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rum tentare precando," and resolution is no longer a manly virtue. We resist, and resist, and resist again,--but at length turn suddenly round, and passionately embrace the enchantress.
Few are to be found who do not amuse themselves with a toy of some kind during every stage of life, and Woman (though perhaps as little enduring in outward charm as any other, and one that, if critically eyed, would not retain its divinity long,) is the most common and most fondled toy of all. How many, calling themselves men, are fooled by those who ought to be their comforters,--preyed upon by harpies in guise of angels! The hypocrite affects attachment; the coquette trifles with feeling; the prude strikes at the judgment; while the less principled reprobate lays out her traps for heedless passion.
In their most trifling pursuits do women somehow manage to create an almost-universal interest; in all their ordinary doings, in their • whereabouts,'--"leurs brouilleries leurs indiscrétions, leurs répugnances, leurs penchans, leurs jalousies, leurs piques ;"_They have, in fine, continues the author* we are quoting, “ cet art
qu'on les petites ames d'intéresser les grandes.” Nor are those mere “women's fools "—the refuse of the other sex—who are led away blindfold thus: many of its chiefest ornaments are among their “ following.” The great and small seem equally content to shape their desires to female foolishness, and with one false tear (una falså lacrymû, quam vix vi erpresserit,) a pretty woman can undo at a moment what the best and wisest of men have been labouring for years to establish.
“What is it Woman cannot do? She'll make a statesman quite forget his cunning, And trust his dearest secrets to her breast, Where fops have daily entrance." Where (apart from outward attractions) this especial fascination which belongs to women lies, it is difficult to determine; wearing, as it does, the garb of secret and speculative influence, it becomes too vague to submit to a definition,-and thus it bases itself on a foundation as difficult to examine as to shake. We cannot look into the heart; and where women are concerned, the heart is more especially an enigma.
Thus much, however, may safely be concluded: were women really strong, the contact
or the occasional superiority might alarm pride; but, as the truth is, this “ mortal omnipotence" is at last but an insect in the breeze; and though a creature which by its will, its wit, or its caprices, is sometimes able to shake us, soul and body, it nevertheless, from instant to instant, is dependant upon ourselves for the minutest succour.
$ 3.-Let us consider female influence under the several aspects in which it presents itself;— and first, as acting upon society at large. The supremacy of women is quite as much general and public, as it is domestic and individual: it spreads along the innumerable lines of social intercourse,-exerting itself, not merely over manners, but, which is often to be regretted, over modes of thinking. We see around the sex an almost-Chinese prostration--of mind as well as body: their approval it is that stamps social reputation,.--their favour, and their favour alone, that is supposed to confer happiness. Nothing, foorsooth, is right, but what bears the stamp of their approbation; and theirs alone is the great catholic creed of manners, any deviation from which is heresy. And women have no
notion of other merit or qualifications than such as they themselves please to dictate,—having been early taught to feel their own consequence, more than what is due to their creature, Man(2).
$ 4.–But in the connubial state do women exercise the most unlimited power. Female influence, in its action merely over manners and conventionalisms, might seem somewhat on the surface; but such is by no means its narrow bounds: mediately, if not directly, it is an agent in every possible direction. The wife controls her husband, and he acts upon others, and upon
the state at large, according to his sphere in life.
Within the whole circle of deception, there is perhaps no creature so completely beguiled as manya modern husband;-we can all, in our private circles, point to a score of instances. Such a being is but an appendage to another—nothing of himself; he is a slave, and a slave of the worst kind--fooled to the bent of another's will. Free
agency is a thing quite gone from him, and, if mere confinement makes not captivity, he suffers a loss of liberty at his own hearth. He
is under a charm--loving, as Shakspeare phrases it, with an “enraged affection." Let the dear enchantress cry for the moon, she should have it from its sphere, were it possible. He would have the world from its axis, to give it her: no one can be richer than she in his promises : she, who but she, the cream of all his care!
"Dilige, et dic quicquid voles.” Women there are affectionate enough—it may be, devoted in their character as wires; but then, it is at their husbands' peril to be happy by other means than such as in their wisdom they please to prescribe. Regents of the heart, they take care to govern it most absolutely: and thus it happens (as Phædrus said long ago) that * men are sure to be losers by the women, as well when they are the objects of their love, as when they lie ander their displeasure ***
In richt of marriage, English women become *****£»wed with many and great privileges,-privikys that are gruwing iu number and importarte etery lay. Claus greater than vere eres firmarket are now allowed them in Law street in Facy: per pecunkry matrs tber