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BY THE COUNTESS OF ABERDEEN
N this year of grace 1900, a year then found ourselves labeled as hopelessly
claimed so fiercely by both the past unpractical. A Congress convened simply
and the coming centuries that it might for the purpose of enabling its members to well be held to be neutral ground, we are meet one another in the flesh, to exchange constantly invited to pause and consider views, and to give information regarding the progress of the world during the last matters of common interest to the workers hundred years. And each time that we assembled from different countries! This accept this invitation, from whatever point apparently was held to be puerile and useof view it is made, we are more deeply less to a degree. And yet it would seem impressed with the wondrous change that that all Congresses are apt to share this has been worked in every department of weakness. We do not hear complaints of life and in all relations of society.
the learned and scientific societies when If any phase in this progress can claim they meet in conference because they do to be more remarkable than another, it is not come together with the definite object surely that which has wholly altered the of combining in a crusade to popularize position held by women from that which some new discovery. And the promoters they occupied in the year 1800. This of the Women's Congress steadfastly derevolution, which has been making itself clined to be led away from the object felt in a greater or less degree in every they had set before them by the enticing country of the globe, is so often spoken of prospect of being able to use the Congress as if it affected women only, and as if it as an opportunity for forwarding the were the outcome of a movement initiated special reforms aimed at by any section by aggressive beings desirous of asserting of workers, at the expense, perhaps, of the their own rights at the expense of those opinions held by other sections. of men, that it is well to inquire what The business of the Congress was to these changes really mean, and how they promote the aims of the International affect the worid at large.
Council of Women, under whose auspices It is a wide subject on which we are it was held, and whose main end and entering, but we shall find valuable sources object it is to bring women of all counof information ready to hand in the seven tries who profess to work for the good of volumes published by Mr. Fisher Unwin, humanity into friendly relations with one of London, containing the Transactions of another, no matter what their race, their the International Congress of Women party, or their creed. To be in a position held in London in 1900. It is only by a to form such ties of mutual understanding close examination of the papers contrib- and confidence, the leading women workuted to that Congress that the significance ers of different countries must be brought of that gathering is grasped.
into personal contact with one another, The object of the Congress was largely and correct information regarding the misunderstood at the time, for it seemed workers and their work must be dissemiimpossible for the general public to com- nated. The Women's Congress of 1899 prehend that women workers from all over marked long strides made in pursuit the world should think it worth while to of these ends. The writers of the coine together from such distances and at papers collected in these volumes were so much personal expense and inconven- by no means self-elected exponents of ience without seeking to advance some their themes, but were recommended by special movement or movements. And the Women's Council in each country in when we succeeded in convincing a few conference with a committee of experts here and there that such was the case, we at headquarters on the particular subject
? Suggested by the International Congress of Women. to be discussed. Thus it comes about that those who attended this Congress had training. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was a right to speak on behalf of the women the first woman to obtain her medical of their own country and in virtue of per- diploma in the United States, in 1849, sonal work or experience, and we can after many struggles, but it was not till accept the greater part of the facts stated, nearly thirty years later that women were as facts attested by those who have borne admitted to any medical degree in Great some share of the heat of the day.
Britain. Now a considerable number of What, then, does this advance, this women qualify every year both for pracrevolution in the position and opportuni- tice in their own country and for work in ties of women, amount to? And whither Oriental countries, where, if women are is it tending?
to have the aid of medical advice at all, As to the change, only a few illustrations they must have it through women. will suffice, and I must ask to be excused The census of next year will reveal if they are taken from England.
