Lincoln Phelps.

Lectures to young ladies, comprising outlines and applications of the different branches of female education, for the use of female schools, and private libraries online

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Accession 8.46.49.

On o'-fr*



Presented b











(Late Vice Principal of that Institution.]





[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by

in the Office of the Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.]


edition. This work is intended to be a complete school teacher's
manual, and contains all the necessary practical directions for
their observance in the instruction and management of schools.
It has been productive of much good, and were it in the hands of
every teacher and carefully studied, it would produce an improve-
ment in our common schools, almost beyond belief. So sensible
of this are the enlightened legislators of New York, that they have
passed an act authorising the commissioner to procure a copy for
every district in the State, and it is to be hoped for the cause of
education, that the example may be imitated by other States. It
has received unqualified praise from all the Journals, and from all
the teachers who have examined it,

Samuel R. Hall, author of Lectures on School Keeping.
Extract from the Preface.

' The author has aimed to render all the directions practical,
and make the volume a general directory for properly discharg-
ing the responsible duties involved in the office of the Primary
Teacher. The work is designed, not merely to be read, but to be j
studied; it may also be made a daily manual, during the time de- j
voted to teaching.

Containing a view of the system of Infant Schools. Also, a vari-
ety of useful lessons, for the use of teachers. By Mrs. Rowland.
New edition enlarged.

The rapidity with which the two first editions were sold, is evi-
dence of the want of such a work as this. This edition has been
improved and enlarged, and will be found a valuable assistant to
those who are engaged in, or are desirous of qualifying themselves
for teaching Infant Schools. It will also be useful to every teach-
er of young children in common schools or families.






To you, sisters in affection, and united in your ef-
forts to promote human virtue and improvement, asso-
ciated with the friend and benefactor of America the
good Lafayette, in the important care of selecting a na-
tional library for your beloved country, the following
pages are respectfully and affectionately inscribed by
one, who is proud to have been acknowledged by you as
a friend and an associate in the cause of education. For
this distinguished honor, as well as the affection mani-
fested by you for my beloved sister, during her residence
in France, permit me thus publicly to express my grati-
tude. May the friendship which in so interesting a
manner has been commenced between us be elevated and
permanent in its nature, as the objects which have giv-
en rise to it are noble and imperishable.


Mont CervuSj Guilford, Vermont.



THE following Saturday Lectures were delivered to the
pupils of Troy Female Seminary, while the Author pre-
sided over that Institution, during the visit of the Princi-
pal in Europe, in 1830 and 1831. Although in being re-
vised for the press, they have received alterations and ad-
ditions, they are now offered to the public substantially
the same, as to the plan and execution, as they were
originally delivered.

This volume, which comprises the first series of a
course of Lectures on Female Education, is principally
devoted to subjects connected with Intellectual Improve-
ment. It is the author's intention to prepare the re-
maining series for publication within the ensuing year.

The second series will, in part, be devoted to the con-
sideration of those Affections of the Mind called Emotions,
comprehending our Moral and Religious Feelings, the
Duties of Woman in domestic life, as a teacher of youth,
in society, and towards her Maker.

It was at first designed that the whole series should be
comprised in one volume ; but the subjects which present^
ed themselves were too numerous and important to be
compressed within the small compass at first intended,
and there seemed also to be a natural division between
the subjects which constituted the whole course.

Although Intellectual Improvement is not in reality to

be separated from Moral Cultivation, since both should

proceed together, it is more convenient to treat of them

separately. Thus we may give the distinct history of



some one kingdom, without carrying on that of another
with which it is intimately connected, any farther than
may be necessary in the furtherance of our principal
design ; but when we have traced the history of the one,
we may then commence that of the other.

