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´╗┐Title: Woman in the Nineteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition and Duties, of Woman.
Author: Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850
Language: English
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Woman in the Nineteenth Century,

and

Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition and Duties, of Woman.

by Margaret Fuller Ossoli.


Edited by her brother, Arthur B. Fuller.

With an introduction by Horace Greeley.



PREFACE.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been thought desirable that such papers of Margaret Fuller
Ossoli as pertained to the condition, sphere and duties of Woman,
should be collected and published together. The present volume
contains, not only her "Woman in the Nineteenth Century,"--which has
been before published, but for some years out of print, and
inaccessible to readers who have sought it,--but also several other
papers, which have appeared at various times in the _Tribune_ and
elsewhere, and yet more which have never till now been published.

My free access to her private manuscripts has given to me many papers,
relating to Woman, never intended for publication, which yet seem
needful to this volume, in order to present a complete and harmonious
view of her thoughts on this important theme. I have preferred to
publish them without alteration, as most just to her views and to the
reader; though, doubtless, she would have varied their expression and
form before giving them to the press.

It seems right here to remark, In order to avoid any misapprehension,
that Margaret Ossoli's thoughts wore not directed so exclusively to
the subject of the present volume as have been the minds of some
others. As to the movement for the emancipation of Woman from the
unjust burdens and disabilities to which she has been subject oven in
our own land, my sister could neither remain indifferent nor silent;
yet she preferred, as in respect to every other reform, to act
independently and to speak independently from her own stand-point, and
never to merge her individuality in any existing organization. This
she did, not as condemning such organizations, nor yet as judging them
wholly unwise or uncalled for, but because she believed she could
herself accomplish more for their true and high objects, unfettered by
such organizations, than if a member of them. The opinions avowed
throughout this volume, and wherever expressed, will, then, be found,
whether consonant with the reader's or no, in all cases honestly and
heartily her own,--the result of her own thought and faith. She never
speaks, never did speak, for any clique or sect, but as her individual
judgment, her reason and conscience, her observation and experience,
taught her to speak.

I could have wished that some one other than a brother should have
spoken a few fitting words of Margaret Fuller, as a woman, to form a
brief but proper accompaniment to this volume, which may reach some
who have never read her "Memoirs," recently published, or have never
known her in personal life. This seemed the more desirable, because
the strictest verity in speaking of her must seem, to such as knew her
not, to be eulogy. But, after several disappointments as to the
editorship of the volume, the duty, at last, has seemed to devolve
upon me; and I have no reason to shrink from it but a sense of
inadequacy.

It is often supposed that literary women, and those who are active and
earnest in promoting great intellectual, philanthropic, or religious
movements, must of necessity neglect the domestic concerns of life. It
may be that this is sometimes so, nor can such neglect be too severely
reprehended; yet this is by no means a necessary result. Some of the
most devoted mothers the world has ever known, and whose homes were
the abode of every domestic virtue, themselves the embodiment of all
these, have been women whose minds were highly cultured, who loved and
devoted both thought and time to literature, and were active in
philanthropic and diffusive efforts for the welfare of the race.

The letter to M., which is published on page 345, is inserted chiefly
as showing the integrity and wisdom with which Margaret advised her
friends; the frankness with which she pointed out to every young woman
who asked counsel any deficiencies of character, and the duties of
life; and that among these latter she gave due place to the humblest
which serve to make home attractive and happy. It is but simple
justice for me to bear, in conjunction with many others, my tribute to
her domestic virtues and fidelity to all home duties. That her mind
found chief delight in the lowest forms of these duties may not be
true, and it would be sad if it were; but it is strictly true that
none, however humble, were either slighted or shunned.

In common with a younger sister and brother, I shared her care in my
early instruction, and found over one of the truest counsellors in a
sister who scorned not the youngest mind nor the simplest intellectual
wants in her love for communion, through converse or the silent page,
with the minds of the greatest and most gifted.

During a lingering illness, in childhood, well do I remember her as
the angel of the sick-chamber, reading much to me from books useful
and appropriate, and telling many a narrative not only fitted to wile
away the pain of disease and the weariness of long confinement, but to
elevate the mind and heart, and to direct them to all things noble and
holy; over ready to watch while I slept, and to perform every gentle
and kindly office. But her care of the sick--that she did not neglect,
but was eminent in that sphere of womanly duty, even when no tie of
kindred claimed this of her, Mr. Cass's letter abundantly shows; and
also that this gentleness was united to a heroism which most call
manly, but which, I believe, may as justly be called truly womanly.
Mr. Cass's letter is inserted because it arrived too late to find a
place in her "Memoirs," and yet more because it bears much on Margaret
Ossoli's characteristics as a woman.

A few also of her private letters and papers, not bearing, save,
indirectly, on the subject of this volume, are yet inserted in it, as
further illustrative of her thought, feeling and action, in life's
various relations. It is believed that nothing which exhibits a true
woman, especially in her relations to others as friend, sister,
daughter, wife, or mother, can fail to interest and be of value to her
sex, indeed to all who are interested in human welfare and
advancement, since these latter so much depend on the fidelity of
Woman. Nor will anything pertaining to the education and care of
children be deemed irrelevant, especially by mothers, upon whom these
duties must always largely devolve.

Of the intellectual gifts and wide culture of Margaret Fuller there is
no need that I should speak, nor is it wise that one standing in my
relation to her should. Those who knew her personally feel that no
words ever flowed from her pen equalling the eloquent utterances of
her lips; yet her works, though not always a clear oppression of her
thoughts, are the evidences to which the world will look as proof of
her mental greatness.

On one point, however, I do wish to bear testimony--not needed with
those who knew her well, but interesting, perhaps, to some readers
into whose bands this volume may fall. It is on a subject which one
who knew her from his childhood up--at _home_, where best the
_heart_ and _soul_ can be known,--in the unrestrained hours
of domestic life,--in various scenes, and not for a few days, nor
under any peculiar circumstances--can speak with confidence, because
he speaks what he "doth know, and testifieth what he hath seen." It
relates to her Christian faith and hope. "With all her intellectual
gifts, with all her high, moral, and noble characteristics," there are
some who will ask, "was her intellectual power sanctified by Christian
faith as its basis? Were her moral qualities, her beneficent life, the
results of a renewed heart?" I feel no hesitation here, nor would
think it worth while to answer such questions at all, were her life to
be read and known by all who read this volume, and were I not
influenced also, in some degree, by the tone which has characterized a
few sectarian reviews of her works, chiefly in foreign periodicals.
Surely, if the Saviour's test, "By their fruits ye shall know them,"
be the true one, Margaret Ossoli was preeminently a Christian. If a
life of constant self-sacrifice,--if devotion to the welfare of
kindred and the race,--if conformity to what she believed God's law,
so that her life seemed ever the truest form of prayer, active
obedience to the Deity,--in fine, if carrying Christianity into all
the departments of action, so far as human infirmity allows,--if these
be the proofs of a Christian, then whoever has read her "Memoirs"
thoughtfully, and without sectarian prejudice or the use of sectarian
standards of judgment, must feel her to have been a Christian. But not
alone in outward life, in mind and heart, too, was she a Christian.
The being brought into frequent and intimate contact with religious
persons has been one of the chief privileges of my vocation, but never
yet have I met with any person whose reverence for holy things was
deeper than hers. Abhorring, as all honest minds must, every species
of cant, she respected true religious thought and feeling, by
whomsoever cherished. God seemed nearer to her than to any person I
have over known. In the influences of His Holy Spirit upon the heart
she fully believed, and in experience realized them. Jesus, the friend
of man, can never have been more truly loved and honored than she
loved and honored him. I am aware that this is strong language, but
strength of language cannot equal the strength of my conviction on a
point where I have had the best opportunities of judgment. Rich as is
the religion of Jesus in its list of holy confessors, yet it can spare
and would exclude none who in heart, mind and life, confessed and
reverenced him as did she. Among my earliest recollections, is her
devoting much time to a thorough examination of the evidences of
Christianity, and ultimately declaring that to her, better than all
arguments or usual processes of proof, was the soul's want of a divine
religion, and the voice within that soul which declared the teachings
of Christ to be true and from God; and one of my most cherished
possessions is that Bible which she so diligently and thoughtfully
read, and which bears, in her own handwriting, so many proofs of
discriminating and prayerful perusal. As in regard to reformatory
movements so here, she joined no organized body of believers,
sympathizing with all of them whose views were noble and Christian;
deploring and bearing faithful testimony against anything she deemed
narrowness or perversion in theology or life.

This volume from her hand is now before the reader. The fact that a
large share of it was never written or revised by its authoress for
publication will be kept in view, as explaining any inaccuracy of
expression or repetition of thought, should such occur in its pages.
Nor will it be deemed surprising, if, in papers written by so
progressive a person, at so various periods of life, and under
widely-varied circumstances, there should not always be found perfect
union as to every expressed opinion.

It is probable that this will soon be followed by another volume,
containing a republication of "Summer on the Lakes," and also the
"Letters from Europe," by the same hand.

In the preparation of this volume much valuable assistance has been
afforded by Mr. Greeley, of the New York _Tribune_, who has been
earnest in his desire and efforts for the diffusion of what Margaret
has written.

A. B. F.

BOSTON, _May 10th_, 1855.



INTRODUCTION.

       *       *       *       *       *

The problem of Woman's position, or "sphere,"--of her duties,
responsibilities, rights and immunities as Woman,--fitly attracts a
large and still-increasing measure of attention from the thinkers and
agitators of our time, The legislators, so called,--those who
ultimately enact into statutes what the really governing class (to
wit, the thinkers) have originated, matured and gradually commended to
the popular comprehension and acceptance,--are not as yet much
occupied with this problem, only fitfully worried and more or less
consciously puzzled by it. More commonly they merely echo the mob's
shallow retort to the petition of any strong-minded daughter or
sister, who demands that she be allowed a voice in disposing of the
money wrenched from her hard earnings by inexorable taxation, or in
shaping the laws by which she is ruled, judged, and is liable to be
sentenced to prison or to death, "It is a woman's business to obey her
husband, keep his home tidy, and nourish and train his children." But
when she rejoins to this, "Very true; but suppose I choose not to have
a husband, or am not chosen for a wife--what then? I am still subject
to your laws. Why am I not entitled, as a rational human being, to a
voice in shaping them? I have physical needs, and must somehow earn a
living. Why should I not be at liberty to earn it in any honest and
useful calling?"--the mob's flout is hushed, and the legislator Is
struck dumb also. They were already at the end of their scanty
resources of logic, and it would be cruel for woman to ask further:
"Suppose me a wife, and my husband a drunken prodigal--what am I to do
then? May I not earn food for my babes without being exposed to have
it snatched from their mouths to replenish the rumseller's till, and
aggravate my husband's madness? If some sympathizing relative sees fit
to leave me a bequest wherewith to keep my little ones together, why
may I not be legally enabled to secure this to their use and benefit?
In short, why am I not regarded by the law as a _soul_, responsible
for my acts to God and humanity, and not as a mere body, devoted to the
unreasoning service of my husband?" The state gives no answer, and the
champions of her policy evince wisdom in imitating her silence.

The writer of the following pages was one of the earliest as well as
ablest among American women, to demand for her sex equality before the
law with her titular lord and master, Her writings on this subject
have the force which springs from the ripening of profound reflection
into assured conviction. She wrote as one who had observed, and who
deeply felt what she deliberately uttered. Others have since spoken
more fluently, more variously, with a greater affluence of
illustration; but none, it is believed, more earnestly or more
forcibly. It is due to her memory, as well as to the great and living
cause of which she was so eminent and so fearless an advocate, that
what she thought and said with regard to the position of her sex and
its limitations, should be fully and fairly placed before the public.
For several years past her principal essay on "Woman," here given, has
not been purchasable at any price, and has only with great difficulty
been accessible to the general reader. To place it within the reach of
those who need and require it, is the main impulse to the publication
of this volume; but the accompanying essays and papers will be found
equally worthy of thoughtful consideration.

H. GREELEY.



CONTENTS.

       *       *       *       *       *

PART I.

WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

       *       *       *       *       *

PART II

MISCELLANIES

AULAURON AND LAURIE

WRONGS AND DUTIES OF AMERICAN WOMAN

GEORGE SAND

THE SAME SUBJECT

CONSUELO

JENNY LIND, THE "CONSUELO" OF GEORGE SAND

CAROLINE

EVER-GROWING LIVES

HOUSEHOLD NOBLENESS

"GLUMDALCLITCHES"

"ELLEN; OR, FORGIVE AND FORGET,"

"COUBRIER DES ETATS UNIS,"

THE SAME SUBJECT

BOOKS OF TRAVEL

REVIEW OF MRS. JAMESON'S ESSAYS

WOMAN'S INFLUENCE OVER THE INSANE

REVIEW OF BROWNING'S POEMS

CHRISTMAS

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

WOMAN IN POVERTY

THE IRISH CHARACTER

THE SAME SUBJECT

EDUCATE MEN AND WOMEN AS SOULS

       *       *       *       *       *

PART III.

EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL AND LETTERS

       *       *       *       *       *

APPENDIX



PREFACE TO WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following essay is a reproduction, modified and expanded, of an
article published in "The Dial, Boston, July, 1843," under the title
of "The Great Lawsuit.--Man _versus_ Men; Woman _versus_ Women."

This article excited a good deal of sympathy, add still more interest.
It is in compliance with wishes expressed from many quarters that it
is prepared for publication in its present form.

Objections having been made to the former title, as not sufficiently
easy to be understood, the present has been substituted as expressive
of the main purpose of the essay; though, by myself, the other is
preferred, partly for the reason others do not like it,--that is, that
it requires some thought to see what it means, and might thus prepare
the reader to meet me on my own ground. Besides, it offers a larger
scope, and is, in that way, more just to my desire. I meant by that
title to intimate the fact that, while it is the destiny of Man, in
the course of the ages, to ascertain and fulfil the law of his being,
so that his life shall be seen, as a whole, to be that of an angel or
messenger, the action of prejudices and passions which attend, in the
day, the growth of the individual, is continually obstructing the holy
work that is to make the earth a part of heaven. By Man I mean both
man and woman; these are the two halves of one thought. I lay no
especial stress on the welfare of either. I believe that the
development of the one cannot be effected without that of the other.
My highest wish is that this truth should be distinctly and rationally
apprehended, and the conditions of life and freedom recognized as the
same for the daughters and the sons of time; twin exponents of a
divine thought.

I solicit a sincere and patient attention from those who open the
following pages at all. I solicit of women that they will lay it to
heart to ascertain what is for them the liberty of law. It is for
this, and not for any, the largest, extension of partial privileges
that I seek. I ask them, if interested by these suggestions, to search
their own experience and intuitions for better, and fill up with fit
materials the trenches that hedge them in. From men I ask a noble and
earnest attention to anything that can be offered on this great and
still obscure subject, such as I have met from many with whom I stand
in private relations.

And may truth, unpolluted by prejudice, vanity or selfishness, be
granted daily more and more as the due of inheritance, and only
valuable conquest for us all!

_November_, 1844.



WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Frailty, thy name is WOMAN."
  "The Earth waits for her Queen."


The connection between these quotations may not be obvious, but it is
strict. Yet would any contradict us, if we made them applicable to the
other side, and began also,

  Frailty, thy name is MAN.
  The Earth waits for its King?


Yet Man, if not yet fully installed in his powers, has given much
earnest of his claims. Frail he is indeed,--how frail! how impure!
Yet often has the vein of gold displayed itself amid the baser ores,
and Man has appeared before us in princely promise worthy of his
future.

If, oftentimes, we see the prodigal son feeding on the husks in the
fair field no more his own, anon we raise the eyelids, heavy from
bitter tears, to behold in him the radiant apparition of genius and
love, demanding not less than the all of goodness, power and beauty.
We see that in him the largest claim finds a due foundation. That
claim is for no partial sway, no exclusive possession. He cannot be
satisfied with any one gift of life, any one department of knowledge
or telescopic peep at the heavens. He feels himself called to
understand and aid Nature, that she may, through his intelligence, be
raised and interpreted; to be a student of, and servant to, the
universe-spirit; and king of his planet, that, as an angelic minister
he may bring it into conscious harmony with the law of that spirit.

In clear, triumphant moments, many times, has rung through the spheres
the prophecy of his jubilee; and those moments, though past in time,
have been translated into eternity by thought; the bright signs they
left hang in the heavens, as single stars or constellations, and,
already, a thickly sown radiance consoles the wanderer in the darkest
night. Other heroes since Hercules have fulfilled the zodiac of
beneficent labors, and then given up their mortal part to the fire
without a murmur; while no God dared deny that they should have their
reward,

      Siquis tamen, Hercule, siquis
  Forte Deo doliturus erit, daia praemia nollet,
  Sed meruise dari sciet, invitus que probabit,
      Assensere Dei


Sages and lawgivers have bent their whole nature to the search for
truth, and thought themselves happy if they could buy, with the
sacrifice of all temporal ease and pleasure, one seed for the future
Eden. Poets and priests have strung the lyre with the heart-strings,
poured out their best blood upon the altar, which, reared anew from
age to age, shall at last sustain the flame pure enough to rise to
highest heaven. Shall we not name with as deep a benediction those
who, if not so immediately, or so consciously, in connection with the
eternal truth, yet, led and fashioned by a divine instinct, serve no
less to develop and interpret the open secret of love passing into
life, energy creating for the purpose of happiness; the artist whose
hand, drawn by a preexistent harmony to a certain medium, moulds it
to forms of life more highly and completely organized than are seen
elsewhere, and, by carrying out the intention of nature, reveals her
meaning to those who are not yet wise enough to divine it; the
philosopher who listens steadily for laws and causes, and from those
obvious infers those yet unknown; the historian who, in faith that all
events must have their reason and their aim, records them, and thus
fills archives from which the youth of prophets may be fed; the man of
science dissecting the statements, testing the facts and demonstrating
order, even where he cannot its purpose?

Lives, too, which bear none of these names, have yielded tones of no
less significance. The candlestick set in a low place has given light
as faithfully, where it was needed, as that upon the hill, In close
alleys, in dismal nooks, the Word has been read as distinctly, as when
shown by angels to holy men in the dark prison. Those who till a spot
of earth scarcely larger than is wanted for a grave, have deserved
that the sun should shine upon its sod till violets answer.

So great has been, from time to time, the promise, that, in all ages,
men have said the gods themselves came down to dwell with them; that
the All-Creating wandered on the earth to taste, in a limited nature,
the sweetness of virtue; that the All-Sustaining incarnated himself to
guard, in space and time, the destinies of this world; that heavenly
genius dwelt among the shepherds, to sing to them and teach them how
to sing. Indeed,

  "Der stets den Hirten gnadig sich bewies."


"He has constantly shown himself favorable to shepherds."

And the dwellers in green pastures and natural students of the stars
were selected to hail, first among men, the holy child, whose life and
death were to present the type of excellence, which has sustained the
heart of so large a portion of mankind in these later generations.

Such marks have been made by the footsteps of _man_ (still, alas!
to be spoken of as the _ideal_ man), wherever he has passed
through the wilderness of _men_, and whenever the pigmies stepped
in one of those, they felt dilate within the breast somewhat that
promised nobler stature and purer blood. They were impelled to forsake
their evil ways of decrepit scepticism and covetousness of corruptible
possessions. Convictions flowed in upon them. They, too, raised the
cry: God is living, now, to-day; and all beings are brothers, for they
are his children. Simple words enough, yet which only angelic natures
can use or hear in their full, free sense.

These were the triumphant moments; but soon the lower nature took its
turn, and the era of a truly human life was postponed.

Thus is man still a stranger to his inheritance, still a pleader,
still a pilgrim. Yet his happiness is secure in the end. And now, no
more a glimmering consciousness, but assurance begins to be felt and
spoken, that the highest ideal Man can form of his own powers is that
which he is destined to attain. Whatever the soul knows how to seek,
it cannot fail to obtain. This is the Law and the Prophets. Knock and
it shall be opened; seek and ye shall find. It is demonstrated; it is
a maxim. Man no longer paints his proper nature in some form, and
says, "Prometheus had it; it is God-like;" but "Man must have it; it
is human." However disputed by many, however ignorantly used, or
falsified by those who do receive it, the fact of an universal,
unceasing revelation has been too clearly stated in words to be lost
sight of in thought; and sermons preached from the text, "Be ye
perfect," are the only sermons of a pervasive and deep-searching
influence.

But, among those who meditate upon this text, there is a great
difference of view as to the way in which perfection shall be sought.

"Through the intellect," say some. "Gather from every growth of life
its seed of thought; look behind every symbol for its law; if thou
canst _see_ clearly, the rest will follow."

"Through the life," say others. "Do the best thou knowest today.
Shrink not from frequent error in this gradual, fragmentary state.
Follow thy light for as much as it will show thee; be faithful as far
as thou canst, in hope that faith presently will lead to sight. Help
others, without blaming their need of thy help. Love much, and be
forgiven."

"It needs not intellect, needs not experience," says a third. "If you
took the true way, your destiny would be accomplished, in a purer and
more natural order. You would not learn through facts of thought or
action, but express through them the certainties of wisdom. In
quietness yield thy soul to the causal soul. Do not disturb thy
apprenticeship by premature effort; neither check the tide of
instruction by methods of thy own. Be still; seek not, but wait in
obedience. Thy commission will be given."

Could we indeed say what we want, could we give a description of the
child that is lost, he would be found. As soon as the soul can affirm
clearly that a certain demonstration is wanted, it is at hand. When
the Jewish prophet described the Lamb, as the expression of what was
required by the coming era, the time drew nigh. But we say not, see
not as yet, clearly, what we would. Those who call for a more
triumphant expression of love, a love that cannot be crucified, show
not a perfect sense of what has already been given. Love has already
been expressed, that made all things new, that gave the worm its place
and ministry as well as the eagle; a love to which it was alike to
descend into the depths of hell, or to sit at the right hand of the
Father.

Yet, no doubt, a new manifestation is at hand, a new hour in the day
of Man. We cannot expect to see any one sample of completed being,
when the mass of men still lie engaged in the sod, or use the freedom
of their limbs only with wolfish energy. The tree cannot come to
flower till its root be free from the cankering worm, and its whole
growth open to air and light. While any one is base, none can be
entirely free and noble. Yet something new shall presently be shown of
the life of man, for hearts crave, if minds do not know how to ask it.

Among the strains of prophecy, the following, by an earnest mind of a
foreign land, written some thirty years ago, is not yet outgrown; and
it has the merit of being a positive appeal from the heart, instead of
a critical declaration what Man should _not_ do.

"The ministry of Man implies that he must be filled from the divine
fountains which are being engendered through all eternity, so that, at
the mere name of his master, he may be able to cast all his enemies
into the abyss; that he may deliver all parts of nature from the
barriers that imprison them; that he may purge the terrestrial
atmosphere from the poisons that infect it; that he may preserve the
bodies of men from the corrupt influences that surround, and the
maladies that afflict them; still more, that he may keep their souls
pure from the malignant insinuations which pollute, and the gloomy
images that obscure them; that he may restore its serenity to the
Word, which false words of men fill with mourning and sadness; that he
may satisfy the desires of the angels, who await from him the
development of the marvels of nature; that, in fine, his world may be
filled with God, as eternity is." [Footnote: St. Martin]

Another attempt we will give, by an obscure observer of our own day
and country, to draw some lines of the desired image. It was suggested
by seeing the design of Crawford's Orpheus, and connecting with the
circumstance of the American, in his garret at Rome, making choice of
this subject, that of Americans here at home showing such ambition to
represent the character, by calling their prose and verse "Orphic
sayings"--"Orphics." We wish we could add that they have shown that
musical apprehension of the progress of Nature through her ascending
gradations which entitled them so to do, but their attempts are
frigid, though sometimes grand; in their strain we are not warmed by
the fire which fertilized the soil of Greece.

Orpheus was a lawgiver by theocratic commission. He understood nature,
and made her forms move to his music. He told her secrets in the form
of hymns, Nature as seen in the mind of God. His soul went forth
toward all beings, yet could remain sternly faithful to a chosen type
of excellence. Seeking what he loved, he feared not death nor hell;
neither could any shape of dread daunt his faith in the power of the
celestial harmony that filled his soul.

It seemed significant of the state of things in this country, that the
sculptor should have represented the seer at the moment when he was
obliged with his hand to shade his eyes.

  Each Orpheus must to the depths descend;
    For only thus the Poet can be wise;
  Must make the sad Persephone his friend,
    And buried love to second life arise;
  Again his love must lose through too much love,
    Must lose his life by living life too true,
  For what he sought below is passed above,
    Already done is all that he would do
  Must tune all being with his single lyre,
    Must melt all rooks free from their primal pain,
  Must search all nature with his one soul's fire,
    Must bind anew all forms in heavenly chain.
  If he already sees what he must do,
    Well may he shade his eyes from the far-shining view.


A better comment could not be made on what is required to perfect Man,
and place him in that superior position for which he was designed,
than by the interpretation of Bacon upon the legends of the Syren
coast "When the wise Ulysses passed," says he, "he caused his mariners
to stop their ears, with wax, knowing there was in them no power to
resist the lure of that voluptuous song. But he, the much experienced
man, who wished to be experienced in all, and use all to the service
of wisdom, desired to hear the song that he might understand its
meaning. Yet, distrusting his own power to be firm in his better
purpose, he caused himself to be bound to the mast, that he might be
kept secure against his own weakness. But Orpheus passed unfettered,
so absorbed in singing hymns to the gods that he could not even hear
those sounds of degrading enchantment."

Meanwhile, not a few believe, and men themselves have expressed the
opinion, that the time is come when Eurydice is to call for an
Orpheus, rather than Orpheus for Eurydice; that the idea of Man,
however imperfectly brought out, has been far more so than that of
Woman; that she, the other half of the same thought, the other chamber
of the heart of life, needs now take her turn in the full pulsation,
and that improvement in the daughters will best aid in the reformation
of the sons of this age.

It should be remarked that, as the principle of liberty is better
understood, and more nobly interpreted, a broader protest is made in
behalf of Woman. As men become aware that few men have had a fair
chance, they are inclined to say that no women have had a fair chance.
The French Revolution, that strangely disguised angel, bore witness in
favor of Woman, but interpreted her claims no less ignorantly than
those of Man. Its idea of happiness did not rise beyond outward
enjoyment, unobstructed by the tyranny of others. The title it gave
was "citoyen," "citoyenne;" and it is not unimportant to Woman that
even this species of equality was awarded her. Before, she could be
condemned to perish on the scaffold for treason, not as a citizen, but
as a subject. The right with which this title then invested a human
being was that of bloodshed and license. The Goddess of Liberty was
impure. As we read the poem addressed to her, not long since, by
Beranger, we can scarcely refrain from tears as painful as the tears
of blood that flowed when "such crimes were committed in her name."
Yes! Man, born to purify and animate the unintelligent and the cold,
can, in his madness, degrade and pollute no less the fair and the
chaste. Yet truth was prophesied in the ravings of that hideous fever,
caused by long ignorance and abuse. Europe is conning a valued lesson
from the blood-stained page. The same tendencies, further unfolded,
will bear good fruit in this country.

Yet, by men in this country, as by the Jews, when Moses was leading
them to the promised land, everything has been done that inherited
depravity could do, to hinder the promise of Heaven from its
fulfilment. The cross, here as elsewhere, has been planted only to be
blasphemed by cruelty and fraud. The name of the Prince of Peace has
been profaned by all kinds of injustice toward the Gentile whom he
said he came to save. But I need not speak of what has been done
towards the Red Man, the Black Man. Those deeds are the scoff of the
world; and they have been accompanied by such pious words that the
gentlest would not dare to intercede with "Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do."

Here, as elsewhere, the gain of creation consists always in the growth
of individual minds, which live and aspire, as flowers bloom and birds
sing, in the midst of morasses; and in the continual development of
that thought, the thought of human destiny, which is given to eternity
adequately to express, and which ages of failure only seemingly
impede. Only seemingly; and whatever seems to the contrary, this
country is as surely destined to elucidate a great moral law, as
Europe was to promote the mental culture of Man.

Though the national independence be blurred by the servility of
individuals; though freedom and equality have been proclaimed only to
leave room for a monstrous display of slave-dealing and slave-keeping;
though the free American so often feels himself free, like the Roman,
only to pamper his appetites end his indolence through the misery of
his fellow-beings; still it is not in vain that the verbal statement
has been made, "All men are born free and equal." There it stands, a
golden certainty wherewith to encourage the good, to shame the bad.
The New World may be called clearly to perceive that it incurs the
utmost penalty if it reject or oppress the sorrowful brother. And, if
men are deaf, the angels hear. But men cannot be deaf. It is
inevitable that an external freedom, an independence of the
encroachments of other men, such as has been achieved for the nation,
should be so also for every member of it. That which has once been
clearly conceived in the intelligence cannot fail, sooner or later, to
be acted out. It has become a law as irrevocable as that of the Medes
in their ancient dominion; men will privately sin against it, but the
law, as expressed by a leading mind of the age,

  "Tutti fatti a semblanza d'un Solo,
  Figli tutti d'un solo riscatto,
  In qual'ora, in qual parte del suolo
  Trascorriamo quest' aura vital,
  Siam fratelli, siam stretti ad un patto:
  Maladetto colui che lo infrange,
  Che s'innalza sul finoco che piange
  Che contrista uno spirto immortal." [Footnote: Manzoni]

  "All made in the likeness of the One.
    All children of one ransom,
  In whatever hour, in whatever part of the soil,
    We draw this vital air,
  We are brothers; we must be bound by one compact;
    Accursed he who infringes it,
  Who raises himself upon the weak who weep,
    Who saddens an immortal spirit."


This law cannot fail of universal recognition. Accursed be he who
willingly saddens an immortal spirit--doomed to infamy in later, wiser
ages, doomed in future stages of his own being to deadly penance, only
short of death. Accursed be he who sins in ignorance, if that
ignorance be caused by sloth.

We sicken no less at the pomp than the strife of words. We feel that
never were lungs so puffed with the wind of declamation, on moral and
religious subjects, as now. We are tempted to implore these
"word-heroes," these word-Catos, word-Christs, to beware of cant
[Footnote: Dr. Johnson's one piece of advice should be written on
every door: "Clear your mind of cant." But Byron, to whom it was so
acceptable, in clearing away the noxious vine, shook down the
building. Sterling's emendation is worthy of honor:

  "Realize your cant, not cast it off."]

above all things; to remember that hypocrisy is the most hopeless as
well as the meanest of crimes, and that those must surely be polluted
by it, who do not reserve a part of their morality and religion for
private use. Landor says that he cannot have a great deal of mind who
cannot afford to let the larger part of it lie fallow; and what is true
of genius is not less so of virtue. The tongue is a valuable member,
but should appropriate but a small part of the vital juices that are
needful all over the body. We feel that the mind may "grow black and
rancid in the smoke" even "of altars." We start up from the harangue
to go into our closet and shut the door. There inquires the spirit,
"Is this rhetoric the bloom of healthy blood, or a false pigment
artfully laid on?" And yet again we know where is so much smoke, must
be some fire; with so much talk about virtue and freedom, must be
mingled some desire for them; that it cannot be in vain that such have
become the common topics of conversation among men, rather than schemes
for tyranny and plunder, that the very newspapers see it best to
proclaim themselves "Pilgrims," "Puritans," "Heralds of Holiness." The
king that maintains so costly a retinue cannot be a mere boast, or
Carabbas fiction. We have waited here long in the dust; we are tired
and hungry; but the triumphal procession must appear at last.

Of all its banners, none has been more steadily upheld, and under none
have more valor and willingness for real sacrifices been shown, than
that of the champions of the enslaved African. And this band it is,
which, partly from a natural following out of principles, partly
because many women have been prominent in that cause, makes, just now,
the warmest appeal in behalf of Woman.

Though there has been a growing liberality on this subject, yet
society at large is not so prepared for the demands of this party, but
that its members are, and will be for some time, coldly regarded as
the Jacobins of their day.

"Is it not enough," cries the irritated trader, "that you have done
all you could to break up the national union, and thus destroy the
prosperity of our country, but now you must be trying to break up
family union, to take my wife away from the cradle and the
kitchen-hearth to vote at polls, and preach from a pulpit? Of course,
if she does such things, she cannot attend to those of her own sphere.
She is happy enough as she is. She has more leisure than I
have,--every means of improvement, every indulgence."

"Have you asked her whether she was satisfied with these
_indulgences_?"

"No, but I know she is. She is too amiable to desire what would make
me unhappy, and too judicious to wish to step beyond the sphere of her
sex. I will never consent to have our peace disturbed by any such
discussions."

"'Consent--you?' it is not consent from you that is in question--it is
assent from your wife."

"Am not I the head of my house?"

"You are not the head of your wife. God has given her a mind of her own.

"I am the head, and she the heart."

"God grant you play true to one another, then! I suppose I am to be
grateful that you did not say she was only the hand. If the head
represses no natural pulse of the heart, there can be no question as
to your giving your consent. Both will be of one accord, and there
needs but to present any question to get a full and true answer. There
is no need of precaution, of indulgence, nor consent. But our doubt is
whether the heart _does_ consent with the head, or only obeys its
decrees with a passiveness that precludes the exercise of its natural
powers, or a repugnance that turns sweet qualities to bitter, or a
doubt that lays waste the fair occasions of life. It is to ascertain
the truth that we propose some liberating measures."

Thus vaguely are these questions proposed and discussed at present.
But their being proposed at all implies much thought, and suggests
more. Many women are considering within themselves what they need that
they have not, and what they can have if they find they need it. Many
men are considering whether women are capable of being and having more
than they are and have, _and_ whether, if so, it will be best to
consent to improvement in their condition.

This morning, I open the Boston "Daily Mail," and find in its "poet's
corner" a translation of Schiller's "Dignity of Woman." In the
advertisement of a book on America, I see in the table of contents
this sequence, "Republican Institutions. American Slavery. American
Ladies."

I open the "_Deutsche Schnellpost_" published in New York, and
find at the head of a column, _Juden und Frauenemancipation in
Ungarn_--"Emancipation of Jews and Women in Hungary."

The past year has seen action in the Rhode Island legislature, to
secure married women rights over their own property, where men showed
that a very little examination of the subject could teach them much;
an article in the Democratic Review on the same subject more largely
considered, written by a woman, impelled, it is said, by glaring wrong
to a distinguished friend, having shown the defects in the existing
laws, and the state of opinion from which they spring; and on answer
from the revered old man, J. Q. Adams, in some respects the Phocion of
his time, to an address made him by some ladies. To this last I shall
again advert in another place.

These symptoms of the times have come under my view quite
accidentally: one who seeks, may, each month or week, collect more.

The numerous party, whose opinions are already labeled and adjusted
too much to their mind to admit of any new light, strive, by lectures
on some model-woman of bride-like beauty and gentleness, by writing
and lending little treatises, intended to mark out with precision the
limits of Woman's sphere, and Woman's mission, to prevent other than
the rightful shepherd from climbing the wall, or the flock from using
any chance to go astray.

Without enrolling ourselves at once on either side, let us look upon
the subject from the best point of view which to-day offers; no
better, it is to be feared, than a high house-top. A high hill-top, or
at least a cathedral-spire, would be desirable.

It may well be an Anti-Slavery party that pleads for Woman, if we
consider merely that she does not hold property on equal terms with
men; so that, if a husband dies without making a will, the wife,
instead of taking at once his place as head of the family, inherits
only a part of his fortune, often brought him by herself, as if she
were a child, or ward only, not an equal partner.

We will not speak of the innumerable instances in which profligate and
idle men live upon the earnings of industrious wives; or if the wives
leave them, and take with them the children, to perform the double
duty of mother and father, follow from place to place, and threaten to
rob them of the children, if deprived of the rights of a husband, as
they call them, planting themselves in their poor lodgings,
frightening them into paying tribute by taking from them the children,
running into debt at the expense of these otherwise so overtasked
helots. Such instances count up by scores within my own memory. I have
seen the husband who had stained himself by a long course of low vice,
till his wife was wearied from her heroic forgiveness, by finding that
his treachery made it useless, and that if she would provide bread for
herself and her children, she must be separate from his ill fame--I
have known this man come to install himself in the chamber of a woman
who loathed him, and say she should never take food without his
company. I have known these men steal their children, whom they knew
they had no means to maintain, take them into dissolute company,
expose them to bodily danger, to frighten the poor woman, to whom, it
seems, the fact that she alone had borne the pangs of their birth, and
nourished their infancy, does not give an equal right to them. I do
believe that this mode of kidnapping--and it is frequent enough in all
classes of society--will be by the next age viewed as it is by Heaven
now, and that the man who avails himself of the shelter of men's laws
to steal from a mother her own children, or arrogate any superior
right in them, save that of superior virtue, will bear the stigma he
deserves, in common with him who steals grown men from their
mother-land, their hopes, and their homes.

I said, we will not speak of this now; yet I _have_ spoken, for
the subject makes me feel too much. I could give instances that would
startle the most vulgar and callous; but I will not, for the public
opinion of their own sex is already against such men, and where cases
of extreme tyranny are made known, there is private action in the
wife's favor. But she ought not to need this, nor, I think, can she
long. Men must soon see that as, on their own ground, Woman is the
weaker party, she ought to have legal protection, which would make
such oppression impossible. But I would not deal with "atrocious
instances," except in the way of illustration, neither demand from men
a partial redress in some one matter, but go to the root of the whole.
If principles could be established, particulars would adjust
themselves aright. Ascertain the true destiny of Woman; give her
legitimate hopes, and a standard within herself; marriage and all
other relations would by degrees be harmonized with these.

But to return to the historical progress of this matter. Knowing that
there exists in the minds of men a tone of feeling toward women as
toward slaves, such as is expressed in the common phrase, "Tell that
to women and children;" that the infinite soul can only work through
them in already ascertained limits; that the gift of reason, Man's
highest prerogative, is allotted to them in much lower degree; that
they must be kept from mischief and melancholy by being constantly
engaged in active labor, which is to be furnished and directed by
those better able to think, &c., &c.,--we need not multiply instances,
for who can review the experience of last week without recalling words
which imply, whether in jest or earnest, these views, or views like
these,--knowing this, can we wonder that many reformers think that
measures are not likely to be taken in behalf of women, unless their
wishes could be publicly represented by women?

"That can never be necessary," cry the other side. "All men are
privately influenced by women; each has his wife, sister, or female
friends, and is too much biased by these relations to fail of
representing their interests; and, if this is not enough, let them
propose and enforce their wishes with the pen. The beauty of home
would be destroyed, the delicacy of the sex be violated, the dignity
of halls of legislation degraded, by an attempt to introduce them
there. Such duties are inconsistent with those of a mother;" and then
we have ludicrous pictures of ladies in hysterics at the polls, and
senate-chambers filled with cradles.

But if, in reply, we admit as truth that Woman seems destined by
nature rather for the inner circle, we must add that the arrangements
of civilized life have not been, as yet, such as to secure it to her.
Her circle, if the duller, is not the quieter. If kept from
"excitement," she is not from drudgery. Not only the Indian squaw
carries the burdens of the camp, but the favorites of Louis XIV.
accompany him in his journeys, and the washerwoman stands at her tub,
and carries home her work at all seasons, and in all states of health.
Those who think the physical circumstances of Woman would make a part
in the affairs of national government unsuitable, are by no means
those who think it impossible for negresses to endure field-work, even
during pregnancy, or for sempstresses to go through their killing
labors.

As to the use of the pen, there was quite as much opposition to
Woman's possessing herself of that help to free agency as there is now
to her seizing on the rostrum or the desk; and she is likely to draw,
from a permission to plead her cause that way, opposite inferences to
what might be wished by those who now grant it.

As to the possibility of her filling with grace and dignity any such
position, we should think those who had seen the great actresses, and
heard the Quaker preachers of modern times, would not doubt that Woman
can express publicly the fulness of thought and creation, without
losing any of the peculiar beauty of her sex. What can pollute and
tarnish is to act thus from any motive except that something needs to
be said or done. Woman could take part in the processions, the songs,
the dances of old religion; no one fancied her delicacy was impaired
by appearing in public for such a cause.

As to her home, she is not likely to leave it more than she now does
for balls, theatres, meetings for promoting missions, revival
meetings, and others to which she flies, in hope of an animation for
her existence commensurate with what she sees enjoyed by men.
Governors of ladies'-fairs are no less engrossed by such a charge,
than the governor of a state by his; presidents of Washingtonian
societies no less away from home than presidents of conventions. If
men look straitly to it, they will find that, unless their lives are
domestic, those of the women will not be. A house is no home unless it
contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body. The female
Greek, of our day, is as much in the street as the male to cry, "What
news?" We doubt not it was the same in Athens of old. The women, shut
out from the market-place, made up for it at the religious festivals.
For human beings are not so constituted that they can live without
expansion. If they do not get it in one way, they must in another, or
perish.

As to men's representing women fairly at present, while we hear from
men who owe to their wives not only all that is comfortable or
graceful, but all that is wise, in the arrangement of their lives, the
frequent remark, "You cannot reason with a woman,"--when from those of
delicacy, nobleness, and poetic culture, falls the contemptuous phrase
"women and children," and that in no light sally of the hour, but in
works intended to give a permanent statement of the best
experiences,--when not one man, in the million, shall I say? no, not
in the hundred million, can rise above the belief that Woman was made
_for Man_,--when such traits as these are daily forced upon the
attention, can we feel that Man will always do justice to the
interests of Woman? Can we think that he takes a sufficiently
discerning and religious view of her office and destiny _ever_ to
do her justice, except when prompted by sentiment,--accidentally or
transiently, that is, for the sentiment will vary according to the
relations in which he is placed? The lover, the poet, the artist, are
likely to view her nobly. The father and the philosopher have some
chance of liberality; the man of the world, the legislator for
expediency, none.

Under these circumstances, without attaching importance, in
themselves, to the changes demanded by the champions of Woman, we hail
them as signs of the times. We would have every arbitrary barrier
thrown down. We would have every path laid open to Woman as freely as
to Man. Were this done, and a slight temporary fermentation allowed to
subside, we should see crystallizations more pure and of more various
beauty. We believe the divine energy would pervade nature to a degree
unknown in the history of former ages, and that no discordant
collision, but a ravishing harmony of the spheres, would ensue.

Yet, then and only then will mankind be ripe for this, when inward and
outward freedom for Woman as much as for Man shall be acknowledged as
a _right_, not yielded as a concession. As the friend of the
negro assumes that one man cannot by right hold another in bondage, so
should the friend of Woman assume that Man cannot by right lay even
well-meant restrictions on Woman. If the negro be a soul, if the woman
be a soul, apparelled in flesh, to one Master only are they
accountable. There is but one law for souls, and, if there is to be an
interpreter of it, he must come not as man, or son of man, but as son
of God.

Were thought and feeling once so far elevated that Man should esteem
himself the brother and friend, but nowise the lord and tutor, of
Woman,--were he really bound with her in equal worship,--arrangements
as to function and employment would be of no consequence. What Woman
needs is not as a woman to act or rule, but as a nature to grow, as an
intellect to discern, as a soul to live freely and unimpeded, to
unfold such powers as were given her when we left our common home. If
fewer talents were given her, yet if allowed the free and full
employment of these, so that she may render back to the giver his own
with usury, she will not complain; nay, I dare to say she will bless
and rejoice in her earthly birth-place, her earthly lot. Let us
consider what obstructions impede this good era, and what signs give
reason to hope that it draws near.

I was talking on this subject with Miranda, a woman, who, if any in
the world could, might speak without heat and bitterness of the
position of her sex. Her father was a man who cherished no sentimental
reverence for Woman, but a firm belief in the equality of the sexes.
She was his eldest child, and came to him at an age when he needed a
companion. From the time she could speak and go alone, he addressed
her not as a plaything, but as a living mind. Among the few verses he
ever wrote was a copy addressed to this child, when the first locks
were cut from her head; and the reverence expressed on this occasion
for that cherished head, he never belied. It was to him the temple of
immortal intellect. He respected his child, however, too much to be an
indulgent parent. He called on her for clear judgment, for courage,
for honor and fidelity; in short, for such virtues as he knew. In so
far as he possessed the keys to the wonders of this universe, he
allowed free use of them to her, and, by the incentive of a high
expectation, he forbade, so far as possible, that she should let the
privilege lie idle.

Thus this child was early led to feel herself a child of the spirit.
She took her place easily, not only in the world of organized being,
but in the world of mind. A dignified sense of self-dependence was
given as all her portion, and she found it a sure anchor. Herself
securely anchored, her relations with others were established with
equal security. She was fortunate in a total absence of those charms
which might have drawn to her bewildering flatteries, and in a strong
electric nature, which repelled those who did not belong to her, and
attracted those who did. With men and women her relations were
noble,--affectionate without passion, intellectual without coldness.
The world was free to her, and she lived freely in it. Outward
adversity came, and inward conflict; but that faith and self-respect
had early been awakened which must always lead, at last, to an outward
serenity and an inward peace.

Of Miranda I had always thought as an example, that the restraints
upon the sex were insuperable only to those who think them so, or who
noisily strive to break them. She had taken a course of her own, and
no man stood in her way. Many of her acts had been unusual, but
excited no uproar. Few helped, but none checked her; and the many men
who knew her mind and her life, showed to her confidence as to a
brother, gentleness as to a sister. And not only refined, but very
coarse men approved and aided one in whom they saw resolution and
clearness of design. Her mind was often the leading one, always
effective.

When I talked with her upon these matters, and had said very much what
I have written, she smilingly replied; "And yet we must admit that I
have been fortunate, and this should not be. My good father's early
trust gave the first bias, and the rest followed, of course. It is
true that I have had less outward aid, in after years, than most
women; but that is of little consequence. Religion was early awakened
in my soul,--a sense that what the soul is capable to ask it must
attain, and that, though I might be aided and instructed by others, I
must depend on myself as the only constant friend. This
self-dependence, which was honored in me, is deprecated as a fault in
most women. They are taught to learn their rule from without, not to
unfold it from within.

"This is the fault of Man, who is still vain, and wishes to be more
important to Woman than, by right, he should be."

"Men have not shown this disposition toward you," I said.

"No; because the position I early was enabled to take was one of
self-reliance. And were all women as sure of their wants as I was, the
result would be the same. But they are so overloaded with precepts by
guardians, who think that nothing is so much to be dreaded for a woman
as originality of thought or character, that their minds are impeded
by doubts till they lose their chance of fair, free proportions. The
difficulty is to got them to the point from which they shall naturally
develop self-respect, and learn self-help.

"Once I thought that men would help to forward this state of things
more than I do now. I saw so many of them wretched in the connections
they had formed in weakness and vanity. They seemed so glad to esteem
women whenever they could.

"'The soft arms of affection,' said one of the most discerning
spirits, 'will not suffice for me, unless on them I see the steel
bracelets of strength.'

"But early I perceived that men never, in any extreme of despair,
wished to be women. On the contrary, they were ever ready to taunt one
another, at any sign of weakness, with,

  "'Art thou not like the women, who,'--


The passage ends various ways, according to the occasion and rhetoric
of the speaker. When they admired any woman, they were inclined to
speak of her as 'above her sex.' Silently I observed this, and feared
it argued a rooted scepticism, which for ages had been fastening on
the heart, and which only an age of miracles could eradicate. Ever I
have been treated with great sincerity; and I look upon it as a signal
instance of this, that an intimate friend of the other sex said, in a
fervent moment, that I 'deserved in some star to be a man.' He was
much surprised when I disclosed my view of my position and hopes, when
I declared my faith that the feminine side, the side of love, of
beauty, of holiness, was now to have its full chance, and that, if
either were better, it was better now to be a woman; for even the
slightest achievement of good was furthering an especial work of our
time. He smiled incredulously. 'She makes the best she can of it,'
thought he. 'Let Jews believe the pride of Jewry, but I am of the
better sort, and know better.'

"Another used as highest praise, in speaking of a character in
literature, the words 'a manly woman.'

"So in the noble passage of Ben Jonson:

  'I meant the day-star should not brighter ride,
    Nor shed like influence, from its lucent seat;
  I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
    Free from that solemn vice of greatness, pride;
  I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
    Fit in that softer bosom to abide,
  Only a learned and a _manly_ soul
    I purposed her, that should with even powers
  The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
    Of destiny, and spin her own free hours.'"


"Me thinks," said I, "you are too fastidious in objecting to this.
Jonson, in using the word 'manly,' only meant to heighten the picture
of this, the true, the intelligent fate, with one of the deeper
colors."

"And yet," said she, "so invariable is the use of this word where a
heroic quality is to be described, and I feel so sure that persistence
and courage are the most womanly no less than the most manly
qualities, that I would exchange these words for others of a larger
sense, at the risk of marring the fine tissue of the verse. Read, 'A
heavenward and instructed soul,' and I should be satisfied. Let it not
be said, wherever there is energy or creative genius, 'She has a
masculine mind.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

This by no means argues a willing want of generosity toward Woman. Man
is as generous towards her as he knows how to be.

Wherever she has herself arisen in national or private history, and
nobly shone forth in any form of excellence, men have received her,
not only willingly, but with triumph. Their encomiums, indeed, are
always, in some sense, mortifying; they show too much surprise. "Can
this be you?" he cries to the transfigured Cinderella; "well, I should
never have thought it, but I am very glad. We will tell every one that
you have '_surpassed your sex_.'"

In every-day life, the feelings of the many are stained with vanity.
Each wishes to be lord in a little world, to be superior at least over
one; and he does not feel strong enough to retain a life-long
ascendency over a strong nature. Only a Theseus could conquer before
he wed the Amazonian queen. Hercules wished rather to rest with
Dejanira, and received the poisoned robe as a fit guerdon. The tale
should be interpreted to all those who seek repose with the weak.

But not only is Man vain and fond of power, but the same want of
development, which thus affects him morally, prevents his
intellectually discerning the destiny of Woman: The boy wants no
woman, but only a girl to play ball with him, and mark his pocket
handkerchief.

Thus, in Schiller's Dignity of Woman, beautiful as the poem is, there
is no "grave and perfect man," but only a great boy to be softened and
restrained by the influence of girls. Poets--the elder brothers of
their race--have usually seen further; but what can you expect of
every-day men, if Schiller was not more prophetic as to what women
must be? Even with Richter, one foremost thought about a wife was that
she would "cook him something good." But as this is a delicate
subject, and we are in constant danger of being accused of slighting
what are called "the functions," let me say, in behalf of Miranda and
myself, that we have high respect for those who "cook something good,"
who create and preserve fair order in houses, and prepare therein the
shining raiment for worthy inmates, worthy guests. Only these
"functions" must not be a drudgery, or enforced necessity, but a part
of life. Let Ulysses drive the beeves home, while Penelope there piles
up the fragrant loaves; they are both well employed if these be done
in thought and love, willingly. But Penelope is no more meant for a
baker or weaver solely, than Ulysses for a cattle-herd.

The sexes should not only correspond to and appreciate, but prophesy
to one another. In individual instances this happens. Two persons love
in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.
This is imperfectly or rarely done in the general life. Man has gone
but little way; now he is waiting to see whether Woman can keep step
with him; but, instead of calling but, like a good brother, "You can
do it, if you only think so," or impersonally, "Any one can do what he
tries to do;" he often discourages with school-boy brag: "Girls can't
do that; girls can't play ball." But let any one defy their taunts,
break through and be brave and secure, they rend the air with shouts.

This fluctuation was obvious in a narrative I have lately seen, the
story of the life of Countess Emily Plater, the heroine of the last
revolution in Poland. The dignity, the purity, the concentrated
resolve, the calm, deep enthusiasm, which yet could, when occasion
called, sparkle up a holy, an indignant fire, make of this young
maiden the figure I want for my frontispiece. Her portrait is to be
seen in the book, a gentle shadow of her soul. Short was the career.
Like the Maid of Orleans, she only did enough to verify her
credentials, and then passed from a scene on which she was, probably,
a premature apparition.

When the young girl joined the army, where the report of her exploits
had preceded her, she was received in a manner that marks the usual
state of feeling. Some of the officers were disappointed at her quiet
manners; that she had not the air and tone of a stage-heroine. They
thought she could not have acted heroically unless in buskins; had no
idea that such deeds only showed the habit of her mind. Others talked
of the delicacy of her sex, advised her to withdraw from perils and
dangers, and had no comprehension of the feelings within her breast
that made this impossible. The gentle irony of her reply to these
self-constituted tutors (not one of whom showed himself her equal in
conduct or reason), is as good as her indignant reproof at a later
period to the general, whose perfidy ruined all.

But though, to the mass of these men, she was an embarrassment and a
puzzle, the nobler sort viewed her with a tender enthusiasm worthy of
her. "Her name," said her biographer, "is known throughout Europe. I
paint her character that she may be as widely loved."

With pride, he shows her freedom from all personal affections; that,
though tender and gentle in an uncommon degree, there was no room for
a private love in her consecrated life. She inspired those who knew
her with a simple energy of feeling like her own. "We have seen," they
felt, "a woman worthy the name, capable of all sweet affections,
capable of stern virtue."

It is a fact worthy of remark, that all these revolutions in favor of
liberty have produced female champions that share the same traits, but
Emily alone has found a biographer. Only a near friend could have
performed for her this task, for the flower was reared in feminine
seclusion, and the few and simple traits of her history before her
appearance in the field could only have been known to the domestic
circle. Her biographer has gathered them up with a brotherly devotion.

No! Man is not willingly ungenerous. He wants faith and love, because
he is not yet himself an elevated being. He cries, with sneering
scepticism, "Give us a sign." But if the sign appears, his eyes
glisten, and he offers not merely approval, but homage.

The severe nation which taught that the happiness of the race was
forfeited through the fault of a Woman, and showed its thought of what
sort of regard Man owed her, by making him accuse her on the first
question to his God,--who gave her to the patriarch as a handmaid,
and, by the Mosaical law, bound her to allegiance like a serf,--even
they greeted, with solemn rapture, all great and holy women as
heroines, prophetesses, judges in Israel; and, if they made Eve listen
to the serpent, gave Mary as a bride to the Holy Spirit. In other
nations it has been the same down to our day. To the Woman who could
conquer a triumph was awarded. And not only those whose strength was
recommended to the heart by association with goodness and beauty, but
those who were bad, if they were steadfast and strong, had their
claims allowed. In any age a Semiramis, an Elizabeth of England, a
Catharine of Russia, makes her place good, whether in a large or small
circle. How has a little wit, a little genius, been celebrated in a
Woman! What an intellectual triumph was that of the lonely Aspasia,
and how heartily acknowledged! She, indeed, met a Pericles. But what
annalist, the rudest of men, the most plebeian of husbands, will spare
from his page one of the few anecdotes of Roman women--Sappho!
Eloisa! The names are of threadbare celebrity. Indeed, they were not
more suitably met in their own time than the Countess Colonel Plater
on her first joining the army. They had much to mourn, and their great
impulses did not find due scope. But with time enough, space enough,
their kindred appear on the scene. Across the ages, forms lean, trying
to touch the hem of their retreating robes. The youth here by my side
cannot be weary of the fragments from the life of Sappho. He will not
believe they are not addressed to himself, or that he to whom they
were addressed could be ungrateful. A recluse of high powers devotes
himself to understand and explain the thought of Eloisa; he asserts
her vast superiority in soul and genius to her master; he curses the
fate that casts his lot in another age than hers. He could have
understood her; he would have been to her a friend, such as Abelard
never could. And this one Woman he could have loved and reverenced,
and she, alas! lay cold in her grave hundreds of years ago. His sorrow
is truly pathetic. These responses, that come too late to give joy,
are as tragic as anything we know, and yet the tears of later ages
glitter as they fall on Tasso's prison bars. And we know how
elevating to the captive is the security that somewhere an
intelligence must answer to his.

The Man habitually most narrow towards Woman will be flushed, as by
the worst assault on Christianity, if you say it has made no
improvement in her condition. Indeed, those most opposed to new acts
in her favor, are jealous of the reputation of those which have been
done.

We will not speak of the enthusiasm excited by actresses,
improvisatrici, female singers,--for here mingles the charm of beauty
and grace,--but female authors, even learned women, if not
insufferably ugly and slovenly, from the Italian professor's daughter
who taught behind the curtain, down to Mrs. Carter and Madame Dacier,
are sure of an admiring audience, and, what is far better, chance to
use what they have learned, and to learn more, if they can once get a
platform on which to stand.

But how to get this platform, or how to make it of reasonably easy
access, is the difficulty. Plants of great vigor will almost always
struggle into blossom, despite impediments. But there should be
encouragement, and a free genial atmosphere for those of move timid
sort, fair play for each in its own kind. Some are like the little,
delicate flowers which love to hide in the dripping mosses, by the
sides of mountain torrents, or in the shade of tall trees. But others
require an open field, a rich and loosened soil, or they never show
their proper hues.

It may be said that Man does not have his fair play either; his
energies are repressed and distorted by the interposition of
artificial obstacles. Ay, but he himself has put them there; they have
grown out of his own imperfections. If there _is_ a misfortune in
Woman's lot, it is in obstacles being interposed by men, which do
_not_ mark her state; and, if they express her past ignorance, do
not her present needs. As every Man is of Woman born, she has slow but
sure means of redress; yet the sooner a general justness of thought
makes smooth the path, the better.

Man is of Woman born, and her face bends over him in infancy with an
expression he can never quite forget. Eminent men have delighted to
pay tribute to this image, and it is an hackneyed observation, that
most men of genius boast some remarkable development in the mother.
The rudest tar brushes off a tear with his coat-sleeve at the hallowed
name. The other day, I met a decrepit old man of seventy, on a
journey, who challenged the stage company to guess where he was going.
They guessed aright, "To see your mother." "Yes," said he, "she is
ninety-two, but has good eyesight still, they say. I have not seen her
these forty years, and I thought I could not die in peace without." I
should have liked his picture painted as a companion-piece to that of
a boisterous little boy, whom I saw attempt to declaim at a school
exhibition--

  "O that those lips had language! Life has passed
  With me but roughly since I heard thee last."


He got but very little way before sudden tears shamed him from the
stage.

Some gleams of the same expression which shone down upon his infancy,
angelically pure and benign, visit Man again with hopes of pure love,
of a holy marriage. Or, if not before, in the eyes of the mother of
his child they again are seen, and dim fancies pass before his mind,
that Woman may not have been born for him alone, but have come from
heaven, a commissioned soul, a messenger of truth and love; that she
can only make for him a home in which he may lawfully repose, in so
far as she is

  "True to the kindred points of Heaven and home."


In gleams, in dim fancies, this thought visits the mind of common men.
It is soon obscured by the mists of sensuality, the dust of routine,
and he thinks it was only some meteor or ignis fatuus that shone. But,
as a Rosicrucian lamp, it burns unwearied, though condemned to the
solitude of tombs; and to its permanent life, as to every truth, each
age has in some form borne witness. For the truths, which visit the
minds of careless men only in fitful gleams, shine with radiant
clearness into those of the poet, the priest, and the artist.

Whatever may have been the domestic manners of the ancients, the idea
of Woman was nobly manifested in their mythologies and poems, whore
she appears as Site in the Ramayana, a form of tender purity; as the
Egyptian Isis, [Footnote: For an adequate description of the Isis, see
Appendix A.] of divine wisdom never yet surpassed. In Egypt, too, the
Sphynx, walking the earth with lion tread, looked out upon its marvels
in the calm, inscrutable beauty of a virgin's face, and the Greek
could only add wings to the great emblem. In Greece, Ceres and
Proserpine, significantly termed "the great goddesses," were seen
seated side by side. They needed not to rise for any worshipper or any
change; they were prepared for all things, as those initiated to their
mysteries knew. More obvious is the meaning of these three forms, the
Diana, Minerva, and Vesta. Unlike in the expression of their beauty,
but alike in this,--that each was self-sufficing. Other forms were
only accessories and illustrations, none the complement to one like
these. Another might, indeed, be the companion, and the Apollo and
Diana set off one another's beauty. Of the Vesta, it is to be
observed, that not only deep-eyed, deep-discerning Greece, but ruder
Rome, who represents the only form of good man (the always busy
warrior) that could be indifferent to Woman, confided the permanence
of its glory to a tutelary goddess, and her wisest legislator spoke of
meditation as a nymph.

Perhaps in Rome the neglect of Woman was a reaction on the manners of
Etruria, where the priestess Queen, warrior Queen, would seem to have
been so usual a character.

An instance of the noble Roman marriage, where the stern and calm
nobleness of the nation was common to both, we see in the historic
page through the little that is told us of Brutus and Portia.
Shakspeare has seized on the relation in its native lineaments,
harmonizing the particular with the universal; and, while it is
conjugal love, and no other, making it unlike the same relation as
seen in Cymbeline, or Othello, even as one star differeth from another
in glory.

      "By that great vow
  Which did incorporate and make us one,
  Unfold to me, yourself, your other half,
  Why you are heavy. ...
      Dwell I but in the suburbs
  Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
  Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife."


Mark the sad majesty of his tone in answer. Who would not have lent a
life-long credence to that voice of honor?

  "You are my true and honorable wife;
   As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
   That visit this sad heart."


It is the same voice that tells the moral of his life in the last
words--

        "Countrymen,
  My heart doth joy, that, yet in all my life,
  I found no man but he was true to me."


It was not wonderful that it should be so.

Shakspeare, however, was not content to let Portia rest her plea for
confidence on the essential nature of the marriage bond:

  "I grant I am a woman; but withal,
  A woman that lord Brutus took to wife.
  I grant I am a woman; but withal,
  A woman well reputed--Cato's daughter.
  Think you I am _no stronger than my sex_,
  Being so fathered and so husbanded?"


And afterward in the very scene where Brutus is suffering under that
"insupportable and touching loss," the death of his wife, Cassius
pleads--

    "Have you not love enough to bear with me,
    When that rash humor which my mother gave me
    Makes me forgetful?

  _Brutus_.--Yes, Cassius, and henceforth,
    When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
    He'll think your mother chides, and leaves you so."


As indeed it was a frequent belief among the ancients, as with our
Indians, that the _body_ was inherited from the mother, the
_soul_ from the father. As in that noble passage of Ovid, already
quoted, where Jupiter, as his divine synod are looking down on the
funeral pyre of Hercules, thus triumphs--

  "Neo nisi _materna_ Vulcanum parte potentem,
  Sentiet. Aeternum est, a me quod traxit, et expers
  Atque immune neois, nullaque domabile flamma
  Idque ego defunctum terra coelestibus oris
  Accipiam, cunctisque meum laetabile factum
  Dis fore confido.

