British Workman Vol. 1, No. 8 (1855)


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No. 8.]

Published for the Editor by S. W. PARTRIDGE; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London.

[Price One Penny.


Robert Bloomfield, the celebrated Poet, was born at Hornington, near Bury St. Edmunds, in 1766. When eleven years of age he was employed as a farmer’s boy, and shortly afterwards was apprenticed to a shoemaker in London. With no advantages of education and with no assistance or stimulus, beyond the reading of a newspaper, and a few borrowed books of poetry, (of which his favourite was Thomson’s “ Seasons,” he composed his beautiful rural poem,

“The Farmer’s Boy,” in a poor garret in Bell Alley, Coleman St. This poem was so popular that within 3 years after its publication in 1800, more than 26,000 copies were sold.

Prior to the death of this amiable man, which took place at Shefford, Bedfordshire, in 1823, he had attained a world-wide fame as one of England’s best poets.

Gifford, the talented editor of the “Quarterly Review,” was originally a poor shoemaker. When an apprentice, he had, it is stated, but one book in the world, a treatise on Algebra. Of paper, ink, slate, or pencil, he was utterly destitute, nor had he a penny to buy any.

The truth of the old saying, “Where there is the will, there will be found the way,” was never more fully exemplified than in the case of Gifford. Night after night did the enthusiastic shoemaker’s apprentice pursue his mathematical studies, and using leather clippings (which he beat out, so as to secure a smooth surface,) in lieu of a slate or paper; and on these this noble son of Crispin contrived to work out his Algebraic Problems ! Notwithstanding sundry scoldings from his master, and the gruff order “ Mind your Cobbling,” Gifford went on, reaching step after step in the ladder of knowledge, until he gained a position in the literary world which secured for him the friendship of the nobles of our land. He died in 1826. ^

Benedict Baudouin, one of the learned men of the sixteenth century, worked for several years of his life as a shoemaker.

Thomas Shillito, of Hitchen, who gained access to nearly every crowned head in Europe, and whose faithful remonstrances with George the Fourth, stayed that monarch in some of his wrong doings, was a working shoemaker.

The memoir of this extraordinary man, a member of the Society of Friends, is one of the most remarkable illustrations on record of the influence possessed by a pious viking man.

Winckelman, one of the most distinguished writers on classics, antiquities, and the fine arts, that modern times have produced, was the son of a shoemaker.

Lackington, the once celebrated bookseller of Finsbury Square, London, and proprietor of the Temple of Muses there, who by his industry and perseverance realized profits of full £5000 a year, was a shoemaker in Shropshire.

Dr. Morrison the eminent translator of the Holy Scriptures into Chinese, and one of the most devoted Christian missionaries that the world has ever known, was originally a clogger, or maker of men’s wooden shoes, in Newcastle.

George Fox, so well known and highly esteemed, as the founder of the English Quakers, who was born at Drayton, in Leicestershire, in 1624, and died in 1681, was brought up a shoemaker, and followed his trade at Nottingham.

R ev. W. Huntingdon, the once celebrated and popular minister of Providence Chapel, Gray’s Inn Lane, London, informs us in his interesting “Bank of Faith” that he was originally a “coalheaver,” and a “cobbler.”

David Pareus, the eminent German Protestant Divine who afterwards occupied the honourable and responsible office of professor of Theology at Heidelberg, was originally a shoemaker’s apprentice.

William Sturgeon, the celebrated lecturer on electricity, and magnetism, was born of humble parents, and in early life apprenticed to a shoemaker. In his leisure hours, he acquired an excellent knowledge of mathematics, and also made considerable progress in the Latin and Greek languages. He then entered on the study of Natural Philosophy, of which he obtained a complete knowledge. The phenomena of electricity and magnetism had ever the greatest charm for him. In 1836, he commenced a periodical entitled, “ The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, and Chemistry,” of which he issued 10 volumes.

He ultimately rose to the high position of professor of Natural Philosophy in the Military Academy at Addiscombe.

Ralph Finley was a poor but clever shoemaker, who died in 1789. Lackington mentions him as “one who had not dignity of birth, or elevated rank in life to boast of, but who possessed what is far superior to either, a solid understanding, amiable manners, a due sense of religion, and an industrious disposition: amongst other acquisitions, entomology was his peculiar delight; his valuable cabinet of insects,both foreign and domestic, all scientifically arranged with peculiar neatness, and in the finest preservation, is supposed to be the most complete private collection in the kingdom, and will remain a monument of his knowledge and application.”

Dr. John Kitto, the celebrated biblical writer, whose works have already proved a blessing to the world, was in early life a shoemaker. His parents were very poor, and in the year 1819, they had to apply to the guardians for parish relief. John was admitted into the Plymouth Workhouse, and was there set to mend shoes. In 1821 he was bound apprentice to a shoemaker in Plymouth.

