British Workman Vol. 1, No. 10 (1855)


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No. 10.]

Published for the Editor by Messes. PARTRIDGE & CO.; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London.

[Price one Penny.


Sir Richard Arkwright, the celebrated patentee of the Spinning Jenny, was originally a poor barber.

From that valuable work, “Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties,” we gather the following condensed account of this noted character. His parents were very poor, and he was the youngest of a family of thirteen children; so that we may suppose the school education he received, if he ever was at school at all, was extremely limited. Indeed, but little learning would probably be deemed necessary for the profession to which he was bred. The business of a barber he continued to follow till he was nearly thirty years of age. About the year 1760, however, he gave up shaving, and commenced business as an itinerant dealer in hair, collecting that commodity by travelling up and down the country, and then after he had dressed it, selling it again to the wig makers, with whom he very soon acquired the character of keeping a better article than any of his rivals in the same trade. He had obtained possession, too, of a secret method of dyeing the hair, by which he doubtless contrived to augment his profits; and, perhaps, in his becoming acquainted with this little piece of chemistry, we may find the germ of that sensibility he soon began to manifest to the value of new and unpublished inventions in the arts, and of his passion for patent-rights, and the pleasures of monopoly.

It would appear that his first effort in mechanics was an attempt to discover the perpetual motion. In connection with this project he formed an acquaintance with a clock-maker, which had a powerful influence on his future career.

In 1768 the two friends appeared together at Preston, and immediately began to occupy themselves in the erection of a machine for the spinning of cotton-thread, of which they had brought a model with them. At this time, Arkwright was so poor, that, an election contest having taken place in the town of which he was a burgess, it is asserted that his friends or party were obliged to subscribe to get him a decent suit of clothes before they could bring him into the poll-room. He shortly afterwards left Lancashire with his model, through fear of the hostility of the people, and went to Nottingham, where Messrs. Reed and Strutt were so well satisfied with his new machine as to take him into partnership with them.

It required great energy, determination and tact, however, to overcome the multiplied difficulties that lay in his way, and for a long time the speculation was a hazardous and unprofitable one. It did not begin to pay, he tells us, till it had been persevered in for five years, and had swallowed up a capital of more than twelve thousand pounds. In time, however, his ingenuity and perseverance were rewarded,

and he found himself raised to a position of rank and affluence, and now he is regarded as the founder of a new branch of national industry, which occupies the first place among the manufactures of our country.

Jeremy Taylor, a theologian of high reputation, Bishop of Down and Connor, and author of several valuable and well-known works was the son of a barber. He entered Caius college as a sizar, or poor scholar, when thirteen years of age, and was admitted to holy orders before he had attained the age of twenty-one. Though h suffered many changes of fortune during the civil commotions of the 17th century, yet his talents and worth attracted regard, and he received the honours which were his due. He died in the fifty-fifth year of his age, in the year 1667.

John Taylor, LL.D., a very learned philologer, was a native of Shrewsbury, and died in 1766. His father followed the trade of a barber, and tried to bring up his son to the same occupation ; but such was the lad’s unconquerable love of books, that his father was in utter despair of making Jack a good shaver, when his strong predilection for literature recommended him to the patronage of a gentleman of fortune, to whom he was chiefly indebted for the advantages of an academic, education. For many years he gave his attention to law and classic literature, but in his forty-seventh year he took orders, and became rector of Lawford in 1751, archdeacon of Buckingham in 1753, and canon residentiary of St. Paul’s in 1757.

Lord Charles Abbott Tenterden, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, who died in 1832, was the son of a Canterbury Barber. His father is described as a “ tall, erect, primitive looking man, with a large club pig-tail, going about with the instruments of his business, and attended frequently by his son Charles, a youth as decent, grave, and primitive looking as himself.”

Lord St. Leonards, the Ex-Lord Chancellor of England, who is regarded by the “bar” as one of the most talented lawyers that ever occupied the woolsack, is the son of a hairdresser.

John Kershaw, of Leeds, deserves a place in our list of celebrated barbers. When he commenced business for himself thirty years ago, he announced to his customers, “This shop is closed on Sundays.” Some predicted his speedily having to close altogether. John became a Sunday-school teacher and employed his “day of rest” in doing and getting good. Being fond of reading, he purchased a few good periodicals and laid them in his shop for customers to read whilst waiting to be shaved. Some expressed a desire to purchase the papers monthly, and John undertook to supply them. This small beginning has led to important results,for at the present day there are issued from the barber’s little shop in Meadow Lane, from 70,000 to 100,000 periodicals and tracts yearly!

The Sabbath-keeping barber has prospered, for he has recently opened a printing establishment, and John Kershaw and Son now appear in the list of publishers in the town of Leeds!

