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and freely exercised the suffrage up to the present time is “ put everything in practice to enslave the minds of their not much greater than the number of those who have in wives." if a wife is intensely attached to her husband, different ages, and in various ways, laid down their lives “exactly as much may be said of domestic slavery.” “ It or made personal sacrifices of other kinds in bringing the is part of the irony of life that the strongest feelings of suffrage into existence.
devoted gratitude of which human nature seems to be sugIn the early stages of civilization the family was socially ceptible are called forth in human beings towards those and legally, as well as politically, a unit. Its head repre who, having the power entirely to crush their earthly exsented the whole household before the tribe, the state, and istence, voluntarily refrain from using their power." Even all persons and bodies without ; while within he exercised children are only links in the chain of bondage. By the absolute power over all the members, male as well as affections of women " are meant the only ones they are female, over his sons as well as over his wife and daugh- allowed to have — those to the men with whom they are ters. On the death of the head of a family his eldest son connected, or to the children who constitute an additional stepped into his place, and became the representative and and indefeasible tie between them and a man.” The protector of the whole household, including the widow of Jesuit is an object of sympathy because he is the enemy of the deceased chief. This system, long retained in con the domestic tyrant, and it is assumed that the husband servative Rome, was there the source of the national re can have no motive but the love of undivided tyranny for spect for authority, and, by an expansion of feeling from objecting to being superseded by an intriguing interloper the family to the community, of the patriotism which pro- in his wife's affections. As though a wife would regard duced and sustained Roman greatness. But its traces with complacency, say a female spiritualist, installed belingered far down in history. It was not male tyranny / side ber hearth. It is impossible to doubt that Mr. Mill's that authorized a Tudor queen to send members of the views, in writing such passages, were colored by the inciroyal household to the Tower by her personal authority as dents of his life. But it is by circulating bis book and the mistress of the family, without regard to the common propagating his notions that the petitions in favor of law against arbitrary imprisonment. Such a constitution | Female Suffrage have been obtained. was essential to the existence of the family in primitive The anomalies in the property law affecting married times; without it, the germs of nations and of humanity women, to which remedial legislation has recently been would have perished. To suppose that it was devised by directed, are like whatever is obsolete in the relations bethe male sex for the gratification of their own tyrannical tween the sexes generally, not deliberate iniquities, but propensities would be most absurd. It was at least as I survivals. They are relics of feudalism, or of still more much a necessity to the primitive woman as it was to the primitive institutions incorporated by feudalism; and primitive man. It is still a necessity to woman in the while the system to which they belonged existed, they countries where the primitive type of society remains. were indispensible parts of it, and must have been so What would be the fate of a female Bedouin, if she were regarded by both sexes alike. Any one who is tolerably suddenly invested with Woman's Rights and emancipated well informed ought to be ashamed to represent them as from the protection of her husband ?
the contrivances of male injustice. It is not on one sex That the present relation of women to their husbands only that the relics of feudalism have borne hard. literally has its origin in slavery, and is a hideous relic The exclusion of women from professions is cited as anof that system, is a theory which Mr. Mill sets forth in other proof of constant and immemorial injustice. But language such as, if it could sink into the hearts of those what woman asked or wished to be admitted to a profesto whom it is addressed, would turn all affection to bitter sion fifty or even five-and-twenty years ago ? What Dess, and divide every household against itself. Yet this woman till quite recently would have been ready to retheory is without historical foundation. It seems, indeed, nounce marriage and maternity in order that she might like a figure of invective heedlessly converted into history. devote herself to law, medicine, or commercial pursuits ? Even in the most primitive times, and those in which the The fact is, the demand is connected with an abnormal and subjection of the women was most complete, the wife was possibly transient state of things. The expensiveness of clearly distinguished from the slave. The lot of Sarah is living, in a country where the fashion is set by milliondifferent from that of Hagar; the authority of Hector over | aires, combined with the overcrowded condition of the Andromache is absolute, yet no one can confound her posi. very callings to which women are demanding