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DISTRESSED GENTLEWOMEN. up ignorant of that tonic element in all education- | nurture, that, in their position in life, they may be self-denial. The present hour was, in many cases, respected like the lave." How can he store ?
How solely regarded, and that wise provision for the future, can he put by some £60 per annum in insurance, tri which is a different thing from anxious care and divid- obtain, after all, but a poor £100 a year, among all, ing of the heart concerning it, has been disregarded. if he dies ? From the class of the artisan upward, we find this He does die ; let us take that case. As a first conimprovidence almost universal. Whatever the in- sequence, his daughters are homeless. The Rectory, come, men live up to it; often, a little beyond it. which has been “Home” to them for many years,
And frequently the chief fault in this lies with the must pass away to strangers now. Very soon, the wife and daughters. A certain fidgety sensitiveness bitterness has to be tasted, of strange faces passing about the world's verdict overrides prudence and from room to room of the Rectory, of a strange clergy
Mrs. Look-about must have this and man surveying the Church. At last the question as to that luxury which she detects in the establishment of the successor is settled ; and soon the time comes for Mrs. Well-to-do. Mrs. Nicely-off must keep pace, that sad sitting, clad in black, in one of the hollowin dress, in company, in equipments of table and sounding, empty, carpetless rooms,—the last evening household, with Mrs. Heavy-balance. The husband, at the old Home. I have in my mind's eye a picture, grumbling at first, and “not seeing the necessity, at a recent Royal Academy Exhibition, representiug acquiesces at last, and, by degrees, gets sucked into this sad episode. Wistfully the clustered mourners, the current. The condition of things becomes that in sombre garb, watch from the window the sun set in which expenses gradually a little overlap means; behind the dear old church-spire ; sadly do they on a sudden the bread-winner dies—and behold, the pace once more the old garden walks and the smooth plunge has to be taken by the daughters of the familiar lawn; next morning with heavy hearts they house into the ranks of " distressed gentlewomen," leave the old Home, that seems, as it never had seeking, in an already overstocked market, for em- seemed before, a little Paradise; and set out,ployment that may sustain themselves, and, perhaps, whither? the mother in her small home; feeling, all the more " The world is all before them, where to choose." keenly for their indulged bringing-up, the cold Yes, and meanwhile they will find an asylum with an plunge into the winter-mercies of a self-absorbed aunt, or with a married sister, unable to support world.
them, but able for a while to give them shelter, Acknowledging a grave fault as being in some while they--what else to do?-advertise for a situadegree at the root of this over-supply of the class of tion as governess. Oh, forlorn advertising, forlorn gentlewomen in search of maintenance, we will say, answering of advertisements; oh, tears at parting, however, that the fault is one which lies at the doors as they are scattered hither and thither; oh, heavy of those who should have exercised self-denial in forebodings as to the experiences of governess-life; order to provide for their children, and have educated oh, chill smiting to the heart as the timid spirit, inextheir children in habits of frugality rather than of perienced and dismayed at life, meets with—not to indulgence; and that the poor girls themselves, so speak now of a coarse, vulgar, shoppy treatment, and suddenly thrown upon the cold mercies of the world, a delight in making "Miss Prim" feel her position, are often more simed against than sinning.
though these things are-meets, at any rate, with a And how hard is often their case! So inox- matter-of-fact treatment, an unsympathetic taking perienced, so delicately reared, so petted and made as a matter of course the new position at which the much of at home; poor little birds turned out of the young sensitive heart is so much perturbed. Oh, warm aviary, to huddle upon winter branches ! tears on the pillow at night; oh, unregarded, often It is not, let me say here, an ideal case that I am unsuspected, aching at heart ! Oh, anomalous posicontemplating, but a real, and, oh, such a common, tion, a lady, once as an equal, but now on sufferance,
Not always had it been possible for the poor among other ladies in the drawing-room in the even. hardworking parent-bird to make a provision for the ings; lonely among a merry home-party; yet not future for the little nestful that at least knew no feeling at liberty to shrink quite into herself, and want, when there was the warm home-nest for them, remain in the schoolroom alone with old memories and the father busy and able to find food day by and with letter-writing which must not selfishly exday.