A Barber is one who makes a trade of shaving or trimming the beards of other men for money. Anciently a lute, viol, or some such musical instrument, made part of the furniture of a barber’s shop which then used to be frequented by persons above the ordinary level of the people, who resorted to the barber, either for the cure of wounds, or to undergo some chirurgical operation, or, as it was then called, to be trimmed, a word that signified either shaving, or cutting and curling the hair;—these, together with letting blood, formed the ancient occupation of the barber-surgeon. The instruments in his shop were for the entertainment of waiting customers, and answered the end of a newspaper.

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DURING the Queen’s recent visit to France, a touching incident occurred in the Palace of St. Cloud. The royal party, which comprised Queen Victoria, the Emperor and Empress of France, Prince Albert and the royal family and suites, were about leaving the palace yard in eight carriages for the Tuileries. A guard of soldiers was in attendance, and amongst them stood an old veteran on crutches, a voltigeur of the Imperial Guard, who had been frightfully wounded before Sebastopol, one of his legs having been terribly shattered and his head severely injured at that scene of desolation and death. This old soldier was very anxious to see ‘England’s Queen,’ and the officers in command had very kindly allowed him a place in the front rank. There stood the once strong man, now crippled by cruel war, eagerly looking out for Queen Victoria.

As the royal party approached, this soldier arrested the Emperor’s eye. He made enquiries of one of his officers as to the services which the poor man had rendered. The Emperor then desired that the man should come to him. The soldier was tremblingly advancing on his crutches, when the Emperor, with a consideration which even his enemies cannot but admire, stepped forward, and, unfastening from his own uniform the cross of the Legion of Honour, placed it on the left breast of the wounded voltigeur, who was so overcome with the gracious condescension of the Emperor, that he burst into a flood of tears. The incident was witnessed by the Queen and Empress, and all present were much affected by it.

Reader, do you admire this act of the Emperor? Remember that a greater than Napoleon ZII. left the angelic ranks in glory to give you a more enduring treasure than the cross of the Legion of Honour, even a CROWN OR GLORY which never fadeth away.

The poor soldier was overpowered with feelings of joy and thankfulness on receiving a slight token of regard from his earthly monarch, and shall not we render to our Lord and Master the homage of our hearts for what He has done for us?

Do you think that the soldier is careless about his medal, careless where he puts it, careless as to whether it is kept brightly shining or not? Oh no! many times in a day, we doubt not, he looks at his medal, and, showing it to some comrade, exclaims exultingly, “The Emperor gave it me.”

And shall we be careless about God’s good gifts to us ? Day by day—hour by hour—he visits us with the bounties and blessings of his providence and grace. Let us then bless the Lord at all times, and let Sis praise be continually in our mouths.


“There are some very decent fellows amongst the London Omnibus men,” said a Holloway Gentleman not long ago. “I rode with one of Wilson’s men the other day, who astonished me by stating that he does not touch grog of any kind, but pays for a glass of toast and water at his ‘call houses.’ He said that he was both better in health, and in pocket, and had fewer headaches by so doing. He was certainly one of the healthiest and happiest looking drivers I have ever seen. Not long ago I met with another of the ‘Favourite’ men, who, whilst waiting at the ‘Angel,’ expressed his regret on hearing some one utter an oath. ‘It disgraces a man,’ said he, ‘to swear; as well as being an insult to his maker.’ ‘I consider, Sir,’ continued the driver, ‘that every one who swears or utters blasphemous language in the street, commits an outrage upon Society, and ought to be put in the stocks.’”


No circumstances of life can hinder us from being examples of piety and goodness, and making our lives a lesson of instruction to all that are about us; and he that lives an exemplary life, though his state be ever so poor and mean, is largely contributing to the salvation of others, and proving himself the best follower of his Lord and master.

The most beautiful flowers soon fade, and droop, and die: this is also the case with man; his days are uncertain as the passing breeze. This hour he glows in the blush of health and vigour; but the next he may be counted with the number no more known on earth.


I will to-morrow, that I will,
I will he sure to do it;
To-morrow comes, to-morrow goes.
And still thou art to do it.

Thus still repentance is deferr’d,
From one day to another;
Until the day of death is come.
And judgment is the other.

The depths of misery are never beyond the depths of Divine mercy.—Sibbes.

We should live in such a holy habit and frame of mind as to be at all times in a fit state for prayer, and that we can be looking up to God in frequent prayer while we are at our daily labour.—Rev. R. Sill.


Sabbath, hail! divinely blest,
With the seal of God imprest;
Holy day, in mercy given;
Emblem of a future heaven.
Early would we always rise,
When thy dawn illumes the skies;
Heart and home alike prepare
For the day of praise and prayer.

