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The Government
of Moravia has also, within the past year, granted the municipal
franchise to widows who pay taxes. In January, 1864, the Court of
Queen's Bench in Dublin, Ireland, restored to woman the _old right_ of
voting for Town Commissioners. The Justice (Fitzgerald) desired to
state that ladies were entitled to sit as Town Commissioners as well
as to vote for them, and the Chief Justice took pains to make it clear
that there was nothing in either duty repugnant to womanly habits.

The inhabitants of Ain (or Aisne) in France, lately chose nine women
into their municipal council. At Bergeres, they elected the whole
council, and the Mayor, not being prepared for such good fortune,
resigned his office. A very remarkable autograph note of the Queen of
England attracted my attention in 1865. It expressed to Lord John
Russell the Queen's dissatisfaction with Lord Palmerston. It was a
very distinct assertion of her regal prerogative, and as such Lord
Palmerston submitted to it.

Our cause has found able advocates in John Stuart Mill, _The New York
Evening Post_, and Theodore Tilton. If I were asked whether, in
connection with this gain, we have lost any ground, I should reply
that we have decidedly lost it in connection with the daily press. I
do not know any newspaper, if I except _The Boston Commonwealth_,
which will print a letter touching civil rights from any woman,
precisely as it is written. I think what we need most is to purchase
the right to a daily use of half a column of _The New York Tribune_.


RECORD AND OBITUARIES.

I have been accustomed to connect with reports of this kind, some
honorable mention of distinguished women recently dead. I can not do
this at any length after a pause of so many years, but a few names
must be mentioned, a few facts recorded. I had occasion, some years
ago, to commemorate the services of Maria Sybilla Merian, painter,
engraver, linguist, and traveler, who published, at Amsterdam, two
volumes of engravings of insects and sixty magnificent plates,
illustrating the metamorphoses of the insects of Surinam. I did not at
that time know that some of her statements had been held open to
suspicion. In the first place, she asserted that a certain fly, the
Fulgoria Lantanaria, emitted so much light that she could read her
books by its aid. Still further, that one of the large spiders called
Mygale, entered the nests of the humming-bird in Surinam, sucked its
eggs and snared the birds. To all the contention which arose over
these statements, Madame Merian could oppose only her word. Men who
knew that her statements in regard to Europe were indisputable,
decided that her word could not be taken in Asia. A very common folly;
but two hundred years have passed, 1866 arrives, and her justification
with it. An English traveler named Bates, has recently rescued quite
large finches from the Mygale, and poisoned himself with its saliva in
preparing them for his cabinet.

I do not know how many years Madame Baring, the mother of the great
banker, has been dead. It is only recently that I have ascertained
that to her prudence, activity, and business habits, the family
attribute the sure foundation of their habits. Matthew Baring came to
Larkbeare, near Exeter, from Bremen. His wife superintended in his
day, the long rows of "burlers," or women who picked over the woolen
cloth he made. Her sons, John and Francis, sought a wider field for
the fortune their father left, but did not forget to erect a monument
to their mother's industry.

When I first investigated the labor of woman, I was told that the
great manufacturing interest, represented by the button factories at
Easthampton, Mass., had its origin in the persevering industry of a
woman. Last summer I went personally to see the factories and their
proprietor, and it was a pleasant surprise to find the woman of whom I
had heard still living. Samuel Williston told me that he did not
usually gratify the curiosity of his visitors, but added that if I
thought it would be any stimulus to the industry of other women, he
should be glad to tell me the story. About forty years ago he had been
an unsuccessful speculator in Merino sheep, and his wife strained
every nerve to help her family. On going one day to the country store
for a supply of knitting, she expressed so much disappointment on
being told that there was none for her, that a tailor in the
establishment asked her if she would cover some buttons for him. She
soon found that certain kinds of buttons were in steady demand. They
were then made wholly by hand. She provided herself with materials,
took the farmers' daughters for apprentices, and her husband went to
Boston, Hartford, and New York to solicit orders. From this small
beginning arose one of the most lucrative industries of Massachusetts.