  "The part alone of gross _maternal_ flame
  Fire shall devour; while that from me he drew
  Shall live immortal and its force renew;
  That, when he's dead, I'll raise to realms above;
  Let all the powers the righteous act approve."


It is indeed a god speaking of his union with an earthly Woman, but it
expresses the common Roman thought as to marriage,--the same which
permitted a man to lend his wife to a friend, as if she were a chattel

  "She dwelt but in the suburbs of his good pleasure."


Yet the same city, as I have said, leaned on the worship of Vesta, the
Preserver, and in later times was devoted to that of Isis. In Sparta,
thought, in this respect as in all others, was expressed in the
characters of real life, and the women of Sparta were as much Spartans
as the men. The "citoyen, citoyenne" of France was here actualized.
Was not the calm equality they enjoyed as honorable as the devotion of
chivalry? They intelligently shared the ideal life of their nation.

Like the men they felt:

    "Honor gone, all's gone:
  Better never have been born."


They were the true friends of men. The Spartan, surely, would not
think that he received only his body from his mother. The sage, had he
lived in that community, could not have thought the souls of "vain and
foppish men will be degraded after death to the forms of women; and,
if they do not then make great efforts to retrieve themselves, will
become birds."

(By the way, it is very expressive of the hard intellectuality of the
merely _mannish_ mind, to speak thus of birds, chosen always by
the _feminine_ poet as the symbols of his fairest thoughts.)

We are told of the Greek nations in general, that Woman occupied there
an infinitely lower place than Man. It is difficult to believe this,
when we see such range and dignity of thought on the subject in the
mythologies, and find the poets producing such ideals as Cassandra,
Iphigenia, Antigone, Macaria; where Sibylline priestesses told the
oracle of the highest god, and he could not be content to reign with
a, court of fewer than nine muses. Even Victory wore a female form.

But, whatever were the facts of daily life, I cannot complain of the
age and nation which represents its thought by such a symbol as I see
before me at this moment. It is a zodiac of the busts of gods and
goddesses, arranged in pairs. The circle breathes the music of a
heavenly order. Male and female heads are distinct in expression, but
equal in beauty, strength and calmness. Each male head is that of a
brother and a king,--each female of a sister and a queen. Could the
thought thus expressed be lived out, there would be nothing more to be
desired. There would be unison in variety, congeniality in difference.

Coming nearer our own time, we find religion and poetry no less true
in their revelations. The rude man, just disengaged from the sod, the
Adam, accuses Woman to his God, and records her disgrace to their
posterity. He is not ashamed to write that he could be drawn from
heaven by one beneath him,--one made, he says, from but a small part
of himself. But in the same nation, educated by time, instructed by a
succession of prophets, we find Woman in as high a position as she has
ever occupied, No figure that has ever arisen to greet our eyes has
been received with more fervent reverence than that of the Madonna.
Heine calls her the _Dame du Comptoir_ of the Catholic church,
and this jeer well expresses a serious truth.

And not only this holy and significant image was worshipped by the
pilgrim, and the favorite subject of the artist, but it exercised an
immediate influence on the destiny of the sex. The empresses who
embraced the cross converted sons and husbands. Whole calendars of
female saints, heroic dames of chivalry, binding the emblem of faith
on the heart of the best-beloved, and wasting the bloom of youth in
separation and loneliness, for the sake of duties they thought it
religion to assume, with innumerable forms of poesy, trace their
lineage to this one. Nor, however imperfect may be the action, in our
day, of the faith thus expressed, and though we can scarcely think it
nearer this ideal than that of India or Greece was near their ideal,
is it in vain that the truth has been recognized, that Woman is not
only a part of Man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, born
that men might not be lonely--but that women are in themselves
possessors of and possessed by immortal souls. This truth undoubtedly
received a greater outward stability from the belief of the church
that the earthly parent of the Saviour of souls was a woman.

The Assumption of the Virgin, as painted by sublime artists, as also
Petrarch's Hymn to the Madonna, [Footnote: Appendix B.] cannot have
spoken to the world wholly without result, yet oftentimes those who
had ears heard not.

See upon the nations the influence of this powerful example. In Spain
look only at the ballads. Woman in these is "very Woman;" she is the
betrothed, the bride, the spouse of Man; there is on her no hue of the
philosopher, the heroine, the savante, but she looks great and noble.
Why? Because she is also, through her deep devotion, the betrothed of
Heaven. Her upturned eyes have drawn down the light that casts a
radiance round her. See only such a ballad as that of "Lady Teresa's
Bridal," where the Infanta, given to the Moorish bridegroom, calls
down the vengeance of Heaven on his unhallowed passion, and thinks it
not too much to expiate by a life in the cloister the involuntary
stain upon her princely youth. [Footnote: Appendix C.] It was this
constant sense of claims above those of earthly love or happiness that
made the Spanish lady who shared this spirit a guerdon to be won by
toils and blood and constant purity, rather than a chattel to be
bought for pleasure and service.

Germany did hot need to _learn_ a high view of Woman; it was
inborn in that race. Woman was to the Teuton warrior his priestess,
his friend, his sister,--in truth, a wife. And the Christian statues
of noble pairs, as they lie above their graves in stone, expressing
the meaning of all the by-gone pilgrimage by hands folded in mutual
prayer, yield not a nobler sense of the place and powers of Woman than
belonged to the _altvater_ day. The holy love of Christ which
summoned them, also, to choose "the better part--that which could not
be taken from them," refined and hallowed in this nation a native
faith; thus showing that it was not the warlike spirit alone that left
the Latins so barbarous in this respect.

But the Germans, taking so kindly to this thought, did it the more
justice. The idea of Woman in their literature is expressed both to a
greater height and depth than elsewhere.

I will give as instances the themes of three ballads:

One is upon a knight who had always the name of the Virgin on his
lips. This protected him all his life through, in various and
beautiful modes, both from sin and other dangers; and, when he died, a
plant sprang from his grave, which so gently whispered the Ave Maria
that none could pass it by with an unpurified heart.

Another is one of the legends of the famous Drachenfels. A maiden, one
of the earliest converts to Christianity, was carried by the enraged
populace to this dread haunt of "the dragon's fabled brood," to be
their prey. She was left alone, but undismayed, for she knew in whom
she trusted. So, when the dragons came rushing towards her, she showed
them a crucifix and they crouched reverently at her feet. Next day the
people came, and, seeing these wonders, were all turned to the faith
which exalts the lowly.

The third I have in mind is another of the Rhine legends. A youth is
sitting with the maid he loves on the shore of an isle, her fairy
kingdom, then perfumed by the blossoming grape-vines which draped its
bowers. They are happy; all blossoms with them, and life promises its
richest vine. A boat approaches on the tide; it pauses at their foot.
It brings, perhaps, some joyous message, fresh dew for their flowers,
fresh light on the wave. No! it is the usual check on such great
happiness. The father of the count departs for the crusade; will his
son join him, or remain to rule their domain, and wed her he loves?
Neither of the affianced pair hesitates a moment. "I must go with my
father,"--"Thou must go with thy father." It was one thought, one
word. "I will be here again," he said, "when these blossoms have
turned to purple grapes." "I hope so," she sighed, while the prophetic
sense said "no."

And there she waited, and the grapes ripened, and were gathered into
the vintage, and he came not. Year after year passed thus, and no
tidings; yet still she waited.

He, meanwhile, was in a Moslem prison. Long he languished there
without hope, till, at last, his patron saint appeared in vision and
announced his release, but only on condition of his joining the
monastic order for the service of the saint.

And so his release was effected, and a safe voyage home given. And
once more he sets sail upon the Rhine. The maiden, still watching
beneath the vines, sees at last the object of all this patient love
approach--approach, but not to touch the strand to which she, with
outstretched arms, has rushed. He dares not trust himself to land, but
in low, heart-broken tones, tells her of Heaven's will; and that he,
in obedience to his vow, is now on his way to a convent on the
river-bank, there to pass the rest of his earthly life in the service
of the shrine. And then he turns his boat, and floats away from her
and hope of any happiness in this world, but urged, as he believes, by
the breath of Heaven.

The maiden stands appalled, but she dares not murmur, and cannot
hesitate long. She also bids them prepare her boat. She follows her
lost love to the convent gate, requests an interview with the abbot,
and devotes her Elysian isle, where vines had ripened their ruby fruit
in vain for her, to the service of the monastery where her love was to
serve. Then, passing over to the nunnery opposite, she takes the veil,
and meets her betrothed at the altar; and for a life-long union, if
not the one they had hoped in earlier years.

Is not this sorrowful story of a lofty beauty? Does it not show a
sufficiently high view of Woman, of Marriage? This is commonly the
chivalric, still more the German view.

Yet, wherever there was a balance in the mind of Man, of sentiment
with intellect, such a result was sure. The Greek Xenophon has not
only painted us a sweet picture of the domestic Woman, in his
Economics, but in the Cyropedia has given, in the picture of Panthea,
a view of Woman which no German picture can surpass, whether lonely
and quiet with veiled lids, the temple of a vestal loveliness, or with
eyes flashing, and hair flowing to the free wind, cheering on the hero
to fight for his God, his country, or whatever name his duty might
bear at the time. This picture I shall copy by and by. Yet Xenophon
grew up in the same age with him who makes Iphigenia say to Achilles,

  "Better a thousand women should perish than one man cease to see
   the light."


This was the vulgar Greek sentiment. Xenophon, aiming at the ideal
Man, caught glimpses of the ideal Woman also. From the figure of a
Cyrus the Pantheas stand not afar. They do not in thought; they would
not in life.

I could swell the catalogue of instances far beyond the reader's
patience. But enough have been brought forward to show that, though
there has been great disparity betwixt the nations as between
individuals in their culture on this point, yet the idea of Woman has
always cast some rays and often been forcibly represented.

Far less has Woman to complain that she has not had her share of
power. This, in all ranks of society, except the lowest, has been hers
to the extent that vanity would crave, far beyond what wisdom would
accept. In the very lowest, where Man, pressed by poverty, sees in
Woman only the partner of toils and cares, and cannot hope, scarcely
has an idea of, a comfortable home, he often maltreats her, and is
less influenced by her. In all ranks, those who are gentle and
uncomplaining, too candid to intrigue, too delicate to encroach,
suffer much. They suffer long, and are kind; verily, they have their
reward. But wherever Man is sufficiently raised above extreme poverty,
or brutal stupidity, to care for the comforts of the fireside, or the
bloom and ornament of life, Woman has always power enough, if she
choose to exert it, and is usually disposed to do so, in proportion to
her ignorance and childish vanity. Unacquainted with the importance of
life and its purposes, trained to a selfish coquetry and love of petty
power, she does not look beyond the pleasure of making herself felt at
the moment, and governments are shaken and commerce broken up to
gratify the pique of a female favorite. The English shopkeeper's wife
does not vote, but it is for her interest that the politician
canvasses by the coarsest flattery. France suffers no woman on her
throne, but her proud nobles kiss the dust at the feet of Pompadour
and Dubarry; for such flare in the lighted foreground where a Roland
would modestly aid in the closet. Spain (that same Spain which sang of
Ximena and the Lady Teresa) shuts up her women in the care of duennas,
and allows them no book but the breviary; but the ruin follows only
the more surely from the worthless favorite of a worthless queen.
Relying on mean precautions, men indeed cry peace, peace, where there
is no peace.

It is not the transient breath of poetic incense that women want; each
can receive that from a lover. It is not life-long sway; it needs but
to become a coquette, a shrew, or a good cook, to be sure of that. It
is not money, nor notoriety, nor the badges of authority which men
have appropriated to themselves. If demands, made in their behalf, lay
stress on any of these particulars, those who make them have not
searched deeply into the need. The want is for that which at once
includes these and precludes them; which would not be forbidden power,
lest there be temptation to steal and misuse it; which would not have
the mind perverted by flattery from a worthiness of esteem; it is for
that which is the birthright of every being capable of receiving
it,--the freedom, the religious, the intelligent freedom of the
universe to use its means, to learn its secret, as far as Nature has
enabled them, with God alone for their guide and their judge.

Ye cannot believe it, men; but the only reason why women over assume
what is more appropriate to you, is because you prevent them from
finding out what is fit for themselves. Were they free, were they wise
fully to develop the strength and beauty of Woman; they would never
wish to be men, or man-like. The well-instructed moon flies not from
her orbit to seize on the glories of her partner. No; for she knows
that one law rules, one heaven contains, one universe replies to them
alike. It is with women as with the slave:

  "Vor dem Sklaven, wenn er die Kette bricht,
   Vor dem frelen Menschen erzittert nicht."


Tremble not before the free man, but before the slave who has chains
to break.

In slavery, acknowledged slavery, women are on a par with men. Each is
a work-tool, an article of property, no more! In perfect freedom, such
as is painted in Olympus, in Swedenborg's angelic state, in the heaven
where there is no marrying nor giving in marriage, each is a purified
intelligence, an enfranchised soul,--no less.

    "Jene himmlische Gestalten
  Sie fragen nicht nach Mann und Welb,
    Und keine kielder, keine Falten
  Umgeben den verklarten Leib."


The child who song this was a prophetic form, expressive of the
longing for a state of perfect freedom, pure love. She could not
remain here, but was translated to another air. And it may be that the
air of this earth will never be so tempered that such can bear it
long. But, while they stay, they must bear testimony to the truth they
are constituted to demand.

That an era approaches which shall approximate nearer to such a temper
than any has yet done, there are many tokens; indeed, so many that
only a few of the most prominent can here be enumerated.

The reigns of Elizabeth of England and Isabella of Castile foreboded
this era. They expressed the beginning of the new state; while they
forwarded its progress. These were strong characters, and in harmony
with the wants of their time. One showed that this strength did not
unfit a woman for the duties of a wife and a mother; the other, that
it could enable her to live and die alone, a wide energetic life, a
courageous death. Elizabeth is certainly no pleasing example. In
rising above the weakness, she did not lay aside the foibles ascribed
to her sex; but her strength must be respected now, as it was in her
own time.

Mary Stuart and Elizabeth seem types, moulded by the spirit of the
time, and placed upon an elevated platform, to show to the coming ages
Woman such as the conduct and wishes of Man in general is likely to
make her. The first shows Woman lovely even to allurement; quick in
apprehension and weak in judgment; with grace and dignity of
sentiment, but no principle; credulous and indiscreet, yet artful;
capable of sudden greatness or of crime, but not of a steadfast
wisdom, nor self-restraining virtue. The second reveals Woman
half-emancipated and jealous of her freedom, such as she has figured
before or since in many a combative attitude, mannish, not equally
manly; strong and prudent more than great or wise; able to control
vanity, and the wish to rule through coquetry and passion, but not to
resign these dear deceits from the very foundation, as unworthy a
being capable of truth and nobleness. Elizabeth, taught by adversity,
put on her virtues as armor, more than produced them in a natural
order from her soul. The time and her position called on her to act
the wise sovereign, and she was proud that she could do so, but her
tastes and inclinations would have led her to act the weak woman. She
was without magnanimity of any kind.

We may accept as an omen for ourselves that it was Isabella who
furnished Columbus with the means of coming hither. This land must pay
back its debt to Woman, without whose aid it would not have been
brought into alliance with the civilized world.

A graceful and meaning figure is that introduced to us by Mr.
Prescott, in the Conquest of Mexico, in the Indian girl Marina, who
accompanied Cortez, and was his interpreter in all the various
difficulties of his career. She stood at his side, on the walls of the
besieged palace, to plead with her enraged countrymen. By her name he
was known in New Spain, and, after the conquest, her gentle
intercession was often of avail to the conquered. The poem of the
Future may be read in some features of the story of "Malinche."

The influence of Elizabeth on literature was real, though, by sympathy
with its finer productions, she was no more entitled to give name to
an era than Queen Anne. It was simply that the fact of having a female
sovereign on the throne affected the course of a writer's thoughts. In
this sense, the presence of a woman on the throne always makes its
mark. Life is lived before the eyes of men, by which their
imaginations are stimulated as to the possibilities of Woman. "We will
die for our king, Maria, Theresa," cry the wild warriors, clashing
their swords; and the sounds vibrate through the poems of that
generation. The range of female character in Spenser alone might
content us for one period. Britomart and Belphoebe have as much room
on the canvas as Florimel; and, where this is the case, the haughtiest
Amazon will not murmur that Una should be felt to be the fairest type.

Unlike as was the English queen to a fairy queen, we may yet conceive
that it was the image of a queen before the poet's mind that called up
this splendid court of women. Shakspeare's range is also great; but he
has left out the heroic characters, such as the Macaria of Greece, the
Britomart of Spenser. Ford and Massinger have, in this respect, soared
to a higher flight of feeling than he. It was the holy and heroic
Woman they most loved, and if they could not paint an Imogen, a
Desdemona, a Rosalind, yet, in those of a stronger mould, they showed
a higher ideal, though with so much less poetic power to embody it,
than we see in Portia or Isabella, the simple truth of Cordelia,
indeed, is of this sort. The beauty of Cordelia is neither male nor
female; it is the beauty of virtue.

The ideal of love and marriage rose high in the mind of all the
Christian nations who were capable of grave and deep feeling. We may
take as examples of its English aspect the lines,

  "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
     Loved I not honor more."


Or the address of the Commonwealth's man to his wife, as she looked
out from the Tower window to see him, for the last time, on his way to
the scaffold. He stood up in the cart, waved his hat, and cried, "To
Heaven, my love, to Heaven, and leave you in the storm!"

Such was the love of faith and honor,--a love which stopped, like
Colonel Hutchinson's, "on this side idolatry," because it was
religious. The meeting of two such souls Donne describes as giving
birth to an "abler soul."

Lord Herbert wrote to his love,

  "Were not our souls immortal made,
   Our equal loves can make them such."


In the "Broken Heart," of Ford, Penthea, a character which engages my
admiration even more deeply than the famous one of Calanthe, is made
to present to the mind the most beautiful picture of what these
relations should be in their purity. Her life cannot sustain the
violation of what she so clearly feels.

Shakspeare, too, saw that, in true love, as in fire, the utmost ardor
is coincident with the utmost purity. It is a true lover that exclaims
in the agony of Othello,

  "If thou art false, O then Heaven mocks Itself!"


The son, framed, like Hamlet, to appreciate truth in all the beauty of
relations, sinks into deep melancholy when he finds his natural
expectations disappointed. He has no other. She to whom he gave the
name, disgraces from his heart's shrine all the sex.

  "Frailty, thy name is Woman."


It is because a Hamlet could find cause to say so, that I have put the
line, whose stigma has never been removed, at the head of my work.
But, as a lover, surely Hamlet would not have so far mistaken, as to
have finished with such a conviction. He would have felt the faith of
Othello, and that faith could not, in his more dispassionate mind,
have been disturbed by calumny.

In Spain, this thought is arrayed in a sublimity which belongs to the
sombre and passionate genius of the nation. Calderon's Justina resists
all the temptation of the Demon, and raises her lover, with her, above
the sweet lures of mere temporal happiness. Their marriage is vowed at
the stake; their goals are liberated together by the martyr flame into
"a purer state of sensation and existence."

In Italy, the great poets wove into their lives an ideal love which
answered to the highest wants. It included those of the intellect and
the affections, for it was a love of spirit for spirit. It was not
ascetic, or superhuman, but, interpreting all things, gave their
proper beauty to details of the common life, the common day. The poet
spoke of his love, not as a flower to place in his bosom, or hold
carelessly in his hand, but as a light toward which he must find wings
to fly, or "a stair to heaven." He delighted to speak of her, not only
as the bride of his heart, but the mother of his soul; for he saw
that, in cases where the right direction had been taken, the greater
delicacy of her frame and stillness of her life left her more open
than is Man to spiritual influx. So he did not look upon her as
betwixt him and earth, to serve his temporal needs, but, rather,
betwixt him and heaven, to purify his affections and lead him to
wisdom through love. He sought, in her, not so much the Eve as the
Madonna.

In these minds the thought, which gleams through all the legends of
chivalry, shines in broad intellectual effulgence, not to be
misinterpreted; and their thought is reverenced by the world, though
it lies far from the practice of the world as yet,--so far that it
seems as though a gulf of death yawned between.

Even with such men the practice was, often, widely different from the
mental faith. I say mental; for if the heart were thoroughly alive
with it, the practice could not be dissonant. Lord Herbert's was a
marriage of convention, made for him at fifteen; he was not
discontented with it, but looked only to the advantages it brought of
perpetuating his family on the basis of a great fortune. He paid, in
act, what he considered a dutiful attention to the bond; his thoughts
travelled elsewhere; and while forming a high ideal of the
companionship of minds in marriage, he seems never to have doubted
that its realization must be postponed to some other state of being.
Dante, almost immediately after the death of Beatrice, married a lady
chosen for him by his friends, and Boccaccio, in describing the
miseries that attended, in this case,

  "The form of an union where union is none,"


speaks as if these were inevitable to the connection, and as if the
scholar and poet, especially, could expect nothing but misery and
obstruction in a domestic partnership with Woman.

Centuries have passed since, but civilized Europe is still in a
transition state about marriage; not only in practice but in thought.
It is idle to speak with contempt of the nations where polygamy is an
institution, or seraglios a custom, while practices far more debasing
haunt, well-nigh fill, every city and every town, and so far as union
of one with one is believed to be the only pure form of marriage, a
great majority of societies and individuals are still doubtful whether
the earthly bond must be a meeting of souls, or only supposes a
contract of convenience and utility. Were Woman established in the
rights of an immortal being, this could not be. She would not, in some
countries, be given away by her father, with scarcely more respect for
her feelings than is shown by the Indian chief, who sells his daughter
for a horse, and beats her if she runs away from her new home. Nor, in
societies where her choice is left free, would she be perverted, by
the current of opinion that seizes her, into the belief that she must
marry, if it be only to find a protector, and a home of her own.
Neither would Man, if he thought the connection of permanent
importance, form it so lightly. He would not deem it a trifle, that he
was to enter into the closest relations with another soul, which, if
not eternal in themselves, must eternally affect his growth. Neither,
did he believe Woman capable of friendship, [Footnote: See Appendix D,
Spinoza's view] would he, by rash haste, lose the chance of finding a
friend in the person who might, probably, live half a century by his
side. Did love, to his mind, stretch forth into infinity, he would not
miss his chance of its revelations, that he might the sooner rest from
his weariness by a bright fireside, and secure a sweet and graceful
attendant "devoted to him alone." Were he a step higher, he would not
carelessly enter into a relation where he might not be able to do the
duty of a friend, as well as a protector from external ill, to the
other party, and have a being in his power pining for sympathy,
intelligence and aid, that he could not give.

What deep communion, what real intercourse is implied in sharing the
joys and cares of parentage, when any degree of equality is admitted
between the parties! It is true that, in a majority of instances, the
man looks upon his wife as an adopted child, and places her to the
other children in the relation of nurse or governess, rather than that
of parent. Her influence with them is sure; but she misses the
education which should enlighten that influence, by being thus
treated. It is the order of nature that children should complete the
education, moral and mental, of parents, by making them think what is
needed for the best culture of human beings, and conquer all faults
and impulses that interfere with their giving this to these dear
objects, who represent the world to them. Father and mother should
assist one another to learn what is required for this sublime
priesthood of Nature. But, for this, a religious recognition of
equality is required.

Where this thought of equality begins to diffuse itself, it is shown
in four ways.

First;--The household partnership. In our country, the woman looks for
a "smart but kind" husband; the man for a "capable, sweet-tempered"
wife. The man furnishes the house; the woman regulates it. Their
relation is one of mutual esteem, mutual dependence. Their talk is of
business; their affection shows itself by practical kindness. They
know that life goes more smoothly and cheerfully to each for the
other's aid; they are grateful and content. The wife praises her
husband as a "good provider;" the husband, in return, compliments her
as a "capital housekeeper."   This relation is good so far as it goes.

Next comes a closer tie, which takes the form either of mutual
idolatry or of intellectual companionship. The first, we suppose, is
to no one a pleasing subject of contemplation. The parties weaken and
narrow one another; they lock the gate against all the glories of the
universe, that they may live in a cell together.  To themselves they
seem the only wise; to all others, steeped in infatuation; the gods
smile as they look forward to the crisis of cure; to men, the woman
seems an unlovely syren; to women, the man an effeminate boy.

The other form, of intellectual companionship, has become more and
more frequent. Men engaged in public life, literary men, and artists,
have often found in their wives companions and confidants in thought
no less than in feeling. And, as the intellectual development of Woman
has spread wider and risen higher, they have, not unfrequently, shared
the same employment; as in the case of Roland and his wife, who were
friends in the household and in the nation's councils, read, regulated
home affairs, or prepared public documents together, indifferently. It
is very pleasant, in letters begun by Roland and finished by his wife,
to see the harmony of mind, and the difference of nature; one thought,
but various ways of treating it.

This is one of the best instances of a marriage of friendship.    It
was only friendship, whose basis was esteem; probably neither party
knew love, except by name.   Roland was a good man, worthy to esteem,
and be esteemed; his wife as deserving of admiration as able to do
without it.

Madame Roland is the fairest specimen we yet have of her class; as
clear to discern her aim, as valiant to pursue it, as Spenser's
Britomart; austerely set apart from all that did not belong to her,
whether as Woman or as mind. She is an antetype of a class to which
the coming time will afford a field--the Spartan matron, brought by
the culture of the age of books to intellectual consciousness and
expansion. Self-sufficingness, strength, and clearsightedness were, in
her, combined with a power of deep and calm affection. She, too, would
have given a son or husband the device for his shield, "Return with it
or upon it;" and this, not because she loved little, but much. The
page of her life is one of unsullied dignity. Her appeal to posterity
is one against the injustice of those who committed such crimes in the
name of Liberty. She makes it in behalf of herself and her husband. I
would put beside it, on the shelf, a little volume, containing a
similar appeal from the verdict of contemporaries to that of mankind,
made by Godwin in behalf of his wife, the celebrated, the by most men
detested, Mary Wolstonecraft. In his view, it was an appeal from the
injustice of those who did such wrong in the name of virtue. Were this
little book interesting for no other cause, it would be so for the
generous affection evinced under the peculiar circumstances. This man
had courage to love and honor this woman in the face of the world's
sentence, and of all that was repulsive in her own past history. He
believed he saw of what soul she was, and that the impulses she had
struggled to act out were noble, though the opinions to which they had
led might not be thoroughly weighed. He loved her, and he defended her
for the meaning and tendency of her inner life. It was a good fact.

Mary Wolstonecraft, like Madame Dudevant (commonly known as George
Sand) in our day, was a woman whose existence better proved the need
of some new interpretation of Woman's Rights than anything she wrote.
Such beings as these, rich in genius, of most tender sympathies,
capable of high virtue and a chastened harmony, ought not to find
themselves, by birth, in a place so narrow, that, in breaking bonds,
they become outlaws. Were there as much room in the world for such, as
in Spenser's poem for Britomart, they would not run their heads so
wildly against the walls, but prize their shelter rather. They find
their way, at last, to light and air, but the world will not take off
the brand it has set upon them. The champion of the Rights of Woman
found, in Godwin, one who would plead that cause like a brother. He
who delineated with such purity of traits the form of Woman in the
Marguerite, of whom the weak St. Leon could never learn to be
worthy,--a pearl indeed whose price was above rubies,--was not false
in life to the faith by which he had hallowed his romance. He acted,
as he wrote, like a brother. This form of appeal rarely fails to touch
the basest man:--"Are you acting toward other women in the way you
would have men act towards your sister?" George Sand smokes, wears
male attire, wishes to be addressed as "Mon frere;"--perhaps, if she
found those who were as brothers indeed, she would not care whether
she were brother or sister. [Footnote: A note appended by my sister in
this place, in the first edition, is here omitted, because it is
incorporated in another article in this volume, treating of George
Sand more at length.--[ED.]] We rejoice to see that she, who expresses
such a painful contempt for men in most of her works, as shows she
must have known great wrong from them, depicts, in "La Roche Mauprat,"
a man raised by the workings of love from the depths of savage
sensualism to a moral and intellectual life. It was love for a pure
object, for a steadfast woman, one of those who, the Italian said,
could make the "stair to heaven."

This author, beginning like the many in assault upon bad institutions,
and external ills, yet deepening the experience through comparative
freedom, sees at last that the only efficient remedy must come from
individual character. These bad institutions, indeed, it may always be
replied, prevent individuals from forming good character, therefore we
must remove them. Agreed; yet keep steadily the higher aim in view.
Could you clear away all the bad forms of society, it is vain, unless
the individual begin to be ready for better. There must be a parallel
movement in these two branches of life. And all the rules left by
Moses availed less to further the best life than the living example of
one Messiah.

Still the mind of the age struggles confusedly with these problems,
better discerning as yet the ill it can no longer bear, than the good
by which it may supersede it. But women like Sand will speak now and
cannot be silenced; their characters and their eloquence alike
foretell an era when such as they shall easier learn to lead true
lives. But though such forebode, not such shall be parents of it.
[Footnote: Appendix E.] Those who would reform the world must show that
they do not speak in the heat of wild impulse; their lives must be
unstained by passionate error; they must be severe lawgivers to
themselves. They must be religious students of the divine purpose with
regard to man, if they would not confound the fancies of a day with
the requisitions of eternal good. Their liberty must be the liberty of
law and knowledge. But as to the transgressions against custom which
have caused such outcry against those of noble intention, it may be
observed that the resolve of Eloisa to be only the mistress of
Abelard, was that of one who saw in practice around her the contract
of marriage made the seal of degradation. Shelley feared not to be
fettered, unless so to be was to be false. Wherever abuses are seen,
the timid will suffer; the bold will protest. But society has a right
to outlaw them till she has revised her law; and this she must be
taught to do, by one who speaks with authority, not in anger or haste.

If Godwin's choice of the calumniated authoress of the "Rights of
Woman," for his honored wife, be a sign of a new era, no less so is an
article to which I have alluded some pages back, published five or six
years ago in one of the English Reviews, where the writer, in doing
fall justice to Eloisa, shows his bitter regret that she lives not now
to love him, who might have known bettor how to prize her love than
did the egotistical Abelard.

These marriages, these characters, with all their imperfections,
express an onward tendency. They speak of aspiration of soul, of
energy of mind, seeking clearness and freedom. Of a like promise are
the tracts lately published by Goodwyn Barmby (the European Pariah, as
he calls himself) and his wife Catharine. Whatever we may think of
their measures, we see in them wedlock; the two minds are wed by the
only contract that can permanently avail, that of a common faith and a
common purpose.

We might mention instances, nearer home, of minds, partners in work
and in life, sharing together, on equal terms, public and private
interests, and which wear not, on any side, the aspect of offence
shown by those last-named: persons who steer straight onward, yet, in
our comparatively free life, have not been obliged to run their heads
against any wall. But the principles which guide them might, under
petrified and oppressive institutions, have made them warlike,
paradoxical, and, in some sense, Pariahs. The phenomena are different,
the law is the same, in all these cases. Men and women have been
obliged to build up their house anew from the very foundation. If they
found stone ready in the quarry, they took it peaceably; otherwise
they alarmed the country by pulling down old towers to get materials.

These are all instances of marriage as intellectual companionship. The
parties meet mind to mind, and a mutual trust is produced, which can
buckler them against a million. They work together for a common,
purpose, and, in all these instances, with the same implement,--the
pen. The pen and the writing-desk furnish forth as naturally the
retirement of Woman as of Man.

A pleasing expression, in this kind, is afforded by the union in the
names of the Howitts. William and Mary Howitt we heard named together
for years, supposing them to be brother and sister; the equality of
labors and reputation, even so, was auspicious; more so, now we find
them man and wife. In his late work on Germany, Howitt mentions his
wife, with pride, as one among the constellation of distinguished
English-women, and in a graceful, simple manner. And still we
contemplate with pleasure the partnership in literature and affection
between the Howitts,--the congenial pursuits and productions--the
pedestrian tours wherein the married pair showed that marriage, on a
wide enough basis, does not destroy the "inexhaustible" entertainment
which lovers find in one another's company.

In naming these instances, I do not mean to imply that community of
employment is essential to the union of husband and wife, more than to
the union of friends. Harmony exists in difference, no less than in
likeness, if only the same key-note govern both parts. Woman the poem,
Man the poet! Woman the heart, Man the head! Such divisions are only
important when they are never to be transcended. If nature is never
bound down, nor the voice of inspiration stifled, that is enough. We
are pleased that women should write and speak, if they feel need of
it, from having something to tell; but silence for ages would be no
misfortune, if that silence be from divine command, and not from Man's
tradition.

While Goetz Von Berlichingen rides to battle, his wife is busy in the
kitchen; but difference of occupation does not prevent that community
of inward life, that perfect esteem, with which he says,

  "Whom God loves, to him gives he such a wife."


Manzoni thus dedicates his "Adelchi."

"To his beloved and venerated wife, Enrichetta Luigia Blondel, who,
with conjugal affection and maternal wisdom, has preserved a virgin
mind, the author dedicates this 'Adelchi,' grieving that he could not,
by a more splendid and more durable monument, honor the dear name, and
the memory of so many virtues."

The relation could not be fairer, nor more equal, if she, too, had
written poems. Yet the position of the parties might have been the
reverse as well; the Woman might have sung the deeds, given voice to
the life of the Man, and beauty would have been the result; as we see,
in pictures of Arcadia, the nymph singing to the shepherds, or the
shepherd, with his pipe, alluring the nymphs; either makes a good
picture. The sounding lyre requires not muscular strength, but energy
of soul to animate the hand which would control it. Nature seems to
delight in varying the arrangements, as if to show that she will be
fettered by no rule; and we must admit the same varieties that she
admits.

The fourth and highest grade of marriage union is the religious, which
may be expressed as pilgrimage toward a common shrine. This includes
the others: home sympathies and household wisdom, for these pilgrims
must know how to assist each other along the dusty way; intellectual
communion, for how sad it would be on such a journey to have a
companion to whom you could not communicate your thoughts and
aspirations as they sprang to life; who would have no feeling for the
prospects that open, more and more glorious as we advance; who would
never see the flowers that may be gathered by the most industrious
traveller! It must include all these.

Such a fellow-pilgrim Count Zinzendorf seems to have found in his
countess, of whom he thus writes:

"Twenty-five years' experience has shown me that just the help-meet
whom I have is the only one that could suit my vocation. Who else
could have so carried through my family affairs? Who lived so
spotlessly before the world? Who so wisely aided me in my rejection of
a dry morality? Who so clearly set aside the Pharisaism which, as
years passed, threatened to creep in among us? Who so deeply discerned
as to the spirits of delusion which sought to bewilder us? Who would
have governed my whole economy so wisely, richly and hospitably, when
circumstances commanded? Who have taken indifferently the part of
servant or mistress, without, on the one side, affecting an especial
spirituality; on the other, being sullied by any worldly pride? Who,
in a community where all ranks are eager to be on a level, would, from
wise and real causes, have known how to maintain inward and outward
distinctions? Who, without a murmur, have seen her husband encounter
such dangers by land and sea? Who undertaken with him, and
_sustained_, such astonishing pilgrimages? Who, amid such
difficulties, would have always held up her head and supported me? Who
found such vast sums of money, and acquitted them on her own credit?
And, finally, who, of all human beings, could so well understand and
interpret to others my inner and outer being as this one, of such
nobleness in her way of thinking, such great intellectual capacity,
and so free from the theological perplexities that enveloped me!"

Let any one peruse, with all intentness, the lineaments of this
portrait, and see if the husband had not reason, with this air of
solemn rapture and conviction, to challenge comparison? We are
reminded of the majestic cadence of the line whose feet stop in the
just proportion of Humanity,

  "Daughter of God and Mati, accomplished Eve!"


An observer [Footnote: Spangenberg] adds this testimony:

"We may, in many marriages, regard it as the best arrangement, if the
man has so much advantage over his wife, that she can, without much
thought of her own, be led and directed by him as by a father. But it
was not so with the count and his consort. She was not made to be a
copy; she was an original; and, while she loved and honored him, she
thought for herself, on all subjects, with so much intelligence, that
he could and did look on her as a sister and friend also."

Compare with this refined specimen of a religiously civilized life the
following imperfect sketch of a North American Indian, and we shall
see that the same causes will always produce the same results, The
Flying Pigeon (Ratchewaine) was the wife of a barbarous chief, who had
six others; but she was his only true wife, because the only one of a
strong and pure character, and, having this, inspired a veneration, as
like as the mind of the man permitted to that inspired by the Countess
Zinzendorf. She died when her son was only four years old, yet left on
his mind a feeling of reverent love worthy the thought of Christian
chivalry. Grown to manhood, he shed tears on seeing her portrait.


THE FLYING PIGEON.

"Ratchewaine was chaste, mild, gentle in her disposition, kind,
generous, and devoted to her husband. A harsh word was never known to
proceed from her mouth; nor was she ever known to be in a passion.
Mabaskah used to say of her, after her death, that her hand was shut
when those who did not want came into her presence; but when the
really poor came in, it was like a strainer full of holes, letting all
she held in it pass through. In the exercise of generous feeling she
was uniform, It was not indebted for its exercise to whim, nor
caprice, nor partiality. No matter of what nation the applicant for
her bounty was, or whether at war or peace with her nation; if he were
hungry, she fed him; if naked, she clothed him; and, if houseless, she
gave him shelter. The continued exercise of this generous feeling kept
her poor. And she has been known to give away her last blanket--all
the honey that was in the lodge, the last bladder of bear's oil, and
the last piece of dried meat.

"She was scrupulously exact in the observance of all the religious
rites which her faith imposed upon her. Her conscience is represented
to have been extremely tender. She often feared that her acts were
displeasing to the Great Spirit, when she would blacken her face, and
retire to some lone place, and fast and pray."

To these traits should be added, but for want of room, anecdotes which
show the quick decision and vivacity of her mind. Her face was in
harmony with this combination. Her brow is as ideal and the eyes and
lids as devout and modest as the Italian picture of the Madonna, while
the lower part of the face has the simplicity and childish strength of
the Indian race. Her picture presents the finest specimen of Indian
beauty we have ever seen. Such a Woman is the sister and friend of all
beings, as the worthy Man is their brother and helper.

With like pleasure we survey the pairs wedded on the eve of missionary
effort They, indeed, are fellow-pilgrims on the well-made road, and
whether or no they accomplish all they hope for the sad Hindoo, or the
nearer savage, we feel that in the burning waste their love is like to
be a healing dew, in the forlorn jungle a tent of solace to one
another. They meet, as children of one Father, to read together one
book of instruction.

We must insert in this connection the most beautiful picture presented
by ancient literature of wedded love under this noble form.

It is from the romance in which Xenophon, the chivalrous Greek,
presents his ideal of what human nature should be.

The generals of Cyrus had taken captive a princess, a woman of
unequalled beauty, and hastened to present her to the prince as that
part of the spoil he would think most worthy of his acceptance. Cyrus
visits the lady, and is filled with immediate admiration by the
modesty and majesty with which she receives him. He finds her name is
Panthea, and that she is the wife of Abradatus, a young king whom she
entirely loves. He protects her as a sister, in his camp, till he can
restore her to her husband.

After the first transports of joy at this reunion, the heart of
Panthea is bent on showing her love and gratitude to her magnanimous
and delicate protector. And as she has nothing so precious to give as
the aid of Abradatus, that is what she most wishes to offer. Her
husband is of one soul with her in this, as in all things.

The description of her grief and self-destruction, after the death
which ensued upon this devotion, I have seen quoted, but never that of
their parting when she sends him forth to battle. I shall copy both.
If they have been read by any of my readers, they may be so again with
profit in this connection, for never were the heroism of a true Woman,
and the purity of love in a true marriage, painted in colors more
delicate and more lively.

"The chariot of Abradatus, that had four perches and eight horses, was
completely adorned for him; and when he was going to put on his linen
corslet, which was a sort of armor used by those of his country,
Panthea brought him a golden helmet, and arm-pieces, broad bracelets
for his wrists, a purple habit that reached down to his feet, and
hung in folds at the bottom, and a crest dyed of a violet color. These
things she had made, unknown to her husband, and by taking the measure
of his armor. He wondered when he saw them, and inquired thus of
Panthea: 'And have you made me these arms, woman, by destroying your
own ornaments?' 'No, by Jove!' said Panthea, 'not what is the most
valuable of them; for it is you, if you appear to others to be what I
think you, that will be my greatest ornament.' And, saying that, she
put on him the armor, and, though she endeavored to conceal it, the
tears poured down her checks. When Abradatus, who was before a man of
fine appearance, was set out in those arms, he appeared the most
beautiful and noble of all, especially being likewise so by nature.
Then, taking the reins from the driver, he was just preparing to mount
the chariot, when Panthea, after she had desired all that were there
to retire, thus said:

"'O Abradatus! if ever there was a woman who had a greater regard to
her husband than to her own soul, I believe you know that I am such an
one; what need I therefore speak of things in particular? for I reckon
that my actions have convinced you more than any words I can now use.
And yet, though I stand thus affected toward you, as you know I do, I
swear, by this friendship of mine and yours, that I certainly would
rather choose to be put under ground jointly with you, approving
yourself a brave man, than to live with you in disgrace and shame; so
much do I think you and myself worthy of the noblest things. Then I
think that we both lie under great obligations to Cyrus, that, when I
was a captive, and chosen out for himself, he thought fit to treat me
neither as a slave, nor, indeed, as a woman of mean account, but he
took and kept me for you, as if I were his brother's wife. Besides,
when Araspes, who was my guard, went away from him, I promised him,
that, if he would allow me to send for you, you would come to him, and
approve yourself a much better and move faithful friend than Araspes.'

"Thus she spoke; and Abradatus, being struck with admiration at her
discourse, laying, his hand gently on her head, and lifting up his
eyes to heaven, made this prayer: 'Do thou, O greatest Jove! I grant
me to appear a husband worthy of Panthea, and a friend worthy of
Cyrus, who has done us so much honor!'

"Having said this, he mounted the chariot by the door of the driver's
seat; and, after he had got up, when the driver shut the door,
Panthea, who had now no other way to salute him, kissed the seat of
the chariot. The chariot then moved, and she, unknown to him,
followed, till Abradatus turning about, and seeing her, said: 'Take
courage, Panthea! Fare you happily and well, and now go your ways.' On
this her women and servants carried her to her conveyance, and, laying
her down, concealed her by throwing the covering of a tent over her.
The people, though Abradatus and his chariot made a noble spectacle,
were not able to look at him till Panthea was gone."

After the battle--

"Cyrus calling to some of his servants, 'Tell me, said he, 'has any
one seen Abradatus? for I admire that he now does not appear.' One
replied, 'My sovereign, it is because he is not living, but died in
the battle as he broke in with his chariot on the Egyptians. All the
rest, except his particular companions, they say, turned off when they
saw the Egyptians' compact body. His wife is now said to have taken up
his dead body, to have placed it in the carriage that she herself was
conveyed in, and to have brought it hither to some place on the river
Pactolus, and her servants are digging a grave on a certain elevation.
They say that his wife, after setting him out with all the ornaments
she has, is sitting on the ground with his head on her knees.' Cyrus,
hearing this, gave himself a blow on the thigh, mounted his horse at a
leap, and, taking with him a thousand horse, rode away to this scene
of affliction; but gave orders to Gadatas and Gobryas to take with
them all the rich ornaments proper for a friend and an excellent man
deceased, and to follow after him; and whoever had herds of cattle
with him, he ordered them to take both oxen, and horses, and sheep in
good number, and to bring them away to the place where, by inquiry,
they should find him to be, that he might sacrifice these to
Abradatus.

"As soon as he saw the woman sitting on the ground, and the dead body
there lying, he shed tears at the afflicting sight, and said: 'Alas!
thou brave and faithful soul, hast thou left us, and art thou gone?'
At the same time he took him by the right hand, and the hand of the
deceased came away, for it had been cut off with a sword by the
Egyptians.   He, at the sight of this, became yet much more concerned
than before.    The woman shrieked out in a lamentable manner, and,
taking the hand from Cyrus, kissed it, fitted it to its proper place
again, as well as she could, and said: 'The rest, Cyrus, is in the
same condition, but what need you see it? And I know that I was not
one of the least concerned in these his sufferings, and, perhaps, you
were not less so; for I, fool that I was! frequently exhorted him to
behave in such a manner as to appear a friend to you, worthy of
notice; and I know he never thought of what he himself should suffer,
but of what he should do to please you. He is dead, therefore,' said
she, 'without reproach, and I, who urged him on, sit here alive.'
Cyrus, shedding tears for some time in silence, then spoke:--'He has
died, woman, the noblest death; for he has died victorious! Do you
adorn him with these things that I furnish you with.'   (Gobryas and
Gadatas were then come up, and had brought rich ornaments in great
abundance with them.)   'Then,' said he, 'be assured that he shall not
want respect and honor in all other things; but, over and above,
multitudes shall concur in raising him a monument that shall be worthy
of us, and all the sacrifices shall be made him that are proper to be
made in honor of a brave man.   You shall not be left destitute, but,
for the sake of your modesty and every other virtue, I will pay you
all other honors, as well as place those about you who will conduct
you wherever you please. Do you but make it known to me where it is
that you desire to be conveyed to.' And Panthea replied: 'Be
confident, Cyrus, I will not conceal from you to whom it is that I
desire to go.'

"He, having said this, went away with great pity for her that she
should have lost such a husband, and for the man that he should have
left such a wife behind him, never to see her more. Panthea then gave
orders for her servants to retire, 'till such time,' said she, 'as I
shall have lamented my husband as I please.' Her nurse she bid to
stay, and gave orders that, when she was dead, she would wrap her and
her husband up in one mantle together. The nurse, after having
repeatedly begged her not to do this, and meeting with no success, but
observing her to grow angry, sat herself down, breaking out into
tears. She, being beforehand provided with a sword, killed herself,
and, laying her head down on her husband's breast, she died. The nurse
set up a lamentable cry, and covered them both, as Panthea had
directed.

"Cyrus, as soon as he was informed of what the woman had done, being
struck with it, went to help her if he could. The servants, three in
number, seeing what had been done, drew their swords and killed
themselves, as they stood at the place where she bad ordered them. And
the monument is now said to have been raised by continuing the mound
on to the servants; and on a pillar above, they say, the names of the
man and woman were written in Syriac letters.

"Below were three pillars, and they were inscribed thus, 'Of the
servants.' Cyrus, when he came to this melancholy scene, was struck
with admiration of the woman, and, having lamented over her, went
away. He took care, as was proper, that all the funeral rites should
be paid them in the noblest manner, and the monument, they say, was
raised up to a very great size."

     *       *       *       *       *

These be the ancients, who, so many assert, had no idea of the dignity
of Woman, or of marriage. Such love Xenophon could paint as subsisting
between those who after death "would see one another never more."
Thousands of years have passed since, and with the reception of the
Cross, the nations assume the belief that those who part thus may meet
again and forever, if spiritually fitted to one another, as Abradatus
and Panthea were, and yet do we see such marriages among them? If at
all, how often?

I must quote two more short passages from Xenophon, for he is a writer
who pleases me well.

Cyrus, receiving the Armenians whom he had conquered--

"'Tigranes,' said he, 'at what rate would you purchase the regaining
of your wife?' Now Tigranes happened to be _but lately married_,
and had a very great love for his wife." (That clause perhaps sounds
_modern_.)

"'Cyrus,' said he, 'I would ransom her at the expense of my life.'

"'Take then your own to yourself,' said he. ...

"When they came home, one talked of Cyrus' wisdom, another of his
patience and resolution, another of his mildness. One spoke of his
beauty and smallness of his person, and, on that, Tigranes asked his
wife, 'And do you, Armenian dame, think Cyrus handsome?' 'Truly,' said
she, 'I did not look at him.' 'At whom, then, _did_ you look?'
said Tigranes. 'At him who said that, to save me from servitude, he
would ransom me at the expense of his own life.'"

From the Banquet.--

"Socrates, who observed her with pleasure, said, 'This young girl has
confirmed me in the opinion I have had, for a long time, that the
female sex are nothing inferior to ours, excepting only in strength of
body, or, perhaps, his steadiness of judgment.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

In the Economics, the manner in which the husband gives counsel to his
young wife presents the model of politeness and refinement. Xenophon
is thoroughly the gentleman; gentle in breeding and in soul. All the
men he describes are so, while the shades of manner are distinctly
marked. There is the serene dignity of Socrates, with gleams of
playfulness thrown across its cool, religious shades, the princely
mildness of Cyrus, and the more domestic elegance of the husband in
the Economics.

There is no way that men sin more against refinement, as well as
discretion, than in their conduct toward their wives. Let them look at
the men of Xenophon. Such would know how to give counsel, for they
would know how to receive it. They would feel that the most intimate
relations claimed most, not least, of refined courtesy. They would not
suppose that confidence justified carelessness, nor the reality of
affection want of delicacy in the expression of it.

Such men would be too wise to hide their affairs from the wife, and
then expect her to act as if she knew them. They would know that, if
she is expected to face calamity with courage, she must be instructed
and trusted in prosperity, or, if they had failed in wise confidence,
such as the husband shows in the Economics, they would be ashamed of
anger or querulous surprise at the results that naturally follow.

Such men would not be exposed to the bad influence of bad wives; for
all wives, bad or good, loved or unloved, inevitably influence their
husbands, from the power their position not merely gives, but
necessitates, of coloring evidence and infusing feelings in hours when
the--patient, shall I call him?--is off his guard. Those who
understand the wife's mind, and think it worth while to respect her
springs of action, know bettor where they are. But to the bad or
thoughtless man, who lives carelessly and irreverently so near another
mind, the wrong he does daily back upon himself recoils. A Cyrus, an
Abradatus, knows where he stands.

       *       *       *       *       *

But to return to the thread of my subject.

Another sign of the times is furnished by the triumphs of Female
Authorship. These have been great, and are constantly increasing.
Women have taken possession of so many provinces for which men had
pronounced them unfit, that, though these still declare there are some
inaccessible to them, it is difficult to say just _where_ they
must stop.

The shining names of famous women have cast light upon the path of the
sex, and many obstructions have been removed. When a Montague could
learn better than her brother, and use her lore afterwards to such
purpose as an observer, it seemed amiss to hinder women from preparing
themselves to see, or from seeing all they could, when prepared. Since
Somerville has achieved so much, will any young girl be prevented from
seeking a knowledge of the physical sciences, if she wishes it? De
Stael's name was not so clear of offence; she could not forget the
Woman in the thought; while she was instructing you as a mind, she
wished to be admired as a Woman; sentimental tears often dimmed the
eagle glance. Her intellect, too, with all its splendor, trained in a
drawing-room, fed on flattery, was tainted and flawed; yet its beams
make the obscurest school-house in New England warmer and lighter to
the little rugged girls who are gathered together on its wooden bench.
They may never through life hear her name, but she is not the less
their benefactress.

The influence has been such, that the aim certainly is, now, in
arranging school instruction for girls, to give them as fair a field
as boys. As yet, indeed, these arrangements are made with little
judgment or reflection; just as the tutors of Lady Jane Grey, and
other distinguished women of her time, taught them Latin and Greek,
because they knew nothing else themselves, so now the improvement in
the education of girls is to be made by giving them young men as
teachers, who only teach what has been taught themselves at college,
while methods and topics need revision for these new subjects, which
could better be made by those who had experienced the same wants.
Women are, often, at the head of these institutions; but they have, as
yet, seldom been thinking women, capable of organizing a new whole for
the wants of the time, and choosing persons to officiate in the
departments. And when some portion of instruction of a good sort is
got from the school, the far greater proportion which is infused from
the general atmosphere of society contradicts its purport. Yet books
and a little elementary instruction are not furnished in vain. Women
are better aware how great and rich the universe is, not so easily
blinded by narrowness or partial views of a home circle. "Her mother
did so before her" is no longer a sufficient excuse. Indeed, it was
never received as an excuse to mitigate the severity of censure, but
was adduced as a reason, rather, why there should be no effort made
for reformation.

Whether much or little has been done, or will be done,--whether women
will add to the talent of narration the power of systematizing,--whether
they  will carve marble, as well as draw and paint,--is not important.
But that it should be acknowledged that they have intellect which needs
developing--that they should not be considered complete, if beings of
affection and habit alone--is important.

Yet even this acknowledgment, rather conquered by Woman than proffered
by Man, has been sullied by the usual selfishness. Too much is said of
women being better educated, that they may become better companions
and mothers _for_ men. They should be fit for such companionship,
and we have mentioned, with satisfaction, instances where it has been
established. Earth knows no fairer, holier relation than that of a
mother. It is one which, rightly understood, must both promote and
require the highest attainments. But a being of infinite scope must
not be treated with an exclusive view to any one relation. Give the
soul free course, let the organization, both of body and mind, be
freely developed, and the being will be fit for any and every relation
to which it may be called. The intellect, no more than the sense of
hearing, is to be cultivated merely that Woman may be a more valuable
companion to Man, but because the Power who gave a power, by its mere
existence signifies that it must be brought out toward perfection.

In this regard of self-dependence, and a greater simplicity and
fulness of being, we must hail as a preliminary the increase of the
class contemptuously designated as "old maids."

We cannot wonder at the aversion with which old bachelors and old
maids have been regarded. Marriage is the natural means of forming a
sphere, of taking root in the earth; it requires more strength to do
this without such an opening; very many have failed, and their
imperfections have been in every one's way. They have been more
partial, more harsh, more officious and impertinent, than those
compelled by severer friction to render themselves endurable. Those
who have a more full experience of the instincts have a distrust as to
whether the unmarried can be thoroughly human and humane, such as is
hinted in the saying, "Old-maids' and bachelors' children are well
cared for," which derides at once their ignorance and their
presumption.

Yet the business of society has become so complex, that it could now
scarcely be carried on without the presence of these despised
auxiliaries; and detachments from the army of aunts and uncles are
wanted to stop gaps in every hedge. They rove about, mental and moral
Ishmaelites, pitching their tents amid the fixed and ornamented homes
of men.

In a striking variety of forms, genius of late, both at home and
abroad, has paid its tribute to the character of the Aunt and the
Uncle, recognizing in these personages the spiritual parents, who have
supplied defects in the treatment of the busy or careless actual
parents.

They also gain a wider, if not so deep experience. Those who are not
intimately and permanently linked with others, are thrown upon
themselves; and, if they do not there find peace and incessant life,
there is none to flatter them that they are not very poor, and very
mean.

A position which so constantly admonishes, may be of inestimable
benefit. The person may gain, undistracted by other relationships, a
closer communion with the one. Such a use is made of it by saints and
sibyls. Or she may be one of the lay sisters of charity, a canoness,
bound by an inward vow,--or the useful drudge of all men, the Martha,
much sought, little prized,--or the intellectual interpreter of the
varied life she sees; the Urania of a half-formed world's twilight.

Or she may combine all these. Not needing to care that she may please
a husband, a frail and limited being, her thoughts may turn to the
centre, and she may, by steadfast contemplation entering into the
secret of truth and love, use it for the good of all men, instead of a
chosen few, and interpret through it all the forms of life. It is
possible, perhaps, to be at once a priestly servant and a loving muse.

Saints and geniuses have often chosen a lonely position, in the faith
that if, undisturbed by the pressure of near ties, they would give
themselves up to the inspiring spirit, it would enable them to
understand and reproduce life better than actual experience could.

How many "old maids" take this high stand we cannot say: it is an
unhappy fact that too many who have come before the eye are gossips
rather, and not always good-natured gossips. But if these abuse, and
none make the best of their vocation, yet it has not failed to produce
some good results. It has been seen by others, if not by themselves,
that beings, likely to be left alone, need to be fortified and
furnished within themselves; and education and thought have tended
more and more to regard these beings as related to absolute Being, as
well as to others. It has been seen that, as the breaking of no bond
ought to destroy a man, so ought the missing of none to hinder him
from growing. And thus a circumstance of the time, which springs
rather from its luxury than its purity, has helped to place women on
the true platform.

Perhaps the next generation, looking deeper into this matter, will
find that contempt is put upon old maids, or old women, at all, merely
because they do not use the elixir which would keep them always young.
Under its influence, a gem brightens yearly which is only seen to more
advantage through the fissures Time makes in the casket. [Footnote:
Appendix F.] No one thinks of Michael Angelo's Persican Sibyl, or St.
Theresa, or Tasso's Leonora, or the Greek Electra, as an old maid,
more than of Michael Angelo or Canova as old bachelors, though all had
reached the period in life's course appointed to take that degree.

See a common woman at forty; scarcely has she the remains of beauty,
of any soft poetic grace which gave her attraction as Woman, which
kindled the hearts of those who looked on her to sparkling thoughts,
or diffused round her a roseate air of gentle love. See her, who was,
indeed, a lovely girl, in the coarse, full-blown dahlia flower of what
is commonly matron-beauty, "fat, fair, and forty," showily dressed,
and with manners as broad and full as her frill or satin cloak. People
observe, "How well she is preserved!" "She is a fine woman still,"
they say. This woman, whether as a duchess in diamonds, or one of our
city dames in mosaics, charms the poet's heart no more, and would look
much out of place kneeling before the Madonna. She "does well the
honors of her house,"--"leads society,"--is, in short, always spoken
and thought of upholstery-wise.

Or see that care-worn face, from which every soft line is
blotted,--those faded eyes, from which lonely tears have driven the
flashes of fancy, the mild white beam of a tender enthusiasm. This
woman is not so ornamental to a tea-party; yet she would please
better, in picture. Yet surely she, no more than the other, looks as a
human being should at the end of forty years. Forty years! have they
bound those brows with no garland? shed in the lamp no drop of
ambrosial oil?

Not so looked the Iphigenia in Aulis. Her forty years had seen her in
anguish, in sacrifice, in utter loneliness. But those pains were borne
for her father and her country; the sacrifice she had made pure for
herself and those around her. Wandering alone at night in the vestal
solitude of her imprisoning grove, she has looked up through its
"living summits" to the stars, which shed down into her aspect their
own lofty melody. At forty she would not misbecome the marble.

Not so looks the Persica. She is withered; she is faded; the drapery
that enfolds her has in its dignity an angularity, too, that tells of
age, of sorrow, of a stern resignation to the _must_. But her
eye, that torch of the soul, is untamed, and, in the intensity of her
reading, we see a soul invincibly young in faith and hope. Her age is
her charm, for it is the night of the past that gives this beacon-fire
leave to shine. Wither more and more, black Chrysalid! thou dost but
give the winged beauty time to mature its splendors!

Not so looked Victoria Colonna, after her life of a great hope, and of
true conjugal fidelity. She had been, not merely a bride, but a wife,
and each hour had helped to plume the noble bird. A coronet of pearls
will not shame her brow; it is white and ample, a worthy altar for
love and thought.

Even among the North American Indians, a race of men as completely
engaged in mere instinctive life as almost any in the world, and where
each chief, keeping many wives as useful servants, of course looks
with no kind eye on celibacy in Woman, it was excused in the following
instance mentioned by Mrs. Jameson. A woman dreamt in youth that she
was betrothed to the Sun. She built her a wigwam apart, filled it with
emblems of her alliance, and means of on independent life. There she
passed her days, sustained by her own exertions, and true to her
supposed engagement.

In any tribe, we believe, a woman, who lived as if she was betrothed
to the Sun, would be tolerated, and the rays which made her youth
blossom sweetly, would crown her with a halo in age.

There is, on this subject, a nobler view than heretofore, if not the
noblest, and improvement here must coincide with that in the view
taken of marriage. "We must have units before we can have union," says
one of the ripe thinkers of the times.

If larger intellectual resources begin to be deemed needful to Woman,
still more is a spiritual dignity in her, or even the mere assumption
of it, looked upon with respect. Joanna Southcote and Mother Anne Lee
are sure of a band of disciples; Ecstatica, Dolorosa, of enraptured
believers who will visit them in their lowly huts, and wait for days
to revere them in their trances. The foreign noble traverses land and
sea to hear a few words from the lips of the lowly peasant girl, whom
he believes especially visited by the Most High. Very beautiful, in
this way, was the influence of the invalid of St. Petersburg, as
described by De Maistre.

Mysticism, which may be defined as the brooding soul of the world,
cannot fail of its oracular promise as to Woman. "The mothers," "The
mother of all things," are expressions of thought which lead the mind
towards this side of universal growth. Whenever a mystical whisper was
heard, from Behmen down to St. Simon, sprang up the thought, that, if
it be true, as the legend says, that Humanity withers through a fault
committed by and a curse laid upon Woman, through her pure child, or
influence, shall the new Adam, the redemption, arise. Innocence is to
be replaced by virtue, dependence by a willing submission, in the
heart of the Virgin-Mother of the new race.

The spiritual tendency is toward the elevation of Woman, but the
intellectual by itself is not so. Plato sometimes seems penetrated by
that high idea of love, which considers Man and Woman as the two-fold
expression of one thought. This the angel of Swedenborg, the angel of
the coming age, cannot surpass, but only explain more fully. But then
again Plato, the man of intellect, treats Woman in the Republic as
property, and, in the Timaeus, says that Man, if he misuse the
privileges of one life, shall be degraded into the form of Woman; and
then, if ho do not redeem himself, into that of a bird. This, as I
said above, expresses most happily how antipoetical is this state of
mind. For the poet, contemplating the world of things, selects various
birds as the symbols of his most gracious and ethereal thoughts, just
as he calls upon his genius as muse rather than as God. But the
intellect, cold, is ever more masculine than feminine; warmed by
emotion, it rushes toward mother-earth, and puts on the forms of
beauty.

The electrical, the magnetic element in Woman has not been fairly
brought out at any period. Everything might be expected from it; she
has far more of it than Man. This is commonly expressed by saying that
her intuitions are more rapid and more correct. You will often see men
of high intellect absolutely stupid in regard to the atmospheric
changes, the fine invisible links which connect the forms of life
around them, while common women, if pure and modest, so that a vulgar
self do not overshadow the mental eye, will seize and delineate these
with unerring discrimination.

Women who combine this organization with creative genius are very
commonly unhappy at present. They see too much to act in conformity
with those around them, and their quick impulses seem folly to those
who do not discern the motives. This is an usual effect of the
apparition of genius, whether in Man or Woman, but is more frequent
with regard to the latter, because a harmony, an obvious order and
self-restraining decorum, is most expected from her.

Then women of genius, even more than men, are likely to be enslaved by
an impassioned sensibility. The world repels them more rudely, and
they are of weaker bodily frame.

Those who seem overladen with electricity frighten those around them.
"When she merely enters the room, I am what the French call
_herisse_," said a man of petty feelings and worldly character of
such a woman, whose depth of eye and powerful motion announced the
conductor of the mysterious fluid.

