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He who, in his morn of youth defied the elements,' now, subdued by nervous exhaustion, is the sage calm moralist, moving on a plane above which Crabbe never rose, but to which the author of 'Qui laborat, orat' had to make a descent indeed. The two journeys for health were both made in 1861; from the second he never returned. All that is necessary for his friends to know about his last days is well and clearly told by his widow. At Florence in October he was compelled by fever to take to his bed; a stroke of paralysis came on; and he died on the 13th of November, in his forty-third year. In this last illness he was engaged in composing the beautiful stanzas beginning 'Say not the struggle nought availeth,' a lyric than which perhaps nothing more precious ever came from his pen.
A few words may be given to the religious difficulties of my dear friend. He became acquainted after coming into residence at Oxford with the writings of the Tübingen school, and seems to have held that the mythical theory of Strauss, and the New Testament chronology of Baur, were alike unanswerable. But on the spiritual side his Christianity was not so easily shaken. Writing to his sister in 1847, he asks, 'What is the meaning of "Atonement by a crucified Saviour?" That there may be a meaning in it, which shall not only be consistent with God's justice, that is, with the voice of our conscience, but shall be the very perfection of that justice, the one true expression of our relations to God, I don't deny; but I do deny that Mr. McNeile, or Mr. Close, or Dr. Hook, or Pusey, or Newman himself, quite know what to make of it.'
There seems even to have been a time when he was drawn towards Catholicism ; like Leibnitz he 'frappa à toutes les portes.' Writing in 1852 he says, 'It is odd that I was myself in a most Romanising frame of mind yesterday, which I very rarely am.
I was attracted by the spirituality of it.'
Amidst all the perplexities of speculation, he kept, like Marceau, *the whiteness of his soul.' On the moral side, and with reference to the distinction between good and evil, pure and sensual, he was firm as a rock. The following is an illustration. Being in London in vacation time in 1858, I dined with him and my brother at a restaurant. My brother was in great force, and talked incessantly; Clough seemed to be out of spirits, and said but little. The name of Voltaire coming to be discussed, my brother said, with a wave of his hand, · As to the coarseness or sensuality of some of his writings, that is a matter to which I attach little importance.' Clough bluntly replied, “Well, you don't think any better of yourself for that, I suppose.' There is no harm in repeating this, because it is well known that my brother in his later years thought very differently, and regarded the French • lubricity,' as he called it-borrowing their own word—as a moral stain which wrought unspeakable mischief on many of their finer minds.
But for Clough's early death, it is probable that he would, with Ewald, Tischendorf, Harnack, and others, have experienced a reaction against the extreme subjectivity and arbitrariness of Baur's views on the New Testament chronology. Such a reaction might, perhaps, have removed his sense of the intellectual impossibility of the popular creed, and reclaimed for religion a soul than which none more naturally devout ever existed.
The Russian educated woman is known to some extent in this country for the part which she took in the struggles for political freedom. Very little is known, however, in Western Europe about the hard, and often really heroic, struggles which Russian women have sustained simply to obtain the right to a better education ; still less about the wonderful organising powers which they have displayed in the creation and maintenance of their educational institutions.
If women have to struggle hard for their rights in this country, against the prejudices of Society and the selfishness of men, one can easily imagine the resistance they had to overcome in a country like Russia, where, in addition to the same obstacles, an autocratic Government puts its veto on every progressive movement.
Notwithstanding all these difficulties, Russian women win ground every year. They so well show, in their everyday life, what an educated woman is worth, whether she carries on some profession or simply remains a mother and a wife in her household, that even the autocratic Government has to give way. And they succeed so well in their endeavours, that the English readers who know how backward Russia is in matters of popular education will probably be astonished to learn how much has already been done in Russia for the intermediate and the higher education of women; how considerable are the numbers of women who have already received University education; and to what useful account most of them have turned their knowledge.
To bring Russian society, and especially the Government, to acknowledge the accomplished facts, women had of course to go through many hard struggles, and these struggles I will attempt to relate as briefly as possible.
