Imatges de pÓgina

classes of life, could hardly be denied. Also that the proper performance of these duties requires a strong and deeply founded spirit of self-sacrifice should likewise admit of no controversy. But if Carlyle could say, and say truly, that it would be misjudging man to assert that he was led to heroic action by the prospect of ease, hope of pleasure, recompense only; 'in the meanest mortal there lies something nobler. Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom are the allurements that act on the heart of man '-could less be said of woman?

And these struggles, these sacrifices, are mitigated by love--the special prerogative of woman. For 'love is the fulfilling of the law.' ' Love, it has been said, “is the only, the eternal foundation of the training of our race to humanity.' 'Love,' says Goethe, does not rule, but it educates, and this is more.'

And, again, St. Augustine says, When it is asked whether one be a good man, there is not question of what he believes or hopes, but of what he loves. For he who loves rightly, rightly believes, and rightly hopes; but he who loves not, believes in vain, hopes in vain. Little love is little righteousness, perfect love is perfect righteousness.'

That these thoughts which Christianity has fostered and developed were not utterly unknown (in some faint and obscure form) in pagan times, witness the exquisite legend told by Plato:

As Socrates was walking with some of his disciples in the garden of Pericles, the conversation turned upon art and its divine beauties.

• Tell us,' said Alcibiades with a smile, tell us, O Socrates, how thou camest to make the statues of the Graces; and why, having finished thy masterpiece, thou didst abandon art ? Would thou hadst given us also the goddess of wisdom !!

'I will relate,' said Socrates, the story of my art, and thou shalt then decide, Alcibiades, whether it would be well for me again to grasp the mallet and the chisel. As youth I loved art with all my heart, and was accustomed to visit the workshops of the masters and the temples of the gods; for in those I hoped to receive instruction, and in these divine enthusiasm. With this view I went one day to a little temple on the boundary of Attica, dedicated to the Graces. The simplicity of its form invited me, and I said to myself : “Though thou find nothing for thy art-for how could a marble statue have strayed hither ?—yet mayst thou nourish and cultivate here a taste for simplicity, since this, as I thought, should not be lacking in an artist.” At the door of the little temple an old man of venerable and friendly countenance met me.

" " What seekest thou here, my son ?” he inquired with a gentle voice. I told him that I was an art student, and that I had sought the temple to improve myself.

"" It is well, my son,” he replied, “ that thou beginnest with thyself, and approaches the godlike to produce it in thyself, before thou attemptest to body it forth. Thy efforts shall not go unrewarded. I will show thee what elsewhere in all Greece thou shouldst look for in vain--the first and oldest statues of the Graces."

• Thereupon he pointed to three square, rough-hewn stones and said: Behold, there they are !"

• I looked at him and was silent. But he smiled and continued: “Dost thou find it strange that the godlike should have been in the heart of man before his


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tongue or his hand could give it expression ? Well, show thy reverence for it by endowing it with a worthier form. I am the priest of this temple; my duty calls me now."

"He went and left me in an unwonted mood. Returning to Athens I made the statues of the Graces. You know them. I took them to the priest as an offering for the temple and presented them to him with a trembling hand.

""Well done, my son," said the friendly old man; " thou hast accomplished thy task with industry and zeal. But," he continued with a serious air, “ tell me, hast thou also satisfied thyself ? "

"" Alas, no !” I replied ; “ I have a nobler image in my soul, to which I feel the hand is powerless to give form."

"The venerable man laid his hand upon my shoulder and spoke with indescribable grace. “Well, then, take thy statues to the halls of the rich men of Athens and leave us our stones. We, my son, in our simplicity have faith, and the plain symbol suffices; but they have only knowledge, and therefore need the work of art. To thee I give this counsel : Learn to know the divine germ which lives in thee, and in every human heart; cherish it, and thou shalt produce the godlike within and without thyself.” He left me and I returned with my statues, meditating the words of the old man, who appeared to me to be a god. I stood a whole night beneath the stars, and as the sun rose the light became clear within my soul also. I recognised the eternal grace, love, within and without myself. I prayed, hastened home, laid my mallet and cbisel at the feet of my statues of the Graces, and, coming forth, found you, my dear friends and disciples. Are yo not the noblest expression of the divine grace ; and shall I not live longer in such images than in cold fragile marble ?'

