The minds of people having been corrupted through centuries by the doctrines of the Church in regard to woman, it became an easy step for the State to aid in her degradation. The system of feudalism arising from the theory that warfare was the normal condition of man, still oppressed woman by bringing into power a class of men accustomed to deeds of violence, who found their chief pleasure in the sufferings of others. To be a woman appealed to no instinct of tenderness in this class. To be a woman was not to be protected unless such woman held power in her own right, or acted in place of some feudal lord. The whole body of villeins, and serfs were under absolute dominion of the feudal lords. They were regarded as possessing no rights of their own; the priests had control of their souls, the lord, of their bodies. But it was not upon the male serfs that the greatest oppression fell. Although the tillage of the soil, the care of swine and cattle was theirs, the masters claiming half or more of everything, even to one-half of the wool shorn from the flock,1 and all exactions upon them were great while their sense of security was slight, it was upon their wives and daughters that the
greatest outrages were inflicted. It was a pastime of the castle retainers to fall upon peaceful villages, to the consternation of the women, who were struck, tortured, and made the sport of ribald soldiers.2 "Serfs of the body," they had no protection. The vilest outrages were perpetrated by the feudal lords under the name of "rights." Women were taught by church and state alike that the feudal lord or seigneur had a right to them not only as against themselves, but as against any claim of husband or father. The custom known by a variety of names, but more modernly as "marchetta," or "marquette," compelled newly married women to a most dishonorable servitude. They were regarded as the rightful prey of the feudal lord for from one to three days after their marriage,3 and from this custom, the oldest son of the serf was held as the son of the lord, "as perchance it was he who begot him."
From this nefarious degradation of woman the custom of Borough-English arose, the youngest son becoming the heir4: The original signification of the word borough, being to make secure, the peasant through Borough-English made secure the right of his own son to what inheritance he might leave, thus cutting
off his property from the possible son of his hated lord. France, Germany, Prussia, England, Scotland, and all christian countries in which feudalism existed, held to the enforcement of marquette, The lord deemed this right his, as fully as be did his claim to half the crops of the land, or half the wool shorn from the sheep. More than one reign of terror arose in France from the enforcement of this law, and the uprisings of the peasants over Europe during the twelfth century and the fierce Jacquerie, or Peasants War, of the fourteenth century in France, owed their origin among other causes to the enforcement of these claims by the lords upon the newly married wife. The Edicts of Marley securing the seigneural tenure in Lower Canada transplanted that claim to America when Canada was under the control of France.5
During the feudal period when chivalry held highest rank in the duties of the knight, women of the lower classes were absolutely unprotected. Both Church and State were their most bitter enemies; the lords even if in holy orders did not lessen their claims upon the bride. Most of the bishops and chanonies were also temporal lords. The Bishop of Amiens possessed this right against the women of his vassals and the peasants of his fiefs, of which he was dispossessed at the commencement of the fifteenth century, by an arreet, rendered at the solicitation of husbands.6 Although the clergy, largely drawn from the nobility,23 whose portionless younger sons were thus easily provided for, sustained the corruptions of the lords temporal
yet having connected themselves with the church, they did not fall to preserve their own power even over the nobility.
The canons of the Cathedral of Lyons, bore title of Counts of Lyons; sixteen quarters of nobility, eight on side of the father; eight on side of the mother. The marchetta or cuissage was still practiced by them in the fourteenth century at the time Lyons was reunited to the crown of France. It was but slowly, after a great number of complaints and arrests of judgment that the canons of Lyons consented to forego this custom. In several cantons of Piccardy, the cures imitated the bishops and anciently took the right of cuissage, but ultimately the peasants of this region refused to marry, and the priests gave up this practice which they had usurped when the bishop had become too old to take his right.7 The resolution not to marry, surprised and confounded the lord "suzerains," who perceived it would cause the depopulation of their feifs. During the feudal period, bearing children was the duty pre-eminently taught women. Serf children increased the power and possessions of the lord, they also added to the power of the church, and the strangest sermons in regard to woman's duty in this respect fell from the lips if celibate monks and priests. She was taught that sensual submission to man, and the bearing of children, were the two reasons for her having been created, and that the woman who failed in either had no excuse for longer encumbering the earth. The language used from the Pulpit for the enforcement of these duties, will not bear reproduction.8 The villeins were not entirely
submissive under such great wrongs, frequently protesting against this right of their suzerains. At one time a number of Piedmont villages rose in united revolt, compelling the lords to relinquish some of their powers. Although9 the concessions gained were but small, not putting an end to the lord's claim to the bride but merely lessening the time of his spoliation, the results were great in establishing the principle of serf rights.
Marquette began to be abolished in France towards the end of the sixteenth century.10 But an authority upon this question says that without doubt the usage still continued in certain countries, farther asserting that even in this century it existed in the county of Auvergene, and several vassals plead to their lords against the continuance of this custom because of the great unhappiness it caused them. The lower orders of the clergy were very unwilling to relinquish this usage, vigorously protesting to their archbishops against the deprivation of the right, declaring they could not be dispossessed.11 Bœms states that he was present at a spiritual council of the metropolitane of Bourges, and heard a priest claim the right upon ground of immemorial usage.12
Although feudalism is generally considered the parent of this most infamous custom, some writers attribute its origin to an evangelical council, or to precepts directly inculcated by the church," whose
very highest dignitaries did not hesitate to avail themselves of the usage. In 1471, quite the latter part of the fifteenth century, Pope Sixtus IV14 sought admission to the very illustrious Piedmont family, Della Rovere, which possessed the right of cuissage, allowing the lord absolute control of his vassals newly wedded bride for three days and nights; a cardinal of the family having secured the patent by which this outrageous and abominable right was granted them. The rights of the Lords spiritual in the jus prima noctis, at first, perchance, confined to those temporal lords who holding this right entered the church, at last extended to the common priesthood, and the confessional became the great fount of debauchery. Woman herself was powerless; the church, the state, the family, all possessed authority over her as against herself. Although eventually redemption through the payment of money, or property, was possible, yet a husband too poor or penurious to save her, aided in this debasement of his wife.15 This inexpressible abuse and degradation of woman went under the name of pastime, nor were the courts to be depended upon for defense.16 Their sympathies and decisions were with the lord. Few except manorial courts existed. Even when freedom had been purchased for the bride, all feudal customs rendered it imperative upon her to bear the "wedding dish" to the castle. Accompanied by her husband, this ceremony ever
drew upon the newly married couple a profusion of jeers and ribald jests from which they were powerless to protect themselves. While in ancient Babylon woman secured immunity by one service and payment to the temple, the claim of the lord to the peasant wife was not always confined to the marriage day, and refusal of the loan of his wife at later date brought most severe punishment upon the husband.17
Blessing the nuptial bed by the priest, often late at night, was also common, and accompanied by many abuses, until advancing civilization overpowered the darkness of the church and brought it to an end. When too poor to purchase the freedom of his bride, the husband was in one breath assailed by the most opprobrious names,18 and in the next he was congratulated upon the honor to be done him in that perchance his oldest child would be the son of a baron.19 So great finally became the reproach and infamy connected with the droit de cuissage, as this right was generally called in France20 and so recalcitrant became the peasants over its nefarious exactions, that ultimately both lords spiritual and lords temporal fearing for their own safety, commenced to lessen their demands.21 This custom had its origin at the time the
great body of the people were slaves bound either to the person or land of some lord. At this period personal rights no more existed for the lower classes than for the blacks of our own country during the time of slavery. Under feudalism, the property, family ties, and even the lives of the serfs were under control of the suzerain, It was a system of slavery without the name; the right of the lord to all first fruits was universally admitted;22 the best in possession of the serf, by feudal custom belonged to the lord. The feudal period was especially notable for the wrongs of women. War, the pastime of nobles and kings, brought an immense number of men into enforced idleness. Its rapine and carnage were regarded as occupations superior to the tillage of the soil or the arts of peace. Large numbers of men, retainers of every kind, hung about the castle dependent upon its lord, obedient to his commands.23 At an age when books were few and reading an accomplishment of still greater rarity, these men, apart from their families, or totally unbound by marriage, were in readiness for the grossest
amusement. At an age when human life was value, less, and suffering of every kind was disregarded, We call readily surmise the fate likely to overtake unprotected peasant women. They were constantly ridiculed and insulted; deeds of violence were common and passed unreproved. For a woman of this class to be self-respecting was to become a target for the vilest abuse. Morality was scoffed at; to drag the wives and daughters of villeins and serfs into the mire of lechery was deemed a proper retribution for their attempted pure lives; they possessed no rights of person or morality against the feudal lord and his wild retainers. All christian Europe was plunged into the grossest immorality.24 A mistress was looked upon as a necessary part of a monarch's state.25 Popes, cardinals, and priests of lesser degrees, down to the present century, still continued the unsavory reputation of their predecessors;"26 "nephews," "nieces," and "sacrilegious" children are yet supported by the revenues of the Church, or left to poverty, starvation and crime. It was long the custom of christian municipalities to welcome visiting kings by deputations of naked women,27 and as late as the eighteenth century, a mistress whose
support was drawn from the revenues of the kingdom, was recognized as part of the pageantry of the kingdom.
The heads of the Greek and Protestant Churches, no less than of the Catholic, appear before the world as men of scandalous lives. The history of the popes is familiar to all students. No less is that of the English Eighth Henry, the real father of the Reformation, in England, and founder of the Anglican Church, whose adulteries and murders make him a historic Blue Beard. The heads of the Greek Church figure in a double sense as fathers of their people. The renowned Peter the Great amused himself by numberless liaisons, filling Russia with descendants whose inherited tendencies are those of discontent and turmoil. When he visited the Court of Prussia, 1717, he was accompanied by his czarina, son, daughter, and four hundred ladies in waiting, women of low condition, each of whom carried an elegantly dressed infant upon her arms. If asked in regard to the paternity of the child they invariably replied "my lord has done me the honor to make me its mother."28
In no country has a temporal monarch under guise of a spiritual ruler been more revered than in Russia. Even amidst nihilism a belief that the czar can do no wrong is the prevailing conviction among the Slavic peoples. This is both a great cause of, and a result of Russian degradation, If we except the proportionately few liberal thinkers, that conviction is as strong as it was in the time of Ivan the Terrible. In no civilized or half-civilized nation is ignorance as dense as among the peasantry of that vast empire embracing one-sixth of the habitable globe. Nor to the
czar alone was such disregard of woman's right of person confined. The system of serfdom which existed until within the last half of the present century, was a system of feudalism in its oppression of women, although if possible even more gross. The sale of young peasant girls regularly took place, and the blood of the nobility of that country runs in the veins of its most degraded and ignorant population.29 Although Italy the seat of the papal power is noted for the ignorance, squalor, and superstition of its people, we no less find such a condition of affairs existing in Russia. Amid the starvation of its people, accompanied by "hunger-typhus" that form of disease which in the Irish famine of 1848 was known as "ship-fever," the peasants will not accept aid from Count Tolstoi, whom they have been taught to regard as Anti-Christ, fearing that by so doing they will condemn themselves to eternal torment.30 While the peasantry are thus suffering wrongs of every nature, the priesthood and churches are as thriving as before.
Having shown the results of power in the hands of a controlling class, upon women of low degree in both the Catholic and Greek divisions of christendom, we have but to look at our own country to find like condition
under Protestantism. The state of the slave women of the South was that of serfs of the body under feudalism, or of the serf peasant women of Russia. Nor is other proof of this statement required than the hue of this race, no longer spoken of as the blacks, but as colored people. Let the condition of woman as to her rights of person, under the three great divisions of Christianity, be answer to all who without examination of history, or the customs of ancient and modern times, and with eyes closed to these most patent facts, so falsely assert that woman has been elevated by christianity, and is now holding a position never before in the world accorded her. But what has already been shown of her degradation under christian teachings and laws is but a small portion of the wrongs woman has suffered during the christian centuries.
