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mittee, in the Social Economy Department, for the consideration of the workhouse subject. It consisted of five members, but only Lord Raynham, Mr. Hastings, and myself were present. We discussed the matter for an hour, then arranged another meeting, and proposed more members, ladies as well as gentlemen. Lord Raynham still means to bring it forward again in Parliament, and is strengthening his cause by collecting facts.

Heard from E. S- Speaking of the workhouse subject, he says, “It is a noble cause, worthy of your best energies. And sooner or later you will see the fruit ; but if not, remember that one soweth and another reapeth, and if no one ever sowed there would never be any reaping. The way in which great works and great reforms are effected in these days is by some person taking up the subject as their speciality, and pursuing it with unflagging zeal and energy.”

March 31st.—Took the manuscript article to the editor of the Church of England Monthly Review, and he promised to get it into one number, which will be best. In last week’s Guardian was another letter upon the subject from the union chaplain at Cuckfield, about building chapels for workhouses. He speaks of the gradually growing interest in the cause, and alludes to my letters and the paper I sent to Birmingham. Visited the Strand Union, the infirm and sick wards, looked into the lying-in ward, a small one. The nurse said the chaplain never went there, and they had no books. Even she thought they ought to be visited ; that if they had committed “

any little error,” they might have an opportunity of amend

True enough, I thought. I had lent them books or tracts there, some time ago. In Mrs. S—'s ward they expressed great gratitude for the books which Mr. Awas distributing. I spoke to a poor woman seated on a low stool, whom I found was blind, and had been so nearly from her birth. She had been here eight years, and in “such places all her life. She said she knew the Bible well, and leads the singing in the services. What a life must hers be !


April 2nd.Good Friday. I went to the infirm wards this afternoon for service. The only one in the chapel was at nine. I had about thirty-two for congregation, perfectly quiet and attentive. I proposed to read the Litany for a change. Many made the responses very devoutly, and the poor little helpless woman said, “What a treat it was to hear it again !” I read the Psalms, chapters, and Gospel. All say they can hear but Mrs. T—, who is in bed, so I read the two hymns to her afterwards, and she cried over them. I went afterwards into the men's sick ward, as I have done for some Sundays past. One day they said Mr. A— had been, and one man said “it was a comfort to hear something read.” I left him some tracts. To-day I read two hymns to them, then knelt down and read the collect for Good Friday, and one or two prayers.

April 24th.Another encouragement to-day. In a note from J. F

“Mr. Jackson, of Leeds, wishes me to tell you that your Workhouse pamphlet went the round of the Leeds guardians the other day, when a new workhouse was under discussion, and he has reason to believe that it had a good share in leading to many improved arrangements, which have been resolved upon or the house."

April 25th.-Sunday. I received another encourage

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ment to-day, in the offer of help in visiting the union by one of the theological students of King's College, who has attended in the wards of the hospital to read to the patients. He is willing to go to the sick or infirm men on Sunday afternoon, and thinks there are some students who will go in the week. How much voluntary help is wasted in the world !

May ist.-A meeting of the sub-committee to-day. Lord Raynham and Mr. Monckton Milnes came in, Miss Parkes, her mother, and Miss Craig. Mr. Milnes spoke a good deal about it, and appeared interested. He evidently fears that the prejudices of the guardians will interfere with change and the admission of ladies, and that the increase of expense will be an objection to better superintendence. It was agreed that a deputation should go to Mr. Sotheron Estcourt on Tuesday, previously to Lord Raynham's motion being brought forward, which it may be that evening. It had been suggested that our committee should prepare a report, to be presented to the Poor Law Board ; but as there was no time to arrange that, Lord Raynham asked me to write down a short outline of what it was proposed to bring forward. This I did, and sent a copy to him and Mr. Milnes. There is still a prevailing fear of getting ladies to help. Clearly there must be something very radically wrong and imperfect in their education, if none, or few, can be trusted to act with principle and judgment. I always find " benevolent impulses” are dreaded, and till something better is provided, women's help will not be desired as it should be. The deputation consisted of four gentle

President tened patiently to their statement, but nothing was sufficiently clearly made out; the point of ladies' committees being the chief one urged, and that Mr. Sotheron Estcourt said they did sanction and approve.


He said also that the Poor Law Board would consider any report that proceeded from the association, and that was encouraging. At this time I wrote a paper in the Penny Post, a Plea for Workhouse Visitors," and the subject was also noticed in the Literary Churchman.

May 11th.I called on Mr. Chambers, at the House of Charity ; he was formerly chaplain to a union, and takes a great interest in the subject. He considered the want of classification in the country even greater than in London, and consequently the contamination worse. He told me of one man dying in a room full of boys, who were dreadfully frightened all night by his cursing and swearing. There was the old story of farmer guardians in the majority, and the ex-officio guardians always endeavouring to introduce reforms, which were always rejected. He quite confirmed my idea that some reformatory discipline was necessary and desirable, yet he seems to think that nothing but a complete separation of the deserving sick and aged can do the work satisfactorily, leaving the ablebodied to be dealt with as subjects for a reformatory ; but the expense of fresh establishments will be an objection to this plan. A complete classification and subdivision might do what we require. Half the evils of workhouses Mr. C. attributed to idleness, and want of occupation for hands and head.

As one object of these extracts is to show what improvements have taken place in the course of twenty years, I will give one or two more instances from my own experience.

I visited J. T—---- at St. G-, and found him sitting

in the yard. My heart sank, as I stood and talked to him, to hear the language of the men and women-a mother and son abusing each other, and no one in authority near to stop it. Two young women patients were sitting in the corner, where the men were. This court, it seems, is for the sick, whether men or women, and though a gate separates it from the outer part, this was open to-day, and there is never anything to prevent conversation going on. In the downstairs (or, rather, underground) ward was the poor man in the corner, who has been in bed there nine months ; he can only see to read when the sun shines. In the next bed is a half-idiot, been in bed there two years. The same Irish old woman is there as nurse, and has never slept out of the ward for nine years! She said how weak and unable to do the work she became. J. T--- has seen the matron once since he came in. It seemed to me a most sad sight to see the court filled with idle women of all ages, sitting and lounging about. ... I met Mr. R-- at dinner, and spoke to him about the home in Margaret Street, where they have eight infirm women, paid for by outdoor allowance from the parish, and rescued from the workhouse. I asked if they did not quarrel. He said, “No; one of the sisters was always with them, at meals and all tiines. One old woman said “it was like heaven."" This is my vision of a workhouse. Why should not superior persons be always with them, to enforce order, and command respect ? At the SUnion they are thankful now for having morning and evening prayers introduced into the wards, and they speak of all the indulgences of the present master and matron with gratitude. ...

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