- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
186

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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It is just because obstetrics and gynecology were
left in the hands of women that these two branches
of our profession remained for so long at a
hopeless standstill. The advance only began when
they were taken in hand by men. Even to-day
no woman when her life or the life of her child is
in danger will stick to a doctor of her own sex.

“Look at music! All the ladies of the
Renaissance played the lute and later on the
harpsichord, the harp, the clavecin. For a
century all better-class girls have been hard at
work at their pianos but so far I know of no first
class piece of music composed by a woman, nor
do I know a woman who can play to my liking
the Adagio Sostenuto of Beethoven’s Op. 106.
There is hardly a young lady who does not go in
for painting, but as far as I know no gallery in
Europe contains a picture of the first rank signed
by a woman except perhaps Rosa Bonheur, who
had to shave her chin and who dressed as a man.

“One of the greatest poets of old times was a
woman. Of the wreath of flowers round the
enchantress-brow all that remains are a few
petals of roses, fragrant with eternal spring.
What immortal joy and what immortal sadness
does not echo in our ears in this far-away
siren-song from the shore of Hellas! Beautiful Sappho,
shall I ever hear your voice again? Who knows
if you are not singing still in some lost fragment
of the anthology, safe under the lava of
Herculaneum!”

“I do not want to hear anything more about
your Sappho,” growled Norstrom, “what I know of
her and her worshippers is more than enough for

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