Is not this office of drawing out the good—the Divine Imagewhich exists in all men and women, the special gift of woman, as well as her highest prerogative ? But to descend from these heights to the arena of the duties of every-day life, especially those which chiefly concern the sex: can we say at the present time, when statistics point to a rapidly diminishing birth-rate, and a truly appalling deathroll among infants, that this is the moment for women to choose to add to their already only too onerous duties, in order to pursue the phantom of parliamentary representation ?

It is surely a singular, and not altogether satisfactory, state of things as regards the division of labour between the sexes, that the names of those who have been most prominently before the public in the noble work of training ignorant women in their maternal duties of suckling or feeding their children should be mainly those of men, not of women. Now that the medical profession is open to women, and many have taken honourable degrees as physicians and medical practitioners, it seems singular that they should not take the lead in this great and important work, to which they would surely bring a knowledge and sympathy impossible in the case of the opposite sex. short, would it not be wise for woman to begin by setting her own house in order before she tried her hand at meddling with the larger questions of the politics and destinies of nations ? A year ago it was urged in an interesting article in this Reviews that the influence of


Women and Politics : A Reply, by Eva Gore-Booth, March 1907.

women in parliamentary representation would be usefully employed in questions affecting the difficult problems of the insufficient payment of woman's labour. Humanitarian views such as these must commend themselves to all, but is it probable that legislation would be productive of any good results in cases of this sort ? The laws that govern the labour market are, it will be generally admitted, exceedingly sensitive to undue interference. Is it not therefore not only possible, but even exceedingly probable, that in striving to amend them the opposite effect from the one intended might come to pass ? For with foreign competition ever ready to take advantage of a higher labour bill, the trades in question are not unlikely to follow the example of many others which once existed in this country-that is, disappear altogether, thus adding to the ever-increasing number of the unemployed. Also the contention that women when engaged on piecework should be paid as highly as men is one which would be contested inch by inch by the working-man-the reason being obvious, for few would maintain that a living wage for a woman would constitute one in the case of a man. Besides, may

Besides, may it not be open to considerable doubt whether the sad and terrible problems to which Miss Eva GoreBooth alluded are among those which would be affected in any appreciable degree by the action of Parliament ? Gladstone has a very weighty and pregnant saying which seems to me to bear on this statement : ‘It is not,' he says, ' by the State that man can be regenerated, or the terrible woes of this darkened world effectually dealt with.'

There is yet another point of view from which the subject should be considered.

It is only proposed so far to give the franchise to the woman who has a stake in the country: in other words, to the widow or spinster who, though an owner of property, is debarred by the present state of the law from giving effect to her opinions on public matters in which her interests are involved. That the law is, in a sense, an anomaly, and presses severely on individual cases, is doubtless true, but, it may be asked, are the women whose claims are urged on the plea that logically they have a right to register their vote the most fitted to give it ? Admittedly the faddists—the women who neglect the thousands of claims which suffering humanity forces upon them in order to endow homes for 'our dumb friends'; the follower of the latest fashionable craze, whether it be for Socialism or table-turning; the rabid antivivisectionist are in the ratio of ten to one recruited from the class whom fate or their own inclinations have cut off from the healthy companionship of the masculine sex: a fact which has given rise to the popular saying that most men should marry, but all women. Few indeed would be found to deny that woman is at her best living in the normal condition of things as wife and mother-a man at her side whose counsel and guidance she cheerfully accepts. But to refuse the franchise to the shrieking sisterhood' and their compeers, and grant it to the married woman, is a proposition worse than impracticable. It is unthinkable. If the Fiery Cross is abroad now, truly in such an eventuality Great Britain would be in a blaze. Also would the world be a gainer by it? I trow not. For in the majority of cases the married woman would follow her husband's lead, and in the divided household it would but add to the many debatable subjects on which man and wife may differ. To add to their number is hardly to benefit society or the world at large.