press the blankness of her life to the home ones. Take the case--a very common one- --of the Rector | Home ones! Where is her home? Alas! she has it of a parish such as many parishes are in England. home! He has from his Rectory some £200 a year and his And, as it has been hinted, there are harder cases house; from all sources, it may be (for we will than such as this. The refined and educated girl in not take an extreme case), £300 or £400 a year. the family of the coarse and vulgar employer ; treated Year after year brings its expenses in early with effrontery and made to endure many a sharp married life ; he willingly sets by a portion of his rang from the unkindness and insolence of children income for the demands made upon his position as who take their cue from the behaviour of the parent; rector, and those, still more numerous, made upon how the heart aches and throbs,—sometimes rebels. his benevolence as, passing from house to house, he Yet it is her bread, and she dare not quarrel with it. comes constantly face to face with want and sorrow I have in my memory a picture painted, I think, by unknown and uususpected by those who do but Miss Osborn,-a young girl in black for her recent reside in the parish, and have only to deal with their loss; an unruly boy flung down in tears on his own circle of dependents, and with reported want; mother's lap; two girls loud-voiced in accusation of whereas all in the parishi who need are, in a measure, governess,” well-prompted to their part by his family, and their want a thing beheld by his the coarse upbraiding of the vulgar fat citizen's wife, own eyes. Later on, his boys have, at a hard pinch, who takes pleasure in showing the quiet sorrowful to be educated; his girls must have a governess, “lady" her place. Hardly an exaggeration for and ho must do what he can to give them gentle too many cases,
But did those who felt an indignation at seeing delicate nicety about the adjustment of these relathis picture, or who have read with deep interest tions, which two ladies will easily hit. But you have the stories, with the favourite heroine of an ill-used not always two ladies to adjust this. Mutual consigoverness-did they take home to their own hearts leration, however, and kindly feeling will do much. a lesson which might have been suitable for their And we are writing now more that kindly hearts may own case ?
feel, than even that shabby hearts may be ashamed.
There is too much to say upon the whole subject “ Evil is wrought by want of thought As well as want of heart."
of the employment of distressed gentlewomen in a
short essay. We can only touch lightly on the imAnd, without overstepping a necessary restraint, portant question, "Is it true that the work of are you, in whose family a lady has been received, governess, or companion, is 'the only profession and trusted (think!) with the education of your children, open to a lady'?" -are you treating her with that consideration, show- Has, for instance, emigration been enough consiing to her that sympathy, which you would desire dered? There are many openings there; and our halfthat, were you snatched away from your post of pro- million of surplus women (if I may say such a thing, tector of your own dear maidens, they should re- ignoring politeness for statistics) are sorely needed ceive from those upon whose kindliness they were there, if for nothing else, as presidents of many a cast?
homestead which needs the gentle control of woman In many cases thoughtlessness, rather than inten- to become a “ Ilome." tional unkindness or real meanness, is the worm at But a suggestion worth careful attention was put the root of this treatment of those ladies whose posi- forth by a lady school manager in the columns of the tion should surely demand our earnest sympathy,
“ Times.” It was this-whether ladies might not whose labour should receive our gratitude.
consider seriously if there be not an opening, in many I spoke of meanness. I was thinking of a letter eligible ways for them, in the always large demand which, some time ago, appeared in the “Times," for elementary schoolmistresses in national schools. with the title “ Distressed Gentlewomen.” It pointed I know that
, at first sight (and in some measure out some cases of this kind. The writer points out a really), this does involve a descent in position. Still a hardship which presses upon governesses, but which lady born and bred is a lady in whatsoever position, no one would dare to impose upon a servant. After and by those worth regard would be recognised as speaking of the difficulty of finding situations at all such. And the clergyman of the parish, if he had in a labour-market which is overstocked, and of the secured the great advantage of a lady's superinmiserable pittances offered (as £14 to a lady who tendence over the education of the parish, easily Tould take entire charge of and educate three chil could, and generally would, secure a proper position dren), he goes on to say:
in it for a lady. " If a governess is able to save a few pounds, low She could not expect, nor probably wish, to be reoften is the slender store diminished by the necessity ceived into society upon a footing of familiar equality; of maintaining herself during the holidays !” To her but then, no more is the governoss thus admitted. " the announcement of six weeks' holiday often means And certain great advantages are pointed out over 80 much loss of maintenance, and consequent care and the condition of the ordinary governess. The lady anxiety. Servants are put on board wages as a mat- managor states, and it is a fact, that schoolmistresses ter of course while the family are out of town, but usually marry, governesses seldom; and this inducethe governess is turned adrift without any inquiry as ment may weigh, very properly, with some. Then in to her means of support. Would not,” asks the writer, this branch of work the supply seems to be below the "an additional ten shillings per week be a mere demand; hence it is to the interest of school
manager's trifle in the holiday expenses of many a family?" to make the post attractive. As for salary, cases of But it is no trifle to the governess with her small pit- £120 per annum being offered in vain for a mistress tance, out of which economists also expect her to are brought forward, and commonly from £80 to save for her old age or for possible collapse of £100, perhaps, might be had; out of this, however, health.