The object of these Lectures was to awaken in the
minds of the pupils, habits of thought with respect to the
nature and design of education, and the practical appli-
cation which ought to be made of its various branches.
The young ladies to whom they were addressed were
pursuing studies. of different kinds ; and it was important
that they should know the t why and the wherefore,* with
the broad and general principles of literature and
science. Their teachers in the individual classes would
no doubt endeavor to point out these ; but every teacher
is well aware that by long dwelling upon a particular
department of education, he becomes minute, and that
there is always danger that the general scope of a
science may be lost sight of, in the microscopic views
which he is obliged to take. Many a pupil who has
studied each page of a text book with close attention, has
been found unable to give an explanation of the outlines
and general character of the work, or the science on
which it treated.

It was intended in these Lectures to exhibit the na-
ture and objects of female education, with outlines of the
various sciences connected with it: in nearly all of these
the author had at different periods personally instructed,
and her views of them were the result of her own
experience and observation.

In appearing again before the public as an author,
I feel a degree of timidity unknown on former occasions.
In my first work, ' Familiar Lectures on Botany,' my steps
were supported by guides who, if not in fallible, were de-


serving of veneration and confidence. If I wandered from
the path of true science, it was with Linnasus, with Jus-
sieu and Mirbel. If, leaving these guides for a time to con-
verse familiarly with the fair young beings, of whom the
flowers of summer are no unapt emblems, if, pausing to
discourse with them of the goodness of that Great Bene-
factor whose blessings are so profusely shed around our
pathway, or to suggest from the consideration of the
works of nature and the bounties of Providence, reflec-
tions touching our own moral and religious obligations,
still my venerable instructers were patiently bearing with
my garrulity, and ever reacy to help me forward in my
attempt to unfold the beautiful system which arranges the
objects of an important part of the kingdom of nature.

In my Dictionary of Chemistry, a work of more
severe labor, and less cheered with the glowing hues
with which imagination invests the subjects of botanical
research, 1 was secure from apprehension, by the respon-
sibilities of the authors whom I translated, and the ap-
probation and encouragement of two friends of science
who kindly encouraged me in my labors, and gave them
the sanction of their names.* Under such auspices, I
had little reason to fear that even the parts of that work
in which I ventured at originality would meet with
severe criticism. The call for three large editions of
the Lectures on Botany within two years, with the
adoption of my Dictionary of Chemistry into academies,
colleges, and medical schools, have encouraged me to
offer these Lectures to the public.

But notwithstanding so many unexpected encourage-
ments, it is with hesitation that I now unveil to public
observation those scenes ever to be remembered, when

* Professors Silliman and Eaton.


surrounded by a numerous assembly of young females,*
among whom were my own daughters, and many little
less dear to me, I endeavored to impress upon youthful
intellects the truths of science, and upon yet unsophisti-
cated hearts the love of virtue and sentiments of reli-
gion. Although the partial affection of these dear pupils
led them to believe that these instructions might be
useful to others, strangers may judge differently ; they
may view with the cold eye of criticism, attempts to do
good which were prompted by a warm heart and
zeal to elevate the female character and discharge a
sacred obligation.

Those, who with me, feel deeply on the subject of
human improvement, and who may perceive errors of
judgment, or faults of execution in the following pages,
will, I trust, be willing to communicate with me as friend
with friend ; and such may be assured that any criticism
or counsel thus offered, will be gratefully received and

It has been suggested by teachers of experience, that
these Lectures would prove valuable assistants in educa-
tion, by affording a kind of Synopsis for weekly reviewing
lessons in the various departments of study, as well as
a suitable reading book for young ladies' schools.t It
was indeed partly in the anticipation of such an object
that the lectures were originally committed to writing, as
the author was little confined to notes, but often pursued
the train of thought which was suggested at the mo-

Amongst the numerous works on education which are

* The number of pupils was nearly two hundred.

t Among the number of those who have expressed this opin-
ion, I have pleasure in naming Miss Beecher, the respected Prin-
cipal of the Hartford Female Seminary, to whom the plan of this
work was early communicated. .


now before the public, the author knows of none similar
in plan to this. Abridgements and compilations differ
much from compounds, which, though formed of pre-
viously existing elements, come fresh from the crucible
of mind, bearing upon them the author's 'own image
and superscription/

