Three Visits to America (6)

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CHAPTER XVI.


The orange groves at Los Angeles—The unprecedented rainfall of 1884—Riverside—Pasedena—Mrs. Jennie Carr—practical work for women in California—Mrs. Strong's cotton ranche—Mrs. Rogers's 40,000 herd of cattle in Texas—Domestic servants—Emigration—Mrs. E. L. Blanchard—Openings in Australia and New Zealand—The Geysers and Mineral Springs—Southern Pacific Railroad—Glimpses of Arizona and New Mexico—Kansas—Cattle ranches in Wyoming.


I EXPERIENCED the strangest fascination when waking in the early morning in Mrs. Severance's charming ground-floor house, covered with clematis, roses, and passion-flowers, in which I spent such a pleasant time at Los Angeles, in watching, without raising my head from the pillow, the dark emerald green of the orange groves, rich with golden fruit.  The trees grew close to the veranda on which my windows opened, and were not only laden with oranges, but full of the delicate blossoms on the wearing of which hang the hopes of the maidens of most nations.  Ripe fruit and flower growing side by side is a characteristic feature of the orange-tree.  So heavily weighted were some of the branches that they had broken off the tree, and fallen to the ground with the luscious golden-coloured balls, some of which measured eleven inches in circumference.

    But the truth must be told, and lovely as the fruit is to look at, these oranges are not yet as pleasant to the taste as those grown in Florida.  This is said to be owing to the growth of the tree; so time, the great core for all human ills, will doubtless come to the rescue in due course.

    Already tropical fruits of all kinds are growing,—lemons, limes, citrons, pomegranates, figs, olives, etc., and no part of the Pacific coast has made such wonderful strides during the past few years as Southern California, for everything grows here with spontaneous productiveness, without fear of frost or blight.  The great question on which the permanent prosperity and growth depend is that of irrigation, in consequence of the lightness of the usual rainfall.

    This year, however, will be celebrated as an exceptional one in the farmer's calendar, for ere I left the quaint old Spanish town, "the city of the angels," I watched the orange groves through the driving rain, and saw the golden balls scattered on the ground as thickly as the grass in an English orchard is strewn with pears and apples after an autumn storm.  I realized also what a flood can do in the "glorious climate of California."

    The American people, throughout my three visits, from North to South, and East to West, have welcomed me with a warmth and heartiness I shall never forget; but the climate has seemed equally determined to treat me to its keenest rarities.  During my first winter I had the full benefit of "the great snowstorm of 1872, which will long be remembered for its desolations and discomforts," wrote the New York Tribune.  Since then cyclones, blizzards, rainstorms, thunder and lightning, have one and all given me a taste of their best quality.  Last year, when I was at Cincinnati, the Ohio overflowed its banks, as it had never been known to do before and plunged the whole city in darkness and despair, and now I have experienced what is described by the inhabitants as the heaviest storms and floods, and the worst weather California has known for twenty-one years.  The rivers were flowing at will wherever they pleased; houses were submerged in all directions, and their inmates escaped to the hills; dams burst, so that boats were more useful than carriages in the city streets; and the railway track was destroyed for more than a hundred miles.

    I left Los Angeles knee-deep in mud.  Piled up all through the principal thoroughfares were high mounds of mud to render the streets at all passable, and as these were allowed to remain for days, to the danger of health as well as safety, some local satirist carved fancy wooden tombstones, on which was written: "Sacred to the memory of the City Fathers," and placed them in derision on the mounds.  The day after I left Los Angeles the largest reservoir in the city burst and destroyed a portion of the town; and so disastrous had the floods proved to the Southern Pacific Railroad that our train was the last for five days to leave the depôt.

    Anyhow, a good supply of water has been obtained for many months to come.  Owing to these floods I was unable to visit many parts of the country.  Riverside, for instance, one of the most flourishing colonies, full of orange and lemon groves, I could not reach, nor Pasadena, where Mrs. Jennie Carr has opened an industrial rural school to prepare girls for practical farming.  Mrs. Carr gives instruction in the following subjects:


1st.—The cultivation of fruit and nut-bearing trees, or Pomology.

2d.—The cultivation of forest and ornamental trees and shrubs, or Forestry.

3d.—The cultivation of flowers in the open air and under glass—Floriculture.

4th.—The cultivation of vegetables and small fruits for market—Market Gardening.

5th.Fruit Drying and Preserving, or the changing of natural into commercial products.

6th.Domestic Cookery and Housekeeping.

7th.—Useful and ornamental needlework.

8th.—Breeding and care of poultry.

9th.—Silk culture (where practicable) and bee-keeping.

10th.—Dairying.


    Mrs. Carr considers that there are many openings for ladies in these various industries, and thinks that many school-teachers might follow Miss Austin's lead, and develop into freeholders.  In an excellent article on "Woman and Land," Mrs. Carr observes:


    "The 'colonies' of Southern California afford excellent opportunities for the extension of the Fresno experiment so as to cover branches of business growing out of fruit-growing, silk culture, bee culture, and other industries.  In many of these colonies long credits are given for the land, and houses are frequently built and furnished on the instalment plan, thus making a small capital, plus perseverance and energy, equal to a larger one.

    "Women who engage independently in farming, find little antagonism to overcome.  So close is the relation between land and the home that a woman who surrounds herself with evidences of thrift and skill commands universal respect.

    "A lady of the Sacramento Valley displayed a collection of jellies and preserved fruits at the State Fair, so perfectly prepared, and tastefully arranged, that she not only swept the board in the way of premiums, but a San Francisco banker paid her five hundred dollars for them, saying: 'I bought them as a surprise to my wife, and to show my respect for woman as an industrialist.'

    "On the same occasion, a woman left on the death of her husband as the sole manager of a complicated landed estate, exhibited the fruits of her industry in a novel form, viz., in cases of 'Insect Powder,' which she had manufactured from Pyrethrum, cultivated on her own farm.  She had cleared off heavy indebtedness, sent her children to the university, and won a position for herself among the capitalists by this culture.  Another California lady derives a handsome income from the manufacture of olive oil, from trees of her own raising.

    "Instances might be indefinitely multiplied to show that for women to-day—as for men in all the past—land-ownership is the 'basis of aristocracy,' of nobility, in the American sense of the word.  My hopes for the advancement of women are strengthened by the fact that so many doors are now open to them into professional callings, and so many facilities afforded for necessary training therein.  It can not be long before the Woman's Industrial University shall be created, and become the model for hundreds of practical training-schools throughout the country."


    Mrs. Strong, a widow, the owner of a ranche on the Merced River, has 250 acres of cotton cultivated by Chinamen on shares, not perhaps quite so fine as Mississippi or Louisiana cotton, but equal to what is known in the New Orleans market as "middling."  Mrs. Strong finds a ready sale for her produce in San Francisco and Marysville.

    Mrs. Rogers, of Texas, has a herd of 40,000 cattle on a claim between the King Ranche and Corpus Christi.  Mr. Rogers was a preacher with seven motherless children when he induced "the cattle queen" to marry him, but she gave him to understand she meant to "run the ranche," and has done so to the present hour.  Though worth a million, and about fifty years of age, she lives in a very humble way, and goes herself on horseback every week to Corpus Christi to sell stock or purchase supplies.  I believe that Mr. Rogers, having been compelled by throat trouble to give up preaching, is now the Democratic member of the Legislature from Nueces County, and Mrs. Rogers has not only proved herself an able cattle owner, but an excellent mother to her stepchildren.

    Many people throughout California complained to me about the difficulty of obtaining good domestic servants, and a few months since I read a letter in The Times, signed by Mr. Dennis Kearney, saying that any number of English servants could get good situations at once, at wages varying from £2 10s. to £7 a month.  I do not think trained servants, even if we could spare them, could in any great number find comfortable homes there, nor that Californian house holders would care to employ them.  Domestic service is on such an entirely different principle that neither employer nor employed would be satisfied.  The English servant expects to keep an established routine; she does not care to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but that is the fate of American servants, and the reason why they command such high wages.  When households are organized on English rules, and many servants are kept in the place of one or two, wages will certainly decrease in the same ratio.  Mr. Kearney was the leader of the "Sand Lots" agitation in San Francisco a short time since, and has now a servants' registry office there.  Anyhow, his invitation to English working-women must be received with some caution.  Female emigration has to be surrounded with peculiar safeguards.  It is not every one who can carry on such a scheme with success.  Mrs. E. L. Blanchard's work in connection with Australia and New Zealand would never have attained present position but for her personal knowledge of the Colonies themselves as well as of the women she sends to them, her untiring efforts to secure the right people for the right places, her judicious selection of ships and captains, her wise choice of matrons, and last, but not least, the admirable provision she makes for the proper reception of emigrants at the various ports abroad.

    I have seen Mrs. Blanchard in her office surrounded by those who wish to emigrate, and often listened to the information she has given, amazed at the skill and discrimination with which she guided and selected her candidates; I have watched her on board the ships with a bright look and a kind smile for the humblest emigrant, giving them all not only the best possible counsel, but that priceless womanly sympathy which is so unspeakably valuable at such a moment.  Recently, in conjunction with the Viscountess Strangford, Mrs. Blanchard has opened a home at 13 Dorset Street, Portman Square, where educated ladies can reside while arrangements are being made for their passage and outfit.  Emigration under this noble worker's auspices has indeed already proved a blessing to hundreds of English men and women.

