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Title: Josephine E. Butler - An Autobiographical Memoir
Author: Butler, Josephine Elizabeth Grey
Language: English
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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



                          JOSEPHINE E. BUTLER


            [Illustration: _Swan Electric Engraving Co Ltd_
                    (_after_) _G. Richmond, A.R.A._
                            _circa 1852_.]



                         _All rights reserved_

                          Josephine E. Butler

                     _AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR_

                               EDITED BY

                     GEORGE W. AND LUCY A. JOHNSON

                        _With Introduction by_
                       JAMES STUART, M.A., LL.D.

                           SECOND IMPRESSION

                                BRISTOL
                   J. W. ARROWSMITH, 11 QUAY STREET
                                LONDON
          SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & COMPANY LIMITED

                                 1909



PREFACE.


It is very difficult worthily to record the history of one of the
noblest women who ever lived, but, having been asked by the Ladies’
National Association for the Abolition of Government Regulation of Vice
to prepare a Memoir of Mrs. Josephine Butler, we have tried to tell her
life story as far as possible in her own words, by means of extracts
from her writings, with just sufficient thread of explanation to hold
them together. The present volume is therefore to a large extent an
autobiography, taken chiefly from her _Recollections of George Butler_,
and from _Personal Reminiscences of a Great Crusade_; but selections
have also been given from most of her principal publications, so as to
give some idea of her extensive literary work. We have not included any
_private_ letters, as it was her strongly expressed wish that these
should not be published.

Many of the quotations have been abridged, but they have not otherwise
been altered, except in a few cases where dates, etc., have been
corrected. We have however ventured, for the sake of securing a
continuous narrative, occasionally to combine passages taken from
different sources.

As this volume is intended to give an account of Mrs. Butler’s own life
and work, it has not been possible fully to sketch the history of the
movement, with which her name was specially identified, or to allude to
many of those associated with her in that movement, whose labours she
so heartily appreciated, and whose friendship she so greatly valued.

We are much indebted to the editors of _Joséphine E. Butler: Souvenirs
et Pensées_ (Saint-Blaise, Foyer Solidariste, 1908), having in many
cases used the same extracts as are given in that volume. We have also
to thank Mrs. Butler’s representatives and various publishers (Horace
Marshall & Son, Macmillan & Co., and others) for permission to quote
from copyright works.

  G. W. J.
  L. A. J.

_May 1st, 1909._



CONTENTS


  _Page_

  INTRODUCTION      ix

  CHAPTER I.
  DILSTON      1

  CHAPTER II.
  OXFORD      17

  CHAPTER III.
  CHELTENHAM      44

  CHAPTER IV.
  LIVERPOOL      56

  CHAPTER V.
  EDUCATION OF WOMEN      74

  CHAPTER VI.
  WOMEN’S REVOLT      87

  CHAPTER VII.
  COLCHESTER ELECTION      98

  CHAPTER VIII.
  APPEAL TO MAGNA CHARTA      113

  CHAPTER IX.
  MISSION TO CONTINENT      128

  CHAPTER X.
  THE FEDERATION      148

  CHAPTER XI.
  GOVERNMENT BY POLICE      165

  CHAPTER XII.
  REPEAL      170

  CHAPTER XIII.
  WINCHESTER      186

  CHAPTER XIV.
  INDIA      204

  CHAPTER XV.
  GENEVA      217

  CHAPTER XVI.
  PROPHETS AND PROPHETESSES      232

  CHAPTER XVII.
  THE STORM-BELL      244

  CHAPTER XVIII.
  TWO CONFERENCES      263

  CHAPTER XIX.
  MEMORIES      274

  CHAPTER XX.
  THE MORNING COMETH      290

  APPENDIX      314



  PORTRAITS.


  JOSEPHINE BUTLER, _circa_ 1852      _Frontispiece_

  GEORGE BUTLER      72

  JOSEPHINE BUTLER, _circa_ 1876      144

  GEORGE BUTLER      196

  JOSEPHINE BUTLER, 1900      290



INTRODUCTION.


Josephine Butler was one of the great people of the world. In
character, in work done, in influence on others, she was among that
few great people who have moulded the course of things. The world is
different because she lived. Like most of the very great people of the
world, she was extremely cosmopolitan. She belongs to all nations and
to all time. The work she did, the people she influenced, prove this.
Her _Voice in the Desert_ has been translated into most languages of
Europe, and has spoken like the voice of a compatriot to the people of
every land. She was a great leader of men and women, and a skilful and
intrepid general of the battles she fought. As an orator she touched
the hearts of her hearers as no one else has done to whom I have
listened. She aimed at a perfectly definite object, but round that
object there gathered in her mind many others, all converging to the
same end. She left behind her wherever she went new thoughts and new
aims and new ideals.

Around her central thought grew up many others, and a host of good
works have been left in many countries as living memorials of her
influence. She thus not only led a great crusade, but she helped to
raise the characters of the individuals engaged in it.

But while I write of her public work, it would be but half the truth
unless I said a word about her personally. She was at home in every
class of society. She was very beautiful, and of a very gracious
presence, and the impression made by first seeing her and hearing her
voice has, I expect, been forgotten by none who ever met her. She was
of a very artistic temperament. She was a good painter, an extremely
good musician. She was a bold rider, and active, though always of a
somewhat weak health. Her industry and application was unbounded. She
was very full of humour, and, while deeply in earnest, had the faculty
of being at times charmingly gay. She dressed with great taste and
simplicity. She, above all things, loved her home and her husband, and
that love was wholly returned.

I have said she was extremely cosmopolitan, and all who have known her
know how true that is. At the same time she was a great lover of her
own country, and particularly of the borderland between England and
Scotland, where she was born, and where she now lies buried in the
churchyard of Kirknewton, where many of her ancestors lie. For she came
of an old Border family; and bravery, and the alertness of battle, and
the power of self-sacrifice, and the indignation against wrong which
characterised her, came to her, perhaps, partly through her descent.

She was a great reader of the Bible, and a humble suppliant before the
throne of God. But, while her own beliefs were clear and definite, she
had no narrowness in her views, and the very names of those who have
been her foremost supporters show how wide her sympathies were, and how
acceptable she was to people of all creeds, as well as of all politics
and of all climes.

She had to endure much, especially in the early stages of her
crusade—the averted glances of former friends, the brutal attacks of
ignorant opponents—but the inspiration of a mighty purpose enabled
her to rise above all that, and to preserve a serenity of mind and of
manner through it all.

And now, what is the sum of it all? It seems to me to be this, that we
must all be glad that she lived. We are each of us individually better,
and the world as a whole is better, because she lived; and the seed
that she has sown can never die.

  JAMES STUART.



Josephine E. Butler.



CHAPTER I.

DILSTON.


 Josephine Elizabeth Grey was born at Milfield Hill, in the county of
 Northumberland, on April 13th, 1828. She was the fourth daughter of
 John Grey, and of his wife Hannah Annett. In her _Memoir of John Grey
 of Dilston_, she writes thus of her birthplace and family.

It seems to me that any life of my father must include, to some extent,
a history of the county in which he was born, lived and died. He loved
the place of his birth, sweet Glendale. His affections were largely
drawn out to that Border country; not only to the living beings who
peopled it, but to the scenes themselves—the hills, the valleys, and
the rivers. All through his life there will be found evidence of the
heart-yearnings towards them; and these are shared by his children, to
whom there seems no spot on earth like Glendale. This attachment to our
native country is perhaps stronger among us than among some families,
because for so many generations back we were rooted there. Greys
abounded on the Borders; they were keepers often of the Border castles
and towers, living a life not always very peaceful in regard to their
Scottish neighbours.

Glendale is rich in romantic associations: every name in and around
it brings to the mind some incident of war, or lover’s adventure, or
heroic exploit recorded in English ballads, or sung to sweet Scottish
tunes, or woven later into the poems of Sir Walter Scott. It is a very
beautiful range of hills which skirts Glendale to the west; their very
names, Yeavring Bell, Heathpool Bell, Newton Torr, Hetha, Hedgehope,
and Cheviot—were delightful to my father’s ear. Directly in front of
our old home, Milfield Hill, lies the scene of innumerable fights
between Scotch and English, Milfield Plain, and from its windows might
have been seen the famous battle of Humbledon Hill.

Flodden Hill, about a mile north of Milfield Hill, hides beneath its
soil traces of the great battle of 1513: broken pieces of armour of men
and horses were sometimes dug or ploughed up, and brought to the house,
to be treasured up as relics. Many a time did my father recite to his
children every incident of that battle, as he rode or walked with them
over Flodden, sometimes resting at the “King’s Chair,” or by “Sybil’s
Well.” His memory was so good that he could go through almost the whole
of _Marmion_, and other poems relating to that woeful day,

    When shivered was fair Scotland’s spear,
      And broken was her shield.

His dislike of the Stuarts was great, but he would tell, with a
sorrowful sympathy, how the “flowers of the forest,” the noble youth
of Scotland, “were a’ wede away.”

After the battle of Flodden the Border warfare degenerated into a
system of recriminative plunder, which continued till comparatively
recent times. It is only a few generations back that our Northumbrians
used to watch the fords all night long, with their trained mastiffs, to
prevent the Scotch from carrying away their cattle. At one of the early
meetings of the Highland Society at Kelso, my father said: “There was
a time, and that at no distant period, when, had it been possible for
such animals as we have seen to-day to exist, it would have required
the escort of our honourable Vice-President, Sir John Hope, and his
cavalry in bringing each lot to the show-ground, to secure it against
the chance of being roasted among the heather of the Highlands or
boiled in the pots of Cumberland.”

But the time came for this fair Border country to wake up to new
life. Probably no part of England has undergone so rapid a change
as Northumberland has done in the last eighty or ninety years. The
half-barbarous character which I have been describing clung to the
people long after it had given place to civilisation elsewhere.
The soil and climate were rugged, and resisted for a long time the
first efforts at cultivation; but its inhabitants, rugged too, were
energetic, and the impulse once given, it required not many years to
place Northumberland at the head of agricultural progress.

The part which my father had in bringing about this great change in
Northumberland, and in the progress of agriculture generally, was
not inconsiderable. How great the change must have been, in a short
time, those of us can imagine who have witnessed the rich harvests of
the last twenty years, and the merry harvest-homes on Tweedside and
Tillside. Not less striking, perhaps, was the change brought about
later on the banks of the Tyne. When he migrated thither in 1833,
Tyneside, which is now so richly cultivated, presented in many parts
miles of fox-cover and self-sown plantations of fir and birchwood.

John Grey was born in August, 1785. He was the son of George Grey, of
West Ord, on the banks of the Tweed, and of his wife, Mary Burn. He
himself thus writes of his ancestry, in answer to a question addressed
to him by a friend.

“He [an antiquarian] imagines that he brings the Greys down from Rollo,
whose daughter Arletta was mother of William the Conqueror; but I
think their Norman origin is doubtful. Undoubtedly, however, they were
derived from a long line of warriors, who were Wardens of the East
Marches, Governors of Norham, Morpeth, Wark, and Berwick Castles in
the old Border days, and were also dignified by great achievements in
foreign wars. Sir John Grey, of Heaton, 1356, was valorous in the army
of Henry V, and gained, or had conferred on him, castles in Normandy,
and the title of Tankerville, which is now an offshoot of the old
stock. His figure is given as a knight of great strength and renown,
and he was distinguished by the capacious forehead which is said to
have marked the race through all ages; see the late Charles Earl Grey
for its full development. [The writer was not less remarkable for this
feature than any who bore the name.] A son of Sir John Grey, Governor
of Morpeth Castle 1656, gave offence by a marriage with a buxom
daughter of a farmer, at Angerton. In the records it is shown that he
had an annuity from the family estate at Learmonth. From this offshoot
comes our degenerate tribe!”

My mother’s parents were good people, descended from the poor
but honest families of silk-weavers, driven out of France by the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They were in the habit of opening
their hospitable doors to everyone in the form of a religious
teacher, of whatever sect, who happened to pass that way. One of
my mother’s earliest memories was of being lifted upon the knee
of the venerable John Wesley, a man with white silvery hair and a
benevolent countenance, who placed his two hands upon the head of the
golden-haired little girl and pronounced over her a tender and solemn
benediction.

 In 1833 John Grey was appointed to take charge of the Greenwich
 Hospital estates in his native county, and moved to a new house built
 for him at Dilston, in the vale of the Tyne.

Our home at Dilston was a very beautiful one. Its romantic historical
associations, the wild, informal beauty all round its doors, the
bright, large family circle, and the kind and hospitable character of
its master and mistress, made it an attractive place to many friends
and guests. Among our pleasantest visitors there were Swedes, Russians
and French, who came to England on missions of agricultural or other
inquiry, and who sometimes spent weeks with us. It was a house the door
of which stood wide open, as if to welcome all comers, through the
livelong summer day (all the days seem like summer days when looking
back). It was a place where one could glide out of a lower window and
be hidden in a moment, plunging straight among wild wood paths and beds
of fern, or find oneself quickly in some cool concealment, beneath
slender birch trees, or by the dry bed of a mountain stream. It was a
place where the sweet hushing sound of waterfalls, and clear streams
murmuring over shallows, were heard all day and night, though winter
storms turned those sweet sounds into an angry roar.

I have thought that the secret of my father’s consistency lay in
the fact that his opinions had their root very deep in his soul and
affections, that they were indigenous, so to speak, not grafted from
without. God made him a Liberal, and a Liberal in the true sense he
continued to be to the end of his life. In conversation with him on any
public questions, one could not but observe how much such questions
were matters of feeling with him. I believe that his political
principles and public actions were alike the direct fruit of that which
held rule within his soul—I mean his large benevolence, his tender
compassionateness, and his respect for the rights and liberties of
the individual man. His life was a sustained effort for the good of
others, flowing from these affections. He had no grudge against rank
or wealth, no restless desire of change for its own sake, still less
any rude love of demolition; but he could not endure to see oppression
or wrong of any kind inflicted on man, woman, or child. “You cannot
treat men and women exactly as you do one pound bank-notes, to be used
or rejected as you think proper,” he said in a letter to _The Times_,
when that paper was advocating some ill-considered changes, beneficial
to one class, but leaving out of account a residue of humble folk upon
whom they would entail great suffering. In the cause of any maltreated
or neglected creature he was uncompromising to the last, and when
brought into opposition with the perpetrators of any social injustice
he became an enemy to be feared. Some who remembered him in early
manhood have described his commanding presence when he stood forth on
public occasions as the champion of Liberal principles, “unsubdued by
the blandishments of his partisans, and unabashed by the rancour of
his opponents.” There was seldom to be found a flaw in his argument or
a fault in his grammar on those occasions, when “he carried confusion
and dismay into the enemy’s camp.” Yet the force which his hearers
acknowledged lay in his love of truth, his clearness of judgment,
and the known innocency of his life, rather than in rhetoric. The
true key to an occasional bitterness against those whom he thought
wrong-doers lay also in his great sensitiveness to wrong done. There
was no self-satisfaction in his denunciation of evil; the contemplation
of cruelty in any form was intolerable to him. He would speak of the
imposition of social disabilities of any kind, by one class of persons
on another, with kindling eyes and breath which came quickly; but he
always turned away with a sense of relief from the subject of the
evil-doers, or the evil done, to the persons who suffered, whose
position his compassionate instinct would set him at once to the task
of ameliorating. His children remember the large old family Bible,
which he used punctually to bring forth every Sunday afternoon and
peruse for hours, and his appeals to them to listen to the grandeur of
certain favourite passages, which he often read aloud. The Book of the
Prophet Isaiah was a great favourite, and his love for such words as
the following, which he often quoted, was an index of the complexion of
his mind: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands
of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go
free, and that ye break every yoke?”

 The Greys were a loving family, but of all the family Josephine’s
 life-long favourite was her sister Harriet, afterwards Madame
 Meuricoffre. In her she realised the perfect fulfilment of Christina
 Rossetti’s lines—

    There is no friend like a sister
    In calm or stormy weather;
    To cheer one on the tedious way,
    To fetch one if one goes astray,
    To lift one if one totters down,
    To strengthen whilst one stands.

My sister Harriet and I were a pair, in our family of six daughters
and three sons. We were never separated, except perhaps for a few days
occasionally, until her marriage and departure from her own country for
Naples. We were more, I may venture to say, than many sisters are to
each other; we were one in heart and soul, and one in all our pursuits.
We walked, rode, played, and learned our lessons together. When one
was scolded, both wept; when one was praised, both were pleased. In
looking back to those early days, the characteristics which stand out
the most in my memory are her love of free outdoor life, of nature, and
of animals. It may be said that these are common to most country-born
children, but they were very strongly marked in her.

Among the many good dogs who were personal friends in our family was
one, Pincher, whom she loved much. She was sometimes missing when
lesson hours came round, and would be found in Pincher’s kennel, quite
concealed from view, holding pleasant converse with her dear dog. A
tragic event occurred. Twelve of our father’s sheep were found one
early morning cruelly worried and bleeding to death in the field.
Suspicion fell on Pincher, although there were other dogs of the agents
and farmers about, who were much more probably the criminals; but their
masters preferred to impute the crime to our dog. Pincher was tried,
condemned, and executed, he, poor dog, wagging his tail to the last,
and offering his paw, in sign, my sister said through her tears, of
forgiveness of his murderers. She was heart-broken, and cried herself
to sleep many nights after, her persuasion of the injustice of the
sentence making her sorrow very bitter. Trifling incidents often rest
in the memory when important things are forgotten. I recall, some time
after this, that when we were in the schoolroom, drilled by a strict
governess in close attention to our books, the silence was nevertheless
broken by my sister’s voice asking suddenly, and with a pathetic
earnestness, “Miss M——, had Pincher a soul?” “Silence!” was the reply.
“Attend to your books! No silly questions!” But this same question has
arisen many a time in the hearts of both of us, when we have witnessed
the death of those dear companions, and seen the dumb and almost awful
appeal in their dying eyes, fixed upon those whom they loved with a
love which seemed out of all proportion to the limitations of their
being. The desired solution of the child’s question, “Had Pincher a
soul?” was a momentous one for her; but the child’s heart was then, as
often, little understood.

Her interest in animal life was not restricted to the nobler beasts.
She made collections of creatures as low in the scale as newts and
frogs and other aquatic and amphibious beings, declaring that they
also were worthy of affection. We had our little beds side by side,
and above them there was a shelf on which she arranged these creatures
in rows of pots and jars filled with water. An accident occurred one
night—the shelf gave way and emptied its burden of pots and jars and
water and creatures into our beds. The incident rather damped my ardour
in the pursuit of this branch of natural history, I believe, but not so
with her. I recollect how tenderly she gathered up the newts, frogs,
&c., and replaced them in fresh water, hoping they had got no harm.
We had many pets—ferrets, wild cats from the woods, and owls. Some of
the latter were magnificent people, with their large eyes and look
of profound wisdom worthy of the classic attendant of Pallas Athene.
Ponies also we had. On one of these, a beautiful snow-white pony called
Apple Grey, many of us had our first lessons in riding. My sister’s
ideal at one time of the vocation, which she would choose above others,
was that of a circus girl, and in the hope of possibly realising some
day that ideal, she began early to practise equestrian exercises.
Putting off her shoes, she would leap on to the unsaddled back of Apple
Grey, and standing up, guiding her only by the bridle, would essay to
trot and then to canter round the fields. By perseverance, and after
many falls, she had attained to some degree of excellence in these
gymnastics, when her thoughts were turned in other directions than that
of the vocation of a circus girl.

She wrote some years later of the death of this dear pony: “Poor old
Apple was shot to-day by the side of her grave in the wood. They say
she died in a moment. Papa could not give the order for execution,
but the men took it on themselves, as she could scarcely eat or rise
without help. It was the kindest thing to do. Think of the gallops
and tumbles of our young days, and all her wisdom and all her charms!
Emmy and I have got a large stone slab, on which Surtees the mason has
carved, ‘In memoriam, Apple,’ and I shall beg a young weeping ash from
Beaufront to plant on her grave.

    Her right ear, that is filled with dust,
    Hears little of the false or just

now, and if she is gone to the happy hunting grounds, so much the
better for her, dear old pet.”

We had our sorrows; clouds sometimes seemed to darken our horizon; and
we would speak together in whispers of some family grief which was not
wholly understood by us, or of certain things in the world which seemed
to us even then to be not as they should be. We had a handsome brother,
John, who used to entertain us in a gentle way with stories of the sea,
which we loved to hear; and who on one occasion returned home with his
pockets filled with young tortoises for us. He died at sea. We were
awed by the grief of our father and mother. We reminded each other of
Mrs. Hemans’ _Graves of a Household_—

    He lies where pearls lie deep;
    He was the loved of all, yet none
        O’er his low bed may weep.

Later our eldest sister married and went out to China. Her letters
from the Far East were read aloud in the family, and our curiosity and
interest were immensely stirred by her descriptions of that country, of
storms at sea, of the customs and ways of the people, of her visit to
the house of a great Mandarin, &c. China seemed then much farther away
than it seems now.

Living in the country, far from any town, and, if I may say so, in the
pre-educational era (for women at least), we had none of the advantages
which girls of the present day have. But we owed much to our dear
mother, who was very firm in requiring from us that whatever we did
should be thoroughly done, and that in taking up any study we should
aim at becoming as perfect as we could in it without external aid.
This was a moral discipline which perhaps compensated in value for the
lack of a great store of knowledge. She would assemble us daily for
the reading aloud of some solid book, and by a kind of examination
following the reading assured herself that we had mastered the subject.
She urged us to aim at excellence, if not perfection, in at least one
thing.

Our father’s connection with great public movements of the day—the
first Reform Bill, the Abolition of the Slave Trade and Slavery, and
the Free Trade movement—gave us very early an interest in public
questions and in the history of our country.

For two years my sister and I were together at a school in Newcastle.
My sister did not love study, and confessed she “hated lessons.” The
lady at the head of the school regretted this. She was not a good
disciplinarian, and gave us much liberty, which we appreciated, but
she had a large heart and ready sympathy. In spite of the imperfectly
learned lessons, she discerned in my sister some rare gifts—a spark
of genius (a word which would have been strongly deprecated by my
sister as applied to herself); and used furtively to gather up and
preserve (we discovered afterwards) scraps of original writings of my
sister, and copy books full of quaint pen-and-ink drawings. She also
appropriated, and would privately show to friends, a book, a _History
of the Italian Republics_, on the margins of which throughout my sister
had illustrated that history in a most original and humorous manner.

 The following extract from one of Josephine Butler’s last letters,
 written to friends in Switzerland in 1905, tells how her “travail of
 soul” on behalf of oppressed womanhood began at an early age when she
 was only seventeen.

My father was a man with a deeply rooted, fiery hatred of all
injustice. The love of justice was a passion with him. Probably I have
inherited from him this passion. My dear mother felt with him, and
seconded all his efforts. When my father spoke to us, his children,
of the great wrong of slavery, I have felt his powerful frame tremble
and his voice would break. You can believe, that at that time sad and
tragical recitals came to us from first sources of the hideous wrong
inflicted on negro men and women. I say women, for I think their lot
was particularly horrible, for they were almost invariably forced to
minister to the worst passions of their masters, or be persecuted and
die. I recollect the story of a negro woman who had four sons, the sons
of her master. The three eldest were sold by the father in childhood
for good prices, and the mother never knew their fate. She had one
left, the youngest, her treasure. Her master, in a fit of passion, one
day shot this boy dead. The mother crawled under a ruined shed of wood,
and with her face to the earth she prayed that she might die. But first
she prayed, for she was a Christian, that she might be able to forgive
her cruel master. The words, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you,” sounded in her heart; and she cried to heaven, “Jesus, help me to
forgive!” And so she died, her poor heart broken. I remember how these
things combined to break my young heart, and how keenly they awakened
my feelings concerning injustice to women through this conspiracy
of greed of gold and lust of the flesh, a conspiracy which has its
counterpart in the white slave owning in Europe.

 Something of her struggles at this period is shown in the following
 memories, recorded in 1900.

       *       *       *       *       *

My early home was far from cities, with parents who taught by their
lives what true men and women should be. Few “priests or pastors”
ever came our way. Two miles from our home was the parish church, to
which we trudged dutifully every Sunday, and where an honest man in
the pulpit taught us loyally all that he probably himself knew about
God, but whose words did not even touch the fringe of my soul’s deep
discontent.

It was my lot from my earliest years to be haunted by the problems
which more or less present themselves to every thoughtful mind. Year
after year this haunting became more tyrannous. The world appeared to
me to be out of joint. A strange intuition was given to me whereby
I saw as in a vision, before I had seen any of them with my bodily
eyes, some of the saddest miseries of earth, the injustices, the
inequalities, the cruelties practised by man on man, by man on woman.

For one long year of darkness the trouble of heart and brain urged me
to lay all this at the door of the God, whose name I had learned was
Love. I dreaded Him—I fled from Him—until grace was given me to arise
and wrestle, as Jacob did, with the mysterious Presence, who must
either slay or pronounce deliverance. And then the great questioning
again went up from earth to heaven, “God! Who art Thou? Where art Thou?
Why is it thus with the creatures of Thy hand?” I fought the battle
alone, in deep recesses of the beautiful woods and pine forests around
our home, or on some lonely hillside, among wild thyme and heather,
a silent temple where the only sounds were the plaintive cry of the
curlew, or the hum of a summer bee, or the distant bleating of sheep.
For hours and days and weeks in these retreats I sought the answer to
my soul’s trouble and the solution of its dark questionings. Looking
back, it seems to me the end must have been defeat and death had not
the Saviour imparted to the child wrestler something of the virtue of
His own midnight agony, when in Gethsemane His sweat fell like great
drops of blood to the ground.

It was not a speedy or an easy victory. Later the conflict was renewed,
as there dawned upon me the realities of those earthly miseries which
I had realised only in a measure by intuition; but later still came
the outward and active conflict, with, thanks be to God, the light and
hope and guidance which He never denies to them who seek and ask and
knock, and which become for them as “an anchor of the soul, sure and
steadfast.”

Looking my Liberator in the face, can my friends wonder that I
have taken my place, (I took it long ago)—oh! with what infinite
contentment!—by the side of her, the “woman in the city which was a
sinner,” of whom He, her Liberator and mine, said, as He can also say
of me, “_this woman_ hath not ceased to kiss My feet.”



CHAPTER II.

OXFORD.


 No record of Josephine Butler’s life would be at all true or complete
 which did not include some account of her husband. His strong and
 gentle spirit greatly influenced and aided her in all her public work,
 not only with whole-hearted sympathy, but with active co-operation
 whenever he had leisure from his other duties. The following pages are
 taken from her _Recollections of George Butler_.

In visiting some great picture gallery, and passing along amidst
portraits innumerable of great men—of kings, statesmen, discoverers,
authors or poets—I have sometimes been attracted above all by a
portrait without a name, or without the interest attaching to it of
any recorded great exploit, but which, nevertheless interests for its
own sake. Something looks forth from those eyes—something of purity,
of sincerity, of goodness—which draws the beholder to go back again
and again to that portrait, and which gives it a lasting place in the
memory long after many other likenesses of earth’s heroes are more or
less forgotten. It is somewhat in this way that I think of a memorial
or written likeness of George Butler, if it can but be presented with
a simplicity and fidelity worthy of its subject. His character—his
singlemindedness, purity, truth, and firmness of attachment to those
whom he loved—seem to me worthy to be recorded and to be had in
remembrance.

M. Fallot, in the _Revue du Christianisme Pratique_, sketches in
a few words the character of the revered teacher of his youth,
Christophe Dieterlin, whose mortal remains rest beneath the hallowed
soil of the Ban de la Roche, in the Vosges, surmounted by a rock of
mountain granite—a suitable monument for such a man. When his pupil
questioned him concerning prayer, he replied: “The Lord’s Prayer is
in general sufficient for me. When praying in these words, all my
personal preoccupations become mingled with and lost in the great
needs and desires of the whole human race.” “He was a Christian,” says
M. Fallot, ”_hors cadre_, refractory to all classification, living
outside all parties,” a child of Nature and a son of God. These words
might with truth be applied to the character of George Butler. It
would be difficult to assign him a definite place in any category of
persons or parties. He stands apart, _hors cadre_, in his gentleness
and simplicity, and in a certain sturdy and immovable independence of
character.

George Butler was born at Harrow on the 11th of June, 1819. He was
the eldest son of a family of ten—four brothers and six sisters.
Nothing very remarkable in the way of hard study or distinction can
be recorded of him during his school career. When questioned in
later life concerning any excellency he attained there, he would
answer, reflectively, that he was considered to be extremely good
at “shying” stones. He could hit or knock over certain high-up and
difficult chimney-pots with wonderful precision, to the envy of other
mischievous boys, and I suppose to the annoyance of the owners of
the chimney-pots. His father, the Dean of Peterborough, wrote to me
in 1852: “Your references to George’s early days make me feel quite
young again. He certainly was a nice-looking boy, and had a pretty head
of hair; at least I thought so, and the remembrance of those nursery
days is pleasant to me. But oh! those early experiments in the science
of projectiles upon the chimney-pots of the Harrovian neighbours—why
remind me of them, unless you are yourself possessed of the same spirit
of mischief?”

But school life was not all play for George Butler. He showed an
early aptitude for scholarship, gaining among several prizes that
for Greek Iambics. In the autumn of 1838 George went up to Trinity
College, Cambridge. During the year he spent at Cambridge the sense
of duty and of responsibility for the use of opportunities and gifts
which he possessed lay dormant within him. Those who loved him best
often thanked God, however, as he did himself in later life, that
he had escaped the contamination of certain influences which leave
a stain upon the soul, and sometimes tend to give a serious warp to
the judgment of a man in regard to moral questions. A remarkable
native purity of mind, and a loyal and reverent feeling towards women,
saved him from associations and actions which, had he ever yielded
to them, would have been a bitter memory to such a man as he was. In
the interval between leaving Cambridge and going to Oxford he spent
several months in the house of Mr. Augustus Short (afterwards Bishop of
Adelaide). It was while under his roof that he imbibed a true love of
work, and learned the enjoyment of overcoming difficulties, and of a
steady effort, without pause, towards a definite goal.

One of his life-long and most valued friends, the Rev. Cowley Powles,
writes: “It was, I think, in 1841 that Butler got the Hertford
Scholarship. I remember meeting him just after his success had been
announced. I was coming back from a ride, and he stopped me and said:
‘I have got the Hertford.’ The announcement was made in his quietest
voice, and with no elation of manner, though his countenance showed
how much he was pleased. Never was there a man with less _brag_ about
him.” In 1843 George Butler took his degree, having obtained a first
class. He kept up his connection very closely with Oxford for four
years, making use of the time for various studies, and taking pupils or
reading parties during the long vacations. In 1848 he was appointed to
a Tutorship at the University of Durham, which he retained for a little
more than two years. It was during the latter part of his residence
there that I first made his acquaintance.

The following, written after our engagement, shows his extreme honesty
of character, while it indicates in some faint degree his just and
unselfish view of what the marriage relation should be; namely, a
perfectly equal union, with absolute freedom on both sides for personal
initiative in thought and action and for individual development.

“I do not ask you to write oftener. I would have you follow the
dictates of your own heart in this; but be always certain that whatever
comes from you is thrice welcome. I write because I feel it to be
necessary to my happiness. I have lately written to you out of the
fulness of my heart, when my soul was deeply moved to strive after
a higher life. But often my letters will be about trifling matters,
so that you may be tempted to say, ‘Why write at all?’ Yet, after
all, life is largely made up of trifles. Moreover, I do not wish to
invest myself in borrowed plumes. I do not want you to find out later
that I am much like other people, perhaps even more commonplace than
most. I would rather your eyes were opened at once. I cannot reproach
myself with ever having assumed a character not my own to you or to
anyone. Such impostures are always too deeply purchased by the loss of
self-respect. But I fear that you may have formed too high an estimate
of my character—one to which I can never come up; and for your sake I
would wish to remove every veil and obstacle which might prevent your
seeing me just as I am. If I were only to write to you when my better
feelings were wrought upon, you might think me much better than I am,
so I will write to you on every subject and in every mood. Those lines
which I sent to you gave no exaggerated picture. I have often felt in
a very different spirit to that in which we should say ‘Our Father.’
The praying for particular blessings, which is enjoined by the words
of the Lord Jesus, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive,’ has appeared to me at
times as derogatory to the omniscient and all-provident character of
God. Can He, I have thought, alter the smallest of His dispensations
at the request of such a weak and insignificant being as I am? This
vain philosophy, the offspring of intellectual pride, has had more to
do with blighting my faith than wilful sin or the world’s breath!
But though I have ‘wandered out of the way in the wilderness,’ I do
not despair of taking possession of the promised land. You say you
can do so little for me. Will it be little, Josephine, if, urged by
your encouragement and example, I put off the works of darkness and
put on the armour of light? Blessings from the Giver of all blessings
fall upon you for the joy you have given to me, for the new life to
which you have called me! I should think it undue presumption in me
to suggest anything to you in regard to your life and duties. He who
has hitherto guided your steps will continue to do so. Believe me, I
value the expression of your confidence and affection above ‘pearls
and precious stones’; but I must not suffer myself to be dazzled, or
to fancy that I have within me that power of judging and acting aright
which would alone authorise me to point out to you any path in which
you ought to walk. I am more content to leave you to walk by yourself
in the path you shall choose; but I know that I do not leave you alone
and unsupported, for _His_ arm will guide, strengthen and protect you.
I only pray, then, that you may be more and more conformed to the image
of Him who set us a perfect example, and that He will dispose my heart
to love and admire most those things in you which are most admirable
and lovely.”

During the years 1848-49 the Dean of Peterborough frequently wrote
to his son expressing his desire to see him turning his mind towards
the ministry—hoping that he would decide on taking orders. The Dean
was sincerely convinced that there was nothing which ought to make
his son hesitate to take so serious a step, and that the duties of
a clergyman would have a beneficial effect on his character, tending
to his highest good and happiness. That, however, was far from being
his son’s view of the matter. While appreciating his father’s motives
in urging him in this direction, and replying in general terms with a
gentle courtesy, he seems to have felt convinced that it was impossible
for him to follow his advice in the matter. Finally he wrote: “I thank
you, my dear father, for your welcome letter. I think I have already
told you that I have no internal call to, nor inclination for, the
Church. On the contrary, I should feel I was guilty of a wrong action
if I embarked in any work or profession for neither the theoretical
nor the practical part of which I had any taste. And if this be true
of ordinary professions, is it not so in a tenfold degree in the case
of the Church? I feel at present no attraction towards the study of
dogmatical theology, or any branch of study in which a clergyman
should be versed; and I cannot get over the scruples I have against
such a step as you advise. I am at present engaged, usefully I hope,
in a place of Christian education, closely connected with a cathedral
church, with abundant opportunities of adding to my stock of knowledge
in various subjects, as well as of imparting to others what I know. I
do not see, at present, any necessity for planning any change in my
mode of life.”

How was it then, it may be asked, that he did actually elect to become
a clergyman some six years later? The answer is, he had gradually
become convinced that the work of his life was to be educational, and
the desire arose in his mind to be able to stand towards the younger
men or boys who should come under his care in the position of their
pastor as well as their teacher. He weighed the matter gravely for a
long time before becoming a clergyman; but after having taken the step,
he never repented of having done so. To the end of his life, however,
his character continued to be essentially that of a layman. In 1851 he
wrote:—

“You know that I don’t like parsons; but that is not to the point. If
I should ever take orders, I don’t mean to be a mere parson; for if
I were like some of them whom I know I should cease to be a _man_. I
shall never wear straight waistcoats, long coats and stiff collars! I
think all dressing up and official manner are an affectation; while
great strictness in outward observances interferes with the devotion
of the heart; and though it may indicate a pious spirit—and therefore
deserves our respect—it shows, as I think, a misconception of the
relation in which we stand to God, and of the duties we owe to man. It
seems to me, after all, that being a good clergyman is much the same
thing as being a good man. I have a longing to be of use, and I know of
no line in which I can be more useful than the educational, my whole
life having been turned more or less in this direction. It is a blessed
office that of a teacher. With all its troubles and heart-wearyings
and disappointments, yet it is full of delight to those who enter upon
it with their whole heart and soul, and in reliance upon our great
Teacher. I know of no occupation which more carries its present reward
with it.”

Our marriage took place on the 8th of January, 1852, at Dilston.
Shortly afterwards we settled at Oxford, which became our home for five
years. In reviewing the work done by George Butler in the course of his
educational career, one cannot but be struck by the fact that he was
somewhat in advance of his time. There are men theoretically in advance
of their times, who do good service by their advocacy of progressive
principles in writing or in speech. With him it was more a matter of
simple practice. He perceived that some study useful or necessary
for the future generations, and in itself worthy, had scarcely an
acknowledged place in the curriculum of the schools and universities,
or that some new ground necessary to be explored was still left
untrodden; and without saying much about it, without any thought of
being himself a pioneer in any direction, he modestly set himself
to the task of acting out his thoughts on the subject. His absolute
freedom from personal vanity withheld him from proclaiming that he
was about to enter on any new line, and at the same time enabled him
to bear with perfect calm, if not with indifference, the criticisms,
witty remarks and sometimes serious opposition which are seldom wanting
when a man or woman ventures quietly to encroach upon the established
order of things in any department of life. At Oxford he was the first
who brought into prominence the study of geography. His geographical
lectures there were quite an innovation, creating some amusement and a
good deal of wonder as to how he would succeed. It was a subject which
had hitherto been relegated in an elementary form to schools for boys
and girls, and was unrecognised, except by a very few persons, as the
grand and comprehensive scientific study which it is now acknowledged
to be.

At Oxford the subject was entirely new, at least to the older members
of the university, who, however, to their credit, came to the lectures,
and listened with teachable minds to truths novel to them concerning
the world they were living in. We drew large illustrative maps for the
walls of the lecture room. I recall a day when I was drawing in a rough
form an enlarged map of Europe, including the northern coast of Africa
and a part of Asia Minor. It happened that several fellows and tutors
of colleges called at that moment. I continued my work while they
chatted with him on the curiosity of his introduction in Oxford of so
elementary a study. The conversation then turned on letters we had just
received from Arthur Stanley and Theodore Walrond, who were visiting
Egypt. “Where is Cairo?” someone asked, turning to the map spread on
the table. I put the question to an accomplished college tutor. His eye
wandered hopelessly over the chart. He could not even place his hand
on Egypt! I was fain to pretend that I needed to study my performance
more closely, and bent down my head in order to conceal the irreverent
laughter which overcame me.

George Butler was one of the first, also, who introduced and encouraged
the study of Art in Oxford in a practical sense. In the winter of
1852-53 he obtained the permission of the Vice-Chancellor and Curators
to give a course of lectures on Art in the Taylor building. These
lectures were afterwards published by J. W. Parker, under the title
of _Principles of Imitative Art_. While promoting the study of Art in
Oxford, working with pupils, and examining in the schools, he undertook
to write a series of Art criticisms for the _Morning Chronicle_ and
afterwards for another paper, visiting for this purpose the galleries
and yearly exhibitions in London. This he did for a year or two.

“It was amusing,” he wrote to his mother, after his first visit in this
capacity to the Society of British Artists, “to see the ‘gentlemen
of the press’ (of whom I was one!) walking about dotting down
observations. I travelled up to town with Scott, the architect, who has
engaged me to attend a meeting of his workmen, and give them an address
on ‘Decorative Art and the Dignity of Labour.’ Josephine and I are both
engaged in copying some drawings by Turner in the Taylor Gallery.”

Indefatigable in his efforts to master any subject which attracted him,
he was also equally ready and anxious to impart to others any knowledge
he had thus gained. He found time among his other occupations to make a
very thorough study of some ancient Oscan inscriptions, with engravings
of their principal monuments, which he found in the Bodleian Library.
He became much interested in that portion of history—almost lost in the
mists of the past—which is illustrated by the marvellous records and
monuments of Oscan, Umbrian, and Etruscan life in the great museum at
Bologna. He worked at and completed, during one of the long vacations,
a series of enlarged copies in sepia of the small engravings and prints
of these monuments in the Bodleian. These enlargements were suitable
for wall illustrations, for a set of lectures which he afterwards
gave on the “Ancient Races of Italy.” It was very pleasant to us when
we visited Florence together, some years later, to see the originals
of some of the Cyclopean ruins of which we had together made large
drawings, those gigantic stones of all that remains of the ancient
Etruscan walls of Fiesole, up to the lovely heights of which we drove
one clear, bright winter’s day.

I have many other memories of our life at Oxford—some very sweet,
others grave. I recall with special pleasure our summer evening rides.
During the first two years we spent there my father kindly provided me
with a horse, a fine, well-bred chestnut. My husband and I explored
together all the rising grounds round Oxford. Behind our own little
garden there were tall trees where nightingales sang night and day for
a few weeks in spring. But it was in the Bagley Woods and in Abingdon
Park that those academic birds put forth all their powers. We sometimes
rode from five in the afternoon till the sun set and the dew fell, on
grassy paths between thick undergrowths of woods such as nightingales
love to haunt, and from which issued choruses of matchless song.

Our Italian studies were another source of enjoyment. Dante Rossetti
was then preparing matter for his book, _Dante and His Circle_, by
carefully translating into English the _Vita Nuova_ and lyrical poems
of Dante, together with other sonnets and poems written by some of his
predecessors, such as Cavalcante, Orlandi and Angiolieri of Siena.
Mr. Rossetti sent to us occasionally for criticism some of his
translations of the exquisite sonnets of Dante, the English of which he
was anxious to make as perfect as possible. We had visited Rossetti’s
studio at Chelsea, where he had shown us his portfolios of original
sketches for his great paintings, besides many unfinished drawings
and pathetic incidents expressed in artist’s shorthand—slight but
beautiful pencil designs. My husband’s critical faculty and classical
taste enabled him to return the sonnets submitted to his judgment with
occasional useful comments. There was little to find fault with in
them, however.

Aurelio Saffi was at this time in exile and living in Oxford. He had
been associated with Mazzini and Armellini in the Triumvirate which
ruled in Rome for a short period, and was parliamentary deputy for his
own native town of Forli. He was a cultivated and literary man, with a
thorough knowledge of the Italian poets. As an exile his material means
were at that time very slender. My husband sought his acquaintance, and
invited him to give a series of evening lectures on Dante in our own
drawing-room. These were attractive to some, and increased the personal
interest felt in Saffi in the university. Twenty-seven years later,
having returned to Italy from exile, Saffi was presiding at a great
congress in Genoa where we were. He alluded, with much feeling, to the
years he had spent in Oxford; and turning to my husband, who was near
him, he said: “It is twenty-seven years to-day that, an exile from
my native land, I had the happiness of being received in your house
at Oxford, and I have never forgotten, and shall never forget, the
hospitable and gracious reception given to me by you and your worthy
companion. The times are changed; a long interval has elapsed, and it
is to me a great joy to-day to greet you once more, and on my native
soil.”

But this pleasant life at Oxford had its shadow side. I had come from
a large family circle, and from free country life to a university
town—a society of celibates, with little or no leaven of family life;
for Oxford was not then what it is now under expanded conditions, with
its married fellows and tutors, its resident families, its ladies’
colleges, and its mixed, general social life. With the exception of
the families of a few heads of houses, who lived much secluded within
their college walls, there was little or no home life, and not much
freedom of intercourse between the academical portion of the community
and others. A one-sidedness of judgment is apt to be fostered by such
circumstances—an exaggeration of the purely masculine judgment on some
topics, and a conventual mode of looking at things.

In the frequent social gatherings in our drawing-room in the evenings
there was much talk, sometimes serious and weighty, sometimes light,
interesting, critical, witty and brilliant, ranging over many subjects.
It was then that I sat silent, the only woman in the company, and
listened, sometimes with a sore heart; for these men would speak of
things which I had already revolved deeply in my own mind, things of
which I was convinced, which I knew, though I had no dialectics at
command with which to defend their truth. A few remarks made on those
evenings stand out in my memory. They may seem slight and unimportant,
but they had a significance for me, linking themselves, as they did, to
long trains of thought which for some years past had been tending to
form my own convictions.

A book was published at that time by Mrs. Gaskell, and was much
discussed. This led to expressions of judgment which seemed to me
false—fatally false. A moral lapse in a woman was spoken of as an
immensely worse thing than in a man; there was no comparison to be
formed between them. A pure woman, it was reiterated, should be
absolutely ignorant of a certain class of evils in the world, albeit
those evils bore with murderous cruelty on other women. One young man
seriously declared that he would not allow his own mother to read such
a book as that under discussion—a book which seemed to me to have a
very wholesome tendency, though dealing with a painful subject. Silence
was thought to be the great duty of all on such subjects. On one
occasion, when I was distressed by a bitter case of wrong inflicted
on a very young girl, I ventured to speak to one of the wisest men—so
esteemed—in the university, in the hope that he would suggest some
means, not of helping her, but of bringing to a sense of his crime the
man who had wronged her. The sage, speaking kindly however, sternly
advocated silence and inaction. “It could only do harm to open up in
any way such a question as this. It was dangerous to arouse a sleeping
lion.” I left him in some amazement and discouragement, and for a long
time there echoed in my heart the terrible prophetic words of the
painter-poet Blake—rude and indelicate as he may have been judged
then—whose prophecy has only been averted by a great and painful
awakening—

    The harlot’s curse, from street to street,
    Shall weave old England’s winding-sheet.

Every instinct of womanhood within me was already in revolt against
certain accepted theories in society, and I suffered as only God and
the faithful companion of my life could ever know. Incidents occurred
which brought their contribution to the lessons then sinking into our
hearts. A young mother was in Newgate for the murder of her infant,
whose father, under cover of the death-like silence prescribed by
Oxford philosophers—a silence which is in fact a permanent endorsement
of injustice—had perjured himself to her, had forsaken and forgotten
her, and fallen back, with no accusing conscience, on his easy, social
life, and possibly his academic honours. I wished to go and speak to
her in prison of the God who saw the injustice done, and who cared
for her. My husband suggested that we should write to the chaplain of
Newgate, and ask him to send her to us when her sentence had expired.
We wanted a servant, and he thought that she might be able to fill
that place. She came to us. I think she was the first of the world of
unhappy women of a humble class whom he welcomed to his own home. She
was not the last.

A travelling circus came to the neighbourhood. A young woman who
performed as an acrobat somehow conveyed to us her longing desire to
leave the life in which she was plunged, the most innocent part of
which was probably her acrobatic performances. She had aspirations
very far beyond what is usually expected from a circus woman. She
wanted to serve God. She saw a light before her, she said, and she
must follow it. She went secretly to churches and chapels, and then
she fled—she did not know where—but was recaptured. It was a Sunday
evening in hot summer weather. I had been sitting for some time at my
open window to breathe more freely the sultry air, and it seemed to me
that I heard a wailing cry somewhere among the trees in the twilight
which was deepening into night. It was a woman’s cry—a woman aspiring
to heaven and dragged back to hell—and my heart was pierced with pain.
I longed to leap from the window, and flee with her to some place of
refuge. It passed. I cannot explain the nature of the impression, which
remains with me to this day; but beyond that twilight, and even in the
midst of the pitiful cry, there seemed to dawn a ray of light and to
sound a note not wholly of despair. The light was far off, yet coming
near, and the slight summer breeze in those tall trees had in them a
whisper of the future. But when the day dawned it seemed to show me
again more plainly than ever the great wall of prejudice, built up on a
foundation of lies, which surrounded a whole world of sorrows, griefs,
injustices and crimes which must not be spoken of—no, not even in
whispers—and which it seemed to me then that no human power could ever
reach or remedy. And I met again the highly-educated, masculine world
in our evening gatherings more than ever resolved to hold my peace—to
speak little with men, but much with God. No doubt the experience of
those years influenced in some degree my maturer judgment of what is
called “_educated_ public opinion.”

My motive in writing these recollections is to tell what _he_ was—my
husband—and to show how, besides all that he was in himself and all
the work he did, which was wholly and especially his own, he was of a
character to be able from the first to correct the judgment and soothe
the spirit of the companion of his life when “the waters had come in
even unto her soul.” I wish to show, also, that he was even more to
me in later life than a wise and noble supporter and helper in the
work which may have been called more especially my own. He had a part
in the creation of it, in the formation of the first impulses towards
it. Had that work been purely a product of the feminine mind, of a
solitary, wounded and revolted heart, it would certainly have lacked
some elements essential to its becoming in any way useful or fruitful.
But for him I should have been much more perplexed than I was. The idea
of justice to women, of equality between the sexes, and of equality of
responsibility of all human beings to the moral law, seems to have been
instinctive in him. He never needed convincing. He had his convictions
already from the first—straight, just and clear. I did not at that
time speak much, but whenever I spoke to him the clouds lifted. It
may seem a little strange to say so, but, if I recall it truly, what
helped me most of all at that time was, not so much any arguments he
may have used in favour of an equal standard, but the correctness
with which he measured the men and the judgments around him. I think
there was even a little element of disdain in his appreciation of the
one-sided judgments of some of his male friends. He used to say, “I
am sorry for So-and-So,” which sounded to me rather like saying, “I
am sorry for Solomon,” my ideas of the wisdom of learned men being,
perhaps, a little exaggerated. He would tell me that I ought to pity
them. “They know no better, poor fellows.” This was a new light for
me, I had thought of Oxford as the home of learning and of intellect.
I thought the good and gifted men we daily met must be in some degree
authorities on spiritual and moral questions. It had not occurred to me
to think of them as “poor fellows!” That blessed gift of common sense,
which he possessed in so large a degree, came to the rescue to restore
for me the balance of a mind too heavily weighted with sad thoughts of
life’s perplexing problems. And then in the evenings, when our friends
had gone, we read together the words of Life, and were able to bring
many earthly notions and theories to the test of what the Holy One and
the Just said and did. Compared with the accepted axioms of the day,
and indeed of centuries past, in regard to certain vital questions,
the sayings and actions of Jesus were, we confessed to one another,
revolutionary. George Butler was not afraid of revolution. In this
sense he desired it, and we prayed together that a holy revolution
might come about, and that the Kingdom of God might be established on
the earth. And I said to myself: “And it is a man who speaks to me
thus—an intelligent, a gifted man, a learned man too, few more learned
than he, and a man who ever speaks the truth from his heart.” So I was
comforted and instructed. It was then that I began to see his portrait
given, and I see it still more clearly now as I look back over his
whole past life, in the 15th Psalm: “Lord, who shall dwell in Thy
tabernacle? Or who shall rest upon Thy holy hill? Even he that leadeth
an uncorrupt life, and doeth the thing which is right, and speaketh the
truth from his heart. He that hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor
done evil to his neighbour, and hath not slandered his neighbour. He
that setteth not by himself, but is lowly in his own eyes, and maketh
much of them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth unto his neighbour,
and disappointeth him not, even though it were to his own hindrance.”

