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abstracted from her actual reality, but through her ideal, which is anterior to all actual existences; that, if there were no other detection of the hollow and false basis upon which is built savage life and Mahometan life, than merely the low and abject ideal of woman essential to those forms of humanity, in that alone we should find a sufficient refutation of the shallow paradoxes devised for varnishing those hideous degenerations of man; finally, that such as woman is will man for ever be; the one sex being essentially the antipode and adequate antagonist of the other: woman cannot be other than depressed where man is not exalted. This last remark I make, that I may not, in paying my homage to the other sex, and in glorifying its possible power over ours, be confounded with those thoughtless and trivial rhetoricians, the soi-disant poets of this age, who flatter woman with a false worship; and like Lord Byron's buccaneers, hold out to them a picture of their own empire, built only upon sensual or upon shadowy excellencies. We find continually a false enthusiasm, a mere dithyrambic inebriation, on behalf of woman, put forth by modern verse-writers, expressly at the expense of the other sex, as though woman could be of porcelain whilst man was of common earthenware. Even the testimonies of Ledyard and Park are, in some sense, false, though amiable, tributes to female excellence; at least they are merely one-sided truths aspects of one phasis, and under a peculiar angle. For, though the sexes differ characteristically; yet they never fail to reflect each other; nor can they differ as to the general amount of development; never yet was woman in one stage of elevation, and man (of the same community) in another. Thou, therefore, daughter of God and man, all potent woman! reverence thy own ideal; and, in the wildest of the homage which is paid to thee, as also in
the most real aspects of thy wide dominion, see no trophy of idle vanity, but a silent indication, whether designed or not, of the possible grandeur enshrined in thy nature; which realize to the extent of thy power,
'And show us how divine a thing
A woman may become.'
Precisely at this stage of my advancement I was, and but just entered on that revolution which I have described, when, as I have said, I became a resident in the family of Lord C. Lady C. was a beautiful and still youthful woman, who acted upon me powerfully through the new. born feelings I have described, and would have done much more so, had she not been known to me from my childhood. A young Irish peeress, who was visiting at the same time in this family, aided Lady C.'s purposes in stimulating my ambition upon all the paths which interest the sympathies of woman. Lady C. was anxious that I should become a sort of Alcibiades, or Aristippus, of ambidexterous powers, and capable of shining equally in little things and in great. Accordingly, whilst I taught her Greek enough to read the Greek Testament, she took measures for my instruction in such accomplishments as were usually possessed by the men of her circle. In particular, she was anxious that I should become a good shot; and, for this purpose, put me under the care of one of her husband's gamekeepers. Duly, for many weeks, I accompanied the zealous keeper into the L-xt-n woods, and did my best to improve. But my progress was slow indeed; and at last my eyes opened clearly to the fact, that my destiny was not in that direction which could command the ordinary sympathies of this world or of woman, even though accomplished woman, moving under common and popular impulses. My sense of Lady C.'s kindness made me persevere in all
the exercisings and pursuits which she had originated, so long as I remained at L-xt-n. But, internally, I felt that my sphere was not exactly what she pointed out to my ambition, nor the prizes which glittered before my eyes exactly such as almost any woman could be expected to understand. Even then, in the depths of those Northamptonshire woods and ridings, oftentimes I exclaimed internally, — that, if it were possible for me to work some great revolution for man, or to put in motion some great agency upon man's condition, equal, for example, in power and duration, to that wrought by Mahomet, I would set a value upon fame. But else, and as respected the little trivial baubles of literary or social honors; were these only at my disposal, whether it were through defect of power in myself, or defect of opportunity,—in that case, I would prefer to pass silently through life, by quiet paths, and without rousing any babbling echo to my footsteps. Vulgar ambition was already dead within me. And living as I did at this time with two young matrons of rank, both emphatically fine young women, and one a celebrated beauty, who had seen the first men of the day at her feet, and grateful in the liveliest degree, to persons of so much distinction, for the interest they condescended to show in my future fortunes, I grieved that it should be so. However, I dissembled, and lost no part of their regard. And, meantime, one great advantage incident to my present situation, I took good care to cultivate as much as was possible. Northamptonshire, partly from its adjacency to the finest sporting grounds in England, and partly from its relation to the capital, (the distance even at that day being easily accomplished between breakfast and dinner,) is crowded with a denser resort of the aristocracy than any other part of the island. Lord C. was absent at his Irish estates in Limerick and perhaps her own taste
would have led Lady C. to stay much at home. But, with a view to the amusement of her young Irish friends, Lord and Lady M-sy, but chiefly the latter, she accepted invitations almost daily. Lord M-sy was often called away to London or Ireland; but I was the invariable attendant of the two ladies; and thus, under Lady C.'s protection, I came to see the English aristocracy, the great Houses of Belvoir, (pronounced Beevor,) Burleigh, &c., and the crowds of subordinate families, with their winter visiters, more extensively than ever I had seen the aristocracy of Ireland; and this with a freedom of intercourse which would not have been conceded to me at a more advanced age.
THE revolution in the system of travelling, naturally suggested by my position in Birmingham, and in the whole apparatus, means, machinery, and dependencies of that system a revolution begun, carried through, and perfected within the period of my own personal experience merits a word or two of illustration in the most cursory memoirs that profess any attention at all to the shifting scenery of the age and the principles of motion at work, whether manifested in great effects or in little. And these particular effects, though little, when regarded in their separate details, are not little in their final amount. On the contrary, I have always maintained that in a representative government, where the great cities of the empire must naturally have the power, each in its proportion, of reacting upon the capital and the councils of the nation in so conspicuous a way, there is a result waiting on the final improvements of the arts of travelling, and of transmitting intelligence with velocity, such as cannot be properly appreciated in the absence of all historical experience. Conceive a state of communication between the centre and the extremities of a great people, kept up with a uniformity of reciprocation so exquisite as to imitate the flowing and ebbing of the sea, or the systole and diastole of the human heart; day and