    Female emigration needs the most careful management and wise supervision.  No girls should be sent abroad unless there is a duly organized home for their reception, and also for their maintenance till suitable situations are obtained, and a lady of well-known character should always be at the head of such institutions.

    Mrs. Blanchard has started a Loan Fund by which she enables ladies, who can not pay their own passage money, to emigrate to the colonies, where profitable work can be obtained; and she has found, from practical experience, that such help has seldom been given in vain.  I have seen many of the letters she has received from those who could not find employment here thanking her for their escape from "privations," and enclosing sums toward the repayment of the loan.  A recent correspondent adds: "In a few months' time, I hope to place myself out of debt altogether, at least monetary debt; my debt for the kindness received from you I shall never be able to repay."  Another lady writes in high spirits from Sydney: "Several of the doctors have promised constant employment," as they were so pleased with her diploma; and she adds, "there is a splendid opening for trained nurses from London here.  Any one with health and strength can soon make money."

    There are many ways by which ladies can earn money in New Zealand.  For instance, Miss Meteyard, better known as "Silverpen," sent me some valuable hints in relation to the employment of women in the distillation of flowers for perfumery.  In the north of New Zealand the lavender shrub, roses, and other flowers thrive, and women with a little capital and practical knowledge would find this a fine field for money-making and pleasant occupation.

    Mr. C. White Mortimer, the British Vice-consul at Los Angeles, in a very interesting communication to Truth, justly describes Southern California as "a paradise for men who are able and willing to do manual labour."


    "Mechanics receive from 12s. to £1 per day, and, owing to the large amount of building now going on here, are in demand at those figures.  The supply of professional men, clerks, bookkeepers, etc., is greatly in excess of the demand.  The men who are wanted here are the labouring classes, and men who have capital to the amount of £1,000 and upwards.

    "There are many occupations here which men in delicate health, who have some means, can engage in; be bee-keeping, poultry, the culture of the orange and the vine—these and many other similar occupations are enormously profitable.  Thousands of acres of land are annually being planted in grapes in this section of the country, and, notwithstanding the enormously increased supply, the demand continues to keep pace with it, and prices are still more than remunerative; the phylloxera is unknown in Southern California, and will not probably make its appearance, care being now taken not to impoverish the land by planting the vines too close together.  As to the profit in grape-farming, the following prices, which may be relied upon, will speak for themselves.  Cost of land, from £20 to £40 per acre.  Cost of grape-cuttings, planting same, and cultivation for first year, per acre £4; cost of cultivation for second year, per acre £3.  To these amounts must be added the taxes and interest on the amount invested.  The third year's crop, after deducting working expenses, will net the producer about £3 per acre; thereafter the yield annually increases until the seventh or eighth year, when the maximum is reached.  At present prices for grapes (£4 per ton), vineyards in full bearing net the owner from £20 to £40 and in some cases as high as £50 per acre per annum.  The working expenses, when the producer hires all his help, do not exceed £3 per acre per annum; large vineyards would not average so much.  Vineyards in full bearing can be purchased for about £120 per acre.  The profit on oranges is much larger; they do not, however, make the producer any return for six or seven years.  The profit not being immediate, persons planting orange orchards or vineyards must have some capital, in addition to the amount invested in the land and working expenses.  Farm lands in this country have increased in value from 50 per cent. to 100 per cent. in the last two years, owing to the large influx of emigrants in that time."


    Persons wishing to emigrate should have nothing to do with firms which advertise situations in return for premiums.  This fact can not be impressed too strongly or disseminated too widely, for I have known who have greatly suffered from various deceptions in this direction.

    Not only is California trying to solve the problem how to make the best wines, but she hopes to rival the Old World in her mineral waters.  The Almaden waters are bottled under the title of "Californian Vichy," and have valuable qualities, and there are some famous mineral springs in the Santa Clara Valley.

    While San José is noted for her educational institutes, Santa Barbara, nestled in a broad fertile valley quietly sloping to the sea, Santa Cruz and Monterey, are the resorts of those who love sea breezes and bathing.  Monterey boasts a charming aesthetic hotel in its own grounds of 100 acres, where oak, walnut, pine, spruce, and cypress trees abound, and lead to one of the finest beaches on the coast, within four hours' railroad run of San Francisco.  Calistogo gathers the invalids under her wing, thanks to her sulphur, iron, and magnesia springs.  At the Geysers, once the favourite resort of the Indians, who greatly appreciated the healing properties of the waters, there is still a jet called "The Indian Sweating Bath," where once rheumatic squaws were brought by thoughtful husbands, and laid on a temporary grating to be steamed till cured or killed!  These springs are found along the well-named Pluton river; here, too, is the Devil's Canyon, where Epsom Salts are found on the walls in crystals, and boiling, bubbling springs of alum and iron make the ground so hot that it burns your feet as you pass along.  The causes which bring about the wonderful phenomena of the Geysers have been frequently discussed, and a well-known scientist once aptly described this marvellous region as "the chemical laboratory of the Almighty."

    Our journey on the Southern Pacific was not an eventful one.  We had already been through the Tehachapi Pass on our way to Los Angeles, where, for twenty miles, the grade, including curvature, is 116 feet to the mile, and your attention is equally divided between the scenery of the Canyon and the marvellous track itself.  I am told that, unless it be the road over the Styrian Alps from Vienna to Trieste—and even there the track does not literally cross itself—there is nothing like it, in engineering skill, to be seen in the world.  Long tracts of desert have to be traversed, and the only living thing is the remarkable Yucca Draconis tree, something like a palm or cactus; the latter appears after leaving Yuma; sometimes it stands out like a pillar in the plains, 20, 30, and often 60 feet high.  In May it is covered with a pale yellow flower, which is followed by a fruit shaped like a small pear; distributed over the whole of Arizona is the prickly pear cactus, with sometimes a thousand pears on a single bush.  Stanwix is a great lava bed, and all around seems ashes and desolation.  Another hundred miles bring you to Painted Rock, where, north of the railroad, are huge boulders 50 feet high, covered with rude representations, supposed to record the battles between the Yumas, Cocopahs, Maricopas, and Pinahs.  At Tucson the houses are all of adobe brick and one story high, and the narrow streets have neither tree nor shrub.  Mexicans abound in Tucson, and Spanish is the language you hear on all sides.  Nine miles from here is the old mission of "San Xavier Del Bac."  As we entered New Mexico I was much interested in the solitary riders to be seen crossing the plains, which are here often covered with gramma and bunch grasses, on which the herds of cattle graze.  The riders were dressed after the fashion of the pictures of Arab horsemen, whose fierce aspect used to awe me in the days of my youth.  Albuquerque is said to be a typical Mexican town, and is certainly a city of considerable importance.  A few stations beyond, we struck off on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad for Las Vegas—a health resort of great repute, owing to its hot springs.  Here was the celebrated Montezuma Hotel, allowed by all travellers to be the finest in the West.  Among other matters, it advertised its special safety from fires.  "The admirable fire service comprised two systems: the engines had force-pumps attached, and the house was provided with standing-pipes and hose-reels on every floor, making it almost impossible for a fire to do serious damage, or get beyond the room in which it originated," said the prospectus.  Two weeks, however, before we arrived, the house was destroyed so quickly that none of the inmates could save any of their things.  Fortunately the fire broke out before dinner, so no lives were lost, but some Colorado friends of mine who were staying at the Montezuma lost all their clothes.  Here, and in the neighbouring Mexican villages, you see girls with Castilian beauty, and wrinkled old women placidly sitting outside their adobe huts, smoking their cigarettes.  Less than half a day's journey by rail brings you to the quaint old Spanish city of Santa Fé, containing very curious relics of the Aztec occupation; and the surrounding mountains are full of minerals, gold, silver, onyx, and agates.

    The picturesque half Spanish inhabitants of New Mexico, with their strange ways and customs, are suggestive of life in the East.  The windowless houses, one story high, are made of mud or sun-baked bricks of adobe, and entered by a small door, which takes you into a poteo, or open court, in which the animals live, and among these small donkeys are a distinguishing feature.  Of furniture there is none.  Mexican families for the most part sleep in blankets on the ground (for they do not always indulge in wooden floors), and sit Turkish fashion.  A kettle of beans and red peppers, cooking on the open fire, supplies their staple article of food.  The Aztec idols, too, have a head-dress like that of the sphinx of Egypt.  You see the same kind of physiognomy and complexion.  Women wash by the stream in Eastern fashion.  The water-carrier bears an enormous earthen jar, slung on the back, supported by a strap over the forehead, and it takes some time to get accustomed to the strange articles of apparel, especially the long shawl called a rebozo; on the women, and a blanket, called serape, on the men.  The rebozo is head-dress, mantilla, basket, all in one, for it is used as a covering and to carry anything the owner wishes to conceal.  The men wrap their serapes tightly over their arms when the weather is at all cold, and thus render them even more useless than those of a fashionable lady in a tight dolman.  Their shoes, too, are a study.  Many only a wear a piece of leather strapped to the foot.  The palm-tree is alone needed to complete an Oriental picture.