The names which appear in the dedication of this
work may not be extensively known in this country.
To those not conversant with French literature, the most
distinguished writers are not generally known until
time engraves their names upon the records of history.
In America, the names of the distinguished women of
England are almost as familiar as if the Atlantic did not
separate the two countries. The reason of this is obvi-
ous; we speak and write a common language, and
thought, meeting with no impediment, is wafted across
die ocean with a rapidity almost equal to its own opera-
tions. Thus the name and writings of Maria Edge-
worth, are known to almost every child of our country,
while those of Madame Belloc and Madamoiselle de
Montgolfier, although no less celebrated in Europe,
are by no means familiar to Americans. These two
ladies, witha singular devotion of friendship, mutually
share in fortune, literary labor and fame.* They have
been connected with M. Jullien, one of the most enlight-
ened men of the age,f in conducting the Revue Ency-

* Madame Belloc in a letter to myself, says, ' /' ai pour aide une
autre moi, meilleur, que moi, et plus capable d'accomplir, c'est
uneamie, une soeur d'adoption, avec laquelle depuis douze r ans,
je suis ft moitie de tout; peines, plaisirs, traveaux, families nous
avout tout en commune, c'est en son nom autant qu'au mien que
je yous remercie de votre lettre, et que je reclame un peu de votre
amitie ; j'aime a pensee qu'avec vous, Madame, nous nous trouve-
rons comme avec Madame Willard licis d'une longue et anciene
amitie par de profonds rapporte de pensee et de gout.'

t For an interesting sketch of this Savant see a late communi-
pation of Mr. Willis, for the New York Mirror.


clopedique, a distinguished Literary Journal of Paris ; they
take a deep and active interest in many of the schools
and charitable institutions of France, and the literature of
their country is enriched by many of their valuable and
joint productions.


LECTURE I. Introductory * %13

II. Different views of young persons re-

" specting the objects of education.

" Four classes of pupils : 1st, the gay

" and fashionable ; 2d^ the idle and

" careless ; 3d, the moral ; 4th, the

" pious, 17

" III. The nature and objects of education. .25

" IV. Private and Public Education. Public

Schools 33

" V. Physical Education , 49

" VI. Division of Mental Faculties. Cultiva-

" tion of Mental Faculties. Mental

" Discipline 65

" VII. Spelling. Articulate Sounds. Read-

ing 75

. " VIII. Reading 81

" IX. Grammar 89

" X. Ancient Languages 95

" XL Modern Languages 108

" XII. Modern Geography. Ancient Geog-

" raphy 116

" XIII. History 135

XIV. Mythology 147



LECTURE XV. Natural Science. T Astronomy. Nat-
ural Philosophy. 161

" XVI. Chemistry. History of Chemistry . . * . 172
" XVII. Natural History. Zoology. Botany.. 197
" XVIII. Mineralogy. Geology * . .213

" XIX. Mathematics. Arithmetic and | Alge-
bra. Geometry .236

" XX. Rhetoric. Criticism. Composition. ..249

" XXI. Logic. Moral Philosophy. Intellec-
tual Philosophy 264

u XXII. Accomplishments. Music! Dancing.

Drawing, 280

Parting Hymn, sung by the Pupils of
Troy Female Seminary, at the close
of Examination, Feb. 16, 1831 307




MY DEAR PUPILS : With feelings of deep anxiety and
a solemn sense of my own responsibility, I now ad-
dress you.^We have just parted with her, from whom I
as well as you, have been accustomed to receive advice
and instruction. Every receding wave is carrying her
from her native country, and her loved and cherished in-
stitution. The affectionate and admonitory words which
she spake at parting are yet fresh in our minds ; and we,
like the Ephesians when St. Paul tore himself from them,
sorrow most of all, lest we may see her face no more.
But let us hope that a life on which so much depends
may be preserved, and that a mind whose efforts have
been so greatly blessed for the improvement of her sex,
may be restored to us with renewed vigor, enriched by
observations of the state of female education in foreign
countries, and with increased facilities for usefulness in
her own. Let us show our love to this dear friend, not
by vainly regretting her absence, but by remembering her
words and following her precepts.

