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measure of my perfidy; the ruin I have spread behind me, more ruth. less than that which follows on the track of the bloodthirsty unrelenting conqueror. Oh, the agony which lies at the heart's core, sapping the foundations of happiness, destroying the faculty of enjoyment, overturning the citadel of reason, and submerging everything in the one blank, uncompensated feeling of annihilation and despair! My God, my God! this is retribution !” Her hands fell lifeless on her lap, her eyes became fixed and glazed in the direction of the rifled cabinet, her head drooped lower and lower upon her bosom, and her body at length prostrated itself forward, full length and inanimate on the floor.
While the guilty, conscience-stricken Estelle, lay senseless and unheeded in her chamber-far away, in a secluded apartment of St. Valerie Castle, stood the diminutive form of Tiny, the expression of her melancholy features heightened by the soft moonbeams, which stole their passage through the open casement. She was meditating—her large dreamy eyes fixed upon the starry canopy, whose myriad lights were reflected, like a golden glory, upon the varied garb of nature. She stood musing upon the past, speculating upon the present, and, maybe, diving, spiritlike, into the mysterious intricacies of the future. An object of pious contemplation was Tiny, watching there so childlike in her perfect innocence. She seemed to assimilate with those unseen intelligences, that, to the soul of man, so subtly reveal themselves in the solitude of silence. The light of purity shone in her countenance, infused itself into the atmosphere whose breathings she imbibed-so beautiful, so awe inspiring is simplicity! She stood, her eyes fixed upon the starry canopy, revolving in her mind the problem of events that were now running, apparently, so inimical to her wishes. St. Valerie was dead; his corpse lay even now, saint-like, in its shell, unconsecrated by the tear of filial repining. Had her foster-brother resigned himself irrevocably to a course of unrepented error ? Had the germ of good departed from his nature, leaving him beyond the pale of possible redemption 3 Must all be lost-her labour be rejected—and the truth involved in as deep an obscurity as ever ? No. Tiny felt she had a mission, and that her mission could not fail. She must wait still—wait patiently-in due time the consummation would arrive. But in the meanwhile she must not meditate, but act. Tiny knew not fatigue, and seldom sought repose. She would watch the stars disappear one by one from the freckled firmament, she would note the sun beginning to drag his fiery car from the farthest extremity of the horizon, she would then trip lightly over the intervening space, and row herself in her fragile bark across to the Islands of the Emeralds. She would seek the palace of St. Clair. No one would oppose her entrance; she was free to come and go; and, were it not so, her tiny figure would pass unchallenged among a host of sentinels. With her own lips she would convey to St. Valerie the mournful tidings, which, heard and comprehended, might re-awaken the germ of just and honourable feeling which had so long been latent in his bosom. The gleam of intelligence must be lightened on his ignorance. The former exposition was in vain; he must at once become conversant with the truth. The rites of the dead must not be consecrated unhonoured by the presence of the living mourner. her office at the last solemn obsequies to see that her foster-brother was not absent from his post. She must acquit herself of the selfimposed responsibility:
“Yes," she lisped softly, as she reclined her fragile figure against the narrow window-sill. “The dawn will soon appear, the sun in due course will reach his first meridian, and Tiny will speed swiftly on her journey, buoyed up by the never failing hope of recovering an erring heart to the state of its first pristine, proudly-conscious, rectitude."
(To be continued.)
