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OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-I.
WE cannot do better than preface our account of the various occupations open
to women with the assertion, that it is not the occupations which are wanting,
but the right kind of women to fill them; the lack of really practical
education, the ignorance of the simplest money transactions, and the tone of
thought, prevailing among the generality of women of the present day, are the
"Higher Education" has not made sufficient progress as yet to have leavened the whole mass of English life, although it has done much for the good cause, and has partially opened the eyes of people to the fact that a desultory training for girls is of scarcely any value in battling with the world. "Education," says a recent high authority on the subject, "means neither a cramming of facts, nor a smattering of accomplishments, but a preparation for life, and for the demands which life makes upon every woman, married or single." Therefore, in an article intended to be a practical guide and assistance to those needing employment, it is well to go to the root of the matter, and point out the reasons why women fail, and show how in very many cases indeed they may hope to succeed.
The secret of success lies, we are absolutely convinced, in thoroughness of education. Everything that a girl learns - housekeeping, music, drawing, sewing, or whatever it be - let it be so completely mastered that she can, if need be, act as a teacher. Find out if possible her special leaning, and cultivate that. Each woman's education should be so directed that, in one branch, if driven to it, she could make her living.
In treating of art as a means of remunerative employment, we must premise that very little is to be done without a special training; and although the highest successes must ever be reserved for genius, faithful and profitable art-work may be done by those of very inferior talents, but endowed with "an infinite capacity for taking pains."
There is daily more and more demand for all forms of artistic design in every branch of trade, and the most trivial things at present require an amount of decoration, which proves that designing must be profitable to somebody.
A practical artist's opinion as to the natural faculty of the intending student should be first sought, for it would be indeed a pity altogether to waste the valuable time a course of study would take, lasting perhaps over several years. Patience, industry, enthusiasm, a firm touch, a good and correct eye, are all needful requirements.
Of high art but little need be said, as the lower and more industrial forms are the principal sources of many people's livelihood. But it has been remarked that, once an entrance is effected into the schools of the Royal Academy, a woman is comparatively sure of a good position, and an income; and the number of female names in the catalogues of the London picture galleries prove this to be true.
There are nine schools of art in London alone, out of the one hundred and twenty-three in England. There are also four hundred and sixty art night classes, for instruction in elementary drawing by payment of very small fees. Free Government studentships are given to all the schools ; they are worth about £1 per week. Full instructions may be obtained from the Art Directory. price sixpence, issued by the Government Science and Art Department.
After passing through any of these schools a profession, and a profitable one, is opened to a student in a number [-94-] of ways, of which we give a list:- Designing (in all branches) carpets, lace, wall-papers, &c., or furniture and church-embroidery; Christmas cards and valentines; colouring maps; fan painting; colouring photographs; drawing and colouring from nature for books; designs for silversmiths ; glass painting; lithography ; coloured lithography; drawing on wood; heraldic designs; painting on china tiles, &c.; illuminations ; portrait painting; landscape painting; wood carving; engraving on wood, glass, or metal; modelling in clay; teaching, both public and private.
The first branch on this list - designing - is a very remunerative employment, as a good design has a real market value in all trades; one wall-paper design bringing as much as £5 5s. at times. In the Indian silk manufactories the designs are generally made by Frenchmen, who get from 15s. to 30s. for each design. Tracing designs on silk and velvet, for the embroiderers to work from, for church decorations, is a well-paid branch of designing. Christmas cards and valentine colourers can earn in regular employment £1 per week; some never reach this; and the highest pay we ever knew a colourist to receive was 1s. an hour. Almost every large art repository and fancy stationer's establishment employs a designer for themselves. This situation is much sought after, as the work is permanent and the rate of pay fixed.
In order to obtain employment it is necessary to get an introduction to a firm, or else to call with a specimen. The fashion of surrounding photographs in albums with coloured or etched designs was a very fortunate one for designers, as pretty series will often realise £1 a-piece. They are then protected by being registered for the exclusive use of the purchasing firm.
Painting on pottery has been much in fashion of late in England, and is a capital opening for women's labour. Between twenty and thirty ladies were employed by Messrs. Minton previous to the destruction of their manufactory by fire. Several other firms have also studios in London, and all of them employ female hands. There is also an Art Pottery Painting Association, composed only of ladies, where orders for work are taken, and lessons are given in the art.
There are two processes in pottery painting - underglaze painting, and overglaze painting - and special colours are necessary. These colours are so altered by the action of the fire that they are rarely the same when they come out as when they were put in. It needs, therefore, great experience to judge of the general effect of the work when it is burnt. Underglaze work cannot be effaced by wear and tear of any sort; but overglaze painting, like that seen on china and porcelain, can. It can be produced much more cheaply also; and at a factory by nearly inartistic hands. Tile painting is another branch of art work, which at one time was very remunerative; but the market is already over-stocked, and the prices have become very low, excepting for very clever designs.
The decoration of houses, furnishing, &c., is a new field, not long opened for women's work. It requires much taste, special study, and a knowledge of architecture ancient and modern, and it includes the designing and painting of panels, tiles, and stained-glass windows, also of patterns for embroidery, and the arrangement of colours in rooms, so that they may harmonise. A knowledge of the various styles of different centuries and epochs is needful; for it must be evident to all that in house decoration it would be most unsuitable to have the Elizabethan mixed with Gothic, or Renaissance with Jacobean.
An office has been lately established in London by ladies for tracing the plans of architects and engineers, a new branch of art-work, which has been found a successful opening. Lady-apprentices must, however, give three months' work without wages, and even at the end of the first three months the earnings are but small; the inducements held out are not, therefore, very great.
The School of Art Needlework, under royal patronage, has been very successful in opening a new field of exertion to women. The entrance-fee is £5 and members are expected to adopt the art as a profession; and must devote eight hours a day to the work at the school itself if required. They must also reside in or near London, The amount earned by workers is not as much as it was expected to be when the school was commenced. In this, as in everything industrial, excessive competition has lowered the prices. It is said that a skilful worker can earn £2 a week; but in ordinary cases it is hardly possible to exceed 30s.
Photography in all its branches is an art eminently suited to womanly fingers and taste. The most remunerative part of it can be done at home - copying, enlarging, the preparation of transparencies on glass and reducing micro-photography. There is one great advantage in this kind of work, namely, that even at night it can be carried on with the aid of an ordinary lamp.
Wood engraving is well adapted for women, and besides being agreeable, it is a most remunerative occupation. The tools are few, and the wooden blocks clean and easily carried about, so as to be ready to be taken up at any time. It is said, however, that it takes at least three years' practice before sufficient skill is acquired to earn a competent livelihood. Drawing on waxed plates with an etching needle is another method of producing illustrations for printing with type, for books and newspapers. The workers must have sufficient preliminary knowledge to enable them to draw correctly in line. This form of art is called "wax-etching," and is very highly praised for the richness of effect of which it is capable. Great proficiency in it would, undoubtedly, earn high remuneration. A suggestion was made some time ago that etching on copper plates was a good employment for ladies; but unless for persons already experienced in this labour, it is not considered suitable; the printing process being so expensive, besides other technical objections which exist.
Women are employed at times by the Ordnance Office, to colour plans. The pay is about 30s. a week, and the plans can be taken to the worker's home. The employment is not, however, permanent; and is only required at certain seasons.
Before concluding this division of our subject we will gather up, from various sources, a few suggestions for the employment of women in art-work which may be useful to the reader.
Modelling in clay and in wax, for medals, and medallions, and all kinds of silver-work, is a form of labour well suited to women. The designer and die-sinker for the mint in Stockholm is a lady, who is also famed for her skill in modelling. Designers for Swiss lace curtains, and muslin ones also, can obtain a fair remuneration. Painting on stoneware is very easy, and requires no training. The wages are very fair, and the work can be carried on by young girls. Teachers in art night schools and Schools of Art can earn good independent salaries, and will find theirs a most comfortable position. In addition, there is a great demand at present for inlaid wood-work, and marqueterie panels would find a ready market. This is peculiarly a woman's work - light and easy - only requiring a certain amount of taste and skill.
In conclusion, it may, we think, be safely asserted, that art offers a very large field indeed to female labour, and the truth of our assertion is, perhaps, to a great extent, proved by the account we have given of the many divisions of art-work open to women.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-II
OFFICIALS UNDER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND OTHER BOARDS.
SEVERAL excellent appointments are now open to women,
properly qualified and educated, in the Civil Service, in connection with the
Post Office Department. Among the best of these, only recently opened, is that
of clerkships in the Post Office Savings Banks. A nomination from the
Postmaster-General is required to enable the candidates to compete before the
Civil Service Commission, which is appointed to examine them. The subjects of
examination are writing and orthography, grammar and composition, arithmetic,
including both vulgar and decimal fractions, and geography. The age required is
from sixteen to thirty, and the salary is an increasing one, clerks of the
second class, which is the lowest, obtaining £40 yearly, rising by £7 10s. to
£75 ; those of the first and highest class, £80, rising to £100 ; while
principal and head-clerks get as much as from £110 to £150 yearly.
Telegraphy is one of the most promising of the new employments opened to women under Government. The private branches of it are not to be recommended for adoption, as they are already over-full. The pay is small, and the work heavy. Eight shillings a week and food, or 10s. a week with tea only, are the usual terms at what are called "receiving-houses," for female clerks. A grocer's, chemist's, stationer's, or, in fact, any kind of shop, may be a receiving-house; and the Government generally pays about £30 a year, 1 per cent, on stamps sold, and 6s. a week for the telegraph, with a penny extra on every message sent, to the owner of the shop. The Government has the head-offices, and the district and branch ones, under its own charge ; and the clerks are paid on a rising scale, which begins at 8s. a week, finding their own food. This, however, is only for the first year, as, after that, the pay rises to 12s. and 16s. ; and a superintendent obtains 24s. weekly. The Government clerks are paid for over-hours, and at the end of twenty or five-and-twenty years' service can retire with a pension. To this department the Government only admits as many candidates as are required to fill vacancies, and success in the training is, therefore, a pledge of future steady employment. Candidates must be between fourteen and eighteen years of age ; must have two references to respectable persons ; and must apply in their own handwriting to the secretary of the Civil Service Commission, Cannon Row. The application and references must be on printed forms, which can be obtained at the office in Cannon Row. All candidates must pass a preliminary examination in writing from dictation; writing with pencil or style ; the first four rules of arithmetic (simple and compound), and the geography of the United Kingdom.
The successful candidates must pass a medical examination, particularly with reference to sight and hearing; and they are also obliged to enter the Government schools for three months' gratuitous instruction. Their wages will commence, at 8s. a week, as soon as they are appointed probationary clerks.
There are two departments of telegraphic work - first, the charge of stations throughout the country, and secondly, the checking and examination of all messages sent, at the Central Telegraph Station, Albion Place, Blackfriars. This last gives employment to a staff of 1,400 persons. Of these, 700 are females, who are tinder the direction of female officers; 30s. a week is the highest salary paid, but very few exceed 20s. The working-day is from ten a.m. till five p.m., except on Saturdays, when the clerks participate in the usual half-holiday.
The post-mistresses employed by Government are on duty for eight hours; their salary begins at 14s., and rises to 24s. In the Returned Letter Office, the salary also begins at 14s., but the clerks are divided into first and second class. The first rises to 24s, the second to 17s. only.
A knowledge of languages is of great service in the Telegraph Department, as the arrival of foreign messages is of daily occurrence in the large London offices.
The appointment of women as registrars is of recent date and there is no doubt but that it is a post which an educated woman can fill with as much efficiency as any man. The duties are light, and the legal qualifications for the post are not very considerable. The applicant must be twenty-one years of age, a householder residing in the district, and must be able to read and write. The registrars are, in the first instance, appointed by the board of guardians of a Union; and applications should be addressed to them. There is no fixed salary. For each of the first twenty entries of births and deaths, in each quarterly account, a fee of 2s. 6d. is paid; and 1s. for each succeeding one in the same account. A fee of 1s. is given for each marriage register collected ; and is. is paid for mileage, for taking reports to the superintendent's office. There are various other fees, all of which are paid quarterly, by the Superintendent Registrar.
