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“It is mamma who bas done ing towards the station. this," Irén said presently ; she reggelt! Are you for the train ?” still stood with Béla's arms about shouted the driver, and they her, but the door was locked, the jumped in, glad to shelter in its window-blind drawn down, and stuffy depths from the bare white they had time to consider what road and the staring villa winthey should do. "I wrote, you dows. The engine of the train wrote, and the letters

was puffing little spurts of smoke reached either of us—and then as they reached Siofók station, and O Béla, they were too strong for in two minutes more they were me!” and she hid her face. off. They ran alongside of the blue

They were nearly too strong Balaton water for a while, whose for me too, and I am a man, curling little waves in the sun said Béla, magnanimously. “If it were mimicking the sea : then the hadn't been for the gipsy music at train turned off at a swift curve, the Star last night, I should have and plunged into the wide, empty believed you false, and let you go greenness of the great Hungarian for ever.”

plain. In his excitement he forgot alto- “ The air is full of larks,” said gether that he had travelled down Irén: she turned her face up to from Budapest in a rage, and to look for them, but her eyes met this day he has never remembered Béla's, and got no farther. the real facts; but perhaps the ex- At the station at Budapest planation of that is, that when you everyone was buzzing about, are in love, all your feelings get starting on country excursions very much mixed up together. by early trains, before the mid

“But I was worst: I agreed to day heat. A heavy rapide was accept Lipik, and to wear that !” just being packed for Siofók and she pointed at the white finery on Balaton. Irén shrank back, for, the bed with shudder.

despite the disguise of her long “I can only forgive you on one cloak and wide hat and veil, she condition that you come away dreaded to encounter some chance with me at once,” said the young acquaintance on

the platform. man, firmly. “I am a lawyer; you They loitered among

the crowd trust me to be father and husband of third-class folks till the better

Irén ? There is a train class passengers had taken their back to Budapest in a quarter of seats; then, as they passed huran hour, and they will not come riedly towards the exit, they to dress you for your wedding till heard one woman call to her we are well away. Will you go daughter, “There is a smart wedwith me, or stay for Lipik ?" ding at Siofók to - day; all the "O Béla !"

world seems going to it.” Outside the garden wall a one- Are you sure you do not want horse omnibus passed them, jolt- to go, too?” Béla asked Irén.

in one,


The Soul of Woman, its Sphinx- the "feminine enigma,” and more like ambiguities and complexities, especially to their more recently its manifold contradictions, its published works. It is only lately sorrows and joys, its vagrant that woman has really begun to fancies and never-to-be-satisfied turn herself inside out, as it were, longings, furnish

the literary and to put herself into her books. analyst of these days with in- A German authoress, whose inexhaustible material. Above all teresting work I shall deal with do the sex-problem novelist and presently, observes that the great the introspective biographer and feminine intellects of former years essayist revel in the theme. simply followed in man's footsteps, Psychology — word more blessed and philosophised and preached than Mesopotamia—is their never- after the manner of the leading ending delight; and modern male thinkers of the day. A wellwoman, who, if we may believe known authoress of our time, Mrs those who claim to know most Humphry Ward, may be said to about her, is a sort of walking do the same. It is quite different enigma, is their chief subject of with modern women's books of the investigation. Her ego, that mys- introspective type. No man, were terious entity of which she is now he the greatest genius alive, could only just becoming conscious, is write them, and in them the true said to remain a terra incognita spirit of feminism dwells. And

to herself; but they are yet, in spite of their multitude, the determined to explore its inmost subject of the sex's psychology is recesses. The pioneers of this so far only scratched. As Mrs formidable undertaking must of Roy Devereux tells us in her necessity be women. Man, great, book, "The Ascent of Woman,' clumsy, comical creature that he is, “ the first loyal luminous word is knows nothing of the inner springs still to write about woman”; and of the modern Eve's complicated even this talented authoress has nature. He sees everything in exhausted her energies in framing her, we are told, without compre- a few syllables of the message hending anything, and the worst which must be left to some future of it is that often he cannot even seer to deliver. Nevertheless it express his ignorance in good Eng- may be hoped that this fascinating lish. Man possesses brute force, science of feminine psychology is woman divine influence, and her now approaching the stage of rapid nature is in closer relation with and continuous development. the infinite than the masculine In olden days woman was less mind. He is an “utter failure," troubled about the nature of her while her womanhood “almost soul, possibly for the sufficient guarantees to her a knowledge reason that it was then considered of the eternal verities,” which he doubtful if she possessed such a can only hope partially to attain thing. Mohammedans, for into through woman.