The winter floods which so often surrounded Oxford during the years of
which I am writing are probably remembered with a shudder by others
besides myself. The mills and locks, and other impediments to the free
flow of the waters of the Isis, were, I believe, long ago removed,
and the malarial effect of the stagnation of moisture around the
city ceased with its cause. But at that time Oxford in winter almost
resembled Venice, in its apparent isolation from the land, and in the
appearance of its towers and spires reflected in the mirror of the
floods. “It rained,” wrote George in January, 1856, “all yesterday,
and to-day it is cold and damp. Indeed, immediately after sunset
the atmosphere of Oxford resembles that of a well, though that is
scarcely so bad as the horrible smell of the meadows when the floods
are retiring. Then one is conscious of a miasma which only a strong
constitution can long resist.”

My health failed. I became weak and liable to attacks of chills and
fever. We drove out occasionally to the heights above Oxford, to
reach which we were obliged to pursue for some distance a road which
resembled a sort of high level or causeway (as in Holland) with water
on each side. Looking back from the higher ground, the view of the
academic city sitting upon the floods was very picturesque. Indeed,
the sound of “Great Tom” knelling the curfew from his tower had a very
musical and solemn effect as it came over the still waters, resembling
a little in pathos the sound of a human voice giving warning of the
approach of night; or, like Dante’s _Squilla di lontana_—

                  The distant bell
    Which seems to weep the dying day;

but poetry and sentiment could not hold out against rheumatic pains and
repeated chills.

I spent several months of that year—1856—in Northumberland with our
children, my husband joining us after he had completed his engagements
as a public examiner in London. His letters, during the few weeks of
our separation, seemed to show a deepening of spiritual life—such as
is sometimes granted in the foreshadowing of the approach of some
special discipline or sorrow. He seems to have felt more deeply during
this summer that he must not reckon on the unbroken continuance of the
outward happiness which had been so richly granted to us.

 To Mrs. Grey.

  OXFORD, _June 6th, 1856_.

“ I am glad to feel that my treasures are in such good hands and
 life-giving air. I hope their presence at Dilston will contribute to
 the assurance that marriage is not a severance of family ties, but
 that both Josephine and I revert with the fondest attachment to old
 scenes and dearly loved friends at Dilston.”

 To his wife.

  _June, 1856._

 “I am grieved to hear of your sufferings; but you write so cheerfully,
 and express such a loving confidence in One who is able to heal all
 our sicknesses, that I dare not repine. However sad at heart I may
 sometimes feel about you, I will try to bring myself face to face with
 those mighty promises which are held out to those who ‘rest in the
 Lord and wait patiently for Him.’ And then I hope we shall still be
 able to go hand in hand in our work on earth.”

 To his wife.

  _July 13th, 1856._

 “I have been reading Tennyson’s ‘Maud,’ and correcting my review of it
 for _Fraser’s Magazine_. Reading love stories which end in death or
 separation makes me dwell the more thankfully on my own happiness. It
 is no wonder that I am sanguine in all circumstances, and that I trust
 the love and care of our Almighty Father, for has He not blessed me
 far beyond my deserts in giving me such a share of human happiness as
 falls to the lot of few? Yet He has given us our thorn in the flesh,
 in your failing health, and our uncertain prospects. But these shall
 never hinder our love; rather we will cling to that more closely as
 the symbol and earnest of the heavenly love which displayed itself in
 that wondrous act—on Calvary—which the wise men of this world may
 deem of as they will, but which to us will ever be the most real of
 all realities, and the sure token of our reconciliation with God.

 “I think we are well fitted to help each other. No words can express
 what you are to me. On the other hand, I may be able to cheer you in
 moments of sadness and despondency, when the evils of this world press
 heavily upon you, and your strength is not sufficient to enable you
 to rise up and _do_ anything to relieve them, as you fain would do.
 And by means of possessing greater physical strength, and considerable
 power of getting through work, I may be enabled to help you in the
 years to come, to carry out plans which may under His blessing do some
 good, and make men speak of us with respect when we are laid in our
 graves; and in the united work of bringing up our children, may God so
 help us that we may be able to say, ‘Of those whom Thou gavest us have
 we lost none.’”

While exercising much self-denial and reserve in making such extracts
as the above, I give these few as affording glimpses of his inner
mind and deep affection; for his character would be very inadequately
portrayed if so prominent a feature of it were concealed as that of
his love for his wife, and the constant blending of that love with all
his spiritual aspirations and endeavours. That love was part of his
being, becoming ever more deep and tender as the years went on. I have
spoken of the strength and tenacity of his friendships. These qualities
entered equally into his closest domestic relations. In the springtime
of life, men dream, speak, write and sing of love—of love’s gracious
birth and beautiful youth. But it is not in the springtime of life
that love’s deepest depths can be fathomed, its vastness measured, and
its endurance tested. There is a love which surmounts all trial and
discipline, all the petty vexations and worries, as well as the sorrows
and storms of life, and which flows on in an ever deepening current of
tenderness, enhanced by memories of the past and hopes of the future—of
the eternal life towards which it is tending. It was such a love as
this, that dwelt and deepened in him of whom I write to the latest
moment of his earthly life, to be perfected in the Divine presence.

On joining us at Dilston, an arrangement was made with the vicar of
the parish of Corbridge (in which Dilston was situated) that he should
take his duty, occupying his house for the autumn, during his absence
from home. Dissent prevailed largely in the neighbourhood. But during
the time that he acted as the clergyman of the parish the church was
well filled. Many Wesleyans came, who had not before entered its
doors, as well as several families of well-to-do and well-instructed
Presbyterian farmers—shrewd people, well able to maintain their ground
in a theological controversy. They were attracted, no doubt, partly
by the relationship of the temporary minister to my father, who was
so much beloved and esteemed throughout the county, and a constant
worshipper in the village church, and partly by the simple Christian
teaching for which they thirsted, and which they now found. There was
little real poverty. We visited the people sometimes together, and
their affections were strongly gained.

Our return to Oxford was not auspicious. The autumn fell damp and
cold. It was decided that I should go to London to consult Sir James
Clarke, on account of what seemed the development of a weakness of the
lungs. I recall the tender solicitude which my husband showed for me on
the journey, and also the kindness of the venerable physician. I was
scarcely able to rise to greet him when he entered the room. At the
close of our interview he merely said, “Poor thing, poor thing! You
must take her away from Oxford.” We proposed to return therefore at
once to make necessary preparations for the change, when he interposed,
“No, she must not return to the chilling influence of those floods, not
for a single day.”

This was no light trial. Our pleasant home must be broken up; all
the hopes and plans my husband had cherished abandoned; the house
he had taken and furnished at some expense as a Hall for unattached
students thrown on his hands. To carry it on alone, to be separated
for an indefinite time from each other, was scarcely possible. There
seemed for the present no alternative. He accepted calmly, though not
without keen regret, what was clearly inevitable. The difficulties of
our position were for a time increased by a serious reverse of fortune
experienced by my father, who had always been ready to aid on occasion
the different members of the family. There had occurred a complete
collapse of a bank in which he was a large shareholder. The loss he
sustained was great. The spirit in which he bore the trial raised him
still higher in the estimation of those who already so highly valued
and admired him. Trouble followed upon trouble for a time, and my
husband suffered all the more because of some inward self-reproach for
having failed to exercise sufficient providence and foresight in the
past. His greatest anxiety was for me; but that happily was gradually
lightened as time went on.

Through the kindness of his friend, Mr. Powles, my husband was called
to take temporarily the charge of a chapel at Blackheath, in the summer
of 1857, which gave him useful and congenial ministerial work while
continuing his literary pursuits. He had gone on in advance to arrange
for our removal to Blackheath.

 To her husband.


  St. Barnabas Day,

  _June 11th, 1857_.

 God bless you to-day and always, and make you a “Son of Consolation”
 to many in the time to come, as you have been to me. Earthly success
 is no longer our aim. What I desire above all for you is the
 fulfilment of the promise: “They that are wise shall shine as the
 light, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for
 ever and ever.” I had an encouraging conversation yesterday with——,
 which fell in with the train of my thoughts regarding you and myself.
 She said she had seen many cases in which individual chastening
 had preceded a life of great usefulness, though the subject of the
 chastening had thought at the time that his life was passing away,
 wasted or only spent in learning the lesson of submission. She thought
 that those to whom the discipline of life comes early rather than late
 ought to thank God; for it makes them better able to minister to
 others, and to walk humbly with their God. May that be the case with
 us. The little boys remembered your birthday before they were out of
 bed this morning, and have made an excursion to Nightingale Valley in
 honour of it.



CHAPTER III.

CHELTENHAM.


In the autumn of 1857 my husband was invited to fill the post of
Vice-Principal of the Cheltenham College. He accepted the invitation,
and we went to Cheltenham the same year. He here entered upon his
long course of assiduous and untiring work as a schoolmaster—a work
which covered a quarter of a century, beginning at Cheltenham in 1857,
and continued at Liverpool from the winter of 1865-66 until 1882. We
gained much at Cheltenham in an improved climate, and in the cessation
of material difficulties and anxieties. We lived in a large house,
in which, for some years, we received a number of pupils. It was
characteristic that it should have supplied some of the best athletes
of the College, and many successful competitors in the school games, in
feats of strength, activity and skill. My husband considered physical
training to be an essential part of the education of youth.

Our summer vacations continued to be spent largely at Dilston; we went
however one year to Switzerland with our eldest son. We visited Lucerne
and its neighbourhood, and afterwards the Rhone Valley, Chamounix,
and the great St. Bernard, passing a night at the hospice, where we
profited much by our intercourse with the beautiful dogs, one of whom,
a veteran called Bruno, the forefather of many a noble hound, attached
himself to us, and made himself our cicerone among the rocks in the
desolate surroundings of the monastery. Another summer excursion was,
with two of our children, to the Lakes of Killarney, including a visit
to my brother, Charles Grey, who lived then in a house of Lord Derby,
at Ballykisteen, in the “golden vale” of Tipperary. In both these
years my husband brought home many sketches. The grey rocks skirting
the borders of Killarney lakes, with their richly-coloured covering
of arbutus and other flowering trees and evergreens, were tempting
subjects for water-colours.

My father had been a friend of Clarkson, and a practical worker in
the movement for the abolition of the slave trade. When the War of
Secession in America broke out, my husband’s sympathies were warmly
enlisted on behalf of those who desired the emancipation of the
slaves, and he perceived that that was indeed the question, the vital
question of justice, which lay at the root of all that terrible
struggle. This was one of several occasions in our united life in
which we found ourselves in a minority; members of a group at first so
insignificant that it scarcely found a voice or a hearing anywhere,
but whose position was afterwards fully justified by events. It was a
good training in swimming against the tide, or at least in standing
firm and letting the tide go by, and in maintaining, while doing so,
a charitable attitude towards those who conscientiously differed, and
towards the thousands who float contentedly down the stream of the
fashionable opinion of the day. In this case the feeling of isolation
on a subject of such tragic interest was often painful; but the
discipline was useful, for it was our lot again more emphatically in
the future to have to accept and endure this position for conscience’
sake.

I recollect the sudden revulsion of feeling when the news was
telegraphed of the assassination of President Lincoln; the
extraordinary rapidity of the change of front of the “leading journal;”
and the self-questionings among many whose intelligence and goodness
had certainly given them the right to think for themselves, but who
had not availed themselves of that right. I remember the penitence of
_Punch_, who had been among the scoffers against the abolitionists
of slavery, and who now put himself into deep mourning, and gave to
the public an affecting cartoon of the British Lion bowed and weeping
before the bier of Lincoln. A favourite scripture motto of my husband’s
was, “_Why do ye not of yourselves judge that which is right_?” But
he was not argumentative. He loved peace, and avoided every heated
discussion. His silence was, perhaps, sometimes not less effectual by
way of rebuke or correction of shallow judgments than speech would have
been. Goldwin Smith, one of the few at Oxford who saw at that time the
inner meanings of the American struggle, paid us a visit. It occurred
to us, while listening to some pointed remarks he was making on the
prevalent opinion of the day, to ask him to write and publish something
in reply to the often-repeated assertion that the Bible itself favours
slavery. “The Bible,” he replied, “has been quoted in favour of every
abomination that ever cursed the earth.” He did not say he would
write; but the idea sank into his mind, and not long after he sent us
his able and exquisite little book, entitled _Does the Bible sanction
Slavery?_—a masterly and beautiful exposition of the true spirit of
the Mosaic law, and of the Theocratic government and training of the
ancient Hebrew people in relation to this and other questions. This
book was naturally not popular at the time, and I fear it has long been
out of print. (It was published in 1863.)

 In this connection it is interesting to record, that two other notable
 books owed their inspiration in a large measure to Josephine Butler.
 _The Patience of Hope_, by Dora Greenwell, published in 1859, was
 dedicated to J. E. B., with the inscription—_A te principium, tibi
 desinet_ (from thee begun with thee my work shall close). _Te sine
 nil altum mens inchoat_ (without thee nothing high my mind essays).
 Frederic Myers, who had been at school at Cheltenham College, in his
 _Fragments of Inner Life_,[1] tells how“Christian conversion came to
 me in a potent form—through the agency of Josephine Butler, _née_
 Grey, whose name will not be forgotten in the annals of English
 philanthropy. She introduced me to Christianity, so to say, by an
 inner door; not to its encumbering forms and dogmas, but to its heart
 of fire. My poems of _St. Paul_ and _St. John the Baptist_, intensely
 personal in their emotion, may serve as sufficient record of those
 years of eager faith.” _St. Paul_, published in 1867, was dedicated to
 J. E. B., with the inscription—[Greek: ᾗ καὶ τὴν ἐμὴν ψυχην ὀφείλω]
 (to whom I owe my very soul). In 1869 Myers gave up a Lectureship
 at Trinity in order to devote himself to the promotion of the higher
 education of women, and he was one of the small band of university
 men, who worked hard with Josephine Butler and her colleagues on the
 North of England Council, to which we shall refer later on.

 [1] _Fragments of Prose and Poetry_, by Frederic W. H. Myers, 1904
 (Longmans, Green & Co.), p. 22.

Among the public events which interested us most during these years
was the revolution in Naples, the change of dynasty, and Garibaldi’s
career. Our interest was in part of a personal nature, as my sister,
Madame Meuricoffre, and her husband were in the midst of these events.
She had succeeded Jessie White Mario in the care of the wounded
Garibaldians in the hospitals, and was personally acquainted with some
of the actors in the dramatic scenes of that time. Having told her
that my husband had set as a subject for a prize essay—to be competed
for in the College at Cheltenham—“The unification of Italy,” my sister
mentioned it to Garibaldi, in expressing to him our sympathy for him
and his cause. He immediately wrote a few lines, signing his name at
the end, to be sent, through her, to the boy who should write the best
essay on the subject so near to his heart.

A part of the summer holidays of 1864 were spent at Coniston in the
house of Mr. James Marshall, which he lent to us. His sister, Mrs.
Myers, had been our kind and constant friend at Cheltenham. It was a
beautiful summer. We had returned to Cheltenham only a few days when
a heavy sorrow fell upon our home, the brightest of our little circle
being suddenly snatched away from us. The dark shadow of that cloud
cannot easily be described. I quote part of a letter written some
weeks after our child’s death to a friend.

  CHELTENHAM, _August, 1864_.

 These are but weak words. May you never know the grief which they hide
 rather than reveal. But God is good. He has, in mercy, at last sent
 me a ray of light, and low in the dust at His feet I have thanked
 Him for that ray of light as I never thanked Him for any blessing in
 the whole of my life before. It was difficult to endure at first the
 shock of the suddenness of that agonising death. Little gentle spirit!
 the softest death for her would have seemed sad enough. Never can I
 lose that memory—the fall, the sudden cry, and then the silence. It
 was pitiful to see her, helpless in her father’s arms, her little
 drooping head resting on his shoulder, and her beautiful golden hair,
 all stained with blood, falling over his arm. Would to God that I had
 died that death for her! If we had been permitted, I thought, to have
 one look, one word of farewell, one moment of recognition! But though
 life flickered for an hour, she never recognised the father and mother
 whom she loved so dearly. We called her by her name, but there was no
 answer. She was our only daughter, the light and joy of our lives.
 She flitted in and out like a butterfly all day. She had never had a
 day’s or an hour’s illness in all her sweet life. She never gave us a
 moment of anxiety, her life was one flowing stream of mirth and fun
 and abounding love. The last morning she had said to me a little verse
 she had learned somewhere—

    Every morning the warm sun
      Rises fair and bright;
    But the evening cometh on,
      And the dark, cold night.
    There is a bright land far away,
    Where tis never-ending day!

 The dark, cold night came too soon for us, for it was that same
 evening, at seven o’clock, that she fell. The last words I had with
 her were about a pretty caterpillar she had found; she came to my
 room to beg for a little box to put it in. I gave it her and said,
 “Now trot away, for I am late for tea.” What would I not give now for
 five minutes of that sweet presence? The only discipline she ever had
 was an occasional conflict with her own strong feelings and will.
 She disliked nothing so much as her little German lessons. Fräulein
 Blümke had called her one day to have one. She was sitting in a low
 chair. She grasped the arms of it tightly, and, looking very grave and
 determined, she replied, “Hush, wait a bit, I am fighting!” She sat
 silent for a few moments, and then walked quickly and firmly to have
 her German lesson. Fräulein asked her what she meant by saying she was
 fighting, and she replied, “I was fighting with myself” (to overcome
 her unwillingness to go to her books). I overheard Fräulein say to
 her in the midst of the lesson: “Arbeit, Eva, arbeit!” To which Eva
 replied with decision, “I am _arbeiting_, Miss Blümke, as hard as ever
 I can.”

 One evening last autumn, when I went to see her after she was in bed
 and we were alone, she said: “Mammy, if I go to heaven before you,
 when the door of heaven opens to let you in I will run so fast to meet
 you; and when you put your arms round me, and we kiss each other,
 _all the angels will stand still to see us_.” And she raised herself
 up in her ardour, her face beaming and her little chest heaving
 with the excitement of her loving anticipation. I recall her look;
 not the merry laughing look she generally had, but softened into an
 overflowing tenderness of the soul. She lay down again, but could not
 rest, and raising herself once more said, “I would like to pray again”
 (she had already said her little prayer); and we prayed again, about
 this meeting in heaven. I never thought for a moment that she would
 go first. I don’t think I ever had a thought of death in connection
 with her; she was so full of life and energy. She was always showing
 her love in active ways. We used to imagine what it would be when
 she grew up, developing into acts of mercy and kindness. She was
 passionately devoted to her father, and after hugging him, and heaping
 endearing names upon him, she would fly off and tax her poor little
 tender fingers by making him something—a pincushion or kettle-holder.
 She made him blue, pink, white and striped pincushions and mats, for
 which he had not much use. But now he treasures up her poor little
 gifts as more precious than gold. If my head ached, she would bathe
 it with a sponge for an hour without tiring. Sweet Eva! Well might
 the Saviour say, “Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” She was so
 perfectly truthful, candid and pure. It was a wonderful repose for me,
 a good gift of God, when troubled by the evils in the world or my own
 thoughts, to turn to the perfect innocence and purity of that little
 maiden. But that joy is gone now for us. I am troubled for my husband.
 His grief is so deep and silent; but he is very, very patient. He
 loves children and all young creatures, and his love for her was
 wonderful. Her face, as she lay in death, wore a look of sweet, calm
 surprise, as if she said, “Now I see God.” We stood in awe before her.
 She seemed to rebuke our grief in her rapt and holy sleep. Her hair
 had grown very long lately, and was of a deep chestnut brown, which in
 the sun flashed out all golden:—

              Hair like a golden halo lying
                Upon a pillow white;
              Parted lips that mock all sighing,
                Good night—good night!
    Good night in anguish and in bitter pain;
    Good morrow crowns another of the heavenly train.

 This sorrow seemed to give in a measure a new direction to our lives
 and interests. There were some weeks of uncomforted grief. Her flight
 from earth had had the appearance of a most cruel accident. But do the
 words “accident” or “chance” properly find a place in the vocabulary
 of those who have placed themselves, and those dear to them, in a
 special manner under the daily providential care of a loving God? Here
 there entered into the heart of our grief the intellectual difficulty,
 the moral perplexity and dismay which are not the least terrifying
 of the phantoms which haunt the “Valley of the shadow of Death”—that
 dark passage through which some toil only to emerge into a hopeless
 and final denial of the Divine goodness, the complete bankruptcy
 of faith; and others, by the mercy of God, through a still deeper
 experience, into a yet firmer trust in His unfailing love.

 One day, going into his study, I found my husband alone, and looking
 ill. His hands were cold, he had an unusual paleness in his face, and
 he seemed faint. I was alarmed. I kneeled beside him, and, shaking
 myself out of my own stupor of grief, I spoke “comfortably” to him,
 and forced myself to talk cheerfully, even joyfully, of the happiness
 of our child, of the unclouded brightness of her brief life on earth,
 and her escape from the trials and sorrows she might have met with had
 she lived. He responded readily to the offered comfort, and the effort
 to strengthen him was helpful to myself. After this I often went to
 him in the evening after school hours, when, sitting side by side,
 we spoke of our child in heaven, until our own loss seemed to become
 somewhat less bitter.

The following is from a brief diary of the close of that sad year—

 _October 30th._—Last night I slept uneasily. I dreamed I had my
 darling in my arms, dying; that she struggled to live for my sake,
 lived again a moment, and then died. Just then I heard a sound, a low
 voice at my door, and I sprang to my feet. It was poor Stanley (our
 second son), scarcely awake, and in a fever. I took him in my arms,
 and carried him back to his bed, from which he had come to seek my
 help. In the morning he could not swallow, and pointed to his throat.
 Dr. Ker came and said he had diphtheria. My heart sank. I wondered
 whether God meant to ask us to give up another child so soon.

His illness was very severe, and for some days he hovered between life
and death. But we were spared the added sorrow we dreaded. When he was
sufficiently recovered, it was thought better that I should go with him
abroad, to escape the winter’s cold, and for a change of scene from
that house round which clung the memory of such a tragic sorrow. My
husband and other sons came to London with us, and a pleasant and able
courier was engaged, who accompanied me and my little convalescent to
Genoa, where we had been invited by kind relatives living there.

At the end of this visit it was arranged that I should accompany my
sister to Naples, when we learned that the railway and roads were
flooded, and that travelling by land would be difficult and even
dangerous. Being unwilling to give up the long-cherished hope of a
visit to my sister’s home, I proposed that we should go by sea. My
sister, though fearing a sea voyage for me in winter, assented to the
arrangement, and as the weather was then very calm we started with good
hopes. I had not, however, realised the gravity of the shock which my
health had sustained before leaving England.

 On this voyage she was taken very seriously ill, nigh unto death. “I
 was kneeling,” writes her sister, “and rubbing her hands and feet,
 trying to warm them; and while my imagination was realising all the
 terrors, my heart was praying desperately to God that He would make a
 way of escape, that He would work a miracle for us. _And He did._ The
 three boys went away and all prayed to God to save her. After a time
 I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was the captain. He said: ‘I saw the
 other mail vessel coming north, and I have signalled her. If she sees
 us you shall go on board and return to Leghorn. Make haste!’ I drew a
 long breath and said: ‘Thank God, I think we are saved!’ I felt the
 horror melting away in a measure, and hope springing up. We rolled
 her up, and I went for the weeping children, and found the kind young
 Sicilian officer comforting them. I thanked him. He said, in Italian,
 something about the love of Christ, so kindly. I had said very little
 about her. People must have been impressed with her look, and thought
 her dying, to take such extreme measures as to stop the two Government
 steamers on the high seas.”



CHAPTER IV.

LIVERPOOL.


In the winter of 1865 my husband received one day a telegraphic message
from Mr. Parker, of Liverpool, asking him if he would be willing
to take the Principalship of the Liverpool College, vacated by the
retirement of Dr. Howson, who became Dean of Chester. He accepted the
invitation as providential, and went to Liverpool to see Mr. Parker,
the directors of the college, and others interested in the choice of
a new principal. There was no hesitation about the matter, and he was
shortly afterwards elected. Our removal to Liverpool took place in
January, 1866.

Liverpool is one of the largest seaports of the world. No greater
contrast could have been found than it presented to the academic,
intellectual character of Oxford, or the quiet educational and social
conditions at Cheltenham. Its immense population, with a large
intermingling of foreign elements, its twelve miles of docks lined
with warehouses, its magnificent shipping, its cargoes and foreign
sailors from every part of the world and from every nation of the
earth, its varieties in the way of creeds and places of worship,
its great wealth and its abject poverty, the perpetual movement,
the coming and going, and the clash of interests in its midst—all
these combined to make Liverpool a city of large and international
character, and of plentiful opportunities for the exercise of public
spirit and catholic sentiment. The college shared the characteristics
of the city in the midst of which it was set. Among its eight to nine
hundred pupils there were Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Negroes, Americans,
French, Germans, and Spaniards, as well as Welsh, Irish, Scotch and
English. These represented many different religious persuasions. A man
of narrow theological views would scarcely have found the position as
head of such a school agreeable. Firmness and simplicity of faith,
truth, charity and toleration, were qualities which were needed in
the administrator of such a little world of varied international and
denominational elements. The principalship must be held, by the rules
of the college, by a member of the Church of England, and the directors
had been happy in finding churchmen who were willing to accept the
conditions presented, and able to work well in the midst of them.
There were, as pupils at the college, the sons of two half-civilised
African kings, Oko Jumbo and Jah-Jah. Their fathers having been old and
sworn enemies, the two little fellows began their school acquaintance
with many a tussle true to the inherited instinct. They were good
boys, however, and one of them—afterwards a convinced and consistent
Christian—became a missionary among his own countrymen, in spite of
much opposition and even persecution, it was said, from his own father.

When we came to Liverpool in 1866, and my husband and sons began
their regular life at the College, going there early and returning in
the evening, I was left many hours every day alone, empty-handed and
sorrowful, the thought continually returning, “How sweet the presence
of my little daughter would have been now.” Most people, who have gone
through any such experience, will understand me when I speak of the ebb
and flow of sorrow. The wave retires perhaps after the first bitter
weeks, and a kind of placid acquiescence follows. It may be only a
natural giving way of the power of prolonged resistance of pain. Then
there comes sometimes a second wave, which has been silently gathering
strength, holding back, so to speak, in order to advance again with all
its devouring force, thundering upon the shore. But who can write the
rationale of sorrow? And who can explain its mysteries, its apparent
inconsistencies and unreasonableness, its weakness and its strength?
I suffered much during the first months in our new home. Music, art,
reading, all failed as resources to alleviate or to interest. I became
possessed with an irresistible desire to go forth and find some pain
keener than my own, to meet with people more unhappy than myself (for I
knew there were thousands of such). I did not exaggerate my own trial.
I only knew that my heart ached night and day, and that the only solace
possible would seem to be to find other hearts which ached night and
day, and with more reason than mine. I had no clear idea beyond that,
no plan for helping others; my sole wish was to plunge into the heart
of some human misery, and to say (as I now knew I could) to afflicted
people, “I understand: I too have suffered.”

It was not difficult to find misery in Liverpool. There was an immense
workhouse containing at that time, it was said, five thousand persons—a
little town in itself. The general hospital for paupers included in it
was blessed then by the angelic presence of Agnes Jones (whose work of
beneficence was recorded after her death); but the other departments in
the great building were not so well organised as they came to be some
years later. There were extensive special wards, where unhappy girls
drifted like autumn leaves when the winter approached, many of them to
die of consumption, little cared for spiritually; for over this portion
of the hospital Agnes Jones was not the presiding genius. There was on
the ground floor a Bridewell for women, consisting of huge cellars,
bare and unfurnished, with damp stone floors. These were called the
“oakum sheds,” and to these came voluntarily creatures driven by
hunger, destitution, or vice, begging for a few nights’ shelter and a
piece of bread, in return for which they picked their allotted portion
of oakum. Others were sent there as prisoners.

I went down to the oakum sheds and begged admission. I was taken into
an immense gloomy vault filled with women and girls—more than two
hundred probably at that time. I sat on the floor among them and picked
oakum. They laughed at me, and told me my fingers were of no use for
that work, which was true. But while we laughed we became friends. I
proposed that they should learn a few verses to say to me on my next
visit. I recollect a tall, dark, handsome girl standing up in our
midst, among the damp refuse and lumps of tarred rope, and repeating
without a mistake and in a not unmusical voice, clear and ringing, that
wonderful fourteenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel—the words of Jesus
all through, ending with, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give
unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
She had selected it herself, and they listened in perfect silence,
this audience—wretched, draggled, ignorant, criminal some, and wild
and defiant others. The tall, dark-haired girl had prepared the way
for me, and I said, “Now let us all kneel, and cry to that same Jesus
who spoke those words”; and down on their knees they fell every one of
them, reverently, on that damp stone floor, some saying the words after
me, others moaning and weeping. It was a strange sound, that united
wail—continuous, pitiful, strong—like a great sigh or murmur of vague
desire and hope, issuing from the heart of despair, piercing the gloom
and murky atmosphere of that vaulted room, and reaching to the heart of
God.

But I do not want to make a long story of this. The result of my visits
to the hospital and quays and oakum sheds was to draw down upon my head
an avalanche of miserable but grateful womanhood. Such a concourse
gathered round our home that I had to stop to take breath, and consider
some means of escape from the dilemma by providing some practical
help, moral and material. There were not at that time many enlightened
missions or measures in the town for dealing with the refuse of
society. There was the Catholic Refuge of the Good Shepherd, some
way in the country; an old-fashioned Protestant Penitentiary, rather
prison-like in character; another smaller refuge; and, best of all, a
Home recently established by Mrs. Cropper. But it must not be supposed
that the majority of my oakum shed friends were of a character to seek
such asylums. Many of them—and especially the Irish Catholics—prided
themselves on their virtue; and well they might, considering their
miserable surroundings—girls who for the most part earned a scanty
living by selling sand in the streets (for cleaning floors), or the
refuse of the markets to the poorest of the population. Usually they
were barefooted and bonnetless. The Lancashire women are strong and
bold. The criminals of the oakum sheds and prison, sent to “do a week”
or a month there, had most frequently been convicted of fighting and
brawling on the quays and docks, of theft or drunkenness. There was
stuff among them to make a very powerful brigade of workers in any
active good cause. But there were others—the children of intemperate
and criminal parents—who were, humanly speaking, useless, not quite
“all there,” poor, limp, fibreless human weeds. These last were the
worst of all to deal with. I had the help at this time of a widowed
sister who was visiting Liverpool, and who, in spite of very delicate
health, threw herself heroically into the effort to help this work
without a name which came upon us. We had a dry cellar in our house
and a garret or two, and into these we crowded as many as possible of
the most friendless girls who were anxious to make a fresh start. This
became inconvenient, and so in time my husband and I ventured to take a
house near our own, trusting to find funds to furnish and fill it with
inmates. This was the “House of Rest,” which continued for many years,
and developed, about the time we left Liverpool, into an incurable
hospital, supported by the town. It was there that, a little later,
women incurably ill were brought from the hospitals or their wretched
homes, their beds in hospital being naturally wanted for others.

A few months later, encouraged by the help offered by a certain number
of generous Liverpool merchants and other friends, we took a very large
and solid house, with some ground round it, to serve as an industrial
home for the healthy and active, the barefooted sand girls, and other
friendless waifs and strays. We had a good gathering of friends and
neighbours at a service which my husband held at the opening of the
industrial home. His “dedication prayer” on that occasion was very
touching, and full of kindness and heart-yearning towards the poor
disinherited beings whom we desired to gather in. This house was very
soon filled, and was successfully managed by an excellent matron, a
mother. Besides the usual laundry and other work, we were able to
set up a little envelope factory in one of the spacious rooms. This
work called out some skill and nicety, and interested the girls very
much. Several tradesmen and firms bought our envelopes at wholesale
prices, and we also supplied some private friends disposed to help us.
As chaplain, friend and adviser in these two modest institutions, my
husband showed the same fidelity and constancy which he did in every
other seriously accepted or self-imposed duty. He often said that it
was a rest and refreshment to him to visit our poor people in the
evening, and more especially on Sunday. In the House of Rest were
received “incurables” so-called (of whom not a few recovered). There
was a very peaceful atmosphere in that house answering to its name—a
spirit of repose, contentment, and even gaiety among the young inmates,
scarcely clouded even by the frequent deaths, which came generally as a
happy and not unexpected release, and were regarded by the living as a
series of fresh bonds between the family in heaven and that on earth.

Drink was the great, the hopeless obstacle which I found among them.
It was on this side that they would lapse again and again. Though it
involved no change in my own habits, I thought it was best to take the
pledge. I joined the Good Templars, who had many lodges in Liverpool.

Shortly before the creation of these two homes, we had a visit from my
sister, Madame Meuricoffre. She and her husband, with their dear little
girl, Josephine, had come from Naples to England, and had paid a visit
to our father in Northumberland. They had, a short time before, lost a
beloved child, their little Beatrice, during an outbreak of the cholera
in Naples. The surviving little girl seemed to droop after the death
of her companion. She (little Josephine) took ill on the way from the
north, and before they reached Liverpool this darling of her parents
had gone to join her beloved sister in the presence of God. The parents
came to us in deep sorrow, bringing with them the earthly remains of
their child.

My sister joined me in my visits to the sick, criminal, and outcast
women of Liverpool. We visited the wards of the great hospital
together. The strong sympathy of her loving nature quickly won the
hearts of desolate young girls, while she greatly strengthened me in
the hope that we might be able to undo some of their heavy burdens.

Among the first who came to us to our own house, to die, was a certain
Marion, who seemed to us a kind of first-fruits of the harvest, in
the gathering in of which we were to be allowed in after years to
participate. The first time I saw her was in a crowded room. Her face
attracted me: not beautiful in the common acceptation of the word,
but having a power greater than beauty; eyes full of intelligence and
penetration; a countenance at once thoughtful and frank, with at times
a wildly _seeking_ look, as if her whole being cried out, “Who will
show us any good?” She was ill, her lungs fatally attacked. I went up
to her, and with no introduction of myself said, “Will you come with
me to my home and live with me? I had a daughter once.” She replied
with a gasp of astonishment, grasping my hand as if she would never let
it go again. I brought her home, my husband supported her upstairs,
and we laid her on the couch in the pretty little spare room looking
on the garden. She lived with us, an invalid, three months, and then
died. It was difficult to suppress the thought, “If she had not been
so destroyed, what a brightness and blessing she might have been in
the world.” Untaught, unacquainted with the Scriptures till she came
to us, she mastered the New Testament so thoroughly in that brief time
that her acute questions and pregnant remarks were often a subject
of wonder to my husband, who spent a portion of almost every evening
with her in her room, conversing with and instructing her. Some of the
intellectual difficulties which assail thoughtful students occurred to
her. I witnessed many a severe struggle in her mind. She would often
say, “I will ask Mr. Butler about it this evening.” But her questions
were sometimes such as cannot be answered, except by God Himself to the
individual soul. This she knew, and through many sleepless nights her
murmured prayers were heard by her attendant, “preventing the night
watches.” My husband said her remarks concerning the nature of a true
faith sometimes strikingly resembled portions of the writings of a
well-known modern philosophical thinker, which she had never read, for
she had read nothing. I speak of her intellect, but her heart was yet
greater. What capacities for noble love, for the deepest friendship,
had been trampled under foot in that dear soul.

A well-known divine came to visit us, and hearing of our poor invalid,
kindly offered to see and converse with her. My husband and I agreed
that we would say nothing to our friend of Marion’s past life, for we
thought that, saintly man though he was, he probably had not faith
enough to do justice to her and to himself in the interview if he
had this knowledge. (There are few men whose faith comes up to that
measure.) When he joined us again downstairs his face was radiant, and
he spoke, not of any teaching or comfort which he might have conveyed
to her, but of the help and privilege it was to himself to have held
communion during a short half hour with a dying saint, so young, yet so
enlightened, and so near to God.

I recall the day of her death. It was a cold, snowy day in March. In
the morning my husband went to see her early, before going out to his
college work. She could scarcely speak, but looking earnestly at him
said, as if to reward him for all his painstaking instructions, and
guessing what he wished to know, “Yes, God is with me, sir; I have
perfect peace.” Her long death-struggle lasting twelve hours, joined
with the peace and even joy of her spirit, was very affecting. Though
it was bitterly cold, she whispered, “Open the windows, for the love of
God.” Her long black hair, thrust wildly back, was like the hair of a
swimmer, dripping with water, so heavy were the death-dews. She became
blind, and her fine intelligent eyes wandered ever, with an appealing
look, to whatever part of the room she thought I was in. Towards sunset
she murmured, “Oh, come quickly, Lord Jesus.” During that long day
she continually moved her arms like a swimmer, as if she felt herself
sinking in deep waters. Then her poor little head fell forward, a long
sigh escaped her parted lips, and at last I laid her down flat on her
little bed. My husband and sons returned from college, and we all stood
round her for a few minutes. She had become a household friend. She
looked sweet and solemn then, her head drooping to one side, and with
a worn-out look on the young frail face, but a look, too, of perfect
peace.

A few days before her death I telegraphed, at her request, to her
father, who had had no tidings of his lost child for five years. He was
an extensive farmer, well to do and honourable, living in a beautiful
district in the midland counties. We were surprised, on his arrival, to
see a very fine-looking country gentleman, as one would say, reminding
us, in his noble height and figure and dignified presence, a little of
my own father. He carried with him a valise and a handsome travelling
rug. We took him to her room and retired. Their interview was best
witnessed by God alone. After two hours or so I opened the door softly.
He was lying on a couch at the opposite side of the room from her in a
deep sleep, tired probably more by strong emotion than by his journey.
She raised her finger for silence, and with the look and action of a
guardian angel whispered, “Father is asleep.”

After her death her poor mother came to attend her funeral. I had
filled Marion’s coffin with white camelias, banking them up all round
her. With her hands crossed on her breast, and dressed as a bride for
her Lord, she looked quite lovely. I found the mother alone, kneeling
by the coffin in an agony of grief and of anger. She said (her body
rocking backward and forward with emotion), “If _that man_ could but
see her now! Can we not send for him?” And she added, “Oh, what a
difference there is in English gentlemen’s households! To think that
this child should have been ruined in one and saved in another!” Yes,
it might have been good for “that man” to have been forced to step down
from his high social position and to look upon her then, and to have
known the abyss from which she had been drawn, to the verge of which
_he_ had led her when she was but a child of fifteen.

Marion had “prophesied” to me, before she died, of hard days and a
sad heart which were in store for me in contending against the evil
to which she had fallen a victim. I recall her words with wonder and
comfort. She would say, “When your soul quails at the sight of the
evil, which will increase yet awhile, dear Mrs. Butler, _think of me_
and take courage. God has given me to you, that you may never despair
of any.”

Snow lay thickly on the ground when we laid her in her grave in the
cemetery. When we came back to the house I was trying to say something
comforting to the mother, when she stopped me and said, “My heart is
changed about it all. The bitter anger won’t come back, I think; and
what has taken it all away was the sight of Mr. Butler standing by
the grave of my child, and the words he spoke. Oh, madam,” she said,
“when I looked at him standing there in the snow, dressed in his linen
robe as white as the snow itself, and with that look on his face when
he looked up to heaven and thanked God for my daughter now among the
blessed, I could hardly refrain from falling on my knees at his feet,
for he seemed to me like one of the angels of God! I felt happy then,
almost proud, for my child. Oh, madam, I can never tell you what it was
to me to look on your husband’s face then! My heart was bursting with
gratitude to God and to him.”

There were others about the same time whom we took home, who died in
our own house, and were laid in graves side by side in the cemetery.
Of one I have a clear remembrance, a girl of seventeen only, of some
natural force of character. Her death was a prolonged hard battle with
pain and with bitter memories, lightened by momentary flashes of faint
hope. She struggled hard. We were called to her bedside suddenly one
evening. She was dying, but with a strong effort she had raised herself
to a sitting position. She drew us near to her by the appeal of her
earnest eyes, and raising her right hand high with a strangely solemn
gesture, and with a look full of heroic and desperate resolve, she
said, “_I will fight for my soul through hosts, and hosts, and hosts!_”
Her eyes, which seemed to be now looking far off, athwart the _hosts_
of which she spoke, became dim, and she spoke no more. “Poor brave
child!” I cried to her, “you will find on the other shore One waiting
for you who has fought _through all those hosts for you_, who will not
treat you as man has treated you.” I cannot explain what she meant. I
have never been quite able to understand it; but her words dwelt with
us—“through hosts, and hosts, and hosts!” She had been trampled under
the feet of men as the mire in the streets, had been hustled about
from prison to the streets, and from the streets to prison, an orphan,
unregarded by any but the vigilant police. From the first day she came
to us we noticed in her, notwithstanding, an admirable self-respect,
mixed with the full realisation of her misery. And that sense of the
dignity and worth of the true self in her—the immortal, inalienable
self—found expression in that indomitable resolution of the dying
girl: “I will fight for my soul through hosts, and hosts, and hosts!”

In the following winter my father died. On the 23rd of January, 1868,
we were summoned by a telegraphic message from my sister, Mrs. Smyttan,
who had lived with him during the last years of his life. But none of
us saw him alive again. The end had been sudden, but very tranquil. His
health was excellent to the last. On the morning of January 23rd, as he
was passing from his bedroom to his study, he sat down, feeling faint,
and raising his forefinger as if to enjoin silence, or intent upon a
voice calling him away, he died without a struggle, and apparently
without pain, in the eighty-third year of his age.

The family group which was gathered in that house of mourning was
incomplete, for many were far away. One of the sisters wrote to the
absent ones:

“Two days after our dear father’s death there was such a storm of
wind for twenty-four hours as I scarcely remember. The house shook
and heaved, and the sky was as dark as if there were an eclipse. The
river roared and the windows rattled. We all cowered over the fire,
and talked of him and of old days, trying to free ourselves from the
sad, restless impression produced by the storm. We heard a crash, and
on going upstairs found the window of the room where he lay blown in,
the glass shivered about the floor, and the white sheet which had been
thrown over the kingly corpse blown rudely away. There was something so
irreverent about it, pitiful and weird-like; but he was not disturbed
by it—he was beyond all storms, in an infinite and everlasting calm.
He looked so grand, and lay in such a majestic peace. His forehead, so
high and broad and smooth, his soft grey hair smoothed back. I was
much struck by the powerful look of his square jaw, and the union of
tenderness and strength in the whole outline of his head and face. I
felt almost triumphant about him; and yet how sorrowful such moments
are, even when one can look back with thankfulness. The sorrow is not
for one’s own loss only; the presence of death in one so dear brings
one for a moment into close relation with all the sorrows of earth.
When Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus it was not for Lazarus and his
sisters only. He saw then and felt all the bereavements which would bow
down the hearts of men to the end of time.”

The company of voluntary followers to the grave was a very large one,
all on foot. Around the tomb, where he was laid by the side of our
dear mother, there stood a large and silent gathering of children
and grandchildren, friends, servants, tenants and others. As we
passed along the vale of Tyne on our way back to Lipwood we were much
impressed by the outward results—in the high cultivation and look of
happy prosperity of the country—of a long life usefully spent. And
this feeling was shared by all the dwellers there, who, equally with
ourselves, could mark in all around them the impress of his mind and
hand. But only those who had had the happiness of his friendship and
confidence could know, with his children, how much of strength and
sweetness seemed to be gone away from earth when that great heart had
ceased to beat.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most prominent characteristics of our family life during
all these years at Liverpool was that of our common enjoyment of our
summer tours. There were circumstances which made our annual excursions
more than the ordinary tours of some holiday-makers. In the first
place, many of my own relatives were settled in different parts of the
Continent, thus giving us a personal connection with those places. In
order to pay a visit to the homes of some of them it was necessary
to cross the Alps, while other near relatives lived in France and
Switzerland.

It sometimes happens that the ordinary English traveller knows little
of the general life of the people among whom he travels, of the history
of the country, its politics, its social condition and prospects.
He is content to gather to himself enjoyment from the beauties of
Switzerland or the Tyrol, or Italy, while knowing little of the
dwellers in those beautiful lands. A wider and a richer field is open
to those who care to seek and explore it. My husband was not content
without making himself acquainted, to a considerable extent, with
the contemporary history of the countries through which we passed.
His aptitude for languages aided him in intercourse with people of
different nationalities; so that our family relationships abroad, and
our friendships with many public men, as well as humble dwellers in
continental countries, gave to our visits there a varied interest.
These vacation tours were to us like sunlit mountain tops rising from
the cloud-covered plain of our laborious life at Liverpool. Moreover,
the enthusiasm which he had, and which was shared by his sons, for
geographical and geological research, together with our modest artistic
efforts, added greatly to the interest of our travels. It was felt to
be unsatisfactory to attempt to draw mountains and rocks without
knowing something of their geological construction. During a visit
which Mr. Ruskin paid us at Liverpool, he was turning over a portfolio
of drawings done by my husband, and held in his hands for some time two
or three sketches of the Aiguilles towering above the Mer de Glace, and
other rocks and mountain buttresses in the neighbourhood of Chamounix.
He said it gave him pleasure to look at those (he being a keen observer
and student of mountain forms everywhere). “Your outlines of these
peaks, Mr. Butler,” he said, “are perfectly true: they are portraits.
Very few people are able or care to represent the forms so correctly.
For the most part artists are more anxious to produce an effective
picture, than to give precisely what they see in nature.”

Our sons inherited their father’s out-door tastes. Our summer tours
were therefore a source of the keenest enjoyment to us all. We saved up
our money for them, worked towards them, and looked forward to them as
a real happiness.

[Illustration:  _Robinson & Thompson, Photo._ 72
  [signed] Yours very truly
  George Butler]



CHAPTER V.

EDUCATION OF WOMEN.


Among the subjects concerning which my husband advanced with a quicker
and firmer step than that of the society around him in general, stands
that of the higher education of women. It may be difficult for the
present generation to realise what an amount of dogged opposition and
prejudice the pioneers of this movement had to encounter only some
twenty-five years ago. We have made such rapid strides in the direction
of women’s education, that we almost forget that our ladies’ colleges,
higher examinations, and the various honours for which women compete
so gallantly with men, are but of yesterday. Miss Clough called at our
house in Liverpool one day in 1867, to ascertain the state of mind
of the Principal of the Liverpool College in regard to the beautiful
schemes, which were even then taking shape in her fruitful brain for
the benefit of her fellow-women. I think she was heartily glad to find
herself in a house where not a shadow of prejudice or doubt existed, to
be argued down or patiently borne with until better days. My husband
even went a little further, I believe, than she did at that time,
in his hopes concerning the equality to be granted in future in the
matter of educational advantages for boys and girls, men and women.
An active propagandist work was started soon after by James Stuart,
of Trinity College, Cambridge, who made Liverpool his head-quarters
during his first experiment in establishing lectures for ladies, which
developed into the University Extension Scheme. It was arranged that
the first course should embrace four of the most important towns of the
North of England, constituting a sort of circuit. It seemed desirable
that a man of experience and weight in the educational world should
inaugurate this experiment by a preliminary address or lecture, given
to mixed audiences, in each of these four towns. My husband undertook
this task. His first address was given at Sheffield, where he was the
guest of Canon Sale, who approved heartily of the movement. Without
unnecessarily conjuring up spectres of opposition in order to dismiss
them, he carefully framed his discourse so as to meet the prejudices of
which the air, at that time, was full. It was generally imagined that
a severer intellectual training than women had hitherto received would
make them unwomanly, hard, unlovely, pedantic, and disinclined for
domestic duties, while the dangers to physical health were dolorously
prophesied by medical men and others. In concluding his inaugural
address, my husband said: “A community of women, established purposely
to educate girls and to train teachers, was not known in Christendom
till the institution of the Ursulines by Angela dà Brescia, in 1537.
So unheard of at this time was any attempt of women to organise
a systematic education for their own sex, that when Françoise de
Saintange undertook to found such a school at Dijon she was hooted
in the streets, and her father called together four doctors learned
in the laws, ‘pour s’assurer qu’instruire des femmes n’était pas un
œuvre du démon.’ Even after he had given his consent, he was afraid to
countenance his daughter, and Françoise, unprotected and unaided, began
her first school in a garret. Twelve years afterwards she was carried
in triumph through the streets, with bells ringing and flowers strewed
in her path, _because she had succeeded_. Her work lived and grew
_because it was right_. So take courage, ladies, struggling now at this
day for the right to cultivate to their full extent the faculties and
gifts which God has bestowed upon you. You must fight your own battles
still. At all times reforms in the social position of women have been
brought about by efforts of their own, for their own sex, supplemented
by men, but always coming in the first instance from themselves.”

 The visit of Miss Clough to the Butlers, already referred to, led
 to the formation at the end of 1867 of the North of England Council
 for promoting the Higher Education for Women, a body representing
 associations of school-mistresses in several large northern towns.
 Josephine Butler was President of this council from 1867 to 1873,
 and Miss Clough was Secretary for the three first strenuous years
 of its existence. The first work of the Council was to organise
 lectures for women, which had already been begun by Mr. Stuart, to
 whose genius the inception of the University Extension Movement was
 due. Mr. Stuart’s first course on astronomy was given, in the autumn
 of 1867, in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, and was
 attended altogether by five hundred and fifty women. These lectures
 were followed by other similar courses organised by the Council, and
 the idea rapidly spread. In 1868 Mr. Stuart gave his first lectures
 to working-men at Crewe. These two independent tributaries, lectures
 to women and lectures to working-men, combined into one stream,
 which grew into the University Extension system first adopted by the
 University of Cambridge in 1873. The North of England Council was one
 of the bodies which memorialised the University, at the end of 1871,
 in favour of the lecture system being taken up and put on a permanent
 basis by the University. Their memorial urged the proposal not only
 on behalf of women, but also on behalf of working-men, who had alike
 shown their desire for higher education by attending in large numbers
 the lectures already given.

 The Council also interested itself in the question of examinations for
 women, and in 1868 presented the following memorial to the University
 of Cambridge, signed by five hundred and fifty teachers, and three
 hundred other ladies:

 “We, the undersigned, being either connected with or engaged in the
 education of girls, desire to bring under your consideration the
 great want which is felt by women of the upper and middle classes,
 particularly by those engaged in teaching, of higher examinations,
 suitable to their own needs. The Local Examinations, to which by a
 Grace of the Senate, passed April, 1865, girls under eighteen have now
 for three years been admitted, have proved of the greatest advantage
 in stimulating and steadying the work in Girls’ Schools. Students
 above eighteen are not, however, admissible to these examinations,
 nor are they of a sufficiently advanced character to meet the wants
 of such students, especially of those who have adopted, or wish to
 adopt, teaching as a profession. We therefore beg that, taking into
 consideration the grave necessities of the case, you will be pleased,
 either by extending the powers of the Syndicate for conducting the
 Local Examinations, or in some other way to make provisions for such
 examinations as shall adequately test and attest the higher education
 of women.”

 Josephine Butler by her personal efforts obtained many of the
 signatures to this memorial, and herself went to Cambridge in support
 of it. Miss Clough wrote of this expedition that “the charm Mrs.
 Butler put into all the details she gave, showing the desire of women
 for help in educating themselves, made the subject, which might have
 been considered tedious, both interesting and attractive, and thus
 drew to the cause many friends.”[2]

 [2] _Memoir of Anne J. Clough_, by Miss B. A. Clough, 1903 (Edward
 Arnold) p. 129.


