lundi 7 novembre 2011

Augusta Jane Evans, ST. ELMO, New York, G. W. Carleton & Co., 1867, 571 pages.

So it came to pass that finally, after toiling over many obstacles, she reached the vine-clad valley of Eschol.
        Each day brought her noble fruitage, as letters came from all regions of the country, asking for advice and assistance in little trials of which the world knew nothing. Over the young of her own sex she held a singular sway; and orphan girls of all ranks and ages wrote of their respective sorrows and difficulties, and requested her kind counsel. To these her womanly heart turned yearningly; and she accepted their affectionate confidence as an indication of her proper circle of useful labor.
        Believing that the intelligent, refined, modest Christian women of the United States were the real custodians of national purity, and the sole agents who could successfully arrest the tide of demoralization breaking over the land, she addressed herself to the wives, mothers, and daughters of America; calling upon them to smite their false gods, and purify the shrines at which they worshipped. Jealously

Page 468 she contended for every woman's right which God and nature had decreed the sex. The right to be learned, wise, noble, useful, in woman's divinely limited sphere; the right to influence and exalt the circle in which she moved; the right to mount the sanctified bema of her own quiet hearthstone; the right to modify and direct her husband's opinions, if he considered her worthy and competent to guide him; the right to make her children ornaments to their nation, and a crown of glory to their race; the right to advise, to plead, to pray; the right to make her desk a Delphi, if God so permitted; the right to be all that the phrase "noble, Christian woman" means. But not the right to vote; to harangue from the hustings; to trail her heaven-born purity through the dust and mire of political strife; to ascend the rostra of statesmen, whither she may send a worthy husband, son, or brother, but whither she can never go, without disgracing all womanhood.

p. 467-468

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