British Workman No. 1, Vol. 6 (1855)

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No. 6.

Published for the Editor by Messers. PARTRIDGE & Co.; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London. [Price One Penny.

WHAT ENGLAND OWES TO WORKING MEN.

From a speech by Sir Samuel Morton Peto, Bart.

I HAVE for many years known the working; classes, and I am happy to say, that I believe there exists not within the length and breadth of this fair and, a band of men more loving to their Queen, more faithful as subjects, more true, and loving, and grateful as citizens. From my earliest youth it has been a satisfaction to know and to observe what this country owes to working men. I am not here to flatter my working friends. I disdain any man who would flatter, who would say that which he thought to be not true, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with another.

But what do we owe to the working men ? The greatest of modern improvements —that which has characterised this nation as taking the foremost walk in all the advance of science, and which has given an impetus to our trade, facilitating intercourse among the people, doing the work of the greatest advancer of moral feeling, moral worth, and all that is valuable in this country, next to the press and the pulpit—I mean the railways of this country— we owe them all to the working MAN. My friend George Stephenson, some years since, was merely a working man in a coal mine!

In the first instance he was brought into public notice as the inventor of the “ Safety Lamp,’” I will not say as the sole inventor; but it is a singular fact, that when the discovery presented itself to Sir Humphrey Davy, the lamp was at that very time in use by George Stephenson. He afterwards turned his attention to the steam-engine; thinking that that which was then fixed might, by being made locomotive, become useful to the country as a steam-horse. You know how he went on step by step; you know how his discovery has advantaged not only this, but many other nations. And this we owe to the working man. I could tell you how that man employed himself in things not immediately connected with his trade, but in mending the shoes and watches of his neighbours, that his son might have a university education; and that son at the present moment occupies the proud position of being the first engineer in this country!
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs xxii. 29.

I hate to see a thing done by halves; if it be right, do it boldly: if it be wrong, leave it undone.—Gilpin.
WHAT TOM SPRIGGS SWALLOWED

“Listen, lads,” cried Bill Jenkins, to a group of his fellow workmen as he held up the second number of the “British Workman,” and read as follows: “Swallowing a Yard of Land! Dick, let’s have a pint of beer, said a railway navvie to his mate. Nay, Jack, I can’t afford to drink a square yard of good land, worth £60 10s. an acre. What’s that you’re saying ? Why every time you spend threepence in beer, you spend what would buy a square yard of land. Look here There are 4840 square yards in an acre; threepence is one-fourth of a shilling; divide 4840 yards by 4, that gives 1210 shillings; now divide that by 20, and there you have £60 10s. the cost of an acre of good land, at threepence a square yard!”

“Bless me!” muttered Tom Spriggs, “is that true?” as he sat on a block of stone by the side of Bill Jenkins, looking none the better for his last night’s “spree.” “ True enough, Tom,” replied Bill Jenkins, “ you once told me that you had never spent less than ten shillings a week in drink for the last twenty years, so that you see, Tom, you have swallowed at the least a ten acre field of good grass land, and the rent of that, Tom, would be no bad thing to keep a working man in his old age from the poor-house!”

WHAT HAPPENED TO JOE BARKER.

By T. S. Arthur.

This month, the State of New York, with its three millions of people is to carry out the “Maine Law.” As this event is exciting the wonder of the whole civilized world, the following graphic description, by a talented American writer, of the introduction of this extraordinary law into another of the states of the Union, will be interesting: to our readers, whether they be liquor makers, liquor sellers, liquor users, liquor abusers, or liquor refusers. Ed.

“Don’t go out, Joe,” said Mrs. Barker, as she saw her husband take his hat and move off quietly towards the door of his cottage.

“I’m not going to stay long.”

And as Barker said this, he glided from the room. Mrs. Barker followed quickly, with the purpose of arresting his progress, and bringing him back into the house.

Now, Joe Barker was a very weak-minded man, one of those so-called innocent, harmless creatures, who are their own worst enemies, and, as a matter of course, enemies to the peace of all with whom they have intimate relations. He was very good – natured, even when in liquor; and, what is more remarkable still, good-natured under the 6harp words of his not over-patient wife, who never failed in her duty towards him, so far as reproof and angry invective were concerned. There was no lack of occasion for these, in the almost daily defections of Barker, whose temperance resolutions, when in sight of a dram-shop, were strong as threads of wax in a furnace heat.

Mrs. Barker, as just said, followed quickly, in order to intercept her husband’s movements. She knew, very well, for what purpose he was going out after supper. There was only one attraction stronger than home for him, and that was the tavern. When Mrs. Barker passed forth and stretched out her hands to grasp the form of her weak husband, she clutched but the empty air. Anticipating this very movement, Joe had sprung away with nimble feet the instant the door was closed behind him; and was far beyond the reach of his wife’s intercepting hands when she made her appearance.

“Isn’t it too much?” exclaimed Mrs. Barker, as she went back into the house, after satisfying herself that Joe was fairly beyond her reach. “ He’s got his whole week’s wages in his pockets, and ten to one if he doesn’t get rid of nearly half of it before he comes home. I wish every tavern in the State was burned down, and every tavern-keeper in the penitentiary—and it would be so before long, if I had my way ‘. It’s no better than robbery to take the money of a half-innocent like him. If I had only been in time to stop him and get his money out of his pocket!”

10.000, 2-60.


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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.

Mrs. Barker was both vexed and grieved; so much so, that she sat down and wept.

