Three Visits to America (1)

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An engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly.
"Women's Reception To Miss Emily Faithful At Steinway Hall
Speaking on women being self sufficient for their own support."

 

CHAPTER I.


First arrival in America—Welcome at Mrs. Laura Curtis Bullard's—A Presidential campaign—Personal recollections of Horace Greeley—General politics—Disinclination of the best people to take part in them—Cincinnati riots in 1884.


"THE distance between New York and London is much shorter than between London and New York," is a common saying, which being interpreted means, that while English people find a voyage to the United States a great undertaking, not to be entertained save for business purposes, Americans are ready to start off on the smallest possible excuse at a day's notice, and a "trip to Europe" invariably figures among the possibilities of the yearly list of summer plans.

    "I have crossed the Atlantic twenty-seven times," said a charming Southern lady the other day, just as I was thinking that my six voyages and varied experiences on Cunard, Inman, and White Star steamers entitled me to consider myself as "quite an old traveller!"  When I first went to America, twelve years ago, English visitors were indeed few and far between.  Mrs. Trollope, Frederika Bremer, Harriet Martineau, Thackeray, Charles Dickens, and others, had travelled through the States, and published their personal impressions, but no prophet of Art had crossed the Atlantic to preach the gospel of the beautiful; no theatrical company with complete scenery and properties had invaded the American stage, though solitary "stars" had occasionally ventured over to win the suffrages of dramatic audiences, and even English lecturers had only stormed "Lyceum platforms" in single file; but that very season (1872-73) witnessed the debut of Mr. Tyndall, Mr. Froude, Professor Huxley, Edmund Yates, George MacDonald, and several other Britons more or less distinguished.  Ever since then the cry has been, "Still they come."  In fact the influx of English travellers, artists, actors, lecturers, etc., has gone on increasing every year to such an extent that a New York editor last October kindly expressed the fear "that London must be feeling quite lonely," [1] while another observed in reference to the report that the Baroness Burdett Coutts intended to visit America, "Thank fortune, she will spend her own money, as she will not be obliged to act, sing, lecture, or accept hospitable free lunches for support while she is here!"

    I first reached New York in the autumn of 1872, in the early glory of the season known there as the Indian summer.  I was suffering so much from asthma, that I could scarcely appreciate the scene as we steamed slowly up the lovely bay—the clear atmosphere, and the blue water speckled over with white sails.  Lowell has sung of the rare beauty of a day in June, when


"'Tis as easy for the heart to be true
 As for grass to be green or skies to be blue—
 'Tis the natural way of living;"


but I learned to revel in those exquisite autumn days, and the magnificent aspect of the woods, on which the very rainbows seemed to have cast their mantle, together with every brilliant hue ever seen in bird or flower.

    And how glad I was to find myself once more upon the solid land!


"A life on the ocean wave,
 A home on the rolling deep,"


may be a very pleasant song on terra firma, but few landsmen are in a condition to appreciate it after leaving the Mersey.  Happily for mankind, a sea voyage does not of necessity involve such a painful experience to every one; on me it brings the miseries of asthma, as well as sea-sickness.  I suffered from a mental irritation I can not easily describe, as one poetical fiction after another flitted through my tortured brain the part most affected, according to Sir James Alderson's theory, by the motion of the sea.  For instance, imagine the contrast suggested by the cruel, relentless buffetings experienced throughout a voyage from Liverpool to New York, in which the equinoctial gales played their strongest part, constantly upsetting everything in the state-room, and once nearly throwing me out of my berth, and that line recalling the motherly tenderness enjoyed during childhood—


"Rocked in the cradle of the deep."


I felt much more in sympathy with an extraordinary sonnet to the sea which was published in one of the leading New York papers a few mornings after my arrival, commencing "Prodigious dampness."

    When I first landed, as a stranger, with but few personal friends in the whole country, I had every confidence in the kind reception promised me, but my anticipations fell far short of the reality.  I found myself the recipient of a generous and never-to-be-forgotten hospitality; and I gladly embrace this opportunity of recording my heartfelt gratitude for the universal kindness lavished on me in every city I visited throughout my three tours, bringing me into direct social communion with the leading men and women in America.

    On leaving the steamer I at once exchanged the few square yards sarcastically described as "a stateroom," for Mrs. Bullard's beautiful home in East 39th Street.  This was made my "headquarters"—my American home, in every sense of the word.  Not only was every personal kindness showered on me by the whole family, but as Mrs. Bullard's father kept "open house," I was introduced into New York society in the pleasantest fashion; not at stiff crowded receptions, but at genial family dinners, where the radiators and reflectors were in full force, and absorbents conspicuous by their absence.  The house was the constant resort of some of the brightest and ablest American financiers, editors, poets, and artists from all parts of the country.

    To any one who associated the idea of a literary woman with the picture drawn of "the strong-minded blue-stocking" of olden days, with her outré manners, masculine ways, and total absence of all feminine grace, Mrs. Bullard must indeed have been a revelation.  Always dressed in exquisite taste, with a remarkably handsome face, expressive eyes, and that nameless charm which belongs to the refined and cultivated lady.  Mrs. Bullard impressed you as much with a sense of her brilliant social qualities as her intellectual gifts.  The correspondent of several foreign magazines, busy in philanthropic enterprises, and one of the most brilliant conversationalists I ever met, she naturally attracted around her not only those interested in social and educational reforms, but the best elements in literary and artistic circles.  Her "evenings at home" reminded me of the pleasantest gatherings I ever attended at certain noted houses in London and Paris, where politicians and foreign diplomatists, men of science, poets, and wits, were skilfully commingled.

    On board the Oceanic I had encountered one of the strangest individuals I have yet met in full possession of his liberty.  Attired in a heavy sealskin coat, George Francis Train introduced himself to me by exclaiming, as he struck his heart with his hand, "Madam, you have seen a Republican and a Democrat, but in me behold an American citizen."  He then presented me with a photograph of himself, beneath which was printed, after his name, "Future President of the United States," and proceeded to inform me that directly he was installed in the White House, he should demand a large sum of money from the English Government as compensation for unjust imprisonment.  Failing to receive a cable by return acceding to his claim, it was his intention to hang the English minister to a lamp-post at Washington!

    In the interests of my good friend Sir Edward Thornton, it was some relief to ascertain that Mr. Train's ambitious pretensions received no support from his countrymen; the Presidential struggle was between poor Horace Greeley and General Grant, and at Mrs. Bullard's house I frequently met the former.  Eccentric benevolence was the first impression made by a personal appearance which reminded you irresistibly of Dickens's Pickwick.  His head was the large strong head of a self-made man, but his temperament was as impulsive as his intellect was keen.  Like the English king who was accused "of never saying a foolish thing, and never doing a wise one," it was said by many that Mr. Greeley "always advised well, but invariably acted foolishly."  He preached hard economy, but gave away his money freely to any one who asked him for it.  There was something about him which told at once of the inward strife between the intellectual and emotional, while a quaint, fascinating humour ran through all his remarks on the political contest in which he was playing so conspicuous a part.  He spoke with unreserved bitterness on the corruption revealed during the strife, and appeared to have lost hope, not only of his own success, but of raising the general political tone of the country.

