The House of Lords recently behaved in a flippant manner heretofore unknown in that august body toward a bill to remove the responsibility of as man for his wife's actions. One "noble lord", says the news-dispatch, bewailed the fact that a husband could no longer indulge in "moderate correction" of his wife, which used to be perfectly legal when done with a stick no bigger than the thickness of his thumb. This gentle method of chastisement has now been taken away, perhaps because of too great disparity in width of thumbs, but the harassed husband is still liable for the mischievous behavior of his wife.
Even in America, where freedom stalks unchecked throughout the land, the newspapers often carry these plaintive little notices which say "I will no longer be responsible for any debts which my wife may contract. Signed, John Doe." The House of Lords might very well have taken one of these notices for a text--it would have been more dignified than the description of woman's legal status as that of a "pet monkey". However true it may be, in or out of law, it should never have been given such official sanction. Much better to have said pet parrot, or any other innocuous animal.
Altogether, the House of Lords behaved with too much gayety in the face of this stupendous bill for the emancipation of the male. Perhaps they feared that Lady Astor would soon make good her threat to make the House of Lords co-educational, and so decided to have their little fling at a woman while they could.