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s Review people the humiliating pretensions of their tyrant, heard a groaning repeated by the women who crowded the balconies, deep enough to turn an army pale, and that groaning was the death-sentence of tyranny.
Sicily is free, it is true; a single citadel alone remains in the power of the enemy; but eleven years ago Sicilian valour achieved the same result; and yet that free land, through not having chosen to make a last effort, fell back into slavery, was trodden once under mercenary feet, and brought to a worse condition than before the glorious revolution. Dear and gracious women of Sicily, hear the voice of the man who sincerely loves your beautiful country, to which he is bound by the affection of his whole life. He asks of you nothing for himself, nothing for others; but for the common fatherland he asks your powerful assistance. Call to arms the inhabitants of this Island, and shame those who cling to their mothers' or sweethearts' apronstrings.
La Cairoli, of Pavia, a rich, noble, and beloved matron, had four sons. One died at Varese on the body of an Austrian whom he had killed; the eldest, Benedetto, you have at Palermo, scarred with the wounds he received at Calatafimi and Palermo; the third, Enrico lives, though his skull was split open in those battles ; and the fourth has been sent to join that same army by that incomparable mother. Women, give us your sone, your lovers! Few — the struggle will be long and doubtful, and full of danger for all. Many-we shall conquer without battles ; and you will see realized the hopes of twenty generations of Italians, and I shall restore to you your dear ones bronzed by the battlefield, crowned with the aureole of victory, and blessed even by those enslaved and suffering peoples who have sent forth their sons to win back for you your country.
ENGLISH WOMAN'S REVIEW.
No. CXI.-JULY 15TH, 1882.
ART I.-THE WOMEN'S EDUCATION UNION.
THE Women's Education Union has ceased to exist. After a course of honourable usefulness, during which it has achieved and initiated every object for which it was originally associated, the object of its existence has been accomplished, and it has been dissolved. It is perhaps impossible to hear of the termination of so valuable an Association without experiencing some kind of regret, but for such regret there is really no cause in the present case. The Education Union has only dissolved because its work is to a certain extent accomplished, and that which still remains to be done can be carried on effectively by the agencies which it has itself called into being.
To estimate the thoroughness of its work it is only necessary to glance back at the condition of the education of women so lately as 1870. It was true that a few good colleges and schools had been established for girls many years before; Queen's College, in 1848, Bedford College in 1849, and the North London Collegiate School in 1850. The Cambridge and Oxford Local Examinations had been established since 1865, and the first examination for women in the London University took place in 1869; Hitchin College had
also been founded. But these beginnings served only to show the extent of the work required. The Endowed Schools Commission had issued à Report stating that while 829 endowed schools existed for boys, accommodating 40,000 scholars with an annual income of £277,000, there were only 14 endowed schools for girls (six of which were hardly more than elementary) containing 1,113 scholars, with an income of under £3,000; so completely had the national educational endowments been passed over to the benefit of boys. It was known that many of the endowments had been originally intended as much for girls as for boys, but the right of girls to share in them had been forgotten. Moreover, such schools as there were for girls were superficial and expensive, considering the quality of the education given there. The Commissioners pointed out that there was an almost universal want of thoroughness, want of system and organisation, inattention to rudiments, and undue time given to accomplishments which, neverthelesss, were not taught intelligently or scientifically. The ideal and aims of women's education were wrong, and as a natural consequence the methods were wrong too.
The Schools Inquiry Commission having thus called attention to the inadequacy of the provisions for the education of girls, and the necessity of a thorough reform, meetings were held in many parts of the country, chiefly by the personal efforts of Mrs. Grey, to discuss measures.
By the time the Social Science Congress met at Leeds in 1871, Mrs. Grey was able to state that she had already obtained more than 300 names throughout the country in support of the Union. On this occasion she also contributed a paper upon the objects of the proposed Union. A meeting was held in the Board-room of the Leeds Board of Guardians, at which, after carefully considering the proposal, a provisional Committee was appointed to determine on the best method of carrying out its work. It consisted of Mrs. Grey, Miss Davies, Mr. Alsager Hill, Miss Le Geyt, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Hoskins, and others.