Under theory of the divine rights of man, society has everywhere been permeated with disregard for woman's rights of person. Monarchs not posing as spiritual heads of their people have yet equally made use of their place and power for woman's degradation, and an indefinite fatherhood outside of marriage. Augustus of Saxony, King of Poland, is chiefly renowned in history as the father of three hundred illegitimate children.31 Of Charles II. not alone King of England, but also head of the Anglican Church, one of his subjects declared him to be the father of many of his people in the literal as well as in the spiritual sense. Four English dukes of the present day trace their lineage to this monarch., who left no legitimate descendants.32
H. R. H. the present heir-apparent to the English throne bears an equally unsavory record.33 To him and his aristocratic companions in guilt is due the support and protection of England's notorious and infamous purchase and sale, outrage, and exploitation of helpless young girls. An English clergyman writing the "New York Sun," at the time of the disclosures made by the "Pall Mall Gazette," declared he had in his possession a list of the names of the royal princes, dukes, nobles, and leading men who had been the principal patrons and supporters of the "gilded hells" devoted to the ruin of the merest children, girls from the ages of nine to thirteen.34 The reputation of the male members of the Hanoverian dynasty has ever been bad. Trace as you will the path of either ecclesiastical or temporal rulers claiming authority by "divine right," and you will find the way marked with the remains of women and children whose life has been wrecked by man under plea of created superiority. While Italy within the last forty years has escaped from the temporal control of the pope, its kings have no less copied the immorality of the "Vicar of God"; the predecessor of the late king of Italy having left thirty-three illegitimate children. An instance of the survival of the feudal idea as to the right of the lord to the person of his vassal women occurred in Ireland within the past few years, graphically described in a letter upon landlords, from Mr. D. R. Locke (Nasby), December, 1891, in which he says;
One was shot a few years ago and a great ado was made about it. In this case as in most of the others it was not a question of rent. My Lord had visited
his estates to see how much more money could be taken out of his tenants and his lecherous eye happened to rest upon a very beautiful girl, the eldest daughter of a widow with seven children. Now this beautiful girl was betrothed to a nice sort of a boy, who, having been in America, knew a thing or two. My Lord, through his agent, who is always a pimp as well as a brigand, ordered Kitty to come to the castle. Kitty knowing very well what that meant, refused.
"Very well," says the agent, "yer mother is in arrears for rent, and you had better see My Lord, or I shall be compelled to evict her."
Kitty knew what that meant also. It meant that her gray haired mother, her six helpless brothers and sisters would be pitched out by the roadside to die of starvation and exposure, and so Kitty without saying a word to her mother or any one else, went to the castle and was kept there three days, till My Lord was tired of her, when she was permitted to go.
She went to her lover, like an honest girl as she was, and told him she would not marry him, but refused to give any reason.
Finally the truth was wrenched out of her, and Mike went and found a shot gun that had escaped the eye of the royal constabulary, and he got powder and shot and old nails, and he lay behind a hedge under a tree for several days. Finally one day My Lord came riding by all so gay and that gun went off, and 'subsequent proceedings interested him no more.' There was a hole, a blessed hole, clear through him, and he never was so good a man as before because there was less of him.
Then Mike went and told Kitty to be of good cheer and not be cast down, that the little difference between him and My Lord had been happily settled, and that they would be married as soon as possible. And they were married, and I had the pleasure of taking in my hand the very hand that fired the blessed shot and of seeing the wife, to avenge whose cruel wrongs the shot was fired.
Nor is this the only instance in modern Ireland. A
certain lord Leitram was noted a few years since for his attempts to dishonor the wives and daughters of the peasantry upon his vast estate comprising 90,000 acres. His character was that of the worst feudal barons, and like those he used his power as magistrate and noble, in addition to that of landlord, to accomplish his purpose. After an assault upon a beautiful and intelligent girl, by a brutal retainer of his lordship, her character assailed, his tenantry finally declared it necessary to resort to the last means in their power to preserve the honor of their wives and daughters. Six men were chosen as the instruments of their rude justice, and among them the brother of this girl, upon whom the leadership fell. They took oath to be true to the end, in life or death, raised a sum of money, purchased arms, and seeking a convenient opportunity shot him to death. Nor were the perpetrators ever discovered; yet it is now known that two of them died in Australia, two in the Boer war in South Africa, and the leader who came to the United States, changing his name, passed away in the summer of 1892 in the State of Pennsylvania.
Under head of "A Story of to-day," another tale is related of woman's oppression in Ireland aided by the Petty Sessions Bench in 1880.
Recently, a young girl named Catherine Cafferby, of Belmullet, in County Mayo--the pink of her father's family--fled from the "domestic service" of a landlord as absolute as Lord Leitrim, the moment the poor creature discovered what that "service" customarily involved. The great man had the audacity to invoke the law to compel her to return, as she had not given statutable notice of her flight. She clung to the door-post of her father's cabin; she
told aloud the story of her terror, and called on God and man to save her. Her tears, her shrieks, her piteous pleadings were all in vain. The Petty Sessions Bench ordered her back to the landlord's "service," or else to pay five pounds, or two weeks in jail. This is not a story of Bulgaria under Murad IV. but of Ireland in the reign of the present sovereign. That peasant girl went to jail to save her chastity. If she did not spend a fortnight in the cells, it was only because friends of outraged virtue, justice, and humanity paid the fine when the story reached the outer world.
These iniquities have taken place in Christian lands35 and these nefarious outrages upon women have been enforced by the Christian laws of both church and state. The degradation and unhappiness of the husband at the infringement of the lord's spiritual and temporal upon his marital rights, has been depicted by many writers but history has been quite silent upon the despair and shame of the wife.36 No hope appeared for woman anywhere. The Church which should have been the great conserver of morals dragged her to the lowest depths through the vileness of its teachings and its priestly customs. The State which should have defended her civil rights followed the example of the church in crushing her to the earth. Christian laws were detrimental to woman in every relation of life.
The brilliant French author, Legouvé, gives from among the popular songs of Brittany during the fourteenth century, a pathetic ballad, "The baron of Jauioz," which vividly depicts the condition of the peasant women of France at that date. In the power of the male members of her family over her, we also find an exact parallel in the condition of English women of the same era. The moral disease thus represented being due to the same religious teaching, the change of country and language but more fully serves to depict the condition of woman every where in christendom at this period.
BRETON BALLAD OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. THE BARON OF JAUIOZ.
As I was at the river washing,
I heard the sighing of the bird of death.
"Good little Jina, you do not know it, but you are sold to the Baron of Jauioz."
Is this true, my mother, that I have heard?
Is it true that I was sold to old Jauioz?
"My poor little darling, I know nothing about it; ask your father."
"My nice good father, tell me now-is it true that I am sold to Loys de Jauioz?"
"My beloved child, I know nothing about it; ask your brother."
Lannik, my brother, tell me now--is it true that I am sold to that lord there?
"Yes you are sold to the Baron, and you must be off at once. Your price is paid-fifty crowns of the white silver and as much of the yellow gold."
She had not gone far from the hamlet
when she heard the ringing of the bells; whereat she wept.
"Adieu Saint Ann. Adieu, bells of my fatherland;
Bells of my village church, adieu!"
"Take a seat and rest thee till the repast is ready."
The lord sat near the fire; his beard and hair all white, and his eyes like living coals.
"Behold the young maiden whom I have desired this many a day!"
"Come my child, let me show thee, crown by crown, how rich I am; come, count with me, my beauty, my gold and my silver."
"I should like better to be with my mother counting the chips on the fire."
"Let us descend into the cellar and taste of the wine that is sweet as honey."
"I should like better to taste the meadow stream
Whereof my father's horses drink."
"Come with me from shop to shop to buy thee a holiday cloak."
"I should better like a linsey petticoat, that my mother has woven for me."
"Ah, that my tongue had been blistered when
I was such a fool as to buy thee!
Since nothing will comfort thee.
"Dear little birds as you fly, I pray you listen to me,
You are going to the village whither I cannot.
You are merry but I am sad."
"Remember me to my playmates,
To the good mother who brought me to light,
And to the father who reared me; and tell my brother
I forgive him."
Two or three months have passed and gone when as the family are sleeping,
A sweet voice is heard at the door,
"My father, my mother, for God's love pray for me;
Your daughter lies on her bier."
This ballad founded upon historic facts represents the social life of christendom during the fourteenth century. The authority of the son, the licentiousness of the lord, the powerlessness of the mother, the despair of the daughter, the indifference of society, are vividly depicted in this pathetic ballad. It shows the young girl regarded as a piece of merchandise, to be bought and sold at the whim of her masters who are the men of her own household and the lord of the manor. During the feudal period the power of the son was nearly absolute. For his own aggrandisement he did not hesitate to rob his sisters, or sell them into lechery.38 Hopelessly despairing in tone, this ballad gives us a clear picture of feudal times when chivalry was at its height, and the church had reached its ultimate of power. Woman's attitude to-day is the echo of that despair. At this period the condition of a woman was not even tolerable unless she was an heiress, with fiefs in possession.29 Even then she was deprived of her property in case of loss
of chastity, of which it was the constant aim to deprive her. Guardians, next of kin, and if none such existed, the church threw constant temptations in her way. Ruffians were hired, or reckless profligates induced to betray her under plea of love and sympathy, well paid by the next heir for their treachery.
Although Sir William Blackstone in his Commentaries said that he discovered no traces of marquette in England, a reminiscence of that custom is to be found in the "fine" or "permit" known in that country as Redemption of Blood, and designated as Merchetum Sanguinis, by Fleta.40 This was a customary payment made by a tenant to his lard for license to give his daughter in marriage. Such redemption was considered a special mark of tenure in villeinage.41 It was not exacted from a free man, which is corroborative proof of its origin in the Jus Primæ Noctis, of the feudal lord. Of the free man this fine was not permissible, because of the privilege of free blood. Raepsaet, M. Hoffman, Dr. Karl Schmidt, and other authors writing in the interest of the church and finding it impossible to deny the existence of some power over the bride, have questioned its character, declaring it not to be feudal, but a spiritual authority, to guard the bride by enforcing a penitence of marital abstinence of one to three days after the nuptials. It is not to be doubted that under the peculiar teachings of the church in regard to the uncleanliness of marriage, such continence was at a certain period part of church law.42 Nevertheless this does not invalidate the fact that a widespread contrary custom
existed in feudal times and at a still later period. The present usages of society point back to an age when right to the peasant's bride was enforced by the lord. A reminiscence43 of this period is to be found in charivari and the buying off of a party of this character with refreshments from the house, or with money for the purchase of cigars and liquor. Such occurrences constantly fall within our knowledge, personally or through the press.44 The very fact of such persecution of the bridal pair is a symbol of that custom under which the retainers of the feudal lord jeered and flouted the bridegroom, throwing him into foul water,45 and other most unseemly practices. To others outside of the charivari party this practice still affords amusement, few persons inclining to interfere or prohibit such pastimes. Society no longer as sharply defined as in the feudal period, yet has preserved in this practice a symbol of the times when even the highborn dames in the castle equally as degraded as its lord, amused themselves while
bride was in the company of the lord by ridiculing and torturing the husband who in anxiety for his wife ventured too near the castle. The present nearly universal custom of a wedding journey must be referred in its origin to the same period, arising from an inherited tendency in the bride and groom to escape the jeers and ill treatment that in past ages invariably accompanied entrance into the married state.
In some European countries redemption was demanded from all women, not alone the daughters of villeins and serfs, but also of those of noble birth who were freed by payment of a ransom in silver known as the "Maiden Rents." Lands were even held under Maiden Redemption.46 In Scotland this ransom became known as "Marquette," Margaret wife of Malcolm Canmore, generally spoken of for her goodness as Saint Margaret,47 exercising her royal influence in 1057 against this degradation of her sex. Numberless seditions having arisen from this claim upon the bride the king more willingly established a release upon the payment of a piece of silver, a demi-marc, called marquette (whence the name), and a certain number of cows. The piece of silver went to the king, the cows to the queen, and from that period cuissage was known as the droit de marquette. But this nefarious custom possessed such strength, appealing directly to man's basest passions, his love of power, his profligacy
human beast within him--that it continued in existence nearly seven hundred years after the royal edict in Scotland against its practice.48 This vile power extended over all ranks of women; the king holding it over the daughters of the grand seigneur, the suzerain over the daughters of his vassals; the seigneur over the daughters of his serfs, even the judge or bailie enforcing this right upon all women who passed upon his road.49
The Church has ever been the bulwark of this base claim. Holding the powers of penance and of excommunication, such custom could neither have originated nor been sustained without the sanction of the church.50 At this date the privileges of the lower clergy were extraordinary. Even in England they were not amenable to the common law; they ruled the laity with iron hand, but the laity possessed no power over the priesthood.51 All appointments were in priestly hands, the union of church and state complete.
