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“Making your usually astute observations on wom- | dimness of the far past, seemed to touch them and to ankind ? You don't take the trouble to judge the make them live again. gentlemen, I believe, Mrs. Peppercorn ? ” said Circel “John Darcy!” and as she spoke his name a pink in the blandest tones, as she slipped through a little tinge touched her withered cheek. “John Darcy! opening in the throng.
Surely it is he ! and I! We both are here. Not as “ You mistake me there. I comment on whatever we are now, the one old, the other glorified, but both I see, you may be sure of that. I see women plainer beautiful with youth. Only one living being could than men, for it was never my fashion to run after make this picture - John Darcy's child. I see not a men. One is quite enough for me to manage.”
line to tell,"but it was she who sent it to me, she who “I agree with you, Mrs. Peppercorn. One is more wrote it. I am sure, şure. May God love her and than it's really worth one's while to manage. It's ever keep her in her great sorrow, wherever on this earth so much nicer to let even him go his way, and you go she may be! And if He would only let my old eyes yours.”
see her face once more, I would praise his holy “I do not agree with you. It is much safer for Mr. | name!” Peppercorn to go my way; and pleasanter, he finds
“ Doubtless. You have a genius for government I never had. "Let me introduce you to the Marquise, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. the wife of the new Minister from France. I knew her in Paris. She is charming."
CHAPTER XL. ON CASTERBRIDGE HIGHWAY, “ Thank you ;” and the senatress drew herself up till she looked inches taller. “I prefer to meet her
For a considerable time the woman walked on. Her
steps became feebler, and she strained her eyes to look first officially. I'm not one of the crowd who run and
afar upon the naked road, now indistinct amid the penumfawn about the Diplomatic Corps. They may be as bræ of night. At length her onward walk dwindled to the good as other people in their own countries, but they merest totter, and she opened a gate within which was a are not better than other people here, though as a rule haystack. Underneath this she sat down and presently they show plainly enough that they think they are. I slept. will meet them half-way, but I never go after foreign
When the woman awoke it was to find herself in the ers — nor anybody else.”
depths of a moonless and starless night. A heavy un
broken crust of cloud stretched across the sky, shutting “Let me bring the Marquise to you ?” in the sweet
out every speck of heaven; and a distant halo which hung est of unruffled tones. “You could not help loving
over the town of Casterbridge was visible against the black her."
concave, the luminosity appearing the brighter by its great “I have more to love now than I can do justice to," contrast with the circumscribing darkness. Towards this said the implacable. “ You remind me more and more weak, soft glow the woman turned her eyes. of a character in • The Annals of a Quiet City. Have
“If I could only get there !” she said. “Meet him the you read it yet ? ”
day after to-morrow : God help me! Perhaps I shall be “ Yes. A remarkable book ; so quiet, and yet so
in my grave before then.”
A clock from the far depths of shadow struck the hour, full of human emotion and experience. I know whom one, in a small, attenuated tone. After midnight the voice you mean, Mrs. Peppercorn. I think, myself, she is | of a clock seems to lose in breadth as much as in length, like me ; like what I would have been under the same and to diminish its sonorousness to a thin falsetto. conditions. It's a haunting kind of a book, isn't it?” Afterwards a light — two lights - arose from the remote
“Yes, it is. It is something better than I expected | shade, and grew larger. A carriage rolled along the road, to hear at a morning reception, that it haunts you. I
and passed the gate. It probably contained some late hope it will continue to haunt you."
diners-out. The beams from one lamp shone for a moment
upon the crouching woman, and threw her face into vivid “How kind of you! For it is like being haunted
relief. The face was young in the groundwork, old in the with the refrain of a song after the song has ceased. finish ; the general contours were flexuous and childlike, If it is half sad, it is delicious."
but the finer lineaments had begun to be sharp and thin. It would not be delicious to me if I were in your The pedestrian stood up, apparently with a revived deplace,” Mrs. Peppercorn wanted to say ; but even she
termination, and looked around. The road appeared to be felt compelled to keep within the bounds of insult if |
familiar to her, and she carefully scanned the fence as she not of rudeness. Cyril King kept clear of Mrs. Pepper
slowly walked along. Presently there became visible a
dim white shape; it was a mile-stone. She drew her fincorn. He was chatting with the Marquise. In a mo
gers across its face to feel the marks. ment more, all radiance still, Circe joined them.