The title agreed upon was the “National Union for Promoting the Education of Women of all Classes," and
July 15th, 1882,
the objects which it sought to attain were tenfold, yiz. :
1. To bring into communication and co-operation all individuals and associations engaged in promoting the education of women and girls, so as to strengthen and combine their efforts; and to collect and register for the use of members, information on all points connected with such education.
2. To promote the establishment of good and cheap day schools, for all classes above those attending the public elementary schools, with boarding houses in connection with them, when necessary, pupils from a distance.
3. To raise the social status for female teachers by encouraging women to make teaching a profession, and to qualify themselves for it by a sound and liberal education, and by thorough training in the art of teaching; to supplement training colleges by attaching, where possible, a class of student teachers to every large school, and by such other means as may be found advisable; also to secure a test of the efficiency of teachers by examinations of recognised authority, and subsequent registration.
4. To extend the existing system of itinerant lectures on special subjects for all places not of sufficient size to maintain a permanent staff of efficient teachers.
5. To endeavour to form classes for girls in connection with grammar schools, making the teaching staff available for both.
6. To endeavour to restore to the use of girls the endowments originally intended for their benefit, and to obtain for them a fair share in the other endowments applied to education.
7. To promote the increase of the number of girls and women attending the University Local Examinations, and likewise the number of centres for such examinations, and to endeavour to diminish the cost of attending them.
8. To aid all measures for extending to women the means of higher education beyond the school period ; and to facilitate the preparatory and supplemental studies by forming classes for students and libraries when required, and enlarging the system of instruction by correspondence, already begun at Cambridge and elsewhere.
9. To assist the establishment of evening classes for young women already earning their own livelihood, and to obtain for women when possible admission to classes for technical instruction; thus helping them to fit themselves for better and more remunerative employments than are now accessible to them.
10. To create a sounder public opinion with regard to education itself, and the national importance of the education of women by means of meetings, of lectures, and of the press ; and thus to remove the great hindrance to its improvement, the indifference with which it is regarded by parents and by the public.
Let us now see how the Union commenced to carry out this extensive programme. On the 17th November, 1871, it held its first meeting in the rooms of the Society
of Arts; the Union was formally constituted and an efficient Committee was appointed. The Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, accepted the presidency of the Society, and several important Sub-committees were established—1, for the Extension of Endowments to Girls; 2, Collection of Educational Information ; 3, for Publications; and 4, for Evening Classes for Working Women.
The first point of practical importance was the establishment of good and reasonably cheap schools for girls above the class provided for by the Elementary Education Act. For that purpose a Limited Liability Company, the Girls' Public Day School, was formed and registered in July, 1872. The first school was opened the following January at Durham House, Chelsea. This succeeded so well, that Notting Hill, Croydon, Norwich, St. John's Wood, Oxford, &c., &c., followed with uniformly good results. Twenty-four schools of this kind have already been established by the Company, and their success has encouraged the formation of local Committees in many of the large provincial towns with the object of establishing similar schools. For instance, during the first year of the existence of the Union, a collegiate school for girls was established in Huddersfield by a Limited Liability Company. Another Company began a girls public dayschool, and a collegiate school for girls was opened in Guernsey, and each year has had similar excellent work to report. Thus in ten years' time what almost amounts to a revolution in the education of girls of the middle classes has taken place, and the movement is still spreading fast.
The Union kept steadily in view its object of bringing all persons interested in the subject of education into communication with each other. At one time it numbered more than a thousand associates, and for several years a statistical Sub-Committee diligently collected and registered educational facts, which proved of constant service in framing educational schemes.
In furtherance of its object to extend the means of Higher Education to women, already past the school life, courses of lectures were instituted for ladies in London