much as to the number of women now Professions. In 1859 a society was engaged in professional, educational, and formed in London for “ Promoting the industrial work. Already in 1891 it was Employment of Women.” Classes for found that 17,859 women were entered as teaching typewriting and law-copying were commercial clerks, accountants, etc., in started, and an address to tradesmen was Great Britain and Ireland, as against 404 issued urging the employment of women in 1861 ; 8,546 were employed in the in trades suitable to them. An outcry Civil Service, as against 1,931 in 1861; was raised at tactics which would “take 4,527 women printers, as against 419; women out of their proper sphere.” No 1,340 women chemists and druggists, as other professions except teaching music, against 388 ; 3,032 painters and artists, literature, and the drama were considered as against 853 ; and 53,044 trained nurses suitable. At the Congress of 1899 papers where none were thus entered thirty years were read on the work done by women previously. as doctors, journalists, inspectors, librari. Education. The Section on “ Educaans, artists, musicians, dramatists, clerks, tion” at the Women's Congress by itself nurses, agriculturists, local government reveals changes so vast in the attitude officials, architects, horticulturists, and generally adopted towards the education also in the fields of scientific research, in- of women during the last fifty years that cluding astronomy, biology, and geology, it is difficult to imagine the period when and in various handicrafts such as jewelry, a smattering of accomplishments was concarving, bookbinding, technical and deco- sidered the best preparation for life and rative designing, etc.
life's duties. A hundred years ago even Nursing. It is difficult to believe that Hannah More thought that teaching poor in 1847, when Sir Edward Fry published children to write would lift them out of an invitation to women to come and be their proper station, and fifty years ago trained in the Haslar Naval Hospital, Miss Frances Power Cobbe could say of there was not a single response, and that the education given at the most expensive at the time of the Crimean War there boarding-school at Brighton, “ Nobody was no regular hospital training-school dreamed that any of us could, in later for nurses either in Great Britain or life, be more or less than an ornament in America. We have no statistics at hand society. That a pupil in that school of the number of nursing training-schools should become an artist or authoress would now existing, but they form so much a have been regarded as a dereliction.” Conpart of what we regard as the necessities of trast periods and conditions when such life that we can scarcely understand a con- statements could be made with the presdition of things under which no nurses save ent, when educationists from all over the Sarah Gamps could be obtained. And world can meet and discuss the results of yet this was actually the case in the time the various methods used to develop the of our own mothers and grandmothers. girls under their care to their very utmost
Medicine. Women were allowed to prac. Kindergarten, the Primary School, the tice medicine in several countries in Secondary School, the University, the Europe before either the United States or Technical College, the system of CoGreat Britain would sanction the necessary education—these and a hundred more
subjects were canvassed and compared these vast changes in the position, educawith the interest bred of experience and tion, opportunities, and work of women. a conception of what may be.
It is surely a false notion to look at Industrial Life. Or take the industrial such matters from the point of view of life of women, and inquire into the num- the women only, and not to recognize bers of women in all countries earning that the great changes which have been their livelihood at trades and factories, effected have radically altered the outlook and consider what these papers have to of the whole human race. How could it tell us of the condition of things which be otherwise when it has been conceded has been created by the great influx of in a greater or less degree in all civilized women workers. Consider the labor leg countries that women have a right to be islation and the factory acts passed in educated in a thorough way for the work various countries, and the two schools of of life as well as men, and that no lower thought which argue for and against such ideal can be accepted than the full devellegislation. We can no more than men- opment of every human being, man and tion these sides of women's life, nor, again, woman alike? the organized social and public work. The working forces of every nation are now being carried on in large part by thereby more than doubled, and that, too, women, of which work there was barely a by reinforcements who have in their hands trace one hundred years ago. Only one the greatest influence in the formation of or two of our great missionary societies character and in the education of the had then begun their operations; and cer- coming generation. We are now in the tainly of women's work, such as we know process of solving the problem of how it, there was absolutely nothing before the these forces are to be used for the fullest days of Elizabeth Fry, outside the con possible advantage of humanity. There is vents or among the Quakers.
still much, very much, to be accomplished When Hannah More wanted to hold before the power of prejudice, backed by her Sunday-school under an apple-tree, a true-hearted, chivalrous concern to prohaving been refused the use of a bụilding, tect women from the rough-and-tumble of the occupier of the land begged her to go life, can be wholly overcome. elsewhere, for fear of her hymn-singing The workers, too, make many blunders, blighting the tree. And now, supposing and are but too apt to revert to the idea we were to remove the women workers that there can be but one type to aspire from their labors in prisons and work- to, and that man and woman must both houses and hospitals, from the causes conform to it, instead of each contributing of temperance and purity, from church his or her full complement thereto. work and charity organization, from Sun- But still we are moving on, and we are day-schools, from clubs and associations beginning to see dimly that in perfect for women and girls, where should we equality of comradeship, of responsibility, be?
