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Love, Marriage, and Divorce (1853/1889)


by Henry James, Sr. (1811-1882), Horace Greeley (1811-1872)
and Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812-1886)


X.

MR. ANDREWS’ REPLY TO MR. GREELEY

REJECTED BY THE TRIBUNE.

HORACE GREELEY:
LMD-10.1 I might insist that leading positions in my last article are not replied to at all in yours. I will content myself, however, with noticing what is said and suggested by you.
LMD-10.2 First, then, believe me, it was by oversight, and not intentionally, that I included “Freedom from State Systems of Religion,” among the kinds of freedom which you had assigned to the broader designation of “the Sovereignty of the Individual.” It so obviously belongs in the same category, that you must confess the mistake was a very natural one. I observe now, however, that the grouping of the various applications of the doctrine was my own, and I was wrong in attributing it, in its full, logical, and legitimate extension, to you. It was not until you directed my attention to the point, that I discovered that, while your approbation is given to just those developments of Freedom which have, up to the present time, been accredited and rendered popular in the world, you classify under the obnoxious “Sovereignty of the Individual” those varieties, and those only, which are, as yet, unpopular, or against which you happen to have a personal prejudice. This species of reasoning, though not very rare, I believe, is still so little understood by me, that I do not even know the scientific name by which to designate it. Excuse me, then, that I did not perceive why Free Trade comes under the head of the Sovereignty of the Individual (or the general right to do as one chooses), and Freedom of the Press not so; or why there is a similar difference between Freedom of the Affections, and Freedom of the Conscience, or of the Intellect.
LMD-10.3 I certainly thought you held the Kossuthian doctrine of national Non-Intervention. [Online editor’s note: a reference to Lajos (or Louis) Kossuth (1802-1894), champion of Hungarian national independence. – RTL] You set me right, and say you “deplore the absence of competent tribunals to adjudicate questions of International difference,” etc. Here you obviously do not speak of a mere advisory council, each nation being free to accept or decline the recommendation, but of an actual Court. “Tribunal,” “Competency,” and “Adjudication,” are well-known technicals of the so-called “administration of justice.” They always relate to the functions of a body having power to enforce its decrees. There is no Court without a Constable, no Sentence without a Sanction, no Judiciary without an Executive! The Constabulary of an International tribunal must be the united Armies and Navies of the majority of the combined powers. Any other notion of such a Court is nonsense. Now, dare you affirm, in the face of the American people, that you would favor the surrender, by solemn treaty, into the hands of such a tribunal, representing the national policy of Austria, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Rome, Naples, etc. – the majority of nations in Christendom even – the right to adjudicate for the United States all the international questions, even, which they might themselves individually provoke with us, and to enforce such decisions by their combined power? You say such a Court would have prevented the Mexican war. Yes, as order reigns at Warsaw. Give up, I beseech you, the search after the remedy for the evils of government in more government. The road lies just the other way, toward Individuality and Freedom from all government. The evil in the case of the Mexican war, lay in the stupendous folly which authorized James K. Polk, of Tennessee, by a stroke of his pen, to set 30,000,000 of men to cutting each other’s throats – to begin the next morning – for no cause which would have induced one of them to do anything of the kind on his own responsibility. It is the inherent viciousness of the very institution of Government itself, never to be got rid of until our natural individuality of action and responsibility is restored. Nature made Individuals, not nations; and while nations exist at all, the liberties of the individual must perish.
LMD-10.4 But the kind of intervention you advocate between nations, bad as it is, is no parallel, as you seem to think it, to that unsolicited and impertinent interference between Individuals, which you defend and I denounce. What would you say to an International Tribunal which should arrogate jurisdiction to itself over nations who have never consented to, and wholly repudiate, its interference – basing its usurpation on the assumption that somebody must look after the International morality? Further still, fancy Mr. Greeley signing a treaty to give Austria, Naples, etc., the right not only to settle differences between us and other nations, but to forbid us, also, to have relations of friendship or commerce with more than one other nation, for example; and generally to regulate, not merely our foreign but our purely private affairs as well, by prohibiting whatever in the judgment of that tribunal was setting a bad example before the other nations of the earth! No, thank God! nations have not fancied it necessary to sink their individuality in a mass, as Individuals have done, granting the right to suppress Genius, and Enterprise, and Free Thought, and Superior Development. To this national freedom from an overruling legislation, the world owes the height to which a few nations have attained, which, being attained, will react on the others, and finally develop the whole earth. No, Sir, ten Individuals in the world, who had thoroughly comprehended their own absolute right to Freedom, and vindicated it as against the impertinent interference of legislation, would be worth, as an example and as a power for good, all the international tribunals there might be in the Universe.
