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as well as property and place, are left out of the considerations, and this is the only qualification required, the stigma upon us that we are, in intelligence and trustworthiness, below the very lowest of the low, would be unbearable if it were not absurd. When even the franchise was a new thing in course of development the stigma was not so great, but now that there remains only one further step to take, and the suffrage is about to become the right of every male individual with a thatch over his head, it is difficult to understand the grounds on which women householders are shut out. I do not comprehend the difficulty of separating, in this respect, the independent and self-supporting woman from the much larger number of those who are married. In every other case the law makes no difficulty whatever about such a separation, and in this I think it is very easy. If householding and ratepaying are the conditions of possessing the franchise, a man and his wife hold but one house and pay one set of rates. She has merged her public existence in his—for the convenience of the world it is quite necessary and desirable that there should be but one representative of the household. The two of them together support the State and its expenditure only as much as the female householder does who lives next door; they do not pay double taxes, nor undertake a double responsibility; and the married woman is by no means left out of the economy of the State. sented by her husband. She votes in her husband; her household has its due dignity and importance in the commonwealth. The persons who are altogether left out are those who have no husband to represent them, who pay their contributions to the funds of the country out of their own property or earnings, and have to transact for themselves all their business, whatever it may be. Some of them have never had husbands; in which case it is sometimes asked, with the graceful courtesy which characterises the whole discussion, why such a privilege should be bestowed upon these rejected of all men, who have never been able to please or to attract what is called the other sex. But this is illogical, I submit, with diffidence, since if these poor ladies have thus missed the way of salvation, their nonsuccess should call forth the pity rather than the scorn of men who feel their own notice to be heaven for a woman, and who ought to be anxiously desirous to tender any such trifling compensation as a vote as some poor salve to the mortification of the unmarried. Some of us, on the other hand, have been put down from the eminence of married life summarily, and by no fault of ours. We have been obliged to bear all the burdens of a citizen upon our shoulders, to bring up children for the State, and make shift to perform alone almost all the duties which our married neighbours share between them. And to reward us for this unusual strain of exertion we are left out altogether in every calculation. We are the only individuals in the country (or will soon be) entirely unrepresented, left without any means of expressing our opinions on those measures which will shape, probably, the fate of our children. This seems to me ridiculous

occurs.

reasoning or power of argument. Probably it is quite feeble, and capable of swift demolition. I can but come back to my original sense of the complete absurdity and falseness of the position. Upon this homely ground, however, of tax-paying, a possibility

I think that for my part I should not be unwilling to compound for the political privileges which are denied to me. The ladies at St. James's Hall will think it a terrible dereliction from principle; yet I feel it is a practical way out of the difficultyout of the absurdity. It would be a great relief to many of us, and it would deliver us from the sting of inferiority to our neighbour next door. We should be able to feel, when the tax-gatherer came round, that for that moment at least we had the best of it. Let there be a measure brought in to exempt us from the payment of those rates which qualify every gaping clown to exercise the franchise. It will not be a dignified way of getting out of it, but it will be a way of getting out of it, and one which will be logical and convey some solace to our wounded pride. I for one am willing to compound.

In all these inequalities and injustices, however, the chief grievance to women is the perpetual contempt, the slur upon them in all respects, the injurious accusation, so entirely beyond all possibility of proof that denial means nothing. How it can have been that men have continued for all these ages to find their closest companions and friends among those whose every function they undervalue and despise, is one of the greatest problems of human nature. We are so wound and bound together, scarcely one man in the world who does not love some woman better than he loves any other man, or one woman who does not love some man before all other mortal creatures, that the wonder grows as we look at it.

For the sentiment of men towards women is thoroughly ungenerous from beginning to end, from the highest to the lowest. I have thought in my day that this was an old-fashioned notion belonging to earlier conditions of society, and that the hereditary consciousness of it which descended to me, as to all women, was to be disproved by experience. But experience does not disprove it. There are, of course, many individual exceptions, yet the general current of sentiment flows full in this way. Whatever women do, in the general, is undervalued by men in the general, because it is done by women. How this impairs the comfort of women, how it shakes the authority of mothers, injures the self-respect of wives, and gives a general soreness of feeling everywhere, I will not attempt to tell. It is too large a subject to be touched by any kind of legislation ; but without this the occasional wrongs of legislation, the disabilities at which we grumble, would be but pin-pricks, and would lose all their force. They are mere evidences of a sentiment which is more inexplicable than any other by which the human race has been actuated, a sentiment against which the most of us, at one period or other of our lives, have to struggle blindly, not knowing whence it originates, or how it is to be

overcome.

THE PAST ELECTION.

WO months ago, in an article entitled “The Coming Election,' we

tion, which was then impending. The dissolution, though not unexpected, came upon us, as it did upon the whole country, with the suddenness of a surprise. We now know the cause of the hasty resolution to appeal to the country at Easter. It was the last fiasco of the Home Secretary. And it is worth while remarking that as the Gladstone administration was broken mainly by the unpractical attempts of the Home Office to deal with beer, so the Beaconsfield administration has been precipitated to destruction by the unpractical attempts of the Home Office to deal with water. The Artizans' Dwelling Act, over which Mr. Cross and his supporters have never ceased rejoicing, drove the first nail into the coffin of the business reputation of the Home Secretary. The extravagant proposals contained in the provisions of the Water Companies' Bill put the finishing touch upon the article in question, and the Home Office has thus a second time in ten years applied the torch to the funeral pyre of its own administration.