admission, tion with tbat of her bandmaidens. The Roman matron! has put extraordinary difficulties in the way of marriage. who sent ber slave to be crucified, the Southern matron Many women are thus left without an object in life, and who was the fierce supporter of slavery, were not them they naturally try to open for themselves some new career. selves slaves. Whatever may now be obsolete in the re The utmost sympathy is due to them, and every facility lations of husband and wife is not a relic of slavery, but of ought in justice to be afforded them ; though unbappily primitive marriage, and may be regarded as at worst an the addition of fresh competitors for subsistence to a crowd arrangement once indispensable which has survived its in which literally famine has already been at work, will be hour. Where real slavery bas existed, it has extended to as far as possible from removing the real root of the evil; both sexes, and it has ceased for both at the same time. to say nothing of the risk which a woman must run in Even the Oriental seclusion of women, perhaps the worst committing herself irrevocably to a precarious calling and condition in which the sex has ever been, has its root, not closing against herself the gate of domestic life. But the in the slave-owning propensity so much as in jealonsy, a demand, as has b
demand, as has been already said, is of yesterday, and passion which, though extravagant and detestable in its probably in its serious form is as yet confined to the counexcessive manifestation, is not altogether without an ele tries in which the special impediments to early marriages ment of affection. The most beautiful building in the exist. In the United States it is not easy to distinguish East is that in which Shah Jeban rests by the side of the serious demand from a passion for emulating the male Nourmahal.
sex which has undoubtedly taken possession of some of If the calm and pbilosophic nature of Mr. Mill is ever the women there, as it took possession of women under betrayed into violence, it is in his denunciations of the the Roman empire, who began to play the gladiator when present institution of marriage. He depicts it as a despot- | other excitements were e
other excitements were exbausted. With regard to the ism full of mutual degradation, and fruitful of no virtues or profession of law, indeed, so far as it is concerned with affections except the debased virtues and the miserable af. | the administration of
the administration of justice, there is, and, while humanions of the master and the slave. The grossest and most emotions retain their force, always will be, a reason, indedegrading terms of Oriental slavery are used to designate pendent of the question of demand, for excluding women, the relations of husband and wife throughout the whole at least for excluding one of the two sexes. The influence book. A husband who desires his wife's love is merely of a pretty advocate appealing to a jury, perhaps in bebalf
19. "to have, in the woman most nearly connected of a client of her own sex, would not have seemed to Mr. to him, not a forced slave, but a willing one - not a Mill at all dangerous to the integrity of public justice;
merely, but a favorite." Husbands have therefore, but most people, and especially those who have seen any
thing of sentimental causes in the United States, will the two halves of humanity. Yet he no less distinctly ratprobably be of a different opinion.
ifies the unity of the family, the authority of its head, and What has been said as to the professions is equally true the female need of personal government; a need which, of the universities, which, in fact, were schools of the pro when it is natural, has nothing in it more degrading than fessions. A few years ago, what English girl would have the need of protection. consented to leave her home and mingle with male stu The “ Revolt of Woman " is the name given to the dents ? What English girl would have thought it possible movement by a female writer in America, who, by the way, that she could go through the whole of the medical course claims, in virtue of “ superior complexity of organization," with male companions of her studies ? Even now, what is not only political equality, but absolute supremacy over the amount of settled belief in the right, as it is termed, man. But, in this revolt, to what do the insurgents apof " co-education"? What would be said to a young man peal? To their own strength, or to the justice and affecif he presented himself in the name of that right at the tion of man? door of Vassar, or any female college ? Without arraign The main factors of the relation between the sexes have ing the past, those whose duty it is may consider, with the hitherto been, and probably still are, natural affection deliberation which they deserve, the two distinct ques- the man's need of a belpmate, the woman's need of a protions, whether it is desirable that the education of both tector and provider, especially when she becomes a mother, sexes shall be the same, and whether it is desirable that and the common interest of parents in their children. One the young men and the young women of the wealthier of these factors must be withdrawn, or greatly reduced in classes shall be educated together in the same universities. importance, to warrant us in concluding that a fundamental Beneath the first probably