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MUSINGS WITHOUT METHOD.
ARE THERE TWO SEXES 1-"HIC MULIER : OR THE MAN WOMAN
In times of political dis- of Oxford and Cambridge. turbance or deoay it has They already enjoy all the been noticed that the natural privileges of education and barriers of sex have been examination. These privileges broken down. When all things are not enough for them. They are questioned and no fair an- insist that they shall be ad.
are forthooming, the mitted to full membership of simplest facts of life are dis- the University, that they shall pated. If, being a stiff-neoked vote in the senate, and shall Tory, you are reokless enough masquerade in male attire. to express such a simple truth The fact that Oxford and Camas that there are two sexes, bridge were ondowed to be you are oheoked immediately. the resort of men alone does "How do you know that?” not weigh with them. They demands the controversialist. do not objeot to lay Lands In vain you appeal to history upon what is not theirs. Nor and tradition. What are bis- have they any respeot for an tory and tradition to the dig- ancient tradition. Their polioy patant who, to use his own follows their whim, and they phrase, is prepared to "deny are not if they provoke, for the faota"? " Women
no purpose and without exouse, mon,” says he, “and if they a war of the sexes. aren't, they ought to be, and We do not wish to argue there's an end on't.”
here an old case wbich bas It is not quite the end of it, been argued many times before. and yet, in England at any It is enough to hope that, in rate, the identity of the sexes the coming controversy, the has been assumed for the last mon will have the spirit to ten years. All the duties of defend what is their own, that men have been thrust unthink- they will turn a deaf ear to a ingly upon women, and as yet certain lady, who, presiding no reprisals have been made. over a notorious seat of learnHeroules has not yet asked for ing, onoe impadently asserted the distaff. And nowhere have that mon are disqualified by the women demanded what their sex from taking part in they call their "rights" more a discussion which they alone loudly than in the Universities have a right to initiate.
refer to the dispute because it hose, sought its proper revenge is the last aot in an old drama, in a barbarity which should on whioh the ourtain has always disoonoert its rivals. Who set been rang down in disaster. the fashion it would be hard
The contest, indeed, began to say. Maybe it was the with the world, and its con- adventurous Mary Frith; at tinuance is a proof of woman's any rate, by 1620, the fashion restlessness, if not of woman's was firmly established apon wisdom. When Athens was the rook of custom, and the threatened with extinotion pamphleteers of the time are after the Peloponnesian war pitiless in their denunciation. there was a desperate attempt The best and the rarest of made, at least upon the stage, all the pamphlets is ingenuto break down the barriers ously called, “Hio Mulier : or of
sex. In Aristophanes' the Man Woman." The nameoomedy the ladies grow beards, legs author, whose work may don their husbands' gar- boast a reference in Burton's ments, are booted after the Anatomy, writes with energy Laconian fashion, and carry and spirit, and his subject staves. It is true that Aristo. inoites him to an eloquent phanes treated the usurpers vituperation. His title-page, with a proper contempt, and oomposed after the scrupulous that their aberration was as habit of the time, already transitory unguocessful, forces the note. "Hio Mulier : And still, in ridicule's de- or the Man Woman,” thus it spite, the Man - Woman has runs, “being a medicine to emerged at intervals through oure the Coltish Disease of the the centuries, until in her last Staggers in the Masculine(and present) inoarnation she Feminines of our Times Exwould, if she could, declare prest in a brief Declamation." herself independent of her There follows an epigraph, secular enemy, and demand characteristio in its inaccuracy: in the universities, in Non omnes possumus omnes, and politios, not equality but by way of a motto the words: government.
“Mistris, will you be trim'd or From one example you may truss'd ?” The pamphlet falls learn all, and we will choose not an inob below the promise an illustration from the reign of the title-page, and it is of of James I., when Woman was especial interest just now, bemore resolate than ever to cause it shows what form and masquerade Man. The shape the unrest of women enterprise and courage of those assumed three centuries ago. who had fought England's It is an heroio mixture of battle in the glorious reign redundanoy and epigram, of of Elizabeth met with an in- scholarship and ignorance; the evitable reaction; and while author attacks his thesis with the love-looks of Mankind in the fearlessness born of a good olined to effeminaoy, Woman- cause, and with the pioturesque kind, donning the doublet and sense that belonged to an age
when prose and oontroversy she would take swords for were not yet heavy with years. needles, “bawdy-jigs ' for If you doplore his sourrility, prayer-books, “giant-like beyou remember that it was the haviours" for quiet gestures, habit of his time to prefer a and "all mimio and a pish inbludgeon to a rapier. At the civility for womanly modesty." outset he deolaros that since So the pamphleteer breaks his the days of Adam women were butterfly apon a wheel. So he never so masculine, and though thunders in anger, when he the Man-Woman has always might more happily have been a figure of imagination, smiled away what after all it is possible that the seven- was little else than a freak of teenth century shares with our fashion, own age the oredit of producing Whence did they come, these the stardiest warriors against bold apes of masoulinity, and the convention of sex. But what the manner of their upwhile to-day the women would bringing? Did they ever know make an onslaught upon the comeliness or modesty? "Fie, domain of intelleot, in 1620 no," angwers their detractor, they were agog to imitate no “they never walked in those more than the carriage and paths.” They are, in truth, oostame of their anconscious but the rags of gentry, “torn rivals. Then they would have from better pieces for their changed “the modest attire of foul stains," and as their origin the oomely hood, cowl, coif, is obscure, so, he hopes, they handsome dress or kerohief to will go hence anpitied and anthe oloudy, ruffianly, broad- remembered. Their deformity brimmed hat, and wanton he finds barbarous, “in that it feather, the
the modest upper is exerbitant from Nature, and parts of a concealing straight an antithesis to kind." And gown, to the loose, lasoi vious straightway he rates them for open
