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Bancroft, and especially Dr. Sparks, his sharp controversy with whom he seems to bear with great equanimity.

Lady Mahon is a handsome, interesting woman, with very pleasing manners.

Mr. Gladstone was there also, one of the ablest and best men in the kingdom. It is a commentary on his character that, although one of the highest of the High church, we have never heard him spoken of, even among dissenters, otherwise than as an excellent and highly conscientious man. For a gentleman who has attained to such celebrity, both in theology and politics, he looks remarkably young. He is tall, with dark hair and eyes, a thoughtful, serious cast of countenance, and is easy and agreeable in conversation. On the whole, this was a very delightful evening.

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LETTER XXVI.

DEAR C.:

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I will add to this a little sketch, derived from the documents sent me by Lord Shaftesbury, of the movements in behalf of the milliners and dressmakers in London for seven years past.

About thirteen years ago, in the year 1841, Lord Shaftesbury obtained a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the employment of children and young persons in various trades and manufactures. This commission, among other things, was directed toward the millinery and dressmaking trade. These commissioners elicited the following facts: that there were fifteen hundred employers in this trade in London, and fifteen thousand young people employed, besides a great number of journey women who took the work home to their own houses. They discovered, also, that during the London season, which occupied about four months of the year, the regular hours of work were fifteen, but in many establishments they were entirely unlimited, — the young women never getting more than six hours for sleep, and often only two or three; that frequently they worked all night and part of Sunday. They discovered, also, that the rooms in which they worked and slept were overcrowded, and deficient in ventilation ; and that, in consequence of all these causes, blindness, consumption, and multitudes of other diseases carried thousands of them yearly to

the grave.

men.

These facts being made public to the English nation, a society was formed in London in 1843, called the Association for the Aid of Milliners and Dressmakers. The president of this society is the Earl of Shaftesbury; the vice presidents are twenty gentlemen of the most influential position. Besides this there is a committee of ladies, and a committee of gentle

At the head of the committee of ladies stands the name of the Duchess of Sutherland, with seventeen others, among whom we notice the Countess of Shaftesbury, Countess of Ellesmere, Lady Robert Grosvenor, and others of the upper London sphere. The subscription list of donations to the society is headed by the queen and royal family.

The features of the plan which the society undertook to carry out were briefly these:

First, they, opened a registration office, where all young persons desiring employment in the dressmaking tradè might enroll their names free of expense, and thus come in a manner under the care of the association. From the young people thus enrolled, they engaged to supply to the principals of dressmaking establishments extra assistants in periods of uncommon pressure, so that they should not be under the necessity of overtaxing their workwomen. This assistance is extended only to those houses which will observe the moderate hours recommended by the association.

In the second place, an arrangement is made by which the young persons thus registered are entitled to the best of medical advice at any time, for the sum of five shillings per year. Three physicians and two consulting surgeons are connected with the association.

In the third place, models of simple and cheap modes of ventilation are kept at all times at the office of the society, and all the influence of the association is used to induce employers to place them in the work and sleeping rooms.

Fourth, a kind of savings bank has been instituted, in which the workwomen are encouraged to deposit small earnings on good interest.

This is the plan of the society, and as to its results I have at hand the report for 1851, from which you can gather some particulars of its practical workings. They say, “ Eight years have elapsed since this association was established, during which a most gratifying change has been wrought in respect to the mode of conducting the dressmaking and millinery business.

“Without overstepping the strict limits of truth, it may be affirmed that the larger part of the good thus achieved is attributable to the influence and unceasing efforts of this society. The general result, so far as the metropolis is concerned, may be thus stated: First, the hours of work, speaking generally, now rarely exceed twelve, whereas formerly sixteen, seventeen, and even eighteen hours were not unusual.

“ Second, the young persons are rarely kept up all night, which was formerly not an unusual occurrence.

“ Third, labor on the Lord's day, it is confidently believed, has been entirely abrogated.

“ Under the old system the health and constitution of many of the young people were irretrievably destroyed. At present permanent loss of health is rarely entailed, and even when sickness does from any cause arise, skilful and prompt advice and medicine are provided at a moderate charge by the association.

“ In addition to these and similar ameliorations, other and more important changes have been effected. Among the heads of establishments, as the committee are happy to know and most willing to record, more elevated views of the duties and responsibilities, inseparable from employers, have secured to the association the zealous coöperation of numerous and influential principals, without whose aid the efforts of the last few years would have been often impeded, or even in many instances defeated. Nor have the young persons engaged in the dressmaking and millinery business remained uninfluenced amidst the general improvement. Finding that a strenuous effort was in progress to promote their physical and moral welfare, and that increased industry on their part would be rewarded by diminished hours of work, the assistants have become more attentive, the workrooms are better managed, and both parties, relieved from a system which was oppressive to all and really beneficial to none, have recognized the fundamental truth, that in no industrial pursuit is there any real incompatibility between the interests, rightfully interpreted, of the employer and the employed. Although not generally known, evils scarcely less serious than those formerly prevalent in the metropolis were not uncommon in the manufacturing towns and fashionable watering-places. It is obviously impracticable to ascertain to what extent the efforts of the association have been attended with success in the provinces ; but a rule has been established that in no instance shall the coöperation of the office, in providing assistants, be extended to any establishment in which the hours of work are known to exceed those laid down by the association. On these conditions the principals of many country establishments have for several years been supplied ; latterly, indeed, owing to the great efficiency of the manager, Miss Newton, and to the general satisfaction thus created, these applications have so much increased as to constitute a principal part of the business of

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