In the mean time, her husband made his way to the nearest tavern, which was not very far off. Poor Joe Barker ! The words of his wife, when she called him a “ half-innocent,” nearly expressed the truth. His intellectual range was very low. He could read—early drilling in the district •school had accomplished for him that much—but his ability to read was rarely put to any good use. Newspapers he saw now and then at the tavern, but he never found much in them beyond a vulgar anecdote, that interested him. Of the history of current events, he did not understand sufficient to encourage thought in that direction. In fact, general knowledge as to what was passing in the great world around him, was as much hidden from his dull eyes, as if it were in a sealed book. He worked at his trade, that of a cooper, very much as a horse goes round in a mill. He had learned how to make a barrel, somewhat indifferently; and daily, when not too much overcome with drink, he sat on the wooden horse in the old coopers’ shop, deliberately working bis drawing knife—or arranging tile staves in form, and binding them with hoops. He had little need of intellectual skill to keep on with his tasks. Pie knew how to make a barrel, and that was about the extent of his knowledge in mechanical science. His earnings ranged from two and-a-half to five dollars a week, but never went beyond the last mentioned sum. Too large proportion of this found its way into landlords’ tills, much to the injury of Joe Barker and his miserable family. Strong liquor on so weak a brain made it only the weaker, and the poor innocent when sober, was little removed from a good-natured fool when drunk.

It was all in vain that Betsy Barker, his faithful, though long-suffering, and often justly indignant wife, went many times to the tavern-keepers who sold him drink, and implored them, with tears, in the name of God and humanity, not to sell her husband intoxicating drinks. Coarse insult or wicked abuse was all she received—and she would go back, weeping and despairing, to her cheerless home and half-starving children.

Thus it was with Joe Barker and his family on the night in which we have introduced them to the reader. What was a little unusual for Joe, he had worked steadily all day, and without once going to the tavern to get a drink. In fact, Betsy had talked to him so earnestly in the morning, and pictured to his mind so vividly the evil con. sequences of his way of life, that he had made one of his feeble resolutions to become a sober man. This resolution he had been able to keep through the day, sustained therein by the useful labor in which he was engaged. But, when evening came, and his thought went to the tavern and the good fellows there assembled, with whom he was wont to meet, he was unable to withstand the impulse that led him thitherward. And so, seizing a favorable moment, he left the house, ere his watchful partner could prevent it,

Diving down a narrow cross street, not far from the poor hovel in which he dwelt, Joe Barker was soon in front of “ The Diamond,” an old drinking haunt of the worst description. He was right against the closed door ere he noticed the absence of the large red lamp, which had so often tempted him with thoughts of good cheer within; and he pushed several times against the door, ere fully satisfied that it was fastened within.

“What’s the matter here?” muttered Joe, in some bewilderment at so singular a state of affairs. Stepping back a pace or two, he looked up at the house. “ Lamp out—door locked—shutters closed —what’s the matter?—old Gilbert’s not dead, hope.”

Two or three feeble raps were made on the door, bat only a hollow sound came from within.

“I don’t understand it at all,” said Joe Barker, now observing, for the first time, that this particular neighbourhood, usually crowded, so to speak, with noisy tipplers every evening, had a deserted look. Here and there a man might be, seen moving briskly along, as if on some particular errand, or on his way home. But, there were no groups at the corners, no loud talkers; none of the usual evidences of drinking and rioting.

“It can’t be Sunday evening,” thought Joe, and he stood still, trying to think, with his‘ hand an his forehead.

No; it was not Sunday evening, he was certain of this; for he remembered that “The Diamond” had always been ready to receive customers—-whether it were Saturday or Sunday evening.

“He’s dead, or moved away. ”Tin’s was the only conclusion to which Joe could arrive. So he passed on, saying to himself—

“I’ll go round to Sprigg’s; for I must have a drink to-night.”

And so the poor, meagrely-clad creature went shuffling along the half-deserted pavement, where, aforetime, he had been wont to meet, at every turn, wretches sold to the vice of intoxication, and even more degraded than himself. But few of these were now to be seen, and they were evidently as much bewildered at the changed aspect which every thing wore, as he was.

Sprigg kept a drinking and gambling den, in the next square from Gilbert’s. Thither Joe Barker groped his way, for the street was unusually dark—the large lamp in front of “The Diamond’’now extinguished, had, of itself, lit up the whole block. Stranger still, Sprigg’s den was closed. A dim light, shining through one of the upper windows, encouraged Barker to hammer on the shut door for admittance. Two or three times he knocked before there was any evidence of life within. Then a window in the second story was opened, and a man’s head thrust out.

“Who’s there?” was growled in a gruff, almost angry voice.

“Hey! Sprigg, is that you?” cried Barker.

“What, in wonder, is the matter ?”

“Who are you, and what do you want?” returned Sprigg, sharply.

I want the stiffest glass of rum-toddy you can make: for I hav’nt tasted a drop since yesterday”

“If I do come down, it’ll be a sorry time for you, old chap!” was the passionate answer of Sprigg. “ Off with you, and this instant! ”

“Why, what’s in the wind, now, neighbour?” said Barker, more puzzled than before. “ Have you all shut up shop—turned pious, and joined the church ?”

The tavern keeper sputtered out an oath, as he drew in his head, and closed the sash with a heavy jar.

Joe Barker was mystified worse than ever. What could it all mean ?

“Somebody must be dead.” He looked for a strip of crape; but the old iron latch-guard was guiltless of the drapery of mourning. A wooden block stood by the door, and upon this Barker sat down to think, if his mental processes could thus be dignified.

“The ‘Diamond’ and Sprigg’s, both shut up! Can’t make it out. Is the world coming to an end? May be, somebody’s murdered, and they’re been closed by the police ? Shouldn’t wonder ! They say Sprigg is a bad fellow; and that Gilbert was once tried for his life.

That’s it, as sure as a gun! I’ll go right off to Paul Dixon’s. They’ll know all about it, there.”

Paul Dixon was another grog-seller, whose barroom was close by, round the corner. Thither Joe directed his steps, impelled as much by an a-wakened curiosity, as by an all-consuming thirst.

Wonder of wonders! All was dark and silent in the neighbourhood of Paul Dixon’s. Even the great lamp, with its stained glass sides, and variegated letters, had been taken down, and the bare lamp-post, as it stood sharp against the sky, added to the deserted aspect of things, so new, and strange, and unaccountable.

