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been found that the afternoon, from one to six o'clock, is the only time when attention can be expected. Thus, if a Christian lady were able to give her full strength to this effort, she could probably give instruction twice a week in at most ten or twelve houses only. Regular daily teaching can only be secured, even to such a limited sphere of labour, by the employment of native Christian women as assistant-teachers. Of these, a few words will presently be said ; but before the work of the European lady is passed over, we may call attention to the amount of selfdenial required for the discharge of it. To sit and teach in the close and dirty apartments, or in the ill-screened verandah, where the women congregate around her, is attended with no small inconvenience and exhaustion. Yet the eagerness with which such visits are welcomed, the delight at any new information acquired, the joy as increased facility in needlework is gained, the loving gratitude for the care and interest bestowed, which the women evince, are sufficient to make the Christian visitor oblivious of discomfort and weariness; and not until she is returning to her own home is she aware how severely both mind and body have been tried by her labour of love. Nor does her task terminate here. Work must be prepared for her next visit, and very much time and patient industry are required for this purpose.
Native assistants are selected from the women of our churches, who have been taught in Mission Girls' schools, and the Normal School in Calcutta affords great advantage for the training of young persons for this employment, and has furnished many valuable assistants. Each native teacher is paid from £1 to £2 monthly, but it is commonly necessary to provide some conveyance for them, that they may not be exposed to humiliating insults, as they teach from house to house,
The support of these teachers, their conveyance, hire, and the purchase of books and working materials, are, of course, expensive; and it may be thought that respectable Baboos should be required to provide the funds requisite, to secure to their wives and daughters the great benefits of instruction. Some progress has been made in this direction ; but until such an impetus has been given to the course of female education, that we need not fear the effects of discouragement or opposition, it has been thought best not too urgently to call for payment. When the movement is more general, and the results of it are understood and appreciated, the people will be ready to carry it forward themselves, without depending upon foreign aid. There is the advantage, too, in a free education, that we are left very much to ourselves in determining the nature of the truths to be taught. If it were in any sense paid for, we should, without doubt, be often fettered by stipulations that nothing intended to effect religious conversion should be communicated. There is, of course, a not unnatural dread of this in most cases; and the women themselves are often ready to deprecate any attempts to teach them Christian knowledge, when they first come under instruction ; but as they become better acquainted with their European friend, and are won by affection for her, and by wonder at the difference between her and themselves, they long to know what she believes, what god she worships, and what she expects to be her state after death—and, at length, come to beg as a favour that she will read them some little story out of her "Holy Book ;” and as they listen with surprise to the gracious words uttered by Him “who spake as never man spake,” they may be seen turning to each other, and saying, "We never heard anything like this before ; the Christian religion must be good after all; our Shasters teach us nothing like this,” Apart from the above-mentioned considerations, it is but due to the Baboos to remark, that many of them, though of high caste, are yet very poor, and really incapable of paying for the education of their wives and daughters.
Up to the present time all those engaged in Zenana teaching, in connection with the Baptist and London Missionary Societies, have given their services to the work gratuitously; Missionaries' wives and daughters being almost the sole agents employed. But now that the demand for instruction is growing very rapidly, it becomes necessary for us to emulate the noble example set us by our friends of the Church of England and Free Church Missions, in supporting ladies exclusively devoted to this work.
American Christians have come forward with their accustomed energy and zeal, and having first sent out a lady to ascertain the prospects and requirements of this enterprize, have added two other co-workers; and these three ladies, belonging each to different sections of the Christian Church, live together in one home, and work together in perfect harmony; a great blessing manifestly resting on their labours.
As a merely philanthropic effort such a work must commend itself to English women; but when the higher aim of carrying life, eternal life, to those who are now so completely sitting in the shadow of death is considered, we believe we shall not appeal for help in vain.
Is it asked what encouragements we have had to persevere in this work? We may reply that not a few of these women have become readers and students of the Word of God, and, in some instances, they have induced their husbands to study it with them. More than one or two have abandoned idol worship, and avowed their belief in the "true God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent."
Neglected and despised as the women of India are, and have been, yet there, as everywhere else, they assert a powerful influence; and the writer has ceased to wonder at the too often insurmountable barriers they have opposed to the reception of Christianity, as she has witnessed the fond affection subsisting between the Hindoo mother and her sons. Who will not then rejoice that now at last so many of these dark homes are open for instruction, and who will not pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth labourers into this harvest ? for truly it is great and the labourers very few.
We must not close this paper without reminding our readers that the women of India are believed to number 90,000,000; and those of Bengal alone 20,000,000, and already the Zenaná Mission is not confined to Calcutta; some houses have been entered in Agra, Delhi, and also in Bombay, and funds are now needed to enable us to engage all who are qualified and willing to enter on this work, whether they are found in India itself, or among devoted and self-sacrificing Christian young ladies in this country.
