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A SONG OF SEMIRAMIS.
The angels called from deep to deep,
The burning heavens felt the thrill, Startling the flocks of silly sheep,
And lonely shepherds on the hill.
Who hath loved Queen Semiramis,
These many years by visions led, Who hath desired her mouth to kiss,
A lotus-blossom, amorous, red;
bread, Loving her once in Babylon; Her beauty shamed the mounting
To-night beneath the dripping bows, Where flashing bubbles burst and
throng, The bow-wash murmurs and sighs and
soughs A message from the angels' song.
The moon goes nodding down the west, The drowsy helmsman strikes the
bell; Rer Judæorum natus est:
I charge you, brothers, sing Nowell, Rer Judæorum natus est.
For wonder of Semiramis
Splendid and shameful, all men said:
Beauty she had in her soul's stead, Now is her empery foredone, In Babylon the lizards run,
Semiramis the queen is dead. The splendor of Semiramis
Is sunken in a shallow bed, For sound of lutes the serpents hiss,
Her clamorous lovers all are fled.
None sitteth at her shrouded head: Of singing-girls she hath not one, Whispering joy, now joy is none: Semiramis the queen is dead.
Ethel Talbot. The Nation.
They are but simple wild-flowers at
the best, Gathered in sheltered nook, by wood
and mere; But take them-all June's sunshine
lies confessed To seeing eyes, even in blossoms sere.
Though this is but a honeysuckle
spray, And that is but a homely meadow
flower, This may restore to you a golden day, And that may breathe of an enchanted
CHRISTMAS EVE AT SEA.
d wind is nestling “south and soft,"
Cooing a quiet country tune, The calm sea sighs, and far aloft
The sails are ghostly in the moon. Unquiet ripples lisp and purr, A block there pipes and chirps i' the
sheave, The wheel-ropes jar, the reef-points stir
Faintly—and it is Christmas Eve.
If they have hidden sweetness, may it
call Back to your mind old fragrant dear
delights, All you have dreamed of happiness, and
all Your cloudless days and rare midsum
The hushed sea seems to hold her
breath, And o'er the giddy swaying spars, Silent and excellent as Death, The dim blue skies are bright with
Perchance some flower to you is mem
ory, — This harebell from the sod, this corn
flower blueDear, take them as a little gift from
me, Haply I gathered some of them for you.
Elizabeth B. Piercy. The Windsor Magazine.
Dear God, they shone in Palestine
Like this, and yon pale moon serene Looked down among the lowing kine:
On Mary and the Nazarene.
THE WOMEN'S ANTI-SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT.
In June 1889-nearly twenty years As voters for or members of School ago-an "Appeal against Female Suf- Boards, Boards of Guardians, and frage” was issued in this Review. It
other important public bodies, women
have now opportunities for public usewas signed by about 104 names, headed
fulness which must promote the growth by the veteran Lady Stanley of Alder
of character, and at the same time ley, whose long social service, com
strengthen among them the social bined with her marked independence sense and habit ... The care of the and originality, made of her, in this sick and the insane; the treatment of matter, a leader whom other women the poor; the education of children; in
all these matters and others besides, were proud to follow. Among the
they have made good their claim to many, very many,
larger and more extended powers. which the bearers have now passed
Since these words were written what away. The list was rich in the names
may be called the Local Government of women remarkable for ability or high character, and of these many were
powers of women-powers especially also the wives of famous men-Mrs.
recognized and supported by this ear
lier manifesto-have been still further Goschen, Mrs. Westcott, Mrs. Church, Mrs. T. H. Green, Mrs. Leslie Stephen,
extended, and, finally, the right of
women not only to vote for, but to be. Mrs. Huxley, Mrs. Hort, Mrs. Spencer Walpole, Mrs. W. E. Foster, Mrs.
come elected members of County and Matthew Arnold, Mrs. Arnold Toynbee,
Borough Councils, has been conceded, Mrs. Max Müller, Mrs. Seeley, Mrs.
thus bringing to a successful issue :1 Bagehot-whose names therefore con
movement covering some forty years of
the national life. veyed a double protest against a national danger.
