Charlotte Mary Yonge.

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THE GIFT OF

MAY TREAT MORRISON

IN MEMORY OF

ALEXANDER F MORRISON



WOMANKIND.



BY

CHAELOTTE MAEY YONGE.



SECOND EDITION,



NEW YORK

MACMILLAI^ AND CO.,

1890.



HQ



^.



to THE DEAB MEMOElEa
OF

F. M. Y.— a. T.— C. K

AND TO OTHER INFLUENCES AND EXAMPLES

THAT CANNOT BE NAMED AS THEY ARE 8TILI. WITH US,

THESE THOUGHTS ON WOMEN ABB



434435



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

f-AOl

woman's status •••.a»*»i«l



CHAPTER II.

NUESERT TEAININO •...••.••8

CHAPTER III.

EAKLY EELIGIOUS TEAININO . . . , . . ,14

CHAPTER IV.

yiETUES AKD FAULTS OF CHILDHOOB .,,.,, 19

CHAPTER V.

HOME, SCHOOL, OE G0VEENES3 ...,,., 29

CHAPTER VI.

LESSONS •••...••••.88

CHAPTER VII.
cui/nmE ••••..••.•.60



VI CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.

, TAGK

CniLDEEN S PLEASURES ,, 5(5

CHAPTER IX.

THE TEENS ••...,.,,,,67

CHAPTER X.

RELIGION • ...yS

CHAPTER XL |

YOUNG-LADTHOOD ••»,,80

CHAPTER XIL

CHARITY • •,,,85

CHAPTER XIII.

SUNDAY-SCHOOL ••••••« ,i, 90

CHAPTER XIV.

REFINEMENT AND FINELY ••••,,,,99

CHAPTER XV.

DKES3 • • . . • 108

CHAPTER XYI.

AMUSEMENT ,, •••i 119

CHAPTER XVII.

PARENTS AI^D CHILDREN . ••••••• 128



CONTENTS, Vll



CHAPTER XVIII.

PAGE

BROTHERS AND SISTCrvS ••■ 135



CHAPTER XIX.

FRIENDSniF .• •.•l'!o

CHAPTER XX.

TOUrn A^'D MAIDEN 1-2

CHAPTER XXI.
counTsniP • • ^^^

CHAPTER XXII.
■\VIVE3 . • • • . • • • • • • •!"

CHAPTER XXIII.
MisTUESS AND serva::t ^^^

CHAPTER XXIV.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION ......••• 202

CHAPTER XXV.

VIEWS AND OPINIONS • .211

CHAPTER XXVI.

MONEY-MAKING «. ••• 222

CHAPTER XXVII.

STEONG-MINDED WOMEN . . • . • • • • 231



VUl CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

PAO»

TJNDEBDOINO AND OVEKDOINO ...».•• 240

CHAPTER XXIX.

HEALTH ••«••... .••, 252

CHAPTER XXX.
HOMB •..«.. 2G4

CHAPTER XXXI.

THE WOELD »•• 274

CHAPTER XXXII.
AUTnOlllTy ce**. ••,..• £84

CHAPTER XXXIII,
eoREOW •• ,.., 298

CHAPTER XXXir,

GOING IK .#••• S12

CHAPTER XXXV.
OLD AOE $22



WOMANKIND.



CHAPTER T.

\eOMAN'S STATUS.



A WOJTAW can hardly arrive at middle age without having
thought over some of the duties and opportunities placed in the
hands of her sex. To ihinlc. is in the present day almost equi-
valent with to express ; and it is in the hope that the expression
of some of my thoughts may he in some degree an assistance
to a few readers, that I venture to throw a fresh contrihution
into the seething cauldron of sayings and opinions with which
we are regaled in the present day.

Not that I have anything new to say — only that which is so
old that it may seem new. I have no hesitation in declaring my
full helief in the inferiority of woman, nor that she hrought it
upon herself.

I "believe — ^as entirely as any other truth which has been
from the beginning — that woman was created as a help meet to
man. How far she was then on an equality with him, no one
can pretend to guess ; hut when the test came, whether the
two human beings would pay allegiance to God or to the
Tempter, it was the woman who was the first to flxil, and to
draw her husband into the same tranr.gression. Thence her
punishment of physical weakness and subordination, mitigated

B



2 WOMANKIND.

by the promise that she should be the means of bringing
the Redeemer to renovate the world, and break the dominion
of Satan.