God himself seemed to have forsaken woman, and the peasantry lost all belief in the justice of earth or heaven. The customs of feudalism which were akin to the customs of power wherever existing throughout
christendom did more to create what the church terms "infidelity" than all the reason of the philosophers. No human being is so degraded as not to possess an innate sense of justice; a wrong is as keenly felt by the most humble and ignorant as by the educated and refined, its effect more lasting because of the impossibility of redress. The power of the seigneur was nearly equal to that of the king himself. Manorial courts entirely local aided the seigneur in the enforcement of his traditional privileges52 at the expense of the villeins. The crown possessed no jurisdiction over these courts. The lord held the right to make laws, render justice, lay imposts, declare war, coin money, dispose of the goods and lives of his subjects, and other prerogatives still more closely touching their personal rights, especially of the women living in his dominion.53
To persons not conversant with the history of feudalism and the church it will seem impossible that such foulness could ever have been part of christian civilization. That the vices they have been taught to consider the outgrowth of paganism, and as the worst heathendom could have existed in Christian Europe upheld many hundred years by both church and state will strike most people with incredulity. Such however is the truth; we are compelled to admit well attested facts of history, however severe a blow they strike our preconceived beliefs.
The seigneural tenure of the feudal period was a law of Christian Europe more dishonorable than the worship of Astarte at Babylon.54 In order to fully comprehend
the vileness of marquette, we must remember that it did not originate in a pagan country, many thousand years since; that it was not a heathen custom transplanted to Europe with many others adopted by the church,55 but that it arose in christian countries a thousand years after the origin of that religion, continuing in existence until within the last century.
The attempt made by some modern authors to deny that the claim of the feudal lord to the person of his female serf upon her marriage ever existed, on the ground that statutes sustaining such a right have not been discovered, is extremely weak.56 The authority of custom or "unwritten law" is still almost absolute. A second objection that such customs are unchristian has been answered. The third plea in opposition, namely that those so outraged, so oppressed, left no record of resistance is false. Aside from the fact that education was everywhere limited, no peasant and but few of the nobility knowing how to read or write, and within the church learning very rare, we have indisputable evidence of strong character in the revolt of serfs at different periods, through which concessions were gained; the final refusal of the serfs to marry, and in the travesty upon religion known as the "Black Mass."
We can not measure the serf's power of resistance by the same standard as our own. The degradation of man with but a few exceptions was as great as that of woman. Civilly and educationally the peasant man was on a par with the peasant woman. No more than she had he a voice in making the laws; the serf was virtually a slave under the absolute dominion of his lord. No power existed for him higher than that of his feudal superior. It is nearly impossible to realize the hopeless degraded condition of the peasant serf of the middle ages. It has had no parallel in the present century, except in the slavery of the southern states. Free action, free speech, free thought was impossible. But our respect for humanity is increased when we know that these vassals, although under the life and death power of their lords, did not tamely submit to the indignities enforced upon their wives and daughters.
It must also be remembered that the historians of that period were generally priests by whom the fact of such usage or custom would pass unmentioned, especially as the church taught that woman was created to meet the special demands of man. Other important historical facts have been as lightly touched upon, or passed over entirely. The deification of Julius Cæsar while Emperor of Rome, is scarcely referred to in the more familiar literary sources of Roman history. And yet his worship was almost universal in the provinces, where he was adored as a god. The records of this worship are only to be found in scattered monuments and inscriptions but recently brought to light, and deciphered within the last few years. Through these it is proven that there was an organized worship of this emperor, and an order of
consecrated priests devoted to him.57 Higgins refers to this deification of Cæsar.58 It is not alone proof of the low condition of morality at this period, but also of the universal disbelief in woman's authority over, or right to herself, that so few writers upon feudal subjects have treated of the libidinous powers of the lord over his female serfs. Even those presenting the evils of feudalism in other respects, have merely expressed a mild surprise that christian people should have admitted that right of the lord over his feminine vassals. The various names under which this right was known as jus primæ noctis,59 droit de seigneur,60 droit de jambage,61 droit de cuissage,62 droit d' afforage,63 droit de marquette,64 and many other terms too indelicate for repetition, indicating this right of the lord over all the women in his domain, is still another incontestable proof of the universality of the custom.
The Mosaic teaching as to sacredness of "first fruits," under Judaism, dedicated to the Lord of Heaven, doubtless was in part the origin of the claim of the feudal lord. The law of primogeniture, or precedence of the first born son as the beginning of "his
father's strength" is also a translation from Judaism into the customs of many nations, but nowhere under the law of primogeniture at the present day does even a first born daughter receive as high consideration as a first born son. This is especially noticeable in royal families. It is not therefore singular that men who took the literal sense of the bible in science, who believed that the world had been created in six days, this work having so greatly fatigued the Lord Almighty as to make rest on the seventh day necessary for him, should under example of that lord, claim the first fruits in all their possessions. No Christians of the present day, except the Mormons, so fully base their lives upon the teachings of the bible as the Catholics of the middle ages. If we accord divine authority to this book, accepting the literal word as infallible and sacred, we must admit that both Church and State were at this period in unison with its teachings, and even during the nineteenth century have not freed themselves from the stigma of sustaining woman's degradation; the theory of the feudal ages remains the same, although the practice is somewhat different. Legal bigamy or polygamy, non-marital unions, are common in every large city of christendom. Government license has created a class in many European countries devoted to the most degraded lives under government sanction, protection, and control; in England known as "Queen's Women," "Government Women." Thus the State places itself before the world as a trafficker in women's bodies for the vilest purposes. The culmination of nearly two thousand years of Christian teaching is the legalization of vice for women and the creation of a new crime. Previous to the enactment of this law the rules of
modern jurisprudence held an accused person as innocent until proven guilty. Under this legalization of vice all women within a certain radius of recruiting, or other army stations, are "suspects," looked upon as immoral, and liable to arrest, examination, and registration upon government books as government women. It required seventeen years of arduous work to repeal this law in England. This legalization of prostitution in the nineteenth century by the State is its open approval of that doctrine of the Church that woman was created for man. It is an acknowledgment by men that vice is an inherent quality of their natures. It is in accord with man's repeated assertion that only through means of a class of women pursuing immorality as a business, is any woman safe from violence.
In a letter to the National Woman Suffrage Convention at St. Louis, May, 1879, Mrs. Josephine E. Butler, Honorable Secretary of the Federation and of the Ladies National Association for the Protection of Women, wrote:
England holds a peculiar position in regard to the question. She was the last to adopt this system of slavery, and she adopted it in that thorough manner which characterizes the actions of the Anglo-Saxon race. In no other country has prostitution been registered by law. It has been understood by the Latin race, even when morally enervated, that the law could not without risk of losing its majesty and force sanction illegality and violate justice. In England alone the regulations are law.
This legalization of vice, which is the endorsement of the "necessity" of impurity of man and the institution of the slavery of woman, is the most open denial which modern times have seen of the principle of the sacredness of the individual human being. An English high-class journal dared to demand that women
who are unchaste shall henceforth be dealt with "not as human beings, but as foul sewers," or some such "material nuisance" without souls, without rights, and without responsibility. When the leaders of public opinion in a country have arrived at such a point of combined skepticism and despotism as to recommend such a manner of dealing with human beings, there is no crime which that country may not presently legalize, there is no organization of murder, no conspiracy of abominable things that it may not, and in due time will not--have been found to embrace in its guilty methods. Were it possible to secure the absolute physical health of a whole province or an entire continent by the destruction of one, only one poor and sinful woman, woe to that nation which should dare, by that single act of destruction, to purchase this advantage to the many! It will do it at its peril. God will take account of the deed not in eternity only, but in time, it may be in the next or even in the present generation.
Although a long and active work through seventeen years eventually brought about the repeal of this law in England, it still continues in the British colonies, being forced upon the people in opposition to their own action. After the Cape Parliament of the Colony of Good Hope had repealed the law, Sir Bartle Frere re-introduced it by means of an edict.65 When in London, 1882, Sir John Pope Hennessey, Governor and Commander in Chief of British China, was waited upon by an influential deputation of members of parliament and others to whom he made known the practical workings of governmental regulation of prostitution introduced by England into that colony. He did not hesitate to characterize it as a system of slavery for the registered women and girls. He also declared that they detested the life they are thus compelled to enter having both a dread and an abhorrence of foreigners,
especially foreign sailors and soldiers. He said such Chinese girls are the real slaves of Hong Kong.
Now to that statement I adhere. I give it to you or, the full authority of the Governor of the colony, I have been five years looking at the operation of this law in Hong Kong, and that is the result to which I have arrived that, under the flag of England there is slavery there, but it is slavery created and protected by these ordinances."
The relation of Christianity to this treatment of Chinese women, and the contempt with which this religion is regarded by these heathen, is most fully shown by Sir John's conversation with the leading Chinese merchant of Canton, as given by himself, upon the material progress of the colony. To this merchant Sir Pope said: "Your people are making a large fortune here. Why not send down your second son to enter the house of the Chinese merchant and learn the business there?" The merchant replied, "I can not for this reason; Hong Kong is a sink of iniquity." Sir Pope Hennessey answered. "This is a Christian colony; we have been here now for forty years, we are supposed to be doing the best we can to spread civilization and christianity." The Chinaman repeated: "It is a sink of iniquity in my mind. As Chinamen we think of domestic and family life--we reverence such things--but how do I see the poor Chinese treated in this colony?" And he related stories of the abuses to which his countrywomen were subjected.
In repeating this conversation to Her Majesty's government, Sir Pope Hennessey declared the words that the merchant of Canton who called Hong Kong a "sink of iniquity" have a wide application, because
the British colony at Hong Kong is geographically a part of a great Empire, an empire where you have missionaries of various churches. I have been asked to explain the curious and distressing fact that christianity is declining in China. I think it is declining mainly on account of the treaties we have forced upon the Chinese; but I will frankly tell you, it is declining also because they see these girls registered in such houses for "Europeans" and made practically slaves under our flag."66
Nor are the Cape of Good Hope, and China, the sole foreign countries in which this system of the legalized moral degradation of women has been carried by England, nearly one hundred places in India showing the same vice under license from the British Government, even to bearing the same name.67 Nor have innumerable petitions and protests from native and foreign ladies, from zenana workers, from missionaries, and even from all ranks of the resident English civil service for immediate repeal of this vilest of all laws, been of the least effect. So thoroughly imbued are English legislators with contempt for womanhood, as not only to maintain these outrageous laws but also to cause fear in the minds of those women who for twenty years wrought for the repeal of these acts in Great Britain and Ireland, of their again being introduced under more insidious and dangerous form.69 A memorial signed by a number of native born and English ladies was presented to the Viceroy praying that the age of protection for young girls be raised. While in India a man's dog, horse, elephant, and
even the plants of his garden are under the protection of English law, his daughter of ten years is Outside this protection."' The penal code punishes with imprisonment or a fine, or both, the man who injures an animal valued at ten rupees; if the animal be worth fifty rupees his imprisonment may be for five years, while for dishonestly coaxing his neighbor's dog to follow him, the punishment is three years imprisonment, or a fine or both; while the man who induces "consent" from a girl-child of ten years escapes all punishment.
In deference to the bitter opposition these acts created, it was declared that legalized prostitution was abolished in British India, June 5th, 1888. A statement was made in the House of Commons that the contagious disease acts had been suspended in Bombay. But an investigation of these statements by the English Social Purity Society, proved them false, the "Sentinel," its organ, stating, June 1890, that upon inquiry it was found that the licensing of prostitution systematically prevails in British India, and is always attended with results most disastrous to health of body as well as morals of the community. The most extraordinary course is taken towards the accomplishment of their ends, by the advocates of legalizing vice. In 1888 having failed to secure an act of the
legislature of the state of New York, in its favor, a society to this end was formed in the city of New York, incorporated as a "Voluntary Association;" borrowing the name used in England at time its women were most degraded by the state.70 This society grants certificates to women presenting themselves for examination. And thus step by step under many forms more extended than even under feudal law, is woman's moral degradation made the effort of the christian civilization of to-day.