    When I left the mild climate of sunny Mexico, I soon found myself in the regions of snow and ice again.  After a short stay in Pueblo, we passed one thriving town after another as we followed the windings of the Arkansas—a change indeed from the days when the riotous Kansas cowboys used to ride up from their cattle ranches with pistols in both hands, which they would fire as they galloped through the streets and cleared the town!  Peace and order now prevail; school-houses abound, and prosperity has been insured by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé Railroad, which brought civilization into the heart of this rich country.  The dry plains and the prairie grass have been transformed into fields of corn, and to-day Kansas stands to the front among the agricultural States.  At Manhattan there is an excellent State Industrial College, which affords a complete course of great practical value.  The Makin Rancho, owned by some young Englishmen from Liverpool, is well worth a visit from those interested in stock-raising; and Mr. G. H. Wadsworth, who has a splendid farm in Pawnee County, says he considers Kansas better than any other State for the wool business.  All that is now wanted is population, and settlers are really invited, not to the difficulties of pioneer life, but to a land which is fruitful in many directions.

    For those who like out-of-door life and cattle raising, Kansas undoubtedly offers a good opening at the present time.  There are still 3,000,000 acres of land in the Arkansas Valley for sale, at from one to ten pounds an acre, the prices being regulated by the quality of the land and the distance from a railroad depot, and the Homestead Law still gives a settler, on condition of a five years' residence, 160 acres at a fee of twenty dollars to the land office, but it is found better to purchase land near the railroads than to accept a grant of land at a considerable distance from one.

    The Union Depôt in Kansas City presents a busy and confusing scene.  The first time I stopped there I thought I had fallen upon some special day, but subsequent visits proved to me that it was simply wearing its usual aspect.  The waiting-rooms are invariably crowded, and if you have to travel by a train which discards the use of a Pullman carriage, your lot is not an enviable one, unless indeed you wish to study life in its very roughest phases.

    The live-stock trade of Kansas City was estimated at 65,000,000 dollars for the year 1882.  Seven hundred head of Scotch cattle were imported by one firm last year; their thick, heavy hides make them great favourites on the plains, as they resist the storms which sometimes prove so fatal there.  In fact, now that the financial cloud has lifted, immigration to Kansas means prosperity, if the settler is gifted with that rare quality which Americans' designate as "snap."  Men without energy will experience as much disappointment in the New World as in Europe, but those who are prepared to take proper advantage of the resources America affords can not fail to command success.  They find there five times as many acres of fertile land as in Europe, five times as many miles of railroad, telegraph and telephone lines, five times as many steam-engines, mowing, reaping, and threshing machines, and ten times as much coal, which means mechanical power, manufacturing production, and industrial wealth.  The United States has an acknowledged leadership in inventive genius, and as Dr. Hittell observes, "These are the arms with which the struggle for life in the battle of the future is to be fought."

    Kansas must look to its laurels as a great cattle market, for in Wyoming there are thousands of miles of the cheapest grazing land in the world.  Efforts are now being made to import young stock to England, as the cattle can be reared at a small cost in the north-western territory, though it can not be fattened there as well as here.  The Canadian authorities make no difficulty about allowing the cattle to pass through that country, which is a test that no danger is feared in the dominion of the pleuro-pneumonia which sometimes proves so fatal in the Eastern States.  While Mr. Frewen is thus fighting for Wyoming, Mr. Hugh A. Fergusson is anxious to promote the importation of young cattle from Texas and New Mexico, and states that it will be impolitic to admit one State more than another, that the importation of young stock from America would certainly enable the English farmer to realize a higher profit out of his land and cattle than he can at present.  "We will," says Mr. Frewen, "rear millions upon millions of store cattle, and then send the lean but full-grown stock back to the homes of their ancestors to be finished artistically for your market.  We will breed and rear for three or four years the young stock which you will fatten off in from ten to twenty weeks.  That is all that your farmers will have to do in the production of beef.  The slow process of growth will go on in regions where land can be had for next to nothing.  The rapid process of forcing will take place under conditions which enable it to be performed at a maximum of speed."

    I greatly enjoyed my visit to the Kansas State University, which is situated at Laurence, with its splendid lecture hall holding 1,500 people, crowded with a most agreeable audience the night I lectured there, notwithstanding a wind that nearly blew the carriage over as I drove up Mount Oread, on the summit of which the handsome building stands.  In the natural history department there are more than a hundred thousand specimens of beasts, birds, and insects representing the animal life of the great Mississippi valley; there is also a fine laboratory and a rapidly improving library.  The newly-appointed Chancellor, Dr. Lippincolt, is a clear-headed, cultured man, in whose hands its future is secured.

    Topeka has one of the handsomest free libraries I saw in America, erected by some of the rich men connected with the railroad.  There is a large, comfortable reading-room, and the residents are also allowed to take books home.  The interior of the building is fitted up with excellent taste, and the lecture hall has a model stage, which made me think of the Haymarket Theatre under the Bancroft rule.  Thanks to Mr. Wilder—a descendant of the Berkshire Wilders—this hall is filled with choice engravings and etchings, which he has lent for the benefit of his fellow-townsmen.  Sometimes it is hired for an assembly ball, and pleasant dances have been enjoyed this winter on that polished floor.  It is difficult to believe that this is Kansas—till recently the home of the prairie dog, rattlesnake, and buffalo!


 
CHAPTER XVII.


Divorce—Journalistic announcements, advertisements, and paragraphs—Two strange divorces followed by remarriages—Divorces traced by the American press to the increase of mercenary marriages—Dr. Dwinell's statistics—Chief-Justice Noah Davis at the Nineteenth Century Club Meeting on divorce—Mr. Charles Stuart Welles—The French Law—The moral effect of the Divorce Court in England—The Rev. Robert Collyer.


THERE are many journalistic head-lines which strike the English reader of American newspapers with considerable amazement, but none have appeared to me more singular, or more indicative of the popular sentiment on the subject with which they deal, than the extraordinary headings to the columns devoted to information respecting divorce cases.

    "Untying Wedding Knots;" for example, at once carries with it the idea that an element of positive festivity mingles with the dissolution of the ties that bound two people together in holy matrimony, in the presence of admiring friends and hopeful bridesmaids, while the "Divorce Mill" points significantly to the vast amount of business carried on by those entitled to divide married couples, to say nothing of sub-headings, "Separated for life in forty minutes," or "Three matrimonial smash-ups," which betokens a levity strangely out of place while dealing with a matter of such grave import.

    Not only do you find under "legal notices" such standing advertisements as the following in New York newspapers:

_______________________________________________
ABSOLUTE DIVORCES, QUIETLY, WITHIN A month; incompatibility, all causes; legal everywhere; no money required until granted.

M—A—,—Broadway.

_______________________________________________
ABSOLUTE DIVORCES, QUIETLY; ALL CAUSES; any State; consultation free; terms easy.

W. L. B—,—Broadway, Suit 8.

_______________________________________________
ABSOLUTE DIVORCES, CHEAPLY, QUICKLY, QUI etly; for any cause.

M—C—,—Broadway.

_______________________________________________


but you frequently meet with paragraphs similar to the specimens selected from daily papers of repute in the United States:


    "There was a lively race between the divorce decrees and the marriage licenses on Saturday, and the divorce record came out ahead.  There were issued fifty-one decrees of divorce, and only forty-three marriage licenses.  This will not do.  Cupid must 'whoop up' his forces and make a better showing."

    "Clergymen complain that their marriage fees are not so heavy as they once were.  But clergymen should remember that they don't succeed in tying the knot so firmly as formerly.  Where is the use of emptying your purse into the minister's pocket, when the chances are that the divorce lawyer will be along in a year or two and untie the knot whose tying has cost you so dearly."

    "The minister who ties the connubial knot gets a fee varying from 2 dollars to 50 dollars; the lawyer who unties it charges from 100 dollars to 500 dollars.  Which only means that everybody has to pay more to get out of trouble than to get into it.  Don't be finding fault with matters of course."

    "Seven fashionable marriages in one day are described minutely in the New York papers.  According to the statisticians there ought to be at least two divorce cases arising out of these in the next year or two."


    The possibility of such extraordinary paragraphs in the daily papers shows too clearly the condition of matters in this direction, and inclines one to think there is some truth, after all, in the old story of the railway porter's announcement as the train stops at a depôt in Indiana, "Ten minutes for refreshment and five for divorces."  Incredible as it may appear, I quote almost verbatim the extraordinary announcement made by a member of a very much divorced family.  She was complaining to me about an engagement her daughter had made without her sanction.  She remarked: "And the worst is, that the young man's family don't like it either, so I thought I would fix that very quickly.  I told Frank to bring his mother to see me.  So, marm, said I, your Frank and my Molly think they're in love with each other.  Well, my father and mother were divorced, I am divorced from my husband, my three elder girls are all married and divorced, and I guess Molly will know how to do the same, if Frank doesn't suit her."  This wholesale method of relief from uncongenial matrimonial speculations perhaps explains why a certain column devoted to the announcements, in which ladies are supposed to take special interest, in some Western newspapers, have an addition which is at present unknown in English journals.  The notices run thus: Births, Marriages, Divorces, Deaths.