    The Grant and Greeley contest was said to be one of the bitterest on record, and I heard more than one American express his readiness to accept "the conditions of a throne whose occupant consents to be an antiquarian symbol," rather than the long train of evils which follow in the wake of a Presidential election.  The fame of hundreds of men seems the cost paid for taking an active part in it.  Scandals are unsparingly raked up, characters are blackened to the everlasting distress of the victim and his family, and bribery and corruption are rampant.  Finally, the country for four years bows to the sway of a man accused by a large portion of it of being guilty of every possible offence against law and morality.  Even Lincoln had a hard time of it till his tragical death made his name as sacred as the heroes of old.  "Speak good of the dead," says the heathen maxim, but the Christians of the nineteenth century seem inclined to speak well of the dead only.  While people live their defects are magnified and their actions misjudged.  If induced to hold out the olive branch of forgiveness to any one who has offended, it is too often in the spirit described by the American preacher as "that ugly kind of hedgehog forgiveness shot out like quills."  People set down the erring one before the blow-pipe of their indignation, scorch him and burn his fault into him, and when they have kneaded him sufficiently with their fiery fists, then they forgive him!  Our forgiveness is too often conditional, like the sick negro's, who promised if he died to forgive his enemy, adding quickly, "But if I gets well that darkie must take care!"

    Mr. Greeley committed the unpardonable offence in the eyes of the Woman's Suffrage supporters of opposing their movement; they accordingly forgot his earnest advocacy of the industrial interests of the sex, that he was the first to open New York journalism to women by the employment of Margaret Fuller on the New York Tribune.  Bitter were the reproaches heaped on his devoted head for "his persistent and scornful mockery of woman's efforts to rise from the helplessness in which she was morassed, and the false etiquette by which she was befogged"—to quote one of the singular indictments I noted at the time.

    The last evening I saw Mr. Greeley, the contest was over, but the effects were lasting; family affliction, too, had overtaken him, and all the fibres of his great nature were spent and quivering.  He ended our conversation by assuring me that if he knew for certain he should die before six o'clock the next morning, he should go to rest happily.  Within one month the summons came, and this remarkable public man, who had writhed under the criticisms to which he had been subjected during the Presidential campaign, and the cartoons which had made him an object of ridicule throughout the civilized world, passed out of the reach of human praise or blame.

    Then his country realized what they had lost!  Political opponents as well as personal friends poured praises into "the dull, cold ear of death."  Thousands of men went to the hall where he lay in state to take the last look at his familiar features, and weeping women laid immortelles on his bier.  His bitterest enemies admitted his strict integrity, and his wonderful and indefatigable industry.  As an inflexible foe of administrative corruption, Mr. Greeley's death caused an irreparable void in the circle of truly great and representative Americans.

    When shall we learn the lesson that while honour is for the dead, gratitude can only be for the living?  As Mr. Ruskin tells us, again and again, we think it enough to garland the tombstone when we have refused to crown the brow.  Every loyal Englishman now recalls the name of Prince Albert with a sincere regret for the contemptible hostility shown him during his lifetime.  We had indeed no cause to be proud of the foreign element previously introduced into the families of English sovereigns.  The nation still remembered the fanatical husband of Mary and the drunken partner of Anne, and it deliberately shut its eyes to the virtues of the really good man Queen Victoria had chosen as her consort, till on a gloomy December day the news of his death was flashed through the Kingdom.  Then people realized that what the word Duty had been to Arthur the Great, Progress was to Albert the Good; that he had indeed refrained from making his high place the vantage-ground of either pleasure or "winged ambitions," but had—


          "Through all this tract of years,
 Worn the white flower of a blameless life,
 Before a thousand peering littlenesses,
 In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,
 And blackens every blot."


    How much wiser and nobler, amid the tumult and strife of life, to listen for the voices and watch for the lamps which God has toned and lighted to charm and guide us, instead of waiting to learn their sweetness only by their silence and their light by their decay!

    Political life in America is at a low ebb, owing to the disinclination of the best section of society to have anything to do with it.  "You can't touch politics here and remain uncorrupted," has been frequently said to me by those who are content to stand passively by, while a crowd of wire-pullers and professional politicians fight for place and spoil.

    During the last two years, however, some young men of the best families have awakened to a sense of their individual responsibility with regard to public matters, and have organized a club with the view of encouraging an active participation in political movements.  How much remains to be done can not be doubted by any one who has carefully read American newspapers for a few months.  I have made many extracts on this subject.  As an example of the opinion of the leading papers, I will quote the following sentence from an article in a New York daily, which boldly asserts that "many public offices are filled by notoriously unfit persons, foisted into place by the worst elements that infect municipal politics."  By others the scandals caused by the extravagances of the City Fathers and Aldermen are denounced in no measured terms; the Boston Herald, for example, declaring that "some members of the late City Council ate and drank more at the city's expense in one year than they ever did at their own cost in ten."  The Chicago Tribune, in speaking of the defective criminal code and consequent miscarriage of justice; says: "The state laws, as a rule, provide for ignorant and vicious juries; but two classes under present practice are available.  The one is composed of men who are either too illiterate to read or too indifferent to what is going on to keep themselves posted; such men are not capable of weighing evidence nor of appreciating the rights of society.  The other class is composed of men who are in active sympathy with the criminal classes, and are always prepared to perjure themselves by affecting sufficient ignorance to qualify for jury service.  In the one case society is the victim of ignorance, and in the other the victim of perjury.  The law must be remodelled in such a manner as not merely to admit, but to require, the service of the most reputable and intelligent citizens as jurors in criminal cases."  The criminal laws were evidently framed more for the escape of the offender than the protection of the public, and they have naturally served to further the selfish interests of unscrupulous lawyers rather than to provide for the punishment of crime.  The people have at last almost despaired of obtaining protection of life and property through the courts, for in vain have these abuses been protested against by intelligent citizens and denounced by the Press, and however lamentable, it is scarcely surprising that the temptation to Lynch law has been in some cases irresistible.

    Of course there is imperfection everywhere, in republics as well as monarchies: if we wait till angels administer government, most countries would have a long interregnum!  But it is clear to those who love America, and appreciate its boundless possibilities for good or evil, that one of the sacrifices imperatively demanded of those who value their nation's wellbeing is time given up to public matters from personal money-getting, pleasure, or even culture.  As long as the aristocracy of wealth and culture shrink from political life, or are too much absorbed in their own interests to fulfil the duties of citizenship, so long will power be in the hands of unscrupulous leaders, to the detriment of all concerned.  Our European aristocracies can not divest themselves of their responsibilities, and those who are in high positions in a republic have an equally grave task imposed upon them; they are their brother's keeper, whether they acknowledge it or no; and if no effort is made to fulfil just obligations, retribution may follow when least expected.


"The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
 Make instruments to scourge us."


    Mr. Wallis Mackay, who crossed the Atlantic in the City of Rome when I made my last visit to America, shortly after his arrival, visited under police protection, some of those terrible haunts in New York answering to the dens of "the outcast poor" in London.  "Why," he asked, "are such vile places allowed to exist?"  The patrol replied, "For the rents, of course; and then, too, the votes are important."  There is a terrible undercurrent seething already in the hearts of the poorer classes, and the envious self of poverty is rising up in natural reaction against the ostentatious selfishness of wealth.  Two Americans were walking on Fifth Avenue last winter, and discussing this very subject.  "Look there," said one, pointing to the palace of a well-known millionaire, "I should never be surprised to see a riot in front of that house."

