It is, therefore, important to cultivate a faculty which servesas judge between the two guides, which does not permit conscienceto go astray and corrects the errors of prejudice. Our host told us how to find our way to the house and we set off,but lost our way in the woods. The difficulty is this: while social life develops characterit differentiates classes, and these two classifications do notcorrespond, so that the greater the social distinctions, the greaterthe difficulty of finding the corresponding character. Or the sovereign may restrict the government in the hands of a lessernumber, so that there are more plain citizens than magistrates;and this form of government is called Aristocracy. Being aware that,unfortunately, her own temperament is inflammable, she dreads theleast spark, and keeps out of reach so far as she can. Who would be scorned by women? That facultyis reason. Speaking generally, if it isdesirable to restrict a man's studies to what is useful, this iseven more necessary for women, whose life, though less laborious,should be even more industrious and more uniformly employed in avariety of duties, so that one talent should not be encouraged atthe expense of others. Our elementary notions are plain and simple, being taken directlyfrom the nature of things. Take care that you can live rightly withouthaving to pay court to intendents, to their deputies, to judges,to priests, to powerful neighbours, and to knaves of every kind,who are always ready to annoy you if you neglect them. Liberty isnot to be found in any form of government, she is in the heart ofthe free man, he bears her with him everywhere. You have not forgotten your promise. Sophy's mind is pleasing but not brilliant, and thorough but notdeep; it is the sort of mind which calls for no remark, as shenever seems cleverer or stupider than oneself. I wish therewere fewer of these dressed-up old ballet masters promenading ourstreets. He is a man and she is awoman; this is all they have to boast of. O worthy Emile! At these words she hurries up to Emile, kisses him,and clasps him to her breast with tears; unable to say more sherepeats again and again, "My son, my son!". According toher, cleanliness is one of the most necessary of a woman's duties,a special duty, of the highest importance and a duty imposed bynature. The harder and more important the duties, the stronger and clearermust be the reasons on which they are based. Perhaps I have said too much already. "A field of your own, dear Emile! He visits the peasants in theirhomes; inquires into their circumstances, their families, thenumber of their children, the extent of their holdings, the natureof their produce, their markets, their rights, their burdens, theirdebts, etc. For example, we see the magistratesas a body far more active than the citizens as a body, so that theindividual will always counts for more. Possession soon exhausts our appreciationof beauty; in six weeks' time we think no more about it, but itsdangers endure as long as life itself. Will the bonds of convention hold firm without some foundationin nature? As men always look back to thisperiod with regret so the tastes carried forward into it fromchildhood are not easily destroyed; but if once interrupted theyare never resumed. A man of good willfinds it hard to satisfy his inclinations in the midst of towns,where he can find few but frauds and rogues to work for. Yet unknown to him, Sophy, with all her pride,is observing him closely, and she is smiling to herself at thepride of her slave. It is my turn to smile, and Isay to myself, "I will soon get your attention.". "No author ever understood more thoroughly the heart of both sexesthan Tacitus when he wrote those words.]. Is she pretty enough to do without this or that? The cakes lead me to talk of the races Emile used to run. I kept to the path of nature, untilshe should show me the path of happiness. I cannot say; I wishthey could dispense with both; I wish they could learn of theirown accord what they are already so willing to learn. So shift the scenes of life; each age is swayed by its own motives,but the man is the same. At ten his mind was set upon cakes, attwenty it is set upon his mistress; at thirty it will be set uponpleasure; at forty on ambition, at fifty on avarice; when willhe seek after wisdom only? Has not a woman the same needsas a man, but without the same right to make them known? Her father and motherrecall the days of their wealth, when they find themselves surroundedby the works of art which alone gave value to wealth; the wholehouse is adorned by love; love alone has enthroned among them,without cost or effort, the very same pleasures which were gatheredtogether in former days by dint of toil and money. I meant to train a helpmeet for Emile, from thevery first, and to educate them for each other and with each other.But on consideration I thought all these premature arrangementsundesirable, for it was absurd to plan the marriage of two childrenbefore I could tell whether this union was in accordance withnature and whether they were really suited to each other. Womanis worth more as a woman and less as a man; when she makes a gooduse of her own rights, she has the best of it; when she tries tousurp our rights, she is our inferior. Granted; yet that is their proper business. "Do not expect me to supply you with lengthy precepts of morality,I have only one rule to give you which sums up all the rest. If I told