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Edward King in Boston Journal. Along the embankment between Black-' friars and Westminster the student of social science may on Sunday evening observe the most remarkable , Europe. There is not a city oh the-Con-tinent, not even Vienna, in which anything like it can be seen. Under the gleam of the , electric lights j thousands upon thousands of men and women are ’ strolling, and it is easy to see that all of them belong to the humblest walks of life. It is no exaggeration.;to.say that thousands of young girls may be seen wandering unprotected by any male escort, and laughing, jeering, pushing, dancing, shouting, sometimes behaving in what the French would term an “unqualiiiable manner. ”,,:These are the work-girls of London. Heaven help them! and they are so little conscious of their dpgra-f dation that they take a* positive delight in it. “Do you suppose they are happy?” I asked an old Londoner. “Happy,? They’re as pleased as Punch with.what they call a lark ! Law bless you, they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. They’re not brought up in a way to know much about finer feelings, 1 can tell you.” They see imorality all around them, and never know anything else themselves. If; one of them remains reasonably pure, it is considered , : a great. stroke, of chance. They are as ignorant as savages .of ten thousand things which they ought to know for their own . protection;: ; They wander hero, by the river, talking soihetimes in language that pen may not record. It is easy to see that many of them! have been visiting the public-houses, and by the time they reach the parental roofs, protecting shadow, some of them are oblivious to external circumstances. Large gangs of men and boys, of all. grades—from the coarse and dangerous villain in - hobnailed boots to the small city clerk with his too tightly fitting clothes and hill jargon of the counting-, house—parade the broad sidewalks, now engaging in an amateur dance with some merry party of girls, now talking to other groups in language that would be insult* ing, if they chose to consider it so Land: now getting into a sound encounter at fisticuffs. A light among -the . girls is not at all uncommon. And these are the future mothers of the working classes ; these the creatures that must be in the shop and market at sunrise and remaipi there until sunset every day oxceptSunday. And what a use they make of their Sunday ! Of : course the fathers and ’ mothers, careless and callous as the majority of them are, still would feel a certain compunction about allowing their daughters to wander through the streets alone long after midnight, 1 if it were tiftLa' custom which, has' become lime honored. What per cent, of the working girls of ' London are thus exposed to every danger : of the great metropolis I do not know, but t it must be very great. Judging from the language which, one hears, from/these Sunday promeiiaders on the embankment, they have been touched by n [ lora l in* fiuence whatever, nor any eathetical one, except that procured by a view of the; paper bn the public house walls, and the row of lights around Cleopatra’s Heedle.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 88, 17 April 1880

Word Count

SUNDAY NIGHT IN LONDON.. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 88, 17 April 1880