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behind them in the shape of crumbs and the drippings of feedingbottles. "The Metropolitan Public Garden and Playground Association" will perhaps initiate public action in this matter. Its objects are sanitary and recreative. The society will endeavour, in addition to obtaining and laying out open spaces as gardens or recreation-grounds, to "plant trees and place seats in the wider thoroughfares, and to use its influence to obtain the erection of baths and washhouses." The children also, in their separated playgrounds especially, will be benefited, as they will then possess proper playgrounds, and be enabled to learn cricket and other games instead of cumbering the pavement and the gutter at the risk of their lives, and interfering with the street traffic by their rough play with oystershells and marbles. This will be one form of legitimate and desirable pleasure, if the society, which consists of private individuals, proves equal to the task of grappling with vestries and public bodies, and obtains sufficient capital for its requirements.


What are the amusements provided for our girls, for our young working women, towards whom the nation has a large debt of responsibility? Plenty of inducements to vice, certainly, but not much encouragement to simple pleasures. Let us hear what one of them, a young factory hand engaged in the manufacture of artificial flowers, has to say for herself. "After eight o'clock I have nowhere to go, else I should be glad of a rest, so I walk about the streets, and sometimes I get a music-hall treat. But I don't care very much for it, especially when I'm out very late, and they make me drink. I'm glad when work comes again, to be out of the lodging-house, for they are a rough lot there." There are 250,000 of these unknown toilers in our great city, many homeless and friendless, surrounded by temptations unique in their insidiousness, and with no shelter to call a home but the common lodging-houses. What becomes of these girls? How do they spend their time after their hard day's work, and where? To meet this want a society for providing homes for these girls was started in 1878. But the number of the homes is only seven, and the whole of them only accommodate 260 inmates. Moderate as are the charges in these homes, namely, full board (breakfast, dinner, and tea) at 4s. 6d. per week; breakfast alone 2d., dinner 6}d., tea 2d., and supper 1d., many of the girls are unable to pay them, and cannot afford more than two meals a day, and those the cheapest-breakfast and tea. Consequently they are underfed and sickly; added to which, in times of depression of trade, they are a prey to anxiety, and, being compelled to dress neatly lest they forfeit their situation, are exposed to innumerable temptations. What, as a nation, do we do for these girls? They are

(1) These particulars are taken from the report of the Society for providing Homes for Working Girls in London, founded in 1878. Patrons: Lord Aberdeen, Hon. A. Kinnaird, Hon. J. Pelham, W. Myddleton Campbell, Esq.

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young and wild, and need pleasure after their daily toil. Sometimes. almost childish pleasure, as in the case of a class started by some ladies for rough factory girls. Their pent-up animal spirits had been restrained all day, and they needed a safety-valve. When it was found impossible to obtain order or attention, one of the girls said, "We are so tired of being still. If you would only let us make a good row!" Permission was given, and a scene ensued that defies description-singing, shouting, dancing; in short, a regular romp; but there was no harm done, and at a given signal the girls settled down quietly. The home for young women engaged in business, under the presidency of Lord Shaftesbury, does the same sort of work, but only accommodates fifty inmates. It is generally full, testifying to the need to which it ministers. It is only within the last two or three years that the need of help and recreation for women has been recognised, and such efforts as have been made in this direction are sparse, and due to the energy and benevolence of private individuals. One of the most vigorous is the Young Women's Help Society, a distinctly religious, Church of England institution. It was originated by one lady at Colchester in 1879 for the benefit of the factory girls, and aimed at five special objects: 1. Help in daily life; 2. Help in sickness; 3. Temperance; 4. Thrift; 5. Literature; and was designed to embrace all classes of women, married and single, of previously good or bad character. Its success at Colchester was so remarkable that it soon produced branches all over the country, and has now six in East London, with a central home for working ladies, a lodging-house for girls, clubroom, and coffee-bar at 75, London Street, Ratcliffe. Here the numbers in attendance are so great that there will soon be no room for them. The club-room is open every evening from seven o'clock till ten o'clock, Sundays from three till five o'clock. Members pay 3d. entrance, and 1d. per month. There are also rooms and beds at 1s. and 1s. 6d. per week. At Colchester the needlework-class and the lending library, both highly popular, were entirely self-supporting. No doubt in time the lodging-house and coffee-bar will be so also. The other branches in East London are St. Thomas, Bethnal Green; St. Matthias, Bethnal Green; Homerton; St. Augustine's, Hackney; Eton Mission, Hackney Wick. The singing and recreation classes are all very popular. Total abstinence is much advocated as a prevention to the fatal habit of frequenting public-houses, and it was found necessary to give special entertainments, such as concerts, on bank holidays in order to prove a counter attraction to the dancing-saloons and the drink and special temptations of those days. That the public holidays are a terrible danger to girls is well known. In 1882, in one London police-court there were 240 convictions of women against 301 of men. One girl of seventeen, a laundress, told the clergyman who was urging her to take the

