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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Publicado porDharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
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04/06/2015

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in a crowded tenement, her highest ambition to dress like the young ladies
she sees on the fashionable avenue. City girls and country girls alike know
the meaning of this discontent, which sometimes amounts to morbidness,
and again only to nervous irritability.

I once knew and marveled at a young person who spent her languid
existence idly lounging in a rocking-chair, eating candy, and reading
novels, whilst her mother bustled about, provoking by her activity an
occasional remonstrance from her indolent daughter. "Do, ma, keep still,"
she would say, with amiable wonder at ma's notable ways. This incarnation
of sweet selfishness was hateful in my eyes, and I have often queried, in the
twenty years which have passed since I saw her, what sort of woman she
made. As a girl she was vexatious, though no ripple of annoyance crossed
the white brow, no frown obscured it, and no flurry of impatience ever
tossed the yellow curls. She had no aspirations which candy and a
rocking-chair could not gratify. It is not so with girls of a larger mind and
greater vitality--the girls, for instance, in our own neighborhood, whom we
have known since they were babies. Many of them feel very much
dissatisfied with life, and do not hesitate to say so; and, strangely enough,
the accident of a collegiate or common-school education makes little
difference in their conclusions.

"To what end," says the former, "have I studied hard, and widened my
resources? I might have been a society girl, and had a good time, and been
married and settled sometime, without going just far enough to find out
what pleasure there is in study, and then stopping short."

I am quoting from what girls have said to me--girls who have been
graduated with distinction, and whose parents preferred that they should
neither teach, nor paint, nor enter upon a profession, nor engage in any paid
work. Polished after the similitude of a palace, what should the daughters
do except stay at home to cheer father and mother, play and sing in the
twilight, read, shop, sew, visit, receive their friends, and be young women
of elegant leisure? If love, and love's climax, the wedding march, follow
soon upon a girl's leaving school, she is taken out of the ranks of girlhood,
and in accepting woman's highest vocation, queenship in the kingdom of

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