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The figures given herein have been the result of comparison and averages, and may be taken as a sound statement. In most of those trades over-
time is allowed at the rate of two hours per day for forty-eight days in each year, for which extra payment is made. Most of these employments are
piece-paid, and therefore the quickest and most industrious make highest figures. This return is very suggestive-for until a worker becomes an adult
low wages are the rule: no wonder then that overtime is so much sought after. The workers of machines earn more money than hand-workers, for
being paid by piece the larger quantity turned out increases the amount of earnings. In all those trades worked up with sewing-machines the labour
is so subdivided that an increased production results in favour of employer more than to the benefit of worker; and, moreover, being unskilled in the
perfecting of the article worked upon, the employer can assume a position as to terms which the female workers cannot but accept.

Notwithstanding a superabundance of female labour, there is work for all in fair times, and many females take work home with them after the legal
hours for factory employment, where for two, three, and up to midnight they work in places unfit for them and to the injury of their health.
However much we may try to do good to our female operatives, we are frustrated in securing even the benefits the law vouchsafes to them by
reason of the avidity of employers and the lowness of wages paid to so many.
March 12, 1887.


(For numbers employed in each trade see Nineteenth Century, December 1885.)



A. ARE you going to church this afternoon?

.B. No.

A. You rebel against the morning service; you say it is too long for real devotion or benefit; why do not you attend a shorter service instead? You are not of those who forsake the assembling' of Christians together, in theory or in feeling; why do so in practice?

B. I do not consider that I forsake it in practice. I attend church with moderate frequency.

A. Very moderate.

B. But you must excuse me if I do not quite reach the level of clerical households in appreciation of the existing church services. I am afraid I shall pain you by what I say, but to tell the truth (since you have broached the subject) there is a great deal in church services as at present conducted which seems to me to jar with rather than promote devotion. Long habit deadens you to that which I, a poor sinner needing help to a devout frame of mind, feel acutely. You good Christians, constantly engaged in the ordering of these 'functions' according both to the law of the Prayer-Book and the devotional taste of the day, do not realise how the details of the performances strike those outside your circle.

A. I suppose I cannot; but it is at least open to question whether the fault be not in the mind that finds the services hinder rather than help. You intimate that the details of the performances' strike you unfavourably-put you into a cavilling, critical, nondevotional frame of mind; in short, that the services fail utterly


Uplift your heart to the great Consistory.

B. Yes. You express pretty fairly my meaning.

A. But you must be aware, you must admit, that in the experience of thousands this is not so. Innumerable Christians find these services devotional, soul-inspiring, comforting, ennobling.

B. My good creature, I am not denying it. But I will maintain that they do so in spite of lamentable blots and holes to which I

refer. Thank God, there is still a great deal of piety in England; you, and thousands of adorable unknown saints like you, have a fonds pieux which can sustain your devotion in presence of worse hindrances than I complain of in church. You soar above them-the eyes of your understanding are not opened to them-but I am not sure that you are right.

A. Surely it can be no duty to rouse our critical understanding to pick faults, and so (inevitably) to occupy the whole field of our mind, when

Will, reason, understanding, heart, and sense ought all to be drawn into the supreme act of worship.

B. Surely it can be no duty to tolerate in the supreme act of worship any contributions but of the best. Granted that numbers of pious souls simply float over-that many cannot even perceive the checks and jars that are patent to others—yet I want you to see that you, the pious souls, are culpable in this matter. I do not say that you should occupy your mind during the service with a running commentary of criticism, striking out this and amending that. Such would be indeed, not a hindrance, but a fatality to devotion. But what I am urging is that you ought at other times seriously to consider the real character and purport of your doings and sayings and singings in church with the same directness as a painter his picture or a poet his poem

A. For a person who attends church with moderate frequency' this is fair preaching.

B. —whereas, as things are, far from considering the subject with any directness, pious people are too often thoroughly conventionalised about it. In church you tolerate-nay, you cling to-things which you would scout anywhere else. And so doing you injure the quality of your own devotion; and, worse still, you hinder outsiders from coming nearer. They are revolted by the factitious accompaniments, the hard, smooth painted shell, the unreal language of English church observances. I admit that outsiders are often not so quick as they might and should be to recognise the kernel of sweet, sound piety which is under this hard conventional shell. But the fact for you is that outsiders are too often kept at a distance.

