Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lectures on Female Education and Manners

I thought it was interesting to see what ministers taught about the conduct of women in the 1700's. Thanks to Lizzie Farrow for alerting me about this publication, which she actually found in the library of her liberal college.
In the Orangery
In the Orangery
Art Print

Perugini, Charles...
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Lectures on Female Education and Manners

by John Burton 1793

available at Yale University Beinecke Rare Books Library

"The duty of children to parents may be considered as the primary social obligation by which you are bound" (62).

"It is in the power of the female sex to inspire young men with maxims of Honor, Virtue, and even Patriotism; or to corrupt their manners by emffeminant pleasures" (73).

"The domestic situation of your sex enables you to perform the office of instruction" (93).

"The ladies cannot be seen in a more respectable light, than when they are employed in the offices of domestic life" (94).

"There is no employment more honorable, and at the same time, more important, than that of instructing the rising generation" (95).

"The pallid countenances, which the present race of girls so generally exhibit, are marks of great debility, arising without doubt, from the want of that wholesome exercise, which was formerly more in use, ad which the fashionable manners of the times have superseded for a life more sedentary and unprofitable" (100).

"To be always quarreling with Domestics, is a certain sign of a fretful, peevish, or irascible disposition" (117).

"Natural beauty will ever be more esteemed that artificial" (147).

"A modest dress has been embroidered as the shield of virtue. It is an indication of a mind that is haste and delicate. It discovers good sense, propriety, and sentiment" (148).

"You should read books of divinity, morality, history, and philosophy" (189).

"They imagine that to make conquests of the men, should be the first object of their attention. To this end they dress, visit, and appear continually in public; without considering that those whom they will find there, are not, in general, men of the strictest honor, and most regular life. They are chiefly men of pleasure, who study to render themselves agreeable to your sex, by the graces of their external behavior" (198).

Look here for copies of this book


Mrs. Anna T said...

How far we have wandered away from this - and in what unfortunate direction!..

Anonymous said...

"The duty of children to parents may be considered as the primary social obligation by which you are bound"
"The ladies cannot be seen in a more respectable light, than when they are employed in the offices of domestic life"
"There is no employment more honorable, and at the same time, more important, than that of instructing the rising generation"

I wish this were still the case
I love to continue to be a SAHM but even the government are putting pressure on me to go out to work

"Natural beauty will ever be more esteemed that artificial" Ha I am doing something right I never wear makeup it makes me feel sunconious

Mrs.E said...

Can you imagine if these "rules" were still followed today? What a wonderful thing that would be.

I suppose the only way I will see that as a whole now, is just in the movies of that era. That's why I just love watching them. I don't imagine life will ever be that way again and that is really sad. Generations to come, including some in the present, may never understand or appreciate old fashioned times.

nannykim said...

I love the one that says there is no employment more honorable and important than instructing the next generation--my daughter has grasped that and although she has her doctorate she has chosen to stay at home to raise her child (children hopefully;-)--When she was asked , after her doctoral disortation thingy--what her plans for the future were--she told them her plans for being a mom---I am very proud of her and thankful to God--that she has seen what is important in this life.

Lydia said...

Mrs. E. It explains somewhat the puzzlement I feel when some one does not understand why I would like them to get dressed to go to college classes (a lot of them attend in their pyjamas) or not call the boys on their cell phones. Everyone is so casual and there are no barriers so they say "What is wrong with that?" When you show them Bible passages that teach women to be homemakers, they are stunned temporarily and then they hearken back to their indoctrinated learning and think, "Well, those rules have changed. We now live in a new age and need knew rules." Yet they never consider why their lives fall apart, why they cannot keep relationships, why they are treated badly, or why they have no understanding of life.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burton's entire book -- all 430 pages of it -- is available at Google Books. If the link doesn't work, go to Google and type in the title, and it should be one of the first five results.

Lydia said...

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...
To the woman who commented that the government was forcing her to go to work.

I don't know about your case, but I know several women who had to go to work. In their case it was because:

They had been on drugs and as part of their sentence they had to get a job.

They had been living with men who were no good and had to leave and get a job to support themselves.

I hope no one misunderstands or mis-uses the LAF and the Home Living stance on women's role. We never said that women should never work. There are in fact, some women who SHOULD work.

Some of them are:

The ones who won't settle down and be good wives and homemakers.

The ones who use up tons of money in partying and idle living.

The ones whose parents have had enough of their rebellion and need some relief.

Feminists should always work, as a matter of principle. After all, they shaved their hair for it, wore pants for it, educated for it, divorced multiple times for it, lived with various ne-er-do-well men with criminal records for it, and did as they pleased for it. As Taylor Caldwell said in her article called "Women's Lib," "LET 'EM WORK!!!" They wanted it and they screached for it so let 'em have it. There is no use arguing with me about the right to work. If you are a feminist you have that right--so USE IT and work. If your education did not give you the good judgment or sense to choose a proper husband, and he turns out to be a violent person or a dead beat who won't be a good provider, remember it was your precious CHOICE that you were exercising. If it doesn't work out, you have to go to work. You should be happy there is so much more industry and businesses available. In Victorian times if you made poor choices you would end up working in a poor house. Don't come here and tell us how unfair it is that we stay home, because no one held a gun to your head and told you to marry these unrespectful men. If you reject the Christian religion and the Christian role for women, then do not expect to have the comforts and security that it provides. You cannot have it both ways.