Woe to such a woman who finds herself linked to such a man in bonds
too close! It is the crudest of errors. He will detest her with all
the bitterness of wounded self-love. He will take the whole prejudice
of manhood upon himself, and, to the utmost of his power, imprison and
torture her by its imperious rigors.

Yet, allow room enough, and the electric fluid will be found to
invigorate and embellish, not destroy life. Such women are the great
actresses, the songsters. Such traits we read in a late searching,
though too French, analysis of the character of Mademoiselle Rachel,
by a modern, La Rochefeucault. The Greeks thus represent the muses;
they have not the golden serenity of Apollo; they are overflowed with
thought; there is something tragic in their air. Such are the Sibyls
of Gueroino; the eye is overfull of expression, dilated and lustrous;
it seems to have drawn the whole being into it.

Sickness is the frequent result of this overcharged existence. To this
region, however misunderstood, or interpreted with presumptuous
carelessness, belong the phenomena of magnetism, or mesmerism, as it
is now often called, where the trance of the Ecstatica purports to be
produced by the agency of one human being on another, instead of, as
in her case, direct from the spirit.

The worldling has his sneer at this as at the services of religion.
"The churches can always be filled with women"--"Show me a man in one
of your magnetic states, and I will believe."

Women are, indeed, the easy victims both of priestcraft and
self-delusion; but this would not be, if the intellect was developed
in proportion to the other powers. They would then have a regulator,
and be more in equipoise, yet must retain the same nervous
susceptibility while their physical structure is such as it is.

It is with just that hope that we welcome everything that tends to
strengthen the fibre and develop the nature on more sides. When the
intellect and affections are in harmony; when intellectual
consciousness is calm and deep; inspiration will not be confounded
with fancy.

  Then, "she who advances
    With rapturous, lyrical glances,
  Singing the song of the earth, singing
    Its hymn to the Gods,"


will not be pitied as a mad-woman, nor shrunk from as unnatural.

The Greeks, who saw everything in forms, which we are trying to
ascertain as law, and classify as cause, embodied all this in the form
of Cassandra. Cassandra was only unfortunate in receiving her gift too
soon. The remarks, however, that the world still makes in such cases,
are well expressed by the Greek dramatist.

In the Trojan dames there are fine touches of nature with regard to
Cassandra. Hecuba shows that mixture of shame and reverence that
prosaic kindred always do toward the inspired child, the poet, the
elected sufferer for the race.

When the herald announces that Cassandra is chosen to be the mistress
of Agamemnon, Hecuba answers, with indignation, betraying the pride
and faith she involuntarily felt in this daughter.

  "_Hec_. The maiden of Phoebus, to whom the golden-haired
       Gave as a privilege a virgin life!

  _Tal_. Love of the inspired maiden hath pierced him.

  _Hec_. Then cast away, my child, the sacred keys, and from thy person
       The consecrated garlands which thou wearest."


Yet, when, a moment after, Cassandra appears, singing, wildly, her
inspired song, Hecuba calls her, "My _frantic_ child."

Yet how graceful she is in her tragic _raptus_, the chorus shows.

  "_Chorus_. How sweetly at thy house's ills thou smil'st,
         Chanting what, haply, thou wilt not show true."


If Hecuba dares not trust her highest instinct about her daughter,
still less can the vulgar mind of the herald Talthybius, a man not
without feeling, but with no princely, no poetic blood, abide the
wild, prophetic mood which insults all his prejudices.

  "_Tal_. The venerable, and that accounted wise,
      Is nothing better than that of no repute;
      For the greatest king of all the Greeks,
      The dear son of Atreus, a possessed with the love
      Of this mad-Woman. I, indeed, am poor;
      Yet I would not receive her to my bed."


The royal Agamemnon could see the beauty of Cassandra; _he_ was
not afraid of her prophetic gifts.

The best topic for a chapter on this subject, in the present day,
would be the history of the Seeress of Prevorst, the best observed
subject of magnetism in our present times, and who, like her
ancestresses of Delphos, was roused to ecstasy or phrensy by the touch
of the laurel.

I observe in her case, and in one known to me here, that what might
have been a gradual and gentle disclosure of remarkable powers was
broken and jarred into disease by an unsuitable marriage. Both these
persons were unfortunate in not understanding what was involved in
this relation, but acted ignorantly, as their friends desired. They
thought that this was the inevitable destiny of Woman. But when
engaged in the false position, it was impossible for them to endure
its dissonances, as those of less delicate perceptions can; and the
fine flow of life was checked and sullied. They grew sick; but, even
so, learned and disclosed more than those in health are wont to do.

In such cases, worldlings sneer; but reverent men learn wondrous news,
either from the person observed, or by thoughts caused in themselves
by the observation. Fenelon learns from Guyon, Kerner from his
Seeress, what we fain would know. But to appreciate such disclosures
one must be a child; and here the phrase, "women and children," may,
perhaps, be interpreted aright, that only little children shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven.

All these motions of the time, tides that betoken a waxing moon,
overflow upon our land. The world at large is readier to let Woman
learn and manifest the capacities of her nature than it ever was
before, and here is a less encumbered field and freer air than
anywhere else. And it ought to be so; we ought to pay for Isabella's
jewels.

The names of nations are feminine--Religion, Virtue and Victory are
feminine. To those who have a superstition, as to outward reigns, it
is not without significance that the name of the queen of our
motherland should at this crisis be Victoria,--Victoria the First.
Perhaps to us it may be given to disclose the era thus outwardly
presaged.

Another Isabella too at this time ascends the throne. Might she open a
new world to her sex! But, probably, these poor little women are,
least of any, educated to serve as examples or inspirers for the rest.
The Spanish queen is younger; we know of her that she sprained her
foot the other day, dancing in her private apartments; of Victoria,
that she reads aloud, in a distinct voice and agreeable manner, her
addresses to Parliament on certain solemn days, and, yearly, that she
presents to the nation some new prop of royalty. These ladies have,
very likely, been trained more completely to the puppet life than any
other. The queens, who have been queens indeed, were trained by
adverse circumstances to know the world around them and their own
powers.

It is moving, while amusing, to read of the Scottish peasant measuring
the print left by the queen's foot as she walks, and priding himself
on its beauty. It is so natural to wish to find what is fair and
precious in high places,--so astonishing to find the Bourbon a
glutton, or the Guelph a dullard or gossip.

In our own country, women are, in many respects, better situated than
men. Good books are allowed, with more time to read them. They are not
so early forced into the bustle of life, nor so weighed down by
demands for outward success. The perpetual changes, incident to our
society, make the blood circulate freely through the body politic,
and, if not favorable at present to the grace and bloom of life, they
are so to activity, resource, and would be to reflection, but for a
low materialist tendency, from which the women are generally exempt in
themselves, though its existence, among the men, has a tendency to
repress their impulses and make them doubt their instincts, thus often
paralyzing their action during the best years.

But they have time to think, and no traditions chain them, and few
conventionalities, compared with what must be met in other nations.
There is no reason why they should not discover that the secrets of
nature are open, the revelations of the spirit waiting, for whoever
will seek them. When the mind is once awakened to this consciousness,
it will not be restrained by the habits of the past, but fly to seek
the seeds of a heavenly future.

Their employments are more favorable to meditation than those of men.

Woman is not addressed religiously here more than elsewhere. She is
told that she should be worthy to be the mother of a Washington, or
the companion of some good man.' But in many, many instances, she has
already learned that all bribes have the same flaw; that truth and
good are to be sought solely for their own sakes. And, already, an
ideal sweetness floats over many forms, shines in many eyes.

Already deep questions are put by young girls on the great theme: What
shall I do to enter upon the eternal life?

Men are very courteous to them. They praise them often, check them
seldom. There is chivalry in the feeling toward "the ladies," which
gives them the best seats in the stage-coach, frequent admission, not
only to lectures of all sorts, but to courts of justice, halls of
legislature, reform conventions. The newspaper editor "would be better
pleased that the Lady's Book should be filled up exclusively by
ladies. It would then, indeed, be a true gem, worthy, to be presented
by young men to the, mistress of their affections." Can gallantry go
further?

In this country is venerated, wherever seen, the character which
Goethe spoke of as an Ideal, which he saw actualized in his friend and
patroness, the Grand Duchess Amelia: "The excellent woman is she, who,
if the husband dies, can be a father to the children." And this, if
read aright, tells a great deal.

Women who speak in public, if they have a moral power, such as has
been felt from Angelina Grimke and Abby Kelly,--that is, if they speak
for conscience' sake, to serve a cause which they hold sacred,--invariably
subdue the prejudices of their hearers, and excite an interest
proportionate to the aversion with which it had been the purpose to
regard them.

A passage in a private letter so happily illustrates this, that it
must be inserted here.

Abby Kelly in the Town-House of ----.

"The scene was not unheroic--to see that woman, true to humanity and
her own nature, a centre of rude eyes and tongues, even gentlemen
feeling licensed to make part of a species of mob around a female out
of her sphere. As she took her seat in the desk amid the great noise,
and in the throng, full, like a wave, of something to ensue, I saw her
humanity in a gentleness and unpretension, tenderly open to the sphere
around her, and, had she not been supported by the power of the will
of genuineness and principle, she would have failed. It led her to
prayer, which, in Woman especially, is childlike; sensibility and will
going to the side of God and looking up to him; and humanity was
poured out in aspiration.

"She acted like a gentle hero, with her mild decision and womanly
calmness. All heroism is mild, and quiet, and gentle, for it is life
and possession; and combativeness and firmness show a want of
actualness. She is as earnest, fresh and simple, as when she first
entered the crusade. I think she did much good, more than the men in
her place could do, for Woman feels more as being and reproducing--this
brings the subject more into home relations. Men speak through, and
mostly from intellect, and this addresses itself to that in others
which is combative."

Not easily shall we find elsewhere, or before this time, any written
observations on the same subject, so delicate and profound.

The late Dr. Channing, whose enlarged and tender and religious nature
shared every onward impulse of his tune, though his thoughts followed
his wishes with a deliberative caution which belonged to his habits
and temperament, was greatly interested in these expectations for
women. His own treatment of them was absolutely and thoroughly
religious. He regarded them as souls, each of which had a destiny of
its own, incalculable to other minds, and whose leading it must
follow, guided by the light of a private conscience. He had sentiment,
delicacy, kindness, taste; but they were all pervaded and ruled by
this one thought, that all beings had souls, and must vindicate their
own inheritance. Thus all beings were treated by him with an equal,
and sweet, though solemn, courtesy. The young and unknown, the woman
and the child, all felt themselves regarded with an infinite
expectation, from which there was no reaction to vulgar prejudice. He
demanded of all he met, to use his favorite phrase, "great truths."

His memory, every way dear and reverend, is, by many, especially
cherished for this intercourse of unbroken respect.

At one time, when the progress of Harriet Martineau through this
country, Angelina Grimke's appearance in public, and the visit of Mrs.
Jameson, had turned his thoughts to this subject, he expressed high
hopes as to what the coming era would bring to Woman. He had been much
pleased with the dignified courage of Mrs. Jameson in taking up the
defence of her sex in from which women usually shrink, because, if
they express themselves on such subjects with sufficient force and
clearness to do any good, they are exposed to assaults whose vulgarity
makes them painful. In intercourse with such a woman, he had shared
her indignation at the base injustice, in many respects, and in many
regions, done to the sex; and been led to think of it far more than
ever before. He seemed to think that he might some time write upon the
subject. That his aid is withdrawn from the cause is a subject of
great regret; for, on this question as on others, he would have known
how to sum up the evidence, and take, in the noblest spirit, middle
ground. He always furnished a platform on which opposing parties could
stand and look at one another under the influence of his mildness and
enlightened candor.

Two younger thinkers, men both, have uttered noble prophecies,
auspicious for Woman. Kinmont, all whose thoughts tended towards the
establishment of the reign of love and peace, thought that the
inevitable means of this would be an increased predominance given to
the idea of Woman. Had he lived longer, to see the growth of the Peace
Party, the reforms in life and medical practice which seek to
substitute water for wine and drugs, pulse for animal food, he would
have been confirmed in his view of the way in which the desired
changes are to be effected.

In this connection I must mention Shelley, who, like all men of
genius, shared the feminine development, and, unlike many, knew it.
His life was one of the first pulse-beats in the present
reform-growth. He, too, abhorred blood and heat, and, by his system
and his song, tended to reinstate a plant-like gentleness in the
development of energy. In harmony with this, his ideas of marriage
were lofty, and, of course, no less so of Woman, her nature, and
destiny.

For Woman, if, by a sympathy as to outward condition, she is led to
aid the enfranchisement of the slave, must be no less so, by inward
tendency, to favor measures which promise to bring the world more
thoroughly and deeply into harmony with her nature. When the lamb
takes place of the lion as the emblem of nations, both women and men
will be as children of one spirit, perpetual learners of the word and
doers thereof, not hearers only.

A writer in the New York Pathfinder, in two articles headed
"Femality," has uttered a still more pregnant word than any we have
named. He views Woman truly from the soul, and not from society, and
the depth and leading of his thoughts are proportionably remarkable.
He views the feminine nature as a harmonizer of the vehement elements,
and this has often been hinted elsewhere; but what he expresses most
forcibly is the lyrical, the inspiring and inspired apprehensiveness
of her being.

This view being identical with what I have before attempted to
indicate, as to her superior susceptibility to magnetic or electric
influence, I will now try to express myself more fully.

There are two aspects of Woman's nature, represented by the ancients
as Muse and Minerva. It is the former to which the writer in the
Pathfinder looks. It is the latter which Wordsworth has in mind, when
he says,

                      "With a placid brow,
  Which woman ne'er should forfeit, keep thy vow."


The especial genius of Woman I believe to be electrical in movement,
intuitive in function, spiritual in tendency. She excels not so easily
in classification, or recreation, as in an instinctive seizure of
causes, and a simple breathing out of what she receives, that has the
singleness of life, rather than the selecting and energizing of art.

More native is it to her to be the living model of the artist than to
set apart from herself any one form in objective reality; more native
to inspire and receive the poem, than to create it. In so far as soul
is in her completely developed, all soul is the same, but in so far as
it is modified in her as Woman, it flows, it breathes, it sings,
rather than deposits soil, or finishes work; and that which is
especially feminine flushes, in blossom, the face of earth, and
pervades, like air and water, all this seeming solid globe, daily
renewing and purifying its life. Such may be the especially feminine
element spoken of as Femality. But it is no more the order of nature
that it should be incarnated pure in any form, than that the masculine
energy should exist unmingled with it in any form.

Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism.
But, in fact, they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid
hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine
man, no purely feminine woman.

History jeers at the attempts of physiologists to bind great original
laws by the forms which flow from them. They make a rule; they say
from observation what can and cannot be. In vain! Nature provides
exceptions to every rule. She sends women to battle, and sets Hercules
spinning; she enables women to bear immense burdens, cold, and frost;
she enables the man, who feels maternal love, to nourish his infant
like a mother. Of late she plays still gayer pranks. Not only she
deprives organizations, but organs, of a necessary end. She enables
people to read with the top of the head, and see with the pit of the
stomach. Presently she will make a female Newton, and a male Syren.

Man partakes of the feminine in the Apollo, Woman of the masculine as
Minerva.

What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive
powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of
the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being. It
may appear as prophecy or as poesy. It enabled Cassandra to foresee
the results of actions passing round her; the Seeress to behold the
true character of the person through the mask of his customary life.
(Sometimes she saw a feminine form behind the man, sometimes the
reverse.) It enabled the daughter of Linnaeus to see the soul of the
flower exhaling from the flower. [Footnote: The daughter of Linnaeus
states, that, while looking steadfastly at the red lily, she saw its
spirit hovering above it, as a red flame. It is true, this, like many
fair spirit-stories, may be explained away as an optical illusion, but
its poetic beauty and meaning would, even then, make it valuable, as
an illustration of the spiritual fact.] It gave a man, but a poet-man,
the power of which he thus speaks: "Often in my contemplation of
nature, radiant intimations, and as it were sheaves of light, appear
before me as to the facts of cosmogony, in which my mind has, perhaps,
taken especial part." He wisely adds, "but it is necessary with
earnestness to verify the knowledge we gain by these flashes of
light." And none should forget this. Sight must be verified by light
before it can deserve the honors of piety and genius. Yet sight comes
first, and of this sight of the world of causes, this approximation to
the region of primitive motions, women I hold to be especially
capable. Even without equal freedom with the other sex, they have
already shown themselves so; and should these faculties have free
play, I believe they will open new, deeper and purer sources of joyous
inspiration than have as yet refreshed the earth.

Let us be wise, and not impede the soul. Let her work as she will. Let
us have one creative energy, one incessant revelation. Let it take
what form it will, and let us not bind it by the past to man or woman,
black or white. Jove sprang from Rhea, Pallas from Jove. So let it be.

If it has been the tendency of these remarks to call Woman rather to
the Minerva side,--if I, unlike the more generous writer, have spoken
from society no less than the soul,--let it be pardoned! It is love
that has caused this,--love for many incarcerated souls, that might be
freed, could the idea of religious self-dependence be established in
them, could the weakening habit of dependence on others be broken up.

Proclus teaches that every life has, in its sphere, a totality or
wholeness of the animating powers of the other spheres; having only,
as its own characteristic, a predominance of some one power. Thus
Jupiter comprises, within himself, the other twelve powers, which
stand thus: The first triad is _demiurgic or fabricative_, that
is, Jupiter, Neptune, Vulcan; the second, _defensive_, Vesta,
Minerva, Mars; the third, _vivific_, Ceres, Juno, Diana; and the
fourth, Mercury, Venus, Apollo, _elevating and harmonic_. In the
sphere of Jupiter, energy is predominant--with Venus, beauty; but each
comprehends and apprehends all the others.

When the same community of life and consciousness of mind begin among
men, humanity will have, positively and finally, subjugated its brute
elements and Titanic childhood; criticism will have perished;
arbitrary limits and ignorant censure be impossible; all will have
entered upon the liberty of law, and the harmony of common growth.

Then Apollo will sing to his lyre what Vulcan forges on the anvil, and
the Muse weave anew the tapestries of Minerva.

It is, therefore, only in the present crisis that the preference is
given to Minerva. The power of continence must establish the
legitimacy of freedom, the power of self-poise the perfection of
motion.

Every relation, every gradation of nature is incalculably precious,
but only to the soul which is poised upon itself, and to whom no loss,
no change, can bring dull discord, for it is in harmony with the
central soul.

If any individual live too much in relations, so that he becomes a
stranger to the resources of his own nature, he falls, after a while,
into a distraction, or imbecility, from which he can only be cured by
a time of isolation, which gives the renovating fountains time to rise
up. With a society it is the same. Many minds, deprived of the
traditionary or instinctive means of passing a cheerful existence,
must find help in self-impulse, or perish. It is therefore that, while
any elevation, in the view of union, is to be hailed with joy, we
shall not decline celibacy as the great fact of the time. It is one
from which no vow, no arrangement, can at present save a thinking
mind. For now the rowers are pausing on their oars; they wait a change
before they can pull together. All tends to illustrate the thought of
a wise cotemporary. Union is only possible to those who are units. To
be fit for relations in time, souls, whether of Man or Woman, must be
able to do without them in the spirit.

It is therefore that I would have Woman lay aside all thought, such as
she habitually cherishes, of being taught and led by men. I would have
her, like the Indian girl, dedicate herself to the Sun, the Sun of
Truth, and go nowhere if his beams did not make clear the path. I
would have her free from compromise, from complaisance, from
helplessness, because I would have her good enough and strong enough
to love one and all beings, from the fulness, not the poverty of
being.

Men, as at present instructed, will not help this work, because they
also are under the slavery of habit. I have seen with delight their
poetic impulses. A sister is the fairest ideal, and how nobly
Wordsworth, and even Byron, have written of a sister!

There is no sweeter sight than to see a father with his little
daughter. Very vulgar men become refined to the eye when leading a
little girl by the hand. At that moment, the right relation between
the sexes seems established, and you feel as if the man would aid in
the noblest purpose, if you ask him in behalf of his little daughter.
Once, two fine figures stood before me, thus. The father of very
intellectual aspect, his falcon eye softened by affection as he looked
down on his fair child; she the image of himself, only more graceful
and brilliant in expression. I was reminded of Southey's Kehama; when,
lo, the dream was rudely broken! They were talking of education, and
he said,

"I shall not have Maria brought too forward. If she knows too much,
she will never find a husband; superior women hardly ever can."

"Surely," said his wife, with a blush, "you wish Maria to be as good
and wise as she can, whether it will help her to marriage or not."

"No," he persisted, "I want her to have a sphere and a home, and some
one to protect her when I am gone."

It was a trifling incident, but made a deep impression. I felt that
the holiest relations fail to instruct the unprepared and perverted
mind. If this man, indeed, could have looked at it on the other side,
he was the last that would have been willing to have been taken
himself for the home and protection he could give, but would have been
much more likely to repeat the tale of Alcibiades with his phials.

But men do _not_ look at both sides, and women must leave off
asking them and being influenced by them, but retire within
themselves, and explore the ground-work of life till they find their
peculiar secret. Then, when they come forth again, renovated and
baptized, they will know how to turn all dross to gold, and will be
rich and free though they live in a hut, tranquil if in a crowd. Then
their sweet singing shall not be from passionate impulse, but the
lyrical overflow of a divine rapture, and a new music shall be evolved
from this many-chorded world.

Grant her, then, for a while, the armor and the javelin. Let her put
from her the press of other minds, and meditate in virgin loneliness.
The same idea shall reappear in due time as Muse, or Ceres, the
all-kindly, patient Earth-Spirit.

Among the throng of symptoms which denote the present tendency to a
crisis in the life of Woman,--which resembles the change from
girlhood, with its beautiful instincts, but unharmonized thoughts, its
blind pupilage and restless seeking, to self-possessed, wise and
graceful womanhood,--I have attempted to select a few.

One of prominent interest is the unison upon the subject of three male
minds, which, for width of culture, power of self-concentration and
dignity of aim, take rank as the prophets of the coming age, while
their histories and labors are rooted in the past.

Swedenborg came, he tells us, to interpret the past revelation and
unfold a new. He announces the New Church that is to prepare the way
for the New Jerusalem, a city built of precious stones, hardened and
purified by secret processes in the veins of earth through the ages.

Swedenborg approximated to that harmony between the scientific and
poetic lives of mind, which we hope from the perfected man. The links
that bind together the realms of nature, the mysteries that accompany
her births and growths, were unusually plain to him. He seems a man to
whom insight was given at a period when the mental frame was
sufficiently matured to retain and express its gifts.

His views of Woman are, in the main, satisfactory. In some details we
my object to them, as, in all his system, there are still remains of
what is arbitrary and seemingly groundless--fancies that show the
marks of old habits, and a nature as yet not thoroughly leavened with
the spiritual leaven. At least, so it seems to me now. I speak
reverently, for I find such reason to venerate Swedenborg, from an
imperfect knowledge of his mind, that I feel one more perfect might
explain to me much that does not now secure my sympathy.

His idea of Woman is sufficiently large and noble to interpose no
obstacle to her progress. His idea of marriage is consequently
sufficient. Man and Woman share an angelic ministry; the union is of
one with one, permanent and pure.

As the New Church extends its ranks, the needs of Woman must be more
considered.

Quakerism also establishes Woman on a sufficient equality with Man.
But, though the original thought of Quakerism is pure, its scope is
too narrow, and its influence, having established a certain amount of
good and made clear some truth, must, by degrees, be merged in one of
wider range. [Footnote: In worship at stated periods, in daily
expression, whether by word or deed, the Quakers have placed Woman on
the same platform with Man. Can any one assert that they have reason
to repent this?] The mind of Swedenborg appeals to the various nature
of Man, and allows room for aesthetic culture and the free expression
of energy.

As apostle of the new order, of the social fabric that is to rise from
love, and supersede the old that was based on strife, Charles Fourier
comes next, expressing, in an outward order, many facts of which
Swedenborg saw the secret springs. The mind of Fourier, though grand
and clear, was, in some respects, superficial. He was a stranger to
the highest experiences. His eye was fixed on the outward more than
the inward needs of Man. Yet he, too, was a seer of the divine order,
in its musical expression, if not in its poetic soul. He has filled
one department of instruction for the new era, and the harmony in
action, and freedom for individual growth, he hopes, shall exist; and,
if the methods he proposes should not prove the true ones, yet his
fair propositions shall give many hints, and make room for the
inspiration needed for such.

He, too, places Woman on an entire equality with Man, and wishes to
give to one as to the other that independence which must result from
intellectual and practical development.

Those who will consult him for no other reason, might do so to see how
the energies of Woman may be made available in the pecuniary way. The
object of Fourier was to give her the needed means of self-help, that
she might dignify and unfold her life for her own happiness, and that
of society. The many, now, who see their daughters liable to
destitution, or vice to escape from it, may be interested to examine
the means, if they have not yet soul enough to appreciate the ends he
proposes.

On the opposite side of the advancing army leads the great apostle of
individual culture, Goethe. Swedenborg makes organization and union
the necessary results of solitary thought. Fourier, whose nature was,
above all, constructive, looked to them too exclusively. Better
institutions, he thought, will make better men. Goethe expressed, in
every way, the other side. If one man could present better forms, the
rest could not use them till ripe for them.

Fourier says, As the institutions, so the men! All follies are
excusable and natural under bad institutions.

Goethe thinks, As the man, so the institutions! There is no excuse for
ignorance and folly. A man can grow in any place, if he will.

Ay! but, Goethe, bad institutions are prison-walls and impure air,
that make him stupid, so that he does not will.

And thou, Fourier, do not expect to change mankind at once, or even
"in three generations," by arrangement of groups and series, or
flourish of trumpets for attractive industry. If these attempts are
made by unready men, they will fail.

Yet we prize the theory of Fourier no less than the profound
suggestion of Goethe. Both are educating the age to a clearer
consciousness of what Man needs, what Man can be; and better life must
ensue.

Goethe, proceeding on his own track, elevating the human being, in the
most imperfect states of society, by continual efforts at
self-culture, takes as good care of women as of men. His mother, the
bold, gay Frau Aja, with such playful freedom of nature; the wise and
gentle maiden, known in his youth, over whose sickly solitude "the
Holy Ghost brooded as a dove;" his sister, the intellectual woman
_par excellence_; the Duchess Amelia; Lili, who combined the
character of the woman of the world with the lyrical sweetness of the
shepherdess, on whose chaste and noble breast flowers and gems were
equally at home; all these had supplied abundant suggestions to his
mind, as to the wants and the possible excellences of Woman. And from
his poetic soul grew up forms new and more admirable than life has yet
produced, for whom his clear eye marked out paths in the future.

In Faust Margaret represents the redeeming power, which, at present,
upholds Woman, while waiting for a better day. The lovely little girl,
pure in instinct, ignorant in mind, is misled and profaned by man
abusing her confidence.[Footnote: As Faust says, her only fault was a
"kindly delusion,"--"ein guter wahn."] To the Mater _Dolorosa_
she appeals for aid. It is given to the soul, if not against outward
sorrow; and the maiden, enlightened by her sufferings, refusing to
receive temporal salvation by the aid of an evil power, obtains the
eternal in its stead.

In the second part, the intellectual man, after all his manifold
strivings, owes to the interposition of her whom he had betrayed
_his_ salvation. She intercedes, this time, herself a glorified
spirit, with the Mater _Gloriosa_.

Leonora, too, is Woman, as we see her now, pure, thoughtful, refined
by much acquaintance with grief.

Iphigenia he speaks of in his journals as his "daughter," and she is
the daughter [Footnote: Goethe was as false to his ideas, in practice,
as Lord Herbert. And his punishment was the just and usual one of
connections formed beneath the standard of right, from the impulses of
the baser self. Iphigenia was the worthy daughter of his mind; but the
son, child of his degrading connection in actual life, corresponded
with that connection. This son, on whom Goethe vainly lavished so much
thought and care, was like his mother, and like Goethe's attachment
for his mother. "This young man," says a late well-informed writer (M.
Henri Blaze), "Wieland, with good reason, called the son of the
servant, _der Sohn der Magd_. He inherited from his father only
his name and his _physique_."] whom a man will wish, even if he
has chosen his wife from very mean motives. She is the virgin,
steadfast, soul, to whom falsehood is more dreadful than any other
death.

But it is to Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and Wandering Years that
I would especially refer, as these volumes contain the sum of the
Sage's observations during a long life, as to what Man should do,
under present circumstances, to obtain mastery over outward, through
an initiation into inward life, and severe discipline of faculty.

As Wilhelm advances into the upward path, he becomes acquainted with
better forms of Woman, by knowing how to seek, and how to prize them
when found. For the weak and immature man will, often, admire a
superior woman, but he will not be able to abide by a feeling which is
too severe a tax on his habitual existence. But, with Wilhelm, the
gradation is natural, and expresses ascent in the scale of being. At
first, he finds charm in Mariana and Philina, very common forms of
feminine character, not without redeeming traits, no less than charms,
but without wisdom or purity. Soon he is attended by Mignon, the
finest expression ever yet given to what I have called the lyrical
element in Woman. She is a child, but too full-grown for this man; he
loves, but cannot follow her; yet is the association not without an
enduring influence. Poesy has been domesticated in his life; and,
though he strives to bind down her heavenward impulse, as art or
apothegm, these are only the tents, beneath which he may sojourn for a
while, but which may be easily struck, and carried on limitless
wanderings.

Advancing into the region of thought, he encounters a wise
philanthropy in Natalia (instructed, let us observe, by an
_uncle_); practical judgment and the outward economy of life in
Theresa; pure devotion in the Fair Saint.

Further, and last, he comes to the house of Macaria, the soul of a
star; that is, a pure and perfected intelligence embodied in feminine
form, and the centre of a world whose members revolve harmoniously
around her. She instructs him in the archives of a rich human history,
and introduces him to the contemplation of the heavens.

From the hours passed by the side of Mariana to these with Macaria, is
a wide distance for human feet to traverse. Nor has Wilhelm travelled
so far, seen and suffered so much, in vain, He now begins to study how
he may aid the next generation; he sees objects in harmonious
arrangement, and from his observations deduces precepts by which to
guide his course as a teacher and a master, "help-full, comfort-full."

In all these expressions of Woman, the aim of Goethe is satisfactory
to me. He aims at a pure self-subsistence, and a free development of
any powers with which they may be gifted by nature as much for them as
for men. They are units, addressed as souls. Accordingly, the meeting
between Man and Woman, as represented by him, is equal and noble; and,
if he does not depict marriage, he makes it possible.

In the Macaria, bound with the heavenly bodies in fixed revolutions,
the centre of all relations, herself unrelated, he expresses the
Minerva side of feminine nature. It was not by chance that Goethe gave
her this name. Macaria, the daughter of Hercules, who offered herself
as a victim for the good of her country, was canonized by the Greeks,
and worshipped as the Goddess of true Felicity. Goethe has embodied
this Felicity as the Serenity that arises from Wisdom, a Wisdom such
as the Jewish wise man venerated, alike instructed in the designs of
heaven, and the methods necessary to carry them into effect upon
earth.

Mignon is the electrical, inspired, lyrical nature.  And wherever it
appears we echo in our aspirations that of the child,

  "So let me seem until I be:--
   Take not the _white robe_ away."

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Though I lived without care and toil,
   Yet felt I sharp pain enough to
   Make me again forever young."


All these women, though we see them in relations, we can think of as
unrelated. They all are very individual, yet seem nowhere restrained.
They satisfy for the present, yet arouse an infinite expectation.

The economist Theresa, the benevolent Natalia, the fair Saint, have
chosen a path, but their thoughts are not narrowed to it. The
functions of life to them are not ends, but suggestions.

Thus, to them, all things are important, because none is necessary.
Their different characters have fair play, and each is beautiful in
its minute indications, for nothing is enforced or conventional; but
everything, however slight, grows from the essential life of the
being.

Mignon and Theresa wear male attire when they like, and it is graceful
for them to do so, while Macaria is confined to her arm-chair behind
the green curtain, and the Fair Saint could not bear a speck of dust
on her robe.

All things are in their places in this little world, because all is
natural and free, just as "there is room for everything out of doors."
Yet all is rounded in by natural harmony, which will always arise
where Truth and Love are sought in the light of Freedom.

Goethe's book bodes an era of freedom like its own of "extraordinary,
generous seeking," and new revelations. New individualities shall be
developed in the actual world, which shall advance upon it as gently
as the figures come out upon his canvas.

I have indicated on this point the coincidence between his hopes and
those of Fourier, though his are directed by an infinitely higher and
deeper knowledge of human nature. But, for our present purpose, it is
sufficient to show how surely these different paths have conducted to
the same end two earnest thinkers. In some other place I wish to point
out similar coincidences between Goethe's model school and the plans
of Fourier, which may cast light upon the page of prophecy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many women have observed that the time drew nigh for a better care of
the sex, and have thrown out hints that may be useful. Among these may
be mentioned--

Miss Edgeworth, who, although restrained by the habits of her age and
country, and belonging more to the eighteenth than the nineteenth
century, has done excellently as far as she goes. She had a horror of
sentimentalism, and of the love of notoriety, and saw how likely
women, in the early stages of culture, were to aim at these. Therefore
she bent her efforts to recommending domestic life. But the methods
she recommends are such as will fit a character for any position to
which it may be called. She taught a contempt of falsehood, no less in
its most graceful, than in its meanest apparitions; the cultivation of
a clear, independent judgment, and adherence to its dictates; habits
of various and liberal study and employment, and a capacity for
friendship. Her standard of character is the same for both sexes,--Truth,
honor, enlightened benevolence, and aspiration after knowledge.
Of poetry, she knows nothing, and her religion consists in honor and
loyalty to obligations once assumed--in short, in "the great idea of
duty which holds us upright." Her whole tendency is practical.

Mrs. Jameson is a sentimentalist, and, therefore, suits us ill in some
respects, but she is full of talent, has a just and refined perception
of the beautiful, and a genuine courage when she finds it necessary.
She does not appear to have thought out, thoroughly, the subject on
which we are engaged, and her opinions, expressed as opinions, are
sometimes inconsistent with one another. But from the refined
perception of character, admirable suggestions are given in her "Women
of Shakspeare," and "Loves of the Poets."

But that for which I most respect her is the decision with which she
speaks on a subject which refined women are usually afraid to
approach, for fear of the insult and scurrile jest they may
encounter; but on which she neither can nor will restrain the
indignation of a full heart. I refer to the degradation of a large
portion of women into the sold and polluted slaves of men, and the
daring with which the legislator and man of the world lifts his head
beneath the heavens, and says, "This must be; it cannot be helped; it
is a necessary accompaniment of _civilization_."

So speaks the _citizen_. Man born of Woman, the father of
daughters, declares that he will and must buy the comforts and
commercial advantages of his London, Vienna, Paris, New York, by
conniving at the moral death, the damnation, so far as the action of
society can insure it, of thousands of women for each splendid
metropolis.

O men! I speak not to you. It is true that your wickedness (for you
must not deny that at least nine thousand out of the ten fall through
the vanity you have systematically flattered, or the promises you have
treacherously broken); yes, it is true that your wickedness is its own
punishment. Your forms degraded and your eyes clouded by secret sin;
natural harmony broken and fineness of perception destroyed in your
mental and bodily organization; God and love shut out from your hearts
by the foul visitants you have permitted there; incapable of pure
marriage; incapable of pure parentage; incapable of worship; O
wretched men, your sin is its own punishment! You have lost the world
in losing yourselves. Who ruins another has admitted the worm to the
root of his own tree, and the fuller ye fill the cup of evil, the
deeper must be your own bitter draught. But I speak not to you--you
need to teach and warn one another. And more than one voice rises in
earnestness. And all that _women_ say to the heart that has once
chosen the evil path is considered prudery, or ignorance, or perhaps a
feebleness of nature which exempts from similar temptations.

But to you, women, American women, a few words may not be addressed in
vain. One here and there may listen.

You know how it was in the Oriental clime, One man, if wealth
permitted, had several wives and many handmaidens. The chastity and
equality of genuine marriage, with "the thousand decencies that flow"
from its communion, the precious virtues that gradually may be matured
within its enclosure, were unknown.

But this man did not wrong according to his light. What he did, he
might publish to God and Man; it was not a wicked secret that hid in
vile lurking-places and dens, like the banquets of beasts of prey.
Those women were not lost, not polluted in their own eyes, nor those
of others. If they were not in a state of knowledge and virtue, they
were at least in one of comparative innocence.

You know how it was with the natives of this continent. A chief had
many wives, whom he maintained and who did his household work; those
women were but servants, still they enjoyed the respect of others and
their own. They lived together, in peace. They knew that a sin against
what was in their nation esteemed virtue, would be as strictly
punished in Man as in Woman.

Now pass to the countries where marriage is between one and one. I
will not speak of the Pagan nations, but come to those which own the
Christian rule. We all know what that enjoins; there is a standard to
appeal to.

See, now, not the mass of the people, for we all know that it is a
proverb and a bitter jest to speak of the "down-trodden million."  We
know that, down to our own time, a principle never had so fair a
chance to pervade the mass of the people, but that we must solicit its
illustration from select examples.

Take the Paladin, take the Poet. Did _they_ believe purity more
impossible to Man than to Woman? Did they wish Woman to believe that
Man was less amenable to higher motives,--that pure aspirations would
not guard him against bad passions,--that honorable employments and
temperate habits would not keep him free from slavery to the body? O
no! Love was to them a part of heaven, and they could not even wish to
receive its happiness, unless assured of being worthy of it. Its
highest happiness to them was that it made them wish to be worthy.
They courted probation. They wished not the title of knight till the
banner had been upheld in the heats of battle, amid the rout of
cowards.

I ask of you, young girls--I do not mean _you_ whose heart is
that of an old coxcomb, though your looks have not yet lost their
sunny tinge. Not of you whose whole character is tainted with vanity,
inherited or taught, who have early learned the love of coquettish
excitement, and whose eyes rove restlessly in search of a "conquest"
or a "beau;" you who are ashamed _not_ to be seen by others the
mark of the most contemptuous flattery or injurious desire. To such I
do not speak. But to thee, maiden, who, if not so fair, art yet of
that unpolluted nature which Milton saw when he dreamed of Comus and
the Paradise. Thou, child of an unprofaned wedlock, brought up amid
the teachings of the woods and fields, kept fancy-free by useful
employment and a free flight into the heaven of thought, loving to
please only those whom thou wouldst not be ashamed to love; I ask of
thee, whose cheek has not forgotten its blush nor thy heart its
lark-like hopes, if he whom thou mayest hope the Father will send
thee, as the companion of life's toils and joys, is not to thy thought
pure? Is not manliness to thy thought purity, not lawlessness? Can his
lips speak falsely? Can he do, in secret, what he could not avow to
the mother that bore him? O say, dost thou not look for a heart free,
open as thine own, all whose thoughts may be avowed, incapable of
wronging the innocent, or still further degrading the fallen--a man,
in short, in whom brute nature is entirely subject to the impulses of
his better self?

Yes! it was thus that thou didst hope; for I have many, many times
seen the image of a future life, of a destined spouse, painted on the
tablets of a virgin heart.

It might be that she was not true to these hopes. She was taken into
what is called "the world," froth and scum as it mostly is on the
social caldron. There, she saw fair Woman carried in the waltz close
to the heart of a being who appeared to her a Satyr. Being warned by a
male friend that he was in fact of that class, and not fit for such
familiar nearness to a chaste being, the advised replied that "women
should know nothing about such things." She saw one fairer given in
wedlock to a man of the same class. "Papa and mamma said that 'all men
were faulty at some time in their lives; they had a great many
temptations.' Frederick would be so happy at home; he would not want
to do wrong." She turned to the married women; they, O tenfold horror!
laughed at her supposing "men were like women." Sometimes, I say, she
was not true, and either sadly accommodated herself to "Woman's lot,"
or acquired a taste for satyr-society, like some of the Nymphs, and
all the Bacchanals of old. But to those who could not and would not
accept a mess of pottage, or a Circe cup, in lieu of their birthright,
and to these others who have yet their choice to make, I say, Courage!
I have some words of cheer for you. A man, himself of unbroken purity,
reported to me the words of a foreign artist, that "the world would
never be better till men subjected themselves to the same laws they
had imposed on women;" that artist, he added, was true to the thought.
The same was true of Canova, the same of Beethoven. "Like each other
demi-god, they kept themselves free from stain;" and Michael Angelo,
looking over here from the loneliness of his century, might meet some
eyes that need not shun his glance.

In private life, I am assured by men who are not so sustained and
occupied by the worship of pure beauty, that a similar consecration is
possible, is practised; that many men feel that no temptation can be
too strong for the will of man, if he invokes the aid of the Spirit
instead of seeking extenuation from the brute alliances of his nature.
In short, what the child fancies is really true, though almost the
whole world declares it a lie. Man is a child of God; and if he seeks
His guidance to keep the heart with diligence, it will be so given
that all the issues of life may be pure. Life will then be a temple.

        The temple round
  Spread green the pleasant ground;
        The fair colonnade
  Be of pure marble pillars made;
  Strong to sustain the roof,
        Time and tempest proof;
  Yet, amidst which, the lightest breeze
        Can play as it please;
        The audience hall
        Be free to all
        Who revere
  The power worshipped here,
        Sole guide of youth,
        Unswerving Truth.
        In the inmost shrine
        Stands the image divine,
            Only seen
  By those whose deeds have worthy been--
        Priestlike clean.
  Those, who initiated are,
        Declare,
        As the hours
  Usher in varying hopes and powers;
        It changes its face,
          It changes its age,
        Now a young, beaming grace,
          Now Nestorian sage;
        But, to the pure in heart,
        This shape of primal art
          In age is fair,
            In youth seems wise,
          Beyond compare,
          Above surprise;
        What it teaches native seems,
          Its new lore our ancient dreams;
        Incense rises from the ground;
          Music flows around;
      Firm rest the feet below, clear gaze the eyes above,
  When Truth, to point the way through life, assumes the wand of Love;
      But, if she cast aside the robe of green,
        Winter's silver sheen,
        White, pure as light,
  Makes gentle shroud as worthy weed as bridal robe had been.

[Footnote: As described by the historians:--
  "The temple of Juno is like what the character of Woman should be.
   Columns! graceful decorums, attractive yet sheltering.
   Porch! noble, inviting aspect of the life.
   Kaos! receives the worshippers. See here the statue of the Divinity.
   Ophistodpmos! Sanctuary where the most precious possessions were kept
   safe from the hand of the spoiler and the eye of the world."]


We are now in a transition state, and but few steps have yet been
taken. From polygamy, Europe passed to the marriage _de convenance_.
This was scarcely an improvement An attempt was then made to substitute
genuine marriage (the mutual choice of souls inducing a permanent union),
as yet baffled on every side by the haste, the ignorance, or the impurity
of Man.

Where Man assumes a high principle to which he is not yet ripened, it
will happen, for a long time, that the few will be nobler than before;
the many, worse. Thus now. In the country of Sidney and Milton, the
metropolis is a den of wickedness, and a sty of sensuality; in the
country of Lady Russell, the custom of English peeresses, of selling
their daughters to the highest bidder, is made the theme and jest of
fashionable novels by unthinking children who would stare at the idea
of sending them to a Turkish slave-dealer, though the circumstances of
the bargain are there less degrading, as the will and thoughts of the
person sold are not so degraded by it, and it is not done in defiance
of an acknowledged law of right in the land and the age.

I must here add that I do not believe there ever was put upon record
more depravation of Man, and more despicable frivolity of thought and
aim in Woman; than in the novels which purport to give the picture of
English fashionable life, which are read with such favor in our
drawing-rooms, and give the tone to the manners of some circles.
Compared with the cold, hard-hearted folly there described, crime is
hopeful; for it, at least, shows some power remaining in the mental
constitution.

To return:--Attention has been awakened among men to the stains of
celibacy, and the profanations of marriage. They begin to write about
it and lecture about it. It is the tendency now to endeavor to help
the erring by showing them the physical law. This is wise and
excellent; but forget not the better half. Cold bathing and exercise
will not suffice to keep a life pure, without an inward baptism, and
noble, exhilarating employment for the thoughts and the passions.
Early marriages are desirable, but if (and the world is now so out of
joint that there are a hundred thousand chances to one against it) a
man does not early, or at all, find the person to whom he can be
united in the marriage of souls, will you give him in the marriage
_de convenance_? or, if not married, can you find no way for him
to lead a virtuous and happy life? Think of it well, ye who think
yourselves better than pagans, for many of _them_ knew this sure
way. [Footnote: The Persian sacred books, the Desatir, describe the
great and holy prince Ky Khosrou, as being "an angel, and the son of
an angel," one to whom the Supreme says, "Thou art not absent from
before me for one twinkling of an eye. I am never out of thy heart.
And I am contained in nothing but in thy heart, and in a heart like
thy heart. And I am nearer unto thee than thou art to thyself." This
prince had in his Golden Seraglio three ladies of surpassing beauty,
and all four, in this royal monastery, passed their lives, and left
the world as virgins.

The Persian people had no scepticism when the history of such a mind
was narrated.]

To you, women of America, it is more especially my business to address
myself on this subject, and my advice may be classed under three
heads:

Clear your souls from the taint of vanity.

Do not rejoice in conquests, either that your power to allure may be
seen by other women, or for the pleasure of rousing passionate
feelings that gratify your love of excitement.

It must happen, no doubt, that frank and generous women will excite
love they do not reciprocate, but, in nine cases out of ten, the woman
has, half consciously, done much to excite. In this case, she shall
not be held guiltless, either as to the unhappiness or injury of the
lover. Pure love, inspired by a worthy object, must ennoble and bless,
whether mutual or not; but that which is excited by coquettish
attraction of any grade of refinement, must cause bitterness and
doubt, as to the reality of human goodness, so soon as the flush of
passion is over. And, that you may avoid all taste for these false
pleasures,

                         "Steep the soul
  In one pure love, and it will lost thee long."


The love of truth, the love of excellence, whether you clothe them in
the person of a special object or not, will have power to save you
from following Duessa, and lead you in the green glades where Una's
feet have trod.

It was on this one subject that a venerable champion of good, the last
representative of the spirit which sanctified the Revolution, and gave
our country such a sunlight of hope in the eyes of the nations, the
same who lately, in Boston, offered anew to the young men the pledge
taken by the young men of his day, offered, also, his counsel, on
being addressed by the principal of a girl's school, thus:--


REPLY OF MR. ADAMS.

Mr. Adams was so deeply affected by the address of Miss Foster, as to
be for some time inaudible. When heard, he spoke as follows:

"This is the first instance in which a lady has thus addressed me
personally; and I trust that all the ladies present will be able
sufficiently to enter into my feelings to know that I am more affected
by this honor than by any other I could hare received,

"You have been pleased, madam, to allude to the character of my
father, and the history of my family, and their services to the
country. It is indeed true that, from the existence of the republic as
an independent nation, my father and myself have been in the public
service of the country, almost without interruption. I came into the
world, as a person having personal responsibilities, with the
Declaration of Independence, which constituted us a nation. I was a
child at that time, and had then perhaps the greatest of blessings
that can be bestowed on man--a mother who was anxious and capable to
form her children to be what they ought to be. From that mother I
derived whatever instruction--religious especially and moral--has
pervaded a long life; I will not say perfectly, and as it ought to be;
but I will say, because it is justice only to the memory of her whom I
revere, that if, in the course of my life, there has been any
imperfection, or deviation from what she taught me, the fault is mine,
and not hers.

"With such a mother, and such other relations with the sex, of sister,
wife, and daughter, it has been the perpetual instruction of my life
to love and revere the female sex. And in order to carry that
sentiment of love and reverence to its highest degree of perfection, I
know of nothing that exists in human society better adapted to produce
that result, than institutions of the character that I have now the
honor to address.

"I have been taught, as I have said, through the course of my life, to
love and to revere the female sex; but I have been taught, also--and
that lesson has perhaps impressed itself on my mind even more
strongly, it may be, than the other--I have been taught not to flatter
them. It is not unusual, in the intercourse of Man with the other
sex--and especially for young men--to think that the way to win the
hearts of ladies is by flattery. To love and to revere the sex, is
what I think the duty of Man; _but not to flatter them;_ and this
I would say to the young ladies here--and if they, and others present,
will allow me, with all the authority which nearly four score years
may have with those who have not yet attained one score--I would say
to them what I have no doubt they say to themselves, and are taught
here, not to take the flattery of men as proof of perfection.

"I am now, however, I fear, assuming too much of a character that does
not exactly belong to me. I therefore conclude, by assuring you,
madam, that your reception of me has affected me, as you perceive,
more than I can express in words; and that I shall offer my best
prayers, till my latest hour, to the Creator of us all, that this
institution especially, and all others of a similar kind, designed to
form the female mind to wisdom and virtue, may prosper to the end of
time."

It will be interesting to add here the character of Mr. Adams' mother,
as drawn by her husband, the first John Adams, in a family letter
[Footnote: Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, vol. i., p. 246.]
written just before his death.

"I have reserved for the last the life of Lady Russell. This I have
not yet read, because I read it more than forty years ago. On this
hangs a tale which you ought to know and communicate it to your
children. I bought the Life and Letters of Lady Russell in the year
1775, and sent it to your grandmother, with an express intent and
desire that she should consider it a mirror in which to contemplate
herself; for, at that time, I thought it extremely probable, from the
daring and dangerous career I was determined to run, that she would
one day find herself in the situation of Lady Russell, her husband
without a head. This lady was more beautiful than Lady Russell, had a
brighter genius, more information, a more refined taste, and, at
least, her equal in the virtues of the heart; equal fortitude and
firmness of character, equal resignation to the will of Heaven, equal
in all the virtues and graces of the Christian life. Like Lady
Russell, she never, by word or look, discouraged me from running all
hazards for the salvation of my country's liberties; she was willing
to share with me, and that her children should share with us both, in
all the dangerous consequences we had to hazard."

Will a woman who loves flattery or an aimless excitement, who wastes
the flower of her mind on transitory sentiments, ever be loved with a
love like that, when fifty years' trial have entitled to the
privileges of "the golden marriage?"

Such was the love of the iron-handed warrior for her, not his
hand-maid, but his help-meet:

"Whom God loves, to him gives he such a wife."

I find the whole of what I want in this relation, in the two epithets
by which Milton makes Adam address _his_ wife.

In the intercourse of every day he begins:

  "Daughter of God and man, _accomplished_ Eve."
  [Footnote: See Appendix H.]


In a moment of stronger feeling,

  "Daughter of God and man, IMMORTAL Eve."


What majesty in the cadence of the line; what dignity, what reverence
in the attitude both of giver and receiver!

The woman who permits, in her life, the alloy of vanity; the woman who
lives upon flattery, coarse or fine, shall never be thus addressed,
She is _not_ immortal so far as her will is concerned, and every
woman who does so creates miasma, whose spread is indefinite. The hand
which casts into the waters of life a stone of offence knows not how
far the circles thus caused may spread their agitations.

A little while since I was at one of the most fashionable places of
public resort. I saw there many women, dressed without regard to the
season or the demands of the place, in apery, or, as it looked, in
mockery, of European fashions. I saw their eyes restlessly courting
attention. I saw the way in which it was paid; the style of devotion,
almost an open sneer, which it pleased those ladies to receive from
men whose expression marked their own low position in the moral and
intellectual world. Those women went to their pillows with their heads
full of folly, their hearts of jealousy, or gratified vanity; those
men, with the low opinion they already entertained of Woman confirmed.
These were American _ladies;_ that is, they were of that class
who have wealth and leisure to make full use of the day, and confer
benefits on others. They were of that class whom the possession of
external advantages makes of pernicious example to many, if these
advantages be misused.

Soon after, I met a circle of women, stamped by society as among the
most degraded of their sex. "How," it was asked of them, "did you come
here?" for by the society that I saw in the former place they were
shut up in a prison. The causes were not difficult to trace: love of
dress, love of flattery, love of excitement. They had not dresses like
the other ladies, so they stole them; they could not pay for flattery
by distinctions, and the dower of a worldly marriage, so they paid by
the profanation of their persons. In excitement, more and more madly
sought from day to day, they drowned the voice of conscience.

Now I ask you, my sisters, if the women at the fashionable house be
not answerable for those women being in the prison?

As to position in the world of souls, we may suppose the women of the
prison stood fairest, both because they had misused less light, and
because loneliness and sorrow had brought some of them to feel the
need of better life, nearer truth and good. This was no merit in them,
being an effect of circumstance, but it was hopeful. But you, my
friends (and some of you I have already met), consecrate yourselves
without waiting for reproof, in free love and unbroken energy, to win
and to diffuse a better life. Offer beauty, talents, riches, on the
altar; thus shall you keep spotless your own hearts, and be visibly or
invisibly the angels to others.

I would urge upon those women who have not yet considered this
subject, to do so. Do not forget the unfortunates who dare not cross
your guarded way. If it do not suit you to act with those who have
organized measures of reform, then hold not yourself excused from
acting in private. Seek out these degraded women, give them tender
sympathy, counsel, employment. Take the place of mothers, such as
might have saved them originally.

If you can do little for those already under the ban of the
world,--and the best-considered efforts have often failed, from a want
of strength in those unhappy ones to bear up against the sting of
shame and the prejudices of the world, which makes them seek oblivion
again in their old excitements,--you will at least leave a sense of
love and justice in their hearts, that will prevent their becoming
utterly embittered and corrupt. And you may learn the means of
prevention for those yet uninjured. These will be found in a diffusion
of mental culture, simple tastes, best taught by your example, a
genuine self-respect, and, above all, what the influence of Man tends
to hide from Woman, the love and fear of a divine, in preference to a
human tribunal.

But suppose you save many who would have lost their bodily innocence
(for as to mental, the loss of that is incalculably more general),
through mere vanity and folly; there still remain many, the prey and
spoil of the brute passions of Man; for the stories frequent in our
newspapers outshame antiquity, and vie with the horrors of war.

As to this, it must be considered that, as the vanity and proneness to
seduction of the imprisoned women represented a general degradation in
their sex; so do these acts a still more general and worse in the
male. Where so many are weak, it is natural there should be many lost;
where legislators admit that ten thousand prostitutes are a fair
proportion to one city, and husbands tell their wives that it is folly
to expect chastity from men, it is inevitable that there should be
many monsters of vice.

I must in this place mention, with respect and gratitude, the conduct
of Mrs. Child in the case of Amelia Norman. The action and speech of
this lady was of straightforward nobleness, undeterred by custom or
cavil from duty toward an injured sister. She showed the case and the
arguments the counsel against the prisoner had the assurance to use in
their true light to the public. She put the case on the only ground of
religion and equity. She was successful in arresting the attention of
many who had before shrugged their shoulders, and let sin pass as
necessarily a part of the company of men. They begin to ask whether
virtue is not possible, perhaps necessary, to Man as well as to Woman.
They begin to fear that the perdition of a woman must involve that of
a man. This is a crisis. The results of this case will be important.

In this connection I must mention Eugene Sue, the French novelist,
several of whose works have been lately translated among us, as having
the true spirit of reform as to women. Like every other French writer,
he is still tainted with the transmissions of the old _regime_.
Still, falsehood may be permitted for the sake of advancing truth,
evil as the way to good. Even George Sand, who would trample on every
graceful decorum, and every human law, for the sake of a sincere life,
does not see that she violates it by making her heroines able to tell
falsehoods in a good cause. These French writers need ever to be
confronted by the clear perception of the English and German mind,
that the only good man, consequently the only good reformer, is he

  "Who bases good on good alone, and owes
   To virtue every triumph that he knows."


Still, Sue has the heart of a reformer, and especially towards women;
he sees what they need, and what causes are injuring them. From the
histories of Fleur de Marie and La Louve, from the lovely and
independent character of Rigolette, from the distortion given to
Matilda's mind, by the present views of marriage, and from the truly
noble and immortal character of the "hump-backed Sempstress" in the
"Wandering Jew," may be gathered much that shall elucidate doubt and
direct inquiry on this subject. In reform, as in philosophy, the
French are the interpreters to the civilized world. Their own
attainments are not great, but they make clear the post, and break
down barriers to the future.

Observe that the good man of Sue is as pure as Sir Charles Grandison.

Apropos to Sir Charles. Women are accustomed to be told by men that
the reform is to come _from them_. "You," say the men, "must
frown upon vice; you must decline the attentions of the corrupt; you
must not submit to the will of your husband when it seems to you
unworthy, but give the laws in marriage, and redeem it from its
present sensual and mental pollutions."

This seems to us hard. Men have, indeed, been, for more than a hundred
years, rating women for countenancing vice. But, at the same time,
they have carefully hid from them its nature, so that the preference
often shown by women for bad men arises rather from a confused idea
that they are bold and adventurous, acquainted with regions which
women are forbidden to explore, and the curiosity that ensues, than a
corrupt heart in the woman. As to marriage, it has been inculcated on
women, for centuries, that men have not only stronger passions than
they, but of a sort that it would be shameful for them to share or
even understand; that, therefore, they must "confide in their
husbands," that is, submit implicitly to their will; that the least
appearance of coldness or withdrawal, from whatever cause, in the wife
is wicked, because liable to turn her husband's thoughts to illicit
indulgence; for a man is so constituted that he must indulge his
passions or die!

Accordingly, a great part of women look upon men as a kind of wild
beasts, but "suppose they are all alike;" the unmarried are assured by
the married that, "if they knew men as they do," that is, by being
married to them, "they would not expect continence or self-government
from them."

I might accumulate illustrations on this theme, drawn from
acquaintance with the histories of women, which would startle and
grieve all thinking men, but I forbear. Let Sir Charles Grandison
preach to his own sex; or if none there be who feels himself able to
speak with authority from a life unspotted in will or deed, let those
who are convinced of the practicability and need of a pure life, as
the foreign artist was, advise the others, and warn them by their own
example, if need be.

The following passage, from a female writer, on female affairs,
expresses a prevalent way of thinking on this subject:

"It may be that a young woman, exempt from all motives of vanity,
determines to take for a husband a man who does not inspire her with a
very decided inclination. Imperious circumstances, the evident
interest of her family, or the danger of suffering celibacy, may
explain such a resolution. If, however, she were to endeavor to
surmount a personal repugnance, we should look upon this as
_injudicious_. Such a rebellion of nature marks the limit that
the influence of parents, or the self-sacrifice of the young girl,
should never pass. _We shall be told that this repugnance is an
affair of the imagination_. It may be so; but imagination is a
power which it is temerity to brave; and its antipathy is more
difficult to conquer than its preference." [Footnote: Madame Necker de
Saussure.]

Among ourselves, the exhibition of such a repugnance from a woman who
had been given in marriage "by advice of friends," was treated by an
eminent physician as sufficient proof of insanity. If he had said
sufficient cause for it, he would have been nearer right.

It has been suggested by men who were pained by seeing bad men
admitted, freely, to the society of modest women,--thereby encouraged
to vice by impunity, and corrupting the atmosphere of homes,--that
there should be a senate of the matrons in each city and town, who
should decide what candidates were fit for admission to their houses
and the society of their daughters. [Footnote: See Goethe's Tasso. "A
synod of good women should decide,"--if the golden age is to be
restored.]

Such a plan might have excellent results; but it argues a moral
dignity and decision which does not yet exist, and needs to be induced
by knowledge and reflection. It has been the tone to keep women
ignorant on these subjects, or, when they were not, to command that
they should seem so. "It is indelicate," says the father or husband,
"to inquire into the private character of such an one. It is
sufficient that I do not think him unfit to visit you." And so, this
man, who would not tolerate these pages in his house, "unfit for
family reading," because they speak plainly, introduces there a man
whose shame is written on his brow, as well as the open secret of the
whole town, and, presently, if _respectable_ still, and rich
enough, gives him his daughter to wife. The mother affects ignorance,
"supposing he is no worse than most men." The daughter _is_
ignorant; something in the mind of the new spouse seems strange to
her, but she supposes it is "woman's lot" not to be perfectly happy in
her affections; she has always heard, "men could not understand
women," so she weeps alone, or takes to dress and the duties of the
house. The husband, of course, makes no avowal, and dreams of no
redemption.

"In the heart of every young woman," says the female writer above
quoted, addressing herself to the husband, "depend upon it, there is a
fund of exalted ideas; she conceals, represses, without succeeding in
smothering them. _So long as these ideas in your wife are directed
to YOU, they are, no doubt, innocent_, but take care that they be
not accompanied with _too much_ pain. In other respects, also,
spare her delicacy. Let all the antecedent parts of your life, if
there are such, which would give her pain, be concealed from her;
_her happiness and her respect for you would suffer from this
misplaced confidence._ Allow her to retain that flower of purity,
_which should distinguish her, in your eyes, from every other
woman_." We should think so, truly, under this canon. Such a man
must esteem purity an exotic that could only be preserved by the
greatest care. Of the degree of mental intimacy possible, in such a
marriage, let every one judge for himself!

On this subject, let every woman, who has once begun to think, examine
herself; see whether she does not suppose virtue possible and
necessary to Man, and whether she would not desire for her son a
virtue which aimed at a fitness for a divine life, and involved, if
not asceticism, that degree of power over the lower self, which shall
"not exterminate the passions, but keep them chained at the feet of
reason." The passions, like fire, are a bad muster; but confine them
to the hearth and the altar, and they give life to the social economy,
and make each sacrifice meet for heaven.

When many women have thought upon this subject, some will be fit for
the senate, and one such senate in operation would affect the morals
of the civilized world.

At present I look to the young. As preparatory to the senate, I should
like to see a society of novices, such as the world has never yet
seen, bound by no oath, wearing no badge, In place of an oath, they
should have a religious faith in the capacity of Man for virtue;
instead of a badge, should wear in the heart a firm resolve not to
stop short of the destiny promised him as a son of God. Their service
should be action and conservatism, not of old habits, but of a better
nature, enlightened by hopes that daily grow brighter.

If sin was to remain in the world, it should not be by their
connivance at its stay, or one moment's concession to its claims.

They should succor the oppressed, and pay to the upright the reverence
due in hero-worship by seeking to emulate them. They would not
denounce the willingly bad, but they could not be with them, for the
two classes could not breathe the same atmosphere.

They would heed no detention from the time-serving, the worldly and
the timid.

They could love no pleasures that were not innocent and capable of
good fruit,

I saw, in a foreign paper, the title now given to a party abroad, "Los
Exaltados." Such would be the title now given these children by the
world: Los Exaltados, Las Exaltadas; but the world would not sneer
always, for from them would issue a virtue by which it would, at last,
be exalted too.