A suggestion has been lately made that women should be appointed to the office of public vaccinator for women and children. We have not heard, however, that this idea has been carried out yet, although, we believe, female dispensers for Unions are at present on their trial. Perhaps the other will follow, as soon as some existing prejudices shall have been overcome.
The London School Board employs about thirty female visitors, at salaries commencing at £50 per annum, and increasing up to £70. The duties of this post are- (I), to keep a schedule, as directed by the London Board, of the names and addresses of the children between three and twelve years of age in the district, and to be ready to produce it, for the information of the committee, whenever required to do so; (2), to investigate, and report upon, the nature of applications for the payment or remission of school fees ; (3), to report to the Superintendent of the Visitors cases of the infringement of the bye-laws, and of the Workshops' or other Acts. It is also the duty of visitors to serve upon any parent notices pertaining to the rules of the School Boards, and to make reports upon such cases to the superintendent. Applications for engagement as visitor must be made to the School Board of each district, in whose hands lies the power of engaging, directing, and removing the visitors.
The large schools of the metropolis offer many situations suitable for educated women of a better class. In a the very largest schools there are, at least, five places a drawing salaries of from £30 to £50 each, with everything found. These are matron, infirmary matron, school. mistress, infant-school mistress, and work-mistress. There is also the post of training-cook, who instructs the girls in cookery, and who receives from £20 to £25 per annum, and all found. The matron of such a large establishment needs special qualifications, and must understand a thoroughly good work in every department - the cooking, laundry, and all domestic management. The infirmary matron must be a hospital nurse, with special experience in children's diseases. The school-mistress must be highly efficient, and well trained; and the infant-school mistress must understand the principles and practice of the Kindergarten system. The head work-mistress must be conversant with the several standards required by the London School Board; and the training-cook must have taken her certificate at the School of Cookery.
For all these posts a special training is needed, but the work is not hard, and the hours of labour are exactly defined.
[-151-] The course of training for educational work under Government will be treated in a separate chapter on Education.
Matronships, and other subordinate places in prisons, are now recognised as affording excellent openings for educated women. It is needful that the matron of such an institution as a prison should possess great judgment, sympathy, and tact; not only because she has the care and superintendence of the prisoners, but also because the warders, servants, and all the female officials are under her charge; and she is responsible for the working and safe keeping of all beneath her sway.
Matrons are elected by the magistrates in Quarter Sessions, or by a committee appointed by them; and the selection of the applicant is afterwards confirmed by the magistrates, in Quarter Sessions. In general the school-mistress must be approved by the chaplains, under whom she works more directly. In Government convict prisons these appointments are made by the directors. The salaries vary in almost every prison, and pensions, or gratuities for length of service, are granted. Women of high principle and deep religious feeling are desired who unite kindness and firmness, and have a great love of order, and a good judgment.
The matron's salary varies from £100 per annum to £175, generally with furnished lodging, coals, gas and washing. The deputy and sub-assistant matrons receive from £50 to £75 per annum, with lodging, coals and gas. Certificated schoolmistresses for the convict prison service are much in demand. The candidates must be in sound health, unmarried, or widows; the salary is £60 per annum, rising by annual increments of £2 10s. to £80, with lodgings, or an allowance for rent. Applications for all situations in prisons to be made at the offices of the Directors of Convict Prisons, 44, Parliament Street, Westminster, S.W.
The principal and assistant warders get from 15s. to 24s. a week, with uniform and lodgings. Medical attendance and medicines are free, but all board themselves. Warderships are suitable for the higher class of domestic servants. Young and unformed women are not to be encouraged to undertake this work, as, of course nothing can shield them from sights and sounds of terrible evil at times. But the situation of prison matron has much to recommend it as a safe, comfortable, and permanent position ; and many women who have been matrons for years call the work "pleasant ;" interesting, at least it must be.
The last occupation suitable to women under Local Government and other official Boards is that of matrons of workhouses. There seems no good reason why women from the middle and educated classes should not hold this situation. The one usually urged is that the positions of master and matron are generally held by a man and his wife, and that a superior woman could not hold a subordinate post under a master of the stamp at present employed. A recent authority writing on this subject says that, "as gentlemen of small means, military and naval officers on half-pay, and many others, have accepted the governorship of prisons, there can be no reason why they should not take charge of workhouses." The entire charge of a workhouse, containing from 500 to 700 souls, would seem as worthy of any man's powers as any sphere of work that could be pointed out; and if the Poor Law orders were better administered, by an educated man, the salary would very probably be increased, as a matter of wise economy. In all workhouses the position of both master and matron is most important. Their authority is very great, and the post affords immense facilities for doing good. They are responsible only to the Board of Guardians, and cannot be dismissed even by them, without the consent of the Local Government Board.
Board, lodging, washing, and attendance, are all found; and the combined salaries of master and matron generally amount, in the larger workhouses, to over £200 per annum. Here, also, the work mainly consists in super-intending their subordinates.
The general duties of the matron are to superintend the female inmates, to look after the cutting-out of clothes, &c., to visit the sick in the infirmaries once a day, to see that the kitchen and laundry-work are properly attended to, and the whole house scrupulously clean and tidy. She has also to give out the stores of linen and of provisions, and to see that the children are well, and to superintend the schoolmistress. Many, if not all, of these duties are such as every lady habitually undertakes in her own home; and when, in addition to this, we understand that the work of a matron is a real work of Christian charity, it is not too much to say that the post is a suitable one for any educated woman, with some force of character, and sound health. The classes of people who come under her charge are the old, and the sick, and orphans, and deserted children, who will look to the matron for all they will ever know of a mother's loving care. In addition to this, to a good religious woman, there would be the opportunity of sometimes being able to hold out a hand of mercy to a lost and miserable sister; who, under her kindly ministrations, might yet aspire to a better life.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-III.
POSTS OF SUPERINTENDENCE (continued from p. 151).
IN our last article on the employment of women, we fully considered the
various public occupations, under Local Government and other Boards, now
accessible to them. The private posts of superintendence of a similar kind are
innumerable, and open a vast field of usefulness, which, alas there are few
workers at present capable of filling with credit. A recent writer on this
subject, to whom we are largely indebted for information, says: "There is
at the present time an opening for at least two thousand highly-trained women,
as superintendents in hospitals, public and private training schools for nurses,
cottage hospitals, convalescent homes, and the like;" and concludes by
saying that "the only obstacle which appears to intervene between the women
who need this work as a means of livelihood and the work itself, arises from two
causes, the one technical and the other moral: the first, the defective
preparation for the work of life ; and the second, that want of earnestness and
of deliberate determination to succeed which, in itself; conduces so much to the
fulfilment of its purpose."
In entering on this subject we must also bear in mind that a woman must be first a nurse or teacher herself, and then a superintendent of others. After efficient training, the special qualifications are sound judgment, good sense, tact, sympathy, and the self-reliance required for ruling others and directing their work. It is essential to a good superintendent that she should be able and willing to recognise the powers of her subordinates, and endeavour to make the regularity of her work, in a measure, independent of her personal direction. This is peculiarly a requisite in hospital supervision, which is the branch we propose to consider first. For full particulars on the subject we recommend the careful study of the exhaustive article by Miss Nightingale, which appeared in the "Blue Book" for 1867. In this she lays down a severer course of technical apprenticeship for superintendents than for nurses. On them depends the care of the nurses, their well-being and moral tone; and this of itself requires much firmness and determination. The salaries attached to this position vary greatly at present, being from £30 to £100 per annum, with board and lodging. No doubt, when the requirements are better understood and filled, the salaries will rise.
The same rules will hold good in cases of Superintendents of Cottage Hospitals. Of course, in this case, there is a greater measure of responsibility, as the superintendent has no resident medical officer always at hand to refer to, and accordingly must use her own best judgment in difficult cases. The salaries vary from £20 to £50, with board and lodging.
The next two posts of superintendence to be considered are those of Matron of a Penitentiary and Superintendent of a Crèche. The latter may be thought, at first sight, the simplest and most natural occupation in the world for a woman; but in reality nothing is more rare than a natural talent for managing children. Unfortunately, there is no place like a Foundling Hospital, where practice in the care of babies for the first year after birth can be obtained; but the training should certainly include a stay of six months in a children's hospital. A thorough acquaintance with that charming system of amusing and teaching children, known as the Kindergarten, is absolutely necessary. A bright-tempered, cheery young woman, from twenty-five to thirty years of age, is well suited to the post. The salaries vary so much, it is difficult to mention any sum as a rule; board and lodging, however, are nearly always included. The Matron of a Penitentiary requires not only a strong inclination for her work, but also what may be called an absolute "vocation" for it. There are several public institutions, as well as a few private ones, for the reformation of women ; and the salaries paid amount in some cases to £100 per annum, with board and lodging. Widows are very generally preferred, who have had much experience of life and have attained middle age and they will require a tender and loving heart, and much tact in the position they undertake.
The Endowed Schools' Commission, the Public Day Schools' Company, and many other high schools which are being established, offer many posts of superintendence worthy of the consideration of high-class teachers A high standard of qualification is required, and such salaries are to be paid as women have never yet been able to command whatever their attainments. The most important of the schools, in the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commission, are in Middlesex. The pupils will number from 120 to 400 girls ; and the gross salaries in two cases, with fixed salary, pupils' fees, and capitation fees, reach the maximum of £1,300 and £2,000; and in six other cases give, as minimum salaries, £300, £300, £375, £475 £900, and £1,100. In the more remote counties there are many schools which, by the same authority, are to yield salaries of £700 per annum in six cases, and £300 to £400 in eight. Of the training requisites we shall have occasion to speak in a chapter on education. The Public Day Schools' Company have opened already ten schools, and hope that in a few years no large town of 5,000 inhabitants will be without its high school for girls. They offer salaries of about £300 a year to head. mistresses, and find it most difficult to obtain suitable persons. Thirty is considered the most suitable age, and the company require some experience and a guarantee as to powers of teaching and as to attainments.
The post of Overseer of Women in Factories has lately been opened to women. A gentlewoman has been employed by a well-known firm in this capacity, with much benefit to both masters and employés; and the example has been followed by some of the large shops in London where large numbers of girls are employed. The salary paid was over £100 per annum, with board and lodging. It has been suggested that ladies with a small income of their own, of from £40 to £50 a year, might find remunerative employment and useful work by keeping a Servants' Home and Registry Office for servants out of place. Where these offices of an inferior order flourish by the score in all large towns, it is evident that a lady of good address and business habits would soon gain a good position in keeping a high-class Registry Office. The Home, of eight or ten beds, in connection with it would be an untold blessing for young servants but of course, would not be self-supporting-the Registry being the remunerative work.
A small demand exists for Parish Workers, to assist clergymen of the Established Church in the secular part of their duty - Evening Classes, Mothers' Meetings, Clothing Clubs, Bible Classes for Young Women, &c. This position would be a very happy one for many a clergyman's widow or daughter, and the salary of £30 or £50 she would obtain would keep the home together, while for the want of some such work it might have to be broken up.
Parochial Mission and Bible Women are two other posts open to women. The office for the first is 54, Parliament Street, S.W., and for the second, 13, Hunter Street, Brunswick Square. The wages earned are about 12s 6d a week, with Saturday and Sunday free.
There is at present a demand for female Instructors and Demonstrators in Cookery. The two classes are quite distinct, as the latter may be only an ordinary cook, well drilled and thoroughly instructed; but the former must be a woman of some education, tact, and resources, with power of expressing herself clearly and intelligibly, and of answering unforeseen questions. The age must not be under twenty-one nor over thirty years; the fee at the [-175-] School of Cookery, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, for eight or ten weeks' instruction, is £5.
The British Ladies' Female Emigrant Society has sixteen permanent matrons on its list for New Zealand ships, who receive about £30 for each voyage, and 10s. 6d. a week when waiting for a ship. The office is 23, Fitzroy Square, W. The duties are not menial, but a good deal of nursing sometimes falls to a matron's lot. The post of Stewardess on large vessels is also well paid, and is a comfortable post for the upper class of domestic servants. It is, however, usually filled-particularly on Atlantic ships - by widows of mates, third officers and sometimes captains of small vessels; and many of these poor women have large families to support.