Something’s wrong,” murmured Joe Barker, in a subdued voice. “ Something’s to pay.” He looked at the lamp-post, at the closed windows and door of Paul Dixon’s tavern, and sighed. He really felt melancholy.

“I wish I had a good drink, he said, arousing himself. “ I never was so dry in my life. I wonder if all the taverns are closed. Gilbert, Sprigg, and Dixon shut up ? Can’t make it out, no how.”

Thus talking with himself, Joe commenced retracing his steps, but very slowly, his eyes cast down to the pavement. So lost was he in a bewildering maze of doubt and suggestion, that, ere aware of an obstruction in his path, he came suddenly, and with quite a shock, against a very sober old fashioned-pump, that signified its consciousness of assault, by rattling somewhat noisily the chain of its iron ladle.

Hi, hi! what’s the matter now?” ejaculated Barker, moving back a pace or two; and trying to relink the broken chain of his thoughts. “ Only the old pump! Aha! I’ve had many a cool drink here, in my time, both as boy and man; and it never cost me a cent, nor made me more of a fool than some people say I am by nature. Good evening, Mr. Pump! ” continued he in a sprightly maimer; As though the contact with the pure element had sharpened his wits—“ Let us shake hands, or shake handle, just as you please, for old acquaintance sake. I’ve been trying to get a drink for this half hour. But, not a drop is to be had for love or money. The rum-sellers have all shut up shop, it seems. I hope you’re not on a strike, too. Let’s see!”

Job Barker lifted the handle, putting the iron ladle under the Spout as he did so, and brought it down with a strong jerk. Out gushed the crystal water, looking clear and beautiful even in the»feeble star-light. It filled the ladle, overrun its ‘ sides, and : went splashing down upon the pavement. There was something pleasant in the sound, even to the dull ears of Barker; and there feeble awakening in his mind of dear old memories about boyhood, and the early times when he was it better man than now.

To his mouth he placed the brimming ladle, and drank a pure draught of nectar. Just as he had removed |he vessel from his lips, and taken a deep inspiration, a hand was laid on his shoulder familiarly, and a friendly voice said—

“Cheaper drinking that, neighbour Barker, than ever was. found at ‘The Diamond,’ across yonder, and a thousand times better into the bargain. I’m glad to see you returning to your old friend again, and hope you may never have occasion to desert him. Friend Pump is worth a score of your Spriggs, Dixons and Gilberts. What a blessed thing that you are for ever rid of their friendly offices!

“For ever rid of them?” said Barker. “What does it all mean, neighbour? What have they done? Has any one been murdered?” “Murdered! No, not exactly that; but, didn’t you know that the old villain Alcohol died last night.”

“Died? What! I don’t understand.” And poor Joe Barker looked more bewildered than ever. “Died—how?”

“Why, Joe Barker! Is it possible you don’t know that the Maine Law came into operation in our State to-day?”

“The Maine Law!” Joe took off his old hat, and laid one of his broad hands upon his forehead. “ The Maine Law ! I heard ’em talking about it last election. They said it was a dreadful outrage upon our liberties, over at ‘ The Diamond,’ and so I voted against it. What does it do, neighbour? Will it shut up all the taverns?”

“That’s just what it has done already. You can’t buy a drink of liquor in the whole town.”

“You don’t tell me! Good, say I to that! Well, I couldn’t make it out, no how. I thought something strange had happened. All shut up ? Ho! ho! Sprigg said it would be the ruination of the town if the law passed. I rather guess he thought there was nobody in town left to be ruined except rum-sellers. And you’re sure every tavern has been closed ? ”

“I know it,” was the decided answer.

“ Then I’ll run home and tell Betsy. But wont she he glad! ”

And away the excited creature ran, as fast as his feet would carry him.
Poor Betsy Barker! When she found that Joe had gone off, with all his week’s wages in his pocket, she felt like giving up. They were out of meal and meat, and the children’s shoes no longer kept their feet from the ground. For herself, she had not a garment but what was patched and repatched, until scarcely a whole breadth of the original fabric remained. She had laid it all out in her mind, how she was going to spend the four dollars which her husband told her, in the morning, he would be paid for his week’s work. It was a very small sum when set off against their many, many needs ; but she had apportioned it, in her thought, in such a way as to make it go the farthest in supplying things absolutely necessary. But, alas! alas! Joe had gone off with the whole sum in his pocket, and she knew the chances were ten to one that he would not have the half of it left—perhaps not a dollar—when he came home.

The poor wife was disheartened, and who can wonder ? She cleared off the supper things, and then sat down to mend an old jacket belongs to her oldest boy. As she turned it over and over, and noticed how torn and worn it was— more fit for the rag-bag than anything else—she let it fall into her lap, and, bending over upon the table by which she was sitting, buried her face in her arms. She did not weep now. Her feelings of despondency had in them too much of hopelessness for tears;

As she sat thus, the door opened, and her quick ears recognized the footsteps of her husband. Her heart fluttered instantly with a new hope, while half the oppressive weight on her bosom was removed. His return, so early and so unexpectedly, was an augury- of good. That he had been drinking, she doubted not; but there was ground for believing that he had not wasted all the money she so much needed. She did* not raise her head until Joe came up to where she was sitting, and, in a tone of exultation, which he could not repress, exclaimed—

“Hurrah, Betsy! Good news! There’s all my money—not a cent gone.” And he threw a handful of silver coin on the table. “ Good news ! What do you think ? Old King Alcohol’s dead. I’ve just heard the news.”

“Are you crazy, Joe?” said Mrs. Barker, looking in wonder and bewilderment at her excited husband.

“Not a hit of it, darling !” answered Joe, as he threw his arms around his wife’s neck, and kissed her. “ Nor drunk, either,” he added, as she pushed him away. “Why, Betsy! Don’t you know that we’ve got a Maine Law? I’ve been to Gilbert’s, and to Sprigg’s, and to Dixon’s but they’re all shut up. Tompkins told me that a drop of liquor couldn’t be bought in the whole town. Ain’t that good news for you, old girl! Hurrah, boys! I’m as glad as if I’d found a new dollar. I never could pass their doors without going in for a drink, whether I wanted to or not. Somehow or other, I couldn’t help it.”

