Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

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?

In

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. All I ask is, that the contents be well understood before judgment is rendered.

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."

FIRST ERA.

1. AGRIPPINA, JULIA, DAUGHTER OF GERMANICUS...

Page

21

2. ANDROMACHE, copied and enlarged from a picture on an ancient gem, representing Andromache, her husband Hector, and her son Astyanax

3. ASPASIA......

4. CARMENTA

[ocr errors]

24

26

29

31

5. CLEOPATRA, copied from an ancient Egyptian coin

6. OLYMPIAS, MOTHER OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT, enlarged from an ancient gem........ 50 7. PORTIA

8. SAPPHO

9. SEMIRAMIS, copied from an ancient gem......

10. TAMYRIS, copied and enlarged from an ancient gem

52

56

58

60

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

27. HELENA, MOTHER OF CONSTANTINE, copied from a picture upon a Greek manuscript, written in the Ninth Century.

[blocks in formation]

35. JULIA DOMNA, copied from a bust in the collection of Montfaucon 36. LAURA, MADONNA

37. LEIVA, MARIA VIRGINIA

39. MARGARET, COUNTESS OF TYROL......

40. MARGARET OF DENMARK..

41. MARGARETTA OF SAXONY

42 MATILDA, COUNTESS OF TUSCANY

43. MATTUGLIANA, MEA

44 NOGAROLA, ISOTTA.............................

119

121.

121

122

125

126

128

132

132

133

[blocks in formation]

53. ZENOBIA SEPTIMIA, copied and enlarged from a gem with a Palmyrenian inscription

149

THIRD ERA.

54. ACCORAMBONI, VITTORIA

55. ADAMS, MRS. ABIGAIL.

153

154

........

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

159

161

166

168

169

171

180

195

196

204

208

209

212

216

217

222

236

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »