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other European country; at the same time, it is not pretended that they are equal to the men, for all, save our woman's rights advocates, admit that this would be impossible, and contrary to nature. “L'egalité rigorouse n'existe pas, il est vrai, entre l'homme et la femme,” says an eminent French jurist,“ mais cette egalité est impossible elle n'est'ni dans la nature, ni dans la destination sociale de l'homme, et de la femme."
In England, as all know, the women live much more private than they do in France; accordingly it is admitted by the most patriotic French authors that English women are more modest than their own countrywomen.* It is not because the women of England are naturally more virtuous, or more modest than those of France; it would be a slander on a great nation to assert any such thing. No doubt climate has some agency in producing the difference; but, beyond all question, the chief, if not the only cause is, that, while the women of France are pretty nearly “emancipated from the tyranny of man,” the women of England are still more or less subject to that tyranny. It may be that it is because they do not know better that they seem to bear their yoke with so much resignation, and even apparent comfort. The law which allowed an Englishman to give his wife “moderate correction,”+ with certain weapons,t is still on the statutebook, though now, like many another law equally rude, it is a dead letter. But even at the present day, a husband is empowered to lock up his better half in some safe room, if she misbehaves, and keep her there on bread and water until she exhibits becoming penitence. But the great English jurist, in reviewing the whole subject, fully corroborates the views of all other great thinkers of ancient and modern times. He shows that the laws constituting the “disabilities” under which English women labor are intended for their protection and benefit; and that they do protect and benefit them, he thinks sufficiently obvious. “So great a favorite,” Blackstone says, “is the female sex of the laws of England."
* As an instance, see Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, Liv. xiv., c. xxvii. † Modicum castigationem adhibere. $ Flagillis et surtibus acriter verberareu rorem.
Ş Vide Blackstone's Com., B. I. II.
No intelligent, sensible person need be informed that we are not actuated in writing this article, by any hostility to the sex. Nor do we oppose their competing with men in the highways and byways of the world, on the ground of their being inferior to men either intellectually or morally; indeed we have ever held that women are much better, morally, than men. They are more honest and more truthful, as well as more virtuous, and less disposed to the commission of crime. As to our depreciating their intellectual capacities, we think it will be admitted that we have always pursued the opposite
And as a proof of our sincerity we could point to articles in different numbers of our journal, contributed by ladies, which are among the most brilliant contributions we have received; and their authors would bear us testimony that we did not value them anything the less, pecuniarily or otherwise, for their being the productions of women. It is precisely, then, because we think highly of the sex in every respect, that we are opposed to those habits and practices whose inevitable tendency is to degrade them.
Even the woman's rights advocates admit that women are not as strong, physically, as men; but we have shown that there are much more cogent reasons than this, why ladies who respect themselves, or their families, should attend to their domestic affairs as their mothers and grandmothers had done before them, and leave the voting, speech-making, officeholding, fighting, gambling, &c., to their husbands, brothers, and fathers.
Those who have a taste for intellectual pursuits, have ample opportunities for indulging it without any detriment to those qualities for which they are most esteemed and admired by the best of men - indeed by all men worthy of the name. It has afforded us pleasure, on many occasions, to remind our readers, in these pages and elsewhere, that there are no better teachers than ladies; it must be admitted that in this pursuit, at least, they are quite equal, if not superior to men. In literature, art, and science, numerous ladies have distinguished themselves without in the least compromising their character for modesty or delicacy. In short, there is no intellectual pursuit to which they can devote themselves in
private, or without having to work surrounded by men, to which they may not devote themselves, and with good prospect of success. But, whatever the pursuit may be—let it be intellectual or physical — in which the women have to be associated with the men, indiscriminately, no matter how exemplary may be the conduct of the latter, the former must necessarily deteriorate in their best womanly qualities.
We cannot, therefore, agree with those who think the medical profession a suitable one for woman, although we readily admit that no profession is more honorable or more useful. Altogether, independently of the incalculable benefit they render mankind in alleviating their sufferings, they have always occupied a high rank in the moral scale. But precisely because this is the fact there is no sufficient reason why a lady should endanger her virtue by attempting to become a physician; for, disguise it as we may, there is danger in it. And surely those who claim to be equal to men, especially in the exercise of the reasoning faculty, and the government of their passions, should not pretend, if they lose their virtue, to throw all the blame upon the men! This would be illogical and somewhat inconsistent, to say the least; and the day will come when the public will regard the matter in the same light, as it has long been generally regarded in Europe even in those instances in which the ladies losing their virtue have never pretended to be equal to men.
