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far too much sagacity and experience to Lelia speaks of the man in whom she. think, with the vulgar advocates of the was disappointed. “ rights of woman,” that equality of poli- “That man was wise, just, generous. tical privileges would mend her congugal He possessed manly beauty, intelligence condition. It would only make it worse, above the common order, integrity of or rather it would render the existence of soul (une âme loyale ;) had the placidi. the union itself impracticable, as we shall ty of mental force, was patient and wellhave, presently, an occasion to show. natured.” Love she conceives to be the great want “And what, then, were his faults » of woman; and freedom, intellectual in- asked Pulcherie. dependence, legal exemption from the “ He did not love!” replied Lelia. husband's dominion, she accounts, not “What availed to me all his noble quali. without reason, to be the chief element, ties? Every one enjoyed them except or an essential condition, of this love. It me; or at least I only shared them in comis then a moral, not a political or civil, mon with others, and while he possessed equality that our author would assert for my entire soul, I could claim but a porwoman. But how obtain, or how main- tion of his. He would occasionally mani. tain the one without the other? The di- fest towards me the most vivid scintillalemma is this: Give the wife equal politi- tions of passion, which, soon however, cal rights with the husband, you probably fell back into the womb of night. His plant dissolution in the marriage relation, transports were more ardent than mine; discord in the family. Deny them to her, but he seemed to expend in an instant, all and social inequality must follow the po- the power of loving which he had been litical, and may, at the caprice of the amassing for several days. At all times husband, sink into intolerable servitude. he was, as a friend, full of gentleness and That such are our author's views, as far equity ; but his thoughts wandered far as she has any definite views, on the from me, and his avocations were conevils in question, and this the difficulty stantly taking him away from my soceity. which has occasioned some inconsisten- Do not imagine I had the injustice of cies in her opinions, as well as her reti- pretending to chain him at my side, or the cence on the subject of a remedy, may be indiscretion of wishing to attach myself gathered from a careful perusal of, among to his. I was ignorant of jealousy, for I several others, the following passage. It is was incapable of deceit. I understood his long, but it is pregnant with practical in- duties and would not embarrass the exerstruction upon one of the most deeply and cise of them; but I had a terrible perspi. universally interesting of questions, and cacity, and unwillingly saw how much has, moreover, the authority, probably, of vanity and peurility there is, in those being, substantially, the personal expe- occupations which men call serious. It rience of the author. We shall return to seemed to me that, in his place, I could the difficulty, and submit a few observa. have despatched them with more method, tions towards a solution.
precision and dignity. And yet, among
“ bright exemplar," as an incarnation of almost every vice! Begin, then, with a distinct conception of the difference alluded to. It is the sole basis of the due emancipation of the Wife, of the true elevation of the Woman. It will suggest the education proper to these ends, furnish the conductor whereby “ to bring out the electrical, the magnetic element in Woman"-to borrow another of Miss F.'s felicities of truth and expression. It will teach, in fine, to regard the other sex and its position, not as a term of comparison, but rather of contrast. Accordingly, the point is respectfully submitted for the early consideration of Miss Fuller's Female Senate. No, gentle philogynists, no! Rousseau, in one of his startling paradoxes, has said, “ The educated man is a depraved animal." Wembut under shelter of a pliant proverb (for the thing is perhaps much a matter of taste)-afirm that a masculine woman would be a moral monster, a human mule.
