Page:The rights of women and the sexual relations.djvu/401

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AND THE SEXUAL RELATIONS.

and thinking, for working and creating, but also for loving, which our present groveling life seems designed to destroy, that will be the most beautiful and most profitable task of future society. But by education for love I do not mean instruction in the "art of loving," as was given by the frivolous Ovid, but an education which, beginning in youth, strives to secure all the conditions for true marriage, which will free love from all narrow-minded prejudices and hypocrisies, but will lead the free virgin into the arms of the uncorrupted man, and teach both to find their most beautiful destiny and their only true hap- piness in an intimate and lasting union. What we are now reforming and striving for will some time lead us to such an end, however distant its future may be, and however meager the hope that we our- selves may live to see it. That will neither discour- age us or weaken our interest. In the realm of ideas is it not always the better future that we anticipate in thought which inspires and sustains our reforma- tory efforts? Do not the highest aims toward which the mind strives always lie beyond the grave? And has the striving, on that account, less of charm and of value ? Where we ourselves live to see the accom- plishment of that for which we have struggled, the reality always falls short of our expectations, and the residue that remains must then serve as an in- centive to further aspiration; only that which we experience in thought, either by retrospection or prevision, do we experience wholly, undefiled and unobscured.