An appeal on behalf of so many who are ready to perish will not surely be made to the women of England in vain!*
[NOTE.— Any contributions for the Zenana work of Calcutta that may be entrusted Mrs. Lewis may be transmitted to the Secretaries of the Baptist Mission, John Street, Bedford Row, London.-Ed. C. S.]
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROBERT LOWE.
SOME of Mr. Lowe's recent utterances indicate an extreme sensitiveness to criticism, such as we should not have expected him to reveal even though he had felt it. In a community like ours, no man can occupy so prominent a position as that which he has recently taken, without being exposed to a sharp fire from the party he has so fiercely defied. His friends have attempted to draw a parallel between the attacks upon him and those on Mr. Bright, but it cannot be sustained. No one has sought to inquire into Mr. Lowe's private charities, or sought to drag any of his personal concerns into publicity. His political life and speeches have been the only object of assault, which may or may not have been unfair; but at all events has not intruded into the sanctity of his private relations, and has not been marked by any personal malignity. Tory politicians have had the monopoly of this kind of weapon, during the recess. Some very hard and some very senseless and stupid things have been said at some of the Reform demonstrations, and of these quite enough has been made. Nothing for example could be more ridiculous than Mr. Lester's tirade against the House of Commons, except the undignified style in which Mr. Lowe and others have replied to the unfortunate glass-blower. But the personal calumnies, such as those against Mr. Bright, and the even more disgraceful ones against Mr. George Potter, have been uttered only by those who profess to represent the party of English gentlemen.
Of keen, searching, and even severe criticism, Mr. Lowe has no right to complain. He is a man of great genius, and he has employed that genius, with all the vehemence of which he is capable, in opposing popular progress. He has accomplished that which few men, if any, have ever been found capable before. He has suddenly taken a foremost place in the first ranks of the politicians of the day. From being one of the most obnoxious men to High Church and Tory obstructives, he has suddenly become their most honoured and petted champion. He has not only taken to the lead of a political sect, but has in his own person developed an entirely new type of politician. Hitherto Liberals have been distinguished for their advocacy of popular rights, desiring to govern by the people as well as for the people. Mr. Lowe is one of the first who has sought to unite Liberal principles with anti-popular sentiments ; seeking to repress democratic tendencies, and, at the same time, to advocate the abolition of abuses and the adoption of a system of government based on equal justice to all classes. Liberals have supported, and Tories have opposed democratic claims, mainly because of the ultimate results to which it was supposed their concession would yield. Mr. Lowe would seek the ends which the former desire and the other deprecate without adopting the means which both alike believe to be essential to their accomplishment. Going beyond even the Tories themselves in the intensity of his opposition to the recognition of democratic power, he is Liberal to a certain extent, on all other questions both in Church and State. He has thus taken an independent position, which he has defended with an ability hardly surpassed in this generation. He gathered round himself during the last session a band of adherents remarkable not so much for their numbers as for the peculiarity of their position, and the power which they were able to wield, and he was thus able to defeat a Reform Bill, and to overthrow a Government invincible by its natural foes. A man cannot expect to attain this eminence without provoking hostility, and without having his principles and actions somewhat severely canvassed. This is only one of the penalties of greatness, and Mr. Lowe must not complain if, in common with all others, he has to endure it. He has not been very measured in his attack on political opponents, and he cannot wonder if the same measure has been meted to him again.
Looking carefully at the facts of the case, we confess ourselves unable to understand what reasonable ground Mr. Lowe and his friends have for their complaint. Of course his name has been continually introduced, and his opinions discussed at Reform demonstrations. It could not be otherwise. The language in which he and his party have been denounced has often been somewhat violent, but hardly more so than that of his own eloquent tirades against democracy. There has been little of unjust imputation of unworthy motives, and even the manifest inconsistency between some of his former utterances, as triumphantly quoted by Mr. Childers, and those of more recent date has been but lightly dwelt upon. The one thing which has been continually done, and which to him seems specially distasteful, has been to remind him of his own distinct words in the House of Commons. It is on this account, that he is continually complaining of misrepresentation, though he has never yet condescended to tell us in what the misrepresentation consists, and what it was that he really intended by his too famous speech. Very recently he told the world that that Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright had both been compelled to apologize for attributing to him the views which the Reform League has so continually reprobated, but he did not as our Scotch friends say “condescend on particulars,” and he would certainly find it hard to point to the page in Hansard, justifying such a statement. He simply assumes the air of offended innocence, haughtily rebukes his critics, and there leaves the matter, without any attempt to indicate what his real views are. The truth would seem to be, that while he found it pleasant enough to utter his denunciations among the cheers of an assembly where the working man has few representatives, and where the harder the hits, the more vociferous was the applause, he feels it a very different thing to encounter the storm of opprobrium and unpopularity which he has provoked outside.
We have rarely met with conduct less manly, less honourable, less creditable, either to his courage or sagacity, in any public man. There was a certain sort of daring in the way in which he defied the opinion of his own party in the severity of his first attack; but the attempt to evade the manifest force of his own reasonings, the unwillingness either to abide by his words or man