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may be at the discovery, she may find that her family, though no less lovable than of old, are, for steady company, less interesting. As President Eliot says of university football players after a great contest, “ the return to normal life is difficult;" or — to cite and adapt the words of another man— “She has looked her last upon the world of art and literature and intellectual delight, within whose borders she has been permitted to dwell for four years, tasting of the pleasures that are not her birthright.”
Or suppose a girl teaches school and finds herself in a remote town where she is sandwiched between crude children on one side and a half-educated superintendent and several illiterate committee men on the other — a town whose society is undermined by gossip and whose school system is honeycombed with politics. Is this the promised joy of the intellectual life? Or suppose she sees the need of trained women in stenography, the quick accuracy of hand and brain which it demands, the intimate knowledge of business which it develops, the posts of responsibility to which it may lead. In her new enthusiasm she begins work at a business school. She finds there few fellow students whose ideals and tastes are hers; but she is there for work, not for companionship, and she keeps on. At last, unless she has exceptional fortune or uses exceptional care, she may find that, in a business office, with a beginner's pay, with long hours and short vacations, she has much to bear from men who, whether they pass for gentlemen or not, are not gentlemen to her. How can she, with the refinement and the love of leadership which her intellectual life has fostered, endure a drudging inferiority to men whom she knows herself to be immeasurably above? A man must submit to it in the beginning; but a man is of coarser fibre. Besides, a man knows that hard and able work will bring a man's reward ; whereas a woman knows that, partly because people are prejudiced but chiefly because men and women are eternally unlike, she cannot hope for those positions which demand continuity of physical strength, grasp (not merely insight) in meeting large problems day after day, and unprotected association with all kinds of people. Women who can fill such positions are so few that we may pass them by. As the power, not on the throne but behind it, as the leaven that lifts men to higher things, as the standard of unselfishness, devotion, purity, and faith, women may at some time reform and transform the business world: but they will not often be good heads of business houses; they may be good physicians, but they will rarely be good lawyers; they may be, and often are, mentally and morally head and shoulders above the preachers to whom they listen with steady loyalty, but they will be better ministers' wives than ministers.
Or suppose a girl marries and keeps house. With the constant thought for her husband and children, with the constant details of a housekeeper's routine, how shall she feed her mind ? Possibly her husband, in a dark little office all day, cannot feed his; but he is a man, and cares less. “Was all my training, then," she cries, “a training for servitude ?”
How long it takes us to learn that “the word of God is not bound;" that what is enslaved in us is not the soul, which is our birthright, but a changeling that while we slept has stolen into its place; and that what enslaves is not the routine of life but the chafing at the routine! how long it takes us to see that every life without a light in it is dull, that no life with a light in it can be dull, and that whether the light is there or not is a matter of our own will! As we see deeper and deeper into the complex sorrow of the world about us, we cannot be gay of heart, but we may and we should be happy; and in hard work lighted by hope and courage and love we may learn that the constancy of routine is the constancy of a friend. Life is sure to be complicated, and it may be sad: but to a right-minded man or woman there is one thing it can never be — it can never be uninteresting; and there is one thing it must always be — it must always be active. Moreover, in this activity every particle of learning or of training or of mere social experience that your college has given you is bound to tell. If whatever you do is not done more intelligently and more earnestly for your college education, the trouble is not in the college education but in you: you are the wrong kind of girl.