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November 15th, 1882.

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is specially interesting to us from the circumstance of its author's life. It is written by a lady who lived nine centuries ago, and who, from her writings, is considered one of the most talented women Japan ever produced. Murasaki Shikib was the daughter of a petty court noble, and in her youth was maid of honour to a daughter of the then Prime Minister, who became eventually the wife of the Emperor Tchijio, and is especially famous as being the patroness of this authoress.

Murasaki Shikib married a noble, named Nobtaka, to whom she bore a daughter, who herself wrote a work of fiction. She survived ber husband, Nobtaka, some years, and spent her latter days in quiet retirement, dying in the year 992 after Christ. The diary which she wrote during her retirement is still in existence, and her tomb may yet be seen in a Buddhist temple in Kioto, the old capital, where the principal scenes of her story are laid. The traditional account of the circumstances wbich preceded the writing of the story is that when the Empress was asked by the Saigu (the sacred virgiu of the temple of Ishe) if Her Majesty could not procure an interesting romance for her, because the Older romances bad become too familiar, she requested Shikib to write her a new one. The story goes op to say how Shikib secluded herself in the Temple to obtain divine help in her undertaking, and how she wrote down the first notes of her story on the back of a roll of sacred writings, a profanation which she afterwards expiated by re-copying with her own hand the whole roll, which is still extant.

The present translation is only a small part of the original story. It is a lively description of the life at Court, abounding with intrigue, political and social; resembling rather the life in Rome or Florence during the 14th or 15th centuries, than any state of contemporary Western society. Nevertheless, in spite of the lax

. appreciation of morality evidenced in the Don Juanlike adventures of the hero, Prince Genji, it is evident that women enjoyed a fair amount of freedom at that time. They not only go to the Court festivities, the religious solemnities, but on ordinary visits and busi

The authoress declares in one passage that poli

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tics are not matters which women are supposed to enter into, but nevertheless her story would greatly aid the student of Japanese history to understand the politics of that time. The theories upon the inutility of depth in women's education remind us forcibly of those which prevailed in England fifty years ago. A grandee of the Court is talking :

It is a characteristic of thoughtless people and that without distinction of sex—that they try to show off their small accomplishments. This is in the highest degree unpleasant. As for ladies, it may not indeed be necessary to be thorough master of the three great histories and the five classical texts ; yet they ought not to be destitute of some knowledge of both public and private affairs, and this knowledge can be imperceptibly acquired without any regular study of them, which though superficial will yet enable them to talk pleasantly about them with their friends. But how contemptible they would seem if this made them vain of it. .. Again, while they should not be altogether upversed in poetical compositions, they should never be slaves to them, or allow themselves to be betrayed into using strange quotations, the only consequence of which would be that they would appear to be bold when they ought to be reserved, and abstracted when very likely they have practical duties to attend to. . . . They should practise a sparing economy in displaying their learning and eloquence, and should even, if circumstances require, plead ignorance on subjects with which they are familiar.

It is not very long since we have grown out of these restricted and superficial views in England itself.

Roumania Past and Present. By SAMUELSON. Longmans. So much interest is felt in the new Kingdom of Roumania, owing, in some degree, to its accomplished Queen, Elizabeth, that a few extracts from the above work will not be out of place.

Her Majesty, who is a Protestant, is not the only lady now living, who has made her mark in Roumanian history. There is another of whom we are sure our readers will be glad to hear something, for she is an accomplished Englishwoman, and it is very questionable whether, after all, the Roumanians do not owe their independence as much to her energy and devotion as to any other cause ; we mean Madame Rosetti, the wife of the Home Secretary. It was mentioned in our historical summary that the patriots of 1848 made their escape to France in that year, and that they returned after the Crimean War in 1856. That is a long story told in a couple of sentences, and but for Madame Rosetti it is probable they would never have escaped, but would have languished and died in a Turkish prison in Bosnia, whilst Roumania might have been at this day a Turkish pashalik or a Russian province. The fact is that all the leaders of the revolution, fifteen in number, were arrested and conveyed on board a

November 15th, 1882.

Turkish man-of-war lying in the Danube; and Madame Rosetti, whose heroic adventures have formed the theme of a work by Michelet, helped them to escape from their captors. As we have already said, she is an English woman, whose maiden name was Grant, and she had only been married about a year when the revolution broke out. Her first child was born a day or two before her husband and his comrades were arrested, but she at once left her bed, and, taking her infant in ber arms prepared to follow them. First, she managed to obtain an interview with the patriots on board the Turkish vessel to which they had been conveyed, and those plans were formed which she skilfully and courageously executed. Disguising herself as a peasant, and carrying her child, she followed them up the Danube to Orsova, communicating with her friends from time to time by signals. At Orsova the prisoners were landed, and whilst they were on shore she succeeded in making their guards intoxicated, and with the connivance of the authorities prepared suitable conveyances, in which the patriots made their escape. First they passed through Servia, and reaching Vienna in safety, they entered that city the day after the bombardment, and subsequently they made their way through Germany, accompanied by their deliverer, and found a hospitable asylum in Paris. Since her return Madame Rosetti has been as valuable a coadjutor to her husband in his prosperity as she was in his adversity, and she is also a useful and willing adviser to any of her countrymen, who, visiting Roumania, may stand in need of her assistance.

The Queen is making a determined effort to improve the education of women in her dominions. Of primary schools there are 1,242 boys', 265 girls', and 628 mixed. The total number of scholars were (in 1877-8) 95,765 boys and 23,250 girls. In higher education the Asyle Heléne presents many peculiar features.

