Julia Ward Howe

Is Polite Society Polite? / and Other Essays

171 printed pages
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  • Angie Burgin Kratzerhas quoted9 years ago
    hat those who must be intellectually looked up to should be socially looked down upon is, to say the least, very inconsistent. That the performance of the helpful offices of the household should be held as degrading to those who perform them is no less so. We must seek the explanation of these anomalies in the distant past. When the handiwork of society was performed by slaves, the world's estimate of labor was naturally lowered. In the feudal and military time, the writer ranked below the fighter, and the skill of learning below the prowess of arms. The mind of to-day has only partially outgrown this very rude standard of judgment. I was asked, some fifteen years ago, in England, by people of education, whether women teachers ranked in America with ladies or with working women. I replied: "With ladies, certainly," which seemed to occasion surprise.

    I remember having heard that a relative of Theodore Parker's wife, who disliked him, would occasionally taunt him with having kept school. She said to
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