Be ours to hail the holy day,
In cleanly garb, with cheerful smile;
With joyful heart to put away
The care and toil of life awhile,
And to the house of God repair,
For Jesus meets His people there.-

They that soar too high often fall hard, which makes a low and level dwelling preferable.

Say what men may, this is a beautiful world,—despite the murky shadows which pass over it, and the blots which human crime and care make on its face, it still has features of Divine loveliness.

We had been spending a short time in Paris—the city so brilliant without, and foul within, when we determined a visit to the Lakes of Cumberland. Our centre was the quaint little town of Keswick, which stands at the head of the Derwent Lake, nestling under the protection of the lofty Skiddaw.

On our arrival “the landscape lay as if created in all the freshness of childhood,” and we soon began to feel deepening affection for English scenes and English homes.

The first evening we spent in Keswick, was at a soiree, to celebrate the opening of a New Lecture-room, adjoining the handsome library, with which Christian wisdom and munificence have endowed the town. Of the origin and aims of this library we cannot tell better, than by inserting the annexed copy of on inscription from a chaste tablet which has been placed inside by the parishioners, in memory of the founder.

Through the watchful care of H. C. Marshall, Esq., whose summer residence is on a beautiful island in Derwent water, a devoted successor to Mr. Myers, has been secured in the Rev. T. D. H. Battersby, the present incumbent of St. John’s, who from the love of God, has learned to love and to labour for men.

The lecture-room has been erected by Mr. Battersby’s liberality, with a view to the educational welfare of the working classes of the town. It is an elegant structure, fitted to hold about 300 people, and does great credit to the skill and taste of the architect, Mr. George Watson.

When we remember, that amidst all our British grandeur “ The richest crown-pearls in a nation Hang from labour’s reeking brow,”we may be glad to notice efforts that are being made by the clergy and wealthy laity, to illustrate and to teach the great lessons of mutual dependence of rich and poor.

Whatever may rescue men of toiling hands and brains, from the stupifying atmosphere of tap-rooms and gin-pa-laces, and allure them to agencies which may educate the heart, enlarge their sympathies, and elevate their tastes, so that HOME shall become to them a more holy and beautiful house,—this we hail with deepest joy.

By the kindness of a valued friend, we give a sketch of this lecture-room, during a supper given to the workmen engaged in its erection by the Rev. T. D. H. Battersby.

We looked on this scene with intense interest, and wished that it were more the custom in this, country, for the rich to make feasts for their less favoured brethren, at which temperance, wisdom, and mirth should mingle with the guests.

After supper, the president gave some sound and kindly hints to his guests, and then requested a friend from London, Mr. T. Henry, Tarlton, the honorary secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association to respond to the sentiment, “ Success to the working men of Keswick.” The topic of his speech was “Hearts and Homes.” We hare not space for what he said, but the burden of it we shall all do well to remember, “The disposition of the Heart determines the happiness of the Home.”

The image and representation of Heaven, is a home on earth filled with renewed and loving hearts, and serving hands.



Eccles. xii. 9.

How much more happiness there is in the world when kind words are used instead of angry words and blows. How powerful is kindness. some years ago a little calf was born just as its poor mother died. The calf was taken care of by a young lady, who made a pet of it. When it became an heifer, for some reason it was parted with, and she lost sight of it for about two years. At the end of that time as she was walking with a friend in a lane, she met a herd of cattle, when one of them came up to her, showing evident symptoms of pleasure. The lady immediately patted her old acquaintance, who, after being satisfied by these marks of favour quietly turned back to the herd.

Let parents encourage their children in acts of kindness to the Dumb Creation.

An illustrated edition of the celebrated “Ox Sermon,” has been published by Partridge and Co., price ld. If this cleverly written tract be widely circulated it will probably prevent many acts of cruelty to men, women, and beasts of burden.

The dark, wet, and wintry days, and the long dismal nights of this season are favourable to fireside enjoyments and occupations. In large farm-houses many useful avocations may enliven the evening fireside. In some districts the men mend their own clothes and shoes ; in others, various repairs of smaller implements, as flails, sieves, &c., are done; and it has now become a laudable custom in many superior farms, to encourage reading and other means of mental improvement, which the continued engagements of a rural labourer preclude during the summer. The promotion of this spirit is highly to be desired ; no part of our working population having been so lamentably deficient in common knowledge as that of farmers’ servants. Through the summer they have toiled from morning till night, and from day to day incessantly ; and their only intervals of rest, Sundays and winter nights, have been lost in drowsiness. The cottager may usefully, by his winter fire, construct bee-hives, nets, mole-traps, bird-cages, &c.: with any of these employments I have more sympathy than with the last, however.