“Joe! Joe! Is all true what you say ?” eagerly exclaimed Mrs. Barker, now pressing forward upon her husband, and drawing, almost involuntarily, her arms around him. “ Is it all true, Joe?”

“Every word of it, Betsy, as I’m a living man.”

“Thank God! Thank God!” was the overjoyed wife’s sobbing response, as her face fell upon the bosom of her kind-hearted, but weak and erring husband.

A month from that time, and what a change was visible in their humble dwelling! And not in theirs alone, but in thousands of dwellings hitherto desolate.
A PENNY STAMP

Will now carry four ounces of printed matter by Post to any part of the United Kingdom. Thanks to Rowland Hill, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Lords of the Treasury for this great National Boon!

Fathers and Mothers can now hold closer intercourse with their Sons and Daughters, no matter in what distant corner of the land they may be located, and Brothers and Sisters can keep the endearing ties of childhood in sweet remembrance. The Magazine, the good Tract, the Pamphlet, or even the small Book, after being well read at home, may now be sent, accompanied with a Parent’s prayers to a Son or Daughter who may be in service in some lonely spot, “far, far away.”

We hope that the day is fast approaching when a still greater step will be taken in this direction; when that great and good man Blihu Burritt, the American Blacksmith, will have the desire of his heart granted, that, for which he has been hammering on the Anvil of Public Opinion for years,—namely.

An Ocean Penny Postage.

“FREE CIRCULATION OF THOUGHT TENDS TO PROMOTE THE CONCORD OF NATIONS.”

“Please Uncle John, do send my letter to cousin Jem in Australia for a Penny.”

THE JEWS.

When the Merchants of Breslau once applied to Frederick the Great for “Protection” against the ruinous competition of Jewish Dealers, the Monarch asked how the Jews managed to draw business into their hands. The answer was, that they were up early and late, always travelling about, lived very economically, and were contented with small gains on rapid returns. “Very well,” said the enlightened Monarch, “go and be Jews too in the conduct of your business.”

The King of Dahomey, an African Monarch, says a recent traveller, keeps a drunkard, feeds him upon rum, and exhibits him at the customs, that Iris emaciated appearance may shame his people from making beasts of themselves.

THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.

A hare jeered at a Tortoise for the slowness of his pace. But he laughed and said that he would run against her, and beat her any day she should name.

“Come on,” said the hare, “you shall soon see what my feet are made of.” So it was agreed that they should start at once. The tortoise went off,, jogging along, without a moment’s stopping, at his usual steady pace. The hare, treating the whole matter very lightly, said she would first take a little nap, and that she should soon overtake the tortoise. Meanwhile, the tortoise plodded on, and the hare over-sleeping herself, arrived at the goal, only to see that the tortoise had got in before her.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
From James’s Fables of Aesop.

THE DISCONTENTED HORSE-SHOE.
By the late G. Mogridge, Esq.

A WELL-SHAPED horse-shoe, as it hung against the wall in a blacksmith’s shop, bitterly complained of the ill usage to which it had been subjected. “ No one,” said the shoe, in a whining tone, “ has endured the fiery trials through which I have passed, without any respite being allowed me. The hard hearted sledge hammer and anvil were my enemies, and between the two I was cruelly treated, and found no pity. I was beaten by them unmercifully, and the blows I received at their hands would have killed an ox; as I said before, no one has endured the fiery trials through which I have passed.”

“Hold your foolish tongue,” said a ploughshare, which had been sent to be repaired, “ unless you can talk more wisely. Both you and I have been greatly benefited by the ordeal through which we have passed, and are valued highly by those who once might have despised us. Once we were useless pieces of iron, but now you are a useful horse-shoe, and I a respectable ploughshare.

Thus seasonably admonished, the horse-shoe became silent, and was never afterwards heard to complain.

We seldom commit a greater error than that of repining at our trials and afflictions; for our Heavenly Father often renders these the medium of his greatest mercies. “ No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exorcised thereby.” Heb. xii. 11. The complaining-horse-shoe, though a fiction, in the fable, is a fact when applied to mankind, for multitudes t f repiners have become dumb, when experience ha 3 proved the value of their bitterest trials.

Fear the Lord, love him and trust him and then,

If properly improved, thy grief and pains
And heaviest losses, all will turn to gains;
Hope, peace, and joy from trouble will arise,
To bless thee, and prepare thee for the skies.

THE POWER OF SILENCE.

A good woman in New Jersey was sadly annoyed by a termagant neighbour, who often visited her, and provoked a quarrel. She at last sought the counsel of her pastor, who added sound common sense to his other good qualities. Having heard the story of her wrongs, he*, advised her to seat herself quietly in the chimney corner when next visited, take the tongs in her hand, look steadily into the fire, and whenever a hard word came from her neighbour’s lips, gently snap the tongs, without uttering a word.

A day or two afterwards, the good woman came again to her pastor with a bright and laughing face, to communicate the effects of this new antidote for scolding. Her troubler had visited her, and, as usual, commenced her tirade.

Snap went the tongs.

Another volley. Snap.

Another still. Snap.

“Why don’t you speak?” said the termagant, more enraged. Snap.

“Speak,” said she. Snap.

“Do speak; I shall split if you don’t speak!” And away she went, cured of her malady by the magic power of silence.
JOHN AND JANE.

Tune—“Oh dear, what can the matter be?”

“Heigh ho! where can John Timmins be?
Heigh ho! where can John Timmins be?
Why should he tarry so long at Stoke Apperly,
Sure I’ve good reason to scold.