Jacob Boehmen, the celebrated German writer, usually called the Teutonic Philosopher, was originally a shoemaker.

Rev. John Thorpe, for many years pastor of an important congregation at Masbro’, was originally a shoemaker in that neighbourhood.

Linnaeus, one of the greatest naturalists the world has ever produced, was on the point of being apprenticed to a Swedish shoemaker, when Providence opened the way for him to follow his favourite study of Botany. He however had to combat with trying poverty and opposition. On many occasions he had to depend upon the benevolence of his countrymen for a meal, and was thankful for their cast-off clothes wherewith to cover himself. His biographer states that on one occasion imperious necessity compelled him to have recourse to the trade which his father had once resolved to bind him to. He put cords in the worn-out shoes which were given him by his comrades, and stitched and mended them with the bark of trees, to enable him at least to go and collect plants.

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Dr. Sibley the famous Oculist, or Eye doctor, and writer of many ponderous works on astrological science, was the son of a shoemaker.

John Partridge, the compiler of a noted almanac in the seventeenth century, was originally a poor shoemaker’s apprentice. He, however, found means to procure a Lilye’s Grammar, a Gouldman’s Dictionary, Ovid’s Metamorphosis, and a Latin Bible. By the help of these he acquired a knowledge of the Latin language. He then studied Greek, Hebrew, and Physic, at the same time continuing his trade as a shoemaker in Coven t Garden, London. Such were Partridge’s perseverance and talents that in the year 1682 he was actually appointed physician to Charles II.!

Dr. Carey, he who rose from humble life and became the celebrated professor of Sanskrit and Bengalee in the college of Fort William, at Calcutta, and the able and indefatigable translator of the Scriptures into many of the eastern languages, was originally a shoemaker at Chester. The Rev. Wm. Arthur, author of the “ Successful Merchant,” in a recent speech at a public meeting, paid the following tribute to the labours of this eminent missionary to the Hindoos.

“A day will come when the nations of a regenerated East will write in letters of gold upon the first pages of their Christian history the name of William Carey the ‘consecrated cobbler.’”

William Parsons, a noted mathematician and surveyor-general of Philadelphia, was brought up a shoemaker.

John Strothers, the author of the “Poor Man’s Sabbath,” “The Peasant’s Dream,” and other poems, was a shoemaker.

Samuel Drew, M.A., was born of poor parents in the parish of St. Austell, Cornwall, March 3rd, 1765, and at the age of ten years was apprenticed to a shoemaker at St. Blazey. The following trilling circumstance laid the foundation of his future greatness. He says : “ When I began business, I was a great politician. My master’s shop had been a chosen place for political discussion, and there, I suppose I acquired my fondness for such debates. For the first year I had too much to do and to think about, to indulge my propensity for politics ; but after getting a little ahead in the world, I began to dip into those matters again. Very soon I entered as deeply into newspaper arguments as if my livelihood depended upon it. My shop was often filled with loungers, who came to converse on public measures; and now and then I went into my neighbours’ houses on a similar errand. This encroached on my time, and I found it necessary sometimes to work until midnight, to make up for the hours I had lost.

“One night, after my shutters were closed, and I was busily employed, some little urchin who was passing the street, put his mouth to the keyhole of the door, and, with a shrill pipe, cried out, ‘Shoemaker! Shoemaker! work by night, and run about by day!’

“Had a pistol been fired off at my ear, I could not have been more dismayed or confounded. I dropped my work, saying to myself, ‘True, true ! but you shall never have that to say of me again.’ I have never forgotten it; and while I recollect anything I never shall. To me, it was the voice of God; and it has been a word in season throughout my life.

I learned from it not to leave till to-morrow the work of to-day, or to idle when I ought to be working. From that time I turned over a new leaf.

“Thanks, a thousand times, for that piece of midnight mischief!”

Horton Bentley, a Manchester shoemaker, deserves to be mentioned with honour. The ponderous skeleton of an elephant which for many years has graced the Museum of the Manchester Natural History Society, was put together by this clever cordwainer. It is regarded as one of the best specimens of skeleton architecture in the world.

Nathaniel Elliott, a poetical shoemaker, author of “ Food for Poets,” and other pieces, resided in Oxford at the latter end of the last century.

Sir Simon Etre was originally a shoemaker in Leadenhall Street, London. Hearing that a vessel laden with leather from Tripoli, was wrecked on the coast of Cornwall, he thought that he might profit by purchasing it. He collected as much money as his confined means would permit and departed from London for Penzance on foot. He purchased the leather, returned to London, commenced as a leather dealer,—and in the course of a few years amassed a fortune sufficient to build Leadenhall. He was then knighted and afterwards elected LORD MAYOR OF LONDON.

*** If our readers can forward us any additional notices of celebrated shoemakers we shall be obliged. We are under obligation to various friends; also the National Cyclopaedia, Crispin Anecdotes, and the Biographical Magazine,for many of the above.