LMD-10.5 I claim individually to be my own nation. I take this opportunity to declare my National Independence, and to notify all other potentates, that they may respect my Sovereignty. I may have to fight to establish my claim, butt he claim I make, and sooner or later I will come to the recognition of it. You have notified me that you will resist it. I will conduct the war with you, if possible, by the pen. If you may determine to resort to other weapons, I will adjust my defense to the nature of the onset.
LMD-10.6 The State is to you something other than what I have called it – a mob – because you believe that the heat of passion and the lust of gain may blind men in judging their own conduct, and not so in judging the conduct of others. If this is good for any thing, as a Principle, it must be reciprocal and universal application. Let us take a case and try its operation. John Smith and Sally Smith, after years of miserable experience, and horrid example, too, as I should say, amicably conclude to separate, do separate, provide for their children by some appropriate arrangement which removes them from a daily scene of sickening and vitiating contest, and each unites with anew partner, and all the parties feel conscious that they have added infinitely to their happiness and well-being; but you, on your principle, that somebody else, who is not blinded because he has no interest in the matter, can decide better than they, interfere, and decide for them that they were led by a shade of passion, which you define to be lust, into their new relations; denounce them in your newspaper, and invoke the mob, and send them all packing to the calaboose. Very well, so far; but now for the next application.
LMD-10.7 Upon the same principle, I can judge better than you can of the purity of your motives in this very act, and I determine that you were influenced by an undue desire to increase the popularity of your journal, by parading your zeal for the current morality of the day, and that such an example of the venality of the press is extremely vitiating to the public mind. My impartial position for judging authorizes me to judge and to punish you for deviating from my judgment. hence, I resort to the mob, and burn down your printing-office, or throw your types into the ocean. Now, then, how is your mob any better than my mob – except that yours is called “the State?” Do you find it in the distinction you attempt to establish between freedom of utterance and freedom of action – one of which is to be tolerated and the other not? That would only be to turn my vengeance from you personally to the passive instruments of your opinion – the juries and prison-keepers.
LMD-10.8 You, too, desire “the harmonizing of Freedom with Order, but not through the removal of restraint upon vicious appetite; the harmonizing of Desire with Duty – not through the blotting out of the latter, but through the chastening, renovating, and purifying of the former.” Very well; but how? According to you, through a system of mutual espionage, suppression, and constraint; from which I dissent. You say, also, however, through “the diffusion of light and truth with regard to our own natures, organizations, purposes, and that Divine law which overrules and irradiates all.” To this I agree. Choose, I beg of you, before you write again, between the two systems, which are as opposite as light and darkness. But this harmonizing will never come by any system through the tempering and modifying of Desire alone; it demands equally the softening and liberalizing of Duty, since “To the pure all things are pure.” [Online editor’s note: Titus 1:15. – RTL] We differ, perhaps, both as to the source whence a healthful restraint must emanate, and as to the amount of restraint which is healthful.
LMD-10.9 You think there is no such radical difference between us as to the right of Self-Government, because, you say, I acquiesce in the imposition of restraint upon the lunatic, the thief, burglar, counterfeiter, forger, maimer, and murderer. If I do, it is as the temporary necessity of a false and bad social system, which makes such characters, and must, therefore, take care of them. It is your duty, I think, to advocate a Maine Liquor law as long as you advocate compelling a woman to bear a drunkard’s child, with a drunkard’s vitiated appetites from the hour of quickening into life. Can you perceive no difference between my making this admission of your duty relative to a prior wrong, and advocating the whole system as a right system, as you do? I would, like another man, enforce the barbarous discipline of the camp in time of war, if war must be; but that should not hinder me from insisting that war itself is a great folly, and had much better be replaced by amicable relations and the interchange of reciprocal benefits between the contending people. I beg of you to endeavor to master, and to keep always in mind, the distinction which I drew in my last between Principle and Expediency. Is it possible that I can not make myself understood on this point? I do not even assert that your laws against seduction and the like are not necessities of your present system, just as the patrol organization, the violation of the Post Office, and the hanging of abolitionists are necessities of slave-holding, and just as an army of spies and the censorship of the press are necessities of European despotism, so long as either is to remain.