them that Sophy is no imaginary person,that her name alone is my invention, that her education, her conduct,her character, her very features, really existed, and that her lossis still mourned by a very worthy family, they would, no doubt,refuse to believe me; but indeed why should I not venture to relateword for word the story of a girl so like Sophy that this storymight be hers without surprising any one. She has nevertasted wine or spirits; moreover, she eats sparingly; women, who donot work so hard as men, have less waste to repair. Even if I set the crown to his happiness I should destroyits greatest charm. Riches and credit lean upon eachother, the one can hardly stand without the other. "For," says the law, "the maidencried for help, and there was none to hear." Moral truth is not only what is,but what is good; what is bad ought not to be, and ought not to beconfessed, especially when that confession produces results whichmight have been avoided. Not every one can realise the motive power to be found in a love ofwhat is right, nor the inner strength which results from a genuinelove of virtue. Thus it is not enough that a wife should be faithful; her husband,along with his friends and neighbours, must believe in her fidelity;she must be modest, devoted, retiring; she should have the witnessnot only of a good conscience, but of a good reputation. Will Emile face the situationas bravely at his mistress' feet as he has done in conversationwith his friend? There are no colleges forgirls; so much the better for them! Emile, supposing that Sophy runs no better than other women, doesnot deign to stir from his place and watches her start with a smileof mockery. Far from distressing her with reproachesor unjust blame, she consoled her, pitied her, wept over her; shewas too wise to make a crime of an evil which virtue alone made socruel. As soon as the nation considers one or more of its members, thenation is divided. "Sir," said the master of the houseto Emile, "you seem to be a pleasant well-behaved young gentleman,and that reminds me that your tutor and you arrived wet and wearylike Telemachus and Mentor in the island of Calypso." This study of different nations in their remoter provinces, andin the simplicity of their native genius, gives a general resultwhich is very satisfactory, to my thinking, and very consoling tothe human heart; it is this: All the nations, if you observe themin this fashion, seem much better worth observing; the nearer theyare to nature, the more does kindness hold sway in their character;it is only when they are cooped up in towns, it is only when theyare changed by cultivation, that they become depraved, that certainfaults which were rather coarse than injurious are exchanged forpleasant but pernicious vices. Emile thanksme curtly for my prescription, saying that he thinks Sophy has abetter, at any rate it is good enough for him. "Shall we put our worthyfriends to such expense?" Thus we are compelled to retrace our steps, and when we considerthe meaning of this collective nation we shall inquire whether somecontract, a tacit contract at the least, is not required to makea nation, a contract anterior to that which we are assuming. Is it you that I love? If the lady is not alwaysquite exact in this respect, yet on the other hand she perceivedwhat was whispered at the other end of the room; she knows whatso-and-so thought, and what was the meaning of this speech or thatgesture; there is scarcely a change of expression for which shehas not an explanation in readiness, and she is almost always right. There can be no doubtthat those who have devoted themselves to ancient history know moreabout the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Gauls, and Persians thanany nation of to-day knows about its neighbours. It is not true that they have failed tomake him free; they have taught him to rule himself. We do not practise the use of ourweapons when we are face to face with the enemy, we do that beforethe war; we come to the battle-field ready prepared. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is considered one of the key Enlightenment philosophers, and his writings reveal that he was concerned with “equality among men,” but he certainly did not make women's equality his focus. As he does not know what to make of his disgrace, he thinks it ishis own fault; for who would venture to accuse the adored one ofcaprice. No doubta girl brought up to goodness and piety has strong weapons againsttemptation; but one whose heart, or rather her ears, are merelyfilled with the jargon of piety, will certainly fall a prey to thefirst skilful seducer who attacks her. There is a third difficulty, more specious than real; a difficultywhich I neither desire to solve nor even to state; enough that I amnot afraid of it; sure I am that in inquiries of this kind, greattalents are less necessary than a genuine love of justice and asincere reverence for truth. Do not make your daughters theologiansand casuists; only teach them such things of heaven as conduceto human goodness; train them to feel that they are always in thepresence of God, who sees their thoughts and deeds, their virtueand their pleasures; teach them to do good without ostentation andbecause they love it, to suffer evil without a murmur, because Godwill reward them; in a word to be all their life long what theywill be glad to have been when they appear in His presence.
2020 rousseau emile book 5 summary