Open main menu

Page:Woman and her possibilities.djvu/26

This page has been validated.

Not one, but countless myriads of millions of dead in one life manifestation—an incomprehensible Multiple, that has apeared but once in the order of the Cosmos, and never can apear again.

"But that is only the barest definition. Why is she beautiful? Because in the struggles of unknown millions of years between the tendency to beauty and the tendency to ugliness, the beautiful triumphed over unspeakable obstacles and won. Why is she good and sweet and lovable? Because by the sacrifices, and the love, and the sense of goodness acquired by countless millions of mothers,—in spite of all conceivable suffering and pain and terror and fear and wickedness,—the sum of all the unthinkable multitude of tendencies in the race to goodness triumphed to appear in her."

"Then there is this other very awful thing. Here is a woman, for example, who is good, sweet, beautiful. Since the being of the world, all life, all humanity, all progress has been working against evil and death in one line. The end of the line only is visible. It is that girl. She represents the supreme effort. But she is a creator. Her place is to continue the infinite work of the dead. He who weds her has an awful responsibility, both to the dead and to the unborn. To the dead, if he should mar their work. To the future, if he plant in that bosom a life incapable of continuing the progress of the past."

When men and women understand themselves, their bodies and their bodily functions, their instincts, their habits, their appetites, their emotions, their wills—what all these are and how they are evolved in the race and in the individual; when they know what they themselves are capable of; what their particular and individual limitations are; what the complete development of "the whole man"