The Angel and the Author HTML version
[The everlasting Newness of Woman.]
An Oriental visitor was returning from our shores to his native land.
"Well," asked the youthful diplomatist who had been told off to show him round, as on
the deck of the steamer they shook hands, "what do you now think of England?"
"Too much woman," answered the grave Orientalist, and descended to his cabin.
The young diplomatist returned to the shore thoughtful, and later in the day a few of us
discussed the matter in a far-off, dimly-lighted corner of the club smoking-room.
Has the pendulum swung too far the other way? Could there be truth in our Oriental
friend's terse commentary? The eternal feminine! The Western world has been handed
over to her. The stranger from Mars or Jupiter would describe us as a hive of women, the
sober-clad male being retained apparently on condition of its doing all the hard work and
making itself generally useful. Formerly it was the man who wore the fine clothes who
went to the shows. To-day it is the woman gorgeously clad for whom the shows are
organized. The man dressed in a serviceable and unostentatious, not to say depressing,
suit of black accompanies her for the purpose of carrying her cloak and calling her
carriage. Among the working classes life, of necessity, remains primitive; the law of the
cave is still, with slight modification, the law of the slum. But in upper and middle-class
circles the man is now the woman's servant.
I remember being present while a mother of my acquaintance was instilling into the mind
of her little son the advantages of being born a man. A little girl cousin was about to
spend a week with him. It was impressed upon him that if she showed a liking for any of
his toys, he was at once to give them up to her.
"But why, mamma?" he demanded, evidently surprised.
"Because, my dear, you are a little man."
Should she break them, he was not to smack her head or kick her--as his instinct might
prompt him to do. He was just to say:
"Oh, it is of no consequence at all," and to look as if he meant it.
[Doctor says she is not to be bothered.]
She was always to choose the game--to have the biggest apple. There was much more of
a similar nature. It was all because he was a little man and she was a little woman. At the
end he looked up, puzzled: