work on the continent, from macadamizing roads up through every kind of agricultural and town work.
The last link that is left of the Feudal system hangs on the limbs of woman.
The superiority of man, which an age of violence and military organization originated, still survives, even in the lowest classes; and you never meet a band of peasants by the road-side with a heavy burden among them that you do not see it on the head of woman, while the men of the party lounge carelessly along.
There is one great advantage in this, though little meant as such.
Women are almost, if not entirely, as unrestrained in action and choice of pursuit as men; and this state of things gives us an opportunity of observing how woman's approach to the enjoyment of her rights, even under so many unfavorable circumstances, affects society.
A poor education and false faith of course deeply affect the moral condition of these nations; but making a fair allowance for both,--if the testimony of those long resident here may be trusted,--this difference of social habits in no degree contributes to render it inferior to our own. The experiment of woman's presence everywhere in social life,--of sex debarring her from no scene, and excusing her from no toil,--has been fairly tried in France
, and Germany
, and its compatibility with good morals and every social good put beyond a doubt.
I can give only a traveller's impression, with such information as he gathers in passing, and refer especially to those classes whom a kind Providence
has obliged to let their own hands minister to their wants.
Among others, of course, wealth and idleness produce only corruption.
Every hour of life, and especially every step we have taken in these countries, show us more and more the importance of the Woman Question
, as it is called.
You must not think my long silence has sprung from