Of all men who pursue rural occupations, the bird-catchers, especially the summer bird-catchers, they who do not capture birds when they have congregated in winter, when they have no mates or young ones to feel the effect of their loss, and are ready for the table of the epicure,—but who take only singing birds, and take them too wherever and whenever they can, without, regard to their having young, which may perish by their absence; or to that harsh change, from the full enjoyment of summer sunshine and pleasures to the captivity of the cage;—when I see their nets spread in the fields, where linnets, goldfinches, &c. resort to the seeds of grass, plantain, sow-thistles, See., I wish them all manner of ill-luck; and I never omit a favourable opportunity of deranging or destroying limed twigs when they fall in my way.

There are none of our customs which more mark our selfishness than that of keeping singing birds in perpetual confinement, making the pleasure of our ears their misfortune, and that sweet gift, which God has given them wherewith to make themselves happy and the country delightful, the curse of their lives.

Wm. Howitt.

At a meeting of the Edinburgh Town Council, held on the 23rd Oct., 1849, James Gray, Esq., a member of the council, stated that there were thirty-four parishes of Scotland where there were as yet no public-houses, and in these parishes there was not a penny of poor’s rates. In some parishes where twenty years ago there were no public-houses, the poor’s rates, now that public-houses were introduced had increased from 10d. to 2s. 6d. per pound.


In the year 18— there were, in the rector’s class of the High School of Edinburgh, two boys, very different in their physical constitution, in their mental endowments, and in their worldly prospects.

At the top of the class—a position he never lost, even for a day—was John S-; a tall and athletic youth, of commanding aspect, herculean strength, and great powers both of intellect and memory, which he had sharpened and improved by assiduous application. The daily lessons of the class he mastered as if by intuition; and when any additional task was imposed, or any unusual question propounded, he was always the first to accomplish the one, and to reply to the other. With the worthy old rector he was an especial favourite, and all his class-fellows looked up to him with respect, not unmixed with admiration.
Considerably above the middle of the class, and yet at some distance from the top, was Richard H——, a diffident and retiring boy, two years younger than John S——–, and altogether unlike him in every respect. His body was not robust, and he took little share in the athletic sports of his companions. His mental endowments were

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considerable, and he was conscientious and steady in his preparations for the class; but his constitutional shyness made him less alert in the performance of his tasks, than many who were his inferiors both in talent and information; and he often gave place to the forward and conceited dunce, who, by answering at random, sometimes bit the mark, whilst his more considerate competitor was weighing his reply. Nevertheless
Richard H—— was also a favourite of the rector, who, in his quiet deportment, or in his careful preparation of his lessons, saw something which attracted and retained his regard.

Had any one at this period been asked his opinion of those two boys, and of their probable success in life, he would at once have predicted that John S—–was sure to arrive at eminence, in any profession to which he might devote himself—that he possessed all the elements of an energetic and shining character, and would outstrip all his class-fellows in the race of honour and celebrity. Of Richard H——-, he would probably have foretold that, in so far as industry and good conduct could ensure success, he might calculate on some measure of prosperity; but that I his distinction in life would be as moderate as his endowments, and as for eminence, it was far beyond his reach.

The year rolled on. At the annual examination, John S—– carried off the gold medal and other marks of successful scholarship. Richard H—– bore away a little volume, of some five shillings’ value, coupled only with the consciousness of having done his best. John S——- went to college, where, after maintaining a distinguished place in the literary and philosophical classes, he devoted his mature and acknowledged talents to the study of law. Richard H——- remained at the High School for another year, after which he also went to college, and spent one season at the literary classes, preparatory to entering on the study of medicine.

Twenty-four years afterwards, a rising member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was waited upon by a tailor’s wife, residing in the Abbey; who was in the habit of eking out the scanty subsistence, earned by her husband for his family, by letting one or two humble apartments to such hapless debtors, as necessity had compelled to seek refuge from their creditors in that ancient sanctuary. The surgeon had often visited herself and family in sickness; but her request on this, occasion was, that he would come to see a poor gentleman who had been her lodger for a few days—who seemed to be in great distress, both of body and mind, and along with his wife, who was his only attendant, appeared even to be in want of the necessaries of life. She did not mention nor did the surgeon enquire the name of her lodger; but, as the case seemed an urgent one, he promised to attend on him immediately.’

