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company; occasionally a concert or an opera, which never lasts later than nine or half-past nine; some holiday afternoon, a little gathering of young school-friends, to which gentlemen are not admitted ; once or twice a year, perhaps, after she is fifteen, private theatricals or a soirée, where she appears in a simple dress, dances under her mother's care, and returns home at eleven o'clock. In this way she manages her strength and husbands her forces for study
Another cause of her better health is the great physical care taken at the critical periods of the month; although, as I have previously said, she continues her studies during these days, if without suffering; I must add, that on the other hand she abstains from all physical exercise like gymnastics or dancing-lessons, protects herself most carefully against cold and wet, sleeps perhaps a little longer in the morning, and instead of taking a walk, lies down for an hour through the day. A party or ball at such a time would be looked upon by the mother with horror, and considered by the girl herself as a great impropriety. The care of her health is at all times, of importance to German women. I have, for instance, very rarely seen then walk in bitter-cold winter weather in a 60-called cloak, which left the abdomen entirely unprotected.
A third cause of the German girl's being better able to work with impunity than her American sister during the years of development, which in South Germany begin at the age of fourteen, may be found in the simpler and much more sensible way in which she is brought up while still in early childhood. A German mother does not bedeck her little daughter of four or eight years with flounces and sashes half as heavy as herself, and then show her off in a parlor full of admiring friends; nor send her to a children's ball, where, with a young prodigy of the other sex, she imitates her elders in flirtation. Instead of coaxing the wilful darling into obedience by the promise of candy, utterly disregardful of future dyspepsia, she brings her to reason by more efficient, if less agreeable expedients. The child is encouraged to play with her dolls, and to find pleasure in flowers and child-like amusements, as long as possible. Thus she grows up with simple tastes, although a little awkward and shy.
And, on the other hand, the mother herself finds her chief pleasure at home, and does not dream of planning amusements for each night of the week, but keeps comparatively early hours, even in the city ; takes a great deal of exercise in the open air, and thus remains generally strong and healthy after her nursery is well filled.
Now I do not say that the German education comes up to the ideal. Far from it, indeed! The German girl migbt, with profit, go more deeply into the wonderful mysteries of science, just as her American sister is supposed to do; counterbalance her somewhat too poetical tendencies by the severer pursuit of mathematics, and find delight in the beauties of Latin and Greek authors, if such should be her sincere desire. Nor can I see any objection to the pursuit of medical, and other higher intellectual studies, by the few whose enthusiasm and natural gifts fit them for it.
All this the German woman will safely accomplish, if she retains the simplicity of her manners and tastes, a quiet, undisturbed mind during the years of early youth, the while not forgetting to preserve the priceless gift of health.
That this desirable consummation will be better and more safely reached by an adequate separate education, which can take into account woman's peculiar physical organization when necessary, rather than by co-education, no one, I think, can predict. Thus far, the idea of co-education has not penetrated the German brain, and the German woman is too shy and modest to think of downright, decided competition with man.
Whether the radical changes in education now progressing in this country, and still in the future for Germany, will yield valuable fruit, and conduce to better the condition of women, it seems to me, experiment rather than theory, must show. I am with sincere respect, yours truly,
MRS. OGDEN N. ROOD. 341 East 15th Street, N. Y.
SEX IN EDUCATION.
THERE has recently appeared a collection of essays on the subject of girls' education, which, for the reason that it has excited so much attention, cannot here be passed by without special notice. It is seldom that any book arouses so much criticism, and, withal, so much earnest opposition as this has provoked, and seldom do the newspapers so generously open their columns to discussions so extended on the merits and demerits of any publication. The author is a physician of high repute in the city of Boston, Dr. E. H. Clarke. With regard to the criticisms on it, the general observation may be made, that where the writer is a man, praise is more generally bestowed than in those cases where a woman is the author, though there are very marked exceptions, the bitterest criticism of a large number in my possession being written by a man. Women, from their standpoint of women, very generally unite in disagreeing with its prennises, and from their standpoint as reasoning beings, they are unable to accept its conclusions, the premises being granted. And these adverse criticisms, these indignant protests, are not solely from teachers, but also from mothers, from those who have never taught, and the most candid and dispassionate
one of all, from a woman in no wise connected with schools, either public or private.
But even supposing that they were all from teachers, does that fact, except under a very narrow view of hunan nature, render them any the less valuable ? Does one profession blind the eyes more than the other ? Even in the narrowest view possible to the teacher, is it not for her interest that her pupils should be healthy? How can mental work be satisfactorily done without physical vigor? If it be objected here that some teachers are interested only in present results, unmindful of future consequences, I enter a counter statement that the same is true of some physicians, and bar the line of argument which would compare the poorest teachers with the best physicians.
The profession of teaching is not thus narrow in its views; is not so led by present and temporary motives. Its members are not working for glitter and show in the few years of school life; they do not aim at showy displays at the risk of permanent injury. They work not for to-day, but for all time and for eternity. Their greatest reward is in seeing the developinent of mind, the correction of false habits, the strengthening grasp of thought, and the growth' of character.
Are they any less desirous than the physician that the delicate instrument which puts the soul in communication with the external world, and by means of which it must be developed, be in perfect tune? Do they desire any less earnestly than he, that they may assist in forming from the effervescent girl-life of America a gracious womanhood, fully able to bear any strain which active life may bring, rejoicing to become in due time true wives and real mothers ? Is the future of American women any less dear to the teaching profession than to