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by [?]

Probably not one person in a million ever gets away far enough from his mind to take a look at it, and see the wheels go round. Opinions become ossified and the man goes through life hypnotizing others, never realizing for an instant that in youth he was hypnotized and that he has never been able to cast off the hypnosis.

This is what our pious friends mean when they say, “Give me the child until he is ten years old and you may have him afterward.” That is, they can take the child in his plastic age and make impressions on his mind that are indelible. Reared in an orthodox Jewish family a child will grow up a dogmatic Jew, and argue you on the Talmud six nights and days together.

Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, the same. I once knew an Arapahoe Indian who was taken to Massachusetts when four years old. He grew up not only with New England prejudices, but with a New England accent, and saved his pennies to give to missionaries that they might “convert” the Red Men.

When the suspicion seized upon the soul of Hypatia that her mind was but a wax impression taken from her father’s, she began to make plans to get away from him. Her efforts at explanations were futile, but when placed upon the general ground that she wished to travel, see the world and meet people of learning and worth, her father acquiesced and she started away on her journeyings. He wanted to go, too, but this was the one thing she did not desire, and he never knew nor could know why.

She spent several months at Athens, where her youth, beauty and learning won her entry into the houses of the most eminent. It was the same at Rome and in various other cities of Italy. Money may give you access to good society, but talent is always an open sesame. She traveled like a princess and was received as one, yet she had no title nor claim to nobility nor station. Beauty of itself is not a credential–rather it is an object of suspicion, unless it goes with intellect.

Hypatia gave lectures on mathematics; and there was a fallacy abroad then as there is now that the feminine mind is not mathematical. That the great men whom Hypatia met in each city were first amazed and then abashed by her proficiency in mathematics is quite probable. Some few male professors being in that peculiar baldheaded hypnotic state when feminine charms dazzle and lure, listened in rapture as Hypatia dissolved logarithms and melted calculi, and not understanding a word she said, declared that she was the goddess Minerva, reincarnated. Her coldness on near approach confirmed their suspicions.

* * * * *

Just how long a time Hypatia spent upon her pilgrimage, visiting all of the great living philosophers, we do not know. Some accounts have it one year, others ten.

Probably the pilgrimages were extended over a good many years, and were not continuous. Several philosophers proved their humanity by offering to marry her, and a prince or two did likewise, we are credibly informed. To these persistent suitors, however, Hypatia gently broke the news that she was wedded to truth, which is certainly a pretty speech, even if it is poor logic. The fact was, however, that Hypatia never met a man whose mind matched her own, otherwise logic would have bolstered love, instead of discarding it.

Travel, public speaking and meeting people of note form a strong trinity of good things. The active mind is the young mind, and it is more than the dream of a poet which declares that Hypatia was always young and always beautiful, and that even Father Time was so in love with her that he refused to take toll from her, as he passed with his hourglass and scythe.