    I heard of two very singular divorces followed by remarriages while I was travelling in the United States; in both cases it must be admitted that the husbands appear to the best advantage.  The wife of a well-known Western millionaire, whose name I will not give for obvious reasons, was induced by evil counsels to sue for a divorce in the early part of 1883.  The husband did not even contest it, but as the newspapers had published many versions of the story, he issued what is called in America "a card," which bore his signature and ran as follows:


    "I am willing to bear all the odium which the public, in ignorance of the real facts, may choose to cast on me; but my regret is for my wife, whose name has been improperly associated and incorporated in dispatches transmitted all over the country.  Now, as always, my desire has been to do that which would contribute to the happiness of my wife and children.  If I have in any way failed, God knows it has not been prompted by a desire to do so.  Now, as ever, I want that which will best contribute to the happiness of my family.  If my wife thinks a separation will contribute to her further happiness, then her mind and mine are alike.  I have done nothing to merit the obloquy cast upon me.  Those who best know me will tell you what my desires are.  I repeat that in this matter with my wife, which has been made so public, I have nothing to say further than that it pains me to see her name and mine associated with such dastardly and vindictive dispatches as have gone forth to the world.  I am the man, she is the woman, and in these relations I will shield her name at every point in my power."


    The divorce was granted, and the wife led a retired life, quietly devoting herself to the education of her children, and to good works of various kinds.  The decree gave her a handsome city residence and a very liberal income.  This spring, a complete reconciliation having been effected, the divorced couple were once again reunited in marriage.

    The other story is stranger and far more tragic.  Among the death notices in a Southern paper last December were the following announcements on the same day:


"TINER.—On the 5th inst., of pneumonia, A. S. Tiner, aged 41 years.

"TINER.—On the 5th inst., of scarlet fever, Etta V., only child of A. S. and Eliza G. Tiner, aged 5 years.

"TINER.—On the 6th inst., Eliza G. Tiner, wife of the late A. S. Tiner."


    The newspapers gave the full details of Mr. and Mrs. Tiner's remarkable history.  Sixteen years before, Mr. Tiner had lived in the same town as a merchant named Gates.  He was a widower with an only child; a stern, ambitious man, who not only refused to allow his daughter to marry the young clerk to whom she was attached, but forced her into an uncongenial marriage with the rich miller Tiner.  Very shortly after the marriage, Mrs. Tiner eloped with the clerk, and all trace of them was lost.  In course of time her father died, and left his property to the forsaken son-in-law.  Shortly after this Tiner obtained a divorce from his fugitive wife and remarried.  The second Mrs. Tiner, however, did not long survive the birth of her first child.  A few years later, the miserable wanderer, not knowing of her father's death, wrote to implore his forgiveness.  She had been married in another State to the lover of her youth, but after a while he had ill-treated her, and finally joined the Mormons, where he took unto himself another helpmate.  Then the poor woman, who had sacrificed everything for his sake, fled from him, and after a long, weary struggle with sickness and poverty, she piteously turned to her father for help and pardon.  Mr. Gates being dead, the letter found its way to the wronged husband, who immediately went to seek the repentant woman.  He not only arranged for her divorce from Mills, but remarried her just ten years after she had run away from him.  But her shattered system never recovered, and when the terrible trial came of losing on the same day her child from scarlet fever and her husband from pneumonia, her strength failed her, and she only outlived them by a few hours.

    Americans repudiate the charge of the English press that the increase of divorces is "due to the growth of licentiousness."  The desire for position or need of support drive many girls into hasty, uncongenial marriages, and a bad beginning often makes a bad ending.  The real evil is that "our young girls are tempted to marry for money and position, just as the politician is tempted to sell his vote, or the clergyman his opinions," says a leading paper.  "The trouble lies in the false marriages of well-to-do fashionable folk whose victims seek remedy in divorce.  The marriages are false because our young people of a certain class are more greedy for money, position, and show, than for genuine love and happiness.  This is, doubtless, the tritest of platitudes, but it is one which is now left wholly out of sight in too many weddings—especially in our cities.  Divorces, we are told, are less common in the South than in the North.  Why?  Not because the moral tone of the people there is purer, or their Christian faith higher, but because in the less concentrated, plainer, poorer phases of social life in that section there is less temptation to mercenary marriage.  It is probably true, as we often hear asserted, that among those who, according to the common phrase, married for love, there are a large minority of unhappy people.  But usually they bear their unhappiness to the end.  They entered into domestic life with the sense of a duty to be discharged between human beings; it was not a mere partnership of purses, to be thrown up for the first whim or discomfort."

    The Rev. Dr. Dwinell, of Sacramento, may well view "the greater freedom of divorce as one of the deplorable tendencies of the times."  In most of the States divorces have increased rapidly for the last quarter of a century, and in California the number of divorces, as compared with the number of marriages, is fearfully large, most of them averaging more than one divorce to every ten marriages, and some counties more than one to every five.  Marin is the banner county for divorces, which average there nearly one-half as many as the marriages.  After a domestic breeze the Eastern husband lights his cigar and goes to the club till the storm is over, the Western man puts on his hat and goes to his lawyer.  But even in Maine, where the temperance laws prevail, there were 478 divorces in 1878, in New Hampshire 241, in Vermont 197, in Massachusetts 600, in Connecticut 501, and in Rhode Island 106, making a total of 2,113, and I am told the last returns show a considerable increase of divorces.

    At one of the meetings of the Nineteenth Century Club last spring, held at Mr. and Mrs. Courtlandt Palmer's house in New York, Chief-Justice Noah Davis read a very interesting paper on "Marriage and Divorce."  He asserted that it would be better if there were no possibility of divorce at all, rather than the present loose system."  "The subject of marriage," he continued, "is so interwoven with the public interest that the State must, as a matter of self-protection, take it into its charge by provisions of laws enacted for its control and protection.  The question at once suggests itself whether it should be treated as a religious or as a secular institution, or as one combining both.  For my own part, I confess to a leaning towards the religious side of the question, because I think it tends to make the contract regarded with solemnity and awe.  But in our country, where no state religion does or can exist, it is perhaps wiser that the State should recognize the formation of marriage as a simple contract, which may be entered into by all persons who are free from all legal, mental, and physical disabilities.  That is the law of the State of New York."

    Speaking of divorces, Justice Davis regretted the ease with which they are procured in many States, and held that the more lax the laws in this respect the more lightly would unsuitable marriages be, and the more frequent would be the cases of unhappy unions.  He called attention to the conflicting laws of the different States on this subject—from South Carolina, where divorce is permissible under no circumstances, to Indiana and Connecticut, where divorce is so easy that a cause can always be found.  In New York State 200 years ago divorce was not permitted, and it would be absurd to say that there was more domestic unhappiness then than now.  After showing the ease with which divorces can be procured legally in many parts of the country, justice Davis spoke of fraudulent divorces.  But if this can be done by willing parties, said the speaker, what can not be done by fraudulent ones?  The frauds are mostly perpetrated on wives, but Eve's adroitness is not always at a loss to commend the fruit to the lips of Adam.  The courts strive to guard against such wrongs, but their very safeguards are sometimes made the weapons of fraud, and this especially where the proceeding is instigated by a desire to marry somebody else.

    But the greatest evil in America grows out of the differing laws of the several States touching the grounds and effects of divorce.  All who think upon the subject will agree that uniformity of the grounds of divorce ought to exist throughout all the States.  This alone will prevent the incessant hegira from State to State of persons seeking to escape the bonds of matrimony, and that vast procession of evils that follow such efforts.  It is a monstrous fact that a person can leave the State of his residence and in a brief time obtain in the courts of another State a decree of divorce entirely valid in that State, but absolutely void in the courts of other States.  His remarriage is lawful there; it is felony elsewhere, and his guilt or innocence depends upon which side of an imaginary State line he happens to stand.  This would be less important if the status of his wife and children, past, present, and future, were not to be seriously affected by the decree.

    Justice Davis illustrated his argument by the following case:


    "A is married in New York, where he has resided for years, and has a family, and is the owner of real and other estate.  He desires divorce, and goes to Indiana, where that thing is cheap and easy.  Upon complying with some local rule, and with no actual notice to his wife, he gets a decree of divorce, and presently is married in that State to another wife, who brings him other children.  He again acquires new estates, but, tiring of his second wife, he deserts her and goes to California, where, in a brief space, he is again divorced, and then marries again, starting a new family, and acquiring new real and personal estates.  In a few years his fickle taste changes again, and he returns to New York, where he finds his first wife has obtained a valid divorce for his marriage in Indiana, which sets her free, and forbids his marrying again in her lifetime.  He then slips into Connecticut, takes a residence, acquires real property there, and gets judicially freed from his California bonds.  He returns hither, takes some new affinity, crosses the New Jersey line, and in an hour is back in New York, enjoying so much of his estate as the courts have not adjudged to his first wife, and gives new children to the world.  At length his Master calls him.  He dies intestate.  Now, what is the legal status and condition of the various citizens he has given to our common country?  The first wife's children are legitimate, and heirs to his estate everywhere.  The Indiana wife's children are legitimate there, and in New York (that marriage having taken place after his first wife had obtained her divorce), but illegitimate in Indiana and elsewhere, while the second crop of New Yorkers are legitimate in Connecticut and New York, illegitimate in Indiana and California.  There is real and personal property in each of these States.  There are four widows, each entitled to dower somewhere, and to some extent, and a large number of surely innocent children, whose legitimacy and property are at stake.  And all these legal embarrassments spring from want of uniformity of laws on a subject which should admit of no more diversity than the question of citizenship itself."