The "ten thousand licensed women of the town" of the City of Hamburg, are required by the State to show certificates that they regularly attended Church, and also partake of the sacrament. And even in Protestant Berlin, the capital of Protestant Prussia, the Church upon demand of the State furnishes certificates of their having partaken of holy communion to those women securing license to lead vicious lives; the very symbol and body of him, whom the christian world worships as its saviour, thus becoming the key to unlock the doors of woman's moral degradation.71
The fact of governments lending their official aid to demoralization of woman by the registration system, shows an utter debasement of law. This system is directly opposed to the fundamental principle of right, that of holding of the accused innocent until proven guilty, which until now has been recognized as a part of modern law. Under the registration or license system, all women within the radius of its action are under suspicion;
all women are held as morally guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Where this law is it, force, all women are under an irresponsible police surveillance, liable to accusation, arrest, examination, imprisonment, and the entrance of their names upon the list of the lewd women of the town. Upon this frightful infraction of justice, we have the sentiments of the late Sheldon Amos, when Professor of jurisprudence in the Law College of London University. In "The Science of Law," he says, in reference to this very wrong:
The loss of liberty to the extent to which it exists, implies a degradation of the State, and, if persisted in, can only lead to its dissolution. No person or class of persons, must be under the cringing fear of having imputed to them offenses of which they are innocent, and of being taken into custody in consequence of such imputation. They must not be liable to be detained in custody without so much as a prima facie case being made out, such as in the opinion of a responsible judicial officer leaves a presumption of guilt. They must not be liable to be detained for an indefinite time without having the question of their guilt or innocence investigated by the best attainable methods. When the fact comes to be inquired into, the best attainable methods of eliciting the truth must be used. In default of any one of these securities, public liberty must be said to be proportionately at a very low ebb.
Great effort has been made to introduce this system into the United States, and a National Board of Health, created by Congress in 1879, is carefully watched lest its irresponsible powers lead to its encroachment upon the liberties and personal rights of women. A resolution adopted March 5, 1881, at a meeting of the New York committee appointed
to thwart the effort to license vice in this country, shows the need of its watchful care.
Resolved, That this committee has learned with much regret and apprehension of the action of the American Public Health Association, at its late annual meeting in New Orleans, in adopting a sensational report commending European governmental regulation of prostitution, and looking to the introduction in this country, with modifications, through the medium of State legislative enactments and municipal ordinances, of a kindred immoral system of State-regulated social vice.
Even the Latin races in their lowest degradation did not put the sanction of law upon the open sale of women to vice, says Mrs. Butler. This remained for the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic races, under the highest christian civilization in a class of women licensed by the State, under protection and name of the head of the Anglican Church, as "Queen's Women," "Government Women," both Church and State here uniting in the nefarious bus I ness of making women, by law, the slaves of man's lowest nature. A system which openly declares "the necessity" for woman's foulest degradation, in order to protect man in his departure from the moral law, a system that annually sends its tens of thousands down to a death from which christian society grants no resurrection. Similar religious beliefs beget similar results. Times change, and with them methods, but as long as the foundation of the christian church of every name, rests upon the belief in woman's created inferiority to man, and that she brought sin into the world, so long will similar social, industrial, and moral results follow. The Catholic, Greek, and Protestant divisions, all degrade Women but under different forms. That the woman of
every christian land fears to meet man in a secluded place by day or by night, is of itself sufficient proof of the low state of christian morality. Several states have at different times attempted the enactment of similar laws through bills introduced into their legislatures; requiring constant watchfulness on part of the friends of social purity least this great wrong be consummated, a wrong primarily against woman. In certain cities, as St. Louis, where such registration and license was for sometime demanded, the foulest injuries were perpetrated upon entirely innocent and reputable women, injuries for which they had no redress.72 Under the legalized vice system, women are slaves, not possessing even the right of repudiating this kind of life.
A gentleman traveling in France, 1866, relates a
most pathetic instance of the attempted escape and the forcible return to the house of infamy, of a young girl whose person there was at the command of every brute who chose to pay the price of her master. The tram car in which this gentleman was riding, crowded with ladies and girls of refined appearance, was suddenly stopped on one of the principal streets of Havre, by a dense crowd swaying back and forth across the track. He said:
I then became aware that two men, tall powerful fellows, were carrying or rather trying to carry, a young woman seemingly between sixteen and eighteen years of age, who occupied herself in violently clutching at everything and anything from a lamp-post to a shop door handle, a railing, and the pavement itself.
"As a matter of course, her body swayed between the two men, half dragging on the pavement, her clothing besmeared with mud and blood. For the rough handling had superadded crimson to other stains. This proved the case to be not one of accident, although the screams, shrieks and cries of the poor girl might well have led to the belief of her having been the victim of a run over, and of being in convulsions of acute agony. Her agonizing cries for 'pity' 'police,' 'protection,' 'help,' murder,' 'Oh! oh! oh!' were reiterated incessantly. At one particular moment her contortions, and the violence of her efforts to free herself, or even to bring her head into a more convenient position than hanging face downward, while a yard or so of long, bedraggled hair, all loose, was sweeping up the dirt from the pavement, were so violent that her two carriers had to let her slip from their grasp on to the flagstones.
"All this time, unmoved by, and totally indifferent to her piercing cries, stood by, or strolled calmly onward with the crowd, a policeman in uniform and on duty. My enquiry of, 'What is all this piece of work about? is it an accident? Is the woman drunk, or what?' He smilingly answered: 'Oh! not drunk, sir,
not at all, not at all. It's only one of those young licensed girls, who has been trying to escape from her house, and that's her master, who has just caught her again, and is carrying her back to his place. That's all!"'
"I was powerless to help." In many christian countries a traffic in girls exists under government protection and license.
Criminal vice chiefly finds its feminine prey among the poorest and most helpless class who are the victims of this new commercial business, its customers scattered in every christian land, and accepting their spoil only upon the certificate of some reputable physician as to their innocence and previous uncontamination. Crime, vice, and cruelty, were never before so closely united in one infamous system; the purchase of young innocence by old iniquity under protection of law.73 A bill was introduced into the English parliament to check this business of girl destruction, accompanied by proof so direct, and proof of the necessity of immediate action so great, that it was not doubted that the bill would pass at once. Yet it encountered secret74 and powerful opposition, was finally referred to a committee already so overburdened with work and so far behindhand that it was manifest that the bill could not be reached in years. Gilded vice laughed at this result, and the iniquitous business
proceeded as before. At that period the "Pall Mall Gazette" entered into an investigation whose results roused the whole civilized world. Even clergymen, ignoring the fact that christian teaching had brought this vice into being, joined the press in scathing reproof of patrician London iniquity.75 Societies were formed for the protection of young girls from the vice of men who used the power of wealth and station to corrupt the daughters of the poor.76
Under English christian law it has never been a crime to morally destroy a girl of thirteen, because under that law she is held responsible for her own undoing. Girls of this tender age, infants, in all that pertains to the control of property, incapable of making a legal contract, because of immaturity of understanding, are yet held by that law as of age to protect themselves from a seducer; held to possess sufficient judgment to thwart all the wiles of men old in years. and crime--of men protected in their iniquities by laws of their own making-men shielded by the legislation of their own sex--men who escape all punishment because men alone enact the laws. It is not alone the waifs of society who fall a prey to the seducer, but the children of reputable parents and good homes are waylaid on their way to and from school and lured to ruin." To the modern ghoul it is of no
moment upon whom he preys, provided his victim be but young and innocent. Lecky has portrayed the standard of morals of the present day as far higher than in pagan Rome, but we must be allowed to doubt this. Immoral sentiment is more deftly hidden, and law more dependent upon public opinion. As soon as the general consensus of public opinion rises in opposition to girl destruction, the law will regulate itself in accordance with this standard.
Lord Shaftesbury, upon this point, said:
The "Pall Mall Gazette" has published to the world disclosures of a most horrible, and many would think of an incredible character. Not even the questionings of peace or war or most intricate foreign policy, ought to interfere with energetic measures to suppress these evils. But before we can make any great advance, there must be a considerable move of public opinion. It must be vigorous and determined, and I will tell you why. You may depend upon it that no government undertakes a question of a really important and social character until it has been forced upon it by the voice of public opinion. Consequently it is our duty to bring the voice of that public opinion to bear on this question. Law can be evaded in every possible way. The only thing that defies evasion is a wide spread and universally extended public opinion. I hope that we shall be able to create such a public opinion throughout the country that persons will be induced to come forward voluntarily and give evidence. The plague spot is too deep, too wide, and there are too many persons interested in the continuance of it, to enable us easily to wipe it out. Uncommon energy will be necessary, and I hope we shall raise such an amount of popular indignation that the effect will be irresistible.
But the public feeling, the public indignation against these enormities did not rise to the height of restrictive legislation. The policy of a portion both
of the English and the American press was that of suppression, upon the plea that a knowledge of these crimes would be injurious to the morals of society. Suppression was also the aim of the "royal princes, dukes, nobles, and leading men," who were the principal patrons and supporters of this nefarious system. suppression is the strongest opposing weapon against reform. To compel change needs light and discussion. It is only when wrongs find a tongue that they become righted." Woman, legally powerless in the doing away with abuses, or the punishment of crime, must depend upon publicity for the creation of a public sentiment in her favor.
One of the most remarkable facts connected with disclosures of this crime against womankind was the extent to which men of all ages and character were found identified with it. The world of business and that of politics were equally as well known in the haunts of vice as in the outside world, but there were judged by a different standard and their relative importance was altogether changed.78 It was a literal day of judgment, in which evil character, deftly hidden during public life, was there unveiled.
The most horribly striking fact connected with this investigation was the extreme youth of these victims. The report of the committee of the House of Lords, 1882, declared the evidence proved beyond doubt that juvenile vice from an almost incredibly early age was increasing at an appalling extent in England, and especially in London; ten thousand girls, thirteen,
fourteen, and fifteen years of age, had been drawn into this vice, an English paper declaring the ignorance of these girls to be almost incredible. The condition of these girl-children is far more horrible than that of the victims of infant marriage in Syria, Egypt, India; the infant victims of christian lands are more fully destroyed, soon becoming mental, physical and moral wrecks; alternate imbecility and wild screaming being common among these child victims of vice.79
Christianity created the modern brothel, which as closely follows in the wake of evangelical work of the Moody and Sankey style, as did public women the ancient church councils.80 While in the past the legal wrongs of woman in the marriage relation, in which she is robbed of name, personality, earnings, children, had a tendency to drive her to live with man outside of the authority of church or state, the occupations recently opened to her whereby she can gain a reputable livelihood by her own exertions, has greatly increased the ranks of single women.81 No longer compelled to marry for a home or position, the number of young girls who voluntarily refrain from marriage, by choice living single, increases each year. No longer driven to immorality for bread, a great diminution has taken place in the ranks of "public women."82 No longer forced by want into this life, the lessening
number of such women not meeting the requirements of patrons of vice, resulted in the organization of a regular system for the abduction, imprisonment, sale, and exportation of young girls; England and Germany most largely controlling this business, although Belgium, Holland and France, Switzerland, several counties of South America, Canada, and the United States are to some extent also engaged in this most infamous traffic.83
Foreign traffic in young English girls was known to exist long before the revelation of the "Pall Mall Gazette" made English people aware of the extent of the same system under the home government. It was this widely extended and thoroughly organized commerce in girl-children which roused a few people to earnest effort against it, and secured the formation of a society called "Prevention of Traffic in English Girls." To the chairman of this society, Mr. Benjamin Scott, was the first official suggestion due that terminated in that investigation by Editor Stead, which for a moment shook the civilized world, and held Christian England to light as a center of the vilest, most odious, most criminal slave traffic the world ever knew.