The missionary and educational work in India China Africa, the Levant, and other parts of the world, offers a vast and most interesting field to young women of intelligence earnest religious opinions, and some enterprise, who have few home ties, and are quick at adapting themselves to new conditions of life. A great qualification is, of course, sound health, and also some aptitude for learning languages. In India the work is divided into three branches - viz., teaching in schools; giving instruction to native ladies in their own apartments, called Zenanas; and lastly, thee practice of medicine, by those who are duly qualified. For the first branch, school-mistresses of some little experience and pupil teachers are required, with some knowledge of music and the infant-school system. For the Zenana teaching, tact, good temper, and pleasant conciliating manners, are needful for successful intercourse with the native ladies. A thorough acquaintance with all kinds of needlework is very acceptable to the poor shut up in-mates, and offers a diversion in their monotonous life. Communications on the subject may be addressed to the Secretaries of the following Societies:- The Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society, Major Black 136, Leadenhall Street, E.C.; the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East, Miss Webb, 267, Vauxhall Bridge Road, S.W.; English Mission School, Grand Cairo, Miss M. Whateley, 267, Vauxhall Bridge Road, S W, - the Ladies' Association of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Miss Bullock, 9, Delahay Street SW and many other similar societies, the addresses of which may be obtained in the London Directory, in connection with the Presbyterian and Church of Scotland Missionary Societies.
The Ladies' Sanitary Association, 22, Berners Street; the National Health Society, 44Berners Street; and various other societies, give occasional employment to persons as Lecturers on Physiology, Hygiene, and Domestic Economy; and a moderate remuneration may be earned by those thoroughly at home on the subject-matters of the lectures. This cannot, however, be considered a permanent employment, and to be supporting would have to be followed in conjunction with some other pursuit. The position of Secretary to the various Institutions, more or less connected with women's affairs, which have lately arisen, has opened a new employment to highly- qualified persons, whose salaries vary from £40 to £200 per annum, in some cases including board and lodging The power of arranging and conducting committee meetings, a knowledge of book-keeping, and strict business habits, in addition to tact, self-possession, and punctuality are the requirements for the post.
The situations of Lady Housekeepers and Companions comprise a vast number of offices, on which only suggestions can be made. They include Housekeepers at Judges' Lodgings, Dames' Houses at Eton, Boys' Schools and Colleges, and in Public Offices. In addition to these are private situations as companions, housekeepers, chaperones, persons having the care of invalids, and travelling companions or lady couriers. These posts are generally overstocked, in consequence of the small amount of qualification required, except the last, which needs some acquaintance with foreign languages and continental travel. In the other positions nothing definite is necessary.
The last post of superintendence we shall notice is one which has been lately suggested, of Nursery Superintendent. The practice of engaging ladies as head nurses in large establishments is much on the increase, and even in small ones many mothers are thankfully acknowledging the benefit of an educated, intelligent, and refined help in bringing up their children. In India especially this plan has met with warm encouragement, Indian residents being only too delighted to treat the lady as an equal, and to be relieved from the infinite anxiety of trusting native servants to the extent they are compelled to do at present.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-IV.
THE great difficulty of the educational question in the present day, and the
obstacle to complete success in the earnest efforts made, is the difficulty,
almost impossibility, of finding sufficiently-qualified teachers. The demand
created by the Education Acts is estimated at over 25,000 of both sexes - the
women, however, being in the majority. In addition to this, when we take into
account the necessity for private tuition in hundreds of families in England, we
shall see that the demand is an ever-increasing one. The lowest branch of the
profession is that of nursery-governesses, and here we shall find great need of
re-organisation; for surely no grade in any profession should be worth so little
as that often offered to the instructress of children- "No salary, but a
comfortable home." Very few in this class, if paid, receive more than from
£20 to £40 per annum - a sum frequently paid to good upper servants; and in
addition to being obliged to dress better, and be always in appearance like a
lady, they are worse off than servants, as they are forced, nolens volens, to
take nearly two months' holiday in the year, finding their own board and
lodging, for the convenience of their employers. In the case of servants, board
wages would have to be paid by an employer; and the anxiety and distress caused
to the unfortunate governess is frequently beyond description. Several of the
Ladies' Associations in London have taken up this subject, and have endeavoured
to collect subscriptions to enable them to assist the most deserving objects
brought under their notice. More particularly in the case of foreign governesses
the evil of which we speak bears very cruelly, as they have neither home nor
friends at hand. The drawback to the grade of nursery-governess seems to be the
impossibility of self-improvement, which proves a bar, of course, to their
advancement in their profession, or their attainment of such an education as
would brighten their prospects in life. Young girls, suddenly reduced to poverty
by the death or failure of their natural protectors, find in this their only
opening for earning a livelihood, and begin life under the saddest auspices-half
educated, untrained, and wholly unfitted for the great struggle of existence. In
the time to come, when the English mind is more awakened to the necessity of
careful and thorough training, and of some special education for every girl, we
hope to see all this state of things altered. The training for a
nursery-governess should begin, we think, with the Kindergarten system;
and there is no doubt a great demand exists, even at present, for skilled
instructors on this principle. Women thoroughly versed in the Fröbel system, as
taught in Germany by the disciples of Frobel, or in England at one of the places
where the real system is taught, have a most profitable occupation open
A valuable help is offered to adult teachers, governesses, and indeed to all those desirous of improving their education, and meeting the higher requirements of the day, through the "instruction by correspondence," carried on by members of the University of Cambridge, with the view of helping women living at a distance to prepare for the examinations held there. This plan has been found so successful, that it is now proposed that a certain number of properly-qualified women shall undertake to instruct in a similar manner. The local examinations of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, and Dublin, for boys and girls under eighteen, are of very great value to those who are preparing to pass the higher course, and also to those who wish to obtain situations as governess-pupils in schools, or to act as governesses to young children in private families.
The demand at present in upper-class girls' schools, and in private families, for teachers holding some kind of certificate, is quite beyond all means of supply; and amateur teachers, with no guarantee for their powers, are quite a drug in the market. Even the Government certificate, which represents the low, but thorough standard of attainment required for national schools, is much sought after; and it seems that, in future, the passing of some recognised form of examination, and the possession of some kind of a certificate, will be essential to, and ensures the success or failure of every teacher's future prospects.
A very cursory glance into the advertisement columns of the daily press will prove to any one that if there be one branch more overstocked than another, it is that of daily governesses in London. The prices asked and paid are so small as to render it astonishing how body and soul can be kept together on such a pittance. Instruction in music, French, or German - in fact, in any foreign language - can be obtained in London at the cost of one shilling per lesson ; in some cases from natives of the various respective countries, as well as from English women. It seems surprising, under these circumstances, that more governesses - especially those who have the additional burden of aged and infirm relatives to support besides themselves - do not take to elementary teaching. The occupation commends itself as ensuring constant employment, fixed hours of labour, a small but independent home, and a salary, not large, perhaps, but, at any rate, above what can be earned by the drudgery of daily teaching, or as a private governess, except by the fortunate few who are very highly accomplished. Some hard study would, in some cases, be needed to supply the inaccuracy of the general style of a woman's knowledge as a very thorough grounding in elementary subjects is needful. Very few, even the most highly-educated of women, can work a sum in fractions or proportion with rapidity, much less explain every step of the process so clearly as to bring it within the comprehension of a class; and how few who write good English from habit can teach the rules of grammar correctly.
A certificate as an acting teacher is not difficult to gain, and is absolutely necessary; for although some small schools may be obtained at present without either training or certificate, the salaries are low and non-increasing, and the number of these schools will become fewer year by year. Within the last few years many ladies have qualified themselves to sit for certificates as acting teachers by serving six months as assistants in schools under certificated mistresses. This is the easiest method, and, for a governess who has reached mature years, and who cannot afford the time or expense necessary for a two years' residence at a training college, is the best means to qualify. The school selected should be taught by a very good certificated master or mistress, where an assistant should be likely to learn the system of school drill and discipline, and also how practically to manage children en masse, according to the latest approved Government rules. In some schools, in the present dearth of certificated teachers, an assistant would be worth some small salary while qualifying, which would help her to live during her effort to improve her condition.
While in the school she must obtain a favourable report from H.M. Inspector upon her qualifications as a teacher and disciplinarian. It is also needful that the correspondent of the school should make application to the Secretary of the Educational Department, before the 1st of October, for permission for her to sit at the coming Christmas examination. This examination takes place at one of the Government Training Colleges, and is nearly identical with that which students of the various colleges are required to pass at the end of their first year's residence.
[-207-] After passing the examination, the student will return to her position as acting teacher, and be in the condition called "probationary." After obtaining two favourable reports from an inspector, she will then be entitled to the parchment which will constitute her a duly qualified and certificated teacher. While on probation, however, she satisfies the requirements of the New Code, and is in a position to take a good and remunerative situation, being considered as a certificated teacher under the Code of Regulations.
Candidates for certificates and pupil-teachers are all examined in grammar, geography, history, arithmetic, penmanship, and writing from dictation; also in needlework, domestic economy, and school management. Candidates should obtain the help of certificated teachers to aid them in preparing for the Government examination. They should also work written exercises, which are of great value when carefully corrected and examined. The handwriting should be clear and clerk-like, for failure in either penmanship or spelling, reading, composition, arithmetic, or school management is fatal in the examination for a certificate. All intending students are recommended to procure the last Government Code of Regulations, which is issued annually, under Government orders and supervision. It may be obtained, price three-pence, at the National Society's Depot, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, S.W. Here, also, the "Questions to Students," issued by the Education Department, may be procured, price sevenpence, which is a most useful guide for study, and shows the style and description of questions likely to be set. The National Society also issues a monthly paper, which is the principal advertising medium both for schools and teachers; this should also be taken in by those desiring information about vacancies, whether in town or country schools.
Candidates for admission into Church of England Training Schools, as well as pupil-teachers in Church of England schools, are usually required to pass an examination in religious knowledge. This examination, which is not, however, required by the Education Department, consists of the following subjects -Holy Scripture: Outlines of Old Testament History, the Gospel Narrative, the Acts of the Apostles. The Prayer Book: the Catechism, the Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany.
The duties of teachers in elementary schools are both healthful and congenial. The hours of work vary in some schools according to the season of the year, but usually the children assemble at 9:30 a.m. and are dismissed at 4:30 p.m. A quarter of an hour's run is allowed them at eleven, and an hour and a quarter (sometimes more) for dinner, thus reducing the actual school hours to five hours and a half. After school the hours are free for recreation, pleasant visits, or study.
With regard to the instruction of pupil-teachers, a teacher is required by Government to devote to them five hours in the week, although occasionally it may be found needful to give a longer period. For this additional labour, however, the teacher is repaid and compensated by their intelligent assistance in the school and the daily companionship their society will afford. After the somewhat monotonous and elementary routine of the school, the instruction of the pupil-teachers in the higher branches of study would be a relief and change. Saturday is a whole holiday, and Sunday also; although occasionally a mistress, anxious to add to her income, undertakes the position of organist, or some description of parish work. From various authorities we find the average income of the certificated mistresses of girls' schools to be reckoned at £58, and of infant schools at £56 per annum. They live, in addition, rent free, and in some cases allowances are made for fuel, light, etc. Under the School Boards of large towns higher emoluments are offered, £75 per annum having been fixed as the minimum salary for mistresses. The comfort and advantage of possessing a small home would render the position of an elementary school-mistress an eminently tempting one to many a poor governess, could she but manage to qualify herself to hold the position.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-V.
IN our last paper we considered the question of elementary teaching
with a view to assisting governesses, and those teachers without a certificate,
as well as parents superintending the education of their daughters to a just
view of the importance of obtaining one, and the most simple method of doing so.
