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The Young Woman's Guide to Excellence

William A. Alcott

Book Overview: 

Much of this guide for young women is still valuable today. Despite mentions of tight lacing and other out of date matters, it contains many timeless principles.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Bible and its doctrines their standard, fail of accomplishing much after all. The reason is, they measure themselves, continually, by their neighbors. If they are no more ignorant or no more vicious than their neighbors—Misses S. and L., perhaps—or on the other hand, if they are as wise and as virtuous as Miss R.—they seem to rest satisfied. Or at any rate, if, they make as much progress in the great path of self-knowledge, or do as much good in the world as the latter, they are anxious for no more, and settle down in inaction.

Now every such individual ought to know that the habit of measuring herself by others, in this way, will hang like a millstone about her neck; and if it do not drown her in the depths of ignorance and imbecility, will at least make her forever a child, in comparison with what she should be. It will keep her grovelling on the earth's surface, when she ought to be exploring the highest heavens. It will keep her . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Somewhat Puritanical and culturally specific, but also contains much useful advice.