He accordingly went, and was ushered into a narrow and obscure apartment, where, on a miserable bed, too short by several inches for his gaunt frame, lay the emaciated figure of a man apparently more than six feet high, in whose hollow eyes and shrunken features the surgeon thought he recognized a countenance which he had looked upon before. As he was endeavouring to recollect where and when he had seen the wretched object before him, he perceived that the sunken eyes of his patient were regarding his own face with the same eager scrutiny. At length the painful truth flashed upon his mind, and sent the blood back to his heart in an almost overpowering tide. Taking the cold clammy hand in his, he said with deep emotion, “Are you John S—–?” “I am,” replied the wretched man: “are you Richard H———?” “I am, indeed,” rejoined the surgeon, and a silence of some minutes ensued, during which the tears flowed copiously down the cheeks of the evidently dying man, as he continued to fix his gaze on the full and florid countenance of his former school-fellow. The surgeon also was much moved. On inquiring into the symptoms of the case, he found it far beyond the reach of medical skill. A complication of disorders, the fruits of a long course of intemperance, had in fact brought the patient to the threshold of the grave. A few days at most would obviously close his earthly career. Such nourishment as he could take was therefore, all that the surgeon prescribed; and (as his old school-fellow was penniless) he supplied the landlady with the means of procuring it.

In three days John S—— was no more. He died insolvent, left his wife a beggar, and was buried at the expense of the Faculty of Advocates to which he had belonged.

His melancholy story is soon told; and it is told now, because it is believed that there are none of his relatives alive to whom the recital might give pain; and because it is thought that the sad history may be useful in warning others of the fearful, the degrading, the fatal consequences of intemperance.

It has been already stated that after passing with much credit and approbation through the usual literary course at college, John S– devoted himself to the study of Law. On that pursuit he entered with all his natural energy, overcame its difficulties with his accustomed ease, was in due time admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates, and commenced the duties of his new profession with the fairest prospects of success. Soon afterwards, however, a circumstance occurred which had an important influence on his future fortunes. His uncle, who had been for many years the manager of a large and lucrative manufactory, in which he was also an extensive proprietor, began to feel himself becoming too infirm to take a sufficient superintendence of the works; and having no children of his own, urged his nephew to relinquish the legal profession, and become his assistant and deputy, promising that if he did so, he would make him his heir. This was a tempting bait to the young lawyer, who saw on the one side a handsome fortune already made to his hands, and on the other a toilsome and uncertain struggle with the difficulties of life. After a brief period of hesitation, therefore, he bade adieu to the Parliament House, and became the inmate and assistant of his uncle. His new occupation unfortunately left him too much leisure, and at the same time introduced him to society of a lower grade than that to which he had been accustomed. The consequence was the formation of idle and dissipated habits, for which his uncle often, but in vain, improved him. At length, in a fit of intoxication, he insulted and struck the old man, who forthwith disinherited and turned him out of doors. From that period his descent was rapid; and having married a person with habits similar to his own, his health, strength, and substance were speedily wasted; and his career, after many vicissitudes, terminated as we have seen. Of his feelings in the prospect of dissolution, nothing satisfactory could be ascertained. When his old schoolfellow saw him he was too weak to talk, and when his last hour came, “he died and made no sign.”

Of his former classmate, it is sufficient to state in this place, that, at the end of eight years more, he was unanimously elected president of the College to which he belonged; and still lives to enjoy to a large extent the respect and confidence of his i fellow-citizens.

Here, then, we have another victim self-immolated to the Moloch of intemperance. Here the young reader sees a youth of the richest endowments, the highest promise, and the fairest prospects, sacrificing all to the indulgence of a disgusting and degrading vice. Here the reader, whether young or old, sees a powerful commentary on the words of the wise man: “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red.” Prov.

Many will peruse this narrative who are themselves temperate, and perhaps think themselves in no danger of becoming otherwise. To such we would say, “Be not high-minded, but fear.” If John S—– had been told, when he first trod the floor of the Parliament House, that he would become a sot, and die a miserable bankrupt, in an obscure lodging-house in the Abbey, his answer would have been a smile of contempt and incredulity. He would have thought as you do, that such a thing was impossible, and yet it came to pass. Where, then, you will perhaps ask, is your safety? We answer, in the grace of God, You may possibly rejoin, that you are a member of a temperance society. Again we answer, it is well that you are so; but being a member of a temperance society will be no security against intemperance, unless you have the grace of God, and believe in his Son. “They who are Christ’s and they alone, “have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts;” and as “there is salvation in no other,” so there is security against intemperance, as well as against other sins, in his grace alone.

Perhaps some one may read these remarks, who is conscious that, although far from being intemperate, he rather relishes a glass of wine or I spirits and water, especially when in company. To such a one we would whisper, that he is on the brink of a precipice, and that his danger is imminent. But he may reply, that he never exceeds a certain quantity, just enough to produce a cheerful flow of spirits, and always knows when to stop. Our rejoinder is that he will not always know when to stop; for as his frame grows accustomed to the stimulus, the same quantity will cease to create the pleasurable sensation which he relishes, and he will soon be tempted to increase it. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” His only safety therefore is in retreat; and if he believe in Christ, and ask the aid of the Holy Spirit, that retreat he will be able to accomplish. But let him not tamper with the enemy, otherwise he will assuredly fall before it. A man is never so truly weak, as when trusting in his own power of resistance—never so strong as when leaning on the arm of Him, whose “strength is made perfect in weakness.” Dr. Huie.

