from Mrs. C. M. Kirkland's General Introduction
to Woman, Her Education and Influence
by Mrs. Hugo Reid
... Another fine phrase is "Woman's influence," which is held to be of far more importance than woman's self - her influence being regarded as the end of her being, and herself as an incident only. It was a Spartan idea that the business of women was "to be the mothers of men;" how much is the sentiment of our enlightened age in advance of this?
"Woman's mission" is a most favorite and much hacknied term. Woman's mission is to bless - whom ? herself ? oh no, but - man! And, in return, is man's "mission" to bless her? Is man's "sphere" woman's comfort? By no means; his "mission," and his "sphere," and his "influence," are all to bring about one grand result - his own happiness and exaltation; woman being, however, graciously permitted to pick up what crumbs may remain after he is served. According to a certain class of moralists, woman should look for no higher commendation for all her sacrifices than that bestowed by the Lion upon his useful friend - "How many delicious morsels should I miss, if it were not for thy provident care, O most excellent - Jackal!"