pledge, that she couldn't go over Easter. "Even if I did," she said, "I couldn't get over Whit Monday." The writer of a paper read at Grosvenor House in June, 1882, says, "With all the will and with all the ardent desire on all sides, our progress is terribly impeded by the want of workers. . . . In East London the whole population consists of working people, not doing work which brings health and joyousness, but just the direst drudgery. Nor have these people any brightness to look forward to at the end of the day's toil. There is no hope of better times, or greater ease, or happier days, so that in years to come their condition may improve. Ambition and hope are dead, or have never existed, in the minds of these weary toilers. The few whose condition may improve leave this wretched, sordid place for some pleasanter locality. Therefore it is that there is no amelioration in the state of the mass of the people; they have been sinking and sinking, and require superhuman efforts to drag them up again from the degradation into which they have fallen. This degradation has of course told fearfully upon the women of the place. What can be expected of human creatures herded together, whole large families in one small room? For instance, in one street of fifty-two eight and six roomed houses there are 1,100 people. The women are often engaged in these rooms (where they all live and dress) for the whole day at sack-making, or finishing coarse work for export tailors for the lowest pay, without the least prospect of any break in the monotony of their existence. Is it, then, any wonder that they are driven to deaden feeling and make them forget their misery, or that the younger ones rush to the excitement of low theatres or dancing-saloons? Who can strive to teach contentment to them? These people want something to brighten and render their lives a little happier, something to awaken true womanly instincts, now dead. . . . In miles of streets scarcely a respectable lodging can be found for an orphan girl. The East London girls have already borne testimony to the good done them, as they have been entreating to have the club-room at present lent them open every evening, for they say, 'Since we have had a place to spend our evenings in we are ashamed to be seen standing about the streets.' These homes and club-rooms do an infinite deal of good, and answer to the requirements of women; but there are too few of them to be of real benefit to the entire population of London, and at present they are strictly sectarian. Why should there not be, as a matter of course, such institutions in every district-rooms where the girls could play at games in the winter, and, where there is a back garden, at lawn-tennis in the summer? Public opinion and the recognition of the necessity for pleasure are the chief requisites, and in this alone, in the raising of the moral tone of women, is to be found the cure for the shameful canker of modern society, which is now drawing even children into its terrible depths of infamy. Clubs and

