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i "will make a palace fit for you aud me Of green days i,n forests and blue days at seal
And then there is the beautiful song "in the highlands. in the country places." where he ceases to play the game of simplicity, and confesses that the life be longs for can never be his, that he is a child of the North exiled among the children of the South Seas, not to be consoled with their games or with the alien beauties of their country. He Th<. Times.
was not a great poet; but he had the power of expressing himself in verse as in prose, and the very indirectness of the expression when he makes believe to be simpler and happier than he is and to be contented with toys when be cannot get the reality, this moves us more perhaps than the greater and more direct eloquence of poets, who cry out for what they lack without restraint and think there is nothing in life so well worth doing as weeping because Paradise is unattainable here and now.
THE AMERICAN WOMAN.
The American woman is often represented as playing in the European marriage-market the same trinmphant and devouring rdle which the Hebrew man plays in the money-market. indeed, the dramatization of the feelings of the aristocratic English matron with marriageable daughters towards the forward policy of Transatlantic conquerors has become a hackneyed topic of modern comedy. This, however, is a small and incidental aspect of the farv more interesting theme, the place and influence of the American woman in her own country. Upon few social "phenomena" do we find a larger chorus of enthusiastic agreement: nowhere is there exhibited a more general failure to realize the underlying facts of the situation. That women play a more commanding part in American society is obvious to the casual visitor; both in the home and in each wider social circle she not merely reigns but rules; and the males of her kind appear as admiring, submissive, and rather unworthy subjects. European visitors use language whicb suggests that the women are n distinct and a superior human species to the men. superior not only in grace ami physical attractiveness, but
in character, intelligence, and individuality: aud the complacency with which the American man will accept and endorse this testimony to his inferiority is accepted as quite conclusive confirmation of his judgment. When so keen and so experienced an observer as Mr. Henry James chronicles "the abdication of man." and the completeness of "this failure of the sexes to keep pace socially," further questioning of fact may seem unnecessary. America bas produced its sort of man, a creature of business and politics; but as a man, he is pronounced a failure; the woman alone is a conspicuous success. Yet, "male and female created He them." The natural history aspect of this unisexual evolution ought at least to stir some curiosity, perhaps to evoke some inquiry into the standard of "success" that is applied.
Such inquiry, pushed from the field of biology into the adjoining sociology would, we more than conjecture, upset the whole fabric of illusory estimates supporting this false valuation of the sexes in America. What strikes the sometimes envious English woman as the most extraordinary achievement of her American sister, the fact that she appears to have retained all the prerogatives of the age of chivalry, while absorbing all the larger practical liberties so completely that she can afford to ignore "political rights," is not difficult of explication to one who looks to the foundations of American society. in the pioneer life of a new world, woman necessarily attains a large measure of independence, both of status and of character, together with some special considerations, due to her scarcity. When this primitive condition has given place to the life of the modern industrial city, with the swift emergence of a new rich class, the women of this class have not had time to lose all the transmitted energy and personal efficiency of the earlier womanhood, and adopt to the new circumstances of a leisured life some of the traditional independence. This has made her peculiarly fitted for performing the great economic function of the woman in a trinmphant plutocracy, such as has arisen in America. As the ablest analyst of American society, Professor Veblen, has pointed out, the first need of the industrial male conqueror is to display his financial power through ostentatious waste and conspicuous leisure. Since natural inclination and habit preclude the successful trust-maker, railroad mau, or VVall Street speculator from performing these rites in his own person, his wife and daughters become the apt instruments of the vicarious expenditure of time and money that attest bis economic prowess. Hence he remains a business man; they become society ladies, carrying into this career the energy, confidence, and resourcefuiness of the baekwoodman's granddaughters.
The chief misjudgment of the situation by the European speculator consists in imputing to the American woman a quite unrealized domination. Male ascendency is as real and at least as strong in America as in any European country short of Turkey; the so
cial sway of the woman is due to tuedifferent valuation of "society" by the American man from that in European countries. What Mr. James and other critics affirm, that the American man is business man, politician, clubman, but leaves society with its graces and its culture largely to his wife and daughters, is quite true. But what apparently they fall to recognize is the characteristic mental attitude of the male American towards this social life. The extravagant wife and daughters, with their receptions, diamonds, trips to Europe, sprightly talk on books and art. are to them primarily a big entertainment, an expensive and elaborate "show," which they can afford to keep up, and like to pay for. The average successful male American would no more think of competing with his wife in the display of these social arts and graces, than the average Londoner who visits Maskelyne and Devant's would think of vying with the mystery men who perform there. Society in America is woman's sphere; a stimulating uimosphere, and an absence of rigorous traditions make it afford scope for cultivating those minor arts of contrivance in which women everywhere perhaps excel.
