��THE GOLDEN HOUR.
��law ; but already she is admitted to the bar. He tells her that eloquence belongs only to his sex, but she has arrayed a multitude of facts against this assump- tion. He believes she can find proper occupation only in the kitchen and the nursery ; but to-day we see her winning an honest competence in many of the arts and trades. He contends she must not hold office, but even now she is en- gaged in government service. He argues that suffrage would unsex her, but she has been known to cast a ballot without loss to her womanhood. He grants that she has a heart, but deplores her want of logic, while she interprets for him the Declaration of Independence, a docu- ment lately perplexing.
He is of little faith. Though he sees he will not believe. He will say to you : "I know there are women outside the or- dinary sphere of their sex, but these are exceptional. The mission of the whole can in no particular be decided by these isolated cases. Every age has had its pre-eminent women, whom some great event or some unusual circumstance has called to act a part in the drama of pub- lic life. Their course, therefore, was le- gitimate and proper, though they can by no means be held up as the representative of their sex."
Such are the words of our conservative friend, but the world moves on. The "exceptions" of which he speaks are fast becoming as numerous as the sands of the seashore.
The times are full of hope. They prophecy grand things for the coming woman. Indeed, they prove she is al- ready among us and in the unmistakable language of action is affirming her sphere to be world-wide. She has opened the doors of culture. She has taken the keys of the workshops. She has donned the badges of labor. Within the memory of my readers what changes has she wrought for her sex. Within the last decade even more women have sought occupation outside the kitchen and the nursery than within any preceding cen- tury. One hundred have already begun the study of the law; one hundred more are on the platform;' ten times that number have learned to feel the pulse ;
��some are in the pulpit ; some in the gov- ernment service; while those in the trades and in other employment unusual to their sex, are too numerous to men- tion. A new census will be required to give their number.
These may be "isolated cases," but assuredly there are enough of them to set all womanhood aflame with ambition !
Parents cannot give their daughters generous culture and expect them to have no aspiration but to do housework and dream of a future husband. Husbands can no longer expect educated and tal- ented wives to sit down by the nursery fire with every purpose of their girlhood absorbed in bibs and shirt buttons. Women have done great things whether married or single. What has been can be again.
"But the children will be neglected," cries the irrepressible fossil. Facts are against him. Approved usage contra- dicts his words. It will soon render them obsolete. A mother has been known to earn bread for the household and thereby save the children from neg- lect. Nay, sometimes she has brought to her very hearthstone the work which our opponent has claimed should be done only by his sex, and with the compensa- tion for this "unwomanly" employment secured to her family comfort and cul- ture. She has won laurels, too, and their shadow has been a benediction fall- ing on the baby's forehead.
Indeed, it would seem that woman is in no danger of being unsexed so long as she is true to herself. When she acted the part of sea captain, she has not been held the less feminine; when she has rescued men from the ocean, the world has applauded with eyes moist with sympathy. Whatever she has done in the spirit of self-trust, she has done well. Whenever she has acted from self impulse, she has acted the genuine woman. Wheth- er this be a woman after the approved mas- culine pattern we cannot say, nor does it matter.
She was made first for God ; therefore should she obey Him as He speaks to her through her wants and her aspira^ tions.