I see by the affectionate beamings of many a youthful 1
countenance, that you are ready to give your confidence
and love to one whom Providence has called to fill a
station to which her own ambition was far from aspiring.
To me, my dear girls, the change is great, from the re-
tirement of domestic life, to find myself within a few short
years, called to preside over a public institution, number-
ing nearly two hundred pupils, many of whom are al-


ready distinguished for literary attainments, to be the re-
sponsible head of so i umerous a family, and to find it
my duty to direct and advise a body of teachers, combin-
ing experience and learning, with talents of a high order.

It is with humility, in view of my own deficiences, that
I speak to you of \hese responsibilities. I wish you to
know and feel the cares and anxieties of my situation ;
and may I not count upon each one of you as a friend,
ready to give me your encouragement and aid upon all
occasions when they can be useful. These occasions, my
dear pupils, will be many : to you I must look for industry,
to sustain by your improvement the high character of the
institution. You must aid me in maintaining good order
and in supporting discipline ; you must, by your obedience
and attention to the teachers, render their situations
Agreeable ; and finally, by your affectionate and encour-
aging behaviour, support me in the discharge of my du-

In consenting to take upon myself the charge of this
institution during the necessary absence of its Principal,
I have done what was demanded by a sense of moral
obligation, as well as by sisterly affection ; and in the
discharge of my duties, 1 must look for guidance and sup-
port to Him to whom we owe all our intellectual faculties,
the physical power to execute what the mind dictates,
and who will not require more of us than he will enable
us to perform.

In pursuance with the custom of the late Principal, I
shall continue to devote a portion of time, on each Satur-
day, to giving general instruction on subjects connected
with literature, morals and religion. In these Lectures
I shall consider the nature and object of education, the
various branches of study here pursued with their prac-
tical application, female manners and accomplishments,
the peculiar duties of woman in her domestic relations,
towards society, and towards her Maker.

It is of vast importance that you should entertain just
views of the bearing which the ideas you now gain, and
the habits you now form will have upon your future des-
tinies both for time and eternity. As I look around upon
the young and happy faces before me, and consider the


changes which a few years will produce, my emotions are
too powerful for expression. I see in the gay, unreflecting
girl, the future wife, the mother, and the candidate for im-
mortality, having power not only over her own destiny,
but capable of wielding vast influence over other immor-
tal beings. Impressed as these solemn truths are upon
my mind, I may at times, seern to expect from you too
much seriousness and reflection, at an age when gaiety
and thoughtlessness are so natural.

Far be from me the wish to check the spontaneous
cheerfulness of your young hearts, to see you sorrow-
ful and desponding, or to expect in you an unnatural
precocity of judgment and forethought. The world will
soon enough change the buoyancy of youthful glee into
heaviness. Enjoy then this spring time of your existence,
this morning of your life ; but enjoy with moderation, and
spare something from the exuberance of your emotions,
to soften and cheer the sober and pensive season, which,
should your lives be spared, will as assuredly follow, as
evening follows morning or as spring is succeeded by
autumn. Should you see a group of happy children, sport-
ing near the border of some dreadful precipice, which
they in their childish glee heeded not, would you think it
unkind to check them in their mirth, in order to point
out their danger ? or if one should chance to have stray-
ed to the verge of the precipice, would you hesitate to
seize him even somewhat roughly, in order to save him
from destruction ? Think it not, then, my dear girls, un-
kind in those, who by the light of experience see dangers
to you invisible, if they raise a warning voice, if they
give a temporary check to your gaiety, in order to avert
evils which they see impending over you. The eye of
experience sees before you trials of virtue, affliction,
pain and death ; and after death cometh the judgment/
In view of these solemn and momentous interests, I can-
not but watch with deep anxiety and solicitude, even
your slightest actions ; these, though individually of little
consequence, appear of vast importance when considered
as indications of future character.