Said he, ‘I’ll be home in good time at my cottage;’
Said he,‘ I’ll be home in good time at my cottage;’
So make me a basin of smoking hot pottage
For I shall be hungry and cold.’ ”

“Jane, Jane, there’s no hope of his coming yet;
Jane, Jane, there’s no hope of his coming yet;
Full on a frolic and flare-up his heart is set,
Soon there will be a loud brawl.

I look’d at the door of the King’s Head and found him;
I look’d at the door of the King’s Head and found him,
With eight or ten drunken companions around him,
But he was more drunk than they all.”

“Heigh ho! then there’s no peace for me;
Heigh ho! then there’s no peace for me;
John in his cups a sad trouble and plague will be,
Hectoring aloud in his airs.

He’ll come home at midnight all stupidly staring,
He’ll come home at midnight all stupidly staring,
Giving way to his passion and grumbling and swearing,
And smashing the tables and chairs.”

“O Jane, keep your snug little cottage clean;
O Jane, keep your snug little cottage clean;
Cheerfulness, comfort, and joy are there seldom seen;
John finds the pot-house a snare.
So long have you ceas’d with attention to tame him,
So long have you ceas’d with attention to tame him,
That, now, Jane, I fear ’tis too late to reclaim him;
Ye slatterns and drunkards beware!”

G. Mogridge.

HOW TO CURE THE GOUT.

An alderman once called on Dr. Francis, when the following dialogue took place: “Doctor, I have a strong tendency to the gout: what shall I do to arrest it ?” “Take a bucket of water and and a ton of anthracite three times a week.” “How?”

“Drink the former, and carry the latter up three pair of stairs,” replied the shrewd doctor.


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THE BRITISH WORKMAN

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WHICH SABBATH WILL YOU CHOOSE?

It is not in an accusing: spirit that we take up the pen, but in a spirit of love to our fellow men, regretting’ that any should lightly value what is far beyond all price, and lose what can never be regained. The Sabbath is a good, a great good, nor would we willingly lose any favourable opportunity of impressing our own hearts, and the hearts of others with the advantages of keepin, the commandment, “ Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Exodus xx. 8.

It is the wish of every one to be happy; happy here and happy hereafter. How is it, then, that so many neglect the Sabbath ? so important an element in the happiness of man. His Sabbath who made the heavens .and the earth, and whose tender mercies are over all his works.

Who loves the Sabbath bids his cares decrease,
And keeps his soul in holy joy and peace.

The Sabbath of the reprobate, if such it maybe called, has,nothing to recommend it; it includes neither the love, nor the fear of the Lord. It is a space of time filled up with folly and vice, such as late lying in bed; reading irreligious and obscene publications, smoking tobacco, rambling in the fields with dissolute companions, tormenting donkeys, hunting rats and ducks, fighting dogs, and brawling in a pot-house. Out of such materials, how can any abiding comfort be obtained ? Truly may it be said that the reprobate cannot enjoy a day of rest, for, “ There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” Isaiah xlviii. 22.

Whate’er may be his pastimes, or his plan.
There is no sabbath for a wicked man.

he Sabbath of the slothful may be judged of by the picture which the wise man draws of one addicted to sloth. “ I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding ; and lo ! it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs xxiv. 30—34. If such he the week day, when there is a worldly motive for exertion, what must be the Sabbath, when that motive ceases! Up, slothful man, and call upon the Lord.

Turn it howe’er you will in every way,
A slothful sabbath is a sinful day.

The Sabbath of the worldly-minded man is a mongrel kind of day, being neither a solemn rest, a work-day, nor a holyday.

There is in it a deal of lounging about, reading of newspapers, and paring of finger nails; together with balancing of books, lolling on the sofa, driving to the Parks and dining with some laughter – loving friends, of whom it may be truly said, “God is not in all their thoughts.” Poor childish trifler, you are flittering away golden opportunities of laying up stores for eternity. “What will be your answer, when the great Judge of all shall say to you, “ Where are the sabbaths that I gave you, and to what use have they been applied?”

A worldly-minded sabbath leads astray The erring heart from Heaven’s eternal way.

The Sabbath of the hypocrite is a day of jugglery and deceit. What is said therein is said to be heard of men, and what is done therein is done to be seen by them. Of all sabbaths this is the saddest. It is a whited wall and a painted sepulchre. Affected piety and hollow hearted prayers abound, but they cannot make a day of holy rest and peace. Man may be deceived by these things, but God cannot. “ The hypocrite’s hope shall perish; whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web,” Job viii. 13.

The sabbath of the hypocrite, at best, is but the counterfeit of holy rest.

The Sabbath of the self-righteous is a day of miserable delusion. Shall a man born in sin and conceived in iniquity observe God’s holy day in setting up himself and his own works. The language of piety is the language of humility. “ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake, Psalm cxv. 1. A man must be far gone from God, before he can trust in his own righteousness, instead of the righteousness of his Redeemer. The sabbath of such a one is much more likely to he a curse to him, than a blessing.

A blot upon his brow the sabbath flings:—
A solemn mockery of eternal things.

The Sabbath of the humble Christian is full of deep repose and sacred joy. A blessed season of mingled peace and exaltation. It gladdens the heart, brightens the hope, and confirms the faith of the lowly follower of the Redeemer, who then by waiting on God renews his strength, his soul truly magnifying the Lord, and his spirit greatly rejoicing in God his Saviour. Such a sabbath is a release from the cares of the world, a gift from above, and a help on the way to heaven, and the language of the exulting spirit is, “ Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name. Psalm c. 2, 4.

The sabbath dawns, and grateful thoughts arise
On wings of prayer and praises to the skies.

The Sabbath of the reprobate is no sabbath at all; but only a holiday that ignorance, and cruelty and crime make the worst use of. The sabbath of the slothful is a season of sin, producing wretchedness and sorrow. The sabbath of the worldly-minded may hinder, but cannot help him on his way to heaven. The sabbath of the hypocrite is a mere counterfeit, a curse rather than a blessing. The sabbath of the self-righteous is a reproach to him, and a blot upon his brow, while the sabbath of the humble Christian puts gladness in his heart, and a song of thanksgiving in his lips; it lightens his earthly cares, and brightens his heavenly expectations. Say, then. Reader, if as yet you have not decided,

Speak out, that conscience may no more accuse
Your long delay, which Sabbath will you choose?

