and they, imitating the rich--asking for piano accompaniments to their
singing, and so on--at the same time gave themselves airs of superiority
to the crowd. And that was fatal. The less cultivated behaved in the
manner usual to them where there is any unwarrantable condescension
going--that is to say, they kept out of the way of it, until, finally,
the performers and organizers had the club almost to themselves. From
the outset the strong labouring men had contemptuously refused to have
anything to do with what was often, I admit, a foolish and "gassy"
affair; but their wives and sons and daughters had been very well
pleased, until the taint of superiority drove them away. The club died
when its democratic character was lost. Yet, though I was glad to have
done with it, I have never regretted the experience. It is easy now to
see the absurdity of my idea, but at that time I knew less than I do now
of the labouring people's condition, and in furthering the movement I
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