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adequately describe many of the cultivated women who speak in public, and who are yet gentle and quiet in their homes, and temperate even in their mental attitude towards others. That such women exist I am well aware, but they are found now chiefly among the old-fashioned leaders of what used to be called the blue-stockings, and they are fast giving way to the more pushing and exaggerated sort of woman. These kindly ladies still get up, spectacled and scientific-looking, and read papers at Social Science Congresses, or mildly address young women on abstruse and purely intellectual subjects, but they are not to be spoken of in the same breath with their more advanced sister3.

The mental and moral condition which the modern platform woman herself exhibits is the surest proof of the mischief which public speaking is working by her agency on the community at large—the gradual hardening of the countenance and of the external manner and address, indicating too surely the real repression going on within of much that is lovable and admirable in a woman. No repose, outwardly or mentally, is to be found in her society, she produces a strong impression of unnaturalness, and of living in antagonism with the world around her; an unfortunate frame of mind which has to be fostered, since her position is not yet, thank heaven, by any means an assured one, and must be struggled for and pursued under protest from a large section of both sexes. Who does not know the shudder with which a sensitive, highly wrought, fastidious man or woman speaks of those whose persons are continually before the world, whose names are bandied about, whose principles are discussed in half the drawing-rooms of London ? "That dreadful woman'is the mildest term applied to them. Even the harder-natured part of the community receives shocks from its public-speaking sisters occasionally with a shrug of the shoulders, and makes jokes at their expense. And the meaning of it all is that the women who take up a personally prominent position in the world are distasteful to the good sense and refined feeling of the majority, and therefore that female influence in the world is degenerating. Their power may be increasing (but that I take leave still to doubt), but in their proper sphere, a small, it may be only a home circle, their once all-powerful influence is waning. Would not true width of intellect, true largeness of heart and soul, be shown by submitting to live in what seems a small spaceby seeking to influence what appear to be few men and women, to bring up a few children faithfully-by realising that a narrow sphere does not imply narrow sympathy—that in fact the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs'?




The question of throwing open museums, art galleries, and libraries to the public during certain hours on Sundays, or, to put it shortly and to use the colloquial expression, the question of Sunday opening, is one which attracts a good deal of attention. Two societies are actively engaged in advocating and two are employed in combating, with equal vigour, the views comprised in “Sunday opening. The subject cannot be said to be one of first-rate importance, yet many people are much interested in it, and the interest felt is much deeper than the commotion on the surface would seem to imply. This is always the case in social questions, and indeed in political questions also, which do not follow the lines of party cleavage. Party machinery cannot be brought into play, and the absence of party virulence is mistaken for lack of vitality. Public opinion, though existing in potential strength, is expressionless and almost dumb for want of a proper organ. "Sunday opening 'is not likely to be used as a rallying cry by either of the great political parties, and it has not yet been made a test question at elections. It is not a subject that lends itself to oratory; it is true it appeals to common sense, and invokes the great principle of freedom and liberty of conscience, but, as it does not involve direful disabilities or painful persecution, it fails to carry to the minds of men any fervid feeling of injustice. It is frequently asserted that those for whose benefit Sunday opening is designed, care nothing whatever about the matter, and that if the doors of all the art galleries, libraries, and museums in the country were thrown open, the persons who are at present practically excluded, that is members, generally speaking, of the working classes, would not avail themselves of the privilege of entering. Two fallacies are involved in this statement. In the first place multitudes of Englishmen and Englishwomen, not usually included in the term

working class,' are personally interested in this matter; and secondly, great numbers of artisans and others similarly circumstanced have shown that they would utilise opportunities of visiting museums, and that they are anxious for Sunday opening. Many working men have taken much trouble on behalf of the cause, and numbers have welcomed with eagerness the opportunities of visiting those public institutions in provincial towns, and those private galleries in the metropolis, that have from time to time been opened on the day of rest. All clerks in public offices, in lawyers' offices, and in banks and commercial houses, teachers of both sexes, salesmen and saleswomen, and all the men, women, boys and girls employed in shops--all those, in fact, who are of necessity kept at work of any kind during the working days of the week, are deeply concerned in this matter. That numbers of the artisan class throughout the country are most earnestly anxious to bring about the accomplishment of this social reform is evidenced by the efforts they have made in the great towns and cities of the provinces-efforts which in many instances have been crowned with success;

and it is clearly shown that a numerous body of London working men are in favour of Sunday opening by the petitions presented by them to Parliament, by the demonstration which took place some years ago, when 25,000 men demanded admission to the British Museum, by their action in reference to the rejection of Mr. Howard's motion in the House of Commons the year before last, and by other significant facts.

The history of the movement in favour of Sunday opening was so peculiar last year, and the facts connected with it are so liable to be misunderstood, that some explanation is necessary before attempting to discuss the merits of the main question. On the !9th of May, 1882, Mr. George Howard, member for East Cumberland, brought forward the following resolution in the House of Commons:

That, seeing the success which has attended the action of Her Majesty's Government in opening on Sundays the national museums and galleries in the suburban districts of London, and in the city of Dublin, this House is of opinion that the time has arrived for extending this action to all museums and galleries supported by national funds.