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
KIND WORDS.

Kind words are amongst the brightest flowers of earth’s existence ; they make a very paradise of the humblest home. Use them, and especially round the fireside circle.

A PROMISE.

A promise should be given with caution, and kept with care. A promise should be made by the heart, and remembered by the head. A promise is the offspring of the intention, and should be nurtured by recollection, A promise and its performance should, like the scales of a true balance, always present a mutual adjustment. A promise neglected is an un” truth told. A promise attended to is a debt settled.

Prosperity too often has the same effect on a Christian, that a calm sea has on a Dutch Mariner, who, frequently, it is said, in those circumstances, ties up the rudder, gets drunk, and goes to sleep.

“What’s Whiskey bringing ? ” enquired a dealer in that article. “Bringing men to the Gallows,” was the reply.

There is in St. Petersburg a good old custom, requiring every person taken up drunk, male or female, to sweep the streets the next day for a number of hours.

Extract from a Lecture delivered, by W. C. Clayton, Esq., M.A., of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister at law, and late Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.

“The Dictionary tells us that DIRT is ‘whatever, adhering to anything, renders it foul or unclean.’ Our eyes tell us that it takes away the beauty of whatever it touches. Our noses tell us that it is extremely disgusting. And our feelings tell us that it is repugnant to health and comfort, and purity, and social enjoyment.

Dirt is not a part of our nature: it is a parasite, thriving on our heart’s blood like a vampire. They say the vampire sucks away the life without the poor patient’s knowing anything about it. It is just the same with dirt. Four-fifths of mankind live in dirt, and lose a large part of their health and comfort in consequence. What is it that robs the working classes, in many of our large towns, of nearly half their natural term of life? Dirt, dirt on the person, in the houses, in the streets, and in the air. What is it that makes the children fretful, impatient, and bad tempered ? DIRT again.. What is it that keeps rich people from associating with the poor, from sitting by them at meetings, or letting them come to their houses? Often not so much pride as DIRT. What is it that destroys self-respect, makes men careless and degraded, and weakens the natural restraints of modesty? DIRT, again. What is it that makes the prettiest face ugly, the finest clothes tawdry, the cleverest man disagreeable, and the most splendid house uninhabitable? DIRT, again.
AWAY THEN WITH DIRT

Welcome Water and Air, Sand and Soap, even Besoms and Scrubbing Brushes. The child who fetches a pail of water into the house is as an angel of mercy; while the man that brings in a jug of ale, is beginning a work of destruction. The man who takes the nourishing food that God sends for our support, turns it into poisonous spirit, and (after mixing it with corrupted water) offers it to his brother to drink, gives pleasure to fiends. But the poor mechanic who takes the putrid tallow and dirty ashes, and changes them into dirt-destroving soap, is doing a noble work. It is like what the Divine Being does in nature. HE takes the filthy particles that nauseate us, and the bad air that robs us of our health, and with this he nourishes the plants, and forms a new store of food to support, and of herbage and of flowers to delight us.

LOATHE DIRT!

You cannot help it at work; but when work is over, taste no food till you have cleaned yourself. Wash your whole body over every morning; and put on clean clothes as often as ever you can. You could soon afford plenty of clean shirts and sheets, if the publican gave you back your money, and you gave him back his ale. Don’t take those dirty drinks: cool yourself with the fresh clear water that nature filters so beautifully for you in the bowels of the earth. Whitewash your cottage, and open your windows. Don’t grudge either time or money that is spent in cleanliness: and try to live where your neighbours are clean also, lest you suffer from their dirt. For

DIRT IS POISON!

It gets into the body through the pores of the skin: and the dirty gases enter with the air into the lungs. It mixes with the blood, and makes it corrupt; and often fevers, cholera, consumption, and other fatal diseases are the result. The places where many of the poor reside are only fit for drunkards; they are too bad for beasts. If working men spent part of their drinking money in house-rent, such places would be deserted and soon pulled down.

FRESH AIR, PURE WATER, AND GOOD SOAP FOR EVER,

DOWN WITH DIRT!!

READER! If you have not done so already, go and mash yourself now. Throw the tobacco box into the Jire; leave intoxicating drinks at the public house; and NEVER GO THERE; and become a clean, a sober, and a religious man.
COLUMNS FOR WIVES AND MOTHERS.

TWO IN HEAVEN.

“You have two children,” said I. “I have four,” was the reply; “two on earth, two in heaven.”

There spoke the mother! Still hers! only “gone before!” Still remembered, loved, and cherished, by the hearth and at the board; their successors draw life from the same faithful breast where their dying heads were pillowed.

“Two in heaven!”

Safely housed from storm and tempest; no sickness there, nor weary feet. By the green pastures, tended by the Good Shepherd, linger the little lambs of the heavenly fold.

“Two in heaven!”

Earth less attractive! Eternity nearer ! Invisible cords, drawing the natural soul upward. “Still small” voices, ever whispering “ Come!” to the world-weary spirit.

“Two in heaven!”

Mother of angels! “Walk softly! Holy eyes watch thy footsteps! Cherub forms bend to listen! Keep thy spirit free from earth-taint; so shalt thou “go to them,” though “they may not return to thee.”

“And David said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept. … But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him hack again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel xii. 22, 23.

THE WIFE’S GENTLE REPROOF.

One day as Zachariah Hodgson was going to his daily avocations after breakfast, he purchased a fine, large codfish, and sent it home, with directions to his wife to have it cooked for dinner. As no particular mode of cooking was prescribed, the good woman well knew that, whether she boiled it, or made it into chowder, her husband would scold her when he came home. But she resolved to please him for once, if possible, and therefore cooked several portions of it in several different ways. She, also, with some difficulty, procured an amphibious animal from a brook at the back of the house, and plumped it into the pot. In due time her husband came home; some covered dishes were placed on the table, and, with a frowning, fault-finding look, the moody man commenced the conversation.