lies the still deeper question change in the relation is about to take place. Mr. Mill whether it is good for humanity that woman, who has hardly notices any one of the four, and he treats the nathitherto been the helpmate and the complement, should ural relation which arises from them as a purely artificial become, as the leaders in the Woman's Rights movement in structure, like a paper constitution or an Act of Parliathe United States evidently desire, the rival and competi ment, which legislatures can modify or abolish at their tor of man. Both she cannot be : and it is by no means pleasure. clear that, in deciding which she shall be, the aspirations | It has no doubt been far from a satisfactory world to of the leaders of this movement coincide with the interests either sex; but unless we attach a factitious value to pubof the sex.1
lic life and to the exercise of public professions, it will be If the education of women has hitherto been defective, very difficult to prove that it has been more unsatisfactory 80 has that of men. We are now going to do our best to for one sex than the other. If the woman has had her improve both. Surely no accomplishment in the acquisi- sorrows at home, the man has had his wars and his rough tion of which woman has been condemned to spend her struggles with nature abroad, and with the sweat of his time could well be less useful than that of writing Greek brow he has reclaimed the earth, and made it a habitation and Latin verses. That the comparative absence of works for his partner as well as for himself. If the woman has of creative genius among women is due entirely to the had her disabilities, she has also had her privileges. War social tyranny which has excluded, or is supposed to have has spared her; for if in primitive times she was made a excluded, them from literary and scientific careers, cannot slave, this was better, in the days before sentiment at least, be said to be self-evident. The case of music, often cited, than being massacred. And her privileges have been conseems to suggest that there is another cause, and that the nected with her disabilities. If she had made war by her career of intellectual ambition is in most cases not likely to vote, she could not have claimed special respect as a neube happier than that of domestic affection, though this is tral, nor will she be able to claim special respect as a neu. no reason why the experiment should not be fairly tried. / tral if she makes war by her vote hereafter. Perhaps the intellectual di-abilities under which women In the United States the privileges of women may be have labored, even in the past, have been somewhat exag. said to extend to impunity, not only for ordinary outrage, gerated. If Shelley was a child to Mrs. Mill, as Mr. Mill but for murder. A poisoner, whose guilt has been proved says, no “social disabilities " hindered Mrs. Mill from pub by overwhelming evidence, is let off because she is a lishing poems which would have eclipsed Shelley. The woman; there is a sentimental scene between her and her writer once heard an American lecturer of great eminence | advocate in court, and afterwards she appears as a public confidently ascribe the licentiousness of English fiction in lecturer. The whiskey crusade shows that women are the early part of the last century to the exclusion of women practically above the law. Rioting, and injury to the from literary life. The lecturer forgot that the most popu | property of tradesmen, when committed by the privileged lar novelist of that period, and certainly not the least licen- / sex, are hailed as a new and beneficent agency in public tious, was Mrs. Aphra Bebn. And this lady's name sug- life; and because the German population, being less sentigests the remark that as the relations of the sexes have mental, asserts the principles of legality and decency, the been the most intimate conceivable, the action of character women are said to have suffered martyrdom. So far from has been reciprocal, and the level of moral ideas and sen- | the American family being the despotism which Mr. Mill timents for both pretty much the same.
describes, the want of domestic authority lies at the root Mr. Mill, seeing that the man is the stronger, seems to of all that is worst in the politics of the United States. assume that the relations between man and woman must If the women ask for the suffrage, say some American pubalways have been regulated simply by the law of the licists, they must have it; and in the same way everything strongest. But strength is not tyranny. The protector that a child cries for is apt to be given it, without reflection must always be stronger than the person under his protec- | as to the consequences of the indulgence. tion. A mother is overwhelmingly superior in strength to There is therefore no reason for setting the sexes by the her infant child, and the child is completely at her mercy. ears, or giving to any change, which it may be just and ex. The very highest conception that humanity has ever formed, pedient to make, the aspect of a revolt. We may discuss whether it be found in reality or not, is that of power los. on its own merits the question whether female suffrage ing itself in affection. This may be said without lapsing would be a good thing for the whole community. The into what has been called the religion of inhumanity.