    Mr. Charles Stuart Welles, in lecturing last March before the Manhattan Liberal Club on "The New Marriage, or Uniform Marriage Laws," said, "The Polygamy of Utah is simultaneous, and of New York consecutive.  New York is supposed to have a monogamic law, but instead she has an unlicensed polygamy."

    People have recently been questioning in England the moral effect of the comparative ease with which divorces can now be obtained here, and many have emphatically pronounced the divorce court a disastrous failure.  They believe it undoubtedly tempts people to reckless marriages, light regard of the marriage tie, and positive collusions.  The Act has now been in operation a quarter of a century, and it has certainly done more to corrupt society in that time than any other agency in twice the same number of years.

    "Lightly come by, lightly held," is a proverb that simply expresses a fact in human nature, and not less true is this, which might be added as a pendant, "Lightly rid of, lightly held."  We see this in every relation in life.  It is only the minority, or, as Matthew Arnold would express it, "the remnant," that will cling to duties and responsibilities that are not enforced by public opinion.  Not that the mind yields unwilling obedience to a code against which it rebels, but a duty considered binding by public opinion, enshrined in the statutes of the law, acquires a vast moral force.  If the law released parents from the obligation to provide for their children, I question if a few years would not show a terrible falling off in the sense of parental responsibility.  Yet this would be less mischievous than the facility afforded for breaking through marriage ties, for natural affection goes a long way in one case, but has nothing to do with the other.  No legal obligation compels parents to provide for children in the event of their own death.  Let me ask how many parents ever trouble their heads about their moral obligations in this direction?  Yet those who are helping the victims of such neglect could give some appalling proofs of what is entailed on their daughters by this reckless disregard of an unenforced but no less sacred duty.  "To give life to a sentient being," writes Gail Hamilton, "without being able to make provision to turn life to the best account; to give life, careless whether it will be bane or boon to its recipient, is the sin of sins.  Every other sin mars what it finds: this makes what it mars."

    A stronger moral sense is needed than the majority of people possess, to induce the necessary forbearance in married life, when that alluring divorce court is so handy—ready, only too ready—to set the captive free.  Many a disagreement would be patched up, many a couple would learn to "hear and forbear," if they knew that, come what might, they must make up their minds to put up with each other's foibles, and make the best of a bad bargain.

    Even when the divorce court is not deliberately reckoned on, it is there!  The very word "indissoluble," as applied to matrimony, now sounds absurd, and should be left out of the marriage service.  It is impossible to mix in society, or read any newspapers, and not recognize that matrimony is regarded in quite a different light in the nineteenth century.  Loudest of all speak the repulsive records of the court itself, which is an "Augean stable" no rivers could cleanse.  England has lately witnessed the representatives of ancient families, the bearers of historic titles on whom should rest some sense of the responsibility entailed by their position, dragging down time-honoured names into the dust, and exposing without shame the degradation of their lives before a vulgar prurient public.

    Twenty years ago no minister of religion would have dared to appear as plaintiff in a divorce case.  Lately, we have seen in London a popular preacher standing up in open court, declaring, without a blush that, when freed from the wife then bearing his name he intended to marry again.  The matter had been already arranged!

    No wonder that the lip curves involuntarily in reading of the husband of romantic fiction who hides the wound to his honour which the husband of real life is so ready to expose to the public gaze.  But while a large section of the English people deprecate the result of divorces, there seems no indication of a desire to take any serious steps to prevent the evil from spreading.  In Scotland the increasing frequency with which divorces are obtained is viewed with grave anxiety.  At the last session the judges of the Edinburgh Court separated half a dozen or more couples a day, "four pairs," writes the Evening News, "being put asunder in the brief space of ninety minutes—a rapid manner of doing business, which has a decidedly American air."  As with an individual so with the State; nothing is more difficult to redeem than moral defection.  Once open the floodgates and it may be impossible to close them again.

    Look at the eagerness recently exhibited in France to take advantage of the new divorce law just introduced.  Up to this summer, although judicial separations could be obtained, divorce was practically impossible.  Directly the new law came into operation there were several thousand applications in Paris alone!  This French Act not only allows of the utmost freedom with regard to remarriage, but permits a dissolution of the tie for acts which throw discredit upon either husband or wife, such as habitual imprisonment for theft, expulsion from society for cheating at cards, or from the Army, Navy, or legal profession, for any dishonest action.  Two regulations have been introduced which are great improvements on our English system: in all cases trials will take place before three judges, and divorces granted at their decree, instead of before juries liable to be influenced by the eloquent pleadings of counsel, and better still, newspaper reports are strictly forbidden—an immense gain in the interest of public decency and morality.

    I feel persuaded that while perhaps representing English conservative thought on this question, I shall have the support of many in America who have watched with anxiety the terrible growth of the evils as shown by the calendars of the divorce court.  When last in New York, my attention to this subject was again arrested by a powerful sermon, in which the Rev. Robert Collyer deplored the "enormity of the evils of divorce," and asked, "What shall we do to be saved from this curse which is spreading through the homes of our nation, and which will one day sap the foundations of our life?"


 
CHAPTER XVIII.


Occupations open to women in 1840, when Harriet Martineau visited America, contrasted with those of to-day—The servant question—The change effected in woman's position by the introduction of machinery—English prejudice and social status notions—Home employments—Ladies' Work Societies and the Woman's Exchange—Artistic developments in both countries—Mrs. M'Clelland's mirror painting-Mrs. Fleet's illuminations—New York technical schools and Cooper Institute—Boston art schools—Mrs. Cameron's Photographs—China painting—Wood engraving, designs for manufacturers, and wall-papers—Lustra painting—Mr. Denny's women tracers in the Dumbarton Ship Yard—Architects—The higher branches of Art—Mrs. Nimmo Morant as an etcher—American and English actresses—Dramatic reciters—Mrs. Livermore—The Hon. Mrs. Maberley's dairy—Ladies in business.


WHEN Harriet Martineau visited America in 1840, she found only seven occupations open to women; today, in Massachusetts alone, there are nearly three hundred different branches of industry by which women can earn from one hundred to three thousand dollars a year.  The ten years even which elapsed between my first tour in 1872 and my second in 1882, had brought about marked changes.  The type-writer at the first date was in its tenderest infancy, and the telephone was unknown; now both these marvellous inventions are giving hundreds of girls throughout the States remunerative work, and many artistic occupations have also been developed.

    It is indeed cheerful to record these improvements, but still it must not be supposed that American ladies can find employment whenever they need it.  I received many letters from strangers, as well as from persons well-known to me, which proved conclusively that there are still great difficulties to be encountered by those who are obliged to earn their own livelihood.  A heartless hoax, practiced on a New York firm in the early part of 1883, clearly showed that many are vainly searching for work in that city.  An advertisement appeared in the Herald, stating that four lady copyists were required by a Wall Street firm, for ten dollars each per week.  The next day the office was simply besieged by eager applicants, many of whom had spent car fares they could ill afford, only to find that a fruitless journey, entailing a bitter disappointment, was due to a stupid joke on the firm itself.  In 1872 I was hospitably entertained by a lady whose husband was a General in the United States army.  I found her in 1883 struggling for the means whereby to live, as his death and other misfortunes had left her penniless.  This spring a Brooklyn gentleman advertised for a lady copyist at a salary of seven dollars a week, and his wife for a cook at ten.  There was only one applicant for the cook's place, while 456 ladies were anxious to secure the post of copyist.  Such facts have induced some people, in both countries, to point to domestic service as affording the needed opening for "redundant women"; and in London Mrs. Crawshay has opened an office from which she sends "lady-helps" to those willing to employ them.  A lady would indeed be a valuable acquisition at the head of the nursery; many a child suffers, even physically, from the ignorance of the servant to whom it is confided, and the gain in the direction of mind and manners secured by a lady- nurse is obvious to all.  Such a position might at least be rendered as pleasant as that of a governess in wealthy families.  The "status" accorded to the governess is not particularly satisfactory.  Mr. Ruskin accuses English people of treating the lady to whom they entrust the moral and intellectual formation of their children's characters with even less respect than they do their housekeeper who has charge of their jams and groceries, and consider they confer an honour on her by letting her sometimes sit in the drawing-room for an hour in the evening.  My own indignation has been roused more than once on hearing a handsome, well-bred girl curtly described as "only the governess," when I knew her society would have been courted by every one in the house, if she had possessed a good bank account!

    I fail to see why women should be first taught to place an undue value upon social status and then asked to relinquish it, to take positions for which even muscles want a special training.  I can not admit that domestic service is a reasonable channel for the employment of educated ladies, although I consider that no honest work is as derogatory as idleness.  The experiment of a rich and benevolent lady can not create a market, nor found a new order of things in the social sphere.  It is easy to talk vaguely about "the duties of a servant being no more infra dig. than those of a post-office clerk"; but the experience of every day shows us that strictly logical analogies will not always work practically.  Who would not smile if the proposition were advanced of clergymen's and physicians' sons going out as valets, footmen, and butlers?  Classes and sexes must sink or swim together; that which is impossible for the man can not be made available—speaking from the class point of view—for the woman.

