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skirt which were reconcilable with the
principles of physiology and hygiene, and went into
many abstruse speculations as to the fitness or
unfitness of white pantalettes for female medical
wear. She had favoured them strongly at one
time, she said; but had been obliged finally to
abandon them on account of the mud. Her
present costume was so convenient and so
easily managed, that, during her professional
career, sick people would frequently send for
her at night, rather than for a male
practitioner, because "she could get ready so much

The superior advantage enjoyed by men in
all matters connected with costume seemed to
rankle a little in the bosom of our learned lady.
She was continually instituting comparisons
between the two sexes, in connexion with this
part of her subject. "Men do not look horrible,"
she said, "because they don't wear stays and
petticoats." And again: "Men have not one
corner of their brains always occupied with the
skirt of a dress." According to Dr. Walker's
theory, that part of a lady's dress which is
below the knee is for ever on her mind. Be
the circumstances by which she is surrounded
what they may, she has always one eye fixed on
this particular portion of her costume, watching
lest some unknown ill should befal it. It is a
painful reflection this, and pleads trumpet-
tongued for the general adoption of Bloomerism.
Let the reader—the young reader especially—
bear this revelation of the doctor's in mind.
When he makes an offer of his hand and heart
to the beloved object, and observes upon her
countenance an expression of perplexity, which
he naturally connects with the words he has
just uttered, let him conclude that it is the
consciousness of something wrong with that
lower skirt, by which the maiden is agitated.
Her lover's muddy boot is no doubt trampling
upon her new poplin—and she knows it.
"Anything she had succeeded in doing," said the
doctor, winding up this section of her subject,
"she had been able to do through having worn
short dresses;" and, indeed, these mutilated
skirts, and their numerous advantages, were
introduced continually throughout the lecture,
 à propos of anything—sometimes, of nothing.

It was curious to observe that, with all her
strength of mind, this lady had not been above
making some concessions to that decorative
instinct which is supposed to spring for ever in the
female breast. Those shortened skirts, of which
so much has been said, were decorated with
velvet trimming: a sort of sash constructed of
broad black ribbon was fastened in a large bow
at the lady's back. She wore, moreover, a lace
collar and white kid gloves, and—greatest
concession of all—had a wreath of flowers in her

The doctor had a curious sudden way of
coming out with certain remarks, which always
seemed to set her hearers laughing. One aphorism
spoken in this manner, "Long dresses are
killing women," has already been mentioned,
but not the abrupt manner in which the words
were brought out, and which had something
indescribably odd about it. The audience,
however were most amused when the doctor, taking
advantage of a dead pause—one of the few
moments of quiet accorded to her by that very
noisy company—remarked in a calm clear tone:
"I have frequently extracted teeth."

"You lose all the beauty of this lecture," said
the doctor, irritated by the frequent interruptions
to which she was subjected, "when you
only allow me to say one or two words at a
time; it is quite impossible but that the effect of
what I have to say must be lost." In one
way or other, our physician managed to say a
good many things which indicated a high
appreciation of her own qualities. She told us
that she had a decided look, as indeed she had,
and that her father went with her to the university
to start her there, well knowing that she
would certainly carry through, the thing she had
once begun. She mentioned, moreover, that
such was her influence among the soldiery, and
such their opinion of her opinion, that the
wounded (wownded) men would never submit
to amputation until she had pronounced it to be
indispensable. It was while dwelling upon this
part of her subject that the unfortunate
anecdote about the dying man who extended his
arms towards her, and implored her "to kiss
him twice," came to be related. A story partly
absurd, partly terrible, but certainly teaching
the very plain lesson to every one who hears it,
that, whatever may be said for or against the
fitness of women to act medically in cases where
women and children are concerned, their being
of use to men in this way is a thing entirely out
of the question. Dr. Mary Walker—to do her
justice—seemed herself to see this part of the
subject in its true light, always giving herself
out as a physician for women and children

Altogether, it does not seem as if the vexed
question whether women are fit or unfit for such
occupations as doctoring, and the like, was
brought nearer to a solution by such a lecture
as this. Looking in a philosophical spirit upon
this exhibition at the St. James's Hall, it was
impossible to resist an ever-recurring conviction
that, whatever might be the real mission of
women, whatever might be the right view or
the wrong view of their business upon the earth,
this, at least, that we had come to see, was all
wrong from beginning to end. No one could
look at that figure standing at the reading-desk,
dressed in those unbecoming and ungraceful
garments, and fail to perceive that that was
wrong. Whatever view of a woman's legitimate
function in the world, involved such a
mistake as that, was unquestionably a wrong
view. There was, clearly, one outrageous
error in judgment here; and it was difficult to
resist the conclusion that it was not a solitary
one. That slight frail woman fighting, with her
weak voice, against the common sense and
verdict of mankind, was fearfully eloquent in
pleading against herself. It did not look right,
somehow, that the weak lady should be so