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'A GRACEFUL MAIDEN WITH A GENTLE BROW. -Mary Howitt.

Frontispiece.

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LONDON:
JOHN HOGG, PATERNOSTER ROW.

1881.
[All Rights Reserved.]

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PREFACE,

N the following pages an attempt is made to trace

the general characteristics of Girlhood; to indicate its duties, its responsibilities, and the spirit in

which they should be undertaken and discharged; to present those types of it which are worthiest of imitation ; to sketch its amusements and occupations; and to consider by what means its higher and purer qualities may be developed. A book about' Girls, this is also a book "for' Girls; and its primary aim is to encourage them in the pursuit of the Higher Life; to secure from them a recognition of the fact that they are not to live for themselves or for Society, but that each, in her sphere, may do some good, true, and honest work, and may give unto others according to the measure of her own gifts. Of late years, a wiser and loftier view of the principles on which the education of our Girls should be conducted has obtained considerable acceptance; but there is still room for a protest against the disposition of Society to confine them to fashionable frivolities or doom them to indifference or neglect. The care, the vigilance, the thought we expend upon our Boys is still too often withheld from our Girls, who are 'brought up' as if, as Women, they would fill no important place nor have to do any serious work. They are too seldom assisted to form habits of self-reliance, industry, and thoughtfulness, or to devote their mental activity to the acquisition of knowledge. They are too seldom trained to assume, with a due sense of their importance, the obligations that Womanhood devolves

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