At the same time it will perhaps If we look at the appeal itself, and
strike a thoughtful reader of the ear
lier document, as he or she looks back compare it with the arguments advanced to-day against woman suffrage,
over the twenty years which separate we see that the case put forward is
us from it, that important as women's
share in Local Government has besubstantially the same, but that the process of time has in some respects
come, female suffrage as such has had strengthened the older pleas, while in
very little to do with it, or with the others it has made it necessary to add
general progress of reform. Women to them. The "Appeal" was written
have been placed on local bodies by the immediately after the passage of the
votes of men, or by co-option, rather Local Government Act creating County
than by the votes of women; probably
even better results Councils as we now know them, and it just as good or expressed hearty sympathy
might have been achieved by the
American system, which nominales with all the recent efforts which have
women-through the Governor or the been made to give women a more im
Mayor--to sit on State or Municipal portant part in those affairs of the
boards. And outside the Local Govcommunity where their interests and those of men are equally concerned. .. ernment sphere altogether large "In furtherance of this Appeal a Protest
amount of both legislative and adminagainst Female Suffrage was widely circu. istrative reform has been secured by lated amongst women readers, and a long list of signatures was published in the August the efforts of women, official and nonNo. of the same year-EDITOR, “ Nineteanth Century and After.
official, whose wide experience of life.
together with their trained ability, act. case as it was presented in '89, it can. ing on the minds and appealing to the not be denied that the circumstances justice of men, have borne admirable of to-day are different from those of fruit. The "Remonstrants" of twenty twenty years ago. The speech printed years ago maintained that “during the below enumerates some of those recent past half-century all the principal in- events which are in all our minds. justices of the law towards women Urged by them, the women of to-day, have been amended by means of the who oppose female suffrage, can no existing constitutional machinery; and longer content themselves with "Ap. with regard to those that remain, we peals" or "Remonstrances.” We have see no signs of any unwillingness on reached perhaps the crisis of the the part of Parliament to deal with movement, and an active propaganda them.” Parliament in truth has been must be met by one no less active. dealing with them, in the slow but Last year the first steps in opposition steady English fashion, ever since; were taken; and in a few weeks 37,000 and if much is still unachieved, it is be- signatures were collected. This year cause the reforms yet to be won de- National Women's Anti-Suffrage pend upon the growth of public opin- League has been started, evoking the ion and moral conviction among both
same instant and widespread response, average men and average women,-a and on the 21st of July a crowded growth which is still in many impor- meeting, under the presidency of the tant respects I refer especially to mat- Countess of Jersey, was held at the ters concerning the relation of the Westminster Palace Hotel, for the pursexes—weak and ineffectual.
pose of approving the Constitution, and Thus, while the advancing education adopting the Manifesto of the new of women, and their greater social League. The task of proposing the power and efficiency have given them Manifesto fell to myself, and the editor an ever-increasing influence on both of this Review, renewing the friendly law-making and administration, the co-operation shown by Sir James important suffrage-let me repeat- Knowles in initiating the appeal of '89, which they possessed during the whole has expressed a wish to print the period has played an extremely insig. speech made on that occasion. No one nificant part in the process. It has can be more conscious of its short-coinbeen very difficult to get them to vote ings and omissions than inyself. But in any numbers; only the pressure of shows, I hope, that the newly started religious interests has achieved it; and League is very much in earnest; and with regard to the important powers in that while the old arguments of '89 are respect of women and children pos- as strong as ever, time has added not sessed by local bodies, the woman vote a few new ones to our store. has notoriously meant little or nothing. The manifesto ran as follows: This is perhaps one of the most
1. It is time that the women who are striking features of the twenty years opposed to the concesson of the par. which lie between us and the mani. liamentary franchise to women should festo of '89. It seems to show that make themselves fully and widely women are not naturally voters, and
heard. The arguments on the other
side have been put with great ability that the instruments which suit and
and earnestness, in season and out of serve them best are of another kind.
season, and enforced by methods legitBut while the main case to be pre
imate and illegitimate. sented against the suffrage does not
2. An Anti-Suffrage League has differ now materially from the main therefore been formed, and all women who sympathize with its objects are of the parliamentary vote. At present earnestly requested to join it.
they stand, in matters of socal reform, 3. The matter is urgent. Unless apart from and beyond party politics, those who hold that the success of the and are listened to accordingly. The women's suffrage movement would legitimate influence of women in polibring disaster upon England are pre- tics-in all classes, rich and poor-will pared to take immediate and effective always be in proportion to their eduaction, judgment may go by default cation and common sense. But the and our country drift towards a mo- deciding power of the parliamentary mentous revolution, both social and po- vote should be left to men, whose phys. litical, before it has realized the dan- ical force is ultimately responsible for gers involved.
the conduct of the State. 4. It is sometimes said that the con- (e) Because all the reforms which are cession of the franchise is "inevitable," put forward as reasons for the vote can and that a claim of this kind once be obtained by other means than the started and vehemently pressed must vote, as is proved by the general hisbe granted. Let those who take this tory of the laws relating to women view consider the case of America. A and children during the past century. vigorous campaign in favor of women's The channels of public opinion are alsuffrage has been carried on in the ways freely open to women. MoreStates for more than a generation. After over, the services which women can forty years the American agitation bas with advantage render to the nation been practically defeated. The Eng.
in the field of social and educational lish agitation must be defeated in the reform, and in the investigation of sosame way by the steady work and ar- cial problems, have been recognized by gument of women themselves.