    Many thoughtful men regarded the terrible three days which took place in Cincinnati last March as the "fruition of as many decades of political and moral degeneracy."  The better element in Cincinnati has now learnt, by an exceptionally bitter experience, that public duties can not be shirked without absoluted anger.  Every effort must be made to purify municipal government by selecting, without reference to political views, men of irreproachable integrity and undoubted qualifications for offices of trust and responsibility.  It is to be hoped that other cities will take the lesson to heart, without waiting to have the consequences of similar neglect burnt into their very souls by so fatal an experience.  When this is done, dangerous agitations will be less frequent, and the cherished rights of life and property will be duly respected in the United States.


 
CHAPTER II.


Reception at Steinway Hall—The Sorosis Club—Mrs. Croly—Miss Mary L. Booth—Louise Chandler Moulton—Clergy-women—Dr. Mary Putnam-Jacobi—Harper's printing-office—Riverside Press at Cambridge, Mass.—Women printers and the Victoria Press—Queen Victoria's views on women's spheres—Mr. Gladstone on monopolies—Messrs. Young, Ladd & Coffin's manufactory of Lunborg's Perfumes—Mrs. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony—Hon. Gerrit Smith at Peterboro—Winter travelling in America—Mrs. Parke Godwin and an Art reception.


AN American paper remarked that when I returned to England and was asked what most struck me with wonder and pleasure in the United States, I could reply, promptly and truthfully, "The superb reception given me at Steinway Hall," for, it continued, "no such demonstration has hitherto been witnessed on this continent."

    I certainly shall ever remember with grateful pride the kind recognition I received that night, when every face on that crowded platform belonged to some one known to fame, and the body of the hall itself was packed from floor to ceiling "with as notable an audience as ever gathered within its walls."  The programme of the Reception Committee is a record of the representative ladies of New York, all eminent in literature, art, science, and industry.  As it indicates the professional revolution of the last decade, it must have a place in these reminiscences.


Journalists.

Miss Mary Booth, Editor of Harper's Bazaar.
Mrs. Mary E. Dodge, Editor of Hearth and Home.
Mrs. Croly, Editor of Demorest's Monthly.


Authors.

Mrs. E. D. R. Stoddart.   Mrs. Mary Bradley.

Miss Virginia Townsend.


Artists.

Mrs. Eliza Greatorex.  Mrs. Carter.
Mrs. Elizabeth Murray,
    Principal of School of Design, C. I.


Physicians.

Mrs. C. S. Lozier, M.D.
Miss Sarah E. Furnas, M.D.
Mrs. S. M. Ellis, M.D.


Dramatic and Musical

Mrs. Edwin Booth.             Mrs. Van Zandt.
Miss Antoinette Sterling.  Miss Clara Louise Kellogg.

Miss M. A. Simens.


Engravers.

Miss Charlotte B. Coggswell,
    Principal of the School of Engraving, C.I.
Miss S. F. Fuller.


Industrial.

Madame Bussonie, Forewoman at Arnold, Constable & Co.'s
Mrs. Rampden, Supt. of Ladies' Department, Lord & Taylor.
Miss Mary Moore, President of the Women's Typographical Union.
Miss Snow, Professor of Telegraphy.


Associate Ladies.

Mrs. F. Bryant Godwin.   Mrs. Jonathan Sturgis.
Mrs. Abram S. Hewitt.     Mrs. O. B. Frothingham.
Mrs. P;. L. Youmans.        Mrs. Henry M. Field.

Mrs. Laura Curtis Bullard.


    Such a committee naturally brought together a representative gathering, unique in its character, and graceful alike in its recognition of woman's work and English effort.  Long before the hour that huge building was completely filled; there were even people in the dreary haunt of the gods—the upper gallery,—and many stood throughout the evening, being unable to obtain sitting room in any part of the hall.

    Never shall I forget my feelings as I threaded my way across the crowded platform, just as Miss Toedt commenced a solo on the violin.  After this Mrs. Van Zandt sang "Waiting," and Miss Antoinette Sterling closed the evening's proceedings by singing "A man's a man for a' that," and evoked the greatest enthusiasm.  Mrs. Henry Field, who occupied the chair, gave me a formal and generous welcome, and then spoke at length on the dignity of labour, claiming that the woman who supports herself is entitled to ascend in the social as she does in the moral scale; not to be pitied or patronized, but to be respected for her spirit of independence.  No law can secure her such respect, no decree of a court of justice can fix her social position, it must be freely accorded by society as a homage to her true womanly dignity.  The world makes an exception for the woman of genius, and if by voice, pen or pencil she adds to its pleasures, it throws at her feet crowns of flowers and harvests of gold.  "Why is it," naturally asks Mrs. Field, "that the thought of a lady working for money in any other sphere—even that of the teacher, so important to the family and society—is still so reluctantly accepted?  To work, and to work for pay, is no disgrace.  A woman who feels an inspiration can not work without an object, merely to kill time."  Genius, and even talent, is given to few, and the idea that brain-work is alone fitted for a lady compelled to work has made shipwreck of the life and happiness of many women.  Naturally they shrink from vocations, foolishly made a badge of social inferiority.

    Mrs. Field made an eloquent appeal to all present "to avoid an idle, aimless life, dependence upon friends, or, what is worse, marriage to escape work or to gain a position.  If you can not work with your brains," she continued, "work with your hands,—bravely, openly, keeping your self-respect and independence.  Work was never meant to be a curse or a shame; it is the surest element of growth and happiness.  Better be a good dressmaker than a bad teacher or weak writer for magazines.  With women rests the power to right their sex from an absurd prejudice, and those possessed of wealth, talent, or position should never fail to recognize, with real sympathy, the honest worker, however humble."

    When this address was concluded, I was called upon to speak of the rise and progress of the movement in England; and as I rose and received from that significant audience a welcome as overpowering as it was gratifying, only those can imagine my feelings who have themselves stood before some vast assembly in a foreign land, conscious alike of personal shortcomings and responsibility.  I endeavoured to describe the change which has taken place in England during the last fifty years, machinery having effected a complete revolution in our domestic economy, taking woman's work, in the lower branches of industry, out of the home into the manufactory; the increasing number of educated ladies desiring remunerative employment, some as a means whereby to live, others to satisfy a higher craving, alluding to those who fail to find rest for their souls in an endless round of unsatisfying amusements.  I freely acknowledged that if the leaders of the movement measured the result of past efforts by the number of fresh avenues already opened, I thought we should have little cause for congratulation; but when we estimated the changed tone of public opinion in regard to these matters, there seemed no reason to regret the earnest work and patient waiting, for at last the co-operation of the general public had been obtained, and this is a most important step toward the true solution of this difficult and delicate problem.