There is yet another solution to the question which, though scarcely belonging to the domain of practical politics, is sufficiently so to be openly maintained by the most advanced advocates of the enfranchisement of women. This, needless to say, is manhood suffrage, to be followed in due course by womanhood suffrage. We shall then have reached the climax. Woman by her numerical superiority in this country would be in the position, should she exercise her rights, of dictating the laws to men—a climax which, owing perhaps to a lack of humour on the part of my sex, is far from being looked upon by them as a reductio ad absurdum. Rather they are prepared to welcome it as the dawn of a better day-in short, of a female millennium.

In conclusion may I plead in the name, I firmly believe, of a large (I am tempted to say overwhelming) majority of my fellow countrywomen that the great political parties—whether Radical or Unionist, should judge the question on its merits, and with no other end in view ? There seems to be a growing disposition, if we are to credit the public press, to make political capital out of this question. If the Radical party now in power had rushed lightly into a revolution of which no man could with any certainty prophesy the outcome, it would not perhaps have been altogether surprising. But have not women a right to expect different treatment from the Unionists ? Surely a party which comprises within it so strong an element of conservatism, whose boast has ever been that it has sought to preserve what is wise and good in the past-should hesitate before it breaks with all its traditions in favour of a leap in the dark such as the one at present in contemplation. That woman's sphere in the future will be an ever widening one for all good and useful work, and that she will maintain the high ideals of her past, must be the earnest wish of all

But that these ends can be attained by the present outcry against limitations imposed by natural laws, is a contention contrary to all experience, as well as to the instinct of mankind, as voiced by almost a consensus of the wise and far-seeing of this and other countries. To those of my sex who differ from me I would answer with Cassius :

true women.

The fault ... is not in our stars,
But in ourselves that we are underlings.



It was many years ago that in the Bodleian at Oxford I was shown into the beautiful room where John Selden’s noble library is placed. It is a lofty, well-proportioned room, and on the walls are arrayed the silent legions of the great scholar's books. At that time I was still fonder of books than of realities, and with breathless haste I ran over the title-pages and contents of the grand folios in over fifteen languages, written by scholars of all the Western nations and of many an Oriental people. Then I paused before the fine oilpainting near the entrance of the room representing the face and upper body of the scholar-patriot. The face is singularly, touchingly beautiful. The delicately swung lines of the lips tell at once, more especially in their discreet corners, of the deep reticence and subtle tact of the man. No wonder my Lady Kent loved him. The combination of political power, boundless erudition, and charming male beauty could not but be pleasing to a knowing woman of the world. His eyes, big and lustrous, yet veil more than they reveal. He evidently was a man who saw more than he expressed, and felt more than he cared to show. Living in the troublous times of James the First and Charles the First, he worked strenuously for the liberties of his country, while all the time pouring forth works of the heaviest erudition on matters of ancient law, religions, and antiquities. His printed works are, in keeping with the custom of his day, like comets : a small kernel of substance, appended to a vast tail of quotations from thousands of authors. Like the unripe man I was, I liked the tail more than the kernel. Yet I had been in various countries and had acquired a little knowledge of substance. And as I gazed with loving looks at the mild beauty of the scholar, I fell slowly into a reverie. I had read him and about him with such zeal that it seemed to me I knew the man personally. Then also I had walked over the very streets and in the very halls where he had walked and talked to Camden, Cotton, Archbishop Ussher, Sir Mathew Hale, Lord Ellesmere, Coke, Cromwell. It was the time that we, in Hungary, had been taught to admire most in all English history. And there was more particularly one maxim of Selden's, which he carefully wrote on every one of the books of his library, which had always impressed me most. It ran : ‘Liberty above everything'; or as

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