LMD-10.10 If two cats are tied up in a bag, the tendency of this “too close connection” will be toward contest and clamor. You will probably have to choke them to keep them tolerably quiet. If the bag is, then, assumed to be a necessary institution, to be maintained at all hazards, and if quiet is also a desideratum, the choking will also remain a perpetual necessity. Even when the discovery is made – and it is to this point that I ask your special attention – that the cats are well enough disposed to be quiet if you will let them out, it may still be necessary to keep your fingers on their throats until the bag can be cautiously and safely untied, the cats extracted, and a little time allowed them to become convinced of their prospective good treatment. If an existing bad system can not be changed at once without some bad consequences, they are to be charged, not upon the right system which is to follow, but upon the remaining influence of the old and vicious one.
LMD-10.11 I would have the order of society so founded on a scientific knowledge of the nature, organization, and purposes of man, and of that Divine law which overrules and irradiates all, that there shall be no thief, no burglar, no maimer, and no murderer; and I take the burden of proof upon myself to show, that the principles are now known, in accordance with which it is just as practicable to have such a society, as to have the “Pandemonium” we now have. This whole harvest of gallows-birds is the fruit of your tree, not of mine, and while you continue to produce them, it belongs to you to provide for them. I do not even deny that you may know better than I what is necessary to that end.
LMD-10.12 I come now to your statement of principles. 1. “Man has no moral right to do wrong.” I deny this proposition, if by Wrong is meant Expediency, as distinguished from Abstract Right, or Principle. I hold to Expediency just as religiously as I do to Principle itself. Yet every expedient which deviates from abstract principle, or the final right, is, in the higher sense, wrong. I hold it, then, not only innocent, but a positive duty, often to do one wrong thing because another wring thing has been done. I refer you to the apology for your tariff doctrines in my last. I deny your proposition again most emphatically, if by wrong is meant what somebody else, or everybody else, judges to be wrong, and which I do not. What wrong is it, then, that I have not a right to do? Is it yours? or Mr. James’? or Louis Napoleon’s? or the Chan of Tartary’s? or Mrs. Grundy’s? or that of the majority of the mob? That is the vital question which I shall never let you off from answering; and until it is answered, every general proposition you make on the subject will, when analyzed, mean just nothing at all. Who is the Umpire, or Standard of Right and Truth?
LMD-10.13 2. “The State ought to forbid and repress all acts which tend, in their natural consequences,” etc., “to corrupt the morals of the community,” etc. Here, you perceive, comes right up again the same vital question, without the answer to which all this laying down of principles is mere words. “Which tend,” etc. – in whose judgment? That is the point to which I must hold your attention. The teachings and conduct of Christ tended, in the judgment of the Jewish “State,” to corrupt the morals of the community. Did that confer on them the moral right to crucify him? It is nonsense, Mr. Greeley (excuse me, since you taught me the use of that word), to call either of these propositions of yours Principles, until you first settle the jurisdiction of the questions which they raise. I vest it in Individual Sovereignty. Where do you vest it? I beg of you to lay down a general principle covering this point.
LMD-10.14 3. “It is wiser,” etc., “that crimes should be prevented than that they should be punished.” Herein we agree; but how prevented? You say in one breath, by your suppressing me, and my suppressing you, whenever we happen to differ – that is, by the exercise of the right of the strongest; and in the next, “By the diffusion of light and truth with regard to our own natures,” etc., as I have already quoted you. I accept the later method, and discard the former.
LMD-10.15 4. “The great mass of criminals,” etc., “begin their downward courses by gambling, tippling and lewdness,” etc. I take this to be a mistake. I think you substitute effects for causes. Crime has its origin much farther back, and if you are to “deal with it in the egg,” you must look to the laws of procreation, by which parents impress all the falsity of their own lives upon their offspring. I shall notice this subject again.
LMD-10.16 5. “Sexual love was implanted,” etc., “not merely that the race should be brought into existence, but properly nurtured, protected,” etc. This, too, is a mistake. Nature has secured the procreation of the race by the sexual passion. She has not intrusted their maintenance and protection in infancy to that passion, but inspired both parents with another expressly to that end – namely, the love of children or offspring. It is the ignorance and folly of men that would enforce upon one of these impulses of our nature, the vicarious performance of the duties of the other, thereby introducing confusion between them, and marring the beauty and efficiency of both.