London, the great metropolis of christian England, the largest city of ancient or modern times, is acknowledged by statisticians and sociologists to be the point where crime, vice, despair, and misery are found in their deepest depth and greatest diversity. Not Babylon of old, whose name is the synonym of all that is vile; not Rome, "Mother of Harlots," not Corinth, in whose temple a thousand women were kept for prostitution in service of the god, not the most
savage lands in all their barbarity have ever shown thousandth part of the human woe to be found in the city of London, that culmination of modern christian civilization. The nameless crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah, the vileness of ancient Greece, which garnered its most heroic men, its most profound philosophers, are but amusements among young men of the highest rank in England; West End, the home of rank and wealth, of university education, being the central hell of this extended radius of vice. The destruction of girl-children by old men is paralleled by the self-destruction of boys and youth through vices that society hesitates to name. Yet each is the result of that system of teaching which declares woman a being divinely created for the use and sensual gratification of man.
Having for years tacitly consented to the destruction of the girl-children of its poor, at the rate of twenty thousand annually, England was yet greatly shocked to find its boys of tender age and aristocratic lineage sunken in a mire of immorality. Eton, the highest institution of its kind in Great Britain, having in charge the education of boys connected with the most illustrious English families, recently became the source of a scandal which involved a great number of students. An extensive secret inquiry resulted in the suspension of nearly three hundred boys after full confession. Supplied with unlimited pocket money, they had bribed parkkeepers and the police to silence.
But a few years previous to these disclosures in reference to Eton, the civilized world was horrified at the discovery of the vice which destroyed Sodom, among some of the most wealthy, aristocratic young men of London. And yet with knowledge of the depravity
into which this most christian city had sunk, the shocking character of the disclosures of the "Pall Mall Gazette" in reference to the traffic in young girls, involved details of vice so atrocious as to exceed belief had not the testimony been of the most convincing character. These mere children were lured by the most diabolical vices into traps, where by drugs, force, or cajoling, tens of thousands were brought to moral and physical ruin, innocent victims of a religious theory which through the christian ages has trained men into a belief that woman was but created as a plaything for their passions. That boys of the highest families, in the earliest years of their adolescence, should voluntarily associate with those vicious women who form a class created by the public sentiment of man as necessary to the safety of the feminine element in households, is not surprising to a philosophic observer. It was the direct result of an adequate cause. The wrong to woman passed so silently by, reached its culmination in the destruction of young boys. At Eton, suspension was tenderness, expulsion from that school ruining a boy's future.
Succeeding the revelation of London vice, came divulgence of similar shameless practices on the part of high government officials and men foremost in public life, in the Canadian Colonies. in Ottawa and other Canadian cities in which upon this side of the Atlantic the wholesale despoliation of young girls but too closely paralleled London and other trans-Atlantic cities. These were closely followed by the revelations in regard to the north-western pineries of the United States, to whose camps women are decoyed, under pretense of good situations and high wages into a life whose horrors are not equaled in any other part
of the Christian world;--where the raw-hide is used to compel drinking and dancing, and high stockades, bull-dogs and pistols prevent escape, until death,--happily of quick occurrence,--releases the victim. As elsewhere, men of wealth and high position, law-makers, are identified with this infamy.84
Among the notable facts due to an investigation of prostitution is that its support largely comes from married men, the "heads of families;" men of mature years, fathers of sons and daughters. To those seemingly least exposed to temptation is the sustaining of this vice due. Men of influence and position no less in this country than in England frequent disreputable houses. In 1878, the body of a woman buried in the principal cemetery of Syracuse, N. Y. was exhumed on suspicion of poison. One of the prominent city dailies said, she commenced leading an abandoned life and went to Saratoga where she ran a large establishment of that character. Her place was the center for men of influence and position.' A few years since the Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage accompanied by high police officials investigated such houses in person. In a sermon based upon knowledge there obtained Mr. Talmage declared those dens of infamy to be supported by married men, chiefly of the better classes.
He found them to be judges of courts, distinguished lawyers, officers in churches, political orators that talk on the Republican, Democratic and Greenback platforms about God and good morals till you might almost take them for evangelists expecting a thousand
converts in one night. On the night of our exploration I saw their carriages leaving these dignitaries at the shambles of death. Call the roll in the house of dissipation, and if the inmates will answer you will find stock-brokers from Wall street, large importers on Broadway, iron merchants, leather merchants, wholesale grocers and representatives from all the wealthy classes.
But I have something to tell you more astonishing than that the houses of iniquity are supported by wealthy people when I tell you that they are supported by the heads of families--fathers and husbands, with the awful perjury upon them of broken marriage vows; and while many of them keep their families on niggardly portions, with hardly enough to sustain life, have their thousands for the diamonds and the wardrobe and equipage of iniquity. In the name of high heaven I cry out against this popular iniquity. Such men must be cast out from social life and from business relations. If they will not reform, overboard with them from all decent circles. I lift one-half the burden of malediction from the un-pitied head of woman and hurl it upon the blasted pate of offending man. What society wants is a new division of its anathema.
Without the support of the heads of families, in one month the most of the haunts of sin in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, would crumble into ruin.
That one-half of the children born into the world die before maturity, is acknowledged. Physiologists and philanthropists seek for the cause except where most likely to be found. To that mysterious interchange of germs and life principles, whose chemistry is still not understood, must we look for a d in solving this great problem. These questions woman is forced to consider; their investigation belong to her by right, as she and her children are the chief victims. She can no longer close her lips in silence, saying it does
not concern me. No longer does the modern woman allow her husband to think for her; she is breaking from church bonds, from the laws of men alone, from all the restrictions the state has pressed upon her; she is no longer looking without, for guidance, but is heeding the commands of her own soul.
With such facts before us, we are not surprised that women are found who prefer the freedom and private respect accorded to a mistress, rather than the restrictions and tyranny of the marital household. Mr. Talmage but followed in the footsteps of Anna Dickinson, who took upon herself an acquaintance with this class of women. Asking one women living as mistress why she did not marry, the girl contemptuously ejaculated:
"Marry! umph! I too well know what my mother suffered in the married state. She was my father's slave, cruelly treated, subject to all manner of abuse, neglected, half-starved, all her appeals and protests unheeded. How is it with me? I am free. I have all the money I want to use, a thing my mother never had. I come and go as I please, something my mother could never do, I am well treated, my mother was not. Should I be abused there is no law to hold me, no court to sit upon my right to my own child as there was with my mother. No, no, no, I am infinitely better off as a mistress than as a wife."
And yet so pronounced in difference are the moral codes by which men and women are judged, that while living together in un-legalized marital relations, the man is welcomed into society, is looked upon as fit for marriage with the most innocent young girl, while should he partially condone the wrong done the woman whose life under present condition of society he has ruined, by marriage with her, society for this one reputable
act brands him as most unworthy. It is but a few years since a cavalry officer in Washington was court-martialled, found guilty and sentenced to dismissal from the army on charge of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, because of his legally marrying a woman with whom he had been living un-married. What a commentary upon christian civilization! While living in illicit relation with this woman, he was regarded as an officer and a gentleman; when taking upon himself a legal relation he was court-martialled. Lecky says: "Much of our own feeling on this subject is due to laws and moral systems which were founded by men and were in the first instance deigned for their own protection." As far as he has examined this question, Lecky is correct, but he has failed to touch the primal cause of such laws and systems;--the church doctrine of woman's created inferiority to man. View these questions from any stand-point the cause remains the same. To this cause we trace the crime and criminals of society to-day. To this cause the darkness of an age which has not yet realized that civilization means a recognition of the rights of others at every point of contact.
To the honor of the pulpit the sins of men are occasionally made the subject of condemnation. Evangelist Davidson preaching in Syracuse, N. Y. 1887, said: "I pray God to haste the day when vice in man will be marked by society the same as in woman. I know all the popular theories. You admit it is a fearful thing for a woman. There are poor women who are driven to it and you are the ones who drive them . You smile at the one thing in this sermon that ought to make a thinking man cry; the world is so depraved that you laugh at the very idea of a man's saying he is a pure man."
Like Lecky, Mr. Davidson was correct as far as he went, but he, too, failed to reach the cause of this double code of morals. He did not touch it because in striking that, he would strike a blow at the very foundations of the church.
Christendom is percolated with immorality, large cities and small towns alike giving daily proof. Legislative and police investigations substantiate this statement; woman's protective agencies and private investigations alike proclaim the same fact. As under the same organic teachings results must continue the same, we find the United States no more free from immorality than European lands; Catholic countries no more vile than Protestant; although feudal law no longer exists, men still rule in church and state. Men's beliefs, their desires, their passions, create the laws under which the degradation of woman still continues. Evil consequences are not confined to the past, to days of comparative ignorance and tyranny; and in no country has the effect of belief in woman as a mere instrument for man's pleasure produced more horrible results than in our own. Not to speak of the effort made in Congress a few years since to place all women of the country under suspect law, many cities, among them Washington, Philadelphia, Syracuse,85 have at different periods taken initial steps towards a prohibition of a woman's appearing in the street un-accompanied by male escort, during the evening, even its earliest hours. Such ordinances, primarily directed against working girls whose chief time for out of door exercise and recreation is during evening hours, and to that other rapidly increasing
class of business women, physicians and others, whose vocation calls them out at all hours of day or night; places the liberty of woman at the option of every policeman, as though she were a criminal or a slave.86 There is also proof of regularly organized kidnapping schemes and deportation of girls for the vilest purposes not only abroad, but to the pineries and lumber camps of Michigan and Wisconsin.
Bloodhounds kept for this purpose, or hunting down the girls with shot guns, prevents escape when attempted. In January, 1887, representative Breen appeared before the House judiciary Committee of the Michigan legislature, confirming the charge that a regular trade in young girls existed between Milwaukee, Chicago and the mining regions of the upper peninsula of that state.87 In case of conviction, the punishment is totally inadequate to the crime of those men; the law giving only one year of imprisonment.
The freedom, innocence and lives of such women are of less account in law than the commonest larceny of
property. If these girls were robbed of fifty cents the law would punish the theft, but robbed of themselves, enduring such brutal outrages that life continues only from two to twelve months, there have yet no laws of adequate punishment been passed. So little attention have legislators given, that policemen, judges and sheriffs are found aiding and abetting the proprietors of these dens.88 Their emissaries find young girls between thirteen and sixteen the easiest to kidnap, and when once in power of these men, their hair is cut in order that they may be known. A regular system of transfer of the girls exists between the many hundred such dens, where clubs, whips, and irons are the instruments to hold them in subjection.89 "The New York World" sent a representative disguised as a woodman in order to investigate the truth of these statements. He found these houses surrounded by stockades thirty feet in height, the one door guarded night and day by a man with a rifle, while within were a number of chained bull-dogs that were let loose if a girl attempted escape. Certain men even in these forest depths are especially noted for their cruelty to these victims, who are compelled with club and whips to obey the master of the den. Suicide the only door of escape is frequent among these girls, who
almost without exception were secured under promise of respectable employment at Green Bay, Duluth, or other points. From forty to seventy-five girls are found at the largest of such pinery dens.
The "World" reporter saw them strung up by the thumbs, beaten with clubs, kicked by drunken brutes and driven with switches over the snow. He afterwards interviewed a rescued girl who had engaged to work in a lumberman's hotel, supposing it to be a respectable place, but instead she was taken to a rough building, surrounded by a slab fence nearly twenty feet in height, within which was a cordon of thirteen bull dogs chained to iron stakes driven in the ground. Many of the details given by this girl are too horrible for relation. Three times she tried to escape and three times she was caught and beaten. The visitors, by whom she tried to smuggle notes to the outer world would hand them to the proprietor, who liberally paid for such treason. Even county officers visited the place to drink and dance with the girls, who were not permitted to refuse any request of the visitors. A complaint of any kind, even of sickness, meant a whipping, frequently with a rawhide upon the naked body; some times with the butt of a revolver. Many denkeepers wield a powerful influence in the local elections; one of the worst of such after paying the constable twelve dollars for the return of a girl who had tried to escape, beat her with a revolver until tired and was then only prevented by a woodman from turning loose a bull dog upon her; but such was his political influence that he was elected justice of the peace the following spring.
