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"If you like; but not only a man who because he was a man could indulge a foolish suspicion, but a man who had reason to be deeply, profoundly interested in the person of whom he was thinking."
They walk back to Jerry's home in West Tenth Street, talking in this vein.
"Take off your hat and stay a while," says Hamilton, trying to speak lightly.
He takes the hat from her. "What a wonderful thing a woman's hat is," he says. "Somehow it seems to symbolize the marvellous complexity of her own personality."
"I suppose," says Jerry, "that you have some parallel symbolism to explain the simplicity of a man's hat."
He took her by the arms and looked straight into her baffling blue eyes.
"Look here! I want you to sit down for a moment and let me talk to you seriously."
"Must it be serious? Everything has been so serious lately that it would be a relief to have "
"But I must be seriousjust a little."
In spite of his attempts at levity his face is entirely serious, while hers wears an expression that explains nothing to him.
"You seem to be determined," she says from the depths of the chair.
"I am. I told you once I shouldn't easily give you up. I have also said that I shall go to London. Now, this chair is very artistic, but how do you expect a man to propose to you in such furniture?"
"I don't expect it." He caught her before she could get away, and held her
THE ART OF LIVING
THE CASE OF MAN
By Robert Grant
A NOT inconsiderable portion of the women of the United States is inclined to regard man as a necessary evil. Their point of view is that he is here, and therefore is likely, for the present at least, to remain a formidable figure in human affairs, but that his ways are not their ways, that they disapprove of them and him, and that they intend to work out their lives and salvation as independently of him as possible. What man in the flush and prime of life has not been made conscious of this attitude of the modern woman? She is constantly passing us in the street with the manner of one haughtily and supremely indifferent. There are women enough still who look patterns of modesty, and yet let us feel at the same time that we are more or less an ob
ject of interest to them; but this particular type sails by in her trig and often stylish costume with the air not merely of not seeing us, but of wishing to ignore us. Her compressed lips suggest a judgment; a judgment born of meditated conviction which leaves no hope of reconsideration or exception. "You are all substantially alike," she seems to say, "and we have had enough of you. Go your ways and we will go ours."
The Mecca of the modern woman's hopes, as indicated by this point of view, would appear to be the ultimate disappearance of man from the face of the earth after the manner of the mastodon and other brutes. Nor are her hopes balked by physiological barriers. She is prepared to admit that it is not obvious, as yet, how girls alone are to be generated and boy babies given the
young bay-tree, even though she continues to wear a chip on her tailormade shoulder. And yet at the same time we feel sober. It is not pleasant to be regarded as brutes and to have judgment passed upon us by otherwise attractive women. It behooves us to scratch our heads and ask ourselves if we can possibly merit the haughty indifference and thinly disguised contempt which is entertained toward us. To be weighed in the balance and found wanting by a serene and beautiful young person is a far from agreeable experience. There must be something wrong with us, and if so, what is it?
Of course there was a time-and not
so very long ago - when men were tyrants and kept women under. Nowadays the only thing denied them in polite circles is to whisk around by themselves after dark, and plenty of them do that. The law is giving them, with both hands, almost everything they ask for nearly as rapidly as existing inequalities are pointed out, and the right of suffrage is withheld from them only because the majority of women are still averse to exercising it. Man, the tyrant and highwayman, has thrown up his arms and is allowing woman to pick his pockets. He is not willing to have her bore a hole in his upper lip, and drag him behind her with a rope, but he is disposed to consent to any reasonable legislative changes which she de
sires to have made, short of those which would involve masculine disfigurement or depreciation. It certainly cannot be his bullying qualities which have attracted her disdain, for he has given in. If woman to-day finds that the law discriminates unjustly between her and man, she has merely to ask for relief in sufficient numbers to show that she is not the tool of designing members of her own sex, in order to obtain it.
Under the spur of these reflections I consulted my wife by way of obtaining light on this problem. "Barbara, why is it that modern women of a certain type are so sniffy toward men? You know what I mean; they speak to us, of course, and tolerate us, and they love us individually as husbands and fa thers; but instead of counting for everything, as we once did, we don't
seem to count for anything unless it be dollars and cents. It isn't merely that you all talk so fast and have so much to say without regard to us that we often feel left out in the cold, and even hurt, but there is a stern, relentless look on some of your faces which makes us feel as though we had stolen the Holy
Grail. You must have noticed it." "Oh, yes," said Barbara, with a smile. "It doesn't mean very much. Of course times are not what they were. Man used to be a demigod, now he is only a
Barbara hesitated for a word, so I suggested, "Only a bank."
"Let us say only a man. Only a man in the eyes of reflective womanhood. We have caught up and are beginning to think for ourselves. You can't expect us to hang on your every word and to fall down and worship you without reservation as we once did. Man used to be woman's whole existence, often to her infinite sorrow, and now he is only part of it, just as she is only a part of his. You go to your clubs; we go to ours; and while you are playing cards we read or listen to papers, some of which are not intelligible to man. But we love you still, even though we have ceased to worship you. There are a few, I admit, who would like to do away with you altogether; but they are extremists-in every revolution, you know, there are fanatics and unreasonable persons-but the vast ma
jority of us have a tender spot for you
in our hearts, and regard your case in sorrow rather than in anger-and as probably not hopeless."
What is the matter with us?"
Oh, everything. You are a failure fundamentally. To begin with, your theory of life is founded on compromise. We women-the modern woman- - abhor compromise."
Although it was obvious that Bar
bara was trying to tease me, I realized from her expression that she intended to deal my sex a crucial stab by the word compromise. I must confess that I felt just a little uncomfortable under the white light of scorn which radiated from her eyes, while her general air reminded me for the first time disagreeably of the type of modern woman to whom I had referred. "The world progresses by compromise," I replied, sententiously. "Yes, like a snail." "Otherwise it would stand still. A man thinks so and so; another man thinks precisely opposite; they meet each other half-way and so much is gained."