An American planter had a favourite domestic negro, who waited at his table. His master was a profane person, and often took the name of God in vain. Whenever he did so, the negro made a low and solemn boW. On being asked why he did this, he replied, that lie never heard this great name mentioned but it filled his whole soul with reverence and awe.

His master took the hint without offence, and was reclaimed’ from a very sinful and pernicious practice, by his pious slave. The poorest Christian may thus be encouraged in the faithful discharge of duty. “A word fitly spoken, how good is it.”

The annual consumption of tobacco is on an average considerably more than a pound weight to every man, woman, and child throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shots,
When sink the beams of light.
There is an arm that never tires,
When human strength gives way;
There is a love that never fails,
When earthly loves decay.



Dean Swift, while on a journey, and stopping at a tavern, desired his servant, John, (who by the way, was as eccentric as his master) to bring him his boots; John brought up the boots in the same state as they were taken off the evening previously.

“Why didn’t you polish my boots?” said the Dean.

“There’s no use in polishing them,” said the man, “for they would soon be dirty again.”

“Very true, said the Dean,” and lie put on the boots. Immediately after, he went down to the landlady, and told her on no account to give his servant any breakfast. The Dean breakfasted and then ordered the horses out. As he was ready to start, John ran to him in a great hurry, and said—“Mr. Dean, I haven’t got my breakfast yet.”

“Oh?!” replied the witty divine, “there’s no use in your breakfasting, for you would soon be hungry again.”

Never forsake a friend when enemies gather thick around him, —when sickness falls heavy upon him,—when the world is dark and cheerless; this is the time to try friendship. They who turn from distress to offer reasons why they should be excused from extending their sympathy and aid, betray their hypocrisy, and prove that selfish motives only prompt and move them. If you have a friend who loves you,—who has studied your interests and happiness,— defended you when persecuted and troubled, be sure to sustain him in adversity. Let him feel that his kindness is appreciated, and that his friendship was not bestowed upon you in vain.

“Wouldst thou know,” said a good man, “whether thy name be written in the book of life? Then read what thou hast written in the book of conscience. If I write nothing in this book but the black lines of sin, I shall find nothing in God’s book but The black lines of wrath, hut if I write God’s word in the book of conscience, I may be sure God hath written my name in the book of life.”

“One gleam of light from God’s word gives more true light than all the wisdom of man.”

When thou discoverest any faults in others, make the right use of them, which is, to correct and amend the like failures in thyself.
He that refraineth his lips is wise.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. – Exodus xx. 7.

Keep thy mouth with all diligence.

One of the largest establishments for the manufacture of woollen goods in all their varieties, is that of the Messrs. Gott and Sons, Wellington-road, Leeds. All the processes cf scribbling, carding, spinning, weaving, milling, dyeing, shearing, brushing, and packing, are carried on in these works. During our recent visit we observed, in all its stages, cloth sufficient, one would imagine, to clothe the world for many years to come, and that too of every shade of colour and gradation of price. From the fine broad cloth intended for the prince, down to the frieze, to purchase which Paddy is now toiling and looking forward to the possession of as the one thing needful to his felicity—from the gaudy red and blue, of peculiar thinness and texture, made for, and by order of, the Afghan chief, to that to be worn by the vagabond fakir—from the splendid robe of the mandarin to that of the juggler to whom he tosses the alms—all classes are clothed by the productions of these works. To an observingly reflecting visitor we cannot suggest a greater treat than the wandering through the several departments. We can fancy his astonishment at beholding for the first time the gigantic mules—ten in number—in the spinning-room, and he will be gratified, as we were, at hearing the cheerful singing of the young girls who assist the men employed in taking charge of these willing and obedient animals; but how will that wonder be increased when he passes into another room, running the whole length of one portion of the building, containing mules over 100 feet long, each having 600 spindles, and guided by only one man and two girls! Pause for a moment—singing again—yes, surely; and what a rich clear voice that girl appears to have! We just hear the mellow cadence above the whirr of the machine, and catch the words, “Holy, holy, holy.” Why, she is singing the “ Te Deum Luudamus” ; how rapidly the 17th verse of the 3rd of Malachi rushes to our remembrance as we turn away! And a word here of thanks to the noble-hearted proprietors, who, “ while they have time, are doing good unto all men, ” meekly spending the talents entrusted to their care, building the church and establishing the school, that the people in their employ may have the right way made clear before them.

And are our remarks to be confined to this firm? No; thank Heaven, others are doing likewise, and none to a greater extent than the Messrs. Marshall, the owners of the great flax-mill, shown in the engraving, and into which, by the courtesy of the proprietors, we now propose to conduct you. The beautiful and imposing exterior is so admirably rendered by our artist that description is unnecessary, therefore we will sign our names in the book kept for that, purpose, and at once pass into the weaving-room, crowded with neatly-dressed, healthy-looking girls and women.

