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has distinguished these analogous relations, and defined the duties and rights of the father and the magistrate. The government of the family is based upon mutual affection and sympathy; the government of the state upon mutual justice and political equality. Still the family is the nursery of all those virtues which adorn the state. “Patriotism, as all languages testify, springs from the hearth.” The good father makes the good magistrate. The son, who has " borne the yoke in his youth,” makes the exemplary citizen ; while the enlightened and cultivated mother and sister give to society its highest dignity, and to home its fondest endearments. Whatever interrupts the harmony of domestic life or disturbs its divinely-appointed relations, poisons the very well-springs of society, and introduces disease into its political organization. The tyrannical father is not a safe depository of delegated power. The disobedient son early learns to contemn the wholesome restraints of law; and before his maturity, often becomes a hardened culprit. The uneducated, undis ciplined daughter is often the disgrace of her family and the reproach of her sex. In a word, the condition of the
family is the true index of the condition of society. Where domestic happiness is most fully enjoyed, there society is most matured and civilization most advanced.
The family, therefore, obtains a higher importance as society improves and woman assumes the true position for which she is so admirably adapted by the laws of her physiological and mental constitution. Among savage nations the condition of woman is always degraded and servile. This is one of the most odious features of barbarism, and one of the most difficult to eradicate. No system of religion recognizes woman as the companion and equal of man, except Christianity, and under no other system can she enjoy her inalienable rights. Society may change in its external aspect, may exhibit the glitter of wealth, the refinements of taste, the embellishments of art, or the more valuable attainments of science and literature, and yet the mind of woman remain undeveloped, her taste uncultivated, and her person enslaved. But wherever Christianity enters, woman is free. The gospel, like a kind angel, opens her prison doors, and bids her walk abroad and enjoy the sunlight of reason and breathe the invigorating air of intellectual freedom.
Among ihe nations of antiquity, woman enjoyed the highest consideration where the private virtues were most cultivated. With the Egyptians and Romans, the pleasures of home were better appreciated than in Greece. Though the intellectual culture of Greece was superior to that of Egypt, there is little doubt that the Greeks were less domestic, and consequently less virtuous, than the Egyptians. The researches of antiquarians, among the ruins of Egypt, have recently thrown a flood of light upon the character of that interesting people, and rendered their history almost as familiar to us as the events of the last century. The paintings and sculptures formed upon existing monuments reveal all the processes of the arts and of domestic life, with a definiteness and accuracy surpassing the most lucid narrative. Besides the sculptures, and pictorial representations of ancient usages, the cabinets of European kings and antiquaries are full of the remains of art. In these magnificent collections, may be found specimens of almost every article of furniture, tool and ornament, used by the Egyptians. It is probable that a work-shop, or a kitchen might be fitted up with its appropriate apparatus, from the tombs of Egypi. The paintings upon the walls of the tombs show us how they used the furniture and tools. The whole public and private life of the Egyptians, from the bloody arena of mailed war. riors, to the puppet show; from the dignified employments of the monarch, to the nursery-sports of children, are engraved and painted upon their enduring monuments. You may there, in imagination, mount the car of the victorious warrior, and ride with him over the bodies of his slaughtered foes, or accompany the priest to the very penetralia of his awful deity, without hearing the “procul este profani” from his shriveled lips; or you may step into the carriage of an Egyptian gentleman, and drive with him to a parly in high life, seat yourself upon a divan, ottoman or splendid chair, rivaling modern art in its curious carvings and decorations, and witness the arrival and entertainment of guests, of both sexes, and discover no jealousy in the countenances of those antiquated belles. You may visit, if you please, the shops of the mechanics, the fields of the agriculturists, the pleasure grounds of the nobles, the kitchen of the housewife, the parlor of the lady; you will find the owners all at home, each with his stone countenance fixed and changeless as eternity. These pictorial illustrations of the private life and manners of this early age surpass, in accuracy and minuteness of detail, the most graphic description Language may be equivocal ; historians may be prejudiced, or misinformed; travellers may exaggerate, but these monuments cannot deceive-these pictures cannot lie.
