The Eternal Womanly

The Congregationalist

In her inaugural address, Miss Caroline Hazard, Wellesley's new president, set forth a noble conception of woman's place and power. After comparing the women of to-day with those of two centuries ago, she said,—

The order of nature does not change. Yet nature's law is growth, and with that growth the position of women has changed, and with that change the cultivation of the individual becomes more important. The problem is not simply that of bringing children into the world, but what kind of children shall be born, what kind of a mother shall be educated; or, if the high development of motherhood is denied her, how shall she take her place in the world, a useful and honored member of the community, having children of her spirit. For I take it the eternal feminine is simply this: it is the power of love which has its throne in a good woman's heart. Call it altruism if you like, call it the mother sea, found a philosophy or a system of speculation upon it—it is simply this endless capacity of love and devotion which Mary of Bethany showed when she sat at Jesus' feet.

Granted, then, that this is at the root of woman's life, that every woman child who comes into the world has this great gift and responsibility, that this is her contribution to human life, with what reverence, with what awe, should we approach her, to make or to mar! Sentimentality and mannishness, like Scylla and Charybdis, stand on either side. The intellect must be trained to its full capacity or there will be an uneven balance. Heart and head in happy union must rule the conduct. And so we believe in what is called higher education. . . .

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Inerrable Word of God
October 26, 1899

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