    Another notable gathering took place about the same time at Delmonico's, when I sat down with two hundred ladies in the large dining-hall of this popular restaurant—the guest of the Sorosis Club.  The Sorosis was the first woman's club formed in New York.  It was organized in 1869, to promote "mental activity and pleasant social intercourse," and in spite of a severe fire of hostile criticism and misrepresentation, it has evinced a sturdy vitality, and really demonstrated its right to exist by a large amount of beneficent work.  Miss Alice Cary was its first president, but ill-health soon compelled her to resign the office; its earliest list of members included 38 ladies engaged in literature, 6 editors, 12 poets, 6 musicians, 25 authors, 3 physicians, 4 professors, 2 artists, 9 teachers, 10 lecturers, 1 historian, 1 scientific author, and a host of smaller lights.  These ladies pledged themselves to work for the release of women from the disabilities which debar them from a due participation in the rewards of industrial and professional labour—in short, to promote all that is brave, noble, and true in the sex.  Some people still ask, "What has Sorosis done?"  I believe it has been the stepping-stone to useful public careers, and the source of inspiration to many ladies.  Anyhow it has proved that women are not destitute of the power of acting harmoniously together, but can tolerate differences, respect devotion to principle, and meet on higher ground than that of mere personal liking or identity of social clique.  Miss Frances Power Cobbe and I were elected during the first year honorary foreign members, and duly presented with the insignia worn by the sisterhood.  At the Sorosis monthly social meetings, after luncheon, papers are read on all kinds of subjects, and discussions follow which elicit various opinions, and the president then sums up the arguments that have been advanced, and pronounces her verdict thereon.  Mrs. Croly, who has held this office for the last four years, is particularly happy in this branch of her duty, always casting some new and practical light on the subject under discussion.  This lady is perhaps best known under her nom de plume, "Jennie June."  She is not only the presiding genius of Demorest's Monthly, but sends throughout the American press spirited newspaper letters, not simply on matters of grave importance, but on topics of dress and fashion so dear to the heart of the sex—even the strong-minded contingent!  Mrs. Croly's weekly reunions in her pleasant home in East 71st Street attract all literary and artistic New Yorkers, and most of the notable strangers passing through the city.

    Not less delightful are Miss Booth's "Saturday evenings," when, much to the satisfaction of her large circle of friends, she and Miss Wright keep "open house."  The rare judgment displayed by this accomplished woman as the editor of Harper's Bazaar has made that paper one of the best of its kind, and a valuable source of income to its proprietors.  She is a fine German scholar, and first made her mark by her translations.  Like Mrs. Croly, day in and day out, Miss Booth is to be found in her editorial room in the publisher's office; both ladies combine business talent with literary skill and culture, and know how to return "rejected manuscripts" with kind, encouraging words that soften the aspirant's disappointment.  Louise Chandler Moulton, whose friendship I fortunately made at this early stage of my American tour, is, on the other hand, purely intellectual; her delightful letters on all kinds of literary and social subjects and foreign travel, over the signature L. C. M., are deservedly prized, and have a high market value.  Her stories for children prove her title to one of the rarest gifts in literature; she is also a poetess, a veritable singer, whose "songs spring from the heart"—full of delicate fancies, glowing with fervour and unrivalled in grace of expression.  Her volume entitled "Swallow Flights" lies in a treasured nook near at hand, but I dare not single out the favourite poems—they are too numerous.

    At Sorosis I made my first acquaintance with a clergywomen,— a new departure indeed to one reared in all the prejudices of English Episcopalianism.  The venerable Lucretia Mott and other ladies had often preached; Mrs. Van Cott had occupied Methodist Pulpits; but the Rev. Olympia Brown and the Rev. Celia Burleigh were regularly ordained clergywomen, and many others have since followed in their lead.  Mrs. Burleigh belonged to the Unitarian denomination, and it was the dying wish of her husband that she should devote herself to the ministry.  On the day of her ordination the village church was decked with flowers; a large cross of autumn leaves decorated the back of the pulpit, and on the front of it was placed a heart formed of exquisite tube and tea roses.  The Rev. Phœbe Hanaford opened the service with prayer; the Rev. John A. Chadwick preached from Matt. xvi. 19, "The keys of the kingdom of heaven," and during his sermon claimed that to further God's work on earth they had "assembled to ordain this woman."  The ordination prayer was pronounced by the Rev. W. P. Tilden, and the Rev. W. T. Potter gave the charge.  A letter was read from the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher regretting his enforced absence, and offering Mrs. Burleigh "the right hand of fellowship in the Christian ministry," stating his belief that there are "elements of the gospel which a woman can bring out far more successfully than a man can."  Certainly it must be admitted that women are naturally reverent, spiritual-minded, and inclined to faith.  Throughout the world women form the bulk of church organizations, and are the chief attendants at its services.  Some regard them as "the custodians of religion"; and therefore if a chosen few feel inclined to embrace the clerical calling, perhaps it would be better to dismiss our prejudices, and allow them to preach the gospel of glad tidings in an official capacity, Mrs. Burleigh remained for some years with the congregation which installed her as its duly authorized minister, but she has now been called upon to render an account of her stewardship to One who is no respecter of sex or persons.

    Among the first women physicians who interested me I must name Dr. Mary Putnam-Jacobi, the daughter of the well-known publisher, in whose company I spent a most agreeable day while visiting some of the charitable institutions in New York with the members of the Acadian Club.  During an excursion up the East River, a very amusing incident took place.  The trip was organized in honour of Mr. Froude as well as myself, and it included an impromptu visit to the school-ship Mercury, which was anchored off Hart's Island.  Captain Giraud was taken much by surprise at the unexpected signal; to fire a gun and have the boys out on parade was the work of a moment, but to "place his guests," and distinguish between their names, was quite another affair.  He mixed them up quite as hopelessly as Buttercup in The Pinafore mixed up the babies, and proceeded to introduce me to the officers as Mrs. Froude, and Mr. Froude as Mr. Faithfull, to the overwhelming confusion of the historian, who had left a wife at home, and had no intention of starting another Mrs. Froude in America.

    At the time I speak of, Miss Putnam, who was unmarried, was the frequent guest of one of my oldest and most valued friends, Miss Kate Hillard, of Brooklyn, with whom I was also staying.  Many lady doctors have now won their way to splendid positions,—some are earning from 10,000 to 20,000 dollars a year; but medical men freely acknowledge that Dr. Mary Putnam-Jacobi would be regarded, "even as a man," as one of the most prominent members of the profession.  Her diploma was obtained in Paris, and one of her ablest publications is an article contributed to the New York Medical Journal respecting her observations in the Paris hospitals during the siege of that city.  She won there a prize in the shape of a medal in the French École de Medicine, and has recently published a book which has become an accepted authority on the diseases dealt with.  I am told pathology is her strong point, and perhaps this is the most intricate branch of the healing science.

    It may be noted here that the first medical college for women was opened at Boston in 1848, when twelve valiant women ventured to brave the ridicule that assailed the movement.  Miss Blackwell—English by birth—had already graduated from Geneva College, and was then the only woman with a diploma in the States.  To-day there are numbers practicing medicine with more or less of a degree, but I have Dr. Putnam-Jacobi's authority for stating, that while in 1882 we had 19 registered women practitioners in England, there are more than 400 qualified lady doctors in America.  An excellent article, asking, "Shall women practice medicine?" will be found in the North American Review (January, 1882), in which Dr. Putnam-Jacobi combats the prejudice which still exists in some circles even in "the land of the free."

    A visit to Messrs. Harpers' celebrated printing office in Franklin Square was a great treat to me.  I felt at home as I stood in their composing-rooms watching the bright, industrious girls at case, setting up type with expedition and accuracy.  It reminded me of the days when my own Victoria Press struggled into an existence that had an effect far beyond its own little immediate centre, and fortunately secured the Queen's approval, and drew from Her Majesty not only a personal warrant, as a mark of her satisfaction with work executed for her, but the most gracious expression of cordial interest in the opening of all new and appropriate industries to women, further informing me that Mr. Woodward, recently appointed librarian, had employed ladies, at the Queen's suggestion, to aid him in making out a catalogue of Her Majesty's books.

