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let me do what I wish, l'al give you a preliminary test.", toasThere it pere look" said the sergeant, holding his
them. “Then there's pursuing practice, in this way." He before she had moved or (spoken. “ Wait: I'll do it for gave the movements as before. “ There, those are the
you.” stereotyped forms. The infantry have two most diabolical An arc of silver shone on her right side: the sword had upward cuts, which we are two humane to use. Like this descended. The lock dropped to the ground. three, four.”
“Bravely borne!” said Troy. “You didn't flinch a How murderous and bloodthirsty !”
shade's thickness. Wonderful in a woman!” They are rather deathy. Now l'll be more interesting “ It was because I didn't expect it. Oh you have spoilt and let you see some loose play — giving all the cuts and hair!” points, infantry and cavalry, quicker than lightning, and « Only once more." as promiscuously — with just enough rule (to regulate in- “ No – no! I am afraid of you indeed I am !” she stinct and yet not to fetter it. You are my antagonist, cried. with this difference from real warfare, that I shall miss “ I won't touch you at all — not even your hair. I am you every time by one bair's breadth, or perhaps two. only going to kill that caterpillar settling on you. Now: Mind you don't flinch, whatever you do."
still ! " " I'll be sure not to !” she said invincibly.
It appeared that a caterpillar had come from the fern He pointed to about a yard in front of him.
and chosen the front of her boddice as his resting-place. Bathsheba's adventurous spirit was beginning to find She saw the point glisten towards her bosom, and seemsome grains of relish in these highly novel proceedings. | ingly enter it. Bathsheba closed her eyes in the full perShe took up her position as directed, facing Troy.
suasion that she was killed at last. However, feeling just
to as usual, she opened them again He flourished the sword by way of introduction number sword before her eyes. two, and the next thing of which she was conscious was The caterpillar was spitted upon its point. that the point and blade of the sword were darting with “Why, it is magic !” said Bathsheba, amazed. a gleam towards her left side, just above her hip; then of
" Oh no
dexterity. I merely gave point to your their reappearance on her right side, emerging as it were bosom where the caterpillar was, and instead of running from between her ribs, having apparently passed through you through checked the extension a thousandth of an inch her body. The third item of consciousness was that of short of your surface." seeing the same sword, perfectly clean and free from blood “But how could you chop off a curl of my hair with a held vertically in Troy's hand in the position technically sword that has no edge ? called “recover swords "). All was as quick as electric- “No edge! This sword will shave like a razor. Look ity
here." “Oh!” she cried out in asfright, pressing her hand to He touched the palm of his hand with the blade, and her side. “ Have you run me through ? — no, you have then, listing it, showed her a thin shaving of scarf-skin not! Whatever have you done!”
dangling therefrom. “I have not touched you,” said Troy quietly. “It was But you said before beginning that it was blunt and mere sleight of hand.' The sword passed behind you. couldn't cut me!" Now you are not afraid, are you? Because if you are I " That was to get you to stand still, and so ensure your can't perform. I give my word that I will not only not safety. The risk of injuring you through your moving was hurt you, but not once touch you.”.
too great not to compel me to tell you an untruth to obviate “ I don't think I am afraid. You are quite sure you will not hurt me?”
She shuddered. “I have been within an inch of my life, « Quite sure."
and didn't know it!” “ Is the sword very sharp?”.
“More precisely speaking, you have been within halt " Oh no-only stand as still as a statue. Now !"
an inch of being pared alive two hundred and ninety-five In an instant the atmosphere was transformed to Bath- times.” sheba's eyes. Beams of light caught from the low sun's “ Cruel, cruel, 'tis of you!” rays, above, around, in front of her, well-nigh shut out “ You have been perfectly safe, nevertheless. My sword earth and heaven - all emitted in the marvellous evolutions never errs.” And Troy returned the weapon to the scabof Troy's reflecting blade, which seemed everywhere at once, bard. and yet nowhere specially. These circumambient gleams Bathsheba, overcome by a hundred tumultuous feelings were accompanied by a keen sibilation that was almost a resulting from the scene, abstractedly sat down on a tuft whistling — also springing from all sides of her at once. of heather. In short, she was enclosed in a firmament of light, and of " I must leave you now," said Troy softly. " And I'll sharp bisses, resembling a sky-full of meteors close at venture to take and keep this in remembrance of you.”. hand.