Jer. xxiii. 8.
“BE ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Thousands have been undone by irreligious, ungodly marriages; for there is more ground of fear, in mixed marriages, that the good will be perverted, than of hope that the bad will be converted.

“Cast,” he said, “on me thy care,
’Tis enough that I am nigh;
I will all thy burdens bear;
I will_all thy wants supply.

Simply follow as I lead;
Do not reason but believe
Call on me in time of need.
Thou shalt surely help receive.


A Wolf had got a bone stuck in his throat, and in the greatest agony ran up and down, beseeching every animal he met to relieve him; at the same time hinting at a very handsome reward to the successful operator. A Crane, moved by his entreaties and promises, ventured her long neck down the Wolf’s throat, and drew out the bone. She then modestly asked for the promised reward. To which, the Wolf, grinning and showing his teeth, replied with seeming indignation, “Ungrateful creature! to ask for any other reward than that you have put your head into a Wolf’s jaws, and brought it safe out again!

Those who are charitable only in the hope of a return, must not be surprised if, in their dealings with evil men, they meet with more jeers than thanks. From James’s Fables of Aesop.
God is pleased sometimes to make choice of those as his messengers, who have least of the advantages of art or nature, that his grace in them may appear the more glorious.

The commandments of God are so reasonable, equitable, and salutary, that if we were not blinded by Satan, a wise regard to our own interest would induce us to obedience.

To imitate the best, is the best imitation; and a resolution to excel, is an excellent resolution.


Not long ago we heard the following story told at a public meeting among very poor people in a miserable part of London.

“When people instead of putting their names and occupations over their shops as they do at present, only used signs or mottoes, there was a poor costermonger who got written for him over his door

“Who can tell?”

By degrees the costermonger’s little barrow grew into a cart, for he was sober, frugal, and active, and feared God, and wasted nothing. Then in time the cart became a waggon, and at last the costermonger drove about in his carriage, and then he wrote up
“Who would have thought it?”

Well “ who can tell” how soon, if you set to work the right way, the miserable one room may become a comfortable house of two stories—how soon the staggering husband or the unhappy wife and the crying children may be changed into the sober, diligent, affectionate companion, and dutiful sons and daughters — how soon the wretched pallet of dirty straw, and the broken chairs, and the windows mended with old hats and rags, may be turned into comfortable four-post beds and mahogany chairs, and bright glass panes, and then you may say—“Who would have thought it.” Never lose heart and never lose hope, there is no saying how prosperous you may become.

It has been said that “murmuring is a black garment,” and moreover a useless one, for nothing so effectually prevents exertion. Two gardeners had crops of peas killed by the frost. One of them fretted and grumbled, and said nobody was so unfortunate as he was. Visiting his neighbour some time after, he called out in astonishment, “What a fine crop of peas! What are these?” “These are what I sowed while you were fretting,” answered the other. “ Why, don’t you ever fret?” “Yes, but I put it off till I have repaired the mischief.” “Why then, there’s no need to fret at all.” “True, that’s the reason I put it off! ”—From “Sunbeams in the Cottage,” by Miss Brewster.


The treatment of woman is one of the distinguishing features of savage and civilized life.

When an Englishman travels he is more concerned about his wife’s comfort than his own. When an American Indian travels, his wife is regarded more as a beast of burden than as “man’s best half.”

Our engraving gives an every day scene in Indian life. The husband rides, whilst the wife tramps on foot. She is not allowed to cross the path of her husband—it would be “unlucky” if she did. She must not use the same cup or bowl as her husband!

Wherever the gospel has been preached the condition of woman has been improved. Let every Englishwoman feel for her Indian sisters, and cheerfully aid the cause of missions.

“I LOVE winter nights,” said a happy looking lad. “Father comes home early, and he always has something good to read to us.” Dame Nature does not look so lovely in winter, as in summer, but it is the privilege of Fathers and Mothers, Husbands and Wives to plant their homes with “ evergreens of domestic peace,” which shall flourish all the year round. Let each Working Man strive to make his home the happiest place on earth. “The curse of the Lord is in the home of the wicked; but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” Prov. iii. 33.



“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands; happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive branches round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”—Psalm cxxviii.


A pin and a needle, being neighbours in a work-basket, and both being idle, began to quarrel, as idle folks are apt to do.

