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others he will contribute to the fund which sends her, in some he will stipulate that no Christianity be taught, in others he allows the most perfect freedom of address.
The teachers employed in this important work are not numerous, but they are of very various kinds. Some are native women, who visit a certain number of houses, under the supervision of a lady. In other cases ladies take under their charge two or more families, as their leisure will allow.
In Calcutta, where female education is most advanced, several private ladies gratuitously give their services. In other instances it is a distinct department of a Mission. The schools, of course, have fixed daily instructors, but the Zenanas are visited once, twice, or thrice, in the week for an hour or two. The ladies connected with the London Missionary Society have a conveyance to take them in such visits, since their schools are numerous and far apart from each other.
Besides the direct instruction given, these schools are of the highest value, as affording opportunity for the impartation of various kinds of knowledge to those whose minds have hitherto been wholly uncultivated. Needlework and embroidery are eagerly learnt. Hindus are good listeners, as well as facile talkers, and they do not soon weary of hearing a good reader. They are sufficiently inquisitive, and the inquiries they make proToke many a smile because of their simplicity and ignorance, whilst they not seldom sadden the heart of the listener by marking the sorrowful and humiliating condition to which those who are naturally gentle and intelligent
The visitation of Zenana schools as they are called, is attended with less trouble than at first might be supposed. To go from house to house in England, where usually not more than two or three pupils are found in one family, would need much effort if any large results were to ensue; but in India the labour is lightened, because households are formed differently: the sons in every family marry and live in the paternal home, continuing subject and subordinate to paternal control. To leave, as with us, and live apart, would be contrary to custom and regarded as disreputable. In each house, therefore, a considerable number of young people are together, cousins as well as sisters. Two or three other features of Zenana life increase the number accessible to a teacher.
Respectable Hindu women have little to occupy their time. do Hindu ladies pass their time?” was once asked of a native gentleman.
Oh,” was the reply, “they sleep, and dress their hair, and talk nonsense." The distinction between the young and the middle-aged is not as strongly marked as with us; and the instruction given is to a great extent quite as suitable to the old as to the young. Mothers and children, wives and widows, sisters and cousins, will therefore freely gather around the white English lady,” to learn from her the mysteries of crochet, worsted work and embroidery; to hear her read and talk, and to put to her those questions full of simplicity and wonder, relating to her country, her domestic and
social position—so different, alas! to theirs—and her religion, which only minds untrained, repressed, and humiliated, as are theirs, can suggest.
It is obvious that the spread of education among Hindu women must be attended with results unusually great. The evils and anomalies existing in native society must disappear as it advances: child marriages, perpetual widowhood, and all the distrusting contempt with which the sex is regarded. Thus, the social ideal of domestic life prevalent among us,
will be diffused through a great empire, where for centuries it has been unknown.
The education given in Government colleges and schools tends to open the eyes
of every pupil to the evils associated with the unhappy condition of women, and in Missionary schools, where the education is of a more moral and religious cast, the influence is yet more marked. All these are thus prepared for reforms, and are the first to adopt them. And to the degree women are taught do they desire a change. It is not expedient to speak or write of the light, comfort, and hope which have entered many a Hindu woman's heart, and led not a few to the Saviour through school and Zenana instruction, but incidents such as the following are common enough.
A lady, whose daughter was unhappy with her husband, bitterly deplored the custom of early marriages, as practised by Hindus. Another Hindu lady, speaking about Zenana seclusion, said to the lady who was visiting her, “ Pray, and ask the people in your house to pray to your God for us, that He may open our prison doors, and He will hear you, for He is merciful.” Another Hindu lady, seeing a picture of Christ in her English spelling book, said, “Yes, I know all about Him;" and on being requested, gave an account of His birth, sufferings, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. On being asked where she got this knowledge, she replied, “From a Bengali Bible, lent me by a lad who was studying in the Bhowanipore Institution, but he has taken it away from me again.”
It must not be supposed that anywhere in India female education is yet common—the reverse is the case. There should be for instance there, at least, 16,600,000 girls actually attending school; but not 100,000 do so. In fact female education must be increased two hundred fold, before it reaches the European ideal standard. There is now no work of philanthropy or benevolence, anywhere in the world, which has stronger claims on the sympathy and aid of Englishwomen than this. When will the noble example set by Mrs. Wilson, Miss Britton, and Miss Carpenter, be largely followed ?
OLYMPIA MORATA: A BIOGRAPHY. With the view of adding another to the many tributes that have already been given to the natural endowments of the female mind, and to illustrate the grace and beauty which science and literature, especially when hallowed by Divine grace, may shed around the gentlest and most domestic of her sex, we are induced to call the attention of our readers to the character of Olympia Morata, emphatically one of “ The Ladies of the Reformation.”