But the notion that woman's superiority in these arts implies either the "abdication" or inferior success of the American man rests on a total misunderstanding of the male attitude. These are not the serious male pursuits for any order of American man; but his real control over the social order is not less deeply rooted, because his somewhat extravagant good* humor and liking for a "show-home" lead him to stick to the business of producing, and hand over the consuming functions more completely to the womau than is the case in European plutocracies. The American nouveau riche has no remnants of revivals of feudal state wherewith to make display of ostent;itious waste; even great retinues of lackeys and splendid equipages are not quite orthodox. Everything in the recent circumstances of America's life tends to make of the woman, her social activities, her ways of going on, the single relief element for the strenuous life of the pioneer turned "hustler."
Of course, nothing is really so simple as this sounds. There are other factors affecting directly the sex relation. Some cause, possibly climatic, has certainly reduced the intensity of sex emotion. This is, of course, a suggestion incapable of proof. But few who have studied closely the conventional bearing of American men and women towards one another will doubt it. The very freedom of association between young men and women attests it, possibly induces or assists it. it would perhaps, be too much to say that sex emotion has faded into sentimental interest: but the change is something of this nature. The conventional simper of admiration in the man, the free glance and firm tone of confident selfpossession in the woman, attest it. Much vivacity of feeling on the surface, coldness below. Read that most polished example of the American society novel, "The House of Mirth." What do you find? The whole run of circumstances in the plot is that of a romance of passion; the author evidently thinks she is telling such a tale. But no spark of passion is kindled, though the combustibles are heaped up with almost reckless extravagance of art. Nor is this a solitary witness. So far as fiction holds the mirror to American nature, it exhibits a quite significant paucity of sex emotion in its more spontaneous and mastering flow. if this is well founded, it goes some way to explain not only the facile relation of the sexes, even in the most conventionalised American society, but the skill of the women in the arts and crafts of social intercourse. For strong sex emotion
is apt to cloud the wits, and confuse the conquering arts of woman; weakened or controlled, it gives piquancy and zest to intercourse. Possibly the conquering American woman owes much of her trinmph in the circles where self-possession counts for so much, to this touch of inner chill.
That she owes anything to her intellectual superiority over the male of her kind cannot be conceded. For no such superiority exists. She reads more and talks more, because that belongs to her decorative function. The thought of America owes little to her. Though she has long enjoyed ampler opportunities of education than the other sex. her contribution towards serious literature, art, or science is small, almost negligible. Almost all the best brainwork in America, even in the fields where women are most occupied, is done by men. Nor are women the best talkers, though the business man's wife gleans from her books and women's clubs a larger assortment of ideas, which she handles with more skill and freedom than is common in an English drawing-room. This sprightly talk seldom rises above the patter of the social stage, and the custom which always "gives the word" to the woman usually acts as a preventive of real conversation. Most inquiring English visitors are sadly familiar with the experience of companies where some man of intellect and judgment worth listening to is kept in silence by the chatter of his commonplace wife and daughter, who deem it their role to entertain the guest. Woman in a word is the "show" in successful America, somewhat overdone and too exacting to the eyes of a European audience, but clever and very creditable to the management.
it is probable that the real net influence of woman in America Tiay be greater than elsewhere, but that is not the influence of the American .voman of the wealthy classes. The strength of American womanhood lies In the better habits of comradeship and domestic equality among the great hardworking settled masses of American
citizens in the farms and villages and smaller cities, where the steady pressure and the sober earnestness of daily life do not lend themselves to feminine excesses.
THE ROUMANIAN "JACQUERIE.