A few words of warning on the question of health are very needful. Mr. Sandford,
one of H.M. Inspectors of Schools, in his last year's report, which appeared in
the Educational Blue Book, adverts to the subject, and says of pupil teachers :
"These young people have the double task of both learning and teaching
imposed upon them; and upon those who study hard the strain is sometimes more
than they can bear. Breakdowns in health are very far from being uncommon,
whilst a delicate, over-worked look is frequent, especially among female pupil
teachers." He adds: "it would be well if the age of admission to the
office could be raised, so that pupil teachers might be more thoroughly grounded
before they enter upon their duties." The age for apprenticeship is
thirteen; but although this early age is sanctioned by the Code, it does not
positively require it, but is satisfied with an apprenticeship of two years
only, provided that at the end of this reduced term of service the candidate has
completed her eighteenth year. It is most desirable that advantage should be
more frequently taken of this permission given by the Code, for it seems all but
impossible for an ordinary child of thirteen to get through all the work
contemplated in the Code, and the additional subject of religious knowledge
besides, of which it takes no cognisance. At the age of fifteen or sixteen a
girl would enter on the work of teaching with a stronger physical frame, and a
mind better stored with knowledge. The amount of extra study necessitated by the
new Code is very severe, and over-work in youth will certainly be visited with
evil results during the whole course of a professional career. We are of opinion
that the root of the mischief lies in the class of girls chosen for pupil
teachers, and in the mistaken idea that the work of a pupil teacher presents no
greater difficulties to girls of the lower class than the training required for
domestic service. We have only to consider the position of a labouring man's
daughter who becomes a pupil teacher to see that she has everything to
learn by hard study from books. She is educated-not cultivated-and the work of
learning thoroughly, and teaching well, must be essentially foreign to her
ordinary home-life. In consequence, it is those who have the least muscle and
the most brain who take to it, and very generally find the struggle too great
for their strength. This is a great reason in favour of the present movement for
bringing-up girls of a good station in life to adopt teaching as a profession,
which will be both lucrative and important. "The children of the upper and
middle classes," says a recent writer on this subject, "have their
taste, intelligence, and per-[-277-]ceptive
faculties stimulated from their infancy, and they acquire information quite
unconsciously from books, pictures, and the ordinary conversation of those
around them; so that a girl of thirteen, unless exceptionally backward, finds it
a slight task to learn whole pages by heart, has a fair knowledge of history and
geography, besides writing and spelling with ease. She only requires two or
three years of special training to become a clever teacher for children below
her in rank.
A good student is not necessarily a good teacher, and but few people grasp the difference between training and teaching. Many women of any education can teach one or two children to read and write; but how few, without special training, can keep a school of five or six classes steadily at work without disorder and confusion. To do this needs a knowledge of the best methods of organisation and discipline; and this knowledge is to be had nowhere in England but in the Government schools for elementary teachers. Whatever is learned in them is learned with a view to teaching it again, and the best method of so teaching it. The critical faculty - power to grasp the gist of a paragraph, the scope of a question, the point of a lesson - is cultivated by constant discussion of books, methods, oral lessons, and whatever is likely to bear on a teacher's work. Methods of government, how to secure order, regularity, and obedience; moral influence and training; the distribution of time in the management of a school, subjects of instruction, &c., are studies carried on so far successfully in these Government colleges, that mistresses go out from them capable of working a school of from 100 to 200 undisciplined children with perfect ease. It is therefore highly recommended that all who propose to themselves this career should enter a training college and pass the prescribed two years' training. Persons passing the admission examination to training colleges are called "Queen's scholars," and are charged at Bishop Otter's Memorial College £20 per annum for each year's residence. The sum at other colleges varies from a free admission to £10 entrance fee. Persons over twenty-one years of age are admitted to some colleges as private students without passing the admission examination, and are eligible for the certificate examination after a residence of one year. The charge for private students is £35 per annum at the Otter College. The list of Training Schools recognised by Government are:
Normal Schools for Mistresses only.
Bishop Otter's Memorial College, Chichester.
Bishop's Stortford-Rochester Diocesan.
Brighton- Chichester Diocesan.
Bristol-Gloucester and Oxford Diocesan.
Derby- Lichfield Diocesan.
Edinburgh-Lochrin House. Scottish Episcopal.
London, Grays Inn Road-Home and Col. School Soc.'s.
Ripon-York and Ripon Diocesan.
Stockwell-British and Foreign School Society's, and also at Swansea and Darlington.
Training Schools for both Masters and Mistresses.
Cheltenham-Church of England.
Edinburgh-Castle Hill Terrace. Church of Scotland.
Edinburgh-Moray House. Free Church.
Glasgow-Dundas Vale. Church of Scotland.
Glasgow-Free Church Normal School.
The Otter Memorial College is especially intended far gentlewomen of some cultivation. It has been recently enlarged, and now accommodates forty students.
Diplomas are granted by the " College of Preceptors," 42, Queen Square, W.C., to teachers. They are of different grades, and, like all such certificates, have a commercial value. The first-class certificate, awarded at the half-yearly pupils' examinations of this body, is acknowledged by various public bodies as a guarantee a good general education, and would be of value to a girl wishing for a situation as junior or assistant mistress. The chief purpose of this society is the advancement of education among the middle classes, and its diplomas for teachers (the requirements for which are special and considerable, and guarantee some experience in educational methods) form a link between those of the University and of the Government Training Colleges. In one respect they have an advantage for teachers over the University examinations, as they take particular notice of "practical ability in teaching," or that capability for imparting knowledge which is too often considered synonymous with its possession. The regulations of the College of Preceptors require that candidates for its diplomas should have been either actually engaged in teaching for not less than one year, or have passed through the course of the training class especially established by the College for Teachers.
At one university at least it is now possible for women to obtain degrees. The charters of the two new universities - the Royal University of Ireland, and the Victoria University, Manchester - authorise the granting of degrees to women, while at the University of London the whole series of degrees is now open to them. The result of this change at London is that the general and special examinations for women have been done away with, and the first examination to be passed by a candidate for a degree in any faculty is the ordinary matriculation, the fee for which is £2. The regulations for matriculation and for degrees may be obtained from the Registrar, University of London, Burlington Gardens, W. Instruction in most of the subjects of the London examinations may be obtained at University College, Gower Street, London.
Apart from degrees, the highest certificates attainable by women are the degree-certificates of Girton College, Cambridge. They are held on the same conditions as those which qualify for degrees in the University of Cambridge, and are really, though not formally, equivalent to a University degree, the examinations being held in the same papers. These certificates, like University degrees, are conferred only on resident students who have gone through a regular course of education. The candidates for admission must, except in special cases, be not less than eighteen, and must pass an entrance examination. The college course extends over three years, half of each year being spent at the college; the fees, amounting to son guineas a year, are inclusive, covering hoard, lodging, and instruction. Some assistance toward meeting the expense is given in the form of scholarships.
The University of Cambridge Higher Local Examinations take place in June, and are open to both sexes over eighteen, at a fee of £2. They have a smaller group o' advanced subjects than the University of London, and they aim at thorough, rather than advanced knowledge. Information may be had from the Rev. G. F. Browne, St. Catherine's College, Cambridge.
Courses of lectures, arranged with reference to these examinations, are held at Cambridge; and Newnham Hall has lately been erected with a view to accommodating students. It holds twenty-seven ladies, and has been full from the commencement. The charge for board for women preparing to be teachers is £15 per term; to all others £20.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-VI.
THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.
WHATEVER may be the opinion we individually hold upon the propriety of
women entering the medical profession, the fact that the University of London
and the Colleges of Dublin now admit them to medical degrees (thus recognising
and giving its sanction to the movement) renders it impossible for us, in a
series of papers on the "Occupations Accessible to Women," to omit a
full discussion of the subject. The difficulties surmounted by women in their
desire to become doctors have been many and great. Even when, in the face of all
discouragements, they had obtained the necessary education, they could for a
long while find no board in Great Britain authorised to grant degrees; for all
English degree-granting bodies shut them out entirely, and the only way of
obtaining them was at the Universities of Paris and Zurich, both of which
admitted them to all their classes without reserve.
The first boon conferred on English aspirants for medical honours was granted by the Edinburgh Infirmary, which admitted them, some years ago, to its wards and classes on payment of the ordinary fee. They were not allowed to receive prizes, nor to be admitted to examinations. A Female Medical School was founded in 1874, in Henrietta Street, Brunswick Square, and opened with twenty-three students. The average attendance has been about twenty-eight annually. Mr. A. T. Norton, of St. Mary's Hospital, is at present dean of the school, in succession to the late Dr. Anstie, who was one of its most energetic promoters. The soundness of the teaching these students receive is guaranteed by the reputation of its lecturers, who are, some of them, men of much distinction in their profession. The establishment of the Hospital for Women in the Marylebone Road, by Mrs. Garrett-Anderson, has enabled students to complete their training by the necessary course of clinical study.
Only a very few years ago a short Bill was passed, by which the powers of any body qualified to grant medical registration were extended to the granting of such qualification to all persons, "without distinction of sex." At the same time it was provided that nothing should "render compulsory the exercise of such powers." In simpler words, all bodies entitled to give degrees were to be permitted, if they chose, to grant them to women, but were not compelled to do so. This permissive Act has opened the doors of several colleges to women, the first to take advantage of it being the King's and Queen's College of Physicians, in Ireland. Then the Royal Free Hospital, in London, consented to make arrangements for the clinical instruction of the students of the School of Medicine for Women, the establishment of which, in 1874, we have just mentioned ; and the recent action of the Senate of the University of London has removed the last lingering barrier.
It is quite possible for any woman who can command a small income, or a few hundred pounds, to obtain a thorough medical education. Four or five years are required to complete the curriculum of study. It is very important to acquire the habit of study ; and, before commencing the study of medicine, some preliminary knowledge of Latin, German, and French, as well as mathematics, Will be especially useful to a student.
[-351-] The first two years of medical study are devoted, by common consent everywhere, we believe, to the natural sciences, including anatomy and physiology. The student attends lectures on botany, zoology, comparative anatomy, natural philosophy, and chemistry; and is expected to work for some months in a chemical laboratory. The anatomy of the human body is learnt from lectures and books, hut chiefly by dissecting. Microscopic anatomy demands great dexterity in handling the microscope, and much fine handiwork which it is not within our province to describe.
After the study of the natural sciences, and when the student has learnt the structure of the human body (anatomy), as well as the manner in which its functions are performed in health (physiology), she is then fitted to begin the study of pathology, or the science of disease, and therapeutics, or the treatment of disease. General pathology, and special pathology, or diseases of special organs, are treated of in lectures, and illustrated at hospital bed-sides. The various methods of discovering and of determining diseases are to be carefully acquired from oral instruction, and by constant practice.
Medicine is divided into two branches - surgery and internal medicine, a division determined by separate modes of treatment. Neither branch should be neglected for the other. Diseases of the eye, ear, throat, and skin have lately developed into separate and large departments, having hospitals in London for each but the student must not consider her education complete with out a knowledge of all these various departments of disease.
We are informed that it is possible for a student to board, lodge, dress very plainly, pay fees, and all the expenses of education, for about £100 per annum; for examinations, and expenses in connection with them, about £50 extra should be allowed.
There is a vast field for the employment of medical women, lying within the British dominions, and completely outside of the work on which men are engaged; we mean in India. There - as has been recently stated on the best authority - women are almost absolutely without medical help; and the suffering and death consequent on this state of things it is not easy to overrate. Attention has often been called to this state of things in India, and efforts are being made in Madras, and other Indian cities, to give ladies such medical instruction as will fit them to be the attendants so much required by native women. Englishwomen, with proper medical degrees, would find in India a field for their labours which is, as yet (with the exception of a few American ladies), totally unoccupied, and one which would be not only useful, but most lucrative.
Success in the study of medicine will depend chiefly on perseverance and strong health; and the course of study; is so long, and so arduous and varied, that any woman not possessing the requisite qualities will turn away long before she could obtain a degree.
In the branches of ophthalmic and dental surgery we have but little to say, except that a few women have, at different times, exercised these professions with profit to themselves.
In England the qualifications for midwives are less stringent, and the period of training shorter, than on the Continent. There can be no question as to the propriety and fitness of this as an occupation for women; and it only requires to be undertaken by an educated class to be restored to its ancient dignity, when a midwife was, in virtue of her calling, a gentlewoman. The responsibilities involved are so great, however, that none but thoroughly trained and well-educated women should attempt them. Training may be obtained at various institutions, among the best of which are the Rotunda Lying-in Hospital, Dublin. Female pupils are admitted to this hospital for a period of study of six months, at the end of which time they pass an examination as to their competency before the master and his assistants, and if found qualified, a certificate is given to that effect. The fees are - for an extern pupil, £10; for an intern pupil, including board, lodging, practice, and instruction, £20. Application to be made to the master at the hospital. At the Royal Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh, midwife pupils reside in the house for thirteen weeks at 10s. per week for board. The entrance-fee is 10s. 6d. ; the fees for lectures are from £3 5s. to four guineas; a certificate is granted on leaving. In London there are several hospitals where training can be obtained. At the City of London Lying-in Hospital, in the City Road, residence for two months is required, the fees for everything during that period being sixteen guineas. The practice consists in attending the in-patients only. At the British Lying-in Hospital, Long Acre, the pupils are required to live in the hospital for three months, attend the lectures of the physicians, receive practical instruction, while attending in-patients, from the matron, and attend the out-patients, if they like to do so. The fees are - ten guineas for the three months' instruction, and 15s. per week for board and lodging-beer and washing not included. The pupil passes a final examination before the two physicians, and receives a certificate from the hospital, if they be satisfied of her efficiency ; after which she may pass the Obstetrical Society's examination for midwives, if she wish to do so. This hospital is a school for women only, no male students being admitted. The pupils attend out-patients, under the instructions of the matron.
