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mercilessly to school. For the future, let us
have less throwing up of caps, and more throwing
up of arable land—less illumination of
houses, and more illumination of brains—the
industry of an united people (which you have not
got yet), in place of the acclamations of an united
people (of which you have had more than
enough). In plainer English still, do the work
first, and shout over it .afterwards. On the day
when Italy has learnt that lesson, you will be too
strong for the Pope, and you will be a free people.


Is it better for the interests of both sexes, and
for their wholesome influence in this world of
ours—is it better, after all, that Eve should of
right assume the letters M.D. as signifying
My Dear, or My Doctor?

A lady dressed in a short black silk tunic,
reaching a little below the knees, the skirts
tailing close to the figure like those of a man's
frock-coat, wearing, moreover, a pair of black
cloth trousers, and having flowers in her hair,
presents an appearance which is likely to be
regarded by the benighted inhabitants of this
country with something of astonishment, and
something also of disapproval. Yet on a certain
evening in November, in this year 1866, the
American lady physician, Dr. Mary E. Walker,
had the courage to stand upon a platform in the
great St. James's Hall, dressed in such costume,
and to deliver a lecture to an exceedingly large,
and, for the most part—I am sorry to say—an
exceedingly ill-behaved, audience.

Those who read the newspapers know already
something about this lecture. It was to be,
said the advertisements, an account of the
experiences which this lady had passed through;
first, when a student at the Medical Lyceum;
secondly, when engaged in private practice as
an ordinary physician; thirdly, during her
attendance on sick and wounded soldiers
engaged in the late American war. The public
already knows how this lecture—partly an
autobiographical narrative, partly a statement of
very advanced opinions on the threadbare
subject of woman's mission—was received. A large
section of the audience came to the St. James's
Hall, not to listen, not to judge, but to
condemn, and that in a very rude and shocking

It is not to be concealed that there was plenty
for the large section to condemn, only they need
not have done it brutally. There was much to
condemn, much to laugh at, much to deplore,
and something withal to admire. It was
impossible not to condemn the egotism and vanity
constantly displayed as the lecturer went on;
impossible not to laugh at the verbal and other
absurdities by which the lecture was
continually disfigured; impossible not to deplore the
perversion of rare zeal and unflagging energy
whose existence was indicated throughout the
whole narration; equally impossible to
withhold one's admiration from the courage, the
perseverance, and the self-denial, which had
enabled this lady to go through so much that
was tiresome and revolting to a woman's
nature: not forgetting what she had to undergo
on this very occasion, the first night of her
appearing before a London audience.

Many persons know through actual
experience, and many more by means of what they
have read, something of the exceedingly florid
nature of American oratory. In this respect our
learned doctor was very strong. "I had no
Pillar of Fire to light me, no Jacob's Ladder by
which to climb to my object, NO THAMES TUNNEL
THROUGH." She had been speaking of the
difficulties she had had to encounter in the
course of her enterprise, and of the small
means of helping herself she had had at her
disposal. This tremendous sentence came
quite at the beginning of the lecture, and there
was another near the end, which was, perhaps,
equally flowery and equally intelligible. "If,"
said the lecturer, with one hand raised on high,
"if we could look into the Future with the
telescope of Faith, and read upon its walls, inscribed
in golden letters, the issue of our endeavours—
who would not?"—the rest escaped me. For,
I was making a note of the extraordinary
words I had just heard, and what the "who" at
the end of the above sentence would do, or
would not do, when he found himself with the
"Telescope of Faith" at his eye, and the writing
on the "walls of the Future" exposed to his
gaze, must, I fear, remain unexplained.

"How I did wish that I could wear a short
dress!" said Dr. Walker, in the course of a
retrospective view of her medical career at the
Lyceum, where she took her degree. And this
fervent aspiration was continually repeated as she
advanced from stage to stage in her
professional course. The long skirts were for ever
in her way. How could she operate, how
dissect, how whisk in and out of the inevitable
brougham, and rush off round the corner to a
patient in a hurry, with a crinoline and a train
for ever impeding the freedom of her
movements? When she was a little girl, under
fourteen years of age, she wore short petticoats,
and was happy. Men wore no petticoats at
all, and were happy. Dr. Walker was very
strong indeed upon this petticoat question. She
said in so many words: "Long dresses are killing
women:" she did not say how; but she
asserted the fact, and a chilling silence followed
the remark. Perhaps the different members of
the audience were speculating as to how the
extra breadth did their full work, and in what
manner the coup de grace was finally inflicted.
Perhaps they were summing up in their minds
the number of octogenarian spinsters of their
acquaintance, on whom the noxious influences
of voluminous drapery had failed hitherto to
take effect. There seemed to be a general feeling
that some explanation was desirable, but none was
forthcoming. The lecturer was busy with the
practical side of her subject. She discoursed
on the various lengths, or rather shortnesses, of