In noting this general exception to the work of Miss F. we are happy of the occasion to express our sincere admiration of her merits as a critic, in this book as elsewhere merits without a rival in our critical journalism, not only for vigorous thought combined with various and accurate learning, but especially for the scope aud direction of her views, her philosophical comprehensiveness, and her classical sympathies. The latter is especially creditable in a writer somewhat tainted with Carlyleism, that clownish cockneyism of the uncultivated or the common-place mind. Miss Fuller need not ape the contortions; she has the inspiration of the sybil. VOL. I.-NO. VI.
men, he was distinguished for ability of his combinations, or comprehending But I could easily perceive that he expe- the importance of his pursuits. And rienced, in the discharge of his social du- thence a growing sentiment of spite and ties, gratifications of self-love more lively silent dislike, interrupted by intervals of or at least deeper, more constant, more repentance and tenderness, but ever reanecessary, than the holy raptures of a dy to revive at the slightest dissidence. pure affection. It was not devotion to In these returns of affection, I was pained the interests of humanity simply that en- to remark that his joy and his love seemed grossed his mind and fired his bosom-it to savor of insanity. It was as if his soul, was love of glory. His glory was un- on the verge of dissolution, terrified at the sullied and respectable, he never pur- vanity of human affairs, would take a chased it by a single weakness; but he final launch towards heaven, to learn, and sacrificed my happiness to it, and was drink of, its mysterious ecstasies, and deastonished that I was not in ecstacy at scend again, cold and calm, to the earth. the splendor which encircled his name. This morbid expression of a passion For my part I appreciated the generous which had lost its sanctity in our quaractions of which it was the meed; but a rels and resentments, rent my heart as so price of this nature appeared to me vul- many adieus which we were bidding to gar, and the embrace of popular favor to each other; and then he would complain be the prostitution of the heart. I was of my sadness, which he took for cold. unable to comprehend how he could have ness. He imagined the head may manipreferred the caresses of the crowd to fest the transports of joy, while the heart mine, and that his best reward was not is breaking. My tears gave him otience, found in his own conscience, but especially and he dared, may Heaven forgive him! in my heart. I saw him barter away for to reproach me with not loving him. worthless coin all the treasure of his ideal. “Oh! it was he himself who severed To me, he seemed to be losing the eternal the fastest tie that ever bound two souls life of his soul, and, according to the pro- together. It was he who, not appreciatfound saying of Christ, to be receiving ing my impassive reserve and immense his reward in this life. My love was in- control over my grief, construed into finite, and his was restricted within im- crimes the palid cheek, the forced smile, passable limits. He had circumscribed the tear that stole over the verge of the my affection, he did not comprehend that eyelash. He made it criminal in me to he might have enlarged it, and that I was be less childish than he, who yet affected not satisfied with the range he assigned it to treat me like a child. And then, one
" True, at the slightest rebuff from the day, furious at being made to feel his world, he would fly back to my arms. inferiority, he turned his wrath against Frequently, he chanced to experience the my race and cursed the whole sex, that injustice of opinion and the ingratitude he might have a pretext of execrating of the popular voice. Friends, the most me. He reproached me with the defects implicitly trusted, often betrayed him. we contract in a state of slavery-the Then would he come to weep on my want of information which is refused us, bosom, and by a sudden reaction concen- of passions which we are forbidden to trate upon me all the truant rays of his feel. He went so far as to reproach me affection. But this fugitive felicity sery. with the boundlessness of my love as ed only to aggravate my sufferings. Soon a frantic ambition, a mental alienation, a again ihat soul, so indolent or so volatile, lust of sway. And as soon as he bad in presence of the idea of retirement, be- uttered this blasphemy I felt that, at came restless, agitated, by the affairs of length, I had ceased to love him.” the world. His ecstacies, more energeti. Such is, we believe, a very common cally expressed than deeply felt, generat origin—especially in those countries ed lassitude, a yearning for action, dis where politics and other material pursuits gust of a life of tenderness and transport. are permitted to corrupt the taste, and The remembrance of political diversions engross the time, for conjugal endearment (the most frivolous, I assure you, at the -such are often occasions of those matri. present day,) would pursue him into my monial bickerings-progressing from nes. arms. My philosophical aversion to all lect to dissension, from dissension to dissuch inanities, provoked and offended like, from dislike to discord,—which are him. He would take vengeance by re- heard, with growing frequency, to er. minding me that I was a woman, and plode in