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complimen toman. Elsewhthe field of conic
yielding, we may almost say, dependent idea of woman. They assert a difference between the sexes, and feel that difference a charm. We have seen how Mr. Higginson indulges in compliments to Miss Lucy Stone's soft voice, “an excellent thing in woman.' Elsewhere, in recording a school contest between boys and girls in the field of conic sections, he finds pleasure in drawing a contrast between the personal characteristics of the combatants. 'I have seen delicate girls, whose slight fingers could scarcely grasp the huge chalk bullet.' This picture of graceful weakness enhances the pleasure of the triumph. There is still something to patronise and defend. He would not have cared for the success of these young mathematicians so much had they been formed in the mould of those female guards of the Princess,' the —
• Eight daughters of the plough,
And labour; each like a Druid rock.' And Mr. Parker betrays the same predilection for a contrast of mental qualities in analogy with the differences of physical conformation. I think man,' he says, 'will always lead in “affairs of the intellect, of reason, imagination, understanding,
he has the bigger brain ; but that woman will always lead in 'affairs of emotion, moral, affectional, religious,--she has the • better heart, the truer intuition of the right, the lovely, the "holy;' and further on he betrays the old notion of man's more comprehensive vision. Man's moral action he calls a sort of general human providence; 'woman's moral action is more • like a special human providence acting without general rules, .but caring for each particular case.'
But these assertions of a difference, however cautiously asserted and accompanied by compliment and eulogy, are distasteful to the women's-rights women’ of every land, and rejected as a covert assumption of superiority; and justly, for, veil it as carefully as you will, there lies this assumption underneath. The authoress of “Remarks on the Education of Girls," quotes the last passage from Mr. Parker as showing that he is still behindhand. It is education alone, she assures us, that makes the difference, and not till the special' view is exploded will women exercise their full influence on the moral well-being of the world. This lady, too, will acknowledge no sisterhood with delicate girls' and slender fingers.' She adduces the full physical development of Madame Grisi in her maturest years as the proper type of womanly grace, and on this head appeals to Mary Wollstonecraft, who may well indeed be set forth as the unflinching champion of the cause in all its bearings, and as such her views demand some distinct mention here.
On whatever field the battle is fought, man is with the foun: dress of the sect the aggressor—the natural enemy of woman. Especially is she awake to the treachery of all the ordinary forms of gallantry and politeness (what she calls the insolent condescension of protectorship ') as insidious chains and golden fetters. • I lament that women are systematically degraded by receiving • the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the
sex, when in fact they are insultingly supporting their own supe• riority. So ludicrous do these ceremonies appear to me, that . I scarcely am able to govern my muscles, when I see a man 6 start with eager and serious solicitude to lift a handkerchief or
shut a door, when the lady could have done it herself had she only moved a pace or two. I do earnestly wish to see the
distinction of sex confounded in society. A few more of her vigorous defiant sentences will not be misplaced here. "“ Educate women like men,” says Rousseau, “and the more • they resemble our sex, the less power they will have over us.” . I do not wish them to have power over men, but over them. selves. I presume that rational men will excuse me for
endeavouring to make them (women) to become more mascu• line and respectable. Indeed, the word masculine is only • a bugbear. I love man as my fellow, but his sceptre, real • or usurped, extends not to me. Men have submitted to 'superior strength to enjoy with impunity the pleasure of the * moment, -women have only done the same; and therefore, till it
is proved that the courtier, who servilely resigns the birthright of a man, is not a moral agent, it cannot be demonstrated that * woman is essentially inferior to man, because she has always • been subjugated.' 'Strengthen the female mind by enlarging
it, and there will be an end of blind obedience.' Connected ' with man as daughters, wives, and mothers, their (women's)
moral character may be estimated by their manner of ful• filling those simple duties ; but the end, the grand end of 'their exertions, should be to unfold their own faculties, and " acquire the dignity of conscious virtue;' and so she dismisses what she calls the prevailing opinion that woman was created
• for marrently, not of her ownuts, and wit the
Apparently, no woman had as yet realized her ideal, there. fore her contempt of her own sex is as freely expressed as her jealousy and suspicion of ours, and with the same forcible language; and as men are charged with the desire to render women' gentle domestic brutes,' so women who submit to such treatment are told in very plain, unvarnished language, how disgusting themselves and all their virtues are to her. Gentleness is abject;' docility is a spaniel-like affection;' patience, docility, good-humour, flexibility, are virtues, she assures them, incompatible with any vigorous exertion of the intellect. The • obedient wife,' they are told, makes an “indolent mother,' and a meek wife, a foolish one. The divine right of husbands' is boldly contemned, and pictures are drawn and illustrations given to show the fatal consequences of indulgence in obedience, meekness, submission, and the whole train of weak, mawkish, and dependent virtues.
She was ready, in fact, to fight the battle of equality on the principles of abstract reason, desiring fair play and no favour. She disdained the weapons of her sex, looked forward to the time when women will resign the arbitrary power of beauty,' and discarded, nay, even loathed, every pretty wile. The coquetry of dress she abhorred; would not think so ill of her sex as to believe it possible they were born with a love for dolls in babyhood, and fine clothes in youth : this was one of the monstrous charges brought by men against a nature that they had ruined, degraded by their tyranny, and narrowed by a corrupt education.