He was defeated by a majority of 125, and the cause of Sunday opening in the metropolis received, apparently, a knock-down blow. On the 8th of May, 1883, I had the honour of moving in the House of Lords :

That, seeing the success which has attended the action of Her Majesty's Government in opening on Sundays the national museums and galleries in the suburban districts of London, and in the city of Dublin, and whereas this House was last session informed by Her Majesty's Government that no opposition to Sunday opening, so far as it had already gone, had come before them, this House is of opinion that the time has arrived for extending the policy of Sunday opening to all museums and galleries supported by national funds.

Although the Upper House showed itself to be more impressed than the House of Commons in favour of the principle of toleration and liberty of conscience, a further buffet was given to those principles through the instrumentality of a majority of twenty-four. The

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fate of both resolutions in Parliament was somewhat disastrous, and afforded the opponents of Sunday opening a strong, but utterly fallacious argument. A slight examination, and very little reflection will suffice to show that the action of the House of Commons was to a considerable extent-and the action of the House of Lords was to a still greater extent-due to a misconception of facts. Mr. Broadhurst, member for Stoke-on-Trent, spoke and voted against Mr. Howard's resolution in the House of Commons. It was assumed that Mr. Broadhurst spoke with the authority of a working man representing working men on a subject especially affecting their interests and his speech, powerful enough in itself, was invested with additional authority on that account. Not only was the opinion of the House influenced by this consideration, but opinion out of doors was greatly affected also. The organs especially devoted to the opposition of Sunday opening, and the metropolitan press generally, loudly proclaimed that the working men had spoken through their chosen representative—a man of their own class-entirely ignoring the fact that Mr. Burt, member for Morpeth, who has an equal right to speak as a working man, and representative of working men, spoke and voted in favour of the resolution. Much dissatisfaction, not with Mr. Broadhurst's individual action in the House, but with the undue importance attached to it, was felt by London working men, and eventually found expression at a meeting in connection with the Working Men's Club and Institute Union, at which Mr. Hodgson Pratt was requested to invite the various London working men's trade societies, clubs, and unions, to send representatives to a meeting, and to consider the subject. A meeting was accordingly convened and held on the 1st of July, 1882. The London Workmen's Sunday Committee was then formed, and the following resolution was unanimously agreed to :

That the chairman and the honorary secretary be requested to invite the whole of the working men's clubs, trade societies, and other working men's organisations of London, to send delegates to a general representative meeting, in order that it may be authoritatively settled what really is the opinion of the working men of this metropolis on the late speech of Mr. Broadhurst in the House of Commons on the question of opening museums on Sundays. Further, in order that the meeting may be thoroughly representative, that the Committees of the Sunday Society, the National Sunday League, the Lord's Day Observance Society, and the Working Men's Lord's Day Rest Association, be informed of the meeting, and be invited to send representatives.

Invitations having been sent out in obedience to this resolution, a delegate meeting assembled early in the December following, when it was found that, after full debate, twenty-three working men's clubs, having 8,489 members, twenty-eight trade societies, containing 19,537 members, the London Trades' Council, representing 15,480 persons, and ten miscellaneous labour organisations, having 1,976 members, making a total of sixty-one societies, comprising 45,482 members, had sent delegates instructed to vote in favour of Sunday opening, whereas

only one working men's club, having 210 members, and one trades? society, having 326 members, making a total of two societies containing 536 members, had authorised their delegates to vote against the question.

The preponderance of opinion in favour of Sunday opening is, as shown by these figures, overwhelming; nor is it seriously diminished by certain deductions which must be made, owing to the fact that some individual members of trades' societies were members also of the London Trades' Council, and were of necessity counted twice over.

Speaking officially for a deputation received by Lord Granville at the Foreign Office on the 7th of May, 1883, Mr. Fishbourne, the secretary of the London Working Men's Sunday Association, stated that the full deduction to be made in consequence of this overlapping was 4,000. The total number of members represented by delegates in favour of Sunday opening must therefore have exceeded 40,000

It is not, and never has been, claimed that, of necessity, every individual of these 40,000 is in favour of Sunday opening; but it is certain that, on a fair understanding of the question, and after deliberation and debate, these 40,000 men, members of various trade and other labour associations and clubs, instructed delegates returned by majorities—and large majorities—to vote for Sunday opening.

The delegates having met in St. James's Hall on the 11th of December, 1883, it was found that the representatives of the minority had not thought it worth while to put in an appearance, and it was unanimously resolved


That we, the elected representatives of working men's clubs, trade societies, and cther working class organisations of London, hereby protest against the action of Mr. Henry Broadhurst in opposing, in the name of the working classes, the resolution of Mr. George Howard and Mr. Thomas Burt for the opening of the national museums on Sundays, and we declare that those we represent strongly desire to see extended to London the policy of Sunday opening which has proved such an unmixed good to our fellow-workmen in Birmingham, Manchester, and other provincial towns.

This meeting at St. James's Hall was the largest representative meeting of working men that has been held in London for many years past. It was absolutely free and open to all working class organisations, and get the opposition, which subsequently took the form of irresponsible pamphleteering, found no place in the proceedings.

This remarkable demonstration of opinion very naturally struck consternation in the ranks of the opposition, and various objections and suggestions of a deprecatory character were put forward by the Lord's Day Rest Association. It was asked, for instance, why, out of 1,900 societies existing in the London district, sixty-two only were represented at the meeting. The question appeared pertinent, yet the answer must surely have been perfectly well known to the Lord's Day Rest Association. The only fair way in which the views of a number

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