That there is this ',iiTrequality'fhj3j'6 .'is; no reasonable doubt.
A woman of the highest faculties Is' of Course superior to a man
of the lowest : -hut. shr? never .attsin's to'; anything like the
powers of a man of the highest ' ability". There is a diffi
culty, however, in generalizing ; because, owing to difference
of climate, habit, and constitution, there is less inequahty
between the sexos in some races than there is in others.
The Roman woman was superior to the Greek, the woman
of the West to her of the East; and there is far less dis-
proportion between the negro and negress than between the
coolie and his wife.

Savage life renders the woman the slave. The man, having
to the full the animal instincts of pugnacity and indolence, puts
all that is toilsome upon her, multiplies wives in order that he
may have more obedient hewers of wood and drawers of water,
and, as all other male animals are the handsomer, he lavishes all
adornments on himself.

Perhaps the very first stage from savagery to civilization is
marked by the preponderance of ornament on the female side.
As soon as woman ceases to be the mere squaw, adornment is
viewed as primarily her due. Her condition, where there is
civilization without Christianity, is extremely variablp, and
chiefly dependent on the national character ; and everywhere, in
the very lowest classes, there is the tendency to bring her to the
equaw level. In the upper ranks, and among classes faiily at
ease, the usual tendency has been to regard the splendour and
indolence of the chief wife as testimonials to the wealth and
grandeur of her lord and master. Thus, African chieftainesses
are fattened on milk like pigs for a cattle-show ; Chinese ladies
cultivate unserviceable fingers atid toes ; and Persian princesses
of old deemed the loom degradation. Seclusion has in these
cases a good deal depended on the trustworthiness and under-
standing of the women, Burmese women, who are of fair



WOMAN S STATUS. 3

average capacity, are not iramured, while Hindoo and Chinese
ladies are ; and before Mahometan ism had made the Arabian
fashion universal, the Persian laiies do not appear to have been
inmates of harems ; while European women always went at
large, though with less liberty in Greece than among the Eomans
and more northerly nations.

The state of the Jewish women seems to have varied.
Orientalism and imitation of the nations around lowered them
at times, but the purity of the standard of faith on the other
hand uplifted them. And in order that Holy Scripture might
be truly universal, no maxims enforcing undue subjection have
there received the seal of inspiration, so as to become permanent,
even though the difference between the Eastern and Western
minds may be traced every time an English child is taught to
say the Tenth Commandment, when it is sure to try to forbid
coveting the wife before coveting the house.

It was from these people of Judah that the most beautiful
image of dignified and perfect womanhood prore'^ded. "The
words of King Lemuel, which his mother taught him," though
seasoned with the salt of Inspiration, are clearly a contem-
porary picture, typical as well as applicable to all ages ; and the
nation that produced a Hannah, an Abigail, and a Shunammite,
might well be able to conceive such a being as the virtuous
woman.

One of the very remarkable points in the history of woman and
her position is the absence of any account of how polygamy came
to be aboHshed, and of any direct precept on the subject.

The words of our Lord applying to divorce plainly direct us
to understand that "in the beginning," when Adam's prophetic
command was given that "a man should leave his father and
mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they twain should be one
flesh," a single wife was implied, and that a plurality was
subsequently only permitted "because of the hardness of their
hearts ; " while every possible precaution was tat en for humanity
and consideration towards the inferior wives. The desire to
rival other kings in the multitude of female attendants seems to

fi 2



4 WOMANKIND.

have plunged even the hest of the sovereigns of Israel intc
the harem system, which was directly contrary to the Law ; and
op to the Bahylonish Captivity ordinary Eastern hahits
prevailed.

But in the New Testament, the duty of monogamy is estab-
lished, and taken for granted from the first. IIow was thisi
Had the Jews learnt it from theii licentious Greek and Roman
masters 1 In some degree perhaps they had, for the Roman had
a much higher standard of domestic virtue originally than
"what he practised; hut it seems more likely that the great
reformation under Ezra and his followers, which cleared away
idolatry for ever, and made the Jews exact observers of the Law
of Moses, really purified and elevated them so much, that the
plurality of wives came to fall into entire disuse and disrepute —
this being no doubt assisted by contact with European civiliza-
tion, even in its corrupted state.

The position of woman was at once recognised in Gospel
teaching. The Blessing conferred upon the holy Mother of our
Lord became the antidote to the punishment of Eve's transgres-
sion; and in proportion to the fuU reception of the spirit of
Christianity has woman thenceforth been elevated to her rightful
pooition as the help-meet.

