THE LOVE OF WOMANHOOD - ITS NORMAL INDICATIONS.
As the mother, sister, and dual complement of man, woman has like interests, sympathies, and aims, and with him shares in the twofold work God has given them as creators.
As man represents the dignity of mental and material force, so woman, possessing a full share of the same creative energy, holds a larger store of the preserving, enduring qualities of love.
Let us not forget that father-love and mother love, the fruition of the dual affections of our race, in their perfect health bear likeness to that of Deity. All the peculiarities and characteristics of woman are due to her essential fitting for her exalted part in the creative office. If, upon assumption of her highest trust, woman in God's good providence bears more of the personal burdens and privations of this twofold work, there is also in store for her the greater honor and joy. In her intimate and pro longed control over the initial sources of educational influence, there is given her a wondrous compensating sway over the destinies of her children, over the future fathers and mothers of our race. Did every woman fully understand this power so often bitterly rejected, or selfishly put away, she would cherish it as a most valued treasure, and feel exalted in its pos session.
In gills the infancy of nubility commences a year or two earlier than in boys. As in the case of her little brother, the child should have no conscious ness of girlhood till twelve or thirteen years of age, when comes all the mental and physical awakening to a fuller life. Like the same functional activity in boys, its work seems creative and upbuilding, till the maturity of the mental and physical organization.
The same exaltation and evolution of force appears, the physical contour changes, all the processes of nutrition are more active, and a quickened interest in her brothers and their behavior, and in all boys, manifests itself. There is a subtle sense of attraction
and stimulus in their society, and a desire for their esteem which leads girls to cultivate those amenities and qualities of person or character which render them attractive. Well is it now for them if pa rents have so trained them that they have learned in a measure to discern the false and genuine indi cations of good in character and life; for if their brothers and boy friends have a just estimate of that which is worthy and estimable in women, their influence will lead girls to try to please by actual worth, rather than by the fascinations of dress, and superficial accomplishments. The vital powers seem not only quickened by, but to thrive upon, the ovu lating processes, which, if properly conducted, give back to the system a natural and healthful stimulus to that full growth and consolidation of muscle and brain which gives strength of nerve and intelligence to the genuine type of healthful womanhood. The needs of a matured vigor before parentage are fully as great as in man, and are even more imperative by reason of the continued mental and physical strain incumbent upon her. Without it we can neither ex pect nor find those elements of self-control, endurance, intellectual capability, and calm judgment, which alone render her fit for positions of responsibility and trust, of which—and none will dispute this fact —the highest is that of mother.
Had we fewer child mothers in years, and fewer of those enervated by puerile habits of dependence, and cultivated weakness of body and mind, we should have a race of stronger, nobler children, for, as in man, the tissues of body and brain are not perfected till from twenty-two to twenty-four years of age.