Women qua women may remain, for the better continuance of life, subject to men; women as human beings demand to live as well as to continue life. To live effectively they must learn to know the world through and through, in order that, while side by side with men, they may fashion life to their common good.
Prolegomena to the study of Greek Religion (1903)
Greek writers of the fifth century B.C. have a way of speaking of, an attitude towards, religion, as though it were wholly a thing of joyful confidence, a friendly fellowship with the gods, whose service is but a high festival for man. In Homer sacrifice is but, as it were, the signal for a banquet of abundant roast flesh and sweet wine; we hear nothing of fasting, of cleansing, and atonement.
Socrates, obviously unfair though he is, puts his finger on the weak spot of Greek religion as orthodoxly conceived in the fifth century B.C. Its formula is do ut des. It as, as Socrates says, a 'business transaction' and one in which, because god is greater than man, man gets on the whole the best of it.
Professional and literary London I have known, academic Cambridge I do know. That other Youth—that is, happy peasants, coal-heavers, opulent stockbrokers, and the higher form of young barbarians—I do not know, and of them I do not speak. I accept my limitations.
It is useless, or almost useless, to offer to Youth the treasures of experience gathered by Age. "When you are my age," says Crabbed Age, "you will know what I know, see as I see." Nothing could be more profoundly false. History does not repeat itself. Evolution forbids. When you are my age, you will not know what I know, but something quite different.