In our article on the “ Coming Election’ we hazarded some rough conjectures as to the probable result of the appeal to the country whenever that appeal might come. We stated our conviction that the oracle of the city of Oxford was not far out in his reckoning when he lifted up his voice and prophesied that the first day of the new Parliament would be the last day of the old administration ;' and we calculated that the change would be brought about by the constituencies in the north of England and in Scotland rather than by those bordering on the metropolis or in the centre of England. So far as they went, these calculations have been accurate. But the nett result has far exceeded the expectations of two months ago. The calculations of the Tory party-managers showed some loss to their side; but on the eve of the dissolution it was freely asserted that, at the very worst, the Beaconsfield administration would be kept in office by a trustworthy majority of from fifteen to five-andtwenty. Both sides, therefore, were out in their calculations, and both sides erred in the same direction. The Liberal managers expected something from the counties into which the borough populations had spread, and they expected nothing from the more strictly rural population of the counties. The Tory managers trusted to their farmers and dreaded the borough overflow. As a matter of fact the counties bordering on large towns such as London, Birmingham, and Liverpool, have returned supporters of Lord Beaconsfield, and the purely agricultural counties, such as West Cumberland, North

occurs.

reasoning or power of argument. Probably it is quite feeble, and capable of swift demolition. I can but come back to my original sense of the complete absurdity and falseness of the position. Upon this homely ground, however, of tax-paying, a possibility

I think that for my part I should not be unwilling to compound for the political privileges which are denied to me. The ladies at St. James's Hall will think it a terrible dereliction from principle; yet I feel it is a practical way out of the difficultyout of the absurdity. It would be a great relief to many of us, and it woulà deliver us from the sting of inferiority to our neighbour next door. We should be able to feel, when the tax-gatherer came round, that for that moment at least we had the best of it. Let there be a measure brought in to exempt us from the payment of those rates which qualify every gaping clown to exercise the franchise. It will not be a dignified way of getting out of it, but it will be a way of getting out of it, and one which will be logical and convey some solace to our wounded pride. I for one am willing to compound.

In all these inequalities and injustices, however, the chief grievance to women is the perpetual contempt, the slur upon them in all respects, the injurious accusation, so entirely beyond all possibility of proof that denial means nothing. How it can have been that men have continued for all these ages to find their closest companions and friends

among those whose every function they undervalue and despise, is one of the greatest problems of human nature. We are so wound and bound together, scarcely one man in the world who does not love some woman better than he loves any other man, or one woman who does not love some man before all other mortal creatures, that the wonder grows as we look at it. For the sentiment of men towards women is thoroughly ungenerous from beginning to end, from the highest to the lowest. I have thought in my day that this was an old-fashioned notion belonging to earlier conditions of society, and that the hereditary consciousness of it which descended to me, as to all women, was to be disproved by experience. But experience does not disprove it. There are, of course, many individual exceptions, yet the general current of sentiment flows full in this way. Whatever women do, in the general, is undervalued by men in the general, because it is done by women. How this impairs the comfort of women, how it shakes the authority of mothers, injures the self-respect of wives, and gives a general soreness of feeling everywhere, I will not attempt to tell. It is too large a subject to be touched by any kind of legislation ; but without this the occasional wrongs of legislation, the disabilities at which we grumble, would be but pin-pricks, and would lose all their force. They are mere evidences of a sentiment which is more inexplicable than any other by which the human race has been actuated, a sentiment against which the most of us, at one period or other of our lives, have to struggle blindly, not knowing whence it originates, or how it is to be overcome.

THE PAST ELECTION.

WO months ago, in an article entitled . The Coming Election,' we

tion, which was then impending. The dissolution, though not unexpected, came upon us, as it did upon the whole country, with the suddenness of a surprise. We now know the cause of the hasty resolution to appeal to the country at Easter. It was the last fiasco of the Home Secretary. And it is worth while remarking that as the Gladstone administration was broken mainly by the unpractical attempts of the Home Office to deal with beer, so the Beaconsfield administration has been precipitated to destruction by the unpractical attempts of the Home Office to deal with water. The Artizans' Dwelling Act, over which Mr. Cross and his supporters have never ceased rejoicing, drove the first nail into the coffin of the business reputation of the Home Secretary. The extravagant proposals contained in the provisions of the Water Companies' Bill put the finishing touch upon the article in question, and the Home Office has thus a second time in ten years applied the torch to the funeral pyre of its own administration.

In our article on the Coming Election’ we hazarded some rough conjectures as to the probable result of the appeal to the country whenever that appeal might come. We stated our conviction that the oracle of the city of Oxford was not far out in his reckoning when he lifted up his voice and prophesied that the first day of the new Parliament would be the last day of the old administration ; and we calculated that the change would be brought about by the constituencies in the north of England and in Scotland rather than by those bordering on the metropolis or in the centre of England. So far as they went, these calculations have been accurate. But the nett result has far exceeded the expectations of two months ago. The calculations of the Tory party-managers showed some loss to their side; but on the eve of the dissolution it was freely asserted that, at the very worst, the Beaconsfield administration would be kept in office by a trustworthy majority of from fifteen to five-andtwenty. Both sides, therefore, were out in their calculations, and both sides erred in the same direction. The Liberal managers expected something from the counties into which the borough populations had spread, and they expected nothing from the more strictly rural population of the counties. The Tory managers trusted to their farmers and dreaded the borough overflow. As a matter of fact the counties bordering on large towns such as London, Birmingham, and Liverpool, have returned supporters of Lord Beaconsfield, and the purely agricultural counties, such as West Cumberland, North

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