I have in my eye a youth and a maiden whom I look to as the nucleus of
such a class. They are both in early youth; both as yet
uncontaminated; both aspiring, without rashness; both thoughtful; both
capable of deep affection; both of strong nature and sweet feelings;
both capable of large mental development. They reside in different
regions of earth, but their place in the soul is the same. To them I
look, as, perhaps, the harbingers and leaders of a new era, for never
yet have I known minds so truly virgin, without narrowness or
ignorance.

When men call upon women to redeem them, they mean such maidens. But
such are not easily formed under the present influences of society. As
there are more such young men to help give a different tone, there
will be more such maidens.

The English, novelist, D'Israeli, has, in his novel of "The Young
Duke," made a man of the most depraved stock be redeemed by a woman
who despises him when he has only the brilliant mask of fortune and
beauty to cover the poverty of his heart and brain, but knows how to
encourage him when he enters on a better course. But this woman was
educated by a father who valued character in women.

Still, there will come now and then one who will, as I hope of my
young Exaltada, be example and instruction for the rest. It was not
the opinion of Woman current among Jewish men that formed the
character of the mother of Jesus.

Since the sliding and backsliding men of the world, no less than the
mystics, declare that, as through Woman Man was lost, so through Woman
must Man be redeemed, the time must be at hand. When she knows herself
indeed as "accomplished," still more as "immortal Eve," this may be.

As an immortal, she may also know and inspire immortal love, a
happiness not to be dreamed of under the circumstances advised in the
last quotation. Where love is based on concealment, it must, of
course, disappear when the soul enters the scene of clear vision!

And, without this hope, how worthless every plan, every bond, every
power!

"The giants," said the Scandinavian Saga, "had induced Loke (the
spirit that hovers between good and ill) to steal for them Iduna
(Goddess of Immortality) and her apples of pure gold. He lured her
out, by promising to show, on a marvellous tree he had discovered,
apples beautiful as her own, if she would only take them with her for
a comparison. Thus having lured her beyond the heavenly domain, she
was seized and carried away captive by the powers of misrule.

"As now the gods could not find their friend Iduna, they were confused
with grief; indeed, they began visibly to grow old and gray. Discords
arose, and love grew cold. Indeed, Odur, spouse of the goddess of love
and beauty, wandered away, and returned no more. At last, however, the
gods, discovering the treachery of Loke, obliged him to win back Iduna
from the prison in which she sat mourning. He changed himself into a
falcon, and brought her back as a swallow, fiercely pursued by the
Giant King, in the form of an eagle. So she strives to return among
us, light and small as a swallow. We must welcome her form as the
speck on the sky that assures the glad blue of Summer. Yet one swallow
does not make a summer. Let us solicit them in flights and flocks!"

     *       *       *       *       *

Returning from the future to the present, let us see what forms Iduna
takes, as she moves along the declivity of centuries to the valley
where the lily flower may concentrate all its fragrance.

It would seem as if this time were not very near to one fresh from
books, such as I have of late been--no: _not_ reading, but
sighing over. A crowd of books having been sent me since my friends
knew me to be engaged in this way, on Woman's "Sphere,", Woman's
"Mission," and Woman's "Destiny," I believe that almost all that is
extant of formal precept has come under my eye. Among these I read
with refreshment a little one called "The Whole Duty of Woman,"
"indited by a noble lady at the request of a noble lord," and which
has this much of nobleness, that the view it takes is a religious one.
It aims to fit Woman for heaven; the main bent of most of the others
is to fit her to please, or, at least, not to disturb, a husband.

Among these I select, as a favorable specimen, the book I have already
quoted, "The Study [Footnote: This title seems to be incorrectly
translated from the French. I have not seen the original] of the Life
of Woman, by Madame Necker de Saussure, of Geneva, translated from the
French." This book was published at Philadelphia, and has been read
with much favor here. Madame Necker is the cousin of Madame de Stael,
and has taken from her works the motto prefixed to this.

"Cette vie n'a quelque prix que si elle sert a' l'education morale do
notre coeur."

Mde. Necker is, by nature, capable of entire consistency in the
application of this motto, and, therefore, the qualifications she
makes, in the instructions given to her own sex, show forcibly the
weight which still paralyzes and distorts the energies of that sex.

The book is rich in passages marked by feeling and good suggestions;
but, taken in the whole, the impression it leaves is this:

Woman is, and _shall remain_, inferior to Man and subject to his
will, and, in endeavoring to aid her, we must anxiously avoid anything
that can be misconstrued into expression of the contrary opinion, else
the men will be alarmed, and combine to defeat our efforts.

The present is a good time for these efforts, for men are less
occupied about women than formerly. Let us, then, seize upon the
occasion, and do what we can to make our lot tolerable. But we must
sedulously avoid encroaching on the territory of Man. If we study
natural history, our observations may be made useful, by some male
naturalist; if we draw well, we may make our services acceptable to
the artists. But our names must not be known; and, to bring these
labors to any result, we must take some man for our head, and be his
hands.

The lot of Woman is sad. She is constituted to expect and need a
happiness that cannot exist on earth. She must stifle such aspirations
within her secret heart, and fit herself, as well as she can, for a
life of resignations and consolations.

She will be very lonely while living with her husband. She must not
expect to open her heart to him fully, or that, after marriage, he
will be capable of the refined service of love. The man is not born
for the woman, only the woman for the man. "Men cannot understand the
hearts of women." The life of Woman must be outwardly a
well-intentioned, cheerful dissimulation of her real life.

Naturally, the feelings of the mother, at the birth of a female child,
resemble those of the Paraguay woman, described by Southey as
lamenting in such heart-breaking tones that her mother did not kill
her the hour she was born,--"her mother, who knew what this life of a
woman must be;"--or of those women seen at the north by Sir A.
Mackenzie, who performed this pious duty towards female infants
whenever they had an opportunity.

"After the first delight, the young mother experiences feelings a
little different, according as the birth of a son or a daughter has
been announced.

"Is it a son? A sort of glory swells at this thought the heart of the
mother; she seems to feel that she is entitled to gratitude. She has
given a citizen, a defender, to her country; to her husband an heir of
his name; to herself a protector. And yet the contrast of all these
fine titles with this being, so humble, soon strikes her. At the
aspect of this frail treasure, opposite feelings agitate her heart;
she seems to recognise in him _a nature superior to her own_, but
subjected to a low condition, and she honors a future greatness in the
object of extreme compassion. Somewhat of that respect and adoration
for a feeble child, of which some fine pictures offer the expression
in the features of the happy Mary, seem reproduced with the young
mother who has given birth to a son.

"Is it a daughter? There is usually a slight degree of regret; so
deeply rooted is the idea of the superiority of Man in happiness and
dignity; and yet, as she looks upon this child, she is more and more
_softened_ towards it. A deep sympathy--a sentiment of identity
with this delicate being--takes possession of her; an extreme pity for
so much weakness, a more pressing need of prayer, stirs her heart.
Whatever sorrows she may have felt, she dreads for her daughter; but
she will guide her to become much wiser, much better than herself. And
then the gayety, the frivolity of the young woman have their turn.
This little creature is a flower to cultivate, a doll to decorate."

Similar sadness at the birth of a daughter I have heard mothers
express not unfrequently.

As to this living so entirely for men, I should think when it was
proposed to women they would feel, at least, some spark of the old
spirit of races allied to our own. "If he is to be my bridegroom
_and lord_" cries Brunhilda, [Footnote: See the Nibelungen Lays.]
"he must first be able to pass through fire and water." "I will serve
at the banquet," says the Walkyrie, "but only him who, in the trial
of deadly combat, has shown himself a hero."

If women are to be bond-maids, let it be to men superior to women in
fortitude, in aspiration, in moral power, in refined sense of beauty.
You who give yourselves "to be supported," or because "one must love
something," are they who make the lot of the sex such that mothers are
sad when daughters are born.

It marks the state of feeling on this subject that it was mentioned,
as a bitter censure on a woman who had influence over those younger
than herself,--"She makes those girls want to see heroes?"

"And will that hurt them?"

"Certainly; how _can_ you ask? They will find none, and so they
will never be married."

"_Get_ married" is the usual phrase, and the one that correctly
indicates the thought; but the speakers, on this occasion, were
persons too outwardly refined to use it. They were ashamed of the
word, but not of the thing. Madame Necker, however, sees good possible
in celibacy.

Indeed, I know not how the subject could be better illustrated, than
by separating the wheat from the chaff in Madame Necker's book; place
them in two heaps, and then summon the reader to choose; giving him
first a near-sighted glass to examine the two;--it might be a
Christian, an astronomical, or an artistic glass,--any kind of good
glass to obviate acquired defects in the eye. I would lay any wager on
the result.

But time permits not here a prolonged analysis. I have given the clues
for fault-finding.

As a specimen of the good take the following passage, on the phenomena
of what I have spoken of, as the lyrical or electric element in Woman.

"Women have been seen to show themselves poets in the most pathetic
pantomimic scenes, where all the passions were depicted full of
beauty; and these poets used a language unknown to themselves, and,
the performance once over, their inspiration was a forgotten dream.
Without doubt there is an interior development to beings so gifted;
but their sole mode of communication with us is their talent. They
are, ill all besides, the inhabitants of another planet."

Similar observations have been made by those who have seen the women
at Irish wakes, or the funeral ceremonies of modern Greece or Brittany,
at times when excitement gave the impulse to genius; but, apparently,
without a thought that these rare powers belonged to no other planet,
but were a high development of the growth of this, and might, by wise
and reverent treatment, be made to inform and embellish the scenes of
every day. But, when Woman has her fair chance, she will do so, and
the poem of the hour will vie with that of the ages.

I come now with satisfaction to my own country, and to a writer, a
female writer, whom I have selected as the clearest, wisest, and
kindliest, who has, as yet, used pen here on these subjects. This is
Miss Sedgwick.

Miss Sedgwick, though she inclines to the private path, and wishes
that, by the cultivation of character, might should vindicate right,
sets limits nowhere, and her objects and inducements are pure. They
are the free and careful cultivation of the powers that have been
given, with an aim at moral and intellectual perfection. Her speech is
moderate and sane, but never palsied by fear or sceptical caution.

Herself a fine example of the independent and beneficent existence
that intellect and character can give to Woman, no less than Man, if
she know how to seek and prize it,--also, that the intellect need not
absorb or weaken, but rather will refine and invigorate, the
affections,--the teachings of her practical good sense come with great
force, and cannot fail to avail much. Every way her writings please me
both as to the means and the ends. I am pleased at the stress she lays
on observance of the physical laws, because the true reason is given.
Only in a strong and clean body can the soul do its message fitly.

She shows the meaning of the respect paid to personal neatness, both
in the indispensable form of cleanliness, and of that love of order
and arrangement, that must issue from a true harmony of feeling.

The praises of cold water seem to me an excellent sign in the age.
They denote a tendency to the true life. We are now to have, as a
remedy for ills, not orvietan, or opium, or any quack medicine, but
plenty of air and water, with due attention to warmth and freedom in
dress, and simplicity of diet.

Every day we observe signs that the natural feelings on these subjects
are about to be reinstated, and the body to claim care as the abode
and organ of the soul; not as the tool of servile labor, or the object
of voluptuous indulgence.

A poor woman, who had passed through the lowest grades of ignominy,
seemed to think she had never been wholly lost, "for," said she, "I
would always have good under-clothes;" and, indeed, who could doubt
that this denoted the remains of private self-respect in the mind?

A woman of excellent sense said, "It might seem childish, but to her
one of the most favorable signs of the times was that the ladies had
been persuaded to give up corsets."

Yes! let us give up all artificial means of distortion. Let life be
healthy, pure, all of a piece. Miss Sedgwick, in teaching that
domestics must have the means of bathing us much as their mistresses,
and time, too, to bathe, has symbolized one of the most important of
human rights.

Another interesting sign of the time is the influence exercised by two
women, Miss Martineau and Miss Barrett, from their sick-rooms. The
lamp of life which, if it had been fed only by the affections,
depended on precarious human relations, would scarce have been able to
maintain a feeble glare in the lonely prison, now shines far and wide
over the nations, cheering fellow-sufferers and hallowing the joy of
the healthful.

These persons need not health or youth, or the charms of personal
presence, to make their thoughts available. A few more such, and "old
woman" [Footnote: An apposite passage is quoted in Appendix F.] shall
not be the synonyme for imbecility, nor "old maid" a term of
contempt, nor Woman be spoken of as a reed shaken by the wind.

It is time, indeed, that men and women both should cease to grow old
in any other way than as the tree does, full of grace and honor. The
hair of the artist turns white, but his eye shines clearer than ever,
and we feel that age brings him maturity, not decay. So would it be
with all, were the springs of immortal refreshment but unsealed within
the soul; then, like these women, they would see, from the lonely
chamber window, the glories of the universe; or, shut in darkness, be
visited by angels.

I now touch on my own place and day, and, as I write, events are
occurring that threaten the fair fabric approached by so long an
avenue. Week before last, the Gentile was requested to aid the Jew to
return to Palestine; for the Millennium, the reign of the Son of Mary
was near. Just now, at high and solemn mass, thanks were returned to
the Virgin for having delivered O'Connell from unjust imprisonment, in
requital of his having consecrated to her the league formed in behalf
of Liberty on Tara's Hill. But last week brought news which threatens
that a cause identical with the enfranchisement of Jews, Irish, women,
ay, and of Americans in general, too, is in danger, for the choice of
the people threatens to rivet the chains of slavery and the leprosy of
sin permanently on this nation, through the Annexation of Texas!

Ah! if this should take place, who will dare again to feel the throb
of heavenly hope, as to the destiny of this country? The noble thought
that gave unity to all our knowledge, harmony to all our designs,--the
thought that the progress of history had brought on the era, the
tissue of prophecies pointed out the spot, where humanity was, at
last, to have a fair chance to know itself, and all men be born free
and equal for the eagle's flight,--flutters as if about to leave the
breast, which, deprived of it, will have no more a nation, no more a
home on earth.

Women of my country!--Exaltadas! if such there be,--women of English,
old English nobleness, who understand the courage of Boadicea, the
sacrifice of Godiva, the power of Queen Emma to tread the red-hot iron
unharmed,--women who share the nature of Mrs. Hutchinson, Lady
Russell, and the mothers of our own revolution,--have you nothing to
do with this? You see the men, how they are willing to sell
shamelessly the happiness of countless generations of fellow-creatures,
the honor of their country, and their immortal souls, for a money
market and political power. Do you not feel within you that which can
reprove them, which can check, which can convince them? You would not
speak in vain; whether each in her own home, or banded in unison.

Tell these men that you will not accept the glittering baubles,
spacious dwellings, and plentiful service, they mean to offer you
through those means. Tell them that the heart of Woman demands
nobleness and honor in Man, and that, if they have not purity, have
not mercy, they are no longer fathers, lovers, husbands, sons of
yours.

This cause is your own, for, as I have before said, there is a reason
why the foes of African Slavery seek more freedom for women; but put
it not upon that ground, but on the ground of right.

If you have a power, it is a moral power. The films of interest are
not so close around you as around the men. If you will but think, you
cannot fail to wish to save the country from this disgrace. Let not
slip the occasion, but do something to lift off the curse incurred by
Eve.

You have heard the women engaged in the Abolition movement accused of
boldness, because they lifted the voice in public, and lifted the
latch of the stranger. But were these acts, whether performed
judiciously or no, _so_ bold as to dare before God and Man to
partake the fruits of such offence as this?

You hear much of the modesty of your sex. Preserve it by filling the
mind with noble desires that shall ward off the corruptions of vanity
and idleness. A profligate woman, who left her accustomed haunts and
took service in a New York boarding-house, said "she had never heard
talk so vile at the Five Points, as from the ladies at the
boarding-house." And why? Because they were idle; because, having
nothing worthy to engage them, they dwelt, with unnatural curiosity,
on the ill they dared not go to see.

It will not so much injure your modesty to have your name, by the
unthinking, coupled with idle blame, as to have upon your soul the
weight of not trying to save a whole race of women from the scorn that
is put upon _their_ modesty.

Think of this well! I entreat, I conjure you, before it is too late.
It is my belief that something effectual might be done by women, if
they would only consider the subject, and enter upon it in the true
spirit,--a spirit gentle, but firm, and which feared the offence of
none, save One who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.

And now I have designated in outline, if not in fulness, the stream
which is ever flowing from the heights of my thought.

In the earlier tract I was told I did not make my meaning sufficiently
clear. In this I have consequently tried to illustrate it in various
ways, and may have been guilty of much repetition. Yet, as I am
anxious to leave no room for doubt, I shall venture to retrace, once
more, the scope of my design in points, as wad done in old-fashioned
sermons.

Man is a being of two-fold relations, to nature beneath, and
intelligences above him. The earth is his school, if not his
birth-place; God his object; life and thought his means of
interpreting nature, and aspiring to God.

Only a fraction of this purpose is accomplished in the life of any one
man. Its entire accomplishment is to be hoped only from the sum of the
lives of men, or Man considered as a whole.

As this whole has one soul and one body, any injury or obstruction to
a part, or to the meanest member, affects the whole. Man can never be
perfectly happy or virtuous, till all men are so.

To address Man wisely, you must not forget that his life is partly
animal, subject to the same laws with Nature.

But you cannot address him wisely unless you consider him still more
as soul, and appreciate the conditions and destiny of soul.

The growth of Man is two-fold, masculine and feminine.

So far as these two methods can be distinguished, they are so as

  Energy and Harmony;
  Power and Beauty;
  Intellect and Love;

or by some such rude classification; for we have not language
primitive and pure enough to express such ideas with precision.

These two sides are supposed to be expressed in Man and Woman, that
is, as the more and the less, for the faculties have not been given
pure to either, but only in preponderance. There are also exceptions
in great number, such as men of far more beauty than power, and the
reverse. But, as a general rule, it seems to have been the intention
to give a preponderance on the one side, that is called masculine, and
on the other, one that is called feminine.

There cannot be a doubt that, if these two developments were in
perfect harmony, they would correspond to and fulfil one another, like
hemispheres, or the tenor and bass in music.

But there is no perfect harmony in human nature; and the two parts
answer one another only now and then; or, if there be a persistent
consonance, it can only be traced at long intervals, instead of
discoursing an obvious melody.

What is the cause of this?

Man, in the order of time, was developed first; as energy comes before
harmony; power before beauty.

Woman was therefore under his care as an elder. He might have been her
guardian and teacher.

But, as human nature goes not straight forward, but by excessive
action and then reaction in an undulated course, he misunderstood and
abused his advantages, and became her temporal master instead of her
spiritual sire.

On himself came the punishment. He educated Woman more as a servant
than a daughter, and found himself a king without a queen.

The children of this unequal union showed unequal natures, and, more
and more, men seemed sons of the handmaid, rather than princess.

At last, there were so many Ishmaelites that the rest grew frightened
and indignant. They laid the blame on Hagar, and drove her forth into
the wilderness.

But there were none the fewer Ishmaelites for that.

At last men became a little wiser, and saw that the infant Moses was,
in every case, saved by the pure instincts of Woman's breast. For, as
too much adversity is better for the moral nature than too much
prosperity, Woman, in this respect, dwindled less than Man, though in
other respects still a child in leading-strings.

So Man did her more and more justice, and grew more and more kind.

But yet--his habits and his will corrupted by the past--he did not
clearly see that Woman was half himself; that her interests were
identical with his; and that, by the law of their common being, he
could never reach his true proportions while she remained in any wise
shorn of hers.

And so it has gone on to our day; both ideas developing, but more
slowly than they would under a clearer recognition of truth and
justice, which would have permitted the sexes their due influence on
one another, and mutual improvement from more dignified relations.

Wherever there was pure love, the natural influences were, for the
time, restored.

Wherever the poet or artist gave free course to his genius, he saw the
truth, and expressed it in worthy forms, for these men especially
share and need the feminine principle. The divine birds need to be
brooded into life and song by mothers.

Wherever religion (I mean the thirst for truth and good, not the love
of sect and dogma) had its course, the original design was apprehended
in its simplicity, and the dove presaged sweetly from Dodona's oak.

I have aimed to show that no age was left entirely without a witness
of the equality of the sexes in function, duty and hope.

Also that, when there was unwillingness or ignorance, which prevented
this being acted upon, women had not the less power for their want of
light and noble freedom. But it was power which hurt alike them and
those against whom they made use of the arms of the servile,--cunning,
blandishment, and unreasonable emotion.

That now the time has come when a clearer vision and better action are
possible--when Man and Woman may regard one another, as brother and
sister, the pillars of one porch, the priests of one worship.

I have believed and intimated that this hope would receive an ampler
fruition, than ever before, in our own land.

And it will do so if this land carry out the principles from which
sprang our national life.

I believe that, at present, women are the best helpers of one another.

Let them think; let them act; till they know what they need.

We only ask of men to remove arbitrary barriers. Some would like to do
more. But I believe it needs that Woman show herself in her native
dignity, to teach them how to aid her; their minds are so encumbered
by tradition.

When Lord Edward Fitzgerald travelled with the Indians, his manly
heart obliged him at once to take the packs from the squaws and carry
them. But we do not read that the red men followed his example, though
they are ready enough to carry the pack of the white woman, because
she seems to them a superior being.

Let Woman appear in the mild majesty of Ceres, and rudest churls will
be willing to learn from her.

You ask, what use will she make of liberty, when she has so long been
sustained and restrained?

I answer; in the first place, this will not be suddenly given. I read
yesterday a debate of this year on the subject of enlarging women's
rights over property. It was a leaf from the class-book that is
preparing for the needed instruction. The men learned visibly as they
spoke. The champions of Woman saw the fallacy of arguments on the
opposite side, and were startled by their own convictions. With their
wives at home, and the readers of the paper, it was the same. And so
the stream flows on; thought urging action, and action leading to the
evolution of still better thought.

But, were this freedom to come suddenly, I have no fear of the
consequences. Individuals might commit excesses, but there is not only
in the sex a reverence for decorums and limits inherited and enhanced
from generation to generation, which many years of other life could
not efface, but a native love, in Woman as Woman, of proportion, of
"the simple art of not too much,"--a Greek moderation, which would
create immediately a restraining party, the natural legislators and
instructors of the rest, and would gradually establish such rules as
are needed to guard, without impeding, life.

The Graces would lead the choral dance, and teach the rest to regulate
their steps to the measure of beauty.

But if you ask me what offices they may fill, I reply--any. I do not
care what case you put; let them be sea-captains, if you will. I do
not doubt there are women well fitted for such an office, and, if so,
I should be as glad to see them in it, as to welcome the maid of
Saragossa, or the maid of Missolonghi, or the Suliote heroine, or
Emily Plater.

I think women need, especially at this juncture, a much greater range
of occupation than they have, to rouse their latent powers. A party of
travellers lately visited a lonely hut on a mountain. There they found
an old woman, who told them she and her husband had lived there forty
years. "Why," they said, "did you choose so barren a spot?" She "did
not know; _it was the man's notion."_

And, during forty years, she had been content to act, without knowing
why, upon "the man's notion." I would not have it so.

In families that I know, some little girls like to saw wood, others to
use carpenters' tools. Where these tastes are indulged, cheerfulness
and good-humor are promoted. Where they are forbidden, because "such
things are not proper for girls," they grow sullen and mischievous.

Fourier had observed these wants of women, as no one can fail to do
who watches the desires of little girls, or knows the ennui that
haunts grown women, except where they make to themselves a serene
little world by art of some kind. He, therefore, in proposing a great
variety of employments, in manufactures or the care of plants and
animals, allows for one third of women as likely to have a taste for
masculine pursuits, one third of men for feminine.

Who does not observe the immediate glow and serenity that is diffused
over the life of women, before restless or fretful, by engaging in
gardening, building, or the lowest department of art? Here is
something that is not routine, something that draws forth life towards
the infinite.

I have no doubt, however, that a large proportion of women would give
themselves to the same employments as now, because there are
circumstances that must lead them. Mothers will delight to make the
nest soft and warm. Nature would take care of that; no need to clip
the wings of any bird that wants to soar and sing, or finds in itself
the strength of pinion for a migratory flight unusual to its kind. The
difference would be that _all_ need not be constrained to
employments for which _some_ are unfit.

I have urged upon the sex self-subsistence in its two forms of
self-reliance and self-impulse, because I believe them to be the
needed means of the present juncture.

I have urged on Woman independence of Man, not that I do not think the
sexes mutually needed by one another, but because in Woman this fact
has led to an excessive devotion, which has cooled love, degraded
marriage, and prevented either sex from being what it should be to
itself or the other.

I wish Woman to live, _first_ for God's sake. Then she will not
make an imperfect man her god, and thus sink to idolatry. Then she
will not take what is not fit for her from a sense of weakness and
poverty. Then, if she finds what she needs in Man embodied, she will
know how to love, and be worthy of being loved.

By being more a soul, she will not be less Woman, for nature is
perfected through spirit.

Now there is no woman, only an overgrown child.

That her hand may be given with dignity, she must be able to stand
alone. I wish to see men and women capable of such relations as are
depicted by Landor in his Pericles and Aspasia, where grace is the
natural garb of strength, and the affections are calm, because deep.
The softness is that of a firm tissue, as when

      "The gods approve
  The depth, but not the tumult of the soul,
  A fervent, not ungovernable love."


A profound thinker has said, "No married woman can represent the
female world, for she belongs to her husband. The idea of Woman must
be represented by a virgin."

But that is the very fault of marriage, and of the present relation
between the sexes, that the woman does belong to the man, instead of
forming a whole with him. Were it otherwise, there would be no such
limitation to the thought.

Woman, self-centred, would never be absorbed by any relation; it would
be only an experience to her as to man. It is a vulgar error that
love, _a_ love, to Woman is her whole existence; she also is born
for Truth and Love in their universal energy. Would she but assume her
inheritance, Mary would not be the only virgin mother. Not Manzoni
alone would celebrate in his wife the virgin mind with the maternal
wisdom and conjugal affections. The soul is ever young, ever virgin.

And will not she soon appear?--the woman who shall vindicate their
birthright for all women; who shall teach them what to claim, and how
to use what they obtain? Shall not her name be for her era Victoria,
for her country and life Virginia? Yet predictions are rash; she
herself must teach us to give her the fitting name.

An idea not unknown to ancient times has of late been revived, that,
in the metamorphoses of life, the soul assumes the form, first of Man,
then of Woman, and takes the chances, and reaps the benefits of either
lot. Why then, say some, lay such emphasis on the rights or needs of
Woman? What she wins not as Woman will come to her as Man.

That makes no difference. It is not Woman, but the law of right, the
law of growth, that speaks in us, and demands the perfection of each
being in its kind--apple as apple, Woman as Woman. Without adopting
your theory, I know that I, a daughter, live through the life of Man;
but what concerns me now is, that my life be a beautiful, powerful, in
a word, a complete life in its kind. Had I but one more moment to live
I must wish the same.

Suppose, at the end of your cycle, your great world-year, all will be
completed, whether I exert myself or not (and the supposition is
_false_,--but suppose it true), am I to be indifferent about it?
Not so! I must beat my own pulse true in the heart of the world; for
_that_ is virtue, excellence, health.

Thou, Lord of Day! didst leave us to-night so calmly glorious, not
dismayed that cold winter is coming, not postponing thy beneficence to
the fruitful summer! Thou didst smile on thy day's work when it was
done, and adorn thy down-going as thy up-rising, for thou art loyal,
and it is thy nature to give life, if thou canst, and shine at all
events!

I stand in the sunny noon of life. Objects no longer glitter in the
dews of morning, neither are yet softened by the shadows of evening.
Every spot is seen, every chasm revealed. Climbing the dusty hill,
some fair effigies that once stood for symbols of human destiny have
been broken; those I still have with me show defects in this broad
light. Yet enough is left, even by experience, to point distinctly to
the glories of that destiny; faint, but not to be mistaken streaks of
the future day. I can say with the bard,

  "Though many have suffered shipwreck, still beat noble hearts."


Always the soul says to us all, Cherish your best hopes as a faith,
and abide by them in action. Such shall be the effectual fervent means
to their fulfilment;

    For the Power to whom we bow
    Has given its pledge that, if not now,
    They of pure and steadfast mind,
    By faith exalted, truth refined,
    _Shall_ hear all music loud and clear,
    Whose first notes they ventured here.
    Then fear not thou to wind the horn,
    Though elf and gnome thy courage scorn;
    Ask for the castle's King and Queen;
    Though rabble rout may rush between,
    Beat thee senseless to the ground,
    In the dark beset thee round;
    Persist to ask, and it will come;
    Seek not for rest in humbler home;
    So shalt thou see, what few have seen,
    The palace home of King and Queen.

  15_th November_, 1844.



PART II.

       *       *       *       *       *

MISCELLANIES.



AGLAURON AND LAURIE.

A DRIVE THROUGH THE COUNTRY NEAR BOSTON.


Aglauron and Laurie are two of the pleasantest men I know. Laurie
combines, with the external advantages of a beautiful person and easy
address, all the charm which quick perceptions and intelligent
sympathy give to the intercourse of daily life. He has an extensive,
though not a deep, knowledge of men and books,--his naturally fine
taste has been more refined by observation, both at home and abroad,
than is usual in this busy country; and, though not himself a thinker,
he follows with care and delight the flights of a rapid and inventive
mind. He is one of those rare persons who, without being servile or
vacillating, present on no side any barrier to the free action of
another mind. Yes, he is really an agreeable companion. I do not
remember ever to have been wearied or chilled in his company.

Aglauron is a person of far greater depth and force than his friend
and cousin, but by no means as agreeable. His mind is ardent and
powerful, rather than brilliant and ready,--neither does he with ease
adapt himself to the course of another. But, when he is once kindled,
the blaze of light casts every object on which it falls into a bold
relief, and gives every scene a lustre unknown before. He is not,
perhaps, strictly original in his thoughts; but the severe truth of
his character, and the searching force of his attention, give the
charm of originality to what he says. Accordingly, another cannot, by
repetition, do it justice. I have never any doubt when I write down or
tell what Laurie says, but Aglauron must write for himself.

Yet I almost always take notes of what has passed, for the amusement
of a distant friend, who is learning, amidst the western prairies,
patience, and an appreciation of the poor benefits of our imperfectly
civilized state. And those I took this day, seemed not unworthy of a
more general circulation. The sparkle of talk, the free breeze that
swelled its current, are always fled when you write it down; but there
is a gentle flow, and truth to the moment, rarely attained in more
elaborate compositions.

My two friends called to ask if I would drive with them into the
country, and I gladly consented. It was a beautiful afternoon of the
last week in May. Nature seemed most desirous to make up for the time
she had lost, in an uncommonly cold and wet spring. The leaves were
bursting from their sheaths with such rapidity that the trees seemed
actually to greet you as you passed along. The vestal choirs of
snow-drops and violets were chanting their gentle hopes from every
bank, the orchards were white with blossoms, and the birds singing in
almost tumultuous glee.

We drove for some time in silence, perhaps fearful to disturb the
universal song by less melodious accents, when Aglauron said:

"How entirely are we new-born today! How are all the post cold skies
and hostile breezes vanished before this single breath of sweetness!
How consoling is the truth thus indicated!"

_Laurie_. It is indeed the dearest fact of our consciousness,
that, in every moment of joy, pain is annihilated. There is no past,
and the future is only the sunlight streaming into the far valley.

_Aglauron._ Yet it was the night that taught us to prize the day.

_Laurie._ Even so. And I, you know, object to none of the "dark
masters."

_Aglauron_. Nor I,--because I am sure that whatever is, is good;
and to find out the _why_ is all our employment here. But one
feels so at home in such a day as this!

_Laurie._ As this, indeed! I never heard so many birds, nor saw
so many flowers. Do you not like these yellow flowers?

_Aglauron._ They gleam upon the fields as if to express the
bridal kiss of the sun. He seems most happy, if not most wealthy, when
first he is wed to the earth.

_Laurie._ I believe I have some such feeling about these golden
flowers. When I did not know what was the Asphodel, so celebrated by
the poets, I thought it was a golden flower; yet this yellow is so
ridiculed as vulgar.

_Aglauron_. It is because our vulgar luxury depreciates objects
not fitted to adorn our dwellings. These yellow flowers will not bear
being token out of their places and brought home to the centre-table.
But, when enamelling the ground, the cowslip, the king-cup,--nay, the
marigold and dandelion even,--are resplendently beautiful.

_Laurie_. They are the poor man's gold. See that dark, unpointed
house, with its lilac shrubbery. As it stands, undivided from the road
to which the green bank slopes down from the door, is not the effect
of that enamel of gold dandelions beautiful?

_Aglauron_. It seems as if a stream of peace had flowed from the
door-step down to the very dust, in waves of light, to greet the
passer-by. That is, indeed, a quiet house. It looks as if somebody's
grandfather lived there still.

_Laurie_. It is most refreshing to see the dark boards amid those
houses of staring white. Strange that, in the extreme heat of summer,
aching eyes don't teach the people better.

_Aglauron_. We are still, in fact, uncivilized, for all our
knowledge of what is done "in foreign parts" cannot make us otherwise.
Civilization must be homogeneous,--must be a natural growth. This
glistening white paint was long preferred because the most expensive;
just as in the West, I understand, they paint houses red to make them
resemble the hideous red brick. And the eye, thus spoiled by
excitement, prefers red or white to the stone-color, or the browns,
which would harmonize with other hues.

_Laurie_. I should think the eye could never be spoiled so far as
to like these white palings. These bars of glare amid the foliage are
unbearable.

_Myself_. What color should they be?

_Laurie_. An invisible green, as in all civilized parts of the
globe. Then your eye would rest on the shrubbery undisturbed.

_Myself_. Your vaunted Italy has its palaces of white stucco and
buildings of brick.

_Laurie_. Ay,--but the stucco is by the atmosphere soon mellowed
into cream-color, the brick into rich brown.

_Myself_. I have heard a connoisseur admire our own red brick in
the afternoon sun, above all other colors.

_Laurie_. There are some who delight too much in the stimulus of
color to be judges of harmony of coloring. It is so, often, with the
Italians. No color is too keen for the eye of the Neapolitan. He
thinks, with little Riding-hood, there is no color like red. I have
seen one of the most beautiful new palaces paved with tiles of a
brilliant red. But this, too, is barbarism.

_Myself_. You are pleased to call it so, because you make the
English your arbiters in point of taste; but I do not think they, on
your own principle, are our proper models. With their ever-weeping
skies, and seven-piled velvet of verdure, they are no rule for us,
whose eyes are accustomed to the keen blue and brilliant clouds of our
own realm, and who see the earth wholly green scarce two months in the
year. No white is more glistening than our January snows; no house
here hurts my eye more than the fields of white-weed will, a fortnight
hence.

_Laurie._ True refinement of taste would bid the eye seek repose
the more. But, even admitting what you say, there is no harmony. The
architecture is borrowed from England; why not the rest?

_Aglauron._ But, my friend, surely these piazzas and pipe-stem
pillars are all American.

_Laurie._ But the cottage to which they belong is English. The
inhabitants, suffocating in small rooms, and beneath sloping roofs,
because the house is too low to admit any circulation of air, are in
need, we must admit, of the piazza, for elsewhere they must suffer all
the torments of Mons. Chaubert in his first experience of the oven.
But I do not assail the piazzas, at any rate; they are most desirable,
in these hot summers of ours, were they but in proportion with the
house, and their pillars with one another. But I do object to houses
which are desirable neither as summer nor winter residences here. The
shingle palaces, celebrated by Irving's wit, were far more
appropriate, for they, at least, gave free course to the winds of
heaven, when the thermometer stood at ninety-five degrees in the
shade.

_Aglauron._ Pity that American wit nipped in the bud those early
attempts at an American architecture. Here in the East, alas! the case
is become hopeless. But in the West the log-cabin still promises a
proper basis.

_Laurie._ You laugh at me. But so it is. I am not so silly as to
insist upon American architecture, American art, in the 4th of July
style, merely for the gratification of national vanity. But a
building, to be beautiful, should harmonize exactly with the uses to
which it is to be put, and be an index to the climate and habits of
the people. There is no objection to borrowing good thoughts from
other nations, if we adopt the new style because we find it will serve
our convenience, and not merely because it looks pretty outside.

_Aglauron._ I agree with you that here, as well as in manners and
in literature, there is too ready access to the old stock, and, though
I said it in jest, my hope is, in truth, the log-cabin. This the
settler will enlarge, as his riches and his family increase; he will
beautify as his character refines, and as his eye becomes accustomed
to observe objects around him for their loveliness as well as for
their utility. He will borrow from Nature the forms and coloring most
in harmony with the scene in which his dwelling is placed. Might
growth here be but slow enough! Might not a greediness for gain and
show cheat men of all the real advantages of their experience!

(Here a carriage passed.)

_Laurie._ Who is that beautiful lady to whom you bowed?

_Aglauron._ Beautiful do you think her? At this distance, and
with the freshness which the open air gives to her complexion, she
certainly does look so, and was so still, five years ago, when I knew
her abroad. It is Mrs. V----.

_Laurie._ I remember with what interest you mentioned her in your
letters. And you promised to tell me her true story.

_Aglauron._ I was much interested, then, both in her and her
story, But, last winter, when I met her at the South, she had altered,
and seemed so much less attractive than before, that the bright colors
of the picture are well-nigh effaced.

_Laurie._ The pleasure of telling the story will revive them
again. Let us fasten our horses and go into this little wood. There is
a seat near the lake which is pretty enough to tell a story upon.

_Aglauron._ In all the idyls I ever read, they were told in
caves, or beside a trickling fountain.

_Laurie._ That was in the last century. We will innovate. Let us
begin that American originality we were talking about, and make the
bank of a lake answer our purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *

We dismounted accordingly, but, on reaching the spot, Aglauron at
first insisted on lying on the grass, and gazing up at the clouds in a
most uncitizen-like fashion, and it was some time before we could get
the promised story. At last,--

       *       *       *       *       *

I first saw Mrs. V---- at the opera in Vienna. Abroad, I scarcely cared
for anything in comparison with music. In many respects the Old World
disappointed my hopes; Society was, in essentials, no better, nor
worse, than at home, and I too easily saw through the varnish of
conventional refinement. Lions, seen near, were scarcely more
interesting than tamer cattle, and much more annoying in their gambols
and caprices. Parks and ornamental grounds pleased me less than the
native forests and wide-rolling rivers of my own land. But in the
Arts, and most of all in Music, I found all my wishes more than
realized. I found the soul of man uttering itself with the swiftness,
the freedom and the beauty, for which I had always pined. I easily
conceived how foreigners, once acquainted with this diverse language,
pass their lives without a wish for pleasure or employment beyond
hearing the great works of the masters. It seemed to me that here was
wealth to feed the thoughts for ages. This lady fixed my attention by
the rapturous devotion with which she listened. I saw that she too had
here found her proper home. Every shade of thought and feeling
expressed in the music was mirrored in her beautiful countenance. Her
rapture of attention, during some passages, was enough of itself to
make you hold your breath; and a sudden stroke of genius lit her face
into a very heaven with its lightning. It seemed to me that in her I
should find one who would truly sympathize with me, one who looked on
the art not as a connoisseur, but a votary.

I took the speediest opportunity of being introduced to her at her own
house by a common friend.

But what a difference! At home I scarcely knew her. Still she was
beautiful; but the sweetness, the elevated expression, which the
satisfaction of an hour had given her, were entirely fled. Her eye was
restless, her cheek pale and thin, her whole expression perturbed and
sorrowful. Every gesture spoke the sickliness of a spirit long an
outcast from its natural home, bereft of happiness, and hopeless of
good.

I perceived, at first sight of her every-day face, that it was not
unknown to me. Three or four years earlier, staying in the
country-house of one of her friends, I had seen her picture. The house
was very dull,--as dull as placid content with the mere material
enjoyments of life, and an inert gentleness of nature, could make its
inhabitants. They were people to be loved, but loved without a
thought. Their wings had never grown, nor their eyes coveted a wider
prospect than could be seen from the parent nest. The friendly
visitant could not discompose them by a remark indicating any
expansion of mind or life. Much as I enjoyed the beauty of the country
around, when out in the free air, my hours within the house would have
been dull enough but for the contemplation of this picture. While the
round of common-place songs was going on, and the whist-players were
at their work, I used to sit and wonder how this being, so sovereign
in the fire of her nature, so proud in her untamed loveliness, could
ever have come of their blood. Her eye, from the canvas, even, seemed
to annihilate all things low or little, and able to command all
creation in search of the object of its desires. She had not found it,
though; I felt this on seeing her now. She, the queenly woman, the
Boadicea of a forlorn hope, as she seemed born to be, the only woman
whose face, to my eye, had ever given promise of a prodigality of
nature sufficient for the entertainment of a poet's soul, was--I saw
it at a glance--a captive in her life, and a beggar in her affections.

_Laurie._ A dangerous object to the traveller's eye, methinks!

_Aglauron._ Not to mine! The picture had been so; but, seeing her
now, I felt that the glorious promise of her youthful prime had
failed. She had missed her course; and the beauty, whose charm to the
imagination had been that it seemed invincible, was now subdued and
mixed with earth.

_Laurie._ I can never comprehend the cruelty in your way of
viewing human beings, Aglauron. To err, to suffer, is their lot; all
who have feeling and energy of character must share it; and I could
not endure a woman who at six-and-twenty bore no trace of the past.

_Aglauron._ Such women and such men are the companions of
everyday life. But the angels of our thoughts are those moulds of pure
beauty which must break with a fall. The common air must not touch
them, for they make their own atmosphere. I admit that such are not
for the tenderness of daily life; their influence must be high,
distant, starlike, to be pure.

Such was this woman to me before I knew her; one whose splendid beauty
drew on my thoughts to their future home. In knowing her, I lost the
happiness I had enjoyed in knowing what she should have been. At first
the disappointment was severe, but I have learnt to pardon her, as
others who get mutilated or worn in life, and show the royal impress
only in their virgin courage. But this subject would detain me too
long. Let me rather tell you of Mrs. V----'s sad history.

A friend of mine has said that beautiful persons seem rarely born to
their proper family, but amidst persons so rough and uncongenial that
_their_ presence commands like that of a reproving angel, or
pains like that of some poor prince changed at nurse, and bound for
life to the society of churls.

So it was with Emily. Her father was sordid, her mother weak; persons
of great wealth and greater selfishness. She was the youngest by many
years, and left alone in her father's house. Notwithstanding the want
of intelligent sympathy while she was growing up, and the want of all
intelligent culture, she was not an unhappy child. The unbounded and
foolish indulgence with which she was treated did not have an
obviously bad effect upon her then; it did not make her selfish,
sensual, or vain. Her character was too powerful to dwell upon such
boons as those nearest her could bestow. She negligently received them
all as her due. It was later that the pernicious effects of the
absence of all discipline showed themselves; but in early years she
was happy in her lavish feelings, and in beautiful nature, on which
she could pour them, and in her own pursuits. Music was her passion;
in it she found food, and an answer for feelings destined to become so
fatal to her peace, but which then glowed so sweetly in her youthful
form as to enchant the most ordinary observer.

When she was not more than fifteen, and expanding like a flower in
each sunny day, it was her misfortune that her first husband saw and
loved her. Emily, though pleased by his handsome person and gay
manners, never bestowed a serious thought on him. If she had, it would
have been the first ever disengaged from her life of pleasurable
sensation. But when he did plead his cause with all the ardor of
youth, and the flourishes which have been by usage set apart for such
occasions, she listened with delight; for all his talk of boundless
love, undying faith, etc., seemed her native tongue. It was like the
most glowing sunset sky. It swelled upon the ear like music. It was
the only way she ever wished to be addressed, and she now saw plainly
why all talk of everyday people had fallen unheeded on her ear. She
could have listened all day. But when, emboldened by the beaming eye
and ready smile with which she heard, he pressed his suit more
seriously, and talked of marriage, she drew back astonished. Marry
yet?--impossible! She had never thought of it; and as she thought now
of marriages, such as she had seen them, there was nothing in marriage
to attract. But L---- was not so easily repelled; he made her every
promise of pleasure, as one would to a child. He would take her away
to journey through scenes more beautiful than she had ever dreamed of;
he would take her to a city where, in the fairest home, she should
hear the finest music, and he himself, in every scene, would be her
devoted slave, too happy if for every now pleasure he received one of
those smiles which had become his life.

He saw her yielding, and hastened to secure her. Her father was
delighted, as fathers are strangely wont to be, that he was likely to
be deprived of his child, his pet, his pride. The mother was threefold
delighted that she would have a daughter married so _young_,--at
least three years younger than any of her elder sisters were married.
Both lent their influence; and Emily, accustomed to rely on them
against all peril, and annoyance, till she scarcely knew there was
pain or evil in the world, gave her consent, as she would have given
it to a pleasure-party for a day or a week.

The marriage was hurried on; L---- intent on gaining his object, as
men of strong will and no sentiment are wont to be, the parents
thinking of the eclat of the match. Emily was amused by the
preparations for the festivity, and full of excitement about the new
chapter which was to be opened in her life. Yet so little idea had she
of the true business of life, and the importance of its ties, that
perhaps there was no figure in the future that occupied her less than
that of her bridegroom, a handsome man, with a sweet voice, her
captive, her adorer. She neither thought nor saw further, lulled by
the pictures of bliss and adventure which were floating before her
fancy, the more enchanting because so vague.

It was at this time that the picture that so charmed me was taken. The
exquisite rose had not yet opened its leaves so as to show its heart;
but its fragrance and blushful pride were there in perfection.

Poor Emily! She had the promised journeys, the splendid home. Amid the
former her mind, opened by new scenes, already learned that something
she seemed to possess was wanting in the too constant companion of her
days. In the splendid home she received not only musicians, but other
visitants, who taught her strange things.

Four little months after her leaving home, her parents were astonished
by receiving a letter in which she told them they had parted with her
too soon; that she was not happy with Mr. L----, as he had promised
she should be, and that she wished to have her marriage broken. She
urged her father to make haste about it, as she had particular reasons
for impatience. You may easily conceive of the astonishment of the
good folks at home. Her mother wondered and cried. Her father
immediately ordered his horses, and went to her.

He was received with rapturous delight, and almost at the first moment
thanked for his speedy compliance with her request. But when she found
that he opposed her desire of having her marriage broken, and when she
urged him with vehemence and those marks of caressing fondness she had
been used to find all-powerful, and he told her at last it could not
be done, she gave way to a paroxysm of passion; she declared that she
could not and would not live with Mr. L----; that, so soon as she saw
anything of the world, she saw many men that she infinitely preferred
to him; and that, since her father and mother, instead of guarding
her, so mere a child as she was, so entirely inexperienced, against a
hasty choice, had persuaded and urged her to it, it was their duty to
break the match when they found it did not make her happy.

"My child, you are entirely unreasonable."

"It is not a time to be patient; and I was too yielding before. I am
not seventeen. Is the happiness of my whole life to be sacrificed?"

"Emily, you terrify me! Do you love anybody else?"

"Not yet; but I am sure shall find some one to love, now I know what
it is. I have seen already many whom I prefer to Mr. L----."

"Is he not kind to you?"

"Kind! yes; but he is perfectly uninteresting. I hate to be with him.
I do not wish his kindness, nor to remain in his house."

In vain her father argued; she insisted that she could never be happy
as she was; that it was impossible the law could be so cruel as to
bind her to a vow she had taken when so mere a child; that she would
go home with her father now, and they would see what could be done.
She added that she had already told her husband her resolution.

"And how did he bear it?"

"He was very angry; but it is better for him to be angry once than
unhappy always, as I should certainly make him did I remain here."

After long and fruitless attempts to reason her into a different state
of mind, the father went in search of the husband. He found him
irritated and mortified. He loved his wife, in his way, for her
personal beauty. He was very proud of her; he was piqued to the last
degree by her frankness. He could not but acknowledge the truth of
what she said, that she had been persuaded into the match when but a
child; for she seemed a very infant now, in wilfulness and ignorance
of the world. But I believe neither he nor her father had one
compunctious misgiving as to their having profaned the holiness of
marriage by such an union. Their minds had never been opened to the
true meaning of life, and, though they thought themselves so much
wiser, they were in truth much less so than the poor, passionate
Emily,--for her heart, at least, spoke clearly, if her mind lay in
darkness.

They could do nothing with her, and her father was at length compelled
to take her home, hoping that her mother might be able to induce her
to see things in a different light. But father, mother, uncles,
brothers, all reasoned with her in vain. Totally unused to
disappointment, she could not for a long time believe that she was
forever bound by a bond that sat uneasily on her untamed spirit. When
at last convinced of the truth, her despair was terrible.

"Am I his? his forever? Must I never then love? Never marry one whom I
could really love? Mother! it is too cruel. I cannot, will not believe
it. You always wished me to belong to him. You do not now wish to aid
me, or you are afraid! O, you would not be so, could you but know what
I feel!"

At last convinced, she then declared that if she could not be legally
separated from L----, but must consent to bear his name, and never
give herself to another, she would at least live with him no more. She
would not again leave her father's house. Here she was deaf to all
argument, and only force could have driven her away. Her indifference
to L---- had become hatred, in the course of these thoughts and
conversations. She regarded herself as his victim, and him as her
betrayer, since, she said, he was old enough to know the importance of
the step to which he led her. Her mind, naturally noble, though now in
this wild state, refused to admit his love as an excuse. "Had he loved
me," she said, "he would have wished to teach me to love him, before
securing me as his property. He is as selfish as he is dull and
uninteresting. No! I will drag on my miserable years here alone, but I
will not pretend to love him nor gratify him by the sight of his
slave!"

A year and more passed, and found the unhappy Emily inflexible. Her
husband at last sought employment abroad, to hide his mortification.

After his departure, Emily relaxed once from the severe coldness she
had shown since her return home. She had passed her time there with
her music, in reading poetry, in solitary walks. But as the person who
had been, however unintentionally, the means of making her so
miserable, was further removed from her, she showed willingness to
mingle again with the family, and see one or two young friends.

One of these, Almeria, effected what all the armament of praying and
threatening friends had been unable to do. She devoted herself to
Emily. She shared her employments and her walks; she sympathized with
all her feelings, even the morbid ones which she saw to be sincerity,
tenderness and delicacy gone astray,--perverted and soured by the
foolish indulgence of her education, and the severity of her destiny
made known suddenly to a mind quite unprepared. At last, having won
the confidence and esteem of Emily, by the wise and gentle cheek her
justice and clear perceptions gave to all extravagance, Almeria
ventured on representing to Emily her conduct as the world saw it.

To this she found her quite insensible. "What is the world to me?" she
said. "I am forbidden to seek there all it can offer of value to
Woman--sympathy and a home."

"It is full of beauty still," said Almeria, looking out into the
golden and perfumed glories of a June day.

"Not to the prisoner and the slave," said Emily.

"All are such, whom God hath not made free;" and Almeria gently
ventured to explain the hopes of larger span which enable the soul
that can soar upon their wings to disregard the limitations of seventy
years.

Emily listened with profound attention. The words were familiar to
her, but the tone was not; it was that which rises from the depths of
a purified spirit,--purified by pain, softened into peace.

"Have you made any use of these thoughts in your life, Almeria?"

The lovely preacher hesitated not to reveal a tale before unknown
except to her own heart, of woe, renunciation, and repeated blows from
a hostile fate.

Emily heard it in silence, but she understood. The great illusions of
youth vanished. She did not suffer alone; her lot was not peculiar.
Another, perhaps many, were forbidden the bliss of sympathy and a
congenial environment. And what had Almeria done? Revenged herself?
Tormented all around her? Clung with wild passion to a selfish
resolve? Not at all. She had made the best of a wreck of life, and
deserved a blessing on a new voyage. She had sought consolation in
disinterested tenderness for her fellow-sufferers, and she deserved to
cease to suffer.

The lesson was taken home, and gradually leavened the whole being of
this spoiled but naturally noble child.

A few weeks afterwards, she asked her father when Mr. L---- was
expected to return.

"In about three months," he replied, much surprised.

"I should like to have you write to him for me."

"What now absurdity?" said the father, who, long mortified and
harassed, had ceased to be a fond father to his once adored Emily.

"Say that my views are unchanged as to his soliciting a marriage with
me when too childish to know my own mind on that or any other subject;
but I have now seen enough of the world to know that he meant no ill,
if no good, and was no more heedless in this great matter than many
others are. He is not born to know what one constituted like me must
feel, in a home where I found no rest for my heart. I have now read,
seen and thought, what has made me a woman. I can be what you call
reasonable, though not perhaps in your way. I see that my misfortune
is irreparable. I heed not the world's opinion, and would, for myself,
rather remain here, and keep up no semblance of a connection which my
matured mind disclaims. But that scandalizes you and my mother, and
makes your house a scene of pain and mortification in your old age. I
know you, too, did not neglect the charge of me, in your own eyes. I
owe you gratitude for your affectionate intentions at least.

"L---- too is as miserable as mortification can make one like him.
Write, and ask him if he wishes my presence in his house on my own
terms. He must not expect from me the affection, or marks of
affection, of a wife. I should never have been his wife had I waited
till I understood life or myself. But I will be his attentive and
friendly companion, the mistress of his house, if he pleases. To the
world it will seem enough,--he will be more comfortable there,--and
what he wished of me was, in a great measure, to show me to the world.
I saw that, as soon as we were in it, I could not give him happiness
if I would, for we have not a thought nor employment in common. But if
we can agree on the way, we may live together without any one being
very miserable except myself, and I have made up my mind."

The astonishment of the father may be conceived, and his cavils;
L----'s also.

To cut the story short, it was settled in Emily's way, for she was one
of the sultana kind, dread and dangerous. L---- hardly wished her to
love him now, for he half hated her for all she had done; yet he was
glad to have her back, as she had judged, for the sake of appearances.
All was smoothed over by a plausible story. People, indeed, knew the
truth as to the fair one's outrageous conduct perfectly, but Mr. L----
was rich, his wife beautiful, and gave good parties; so society, as
such, bowed and smiled, while individuals scandalized the pair.

They had been living on this footing for several years, when I saw
Emily at the opera. She was a much altered being. Debarred of
happiness in her affections, she had turned for solace to the
intellectual life, and her naturally powerful and brilliant mind had
matured into a splendor which had never been dreamed of by those who
had seen her amid the freaks end day-dreams of her early youth.

Yet, as I said before, she was not captivating to me, as her picture
had been. She was, in a different way, as beautiful in feature and
coloring as in her spring-time. Her beauty, all moulded and mellowed
by feeling, was far more eloquent; but it had none of the virgin
magnificence, the untouched tropical luxuriance, which had fired my
fancy. The false position in which she lived had shaded her expression
with a painful restlessness; and her eye proclaimed that the conflicts
of her mind had strengthened, had deepened, but had not yet hallowed,
her character.

She was, however, interesting, deeply so; one of those rare beings who
fill your eye in every mood. Her passion for music, and the great
excellence she had attained as a performer, drew us together. I was
her daily visitor; but, if my admiration ever softened into
tenderness, it was the tenderness of pity for her unsatisfied heart,
and cold, false life.

But there was one who saw with very different eyes. V---- had been
intimate with Emily some time before my arrival, and every day saw him
more deeply enamored.

_Laurie._ And pray where was the husband all this time?

_Aglauron._ L---- had sought consolation in ambition. He was a
man of much practical dexterity, but of little thought, and less
heart. He had at first been jealous of Emily for his honor's
sake,--not for any reality,--for she treated him with great attention
as to the comforts of daily life; but otherwise, with polite, steady
coldness. Finding that she received the court, which many were
disposed to pay her, with grace and affability, but at heart with
imperial indifference, he ceased to disturb himself; for, as she
rightly thought, he was incapable of understanding her. A coquette he
could have interpreted; but a romantic character like hers, born for a
grand passion, or no love at all, he could not. Nor did he see that
V---- was likely to be more to her than any of her admirers.

_Laurie._ I am afraid I should have shamed his obtuseness. V----
has nothing to recommend him that I know of, except his beauty, and
that is the beauty of a _petit-maitre_--effeminate, without
character, and very unlikely, I should judge, to attract such a woman
as you give me the idea of.

_Aglauron._ You speak like a man, Laurie; but have you never
heard tales of youthful minstrels and pages being preferred by
princesses, in the land of chivalry, to stalwart knights, who were
riding all over the land, doing their devoirs maugre scars and
starvation? And why? One want of a woman's heart is to admire and be
protected; but another is to be understood in all her delicate
feelings, and have an object who shall know how to receive all the
marks of her inventive and bounteous affection. V---- is such an one;
a being of infinite grace and tenderness, and an equal capacity for
prizing the same in another.

Effeminate, say you? Lovely, rather, and lovable. He was not, indeed,
made to grow old; but I never saw a fairer spring-time than shone in
his eye when life, and thought, and love, opened on him all together.

He was to Emily like the soft breathing of a flute in some solitary
valley; indeed, the delicacy of his nature made a solitude around him
in the world. So delicate was he, and Emily for a long time so
unconscious, that nobody except myself divined how strong was the
attraction which, as it drew them nearer together, invested both with
a lustre and a sweetness which charmed all around them.

But I see the sun is declining, and warns me to cut short a tale which
would keep us here till dawn if I were to detail it as I should like
to do in my own memories. The progress of this affair interested me
deeply; for, like all persons whose perceptions are more lively than
their hopes, I delight to live from day to day in the more ardent
experiments of others. I looked on with curiosity, with sympathy, with
fear. How could it end? What would become of them, unhappy lovers? One
too noble, the other too delicate, ever to find happiness in an
unsanctioned tie.

I had, however, no right to interfere, and did not, even by a look,
until one evening, when the occasion was forced upon me.

There was a summer fete given at L----'s. I had mingled for a while
with the guests in the brilliant apartments; but the heat oppressed,
the conversation failed to interest me. An open window tempted me to
the garden, whose flowers and tufted lawns lay bathed in moonlight. I
went out alone; but the music of a superb band followed my steps, and
gave impulse to my thoughts. A dreaming state, pensive though not
absolutely sorrowful, came upon me,--one of those gentle moods when
thoughts flow through the mind amber-clear and soft, noiseless,
because unimpeded. I sat down in an arbor to enjoy it, and probably
stayed much longer than I could have imagined; for when I reentered
the large saloon it was deserted. The lights, however, were not
extinguished, and, hearing voices in the inner room, I supposed some
guests still remained; and, as I had not spoken with Emily that
evening, I ventured in to bid her good-night. I started, repentant, on
finding her alone with V----, and in a situation that announced their
feelings to be no longer concealed from each other. She, leaning back
on the sofa, was weeping bitterly, while V----, seated at her feet,
holding her hands within his own, was pouring forth his passionate
words with a fervency which prevented him from perceiving my entrance.
But Emily perceived me at once, and starting up, motioned me not to
go, as I had intended. I obeyed, and sat down. A pause ensued, awkward
for me and for V----, who sat with his eyes cast down and blushing
like a young girl detected in a burst of feeling long kept secret.
Emily sat buried in thought, the tears yet undried upon her cheeks.
She was pale, but nobly beautiful, as I had never yet seen her.

After a few moments I broke the silence, and attempted to tell why I
had returned so late. She interrupted me: "No matter, Aglauron, how it
happened; whatever the chance, it promises to give both V---- and
myself, what we greatly need, a calm friend and adviser. You are the
only person among these crowds of men whom I could consult; for I have
read friendship in your eye, and I know you have truth and honor.
V---- thinks of you as I do, and he too is, or should be, glad to have
some counsellor beside his own wishes."

V---- did not raise his eyes; neither did he contradict her. After a
moment he said, "I believe Aglauron to be as free from prejudice as
any man, and most true and honorable; yet who can judge in this matter
but ourselves?"

"No one shall judge," said Emily; "but I want counsel. God help me! I
feel there is a right and wrong; but how can my mind, which has never
been trained to discern between them, be confident of its power at
this important moment? Aglauron, what remains to me of happiness,--if
anything do remain; perhaps the hope of heaven, if, indeed, there be a
heaven,--is at stake! Father and brother have failed their trust. I
have no friend able to understand, wise enough to counsel me. The only
one whose words ever came true to my thoughts, and of whom you have
often reminded me, is distant. Will you, this hour, take her place?"

"To the best of my ability," I replied without hesitation, struck by
the dignity of her manner.

"You know," she said, "all my past history; all do so here, though
they do not talk loudly of it. You and all others have probably blamed
me. You know not, you cannot guess, the anguish, the struggles of my
childish mind when it first opened to the meaning of those words,
Love, Marriage, Life. When I was bound to Mr. L----, by a vow which
from my heedless lips was mockery of all thought, all holiness, I had
never known a duty, I had never felt the pressure of a tie. Life had
been, so far, a sweet, voluptuous dream, and I thought of this
seemingly so kind and amiable person as a new and devoted ministrant
to me of its pleasures. But I was scarcely in his power when I awoke.
I perceived the unfitness of the tie; its closeness revolted me.

"I had no timidity; I had always been accustomed to indulge my
feelings, and I displayed them now. L----, irritated, averted his
mastery; this drove me wild; I soon hated him, and despised too his
insensibility to all which I thought most beautiful. From all his
faults, and the imperfection of our relation, grew up in my mind the
knowledge of what the true might be to me. It is astonishing how the
thought grow upon me day by day. I had not been married more than
three months before I knew what it would be to love, and I longed to
be free to do so. I had never known what it was to be resisted, and
the thought never came to me that I could now, and for all my life, be
bound by so early a mistake. I thought only of expressing my resolve
to be free.

"How I was repulsed, how disappointed, you know, or could divine if
you did not know; for all but me have been trained to bear the burden
from their youth up, and accustomed to have the individual will
fettered for the advantage of society. For the same reason, you cannot
guess the silent fury that filled my mind when I at last found that I
had struggled in vain, and that I must remain in the bondage that I
had ignorantly put on.

"My affections were totally alienated from my family, for I felt they
had known what I had not, and had neither put me on my guard, nor
warned me against precipitation whose consequences must be fatal. I
saw, indeed, that they did not look on life as I did, and could be
content without being happy; but this observation was far from making
me love them more. I felt alone, bitterly, contemptuously alone. I
hated men who had made the laws that bound me. I did not believe in
God; for why had He permitted the dart to enter so unprepared a
breast? I determined never to submit, though I disdained to struggle,
since struggle was in vain. In passive, lonely wretchedness I would
pass my days. I would not feign what I did not feel, nor take the hand
which had poisoned for me the cup of life before I had sipped the
first drops.

