athletic girls. Go up the Penobscot and live next winter in a camp, and come back next spring balancing yourself with a pic-kpole on the floating, slippery logs you have cut. Go down into the mines, and with your pickaxe and shovel dig coal and iron. Offer your services at the going wages to run a locomotive, to blast rocks, or handle dynamite.
Men who are husbands, fathers, and sons will not say this or anything like it. But when the lawyer finds his female competitor by the charms of her beauty and eloquence winning his clients; and the doctor, that the woman physician by her motherly tenderness has seduced his patients; and the minister, that some reverend lady by her superior sanctity has supplanted him in his parish; and all men in all their vocations, high and low, by whose toils they had gained bread for their families, are pressed with the competition of those it had been their chief spur to industry and their pride to maintain without the necessity of repulsive work, will not the feeling become universal that men are released from their obligations of duty and support toward the weaker sex?
The naturalists tell us that the human race acquired its strong parental affections by performing the needed offices of care and help which the prolonged infancy of its young—so much longer than among all lower animals—made necessary. We know that the tenderness, affection, and sympathy which are the essential grace and charm of womanhood, as well as the courage, disinterestedness, and chivalric sentiment which form the nobility of manhood, have sprung from that very relation of strong to weak, protector and protected, which have for ages subsisted among all the civilized races. What guarantee can they give us who are seeking to destroy that relation, or at least the cause and reason of its existence, that those cardinal virtues that adorn and dignify both sexes will not be involved in its destruction? For one, I should not dare to vote to drag woman from the high estate in which man honors himself in being her minister and servant, until at least the intelligent majority of women deliberately express their judgment in favor of a social change so consequential.