"Is marriage the most important thing in life?" was the question discussed by President Eliot at a meeting of the Harvard Dames held yesterday afternoon at Phillips Brooks House.
"I have asked many young men and women this question", said President Eliot, "and the majority say 'Yes'. But there is a growing number of young women who desire to have an independent life with intellectual and financial freedom. I cannot say that I consider this career better than the career of motherhood."
President Eliot once began a research to find out why families which had for generations sent their sons to Harvard, gradually ceased to be represented in the University. The impossibility of finding records of the maternal sides forced him to abandon the attempt, but he said that he had secured irrefutable proof that the Anglo Saxon stock in America is dying out.
"The suicide of a race", as President Eliot termed this, "is a formidable thing, and there is no reason why we should not do our utmost to change it. One of the chief points where contention is needed is the idea held by some of the modern young women, that marriage is not the most important thing in life. If failure in marriage is the most unhappy thing in life, then surely a successful marriage is the happiest and most important. I hope you all realize that no career offers the happiness, the hopefulness, and the contentedness, which being the mother of a family gives."