    A visit to Harvard a few weeks later was still more gratifying, when Mr. Houghton, one of the proprietors of the Riverside Press, took me over that vast establishment.  The composing-room is ninety feet long, the walls were adorned with engravings, the window-sills bright with flowers, embellishments said to be due to "refining feminine influence."  The men and women were working side by side; and Mr, Houghton spoke in glowing terms, not so much of the work done by nimble feminine fingers, but of the moral effect of the women's presence there.  Bad language and bad habits had been banished, and he declared it was impossible to overrate the good achieved, adding, that in in the mere interests of of business nothing would induce him for the future to let the men and women work in separate rooms.  This Press is justly esteemed one of the model printing in America.  It reminded me of the good old clays when the printer was always a scholar.  The heads of the departments were college men, Harvard, Yale, and Williams being all represented in the counting-office.  On concluding the tour of inspection, Mr. Houghton reminded me of a visit he had paid to my London printing establishment, adding that the idea of introducing women compositors into his own office had been due to what he had seen and heard at the Victoria Press.  Then, indeed, I felt amply repaid for the anxieties attending my early efforts in this direction, for I realized that not only had they helped English girls, but influenced the fate of their American sisters across the Atlantic Ocean.  It is true that here and there women had gained a footing in printing-offices before this.  It is even said that the original document of the Declaration of Independence was printed by a lady, one Mary Catherine Goddard.  Penelope Russell succeeded her husband in printing The Censor at Boston in 1771; and it is recorded that she not only set type rapidly at case, but often would set up short sketches without any copy at all, "a feat of memory," says the American newspaper reporter, "rivalling those attributed to Bret Harte while on the Pacific coast."  Mrs. Jane Atkin, of Boston, was also noted in 1802 as a thorough printer and most accurate proof-reader.  Several English solitary cases might be cited, and one or two attempts—notably at M'Corquodale's printing-offices—had been made on a small scale previous to the opening of the Victoria Press.  But when I first attempted to introduce women as compositors, it was still no easy matter to overcome the opposition of the trades-union.  As Mr. Gladstone said in his speech on monopolies, "The printer's monopoly is a powerful combination, which has for its first principle that no woman shall be employed—for reasons obvious enough—viz., that women are admirably suited for that trade, having a niceness of touch which would enable them to handle type better than men."  The Victoria Press was opened in 1860 in the face of a determined opposition, and I was only able to make a success of what was deemed by many "a rash experiment," thanks to the liberal support accorded by friends who appreciated the difficulties raised by those who tried to check the movement by every means in their power.  The opposition was not only directed against the capitalist, but the girl apprentices were subjected to all kinds of annoyance.  Tricks of a most unmanly nature were resorted to, their frames and stools were covered with ink to destroy their dresses unawares, the letters were mixed up in their boxes, and the cases were emptied of "sorts."  The men who were induced to come into the office to work the presses and teach the girls, had to assume false names to avoid detection, as the printers' union forbade their aiding the obnoxious scheme.  Even toward the close of 1879, in response for an extra hand to fulfil pressing orders, the Secretary of the London Society of Compositors stated that "unless an assurance could be given that the said compositor would not be called on to assist the females in any way," no Society man could be sent; and a resolution was passed by that Society to the effect "that no man belonging to it should touch work in any way handled by women," and the members were ordered to leave any office directly it was "discovered that women were employed as type-setters."  Nevertheless, after some years of work and anxiety, and a serious loss of money, in spite of foes without and traitors within, property purposely destroyed, and machinery wantonly injured, the little bark was steered through the natural and artificial perils by which it was surrounded, and, after an existence of twenty years, it accomplished the work for which it was specially designed, for compositors were drafted from it into other printing offices, and the business has been practically opened to women.

    Another scene of female industry interested me greatly in New York. Mr. Rimmel claims to have been the first to have employed women in England on a large scale in the manufacture of perfumes, and Messrs. Young, Ladd & Coffin, the makers of Lunborg's exquisite perfumes and Rhenish Cologne, are entitled to the same honour in America.  "The rich man's luxury is the poor man's bread"; if scent must rank as a luxury, it certainly is one which affords work for thousands.  But it is more than that, it is a sanitary agent as well, and an adjunct to the refinements of life with which a high civilization can not dispense.  In Messrs. Young, Ladd & Coffin's establishment in Broadway I found a large number of women employed in the bottling, corking, and labelling of the dainty perfumes manufactured there, and which not only hold their own in America against the scents imported from old-established European laboratories but are rapidly becoming popular with us in England thanks to the enterprise of the well-known American chemists on Snow Hill, Messrs. Burroughs & Wellcome, who have introduced them here, and the Prince of Wales has singled out "The Edenia" as one of his favourite perfumes.  Its delicacy and exquisite odour is not to be surpassed.  The marvellous fragrance of American flowers can not fail to impress the English traveller, but efforts to cultivate them on flower-farms for the purpose of perfume manufacture—similar to those seen in France and Italy—are checked by the difficulties at present surrounding the labour question.  The "extracts" are now imported largely from the Old World; but I may note that the perfumes made by Young, Ladd & Coffin are put into dainty bottles, some of those I most admired being the "Limoges jugs"" made by the women-workers at the famous Cincinnati Rockwood Pottery, which is under the control of a very clever lady, the daughter of the wealthy wine-grower, Mr. Longworth.  Some of the plaques, bowls, and vases produced at this pottery have deservedly received the recognition of leading Art connoisseurs.  Young, Ladd & Coffin, unlike Mr. Rimmel, confine themselves entirely to the manufacture of scents, while he is always breaking out in some new direction.  For the benefit of ocean travellers, let me recommend as an excellent cabin companion Rimmel's recent invention, "The Aromatic Ozonizer."  It not only acts as a natural air purifier, but is reviving and health-giving as well, emitting the. wonderful virtues of the pine and eucalyptus trees.  It has a marvellous effect on the respiratory organs, and always brings back to me the delicious fragrance of the pine woods of Arcachon, a delightful resort on the coast of Spain, where I spent some months a few years since.

    During my residence at Mrs. Bullard's I was introduced to two of the best-known woman suffragists, Mrs. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.  They both struck me as thoroughly disinterested, and equally in earnest about "the cause" to which their lives have been devoted.  Mrs. Stanton, a charming old lady with fascinating silver curls, is full of fun and vivacity, and abounds in anecdotes and witticisms; rather than not tell a good story, she will narrate a joke against herself.  She was the first to advocate in America the woman's right to vote, introducing a motion, at the Convention held in July, 1848, at Seneca Falls, much even to the alarm of Lucretia Mott.  The resolution was carried, and laid the foundation of the struggle which is going on at the present hour.  Recently Mrs. Stanton and her friend Miss Anthony have been spending much time in England, and those present at the Suffrage meeting held in St. James' Hall in 1883, will not easily forget how the former came to the rescue when mutiny in the camp itself caused an amendment to be proposed which threatened the peace of the meeting.  But for the oil poured on the troubled waters by a most opportune speech from this handsome, venerable-looking American lady, I doubt if order would have been restored.  And yet in their own country I have heard Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony described as the "most pertinacious incendiaries, diligent forgers of all manner of projectiles, from fireworks to thunderbolts, which they have hurled with unexpected explosion into the midst of all manner of educational, reformatory, and religious conventions, sometimes to the pleasant surprise of the members, but more often to the bewilderment of numerous victims, and the gnashing of angry men's teeth,"

