British Workman Vol. 1, No. 16 (1856)


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No. 16.

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

[Price One Penny.








“It’s nobbut,” and “nivver heed,” are words not taken from the Pogmoor “Olmanac,” though they might fairly lay claim to such a relationship. No; they are of a far more ancient date than that widely-famed journal can boast of. They are more than coeval with the Yorkshire dialect, even though it were associated with Constantius the Good. They, in fact, or terms of similar importance, have descended to us through all ages.

Perhaps two more important sentences are not to be found in any language whatever. They are a real multum in parvo; a great deal in a little room. In their full scope and meaning, lie the greatest truths and the most serious consequences. They are, in fact, so plain and legible that he who runs may read, that is, if he likes, but it isn’t everybody who is so disposed. Now, although every real Yorkshireman knows what is meant by “nobbut and nivver heed,” yet, for the benefit of those who do not belong to that county, and are not, therefore, “so up to it,” as Yorkshire people are, we must give their meaning in further detail; so, for “it’s nobbut,” read, “it is nothing but,” or, “it is only;” and for “nivver heed,” “never mind,” or, “who cares?” and thus we have, in two sentences, answers, which are used perpetually by all classes, and all ages, at all seasons, and upon a vast variety of occasions.

“It’s nobbut,” though a term so common among us, is rather an offensive one, and is at all times disparaging. It sets a low value upon everything to which it refers, or of which it speaks, whether it be of things dead or living. It deals with them as we deal with doctors when we are well ; i. «., we wouldn’t care if there wasn’t a doctor in the world, nor any physic; or as with time when we are young, as if we should never grow old; or as with money when we have plenty, as if we should never want any; or as with a vast variety of other things, of the


[From a Photograph by Bausie.

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real nature of ‘which we are ignorant.

“Nivver heed,” is not always, but can be worse than “it’s nobbut.” It can be absolutely contemptuous, proud, and haughty. It sometimes not only depresses its neighbour, but sets itself up so high that it can scarcely be recognized in any humble garb; as, for instance:

“There’s somebody coming,” says one. “Who is it?” says another.

“Oh, so and so.”

“Why, nivver heed.” Again:

“Don’t do that, somebody’ll see yo.”

“Why, what if he does? nivver heed.” Again:

“I’ll call and tell your master, sir, of your misconduct.”

“He says he’ll tell t’measter.”

“Why, what if he does? nivver heed.” Again: ,

“You are in bad company and will be ruined.”

“Well, nivver you heed; I don’t.” Again:

“We sail be too leat for t’train.”

“Well, nivver heed; we can gan by t’next.” Once more:
“He says we’re to gan tit schoil.”

“What to dew?”

“Why, to lam.”

“Oh, nivver heed; let’s go lake.”

But, in another sense, it redeems its character; for, to downhearted persons it says,

“Nivver heed; cheer up and to repulses, which are not faults, but weaknesses, it says, “Nivver heed; try again.” So, as is the case in all other things, you see, there is a good and a bad even in “nivver heed.”

I might indeed weary you with such illustrations as these, but what have been selected are sufficient for both index and preface. As I proceed I shall probably branch out into other kinds of sequences from the same causes, with the hope, that, though “nobbut and nivver heed” make a singular title for a lecture, and do not appear at the outset to promise much variety, yet I shall, perhaps, make something of it at last; for, my friends, though this lecture is not, neither was it ever intended to be a profound one, yet you know honey may be found in many a place beside the hive; and there are parts of the world, indeed, where it is sweeter from nataral wild flowers, than when gathered from those which are more carefully cultivated.

Moreover, you have learned lectures from men whose lives are science. It would be, therefore, of little use following in their wake. But, as an ancient and wise pagan said, “There seems to be so near an affinity between wisdom, philosophy, and good counsels, that it is rather matter of curiosity than of profit to divide them,” so I choose good counsels for my lecture, believing with the same pagan that “without a good direction, as men grow more learned, they may be less careful of being good; and believing, too, with that same pagan, that “when we have struck the affections with plain and weighty reasons, and follow it up with kindness and respect, there follows a blessing upon counsels and discourses that are bent wholly upon the good of the hearers.” So let us divide the subject and begin. And first:
It’s nobbut sixpence.

Who says that? Why, the person who hasn’t learnt the value of money, nor probably of anything else.

I know that the love of money is said to be the root of all evil; yet, from that root springs a tree which puts out both branches and leaves of very great use to society, and which society can in nowise dispense with. One of the wisest philosophers of any age thus propounded its value:

“When I had nothing, nobody looked at me; but now I have a sheep and a cow, everybody says, “ What a fine day it is!” And we have an old saying:

“That he is the least likely to get a wet jacket who has provided for a rainy day.” And again:

“That the world will look less coldly on him who has sixpence of his own, than on him who tries to borrow one.”

Now, sixpence is a very small sum, but then,

“It’s the littles that make the mickles.”


“The snowball is increased by being rolled, not among other matters, but among its own particles.” And

“He who is sensible of the value of one sixpence wont be long before he tries to double it.”

“Money, indeed, is often lost for the want of money.”

Without a little consideration of the matter nobody would believe what wonders can be accomplished by sixpences; or what deprivations people have who haven’t any. If a man is dependent, they will make him independent; if poor, by them he may become rich; if without possessions, he may become a freeholder; if a labourer, a master; in short, with due care and economy in early life, there is no occasion, generally, for any man to be either a pauper, a beggar, or a slave. Once in his life, every man has the opportunity to alter his condition, only let him avail himself of it; and if men understood their own powers, and the gifts which God has bestowed upon them, all would find that their lives had fallen in pleasant places, and that for every one there was a goodly heritage, room enough and to spare.