“ Three!” she said. That evening, amid her plants and cats in her little She leant against the stone as a means of rest for a short lilac-shaded cottage in old Ulm, Mrs. Twilight sat by interval, then bestirred herself, and again pursued her way. her lamp, peering through her round spectacles down For a lengthy distance she bore up bravely, afterwards the pages of a new book. Mrs. Twilight did not
flagging as before. This was beside a lone hazel copse,
wherein heaps of white chips strewn upon the leafy ground abound in new books. As a rule she did not care for
showed that woodmen had been fagoting and making hurthem. She preferred her Bible, Shakespeare, Milton,
dles during the day. Now there was not a rustle, not a and Young's “ Night Thoughts,” she believed, to all breeze, not the faintest clash of twigs to keep her company. the new books in the world. Yet here was a new book The woman looked over the gate, opened it, and went in. which not only chained her attention, but made her Close to the entrance stood a row of fagots, bound and heart, in the most unexpected and unprecedented man unbound, together with stakes of all sizes. ner, — her heart that had beat slowly and peacefully so
For a few seconds the wayfarer stood with that tense many years as an old heart should, — now actually
stillness which signifies itself to be not the end, but merely
the suspension, of a previous motion. Her attitude was thrill and throb once more with the sweetest experi
that of a person who listens, either to the external world ence of youth. Something — what was it ? — in the
of sound, or to the imagined discourse of thought. A close book, through all the dust of years, through all the criticism might have detected signs proving that she was intent on the latter alternative. Moreover, as was shown beguilement with what she had known all the time to be by what followed, she was oddly exercising the faculty of false had given her strength to come a quarter of a mile invention upon the speciality of the clever Jacquet Droz, that she would have been powerless to face in the lamp. the designer of automatic substitutes for human limbs. The artifice showed that the woman, by some mysterious
By the aid of the Casterbridge aurora, and by feeling intuition, had grasped the paradoxical truth that blindness with her hands, the woman selected two sticks from the may operate more vigorously than prescience, and the heaps. These sticks were nearly straight to the height of short-sighted effect more than the far-seeing ; that limitathree or four feet, where each branched into a fork like the tion, and not comprehensiveness, is needed for striking a letter Y. She sat down, snapped off the small upper twigs, blow. and carried the remainder with her into the road. She The half-mile stood now before the sick and weary placed one of these forks under each arm as a crutch, woman like a stolid Juggernaut. It was an impassive King tested them, timidily threw her whole weight upon them, of her world. The road here' ran across a level plateau - so little that it was, — and swung herself forward. The with only a bank on either side. She surveyed the wide girl had made for herself a material aid.
space, the lights, herself, sighed, and lay down on the bank. The crutches answered well. The pat of her feet, and Never was ingenuity exercised so sorely as the traveller the tap of her sticks upon the highway, were all the sounds here exercised hers. Every conceivable aid, method, stratthat came from the traveller now. She had passed a sec agem, mechanism, by which these last desperate eight hunond mile-stone by a good long distance, and began to look | dred yards could be overpassed by a human being unperwistfully towards the bank, as if calculating upon anotherceived, was revolved in her busy brain, and dismissed as mile-stone soon. The crutches, though so very useful, had impracticable. She thought of sticks, wheels, crawling their limits of power. Mechanism only transinutes labor, she even thought of rolling. But the exertion demanded being powerless to abstract it, and the original quantum of by either of these latter two was greater than to walk erect. exertion was not cleared away ; it was thrown into the The faculty of contrivance was worn out. Hopelessness body and arms. She was exhausted, and each swing for- | had come at last. ward became fainter. At last she swayed sideways, and | “No farther !" she whispered, and closed her eyes. fell.
