Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/619

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"Love seldom haunts the breast

Where learning lies."—Pope.
"'Tis Reason's part,
To govern and to guard the heart."—Cotton.
"I loved her well; I would have loved her better
Had love been met with love;
As 'tis, I leave her
To brighter destinies, if so she deems them."—Byron.

AN article entitled "Plain Words on the Woman Question," reprinted from the "Fortnightly Review" in this magazine, is so far in the nature of an attack upon the women whom the writer calls into court as to make reply, from one or another quarter, legitimate, and indeed, I think, obligatory. As a woman, who is bound by the conditions of wife and motherhood, for which Mr. Allen makes so able a plea, I can not individually appear on either side. It is not the women whom I represent who are under discussion, but none the less are the principles involved of the deepest and most pressing interest to thoughtful women everywhere, whether they have elected the single-handed fight, or the less evident but none the less serious test which comes with motherhood and the endeavor to make a home.

My excuse, therefore, for offering myself, in a sense, as a mouth-piece for the women whom Mr. Allen classifies as "deplorable accidents" is, first, that the points raised are in reality of as much importance to married women as to their unmarried sisters; and, second, that my position gives me, I think, unusual advantages for getting at certain underlying facts.

I have been for years connected with a large educational institution, where young men and women are working, side by side, under identically similar influences. The officials and teachers in this school are largely women, and women who, to quote Mr. Allen, have become "traitors to their sex," in that they have taken upon their shoulders the burden of their own support. They are, with few exceptions, highly educated, many of them college-bred, three among them being regular physicians, while all of them, if I may be permitted to judge, are of at least average attractiveness. As to health, social position, and previous condition, they offer also, I believe, a fair average, while their intellectual standards mark them high in the scale of feminine development.

For years they have puzzled me, for they are, without doubt, representative of a social phase, and the reasons for their exist-