Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/84

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most robust are subject, by giving exercise to self-denial, and offices of sympathy from all the members of a household, are [72] doubtless, often blessed as the means of improvement, and the messengers which draw more closely the bonds of true affection.

But it must be sufficiently obvious, that I speak of that want of constitutional vigour, or of the confirmed feebleness of habit, which either create inability for the duties, which in our country devolve upon a wife, a mother, and the mistress of a family, or cause them to be discharged in languor and wretchedness. And I speak of them, that the attention of those, who conduct the earliest physical education of females, may be quickened to search how evils of such magnitude may he obviated.

Mothers, is there any thing we can do, to acquire for our daughters a good constitution? Is there truth in the sentiment sometimes repeated, that our sex is becoming more and more effeminate? Are we as capable of enduring hardship as our grand-mothers were? Are we as well versed in the details of house-keeping, as able to bear them without fatigue, as our mothers? Have our daughters as much stamina of constitution, as much aptitude for domestic duty, as we ourselves possess? These questions are not interesting to us simply as individuals. They affect the