“Well, wife, did you get the fish I bought?”

“Yes, husband.”

“I should like to know how you have cooked it. I will bet anything that you have spoiled it for my eating.” (Taking off the cover.) “ I thought so; what in creation possessed you to fry it! I would as lief eat a boiled frog.”

“Why, husband, I thought you loved it best fried.”

“You didn’t think any such thing; you knew better: I never loved fried fish. Why didn’t you boil it?” How stupid.

“Why, Zachariah, the last time we had fresh fish, you know, I boiled it, and you said you liked it best fried. But I have boiled some also.” So saying, she lifted a cover, and lo! the shoulders of the cod, nicely boiled, were neatly deposited in a dish; a sight of which would have made an epicure rejoice, but which only added to the ill-nature of her husband.

“ A pretty dish, this! ” exclaimed he, — “boiled fish! chips and porridge! If you had not been one of the most stupid of womankind, you would have made it into a chowder! ”—His patient wife, with a smile, immediately placed a tureen before him containing an excellent chowder.

“My dear,” said she, “ I was resolved to please you. There is your favorite dish.”

“ Favorite dish, indeed!

I dare say it is a very unpalatable, wishy-washy mess; I would rather have a boiled frog than the whole of it.”

This was a common expression of his, and had been anticipated by his wife, who, as soon as the preference was expressed, uncovered a large dish near her husband, and there was a large bull frog, of portentous dimensions and pugnacious aspect, stretched out at full length! Zachariah sprung from his chair, not a little frightened at the unexpected apparition.

“My dear,” said his wife, in a kind, entreating tone, “I hope you will at length be able to make a dinner.

Zachariah could not stand this. His surly mood was finally overcome, and he burst into a hearty laugh. He acknowledged that his wife was right, and that he was wrong; and declared that she should never again have occasion to read him such A lesson; and he was as good as his word.

HONESTY.

A Quaker passing through a market stopped at a stall, and inquired the price of citrons.

“I have none,” said the honest countryman, “that will suit you; they are decayed, and their flavour is gone.”

“Thank thee, friend; I will go to the next stand.”

“Hast thou good fruit to-day?” said he to the dealer.

“Yes, sir; here are some of the finest of my garden. They are small, but rich of their kind.”

“Then thou canst recommend them.”

“Oh, certainly, sir.”

“Very well; I will take two.” He carried them away, and they proved not only unsound, but miserably tasteless.

The next morning he again repaired to the same place. The man who sold him the fruit the preceding day asked him if he would like some | more.

“Nay, friend, thou hast deceived me once, and now, although thou mayest speak the truth, still I cannot trust thee but thy neighbour chose to deal uprightly with me, and from henceforth I shall be his patron. Thou wouldst do well to remember this, and learn by experience, that a lie is a base thing in the beginning, and a very unprofitable one in the end?”

There is a difference between seeing a good book and reading it; between reading it and remembering it; between remembering it and understanding it; and between understanding it and applying it to practice.

BACKBITING.

The longer I live, the more I feel the importance of adhering to the following rules which I have laid down for myself in relation to such matters.

1st. To hear as little as possible what is to the prejudice of others.

2nd. To believe nothing of the kind until I am absolutely forced to it.

3rd. Never to drink into the spirit of one who circulates an ill report.

4th. Always to moderate, as far as I can, the unkindness which is expressed towards others.

5th. Always to believe that if the other side were heard, a very different account would be given of the matter. Rev. Charles Simeon.

“By love serve another.”— Gal. v. 13.

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren.”—Jas. iv. 11.

“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”—Ps. cxli. 3.

“Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”—1 John iii. 18.

Help us to help each other, Lord,
Each other’s cross to hear:
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel a brother’s care.

We engrave our wrongs in marble; our benefits in the sand.

A COTTAGER’S LAMENT.

An English labourer, whose child was suddenly killed by the falling of a beam, wrote the following lines, suggested by the melancholy event. They are touchingly beautiful.

Sweet laughing child! the cottage door Stands free and open now,
But, oh! its sunshine gilds no more The gladness of thy brow!
Thy merry step hath passed away:
Thy laughing sport is hushed for all

Thy mother by the fireside sits,
And listens for thy call;
And slowly—slowly, as she knits,
Her quiet tears down fall;
Her little hindering thing is gone;
And undisturb’d she may work on.
MUTUAL FORBEARANCE.

That house will he kept in a turmoil where there is no tolerance of each other’s errors, no lenity shown to failings, no meek submission to injuries, no soft answer to turn away wrath. If you lay a single stick of wood in the grate and apply fire to it, it will go out; put on another stick and they will burn; add half-a-dozen, and you will have a blaze. There are other fires subject to the same conditions. If one member of a family gets into a passion, and is let alone, he will cool down, and possibly be ashamed and repent. But oppose temper to temper; pile on the fuel; drawing the others of the group, and let one harsh answer be followed by another, and there will soon be a blaze which will enwrap them all in its burning heat.“ Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Col. iii. 13.
A GOOD HOUSEWIFE.

A good housewife should not be a person of one idea, hut should he familiar with the flower garden as well as with the flour barrel; and though her lesson should be to lessen expense, the odour of a fine rose should not he less valued than the order of her household. She will prefer a yard of shrubbery to a yard of satin. If her husband is a skilful sower of grain, she is equally skilful as a sewer of garments. He keeps his hoes bright hy use, she keeps the hose of the whole family in order.
BREVITY.

Dr. Abernethy, the celebrated physician, was never more displeased than by having a patient detail a long account of troubles. A woman knowing Abernethy’s love of the laconic, Having burnt her hand, called at his house, showing him her hand, she said : “Aburn.”