And, my friends, neither doubt nor be I afraid if all have not succeeded alike. All were not made to succeed alike. If everybody was a painter, there would be no sitters; and if every star was a planet, there would be no contrasts; and even though some persons are poor, and so remain all their lives, what then?

“Poverty is not a shame, but the being ashamed of it is.” And

“All difficulties give way to diligence.” And “He is not poor that hath not much, but he that craves much.”

Can a collection of sixpences make a man a master?

There was a man who spent sixpence every night in gin-and-water, who, on a sudden, bethought himself that he would give it up, and put the sixpences in a money-box. In four years, when he opened his box, he found in it thirty guineas, and—with that he set himself up in business.

Sixpences saved, collected, and put out to interest, become at last pounds.

I have a friend, I call him a friend because of his conduct, who is a policeman at a railway station, whose fortune is an instance of this. I knew him when he used to say “Its nobbut sixpence, and then threw it away on beer and tobacco, as if tipple and smoke were the end of his existence, as, indeed, they were at that time. His house was almost without furniture, his fire without coals, his delf-case without crockery, his bed without blankets all winter long, and he probably had a meal a week, if all his meals were put together. As a whole, his house was one of the most miserable homes I ever knew.

But when he found, by long continued experience, how very useful sixpences might become, the whole affair showed itself in another aspect.

By slow degrees, the comforts of life gathered round him again. First there came home an alarum clock, and then a chest of drawers; the clock to tell him when it was time to go to bed and get up, and the drawers for his best Sunday clothes to be put carefully by in. Once more, clean, whole crockery rattled upon his board. There is no neater house now than his ; and besides all this, he has a hundred pounds out at interest, and all from sixpences earning three and sixpence a day, and covering all his expenses with three shillings. And thus my policeman, though not independent, is fast hastening to that goal of his ambition.

“What do you do with the interest, said I to him a few days ago?”
“My wife puts it t’principal, sir,” says he, “And what are you aiming at at last?”

“Eight shillings a week, sir,” said he. “When my wife and I are old, we can live very comfortably on eight shillings a week, and we shall have no occasion to be indebted to nobody, t’bairns nor nowt.” And, my friends, if you rely upon being helped hereafter by your children, you may be disappointed. There was an old man whom I saw the other day breaking stones by the roadside, who gave me a piece of friendly advice on this subject.

“Pray, my old friend,” said I, “ how is it that you are breaking stones at your time of life?”

“Ah, sir,” said he, “I sail break stones as long as I can hod t’hammer.”

“Why have you not provided in early life for your own old age?”

“Nay, I’d ower mony bairns for that.”

“Why, then, surely some of your children might take care of you now!”

“Bless you, sir,” said he, “it shows how little you knaw of human life—Y’eve seen t’oad hen scrat for t’chickens mony a time; but in all yer life ye nivver seed t’chickens scrat for t’oad hen!”

So you see, with regard to my policeman, when it was nobbut sixpence, he was in the condition, as to wife, family, and home, of one of his nobbuts; but as soon as he found the value of accumulating sixpences, “it’s nobbut” left him, and he changed his note to “its sixpence mun, and sixpence goes a long way.”

But, addressing myself to persons of careful thought, I wish to show you how fast money accumulates to depositors, who can make small but regular deposits in the savings bank, and allow them to remain there at interest and compound interest. One shilling a week, in seven years, amounts to £20 3s. 4d. Two shillings to £40 6s. 8d. Three shillings to £60 10s. (that was the saving of my friend the policeman). Four shillings to £80 13s. 4d. Five shillings to £100 16s. 8d. Six to £121, and seven to £141 3s. 4d. I recommend you therefore to try which of these figures may suit your economical pocket, and make a beginning at the very earliest opportunity. But please to bear in mind, that though I am recommending you to save money, I am not advising you to become niggards; on the contrary, my policeman contends, and I agree with him, that when a man has as much of his own, as satisfies every reasonable want, he needs to exercise no care to increase that. The least that a man can live upon is as much as nature requires; everything beyond that creates new toils, and new cares in proportion.

My great cousin said to me once:

“I came to Leeds with only a guinea, and now I leave it, and take away £45,000; but I was far happier when I had only a guinea than I am now; for then, all my anxiety was, how to get money; now, it is how to keep it; my present anxiety is therefore increased over the past, by 45,000 times.

Now, I think I hear some of you say, if I was to set about saving sixpences, I wonder if I could acquire an independency. Well, you either may or you might have done. They who have thrown their chance away, can hardly hope for it back again: for

“Hope is but a waking man’s dream, and he who lives upon it will die fasting.”

But even for these, much may be expected. My policeman, didn’t learn his experience till he was turned forty. If he had learnt it at seventeen, he wouldn’t have been a policeman.

For those who have life and the world all before them, a few words comprise all that needs be said in support of the argument, and they are these:—“He who will—may.”

It’s nobbut sixpence.

There were two men in Yorkshire, who began life under similar circumstances; the same house expenses, families, and everything; only, one determined to save every sixpence he could, the other to spend every sixpence he had; but both determined never to get into debt.