    Mrs. Stanton took me to one of the most perfect American homes I visited, the head of which, the Hon. Gerrit Smith, was known and respected throughout the States for his efforts as an Abolitionist.  I spent a pleasant Christmas in his hospitable house at Peterboro, once the refuge of the fugitive slave, where an equally hearty welcome awaited the red man in the days when that part of the State of New York was peopled by Indians.  In Gerrit Smith, America lost one of her grandest citizens, for his life was one prolonged tale of beneficence.  He gave over 200,000 acres of land in farms of fifty acres each to poor white and coloured men, and his immense wealth enabled him to respond as his generosity dictated to all charitable appeals.  I shall neither forget the happy month spent with his family, nor my perilous journey from his house in a blinding January snow-storm, when a lecture engagement compelled me, in spite of the severity of the weather, to leave its hospitable shelter.  If the reader cares to picture our descent to the Canstota Station—Peterboro is 900 feet above it—let him imagine himself in some elevated position, overlooking a wide expanse of country white with snow, with the thermometer twenty degrees below zero!  Presently the sound of sleigh-bells can be heard, then a moving mass of snow might be seen; the very horses are covered with snow, and the people in the sleigh are crouching together to shield each other as far as may be from the biting cold.  You can not discover their rank, age, or sex, for they are all muffled up in hoods, from which icicles are hanging.  One unhappy man, however, is forced to keep a leg out of the sleigh, for the road is a sheet of ice, and he must be ready to spring out at a moment's notice to hold the sleigh as it swings round, to prevent it from going over the precipices which have to be passed in this perilous fashion.  Every now and then the snow-drifts are so deep that the road threatens to become impassable.  At last, after a drive of two hours, the depot is reached in safety; and the sense of thankfulness, especially on the part of the driver, who best knew the dangers of the way, can be better imagined than described.  The sensations with which a snow-storm is regarded in America depend upon your position and prospective enterprises.  If you are travelling across a wild prairie, no more terrible thing can befall you than a driving snow.  Even in the train your fate is far from enviable; the locomotive is frosted over, the windows of the cars are glazed with ice, the track is undistinguishable; there is nothing to guide the eye, you seem to be crossing fields, plunging into forest at random, while the engine-bells are ringing wildly and shrieking in a peculiarly American fashion.  You have a fair prospect of getting into a snow-drift and remaining there for the night, and your chances of fulfilling an engagement are of the vaguest description.  Just before this journey I accompanied Mrs. Park Godwin [2] to the Art reception given in the studio buildings in New York, and saw Mr. Jervis MacEntee's famous picture of a locomotive tearing wildly through a fearful snow-drift, its red light fiercely glaring on a signal-man standing to the right of it.  After this experience I realize the full force of the situation, and should like to have purchased that painting, to give friends at home some idea of winter travel in America.  Word-painting is quite inadequate to the task.


 
CHAPTER III.


The President at the White House—Washington etiquette—Caste in America—Women Lobbyists—Women employed in the Civil Service—Verdict of General Spinner on the female clerks—Lady John Manners and the English notion of their social position—Draughtswomen in English engineer offices—Conversation with Senator Sumner on Republicanism and English loyalty to Queen Victoria—Grace Greenwood.


RECEPTIONS at the White House, though considered equivalent to Her Majesty's drawing-rooms, are widely different affairs.

    I made my first appearance at one of the earliest General Grant held after his election.  Lady Thornton, who was to introduce me, being ill, kindly placed me in the care of Mrs. Fish, who conducted me through a densely packed mass of people extending from the hall to the reception-room.  Even in the great Republic there are privileged ways and privileged people; and thanks to the lady in question, the wife of the Secretary of State, I was soon in the presence of the President of the United States, Mrs. Grant, and their daughter Nelly, who had, for more than two hours, been shaking hands with each member of a huge assemblage which can only be described as a crowd!

    What would happen if Republican institutions involved the use of court trains I can not imagine!  For my own part, I must frankly confess I greatly prefer being allowed to pay my respects to the head of the nation at this hour of the day in an ordinary afternoon costume, to the inflictions which have to be endured at the kindred ceremony at our English Court.  To begin with, never since extreme infancy had I worn a low-necked, sleeveless dress till the day of my first presentation to Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.  I can not say I appreciated driving in this condition on a bitter March morning, in broad daylight, through a crowd of London roughs, or shivering, thanks to the unwonted scantiness of my attire, in the Palace, while I waited for two hours in the large drawing-room, surrounded by a crowd of splendidly dressed but impatient ladies, for my turn to enter the presence-chamber.  When this goal is reached, your train, which has hitherto been held over your arm to prevent its being torn off your back and trampled under the ruthless feet of dowagers eager for admission into the august presence of their sovereign, is seized by one page-in-waiting at the door and hastily arranged by another; the Lord Chamberlain announces your name to the Queen, you make your obeisance, bow to the other members of the Royal Family, and back out, in a crab-like fashion, as best you can, with this unusual encumbrance at your heels.  Frantic efforts are needed to secure your carriage, and home is reached with the pleasing consciousness that the fatigue and exposure will probably ensure you a severe attack of bronchitis.  The Queen is rigidly severe in her regulations about low dresses at such ceremonies, and has seldom been induced to relax the rule.  Her subjects must be brave enough to risk pulmonary affections or stay away from drawing-rooms usually held during the bitter east winds or which our early English springs are noted.

    But the absence of court trains and feathers do not denote that our American cousins are indifferent to personal adornment, or that points of etiquette are disregarded in the great Republic.  The ordinary Congressman may be shabby in his invariable suit of black broadcloth, but his wife and daughters are resplendent in Paris gowns, and very marvels in the style of their hats and bonnets.  Indeed the magnificent dresses in which the ladies may be seen from the dawn of day to its decline, and the diamonds which flash on all sides in rings, pins, brooches and hair ornaments, surpass description.

    And as to etiquette, Washington rules are as stringent as those of monarchical circles in Europe; a session at the capital is considered indispensable to the success of social fashionable life.  Grand entertainments are given, and the newspapers record these events in a style worthy of the London Court Journal.  Official circles are often thrown into confusion by a question of "precedence."  Great trouble has been known at Washington during the last year, the fact that both President and Vice-President are widowers having afforded a fruitful source of contention among the leading ladies as to who has the best right to precedence at the White House.

    Perfect equality is of course an essential principle of a Republic, and America is popularly supposed to be the happy land in which class privileges and all distinctions not founded on moral and intellectual worth are despised.  I was accordingly surprised to find that these little matters are by no means "more honoured in the breach than the observance" in the States; and though I was often assailed about our aristocratic institutions and peerage worship, I never went to a city in which I did not hear remarks which implied the existence of its equivalent.  "Mrs. So-and-so,—oh, we don't visit her, she is not in the best set," has met my ear continually, though perhaps Americans have not yet rivalled the exclusiveness of the Oxonian, who excused himself for not attempting to save a drowning man on the plea that he had "never been introduced to him."  Americans boast of their freedom from the Britisher's recognition of different ranks and grades in society, but all candid persons will acknowledge to a growing love of caste distinctions in that country.  Society there has its dividing lines, its high fences, which separate individuals dwelling in the same city, as distinctly as prejudice, blood, or education separate the aristocrat from the peasant in the Old World.  While the meagreness of mere "blue blood" is daily becoming more apparent to the cultured Englishman, Columbia is casting her eyes longingly in the direction of empty titles, and while despising monarchical government, shows a keen appreciation of the trappings of royalty.  Even Mrs. Julia Ward Howe accuses her countrymen of being too ready to "extend their hands, to welcome that which is least worthy in the society of the Old World."