    I have no patience with that miserable paltry pride which teaches women to despise all paid work; but I have considerable sympathy for those whose sense of the fitness of things is strong enough to induce them to wish their work to correspond in some degree with their education and social position.

    The condition of domestic service in the United States certainly affords food for reflection.  The true born American looks down upon it as a species of servitude not to be endured, and it is consequently left to the Irish, Swiss, and coloured race.  On the Pacific coast the Chinese are largely employed, and, when well trained, they are excellent servants.  Wages are high, but, on the other hand, clothes are dear, so that many of the Irish chambermaids in the hotels told me they were unable to save much money.  But they have far more liberty than English servants.  In the West, when their work is done in the evening, they consider themselves quite at liberty to go out without "asking leave."  I was once accorded, as a special favour, an oyster supper in a country hotel, after the supper-room was closed.  The landlady brought it to my room, and told me that even when they had sleighing parties, and people came back for a repast after a moonlight drive, she was forced to prepare it herself, as the "helps" considered their work done, and they refused to be "put upon" by being required to serve guests after hours.  The words "master and servant" are quite tabooed in the New World—"every man is as good as another, and a great deal better.  The difficulties often experienced by householders must have given rise to a skit I saw in a New York paper in the form of an advertisement:


    "A woman, living on Fifth Avenue, who can give good references from the last lady who worked for her, wishes a situation as mistress over two young ladies.  The advertiser has a husband and one child, but if the child is an objection it will be sent out to board.  The ladies who consent to enter into the alliance will have full management of the house.  The advertiser will assist in the heavy work, such as wiping down the stairs and building fires.  A gentleman of colour will be in attendance to wash doorsteps, scrub stairs, clean knives and dishes, carry water, and run on errands.  The young ladies will have Sundays and Saturday afternoons to themselves, and can use the back parlour for evening company during the week, provided the advertiser can use it in the morning.  In case the young ladies desire to give a party, the advertiser, after giving up the keys of the wine-cellar and larder, will spend the night at the hotel.  Presents will be exchanged on Christmas Day.

    "Candidates will please send address to No.— Lexington Avenue, when the advertiser will call on them with her recommendations and certificates of good character."


    The idea of household employment probably takes its rise in the old notion of "the home sphere" as alone suitable for "involuntary celibates," and as long as the sound of the spinning-wheel was heard in every home there was of course profitable work for all the unmarried members of the family, who thus found shelter with their kith and kin, without the uncomfortable feeling that they were either useless burdens or idle drones.  But when machinery carried off home employments into large centres of industry, a great change was effected in the position of women, and into the one means of support open to the destitute gentlewoman—that of a governess—rushed all the fortuneless daughters of clergymen, merchants, doctors, military and naval men, as the only channel of which their social prejudices admitted, or in which their utter incapacity gave them any chance of success.  For years I had an office in London which brought me into communication with ladies of this description, and I seldom received applicants for remunerative employment without hearing their apologies "for being compelled to teach," in consequence of a bank failure, a father's death, or some unexpected circumstance; while some did not hesitate to tell me that "they hated teaching," but preferred to become governesses rather than lose status by taking part in some industrial pursuit.  Sometimes ladies would beg to be allowed to work under an assumed name, and undergo any privation in order "to keep up appearances."  Such a bugbear was this "status," that I remember hearing a paper read at the Social Science Congress in Dublin, which suggested that "ladies should be paid privately in such a way as not to wound their sensibilities"; as if that which is a source of honest pride in a man would involve degradation for a woman, as if it were less dignified to receive the fairly earned wages of industry than the bounty of friends and relatives!

    When I first urged the necessity of a wider arena of employment, and a more definite training to qualify women for work, I was often struck with a strange inconsistency on the part of my own friends as well as the general public.  While they did not scruple to express their prejudices against "the movement," they showed no reluctance to apply to me for help when some sudden misfortune had thrown a family connection penniless upon the world.  I had serious thoughts once of starting a Black Book for my own edification, in which I proposed to enter the names of persons who deplored the fact that I was "aiding a movement to take women out of their spheres," but who eagerly sought to appropriate for individuals in whom they had a personal interest, the openings made by the very work they not only refused to help, but positively hindered by a general harassing opposition.  Very strange, too, were some of the appeals for help and offers of employment.  It may interest both my American and English readers to have the following specimens from my notebook of applicants:


    "I am the daughter of a Commander in the navy, and have now lost both my parents.  I am totally unprovided for, and have been trying in vain for a situation as companion."

    "My father was a clergyman in a small parish in —, and I am now penniless and homeless, with my mother a confirmed invalid; and if you will only give me work to do by which I can support her, you will confer a blessing on me."

    "I am the youngest of three sisters, and we have lost everything we possessed by the failure of — Bank; I am thirty years of age, and will gladly take any work you can suggest."

    "I never expected to have to seek remunerative employment.  My father was a clergyman.  I have plenty of energy, and would work from morning till night, but I can not find anything to do."

    "I have not tasted food since yesterday.  If I come to you will you give me work to do?  I used to help my father with his law paper.  I am in utter despair; I have tried everywhere for employment, and have sold my clothes meanwhile for bread.  My only brother is in New Zealand.  He can not afford to pay my passage out, as he has a large family.  I wish I had been trained while young to some useful work."


    A kind but short-sighted policy on the part of their parents and guardians had kept them from remunerative employment in the futile hope they would marry and never need it.  Such people sink into recipients of charity, and if the girls of the next generation are to be saved from the evils the present are enduring they must be educated to adapt themselves to life under its altered conditions.  Parents must not ignore the contingencies which await their daughters, and must send them forth into the battle of life fully armed and equipped for the fray.  A considerable change will take place when this is done, in the kind of employment offered to ladies.  In answer to an appeal I made for some who were really too infirm or ill to face the difficulty of beginning so late in life to work for their own bread, I received some letters, from which I extract proposals which were to be placed before the candidates.  I may here observe that one year I analyzed 150 cases of ladies brought up in comfort, and some in positive luxury, but who were unexpectedly thrown upon their own resources.  Sixteen had incomes of from £10 to £18 a year, twenty-nine from £5 to £10, and the rest absolutely nothing.  One hundred and three of the applicants were over forty years of age.


    "A gentleman would like a lady as housekeeper to take sole charge of his house, and do the whole of the duties, washing included, with the exception of his best shirts.  A widow aged thirty-five preferred.  Salary to commence at £10 per annum,"

    "A lady-cashier required in a ready money business, as the writer had found from experience 'common people could not he trusted.'  Hours from nine to nine o'clock, and no salary offered."

    "An active, clever lady could be given the practical work of a large boarding-house.  A cheerful home offered as compensation."

    "A lady would be glad to meet with a respectable widow, having an income of £20 a year, who would, for lodging, firing, candles, vegetables, and milk, reside in her cottage, and render her the daily little services she would require.  A charwoman had occasionally if necessary.  There are five rooms, kitchen, scullery, etc.  Very near the church, where the gospel in its fullness is preached.  There are three services on the Sabbath, one on Wednesday evening.  Holy Communion is administered every fortnight, alternately morning and evening.  A cheerful, contented, plain dressing Christian would be valued, and would find a comfortable home."


    These are specimens of some of the unique positions I was to offer ladies reared in luxurious helplessness, when sickness and sorrow had overtaken them in middle life!

    It still requires the publication of the figures of the census to induce some people to realize that a great disparity exists between the sexes numerically, in spite of the fact that more boys than girls are born on an average every year.  The census of 1881 showed 188,954 more women than men aged twenty, 116,502 more aged thirty, and the inequality continues up to the age of fifty-three, when the men numerically exceed the women.  During what may be termed the marriageable age, our army, navy, and colonies take an immense proportion of our men out of the country, leaving a large number of women at home, who can not by any possibility find husbands to maintain them.  For this difficulty there is no remedy except in allowing women the means of earning their own livelihood, and giving them an education which will enable them to break through the artificial barriers imposed by habit and convention.

    The innate preference for "home employment" has led to the establishment of "ladies' work societies" in England, and their equivalent "The Woman's Exchange" in America; from what I could gather, the one is as ineffectual as the other, though they are both honest and, in a measure, praiseworthy efforts, and by no means as utterly untrustworthy as the delusive but alluring advertisements which offer "remunerative employment to ladies at home on the payment of a small fee for instruction."