LMD-10.17 6. “The command from Sinai,” etc. I do not propose (unless it is preferred to shift the ground of our discussion from the philosophical to the theological arena) to notice arguments drawn from the religious books of any sect, Christian, Mohammedan, or Pagan. The true Science of Society must be based on principles as broad as humanity, not confined to persons who happen to think alike upon some point of faith, or upon the authority of some Scripture. The physiological effects of marriage and generation are coming, in our day, to be as well understood as other matters of science; and if the Bible seems to quarrel with Physiology, as it has seemed to do with Astronomy and Geology, it belongs to its expounders to seek for a reconciliation in the latter case, as they have done in the former. [Online editor’s note: Presumably “latter” and “former” should be switched here. – RTL] For one, I am tired of caviling about exegesis and text-readings while humanity lies bound and bleeding.
LMD-10.18 7. “Hence the State honors and blesses marriage, and frowns upon all other sexual relations” – that is to say, each State honors and blesses some sort of marriage relations, and frowns upon some other sort, the difference in different ages and nations embracing almost every conceivable variety which could come of the entire Freedom of Individuals. Since States are left free to vary and differ as they please, and do vary and differ accordingly, why not extend the same privilege to the Individuals of the same State. If any better philosophical reason can be given against it than mere prejudice, undevelopment, and superstition, let us have it at once, and put an end to the discussion.
LMD-10.19 You say it is nonsense to talk of my views of Individual Sovereignty as a modern discovery, and of the antagonist views as moss-grown with antiquity. You conceive of Individual Sovereignty as being synonymous with egotism, and about as old as sin. All this simply indicates that my views are as yet so modern and so novel, that even Mr. Greeley has hitherto attained to no adequate conception of them. Please to endeavor to understand, then, that the Sovereignty of the Individual which I talk about is the Sovereignty of every Individual – that it teaches me and every one who accepts it the most scrupulous deference for the absolute Freedom of every human being, prohibiting me and them from arrogating any control or government over others (except when we have to assume the cost of their actions, as in the case of children, and become entitled thereby to the deciding power). It demands of me that I permit every man and every woman to think, speak, and do whatsoever seemeth good to them in their own eyes [Online editor’s note: Judges 17:6 – RTL], laying down the least shadow of claim tot he right on my part to suppress them, either directly or through the power of the State, the Church, public odium, or otherwise – only limited by the line that they do not throw the burdensome consequences of their conduct on me, and that they eave me the same amount of freedom. All this I hold as the essential principle of Order and Harmony, and Growth in Purity and Intelligence, and rational Happiness among men. Please to inform me what you discover either unlovably egotistic or at all antique in this doctrine? Are you able to illustrate its workings by quotations from Ancient History so profuse as you intimate?
LMD-10.20 Probably you will perceive that you have mistaken the assertion of one’s own Sovereignty over others (which is your own doctrine, and which has been common enough in the world) for a doctrine which affirms and sedulously guards that of all other men, while it is confessedly so egotistic as to claim the right of the Individual to himself. So long as it rests in the phase of mere protest against encroachment, it is just as egotistic, it is true, as it is to request a gentleman to stand on his own toes and not on yours.
LMD-10.21 Can you suppose that you are treating my doctrine of the Freedom of Woman and her right to herself with any fairness, when you confound it with the Polygamy which ahs existed in barbarous countries, and which is the entire confiscation, not of one woman, as among us, but of many to one man?
LMD-10.22 My doctrine is simply, that it is an intolerable impertinence for me to thrust myself into your affairs of the heart, to determine for you what woman (or women) you love well enough or purely enough to live with, or how many you are capable of loving. I demand that you simply let me alone to settle the most intimate, and delicate, and sacred affairs of my private life in the same manner. You publicly notify me that you won’t. Another generation will judge between us as to the barbarism and the culture of these two positions. At present it is enough to say that my course leads to peace, and yours to war. Judge which is best.
LMD-10.23 You misconceive a little my method of getting rid of murder. I have the same personal prejudice that you have “to being knocked down with a slung shot, or a paving stone, dragged up a blind alley, and there finished;” nor do I hope to get rid of such acts, as you say I do, “by simply ceasing to visit them with a penalty, or to regard them as crimes.” I apply that remedy only to acts which are no crimes except as they are made so by law.