Under the head of "White Slaves in Michigan" the "New York World" of January 24, 1887, published a
special dispatch from Detroit, Mich., in regard to the case of a rescued girl.
DETROIT, Jan. 23--One of the infamous resorts maintained in the new iron region in the upper peninsulas, near the Wisconsin state line, was raided last September by the Sheriff's officers. Hers is the first word to reach the world direct from one of those dens. Many of the details she gave were too horrible to be even hinted. On the strength of inducements now familiar, she went to work in a lumberman's hotel in the North. She went, accompanied by another girl, both believing the situation to be respectable. She and her companion were taken to a rough two story building, four and a half miles from Iron Mountain, in Wisconsin. The house was surrounded by a slab fence nearly twenty feet high, within which about the building was a cordon of bull dogs, thirteen in number, chained to iron stakes driven into the ground. She said. "Scarcely a day passed that I was not knocked down and kicked. Several times when I was undressed for bed I was beaten with a rawhide on my bare back. There were always from eleven to thirty-two girls in the house and I did not fare a bit worse than the rest. A complaint of any kind, even of sickness, meant a whipping every time. When the log drives were. going on there would be hundreds of men there night and day. They were not human beings, but fiends, and we were not allowed to refuse any request of them. Oh, it was awful, awful! I would rather stay in this prison until I die than to go back there for one day. I tried to escape three times and was caught. They unchained the dogs and let them get so near me that I cried out in terror and begged them to take the dogs away and I would go back. Then, of course, I was beaten. I tried, too, to smuggle out notes to the Sheriff by visitors, but they would take them to the proprietor instead and be would pay them. Once I did get a note to the deputy sheriff at Florence, Wis., and he came and inquired, but the proprietor gave him $50 and he went away. I was awfully beaten then. While I lived
the life, from March until September, two inmates died, both from brutal treatment. They were as good as murdered. Nearly all the girls came without knowing the character of the house at first implored to get away. The county officers came to the places to drink and dance with the girls. They are controlled by a rich man in Iron Mountain, who owns the houses and rents them for $100 a month. I am twenty-four years old and was a healthy woman when I went into the first house, weighing 156 pounds. I was transferred to the house from which I was released by the officers in August last. When I left it I weighed 120. 1 now weigh less. When I go home I will be a good woman, if I can only let liquor alone. I was forced to drink that while there."
The traffic in girls from one part of the American continent to another is under a well organized plan that seldom meets discovery, although a trader of this character is now serving a sentence in Sing Sing prison, N. Y., for sending girls to Panama. Three decoyed young girls found in Jamaica, were happily returned uninjured, to their parents.90 From Canada, girls are imported to the large cities of the United States. The prices paid to agents depend upon a girl's youth and beauty, varying from $20 to $200 each.91 The traffic at Ottawa resembled that of London in that prominent citizens, leading politicians,
and members of the government were implicated.92 The number of women and girls constantly reported "missing" is startling in its great extent. Stepping out on some household errand for a moment they vanish as though swallowed by the earth. A few years ago the "Chicago Herald" sent one of its reporters into the pineries of Wisconsin, to trace a little girl living on State street of that city who went one evening to get a pitcher of milk and did not return. Not a month, scarcely a week passes, that the disappearance of some woman, girl, or child, is not chronicled through the press, besides the infinitely greater numbers of whom the world never hears. As it was abroad, so in our own country, no energetic steps are taken to put an end to these foul wrongs. Woman herself is needed in the seats of justice; woman must become a responsible factor in government in order to the enactment of laws which shall protect her own sex. The spring of 1892, the "Chicago Herald" called attention to the continuance of this condition of things.
MARINETTE, Wis., April 17.--Four years ago when "The Herald" exposed the pinery dens of Wisconsin, Marinette was known as the wickedest city in the country. It was the rendezvous of every species of bad men. Thugs, thieves and gamblers practically held possession of the town. Their influence was felt in all municipal affairs. Certain officers of the law seemed in active sympathy with them, and it was almost
impossible to secure the arrest and conviction of men guilty of infamous crimes. Dives of the vilest character ran open on the outskirts of the town. Their inmates, recruited from all parts of the country by the subtle arts of well known procurers, were kept in a state of abject slavery. Iron balls and chains, suffocating cords and the whistling lash were used on refractory girls and women. The dens were surrounded by stockades, and savage dogs were kept unmuzzled to scare those who might try to escape. Bodies of ill-starred victims were sometimes found in the woods, but the discovery was rarely followed by investigation. The dive keepers were wealthy and knew how to ease the conscience of any over-zealous officer.
The outburst of indignation which followed "The Herald's" exposure compelled certain reforms in the neighborhood. Sporadic efforts were made to clean out the criminal element; restrictions were placed on saloons and gambling houses; stockades and bloodhounds were removed from the dives near the woods, and gradually an air of semi-decency crept over the district. But the snake was scotched, not killed. For a time more attention was paid to the proprieties, vice and crime were not so open as formerly. By degrees, however, the old conditions assumed sway again. Games of every kind were run openly night and day, dives and dance halls have been thronged and the usual quota of men from the woods deliberately robbed of their winter's savings.
Man's assertion that he protects woman is false. Under laws solely enacted by men young girls in christian countries are held as assenting to their own degradation at an age so tender that their evidence would not be received in courts of law. Nor are these the laws of a remote age come down to the present time. As late as 1889, the Kansas State Senate voted 25 to 9 that a girl of twelve years was of sufficiently responsible age "to consent" to take the first step in immorality; the same senate afterwards unanimously voting
that a boy of sixteen years was not old enough to decide for himself in regard to smoking cigarettes.93 It should be remembered that youth is the most impressible season of life as well as the most inexperienced. Young girls from thirteen to sixteen, mere children, are most easily decoyed, their youth and innocence causing them to fall the readiest prey; and scarcely a large city but proves the existence of men of mature years whose aim is the destruction of such young girls.94 The state of Delaware yet more infamous, still retaining seven years as the "age of consent." Seven short years of baby life in that state is legally held to transform a girl-infant into a being with capacity to consent to an act of which she neither knows the name nor the consequences, her "consent" freeing from responsibility or punishment, the villain, youthful or aged, who chooses to assault such baby victim of man-made laws.95 While the doors of irresponsible vice are legally thrown open to men of all ages with girl victims as their prey, the restrictions against marriage with a minor without the parents' consent are in most states very severe. That the girl-wife herself has consented to the marriage ceremony is of no weight. Where a legitimate union is under consideration she is held as possessing no power to form a contract and can be arrested under a writ of habeas corpus, and kept from her husband at her father's pleasure. Instances have also
occurred where the wife has been punished by him for thus daring to marry.96 Both the husband and the officiating clergyman are also held amenable, the former under charge of abduction, the latter as an accessory in performing the marriage ceremony.
A significant fact is the rapid increase of child criminals throughout christendom; Germany, France and England showing one hundred per cent within ten years, while in the United States more than one-half the inmates of state prisons are under thirty years of age. From criminals it is necessary to look back to crime-making men sitting in earth's loftiest places, and note the fact that crime germs are not alone generated with the child, but that through the gestative period the mother, a religious and legal slave, struggles between a newly awakened sense of that responsibility which within the last four decades has come to woman, and the crushing influence of religious, political and family despotism which still overshadows her. Moralists have long striven for the suppression of immorality by efforts directed to the reformation of corrupt women alone; for two reasons they have been unsuccessful.
First: the majority of women entering this life are found to have done so under the pressure of abject poverty, and as long as the conditions of society continue to foster poverty for woman it was impossible to create a marked change in morals.
Second: all efforts were directed towards the smallest and least culpable class, as it has been proven that ten
men of immoral life are required for the support of one woman of like character. In London alone with its population of five millions, 100,000 women, one-fiftieth of its population are thus enumerated, requiring 1,000,000 men, one-fifth of its population, for their support. Recognizing the fact that men, not women, were most sunken in vice, the number leading vicious lives very much larger, the degradation of these men very much greater, an Italian lady, Madam Venturi, at the International Conference of the British Continental and General Federation for the abolition of governmental regulation of prostitution, while making a brief eloquent address upon the general subject of rescue work, referred to the great importance of reclaiming men as the fundamental work upon which others should be built up. Teach men, she said, to understand that he who degrades a fellow creature, commits a crime, the crime of high treason against humanity. In quick response to those fitly-spoken words, the women of many countries combined in the work of man's reformation in an organization known as the "White Cross Society" founded in 1886, by Miss Ellice Hopkins of England, and now possessing branches in every part of the civilized world.97 To this society, men alone belong; its work is of a still broader character than mere reformation of the vicious; it seeks to train young men and boys to a proper respect for woman and for themselves.
As the world is indebted to Christine of Pisa for the first public protest against the immorality of christendom, so to Mrs. Josephine Butler,98 Madam Venturi, and Miss Ellice Hopkins are due the inauguration
of a new moral standard for man whose results must be of incalculable value to the world. The "White Cross" is a simply organized society without an admission fee, but requiring adherence to a fivefold obligation binding its members to purity of thought and action,99 and maintaining that the law of chastity is equally binding on men and women. The International Federation, a union existing in several European countries, its chief object, work against state protection of vice, roused public thought in this direction as never before. People began to comprehend that a large vicious class was common to every community, a class whose reclamation had never been systematically attempted, never thought necessary or even deemed possible, because of the religious and social training that taught indulgence in vice to be a necessity of man's nature; and the co-ordinate statement, that protection to the majority of women was to be secured only through the debasement and moral degradation of the minority. For many hundreds of years this has been man's treatment of the question of vice in Christian lands.
But as soon as advancing civilization permitted woman's thought to be publicly heard, vice in man was declared to be upon the same basis as vice in woman. Had not man been trained by his religion into a belief that woman was created for him, had not the church for 1800 and more years preached woman's moral debasement, the long course of legislation for
them as slaves would never have taken place, nor the obstacles in way of change been so numerous and so persistent. For nine years the Criminal Reform Act was before Parliament. During that period, petitions, speeches and appeals of every kind in favor of its passage were made by those outside the halls of legislation aided by a few honest men within. But the vicious and immoral fought the act with energy, despite the fact that the women of their own families were exposed to destruction through government protected iniquity. The bitter opposition by legislators to this act, is an additional proof that woman cannot trust man in the state to any greater extent than in the church.
Until woman holds political power in her own hands, her efforts for protective legislation will be arduous and protracted. Among the customs of the early Christian church, we are able to trace the inception of marquette, the mundium, the legalization of vice and crimes of kindred character. With exception of among some savage races, that woman should appear unclothed before man, has been regarded as evidence of the deepest sensuality, yet throughout the history of Christianity from its earliest years when women were required to divest themselves of clothing before baptism down to the Endowment House ceremonies of the Mormon Church, we constantly find proof of like sensual exactions by the "Fathers," priests and lay masculinity of the church. During the earliest days of Christianity, women were baptized quite nude, in the presence of men, by men, their bodies being afterwards anointed with oil by the priest who had baptized them. One of the earliest schisms in the church arose from the protest of women against this indignity,
their demand to be allowed to baptize those of their own sex, and the opposition of men to this demand.100
The early bishops of the church strenuously used their influence against the baptism of nude women by elders of their own sex. Women were sometimes brought entirely nude upon the stage at Rome, but it was in connection with religious representation, the theater at that period being an element of religious teaching. Lecky speaks of the undisguised sensuality of this practice.101 What must be our conception of a Christian custom that placed nude maidens and wives in the very hands of men, not alone for baptism but also for anointing with oil? Nude baptism is still practiced when converts are received into the Greek church, no position or station in life excusing from it, Catharine, the first wife of Peter the Great being baptized in this primitive Christian manner.102 As
The converts were first exorcised of the evil spirits that were supposed to inhabit them; then, after undressing and being baptized, they were anointed with oil.--Bunsen's Christianity of Mankind, Vol. VII, p. 386-393; 3d Vol. Analecta.
Women were baptized quite naked in the presence of these men.--Philosophical Dictionary.
Some learned men have enacted that in primitive churches the persons to be baptized, of whatever age or sex, should be quite naked. Pike.--History Of Crime in England. See Joseph Vicecomes.--De Ritibus Baptismi. Varrius.--Thesibus de Baptisme.}
late as the seventeenth century a work upon the "Seven Sacraments" set certain days in which female penitents were to appear entirely unclothed before the confessor in order that he might discipline them on account of their sins.
