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AS SHE IS, AND AS SHE SHOULD BE.
FEMALE POWER, INFLUENCE, AND PRIVILEGES.
O ye men; it is not the great king, nor the multitude of men, neither is it wine that excelleth : who is it then that ruleth them, or bath the lordship over them? Are they not women?
By this also ye must know that women have dominion over you. Do ye not labour, and toil, and give, and bring all to the woman?
Yea! many there be that have run out of their wits for women, and become servants for their sakes.
Many also have perished, and erred, and sinned, for
$ 1.–The supremacy of the weak over the strong is a very remarkable phenomenon, and
it is as mischievous as it is remarkable. Whatever nature or law may have denied women, art and secret sway give them all: they are influential to a degree perfectly unguessed, and men are possessed by, not possessors of them.
“ Woman was made of the man, and for the man:" this is the language of Scripture. Yet, though “expressly given to man for a comforter, for a companion,—not for a counsellor*,” Woman has managed to overstep her sphere—she has usurped the dominion of the head, when she should have aimed but at the subjection of the heart; and the hand which ought to be held out to man, only to sustain and cheer him on his journey, now checks his steps, and points out the way he is to go! From moment to moment his purposes are thwarted and broken in upon by a capricious influence, which he scarcely dares to question, yet makes it his pride to indulge.--Of this mighty evil it is that we are desirous to give a plain and unbiassed view.
There is, perhaps, no country on earth where women enjoy such, and so great privileges, our own. The phenomenon has nerer passed
* Sir Walter Raleigh.
unobserved by foreigners; and smartly enough has it been said, that were a bridge thrown across our Channel, the whole sex would be seen rushing to the British shores. In
countries women are slaves; in some they hold the rank of mistresses ; in others they are (what they should everywhere be) companions; but in England they are queens!
It was remarked by Steele, even in his time, that “ by the gallantry of our nation, the women were the most powerful part of our people;" and assuredly, female influence, far from finding its becoming level, has been on the growth among us ever since. It is now in its “high and palmy state," and the star of Woman was perhaps never more in the ascendant than at this present writing')— The influence of Englishwomen,” as a cotemporary observes, " of attractive women (and a large portion of our countrywomen are attractive) “is vast indeed: be they slaves or companions, sensual toys or reasoning friends, that influence is all but boundless."
$ 2.-Female influence necessarily exists by sufferance : it can only be by man's verdict that
it exists at all. And herein is the unaccountable part of the whole matter: there is actually some. thing “stronger than strength,”—
“And mighty hearts are held in slender chains." In the Moral Philosophy of Paley, there is a remark, so profoundly true, bearing upon our subject, that we cannot consent to hide it in a note,
“ Could we regard mankind,” says that writer, “with the same sort of observation with which we read the natural history, or remark the manners of any
other animal, there is nothing in the human character which would more surprise us, than the almost-universal subjugation of strength to weakness. Among men (in the complete use and exercise of their personal faculties) you see the ninety-and-nine toiling and scraping together a heap of superfluities for one, and this one, too, oftentimes the feeblest and worst of the whole set--a child, a Woman, a madman, or a fool.”
And thus does Man (too often the creature of passion, but never so much or completely so, as when Woman is its object) yield himself an unthinking victim: a most willing bond-slave here, he suffers his head to become the dupe to his pas
can vel;" we may make unto
, that shall wean os
themel. Cet atfections may becouse
: Horridence never fails to avenge ne no is own designs
pap the captive of a face," " disturbed de ce vodone by a kiss," a look sufi presude, and a sigh to convince him :
himmel wied, is to protest and swear, health, and drop a tender tear."
lalaro lecture through her tears, and The did, " ite iterum in lacrymas, ite
sions. How (perhaps many a man asks himself) should he look for harm, where he has garnered up his heart, and where his earliest, latest wishes centre? And yet we may love, like Othello, " not wisely, but too well;" we may make unto ourselves idols of the heart, that shall wean us (as they weaned the wisest of old) from sobriety and duty. If the enthusiasm of devotion has sometimes stooped to borrow the language of love, far more often has the madness of love dared to borrow the language of devotion. Like the father in Parnell, our affections become criminal, and " erring fondness” of this kind, amiable though it be, has to abide its consequences. Providence never fails to avenge any trespass on its own designs.
Led away " the captive of a face," " disturbed by a smile, or undone by a kiss;" a look sufficing to persuade, and a sigh to convince him : this is man's position !
“ All they shall need, is to protest and swear,
POPE. Beauty has but to lecture through her tears, and with Dido of old, "ire iterum in lacrymas, ite