LMD-10.24 Still there is no human action without a cause. A given murder is not a solitary fact, standing in the midst of the Universe, without antecedents or consequences. The Philosopher looks into causes. The Scientific Reformer would apply his remedies there. If a man attempts to murder me, the act has a cause: perhaps a state of feeling on his part, induced by the suspicion that a certain woman whom he calls, or hopes to call, his wife, has experienced a magnetism of attraction, over which she had no possible control, toward me, and by the belief, inculcated by you and others, that the woman belongs, not to herself, but to him. Hence he is deluded into the notion that I have inflicted a heinous wrong upon him, although, probably, I have never seen him in my life, and possibly may never have seen the woman either. Looking at the effect alone, as I, in common with the rest of mankind, may be compelled to do in the emergency, the remedy may be to knock the man on the head, or to commit him, as you recommend, to Sing-Sing. The true remedy, nevertheless, is a public sentiment, based on the recognition of the Sovereignty of the Individual. Let the idea be completely repudiated from the man’s mind that that woman, or any woman, could, by possibility, belong to him, or was to be true to him, or owed him any thing, farther than as she might choose to bestow herself, as far as he could inspire her with affection and no farther: and from that hour the sentiment of jealousy dies out, and the motive to one kind of murder is removed.
LMD-10.25 Perhaps, in another case, the poor wretch was born with a mind poisoned from conception, imbued, as the lawyers have it, with “malice toward all mankind,” because he was begotten in hatred from a woman, forced by the law into the repulsive embraces of a man she loathed, and so “marked” as a monster, in every lineament of body and soul by the horrid impression to which, as is well-known, the susceptible imagination of a mother gives form in the character of her offspring. The evil in this case is that your prospective murderer was the child of abhorrence and despair. The remedy is to restore to outraged woman the right to choose freely, at all times, the father of her own child. Till that be granted, all the rest of your “Woman’s Rights” are not worth contending for. It is pitiable to see the advocates of this ism compelled to disguise their real want, fearing to utter it, and to make a false issue about the franchise, or something of no comparative value to them. The Sovereignty of the Individual is what they do demand, in common with the rest of mankind. No child healthfully and lovingly engendered, and never subsequently oppressed and outraged by false social relations, will ever be a murderer. Let the world learn that.
LMD-10.26 You say that you regard “Free Trade as neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, in itself, but only in view of its practical issues.” Do you say the same of Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Conscience? Louis Napoleon does so of the former, and King Bomba and the Grand Duke of Tuscany of the latter; but the public have got the idea in their minds that there is somehow a difference, fundamentally and in principle, between your Social views and those of Louis Napoleon, Bomba, and the Grand Duke. Perhaps you will enlighten us as to what that difference is. As matters now stand I do not perceive it.
LMD-10.27 I regret that my views should inspire you with hypochondria, and induce you to think of suicide, emigration, or any thing desperate; but I presume you do not urge these “vapors” as an argument. I, too, have my personal feelings on the subject. How far will you consent that they shall be made the criteria for deciding the questions mooted between us?
LMD-10.28 Of your views of Sexual Purity I can not, in the circumstances under which I write, utter what I feel. If it be not too severe a thing to say, allow me, however, merely to say, that we all, probably, give the measure of ourselves, more exactly than in any other possible mode, by the estimate we make of the natural results of Freedom. Permit me, on this point, to substitute, for what I might have said, an extract from a communication I have just received, suggested by your remarks, from a noble and pure-minded American woman, one to whom the world owes more than to any other man or woman, living or dead, for through investigation and appreciation of the Causes of Disease and the Laws of Health especially in all that concerns the Sexual Relations and the reproduction of the race:*
LMD-10.29
“It is the God-appointed mission of woman to teach the world what Purity is. May Mr. Greeley be so fortunate as to learn the lesson!
LMD-10.30
“The woman who is truly emancipate, who has health, in the deep significance of that word – health of body and of spirit – who believes in God, and reverently obeys his laws in herself – this woman is pure, and a Teacher of Purity. She needs no human law for the protection of her chastity; virtue is to her something more than a name and a regulation – something far other than a legal restriction. It is high as the sky above Mr. Greeley’s lower law, and just as far removed from all license. Such a Woman has a Heaven-conferred right to choose the Father of her babe.
LMD-10.31
“We say man has the right to Life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; yet he abuses Life, falls into bondage, and seeks and does not find Happiness. The Woman who chooses the father of her child may go as far wrong. The failure of Freedom to bring wisdom and right action at once, is no argument against Freedom. Because Woman has not equitable and attractive industry and adequate remuneration, and can not, therefore, appropriately maintain the babe she would bear and love, does that abrogate he right to be a Mother? Did not God make her to be the Mother of the race? and the healthy Mother of healthy Children? If she is fixed in indissoluble marriage with a man she must abhor – a selfish, sensual tyrant – who makes her his victim, and perpetuates in her children his lust of the flesh and of gain, and all the deep damnation of his nature, must Woman lie prone under all this, suffering and transmitting the disease and crime which are its ordained product, because it is according to Law?
