IN 1892, my father took a prominent part in the movement for the Sunday opening of museums. He said to me, "I remember speaking about it at the old St. James's Hall, and, oh, Lord, how nervous I was about it! I had to address 3,000 people." It is amazing now to read the various letters and articles of those who were violently opposed to the movement. H. A. J. found an ardent supporter in Henry Irving, who wrote him the following letter:
"Lyceum Theatre, "11th March.
"MY DEAR JONES,
"You are to my mind taking an excellent stand in your advocacy of opening Museums and Picture Galleries on Sundays, and I most heartily wish that the movement may be successful. The promoters--or rather the spokesmen of the movement (for the great mass and bulk of the workers of all kinds are the true promoters)--have and will still have much uphill work before them, many doubts to overcome--much prejudice to sweep away. I cannot myself imagine how anyone with a brain to think for others and a heart to feel for them can wish such a measure of public wisdom even postponed. . . . There need not be even a mechanical difficulty in the matter. In such places the attendants are few, and all that would be required would be an addition of one-sixth to the existing working staff in each case. so that each person employed would get his weekly holiday. I fear that want of due consideration of this aspect leads some persons to believe--and many