From the stripe of shadow on the opposite side of the Here she lay, a shapeless heap, for ten minutes and way a portion of shade seemed to detach itself and move more. The morning wind began to boom dully over the into isolation upon the pale white of the road. It glided flats, and to move afresh dead leaves which had lain still noiselessly towards the recumbent woman. since yesterday. The woman desperately turned round She became conscious of something touching her hand; it upon her knees, and next rose to her feet. Steadying her was softness and it was warmth. She opened her eyes, self by the help of one crutch she essayed a step, then and the substance touched her face. A dog was licking another, then a third, using the crutches now as walking- her cheek. sticks only. Thus she progressed till the beginning of a He was a huge, heavy, and quiet creature, standing long railed fence came into view. She staggered across to darkly against the low horizon, and at least two feet higher the first post, clung to it, and looked around. Another | than the present position of her eyes. Whether Newfoundmile-stone was on the opposite side of the road.
land, mastiff, blood-hound, or what not, it was impossible to The Casterbridge lights were now individually visible. say. He seemed to be of too strange and mysterious a It was getting towards morning, and vehicles might be | nature to belong to any variety among those of popular hoped for if not expected soon. She listened. There was nomenclature. Being thus assignable to no breed he was not a sound of life save that acme and sublimation of all the ideal embodiment of canine greatness -- a generalizadismal sounds, the bark of a fox, its three hollow notes be tion from what was common to all. Night, in its sad, ing rendered at intervals of a minute with the precision of solemn, and benevolent aspect, apart from its stealthy and a funeral bell.
cruel side, was personified in this form. Darkness endows “ One mile more," the woman murmured. “ No, less," the small and ordinary ones among mankind with poetical she added, after a pause. “ The mile is to the Town Hall power, and even the suffering woman threw her idea into and my resting place is on this side Casterbridge. Three quarters of a mile, and there I, am !” After an interval ! In her reclining position she looked up to him just as in she again spoke. “Five or six steps to a yard - six per-| earlier times she had, when standing, looked up to a man. haps. I have to go twelve hundred yards. A hundred The animal, who was as homeless as she, respectfully with times six, six hundred. Twelve times that. Oh pity me, drew a step or two when the woman moved, and, seeing Lord!”
that she did not repulse him, he licked her hand again. Holding to the rails she advanced, thrusting one hand | A thought moved within her like lightning. “Perbaris forward upon the rail, then the other, then leaning over it | I can make use of him - I might do it then!" whilst she dragged her feet on beneath.
She pointed in the direction of Casterbridge, and the dog This woman was not given to soliloquy; but extremity of | seemed to misunderstand: he trotted on. Then, finding feeling lessens the individuality of the weak, as it increases / she could not follow, he came back and whined. that of the strong. She said again in the same tone, “ I'll The ultimate and saddest singularity of woman's effort believe that the end lies five posts forward, and no farther, and invention was reached when, with a quickened breathand so get strength to pass them."
ing, she rose to a stooping posture, and, resting her two This was a practical application of the principle that al
of the principle that a little arms upon the shoulders of the dog, leant firmly half-feigned and factitious faith is better than no faith at thereon, and murmured stimulating words. Whilst she all.
sorrowed in her heart she cheered with her voice, and She passed five posts, and held on to the fifth.
what was stranger than that the strong should need en“ I'll pass five more by believing my longed-for spot is couragement from the weak was that cheerfulness should at the next fifth. I can do it.”
be so well simulated by such utter dejection. Her friend She passed five more.
moved forward slowly, and she with small, mincing steps “ It lies only five farther.”
moved forward beside him, half her weight being thrown She passed five more.
upon the animal. Sometimes she sank as she had sunk “ But it is five farther.”
froin walking erect, from the crutches, from the rails. She passed them.
The dog, who now thoroughly understood her desire and “ The end of these railings is the end of my journey,” | her incapacity, was frantic in his distress on these occashe said, when the end was in view.
sions ; he would tug at her dress and run forward. She She crawled to the end. During the effort each breath I always called him back, and it was now to be observed that of the woman went into the air as if never to return again. I the woman listened for human sounds only to avon ca.
