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lain beneath her heart, and drunk of her
life. The law in this respect is now changed;
mainly, because this sufferer laboured hard
to show its cruelty. The misery inflicted
upon her maternal love will be endured by
no other English mother.

Pecuniary matters came in next, as
further entanglement of this miserable
web. By the marriage settlements a
certain sum of money had been secured to
the children; the principal of which,
neither the husband nor his creditors
could touch. It belonged to the children
and the mother, emphatically and
exclusively. After many years of separation, the
husband applied to his wife for her consent to
his raising a loan on this trust-fund for the
improvement of his estate. She promised
that consent, if he, on his part, would execute
a deed of separation, and make her a certain
allowance for life. Hitherto she had mainly
supported herself by authorship. After the
demur of reducing the allowance she
proposed, the agreement was entered into; and
she then gave her consent that a loan should
be raised on the trust-fund for her husband's
sole advantage. She received in exchange
a deed drawn up and signed by a lawyer
and her husband, securing her the stipulated
five hundred pounds a yearfor life. Three
years after, her mother died, and the husband
inherited the life-interest of his wife's
portion from the father. At the same time
a legacy of almost five hundred a year,
carefully secured from her husband by
every legal hindrance possible, fell to her
also from her mother. When her husband
knew of this legacy, he wrote to her, telling
her that he would not now continue his
former allowance, which had been secured,
as she believed, by solemn legal agreement.
She objected to this novel manner
of benefiting by a legacy; and refused
to entertain the proposition of a reduction.
Her husband quietly told her that
she must either consent to his terms, or
receive nothing; when she urged the agreement,
he answered her with the legal poetic
fiction " that, by law, man and wife were one,
and therefore could not contract with each
other." The deed for which she had
exchanged her power over the trust-fund was a
mere worthless piece of paper.

This shameful breach of contract was
followed by another law suit, where judgment
was given in open court, to the effect not
only that the agreement in her behalf, signed
by her husband and a legal witness, was
valueless according to that stanza of the
marriage idyl which proclaims that man
and wife are onenot only that she had
no claim on the allowance of five hundred
a yearbut that her husband could also
seize every farthing of her earnings, and
demand as his own the copyrights of her
works and the sums paid for them. No
deed of separation had been executed
between them, and no divorce could be sued
for by her. For, she had once condoned or
pardoned her husband, and had so shut
herself out from the protection of the laws.

And all this is in the laws; the laws which
throw a woman helplessly on the mercy of her
husband, make no ways of escape and build
no cities of refuge for her, and deliberately
justify her being cheated and entrapped.
All these are doings protected and allowed
by our lawsand men stand by and say,
"It is useless to complain. The laws must
be obeyed. It is dangerous to meddle with
the laws!"

This is a true story; those who run may read
ithave read it more than once, perhaps,
before now. As an exemplification of some of the
gravest wrongs of women, and as a proof
how much they sometimes need protection
even against those whose sworn office it is to
cherish and support them, it is very
noteworthy, indeed, in this country of Great
Britain. Surely there is work waiting to be
done in the marital code of England! Surely
there are wrongs to be redressed and reforms
to be made that have gone too long unmade!
Surely we have here a righteous quarrel with
the lawsmore righteous than many that
have excited louder cries.

Justice to women. No fanciful rights,
no unreal advantages, no preposterous escape
from womanly duty, for the restless, loud,
and vain; no mingling of women with the
broils of political life, nor opening to them
of careers which nature herself has
pronounced them incapable of following; no
high-flown assertion of equality in kind; but
simple justice. The recognition of their
individuality as wives, the recognition of
their natural rights as mothers, the
permission to them to live by their own
honourable industry, untaxed by the legal
Right and moral Wrong of any man to claim
as his own that for which he has not
wroughtreaping where he has not sown,
and gathering where he has not strawed.
Justice to women. This is what the phrase
means; this is where the thing is truly
wanted; here is an example of the great
Injustice done to them, and of their
maltreatment under the eyes of a whole nation,
by the Law.

NEW TALE by Mr. CHARLES DICKENS now
publishing Weekly in HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

ON the Sixth of May will be published, in Household
Words, the SIXTH PORTION of a New Work of Fiction
called
                         HARD TIMES.
                BY CHARLES DICKENS.

    The publication of this Story will be continued in HOUSEHOLD
WORDS from Week to Week, and completed in Five Months from its
commencement on the First of April.
     Price of each Weekly Number of HOUSEHOLD WORDS,
(containing, besides, the usual variety of matter), Twopence; or Stamped,
Threepence.
     HOUSEHOLD WORDS, CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS,
is published also in Monthly Parts and in Half-yearly  Volumes.

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