divorce, or to mutter in disorder therefore incapable of soaring to the hight and disgrace; but which in far, far the majority of cases, are left, a source of depravation of those qualities that chiefly silent misery, to die away with the decay ennoble her nature and endear her to of the passions, under the consecrated, man; the capricious disregard of the because sorely-sensitive, veil of social husband's wishes or weaknesses, with reserve and family privacy. That a state which an independent right of property of things so destructive of the happiness would not fail to inspire her. In short, of mankind, but especially, and in an ag- give woman these rights, and you make gravated degree, that of woman, should the fireside a scene of anarchy, the state infer “something wrong” in the mar- a system of intrigue. riage institution—this is the case which If the alleged inequality does not reside our author has sought to establish ; and in the rights refused, it may then be in certainly, the inference does not seem to the duties imposed. be violent. It is, indeed, effectually re. No, still. The common, the conjugal cognized by the prevalent agitation of duties of husband and wife are, we bewhat are called “ The Rights of Woman;" lieve, by law reciprocal and equal. Both a topic, which, from being the jest of the are bound by the same tie, on the same wit and a theme of the fanatic, is come terms, under the same penalties. And if to engage the attention of the social phi- certain transgressions of these duties (i. e. losopher and the statesman. In this adultery) be punished more severely by country, the movement naturally travels the moral (they are not commonly by the by steam, but proceeds, it seems to us, legal) sanction in the woman, this is not with more zeal than discretion. A few an instance nor an evidence of an ineremarks upon the remedy vulgarly pro- quality in her condition. On the conposed, with the view of finding a better, trary, it is a consequence, and of course will, therefore, have the merit-if no a proof, of her natural equality, as we other-of being opportune and well-in shall presently explain the term; even as tended.
the ascent of light bodies, at first deemed With our author, then, we are decid- an exception to, was in fact a confirmaedly of opinion that, a participation in tion of, the theory of gravitation. The political privileges is not the true remedy; infidelity of the wife, whatever some nay, that it would only aggravate the technical or theological civilians may evil in question and perhaps introduce pretend, is far more detrimental to the new ones. And this, if true, we regard objects of the compact than that of the as proof conclusive, that no such privil- husband; and it is but justice, that is, eges are among the natural rights of wo- equality, that the rigor of the punishment man; for no one has a natural right to should be proportional to the importance anything which can produce but evil, of the transgression. pure or in preponderance, to himself and Now, all duties having their correlative the community of which he forms a mem- rights, it may be asked, “ Do we not, in ber. Are the “ Rights of Woman” of thus admitting an equality of duty, acthis description ?
cord to woman an equality of natural By the “ equality of rights” thus rights with man? We do. “And this claimed for women, is meant, we con- after having denied to her political priviceive, that the wife should enjoy the leges ? Certainly. And though the same rights civil and political--same in dilemma holds our author, amongst othextent and in subject-as the husband. ers, in perplexity and indecision as to a But an equality of this sort is clearly in- remedy, we venture, for our part, to excompatible with the very existence of the pect an easy escape. The difficulty lies social, or even the family, association. in the phrase “ Equality of rights." No association, domestic or political, pos- Equality of rights does not necessarily sible, without a government. No goy- import (as the communists understand it) ernment without the right in some one to the same rights to equal things; nor yet, command. No right of command with- equal rights to the same things; as it is out the duty to obey, without subordina- more moderately interpreted by other retion. But subordination and the equality formers. It does not imply parity, nor contended for are a contradiction even in even similarity, whether in the subjectthe terms. We need not dwell upon the matter or the absolute extent of the relapractical objections, which are sufficiently tion which constitutes the right. The obvious—the consequences of admitting equality in question turns upon neither woman upon the arena of politics ; the of these ; it rests upon and has reference diversion from domestic avocations, the to the particular constitution and destina. tion of the individuals, (or the sexes,) of trol, and the “ slavery,” “ incompatiwhose respective rights it is relatively bility of temper," with the thousand predicated. These are the terms of other ills which marriage seems, at prethe jural equation. If both or either be sent, heir to, would disappear, in a vol(as they unquestionably are) different in untary, intelligent, and even agreeable the sexes, the social career, the course of obedience. action, physical and mental, prompted by The reader has, no doubt, already the one and required by the other, and guessed our