culture," presented to Parliament in 1868. In it Mr. Henley states that the women who work in the fields of Northumberland are "physically a splendid race." The same witness says: "There are many who consider field-work degrading; I should be glad if they would visit these women in their own homes, after they have become wives and mothers. They would be received with a natural courtesy and good manners that would astonish them. . . . The visitor will leave the cottage with the conviction that field-work has no degrading effect, but that he has been in the presence of a thoughtful, contented, unselfish woman. . . . The very appearance of the habitual workers is sufficient to prove the healthiness of their mode of life; and the medical testimony is overwhelming as to the absence of disease and the usual complaints attendant on debility."
Mr. John Grey testifies of the same women: "The healthful and cheerful appearance of the girls in the hay or turnip fields of the north, and their substantial dress, would compare favorably with those of any class of female operatives in the kingdom," etc. Here we have the same kind of work, destructive in one case, beneficial in the other. And this is due to the different conditions under which it is done. So in other work, it is not necessary that women should do every part of it precisely as men do it. The question is, Is there not in most kinds of work a place which women can fill to advantage under suitable conditions?
Women are much more fettered than men by conventional requirements and prohibitions. They come to any new occupation hampered by the restraints and burdens so imposed. Their dress is modeled upon fashions adopted by women in society, to whom dress is a profession, occupying a great part of their time, strength, and intelligence; yet custom forbids any material modification of it to suit the requirements of work. Equally liable to misrepresentation is any assumption of unconventional freedom in going about, ways of living, etc. Women are hindered at every turn by endless restraint in endless minor details of habit, custom, etc., which, often trivial in themselves, by their number and perpetual action often trammel them as effectually as the threads of his Lilliputian adversaries did Gulliver. In these respects we might apply to men and women the common French saying in respect to English and French law, viz., that "to one everything is permitted that is not expressly forbidden, to the other everything is forbidden which is not expressly allowed." Most women who have been engaged in any new departure would testify that the difficulties of the undertaking lay far more in these artificial hindrances and burdens than in their own health, or in the nature of the work itself.
Finally, is not much of the objection that work is destructive to the workers applicable to all work and all workers—to men as well as to women—to domestic as well as non-domestic work? Do we