The “Asyle Hélène," at Bucarest, although it is nominally a foundling institution, really presents many educational advantages which are only to be found in the ladies' colleges of England and the United States. A large proportion of the scholars are foundlings and orphans, but many pay for their instruction, and some of the girls are the daughters of parents of acknowledged position in society. The school was originally what it still professes to be, an asylum for foundlings, which was conducted in a private house belonging to Dr. Davila, who is still the active spirit in the institution. At that time only forty children were educated in it. In 1862, the Princess Elene Čuza, a lady of great virtue and benevolence, placed herself at the bead of the institution, and in 1869 the present building was erected. If the Agricultural college with its grounds is to be admired, much more so is the Asyle Hélène. It is a palatial building which stands upon an eminence, is surrounded by beautiful plantations, and approached by fine avenues, whilst its educational arrangements are as excellent as the institution is beneficent. The Queen is its patroness, and she takes great interest in its success. It accominodates 230 girls from nine to nineteen years of age, most if

November 15th, 1882.

not all of whom live in the institution, and twenty little children who are educated on the Fröbel system. The pupils attend four primary classes, and then proceed either to the five higher girls' classes, or to a technical school (atelier) also in the same building, whilst a good many are trained as teachers. The ordinary course of instruction lasts five years, to which one year is added for the lastnamed class of scholars. The subjects taught in the four primary classes are Roumanian language and history, writing, arithmetic, drawing, music, the elements of physical science, sewing and embroidery, whilst the instruction advances further and further until in the fifth girls' class (the ninth in the school) the girls are taught Roumanian, French and German literature, universal history, and geography, drawing from nature and models, designs for embroidery, geometry and perspective, natural history, mineralogy, chemistry, vocal music, needlework, book-keeping, &c., and in the highest class of all (that for teachers) there are added geology, physiology, cosmography and Italian, in addition to French and German. The collections and appliances to facilitate instruction in these subjects are excellent, consisting of chemical and physical laboratories, a smal museum of natural history, geology, &c., a library, workrooms, an artistic studio, a theatre where the children give performances and recitations, and a simple gymộastic apparatus. No doubt many of the pupils limit the range of subjects in which they try to excel, bul what we can vouch for after twice visiting the school with Dr. Davila, and seeing the pupils at the Asyle as well as in their summer quarters, a convent in the Carpathians, is that they are well taught and that some of them would be a credit to the most advanced students in any school we have visited. The readiness with which they answer all questions whether of a practical or theoretical nature in a language which is not their own, is as surprising as it is creditable. Many of course belong to a humble rank in life, and their limited intelligence renders them fit only to become domestic servants, the avocation for which therefore they are trained; others go out as teachers in State or other schools, whilst several already referred to become ornaments to the society in which they afterwards

All are well-fed and clothed, and appear to be happy and grateful for their benefits. Many of the girls are married from the institution, the mode of proceeding being one which is not quite consonant with our English notions on the subject. A teacher or some other young man applies to the Committee for an introduction to a suitable girl, and if they are satisfied with his respectability and his means of maintaining a wife, they ascertain which of the girls desires to be married, and after the young couple have met twice or three times, if they like each other a marriage is negotiated (just as in the case of the royal families of Europe)! The marriage takes place in the Asyle, the bride receiving her trousseau and a very respectable little dowry, and the event is always an occasion of great rejoicing in which Dr. Davila does not fail to take a prominent part. These marriages, he told us, have in nearly every case turned out happy ones, far more frequently in proportion to their number than similar events outside of the institution. The teachers in the Asyle

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Hélène are fairly paid, the higher class receiving about £50 per annum, with board and lodging; for this is by no means the case with school teachers generally in Roumania. . The girls' training school of the State at Bucarest is an admirable institution, presided over by an accomplished and energetic lady, who expressed great regret that the want of sufficient funds prevented them from competing with the Asyle Hélène which is acknowledged to be of a higher order.

CORRESPONDENCE.

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TO THE EDITOR OF THE

ENGLISHWOMAN'S REVIEW. DEAR MADAM,— In the paper read by G. M. Whately Cooke Taylor, at the Social Science Congress, which was published in the REVIEW for last month, there appears a statement which surprises me, and the accuracy of which I venture to doubt. The statement is as follows:

Compare the decent tidiness of an operative's home when the wife and family return from work with the frightful squalor and desperately polluted atmospere of the home where the women and children are unemployed and at home all day. It is pretty and poetical to draw fancy pictures of the opposite of this, but this is the real likeness. In the one case, the house has been aired and cleaned throughout by some neighbour, usually engaged to do several houses together, while the occupants are away; in the other case, the little rooms have been dwelt' in night and day continuously, and every breath of pure air long since consumed. There will, of course, be dirty streets and dirty houses in factory towns as in other towns, and especially when, as in the case of this one where we are assembled, it is an old town. But I unhesitatingly aver, further, that the typical factory town is cleaner and healthier than the typical non-factory town, and the dwellings usually ever so much better. And with equal, or, if possible, more confidence do I assert this of the factory rural district. Let any one compare a typical agricultural village with a typical manufacturing village, and they will not long be at a loss, I think, to account for the higher rate of infant, or any other, mortality in the former, such as I believe, the records would be pretty certain to disclose.

Now this is quite contrary to my own impression. The children in rural districts appear to me more ruddy and sturdy than in manufacturing ones. This, however, might arise from prejudice on my part, so I referred to some statistics on the subject of infant mortality. In those statistics it is stated that the average mortality of

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