1. in the dominion of the Count de Foix, the lord had right once in his lifetime to take, without payment, a certain quantity of goods from the stores of each tenant. Cesar Cantu.--Histoire Universelle.p. 153
2. Two women seized by German soldiers were covered with tar, rolled in leathers, and exhibited in the camp as a new species of bird.
3. Among the privileges always claimed, and frequently enforced by the feudalry, was the custom of the lord of the manor to lie the first night with the bride of his tenant.--Sketches of Feudalism, p. 109.
By the law of "Marquette" under the feudal system (which rested on personal vassalage), to the "lord of the soil" belonged the privilege of first entering the nuptial couch unless the husband had previously paid a small sum of money, or its equivalent, for the ransom of his bride; and we read that these feudal lords thought it was no worse thus to levy on a young bride than to demand half the wool of each flock of sheep, Article on Relation of the Sexes.--Westminster Review.
4. The custom of Borough-English is said to have arisen out of the Marchetta or plebeian's first born son being considered his lord's progeny.--Dr. Tusler.p. 154
5. "It is not very likely that Louis XIV. thought the time would ever come when the peasant's bride might not be claimed in the chamber of his seigneur on her bridal night. Those base laws, their revocation has been written in the blood of successive generations."
6. See Feudal Dictionary.p. 155
7. The interests of ecclesiastics as feudal nobles were in some respects identical with those of the barons, but the clergy also constituted a party with interests of its own.
S. M. Gérun, as quoted by Grimm, gives curious information upon this subject.p. 156
9. Par example, dans quelques seigneuries, on le seigneur passent trois nuits avec les nouvelles marriées, il fut convenu qu'il n'eu passant qu'une. Dans d'autres, on le seigneur avant le premiere nuit seulment, ou ne lui accordes plus qu'une heure.
10. Calling de Plancy.
11. Feudal Dictionary, p. 179.
12. Claiming the right of the first night with each new spouse.--Bœms Decisions 297, 1-17.
13. Raepsaet. p. 179.p. 157
14. The popes anciently had universal power over the pleasures of marriage.--Feudal Dictionary, 174.
15. In the transaction the alternative was with the husband; it was he who might submit, or pay the fine, as he preferred or could afford. Relation of the Sexes.--Westminster Review.
16. These (courts) powerfully assisted the seigneur to enforce his traditional Privileges at the expense of the villeins.--H. S. Maine.
The courts of Bearn openly maintained that this right grew up naturally.p. 158
17. Sometimes the contumacious husband was harnessed by the side of a horse or an ox, compelled to do a brute's work and to herd with the cattle.
18. He is followed by bursts of laughter, and the noisy rabble down to the lowest scullion give chase to the "cuckold."--Michelet.
19. The oldest born of the peasant is accounted the son of his lord, for he, perchance it was, that begat him. When the guests have retired, the newly wedded husband shall permit his lord to enter the bed of his wife, unless he shall have redeemed her for five shillings and four pence.--Grimm.
20. Droit de cuissage c'est le droit de mettre une cuisse dans le lit d'une autra, on de coucher avec le femme d'une vassal on d'une serf.
So much scandal was caused that finally the archbishop of Bourges abolished this right in his diocese.--Feudal Dictionary.
21. A yoke of cattle and a measure of wheat was afterwards substituted for a money ransom, but even this redemption was in most cases entirely beyond the power of the serf. p. 159
Under the feudal system the lord of the manor held unlimited sway over his serfs. He farther possessed the so-called Jus Primæ Noctis (Right of the First Night), which he could, however, relinquish in virtue of a certain payment, the name of which betrayed its nature. It has been latterly asserted that this right never existed, an assertion which to me appears entirely unfounded. It is clear the right was not a written one, that it was not summed up in paragraphs; it was the natural consequence of the dependent relationship, and required no registration in any book of law. If the female serf pleased the lord he enjoyed her, if not he let her alone. In Hungary, Transylvania, and the Danubian principalities, there was no written Jus Primæ Noctis either, but one learns enough of this subject by inquiry of those who know the country and its inhabitants, as to the manners which prevail between the land owners and the female population. That imposts of this nature existed cannot be denied, and the names speak for themselves. August Bebel.--Woman in the Past, Present and Future.p. 159
22. In a parish outside Bourges the parson as being a lord especially claimed the first fruits of the bride, but was willing to sell his rights to the husband.
23. The Infamous noble who accompanied a certain notorious actress to this country in the fall of 1886, possessed forty livings in his gift.p. 160
24. No greater proof of this statement is needed than the rapidity with which the disease brought by the sailors of Columbus spread over Europe; infecting the king on his throne, the peasant in the field, the priest at the altar, the monk and nun in the cloister.
25. In deference to that public sentiment which required the ruler to pose before the world as a libertine, Friedrich Wilhelm I., of Prussia (1713-1740), although old and in feeble health, kept up the pretense of a liaison with the wife of one of his generals, the intimacy consisting of an hour's daily walk it, the castle yard.--August Bebel.
26. Down to Pius IX. See The Woman, the Priest and the Confessional.
27. When the Emperor Charles II. entered Bourges, he was saluted by a deputation of perfectly naked women. At the entrance of King Ladislaus into Vienna, 1452, the municipal government sent a deputation of public women to meet him, the beauty of whose forms was rather enhanced than concealed by their covering of gauze. Such cases were by no means unusual.--Woman in the Past, Present and Future.p. 161
28. Memoirs of the Princess of Bareith, a sister of Frederick the Great.p. 162
29. In Russia the nobles have such rights by law over the women of their lands that the population scarcely resent the sale by auction of all the young peasants of their village. These nobles, a race once proud and mean, extravagant and covetous, full of vice and cunning, are said to be a class superior to the people, Yet they are working the ruin of their influence by multiplying in the masses the number of individuals, already very considerable, to whom they have transmitted their genius with their blood.--A. R. Craig, M.A.
30. LONDON, February 1.--The Odessa correspondent of "The Daily News" says: Hunger typhus is spreading alarmingly. In large towns in this region all the hospitals are filled, and private buildings are being converted into hospitals. This is the state of affairs in Moskovskia and Viedomosti. A correspondent writing from Russia declares that the more fanatical and superstitious portion of the peasantry believe that Count Tolstoi is Antichrist, and decline to accept his bounty for fear they will thus commit their souls to perdition.p. 163
31. Two celebrated women, Augusta, of Koningsmark, and Madame Dudevant (George Sand), traced their descent to this king.--Letters to "New York Tribune."
32. Adam Badeau.--Aristocracy in England.p. 164
33. The at one time famous "Alexandra Limp," affecting the princess of Wales, and copied in walk by ultra-fashionable women, was said to be due to the effects of an infamous disease contracted by the princess from her husband.
34. Rev. Dr. Varley.--"New York Sun," July, 1883.p. 167
35. At the beginning of the Christian era, Corinth possessed a thousand women who were devoted to the service of its idol, the Corinthian Venus. "To Corinthianize" came to express the utmost lewdness, but Corinth, as sunken as she was in sensual pleasure, was not under the pale of Christianity. She was a heathen city, outside of that light which, coming into the world, is held to enlighten every man that accepts it.
36. Les Cuisiniers et les marmitons de l'archeveques de Vienne avaient imposé un tribut sur les mariages; on croit que certains feuditaires exigeaient un droit obscène de leur vassaux qui se mariaient, quel fut transformé ensuite en droit de cuissage consistant, de la part du seigneur, a mettre une jambe nue dans le lit des nouveaux époux. Dans d'autres pays l'homme ne pouvait coucher avec sa femme les trois premières nuits sans le consentement de l'eveque ou du seigneur du fief. Cesar Cantu.--Histoire Universelle, Vol. IX, p. 202-3.p. 168
37. Moral History of Women.p. 170
38. There are those who to enrich themselves would not only rob their sisters of their portion, but would sell for money the honor of those who bear their name. The authority of the son during the feudal period was so absolute that the father and mother themselves often winked at this hideous traffic.--Ibid, p. 46.
39. Unless an heiress, woman possessed no social importance; unless an in mate of a religious house, no religious position. There are some records of her in this last position, showing what constant effort and strength of intellect were demanded from her to thwart the machinations of abbots and monks.--Sketches of Fontervault.p. 171
40. See page 193.--Fleta.
41. Bracton, 26. 195, 208. Littleton's Tenures, 55, 174, 209.
42. Gratian, Canon for Spain in 633, says the nuptial robe was garnished with white and purple ribbons as a sign of the continence to which young married people devoted themselves for a time.p. 172
43. Eight young men, living in the vicinity of North Rose, Wayne County, have been held to await the action of the grand jury for rioting. A young married couple named Garlic were about to retire for the night when they were startled by the appearance of a party of men in the yard. The party immediately commenced beating on pans, discharging guns and pistols, pounding with clubs, screaming and kicking at the doors of the house. The bride and groom were terrified, but finally the groom mustered enough courage to demand what the men wanted there. Shouts of "Give us lots of cider or we'll horn you to death," were the answers. An attempt was made to break in a rear door of the house. The bride and groom and John Wager, who was also present in the house, braced the doors from the inside to prevent a forcible entrance, and the inmates had to defend the property nearly all night. The horning party, at last weary of calling for cider, left the premises, giving an extra strong fusillade of firearms and a series of yells as they departed. The eight young men were arrested a few days later on suspicion of being in the horning party.--Press Report, Jan. 14, 1887.
44. Whenever we discover symbolized forms, we are justified in inferring that in the past life of the people employing them there were corresponding realities. McLennon.--Studies in Ancient History, p, 6.
45. He was thrown into the moat to cool his ardor, pelted with stones, derided as a proud and envious wretch.--Michelet.p. 173
46. The maids redeeme their virginities with a certain piece of money, and by that Terme their lands are held to this day. Heywoode.--History of Women, London, 1624; Lib. 7, 339.
47. Margaret was canonized in 1251, and made the Patron Saint of Scotland in 1673. Several of the Scotch feudalry, despite royal protestation, kept up the infamous practice until a late date. One of the earls of Crawford, a truculent and lustful anarch, popularly known and dreaded as "Earl Brant," in the sixteenth century, was probably among the last who openly claimed leg-right, the literal translation of droit de jambage.--Sketches of Feudalism.p. 174
48. The feeling is common in the north that a laird, or chieftain, getting a vassal's or clansmen's wife or daughter with child, is doing her a great honor. Burke.--Letters from an English Gentleman, about 1730.
49. Pres de cet étang, et devant sa maison.
50. In days to come people will be slow to believe that the law among Christian nations went beyond anything decreed concerning the olden slavery; that it wrote down as an actual right the most grievous outrage that could ever wound man's heart. The Lord Spiritual had this right no less than the Lord Temporal. The parson being a lord, expressly claimed the first fruits of the bride, but was willing to sell his rights to the husband. The courts of Berne openly maintain that this right grew up naturally. Michelet--La Sorciere. p, 62.
51. Among the rights asserted by the Protestant clergy in the middle ages, and which caused much dispute, was exemption from lay jurisdiction even in cases of felony.
From the throne downward every secular office was dependent upon the church. Froude.--Times of Erasmus and Luther.p. 175
52. Among these de coucher avec leur femmes, d'enlever les prémices de leurs filles.
53. H. S. Maine.
54. In Babylon every young woman was obliged once in her life to p. 176 offer her person for sale, nor was she permitted to leave the temple, where she sat with a cord about her waist, until some stranger taking it in hand led her away. The money thus obtained passed into the treasury of the temple as her "purchase money, or redemption, releasing her from farther prostitution, and permitting her marriage, which was forbidden until such sale had been consummated."p. 176
55. Although a similar custom is said to have prevailed in India under Brahaminical rule, it must be remembered that wherever found it is an accompaniment of the Patriarchate, and under some form of religion where the feminine is no longer considered a portion of the divinity, or woman allowed in the priesthood.