To friends in the North.

  _June, 1868._

 One of our friends at Cambridge amused himself with counting up the
 number of gentlemen who talked privately and kindly to me about
 it—there were forty-eight. So you see there is a great deal of
 sympathy there. It is not so easy for me to tell you what I felt,
 as what actually happened. I felt the reality of the good that must
 come from this movement. It would have pleased you, I feel sure, as
 it pleased me, to see the grave and kindly tone of these dons. I was
 talking to one elderly Professor with grey hair and a somewhat stiff
 expression, and I happened to speak of the struggle which the lives
 of many women of the middle classes is, and of the gratitude we felt
 when men of weight and real goodness came forward to help us, and
 this elderly don was deeply moved. The tears came into his eyes, and
 he could scarcely answer me. He said: “I fear we get selfish here,
 and forget how much there is of work and sorrow in the world outside
 of us.” Professor Maurice came to my room one day and talked a long
 time to me. He said at leaving: “If there is anything else which you
 and your friends think Cambridge could do to be of use, I trust you
 will suggest it; it does _us_ more good than it does to anyone else.”
 I trust that a time is coming when barriers between men and women
 and one class and another may give way before the influence of true
 Christian charity, and a desire to help and be helped.

 The memorial met with a ready response from the University by the
 establishment in the following year of the Examinations for Women,
 which a few years later were called the Higher Local Examinations, and
 were open to men as well as women.

 “These two things—the organisation in the northern towns of lectures
 given, by University men, which led to University Extension, and the
 establishment of an examination for women which led to the Cambridge
 lectures, and so to Newnham College—were the Council’s most striking
 achievements; but it had a hand in various other important educational
 enterprises.”[3]

  [3] _Ibid._ p. 131.

 For instance the Council worked hard, and with some success, in
 endeavouring to induce the Endowed Schools Commissioners to secure
 that some part of the endowments of Public Schools should be devoted
 to the education of girls. “Mrs. Butler made an able as well as
 a zealous President of the Council, and while she herself took an
 active part in almost everything that was undertaken, she also did
 good service in kindling the enthusiasm of others by her eloquence
 and enthusiasm.”[4] Although she retired from the Presidency in
 1873 on the ground of ill-health, she attended its last meetings at
 York in 1874, when she read a paper on _Economic Science as a part
 of the Education of Girls_. In that year the Council was dissolved,
 having finished its pioneer work, and feeling that the movement could
 henceforth be carried on by other organisations, which had by that
 time come into existence.

  [4] _Ibid._ p. 135.

 In 1868 Josephine Butler published her first pamphlet, _The Education
 and Employment of Women_. Starting with the census figures of 1861,
 she meets the old argument that woman’s sphere is the home, and only
 the home, by pointing out that the proportion of wives to widows
 and spinsters over twenty was only about three to two (in 1901 the
 proportion was even less), and that over three million women were
 earning or partly earning their living. This number had risen in 1901
 to over four millions. She refers to the miserable wages received by
 women workers, from the teaching profession downwards, due in part
 to the comparatively low state of education among girls, and in part
 to the restrictions upon their employment in various directions,
 both causes being ultimately traceable to the fact that “they are
 unrepresented, and the interests of the unrepresented always tend to
 be overlooked.” Hence she pleads for the higher education of women and
 the removal of all legal and other restrictions upon their employment.
 She incidentally urges the mixed education of boys and girls. As
 against the argument that the more extended employment of women would
 injure men, she prophesies, in the words of F. D. Maurice, “Whenever
 in trade or in any department of human activity restrictions tending
 to the advantage of one class and the injury of others have been
 removed, there a divine power has been at work counteracting not
 only the selfish calculations, but often the apparently sagacious
 reasonings of their defenders.” Surely this prophecy has been
 fulfilled, as it appears from the Report of the Poor Law Commission
 recently issued, that, taking a wide outlook of the whole industrial
 situation, there has been no tendency in the past twenty years for
 women workers to displace men. (Pp. 322-5.)

 In 1869 Josephine Butler edited and wrote an introduction to a volume
 of essays on _Woman’s Work and Woman’s Culture_. The essays were
 by Frances Power Cobbe, Jessie Boucherett, George Butler, Sophia
 Jex-Blake, James Stuart, Charles H. Pearson, Herbert N. Mozley, Julia
 Wedgwood, Elizabeth C. Wolstenholme, and John Boyd-Kinnear. In her
 introductory essay she lays stress on the fact that any disabilities,
 from which women suffer, cause injury and loss to men, no less than to
 women themselves. She admits that woman’s sphere is _home_, but she
 wishes the home idea to be realised in wider spheres than within the
 four walls of a single household. She pleads that to grant the demands
 of women for higher education, and for unrestricted liberty to engage
 in any employment, will tend to the restoration of true home ideals;
 first through the restored dignity of women, and secondly through the
 opening out and diffusion of the home influence and character into the
 solution of social problems, by the relegation to women of some of the
 more important work of dealing with our vast populations. This she
 illustrates in the following passage.

In the present pretty general realisation of the futility, if not
the positive harm, of many forms of private philanthropy, and the
often-repeated deprecation of meddling individuals, who pauperise the
community by their old-fashioned, lady-bountiful way of dispensing alms
and patronage, we do not perhaps quite foresee the reaction which is
setting in, with a tendency so strong in the opposite direction that it
brings us into the danger of once more missing the philosophy of the
whole matter. The tendency at present is to centralisation of rule, to
vast combinations, large institutions, and uniformity of system. I have
a doubt about any wholesale manipulation of the poor, the criminal,
scholars in schools, etc. I believe it to be so far from being founded
on a philosophical view of human nature and of society, that if
carried to extremes the last state of our poor will be worse than the
first. For the correction of the extreme tendencies of this reaction,
I believe that nothing whatever will avail but the large infusion of
home elements into workhouses, hospitals, schools, orphanages, lunatic
asylums, reformatories, and even prisons; and in order to attain
this there must be a setting free of feminine powers and influence
from the constraint of bad education, and narrow aims, and listless
homes where they are at present too often a superfluity. We have had
experience of what we may call the feminine form of philanthropy, the
independent individual ministering, of too mediæval a type to suit
the present day. It has failed. We are now about to try the masculine
form of philanthropy—large and comprehensive measures, organisations
and systems, planned by men and sanctioned by Parliament. This also
will fail if it so far prevail as to extinguish the truth to which the
other method witnessed in spite of its excesses. Why should we not try
at last a union of principles which are equally true? “It is not good
for man to be alone” was a very early announcement in the history
of the world. Neither is it good for man to work alone in any matter
whatsoever which concerns the welfare of the great human family; and
the larger the work be which he undertakes, unassisted by her whom God
gave to him for a helpmate, the more signal will be the failure in the
end.

 We quote another passage from this essay to show how here, as always,
 she founded herself on the appeal to Christ as the highest authority
 in matters of principle and of action.

The author of _Ecce Homo_ has set the example to those to whom it did
not occur to do so for themselves, of venturing straight into the
presence of Christ for an answer to every question, and of silencing
the voice of all theologians from St. Paul to this day, until we have
heard what the Master says. It may be that God will give grace to some
woman in the time to come to discern more clearly, and to reveal to
others, some truth which theologians have hitherto failed to see in its
fulness; for from the intimacy into which our Divine Master admitted
women with Himself it would seem that His communications of the deepest
nature were not confined to male recipients; and what took place during
His life on earth may, through His Holy Spirit, be continued now. It is
instructive to recall the fact that the most stupendous announcement
ever made to the world, the announcement of an event concerning which
the whole world is divided to this day, and which more than all others
is bound up with our hopes of immortality, the resurrection of Christ,
was first made to women. Nor can we wonder, looking back over the
ages since then, and seeing how any truths asserted by women, not at
once palpable to the outward sense or provable by logic, have been
accounted as idle tales, that of the first apostles it should have been
said, “The words of the women seemed unto them as idle tales,” when
they declared that Christ was risen. Among the great typical acts of
Christ, which were evidently and intentionally for the announcement
of a principle for the guidance of society, none were more markedly
so than His acts towards women; and I appeal to the open Book, and to
the intelligence of every candid student of Gospel history, for the
justification of my assertion that in all important instances of His
dealings with women His dismissal of each case was accompanied by a
distinct act of _Liberation_. In one case He emancipated a woman from
legal thraldom. His act no doubt appeared to those who witnessed it
as that of a dangerous leveller, for while He granted to the woman
a completeness of freedom from the tyranny of law which must have
electrified the bystanders, He imposed upon the men present, and upon
all men by implication, the higher obligation which they had made a
miserable attempt to enforce upon one half of society only, and the
breach of which their cruel laws visited with terrible severity on
women alone. They all went out convicted by conscience, while the
woman alone remained free; but, be it observed, free in a double
sense—free alike from the inward moral slavery, and from the harsh,
humanly-imposed judgment. The emancipation granted to another in the
matter of hereditary disabilities was signal. In a moment He struck
off chains which had been riveted by the traditions of centuries, and
raised her from the position, accepted even by herself, of a “Gentile
dog” to one higher than the highest of the commonwealth of Israel. In
another case His “Go in peace,” and words of tender and respectful
commendation to one who had been exiled from society, contrasted
solemnly with His rebuke to His self-satisfied host, who, while firmly
holding his place among the honoured of this world, marvelled that
Christ should not seem to be aware what manner of woman it was who
touched Him. To another, before ever she had spoken a word, He cried,
“Woman, thou art loosed!” and to objectors He replied, “Ought not this
woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound lo these
eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” The
tyrannies and infirmities from which He freed these persons severally
were various and manifold, and this does but increase the significance
of His whole proceeding towards them. Search throughout the Gospel
history, and observe His conduct in regard to women, and it will be
found that the word liberation expresses, above all others, the act
which changed the whole life and character and position of the women
dealt with, and which ought to have changed the character of men’s
treatment of women from that time forward.

While in His example of submission to parents, of filial duty and
affection, in His inculcation of the sacredness of marriage, and
of the duty of obedience to laws which _ought_ to be obeyed, His
righteousness far exceeded the righteousness of the Pharisees of
His own or of the present day, it seems to me impossible for anyone
candidly to study Christ’s whole life and words without seeing that the
principle of the perfect equality of all human beings was announced by
Him as the basis of social philosophy. To some extent this has been
practically acknowledged in the relations of men to men; only in one
case has it been consistently ignored, and that is in the case of that
half of the human race in regard to which His doctrine of equality was
more markedly enforced than in any other. It is no wonder that there
should be some women whose love for _this Saviour_ exceeds the love
which it is possible for any man to feel for Him, and that, retiring
from the encounter with prejudices which are apt to lurk even in the
minds of the most just and most generous of men, they should be driven
to cast themselves in a great solitude of heart before _Him_, for He
only is just, He only is holy, He only is infinitely tender.


 In the same year, 1869, Josephine Butler published the _Memoir of
 John Grey of Dilston_, a most interesting biography of a good man,
 who faithfully served his native county throughout his life, and took
 a keen interest in all the stirring political events of the first
 half of the last century. An Italian translation of this Memoir was
 published in Florence two years later.



CHAPTER VI.

WOMEN’S REVOLT.


 We now come to the period when Josephine Butler began the great work
 of her life, the crusade against the State regulation of vice. This
 system had its rise in France, being brought into operation in Paris
 by Napoleon on the eve of the establishment of the French Empire in
 1802. Other continental countries followed the example of France,
 and several attempts were made to introduce the system into England,
 but without success until 1864, when a temporary Act was passed “for
 the prevention of contagious diseases at certain naval and military
 stations.” This Act was renewed in 1866, and was further extended (to
 eighteen towns) in 1869. In other countries the system was “suffered
 to crouch away in the mysterious recesses of irresponsible police
 regulations.” England was the only country which had “had the courage
 or the audacity to launch the system in all its essential details in
 the form a public statute.”[5] This, which at first seemed a triumph
 for regulationists, proved the very reverse, since the publicity thus
 given to the matter was the starting-point of a fierce opposition
 begun in England, and afterwards spreading to the Continent, until
 it undermined the very foundations of the system. It is not indeed
 yet destroyed in continental countries, for it is hard to pull down
 structures which have stood firm for a century, but it is everywhere
 discredited; and this has come about chiefly through the heroic
 labours of Josephine Butler and her fellow-workers. In one of her
 early speeches she tells of her first call to this work.

  [5] _The Laws in force for the prohibition, regulation or licensing of
  vice in England and other countries._ By Sheldon Amos, 1877 (Stevens
  and Sons), pp. 15 and 227.

I first became acquainted with this system as it existed in Paris. I
was one of those persons—they were few, I believe—who read that very
brief debate in the House of Commons in 1866, when Mr. Henley and Mr.
Ayrton alone, but clearly and boldly, entered their protest. It was
in that year that the knowledge first broke upon me that this system,
which I had so long regarded with horror, had actually found a footing
in our England. It seemed to me as if a dark cloud were hanging on the
horizon, threatening our land. The depression which took possession of
my mind was overwhelming. A few days ago I found a record of those days
in an old manuscript book long laid aside. In turning over its leaves
I found a note of that debate in the House, the date, and a written
expression, which I had since forgotten, of a presentiment which at
that time filled my mind, that in some way or other I should be called
to meet this evil thing face to face—a trembling presentiment, which
I could not escape from, that, do what I would, I myself must enter
into this cloud. I find there recorded also a brief prayer, beseeching
that if I _must_ descend into darkness, that divine hand, whose touch
is health and strength, would hold mine fast in the darkness. I can
recollect going out into the garden, hoping that the sight of the
flowers and blue sky might banish the mental pain; but it clung too
fast for a time for any outward impression to remove it, and I envied
the sparrows upon the garden walk because they had not minds and souls
capable of torment like mine. But _now_, when I look back, I see that
the prayer has been heard, the divine hand has held mine, often when
I knew it not. And, friends, God can give more than power to bear the
pain; there is a positive _joy_ in His service, and in any warfare in
which He, who conquered sin and death and hell, goes before us, and is
our re reward.

 Before the Act of 1869 was passed, Daniel Cooper, Secretary of the
 Rescue Society, aided by a few friends, took active steps to protest
 against these laws; but, as he afterwards wrote, he “felt an almost
 utter despair in seeing that, after putting forth our pamphlet and
 writing thousands of letters imploring our legislators, clergy,
 principal public men and philanthropists to look into the question,
 such a stoical indifference remained. We felt, on hearing of your
 Association, that Providence had well chosen the means for the defeat
 of these wicked Acts. The ladies of England will save the country
 from this fearful curse, for I fully believe that through them it
 has even now had its death-blow.” Dr. Worth and Dr. Bell Taylor of
 Nottingham also raised their voice against the system early in 1869,
 and they, with the Rev. Dr. Hooppell and Francis Newman, took part in
 the first public demonstration against the Act, on the occasion of the
 Social Science Congress meeting at Bristol in October, 1869, when the
 National Anti-Contagious Diseases Acts Association was formed.

The appeal to take up this cause reached me first from a group
of medical men, who (all honour to them) had for some time been
making strenuous efforts to prevent the introduction in our land
of the principle of regulation by the State of the social evil.
The experience gained during their efforts had convinced them that
in order to be successful they must summon to their aid forces far
beyond the arguments, strong as these were, based on physiological,
scientific grounds. They recognised that the persons most insulted by
the Napoleonic system with which our legislators of that day had become
enamoured, being women, these women must find representatives of their
own sex to protest against and to claim a practical repentance from the
Parliament and Government which had flung this insult in their face.

It was on landing at Dover from our delightful summer tour in 1869,
that we first learned that a small clique in Parliament had been too
successfully busy over this work of darkness during the hot August
days, or rather nights, in a thin House, in which most of those present
were but vaguely cognisant of the meaning and purpose of the proposed
constitutional change.

During the three months which followed the receipt of this
communication I was very unhappy. I can only give a very imperfect
impression of the sufferings of that time. The toils and conflicts of
the years that followed were light in comparison with the anguish of
that first plunge into the full realisation of the villainy there is in
the world, and the dread of being called to oppose it. Like Jonah, when
he was charged by God with a commission which he could not endure to
contemplate, “I fled from the face of the Lord.” I worked hard at other
things—good works, as I thought—with a kind of half-conscious hope that
God would accept _that_ work, and not require me to go further, and
run my heart against the naked sword which seemed to be held out. But
the hand of the Lord was upon me: night and day the pressure increased.
From an old manuscript book in which I sometimes wrote I quote the
following:—

_September, 1869._—“Now is your hour, and the power of darkness.” O
Christ, if Thy Spirit fainted in that hour, how can mine sustain it?
It is now many weeks since I knew that Parliament had sanctioned this
great wickedness, and I have not yet put on my armour, nor am I yet
ready. Nothing so wears me out, body and soul, as anger, fruitless
anger; and this thing fills me with such an anger, and even hatred,
that I fear to face it. The thought of this atrocity kills charity and
hinders my prayers. But there is surely a way of being angry without
sin. I pray Thee, O God, to give me a deep, well-governed, and lifelong
hatred of all such injustice, tyranny and cruelty; and at the same time
give me that divine compassion which is willing to live and suffer long
for love to souls, or to fling itself into the breach and die at once.
This is perhaps after all the very work, the very mission, I longed for
years ago, and saw coming, afar off, like a bright star. But seen near,
as it approaches, it is so dreadful, so difficult, so disgusting, that
I tremble to look at it; and it is hard to see and know whether or not
God is indeed calling me concerning it. If doubt were gone, and I felt
sure He means me to rise in revolt and rebellion (for that it must be)
against men, even against our rulers, then I would do it with zeal,
however repulsive to others may seem the task.

Appeals continued to pour in. I read all that was sent to me, and I
vividly recalled all that I had learned before of this fatal system and
its corrupting influence in continental cities—the madness and despair
into which it drives the most despised of society, who are yet God’s
redeemed ones, and the blindness and hardness of heart which it begets
in all who approach it in its practical administration, or in any way
except in the way of uncompromising hostility. And the call seemed to
come ever more clearly.

So far I had endured in silence, I could not bear the thought of making
my dear companion a sharer of the pain; yet I saw that we must needs be
united in this as in everything else. I had tried to arrange to suffer
alone, but I could not _act_ alone, if God should indeed call me to
action. It seemed to me cruel to have to tell him of the call, and to
say to him that I must try and stand in the breach. My heart was shaken
by the foreshadowing of what I knew he would suffer. I went to him one
evening when he was alone, all the household having retired to rest.
I recollect the painful thoughts that seemed to throng that passage
from my room to his study. I hesitated, and leaned my cheek against
his closed door; and as I leaned I prayed. Then I went in, and gave
him something I had written, and left him. I did not see him till the
next day. He looked pale and troubled, and for some days was silent.
But by and by we spoke together about it freely, and (I do not clearly
recollect how or when) we agreed together that we must move in the
matter, and that an appeal must be made to the people. (Already many
members of both Houses of Parliament, bishops and responsible officials
had been appealed to, but so far in vain.) I spoke to my husband then
of all that had passed in my mind, and said, “I feel as if I must go
out into the streets and _cry aloud_, or my heart will break.” And that
good and noble man, foreseeing what it meant for me and for himself,
spoke not one word to suggest difficulty or danger or impropriety in
any action which I might be called to take. He did not pause to ask,
“What will the world say?” or “Is this suitable work for a woman?” He
had pondered the matter, and looking _straight_, as was his wont, he
saw only a great wrong, and a deep desire to redress that wrong—a duty
to be fulfilled in fidelity to that impulse, and in the cause of the
victims of the wrong; and above all he saw God, who is of “purer eyes
than to behold iniquity,” and whose call (whatever it be) it is man’s
highest honour to obey; and his whole attitude in response to my words
cited above expressed, “Go! and God be with you.”

I went forth, but not exactly into the streets, to cry aloud. I took
the train to the nearest large station—Crewe—where there is a great
manufactory of locomotives and a mass of workmen. I scarcely knew what
I should say, and knew not at all what I should meet with. A friend
acquainted with the workmen led me after work hours to their popular
hall, and when I had delivered my message, a small group of leaders
among the men bade me thrice welcome in the name of all there. They
surprised me by saying, “We understand you perfectly. We in this
group served an apprenticeship in Paris, and we have seen and know for
ourselves the truth of what you say. We have said to each other that it
would be the death-knell of the moral life of England were she to copy
France in this matter.”

From Crewe I went to Leeds, York, Sunderland and Newcastle-on-Tyne,
and then returned home. The response to our appeal from the
working-classes, and from the humbler middle class in the northern and
midland counties and in Scotland, exceeded our utmost expectations. In
less than three weeks after this first little propagandist effort, the
working-men of Yorkshire, recognised leaders in political and social
movements, had organised mass meetings, and agreed on a programme of
action, to express the adhesion of the working-classes of the north to
the cause advocated.

 Meanwhile the Ladies’ National Association for the repeal of the
 Contagious Diseases Acts had been formed towards the end of 1869, and
 on the last day of that year their solemn protest appeared in the
 _Daily News_. This protest is here given in full, because from it
 can be sufficiently gathered the nature and scope of the Contagious
 Diseases Acts, and also because it sums up the objections which were
 then and have ever since been raised by those who have strenuously
 opposed the regulation of vice involved in those Acts, and in the
 similar systems in operation in other countries; objections based upon
 the two fundamental principles of an equal moral standard for men and
 women, and of the equal treatment of men and women by the law of the
 land.

 “We, the undersigned, enter our solemn protest against these Acts.
 (1) Because, involving as they do such a momentous change in the
 legal safeguards hitherto enjoyed by women in common with men, they
 have been passed not only without the knowledge of the country, but
 unknown in a great measure to Parliament itself; and we hold that
 neither the Representatives of the People nor the Press fulfil the
 duties which are expected of them, when they allow such legislation
 to take place without the fullest discussion. (2) Because, so far
 as women are concerned, they remove every guarantee of personal
 security which the law has established and held sacred, and put
 their reputation, their freedom, and their persons absolutely in the
 power of the police. (3) Because the law is bound, in any country
 professing to give civil liberty to its subjects, to define clearly
 an offence which it punishes. (4) Because it is unjust to punish the
 sex who are the victims of a vice, and leave unpunished the sex who
 are the main cause both of the vice and its dreaded consequences; and
 we consider that liability to arrest, forced medical treatment, and
 (where this is resisted) imprisonment with hard labour, to which these
 Acts subject women, are punishments of the most degrading kind. (5)
 Because by such a system the path of evil is made more easy to our
 sons, and to the whole of the youth of England, inasmuch as a moral
 restraint is withdrawn the moment the State recognises, and provides
 convenience for, the practice of a vice which it thereby declares to
 be necessary and venial. (6) Because these measures are cruel to the
 women who come under their action—violating the feelings of those
 whose sense of shame is not wholly lost, and further brutalising
 even the most abandoned. (7) Because the disease which these Acts
 seek to remove has never been removed by any such legislation. The
 advocates of the system have utterly failed to show, by statistics
 or otherwise, that these regulations have in any case, after several
 years’ trial, and when applied to one sex only, diminished disease,
 reclaimed the fallen, or improved the general morality of the country.
 We have on the contrary the strongest evidence to show that in Paris
 and other continental cities, where women have long been outraged by
 this system, the public health and morals are worse than at home. (8)
 Because the conditions of this disease in the first instance are moral
 not physical. The moral evil, through which the disease makes its
 way, separates the case entirely from that of the plague, or rather
 scourges, which have been placed under police control or sanitary
 care. We hold that we are bound, before rushing into experiments of
 legalising a revolting vice, to try to deal with the _causes_ of
 the evil, and we dare to believe, that with wiser teaching and more
 capable legislation, those causes would not be beyond control.”

 Over one hundred and twenty names were attached to the Protest when
 it first appeared, but the number very soon reached two thousand,
 including those of Josephine Butler, Harriet Martineau, Florence
 Nightingale, Mary Carpenter, Mary Priestman, Agnes McLaren, Ursula
 Bright, Margaret Lucas, all the most prominent women in the Society of
 Friends, and many others well known in the literary and philanthropic
 world. A friendly Member of Parliament wrote:“Your manifesto has
 shaken us very badly in the House of Commons; a leading man in the
 House remarked to me, ‘We know how to manage any other opposition in
 the House or in the country, but this is very awkward for us—this
 revolt of the women. It is quite a new thing; what are we to do with
 such an opposition as this?’”

Since some have supposed that the opponents of the Acts objected to any
measures for the diminution of the special diseases in question—because
forsooth! that would involve an interference with God’s method of
punishing sin—it may be well to point out that Josephine Butler took a
very different line in her first pamphlet on the subject, _An Appeal
to the People of England_, by “an English Mother,” published early in
1870. In this she first goes over the whole ground of objections to
the arbitrary and compulsory character of the Acts in a masterly and
moving argument; and then proceeds to plead earnestly for a better and
humaner way of dealing with the matter, and in the forefront of her
proposals she places the provision of the most ample free hospital
accommodation, worked on an absolutely _voluntary_ basis, and as far
as possible by woman doctors; and she argues from experience that this
would be more likely, than any compulsory system, to lead to a decrease
of disease, while at the same time affording more hope of moral
influences prevailing, and leading to reformed lives, as well as cured
bodies.



CHAPTER VII.

COLCHESTER ELECTION.


Among our first and best helpers in our own town was my cousin, Charles
Birrell, a Baptist minister, who had a church in Liverpool. There
existed a strong friendship between him and my husband. Mr. Birrell was
a gifted man, of a dignified presence, and a beautiful countenance; he
was refined and cultivated, and was eloquent in speech. He was elected
in 1871 to be President of the Baptist Union, in which he pleaded our
cause. He had been ill, but came to our meeting at Liverpool. Early in
1870 I find in my book of scanty records—written at the time for my own
use alone—the following:—

Thank God, all doubt is gone! I can never forget Charles Birrell’s
prophetic words at our meeting yesterday concerning the future of
this work. He rose from his sick bed to speak them, and stood there,
a witness for God, pale and ill, but with a holy joy in his whole
countenance, seeing God rather than the people around him, and sending
us forth to our work with confidence. Then my husband’s benediction!
The words of those two—their prayers, their counsels—must never be
forgotten. God sent them to us to dispel all lingering doubts or
hesitation—kind, pure-hearted, unworldly men, messengers of hope and
assurance! And now it is revolt and rebellion, a consecrated rebellion
against those in authority who have established this “accursed thing”
among us. We are rebels for God’s holy laws. “What have I to do with
peace” any more? It is now war to the knife. In a battle of flesh and
blood mercy may intervene and life may be spared; but principles know
not the name of mercy. In the broad light of day, and under a thousand
eyes, we now take up our position. We declare on whose side we fight;
we make no compromise; and we are ready to meet all the powers of earth
and hell combined.

 She addressed many meetings this year besides those mentioned in
 the last chapter, travelling for the purpose over 3700 miles before
 the middle of June; and when the North of England Council held its
 meetings in that month she expressed a wish to resign the Presidency
 of that body, in order to reserve her strength and energies for her
 new work (her resignation however did not take effect, as stated on
 a previous page, until three years later). Her wish to resign is
 explained in the following speech.

I proposed at our meeting yesterday to resign the office of President
of this Council, as soon as it may be convenient to the Council to
allow me to do so. It is not because I am not deeply interested in
the cause which this Council represents. I may say I am more deeply
interested in it than ever, for I see in the education of women one of
the most ready and necessary means of freeing poorer women from the
awful slavery of which I have seen so much lately. Nor do I undervalue
the higher culture of the individual as a means towards the attainment
of the highest personal happiness. The strangely providential guidance
of all our schemes has lately been deeply impressed on my mind. We
started our educational schemes, I believe, in an honest and humble
spirit, and they appeared to us the readiest path towards aiding our
fellow-women—the distressed, the needy, and the wasted; and I believe
our labour has not been in vain. But in this, as in all our work on
earth, we needed further enlightening and teaching. Looking back on
my own experience of the past year, it appears to me as if God in His
goodness had said to me, “I approve your motive and your work; but you
are trying to lay on the topstone while there is an earthquake shaking
your foundations. You must first descend to the lowest depths before
you can safely build up.” And then He showed us a plague spot. He
showed us a deadly poison working through the wholesale, systematic,
and now legalised, degradation of women. He showed us the ready
elements for a speedy overthrow of society, which the educated would
not be able to stem. Not that our work in the cause of education has
in any sense been a failure—far from it; but we need a still larger
infusion into these noble schemes for educating the masses of the
spirit of self-sacrifice, even of martyrdom. We need to have our hearts
still more deeply penetrated with pity, and to be more resolutely bent
on making all our practical efforts tend to the revival of justice,
and of a pure and equal moral standard and equal laws. While therefore
I continue to regard the cause of education as a most sacred cause, I
come to the present meeting with a sad heart; and I only propose to
relinquish the office I now hold because I feel that God has called me
to a more painful one. All members have not the same office; all are
not called to descend to the depths of woe, and to cast in their lot
among wretched slave-gangs, in order to help the slaves to carry the
weight of their chains, if not to break them away. This work, I think,
is mine; but there is other work not less holy, which aims not less
directly at a future emancipation. But while I feel all the greater
dependence on, and deeper gratitude, to you my fellow-workers in this
Council and others, for the work you are doing, and for the work you
will do, in the cause of humanity, I am obliged to confess to you
that, for my own part, I fear I may not in future be able to give the
needful time to this work, nor to bring to it the vigour and spirit
which it demands and deserves. I wish to leave this work in abler and
freer hands. It has my deepest sympathy. It points perhaps to the most
important of all the means by which we hope, against hope, to undo the
heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free, and inaugurate a purer
and sounder national life. To keep pace however with this portion of
the great work, one requires to have the head and heart tolerably free,
and that cannot be the case with one who is called to deal with the
most miserable, to walk side by side, hand in hand, with the outcast,
the victim of our social sins, whose name one scarcely dares to name in
refined society. I have great hope, I am full of hope for the education
cause, and for the anti-slavery cause, in which we are engaged.
Nevertheless one’s very soul grows faint before the facts of 1870,
and though that faintness of soul may complete one’s fitness to be a
fellow-sufferer with the slave, it does not increase one’s fitness for
a work which requires intellectual energy.

       *       *       *       *       *

The National Association, which was daily increasing in vitality and
in boldness of operation, effectually prevented the further extension
of the system we opposed, and by means of successful contests at
by-elections—pre-eminently that of Colchester in October-November,
1870, where the Government candidate, Sir Henry Storks, was defeated
on this one question by over 400 votes—forced the Government to
look seriously into the matter. I give some prominence to this
hotly-contested election at Colchester, as it proved to be somewhat
of a turning-point in the history of our crusade. A public meeting
had been arranged for in the theatre. I was with our friends previous
to this meeting in a room in a hotel. Already we heard signs of the
mob gathering to oppose us. The dangerous portion of this mob was
headed and led on by a band of keepers of houses of prostitution in
Colchester, who had sworn that we should be defeated and driven from
the town. On this occasion the gentlemen who were preparing to go to
the meeting left with me all their valuables, watches, &c. I remained
alone during the evening. The mob were by this time collected in
force in the streets. Their deep-throated yells and oaths, and the
horrible words spoken by them, sounded sadly in my ears. I felt more
than anything pity for these misguided people. It must be observed
that these were not of the class of honest working people, but chiefly
a number of hired roughs and persons directly interested in the
maintenance of the vilest of human institutions. The master of the
hotel came in, and said in a whisper, “I must turn down the lights; and
will you, madam, consent to go to an attic which I have, a little apart
from the house, and remain there until the mob is quieter, in order
that I may tell them truly that you are not in the house?” I consented
to this for his sake. His words were emphasised at the moment by the
crashing in of the window near which I sat, and the noise of heavy
stones hurled along the floor, the blows from which I managed to evade.
Our friends returned in about an hour, very pitiful objects, covered
with mud, flour, and other more unpleasant things, their clothes torn,
but their courage not in the least diminished. Mr. James Stuart, who
had come purposely during the intervals of his duties at Cambridge to
lend his aid in the conflict, had been roughly handled. Chairs and
benches had been flung at him and Dr. Baxter Langley; and a good deal
of lint and bandages was quickly in requisition; but the wounds were
not severe.

I should have prefaced my recollections of this election conflict
by saying that on our first arrival in Colchester we went, as was
our wont, straight to the house of a Quaker family. Mrs. Marriage,
a well-known member of the Society of Friends, received us with the
utmost cordiality and self-possession. At her suggestion we began our
campaign with a series of devotional meetings, gathering together
chiefly women in groups, to ask of God that the approaching events
might be over-ruled for good, and might open the eyes of our Government
to the vital nature of the cause for which we were incurring so much
obloquy. Among the women who helped us most bravely were Mrs. King and
Mrs. Hampson; there were also many others.

I may be excused, perhaps, for mentioning an amusing incident of the
election. I was walking down a by-street one evening after we had held
several meetings with wives of electors, when I met an immense workman,
a stalwart man, trudging along to his home after work hours. By his
side trotted his wife, a fragile woman, but with a fierce determination
on her small thin face; and I heard her say, “Now you know all about
it; if you vote for that man Storks, Tom, _I’ll kill ye_!” Tom
seemed to think that there was some danger of her threat being put
in execution. This incident did not represent exactly the kind of
influence which we had entreated the working women to use with their
husbands who had votes, but I confess it cheered me not a little.


 To her sons.

  COLCHESTER, _Nov., 1870_.

 I have tried several hotels; each one rejects me after another. At
 last I came to a respectable Tory hotel, not giving my name. I had
 gone to bed very tired, and was dropping asleep, when I heard some
 excitement in the street, and a rap at my door. It was the master
 of the hotel. He said, “I am sorry, madam, I have a very unpleasant
 announcement to make.”“Say on,” I replied. He said, “I find you
 are Mrs. Josephine Butler, and the mob outside have found out that
 you are here, and have threatened to set fire to the house unless I
 send you out at once.” I said, “I will go immediately. But how is
 it that you get rid of me when you know that though I am a Liberal
 I am practically working into the hands of Colonel Learmont, the
 Conservative candidate?” He replied, “I would most gladly keep you,
 madam; undoubtedly your cause is a good one, but there is a party
 so much incensed against you that my house is not safe while you
 are in it.” He saw that I was very tired, and I think his heart was
 touched. He said, “I will get you quietly out under another name, and
 will find some little lodging for you.” I packed up my things, and
 he sent a servant with me down a little by-street to a small private
 house of a working-man and his wife. Next day I went to the C—— Inn,
 the head-quarters of our party. It was filled with gentlemen, in an
 atmosphere of stormy canvassing. The master of the inn whispered to
 me, “Do not let your friends call you by your name in the streets.” A
 hurried consultation was held as to whether our party should attempt
 to hold other public meetings or not. It seemed uncertain whether we
 should get a hearing, and it was doubtful, if I personally would be
 allowed by the mob to reach the hall where we had planned to hold a
 women’s meeting. Some of the older men said, “Do not attempt it, Mrs.
 Butler; it is a grave risk.” For a moment a cowardly feeling came over
 me as I thought of you all at home; then it suddenly came to me that
 now was just the time to trust in God, and claim His loving care;
 and I want to tell you, my darlings, how He helped me, and what the
 message was which He sent to me at that moment. I should like you
 never to forget it, for it is in such times of trial that we feel Him
 to be in the midst of us—a living Presence—and that we prove the truth
 of His promises. As I prayed to Him in my heart, these words came
 pouring into my soul as if spoken by some heavenly voice: “I will say
 of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I
 trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and
 from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers,
 and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield
 and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for
 the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in
 darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand
 shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it
 shall not come nigh thee. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my
 refuge, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall
 any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge
 over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm xci.) Are they not
 beautiful words? I felt no more fear, and strong in the strength of
 these words I went out into the dark street with our friends.

 The London Committee had commissioned the two Mr. Mallesons to come
 down to help us. I like them much, they are so quiet and firm. Someone
 had also sent us from London twenty-four strong men of the sandwich
 class as a body-guard. I did not care much about this “arm of flesh.”
 It was thought better that these men should not keep together or be
 seen, so they were posted about in the crowd near the door of the
 hall. Apparently they were yelling with the regulationist party, but
 ready to come forward for us at a given signal. The two Mr. Mallesons
 managed cleverly, just as we arrived, to mislead the crowd into
 fancying that one of themselves was Dr. Langley, thus directing all
 their violence of language and gestures against themselves. Meanwhile
 Mrs. Hampson and I slipped into the hall in the guise of some of the
 humbler women going to the meeting. I had no bonnet or gloves, only
 an old shawl over my head, and looked quite a poor woman. We passed
 safely through crowded lines of scoundrel faces and clenched fists,
 and were unrecognised. It was a solemn meeting. The women listened
 most attentively while we spoke to them. Every now and then a movement
 of horror went through the room when the threats and groans outside
 became very bad. At the close of the meeting some friend said to me
 in a low voice, “Your best plan is to go quietly out by a back window
 which is not high from the ground, while the mob is waiting for you
 at the front.” The Mallesons and two friendly constables managed
 admirably. They made the mob believe I was always coming, though I
 never came. Mrs. Hampson and I then walked off at a deliberate pace
 from the back of the hall, down a narrow, quiet, star-lit street.
 About thirty or forty kind, sympathising women followed us, but had
 the tact to disperse quickly, leaving us alone. Neither of us knew the
 town, and we emerged again upon a main street, where the angry cries
 of the mob seemed again very near. I could not walk any further,
 being very tired, and asked Mrs. Hampson to leave me, and try to find
 a cab. She pushed me into a dark, unused warehouse, filled with empty
 soda-water bottles and broken glass, and closed the gates of it. I
 stood there in the darkness and alone, hearing some of the violent men
 tramping past, never guessing that I was so near. Presently one of
 the gates opened slightly, and I could just see in the dim light the
 poorly-clad, slight figure of a forlorn woman of the city. She pushed
 her way in, and said in a low voice, “Are you the lady the mob are
 after? Oh, what a shame to treat a lady so! I was not at the meeting,
 but I heard of you, and have been watching you.” The kindness of this
 poor miserable woman cheered me, and was a striking contrast to the
 conduct of the roughs. Mrs. Hampson returned saying, “There is not a
 cab to be seen in the streets.” So we walked on again. We took refuge
 at last in a cheerfully lighted grocer’s shop, where a very kind,
 stout grocer, whose name we knew—a Methodist—welcomed us, and seemed
 ready to give his life for me. He installed me amongst his bacon, soap
 and candles, having sent for a cab; and rubbing his hands, he said,
 “Well, this is a capital thing; here you are, safe and sound!” We
 overheard women going past in groups, who had been at the meeting, and
 their conversation was mostly of the following description: “Ah, she’s
 right; depend upon it, she’s right. Well, what a thing! Well, to be
 sure! I’m sure I ’ll vote for her whenever I have a vote!” I have now
 got to my lodgings in the working-man’s house, which are very small,
 but clean. I hope to be with you on Saturday. What a blessed Sunday it
 will be in my quiet home.

My husband had personal friends in the Government, and on most
questions he sympathised with their policy; it was the more painful
therefore to have to maintain a prominent position personally in the
perpetual attack and protest on this question. He was often reminded
by cautious friends of the very distant prospect of any possible
retirement from school work which he must now contemplate, so far as
that retirement (or promotion of any kind) depended on the goodwill
of those then in power. He perfectly understood this from the first,
and his experience for many years from this time was that of an ever
receding prospect in that direction. He continued to speak and write
for the just cause whenever opportunity presented itself, patiently
wearing his harness as a laborious schoolmaster for twelve long years
after this date. Though it was a trial to him to be at variance in any
way with personal friends or public men whom he regarded with esteem,
yet it was not possible for him to set motives of policy or his own
private interests above fidelity to a cause and a principle which he
considered vital.

In March, 1871, I was called to give evidence before the Royal
Commission which had been appointed. I was not fully aware until
recently, when looking over his letters, how his tender solicitude for
me had followed me in all my endeavours, in every varying circumstance.
His duties at the Liverpool College forbade him accompanying me to
London on this occasion; and even if this had not been the case, he
would not have been allowed to remain with me during the examination in
the House of Lords. He had, unknown to me, written to the Chairman of
the Commission, Mr. Massey, commending me to his kindly consideration.
For it was a formidable ordeal, being, as I was, the only woman
present before a large and august assembly of peers, bishops, members
of Parliament, representatives of the military and naval services,
doctors, and others; my questioners being in a large majority hostile,
and the subject serious and difficult. On the morning before I
was called I received a number of letters, addresses of sympathy,
and notices of united prayer for my support from associations of
working-men in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, and
many other towns.

 Several of these letters from working-men were published under the
 title of _Vox Populi_.


 To her husband.

  _March, 1871._

 It is over. It was even a severer ordeal than I expected. It was
 distressing to me, owing to the hard, harsh view which some of these
 men take of poor women, and of the lives of the poor generally. They
 had in their hands and on the table everything I have ever written on
 the subject, and reports of all my addresses, marked and turned down;
 and some of the Commissioners had carefully selected bits which they
 thought would damage me in examination. Frederick Maurice was not
 present, I am sorry to say; but Mr. Rylands, Mr. Mundella, and above
 all Sir Walter James, I felt, were my friends. The rest were certainly
 not so. To compare a very small person with a great one, I felt rather
 like Paul before Nero, very weak and lonely. But there was One who
 stood by me. I almost felt as if I heard Christ’s voice bidding me not
 to fear. I handed to the Chairman a large packet of the letters and
 resolutions from working-men. He said, “We may as well see them; for
 no doubt that class takes some little interest in the question.” I
 should think so! Let them wait till election times, and they will see!
 One of the Commissioners asked, “Are these _bonâ-fide_ working-men?” I
 replied, “Yes, and well-known men. There is more virtue in the country
 than you gentlemen in high life imagine.” He then asked, “If these
 laws were put in operation in the north, do you believe they would be
 forcibly resisted?” I replied, “I do.”


 To her husband.

  _March, 1871._

 I shall be so glad to get back to you, and to breathe fresher air. I
 am sure your prayers have been heard in regard to my evidence before
 the Commission. I don’t think I did justice to the Commissioners in
 my first letter to you. I was so tired and depressed and dissatisfied
 with myself after the long ordeal, that I saw it all through rather
 a dark medium. But now I am full of thankfulness to God. I think I
 may quote to you what Mr. Rylands said to-day to Mr. Duncan McLaren
 and others: “I am not accustomed to religious phraseology, but I
 cannot give you any idea of the effect produced except by saying that
 the influence of the Spirit of God was there. Mrs. Butler’s words
 and manner were not what the Commission expected; and now some of
 them begin to take a new view of what they have hitherto called the
 ‘religious prejudice.’” He added that Lord Hardwicke came to speak
 to him afterwards, and that he seemed moved, and said, “If this is
 a specimen of the strength of conviction in the country on moral
 questions, we must reconsider our ways.” I tell you all this, dear
 husband, that we may learn more and more to wait upon God, who hears
 prayer. I spent yesterday with dear Fanny in her rooms. Home to-morrow.



CHAPTER VIII.

APPEAL TO MAGNA CHARTA.


 Josephine Butler’s publications in 1871 included _Sursum Corda_,
 the substance (much expanded) of a speech delivered at the annual
 meeting of the Ladies’ National Association, two _Addresses_ delivered
 at Croydon and at Edinburgh respectively, and _The Constitution
 Violated_, the most solid and weighty of all her utterances on the
 Contagious Diseases Acts. The main argument of the last mentioned work
 is given in the following pages.

The enactments called the Contagious Diseases Acts, passed respectively
in 1866 and 1869, may be regarded from several points of view. With
their medical aspect and the statistical consideration of their results
on public health it is not my intention to deal. It has been dwelt on
by other people and in other places fully.

The moral side of the question is undoubtedly the most important, and
has been dwelt upon by the religious portion of the community, almost
to the exclusion of others, although it may be truly said that it of
necessity includes all others.

There is however one aspect of the question which has not been
sufficiently set forth, that is, the constitutional aspect, including
the effect which such legislation must have on our social and moral
life as a nation, from a political point of view.

I am convinced that the people of this country are as yet but very
partially awakened to the tremendous issues involved in the controversy
before us, considered as a matter of constitutional rights; therefore
it is that I venture, though I am no lawyer, to bring before them its
extreme importance under that aspect. For this time of agony for the
patriot, who can in any degree foresee the future of that country which
violates the eternal principles of just government, drives many of
us, unlearned though we be, to search the annals of our country, to
enquire into past crises of danger, and the motives and character of
the champions who fought the battles of liberty, with that keenness and
singleness of purpose with which, in the agony of spiritual danger, the
well-nigh shipwrecked soul may search the Scriptures of God, believing
that in them he has eternal life.

On the occasion of an infringement of a constitutional principle by
Parliament itself, a century ago, Lord Chatham, when urging the House
of Lords to retrace this fatal step, used the following words: “If I
had a doubt upon this matter, I should follow the example set us by the
most reverend bench, with whom I believe it is a maxim, when any doubt
in point of faith arises, or any question of controversy is started, to
appeal at once to the greatest source and evidence of our religion—I
mean the Holy Bible. The Constitution has its political Bible also,
by which, if it be fairly consulted, every political question may and
ought to be determined. Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights, and the
Bill of Rights form that code which I call the Bible of the English
Constitution. “[6]

[6] Speech of the Earl of Chatham on the exercise of the judicature in
matters of election, 1763.

In following out this advice of Lord Chatham, it is to these
authorities that I wish to appeal in determining the exact nature
of those principles of the Constitution which I assert have been
violated. I am aware that in doing so I may incur criticism on account
of my ignorance of legal terms and definitions, and on account of
unskilfulness in the arrangement of the matter before me. I shall be
satisfied however, if I succeed in commending my subject to those to
whom I particularly address myself—I mean the working men and working
women of England. Neither they nor I have had a legal training, but
we may alike possess a measure of that plain English common sense
which, to quote again Lord Chatham’s words, is “the foundation of
all our English jurisprudence,” which common sense tells us that “no
court of justice can have a power inconsistent with, or paramount to,
the known laws of the land, and that the people, when they choose
their representatives, never mean to convey to them a power of
invading the rights or trampling upon the liberties of those whom they
represent.”[7] Further on in this essay I shall show that Parliament,
in making the Contagious Diseases Acts, has invaded and trampled on the
liberties of the people.

 [7] _Lord Chatham’s Speeches._

Among the clauses in Magna Charta, there is one upon which the
importance of all the others hinges, and upon which the security
afforded by the others practically depends. This clause, and the
supplementary clause which follows it, have been those whose subject
has formed, more than any other, matter and occasion for the great
battles fought for English liberty and right since the charter was
signed by King John.

They are the thirty-ninth and fortieth clauses of King John’s Charter,
and the twenty-ninth of that of King Henry III, and are as follows:—

 39. NO FREEMAN SHALL BE TAKEN, OR IMPRISONED, OR DISSEISED, OR
 OUTLAWED, OR BANISHED, OR ANYWAYS DESTROYED, NOR WILL WE PASS UPON
 HIM, NOR WILL WE SEND UPON HIM, UNLESS BY THE LAWFUL JUDGMENT OF HIS
 PEERS, OR BY THE LAW OF THE LAND.

 40. WE WILL SELL TO NO MAN, WE WILL NOT DENY TO ANY MAN EITHER JUSTICE
 OR RIGHT.

“These clauses are the crowning glories of the great charter.”[8]
Mr. Hallam calls them its “essential clauses,”[9] being those which
“protect the personal liberty and property of all freemen, by giving
security from arbitrary imprisonment and spoliation.”[10] The same high
authority observes that these words of the great charter, “interpreted
by any honest court of law, convey an ample security for the two
main rights of civil society.” The principles of this clause of the
great charter, which, if we look backwards, are lost in antiquity,
were subsequently confirmed and elucidated by statutes and charters
of the reign of Henry III and Edward III entitled “confirmationes
cartarum.”“The famous writ of Habeas Corpus was framed in conformity
with the spirit of this clause; that writ, rendered more actively
remedial by the statute of Charles II, but founded upon the broad basis
of Magna Charta, is the principal bulwark of English liberty, and if
ever temporary circumstances, or the doubtful plea of necessity, shall
lead men to look on its denial with apathy, the most distinguishing
characteristic of our constitution will be effaced. “[11] The same
powerful testimony is given by De Lolme, Guizot and De Tocqueville.

 [8] Creasy, _English Constitution_, p. 148.

 [9] _Middle Ages_, chap. ii, p. 324.

 [10] _Ibid._

 [11] _Ibid._

It is precisely these very clauses, thus endearingly eulogised by these
great historians and lawyers of various nations, which stand violated
both in letter and in principle by the Contagious Diseases Acts.

It is not requisite for my purpose to enter into a critical examination
of each of the words and phrases of the great clause of Magna Charta
referred to, nor even to quote a selection of comments on these words
and phrases from the voluminous writings which exist on the subject.
There are two expressions however, as to the meaning of which I shall
make a few remarks. The first, as bearing more particularly on the
subject in hand, viz. the phrase “or anyways destroyed,” and the
second, the words “by the law of the land,” in order that I may with
respect to these words correct a misunderstanding which may arise
in the mind of a reader who reads them without the light of those
subsequent comments and charters which have elucidated Magna Charta.

As to the first phrase, Blackstone, as well as other writers, gives a
very wide signification to this word “destroy,” and in general terms
it may be said that they agree in understanding that these words of
the charter sternly forbid any proceeding on the body of an accused
person unless after trial by jury. If it were possible for me here
to describe in detail that proceeding which the Acts in question
sanction upon the body of a person suspected or accused, who has been
condemned without any jury trial, no further words of mine would be
needed to convince my readers that this proceeding comes within the
scope of that word “destroy.” The expression in Magna Charta, “We will
destroy no one unless by the judgment of his peers,” is by the great
lawyers interpreted to mean that no proceeding of any kind whatever
of a compulsory nature shall be permitted on the person of anyone
except after jury trial. Blackstone and others, to make the matter more
plain, minutely define those cases in which alone this prohibition
of Magna Charta may be set aside, viz. in the punishment of young
children by their parents, and of pupils by their masters, but even
these were to be kept within the bounds of decency and humanity. I
will only quote the words of De Lolme[12] on this subject: “Thus it
was made one of the articles of Magna Charta, that the executive power
should _not touch the person of the subject_, but in consequence of a
judgment passed upon him by his peers; and so great was afterwards the
general union in maintaining this law, that the trial by jury which
so effectually secures the subject against all the attempts of power,
even against such as may be made under the sanction of the judicial
authority, hath been preserved till this day.”

 [12] _De Lolme on the Constitution_, p. 354.