In these works there are no less than 2250 hands constantly employed; the building is 132 yards long and 72 yards wide, measured on the inside ; the roof consists of 72 brick arches, supported on 72 iron pillars, secured together by strong ironwork ; this roof has a thick coating of composition, and is covered with earth, from which has sprung up a beautiful green sward; there are 66 glass domes, each 48 feet in circumference, in the roof, containing 10 tons of glass, the entire weight of the roof being 4000 tons; the area is 9504 square yards, or nearly 2 acres. The machinery is driven by a pair of 100-horse engines, besides several of smaller power. The large room or mill of one floor would contain nearly 80,000 persons. Upwards of 70,000,000 of yards of linen yarn are spun daily, a portion of which is made into sewing-thread, another portion into linen cloth, and the remainder sold to other manufacturers.

It is clearly impossible for us to enter into details connected with this stupendous establishment, to do full justice to which several pages of our limited space would have to be devoted; we will therefore pass out on the opposite side of the building from that at which we entered, and have a glance at the beautiful church, erected at the sole cost of this munificent firm, and then step into the schools, also built and set in motion by them. In these latter we shall observe over 400 boys, and about 300 girls, most of them employed in the mill, but all of them being trained up in the way they should go, at the expense of the Messrs. Marshall, who, for this purpose, have engaged the services of competent teachers.

During our many journeys over the London and North-Western Railway we have met with nothing so interesting or more suggestive than our visit to this mill. When the Order of Merit, concerning which people are now talking, is established, the claims of the liberal firm, whose good deeds we have lightly touched upon, will not be passed over—claims that will exist alter the noble building we have so imperfectly described shall have crumbled away and be for ever lost.—From Messom’s Illustrated Guide of the London and North Western Railway. Sold at the Railway Book-stalls, price 1s.


“Six things,” says Hamilton, “are requisite to create a happy home. Integrity must be the architect, and kindness the upholsterer ; it must be warmed by affection, and lighted up with cheerfulness, and industry must be the ventilator, renewing the atmosphere, and bringing in a fresh salubrity day by day; while over all, as a protecting canopy and glory, nothing will suffice except the blessing of God.”


He nothing knows who knows not this,
That earth can yield no settled bliss,
No lasting portion give;
He all things knows, who knows to place
His hopes on Christ’s redeeming grace,
Who died that we might live.

Dr. Huin.


A distinguished merchant, who for twenty years did a vast amount of business, remarked to Dr. Edwards, “ Had it not been for the Sabbath, I have no doubt I should have been a maniac long ago.” This was mentioned in a company of merchants, when one remarked, “ That is the case exactly with Mr.—-. He was one of our greatest importers. He used to say that the Sabbath was the best day in the week on which to plan voyages; shewing that he allowed his mind no Sabbath. He has been in the Lunatic Asylum for years, and will probably die there.” Many men are there, or in the maniac’s grave, because they had no Sabbath. They broke a law of nature, and of Nature’s God, and found “the way of transgressors to be hard.” Such cases are so numerous that a celebrated British writer remarks, “I never knew a man work seven days in a week who did not kill himself.”

Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.—Lev. xix. 30.

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.— Exodus xx. 8.

Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.—Deut. v. 12.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation ; ye shall do no work therein : it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.— Lev. xxiii. 3.

It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.— Matt. xii. 12.

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.—Mark ii. 27.

This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.—Ps. cxviii. 24.

My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said I would pour out my fury upon them.— Ezek. xx. 13.

’Tis written in that sacred page,
Which guides our childhood, youth, and age;
And sheds its lustre on the gloom,
That wraps the silence of the tomb;
“The warrior who has stormed a town,
Has richly purchased his renown;
But he’s a greater hero still,
Who conquers his own stubborn will!”
Dr. Huir.

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The watchman of the Calais Lighthouse was boasting of the brilliancy of his lantern, which can be seen ten leagues at sea, when a visitor said to him, “What if one of the lights.should chance to go out?” “Never! impossible!” with a sort of consternation at the bare hypothesis.

“Sir,” said he, pointing to the ocean, “yonder, where nothing can be seen, there are ships going by to every part of the world. If to-night one of my burners were out, within six months would come a letter—perhaps from India—perhaps from some place I never heard of—saying, that such a night, at such an hour, the light of Calais burned dim; the watchman neglected his post, and vessels were in danger. Ah, Sir ! sometimes on the dark nights, in the stormy weather, I look out to sea, and I feel as if the eye of the whole world were looking at my light! Go out? burn dim? no, never!”

The budding thought, the teeming brain,
Although no eye can scan,
’Tis no romance to call the child
The father of the man.

A little boy had often eat
Beside the parlour fire,
To see his mother’s kettle boil,
And never seemed to tire.

But when the steam came rolling forth,
He watched it by the hour;
And when it forced the kettle’s lid,
Had wondered at its power.

