It is easy to point out a few of the unanswerable reasons why a woman needs the best possible education, even if she is to be married the day after she takes her last diploma.
To begin on the lowest plane, there is often the material need of self-support, and of that which is much more than self-support, since it may involve the sustaining of children and even of a husband.
In a late report of one of our highest institutions for women, the estimate was made by the directors that about half the students apparently came there to prepare for earning a living, and the other half from a simple desire for self-improvement.
In our changing society it would not be strange if these two halves were to shift places — if the half who expected to support themselves were destined, after all, to be cared for by others, and the half who felt sure of a support were to be thrown on themselves.
Who can foretell?
As to external fortunes, at least, the happiest marriage is but a lottery.
In our homely rural phrase, “It takes but about tree generations from shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves.”
We meet every day women bred to competence, and perhaps married into luxury, who now need all that the trained brain can do for them, as to mere material provision.
At the first Normal School exhibition I ever attended, thirty years ago, I remember the calm brow, the clear eyes, the rosebud checks, of the class poet; she seemed one of