“I should like to know,” said the pin, “what you are good for, and how you expect to get through the world without a head?” “What is the use of your head,” replied the needle rather sharply, “if you have no eye?” “What is the use of an eye,” said the pin, “if there is always something in it?” “I am more active, and can go through more work than you can,” said the needle. “Yes, but you will not live long.” “Why not?” “Because you have always a stitch in your side,” said the pin. “You are a poor crooked creature,” said the needle. “And you are so proud that you can’t bend without breaking your back.” “I will pull your head off if you insult me again.” “I’ll pull your eye out if you touch me; remember your life hangs by a single thread,” said the pin. While they were thus conversing, a little girl entered, and undertaking to sew, she soon broke off the needle at the eye. Then she tied the thread around the neck of the pin, and attempted to sew with it; she soon pulled off its head and threw it into the dirt, by the side of the broken needle. “Well, here we are,” said the needle. “ We have nothing to quarrel about now,” said the pin; “it seems misfortune has brought us to our senses.” “A pity we had not come to them sooner,” said the needle. “How much we resemble human beings, who quarrel about their brethren till they lose them, and never find out they are brethren till they lie down in the dust together, as we do.”

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On the arrival in England of Miss Stanley, one of the Ladies who so kindly offered their services to assist in the Hospital at Scutari, where our wounded and sick Soldiers and Sailors are sent, (but who was obliged to return home on account of her health,) she was closely interrogated by the Queen as to the state of the Hospital where she had been employed, and she was particularly desired to say whether everything was provided for the poor sufferers that they required. Miss Stanley answered that they had everything they wanted, and that the Hospital was well supplied with all that was necessary. It appeared, however, that this answer was not quite satisfactory to the Queen, and further inquiry was made as to whether the poor men never expressed a wish for any articles of diet that the Hospital did not furnish. In reply to this close examination, Miss Stanley said that certainly there were a few things occasionally asked for, and she added “your Majesty will be amused to hear that one man told me he thought he should soon recover if he could but have some treacle and bread for breakfast— and another said the same about gingerbread nuts.” The Queen, who seemed much affected at this recital, made some compassionate remarks about their sufferings, and the conversation ended. In the week following this interview with Miss Stanley, when the account of expenses at Windsor Castle was submitted for payment to the Comptroller of the Household, there appeared to the astonishment of this Gentleman two articles of unusual magnitude, namely, several hundred weight of gingerbread nuts, and a similar quantity of “best Treacle,” with a note of explanation, saying “they had been sent to the Hospital at Scutari, for the use of the sick and wounded, by Her Majesty’s special order!”

E. H.

Whatever views may be entertained by our readers relative to the lamentable war in which this country is engaged, all will rejoice to learn that by a recent postal regulation, tour ounces of printed matter can now be sent to any soldier or sailor in the Crimea, Turkey, or the Black Sea, for 1d.; 8 ounces for 2d.; and 16 ounces for 4d. We have reasons to believe that packets of the “British Workman” will be most acceptable of the poor soldiers during the approaching winter, and we trust that many of our readers will send out a supply. For one shilling we will send a packet of 12 copies post free. A Liverpool lady has just forwarded us £2 for forty packets which are to be sent to the care of Genl. D’Acre, at Sebastopol. We shall be glad to forward a few thousand packets.

The thanks of the working classes are due to the Earl of Albemarle, Earl of Leicester, Hon. and Rev. E. S. Keppel, Rev. W. Beal, Charles Buxton, Esq., and other landed proprietors of Norfolk, for the efforts they have recently made in seeking to break up the ruinous drinking customs associated with the Harvest Home Suppers of that county. Instead of the public-house scenes which have annually disgraced this county, the year 1855 has to record various interesting open-air festivals, tea meetings, and fruit soirees, at which not only the agricultural labourer, but also his wife and children have not only been regaled with an excellent repast, but also gratified with the sweet strains of music, and various excellent speeches from titled and talented visitors.

There is something pleasing in this blending of the wealthy with the workmen of our country, and we trust the good example set by Norfolk, will be followed in other counties. We hope that a somewhat similar movement will be made at the approaching christmas relative to “boxing suppers,” which have, too frequently, proved an annual curse to the working man’s family

At a recent agricultural meeting in Norfolk, the Earl of Leicester delivered a most powerful and touching address, and whilst mourning over England’s besetting vice, he called upon his hearers and the country at large to take action. “Something must be done,” said the noble Earl, “to put a stop to intemperance.”

“Something shall be done,” said the brave Earl of Albemarle, recently, and he forthwith struck a blow at the drinking customs of the harvest home suppers, which has resounded through every part of the land.

Oh yes, something must be done, and done quickly, or England will sink in the scale of nations. Our police reports daily bear lamentable evidence of the increase of intemperance amongst females. And with so many drunken mothers, what can be expected of their children?

There are societies and individuals who for years past have been striving to stem the fearful torrent, but gin palaces and beer shops rise up as if by magic at nearly every corner of every street, and now the giant evil bids us defiance. Christians of England, Fathers and Mothers, “Something must be done,” or many of your church members and children will assuredly fall a sacrifice to the modern Moloch.

We thank God that much has been done, and much is still being done for the suppression of intemperance, by men who love their country and their kindred. But there is a loud call for more labourers.

Perhaps there is no Christian minister whose unwearied labours in this work during the last twenty years have been more signally blessed of God than the Rev. Robert Gray Mason. Although but few newspaper reports may have told of the efforts of this good man, he has gone from town to town, and from village to village throughout the three Kingdoms proclaiming-not only Temperance, but Christ the Sinner’s Friend, without whom no mere moral reformation can avail. Many, we doubt not, will in the great day of account, rise up to call him “ blessed.” Endowed with a strong constitution, and an energetic mind, he appears to have devoted his time and talents, to battling with this master vice of our land, and we rejoice to learn that from the pulpits of upwards of 800 Scotch churches Mr. Mason’s voice has been heard. If every county would secure the services of a labourer in this great work, like Mr. Mason, temperance, frugality, and domestic peace, would in thousands of cases, soon supplant intemperance, prodigality, and domestic misery.

“Something must be done,” and done quickly. Let each one be ready to bear his share of toil and cost in the conflict with the Hydra-headed monster—-Intemperance.

Eccles. ix. 10.

A Sabbath stillness—-how grateful to the eye the ear, and the soul! Earth’s feverish throb is hushed into quietness. Nature seems to rest, and her fields and woodlands assume a brighter green, the sun shines with a milder light, and the very breeze whispers more softly as it moves by. The clear toned bells break out upon the still atmosphere, and the waves of sound chase each other away in undulating melody. The hum of busy life has ceased for a moment, and wearied men turn to their homes for rest. Wei come the Sabbath! It comes like a calm haven after a week’s stormy passage on the ocean of life ; and with the sails of care all furled, the tossed spirit is moored at the hearth. Even the ox in the pasture, and the sheep upon the hill-side seem to rejoice The streams flow more stilly, and the lakes are like mirrors. As much as the Sabbath is trampled upon and disregarded, it is a blessed day for the world.

True religion will show its influence in every part of our conduct; it is like the sap of a living tree, which penetrates even to the most distant boughs.

The sweetest revenge is to do good to our enemies.

I CAN conceive no reason why a man should swear, but ten reasons why he should not.

1. It is mean. A man of high moral standing would almost as soon steal a sheep as swear.

2. It is vulgar; altogether too low for a decent man.

3. It is cowardly; implying a fear either of not being believed or obeyed.

4. It is ungentlemanly. A gentleman, according to Webster, is a genteel man, well-bred, refined. Such a one will no more swear than go into the street to throw mud with a sweep.

5. It is indecent; offensive to delicacy, and extremely unfit for human ears.

6. It is foolish. “Want of decency is want of sense.”

7. It is abusive—to the mind which conceives the oath, to the tongue which utters it, and to the person at whom it is aimed.

8. It is venomous, showing a man’s heart to be like a nest of poisonous snakes, and every time he swears, one of them sticks out.

9. It is contemptible—forfeiting the respect of the wise and good.

10. It is wicked; violating the divine law and provoking the displeasure of Him who will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Z.


On the evening of September 30th, a terrific explosion was heard in Sebastopol. In a few moments there was a cry of “Fire! Fire!” The long white building known as the Barwell Building, which had escaped the general conflagration when the Russians deserted Sebastopol, was in flames. Large quantities of timber and furniture had been found by the Allies in the bombproof vaults of this immense building. An order had been given by General Simpson for the emptying and pulling down of this building with the view of procuring planks, flooring and roofing from it, for the purpose of constructing huts, and cooking places in the camp, so that the poor soldiers might be saved from some of the horrors which they had to undergo last winter. Forty or fifty men were busily at work removing the wood, when, as we learn from the Correspondent of the “Times,” of October 16,— “Some drunken sailors who were rambling about were observed to enter, and one of these, it is asserted, set fire to some loose powder by the lighted ashes of his pipe.” The explosion to which we have referred, took place; the poor sentry belonging to the 21st Regiment of Fusiliers was killed on the spot, the other men had difficulty in escaping with their lives, and the immense provision for the poor soldiers was burnt to ashes. Not a scrap could be saved. The building shortly presented the appearance of a large Lancashire Cotton Mill burning from the bottom to the top. It was too bad of you, Jack!

Anonymous communications cannot be noticed.

We have to thank numerous correspondents for their interesting communications. If we have not replied in all requisite cases, it is because we cannot possibly do so for want of time.

All the back numbers have been reprinted.


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