It has been wisely observed by the greatest of modern thinkers that mankind has progressed more rapidly in every other respect than in morality.
Is woman a religion? Well perhaps you will have the chance of judging for yourselves if you go to America. There you will find men treating women with just the same respect formerly accorded only to religious dignitaries or to great nobles.
For this reason to study English literature without some general knowledge of the relation of the Bible to that literature would be to leave one’s literary education very incomplete.
But what is after all the happiness of mere power? There is a greater happiness possible than to be lord of heaven and earth that is the happiness of being truly loved.
At last in 1611 was made under the auspices of King James the famous King James version and this is the great literary monument of the English language.
A great many things which in times of lesser knowledge we imagined to be superstitious or useless prove today on examination to have been of immense value to mankind.
I often imagine that the longer he studies English literature the more the Japanese student must be astonished at the extraordinary predominance given to the passion of love both in fiction and in poetry.
It is true that short forms of poetry have been cultivated in the Far East more than in modern Europe but in all European literature short forms of poetry are to be found – indeed quite as short as anything in Japanese.
Perhaps there is an idea among Japanese students that one general difference between Japanese and Western poetry is that the former cultivates short forms and the latter longer ones gut this is only in part true.
The subject of Finnish poetry ought to have a special interest for the Japanese student if only for the reason that Finnish poetry comes more closely in many respects to Japanese poetry than any other form of Western poetry.
There is one type of ideal woman very seldom described in poetry – the old maid the woman whom sorrow or misfortune prevents from fulfilling her natural destiny.
French novels generally treat of the relations of women to the world and to lovers after marriage consequently there is a great deal in French novels about adultery about improper relations between the sexes about many things which the English public would not allow.
Of course the simple explanation of the fact is that marriage is the most important act of man’s life in Europe or America and that everything depends upon it.