There, however, comes in the woman's question of the day —
Is she meant to be nothing but the help-meet] If by this is
meant the wife, or even the sister or daughter, attached to tho
aid of some particular man, I do not think she is. It is her
most natural, most obvious, most easy destiny ; but one of the
greatest incidental benefits that Christianity brought the whole
sex was that of rendering marriage no longer the only lot of all,
and thus making both the wife and the maiden stand on higher
ground.

" Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over
thee," had been said to Eve. "Without a husband the woman
had hitherto been absolutely nothing. Wife, mother, or slave,
were her sole vocations ; and if her numbers became super-
fluous, polygamy and female infanticide were the alternatives.



WOMAN 8 STATUS.



But the Church did away with this state of things. Wife-
hood was dignified by becoming a faiut type or shadow of the
Union of the Church with her Lord. Motherhood was ennobled
by the Birth that saves the world ; and Maidenhood acquired a
glory it hail never had before, and which taught the unmarried
to regard themselves, not as beings who had failed in the pur-
pose of their existence, but as pure creatures, free to devote
themstlves to the service of their Lord ; for if His Birth had
consecrated maternity, it had also consecrated virginity.

The dim idea of pure dedicated creatures had, in the ancient
dajs of Kome, suggested the order of Vestal Virgins. Rome
had grown so corrupt, that it was almost impossible to keep up
even the small nuuaber of these priestesses; but there was
enough of the idea latent in the minds of the nation to make
the consecration of Christian purity congenial ; and the high
Roman courage, now refined, soon produced its whole army of
brave Virgin Martyrs, Then it became understood that woman
might look to no earthly lord, but might turn all her yearnings
for love and protection to Him who has become the Son of
INIan, " her celestial Spouse and King," and that her freedom
from other ties enabled her to devote herself whoUy to Him.
And how 1 Not only by direct contemplation and devotion, but
"Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these, ye
have done it unto Me."

So hegan the vocation of the dedicated Virgin, the Deaconess,
the Nun. The life in community became needful when no
security could he had save in a fortress ; and this, together with
the absolute need of the feminine nature for discipline and
obedience, led to the monastic life being, with rare exceptions,
the only choice of the unwedded throughout the middle ages ;
but this safe and honoiu-able refuge for the single daughters
of families did, to take it on the very lowest grounds, much
to enhance the estimation in which their secular sisteiB
were held.

It is not, however, my purpose here to dwell on monasticism.
All I want to do is to define what I believe to be the safe and



^



6 \70MA\KINU.

truo a=ppct in which woman ought to regard herself — namcl}',
as the helpmeet of man ; not necessarily of any individual man,
but of the whole Body whom Christ our Lord has left to h«
waited on as Hitnseli He is her Lord, lie will find her work
to do for II im. It may be that it will lie in the ordinary
course of nature. It is almost certain that she will begin as
help-meet to her father or brothers; and to many, there comts
the Divinely-ordained estate of marriag*^, and the duties and
blessings it entails, all sanctified thiough Him. It may be,
again, that her lot is attendance on a parent — ptili a work
of ministry especially blest by Him ; and so with all those
obvious family claims that Providence marks out by the
mere fact of there being no one else to undertake them. And
for those who are without such calls, or from whom their tasks
have fallen away, what is there left? Nay, not left as a remnant,
for He has been there through all. Their Lord is ready for their
direct, complete, uneclipsed service in whatever branch seems
their vocation. His Church is the visibly prtsent Mother to
guide them ; and as daughters of the Chmch their place and
occupation is found.

Previously they had no status, except as appendages to some
individual man. Now, as members of one great Body, each has
her place and office, whether domestic or in some special outer
field. And in proportion as this is recognised, the single woman
ceases to be manquee, and enjoys honour and happiness.

The change makes less visible difl^erence to the married
woman; because, by the orlgiial Divine ordinance, her husband
has always been so much her lord that her duty to him becomes
a sort of religion, and her cares as wife and mother occupy her
mind and affections. Thus there is no state of society or
r'digion — at least, where the sacrtdness of the tie of marriage is
understood — that does not present instances of the exemplary
woman, whose affections have bee^ a law to her, and have
trained her in self-denial, patience, meekness, pity, and modesty.
History, ami the experience of travellers and of missionaries,
alike prove this fact.