stance, used to be credited with Obviously, therefore, it is to a disbelief in the existence of the women writers that we must look feminine soul. Their Prophet, for the solution of what is termed however, cannot be accused of

woman as

justifying their scepticism, al- her soul for our benefit. And though Sale tells us that once not only baring it, but dissecting when he looked down into hell it, analysing and probing into the he perceived the majority of its innermost crannies of her nature. denizens to be women. Doubt- She is for ever examining her less this uncourteous vision oc- mental self in the looking-glass. curred to him after a tiff with Her every thought and impulse, Ayesha. In much later days a her fleeting whims and fancies, celebrated Archbishop described along with the deepest fountains

a creature that cannot of her feeling, and above all her reason and pokes the fire from the grievances, are set forth in naked top”; and there are people who black and white. The monotony now urge me to treat the subject of her life, its narrowness of inof her soul and its attributes after terest, the brutality and selfishthe manner of “Snakes in Ire- ness of man, the burden of sex, land”! Again, the American and the newly awakened con

is regarded by many sciousness of ill-usage at Nature's people as the highest development hands, form the principal subjects of modern feminism, yet she is of her complaint; and the chorus of frequently accused of being soul- her wailings surges up to heaven less, A recent writer in the in stories, poems, and essays inContemporary Review' points numerable. Their dominant note out that she has failed to inspire is restlessness and discontent with the classical literature even of her the existing order of things; and own country, as the female char- that there is some reason in it acters of the great American no- few will be found to deny. Man velists were drawn from English has no idea what it feels like to or Continental sources; and the be a woman, but it will not be her reason, he thinks, must be sought fault if he does not soon begin in in the lack of depth in her nature. some degree to understand. An American girl in a recent The glory of woman in olden novel, if I remember rightly, days, according to St Paul, was opines that she has no soul, "only her hair. The glory of the woman digestion." Be this as it may, the of to-day, as portrayed in sexaverage European appears to find problem literature, is her “comthe Transatlantic Undine suffi- plicatedness.” To be subtle, inciently charming. He marries her, scrutable, complex – irrational even though, owing to her con- possibly, but at any rate incomgenital defect, he cannot vivisect prehensible-to puzzle the adoring her soul in three - volume novels. male, to make him scratch his The American woman, as we see head in vexation and wonderment her on this side of the Ocean, is as to what on earth she will be usually an exotic of the “orchi- up to next,—this is the ambition daceous type"; but, speaking of the latter-day heroine. She is generally, we may regard the consumed with a desire for new vexed question of the existence experiences, new sensations, new of the feminine soul as being now objects in life. Like Evadne in finally set at rest. In order, how- "The Heavenly Twins,' she “wants ever, that there may be no mis- to know”; to penetrate to the take about the matter, the lady core of truth; to dive deep down writer has for some years past into the sacred heart of things, been busily occupied in baring and to learn their true sequence





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and meaning. But in spite of the already. It is, to begin with, a awakening of her intellect she re- distinctly clever book. It contains mains a being of transient impulses much shrewd observation, while and more or less hysterical emo- the style is polished and epigramtions. Curiously enough, in all matic to a fault, and replete with this mystification of hers, which the curiosa felicitas of decadentism. to the uninitiated appears sheer But it is less with the manner than puzzle - headedness,

weird with some of the matter of these witchery is supposed to lurk. essays that I am now concerned, Her lover, poor fellow, is baffled as much in them will be news by her elusive and contradictory to a great many people. They spirit; he understands nothing originally bore the title of Dies of the perpetual conflict with Dominæ,' and they are dedicated in her, the canker of mysterious to “The most dear vision of Her care that gnaws at her heart, that shall be." Signs, I think, her immense yearnings, and great are not wanting that the dies vague thirst for heaven alone domina will dawn before very knows what. The dualism of her long, and in that case “She that nature, half instinct, half intellect shall be” will most probably ap—for, as Mrs Roy Devereux ex- pear as "She-who-must-be-obeyed.” plains, modern woman is not one The authoress does not profess to incomprehensible, but two incom- dispel the cloud of mystery which prehensibles—is all Greek to him. envelops her subject, but she does He endures her tantrums as best raise for our benefit a corner of he may, though his simple self the veil which shrouds the Great would be better mated with an Arcanum of the feminine soul. open-hearted natural woman, who The picture thus revealed is a wore her heart upon her sleeve, curious one, and she is aware that than with an animated riddle or her method of presenting it is likely an enigma in flounces and furbe- to arouse the resentment of her fellows. For, be it understood, love low-women; but she is prepared to itself fails to unravel the mystery face the consequences.