56. It has been too readily believed that the wrong was formal, not real. But the price laid down in certain countries exceeded the means of almost every peasant. In Scotland, for instance, the demand was for several cows, a price immense, impossible.p. 178
57. Christian History, First Period, by Joseph Henry Allen.
58. In the history of Julius Caesar there is something peculiarly curious and mythical. Cæsar had all the honors paid to him as to a divine person. At the end of five years a festival was instituted to his honor, as to a person of divine extraction, A college of priests was established to perform the rites instituted for the occasion. A day was dedicated to him, and he had the title also of Julian love, and a temple was erected to him.-Anacalypsis, I, 611.
59. Law of the first night.
60. The lord's right.
61. Leg right--the right to place a naked leg in bed with the bride.
62. Droit de cuissage, c'est le droit de mettre une cuisse dans le lit d'une autre, ou de coucher avec le femme d'un vassal, ou d'un serf.
63. Droit d'afforge, the right to prey upon the bride.
64. Droit de marquette, took its name in Scotland from the redemption piece of money, a demi-mark, marquette, or little mark, a weight of gold or silver used in Great Britain and many other European countries.p. 181
65. Mrs. Josephine Butler. so stating.p. 183
66. A government license reads: "Chinese women for the use of Europeans only."
67. Contagious Disease Acts.
68. The Emancipation of Women, January, 1888.p. 184
69. The penal code provides for the punishment of a man who commits mischief by injuring an animal of the value of ten rupees or upwards, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. If the animal be worth fifty rupees, the punishment may be for five years. If a man induces his neighbor's dog, by bait or otherwise, to follow him with the intention of dishonestly taking the dog out of his neighbor's possession, he may be punished with imprisonment for three years, or with fine, or with both. But while a man's dog, his horse, his elephant are taken care of by legislation; while the very plants in his garden are protected; his young daughter, the light of his eyes and the joy of his home, may be ruined and her fair fame stolen with impunity, provided she has attained the age of ten years and is unmarried, and proof is wanting that she has resisted her seducer."p. 185
70. The New York Society for the "Prevention of Diseases."
71. Of Berlin, August Bebel says: "Now things are neither better nor worse in Berlin than in any other large town. It would be difficult to decide which most resembled ancient Babylon; orthodox Greek St. Petersburg, Catholic Rome Christian Germanic Berlin, heathen Paris, puritan London, or lively Vienna.--Woman in the Past, Present and Future.p. 188
72. The latest attempt for licensing vice in the United States was made in New Orleans, 1892, in the form of an ordinance proposing to grant to Dr. Wm. Harnon the privilege of levying an inspection tax upon those known as "Public Women" of $0.50 a week for fifteen years.
The "Louisiana Review" said of it:
"A more revolting proposition than this has never come under our notice, and we are amazed that the health committee failed to detect its character, however artfully it may have been screened by the pretext that it was intended to lessen the harm of the social evil."
The "New Delta," in its issue of August 31, said:
"The queer and ill-favored monopoly which the ordinance for the regulation of houses of bad repute sought to establish has not been successful on the first effort. It goes back to a committee. Let us hope that it will remain buried there forever, and decent people be saved the infliction of a public discussion of the miserable scheme. Such systems of 'regulation' would disgrace the devil, and the proposition for the city to share in the plunder of these poor wretches would shame a Piute village."
The Woman's journal, September 19, said:
"It is well that this measure has failed on the first attempt; but to refer a matter to a committee is not necessarily to kill it, and its fate in the committee should be closely watched. The laws establishing the state regulation of vice in England were smuggled through Parliament about 1 o'clock in the morning, when half the members were absent or asleep; but it took seventeen years Of painful and distasteful agitation to repeal them. Prevention of bad legislation is better than cure."
This attempt was finally defeated through the energetic opposition and work of Mrs. Elizabeth Lyle Saxon.p. 190
73. The reporter, while the committee was still in session, went to a procuress and ordered a pretty girl, 14 years of age, certified by a physician to be good, to be delivered to his order as "agent for gentleman of 60." The madame accepted the order, and in a short time produced the girl certified. The reporter investigated the child's history, and ascertained that her father was dead and her mother was a poor working woman, The girl was dressed in an old black frock. Having completed the purchase of the girl, the reporter hastened to arrange for her delivery anywhere and to any person designated by the committee.
74. A committee composed of Cardinal Manning, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop of London and two laymen, examined the evidence respecting criminal vice in London, becoming satisfied that the statements made by the "Pall Mall Gazette" were substantially true.p. 191
75. The Rev. Mr. Spurgeon preached a powerful sermon upon the patrician iniquity of London, comparing it to the worst sins of ancient nations, one sure, Sooner or later, to bring destruction upon both individual and nation.
76. When you see a girl on the street you can never say without inquiry whether she is one of the most-to-be-condemned or the most-to-be-pitied of her Sex. Many of them find themselves where they are because of a too trusting disposition; others are as much the innocent victims of crime as if they had been stabbed or maimed by the dagger of the assassin. * * * These women constitute a large standing army, whose numbers no one can calculate. Gen. Booth.--Darkest England, 51-56.
77. Children as they go to and from school are waited for and watched until the time has come for running them down.--Report of the Secret Commission.p. 193
78. It seemed a strange inverted world, that in which I lived those terrible weeks, the world of the streets and brothel. It was the same, and yet not the same as the world of business and the world of politics. I heard of much the same people in the house of ill-fame as those of whom you hear in caucuses, in law courts and on 'change; but all were judged by a different standard, and their relative importance was altogether changed. Mr. Stead.--"Pall Mall Gazette."p. 194
79. Report of Secret Commission.
80. An immense number of public women congregated at Nice during the time of its Historic Council, which settled the genuineness of the books of the Bible.
81. So fast has this class of pecuniarily independent single women increased within the past two and a half decades. women who prefer a single life with its personal independence, to a married life with its legal dependence and restrictions, as to call from the "London Times" the designation of "Third Sex."
82. The statistics of prostitution show that the great proportion of those who have fallen into it have been impelled by the most extreme poverty, in many instances verging upon starvation.--Hist. European Morals, 2, 203.p. 195
83. Belgium and Holland entered into an agreement a few years since for its suppression.p. 198
84. When Hon. Henry Blair presented a petition, asking for the better protection of girls, he said: "Our civilization seems to have developed an almost unknown phase of crime in the annals of the race, and to-day the traffic in girls and young women in this country, especially in our large cities, has come to be more disgraceful and worse than ever was that in the girls of Circassia."
This Christianity of ours has much to answer for.--Woman's Tribune.p. 202
85. It was at one time proposed to arrest all women out alone in the city of Syracuse, N. Y., after 9 o'clock in the evening. Had the ordinance been enacted, a lady of mature years and position was prepared to test its legality.p. 203
86. Eighteen women were arrested on Monday night in the fifteenth and twenty-ninth police precincts, and after being held in confinement over night, were taken before justice Duffy at the Jefferson Market Police Court Tuesday morning.
" What were these women doing?" asked the justice.
"Nothing," replied the officer.
"Then why did you arrest them?"
"We have to do it, sir. It is the order of the police superintendent when we find them loitering on the streets."-New York "Sunday Sun," June 28, 1885.
87. Mr. Breen said the horrors of the camps into which these girls are inveigled cannot be adequately described. There is no escape for these poor creatures. In one case a girl escaped after being shot in the leg, and took refuge in a swamp. Dogs were started on her trail, and she was hunted down and taken back to her den. in another case a girl escaped while a dance was going on at the shanty into which she had been lured. After several days and nights of privation she made her way to an island near the shore in Lake Michigan, where a man named Stanley lived. But the dogs and human bloodhounds trailed her, Stanley was overcome, and the girl was taken back. The law now provides for imprisonment of only one year in case of conviction of any connection with this traffic, and it is proposed to amend it.--Telegraphic Report.p. 204
88. Tales of a horrible character reach as from Michigan and other northern lumber districts of the manner in which girls are enticed to these places on the promise of high wages, and then subjected to brutal outrages past description. Some three hundred of these dens are located. These girls are sold by the keepers, passing from one den to another, from one degree of hellish brutality to another (we beg pardon of all brutes), all escape guarded against by ferocious bloodhounds. The maximum of life is two months.--"Union Labor journal."
89. Tony Harden used to keep dives in Norway and Quinnesic, and it is said of him that after paying a constable $12 to bring a girl back who had tried to escape, he beat her with a revolver until he was tired, and was about to turn a bull-dog loose at her, when a woodsman appeared and stopped him. The next spring Harden was elected justice of the peace.--"Woman's Standard."p. 207
90. The Rev. Mr. Kerr, of the Protestant Church, Colon, recently discovered three young girls brought to the Isthmus for improper purposes. He took the children away, and with the assistance of others returned them to their parents in Jamaica.
91. QUEBEC, April 11.--Wholesale trading in young and innocent girls for purposes of prostitution has come to the notice of the authorities. Disreputable houses in Chicago, New York, Boston and other cities in the United States have agents here, who ingratiate themselves with young women and induce them to go to the states, where they are drawn into a life of infamy. The trade has been carried on to an alarming extent, sometimes fifteen girls being shipped in a week. The prices paid to agents depend on the looks of the girls, and vary from $20 to $200. It is stated that over fifty girls have been sent to one Chicago house within a year.--"Daily Press."p. 208
92. The startling revelations within the past few days as to the traffic at Ottawa in young girls of from 12 to 14, in which a number of prominent citizens as well as several leading politicians are implicated, have caused the greatest indignation. Tuesday night a meeting was held under the auspices of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, with a view to devising some means by which the great stain on the capital's good name might be removed. it was decided that the matter must become the subject of special legislation at the next session of Parliament, before the guilty scoundrels can be punished. Opposition is expected from the members of Parliament who are implicated in the outrages.--"Daily Press."p. 210
93. "Topeka Leader."
94. In Troy, N. Y., in the fall of 1891, discovery was made of an organized plan to ravish little girls. It numbered in its ranks married men, members of the police force, and men well known in business and church circles. With this discovery came the statement from other cities that like offenders were common.--"The Daily Press."
95. Persistent effort has been made by women to stop these great wrongs, but having no power in legislation, her prayers and petitions have met with but scant success.p. 211
96. MARRIED AT THIRTEEN YEARS.--Maud Pearl Johnson, a thirteen-year-old girl of Fulton, who was married to Franklin Foster of that place on Monday, has been placed in the State industrial School in Rochester under sentence by Police Justice Spencer of Fulton. Foster is a widower with three children. The minister at Fairdale who performed the ceremony is said to have been fined $3 for cruelty to children. The poor authorities arrested the young wife for vagrancy.p. 212
97. Africa, Australia, India, Canada the United States among the number.
98. Who gave seventeen years of her life to work for the overthrow of government legislation of vice in England.p. 213
99. --1. To treat all women with respect, and endeavor to protect them from wrong and degradation.
2. To endeavor to put down all indecent language and coarse jests.
3. To maintain the law of purity as equally binding upon men and women.
4. To endeavor to spread these principles among my companions, and try to help my younger brothers.
5. To use every possible means to fulfil the command: "Keep Thyself Pure."p. 215
100. The women claimed the right to baptize their own sex. But the bishops and presbyters did not care to be released from the pleasant duty of baptizing the female converts. Waite.--Hist. of Christian Religion to A. D. 700, p. 23.
The Constitution of the Church of Alexandria, which is thought to have been established about the year 200, required the applicant for baptism to be divested of clothing, and after the ordinance had been administered, to be anointed with oil.--Ibid, p. 384-5.
101. Undisguised sensuality reached a point we can scarcely conceive. Women were sometimes brought naked upon the stage. By a curious association of ideas the theater was still intimately connected with religious observance. Rationalism in Europe, 2-288.
102. Catharine, the first wife of Peter the Great, was received into the Greek Church by a rite nearly approaching the primitive customs of the Christian Church. New converts to that church are plunged three times naked in a river p. 216 or into a large tub of cold water. Whatever is the condition, age or sex of the convert, this indecent ceremony is never dispensed with. The effrontery of a pope (priests of the Greek Church are thus called), sets at defiance all the reasons which decency and modesty never cease to use against the absurdity and impudence of this shameful ceremony. Count Segur.--Woman's Condition and Influence in Society.