SOCIAL SCIENCE. MIDDLE-CLASS EDUCATION.-Last November the Rev. W. Rogers, Rector of Bishopsgate, directed attention to the necessity of establishing a school for the lower middle class, such as clerks and small tradesmen, a class at present wholly unprovided for. When we are told that the number of clerks in London is roughly estimated at 100,000, there is but little difficulty in realising the importance of this scheme, if we only suppose that one son of each clerk stands in need of education. It will be remembered that Mr. Rogers at first suggested that there were large funds unappropriated in London which might be used for educational purposes; but as proceedings of a complicated nature would be required, in order to make those Charitable Trusts available, that part of the scheme has been abandoned for the present. In the meantime, thirty-three City firms have promised subscriptions of £1,000 each ; seven gentlemen have given £500 each ; and smaller sums have
! been freely offered. The committee has been authorised to choose a site for the erection of the first school, which is to contain 1,000 boys. We were glad to observe that Mr. William J. Thompson, in seconding one of the resolutions, expressed a hope that the movement would not be confined to the education of boys, but that it would ultimately be extended to that of girls,
CORRESPONDENCE. [As Letters containing various opinions, in order to promote free discussion, will be freely inserted, the Editor declines being held responsible for the Correspondence,]
To the Editor of the VICTORIA MAGAZINE. MADAM, I was not prepared to find in the September number of your Magazine, in an article entitled “A Day's Walk in North Devon,” the following sentence. After giving an account of a girl who had become blind after a severe typhus fever, the author writes--"A gentleman who lived in the neighbourhood heard of her case, and interested himself in her so effectually, that he obtained her admission into an asylum for the blind in South Devon. Here she remained for some years, when, her health beginning to fail, a passionate yearning to be at home rose. This was unhappily fostered by her mother, who, in her natural anxiety to have her child with her, over. looked the privations and hardships that must follow. In vain friends remonstratedin vain her kind patron, after pointing out all she would lose, threatened to withdraw his favour ; the feeling was strong on me,' she said, and thinking I had but a little while to live, I wanted to die at home.'"
I was not prepared to see this in the Victoria, because I believed that the evil consequences of the exile system were well known to you, and that you would have sympathised with the desire of the poor blind girl to be re-admitted, not only to her mother's home, but to the intercourse of her own circle. The blind more especially need the comforts of domestic relations, and if anyone will seriously consider and
weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the exile system, I feel sure they can arrive at but one conclusion. Permit me to quote the opinion of one who is entitled to speak with authority on this subject, Mr. John Bird, a member of the College of Surgeons. More than twenty years ago he was deprived of sight, and since that period he has been the constant advocate of the blind, both by valuable suggestions and personal labours ; many of his admirable plans were adopted by Miss Bessie Gilbert, though no proper acknowledgment of his assistance has ever been made. “In these exile schools," he says, "the blind, rooted up from home and social influences, of which they have far greater need than their sighted brothers and sisters, are immured during the most important period of their lives—a barbarous system, which accustoms the parents and other relatives to throw off the unfortunates, whom they ought to learn to understand, and to aid in their development to the elevating duties and happiness of four-sensed labour."
Hoping that you will take this subject into your serious consideration, and see the truth respecting the exile system,
I remain, your obedient servant,
To the Editor of the VICTORIA MAGAZINE. MADAM,—The right of girls to receive an education as good as that which is given to boys, and the provision of suitable employment for women in after years, are two questions that now receive a large share of public attention. The majority of thinking persons support the efforts of those who are taking steps to provide for the education and employment of women. But there is a class whose assistance and co-operation would be much more warmly given, if they did not, unfortunately, believe that the minds of women are incapable of the same amount of development and culture as those of men; and that they do not possess the power of achieving as much as men, to whom they are thought to be intellectually inferior. We would ask those who hold these opinions on what grounds they base them.
The intellects of women are not naturally inferior to those of men. It is true that the brains of women are, nearly always, smaller than those of men. But physiologists tell us that the mental power of the brain does not depend on its size, but on the number of convolutions it contains. Of course, if a large brain contains a correspondingly large number of folds, the possessor of it ought to be clever ; hence has arisen the idea that gifted persons have high foreheads. But physiologists say that celebrated and talented men have, sometimes, small heads, their brains, however, invariably containing a large number of convolutions. As the brains of women are said to contain, on an average, as many of these convolutions as those of men, it follows that the cause of women's mental inferiority is not physical.