She saw him stoop to the grass, pick up the winding Never since the broadsword became the national weapon lock wbich he had severed from her manifold tresses, twist had there been more dexterity shown in its management it round his fingers, unfasten a button in the breast of his than by the hands of Sergeant Troy, and never had be coat, and carefully put it inside. She felt powerless to been in such splendid temper for the performance as now withstand or deny him. He was altogether too much in the evening sunshine among the ferns with Bathsheba. for her, and Bathsheba seemed as one who, facing a reIt may safely be asserted with respect to the closeness of viving wind, finds it to blow so strongly that it stops the his cuts, that had it been possible for the edge of the sword breath. to leave in the air a permanent substance wherever it flew He drew near and said, “I must be leaving you." He past, the space left untouched would bave been a complete drew nearer still. A minute later and she saw his scarlet mould of Bathsheba's figure.
form disappear amid the ferny thicket, almost in a flash, Behind the luminous streams of this aurora militaris, she like a brand swiftly waved. could see the hue of Troy's sword-arm, spread in a scarlet That minute's interval had brought the blood beating haze over the space covered by its motions, like a twanged into her face, set her stinging as if aflame to the very holbowstring, and behind all Troy himself, mostly facing her: lows of her feet, and enlarged emotion to a compass which sometimes, to show the rear cuts, half turned away, his quite swamped thought. It had brought upon her a stroke eye nevertheless always keenly measuring her breadth resulting, as did that of Moses in Horeb, in a liquid stream and outline, and his lips tightly closed in sustained effort. - here a stream of tears. She felt like one who has sinned Next, his movements lapsed slower, and she could see them
a great sin. individually. The hissing of the sword had ceased, and he The circumstance had been the gentle dip of Troy's stopped entirely,
mouth downwards upon her own. He had kissed her. That outer loose lock of hair wants tidying," he said,
(To be continued.)
BY GOLDWIN SMITH.
step which they are now urged to take, but who fancy that FEMALE SUFFRAGE.
they have no choice left them because the municipal franchise has already been conceded. The municipal franchise was no doubt intended to be the thin end of the wedge.
Nevertheless there is a wide step between this and the Mr. Forsyth's bill for removing the Electoral Disabili. national franchise; between allowing female influence to ties of Women, the second reading of which is at hand, prevail in the disposition of school rates, or other local has received less attention than the subject deserves. The rates, and allowing it to prevail in the supreme government Residuum was enfranchised for the sake of its vote by the of the country. To see that it is so, we have only to imleaders of a party which for a series of years had been de- agine the foreign policy of England determined by the nouncing any extension of the suffrage, even to the most women, while that of other countries is determined by the intelligent artisans, on the ground that it would place politi- men ; and this in the age of Bismarck. cal power in unfit bands. An analogous stroke of strategy, The writer of this paper himself once signed a petition it seems, is now meditated by the same tacticians in the for Female Household Suffrage got up by Mr. Mill. He case of Female Suffrage, the motion in favor of which is has always been for enlarging the number of active citizens brought forward by one of their supporters, and has already as much as possible, and widening the basis of government, received the adhesion of their chief. The very foundations in accordance with the maxim, which seems to him the of Society are touched when Party tampers with the rela- eum of political philosophy, “ That is the best form of govtions of the sexes.
ernment which doth most actuate and dispose all parts and In England the proposal at present is to give the suf- members of the commonwealth to the common good." He frage only to unmarried women being householders. But had not, when he signed the petition, seen the public life the drawing of this hard-and-fast line is at the outset con- of women in the United States. But he was led to recontested by the champions of Woman's Rights; and it seems sider what he had done, and prevented from going further, impossible that the distinction should be maintained. The by finding that the movement was received with mistrust lodger-franchise is evidently the vanishing point of the by some of the best and most sensible women of his acfeudal connection between political privilege and the pos. quaintance, who feared that their most valuable privileges, session of houses or land. The suffrage will become per- and the deepest sources of their happiness, were being sonal in England, as it has elsewhere. If a property quali- jeopardized to gratify the political aspirations of a few of fication remains, it will be one embracing all kinds of prop:
For the authority of Mr. Mill, in all cases where erty : money settled on a married woman for ber separate his judgment was unclouded, the writer felt and still feels use, as well as the house or lodgings occupied by a widow great respect. But since that time, Mr. Mill's autobioz. or a spinster. In the counties already, married women raphy has appeared, and has revealed the history of his have qualifications in the form of land settled to their sep- extraordinary and almost portentous education, the singu: arate use; and the notion that a spinster in lodgings is lar circumstances of his marriage, his ballucination (for it specially entitled to the suffrage as the head of a household, surely can be called nothing less) as to the unparallele 1 is one of those pieces of metaphysics in which the politi- genius of his wife, and peculiarities of character and temcians who affect to scorn anything metaphysical are apt perament such as could not fail to prevent him from fully themselves unwarily to indulge. If the present motion is appreciating the power of influences which, whatever our carried, the votes of the female householders, with that philosophy may say, reign and will continue to reign susystem of election pledges which is now enabling minorities, preme over questions of this kind. To him marriage was and even small minorities, to control national legislation, a union of two philosophers in the pursuit of truth; and will form the crowbar by which the next barrier will be in his work on the position and destiny of women, not only speedily forced.
