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was that their ideas of delicacy were so highly refined, that they could
not even bear the secret consciousness of an involuntary crime, and far
less of having tacitly consented to it.
INFLUENCE OF FEMALE SOCIETY.
The company of ladies has a very powerful influence on the sentiments
and conduct of men. Women, the fruitful source of half our joys, and
perhaps of _more_ than half our sorrows, give an elegance to our manner,
and a relish to our pleasures. They soothe our afflictions, and soften
our cares. Too much of their company will render us effeminate, and
infallibly stamp upon us many signatures of the female nature. A rough
and unpolished behavior, as well as slovenliness of person, will
certainly be the consequence of an almost constant exclusion from it. By
spending a reasonable portion of our time in the company of women, and
another in the company of our own sex, we shall imbibe a proper share of
the softness of the female, and at the same time retain the firmness and
constancy of the male.
As little social intercourse subsisted between the two sexes, in the
more early ages of antiquity, we find the men less courteous, and the
women less engaging. Vivacity and cheerfulness seem hardly to have
existed. Even the Babylonians, who appear to have allowed their women
more liberty than any of the ancients, seem not to have lived with them
in a friendly and familiar manner. But, as their intercourse with them
was considerably greater than that of the neighboring nations, they
acquired thereby a polish and refinement unknown to any of the people
who surrounded them. The manners of both sexes were softer, and better
calculated to please.
They likewise paid more attention to cleanliness and dress.
After the Greeks became famous for their knowledge of the arts and
sciences, their rudeness and barbarity were only softened a _few
degrees_. It is not therefore arts, sciences, and _learning_, but the
company of the other sex, that forms the manner and renders the man
The Romans were, for some time, a community without any thing to soften
the ferocity of male nature. The Sabine virgins, whom they had stolen,
appear to have infused into them the first ideas of politeness. But it
was many ages before this politeness banished the roughness of the
warrior, and assumed the refinement of the gentleman.
During the times of chivalry, female influence was at the zenith of its
glory and perfection. It was the source of valor, it gave birth to
politeness, it awakened pity, it called forth benevolence, it restricted
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