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AND FRIEND OF THE
SONS OF TOIL
Published for the Editor by ., W. PARTRIDGE, at the Office of the “British Workman,” No. 9, Paternoster Row, London. [Price One Penny.
“FATHER, PLEASE COME HOME EARLY”
WE heard a bright-eyed and affectionate looking boy say these words to his father, as the latter was leaving the door of his home early in the morning, to attend to his daily duties in the workshop. And why was the dear boy so anxious to secure from his father the promise of an early return in the evening? We happen to know the reason. It was because this kind father is in the habit of devoting as many evenings in the week as he can spare from other claims, to the society and improvement of his children. And he has such a clever and pleasing way of imparting instruction to his boys and girls, that they never seem tired of listening to him, and never feel that what he says is dry and uninteresting. In this industrious working and frugal man’s home there are books of travels, of biography, of history, geography, natural science, &c. There are maps and pictures, and games of different kinds, all purchased by the pennies which so many spend at the alehouse. Sometimes this father tells what he has seen and heard and read, and draws useful lessons from everything, so that the children find it both pleasant and profitable when “Father has come home.” And whilst the children learn, and love to learn, useful lessons in this way, they also learn to love Home as the dearest spot on earth, and are seldom anxious to spend an evening at any place but home.
And what a happy father our friend is! We saw his eye sparkle with delight and love as the little boy requested so eagerly that he would come home early.
There was no need of urging him, for his heart turns to that home wherever he is, as the needle to the pole. It is a home where God is honoured, and His blessing rests upon it.
Would that all fathers felt as our friend feels, loved as he loves, and made Home, with its delightful duties, the chosen resort, the earthly Eden of the heart.
DON’T STAY LONG.
“Don’t stay long, husband,” said a neatly dressed wife and mother, in my presence one evening as her husband was preparing to go out. The words themselves were insignificant, but the look of melting fondness with which they were accompanied, spoke volumes. It told of the vast depths of a woman’s love—of her grief when the light of his smile, the source of her earthly joy, beamed not brightly upon her.
“Don’t stay long, husband—and I fancied I saw the loving, gentle wife, sitting alone, anxiously counting the moments of her husband’s absence, every few minutes running to the door to see if he were in sight; and finding that he was not, I thought I could hear her exclaiming in disappointed tones, “Not yet—not yet.”
“Don’t stay long, husband.” And again I thought I could see the young wife rocking herself nervously in the great arm chair, and weeping as though her heart would break, as her thoughtless protector prolonged his stay to a late hour of the night.
O, you that have good and loving wives that say when you go forth—-“Don’t stay long,” think of them kindly when you are mingling in the busy hive of life, and try to make their homes and hearts happy, for they are gems too seldom replaced. You cannot find amid the pleasures of the world, the peace and joy that a quiet home, blessed with the presence of a nous woman’s influence, will afford.
Think of it, husbands, when your wives say to you “Don’t stay long”—-and O don’t let the kind words pass unheeded as of little value, for though they may appear insignificant to many, the fulfilment or disappointment of their loving request brings much grief or joy to your “better halves.” If you have an hour to spare bestow it upon Home! and the pure love gushing from gentle loving hearts will be a sweet reward,
“PLEASE, FATHER, COME HOME EARLY.”
A SUCCESSFUL MERCHANT OF THE OLDEN TIME.
The working men of England, ever since the introduction of Christianity, have been for the most part a strong handed, stout hearted, and clear headed people:-—brave, kind and free. Their great fault for many ages has been, and still is, the love of strong drink. This, and this only, has kept them from being the most virtuous, happy, and prosperous people on the face of the earth. Whenever a man has had health, strength, talent, and industry, and has kept clear of the love of strong drink, he has had, and still has, in his dear old England, a fair chance of great prosperity. His being born a poor man need not keep him down. The poorest have often risen—-some by wisdom to be mighty, and many by diligence to be rich. Examples of this latter kind are common in our time; let us not suppose they belong only to our time. There are some working men of the past ages, who lived noble lives, died Christian deaths, and left wealth to the world that has benefited each succeeding generation. During the period when fierce King Harry the VIII. was on the throne, there was a poor couple at Tiverton in Devonshire, who had hard work to maintain a numerous family. As to schooling, that was not to be had by such as they, for the times were troubled, and all they could do—-and a tough job it was—-was to provide food for the mouths, and clothes for the backs, of their children. One boy among them was named Peter, and he seemed to have a good deal of the haste and earnestness of the Peter we read of in Holy Writ. As soon as he could be of any use he got employed as an errand boy among the carriers. Now at that time there was neither coach nor waggon for passengers or the transmission of goods from place to place. Pack horses were used, and the men who guided them, sometimes walking a space, then taking a lift before the pack with which the horse was loaded, were called carriers, and a very numerous body they were—-a common, and very likely a favorite trade. They must have been men who had an honest repute, or they would not have been trusted: they generally owned their horses, and used for safety against thieves to travel in companies. Little Peter Blundell was an errand boy to some of these men. He helped to tend the horses in the stables, and to pack the goods, and to run messages. A busy life he led, no doubt. There never lacked a job for little Peter to do. He was a willing boy and made friends ; what was still a rarer quality, he was a careful boy. There’s many a merry and many a clever boy, but there are never many careful boys. In time his services grew most valuable and he earned good wages, so he began to put away a little ; and at length it mounted up to a nice sum, and then he began to feel the cares of riches, and did not know what to do with it. He had helped his parents, but they would not touch his savings. At Tiverton the manufacture of a cloth called kerseys was the trade of the place, and Peter, after thinking well determined to buy a kersey (that is, a whole piece of the cloth) and sell it again. But he could not afford to pay for its carriage to London, where it would bring him a good profit. A single piece was not worth the trouble, but one of the carriers whom Peter served offered to take it along with the bale of goods on his pack horse, and sell it for the boy. The honest man was as good as his word, and brought back the money, with a very good overplus on the prime
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cost, to Peter. He then bought two kerseys, and gave the friendly man a share of the profits, and in this way he proceeded until he had realized enough to buy a horse of his own, and a load of kerseys; and set out to the great city to trade on his own account. He must have seen sad and strange sights in London then, for Henry had died, and Edward, the wise boy-king his son, after a few years died, and Mary the unhappy queen was on the throne—-and the fires of Smithfield were kindled, and blazed up in a ruddy glare to heaven, bearing the souls of the martyrs in flaming chariots to their Almighty Father’s home—-that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Peter was ignorant of book knowledge — but deep thoughts were in his soul during the many quiet hours when he was journeying beneath the silent sky; in the deepening twilight of evening he lamented that he had no learning—-but God who is ever near put a good purpose into his heart: “If I thrive, and the Lord’s hand is with me, so that I have riches to leave behind me when I die, I will by God’s help so order it, that no boy of Tiverton need lack wholesome learning,” was the resolution he formed.