« Now for the truth of the matter,” she said, sitting down. / It was evident that she had an object in keeping ber pres"" The truth is, that I have less than half a mile." Self-lence on the road and her forlorn state unknown.
Their progress was necessarily very slow. They reached relations with his wife, and of his estimate of her mental the brow of the hill, and the Casterbridge lamps lay be powers. These are points respecting which, in my opinneath them like fallen Pleiads as they walked down the ion, the data do not exist, at least within reach of the genincline. Thus the distance was passed, and the goal was eral public, for forming a trustworthy opinion. They are, reached. On this much-desired spot ontside the town rose moreover, absolutely irrelevant to the practical controa picturesque building. Originally it had been a mere case versy, which should be decided, as Mr. Smith himself in to hold people. The shell had been so thin, so devoid of his essay confesses, “ on its merits," " the interest of the excrescence, and so closely drawn over the accommodation whole community” being the test, and not by what people granted that the grim character of what was beneath may think as to the life and opinions of any individual, showed through it, as the shape of a body is visible under however eminent. Further, their discussion cannot but a winding sheet.
inflict the keenest pain on more than one living person, Then Nature, as if offended, lent a hand. Masses of who, from the nature of the case, are precluded from deivy grew up, completely covering the walls, till the place fending those whom they hold dear. To employ such looked like an abbey; and it was discovered that the view arguments, therefore, is to use poisoned shafts; and I from the front, over the Casterbridge chimneys, was one of should have thought that Mr. Goldwin Smith would be the most magnificent in the county. A neighboring earl once about the last man living to resort to such modes of warsaid that he would give up a year's rental to have at his own fare. door the view enjoyed by the inmates from theirs -- and Nor is this the only topic introduced by Mr. Smith into very probably the inmates would have given up the view this discussion, which might, if not with advantage, at for his year's rental.
least without detriment to his argument, have been omitted. This green edifice consisted of a central mass and two In his criticism of Mr. Mill's view of the historical origin wings, whereon stood as sentinels a few slim chimneys, of the present disabilities of women, there is much, the now gurgling sorrowfully to the slow wind. In the middle connection of which with the practical question now before was a gate, and by the gate a bell-pull formed of a hang the English public it is not very easy to discern. When ing wire. The woman raised herself as high as possible. indeed Mr. Mill first took the question up, the discussion upon her knees, and could just reach the handle. She of this aspect of the case was imperatively demanded ; moved it and fell forwards in a bowed attitude, her face because the thing then to be done was, not simply to find upon her bosom.
arguments to prove the expediency of admitting women to It was getting on towards six o'clock, and sounds of the suffrage, but first of all, and most difficult of all, to movement were to be heard inside the building which was gain a hearing for his cause — to make some impression on the haven of rest to this wearied soul. A little door in the solid mass of prejudice that was arrayed against any the large one was opened, and a man appeared inside. consideration of the subject; and this could only be done He discerned the panting heap of clothes, went back for a by showing the factitious nature of the existing relation of light, and came again. He entered a second time and re the sexes. Accordingly, Mr. Mill addressed himself to turned with two women.
this task, and in bis work on the “ Subjection of Women " These lifted the prostrate figure, and assisted her in deduced their disabilities from that primitive condition of through the door-way. The man then closed the door. the human race in which man employed his superior phys“ How did she get here?” said one of the women.
ical strength to coerce woman to his will. Such being the “ The Lord knows," said the other.
origin of the subjection of women, the disabilities com“ There is a dor outside,” murmured the overcome plained of Mr. Mill regarded as, in ethnological phrase, traveller. “Where is he gone? He helped me.”
is survivals ” from a state of society in which physical “I stoned him away," said the man.
force was supreme. To this explanation Mr. Smith deThe little procession then moved forward – the man in murs, and contends that the “ lot of the woman has not front bearing the light, the two bony women next, support. ! been determined by the will of the man, at least in any ing between them the small and supple one.. Thus they considerable degree." According to him it had its origin entered the door and disappeared.
