previous next
[136] Church; it will not save the State. The Church cut short her power, and limited her influence much more than literature has done; and her marvellous effect is better seen in the literary republic than in the religious. Both show the almost immeasurable and inexpressible potency of the presence of this element of public opinion mingling with ours. But the largest symbol of what woman can do, is her own exclusive sphere, and that is fashion,--in society, omnipotent.

I do not blame men when I meet them full of prejudice against this movement. I do not feel by any means that keen agony of interest in this question that I did in the Slavery Question. I do not feel even that intense interest that I did in the Temperance cause, because the drunkard asked us to help him in the effort to rise upon his feet; but here is woman, educated, influential, walking up and down the highways of society, wielding enormous influence, corrupting the channels of politics to-day. The keenest observer of French politics and French society, Tocqueville, says in one of the most suggestive and most remarkable of all his letters, that he ascribes the treachery of some of the first leaders in the reform movements in France, to the influence of wives and daughters upon husbands and brothers, inducing them to use the positions which the men would have used for principle for their own private advancement or the comfort of the family. “Yes,” said he, concluding his letter, “it is the mothers and daughters of France that have wrecked some of our noblest movements to help the millions.”

Unrecognized influence which ought to be turned into acknowledged power, exercised in the light of day, educated, held to a strict responsibility, rebuked, criticised, held up to scorn, caricatured, visited with well-deserved sarcasm, made to feel that the vice and corruption of party

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.
France (France) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
De Tocqueville (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: