Mr. Copeland gave one of his delightful, informal talks last evening in Sever 11, before a large audience. He chose as his subject "The New Woman," as shown in "Marcella," "Sowing the Wind," and other works of the day. The talk in brief was as follows.
As a mere matter of habit and association the majority of men are opposed to the modern creation, the New Woman. Most men are conservative in this respect, they prefer to see women in the sphere in which they have always known them. It must appear to every one upon careful consideration that there has been too much talk upon the recent books, "Marcella" and "The Yellow Aster." Marcella branches out upon all sorts of feverish schemes and plans for social improvement in England, but in the end she relinquishes all these original thoughts and plans, and marries just like the old-fashioned woman. The author of "The Yellow Aster," though less cultivated and less thoughtful than Mrs. Ward, has nevertheless made it a more artistic work than Marcella. "The Heavenly Twins" from the point of view of art is like chaos, without form and void. Although so chaotic in its art, this book sets out to be a work of very definite ethical import. All three of these books furnish examples of the modern aspirant who ends by being the old-fashioned woman.
If this century were to be named for its first half it would be known as that of science; if it were to be named for its last quarter, in would be called the woman's century. Even though the new movement offends their vanity, men should take the right and generous view of the subject. The higher education of women is of the noblest and most characteristic movements of our time. In the state of Massachusetts there are forty thousand more women than men. When one considers that many of these women will in all probability have to support themselves, one should be very glad to aid in any work which will help them to do it. Every woman as well as every man in the world should have a chance to learn how to support herself. Natural talent should be allowed to take its course.
Mr. Copeland in concluding urged the students to be good examples of the New Man; to care more about public affairs; to care more about literature and the arts; and to take a genial interest in their fellow men.
On the next three Tuesdays, March 5, 12, and 19, Mr. Copeland will speak in Sever 11 on "Hamlet." The first of these lectures will be on Hamlet as a play, the second on Hamlet as acted on the stage, and the third will be a reading of selected passages from the play.