That little boy became a youth,
And in his fond day dream,
As in his childish mood, his thoughts
Would ruminate on steam.

And still to his expanding mind,
The same idea clung,
As o’er each bold experiment,
His form and spirit hung.

He tried and failed, but with a zeal,
No failure could repress,
He tried again, and yet again,
Determined on success.

At length the glorious fruit of all
His toil he could disclose ;
That Engine, which to Steam its name
And might resistless owes.
That musing boy, that dreaming youth,
That man of earnest mind,
Was Watt, the greatest friend our age
Has given to mankind.

And let each parent, as he reads
My lay, this lesson learn;
To cherish genius in his child,
When he can it discern.

Oh! if your son prefers a book,
Or pencil to a toy,
Or loves to muse alone, be sure
There’s something in the boy.

That little head is hard at work,
And, on some distant day,
It will to you and to the world
The bright result display.

Your son in fame and influence,
Will o’er his fellows tower,
For knowledge is, and ever was,
The real source of power !
Dr. Huie


Crossing Hampstead Heath, Erskine saw a ruffianly driver most unmercifully pummelling miserable bare-boned pack-horse, and on remonstrating with him received this answer: — “Why, it’s my own: mayn’t I use it as I please?” As the fellow spoke, he discharged a fresh shower of blows on the raw back of the poor beast. Erskine, much irritated by this brutality, laid two or three sharp blows of his walking stick over the shoulders of the cowardly offender, who, crouching and grumbling, asked him what business he had to touch him with his stick. “Why,” replied Erskine, “my stick is my own; mayn’t I use it as I please?”


Daniel Webster was the son of a New Hampshire farmer in very moderate circumstances. Henry Clay, was the son of a poor backwood preacher. Martin Van Buren was too poor in youth to obtain a tolerable education, and it had been said of him in reproach, that he had sold cabbages round the village of Kinderhook. Andrew Jackson was an orphan at an early age, and was left penniless, with nothing but his own efforts to aid him. Governor Nance, of Ohio, had been a plain farmer through life, and entered that state as a pioneer with an axe on his shoulder and very little in his pocket. John Ritner, formerly governor of Pennsylvania, served his time with a farmer as a regular bound apprentice, after which time he for several years drove a waggon from Philadelphia to Pittsburg.

Labour, want, and pain, are the beaten paths to greatness.—Cecil.

Stand upon the edge of this world, ready to take wing’.—having your feet on earth, your eyes and heart in heaven.—Wesley.


In the year 1793, when Louis XYI. was beheaded, and the French Revolution was in full blast, I was a thorough going radical. With seventeen more of our club, I was marched, under a guard of the king’s officers, and lodged in Edinburgh jail. After a summary hearing, I got liberty to banish myself, and accordingly took passage in the good ship Providence, and landed at New York in 1794. I was then in my twenty-second year. When the ship cast off from the wharf, in Scotland, and swung round with the breeze, my father stood upon the shore. He waved a last adieu and exclaimed, “ Remember the Sabbath-day.’’ I arrived at New York on a Saturday, and the next day being the Sabbath, at nine o’clock,a.m. three young men of our company called at my lodgings.

“Where are you going today?” they inquired.

“To church,” I replied.

“We have been ten weeks at sea; our health requires exercise. Let us walk out to-day, and go to church next Sabbath,” they replied.

Said I, “You can go where you please, but l’ti £0 to church; the last words from my father were Remember the Sabbath – day ;’ and, had I no respect for the fourth commandment, I have not forgotten his last advice.”

They went to the fields, I went to church; they spent forty or fifty cents in the tavern—I put a one penny bill in the plate at the morning, afternoon, and night service—total, threepence. They continued going into the country, and in process of time the landlady’s daughter, and the landlady’s niece would join their company. Then each couple hired a gig, at two dollars a-day, wine, cake, and ice cream on the road, fifty cents each, dine at Jamaica, one dollar each. They got home at eight o’clock, p.m,, half tipsy, and, having been caught in a thunder shower, their coats, hats, and mantles were damaged fifty per cent. They rose the next morning at nine o’clock, a.m., with sore heads, sore hearts, muddy boots,and an angry conscience, besides twelve dollars (£2 10s.) lighter than when they started. I went to church, at five o’clock, a.m.; head sound, heart light; rose, bones refreshed, conscience quiet, and commenced the labours of the week in peace and plenty. They were all mechanics; some of them could earn twelve dollars a-week. My business, that of a wrought nail maker, was poor, the cut-nail machines had just got into operation, which cut down my wages to a shaving. With close application I could only earn five dollars and fifty cents (£1 3s.) per week. Never mind—at the end of the year, my Sabbath-riding shopmates had fine coats and hats, powdered heads and ruffled shirts; but I had 100 hard dollars (upwards of £20) piled in the corner of my chest. Having lived fast, they died early. Nearly forty winters are past, and forty summers ended, since the last was laid in the Potter’s, or some other field ; while I, having received from my Maker a good constitution (and common sense to take care of it), am as sound in mind, body, and spirit, as I was on this day fifty-six years ago, when first I set my foot on shore at Governour’s Wharf, New York. Besides, it’s a fact (for which my family can vouch), I have been only one day confined to the house by sickness during that period.