The Obstetrical Society of London holds its examinations at the Society's Library, 291, Regent Street, on the second Wednesdays of the months of January, April, and October. The fee for the diploma is one guinea; unsuccessful candidates pay a fee of 5s. All information can be obtained from the secretary at the above address. A course of lectures is also delivered in connection with this society, provided there be two women commencing them at the same time, and that they have had a good preparatory education. The King's and Queen's College of Physicians, Ireland. holds an examination of women as midwives in the elements of midwifery, for which a guinea fee is charged. The best education, as well as the most moderate in price for all it contains, is undoubtedly to be obtained in Paris, where there is a large Ecole d'accouchement at La Maternité Hospital, in the Boulevard Port Royal, which is intended for the training of "sages femmes de la premiere classe." The teaching comprises the elements of botany, natural history, and pharmacy; the dressing of wounds, vaccination, the care of children as well as the theory and practice of midwifery. The entrance is from the 1st to the 10th of July in each year. No pupils are admitted at any other time, and the residence is for one year - i.e., from the 1st of July to the 30th of June. The examinations take place at the end of June. During their year of residence the pupils are not allowed to leave the hospital more than six times, and then only in the company of their legal guardians, or persons appointed by them. The fees for board and lodging, washing, instruction, and the needful books and instruments, are only about £28 per annum.
There is a large and daily increasing field in India, particularly amongst English ladies, for properly-qualified midwives. Miss Carpenter, in a recent paper, read by her before the Society of Arts on her visit to India, states that "there is a great demand for female doctors, more especially for practitioners in midwifery, both among natives and our own countrywomen." Space, we find, forbids us to enter on the discussion of another important branch - viz., pharmacy and dispensing, which are now open to women. We shall make these the subject of our next paper.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-VII.
DISPENSING AND NURSING.
A KINDRED branch to the subject discussed in our last paper is pharmacy and
the practice of dispensing chemistry. The introduction of women into this
profession was recommended at a meeting, lately held, of the Pharmaceutical
Society, on account of the difficulty of obtaining young men as assistants in
the trade. By the Pharmacy Act of 1868 women were admitted to the examination,
the passing of which constitutes the legal qualification for the practice of the
profession; and the Pharmaceutical Society admits ladies as students to the
lectures given daily at their offices, 17, Bloomsbury Square. The fees are four
The society, however, refuses to grant to women the practical experience only to be gained in the laboratory - a thorough acquaintance with practical chemistry, dispensing, and pharmacy being absolutely essential to enable every student to pass the examination, and also to practise pharmacy. The South London School of Pharmacy offers to women equal advantages with men; and the laboratory course, as well as the lectures, are open to them. This is at present the only place where a woman can fully qualify herself to pass her examinations, as required by the law, to enable her to open a shop and to style herself a dispensing chemist. The year's training expenses at this school amount to about £15.
The preliminary examination includes elementary English, arithmetic, Latin, and the metrical system of weights and measures. This examination is required of all students at both societies; candidates must also be thoroughly grounded in fractions and decimals.
After passing through the school-course of lectures and laboratory practice, the minor examination in prescriptions, practical dispensing, materia medica, pharmacy, botany, and chemistry must be gone through; and then a still higher one, called the "major examination," completes the curriculum of study, and confers the title of pharmaceutical chemist.
Any lady wishing to qualify herself is at present obliged to supplement this training by three years' apprenticeship to a registered chemist and druggist. This new regulation came into force in January, 1877.
In every-day life it is no unusual thing to find a doctor's wife capable of compounding her husband's prescriptions; and country practitioners would have special facilities for preparing their daughters for this calling by a course of study in their own dispensaries, where constant practice in reading and translating into English autograph prescriptions might be had, as well as a knowledge of the metrical weights and measures. They might also be taught how to recognise the extracts of tinctures, and become familiar with the proportions of the active ingredients of the "Pharmacopceia." The elements of chemistry aud botany, as well as the ability to write a [-380-] good legible hand, might also be acquired at home. One of the requirements of the Pharmaceutical Society is that every student should be able to "properly finish and direct every package" sent out from the dispensary or shop - a task not unsuitable to the neat and clever fingers of women.
This seems to be, in fact, one of the most promising of all the various openings for educated female work. The only special qualifications are an accurate eye and a steady hand, both of which, in general, can be acquired by practice.
It may be objected, however, that dispensing, especially hospital dispensing, is both heavy and fatiguing work, involving hours of standing, and much reaching to high shelves for packages and bottles. It must always be remembered that the weak and sickly of any class must be "a law unto themselves," the battle of active life lying generally with the strong and healthy members. We conclude with a quotation from the Lancet --"There is nothing," it says, "in the process of education, or in the business of a pharmaceutical chemist, that would be unbecoming in a woman. For purposes of neat compounding she would be a serious rival. The success of a pharmaceutical chemist turns very largely upon the way in which dispensing is conducted; and the natural handiness of women would find ample field in it. Doctors are only waiting till dispensing can be done at reasonable prices by chemists to hand over the whole of their prescriptions to them. Perhaps the introduction of women into the trade may hasten this most desirable arrangement."
The nursing profession seems naturally to follow in connection with medicine and pharmacy. A very excellent suggestion has been recently made to endeavour to raise it into a profession for gentlewomen by means of some combination among themselves. The form recommended seems to be "a nurse's guild," the members of which should form a community in connection with some well-known hospital or training-school. This plan would afford a voucher for their training and experience, as well as for their moral characters, and if originated by some high authority in the medical world, would at once give the professional sick-nurse the social status she needs; and if a lady, assign her a rank equal to that of a high-class finishing governess - a valued and respected member of every family she may enter, to be received on terms of an equal and familiar footing.
Before entering on nursing as a profession, there are several very serious considerations to be taken into account. The first and most important one is, Health. "Have you," writes an old superintendent of nurses, "have you sufficiently good health to stand an amount of hard work to which you have never before been accustomed; and that work joined with a large amount of mental work, which draws upon the physical resources as much if not more than mere bodily exertion, and this continued for seven days a week, not for six ?" The second consideration is, that the nurse has to do, and must do, many things which are far from pleasant and agreeable, especially to refined and cultivated women. Hence, great self-control is requisite, and a determination to accept all the duties of her calling with patience and good temper. Great intelligence is also absolutely necessary for a nurse without it, she cannot possibly rise to a high rank in her calling. Lastly, a nurse must have a good knowledge of all domestic duties-such as sweeping, dusting, scouring, bed-making, and the rudiments, at least, of cooking. Some knowledge about house-linen is very needful the various kinds of linen, cotton, blankets, feathers, and hair used ; in fact, all the particulars which may be of service in the hygiene of nursing.
The greatest obstacle to the general adoption of this profession as a remunerative one by women is the twofold difficulty of getting suitable training and of finding employment when trained. Those who know anything of the present arrangements of hospitals will acknowledge that many changes must take place before women of the middle and upper-middle classes, or, indeed, any woman of decency and refinement, could study in them with much advantage or comfort. Cases have been known where the nurses have been expected to cater for themselves and to cook their own food, running the risk of being called away before they even had time to eat their poor morsel of badly-prepared food! Under such circumstances, neither health nor work could long be retained.
The cause of the many complaints against hospital nursing is, no doubt, the fact that for centuries it has been left in the hands of a very low and uneducated class, whilst now the advancing spirit of the day is attracting towards it women of a higher social standing and educational culture.
It is calculated that there are outside the walls of hospitals at least 230,000 sick people in our own country who daily need a nurse's care. The vast field of labour this one fact implies shows us that, when once the needful training can be obtained, no woman need be without employment.
The "National Association for Providing Nurses for the Poor" has recently made a careful investigation into the opportunities of training offered by the London hospitals during their painstaking efforts to establish their nursing staff and have issued a report on the subject, to which we refer our readers for further information, merely adding that the conclusion of the association seems to be, "that no available hospital, under existing arrangements, in regard to accommodation, discipline, and provision for the systematic training of nurses, fulfils the conditions they consider indispensable to produce competent and efficient women."
We have been particular in mentioning the difficulties in the way of the would-be nurse, as we fear, in many instances, the romantic halo which has been thrown over the calling has proved the attraction to its adoption. The profession is one of the highest and noblest to which woman is called, but the preceding drudgery is disheartening and painful; and, in order to do any work easily and well, it is needful to learn the rudiments thoroughly; and to train and command others it is first necessary oneself to serve, to learn, and to obey.
Most of the London hospitals train only their own nurses, and do not profess to receive others to train others are willing to receive a few ladies, who do not bind themselves to remain in the hospital after the period of training is over. King's College, the University, and the Royal Free Hospitals are nursed by independent institutions, with whom the committee of each hospital has entered into special arrangements.
We shall, in our next paper, endeavour to give information on the opportunities of training afforded by each London hospital, and the general process through which the aspirant for nursing-honours has to pass before she rises to the highest position in the hospital, or is at liberty to leave it.
In many of these institutions the work is on a new and improved system, more in accordance with modern ideas. Candidates for admission are usually required to be under thirty-five years of age and not under twenty-four, to be of a good average height, and in sound health.
If they enter as probationers, they are usually required to bind themselves to remain not less than three years they receive partial uniform and a nominal salary the first year, rising by the third year of their probation to £16 or £20 per annum. For nurses the salary averages £23; but in cases of ward-sisters the emoluments are higher. In some hospitals the nurses may obtain this promotion after so many years of service.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-VIII.
NURSING (continued from Vol. I., p. 380).
ST. THOMAS'S HOSPITAL, the first we shall notice where arrangements are made
for training nurses, was founded in 1213, by Richard, Prior of Bermondsey, in
the borough of Southwark. It was surrendered to Henry VIII., but was purchased
by the citizens of London for the reception of poor patients. It was removed,
some years back, to the Albert Embankment, and now consists of several separate
blocks of magnificent buildings, close to Westminster Bridge, opposite the
Houses of Parliament, and close to both Charing Cross and the Victoria termini,
The most recent discoveries and improvements of sanitary science have been
adopted in its construction. It is warmed and ventilated throughout, and has
separate wards for the treatment of special diseases, the beds numbering 600.
The nursing of this hospital is undertaken by the Committee of the Nightingale
Fund, which had its origin as a testimonial to Miss Florence Nightingale for her
exertions in the Crimea in the year 1854. It was devoted by her to the object of
her life - the establishment of a high standard for the moral and technical
training of nurses, and the reform of hospital organisation in English
Candidates for the post of nurses in this hospital enter as Nightingale probationers for one year of training, when they receive partial uniform and £10 salary, after which the committee are entitled to dispose of their services for a period of three years, during which they receive a rising stipend, beginning at £20 per annum, and are called "nurse probationers." They are required to serve either in the hospital or elsewhere, wherever the committee may appoint.
If they be taken on the staff at St. Thomas's they are termed staff nurses, and are under the ward sisters, the probationers being again, in their turn, under them, as the third order of nurses in the ward. Ladies only are now promoted to be sisters. There is a Nightingale Home attached to the hospital, in which lady probationers and probationer nurses receive board, lodging, and washing, each person having a separate sleeping apartment.