of opportunity, and of education, will come These and many other thoughts will be that fuller development which must make aroused in our minds by the perusal of the both man and woman more able to take thoughtful and well-informed papers read their part in bringing a better, happier at the International Women's Congress, world into being than we now dream of. and we shall be left meditating as to what
God's in his heaven, indeed will be the result to the world of
All's well with the world.
By Esther B. Tiffany D XCEPT in the case of Robert Brad- somely and not vulgarly dressed. Emi
K ford. I had more curiosity about grants, who had come to wealth and reL A mericans than liking for them, turned to scatter it in the old country! and Bradford's peculiar and individual That hybrid American was not what I charm I attributed entirely to his long cared to study. “Good-morning," I reresidence abroad.
joined, and was about to withdraw, but It was in Venice, in the winter of sixty- she laid a broad hand on my arm. two. The American Civil War was in “He smiles not at all,” she said. progress. My English friends, who under- “ Who?". stood such things better than I, assured “Mein sohn." me that the Northern States were fighting I glanced towards the recumbent figure. a lost cause. From Bradford I could get It was a iad of perhaps barely eighteen, little light; he appeared half irritably to sturdily built, but with a listless droop to avoid the subject. The other Americans every limb. of my acquaintance, long resident on the “He finds it hard,” I said, “ that he Continent, seemed indifferent, and I came cannot join in the amusements of lads of easily to the conclusion that love of coun- his age." try played a very small part in the national Mrs. Meier shook her head vehemently. character. Still, hearing of the arrival “ Amusements ? No, no, it is the war. at our pension of two more of our trans. It is that we must stay over here. The atlantic cousins, it struck me that an idle doctors say he die if he cross the sea hour might not be ill spent in observing again. He would risk it, but I-ach Gott! their attitude towards the disturbance in he is my only one! Thirteen months the States,
have we been here. His heart is broken The name of the newcomers was Meier. that he cannot go home and fight for the They were mother and son ; the latter an Union." invalid who lay through the sunny hours I could not restrain a smile. “ Why of the day in a wheeled chair on the should he fight ? Surely the quarrel is loggia. Seeing them there one morning, not yours?". I resolved to join them.
Unconsciously I had raised my voice, Hardly, however, had I stepped out and the lad started up, gripping the arms when the glory of the view struck me, as of his chair with both hands. “Why it always did, with fresh delight. The should I fight ?” he cried, “why should pension stood on the Riva, and before it I fight? Not fight for my country !" stretched the wide expanse of sunlit “Pardon me," I said, “I did not underiagoon, with its darting gondolas, its stand. I supposed you were, like your neavy-prowed market-boats high piled mother, a German.” with rich-hued fruit and vegetable, its I saw by the anxious contraction of island churches mirrored in the tide. For Mrs. Meier's face that the excitement of a moment I forgot what had brought me the lad was to be feared, but it was usethere, and it was with a touch of annoy- less to try to check him. ance that I turned to respond to Mrs. “And what if I was born in Germany ?" Meier's good-morning. She had come to he burst out. “Does that make America my side, and stood looking at me some any less my country?”. what timidly, as one who feared she “Oh, of course, if you choose to look might be making an unwelcome advance. at it that way," I murmured, turning again
“Good-morning, madam,” she said. to the lagoon. To my surprise, she spoke with a strong A hay-barge, its fragrant mounds greenforeign accent; yet why should I be sur- gold in the sun, was drifting lazily past, prised ? It was, after all, a German name while on his back, beneath the crimson and and a German face and figure, notably umber triangle of the sail, lay the master of the peasant type. Still, she was hand- of the craft half asleep. Beyond, the bell