we must remember, board has to be provided. Then What we want is, I repeat, more thoughtfulness there are certain definite holidays which may be in this matter. It cannot be right to judge this counted upon; and for two very important itenis matter by the rigorous law of supply and demand, of advantage, the hours of work, and the indepenrather than by the grave and responsible duties dence, I cannot do better than quote the lady which we ask a lady to undertake, and so to offer to manager's own words : an educated and refined girl less remuneration than " Hours of Work.-There is one obvious advanis common for a skilled cook or lady's maid. Chris- tage over all other professions--the Saturday halftianity has a standard of the just and right, which is holiday. Elementary school teaching is the only quite independent of that which is the rule of traflic employment where six days' pay is given for five and trade.
days' work. School hours are from nine to twelve, Kindliness, sympathy, not obtruded, but felt -- these and from two to half-past four, except in mid-winter, are wanted. A certain barrier there had better be, when school closes at four. The afternoon work is where one has to direct and the other to obey; a sort easy, for it is chiefly needlework, and the teacher sits of instinct on either side. For it would be a mistake down quietly, fixing and arranging it. From twelve to establish relations which would render direction, till one she teaches the two pupil-teachers, bfit this is and even reproof, we must say (for not all gover- merely like a quiet private lesson. This is all, except nesses are perfect, and sometimes the treatment of that for a week before the inspector's annual visit which we complain is in great measure the result of sho has extra work in the evening, making up the their own fault, want of delicacy and of tact, etc.)— school registers, etc., and that occasionally for a few to establish, I say, relations rendering these very weeks before his arrival she gives an additional half dificult and almost impossible. There is, in short, å hour in the afternoon to the girls of the fifth and
sixth standards in the extra subjects, history and for one month (the time to be prolonged at the disgeography
cretion of the superintendent) to ladies who, through Independence.-I have placed this last, because continued want of employment, or sickness, are here lies the greatest advantage over a governess's literally-(think of it!)-without means and without life. As long as a teacher conducts herself quietly a home.” and properly she is completely her own mistress, no There is much kindliness and philanthropy in our managers ever interfere, nor indeed inquire, as to day; but, after all, can all that is done be consihow she spends her time after school hours are over. dered, if we take England as a whole, much more Contrast this freedom with the position of a private than the crumbs shaken from the table of its luxury governess, whose pupils sometimes scarcely leave her and wealth and self-indulgence ? Again and again day or night, and who is under somebody's orders all be it urged that systematic, not spasmodic, giving is day and every day of the week. Our schoolmistress needed to stem the tide effectually of woe and of has many friends in the neighbourhood, and often crime which flows on, flows ever, with gathering goes out on a visit after Friday's school, returning volume under the surface of society. Selfishness is, in before nine on Monday morning. She has no Sunday truth, creeping like a blight more and more over the Tork whatever.
Christianity of our mercantile and prosperous land. "Should any young lady who reads this think Selfishness must lead to heartlessness by degrees : seriously of entering this profession, she must remem- we shut our eyes and walk on, or turn the head as ber that the work, though humble, is thorough. She we cross to the other side, leaving many a neighmust know perfectly all she professes to teach, and bour lying half-dead with wounds of sorrow and of good training for a few months at a normal college sin. And many are careless, and need the revelations is indispensable in order to obtain a certificate. But which, in Hood's poem, so shocked the dreaming the training is short and exceedingly inexpensive. lady:Any energetic young woman with even moderate
“ From grief exempt, I never had dreamt abilities would soon fit herself for the post.”