in those circumstances which made it expedient, on public (To be continued.)
grounds, that in the early stages of civilization the family should be socially, legally, and politically a unit. Into this portion of the controversy, however, I cannot see that
there would be any advantage in entering. Whether Mr. WOMAN SUFFRAGE: A REPLY TO GOLDWIN
Mill was right or wrong in his view of the historical quesSMITH.
tion, he was at all events eminently successful in the
purpose for which he introduced the discussion. He has BY PROF. J. E. CAIRNES.
secured a hearing for the cause of woman, so effectually,
that we may now at least feel confident that it will not be The recent utterance of Mr. Goldwin Smith against
utterance of Mr. Goldwin Smith against ultimately decided on other grounds than those of reason Woman Suffrage has been for many friends of the cause, it and justice. Nor does it in truth matter whether in apmay be confessed, a painful surprise. It seemed strange and
proaching the question of woman suffrage we adopt Mr. almost portentous that the voice which had been so often, Mill's or Mr. Smith's theory. Both alike regard the exso boldly, and so eloquently raised on behalf of liberal
isting disabilities of women as “survivals" - Mr. Mill, principles, should suddenly be heard issuing from the Con
as survivals from a very early period in which physical servative camp, in opposition to a measure which many
force was supreme; Mr. Smith, as survivals from the state Liberals regard as amongst the most important of pending
of things which produced the peculiar constitution of the reforms. No one, however, who has read Mr. Smith's
patriarchal family; but both as survivals, and therefore as essay will have any doubt that the opinions expressed in
belonging to a condition of life which has passed away. it - urged as they are with all his characteristic energy
The point is thus of purely archæological interest, while are as genuine and sincere as anything he has ever written
the real question now before the public is, not as to the on the Liberal side. Whether he has made any converts origin of woman's disabilities, but as to their present expeto his views amongst the supporters of the movement he
diency; “the interest of the whole community,” to borrow has attacked, is more than I can say ; but as one of those once more Mr. Smith's language, being " the test.” who have not been convinced by his reasonings, I wish to In the Bill lately before Parliament the intention of the state in what they seem to me to be unsatisfactory, and
framers, as the reader is aware, was to confer the suffrage why, having given them my best consideration, I still re
on widows and spinsters only; married women having main in my former state of mind.
been expressly excluded from its operation. Mr. Smith, There is one portion of Mr. Smith's remarks into which,
in entering on the discussion, is naturally anxious to deal I may as well say here at the outset, I do not propose to with the question in its broadest form, and accordingly follow him. I refer to what he has said of Mr. Mill's declines to be bound by this limited conception of it. He may be perfectly justified in this course; but the reasons as likely to follow from the extension of the suffrage to given by him for extending the scope of the controversy women are sufficiently serious; and we may admit that a are by no means convincing. To say that “marriage better reason could not easily be imagined for withholding could hardly be treated as politically penal" is to put the anything from any body than that its concession “ would argument for his view into a neat phrase; but English- probably overturn the institutions on which the hopes of men have not hitherto been much governed by phrases, the world rest." But the greatness of a fear does not and I hope they are not now going to begin to be. The prove that it rests on solid grounds; and when we come to political disqualification which attaches to the military and examine the grounds of Mr. Smith's dark forebodings, we naval services, as well as to some branches of the civil find them about as substantial as the stuff that dreams service, might also be described as a “penal ” incident of are made of. “ The female need of protection," he says, those honorable callings, but it is nevertheless maintained; "of which, so long as women remain physically weak, and and I have no doubt that if people come to believe that it so long as they are mothers, it will be impossible to get is advantageous to give the suffrage to widows and spin- rid, is apparently accompanied by a preference for persters, but disadvantageous to extend it to married women, sonal government.” “Women are priest-ridden;" but this they will set epigrams at defiance, and draw the line ex- does not go to the root of the reactionary tendency actly where it is drawn in Mr. Forsyth’s Bill. Again, I characteristic of the sex.” The effect of those physical deny altogether that there is anything in the logic of the and physiological peculiarities is, Mr. Smith thinks, to case tbat would compel those who have given the suffrage give « an almost uniform bias to the political sentiments to women to take the further step of admitting them to of women;" this bias being opposed to law and liberty, Parliament. “ Surely," says Mr. Smith, “she who gives and in favor of personal government ; so that women may the mandate is competent herself to carry" — on the prin be trusted, whenever an opportunity offers, to act en masse * ciple, I suppose, that
for the destruction of free institutions. “Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.”