This is a line we can understand ; defying man's power and rejecting all compromise: it is followed, we have seen, in main points by the Convention of Syracuse, and also by our own country woman in her Remarks.' But there is a more imaginative school of these energetic spirits, who claim more than an equality, who wish to be the equals of men in all social and civil rights, and yet to be the objects of their tenderness, protection, and solicitude. Margaret Fuller, plain and personally unattractive as she was, exacted her dues as a woman with all the tenacity of those of her countrywomen who make no other claims than what are termed the privileges of their sex.' Those attentions that were despised by the pure reason of Mary Wollstonecraft, were indispensable to her comfort and self-appreciation. Nor did she disdain the “borrowed charm that dress supplies.' Her female disciples complacently record the magnificence of her toilette on certain show occasions. She would have fully approved of the gorgeous hues in which Tennyson decks his female academics: :
'In colours gayer than the morning mist.' And this poetical aspect of the movement, in which women leave the deductions of severe logic, and, scorning any notion of compact, or exchange of one advantage for another, grasp all in their eager fancy; and aspire to a future, wherein their sex shall possess more than their present feminine influence, and equal man on his own ground, leaving him no exclusive sphere, this view of their claims brings us to another work on our list, the Romance of · Bertha and Lily,' wherein we find the
Yet, tuss deshanand the story, attis pults with them
* coming woman' pictured forth with many circumstances of picturesque effect, and designed for universal sway:
This is such a creature,
How, not women?
The rarest of all women.' The authoress is a mystic and transcendentalist, and her heroine embodies these qualities or opinions, and is an eclectic of the freest pattern. All forms of worship and belief, Pagan, Protestant, Catholic, Rationalistic, are hers by turns, and the personages of the story, who are living in an American village in the west, with a railway passing through it, are so elevated and glorified by her presence amongst them, that supernatural visitations and mysteries of all sorts are as common with them as the engine's whistle and its accompanying puffs of steam. There is a spiritual child in the story, after the pattern of American novels; but · Eva' and the Pearl' of Mr. Hawthorne are creatures of gross flesh and blood compared to the 'Lily' of this story. Yet, through these absurdities there shines out much shrewd observation, and sometimes good sense, though this is a commodity quite alien from the design and conduct of the story. The principal characters are this Bertha, a woman transcendently intellectual and beautiful, of an age nearer thirty than authors often venture upon. But this maturity is necessary not only for the plot, but to support the dictum of the party, that female beauty does not attain its height till that age. With regard to her previous history, we are early informed in her own language, that she has overstepped partial relations ;' and again, that she has found the past rough, because ' a great soul must learn to know its power from a great expe‘rience. In fact, a disgraceful stain attached to her youth, which would have disabled her for a heroine in less liberal eyes, but was thought needful as a protest against existing prejudice. At the opening of the book we are allowed this insight into her journal:
* But am I happy? I ask again. Not quite. Now, however, I am fit for happiness. Now I am worthy of love. Yes, that is it; I am unselfish, I am truthful, I am courageous, I am individual, I am wise. Yes, I feel that I am all these, in a degree according to my capacities. I have sorrowed, but am not embittered. The largest life should bring the noblest love, and yet I prefer my single blessedness above all things.
. As these thoughts passed through my mind, I loosened my long hair, and sat up and drew the glass to me, and took a clear inventory of my charms. A pale clear complexion, regular features, a bust and arms that
I dare call beautiful, small feet and hands : " This is well,” I said. “I hope never to grow old. Thou hast the dew of thy youth,' is the most beautiful of benedictions, and youth is in the soul." —Bertha and Lily, p. 19.
There is another lady, 'Julia,' designed to be the type of the • feminine,' which involves with this authoress all that is flirting, flippant, selfish, pretty, and fascinating. The hero, pourtrayed with a good deal of cleverness and some humour, is the pastor of the village; and we presume is the authoress's type of man, for he marries Bertha at the last, after being in love with both ladies all through the book. We beg to disown him as our representative, yet feel obliged for the portrait, as frankly significant of the ulterior designs of this party against our sex, and of the position they hope to reduce us to. This milk-sop of a parson, as he is candidly designated by one of the characters of the piece, recognises his subordinate place by slow degrees. As where he writés :
I find so many prejudices and opinions of mine, which I had conceived to be well-grounded principles, melting away under the intuitive truths of Bertha, that I begin to think a clear, true woman, one of God's oracles, whose utterances are to be treated most reverently. I am having strong doubts as to the immaculate superiority of men to women. They are far · holier than we, I am sure. The truth is, Bertha has a way of taking the conceit out of man-entirely a way of her own.'—Ib. p. 45. And his own weaker intellectual organization, lamented in such confessions as the following,— My sensibilities are too pre
dominant, they weaken and distress me,' elicit her reproofs; • Ernest, you are not self-poised, you are lacking in courage.' On the whole, however, the relative position of the parties suits each equally well, which we find well stated in Bertha's journal, just before the denouement:
• The one who answers to our thoughts is ours. Ernest penetrates to the very soul of my speech, and answers thereto. He grows a lovely, inspired man-child when in my presence, and he does not know that only love can effect this.'-16. p. 257.
The course of the book exhibits faint struggles on Ernest's part against this female supremacy. As a popular and orthodox preacher, he ventures feeble remonstrances against her heterodoxy. She had made him adopt and domesticate in his parsonage two pauper children, and they are discussing their training :--
"" You have named the paupers' pew. Did you ever think, Ernest, what an infamous thing it is in the house of God? But tell me if you are quite certain what you will teach these children." . * « Why, what I preach every Sunday from the pulpit, to be sure." «« You are quite sure you are preaching a gospel there?"
I wasn't sure of any such thing. I was preaching just what my predecessors had done; I was doing no more, and no less.
6* If you had been bred in the Episcopal Church, you would be teaching them the Thirty-nine Articles, like the forty stripes save one of the ancient