, through the Italian
worship of the Virgin, the dreams of chivalry, the justice of the civil law, and the equality of French society, we trace her gradual recognition; while our common law, as Lord Brougham confessed, was, with relation to women, the opprobrium of the age and of Christianity.
For forty years plain men and women, working noiselessly, have washed away that opprobrium; the statute-books of thirty States have been remodelled, and woman stands to-day almost face to face with her last claim,--the ballot.
It has been a weary and thankless, though successful, struggle.
But if there be any refuge from that ghastly curse,--the vice of great cities, before which social science stands palsied and dumb,--it is in this more equal recognition of woman.
If, in this critical battle for universal suffrage, -our fathers' noblest legacy to us, and the greatest trust God leaves in our hands,--there be any weapon, which once taken from the armory will make victory certain, it will be, as it has been in art, literature, and society, summoning woman into the political arena.
But at any rate, up to this point, putting suffrage aside, there can be no difference of opinion; everything born of Christianity, or allied to Grecian culture or Saxon
law, must rejoice in the gain.
The literary class, until within half a dozen years, has taken note of this great uprising only to fling every obstacle in its way. The first glimpse we get of Saxon
blood in history is that line of Tacitus
in his “Germany
,” which reads, “In all grave matters they consult their women.”
Years hence, when robust Saxon
sense has flung away Jewish
superstition and Eastern prejudice, and put under its foot fastidious scholarship and squeamish fashion, some second Tacitus
, from the valley of the Mississippi
, will answer to him of the Seven Hills
, “In all grave questions we consult our women.”