Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/69

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69

THE CITY BELLE.

which should pervade the whole life and conduct of
woman, like a breath from the pure Heavenly fields,
and that makes her recall to us the lilies of which our
Lord said that "even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these." With this dowry is not
only lost a charm which the most dazzling beauty and
the most perfect cultivation can never supply, but there
is no longer any restraint upon the passions, and a
course of conduct soon follows which despises all your
counsels, and brings your gray hairs with sorrow to
the grave. You cherish your flowers, and protect them
from the night vapors, and the fierce beams of the
noon-day sun, but you suffer your daughters, by novel-
reading, to live in a world whose poisonous atmosphere
is favorable only to the growth of unhappy passions,
and which is all the more fatal because so attractive to
the fancy. Religion, their only defense, is there trans-
formed to a floral queen, who, crowned with bright gar-
lands, watches the display with an approving smile,
and speaks to them only in tones of love, gentleness,
and indulgence.
  The eye of the maiden, and even of the wife, need
not be too widely opened to the great theater of human
passions ; they should rather, in innocent ignorance of
the errors and crimes of mankind, preserve a devout and
quiet spirit, with an undisturbed feeling for the good,
the true, and the beautiful. While man must neces-
sarily engage in the great conflict, and is fortunate if he
return from it with only lasting scars, her modest place
in the world, her more delicate physical organization,
and her natural sensibility, in which she rather re-
sembles the mimosa, than the sturdy oak which has