Appendix, E.

From: Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Author: S. Margaret Fuller
Published: Greeley & McElrath 1845 New York


  The following is an extract from a letter addressed to me by one of the monks of the 19th century. A part I have omitted, because it does not express my own view, unless with qualifications which I could not make; except by full discussion of the subject.

  “Woman in the 19th century should be a pure, chaste, holy being.

  This state of being in woman is no more attained by the expansion of her intellectual capacity, than by the augmentation of her physical force.

  Neither is it attained by the increase or refinement of her love for man, or for any object whatever, or for all objects collectively; but

  This state of being is attained by the reference of all her powers and all her actions to the source of Universal Love, whose constant requisition is a pure, chaste and holy life.

  So long as woman looks to man (or to society) for that which she needs, she will remain in an indigent state, for he himself is indigent of it, and as much needs it as she does.

  So long as this indigence continues, all unions or relations constructed between man and woman are constructed in indigence, and can produce only indigent results or unhappy consequences.

  The unions now constructing, as well as those in which the parties constructing them were generated, being based on self-delight, or lust, can lead to no more happiness in the 20th, than is found in the 19th century.

  It is not amended institutions, it is not improved education, it is not another selection of individuals for union, that can meliorate the sad result, but the basis of the union must be changed.

  If in the natural order Woman and Man would adhere strictly to physiological or natural laws, in physical chastity, a most beautiful amendment of the human race, and human condition, would in a few generations adorn the world.

  Still, it belongs to Woman in the spiritual order, to devote herself wholly to her eternal husband, and become the Free Bride of the One who alone can elevate her to her true position, and reconstruct her a pure, chaste, and holy being.”

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