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retreat from the post of honour that he occupied, in favour of some one of the sage
and derate crew who, mounted on the chairs, on the table— vociferating, threatening, applaudingreminded one of the furies of Thrace, without giving one the least idea of the music of Orpheus. What became of that ancient gentleman-where he is—whether—his eyes torn from their sockets, his tongue from his mouth, his hair from his head, his limbs from his body-he has joined in unhappy fractions the great substance and spirit of the universe -Heaven knows ! I shudder to inquire – but on leaving him, I certainly felt far more impressed with pity for his situation than for that of the complaining ladies over whom he presided. *
* It would be unjust, however, not to acknowledge that there were many ideas just and reasonable enough in the written discourses with which the evening's proceedings commenced. The orators on this occasion were, for the most part, governesses, who, as I understand, under the pretext of addressing themselves to th subject of education, to which the room and the president are dedicated, give vent to their notions as to the pursuits and the occupations to which the society ought properly to devote themselves.
I will not dismiss the subject of this meeting, without mentioning one proposition made that evening by a lady, and with which I must say I heartily concur, viz. that the members of this sect should be distinguished
The cry of this society, however, has found an echo even in the Royal Academy of Music, where you may see the “revolt of the women spreading confusion amidst the vast and beautiful galleries of the Alhambra - But if you really wish to find female power in that proud situation of preeminence in which “the Parisian philosophesses” wish to place it, go to the Ambigu Comique ! ... there you will see
LE ROYAUME DES FEMMES,
Pièce fantastique en Deux Actes. Two French travellers, carried rather further in a balloon than they had any idea of journeying, arrive at this powerful and enlightened kingdom, in which, strange to say, the language of France by some miracle is spoken. Here everything is changed which under an abominable tyranny has flourished elsewhere --and the Queen at the head of a very lady-like Garde Nationale reminds her brave sisters in arms that the fate of their country, of their husbands, of their children, is in their hands,
by-as she expressed herself —" a piece of red or blue ribbon, or some other badge of distinction.”
• Fænum habet in cornu, hunc tu,' good reader, caveto!'
and that it is for them to protect a sex feeble
De force et de science ;
Lois, commerce, finance,
Et son amant ?
* Nellora entre en scène; son costume est dans le même style que les autres, mais beaucoup plus riche; elle a une couronne sur la tête. Mouvement des femmes analogue à celui de nos soldats lorsqu'ils présentent les armes.
NELLORA, après un salut affectueux de Rodolphe, se tournant vers les femmes.—“Mesdames et braves camarades, je suis contente de votre zèle, de votre bonne tenue ... le sort de la patrie, celui de vos maris et de vos enfans, est entre vos mains ... c'est à vous de protéger un sexe faible et sans défense.' Air d'Adolphe Adam. (Introduction de Casimir.)
Guerrières de tous grades
Jeune fille aux yeux séducteurs,
Près d'un garçon trop sage,
Parle de mariage ;
And in fact the dignity of one's sex is somewhat shocked to find the Queen keeping her seraglio ; an old dowager, a major of the Royal Guards, attempting to seduce the whiskered object of her affections by certain lucrative propositions ; and a young man of this remarkable kingdom weeping over the disgrace he has fallen into from his weakness in favour of a young lady,
Pour votre récompense,
En avant, en avant! (bis.)
Courageux et fidèle
A la foi du serment,
Signal de gloire,
Faut-il courir aux armes ?
Nous sommes là. (Chaur.) En avant, etc.
who, after profiting by a promise of marriage, refuses to keep her word.
But it would not be fair, in ridiculing the absurdities of women who are too mad or too ignorant to understand the extent of their folly -it would not be fair to deny, that, in the idea, which some foolish followers of a ridiculous system have made contemptible, there is, as that idea was first conceived, much justice and much benevolence. In opening other careers to female ambition—in making fame and fortune more easy of honest attainment ; you would doubtless diminish that calamity which is engendered by necessity and ambition on the one hand, and the want of an honourable way to power and independence on the other. It would never enter into the head of any but a fanatic or a fool to dress up Mademoiselle Cécile in a judge's robes, or a field-marshal's uniform; but it would be wise in a government to encourage and assist, as far as a government can encourage and assist, that development of intelligence and that habit of application which would give, in the various situations of life, every facility to the female who pursues a virtuous and useful avocation.*
* In a country where the division of fortunes rarely throws a woman upon the world in an utter state of destitution, there is little real necessity for the vices she may fall into; nay, that any clamour should have been