Imatges de pÓgina

be extremely probable that the people and the city so much hated by Nahum were not the Assyrians and Nineveh, but the N. Arabian Asshurites and one of their capitals called Yěvānāh (the feminine form of Yavan or Yaman, equivalent to Yerahmeel). If any Hebrew poet raised a song of triumph over Nineveh, it may be doubted whether it has come down to us.

It remains to be added that the prophecies against Mizraim (Egypt) in Jeremiah and Ezekiel present the appearance of having been worked over, i.e. they originally referred, not to Mizraim, but to Mizrim, one of those N. Arabian countries over which a more distant king—the king of Asshur or Ashḥur-appears to have claimed suzerainty. This is not the place to go into the question as to the reality of such a Mizrim as is here claimed. In a work called Traditions and Beliefs of Ancient Israel (1907) I have given my latest expression of opinion respecting it. But to return to Josiah. It is not rash to assert that the powers which, so far as our evidence goes, were most in the thoughts of Judaites at this time were not Assyria and Egypt, but the N. Arabian Asshur and Mizrim. I hold that the original writers in 2 Kings and in the authority used by the Chronicler were no exceptions to this rule, and that the regions referred to, e.g. in 2 Kings xxix. 29, were probably Mizrim and the N. Arabian Asshur. I would identify Pěrāth with the N. Arabian district Ephrath, and thus, in passing, liberate interpreters of Jer. xiii. 1-7 from the painful necessity of supposing that Jeremiah paid two visits to the rocks (!) of the Euphrates, to perform purely symbolic acts. Karkēmish (in 2 Chron. xxxv. 20, Jer. xlvi. 2) may cover over more than one N. Arabian place-name-perhaps the most obvious original is (Ramshak) or 'Ramshaḥ.' 3 'Megiddo 'should (cf. Herod. 1.c.) probably be Migdol. Nor can I help expressing the hope that the words (2 Kings xxiii. 29, end) ' and he slew him when he saw him,' can now receive a more suitable correction than that of Prof. Hugo Winckler. It will be noticed that three letters appear twice over in the Hebrew; it is reasonable to suppose that this is the error of a scribe. What remains may, with methodical accuracy, be read beashtor, 'in Ashtor.' * Ashtor' or (more properly) ‘Ashtar' is one of the N. Arabian regional names (see Traditions and Beliefs, p. 362). The authentic statement is that the unnamed king of Mizrim (* Pharaoh-Neko' being a redactor's insertion) slew Josiah in a battle at Migdol in Ashtar. There were doubtless many Migdols (one was in the land of Mizrim, Jer. xliv. 1); to prevent misunderstanding the scribe inserted a notice that this ‘Migdol' was 'in Ashtar.' Ashtar is also a divine name; the place near which Josiah fell was, or had been, dedicated to the god Ashtar (the masculine form of Ashtart or Astarte). It was against such a deity that Josiah had striven. But what did the place-name matter, if only the dangerous N. Arabian cults were abolished ?

* Traditions and Beliefs, p. 241. There is great want of documentary confirmation for the battle of Karkemish.

The reader will now understand why, in the sketch referred to, I stated that the king of Mizrim went in the first instance against the Negeb. The corrections of the place-names of the traditional Hebrew text there given are here themselves corrected; the general sense, however, is not thereby affected. That the regional names were used by the writers with historical precision and without archaising, I will not assert. A change in the dominant race, of course, involves the introduction of new ethnics and regional names. Still the old names are tenaciously preserved by neighbouring peoples and used by their writers. Here I pause; my object has been, I hope, attained. The historic significance of the N. Arabian borderland from a religious point of view has been treated by me in my article 'Prophecy ' in the Encyclopædia Biblica and elsewhere, and has lately been dealt with, so far as his narrow limits allowed, by Professor Nathaniel Schmidt, of Cornell University, in the Hibbert Journal for January 1908. May the errors of individual investigators pass away, and the full truth in its radiance more and more shine forth !


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AGAINST every fresh step forward for good and for freedom to women, the same old stereotyped arguments are trotted out. One gets quite fond of their familiar faces ; of their faces only, for they are all hollow. Mrs. Massie, in her article in the March issue of this Review, relies chiefly on the Protection Argument, which is perhaps the easiest of all to combat, as implying a social state and circumstances far different from those of the present time, when many women are attached to no protector and must be their own breadwinners, or go without bread. This argument, by the way, is also named the Pedestal or Angel Argument. Woman is, contrary to the poet's judgment,

too bright and good For human nature's daily food,

and should be set up aloft for adoration. The answer to which is that a pedestal is but a cold and dreary position, and that a place at the dining-table is far to be preferred. But at whose ? And are we to have no choice where to sit ? In countries and among races where marriage is a matter of course and arranged by parents and guardians, due provision is theoretically, assured for at least most of the women, whether in accordance with their wishes or by ignoring them. But in free countries-free now to some extent and ever aiming at larger freedom-how is a woman's support to be assured unless by allowing her to work for it? And how are due wages to be assured in return for her work unless she be allowed the rights and opportunities of a reasonable being ? The refusal of the vote tells indirectly as well as directly, stamping women in the minds of the unthinking as inferior creatures, and leading to the refusal of other privileges and opportunities of free development, till the reductio ad absurdum is reached of tacitly assuming that any woman is inferior to any man.