Of such a world of Woe ! There is yet ono word to be said, and a most impor
Of the hearts that daily break, tant word, concerning the case of “ daily, necessitous,
Of the tears that howly fall, and unemployed governesses." Few care to inquire
Of the many, many troubles of life, into the suffering-leading, in some cases, to ruinendured by these, especially by the poor girl un
That grieve this earthly ball. accustomed to battle for herself with the hard and
“ Thc wounds I might have licaled ! crafty world, unable, it may be, for a long time to
The human sorrow and smart! obtain employment, and thrown merely upon
And yet it never was in my soul resources-poor child !
To play so ill a part; For such the “ Home for Daily, Necessitous, and
But eril is wrought by wcist of thought Unemployed Governesses" provides a free residence
As well as want of heart !"
LUTHER AS HYMNWRITER AND MUSICAL COMPOSER.
BY THE REV. DR. EDERSHEIM.
IT T was Christmas in the year 1530, and the doctrine of the free forgiveness of sins, as based on
crowded little University town of Wittemberg the Word of God, had been put in the foreground, presented a more than usually gay appearance. The and that in the face of all the world.
And so great and dreaded danger had passed away, and the Luther and his fellow-workers thanked God and cause of Protestantism, though formally condemned took courage. by the Emperor, had in reality made considerable Christmas was always a gladsome season to Luther. advance. In spring and early summer the Imperial To his childlike faith this child-doctrine of the Son Diet had been held in the city of Augsburg. There of God, born a helpless babe and laid in the manger the Protestants had presented their Confession. of Bethlehem, was subject of the most intense joy Politicians had apprehended the consequences to and thanksgiving. And now at this Christmas, princes and states, which the temper of the Emperor 1530, he had gathered around him not only his own and his close alliance with the Pope seemed to render family and the students who always dined at his only too imminent. Luther, whom his sovereign table, but other friends also, and most notable had left behind in the castle at Coburg, had feared among them Walther, the chapel-master of his the intrigues of the Papists and the too yielding dis- sovereign, who, a few years before, had assisted him position of Melanchthon. But it had all passed away in the musical arrangement of the Church-service, like a thunderstorm, which leaves the air the more henceforth to be celebrated not in Latin but in fresh and pure. What mattered it that Emperor and German-the so-called “German Mass.” At that Diet condemned the Protestant doctrines in words? time Walther had lived for several weeks in Luther's They had nevertheless prevailed in deed. Their house. IIow he had learned to love and honour Confession, for the first time freely and fully spokon, him appears from a letter, written nearly forty years was now published over the length and breadth of later, in shich he speaks of “that holy man of God, the empire, and translated into all languages. It the prophet and apostle of the German nation," had, indeed, proved unanswerablo; and even the who so loved “the noble art of music," " with whom most bigoted Roman Catholic saw and admitted the I have sung many a precious hour, and often saw need of some reformation. Best of all, the glorious | how the singing made the dear man so happy and joyous in spirit, that he could not weary, nor, indeed, splendour, and the gifts to young and old had been Have enough of it, and knew to speak so nobly about distributed, when the best of them was at last music.” This musician, as enthusiastic as himself, brought out. Dr. Martin Luther retired to his
this dear man of God, who could point him to pro study, and presently came back with the text and phets and apostles, Walther, had come to visit on that the score of that "Children's Song for Christmas Christmas, 1530, and brought with him his young about the Child Jesus,” which has ever since been wife, Anna. The Christmas-tree was lit in all its the grand Christmas hymn of Germany. Its terse
language can scarcely be translated, though most that of a student of theology at Leipzig, from whose readers may know it in the version of Miss Wink- heirs it was bought for publication by the firm of worth, which we slightly alter:-*
Klemm at Dresden. Its authenticity and genuine
ness are universally admitted. The most interesting From heaven high to carih I come,
relic in it is that grandest of all Luther's hymns, Glad tidings bear to every home;
Ein feste Burg, of which we have reproduced on the Great store of joyous news I bring,
preceding page a facsimile in Walther's handwritOf these I now will speak and sing.
ing, and with Luther's own signature.
