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upon them, and hence it is that Woman still fails to exercise all that inspiriting, refining, and elevating influence which we might reasonably expect from her. In a word, we too often treat our Girls as if they would never be Women !
This book, then, has been written with the intention of impressing upon every girl that she has a place in life to fill, and a work in life to do; that she has ficulties to cultivate, and affections to expand; and that her girlhood should be so spent as to fit her for a noble and gentle womanhood. As daughters or sisters, wives or mothers, or simply as helpers of their fellowcreatures in any capacity that may present itself, Women have laid upon
them the burden of a great trust. All women,' says one of their own sex, 'may not have husbands to praise them, or children to rise up and call them blessed. All women are not even free, literally, to entertain strangers and bring up children ; but all women, if they will be good women, can and must show their faith by their works. What girl or woman would desire to stand in her place, at last, empty-handed ? The summons is to work while it is called to-day, to obtain a good report, and, while no worker receives the full reward here, to go forth and receive the crown yonder.'
In our first chapter, we contemplate the Girl at Home : what she is or might be in her domestic relations; how far as Sister or as Daughter she contributes to the refinement and wellbeing of the Family ; and we endeavour to lay down some general rules for the promotion of Home Happiness and the preservation of Home Peace. Here, as throughout the book, the didactic portions are relieved by the introduction of personal anecdotes and biographical illustrations ; nor do we omit to quote from the best writers such reflections, suggestions, or images, as may be helpful and appropriate.
The Girl in her Leisure Hour is the subject of our second chapter, in which we consider the studies and amusements, the lighter and graver elements, of her daily life; and how they should be arranged, methodised, and kept each within the limits of moderation,
In our third chapter, we survey the Girl at School : the Girl and her Friends—the manner in which she takes up her schoolwork, the companionships she cultivates; and we dwell upon the use that should be made of the golden opportunities of school-life, the influence of early friendships, and the relations that ought to exist between the Girl and her Teachers.
We next come to consider the Girl Abroad—that is, in Society; and there we are brought face to face with numerous types of Girlhood—the Superficial Girl, the 'Fast' Girl, the Girl Æsthetic, the Dancing Girl, and so on. We see the Girl as she too often and should not be, and the Girl as she might be if she formed a true and high Ideal, and strove to realise it. Something is said of the graces we expect to find in our GirlsCourtesy, Modesty, Self-respect, Sympathy.
No inconsiderable portion of a Girl's early years is spent, or should be spent, in her Garden ; and therefore we present in some detail the poetical aspects of the Garden, its graceful and picturesque associations, its romance, and its traditions. Believing that the pursuit of Gardening is singularly wholesome both for mind and body, that it invigorates while it refines, that it blends use with beauty, we introduce in our sixth chapter a comprehensive ‘Gardener's Calendar,' and point out the work to be done in the Amateur's Garden for each month
It is believed that the Girl-Gardener will find here all the practical information she needs to enable her to cultivate her garden-plot with success. We have been much indebted in preparing these monthly hints to Messrs. Loudon, Robinson, Bright, Paxton, and others; but we have interwoven the results of our own experience, and the whole, we believe, is comprehensive and trustworthy. It will be seen that our Gardening pages are freely brightened by choice quotations from the poets.
In Chapter VII., under the head of 'The Girl's Library,' we furnish our readers with careful lists of the Books, the best Books, in the chief departments of English Literature-in Poetry, Fiction, History, Biography, Travel and Discovery,
of the year.
Theology, Essays, and Science. These lists have cost no small labour in their preparation, and we trust they will afford considerable assistance to the young student who desires to know what to read and how to read.'
The Girl in the Country comes before us in our eighth chapter, and we accompany her through the various seasons of the rural year, dwelling on the pleasures of a country life, and the beneficial results of a loving study of Nature. Though the absence of the love of Nature,' says Ruskin, 'is not an assured condemnation, its presence is an invariable sign of goodness of heart and justness of moral perception, though by no means of moral practice ; that in proportion to the degree in which it is felt, will probably be the degree in which all nobleness and beauty of character will also be felt; that where it is originally absent from any mind, that mind is in many other respects hard, worldly, and degraded; that where, having been originally present, it is repressed by art or education, that repression appears to have been detrimental to the person suffering it; and that wherever the feeling exists, it acts for good on the character to which it belongs.'
Lastly, in our ninth chapter, we inquire What the Girl Might and Should Be,' illustrating our remarks by examples of Noble Girlhood from the lives of Noble Women, and frankly encouraging our Girls to live a life of lofty aim and great accomplishment. We want in them the courage to do right, and to suffer, if need be, for the truth; an active interest in the wellbeing of others; a generous scorn of all that is mean and cowardly and false; a calm indifference to the world's frivolous objects and idle pleasures; a deep sense of the responsibilities incumbent upon them; and an unswerving resolve to follow in the path of duty. We want them as Girls to be good and true, that they may ripen into good and true Women. To this end may the following pages assist them!
a Companion Volume (for Girls) to Tom Brown's School-Days'-
Characters to be reprobated— The Bully—The Sneak—The Toady-
Backbiting a serious Fault-Types of Girls-A String of Moralities,