specially that of ascertaining their own social status—can justify the alleged wasting of their real powers! Surely this is a reversal of his plan for men, threatening a philosophic tyranny in his future scheme over the true instincts of women, which the latter cannot possibly feel to be justice to them.
Most needfully, then, in the face of such threatened injury on the part of a writer who is daily becoming more and more of deserved weight in social topics, must women look to one another; that is, for the openly expressed class-feeling which manifestly is the thing that is now called for. The best thing that has been said for us by Mr. Mill, and that for which I think, for one, we owe him a debt of gratitude never to be extinguished, is that, after all, women must speak for themselves. Unless they will do so, this most generous of our advocates has said, it must remain "impossible that any man, or all men taken together, should have knowledge which can qualify them to lay down the law to women as to what is, or is not, their vocation" ("Subjection of Women," p. 48). Let me, however, add, on the other side, that in my own view this demand of self-expression from women by no means includes any equal need of immediate political action. Until the subject has been well thought out between men and women, with much more of careful study than is compatible with popular agitation, I am convinced that any too eager pressing forward toward practical arrangement of it must be dangerously premature. And for this end I believe truly that we need, not only all the instruction that Mr. Spencer can give us, both philosophic and scientific, but all the strenuous mental effort on the part of at least those who must take lead among us, which he seems to condemn. I recognize fully that we can in no way do better than to take him as our teacher—however little he may perhaps himself approve of this—provided always that in learning from him we remain true to ourselves.
|I am etc.,Sara S. Hennell.|
|Coventry, January 20, 1874.|
THE present number closes the second year and the fourth volume of The Popular Science Monthly. That it met a demand is shown by the fact that it has been better sustained than any other scientific magazine of its class that has been started in any country. That it has fulfilled its early promise in the estimation of the public, is shown also by the fact that it has been increasingly commended with each succeeding issue. We wish to make it still better, but our power to do so will depend upon the liberality of its patronage; and we therefore solicit all who would increase its strength and extend its usefulness, to do what they can to make it more widely known in their respective circles of inquiring and intelligent readers. The Monthly is as yet known to but very few of those who would appreciate and prize it, and our friends can do much, as many of them have already done, by lending their copies to thoughtful neighbors, and inducing them to form clubs.
In regard to the character of The Popular Science Monthly, we have preferred to let it speak for itself, and have made no parade of the numerous and flattering commendations of it which we have received from eminent sources. But there come a few words regarding the importance of our work from a distant country, which we may be excused for giving to our readers.
From a letter of Mr. Bancroft, American minister at the court of Berlin, to the publishers in New York, we select the following passage: "I receive from time to time your Popular