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ence between those things which are in themselves good, and therefore enduring parts of human life, and those things which are merely provisional means to good, - means necessitated by existing evils, but destined gradually to lessen, and finally to pass away. Were political government an intrinsic and permanent end, an essential good of humanity, all, or at least all who are qualified, should share in it; because every human being has a right to a portion in every thing which is indispensable to the completion of the human destiny. Liberty, culture, and work are intrinsic and eternal elements of the human lot: women, therefore, have as clear a claim to these as men. But government is not a good in itself, is not an end. It is an evil attendant on human wickedness, a means devised to prevent severer evils; an element of decreasing proportions, and of temporary duration. It is an artifice which we wish to see lessen, as fast as is safe, and to disappear as soon as is possible.
Take the example of war. War is an evil, a transient inci. dent in the fortunes of humanity; therefore the fewer who take part in it the better. Women, being out of it, had best keep out of it. No one desires to have women become soldiers. Mental and physical labor will be a necessary part of the experience of humanity, as long as the world lasts; therefore men and women properly have a joint heritage in its exactions and its privileges. But government is a passing phase in the evolution of the social system: when men are perfected, it will vanish in spontaneous obedience. War or crude violence universally governed in the primitive society. Little by little, this barbaric reign of force was encroached upon and superseded by politics, the forms of statesmanship and legislation. Then, little by little, the realm and rule of politics began to shrink before the increasing sway of conscience, reason, and sympathy, the personal law of justice and love, the intrinsic motives and sanctions appropriated by the private heart from society and religion. As war has been narrowing and receding before politics, politics in turn must narrow and recede before morality. The less need a nation has of governmental interference for the securing of justice, the better off that nation is. The smaller the number of persons engaged in working that political mechanism, which is never productive, but merely regulative, the better it would seem to be for the people. We do not desire ever to see a woman occupy the office of a hangman, nor of a prosecuting attorney, nor yet of an electioneering politician; because, these being transient accompaniments of an imperfect society, the desideratum is to have concentrated on them the interest and energy of the smallest number competent to secure the needful results of order. He who believes that a universal devotion to politics would most speedily achieve the end of politics, - namely, the supersedure of its whole machinery by the arrival at a self-rectifying observance of the conditions of private and public welfare, — must advocate the bestowment of legislative and other public functions on women. Let all take part in voting and governing, for the sake of more quickly reaching the time when none shall vote or govern, but every one be a law unto himself. On the contrary, he who believes as in some aspects of the case seems more likely — that a universal rush into public life, forensic controversy, party and personal rivalry, would exasperate the interest, and diffuse and prolong the dominion, of politics, must earnestly recommend women to abstain from the noxious struggle. Whatever logical right they may have, he will think it best that they abandon that right, and devote their zeal to the sphere of morality, whose elements are the eternal concern of all humankind. A wider outbreak of plots and cabals, an enlargement of the chase for notoriety and the scramble for office, a more virulent division of neighbors and of families, a new lease for the spirit of ambition and partisanship, would be an evil of the deadliest fatality. Whoever holds that such an evil would date from the day of indiscriminate access to the ballot-box, and to every conspicuous place of authority, must beseech women to refrain from all overt share in politics, to study political questions disinterestedly in the light of moral science, and to exert their influence only through intelligence and sympathy, the argument and persuasion of character.
hood, muscular strength, pride, adventurousness, ambition, and self-assurance. These equipments for the contests of a public career tend to unwomanize a woman. Her genius is modesty, patience, reverence, submission, tender trust. Being out of politics, which is the transient sphere of some, is it not best that she keep out of it, and devote herself to morality, which is the permanent sphere of all ? Here is furnished an honorable ground on which woman may be, not shut out of, but excused from, the province of government.
What is the ideal of perfect society? Is it a state where there is a universal contention for notice, power, and honor? Then let women enter that contest now. Is it a state where each is content with the personal fruition of his own powers, in harmony with the same enjoyment by all others? Then let women, by setting such an example of abstinence from the public realm of politics, draw men also to their true happiness, in the realm of home and morals. The latter must be the correct view, for this reason: only a few can be illustrious and govern; all can be good and obey; and the true ideal is that condition in which no government is needed, except the government of God. The eternal womanly quality is obedience: the temporary manly quality is authority. The world will be redeemed, only when the former has subdued and transformed the latter into its own likeness; when man and woman, no longer master and servant, but equals, press forward together, in free obedience to a common sovereignty.
