.
Mrs. Fr. My friend, I have no objection to dancing, dress and company, when they form not the chief object of solicitude and attention, and are cultivated merely as the recreation and ornaments of life, and not as the business and end of it. Be assured, a well furnished mind, a well governed temper, love of domestic pleasures, and an inclination and capacity to pursue domestic employments, are the first requisites in a woman, and the foundation of her respectability and enjoyment. Without these, though her graceful mien and dancing charm every eye, and her music be sweeter than the harp of Orpheus, she must be unhappy in herself, and a vexation and torment to her friends. Let us view a person educated in the school of dissipation, and furnished with merely polite accomplishments. Engrossed by the desire of leading a life of amusement before she can even spell a sentence, and unfurnished with just sentiments and industrious habits, she is sent to the dancing academy that her manners may become graceful. Here she sees gayer dresses than her own, which inflame with vanity and envy her giddy, unoccupied mind.
She is determined to be outdone by none in elegance. She disputes with mamma about fashions and fine clothes ; and if her extravagant desires are not indulged, murmurs and repines at her cruel fate; becomes confirmed by every daughter of Columbia, as a more precious gem than any metal. lic or stony jewel that ever decorated the head or finger of a queen. “We seldom fail of seeing a superior family of children, where an intel.: ligent and virtuous mother is the teacher. "COMP.
in the detestable habit of fretting; and knows not content but by the name. A fondness for those phantoms which lure to ruin called pleasures, and a passion for show and parade, which perhaps through life she can never indulge, gain entire possession of her heart. All her joys are in gay parties and assemblies, where, like the butterfly of summer, she pleases by the brilliance of her colors only; which however, is no sooner familiar to the eye, than it is beheld with indifference; yet alas! this is all the attraction which this child of vanity can boast. Maturer years steal on; her mind is so uncultivated that she is incapable of the rational pleasures of thinking and conversation; her love of dissipation and amusement grows with her growth ; she sighs for new pleasures, but alas! she has so often travelled the circle, that their novelty is destroyed. With all her apparent gaiety, she is probably more wretched than the miscreant who begs the morsel that sustains his being. If she be ever placed at the head of a family, she disgusts her husband, neglects her children, and order, peace and industry are strangers in her house. Her company is ever uninteresting or disagreeable, her name is synonymous with folly, and her memory is lost with her life.
Mrs. Care. What a picture, my dear Mrs. Friendly, have you drawn! I turn from it with horror. I assure you, my chief care shall be to form my children to reflection, selfgovernment and industry; and they and I shall have reason to rejoice in the change you have made in my sentiments. Mrs. Fr. I rejoice to hear you express yourself in such a
Believe me, when I say, the best fortune which can be bestowed on a child is a good education. It secures her honor and happiness through life, whatever be her station; and it leads her to the exercise of those noble and virtuous dispositions which are an indispensable preparation for the en. joyments of the future state. -American Preceptor.
SECTION VI. Extracts from the remarks of Mr. White, in Congress, on
the 12th of February 1823, on offering a resolution in favor of establishing a permanent increasing fund, from the sales of the public lands, for the promotion of education.
MR. SPEAKER, i Of all the subjects worthy the consideration of a republican government, education is of the first and highest importance. Education is to the republican body politic, what
vital air is to the natural body, necessary to its very existence; without which, it would sicken, droop, and die.
2 The republican institutions of this country are bottomed upon the virtue and intelligence of the people, and on the maintenance and preservation of that foundation, will their perpetuity depend. Let the great body of the people be well informed, and their moral character preserved, they will know and understand their rights and privileges; a correct moral principle, will always prompt them to a faithful performance of civil and social duties, which will, inevitably, ensure the enjoyment of those rights and privileges.
3 As a matter of policy, education is the first great national interest, to which a republican government ought to lend their support. Keep the great body of the people virtuous and well informed, and the penal laws on your statutebook will, in a great measure, become obsolete and a dead letter; corporeal punishment will scarcely be known in our land. It is certainly safer and easier, by the seasonable administration of gentle preventives, to ward off a disease from the natural body, than to be compelled to eradicate the disorder when introduced and seated in the system.
4 So with the body politic, it is safer, wiser, and less expensive, by good and wholesome regulations, to preserve the virtue and intelligence of the people, and thereby prevent the introduction of crime and moral disease, than when they are once introduced, to be compelled to use harsh and severe measures to root them out.
5 One hundred dollars, judiciously laid out in the education of youth, would go further in the maintenance and support of a free government, and in promoting the prosperity and happiness of the people, than thousands expended in enacting criminal codes, establishing courts of judicature, jails, and penitentiaries, without education.
6 In this country, government was not established for the benefit and aggrandizement of the few, to the oppression and degradation of the many, as is the case in most other countries; but for the promotion of the prosperity and happiness of all. The government of this country, sir, must depend on, and be regulated by, public opinion, or the sentiments of the people. Whilst they are virtuous and enlightened, all is well; but should they become ignorant, and their moral sense depraved, all is gone.
7 It would not be possible for the government of this country to establish, and successfully maintain, any course of measures, however wise and salutary, contrary to the sentiments of the great body of the people : Hence, the necessity of general information, and the diffusion of correct moral sentiments, throughout all classes of the community. Here, the people are the legitimate source of all power and authority: hence, the necessity of preserving the purity of that fountain, that the streams that flow therefrom, may be pure.
8 “Vox populi, vox Dei,”* is a true maxim, when applied to a virtuous and enlightened people, and when their expression flows from a fair and deliberate consideration of the subject matter, of such expression; but when applied to an ignorant and depraved people, it is false and dangerous in the extreme. It may be said, sir, that the constitution is the will of the people fairly expressed, by which the government are bound to abide; be it so: but should the great body of the people become ignorant and corrupt, they might, by constitutional provisions, deface the brightest features, and annul and revoke the surest guarantees of that sacred instrument: all, all, depends on the virtue and intelligence of the people.
9 Much has been said, on former occasions, with respect to the enemies of this country. Ignorance and vice, sir, are the natural enemies of this and every republic on earth; let these, with their mother idleness, together with their cousins german, profusion and extravagance, be expelled your bor. ders, and fortify the minds of all your citizens, with knowledge and virtue: these are the legitimate fortifications of a republic.
10 Knowledge and virtue, generally diffused, throughout all classes of community, will preserve, in its purity, the elective franchise, a virtuous and enlightened people, uninfluenced by any improper excitement, will uniformly select their wisest and best men for office.
11 Much has been said and written by great and good men, with respect to the importance of the people of this country, forming a national character. The military and naval character of this country, I trust, is now not a whit behind the chiefest : and a general diffusion of knowledge and virtue, would soon add, a moral and literary character to this nation, more uniform and glorious, than ever adorned any nation of ancient or modern date. Knowledge and virtue, may be considered, sir, as the solid resources of the nation: they will provide for the payment of your public debt, and
* The voice of the people is the voice of God,