These discoveries give unequivocal testimony in favor of the general accuracy and fideliiy of Herodotus. They show that he was sometimes deceived, or perhaps imposed upon, but, in a great majority of instances, they confirm his statements. For freedom from prejudice, accuracy of description and fidelity to truth, “the father of history” stands unrivalled, even among modern travellers. The united testimony of the historian and the paintings leave it beyond a doubt, that females in Egypt were treated with more respect than in any other nation of antiquity. Though frequently engaged in domestic employments, they were not confined and secluded, as in Greece, nor tasked and oppressed as among the Asiatics. They enjoyed that respect and consideration, which are the growth only of a high state of civilization and comparative moral purity. Of the mode of contracting marriage among the Egyptians very little is known. The marriage ceremony is nowhere represented in the paintings of their tombs. Diodorus* informs us that, on account of the great
benefits conferred on mankind by Isis, not only did the queen obtain greater authority and honor than the king, but the wife of the citizen governed her husband, and that he was bound by the marriage contract, to yield an unhesitating obedience to her commands. If such a custom ever obtained, it can hardly be supposed that the supremacy of the wife extended beyond the management of domestic affairs. It is certain, however, that royal authority was entrusted, without reserve, lo women.
They succeeded to the throne, by hereditary right, as in many of the states of modern Europe. They also assumed ihe office of regent at the death of their husbands. Herodotust asserts, that the office of the priesthood was, in every instance, confined 10 men ; that there were no priestesses in Egypt, in the service of gods or goddesses. In this statement the historian is evidently mistaken, and he furnishes himself the proof of his error in a subsequent passage, * where he ascribes the origin of the oracles of Greece and Libya to two Theban priestesses, who were violently carried away by the Phænicians and sold, the one into Africa, and the other into Greece. There is abundant evidence, from the monuments, that females were employed in the service of the gods, and that those of the highest rank esteemed it an honor to officiate as priestesses of the various deities. Egyptian women, in the reign of the Pharaohs, were not veiled in public, nor secluded, at home, as among the modern Asiatics. They enjoyed as much liberty as the ladies of modern Europe. After the conquest of Egypt by the Persians, Eastern customs were introduced, and thenceforward the Egyptian ladies were condemned to concealment and seclusion.
* Diodorus 1: 27.
+ Herodotus 2 : 35.
We learn, from the history of Abraham, not only that ladies were unveiled in public, but that a fair complexion was esteemed a great attraction by the nobles of Egypt. If the face of Sarai had been concealed, the princes of Pharaoh could not have seen her, nor would the patriarch's alarm have been aggravated by the reflection, that she was a "fair woman. “ The Egyptians were a swarthy race; on the monuments, the men are usually painted red, and the women yellow.” Ladies of high rank are represented in lighter tints than their attendants. This, with other circumstances, makes it evident, that a fair complexion was highly esteemed by the Egyptians. That the ladies of Egypt were of a browner tinge than those of Syria and Arabia, we learn from the history of Sarai. It is evident that that style of beauty was highly esteemed in Egypt, because Pharaoh took her to his house, and, afterwards, "entreated Abram well for her sake." The Egyptian princess, in Solomon's song, allades to her complexion, as being darker than that of the ladies of Palestine: “I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look nol upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked
The social intercourse of males and females in Egypt was free and unrestrained. “At some of the public festivals,"
*B, 2. 54.
women were expected to attend, not alone, like Moslem women at a mosque, but in company
with their husbands and relations. At private parties, they were frequently entertained separately, in a different part of the same room, at the upper end of which the master and mistress of the house sat close together, on two chairs, or on a large fauteuil; each guest, as he arrived, presented himself to receive their congratulatory welcome. In some instances, we find men and women sitting together, both strangers as well as members of the same family; a privilege not conceded to females among the Greeks, except their relatives.”
Women were not forbidden the use of wine, as in the early ages of Rome.
Indeed there seems to have been a perfect equality between the sexes, in the pleasures of social life. Even children were introduced into company, and permitted to sit by the mother's side, or upon the father's knee. Children were also furnished with abundant means of amusement. Many of their toys and sports resemble those of modern civilized life. At their private entertainments they spared no expense in providing for guests. Music was the recreation and employment of both sexes. Hired minstrels were employed on festive occasions. Monarchs set no limits to their extravagance in feasting. Lucan's description of the entertainment given by Cleopatra to Cæsar, though of a comparatively modern date, will give us some idea of a royal feast in Egypt:
“Now by a train of slaves, the various feast
# Pharsalia 10 : 155.
SECOND SERIES, VOL. VIII. NO. I.