Women in these passages are spoken of as if, so to But granting, for argument's sake, that she is competent / speak, in vacuo: it is not to the women of any particular to carry her own mandate, it still does not follow that she
country or age that the description applies, but to woman is competent to carry the mandates of other people; and
in the abstract. In conformity with this, the illustrations this is what the right to a seat in Parliament means. In
which follow are taken by Mr. Smith from various ages deed, it is only quite lately that the law has ceased to
and countries - I should have said with tolerable impardistinguish between the right to vote and the right to be
tiality, if it were not that, strangely enough, scarcely any elected ;1 and if the distinction no longer exists, its aboli
reference is made to the women of modern England. And tion has been due, not in the least to a desire for logical
1 yet it is the women of modern England whose case is in consistency, but simply to the fact that the qualification
issue. Now this is a point of some importance; because required by the law for a seat in Parliament was found in
it is quite possible, at least as I regard it, — not being a practice ineffective for its purpose and in other ways mis
believer in “natural rights," — that the suffrage may be chievous. If it prove on full examination that the charac
as good a thing for women in certain stages of social ter and circumstances of women are such as to render their
progress, as for men, but a bad thing for both where the admission to Parliament unadvisable on public grounds,
social conditions are different. This being so, it is not those who are in favor of giving them the suffrage will be
obvious how Mr. Smith helps the intelligent discussion of perfectly within their right in taking their stand at this
the question by taking his examples at random from point, and in refusing to grant them the larger concession.
| ancient Rome, Italy, France, the United States, England For my own part, as I do not believe that any detriment
in the seventeenth century - in a word, from any source would come from including married women with others in
where he can find cases to suit his purpose, but without the grant of the suffrage, or from the admission of women
the least reference to the special circumstances of each to Parliament, I am quite willing to argue the question on
case. I have no desire to restrict unduly the range of the the broader ground on which Mr. Smith desires to place
discussion; but I think that, when examples are taken
from foreign countries, and still more when they are taken The most important argument.advanced by Mr. Smith from former ages, with a view to prejudice the claims of against the policy under consideration is contained in the
English women to the franchise, some attempt should be following passages : “ The question whether female suf made to show that the cases cited are really pertinent to frage on an extended scale is good for the whole com
the question in hand. munity is probably identical, practically speaking, with
Turning, then, to the persons and country immediately the question whether it is good for us to have free institu
concerned, let us consider how far the state of things here tions or not. Absolute monarchy is founded on personal
affords any support to Mr. Smith's speculations. I will loyalty. Free institutions are founded on the love of lib not attempt to deny that there may be priest-ridden erty, or, to speak more properly, on the preference of legal
women in England, possibly in considerable numbers ; to personal government. But the love of liberty and the
nor will I dispute what some well-informed persons have desire of being governed by law alone appear to be char asserted, that the passing of a woman suffrage bill would acteristically male” (p. 145). From this position Mr.
not improbably, at all events for a time, give an accession Smith concludes that “ to give women the franchise is
of political influence to the clergy. But granting this, and simply to give them the power of putting an end actually
even conceding, for the sake of argument, Mr. Smith's and virtually to all franchises together." “ It may not be
theory as to the natural bias of the female mind, we are easy," he allows, “ to say beforehand what course the still a long way off from the terrible catastrophe that his demolition of free institutions by female suffrage would
fears portend. “Female suffrage,” he says, “would give take.” “But," he holds, “there can be little doubt that in
a vast increase of power to the clergy;" but we have still all cases, if power were put into the hands of the women,
to ask if the English clergy, Church and Nonconformist, free government, and with it liberty of opinion, would fall." are, as a body, ready to join in a crusade against free It cannot be denied that the consequences here indicated
institutions. I am quite unable to discover what the
grounds are for such a supposition ; but if this cannot be 1 In the case of clergymen, as well as in other cases, the distinction is
assumed, then their influence would not be exercised in still maintained.