Parliament. Women have been in5. Let us state the main reason why cluded in Royal Commissions, and adthis League opposes the concession of mitted to a share in local government. the parliamentary vote to women: The true path of progress seems to lie
(a) Because the spheres of men and in further development along these women, owing to natural causes, are
lines. Representative women, for inessentially different, and therefore their stance, might be brought into closer share in the management of the State consultative relation with Government should be different.
departments, in matters where the spe(6) Because the complex modern
cial interests of women are concerned. State depends for its very existence on (1) Because any measure for the ennaval and military power, diplomacy, franchisement of women must either finance, and the great mining, construc- (1) concede the vote to women on the tive, shipping and transport industries, same terms as to men, and thereby in in none of which can women take any practice involve an unjust and invidipractical part. Yet it is upon these ous limitation; or (2) by giving the matters, and the vast interests involved vote to wives of voters tend to the in them, that the work of Parliament introduction of political differences into largely turns.
domestic life; or (3) by the adoption of (c) Because by the concession of the adult suffrage, which seems the inevi. local government vote and the admis. table result of admitting the principle, sion of women to County and Borough place the female vote in an overpowerCouncils, the nation has opened a wide ing majority. sphere of public work and influence to (9) Because, finally, the danger which women, which is within their powers. might arise from the concession of To make proper use of it, however, will woman suffrage, in the case of a State tax all the energies that women have burdened with such complex and farto spare, apart from the care of the reaching responsibilities as England, home and the development of the in- is out of all proportion to the risk run dividual life.
by those smaller communities which (d) Because the influence of women have adopted it. The admission to in social causes will be diminished full political power of a number of rather than increased by the possession voters debarred by nature and circum
stance from the average political sel, that they should organize opposiknowledge and experience open to tion, and prepare to see it through. For men, would weaken the central govern- the fight will be a tough and a long ing forces of the State, and be fraught
one. We shall want work, we shall with peril to the country. Women who hold these views must now organ.
want money, we shall want enthusiize in their support.
asm. No member joining this League 6. We appeal, therefore, to those
should be an idle member. Time, who disapprove the present suffrage ag- money, zeal--we ask you for all these-itation, to join our League, and to sup- and if this newly formed League is not port it by every means in their power.
prepared to give them, we might as
well not organize it at all. We want The woman suffrage movement can be defeated-it must be defeated and
an efficient Central Office, and an efti. by women themselves.
cient Executive Committee; we want a Women of England! We appeal to good and active Publication Commityour patriotism, and your common tee; we want branches throughout the sense,
country, who will take up with energy Upon this text the following speech the work of local persuasion, of interwas delivered:
viewing members and candidates for "The first part of the foregoing Man- Parliament, and of meeting the tactics ifesto dwells on the urgency of the sit- and arguments of the Suffragists with uation. As to that there can, I think, counter-tactics and counter-arguments. be no doubt. When a Women's Eu- Not that we intend to meet lawlessfranchisement Bill has passed its sec- ness with lawlessness; far from it. ond reading in the House of Commons This League cannot, in my opinion, upby a large majority; when we have a hold too strongly the old English militant Society, amply supplied with standards of fair-play and courtesy in money, and served by women who seem debate, of law-abiding and constituto give their whole time to its promo- tional methods. The Suffragists, in. tion; when we have before us the spec- deed, are already inviting us to go to tacle of marchings and counter-march- prison for our opinions. We in return ings, alarums and excursions, on behalf can only marvel at the logic of Miss of the Suffrage cause, in all parts of Beatrice Harraden, for instance, wlio England; when Ministers' houses are maintains in the Times, that because attacked and political meetings broken a small body of women whose 'blood up; when besides the pennyworth of is up,' to use Miss Harraden's expresargument, added to an intolerable deal sion, choose to invite imprisonment by of noise, with which the Women's So- violent methods, choose to subject cial and Political Union provide us, we themselves to discomforts in prison have the serious and impressive sight from which they could free themselves of Mrs. Fawcett's procession of at a word, that therefore-therefore month ago—then, indeed, it seems to be this 'dear land of England,' this old time that those women who, with no and complex State, is to capitulate at less seriousness, with, I hope, no less once to a doctrine which, in ou: belief, tenacity, and with certainly as much the great majority of its inhabitants public spirit as Mrs. Fawcett and her disapprove and condemn, is to change supporters, hold the view that Woman its ancient use and custom, aud is to Suffrage would be a disaster for Eng- embark alone of civilized States of the land, and first and foremost for women first rank, on the stranke
Seas of themselves-that they should bestir Woman Suffrage. The considerations themselves, that they should take coun- are not equal! and what is practically