Every one knows what a stupendous intellectual revival took place in Russia after the Crimean war and the deat N
the First. In less than eight years—1857 to 1864—the whole system of Russian life was entirely changed. The serfs were liberated, and peasant self-government was introduced. The rotten tribunals of old were abolished, and the institutions of the jury and of justices of peace (selected by all the householders of all classes) were introduced. Provincial assemblies, quite similar to the County and District Councils of this country, were opened since 1864. The terrible corporal punishments which made the horror of Nicholas the First's time, and a military service of twenty-five years' duration, became things of the past. A new spirit was infused in every branch of life. It was a wonderful time, when hundreds of quite new men, who formerly, with characteristic Russian timidity, only dreamed in the quiet about necessary changes, and only occasionally launched their ideas on paper for circulation amongst a few friends, came forward. In a few years many radical reforms were accomplished. The educational question certainly was not forgotten in the turmoil, and girls' education benefited in it largely.
The schools for girls were very few at that time; even in the well-to-do classes, one girl only out of a hundred had the chance to receive some education at school. The few schools which did exist were sharply divided between the different classes of society. There were the instituts de demoiselles for the daughters of noblemen, schools for the daughters of the merchant class, for the daughters of the clergy, for the daughters of the artisans, and almost none whatever for the toiling, ‘tax-paying' classes.
Most of them were boarding schools, as strict in their inner organisation as convents. In the instituts de demoiselles, whereto only the selected few were admitted, the girls had to stay from six to nine years, entirely separated from their homes and from the whole world. Never, under any circumstances, was a girl allowed to spend a few days in her home. Even in such cases as the death of a girl's father or mother, or of some other very near relative, the girl was only brought to the funeral by a governess, and taken back to the institut as soon as the ceremony was over.
Once a year, at Easter, they were allowed to take a drive in the streets, in a long procession of carriages, which no relative dared to approach.
The programme of education was, of course, in accordance with these principles. The girls lived, like hot-house plants, in a quite secluded atmosphere, far apart from real life, in a world created by their own imagination, and as different from reality as it could be. They were taught all sorts of accomplishments, but very seldom the voice of an earnest teacher appealed to their higher intellectual faculties. The schools for the other classes of society differed but little from the instituts de demoiselles. The pupils only stayed there for a shorter time and were taught less accomplishments.
The insufficiency of that sort of education was broadly felt, and already in 1847 and 1855 an attempt had been made to reform the instituts. Now that everything was reformed in Russia, the vague aspirations of previous years were brought out in a definite form by a gifted young professor, N. Vyshnegradsky, in a memorandum addressed to the Tzar; and although the ideas expressed therein were diametrically opposed to the system which had hitherto prevailed, they were fully approved and accepted by the Government. The first gymnasium for girls was opened in 1857—that is, only four years after the Queen's College had received the sanction of Parliament and the necessity of a thorough education for women was proclaimed in this country ; fifteen years before the Public Day Schools began to be opened in England; and very nearly thirty years before the lycées de demoiselles were opened in France.
The leading feature of the new system was, that the girls received an education nearly equal to the education given to the boys in the gymnasia; that they stayed at home, and only came to school for the school hours; and that all classes of society had equal access to the gymnasia. In all points it was thus directly the opposite of the previous system. From the beginning, the girls' gymnasia were put on the same footing as the best institutions of that same class in Western Europe. Each gymnasium had seven forms, and an eighth form was added later on, for pedagogical training. The teachers were chiefly men—the possession of a University degree being a necessary condition. The fees were 50 roubles (51.) a year.
A demand for such schools came from all parts of the country, and the Government encouraged both the demand and private donations for that purpose. Gradually high schools for girls were opened in each province-even in the remotest parts of Caucasia and Siberia. The result was, that at the present time there are no less than 343 gymnasia for girls in the Empire (a few of them being pro-gymnasia, with four forms only), with no less than 80,000 pupils.
The Government—at least, in those years of reforms-did not prevent the opening of private high schools, and a few excellent ones were founded. Even the old instituts de demoiselles were not forgotten; the system of education was improved, and the girls were allowed to spend their holidays at home.
It seems almost incomprehensible nowadays that so deep a change should have been accomplished so suddenly-two years only after Nicholas the First's death ; but it was fully prepared long before. Women's education and the position of woman in society had been eagerly discussed in Russian literature since the “forties' and early fifties.' In 1853 the whole subject was summed up in the leading review of the time, the Contemporary, in terms which would now be accepted by the leaders of the same movement. In their
1 Mme. E. Likhachoff mentions this fact in her excellent work, in three volumes Materials for the History of Wonien's Education in Russia. This history is brought down to the year 1856, and several chapters relating to the later period were published subsequently in a monthly review.