And we have another very strong argument for asserting that it is not natural. If it were natural, there would be no exceptions to the rule ; no woman could stand forth from the ranks of her sisterhood as man's equal in intellect or achievements. Now, though the calibre of women's minds is frequently less than tliat of men's, still there have been bright exceptions to the rule throughout the world's history. The example of Queen Elizabeth will occur to everyone. She possessed all the intellectual attributes which we usually ascribe to men ; yet she had also all a woman's characteristics. The haughty, ambitious Catherine, Empress of Russia, and the intriguing Catherine de Medicis of France, are examples of intellectual power-employed, it is true, for unworthy purposes, but still the power was there. Glancing at art and literature, we may mention a few names, the first that occur to us. Rosa Bonheur the artist, of whom it is the fashion to speak as the “gifted” Rosa Bonheur, as if her talent were the result of some fairy charm--whereas it is, in reality, the product of genius cultivated with the strength of will and mental ability which we are accustomed to consider the exclusive property of men ; Adelaide Procter, the poetess, whose verses glow like the sparks struck from an anvil —beside them, many a poet's production seems weak ; Miss Braddon, who, in the art of story-telling (as distinct from delinea. tion of character), has distanced all her male competitors, not even excepting Wilkie Collins.
The names we have mentioned serve to prove that, as there have been in the past, are now, and doubtless will be in the future, women whose intellects are more powerful than those of their male compeers--women who are conspicuous for their brilliant talents and superior strength of mind-therefore it follows that it is from no natural disqualification that women's intellects are inferior to those of men, or those bright examples would never have existed. If then, there is no reason why women's minds should not be equal in ability to men's, and if nature has fitted them for such equality, how is it that they are not thought to possess it?
It is the fault of their education.
Another, but less important reason, is, the life which the custom of society induces them to lead. But if women had in youth an education such as that which men receive, they would in after life follow some earnest pursuit (not necessarily a profese sion), instead of wasting their time in trifles. Let us glance at a boy's education. When a mere child at school his studies are conducted with a view to the profession or occupation which he will probably follow. You may fancy that the boy himself is thoroughly devoted to marbles, tiny models of boats, or cricket; but though he may not reason on the subject, he is conscious all the time that he will one day be a man and have to fight life's battle; and if you question him, he will answer sturdily that he is going to be a soldier, or a sailor, or "like papa.” During the holidays he is “coached” on various subjects. When he leaves school there is no idle time for him, it is then his real work begins. He has to learn his profession. Probably all young men who are not thoroughly idle feel at this period of their lives some ambition, some resolution to succeed in life, perhaps even to attain eminence in their particular callings. He must therefore work hard, and many a diversion must be resigned, many an indulgence self-denied, that nothing may interfere with his principal aim. No cursory knowledge will suffice, the subject must be thoroughly understood, and mastered in all its details. To insure success in after life, practical knowledge must be gained, at the same time as the highest reasoning powers of the mind must be exercised, in order to comprehend and apply the principles which must guide him. All this requires generally severe mental exertion, as well as habits of resolution and industry. The golden dreams of ambition with which many young men start in life may never be realised, they may succeed but moderately, but the effect of the special training they have gone through is never lost. The man's reasoning powers are trained. He is enabled by practice, and by constant habits of thought, to form a quick and correct judgment on whatever passes under his notice. All his mental powers have been called into action, and cultivated to their highest extent. He is self-reliant, can form resolutions quickly, and promptly carry them into action. Meanwhile, the girl has received a fair education while at school. She learns too many things, however, and there is a want of central interest in her studies. But when she leaves school, her life is devoted to visiting, learning to dress well, pretending to make puddings, and playing the piano. She reads also, no doubt, but her life is not an intellectual one. Some girls, more thoughtful than others, attempt to devote their time and energies to one pursuit, but the current of society is too strong for them, and generally carries them away.
Is there no possibility that the intellects of girls may be cultivated in the same manner as those of men ? Is there no remedy for the state of things we have described? Yes. The remedy we suggest is, that each girl's intellectual education should be centred around one point, directed to one principal object. A girl's