The words “by the law of the land” have been taken by some not to
refer to jury trial. Attempts have been made to justify illegal
proceedings by this interpretation. This has given rise to arguments
and enactments, by means of which the relation of these words to jury
trial has been settled beyond dispute. And it is these arguments and
enactments which, as much as anything else, have thrown light on the
ancient institution of jury trial, and have confirmed, as a lasting and
inalienable part of the Constitution, this ancient “law of the land.”
One of the most marked discussions on this subject, ending with the
establishment of the principle which we have laid down, that jury trial
is the one constitutional form of trial recognised in Magna Charta,
took place in the reign of Charles I, when Judge Selden, at the time of
the arrest of the five members, made a famous speech, pleading for the
release of Sir E. Hampden from illegal imprisonment, on the ground that
these words, “by the law of the land,” showed that it was illegal to
imprison him by any other method than that of jury trial.

We who have combined to oppose this legislation maintain that this Act
is unconstitutional, because it submits a case, in which the result
is to the party concerned of the most enormous consequence, to trial
without jury. We are well aware, while making this statement, that
there is a class of cases in England which at this present time are
tried without a jury. But these cases are what are called “minor
cases.” Now we maintain that a woman’s honour is a point of very grave
importance to her, and that no State can thrive in which it is not
regarded as a very sacred question. And we maintain that a case which
is to decide as to the question of a woman’s honour is by no means,
nor by any stretch of language or imagination, capable of being called
a “minor case.” We therefore maintain that this law, which places the
determination of the fact as to a woman’s honour solely in the hands
of a single justice of the peace, is as great an infringement of
constitutional right as if the determination of the fact as to whether
a man were guilty of murder or not were placed in the hands of a single
justice of the peace. We maintain absolutely that to deprive of jury
trial a woman whose honour is the subject in question is a breach of
the English Constitution, as fundamentally expressed in that clause of
Magna Charta, of which we have already pointed out the importance: “We
will condemn no one except by the judgment of his peers.”

In answer to our objections to these Acts, it is utter vanity and folly
in anyone to plead that they apply only to women who are prostitutes.
Can it be supposed that there is any man in England so foolish as
to think that the safeguards of English law exist for the sake of
the guilty only? They exist for the sake of the innocent, who may be
falsely accused, as well to protect them when accused, as to lessen
the chances of unjust accusation. And can it be supposed that we are
so blind as ever to be able to fancy that it is impossible that under
this law an innocent woman may be accused? On the contrary, it is
obvious that the question of a woman’s honour is one in which mistaken
accusations are peculiarly likely to occur.

For the rich and great there may be little danger in dispensing with
jury trial in this particular instance. As there are classes in
society whose position and wealth place them above any chance of being
erroneously accused of theft, so there are classes whose position,
wealth and surroundings place the women belonging to them equally
above any chance of being erroneously accused of being prostitutes.
To this fact we may probably trace the apathy and indifference of so
many of the upper classes to the passing of the Contagious Diseases
Acts, and the urbanity with which they assure us that our fears are
ungrounded, and that the operation of these Acts can seldom err. Again
we must quote the words of Junius: “Laws are intended not to trust to
what men will do, but to guard against what they may do.” But at the
same time can we accept the assurance that the action of the officials
who carry out these Acts will never be in error? We certainly cannot.
Ladies who ride in their carriages through the streets at night are in
little danger of being molested. But what of working women? What of the
daughters, sisters, wives of working men, out, it may be on an errand
of mercy, at night? And what most of all of that girl whose father,
mother, friends are dead, or far away, who is struggling hard in a hard
world to live uprightly and justly by the work of her own hands,—is she
in no danger from this law? Lonely and friendless and poor, is she in
no danger of a false accusation from malice or from error, especially
since one clause of the Act particularly marks out _homeless_ girls
as just subjects for its operation? And what has she, if accused, to
rely on, under God, except that of which this law has deprived her, the
appeal to be tried “by God and my country, by which she is understood
to claim to be tried by a jury, and to have all the judicial means of
defence to which the law entitles her.”[13]

 [13] De Lolme, p. 171.

We have been reproached for making this question a class question.
We accept the reproach, if reproach it be, because we say that it is
a question for the poor rather than for the rich. It was not we who
initiated this distinction, but the majority of the upper classes
soon taught us that they considered it no question of theirs. They
told us plainly that the subject was too unpleasant to be treated as
one of public interest. But while with this plea they endeavoured to
silence us, we found that they generally lent the weight of their
influence, and not always apathetically or ignorantly, to the promotion
of this legislation. To them this legislation involved no present
and immediate diminution of freedom for themselves, and they seem
to have been blindly ignorant, or selfishly forgetful, that their
children and children’s children would be, as well as the children of
the poor, inheritors of the fatal consequences of violated liberties,
and that the chains which they now weave for others will in time
entangle themselves. But when we turned to the humbler classes we
found that they knew that it is a question for them, and that they,
more intelligent in this than the upper classes, knew that it was
also a question for this whole country of England, whose political
liberty depends on the preservation of the rights of all. “The trial
by jury ever has been,” says Blackstone,[14] “and I trust ever will
be, looked upon as the glory of the English law. It is the most
transcendent privilege that any subject can enjoy or wish for, that
he cannot be affected in his property, his liberty, or his person
but by the unanimous consent of twelve of his neighbours and equals,
a constitution that I may venture to affirm has, under Providence,
secured the just liberties of this nation for a long succession of
ages.”

 [14] Blackstone, book iii, p. 378.

I cannot therefore but regard the present as a crisis as great as any
crisis through which this nation has ever passed. This country was
once called on to decide whether it would permit the king, for his
satisfaction, to override this thirty-ninth clause of Magna Charta,
and it decided most emphatically that he should not. It is now called
on to decide whether it will permit Parliament itself, for the sake of
the lusts of certain men, to override this same clause. It remains for
the people of England to decide this question, and a very solemn choice
is given to you, my countrymen, at this moment: Are these men to have
protection in their vices, or will you retain your liberties? If any of
my readers then came to the consideration of this matter with the idea
that there might be something to be said for this law medically, and
that though there might be something undefinedly wrong in it, yet it
embodied at least a benevolent intention, let him then remember that he
has, at the next election, to answer for himself and his country: Shall
we have liberty in lust, or shall we have political freedom? We cannot
retain both.

 Early in 1872 the Home Secretary, Mr. Bruce, introduced a Bill to
 repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts, and to substitute provisions
 dealing with the subject in a different manner. Some opponents of
 the Acts at first were inclined to accept this compromise, but
 Josephine Butler issued a _Letter on the subject of Mr. Bruce’s
 Bill_, and a leaflet entitled, _A Few Words addressed to True-hearted
 Women_, in which she closely examined the measure, and showed that
 it was really open to the same moral and other objections that had
 been raised against the Acts which it was intended to replace. The
 agitation against the Bill, which was thus roused, led to its ultimate
 withdrawal. In this year also she published another pamphlet, _The New
 Era_, dealing with the fight against the regulation system in Berlin,
 the lessons to be learned from past failure, and the source from which
 hope for the future was to be derived.

 The repealers at this period took part in several by-elections,
 notably that at Pontefract, when scenes of greater violence than
 those at Colchester occurred, showing the fierce feelings roused by
 this moral controversy. We cannot attempt to record the whole course
 of the seventeen years’ struggle, to notice the separate leagues
 and societies formed to oppose the Acts, the large number of public
 meetings, petitions to Parliament, and other active measures taken
 by the Abolitionists; but some idea of the vigour of the fight may
 be gathered from the fact that in one year, 1873, over two hundred
 and fifty public meetings were held, besides fifteen important
 conferences, at most of which Josephine Butler took a leading part.

In spite of great encouragements now and again, we were from year to
year forced to confess that the prospect of victory was much more
distant than we at first imagined. Looking back over those years,
we can now see the wisdom of God in allowing us to wait so long for
the victory. For the mere legislative reform, or rather undoing and
repairing, which was our immediate object, was but a small part of the
great and vital movement which it was His design to create and maintain
for the purifying of the nations; and if we had obtained a speedy
triumph there would not have been that great awakening of consciences
which we have witnessed, resulting in practical and lasting reforms.
At times the struggle between opposing principles was very severe; and
hostile criticisms, censures—public and private—accusations, invective,
and bitter words fell upon us at certain crises as thickly as the
darts of Apollyon on Christian’s armour at the entrance of the dark
valley. Motives of the worst kind were sometimes imputed, among the
most frequent being that of a lurking sympathy, not with the sinners
alone, but with their most hateful sins. A certain class of our enemies
thought themselves happy, it seemed, in inventing a dart which they
believed would strike home in our own case; they sought diligently to
spread an impression that some tragic unhappiness in our married life
was the impelling force which had driven me from my home to this work,
and coarse abuse was varied by hypocritical expressions of pity and
sympathy.

But they were the most unworthy alone—the lewd fellows of the baser
sort naturally—by whom this kind of scourging was inflicted or
attempted. It only had the effect of strengthening our indifference
to all selfish, impure, and interested opposition, and of deepening
our thankfulness for the good gifts of peace and unity of heart in our
home. Such manifestations however taught us much of the deeper meanings
of these “signs of the times.” Much more serious practically was the
opposition of honourable opponents, men of education, high character
and honesty, who in some cases had openly given their names in favour
of a principle and a measure which happily many of them learned to
regard later with suspicion and abhorrence.

On May 21st, 1873, the first debate and division in Parliament took
place on our question, which had been courageously and ably pioneered
in the House of Commons by William Fowler, a member of the Society
of Friends, and which afterwards (when Mr. Fowler lost his seat for
Cambridge) was taken in hand with equal ability and courage by Sir
Harcourt Johnstone. My husband congratulated me and himself heartily on
the division. The majority against us was 137, yet he could rejoice!
And justly so, for in counting up our probable friends in the House we
had not dared to hope that we should have as many as those who actually
voted for us, viz. 128.

It was on this occasion that old Mr. Henley spoke in the House of
Commons the following solemn words (respect for his personal character
caused members on both sides of the House to listen in perfect silence,
a silence so great that though his voice was feeble all he said was
distinctly heard): “It is complained,” he said, “that this agitation is
carried on by women; but we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that women
are most affected by this legislation. We men do not know what women
suffer. Unless they tell us, we cannot know. In this matter women have
placed their feet upon the ‘Rock of Ages,’ and nothing will force them
from their position. They knew full well what a cross they would have
to bear, but they resolved to take up that cross, despising the shame.
It was women who followed Christ to His death, and remained with Him
while others forsook Him, and there are such women amongst us now.”

In a division on the question of Women’s Suffrage, which occurred about
this time, Mr. Henley, who had till then been opposed to granting the
parliamentary franchise to women, voted in favour of it, and spoke a
few very touching words. He told me, that the experience he had now
had of the injustice, which Parliament (not excluding the good men in
Parliament) is capable of inflicting on women, had convinced him that
they (women) must labour for and obtain direct representation on equal
terms with men.



CHAPTER IX.

MISSION TO CONTINENT.


On the 25th of June, 1874, a few friends of the Abolitionist cause
met to confer together at York. All were filled with a profound sense
of the solemnity of the purpose which had brought them together. It
was a time of deep depression in the work. Those who were present
fully recognised the powerful array of organised forces against which
they had to contend; they were filled with a kind of awe in the
contemplation of those forces, and the magnitude of the difficulties
with which they were called to grapple. At the same time everyone of
the group seemed animated by a deep and certain conviction that the
cause would triumph. The circumstances under which this conference
took place were such as to call strongly for the exercise of that
faith which alone can animate reformers to contend against a sudden
increase of an evil, at whose destruction they aim. The voice of the
Abolitionist had for a time been partially stilled by the clash of
parties in the General Election. For a time even the most energetic
workers were unable to see what steps for the continuance of the work
could most effectively be taken. Having hitherto felt themselves
engaged in a battle for the abolition of the State sanction of vice
in Great Britain only, they had become aware that a large and
powerful organisation on the Continent was seeking to increase the
efficacy of the vice regulations, and for that purpose was appealing
confidently to England to take the lead in organising, under all the
Governments of Europe, an international scheme for the application of
these regulations to every country, and to every seaport throughout
the world. After a period of silence for united prayer, the Rev. C.
S. Collingwood, Rector of Southwick, Sunderland, addressed the little
group around him in words which have never been forgotten by those
who passed through the trial of faith of that year—words which were
assuredly inspired by God, and were His message to us at that period of
anxious suspense.

In the course of the speech he said: “Our ceasing to be heard in
Parliament for a time, or in the Press, or by public meetings, means
necessarily so much clear gain to the other side. We have a most solemn
charge, and cannot even maintain our ground except on the condition of
ceaseless warfare. Much of the hostile pressure comes from abroad, and
we shall do well to consider the propriety of carrying the war into
the enemy’s country by establishing relations with leading and earnest
opponents of the regulation of sin, say in France, Belgium, Prussia,
Italy, etc., and stimulating opposition in these countries, and perhaps
holding our own international congress. There can be no doubt that
in all the countries subjected to this degrading system a few sparks
would create a great fire of indignation and revolt against the immoral
system. When Granville Sharp, in 1772, obtained the famous decision
that a slave is free as soon as he touches English territory, he did
not think it one of the first steps towards the general abolition of
the slave trade, and of slavery everywhere; but it was so. And thus,
when some noble ones among us raised a cry of horror and indignation on
finding that supervised vice had presumed to desecrate our English soil
they little guessed how far their voices would reach, nor what the work
was upon which they unwittingly were entering, nor what the victories
which they were to achieve. But they have already been able to produce
great effects in Africa, Australia, and the United States; and, though
still unsuccessful at home, we and they believe that the opposition
which has commenced in England will obtain its utmost success here,
and that a force of public opinion and true sentiment is being slowly
generated, which will cross all lands and seas, and in its progress
sweep away everywhere the monstrous organisation of vice, against which
we lift our voices to-day.”

These words found an echo in the breasts of all present, and from that
conference all departed feeling that a new era was dawning upon the
whole movement, which could only lead to the final triumph of the cause
of justice and morality far beyond the limits of our own country.

 Before separating, the conference passed a simple resolution,
 accepting Josephine Butler’s proposition to open correspondence
 with opponents of the Regulation system abroad. This opening of
 correspondence “was in its beginning an apparently feeble—as it was
 indeed a laborious—undertaking, carried on somewhat in the vague
 and in the dark.” The results however were so far encouraging that
 later in the year she resolved to undertake a personal mission to
 the Continent. Shortly before her departure a meeting of women to
 wish her “God speed” was held at Birmingham, chiefly promoted by the
 Society of Friends. Mrs. Richardson, of York (who, like her sister,
 Mrs. Kenway, of Birmingham, was one of Josephine Butler’s oldest and
 dearest fellow-workers), wrote of this meeting:“I desire that you may
 be reminded of the meeting which took place immediately before her
 departure, and to which all then present, and she herself, largely
 attributed the remarkable success which was permitted to attend her
 labours, believing it to have been the direct answer to earnest prayer
 offered up there, and from many other friends elsewhere who were with
 us in spirit that evening. The meeting was called for the express
 purpose of united prayer to God on Mrs. Butler’s behalf—that He would
 guide and protect her on every hand, and prosper the work upon which
 she was about to enter.... After the reading (of Psalm xci), Mrs.
 Wilson offered prayer for God’s presence and blessing on the meeting,
 that it might tend to the help and strength of Mrs. Butler, and of all
 present. Mrs. Butler then gave a little account of how this widening
 prospect of the work had grown upon her. The necessity of seeking
 the sympathy and co-operation of other countries had been brought
 forcibly before her mind at the time of a conference at York in June,
 when this feature of the subject had taken great hold of the meeting;
 and knowing that it could, for obvious reasons, be more successfully
 carried out if universally adopted, she reminded us that those who
 were promoting the hateful system of regulated vice in continental
 nations were watching with anxiety the action of England in this
 direction, and rejoicing to see that it was beginning to take deep
 root here, and that whereas amongst _them_ it was a police regulation
 only, here Parliament had seen fit to make it the law of the land.
 Mrs. Butler expressed her conviction that it must be made known
 abroad that many in England had determined, by God’s help, to bring to
 an end the entire system, and desired the sympathy and co-operation of
 those in other countries, who, she knew, had long groaned in secret
 under the burden of an evil which they felt powerless to grapple with.
 From that time Mrs. Butler had increasingly felt that the task must
 devolve upon herself of setting a spark to the smouldering embers,
 and in connection with this prospect the words of the Scriptures had
 constantly been before her mind: ‘I have set before thee an open door,
 and no man can shut it.’ She believed the time had now come when she
 must give herself up to this new branch of the work."[15]

  [15] _The New Abolitionists_ [by James Stuart], 1876 (Dyer Brothers),
  pp. 8-10.

 Josephine Butler herself wrote to a friend concerning this meeting:—

As we sat, during those calm silences which I so much love in Friends’
meetings, when God seems even more present than when any voice of
prayer is breaking the hushed stillness, I did not think any more
of the cold winter, long journeys, cynical opposition and many
difficulties I knew I was going to meet. I knew that God is true, and
that certainly I should be able to trample on the lion and adder. My
thoughts were carried far beyond this near future, and a vista seemed
to rise before me of the years to come—of some great and marvellous
and beautiful manifestation of the power of God, of gathering hosts,
an exceeding great army, before whom will melt away the monstrous
wickedness which men of the world believe to be indestructible, and of
the redemption of the slave.

 She left England in December, accompanied by one of her sons, and
 joined later by her husband and other sons and Mr. Stuart. Some idea
 of the extent and nature of her work during this journey through
 France, Italy and Switzerland may be gathered from the following
 letters.


 To Mr. Stansfeld.

  _December, 1874._

 I think I told you that I spent a part of my last afternoon in
 Paris, at the Prefecture of Police. The memory of that interview
 is so exceedingly painful to me that I feared I should be unfitted
 for my work if I dwelt upon it. I was struck by the grandeur of the
 externals of the office, and by the evidence of the irresponsibility
 and despotic sway over a large class of the people possessed by
 the man Lecour. I ascended a large stone staircase, with guards
 placed at intervals, and many people coming and going, apparently
 desiring audiences. The Prefect’s outer door is at the top of the
 staircase, and over it, in conspicuous letters, are engraved the
 words; “Arrests—Service of Morals” (the arrests being of women only).
 In looking at these words the fact (though I knew it before) came
 before me with painful vividness, that man in this nineteenth century
 has made woman his degraded slave, by a decree which is heralded in
 letters of gold, and retains her in slavery by a violent despotism
 which, if it were applied to men, would soon set all Paris, and not
 merely a few of its buildings in flames. The words “Service des Mœurs”
 is the most impudent proclamation of an accepted falsehood. Too
 clearly and palpably is the true meaning of it “Service de Débauche”;
 and M. Lecour’s conversation throughout showed and confirmed most
 powerfully the fact (though he himself may be blind to it) that it
 is immorality, not morality, for which his office makes provision. I
 was kept waiting some time in the handsomely furnished room of the
 Prefect while he finished his interviews with people who had preceded
 me. While seated by the fire, with the newspaper in my hand which
 had been given to me by a liveried servant, I heard the whole of the
 conversation (it was impossible not to hear it) which passed. It left
 a very sorrowful and terrible impression on my mind. An elderly man
 was there, who appeared to be pleading the cause of a woman, perhaps
 a near relation, or in some way dear to him. M. Lecour spoke of the
 woman as one whom he had full power to acquit or to condemn, and
 there was a lightness in his tone which contrasted strikingly with
 the troubled gravity of the other, who more than once interrupted the
 volubility of the Prefect with the words, spoken in a voice of sullen,
 repressed emotion, “But you have accused her.” I thought of the words,
 “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins
 ye retain, they are retained.” Such a power in a merely human, but
 most awful sense, is possessed by that irresponsible ruler of the
 women of Paris; but _his_ credentials are _not divine_. As I left his
 place I felt oppressed with a great sadness, mingled with horror; and,
 in thinking of M. Lecour, I recalled the words about “man, drest in a
 little brief authority,” who “plays such fantastic tricks before high
 heaven as make the angels weep”; and not only that, but as make women
 die, cursing God, in horror and despair.


 To Mr. Stansfeld.

  ANTIBES, _December, 1874_.

 I should like our friends to know how much the little faithful band
 of sympathisers in Paris recognise our mission as from God. There has
 lately been a great religious movement in France, as in some parts
 of England. Meetings for prayer are still held constantly. It seems
 also that there was among some a feeling of suspense, of expectation,
 almost of discomfort, in the belief that action, and aggressive
 action, ought to follow, and must follow, the deepening of spiritual
 life and the clearer apprehension of their personal relations with
 the Father in heaven. They have been feeling it is not enough to meet
 and pray, and to try for themselves to draw ever nearer to God. There
 must be a deeper meaning in this spiritual awakening; there must soon
 be a call to battle. Thus then without knowing what had been passing
 in Paris, and ignorant of the fact of a religious awakening, I spoke
 to them what I felt, and said that the only meaning of our being on
 earth at all was to be combatants; that the only condition of our
 spiritual health is war, unceasing war, against the whole kingdom of
 Satan, and against all evil things. I found some of these good men
 pondering these matters, and I began to see the connection in their
 minds between this call to oppose the evil round them and the previous
 movement. They saw, and confessed that the deepened personal life
 of the soul meant increased responsibility, and they recognised the
 guidance of God in this second call; and as the path became clearer to
 me I saw how “God leads the blind by a way they know not of.”


 From her sister.

  NAPLES, _New Year’s Eve,
  Midnight, 1874-1875_.

  “BELOVED OF MY SOUL,

 “I want to spend this solemn hour with you. My heart is overflowing
 with gratitude to Him whose cross you bear. This year, which you told
 me began with such discouragement, and with the revelation of such
 new, untold horrors that you would not repeat them, has finished
 gloriously with the carrying of the standard of the fiery cross over
 the sea and into another land; and you—it is as if (no, there is no
 _if_ about it) God surrounds you with His shield.

 “Everyone out of England to whom I told your mission said you would be
 insulted and outraged in Paris, and could not do any good.

 “Even people who believe in your mission told me of the way irreverent
 Frenchmen turn to ridicule anything spoken with a foreign accent;
 spoke of the dangers you would incur, and the impossibility of your
 making any impression. When they talked thus I smiled and said, ‘Wait
 and see: this is of God, and He will justify His handmaid.’ I felt so
 clearly that God gave it you to do; and whatever the world may think,
 God knows what He is about.

 “He is not an idealised Joss, who lives in churches. He is present
 among us. He can manage _even the Paris police_. How He laid your
 enemies under your feet! Sometimes I got frightened because of your
 weak chest, and the bitter weather, and I longed to be with you, that
 I might at least run about after you with spirit-lamp and tea-caddy,
 or muscat wine, cloves and sugar to cheer you. Two days ago I got
 your first letters to your dear husband, which he sent on to me. It
 must not happen that you do not get here. With all you have to do,
 it seems cruel to bring you so far; but it would be sweet that you
 should once be in my dirty Naples, and dear George also. I recall all
 his kindness and goodness, since old Oxford days, until that crowning
 goodness of receiving us with our dead treasure as his guests, the
 pretty guest chamber ready for her, in spite of all the unhealed
 wounds the sight must have opened in your hearts. All that comes up,
 and we long to have you as our guests, to repay the kindness.

 “Your mission is too high and holy to be understood! Is it not
 wonderful how people go on thinking it lovelily humble and sweetly
 meritorious to go on picking off a bad-smelling leaf here and there
 from the upas tree, instead of taking the Sword of God and striking at
 its very tap root—nipping here and there the results of its growth,
 instead of cutting off the source of its life?”


 To her husband.

  NAPLES, _January 13th, 1875_.

 We have had an excellent meeting here. The circumstances which led
 to it were very affecting, and I must tell you all when we meet. You
 know that my one object in coming here was to see my darling Hatty,
 and to rest awhile with her in her beautiful home. I neither planned
 nor expected a continuance of my mission here; but God ordered it
 otherwise, and without our seeking it at all, the work _came_ to
 us. Two gentlemen called and gravely desired to learn whether I
 would address a company of friends on the subject of our mission,
 if they undertook the arrangements. I was much touched and somewhat
 surprised. I said I could not refuse their request. They then asked
 me to accompany them to the office of the English Consul, to ask him
 to preside at the meeting. We parted at the Consul’s door, they to
 get circulars of invitation printed, and to make other arrangements,
 and I to confer with Hatty about the ladies who would be most likely
 to support us. In every step however the initiative was taken by
 others, and we only followed the guidance which was so distinct,
 that we could have no doubt at all about the Voice, saying, “This is
 the way; walk ye in it.” How often have I longed to have Hatty, my
 childhood’s beloved companion, associated with me in this holy work.
 You can imagine how sweet it is to me; and how full, and tender, and
 penetrating are her sympathy in, and her understanding of, the whole
 matter. The children are very good, Thekla a most lovable little
 maiden. Our days are very pleasant. Hatty takes me in her carriage the
 most beautiful drives. The first evening the sunset was lovely. Capri
 and Ischia were bathed in a sweet, pale rosy light, and the feathery
 cloud resting on Vesuvius was reddened and golden, and all these were
 again reflected in the smooth, pale blue waters of the bay. I wish
 every moment that you were here.

 At the meeting we had no expressed opposition, but I was aware of an
 opposing current of thought and opinion in the room, which we were
 able to trace to its source, namely an English doctor. I thought he
 looked ominous as he entered with a great bundle of the _Lancet_
 under his arm, and I observed him whispering impatiently to his
 neighbours on each side as I spoke. It almost makes one smile to see
 that miserable _Lancet_ brought forward as an authority in a great
 moral and humanitarian question like this. You can believe that Hatty
 and I returned to the house with our hearts full of thankfulness
 to God, and having arrived there that the word of command, “Tea,
 Giovanni,” was given with more thirsty eagerness than usual. Hatty
 says she believes Giovanni thinks our afternoon teas are a species
 of “culto,” which we “pagani” observe with great solemnity and
 punctuality. It was an afternoon meeting, as you will see. I should
 tell you that a resolution was passed, of sympathy with the work and
 the workers. Our friends here look anxiously to what may be done in
 Rome, and think that if some of the deputies and leading men would
 take up the question, and then send an invitation to them in Naples
 to co-operate with them, it would give the best chance for practical
 results here.


 To her sister.

  TURIN, _January 29th, 1875_.

 I live over again in thought the sweet days I spent with you. I look
 back upon that time as something sacred; but it leaves a blank in my
 heart. I realise more than before what a loss it is to us to be so
 far and so long separated, and I feel more than ever the tenacity of
 early affection, and the ties of kindred. Ah! how often I lie awake at
 night thinking of those hours we spent together. It was a sunshine and
 happiness to prepare me for the hard work which was to follow; and
 which is a suffering piece of work, though full of interest and hope.
 Going from city to city, tired and weary, always to meet with sharp
 opposition and cynicism, and ever new proofs of the vast and hideous
 oppression, is like running one’s breast upon knife points, always
 beginning afresh before the last wound is healed.

 You understand, don’t you? I utter this little cry to you, but I am
 not despondent. This is really only physical weakness, I think, for I
 have to praise God for good work accomplished, and for souls inspired
 to work. “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” The hour of our redemption
 has struck! I say “our” for we have not only _remembered_ those that
 are in bonds, as being bound with them, but actually _suffered with
 them_ in spirit for long, long years. This may be but the beginning
 of the breaking of our bonds, and to our finite minds the Deliverer
 may seem long in coming. To the Lord a thousand years are but as
 one day, and one day as a thousand years; but the time is coming—is
 coming most surely. One thing we know, and that is, that all this
 cruelty and sin, this blinding and misleading of souls, this selfish
 profligacy, this slaughter of the innocents, this organised vice,
 this heavy oppression, this materialism which sets the body above
 the soul, profaning the sacred name of science, and making of her a
 “procuress to the lords of hell”—all this we know is hateful in the
 eyes of the Holy God, and we know that it must _perish_ before the
 light of His countenance, when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed,
 and when His own arm shall bring salvation. Even out of the depths
 therefore we will praise Him, and rejoice for the day that is coming.
 Be strong in faith, my dear one; do not despair even for those poor
 captured victims, from their childhood forced into sin and shame,
 whose sorrowful sighing seems for a time to rise in vain to heaven.
 Can _we_ love them so much, and doubt that God loves them far more
 than we? Our utmost pity is but a drop compared with the ocean of His
 pity for them. I feel a kind of triumph in that beautiful arrangement
 by which He has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the
 strong. It matters nothing at all what we are, provided we are but
 entirely willing to be made the instruments of His will, His agents in
 this world. I do not think we know the meaning of the word _strength_
 until we have fathomed our own utter weakness. I sometimes think of
 the lines about the “Steadfast Prince”—

    To these my poor companions seem I strong,
    And at some times, such am I, as a rock
    That has upstood in middle ocean long,
    And braved the winds and waters’ angriest shock,
    Counting their fury but an idle mock:
    Yet sometimes weaker than the weakest wave
    That dies about its base, when storms forget to rave.
    I from my God such strength have sometimes won,
    That all the dark, dark future I am bold
    To face—but oh! far otherwise anon,
    When my heart sinks and sinks to depths untold
    Till being seems no deeper depth to hold.

 Did I tell you how I had been pleasantly haunted before I left home by
 the words, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man
 can shut it.” I often used to wake up suddenly at night with a fear
 lest I had been presumptuous to think of such a mission as this; and
 then these words would again and again sound in my soul, and almost in
 my ears, as if an angel had spoken them. Yes, it is true, if _that_
 hand opens the door, not all the powers of earth nor of hell can
 prevail to shut it.


 To her sister.

  LAUSANNE, _February 13th, 1875_.

 My work is over in Switzerland. A hard ten days’ work rather. My
 evenings are rather lonely, and the cold at times is bitter; at
 Chaux-de-Fonds it was really cruel. But it is over; and I can only
 see the good part of it now. At several places committees have been
 formed. Switzerland has responded wonderfully. Let us thank God! As
 in Italy a man was found to devote his life wholly to the work, so
 in Switzerland a man has come forward ready for any service—it is M.
 Humbert. Is it not touching to see how God prepares hearts? I have
 asked him to meet me in Paris, that we may try and find a man in
 France also who will give his life to the cause. I got your precious
 telegram to-day. It seemed to bring a breath of southern warmth into
 the cold. There is a terribly sharp wind to-day. I long to hear from
 you again, for I feel as if I had found you again after many days.
 We shall now, though parted for long, weary seasons, work in heart
 and in prayer at least together; hope, believe together, and together
 “watch for the morning.” I wrote my last letter home in one of those
 large Swiss railway carriages, with tables and chairs, and a nice fire
 in the corner. I was alone, and piled logs of wood on my fire, and
 was quite warm, and at ease. They fence out the cold perfectly in the
 houses here. It is only out of doors that one feels it. The scenes on
 the Jura reminded me of pictures of the winter retreats of chamois, or
 of bear-hunting in Norway. Those enormous pines, such as George drew,
 look so handsome with their loads of newly-fallen snow and pendants of
 icicles, like jewels, in the sunlight. I was asked to go to Bienne and
 Basel, but I could not stay. I regret most of all not going to Zurich.
 There is life there, and it will join us, I am sure. But I feel I
 ought not to delay longer here. Our meeting here was a most excellent
 one of men and women in a church. Mr. Buscarlet spoke after I had
 spoken; he had in his hand a copy of the _Edinburgh Daily Review_,
 which he had just received from Scotland, and out of which he read,
 translating it as he went on, part of the speech of Mr. Stansfeld at
 Edinburgh, and giving the statistical proofs, so ably stated by him,
 of the physical failure of these laws. It was listened to with great
 interest. After every meeting in Switzerland some practical step has
 been agreed upon, and I have confidence that the separate efforts will
 develop ere long into a connected, organised work. It has been agreed
 that the speech made by Professor Aimé Humbert, at Neuchâtel, shall be
 printed and widely circulated. This is being put in hand at once. I
 was glad to hear a citizen of Berne say, with grave conviction, that
 he believed the greatest obstacle they would have to contend against
 in Germany would be from the German habit of judging, which denies to
 woman her place as man’s equal, makes her the mere house-wife and
 child-bearer, and gives her no voice at all even in these matters,
 which concern women most terribly and closely. This, he said, would be
 a dead weight; but they must fight against it, protest against it; for
 it was upon this equality and the equality of the moral standard for
 both sexes that the whole reform we seek must rest for its success.
 I was glad to hear this sentiment from a German-speaking Swiss, and
 to hear the same conviction, in other words, strongly expressed by
 others. Another Swiss gentleman said it seemed to him that it would
 be around _this_ question that the great battle of the “droit de
 l’individu,” the principle of personal responsibility and freedom,
 would be fought in Europe—_that_ right which the party of privilege,
 the absolutists, on the one hand, and the socialists on the other,
 destroy or deny. I had a most pleasant evening at the Buscarlets’.
 I love Madame Bridel. She has written to her son-in-law, M. E. de
 Pressensé.


 [Illustration: _H. S. Mendelssohn, Newcastle, circa 1876._]

 To Joseph Edmondson, and other friends.

  PARIS, _February, 1875_.

 I write to you, dear friends, who may care to read this letter, a
 last letter before leaving France, and I want to tell you once more
 how wonderfully God has worked in this matter. I am filled with awe
 and gratitude when I think of it. I see His hand in all, and I think
 your prayers have followed and surrounded me: were it not so, I should
 hardly know how to account for many extraordinary interpositions
 when I was in extremities, and the kindness I have met with in every
 place. It is a touching history, and I now want to beg my friends
 in England not to be wanting in faith any more concerning this foreign
 work. I felt last autumn that most of my friends agreed to this
 part of the work because I wished it, rather than because they saw
 for themselves that it was a logical sequence to, and a necessary
 expansion of, our home work. Oh, if they could only see how hearts
 on the Continent are leaning towards England in this matter! We all
 fancied that our England was the only country which felt rightly, the
 only people which had _groaned_ as just and good people under this
 evil and tyranny. It is not so. In _no_ place which I have visited
 have I found a complete acquiescence in the evil, and in every place
 there has been, at one time or other, some active opposition breaking
 out here and there. But the evil has been too strong, and Governments
 have been too strong. Protests however have been made in almost every
 city at some time or other. Good and noble souls have laboured in
 secret, heroically, to try to undermine the system, and some have
 suffered persecution and contempt for the cause. I tell you all this
 because I want you to see, as I do, how providentially it seems that
 the open appeal to international effort should have come from England
 now. I want you to see how God has been training us, not for our
 battle in England alone, but for this battle of principles all over
 Europe. I am convinced that we should be simply fools if we were to
 be contented with achieving our own repeal victory. What do those
 English people, who care only for the interests of England, suppose
 would happen if we were to get repeal? Would they go back to their
 politics, their homes, their families, and be in no more danger? Not
 a bit of it. If we left the Continent unmoved and unhelped, we should
 not be safe for a year on our own soil. Whence did this particular
 evil come to us? Did it not come from the Continent? And what would
 hinder the infection from again invading us? But when once the open
 conflict is begun abroad, the case will be altered.


 To her husband.

  PARIS, _February, 1875_.

 It was a relief and rest to me, after seeing many sad places, to pay a
 visit to the “Maison des Diaconesses,” and to see the good work done
 there—the schools, hospital, and refuge. I dined with the deaconesses,
 and afterwards one of them took me to see the poor girls they rescue
 from misery and vice. They were all assembled, and this deaconess said
 to them, in a sweet, gentle voice, “I want you to look at this dear
 lady, my children. Yes, look at her well, for she is your friend,
 and perhaps you may never see her again. She is our friend; she has
 come to Paris to say that our bonds shall be broken.” And then she
 continued, speaking almost as a person speaks in a dream, and very
 solemnly,“Our bonds shall be broken. A time shall come when vice
 shall no more be organised and upheld by the law, to crush us down to
 hell. You understand what I mean, my children. Ah, you understand too
 well! She has come to Paris to oppose the great machinery which makes
 it so easy to sin, and so hard to escape. She brings you a message
 from Jesus to-day, my children, and asks you to love Him, and to
 look forward in hope. For our bonds shall be broken—ours; for we are
 sisters, we suffer with you.”

 She explained further to them, very delicately and solemnly, till one
 saw they began to feel they had a part with us in the good war. I said
 a few words, and then we all sang a hymn together, about our bonds
 being broken, at the end of which this deaconess played a few notes on
 her harmonium, on which she had accompanied us, in which there came
 a minor tone of sadness for one moment, which seemed to express the
 hidden agony of the heart so well known to us, while we spoke only of
 hope to the poor girls.



CHAPTER X.

THE FEDERATION.


The year 1875 has few clear recollections for me personally, in direct
connection with our cause. Six years of work, and more especially
the winter months spent in very difficult work on the Continent, had
over-taxed my strength. My health gave way, and was only restored by
several months of rest, during which I heard only the distant echoes of
the conflict, while I remained at home.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this autumn _Une Voix dans le Désert_ was ably edited by M. Aimé
Humbert, and brought out in French and German, and widely circulated.
It consisted of my addresses given on the Continent during the previous
winter. These addresses, spoken in French, were never published in
English, but were translated year by year into other languages—Italian,
German, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian. The
following letter refers to this work.


 To M. Humbert.

  1875.

 I feel with you every day that some such _voice_ is needed just now.
 It would perhaps have been better had we been able to bring out a
 complete book as our first, a book which should contain all the
 scientific and juridical arguments, as well as a complete review of
 historical facts relating to this subject. But such a complete book
 is at this moment impossible. I therefore beg you to communicate what
 I now say to Messieurs Sandoz and Fischbacher (publishers). We want
 statistics and facts—yes,—but would English statistics and facts
 alone, drawn from a limited experience, be much or generally valued
 in other countries? I think not, if they stood alone. Facts from a
 larger area we must have later, and we shall have them, for, thank
 God, they stand as indestructible witnesses everywhere of the folly
 and futility of the attempt to regulate vice. How much more powerful,
 how overwhelming in fact, would it be for our opponents, and how
 strengthening for our cause, if we could show facts and statistics
 gathered from every country, and over a larger period of time. This
 is precisely what we are now aiming at. We have received all the most
 recent reports from Italy, France, Germany, and other countries. On
 every hand there is confession of the failure of regulation. Mireur,
 Jeannell, Diday, Deprès, Pallasciano, Huet, Crocq, all confess to
 hygienic failure. The proposals of some of these men to ensure future
 success (a success which they confess they have never yet ensured)
 are of such a wild and ghastly nature, that one has only to read
 their books to see that the beginning of the end is at hand. From out
 these statistics there appear, here and there, deeply pathetic facts,
 such as these: that four-fifths of the poor girls subjected to this
 tyranny (according to one writer) are orphans; many are foreigners
 in the country of their enslavement; many are young widows. Does
 not our God, who is the God of the Fatherless, of the Widow, and of
 the Stranger, take note of these things? You see that in a year or
 two we shall have a mass of evidence against this system which will
 give the doctors and materialist legislators a hard task to refute.
 I care little that men accuse me, as you say, of mere sentiment,
 and of carrying away my hearers by feeling rather than by facts and
 logic. Even while they are saying this they read my words, and they
 are made uncomfortable! They feel that there is a truth of some sort
 there, and that sentiment itself is after all a _fact_ and a power
 when it expresses the deepest intuitions of the human soul. They
 have had opportunity for many years past of looking at the question
 in its material phases, of appreciating its hygienic results, and
 of reading numberless books on the subject—statistical, medical,
 and administrative. _Now_ for the first time they are asked to look
 upon it as a question of human nature, of equal interest to man and
 woman; as a question of the heart, the soul, the affections, the whole
 moral being. As a simple assertion of one woman speaking for tens of
 thousands of women, those two words “_we rebel_” are very necessary,
 and very useful for them to hear. The cry of women, crushed under the
 yoke of legalised vice, is not the cry of a statistician or a medical
 expert; it is simply a cry of pain, a cry for justice, and for a
 return to God’s laws in place of these brutally impure laws invented
 and imposed by man. It is imperfect, no doubt, as an utterance, but
 the cry of the revolted woman against her oppressor, and to her God,
 is far more needful at this moment than any reasoned-out argument.
 I think therefore, and my husband agrees with me, that it is better
 to publish the _Voice in the Wilderness_ simply as the utterance
 of a woman, and to do it quickly. It will rouse some consciences,
 no matter how imperfect men may find it. On the eve of a war it
 may be said that the sound of the trumpet is imperfect because it
 only calls to the battle, and that we want to see the troops, their
 arms, and the strength of muscle on either side. Yet the call to
 battle is needed; the close grappling with the foe will follow. It
 is only when the slave begins to move, to complain, to give signs
 of life and resistance, either by his own voice, or by the voice of
 one like himself speaking for him, that the struggle for freedom
 truly begins. The slave now speaks. The enslaved women have found a
 voice in one of themselves, who was raised up for no other end than
 to sound the proclamation of an approaching deliverance. Never mind
 the imperfection of the first voice. It is the voice of a woman who
 has suffered, a voice calling to holy rebellion and to war. It will
 penetrate. Then by and by we shall come down on our opponents with
 the heavy artillery of facts and statistics and scientific arguments
 on every side. We will not spare them, we will show them no mercy. We
 shall tear to pieces their refuge of lies, and expose the ghastliness
 of their covenant with death, and their agreement with hell. We and
 our successors will continue to do this year after year until they
 have no ground to stand upon.

 Shortly after her return to England she had given an account of her
 mission, at a conference held in London, “in the course of which she
 showed that her own work abroad had had very little of a creative
 character, but had rather served to bring out and give expression to
 sentiments and convictions already existing in the various countries
 she had visited.” It was resolved at this conference to form a
 federation of the friends of the movement in all countries. “The
 British, Continental and General Federation for the Abolition of
 Government Regulation of Prostitution” was formally constituted at
 a meeting in Liverpool on March 19th, Mr. Stansfeld being chosen as
 President, Mr. W. Crossfield as Treasurer, and M. Aimé Humbert, of
 Neuchâtel, as Continental Correspondent. Mrs. Butler was appointed
 Hon. Secretary, with Mr. H. J. Wilson as co-Secretary _pro tem_. (he
 was succeeded a few months later by Mr. Stuart, who this year became
 Professor Stuart). The heavy work of correspondence connected with the
 starting of the Federation, added to the fatigues of the preceding
 winter’s work on the Continent, proved to be too much for her bodily
 strength, and she was compelled to give up all work for several
 months. The work however experienced no check, for during these months
 Mr. Wilson in England and M. Humbert on the Continent, by their
 untiring energy and earnestness, succeeded in gaining many adherents
 to the Federation, which was thus early put on a firm foundation.

 In the following April the late Rev. J. P. Gledstone and Mr. H. J.
 Wilson started on a journey to the United States, where they met many
 leaders of the old anti-slavery party and other kindred spirits, whom
 they enlisted into sympathy and co-operation with the Federation.
 Writing to Josephine Butler twenty years later, Mr. Gledstone
 recalled the occasion of their starting on this journey: “It was, I
 remember, a cold, stormy Thursday in April, 1876, when you persisted
 in accompanying Mr. Wilson and me to the river, to see us on board
 the _Adriatic_. The anti-regulation struggle has seen some uncommon
 things; I think so now, as I recall your slender form seeking shelter
 from the keen wind that swept through the little tug that conveyed us
 to the huge steamer lying in the middle of the Mersey—two strong men
 sent out on their mission and cheered to it by one woman!”

 This year Josephine Butler published anonymously, for the Social
 Purity Alliance, _The Hour before the Dawn: an Appeal to Men_. A
 French translation of this pamphlet was published the same year in
 Paris. Her name appeared on the title-page of the second edition,
 issued six years later. Its sustained eloquence and passionate,
 pathetic appeal combine to make it one of the finest of all her
 writings. It reveals the profoundest sympathy for all men, as well
 as women, who have sinned and are struggling to rise again. To such
 she preaches a gospel of hope, and shows that though the past is
 irreparable, there is always an available future. We can only give one
 extract, selected because of its autobiographical interest.

I look back to the years when my soul was in darkness on account of
sin—the sin, the misery and the waste which are in the world, the great
and sad problems of life, the prosperity of evil-doers, the innocent
suffering for the guilty, the cruelties, the wrongs inflicted and never
redressed, and the multitudes who seem to be created only to be lost.
A great cloud gathered over me. Anger, fear, dismay filled my heart.
I could see no God, or such as I could see appeared to me an immoral
God. Sin seemed to me the law of the world, and Satan its master. I
staggered on the verge of madness and blasphemy. I asked, “Does not
God care? Can God bear these things?” He is silent, the woe deepens,
and the question is still sent up from generation to generation, Hath
God not seen? Will He not help? Does He look down from His eternal calm
of heaven an indifferent spectator? Can it be that the Eternal rests
content that any human beings whom He has created should perish for
ever? That men should destroy themselves in spite of God is a terrible
thought, but not so terrible, not so fatal to hope, to love, and to
faith as the thought, full of deadly poison, that God cares not—that
the heart of Him who redeemed us is cold, when my own is filled with an
agony of compassion. This bitter thought taking possession of my soul,
did not beget despondency, or lassitude, or indifference, leading me to
close my eyes and fold my hands; but it stirred up the rebel within me.
I could not love God—the God who appeared to my darkened and foolish
heart to consent to so much which seemed to me cruel and unjust, and
removable by an act of His power. I was like one who is leaning over a
great gulf, whence none who fall into it ever return. “_In my distress
I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me._” The pride and rebellion gave
way before deep and heavy sorrow; and then all the sorrow gathered
itself up into one great cry. I asked of the Lord one thing—that He
would take of His own heart and show it to me; that He would reveal to
me His one, His constant attitude toward His lost world; that as I had
shown Him my heart He would show me His heart, so much of it as a worm
of the earth can comprehend and endure, so much of it as the finite
can receive from the Infinite (for to know His love for the world and
His sorrow for the world, as they are, would break any human heart. I
should, in the moment of such a revelation, expire at His feet: a man
cannot so see God and live). Deep calleth unto deep; His own helpful
spirit, out of the depths of my heart, making supplication for me with
groanings unutterable, calling to the deep heart of Christ, awakened
echoes there which called back again to mine.

Continuing to make this one request through day and night, through
summer and winter, with patience and constancy, the God who answers
prayer had mercy on me. He did not deny me my request—that He should
show me of His own heart’s love for sinners, and reveal to me His one,
His constant attitude towards His lost world; and when He makes this
revelation He does more—He makes the enquiring soul a _partaker_ of His
own heart’s love for the world. The doubt, the dark misery growing out
of the contemplation of the sorrows of earth and the apparent waste of
souls are no longer able to drive me into sullenness and despair, for I
have found the door of hope. I do not say—for I speak neither more nor
less than I have learned of God—that the perplexity is solved, that the
sorrow is gone. Sorrow is with me still, the enduring companion of my
life. I do not pretend to be able to explain the secrets of God and the
great problems of life with any clearness of speech to satisfy another.
But I have found the door of hope. He has the key of all mysteries, and
we are then nearest to the solution of every painful mystery, when we
have drawn nigh and heard from Him the secrets of His heart of love.
Now I know when my heart is strangely stirred by the sight of a vast
multitude in some great city that my heart’s yearnings over them are
but the faintest shadowings of His heart’s yearnings over them; that my
love, which would embrace them all, is but as a drop of water to the
ocean of His love, which would embrace them all. But in vain! Words are
not found in which to express what it is which Christ may reveal to the
soul which has waited on Him in determined love and grief, with this
one request, “Show me Thy heart’s love for sinners, and Thy one, Thy
constant attitude towards Thy lost world.” Seek it, friends, and you
shall know how far it solves the sorrowful problems of earth, though
you too may find it to be among the things which it is not possible
or lawful for a man to utter. Where, where in heaven or on earth, if
not here, will you find an answer alike to the great questions of life
which vex your heart, and to the problem of yourself, that single
being, so fearfully and wonderfully made?

 In the late autumn of 1876 a newspaper war suddenly broke out in
 France kindled by numerous cases of arbitrary and cruel action on
 the part of the _Police des Mœurs_, and frequent arrests both of men
 and women for resisting or even speaking against that force. As a
 result the Paris Municipal Council, which was opposed to the system,
 appointed a commission of enquiry, and the commission invited certain
 persons from different countries who had studied the question to give
 evidence before it. Mr. and Mrs. Butler, Mr. Stansfeld and Professor
 Stuart were invited from England, and they went to Paris for this
 purpose in January, 1877.

The members of the commission were not wholly of one mind on all
points, and it was rather a severe exercise of brain and memory to meet
and satisfy the various questions of a company of quick-witted, logical
Frenchmen. It was an exercise however, which left one feeling stronger
and happier, because of the sincerity of motive which we felt animated
the questioners.

Some days after giving our evidence a great meeting was held in the
Salle des Écoles, Rue d’Arras. The hall was densely crowded. There
was a considerable proportion of “blue blouses,” working men from St.
Antoine and Belleville quarters, students from the Latin quarter, and
some members of the Chambers and of the Senate, besides Municipal
Councillors. There was also a good attendance of women. The several
addresses given were listened to with extraordinary attention and
interest, and in a quietness which was remarkable considering the
mercurial and excitable nature of a portion of that audience. So keen
was the sympathy (having its roots deep in bitter experience) of the
poorer part of the audience, especially the working men, that it was
necessary in some degree to restrain all that it might have been in our
hearts to say on the injustice and cruelty of the system of which the
victims were drawn so largely from their own ranks.

Another large meeting was held in the Salle de la Redoute, which was
crowded with respectable working women. With the memory of all I had
seen and heard in Paris of the condition of the honest working woman,
hunted from street to street and from room to room by the police, and
looking at the troubled and earnest faces all turned towards me, I
could not refrain from uttering these words: “The foxes have holes, and
the birds of the air have nests, but the honest workwoman of Paris has
not where to lay her head.” Many burst into tears, or hid their faces
in their hands. In coming out from the meeting, several poor girls came
to me, their faces swollen with weeping, and said, “Ah, madam, how true
those words were about the foxes!”

 The Federation had met for its first annual conference in London in
 1876, and from that time it has held annual conferences in various
 cities abroad or in England; the meeting every third year being called
 a congress, and being of a larger and more important character. The
 first congress, at Geneva, is described in the following letter.


 To a relative.

  GENEVA, _September, 1877_.

 I can only give you a brief sketch of the past week; full reports
 will be published. The anxiety which we could not but feel went on
 augmenting up to Friday. On Friday we began to see daylight, and all
 has ended well. Many of us are tired and stupefied for want of sleep,
 but at the same time inwardly giving thanks to God.

 This Congress has been a wonderful event. There were 510 inscribed
 members, besides the numerous public which attended the meetings. It
 is, they say, the largest Congress that has ever been held in Geneva.
 On the first days people continued flocking in from all nations. There
 were Greeks who came from Athens, and Russians from St. Petersburg
 and Moscow. There were Americans, Belgians, Dutch, Danes, Germans,
 Pomeranians, Italians, French and Spaniards. Señor Zorilla, the late
 President of the Spanish Cortes, spoke on Wednesday, and was nominated
 as one of a committee to consider what action should be taken in
 Spain. On Sunday, in the cathedral, Pastor Rœrich preached a powerful
 sermon to a very large congregation on the question before the
 Congress, and in all the churches we and our work have been prayed for.