Ladies desiring training are received for one year on payment of a premium of £30, their duties being the same as those of nurse probationers, both of them being termed "Nightingale probationers." At the expiration of the year of training they may become ward sisters, at a salary of from £35 to £50 per annum, with a comfortable room and partial board. They may, however, be required to take employment offered by the committee, and to continue in it for three years at least. They are at liberty to leave the hospital also, and devote themselves to district nursing in connection with the National Association for Nursing the Poor of London. The usual times for admission are the quarter-days, and personal application must be made in every case to the matron at St. Thomas's Hospital, Westminster Bridge, London, S.E. The regulations can be obtained in full by writing to the secretary of the Nightingale Fund. Lectures on nursing, with instructions in bandaging, anatomy, &c., are given by the surgeons and the sister in charge of the Nightingale Home during the year of probation. These are followed by examinations in the subjects taught and lectured upon.
The Royal Free Hospital is situated in Gray's Inn Road, and makes up about 100 beds, It is nursed by the British Nursing Association, whose Training Institution for Protestant Nurses is at 3A, Cambridge Place, Paddington, W. The association has also entered into arrangements with some of the great London hospitals for training their probationers, in addition to those trained under their own superintendent, at the above-named hospital.
The qualifications required in a candidate for admission as probationers are-a satisfactory medical certificate as to health; good character, certified with a clergyman's testimonial; the age to be between twenty-five and forty; and membership of the Church of England, or of some Protestant communion. If accepted after a month's trial, candidates are obliged to sign an agreement binding themselves to serve the association for three years. After the first year (during which they receive a salary of £14 14s. and uniform) they become nurses, and receive a salary of £20 to £25, inclusive of uniform.
[-22-] The duties are nursing, sweeping and dusting their own rooms and wards, with needlework, if required. No cooking nor scrubbing. Day hours of duty from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Half an hour for each meal, and two hours daily for exercise; also four hours twice in the week. For night-work, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., extra tea or cocoa allowed, and sleep from 12·0 noon to 8·30 p.m.; two hours in the morning for exercise.
Lady probationers are also received for £30 for the year's training, which sum includes board, washing, and separate sleeping accommodation. No certificate granted under a year's training.
For all further particulars application must be made to the secretary of the Training Institution, at 3A, Cambridge Place, Paddington, W., who will forward a prospectus and rules.
The Middlesex Hospital, Charles Street, Berners Street, Oxford Street, contains 305 beds, and receives upwards of 2.000 in-patients every year. It has special departments for cancer, and the diseases of women. The nursing is carried on here by the authorities of the hospital, and the staff numbers over seventy nurses, and consists of nurse probationers and lady probationers, under the superintendence of a lady of education, who is also a trained nurse of great experience. Ladies are received here as pupils for a period of not less than six months, the fees being one guinea a week. The rules of admission are much the same as those which we have already stated as existing at other hospitals, the head nurse of a ward, or "sister," receiving £30 per annum.
The home for the nurses is a distinct building, and every attention is paid to their well-being and comfort.
The London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, E., lately re-opened by the Queen in person, now contains 800 beds. It has also a nurses' home, and the nursing is carried on by the hospital authorities, who train their own staff. This consists of sisters, sister probationers, nurses, and nurse probationers, under the superintendence of a matron. The probationary term extends over three years for both sisters and nurses; but nurses are no longer promoted to be sisters, that office being now held by educated women only - the daughters of the clergy and other professional men. These enter as sister probationers. The title of "sister," so often used, has no religious significance, although no doubt originally derived from the period when the earliest hospitals were religious foundations; at present the name is synonymous with "head nurse," or one who has permanent charge of a ward. The sisters are exempt from menial duties, and take their meals with the matron. The nurses are mainly drawn from the class of domestic servants, wages being £12, £18, £21, and £23 16s. per annum, with uniform. This hospital affords much opportunity for the study of surgical nursing, as the number of accident cases brought in daily is very large indeed.
A training school for nurses has just been established at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and a large block of buildings within the area of the hospital has been set apart and fitted up as a "Home" for the present nursing staff, and for the candidates for training. The home is under the care of a lady superintendent, assisted by the "ward sisters."
The period of training is fixed at not less than twelve months ; at the end of that time the proficiency of the probationers will be tested by a series of clinical examinations, before the certificate of competency is granted by the authorities. They will then be free to remain in the service of the hospital, or to go elsewhere and undertake private engagements.
College Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital nursed by the nursing community of St. John's House, the head-quarters of the sisterhood being at 6, 7, and 8, Norfolk Street. Strand. This institution, known as the "Sisterhood of St. John the Evangelist," is "designed to improve the qualifications and raise the character of nurses for the sick in hospitals, both among the poor and in private families, by providing for them professional training, together with moral and religious discipline, under the care of a lady-superior and resident sisters, aided by a clergyman as chaplain." The staff of nurses is trained in the two hospitals, the one containing 200 beds, the other 180. At the latter (Charing Cross) the number of patients treated in the hospital during the year 1875 was upwards of 16,000, including 4,306 cases of accident and emergency. The entire management and direction of the nursing within the hospital is in the hands of the sister in charge, the pupil-nurses being properly distributed amongst the wards, so as to secure them complete training in each branch of their profession in turn. Besides the sister in charge, the sisters - one in each ward - are the teachers; and in addition to the practical work taught in the wards, lectures on anatomy and physiology, more especially in their application to nursing, are given weekly to the pupils and probationers.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN - IX
NURSING (continued from p. 22).
THE staff of highly-trained nurses supplied by the sisterhood of St. John's
House is one of the very best in the country, and the hospitals pay for it a
considerably less sum than it costs the community to maintain it. In this way a
thorough training can be given to women of all classes, as nurses for private
families, hospitals, or parishes. Ladies can be received as pupils for six or
seven months, but to obtain a certificate one year's continuous training is
required. There is room at present in the St. John's House for about twenty lady
pupils, and a considerable number of probationers. When their projected
maternity hospital is built, they will be able to give an equally thorough
training in midwifery. Ladies are received for training at the rate of £50 per
annum; pupil- nurses for other institutions at £24 per annum; and probationers
undertaking three years' service obtain salaries beginning at £15, and rising
to £26 by the tenth year of service. Pensions are also given to those nurses
who are certified as disabled or unfit for duty after twelve years' service.
Westminster Hospital is situated in one of the most accessible quarters of the metropolis, close to the Thames, and opposite the Abbey and Houses of Parliament. The authorities of this hospital were among the first to awake to a sense of the reform needful in their nursing staff; and appointed, in 1873, a lady - a most experienced nurse - to the post of superintendent. Through her exertions and those of the late Lady Augusta Stanley and her immediate friends, the Westminster Training School for Nurses was founded. A house in the Broad Sanctuary was taken, containing accommodation for the lady superintendent, a class-room, dining-room, and sufficient lodging-rooms for ten or eleven probationers. The design of the founders of the Training School has been not only to improve the nursing in the hospital itself, but also to provide trained nurses for the sick in private families, and to use their best endeavours to raise the status of sick-nursing and make it a profession for educated women.
Candidates must apply to the Lady-Superintendent, 8, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, S.W., who will supply the forms to be filled up before admission. The age is between twenty-five and thirty-five, and the candidates are required to produce testimonials as to health and character. Salary for the year of probation, £16; for the second and third years, £18 and £20. Lady probationers pay fifty guineas for their training, by special arrangement.
In addition to the hospitals and training institutions we have named, there are several others in the metropolis- i.e., Mrs. Fry's Nursing Sisters' Institution, Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate Street, E.G. ; The Deaconess Institution and Training Hospital, The Green, Tottenham, N., which trains Christian women, who propose to become deaconesses gratuitously, in the care of the sick, and supplies them as nurses to public institutions at £12 yearly, and in private families with no charge at all, but all expenses paid; St. Mary Magdalene's Institution for the Supply of Trained Nurses, 3, Delamere Crescent, Paddington, W.; and the Institution for Training Nurses for Mental and Nervous Disorders, 1, King Street, Grosvenor Square.
A District Nursing Association exists at Glasgow, and a Training School at Liverpool.
We have been thus minute in dealing with the education of nurses, as we consider this profession will, before many years have elapsed, afford a magnificent opening and employment to women of all ranks. At present the indifference of the public to the subject, and the absence of any adequate means of obtaining a specific training, keep the salaries low, and hinder it from being the career for women which it will eventually become. A great demand exists for trained superintendents and matrons all over the country, for every description of institution, and a year's training in one of the great hospitals, properly arranged with a view to the purpose, is the first step to every employment of value. That every woman may have the power, as well as the will, to prepare herself against the day of want and trouble by learning some profession which may give her bread to eat and a roof to cover her, must be the earnest desire of every thoughtful mind.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-X.
PRESUMING that the persons whose case we are considering possess moderate
strength and fair health, but have no taste for nursing, the work of a cookery
instructor may afford a pleasant occupation, and may suit them better than any
other calling. Schools for teaching cookery are being formed all over the
kingdom, and, from what we hear, we believe that the preference is to be given
to women of some education as instructors; to ladies, in fact, who possess the
advantages of a higher order of intelligence, [-79-] greater
powers of speech, and superior manners. The duties of this post are thoroughly
interesting, besides affording a sense of usefulness to others (a comfort of
itself to many women). They are sometimes remunerated at the rate of over £100
per annum. It will scarcely be believed that the Secretary of the National
School of Cookery at South Kensington finds it needful to make an appeal through
the columns of the Times for ladies to come and be trained for this
position with such a salary, the demand being so urgent that the authorities are
really begging for pupils to be instructed.
For the benefit of those who may desire to undertake it, the following excellent letter from one of the chief promoters of the School of Cookery in Liverpool is transcribed :-" I cannot conceive," she says, "of an employment more suitable to gentlewomen, and I know of none other for which there is at present such an overwhelming demand. There is much in it to satisfy the most intellectual tastes, for it affords scope for any amount of intelligence, and even for scientific study ; while it is also philanthropic, sociable, and never monotonous. Our teachers travel from one place to the other, generally staying in private houses, with the clergy, &c. ; and as they associate almost entirely with educated people, their position as gentlewomen is always fully recognised. We are most anxious that this splendid position should not be lost to the many ladies who are in need of a means of livelihood, and who have neither the qualifications, nor perhaps the inclination, for the profession of teacher. But the pressure for trained instructors is so great that, if more gentlewomen do not come forward, we shall be obliged to accept candidates of a different class. Ladies are always asking for help. I begin to fear they want help without work, &c."
The National Training School for Cookery, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, is under the direction of an executive committee, consisting of some of the most distinguished noblemen and gentlemen in London, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Saturdays, for the purpose of giving instruction in cookery. Courses of teaching by demonstration, and courses of practice in, cookery and cleaning, for families spending from 20s. to 100s. weekly, are now being regularly held. Students desirous of joining should apply personally to the Lady Superintendent, or by letter to the Secretary, at the School, of Cookery. The fee for the course of teaching and practice in scullery-work and cleaning is 10s. 6d.; it occupies. one week, the hours of attendance are from 10 to 12 am. The practice is as follows :-"The best way of lighting and managing a fire, of cleaning a fire-place; the regulation of flues, the management of the oven, &c., or of patent fire-places in general use for cooking ; the difference between a close range and an open one, &c. the proper degree of cleanliness to be obtained in pots and pans, the best method of cleaning such articles, of removing stains from enamel, of burnishing copper, &c"
A class is held every afternoon for lessons by demonstration, in middle-class cookery, at a fee of £2 2s for a course of ten lessons. A middle-class "practice kitchen" is also now open. where a student may go through a course of practice in cookery, for which a fee of £4 4s. will be charged; but this is reduced to £3 3s. if the student have attended the "scullery course." In the "practice kitchen" a sufficient amount of material is provided without further charge, but if the material be spoiled, the student must find more at her own cost. The course in this kitchen occupies two weeks, from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. daily.
Students who desire to receive a teacher's diploma must pass through all the classes, but separate certificates are given to learners attending only the scullery class, and the "practice kitchen." It is expected that each learner, before going up for examination, shall have acquired an adequate knowledge of the first principles of cookery, and have studied the elementary books and the recipes published by the school. An official directory, giving further information, with copies of the questions asked at the examinations, may be obtained at the school. A "practice kitchen" for cooking food for families spending from 7s. to 20s. weekly is now at work; the fee for this class is £3 3s., unless the student have been previously through the scullery-class, in which case it is reduced to £2 2s. The instruction in this kitchen comprises both French and English artisan cookery, and a lesson by demonstration in the same is given daily from 10 to 12 am.