embracement of their "ruffianly and uncivil” Fcenoh doublet." The elegant actions, when he might more lady, in fact, harboured the justly have jibed at their wanambition to beoome & swash-ton disguise of beauty, at their buokler, and you are confident reokless distortion of gracious that she would have rivalled shape and handsome feature. the Roaring Girl herself, if she Surely the errors of a fashion. oould, and drawn her sword able extravagance, which are upon the first offender. But committed with gaiety and the extravagance of her oog- freedom, and which bring distame was not in her chroni- credit only upon the guilty eler's eyes her deadliest offenoe. ones, yield more easily to Inoredible though it seem, she laughter than to deolamation. would, this Diana of an effomi. But deolamation was the habit nate age, out and olip her hair of the time, and the author (“the glory of . fair large of “Hio Mulier" lashes himself hair”) to the despioa ble fashion to a fury over the gestures of of the Paritans. Worse still, the ladies, who were his night
mare. How shall you charac- coltish disease of the staggers” terise their gestures, he asks with so bitter a pen was still indignantly, which
a devout worshipper of women, “piebald and as motly vari- and he supported his adoraous" as their disguises? How, tion with a more than doubtindeed, he answers for him. fal theology. Man, he says, self, save that, like themselves, was formed at his first breathey are barbarous; and if tion of slime and earth, they be not barbarous, why woman of a purer and more then, he insists in a noble refined metal, and he would peroration, “make the rude bave women sensible of their Boythian, the untamed Moor, loftier destiny. “You in whom the naked Indian, or the wild are all the harmonies of life, Irish, lords and rulers of well. the perfection of symmetry," governed oities."
thus he apostrophises such as Nor in the seventeenth cen- are loyal to their nature, "the tury was this folly of mannish- true and curious consent of ness merely mad; it was in- the most fairest colours and footious also, and none might the wealthy gardens which escape the contamination. Like fill the world with living love, it visited the cottage as plants! Do but you receive well as the palace, and all virtuous inmates (as what pal. women felt the poison in a aces are more riob to receive varying degree. The greater heavenly messengers ?) and you the station of the viotim, the shall draw men's souls anto more violent was the disease, you with that sovere, devout, sinoe fine - feathered hats and and holy adoration, that you velvet doublets were beyond shall never want praise, never the reach of the slender purse. love, never reverence.
BeBut even the poorest made sides, this whimsical casuist shift to disguise her sex, be- is firmly convinced that cosoame apt to anger, was pur- tume was designed and presuant of revenge, and held ordained by God, that coats a restless hand over upon & were made for our first parents sword - hilt. “What are they after a divine patteri-one
& all," asks the declaimer in an for the man and one for the ingenious passage, “what are woman. The man's coat, says they all more than as silver be, was fit for his labour, the
& jaokanape's coat woman's fit for her modesty; that show fair and chime and be deems it & hideous sweet, but save not poor Jack blasphemy to lose the model from one lash of the whip contrived by “the great work. when his knavery requires it? master of Heaven." The arga. No more shall their greatness ment, maybe, is unsound, but or wealth save them from it is admirably intentioned ; one partiole of disgrace which and it is devised, moreover, those monstrous disguises have with an appreciative sympathy cast apon them."
that may seem lacking in the And he who attaeked “the more spirited passages of the
deolamation. Thus the author shears to out from every nation deplores with sincere indigna- of the world one piece or patch tion the follies and disguises to make ap his garments, yet of his time, wherein no distino. amongst them all could not tion was made between the find this miscellany or mixture oity and the court, wherein of deformities, which only by the merohant's wife dressed those (which whilst they reherself ap in gewgaws which tained one spark of womanwere an extravagance in the hood, were both loved and wanton of Whitehall, It is admired) is loosely, indiscreetly, not the splendoar that affrights wantonly, and unchastely inhim, but the inappropriateness vented.” Such the womanwhich prompts "such un- question of the seventeenth natural conceptions, that the century, and such the method whole world is not able to of its discussion. The author make a Domooritus big enough is not oontent to laugh folly to laugh at their foolish am- out of countenance. He frowns bitions."
And he concludes when he should smile; be with an exhortation whioh not ohides when ridicule would only resumes his displeasure, have been an apter weapon, . bat advantageously displays He has weakened the force of the native energy of his his argument by a wanton exstyle. “The Lacedæmonians," aggeration, and wing a grudg
. 80 he writes, "seeing that their ing sympathy for his enemies children were better taught by a style which, for all its by examples than precept, bad force, is unsaved by humour. hanging in their houses in fair But his pamphlet is a veritable painted tables all the virtues ouriosity, and at least he reand vioes that were in those minds you that though controdays reigning, with their re- versy may change it never wards and punishments. Oh, dies. have you but in your houses The odious fashion passed the fashions of all attires con- away.
Would that the constantly and without change troversy which now disturbs held and still followed through what was once the cloistered all the parts of Christendom? serenity of our old Universities Let them but see the modest had as fair a chance of an Dutoh, the stately Italian, the honourable solution! But, alas, rich Spaniard, and the ooartly not only are our opponents French, with the rest, according stubborn with ignorance, but to their elimates, and they will their masculinity is far less blush that in a full fourth part amiable than the mapnish exof the world there oannot be travagance which roused the found one piece of a charaeter, ire of the ancient pamphleteer. to compare or liken with the After all, the sins of the ladies absurdity of their masculine who in the seventeenth century invention. Nay, they shall see wore plumed hats and carried that their naked countryman, swords, are not without a humwhich had liberty with his orous attraction. They yielded