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work ideals of honor and standards of efficiency into English or American natures should be the fear of being killed by the Germans or the Japanese. Great indeed is Fear; but it is not, as our military enthusiasts believe and try to make us believe, the only stimulus known for awakening the higher ranges of men's spiritual energy. The amount of alteration in public opinion which my utopia postulates is vastly less than the difference between the mentality of those black warriors who pursued Stanley's party on the Congo with their cannibal war cry of "Meat! Meat!” and that of the "general staff" of any civilized nation. History has seen the latter interval bridged over; the former one can be bridged over much more easily.
WOMAN ENTHRONED 1
THE Michigan magistrate who gave orders that a stalwart male angel presiding over the gateway of a cemetery should be recast in feminine mold may have been an erring theologian and a doubtful art-critic, but that he was a sound-hearted American no one can deny. He was not thinking of Azrael the mighty who had garnered that little harvest of death, or of Michael, great leader of the "fighting seraphim," whose blade
"Smote and felled
or of Gabriel the messenger. Holy Writ was as remote from his mental vision as was Paradise Lost. He was thinking very properly of the "angel in the house," and this feminine ideal was affronted by the robust outlines, no less than by the robust virtues, associated with the heavenly host. Cowley's soothing compromise, which was designed as a compliment to a lady, and which, instead of unsexing angels, endowed them with a double line of potencies,
“They are than Man more strong, and more than Woman sweet,
is not easily expressed in art. The very gallant Michigan gentleman simplified the situation by eliminating the masculine element. He registered his profession of faith in the perfectibility of women.
1 From Points of Friction, by permission of and special arrangement with the Houghton Mifflin Company.
It is awkward to be relegated to the angelic class, and to feel that one does not fit. Intelligent feminists sometimes say that chivalry—that inextinguishable point of view which has for centuries survived its own deathnotices—is more disheartening than contempt. Chivalry is essentially protective. It is rooted in the consciousness of superior strength. It is expansively generous and scrimpingly just. It will not assure to women a fair field and no favors, which is the salvation of all humanity; but it will protect them from the consequences of their own deeds, and that way lies perdition.
Down through the ages we see the working of this will. Rome denied to women all civic rights, but allowed them many privileges. They were not permitted to make any legal contract. They were not permitted to bequeath their own fortunes, or-ordinarily—to give testimony in court. But they might plead ignorance of the law, “as a ground for dissolving an obligation," which, if often convenient, was always demoralizing. Being somewhat contemptuously absolved from the oath of allegiance in the Middle Ages, they were as a consequence immune from outlawry. On the other hand, the severity with which they were punished for certain crimes which were presumed to come easy to them-poisoning, husbandmurder, witchcraft (King Jamie was not the only wiseacre who marveled that there should be twenty witches to one warlock)—is evidence of fear on the legislators' part. The oldest laws, the oldest axioms which antedate all laws, betray this uneasy sense of insecurity. “Day and night must women be held by their protectors in a state of dependence,” says Manu, the Hindu Noah, who took no female with him in his miraculously preserved boat, but was content with his own safety, and trusted the continuance of the race to the care and ingenuity of the gods.
In our day, and in our country, women gained their rights (I use the word "rights” advisedly, because, though its definition be disputed, every one knows what it implies) after a prolonged, but not embittered struggle. Certain states moved so slowly that they were overtaken by a federal amendment. Even with the franchise to back them, American women have a hard time making their way in the professions, though a great deal of courtesy is shown them by professional men. They have a hard time making their way in trades, where the unions block their progress. They have a very small share of political patronage, and few good positions on the civil lists. Whether the best interests of the country will be advanced or retarded by a complete recognition of their claims—which implies giving them an even chance with men—is a point on which no one can speak with authority. The absence of data leaves room only for surmise. Women are striving to gain this "even chance" for their own sakes, which is lawful and reasonable. Their public utterances, it is true, dwell pointedly on the regeneration of the world. This also is lawful and reasonable. Public utterances have always dwelt on the regeneration of the world, since the apple was eaten and Paradise closed its gates.
Meanwhile American chivalry, a strong article and equal to anything Europe ever produced, clings passionately and persistently to its inward vision. Ellen Key speaks casually of “the vices which men call woman's nature.” If Swedish gentlemen permit themselves this form of speech, it finds no echo in our loyal land. Two things an American hates to do: hold a woman accountable for her misdeeds, and punish her accordingly. When Governor Craig of North Carolina set aside the deathsentence which had been passed upon a murderess and committed her to prison for life, he gave to the public this plain and comprehensive statement: “There is no escape from the conclusion that Ida Bell Warren is guilty of murder, deliberate and premeditated. Germany executed the woman spy; England did not. The action of the military governor of Belgium was condemned by the conscience of the world. The killing of this woman would send a shiver through North Carolina."
Apart from the fact that Edith Cavell was not a spy, and that her offense was one which has seldom in the world's history been so cruelly punished, Governor Craig's words deserve attention. He explicitly exempted a woman, because she was a woman, from the penalty which would have been incurred by a man. Incidentally he was compelled to commute the death-sentence of her confederate, as it was hardly possible to send the murderous wife to prison, and her murderous accomplice to the chair. That the execution of Mrs. Warren would have sent a "shiver” through North Carolina is doubtless true. The Governor had received countless letters and telegrams protesting against the infliction of the deathpenalty on a woman.
One of the reasons which has been urged for the total abolition cf this penalty is the reluctance of juries to convict women of crimes punishable by death. The number of wives who murder their husbands, and of girls who murder their lovers, is a menace to society. Our sympathetic tolerance of these crimes passionnés, the sensational scenes in court, and the prompt acquittals which follow are a menace to law and justice. Better