The course of training for a student at the school is therefore, as follows:- She first goes as a pupil through the scullery, demonstration, middle-class practice, and artisan practice kitchens ; this takes six weeks, working every day (except Saturdays) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an interval of rest from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. This six weeks' course is then repeated again, with this difference, that she has to practice teaching what she has already learnt, taking the lecture-room last of all, where she works under the advice of one of the best cook demonstrators. Full and careful rules are drawn up for her guidance by the Lady Superintendent, which are hung: up close to where she stands to give her demonstration lesson. The fee for the three months' course of training is £12 12s., if the student come with the intention of accepting work from the school, should there be a vacancy on the staff; but the fee is increased to £15 15s. if she is to be employed elsewhere. During the course of training the student can dine with the other, students for 1s., and can also obtain comfortable lodgings in the neighbourhood of the school, the charges for lodging and. partial board being from 16s. to 25s. per week.
The work of teachers on the staff of the school varies according to the nature of the appointment they receive; if employed in the school itself she would have to be in her kitchen by 9.30 a.m. to see that her kitchen-maid had everything in perfect order for the pupils to begin work at 10 o'clock, the lessons ending at 4 p.m. She would then be free to leave the school by 5 o'clock, and on Saturday and Sunday she would be quite free. The salary for this would be £1 per week, and her dinner every day on which she was at work at the school. If a teacher be sent to the provinces she would receive £2 per week and an allowance for board and lodging extra, according to the neighbourhood she goes to; but the hours of work are dependent in that case on the "local committee," who are her employers for the time being. The number of working hours are limited in every case to twenty-four hours in the week, however they may be distributed by special arrangement with the local committee and the teacher.
The candidate must not be under eighteen, nor exceed thirty-five years of age. She is admitted to the school either by payment of fees, or on a subscriber's nomination; and she must be sufficiently educated to perform the duties of an instructor after the special training. The diplomas of teachers are of three classes, and in recommending teachers to the public the preference will always be given to the diploma of the highest class. The conditions of admission are, "That the student agree to obey all the rules, &c., for any infraction of which the student may be discharged at a day's notice, without having a claim of any sort upon the school. That she must be prepared to accept an engagement, if competent, on the staff of the school, at a salary of from 20s. to 40s. weekly, it being clearly understood, however, that the committee are not responsible for finding any paid employment for the student while in the school or afterwards.
The South Kensington School is prepared to train 200 teachers during the year, admitting ten every fortnight [-80-] during forty weeks, It is now declared to be self-supporting, and more than 2,500 pupils have passed through it.
The Northern Union of Training Schools of Cookery has for its object the adoption of a uniform method of training teachers, and of giving diplomas and certificates to the students of the several schools of cookery according to a fixed standard, those given in the different schools belonging to the Northern Union being recognised as of equal value throughout the country. The schools of cookery that have already joined the union include Liverpool, and its branch schools at Southport and Warrington; Yorkshire school at Leeds, and its branch schools at Halifax, Leeds, York, and Wakefield; Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leamington, and Bolton. The address of the hon. secretary of the union is 49, Canning Street, Liverpool, from whom all information may be obtained. Two kinds of diplomas are conferred by the Northern Union, one for teachers of artisan cookery, and one for teachers in all branches of cookery. In each of these there is a first and second class diploma. There are also two kinds of certificates for learners and pupil-teachers, and another for cooks and in each of these there are first and second class certificates. The theoretical examination for both diplomas and certificates will be conducted by means of written papers. Candidates for diplomas must also pass an examination in practice, and will have their power of teaching tested by giving lessons in the presence of duly-qualified examiners.
The fee for training a teacher of artisan and plain household cookery is £6 6s. The fee for training a teacher of all branches of cookery is £8 8s. These fees are paid in advance, the course occupying about four months.
The salaries we mention as ranging from £50 to £100 per annum, referred principally to the ladies who hold appointments on the staff of the South Kensington School, whether in London or the provinces. Other ladies, who nave been trained as teachers at the school, and have had the enterprise to start independently, are said to be earning from £3 to £7 per week. In this case it is recommended that a start should be made in a public hall or institute, as people do not seem to like going to a private house to be taught. A little capital would be required for the necessary culinary apparatus, fitting stoves, &c., and a competent person would soon gather an audience at her classes and lectures. A very well- known lady has recently opened classes in this new field in the country, and is daily extending her work. She has been asked to give instruction to the children belonging to the Board Schools, and it is much to be hoped that the Privy Council will accede to the memorial lately presented to them by the School Boards; and besides making practical cookery in the schools a distinct subject, may make direct payments by way of prizes to classes in day and evening schools for proficiency attained in practical cookery. The London School Board has sanctioned an arrangement with the National School of Cookery, whereby competent instructors are to be provided at each centre at £75 per annum, with £35 for a maid and £10 for travelling expenses.
In conclusion, we give some extracts from a letter, written by the lady we have mentioned as having begun the experiment of private classes, feeling sure that her sensible words will be a guide to those who wish to enter on the profession themselves:- "Success in teaching cookery," she writes, "depends so entirely upon your own skill, that unless you have plenty of nerve and 'brass' you would be sure to fail. It is one thing to make puff-pastry in peace and quietness in your own kitchen, and quite another to make it with an unwavering hand with half a dozen people criticising every movement, and inquiring the reason for it; while you have to talk amiably and make yourself agreeable all the time. I do not want you to think it is a very wonderful thing to be able to do it but I only say I never realised, till I came to do it, how very difficult it would be. It is necessary to get five or six things done, and done successfully, in the two hours lesson, cooked just to the right turn and at the right moment. Real servant-cooks quite realise the difficulty of this, and constantly say to me they could not possibly do what has to be done in those two hours. . And now to tell you how I was trained. I went through the usual course for an ordinary pupil at South Kensington that is to say, through the 'Cookery by Demonstration' the 'Scullery Course,' and the 'Practice Kitchen'. To have trained for an instructor would have taken much longer, and the 'Artisan Kitchen,' which is necessary in that case, would have been useless for me. The 'Cleaning Course' embraces all kinds of scullery-work. The 'demonstration' was watching three professed cooks doing the principal things in cookery - soups, jellies, pastries, &c., which took a fortnight; and the 'practice' was doing ourselves what we had seen done, under the guidance of a professed cook, in another kitchen. This also took a fortnight, and the whole cost rather over five guineas. After this I went in for the examination, and passed. I like the work immensely, for its own sake, and as for my class-room, it is the delight of my heart.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-XI.
THERE is little doubt but that, for many years, there has been a total lack
of special training, and even of the possibilities of it, for girls in England.
In art this has been remedied by the establishment of art schools for both men
and women, where the technical training needful to its remunerative practice
could be obtained. In teaching, the vital truth has also been in a measure
recognised that a special training is needful, and that a teacher of others must
first be taught herself how to teach. When the knowledge that a special training
is as requisite for girls as for boys is once spread among the parents and
guardians of the rising generation, we may hope to see equal efforts made for
the instruction of both. Of course, expense is naturally a point for
consideration, especially so when we remember that proficiency in the arts of
painting, sculpture, or music demands years of study. In the case of boys, it is
found possible to overcome even this difficulty, and we may expect that, when
equal needs are admitted for girls, it will be found equally possible for them
Boys have for years enjoyed many advantages, which it was simply impossible to obtain for girls, in the grammar and other richly endowed schools set apart for their use; but now that the promoters of better education for women have secured many endowed schools for them also, and other good training-schools at low fees, both for education and art, this difficulty may be considered as nearly at an end. In art schools the position of girls is in all respects equal to that of boys. In none of the arts is a special training more requisite than in music, and in this, above all others, a smattering of knowledge has long been considered sufficient in England. How very rarely do we hear either a finished player or singer among those young ladies who are kind enough to try to amuse society by their performances! On the Continent, on the contrary, we have never heard mediocre musicians amongst the young people who are invited to perform to the circle of their friends. The instruction given seems both thorough and complete; and none but the girls who have really a talent or decided taste for music appear to be taught. The happy consequences of this rule appear in their performances, which are generally quite equal, if not superior, to the ordinary concert singer as heard in England. Another rule of Continental art is that the singer invariably requires an accompanyist, and that good singers need not also be good instrumentalists. Of course, the majority of the music sung on the Continent is operatic. The ballad, pur et simple, is seemingly of English origin, the French chanson and the Italian canzonette being both capable of containing an amount of musical difficulty rarely to be found in the ballad.
At this point we shall probably be met with the objection that if only those girls who showed a decided talent were taught, our plan would put an end to household music entirely, which is the very thing we think we should not do, as if music were taught on the Continental plan in England, we should hear little more of girls who, having spent hours at the pianoforte before marriage, entirely leave it off afterwards. Where music is a part, as it were, of themselves, it could never be left of and when learnt in a complete and thorough manner, a provision for the future is at once made. A comfortable living can at any time be earned by those who are either good vocalists or good instrumentalists.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.- XII.
MUSIC (continued from p. 323).
IN no profession does there seem to be so little opening for outsiders as in
that of music. It is, in fact, a sort of "family borough," and the
advantages of belonging to a family already well known to the public appear to
be so great, that persons less fortunate have very little chance of success,
unless, of course, it happen that they are possessed of unusual talent.
Teachers of music receive so low a rate of remuneration that the position is of no value from that point of view. Of course, there always are both masters and mistresses who, being at the top of their professional career, can ask and obtain large sums for the instruction they give; but these form the exception, not the rule. Good musical lessons can be procured for the pitiful sum of one shilling! The reason of this is that the lower branches of the profession are overstocked, and people give lessons at a nominal price in order to get a footing in it. The case is the same in other branches. Many girls who are endowed with a correct ear, a fair voice, and a liking for music, think they would prefer singing in choruses to entering domestic service, or becoming saleswomen behind a counter. Many of these aspirants cannot read a passage at sight, or copy music neatly; and even if they be equal to this, and able to fill a part when led, they will not take the trouble to fit themselves by study for the higher office of' paid chorus-leader.
We quote at length the following remarks written by a well-known musical professor, as they contain much useful information as to the best way of turning small musical talent to account; and will help, perhaps, in a measure to dissipate the mischievous idea that a smattering of music is sufficient to enable a girl to enter that noble profession either as a teacher, or as the singer of a chorus part. "Of all things," he writes, " I would urge on every one who has any musical ambition to learn to copy music correctly and quickly, first of all copying songs and pianoforte pieces. The labour soon becomes light and quick, and nothing in the world makes an accurate musician so soon as the habit of copying. Singers should always copy out their own songs, and I I would advise all instrumentalists to borrow and copy out orchestral and chorus parts. This work may be learned at slight expense, and some money may be earned by it, as well as knowledge acquired. All girls who either sing or play should learn a little of the violin, as well as the piano: not necessarily to become violinists, though that might occasionally happen; but any one who can play the piano or violin accurately, with however little execution, and can copy music quickly and accurately, has little difficulty in finding the way to earn some money, and would soon get on. All musicians should try to sing a little, enough to be useful in a chorus if wanted, as it improves their playing. Singers who hope to be soloists should not sing much in choruses, unless they can become leaders and get their living by it. They should rather learn some stringed instrument instead. Many a student of singing might do worse than play the violin in an orchestra in the meanwhile ; and there is a distinct though small demand for female violinists.
"I was told by a professor a short time ago that he has frequent opportunities of giving employment to women violinists - not soloists, but concertists, or orchestral players - sometimes as many as ten or twelve, but that he did not know where to find them in London, and he thought it likely the demand would be permanent if the supply could be depended upon. The instruments open to women are the violin; viola (or tenor violin, easier than the violin, but requiring a larger hand); the American harmonium, used to fill up missing orchestral parts, and to act as obligato to the voice, most valuable in suburban concerts, and travelling musical companies; the piano, not as a solo instrument, but as an accompaniment to choruses where there is a conductor. There is often a demand for a lady who can play through accompaniments to oratorios under the baton. Many can play them, but few know them well enough to be able to give all their attention to the baton. Such a performance is worth a guinea to any musical society. The ability to play well under the baton at rehearsals, &c., is worth a great deal, and may be practised for by learning violin and violoncello music on the harmonium, then adding the oboe or bassoon parts of an orchestral piece, playing in strict time, counting bars, rests, &c. This will give facility at reading orchestral parts and music from the score, and of filling in, when needful, an absent part."