2 I cannot, however, go the length that Mr. Smith appears inclined to go the direction Mr. Smith apprehends, and his fears for free in one passage, where he argues, or seems to argue, that all who are in institutions are groundless. Even if we were to make the fa vor of woman suffrage are bound by their own principles to vote, under all circumstances, for woman candidates. He would scarcaly, I presume,
| extravagant supposition that the clergy are to a man in contend that all who are in favor of Catholic Einancipation are bound.
favor of personal government and absolutism, there would when & Catholic offers himself, to vote for one ; and, similarly, that those who favor Jewish Emancipation are bound, when they can, to vote for
still be husbands, fathers, and brothers, whose appeals on Jews; but, unless he is prepared to go this length, on what ground does he behalf of free government would not surely pass altogether hold that the advocates of woman suffrage in America must, " if they had unheeded. Is it being over-sanguine to assume that at considered the consequences of their own principles," have voted for Mrs. Victoria Woodhull ?
| the worst a sufficient number of women would be kept
back from the polls to leave the victory with the cause that they suffice to dispose of Mr. Smith's theory) are consistent is “characteristically male”?
with one supposition, and with one supposition only -- the In short, we have only to attempt to realize the several existence in women of political capabilities which may be conditions, all of which would need to be fulfilled before the developed in almost any direction, according to the nature catastrophe which Mr. Smith dreads could even be ap of the influences brought to bear upon them. It may very proached, in order to perceive the extravagant improba- l well be that, when experience has furnished us with sufficient bility, if not intrinsic absurdity, of his apprehensions. data for observation, a something will prove to be discernible But instead of attempting to follow further the possible in the political opinions of the two sexes in the nature of a consequences of social and political combinations which characteristic quality ; but at present conjecture upon this are never likely to have any existence outside Mr. Smith's subject is manifestly premature; and Mr. Smith's arrow, fancy, let us consider for a moment the theory he has apparently shot at a venture, we may confidently say, has advanced as to the mental constitution of women, which not hit the mark. The love of liberty and the desire of lies at the bottom of the whole speculation. Women, it being governed by law are feelings which have as yet been seems, are so constituted by nature as to be incapable of developed in but a very small proportion of men; they the “love of liberty, and the desire of being governed by have been developed in a still smaller proportion of women, law;" and this results from a“ sentiment inherent in the but the difference is not greater than the difference in the female temperament,” “formed by the normal functions education and circumstances of the two sexes is amply sufand circumstances of the sex.”