    The articles sent to such associations chiefly consist of things people seldom buy, but make for themselves when needed—d'oyleys, antimacassars, illuminated texts, pin-cushions, slippers, etc.  The work is too often inferior, and generally too highly priced.  No organization however perfect can force the public to buy it.  People readily express a sympathy for "destitute ladies," but they are wonderfully critical over their efforts to support themselves.  Visitors naturally examine the goods, and if they are not purchased in a very short time they look crushed and dirty.  Dust pays no more regard to a lady's work than to the ordinary trader's wares, and "wear and tear" is a matter beyond the control of the most careful Secretary and Committee that ever existed.  "Damaged goods" form a heavy yearly item in the trader's account but inexperienced ladies are totally unprepared for disappointments which await every business effort.  Until such agencies can be established for the manufacture and disposal of what the market at the moment really requires—not merely to get rid of what ladies like to make—I can not but regard them as Quixotic attempts to achieve the impossible; and they are also mischievous, inasmuch as they foster the notion of home work, which, after many years of practical work in various directions, I do not hesitate to describe as delusive, unless indeed a woman has some special gift.  Artists and authors are the only people who can earn an income under such conditions, but a widespread ignorance as to the true nature of remunerative occupation leads women still to suppose that societies can be created to furnish them with "home employments."  I speak from experience, having made a practical attempt myself in 1870 in this direction under the best auspices; the Princess of Wales and many other ladies tried by kind and liberal patronage to render it successful, but the effort had to be abandoned.

    "Copying legal documents" was also undertaken in the same manner; but the work of this busy world can not be stopped for the sake of helping ladies to earn an income "at home."  The lawyer is forced to have his papers copied not only with accuracy but despatch, in an office where several writers are ready to take up separate portions at the same time, and a few hours' work thus distributed completes the whole.  A society wishes to have 10,000 envelopes directed, or 20,000 petition headings written, but it is impossible to scatter them in a hundred homes.  Such work is most appropriate for ladies, but it must be done in offices properly organized for its execution.  A visit to the Prudential Assurance Office on Ludgate Hill, where ladies are employed filling up policy forms, or to any well-managed law-copying office, will be sufficient to show what women can do if they undertake work on the usual business principles.  Hundreds of ladies apply for work as translators; they know sufficient French, German, or Italian, to translate with tolerable accuracy, and hope it can be turned to pecuniary account.  There is such work in the market; but those who know anything of this painful problem, and are aware of the vast number of ladies depending on it, realize that too many of them will seek it in vain.  Disappointment can not fail to overtake those who build on these foundations.  A blow has to be aimed at the false pride which induces many women still to crave payment for work done "privately."  What should we think of a gentleman seeking remuneration sub rosa?  And yet these societies too often pander to this feeling, by allowing members to be known by numbers, and promising "never to disclose their names."  But public opinion is to be blamed for this far more than the destitute ladies, who have never been placed by their parents in an independent honourable position.  If women will fit themselves to act as foreign correspondents in houses of business, there is work opening out to them in both countries.  If they make themselves thoroughly acquainted with book-keeping, positions of trust and responsibility will not remain closed to them.  If they learn shorthand, engrossing, and type-writing, there are clerkships to be had at the present moment.  But they must learn to recognize the fact that home work is amateur work; persons who endeavour to secure it will always find it uncertain and ill-paid, and those who venture to give it will seldom obtain good execution or necessary despatch.

    Women forced to earn their own livelihood must be taught that remunerative occupations can only be undertaken under certain conditions.  All work requires an apprenticeship, and those who wait till the hour of need really comes will probably discover that they have lost the strength of body and the elasticity of mind to encounter difficulties which could have been faced in youth with every chance of success.  Surely it is time for us all to help in breaking down the false notions by which women are still hampered—to testify against the indolence which is not only regarded as a permissible foible, but as feminine and refined—and thus to help women to exchange a condition of labour without profit, and leisure without ease, for a life of wholesome activity and the repose which comes after fruitful toil.

    Any one who opens out a new remunerative employment for ladies deserves indeed the gratitude of her sex, for in every grade of society on both sides of the Atlantic, women are now exclaiming—


"What is it that I can turn to, lighting upon days like these?
 Every door is barred with gold, and opens but to golden keys."


    In having set countless fair fingers to work in glass painting, Mrs. M'Clelland—whose productions may be seen both at 102 New Bond Street, and at Macqueen's, 265 Broadway, in New York—may perhaps be said rather to have revived an old art than to have discovered a new one.  But, as far as the ladies are concerned, the result is the same; and although it may be true that there is "nothing new under the sun," she has certainly contrived to apply the old art in a very charming manner to an infinite variety of novel nineteenth century devices.  Not only are young artists busily at work in her studios from morn to dewy eve, but others are sent out to decorate the homes of those who care to be surrounded by pleasant artistic things for the eye to light on continually.  Lovely flowers, butterflies, and birds are painted on door panels, over mantels and mirrors; water scenes, with reeds and rushes, storks and kingfishers; and—happiest conceit of all—placid pools with exquisite water-lilies and banks of ferns, flowering thyme and fragrant meadow-sweet.  The painting is applied to an infinite variety of objects, from summer fire-screens to pipe-racks—the latter in the form of a dog-kennel, out of which peeps such a pugnacious little Skye terrier that one almost expects to be greeted with a familiar sharp bark on venturing to approach it.  Mirror painting is as durable as it is delicate and transparent, and it promises to afford employment in many directions when entered upon in a proper business spirit.  But there is no chance for ladies who do not put brain and heart into their work, and no permanent pay except for the most thoroughly-finished performance.

    The art of illuminating has its votaries in America, but I saw nothing there which could be compared either in beauty of design or finish of execution with the "Te Deum Laudamus," illuminated by Mrs. Fleet, dedicated by special permission to Her Majesty, and published in London in 1868.  The manuscripts of the middle ages afford the modern student who is able to reach them, inexhaustible mines of wealth, both as regards symbolism and colour, and a serious study of European and Oriental designs would lead to a profitable renewal of an exquisite art, which the Reformation stamped out as Popish and superstitious.

    "I worked with patience, which means almost power," wrote Mrs. Barrett Browning.  Sir Joshua Reynolds used to tell his pupils that "labour is the price of solid fame"; and women who enter artistic careers have to be constantly reminded of this.  The manager of the Technical Schools of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in speaking of the ladies who have availed themselves of the instruction afforded there, complains that they are "in too great a hurry to make money; they expected to be coached at once into a state of affluent remuneration.  Anybody can easily learn a smattering of anything, but there is no royal road to thorough knowledge.  To design well, to execute art-work that is artistic, a protracted drill in elementary principles—particularly in the principles of drawing—is indispensable.  As soon as we began to teach them drawing, they were impatient to get into colouring.  As soon as we began to show them how to make money, they were so eager to be making it as to spurn the necessary prerequisites thereto.  This has been our difficulty, and it is one that can not be overcome until young women who aspire to support themselves by art, consent to make themselves at least respectable draughtsmen."  All this trouble may be traced to the fact that too many women only begin to learn when they require money to live on; practical training has too often been withheld till they have reached the stage when they ought to be reaping the results of past toil, instead of beginning to build up a future!

    The Free Art School for Women at the Cooper Institute is always crowded.  Hundreds have to thank that public-spirited citizen, Peter Cooper, for the instruction they have obtained through his generous munificence.  Every year girls leave that Institute who are able to make from 400 to 1,200 dollars a year by art work.  One graduate is now earning as much as 2,000 dollars as a teacher of drawing in a public school.

    There is a great demand in America for "crayon photography," by which hundreds of girls receive from 25 to 100 dollars for every crayon produced.  People who possess faded, unsatisfactory daguerreotypes of relatives long since dead, are glad to have them taken to a solar-printshop to be enlarged and worked over with crayons, pastels, charcoal, or Indian ink, till pleasant portraits are obtained.  A good crayon artist can draw directly from the photograph without using the solar-print at all, and thus lifts herself into a higher artistic rank, and her work becomes eligible for admission into the annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design.

    No American lady has yet obtained any distinction as a photographist.  In our own country the greatest triumph in this direction was won by an amateur, the late Mrs. Cameron, who exhibited her pictures season after season in Colnaghi's gallery.  Those who had the good fortune to be admitted into the charmed circle of her family in her pleasant house in the Isle of Wight will not easily forget her enthusiasm for her art, or the characteristic energy with which she worked at all the details of chemical manipulation with her own hands.  Women who have sought employment in this direction have hitherto been content in both countries with quite the subordinate parts of the business, acting as photographic assistants, printing—that is preparing—the paper, and producing on it the print from the negative, pasting the photograph when dry on card-board, and painting out the white spots and marks.  The colouring of photographs already affords a vast scope for woman's shill, but the higher branch would open out a legitimate field for female skill and talent.

    Specimen mounting has been undertaken with profit by several ladies.  The microscope and chemicals needed cost about £12, and there is a demand for high-class botanical, anatomical, and pathological specimens.  The bulk of the specimens used in England by the medical profession are prepared on the Continent; and Dr. Francis Hoggan, who speaks with authority on this matter, has assured me that money can be earned in this way by ladies who are willing to keep up with the latest improvements, and who do not take up the work in a dilettante spirit.  The same may be said about etching.  The tools and plates are all the expense incurred, together with instruction from a first-rate engraver; and few art occupations take up less room, or make less mess, except during the biting and the cleansing process.

    China painting has been as great a craze across the Atlantic as here; there is scarcely a city where a clever teacher can not secure pupils, and sell vases, bowls, and plaques.  I heard of one clever young woman at Denver who resolved to make her living in this manner, and, undaunted by the fact that the nearest kiln for firing her china was a thousand miles away, started a private kiln of her own and baked her own wares.  I saw some of the work turned out by the Chicago Pottery Club, showing skill, taste, and great originality of design.