 We always anticipated that when the final resolutions should come to
 be voted upon then would be the real war, and so it was. When the
 voting began, our faithful bands of ladies worked and watched in their
 different sections quite splendidly. First we had a considerable
 conflict in the Social Economy Section. Then came the voting in the
 Legislative Section, in the smaller hall of the Reformation, which
 was densely crowded. Professor Hornung presided. The discussion
 lasted three hours. Some lawyers were present, who are now busy in
 the prospect of the revision of some parts of the penal code of
 Switzerland, notably a young jurist, an able man who spoke well,
 but as a downright opponent. There followed a stormy scene, which
 the President with difficulty controlled. People of many different
 languages stood up at the same moment, each with a finger stretched
 out, demanding to speak. “Je demande la parole” sounded from all sides
 of the room. Mr. A——, the young jurist, made the President indignant
 by asserting that a resolution drawn up by him was not _juridique_.
 Seeing that M. Hornung is Professor of Jurisprudence at the Geneva
 University, and possesses the very highest reputation, this was rather
 strong, and I do not wonder it irritated him. But it did good, for
 it stimulated him to come out on the last day of the Congress with
 a splendid judicial speech, by far the best and clearest utterance
 of the kind I have ever heard in any country. We shall translate and
 circulate it. Hornung is a delightful man. He has that good gift of
 God, an enlightened intellect, as well as a pure heart, together with
 great refinement and gentleness of manner. At one o’clock, when we
 were all feeling the need of food, and our throats were dry with the
 dust of the room, an Italian advocate got up and declared there had
 not yet been enough discussion of each point. The chairman was aghast.
 He had expected the voting to be got over just at that moment. A kind
 of barking, House of Commons cry arose of “Vote, vote!” while the
 President stood open-mouthed, attempting to read the resolutions so as
 to be heard. A sort of stampede seized some of the German and Swiss
 members, and they made for the door. Half the meeting would have gone
 out, and so damaged the worth of the voting. So I ventured to shut
 the door and set my back against it, declaring that no one should
 have any food until he had voted! This half startled and half amused
 the assembly, and they all sat down again obediently. After another
 half-hour of discussion, it was agreed that we should meet again for a
 final voting at half-past six the next morning.

 On the same day the resolutions of the Moral Section were passed very
 satisfactorily. Then came the Hygienic Section. The discussion here
 was so long that it was also adjourned until an evening hour. At
 eight o’clock that evening we all went to the hall of the Hygienic
 Section, and there sat crowded together, or stood, amidst a scene of
 intense interest, till midnight. Dr. Bertani of Rome took a leading
 part. Our ladies all went to the meeting; but they had been up so
 early, and had worked so hard all day, that by 11.0 p.m. this is the
 scene which one of my sons described as having observed at the back
 of the hall, “a long row of ladies _all sound asleep_”; but they had
 appointed a watcher—Mrs. Bright Lucas—who sat at the end of the row,
 and whom they had charged to keep awake, and to give them the signal
 whenever voting began on each clause of the resolution. Mrs. Lucas was
 wide awake, with eyes shining like live coals! We had prayed that God
 would direct this meeting, and it was wonderful and beautiful to see
 how the truth prevailed. Dr. de la Harpe, the President, acted well
 throughout. At the end I shook hands with him and Dr. Ladame, thanking
 them for their excellent words. Dr. de la Harpe replied, “You owe us
 nothing; it is you and your friends who must be thanked, who have
 brought us so much light.”

 At the end of the Congress all the resolutions came out
 satisfactorily. We owe a good deal of this result to Professor
 Stuart’s tact and patience in talking to the different presidents
 individually. We think our resolutions are on the whole excellent as
 a statement of principles—clear and uncompromising; and shall we not
 thank God for this? His hand has been over us for good all this time,
 convincing men’s hearts and consciences, and controlling their words
 and actions. The earnest daily prayers offered up have not been in
 vain. These resolutions will be sent to every Government and to every
 municipal council throughout Europe. They have been telegraphed to the
 English press _in extenso_. My son George was charged with the work
 of telegraphing, and had necessarily to exercise much alertness and
 activity. M. Humbert is impressed with the excellence of whatever work
 he undertakes.

 In the Legislative Section we had an energetic discussion over the
 seduction laws of different countries, and the _recherche de la
 paternité_, subjects not immediately in our programme, but closely
 touching it. The discussion became so hot, that it seemed difficult
 for some of the members to remain calm at all. Signora Mozzoni, a
 delegate from Milan, burst into tears over it, and one or two of our
 good gentlemen lost their tempers a little. One cannot wonder, for
 this is one of the important questions upon which people of different
 nations and creeds hold very different views. Miss Isabella Tod
 and Mrs. Sheldon Amos took a line on the point of the age to which
 protection should be given, in which I could not quite follow them,
 and I felt obliged for once to oppose my own countrywomen. Professor
 Hornung was pleased with what I said, as it seems it accorded with the
 views of most continental jurists.

 The young advocate who had opposed us called yesterday to say that
 he had come round to our views, chiefly influenced by that desperate
 little impromptu legal discussion among the ladies. He had imagined,
 he said, that we were a number of “fanatical and sentimental women,”
 but “when he heard women arguing like jurists, and even taking part
 against each other, and yet with perfect good temper, _like men_ (!),
 he began to see that we were grave, educated, and even scientific
 people!” He came afterwards to every meeting, and, as he said, weighed
 all our words.

 I think I have not mentioned the resolutions at the Section of
 Bienfaisance, under good Pastor Borel’s presidency. Those also were
 very satisfactory.

 Josephine Butler published in 1878 a biography of _Catharine of
 Siena_. A French translation of this was published nine years later
 at Neuchâtel. Mr. Gladstone wrote to George Butler, expressing his
 intense interest in the book, and adding: “It is evident that Mrs.
 Butler is on the level of her subject, and it is a very high level. To
 say this is virtually saying all. Her reply (by anticipation) to those
 who scoff down the visions is, I think, admirable.” We give but one
 quotation.

Here I must pause to speak of that great secret of Catharine’s
spiritual life, the constant converse of her soul with God. Her book,
entitled _The Dialogue_, represents a conversation between a soul and
God, mysterious and perhaps meaningless to many, but to those who can
understand full of revelation of the source of her power over human
hearts. All through her autobiography (for such her _Dialogue_ and
_Letters_ may be called) no expressions occur more frequently than
such as these: “The Lord said to me,” &c.; “My God told me to act so
and so”; “While I was praying, my Saviour showed me the meaning of
this, and spoke thus to me.” I shall not attempt to explain, nor shall
I alter this simple form of speech. It is not for us to limit the
possibilities of the communications and revelations, which the Eternal
may be pleased to make to a soul, which continually waits upon Him. If
you are disposed, reader, to doubt the fact of these communications
from God, or to think that Catharine only fancied such and such things,
and attributed these fancies to a divine source, then I would give you
one word of advice, and one only: go you and make the attempt to live
a life of prayer, such as she lived, and then, and not till then, will
you be in a position which will give you any shadow of a right, or any
power, to judge of this soul’s dealings with God.



CHAPTER XI.

GOVERNMENT BY POLICE.


 In 1879 her writings included two pamphlets, _Government by Police_
 and _Social Purity_, the latter being an address delivered at
 Cambridge. This year the Federation held its Conference at Liége. A
 bright and vivid account of the meetings at Liége, from the skilful
 pen of Madame de Morsier, is given in the _Reminiscences of a Great
 Crusade_, which shows that these annual gatherings of crusaders from
 various countries were not wholly devoted to serious discussions of a
 painful subject, but became occasions for true human fellowship (even
 touched with gaiety) between persons of divers tastes and experiences.
 The account concludes thus: “And now, little town of Belgium, sitting
 on the banks of the Meuse, surrounded with green hills, let me take
 one parting look at you! We have only known you a few days, and now
 you live in our memories a luminous point in the past. Many of us
 arrived within your walls strangers to each other, and have parted
 friends; some arrived sorrowful, discouraged, asking what would be
 the end of all this? They return peaceful, and fortified with the
 conviction that work is happiness, and conflict a duty. _Manet alta
 mente repostum._”

 The agitation in Paris against the _Police des mœurs_, referred to
 in the last chapter, had been continued, and led this year to the
 resignation of M. Lecour, who was appointed chief “bell-ringer” of
 Notre Dame; and this was followed by further enquiries and newspaper
 revelations, and the subsequent resignation of the Prefect of Police
 and other members of his staff, and later of the Minister of the
 Interior. In these events M. Yves Guyot and other members of the
 French branch of the Federation took a prominent part. Early in 1880
 Mr. Alfred Dyer and Mr. George Gillett visited Brussels to investigate
 cases of English girls, many of whom were minors, alleged to be
 detained in the licensed houses of that city against their will, and
 with the connivance of the police. Some of these girls were rescued,
 and being brought to England, were placed under the care of Josephine
 Butler.

Another of the poor refugees helped by Pastor Anet to escape from
Brussels came to our house in Liverpool. She appeared to be in pain,
and on being questioned she replied that she was suffering from
unhealed stripes on her back and shoulders from the lash of this tyrant.

I drew from her, when alone, the story of her martyrdom. The keeper
of this house in Brussels, enraged with her because of her persistent
refusal to participate in some exceptionally base proceedings among his
clients, had her carried to an underground chamber, whence her cries
could not be heard. She was here immured and starved, and several times
scourged with a thong of leather. But she did not yield. This poor
delicate girl had been neglected from childhood. She was a Catholic,
but had had little or no religious teaching. She told me, with much
simplicity, that in the midst of these tortures she was “all the time
strengthened and comforted by the thought that Jesus had Himself been
cruelly scourged, and that He could feel for her.”

Before her capture she had one day seen in a shop window in Brussels an
engraving of Christ before Pilate, bound and scourged. Some persons,
no doubt, may experience a little shock of horror at the idea of any
connection in the thoughts of this poor child between the supreme
agony of the Son of God and her own torments in the cellar of that
house of debauchery. We often sincerely mourn over these victims as
“lost” because we cannot reach them with any word of love or the
“glad evangel.” But He “descended into hell,” into the abode of the
“spirits in prison,” to speak to them; and I believe, and have had many
testimonies to the fact, that He visits spiritually these young souls
in their earthly prison many a time, He alone, in all His majesty of
pity, without any intervention of ours.

 Josephine Butler published in May a statement making definite charges
 of gross ill-treatment of young girls in Brussels, and these charges
 were substantiated in a deposition on oath, made in response to a
 formal application from the Belgian authorities, under the Extradition
 Act. Some months later she sent a copy of her deposition to the
 editor of _Le National_ in Brussels, intending it merely to be used
 in connection with evidence, which he had to give before a Commission
 then sitting on the subject. He however published it in _Le National_,
 and it created a great sensation throughout Belgium.


 To her sister.

 You can imagine that on first hearing of this I felt a little
 troubled, and as if I had been “given away.” Also persons friendly
 to us, such as Lambillon, Hendrick and others, who had given us
 information from a good motive, were angry at seeing their names
 published as having had any knowledge whatever of these evil things;
 and I was pained to think of _their_ pain.

 I was pondering all this one evening, when I suddenly recollected that
 on New Year’s Day of this year, and for many days after, I had taken
 upon me to make a special and definite request to God for light to
 fall upon these “dark places of the earth, wherein are the inhabitants
 of cruelty.” Some strong influence seemed to urge me to make this
 request. I used to kneel and pray, “O God, I beseech Thee, send light
 upon these evil deeds! Whatever it may cost us and others, flash light
 into these abodes of darkness. O send us light, for without it there
 can be no destruction of the evil. We cannot make war against a hidden
 foe. In the darkness these poor sisters of ours, these creatures of
 Thine, are daily murdered, and we do not know what to do or where to
 turn, and we find no way by which to begin to act. Send us light, O
 our God, even though it may be terrible to bear.” I had made a record
 of this petition, and then I had forgotten it. But not so our faithful
 God. His memory is better than mine! He did not forget, and He is now
 sending the answer to that prayer. Then I thought of the words, “O
 fools, and slow of heart to believe.” Here is the very thing I had
 asked for, brought about in a way I had not dreamed of.

 One consequence of these revelations was the dismissal of M. Lenaers,
 the Chief of the Brussels _Police des mœurs_, followed by the
 resignation of his principal subordinate. Another consequence was the
 formation of a strong committee in London for the suppression of the
 white slave traffic. The proposals of this committee in regard to
 legislation were ultimately adopted in that portion of the Criminal
 Law Amendment Act, 1885, which deals with offences connected with
 other countries. The matter was still further advanced many years
 later, largely owing to the efforts of Mr. W. A. Coote, by the
 Governments of Europe signing the International Convention for the
 suppression of the white slave traffic, 1904. This Convention has no
 doubt done something towards the suppression of this traffic, but as
 Josephine Butler frequently pointed out, and as was emphasised in the
 discussions at the Conference of the Federation in 1908, there is a
 grave risk, that in those countries, in which the authorities still
 license immoral houses, the police will not honestly and thoroughly
 endeavour to prevent the traffic upon which the profits of those
 houses so largely depend.



CHAPTER XII.

REPEAL.


 In the spring of 1882 George Butler resigned the Principalship of
 Liverpool College, and three months later Mr. Gladstone appointed him
 to a Canonry at Winchester. This year Josephine Butler published _The
 Life of Jean Frederic Oberlin_, the gentle and beloved Pastor of the
 Ban de la Roche (1740-1826), who not only ministered to his people
 in things spiritual, but also in things material, teaching them to
 make roads and to grow potatoes. Like John Grey, he changed the whole
 aspect of the country side, and in his old age his great services
 were recognised by the award to him of the gold medal of the Royal
 Agricultural Society of France, and by the King bestowing on him the
 dignity of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. The following passage
 illustrates the great principle of his life—_ora et labora_.

In our own busy and exciting times, when competition (even in good
works) is apt to distract and disturb the heart and the brain of the
followers of Christ, to the detriment of calmness and depth, we all
require to be reminded of the one and only source of true life and
power. Our young, hard-worked ministers, and many other Christian
workers, both old and young, engaged in the multitudinous active duties
which they are required in these days to fulfil to the last tittle, and
in favour of which they too often postpone even the work of waiting
upon God, know by bitter experience the deadening effect on the soul
of the enforced whirl of active engagements—benevolent, pious, and
laudable as these may be. But by whom are these chains enforced, to
the disadvantage of the spiritual life? By the tyrant society—even a
Christian society, which can in its turn become tyrannical. It would be
better to rebel somewhat against this tyranny, to resist the pressure
of _over_-work, and to determine to be often alone with God, even if
our hours with Him appeared to rob earth of a small particle of our
poor services.

Bernard of Clairvaux, when engaged in a correspondence with persons
and orders throughout the whole of Europe, battling single-handed with
an amount of work which might overwhelm any modern Secretary of State,
found that on the days when he spent the most time in prayer, and in
listening to the voice of God and the teachings of the Spirit, his
letters were the most rapidly written and persuasive, and his active
work the most promptly and successively accomplished. His many schemes,
evolved from his own ingenious brain, widened into or were lost in the
far greater plan and purpose of God; anxiety was allayed; power—the
power of the Holy Spirit, to which he had opened his heart—flowed
forth, and was felt in every word he wrote or spoke, and in his very
presence and looks.

Oberlin reserved stated hours for private prayer during the day, at
which times none, as a rule, were permitted to interrupt him. These
hours came to be known to all his parishioners, and it was usual for
carters or labourers, returning from the fields with talk and laughter,
to uncover their heads as they passed beneath the walls of his house.
If the children ran by too noisily these working people would check
them with uplifted finger, and say, “Hush! He is praying for us.” At
times his soul was moved to an agony of intercession for his people;
he travailed in birth for them. Sometimes he was in darkness on their
account. His natural kindness to all becoming, under the influence of
the Holy Spirit, a constant and yearning desire for their salvation,
he would spend hours on his knees pouring out his soul in prayer for
them with “strong crying and tears.” He felt the awful nature of the
responsibility of one who is called to be an overseer of the flock of
God, and who must give an account of the souls committed to him. “Oh,
my people, my people, my children, my friends!” he would cry in his
prayers—apostrophising them, and pleading _with_ them as well as for
them, though he was alone with God.

 In 1883 Josephine Butler published the remarkable story of _The
 Salvation Army in Switzerland_, telling how the workers of the Army in
 Geneva had attracted some of the poor slaves of the State-protected
 houses, who “escaped or succeeded in obtaining release, and once more
 in the light of day, they listened to the glad tidings of salvation;”
 and how the keepers of these houses, “like the sellers of the shrines
 of Diana, fearing that the hope of their gains was threatened,”
 secured bands of roughs, who disturbed the Army’s meetings, until
 at last the authorities, being unable or unwilling to keep order,
 expelled Miss Catherine Booth and Miss Charlesworth from Geneva as
 disturbers of the peace! Later Miss Booth was imprisoned at Neuchâtel,
 but was released after a trial at which the illegality of her
 treatment was exposed. She was however shortly after expelled from
 the Canton; but despite persecution the Army has since prospered in
 Switzerland.

 The next two letters refer to Mr. C. H. Hopwood’s resolution
 condemning the compulsory examination of women under the Contagious
 Diseases Acts, which could not be moved, being crowded out by the
 debate on the Address.


 To her son Stanley.

  _February 27th, 1883._

 We have had some hard work lately. Father and I went to Cambridge for
 a quiet Sunday. It was bright and pleasant there, and the Fellows’
 garden was beginning to put on its spring clothing. Then we came up
 to London to prepare for the coming on of our question in the House.
 A Member of Parliament, whom we met at Cambridge, told us that the
 amount of pressure brought to bear at this moment by the country was,
 he thought, “unprecedented in the history of any agitation.” Our
 friends are active in every nook and corner of the country: even from
 remote villages petitions come pouring in. Also many single petitions,
 such as from Cardinal Manning and the Moderator of the Free Church
 of Scotland. Mr. Hopwood told us that several M.P.’s came to him
 yesterday, and said they must vote with us, though before they had
 been hostile. “It is a strange thing,” said one, “that people care so
 much about this question. All my leading constituents have urged me to
 vote with you.” One of our strongest opponents, a military man, said
 to him, “Well, you have had extraordinary support from the country; it
 is evident that yours is the winning side.”

 I was in the Lobby a few days ago, and saw a petition lying in
 someone’s hand, on the back of which was written: “Petition from 1553
 inhabitants of West Ham.” You know that these are poor working fathers
 and mothers, some of whom have lately had their children stolen. They
 have had less than a week to collect these names. These silent figures
 are eloquent. There is a distinct change of tone in the House, and
 your father and I believe that it dates from the time that we came
 forward publicly to confess God as our leader. Our cause was openly
 baptised, so to speak, in the name of Christ, and our advance has
 been steady ever since. Also I thought I saw what I never observed
 before in the sceptical and worldly atmosphere of Parliament, _i.e._
 signs of a consciousness of a spiritual strife going on. Some members
 spoke to us of the spiritual power in our movement, while on the other
 hand there is a seething and boiling of unworthy passions, such as
 would appal one if one did not remember that it was when the great
 Incarnation of purity drew near to the “possessed” man of old that the
 “unclean spirits” cried out.

 To return to my story. Some of our friends in Parliament telegraphed
 to us at Cambridge that no debate would come on, on account of the
 arrears of talk on the Address. This is disappointing. Mr. W. E.
 Forster’s management of Irish affairs necessitates much discussion.

 We have arranged for a great meeting for prayer. We shall hold it
 close to the House of Commons during the whole debate, if there is
 one, and all night if the debate lasts all night. We have invited
 about twenty of our best friends in the House to join us. This meeting
 has been advertised in _The Times_, _The Standard_ and _Daily News_.
 Some of our parliamentary friends counselled this course, saying that
 it was well that all the world should know with what weapons and in
 whose name we make war, even if they scoff at the idea, as of course
 many do.


 To her son.

  _February 28th, 1883._

 We went to the House at four o’clock yesterday. Justin McCarthy was
 speaking. There was still to the last a chance of Mr. Hopwood’s
 resolution coming on, but perhaps not till midnight. I did not remain
 in the Ladies’ Gallery, but came and went from the prayer-meeting to
 the Lobby of the House. We saw John Morley take the oath and his seat.
 The first thing he did after taking the oath was to sit down by Mr.
 Hopwood and say, “Now tell me what I can do to help you to-night, for
 the thing our Newcastle electors were most persistent about was that I
 should oppose this legislation.” I then went to the Westminster Palace
 Hotel, where we had taken a large room for our devotional meeting.
 There were well-dressed ladies, some even of high rank, kneeling
 together (almost side by side) with the poorest, and some of the
 outcast women of the purlieus of Westminster. Many were weeping, but
 when I first went in they were singing, and I never heard a sweeter
 sound. There were some cultivated voices amongst them, and the hymns
 were well chosen. I felt ready to cry, but I did not; for I long ago
 rejected the old ideal of the “division of labour,” that “men must
 work and women must weep.” A venerable lady from America rose and
 said, “Tears are good, prayers are better, but we should get on better
 if behind every tear there was a vote at the ballot box.” Every soul
 in that room responded to that sentiment. I never saw a meeting more
 moved. The occasion and the circumstances were certainly pathetic. As
 we continued to pray we all felt, I think, a great pity come into our
 hearts for those men who were at that moment in the House so near to
 us, who wield so great a responsibility, and so many of whom will have
 a sad account to give of their use of it.

 Charles Parker told me next day that at that time several M.P.’s
 were walking about the Lobby, and that two young men, not long in
 Parliament, said to him, “Have you heard, Parker, that the ladies were
 to hold a prayer meeting to-night to pray for us? But I suppose it
 is given up, as this debate is to be postponed.” Mr. Parker, better
 informed, said, “On the contrary, that is just what they are doing
 now, praying for us. It throws a great responsibility on _us_.” The
 young men, he said, looked very grave. Father had to return home,
 I went back to the House, while other women remained and continued
 their intercessions. All Westminster was wrapped in a haze, out of
 which glared only the great light on the clock tower. I walked through
 the mist, feeling rather sad, and wondering how much longer this
 horrible yoke would remain fastened on the neck of a people who wish
 to get rid of it, and how long women will be refused a voice in the
 representation of the country. I climbed up the wearisome gallery
 stairs, and from the grating saw a crowd of our gentlemen friends from
 the country sitting in the Strangers’ Gallery opposite. How patiently
 they sat through those long hours. Some of them had come even from
 Scotland for the purpose. Father had gone home, but just above the
 clock I saw George, and tried to catch his eye, but he, believing
 that I was at the other meeting, did not look towards our gallery
 or see me. I sat on till midnight for the chance of our resolution
 coming on. By and by Mr. Hopwood asked the Speaker’s leave to make a
 statement. He then made a very good speech, explaining, rather to the
 country than to the House, how it was he was prevented from bringing
 on his resolution, and saying that Parliament and the Government
 should have no peace on the question, for the country was aroused, and
 nothing could lessen their present determination. He called them to
 witness to the needless waste of time there had been in talking and
 recriminations before midnight. Mr. Trevelyan told me he thought our
 opponents had purposely prolonged the debate on the Address.

 I must tell you that just in the second hour of our prayers your
 telegram was handed to me. I thought it was some business, and was
 pleasantly surprised when I saw it was from St. Andrews, so far off,
 and yet it brought you so near, and just at a moment when it was
 peculiarly precious to me.


 After another half hour at the meeting, I returned once more to the
 Lobby of the House, and found some of our friends waiting about. They
 took me out on the terrace along the river front. The fog had cleared
 away, and it was very calm under the starlit sky. All the bustle of
 the city was stilled, and the only sound was that of the dark water
 lapping against the buttresses of the broad stone terrace, the water
 into which so many despairing women have flung themselves.

 I forgot to tell you that before the debate began I ventured into the
 circular hall or lobby next to the House itself, having caught sight
 of the venerable face of old Mr. Whitwell. He remembered me, and shook
 hands. I stood near him in a corner, as if he had taken me under his
 protection. The first word he said to me was, “Has it ever struck you
 that there is no one thing in the whole of Christ’s discourses to
 which He has given such emphasis as that of the certainty of prayer
 being answered? Now you may be sure our persevering prayers will be
 answered in this matter.” I saw several other friends, among them your
 member, Mr. Williamson, who said, “Tell your son that I have presented
 his petition from St. Andrews, and that I support the prayer of it
 with all my heart.” I am glad to tell you Albert Grey and Robert Reid,
 father’s old pupil at Cheltenham, are with us on the question. I met
 Cardinal Manning in the Lobby, and had a pleasant talk with him. He is
 much in earnest about all good movements. He has been ill, and looked
 even thinner than a spider! He said he would do all he could for us,
 through his influence, on the Irish Catholic vote.

 On April 20th Mr. Stansfeld moved the resolution condemning compulsory
 examination, which Mr. Hopwood had been prevented from bringing on in
 February, and it was carried by 182 votes to 110. In accordance with
 this resolution, the Government suspended the operation of the Acts in
 the following month.


 To her sister in Naples.

  WINCHESTER, _April, 1883_.

 Some day I trust I shall be able to tell you in detail of the events
 of the last few days. I longed for your presence during the debate;
 it was for us a very solemn time. All day long groups had met for
 prayer—some in the houses of M.P.‘s, some in churches, some in halls,
 where the poorest people came. Meetings were being held also all
 over the kingdom, and telegraphic messages of sympathy came to us
 continually from Scotland and Ireland, France, and Switzerland and
 Italy. There was something in the air like the approach of victory. As
 men and women prayed they suddenly burst forth into praise, thanking
 God for the answer, as if it had already been granted. It was a long
 debate. The tone of the speeches, both for and against, was remarkably
 purified, and with one exception they were altogether on a higher
 plane than in former debates. Many of us ladies sat through the whole
 evening till after midnight; then came the division. A few minutes
 previously Mr. Gerard, the steward of the Ladies’ Gallery, crept
 quietly in and whispered to me, “I think you are going to win!” That
 reserved official, of course, never betrays sympathy with any party;
 nevertheless, I could see the irrepressible pleasure in his face when
 he said this.

 Never can I forget the expression on the faces of our M.P.’s in
 the House when they all streamed back from the division lobby. The
 interval during their absence had seemed very long, and we could hear
 each other’s breathing, so deep was the silence. We did not require
 to wait to hear the announcement of the division by the tellers:
 the faces of our friends told the tale. Slowly and steadily they
 pressed in, headed by Mr. Stansfeld and Mr. Hopwood, the tellers
 on our side. Mr. Fowler’s face was beaming with joy and a kind of
 humble triumph. I thought of the words: “Say unto Jerusalem that her
 warfare is accomplished.” It was a victory of righteousness over gross
 selfishness, injustice, and deceit, and for the moment we were all
 elevated by it. When the figures were given out a long-continued cheer
 arose, which sounded like a psalm of praise. Then we ran quickly down
 from the gallery, and met a number of our friends coming out from
 Westminster Hall.

 It was half-past one in the morning, and the stars were shining in a
 clear sky. I felt at that silent hour in the morning in the spirit of
 the Psalmist, who said: “When the Lord turned again the captivity of
 Zion we were like unto them that dream.” It almost seemed like a dream.

 When Mr. Cavendish Bentinck was speaking against us I noticed an
 expression of pain on Mr. Gladstone’s face. He seemed to be pretending
 to read a letter, but at last passed his hand over his eyes and left
 the House. He returned before Mr. Stansfeld made his noble speech, to
 which he listened attentively.

 Later in the year she referred to this victory in a speech at
 Birmingham, which was printed under the title _The Bright Side of the
 Question_, and from which we quote the two following paragraphs.

I will say then to the women here one word. Dear women, I recall a
scene; you will understand me. The night of the memorable debate in
April, lasting many hours, there were meetings of women not far from
the House of Commons—a crowd of women upon their knees through a great
part of the night. I crept out of the House of Commons, where I was
in the Ladies’ Gallery, and joined those meetings for a few moments.
It was a sight I shall never forget. At one meeting there were the
poorest, most ragged and miserable women from the slums of Westminster
on their knees before the God of hosts, with tears and groans pouring
out the burden of their sad hearts. He alone knew what that burden
was. There were mothers who had lost daughters; there were sad-hearted
women; and side by side with these poor souls, dear to God as we are,
there were ladies of high rank, in their splendid dresses—Christian
ladies of the upper classes kneeling and also weeping. I thank God
for this wonderful and beautiful solidarity of the women of the world
before God. Women are called to be a great power in the future, and by
this terrible blow which fell upon us, forcing us to leave our privacy
and bind ourselves together for our less fortunate sisters, we have
passed through an education—a noble education. God has prepared in us,
in the women of the world, a force for all future causes which are
great and just.

We shall not stop, our efforts will not cease when this particular
struggle is at an end. God has called us out, and we must not go
back from any warfare to which He shall now call us in the future.
We praise, we thank Him for what He has done already for us, and for
what He is going to do, for we shall one day have a complete victory.
We can echo the words of that which is written: “My soul doth magnify
the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour, for He hath
regarded the low estate of His handmaidens.” And remember, women, if we
are faithful unto death, from henceforth all men shall call us blessed.
Yes, generations to come, your children and your children’s children
will call you blessed, because you have laboured for purer morals and
for juster laws.

       *       *       *       *       *

The actual repeal of the laws was retarded, and we began to feel in
1885 that we must make strenuous efforts. There had been on several
occasions solemn meetings of a devotional character on the question,
notably one which lasted several days, and where all the churches were
represented. This was promoted by the Society of Friends. An “All Day
of Prayer” was called in February, 1885. A paper was issued in advance,
giving the subjects to which each succeeding hour would especially be
devoted.

During the year which followed this meeting James Stuart worked with
all his heart and might in Parliament for the success of our cause.
I believe that the Cabinet were rather surprised when a petition was
presented to them by him, signed by two hundred Members of Parliament
on both sides of the House, adjuring the Government to give immediate
attention to this question, as the patience of the people of England
had been sufficiently tried.

 At the General Election this year, Josephine Butler issued _A Woman’s
 Appeal to the Electors_, some extracts from which are here given.

By whom are we in future to be governed? Women are asking this question
on the eve of the approaching elections, even more anxiously, I
believe, than men; more anxiously, because they themselves are still
denied the right and power of expressing by their votes their opinion
of the candidates who are crowding forward asking to be allowed to
represent them in Parliament, and to have a share in making the laws
by which they and their children, their households, and even their
nurseries, are in future to be influenced for good or for evil. As a
woman, I am deeply thankful that at last the question of private and
personal character is coming to the front in the selection of our
representatives. I hope the day is past in which it could be said
or believed that it was possible for a man who was corrupt in his
private life and character to be a useful, just, or beneficent ruler.
Who can reckon up the miseries, the wrongs, the soul murders, and the
destruction of young lives which have been going on for years past,
owing in a great measure to the shameful state of our laws on questions
bearing on morality, that shameful state being obstinately maintained
year by year by men in Parliament whose very presence there is a block
to all good and pure measures?

I would suggest that each candidate should be asked questions in some
such form as the following:—

(1) Will he vote for the total repeal of the C.D. Acts?

(2) Is he prepared to vote for a parliamentary enquiry into the reason
why the prosecution of Mrs. Jeffries was dropped, and why Inspector
Minahan was dismissed from the police force?

(3) Is he prepared to vote for, or to ask a question in Parliament on
the subject of a parliamentary enquiry as to the circumstances which
have induced the prosecution by the Treasury of Mr. Stead, Mr. Booth,
and their assistants, to whose labours the Criminal Law Amendment Act
has been mainly due; while no prosecution has been undertaken by the
Treasury against any single one of the real offenders, whose crimes
these persons have done so much to expose?

We may, and do hope for a purer Parliament, if the electors will
wake up to the tremendous issues now before this country, issues
immeasurably greater than those depending on the triumph of this
or that political party; but when we shall have secured a purer
Parliament, the struggle for a purified nation and a saved people will
only be at its beginning. Unless God by the might of His Holy Spirit
works powerfully and widely in the hearts of our people—in our own
hearts, each one of us—we shall not be saved as a people in the mighty
shaking of the nations which is at hand. The diseases of our own hearts
and of our social system, if but slightly healed, will break forth
again; moral corruption will set in again like a flood-tide; the noble
watchwords of to-day will become the rotten and wretched Shibboleths
of to-morrow; we shall have “a name to live while we are dead.” For
my part, I have not an atom of faith in any reform, moral, social, or
political, which has not at its root a real repentance before God,
a ruthless banishing from the heart and life by individuals of all
that is opposed to justice, purity, and holiness, and a quickening of
every power of the soul by the breath of the Spirit of God. Christian
politicians, lovers of our country, let us, while we work, also
pray—unitedly pray—that God will arise and, taking our nation in hand,
will chasten, train, and mould it for the carrying out of His own
purposes in the future of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

The actual repeal of this legislation was carried in April, 1886. My
husband and I were at the time staying with my sister in Naples. It
was a great joy to us to receive a telegram on April 16th, signed by
Mr. Stuart and Mr. Stansfeld, saying: “The Royal Assent has this day
been given to the Repeal Bill.” I thanked God at that moment that Queen
Victoria had washed her hands of a stain which she had unconsciously
contracted in the first endorsement of this legislation.



CHAPTER XIII.

WINCHESTER.


We again visited Grindelwald (in 1885), where we had the joy of
meeting once more the Meuricoffre family. We had magnificent weather,
favourable to mountain and glacier excursions. The nights were
especially beautiful towards September, when there was a fine display
of autumn meteors. It was my turn on this occasion to be obliged to
hurry home, leaving my husband for a little longer enjoyment of the
mountains. I was called home in order to advise in the matter of the
action of our poor protégée, Rebecca Jarrett, who had been engaged by
Mr. Stead to help him in his difficult researches. Two years previously
we had opened at Winchester, as we had done at Liverpool, a little
House of Rest, which served as a shelter for poor girls and young women
who were recognised failures, morally and physically. Some were sick,
rejected by hospitals as incurable; others friendless, betrayed and
ruined, judged for one reason or another not quite suitable for other
homes or refuges. We also took into the House of Rest however a few
persons of more mature age, not invalids, who had fallen into trouble
and misfortune, and who sometimes became excellent helpers in our work.
Among these latter was the woman I have mentioned, who had put behind
her and abjured her miserable past, and who showed much intelligence
and tenderness as our aid in the work of rescue. The task however to
which she was invited in London was of a different kind, and too heavy
a responsibility for her. Hence the summons I received to come home and
support her, and also in part to answer for her conduct, as she had
been living with us.

 It will be remembered that Mr. Stead and Rebecca Jarrett were tried
 on a charge of abduction, and sentenced to imprisonment. At the trial
 this poor woman, being cross-examined about her past life, told an
 untruth, and this was used by the prosecuting counsel as discrediting
 her whole evidence, with the result that the case against her and Mr.
 Stead was greatly damaged. Early in 1886 Josephine Butler published
 the story of _Rebecca Jarrett_, in order“to present the exact truth
 about her in justice to herself, and to Mr. Stead, for whom she acted;
 and also to give some incidents of personal history, which may tend
 not only to palliate these departures from truth, of which she was
 guilty, but to show that the situation in which she was placed was
 pathetic—even tragic—and one from which there was, humanly speaking,
 no escape.” She tells how before the trial some old associates,
 fearing what Rebecca might reveal concerning them, had gone down to
 her at Winchester, and pursued her with appeals and threats; and how
 she, after earnestly entreating them to lead a better life, had given
 them a solemn promise that she would not get them into trouble; and
 then how, under severe cross-examination in the court——

She answered truly as far as she could, until it came to the giving of
an address which would have involved _others_ in trouble. Then there
flashed across her the promise made in her evil days, and the promise
made later from better motives, under her new character. There rose
afresh in her mind the desire that those to whom she had given her
promise should see that a reclaimed woman would not break her word.
She was standing between two oaths—the first, made to her old friends;
the second, made in the witness-box, to speak “nothing but the truth.”
Reader, were you ever in such a position—between two solemn promises,
both of which you desired to keep, but which were opposed the one to
the other? If you ever were, you can feel for this weak young convert
to truth, and you can pity her weakness. Yes, she told a lie. She
looked across the Court at me with an expression on her pale face
which I shall never forget. That night, on returning to her lodgings,
she spent several hours on her knees, weeping as if her heart would
break; no word of consolation availed for her. It was in vain to try
to comfort her. She cried, and screamed to God,“O God, I have told a
lie; I have perjured myself in the witness-box; I have lied before the
world; I have ruined this cause, and I have got all my kind friends
into trouble! And yet, O God, Thou knowest _why_ I did it—oh, Thou
knowest _why_ I did it. Look into my heart; Thou knowest why I did it!”


 To a friend.

  _April 10th, 1886._

 Last Sunday we had a delightful day at Pozzuoli, where Sir William
 Armstrong is establishing great ironworks for making ironclads for
 the Italian Government. He has sent out from England some forty or
 fifty picked men. They are all Northumbrians, and choice men in every
 respect for bodily strength and high character. They are also tried
 and skilled workmen. Mr. Stephen Burrowes, my sister’s helper in her
 work for the sailors, suggested that a Workmen’s Rest or Home for our
 English workmen and others should be established at once at Pozzuoli.
 Our party went in five or six open carriages to Pozzuoli—all the
 Meuricoffre family and others of the Swiss and Protestant community
 of Naples. Our dedicatory service presented a curious combination of
 associations of different centuries and various countries. The spot
 where we assembled was close to the ruined Temple of Serapis. It was
 also in the near neighbourhood of the large Roman amphitheatre of the
 times of Tiberius. Before us was the sea, its gentle waves beating
 on the shore—the shore, as you know, where St. Paul first landed in
 Europe, a prisoner, on his way to Rome. Opposite was Baiæ, where Nero
 held his infernal court—itself lovely and peaceful in appearance—and
 Capri, the sharp outline of whose steep rock, whence Tiberius used to
 fling his slaves headlong into the sea as an after-dinner amusement,
 stood clear against the pure blue sky. This whole neighbourhood has
 all its old entrancing charm still, and that wonderful beauty which
 made it of old the last resort of people satiated with every other
 form of luxury. It was the ideal of a summer Sabbath evening. My
 husband offered up a dedicatory prayer, invoking the blessing of God
 on the design which we had come to inaugurate, on every workman who
 should work there, and on the dear Meuricoffres and all who work with
 them for the good of the people around them. He alluded in his prayer
 to the advent in that very place of the great apostle of the Gentiles,
 charged with the precious gift for Europe—the Gospel of our salvation.
 Then we sang hymns, some of the old favourites of the English workmen.
 It was strange to hear those familiar songs, pronounced with the
 strong Northumbrian guttural, ascending from the ruins of the Temple
 of Serapis—a blending of associations past and present, heathen and
 Christian, ancient and modern. When the men found out that my sister
 and I were Northumbrians they could scarcely suppress their joy; and
 after that, whenever she or I made a remark, however trivial, they
 cheered. Most of them came from Blyth and Morpeth. They were chiefly
 Wesleyans, and politically supporters of Thomas Burt, M.P. Our drive
 home in the evening was delicious beyond description. It was perfectly
 calm, with a lovely sunset, the trees already flashing into their
 summer tints, and the air full of that most delightful scent of the
 early orange and lemon blossom which comes out while the trees are
 still covered with their golden fruit. It was a memorable day for us,
 as a pleasant family gathering and full of Christian hope.

 This summer George Butler was very ill for several weeks with
 rheumatic fever. On his partial recovery, he was advised to try the
 baths at Homburg, and from thence they travelled to Aix-la-Chapelle
 and to Switzerland, where he became seriously ill again, and had to
 remain till December.

I must now record a passage of my own personal experience at this
crisis, which will be variously interpreted by any who may read it,
but which I shall state with all simplicity for the encouragement at
least of those who believe and know that there is a “God in heaven Who
heareth prayer.” I had passed a sleepless night, in vain attempts to
soothe the sufferings and allay the fever of my dear invalid, myself
weak and exhausted, and now full of pain. The night was long, dark and
cold, both spiritually and materially. Towards morning he fell into
a troubled sleep. I went softly into a little ante-room, leaving the
door open between. A feeling of despair came over me. My own strength
was failing, and he was worse. Who would now minister to him, I asked,
and was there to be no end to these repeated and heart-breaking
disappointments? When Elijah fled into the wilderness, and gave himself
up to bitter thoughts, in the depths of his discouragement the voice
came to him, questioning, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” bidding him
arise out of his depression. So to me it seemed at that moment that a
voice came—or rather, I would say, a light shone—into the very heart of
my darkness and despair. The promises of God in the Scriptures, with
which I had been familiar all my life, came to me as if I had heard
them for the first time. I fell on my knees and kept silence, to hear
what the Lord would say to me; for, for my own part, I had nothing to
say. My trouble was too heavy for speech. “The prayer of faith shall
save the sick.”“Call upon Me in the time of trouble, and I will deliver
thee.” “Is this true?” I exclaimed. Yes, I knew it was true. It seemed
to become a very simple matter, and grace was given to me, in my pain
and weakness, to say only, “Lord, I believe.” The burden was removed.
I returned to my husband’s room, and sat silent for a while until he
moved, and the day broke. I brought him his breakfast, and said to him
confidently, “You are going to be better to-day, beloved.” He smiled,
but did not speak. Two hours later our kind doctor came. He took his
temperature and felt his pulse, and with a sigh of relief he said,
“Well, dear Canon, a wonderful thing has happened. A great change has
come. You are much better.”

A lady told me later that at a party of friends in Berne, Dr. Demme had
spoken of this recovery, and said that it had been very remarkable,—a
“Divine interposition” in answer, as he believed, to prayer: he added
that my husband had had inflammation of both lungs and pleurisy, as
well as the serious heart attack, adding, “any one of which was enough
to kill most men.”

       *       *       *       *       *

After my husband’s serious illness in 1886, I had resolved in my own
mind never again to be absent from him for more than a few hours, if
possible, during our united lives. I refused all invitations to attend
meetings in London or elsewhere, sometimes, I fear, to the surprise as
well as the regret of my fellow-workers in public matters. My choice
was however deliberate, and I have never had cause to regret it. He
had, I thought, sufficiently suffered by my frequent absences from
home, during many years of our married life, while engaged in opposing
a great social wrong, and he had borne this trial without a murmur. He
was now advanced in years, and less strong, and these things seemed
to me to constitute a most sacred claim to my personal and constant
devotion to him. Never, except for a day or two during the serious
illness of a dear sister, did I consent to be separated from him. Even
on that occasion I was told by those at home that he seemed to feel my
absence sadly, and that at the sound of a footstep or wheels on the
drive, he would go to the window to see if by any chance it was his
wife who had returned, though he knew that it was scarcely possible.

 In this period of quieter life, Josephine Butler by no means rested
 from literary work, or from active interest in the abolitionist cause.
 Besides a large amount of correspondence, chiefly connected with the
 work of the Federation, she issued in 1887 two pamphlets, _The Revival
 and Extension of the Abolitionist Cause_, and _Our Christianity tested
 by the Irish Question_. In the first she refers to the C.D. Laws then
 in force in many of the Colonies and in India, and to the traffic in
 women which the system had facilitated. These Laws were shortly after
 repealed in most of the Crown Colonies and in India.

 In the Irish pamphlet she shows how in the attempt to rule Ireland by
 a succession of Coercion Acts the same constitutional principles had
 been violated as in the case of the Acts against which she had so long
 fought. She traces the long sad story of England’s treatment of the
 sister isle, the real and solid grievances, which had naturally led to
 the demand for Home Rule.

Certain classes of persons in England have always maintained that
successive Irish leaders and patriots were mere mischief makers,
the cause and not the exponents of the prevailing discontent. If
their mouths could be stopped, they imagine, there would be no
more disaffection in Ireland, or such as there was would be easily
repressed. This was their manner of judging of Flood, of Grattan,
of Curran, of O’Connell. They could not learn, and are as far from
learning to-day as ever, that you cannot heal the broken heart of
Ireland by gagging those whom she sends over here to plead for her.
They were relieved when the prison doors closed upon one after another
of Ireland’s patriotic but unhappy sons; they were hopeful of quieter
times when O’Connell died, worn out and sad. As one of their own poets
said, “They broke the æolian harp, and then wrote an epitaph on the
wind;” the wind which gave voice to the harp, a voice sometimes sad
and low, and wailing, sometimes giving forth a shriek full of agony
and vengeance. They imagined it was dead. Such has ever been the
manner of looking at national griefs by people who lack sympathy with
all aspirations after self-government, freedom, and the manhood of a
nation, and who believe you can beat the souls of men into submission
by physical force. They bring out their handcuffs and their cannon;
they create the silence of desolation, and then they call it peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

In order to give a complete idea of my husband’s kindliness of nature,
and to fill in some characteristic touches of his home life, I must
speak of our affectionate companions—our dogs. Our first dog friend
was Bunty (the origin of the name is obscure). He lived with us many
years at Liverpool, and came with us to Winchester. He was a dog of
excellent parts; not of pure breed, chiefly otter hound. He had
beautiful eyes, full of human expression. He had a strong sense of
humour. It is generally said that dogs hate to be laughed at. This
was not the case with Bunty. He could bear to be laughed at, would
enter into the joke, and, so to speak, turn the laugh against himself,
by behaving in a manner which he well knew would excite laughter. He
shared many pleasant holidays with us. He died in 1883. My husband had
the free hand of a sculptor. A few things which he carved in stone were
worthy of preservation, among them a perfect likeness of this good dog
in an attitude of watchful repose. Beneath he carved the words—[Greek:
ΑΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΚΥΝΟΣ ΣΗΜΑ]. “Some of my friends,” he wrote, “find a difficulty
in believing that I carved Bunty’s likeness in stone. Froude says, some
centuries hence, when the monument is disinterred and its inscription
discovered, some Dryasdust will start a theory that a Greek colony
once inhabited the Close.” Bunty’s successor was Carlo, a handsome
thoroughbred retriever, quite black, with shining curls—a sensible,
gentlemanlike dog, excellent in his own special art of retrieving
birds, and an uncompromising guard and watchdog. His attachment to his
master, whom he outlived for two years, was profound. This poor dog
was very wretched and melancholy when his master left his home for
the last time and returned no more. He would seek him in every corner
of the house, and along the riverside where he had been accustomed to
walk with him or watch him fishing; and returning, would rest his chin
on the arm of his master’s empty study chair, as if waiting for the
familiar hand to pat his head. His dumb grief was very touching.

 In May, 1888, Josephine Butler started _The Dawn_, a quarterly sketch
 of the work of the Federation, and in the pages of this periodical
 she continued to speak words of encouragement and warning to her
 friends for over eight years, after which its issue ceased. She and
 her husband attended the Conferences of the Federation at Lausanne
 in 1887, and at Copenhagen in 1888; and to the end of his life,
 notwithstanding his increasing weakness, they were able to enjoy
 together peaceful visits to relatives in Switzerland and Italy. It was
 on their way home from one of these visits, that George Butler died in
 London on March 14th, 1890. Two years later Josephine Butler published
 her _Recollections of George Butler_, from which we have already
 quoted so much, and from which we must now make one more quotation.

We read in the Gospels that the disciples of Christ found themselves
one dark evening separated from the Master, “in the midst of the sea”;
that He saw them from the shore “toiling in rowing, for the wind was
contrary.” Such is sometimes the position, spiritually and morally, of
one who has up to a certain point “fought a good fight and kept the
faith,” but against whom arise contrary winds and buffeting waves;
one for whom “fightings without and fears within” have proved too
severe, and who is now “toiling in rowing,” with faint heart and gloomy
outlook—the presence of the Master no longer realised to reassure
and guide. “Old Satan is too strong for young Melancthon,” said one
of the reformers of the sixteenth century, and the same enemy has
proved many a time since then too strong for much humbler workers. The
problems of life at times appear so perplexing as to be incapable of
any solution. The lines of good and evil, of right and wrong, light
and darkness, appear blurred; and the weak and burdened spirit loses
the hold it had retained hitherto of the highest standard, fidelity to
which alone can bring us again out of darkness and trouble into light
and hope.

 [Illustration: _Canon Butler and his retriever Carlo, in the garden,
 at The Close, Winchester._]

Moses for the hardness of the people’s hearts allowed a relaxation of
the severity of the original law given from on high, and so suffered
the moral standard to be lowered in some of the most important
relations of life. There was a time when it seemed to me that hearts
are harder now than even in the old days, and when the stern ethics
of Christ—the divine standard—seemed to become impossible as a matter
of practical enforcement. Horribly perplexed, I was tempted to give
up the perfect ideal. It is in this way, I think, _through lack of
faith_, that compromises creep in among us—compromises with error, with
sin, with wrong-doing, unbelief taking root first in the individual
soul, and then gradually spreading until a lower standard is accepted
in family life, in society, in legislation, and in Government. And at
last, as even in our own land, we may see publicly endorsed and signed
what the Hebrew prophet calls “a covenant with death” and an “agreement
with hell.” Such an acceptance and public endorsement of a compromise
with evil proclaims the failure of faith of a whole nation, and the
beginning of a “downgrade,” in which virtue is regarded as no longer
possible for man.

To speak of clouded moments of one’s own life involves no small effort.
But in justice both to my husband and to the movement I have tried
to serve I am impelled to do so. There are some people who, if they
remember at all that moral uprising against national unrighteousness in
which we took part, still regard it as an illusion, and its advocacy as
a “fad,” or even as a blot on an otherwise inoffensive career—something
which must always require explanation or apology. But there are others
who understood from the first its true meaning and far-reaching issues,
and who have perhaps imagined that an unbroken consistency of action,
based on an immovable strength of conviction, must at all times have
characterised any man or woman destined to take a representative part
in it. A sense of justice forces me to confess that the fact (in regard
to myself) was not always as they imagined; for there was a time when I
resembled the faint-hearted though loyal disciple, who, when venturing
to walk on the waters, in an evil moment looked away from Christ and
around upon the weltering, unstable floor on which he stood, and
immediately began to sink. When moreover the sense of justice of which
I speak regards one who was and is dear to me as my own soul, then I am
doubly forced to speak, and to give “honour to whom honour is due” by
telling of the wisdom which God gave him in encouraging and supporting
through a few troubled years the tried and wavering advocate of a cause
in which both faith and courage were put to a severe test.

A deeply-rooted faith—a personal, and not merely a traditional
faith—in the central truths of Christ, and moral strength, the
fruit of that faith, were in him united with other qualities which
were needful for the task he so well fulfilled. Others whom I have
known—teachers and fathers in God—have had this moral and spiritual
faith in a high degree, together with an eloquence and power in
argument to which he had no pretension. But few—it seemed to me at
least—possessed such patience as he had, such long-suffering, such a
power of silent waiting, such a dignified reserve, and such a strong
respect for individuality as to forbid all probing of inner wounds, or
questioning of motive or action, even in the case of one so near to
him as myself. He had great delicacy and refinement in dealing with
the bitterness or petulance of a soul in trouble. He had great faith
in his fellow-creatures. And these, together with his unfailing love,
like the sun in the heavens surmounting the hours of cold and darkness,
gradually overcame the mists which had wrapped themselves round the
heart and obscured the spiritual vision of her for whom he never ceased
to pray.