    One curious feature about the Chamber of Representatives at Washington is the free admission of ladies to an unscreened gallery.  If they wish to hear a debate, they are not shut up as at Westminster in a kind of sheep pen, and carefully concealed behind a grating.  As far as I could judge, this courtesy produces no fatal effects upon American legislators.  The terrible results predicted in the event of the removal of the wired-off cage from which alone English women can listen to the wisdom which flows from the lips of British law-makers, have not overtaken the representatives of the great Republic; and when I saw the comfortable quarters assigned to feminine spectators at Washington, and contrasted them with the barred cage in the House of Commons, I could not help feeling that Britons were still too near akin to Turks in their arrangements for lady auditors.  But the world moves, and though, like Edgar Poe's raven, English women "still are sitting" behind that brass fretwork, I can not believe they will do so for "evermore."  People will some day feel ashamed of a custom approaching Eastern barbarism.

    Each member of Congress has his own desk and highly ornamented spittoon, and it certainly struck me that some of them were far more interested in their private correspondence and tobacco-chewing than in the discussion before the House. We are taught in England that the true American is equal to an eloquent extempore speech at a moment's notice, and that he is taught to address " Mr. President " be fore lie is out of swaddling clothes. Certainly a Congressman speaks with wonderful and vehement gesticulation on the simplest question—such as an order to print a report ; but though he may not stammer nor hesitate like an ordinary Englishman, who, as a rule, does not shine at speech-making, it must be confessed that there is not too much eloquence to be heard at Washington. No speaker I listened to, perhaps, recalled the description given of the bashful lover in "Zekle's Courtin'"—a satire really applied by a Boston critic to an eminent English lecturer:


"He stood a spell on one foot fust,
     Then stood a spell on t'other;
 And on the one he felt the wurst
     He couldn't have told you nuther";


but the unsatisfactory nature of the explanations of two members on that occasion, who were frantically endeavouring to "set themselves right before the country," irresistibly brought to my recollection the description of the foundering of a Mississippi steamboat.


"She hove and sot and sot and hove
     And high her rudder flung—
 And every time she hove and sot
     A wusser leak she sprung!"


They certainly did not get out of their difficulty as wittily as their accomplished countrywoman Grace Greenwood, who was tackled by a Chicago journalist for her anathema at the House when the Colorado State Admission Bill was defeated.  Not only did she deny having "invested in Denver lots," and repudiate the possession of a single railroad share in the territory, but she sarcastically added, "If my Chicago brother should speak well of heaven, I would not suspect him of having treasures laid up there!"

    The representatives of the American people appear to fail as signally to fulfil the expectations of exacting constituents as our members in the Lower House, if an opinion can be based on conversations heard in railway cars and hotel parlours, and the tone of the Press generally.  One speaker, alluding to the session which concluded in March, 1882, bid a fierce adieu to "a recreant legislature"; another hoped "a day of reckoning would overtake those departing with the spoils of office"; while an editor, in a stringent article reviewing the closing scenes of the Congress, boldly asserted that "if they were not more than usually disgraceful, there were at least one or two speeches which proved that some members were not any too sober in the early hours of Sunday morning."  The characteristic Yankee is apt to declare he can "beat creation hollow" in most things, and in spite of the scenes enacted of late years in our House of Commons, I do not feel inclined to dispute with him if he cares to claim the palm for Congress, as far as turbulence and disorder are concerned.  Of course the night in question is not to be taken as a fair specimen of the proceedings to be witnessed at the capital.  To begin with, night sittings are the exception, and not, as with us, the rule, and perhaps this might account for the hilarity which prevailed at the final meeting of this forty-seventh Congress, when a portly gentleman, who made a peculiar windmill movement with a pair of singularly long arms, greatly to the distress of those in his immediate vicinity, remarked, that "too much whisky having been taken out of bond in the House that night, he moved for a recess, in order that all might cool."

    I have heard trustworthy Americans say that nothing but a high sense of personal honour will keep Congressman, as things now stand, from taking a pecuniary interest in undertakings on which they are called upon to legislate; and as at one time no member of a religious community in Massachusetts undertook any perilous enterprise without a public petition for guidance and security, it is possible that the story is true of the minister who read from the pulpit the following remarkable and suggestive announcement: "Our beloved brother Jonathan P. Davis being about to go to Congress, his wife requests the prayers of the congregation."  This gives a point to the satire contributed by Moncure Conway to Harper's Magazine of the conversation overheard at a London play.  After the hero's first theft, the man in front of Mr. Conway remarked, "He's a fair candidate for Newgate Gaol"; his friend replied, "If he went to America, he'd he a fair candidate for Congress."

    I had been told that "the perilously pretty, persistent fair lobbyist" was a characteristic feature of Washington life.  I can not say I became personally familiar with any one of this class, but I did meet ladies, with just claims, working in the interests of husband, brother, or children, who were brave enough, and endowed with sufficient perseverance, in spite of every obstacle and discouragement, to obtain the just recognition of their cause, after many a weary fight and disheartening delay.

    The employment of women in the Government offices was a very interesting fact to me.  I found them in the Treasury Department employed as counters of fractional and other currency, copyists, clerks, and messengers; in the War Office and Postal Department, as well as in the Printing, Pension, and Patent Offices.  In a private audience accorded me by the President, he assured me of his anxiety to promote the industrial interests of women, and their "better pay," but confessed he was opposed to female suffrage.

    In spite of the amendment to an Appropriation Act passed years ago, directing that women should be paid the same as men when engaged in the same work, and authorizing their appointment to the higher men's grade, the law remains to this very hour a dead letter, and the advocates of the franchise naturally declare that the ballot alone will enable women to obtain equal wage for equal service.  Ex-Secretary Boutwell is said to have practically encouraged the promotion of women more than any other Cabinet officer, having placed a lady in charge of a division of Internal Revenue, and given her the same salary as other chiefs of division.

    In counting money and detecting counterfeit coin, it is freely acknowledged that women are more rapid than men, and more accurate.  Their fingers fly like lightning among the bundles of bank-notes and sheets of revenue stamps.  General Spinner, in speaking of the keenness of the lady clerks in the detection of forged paper and money, once remarked, "A man has always a reason for a counterfeit, forty may be, but he is wrong half the time.  A woman never has a reason.  She says, 'It's counterfeit because it's counterfeit'; and she's always right, though she couldn't tell why, if she were to be hung for it."  I suppose it is this quality in women which made the late John Sterling accuse them of having "kangaroo minds," leaping from point to point with unerring instinct, instead of arriving at the right conclusion by reasonable argument.

    There has been some controversy in England as to the class from which the female clerks in Washington are drafted.  Lady John Manners stated in the Quarterly Review (January, 1882) that "they were the widows and daughters of officers who had died in the service of their country, or who had filled high places in the Civil Service."  This was contradicted, and a Glasgow newspaper went so far as to declare that this was only true of those who could influence, "either by bribery, or perhaps baser means, the official dispensers of favours."  It is, indeed, a well-known fact that the traffic in Government berths is brisk, and has been the real cause of many a scandal.  But from what I gathered from information obtained at headquarters, the statement made by Lady John Manners was perfectly correct.  The New York Tribune (April 15, 1883) also stated that "a book could be filled with the pathetic histories of the women in the Civil Service.  Many are soldiers' widows."  Undoubtedly there have been scandals; even incompetent women have been elected, through political influence or official favour, but this may be attributed to what I heard an American describe as "the faultiest Civil Service in the world."  The best women throughout America are only asking for justice; they wish for a rigid examination as a test of fitness, and promotion on the ground of merit only.  As Mr. Dorman B. Eaton has emphasized, in his able book on the British Civil Service, it is far better for all concerned to have a service based on merit than on politics.

