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WORK OF THE YEAR-RESIGNATION OF PROFESSORSHIP WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE QUESTION - LETTERS TO MR. MAURICE AND JOHN STUART MILL-CANONRY OF CHESTER - SOCIAL SCIENCE MEETING AT BRISTOL-WEST INDIAN VOYAGE - TROPIC SCENES - RETURN HOME-EVERSLEY A CHANGED PLACE-FLYING COLUMNS HEATH FIRESFIRST RESIDENCE AT CHESTER · BOTANICAL CLASS FIELD LECTURES - HUMAN SOOT-MEDICAL EDUCATION OF WOMEN FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR WALLACE ON NATURAL SELECTION.
"But let my due feet never fail
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes."
HE year 1869, which closed his professorial work at Cambridge, saw the beginning of a new chapter of his life as Canon of Chester. It was a year of severe intellectual work and great activity; but the resignation of the professorship relieved his mind from a heavy load of
responsibility, and the prospect of a voyage to the West Indies, on the invitation of Sir Arthur Gordon, then Governor of Trinidad, fulfilling one of the dreams of his life, helped to carry him through his work. He lectured on Natural Science to the boys at Wellington and Clifton Colleges, at various industrial and mechanics' institutions in the diocese, and to ladies at Winchester, on health and ventilation ("The Two Breaths"), and on "Thrift," in which last he treated not only of thrift in the household, but of the highest thrift - thrift of all those faculties which connect us with the unseen and spiritual world thrift of the immortal spirit - "thrift of the heart, thrift of the emotions," as contrasted with "a waste the most deplorable and ruinous of all" for women, the reading of sensation novels -"that worst form of intemperance, intellectual and moral." He was elected President of the Education Section of the Social Science Congress at Bristol. He finished his children's book, "Madam How and Lady Why," and wrote an article on "Women and Politics." His parish prospered; the penny readings and entertainments for the laborers became more popular. He gave his last course of lectures at Cambridge, "in preparing which," he said, "I worked eight or nine months hard last year, and was halfwitted by the time they were delivered." Of these, an undergraduate writes, "Your last series, and especially the grand concluding one on Comte, have made an impression just at the moment when it was needed."
1 "Health and Education."
He left Cambridge with feelings of deep gratitude to men of all classes in the University, and for the experience of the last nine years, and dissatisfied only with his own work. His pupils felt differently.
"Allow me," writes one of them, "to testify to Canon Kingsley's great influence over the young men at Cambridge. It was not only the crowded room and breathless attention that told the interest, but many of us now, at the interval of fifteen years of busy life in our positions as clergymen, in dealing at home and at Missions with men of thought and mind, can trace back, as I can, their first impressions of true manly Christianity to his stirring words. . . .'
"The very name of 'Kingsley's Lecture,'" writes another, "impelled one to the lecture-room. There was a strange fascination about him which no young man could resist. There was no lecture-room half so full, and there was none half so quiet one could hear a pin fall.”
TO REV. F. MAURICE. -Jan. 16, 1869. "It was a real pleasure to me to hear you had read my clumsy little papers ('Madam How and Lady Why'). I wished to teach children · my own especially that the knowledge of nature ought to make them reverence and trust God more, and not less (as our new lights inform us). They are meant more as prolegomena to natural theology, than as really scientific papers, though the facts in them are (I believe) true enough. But I know very little about these matters, and cannot keep myself au courant' of new discoveries, save somewhat in geology, and even in that I am no mineralogist, and paleontologist. Science is grown too vast for any one head.
"R. and I now mean to sail, if God permits (for one must say that very seriously in such a case), by the April
Women's Suffrage Question
255 mail. Ah! that you were coming too, and could be made to forget everything for a while, save flowers and skies and the mere sensation of warmth, the finest medicine in the world! What you say about not basing morality on psychology I am most thankful for. I seem to get a vista of a great truth far away. Far away enough from me, Heaven knows. But this I know: that I want to re-consider many things, and must have time to do it; that I should like to devote the next twenty years to silence, thought, and, above all, prayer, without which no spirit can breathe."
To J. STUART MILL, ESQ. —“I have had the honor of receiving 'from the author' your book on the 'Subjection of Women.' I shall only say, in thanking you for it, that it seems to me unanswerable and exhaustive, and certain, from its moderation as well as from its boldness, to do good service in this good cause. It has been a deep pleasure to me to find you, in many passages in which you treat of what marriage ought to be, and what marriage is, corroborating opinions which have been for more than twenty-five years the guides and safeguards of my own best life. I shall continue to labor, according to my small ability, in the direction which you point out; and all the more hopefully because your book has cleared and arranged much in my mind which was confused and doubtful. . .
“... I wish much to speak to you on the whole question of woman. In five-and-twenty years my ruling idea has been that which my friend Huxley has lately set forth as common to him and Comte; that 'the reconstruction of society on a scientific basis is not only possible, but the only political object much worth striving for.' One of the first questions naturally was, What does science in plain English, nature and fact (which I take to be the acted will of God)-say about woman, and
her relation to man? And I have arrived at certain conclusions thereon, which (in the face of British narrowness) I have found it wisest to keep to myself. That I should even have found out what I seem to know without the guidance of a woman, and that woman my wife, I dare not assert: but many years of wedded happiness have seemed to show me that our common conclusions were accordant with the laws of things, sufficiently to bring their own blessing with them. I beg you therefore to do me the honor of looking on me, though (I trust) a Christian and a clergyman, as completely emancipated from those prejudices which have been engrained into the public mind by the traditions of the monastic or canon law about women, and open to any teaching which has for its purpose the doing woman justice in every respect. As for speaking at the meeting, my doing so will depend very much on whether there will be, or will not be, newspaper reporters in the room. I feel a chivalrous dislike of letting this subject be lowered in print, and of seeing pearls cast before swine - with the usual result. . .
A visit to Mr. Mill at Blackheath, during which he attended the first woman's suffrage meeting in London, was one of great interest to Mr. Kingsley.
"When I look at his cold, clear-cut face," he remarked of Mr. Mill to Dr. Carpenter, "I think there is a whole hell beneath him, of which he knows nothing, and so there may be a whole heaven above him. . . .”
In August Mr. Gladstone writes to him:
"I have much pleasure in proposing to you that you should accept the Canonry of Chester, vacated by the appointment of Dr. Moberly to the See of Salisbury.