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Friends, the treasuries of true kings are the streets of their cities; and the gold they gather, which for others is as the mire of the streets, obanges itself, for them and their people, into a crystalline pavemont for evermore.
OF QUEENS' GARDENS.
" dvs apivor du plou daar@wv, oürws had maior you." It will, perhaps, be well, as this Lecture is the sequel of one previously given, that I should shortly state to you my gene ral intention in both. The questions specially proposed to you in the first, namely, How and What to Read, rose out of a far deeper one, which it was my endeavour to make you propose earnestly to yourselves, namely, Why to Read. I want you to feel, with me, that whatever advantages we possess in the present day in the diffusion of education and of literature, can only be rightly used by any of us when we have apprehended clearly what education is to lead to, and literature to teach. I wish you to see that both well-directed moral training and well-chosen reading lead to the possession of a power over the ill-guided and illiterate, which is, according to the measure of it, in the truest sense, kingly; conferring indeed the purest kingship that can exist among men: too many other kingships (however distinguished by visible insignia or material power) being either spectral, or tyrannous;
• Canticles ii. 2.
Spectral—that is to say, aspects and shadows only of royalty, hollow as death, and which only the “Likeness of a kingly crown have on;" or else tyrannous—that is to say, substituting their own will for the law of justice and love by which all true kings rule.
There is, then, I repeat-and as I want to leave this idea with you, I begin with it, and shall end with it only one pure kind of kingship; an inevitable and eternal kind, crowned or not: the kingship, namely, which consists in a stronger moral state, and a truer thoughtful state, than that of others ; enabling you, therefore, to guide, or to raise them. Observe that word “State;" we have got into a loose way of using it. It means literally the standing and stability of a thing; and you have the full force of it in the derived word "statue "_"the immoveable thing." A king's majesty or "state," then, and the right of his kingdom to be called a state, depends on the movelessness of both :—without tromor, without quiver of balance; established and enthroned upon a foundation of eternal law which nothing can alter nor overthrow.
Believing that all literature and all education are only useful so far as they tend to confirm this calm, beneficent, and therefore kingly, power—first, over ourselves, and, through ourselves, over all around us, I am now going to ask you to consider with me farther, what special portion or kind of
this royal authority, arising out of noble education, may rightly be possessed by women; and how far they also are called to a true queenly power. Not in their households merely, but over all within their sphere. And in what sense, if they rightly understood and exercised this royal or gracious influence, the order and beauty induced by such benig. nant power would justify us in speaking of the territories over which each of them reigned, as “Queens' Gardens.”
And here, in the very outset, we are met by a far deeper question, which—strange though this may seem-remains among many of us yet quite undecided, in spite of its infinite importance.
We cannot determine what the queenly power of women should be, until we are agreed what their ordinary power should be. We cannot consider how education may fit them for any widely extending duty, until we are agreed what is their true constant duty. And there never was a time when wilder words were spoken, or more vain imagination permitted, respecting this question quite vital to all social happiness. The relations of the womanly to the manly nature, their different capacities of intellect or of virtue, seem never to have been yet measured with entire consent. We hear of the mission and of the rights of Woman, as if these could ever be separate from the mission and the rights of Man ;-as if she and her lord were creatares of independent kind and of irreconcileable claim. This, at least, is wrong. And not less wrong-perhaps even more foolishly wrong (for I will anticipate thus far what I hope to prove)—is the idea that woman is only the shadow and attendant image of her lord, owing him a thoughtless and servile obedience, and supported altogether in her weakness by the pre-eminence of his fortitude.
This, I say, is the most foolish of all errors respecting her who was made to be the helpmate of man. As if he could be helped effectively by a shadow, or worthily by a slave!
Let us try, then, whether we cannot get at some clear and harmonious idea (it must be harmonious if it is true) of what womanly mind and virtue are in power and office, with respect to man's ; and how their relations, rightly accepted, aid, and increase, the vigour, and honour, and authority of both.
And now I must repeat one thing I said in the last lecture : namely, that the first use of education was to enable us to consult with the wisest and the greatest men on all points of earnest difficulty. That to use books rightly, was to go to thern for help: to appeal to them, when our own knowledge and power of thought failed; to be led hy them into wider sight, purer conception than our own, and receive from them the united sentence of the judges and councils of all time, ngainst our solitary and unstable opinion.