At this time his voice, when simply reading the words of Christ at
family prayers, used to sound in my ears with a strange and wonderful
pathos, which pierced the depths of rebellious or despairing thought.
At times his attitude—probably unconsciously to himself—assumed in my
eyes an unaccustomed and almost awful sternness. Sometimes my unrest of
mind found vent in words of bitterness (which however only skimmed the
surface of the inward trouble), and I waited for him to speak. Then he
seemed to rise before me to a stature far above my level, above that
of other men, and even above his own at other times, while he gently
led me back to great first principles and to the Source of all Truth,
presenting to me, in a way which I could sometimes hardly bear, the
perfection and severity of the law of God, and our own duty in patient
obedience and perseverance, even when the ascent is steepest, and
the road darkest and longest. He very seldom gave me direct personal
advice or warning. He simply stood there before me in the light of God,
truthful, upright, single-minded; and all that had been distorted or
wrong in me was rebuked by that attitude alone; and a kind of prophetic
sense of returning peace, rather than actual peace, entered my soul,
and my heart replied, “Where you stand now, beloved, I shall also stand
again one day, perhaps soon, on firm ground, and in the light of God.”
And my soul bowed in reverence before him, although never could he bear
any outward expression of that reverence. It seemed to hurt him. He
would gently turn away from it. He spoke firmly when he differed from
any doubtful sentiment expressed or argument used. His simple “no,” or
“I think you are wrong,” were at times more powerful to me, than the
most awful pulpit denunciation or argumentative demonstration of my
error could have been; and then, even if he condemned, his love and
reverence never failed.

He knew the Psalms almost by heart, and the inspired words which he
always had so ready were more potent for me, when spoken by him, than
any other thing. His religion, and his method of consoling, were
not of a subtle or philosophical kind; and he was all the better a
comforter to me because he did not—perhaps could not—easily enter into
and follow all the windings of my confused thinkings and doubtings and
revolted feelings. Strong swimmer as he was, I felt in my half-drowned
state his firm grasp, and his powerful stroke upon the waters as we
neared the land; and when by his aid my feet stood once more upon the
solid rock, I understood the full force of the grateful acknowledgment
of the Psalmist, “Thou hast kept my feet from falling, and mine eyes
from tears.”

I have not up till now dwelt upon the wrongs and sorrows which we were
forced deliberately to look upon and measure, nor shall I do so. Could
I do so, my readers would not wonder at any suffering or distress of
brain caused by such a subject of contemplation. Dante tells us that
when, in his dream, he entered the Inferno and met its sights and
sounds, he fell prone “as one dead.” I once replied to a friend, who
complained of my using strong expressions and asked the meaning of
them, as follows: “Hell hath opened her mouth. I stand in the near
presence of the powers of evil. What I see and hear are the smoke of
the pit, the violence of the torture inflicted by man on his fellows,
the cries of lost spirits, the wail of the murdered innocents, and
the laughter of demons.” But these, it will be said, are mere figures
of speech. So they are, used purposely to cover—for no words can
adequately express—the reality which they symbolise. But the reality
is there, not in any dream or poetic vision of woe, but present on
this earth; hidden away, for the most part, from the virtuous and the
happy, but not from the eyes of God. Turning from the contemplation of
such unspeakable woes and depths of moral turpitude, it was a strength
and comfort beyond description, through the years of strife, to look
upon the calm face of my best earthly friend. It was a peace-imparting
influence. And now that I walk alone and look only at his portrait,
even that seems to take me into the presence of God, where he now
dwells among the “spirits of just men made perfect,” and to whisper
hope of the approaching solution of the great mystery of sin and pain.

I often recall an incident, which occurred at Winchester in the
cathedral, a trifle in itself, but which dwells in my memory as an
illustration of the help he gave to me spiritually in time of need. It
was during the service on Sunday. I suddenly felt faint, the effect of
a week of unusual effort and hard work. Wishing not to disturb anyone
or make a scene, I took the opportunity, when all heads were bowed
in prayer, to creep down from the stalls as silently as possible,
past the tomb of William Rufus, and down the choir, holding on when
possible by the carved woodwork of the seats. A moment more, and I
should have dropped. I could scarcely steady my steps, and my sight
failed, when suddenly there passed a flash of light, as it seemed,
before my eyes, something as white as snow and as soft as an angel’s
wing; it enveloped me, and I felt myself held up by a strong, loving
arm, and supported through the nave to the west door, where the cool
summer breeze restored me. It was my husband. He was in his own seat
near the entrance to the nave, and his quick ear had caught the sound
of my footstep. Quite noiselessly he left his seat and took me in his
arms, unobserved by anyone. The flash of light (the angel’s wing) was
the quick movement of the wide sleeve of his fine linen surplice, upon
which the sun shone as he drew me towards him.



CHAPTER XIV.

INDIA.


 Josephine Butler’s constant advocacy of Women’s Suffrage is
 illustrated by the following short speech given at a conference in the
 City Temple on July 20th, 1891.

I told your chairman that I would come forward just to tell you that
I cannot say anything. Still perhaps I may be able to put one little
thought before you. I am sorry that fear and timidity are growing up
again, and that a fresh conspiracy of silence threatens us.

God gives us a phraseology, a pure and chaste and holy indignation,
which makes it possible for us to go to the bottom of these things
without offending the chastest ear. For twenty-one years I have worked
with my dear fellow-workers in a public manner against these hateful
laws, which one of the resolutions pronounced and which I pronounce as
accursed. During these twenty-one years there was one thing which made
our battle harder than it would have been. We have had to fight outside
the Constitution. We have been knocking at the door of the Constitution
all these years, and there are men who even now tell me that they would
give us anything in the way of justice except the parliamentary vote.
We have been talking about certain Members of Parliament who are not
fit to occupy that position. Give the women a vote, and see what will
be the result. In all my work my one strength has been the strength of
the Almighty, sought and won by constant prayer; and the prayer which I
now offer in my secret chamber is that the veil may be taken away, and
the selfishness—the perhaps unconscious selfishness—may be removed from
the hearts of men who deny women equality, and keep them outside the
Constitution. Think what we could do in the cause of morality, think
of the pain and trouble and martyrdom that we might be saved in the
future, if we had that little piece of justice.

 The same question is dealt with in a letter written in the following
 year to a meeting in London of the World’s Women’s Christian
 Temperance Union.

We may pray and we may preach about these things, and we may raise
our voices to some little extent during the excitement of a contested
election; but that is not enough. My friends, we must have the
suffrage. It is our right, and it is cruel, and a continued injustice,
to withhold it from us. It has lately been said that the women
generally of the country have not shown any desire for the suffrage.
Some years ago I can assert that the women of the country showed a
very great desire for it. Men do not know that at the bottom of that
desire, underneath many other good motives, there lies a bitterness
of woe which is the most powerful stimulus towards the desire for
representation in the Legislature. I am sometimes afraid that one of
these days some other terrible injustice may be enacted in Parliament
through which women will again suffer as they did under those laws I
have alluded to. Perhaps it might not be an altogether bad thing, if
it caused women to utter once more the bitter cry to which none of
our legislators could pretend to be deaf. But have we not, as it is,
sufficient trouble, and misery, and degradation among our own sex to
make us utter even now the bitter cry—a cry however at the same time of
hope, courage and confidence?

 In June, 1893, Josephine Butler published _The Present Aspect of
 the Abolitionist Cause in relation to British India_: a letter
 “giving a recital illustrative of the truth that a golden thread
 of Divine guidance runs throughout the lives and work of those who
 give themselves to the cause of truth, leading them out of every
 labyrinth of difficulty towards the goal at which they aim.” She
 tells how information having been received from various sources that
 the Regulation System had been continued in several of the Indian
 Cantonments, notwithstanding the repeal of the Contagious Diseases
 Act in 1888, and official denial having been made of the allegations
 to this effect, the British Branch of the Federation decided to make
 a thorough investigation of the actual state of affairs, which was
 carried out in the early part of 1892 by two American ladies, members
 of the World’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Mrs. Andrew and Dr.
 Kate Bushnell.

The wonderful manner in which Providence answered our wish and prayer
to find suitable instruments for so serious an investigation I shall
now relate. In the year 1878 I was staying with my sister, Madame
Meuricoffre at her country home on the borders of the Lake of Geneva.
One exquisite summer evening we sat together, with another friend, on
the shore of the lake. The water and the snow-capped mountains were
lighted up with gorgeous tints of rose and amber from the setting sun.
In such an hour of calm repose it is sometimes granted to us to see
with greater clearness the past, the present and the future of God’s
dealings with us, and of any work to which we have been called. My
mind had long been troubled by the thought of the growing and gigantic
nature of the Abolitionist work in the various countries of the world,
and of the need and lack of women workers. I knew that women must
always continue to be at the heart and in the forefront of the work in
order to ensure success. I saw around me hundreds of true and faithful
women whose hearts were deeply stirred on the question. But where were
those, I asked, who would form the powerful phalanx needed for the one
object of continued attack on and resistance to that masterpiece of
Satan, official or State recognised and regulated prostitution?

These thoughts I expressed to my sister and my friend. It was one of
those moments in which, whether in sadness or perplexity, or passive
waiting for light, it is sometimes given to us to realise, as with the
disciples at Emmaus, that “Jesus Himself drew nigh.” We were asking
ourselves: “Whence shall this army of women come? Where shall we find
them? What will be the sign of their fitness for this work?” We sat
some time in silence; and then I recollect there came to me one of
those moments of re-assurance and hope, which are sometimes granted
during such silence of the soul. I somewhat dimly recall now that
there came before my mind’s eye a host of women presenting themselves
from different quarters of the globe, speaking different languages,
and possessing various gifts, but all having the special call and the
necessary qualifications for this great conflict. It reminded me of
the incident recorded in Swiss history, during one of Switzerland’s
brave struggles in defence of her freedom; that occasion, I mean,
when a great white mist covering the mountains in the early morning
rolled upwards, and disclosed to the astonished gaze of the invading
army entrenched in the valley a long procession of angels, clad in
white, descending the mountain side; an apparition which so alarmed
the enemy that it is said they lost nerve, turned, and were defeated.
This was but a stratagem devised by a number of shrewd peasant women,
inhabitants of the mountain villages, who dressed themselves in white
and slowly descended the mountain, thus working upon the superstitious
fears of the enemy. So the white-robed army appeared to my mental
vision on this occasion. The mists cleared away, and the hosts were
descending to the plains to engage in this great spiritual conflict.
It was one of those mental pictures which do not fade, a prophetic
thought, the fulfilment of which I have been led to remark year by
year as noble women of different lands have from time to time appeared
just as they were wanted in this cause. Since then I have not doubted
as to the advent of the women workers who would be needed in great
crises, and especially when the physical forces of the pioneers become
exhausted and they must contemplate passing on and leaving the work
to other hands. I shall give in the unstudied language in which Dr.
Kate Bushnell and Mrs. Elizabeth Andrew recounted it to me, their own
narrative of their call to this work. Dr. Kate Bushnell writes:—

“One hot summer day, while searching my Bible for light, I turned first
as by accident to Joseph’s dream. As it did not interest me, and seemed
inapplicable to my need, I turned the pages quickly, and my attention
was next arrested by the account of Belshazzar’s dream, and Daniel’s
interpretation. This seemed to me as foreign to my expectations of help
as the other, and turning the leaves over to the Gospel of St. Matthew,
I read there that ‘when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord
appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.’ My feeling was that I had been
baffled in my search for consolation and help in the sacred pages.
Being very weary, I threw myself on my couch, thinking of the darkness
of Egypt in my own plans. I said to the Lord that I was so stupid in
understanding His guidance, that I thought He might have to send me
the instructions I needed through a dream, and to guide me at times as
He did His simple children of old. I fell asleep almost instantly, and
dreamed that I felt myself tossed on the billows of the Atlantic on my
way to England to see Josephine Butler.” [At this time we had never
met nor corresponded.—J.E.B.] “It became plain to me that she had
something for me to do. It was one of those brief, refreshing periods
of unconsciousness, from which I awoke almost instantly, but with a
strong impression that I must write to Mrs. Butler. This I did, telling
her that I came to her much under such an impulse as urged Peter to go
to Cornelius, and that I was deeply impressed that she could counsel
me as to my future course. She replied, giving me a brief account of
the situation in India, telling me that she and some of her friends
had been earnestly praying that God would raise up an English-speaking
woman to go to that country, and make careful enquiry into the
condition of things there, with a view to ridding that conquered people
of the oppressive tyranny and shame imposed upon them by the Army
authorities, who she had reason to fear had never carried out the will
of Parliament in abolishing the system of regulation. This letter I
showed to Mrs. Andrew, and we took counsel together. Mrs. Butler had
asked me to come over to England, if possible, that we might talk face
to face on this matter. Mrs. Andrew was then on the eve of starting for
England, and very soon after my decision was taken to join her and to
begin our world’s tour together, taking in the special Indian work, if
after full consultation with Mrs. Butler this should seem advisable.”

 Similarly Mrs. Andrew told how she had received inspiration for this
 special work from reading Mr. Stead’s _Life of Josephine Butler_—when
 “the Spirit’s voice whispered to me, ‘You have not worked, you have
 not loved as she has worked and loved.’” The pamphlet proceeds to
 tell the story of these ladies’ investigations, and the wonderful way
 in which they touched the hearts and won the confidence of the poor
 Indian women. They found that all these women, “whether of high or of
 low caste, Hindoo or Mohammedan, and of whatever nationality, whether
 brought up in virtue and afterwards betrayed, or brought up from
 infancy in vicious surroundings,” felt a deep sense of the degradation
 of their position; and that “the fire of their hatred and indignation
 all centred upon _the heart of the regulations, the examinations_, and
 the violation of womanhood which these examinations were felt to be.”
 Mrs. Andrew and Dr. Kate Bushnell gave evidence before a Departmental
 Committee as to the action of the Cantonment officials, and the truth
 of their reports was amply substantiated by the further evidence which
 the Committee obtained in India. The Report of this Committee led to
 the passing, in 1895, of an Act which prohibited all examination or
 registration of women in the Indian Cantonments.

       *       *       *       *       *

 Josephine Butler in 1894 published _The Lady of Shunem_, a series of
 Biblical studies, “addressed to fathers and mothers, more especially
 to mothers.” We give three extracts from this volume.

Is it not a thought, a fact which should wake up the whole Christian
world to a truer and clearer view of life as it is around us, that the
first record of a direct communication from Jehovah to a woman is this
of His meeting with the rejected Hagar, alone in the wilderness? It
was not with Sarah, the princess, or any other woman, but with Hagar,
the ill-used slave, that the God of Heaven stooped to converse, and to
whom He brought His supreme comfort and guidance. This fact has been
to me a strength and consolation in confronting the most awful problem
of earth, _i.e._ the setting apart for destruction, age after age, of
a vast multitude of women—of those whom we dare to call _lost_—beyond
all others lost—hopelessly lost. We ourselves, by our utmost efforts,
have only so far been able to save a few, a mere handful among the
multitude; and of the others, unreached by any divinely-inspired
_human_ help, we are apt to think with dark and dismal foreboding. We
forget that though they may be quite beyond the reach of our helping
hands, they are never beyond the reach of His hand—His, who “being put
to death in the flesh” was “quickened by the Spirit, by which also He
went and preached to the spirits in prison.”

Into the vilest prison-houses of earth (I believe) He descends _alone_
many a time, to save those souls buried out of the sight and ken of
His servants and ministers, even as He—He alone, unaccompanied by any
chosen ministers—descended into Hades and “preached the Gospel also to
those that are dead,” that they who have been “judged according to men
in the flesh” may “live according to God in the Spirit.”

       *       *       *       *       *

That God should _permit_ evil seems to some minds as immoral as that
He should Himself create and dispense it. This portion of the subject
is surrounded with difficulty and mystery. It leads us back to the
great unanswered question concerning the origin of evil. Nowhere would
a dogmatic utterance of any kind be more out of place and presumptuous
than here.

The glimpses of truth, the broken lights which we possess concerning
the divine government of the world, come to us often as a succession
of paradoxes, among which however the humble seeker finds at last the
truth which satisfies the heart and fortifies the spirit, if it does
not seem exactly to fit in with our poor logic. God certainly suffers
His children, even His highest saints, to fall now and again under
the power of some of those evil things which we recognise as having
been introduced into the world as the attendants of sin and death. He
allows sickness to visit them. In the prolonging of such visitations
however He is, I believe, sometimes only patiently waiting for the
sufferer to claim deliverance; and it is frequently a long time before
His child recognises the fact that he may glorify God by giving Him
the opportunity of rebuking his disease as much as he is doing by an
unquestioning submission. “Wilt thou be made whole?” is often His
question to a sufferer, as to the cripple at the Pool of Siloam, as if
He would say, “I am ready to rebuke the oppressor and to heal thee,
when thou art ready to take this blessing.”

Those who are tempted to be angry with God for allowing misfortunes and
evils to fall upon us, or who meet these in a spirit only of a sullen
acquiescence, have not yet fully realised that it is only through
conflict and through trial of our integrity that we can become in the
highest sense sons and daughters of God. Christ Himself was “made
perfect through suffering.” There are persons who seem to think that
God could, if He pleased, by a single act of His will, by a wave of
His hand, cause all evil to cease out of the universe this very day,
this very hour. Whether He _can_ do so or not is beyond our power or
province to know or to enquire. But it is evident to one who studies
humbly His Word and His Providence in the light of His Spirit, that God
has been pleased to submit Himself for a season to a certain limitation
of His power; and we may be sure that this is for an end that will be
much more excellent and glorious than we can now conceive of, when the
work of grace in the salvation of the world is fully accomplished.

“He _could not_ there do many mighty works, because of their unbelief.”
Here we have a clearly confessed limitation of His power, while at
the same time the words point to that blessed truth and marvel of the
appointed working together of God’s will and man’s will, the union of
the divine and the human for the fulfilment of His loving purposes,
and the final triumph of good over evil. If the above words be true
that “_He could not_,” is not the converse true also, that He could,
and that He _can_, do many mighty works because of the faith He finds
in man? It would seem that God needs the faith of man as an allied
spiritual agency, for the constant generating of the force by which He
will finally “subdue all things unto Himself,” when the rebel power,
the opposing will, will exist no more.

It is a wonderful and solemn thought that we, who believe in Him, we
fathers and mothers, who have the strongest of all human motives to
exercise the faith which He loves and approves, can supply to our God
the conditions which He has told us He needs, and which He claims of
us, in order to save not only our own children, but whole generations
to come, who shall be fellow-workers with Him in bringing in the reign
of righteousness on the earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I thank God that I long ago got far beyond being taunted with youth,
and suspected of an enthusiasm which is a mere ardour of the blood,
untried by experience of life. The sweet visions of my early youth,
when I used to sit under the shade of the trees in my father’s home,
and read of the holy martyrs and dream of a golden age, are nothing
compared with the hope and enthusiasm which God gives me now, and which
He has continued to give me while health failed, and some present hopes
were blighted, and my way began to be strewn with the graves of those I
loved, and I trod the lonely path of widowhood, and the world’s worst
evils continued to glare in my eyes. I have had sharp, deep wounds, and
long conflict of soul; but _now_ ought not I, if anyone ought, to tell
out the hopes which God gives me, and to speak of the ever-widening
horizon which I see illumined by His redeeming love?

    Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
    For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

 The following paragraph is part of an interview given in _Wings_, the
 official organ of the Women’s Total Abstinence Union, January, 1895.

I have often had occasion, in the course of many years of arduous work,
again and again to meet groups of my fellow-workers, especially on the
Continent, who have confessed themselves subjected to periods of deep
depression and disappointment. Having gone through the same experience
myself, and having been driven back upon God again and again, when
everything seemed dark and hopeless, He has taught me some precious
lessons which I have been called to impart sometimes to others. The
central truth to which I have learned to hold fast is this truth—that
death must precede resurrection; that in every cause which is truly
God’s cause failures and disappointments are not only familiar things,
but even necessary for the final success of the cause. _It is the
lesson of the Cross._ That scene on Calvary was for the moment, or
seemed to be, the wreck of all the hopes of the followers of Christ.
The spirit of the poor disciples walking on the road to Emmaus who
said, “We trusted that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel,”
is a true picture of the experience probably of every true reformer.
But when God has Himself led us into some of His secrets, and the inner
meaning of His providential guidings, we no longer despond; for we
come to know that it is a law in the Kingdom of Grace that death must
precede resurrection. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and
_die_, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
For many years past therefore I have been able, by God’s grace, not
only to acquiesce in apparent failure time after time, but even in a
measure to rejoice, knowing that the way is thus being prepared, both
in our own hearts and in the outward circumstances, for a more complete
victory in the end.



CHAPTER XV.

GENEVA.


 _A Doomed Iniquity_ was the title of a pamphlet issued by Josephine
 Butler in 1896. It embodied an authoritative condemnation of State
 Regulation of Vice from persons of very different trains of thought,
 in France, Germany, and Belgium, who regarded the question from
 various points of view—scientific, political and religious—but all
 agreed in proclaiming the complete failure and injustice of the
 system, “of which they have had a far longer experience than we in
 England had.” The first was from Dr. Charles Mauriac, who at one time
 strongly defended the system, but had now published a book on the
 hygienic aspect of the question, in which he declared that the old
 coercive method was “breaking to pieces on all sides like a worm-eaten
 building on the point of falling to ruin,” and advocated a new method
 “which will emancipate woman from the last remnants of slavery, and
 render her free, as men are, to enter a hospital and to leave it
 without constraint whenever it seems good to her.” The second was from
 Herr Bebel, the leader of the Socialist party in Germany, who pointed
 out the failure, cruelty and injustice of the system—a flagrant
 injustice which was “only possible because it is men alone who govern
 and who make the laws.” The third opinion was given in a memorial
 to the Pope, from the Belgian Society of Public Morality, signed
 by all the Catholic bishops of Belgium, and others including the
 Prime Minister, praying his “Holiness to condemn, with an authority
 which is recognised by the whole world, this system so fatal to the
 well-being of souls, and so dangerous to the social order.”

 Herr Bebel’s statement had been written to a Swiss friend, for use in
 the struggle at Geneva, referred to in the following letters, when a
 blind popular vote endorsed the recognition by the administration of
 “tolerated houses.” It is worth noting that eleven years later the
 Federal High Court of Switzerland pronounced the establishment of such
 houses in Geneva to be illegal: “comme contraire aux bonnes mœurs,”
 adding, “le fait qu’il serait autorisé par l’administration ne saurait
 lui enlever ce caractère.”


 To various friends.

  GENEVA, _March 25th, 1896_.

 I have been called to witness a dark page in the history of human
 life. It is pain to me to have to record it; but its lessons are
 needful and solemn, and I wish I had a voice to reach to the end of
 the civilised world, that those lessons might be heard. How many years
 we have had the hard task imposed on us of trying to show people—good
 people—the horrible principles embodied in the State regulation of
 vice, and the results which must necessarily follow—and they _would
 not, will not_ believe us.

 I must tell you first the dark side, and we must not shrink from
 letting it be known far and wide; and then I will go back and record
 the events of the last fortnight, among which you will find many
 things which will make you glad, as they have made us glad, in the
 midst of so much horror. Well you already know the result of the
 Popular Vote. We had 4068 as against 8300—a crushing defeat. But
 presently I must explain to you how the people were misled by the
 Government; so that this cannot be quite truly said to be the verdict
 of the people, though to all the world it seems so. It will be and
 is a _great triumph_ for our adversaries everywhere. As M. Ador said
 (one of our friends in the Grand Council), it is (he believed) the
 first time in the history of the world when a moral question of such
 import has been submitted to the verdict of the people, and their
 verdict is in favour of continued legalised vice; and it is the first
 time that the popular vote has been taken on the basis of the “Droit
 d’Initiative,” a recent law in Switzerland from which much good was
 expected.

 The horrors revealed last week, and especially those of Sunday night,
 have however so far exceeded the dismay caused by the immense majority
 against us, that I must speak first of those. And you will not wonder
 when I say that I _am glad_, as many others are, that the gates of
 this Inferno were thrown open, and that the results of a hundred years
 of Government organised and protected vice have been for once fully
 revealed. In a meeting on Monday of our gentlemen (who now number
 some hundreds of really convinced and militant abolitionists) they
 asked me some questions about our English battle, and in answering
 I said, “Gentlemen, you are able to face the truth, _which is that
 Geneva is governed by the brothel keepers (tenanciers)_. They are the
 masters of the city, the masters of the situation. It is they, with
 their following, who have now given a mandate to the Council of State
 and the Grand Council, to strengthen _their_ position, and to plant
 more firmly than ever in your midst government by _tenanciers_.” They
 all agreed. “It is true, it is true,” they cried. “It is of no use to
 disguise it.”

 Sunday morning—the voting day—rose brilliantly, a blue sky without a
 cloud, and the most brilliant sunshine. Mme. de Gingins and I went
 to an early service in a Free Church, where most of our friends go.
 They sent me a message to speak a few words. (All scruples about
 women speaking in churches vanished like a slight cloud before the
 midday sun in the presence of such a solemn day for the people, when
 all the faith and courage and patience of _women_ were as much wanted
 as those of men.) There was _great life_ in that morning service, at
 the end of which most of us had the Sacrament together, in almost
 absolute silence. I should rather have liked that we had all received
 it standing, with a drawn sword in one hand, as the old crusaders
 did! The spirit of war however was there, as well as the Master’s
 benediction: “My peace I give unto you.” On the way home we elected
 to take a drive all round the city, Mme. de Gingins and I in her
 carriage, which waited for us. The streets were already (at 10 a.m.)
 very crowded, but the people were quiet, it being so early. I looked
 with sympathy at the faces of numbers of poor and honest-looking
 workmen, who seemed to be anxious.

 Oh, I never saw anything like the beauty of the Rhone that day,
 rolling its magnificent waves and curling, dancing waters along (the
 waters about which Ruskin has half a chapter of eloquent description).
 The main colour is a clear sapphire blue, shading off into sky blues,
 purples and pale rose colours, and flecked with streaks of golden
 sunlight. Geneva is a _beautiful_ city, and the birds were singing,
 and the young leaves appearing on the avenues of trees.

 At 5 p.m. we went, by the invitation of M. Favre, to his house, where
 he had invited _all_ the leading abolitionists to assemble to hear
 the result of the poll, and, if necessary, to stay all night—sixty or
 seventy of us!—because it was well known if we had had a victory the
 vengeance of the _tenanciers’_ mob would have made it perilous for any
 of us to pass through the streets.

 I shall never forget that memorable evening and night. M. Favre is
 the most prominent man of Geneva, belonging to the old nobility. His
 house is just a little removed from the town, on a little rising
 ground whence you see all Geneva lying like a map before you. It is
 one of the fortresses of the old nobles, before the Reformation, and
 it was there that some hundreds of Huguenot refugees from France were
 harboured by an ancestor of M. Favre in the times of Louis XIV. There
 is a huge stone archway by which you enter a great courtyard, whence
 stairs ascend in the open air to different parts of the fortress. It
 is all of solid rock and stone; no mob would have a chance to enter,
 and here the refugees of March 22nd, 1896, were received. When we
 first went about fourteen of us had dinner, and food was kept going
 in the dining-room till midnight for all the abolitionist presidents
 at the different urns who kept dropping in till 10 p.m. Those, who
 came from the country arrondissements, of course got in rather late,
 some of them having narrowly escaped rough handling. M. Bridel came
 last, and they telephoned for news of him, but no answer came. His
 wife was very pale and anxious, but at last he appeared. The voting
 in his quarter had continued late. Last of all, M. de Meuron came from
 La Fusterie, where all the votes had been collected and counted, and
 where the final result was given out. It was a great shock and grief
 to all, and hard to bear. About forty or fifty men (who had been at
 the urns all day) were assembled in that room, with their dusty boots
 (having had no time to change) and their tired faces, and stood for
 nearly an hour in groups in that large room of the Huguenot fortress
 discussing all the circumstances. As I looked at their good faces and
 heard their words, I felt _more encouraged than I have ever yet been
 in Geneva_. These were the men who make _corps d’élite_, who lead
 forlorn hopes, and who by this very defeat and disaster are welded
 into a more complete and convinced body of combatants than could ever
 have been formed by a _victory_, and I felt the strong _brotherhood_
 which had grown up among them in a short time. There were Democrats
 and Conservatives, Protestants, Catholics and Freethinkers, but all
 “straight men,” honest, and in great earnest. When they had conversed
 some time, afterwards they proposed that we should resolve ourselves
 into a committee, which we did, forming a circle. That consultation
 was wonderfully practical, and to the point. Slowly, but surely, a
 spirit of resoluteness, and even encouragement, took the place of the
 first feeling of dismay. It was a memorable assembly; I shall never
 forget it.

 Then we began to feel and to hear from our fortress the beginning
 of the demoniacal orgies of that night. M. Favre made M. and Mme.
 de Meuron stay all night, and a few others, as the threats of the
 mob were rather alarming. We all stayed till nearly midnight. We had
 among our faithful following a number of humble men and women, who
 came in now and again to report on what was passing, and next day the
 worst they had told us was more than confirmed. When the result of
 the poll was known, the leading _tenanciers_, with their banners and
 following, forced their way into the large Church of the Fusterie, at
 the entrance of which the final result of the voting had been made
 known, and then began scenes and processions which had been organised
 beforehand. It is a pain to write of it; but it is well that the worst
 should be known, well that the Genevese should have had the awful
 revelation of the vileness of what they have been harbouring in their
 midst. You may know perhaps, that every house of debauchery under
 Government sanction and protection is obliged to hang up a red lamp
 over the door, as a guide to visitors. So that now, and especially
 since Sunday night, that powerful institution which now rules Geneva
 is designated as the “Lampe rouge.” They had organised processions in
 case of a victory, with designs and red lamps. They marched through
 the whole city, a mass of devilry and obscenity which, I suppose,
 could hardly be seen anywhere else, except perhaps in Paris. Soldiers
 had been posted all about the Fusterie, but nevertheless the “red
 lamps” rushed into the church and marched round it inside, locking
 the _gendarmerie_ out. The latter could not even succeed in forcing
 their way round the outside of the church, so dense was the crowd.
 Inside it seems the “red lamps” held a sort of service to the
 devil—tramping, swearing, and singing songs of the utmost blasphemy
 and obscenity. Having “consecrated” their red lamps in the large
 church, they went on to all the other churches, and filled the air in
 front of each with their blasphemies. Then branches of the procession
 went _running_ to the different places which they hated most, and
 where they hoped to find some abolitionists—first to the Young Men’s
 Christian Association, but they had an _avant-courrier_ in the person
 of one of our scouts, who ran faster and told that the “red lamps”
 were coming, so that all the men assembled in that building had
 just time to get out and disperse, and only windows were left to be
 battered in. They went to our Federation office, but it was locked up
 and all dark—M. Minod being with us in the Huguenot fortress. Then a
 number of them made a furious rush to the Eaux Vives, to break into
 M. de Meuron’s house, but _it_ was also locked up and not a soul in
 it. They demonstrated furiously in front of it. So through the long
 hours devilry reigned in this city, which on that early Sunday morning
 had looked so fair. It was an _open_ and impudent saturnalia, flaring
 its open shame before the eyes of all, “La Lampe rouge” carried
 everywhere, like a divinity, and the decent part of the population
 cowering before it, or getting out of sight.

 In one matter the kind prayers of our friends were answered. Just
 about midnight, when we in the fortress wanted to get home, and
 anxieties were felt as to our getting back without being attacked,
 a tremendous rain fell for about an hour, though till then the sky
 had been clear. It seemed sent by God. It damped the unholy ardour
 of the followers of the “Lampe rouge,” and drove many of them into
 their retreats, so that at that hour we were able to get home without
 being recognised, as there was darkness as well as heavy rain. I do
 not think there was much bodily injury. At one moment, in front of
 the Fusterie, one of our presidents at the urns was knocked down
 in the crowd, and seemed likely to be trampled, and a student of
 the university drew his sword (one of those swords concealed in a
 walking stick) to defend our friend. A great commotion followed, and
 the student was arrested. There was a great deal of violence, but no
 serious hurt. The “red lamps” finally assembled before the office of
 the _Genevois_, and the editor was called to harangue them. I think
 he felt a little ashamed of the devilry he had helped to call up, and
 begged them to keep quiet and go to bed, assuring them that “pietism,”
 _i.e._ Christianity, was killed for ever in Geneva from that night.
 Oh! shade of Calvin!

 Now to explain in a degree the great majority against us. I sent you
 some of the voting papers. Is it any wonder that such a paper should
 puzzle the ordinary elector? You know how stupid electors often are.
 I doubt if our own people in England would all have voted right if
 the question had been put to them in that complicated form. If the
 question had been, “Do you desire the abolition or the maintenance
 of the _maisons tolérées_?” every man, woman, and boy would have
 understood, because the _maisons tolérées_ are as much in evidence
 and known as the cathedral or the market-place. But the question put
 before the electors was “(1) Do you approve of the _projet de loi
 de l’initiative_? Yes or no. (2) Do you approve of the _projet de
 loi_ of the Government? Yes or no.” You can see what a throwing of
 dust in their eyes this was. Working men were asking, What does it
 mean?—honestly asking; and you know that during the past five weeks
 our party were not allowed to hold meetings to instruct the people.
 Every meeting was broken up by the “Lampes rouges,” and finally every
 hall and room was closed against us by a police order. Attempting to
 speak in the streets or roads, our friends were stoned and assaulted,
 and silenced by noise. _Freedom of public meeting and freedom of
 speech no longer exist in Geneva._ You will see that stated in the
 Press which is favourable to us again and again. If we had had
 those liberties it is believed that we _might_ have had a majority
 of votes. Working women told us that their husbands were good men,
 but meant to abstain from voting altogether, because they did not
 clearly understand the questions. Many hundreds abstained altogether.
 Then, thirdly, the _Genevois_ had worked so hard, and others too (of
 the Government), to tell the people that _we_ had deeply injured
 La Patrie, and troubled Geneva, and spoiled the prospects of the
 Exhibition—that _foreigners_ had done this, _i.e._ Vaudois, Bernese,
 Germans, etc., and that all the agitators were paid by an English
 lady, who had been sent from London with hundreds of pounds in her
 pocket. The poor people were misled by this kind of stuff. When one
 considers all these traps and deceptions put before them, to say
 nothing of the drink, one almost wonders that there were found 4000
 who voted for abolition.


 To various friends.

  _April 7th, 1896._

 We have been gaining true adherents every day since the 22nd, persons
 who have been moved by the force of circumstances and by their own
 conscience openly to join the Abolitionists. Among these are several
 professors of the university. I think I did not explain in my last
 that one cause of our having such a minority of votes is as follows:
 Party politics _rule_ at Geneva. The appearance of a new party in the
 State, a party of Justice and Morality, displeased the Conservative,
 the Democratic, and the Radical parties alike. The Democratic
 especially, as they are the majority, and most of our abolitionist
 friends are Democrats. The “National party,” which is _above_ mere
 petty party politics, was of course a stone of discord thrown among
 them, which disgusted them much; and several voted against us on the
 22nd out of sheer anger and revenge. Yet the truth is working, and
 some are even now repenting of their vote, while several abstained at
 the last moment.

 On Monday morning, after Sunday night’s horrible scenes, I walked
 along in the sweet sunshine to our office to see how things looked,
 and there I found a group already of distinguished men gathered round
 M. Minod’s large table, who had just come in one by one to relieve
 their hearts and consult together. We can recollect when we in England
 had the same experience in the midst of general or party politics.
 We were not agreeable to either side in Parliament. Troublesome
 “faddists” they called us, and an occasion of trouble and division
 among the different political parties. In two great elections at
 least we troubled the Government considerably by the confusion we
 brought into the Liberal camp. In fact we were _obliged_ to make
 ourselves disagreeable in order to be listened to at all, and at last
 we prevailed. I told a good deal of this to our Geneva friends, who
 are much reproached for sounding a note in the political circles which
 is neither of one side nor the other, but altogether a new note. I
 recalled Christ’s words, “I am not come to bring peace on earth, but a
 sword.”

 Another encouragement is the coming out of so many doctors. A few
 weeks ago we did but know of _one_ who was favourable; but only four
 days before the election thirty-three doctors made up their minds, and
 even had their names printed as adherents to our principles, on large
 pink and blue placards, which were stuck all over the walls of Geneva.
 Then we were much encouraged by the bearing of the students of the
 university, and other young men. Those students had several meetings
 of their own, called with a serious purpose, and not prompted from the
 outside. One of them reported to me a final meeting they had among
 themselves for voting. _Eighty-five per cent._ of the students present
 declared themselves strongly in favour of Abolitionist principles. One
 young man was courageous enough to get up and protest that an early
 introduction to vice was a sign of manliness, adding that many of the
 virtuous students were weak fellows, etc.! The eighty-five _went_ for
 him like a pack of young hounds after some noisome wild animal, with
 howling and fury. The misguided young man judged it best to get out
 of the room, which he did very rapidly indeed. Of course there is a
 certain youthfulness about these manifestations, but it rejoiced our
 hearts to see so many of the young population inspired with just and
 generous principles. The youths of the “Etoile” too, who are of a
 humbler class in society, were intelligently and ardently on our side.
 These poor fellows, with some of the university, formed themselves
 into a kind of body-guard to follow and quietly surround M. de Meuron,
 Bridel and others when they tried to hold meetings, and to stand
 between them and the showers of stones and dirt thrown at them. It was
 kind of them, poor boys! God will not forget it.

 One of the things which made the most impression on me of all in
 Geneva was M. Favre’s prayer at a great gathering of the most earnest,
 recently-awakened people. Was it a prayer? Yes—partly, and yet at
 times it was like a confession made to _us_, to Switzerland, to the
 world. He spoke as a prophet, in broken sentences, and out of a heart
 bowed down under a sense of guilt and deep responsibility, with a
 great need pressing on him to “cry aloud” as Jeremiah used to do.
 And he did not beat about the bush as people too often do in their
 prayers and confessions. He said quite simply, in a voice shaken with
 emotion,“Oh, how heartless and cruel we have been, we Christians, all
 these years since 1875, when God sent His gentle messenger to us, of
 whom we heard with coldness and disapproval. How cruel we have been!
 O God! we have left this little handful of despised Abolitionists
 these twenty years, unhelped and unheeded; left them without a
 word of sympathy and without friends, a little band, as we thought,
 influenced by some fanciful motive. All these years we have passed
 them by. Forgive us, O servants of God, forgive us! We have spoken
 of the higher life and of consecration, and we have believed that we
 were serving God by dwelling on the heights, separated from the mass
 of sin and sinners below us; and now we see our error, and we mourn.
 Now we see who Thy faithful ones are, O God—these humble and just ones
 who have sown in tears these long years, and whom Thou wilt recognise
 when they shall be called home bearing their sheaves with them, while
 _we_—O brothers, let us fall down in the dust before Him.” And so
 he ended, as Daniel in his great prayer of intercession, “O God, we
 have sinned and our fathers have sinned. O God, forgive; O God, hear;
 O God, hearken and do.” I have not got the words exactly (it was in
 French), but this is the sense; and I listened almost in awe, as
 others did. It was the cry of distress, of a heart pent up with the
 bitterness of repentance; a noble utterance as of a true soul bowed in
 sackcloth and ashes. Therefore I am _glad, glad, glad_ that all this
 has happened, for how can repentance and new life ever come to the
 careless, and to the most reckless sinners, unless it first comes to
 the “household of God?”

 I must not omit to tell you of my visit to M. Favon. On the Saturday
 evening, the day before the voting, Madame Ruchonnet came from Cully
 to go with me to see him. He is, you recollect, our great opponent,
 editor of the _Genevois_. He received us with much courtesy, and even
 gentleness, as if grateful for our visit. We had a long conversation,
 for about an hour. One thing in our conversation opened my eyes a
 little more on the situation. He said: “But, dear lady, what an
 _awful_ thing, what a tyranny beyond all other tyrannies it would be,
 should your party triumph, to have a renewal of the ancient sumptuary
 discipline, of the prying into the secrets of every household and
 of family life! It would be the most wicked of tyrannies.” I was
 astonished, and with difficulty persuaded him that such a thought
 was as detestable to us as to him; that we had historical evidence
 (in the Pilgrim Fathers) of the folly and futility, as well as
 shame, of attempting to reach private immorality by the law, which
 means necessarily by police and the most hateful espionage. I was
 thankful in my heart that since the beginning of our crusade I had
 been convinced in my conscience and understanding of the folly, and
 even wickedness, of all systems of _outward repression_ of private
 immorality, for which men and women are accountable to God and their
 own souls; but not to the _State_.



CHAPTER XVI.

PROPHETS AND PROPHETESSES.


 The year 1896 was marked by the publication of _Personal Reminiscences
 of a Great Crusade_, in which Josephine Butler gives a vivid history
 of the first ten years of the strenuous fight against the Contagious
 Diseases Acts. She hoped to be able to continue the history in a
 subsequent volume, but ill-health prevented the fulfilment of this
 design.

 In the following year the question of the health of the Indian Army
 came very prominently again before the public eye. The passing of the
 Act of 1895, which absolutely prohibited the compulsory examination
 of women, had been followed by a marked increase of disease, perhaps
 largely due to the fact that the new measure had been accompanied by
 the closing of the special hospitals in many of the Cantonments, so
 that no opportunity was afforded of testing the effect of substituting
 the voluntary system of hospital treatment (always advocated by
 Josephine Butler and her fellow workers) for the old compulsory
 system. But, whatever the cause may have been, the statistics were
 such as to produce a panic among persons, who were not accustomed to
 study statistics, and did not therefore realise that figures relating
 to a few years may often deceive, and that a true judgment can only
 be gained by careful comparison of facts and figures spread over long
 periods. The panic was so great that a Departmental Committee was
 appointed at the India Office to enquire into the matter; and the
 Government received several memorials on both sides of the question.
 One of the memorials, praying for the reintroduction of the regulation
 system, was signed by women, including princesses and other ladies of
 title. This roused Josephine Butler to issue a passionate and powerful
 pamphlet, _Truth before Everything_.

My own countrywomen have been the first in the world to set their seal
to the infernal doctrine of the necessity of vice, and to proffer to
our Imperial Government before the whole world, what Lady Frederick
Cavendish rightly styles their “counsels of despair.” The scene has
changed indeed; we accept the fact, and look it full in the face. For
my own part, I do so without alarm for our cause, and scarcely even
with surprise, although my heart is wounded with a sense of shame,
and I mourn for those whose eyes are blinded to the truth. Men and
women alike in the most exalted social classes frequently possess
extraordinarily little knowledge of the conditions of life among the
poor, and consequently little sympathy with the humbler people who are
the most liable to suffer under grievances imposed officially, over and
above the hardships incidental to their condition. High rank itself
tends to confuse and obscure the mental vision on a subject concerning
which, of all others, we need to know the instincts and convictions of
the people, and to make room for the expression of the great heart of
toiling and suffering humanity, which still so largely beats true among
us, and in all lands.

 The Government however did not reintroduce the _old_ regulation
 system, but while they expressly laid down that no registration,
 and no periodical and compulsory examination of women should be
 permitted, they suggested that the special diseases in question
 should be made notifiable and dealt with in the same manner as other
 contagious diseases. Accordingly a new Cantonment Act was passed in
 the same year, and new Cantonment Regulations made, under which women
 suspected of being diseased may be expelled from the Cantonments,
 unless they submit to medical treatment. Abolitionists have always
 objected to these Regulations, which are still in force, with some
 later modifications, because they appear capable of being worked in
 such a way as to involve indirectly, but no less truly, the whole
 method of compulsion, which was inherent in the old system, and
 because the Act of 1895, which expressly prohibited registration and
 examination, has been repealed.

 In May, 1897, Josephine Butler contributed to _Wings_ a short article
 on the “Joy of God,” part of which is here given.

Jesus spoke much of His joy in His last wonderful conversation with
His disciples: “That my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be
full” (John xv, 11). His joy is His Father’s joy. I do not believe that
_that_ joy is ever interrupted. It flows on like a mighty river, like
God Himself, its source—infinite, unceasing, unfathomable joy; and
Jesus offers _us_ to be sharers in it. It is not possible that the joy
of God can be interrupted by the works of the devil, by his apparent
present victories. God’s joy continues, eternal like Himself, through
all the evils and sorrows and horrors of earth, and of the kingdom
of darkness, for He sees beyond all. He knows that the end will be
_victory_. Jesus feels for His people’s sufferings, and suffers with
them; nevertheless His joy is not diminished. It seemed to me one day,
as if for a moment I saw the Divine face looking down at all that is
taking place in these days, and (if I dare to express it) it seemed as
if there were tears in those Divine and pitying eyes: yet all the time
there was a smile upon the lips, for while He pitied He knew what the
end would be, and He smiled.

It was a half-waking vision I had when I was recovering from illness
at Lausanne. I felt as if the obstacles in the way of all our efforts
for reforms and for blessing were like huge high walls blocking the
way and darkening the daylight on every side. But as I looked, and as
I felt the pitying, smiling face of God, and all these walls got lower
and lower, till they were quite low, and above and around them all was
God’s great sky, His open, clear, and glorious heavens, I sprang on the
top of one of these low walls (like some of the low vineyard walls in
Switzerland), and I shouted for joy and victory!

 Later in the year she contributed a series of articles to _Wings_,
 which were republished under the title, _Prophets and Prophetesses_:
 some thoughts for the present times. A French translation of this was
 also issued. The rest of the present chapter contains extracts from
 this volume.

How greatly are prophets and prophetesses needed in these days, days in
which the air is filled with a confusion of voices—some of them mocking
voices, some of them wailing and sorrowful voices—when false prophets
abound, lying spirits, demon worshippers and materialists. The promise
stands in the Scriptures of God that He will send true prophets and
prophetesses in the latter days. Where are they? Why is that promise
not abundantly fulfilled? It _will_ be fulfilled if we, who believe His
word, combine to ask its fulfilment. The word, to prophesy, is best
translated by the learned as “to show forth the mind of God” on any
matter. What a high gift! What a holy endowment this, to be enabled to
show or set forth to man the mind or thought of God! In order to attain
to that gift, the soul must live habitually in the closest union with
God, in Christ, so as to realise the prayer of the saint who cried,
“_Henceforth, O Lord, let me think Thy thought and speak Thy speech._”
Many even of our holiest men and women live too active, too hurried a
life, to be able to enter deeply into the thought of God, and thence
to speak that thought to the thirsty multitudes who are dimly seeking
after Him, and in their hearts crying, “Who will show us any good?”

That women as well as men were destined by God to be prophets was fully
acknowledged by St. Paul, by his acts as well as his words. He gave
careful directions as to how women were to appear as prophetesses, so
as to avoid the malicious criticism of the enemies of the new-born
faith, ever on the watch for some ground of accusation against the
Christians. It is an astonishing and a melancholy thing that the
churches and their ministers, and the Christian world in general
through all these generations, should apparently have ignored or made
light of the following blessed fact, the fact that on the day of
Pentecost, the great day when the Holy Spirit was poured forth on
that multitude of all peoples and nations gathered in Jerusalem, when
the New Dispensation was inaugurated in which we now live, the Apostle
Peter, in his magnificent first Pentecostal sermon, proclaimed the
actual _fulfilment_ on that day, and for all the days to come, of the
promise of the prophet Joel, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all
flesh; and your sons and your _daughters_ shall prophesy; and on my
servants and on my _handmaidens_ I will pour out of my Spirit.”“This
has come unto you,” said St. Peter, “which was spoken by the Prophet
Joel.” Is it possible that the Church has ever fully believed this,
has ever truly heard or understood this mighty utterance from heaven,
recorded first in the Hebrew Scripture, and again at the great
inauguration of the Dispensation under which we are now living, a
Dispensation of Liberty, Life, Impartiality, Equality, and Justice, in
which there is, or should be,“neither male nor female, neither Jew nor
Greek”?

When Kepler, the great astronomer, was congratulated on the wonderful
discovery he had made—in what are now called Kepler’s Laws, on which
Newton based his own still greater discoveries—he (Kepler), full of
Christian humility, replied, “I have only thought God’s thoughts after
Him.” We need, and we ask of God, prophets and prophetesses, seers, who
will see as God sees, and who will judge of all things in the light of
God. They will be very unpopular, these seers, if they are faithful.
Many of the humbler people will hear them gladly, but the world will
not love them. Quite the contrary. Conventional morality does not
like to be disturbed; the respectable as well as the disreputable
prejudices of ages are hard to root up.

Never did the world and the Church need seers more than at the
present time. Looking at any of the great questions before us now—the
relations of nation to nation, and of the Anglo-Saxon race to the
heathen populations of conquered countries; questions of gold-seeking,
of industry, of capital and labour, of the influence of wealth, now
so great a power in our country and its dependencies; questions of
legal enactments, of the action of Governments, and innumerable social
and economic problems—we may ask, How much of the light of heaven is
permitted to fall on those questions? How many or how few are there
among us who ask, and seek, and knock and wait, to know _God’s thought_
on these matters? The few, who do so, cease to accept as a guide a
daily newspaper, or the opinion of the Press generally, or the verdict
of any class, theological, social, or political; nor even are they
satisfied to set their minds at rest by an appeal to the best and
wisest of the servants of God. But in their measure they follow in the
steps of the prophets of old. It is in the solitude of the soul, alone
with God, that His thoughts are revealed. It is in great humility, in
separation from the spirit of the world, in asking and receiving _His_
spirit, “the spirit of truth,” which “shall guide us into all truth,”
that we learn to think His thoughts.

It requires much courage to be alone with God, to elect to retire for
a time, and even for long times, and to listen to _His_ voice only.
It requires more courage than is needed to meet human opposition or
to battle with an outward enemy, and is altogether different from
worship in the congregation with others around us. Let anyone who
doubts this make the trial, in humble determination, “I will not let
Thee go except Thou bless me,” until Thou admittest me to the inner
sanctuary of Thy presence, and speakest to me. For it is then that the
keen searchlight of His presence reveals the innermost recesses of the
soul, so that the creature who has been bold enough to seek such a
solitary interview with the Creator shall fall on his face, as Daniel
did, in self-abasement: “I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days.”
It is then that all which is of self, all subtle egotism—the egotism
which takes such a multitude of forms—is searched and hunted out of the
soul. It cannot live in His presence. The praise of man becomes as dust
beneath the feet, and the soul trembles even to receive any honour of
men, or to be recognised in this world as of any worth.

