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Distinctive Womanhood.

Here I have to confess myself less steadfast in resolution than Mark Twain. He resolved that he would keep “Butchered to make a Roman holiday,” out of his description of the Coliseum. And he did. I resolved that I would keep Tennyson's lines on “Distinctive Womanhood,” out of this Lecture, because everybody uses them on a kindred theme. But they so exactly and purely express the purest philosophy of the subject, and the highest aspirations of patriots, reformers, and noble-men, that I am fain to give them, at the risk of a universal yawn and a unanimous comment of “hackneyed.”

“Woman is not undeveloped man,
But diverse: Could we make her as the man,
Sweet love were slain: his dearest bond is this,
Not like to like, but like in difference.
Yet in the long years liker must they grow;
The man be more of woman, she of man;
He gain in sweetness and in moral height.
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,
Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;


  ― 14 ―

Till at the last she set herself to man,
Like perfect music unto noble words;
And so these twain, upon the skirts of Time,
Sit side by side, full summ'd in all their powers,
Dispensing harvest, sowing the To-be,
Self-reverent each and reverencing each,
Distinct in individualities,
But like each other ev'n as those who love.
Then comes the statelier Eden back to men:
Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm:
Then springs the crowning race of humankind.
May these things be.”

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