And so they went on with prosperous times, the one saving, and the other, spending, and both families increasing, for seven years; at which time, the one had £60 10s. in the savings bank, and the other, nothing; but both were out of debt.

But now there came bad times; so the one dipped into the savings bank, the other into the pockets of the butcher, baker, grocer, shoemaker, doctor, and landlord, exactly in the same proportion, in the hope that good times would come again.

But then, you know, good and bad times don’t come as people want them; so the sum in the savings bank grew very much smaller, and the debts in the books grew very much larger, till, when good times did come, the money in the bank was a good deal diminished, in the one case, and in the other, the man was more in debt than he could ever redeem all the rest of his life.

But there was this difference further, that though the sum in the savings bank, was very much diminished, it was not all gone, and a little more industry and economy soon brought that right again; whilst it took all the time that that money was raising, and half as much more, to try to pay off many of the urgent debts which had accumulated, in the other case, before he could make a fair start again ; and when that time did come, he was too old to begin, and too much of a slave to try.

“Its nobbut sixpence;” and yet you see, if both these workmen, and if every workman had £60 10s. before-hand, which they all might have if they would be careful and saving between eighteen and thirty years of age, allowing even for bad times, not only could’nt wages be reduced, but workmen would have no occasion to care for a few months of bad times; and there would be no necessity for them to apply to the parish.

Moreover, we should all be better for this spirit of independence: for he who has a little money laid by, as the result of his hard labour and prudence, has it in a box which no hammer of insubordination can break. Tell him that work is plentiful, and he opens this box every now and then, and puts something more to his store and gathers. But tell him that his fellow workmen are going to strike for higher wages, and he locks it—that in consequence, more policemen will have to be employed, and more taxes to be paid, and he not only locks it, but sits on it—and that there may be a revolution in consequence, and he buries it, and wishes and prays for renewed order, and more employment as in former days.

It’s nobbut sixpence.

Addressing a group of factory girls who were seated on a factory floor at dinner time, getting dinner, who had earned very large wages for a very long time:

“Pray,” said I, “how many of you nineteen girls can read and write?”

“Why non on us. Wat good wad it dew us?”

“Well, you could read for yourselves, and write your own letters.”

“We na letters to rite.”

“Well, how many of you are married?” “Nay, we’re non on us wed.”

“How so? You have had large wages for a long time, and must have money before hand. How much have any of you in the savings bank?”

“Why nowt!”

“Well, but tell me, do any of you know how much you would have had by this time, if you had put by three shillings a week for the last seven years, week by week, and never looked at it?”

“Nay, we’ve nivver gien it a thowt.”

“Well,” said I, “by this time you would have had £60 10s.”

“Eh, sud we?”

“Yes,” I said, “you would; and then tell me how many of you would have been unmarried at the present moment?”

“Egh,” said one, “there wad ae been some clicking for us afore now!”

Its nobbut sixpence! and yet sixpence a day would in seven years produce £60 10s., with which a man might build himself a house of his own, and possess the franchise; and squire this, or my lord that, might come and ask him for his vote at the next election.

A shilling a day put by for twenty years, would produce £510, with which a man at forty might begin business on his own account, and finally attain great wealth and position, and many a parent in respectable life, who spends a shilling a day in nothings, might thus realize for a daughter at twenty, beginning at birth, a nice little sum to start the world with, without waiting for his death.

In 1847, there were two overlookers of forty years of age, who had saved £100 a piece by hand labour, and went into partnership in the manufacturing districts. They hired a certain quantity of machinery and spun by commission. In 1848, they had nearly lost all their money, and on one Saturday, in my presence, got to high words as to who should pay the wages for that week. In 1849, they were netting, each man, £1,200 a year; and have since separated and become masters for themselves, and a-year ago, were worth £7,000 a-piece.

My friends, sixpence to-day, and sixpence to-morrow, and the next day saved, would buy a Sunday’s dinner; whilst spent, you would only have to look down your neighbour’s area with unavailing regret,’ and it was a true saying,

“Let him that is without money, go and try to borrow some.”

And if you really want to know the value of sixpence, imagine yourselves a long way from home, where nobody knows you, with nothing in your pocket.

(To be continued.)

To many of our readers in the southern counties, A GLOSSARY of some of the Yorkshire words in italics may he useful.

leat, late—-t’bairns, the children—-waif, would—-gan, go—-nowt, nothing—-gien, given—-lam, learn—-t’oad hen, the old hen—-thowt, thought-—lake, play—-dew, do—-sud, should—-clicking, competition, effort to secure.
(Continued from page 58.)

I said, B—–, I know all the sad story; that sin was not yours, but you may learn from it the evil of bad companions, and I hope if you get better you will forsake them.” “I shall never get better, sir, I am a dying man—all my father’s and mother’s family have gone off in consumption—I am going out of this world; oh, if I could but feel I was going to a better! but if I go to a worse, who can dwell with everlasting burnings?” I expected another of those painful scenes in which despair conquers hope, and therefore tried to divert his attention by speaking of the comrades who burnt his Bible. He told me that all three had been taken and sent aboard a man-of-war, and that two of them had died off the slave coast, of the black fever. The young man who put the book in the fire, lay then dangerously ill, from the effects of a fall. “Do you think, B—–,” said I, “that if God had meant to send you to hell at last, he would have taken such care of you all your life, and even now have brought you to long for forgiveness and for peace?” “When a man is hungry, sir, he will eat what, when full, he refuses; I am afraid I am like that man. I am very unhappy, and I am dying, I want comfort, but do I love the Lord Jesus Christ?” “That is a question which you yourself should answer. What has Christ done? Has he not died for sinners? Did you not love those men who went off in a squall to that brig in distress last week? I heard you say as much; and do you not love Christ for dying, the just for the unjust? think of that.” “Why, sir, I can’ help loving him when I think about his coming from heaven, and being ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ to give himself to God’s law for man’s sin. I do love him when I think about that; but, sir, I don’t think so often about Christ as I do about my sins.” “I should be sorry for you to forget your sins, but you must try to look beyond them to Jesus Christ, who said, ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved.’ Isaiah xlv. 22. You must anchor fast to the blessed truth, that Christ died on the cross, and now dwells in heaven as ‘a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’” Acts v. 31.

On leaving my sick and sorrowful disciple, I met my friend the surgeon, who said to me abruptly, “You have been to see B—–, but he will not trouble you long, he is going very fast; I have never seen disease make such hasty strides.” This news, while it much grieved me, made me more anxious as to the state of his soul, and more concerned that his end might be peace.

On the following morning a wreck took place, when the master of a cutter and his son were drowned. I visited B———, and found him sinking fast under his disease. He had heard of the wreck, and of the dead bodies being found, and he expressed his thankfulness to God that he was to die on his bed, with his wife and family around him. When I said to him, “But, if you are not with Christ in your dying hours, your bed will lose its softness, and your present mercies only make your future state more awful,” he replied, “Christ is with me; he has come to this poor sinful heart, and said, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love.’ I now see all this sickness to have been a towing line to draw me to this anchorage. I can now trust in the Saviour of sinners. Last night was a blessed night to me, I thought much of what you said about trusting in Christ; I felt my heart called out in prayer, and now I am full of praise; I want some words in which to say how happy I am, and all because I believe that Christ loves me.”

Here was a change; I stood amazed. He saw it and said, “Sir, you stare, but it is all-true; Christ loves me; why, I cannot tell, but he loves me.” “Then you are now happy?” “So happy, that if heaven is only like this, it will be a rare berth. I am beloved of the Son of God, and I feel as sure of it as if I heard a voice from heaven saying ‘J.B———, the Lord Jesus Christ loves you.’ You have often prayed with me; now, sir, praise God with me. Oh, sir, kneel down and own to God his goodness to worthless sinners. Wife, children, kneel down, bless God, sir, bless God.” We did kneel down to thank God for the grace which bringeth salvation, and which had appeared to this man, nor shall I ever forget the earnest “Amens” which he uttered to every form of thanks used, or the heaven-like air we seemed to breathe.

When we rose up he said “Again, again,” and never till that time did I feel so strongly the weakness of the flesh, for my praises were all exhausted, though a saved sinner lay before me, as a brand plucked from the burning. Once more I kneeled, but to this second attempt to acknowledge the great mercy and favour of the Lord to a sinner, the sick man said nothing; and no wonder; for when I arose and looked on his face, his jaw was fallen, his eyes were fixed, and his spirit was fled. Yes, he was dead; he had gone, as I humbly hope, to join the general assembly of saints, who had been washed from their sins in the blood of the Lamb.

Reader, you have now heard of the life and death of the Smuggler, in which is set forth, the truth that, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; surely, nothing is too hard for the Almighty. Are you, by the grace of God, living a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness of righteousness? Are you a follower of those, who now, through faith and patience inherit the promises? Have you been made willing by Divine power and grace to give up all sin, and freely to offer your mind, body, and soul, and service to the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, you are highly favoured, and may look forward with confidence to such joys as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard. Oh, glorify your Lord and Saviour! live in his Spirit, and walk in the ways of righteousness, until your warfare is accomplished, and you are for ever with the Lord.

But, reader, art thou among the ungodly? Is thine heart unchanged? Are thy ways the ways of wickedness? Is there no love within thee for the blessed Redeemer? Stop and consider on the folly of thy ways, and the madness of thy conduct. Oh, do not put off the concerns of thy soul to a sick bed, and a dying hour, but “seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.” “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed, saith the Holy Ghost,” 2 Cor. xvi. 22. “He that believeth in the Son hath life everlasting. The day is coming, saith the Lord, when all that do wickedly shall be stubble,” Mal. iv. 1. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God,” Psm. ix. 17. “Oh, flee from the wrath to come,” Luke iii. 7. Christ’s arms are open. All manner of sin has been and shall be forgiven. Go and try Him that came to seek and to save. Despise not the warning, for be assured if thou wilt not trust in Christ, thou must have a place in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.

Reader, though the smuggler is dead, yet may this account of his life speak to thee, bearing witness to the fact, that, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. Farewell! Grace, mercy, and peace be with thee!


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We purpose calling the attention of our readers to the peculiar diseases and ailments which afflict several trades, and shall endeavour to procure such information and suggestions as will tend, not only to alleviate those sufferings, but (which is far more important,) to prevent them.

Shoemakers claim special sympathy. The records of our hospitals give most distressing narratives of the sufferings of the sons of St. Crispin, arising chiefly from their long-sitting posture, and the heavy pressure upon the breast. A working shoemaker 60 years of age, not deformed and asthmatical, is a rarity.

We rejoice to find that Mr. Sparkes Hall of 308, Regent Street, London, boot and shoemaker to Her Majesty, has been turning his attention to the subject, and has invented a most valuable bench, shown in our engraving, which will enable the shoemaker to stand or sit at pleasure. Mr. Hall has recently delivered an able and interesting lecture on the subject, which, we are glad to find, has been printed for general circulation. A copy may be had by enclosing two postage stamps to Mr. Hall at the above address.

Mr. John 0‘Neill.* who has attained considerable notoriety as a poetical shoemaker, was one of the first to adopt the upright bench, and he states, “At the time I took to upright shoemaking I was much afflicted with indigestion and heartburn, for which I in vain sought medical relief, but the upright bench was my best physician. I am satisfied, if it came generally into use, many disorders with which our trade is afflicted, particularly consumption, and other pulmonary complaints, would be much diminished.”

We understand that Mr. Hall is prepared to supply these upright benches at from £1 to £2 each. We trust that they will speedily be adopted in all parts of the country.

*Mr. O’Neill is upwards of 80 years of age. His “Triumph of Temperance,” price 1s., and “Handerahan, the Irish Fairyman,” price 2s. 6d., published by Mr. Tweedie, will gratify many of our readers, and the sale of these books will render acceptable aid to this veteran water-drinker.


“Son of Jonas, lov’st thou me?”
Peter grieved when thus address’d;
“All things, Lord, are known to thee,
And my love amongst the rest.”
“Feed my lambs,” his Lord rejoin’d,
“Feed, and to my sheep be kind.”

“British Workman, lov’st thou me?”
Jesus by his word inquires;
Canst thou answer, “ Lord, to thee
Known are all mv heart’s desires;
Known to thee my faith and love,
Known my hope of rest above?

British Workman, were it so,
Blest, though lowly were thy lot;
Daily would thy graces grow,
Toil and weariness forgot;
Like a Bethel thine abode,
Thou a king and priest to God!
Dr. Huie.


Many years since, when the late Lieutenant Governor Phillips was a student of Harvard College, owing to some boyish freak, he left the university and went home. His father was a grave man, of sound mind and few words. He inquired into the business, but deferred expressing any opinion until the next day. At breakfast, he said, speaking to his wife, “My dear, have you any cloth in the house suitable to make Sam a frock and trousers?”

She replied, “Yes.”

“Well,” said the old gentleman, “follow me, my son.”

Samuel kept pace with his father, as he leisurely walked near the common, and at length ventured to ask, “What are you going to do with me, father?”

“ I am going to bind you an apprentice to that blacksmith,” replied Mr. Phillips. “Take your choice; return to college, or you must work.”

“I had rather return,” said the son.

He did return, confessed his fault, was a good scholar, and became an excellent and useful citizen. If all parents were like Mr. Phillips, many students at our colleges would prove better students, or the nation would have a more plentiful supply of blacksmiths.

When the Rev. Dr. Donne took possession of his first living he walked into the Churchyard and found the sexton digging a grave. The doctor took up a skull which lay on the earth, and began to indulge in serious contemplation. On looking at it attentively, he was surprised to find a headless nail sticking in one of the temples. This he carefully and secretly extracted, then asked the grave-digger whether he knew whose skull it was? The man said that he believed it belonged to a man who had kept a shop; a drunken fellow, who, one night having taken two quarts of spirits was found dead in his bed the next morning, “Had he a wife?” “Yes.” “Is she living?” “Yes.” “What character does she bear?” “A very good one; only her neighbours reflect on her because she married again the very day after her husband bad been buried.”

The doctor’s suspicions were aroused. He called upon the woman, asked her several questions, and especially and pointedly as to what was the cause of her husband’s death. She giving him the same account as that which he had received from the sexton, he suddenly held the nail before her eyes,and said in a loud and authoritative tone, “Woman, do you know this nail? She was struck with horror at the unexpected sight of the too-well remembered instrument which her own hands had employed to take away her intoxicated and helpless husband’s life. She immediately confessed that she had perpetrated the murderous deed. She was afterwards tried, condemned, and executed.

“Be sure your sin will find you out.”


Between William Smith, his Wife, and Elizabeth Martin.

William.—And so you are come to preach me a sermon about keeping the Sabbath, as I guess from what my wife says; but you will not find me very easy to convince.

Eliz.— I can never believe that the son of such a mother as yours will be very hard to convince in a matter like this. Do I not remember seeing her clap her hands for very pleasure on a Saturday evening when she had finished all her work, for you know she was very lively? “And now,” she would say, “the six days’ work is done, now for the queen of days.” And do I not remember your sitting on her lap in your clean nightgown, and her teaching you to say after her before you went to bed on Saturday night:—

“O may I love that blessed day
The best of all the seven?”

William.—Well! But you had better begin your sermon, and draw your chair nearer the fire.

Eliz.—It is not my office to preach sermons, but I will tell you a story.

Sarah.—A story!

Eliz.—You know when I was young I lived a good many years in a very nice family which travelled about a great deal; and I went with them, as it was mv business to wait on the young ladies; and once we spent a year or two in the Isle of Wight, which lies, you know, on the southern coast of England; and, while we were living there, a gentleman came and took a largish house very near to ours. It was in a very lovely valley going down to the sea; and here he placed ten orphan nieces, sisters, some of whom were in delicate health, and wanted a very mild climate; he established them with servants and all things necessary, and then lie left them to take care of themselves, four being grown up; and he contented himself, as his own place was at a distance, with visiting them from time to time. Now, the number of them, and other circumstances about these sisters, made them talked of a good deal, as you may suppose, and my young ladies were greatly interested in them and visited them ; and I too had many opportunities of seeing them as they walked about amongst the trees and by the brook which ran down their valley to the sea-side; and I do not think I ever saw four such beautiful creatures as the elder sisters. The three eldest were the most delicate, and had such an expression of countenance as made them look as if they had dropped from heaven. The youngest of the four was exceedingly lovely, but she seemed less delicate in her constitution, and was more active and lively ; I believe she was the chief manager of the family. She spent much of her time in teaching her younger sisters, who used to gather round her, and look up to her as if she was their mother; and I am told that they were all tenderly joined to each other in love, and were always docile and obedient to her. But her chief delight seemed to be, companionship with her elder sisters.

Sarah.—Pretty creatures! what became of them?

Eliz.—Ah! it is a sorrowful story. Before we left the island a foreign ship was stranded on the shore by a great storm, and the crew was cast on land in a sad state of distress, so as to excite much pity from all the people in the island; and amongst others the elder sister I have spoken of, sent them relief, and even went to visit some of the females herself. But, alas! there was a dreadful epidemic amongst the poor people, and this fair young creature caught it and died.

William.—Poor thing! it must have been a great blow to the others.

Eliz.—Yes, indeed it was; and, in a few months (not to make my story too long) the three eldest, missing their sister’s watchful care, and pining for her company, were all laid side by side close to her grave; and then the uncle broke up the establishment, and sent the six youngest to school; and I have since heard that not one of these sweet children is living. Their delicate constitutions were not understood where they went; and one by one, of one complaint or another, all went to an early grave.

William. — Indeed this is a very dismal story; but I do not see why you tell it me.

Eliz.—These lovely sisters often come into my remembrance, and I have thought that a very pretty and useful lesson might be gained from their history, their number being just ten.

William.—Ten! what of that?

Sarah.—Oh I think I take in what you are driving at; you would compare them to the ten commandments.

Eliz.—There are many people who talk of the Levitical law, and the directions given in that law to the Jews, as if they were to be mixed up with the ten commandments; and they fancy, because the Levitical law is not binding upon us Christians, therefore we need not keep the ten commandments. But that is a great mistake; and any one who would take the trouble to read the giving of the ten commandments by God, upon Mount Sinai, and would notice how it is said that they were written by the finger of God upon two tables of stone (and an awful account it is), any one who would do this would see that the ten commandments cannot be looked upon in the same light as the other laws, which were given to the Jews as a distinct people; for you know all nations have private laws of their own. God saw good to give them what is called the Levitical law to keep them distinct for a season from the heathen nations about them. And do you think the Apostles would ever have spoken of the commandments being written on fleshly tables of the heart, if we Christians had nothing to do with keeping them?

Sarah.— But we cannot be saved by keeping the commandments now.

Eliz.—No; our obedience to them cannot justify us, but still they are a rule of life to us.

William. — But our Saviour has made a change about the fourth commandment.

Eliz.—No; he only cleansed and separated it from Jewish laws and traditions. You cannot find anything in the new Testament which tells us that our Saviour ever did anything on the Sabbath day that was contrary to the fourth commandment itself, though it might have been contrary to Jewish customs and laws. If you will look for those chapters which speak of the Pharisees finding fault with our Lord for breaking the Sabbath, you will see it was only tor works of charity, or necessary works, such as good Christians practise now, even those who love the Sabbath day most, and remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; and when the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day to the first, it did not alter the way in which we are to keep it. Christ was Lord of the Sabbath, and he had a right to change the day, but lie did not take away from man that which was made for man as one of the best of his blessings.

William.—Well! that may be true; I don’t say it is not. But now, if you mean to apply your story of the sisters to my case, I should like to understand what you mean by the fourth sister’s death being the cause of the death (as it seemed) of the rest.

Eliz.—I have brought with me my old catechism book; for, some years ago I copied out in the first blank leaf, a passage from a very ancient book* belonging once to my grandfather, and I will read it to you, because it helps to answer the question you have put to me; these are the words: — “When God did write the ten commandments, he himself wrote the fourth as well as the other nine, and he placed it in the midst of the commandments as that which, by the holy exercise thereof, and keeping it holy, should give life to the keeping of all the rest.”

William. — But there’s many a person who keeps the Sabbath day strict, and goes to church or chapel every Sunday, who breaks the commandments fast enough.

Eliz.-—I know that there are many hypocrites in the world, but perhaps you may not find so many people as you think who keep the day holy throughout, and yet break the other commandments wilfully.

Sarah.—I believe that.

Eliz.—I remember an elderly lady who used to visit at my mistress’s house occasionally. She was a relation of theirs, and I often had to wait upon her, and she had some of your notions about the Sabbath, and the commandment to keep it being done away. She would not mind mending a glove, or spending an hour or two in worldly talk, or letter writing, or settling common affairs on a Sunday. But this much I know, that she was not at all particular about telling the truth, and I do not think she was always fair in her dealings; and besides that, her discourse was sometimes about things which I thought not quite suitable, and very censorious also; to be sure she was a lady, and would not stoop to what she would think vulgar sins. But to my mind there was more than one commandment she did not mind breaking after her fashion at that time. And I know too, that there was a great change in her habits before her death, after she had been led to see her sin in disregarding the Sabbath.

Sarah.—Poor lady! then she died in a better state of mind?

Eliz.—Oh yes; and I only mention the circumstance because I had noticed it in a lady, and she too in high rank; but I am sure you may see it every hour of your life amongst other classes. And I recollect, too, an elderly clergyman being sent for to visit a young man of notorious life, but a stranger; in the place, and suddenly taken ill; and he gave the account of his visit to my father. The young man had but one eye, and when the clergyman was speaking to him of his sins, he said to him, “And did not you lose that eye through Sabbath breaking?” The young man acknowledged that he did; and the old clergyman said to my father “I ventured on taxing him with it, because I have noticed through life that Sabbath breaking is the beginning of almost every sin.

Sarah.—True indeed.

Eliz.—But surely, William, I need not spend much time in repeating this to you. I am sure, if you will think calmly for a few minutes, you will call to your mind cases without end in which the contempt of the Sabbath day has led to the breaking of the other commandments, some openly, some secretly—“Thou God seest me,” is the only thought which can keep any one from yielding to strong temptation; and he that never sanctifies the Sabbath day, will soon forget the Lord of the Sabbath. But I have one more question to put to you, William, and then I must be going. Suppose yon could do away with the fourth commandment, what would you be the better for it?

William.—Why, we should not he tied to keeping Sunday so strict as we do now, but we should be having our own pleasure that day, and consulting our own ease.

Eliz. — I have often thought over this matter, and it seems to me that if Sunday is not a holy day it is no ways different from a common working day ; and so it must follow that we ought to work seven days in the week, and not six; and what a miserable life it would be for the working man to be at his master’s beck the whole live long week.

William.—Oh, nobody wants to rob the poor man of his day of rest; that would be hard indeed.

Eliz.—And what besides the fourth commandment gives any of us a right to a day of rest, can you tell me that? And it the fourth commandment is to be set aside, then you must make up your mind to seven days’ work.

Sarah.—That is true enough, I never thought of that before.

William.— But nobody wants quite to do away with a day of rest; they only want to make it more of a day of pleasure.

Eliz.—And what right have they to alter God’s Law, and fashion it again with their own graving tools ? If there be a Sabbath day it is a holy day, and if it is not a holy day it is no Sabbath day at all. The Bible is full of the blessedness of keeping the day holy; just remember what the prophet Isaiah says to the sons of the stranger (not the Jews only): “Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants ; every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant, even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” I wish you would look out some of these passages in your Bible.

William.—I have but little time in the week for reading.

Eliz.—The more need to have the Sabbath for such, purposes, seeing you are not one of the brutes that perish, but have an immortal soul to save. Many years ago, when I was a child, there was a great attack made on the Sabbath at the time of the first French Revolution; and they invented a new day called a Decade; that plan soon came to nothing, but Satan is at his old work of mischief still, and especially against the Sabbath, only he changes his plans to the times.

William.—But you must say that it is very kind of our great folks to think so much of us poor men, and to be so eager to get these fine places open for us to see on the Sunday.

Eliz.—It might be very kind if they would try to get a working day now and then for you to see them without lessening your wages. But I cannot see much kindness in giving a few of you a chance of seeing these fine sights at the expense of a number of others who lose their day of rest and have to work doubly hard.

William.—What do you mean?

Eliz.—Why, only think last Sunday, when
* The Christian’s Daily Walk, by Henry Scudder. 1642.

Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 64

you went to see those gardens, how many were forced to work for you, and such as you. Some of your party came to the station in cabs and omnibuses, and the drivers of these were forced to work instead of resting; and then there were the porters at the station, and all the people employed about the trains; and then there were the persons who take care of the gardens, or have to show them, and many, many more, that I can’t think of. Now I do not see why these people are to work doubly hard for your pleasure. I think, as people say, it is borrowing of Peter to pay Paul.

William. — There is something in that; but I believe these gentlemen do mean kindness.

Eliz.—May be they do; but it is a false sort of kindness, and comes from what they call expediency, but it is a kindness you must not trust to; for if men rob God of his due for one motive, they will easily be led to rob man of his due for another. And you may be sure that those who rob God of his Sabbath, will soon rob man of it too, as they do now in part; and when they think it expedient for their own advantage they will take your day of amusement from you, as they take away your day of holy rest.

Sarah.—Yes, I see that will be the end of it.

Eliz.—Oh, William! you were the child of parents passed into the sky, who loved their earthly Sabbath. I know you did not in your very early days always follow their instructions, but I am sure you prized them really in your heart. Oh, now begin and follow them wholly, and turn a deaf ear to all the dangerous counsels you hear from ignorant and ungodly, and conceited men; and, depend upon it if you spend your Sabbath days in worshipping God, and in the enjoyment of your own dear wife and children’s company, and in cheerful society with them, you will gain far more peace, far more improvement to your mind, and far more rest of body and mind than in all the finest excursions you could take with gay and worldly companions.

Sarah.—That is right indeed.

Eliz.—Promise me, William, that you will take this matter into consideration, and if you are not satisfied with what I say, why, go and consult your minister.

William.—Well, I will promise you this, that I will spend next Sunday after the old custom in my mother’s days.

Eliz.—And as you have spent your Sabbaths latterly in your own house. And I earnestly hope that you will pray over what has past between us, and study your Bible too about it.

William.—And you might come in again some evening, and show me some of these passages you were speaking of.

Sarah.—Oh, do come again very soon.

Eliz.—That I will, any day you please. And before I go I will just read a passage out of a funeral sermon upon the death of a very excellent man once a missionary to Ceylon. I thought it very beautiful, and particularly profitable for such persons as love to see and hear fine and beautiful things, and yet from their circumstances in life are prevented from doing it. The words I shall read are the very words of the good man on his death bed.

“I do think God has made us to long for those things which he wishes to give us. Who does not long for glory and honour? What honour so great as that of being a subject of the King of Kings? What so glorious as to be made like the Saviour himself? Who does not love intelligent society ? What society so intelligent as that of angels? Persons like fine music; but who can tell what exquisite harmony shall be he?rd in heaven, the song of redeemed saints and angels in countless numbers joining in one grand chorus? We. love beautiful scenery, but oh, what scenery like the scenery of heaven; worlds upon worlds viewed at a glance, and heaven itself with its unrivalled glories spread before us! Some talk of a tour in the summer, but what a tour is before me!—to the heavenly Jerusalem, where perhaps within one short week I may see Jesus face to face. We like to see fine sights, to see the Queen in her royal robes; but I am going to see the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the King of Kings himself seated on his throne surrounded by thousands and tens of thousands of saints and angels, for ever, for ever, for ever!”
HONOLULU is said to enjoy the quietest Sabbath on the face of the whole earth. The penal code of the Sandwich Islands declares that the Lord’s day is taboo, all worldly business, amusements, and recreation are forbidden on that day; and whoever shall keep open his shop, store, warehouse, or workshop, or shall do any manner of labor, business, or work, except only works of necessity and charity, or be present at any dancing public amusement, or take part in any game, sport, or play, on the Lord’s day, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten dollars.

The once cannibal, but now enlightened Sandwich Islanders thus set an example even to the Christians of England in the observance of the Sabbath day.
Sir Astley Cooper, once delivered the following excellent maxims to his students, “Gentlemen, give me leave to tell you on what your success in life will depend. Firstly, upon a good and constantly increasing knowledge of your profession. Secondly, on an industrious discharge of its duties. Thirdly, upon the preservation of your moral character. Unless you possess the first, knowledge, you ought not to succeed, and no honest man can wish you success. Without the second, industry, no one will ever succeed. And unless you. preserve your moral character, even if it were possible you could succeed, it would be impossible you could be happy.”

“Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans xii. 10.


The singular habit of the cuckoo in depositing its eggs in the nests of other birds is too well substantiated to admit of a doubt; the nests usually chosen are those of the hedge-sparrow, titlark, wagtail, &c. The egg is very small in comparison with the size of the cuckoo, scarcely exceeding that of the common chaffinch. When the young cuckoo is hatched, and has acquired a little strength, guided by the instinct of self preservation, it dislodges all its weaker companions by insinuating itself under them, and with a sort of jerk, forcing them overboard. Thus it secures to itself the exclusive attention of its dupes of foster-parents.—Knight’s Museum of Animated Nature.


A hard-handed Yorkshireman recently met an old comrade in London, when the question was put to him, “What do you think of strikes, Jack?” “I’ll tell you, Tom, what I think: they are plaguey bad things for masters, but ten times worse for the men.” “Then how is it they so often happen?” “Why in nine cases out of ten they never would happen but for ‘The Cuckoos,’ those travelling-about-talking chaps, who are too idle to build their own nests, and so go about spoiling the nests of other folks. A little common sense, and good temper, between masters and men, such as the carpet weavers have so wisely shown, would, in my humble opinion, prevent strikes altogether.”
The following lines are by one of the most popular of our English poets, whose pen has on all occasions powerfully advocated the just claims of the working classes on their employers.

The cuckoo in the sparrow’s nest,
O mother bird, beware !
This hungry thief, to rob the rest,
Grows to a cruel treacherous guest
Your callow brood to tear!

The demagogue in labour’s mart—
O honest toil, take heed!
His selfish and rapacious part
Is just to make the workers smart,
That be, the drone, may feed!
Caitiffs, that live on poor men’s woes,
But starve in prosperous times,
Are noble Labour’s worst of foes,
And vultures in the homes of those
They argue into crimes!

M. E. T.

“Ye’ve seen t’oad hen scrat for t’chickens mony a time; but in all yer life ye nivver seed t’chickens scrat for t’oad hen!” See Dr. Baker’s Lecture, page 62.

In every relation of life, man owes a debt of gratitude to the Horse, and ought ever to acknowledge it by humanity and kindness.

Billy Dawson, the celebrated Yorkshire farmer, once appealed to a drunkard in the following language:—“Suppose yourself to be a servant, and your master were to come in the morning and order you to make a strong chain; on the following morning he came again, and urged you to get on with it; and thus, day by day, you were ordered by your master to the same job. Suppose again, that while you were working, a person came in and asked you if you knew what the chain was for; and that you answered in the negative, adding, that you did not care so long as you got your wages. But this person tells you, that he knows it to be a fact, that it is your master’s intention to bind you with it in perpetual bondage; would you, I ask, add another link to it?” The man answered—“No; and all the money in the world would not hire me to it.” Mr. Dawson then told him that the habits of drunkenness are the devil’s chain, in which he keeps poor sinners in perpetual bondage, and that when they have added the last link, he chains them in hell for ever. These words so impressed the mind of the man, that his conscience continued to remind him, “ I am making another link for my chain!” until he relinquished his wicked course of life. He afterwards published his personal history in “The tale of the Reformed Drunkard.”

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