called the religion of inhumanity. | interest of the whole community must be the test. As to St. Paul (who on auy hypothesis is an authoritative expos- natural rights, they must be sought by those who desire itor of the morality which became that of Christendom) them, not in communities, but in the primeval woods, where preaches Fraternity plainly, and even passionately enough. the available rights of women will be small. He aflirms with the utmost obreadth the essential equality The question whether female suffrage on an extended of the sexes, and their necessary relations to each other as scale is good for the whole community is probably identi1 The question of Female Education is not here discussed. But the arbi
cal, practically speaking, with the question whether it is ters of that question will do well to bear in mind that the happiness of most good for us to have free institutions or not. Absolute monwomen materially depends on their having healthy children; and that cbildren are not likely to be healthy if the brains of both parents are severely
archy is founded on personal loyalty. Free institutions tasked.
are founded on the love of liberty, or, to speak more prop erly, on the preference of legal to personal government. measures against liquor ; but the difficulty of carrying such But the love of liberty and the desire of being governed by l legislation into effect, great as it is already, could hardly law alone appear to be characteristically male. The fail to be much increased by the feeling that it was the act female need of protection, of which, so long as women re-l of the women, and the consequence would probably be con'main pbysically weak, and so long as they are mothers, tempt, and perhaps open defiance, of the law. Female it will be impossible to get rid, is apparently accompanied legislation with regard to education in the interest of clerical by a preference for personal government, which finds its ascendency, would be apt to be attended by the same - proper satisfaction in the family, but which gives an almost effects. uniform bias to the political sentiments of women. The Elective government, with the liberty of opinion and account commonly accepted of the reactionary tendency the power of progress which are its concomitants, has been which all admit to be generally characteristic of the sex, brought into existence by the most terrible throes of huis that they are priest-ridden. No doubt many of them manity. When perfected and firmly established, it will, are priest-ridden, and female suffrage would give a vast as we hope, and have good grounds for believing, give to
increase of power to the clergy. But the cause is prob reason and justice an ascendency which they have never -ably deeper and more permanent, being, in fact, the sen- had before in human affairs, and increase the happiness of -timent inherent in the female temperament, which again all by making private interest subordinate to the public good. - is formed by the normal functions and circumstances of the But its condition, if we look at the world as a whole, is
sex. And if this is the case, to give women the franchise still exceedingly precarious. All the powers of class interis simply to give them the power of putting an end, actually l est, of sybaritism, of superstition, are arrayed against it, and virtually, to all franchises together. It may not be and have vast forces at their command, including the great easy to say beforehand exactly what course the demolition standing armies of Europe, while they find accomplices in of free institutions by female suffrage would take. In the the lassitude, the alarm, the discouragement caused by the United States probably some woman's favorite would be revolutionary storms which, unhappily, are almost inevitai elected President, and reëlected till his power became ble attendants upon the birth of a new order of things. Its
personal, and perhaps dynastic. But there can be little existence having been so far a struggle, and an assertion, at doubt that in all cases, if power were put into the bands the sword's point, of principles, just in themselves, but needof the women, free government, and with it liberty of opin ing qualification to make tham available as the foundations ion, would fall.
of a polity, it is full of defects, to remedy which, so as to IT In France, it is morally certain that at the present mo- make it the deliberate expression of public reason, clear of
ment, if votes were given to the women, the first result sectional interest and passion, is now the great aim of politiE' is would be the restoration to power of the Bourbons, with cal thought and effort. Those to whose hands it is com
their reactionary priesthood, and the destruction of all that mitted at this crisis are trustees for posterity of a heritage e has been gained by the national agonies of the last century. bought by ages of effort and torrents of blood; and they are
The next result would be a religious crusade against Ger bound to allow neither their own ambition nor that of any man Protestanism and Italian freedom.