Be this as it may, most cheerfully do we admit that, far from being an evil, it were a positive good that women could be attended in all their diseases by learned, skilful, experienced and modest female physicians. But they could not; it is utterly impossible! How are the learning, experience and skill to be obtained? Can ladies, young or old, habitually attend clinical lectures with men— lectures delivered and illustrated by men necessarily in the plainest and most graphic language-and retain the natural delicacy and modesty of the sex? Who that has ever heard the demonstrator of anatomy address his pupils a half dozen times' with the naked human body in view, would believe such a thing possible ?
Be it remembered that there is nothing liable to disease
which the student of medicine must not see. There is nothing which he must not examine—nothing which must not be fully described to him. Can any modest lady pass through such an ordeal, again and again, day after day, in the presence of men, without feeling that if she is not ashamed, she ought to be? Nay, if some young men so far forget themselves as to cry "shame" because she persists in witnessing such scenes, and listening to such descriptions and explanations, can she blame them much, on reflection, although all must admit that their conduct is ungentlemanly? It might be still worse if they suggested in her presence that she ought to be subject to an anatomical examination herself, in accordance with the theories of St. Hilaire and other medical philosophers. Then, if she does not expose herself in this manner, she cannot become a learned and skilful physician, and if she is not learned and skilful, or either, how can women more than men be expected to employ her and confide in her diagnosis or prognosis?
Finally, suppose her superior skill is universally recognized, will she be ready to go out at any hour, day or night, she is called, and willing to enter any place in which a sufferer may need her aid? If she is married, will her husband accompany her at night, or will she prefer to go without him, since his presence might suggest that, after all, there are some "rights” which she has not yet obtained ? In short, view the matter as we will, it is surrounded with difficulties; it is in open conflict with modesty and delicacy. No doubt much good will be done by our female physicians; but when the day of reckoning comes—when the question has been fully tested-we are convinced that the mischief resulting from the same will be vastly more.
But undoubtedly it is themselves and their friends, not their patients, our female doctors will injure most. We can
assure them that no men will fancy them, except, perhaps, the class alluded to above, physiologically, or their brethren of the "free love" school; and even these, however liberal they are in general in conceding rights, are not always to be relied upon. But if our female doctors would become teachers, or authors, then, if it
were not their own fault, they might claim the esteem of the everest moralist, as well as the love of the most fastidious admirers of those qualities, which, when refined by culture and intelligence, are the only true and lasting ornaments of
Since the above article was put in type, a tragedy has occurred to which we may allude, briefly, as affording a startling, if not new illustration of the most prominent views we have put forward in that paper. The only novelty we can see in the McFarland-Richardson affair, is the extraordinary course pursued by certain ministers of the gospel. Nor can we pretend that we are surprised at even this. That it is shameful, is but too true; it should render its authors infamous in the eyes of every decent man and woman; and yet we cannot say that we expected much better from Mr. Beecher. That gentleman may not, hitherto, have expressly justified adultery and made marriage a mockery; but has he not for years been the zealous aider and abettor, directly or indirectly, of every "ism ” whose obvious tendency is to strike at the foundation of the social system?
It affords us pleasure to place on record the fact, that, with one or two exceptions, all our journals that are possessed of any influence have denounced each of the principal actors in the disgraceful scenes alluded to, as their outrageous conduct deserved. But they will have to denounce many more, and for conduct still worse, if possible, if women's rights triumph ; let those who doubt this interrogate Lycurgus and Plutarch, Tacitus, and Juvenal, for, thanks to the refining and elevating influence of christianity, no modern historian or satirist has yet witnessed the full development of woman's rights, as taught at the present day by various female associations, parliaments, &c., &c.
Art. 1.-1. A Lytell Geste, of Robin Hode, with other ancient and
modern ballads and songs, relating to this celebrated yeoman. By John MATTHEW GUTCH, F. S. A. In 2 vols., 8vo. London, 1847.