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A MOTHER'S THOUGHT
EDUCATION OF GIRLS.
(Luttikalij By Mrs. Ednah Dow Cheney.
“Why does the meadow flower its bloom expand ?
Because the lovely little flower is free Down to its root, and in that freedom bold.
And so the grandeur of the forest tree Comes not from casting in a formed mould,
But from its own divine vitality."
THERE is no situation in life more freighted with responsibility than that of the mother of girls, be it one or many, the one as heavy as the many, because the only: child is less naturally sitụated; and therefore apon the mother rests the necessity of intentionally providing many influences which are spontaneously produced in a large and varied family circle w m o im
I emphasize also the responsibility of the education of girls over boys for the same reason, becanse girls are more largely withdrawn from the natural education of life and circumstances than boys, and their development seems to depend more exclusively upon the individual influence of the mother. imena --- The public school, the play ground, the freedom of boyish sports, the early departure from home to college or business, the prizes offered to ambition, all exercise a powerful influence upon the boy, tending to modify the action of the mother's conscious training. More powerful than her intellectual and determined effort is usually her affectional influence, swaying him unconsciously and giving him always a centre for his heart, and life, tot which he returns from all his wanderings, si
For men, too, life, with all its evil, seems to be measurably adjusted. We do not hear constant discussions of men's sphere and men's education. Each man is left very much to work out his own career, without the responsibility of the whole sex resting upon him. He is at liberty to make mistakes in his medical practice, to blow op steamboats by his carelessness, to preach dall Bermons, and write silly books, without finding his whole sex put under ban for his shortcomings, and so he works with a sense of individual power and responsibility which calls out his energies, and educates him even in spite of the foolish Cosseting of a mother or the narrow pedantry of a teacher.
But in regard to woman, there is a general confession that life is not yet well adapted to her needs, or sbe to her place in the world. There is a perpetual effort to readjast her claims, to define her position, and to map out her sphere, and these boundary lines are arbitrarily drawn at every conceivable distance from the centre, 80 that what seems extravagant latitude to one, is far within the narrowest limits of another.
Very few have arrived at the conclusion that woman's nature, like man's, is self-determining, and that her character and her powers must decide her destiny; that instead of prescribing the outward limits of her action, the important point is to increase her energy, to regulate her activity by self-discipline, to pnrify her nature by nobility of thought and sentiment, and then to leave her free to work out her thonght into life as she can and must.. · But this, it seems to me, should be the grand leading principle of a mother in the education of her daughter, to give her such faith in herself, such knowledge of the laws of her own being, such trust in the guiding power