It is then also, that the great enemy of souls essays to draw near,
bringing all his forces to bear on that divinely bold but humbled
creature, and seeking to wreck the blessing which he knows must come
of such an interview between Christ and a human soul. It is then that
he disputes every inch of the ground sought to be won on that day by
the Saviour, and by the disciple whom His spirit has stirred up to
draw thus awfully near to Him. Jesus was “led of the Spirit” into the
wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. It is in the very heart of this
great dispute between our God and Satan, and in such a solitude, that
some of the deepest truths are learned, and that God speaks. Then
the enemy is defeated, and only the light is left, the light which
was sought and which reveals God’s thought. And what is the sequel of
such an encounter? There are many who can bear witness that the enemy,
discouraged by the courage of the humble and determined soul, departs
never to return, and then it pleases the Lord sometimes, in His great
love and pity, to grant to His child, in a measure, that communion
which the Hebrew saint had, with whom God spoke face to face as a man
speaks with _his friend_.

We are not all called to be teachers, or to declare aloud the mind of
God; not all called to prophesy. But all are invited to draw near to
Him, to come nearer and nearer, and the humblest, the least gifted or
least intelligent, who will elect to receive ever at first hand and
from the fountain-head, and not only from secondary sources, light,
life and knowledge, becomes, whether he knows it or not, a medium of
spiritual life and true thoughts to others, in proportion to the grace
given to him.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart
of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But
God hath revealed them unto us by His spirit; for the Spirit searcheth
all things, yea, the deep things of God.” These words are frequently
understood to be spoken of the other life beyond the grave, and of the
beauties and glories of our heavenly home, which, as yet, no eye of
those living on earth has ever seen. This limited interpretation is
not warranted by the latter half of the announcement, “But God hath
revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” The illumination of the Spirit is
not a promise of the future only; it is given here on earth to all who
seek and wait for it in truth and singleness of heart. We are living
to-day under the dispensation of the Spirit, and there is no limit to
the fulness of the promise to those who ask.

Those things therefore, those hidden and deep things of God which
we cannot apprehend by the natural eye or ear, and which cannot be
conceived by the highest and purest flights of imagination of one whose
thoughts do not yet flow in unison with God’s thoughts—those things may
be revealed to us by His Spirit; and they _are_ so revealed to those
whom from time to time He draws aside for solitary communion with Him,
and whom He may, if He wills, appoint to speak His speech to all who
will hear. One needful condition for attaining to the seeing eye and
the hearing ear in the things of God is soul-leisure, quietness, calm
and concentration of spirit. Earth’s voices must be silenced for a
time, that the voice of God—the“still small voice”—may be heard by the
waiting soul. “In returning and rest shall ye be saved. In quietness
and in confidence shall be your strength.”

I seem to hear a deep sigh from the heart of many a true servant of
God, “faint yet pursuing,” whose soul is athirst for the Living God and
for the calm and the silence in which he may hear the Divine voice, but
who sees no way of escape from the pressing claims of earthly duty.
The case of such (which has also been my own) calls forth my deepest
sympathy. “With God all things are possible.” Cease from conflict with
circumstances, from this “toiling in rowing,” from this breathless
swimming against the tide. Put the matter into His hands. “There was
silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” at His command;
silence even of the angelic voices. He can create a silence around you,
and trace a clear path for your feet to enter into the Holy of Holies,
where you shall find Him and hear His voice.

But even then—perhaps you tell me—when the pressure of earthly claims
is lightened, and a season is granted in which nothing from without
holds you back, and you enter alone into His presence, even then it
is found impossible to concentrate the mind, to shake off outward
anxieties and the intrusion of restless thoughts concerning the work of
your life. The well by which you rest is deep and full, but you have
“nothing to draw with.” The opportunity is there, but the soul is dry,
and the brain inexpressibly wearied. Again, “with God all things are
possible,” and “all things are possible to him that believeth.” Put
this also into His hands—this incapacity for rest, even when the hour
of rest is granted. He knows the deep desire of your heart to draw near
to Him. Your desire for communion with Him is prompted and created by
His own desire to draw near to you, to grant you the anointed eyes of a
humble seer, and to impart to you His own deep secrets of love.

But to many this thirst of the soul is unknown, or once known is
suffered to rest unslaked. Many continue to postpone and to subordinate
the claims of the spiritual life to the constantly pressing claims
(sacred claims also) of their fellow creatures, and of the good works
in which they are engaged. At the last, when earth’s claims are fading
and the spirit is called into the presence of God, conscience will
speak, and the poor soul may reproach itself in the spirit of the
lament which Shakespeare put into the mouth of Wolsey in his last
moments: “O Cromwell, Cromwell! had I but served my God with half the
zeal that I have served my king!” In the clearer light of eternity all
things assume their right proportion. We have worked, we have slaved
for duty, we have worn ourselves out in the service of humanity. That
is good, that is noble; yet an inward voice will tell us in some silent
hour that we should have worked better and served humanity better had
we possessed the moral force to withdraw at times from life’s crowded
avenues, had we firmly refused some of the thousand claims which
pressed upon us in order that our speech and our action might have
possessed more of the Divine, more of “spirit and of life.”



CHAPTER XVII.

THE STORM-BELL.

      The Storm-Bell rings,—the Trumpet blows;
    I know the word and countersign;
      Wherever Freedom’s vanguard goes,
      Where stand or fall her friends or foes,
    I know the place that should be mine.—_Whittier._


 This was the motto of the _Storm-Bell_, a periodical in which
 Josephine Butler published her thoughts month by month from January,
 1898, to August, 1900. We give in this chapter some specimens of these
 thoughts of hers.

Sir James Stansfeld, the dear friend and leader of our cause, has
passed over to the other side. There are judgments on earth of men’s
acts, and there are judgments in heaven. It is not improbable that the
parts of his life and character regarded as the least praiseworthy
on earth will appear up there as the brightest parts of all. He had
nothing to gain, and much to lose by separating himself in a measure
from his colleagues in office, and setting aside chances of brilliant
promotion and political prestige in order to descend with us into the
inferno of human woe, to bring a gleam of hope to that world of doomed
women, who more than all human sufferers are cast out from the favour
of earth and the light of heaven. I have seldom met with a man who had
so much of the woman’s heart in this matter. He had so deep a respect
for womanhood, even at its worst, and so much tenderness for the
fallen, that—like another great friend of Mazzini—he felt“instinctively
the impulse to lift his hat when he met one of that sad sisterhood in
the street, as a mark of his reverence for her poor wrecked womanhood,
which would not have been ruined but for the co-operation (to use no
sterner word) of the stronger being—_man_”.

When he first appeared for us in public, and for years after, he was
pretty well baited and abused in newspapers of the _Saturday Review_
type as a “faddist,” a champion of the “shrieking sisterhood,” a
“friend,” in fact, of “publicans and sinners.” All that is past for
him. _His record is in Heaven._ He does not need, he never needed, and
never desired the poor praise of men. The quality which stands out the
most prominently in my remembrance of him is his courage, his dauntless
hope and confidence of final victory in a good cause. That cheerful
confidence, that pluck characterised him to the very last. I wish there
were more like him in this. I never remember to have heard a word from
him indicating a feeling of depression about our work, not even at its
darkest times. Good workers in a good cause, even when they _know_ it
to be God’s cause, sometimes fall into a minor key, and utter sad wails
concerning the gathering clouds, the dark outlook, and the power of
evil. I do not think, that with all his command of speech, our friend
would have known how to formulate any such wail.

He was a born _forlorn hope_ leader. No one is fit or safe to lead, or
even I would say to follow, in a misunderstood and unpopular cause,
or ever so humble a forlorn hope, who has not attained to so much
of self-control as to be able to close his lips if he has reason to
fear any utterance may be coming forth from them which is not a note
of victory. Courage and faith are highly infectious. A sigh, or a sad
look, or a “but” from a leader is equally infectious, and not in a
good sense. Sometimes they are disastrous. And after all what is this
kind of courage except moral faith? It is that faith in God and in
His eternal promise which removes mountains, and which sees hope in
the darkest hour, and more than hope—certainty of victory. The love
of justice and liberty was born in him; it was in his bones, so to
speak. From his youth upward he was an uncompromising defender of those
principles, which have contributed to the true greatness of England;
and so far he was, as he often said himself, a Conservative, for he was
jealous for the conservation of principles and truths, which Tories and
Radicals alike lose sight of when personal and party ambition begins
to take the first place with them, to the exclusion of what is nobler
and worthier than one’s wretched self or one’s poor party. He was also
an international man in the best sense. His friends, good men of other
countries, felt the warmth of his friendship and the soundness of his
judgment to be untainted by narrow or insular prejudices.

       *       *       *       *       *

A great Spanish politician, Señor Emilio Castelar,[16] published some
thirty years ago a manifesto, in which he set forth the doctrines and
principles of what he considered a true and moderate Republicanism. He
expressed his belief that Democracy can never attain to any lasting
reforms and real progress unless it holds in respect the best elements
of national life—its history, religious faith, and most honourable
traditions; and he therefore earnestly called upon the Liberals of
Spain (a minority impatient of the stagnation of life in their nation)
to give up their position of conspirators, to avoid all violence,
and to seek reform by organised and legal action, and so to educate
themselves and their countrymen for a better state of government and
national life. His words and actions won for him and his group of
friends the title of _Los hombres de manana_, “the men of to-morrow.”

[16] Castelar gave his personal adhesion to the principles of our
abolitionist crusade in 1877, and one of his friends, Señor Zorilla,
attended our first congress.

For the salvation of our country, and indeed of the world, we need that
there should arise amongst us men of to-morrow, and women of to-morrow,
that there should be watchmen on all our watch-towers, more than in
times past, who will “watch for the morning,” and be able, with a clear
and unfaltering voice, to answer the cry of their brethren, “Watchman,
what of the night?” Such men and women of to-morrow will possess a
living, though often a silent power, in the midst of all the noise
and hurry of our social and political life; they will be not only the
party of true progress, but the party of true conservatism, watchers
for and guardians of the preservation of precious principles which are
constantly threatened with destruction.

It is not enough to be wide-awake men of to-day. There is an urgent
need for some among us to look on in advance. We need seers as well
as workers. History teaches us how much we need them, and how much of
human suffering has been needlessly inflicted and prolonged by the want
of such seers among men. Especially is this evident in the moral and
political life of a nation. A leader in politics of the early half of
the century, speaking of a wrong to which he wished to put his hand in
order to remove it, said, “We did not know, we did not perceive; and
only now we are learning, and only now we begin to see.” There is a
deep sadness in this confession, even when humbly and honestly made.
It brings to our minds the words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if thou
hadst known the things that belong to thy peace; but now they are hid
from thine eyes.” It is well to ask ourselves truthfully before God,
“How far has such ignorance the character of moral guilt?” And it is
well that we should realise that that moral guilt of ignorance needs
none the less to be repented of and purged away because it is shared
by thousands and because it may even be chiefly laid to the charge of
generations gone by. Daniel the prophet was a great patriot and a wise
politician. His confession was, We and our fathers have sinned; and
prophet-like, and like a high priest of the people, he pleaded with
God, as if he himself bore on his shoulders alone the guilt of the
whole nation, in the past and the present.

It is impossible for the Christian patriot to look forward to the
future of our English race, and even into the next few years, without
some misgiving. The outlook also for the whole of Europe and of the
world seems charged with the clouds and portents of a coming storm.
“The morning cometh, and also the night.” The shadows of night will
deepen, and the darkness increase awhile, before the glad cry is heard:
“The morning cometh.”“Now is come the kingdom of our God and of His
Christ.” God grant that heaven-taught spirits may again arise among
us, not only one here and there, but many, like the stars appearing
in the firmament as the shadows of evening deepen into night. God has
such in preparation, I cannot doubt. They are arising—the prophets and
prophetesses, the seers of the latter days. They are found and will be
found among those who elect to live in the silence very near to God,
and who realise in the most tenderly human sense the saving friendship
of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

A mother writes: “I fear he is going to the bad.” This she says of her
son, her only son, who has left home to serve his country. “I fear
he is going to the bad, but I must,” she says, “be like the woman in
the Bible, who came to Jesus to cast the devil out of her daughter,
and would not leave Him till He did it.” Yes, poor mother, you must,
you must. That is your only hope; and you will conquer, only hold
on. A mother’s love is most like the love of God of any human love.
He made the mother’s heart, and He knows it to its depths. Secrets
have been revealed to mothers which have not been shared by any other
human being. Your heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. You shall not
be “afraid of evil tidings.” If troubling reports reach you, and if
things seem to have come to the worst, and friends speak coldly of
your son, and shake their heads (as even Christian friends will do)
over your hope and confidence, yet hold on. You have suffered, they
perhaps have not. They are “miserable comforters,” though they think
they are speaking truly, and for your good. Listen to the voice of God
only; look into the face of Jesus only—as she did, the Syrophenician
mother, of whom the disciples only said, “Send her away.” Those, who
have never known a mother’s woes, know little of the consolations God
has for mothers, nor of the secrets which He reveals to them. “I have
been with God in the dark. Go, you may leave me alone!” Thus a mother
spoke concerning her dead son, when neighbours bewailed him as a lost
soul. “I have been with God _in the dark_,” not in the light only,
when there is hope and outward evidence to cheer the heart, but in the
dark. It is in the dark that His light shines the brightest. One hour
with Him, alone, in the dark, in the gloom of despair and helpless woe,
has taught me more than years when I walked in the light of happy and
hopeful circumstances. I fear nothing now, for I have been alone _with
God in the dark_. Hold on, poor mother! Christ has given us His word of
honour. That is enough for you and me.

       *       *       *       *       *

A picture is now held up before the eyes of the whole world of the
consequences which may wait upon an injustice inflicted on a single
human being. All eyes are fixed upon the bitter conflict raging around
the fate of that solitary prisoner in the Devil’s Island. A combination
of unusual and wondrously significant circumstances has caused this
case to become a _cause célèbre_, engrossing the interest of the whole
civilised world. We may thank God indeed for the deep teachings of
this terrible drama. But let us think for a moment of the thousands
who have suffered as much, and more than this typical victim; of the
crushed hearts of the host of women and men whose martyrdom has been
known to none but God; or if known or guessed, has been unheeded, the
sufferers being of humble rank, of character suspect, friendless, poor,
and uncared for. Their cry has entered into the ears of the God of
Sabaoth, as much as the “sorrowful sighing” of those noble prisoners
of to-day. That great injustice, against which the “elect spirits” of
France are so nobly protesting, could scarcely have been perpetrated
among a people trained in respect for justice, and in a measure of
self-restraint. It has beneath it a foundation of stricken souls and
outraged hearts. It has been built up upon a Golgotha. Those who
have eyes to see are beginning to see that the smoke of the impious
sacrifice of even one of the humblest and most insignificant of human
beings may serve to cloud the heavens, and to shut out the favour of
God from a nation; and what must it be when that one is multiplied by
thousands?

For thirty years past I have pleaded as well as I could the cause of
the outcast. The time may not be long in which I shall be permitted
to continue to plead it in this world. Pardon me then, Christian
people—and all just men and just women, Christian or not—for uttering
this cry from the depths of my soul at this close of the year, and
approaching close of the century. The happiest of women myself in all
the relations of life, God has done me the great favour of allowing me
in a manner to be, for these thirty years, the representative of the
outcast, of “the woman of the city who was a sinner.” It is _her_ voice
which I utter. Oh, hear it, I beseech you! It is by right of the great
sorrow with which God pierced my heart long ago for His outcasts, that
I speak; a sorrow which will never be wholly comforted till the day
when I shall see millions of those cold, dead hands now stretched upon
the threshold of our social and national life lifted to the throne of
God in adoring and wondering praise for His final deliverance.“Thy dead
men shall live”—all who have been done to death in sorrow and anguish;
and God shall wipe the tears from all faces. And even for the present,
for the near future there is hope, abundant hope, for Jehovah reigns,
and the day of sifting has dawned.

       *       *       *       *       *

My heart is often pained by hearing good women reiterate the statement
that “men cannot be expected to exercise the self-restraint which is
expected of women.” They say, “Men cannot be strictly virtuous; we
women do not know what they have to overcome, nor the force of their
temptations; in fact they must sin.” And women, even Christian women,
whisper this the one to the other, even to their daughters, and so the
low standard is perpetuated. The women who foster this opinion seem not
to perceive that in announcing it they are (unconsciously probably)
bringing a terrible accusation against God. They are representing Him
as not only an illogical, but a cruel and unjust Being. What are the
facts? God has created man with a conscience and with a will. He has
given to man a Law and has attached penalties to the breaking of that
Law; and yet you say that He has so created man that it is not possible
for him to obey that Law. If this doctrine is widely accepted by women,
it is no wonder that so many of them are atheists at heart. How can
you, how can I reverence such a God as you represent Him to be? You
might as well ask me to love and worship Baal or Moloch or Juggernaut
as such a God as that. But it is not as you say. Look a little deeper.

It has been imposed upon me from time to time during my long life work
to speak with men on this point—not only with men of blameless life,
but with others who have fallen low. “Is it indeed the very truth,” I
have asked, “that you absolutely cannot resist temptation?” And the
answer has generally been, if coming from an honest heart, “I could
resist if I determined to do so;” or,“I could _once_ have resisted
and overcome, but _now_——” Ah, there is the secret, the sorrowful
truth! After repeated and continual yielding, the _will_ of man comes
to be broken down. There comes upon him that most fatal of all moral
diseases, the paralysis of the will; what he _could_ do once he can no
longer do. The will is as the citadel of a beleaguered city; when the
citadel is taken the whole city yields, and then it may be and is true
that there comes a time when the man cannot any longer combat or resist.

Shall we then, in so terrible a case as this, seeing such men and such
women gliding down the slippery incline, regard them as hopeless, as
beyond recovery? Shall we go on repeating the fatalist’s doctrine,
which we hear so much around us, that it cannot be helped, it must
be so, the man must go on sinning, he cannot recover himself? _No, a
thousand times no._ With God all things are possible. He can restore
power to the paralysed will, even as He can raise the dead. He does it,
and we have seen with our eyes these His miracles of power and love.

And how, you ask me, by what means may such a restoration be
accomplished? Replying from my own experience, I would say it is
brought about very frequently by means of the divinely energised wills
of others—chiefly of those creatures so dear to God, those mothers,
wives, sisters, daughters and friends who have, through the teaching
of the heart and the inspiration of God, learned and embraced that
holiest of all ministries, the ministry of intercession. It has been
said that the nearest, shortest way to a man’s heart is round by the
throne of God. It is true. Direct advice, counsel, and warning to those
who err may sometimes be effectual, and especially with the young. But
too often they are wholly useless, and even excite antagonism. But the
love, the power, the promise of God never fail.

But you tell me, “Oh, I am not good enough to pray for others, and
to receive answers to my prayer.” This is a great mistake. What is
our goodness to God? We are none of us good. Think of all the people
mentioned in the Gospels who sought after Christ. What was it that
brought them to His feet? It was not their goodness, but their great
needs, wants and desires, their miseries, their sicknesses, their deep
heart griefs, and the griefs and miseries of those dear to them. Our
only claim in coming to Him is that we need Him and want Him. There is
none other. It is written that God “turned the captivity of Job when
he prayed for _his friends_.” We learn to know God in drawing near to
Him on behalf of others. We fathom the deeper treasures of His love in
pleading for those whom _we love_.

I hear people say sometimes, “But I have prayed for So-and-so for
weeks, for months, and I have received no answer.” This reminds me
of a little boy who made some childish request of God, and ended his
prayer by saying, “I will wait three weeks, God, and no more.” We limit
God. We measure the great work of His Spirit by the span of our little
lives. We must rise above that thought, with courage and patience,
and persistent trust and confidence, remembering that _His_ years are
not limited. He has all eternity to work in, all eternity in which to
remember and fulfil our hearts’ desires.

When the case is one the issues of which reach into eternity, when it
is the bringing from darkness into light of an immortal spirit, when
it is the training and teaching of a soul, the correction of faults
which sometimes requires a whole life’s discipline, or the evolution of
some great good from a family’s or a nation’s griefs, then all childish
impatience is out of place, foolish, and fatal often to the very
fulfilment of that which is desired. “Though it tarry, wait for it,”
said the seer, “because it _will surely come_.”

But your sad hearts are asking still concerning the wanderers whom you
love. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? There
is, there is. There is hope, not only for the weak and erring, but for
the criminal who has been guilty of the moral death of another, for
him on whose head rests the guilt of cruelty and treachery. “Nazarene,
Thou hast conquered,” were the last words of Julian the Apostate, at
the close of a lifetime of rebellion and defiance. The Nazarene is a
great conqueror. The heart of the most scornful of the rebels against
God’s holy laws may be broken, softened and laid bare to the healing
dews of heaven; and his eyes may be opened to see, like Hagar, close at
hand a well of water which he knew not of.

In speaking of life and love to some of the most fallen and wrecked
of men and women, it has sometimes appeared as if I were speaking
into the ears of a corpse, of one in whom there remains no longer any
conscience or will to respond to the call of God. Sometimes I have been
answered by the wildest blasphemies on the part of men, who later asked
with hungry eyes, “Tell me truly, is there any hope for me?” Love is
not easily persuaded that the moment of death has arrived. Love, like
Rizpah, watches with a constancy stronger than death by the silent
corpses of her dearly beloved and longed-for, with all her strength
denying that they shall be given as carrion to the wolves and the
vultures.

Suffer me to recall an incident, one only. On entering the ward of a
large city hospital, reserved for women of the lowest class, I met the
chaplain leaving the ward, his hands pressed upon his ears in order
to shut out the sound of a torrent of blasphemy and coarse abuse,
hurled after him by one of the inmates to whom he had spoken as his
conscience had prompted him, and under a sincere sense of duty. I drew
near to that woman. She was hideous to look at, dying and raging; a
married woman who had had children and lost them, who had lived the
worst of lives, descending lower and lower. She had been kicked (as
it proved, to death) by the man, her temporary protector. Her broken
ribs had pierced some internal organ, and there was no cure possible.
Though dying, she was hungry, as indeed she had been for years, and
was tearing like a wild beast at some scraps of meat and bread which
had been given to her. An unseen power urged me to go near to her. Was
it possible for anyone to love such a creature? Could she inspire any
feeling but one of disgust? Yes, the Lord loved her, loved her still,
and it was possible for one who loved Him to love the wretch whom _He_
loved. I do not recollect what I said to her, but it was love which
spoke. She gazed at me in astonishment, dropped her torn-up food,
and flung it aside. She took my hand, and held it with a death-grip.
She became silent, gentle. Tears welled from the eyes which had been
gleaming with fury. The poor soul had been full to the brim of revenge
and bitterness against man, against fate, against God. But now she saw
something new and strange; she heard that she was _loved_, she believed
it, and was transformed.

I loved her. It was no pretence, and she knew it. At parting I said,
“I will come again,” and she gasped, “Oh, you will, you will!” I came
again the morning of the next day. The nurse told me that she died at
midnight, quiet, humble, “as peaceful as a lamb,” always repeating,
“Has she come back? She will come again. Is she coming? Yes, she will
come again.” If I had been asked, as I sometimes am, “But had she any
clear perception of her own sinfulness, did she understand, etc.?” I
could give no answer. I know not. I only know that love conquered, and
that He who inspired the love which brought the message of _His_ love
to the shipwrecked soul knew what He was doing, and does not leave His
work incomplete.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is told among the many beautiful incidents of the early Church,
that a young Roman soldier, converted to Christianity, and received
as a catechumen, awaiting baptism, was called to serve in the field
with the legion to which he belonged. The night after a battle, he
found himself lying under the stars wounded and faint. Near him a
fellow-soldier in the same condition as himself was groaning heavily.
The night was cold, and his comrade’s wounds were exposed to the frosty
air. “Take my cloak,” whispered Martin; and though in sore pain, and
shivering himself, he folded his cloak tenderly around his comrade
and fell asleep. Then there arose before him in his sleep a strange
and beautiful vision. He saw in the skies a number of angelic beings
and saints in light, in the midst of whom stood the Saviour, clothed
in “raiment white and glistening,” and—strange!—wearing on His kingly
shoulders, over the resplendent white, the poor, torn, bloodstained
cloak of a Roman soldier. As Martin gazed in astonishment, the Saviour
smiled, and turning to His angelic attendants said, “Behold Me with
the cloak which Martin the catechumen hath given Me! For inasmuch as ye
have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done
it unto Me.”

In one of the African provinces of Rome, partly Christianised, there
occurred in the second century a sore famine. The inhabitants were
driven to terrible straits. In a certain town, it is recorded by one
of the old chroniclers, there lived a saintly bishop—not one of “my
lords” of modern times, dwelling in a palace, but a humble shepherd or
overseer of a scanty flock gathered out of the heathen city in which
he dwelt. There lived in the same city a poor street musician, called
Xanthus, an ignorant fellow of no good reputation. When the famine had
endured some months, and Xanthus’ body presented the appearance of a
walking skeleton, he saw, one evening in the twilight, a female form at
the corner of a street, with the figure and bearing of a refined lady,
though closely veiled and wearing a poor, used, black robe. She was
holding out her hand for alms and receiving none, and worn and faint
she yielded to the stress of hunger, and was about to accept the last
terrible resource of selling her own person to a passer-by, who was
apparently far above want. Penetrated with a sudden feeling of pity and
horror, Xanthus interposed, and reverently begged the lady to accept
of such poor help as he could give her. “Lady, I have little, but all
I have shall be yours until these times of tribulation are over.”
She moved towards him without replying, her tears alone proving her
grateful acceptance of his aid. He led her back to her abode, and from
that time forward he worked for her day and night, plying to the utmost
his poor skill as a musician, affecting a cheerful manner, and adding
to his fiddling various tricks and jokes to arrest the attention of the
citizens who crossed his path. Every day he brought to the lady (for
such she was) his modest gains, finding her food, and waiting on her,
deeming it an honour that she should accept the help of such a creature
as he.

The famine over, she was restored to her former position; but Xanthus
fell ill, and his music and jokes were no more heard in the streets.
Friendless and forlorn, he lay dying, when the good bishop above-named
was visited in a dream by a heavenly messenger, who bade him go to
such a street and such a house and find there a man called Xanthus,
for “the Lord would have mercy on him.” Awaking from his sleep, the
good bishop obeyed. He entered the place—more like a dog’s kennel than
a human dwelling—where Xanthus lay. “Xanthus!” he cried, “the Lord
Jesus Christ hath sent me to you to bring you glad tidings.”“How! to
me—to me—your God has sent you to me! No, there is a mistake. I am the
street-fiddler, Xanthus, the most miserable, God-forsaken of men—a
man who has done nothing but ill all his life.” Then the good bishop
recalled to the memory of Xanthus (this having been revealed to him)
the day when he turned back a tempted fellow-creature from sin, and the
weeks in which he sustained her, at the cost of his own life; and he
added, “The Lord bids me say to you, that, for this cup of cold water
you have given to one of His redeemed creatures, you shall in no wise
lose your reward. Your sins are forgiven. Christ says to you, ‘This day
you shall be with Me in paradise.’” And so it came to pass that Xanthus
died that day, his poor heart, it is said, _broken_; but not with
sorrow; broken through excess of joy, through the thrill of astonished
gladness at the heavenly greeting, and the wondrous announcement
that the Lord of Glory had deigned to notice and acknowledge the one
redeeming act of his life. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the
least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”

Not in the times of old, but quite lately, in Hyde Park, London, on a
sultry day in summer, there lay under one of the trees a poor sheep,
panting, dying from the heat. By its side there kneeled a little ragged
boy, a street arab, his tears marking gutters in the dust of his soiled
face. He had run down to the water again and again and filled his
little cloth cap with water, which he held to the mouth of the sheep,
bathing its nose and eyes, until it began to show signs of returning
life, speaking to it all the time loving words such as his own mother
may have spoken to _him_. A gentleman walking near stopped, and looking
with amusement at the child, said, “You seem awfully sorry for that
beast, boy.” The cynical tone of the speaker seemed to grieve the
little boy, and with a flushed face he replied, in a tone of indignant
and tearful protest, “_It is God’s sheep._” The gentleman grunted
and walked away. I felt the presence there of One who said to that
child: “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My
brethren, you have done it unto Me.”

If the spirit of that boy were fully shared by even a fraction of
our Christian population, the brutality and sin of the vivisection
of God’s creatures would soon become a forbidden and unknown thing
among us. Our Lord’s words concerning the humblest of the animal
creation are no mere figure of speech. He meant what He said. There
is a penalty attached to contempt for or oblivion of _those_ words of
His, as of every other word He spoke. “Are not five sparrows sold for
two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God.” The price
of a sparrow was half a farthing, but in case one of four sold might
possibly be very small, ill-fed, and not worth its half-farthing, a
fifth was “thrown in” to insure the purchaser from loss. Yet even the
presumably worthless fifth sparrow was “not forgotten before God.”
When the prophet Jonah was in a bad humour because his prophecy of
destruction to Nineveh had not been fulfilled, and his sheltering gourd
had withered, God said to him: “Thou hast had pity on the gourd, which
came up in a night, and perished in a night: and should not I spare
Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand
persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left
hand; _and also much cattle_?”“His mercies are over _all_ His works.”
He cares for every living thing.



CHAPTER XVIII.

TWO CONFERENCES.


 An International Conference was held in Brussels in 1899, for the
 purpose of considering and promoting international action for the
 preventive treatment of venereal diseases. As the programme of the
 Conference was expressly limited to the administrative and medical
 aspects of the question, and took no account of matters of moral
 and social order, the Abolitionist Federation declined to take any
 part officially in the proceedings, although individual members of
 the Federation accepted invitations to attend. The results of the
 Conference were a surprise to everyone, being in the nature of a
 triumph for Abolitionist principles. The prophets, who had been called
 together to bless the Regulation system, found themselves almost with
 one accord led by the spirit of truth to curse it. This Conference,
 and the Conference of the Federation which took place the same year at
 Geneva, were dealt with in _The Storm-Bell_ in three articles, which
 are here given with some omissions.

It was very impressive to me and others to hear at our Geneva
Conference an account of the Brussels Conference from Dr. Fiaux of
Paris, who had attended it, and who with others had nobly fought the
battle of the Abolitionists. His report was of such a nature as to
fill our hearts with thanksgiving, wonder and praise. The Conference
of Brussels, as my readers know, was convened with the confessed
purpose of proposing an appeal to the European Governments to establish
a uniform system of Regulation—of in fact patching up, if possible
perfecting and making universal the unlawful and degrading system
which we oppose. The conveners of the Conference were however, it
seems, sincere and open-minded men; and the numerous medical and other
disputants, who came delegated from different countries of Europe, and
who were attached to the evil system, regarding only the material and
medical side of the great question, appear to have been shaken in their
views, and to have been compelled, even by the confessions of some
leading Regulationists, to see that their theories are untenable, and
that the system they have so many years upheld is as it were hanging in
rags, a miserable failure, an old worn out and infected garment, into
which it is worse than useless to introduce patches of new cloth.

Almost all the delegates, of whom the immense majority were
Regulationists, acknowledged during the Conference that they had come
there to learn, implying that they had need of knowledge. There seemed
to prevail an open-mindedness, which had not been anticipated. Some of
the English medical delegates, full of the old prejudices in favour of
the system of combined slavery and license, must have gone home knowing
more than they did before. Finally two resolutions were passed. One
of the resolutions was in favour of an appeal to all the Governments
to take measures for the better protection of minor girls, in order
to prevent their being drafted into the service of organised vice;
and another was to the effect that it is desirable that doctors should
be better educated in the matter of the maladies in question. These
harmless resolutions were voted unanimously.

An observant delegate wrote: “We all have the impression that the
Regulationists now fully recognise us (of the Federation) as a
force which they must in future reckon with.” A clearer idea of the
influence, which was at work in winning for us this victory, was
granted to me while listening to Dr. Fiaux’s report at Geneva. He spoke
of an influence which hovered over the Conference from the first day
to the last; an influence which restrained, which prevented rash or
erroneous propositions, an influence which he believed to proceed from
the gradually increasing tide of awakened and changed public opinion,
and to which he attributed a kind of spiritual force, a restraining
and guiding force. He asserted that it was felt by all, that it tended
to check all violence of opposition, and disposed the minds of the
delegates to accept a position of enquiry, and to begin again afresh
the study of the question, rather than to hold to the conservation
of the system, in which they could not any longer place absolute
confidence. More than once Dr. Fiaux endeavoured to describe this
influence, raising his hands above his head to illustrate something
which hovered over the assembly, resting above it and making itself
felt. Those of us, who have asked that an influence above and beyond
all, that we ourselves by our utmost effort can exercise, might come
to our aid when the opposing principles should thus meet in conflict,
will understand what all this means, and will give thanks.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have often watched the light thistledown, the winged seed, mount in
the air and disappear, carried by the breeze who knows where? We only
know it will settle somewhere, drop, die, live again, and spring up to
bear in its turn “fruit after its kind.” The career of that special
seed is denounced by cultivators as mischievous. But there are good
seeds also with wings, which silently travel about the world, plant
themselves and bear fruit for which all men bless them. It is of the
latter kind that I want to say a word.

I do not think that as yet any adequate appreciation of the character
of our last September Conference in Geneva, and its results, has
appeared in our English Abolitionist Press. I should like, if
possible, in some degree to supply that omission. That Conference
has been spoken of in several English reports as “a Conference of
members of the Federation.” It was not exactly so. It would be quite
correct to say it was a Conference organised by the Federation (and
splendidly organised it was by the brave little group of members of
the Federation in Geneva). But we have never yet had such a crowded
Conference organised by us, at which were present so few members of
the Federation. We were a mere handful from England. Several of our
allies whom we generally see from other countries did not appear, while
many of our prominent members on the Continent and in England were
prevented from coming by illness or other circumstances. Yet we had
crowded sessions every day and all day. The striking feature of that
Conference was the influx to it of new adherents to our principles,
many of whom we had never seen, or never even heard of. Adherents to
our principles they were, but not members of the Federation; nor did
they, with very few exceptions, become there and then members of the
Federation. And herein lies the encouragement of which I wish to speak.
It is in connection with this fact that I wish my English friends
to take courage and thank God with me. They flocked to us—these new
adherents to our principles from France, from Belgium, from Germany,
from Italy, etc. There were among them persons of many different creeds
and opinions, and an extraordinary number of leaders of the Press from
different countries, more especially of that enlightened Press minority
in France who fought so hard and so noble a battle (in the Dreyfus
case) in favour of justice. There were with us also many distinguished
ladies—distinguished morally and intellectually—who for the first time
greeted us as allies. Those who were at the public evening meeting in
the Great Hall of the Reformation must have been struck by the immense
variety of nationality, character, creed, and opinion of those who
took part in it; and at the same time by the perfect unity, heart, and
downrightness of that vast assembly in regard to the great question
of Justice for which the Federation labours. Many were asking, “How
has this come about? What energising and purifying wind has been
blowing through Europe to bear towards us this new unexpected ‘cloud
of witnesses’ to testify that truth gains ground in its own mysterious
way?”

It seems to me that we—the Federation—are like persons who, wishing
to propagate some beautiful flower, should have carefully laid out a
garden, hedged it round, dug it well, and then sown in it abundantly
the seed which was to produce the beautiful flower. We took great pains
with our garden. We sowed our seeds in rows, neatly and measuredly,
perhaps a little formally. We arranged with our under-gardeners,
training them, and turning them off if they did not suit. Perhaps we
pottered a little sometimes, but always with the one desire at heart
of seeing some day a great harvest of this beautiful flower—a flower
of such pure colour, and wholesome hygienic qualities. Sometimes we
sighed, in times of drought or of failure of “hands” for the work. But
lo! a day came when the assembled gardeners, coming together to reckon
up the results of their work, happened to look over the hedge, and with
astonishment noted that the country all round, fields and hillsides, on
which they had not bestowed any personal labour, were ablaze with the
azure of the beautiful flower which they had cultivated so carefully
in their garden. They had forgotten that seeds have wings, and that
they could silently distance the garden fence and fly afar. So with the
principles which we have cultivated.

There were at Geneva young men, pastors from the French provinces,
whose prayers at our morning devotional meetings were an echo of the
depths of my own heart; and there were young women, some very young,
looking in whose faces I asked myself, “How and where have these
young people learned that zeal for justice, that pity for oppressed
womanhood, and that grave view of life which we of the Federation could
however never, and less now than ever, imagine to be the monopoly of
experienced workers?”

The Conference of Brussels pre-eminently brought to us the lesson of
the “Winged Seed.” The speech of Dr. Fiaux, of Paris, who came from
that Conference to Geneva to tell us its results, was to me full
of teaching of which possibly the speaker himself was not wholly
conscious. It told of the power and silent progress of a truth carried
abroad by the Spirit which “bloweth where it listeth.” The lesson of
the “Winged Seed” goes far beyond our own special crusade. We may apply
it in the darkest times. For Truth (like Love) cannot die. Therefore we
will take heart and labour on, though the End is not yet.

       *       *       *       *       *

A very friendly critic, in giving a report of the Geneva Conference
in September last, asked the question, “Where was Mrs. Butler?” when
some sentiment or proposition was announced which seemed not quite in
harmony with the principles of the Federation. He added, “But doubtless
her silence was to be attributed to her desire to hold the Federation
together. She is naturally concerned about the Organisation.” I wish
to answer the question, and to rectify the mistaken impression. I
was absent from the discussion in question. I am not able to listen
to discussions from morning to night, owing to diminished strength
of body, and I must leave matters in the hands of younger and abler
combatants. But on the other matter, my supposed attachment to our
organisation, I want to say a word. I have no faith whatever in
organisations except so far as they are a useful means for making known
a truth or dispensing help to those who need it, and when they are
completely subordinated to those ends. They are apt to become a snare
to those who invent them and work them, unless great care is taken
to revive continually within them the life by which alone they can
usefully exist.

The history of the Jesuits and that of some other great organised
societies are monuments of the idolatrous tendency in human beings,
of their habit of degenerating to the worship of some gigantic and
intricate earthly creation from that of the Unseen, the Living God.
Such organisations may become in time the instruments of a propagandism
the very opposite of that proposed by their founders; and they may end
by following in the stately march of a cruel and murderous Juggernaut,
crushing the life out of men and women, and all bespattered with the
“blood of the poor innocents.” Short of such a ghastly development
as this, vast organisations (the leaders of which may come to be
themselves misled by pride or vanity, or the praise of man, to imagine
that the life is still in their wheels when it is fast passing out
from them) become effete, lifeless and unfruitful. The more they are
in evidence before the world, the more showy they become, the more do
they lose real power. Their hold on God is insensibly loosened, their
members forget the command to “call no man master.” There creeps
in upon them frequently a tyrannising spirit. Their leaders become
a prey to the great delusion of the Russian ecclesiastical tyrant,
that uniformity is a beautiful thing, and that it represents power.
Uniformity is _not_ a beautiful thing. There is no uniformity in God’s
creation, either in the natural or the spiritual world. The insistence
on uniformity crushes out individuality and hinders initiative. It
clips the wings of the best human gifts and capacities. It introduces
the opposite of that “glorious liberty of the children of God,” which
sets each soul free to develop into that good thing which He created
it to become. “You shall all speak alike, all work in the same way,
all adopt the same manner, and obey implicitly the same rule.” This
command is itself paralysing to freedom and to individual development
and power. But when it comes to, “You shall all _think_ alike, all
_believe_ the same things, all receive what your leaders teach, and
act in accordance with a uniform creed,” then there comes down a
spiritual blight, which ultimately leaves a body without a soul. It is
best then that such an organisation should break up and disappear. If
its existence is prolonged it may become the tenement of a spiritual
influence which is directly evil, while still wearing the outward garb
of what was originally good.

But our humble Abolitionist Federation! Is it likely to incur such a
fate? No, I do not believe it ever will, for up to now it has continued
humble; moreover it has never been strongly centralised, and never in
any sense has it been tyrannised over by those who may be called its
leaders. It is a union of free workers, who are at liberty to work
along their own lines and in their own methods, in each country and
each group. I hope it will not surprise any of my readers if I say that
I should not grieve or be greatly disturbed if our Federation were to
break up and fall to pieces to-morrow. Observe that I do not here speak
of the people who form it, of the friends and fellow-workers of years
past, as well as of welcome new-comers whom I trust and love. These are
the life of the work. They are the living beings in whose souls reside
the deep conviction, the strength of principle, and the unselfish
purpose which have carried on our propagandist work till now, and which
will continue to carry it on, with or without any special organisation.
These persons will always have a warm place in my heart, for they have
been and are my revered “yoke-fellows” in a just and holy cause; and
when their own life-work is over they will bequeath to those who come
after them the _spirit_ which alone has made our labours fruitful. All
my care is for the principle which we have been called to proclaim,
not for the machinery through which the drudgery of the work has been
facilitated. God does not need our poor machinery. He can create other
methods of spreading a truth, if those now existing had better come to
an end.

There is a deep meaning in that mysterious vision of Ezekiel, of the
living creatures and the wheels. They were together lifted up from the
earth, and guided through space wherever God willed; the wheels, wheel
within wheel, an intricate mechanism, moved upwards and onwards, with
the ease and power of a soaring eagle, because the Spirit was in the
wheels, the Spirit which was as lamps of fire and as lightning. I have
sometimes thought if the Spirit had left those creatures and that mass
of wheels, with what a crash they would have come down to the ground!
So long as we have that Spirit, even our wheels will have life, and our
humble organisation will continue, as it has done till now, to glide
past all dangers, and to win true hearts to our cause.



CHAPTER XIX.

MEMORIES.


When I received the announcement of the passing away, at ninety years
of age, of Mr. Arthur Albright, my thoughts were carried back to many
years ago. I felt a kind of peace in the thought that this brave
Christian has been permitted to live to such a ripe old age. It is an
encouragement to us all to observe, as we do in so many cases, that the
most strenuous workers for justice and truth, who have been foremost in
the ranks of combatants for the right, are often strengthened in body
and in nerves to endure for a greater number of years than others who
perhaps live more for themselves.

I have not seen Mr. Albright for very many years. In the seventies I
frequently met him at the annual meetings of the Friends at Devonshire
House. One incident stands out very vividly in my mind, and I may be
permitted to recall it just in the manner in which it comes back to
me. In the earliest years of our agitation for repeal (I think it was
in 1870) I was at Birmingham, where naturally my message was received
with unhesitating cordiality by leading members of the Society of
Friends. Among these stood foremost Mr. Arthur Albright and his friend
and relative Mr. John E. Wilson, who have both now gone to their rest.
(My most intimate friends in the whole matter were Mr. and Mrs.
Kenway, in whose house I always stayed in Birmingham.) After a large
meeting held there, there was a discussion as to whether it would not
be well at once to attack the British stronghold of Regulation, viz.
Plymouth, where already that system had begun to bear its corrupt and
tragic fruits, there having been already several suicides of poor girls
forcibly brought within its tyranny. These Quaker gentlemen put it to
me, Was I willing to go, because they felt that, at that period of our
crusade the cause must be presented prominently as a woman’s cause, and
be represented by women? I answered, “Yes; probably it is right to go.”
These gentlemen replied that they would with pleasure charge themselves
with any expenses that the journey and the meetings might involve.
Well, I packed up my things, and with a somewhat trembling heart,
counteracted by the supreme love of battle which was born in me, I went
with a few friends to the railway station to proceed to Plymouth. There
I was somewhat startled to find myself closely followed on the platform
by these two friends above mentioned. Mr. Albright was tall, straight,
thin, and in figure as in principles, as firm as a bar of iron. Mr.
Wilson was also tall, broader, and perhaps more imposing looking. I
turned to thank them for their kindness in coming to see me off. The
reply in a very gentle voice was, “Oh, we go with thee; we could not
leave thee alone.” There came, I recollect, to my heart quite a thrill
at that moment of admiration and gratitude. I thought to myself,
“This is true chivalry.” These were responsible business men, who had
their duties every day in Birmingham. I do not think that either of
them were great speakers. Mr. Albright was a silent man, but his few
words were weighty, and his convictions were immovable; he was one of
those Quakers whom the poet Whittier described as “a non-conductor
among the wires.” They came with me to Plymouth, together with other
early friends of our cause. At the great and stormy meeting which we
had there they stood by me, sat behind me when I had to speak, and I
felt that their presence was a tower of strength, though they said so
little. The day of our meeting was a day of overpowering heat. The
battle in which we were engaged was equally hot, and the Quaker calm of
my kind friends was better to me than even the breeze that blew through
the open windows. These may seem to be trifling remembrances, but,
strange to say, such memories live sometimes in the brain when greater
things are forgotten.

       *       *       *       *       *

Long ago I asked a gift of God—companionship with Christ. Shall I
murmur because He, having granted my request, grants it not in the
way that I expected? I thought of Mary sitting at His feet, hearing
His word calmly, happy and wise; but that is not the companionship
He grants me to-day (Good Friday). To-day it is the companionship
with Him of the penitent malefactor, nailed to a neighbouring cross.
I cannot grasp His hand, nor sit at His feet, nor lean on His breast
as the beloved disciple did, for I am bound hand and foot, stretched
on my cross till every nerve and muscle strains and aches. I can only
turn my head to that side where the Lord hangs in pain also, so near
that I can hear His breathing, His sighs, the beating of His heart;
but separated by the cross. The cross which brings me so near to Him
is the hindrance to a still nearer approach. I can speak to Him in few
and faint words from my cross to His, but without the tranquil rest and
consolation which I once knew in His presence, and such as the family
of Bethany knew, whom He loved. But did He not also love that dying
malefactor? and did not those two, in some sense, resemble each other
as they hung there, a spectacle to men and angels, more than Martha or
Mary resembled Him as they sat at His feet, or ministered to Him with
busy hands?

I recall these things to sustain me in the midst of mournful
questionings. He has chosen the manner of our companionship, and
therefore it is dear to me. No pleasant walks on the slopes of the
Mount of Olives, no evening converse or public teaching on the shores
of the lake or on the green hillside, no sweet ministerings by the
wayside or in humble dwellings to His human needs. These are not His
choice for me. In the morning of life I chose for myself—I chose the
beautiful and good things set before me; and now in the evening, when
the shadows are closing round, He chooses for me. If I have worn a
crown of roses, shall I not gladly change it for one of thorns, if
it brings me nearer? When my earthly paradise faded, and its best
human companionship was withdrawn, and I was left alone, then my Lord
remembered my first request—for companionship with Him. And how could
He choose better than He had chosen—to share His solitude, to know the
sweet and awful companionship of suffering, of darkness, of the vision
of the whole world’s sin, for which He was wounded to death, and of the
slow hours counted in silent pain? I thank thee, O God!

 The following message was written for the Conference of the Federation
 held in Paris in June, 1900.

In the midst of all that is now being done to promote a higher morality
and to win men, our soldiers and others, to accept the higher standard,
there is still, I think, a tendency to forget, or at least to feel
less, our responsibility towards the immediate and the saddest victims
of the social evil—the women, the young girls of the so-called outcast
class. May I once more put in a plea for them? Unable now to work
among them in any practical way, yet the thought of them is ever with
me. There are memories which nothing can efface, forms which visit
me again in the night season, faces which look through the mists
of the past and seem to plead for some word from me, some reminder
addressed to our busy workers and noble social reformers—a word to
recall to them that “_we_ are still in bonds; we are still in State
prison-houses, in beleaguered cities where a famine of all that heart
and soul crave, and the disease-impregnated atmosphere are wearing us
out and holding us until the last breath of hope is extinguished and
we die; and yet no sound of any relieving army reaches _our_ ears, no
glad tramp of swiftly-flying horses bearing our deliverers; no cry
from the watch-tower, Relief is on the way! We are here while you are
preaching purity, more manliness to men, more courage to women, more
love for humanity. Have you forgotten _us_?” From the Maisons tolerées
of Geneva, of Paris, of Berlin, from slave pens and prisons all over
the Continent comes this cry to those who have ears to hear.

At the meeting of our Abolitionist Federation about to be held in Paris
will that voice be heard, or will it be lost amidst the excitement
of those days, amidst the pressure of a thousand interests and the
voices of appeal from many workers in innumerable good causes? And yet
a few streets distant there are and will be abodes filled with human
beings—our sisters, driven outside the pale of all law, hemmed round
and crushed down by a cordon and by weights of arbitrary police rules,
slaves and prisoners to whom no light comes, to whom no word of hope
penetrates. They have been so welded into a compact class by human
egotism that even the good and kind among men and women are apt to
forget that they are no more criminal than others who are free, and to
look upon them as a peculiarly degraded portion of humanity.

May I recall a few memories? In Paris some twenty or more years ago my
husband and I, on our way to an evening meeting, shortened our route by
going through an obscure by-street. As we passed there darted out of
the darkness a girl gaily dressed, painted, but no _fille de joie_, no
dressing or paint could hide the marks of slavery and pain. She made
for me, she threw her arms round my neck, her cheek for one moment
pressed against mine, the tears coursing down through the paint which
hid the pallor underneath, and calling me by my name, she said (in
French), “We love you! Oh, we love you!” I had no time to respond.
She, seeing or feeling the approach of a policeman or something, tore
herself away and darted back into the darkness. Like a meteor out of
the darkness this vision appeared, and into the darkness it returned,
leaving no trace behind. I never heard of her again. I know nothing.
Where is that spirit now? Where? I ask it of God. She told me she loved
me (she and her doomed comrades). Shall I ever have the opportunity
of returning to her those dear words? We had been having meetings, in
which sympathy was expressed for these captives. Some few of them, in
spite of police surveillance, had managed to creep into our meetings,
and perhaps they had read something in the newspapers.

Dare I to ask our friends who will assemble in Paris to keep their
ears open to this cry, and to remember that there, close by, in the
midst of all the charms of the Exhibition, and the interest of social
gatherings and meetings on behalf of every good end, there, close
by, are crushed hearts and maddened spirits, whose existence as an
officially acknowledged social necessity is a crime prophetic of woe
for that charming city _en fête_ just now, but which must pass under
a cloud sooner or later, if for _these_ and other slaves the sword of
justice is not unsheathed?

In the years past I visited sometimes houses of ill-fame in my own
country, where the law is with us and not against us in entering such
places. I recall one day sitting in a room with some score of young
women of the unhappy sisterhood. They were seated mostly on the floor
around me, some with an expression of weariness or indifference on
their faces, some hard, others gently inquisitive. I spoke to them (do
not be surprised, any friend who may read this) of the sweetness of
family life, of the blessing of the love of a pure and chivalrous man,
and of happy married life, of the love of little children, the gaiety,
the gladness they shed in the home, of the delight even of the humblest
household work in such conditions in a home where true love reigns,
and of the affection between a true husband and wife, which deepens
and becomes more holy as life goes on. Was it cruel? It might seem so.
But the effect was not so. All round me there were heads bowed low; no
more hardness nor indifference, but tears dropping on clasped hands
and faces hidden on the shoulders of their companions. The room seemed
to be full of the sound of sighing and sobbing; it seemed to me a
wail—almost like the wail of lost spirits:“Too late! too late! That is
not for us. Once we had now and then such a dream, but now—nevermore!”
I dropped on the floor to be nearer and in the midst of them, and
spoke words which I cannot remember, but to this effect:“Courage, my
darlings! Don’t despair; I have good news for you. You are women, and
a woman is always a beautiful thing. You have been dragged deep in the
mud; but still you are women. God calls to you, as He did to Zion long
ago, ‘Awake, awake! Thou that sittest in the dust, put on thy beautiful
garments.’ It may be that the picture I have drawn is not for you, yet
I dare to prophesy good for you, and happiness even in this life; and I
tell you truly that you can become, in this life, something even better
than a happy wife and mother—yes, something better. You can help to
save others. You can be the friend and companion of Him who came to
seek and to save that which was lost. Fractures well healed make us
more strong. Take of the very stones over which you have stumbled and
fallen, and use them to pave your road to heaven. My beloved ones, I
have come to tell you of a happiness in store for you, greater than any
earthly happiness.”

