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As has been before stated, out of the large number of criticisms which I have at hand, the men, generally, and seemingly without appreciation of its logical results, approve of what Dr. Clarke has said ; the women of largest experience condemn, denying his premises, disproving his clinical evidence by adding other facts, and protesting against his conclusions.
The criticisms and the criticisms on criticisms would make already quite a volume, from which perhaps the principal lesson learned would be the correctness of Talleyrand's idea of the use of language, as many of them consist chiefly in the assertion that statements of the book which appeared perfectly clear to one mind as having a certain meaning, had in reality not that ineaning at all; and the criticisms on adverse criticisms are apt to assert that Dr. Clarke has been accused of dishonesty by the previous critic, when the author is quite sure that no such accusation was expressed or intended. Most of the points made in the criticisms have been emphasized here.
The importance of the subject justifies the interest excited, and the final effect must be good. One result is marked; from all sections of the country, women heretofore knowing each other only by reputation, or not at all, are being bound together by a common interest in a sense never before known, and unknown girls in Western colleges are begging of women to plead for them that they be not deprived of their places. The result need not be feared. The irresistible force of the world movement cannot be permanently checked. “The stars in their courses fought against Sisera," and we would answer the girls with the words of Santa Theresa :
damaging, if not ruinous, to health ; yet in our legislative halls, and in the formation of public opinion, we enact no laws which interfere with the right she exercises to pursue her business of fashion, and to lead a life which may be, and is, prejudicial to her physical health."
“Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
Attaineth to all things," if we did not know that there is something higher, even, than patient endurance, and so we say to them, with Goethe, instead :
“ Here Eyes do regard you
ANNA C. BRACKETT.
New York City.
COSCLUSION OF MAJORITY REPORT TO THE TRUSTEES OF COR
XELL UNIVERSITY, ON MR. SAGE'S PROPOSITION TO ENDOW A
“In beginning their report, your committee stated that their duty seemed first to be to investigate the facts in the case separately, then to collate them, then to throw any light thus concentrated into theories and programmes.
“In accordance with this plan they would conclude the general discussion of this subject by concentrating such light as they have been able to gain, upon the main theory imbedded in the arguments against mixed education.
“ The usual statement of this theory contains some truths, some half-truths, and some errors. As ordinarily dereloped, it is substantially that woman is the helpmeet of man, that she gives him aid in difficulty, counsel in perplexity, solace in sorrow; that his is the vigorons thinking, hers the passive reception of such portions of thought as may be best for her; that his mind must be trained to grapple with difficult subjects, that hers needs no development but such as will make her directly useful and agreeable; that the glory of man is in a mind and heart that rejoices in solving the difficult problems, and fighting the worthy battles of life; that the glory of woman is in qualities that lead her to shun much thought on such problems, and to take little interest in such battles; that the field of man's work may be the mart or shop, but that it is well for him to extend his thoughts outside it; that the field of woman is the household, but that it is not best for her to extend her thoughts far outside it; that man needs to be trained in all his powers to search, to assert, to decide ;-that woman needs but little training beyond that which enables her gracefully to assent; that man needs the university and the great subjects of study it presents, while woman needs the finishing schools' and the accomplishments;' and that, to sum up, the character, work, training and position of women are as good as they ever can be.
“ The truths in this theory have covered its errors. The truth that woman is the help-meet of man has practically led to her education in such a way that half her power to aid, and counsel, and comfort is taken away.
“ The result has been that strong men, in adversity or perplexity, have often found that the partners of their joys and sorrows' give no more real strength than would Nuremberg dolls. Under this theory, as thus worked out, the aid, and counsel, and solace fail just when they are most needed. In their stead, the man is likely to find some scraps of philosophy, begun in boardingschools, and developed in kitchens or drawing-rooms.
But to see how a truly educated woman, nourished on the same thoughts of the best thinkers on which man is nourished, can give aid and counsel and solace, while fulfilling every duty of the household, we are happily able to appeal to the experience of many; and for the noblest portrayal of this experience ever made ve mar name the dedication to the wife of John Stuart Mill of her husband's greatest essay.
“ But if we look out from the wants of the individual man into the wants of the world at large, we find that this optimist theory regarding wornan is not supported by facts, and that the resulting theory of woman's education aggravates some of the worst evils of modern society. One of these is conventional extravagance.
“ Among the curiosities of recent civilization, perhaps the most absurd is the vast tax laid upon all nations at the whim of a knot of the least respectable women in the most debauched capital in the world. The fact may be laughed at, but it is none the less a fact, that to meet the extravagances of the world of women who bow to the decrees of the Bréda quarter of Paris, young men in vast numbers, especially in our cities and large towns, are harnessed to work as otherwise they would not be; their best aspirations thwarted, their noblest ambitions sacrificed, to enable the partners of their joys and sorrows' to vie with each other in reproducing the last grotesqne absurdity issued from the precincts of Notre Dame de Lorette, or to satisfy other caprices not less ignoble.
“The main hope for the abatement of this nuisance, which is fast assuming the proportions of a curse, is not in any church; for, despite the pleadings of the most devoted pastors, the church edifices are the chosen theatres of this display; it would seem rather to be in the infusion, by a more worthy education, of ideas which would enable woman to wield religion, morality, and common sense against this burdensome perversion of her love for the beautiful.