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Talks to Freshman Girls   By:

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By Helen Dawes Brown

TALKS TO FRESHMAN GIRLS.

HOW PHOEBE FOUND HERSELF. With frontispiece.

ORPHANS.

MR. TUCKERMAN'S NIECES. Illustrated.

A BOOK OF LITTLE BOYS. Illustrated.

THE PETRIE ESTATE. Also in paper binding.

TWO COLLEGE GIRLS.

LITTLE MISS PHOEBE GAY. Illustrated.

HER SIXTEENTH YEAR. A Sequel to "Little Miss Phoebe Gay."

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY Boston and New York

TALKS TO FRESHMAN GIRLS

BY

HELEN DAWES BROWN

Author of "Two College Girls"

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1914

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY HELEN DAWES BROWN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Published September 1914

TALKS TO FRESHMAN GIRLS

I "STUDIES SERVE FOR DELIGHT, FOR ORNAMENT, AND FOR ABILITY"

No man could have written this sentence with more authority than Francis Bacon, for no man ever loved Studies better. In his youth he had declared passionately that he took all knowledge for his province, and it was his lifelong teaching that "the sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge."

"Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability." I imagine Bacon writing these words with fervor, out of his own happy experience. At the age of thirty five, he could determine what Studies had been worth to him. They had been his delight, his ornament, and the means to his usefulness.

For "delight" he wrote in his first edition "pastimes," as he wrote "ornaments" and "abilities," then wisely changed his sentence. His beautiful old word "delight" means, I take it, a heightened pleasure, a pleasure touched with imagination, full of suggestion and invitation.

I have a far glimpse of its meaning when I hear a young person say that she is going to college "to have a good time"; a good time for the rest of her life is what, I believe, Studies will secure to her. You are so young, I may speak to you of age. There is a new old age for women, with enlightened care of health and increasing intellectual interests. As for you freshmen, I have a vision of your erect forms and of your bright faces at seventy five, of your health and your gayety and your wisdom, you charming old ladies of 1970! Age cannot wither you, nor custom stale your infinite variety, you women whom Studies have served for delight.

And you are so happy that I may speak to you of unhappiness. We need three things to meet life with: a religion, an education, and a sense of humor. The pursuit of Studies is a refuge as well as a delight. Studies will fortify one to encounter loneliness, or ill health, or losses of any kind soever. The chances of life are such that I believe a woman suffers from lack of an education more than a man does. He has a wider world to draw from; she has need of more within herself. When Bacon writes of the care of the body, he says that for our very health, we should "entertain studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects."

In order that knowledge should be a delight, I submit that knowledge should be remembered. A certain man George Eliot describes, who had a sense of having had a liberal education until he tried to remember something! The "culture" of some people seems to consist in having heard a large number of proper names. "Oh, yes, I've heard of him" the rest a blank. In our day, "mental training" has neglected the training of the memory. I even urge a considerable amount of old fashioned memorizing... Continue reading book >>




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