This Roumanian jacquerie is for many reasons a most serious affair. In the lirst place, it is an explosion based upon grievances which are felt, not only by the six million peasants of Koumania, but by the twelve million or so peasants of Eastern Austria, and the eighty million peasants who, in a rough way, cultivate and maintain the Russian -Empire. That the movement has commenced first of all in Koumania is due to a change in estate management; but the substance of the peasants' grievance exists, though not in so acute a form, throughout Eastern Europe. The Boyars, or great landlords, of Moldavia and Wallachla, the two great Turkish provinces from which the little kingdom was formed, constitute a class by themselves. Their moral has been destroyed by their long subjection to Turkish tyranny and now that they are free they are the most luxurious, most dissolute, and most extravagant of all European nobles. They are all in debt. They are compelled to w ring the last farthing out of their tenants, and they have recently discovered a new and most successful method of exaction. Being, like most men of their kind in Southern Europe, very lazy, they dwell in the towns, and farm their estates to bailiffs for a fixed quit-rent, leaving them to obtain from the peasantry the utmost they can squeeze. The majority of these bailiffs are clever Jews, who, armed with the whole powers of the landlords, and backed by tin oitleials whom they "conciliate," de
mand double, and in some cases triple, the accustomed rents, which were already heavy; and this takes from the people—who, it must be remembered, have no alternative mode of living—the whole produce of their toil beyond the barest and roughest means of subsistence, means so attenuated that they are compelled to live in rotten huts and to starve not only themselves but their wives and children. It is probable that the bailiffs, belonging as they do for the most part to an oppressed and detested class, use their new position without mercy, and, like the intendant* of the great French estates before the Revolution, insult and worry the peasants with a certain sense of gratification. The new system has been borne through a few fertile years, but the land has been overcropped, and now that a lean year or two have arrived the peasants—who, it must not be forgotten, have all passed through the military mill—have risen in insurrection. They know nothing of passive resistance, they are boiling with a hate which has risen to bloodthirstiness, and, like all peoples who have been trodden into savagery, they have in them, like the French before the Revolution, an element of Eastern cruelty. They plunder and burn out the bailiffs, and slaughter the landlords, sometimes with circumstances of abhorrent cruelty. There are stories, for instance, which are believed, at least in isolated cases, to be true, of their plunging their victims into boiling petroleum. The Gov
ernment, of course, does its best to maintain order; but the Army witb the colors, though excellently disciplined, is not in me. and its Generals find it difficult at once to defend the small towns and protect the scattered estates, and are compelled, therefore, to call out the Reserves. The Reservists are almost all peasants, they sympathize with the sufferings of the insurgents, like them they hate the Jews, who monopolize every kind of productive industry except agriculture, and before restoring order they murder the Jews and pillage the estates. The insurrection creeps on from district to district, till throughout Moldavia and Wallachia there is a roaring jacquerie such as, except in Gallcia in 184JS, has not been seen in any section of Europe for a hundred years. The King, who is a really able man, is prostrated with sickness. The Government, which is Conservative—that is, nominated by the great landlords—has thrown up the sponge; and its successor, which is taken from the Liberal Opposition, must, if it is to avoid interference from its great neighbors, Austria and itussln, restore order swiftly, and can only do it, after it has tried palliatives, by proposals which, however their meaning may be bidden in legal phrases, must involve large measures of confiscation. One of them, it is reported, will authorize the State, whenever a quarrel between the landlord and his tenantry becomes visible, to take the control of the property luto his own bands. The owners of the soil, in fact, are to be treated Cm Iuoshv as it was proposed in ireland to treat Lord Clanricarde. External order will of course be restored, but it needs no economist to prove that the very basis of society will be upset throughout Roumauia, which has for years been considered in Western Europe the best governed of the Balkan States. The loss will not fall upon the landlords exclusively, but upon nil who have lent
them money, upon the banks which have cashed their creditors' bills, auil upon the little towns which have been plundered or have found their petty commerce brought to a. standstill by the disorders.
A jacquerie like this, whatever 1ts termination, has a lesson in it for all Europe. it has been assumed by all statesmen and almost all observers that in the great collision between Labor and Capital which is now shaking European society the steadying influence is the stolidity of the peasants, who have always been ready to furnish soldiers, and who are supposed to have an instinctive regard for the security of property. That idea is substantially sound so long as the peasants own their little farms; but as we have seen for generations in ireland, and as all Asiatic statesmen have recognized for ages, when the cultivators rent the soil in patches, and are liable to increasing or indefinite demands, the doctrine ceases to be true. The peasants then suffer like artisans, and being armed with the instruments of agriculture, or. in Europe, having passed through the military mill, they insurrect with more readiness and much greater effect than their rivals, the workmen of the towns. They are, too, much fiercer, more ignorant, and from their position as scattered communities are able to make a better fight of it with the soldiers, who. again, are for the most part drawn from thejr own ranks. This is the grand danger throughout Eastern Europe, and it is very doubtful indeed whether it can be removed without a transfer of property so great and so violent that it would make all property insecure, and would incidentally extirpate or cripple the only class which, having the leisure and inclination to cultivate itself, has begun at all events to be civilized. That class is not numerous enough to defend itself with its own hands, it cannot depend perma