one else, if they can help it to imperil the safety of their But would the men submit ? Would they, in coinpliance trust. That women would be likely to vote for one set of with the edict of the women, and in obedience to a woman's aspirants to political office rather than for the opposite set, DIE government, haul down the tricolor, hoist the white flag, would be a very bad reason for withholding from them the en bow their necks to the yoke of Reaction, and march suffrage even for a day; but that they would probably
against the victors of Sedan in a cause which they detest? overturn the institutions on which the hopes of the world 13 This question points to another serious consideration. It rest, is as good a reason as there can be for withholding * 23* is true that law is much stronger now than it was in primi anything from anybody. When free institutions are firmly
tive or feudal times, and a woman is more under its protec established in Europe, the question of Female Suffrage may se i tion and less under the private protection of her husband perhaps be raised with less peril, so far as political interr and her kinsmen. But law, after all, though the fact may ests are concerned; but to take a female vote on their fate
be rough and unwelcome, rests at bottom on the force of at present, would be as suicidal as it would have been to to the community, and the force of the community is male. take a female vote on the issues between Charles the First
No woman can imagine that her sex can execute, or in case and the Parliament, in the middle of the Civil War. 231' of rebellion reassert the law; for that they must look en. So far as elective government has succeeded, women in
tirely to the men. The men would be conscious of this, general have fully reaped the benefit of the improvements, and if any law were made exclusively in the interest of the moral and material, which it has produced. They are mis
women, and in contradiction to the male sense of justice, taken if they imagine that they fared better under the form of they would refuse to carry it into effect. In the United of government which, in France and elsewhere, if they had the states there have been intimations, on the part of the the power, their sentiment would lead them to restore.
women, of a desire to make a very lavish use of capital They were not exempt from the misery and starvation 3 punishment, untranımelled by the technical rules of evi brought into every home by the ambitious wars and the
dence, for offences or supposed offences against the sex. general misrule of the monarchies or even from the cruelty The men would, of course, refuse execution ; law would be of their criminal laws. Down to the last days of the monset at defiance, and government would be overturned. archy in France women as well as men were broken alive But the bad effects of the public consciousness that execu upon the wheel for theft. tive force — the rude but indispensable basis of law — had It is needless to say that any discussion of the relative been partly removed, and that the law was being made by excellence, intellectual or moral, of the two moieties of those who had not the power to carry it into effect, would humanity would be equally barren and irrelevant. The not be limited to manifest instances of the influence of sex only question is as to the proper spheres of the man and in legislation. In cases where, as in Jamaica, an elective woman; and assuredly, by unsexing women, we should do goveroment has rested on two races, equal, legally speak- | no homage to their sex. ing, in political power, but of which one was evidently in | It is alleged that female influence would mitigate the terior in real force to the other, reverence for law has been violence of party politics. But what ground have we, in Weak, and the result has been disastrous. There can be reason or experience, for believing that women, if introiittle doubt that, as soon as the Federal bayonets are re duced into the political arena, would be less violent than oved, there will be another case of the same kind in the men? Hitherto they have been free from political vices, outbern States ; laws made by negro majorities will be because they have generally taken no part in politics, just set at defiance by the stronger race. To personal despot- | as home has been an asylum
as home has been an asylum from political rancor, because or class domination civilization can put an end, but l political division has not been introduced between man and
wife. But the chances are, that, being more excitable, and s very likely that in England, the women, to reform having, with more warmth and generosity of temperament,
husbands, would vote for extreme prohibitory il less power of self-control, women would, when once engaged
it cannot eliminate force.
