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observed, her influence gains in power. All human good is founded in goodness. If the Gospel is the supreme good revealed to the world, and if this Gospel harmonizes best with the feminine nature, and is best exemplified in its purity by the feminine life, giving to the mother's instinctive love a scope, a hope, a support which no religion of human device ever conferred or conceived, then surely God has, in applying this Gospel so directly to her nature, offices, and condition, a great work for the sex to do. "Christ was made of a woman;" woman must train her children for Christ. Is this an inferior office?
Wherever the Bible is read, female talents are cultivated and esteemed. this "Record" are about two thousand five hundred names, including those of the Female Missionaries: out of this number less than two hundred are from heathen nations, yet these constitute at this moment nearly three-fourths of the inhabitants of the globe, and for the first four thousand years, with the single exception of the Jewish people, were the world.
Is not this conclusive evidence that God's Word is woman's shield, His power her protection, and His gifts her sanction for their full development, cultivation, and exercise?
In preparing "Woman's Record" I have been aided by several friends in Europe, who have procured for me books and portraits not to be found in our country. Mrs. Mary Howitt has been very kind in her assistance, and I am happy to thank her thus publicly. Professor Charles E. Blumenthal rendered acceptable service by furnishing translations of a number of the Sketches of distinguished women of Germany. My American friends have also been ready to assist: W. Gilmore Simms, Esq. wrote the Sketch of Miss Lee, and the Rev. Dr. Stevens and Rev. Dr. Kip furnished each a Sketch. Those to whom I have applied for information, have, in almost every instance, given all in their power, and cheered me kindly with their encouragement. I hope they will find the finished work worthy of approval.
The volume is larger than was at first contemplated, but materials increased, new ideas were to be set forth and clearly illustrated; I have not exhausted the theme.
One object is, however, accomplished: the picture of Woman's Life, as it has been developed to the world from the Creation to the present date, is here truly and completely displayed.
I am far from considering this outward semblance her best or loveliest praise. Millions of the sex whose names were never known beyond the circles of their own home influences, have been as worthy of commendation as those here commemorated. Stars are never seen either through the dense cloud or bright sunshine; but when daylight is withdrawn from a clear sky they tremble forth: so female
Genius is made visible only where God's Word has cleared from the mental horizon the gross clouds of heathen error, while His Providence has withdrawn from the individual woman that support and protection from man which is her sunshine over the rough ways of the world. Hitherto she has usually won fame through suffering let those who envy the bright ones remember this.
But, as the stars of heaven guide the mariner safely over the night-enveloped waters, so these stars of humanity are required to show the true progress of moral virtue through the waves of temptation and sin that roll over the earth. The greater the number, and the more light they diffuse, the greater will be the safety of society.
When men fully comprehend this, they will bless female genius, and fashion their own literature to a higher standard of moral taste and a nobler view of human destiny. Says the gifted author of Pendennis, "Women are pure, but not men. Women are unselfish, but not men."
In truth, the moral sense of men, though as yet imperfect, has rarely erred so widely as to show, in works of imagination even, any ideal of masculine nature so perfect in moral virtues as the feminine. In the conflicts of contending duties, in the trials of love and temptations of passion, the masters of dramatic art, great poets and novelists, never fall into the sin against nature of making their men better than their women.
The ideal of the angelic in humanity is, in Christian literature, always feminine. When this instinctive perception of woman's mission becomes an acknowledged and sustained mode of moral progress, it will be easy for the sex to make advances in every branch of literature and science connected with human improvement; and the horizon will be studded with stars.
Now, some readers may think I have found too many celebrities; others will search for omissions. There was never a perfect work, so mine must bear the general lot of criticism. judgment is rendered.
All I ask is, that the contents be well understood before
PHILADELPHIA, July 4th, 1851.*
[* The revised edition was completed, August 15th, 1854.]
LIST OF PORTRAITS.
The larger portion of our Portraits have been obtained directly from Europe for this work; Rome, Florence, Paris and London, contributing to form our Gallery. The originals were executed by the most celebrated artists. We have not room for particulars respecting these gems of art, excepting a few of the most rare. Portraits of the living American ladies are chiefly from pictures or Daguerreotypes, taken expressly for this "Record."
1. AGRIPPINA, JULIA, DAUGHTER OF GERMANICUS...
2. ANDROMACHE, copied and enlarged from a picture on an ancient gem, representing Andromache, her husband Hector, and her son Astyanax
6. OLYMPIAS, MOTHER OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, enlarged from an ancient gem 7. PORTIA
27. HELENA, MOTHER OF CONSTANTINE, copied from a picture upon a Greek manuscript, written in the Ninth Century.
29. ISABELLA OF ARRAGON.
30. ISABELLA OF CASTILE..
31. ISAURE, CLEMENCE
32. JOANNA, COUNTESS OF HAINAULT AND FLANDERS.
33. JOANNA OF NAPLES.
34. JOANNA II. OF NAPLES
35. JULIA DOMNA, copied from a bust in the collection of Montfaucon
36. LAURA, MADONNA
37. LEIVA, MARIA VIRGINIA
38. LOUISA OF SAVOY...
39. MARGARET, COUNTESS OF TYROL..
40. MARGARET OF DENMARK....
41. MARGARETTA OF SAXONY
42. MATILDA, COUNTESS OF TUSCANY
43. MATTUGLIANA, MEA
44. NOGAROLA, ISOTTA..
53. ZENOBIA SEPTIMIA, copied and enlarged from a gem with a Palmyrenian inscription
54. ACCORAMBONI, VITTORIA
55. ADAMS, MRS. ABIGAIL
56. ADAMS, MISS HANNAH...
57. AGOSTINA, MAID OF SARAGOSSA
58. ALBRIZZI, TEOTOCHI ISABELLA 59. ANNE OF AUSTRIA
60. ANNE, QUEEN OF ENGLAND
61. ARBLAY, MADAME D'.
62. ARRAGON, JOAN OF..
63. BACCIOCHI, MADAME MARIE ANNE ELISE
64. BARBAULD, MRS. ANNE LETITIA
65. BASSI, LAURA MARIA CATHARINE..
66. BELLINI, GUISEPA, COUNTESS OF
67. BERTANA, LUCIA........
68. BLESSINGTON, COUNTESS OF
69. BONAPARTE, MADAME RAMOLINA MARIA LETITIA
70. BORGHESE, MARIE PAULINE, PRINCESS DE...........
71. BRINVILLIERS, MARIE MARGUERITE, MARCHIONESS DE
72. CAMPAN, MADAME
73. CAPELLO, BIANCA...
74. CAROLINE AMELIA ELIZABETH
75. CATHARINE DE MEDICIS
76. CATHARINE I., ALEXIEONA
77. CATHARINE IL, ALEXIEONA..
78. CENCI, BEATRICE...
79. CHRISTINA, QUEEN OF SWEDEN
80. CLIFFORD, ANNE
81. CORDAY, CHARLOTTE....
82. COTTIN, MADAME SOPHIE..
83. DARLING, GRACE......
84. DESHOULIÈRES, MADAME
85. DEVONSHIRE, DUCHESS OF
86. DWIGHT, MRS. ELIZABETH BAKER.
87. EDGEWORTH, MISS MARIA