Did I speak to them of their sins? Did I preach that the wages of sin
is death? Never! What am I—a sinner—that I should presume to tell them
that they were sinners? That would have stirred an antagonism in their
hearts, a mental protest:“Perhaps you are not much better than we. If
you had had to go through what we have gone through, if you had been
neglected, poor, betrayed, kicked about by society——” Ah, yes, I knew
all that; and I knew that the vision of what they _might_ have been had
stirred in every poor heart of them a sad, dreary sense of _loss_—of
irreparable loss—and a keen sense of shame and of bitter regret that
they were what they were.

And the seal set upon every such message was the seal of the blessed
name of Christ the Lord, the Lover of the lost, the Friend of sinners;
of Him who welcomed the sinful woman, the sister of those who are
called in police reports “habitual prostitutes,” “abandoned women,”
“recalcitrants,”“social nuisances”; of Him who accepted her tears, who
suffered her to kiss His feet; of Him who said, “The Son of Man is come
to seek and to save that which is lost”; the noble Shepherd who goes
forth in search of His lost sheep, following it over hill and dale,
rock and torrent, and through the wide, waste wilderness —till when?
till He sees that that erring creature does not want to be saved, is
too stupid and silly and perverse, too tainted with vice to be saved,
and then does He turn back and give it up? No. It is written: “He goeth
after the sheep that is lost _until He finds it_.” How is it that the
Chief Shepherd never turns back (as we do) from the search after a lost
soul, or His vast lost humanity? The answer comes to me—because of His
faith. He had faith in God the Father, and He had faith also in that
human nature created by God. He sees what we cannot see—the spark, all
but extinguished, in the most wretched soul of man or woman, which can
be fanned into a flame when the Divine breath breathes upon it.

We know that the words translated in our Scriptures, “Have faith in
God,” are now more truly translated, “Have the faith of God.” In order
to follow our lost sheep _until we find them_—never stopping short of
that—it seems that we must have, in some degree at least, the faith
of the Son of God; His faith in the creative power of the Father of
the human race, who can create and recreate, and His faith in the
possibility of resurrection for every dead soul.

Among those whom we call “lost women” I have known better rescuers of
other lost women than I have known among the truest Christians who have
kept firmly in the paths of righteousness. There are among them—perhaps
not many, but some—whose ardour and spirit of self-sacrifice in the
work has amazed us. Their own experience drives them on, and once given
and having accepted such a work, they rise to a height, or rather, I
might say, they stoop to a depth, of self-abnegation which comes near
to the highest ideal of saintliness. “We are poor creatures,” as one
of them said; “we have done badly. We can do little, but at least we
may be of use in raking a few of our dear fellow-sinners out of the
mud.” And they _have_ raked them out of the mud—those lost diamonds in
the dust, trodden under foot. They have plunged into the dust heaps
and refuse of society, and brought out thence treasures which, when
cleansed—even as we all need to be cleansed—become as the stars which
shine for ever and ever.

Is it any wonder that such memories visit one in the night season,
and that a prayer rises from the heart that the God of Love may send
a message of fire into the hearts of our so-called purity workers,
our higher morality pleaders, a message which will not be ignored or
set aside, but which will compel them to seek a way to the direct
deliverance of these captives and the breaking of their chains. And if
these workers feel that this work is not theirs, or that they are not
fitted for it, or called to it, then I pray that God will prepare and
call up a relief army, a forlorn hope brigade from among the humble,
the uneducated, the poor and unambitious, who are not so “awfully busy”
with good works that they cannot turn aside to lift the wounded or
carry the dead; and that He will give to this relief army to fight, in
this humble but holy war with the inexpressible bravery, endurance and
self-sacrifice with which men are fighting to-day in another war.

I know it will be said, as it is often said: “But rescue work is such
discouraging, such hopeless work. It is far better to act on public
opinion, to elevate the morality of men, to educate the young in
principles of justice and purity, to strike at the root, at the causes
of prostitution. What you are counselling is but ambulance work for
picking up and helping the wounded. Is it not far better to abolish
war, which necessitates ambulance work?” All this is quite true. I have
preached it many a time myself. Nevertheless, while we are still in the
midst of war can we, in the name of pity, neglect our wounded and leave
them to die? “This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the
other undone.”

Moreover womanhood is _solidaire_. We cannot successfully elevate
the standard of public opinion in the matter of justice to women,
and of equality of all in its truest sense, if we are content that a
practical, hideous, calculated, manufactured and legally maintained
degradation of a portion of womanhood is allowed to go on before the
eyes of all. “Remember them that are in bonds, as being bound with
them.” Even if we lack the sympathy which makes us feel that the chains
which bind our enslaved sisters are pressing on us also, we cannot
escape the fact that we are one womanhood, _solidaire_, and that so
long as they are bound, we cannot be wholly and truly free. We continue
to be dragged down from that right place and influence which we aim at
by the deadweight of this accursed thing in the midst of us.

 This year (1900) Josephine Butler wrote two books about the South
 African War. In the first, _Native Races and the War_, she endeavours
 to prove that the treatment of the native races of South Africa,
 though it had “not yet in England or on the Continent been cited
 as one of the direct causes of the war,” really lay “very near to
 the heart of the present trouble.” We suspect that the writing of
 this book was partly due to the fact that her patriotic spirit
 recoiled at the violent denunciations against England, especially by
 continental writers, for having entered upon the war from base and
 covetous motives; but _perhaps_ she fell into the opposite extreme
 of exaggerating the faults of President Kruger’s Government. In any
 case, whether or not she proves her thesis that the native question
 had anything to do with the origin of the war, all will agree with
 her view, that “Great Britain will in future be judged, condemned or
 justified according to her treatment of those innumerable coloured
 races, over whom her rule extends;” and that “race prejudice is a
 poison which will have to be cast out if the world is ever to be
 Christianised, and if Great Britain is to maintain the high and
 responsible place among the nations which has been given to her.” In
 _Silent Victories_ she does not deal with controversial questions,
 but tells the simple story of humane and spiritual work carried on
 amongst the troops by various religious agencies, giving many pathetic
 incidents from soldiers’ letters from the front, which showed that
 in the midst of the horrors of war silent victories were won in many
 hearts, lifted from selfishness to true manhood and brotherliness.

Tolstoi’s latest novel, _Resurrection_, has been reviewed by several
well-known literary men on the Continent. In reading their able
articles I am surprised by the absence in them of any full appreciation
of the vital chord which has been struck by this master hand, on one
side of the great question of justice. The masculine reviewers (I speak
of continentals, not yet having read reviews which have appeared in
England) seem to have missed in a measure hearing the note which goes
straight to every woman’s heart. The book might be called the _amende
honorable_ made by the masculine conscience to the womanhood of the
world, for the centuries of wrong inflicted by the absence of the
recognition of an equal moral standard for the sexes. It has brought
hope to many, showing how the truth is marching on, how the winged
seed has taken root, not only in obscure ground, and in humble minds,
but in the mind of a great genius, whose voice has sounded aloud and
afar the justice of the movement, for which so many of us have prayed
and laboured, and the injustice under which so many have suffered and
died—their sorrows and their death taken no account of because they
were the helpless victims of the tyranny appealed against.

The Resurrection which Tolstoi pictures is the resurrection of
conscience in a man who arises to do the _whole_ of his duty towards
a fallen woman, a woman of the streets in fact, whose first seducer
he had been. The book is full of sad and tragic scenes, depicted with
the author’s unrivalled power; but it stands for truth, for justice,
for the right, and in the hand of the giant Tolstoi, it is like a
clarion sounding the dawn of a new day. Millions will read this book,
appearing as it has done in several languages at the same moment, an
accomplished work of art, a marvel of composition, of achievement, even
of translation, for it is translated into French by a masterly pen. No
man having read it can help having heard the call of conscience.

Madame Pieczynska, who has lived in Russia and Poland, wrote to
me as follows: “For me this book is a great event to be thankful
for, even unto God. I am told that it is received with enthusiasm
in Russia, though it has been mutilated by the censor before being
allowed to appear. I hope you will share our impressions about it.
To some the hero’s character will probably appear _invraisemblable_.
Let me assure you that it is nevertheless a true and not exceptional
type of the Slavian youth of the period, more entire, more extreme
in his tendencies, good or bad, than English, French or Swiss
men are. The Slavian race is not as yet like those others at the
climax of civilisation. It is still growing, ascending, shaping its
characteristics, while the others are mature or even growing old. In
Russia, in Poland, there is not such a crowding of humanity; there is
more room to expand, and to stretch out a thought even to its last
consequences. Hence we have Nihilists, strange sects, and such men
as Nekhludow and Tolstoi, whilst in some countries mediocrity reigns
supreme, everyone elbowing his neighbour closely, and allowing him no
extraordinary move, be it onward and upward, or downward. The hero of
Tolstoi will undoubtedly be called by many an _exalté_, but none the
less ‘Truth will be justified of her children.’”

Madame Pieczynska’s words are true, for in spite of the reserves and
objections which will fill the minds of many readers of _Resurrection_,
it is good and right that there should be foreshadowed for all men the
question which will have to be faced and answered in the great Day of
Judgment by all seducers, corrupters and despisers of women. I will
not attempt to give the story, which has been reported in many reviews;
but will only add that there are sentences in the book, confessions
of an awakened, “resurrected” conscience, and recitals which no
Abolitionist among us could read unmoved, and which, when once read,
will not easily be forgotten. It would be hopeless to endeavour to
bring together here in any adequate degree these remarkable passages.
The sister of the hero, a good, kind, prosperous, society woman, asks
him with sincerity: “But do you believe it possible that a woman who
has lived such a life can ever again be really elevated, morally
re-instated, and restored to the nobility of womanhood?” She waits for
a reply, imagining that that question is the one which presses most on
her brother’s mind, while he is thus determined to sacrifice _all_ for
his former victim. His reply embodies a thought, which rarely, if ever,
occurs even to the best of men. “That is not the question which I have
to answer. The question which I have to answer is: Is there hope for
_me_? Can _I_ be rehabilitated, morally restored, and elevated to the
true dignity of manhood?”



CHAPTER XX.

THE MORNING COMETH.


 The death of her brother-in-law, Tell Meuricoffre, in the spring
 of 1900, and the death of his wife in the autumn of the same year,
 were a great sorrow to Josephine Butler, increasing the feeling of
 loneliness that so often comes to the aged; but amid all her weakness
 and loneliness in these last years, hope, illimitable hope, was the
 dominant note of her soul, as she looked forward to the “smile and the
 ‘good morning’ with which God would greet her” on the other side.

 [Illustration: _Elliott & Fry, Photo 1900._ 290
 [Handwritten] I remain yours affect. Josephine Butler]


 To the Editor of the _Shield_.

  _April, 1900._

 You ask me for a few words on the character and career of my
 brother-in-law, the Chevalier Tell Meuricoffre, who fell asleep on
 Thursday, March 22nd. It would hardly be possible for me to write of
 him impersonally, while even as a sister, to whom he was very dear,
 it is not quite easy. But I will try. I cannot speak of him in any
 direct connection with the cause which your paper represents, for he
 never came personally to the front in our work, though in sympathy
 he was with us and with his dear wife, my sister, who has been for
 several years a member of our International Committee, and some of
 whose published letters reveal a deeper insight than I have ever
 observed in any other person into the intimate relations of our
 question with the spiritual life of individuals and nations. Mr.
 Meuricoffre’s was a very full, varied and most useful life. Swiss by
 parentage, he was born and lived almost all his life in Naples, where
 he fulfilled some of the highest citizen functions in a manner to
 attract the esteem of his fellow-citizens of every nationality and
 creed. Now that he is gone a thousand testimonies are pouring in to
 his sterling worth, and to the affection he had inspired far and wide.
 He was the head and support of the Swiss Protestant colony in Naples—a
 very numerous society—and the promoter of countless good works, such
 as the International Hospital, which he created for the reception
 of strangers arriving in Naples, who did not find any such safe or
 good treatment in the other hospitals of the city. Truth, purity,
 uprightness, singlemindedness, and a most munificent generosity were
 among his characteristics. _Noblesse oblige_ seemed to be his motto.
 He did not let his left hand know what his right hand did. Besides his
 public acts of benevolence, he aided privately numbers of individuals
 and families whose needs or misfortunes were a secret to all except
 himself. He was the most open-handed of men. He and my husband were
 great friends, and in several points they resembled each other. If
 the world were more largely peopled with such men as these two, we
 should not have needed, dear Editor, to maintain so continuous and
 arduous a struggle as we have had for justice and mercy at the hands
 of men. Mr. and Mrs. Meuricoffre used to spend a part of each summer
 at their beautiful Swiss home on the borders of the Lake of Geneva;
 and it was here that many delightful family gatherings took place,
 assembling from Italy, England and France. We have golden memories of
 those times, where we (from England) used sometimes to rest, in order
 to prepare ourselves for approaching conferences of the Abolitionist
 Federation in Switzerland. Some of your readers may remember Mr.
 Meuricoffre’s presence at the conference in Berne in 1896, and my
 sister’s words spoken in the sacristy of the large church at Colmar,
 the year before, when she pleaded for the poor child victims in Italy.

 The occasion of the Colmar meeting, referred to in the above letter,
 is described in the following extract from a journal kept by Josephine
 Butler in 1895.

This week at Colmar was altogether sweet. My darling Hatty made a
lovely impression on all our friends. I shall never forget her words
spoken at a preliminary meeting in our _salon_ at the hotel, where
arrangements for the week were discussed. One saw there was a tendency,
in the preparing of certain resolutions, to drop to a lower standard
in the proclaiming of principles (in order to disarm opposition, it
was said). Her few words spoken very gently, but firmly, led the whole
company up to the higher standard—that of Christ; and our old and
valued friend, Professor Felix Bovet, thanked her for recalling them to
that standard. At one of our early morning devotional meetings, which
were held in the sacristy of the large Protestant Church, her voice
went to my heart, and to that of many, as she stood up and prayed for
poor Italy, and for Naples especially, asking God to send some of His
inspired teachers and workers there. But most of all there dwells in
my heart the memory of that early morning when, before going to the
sacristy, I went to her room. I had been ill and exhausted all the day
before. She kneeled down, half dressed as she was, and drew me down
beside her, and putting her arm round me, and drawing me close to her
side, she poured out her soul in such a loving petition for me, weeping
as she prayed, and yet with such firm faith and loving assurance as
people only have when they feel God very near, and realise His will
to grant what is asked. Her voice sounded to me like that of some
ministering angel, pleading pleading face to face with God—a voice
trembling with emotion and yet steadied by the sense of the dear and
awful presence of the Christ to whom she spoke. And her prayer was
large and far-reaching, embracing those dearest to us, and “the little
ones, the lost lambs of Jesus.” Wonderful strength and health were
given to me for the remaining days at Colmar.

 In 1901 she published _In Memoriam, Harriet Meuricoffre_, consisting
 mainly of letters from her sister, which are written with a delicacy
 of literary style, and reveal the extreme sweetness of her character.
 The following extract from one of these letters shows how these two
 sisters were more than sisters—heart-friends: “How I wish I was near
 you; not that I could do anything, but I sometimes feel as if my
 intense love for you might almost surround you like the vapour which
 forms itself around the human hand, and enables it to plunge into
 molten metal at white heat, and not be scorched. I feel sure that God
 will keep you all through these days, and give you strength for each
 hour. At what hour have you meetings for prayer? It is so sweet to
 draw near to Him early in the morning before all the rumbling, and
 shouting and dust come between heaven and earth. Every morning, my
 best beloved, I will be holding you up to Him, between six and seven
 o’clock. Let a quick little thought of this cross your mind while
 dressing. My whole heart is with you, and will be, every day and all
 the days.”

       *       *       *       *       *

 In 1903 she published _The Morning Cometh: A Letter to my Children_,
 under the pseudonym of “Philalethes.” This little book, like _The Lady
 of Shunem_, is a Bible study, chiefly on those passages which point
 to the larger hope and the restitution of _all_ things. We give three
 extracts from it.

    I’ve heard within my inmost soul
    Such glorious morning news.

In the course of the last twenty years or so, and especially in that
of the last five or six years, a flood of light has been poured upon
the meanings of the sacred writers, and most of all on the text of the
teaching of Christ and His Apostles. This light has come gradually to
me, and to many, like new life. Up to the time that this light shone
out fully, it has seemed that we had all received only _half_ a gospel
of glad tidings; now it is a whole gospel, for which thousands have
been waiting; and the joy it brings is great, and will be greater, the
more we enter into and are made to understand the love of God and His
divine purpose for the salvation of all. “The Larger Hope,” as this new
light is sometimes called, and which might be called the Illimitable
Hope, is rapidly becoming more clearly seen and joyfully accepted.

The unscriptural teaching concerning eternal punishment has created
thousands of atheists, sceptics and defiant scoffers at Christianity,
and has made many just-minded and tender-hearted people very unhappy,
bringing the grey hairs of many in sorrow to the grave—in sorrow for
a lost world—or a lost child (supposed through false teaching to be
lost, but _not_ lost). Having conversed of late years with a few of
such sorrowful persons, and with some who have been driven by false
representations of the character of God to the verge of a complete
and final rejection of all faith in Him, I have seen the relief it
has brought when the other side has been set before them. I have
seen countenances light up as with a new hope, and the man or woman
addressed like one who has thrown off a burden of years, and who now
begins to breathe freely, delivered from an intolerable oppression.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a story, told by an American poet, of an explorer who was
rowed down the River Amazon one night from sunset to sunrise, the dark
river gliding with a serpent’s stillness between forests of giant trees
wound round with snake-like creepers. Suddenly at midnight a cry, a
long despairing moan of solitude arises, a cry so full of agony and
fear, that the heart of the traveller stands still as he listens. The
oarsman starts, drops his oar, crosses himself and whispers, “The cry
of a lost soul.”“Nay, a bird perhaps,” the traveller says. “No, señor,
not a bird; we know it well. It is the tortured soul of an infidel, an
accursed heretic, that cries from hell. Poor fool! he shrieks for ever
in the darkness for human pity and for prayer. May the saints strike
him dumb! Our Holy Mother has no prayer for him; for having sinned to
the end, he burns always in the furnace of God’s wrath.” The traveller
made no answer to the baptised pagan’s cruel lie, which lends new
horror to the deepening shadows as the boat’s lamp burns dim, and the
black water slides along without a sound or a ripple. But lifting his
eyes to the strip of the starry heavens visible between the dark walls
of forest, he sees the cross of pardon (the beautiful constellation,
the Southern Cross) lighting up the tropical sky, and he urges aloud
his strong plea: “Father of all, Thou lovest all; Thy erring child
may be lost to himself, but never lost to Thee. All souls are Thine.
Through all guilt and shame, perverseness of will and sins of sense
Thou forsakest not. Wilt Thou not, eternal source of good, change to
a song of praise the cry of the lost soul?” And a sense of peace and
assurance fell upon the soul of the traveller as the first streak of
dawn summoned all nature to her morning song of praise.

       *       *       *       *       *

You and I have been together among the Alps, in the early hours of
the dawn, when all nature was freshly baptised with the dew of the
morning, and such an exquisite purity was in the silent air, that we
seemed to be breathing the heavenly ether of a new-born earth. And we
have together looked upon those pure, snow-covered peaks, those fair
sentinels of heaven, in the evening glow, bathed in the rose and gold
of the setting sun; appearing at the last moment of farewell to the
day, as if lighted by some light from within themselves. At such times
we have felt that it was hardly possible to imagine anything more
beautiful, more awful in grandeur and purity than this. May it be that
we shall see these same familiar features renewed in the times of the
new heavens and the new earth?—all that tends to decay and death, all
storms, violence and destructive forces done with for ever, and this
beautiful earth again such as we have seen it and loved it at its best,
but infinitely better and more beautiful than its present earthly best.
Its present unrest, the violent and terrifying forces working within
its bosom are, it may be, the travail pangs which will usher in the new
earth.


 To the Editor of the _Shield_.

  _January 1st, 1905._

 I feel impelled, in spite of much physical weakness, to send a message
 of New Year’s greeting, through your organ, to such of my old friends
 and associates in our Crusade who are still living, as well as to the
 younger generation of workers, many of whom I have never seen.

 I believe we all realise that we are living in troubled times, both
 as to our own land and to the world in general. I do myself realise
 it deeply. Yet no note of discouragement is allowed by “the God of
 Hope” to sound in my soul. I say this emphatically—and my friends may
 believe that this hope has not its source in any natural buoyancy,
 for I am suffering much. I should like just to reiterate the old
 everlasting truth that “Jehovah reigns.” It is my belief that His
 presence among us will be felt in proportion as evil and perplexity
 increase on all sides. He hears the bitter cry which is arising from
 earth. The “distress of nations” spoken of in Scripture is _His_
 distress who bore the sins and the griefs of the whole world. Do
 not, dear friends, think of Him as far off, and of His earth as a
 “God-forsaken planet.” It is still always His earth, and at a time
 when faith seems to decay, He will arise in His majesty and love. “He
 saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no Intercessor;
 therefore _His own arm_ brought salvation.”

 I am with you, my dear old and young companions in arms—with you in
 spirit and in sympathy at this season and always.


  This year she was able to welcome a great moral victory for the
  Abolitionist cause. For the Extra-Parliamentary Commission, appointed
  by the French Government in 1902, though originally not counting more
  than three Abolitionists among its seventy members, formally
  condemned the system of the _Police des mœurs_. It remains however to
  be seen what the French Chambers will do with the matter.

  The following letter is a specimen of the touching manner, in which
  she mourned the loss of her friends, as one by one they passed away.


 To a friend.

  _March, 1905._

 It would be difficult for me in my present circumstances of weakness
 to write, as it has been suggested, the story of the life and work of
 my dear late colleague, Margaret Tanner. Others, I trust, will give
 the facts of her long and faithful career. But I cannot refrain from
 writing to you a few words from my heart, about her who has so lately
 been called to her rest, and to the higher service which, I believe,
 is granted in that rest to those who have faithfully served God on
 earth.

 She and I have been allied in work since the autumn of 1869. It is a
 long retrospect, and many memories crowd upon me as I look back on
 our special work of the Ladies’ National Association. We have always
 worked in perfect harmony, although differing markedly in natural
 character. To speak honestly, as one conscious of faults, which were
 however overruled (for we were educated in the work itself to which
 we were called), I was too impetuous, impulsive and sometimes rash.
 The keen sense of injustice which possessed both her and me, was apt
 at times to fill me with bitterness of soul. She, on the contrary,
 was always calm, steady, equal, gentle—a true representative of the
 Society of Friends. I think I never heard her say an unkind word of
 anyone, or pass a harsh judgment on persons who were unjust and cruel,
 although abhorring the injustice and the cruelty. She was very humble,
 and wonderfully self-effacing. With all her gentleness, she had the
 utmost firmness, never wavering in the least in principle; and her
 grasp of principle and her sense of justice were allied to a lifelong,
 tenacious perseverance in duty, and in devotion to our cause to the
 very end. She would say that she owed much to me. Few people guess how
 much I owed to her, to that firm, quiet individuality. She was full
 of pity for the outcast and oppressed, and in this we were wholly
 one. Her memory is very sweet and fragrant to me; and I am full of a
 grateful remembrance of the influence which her character has had on
 me.

 I recall many visits I made to Durdham Park, where she lived much,
 and worked with her sisters. The drawing-room meetings we held there,
 and the traditional beautiful hospitality of Friends, are a bright
 and peaceful memory to me. There was inspiration in those meetings,
 and they were fruitful in practical results. Lastly, may I say that
 I noted with reverent love the spiritual ripening of the character
 of that dear friend, towards the close of her long life of faithful
 labours. Her love for me was deep and tender, and mine for her. The
 last time I saw her, the light of Heaven was on her aged face, which
 bore the marks of the patience which had had its perfect work.

  What follows is part of the message sent by Josephine Butler on the
  occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Federation, meeting at
  Neuchâtel in September, 1905.

The inception of our work, which has grown so wonderfully, began
very much earlier than anyone knows. You will be surprised perhaps,
when you know all. What I have to tell you illustrates two truths,
which are, to my mind, confirmed by the inner history of all vital
evolutions of which we know anything in the past history of the human
race. The first of these two truths or principles is, that in order
to produce a movement of a vital, spiritual nature _someone must
suffer_, someone must go through sore travail of soul before a living
movement, outwardly visible, can be born. This was so in the greatest
movement of eternity—the evolution of the Christian faith. To that end
Christ suffered, as we know (in a measure) to what a degree; but the
depth and infinitude of His suffering we cannot know. It is what the
Greeks called “The unknown and unknowable agony.” Scripture speaks of
the “travail of His soul.” In an infinitely smaller measure I believe
that the evolution of any vitally good principle, or truth, must be
and always is preceded by suffering, by travail of soul.[17] It is not
all who join in the vital movement who need to suffer; by no means.
Their sufferings are less probably, as time goes on. The truth visibly
born into the world carries with it the conviction and intellectual
adhesion of a multitude of good and just persons. There is still labour
and strain, and weariness and disappointment, and inward conflict to
be borne by those who join the good cause; but not often, I think, the
long, silent period of conception and child-bearing which precedes the
actual appearance of the living child in the world. This has a close
connection with much that Christ said about the hidden life of the seed
sown in the Kingdom of God. The smallest of seeds, He said, falls into
the ground, remains long concealed there, apparently dead, unseen by
any. But in time it appears an infant plant, and, as He said, becomes
the greatest of all trees, so that the birds of the air rest in its
branches.

 [17] See pp. 13-16 _supra_.

The second truth which, I think, is illustrated by our experience is
this: a movement which is of God, of divine origin, and which is rooted
in the will of Him who is the God of Justice, is and must be _preceded
by prayer_. It must have its origin in His own inspiration. Therefore
I feel that, in one sense, my own answer to the question,“Was our
movement a Christian movement at the beginning?”—my own answer must
be, “Yes, it was,” but not in the sense in which it is understood,
or _misunderstood_, by some, such as Dr. Fournier, who think that a
number of “women and clergymen,” a great party of orthodox Christians,
sprang up in England, in the name of religion, to lead this movement.
It may seem a paradox, but it must be stated truly to my inner circle
of friends, that this movement was born of God, secretly inaugurated by
years of silent prayer—prayer offered in the name of Jesus; and that at
the same time it was far from being a movement patronised by Christians
at first. Indeed the Christian churches were only very slowly and
gradually gained to the condescension of looking at the question.
Bishops and clergy, and ministers of different denominations poured
upon our little early group all the disdain they felt for us.

Our first years were a conflagration created by the spark of wrath
against injustice which our cry of revolt had produced. Our vast
populations of the middle and working classes, especially the latter,
rose against the legislation we opposed, because it was class
legislation. This fact was the iron which entered into the soul of
our English people; the fact that men of the upper classes had broken
down our ancient safeguards, written in our Constitution since the
days of King John, in order that the sons of the upper classes might
benefit (as was supposed) by the destruction of the daughters of the
people. The wrath of the common people quickly broke into a flame which
shook Parliament and our legislators, and in time took hold of the
churches, and which turned our country into a veritable battlefield
for _justice_, apart from all religious considerations. I allow that
there were among our working men a few groups of devout men, who
held meetings quietly for prayer about that question, especially
in Scotland; but the great question always was that of justice and
class selfishness. There were also, I must recall, individuals among
the upper classes who were with us from the first—rare spirits whose
sense of justice was outraged by this legislation—certain Members of
Parliament (of blessed memory), certain dignitaries of the Church—such
as Canon Fowle, who scandalised the respectable community by preaching
in his Cathedral on several occasions against the Regulation; such as
my revered husband and a few of his clerical friends; and _one_ bishop,
whose largeness of view, I believe, was owing to his having been a
colonial bishop, accustomed to hear the enlightened views of the poor
heathen over whom he exercised his pastoral functions.

Some of the prominent workers with us from the first were Unitarians
(including Sir James Stansfeld). I suppose that these would hardly be
considered to be orthodox by evangelical Christians. We _never_ asked
of our adherents what their religious views or non-views were. We
joined hands with all who came to us, and there were many malcontents
among these, people who had been ill-used by society, poor failures,
people who had been deeply wronged and who longed for retribution;
people whose woes cried to heaven, even if they had never learned to
send the breath of prayer upwards to Him who bore all our woes.

From the first we had the adhesion and support of noble Jews. I may
mention Samuel Montagu, M.P. for Whitechapel, the Jews’ quarter in
London. He, Montagu, is a “Hebrew of the Hebrews.” He gave us personal
and political help. Some of the members of the Montefiore family joined
us. The Chief Rabbi of London helped us. We had letters of adhesion
rapidly from Zadok Kahn, Grand Rabbin of Paris; from Astruc, Grand
Rabbin of Brussels; and from Ben Israel, Grand Rabbin of Avignon. Ben
Israel sent to me and my husband a remarkable book which he had written
on the heroic and prominent women, prophetesses and others, of the
early Hebrew times. His book showed an intelligent study of the Hebrew
Scriptures, and an innate and profound respect for womanhood. These
Hebrews whom I have mentioned cannot certainly be ranked among orthodox
Christians; yet we felt they were an added strength to us.

I may mention that in 1875, when the first British section of the
Federation was formed, a distinguished Indian, Babu Keshub Chunder
Sen, joined us, and was elected a member of our first International
Committee. This committee was formed in Liverpool, where we resided
then, and on it were placed men of various views, some of them
decidedly agnostic. Keshub Chunder Sen visited us in our house in
Liverpool, and our family were impressed by the sublime calm and
elevation of his spirit, in the deep conviction that good would triumph
over evil. He was not a Christian.

I think I have said enough to show that we gathered _all_ who desired
justice, or who suffered from injustice.

May I mention the order in which the tide of divinely-inspired persons
or societies gradually gathered round us. This order, most curiously,
is precisely similar to that which existed in the case of the great
war in America against negro slavery, which you know, was strongly
upheld (I mean slavery was) by many of the churches in America. Our
first adherents were of the Society of Friends, the Quakers, that quiet
and peaceful body of persons whose active, practical help is always
offered to suffering peoples all through the world, in accordance with
the rule of George Fox, the founder of their sect, who established
the “Committee for Sufferings.” It is the noble obligation of this
committee, which exists to this day, to look abroad over all the
sufferings of the world, whatever they may be and in whatever land,
and to endeavour to alleviate those sufferings. These dear people
rallied to us very early. Among them my heart urges me to mention a few
of the individuals of that body who joined us and aided us silently
with unspoken prayer, and outwardly with brave and wonderful courage.
I allude especially to my very early comrades, Margaret Tanner and
Mary Priestman. The former has recently entered into her rest; the
latter is now old and infirm. You can picture these two ladies and
myself, sitting face to face, in gentle consultation. “What shall we
do?” One of them replied, “Well, we must rouse the country.” Brave
woman! So gentle, so Quakerly, yet convinced that we three poor women
must rouse the country. Indeed God does use the weak things of the
world to confound the strong. So we formed gradually our “Ladies’
National Association,” the mother, or rather the grandmother of all
the societies in which women worked. I should also like to record the
memory of several noted Friends in Birmingham, who laboured for us,
and some of whom are still alive. I recall too the name of Edward
Backhouse, of Sunderland, a true prince of generosity, whose powerful
aid helped us through many difficulties in the early days of our
campaign. Mr. Thomasson was a pillar of strength to us for many years.
Their names are written in heaven.

The religious societies who gave us adherents gradually were, as I have
said, first the Friends, then the humblest communities, the Primitive
Methodists, the Bible Christians, the United Methodists; then the
Wesleyans, who later became a powerful aid to our cause, under the
leadership of the late Hugh Price Hughes, a fiery-hearted Welshman,
a convinced Abolitionist, and an eloquent pleader for justice. Then
followed, but slowly, slowly, and with divided opinions, the Baptists
and the Congregationalists, among whom there were some who remained
blind to the meaning of our movement for a very long time. The Scottish
Churches slowly followed, the narrowly Calvinistic character of some
of them tending to cramp their sympathies. Two great leaders of the
more enlightened part spoke valiantly for us as early as 1869. I
refer to Dr. Guthrie and Dr. Duff, the well-known missionary to India.
Nevertheless some few years later, valiant corps of Abolitionists
were formed in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bridge of Allan, men and women,
especially women, who laboured with Scottish tenacity and perseverance
till quite recent years. I think I have said enough on this subject
in reply to the objection that we have departed from our original
position, or on the other hand that we were a clique of pious people of
no width of view.

May I add a few words to you, my friends, on a subject which is, I am
sure, stirring many hearts just now. You feel, I believe, as I do,
that Christianity, the true Church of Christ (I use the word in its
largest sense), is _inclusive_, and not _exclusive_. When the disciples
of Christ saw a man casting out devils, who was not a member of their
group, they forbade him to do so. What did the Master say? “_Forbid him
not_, for he that is not against us _is for us_.” We have no intimation
that this man ever joined the circle of the disciples, and yet of him
the Master said: “_He is for us._” I have seen many just men who give
life-long labour to casting out the evil spirits of tyranny, oppression
and injustice; and of these, whatever their formula of belief may be,
the Judge of all will say, “_Well done._” There are many outside the
Christian pale in whom the Spirit of Christ is working, and many of
those who are nominally antagonists of Christianity have been thrown
into the position in which they are by the very force of that Spirit
within them which leads them to recoil from the manifest unchristliness
of the teaching of many of the churches and the intolerance of
so-called Christian governments. The true Church of Christ is wider
than all communions and creeds. In some of those creeds our God has
been so maligned, so caricatured, may I say, that many have been
turned into rebels, or apparently rebels, whose hearts are not really
estranged from the _true God_. That poor, unhappy and outwitted son of
the Patriarch Isaac, who had in an evil hour sold his birthright for a
miserable mess of pottage, cried with a loud and bitter cry: “Hast thou
but _one_ blessing, O my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father!”
Yes, the Eternal Father will bless the apparently rejected son. There
is more than one blessing for the sons of men, however much they
may have erred, whose inmost hearts utter this bitter cry. The Good
Shepherd said: “I have other sheep which are not of this fold. Them
also I must bring, and they will hear My voice!” _There I rest._

You will pardon this expression of my heart’s conviction. I do not
speak as an orthodox adherent of any church, but as one whom sorrow and
love have taught that none of the great human family are forgotten by
Him who redeemed them, by the Eternal Father whose name is LOVE.

 The following is part of the reply written by Josephine Butler to an
 Address sent to her from those present at this Neuchâtel Conference.

I should like, before concluding, to express in words a thought which
has come to me in my later experience. In the sacred writings there is
a scene recorded concerning the birth of Christ. The aged Simeon had
waited all his life for the advent of the promised Messiah. He took in
his arms the infant Christ, and after proclaiming Him as the promised
Saviour of the human race to the end of time, he said to the mother of
the Babe, “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, _that the
thoughts of many hearts may be revealed_.” The sword-piercing of the
heart of womanhood has been, and will continue to be, in an infinitely
humble degree the revealer of the thoughts of men. The sorrow of the
holy mother of Christ, the woman of the sword-pierced heart, is still
bearing fruit.

In going from city to city on the continent of Europe, I have felt that
I must needs meet this sword-thrust with open arms, and the promised
result has followed. The thoughts of many hearts have been revealed
among the _élite_ of earth, among whom I include every creature of
whatever rank, rich or poor, whose regard is directed towards the
light, who desires justice and abhors injustice: the thoughts of these
begin to be expressed openly, in speech and in action. On the other
hand, the thoughts are revealed of those who desire at all costs to
hold fast their base privileges, and to defend the means by which these
privileges are safeguarded. The thoughts of these also take expression
in speech and in action. Silence and acquiescence are at an end. It is
now war to the death through the revelation and outward expression of
men’s hearts for good and for evil. The sword-pierced heart of holy
motherhood—a motherhood which lives by sympathy in many a woman who
is not actually a mother—will continue to work in this mission of
revealing, and we know on which side will be the final victory.

When the question shall be asked, “What of the night, brothers? What of
the night?” the answer which I would leave with you, friends, is this:

    The Angel of the Dawn alights,
    The pale peaks glisten with His presence fair.

My last words to you, in case I may not be permitted to remain long
among you, will be words of hope—all of hope. It cannot be said that
now, aged, and often in pain and in much weakness, it is any natural
buoyancy which upholds me. It is a granted hopefulness. The “Angel of
the Dawn” is ever present. Deeply fixed in my soul is the conviction
that the power and love of God are about to be manifested in proportion
to the troubles of our times, and far beyond them. Is He not the
Creator of the universe, of the myriads of the stars of heaven—_God_
“once manifested in the flesh” in the person of the Christ?
Everywhere—east, west, north, and south—those whose eyes are open see
in this our day manifestations of a spiritual power, of a loving,
divine pressure on the souls of men, of a holy compulsion bringing them
to a new consciousness, and drawing them irresistibly to the source
of Light and Life. I believe that every effort, however humble, which
is being made for the triumph of good over evil will be found to be
a contribution towards the final victory, and towards the fulfilment
of the Divine promise that the “knowledge of the Lord shall cover the
earth as the waters cover the sea.” I am emboldened, therefore, to hand
on to you this message of joyful and undying hope, from “the God of
Hope and of all consolation.”


 To a young worker in America.

  _February 26th, 1906._

 You say that “many persons do not welcome new recruits, lest they
 should make mistakes.” They will no doubt make some mistakes, but they
 will learn as we did by our errors. This brings me to express the
 thought that has been uppermost in my mind for some years past, viz.
 that the great hope for the future movement is in the _young manhood
 of our day_—in the generous heart of youth. Young women too must and
 will come forward. But I press the fact of the need of a great army
 of young men; for the great evil which we combat is the result of the
 egotism of men, and of the deeply-rooted idea that the sin of impurity
 is a greater sin in a woman than in a man. This unequal standard is
 the devil’s invention, and dates from very early times, in spite of
 the severe and sublime teaching in that matter of our Lord and Saviour
 Jesus Christ.

 It must be the part of the young manhood of our days to make a place
 for womanhood, to restore them to their rightful position before
 the law of God, and before the laws of the land. And here I wish to
 emphasise the fact, that it is not only the pure and blameless of our
 youth who are called and who can work effectually in this advance
 guard of the army of the future. Let me tell you something of my own
 long experience. I have seen young men whose lives have been far from
 blameless, some in whose hearts rankled an oppressive sense of the
 wasted past, even a terrible remorse—I have seen such throw themselves
 into the battle (not in a conspicuous position, to be seen of men),
 in order to take a noble revenge against their former selves, and die,
 if need be, as leaders of a forlorn hope, making merely a bridge of
 their own dead selves for worthier comrades to pass over to victory.

 So, I beseech you, let _none_ of goodwill hold back. “Many a wounded
 soldier hath won the day.” Society is in peril from dangerous wounds
 which will not close until the young, the brave, the reckless, for
 Christ’s sake shall throw themselves into the yawning gulf. Christ
 rejects _none_. It is to His glory that He is able to furnish precious
 material out of the very rubbish of the earth, that He should gather
 up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost, and direct to one
 holy end all these scattered and desecrated energies.

 Josephine Butler lived the last few years of her life at Wooler, near
 to Milfield, the place of her birth. There she died peacefully in her
 sleep, on December 30th, 1906, and was buried in the churchyard of
 Kirknewton, where many of her ancestors had been buried.

 Surely we may say of her, but very slightly altering the words of
 Bunyan: As she drew nigh unto the beautiful Gate of the City, she
 asked, “What must I do in the Holy Place?” and the shining Ones
 answered, “Thou must there receive the comfort of all thy toil, and
 have joy for all thy sorrow; thou must reap what thou hast sown, even
 the fruit of all thy Prayers and Tears, and suffering for the King
 by the way. There also thou shalt _serve_ Him continually, whom thou
 desired’st to serve in the World, though with much difficulty because
 of the infirmity of thy flesh. There thine eyes shall be delighted
 with seeing, and thine ears with hearing the pleasant voice of the
 Mighty One. There thou shalt enjoy thy friends again, that are gone
 thither before thee; and there thou shalt with joy receive even _every
 one_ that follows into the Holy Place after thee.” As she entered in
 at the Gate, then I heard in my Dream that all the bells in the City
 rang again for joy, and that it was said unto her, “Enter thou into
 the _joy_ of thy Lord.”



APPENDIX.

LIST OF JOSEPHINE E. BUTLER’S WRITINGS


 _The Education and Employment of Women._ Pp. 28. (Macmillan) London,
 1868.

 _Introduction_ (Pp. lxiv) _to series of Essays on Woman’s Work and
 Woman’s Culture._ (Macmillan) London, 1869.

 _Memoir of John Grey of Dilston._ Pp. 360. (Edmonston & Douglas)
 Edinburgh, 1869.

 Revised edition of same. Pp. 310. (H. S. King & Co.) London, 1874.

 Italian translation of same. Florence, 1871.

 _An Appeal to the People of England on the Recognition and
 Superintendence of Prostitution by Governments._ By “An English
 Mother.” (Banks) Nottingham, 1870.

 _On the Moral Reclaimability of Prostitutes._ (National Association)
 London, 1870.

 Italian translation of same. Rome, 1875.

 _The Duty of Women._ Address at Carlisle. (Hudson Scott) Carlisle,
 1870.

 _Sursum Corda._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1871.

 _The Constitutional Iniquity of the C.D. Acts._ Bradford, 1871.

 _Address in Craigie Hall, Edinburgh._ (Ireland) Manchester, 1871.

 _Address at Croydon._ (National Association) London, 1871.

 _Letter to the Order of Good Templars._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1871. (?)

 _Vox Populi._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1871.

 _The Constitution Violated._ Pp. 181. (Edmonston & Douglas) Edinburgh,
 1871.

 _The New Era._ Pp. 56. (Brakell) Liverpool, 1872.

 _Letter on the subject of Mr. Bruce’s Bill._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1872.

 _A Few Words addressed to True-hearted Women._ 1872.

 _Legislative Restrictions on the Industry of Women._ [By J. E. B. and
 four others.] (Personal Rights Association) London, 1873. (?)


 _Letter to a Friend on recent Division in the House of Commons._
 (Brakell) Liverpool, 1873.

 _Speech at Bristol to Vigilance Association._ (F. Bell & Co.) London,
 1874.

 _Some Thoughts on the Present Aspect of the Crusade._ (Brakell)
 Liverpool, 1874.

 _Letter to the L.N.A._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1875.

 _Une Voix dans le Désert._ (Sandoz) Paris and Neuchâtel, 1875.

 German translation of same. Neuchâtel, 1875.

 Italian translation of same. Rome, 1875.

 Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Spanish and Dutch translations of
 same. 1876 and later years.

 _State Regulation of Vice._ Speech at Hull. 1876.

 _The Hour before the Dawn._ [Anonymous.] (Trübner) London, 1876.

 Second edition. By J. E. Butler. (Trübner) London, 1882.

 French translation of same. (Grassart) Paris, 1876.

 _Discours prononcé à l’hôtel Wagram._ Paris, 1877.

 _Discours prononcé dans la Salle de la rue d’Arras._ Paris, 1877.

 _Discours prononcé dans la Chapelle Malesherbes._ Paris, 1877.

 _Discours prononcé dans la Salle de la Redonte._ Paris, 1877.

 _The Paris of Regulated Vice._ (Article in _Methodist Protest_.) 1877.

 _Adieux à Genève._ Geneva, 1877.

 _Ceux qui prient._ Paris, 1878.

 _Catharine of Siena._ Pp. 338. (Dyer Bros.) London, 1878.

 French translation of same. Fontaines, 1887.

 _Government by Police._ Pp. 64. (Dyer Bros.) London, 1879.

 _Social Purity._ Pp. 48. (Morgan & Scott) London, 1879.

 Dutch translation of same. La Haye, 1884.

 _Souvenir des réunions à Vevey._ Fontaines, 1879.

 _Deposition regarding treatment of English Girls in Immoral Houses in
 Brussels._ (Printed for private circulation) 1880.

 _Extrait d’une lettre à l’occasion des investigations de M.X. à
 Bruxelles._ Neuchâtel, 1880.

 _Discours au Congrès de Gênes: La traite des blanches._ 1880.

 _Discours au Congrès de Gênes: Des lois sur le vagabondage._ 1880.

 _Discours au Congrès de Gênes: La provocation._ 1880.

 _Discours prononcé à l’issue du Congrès de Gênes._ 1880.

 _Address at Tenth Anniversary of L.N.A._ (Brakell) Liverpool, 1880.

 _A Call to Action._ (Hudson) Birmingham, 1881.

 _Portions of Address at Conference of Women in Geneva._ (Hazell,
 Watson & Viney) London, 1881.


 _Letter to the Mothers of England._ Liverpool, 1881.

 French translation of same. Neuchâtel, 1882.

 _Lettre d’une Mère._ Neuchâtel, 1881.

 _Lettre à ses amis et compagnons d’œuvre._ Neuchâtel, 1882.

 _Allocution dans la séance d’ouverture de la Conférence de Neuchâtel._
 1882.

 _Allocution à la Chapelle de la Place d’Armes._ Neuchâtel, 1882.

 _Discours d’Adieux à la Conférence de Neuchâtel._ 1882.

 _Life of J. F. Oberlin._ Pp. 190. (Religious Tract Society) London,
 1882.

 _The Salvation Army in Switzerland._ Pp. 304. (Dyer Bros.) London,
 1883.

 _Dangers of Constructive Legislation in Matters of Purity._
 (Arrowsmith) Bristol, 1883.

 _The Bright Side of the Question._ (Arrowsmith) Bristol, 1883.

 _Questions morales._ Lausanne, 1883.

 _Appel aux dames présentes au Congrès de La Haye._ 1883.

 _Discours dans la séance d’ouverture du Congrès de La Haye._ 1883.

 _Le point du jour._ (Discours à la Haye) Neuchâtel, 1883.

 _Allocution aux femmes de Gênes._ Neuchâtel, 1883.

 _The Principles of the Abolitionists._ (Dyer Bros.) London, 1885.

 French and German translations of same. Undated.

 _The Work of the Federation._ (Federation Offices) London, 1885.

 _Marion, histoire véritable._ Neuchâtel, 1885.

 German translation of same. Neuchâtel, 1885.

 _Rebecca Jarrett._ (Morgan & Scott) London, 1886.

 _L’œuvre du relèvement moral: Discours prononcé à Naples._ Genève,
 1886.

 Dutch translation of same. La Haye, 1886.

 Danish translation of same. Copenhagen, 1887.

 _Our Christianity tested by the Irish Question._ Pp. 62. (Fisher
 Unwin) London, 1887.

 _The Revival and Extension of the Abolitionist Cause._ (Doswell)
 Winchester, 1887.

 _Letter to International Convention of Women at Washington._ (Morgan &
 Scott) London, 1888.

 _Zwei Vorträge über das staatlich regulierte Laster._ Mülheim, 1888.

 _The Dawn._ [Quarterly.] (Burfoot) London, 1888-96.

 _Woman’s Place in Church Work._ (Article in _Review of the Churches_.)
 London, 1892.

 _Recollections of George Butler._ Pp. 487. (Arrowsmith) Bristol, 1892.

 _Letter to World’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union._ Bristol, 1892.


 _St. Agnes._ (J. Cox) London, 1893.

 _The Present Aspect of the Abolitionist Cause in relation to British
 India._ (Federation Offices) London, 1893.

 French translation of same. Genève, 1894.

 _The Lady of Shunem._ Pp. 143. (Horace Marshall) London, 1894.

 _The Constitutional Iniquity._ (Federation Offices) London, 1895.

 _Lettre à Madame Duplan._ Lausanne, 1895.

 _Two Letters of Earnest Appeal and Warning._ (Federation Offices)
 London, 1895.

 _A Doomed Iniquity._ (Federation Offices) London, 1896.

 _Address to L.N.A._ (Arrowsmith) Bristol, 1896.

 _Personal Reminiscences of a Great Crusade._ Pp. 409. (Horace
 Marshall) London, 1896.

 French translation of same. Paris, 1900.

 German translation of same. Dresde, 1904.

 Russian translation of same. Varsovie, 1904.

 _Truth Before Everything._ (Dyer Bros.) London, 1897.

 _Lettre à une ami sur la lutte contre la réglementation dans l’Inde._
 1897.

 _Letter to Conference in London._ (Published in the _Shield_) London,
 1897.

 French translation of same. 1897.

 _Some Lessons from Contemporary History._ (Friends’ Association)
 London, 1898.

 _The Storm-Bell._ [Monthly.] (Burfoot) London, 1898-1900.

 _Prophets and Prophetesses._ (Mawson) Newcastle, 1898.

 French translation of same. Neuchâtel, 1898.

 _Native Races and the War._ Pp. 152. (Gay & Bird) London, 1900.

 _Silent Victories._ Pp. 87. (Burfoot) London, 1900.

 _Receiving._ (Article in _Wings_.) London, 1900.

 _L’émancipation telle que je l’ai apprise._ Neuchâtel, 1900.

 _La cause de la femme et l’avenir du foyer._ (Article dans la _Revue
 de Morale Sociale_.) Genève, 1900.

 _Souvenirs humblement recommandés aux amis de la femme réunis à
 Paris._ Genève, 1900.

 The three last-mentioned papers also appeared in English in _The
 Storm-Bell_.

 _In Memoriam, Harriet Meuricoffre._ Pp. 308. (Horace Marshall) London,
 1901.

 _Réflexions sur la Fédération._ (Article dans la _Revue du
 Christianisme Social_.) 1902.

 English translation published in the _Shield_.

 _The Morning Cometh._ By “Philalethes.” Pp. 56 (Grierson) Newcastle,
 1903.


 _Lettre aux Membres de la Commission administrative de la Fédération._
 1904.

 English translation published in the _Shield_.

 _Du travail des femmes dans les fabriques._ Neuchâtel, undated.

 _Deux entretiens avec ses sœurs de la Suisse: La mission de l’heure
 actuelle._ Neuchâtel, undated.

 _Un mot aux femmes._ Genève, undated.

 _Feuille volante de l’Association du Sou_, No. 20. Genève, undated.

 _The Social Purity Movement._ Undated.

Many of the above publications are out of print, but some of them
may be obtained at the Offices of the Federation, 17 Tothill Street,
Westminster, S.W., or 3 Rue du Vieux-Collège, Geneva.


PRINTING OFFICE OF THE PUBLISHER.


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation, spelling and punctuation remains unchanged.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.

Chapter 20, Line 7842 "pleading pleading face to face with God" is
probably an error but could be emphasis, so is unchanged.





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