It is very like drunken husband
in party struggles, be not less but more violent than men. tection has suspended the operation of the rude checks on All our experience, in fact, points this way. In the Reign the vices of Indian despots, and a woman brought up in the of Terror, and in the revolt of the Commune, the women zenana, though she cannot possibly be a good ruler, may notoriously rivalled the men in fury and atrocity. The well be better than a hog or a tiger. same was the case in the late American Civil War. What Neither the cases of queens, however, nor those of female has been the effect of public life on the character of the regents of the Netherlands, to which Mr. Mill gives so women who have thrown themselves into it in the United strange a turn (as though Charles V. and Pbilip II. bad States can be doubted by no human being; and our expe- | preferred females, on account of their ability, to male memrience of female agitations in this country seems to tell | bers of the house), are in point. They all belong to the pretty much the same tale. That party politics require hereditary system, under which these ladies were called to mitigation, and perhaps something more, may be readily power by birth or appointment, and surrounded by counadmitted ; but we are not likely to make the caldron boil sellors from whose policy it is scarcely possible to distinless fiercely by singing into it female character and Home. guish that of the sovereign. Under the elective system,
That Home would escape disturbance it is surely difficult women would have to make their own way to seats in Parto believe. We are told that a difference of religion between liament and to oflice by the same means as male politicians, man and wife does not produce unhappiness. The fact by canvassing, stumping, wrestling with competitors in demay be doubted when the difference is strong. But relig- bate; and the female character would be exposed :o influion is an affair of the other world; and it does not, at all ences entirely different from those which operated on Isaevents it need not, bring people into direct, much less into bella of Castile. public collision in this world. A man and his wife taking Without pressing the argument against“ Premiers in the opposite sides in politics would be brought into direct and family way" too far, it may safely be said that the women public collision, especially if they happened to be active who would best represent their sex, and whose opinions politicians, about a subject of the most exciting kind. | would be worth most, would be generally excluded from Would the harmony of most households bear the strain ? public life by conjugal and maternal duty. Success with Would not a husband who cared for his own happiness be popular constituencies would probably fall to the lot, not apt to say that if his wife wanted it she might have the of the grave matrons and spinsters whom Mr. Mill evidently vote, but that there should be only one vote between has in view, but of dasbing adventuresses, whose methods them ?
of captivating their constituents would often be by no means Men are not good housekeepers, and there need not be i identical with legislative wisdom, or calculated to increase anything disparaging in saying that women, as a rule, are our veneration for their sex. not likely to be good politicians. Most of them, after all, Mr. Mill is the real father of the whole movement; the will be married, and their sphere will be one in which they arguments of its other champions are mere reproductions do not directly feel the effects of good or bad government, of his. Whatever biased his mind, therefore, ought to be which are directly felt by the man who goes forth to labor, carefully noted; and again it must be said that he was and the practical sense of which, more than anything else, possessed by an illusion — an illusion beautiful and touchforms the political wisdoin, such as it is, of the great mass ling, but still an illusion -- as to the political genius of his of mankind. Nor would there be anything, generally | wife. He has given us the means of judging of her specispeaking, to balance the judgment, as it is balanced in men lative powers, and even they, it is evident, were not exby the variety of practical needs and considerations. Even traordinarily high. with male constituencies, particular questions are apt to That there are women eminently capable of understandbecome too predominant, and to lead to the exaction of ing and discussing political questions nobody will deny. tyrannical pledges and to narrow ostracism of conscientious. These will find a sphere in the press, through which many public men. But with Female Suffrage there would prob- men exercise a power which makes it a matter of indifferably be always a woman's question, of a kind appealing to ence whether they have a vote or not. But it by no means sentiment, such as the question of the Contagious Diseases follows that it is expedient to put political power into the Act, which demagogues would take care to provide, and hands of the whole sex; much less that it is expedient to which would swallow up every other question, and make a do so at a moment when it is morally certain that they clean sweep of all public men who might refuse to take the would use their power to cancel a good deal of what has woman's pledge. With Female Suffrage, the question of been done in their interest, as well as in that of their partthe Contagious Diseases Act would probably have made a ners, by the efforts of the last two hundred years. clean sweep at the last general election of all the best ser- Some supporters of the movement flatter ihemselves that vants of the state.
