|• Main||• Contacts|
It has long been a question, Which of the two sexes is most capable of
friendship? Montague, who is so much celebrated for his knowledge of
human nature, has given it positively against the women; and his opinion
has been generally embraced.
Friendship perhaps, in women, is more rare than among men; but, at the
same time, it must be allowed that where it is found, it is more tender.
Men, in general, have more of the parade than the graces of friendship.
They often wound while they serve; and their warmest sentiments are not
very enlightened, with respect to those minute sentiments which are of
so much value. But women have a refined sensibility, which makes them
see every thing; nothing escapes them. They divine the silent
friendship; they encourage the bashful or timid friendship; they offer
the sweetest consolations to friendship in distress. Furnished with
finer instruments, they treat more delicately a wounded heart. They
compose it, and prevent it from feeling its agonies. They know, above
all, how to give value to a thousand things, which have no value in
We ought therefore, perhaps, to desire the friendship of a man upon
great occasions; but, for general happiness, we must prefer the
friendship of a woman.
With regard to female intimacies, it may be taken for granted that there
is no young woman who has not, or wishes not to have, a companion of her
own sex, to whom she may unbosom herself on every occasion. That there
are women capable of friendship with women, few impartial observers will
deny. There have been many evident proofs of it, and those carried as
far as seemed compatible with the imperfections of our common nature. It
is, however, questioned by some; while others believe that it happens
exceedingly seldom. Between married and unmarried women, it no doubt
happens very often; whether it does so between those that are single, is
not so certain. Young men appear more frequently susceptible of a
generous and steady friendship for each other, than females as yet
unconnected; especially, if the latter have, or are supposed to have,
pretensions to beauty, not adjusted by the public.
In the frame and condition of females, however, compared with those of
the other sex, there are some circumstances which may help towards an
apology for this unfavorable feature in their character.
The state of matrimony is necessary to the support, order, and comfort
of society. But it is a state that subjects the women to a great variety
of solicitude and pain. Nothing could carry them through it with any
Page 1 from 9:  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Forward