Now, I dare say you think with me, that the church on the Sabbath is better than the tavern for the labouring man.— Grant Thorburn.


John Howard, having settled his accounts at the close of a particular year and found a balance I in his favour, proposed to his wife to make use of ‘ it in a journey to London, or in any other amusement she chose. “ What a pretty cottage for a poor family it would build!” was her answer. This point met with his cordial approbation, and [ the money was laid out accordingly.
How short lived are the best resolutions made in our own strength; they resemble the early dew which soon passeth away, and the grass upon the house-top which withereth afore it groweth up.

Life is divided into three terms,—that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better for the future.

A dispute once arose between the ‘Wind and the Sun, which was the stronger of the two, and they agreed to put the point upon this issue, that whichever soonest made a traveller take off his cloak, should be accounted the more powerful. The wind began, and blew with all his might and main a blast, sold and fierce as a Thracian storm; but the stronger he blew, the closer the traveller wrapped his cloak around him, and the tighter he grasped it with his hands. Then broke out the Sun: with his i welcome beams he dispersed the vapour and the cold; I the traveller felt the genial warmth, and, as the Sun | shone brighter and brighter, he sat down, overcome with | the heat, and cast his cloak on the ground. g Thus the Sun was declared the conqueror; and it has ! ever been deemed that persuasion is better than force; and that the sunshine of a kind and gentle manner will sooner lay open a poor man’s heart, than all the threatenings and force of blustering authority.

From James’s Aesop’s Fables.

Once when I was returning from Ireland, (says Rowland Hill) I found myself much annoyed by the reprobate conduct of the captain and mate, who were sadly given to the scandalous habit of swearing; First the captain swore at the mate, then the mate swore at the captain, then they both swore at the winds; and I call ed to them, with a strong voice for fair play.

“Stop, stop,” said I, “if you please, gentlemen, let us have fair play, it’s my turn now.”

“At what is it your turn, pray ?” said the captain.

“At swearing,” I replied.

Well, they waited and waited, until their patience was exhausted, and they wanted me to make haste and take my turn. I told them, however, that I had a right to take my own time, and swear at my own convenience. To this the captain replied, with a laugh,

“Perhaps you don’t mean to take your turn.”

“Pardon me, captain,” I answered, “but I do, as soon as I can find the good of doing so.”

My friends, I did not hear another oath on the voyage.

I see in this world two heaps, of human happiness and misery. Now if I can take the smallest bit from one heap, and add to the other, I carry a point. If, as I go home, a child has dropped a halfpenny, and if, by giving it another I can wipe away its tears, I feel I have done something; I should be glad, indeed, to do greater tilings, but I will not neglect this.—Newton.

It was the practice of Vespasian, the Roman emperor, to call himself to an account every night for the actions of the past day; and as often as lie let slip one day without doing good, he entered upon his diary this memorial: “I have lost a day.”

Count that day lost, whose low descending sun
Views from thy hand no worthy action done.

Let man toil to win his living,
Work is not a task to spurn;
Poor’s the gold of others’ giving,
To the silver that we earn.



“I am entirely at a loss to know what to do with that boy,” said Mrs. B. to her husband, with much concern on her face, and in an anxious tone of voice. “I never yield to his imperious temper ; I never indulge him in anything; 1 think about him and care about him at all times, but see no good results.”

While Mrs. B. was speaking, a bright active boy, eight years of age, came dashing into the room; and, without heeding any one, commenced beating with two large sticks against one of the windowsills, and making a deafening noise.

“Incorrigible boy!” exclaimed his mother, going quickly up to him, and jerking the sticks out of his hand; “ can I not teach you either manners or decency ? I have told you a hundred times, that when you come into a room where any one is sitting, you must be quiet. Go up-stairs this moment, and do not let me see your face for an hour.” The boy became sulky in an instant, and stood where he was, pouting sad-

“Did you hear what I said ? Go up-stairs this moment.”

Mrs. B. spoke in a very angry tone, and looked quite as angry as she spoke.

Slowly moved the boy towards the door, a scowl darkening his face that was but a moment before so bright and cheerful. His steps were too deliberate for the over excited feelings of his mother; she sprang toward him, and seizing him by the arm, pushed him from the room, and closed the door loudly after him.

“I declare I am out of all heart!” she exclaimed, sinking down upon a chair. “It is line upon line, and precept upon precept,” but all to no good purpose. That boy will break my heart yet.