women would always vote for peace, and that Female SufMr. Mill had persuaded himself that great capacity for frage would consequently be a short method of ridding the government had been displayed by women, and that there world of war and standing armies. Such experience as was urgent necessity for bringing them into the manage we have hardly warrants this anticipation. Female Sofment of the state. But he can hardly be serious when he ereigns, as a rule, have not been eminently pacific. It cites as an instance of female rule a constitutional queen would be difficult to find four contemporary male rulers whose excellence consists in never doing any act of govern- / who made more wars than Catherine the Second of Russia, ment except under the guidance of ber Ministers. The Maria Theresa, Madame de Pompadour (who ruled France queens regnant or consort, before our monarchy became in the name of her lover), and the Termagant, as Carlyle constitutional, who may be said to have wielded power, calls her, of Spain. It is widely believed that the late are the Empress Queen Matilda, Eleanor the wife of Henry Empress of the French, inspired by her Jesuits, was a II., Isabella the wife of Edward II., Margaret of Anjou, principal mover in the attack on Germany. Those who Mary, Elizabeth, and Henrietta Maria. Not much can be know the Southern States say that the women there are made of this list, when it is considered that both Margaret far more ready to renew the Civil War than the men. The of Anjou and Henrietta Maria were, by their temper, prin: most effective check on war is, to use the American plirase, cipal causes of civil wars, and that the statesmanship of that every one should do his own fighting. But this check Elizabeth has totally collapsed between Mr. Froude's first cannot be applied to women, who will be comparatively volume and his last, while her feminine relations with irresponsible in voting for war. A woman, in fact, can Leicester and other favorites have contracted a much more never be a full citizen in countries where, as in Germany, ominous complexion in a political as well as in a moral it is a part of a citizen's duty to bear arms. point of view. On the other hand, it is probable that Finally, it is said that there are certain specific griefEleanor, the wise of Edward I., and certain that Caroline, l ances under which women labor, and which call for immethe wife of George II., rendered, in a womanly way, high diate redress, but of which redress cannot be had unless services to the state. Mr. Mill says, from bis experience women are empowered to extort it from their husbands at the India Office, that the queens in India are better and brothers at the polls. Of course if there is wrong, than the kings. But the reason is obvious. British pro- I and wrong to half humanity, which cannot be righted in any other way, we must at once accept Female Suffrage, i perform that duty; though of course criminal legislation in whatever perils it may entail.
this case, as in all others, to be effeciive, must keep terms In the United States the grievance of which most is with reason and justice. In fact, in this matter, women heard is ibe tyrannical stringency of the marriage tie, are probably better in the present bands than they would which, it is alleged, gives a man property in a woman, and be in their own. The source of these infamies and horunduly interferes with the freedom and genuineness of rors in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred is drink; and affection. Some of the language used is more startling if the member for Marylebone, instead of tampering with than this, and if reproduced might unfairly prejudice the the relations between the sexes, will turn his mind to the case. But male legislatures in the United States have improvement and extension of the legislation commenced already carried the liberty of divorce so far, that the next under the late government against intemperance, he will step would be the total abolition of marriage and the | deserve in the highest degree the gratitude of women in destruction of the family. The women themselves have | general, and especially of those who have the greatest now, it is said, begun to draw back. They have probably claim to our sympathy. become aware that liberty of divorce must be reciprocal, The case of women is not that of an unenfranchised that marriage is precminently a restraint placed on the class, the interest of which is distinct from that of the enpassions of the man in the interest of the woman, that a franchised. The great mass of them are completely idenwoman loses her charms more easily than she loses her tified in interest with their husbands, while even those who need of a protector, and that to the children, divorce is are not married can hardly be said to form a class, or to moral and social ruin. Mr. Mill demands for the "slave" | bave any common interest other than mere sex, which is the privilege of changing her master; he forgets that he liable to be unfairly affected by class legislation. There would at the same time give the master the privilege | is, therefore, no reason why Parliament should not do justice of changing his slave.
in any practical question relative to the rights of women The question, of which more is heard here, as to the which may be brought before it, as it has already done right of women to the control of their own property, was justice in several such questions, without invoking upon one the importance of which was not likely to be fully per- ) itself the coercion of Female Suffrage. ceived wbile comparatively few women earned their own bread. However, now that it is perceived, the British leg. islature bas at least gone so far in removing anomalies that it need not despair of seeing itself do complete justice.