"A friend--the only one I have ever known--taught me other thoughts.
She taught me that others, perhaps all others, were victims, as much
as myself. She taught me that if all the wrecked submitted to be
drowned, the world would be a desert. She taught me to pity others,
even those I myself was paining; for she showed me that they had
sinned in ignorance, and that I had no right to make them suffer so
long as I myself did, merely because they were the authors of my
suffering.

"She showed me, by her own pure example, what were Duty and
Benevolence and Employment to the soul, even when baffled and sickened
in its dearest wishes. That example was not wholly lost: I freed my
parents, at least, from their pain, and, without falsehood, became
less cruel and more calm.

"Yet the kindness, the calmness, have never gone deep. I have been
forced to live out of myself; and life, busy or idle, is still most
bitter to the homeless heart. I cannot be like Almeria; I am more
ardent; and, Aglauron, you see now I might be happy,"

She looked towards V----. I followed her eye, and was well-nigh melted
too by the beauty of his gaze.

"The question in my mind is," she resumed, "have I not a right to fly?
To leave this vacant life, and a tie which, but for worldly
circumstances, presses as heavily on L---- as on myself. I shall
mortify him; but that is a trifle compared with actual misery. I shall
grieve my parents; but, were they truly such, would they not grieve
still more that I must reject the life of mutual love? I have already
sacrificed enough; shall I sacrifice the happiness of one I could
really bless for those who do not know one native heart-beat of my
life?"

V---- kissed her hand.

"And yet," said she, sighing, "it does not always look so. We must, in
that case, leave the world; it will not tolerate us. Can I make V----
happy in solitude? And what would Almeria think? Often it seems that
she would feel that now I do love, and could make a green spot in the
desert of life over which she mourned, she would rejoice to have me do
so. Then, again, something whispers she might have objections to make;
and I wish--O, I long to know them! For I feel that this is the great
crisis of my life, and that if I do not act wisely, now that I have
thought and felt, it will be unpardonable. In my first error I was
ignorant what I wished, but now I know, and ought not to be weak or
deluded."

I said, "Have you no religious scruples? Do you never think of your
vow as sacred?"

"Never!" she replied, with flashing eyes. "Shall the woman be bound by
the folly of the child? No!--have never once considered myself as
L----'s wife. If I have lived in his house, it was to make the best of
what was left, as Almeria advised. But what I feel he knows perfectly.
I have never deceived him. But O! I hazard all! all! and should I be
again ignorant, again deceived"----

V---- here poured forth all that can be imagined.

I rose: "Emily, this case seems to me so extraordinary that I must
have time to think. You shall hear from me. I shall certainly give you
my best advice, and I trust you will not over-value it."

"I am sure," she said, "it will be of use to me, and will enable me to
decide what I shall do.   V----, now go away with Aglauron; it is too
late for you to stay here."

I do not know if I have made obvious, in this account, what struck me
most in the interview,--a certain savage force in the character of
this beautiful woman, quite independent of the reasoning power. I saw
that, as she could give no account of the past, except that she saw it
was fit, or saw it was not, so she must be dealt with now by a strong
instalment made by another from his own point of view, which she would
accept or not, as suited her.

There are some such characters, which, like plants, stretch upwards to
the light; they accept what nourishes, they reject what injures them.
They die if wounded,--blossom if fortunate; but never learn to analyze
all this, or find its reasons; but, if they tell their story, it is in
Emily's way;--"it was so;" "I found it so."

I talked with V----, and found him, as I expected, not the peer of her
he loved, except in love. His passion was at its height. Better
acquainted with the world than Emily,--not because he had seen it
more, but because he had the elements of the citizen in him,--he had
been at first equally emboldened and surprised by the ease with which
he won her to listen to his suit. But he was soon still more surprised
to find that she would only listen. She had no regard for her position
in society as a married woman,--none for her vow. She frankly
confessed her love, so far as it went, but doubted as to whether it
was _her whole love_, and doubted still more her right to leave
L----, since she had returned to him, and could not break the bond so
entirely as to give them firm foot-hold in the world.

"I may make you unhappy," she said, "and then be unhappy myself; these
laws, this society, are so strange, I can make nothing of them. In
music I am at home. Why is not all life music? We instantly know when
we are going wrong there. Convince me it is for the best, and I will
go with you at once. But now it seems wrong, unwise, scarcely better
than to stay as we are. We must go secretly, must live obscurely in a
corner. That I cannot bear,--all is wrong yet. Why am I not at liberty
to declare unblushingly to all men that I will leave the man whom I
_do not_ love, and go with him I _do_ love? That is the only
way that would suit me,--I cannot see clearly to take any other
course."

I found V---- had no scruples of conscience, any more than herself. He
was wholly absorbed in his passion, and his only wish was to persuade
her to elope, that a divorce might follow, and she be all his own.

I took my part. I wrote next day to Emily. I told her that my view
must differ from hers in this: that I had, from early impressions, a
feeling of the sanctity of the marriage vow. It was not to me a
measure intended merely to insure the happiness of two individuals,
but a solemn obligation, which, whether it led to happiness or not,
was a means of bringing home to the mind the great idea of Duty, the
understanding of which, and not happiness, seemed to be the end of
life. Life looked not clear to me otherwise. I entreated her to
separate herself from V---- for a year, before doing anything
decisive; she could then look at the subject from other points of
view, and see the bearing on mankind as well as on herself alone.   If
she still found that happiness and V---- were her chief objects, she
might be more sure of herself after such a trial. I was careful not to
add one word of persuasion or exhortation, except that I recommended
her to the enlightening love of the Father of our spirits.

_Laurie_. With or without persuasion, your advice had small
chance, I fear, of being followed.

_Aglauron_. You err. Next day V---- departed. Emily, with a calm
brow and earnest eyes, devoted herself to thought, and such reading as
I suggested.

_Laurie_. And the result?

_Aglauron_. I grieve not to be able to point my tale with the
expected moral, though perhaps the true denouement may lead to one as
valuable. L---- died within the year, and she married V----.

_Laurie_. And the result?

_Aglauron_. Is for the present utter disappointment in him. She
was infinitely blest, for a time, in his devotion, but presently her
strong nature found him too much hers, and too little his own. He
satisfied her as little as L---- had done, though always lovely and
dear. She saw with keen anguish, though this time without bitterness,
that we are never wise enough to be sure any measure will fulfil our
expectations.

But--I know not how it is--Emily does not yet command the changes of
destiny which she feels so keenly and faces so boldly. Born to be
happy only in the clear light of religious thought, she still seeks
happiness elsewhere. She is now a mother, and all other thoughts are
merged in that. But she will not long be permitted to abide there. One
more pang, and I look to see her find her central point, from which
all the paths she has taken lead. She loves truth so ardently, though
as yet only in detail, that she will yet know truth as a whole. She
will see that she does not live for Emily, or for V----, or for her
child, but as one link in a divine purpose. Her large nature must at
last serve knowingly.

_Myself_. I cannot understand you, Aglauron; I do not guess the
scope of your story, nor sympathize with your feeling about this lady.
She is a strange, and, I think, very unattractive person. I think her
beauty must have fascinated you. Her character seems very
inconsistent.

_Aglauron_. Because I have drawn from life.

_Myself_. But, surely, there should be a harmony somewhere.

_Aglauron_. Could we but get the right point of view.

_Laurie_. And where is that?

He pointed to the sun, just sinking behind the pine grove. We mounted
and rode home without a word more. But I do not understand Aglauron
yet, nor what he expects from this Emily. Yet her character, though
almost featureless at first, gains distinctness as I think of it more.
Perhaps in this life I shall find its key.



THE WRONGS OF AMERICAN WOMEN. THE DUTY OF AMERICAN WOMEN.


The same day brought us a copy of Mr. Burdett's little book,--in which
the sufferings and difficulties that beset the large class of women
who must earn their subsistence in a city like New York, are
delineated with so much simplicity, feeling, and exact adherence to
the facts,--and a printed circular, containing proposals for immediate
practical adoption of the plan wore fully described in a book
published some weeks since, under the title, "The Duty of American
Women to their Country," which was ascribed alternately to Mrs. Stowe
and Miss Catharine Beecher. The two matters seemed linked to one
another by natural parity. Full acquaintance with the wrong must call
forth all manner of inventions for its redress.

The circular, in showing the vast want that already exists of good
means for instructing the children of this nation, especially in the
West, states also the belief that among women, as being less immersed
in other cares and toils, from the preparation it gives for their task
as mothers, and from the necessity in which a great proportion stand
of earning a subsistence somehow, at least during the years which
precede marriage, if they _do_ marry, must the number of teachers
wanted be found, which is estimated already at _sixty thousand_.

We cordially sympathize with these views.

Much has been written about woman's keeping within her sphere, which
is defined as the domestic sphere. As a little girl she is to learn
the lighter family duties, while she acquires that limited
acquaintance with the realm of literature and science that will enable
her to superintend the instruction of children in their earliest
years. It is not generally proposed that she should be sufficiently
instructed and developed to understand the pursuits or aims of her
future husband; she is not to be a help-meet to him in the way of
companionship and counsel, except in the care of his house and
children. Her youth is to be passed partly in learning to keep house
and the use of the needle, partly in the social circle, where her
manners may be formed, ornamental accomplishments perfected and
displayed, and the husband found who shall give her the domestic
sphere for which she is exclusively to be prepared.

Were the destiny of Woman thus exactly marked out; did she invariably
retain the shelter of a parent's or guardian's roof till she married;
did marriage give her a sure home and protector; were she never liable
to remain a widow, or, if so, sure of finding immediate protection
from a brother or new husband, so that she might never be forced to
stand alone one moment; and were her mind given for this world only,
with no faculties capable of eternal growth and infinite improvement;
we would still demand for her a for wider and more generous culture,
than is proposed by those who so anxiously define her sphere. We would
demand it that she might not ignorantly or frivolously thwart the
designs of her husband; that she might be the respected friend of her
sons, not less than of her daughters; that she might give more
refinement, elevation and attraction, to the society which is needed
to give the characters of _men_ polish and plasticity,--no less
so than to save them from vicious and sensual habits. But the most
fastidious critic on the departure of Woman from her sphere can
scarcely fail to see, at present, that a vast proportion of the sex,
if not the better half, do not, _cannot_ have this domestic
sphere. Thousands and scores of thousands in this country, no less
than in Europe, are obliged to maintain themselves alone. Far greater
numbers divide with their husbands the care of earning a support for
the family. In England, now, the progress of society has reached so
admirable a pitch, that the position of the sexes is frequently
reversed, and the husband is obliged to stay at home and "mind the
house and bairns," while the wife goes forth to the employment she
alone can secure.

We readily admit that the picture of this is most painful;--that
Nature made an entirely opposite distribution of functions between the
sexes. We believe the natural order to be the best, and that, if it
could be followed in an enlightened spirit, it would bring to Woman
all she wants, no less for her immortal than her mortal destiny. We
are not surprised that men who do not look deeply and carefully at
causes and tendencies, should be led, by disgust at the hardened,
hackneyed characters which the present state of things too often
produces in women, to such conclusions as they are. We, no more than
they, delight in the picture of the poor woman digging in the mines in
her husband's clothes. We, no more than they, delight to hear their
voices shrilly raised in the market-place, whether of apples, or of
celebrity. But we see that at present they must do as they do for
bread. Hundreds and thousands must step out of that hallowed domestic
sphere, with no choice but to work or steal, or belong to men, not as
wives, but as the wretched slaves of sensuality.

And this transition state, with all its revolting features, indicates,
we do believe, an approach of a nobler era than the world has yet
known. We trust that by the stress and emergencies of the present and
coming time the minds of women will be formed to more reflection and
higher purposes than heretofore; their latent powers developed, their
characters strengthened and eventually beautified and harmonized.
Should the state of society then be such that each may remain, as
Nature seems to have intended, Woman the tutelary genius of home,
while Man manages the outdoor business of life, both may be done with
a wisdom, a mutual understanding and respect, unknown at present. Men
will be no less gainers by this than women, finding in pure and more
religious marriages the joys of friendship and love combined,--in
their mothers and daughters better instruction, sweeter and nobler
companionship, and in society at large, an excitement to their finer
powers and feelings unknown at present, except in the region of the
fine arts.

Blest be the generous, the wise, who seek to forward hopes like these,
instead of struggling, against the fiat of Providence and the march of
Fate, to bind down rushing life to the standard of the past! Such
efforts are vain, but those who make them are unhappy and unwise.

It is not, however, to such that we address ourselves, but to those
who seek to make the best of things as they are, while they also
strive to make them better. Such persons will have seen enough of the
state of things in London, Paris, New York, and manufacturing regions
everywhere, to feel that there is an imperative necessity for opening
more avenues of employment to women, and fitting them better to enter
them, rather than keeping them back.

Women have invaded many of the trades and some of the professions.
Sewing, to the present killing extent, they cannot long bear.
Factories seem likely to afford them permanent employment. In the
culture of fruit, flowers, and vegetables, even in the sale of them,
we rejoice to see them engaged. In domestic service they will be
aided, but can never be supplanted, by machinery. As much room as
there is here for Woman's mind and Woman's labor, will always be
filled. A few have usurped the martial province, but these must always
be few; the nature of Woman is opposed to war. It is natural enough to
see "female physicians," and we believe that the lace cap and work-bag
are as much at home here as the wig and gold-headed cane. In the
priesthood, they have, from all time, shared more or less--in many
eras more than at the present. We believe there has been no female
lawyer, and probably will be none. The pen, many of the fine arts,
they have made their own; and in the more refined countries of the
world, as writers, as musicians, as painters, as actors, women occupy
as advantageous ground as men. Writing and music may be esteemed
professions for them more than any other.

But there are two others--where the demand must invariably be immense,
and for which they are naturally better fitted than men--for which we
should like to see them better prepared and better rewarded than they
are. These are the professions of nurse to the sick, and of the
teacher. The first of these professions we have warmly desired to see
dignified. It is a noble one, now most unjustly regarded in the light
of menial service. It is one which no menial, no servile nature can
fitly occupy. We were rejoiced when an intelligent lady of
Massachusetts made the refined heroine of a little romance select this
calling. This lady (Mrs. George Lee) has looked on society with
unusual largeness of spirit and healthiness of temper. She is well
acquainted with the world of conventions, but sees beneath it the
world of nature. She is a generous writer, and unpretending as the
generous are wont to be. We do not recall the name of the tale, but
the circumstance above mentioned marks its temper. We hope to see the
time when the refined and cultivated will choose this profession, and
learn it, not only through experience and under the direction of the
doctor, but by acquainting themselves with the laws of matter and of
mind, so that all they do shall be intelligently done, and afford them
the means of developing intelligence, as well as the nobler, tenderer
feelings of humanity; for even this last part of the benefit they
cannot receive if their work be done in a selfish or mercenary spirit.

The other profession is that of teacher, for which women are
peculiarly adapted by their nature, superiority in tact, quickness of
sympathy, gentleness, patience, and a clear and animated manner in
narration or description. To form a good teacher, should be added to
this, sincere modesty combined with firmness, liberal views, with a
power and will to liberalize them still further, a good method, and
habits of exact and thorough investigation. In the two last requisites
women are generally deficient, but there are now many shining examples
to prove that if they are immethodical and superficial as teachers,
it is because it is the custom so to teach them, and that when aware
of these faults, they can and will correct them.

The profession is of itself an excellent one for the improvement of
the teacher during that interim between youth and maturity when the
mind needs testing, tempering, and to review and rearrange the
knowledge it has acquired. The natural method of doing this for one's
self, is to attempt teaching others; those years also are the best of
the practical teacher. The teacher should be near the pupil, both in
years and feelings; no oracle, but the eldest brother or sister of the
pupil. More experience and years form the lecturer and director of
studies, but injure the powers as to familiar teaching.

These are just the years of leisure in the lives even of those women
who are to enter the domestic sphere, and this calling most of all
compatible with a constant progress as to qualifications for that.

Viewing the matter thus, it may well be seen that we should hail with
joy the assurance that sixty thousand _female_ teachers are
wanted, and more likely to be, and that a plan is projected which
looks wise, liberal and generous, to afford the means, to those whose
hearts answer to this high calling, of obeying their dictates.

The plan is to have Cincinnati as a central point, where teachers
shall be for a short time received, examined, and prepared for their
duties. By mutual agreement and cooperation of the various sects,
funds are to be raised, and teachers provided, according to the wants
and tendencies of the various locations now destitute. What is to be
done for them centrally, is for suitable persons to examine into the
various kinds of fitness, communicate some general views whose value
has been tested, and counsel adapted to the difficulties and
advantages of their new positions. The central committee are to have
the charge of raising funds, and finding teachers, and places where
teachers are wanted.

The passage of thoughts, teachers and funds, will be from East to
West--the course of sunlight upon this earth.

The plan is offered as the most extensive and pliant means of doing a
good and preventing ill to this nation, by means of a national
education; whose normal school shall have an invariable object in the
search after truth, and the diffusion of the means of knowledge, while
its form shall be plastic according to the wants of the time. This
normal school promises to have good effects, for it proposes worthy
aims through simple means, and the motive for its formation and
support seems to be disinterested philanthropy.

It promises to eschew the bitter spirit of sectarianism and
proselytism, else we, for one party, could have nothing to do with it.
Men, no doubt, have oftentimes been kept from absolute famine by the
wheat with which such tares are mingled; but we believe the time is
come when a purer and more generous food is to be offered to the
people at large. We believe the aim of all education to be to rouse
the mind to action, show it the means of discipline and of
information; then leave it free, with God, Conscience, and the love of
Truth, for its guardians and teachers. Woe be to those who sacrifice
these aims of universal and eternal value to the propagation of a set
of opinions! We can accept such doctrine as is offered by Rev. Colvin
E. Stowe, one of the committee, in the following passage:

"In judicious practice, I am persuaded there will seldom be any very
great difficulty, especially if there be excited in the community
anything like a whole-hearted and enlightened sincerity in the cause
of public instruction.

"It is all right for people to suit their own taste and convictions in
respect to sect; and by fair means, and at proper times, to teach
their children and those under their influence to prefer the
denominations which they prefer; but further than this no one has any
right to go. It is all wrong to hazard the well-being of the soul, to
jeopardize great public interests for the sake of advancing the
interests of a sect. People must learn to practise some self-denial,
on Christian principles, in respect to their denominational prejudices
as well as in respect to other things, before pure religion can ever
gain a complete victory over every form of human selfishness."

The persons who propose themselves to the examination and instruction
of the teachers at Cincinnati, till the plan shall be sufficiently
under way to provide regularly for the office, are Mrs. Stowe and Miss
Catharine Beecher, ladies well known to fame, as possessing unusual
qualifications for the task.

As to finding abundance of teachers, who that reads this little book
of Mr. Burdett's, or the account of the compensation of female labor
in New York, and the hopeless, comfortless, useless, pernicious lives
of those who have even the advantage of getting work must lead, with
the sufferings and almost inevitable degradation to which those who
cannot are exposed, but must long to snatch such as are capable of
this better profession (and among the multitude there must be many who
are or could be made so) from their present toils, and make them free,
and the means of freedom and growth in others?

To many books on such subjects--among others to "Woman in the
Nineteenth Century"--the objection has been made, that they exhibit
ills without specifying any practical means for their remedy. The
writer of the last-named essay does indeed think that it contains one
great rule which, if laid to heart, would prove a practical remedy for
many ills, and of such daily and hourly efficacy in the conduct of
life, that any extensive observance of it for a single year would
perceptibly raise the tone of thought, feeling and conduct, throughout
the civilized world. But to those who ask not only such a principle,
but an external method for immediate use, we say that here is one
proposed which looks noble and promising; the proposers offer
themselves to the work with heart and hand, with time and purse. Go ye
and do likewise.



GEORGE SAND.


When I first knew George Sand, I thought to have found tried the
experiment I wanted. I did not value Bettine so much. She had not
pride enough for me. Only now, when I am sure of myself, can I pour
out my soul at the feet of another. In the assured soul it is kingly
prodigality; in one which cannot forbear it is mere babyhood. I love
"abandon" only when natures are capable of the extreme reverse. I know
Bettine would end in nothing; when I read her book I knew she could
not outlive her love.

But in _"Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre,"_ which I read first, I saw
the knowledge of the passions and of social institutions, with the
celestial choice which rose above them. I loved Helene, who could hear
so well the terrene voices, yet keep her eye fixed on the stars. That
would be my wish also,--to know all, and then choose. I even revered
her, for I was not sure that I could have resisted the call of the
_now_; could have left the spirit and gone to God; and at a more
ambitious age I could not have refused the philosopher. But I hoped
much from her steadfastness, and I thought I heard the last tones of a
purified life. Gretchen, in the golden cloud, is raised above all past
delusions, worthy to redeem and upbear the wise man who stumbled into
the pit of error while searching for truth.

Still, in "Andre" and "Jacques," I trace the same high morality of one
who had tried the liberty of circumstance only to learn to appreciate
the liberty of law;--to know that license is the foe of freedom; and,
though the sophistry of Passion in these books disgusted me, flowers
of purest hue seemed to grow upon the dark and dirty ground. I thought
she had cast aside the slough of her past life, and begun a new
existence beneath the sun of a new ideal.

But here, in the _"Lettres d'un Voyageur,"_ what do I see? An
unfortunate, wailing her loneliness, wailing her mistakes, _writing
for money!_ She has genius, and a manly grasp of mind, but not a
manly heart. Will there never be a being to combine a man's mind and a
woman's heart, and who yet finds life too rich to weep over? Never?

When I read in _"Leon Leoni"_ the account of the jeweller's
daughter's life with her mother, passed in dressing, and learning to
be looked at when dressed, _"avec un front impassible,"_ it
reminded me of ---- and her mother. What a heroine she would be for
Sand! She has the same fearless softness with Juliet, and a sportive
_naivete_ a mixture of bird and kitten, unknown to the dupe of
Leoni.

If I were a man, and wished a wife, as many do, merely as an ornament,
a silken toy, I would take ---- as soon as any I know. Her fantastic,
impassioned and mutable nature would yield an inexhaustible amusement.
She is capable of the most romantic actions,--wild as the falcon,
voluptuous as the tuberose; yet she has not in her the elements of
romance, like a deeper or less susceptible nature. My cold and
reasoning ----, with her one love lying, perhaps never to be unfolded,
beneath such sheaths of pride and reserve, would make a far better
heroine.

---- and her mother differ from Juliet and _her_ mother by the
impulse a single strong character gave them. Even at this distance of
time there is a light but perceptible taste of iron in the water.

George Sand disappoints me, as almost all beings do, especially since
I have been brought close to her person by the _"Lettres d'un
Voyageur."_ Her remarks on Lavater seem really shallow, _a la
mode du genre feminin._ No self-ruling Aspasia she, but a frail
woman, mourning over her lot. Any peculiarity in her destiny seems
accidental; she is forced to this and to that to earn her bread,
forsooth!

Yet her style--with what a deeply smouldering fire it burns! Not
vehement, but intense, like Jean Jacques.



FROM A NOTICE OF GEORGE SAND.


It is probably known to a great proportion of readers that this writer
is a woman, who writes under the name, and frequently assumes the
dress and manners, of a man. It is also known that she has not only
broken the marriage-bond, and, since that, formed other connections,
independent of the civil and ecclesiastical sanction, but that she
first rose into notice through works which systematically assailed the
present institution of marriage, and the social bonds which are
connected with it.

No facts are more adapted to startle every feeling of our community;
but, since the works of Sand are read here, notwithstanding, and
cannot fail to be so while they exert so important an influence
abroad, it would be well they should be read intelligently, as to the
circumstances of their birth and their tendency.

George Sand we esteem to be a person of strong passions, but of
original nobleness and a love of right sufficient to guide them all to
the service of worthy aims. But she fell upon evil times. She was
given in marriage, according to the fashion of the old regime; she was
taken from a convent, where she had heard a great deal about the law
of God and the example of Jesus, into a society where no vice was
proscribed, if it would only wear the cloak of hypocrisy. She found
herself impatient of deception, and loudly appealed to by passion; she
yielded, but she could not do so, as others did, sinning against what
she owned to be the rule of right and the will of Heaven. She
protested, she examined, she "hacked into the roots of things," and
the bold sound of her axe called around her every foe that finds a
home amid the growths of civilization. Still she persisted. "If it be
real," thought she, "it cannot be destroyed; as to what is false, the
sooner it goes the better; and I, for one, would rather perish by its
fall, than wither in its shade."

Schiller puts into the mouth of Mary Stuart these words, as her only
plea: "The world knows the worst of me, and I may boast that, though I
have erred, I am better than my reputation." Sand may say the same.
All is open, noble; the free descriptions, the sophistry of passion,
are, at least, redeemed by a desire for truth as strong as ever beat
in any heart. To the weak or unthinking, the reading of such books may
not be desirable, for only those who take exercise as men can digest
strong meat. But to any one able to understand the position and
circumstances, we believe this reading cannot fail of bringing good
impulses, valuable suggestions; and it is quite free from that subtle
miasma which taints so large a portion of French literature, not less
since the Revolution than before. This we say to the foreign reader.
To her own country, Sand is a boon precious and prized, both as a
warning and a leader, for which none there can be ungrateful. She has
dared to probe its festering wounds; and if they be not past all
surgery, she is one who, most of any, helps towards a cure.

Would, indeed, the surgeon had come with quite clean hands! A woman of
Sand's genius--as free, as bold, and pure from even the suspicion of
error--might have filled an apostolic station among her people with
what force had come her cry, "If it be false, give it up; but if it be
true, keep to it,-- one or the other!"

But we have read all we wish to say upon this subject lately uttered
just from the quarter we could wish. It is such a woman, so
unblemished in character, so high in aim, so pure in soul, that should
address this other, as noble in nature, but clouded by error, and
struggling with circumstances. It is such women that will do such
others justice. They are not afraid to look for virtue, and reply to
aspiration, among those who have _not_ dwelt "in decencies
forever." It is a source of pride and happiness to read this address
from the heart of Elizabeth Barrett:--

  TO GEORGE SAND.

  A DESIRE.

  Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man,
    Self-called George Sand! whose soul amid the lions
    Of thy tumultuous senses moans defiance,
  And answers roar for roar, as spirits can,--
  I would some wild, miraculous thunder ran
    Above the applauding circus, in appliance
    Of thine own nobler nature's strength and science,
  Drawing two pinions, white as wings of swan,
  From the strong shoulders, to amaze the place
    With holier light! That thou, to woman's claim,
  And man's, might join, beside, the angel's grace
    Of a pure genius, sanctified from blame,
  Till child and maiden pressed to thine embrace,
    To kiss upon thy lips a stainless fame!

     *       *       *       *      *

  TO THE SAME.

  A RECOGNITION.

  True genius, but true woman! dost deny
    Thy woman's nature with a manly scorn,
    And break away the gauds and armlets worn
  By weaker woman in captivity?
  Ah, vain denial! that revolted cry
  Is sobbed in by a woman's voice forlorn:--
  Thy woman's hair, my sister! all unshorn,
    Floats back dishevelled strength in agony,
  Disproving thy man's name; and while before
    The world thou burnest in a poet-fire,
  We see thy woman-heart beat evermore
    Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart! and higher,
  Till God unsex thee on the spirit-shore,
    To which, alone unsexing, purely aspire!

     *       *       *       *       *

This last sonnet seems to have been written after seeing the picture
of Sand, which represents her in a man's dress, but with long, loose
hair, and an eye whose mournful fire is impressive, even in the
caricatures.

For some years Sand has quitted her post of assailant. She has seen
that it is better to seek some form of life worthy to supersede the
old, than rudely to destroy it, heedless of the future. Her force is
bending towards philanthropic measures. She does not appear to possess
much of the constructive faculty; and, though her writings command a
great pecuniary compensation, and have a wide sway, it is rather for
their tendency than for their thought. She has reached no commanding
point of view from which she may give orders to the advanced corps.
She is still at work with others in the breach, though she works with
more force than almost any.

In power, indeed, Sand bears the palm above all other French
novelists. She is vigorous in conception, often great in the
apprehension and the contrast of characters. She knows passion, as has
been hinted, at a _white_ heat, when all the lower particles are
remoulded by its power. Her descriptive talent is very great, and her
poetic feeling exquisite. She wants but little of being a poet, but
that little is indispensable. Yet she keeps us always hovering on the
borders of enchanted fields. She has, to a signal degree, that power
of exact transcript from her own mind, in which almost all writers
fail. There is no veil, no half-plastic integument between us and the
thought; we vibrate perfectly with it.

This is her chief charm, and next to it is one in which we know no
French writer that resembles her, except Rousseau, though he, indeed,
is vastly her superior in it; that is, of concentrated glow. Her
nature glows beneath the words, like fire beneath ashes,--deep, deep!

Her best works are unequal; in many parts written hastily, or
carelessly, or with flagging spirits. They all promise far more than
they can perform; the work is not done masterly; she has not reached
that point where a writer sits at the helm of his own genius.

Sometimes she plies the oar,--sometimes she drifts. But what greatness
she has is genuine; there is no tinsel of any kind, no drapery
carefully adjusted, no chosen gesture about her. May Heaven lead her,
at last, to the full possession of her best self, in harmony with the
higher laws of life!

We are not acquainted with all her works, but among those we know,
mention "_La Roche Maupart_," "_Andre_," "_Jacques_," "_Les Sept Cordes
de la Lyre_," and "_Les Maitres Mosaistes_," as representing her higher
inspirations, her sincerity in expression, and her dramatic powers.
They are full of faults; still they show her scope and aim with some
fairness, which such of her readers as chance first on such of her books
as "_Leone Leoni_" may fail to find; or even such as "_Simon_," and
"_Spiridion_," though into the imperfect web of these are woven threads
of pure gold. Such is the first impression made by the girl Fiamma, so
noble, as she appears before us with the words "_E l'onore_;" such the
thought in _Spiridion_ of making the apparition the reward of virtue.

The work she is now publishing, "_Consuelo_" with its sequel,
"_Baroness de Rudolstadt_," exhibits her genius poised on a
firmer pedestal, breathing a serener air. Still it is faulty in
conduct, and shows some obliquity of vision. She has not reached the
Interpreter's house yet. But when she does, she will have clues to
guide many a pilgrim, whom one less tried, less tempted than herself
could not help on the way.



FROM A CRITICISM ON "CONSUELO."

* * * * *. The work itself cannot fail of innumerable readers, and a
great influence, for it counts many of the most significant pulse-beats
of the tune. Apart from its range of character and fine descriptions,
it records some of the mystical apparitions, and attempts to solve some
of the problems of the time. How to combine the benefits of the
religious life with those of the artist-life in an existence more
simple, more full, more human in short, than either of the two
hitherto known by these names has been,--this problem is but poorly
solved in the "Countess of Rudolstadt," the sequel to Consuelo. It is
true, as the English reviewer says, that George Sand is a far better
poet than philosopher, and that the chief use she can be of in these
matters is, by her great range of observation and fine intuitions, to
help to develop the thoughts of the time a little way further. But the
sincerity, the reality of all he can obtain from this writer will be
highly valued by the earnest man.

In one respect the book is entirely successful--in showing how inward
purity and honor may preserve a woman from bewilderment and danger,
and secure her a genuine independence. Whoever aims at this is still
considered, by unthinking or prejudiced minds, as wishing to despoil
the female character of its natural and peculiar loveliness. It is
supposed that delicacy must imply weakness, and that only an Amazon
can stand upright, and have sufficient command of her faculties to
confront the shock of adversity, or resist the allurements of
tenderness. Miss Bremer, Dumas, and the northern novelist, Andersen,
make women who have a tendency to the intellectual life of an artist
fail, and suffer the penalties of arrogant presumption, in the very
first steps of a career to which an inward vocation called them in
preference to the usual home duties. Yet nothing is more obvious than
that the circumstances of the time do, more and more frequently, call
women to such lives, and that, if guardianship is absolutely necessary
to women, many must perish for want of it. There is, then, reason to
hope that God may be a sufficient guardian to those who dare rely on
him; and if the heroines of the novelists we have named ended as they
did, it was for the want of the purity of ambition and simplicity of
character which do not permit such as Consuelo to be either unseated
and depraved, or unresisting victims and breaking reeds, if left alone
in the storm and crowd of life. To many women this picture will prove
a true Consuelo (consolation), and we think even very prejudiced men
will not read it without being charmed with the expansion, sweetness
and genuine force, of a female character, such as they have not met,
but must, when painted, recognize as possible, and may be led to
review their opinions, and perhaps to elevate and enlarge their hopes,
as to "Woman's sphere" and "Woman's mission." If such insist on what
they have heard of the private life of this writer, and refuse to
believe that any good thing can come out of Nazareth, we reply that we
do not know the true facts as to the history of George Sand. There has
been no memoir or notice of her published on which any one can rely,
and we have seen too much of life to accept the monsters of gossip in
reference to any one. But we know, through her works, that, whatever
the stains on her life and reputation may have been, there is in her a
soul so capable of goodness and honor as to depict them most
successfully in her ideal forms. It is her works, and not her private
life, that we are considering. Of her works we have means of judging;
of herself, not. But among those who have passed unblamed through the
walks of life, we have not often found a nobleness of purpose and
feeling, a sincere religious hope, to be compared with the spirit that
breathes through the pages of Consuelo.

The experiences of the artist-life, the grand and penetrating remarks
upon music, make the book a precious acquisition to all whose hearts
are fashioned to understand such things.

We suppose that we receive here not only the mind of the writer, but
of Liszt, with whom she has publicly corresponded in the "_Lettres
d'un Voyageur_." None could more avail us, for "in him also is a
spark of the divine fire," as Beethoven said of Ichubert. We may thus
consider that we have in this book the benefit of the most electric
nature, the finest sensibility, and the boldest spirit of
investigation combined, expressing themselves in a little world of
beautiful or picturesque forms.

Although there are grave problems discussed, and sad and searching
experiences described in this work, yet its spirit is, in the main,
hopeful, serene, almost glad. It is the spirit inspired from a near
acquaintance with the higher life of art. Seeing there something
really achieved and completed, corresponding with the soul's desires,
faith is enlivened as to the eventual fulfilment of those desires, and
we feel a certainty that the existence which looks at present so
marred and fragmentary shall yet end in harmony. The shuttle is at
work, and the threads are gradually added that shall bring out the
pattern, and prove that what seems at present confusion is really the
way and means to order and beauty.



JENNY LIND,

THE "CONSUELO" OF GEORGE SAND.


Jenny Lind, the prima donna of Stockholm, is among the most
distinguished of those geniuses who have been invited to welcome the
queen to Germany. Her name has been unknown among us, as she is still
young, and has not wandered much from the scene of her first triumphs;
but many may have seen, last winter, in the foreign papers, an account
of her entrance into Stockholm after an absence of some length. The
people received her with loud cries of homage, took the horses from
her carriage and drew her home; a tribute of respect often paid to
conquerors and statesmen, but seldom, or, as far as we know, never to
the priesthood of the muses, who have conferred the higher benefit of
raising, refining and exhilarating, the popular mind.

An accomplished Swede, now in this country, communicated to a friend
particulars of Jenny Lind's career, which suggested the thought that
she might have given the hint for the principal figure in Sand's late
famous novel, "Consuelo."

This work is at present in process of translation in "The Harbinger,"
a periodical published at Brook Farm, Mass.; but, as this translation
has proceeded but a little way, and the book in its native tongue is
not generally, though it has been extensively, circulated here, we
will give a slight sketch of its plan.

It has been a work of deepest interest to those who have looked upon
Sand for some years back, as one of the best exponents of the
difficulties, the errors, the aspirations, the weaknesses, and the
regenerative powers of the present epoch. The struggle in her mind and
the experiments of her life have been laid bare to the eyes of her
fellow-creatures with fearless openness--fearless, not shameless. Let
no man confound the bold unreserve of Sand with that of those who have
lost the feeling of beauty and the love of good. With a bleeding heart
and bewildered feet she sought the truth, and if she lost the way,
returned as soon as convinced she had done so; but she would never
hide the fact that she had lost it. "What God knows, I dare avow to
man," seems to be her motto. It is impossible not to see in her, not
only the distress and doubts of the intellect, but the temptations of
a sensual nature; but we see too the courage of a hero and a deep
capacity for religion. This mixed nature, too, fits her peculiarly to
speak to men so diseased as men are at present. They feel she knows
their ailment, and if she find a cure, it will really be by a specific
remedy.

An upward tendency and growing light are observable in all her works
for several years past, till now, in the present, she has expressed
such conclusions as forty years of the most varied experience have
brought to one who had shrunk from no kind of discipline, yet still
cried to God amid it all; one who, whatever you may say against her,
you must feel has never accepted a word for a thing, or worn one
moment the veil of hypocrisy; and this person one of the most powerful
nature, both as to passion and action, and of an ardent, glowing
genius. These conclusions are sadly incomplete. There is an amazing
alloy in the last product of her crucible, but there is also so much
of pure gold that the book is truly a cordial, as its name of Consuelo
(consolation) promises.

The young Consuelo lives as a child the life of a beggar. Her youth is
passed in the lowest circumstances of the streets of Venice. She
brings the more pertinacious fire of Spanish blood to be fostered by
the cheerful airs of Italy. A vague sense of the benefits to be
derived, from such mingling of various influences, in the formation of
a character, is to be discerned in several works of art now, when men
are really wishing to become citizens of the world, though old habits
still interfere on every side with so noble a development.

Nothing can be more charming than the first volume, which describes
the young girl amid the common life of Venice. It is sunny, open, and
romantic as the place. The beauty of her voice, when a little
singing-girl in the streets, arrested the attention of a really great
and severe master, Porpora, who educated her to music. In this she
finds the vent and the echo for her higher self. Her affections are
fixed on a young companion, an unworthy object, but she does not know
him to be so. She judges from her own candid soul, that all must be
good, and derives from the tie, for a while, the fostering influences
which love alone has for genius. Clear perception follows quickly upon
her first triumphs in art. They have given her a rival, and a mean
rival, in her betrothed, whose talent, though great, is of an inferior
grade to hers; who is vain, every way impure. Her master, Porpora,
tries to avail himself of this disappointment to convince her that the
artist ought to devote himself to art alone; that private ties must
interfere with his perfection and his glory. But the nature of
Consuelo revolts against this doctrine, as it would against the
seclusion of a convent. She feels that genius requires manifold
experience for its development, and that the mind, concentrated on a
single object, is likely to pay by a loss of vital energy for the
economy of thoughts and time.

Driven by these circumstances into Germany, she is brought into
contact with the old noblesse, a very different, but far less
charming, atmosphere than that of the gondoliers of Venice. But here,
too, the strong, simple character of our Consuelo is unconstrained, if
not at home, and when her heart swells and needs expansion, she can
sing.

Here the Count de Rudolstadt, Albert, loves Consuelo, which seems, in
the conduct of the relation, a type of a religious democracy in love
with the spirit of art. We do not mean that any such cold abstraction
is consciously intended, but all that is said means this. It shadows
forth one of the greatest desires which convulse our age.

A most noble meaning is couched in the history of Albert, and though
the writer breaks down under such great attempts, and the religion and
philosophy of the book are clumsily embodied compared with its poesy
and rhetoric, yet great and still growing thoughts are expressed with
sufficient force to make the book a companion of rare value to one in
the same phase of mind.

Albert is the aristocratic democrat, such as Alfieri was; one who, in
his keen perception of beauty, shares the good of that culture which
ages have bestowed on the more fortunate classes, but in his large
heart loves and longs for the good of all men, as if he had himself
suffered in the lowest pits of human misery. He is all this and more
in his transmigration, real or fancied, of soul, through many forms of
heroic effort and bloody error; in his incompetency to act at the
present time, his need of long silences, of the company of the dead
and of fools, and eventually of a separation from all habitual ties,
is expressed a great idea, which is still only in the throes of birth,
yet the nature of whose life we begin to prognosticate with some
clearness.

Consuelo's escape from the castle, and even from Albert, her
admiration of him, and her incapacity to love him till her own
character be more advanced, are told with great naturalness. Her
travels with Joseph Haydn, are again as charmingly told as the
Venetian life. Here the author speaks from her habitual existence, and
far more masterly than of those deep places of thought where she is
less at home. She has lived much, discerned much, felt great need of
great thoughts, but not been able to think a great way for herself.
She fearlessly accompanies the spirit of the age, but she never
surpasses it; _that_ is the office of the great thinker.

At Vienna Consuelo is brought fully into connection with the great
world as an artist. She finds that its realities, so far from being
less, are even more harsh and sordid for the artist than for any
other; and that with avarice, envy and falsehood, she must prepare for
the fearful combat which awaits noble souls in any kind of arena, with
the pain of disgust when they cannot raise themselves to
patience--with the almost equal pain, when they can, of pity for those
who know not what they do.

Albert is on the verge of the grave; and Consuelo, who, not being able
to feel for him sufficient love to find in it compensation for the
loss of that artist-life to which she feels Nature has destined her,
had hitherto resisted the entreaties of his aged father, and the
pleadings of her own reverential and tender sympathy with the wants of
his soul, becomes his wife just before he dies.

The sequel, therefore, of this history is given under the title of
Countess of Rudolstadt. Consuelo is still on the stage; she is at the
Prussian court. The well-known features of this society, as given in
the memoirs of the time, are put together with much grace and wit. The
sketch of Frederic is excellent.

The rest of the book is devoted to expression of the author's ideas on
the subject of reform, and especially of association as a means
thereto. As her thoughts are yet in a very crude state, the execution
of this part is equally bungling and clumsy. Worse: she falsifies the
characters of both Consuelo and Albert,--who is revived again by
subterfuge of trance,--and stains her best arrangements by the mixture
of falsehood and intrigue.

Yet she proceeds towards, if she walks not by, the light of a great
idea; and sincere democracy, universal religion, scatter from afar
many seeds upon the page for a future time. The book should be, and
will be, universally read. Those especially who have witnessed all
Sand's doubts and sorrows on the subject of marriage, will rejoice in
the clearer, purer ray which dawns upon her now. The most natural and
deep part of the book, though not her main object, is what relates to
the struggle between the claims of art and life, as to whether it be
better for the world and one's self to develop to perfection a talent
which Heaven seemed to have assigned as a special gift and vocation,
or sacrifice it whenever the character seems to require this for its
general development. The character of Consuelo is, throughout the
first part, strong, delicate, simple, bold, and pure. The fair lines
of this picture are a good deal broken in the second part; but we must
remain true to the impression originally made upon us by this charming
and noble creation of the soul of Sand.

It is in reference to _our_ Consuelo that a correspondent
[Footnote: We do not know how accurate is this correspondent's
statement of facts. The narrative is certainly interesting.--_Ed_.]
writes, as to Jenny Lind; and we are rejoiced to find that so many
hints were, or might have been, furnished for the picture from real
life. If Jenny Lind did not suggest it, yet she must also be, in her
own sphere, a Consuelo.

"Jenny Lind must have been born about 1822 or 1828. When a young
child, she was observed, playing about and singing in the streets of
Stockholm, by Mr. Berg, master of singing for the royal opera. Pleased
and astonished at the purity and suavity of her voice, he inquired
instantly for her family, and found her father, a poor innkeeper,
willing and glad to give up his daughter to his care, on the promise
to protect her and give her an excellent musical education. He was
always very careful of her, never permitting her to sing except in his
presence, and never letting her appear on the stage, unless as a mute
figure in some ballet, such, for instance, as Cupid and the Graces,
till she was sixteen, when she at once executed her part in 'Der
Freyschutz,' to the full satisfaction and surprise of the public of
Stockholm. From that time she gradually became the favorite of every
one. Without beauty, she seems, from her innocent and gracious
manners, beautiful on the stage and charming in society. She is one of
the few actresses whom no evil tongue can ever injure, and is
respected and welcomed in any and all societies.

"The circumstances that reminded me of Consuelo were these: that she
was a poor child, taken up by this singing-master, and educated
thoroughly and severely by him; that she loved his son, who was a
good-for-nothing fellow, like Anzoleto, and at last discarded him;
that she refused the son of an English earl, and, when he fell sick,
his father condescended to entreat for him, just as the Count of
Rudolstadt did for his son; that, though plain and low in stature,
when singing her best parts she appears beautiful, and awakens
enthusiastic admiration; that she is rigidly correct in her demeanor
towards her numerous admirers, having even returned a present sent her
by the crown-prince, Oscar, in a manner that she deemed equivocal.
This last circumstance being noised abroad, the next time she appeared
on the stage she was greeted with more enthusiastic plaudits than
ever, and thicker showers of flowers fell upon her from the hands of
her true friends, the public. She was more fortunate than Consuelo in
not being compelled to sing to a public of Prussian corporals."

Indeed, the picture of Frederic's opera-audience, with the pit full of
his tall grenadiers with their wives on their shoulders, never daring
to applaud except when he gave the order, as if by tap of drum,
opposed to the tender and expansive nature of the artist, is one of
the best tragicomedies extant. In Russia, too, all is military; as
soon as a new musician arrives, he is invested with a rank in the
army. Even in the church Nicholas has lately done the same. It seems
as if he could not believe a man to be alive, except in the army;
could not believe the human heart could beat, except by beat of drum.
But we believe in Russia there is at least a mask of gayety thrown
over the chilling truth. The great Frederic wished no disguise;
everywhere he was chief corporal, and trampled with his everlasting
boots the fair flowers of poesy into the dust.

The North has been generous to us of late; she has sent us _Ole
Bull_. She is about to send _Frederika Bremer_. May she add
JENNY LIND!



CAROLINE.


The other evening I heard a gentle voice reading aloud the story of
Maurice, a boy who, deprived of the use of his limbs by paralysis, was
sustained in comfort, and almost in cheerfulness, by the exertions of
his twin sister. Left with him in orphanage, her affections were
centred upon him, and, amid the difficulties his misfortunes brought
upon them, grew to a fire intense and pure enough to animate her with
angelic impulses and powers. As he could not move about, she drew him
everywhere in a little cart; and when at last they heard that
sea-bathing might accomplish his cure, conveyed him, in this way,
hundreds of miles to the sea-shore. Her pious devotion and faith were
rewarded by his cure, and (a French story would be entirely incomplete
otherwise) with money, plaudits and garlands, from the by-standers.

Though the story ends in this vulgar manner, it is, in its conduct,
extremely sweet and touching, not only as to the beautiful qualities
developed by these trials in the brother and sister, but in the
purifying and softening influence exerted, by the sight of his
helplessness and her goodness, on all around them.

Those who are the victims of some natural blight often fulfil this
important office, and bless those within their sphere more, by
awakening feelings of holy tenderness and compassion, than a man
healthy and strong can do by the utmost exertion of his good-will and
energies. Thus, in the East, men hold sacred those in whom they find a
distortion or alienation of mind which makes them unable to provide
for themselves. The well and sane feel themselves the ministers of
Providence to carry out a mysterious purpose, while taking care of
those who are thus left incapable of taking care of themselves; and,
while fulfilling this ministry, find themselves refined and made
better.

The Swiss have similar feelings as to those of their families whom
cretinism has reduced to idiocy. They are attended to, fed, dressed
clean, and provided with a pleasant place for the day, before doing
anything else, even by very busy and poor people.

We have seen a similar instance, in this country, of voluntary care of
an idiot, and the mental benefits that ensued. This idiot, like most
that are called so, was not without a glimmer of mind.

His teacher was able to give him some notions, both of spiritual and
mental facts; at least she thought she had given him the idea of God,
and though it appeared by his gestures that to him the moon was the
representative of that idea, yet he certainly did conceive of
something above him, and which inspired him with reverence and
delight. He knew the names of two or three persons who had done him
kindness, and when they were mentioned, would point upward, as he did
to the moon, showing himself susceptible, in his degree, of Mr.
Carlyle's grand method of education, hero-worship. She had awakened in
him a love of music, so that he could be soothed in his most violent
moods by her gentle singing. It was a most touching sight to see him
sitting opposite to her at such tunes, his wondering and lack-lustre
eyes filled with childish pleasure, while in hers gleamed the same
pure joy that we may suppose to animate the looks of an angel
appointed by Heaven to restore a ruined world.

We know another instance, in which a young girl became to her village
a far more valuable influence than any patron saint who looks down
from his stone niche, while his votaries recall the legend of his
goodness in days long past.

Caroline lived in a little, quiet country village--quiet as no village
can now remain, since the railroad strikes its spear through the peace
of country life. She lived alone with a widowed mother, for whom, as
well as for herself, her needle won bread, while the mother's
strength, and skill sufficed to the simple duties of their household.
They lived content and hopeful, till, whether from sitting still too
much, or some other cause, Caroline became ill, and soon the physician
pronounced her spine to be affected, and to such a degree that she was
incurable.

This news was a thunder-bolt to the poor little cottage. The mother,
who had lost her elasticity of mind, wept in despair; but the young
girl, who found so early all the hopes and joys of life taken from
her, and that she was seemingly left without any shelter from the
storm, had even at first the faith and strength to bow her head in
gentleness, and say, "God will provide." She sustained and cheered her
mother.

And God did provide. With simultaneous vibration the hearts of all
their circle acknowledged the divine obligation of love and mutual aid
between human beings. Food, clothing, medicine, service, were all
offered freely to the widow and her daughter.

Caroline grew worse, and was at last in such a state that she could
only be moved upon a sheet, and by the aid of two persons. In this
toilsome service, and every other that she required for years, her
mother never needed to ask assistance. The neighbors took turns in
doing all that was required, and the young girls, as they were growing
up, counted it among their regular employments to work for or read to
Caroline.

Not without immediate reward was their service of love. The mind of
the girl, originally bright and pure, was quickened and wrought up to
the finest susceptibility by the nervous exaltation that often ensues
upon affection of the spine. The soul, which had taken an upward
impulse from its first act of resignation, grew daily more and more
into communion with the higher regions of life, permanent and pure.
Perhaps she was instructed by spirits which, having passed through a
similar trial of pain and loneliness, had risen to see the reason why.
However that may be, she grew in nobleness of view and purity of
sentiment, and, as she received more instruction from books also than
any other person in her circle, had from many visitors abundant
information as to the events which were passing around her, and
leisure to reflect on them with a disinterested desire for truth, she
became so much wiser than her companions as to be at last their
preceptress and best friend, and her brief, gentle comments and
counsels were listened to as oracles from one enfranchised from the
films which selfishness and passion cast over the eyes of the
multitude.

The twofold blessing conferred by her presence, both in awakening none
but good feelings in the hearts of others, and in the instruction she
became able to confer, was such, that, at the end of five years, no
member of that society would have been so generally lamented as
Caroline, had Death called her away.

But the messenger, who so often seems capricious in his summons, took
first the aged mother, and the poor girl found that life had yet the
power to bring her grief, unexpected and severe.

And now the neighbors met in council. Caroline could not be left quite
alone in the house. Should they take turns, and stay with her by night
as well as by day?

"Not so," said the blacksmith's wife; "the house will never seem like
home to her now, poor thing! and 't would be kind of dreary for her to
change about her _nusses_ so. I'll tell you what; all my children
but one are married and gone off; we have property enough; I will have
a good room fixed for her, and she shall live with us. My husband
wants her to, as much as me."

The council acquiesced in this truly humane arrangement, and Caroline
lives there still; and we are assured that none of her friends dread
her departure so much as the blacksmith's wife.

"'Ta'n't no trouble at all to have her," she says, "and if it was, I
shouldn't care; she is so good and still, and talks so pretty!  It's
as good bein' with her as goin' to meetin'!"

De Maistre relates some similar passages as to a sick girl in St.
Petersburgh, though his mind dwelt more on the spiritual beauty
evinced in her remarks, than on the good she had done to those around
her. Indeed, none bless more than those who "only stand and wait."
Even if their passivity be enforced by fate, it will become a
spiritual activity, if accepted in a faith higher above fate than the
Greek gods were supposed to sit enthroned above misfortune.



EVER-GROWING LIVES.

  "Age could not wither her, nor custom stale
     Her infinite variety."


So was one person described by the pen which has made a clearer mark
than any other on the history of Man. But is it not surprising that
such a description should apply to so few?

Of two or three women we read histories that correspond with the hint
given in these lines. They were women in whom there was intellect
enough to temper and enrich, heart enough to soften and enliven the
entire being. There was soul enough to keep the body beautiful through
the term of earthly existence; for while the roundness, the pure,
delicate lineaments, the flowery bloom of youth were passing, the
marks left in the course of those years were not merely of time and
care, but also of exquisite emotions and noble thoughts. With such
chisels Time works upon his statues, tracery and fretwork, well worth
the loss of the first virgin beauty of the alabaster; while the fire
within, growing constantly brighter and brighter, shows all these
changes in the material, as rich and varied ornaments. The vase, at
last, becomes a lamp of beauty, fit to animate the councils of the
great, or the solitude of the altar.

Two or three women there have been, who have thus grown even more
beautiful with age. We know of many more men of whom this is true.
These have been heroes, or still more frequently poets and artists;
with whom the habitual life tended to expand the soul, deepen and vary
the experience, refine the perceptions, and immortalize the hopes and
dreams of youth.

They were persons who never lost their originality of character, nor
spontaneity of action. Their impulses proceeded from a fulness and
certainty of character, that made it impossible they should doubt or
repent, whatever the results of their actions might be.

They could not repent, in matters little or great, because they felt
that their notions were a sincere exposition of the wants of their
souls. Their impulsiveness was not the restless fever of one who must
change his place somehow or some-whither, but the waves of a tide,
which might be swelled to vehemence by the action of the winds or the
influence of an attractive orb, but was none the less subject to fixed
laws.

A character which does not lose its freedom of motion and impulse by
contact with the world, grows with its years more richly creative,
more freshly individual. It is a character governed by a principle of
its own, and not by rules taken from other men's experience; and
therefore it is that

  "Age cannot wither them, nor custom stale
     Their infinite variety."


Like violins, they gain by age, and the spirit of him who discourseth
through them most excellent music,

  "Like wine well kept and long,
   Heady, nor harsh, nor strong,
   With each succeeding year is quaffed
   A richer, purer, mellower draught."


Our French neighbors have been the object of humorous satire for their
new coinage of terms to describe the heroes of their modern romance.
A hero is no hero unless he has "ravaged brows," is "blase" or "brise"
or "fatigue." His eyes must be languid, and his cheeks hollow. Youth,
health and strength, charm no more; only the tree broken by the gust
of passion is beautiful, only the lamp that has burnt out the better
part of its oil precious, in their eyes. This, with them, assumes the
air of caricature and grimace, yet it indicates a real want of this
time--a feeling that the human being ought to grow more rather than
less attractive with the passage of time, and that the decrease in
physical charms would, in a fair and full life, be more than
compensated by an increase of those which appeal to the imagination
and higher feelings.

A friend complains that, while most men are like music-boxes, which
you can wind up to play their set of tunes, and then they stop, in our
society the set consists of only two or three tunes at most That is
because no new melodies are added after five-and-twenty at farthest.
It is the topic of jest and amazement with foreigners that what is
called society is 'given up so much into the hands of boys and girls.
Accordingly it wants spirit, variety and depth of tone, and we find
there no historical presences, none of the charms, infinite in
variety, of Cleopatra, no heads of Julius Caesar, overflowing with
meanings, as the sun with light.

Sometimes we hear an educated voice that shows us how these things
might be altered. It has lost the fresh tone of youth, but it has
gained unspeakably in depth, brilliancy, and power of expression. How
exquisite its modulations, so finely shaded, showing that all the
intervals are filled up with little keys of fairy delicacy and in
perfect tune!

Its deeper tones sound the depth of the past; its more thrilling notes
express an awakening to the infinite, and ask a thousand questions of
the spirits that are to unfold our destinies, too far-reaching to be
clothed in words. Who does not feel the sway of such a voice? It makes
the whole range of our capacities resound and tremble, and, when there
is positiveness enough to give an answer, calls forth most melodious
echoes.

The human eye gains, in like manner, by tune and experience. Its
substance fades, but it is only the more filled with an ethereal
lustre which penetrates the gazer till he feels as if

  "That eye were in itself a soul,"


and realizes the range of its power

  "To rouse, to win, to fascinate, to melt,
   And by its spell of undefined control
   Magnetic draw the secrets of the soul."


The eye that shone beneath the white locks of Thorwaldsen was such an
one,--the eye of immortal youth, the indicator of the man's whole
aspect in a future sphere. We have scanned such eyes closely; when
near, we saw that the lids were red, the corners defaced with ominous
marks, the orb looked faded and tear-stained; but when we retreated
far enough for its ray to reach us, it seemed far younger than the
clear and limpid gaze of infancy, more radiant than the sweetest beam
in that of early youth. The Future and the Past met in that glance,

O for more such eyes! The vouchers of free, of full and ever-growing
lives!



HOUSEHOLD NOBLENESS,

  "Mistress of herself, though China fell."


Women, in general, are indignant that the satirist should have made
this the climax to his praise of a woman. And yet, we fear, he saw
only too truly. What unexpected failures have we seen, literally, in
this respect! How often did the Martha blur the Mary out of the face
of a lovely woman at the sound of a crash amid glass and porcelain!
What sad littleness in all the department thus represented! Obtrusion
of the mop and duster on the tranquil meditation of a husband and
brother. Impatience if the carpet be defaced by the feet even of
cherished friends.

There is a beautiful side, and a good reason here; but why must the
beauty degenerate, and give place to meanness?

To Woman the care of home is confided. It is the sanctuary, of which
she should be the guardian angel. To all elements that are introduced
there she should be the "ordering mind." She represents the spirit of
beauty, and her influence should be spring-like, clothing all objects
within her sphere with lively, fresh and tender hues.

She represents purity, and all that appertains to her should be kept
delicately pure. She is modesty, and draperies should soften all rude
lineaments, and exclude glare and dust. She is harmony, and all
objects should be in their places ready for, and matched to, their
uses.

We all know that there is substantial reason for the offence we feel
at defect in any of these ways. A woman who wants purity, modesty and
harmony, in her dress and manners, is insufferable; one who wants them
in the arrangements of her house, disagreeable to everybody. She
neglects the most obvious ways of expressing what we desire to see in
her, and the inference is ready, that the inward sense is wanting.

It is with no merely gross and selfish feeling that all men commend
the good housekeeper, the good nurse. Neither is it slight praise to
say of a woman that she does well the honors of her house in the way
of hospitality. The wisdom that can maintain serenity, cheerfulness
and order, in a little world of ten or twelve persons, and keep ready
the resources that are needed for their sustenance and recovery in
sickness and sorrow, is the same that holds the stars in their places,
and patiently prepares the precious metals in the most secret chambers
of the earth. The art of exercising a refined hospitality is a fine
art, and the music thus produced only differs from that of the
orchestra in this, that in the former case the overture or sonata
cannot be played twice in the same manner. It requires that the
hostess shall combine true self-respect and repose,

  "The simple art of _not too much_,"


with refined perception of individual traits and moods in character,
with variety and vivacity, an ease, grace and gentleness, that diffuse
their sweetness insensibly through every nook of an assembly, and call
out reciprocal sweetness wherever there is any to be found.

The only danger in all this is the same that besets us in every walk
of life; to wit, that of preferring the outward sign to the inward
spirit whenever there is cause to hesitate between the two.

"I admire," says Goethe, "the Chinese novels; they express so happily
ease, peace and a finish unknown to other nations in the interior
arrangements of their homes.

"In one of them I came upon the line, 'I heard the lovely maidens
laughing, and found my way to the garden, where they were seated in
their light cane-chairs,' To me this brings an immediate animation, by
the images it suggests of lightness, brightness and elegance."

This is most true, but it is also most true that the garden-house
would not seem thus charming unless its light cane-chairs had lovely,
laughing maidens seated in them. And the lady who values her
porcelain, that most exquisite product of the peace and
thorough-breeding of China, so highly, should take the hint, and
remember that unless the fragrant herb of wit, sweetened by kindness,
and softened by the cream of affability, also crown her board, the
prettiest tea-cups in the world might as well lie in fragments in the
gutter, as adorn her social show. The show loses its beauty when it
ceases to represent a substance.

Here, as elsewhere, it is only vanity, narrowness and self-seeking,
that spoil a good thing. Women would never be too good housekeepers
for their own peace and that of others, if they considered
housekeeping only as a means to an end. If their object were really
the peace and joy of all concerned, they could bear to have their cups
and saucers broken more easily than their tempers, and to have
curtains and carpets soiled, rather than their hearts by mean and
small feelings. But they are brought up to think it is a disgrace to
be a bad housekeeper, not because they must, by such a defect, be a
cause of suffering and loss of time to all within their sphere, but
because all other women will laugh at them if they are so. Here is the
vice,--for want of a high motive there can be no truly good action.

We have seen a woman, otherwise noble and magnanimous in a high
degree, so insane on this point as to weep bitterly because she found
a little dust on her picture-frames, and torment her guests all
dinner-time with excuses for the way in which the dinner was cooked.

We have known others to join with their servants to backbite the best
and noblest friends for trifling derelictions against the accustomed
order of the house. The broom swept out the memory of much sweet
counsel and loving-kindness, and spots on the table-cloth were more
regarded than those they made on their own loyalty and honor in the
most intimate relations.

"The worst of furies is a woman scorned," and the sex, so lively,
mobile, impassioned, when passion is aroused at all, are in danger of
frightful error, under great temptation. The angel can give place to a
more subtle and treacherous demon, though one, generally, of less
tantalizing influence, than in the breast of man. In great crises,
Woman needs the highest reason to restrain her; but her besetting sin
is that of littleness. Just because nature and society unite to call
on her for such fineness and finish, she can be so petty, so fretful,
so vain, envious and base! O, women, see your danger! See how much you
need a great object in all your little actions. You cannot be fair,
nor can your homes be fair, unless you are holy and noble. Will you
sweep and garnish the house, only that it may be ready for a legion of
evil spirits to enter in--for imps and demons of gossip, frivolity,
detraction, and a restless fever about small ills? What is the house
for, if good spirits cannot peacefully abide there? Lo! they are
asking for the bill in more than one well-garnished mansion. They
sought a home and found a work-house. Martha! it was thy fault!



"GLUMDALCLITCHES."


This title was wittily given by an editor of this city to the ideal
woman demanded in "Woman in the Nineteenth Century." We do not object
to it, thinking it is really desirable that women should grow beyond
the average size which has been prescribed for them. We find in the
last news from Paris these anecdotes of two who "tower" an inch or
more "above their sex," if not yet of Glumdalclitch stature.

