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[178] her reign of beauty at eighteen gives place, after a time, to another who passed for years unnoticed, but replaces her lovelier sister at thirty or forty, and thence holds her own into old age. Shakespeare, who saw all things, did not neglect this more prolonged sway or Indian summer of womanhood:

Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And give the crutch the cradle's infancy.

Taking the world as a whole, the remarkable proofs of the ascendancy of woman are the trophies of age, not of youth. The utmost beauty leaves the Oriental woman but a petted toy in youth; yet when a mother she has a life-long slave in her son, and an Eastern emperor will declare war or make peace at her bidding. So close was among the Greeks the tie between the mother and her sons — the father, as Plato implies in his “Protagoras,” very rarely interfering with them — that it held its strength even into advanced years. Such opinions as have been brought forward by Diderot in French, and by Godwin in English, impairing the feeling of filial reverence after the son grows to maturity, would have been abhorrent to the feelings of an ancient Greek. Those emotions took form in their reverence for the Graiae --nymphs who were born gray-headed — as did those of the Romans in the honor paid to the Sibyls, some of whom at least were old. Among our American

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