does he scarce!y think of children, but sex and its inMarriage itself, as it raises the position of a woman in fluences seem hardly to be present to his mind. Of the the
eyes of all but the very radical section of the Woman's distinctive excellence and beauty of the female character it Rights party, could hardly be treated as politically penal. does not appear that he had formed any idea, though he And yet an Act conferring the suffrage on married women dilates on the special qualities of the female mind. would probably be the most momentous step that could be Mr. Mill has allowed us to see that his opinions as to the taken by any legislature, since it would declare the family political position of women were formed early in his life, not to be a political unit, and for the first time authorize a probably before he had studied history rationally, perhaps wife, and make it in certain cases her duty as a citizen, to before the rational study of history had even come into ex: act publiclv in opposition to her husband. Those at least who hold tbe family to be worth as much as the state will
istence. The consequence, with all deference to his great
name be it said, is that his historical presentment of the think twice before ihey concur in such a change.
case is fundamentally unsound. He and his disciples rep. With the right of electing must ultimately go the resent the lot of the woman as having always been deterright of being elected. The contempt with which the candidature of Mrs. Victoria Woodhull for the Presidency was
mined by the will of the man, who, according to them, has
willed that she should be the slave, and that he should be received by some of the advocates of Female Suffrage in her master and her tyrant.
Society, both in this (the America only showed that they had not considered the case of marriage) and other cases, has preferred to attain consequences of their own principles. Surely she who its object by foul rather than by fair means ; but this is gives the mandate is competent herself to carry it. Under the only case in which it has substantially persisted in che parliamentary system, whatever the forms and phrases them even to the present day.” This is Mr. Mill's fundamay be, the constituencies are the supreme arbiters of the mental assumption; and from it, as every rational student national policy, and decide not only who shall be the leg- of history is now aware, conclusions utterly erroneous as islators, but what shall be the course of legislation. They well as injurious to humanity must flow. The lot of the bave long virtually appointed the Ministers, and now they woman has not been determined by the will of the man, at appoint them actually. Twice the Government has been
least in any considerable degree. The lot both of the man changed by a plebiscite, and on the second occasion the and of the woman has been determined from age to age by cirBudget was submitted to the constituencies as directly as cumstances over which the will of neither of them had much ever it was to the House of Commons. There may be control, and which neither could be blamed for acceptiog some repugnance, natural or traditional, to be overcome in or failing to reverse. Mr. Mill, and those who with him admitting women to seats in Parliament; but there is also
assume that the man has always willed that he should himsome repugnance to be overcome in throwing them into the
self enjoy political rights, and that the woman should be turmoil of contested elections, in which, as soon as Female his slave, forget that it is only in a few countries that man Suffrage is carried, some ladies will unquestionably claim does enjoy political rights; and that, even in those few
countries, freedom is the birth almost of yesterday. It may There are members of Parliament who shrink from the probably be said that the number of men who have really
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 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 susIn 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 bead 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 bistory. It was not male tyranny side her 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 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 ness, 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 that of her bandmaidens. The Roman matron has put extraordinary difficulties in the way of marriage. who sent her 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 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 a section. The most beautiful building in the exist. In the United States it is not easy to distinguish East is that in which Shah Jehan 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 philosophic 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 exhausted. 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 justice, there is, and, while human fections 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, perbaps in behalf seeking “to have, in the woman most nearly connected of a client of her own sex, would not have seemed to Mr. with him, not a forced slave, but a willing one — not a
Mill at all dangerous to the integrity of public justice; slave 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 helpmate, 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 bimself. 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 neuno 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 Behn. 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 exThe 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. interest of the whole community must be the test. As to St. Paul (who on any 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 affirms 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 identi
1 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 mest good for us to have free institutions or not. Absolute mondrere are not likely to be healthy if the brains of both parents are severely archy is founded on personal loyalty. Free institutions
are founded on the love of liberty, or, to speak more properly, 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 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 wbich, so long as women re- of the women, and the consequence would probably be conmain physically 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 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 wbich, unhappily, are almost inevitaelected 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 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 politiwould be the restoration to power of the Bourbons, with cal thought and effort. Those to whose bands it is comtheir reactionary priesthood, and the destruction of all that mitted at this crisis are trustees for posterity of a heritage 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 compliance 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, government, haul down the tricolor, hoist the white flag, would be a very bad reason for withholding from them the 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 This question points to another serious consideration. It rest, is as good a reason as there can be for withholding 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 tion and less under the private protection of her husband perhaps be raised with less peril, so far as political interand 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 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. 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 miswomen, and in contradiction to the male sense of justice, taken if they imagine that they fared better under the form they would refuse to carry it into effect. In the United of government which, in France and elsewhere, if they had 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 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 government 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 ferior 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 introlittle doubt that, as soon as the Federal bayonets are re- duced into the political arena, would be less violent ihan moved, there will be another case of the same kind in the men? Hitherto they have been free from political vices, Southern 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 from political rancor, because ism or class domination civilization can put an end, but political division has not been introduced between man and it cannot eliminate force.
wife. But the chances are, that, being more excitable, and It is very likely that in England, the women, to reform having, with more warmth and generosity of temperament, drunken husbands, would vote for extreme prohibitory less power of self-control, women would, when once engaged