WOMAN 3 STATUS. 7

B\it the woman destitute of sucli a direct object for lier
obedience, cares, iiiten sts and affections, is apt, when her first
youth is over, to crave tor something further, unless she have
recognised her relation to the universal Body and to its
Head. As long as girlhood las's— and this often is a good
way on into life — she has sufficient food for her interests,
at home or abroad, in studies or amusements ; but let her home
break up, or let her not feel herself a necessary wheel in its
machinery, she becomes at a loss. The cui bono feeling comes
over her studies ; amu-^enients become weary, or she finds herself
looked at by the younger generation as de trop : and she either
sinks into duU routine in a narrow home, or is an aimless guest
at country houses ; or, on the other hand, she takes to being one
of the equally purposeless tiavellers and sight-seers — ever roving,
ever gazing ; or lastly, she struggles for the position ar)d privi-
Ifges of a man. His indepeniience she has, and a very doleful
thing she finds it — vanity and vexation of spirit to her.ielf ;
and while she strips herself of all grace and softness, she be-
comes ridiculous and absurd in his sight, and renders him
averse to the culture to which he eironeoufly ascribes her
urifemiuineness.

But let her feel herself responsible to the one great Society of
which she is a part, and let her look for the services that she
can fulfil by head or by hands, by superintendence or by labour,
by pen or pencil, by needle or by activity, by voice or by music,
by teaching or by nursing — nay, by the gentle sympathy and
earnest prayers of an invalid ; and the vague discontent is
appeased. She has found a vocation, or it has been found for
her. It may be an outwardly secular life that she lives, and
there is no visible difference between her pursuits and those of
others; but they are dedicated, they have their object; and if
her heart rests in Him, she is content.

I do not say that she wiU be in the least a faultless womaTi,'~l
or that she may not expose herself to ridicule — as the lady w^ith
a hobby, the clerical woman, the fussy district-visitor, or the
like. This depends upon tact, and the minor morals and graces



8 WOilANKIND.

of lifo ; nor is it always possible to be a^ pleasant in looks
aud ways in advancing life as in yuuth — at Jf;i.-.t, not to man-
kind. To v.oinen, wliose affuf tiou ia nioie ically valuahle to a
spinster, it i^ always possible to become more and more agieeable,
as the period of rivalry is outgrown, and there comes

*'Tho heart at leisure from itself.
With tin.o to sympathize."

It is only as a daughter of the Church that woman can have
her place, or Lo patisli-d as to her voratiou. Aud happily,
many who do not iu word or licart feel for the Church as their
Mother and Queen, yet do hfr M-ork, looking to hei luij theii
Lord aiid King, and so aro " blccsed in theii- deed,'*



CHAPTER IL

KURSERY TRAINING.



I DO not mran this for a work on education ; hut if T am to try
to review tiie scenes and aspects of woman's life, I must begin
at the beginning, and look at the little child, and what is being,
or may bo, made of her.

It seems to me that the weak point of most books on educa-
tion is, that they say boldly, " Do this, and you will produce
that effect," without taking into account the exce* ding variation
in tliti dispositions of children, and liow treatment that will barely
touch one will terrify another, while the doliglit of one is the
misery of another. Of course there are broad rules, and general
observations, and to these it is needful to confine oneself. Actual
management learns adaptation, and in all cases principles are
better than rules, as being both more stringent and more elastic.

Much has of late heen said about training and education
making the difference of habits between hoy and girl I do not



NURSERY TRAIXXNQ. 9

think the notion can bo held by anyone who has often -n-atched
the development of the two creatures. The instinct of the boy,
long before imitation can have put it into his head, is to drum
and strike in a way that never seems to occur to his si.-^ter. Uo
is sure to be eager for sticks, and esteems the sight of a hors.;
more than anything else ; while she almost as certainly cuddles
even the very semblance of a chdd, and caresses what he beat-'.
Both have a delight in producing a noise, but hers is seldom
aggressive like that of the boy.

It often happens, however, that for the few years immediately
following babyhood, from about four or five to six or seven, the
girl is rt-ally the more enterprising and less timid creature ; and
this has perhaps given rise to the opinion above-mentioned. I
1 elieve the chief reason is that the inferior creature is of more
rapid growth, and that she is really apt to be the stronger of the
two, to say notliing of the fact that her tomboy isms are repressed
and complained of, while the poor boy is blamed for his
cowardice.