“A poultice,” quietly answered the learned doctor.

The next day she returned and said: “ Better.”

“Continue the poultice,” replied Dr. A.

In a week she made her last call, and her speech was lengthened to three words: “ Well,— your fee?”

“ Nothing,” said the gratified physician, “ you are the most sensible woman I ever saw.”


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24

THE BRITISH WORKMAN.

VENTILATION.

If you open the lower sash of a window, there is more draught than if you open the upper sash. The reason of this is, that, if the lower sash he open, cold external air will rush freely into the room and cause a‘ draught inward; if the upper sash be open, the heated air of the room will rush out; but if you open both hashes you discharge the had air and at the same time let in the fresh.

Well ventilated rooms are essential to health.

A HAPPY JACK TAR.

A Sailor’s Experience Meeting was held in the Seamen’s Chapel in Commercial Road last Christmas day, to which we were kindly invited. It was one of the most interesting meetings we ever attended. Various weather beaten Tars voluntarily rose and bore testimony to the value of religion on the mighty deep. One old Tar, after touchingly reverting to his wild and wicked ways in early life, said, “ Friends, I have sailed to nearly every large port in the world, and have seen many grand sights; for many years I sought happiness amongst drinking, swearing, and licentious shipmates, but I never found it. It was not until I took a new tack, and steered for the heavenly port that I knew what happiness was. I have more real joy in one hour’s reading of my Bible than I had in all the years of my wickedness!

A WISE ANSWER.

An illiterate Arab was once asked how he felt assured of the existence of God. “ In the same manner,” he replied, “ as I know, by the footprints on the sand, that a man or beast has there passed by.”
PUBLIC PUMPS; PUBLIC HOUSES; AND PUBLIC MORALS

Mr. Editor.—Some time ago I had to go down by the Great Northern night train, which was delayed at Peterborough from 11 p.m. till 1 a.m.

To occupy the time, I took a stroll through the Streets of the City, and was much surprised to find, even at a few minutes past eleven, that every Public House I passed, (except one) was closed. Scarcely a light was to be^seen in any window. The whole City seemed to be wrapped in sleep. In London, Birmingham, or Manchester, I should have met with scores of drunken people, here I neither saw nor heard a solitary inebriate. On entering the Cathedral yard just as the great Bell struck the midnight hour, I heard footsteps. It was the old Watchman. On expressing to him my pleasure at the quietness of the place, and enquiring whether any special means had been taken to prevent drunkenness, he replied, “ Why you see Sir, our Clergyman, Mr. Davys, joined the Temperance Folks a few years since, and it has made a vast change, Sir. Some o’t biggest drunkards we had in’t place, Sir, are now sober and respectable men. It’s wonderful Sir, what good Mr. Davys has done among’t working folks here, Sir?”

On referring to the numerous Public Pumps I had seen in the Streets, and stating that I thought they had something to do with the Public Morals, the old watchman began to praise the parish authorities for providing such a goodly number of these pumps in the streets of Peterborough. As I left the Cathedral yard and returned to the Station, I thought, and subsequent observation has confirmed the impression, that if all Parish Pastors would follow the good example of the one at Peterborough; if they would use their influence to get Public Pumps erected, there would be fewer Public houses, and Public Morals would undergo what the old Watchman so truly called “ a vast change” for the better.

I am, Sir,

London, 20th June, 1855. A Constant Reader.

N. B. Please ask Sir Benjamin Hall, of the Board of Health, to let us have more public pumps. If London (in proportion to the population) were as well off in this respect as Peterborough, we should have upwards of 3000 metropolitan public pumps.

REMOVAL OF OLD SMITHFIELD CATTLE MARKET.

We thank God that the horrid barbarities which have for so many years been inflicted upon the poor Cattle in Old Smithfield have at length been brought to a close.

Their long continuance has been a national disgrace.

The poor animals whose lives are taken to supply man with food, ought to he treated with all possible kindness, and when being slain, should be put to the least suffering that is practicable.

An Artist who was once passing by a Slaughter House in the vicinity of Old Smithfield, witnessed the sad sight of a number of sheep thrown headlong down a number of steps into the cellar where they were to be slaughtered. We have seen calves subjected to somewhat similar cruel treatment.

By Royal Proclamation Old Smithfield has been for ever closed as a Cattle Market, and on the 13th of last month the noble and capacious New Smithfield Cattle Market was formally opened by His Royal Highness Prince Albert.

Amongst the many and ample provisions of this New Market the Abattoirs or Slaughtering Houses promise to do much for the prevention of those wanton cruelties to which the dumb creation have hitherto been subject. We hope to give further particulars in future numbers.

CHEAP POSTAGE.

Packets of the ‘British Workman’ can now he had by any of our readers, or will be forwarded to their friends, Post Paid, as follows

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The packets may be had assorted if desired, as Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, have all been reprinted.

Orders with remittances to be addressed to Messrs. Partridge, Oakey, and Co. 34, Paternoster Row, London. Sums under 10s. may be sent in Postage Stamps.

TO OUR READERS.

We deeply regret that we are unable to reply by letter to the numerous friends who have sent us valuable suggestions, together with expressions of sympathy and encouragement. We have had letters from all classes,—-from the peer to the peasant. One from a Birmingham workman, who says,that he has to hammer, saw, and file from early to late,’ but yet finds time to introduce and recommend the “British Workman,” to his fellow Sons of Toil, is particularly cheering. A few such workmen in every town would soon extend the circulation so as to enable us to continue our work with comfort. . . .

A gentleman in one of the northern counties has purchased 1000 copies of the June number, and has sent a person round the villages in his locality with placards, to promote the circulation.

THE BRITISH WORKMAN
AN ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY PENNY PAPER
Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 may be had through all booksellers.

If our friends avail themselves of the privileges conferred by the new Post Office Regulation, we feel that we shall obtain a large accession of readers. We are encouraged by the past and hope for the future.

 

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