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marriage market: keeping them ignorant, that they might arouse man's pride in his superior attainments; keeping them frail and dependent, that they might appeal to his strength; giving them adornments and accomplishments that they might please and entertain him,—all of this a pose and affectation for the sake of a rich matrimonial prize. "There are no sex-distinctions in souls," Agrippa had pronounced three hundred years before. "No sex-distinctions in privilege" was Mary's battle-cry-the "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" of revolutionary France applied from a new angle.
Nor was she a solitary voice in a man-infested wilderness. On all sides arose the chorus, in all sorts of tones, from the gentle twitter of Fanny Burney to the strident notes of Lady Morgan. Free thinking and free speech were everywhere, and by this time there were hosts of the men themselves eager to add their voices to the tumult and advance the cause. "Learned ladies” became familiar figures. Old prejudices seemed about to give way forever. Some of them did yield a bit under the strain. Yet in our own day, over a hundred years after Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin gave up her life on the plain, old-fashioned altar of motherhood, our ears have been troubled once again with the familiar din, and the conflict has appeared once more, with the same battle-cries, around the same entrenchments, but employing certain newly-devised and particularly dangerous weapons. Truly this process of educating Eve's daughters and emancipating them from the curse is long and devious and full of trouble.
Thus the present appears to be another of those liberal and expansive stages in our thought and artistic expression. Free speech is the glory-and the insomnia-of Great Britain, as well as of America. Socialism in all its forms is accepted hungrily by thousands who do and who do not know what it is all about. The restraint and propriety of the prim Victorian period is an object of derision to callow striplings who patronize Tennyson and smile patiently at Ruskin. Every art has its ultra-modernists, who shrug their shoulders at the academic stiffness of old masters, and are in the position-to quote some of their own language-of "one certainly not clearly expressing
something being struggling." But with it all, we feel assured, there is much of good, wholesome, permanent improvement, which will become apparent when the turmoil is over.
Now let us reckon a bit with those past experiences-a thing your genuine progressive never likes to do. Why has this emancipating of woman been such a treadmill? Why are they still fighting amid the ashes of so many dead camp-fires? Two qualifications must be admitted at once. First, these struggles have never been exactly the same; each one has left behind it some slight permanent achievement. The process has really been a slowly-ascending spiral, rather than the clear-cut arc of a pendulum. Second, part of their defeat was inherent in the general depression and reaction that always follows in the train of these movements of expansion. There are more specific explanations to be had, however. Of the three great modern impulses toward the enlightenment of women, the first was frittered away in social gallantry, the second lost itself in the labyrinth of sentimental affectations, the third destroyed itself by the boldness of its struggle for supposed masculine privilege.
To the gracious and learned patronesses of arts in the England of Elizabeth succeeded vain and superficial imitators, who posed and coquetted, and encouraged and repaid the tribute of witty compliments and overheated love-verses. The Puritan uprising was caused in part by the excesses they encouraged, and only interrupted for a time their "unmeaning cant of fire and pain.'
Unfortunately for the second impulse, the serious "Protestant nunnery" one, it came just before Samuel Richardson, one of its adherents, made his celebrated discovery of the human heart, which revolutionized English letters far more than the circulation of the blood did science. These hearts had sex, even if souls had not, and Richardson and his school found female hearts vastly the more interesting. Prose fiction, which was taboo and anathema to Mary Astell, became once more respectable, and educated women wrote it by the ream, with numerous soulful verses on the side. To get into the mood of the thing, they cultivated their sympathies and sensibilities, and moved them
selves to tears, until their naturalness became the most unnatural thing in the world.
The third activity seemed to speak its own condemnation. is hardly fair to Mary Wollstonecraft to hold her very largely responsible. She only happened to be the most vigorous advocate, and to pay, in her own career of disappointments, for what was false- or premature-in the creed. It was all part of a great European movement of revolt. England was too strait-laced, as Germany and France had been, and were to be again. Sex had been made a fetich; but the relief did not lie in abolishing it. The Creator had provided against that. In fact, even if women could live like men, England was not at all sure she wanted them to try it, especially when their ambitions assailed the traditional safeguards of family and religion. Emancipated woman might be fair and radiant and immensely capable, but she should be first of all a woman.
If we should undertake to moralize this history, right here seems to be the key to the situation, and there is nothing to add but the Hæc fabula docet. The emancipators of woman thus far have allowed themselves to emphasize her vanity, her sentimental emotions, and her ambition to be what by nature she is not, but they have been strangely averse to selecting the highest and most influential qualities of her essential womanhood, and developing them toward a perfect efficiency. They have experimented with her inherent weaknesses, rather than her inherent strength. By mere process of elimination, the latter method should be the order of the present eminently scientific and specializing generation.
True enough, there is room for unending discussion as to what woman's essential qualities and natural advantages are. Ideas have changed rapidly in the last few generations, and some people have seen a great light-through shattered windows. In the days of Mrs. Malaprop, Dr. Johnson condemned the appearance of women on the public platform. "Sir," he told Boswell, "a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." About the same time, Thomas Day's plan of training up for himself a eugenically perfect mate,
not afraid of fire-arms or field-sports or long tramps across the snow, branded him as a harmless lunatic. After all, though, a programme of reform finds immense advantage in being comfortably vague, and "essential womanhood raised to the nth power" not only sounds well, but means as much as most of them. No doubt the latest agitation will run its course and accomplish its results without ever defining itself half so concretely. But when the tale of it is told, it will appear only as another turn of the screw, another circle of the slowly-ascending spiral track. Will it be the last?
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
ALFRED H. UPHAM.
SOME RECENT STUDIES OF LUCRETIUS
For these two new editions of the classics American scholarship may lay claim to quite other considerations than the usual edition of a Latin author demands. These books are not tiny portions of an author eked out with the maximum of thin vocabulary and a generous sprinkling of references to half a dozen grammars, designed to explain the ablative absolute to contemptuous quarterbacks. Neither are they conveyed from the latest German edition. They stand firmly on their own feet and dare to offer each a whole classic, text and commentary, with an Introduction that is in itself a treatise on the subject-matter of the author.
No two authors could differ more widely than Tibullus and Lucretius. To read their poems and reflect that they lived approximately just a generation apart,-Tibullus being born about the year of Lucretius's death,-will do a great deal to dispel the lingering impression that the Romans, writers as well as men of action, were all cut out of the same material.
Both Lucretius and Tibullus lie outside the norrow circle of Latin writers entered by the average college student, if indeed the college student ever enters or is entered by, any Latin whatever. If anything will stop or delay the turn of the presentday education away from the classics, it will be the widening and deepening of the Latin courses for such students as still find food and not husks for their souls.
Such editions as these, apart from the reputation they will establish for their editors, are real works of patriotism, for they perform invaluable service in the direction of recovering the enthusiasm of the serious American student for antiquity, which after all means for history.
*De Rerum Natura. T. Lucreti Cari. Libri Sex. Edited by William Augustus Merrill, Ph.D. New York and Cincinnati: American Book Company.
The Elegies of Albius Tibullus. The Corpus Tibullianum. Edited, with Introduction and Notes on Books I, II, and IV, 2-14, by Kirby Flower Smith, Ph.D. New York and Cincinnati: American Book Company.