There is of her being, and Mr Spooner's so much to say about woman which flirtations with Miss Up-to-date in has never yet been said, that the no way give him the key to the truth that is in her must out; and, feminine abstraction of which she like Lucifer the light-bringer, she is the external garniture. And feels bound to fulfil her mission it is good for him that it should of illuminating a people that now be so, else he, too, might suffer the sit in the darkness of ignorance pangs of disillusionment. Nowa- concerning the psychology of days, however, the solution of the feminism. feminine conundrum is a less hope- The most characteristic porless task than formerly for the tions of the book are those dealbewildered and slightly irritated ing with the great sex - problem, male; and the present year has as it is called.

Man," says given birth to at least two books Mrs Roy Devereux, is apt to which throw much light upon the “rail at the sexlessness of the New subject.

Woman”; but, if we may take Of these the most remarkable in her as a trustworthy guide, the some respects is the 'Ascent of charge is a baseless one. For with Woman,' by Mrs Roy Devereux, the awakening of her intellect to which allusion has been made " there has been a coincident

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awakening of the senses.

Grandian school to believe in the Every problem in heaven and moral and mental perfection of earth is brought to the edge of the modern incarnation of the this newly-acquired consciousness, feminine spirit, these indiscreet and the she - animal is abroad revelations came as a sad shock. cursing man's monopoly of the They appeared originally in the joie-de-vivre.” Moreover, the in- form of an article in the Saturday stincts of fidelity are not in her. Review' entitled “ Dies Dominæ; “ To every season its book and its The Value of Love, by a Woman bonnet; why not also its love ?” of the Day”; and I remember that “So at each renascence of passion homily in the form of a rejoinder

the editor appended thereto a her spirit, drifting among the ghosts of disembodied kisses, has a faint fore- by Lady Jeune as a wholesome taste of those yet to come.

Nor is corrective. As might be expected, this the limit of her consciousness. Lady Jeune disputed entirely the With that realisation of her nature's accuracy of the picture. Indeed, complexity comes the prescience that

to find its counterpart one would no man will ever learn it through. probably have to search in the

It is only the man who ‘in love's deep woods will dream of loyal life.'

miscellaneous gallery of feminin's

portraiture with which mjuern ficThis tribute to his constancy will tion supplies us. I need only mendoubtless be as agreeable to the tion a few of the types, for their much-abused male as it is unex- names have become household pected. My only doubt is whether ords: the woman who did, who the perfidious creature deserves didn't ; who would, who wouldn't, the compliment. In another or would if she could ; the strangely eloquent passage, which girl who desires matrimony, but I quote in full, we have a terrible shrinks from its obligations; and picture of the tumult raging in the lady who yearns for motherthe modern Eve's bosom.

hood, if only it could be managed

(vide “Keynotes') “without a “At the moment woman seems still husband or the disgrace; ugh, the to be floating amid the mists of her disgusting men !” These searchlost illusions, on tire with the passion of the impossible, sick unto death of ing studies in the sexual emotions her outworn ideals, and girt about

of young ladies are, I fear, a source with the incense of strange prayers.

of merriment to the masculine Having forsworn the service of love mind, but their popularity with the she would still retain the beauty gentler sex survives alike their of life, and wander over the crooked constant iteration and the gibes of hills of delicious pleasure' without the scoffer. Age cannot wither, forfeiting the old-world sanctuary. She would sin and yet not suffer; she

custom stale, the infinite would pluck the “ roses and raptures' variety of the sex-problem novel of passion, and yet be white of soul.

or essay But until she learns that love cannot The second half of 'The Ascent be bought at store prices, she will of Woman' is less striking than drift deathwards undelighted and un- the first. The mission of the shriven-a follower after empty sym- authoress (everybody who writes bols and impotent divinities. Yet will this quickened consciousness lead nowadays must have a mission) eventually to her perfecting."

seems to be to recall to the daugh

ter of Eve that ideal of beauty To those who, like the writer, which she has partially lost. The were brought up in the Sarah temple of Aphrodite is now a ruin,

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