Mr. B. said nothing, but he saw plainly enough that it was not all the child’s fault. He doubted the use of speaking out, and saying this unequivocally, although he had often and often been on the point of doing so. He knew the temper of his wife too well, and her peculiar sensitiveness about everything that looked like charging any fault upon her, that he feared more harm than good would result from an attempt on his part to show her that she was much more than half to blame for the boy’s perverseness of temper.

Once or twice the little fellow showed himself at the door, but was driven back with harsh words, until the hour for tea arrived. The sound of the tea bell caused an instant oblivion of all the disagreeable impressions made upon his mind. His little feet answered the welcome summons, with a clatter that stunned the ears of his mother.

“Go back, sir,” she said sternly, as he burst open the dining-room door, and sent it swinging with a loud concussion against the wall, “and see if you cannot walk down stairs more like a boy than a horse.”

Master H. withdrew, pouting out his rosy lips, as far as he could. He went up one flight of stairs, and then returned.

“Go up to the third story, where you first started from, or you shall not have a mouthful.”

“I do not want to,” whined the boy.

“Go up, I tell you this instant; or I will send you to bed without anything to eat.”

This was a threat that former experience had taught him might be executed ; and so he deemed it better to submit, than pay so dearly for having his own way. The distance to the third story was made in a few light springs, and then he came pattering down as lightly, and took his place at the table quickly, but silently.

“ There, there ; not too fast: you have plenty to eat, and time enough to eat it in.”

H. settled himself down to the table as quietly as his mercurial spirits would let him, and tried to wait until he was helped; but, in spite of all his efforts to do so, his hand went over into the bread basket. A look from his mother caused him to drop the slice he had raised ; it was not a look in which there was much affection. While waiting to be helped, his hands were busy with his knife and fork, making a most unpleasant clatter.

“Put down your hands!” harshly spoken, remedied this evil; or rather, sent the active movement from the little fellow’s hands to his feet, that commenced a swinging motion,—his heels striking noisily against the chair.

“Keep your feet still!” caused this to cease. After one or two more reproofs, the boy was left to himself. As soon as he received his cup of tea, he poured the entire contents into his saucer, and then tried to lift it steadily to his lips. In doing so, he spilled one-third of its contents upon the table. A box on the ears, and a storm of angry words rewarded this feat.

“Have I not told you over and over again, you incorrigible, bad boy, not to pour the whole of your tea into your saucer? Just see what a mess you have made with that tea. I declare I am out of all patience with you. Go away from the table this instant!”

He went crying away, not in anger, but in grief. He had spilled his tea by accident. His mother had so many reproofs and injunctions to make, that the bearing of them all in mind, was a thing impossible. As to pouring out all his tea at a time, he had no recollection of any interdict on that subject, although it had been made over and over again, very often. In a little while he came creeping back, and resumed his place at the table, his eyes on his mother’s face. Mrs. B. was sorry that she had sent him away for what was only an accident; she felt that she had hardly been just to the thoughtless boy; she did not, therefore, object to his coming back, but said, as he took his seat, “Next time, see that you are more careful. I have told you over and over again not to fill your saucer to the brim; you never can do it without spilling the tea upon the table.”

This was not spoken in kindness.

A scene similar to the above was enacted at every meal; but instead of improving in his behaviour, the boy grew more and more heedless.

Mr. B. rarely said anything to H. about his unruly manner; but when he did, a word was enough. That word was always mildly, yet firmly spoken. He did not think him a bad boy, or difficult to manage; at least he had never found him so.

“I wish I knew what to do with that child,” said Mrs. B., after the little fellow had been sent to bed an hour before his time, in consequence of some violation of law and order; “he makes me constantly feel unhappy, I dislike to be scolding him for ever,: but what can I do? If I did not curb him in some way, there would be no living in the house with him. I am afraid he will cause* us a great deal of trouble.”

Mr. B. sat silent. He wanted to say a word on the subject; but he feared that its effect might not be what he desired.

“I wish you would advise me what to do, Mr. B.,” said his wife, a little petulantly. “ You sit and do not say a single word, as if you had no’ kind of interest in the matter. What am I to do ? I have exhausted all my own resources, and feel completely at a loss.”

There is a way, which, if he would adopt it, I think might do good.”

Mr. B. spoke with a slight appearance of hesitation. “If you would speak gently to H. I am sure you would be able to manage him far better than you do.”

Mrs. B.’s face was crimsoned in an instant; she felt the reproof deeply; her self-esteem was severely wounded.

“Speak gently, indeed !” she replied, “I might as well speak to the wind. I am scarcely heard now at the top of my voice.”

As her husband did not argue the matter with her, nor say anything that was calculated to keep up the excitement under which she was labouring, her feelings in a little while quieted down, and her thoughts became active. ‘The words “speak gently” were constantly in her mind, and there was a reproving import in them. On going to bed that night, she could not go to sleep for several hours ; her mind was too busily engaged in reviewing her conduct towards her child. She clearly perceived that she had too frequently suffered her mind to get excited and angry; and that she was often annoyed at trifles which ought to have been overlooked.