nostrum for these ills. We consequently the “right" of action, will almost blush to introduce its old-fashioned likewise be different and in a like propor- face, intricked up in any of the newtion. But, for being thus different, they fangled devices of the day-without the will not the less be equal ; they will be attraction of even a long and learned name. equally efficient of equal ends--the hap- It is a remedy, however, which is the spe. piness of the agents. To assert for wo- cific of all moral wrong, the leveller of man an equality of rights in any other every unjust inequality, the best, the presense than this, would, therefore, be to ventive, part of all government, which is affirm her position, her faculties, her feels government itself-we mean EDUCATION. ings, her duties, to be identical with those It can hardly be necessary to declare, that of man. The common error lies in com- by the education of woman, we do not unparing merely the modes of operation of derstand the prevalent, the “ fashionable the rights; which being, indisputably, education," in any possible degree of different in kind, are of course insuscep- its perverse perfection ; a system mainly, tible of legitimate comparison. There if not exclusively, directed to the cultiwill be no difficulty in adopting our in- vation of the meritricious attractions of terpretation of the equality, if the rights exterior, without developing a single themselves be regarded, but regarded ana. quality that can ever win the esteem, or logically; that is, if the mode and mea. even ensure the attachment, of a rational sure of their exercise be viewed as a busband, beyond perhaps the honey. specific means to a destined object,-- moon; a system, which, (to borrow the means equal in result, but different in happy illustration of Swift) disregarding form, according to the capacity and the cages, teaches our young misses but end of the sexes respectively, in the the construction of nets-nets which, system of Nature or the order of Provi- after all, are calculated to catch only flies. dence.
We mean an education founded, as all There is still an objection to the legiti- education should be, on the particular macy of the husband's exclusive posses- nature, and adapted, as far as practicable, sion of political rights, upon which our to the prospective condition, duties and author seems to lay unmerited stress. circumstances of the learner. Let woThe rebellion of woman against the mari. man's understanding be cultivated, her tal supremacy that subjects, that enslaves affections developed, her sentiments diher, is prompted by an instinct which rected with regard to the duties and ends is the voice of nature. Ergo, the su- of her condition in life, and her place in premacy is unnatural, unjust, unequal. the social and natural scale-these duties, But every malcontent, and malefactor moreover, not merely inculcated formalis, has a similar instinct. Is society, there. but a love and an esteem for them habito. fore, to be held illegitimate? But the ally inspired ; let this be effected, and we wife is often, in fact, oppressed under should venture to engage that much less cover of this authority of the husband, would be heard both of the “rights So is the man under that of the govern- and the wrongs of woman, of divorces, ment. Has government, ihen, no rightful separations, and the minor miseries which authority? In either of these cases, it are at present the prolific brood of “inis not perhaps so often oppression or compatibility of temper.” Until she tyranny as it is fault, and fault imput. bring to the marriage state, some better able to both the parties. Had the citizen than a boarding school discipline for its and the wife understood their true in- business, and a disposition to bear and terests, and their proper parts in the alleviate its burthens; while, instead, she social scheme, and been disciplined to continues to come tricked out in the current practice as well as taught to comprehend “accomplishments,” (as they are called, them, what had been tyranny political viz: to prate parrot-wise about paralleloor domestic, would, in most cases, turn grams and perspective, to put on certain to be but a necessary and salutary con- grimaces of face and attitude, and thrun
solos on a piano or guitar-we must say, yield a race, if not all philosophers and we see no available remedy against the heroes, of what is much better, perhaps, “ inequalities” she complains of, or of dutiful and affectionate husbands, of none that would not, in its consequences, intelligent and virtuous citizens. prove worse than the malady. The Before quitting this all important subqualities which we have been recom- ject of marriage we are tempted to give mending, of the heart and understanding, another extract from our author, in illusare the best, are the true guarantees of tration of the necessity and propriety of the rights of woman; the education that the preparation suggested, for the assumpdevelopes and disciplines them her only tion of that interesting state. It exhibits hope-at least, until our friends, the the course of the illusion—which is to be Fourierites, bring about, with their“ nova prevented or dispelled ; springing in an sæcula,”
exuberance of youth, fed by romances, “ That happy state where souls each other
turned into disappointment at a touch of
the spear of reality, and ending in disconWhere love is liberty, and nature law."