At al)Out five years old boys are often very thoughtful beings.
They have just acquired fall power of speech and limb, and can
fairly understand the scenes around them, while custom has not
taken away tlie novelty and wonder. If they have anyone who
cares to converse with them, this is a great period of memorable
— often original — saying?, unanswerable questions, and some-
times of precocious religion. It now and tlien happens that the
presage of the future manhood is then to be seen in the child ;
and it is an age at which perhaps tho fairest hopes are enter-
tained — often, of course, to be disappointed, and almost alwajs
overshadowed during the time when the growth of the animal
frame gains the mastery over the spiritual and intellectual being
— often for many years. These little pensive boys are often
exceedingly timid, as well as delicate in frame, and their sisters
get credited with a great deal more couragp, because they are
stronger, and either are or seem more daring. Indeed, this age
of sold in boys is very apt to be in girls tlie age of coquetry.
Thoughtful mother, aunt, or sister, will bring reflection out in



10 WOMANKIND.

the boy ; while in the giil, notice from any man who wants to
auuise himself with her will readily take elTcct.

She iii very amusing, whether she be jierfectly simijle and
unconscious, or whether she take the line of sentiment or sauci-
ness. r»iit is it really for her good 1 Is it well to let this form
of excitcnieiit in upon the young life? If she receives it as
mere ])otting, and simply regards the " other party " as her
kindest friend and playmate, no harm is done : but it seems to
me that there is a certain blighting of the perfect freshness
and dcliracy of the nature, when the simulation of nal love and
courtship is permitted. It .seems to mo to be hanl upon the
dignity and innocence of childhood, tlius to make it ape what
it cannot understand, and to desecrate the real bt-uuty of love
to forestall it in sjiort ; nay, may not the lingering nc ollfction
of such foolish play sometimes assist to make the growing-up
girl think lightly of flirtiition 1 It is a dillituilt subject; but 1
think it might be impressed on both parties, that " Mamma
does not like that kind of play," and that no real happine.s3
would be lost by such restraint.

Some pain, too, might be saved, for la neillfsse de Venfance sets
in soon enough ; and while the boy becomws a prt-y to Berserkar
wiith, and, unices he has his own kind to play with, or else
plenty of space and liberty for voice and motion, is a burthen to
himself and all his family ; the girl loses her attnic'ive kitten-
like grace, so that the very admirers who lately called her
deliiious, and her speeches " rich," now vote them pert and
troublesome, and declare that she must be banished to the
school-room from seven to seventeen. If she is strong and
healthy, " tombojism " by no means vanishes at this period.
It is the bet-t sign for future health, for it to be retained up quite
to the "teens." What I mean by " tomboyism " is a wholesome
delight in rushing about at full speed, playing at active games,
climbing trees, rowing boats, making dirt-pies, and the like.
It can all be done with perfect modesty, provided the girls
thoroughly understand that what is permissible among them-
selves needs a little restraint if a boy not of their o\vn family be



NURSERY TRAIXIXa. H

among them, and that they must avoid all rudeness. Perhaps
it is best, this principle being understood, to leave the caiTyiug
out to themselves. With them romj)ing is sure to betray itself
by the torn frock, dishevelltd hair, and over-heated state of
exhaustion ; and a little improvement of the occasion generally
brings shame and contrition, that will worlc gradually against
the wildness of high spirits. Besides, brothers are almost dways
fastidious guardians to their sisters' propriety of demeanour, and
tell them much stronger truths than will go down from anyone
else. Where an act that shocks the elders' notions of pro-
priety comes under cognizance, a sudden sharp demonstration
of the shock it reaUy causes, foHowed up, in a cooler, more
private moment, by a Httle conversation upon maidenline.ss,
based upon the " being grown older," wiU generaHy be effectual.'
8ome girls have an instinct about them tliat never permits them
to oflend ; others have strong frames and high spirits, which make
the sense of decorum slow in onming ; and a hint that will
cover one girl with agonizing blushes is scarcely obsei-ved by
another— a lecture which will be hilpfulto one in time of excite-
ment and temptation will be scorned by another as tiresomeness
or particularity on th« elders part. For this latter class of girl,
one brief sharp sting of censure li-om father, uncle, or elder
brother, wiU do more than a hundred reproofs from her own sex.

It would be pleasant to believe that, in all cases, a delicate 1
modesty and regard to propriety is the attribute of girls, and that
however rough, noisy, and bouncing they may be from seven years
old to twelve, they are sure to soften into maidenly reserve ;
but, unluckily, experience shows that this is not so uniformly '
the case, as not to make it needful that the lesson of retenue '
and self-control should be er.forced in early girlhood, if we wish j
10 prevent the " fast " and bold development afterwards.

Again I say that perfect liberty in the garden with brothers
without objecting to boyish .ports, is generaUy quite safe ; but
It IS wiser to let it be understood that masculine games such as
cricket, or rougher sports, such as cHmbing, are not allowable



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