This hymn, it is well known, has been the great The choir was all ready, for, as one of those young watchword and battle-song of persecuted Protesmen who always dined at Luther's table writes, tantism ever since its composition. A hundred after supper it was their wont to liavo music, some
years later, when on that grey, misty November times secular, but in general religious, and especially morning the lionhearted Gustavus Adolphus mar“ on Christmas Eve Luther was very joyous, and all shalled his soldiers against Wallenstein the his speech, his singing, and his thoughts were of bloody, decisive battle-field of Lützen, which he was the Incarnation of Christ, our Saviour." So the
presently to water with his own life, the trumpeters score was easily arranged among the different voices, blew this Luther-hymn as their battle-song, ere the and Germany's Christmas Hymn was for the first ! Protestants advanced to the watch word, “God with time sung around Luther's table. But Walther had | us!" Yet a strange uncertainty hangs over the also prepared a gift and surprise of his own. le
exact date of its composition. Some ascribe it to as now produced a book, splendidly bound for those / early a time as 1518. Tho question is deeply intimes, on which were emblazoned the portraits of teresting, not so much from an antiquarian point of Luther and Molanchthon. It contained a beautiful view, but because it gives an insight into the hiscopy not only of Luther's own hymns and composi- tory of all these compositions. For just as the tions, but of all those which they two had in common Psalms of David were mostly the expression of his hitherto prepared and sanctioned for use in the
own experience, so the hymns of Luther geneGerman churches. Among others it also had the rally mark each a distinct period in his spiritual words and music of that greatest of all uninspired history. Assuredly, Luther, as every true inan of compositions, if, indeed, we may so call what is only God and every true poet, sang because he could not a New Testament paraphrase of Ps. xlvi.—" Ein feste help it, only that in his case it was not merely joy, Burg ist unser Goit.”
but chiefly sorrow, want, and care, or rather the
triumph of faith over these, which tuned his song. " A sure stronghold our God is lle,
To use his own expression, it was “to spite the A trusty shield and weapon ;
devil” that he often struck up a psalm, for “ Our help He'll be and set us free
singing angers the devil and hurts him very sore, From every ill can happen."
wherefore "bad and sad thoughts suits nothing
better than a good and joyous song.” To begin And now in the year 1870 has been brought to with, this Ein jeste Burg, then, inust date from some light again this identical Christmas gift of Walther critical epoch in his life, when the word of God was to Luther, bearing this inscription in Luther's own specially threatened. The lines, handwriting :
“Au were the world with devils fill
All eager to devour us,
Our souls to fear should little yield,
They cannot overpower us,"
remind us so strongly of the fearless determination of To whom God grant grace.
Luther on first going to bear testimony before Diet Martinus Luther."
and Emperor though every slate on the roofs of Worms were a devil
, that popular opinion has put It consists of a ms. volume in 271 pages square down the Diet of Worms, or the year 1521, as the octavo (ono page being wanting), and contains 146 time of its composition. But this is most unlikely, tuues, of which several are adapted to the same from its non-appearance in the hymn-book of 1524. hymus. The composers are, besides Luther and It cannot date from the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, Walther, those best known at the period, especially because it is found in the hymn-book of 1529. The L. Sendl, whose music Luther liked so much. The only other two events with which we can connect it score is in various laudwritings, chiefly that of are the Diet of Spires in 1829, where the Protestants Walther himseli. By a clerical error the little word obtained their peculiar name from the protest they “ nicht" (not) is left out in line 3 of stanza 3 of the handed in, or else the martyrdom of L. Kaiser in “ Ein feste Burg.” | The book is in excellent pre- 1527. The arguments for the latter date are of servation, though bearing marks of frequent use, overwhelming force. Kaiser was one of the canonand the portraits of Luther and Melanchthon on the vicars near Ulm in Bavaria, and a dear friend of cover are still quite distinct. The story of the ms. Luther's. Persecution had resulted at first in his is curious. Till the year 1830 it continued in the partial recantation. After that he had possession of Luther's family, whence it passed into Wittemberg, whence he returned to his home to
attend the dying bed of his father. No sooner was * This is not the place to criticise a book so well known and valued Lyra Germanica," though alike its diction and at tim s its reli
his bishop informed of it than he imprisoned him, dering are open to improvement. In the present instance Miss Wink- and Kaiser was publicly burnt on the 16th August, worth wrongly dates the Christmas Hymn 1510 instead of 1530. actually appeared in print in the hymn-book of 1535.
1527. The event made the very deepest impression † From its terse fulness this hymn is perhaps one of the most difficult on Luther. He had written to comfort and strengthen to translate Still, Miss Winkworth's rendering leaves a good deal to be desired,
him in his prison, and, through his sovereign, done all