All human beings must suffer pain, and sorrow ; but on
woman do the evils incident to human existence fall with


peculiar severity. Our hearts are sensitive, we are easily
elated, or depressed ; the delicacy of our nervous system,
renders us subject to a thousand agitations to which the
other sex, from greater physical strength and more firmness
of nerves are exempt. We are subject to caprices, and
need to be fortified by intellectual discipline, and above
all, by religious principles to enable us to overcome the
weaknesses to which our minds, owing to a peculiar phy-
sical organization are subject.

How much is the delicate frame of woman called to en-
dure ! Pain and sickness ; and, what is more trying to the
mind than personal suffering, we must experience the an-
guish of watching over the distresses of others ; of wit-
nessing death in its triumph over the objects nearest to
our affections. Yes, you, whose hearts now beat high
with expectation, who feel that the world is matur-
ing roses for you to pluck, even you, my daughters,
are to find thorns springing up before you. You are
destined to watch over the couch of sick and dying
friends, parents, brothers and sisters, and perhaps to per-
form the last sad offices for some of these your compan-
ions who are now before you glowing with health and
beauty some of you will mourn over dying children, some
will experience the sorrow and desolation of widowhood ;
and all, sooner or later, will taste of death, the com-
mon lot of mortals.

In uttering these predictions, I am not arrogating to
myself a supernatural foresight ; life, with some slight
variations, will be to you, as to those who have gone be-
fore you. The smaller circumstances, the filling up of
the picture of your lives, time only will exhibit, but the
outlines are too darkly and plainly marked not to be
manifest to the eye of experience. Within the last seven
years, during which time I have been connected with this
institution, many pupils whom I have addressed from this
place, and who like you were full of hope and anticipa-
tion, have gone forth into the world, only to prove its van-
ity and falsehood. Some have felt the bitterness arising
from the consciousness of having bestowed their young
affections upon unworthy objects, some have pined in
secret over a hopeless attachment, while others after hav-


ing been flattered and worshipped as angels, have been left
to the heart-rending condition of deserted and neglected
wives. Some, who to appearance were happily settled in
life, have been called to leave beautiful and elegant
homes, the arms of fond affection, with all the charms of
domestic life, and to lie down in the grave. The most
devoted love, the most extensive wealth,

' Could give no more
Than earth enough to make Iheir narrow bed.'

Even the young and beautiful, when the seal of death is
upon her, is given up to corruption, and the worm feeds
sweetly upon its victim.

Is there not enough, then, my beloved pupils, in view
of the various trials, which are incident to woman, and es-
pecially in view of the final destination of all human beings,
to bring you to reflection ? And, oh that you may lift
up your hearts in prayer, and beseech your Heavenly
Father to fit you for the performance of your duties in life,
for the patient suffering of your trials, and for the enjoy-
ment of Heaven.

e Woman's lot is on you ! silent tears to weep

And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour,

And sumless riches from affections deep

To pour on broken reeds a wasted shower !

And to make idols and to find them clay,

And to bewail that worship ! therefore pray !

Earth will forsake Oh, happy to have given

Th' unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven.'


Different views of young persons respecting the object
of education. Pour classes of pupils : 1st, the gay
and fashionable ; %d, the idle and careless ; 3d, the
moral; th, the pious.

IT is of great importance to you all, that you should
well understand your own characters, the views which



you entertain upon the subject of your present advan-
tages of education, and the preparations you are making
for futurity, both as it respects this life and that which is
to come. And yet, how few young persons do reflect
deeply upon these things; how often are they careless
of the seeds which may be taking root in their minds.

Online LibraryLincoln PhelpsLectures to young ladies, comprising outlines and applications of the different branches of female education, for the use of female schools, and private libraries → online text (page 1 of 27)