"_Bravissima!_--The 7th of May, at Paris, a young girl, who was
washing linen, fell into the Canal St. Martin. Those around called out
for help, but none ventured to give it. Just then a young lady
elegantly dressed came up and saw the case; in the twinkling of an eye
she threw off her hat and shawl, threw herself in, and succeeded in
dragging the young girl to the brink, after having sought for her in
vain several times under the water. This lady was Mlle. Adele
Chevalier, an actress. She was carried, with the girl she had saved,
into a neighboring house, which she left, after having received the
necessary cares, in a fiacre, and amid the plaudits of the crowd."

The second anecdote is of a different kind, but displays a kind of
magnanimity still more unusual in this poor servile world:

"One of our (French) most distinguished painters of sea-subjects,
Gudin, has married a rich young English lady, belonging to a family of
high rank, and related to the Duke of Wellington. M. Gudin was lately
at Berlin at the same time with K----, inspector of pictures to the
King of Holland. The King of Prussia desired that both artists should
be presented to him, and received Gudin in a very flattering manner;
his genius being his only letter of recommendation.

"Monsieur K---- has not the same advantage; but, to make up for it, he
has a wife who enjoys in Holland a great reputation for her beauty.
The King of Prussia is a cavalier, who cares more for pretty ladies
than for genius. So Monsieur and Madame K---- were invited to the
royal table--an honor which was not accorded to Monsieur and Madame
Gudin.

"Humble representations were made to the monarch, advising him not to
make such a marked distinction between the French artist and the Dutch
amateur. These failing, the wise counsellors went to Madame Gudin,
and, intimating that they did so with the good-will of the king, said
that she might be received as cousin to the Duke of Wellington, as
daughter of an English general, and of a family which dates back to
the thirteenth century. She could, if she wished, avail herself of her
rights of birth to obtain the same honors with Madame K----. To sit at
the table of the king, she need only cease for a moment to be Madame
Gudin, and become once more Lady L----."

Does not all this sound like a history of the seventeenth century?
Surely etiquette was never maintained in a more arrogant manner at the
court of Louis XIV.

But Madame Gudin replied that her highest pride lay in the celebrated
name which she bears at present; that she did not wish to rely on any
other to obtain so futile a distinction, and that, in her eyes, the
most noble escutcheon was the palette of her husband.

I need not say that this dignified feeling was not comprehended.
Madame Gudin was not received at the table, but she had shown the
nobleness of her character. For the rest, Madame K----, on arriving at
Paris, had the bad taste to boast of having been distinguished above
Madame Gudin, and the story reaching the Tuileries, where Monsieur and
Madame Gudin are highly favored, excited no little mirth in the circle
there.



"ELLEN: OR, FORGIVE AND FORGET."


We notice this coarsely-written little fiction because it is one of a
class which we see growing with pleasure. We see it with pleasure,
because, in its way, it is genuine. It is a transcript of the crimes,
calumnies, excitements, half-blind love of right, and honest
indignation at the sort of wrong which it can discern, to be found in
the class from which it emanates.

That class is a large one in our country villages, and these books
reflect its thoughts and manners as half-penny ballads do the life of
the streets of London. The ballads are not more true to the facts; but
they give us, in a coarser form, far more of the spirit than we get
from the same facts reflected in the intellect of a Dickens, for
instance, or of any writer far enough above the scene to be properly
its artist.

So, in this book, we find what Cooper, Miss Sedgwick and Mrs.
Kirkland, might see, as the writer did, but could hardly believe in
enough to speak of it with such fidelity.

It is a current superstition that country people are more pure and
healthy in mind and body than those who live in cities. It may be so
in countries of old-established habits, where a genuine peasantry have
inherited some of the practical wisdom and loyalty of the past, with
most of its errors. We have our doubts, though, from the stamp upon
literature, always the nearest evidence of truth we can get, whether,
even there, the difference between town and country life is as much in
favor of the latter as is generally supposed. But in our land, where
the country is at present filled with a mixed population, who come
seeking to be purified by a better life and culture from all the ills
and diseases of the worst forms of civilization, things often
_look_ worse than in the city; perhaps because men have more time
and room to let their faults grow and offend the light of day.

There are exceptions, and not a few; but, in a very great proportion
of country villages, the habits of the people, as to food, air, and
even exercise, are ignorant and unhealthy to the last degree. Their
want of all pure faith, and appetite for coarse excitement, is shown
by continued intrigues, calumnies, and crimes.

We have lived in a beautiful village, where, more favorably placed
than any other person in it, both as to withdrawal from bad
associations and nearness to good, we heard inevitably, from
domestics, work-people, and school-children, more ill of human nature
than we could possibly sift were we to elect such a task from all the
newspapers of this city, in the same space of time.

We believe the amount of ill circulated by means of anonymous letters,
as described in this book, to be as great as can be imported in all
the French novels (and that is a bold word). We know ourselves of two
or three cases of morbid wickedness, displayed by means of anonymous
letters, that may vie with what puzzled the best wits of France in a
famous law-suit not long since. It is true, there is, to balance all
this, a healthy rebound,--a surprise and a shame; and there are
heartily good people, such as are described in this book, who, having
taken a direction upward, keep it, and cannot be bent downward nor
aside. But, then, the reverse of the picture is of a blackness that
would appall one who came to it with any idyllic ideas of the purity
and peaceful loveliness of agricultural life.

But what does this prove? Only the need of a dissemination of all that
is best, intellectually and morally, through the whole people. Our
groves and fields have no good fairies or genii who teach, by legend
or gentle apparition, the truths, the principles, that can alone
preserve the village, as the city, from the possession of the fiend.
Their place must be taken by the school-master, and he must be one who
knows not only "readin', writin', and 'rithmetic," but the service of
God and the destiny of man. Our people require a thoroughly-diffused
intellectual life, a religious aim, such as no people at large ever
possessed before; else they must sink till they become dregs, rather
than rise to become the cream of creation, which they are too apt to
flatter themselves with the fancy of being already.

The most interesting fiction we have ever read in this coarse, homely,
but genuine class, is one called "Metallek." It may be in circulation
in this city; but we bought it in a country nook, and from a pedlar;
and it seemed to belong to the country. Had we met with it in any
other way, it would probably have been to throw it aside again
directly, for the author does not know how to write English, and the
first chapters give no idea of his power of apprehending the poetry of
life. But happening to read on, we became fixed and charmed, and have
retained from its perusal the sweetest picture of life lived in this
land, ever afforded us, out of the pale of personal observation. That
such things are, private observation has made us sure; but the writers
of books rarely seem to have seen them; rarely to have walked alone in
an untrodden path long enough to hold commune with the spirit of the
scene.

In this book you find the very life; the most vulgar prose, and the
most exquisite poetry. You follow the hunter in his path, walking
through the noblest and fairest scenes only to shoot the poor animals
that were happy there, winning from the pure atmosphere little benefit
except to good appetite, sleeping at night in the dirty hovels, with
people who burrow in them to lead a life but little above that of the
squirrels end foxes. There is throughout that air of room enough, and
free if low forms of human nature, which, at such times, makes
bearable all that would otherwise be so repulsive.

But when we come to the girl who is the presiding deity, or rather the
tutelary angel of the scene, how are all discords harmonized; how all
its latent music poured forth! It is a portrait from the life--it has
the mystic charm of fulfilled reality, how far beyond the fairest
ideals ever born of thought! Pure, and brilliantly blooming as the
flower of the wilderness, she, in like manner, shares while she
sublimes its nature. She plays round the most vulgar and rude beings,
gentle and caressing, yet unsullied; in her wildness there is nothing
cold or savage; her elevation is soft and warm. Never have we seen
natural religion more beautifully expressed; never so well discerned
the influence of the natural nun, who needs no veil or cloister to
guard from profanation the beauty she has dedicated to God, and which
only attracts human love to hallow it into the divine.

The lonely life of the girl after the death of her parents,--her
fearlessness, her gay and sweet enjoyment of nature, her intercourse
with the old people of the neighborhood, her sisterly conduct towards
her "suitors,"--all seem painted from the life; but the death-bed
scene seems borrowed from some sermon, and is not in harmony with the
rest.

In this connection we must try to make amends for the stupidity of an
earlier notice of the novel, called "Margaret, or the Real and Ideal,"
&c. At the time of that notice we had only looked into it here and
there, and did no justice to a work full of genius, profound in its
meaning, and of admirable fidelity to nature in its details. Since
then we have really read it, and appreciated the sight and
representation of soul-realities; and we have lamented the long delay
of so true a pleasure.

A fine critic said, "This is a Yankee novel; or rather let it be
called _the_ Yankee novel, as nowhere else are the thought and
dialect of our villages really represented." Another discovered that
it must have been written in Maine, by the perfection with which
peculiar features of scenery there are described.

A young girl could not sufficiently express her delight at the simple
nature with which scenes of childhood are given, and especially at
Margaret's first going to meeting. She had never elsewhere found
written down what she had felt.

A mature reader, one of the most spiritualized and harmonious minds we
have ever met, admires the depth and fulness in which the workings of
the spirit through the maiden's life are seen by the author, and shown
to us; but laments the great apparatus with which the consummation of
the whole is brought about, and the formation of a new church and
state, before the time is yet ripe, under the banner of Mons. Christi.

But all these voices, among those most worthy to be heard, find in the
book a _real presence_, and draw from it auspicious omens that an
American literature is possible even in our day, because there are
already in the mind here existent developments worthy to see the
light, gold-fishes amid the moss in the still waters.

For ourselves, we have been most charmed with the way the Real and
Ideal are made to weave and shoot rays through one another, in which
Margaret bestows on external nature what she receives through books,
and wins back like gifts in turn, till the pond and the mythology are
alternate sections of the same chapter. We delight in the teachings
she receives through Chilion and his violin, till on the grave of "one
who tried to love his fellow-men" grows up the full white rose-flower
of her life. The ease with which she assimilates the city life when in
it, making it a part of her imaginative tapestry, is a sign of the
power to which she has grown.

We have much more to think and to say of the book, as a whole, and in
parts; and should the mood and summer leisure ever permit a familiar
and intimate acquaintance with it, we trust they will be both thought
and said. For the present, we will only add that it exhibits the same
state of things, and strives to point out such remedies as we have
hinted at in speaking of the little book which heads this notice;
itself a rude charcoal sketch, but if read as hieroglyphics are,
pointing to important meanings and results.



"COURRIER DES ETATS UNIS."


No other nation can hope to vie with the French in the talent of
communicating information with ease, vivacity and consciousness. They
must always be the best narrators and the best interpreters, so far as
presenting a clear statement of outlines goes. Thus they are excellent
in conversation, lectures, and journalizing.

After we know all the news of the day, it is still pleasant to read
the bulletin of the _"Courrier des Etats Unis."_ We rarely agree
with the view taken; but as a summary it is so excellently well done,
every topic put in its best place, with such a light and vigorous
hand, that we have the same pleasure we have felt in fairy tales, when
some person under trial is helped by a kind fairy to sort the silks
and feathers to their different places, till the glittering confusion
assumes the order,--of a kaleidoscope.

Then, what excellent correspondents they have in Paris! What a
humorous and yet clear account we have before us, now, of the Thiers
game! We have traced Guizot through every day with the utmost
distinctness, and see him perfectly in the sick-room. Now, here is
Thiers, playing with his chess-men, Jesuits, &c. A hundred clumsy
English or American papers could not make the present crisis in Paris
so clear as we see it in the glass of these nimble Frenchmen.

Certainly it is with newspaper-writing as with food; the English and
Americans have as good appetites, but do not, and never will, know so
well how to cook as the French. The Parisian correspondent of the
_"Schnellpost"_ also makes himself merry with the play of M.
Thiers. Both speak with some feeling of the impressive utterance of
Lamartine in the late debates. The Jesuits stand their ground, but
there is a wave advancing which will not fail to wash away what ought
to go,--nor are its roarings, however much in advance of the wave
itself, to be misinterpreted by intelligent ears. The world is raising
its sleepy lids, and soon no organization can exist which from its
very nature interferes in any way with the good of the whole.

In Germany the terrors of the authorities are more and more directed
against the communists. They are very anxious to know what communism
really is, or means. They have almost forgotten, says the
correspondent, the repression of the Jews, and like objects, in this
new terror. Meanwhile, the Russian Emperor has issued an edict,
commanding the Polish Jews, both men and women, to lay aside their
national garb. He hopes thus to mingle them with the rest of the mass
he moves. It will be seen whether such work can be done by beginning
upon the outward man.

The Paris correspondent of the _"Courrier,"_ who gives an account
of amusements, has always many sprightly passages illustrative of the
temper of the times. Horse-races are now the fashion, in which he
rejoices, as being likely to give to France good horses of her own. A
famous lottery is on the point of coming off,--to give an organ to the
Church of St. Eustache,--on which it does not require a very high tone
of morals to be severe. A public exhibition has been made of the
splendid array of prizes, including every article of luxury, from
jewels and cashmere shawls down to artificial flowers.

A nobleman, president of the Horticultural Society, had given an
entertainment, in which the part of the different flowers was acted by
beautiful women, that of fruit and vegetables by distinguished men.
Such an amusement would admit of much light grace and wit, which may
still be found in France, if anywhere in the world.

There is also an amusing story of the stir caused among the French
political leaders by the visit of a nobleman of one of the great
English families, to Paris. "He had had several audiences, previous to
his departure from London, of Queen Victoria; he received a despatch
daily from the English court. But in reply to all overtures made to
induce him to open his mission, he preserved a gloomy silence. All
attentions, all signs of willing confidence, are lavished on him in
vain. France is troubled. 'Has England,' thought she, 'a secret from
us, while we have none from her?' She was on the point of inventing
one, when, lo! the secret mission turns out to be the preparation of a
ball-dress, with whose elegance, fresh from Parisian genius, her
Britannic majesty wished to dazzle and surprise her native realm."

'T is a pity Americans cannot learn the grace which decks these
trifling jests with so much prettiness. Till we can import something
of that, we have no right to rejoice in French fashions and French
wines. Such a nervous, driving nation as we are, ought to learn to fly
along gracefully, on the light, fantastic toe. Can we not learn
something of the English beside the knife and fork conventionalities
which, with them, express a certain solidity of fortune and resolve?
Can we not get from the French something beside their worst novels?



"COURRIER DES ETATS UNIS."

OUR PROTEGEE, QUEEN VICTORIA.


The _Courrier_ laughs, though with features somewhat too
disturbed for a graceful laugh, at a notice, published a few days
since in the _Tribune_, of one of its jests which scandalized the
American editor. It does not content itself with a slight notice, but
puts forth a manifesto, in formidably large type, in reply.

With regard to the jest itself, we must remark that Mr. Greeley saw
this only in a translation, where it had lost whatever of light and
graceful in its manner excused a piece of raillery very coarse in its
substance. We will admit that, had he seen it as it originally stood,
connected with other items in the playful chronicle of Pierre Durand,
it would have impressed him differently.

But the cause of irritation in the _Courrier_, and of the sharp
repartees of its manifesto, is, probably, what was said of the
influence among us of "French literature and French morals," to which
the "organ of the French-American population" felt called on to make a
spirited reply, and has done so with less of wit and courtesy than
could have been expected from the organ of a people who, whatever may
be their faults, are at least acknowledged in wit and courtesy
preeminent. We hope that the French who come to us will not become, in
these respects, Americanized, and substitute the easy sneer, and use
of such terms as "ridiculous," "virtuous misanthropy," &c., for the
graceful and poignant raillery of their native land, which tickles
even where it wounds.

We may say, in reply to the _Courrier_, that if Fourierism
"recoils towards a state of nature," it arises largely from the fact
that its author lived in a country where the natural relations are, if
not more cruelly, at least more lightly violated, than in any other of
the civilized world. The marriage of convention has done its natural
office in sapping the morals of France, till breach of the marriage
vow has become one of the chief topics of its daily wit, one of the
acknowledged traits of its manners, and a favorite--in these modern
times we might say the favorite--subject of its works of fiction. From
the time of Moliere, himself an agonized sufferer behind his comic
mask from the infidelities of a wife he was not able to cease to love,
through memoirs, novels, dramas, and the volleyed squibs of the press,
one fact stares us in the face as one of so common occurrence, that
men, if they have not ceased to suffer in heart and morals from its
poisonous action, have yet learned to bear with a shrug and a careless
laugh that marks its frequency. Understand, we do not say that the
French are the most deeply stained with vice of all nations. We do not
think them so. There are others where there is as much, but there is
none where it is so openly acknowledged in literature, and therefore
there is none whose literature alone is so likely to deprave
inexperienced minds, by familiarizing them with wickedness before they
have known the lure and the shock of passion. And we believe that this
is the very worst way for youth to be misled, since the miasma thus
pervades the whole man, and he is corrupted in head and heart at once,
without one strengthening effort at resistance.

Were it necessary, we might substantiate what we say by quoting from
the _Courrier_ within the last fortnight, jokes and stories such
as are not to be found so _frequently_ in the prints of any
other nation. There is the story of the girl Adelaide, which, at
another time, we mean to quote, for its terrible pathos. There is a
man on trial for the murder of his wife, of whom the witnesses say,
"he was so fond of her you would never have known she was his wife!"
Here is one, only yesterday, where a man kills a woman to whom he was
married by his relatives at eighteen, she being much older, and
disagreeable to him, but their properties matching. After twelve
years' marriage, he can no longer support the yoke, and kills both her
and her father, and "his only regret is that he cannot kill all who
had anything to do with the match."

Either infidelity or such crimes are the natural result of marriages
made as they are in France, by agreement between the friends, without
choice of the parties. It is this horrible system, and not a native
incapacity for pure and permanent relations, that leads to such
results.

We must observe, _en passant_, that this man was the father of
five children by this hated woman--a wickedness not peculiar to France
or any nation, and which cannot foil to do its work of filling the
world with sickly, weak, or depraved beings, who have reason to curse
their brutal father that he does not murder them as well as their
wretched mother,--who, more unhappy than the victim of seduction, is
made the slave of sense in the name of religion and law.

The last steamer brings us news of the disgrace of Victor Hugo, one of
the most celebrated of the literary men of France, and but lately
created one of her peers. The affair, however, is to be publicly
"hushed up."

But we need not cite many instances to prove, what is known to the
whole world, that these wrongs are, if not more frequent, at least
more lightly treated by the French, in literature and discourse, than
by any nation of Europe. This being the case, can an American, anxious
that his country should receive, as her only safeguard from endless
temptations, good moral instruction and mental food, be otherwise than
grieved at the promiscuous introduction among us of their writings?

We know that there are in France good men, pure books, true wit. But
there is an immensity that is bad, and more hurtful to our farmers,
clerks and country milliners, than to those to whose tastes it was
originally addressed,--as the small-pox is most fatal among the wild
men of the woods,--and this, from the unprincipled cupidity of
publishers, is broad-cast recklessly over all the land we had hoped
would become a healthy asylum for those before crippled and tainted by
hereditary abuses. This cannot be prevented; we can only make head
against it, and show that there is really another way of thinking and
living,--ay, and another voice for it in the world. We are naturally
on the alert, and if we sometimes start too quickly, that is better
than to play "_Le noir Faineant_"--(The Black Sluggard).

We are displeased at the unfeeling manner in which the _Courrier_
speaks of those whom he calls _our models_. He did not misunderstand
us, and some things he says on this subject deserve and suggest a retort
that would be bitter. But we forbear, because it would injure the
innocent with the guilty. The _Courrier_ ranks the editor of
the _Tribune_ among "the men who have undertaken an ineffectual
struggle against the perversities of this lower world." By _ineffectual_
we presume he means that it has never succeeded in exiling evil from
this lower world. We are proud to be ranked among the band of those
who at least, in the ever-memorable words of Scripture, have "done what
they could" for this purpose. To this band belong all good men of all
countries, and France has contributed no small contingent of those whose
purpose was noble, whose lives were healthy, and whose minds, even in
their lightest moods, pure. We are better pleased to act as sutler or
pursuivant of this band, whose strife the _Courrier_ thinks so
_impuissante_, than to reap the rewards of efficiency on the other
side. There is not too much of this salt, in proportion to the whole
mass that needs to be salted, nor are "occasional accesses of virtuous
misanthropy" the worst of maladies in a world that affords such abundant
occasion for it.

In fine, we disclaim all prejudice against the French nation. We feel
assured that all, or almost all, impartial minds will acquiese in what
we say as to the tone of lax morality, in reference to marriage, so
common in their literature. We do not like it, in joke or in earnest;
neither are we of those to whom vice "loses most of its deformity by
losing all its grossness." If there be a deep and ulcerated wound, we
think the more "the richly-embroidered veil" is torn away the better.
Such a deep social wound exists in France; we wish its cure, as we
wish the health of all nations and of all men; so far indeed would we
"recoil towards a state of nature." We believe that nature wills
marriage and parentage to be kept sacred. The fact of their not being
so is to us not a pleasant subject of jest; and we should really pity
the first lady of England for injury here, though she be a queen;
while the ladies of the French court, or of Parisian society, if they
willingly lend themselves to be the subject of this style of jest, or
find it agreeable when made, must be to us the cause both of pity, and
disgust. We are not unaware of the great and beautiful qualities
native to the French--of their chivalry, their sweetness of temper,
their rapid, brilliant and abundant genius. We would wish to see these
qualities restored to their native lustre, and not receive the base
alloy which has long stained the virginity of the gold.



ON BOOKS OF TRAVEL.

[Footnote: It need not be said, probably, that
Margaret Fuller did not think the fact that books of travel by women
have generally been piquant and lively rather than discriminating and
instructive, a result of their nature, and therefore unavoidable; on
the contrary, she regarded woman as naturally more penetrating than
man, and the fact that in journeying she would see more of home-life
than he, would give her a great advantage,--but she did believe woman
needed a wider culture, and then she would not fail to _excel_ in
writing books of travels. The merits now in such works she considered
striking and due to woman's natural quickness and availing herself of
all her facilities, and any deficiencies simply proved the need of a
broader education.--[EDIT.]]

Among those we have, the best, as to observation of particulars and
lively expression, are by women. They are generally ill prepared as
regards previous culture, and their scope is necessarily narrower than
that of men, but their tact and quickness help them a great deal. You
can see their minds grow by what they feed on, when they travel. There
are many books of travel, by women, that are, at least, entertaining,
and contain some penetrating and just observations. There has, however,
been none since Lady Mary Wortley Montague, with as much talent,
liveliness, and preparation to observe in various ways, as she had.

A good article appeared lately in one of the English periodicals,
headed by a long list of travels by women. It was easy to observe that
the personality of the writer was the most obvious thing in each and
all of these books, and that, even in the best of them, you travelled
with the writer as a charming or amusing companion, rather than as an
accomplished or instructed guide.



REVIEW OF "MEMOIRS AND ESSAYS, BY MRS. JAMESON."


Mrs. Jameson appears to be growing more and more desperately modest,
if we may judge from the motto:

  "What if the little rain should say,
     'So small a drop as I
   Can ne'er refresh the thirsty plain,--
     I'll tarry in the sky'"


and other superstitious doubts and disclaimers proffered in the course
of the volume. We thought the time had gone by when it was necessary
to plead "request of friends" for printing, and that it was understood
now-a-days that, from the facility of getting thoughts into print,
literature has become not merely an archive for the preservation of
great thoughts, but a means of general communication between all
classes of minds, and all grades of culture.

If writers write much that is good, and write it well, they are read
much and long; if the reverse, people simply pass them by, and go in
search of what is more interesting. There needs be no great fuss about
publishing or not publishing. Those who forbear may rather be
considered the vain ones, who wish to be distinguished among the
crowd. Especially this extreme modesty looks superfluous in a person
who knows her thoughts have been received with interest for ten or
twelve years back. We do not like this from Mrs. Jameson, because we
think she would be amazed if others spoke of her as this little humble
flower, doubtful whether it ought to raise its head to the light. She
should leave such affectations to her aunts; they were the fashion in
their day.

It is very true, however, that she should _not_ have published
the very first paragraph in her book, which presents an inaccuracy and
shallowness of thought quite amazing in a person of her fine
perceptions, talent and culture. We allude to the contrast she
attempts to establish between Raphael and Titian, in placing mind in
contradistinction to beauty, as if beauty were merely physical. Of
course she means no such thing; but the passage means this or nothing,
and, as an opening to a paper on art, is indeed reprehensible and
fallacious.

The rest of this paper, called the House of Titian, is full of
pleasant chat, though some of the judgments--that passed on
Canaletti's pictures, for instance--are opposed to those of persons of
the purest taste; and in other respects, such as in speaking of the
railroad to Venice, Mrs. Jameson is much less wise than those over
whom she assumes superiority. The railroad will destroy Venice; the
two things cannot coexist; and those who do not look upon that
wondrous dream in this age, will, probably, find only vestiges of its
existence.

The picture of Adelaide Kemble is very pretty, though there is an
attempt of a sort too common with Mrs. Jameson to make more of the
subject than it deserves. Adelaide Kemble was not the true artist, or
she could not so soon or so lightly have stept into another sphere.
It is enough to paint her as a lovely woman, and a woman-genius. The
true artist cannot forswear his vocation; Heaven does not permit it;
the attempt makes him too unhappy, nor will he form ties with those
who can consent to such sacrilege. Adelaide Kemble loved art, but was
not truly an artist.

The "Xanthian Marbles," and "Washington Allston," are very pleasing
papers. The most interesting part, however, are the sentences copied
from Mr. Allston. These have his chaste, superior tone. We copy some
of them.

"What _light_ is in the natural world, such is _fame_ in the
intellectual,--both requiring an _atmosphere_ in order to become
perceptible. Hence the fame of Michel Angelo is to some minds a
nonentity; even as the Sun itself would be invisible _in vacuo_"

(A very pregnant statement, containing the true reason why "no man is
a hero to his valet de chambre.")

"Fame does not depend on the will of any man; but reputation may be
given and taken away; for fame is the sympathy of kindred intellects,
and sympathy is not a subject of _willing_; while reputation,
having its source in the popular voice, is a sentence which may be
altered or suppressed at pleasure. Reputation, being essentially
contemporaneous, is always at the mercy of the envious and ignorant.
But Fame, whose very birth is posthumous, and which is only known to
exist by the echoes of its footsteps through congenial minds, can
neither be increased nor diminished by any degree of wilfulness."

"An original mind is rarely understood until it has been
_reflected_ from some half-dozen congenial with it; so averse are
men to admitting the true in an unusual form; while any novelty,
however fantastic, however false, is greedily swallowed. Nor is this
to be wondered at, for all truth demands a response, and few people
care to _think_, yet they must have something to supply the place
of thought. Every mind would appear original if every man had the
power of projecting his own into the minds of others."

"All effort at originality must end either in the quaint or monstrous;
for no man knows himself as on original; he can only believe it on the
report of others to whom he is made known, as he is by the projecting
power before spoken of."

"There is an essential meanness in wishing to get the better of any
one. The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself."

"Reverence is an ennobling sentiment; it is felt to be degrading only
by the vulgar mind, which would escape the sense of its own littleness
by elevating itself into the antagonist of what is above it."

"He that has no pleasure in looking up is not fit to look down; of
such minds are the mannerists in art, and in the world--the tyrants of
all sorts."

"Make no man your idol; for the best man must have faults, and his
faults will naturally become yours, in addition to your own. This is
as true in art as in morals."

"The Devil's heartiest laugh is at a detracting witticism. Hence the
phrase 'devilish good' has sometimes a literal meaning."

"Woman's Mission and Woman's Position" is an excellent paper, in which
plain truths ere spoken with an honorable straight-forwardness, and a
great deal of good feeling. We despise the woman who, knowing such
facts, is afraid to speak of them; yet we honor one, too, who does the
plain right thing, for she exposes herself to the assaults of
vulgarity, in a way painful to a person who has not strength to find
shelter and repose in her motives. We recommend this paper to the
consideration of all those, the unthinking, wilfully unseeing million,
who are in the habit of talking of "Woman's sphere," as if it really
were, at present, for the majority, one of protection, and the gentle
offices of home. The rhetorical gentlemen and silken dames, who, quite
forgetting their washerwomen, their seamstresses, and the poor
hirelings for the sensual pleasures of Man, that jostle them daily in
the streets, talk as if women need be fitted for no other chance than
that of growing like cherished flowers in the garden of domestic love,
are requested to look at this paper, in which the state of women, both
in the manufacturing and agricultural districts of England, is exposed
with eloquence, and just inferences drawn.

"This, then, is what I mean when I speak of the anomalous condition of
women in these days. I would point out, as a primary source of
incalculable mischief, the contradiction between her assumed and her
real position; between what is called her proper sphere by the laws of
God and Nature, and what has become her real sphere by the laws of
necessity, and through the complex relations of artificial existence.
In the strong language of Carlyle, I would say that 'Here is a lie
standing up in the midst of society.' I would say 'Down with it, even
to the ground;' for while this perplexing and barbarous anomaly
exists, fretting like an ulcer at the very heart of society, all new
specifics and palliatives are in vain. The question must be settled
one way or another; either let the man in all the relations of life be
held the natural guardian of the woman, constrained to fulfil that
trust, responsible in society for her well-being and her maintenance;
or, if she be liable to be thrust from the sanctuary of home, to
provide for herself through the exercise of such faculties as God has
given her, let her at least have fair play; let it not be avowed, in
the same breath that protection is necessary to her, and that it is
refused her; and while we send her forth into the desert, and bind the
burthen on her back, and put the staff in her hand, let not her steps
be beset, her limbs fettered, and her eyes blindfolded." Amen.

The sixth and last of these papers, on the relative social position of
"mothers and governesses," exhibits in true and full colors a state of
things in England, beside which the custom in some parts of China of
drowning female infants looks mild, generous, and refined;--an
accursed state of things, beneath whose influence nothing can, and
nothing ought to thrive. Though this paper, of which we have not
patience to speak further at this moment, is valuable from putting the
facts into due relief, it is very inferior to the other, and shows the
want of thoroughness and depth in Mrs. Jameson's intellect. She has
taste, feeling and knowledge, but she cannot think out a subject
thoroughly, and is unconsciously tainted and hampered by
conventionalities. Her advice to the governesses reads like a piece of
irony, but we believe it was not meant as such. Advise them to be
burnt at the stake at once, rather than submit to this slow process of
petrifaction. She is as bad as the Reports of the "Society for the
relief of distressed and dilapidated Governesses." We have no more
patience. We must go to England ourselves, and see these victims under
the water torture. Till then, a Dieu!



WOMAN'S INFLUENCE OVER THE INSANE.


In reference to what is said of entrusting an infant to the insane, we
must relate a little tale which touched the heart in childhood from
the eloquent lips of the mother.

The minister of the village had a son of such uncommon powers that the
slender means on which the large family lived were strained to the
utmost to send him to college. The boy prized the means of study as
only those under such circumstances know how to prize them; indeed,
far beyond their real worth; since, by excessive study, prolonged
often at the expense of sleep, he made himself insane.

All may conceive the feelings of the family when their star returned
to them again, shorn of its beams; their pride, their hard-earned
hope, sunk to a thing so hopeless, so helpless, that there could be
none so poor to do him reverence. But they loved him, and did what the
ignorance of the time permitted. There was little provision then for
the treatment of such cases, and what there was was of a kind that
they shrunk from resorting to, if it could be avoided. They kept him
at home, giving him, during the first months, the freedom of the
house; but on his making an attempt to kill his father, and confessing
afterwards that his old veneration had, as is so often the case in
these affections, reacted morbidly to its opposite, so that he never
saw a once-loved parent turn his back without thinking how he could
rush upon him and do him an injury, they felt obliged to use harsher
measures, and chained him to a post in one room of the house.

There, so restrained, without exercise or proper medicine, the fever
of insanity came upon him in its wildest form. He raved, shrieked,
struck about him, and tore off all the raiment that was put upon him.

One of his sisters, named Lucy, whom he had most loved when well, had
now power to soothe him. He would listen to her voice, and give way to
a milder mood when she talked or sang. But this favorite sister
married, went to her new home, and the maniac became wilder, more
violent than ever.

After two or three years, she returned, bringing with her on infant.
She went into the room where the naked, blaspheming, raging object was
confined. He knew her instantly, and felt joy at seeing her.

"But, Lucy," said he, suddenly, "is that your baby you have in your
arms? Give it to me, I want to hold it!"

A pang of dread and suspicion shot through the young mother's
heart,--she turned pale and faint. Her brother was not at that moment
so mad that he could not understand her fears.

"Lucy," said he, "do you suppose I would hurt _your_ child?"

His sister had strength of mind and of heart; she could not resist the
appeal, and hastily placed the child in his arms. Poor fellow! he held
it awhile, stroked its little face, and melted into tears, the first
he had shed since his insanity.

For some time after that he was better, and probably, had he been
under such intelligent care as may be had at present, the crisis might
have been followed up, and a favorable direction given to his disease.
But the subject was not understood then, and, having once fallen mad,
he was doomed to live and die a madman.



FROM A CRITICISM ON BROWNING'S POEMS.


* * * * "The return of the Druses," a "Blot in the 'Scutcheon," and
"Colombo's Birthday," all have the same originality of conception,
delicate penetration into the mysteries of human feeling, atmospheric
individuality, and skill in picturesque detail. All three exhibit very
high and pure ideas of Woman, and a knowledge, very rare in man, of
the ways in which what is peculiar in her office and nature works. Her
loftiest elevation does not, in his eyes, lift her out of nature. She
becomes, not a mere saint, but the goddess-queen of nature. Her purity
is not cold, like marble, but the healthy, gentle energy of the
flower, instinctively rejecting what is not fit for it, with no need
of disdain to dig a gulf between it and the lower forms of creation.
Her office to man is that of the muse, inspiring him to all good
thoughts and deeds. The passions that sometimes agitate these maidens
of his verso are the surprises of noble hearts unprepared for evil;
and even their mistakes cannot cost bitter tears to their attendant
angels.

The girl in the "Return of the Druses" is the sort of nature Byron
tried to paint in Myrrha. But Byron could only paint women as they
were to him. Browning can show what they are in themselves. In "A Blot
in the 'Scutcheon," we see a lily, storm-struck, half-broken, but
still a lily. In "Colombe's Birthday," a queenly rose-bud, which
expands into the full-glowing rose before our eyes. It is marvellous
in this drama how the characters are unfolded to us by the crisis,
which not only exhibits, but calls to life, the higher passions and
the thoughts which were latent within them.

We bless the poet for these pictures of women, which, however the
common tone of society, by the grossness and levity of the remarks
bandied from tongue to tongue, would seem to say to the contrary,
declare there is still in the breasts of men a capacity for pure and
exalting passion,--for immortal tenderness.

Of Browning's delicate sheaths of meaning within meaning, which must
be opened slowly, petal by petal, as we seek the heart of a flower,
and the spirit-like, distant breathings of his lute, familiar with the
secrets of shores distant and enchanted, a sense can only be gained by
reading him a great deal; and we wish "Bells and Pomegranates" might
be brought within the reach of all who have time and soul to wait and
listen for such!



CHRISTMAS.


Our festivals come rather too near together, since we have so few of
them;--Thanksgiving, Christmas-day, New-Years'-day, and then none
again till July. We know not but these four, with the addition of a
"day set apart for fasting and prayer," might answer the purposes of
rest and edification as well as a calendar full of saints' days, if
they were observed in a better spirit. But, Thanksgiving is devoted to
good dinners; Christmas and New-Years' days to making presents and
compliments; Fast-day to playing at cricket and other games, and the
Fourth of July to boasting of the past, rather than to plans how to
deserve its benefits and secure its fruits.

We value means of marking time by appointed days, because man, on one
side of his nature so ardent and aspiring, is on the other so indolent
and slippery a being, that he needs incessant admonitions to redeem
the time. Time flows on steadily, whether _he_ regards it or not;
yet, unless _he keep time_, there is no music in that flow. The
sands drop with inevitable speed; yet each waits long enough to
receive, if it be ready, the intellectual touch that should turn it to
a sand of gold.

Time, says the Grecian fable, is the parent of Power, Power is the
father of Genius and Wisdom. Time, then, is grandfather of the noblest
of the human family; and we must respect the aged sire whom we see on
the frontispiece of the almanacs, and believe his scythe was meant to
mow down harvests ripened for an immortal use.

Yet the best provision made by the mind of society at large for these
admonitions soon loses its efficacy, and requires that individual
earnestness, individual piety, should continually reinforce the most
beautiful form. The world has never seen arrangements which might more
naturally offer good suggestions than those of the Church of Rome. The
founders of that church stood very near a history radiant at every
page with divine light. All their rites and ceremonial days illustrate
facts of an universal interest. But the life with which piety first,
and afterwards the genius of great artists, invested these symbols,
waned at last, except to a thoughtful few. Reverence was forgotten in
the multitude of genuflexions; the rosary became a string of beads
rather than a series of religious meditations; and the "glorious
company of saints and martyrs" were not regarded so much as the
teachers of heavenly truth, as intercessors to obtain for their
votaries the temporal gifts they craved.

Yet we regret that some of those symbols had not been more reverenced
by Protestants, as the possible occasion of good thoughts, and, among
others, we regret that the day set apart to commemorate the birth of
Jesus should have been stript, even by those who observe it, of many
impressive and touching accessories.

If ever there was an occasion on which the arts could become all but
omnipotent in the service of a holy thought, it is this of the birth
of the child Jesus. In the palmy days of the Catholic religion they
may be said to have wrought miracles in its behalf; and in our colder
time, when we rather reflect that light from a different point of view
than transport ourselves into it, who, that has an eye and ear
faithful to the soul, is not conscious of inexhaustible benefits from
some of the works by which sublime geniuses have expressed their
ideas?--in the adorations of the Magi and the Shepherds, in the Virgin
with the infant Jesus, or that work which expresses what Christendom
at large has not begun to realize,--that work which makes us
conscious, as we listen, why the soul of man was thought worthy and
able to upbear a cross of such dreadful weight,--the Messiah of
Handel.

Christmas would seem to be the day peculiarly sacred to children; and
something of this feeling is beginning to show itself among us, though
rather from German influence than of native growth. The ever-green
tree is often reared for the children on Christmas evening, and its
branches cluster with little tokens that may, at least, give them a
sense that the world is rich, and that there are some in it who care
to bless them. It is a charming sight to see their glistening eyes,
and well worth much trouble in preparing the Christmas-tree.

Yet, on this occasion, as on all others, we should like to see
pleasure offered to them in a form less selfish than it is. When shall
we read of banquets prepared for the halt, the lame, and the blind, on
the day that is said to have brought _their_ friend into the
world? When will children be taught to ask all the cold and ragged
little ones whom they have seen during the day wistfully gazing at the
shop-windows, to share the joys of Christmas-eve?

We borrow the Christmas-tree from Germany; might we but borrow with it
that feeling which pervades all their stories, about the influence of
the Christ-child, and has, I doubt not (for the spirit of literature
is always, though refined, the essence of popular life), pervaded the
conduct of children there.

We will mention two of these as happily expressive of different sides
of the desirable character. One is a legend of the saint Hermann
Joseph. The legend runs that this saint, when a little boy, passed
daily by a niche where was an image of the Virgin and Child, and
delighted there to pay his devotions. His heart was so drawn towards
the holy child that one day, having received what seemed to him a gift
truly precious, a beautiful red and yellow apple, he ventured to offer
it, with his prayer. To his unspeakable delight the child put forth
his hand and took the apple. After that day, never was a gift bestowed
upon the little Hermann, that was not carried to the same place. He
needed nothing for himself, but dedicated all his childish goods to
the altar.

After a while he was in trouble. His father, who was a poor man, found
it necessary to take him from school, and bind him to a trade. He
communicated his woes to his friends of the niche, and the Virgin
comforted him like a mother, and bestowed on him money, by means of
which he rose to be a learned and tender Shepherd of men.

Another still more touching story is that of the holy Rupert. Rupert
was the only child of a princely house, and had something to give
besides apples. But his generosity and human love were such that, as a
child, he could never see poor children suffering without despoiling
himself of all he had with him in their behalf. His mother was, at
first, displeased with this; but when he replied, "They are thy
children too," her reproofs yielded to tears.

One time, when he had given away his coat to a poor child, he got
wearied and belated on his homeward way. He lay down a while and fell
asleep. Then he dreamed that he was on a river-shore, and saw a mild
and noble old man bathing many children. After he had plunged them
into the water, he would place them on a beautiful island, where they
looked white and glorious as little angels. Rupert was seized with a
strong desire to join them, and begged the old man to bathe him also
in the stream. But he was answered, "It is not yet time." Just then a
rainbow spanned the island, and in its arch was enthroned the child
Jesus, dressed in a coat that Rupert knew to be his own. And the child
said to the others, "See this coat; it is one which my brother Rupert
has just sent to me. He has given us many gifts from his love; shall
we not ask him to join us here?" And they shouted a musical "Yes!" and
Rupert started out of his dream. But he had lain too long on the damp
bank of the river without his coat, and cold and fever soon sent him
to join the band of his brothers in their home.

These are legends, superstitious, you will say.  But, in casting aside
the shell, have we retained the kernel? The image of the child Jesus
is not seen in the open street. Does his heart find other means to
express itself there? Protestantism does not mean, we suppose, to
deaden the spirit in excluding the form.

The thought of Jesus, as a child, has great weight with children who
have learned to think of him at all. In thinking of him they form an
image of all that the morning of a pure and fervent life should be and
bring.

In former days I knew a boy-artist whose genius, at that time, showed
high promise. He was not more than fourteen years old--a pale, slight
boy, with a beaming eye. The hopes and sympathy of friends, gained by
his talent, had furnished him with a studio and orders for some
pictures. He had picked up from the streets a boy, still younger and
poorer than himself, to take care of the room and prepare his colors,
and the two boys were as content in their relation as Michael Angelo
with his Urbino. If you went there, you found exposed to view many
pretty pictures--"A Girl with a Dove," "The Guitar-player," and such
subjects as are commonly supposed to interest at his age. But, hid in
a corner, and never shown, unless to the beggar-page or some most
confidential friend, was the real object of his love and pride, the
slowly-growing work of secret hours. The subject of this picture was
Christ teaching the Doctors. And in those doctors he had expressed all
he had already observed of the pedantry and shallow conceit of those
in whom mature years have not unfolded the soul: and in the child, all
he felt that early youth should be and seek, though, alas! his own
feet failed him on the difficult road. This one record of the youth of
Jesus, had, at least, been much to his mind.

In earlier days the little saints thought they best imitated the
Emanuel by giving apples and cents; but we know not why, in our age,
that esteems itself so much enlightened, they should not become also
the givers of spiritual gifts. We see in them, continually, impulses
that only require a good direction to effect infinite good. See the
little girls at work for foreign missions; that is not useless; they
devote the time to a purpose that is not selfish; the horizon of their
thoughts is extended. But they are perfectly capable of becoming
home-missionaries as well. The principle of stewardship would make
them so.

I have seen a little girl of thirteen, who had much service, too, to
do for a hard-working mother, in the midst of a circle of poor
children whom she gathered daily to a morning school. She took them
from the door-steps and the gutters; she washed their faces and hands;
she taught them to read and sew, and told them stories that had
delighted her own infancy. In her face, though in feature and
complexion plain, was something already of a Madonna sweetness, and it
had no way eclipsed the gayety of childhood.

I have seen a boy, scarce older, brought up for some time with the
sons of laborers, who, so soon as he found himself possessed of
superior advantages, thought not of surpassing others, but of
excelling that he might be able to impart; and he was able to do it.
If the other boys had less leisure, and could pay for less
instruction, they did not suffer by it. He could not be happy unless
they also could enjoy Milton, and pass from nature to natural
philosophy. He performed, though in a childish way, and in no Grecian
garb, the part of Apollo amidst the herdsmen of Admetus.

The cause of education would be indefinitely furthered if, in addition
to formal means, there were but this principle awakened in the hearts
of the young, that what they have they must bestow. All are not
natural instructors, but a large proportion are; and those who do
possess such a talent are the best possible teachers to those a little
younger than themselves. Many have more patience with the difficulties
they have lately left behind, and enjoy their power of assisting more
than those further removed in age and knowledge do.

Then the intercourse may be far more congenial and profitable than
where the teacher receives for hire all sorts of pupils as they are
sent him by their guardians. Here be need only choose those who have a
predisposition for what he is best able to teach; and, as I would have
the so-called higher instruction as much diffused in this way as the
lower, there would be a chance of awakening all the power that now
lies latent.

If a girl, for instance, who has only a passable talent for music, but
who, from the advantage of social position, has been able to gain
thorough instruction, felt it her duty to teach whomsoever she know
that had a talent without money to cultivate it, the good is obvious.

Those who are learning, receive an immediate benefit by the effort to
rearrange and interpret what they learn; so the use of this justice
would be two-fold.

Some efforts are made here and there; nay, sometimes there are those
who can say they have returned usury for every gift of fate; and would
others make the same experiments, they might find Utopia not so far
off as the children of this world, wise in securing their own selfish
ease, would persuade us it must always be.

We have hinted what sort of Christmas-box we would wish for the
children; it must be one as full, as that of the Christ-child must be,
of the pieces of silver that were lost and are found. But Christmas
with its peculiar associations has deep interest for men and women no
less. At that time thus celebrated, a pure woman saw in her child what
the Son of man should be as a child of God. She anticipated fur him a
life of glory to God, peace and good-will towards men. In any young
mother's heart, who has any purity of heart, the same feelings arise.
But most of these mothers carelessly let them go without obeying their
instructions. If they did not, we should see other children, other men
than now throng our streets. The boy could not invariably disappoint
the mother, the man the wife, who steadily demanded of him such a
career.

And Man looks upon Woman, in this relation, always as he should. Does
he see in her a holy mother, worthy to guard the infancy of an
immortal soul? Then she assumes in his eyes those traits which the
Romish church loved to revere in Mary. Frivolity, base appetite,
contempt, are exorcised, and Man and Woman appear again, in unprofaned
connection, as brother and sister, children and servants of one Divine
Love, and pilgrims to a common aim.

Were all this right in the private sphere, the public would soon right
itself also, and the nations of Christendom might join in a
celebration such as "Kings and Prophets waited for," and so many
martyrs died to achieve, of Christ-mass.



CHILDREN'S BOOKS.


There is no branch of literature that better deserves cultivation, and
none that so little obtains it from worthy hands, as this of
Children's Books. It requires a peculiar development of the genius and
sympathies, rare among men of factitious life, who are not men enough
to revive with force and beauty the thoughts and scenes of childhood.

It is all idle to talk baby-talk, and give shallow accounts of deep
things, thinking thereby to interest the child. He does not like to be
too much puzzled; but it is simplicity be wants, not silliness. We
fancy their angels, who are always waiting in the courts of our
Father, smile somewhat sadly on the ignorance of those who would feed
them on milk and water too long, and think it would be quite as well
to give them a stone.

There is too much amongst us of the French way of palming off false
accounts of things on children, "to do them good," and showing nature
to them in a magic lantern "purified for the use of childhood," and
telling stories of sweet little girls and brave little boys,--O, all
so good, or so bad! and above all, so _little_, and everything
about them so little! Children accustomed to move in full-sized
apartments, and converse with full-grown men and women, do not need so
much of this baby-house style in their literature. They like, or would
like if they could get them, better things much more. They like the
_Arabian Nights_, and _Pilgrim's Progress_, and _Bunyan's
Emblems_, and _Shakspeare_, and the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_,--at least,
they used to like them; and if they do not now, it is because their
taste has been injured by so many sugar-plums. The books that were
written in the childhood of nations suit an uncorrupted childhood now.
They are simple, picturesque, robust. Their moral is not forced, nor
is the truth veiled with a well-meant but sure-to-fail hypocrisy.
Sometimes they are not moral at all,--only free plays of the fancy
and intellect. These, also, the child needs, just as the infant needs
to stretch its limbs, and grasp at objects it cannot hold. We have
become so fond of the moral, that we forget the nature in which it
must find its root; so fond of instruction, that we forget development.

Where ballads, legends, fairy-tales, are moral, the morality is
heart-felt; if instructive, it is from the healthy common sense of
mankind, and not for the convenience of nursery rule, nor the "peace
of schools and families."

O, that winter, freezing, snow-laden winter, which ushered in our
eighth birthday! There, in the lonely farm-house, the day's work done,
and the bright woodfire all in a glow, we were permitted to slide back
the panel of the cupboard in the wall,--most fascinating object still
in our eyes, with which no stateliest alcoved library can vie,--and
there saw, neatly ranged on its two shelves, not--praised be our natal
star!--_Peter Parley_, nor a History of the Good Little Boy who
never took anything that did not belong to him; but the
_Spectator_, _Telemachus_, _Goldsmith's Animated
Nature_, and the _Iliad_.

Forms of gods and heroes more distinctly seen, and with eyes of nearer
love then than now!--our true uncle, Sir Roger de Coverley, and ye,
fair realms of Nature's history, whose pictures we tormented all grown
persons to illustrate with more knowledge, still more,--how we bless
the chance that gave to us your great realities, which life has daily
helped us, helps us still, to interpret, instead of thin and baseless
fictions that would all this time have hampered us, though with only
cobwebs!

Children need some childish talk, some childish play, some childish
books. But they also need, and need more, difficulties to overcome,
and a sense of the vast mysteries which the progress of their
intelligence shall aid them to unravel. This sense is naturally their
delight, as it is their religion, and it must not be dulled by
premature explanations or subterfuges of any kind. There has been too
much of this lately.

Miss Edgeworth is an excellent writer for children. She is a child
herself, as she writes, nursed anew by her own genius. It is not by
imitating, but by reproducing childhood, that the writer becomes its
companion. Then, indeed, we have something especially good, for,

  "Like wine, well-kept and long,
     Heady, nor harsh, nor strong,
   With each succeeding year is quaffed,
     A richer, purer, mellower draught."


Miss Edgeworth's grown people live naturally with the children; they
do not talk to them continually about angels or flowers, but about the
things that interest themselves. They do not force them forward, nor
keep them back. The relations are simple and honorable; all ages in
the family seem at home under one roof and sheltered by one care.

The _Juvenile Miscellany_, formerly published by Mrs. Child, was
much and deservedly esteemed by children. It was a healthy, cheerful,
natural and entertaining companion to them.

We should censure too monotonously tender a manner in what is written
for children, and too constant an attention to moral influence. We
should prefer a larger proportion of the facts of natural or human
history, and that they should speak for themselves.



WOMAN IN POVERTY.


Woman, even less than Man, is what she should be as a whole. She is
not that self-centred being, full of profound intuitions, angelic
love, and flowing poesy, that she should be. Yet there are
circumstances in which the native force and purity of her being teach
her how to conquer where the restless impatience of Man brings defeat,
and leaves him crushed and bleeding on the field.

Images rise to mind of calm strength, of gentle wisdom learning from
every turn of adverse fate,--of youthful tenderness and faith undimmed
to the close of life, which redeem humanity and make the heart glow
with fresh courage as we write. They are mostly from obscure corners
and very private walks. There was nothing shining, nothing of an
obvious and sounding heroism to make their conduct doubtful, by
tainting their motives with vanity. Unknown they lived, untrumpeted
they died. Many hearts were warmed and fed by them, but perhaps no
mind but our own ever consciously took account of their virtues.

Had Art but the power adequately to tell their simple virtues, and to
cast upon them the light which, shining through those marked and faded
faces, foretold the glories of a second spring! The tears of holy
emotion which fell from those eyes have seemed to us pearls beyond all
price; or rather, whose price will be paid only when, beyond the
grave, they enter those better spheres in whose faith they felt and
acted here.

From this private gallery we will, for the present, bring forth but
one picture. That of a Black Nun was wont to fetter the eyes of
visitors in the royal galleries of France, and my Sister of Mercy,
too, is of that complexion. The old woman was recommended as a
laundress by my friend, who had long prized her. I was immediately
struck with the dignity and propriety of her manner. In the depth of
winter she brought herself the heavy baskets through the slippery
streets; and, when I asked her why she did not employ some younger
person to do what was so entirely disproportioned to her strength,
simply said, "she lived alone, and could not afford to hire an
errand-boy." "It was hard for her?" "No, she was fortunate in being
able to get work at her age, when others could do it better. Her
friends were very good to procure it for her." "Had she a comfortable
home?" "Tolerably so,--she should not need one long." "Was that a
thought of joy to her?" "Yes, for she hoped to see again the husband
and children from whom she had long been separated."

Thus much in answer to the questions, but at other times the little
she said was on general topics. It was not from her that I learnt how
the great idea of Duty had held her upright through a life of
incessant toil, sorrow, bereavement; and that not only she had
remained upright, but that her character had been constantly
progressive. Her latest act had been to take home a poor sick girl who
had no home of her own, and could not bear the idea of dying in a
hospital, and maintain and nurse her through the last weeks of her
life. "Her eye-sight was failing, and she should not be able to work
much longer,--but, then, God would provide. _Somebody_ ought to
see to the poor, motherless girl."

It was not merely the greatness of the act, for one in such
circumstances, but the quiet matter-of-course way in which it was
done, that showed the habitual tone of the mind, and made us feel that
life could hardly do more for a human being than to make him or her
the _somebody_ that is daily so deeply needed, to represent the
right, to do the plain right thing.

"God will provide." Yes, it is the poor who feel themselves near to
the God of love. Though he slay them, still do they trust him.

"I hope," said I to a poor apple-woman, who had been drawn on to
disclose a tale of distress that, almost in the mere hearing, made me
weary of life, "I hope I may yet see you in a happier condition."
"With God's help," she replied, with a smile that Raphael would have
delighted to transfer to his canvas; a Mozart, to strains of angelic
sweetness. All her life she had seemed an outcast child; still she
leaned upon a Father's love.

The dignity of a state like this may vary its form in, more or less
richness and beauty of detail, but here is the focus of what makes
life valuable. It is this spirit which makes poverty the best servant
to the ideal of human nature. I am content with this type, and will
only quote, in addition, a ballad I found in a foreign periodical,
translated from Chamisso, and which forcibly recalled my own laundress
as an equally admirable sample of the same class, the Ideal Poor,
which we need for our consolation, so long as there must be real
poverty.

  "THE OLD WASHERWOMAN.

  "Among yon lines her hands have laden,
    A laundress with white hair appears,
  Alert as many a youthful maiden,
    Spite of her five-and-seventy years;
  Bravely she won those white hairs, still
    Eating the bread hard toll obtained her,
  And laboring truly to fulfil
    The duties to which God ordained her.

  "Once she was young and full of gladness,
    She loved and hoped,--was wooed and won;
  Then came the matron's cares,--the sadness
    No loving heart on earth may shun.
  Three babes she bore her mate; she prayed
    Beside his sick-bed,--he was taken;
  She saw him in the church-yard laid,
    Yet kept her faith and hope unshaken.

  "The task her little ones of feeding
    She met unfaltering from that hour;
  She taught them thrift and honest breeding,
    Her virtues were their worldly dower.
  To seek employment, one by one,
    Forth with her blessing they departed,
  And she was in the world alone--
    Alone and old, but still high-hearted.

  "With frugal forethought; self-denying,
    She gathered coin, and flax she bought,
  And many a night her spindle plying,
    Good store of fine-spun thread she wrought.
  The thread was fashioned in the loom;
    She brought it home, and calmly seated
  To work, with not a thought of gloom,
    Her decent grave-clothes she completed.

  "She looks on them with fond elation;
    They are her wealth, her treasure rare,
  Her age's pride and consolation,
    Hoarded with all a miser's care.
  She dons the sark each Sabbath day,
    To hear the Word that falleth never!
  Well-pleased she lays it then away
    Till she shall sleep in it forever!

  "Would that my spirit witness bore me.
    That, like this woman, I had done
  The work my Master put before me
    Duly from morn till set of sun!
  Would that life's cup had been by me
    Quaffed in such wise and happy measure,
  And that I too might finally
    Look on my shroud with such meek pleasure!"


Such are the noble of the earth. They do not repine, they do not
chafe, even in the inmost heart. They feel that, whatever else may be
denied or withdrawn, there remains the better part, which cannot be
taken from them. This line exactly expresses the woman I knew:--

  "Alone and old, but still high-hearted."


Will any, poor or rich, fail to feel that the children of such a
parent were rich when

  "Her virtues were their worldly dower"?


Will any fail to bow the heart in assent to the aspiration,

  "Would that my spirit witness bore me
    That, like this woman, I had done
  The work my Maker put before me
    Duly from morn till set of sun"?


May not that suffice to any man's ambition?



[Perhaps one of the most perplexing problems which beset Woman in her
domestic sphere relates to the proper care and influence which she
should exert over the domestic aids she employs. As these are, and
long must be, taken chiefly from one nation, the following pages
treating of the Irish Character, and the true relation between
Employer and Employed, can hardly fail to be of interest. They
contain, too, some considerations which Woman as well as Man is too
much in danger of overlooking, and which seem, even more than when
first urged, to be timely in this reactionary to-day.--ED.]


THE IRISH CHARACTER.


In one of the eloquent passages quoted in the "_Tribune_" of
Wednesday, under the head, "Spirit of the Irish Press," we find these
words:

"Domestic love, almost morbid from external suffering, prevents him
(the Irishman) from becoming a fanatic and a misanthrope, and
reconciles him to life."

This recalled to our mind the many touching instances known to us of
such traits among the Irish we have seen here. We have known instances
of morbidness like this. A girl sent "home," after she was well
established herself, for a young brother, of whom she was particularly
fond. He came, and shortly after died. She was so overcome by his loss
that she took poison. The great poet of serious England says, and we
believe it to be his serious thought though laughingly said, "Men have
died, and worms have eaten them, but not for love." Whether or not
death may follow from the loss of a lover or child, we believe that
among no people but the Irish would it be upon the loss of a young
brother.

Another poor young woman, in the flower of her youth, denied herself,
not only every pleasure, but almost the necessaries of life to save
the sum she thought ought to be hers before sending to Ireland for a
widowed mother. Just as she was on the point of doing so she heard
that her mother had died fifteen months before. The keenness and
persistence of her grief defy description. With a delicacy of feeling
which showed the native poetry of the Irish mind, she dwelt, most of
all, upon the thought that while she was working, and pinching, and
dreaming of happiness with her mother, it was indeed but a dream, and
that cherished parent lay still and cold beneath the ground. She felt
fully the cruel cheat of Fate. "Och! and she was dead all those times
I was thinking of her!" was the deepest note of her lament.

They are able, however, to make the sacrifice of even these intense
family affections in a worthy cause. We knew a woman who postponed
sending for her only child, whom she had left in Ireland, for years,
while she maintained a sick friend who had no one else to help her.

The poetry of which I have spoken shows itself even here, where they
are separated from old romantic associations, and begin the new life
in the New World by doing all its drudgery. We know flights of poetry
repeated to us by those present at their wakes,--passages of natural
eloquence, from the lamentations for the dead, more beautiful than
those recorded in the annals of Brittany or Roumelia.

It is the same genius, so exquisitely mournful, tender, and glowing,
too, with the finest enthusiasm, that makes their national music, in
these respects, the finest in the world. It is the music of the harp;
its tones are deep and thrilling. It is the harp so beautifully
described in "The Harp of Tara's Halls," a song whose simple pathos is
unsurpassed. A feeling was never more adequately embodied.

It is the genius which will enable Emmet's appeal to draw tears from
the remotest generations, however much they may be strangers to the
circumstances which called it forth, It is the genius which beamed in
chivalrous loveliness through each act of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,--the
genius which, ripened by English culture, favored by suitable
occasions, has shed such glory on the land which has done all it could
to quench it on the parent hearth.

When we consider all the fire which glows so untamably in Irish veins,
the character of her people, considering the circumstances, almost
miraculous in its goodness, we cannot forbear, notwithstanding all the
temporary ills they aid in here, to give them a welcome to our shores.
Those ills we need not enumerate; they are known to all, and we rank
among them, what others would not, that by their ready service to do
all the hard work, they make it easier for the rest of the population
to grow effeminate, and help the country to grow too fast. But that is
her destiny, to grow too fast: there is no use talking against it.
Their extreme ignorance, their blind devotion to their priesthood,
their pliancy in the hands of demagogues, threaten continuance of
these ills; yet, on the other hand, we must regard them as most
valuable elements in the new race. They are looked upon with contempt
for their wont of aptitude in learning new things; their ready and
ingenious lying; their eye-service. These are the faults of an
oppressed race, which must require the aid of better circumstances
through two or three generations to eradicate. Their virtues are their
own; they are many, genuine, and deeply-rooted. Can an impartial
observer fail to admire their truth to domestic ties, their power of
generous bounty, and more generous gratitude, their indefatigable
good-humor (for ages of wrong which have driven them to so many acts
of desperation, could never sour their blood at its source), their
ready wit, their elasticity of nature? They are fundamentally one of
the best nations of the world. Would they were welcomed here, not to
work merely, but to intelligent sympathy, and efforts, both patient
and ardent, for the education of their children! No sympathy could be
better deserved, no efforts wiselier timed. Future Burkes and Currans
would know how to give thanks for them, and Fitzgeralds rise upon the
soil--which boasts the magnolia with its kingly stature and majestical
white blossoms,--to the same lofty and pure beauty. Will you not
believe it, merely because that bog-bred youth you placed in the
mud-hole tells you lies, and drinks to cheer himself in those endless
diggings? You are short-sighted, my friend; you do not look to the
future; you will not turn your head to see what may have been the
influences of the past. You have not examined your own breast to see
whether the monitor there has not commanded you to do your part to
counteract these influences; and yet the Irishman appeals to you, eye
to eye. He is very personal himself,--he expects a personal interest
from you. Nothing has been able to destroy this hope, which was the
fruit of his nature. We were much touched by O'Connell's direct appeal
to the queen, as "Lady!" But she did not listen,--and we fear few
ladies and gentlemen will till the progress of Destiny compels them.



THE IRISH CHARACTER.


Since the publication of a short notice under this head in the
"_Tribune_," several persons have expressed to us that their
feelings were awakened on the subject, especially as to their
intercourse with the lower Irish. Most persons have an opportunity of
becoming acquainted, if they will, with the lower classes of Irish, as
they are so much employed among us in domestic service, and other
kinds of labor.

We feel, say these persons, the justice of what has been said as to
the duty and importance of improving these people. We have sometimes
tried; but the want of real gratitude which, in them, is associated
with such warm and wordy expressions of regard, with their
incorrigible habits of falsehood and evasion, have baffled and
discouraged us. You say their children ought to be educated; but how
can this be effected when the all but omnipotent sway of the Catholic
religion and the example of parents are both opposed to the formation
of such views and habits as we think desirable to the citizen of the
New World?

We answer first with regard to those who have grown up in another
land, and who, soon after arriving here, are engaged in our service.