Olympia Fulvia Morata was born in the year 1526. Her father, a man of talent and learning, was Professor of Latin in the University of Ferrara, an Italian city renowned at that time for the encouragements which its sovereign afforded to science and literature, and for the zeal and success with which many of their highest branches were cultivated. The history of Italy at that period, however, is especially interesting to us from the brief dawning of religious light which shone so brightly over its now benighted land, in connection with the Reformation, and the city of Ferrara was particularly distinguished in this respect. Hercules the Second, Duke of Ferrara, had married Renée, the amiable and accomplished daughter of Louis XII. of France. In youth she had imbibed the principles of the Reformation, and although even her high rank did not exempt her from domestic persecution on this account, her influence enabled her to afford shelter and protection to many men eminent for their piety and learning, and who, for their adherence to the truth, had been driven from other countries. Among those who found refuge at her court was the famous Calvin. Thus did the city of Ferrara become a nursery for the reformed doctrines in Italy, and their noble protectress was amply repaid for the ahazard she had run in the cause of God's truth, by the light and comfort which was communicated to her own heart. Among the converts to the reformed faith was Fulvio Morata, the father of Olympia, and under the tuition of such a parent, of a mother who is described as a model of Christian
VOL. 1.NEW SERIES,
goodness, and of a learned and pious friend, Celio Secundo Curio, who had taken refuge from persecution at the house of her father, her talents were early developed. At a very tender age she showed a mind and apprehension so far above her years, that her father was advised to direct her attention exclusively to literary pursuits; and accordingly, before she had attained her twelfth year, we find that she had been well instructed in Latin, Greek, and rhetoric.
At that period of her life she was chosen by the Duchess Renée as a fit companion for her daughters, the eldest of whom was five years younger than Olympia. For this purpose she was taken to court, and shared equally with the Princess Anna in all the advantages of a highly-finished education. In the noble family of which she thus became a member, she was treated as a daughter and a sister; and in such favourable circumstances, under the instructions of the most learned men of the time, her genius rapidly developed. Before the age of sixteen, she had composed an eloquent defence of Cicero against his calumniators, she had written polished Greek and Latin letters, and translations from the Latin into the Italian language. Not satisfied with these attainments, she had successfully studied the higher branches of philosophy and theology, had composed elegant poems on various subjects; and, incredible as it may appear, filled the office of Professor of Greek in the private academy of the Duchess, where she delivered lectures on that language and literature.
For ten years she lived under the protection of the Duchess, the favourite and ornament of her court, surrounded by all the splendour and glory which the high rank of her patrons and the fame of her genius attracted towards her. So completely was the renown of her marvellous powers the boast and admiration of her countrymen, that it obtained for her the proud appellation of the 10th Muse. But the vain
pomp and glory of a court is not an element in which an heir of heaven can be ripened for her Father's house. Olympia felt this; and her heavenly Father saw fit to dim the false glitter that shone around her, that she might, guided by the light of His countenance, travel onwards to her eternal home. God, in His mercy, left not this child of grace without "chastisement, whereof all are partakers." In 1547 a severe persecution was raised against the Lutherans at Ferrara, in which the Duchess herself was involved, and by which she was separated from her children. In consequence of this persecution, Olympia was obliged to leave the court, and after the death of her excellent father, which took place in the following year, a complete estrangement was effected between her and her former kind protectress. It was under such circumstances that the strength and beauty of those Christian principles in which she had been educated shone forth. Without a murmur, she descended from the elevation of a court , life, and devoted herself assiduously to the comfort of her widowed mother. She took upon herself the management of the family, and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters. Neither were her benevolent exer
tions confined to her own family. She and her friend, Lavinia de la Rovore, exposed themselves to daily hazard in visiting the persecuted and afflicted, and in particular, they received as well as administered comfort in their faithful attendance upon Fannio, the first martyr of Ferrara, who, after an imprisonment of two years' duration, suffered death in 1550.
With reference to her situation at this period of her life, the biographer of Olympia thus writes :-"Distracted with the cares attendant upon a large and slenderly-provided-for family, seeing no end to her distresses, and having before her eyes the spectacle of the above-mentioned persecucutions, by which she was filled with but too well founded apprehensions, she suddenly and unexpectedly received comfort as if from heaven." Grundler, a young man of Franconia, of good family and competent fortune, who had travelled into Italy with the view of improving himself in his classical and medical studies, became attached to Olympia, and being learned, amiable, and pious, and in every way fitted to be a suitable helpmate for her, they were married in 1549. After her marriage she remained some time with her mother; but her husband having been soon recalled to Germany, she bade a final adieu to her beloved country and friends, carrying along with her her brother Emilius, whose education she intended to take under her own charge. For some time they resided at Augsburg, where Grundler received the offer of a splendid appointment as chief physician at the Court of Austria to Ferdinand, king of the Romans. This appointment, alluring though it was, and anxious as they might have been to accept it under other circumstances, they felt it their duty to decline, because at the Austrian Court they found they should not have been permitted to profess the Protestant faith openly.
An extract from Olympia's letter to a friend will shew her simple steadfastness in the path of duty at this juncture. 6 You are well aware that we are the soldiers of Christ, and have taken our solemn oath in His service, so that, if we desert it, we shall be liable to everlasting judgment. Wherefore we ought to be especially careful, lest from fear of worldly enemies, we forfeit His protection, or from love of worldly advantages, rush into dangerons situations, in which we may be tempted to commit crimes against His laws. I most earnestly entreat, therefore, that, by your own letters or those of your friends who reside at Lintz, you will inform us if (as we have heard) Antichrist is exerting his cruelty in that place, and if they punish severely all who do not attend mass and who cultivate the true religion. For our deliberate opinion is that we are not at liberty to conform to the outward worship of a perverted and impious faith, and at the same time profess to be Christians. If, therefore, as in other places, the inquisitors of Antichrist would there take observation of us, and wish to force us into their style of worship, we cannot go thither, for by so doing we should sin against God."
Grundler, likewise, soon after refused an invitation to Heidelberg, but repaired to Schweinfurt, his native city, at the summons of the magistrates,