tent in ordinary natures, but in the firier
intellects, in doubt and despair. This For the rest, we would not speak picture, being probably the author's perlightly of the grievances in question. sonal experience, presents, no doubt, the We are not insensible to the hardship, effects in those violent extremes, of which perhaps unmatched, that a sensitive, re- only genius is unhappily capable. But fined or intellectual woman should be with this difference of degree (which will subjected for life, to the coldness, the range with sensibility and intellect) it is cruelty or the caprice of a stupid, a harsh the history of nine-tenths of the youth of or a profligate husband. It reminds us both sexes. For the rest, its fidelity of of the beautiful peri of the Oriental tale, truth and felicity of eloquence, would of doomed to stand, forever, in trembling at themselves (though we can ill afford the tendance, on the nod of her diabolical, space,) entitle the passage to quotation. hideous and hated old conjurer. It is Lelia still narrates her internal biography indeed from deep sympathy with such to Pulcherie. sufferers that we have ventured to go thus “At this period (puberty) I breathed thoroughly into this delicate subject, and life through every pore; it overflowed as to dissuade from the silly and dangerous from an exhaustless fountain, upon the agitation of pretended "rights” of woman, universe around me. The slightest obwhich can only serve, with sensible men, ject of esteem, the most trivial subject of to burlesque her wrongs.
amusement excited me to enthusiasm, to Nor is it only as such remedy that the intoxication. A poet was to me a god, education we speak of is desirable. Is it the earth my mother, the stars, sisters. not astonishing-if stupidity could asto- I would bless heaven, on bent knees, for nish in a modern law-maker-that the in- the opening of a flower upon my window fluence of women has been overlooked --for the matin song of the bird that saby the statesman? It is the most power- luted my waking ear. My admirations ful agency of civilization vouchsafed to were extasies; my joy was delirium. man. It realizes in the moral world what “Thus, day after day, enlarging my has been dreamt of in the mechanical- capacity, inflaming my sensibility and an accumulative reciprocation of force, pouring it without reserve upon the heaMen will be whatever the women esteem vens above and the earth beneath me, 1 and desire-so that to educate the latter is went on, throwing my whole soul, all the also to educate the former; and the women, energy of my being, into the void of that in turn, will strain to elevate themselves intangible universe which returned me to the approbation of the improved man. every sensation blunted, jaded the facAs if so contrived by Providence, this in- ulty of vision, dazzled by the sun; curifluence is known too to operate the most osity fatigued by the monotony of the intensely at the critical periods when the ocean and the cague of the horizon ; becharacter takes form—we mean infancy lief shaken by the mysterious algebra of and adolescence. The operation of this the stars and the mutism of every object principle—the predilection of our misses which my soul pursued. So that I atfor dress, dollars and beard-has, in tained, while yet young, to that plenitude spite of our systems of education, given of the faculties which admits of no inus brainless fops, base-browed sharpers, crease without bursting the mortal envelwhiskered noodles, et id genus omne. ope. Teach women to require it, and it will « Then came a man, and I loved him.