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AMERICAN SOCIETY CENSURED

LADI TAGET'S CRITICISMS. Lady Paget, the wife of General Sir Arthur l'aget, X.C.8., w"ho since her arrival in America has been a coveted guest al all the most brilliant social functions in New York, is returning to England filled with consternation at the appalling growth of luxury and extravagance in America. Her opinions ou current topics of the day are set forth most interestingly in the " American." which describes her as "one of the most successful, intellectual, and well-poised American women who have ever lived in Ixindon."

Lady Paget is profoundly impressed by the enormous concentration of wealth and the marvellous luxrry of the people of America. " When I look back to my childhood and young girlhood here," she says, " it seems it must have been another world. 1 had no maid, and wore no jewels. We young folks revelled iv skatiug, sleighing and outdoor diversions, such as mushrooming and nutgatherlug. What child In New York to-day knows of such things? "Wealth and luxury have abolished all simplicity. Children are little men and women now, where they were real, rollicking, natural little animals just glorying in tbe budding of life and things about them in my days." Like the late Mrs. Astor, Lady Paget finds American society circumscribed within the narrowest limit.

'The great Empire-builders, the men who with brain and brawn evolved this wonderful commonwealth, who of them is known in society?" she exclaims. "What artists and literati, what people who are doing things for the progress of the nation are to be found there? It Is money, money, only money. A handful of people compose society, while the doers of great things and the fouudeis of great institutions are all outside." EVIL OF DIVORCE. It is the "divorce blight" that excites Lady Paget's fiercest strictures. She remarks with horror that men and women seem to regard each other in marriage relations in this couutiy as children do toys. She attributes Ihe "terrible evil" to the lack of huine life, observing that people do not build for posterity, as they say iv England. "They do Si£>t ta v e tlie old country pride," she says, "in establishing on the very rock of ages, as it were, the family and the home. That pride In the family has caused home life in England to remain practically intact. Americans might well emulate their English cousins In this at least." The Suffragette movement Lady Paget considers reasonable in America. "The English Suffragette is an abomination, and is frightfully bold and nnwomanly in her methods. She is 11 feminine Impossibility.

"But here in the United States I do not see why women should not have the franchise. They are only asking for that. What the English Suffragette demands is fur more. Her demands reach cut to the farthest limits of Socialism, with its dangerous and not yet understood problems."

As to the claim that woman fs man's equal intellectually and physically. Lady I'aget will have none of It. She professes unstinted admiration for the oldfashioned ideals of womanhood. I was therefore not snrprised to find her to-day in a state of great indignation with American newspapers for publishing her opinions. "I hate publicity," she said, "and was painfully surprised to discover in print what I said, in the course of a purely m-i-?Tite con-yerffflfiott, '*

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19090410.2.125

Bibliographic details

AMERICAN SOCIETY CENSURED, Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 85, 10 April 1909

Word Count
554

AMERICAN SOCIETY CENSURED Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 85, 10 April 1909

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