First, as to ingratitude. We cannot but sadly smile on the remarks we
hear so often on this subject.

Just Heaven!--and to us how liberal! which has given those who speak
thus an unfettered existence, free from religious or political
oppression; which has given them the education of intellectual and
refined intercourse with men to develop those talents which make them
rich in thoughts and enjoyment, perhaps in money, too, certainly rich
in comparison with the poor immigrants they employ,--what is thought
in thy clear light of those who expect in exchange for a few shillings
spent in presents or medicines, a few kind words, a little casual
thought or care, such a mighty payment of gratitude? Gratitude! Under
the weight of old feudalism their minds were padlocked by habit
against the light; they might be grateful then, for they thought their
lords were as gods, of another frame and spirit than theirs, and that
they had no right to have the same hopes and wants, scarcely to suffer
from the same maladies, with those creatures of silk, and velvet, and
cloth of gold. Then, the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table
might be received with gratitude, and, if any but the dogs came to
tend the beggar's sores, such might be received as angels. But the
institutions which sustained such ideas have fallen to pieces. It is
understood, even In Europe, that

  "The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
   The man's the gowd for a' that,
     A man's a man for a' that."


And being such, has a claim on this earth for something better than
the nettles of which the French peasantry made their soup, and with
which the persecuted Irish, "under hiding," turned to green the lips
white before with famine.

And if this begins to be understood in Europe, can you suppose it is
not by those who, hearing that America opens a mother's arms with the
cry, "All men are born free and equal," rush to her bosom to be
consoled for centuries of woe, for their ignorance, their hereditary
degradation, their long memories of black bread and stripes? However
little else they may understand, believe they understand well _this
much_. Such inequalities of privilege, among men all born of one
blood, should not exist. They darkly feel that those to whom much has
been given owe to the Master an account of stewardship. They know now
that your gift is but a small portion of their right.

And you, O giver! how did you give? With religious joy, as one who
knows that he who loves God cannot fail to love his neighbor as
himself? with joy and freedom, as one who feels that it is the highest
happiness of gift to us that we have something to give again? Didst
thou put thyself into the position of the poor man, and do for him
what thou wouldst have had one who was able to do for thee? Or, with
affability and condescending sweetness, made easy by internal delight
at thine own wondrous virtue, didst thou give five dollars to balance
five hundred spent on thyself? Did you say, "James, I shall expect you
to do right in everything, and to attend to my concerns as I should
myself; and, at the end of the quarter, I will give you my old clothes
and a new pocket-handkerchief, besides seeing that your mother is
provided with fuel against Christmas?"

Line upon line, and precept upon precept, the tender parent expects
from the teacher to whom he confides his child; vigilance unwearied,
day and night, through long years. But he expects the raw Irish girl
or boy to correct, at a single exhortation, the habit of deceiving
those above them, which the expectation of being tyrannized over has
rooted in their race for ages. If we look fairly into the history of
their people, and the circumstances under which their own youth was
trained, we cannot expect that anything short of the most steadfast
patience and love can enlighten them as to the beauty and value of
implicit truth, and, having done so, fortify and refine them in the
practice of it.

This we admit at the outset: First, You must be prepared for a
religious and patient treatment of these people, not merely
_un_educated, but _ill_-educated; a treatment far more religious
and patient than is demanded by your own children, if they were born
and bred under circumstances at all favorable.

Second, Dismiss from your minds all thought of gratitude. Do what you
do for them for God's sake, and as a debt to humanity--interest to the
common creditor upon principal left in your care. Then insensibility,
forgetfulness, or relapse, will not discourage you, and you will
welcome proofs of genuine attachment to yourself chiefly as tokens
that your charge has risen into a higher state of thought and feeling,
so as to be enabled to value the benefits conferred through you. Could
we begin so, there would be hope of our really becoming the
instructors and guardians of this swarm of souls which come from their
regions of torment to us, hoping, at least, the benefits of purgatory.

The influence of the Catholic priesthood must continue very great till
there is a complete transfusion of character in the minds of their
charge. But as the Irishman, or any other foreigner, becomes
Americanized, he will demand a new form of religion to suit his new
wants. The priest, too, will have to learn the duties of an American
citizen; he will live less and less for the church, and more for the
people, till at last, if there be Catholicism still, it will be under
Protestant influences, as begins to be the case in Germany. It will
be, not Roman, but American Catholicism; a form of worship which
relies much, perhaps, on external means and the authority of the
clergy,--for such will always be the case with religion while there
are crowds of men still living an external life, and who have not
learned to make full use of their own faculties,--but where a belief
in the benefits of confession and the power of the church, as church,
to bind and loose, atone for or decide upon sin, with similar
corruptions, must vanish in the free and searching air of a new era.

     *       *       *       *       *

Between employer and employed there is not sufficient pains taken on
the part of the former to establish a mutual understanding. People
meet, in the relations of master and servant, who have lived in two
different worlds. In this respect we are much worse situated than the
same parties have been in Europe. There is less previous acquaintance
between the upper and lower classes. (We must, though unwillingly, use
these terms to designate the state of things as at present existing.)
Meals are taken separately; work is seldom shared; there is very
little to bring the parties together, except sometimes the farmer
works with his hired Irish laborer in the fields, or the mother keeps
the nurse-maid of her baby in the room with her.

In this state of things the chances for instruction, which come every
day of themselves where parties share a common life instead of its
results merely, do not occur. Neither is there opportunity to
administer instruction in the best manner, nor to understand when and
where it is needed.

The farmer who works with his men in the field, the farmer's wife who
attends with her women to the churn and the oven, may, with ease, be
true father and mother to all who are in their employ, and enjoy
health of conscience in the relation, secure that, if they find cause
for blame, it is not from faults induced by their own negligence. The
merchant who is from home all day, the lady receiving visitors or
working slippers in her nicely-furnished parlor, cannot be quite so
sure that their demands, or the duties involved in them, are clearly
understood, nor estimate the temptations to prevarication.

It is shocking to think to what falsehoods human beings like ourselves
will resort, to excuse a love of amusement, to hide ill-health, while
they see us indulging freely in the one, yielding lightly to the
other; and yet we have, or ought to have, far more resources in either
temptation than they. For us it is hard to resist, to give up going to
the places where we should meet our most interesting companions, or do
our work with an aching brow. But we have not people over us whose
careless, hasty anger drives us to seek excuses for our failures; if
so, perhaps,--perhaps; who knows?--we, the better-educated, rigidly,
immaculately true as we are at present, _might_ tell falsehoods.
Perhaps we might, if things were given us to do which we had never
seen done, if we were surrounded by new arrangements in the nature of
which no one instructed us. All this we must think of before we can be
of much use.

We have spoken of the nursery-maid as _the_ hired domestic with
whom her mistress, or even the master, is likely to become acquainted.
But, only a day or two since, we saw, what we see so often, a
nursery-maid with the family to which she belonged, in a public
conveyance. They were having a pleasant time; but in it she had no
part, except to hold a hot, heavy baby, and receive frequent
admonitions to keep _it_ comfortable. No inquiry was made as to
_her_ comfort; no entertaining remark, no information of interest
as to the places we passed, was addressed to her. Had she been in that
way with that family ten years she might have known _them_ well
enough, for their characters lay only too bare to a careless scrutiny;
but her joys, her sorrows, her few thoughts, her almost buried
capacities, would have been as unknown to them, and they as little
likely to benefit her, as the Emperor of China.

Let the employer place the employed first in good physical
circumstances, so as to promote the formation of different habits from
those of the Irish hovel, or illicit still-house. Having thus induced
feelings of self-respect, he has opened the door for a new set of
notions. Then let him become acquainted with the family circumstances
and history of his new pupil. He has now got some ground on which to
stand for intercourse. Let instruction follow for the mind, not merely
by having the youngest daughter set, now and then, copies in the
writing-book, or by hearing read aloud a few verses in the Bible, but
by putting good books in their way, if able to read, and by
intelligent conversation when there is a chance,--the master with the
man who is driving him, the lady with the woman who is making her bed.
Explain to them the relations of objects around them; teach them to
compare the old with the new life. If you show a better way than
theirs of doing work, teach them, too, _why_ it is better. Thus
will the mind be prepared by development for a moral reformation;
there will be some soil fitted to receive the seed.

When the time is come,--and will you think a poor, uneducated person,
in whose mind the sense of right and wrong is confused, the sense of
honor blunted, easier of access than one refined and thoughtful?
Surely you will not, if you yourself are refined and thoughtful, but
rather that the case requires far more care in the choice of a
favorable opportunity,--when, then, the good time is come, perhaps it
will be best to do what you do in a way that will make a permanent
impression. Show the Irishman that a vice not indigenous to his
nation--for the rich and noble who are not so tempted are chivalrous
to an uncommon degree in their openness, bold sincerity, and adherence
to their word--has crept over and become deeply rooted in the poorer
people from the long oppressions they have undergone. Show them what
efforts and care will be needed to wash out the taint. Offer your aid,
as a faithful friend, to watch their lapses, and refine their sense of
truth. You will not speak in vain. If they never mend, if habit is too
powerful, still, their nobler nature will not have been addressed in
vain. They will not forget the counsels they have not strength to
follow, and the benefits will be seen in their children or children's
children.

Many say, "Well, suppose we do all this; what then? They are so fond
of change, they will leave us." What then? Why, let them go and carry
the good seed elsewhere. Will you be as selfish and short-sighted as
those who never plant trees to shade a hired house, lest some one else
should be blest by their shade?

It is a simple duty we ask you to engage in; it is, also, a great
patriotic work. You are asked to engage in the great work of mutual
education, which must be for this country the system of mutual
insurance.

We have some hints upon this subject, drawn from the experience of the
wise and good, some encouragement to offer from that experience, that
the fruits of a wise planting sometimes ripen sooner than we could
dare to expect. But this must be for another day.

One word as to this love of change. We hear people blaming it in their
servants, who can and do go to Niagara, to the South, to the Springs,
to Europe, to the seaside; in short, who are always on the move
whenever they feel the need of variety to reanimate mind, health, or
spirits. Change of place, as to family employment, is the only way
domestics have of "seeing life"--the only way immigrants have of
getting thoroughly acquainted with the new society into which they
have entered. How natural that they should incline to it! Once more;
put yourself in their places, and then judge them gently from your
own, if you would be just to them, if you would be of any use.



EDUCATE MEN AND WOMEN AS SOULS.


Had Christendom but been true to its standard, while accommodating its
modes of operation to the calls of successive times, Woman would now
have not only equal _power_ with Man,--for of that omnipotent
nature will never suffer her to be defrauded,--but a _chartered_
power, too fully recognized to be abused. Indeed, all that is wanting
is, that Man should prove his own freedom by making her free. Let him
abandon conventional restriction, as a vestige of that Oriental
barbarity which confined Woman to a seraglio. Let him trust her
entirely, and give her every privilege already acquired for
himself,--elective franchise, tenure of property, liberty to speak in
public assemblies, &c.

Nature has pointed out her ordinary sphere by the circumstances of her
physical existence. She cannot wander far. If here and there the gods
send their missives through women as through men, let them speak
without remonstrance. In no age have men been able wholly to hinder
them. A Deborah must always be a spiritual mother in Israel. A Corinna
may be excluded from the Olympic games, yet all men will hear her
song, and a Pindar sit at her feet. It is Man's fault that there ever
were Aspasias and Ninons. These exquisite forms were intended for the
shrines of virtue.

Neither need men fear to lose their domestic deities. Woman is born
for love, and it is impossible to turn her from seeking it. Men should
deserve her love as an inheritance, rather than seize and guard it
like a prey. Were they noble, they would strive rather not to be loved
too much, and to turn her from idolatry to the true, the only Love.
Then, children of one Father, they could not err nor misconceive one
another.

Society is now so complex, that it is no longer possible to educate
Woman merely as Woman; the tasks which come to her hand are so
various, and so large a proportion of women are thrown entirely upon
their own resources. I admit that this is not their state of perfect
development; but it seems as if Heaven, having so long issued its
edict in poetry and religion without securing intelligent obedience,
now commanded the world in prose to take a high and rational view. The
lesson reads to me thus:--

Sex, like rank, wealth, beauty, or talent, is but an accident of
birth. As you would not educate a soul to be an aristocrat, so do not
to be a woman. A general regard to her usual sphere is dictated in the
economy of nature. You need never enforce these provisions rigorously.
Achilles had long plied the distaff as a princess; yet, at first sight
of a sword, he seized it. So with Woman; one hour of love would teach
her more of her proper relations than all your formulas and
conventions. Express your views, men, of what you _seek_ in
women; thus best do you give them laws. Learn, women, what you should
_demand_ of men; thus only can they become themselves. Turn both
from the contemplation of what is merely phenomenal in your existence,
to your permanent life as souls. Man, do not prescribe how the Divine
shall display itself in Woman. Woman, do not expect to see all of God
in Man. Fellow-pilgrims and helpmeets are ye, Apollo and Diana, twins
of one heavenly birth, both beneficent, and both armed. Man, fear not
to yield to Woman's hand both the quiver and the lyre; for if her urn
be filled with light, she will use both to the glory of God. There is
but one doctrine for ye both, and that is the doctrine of the SOUL.



PART III.

EXTRACTS FROM JOURNALS AND LETTERS.



[The following extract from Margaret's Journal will be read with a
degree of melancholy interest when connected with the eventful end of
her eventful life. It was written many years before her journey to
Europe, and rings in our ears now almost with the tones of
prophecy.--Ed.]


I like to listen to the soliloquies of a bright child. In this
microcosm the philosophical observer may trace the natural progression
of the mind of mankind. I often silently observe L---, with this view.
He is generally imitative and dramatic; the day-school, the singing-school
or the evening party, are acted out with admirable variety in the humors
of the scene, end great discrimination of character in its broader
features. What is chiefly remarkable is his unconsciousness of his
mental processes, and how thoughts it would be impossible for him
to recall spring up in his mind like flowers and weeds in the soil.
But to-night he was truly in a state of lyrical inspiration, his eyes
flashing, his face glowing, and his whole composition chanted out in
an almost metrical form. He began by mourning the death of a certain
Harriet whom he had let go to foreign parts, and who had died at sea.
He described her as having "blue, sparkling eyes, and a sweet smile,"
and lamented that he could never kiss her cold lips again. This part,
which he continued for some time, was in prolonged cadences, and a
low, mournful tone, with a frequently recurring burden of "O, my
Harriet, shall I never see thee more!"

     *       *       *       *       *

EXTRACT FROM JOURNAL.

     *       *       *       *       *

It is so true that a woman may be in love with a woman, and a man with
a man. It is pleasant to be sure of it, because it is undoubtedly the
same love that we shall feel when we are angels, when we ascend to the
only fit place for the Mignons, where

  "Sie fragen nicht nach Mann und Welb."


It is regulated by the same law as that of love between persons of
different sexes, only it is purely intellectual and spiritual,
unprefaced by any mixture of lower instincts, undisturbed by any need
of consulting temporal interests; its law is the desire of the spirit
to realize a whole, which makes it seek in another being that which it
finds not in itself.

Thus the beautiful seek the strong; the mute seek the eloquent; the
butterfly settles on the dark flower. Why did Socrates so love
Alcibiades? Why did Korner so love Schneider? How natural is the love
of Wallenstein for Max, that of Madame de Stael for de Recamier, mine
for -----! I loved ---- for a time with as much passion as I was then
strong enough to feel. Her face was always gleaming before me; her
voice was echoing in my ear; all poetic thoughts clustered round the
dear image. This love was for me a key which unlocked many a treasure
which I still possess; it was the carbuncle (emblematic gem!) which
cast light into many of the darkest corners of human nature. She loved
me, too, though not so much, because her nature was "less high, less
grave, less large, less deep;" but she loved more tenderly, less
passionately. She loved me, for I well remember her suffering when she
first could feel my faults, and knew one part of the exquisite veil
rent away--how she wished to stay apart and weep the whole day.

These thoughts were suggested by a large engraving representing Madame
Recamier in her boudoir. I have so often thought over the intimacy
between her and Madame de Stael.

Madame Recamier is half-reclining on a sofa; she is clad in white
drapery, which clings very gracefully to her round, but
elegantly-slender form; her beautiful neck and arms are bare; her hair
knotted up so as to show the contour of her truly-feminine head to
great advantage. A book lies carelessly on her lap; one hand yet holds
it at the place where she left off reading; her lovely face is turned
towards us; she appears to muse on what she has been reading. When we
see a woman in a picture with a book, she seems to be doing precisely
that for which she was born; the book gives such an expression of
purity to the female figure. A large window, partially veiled by a
white curtain, gives a view of a city at some little distance. On one
side stand the harp and piano; there are just books enough for a
lady's boudoir. There is no picture, except one of De Recamier
herself, as Corinne. This is absurd; but the absurdity is interesting,
as recalling the connection. You imagine her to have been reading one
of De Stael's books, and to be now pondering what those brilliant
words of her gifted friend can mean.

Everything in the room is in keeping. Nothing appears to have been put
there because other people have it; but there is nothing which shows a
taste more noble and refined than you would expect from the fair
Frenchwoman. All is elegant, modern, in harmony with the delicate
habits and superficial culture which you would look for in its
occupant.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO HER MOTHER.

_Sept_. 5, 1887.

* * * * * If I stay in Providence, and more money is wanting than can
otherwise be furnished, I will take a private class, which is ready for
me, and by which, even if I reduced my terms to suit the place, I can
earn the four hundred dollars that ---- will need. If I do not stay, I
will let her have my portion of our income, with her own, or even capital
which I have a right to take up, and come into this or some other
economical place, and live at the cheapest rate. It will not be even a
sacrifice to me to do so, for I am weary of society, and long for the
opportunity for solitary concentration of thought. I know what I say;
if I live, you may rely upon me.

God be with you, my dear mother! I am sure he will prosper the doings
of so excellent a woman if you will only keep your mind calm and be
firm. Trust your daughter too. I feel increasing trust in mine own
good mind. We will take good care of the children and of one another.
Never fear to trouble me with your perplexities. I can never be so
situated that I do not earnestly wish to know them. Besides, things do
not trouble me as they did, for I feel within myself the power to aid,
to serve.

Most affectionately,

Your daughter, M.

       *       *       *       *       *

PART OF LETTER TO M.

_Providence_, Oct. 7, 1838.

* * * For yourself, dear ------, you have attained an important age.
No plan is desirable for you which is to be pursued with precision.
The world, the events of every day, which no one can predict, are to
be your teachers, and you must, in some degree, give yourself up, and
submit to be led captive, if you would learn from them. Principle must
be at the helm, but thought must shift its direction with the winds
and waves.

Happy as you are thus far in worthy friends, you are not in much
danger of rash intimacies or great errors. I think, upon the whole,
quite highly of your judgment about people and conduct; for, though
your first feelings are often extravagant, they are soon balanced.

I do not know other faults in you beside that want of retirement of
mind which I have before spoken of. If M------ and A------ want too
much seclusion, and are too severe in their views of life and man, I
think you are too little so. There is nothing so fatal to the finer
faculties as too ready or too extended a publicity. There is some
danger lest there be no real religion in the heart which craves too
much of daily sympathy. Through your mind the stream of life has
coursed with such rapidity that it has often swept away the seed or
loosened the roots of the young plants before they had ripened any
fruit.

I should think writing would be very good for you. A journal of your
life, and analyses of your thoughts, would teach you how to
generalize, and give firmness to your conclusions. Do not write down
merely that things are beautiful, or the reverse; but _what_ they
are, and _why_ they are beautiful or otherwise; and show these
papers, at least at present, to nobody. Be your own judge and your own
helper. Do not go too soon to any one with your difficulties, but try
to clear them up for yourself.

I think the course of reading you have fallen upon, of late, will be
better for you than such books as you formerly read, addressed rather
to the taste and imagination than the judgment. The love of beauty has
rather an undue development in your mind. See now what it is, and what
it has been. Leave for a time the Ideal, and return to the Real.

I should think two or three hours a day would be quite enough, at
present, for you to give to books. Now learn buying and selling,
keeping the house, directing the servants; all that will bring you
worlds of wisdom if you keep it subordinate to the one grand aim of
perfecting the whole being. And let your self-respect forbid you to do
imperfectly anything that you do at all.

I always feel ashamed when I write with this air of wisdom; but you
will see, by my hints, what I mean. Your mind wants depth and
precision; your character condensation. Keep your high aim steadily in
view; life will open the path to reach it. I think ----, even if she
be in excess, is an excellent friend for you; her character seems to
have what yours wants, whether she has or has not found the right way.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, A. B. F.

_Providence, Feb_. 19, 1888

MY DEAR A.:

     *       *       *      *       *

I wish you could see the journals of two dear little girls, eleven
years old, in my school. They love one another like Bessie Bell and
Mary Gray in the ballad. They are just of a size, both lively as
birds, affectionate, gentle, ambitious in good works and knowledge.
They encourage one another constantly to do right; they are rivals,
but never jealous of one another. One has the quicker intellect, the
other is the prettier. I have never had occasion to find fault with
either, and the forwardness of their minds has induced me to take both
into my reading-class, where they are associated with girls many years
their elders. Particular pains do they take with their journals. These
are written daily, in a beautiful, fair, round hand, well-composed,
showing attention, and memory well-trained, with many pleasing sallies
of playfulness, and some very interesting thoughts.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Jamaica Plain, Dec_. 20, 1840.

* * * * About your school I do not think I could give you much advice
which would be of value, unless I could know your position more in
detail. The most important rule is, in all relations with our
fellow-creatures, never forget that, if they are imperfect persons,
they are immortal souls, and treat them as you would wish to be
treated by the light of that thought.

As to the application of means, abstain from punishment as much as
possible, and use encouragement as far as you can _without
flattery_. But be even more careful as to strict truth in this
regard, towards children, than to persons of your own age; for, to the
child, the parent or teacher is the representative of _justice;_
and as that of life is severe, an education which, in any degree,
excites vanity, is the very worst preparation for that general and
crowded school.

I doubt not you will teach grammar well, as I saw you aimed at
principles in your practice.

In geography, try to make pictures of the scenes, that they may be
present to their imaginations, and the nobler faculties be brought
into action, as well as memory.

In history, try to study and paint the characters of _great men_;
they best interpret the leadings of events amid the nations.

I am pleased with your way of speaking of both people and pupils; your
view seems from the right point. Yet beware of over great pleasure in
being popular, or even beloved. As far as an amiable disposition and
powers of entertainment make you so, it is a happiness; but if there
is one grain of plausibility, it is poison.

But I will not play Mentor too much, lest I make you averse to write
to your very affectionate sister,

M.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, R.

I entirely agree in what you say of _tuition_ and
_intuition;_ the two must act and react upon one another, to make
a man, to form a mind. Drudgery is as necessary, to call out the
treasures of the mind, as harrowing and planting those of the earth.
And besides, the growths of literature and art are as much nature as
the trees in Concord woods; but nature idealized and perfected.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

1841.

I take great pleasure in that feeling of the living presence of beauty
in nature which your letters show. But you, who have now lived long
enough to see some of my prophecies fulfilled, will not deny, though
you may not yet believe the truth of my words when I say you go to an
extreme in your denunciations of cities and the social institutions.
_These_ are a growth also, and, as well as the diseases which
come upon them, under the control of the one spirit as much as the
great tree on which the insects prey, and in whose bark the busy bird
has made many a wound.

When we get the proper perspective of these things we shall find man,
however artificial, still a part of nature. Meanwhile, let us trust;
and while it is the soul's duty ever to bear witness to the best it
knows, let us not be hasty to conclude that in what suits us not there
can be no good. Let us be sure there _must_ be eventual good,
could we but see far enough to discern it. In maintaining perfect
truth to ourselves and choosing that mode of being which suits us, we
had best leave others alone as much as may be. You prefer the country,
and I doubt not it is on the whole a better condition of life to live
there; but at the country party you have mentioned you saw that no
circumstances will keep people from being frivolous. One may be
gossipping, and vulgar, and idle in the country,--earnest, noble and
wise, in the city. Nature cannot be kept from us while there is a sky
above, with so much as one star to remind us of prayer in the silent
night.

As I walked home this evening at sunset, over the Mill-Dam, towards
the city, I saw very distinctly that the city also is a bed in God's
garden. More of this some other time.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

_Concord, May _2, 1887.

MY DEAR: I am passing happy here, except that I am not well,--so
unwell that I fear I must go home and ask my good mother to let me
rest and vegetate beneath her sunny kindness for a while. The
excitement of conversation prevents my sleeping. The drive here with
Mr. E------ was delightful. Dear Nature and Time, so often
calumniated, will take excellent care of us if we will let them. The
wisdom lies in schooling the heart not to expect too much. I did that
good thing when I came here, and I am rich. On Sunday I drove to
Watertown with the author of "Nature." The trees were still bare, but
the little birds care not for that; they revel, and carol, and wildly
tell their hopes, while the gentle, "voluble" south wind plays with
the dry leaves, and the pine-trees sigh with their soul-like sounds
for June. It was beauteous; and care and routine fled away, and I was
as if they had never been, except that I vaguely whispered to myself
that all had been well with me.

     *       *       *       *       *

The baby here is beautiful. He looks like his father, and smiles so
sweetly on all hearty, good people. I play with him a good deal, and
he comes so _natural,_ after Dante and other poets.

Ever faithfully your friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

1887.

MY BELOVED CHILD: I was very glad to get your note. Do not think you
must only write to your friends when you can tell them you are happy;
they will not misunderstand you in the dark hour, nor think you
_forsaken_, if cast down. Though your letter of Wednesday was
very sweet to me, yet I knew it could not last as it was then. These
hours of heavenly, heroic strength leave us, but they come again:
their memory is with us amid after-trials, and gives us a foretaste of
that era when the steadfast soul shall be the only reality.

My dearest, you must suffer, but you will always be growing stronger,
and with every trial nobly met, you will feel a growing assurance that
nobleness is not a mere _sentiment_ with you. I sympathize deeply
in your anxiety about your mother; yet I cannot but remember the
bootless fear and agitation about my mother, and how strangely our
destinies were guided. Take refuge in prayer when you are most
troubled; the door of the sanctuary will never be shut against you. I
send you a paper which is very sacred to me. Bless Heaven that your
heart is awakened to sacred duties before any kind of gentle
ministering has become impossible, before any relation has been
broken.  [Footnote: It has always been my desire to find appropriate
time and place to correct an erroneous impression which has gained
currency in regard to my father, and which does injustice to his
memory. That impression is that he was exceedingly stern and exacting
in the parental relation, and especially in regard to my sister; that
he forbid or frowned upon her sports;--excluded her from intercourse
with other children when she, a child, needed such companionship, and
required her to bend almost unceasingly over her books. This
impression has, certainly in part, arisen from an autobiographical
sketch, never written for publication nor intended for a literal or
complete statement of her father's educational method, or the relation
which existed between them, which was most loving and true on both
sides. While the narrative is true, it is not the all she would have
said, and, therefore, taken alone, conveys an impression which
misleads those who did not know our father well. Perhaps no better
opportunity or place than this may ever arise to correct this
impression so for us it is wrong. It is true that my father had a very
high standard of scholarship, and did expect conformity to it in his
children. He was not stern toward them.

It is doubtless true, also, that he did not perfectly comprehend the
rare mind of his daughter, or see for some years that she required no
stimulating to intellectual effort, as do most children, but rather
the reverse. But how many fathers are there who would have understood
at once such a child as Margaret Fuller was, or would have done even
as wisely as he? And how long is it since a wiser era has dawned upon
the world (its light not yet fully welcomed), in which attention first
to physical development to the exclusion of the mental, is an axiom in
education! Was it so deemed forty years ago? Nor has it been
considered that so gifted a child would naturally, as she did,
_seek_ the companionship of those older than herself, and not of
children who had little in unison with her. She needed, doubtless, to
be _urged_ into the usual sports of children, and the company of
those of her own age; if _not_ urged to enter these she was never
excluded from either. She needed to be kept from books for a period,
or to be led to those of a lighter cost than such as she read, and
which usually task the thoughts of mature men. This simply was not
done, and the error arose from no lack of tenderness, or
consideration, from no lack of the wisdom of those times, but from the
simple fact that the laws of physiology as connected with those of
mind were not understood then as now, nor was attention so much
directed to physical culture as of the primary importance it is now
regarded. Our father was indeed exact and strict with himself and
others; but none has ever been more devoted to his children than he,
or more painstaking with their education, nor more fondly loved them;
and in later life they have ever been more and more impressed with the
conviction of his fidelity and wisdom. That Margaret venerated her
father, and that his love was returned, is abundantly evidenced in her
poem which accompanies this letter. This, too, was not written for the
public eye, but it is too noble a tribute, too honorable both to
father and daughter, to be suppressed. I trust that none, passing from
one extreme to the other, will infer from the natural self-reproach
and upbraiding because of short-comings, felt by every true mind when
an honored and loved parent departs, that she lacked fidelity in the
relation of daughter. She agreed not always with his views and
methods, but this diversity of mind never affected their mutual
respect and love.--[Ed.]]


LINES WRITTEN IN MARCH, 1836.

  "I will not leave you comfortless."

  O, Friend divine! this promise dear
  Falls sweetly on the weary ear!
  Often, in hours of sickening pain,
  It soothes me to thy rest again.

  Might I a true disciple be,
  Following thy footsteps faithfully,
  Then should I still the succor prove
  Of him who gave his life for love.

  When this fond heart would vainly beat
  For bliss that ne'er on earth we meet,
  For perfect sympathy of soul,
  From those such heavy laws control;

  When, roused from passion's ecstasy,
  I see the dreams that filled it fly,
  Amid my bitter tears and sighs
  Those gentle words before me rise.

  With aching brows and feverish brain
  The founts of intellect I drain,
  And con with over-anxious thought
  What poets sung and heroes wrought.

  Enchanted with their deeds and lays,
  I with like gems would deck my days;
  No fires creative in me burn,
  And, humbled, I to Thee return;

  When blackest clouds around me rolled
  Of scepticism drear and cold,
  When love, and hope, and joy and pride,
  Forsook a spirit deeply tried;

  My reason wavered in that hour,
  Prayer, too impatient, lost its power;
  From thy benignity a ray,
  I caught, and found the perfect day.

  A head revered in dust was laid;
  For the first time I watched my dead;
  The widow's sobs were checked in vain,
  And childhood's tears poured down like rain.

  In awe I gaze on that dear face,
  In sorrow, years gone by retrace,
  When, nearest duties most forgot,
  I might have blessed, and did it not!

  Ignorant, his wisdom I reproved,
  Heedless, passed by what most he loved,
  Knew not a life like his to prize,
  Of ceaseless toil and sacrifice.

  No tears can now that hushed heart move,
  No cares display a daughter's love,
  The fair occasion lost, no more
  Can thoughts more just to thee restore.

  What can I do? And how atone
  For all I've done, and left undone?
  Tearful I search the parting words
  Which the beloved John records.

  "Not comfortless!" I dry my eyes,
  My duties clear before me rise,--
  Before thou think'st of taste or pride,
  See home-affections satisfied!

  Be not with generous _thoughts_ content,
  But on well-doing constant bent;
  When self seems dear, self-seeking fair;
  Remember this sad hour in prayer!

  Though all thou wishest fly thy touch,
  Much can one do who loveth much.
  More of thy spirit, Jesus give,
  Not comfortless, though sad, to live.

  And yet not sad, if I can know
  To copy Him who here below
  Sought but to do his Father's will,
  Though from such sweet composure still

  My heart be far. Wilt thou not aid
  One whose best hopes on thee are stayed?
  Breathe into me thy perfect love,
  And guide me to thy rest above!

     *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, R----.

* * * Mr. Keats, Emma's father, is dead. To me this brings unusual
sorrow, though I have never yet seen him; but I thought of him as one
of the very few persons known to me by reputation, whose acquaintance
might enrich me. His character was a sufficient answer to the doubt,
whether a merchant can be a man of honor. He was, like your father,
a man all whose virtues had stood the test. He was no word-hero.

     *       *       *       *       *

TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

_Providence, June 16,1837_.

MY DEAR ------: I pray you, amid all your duties, to keep some hours
to yourself. Do not let my example lead you into excessive exertions.
I pay dear for extravagance of this sort; five years ago I had no idea
of the languor and want of animal spirits which torment me now. Animal
spirits are not to be despised. An earnest mind and seeking heart will
not often be troubled by despondency; but unless the blood can dance
at proper times, the lighter passages of life lose all their
refreshment and suggestion.

I wish you and ------- had been here last Saturday. Our school-house
was dedicated, and Mr. Emerson made the address; it was a noble appeal
in behalf of the best interests of culture, and seemingly here was fit
occasion. The building was beautiful, and furnished with an even
elegant propriety.

I am at perfect liberty to do what I please, and there are apparently
the best dispositions, if not the best preparation, on the part of the
hundred and fifty young minds with whom I am to be brought in contact.

I sigh for the country; trees, birds and flowers, assure me that June
is here, but I must walk through streets many and long, to get sight
of any expanse of green. I had no fine weather while at home, though
the quiet and rest were delightful to me; the sun did not shine once
really warmly, nor did the apple-trees put on their blossoms until the
very day I came away.

       *       *       *       *       *

SONNET.

TO THE SAME.

  Although the sweet, still watches of the night
  Find me all lonely now, yet the delight
  Hath not quite gone, which from thy presence flows.
  The love, the joy that in thy bosom glows,
  Lingers to cheer thy friend. From thy fresh dawn
  Some golden exhalations have I drawn
  To make less dim my dusty noon. Thy tones
  Are with me still; some plaintive as the moans
  Of Dryads, when their native groves must fall,
  Some wildly wailing, like the clarion-call
  On battle-field, strewn with the noble dead.
  Some in soft romance, like the echoes bred
  In the most secret groves of Arcady;
  Yet all, wild, sad, or soft, how steeped in poesy!

_Providence, April_, 1888.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Providence, Oct_. 21, 1888.

* * * * I am reminded by what you say, of an era in my own existence;
it is seven years bygone. For bitter months a heavy weight had been
pressing on me,--the weight of deceived friendship. I could not be
much alone,--a great burden of family cares pressed upon me; I was in
the midst of society, and obliged to act my part there as well as I
could. At that time I took up the study of German, and my progress was
like the rebound of a string pressed almost to bursting. My mind being
then in the highest state of action, heightened, by intellectual
appreciation, every pang; and imagination, by prophetic power, gave to
the painful present all the weight of as painful a future.

At this time I never had any consolation, except in long solitary
walks, and my meditations then were so far aloof from common life,
that on my return my fall was like that of the eagle, which the
sportsman's hand calls bleeding from his lofty flight, to stain the
earth with his blood.

In such hours we feel so noble, so full of love and bounty, that we
cannot conceive how any pain should have been needed to teach us. It
then seems we are so born for good, that such means of leading us to
it were wholly unnecessary. But I have lived to know that the secret
of all things is pain, and that nature travaileth most painfully with
her noblest product. I was not without hours of deep spiritual
insight, and consciousness of the inheritance of vast powers. I
touched the secret of the universe, and by that touch was invested
with talismanic power which has never left me, though it sometimes
lies dormant for a long time.

One day lives always in my memory; one chastest, heavenliest day of
communion with the soul of things. It was Thanksgiving-day. I was free
to be alone; in the meditative woods, by the choked-up fountain, I
passed its hours, each of which contained ages of thought and emotion.
I saw, then, how idle were my griefs; that I had acquired _the
thought_ of each object which had been taken from me; that more
extended personal relations would only have given me pleasures which
then seemed not worth my care, and which would surely have dimmed my
sense of the spiritual meaning of all which had passed. I felt how
true it was that nothing in any being which was fit for me, could long
be kept from me; and that, if separation could be, real intimacy had
never been. All the films seemed to drop from my existence, and I was
sure that I should never starve in this desert world, but that manna
would drop from Heaven, if I would but rise with every rising sun to
gather it.

In the evening I went to the church-yard; the moon sailed above the
rosy clouds,--the crescent moon rose above the heavenward-pointing
spire. At that hour a vision came upon my soul, whose final scene last
month interpreted. The rosy clouds of illusion are all vanished; the
moon has waxed to full. May my life be a church, full of devout
thoughts end solemn music. I pray thus, my dearest child! "Our Father!
let not the heaviest shower be spared; let not the gardener forbear
his knife till the fair, hopeful tree of existence be brought to its
fullest blossom and fruit!"

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Jamaica Plain, June_, 1889.

* * * I have had a pleasant visit at Nahant, but was no sooner there than
the air braced me so violently as to drive all the blood to my head. I
had headache two of the three days we were there, and yet I enjoyed my
stay very much. We had the rocks and piazzas to ourselves, and were on
sufficiently good terms not to destroy, if we could not enhance, one
another's pleasure.

The first night we had a storm, and the wind roared and wailed round
the house that Ossianic poetry of which you hear so many strains. Next
day was clear and brilliant, with a high north-west wind. I went out
about six o'clock, and had a two hours' scramble before breakfast. I
do not like to sit still in this air, which exasperates all my nervous
feelings; but when I can exhaust myself in climbing, I feel
delightfully,--the eye is so sharpened, and the mind so full of
thought. The outlines of all objects, the rocks, the distant sails,
even the rippling of the ocean, were so sharp that they seemed to
press themselves into the brain. When I see a natural scene by such a
light it stays in my memory always as a picture; on milder days it
influences me more in the way of reverie. After breakfast, we walked
on the beaches. It was quite low tide, no waves, and the fine sand
eddying wildly about. I came home with that frenzied headache which
you are so unlucky as to know, covered my head with wet towels, and
went to bed. After dinner I was better, and we went to the
Spouting-horn. C---- was perched close to the fissure, far above me,
and, in a pale green dress, she looked like the nymph of the place. I
lay down on a rock, low in the water, where I could hear the twin
harmonies of the sucking of the water into the spout, and the washing
of the surge on the foot of the rock. I never passed a more delightful
afternoon. Clouds of pearl and amber were slowly drifting across the
sky, or resting a while to dream, like me, near the water. Opposite
me, at considerable distance, was a line of rock, along which the
billows of the advancing tide chased one another, and leaped up
exultingly as they were about to break. That night we had a sunset of
the gorgeous, autumnal kind, and in the evening very brilliant
moonlight; but the air was so cold I could enjoy it but a few minutes.
Next day, which was warm and soft, I was out on the rocks all day. In
the afternoon I was out alone, and had an admirable place, a cleft
between two vast towers of rock with turret-shaped tops. I got on a
ledge of rock at their foot, where I could lie and let the waves wash
up around me, and look up at the proud turrets rising into the
prismatic light. This evening was very fine; all the sky covered with
crowding clouds, profound, but not sullen of mood, the moon wading,
the stars peeping, the wind sighing very softly. We lay on the high
rocks and listened to the plashing of the waves. The next day was
good, but the keen light was too much for my eyes and brain; and,
though I am glad to have been there, I am as glad to get back to our
garlanded rocks, and richly-green fields and groves. I wish you could
come to me now; we have such wealth of roses.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Jamaica Plain, Aug., 1889_.

* * * * I returned home well, full of earnestness; yet, I know not why,
with the sullen, boding sky came a mood of sadness, nay, of gloom, black
as Hades, which I have vainly striven to fend off by work, by exercise,
by high memories. Very glad was I of a painful piece of intelligence,
which came the same day with your letter, to bring me on excuse for
tears. That was a black Friday, both above and within. What demon
resists our good angel, and seems at such times to have the mastery?
Only _seems_, I say to myself; it is but the sickness of the
immortal soul, and shall by-and-by be cast aside like a film. I think
this is the great step of our life,--to change the _nature_ of
our self-reliance. We find that the will cannot conquer circumstances,
and that our temporal nature must vary its hue here with the food that
is given it. Only out of mulberry leaves will the silk-worm spin its
thread fine and durable. The mode of our existence is not in our own
power; but behind it is the immutable essence that cannot be
tarnished; and to hold fast to this conviction, to live as far as
possible by its light, cannot be denied us if we elect this kind of
self-trust. Yet is sickness wearisome; and I rejoice to say that my
demon seems to have been frightened away by this day's sun. But,
conscious of these diseases of the mind, believe that I can sympathize
with a friend when subject to the same. Do not fail to go and stay
with ---------; few live so penetrating and yet so kind, so true, so
sensitive. She is the spirit of love as well as of intellect. * * * *

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

MY BELOVED CHILD: I confess I was much disappointed when I first
received your letter this evening. I have been quite ill for two or
three days, and looked forward to your presence as a restorative. But
think not I would have had you act differently; far better is it for
me to have my child faithful to duty than even to have her with me.
Such was the lesson I taught her in a better hour. I am abashed to
think how often lately I have found excuses for indolence in the
weakness of my body; while now, after solitary communion with my
better nature, I feel it was weakness of mind, weak fear of depression
and conflict. But the Father of our spirits will not long permit a
heart fit for worship

                "--------- to seek
  From weak recoils, exemptions weak,
  After false gods to go astray,
  Deck altars vile with garlands gay," etc.


His voice has reached me; and I trust the postponement of your visit
will give me space to nerve myself to what strength I should, so that,
when we do meet, I shall rejoice that you did not come to help or
soothe me; for I shall have helped and soothed myself. Indeed, I would
not so willingly that you should see my short-comings as know that
they exist. Pray that I may never lose sight of my vocation; that I
may not make ill-health a plea for sloth and cowardice; pray that,
whenever I do, I may be punished more swiftly than this time, by a
sadness as deep as now.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, R.

_Cambridge, August_ 6, 1842.

My dear R.: I want to hear how you enjoyed your journey, and what you
think of the world as surveyed from mountain-tops. I enjoy exceedingly
staying among the mountains. I am satisfied with reading these bolder
lines in the manuscript of Nature. Merely gentle and winning scenes
are not enough for me. I wish my lot had been cast amid the sources of
the streams, where the voice of the hidden torrent is heard by night,
where the eagle soars, and the thunder resounds in long peals from
side to side; where the grasp of a more powerful emotion has rent
asunder the rocks, and the long purple shadows fall like a broad wing
upon the valley. All places, like all persons, I know, have beauty;
but only in some scenes, and with some people, can I expand and feel
myself at home. I feel all this the more for having passed my earlier
life in such a place as Cambridgeport. There I had nothing except the
little flower-garden behind the house, and the elms before the door. I
used to long and sigh for beautiful places such as I read of. There
was not one walk for me, except over the bridge. I liked that very
much,--the river, and the city glittering in sunset, and the lively
undulating line all round, and the light smokes, seen in some weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTER TO THE SAME.

_Milwaukie, July _29, 1848.

DEAR R.:  * * * Daily I thought of you during my visit to the
Rock-river territory. It is only five years since the poor Indians
have been dispossessed of this region of sumptuous loveliness, such as
can hardly be paralleled in the world. No wonder they poured out their
blood freely before they would go. On one island, belonging to a Mr.
H., with whom we stayed, are still to be found their "caches" for
secreting provisions,--the wooden troughs in which they pounded their
corn, the marks of their tomahawks upon felled trees. When he first
came, he found the body of an Indian woman, in a canoe, elevated on
high poles, with all her ornaments on. This island is a spot, where
Nature seems to have exhausted her invention in crowding it with all
kinds of growths, from the richest trees down to the most delicate
plants. It divides the river which there sweeps along in clear and
glittering current, between noble parks, richest green lawns, pictured
rocks crowned with old hemlocks, or smooth bluffs, three hundred feet
high, the most beautiful of all. Two of these,--the Eagle's Nest, and
the Deer's Walk, still the resort of the grand and beautiful creature
from which they are named,--were the scene of some of the happiest
hours of my life. I had no idea, from verbal description, of the
beauty of these bluffs, nor can I hope to give any to others. They lie
so magnificently bathed in sunlight, they touch the heavens with so
sharp and fair a line. This is one of the finest parts of the river;
but it seems beautiful enough to fill any heart and eye all along its
course, nowhere broken or injured by the hand of man. And there, I
thought, if we two could live, and you could have a farm which would
not cost a twentieth part the labor of a New England farm, and would
pay twenty times as much for the labor, and have our books and, our
pens and a little boat on the river, how happy we might be for four or
five years,--at least, _as_ happy as Fate permits mortals to be.
For we, I think, are congenial, and if I could hope permanent peace on
the earth, I might hope it with you.

You will be glad to hear that I feel overpaid for coming here. Much is
my life enriched by the images of the great Niagara, of the vast
lakes, of the heavenly sweetness of the prairie scenes, and, above
all, by the heavenly region where I would so gladly have lived. My
health, too, is materially benefited. I hope to come back better
fitted for toil and care, as well as with beauteous memories to
sustain me in them.

Affectionately always, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MISS R.

_Chicago_, _August_ 4, 1848.

I HAVE hoped from time to time, dear ----, that I should receive a few
lines from you, apprizing me how you are this summer, but a letter
from Mrs. F---- lately comes to tell me that you are not better, but,
at least when at Saratoga, worse.

So writing is of course fatiguing, and I must not expect letters any
more. To that I could make up my mind if I could hear that you were
well again. I fear, if your malady disturbs you as much as it did, it
must wear on your strength very much, and it seems in itself
dangerous. However, it is good to think that your composure is such
that disease can only do its legitimate work, and not undermine two
ways,--the body with its pains, and the body through the mind with
thoughts and fears of pains.

I should have written to you long ago except that I find little to
communicate this summer, and little inclination to communicate that
little; so what letters I have sent, have been chiefly to beg some
from my friends. I have had home-sickness sometimes here, as do
children for the home where they are even little indulged, in the
boarding-school where they are only tolerated. This has been in the
town, where I have felt the want of companionship, because the
dissipation of fatigue, or expecting soon to move again, has prevented
my employing myself for myself; and yet there was nothing well worth
looking at without. When in the country I have enjoyed myself highly,
and my health has improved day by day. The characters of persons are
brought out by the little wants and adventures of country life as you
see it in this region; so that each one awakens a healthy interest;
and the same persons who, if I saw them at these hotels, would not
have a word to say that could fix the attention, become most pleasing
companions; their topics are before them, and they take the hint. You
feel so grateful, too, for the hospitality of the log-cabin; such
gratitude as the hospitality of the rich, however generous, cannot
inspire; for these wait on you with their domestics and money, and
give of their superfluity only; but here the Master gives you his bed,
his horse, his lamp, his grain from the field, his all, in short; and
you see that he enjoys doing so thoroughly, and takes no thought for
the morrow; so that you seem in fields full of lilies perfumed with
pure kindness; and feel, verily, that Solomon in all his glory could
not have entertained you so much to the purpose. Travelling, too,
through the wide green woods and prairies, gives a feeling both of
luxury and repose that the sight of highly-cultivated country never
can. There seems to be room enough for labor to pause and man to fold
his arms and gaze, forgetting poverty, and care, and the thousand
walls and fences that in the cultivated region must be built and daily
repaired both for mind and body. Nature seems to have poured forth her
riches so without calculation, merely to mark the fulness of her joy;
to swell in larger strains the hymn, "the one Spirit doeth all things
veil, for its life is love."

I will not ask you to write to me now, as I shall so soon be at home.
Probably, too, I shall reserve a visit to B---- for another summer; I
have been so much a rover that when once on the road I shall wish to
hasten home.

Ever yours, M.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Cambridge, January_ 21, 1644.

MY DEAR ------: I am anxious to get a letter, telling me how you fare
this winter in the cottage. Your neighbors who come this way do not
give very favorable accounts of your looks; and, if you are well
enough, I should like to see a few of those firm, well-shaped
characters from your own hand. Is there no chance of your coming to
Boston all this winter? I had hoped to see you for a few hours at
least.

I wrote you one letter while at the West; I know not if it was ever
received; it was sent by a private opportunity, one of those "traps to
catch the unwary," as they have been called. It was no great loss, if
lost. I did not feel like writing letters while travelling. It took
all my strength of mind to keep moving and to receive so many new
impressions. Surely I never had so clear an idea before of the
capacity to bless, of mere _Earth_, when fresh from the original
breath of the creative spirit. To have this impression, one must see
large tracts of wild country, where the traces of man's inventions are
too few and slight to break the harmony of the first design. It will
not be so, long, even where I have been now; in three or four years
those vast flowery plains will be broken up for tillage,--those
shapely groves converted into logs and boards. I wished I could have
kept on now, for two or three years, while yet the first spell rested
on the scene. I feel much refreshed, even by this brief intimacy with
Nature in an aspect of large and unbroken lineaments.

I came home with a treasure of bright pictures and suggestions, and
seemingly well. But my strength, which had been sustained by a free,
careless life in the open air, has yielded to the chills of winter,
and a very little work, with an ease that is not encouraging. However,
I have had the influenza, and that has been about as bad as fever to
everybody. _Now_ I am pretty well, but much writing does not
agree with me.

* * * I wish you were near enough for me to go in and see you now and
then. I know that, sick or well, you are always serene, and sufficient
to yourself; but now you are so much shut up, it might animate
existence agreeably to hear some things I might have to tell. * * *

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

* * * 1844.

Just as I was beginning to visit the institutions here, of a remedial
and benevolent kind, I was stopped by influenza. So soon as I am quite
well I shall resume the survey. I do not expect to do much,
practically, for the suffering, but having such an organ of expression
as the _Tribune_, any suggestions that are well grounded may be
of use. I have always felt great interest for those women who are
trampled in the mud to gratify the brute appetites of men, and I
wished I might be brought, naturally, into contact with them. Now I am
so, and I think I shall have much that is interesting to tell you when
we meet.

I go on very moderately, for my strength is not great; but I am now
connected with a person who is anxious I should not overtask it. I
hope to do more for the paper by-and-by. At present, besides the time
I spend in looking round and examining my new field, I am publishing a
volume, of which you will receive a copy, called "Woman in the
Nineteenth Century." A part of my available time is spent in attending
to it as it goes through the press; for, really, the work seems but
half done when your book is _written_. I like being here; the
streams of life flow free, and I learn much. I feel so far satisfied
as to have laid my plans to stay a year and a half, if not longer, and
to have told Mr. G---- that I probably shall do so. That is long
enough for a mortal to look forward, and not too long, as I must look
forward in order to get what I want from Europe.

Mr. Greeley is a man of genuine excellence, honorable, benevolent, of
an uncorrupted disposition, and of great, abilities.  In modes of life
and manners he is the man of the people, and of the _American_
people. * * *

I rejoice to hear that your situation is improved. I hope to pass a
day or two with you next summer, if you can receive me when I can
come. I want to hear from you now and then, if it be only a line to
let me know the state of your health. Love to Miss G----, and tell her
I have the cologne-bottle on my mantle-piece now. I sent home for all
the little gifts I had from friends, that my room might look more
homelike. My window commands a most beautiful view, for we are quite
out of the town, in a lovely place on the East River. I like this, as
I can be in town when I will, and here have much retirement. You were
right in supposing my signature is the star.

Ever affectionately yours.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, R.

_Fishkill-Landing, Nov 28, 1844._

DEAR R.:

       *       *       *       *       *

The seven weeks of proposed abode here draw to a close, and have
brought what is rarest,--fruition, of the sort proposed from them. I
have been here all the time, except that three weeks since I went down
to New York, and with ---- visited the prison at Sing-Sing. On
Saturday we went up to Sing-Sing in a little way-boat, thus seeing
that side of the river to much greater advantage than we can in the
mammoth boats. We arrived in resplendent moonlight, by which we might
have supposed the prisons palaces, if we had not known too well what
was within.

On Sunday ---- addressed the male convicts in a strain of most noble
and pathetic eloquence. They listened with earnest attention; many
were moved to tears,--some, I doubt not, to a better life. I never
felt such sympathy with an audience;--as I looked over that sea of
faces marked with the traces of every ill, I felt that at least
heavenly truth would not be kept out by self-complacency and a
dependence on good appearances.

I talked with a circle of women, and they showed the natural aptitude
of the sex for refinement. These women--some black, and all from the
lowest haunts of vice--showed a sensibility and a sense of propriety
which would not have disgraced any place.

Returning, we had a fine storm on the river, clearing up with strong
winds.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER,  A. B. F.

_Rome, Jan._ 20, 1849.

My Dear A.: Your letter and mother's gave me the first account of your
illness. Some letters were lost during the summer, I do not know how.
It did seem very hard upon you to have that illness just after your
settlement; but it is to be hoped we shall some time know a good
reason for all that seems so strange. I trust you are now becoming
fortified in your health, and if this could only be, feel as if things
would go well with you in this difficult world. I trust you are on the
threshold of an honorable and sometimes happy career. From many pains,
many dark hours, let none of the progeny of Eve hope to escape! * * * *

Meantime, I hope to find you in your home, and make you a good visit
there. Your invitation is sweet in its tone, and rouses a vision of
summer woods and New England Sunday-morning bells.

It seems to me that mother is at last truly in her sphere, living with
one of her children. Watch over her carefully, and don't let her do
too much. Her spirit is only all too willing,--but the flesh is weak,
and her life so precious to us all! * * * *

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MAZZINI.

"Al Cittadino Reppresentante del Popolo Romano."

_Rome, March_ 8, 1849.

Dear Mazzini: Though knowing you occupied by the most important
affairs, I again feel impelled to write a few lines. What emboldens me
is the persuasion that the best friends, in point of sympathy and
intelligence,--the only friends of a man of ideas and of marked
character,--must be women. You have your mother; no doubt you have
others, perhaps many. Of that I know nothing; only I like to offer
also my tribute of affection.

When I think that only two years ago you thought of coming into Italy
with us in disguise, it seems very glorious that you are about to
enter republican Rome as a Roman citizen. It seems almost the most
sublime and poetical fact of history. Yet, even in the first thrill of
joy, I felt "he will think his work but beginning, now."

When I read from your hand these words, "II lungo esilio teste
ricominciato, la vita non confortata, fuorche d'affetti lontani e
contesi, e la speranza lungamente protrata, e il desiderio che
comincia a farmi si supremo, di dormire finalmente in pace, da che non
ho potuto, vivere in terra mia,"--when I read these words they made me
weep bitterly, and I thought of them always with a great pang at the
heart. But it is not so, dear Mazzini,--you do not return to sleep
under the sod of Italy, but to see your thought springing up all over
the soil. The gardeners seem to me, in point of instinctive wisdom or
deep thought, mostly incompetent to the care of the garden; but on
idea like this will be able to make use of any implements. The
necessity, it is to be hoped, will educate the men, by making them
work. It is not this, I believe, which still keeps your heart so
melancholy; for I seem to read the same melancholy in your answer to
the Roman assembly, You speak of "few and late years," but some full
ones still remain. A century is not needed, nor should the same man,
in the same form of thought, work too long on an age. He would mould
and bind it too much to himself. Better for him to die and return
incarnated to give the same truth on yet another side. Jesus of
Nazareth died young; but had he not spoken and acted as much truth as
the world could bear in his time? A frailty, a perpetual short-coming,
motion in a curve-line, seems the destiny of this earth.

The excuse awaits us elsewhere; there must be one,--for it is true,
as said Goethe, "care is taken that the tree grow not up into the
heavens." Men like you, appointed ministers, must not be less earnest
in their work; yet to the greatest, the day, the moment is all their
kingdom, God takes care of the increase.

Farewell! For your sake I could wish at this moment to be an Italian
and a man of action; but though I am an _American_, I am not even
_a woman of action_; so the best I can do is to pray with the
whole heart, "Heaven bless dear Mazzini!--cheer his heart, and give
him worthy helpers to carry out his holy purposes."

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MR. AND MRS. SPRING.

_Florence, Dec._ 12, 1840.

DEAR M. AND R.: * * * Your letter, dear R, was written in your noblest
and most womanly spirit. I thank you warmly for your sympathy about my
little boy. What he is to me, even you can hardly dream; you that have
three, in whom the natural thirst of the heart was earlier satisfied,
can scarcely know what my one ewe-lamb is to me. That he may live,
that I may find bread for him, that I may not spoil him by overweening
love, that I may grow daily better for his sake, are the
ever-recurring thoughts,--say prayers,--that give their hue to all the
current of my life.

But, in answer to what you say, that it is still better to give the
world a living soul than a portion of my life in a printed book, it is
true; and yet, of my book I could know whether it would be of some
worth or not; of my child, I must wait to see what his worth will be.
I play with him, my ever-growing mystery! but from the solemnity of
the thoughts he brings is refuge only in God. Was I worthy to be
parent of a soul, with its eternal, immense capacity for weal and woe?
"God be merciful to me a sinner!" comes so naturally to a mother's
heart!

       *       *       *       *       *

What you say about the Peace way is deeply true; if any one see
clearly how to work in that way, let him, in God's name! Only, if he
abstain from fighting against giant wrongs, let him be sure he is
really and ardently at work undermining them, or, better still,
sustaining the rights that are to supplant them. Meanwhile, I am not
sure that I can keep my hands free from blood. Cobden is good; but if
he had stood in Kossuth's place, would he not have drawn his sword
against the Austrian? You, could you let a Croat insult your wife,
carry off your son to be an Austrian serf, and leave your daughter
bleeding in the dust? Yet it is true that while Moses slew the
Egyptian, Christ stood still to be spit upon; and it is true that
death to man could do him no harm. You have the truth, you have the
right, but could you act up to it in all circumstances? Stifled under
the Roman priesthood, would you not have thrown it off with all your
force? Would you have waited unknown centuries, hoping for the moment
when you could see another method?

Yet the agonies of that baptism of blood I feel, O how deeply! in the
golden June days of Rome. Consistent no way, I felt I should have
shrunk back,--I could not have had it shed. Christ did not have to see
his dear ones pass the dark river; he could go alone, however, in
prophetic spirit. No doubt he foresaw the crusades.

In answer to what you say of ----, I wish the little effort I made for
him had been wiselier applied. Yet these are not the things one
regrets. It does not do to calculate too closely with the affectionate
human impulse. We must be content to make many mistakes, or we should
move too slowly to help our brothers much.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO HER BROTHER, R.

_Florence, Jan._ 8, 1850.

My Dear R.: * * * * The way in which you speak of my marriage is such
as I expected from you. Now that we have once exchanged words on these
important changes in our lives, it matters little to write letters, so
much has happened, and the changes are too great to be made clear in
writing. It would not be worth while to keep the family thinking of
me. I cannot fix precisely the period of my return, though at present
it seems to me probable we may make the voyage in May or June. At
first we should wish to go and make a little visit to mother. I should
take counsel with various friends before fixing myself in any place;
see what openings there are for me, &c. I cannot judge at all before I
am personally in the United States, and wish to engage myself no way.
Should I finally decide on the neighborhood of New York, I should see
you all, often. I wish, however, to live with mother, if possible. We
will discuss it on all sides when I come. Climate is one thing I must
think of. The change from the Roman winter to that of New England
might be very trying for Ossoli. In New York he would see Italians
often, hear his native tongue, and feel less exiled. If we had our
affairs in New York and lived in the neighboring country, we could
find places as quiet as C------, more beautiful, and from which access
to a city would be as easy by means of steam.

On the other hand, my family and most cherished friends are in New
England. I shall weigh all advantages at the time, and choose as may
then seem best.

I feel also the great responsibility about a child, and the mixture of
solemn feeling with the joy its sweet ways and caresses give; yet this
is only different in degree, not in kind, from what we should feel in
other relations. We may more or less impede or brighten the destiny of
all with whom we come in contact. Much as the child lies in our power,
still God and Nature are there, furnishing a thousand masters to
correct our erroneous, and fill up our imperfect, teachings. I feel
impelled to try for good, for the sake of my child, most powerfully;
but if I fail, I trust help will be tendered to him from some other
quarter. I do not wish to trouble myself more than is inevitable, or
lose the simple, innocent pleasure of watching his growth from day to
day, by thinking of his future. At present my care of him is to keep
him pure, in body and mind, to give for body and mind simple nutriment
when he requires it, and to play with him. Now he learns, playing, as
we all shall when we enter a higher existence. With him my intercourse
thus far has been precious, and if I do not well for _him_, he at
least has taught _me_ a great deal.

I may say of Ossoli, it would be difficult to help liking him, so
sweet is his disposition, so disinterested without effort, so simply
wise his daily conduct, so harmonious his whole nature. And he is a
perfectly unconscious character, and never dreams that he does well.
He is studying English, but makes little progress. For a good while
you may not be able to talk freely with him, but you will like showing
him your favorite haunts,--he is so happy in nature, so sweet in
tranquil places.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO ------.

What a difference it makes to come home to a child! How it fills up
all the gaps of life just in the way that is most consoling, most
refreshing! Formerly I used to feel sad at that hour; the day had not
been nobly spent,--I had not done my duty to myself or others, and I
felt so lonely! Now I never feel lonely; for, even if my little boy
dies, our souls will remain eternally united. And I feel
_infinite_ hope for him,--hope that he will serve God and man
more loyally than I have done; and seeing how full he is of life, how
much he can afford to throw away, I feel the inexhaustibleness of
nature, and console myself for my own incapacities.

Madame Arconati is near me. We have had some hours of great content
together, but in the last weeks her only child has been dangerously
ill. I have no other acquaintance except in the American circle, and
should not care to make any unless singularly desirable; for I want
all my time for the care of my child, for my walks, and visits to
objects of art, in which again I can find pleasure, end in the evening
for study and writing. Ossoli is forming some taste for books; he is
also studying English; he learns of Horace Sumner, to whom he teaches
Italian in turn.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MR. AND MRS. S.

_Florence_, Feb. 6, 1850.

My Dear M. and R.: You have no doubt ere this received a letter
written, I think, in December, but I must suddenly write again to
thank you for the New Year's letter. It was a sweet impulse that led
you all to write together, and had its full reward in the pleasure you
gave! I have said as little as possible about Ossoli and our relation,
wishing my old friends to form their own impressions naturally, when
they see us together. I have faith that all who ever knew me will feel
that I have become somewhat milder, kinder, and more worthy to serve
all who need, for my new relations. I have expected that those who
have cared for me chiefly for my activity of intellect, would not care
for him; but that those in whom the moral nature predominates would
gradually learn to love and admire him, and see what a treasure his
affection must be to me. But even that would be only gradually; for it
is by acts, not by words, that one so simple, true, delicate and
retiring, can be known. For me, while some of my friends have thought
me exacting, I may say Ossoli has always outgone my expectations in
the disinterestedness, the uncompromising bounty, of his every act.

