previous next
[135] yourself; go home and let there emanate from each one of you that influence in society which is the cradle of the realm,--at once the creature and the creator of public opinion, the spur and the reward which gathers into its broad circle all the influences of modern civilization of which Greece and Rome knew nothing, which even the New Testament, with its manhood and equality, could not produce, which took its birth in Paris, born of a woman's edict, living solely by the inspiration of the sex,--more potent in shaping the literature, the religion, and the policy of the last two centuries than any other force.

We have adequate illustration of the effect that I am prophesying. Take literature, for instance, to which. allusion has been made. Woman is an equal in the literary republic; genius knows no sex. Men count women as readers,--even more of women than of busy men. What is the result? The literature of the Middle Ages, that was not readable, that had to be expurgated, is lifted to a higher level; its tone is broader, and its perception finer; it is the diapason of the instrument before which the classicism of Greece and Rome was heavy and dull. Woman's influence is felt in literature, and what is the result? As much as the average level of the race will permit, literature is the proof that there are some dark lines to be added.

Potent and equal in this, as woman has been, there is much yet to be cured. Give woman the ballot, and I do not count on the millennium the next day. No; it will come very gradually. In the Church, woman has had a recognition, but not an equality. Christianity has given her much more than the law did. She has a large representation there, and to some extent a vote; but her authority is anchored two hundred years behind the nineteenth century in spite of it. It did not save the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: