Page:A Few Hours in a Far Off Age.djvu/33

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34
A FEW HOURS IN A FAR-OFF AGE.

male intellects around lovely pools of water; intellect consisting in brutal strength of legs and arms, the reflection of which gave them immense self-esteem as they lay contemplating and planning anew some cruel discomfort or privation for their weaker halves—the real workers!—who, in addition to other toil, had that of rearing fresh beasts.

In the words of a gentleman relating this to his son:

"So those bravely good women, in the era you despise, entered upon their task. Think, boy, what must have been the requisite energy and patience. Unaided, in nearly every family, they fully satisfied the law's exactions—a law which has proved the greatest regenerating influence over human kind yet known to the world."

And, according to this same gentleman, performed their task so earnestly and conscientiously that, as century after century rolled away, the little band of noble men, honorably anxious to assist woman in her rise, increased to powerful numbers.

At first, like most innovations, the measure was not welcomed in every family. It pressed hardly upon women who had previously misused intellect in worthless studies, to the exclusion of philosophical reading and elevating thought. But the difficulties gradually wore down. In teaching others, they acquired more knowledge; and science, too, became woman's staunch friend. There was less beast and greater intelligence on earth. Wisdom became an easier lesson. Life was more honestly conducted; more simple habits grew—both in food and dress, which, being met half way by scientific appliances, the useless, menial drudgery self-imposed by humans was a thing of the ignorant past—in the very far-off age, of which I endeavour to give my vision as it has been given to my eyes and understanding.