He was the same to his father as to me. His affections are few, but
profound, and thoroughly acted out. His permanent affections are few,
but his heart is always open to the humble, suffering, heavy-laden.
His mind has little habitual action, except in a simple, natural
poetry, that one not very intimate with him would never know anything
about. But once opened to a great impulse, as it was to the hope of
freeing his country, it rises to the height of the occasion, and stays
there. His enthusiasm is quiet, but unsleeping. He is very unlike most
Italians, but very unlike most Americans, too. I do not expect all who
cared for me to care for him, nor is it of importance to him that they
should. He is wholly without vanity. He is too truly the gentleman not
to be respected by all persons of refinement. For the rest, if my life
is free, and not too much troubled, if he can enjoy his domestic
affections, and fulfil his duties in his own way, he will be content.
Can we find this much for ourselves in bustling America the next three
or four years? I know not, but think we shall come and try. I wish
much to see you all, and exchange the kiss of peace. There will, I
trust, be peace within, if not without. I thank you most warmly for
your gift. Be assured it will turn to great profit. I have learned to
be a great adept in economy, by looking at my little boy. I cannot
bear to spend a cent for fear he may come to want. I understand now
how the family-men get so mean, and shall have to begin soon to pray
against that danger. My little Nino, as we call him for house and pet
name, is in perfect health. I wash, and dress, and sew for him; and
think I see a great deal of promise in his little ways, and shall know
him better for doing all for him, though it is fatiguing and
inconvenient at times. He is very gay and laughing, sometimes
violent,--for he is come to the age when he wants everything in his
own hands,--but, on the whole, sweet as yet, and very fond of me. He
often calls me to kiss him. He says, "kiss," in preference to the
Italian word bacio. I do not cherish sanguine visions about him, but
try to do my best by him, and enjoy the present moment.

It was a nice account you gave of Miss Bremer. She found some
"neighbors" as good as her own. You say she was much pleased by ----;
could she know her, she might enrich the world with a portrait as full
of little delicate traits as any in her gallery, and of a higher class
than any in which she has been successful. I would give much that a
competent person should paint ----. It is a shame she should die and
leave the world no copy.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MR. CASS, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES DES ETATS UNIS D'AMERIQUE.

_Florence, May_ 2, 1850.

Dear Mr. Cass: I shall most probably leave Florence and Italy the 8th
or 10th of this month, and am not willing to depart without saying
adieu to yourself. I wanted to write the 30th of April, but a
succession of petty interruptions prevented. That was the day I saw
you first, and the day the French first assailed Rome. What a crowded
day that was! I had been to visit Ossoli in the morning, in the garden
of the Vatican. Just after my return you entered. I then went to the
hospital, and there passed the eight amid the groans of many suffering
and some dying men. What a strange first of May it was, as I walked
the streets of Rome by the early sunlight of the nest day! Those were
to me grand and impassioned hours. Deep sorrow followed,--many
embarrassments, many pains! Let me once more, at parting, thank you
for the sympathy you showed me amid many of these. A thousand years
might pass, and you would find it unforgotten by me.

I leave Italy with profound regret, and with only a vague hope of
returning. I could have lived here always, full of bright visions, and
expanding in my faculties, had destiny permitted. May you be happy who
remain here! It would be well worth while to be happy in Italy!

I had hoped to enjoy some of the last days, but the weather has been
steadily bad since you left Florence. Since the 4th of April we have
not had a fine day, and all our little plans for visits to favorite
spots and beautiful objects, from which we have long been separated,
have been marred!

I sail in the barque Elizabeth for New York. She is laden with marble
and rags--a very appropriate companionship for wares of Italy! She
carries Powers' statue of Calhoun. Adieu! Remember that we look to you
to keep up the dignity of our country. Many important occasions are
now likely to offer for the American (I wish I could write the
Columbian) man to advocate,--more, to _represent_ the cause of
Truth and Freedom in the face of their foes. Remember me as their
lover, and your friend, M. O.

       *       *       *       *       *

To ------.

_Florence_, _April_ 16, 1860.

* * * There is a bark at Leghorn, highly spoken of, which sails at the
end of this month, and we shall very likely take that. I find it
imperatively necessary to go to the United States to make arrangements
that may free me from care. Shall I be more fortunate if I go in
person? I do not know. I am ill adapted to push my claims and
pretensions; but, at least, it will not be such slow work as passing
from disappointment to disappointment here, where I wait upon the
post-office, and must wait two or three months, to know the fate of
any proposition.

I go home prepared to expect all that is painful and difficult. It
will be a consolation to see my dear mother; and my dear brother E.,
whom I have not seen for ten years, is coming to New England this
summer. On that account I wish to go _this_ year.

       *       *       *       *       *

_May_ 10.--My head is full of boxes, bundles, phials of medicine,
and pots of jelly. I never thought much about a journey for myself,
except to try and return all the things, books especially, which I had
been borrowing; but about my child I feel anxious lest I should not
take what is necessary for his health and comfort on so long a voyage,
where omissions are irreparable. The unpropitious, rainy weather
delays us now from day to day, as our ship; the Elizabeth,--(look out
for news of shipwreck!) cannot finish taking in her cargo till come
one or two good days.

I leave Italy with most sad and unsatisfied heart,--hoping, indeed, to
return, but fearing that may not be permitted in my "cross-biased"
life, till strength of feeling and keenness of perception be less than
during these bygone rich, if troubled, years!

I can say least to those whom I prize most. I am so sad and weary,
leaving Italy, that I seem paralyzed.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE SAME.

_Ship Elizabeth, off Gibraltar, June_ 8, 1850.

My Dear M----: You will, I trust, long ere receiving this, have read
my letter from Florence, enclosing one to my mother, informing her
under what circumstances I had drawn on you through ----, and
mentioning how I wished the bill to be met in case of any accident to
me on my homeward course. That course, as respects weather, has been
thus far not unpleasant; but the disaster that has befallen us is such
as I never dreamed of. I had taken passage with Captain Hasty--one who
seemed to me one of the best and most high-minded of our American men.
He showed the kindest interest in us. His wife, an excellent woman,
was with him. I thought, during the voyage, if safe and my child well,
to have as much respite from care and pain as sea-sickness would
permit. But scarcely was that enemy in some measure quelled, when the
captain fell sick. At first his disease presented the appearance of
nervous fever. I was with him a great deal; indeed, whenever I could
relieve his wife from a ministry softened by great love and the
courage of womanly heroism: The last days were truly terrible with
disgusts and fatigues; for he died, we suppose,--no physician has been
allowed to come on board to see the body,--of confluent small-pox. I
have seen, since we parted, great suffering, but nothing physical to
be compared to this, where the once fair and expressive mould of man
is thus lost in corruption before life has fled. He died yesterday
morning, and was buried in deep water, the American Consul's barge
towing out one from this ship which bore the body, about six o'clock.
It was Sunday. A divinely calm, glowing afternoon had succeeded a
morning of bleak, cold wind. You cannot think how beautiful the whole
thing was:--the decent array and sad reverence of the sailors; the
many ships with their banners flying; the stern pillar of Hercules all
bathed in roseate vapor; the little white sails diving into the blue
depths with that solemn spoil of the good man, so still, when he had
been so agonized and gasping as the last sun stooped. Yes, it was
beautiful; but how dear a price we pay for the poems of this world! We
shall now be in quarantine a week; no person permitted to come on
board until it be seen whether disease break out in other cases. I
have no good reason to think it will _not_; yet I do not feel
afraid. Ossoli has had it; so he is safe. The baby is, of course,
subject to injury. In the earlier days, before I suspected small-pox,
I carried him twice into the sick-room, at the request of the captain,
who was becoming fond of him. He laughed and pointed; he did not
discern danger, but only thought it odd to see the old friend there in
bed. It is vain by prudence to seek to evade the stern assaults of
destiny. I submit. Should all end well, we shall be in New York later
than I expected; but keep a look-out. Should we arrive safely, I
should like to see a friendly face. Commend me to my dear friends;
and, with most affectionate wishes that joy and peace may continue to
dwell in your house, adieu, and love as you can,

Your friend, MARGARET.

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTER FROM HON. LEWIS CASS, JR., UNITED STATES CHARGE D'AFFAIRES AT
ROME, TO MRS. E. K. CHANNING.

_Legation des Etats Unis d'Amerique, Rome, May_ 10, 1851.

Madame: I beg leave to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the
---- ult., and to express my regret that the weak state of my eyesight
has prevented me from giving it an earlier reply.

In compliance with your request, I have the honor to state, succinctly,
the circumstances connected with my acquaintance with the late Madame
Ossoli, your deceased sister, during her residence in Rome.

In the month of April, 1849, Rome, as you are no doubt aware, was
placed in a state of siege by the approach of the French army. It was
filled at that time with exiles and fugitives who had been contending
for years, from Milan in the north to Palermo in the south, for the
republican cause; and when the gates were closed, it was computed that
there were, of Italians alone, thirteen thousand refugees within the
walls of the city, all of whom had been expelled from adjacent states,
till Rome became their last rallying-point, and, to many, their final
resting-place. Among these was to be seen every variety of age,
sentiment, and condition,--striplings and blanched heads; wild,
visionary enthusiasts; grave, heroic men, who, in the struggle for
freedom, had ventured all, and lost all; nobles and beggars; bandits,
felons and brigands. Great excitement naturally existed; and, in the
general apprehension which pervaded all classes, that acts of personal
violence and outrage would soon be committed, the foreign residents,
especially, found themselves placed in an alarming situation.

On the 30th of April the first engagement took place between the
French and Roman troops, and in a few days subsequently I visited
several of my countrymen, at their request, to concert measures for
their safety. Hearing, on that occasion, and for the first time, of
Miss Fuller's presence in Rome, and of her solitary mode of life, I
ventured to call upon her, and offer my services in any manner that
might conduce to her comfort and security. She received me with much
kindness, and thus an acquaintance commenced. Her residence on the
Piazzi Barberini being considered an insecure abode, she removed to
the Casa Dies, which was occupied by several American families.

In the engagements which succeeded between the Roman and French
troops, the wounded of the former were brought into the city, and
disposed throughout the different hospitals, which were under the
superintendence of several ladies of high rank, who had formed
themselves into associations, the better to ensure care and attention
to those unfortunate men. Miss Fuller took an active part in this
noble work; and the greater portion of her time, during the entire
siege, was passed in the hospital of the Trinity of the Pilgrims,
which was placed under her direction, in attendance upon its inmates.

The weather was intensely hot; her health was feeble and delicate; the
dead and dying were around her in every stage of pain and horror; but
she never shrank from the duty she had assumed. Her heart and soul
were in the cause for which those men had fought, and all was done
that Woman could do to comfort them in their sufferings. I have seen
the eyes of the dying, as she moved among them, extended on opposite
beds, meet in commendation of her universal kindness; and the friends
of those who then passed away may derive consolation from the
assurance that nothing of tenderness and attention was wanting to
soothe their last moments. And I have heard many of those who
recovered speak with all the passionate fervor of the Italian nature,
of her whose sympathy and compassion, throughout their long illness,
fulfilled all the offices of love and affection. Mazzini, the chief of
the Triumvirate, who, better than any man in Rome, knew her worth,
often expressed to me his admiration of her high character; and the
Princess Belgiojoso. to whom was assigned the charge of the Papal
Palace, on the Quirinal, which was converted on this occasion into a
hospital, was enthusiastic in her praise. And in a letter which I
received not long since from this lady, who was gaining the bread of
an exile by teaching languages in Constantinople, she alludes with
much feeling to the support afforded by Miss Fuller to the republican
party in Italy. Here, in Rome, she is still spoken of in terms of
regard and endearment, and the announcement of her death was received
with a degree of sorrow not often bestowed upon a foreigner,
especially one of a different faith.

On the 29th of June, the bombardment from the French camp was very
heavy, shells and grenades falling in every part of the city. In the
afternoon of the 30th, I received a brief note from Miss Fuller,
requesting me to call at her residence. I did so without delay, and
found her lying on a sofa, pale and trembling, evidently much
exhausted. She informed me that she had sent for me to place in my
hand a packet of important papers, which she wished me to keep for the
present, and, in the event of her death, to transmit it to her friends
in the United States. She then stated that she was married to Marquis
Ossoli, who was in command of a battery on the Pincian Hill,--that
being the highest and most exposed position in Rome, and directly in
the line of bombs from the French camp. It was not to be expected, she
said, that he could escape the dangers of another night, such as the
last; and therefore it was her intention to remain with him, and share
his fate. At the Ave Maria, she added, he would come for her, and they
would proceed together to his post. The packet which she placed in my
possession, contained, she said, the certificates of her marriage, and
of the birth and baptism of her child. After a few words more, I took
my departure, the hour she named having nearly arrived. At the
porter's lodge I met the Marquis Ossoli, and a few moments afterward I
saw them walking toward the Pincian Hill.

Happily, the cannonading was not renewed that night, and at dawn of
day she returned to her apartments, with her husband by her side. On
that day the French army entered Rome, and, the gates being opened,
Madame Ossoli, accompanied by the Marquis, immediately proceeded to
Rieti, where she had left her child in the charge of a confidential
nurse, formerly in the service of the Ossoli family.

She remained, as you are no doubt aware, some months at Rieti, whence
she removed to Florence, where she resided until her ill-fated
departure for the United States. During this period I received several
letters from her, all of which, though reluctant to part with them, I
enclose to your address in compliance with your request.

I am, Madame, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

LEWIS CASS, JR.



APPENDIX.



A.

Apparition of the goddess Isis to her votary, from Apulelus.

"Scarcely had I closed my eyes, when, behold (I saw in a dream), a
divine form emerging from the middle of the sea, and raising a
countenance venerable even to the gods themselves. Afterward, the
whole of the most splendid image seemed to stand before me, having
gradually shaken off the sea. I will endeavor to explain to you its
admirable form, if the poverty of human language will but afford me
the power of an appropriate narration; or if the divinity itself, of
the most luminous form, will supply me with a liberal abundance of
fluent diction. In the first place, then, her most copious and long
hairs, being gradually intorted, and promiscuously scattered on her
divine neck, were softly defluous. A multiform crown, consisting of
various flowers, bound the sublime summit of her head. And in the
middle of the crown, just on her forehead, there was a smooth orb,
resembling a mirror, or rather a white refulgent light, which
indicated that she was the moon. Vipers, rising up after the manner of
furrows, environed the crown on the right hand and on the left, and
Cerealian ears of corn were also extended from above. Her garment was
of many colors, and woven from the finest flax, and was at one time
lucid with a white splendor, at another yellow, from the flower of
crocus, and at another flaming with a rosy redness. But that which
most excessively dazzled my sight, was a very black robe, fulgid with
a dark splendor, and which, spreading round and passing under her
right side, and ascending to her left shoulder, there rose
protuberant, like the centre of a shield, the dependent part of her
robe falling in many folds, and having small knots of fringe,
gracefully flowing in its extremities. Glittering stars were dispersed
through the embroidered border of the robe, and through the whole of
its surface, and the full moon, shining in the middle of the stars,
breathed forth flaming fires. A crown, wholly consisting of flowers
and fruits of every kind, adhered with indivisible connection to the
border of conspicuous robe, in all its undulating motions.

"What she carried in her hands also consisted of things of a very
different nature. Her right hand bore a brazen rattle, through the
narrow lamina of which, bent like a belt, certain rods passing,
produced a sharp triple sound through the vibrating motion of her arm.
An oblong vessel, in the shape of a boat, depended from her left hand,
on the handle of which, in that part which was conspicuous, an asp
raised its erect head and largely swelling neck. And shoes, woven from
the leaves of the victorious palm-tree, covered her immortal feet.
Such, and so great a goddess, breathing the fragrant odor of the
shores of Arabia the happy, deigned thus to address me."

The foreign English of the translator, Thomas Taylor, gives this
description the air of being itself a part of the mysteries. But its
majestic beauty requires no formal initiation to be enjoyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

B.

I give this in the original, as it does not bear translation. Those
who read Italian will judge whether it is not a perfect description of
a perfect woman.

LODI E PREGHIERE A MARIA.

  Vergine bella che di sol vestita,
Coronata di stelle, al sommo Sole
  Piacesti si, che'n te sua luce ascose;
Amor mi spinge a dir di te parole;
  Ma non so 'ncominciar senza tu' alta,
E di Coiul che amando in te si pose.

  Invoco lei che ben sempre rispose,
Chi la chiamo con fede.
  Vergine, s'a mercede
Miseria extrema dell' smane cose
  Giammal tivoise, al mio prego t'inohina;
Soccorri alla mia guerra;
  Bench' l' sia terra, e tu del oiel Regina.

  Vergine saggia, e del bel numero una
Delle beata vergini prudenti;
  Anzi la prima, e con piu chiara lampa;
O saldo scudo dell' afflitte gente
  Contra colpi di Morte e di Fortuna,
Sotto' l' quai si trionfu, non pur scampa:
  O refrigerio alcieco ardor ch' avvampa
Qui fra mortali schiocchi,
  Vergine, que' begli occhi
Che vider tristi la spietata stampa
  Ne' dolci membri del tuo caro figlio,
Volgi ai mio dubbio stato;
  Che sconsigliato a te vien per consiglio.

  Vergine pura, d'ognti parte intera,
Del tuo parto gentil figlluola e madre;
  Che allumi questa vita, e t'altra adorni;
Per te il tuo Figlio e quel del sommo Padre,
  O finestra del ciel lucente altera,
Venne a salvarne in su gli estremi giorni,
  E fra tutt' i terreni altri soggiorni
Sola tu fusti eletta,
  Vergine benedetta;
Che 'l pianto d' Eva in allegrezza torni';
  Fammi; che puoi; della sua grazia degno,
Senza fine o beata,
 Gla coronata nel superno regno.

  Vergine santa d'ogni grazia piena;
Che per vera e altissima umiltate.
  Salisti al ciel, onde miel preghi ascolti;
Tu partoristi il fonte di pietate,
  E di giustizia il Sol, che rasserena
Il secol pien d'errori oscuri et tolti;
  Tre dolci et cari nomi ha' in te raccolti,
Madre, Figliuola e Sposa:
  Vergine gloriosa,
Donna del Re che nostri lacci a sciolti
  E fatto 'l mondo libero et felice,
Nelle cui sante piaghe
  Prego ch'appaghe il cor, vera beatrice.

  Vergine sola al mondo senza exempio
Che 'l ciel di tue bellezze innamorasti,
  Cui ne prima fu simil ne seconda,
Santi penseri, atti pietosi et casti
  Al vero Dio sacrato et vivo tempio
Fecero in tua verginita feconda.
  Per te po la mia vita esser ioconda,
Sa' tuoi preghi, o Maria,
  Vergine dolce et pia,
Ove 'l fallo abondo, la gratia abonda.
  Con le ginocchia de la mente inchine,
Prego che sia mia scorta,
  E la mia torta via drizzi a buon fine.

  Vergine chiara et stabile in eterno,
Di questo tempestoso mare stella,
  D'ogni fedel nocchier fidata guida,
Pon' mente in che terribile procella
  I' mi ritrovo sol, senza governo,
Et o gia da vicin l'ultime strida.
  Ma pur in te l'anima mia si fida,
Peccatrice, i' nol nego,
  Vergine; ma ti prego
Che 'l tuo nemico del mio mal non rida:
  Ricorditi che fece il peccar nostro
Prender Dio, per scamparne,
  Umana carne al tuo virginal chiostro.

  Vergine, quante lagrime ho gia sparte,
Quante lusinghe et quanti preghi indarno,
  Pur per mia pena et per mio grave danno!
Da poi ch'i nacqui in su la riva d'Arno;
  Cercando or questa ed or quell altra parte,
Non e stata mia vita altro ch'affanno.
  Mortal bellezza, atti, o parole m' hanno
Tutta ingombrata l'alma,
  Vergine sacra, ed alma,
Non tardar; ch' i' non forse all' ultim 'ann,
  I di miel piu correnti che saetta,
Fra mierie e peccati
  Sonsen andati, e sol Morte n'aspetta.

  Vergine, tale e terra, e posto ha in doglia
Lo mio cor; che vivendo in pianto il tenne;
  E di mille miel mali un non sapea;
E per saperlo, pur quel che n'avvenne,
  Fora avvento: ch' ogni altra sua voglia
Era a me morte, ed a lei fama rea
  Or tu, donna del ciel, tu nostra Dea,
Se dir lice, e convicusi;
  Vergine d'alti sensi,
Tu vedi il tutto; e quel che non potea
  Far oltri, e nulla a e la tua gran virtute;
Pon fine al mio dolore;
  Ch'a te onore ed a mo fia salute.

  Vergine, in cui ho tutta mia speranza
Che possi e vogli al gran bisogno altarme;
  Non mi lasciare in su l'estremo passo;
Non guardar me, ma chi degno crearme;
  No'l mio valor, ma l'alta sua sembianza;
Che in me ti mova a curar d'uorm si basso.
  Medusa, e l'error mio lo han fatto un sasso
D'umor vano stillante;
  Vergine, tu di sante
Lagrime, e pie adempi 'l mio cor lasso;
  Ch' almen l'ultlmo pianto sia divoto,
    Senza terrestro limo;
  Come fu'l primo non d'insania voto.

  Vergine umana, e nemica d'orgoglio,
Del comune principio amor t'induca;
  Miserere d'un cor contrito umile;
Che se poca mortal terra caduca
  Amar con si mirabil fede soglio;
Che devro far di te cosa gentile?
  Se dal mio stato assai misero, e vile
Per le tue man resurgo,
  Vergine; e sacro, e purgo
Al tuo nome e pensieri e'ngegno, o stile;
  La lingua, o'l cor, le lagrime, e i sospiri,
Scorgimi al migilor guado;
  E prendi in grado i cangiati desiri.

  Il di s'appressa, e non pote esser lunge;
Si corre il tempo, e vola,
  Vergine unica, e sola;
E'l cor' or conscienza, or morte punge.
Raccommandami al tuo Figiluol, verace
  Uomo, e veraco Dio;
Ch'accolga i mio spirto ultimo in pace.


As the Scandinavian represented Frigga the Earth, or World-mother,
knowing all things, yet never herself revealing them, though ready to
be called to counsel by the gods, it represents her in action, decked
with jewels and gorgeously attended. But, says the Mythes, when she
ascended the throne of Odin, her consort (Heaven), she left with
mortals her friend, the Goddess of Sympathy, to protect them in her
absence.

Since, Sympathy goes about to do good. Especially she devotes herself
to the most valiant and the most oppressed. She consoles the gods in
some degree even for the death of their darling Baldur. Among the
heavenly powers she has no consort.

       *       *       *       *       *

C.

THE WEDDING OF THE LADY THERESA.

From Lockhart's Spanish ballads.

  'Twas when the fifth Alphonso in Leon held his sway,
    King Abdulla of Toledo an embassy did send;
  He asked his sister for a wife, and in an evil day
    Alphonso sent her, for he feared Abdalla to offend;
  He feared to move his anger, for many times before
  He had received in danger much succor from the Moor.

  Sad heart had fair Theresa, when she their paction knew;
    With streaming tears she heard them tell she 'mong the Moors must go;
  That she, a Christian damsel, a Christian firm and true,
    Must wed a Moorish husband, it well might cause her woe;
  But all her tears and all her prayers they are of small avail;
    At length she for her fate prepares, a victim sad and pale.

  The king hath sent his sister to fair Toledo town,
    Where then the Moor Abdalla his royal state did keep;
  When she drew near, the Moslem from his golden throne came down,
    And courteously received her, and bade her cease to weep;
  With loving words he pressed her to come his bower within;
  With kisses he caressed her, but still she feared the sin.

  "Sir King, Sir King, I pray thee,"--'twas thus Theresa spake,--
    "I pray thee, have compassion, and do to me no wrong;
  For sleep with thee I may not, unless the vows I break,
    Whereby I to the holy church of Christ my lord belong;
  For thou hast sworn to serve Mahoun, and if this thing should be,
  The curse of God it must bring down upon thy realm and thee.

  "The angel of Christ Jesu, to whom my heavenly Lord
    Hath given my soul in keeping, is ever by my side;
  If thou dost me dishonor, he will unsheathe his sword,
    And smite thy body fiercely, at the crying of thy bride;
  Invisible he standeth; his sword like fiery flame
  Will penetrate thy bosom the hour that sees my shame."

  The Moslem heard her with a smile; the earnest words she said
    He took for bashful maiden's wile, and drew her to his bower:
  In vain Theresa prayed and strove,--she pressed Abdalla's bed,
    Perforce received his kiss of love, and lost her maiden flower.
  A woeful woman there she lay, a loving lord beside,
  And earnestly to God did pray her succor to provide.

  The angel of Christ Jesu her sore complaint did hear,
    And plucked his heavenly weapon from out his sheath unseen:
  He waved the brand in his right hand, and to the King came near,
    And drew the point o'er limb and joint, beside the weeping Queen:
  A mortal weakness from the stroke upon the King did fall;
  He could not stand when daylight broke, but on his knees must crawl.

  Abdalla shuddered inly, when he this sickness felt,
    And called upon his barons, his pillow to come nigh;
  "Rise up," he said, "my liegemen," as round his bed they knelt,
    "And take this Christian lady, else certainly I die;
  Let gold be in your girdles, and precious stones beside,
  And swiftly ride to Leon, and render up my bride."

  When they were come to Leon Theresa would not go
    Into her brother's dwelling, where her maiden years were spent;
  But o'er her downcast visage a white veil she did throw,
    And to the ancient nunnery of Las Huelgas went.
  There, long, from worldly eyes retired, a holy life she led;
  There she, an aged saint, expired; there sleeps she with the dead.


       *       *       *       *       *

D.


The following extract from Spinoza is worthy of attention, as
expressing the view which a man of the largest intellectual scope may
take of Woman, if that part of his life to which her influence appeals
has been left unawakened. He was a man of the largest intellect, of
unsurpassed reasoning powers; yet he makes a statement false to
history, for we well know how often men and women have ruled together
without difficulty, and one in which very few men even at the present
day--I mean men who are thinkers, like him--would acquiesce.

I have put in contrast with it three expressions of the latest
literature.

First, from the poems of W. E. Channing, a poem called "Reverence,"
equally remarkable for the deep wisdom of its thought and the beauty
of its utterance, and containing as fine a description of one class of
women as exists in literature.

In contrast with this picture of Woman, the happy Goddess of Beauty,
the wife, the friend, "the summer queen," I add one by the author of
"Festus," of a woman of the muse, the sybil kind, which seems painted
from living experience.

And, thirdly, I subjoin Eugene Sue's description of a wicked but able
woman of the practical sort, and appeal to all readers whether a
species that admits of three such varieties is so easily to be classed
away, or kept within prescribed limits, as Spinoza, and those who
think like him, believe.



SPINOZA. TRACTATUS POLITICI DE DEMOCRATIA.
CAPUT XI.

Perhaps some one will here ask, whether the supremacy of Man over
Woman is attributable to nature or custom? Since, if It be human
institutions alone to which this fact is owing, there is no reason why
we should exclude women from a share in government. Experience most
plainly teaches that it is Woman's weakness which places her under the
authority of Man. It has nowhere happened that men and women ruled
together; but wherever men and women are found, the world over, there
we see the men ruling and the women ruled, and in this order of things
men and women live together in peace and harmony. The Amazons, it is
true, are reputed formerly to have held the reins of government, but
they drove men from their dominions; the male of their offspring they
invariably destroyed, permitting their daughters alone to live. Now,
if women were by nature upon an equality with men, if they equalled
men in fortitude, in genius (qualities which give to men might, and
consequently right), it surely would be the case, that, among the
numerous and diverse nations of the earth, some would be found where
both sexes ruled conjointly, and others where the men were ruled by
the women, and so educated as to be mentally inferior; and since this
state of things nowhere exists, it is perfectly fair to infer that the
rights of women are not equal to those of men; but that women must be
subordinate, and therefore cannot have an equal, far less a superior
place in the government. If, too, we consider the passions of men--how
the love men feel towards women is seldom anything but lust and
impulse, and much less a reverence for qualities of soul than an
admiration of physical beauty; observing, too, the jealousy of lovers,
and other things of the same character--we shall see at a glance that
it would be, in the highest degree, detrimental to peace and harmony,
for men and women to possess on equal share in government.


REVERENCE.

                 As an ancestral heritage revere
  All learning, and all thought. The painter's fame
  Is thine, whate'er thy lot, who honorest grace.
  And need enough in this low time, when they,
  Who seek to captivate the fleeting notes
  Of heaven's sweet beauty, must despair almost,
  So heavy and obdurate show the hearts
  Of their companions. Honor kindly then
  Those who bear up in their so generous arms
  The beautiful ideas of matchless forms;
  For were these not portrayed, our human fate,--
  Which is to be all high, majestical,
  To grow to goodness with each coming age,
  Till virtue leap and sing for joy to see
  So noble, virtuous men,--would brief decay;
  And the green, festering slime, oblivious, haunt
  About our common fate. O, honor them!

  But what to all true eyes has chiefest charm,
  And what to every breast where beats a heart
  Framed to one beautiful emotion,--to
  One sweet and natural feeling, lends a grace
  To all the tedious walks of common life,
  This is fair Woman,--Woman, whose applause
  Each poet sings,--Woman the beautiful.
  Not that her fairest brow, or gentlest form,
  Charm us to tears; not that the smoothest cheek,
  Wherever rosy tints have made their home,
  So rivet us on her; but that she is
  The subtle, delicate grace,--the inward grace,
  For words too excellent; the noble, true,
  The majesty of earth; the summer queen;
  In whose conceptions nothing but what's great
  Has any right. And, O! her love for him,
  Who does but his small part in honoring her;
  Discharging a sweet office, sweeter none,
  Mother and child, friend, counsel and repose;
  Naught matches with her, naught has leave with her
  To highest human praise. Farewell to him
  Who reverences not with an excess
  Of faith the beauteous sex; all barren he
  Shall live a living death of mockery.
  Ah! had but words the power, what could we say
  Of Woman! We, rude men of violent phrase,
  Harsh action, even in repose inwardly harsh;
  Whose lives walk blustering on high stilts, removed
  From all the purely gracious influence
  Of mother earth. To single from the host
  Of angel forms one only, and to her
  Devote our deepest heart and deepest mind,
  Seems almost contradiction. Unto her
  We owe our greatest blessings, hours of cheer,
  Gay smiles, and sudden tears, and more than these
  A sure perpetual love. Regard her as
  She walks along the vast still earth; and see!
  Before her flies a laughing troop of joys,
  And by her side treads old experience,
  With never-failing voice admonitory;
  The gentle, though infallible, kind advice,
  The watchful care, the fine regardfulness,
  Whatever mates with what we hope to find,
  All consummate in her--the summer queen.

  To call past ages better than what now
  Man is enacting on life's crowded stage,
  Cannot improve our worth; and for the world
  Blue is the sky as ever, and the stars
  Kindle their crystal flames at soft fallen eve
  With the same purest lustre that the east
  Worshipped. The river gently flows through fields
  Where the broad-leaved corn spreads out, and loads
  Its ear as when the Indian tilled the soil.
  The dark green pine,--green in the winter's cold,--
  Still whispers meaning emblems, as of old;
  The cricket chirps, and the sweet eager birds
  In the sad woods crowd their thick melodies;
  But yet, to common eyes, life's poetry
  Something has faded, and the cause of this
  May be that Man, no longer at the shrine
  Of Woman, kneeling with true reverence,
  In spite of field, wood, river, stars and sea,
  Goes most disconsolate. A babble now,
  A huge and wind-swelled babble, fills the place
  Of that great adoration which of old
  Man had for Woman. In these days no more
  Is love the pith and marrow of Man's fate.
  Thou who in early years feelest awake
  To finest impulses from nature's breath,
  And in thy walk hearest such sounds of truth
  As on the common ear strike without heed,
  Beware of men around thee! Men are foul
  With avarice, ambition and deceit;
  The worst of all, ambition. This is life,
  Spent in a feverish chase for selfish ends,
  Which has no virtue to redeem its toil,
  But one long, stagnant hope to raise the self.
  The miser's life to this seems sweet and fair;
  Better to pile the glittering coin, than seek
  To overtop our brothers and our loves.
  Merit in this?  Where lies it, though thy name
  Ring over distant lands, meeting the wind
  Even on the extremest verge of the wide world?
  Merit in this? Better be hurled abroad
  On the vast whirling tide, than, in thyself
  Concentred, feed upon thy own applause.
  Thee shall the good man yield no reverence;
  But, while the Idle, dissolute crowd are loud
  In voice to send thee flattery, shall rejoice
  That he has 'scaped thy fatal doom, and known
  How humble faith in the good soul of things
  Provides amplest enjoyment. O, my brother
  If the Past's counsel any honor claim
  From thee, go read the history of those
  Who a like path have trod, and see a fate
  Wretched with fears, changing like leaves at noon,
  When the new wind sings in the white birch wood.
  Learn from the simple child the rule of life,
  And from the movements of the unconscious tribes
  Of animal nature, those that bend the wing
  Or cleave the azure tide, content to be,
  What the great frame provides,--freedom and grace.
  Thee, simple child, do the swift winds obey,
  And the white waterfalls with their bold leaps
  Follow thy movements. Tenderly the light
  Thee watches, girding with a zone of radiance,
  And all the swinging herbs love thy soft steps.



DESCRIPTION OF ANGELA, FROM "FESTUS."

  I loved her for that she was beautiful,
  And that to me she seemed to be all nature
  And all varieties of things in one;
  Would set at night in clouds of tears, and rise
  All light and laughter in the morning; fear
  No petty customs nor appearances,
  But think what others only dreamed about;
  And say what others did but think; and do
  What others would but say; and glory in
  What others dared but do; it was these which won me;
  And that she never schooled within her breast
  One thought or feeling, but gave holiday
  To all; that she told me all her woes,
  And wrongs, and ills; and so she made them mine
  In the communion of love; and we
  Grew like each other, for we loved each other;
  She, mild and generous as the sun in spring; And
  I, like earth, all budding out with love.

       *       *       *       *       *

  The beautiful are never desolate;
  For some one alway loves them; God or man;
  If man abandons, God himself takes them;
  And thus it was. She whom I once loved died;
  The lightning loathes its cloud; the soul its clay.
  Can I forget the hand I took in mine,
  Pale as pale violets; that eye, where mind
  And matter met alike divine?--ah, no!
  May God that moment judge me when I do!
  O! she was fair; her nature once all spring
  And deadly beauty, like a maiden sword,
  Startlingly beautiful. I see her now!
  Wherever thou art thy soul is in my mind;
  Thy shadow hourly lengthens o'er my brain
  And peoples all its pictures with thyself;
  Gone, not forgotten; passed, not lost; thou wilt shine
  In heaven like a bright spot in the sun!
  She said she wished to die, and so she died,
  For, cloudlike, she poured out her love, which was
  Her life, to freshen this parched heart. It was thus;
  I said we were to part, but she said nothing;
  There was no discord; it was music ceased,
  Life's thrilling, bursting, bounding joy. She sate,
  Like a house-god, her hands fixed on her knee,
  And her dark hair lay loose and long behind her,
  Through which her wild bright eye flashed like a flint;
  She spake not, moved not, but she looked the more,
  As if her eye were action, speech, and feeling.
  I felt it all, and came and knelt beside her,
  The electric touch solved both our souls together;
  Then came the feeling which unmakes, undoes;
  Which tears the sea-like soul up by the roots,
  And lashes it in scorn against the skies.

       *       *       *       *       *

  It is the saddest and the sorest sight,
  One's own love weeping. But why call on God?
  But that the feeling of the boundless bounds
  All feeling; as the welkin does the world;
  It is this which ones us with the whole and God.
  Then first we wept; then closed and clung together;
  And my heart shook this building of my breast
  Like a live engine booming up and down;
  She fell upon me like a snow-wreath thawing.
  Never were bliss and beauty, love and woe,
  Ravelled and twined together into madness,
  As in that one wild hour to which all else
  The past is but a picture. That alone
  Is real, and forever there in front.

       *       *       *       *       *

  * * * After that I left her,
  And only saw her once again alive.


"Mother Saint Perpetua, the superior of the convent, was a tall woman,
of about forty years, dressed in dark gray serge, with a long rosary
hanging at her girdle. A white mob-cap, with a long black veil,
surrounded her thin, wan face with its narrow, hooded border. A great
number of deep, transverse wrinkles ploughed her brow, which resembled
yellowish ivory in color and substance. Her keen and prominent nose
was curved like the hooked beak of a bird of prey; her black eye was
piercing and sagacious; her face was at once intelligent, firm, and
cold.

"For comprehending and managing the material interests of the society,
Mother Saint Perpetua could have vied with the shrewdest and most wily
lawyer. When women are possessed of what is called _business
talent_, and when they apply thereto the sharpness of perception,
the indefatigable perseverance, the prudent dissimulation, and, above
all, the correctness and rapidity of judgment at first sight, which
are peculiar to them, they arrive at prodigious results.

"To Mother Saint Perpetua, a woman of a strong and solid head, the
vast moneyed business of the society was but child's play. None better
than she understood how to buy depreciated properties, to raise them
to their original value, and sell them to advantage; the average
purchase of rents, the fluctuations of exchange, and the current
prices of shares in all the leading speculations, were perfectly
familiar to her. Never had she directed her agents to make a single
false speculation, when it had been the question how to invest funds,
with which good souls were constantly endowing the society of Saint
Mary. She had established in the house a degree of order, of
discipline, and, above all, of economy, that were indeed remarkable;
the constant aim of all her exertions being, not to enrich herself,
but the community over which she presided; for the spirit of
association, when it is directed to an object of _collective
selfishness_, gives to corporations all the faults and vices of
individuals."

       *       *       *       *       *

E.

The following is an extract from a letter addressed to me by one of
the monks of the nineteenth century. A part I have omitted, because it
does not express my own view, unless with qualifications which I could
not make, except by full discussion of the subject.

"Woman in the Nineteenth Century should be a pure, chaste, holy being.

"This state of being in Woman is no more attained by the expansion of
her intellectual capacity, than by the augmentation of her physical
force.

"Neither is it attained by the increase or refinement of her love for
Man, or for any object whatever, or for all objects collectively; but

"This state of being is attained by the reference of all her powers
and all her actions to the source of Universal Love, whose constant
requisition is a pure, chaste and holy life.

"So long as Woman looks to Man (or to society) for that which she
needs, she will remain in an indigent state, for he himself is
indigent of it, and as much needs it as she does.

"So long as this indigence continues, all unions or relations
constructed between Man and Woman are constructed in indigence, and
can produce only indigent results or unhappy consequences.

"The unions now constructing, as well as those in which the parties
constructing them were generated, being based on self-delight, or
lust, can lead to no more happiness in the twentieth than is found in
the nineteenth century.

"It is not amended institutions, it is not improved education, it is
not another selection of individuals for union, that can meliorate the
said result, but the _basis_ of the union must be changed.

"If in the natural order Woman and Man would adhere strictly to
physiological or natural laws, in physical chastity, a most beautiful
amendment of the human race, and human condition, would in a few
generations adorn the world.

"Still, it belongs to Woman in the spiritual order, to devote herself
wholly to her eternal husband, and become the Free Bride of the One
who alone can elevate her to her true position, and reconstruct her a
pure, chaste, and holy being."



F.

I have mislaid an extract from "The Memoirs of an American Lady,"
which I wished to use on this subject, but its import is, briefly,
this:

Observing of how little consequence the Indian women are in youth, and
how much in age, because in that trying life, good counsel and
sagacity are more prized than charms, Mrs. Grant expresses a wish that
reformers would take a hint from observation of this circumstance.

In another place she says: "The misfortune of our sex is, that young
women are not regarded as the material from which old women must be
made."

I quote from memory, but believe the weight of the remark is retained.

       *       *       *       *       *

G.

EURIPIDES.  SOPHOCLES.

As many allusions are made in the foregoing pages to characters of
women drawn by the Greek dramatists, which may not be familiar to the
majority of readers, I have borrowed from the papers of Miranda some
notes upon them. I trust the girlish tone of apostrophising rapture
may be excused. Miranda was very young at the time of writing,
compared with her present mental age. _Now_, she would express
the same feelings, but in a worthier garb--if she expressed them at
all.

Iphigenia! Antigone! you were worthy to live! _We_ are fallen on
evil times, my sisters; our feelings have been checked; our thoughts
questioned; our forms dwarfed and defaced by a bad nurture. Yet hearts
like yours are in our breasts, living, if unawakened; and our minds
are capable of the same resolves. You we understand at once; those who
stare upon us pertly in the street, we cannot--could never understand.

You knew heroes, maidens, and your fathers were kings of men. You
believed in your country and the gods of your country. A great
occasion was given to each, whereby to test her character.

You did not love on earth; for the poets wished to show us the force
of Woman's nature, virgin and unbiased. You were women; not wives, or
lovers, or mothers. Those are great names, but we are glad to see
_you_ in untouched flower.

Were brothers so dear, then, Antigone? We have no brothers. We see no
men into whose lives we dare look steadfastly, or to whose destinies
we look forward confidently. We care not for their urns; what
inscription could we put upon them? They live for petty successes, or
to win daily the bread of the day. No spark of kingly fire flashes
from their eyes.

None! are there _none_?

It is a base speech to say it. Yes! there are some such; we have
sometimes caught their glances. But rarely have they been rocked in
the same cradle as we, and they do not look upon us much; for the time
is not yet come.

Thou art so grand and simple! we need not follow thee; thou dost not
need our love.

But, sweetest Iphigenia! who knew _thee_, as to me thou art
known? I was not born in vain, if only for the heavenly tears I have
shed with thee. She will be grateful for them. I have understood her
wholly, as a friend should; better than she understood herself.

With what artless art the narrative rises to the crisis! The conflicts
in Agamemnon's mind, and the imputations of Menelaus, give us, at
once, the full image of him, strong in will and pride, weak in virtue,
weak in the noble powers of the mind that depend on imagination. He
suffers, yet it requires the presence of his daughter to make him feel
the full horror of what he is to do.

  "Ah me! that breast, those cheeks, those golden tresses!"

It is her beauty, not her misery, that makes the pathos. This is
noble. And then, too, the injustice of the gods, that she, this
creature of unblemished loveliness, must perish for the sake of a
worthless woman. Even Menelaus feels it the moment he recovers from
his wrath.

  "What hath she to do,
  The virgin daughter, with my Helena!
  * * Its former reasonings now
  My soul foregoes. * * * *
                    For it is not just
  That thou shouldst groan, while my affairs go pleasantly,
  That those of thy house should die, and mine see the light."


Indeed, the overwhelmed aspect of the king of men might well move him.

  "_Men_. Brother, give me to take thy right hand.

  _Aga_. I give it, _for_ the victory is thine, and I am wretched.
  I am, indeed, ashamed to drop the tear,
  And not to drop the tear I am ashamed."


How beautifully is Iphigenia introduced; beaming more and more softly
on us with every touch of description! After Clytemnestra has given
Orestes (then an infant) out of the chariot, she says:

              "Ye females, in your arms
  Receive her, for she is of tender age.
  Sit here by my feet, my child,
  By thy mother, Iphigenia, and show
  These strangers how I am blessed in thee,
  And here address thee to thy father.

  _Iphi_. O, mother! should I run, wouldst thou be angry?
  And embrace my father heart to heart?"


With the same sweet, timid trust she prefers the request to himself,
and, as he holds her in his arms, he seems as noble as Guido's
Archangel; as if he never could sink below the trust of such a being!

The Achilles, in the first scene, is fine. A true Greek hero; not too
good; all flushed with the pride of youth, but capable of godlike
impulses. At first, he thinks only of his own wounded pride (when he
finds Iphigenia has been decoyed to Aulis under the pretest of
becoming his wife); but the grief of the queen soon makes him superior
to his arrogant chafings. How well he says,

  "_Far as a young man may_, I will repress
  So great a wrong!"


By seeing him here, we understand why he, not Hector, was the hero of
the Iliad. The beautiful moral nature of Hector was early developed by
close domestic ties, and the cause of his country. Except in a purer
simplicity of speech and manner, he might be a modern and a Christian.
But Achilles is cast in the largest and most vigorous mould of the
earlier day. His nature is one of the richest capabilities, and
therefore less quickly unfolds its meaning. The impression it makes at
the early period is only of power and pride; running as fleetly with
his armor on as with it off; but sparks of pure lustre are struck, at
moments, from the mass of ore. Of this sort is his refusal to see the
beautiful virgin he has promised to protect. None of the Grecians must
have the right to doubt his motives, How wise and prudent, too, the
advice he gives as to the queen's conduct! He will cot show himself
unless needed. His pride is the farthest possible remote from vanity.
His thoughts are as free as any in our own time.

  "The prophet? what is he? a man
  Who speaks, 'mong many falsehoods, but few truths,
  Whene'er chance leads him to speak true; when false,
  The prophet is no more."


Had Agamemnon possessed like clearness of sight, the virgin would not
have perished, but Greece would have had no religion and no national
existence.

When, in the interview with Agamemnon, the queen begins her speech, in
the true matrimonial style, dignified though her gesture be, and true
all she says, we feel that truth, thus sauced with taunts, will not
touch his heart, nor turn him from his purpose. But when Iphigenia,
begins her exquisite speech, as with the breathings of a lute,--

  "Had I, my father, the persuasive voice
   Of Orpheus, &c.
                             Compel me not
   What is beneath to view. I was the first
   To call thee father; me thou first didst call
   Thy child. I was the first that on thy knees
   Fondly caressed thee, and from thee received
   The fond caress. This was thy speech to me:--
   'Shall I, my child, e'er see thee in some house
   Of splendor, happy in thy husband, live
   And flourish, as becomes my dignity?'
   My speech to thee was, leaning 'gainst thy cheek,
   (Which with my hand I now caress): 'And what
   Shall I then do for thee? Shall I receive
   My father when grown old, and in my house
   Cheer him with each fond office, to repay
   The careful nurture which he gave my youth?'
   These words are in my memory deep impressed;
   Thou hast forgot them, and will kill thy child."


Then she adjures him by all the sacred ties, and dwells pathetically
on the circumstance which had struck even Menelaus.

  "If Paris be enamored of his bride,
   His Helen,--what concerns it me? and how
   Comes he to my destruction?
                           Look upon me;
   Give me a smile, give me a kiss, my father;
   That, if my words persuade thee not, in death
   I may have this memorial of thy love."


Never have the names of father and daughter been uttered with a holier
tenderness than by Euripides, as in this most lovely passage, or in
the "Supplicants," after the voluntary death of Evadne. Iphis says:

  "What shall this wretch now do?  Should I return
   To my own house?--sad desolation there
   I shall behold, to sink my soul with grief.
   Or go I to the house of Capaneus?
   That was delightful to me, when I found
   My daughter there; but she is there no more.
   Oft would she kiss my check, with fond caress
   Oft soothe me. To a father, waxing old,
   Nothing is dearer than a daughter! Sons
   Have spirits of higher pitch, but less inclined
   To sweet, endearing fondness. Lead me then,
   Instantly lead me to my house; consign
   My wretched age to darkness, there to pine
   And waste away.
                    Old age,
  Struggling with many griefs, O, how I hate thee!"


But to return to Iphigenia,--how infinitely melting is her appeal to
Orestes, whom she holds in her robe!

  "My brother, small assistance canst thou give
   Thy friends; yet for thy sister with thy tears
   Implore thy father that she may not die.
   Even infants have a sense of ills; and see,
   My father! silent though he be, he sues
   To thee. Be gentle to me; on my life
   Have pity. Thy two children by this beard
   Entreat thee, thy dear children; one is yet
   An infant, one to riper years arrived."


The mention of Orestes, then an infant, though slight, is of a
domestic charm that prepares the mind to feel the tragedy of his after
lot. When the queen says,

                    "Dost thou sleep,
  My son? The rolling chariot hath subdued thee;
  Wake to thy sister's marriage happily."


we understand the horror of the doom which makes this cherished child
a parricide. And so, when Iphigenia takes leave of him after her fate
is by herself accepted,--

  "_Iphi_. To manhood train Orestes.
  _Cly_.  Embrace him, for thou ne'er shalt see him more.
  _Iphi_. (_To Orestes_.) Far as thou couldst, thou
    didst assist thy friends,"--


we know not how to blame the guilt of the maddened wife and mother. In
her last meeting with Agamemnon, as in her previous expostulations and
anguish, we see that a straw may turn the balance, and make her his
deadliest foe. Just then, came the suit of Aegisthus,--then, when
every feeling was uprooted or lacerated in her heart.

Iphigenia's moving address has no further effect than to make her
father turn at bay and brave this terrible crisis. He goes out, firm
in resolve; and she and her mother abandon themselves to a natural
grief.

Hitherto nothing has been seen in Iphigenia, except the young girl,
weak, delicate, full of feeling, and beautiful as a sunbeam on the
full, green tree. But, in the next scene, the first impulse of that
passion which makes and unmakes us, though unconfessed even to
herself, though hopeless and unreturned, raises her at once into the
heroic woman, worthy of the goddess who demands her.

Achilles appears to defend her, whom all others clamorously seek to
deliver to the murderous knife. She sees him, and, fired with thoughts
unknown before, devotes herself at once for the country which has
given birth to such a man.

                 "To be too fond of life
  Becomes not me; nor for myself alone,
  But to all Greece, a blessing didst thou bear me.
  Shall thousands, when their country's injured, lift
  Their shields? shall thousands grasp the oar and dare,
  Advancing bravely 'gainst the foe, to die
  For Greece? And shall my life, my single life,
  Obstruct all this? Would this be just? What word
  Can we reply? Nay more, it is not right
  That he with all the Grecians should contest
  In fight, should die, _and for a woman_. No!
  More than a thousand women is one man
  Worthy to see the light of day.
  * * *         for Greece I give my life.
  Slay me! demolish Troy! for these shall be
  Long time my monuments, my children these,
  My nuptials and my glory."


This sentiment marks Woman, when she loves enough to feel what a
creature of glory and beauty a true _Man_ would be, as much in
our own time as that of Euripides. Cooper makes the weak Hetty say to
her beautiful sister:

"Of course, I don't compare you with Harry. A handsome man is always
far handsomer than any woman." True, it was the sentiment of the age,
but it was the first time Iphigenia had felt it. In Agamemnon she saw
_her father_; to him she could prefer her claim. In Achilles she
saw a _Man_, the crown of creation, enough to fill the world with
his presence, were all other beings blotted from its spaces.
[Footnote: Men do not often reciprocate this pure love.

  "Her prentice han' she tried on man,
   And then she made the lasses o',"

is a fancy, not a feeling, in their more frequently passionate and
strong than noble or tender natures.]

The reply of Achilles is as noble. Here is his bride; he feels it now,
and all his vain vaunting are hushed.

  "Daughter of Agamemnon, highly blest
   Some god would make me, if I might attain
   Thy nuptials. Greece in thee I happy deem,
   And thee in Greece.
                 * * * in thy thought
   Revolve this well; death is a dreadful thing."


How sweet it her reply,--and then the tender modesty with which she
addresses him here and elsewhere as "_stranger_"

      "Reflecting not on any, thus I speak:
       Enough of wars and slaughters from the charms
       Of Helen rise; but die not thou for me,
       O Stranger, nor distain thy sword with blood,
       But let me save my country if I may.

   _Achilles_. O glorious spirit! naught have I 'gainst this
       To urge, since such thy will, for what thou sayst
       Is generous. Why should not the truth be spoken?"


But feeling that human weakness may conquer yet, he goes to wait at
the alter, resolved to keep his promise of protection thoroughly.

In the next beautiful scene she shows that a few tears might overwhelm
her in his absence. She raises her mother beyond weeping them, yet her
soft purity she cannot impart.

  "_Iphi_. My father, and my husband do not hate;
   _Cly_. For thy dear sake fierce contest must he bear.
   _Iphi_. For Greece reluctant me to death he yields;
   _Cly_. Basely, with guile unworthy Atreus' son."


This is truth incapable of an answer, and Iphigenia attempts none.

She begins the hymn which is to sustain her:

  "Lead me; mine the glorious fate,
   To o'erturn the Phrygian state."


After the sublime flow of lyric heroism, she suddenly sinks back into
the tenderer feeling of her dreadful fate.

  "O my country, where these eyes
   Opened on Pelasgic skies!
   O ye virgins, once my pride,
   In Mycenae who abide!

  CHORUS.

   Why of Perseus, name the town,
   Which Cyclopean ramparts crown?

  IPHIGENIA

   Me you reared a beam of light,
   Freely now I sink in night."


_Freely_; as the messenger afterwards recounts it.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Imperial Agamemnon, when he saw
   His daughter, as a victim to the grave,
   Advancing, groaned, and, bursting into tears,
   Turned from the sight his head, before his eyes,
   Holding his robe. The virgin near him stood,
   And thus addressed him: 'Father, I to thee
   Am present; for my country, and for all
   The land of Greece, I freely give myself
   A victim: to the altar let them lead me,
   Since such the oracle. If aught on me
   Depends, be happy, and obtain the prize
   Of glorious conquest, and revisit safe
   Your country. Of the Grecians, for this cause,
   Let no one touch me; with intrepid spirit
   Silent will I present my neck.' She spoke,
   And all that heard revered the noble soul
   And virtue of the virgin."


How quickly had the fair bud bloomed up into its perfection! Had she
lived a thousand years, she could not have surpassed this. Goethe's
Iphigenia, the mature Woman, with its myriad delicate traits, never
surpasses, scarcely equals, what we know of her in Euripides.

Can I appreciate this work in a translation? I think so, impossible as
it may seem to one who can enjoy the thousand melodies, and words in
exactly the right place, and cadence of the original. They say you can
see the Apollo Belvidere in a plaster cast, and I cannot doubt it, so
great the benefit conferred on my mind by a transcript thus imperfect.
And so with these translations from the Greek. I can divine the
original through this veil, as I can see the movements of a spirited
horse by those of his coarse grasscloth muffler. Besides, every
translator who feels his subject is inspired, and the divine Aura
informs even his stammering lips.

Iphigenia is more like one of the women Shakspeare loved than the
others; she is a tender virgin, ennobled and strengthened by sentiment
more than intellect; what they call a Woman _par excellence_.

Macaria is more like one of Massinger's women. She advances boldly,
though with the decorum of her sex and nation:

  "_Macaria_. Impute not boldness to me that I come
      Before you, strangers; this my first request
      I urge; for silence and a chaste reserve
      Is Woman's genuine praise, and to remain
      Quiet within the house. But I come forth,
      Hearing thy lamentations, Iolaus;
      Though charged with no commission, yet perhaps
      I may be useful." * *


Her speech when she offers herself as the victim is reasonable, as one
might speak to-day. She counts the cost all through. Iphigenia is too
timid and delicate to dwell upon the loss of earthly bliss and the due
experience of life, even as much as Jephtha'a daughter did; but
Macaria is explicit, as well befits the daughter of Hercules.

              "Should _these_ die, myself
  Preserved, of prosperous future could I form
  One cheerful hope?
  A poor forsaken virgin who would deign
  To take in marriage? Who would wish for sons
  From one so wretched? Better then to die,
  Than bear such undeserved miseries;
  One less illustrious this might more beseem.

       *       *       *       *       *

  I have a soul that unreluctantly
  Presents itself, and I proclaim aloud
  That for my brothers and myself I die.
  I am not fond of life, but think I gain
  An honorable prize to die with glory."


Still nobler when Iolaus proposes rather that she shall draw lots with
her sisters.

  "By _lot_ I will not die, for to such death
   No thanks are due, or glory--name it not.
   If you accept me, if my offered life
   Be grateful to you, willingly I give it
   For these; but by constraint I will not die."


Very fine are her parting advice and injunctions to them all:

  "Farewell! revered old man, farewell! and teach
   These youths in all things to be wise, like thee,
   Naught will avail them more."


Macaria has the clear Minerva eye; Antigone's is deeper and more
capable of emotion, but calm; Iphigenia's glistening, gleaming with
angel truth, or dewy as a hidden violet.

I am sorry that Tennyson, who spoke with such fitness of all the
others in his "Dream of fair Women," has not of Iphigenia. Of her
alone he has not made a fit picture, but only of the circumstances of
the sacrifice. He can never have taken to heart this work of
Euripides, yet he was so worthy to feel it. Of Jephtha's daughter he
has spoken as he would of Iphigenia, both in her beautiful song, and
when

  "I heard Him, for He spake, and grief became
     A solemn scorn of Ills.

   It comforts me in this one thought to dwell--
     That I subdued me to my father's will;
   Because the kiss he gave me, ere I fell,
     Sweetens the spirit still.

   Moreover it is written, that my race
     Hewed Ammon, hip and thigh, from Arroer
   Or Arnon unto Minneth.  Here her face
     Glowed as I looked on her.

   She looked her lips;  she left me where I stood;
     'Glory to God,' she sang, and past afar,
   Thridding the sombre boskage of the woods,
     Toward the morning-star."


In the "Trojan dames" there are fine touches of nature with regard to
Cassandra. Hecuba shows that mixture of shame and reverence that prose
kindred always do, towards the inspired child, the poet, the elected
sufferer for the race.

When the herald announces that she is chosen to be the mistress of
Agamemnon, Hecuba answers indignant, and betraying the involuntary
pride and faith she felt in this daughter.

      "The virgin of Apollo, whom the God,
       Radiant with golden looks, allowed to live.
       In her pure vow of maiden chastity?
  _Tal_. With love the raptured virgin smote his heart.
  _Hec_. Cast from thee, O my daughter, cast away
      Thy sacred wand; rend off the honored wreaths,
      The splendid ornaments that grace thy brows."


But the moment Cassandra appears, singing wildly her inspired song,
Hecuba, calls her

  "My _frantic_ child."

Yet how graceful she is in her tragic phrenzy, the chorus shows--

  "How sweetly at thy house's ills thou smilest,
   Chanting what haply thou wilt not show true!"


But if Hecuba dares not trust her highest instinct about her daughter,
still less can the vulgar mind of the herald (a man not without
tenderness of heart, but with no princely, no poetic blood) abide the
wild, prophetic mood which insults his prejudices both as to country
and decorums of the sex. Yet Agamemnon, though not a noble man, is of
large mould, and could admire this strange beauty which excited
distaste in common minds.

  "_Tal_. What commands respect, and is held high
      As wise, is nothing better than the mean
      Of no repute; for this most potent king
      Of all the Grecians, the much-honored son
      Of Atreus, is enamored with his prize,
      This frantic raver. I am a poor man,
      Yet would I not receive her to my bed."


Cassandra answers, with a careless disdain,

  "This is a busy slave."


With all the lofty decorum of manners among the ancients, how free was
their intercourse, man to man, how full the mutual understanding
between prince and "busy slave!" Not here in adversity only, but in
the pomp of power it was so. Kings were approached with ceremonious
obeisance, but not hedged round with etiquette; they could see and
know their fellows.

The Andromache here is just as lovely as that of the Iliad.

To her child whom they are about to murder, the same that was
frightened at the "glittering plume," she says,

                     "Dost thou weep,
  My son? Hast thou a sense of thy ill fate?
  Why dost thou clasp me with thy hands, why hold
  My robes, and shelter thee beneath my wings,
  Like a young bird?  No more my Hector comes,
  Returning from the tomb; he grasps no more
  His glittering spear, bringing protection to thee."

       *       *       *       *       *

  * * "O, soft embrace,
  And to thy mother dear. O, fragrant breath!
  In vain I swathed thy infant limbs, in vain
  I gave thee nurture at this breast, and tolled,
  Wasted with care. _If ever_, now embrace,
  Now clasp thy mother; throw thine arms around
  My neck, and join thy cheek, thy lips to mine."


As I look up, I meet the eyes of Beatrice Cenci, Beautiful one! these
woes, even, were less than thine, yet thou seemest to understand them
all. Thy clear, melancholy gaze says, they, at least, had known
moments of bliss, and the tender relations of nature had not been
broken and polluted from the very first. Yes! the gradations of woe
are all but infinite: only good can be infinite.

Certainly the Greeks knew more of real home intercourse and more of
Woman than the Americans. It is in vain to tell me of outward
observances. The poets, the sculptors, always tell the truth. In
proportion as a nation is refined, women _must_ have an ascendency.
It is the law of nature.

Beatrice! thou wert not "fond of life," either, more than those
princesses. Thou wert able to cut it down in the full flower of
beauty, as an offering to _the best_ known to thee. Thou wert not
so happy as to die for thy country or thy brethren, but thou wert
worthy of such an occasion.

In the days of chivalry, Woman was habitually viewed more as an ideal;
but I do not know that she inspired a deeper and more home-felt
reverence than Iphigenia in the breast of Achilles, or Macarla in that
of her old guardian, Iolaus.

We may, with satisfaction, add to these notes the words to which Haydn
has adapted his magnificent music in "The Creation."

"In native worth and honor clad, with beauty, courage, strength
adorned, erect to heaven, and tall, he stands, a Man!--the lord and
king of all! The large and arched front sublime of wisdom deep
declares the seat, and in his eyes with brightness shines the soul,
the breath and image of his God. With fondness leans upon his breast
the partner for him formed,--a woman fair, and graceful spouse. Her
softly smiling virgin looks, of flowery spring the mirror, bespeak him
love, and joy and bliss."

Whoever has heard this music must have a mental standard as to what
Man and Woman should be. Such was marriage in Eden when "erect to
heaven _he_ stood;" but since, like other institutions, this must
be not only reformed, but revived, the following lines may be offered
as a picture of something intermediate,--the seed of the future
growth:--



H.

THE SACRED MARRIAGE.

  And has another's life as large a scope?
  It may give due fulfilment to thy hope,
  And every portal to the unknown may ope.

  If, near this other life, thy inmost feeling
  Trembles with fateful prescience of revealing
  The future Deity, time is still concealing;

  If thou feel thy whole force drawn more and more
  To launch that other bark on seas without a shore;
  And no still secret must be kept in store;

  If meannesses that dim each temporal deed,
  The dull decay that mars the fleshly weed,
  And flower of love that seems to fall and leave no seed--

  Hide never the full presence from thy sight
  Of mutual aims and tasks, ideals bright,
  Which feed their roots to-day on all this seeming blight.

  Twin stars that mutual circle in the heaven,
  Two parts for spiritual concord given,
  Twin Sabbaths that inlock the Sacred Seven;

  Still looking to the centre for the cause,
  Mutual light giving to draw out the powers,
  And learning all the other groups by cognizance of one another's laws.

  The parent love the wedded love includes;
  The one permits the two their mutual moods;
  The two each other know, 'mid myriad multitudes;

  With child-like intellect discerning love,
  And mutual action energising love,
  In myriad forms affiliating love.

  A world whose seasons bloom from pole to pole,
  A force which knows both starting-point and goal,
  A Home in Heaven,--the Union in the Soul.





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