A. I recur to my former question. Is it not at least possible that the fault may lie with 'the outsiders'?

B. The outsiders are, no doubt, fallible human beings. I daresay we are too ready to prefer the newspaper, a chat, a walk, a smoke, to attending church. I admit that we ought not to surrender worship for the sake of these. But

A. But nevertheless you and those like you do constantly surrender it for no better sake. And so, in keeping away from church worship, or attending it with such most moderate frequency, you get out of tune with public prayer and praise. And when you

do attend, it is with the eyes of your understanding wide open, but your heart and soul asleep.

B. I don't think I can admit all that on our side. I think there are many hearts and souls awake enough, and asking for that which the usual church service does not give or gives them mixed up with so much that repels them that they stay away from it. Do understand that I fully confess idleness, secularity, and all our other sins and defects that hinder our church-going. All I contend for is that these our offences and defects are not our only hindrances.

A. Of course we know that there are (alas!) sincere and good people who cannot accept our services as expressing belief, many who have arrived at no definite convictions in matter of religion, and others to whom, since they hold the idea of God's existence a mere superstitious excrescence on religion, religious services addressed to God seem absurd mumming or a ghastly pretence. We do not wonder that these two classes stay away from church. But I did not think of you as belonging to either. I take it that theirs are not the hindrances' you allude to.

B. No, they are not. I hold as strongly as you that Christianity is the one and only means for the regeneration of mankind, and that its regeneration is needed by every creature of the kind. But it is for that very reason that I revolt from the mean accompaniments, the conventionalities and hypocrisies with which we Christians degrade it, till we go near to make of the ever-blessed Gospel a byword and a hissing among the heathen!

A. Oh, oh!

B. 'Church' is one great field of these hypocrisies and conventionalities. I am not speaking of the Liturgy. It is as sincere as the Bible. But the way in which it is used in these days is often (so it seems to me) anything but sincere. Then the modern accompaniments-not to speak of the sermons, that were too wide

a sea for me to sail on- take the hymns.

A. The hymns! Well, they are often, to us who have to think. and reckon what our services are worth, the most satisfactory parts of them.

B. Indeed!

A. I mean that they are often more heartily joined in by the whole congregation than any other parts of the service. So many can hardly be said to pray the beautiful prayers of the Liturgy! they can at best but dutifully follow them as things proper to be said. But look round a church when a popular hymn is being sung, and you will see a real companionship in worship-a true lifting of hearts and voices together.

B. So far, so good. But surely you will not tell me that for a hymn to be thus popular' it is necessary that its wording should be silly, vulgar, false, conventional? I gather that you are speaking of




the main body of uneducated persons of all degrees and classes, who no doubt constitute the majority in most congregations.


A. Yes, I am. And surely it is more important that they should be able to sing with heart and voice' to the praise and glory of God -that they should find in the hymns that which they can love and understand, and which congenially expresses their devotion-than that the hymns should be ideal poems in perfect English, such as to satisfy the æsthetic taste of critics like you.

B. I am not demanding that hymns should be ideal poems in perfect English.' I ask first that they should not be silly, vulgar, false, or conventional. Presently, if you care to hear, I will say what, as I humbly conceive, they ought to be. First let us mark off what they should not be.

A. I am ready to listen; but I shall not admit that the sensibilities of persons of literary culture are to be the test of fitness for a canon of hymns. The test of a hymn is its suitableness and adequacy for expressing our praise of God and our sense of need of Him. B. Most true.

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A. And the people for whom a hymn speaks are first and chiefly the rank and file the uneducated majority,' as you call them. Just as it is the test of true Christian preaching that the common people hear gladly,' so it is the test of any expressions of devotion that the common people use them gladly.

B. Certainly. Yet it cannot be asserted that all things the common people hear gladly in matter of religion are the Gospel, but only that that which they do not hear gladly cannot be the Gospel. So, too, it is not true that everything which common or commonplace people sing gladly in church must be a true hymn. It is only true that that will not be a true hymn which they cannot sing gladly. It comes to this: the broad hopes and fears and longings and aspirations of men ought to be spread out, as it were, before the Lord in a true bymn-a hymn, that is, for the congregation (for of course there are hymns of individual devotion to which the same tests will not apply). But though the language of a congregational hymn should be simple, it ought by no means to be vulgar.

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A. I shall be greatly obliged to you for a definition of that last word. What is 'vulgarity'? What is vulgarity in language? According to some people, every curt trenchant phrase coined by working folk is vulgar.' Giusti-a great master of diction, surely -was of a different opinion. He held that the speech of the common people-the people most in contact with the realities of life-is the fount of vigour and renewal of a language.

B. That little phrase about the people most in contact with realities'—I cannot quite let it pass: it is a bit of fashionable cant. I protest against its being taken for granted that working people are necessarily more in contact with the realities of life than other

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