Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/20

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21
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE

to feel the absolute necessity of matured thought in positions of such enormous trust as that of governing humankind. None but youth and ignorance think this power lies in youth. While looking at those dreadful rocks of the past we shudder at the nearness of the danger which threatened to again strand civilization. But you must not think all women of those times were magnanimous. Too often the oppressed became the very fiercest of oppressors. While admiring the patient endurance and great good sense of the many under their spirit-wearying burdens and indignities, we must be just. There were also women whose ideas had so contracted in being tyrannized over by little-minded husbands that they appeared to have sunk below the average and ignorantly inflicted as much suffering as did the lowest of men:—and thereby contributed in no small degree to the long continued degraded condition of human kind."

Then, turning to her son, who had been attending to her words with his whole mind:

"And you, loyal heart, you must not place all the men of those rude ages in the same category. Console yourself amidst this unfavourable introduction to your ancestors that there existed some of quite amazing rectitude of thought, and who were also brave enough to proclaim it, which was then very dangerous conduct. Notably one Higinbotham, who lived in our own hemisphere far back as the nineteenth century of the Age of Blood. He was a legislator of unusual wisdom for that era; the originator of free education for the young, and endeavoured to obtain from the other legislators a partial recognition of woman's political rights. Of course his attempt failed, because the brute was too generally dominant in men's unformed minds and naturally the grand spirit of this Higinbotham was so far beyond their very weak