As regards another side of protection, viz. protection against violent death, the nearest daily newspaper will offer enough instances

· For the practical results, see Doughty's Arabia Deserta, vol. i. pp. 236, 298 vol. ii. 349 ; Lane's Modern Egyptians, (1871) vol. i. pp. 122 01., 227 ff.

of what protection man affords to woman. Seldom can one take up a paper, especially a local paper, without coming across at least one instance of the suicide of a young mother because she knows in her trouble that no hope or support is to be expected from her child's and her own natural protector. The larger number of female suicides are due to illegitimate childbirth. As to the frequency of other offences, whether of violence or fraud, against women, the nearest newspaper again will serve as witness. In one paper taken up at random—the Daily Mail of the 26th of March last-I find one breach of promise case, one wife murder, one ditto suspected, one case of shooting at a sweetheart, one action against a husband who had married for money and defrauded his wife of most of it. It is obvious that none of these cases are unusual and that the aggregate is so large that it cannot be passed over as due to the moral aberration of a few. Rather must the frequency of these offences be due not only to wrong social conditions in general, but to the little esteem in which women are held, at least in some classes, a disregard which is only veiled, and not atoned for, by the extreme courtesy and consideration enjoyed by the majority of our sex. I have no means of knowing even if we are a majority.

Or take statistics of murder. This is declared to be the crime of men : murderers, in the great majority of cases—seven to one—are

And a further point to be noted is the very large proportion of wife murders, viz. murders of women by those who are called their natural guardians—one in four. If the number of mistresses and sweethearts are added it makes nearly one-half. Is it not probable that in many of these cases, women, if their economic independence were assured, would be safer and happier in their own keeping than by being forced into connexions where great unhappiness must surely precede the violent termination of relationship?

It is to right these wrongs that happier women want the vote, in order to bring about the greater consideration of women as human beings, e.g. by imposing heavier penalties for wife murder and for assault. How can we be content to have happy and guarded lives ourselves when other women are driven into sin and misery from low wages or treated as slaves and worse than dogs ?

Mrs. Massie next allows that the franchise has 'greatly quickened legislation for the improvement of the position of the class enfranchised. But she says that in such improvement men and women share alike. Exactly this statement was made by James Mill in 1828. He, arguing for extension of the franchise on the ground that those who have power in the State use it to their own advantage and disregard the good of others, swept aside the claim of women, a claim

? R. A. Skelton on 'Suicide,' Nineteenth Century and After, September 1900.

* Sir John Macdonell's “Annual Survey of Crime,' quoted in the Daily Mail Year-Book, 1908.

which, as Macaulay remarks, has never yet received a plausible answer. Mill's words are :

One thing is pretty clear, that all those individuals whose interests are involved in those of other individuals may be struck off without inconvenience . . . In this light women may be regarded, the interest of almost all of whom is involved either in that of their fathers or in that of their husbands.

Macaulay's comment is :

If we were to content ourselves with saying, in answer to all the arguments in Mr. Mill's essay, that the interest of a king is involved in that of the community, we should be accused, and justly, of talking nonsense.

Yet such an assertion would not, as far as we can perceive, be more unreasonable than that which Mr. Mill has here ventured to make. Without adducing one fact, without taking the trouble to perplex the question by one sophism, he placidly dogmatises away the interest of one half of the human race. If there be a word of truth in history, women have always been, and still are, over the greater part of the globe, humble companions, playthings, captives, menials, beasts of burden. Except in a few happy and highly civilised communities, they are strictly in a state of personal slavery. Even in those countries where they are best treated, the laws are generally unfavourable to them, with respect to almost all the points in which they are most deeply interested.

We may add two points of our own day: (1) the inequality of the divorce laws with regard to man and woman, (2) the late proposed curtailment of 'women's labour, especially of married women's labour.' Against this proposed restriction, a very strong letter of protest was addressed to Mr. John Burns by the Co-operative Women's Society of Penge. In five out of twenty-seven clauses they claim 'the right to earn as being the right to live honestly'; in twelve clauses they point out the miseries which will result from infringement of this right. Instead of assisting mothers, as the Bill was surely intended in the minds of its promoters to do, they declare the disability which would thereby be placed on wifehood and motherhood

eat as to make that state shunned, and in this and other ways to lead to a great increase of infant mortality. And of crime; for if women be treated as a dependent, helpless, low class, temptations to theft and prostitution would increase, the alternatives in many cases being starving or the workhouse. And logically, if the State forbid women to earn, it should undertake to safeguard them from widowhood, and should make provision for those women who outnumber men. But, they say, a better way might be taken : it would better behove a Liberal Government to remove the present sex penalty of women—that of having to accept a third of the pay given to menand to initiate the principle of payment by result. These are the opinions of practical working women.

Are we to conclude, then, that mothers prefer to neglect their young

children for the delight of long hours of labour, and the additional delight of finding a cheerless home to be cleaned and put to

4 Women's Franchise, No. 31, Jan. 30, 1908.

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