LMD-10.32
“Often the greatest crime a man can commit is to reproduce himself, though it be done legally.
LMD-10.33
“We must have a Maine Law and capital punishment for the children born of hate in indissoluble marriage. Hundreds of Women in such marriage murder their children rather than bear them.
LMD-10.34
“Intemperance, madness, murder, and all other vices, are hereditary. Shall indissoluble marriage go on, year after year, producing so many thieves, drunkards, prostitutes, and murderers, and in pre-assignable proportions – so mathematical is its operation – and remain unquestioned? Or shall it be honored with such defenders as Mr. Greeley, who whitewash it with legal sanctity in our Legislatures, and plead, through the public press, for Maine Laws to restrain and punish the murderers, and seducers, and drunkards born in its decent, and respectable, and legal limits?
LMD-10.35
“There is a large and increasing class of women in our land who know what Purity is. They know, also, what it is not. They know that it is not an exhausted nervous system, which prompts to no union – which enables them to walk quietly in the common thoroughfare of custom. They know, also, that it is not fidelity to a legal bond, where there is no Love – where there is Force on one side and Fear on the other – where Rascals are born by God’s immutable law, and where diseases are engendered that make the Grave an earnestly coveted refuge from “lawful” whoredom.
LMD-10.36
“Could any Woman, worthy the name – any other than a legal slave – choose to bear worse children than those we hang out of our way – than those who became seducers out of marriage, and destroyers in it?
LMD-10.37
“In the Medical College, at Albany, there is an exposition of indissoluble marriage, which should be studied by all those who begin to see that a legalized union may be a most impure, unholy, and, consequently, unhealthy thing. In glass vases, ranged in a large cabinet in this medical museum, are uterine tumors, weighing from half a pound to twenty-four pounds. A viscus that in its ordinary state weighs a few ounces, is brought, by the disease caused by amative excess – in other words, licentiousness and impurity – to weigh more than twenty pounds. Be it remembered, these monstrosities were produced in lawful and indissoluble wedlock. The wives and mothers who perished of these evils, and left this terrible lesson to the world, knew only of legal purity. They lived in obedience to the Law of Marriage – pious, virtuous, reputable, ignorant Women. God grant that their suffering be not in vain! God grant that they may yet be the Teachers of Purity, who being dead yet speak! [Online editor’s note: Hebrews 11:4. – RTL]
LMD-10.38
“In an age hardly past ‘Honor God and the King’ was the great commandment. In this age, ‘Honor God and a Husband’ holds the same place. Men have learned that the first contains a solecism; Women are learning the same lesson of the last.”
LMD-10.39 Such, Sir, is the eloquent and, in my judgment, the unanswerable, protest of one woman against your doctrine. In five years more, the voice of that woman will be the voice of thousands. You are quite right when you sound the alarm, and announce that the time for the full discussion of this whole subject has arrived. That discussion will be had, whether Conservatism will or no. If what is, can stand that test – let it; if not – not.

STEPHEN PEARL ANDREWS.




LMD-10.n1 * The writer of this communication is Mrs. Mary S. Cove Nichols, the wife of Dr. Thomas L. Nichols, and Associate Principal with him in the Hydropathic Institution at Portchester, New York. Had this reply been published in the Tribune, I should, doubtless, have modified the eulogium contained in the sentence to which this note is appended, when I came to see it in the proofs, not because it does not express rightly my own personal opinion, but because it does so, perhaps, rather too pointedly, and is liable to be understood as an extravagance of personal friendship, rather than a deliberate estimate of the character and position of an individual. As my reply was rejected, I feel bound now to publish it with all its imperfections on its head. [Online editor’s note: Hamlet I.5.84. – RTL] When, however, it is remembered that Dr. Nichols publicly avows that, after experiencing the benefits of a regular medical education and extensive professional reading, his real instruction in Physiology and Therapeutics was derived from his wife; and, further, that Dr. Nichols is the author of “Esoteric Anthropology,” a work many years in advance of all other treatises upon the health conditions of man; and which is acquiring a circulation only surpassed by the popular work of Mrs. Stowe [Online editor’s note: Presumably a reference to Harriet Beecher Stowe. – RTL], my characterization of Mrs. Nichols may seem less extravagant. She is a lady who couples the most wonderful intuitions – the spiritual “sphere of woman” – with a truly masculine strength and comprehension of general principles, such as characterizes the highest order of scientific mind.




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