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have exerted his utmost efforts to please, and become acceptable?
When he had concluded his bargain, and was carrying her home, we meet
with a circumstance worthy of remark. When she first approached Isaac,
who had walked out into the fields to meet her, she did it in the most
submissive manner, as if she had been approaching a lord and master,
rather than a fond and passionate lover. From this circumstance, as well
as from several others, related in the sacred history, it would seem
that women, instead of endeavoring, as in modern times, to persuade the
world that they confer an immense favor on a lover, by deigning to
accept of him, did not scruple to confess, that the obligation was
conferred on themselves.
This was the case with Ruth, who had laid herself down at the feet of
Boaz; and being asked by him who she was, answered, "I am Ruth, thine
handmaid; spread, therefore, thy skirt over thine handmaid, for thou art
a near kinsman."
When Jacob went to visit his uncle Laban, he met Rachel, Laban's
daughter, in the fields, attending on the flocks of her father.
In a much later period, Tamar, one of the daughters of king David, was
sent by her father to perform the servile office of making cakes for her
The simplicity of the times in which these things happened, no doubt,
very much invalidates the strength of the conclusions that naturally
arise from them. But, notwithstanding, it still appears that women were
not then treated with the delicacy which they have experienced among
people more polished and refined.
Polygamy also prevailed; which is so contrary to the inclination of the
sex, and so deeply wounds the delicacy of their feelings, that it is
impossible for any woman voluntarily to agree to it, even where it is
authorized by custom and by law. Wherever, therefore, polygamy takes
place, we may assure ourselves that women have but little authority, and
have scarcely arrived at any consequence in society.
WOMEN OF ANCIENT EGYPT.
Wherever the human race live solitary, and unconnected with each other,
they are savage and barbarous. Wherever they associate together, that
association produces softer manners and a more engaging deportment.
The Egyptians, from the nature of their country, annually overflowed by
the Nile, had no wild beasts to hunt, nor could they procure any thing
by fishing. On these accounts, they were under a necessity of applying
themselves to agriculture, a kind of life which naturally brings mankind
together, for mutual convenience and assistance.
They were, likewise, every year, during the inundation of the river,
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