    It is to be hoped that the days of "back-stairs influence" are over everywhere.  For some time efforts were made in London to keep exclusively for the educated daughters of what we term "people of gentle birth" positions of a higher grade than those generally held by ordinary clerks; but when Mr. Fawcett became Postmaster-General he threw open to public competition this class of appointments.  In Russia the ladies employed in the telegraph offices are obliged to know four languages.  They are usually connected with leading official families, and their social position remains unaffected by their occupation.  In England 4,353 women are in the Civil Service employ, nearly 8 per cent. of the total number engaged.  The salaries of the chief clerks amount to £170 a year, but very few ladies in London, I regret to say, receive £200, though the authorities speak highly of their work, and admit that if they are less ambitious, they are more conscientious than men.

    Naturally, in olden times, caste distinctions and social prejudices had far more weight than they have now.  Even men of high degree only reaped the fruits of industry in revenues, themselves remaining an aristocracy—warlike, ecclesiastical, political, and fashionable, according to their age and country.  But a change has come over the world.  Civilization is no longer in the keeping of a limited aristocracy; social power and personal culture are in other hands than those which once held them; our gentlemen are no longer only to be found in the ranks of a leisured aristocracy; our men of business are now drawn from our best families, and English women of the same rank are beginning to see that work is not only honourable in a man, but that idleness is discreditable even in a woman.

    The legacy of the past, however, still weighs heavily enough, and those promoting the employment of women must keep before all entering the labour market in any capacity the dignity of faithfully performed service, and the necessity for special training to insure the best quality of work.  An aptitude for skilled work does not come by nature, as Dogberry insisted reading and writing did.  Even the characteristic faculty for nursing, as Florence Nightingale points out, is useless without special training.  The heaven-born musician and painter cherish and develop by hard work the latent power within them, and the woman who wishes to make a success in any direction must do the same.  She can not step "ready-made" into any department of labour.  With the preparation needed, and invariably given to boys, girls have been able to give complete satisfaction to those who have helped to open new paths for them.  A most successful departure in a novel direction at home is the introduction of ladies as draughtswomen into engineering works and architects' offices.  Messrs. Clarke, Chapman, and Gurney, of Gateshead, Northumberland, are so pleased with their tracings of steam-winches, boilers, etc., that they are now introducing women into the ordinary commercial part of their work.  At Gorton Foundry, Manchester, from which Messrs. Beyer and Peacock have for years sent locomotives of unrivalled strength and beauty to every part of the world, I found women employed in a quiet nook in the midst of that huge hive of industry, where 2,000 men are employed, and fiery furnaces burn night and day the whole year round, and the sound of the ringing anvil seldom ceases.  Messrs. Swan and Hunter, shipbuilders on the Tyne, have just made arrangements for the introduction of ladies in their offices, and the movement is spreading in all directions.  Few dare to lead, but many are ready to follow in the wake of such successes.

    I spent some pleasant hours during my first visit to Washington with the Hon. Charles Sumner—a genial, courtly gentleman, head and shoulders above most of his fellows in intellectual grace and culture, and one of the finest statesmen America has produced.  His home was full of choice books, paintings, and statues, and his conversations on art, politics, or social reforms full of interest and instruction.  One day, at the close of a long discussion on Republicanism versus Monarchy, while admitting the political corruption exposed by recent disclosures in America, he maintained that "a true republic was the fairest flower of civilization," and amused me by adding, that "when the people of England are virtuous and advanced enough, a republic they will have."  It certainly will be a great day for England when the right of every individual to use the power God has given, free from interested interference, is recognized, and to that goal, though our progress may be slow, we are steadily approaching.  But the reforms most desired are quite compatible, in the opinion of many of our advanced thinkers, with a monarchical form of government.  The constitutional sovereign, in a country whose Parliamentary institutions are a reality, reigns, but does not govern.  She acts as the Ministers advise, and they are responsible for all the proceedings of the Executive.  Their dismissal depends upon the will of the Parliament, and has to be accepted whether the sovereign's view coincide with the step or no.  The position is indeed one of difficulty and delicacy, for while bound to have opinions and convictions of her own, the Queen must sacrifice them, and act as if indifferent to party and national questions.  We have certainly arrived at a period of history when two things are impossible—a political meddler on the throne, or a dissolute king.  Another George IV. would mean revolution.  If his successor had resembled him, it would have gone hard with the crown of England.  It is the glory of Queen Victoria that she has restored to royalty its old prestige, and once more surrounded it with the reverential affection which makes obedience easy, patriotism hearty, and constitutional government strong and stable.  She has revived and given a new lease of life to those sentiments of generous and devoted loyalty which had slumbered ever since the early Stuart days, and which some had mourned over as altogether dead.  But we have outlived the king and queen clad in purple and gold, with crowns, thrones, and sceptres.  Photography has made the "everyday" appearance of our royal family familiar to every cottager in the land.  We recognize our Queen in her widow's weeds, with her sons and daughters in plain frocks and coats standing round her.  The Princess of Wales was best known by the picture that represented her babies climbing over her shoulders, while her husband smoked his pipe like any other son of the soil.  Family histories have lately been freely given to the nation, some containing glimpses of struggles "to make two ends meet" by devices and economies which cause the royal duchess and the middle-class matron to feel very near akin!

    By some this has been considered a very daring experiment, but I believe the hour has come when royalty can afford to show the English people its inner life and be independent of tile tragedy airs and graces which used to be thought indispensable to Court life.

    Mrs. Lippincott, better known as "Grace Greenwood," with whom I spent much time during this visit to Washington, has just published in America a very interesting life of Queen Victoria.  This lady holds a very honourable place in journalism through her able contributions to the New York Times and other papers.  Her brilliant Western sketches are instinct with buoyant life, for she is one of those rare women who are lever old in spirit; words seem to bound off rather than flow from her pen, and while she has retained the brightness of youth, she has now acquired the mellowness which comes of a varied experience and the possession of rich stores of knowledge.  It is said that her acquaintance with the political history, principles, and tactics of the two great opposing parties in her country and time is most remarkable, and that she has always handled national questions in a thoroughly patriotic spirit.


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NOTES.


1.    "London must be beginning to feel lonely!  There are at present in the United States England's Chief Justice, Lord Coleridge; Monsigneur Capel, one of her most famous divines; Mr. Irving, her greatest tragedian; Mr. Arnold, her greatest critic and essayist, and a very respectable poet; Mrs. Langtry, the distinguished beauty, and Miss Emily Faithfull, the philanthropic worker in the field of woman's advancement.  In addition to these we have a large number of poor but illustrious lords, who are anxious to draw closer the ties that unite the two countries by marrying American heiresses, together with speculators and capitalists innumerable, who are investing in mines, cattle ranches, railroads, and generously helping Mr. Villard to boom Oregon and Northern Pacific stock.  New York is, in fact, becoming a fashionable London resort."

2.    Daughter of the poet William Cullen Bryant.

 


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