It is as if we were watching a Chinese woman trying to walk in spite of her bandaged feet.
“True, she has just walked into the north-cast corner of the room; but, mind you, she will never get into the south-east corner-she cannot do it; and even if she does, there is all the rest of the room” The more rational inference would seem to be that if one point of the compass was not too much for her, it would only be a question of time when she would reach all the rest.
When Mrs. Somerville
wrote her “Mechanism of the Heavens,” critics of this description admitted that she had proved, indeed, that women could master astronomy after a fashion, but probably chemistry would be beyond them.
When Rosa Bonheur
painted cattle it was remarked that probably she could not have painted men as well if she had tried.
Then came Elizabeth Thompson
, and painted men fighting-actual battle-pieces-and the critics turned round and wondered if she could delineate men at rest.
No matter what a clever woman does, the stupidest man has always discernment enough to think of something that she has not done; and if, step by step, women held their own in every conceivable department except in writing treatises on whist or backgammon, then it would suddenly be discovered that whist and backgammon were the inaccessible climax of human intellect, and