About a year since Eliza W. Farnham laid down her weary head. I did
not know her, nor did I sympathize in her theories. They were
sustained by her imagination rather than her reason; by her impulses
rather than any practical judgment. No moral superiority can justly be
conferred on either sex of a being possessed of intellect and
conscience. God has conferred no such superiority; yet I gladly name
Mrs. Farnham here as a woman whose life--a bitter disappointment to
herself--was useful to all women, and whose books, published since her
death, show a marvelous mental range. I name her with sympathy and
admiration. During the last year Madam Charles Lemonnier has died in
Paris. She devoted her life to the professional education of women.
For six years she found it so difficult to raise the necessary funds,
that she had to content herself with sending her pupils to
institutions in Germany. In 1862 the Society for the Professional
Instruction of Women was at last constituted, and opened a school in
the Rue de Perle. Two other schools have since been opened; one in the
Rue de Val Sainte Catherine, the other in the Rue Roche. The morning
is occupied in these schools with general studies, the afternoon with
industrial drawing, wood engraving, the making up of garments, linen,
etc. She died after initiating a thoroughly successful work.

In July, 1865, there died at Corfu a Dr. Barry, attached to the
Medical Staff of the British Army. He was remarkable for skill,
firmness, decision, and great rapidity in difficult operations. He had
entered the army in 1813, and had served in all quarters of the globe
with such distinction, as to insure promotion without interest. He was
clever and agreeable, but excessively plain, weak in stature, and
with a squeaking voice which provoked ridicule. He had an irritable
temper, and answered some jesting on this topic by calling out the
offender and shooting him through the lungs. In 1840 he was made
Medical Inspector, and transferred from the Cape to Malta. He went
from Malta to Corfu, and when the English Government ceded the Ionian
Islands to Greece, resigned his position in the army and remained at
Corfu. There he died last summer, forbidding, with his latest breath,
any interference with his remains. The women who attended him regarded
this request with the shameless indifference now so common, and unable
to believe that an officer who had been forty-five years in the
British service, had received a diploma, fought a duel, and been
celebrated as a brilliant operator, was not only a woman, but at some
period in her life a _mother_; they called in a medical commission to
establish these facts. A sad, sad picture which those of us, who
inquire into the fortunes of women, can readily understand.

Last November deprived us of Lady Theresa Lewes and Mrs. Gaskell. Mrs.
Gaskell has perhaps done more than any woman of this century, not
confessedly devoted to our cause, to elevate the condition of her sex,
and disseminate liberal ideas as to their needs and culture. The first
part of her career was one of those brilliant successes which startle
us into surprise and admiration. It was checked midway by the
publication of her life of Charlotte Bronte, the best and noblest of
her works. Checked, because condemned, in that instance, without a
hearing. She could never afterward feel the elastic pleasure, which
was natural to her, in composing and printing, and for three long
years afterward never touched her pen. I would not allude to this
subject if every notice of her since her death had not done so,
repeating the old censure, as a matter of course. Here in America we
may exculpate her. The public was wrong in the first place, inasmuch
as it has come to demand biography before biography is possible. The
publisher was wrong in the second, for he ought to have known, and
could easily have ascertained, how plain a statement the English law
would permit. The public was still further wrong when it attributed
misapprehension and carelessness to a woman whom it very well knew to
be incapable of either. I, for one, shall never forgive nor forget the
officious censure of the _Westminster Review_--censure given by one
who must have known that the legal apology tendered in Mrs. Gaskell's
absence to protect her pecuniary interests, had the unfortunate effect
to put her in a position where explanation and self-defence were alike
impossible. Mrs. Gaskell had deserved the steady confidence of the
public.

In Paris, recently, died Mrs. Severn Newton. She was the daughter of
the artist Severn, the friend of Keats, and now British Consul at
Rome. About five years since she married Charles Newton,
Superintendent of Greek Antiquities at the British Museum. She was a
person in whom power and delicacy were singularly blended. Ary
Schæffer was accustomed to hold up her work as a model for his pupils.
Her renderings of classic sculpture were so true that they were termed
translations, and she had recently devoted herself to oil painting
with great success. She died of brain fever at the early age of
thirty-three, the most honored of female English artists.

I have kept till the last the name of Fredrika Bremer, whose good
fortune it was to secure lasting benefits to her sex. God sent to her
early years dark trials and privations.



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