There is a small demand for female organists, but the salary paid is generally very small - not exceeding £30 per annum; as at the more important churches there is generally a male choir, which naturally needs the services of a male organist for its training. An acquaintance with the organ, American organ, or harmonium, is a great additional advantage to a schoolmistress, who can then manage to add to her income the salary paid by the country parish in which she may be for the services of an organist. Professional lady singers are occasionally in demand in London city and other churches, but the salaries, except for very first-class singers, are low.
A recent suggestion has been made that pianoforte. tuning might possibly be a suitable employment for women. This, however, requires a long training, only to be acquired in a factory, where beginners are set to "rough tune" half- finished instruments. The mechanical part of tuning requires great strength of wrist, and the exertion of great force, combined with a power of exact and immediate control, which the hand of a woman would rarely possess.
The Royal Academy of Music, Hanover Square, London, W., the National Training School for Music, Kensington Gore, S .W., and Trinity College, Portland Place, W., are the chief institutions where a public and systematic course of training in music is procurable in England. The annual fee at the former for the entire course of study is £30, or £10 per term, paid in advance, with an entrance fee of £5. The year is divided into three terms of thirteen weeks each. There is an examination preliminary to admission, for which the prescribed fee of one guinea is remitted, if the candidate be accepted. Candidates residing at a distance from London may be primarily examined by one of the local examiners, whose names and addresses are given in the report of the institution. The hours of instruction are from 9 am. to 4 or 5 p.m., in summer and winter respectively.
The National Training School for Music was opened for study on the 17th of May, 1876, and is under the direct patronage of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, who is Chairman of the Committee of Management. Candidates for admission to the school must be nominated by the founders of the scholarships, and are required to pass a competitive examination. Admission cannot be [-343-] obtained by merely paying fees. No limit of age is at present fixed, and persons of either sex may compete. The academical year consists of three terms, with vacations at Christmas, Easter. and Midsummer. The school does not provide board, nor lodging. The object of the competitions is to find out young persons of any station in life having musical talents which deserve to be cultivated - for the advancement of musical art, and the public benefit. The scholarships are of the value of £40 yearly for five years. The fullest information may be acquired in the "Directory," which may be obtained on application to the Registrar of the School.
Trinity College is under the superintendence of a Board of Graduates, deputed by the General Council, and the evening classes and lectures comprise all musical and many general subjects. It is the only institution in England which provides special and complete training for choir-masters, and students are prepared for the free scholarships at the Royal Academy of Music, the National Training School, and for University Degrees.
Higher musical examinations for women have been recently instituted at this college, in answer to the increasing demand for a system of certificates, guaranteeing the musical proficiency of governesses and teachers of music. Separate or combined certificates may be taken by ladies in any of the following subjects: Harmony, counterpoint, general musical knowledge, pianoforte, organ, &c. Regulations may be had on application to the Secretary, Mandeville Place, W. The examinations are held at Midsummer and Christmas, and the candidates are admitted without respect of age, or creed. The entrance fee is half a guinea, and an additional fee of the same amount is required for each certificate granted.
For the benefit of those young ladies who have chosen music as a profession, and require to go to Italy for lessons in singing and the Italian language, a home has been opened under the protection of the English and American Consuls, and the English chaplain at Milan, where the young students can avail themselves of all the facilities for study, and also have the propriety and - comfort of a private house. It is situated at No. 14, Pontaccio, Milan, and full particulars can be obtained from the Treasurer, Major-General Sir F. Goldsmid, 1, Southwell Gardens, South Kensington.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-XIII.
SUGGESTIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT.
THE miscellaneous "suggestions" advanced on all sides for the
advantageous employment of women are so numerous, and in some cases so wise,
that we propose to gather them together for the benefit of the readers of the
"Household Guide." It should be remembered, however, that they are
"suggestions" only, generally needing the head and hands of a clever
woman to mould them into the proper form. Many women will perhaps find them
impracticable, but others, from the materials which lie around them in their
daily lives, will, with the assistance of our "suggestions," discover
a means of making an addition to a small or uncertain income. The great
desideratum at present amongst women is to obtain some employment which can be
pursued at home, or at least with only a few hours' absence from it; for
although remunerative work be necessary, the home life must still go on, the
children must be taken care of, and the house kept comfortable.
One of the most sensible ideas for women's work which originated, we believe, in the columns of a weekly paper, was gardening, or, as the writer put it lady gardeners. It was suggested that ladies having a very small competence might take the lease of a cottage with a large garden in any locality in which they may have connections, and render the garden profitable by the sale of flowers, and such fruits and vegetables as they find it possible to grow. There is a certain "knack" in cultivating flowers, which goes farther than any amount of technical knowledge; and if a lady-gardener have acquired this, and be also physically strong enough to do the light part of the daily garden work, the opinion seems to be that she will find the employment not only healthful but lucrative. The writer proceeds to say that ladies having properly fitted themselves for the post might be able to take the post of head-gardener at country seats where a few under-gardeners are kept. Many ladies are in the habit of acting as their own head-gardeners and seem to manage admirably, even in the present day so this seems a not unpromising idea, and one we expect to see adopted.
From a recent writer on the subject of farming and gardening for women we quote a few lines of sensible advice :-"Without doubt many women are farmers and in many cases succeed; but in nine cases out of ten they have been farmers' wives or daughters, and after the deaths of father or husband manage to work their land with advantage. The first thing to do in taking a farm is to beware of paying a fancy price for a small amount of land, though the small tenant must of course expect to pay more per acre than the large one, but the difference ought not to be very great. The next thing to be considered is whether a woman can manage arable or pasture land the best. My advice is, as she cannot do hard work herself, all pasture would be best, as it pays better, and is more easily superintended. The lady farmer should rent land that is thoroughly drained, even if she should have to pay five per cent. on the capital which a selling-lease should obtain, if possible; and in any case a valuation clause should be inserted, so that she may reap some benefit when leaving. Poultry-keeping is of course a necessary adjunct; but I do not believe a beginner can make them pay. Experience in this matter, however, is the best teacher. Early rising, careful superintendence of labour, economy in every trifle, and a mind open to receive and gain all information possible, are great essentials to success. Last, but not least, a greater profit is to be obtained from a small plot of land well cultivated than from a great deal and too little capital for its cultivation. This last axiom is borne out by the experience of every one; and a market garden on a small scale appears to be a safe investment for a woman of sufficient energy and acquirements, with a small capital.
The next suggestion is also a valuable one; it is the opening of the situation of librarian to educated gentlewomen, either in public institutions or in private families of rank or wealth. From the reports of the recent Conference of Librarians we learn that the Americans have already set us an example here, and in the Public Library at Boston, U.S., seventy ladies are employed, a few men only being kept to lift the heaviest books on the high shelves. The ladies appear to have given the utmost satisfaction in this position, to which they appear thoroughly suited. The work is such that a lady of good attainments and education could undertake and enjoy. It requires no great physical exertion, no exposure to the weather, and no hardship which the most delicate would shrink from. The salaries in this profession are so limited that they are not sufficient for the support of married men with families, nor are they objects of ambition to the single man with any fairer chances in life; but they would nevertheless form a good provision for a single woman, who, upon even this small pittance, might manage, with economy, to keep herself in comfort and as a gentlewoman.
The occupation of bee-keeping is a most suitable one for women, and very remunerative if intelligently pursued. In Canada it has spread with great rapidity, and even in the large towns it is found profitable. The capital required for commencing is so small as to be within the reach of any one having a large garden in which to keep the hives. The yield of honey from one hive alone is, we believe, estimated at from 80 to 120 lbs., and the prices realised in England for honey are very high.
A "Ladies' Commission Agent" would be a most useful addition to our " helpers" in every-day life. The personal requisites for this occupation would be good health to enable the agent to go out in all weathers, and bear fatigue well; experience, and a knowledge of how to buy, and the best places at which to procure every article at a fair [-2-] price; good taste in selection, and lastly sufficient honesty to resist the bribes which would surely be offered, when once this vocation became known. Of course the lady agent must be resident in or near London, and all incidental expenses-train, omnibus, cabs, and postage must be charged to the employer, as well as a commission on the purchases, or, if preferred, a certain amount per diem as a fee. Ladies residing in India, or the colonies, find it particularly difficult to arrange for making purchases in England; friends, and relatives too, complain of the inconvenience entailed by commissions inflicted on them by absent country cousins, and there are many invalids, even in London itself, who would gladly avoid the fatigue of shopping if it could be done for them by an efficient deputy. In all these cases, a clever, painstaking woman, with lady-like manners, and good taste, would be welcomed as a reliable help, in dealing with dress and dressmakers, furniture, working materials, and all the minutiae of household and family difficulties.
Akin to this last-named office is that of "Lady Cicerone," a suggestion put forth in one of the newspapers. Ladies, either English or foreign, on coming to London, are frequently greatly at a loss where to find the best shops, and to learn the best methods of going about the modern capital of the world. They would, doubtless, be thankful to secure the services of a thoroughly competent gentlewoman who, knowing town well, would conduct them to its "sights, sounds, and shops;" and would consent to take a moderate remuneration per day. A fair knowledge of languages would be of service to the lady cicerone, in dealing with foreigners, and a connection might be formed through the various hotel-keepers in town.
OCCUPATIONS ACCESSIBLE TO WOMEN.-XIV.
SUGGESTIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT (continued from p. 2).
SEVERAL persons are engaged at present, we believe, in London, and other
places, in giving lessons in fancy work, so that the idea is not a new one; but
an extension of it would be a very excellent thing. For example, if every young
ladies' school had a "mistress of needlework," as one of the regular
staff of instructors, there would be fewer complaints of the idleness and
helplessness of the modern young lady. This mistress should have a complete
knowledge of the mysteries of dressmaking and cutting- out, darning and mending,
and all the various branches of fancy work. A lady who has acted in this
capacity has informed us that 10s. for a lesson lasting from one and a half to
two hours is usually charged.
To an educated gentlewoman the position of monthly nurse seems not unsuited; the training required is short, and not very expensive. We have already entered into the particulars of it in our notice of the training of midwives, and medical training generally. The comfort of exchanging specimens of the usual ordinary lower-class monthly nurse for the attendance of a refined, gentle, and educated woman, would be very great indeed; and if she be a lady by birth she is as well fitted to associate, when "off duty," with her patient's family as if she were a "sister in uniform." This idea seems a valuable one, and the work is within the powers of any ordinarily educated gentlewoman. The pay of this important post is usually very excellent, varying greatly, however, according to the rank of the patient, as much as twenty guineas being sometimes paid for the month.
The travelling as nurse on voyages to India seems a practical suggestion. A first-class passage is usually taken for the nurse, and a salary of from £5 to £10 is paid for the attendance ; the remuneration for the return journey is higher, being from £15 to £40, and all expenses paid. The arrangement may continue after the arrival in India, and we should think the "institution" of nursery superintendent is one that would be admirably suited to English mothers in India, who would be, no doubt, thankful to have a reliable person about them, to whom they could entrust their children, and who might be a pleasant companion for them when in out.of-the-way stations, remote from society and friends. In England, we hope to see the idea of nursery superintendent largely adopted. With one or two nursemaids under her, with little menial work, or physical exertion,, a trustworthy, kindly, religious gentlewoman would find her place, and would soon become an indispensable adjunct in a nursery. Her manners and influence would have immense power in forming the characters and manners of young children, and to those ladies whose position and rank require them to be much absent from home, the presence of a reliable person at the head of the nursery would spare them much anxiety and trouble.
A very good paying business, and one well suited to a practical, managing gentlewoman, is that of letting lodgings. A weekly paper says, in writing on the subject "Many a widow with daughters is left with a well-appointed house, but on the death of the husband and father, the annual income dies, the furniture is sold, and the whole family becomes scattered in the struggle to earn some miserable kind of livelihood, in which, perhaps, every member is unhappy. How different would it be if they would keep their pride in subjection, and receive lodgers into their home, and let each member take her share in superintending the domestic arrangements for the comfort of their lodgers. Of course, no ladies having sensitive feelings should attempt this mode of life; and should everything be left to the management of ignorant servants the result would certainly be failure and dissappointment."
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