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Women In France

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Everybody knows that in Frenoh society a girl - or, il tlie reader prefers it, a young lady - is notliing, a married womau everything ; tlie foruier is dependent, wliile the latter, comparatively speaking, is independent. Young ladies before marriage, in France, do not, as 10 a certain couutry I know of, rule io the social sphere. Whether a girl in France receives a religieus education in convent or schools, or outside of theru, under paternal aversión to religious instruction - of which títere is a great deal here - she ie alwaya a priaoner witliin the farnily precincts. lier iustructors are generally women or priests ; eftorts rnay be raado by these to drive man out of her head by driving other ideas iuto it, but their watehfnluess of her wanner and of her intercourse with men serve but to strengthen her deferenoe for and to men. Moreover, eirla here, like girls everywhere, devour novéis ; their brains revel in sentiment, or in other words, they iliink constantly of man from a romantic point of view. Theresult of t h is soit f education is polislied marmers and a fund of sentimeutality, with whioh the French girl, when married, bogins the business of life. It is important to note the actual confiuement of her parson, and the attempt oí her instruetions to conüne the brain. as these have u greai deal to dn with the phenomena which her married life present, and which are gent rally rnisconstrued We will now contémplate the Freoch girl married. There are two direcüons in which her married life develops itself. We wíl! assumethat tho mrtrriage ia ono of mutual satisfacción, sueh in stances being as frequent in France as anywhero, the merry tonesof the nuptial chimes eontinning to vibrale as long in the ears of an atlentive husband and a loving wife as in any land. The time comes, however, here as elsewhere, when lover's music is no loiiger played or listened to, The husbaud is fond of dom inoes, and as bis wife was never taught dominóes in convent or f-chool, he goos to a cafe ; besides, women don't play men's gaines well. This is the beginning of' the wife's independenee. Inetcadof findiog her hasbnnd's devotion continue, according to tho rumantic standard, she finds he is eitlier pntty or stone - in other words, weak or callous. The Freneh vvoraan is remarkably sagaeipua - as weeay, " she knows her man." Of course, she eaonot separate froin her husband, as she wouid lose her dowry, and perhaps she don't want to, as he is the fütber of her child. She makes the best oí it, like many other women in oth er lands, and lives as she pleases. Her independenee now is in inverse propor■tion to her seolusion in girlhood, there being about the same contrast betvveen the sentimentality of her youth,,and tho actual knovvledge obtained in mirried life. If sho happens to be the wife of a burgeos, of a shopkeeper, she finds consolation in the oecnpation of trading, and finally becomes eallons, too, through contact with monoy. No women in the world are such perfect swindlers is the fihop-keepiug women of Paris. If she is not obliged to, and has no taste for shopkeeping, she finds consolation for marital envui in other vvays. She may be of a religious nature, which is almost always the case, and she resorts to the church. Her youthful imagination renews its life in the ritual and ceremonies ef the the service; her moral respect for man noiv centers in the prieslhood; she obtains advice from men origioally pure or si) diseiplined by conformiiy to the prescriptions of sacerdotal rle as to be ablo to withstand the temptations of human passion ; the wifo fiuds in her confessor a man who comprehends her domestic trials and disappointments, aad is able to comfort her, and direct her in the path of duty. The influence of the church in past and present times is incomprehensible f th:s be not oue of itu secret channels of power.


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