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recreation-rooms and respectable lodging-houses are the pressing wants, and in every case where they have been supplied the success has been remarkable and immediate. The Working Women's College, at 7, Fitzroy Street, originally suggested by Professor Maurice, is increasingly prosperous. The classes are well attended; so are the coffee, reading, and entertainment rooms, where on one Saturday in the month there are social meetings of the teachers and students, and some kind of entertainment, such as a concert or recitation, is given. The students number 428, and consist of artificial flower and toy makers, upholsterers, bookbinders, and compositors, bookkeepers, brush-makers, chair-caners, china-painters and gilders, clerks and copyists, domestic servants, machinists, needlewomen, shopwomen, &c. The Somerville Club is another outgrowth of modern civilization; its members number 1,500 women of all classes, and meet together on common ground for recreation and to discuss questions of political or social interest. This club, however, does not answer to the needs of the lowest strata of the population. It is evident that women appreciate such opportunities as have been niggardly afforded them of recreation and culture, and that this is the right continuation and development of the compulsory education given in the board schools. In what other ways can we supplement the dearth of pleasure for both men and women? By the education of the eye, the ear, and the taste, as well as by the education of the mind. Music and colour appeal to the eye and ear, nature and painting and all beauty appeal to the taste. The English people are absolutely deficient in a sense of colour, and only when some great master of the art of colouring, like Rossetti, flashes upon us like a meteor, do we realise something of what we have missed. The grey skies, the muddy streets, the dingy houses, squalor, rags, and the dull tints of the people's dress have absolutely killed the colour-sense among us. As matters are now, our pictures fail in colour, our public buildings and promenades fail in colour, and though of late a great stride has been made in the right and scientific employment of colour, both on the stage, in artistic house-decoration, and in the dress of the higher classes, the wave of progress has not yet reached the poor. Cheap coloured prints are still gaudy and hideous, vulgar and inartistic valentines command the only popular sale, cheap materials are still glaring and ugly, while in the streets there is nothing to be seen likely to attract admiration or create good taste. Indeed, the abominable dirt and unsanitary condition of the homes of the London poor renders beauty impossible to their inmates, and enables them to bear gloom and ugliness without discomfort, if not with absolute complacency. There is no possible reason why, wherever practicable, the sense of colour and love of decoration should not be encouraged; why schoolrooms, for instance, should not be rendered pleasing and attractive to the eye. Exhibitions of good pictures and works of art,

on however small a scale, should be encouraged; each parish might have once a year a little exhibition of its own of objects lent by their owners, like the one organised last year by the Rev. S. Barnett, of St. Jude's, Whitechapel, which proved an entire success, and was much appreciated.

We come next to a pleasure which for many years has drawn down upon itself the wrath of many righteous people-dancing. To the English mind the very word conveys a notion of Middlesex magistrates, dancing-saloons, and general depravity. Yet dancing is essentially an innocent and healthful amusement. Children dance as they laugh, from pure superabundance of joy and animal spirits. Foreigners dance with grace, ease, and refinement. The Scotch perform their wild reels and skilful sword-dances with no thought of malice. The Irish forget their grievances as they set to in a merry jig; only the Englishman presses his lips and shrugs his shoulders at the suggestion of dancing for the working classes. Yet wherever dancing under proper restrictions has been carried on, the plan has answered. In some of the workhouses and lunatic asylums, a dancing-party at Christmas has proved a perfect success. Shopgirls might dance together in the evening after working hours in the recreation-room provided for them, or in a building arranged for the purpose by private charity, in the open air in summer, under cover in winter. Young men as a privilege might be admitted to these dances by invitation, and under proper restrictions boys could learn to dance and behave themselves, and be kept out of mischief. Some respectable person in authority, having no pecuniary interest in the affair (the rock on which all public dancing-rooms will split) must be present, armed with despotic power to keep order until such time as people have been educated into a knowledge of the art of decent amusement. It seems a distinct pity that youthful spirits should be repressed or turned into a sour and morbid channel through a mistaken notion of the vice and folly of dancing. A quaint Scotch author, writing on this subject, says very wisely, "Let us keep our hearts young, and they will keep our legs and our arms the same. For we know now that hearts are kept going by having strong pure blood."

Music is a great civiliser. The People's Entertainment Society and Kyrle Society, fragmentary attempts to bring music home to the hearts of the people, have invariably drawn large audiences at their concerts. An active member of the Kyrle Society writes as follows: "The music is as simple as possible, and the words always English -nice, pleasant, or merry words-as little sentimental as possible. The audiences of workhouses and hospitals especially appreciate these entertainments extremely, and in various cases they are asked for monthly. All help is given gratuitously, by professionals as well as amateurs. Permission has to be obtained from the various boards of guardians, &c., and they are not always quite easy to deal with."

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