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contributes to refinement in taste and literary accomplishment. We simply insist, that these should not constitute, as they do now, the predominant aim in the educational course. It is by a suitable course of reading, by frequent exercises in written composition, and by general association with instructors and those of cultivated intellect, which the system proposed contemplates, that we would secure these minor, yet most valuable results.
But only secondary in importance, to a proficiency in these classes of information, is the power of an accurate and fluent expression of her own language. No mere accomplishment is higher than this. In woman, it is the highest evidence of a cultivated mind, of a refined elegant taste. Females, perhaps, excel men in the natural aptitude for language, which fact shows, not only that her appointed sphere in some way peculiarly requires it, but that it is one of her faculties, peculiarly susceptible of cultivation. Nature's indications, therefore, which is the great rule in determining the education proper to either sex, strongly point to the cultivation of this particular endow
But the peculiar relations of woman to her children, making her the chief standard from which, by imitation, they acquire language, and the importance of correct habits with them, in the use and pronunciation of language, from the earliest period of its progressive acquisition, the necessity of accurate distinctions, and consequently, of precise expression in the ideas communicated to the young, the importance of habitual care in expression, to secure a just understanding of transient orders, as well as of permanent rules in the operations of the family, and the refining, purifying, order-loving influence of habitual accuracy and chasteness of language upon the whole family circle, all indicate that such an accomplishment in woman is of the necessary qualifications to her true position. It is a powerful instrument of influence in her family, upon her children, upon her husband, and, indeed, upon the whole circle of her associations. Cultivated language is always, in it
self, a moral power. It is elevating, purifying, attractive. With woman, it becomes a medium for impressing herself with greatest power upon her family, the potent instrument for moulding all things around her, under her own influence and character. It gives strength to her example, efficacy to her plans, and makes all her useful acquirements a communicated element of direction and activity.
The ancient languages, as far as a knowledge of them bears upon a knowledge of our own language, correct spelling and pronunciation, the principles of syntax and even of prosody, definition, the right use and relations of words, their right combinations into sentences, the power and use of tropes, and the philosophy and beauty of language, all constitute proper objects of study. By information upon all these subjects, gathered from suitable books and from lectures as practical as may be of teachers, by critical exercises on the best writers and speakers, by habits of strict attention to language in every act of conversation, by exersises in written composition, in which special reference is had to the power and beauty of language, and by association with cultivated minds, the process of education should be made specially effective, in the cultivation of the capacity for accurate, easy, elegant language.
It is thus perceived, that acquisitions in moral and physical philosophy and in language, with such refinement and literary accomplishment as may incidentally arise, secured on the principle of absorption and accretion, accommodated and conformed to in a system of regular oral instruction from teachers, and the associations in which pupils are caused to live, rather than by any stringent and protracted application of the powers on the plan of self-discipline and independent study, constitute the leading results sought for in these higher educational establishments. In this system, all the features of a perfect course of education are brought together, and act harmoniously and in co-operation, each having its own relative influence, bringing out in proportionate growth and development the combined emotive and intellectual nature of woman, and sending her forth to her family and society, with her af
fections still in the ascendant, a rightly and truly educated
In the female colleges and high schools of the country, established under a praiseworthy sense of the importance of elevating the standard of female education, there is much to commend. We are favorable to the existence of such establishments. We believe they are necessary to furnish suitable opportunities for the higher order of education, and as living monuments of the country's appreciation of woman. But with the views we have expressed and conscientiously maintained, it is to be expected, that there are many things pertaining to their order and management, to which we object, and which we believe must be modified, if not radically changed, before they can successfully meet the great wants of the sex and realize the just hopes of the country.
Two or three of these objections only, we have space to mention. First. The domestic home character of woman, is contravened and overborne by the public reference, applause seeking principle, too much recognised in their whole system of operations. Conducted with constant reference to public eclat, the desire of public admiration, of living in the atmosphere of public society, is too much appealed to, and the specious, dazzling accomplishments of mind and manner are too much cultivated. Girls are thus too apt to come out from them gay lovers of the world, and capable of shining as stars in public walks, but having but few of the home virtues of those sober, enduring qualifications of mind and heart, necessary to the true sphere of womanly action. These results need not necessarily follow from the plan of a high order of education, conferred in these public educational establishments. They only follow from a method of management, founded in an incorrect philosophy, in false conceptions of the true nature of woman and of the processes necessary to secure its right development. A change in this method, founded upon a deeper, truer philosophy, would obviate these pernicious results and make these establishments the glory of the sex.
Second. The educational course adopted, is too much a copy of that existing in male institutions, which, having grown up with reference to a different mental constitution and to a different sphere of action, is unsuited to females. The whole system has too much an intellectual reference, and embodies too few features tending to bring out in just ascendancy and in proper cultivation, the emotive nature. Too great a number of studies are embraced, some of which have no relevancy to her wants, and others, such as the higher branches of mathematics, have no adaptation, but are positively injurious to her mental structure. The multiplicity of studies attempted to be pursued at the same time, often have a most distracting, bewildering influence upon the youthful mind. It is contrary to its philosophy, and instances have been known of entire unhingement, of temporary mental derangement, the result of it. These difficulties, however, furnish no argument against such institutions themselves, but rather against the course they adopt, which, if altered to adapt itself to the nature and wants of those they are designed to benefit, would make them a blessing to the country.
These objections to the course of these institutions may not be at once obvious to the popular mind. The institutions themselves are yet too recent in their establishment to allow as yet the full development upon society of these injurious results. But great general principles can never be habitually contravened with impunity. Time which is often necessary to evolve wide-spread disastrous effects upon society, in the operations of general principles, will at last bring out in actual disclosure what a just system of reasoning might have enabled all to anticipate. These institutions in the systems they adopt, are founded in a false diagnosis of the female constitution, and as necessary as effect is related to cause, without a change, consequences must follow disastrous to society.
In the theory of female education presented, the positions assumed might have been greatly amplified and sustained by a greater variety of argument and illustration. Restricted by the space allowed us, we have contented ourselves with a mere
indication of the points involved. We are aware, that in the
opinions of many whose But where truth, and great
views proposed, we oppose the judgments are entitled to respect. fundamental truth is concerned, delicacy and respectful deference, virtues in ordinary intercourse of great worth, must if necessary; yield their claims. We have performed what we believed to be a duty to the public, and contentedly leave the results with God.
OBSOLETE DISCIPLINARY LAWS.
By Rev. N. H. D. WILSON, N. C.
Robert Emory informs us, in his history of the Discipline, that this little book had then "undergone about twenty distinct revisions" since the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Since that time, it has passed under the hands of several General Conferences, two of which have been Southern. It is to the edition of 1850, "published by John Early, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South," that we propose to call attention. And most sincerely can we say, in the language of our beloved bishops, in their address to "the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South," "We wish to see this little publication in the house of every Methodist." Could this pious wish of our fathers be met, in the practice of the entire membership of the church, general profit would doubtless accrue to them. Many of the members, who are at least partially ignorant of our rules, would become acquainted with them, and their children, when brought into the church at twenty years old and upwards, would not require instruction in the elements of Methodist doctrine and discipline. This little book contains the articles of religion