The education of women has, of late, been more attended to than formerly; yet they are still reckoned a frivolous sex, and ridiculed or pitied by the writers who endeavour by satire or instruction to improve them. It is acknowledged that they spend many of the first years of their lives in acquiring a smattering of accomplishments; meanwhile strength of body and mind are sacrificed to libertine notions of beauty, to the desire of establishing themselves, -- the only way women can rise in the world, -- by marriage. And this desire making mere animals of them, when they marry they act as such children may be expected to act: -- they dress; they paint, and nickname God's creatures. -- Surely these weak beings are only fit for a seraglio! -- Can they be expected to govern a family with judgment, or take care of the poor babes whom they bring into the world?
If then it can be fairly deduced from the present conduct of the sex, from the prevalent fondness for pleasure which takes place of ambition and those nobler passions that open and enlarge the soul; that the instruction which women have hitherto received has only tended, with the constitution of civil society, to render them insignificant objects of desire -- mere propagators of fools! -- if it can be proved that in aiming to accomplish them, without cultivating their understandings, they are taken out of their sphere of duties, and made ridiculous and useless when the short-lived bloom of beauty is over,* I presume that rational men will excuse me for endeavouring to persuade them to become more masculine and respectable.