“I am afraid I have been unjust to my child,” she sighed over and over again, turning restlessly upon her pillow.

“I will try and do better,” she said to herself, as she rose in the morning, but little refreshed from sleep.

Before she was ready to leave her room, she heard H’s voice calling her from the next chamber where he slept. The tones were fretful; he wanted some attendance, and was crying out for it in a manner that instantly disturbed the even surface of the mother’s feelings. She was about telling him angrily to be quiet until she could finish dressing herself, when the words “speak gently,” seemed whispered in her ear. Their effect was magical; the mother’s spirit was subdued.

“I will speak gently,” she said to herself; and went in to H, who was still crying out fretfully.

What do you want, my son?” she said, in a quiet, kind voice.

The boy looked up with surprise; his eye brightened, and the whole expression of his face was changed in an instant.

“I cannot find my stockings, mamma,” he said.

“There they are, under there,” returned Mrs.

Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 32




B—, as gently as she had at first spoken.

“O yes, so they are,” cheerfully replied H—, I could not see them anywhere.”

“Did you think crying would bring them?” This was said with a smile, and in a tone so unlike his mother, that the child looked up again into her face with surprise, that was, Mrs. B— plainly saw, mingled with pleasure.

“Do you want anything else?” she asked. “No, mamma,” he replied cheerfully, “I can dress myself now.”

This first little effort was crowned with the most encouraging results to the mother: she felt a deep peace settling in her bosom, from the consciousness of having gained a true victory over the perverse tendencies of both her own heart, and that of her hoy. It was a little act, hut it was the first fruits; and the gathering of even so small a harvest, was sweet to her spirit.

For the first time in many months, the breakfast-table was pleasant to all. H- never once interrupted the conversation that passed at intervals between his father and mother. When he asked for anything, it was in a way pleasing to all. Once or twice Mrs. B— found it necessary to correct some little fault in manner; but the way in which she did it, did not in the least disturb her child’s temper; and, instead of not seeming to hear her words, as had almost always been the case, he regarded all that was said, and tried to do as she wished.

“There is a wonderful power in gentle words,” remarked Mr. B— to his wife, after H— had left the table.

“Yes, wonderful indeed, their effect surprises me.”

“Love is strong!”

Days, weeks, months, and years went by; during all this time, the mother continued to strive very earnestly with herself, and very kindly with her child.

The happiest results followed; the fretful, passionate, and disorderly boy, became even-minded and orderly in his habits. A word gently spoken was all-powerful in its influence for good; but the least shade of harshness would arouse his stubborn will, and deform his fair young face.

Whenever mothers complain to Mrs. B— of the difficulty they find in managing their children, she has one piece of advice to give, and that is, “Command yourself, and speak gently.”
Value all Useful Things.— It is always of great consequence that children be brought up to set a just value upon all useful things, especially upon all living things. One of the greatest faults of servants is their inadequate care of animals committed to their charge; this remissness is owing to the servant not having been brought up to feel an interest in the well-being of animals.
– Cobbett’s Cottage Economy.

“I never go to church,” said a country tradesman to his parish clergyman.“ I always spend Sunday in settling accounts.” The minister immediately replied, “You will find that the day of Judgment will be spent in the same manner.”

Plato being told that he had enemies who spoke ill of him, said, “ I will live in such a manner, that none shall believe them.”

Never be afraid to step out of the way to do good.

A pleasing incident recently transpired in one of the Scotch Law Courts, which will secure for our Queen many a hearty cheer from British sons of toil. It appears that a mason from Balmoral was being examined as a witness before the jury, when the presiding Judge spoke rather sharply to the hard-toiling Scotchman, who, although probably very expeditious in dressing stones, was somewhat slow in addressing the Court. In reply, the man said, “ Just allow me to tak’ time, my lord, I’m no accustomed to sic a company.” On leaving the box, the mason said to the bystanders,“The Queen has been to my hut, and she speaks pleasantly, and draws pretty pictures for the bairns. I would far rather speak to the Queen, than to yon chap wi’ the big wig.” Long live Queen Victoria! who, although swaying the sceptre over dominions in every part of the world, is not above leaving the gaiety of palace life, and, entering the cottage of a working man, is found drawing “ pictures for the bairns.”


M.E. Stroud.—We shall at all times be glad to receive such literary publications.

Puddlers.—A gentleman enquires whether it is possible for the men called Puddlers in iron works, who are exposed to the most intense heat, to perform their laborious work without the use of intoxicating drinks. Can any of our readers enable us to reply to this enquiry ?

We beg to return our best thanks to our numerous correspondents for their expressions of good-will. If each of our present readers will procure three new subscribers, we shall be able to prosecute our labours with comfort.


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