THE STORY OF A GAS. In the United States, male legislatures, so far from being unwilling, display almost an exaggerated propensity to It is nearly a century since the celebrated Dr. Priestley, sever the interest of the wife from that of the husband. on exposing iron nails to the action of nitric oxide, disAn eminent American jurist told the writer that he knew covered a gas whose properties, he admits, upset bis most a case in which a woman was compelling her husband to cherished ideas, being of such a nature that he would not work for her as a hired laborer, and another in which a have hesitated beforehand to pronounce them incompatible. woman had accomplished a divorce by simply shutting the What puzzled him was, that whilst the gas was almost indoor of the house, which was her own property, in her stantly fatal to animals placed in it, yet it supported and husband's face. After all, it must be remembered that the | even intensified the fame of a candle. To this anomalous
can remains responsible for the maintenance of the woman gas he gave the name of " dephlogisticated nitrous air ; ” and her children, and that the analogy of a commercial which, however, gave place to that of “ nitrous oxide," on partnership which is in vogue with the champions of the science of chemistry soon after being emancipated from Woman's Rights in the United States, is very far from the “phlogiston ” theory. But it is not with the name of holding good : commercial justice between themselves and its discoverer, but with that of another great chemist, that their husbands is not what the women really want. It this remarkable gas will be forever associated. The story must be remembered, too, that the male has by nature cer- of how the latter came to investigate its properties is worth tain advantages over the female which no legislature on recalling. At the end of last century there lived at Clifearth can annul; and that it is necessary in the interest ton a physician named Dr. Beddoes, a man of great abiliof both sexes, but especially in the interest of women, to ties, and of restless mental energy, which, however, was render the restraint of marriage acceptable, not only to not seldom misdirected. He was all his life a man of hobpersons of cultivated sensibility, but to ordinary men. bies, and one of them was, that disease could be cured by If the ideal of marriage which floats in the pages of Mr. the inhalation of “factitious airs," that is, artificially genMill were actually embodied in legislation, and the hus erated gases. Most of the elementary and compound gases, band were stripped of all conjugal rights, and left with | it must be borne in mind, had been only recently discovnothing but the responsibility of maintaining the family, ered. Of their physical and chemical properties, a good it is at least possible that the result among the coarser deal was already known, but their physiological, and conmasses of mankind might be the increase of license and the sequently their therapeutical qualities had been little inconsequent degradation of women.
vestigated. To a man of active imaginative faculty like It is commonly said in the United States by the Woman's Beddoes, the possibilities of the application of these aerial Rights party, that women are underpaid for their labor, fluids to the cure of disease opened up a boundless field of and a vague hope is held out that this might be set right | speculation. He gave up the chemical lecturesbip at Oxby female legislation. In most fields of industry women ford, in order to devote himself to a course of research into are new-comers, and on all new.comers old custom is apt | the curative virtues of various gases. For this purpose, he at first to bear hard. Female singers, pianoforte plavers, took a house in Bristol; but when his landlord, and his novelists, painters, milliners, are not underpaid. If female neighbors in Hope Square, came to know of his object, clerks and school-mistresses are paid less than male clerks they were not a little troubled in spirit, and for a time it and school-masters, this may be partly because continu seemed very doubtful whether he would be permitted a ance in the calling is an element of value, and women are peaceful occupation of the premises. The fear was, that taken off by marriage. That a New Yorker will persist, || the house, or, possibly, the whole square, might some fine out of regard for the aristocracy of sex, in paying a man á morning be propelled skywards by the irresistible force of high price for his labor, when he can get the work done as | his imprisone i “airs,” or that the surrounding atmosphere well for less money by a woman, is not much to be appre- might be poisoned by the fumes generated in their produchended. But that legislatures, male or female, could tion. When these alarming anticipations had been allayed, equalize wages, few will be credulous enough to believe, the sanguine doctor set hard to work, and in a few years though it is possible that the attempt might be made. managed so thoroughly to inbue others with his own hopes
As to domestic cruelty, if it can be stopped by any ex- and ideas, that in 1798 the British Medical Pneumatic Intension of the criminal law, there is surely not the slightest stitution was established by public subscription. Its reason for believing that male legislatures are unwilling to founder had the sagacity to recognize the great merit of