Turning from the authority of history to the authority of moral science, there is no reason for the enslavement of woman to man. This is not yet fully seen, because the historic type of woman as pure subject, of man as pure sovereign, has sunk so deeply into the imagination of both sexes. The Gentoo Code declared, “A woman ought to burn herself alive on the funeral pyre of her husband.” Body and soul, she was a mere appendage to him. The Mosaic Code declared woman unclean eighty days after bearing a female child, but only forty days after bearing a male child. The passage of thousands of years had brought a degree of physical emancipation to her; but she still remained mentally servile, when Katherine Parr said to her husband, Henry VIII., “ Your majesty doth know right well, neither I myself am ignorant, what great imperfection and weakness, by our first creation, is allotted to us women, to be ordained and appointed as inferior and subject unto man as our head; and that, as God made man in his own likeness, even so hath he made woman of man, of whom and by whom she is to be governed, commanded, and directed." This type of unquestioning subjection and obedience is depicted by Chaucer, after Boccaccio, in his “Griselda,” and by Tennyson in his “ Enid.” The husbands of these most lovely and womanly of women try their temper, their absolute subjectedness, by the most capricious, cruel, and wicked tests. They submit to every thing with unmurmuring sweetness and fortitude, with infinite humility. The true lesson of these charm. ing stories is, that an inexhaustible self-abnegation and obedience is the most heavenly trait and power of human nature. But it is a perversion to limit the application to woman. Moral excellence is the same in man as in woman. It is an outrage to make that meek submission to wrong, which shows so divinely in her, a duty. And it is equally an outrage to make that autocratic authority of man over woman, which he so complacently assumes, a right. The progressive emancipation of woman, revealed in history, will go on until she wholly ceases to be, in any sense, “a mere appendage of man," and they are mutually as independent as they are mutually dependent.
It is very curious to study the extremes of dishonor and of honor, in which women, as such, have been held, at different periods, under various social conditions. In the Oriental world, in consequence of the character fostered in them by despotism, — the triviality, ignorance, vanity, sensuality, jealousy, deceit, cunning, and fickleness, attending their mode of life, — they have always, on the whole, been regarded by men with complacent condescension as toys, or with distrust and scorn as dangerous and vicious inferiors. In the Classic world, they were always treated as far inferior to the other sex, and prevailingly held up in literature in the most odious VOL. LXXXIII. - NEW SERIES, vol. IV. NO. III.
light, the marks of all sorts of contemptuous satire. Strong examples of this abound in the Greek and Latin poets. Euripides was surnamed the woman-hater, from the scorn with which he depicts the sex. The comedies of Aristophanes are mercilessly satirical and sarcastic, in their portrayals of women: his “Ecclesiazusæ " might be taken for a freshly painted ironical picture of the “Woman's-rights Movement” of to-day. In the Christian world, the pagan type of woman, thought of as lower and wickeder than man, bore for a long period an aggravated form, imparted by an intense theological dogma. The theologians, whose authority controlled the belief and sentiment of Christendom for many centuries, taught that woman — by the seduction of Adam and the introduction of original sin, which led to the crucifixion of Christ was the guiltiest and worst of human beings, the Temptress of Man and the Murderess of God. Hear how Tertullian raged against her: "She should always be veiled, clothed in mourning, and in rags ; that the eye may see in her a penitent, drowned in tears, and atoning for the sin of baving ruined the human race. Woman, thou art the gateway of Satan.”
In the world of modern civilization, the leading tendency, as betokened by the highest literary productions, is in the opposite direction from that of the Oriental, Classic, and early Christian worlds. It expresses reverence for woman as a moral superior; inclines to exalt her as angelic, almost as divine. There is error, there is confusion, in both these extremes. The element of sex has no value in determining the merit or demerit of a human being. Neither man nor woman is to be either blamed or praised for being male or female. A woman is no worse than a man, unless her moral qualities are lower; she is no better than he, unless her character is better. The chivalrous or poetic impulse to exalt woman, as such, relatively above man, is as mistaken as the impulse to degrade her beneath him. Humanity is wor. shipful only as it exhibits worshipful attributes; and these attributes have the same moral rank, whether they appear on the masculine or on the feminine side. A woman, consequently, does not deserve to be honored above a man, simply