    In Philadelphia I found that the most flourishing School of Design, started by the wife of the British Consul, received a great impetus at the time of the Centennial Exposition; it teaches architecture, engraving, and lithography, as well as designing, and its graduates are scattered far and wide as art teachers.  The palm in wood-carving must be given to Cincinnati.  Some of the pupils there have also obtained creditable distinction for fresco painting, and perhaps there is no institution of the kind so successful as the famous Rockwood Pottery under the management of Mrs. Nichols, to which I have already alluded.

    The demand for designs is as great as it is various.  Cabinetmakers, manufacturers, silversmiths are all anxious to obtain a "novelty," that great business factor in this world of change upon change.  I have already touched upon the recent success of American silk weavers; ladies find remunerative employment in furnishing appropriate designs for the native products, which now hold their own with imported goods.  Miss Ida Clerk lately designed for a manufacturer of woven stuff the hangings for a palace car which had for its pattern a peal of bells, scattered as if driven by the prairie winds, with a border of coupled car wheels and drifted smoke between.

    Wall papers have also been designed by worn Mr. Montagu Marks told me that the first three prizes of a thousand dollars each, at a recent competition, were all carried off by lady artists.

    Massachusetts undoubtedly led the way in promoting art education.  There is an excellent Free School of Industrial Design at Lowell in connection with the Boston Institute of Technology, and a splendid school of fine-arts has been added to the Boston Conservatory of Music.  I may also mention here that the Women's Educational and Industrial Union has for six years rendered great assistance to Boston women of another grade; it has eleven district departments, and about a thousand members.

    The New York Decorative Art Society is managed much on the same principle as "The Woman's Exchange," and has four thousand members, who derive an income from the sale of art work, and countless kindred societies have sprung up all over America.  It follows as far as possible in the steps of our Kensington School of Art.  Latterly very great attention has been paid to ribbon and velvet embroideries.  The pupils taught by the society have spread abroad the love of decoration, and this is very far from being limited to needlework, or to ornamentation in silks and velvet.  Painting upon materials of various kinds is perhaps still more largely in demand.  China and tile painting, painting upon silk, satin, tapestry, and upon Lincrusta Walton are all undertaken, specially beautiful results having recently been produced in tapestry painting.  Messrs. Bragden and Fenetti have introduced lustra painting, a new invention susceptible of ornamentation, which takes the place of expensive embroidery, and can be applied to every fabric, from linen to velvet—for curtains, screens, portières, and ball dresses.  Their art gallery in Union Square well repays a visit, and numbers of ladies are earning money throughout the country who have obtained instruction there.

    At present we take the lead at home in the development of engineer and architectural tracing as an employment for women.  I have alluded to this before, but wish to record here a delightful visit recently paid to the Leven Ship Yard at Dumbarton, where Mr. Denny employs, in connection with shipbuilding, about a hundred Scotch girls as tracers and drawers and decorators, and some were busy in water-colour and tile-painting.  No men have been ousted by them; the appointments are made by competition papers and examinations, and the girls themselves are mostly drawn from the families of those who are at work in other departments for the same firm.

    A distinguished English architect suggests that he can see nothing to prevent ladies from entering his own profession if they have the power of design.  "We want," he says, "refinement, delicacy, great sense of fitness, the sense of the beautiful, imagination, and sufficient mental activity to be able to picture in the mind's eye the result of given proportions and combinations of the three elementary figures, the circle, square, and triangle.  Accuracy is necessary and repose is desirable.  An impulsive, gay, free-as-air sort of girl, is not the stuff for an architect, but for the right kind of women there is a wide field of usefulness in architecture, including furniture and decoration."  Of course, in the higher branches of art, the names of women who have achieved success are known to the whole world.  In England, from Mr. Ruskin downward we recognize that in Mrs. Nimmo Morant New York possesses the best woman etcher of the day.  We pride ourselves on the battle-pieces of Elizabeth Thompson Butler, France boasts of her celebrated animal painter Rosa Bonheur, and America claims the honour of having given birth to the greatest woman sculptor of our times—Harriet Hosmer.  I met in New York a clever sculptor, in whose veins run the blood of two down-trodden races.  Miss Edmonia Lewis was the daughter of a negro and a Chippeway Indian, and she lived with her mother till she was twelve years old, helping to make moccasins for the tribe.  She afterward obtained a common-school education, and while in Boston was so riveted by the Franklin statue, that she began to wonder if she could ever "make images like that."  A friend sent her to Brackett, who set her to work on a plaster cast.  The money she earned was carefully hoarded till it enabled her to go to Rome, where she made good use of her opportunities, and produced a charming piece of work, "Hiawatha's Marriage," now in the possession of Mrs. Bullard, at whose house I made the sculptor's acquaintance.  Some of her statues have found their way here.  Lord Bute purchased, for £500, a beautiful representation of the "Madonna and Child."

    Some people maintain that "women ought to reign supreme in the kingdom of art."  Considering the difficulties by which the sex is surrounded, I think they have already taken a proud place.  George Eliot and Elizabeth Browning rank among our foremost writers; by the side of Joachim we find Madame Norman Néruda, Madame Schumann.  Arabella Goddard and Miss Zimmerman can hold their own with Rubinstein and Hallé; if Italy has produced a Salvini, she has also given us a Ristori, and indeed, in histrionic art, women have won equal, if not superior triumphs to men.  Take the dramatic representatives of the English and American stages of to-day.  Shall a lower place be assigned to Mrs. Kendal, Ellen Terry, or Mrs. Bancroft than is accorded to Irving, Wilson Barrett, or Charles Wyndham; and are not Genevieve Ward, Clara Morris, and Mary Anderson the worthy peers of Edwin Booth, Laurence Barrett, and that prince of comedians, Jefferson?  When we come to the operatic world it must certainly be admitted that Albani, Trebelli, Patti, and Nilsson stand far above any male singer that can be named.  As dramatic reciters ladies may also be found in the front rank.  Mrs. Scott-Siddons has achieved a world-wide popularity as a reader; few can rival the picturesque and graceful tenderness of attitude and expression of Elia Dietz.  Sarah Cowell—now the best drawing-room reciter in America—obtained a quick and brilliant success in the highest London circles this season, winning the ear and admiration of royalty itself.

    America has also been a great field for lady lecturers.  Mrs. Livermore takes the lead in this direction at the present time; she travels more than 25,000 miles every winter to fulfil her engagements, and has eloquently pleaded the woman's cause, and been instrumental in removing many of the grievous disabilities from which her sex has suffered.

    The position of lady doctors in America has been spoken of elsewhere, but I may mention that many women there as in England, find employment in pharmacy.  The fingers which handle so deftly the keyboard of a piano-forte may safely be trusted with a pair of scales, or allowed to stir solutions with a glass rod.  The sex which gives us the best sick-nurses can assuredly learn the chemical operations of the laboratory, and the higher education now within the reach of women enables those who aspire to dispense medicine to pass the necessary examination in pharmacy, materia medica, botany, and chemistry.  One American has greatly distinguished herself as an analyst.  Professor Nichols, in his examination of the rivers of Massachusetts for the State Board of Health, found her work of so much assistance that he publicly expressed his confidence that analytical chemistry would afford an available field for female talent and industry.

    Ladies engaged in literature and art have always been welcomed by what is termed "the best society," and class distinctions and social prejudices have never hampered American workers as hitherto they have English women.  But even in the old world we are now beginning to respect those who have entered industrial occupations.  Of late years businessmen have been drawn from families celebrated for blue blood and noble lineage, the sons of noblemen have become tea merchants, brewers, and stockbrokers.  Peers of the realm have gone into the coal trade, and the Premier of England has started as a cab proprietor with such definite views as to the best manner of carrying on his business that he sold eighty-five of his cab horses at auction the other day, as he intends annually to replenish his stock.  A few ladies of rank have also ventured on similar careers.  The Hon. Mrs. Maberley some time ago started an extensive dairy, which supplied the west end of London with milk and butter.  When the carts bearing her name in full were first seen in fashionable quarters they created no little remark, but people soon grew accustomed to the innovation.  Mrs. Maberley was simply untiring in the personal supervision of her business up to the very day of her fatal illness.  Some friends of mine once had occasion to question an item in what housekeepers call "the milk-man's book."  Mrs. Maberley called herself to set the matter right.  She was not content to do the work by deputy, no paltry pride or feeling of caste withheld her from doing her duty as the head of her business, and calling personally on her customers to give the necessary explanation.

    Several ladies have started as house decorators, having served a proper apprenticeship in business firms in order to learn their trade.  They supply furniture and upholstery as well as wall decorations, mount scaffolds to paint ceilings when the nature of their work requires it, and are as successful as their masculine competitors.  Mrs. Hartley Brown and Miss Townshend, soon after entering into partnership, were appropriately employed in decorating Merton College, and devised with much success some new stuffs for the chairs and sofas for the use of the Cambridge girl graduates.  Some experienced ladies are about to establish a commission agency in London; they will undertake to purchase goods for persons residing in the provinces, colonies, and America.  Practical work of this nature is worth a hundred lectures and essays, and every woman who succeeds is a beacon light to her struggling sisters.



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