ficient to account for. Now if this be so, if the sentiments of women with re- Mr. Smith, having thoroughly frightened himself by the gard to government and political institutions are thus de- / chimeras his imagination had conjured up as the probable • termined by physiological causes too powerful to be modi- result of giving the suffrage to women, puts the question :
fied by education and experience, then those sentiments “But would the men submit ? ” and be resorts to an inwould in all countries and under all conditions of society genious, though perbaps questionable, speculation on the be essentially the same. But is this the fact ? On the ultimate sanctions of law, to show that they would not. If contrary, is it not matter of common remark that the whole the laws passed by women were such as men disapproved attitude of women towards politics is strikingly different in of, “ the men,” he says, “would of course refuse execution, different countries; that it is one thing in England, another law would be set at defiance, and government would be in the United States, something different from either in overturned ” (p. 146). When, therefore, “ the female France and Italy, and something different from all in Tur vote" came to be taken “on the fate of free institutions," key and the East ? and, not to travel beyond the range of and the decree for their abolition went forth, it seems that, the present controversy, do we not find within the United after all, it would prove mere brutum fulmen. The consumKingdom almost every variety of political opinion prevail- mation would never take place; and the institutions on ing amongst women, according to the circumstances of which the hopes of the world rest would remain erect, untheir education and social surroundings ? It may be true harmed amid the impotent feminine rage surging around, that the interest taken by women in politics has hitherto much (if one may venture on a profane illustration) like been in general somewhat languid : that, as a body, they one of those gin palaces in the United S'ates that has held are less alive than men to the advantages of political lib its ground against the psalmody of the whiskey crusaders. erty and of legal government. But is not this precisely One would bave thought that this reflection would have what was to be expected, supposing their political opinions brought some solace to Mr. Smith's soul; but, strange to to be subject to the same influences which determine the say, he regards it as an aggravation of the impending evils; political opinions of men ? As a rule they have from the and would apparently be better pleased if, in the supposed beginning of things been excluded from politics; their contingency, men in general should exhibit the same im. whole education has been contrived, one might say, with plicit subserviency which, he tells us, has been shown by a the deliberate purpose of giving to their sentiments an en man somewhere in the United States, who, linder his wife's tirely different bent ; home and private life have been in compulsion, is in the habit of working for her as a hired culcated on them as the only proper sphere for their ambi laborer — a fact, by the way, not very happily illustrating tion ; yet in spite of these disadvantages, by merely mixing his theory of the ultimate sanctions of law. in society with men who take an interest in politics, a very In truth, this portion of Mr. Smith's argument — and it great number of women have come to share that interest, is in a logical sense the very heart of his case, in such sort, while there are some, as Mr. Smith admits, - I will add a that, this part failing, the whole collapses — is so utterly rapidly increasing number, -- "eminently capable of under - I will not say, weak - but so utterly unlike the sort of standing and discussing political questions." Can it be argument ordinarily to be found in his political writings, said that of the women who in this country take an interest that it is difficult to resist the impression that it does not in politics the bias of their political sentiments is uniformly represent the real grounds of his conviction, but is rather a in one direction, and this the direction of personal gov theory excogitated after conviction to satisfy that intellecternment and absolutism? I can only say, if this be Mr. ual craving which an opinion formed on other grounds than Smith's experience, it is singularly different from mine. reason invariably produces. And this impression is conNo doubt there are women in abundance who care nothing firmed, if not reduced to certainty, as we continue tbe pefor politics, and who would be quite content to live under rusal of his essay. In an early passage Mr. Smith had told any government which offered a fair promise of peace and | us that he “himself once signed a petition for female housesecurity ; but may not precisely the same be said of no in- | hold suffrage got up by Mr. Mill ;” adding that, when he considerable number of men even in England ? Would it signed it, he “had not seen the public life of women in the not be easy to find men enough, and these by no means United States." Further on he gives us an account of this amongst the residuum, who take no interest at all in poli. / public life as he conceives it; and I have no doubt that we tics, and who, so far as they are concerned, would be will have here disclosed to us the real source, if not of his presing to hand over the destinies of the human race to-morrow ent opinions on woman suffrage, at least of the intensity to a Cæsar, or to any one else who, they had reason to be. with which they are held. In the United States, he says, lieve, would maintain the rights of property, and keep their “a passion for emulating the male sex has undoubtedly own precious persons safe? This state of feeling amongst taken possession of some of the women, as it took possessome men is not considered to prove that men in general | sion of women under the Roman einpire, who began to play are untitted by nature for the functions of citizenship un the gladiator when other excitements were exhausted." It der a free government; and when we meet exactly the seems further that there are women in the United States same phenomenon amongst women, why are we to deduce who claim, " in virtue of superior complexity of organizafrom it a conclusion which in the case of men we should tion,' not only political equality but absolute supremacy repudiate ?
over man, of whom one has given to the movement the In short, the patent facts of experience in this country name of the • Revolt of Woman.'” (and if here or anywhere the facts are as I have stated them, l Again, “In the United States the privileges of women