Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society
For it is in the most polished society that noisome reptiles and venomous serpents lurk under the rank herbage; and there is voluptuousness pampered by the still sultry air, which relaxes every good disposition before it ripens into virtue. In this chapter, the author views with pleasure a woman nursing her children, and discharging the duties of her station with, perhaps, merely a servant maid to take off her hands the servile part of the household business. It infers that the society is not properly organized which does not compel men and women to discharge their respective duties, by making it the only way to acquire that countenance from their fellow-creatures, which every human being wishes some way to attain. The being who discharges the duties of its station is independent; and, speaking of women at large, their first duty is to themselves as rational creatures, and in point of importance, as citizens, is that, which includes so many, of a mother.