Perhaps poor Peter’s safety in those troubled times was owing to his not having the learning he craved. God is as merciful in what He withholds as in what he gives. A spirit so energetic in business as Peter Blundell’s would not be less energetic in religion if he had been gifted and J called out to contend for the faith. But there are different duties in this world of ours, and he was called to pursue his vocation as an honest trader, and leave the harder matters and disputes of the times to wiser, if not better men. Not to rush out of our station, but to do all our duty in our station is God’s wise appointment.
In time, from being a trader and dealer Peter became a manufacturer, and a great trade he drove in Tiverton. Men wondered when they remembered that the now wealthy man was once a poor boy in their midst—-without education or shining abilities. His gifts were industry, honesty, and gratitude. He loved his native town ^ he had no mean pride that led him to wish to leave it. He had been poor among his neighbours, and they had not scorned his poverty. He was now rich among them, and they should benefit by his riches. The faithful servant became a good master. Hundreds were in his employ, and loved and honoured him. Years passed on; trade revived during the long reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Peter Blundell became an old man, full of years and honours. He closed a useful life with a peaceful death, and then it was found that his property amounted to about £50,000, a great sum in those times. How did he leave this wealth? First, he took care of his own kindred. He had no children, but his brother and his family were left his heirs, with enough in that time to ensure them great independence and comfort. Then he left the handsome sum that erected and has maintained the free grammar school of Tiverton to this day, and will continue to do so. No boy in that school need ever feel the sorrow of the great and good founder at the want of book learning. His benevolence did not cease there; there were apprentice fees for poor boys; marriage portions for virtuous maidens; loans to honest tradesmen to help them in their struggles with the world, and a great number of legacies to carriers, and to other kind persons who had helped him when he needed friends; no one who ever did him a kindness was forgotten. Now was not this one of England’s noble working men? Had he founded a great family—-left titles to his descendants, and had each generation of his posterity worn coronets or stars, he would not have been a worthier man. Honor to his strong right hand, and sound true heart. His example is a legacy to his countrymen, as valuable as any bequest he has left. Wisely and beautifully does the poet laureate say,
“Howe’er it be—it seems to me,
’Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple truth than Norman blood. ”
A PARENTAL HINT.
When an accident occurs, learn whether it was through misfortune, carelessness, or willulness before you pass sentence. Accidents are frequently of great service; and children often learn more caution and real information from their occurrence than from fifty lessons. Be it remembered that the perfection of science is owing to the occurrence and remedy of its early accidents.
YORK PENNY BANK.
From the returns just published, we are glad to find that during the two years’ existence of this valuable institution, 4,200 of the industrial classes have availed themselves of the opportunity of depositing portions of their weekly savings, amounting, on the 26th of May last, to £2,262 15s., a large sum indeed, when we consider the temptations and deprivations of the class for whose especial benefit the Bank was instituted. The number of deposits received was 51,913; the sums withdrawn, £1,721 17s. 1d.; and the balance in hand, £540 17s. 11d.
The Bank is open twice in the week, (on Wednesday evenings, from half-past six to eight o’clock, and on Saturday evenings from half-past six to eight o’clock), when any sum not less than one penny and not more than two shillings may be deposited. A liberal rate of interest is allowed on all deposits above ten shillings, remaining in the Bank for six months, and deposits may be withdrawn on any Bank night.
CONSTANT OCCUPATION PREVENTS TEMPTATION.
DO AS YOU WOULD BE DONE BY.
WORKING MEN’S READING AND NEWS ROOM, STRAKER’S PASSAGE, FOSSGATE, YORK.
THE YORK WORKING MEN’S NEWS AND READING ROOMS.
The good city of York, rich in historical associations, and abounding with relics of past ages, has just added to the numerous developments of modern times, which also exist and flourish within its walls, one of special interest to the British Workman. We allude to the Working Men’s News and Reading Room, of which we this day present our readers with an engraving. It was established in November last by a few benevolent individuals who were desirous of affording the working men an opportunity, when the toils of the day were over, to improve their minds, and acquire information on the various topics of the times, without being compelled to resort to the dram shop bar or the public house parlour, the associations of which are so injurious to the moral and spiritual welfare of the people. After some little time spent in canvassing for subscriptions, and obtaining promises of newspapers and other periodicals, they found their labours so far successful as to warrant them in engaging suitable premises in one of the most populous districts of the city, which they furnished and fitted up with everything that was necessary for the purpose, and that would tend to promote the comfort of the members. There is a news room (which we have engraved) thirty-six feet long by eighteen feet wide, well lighted and ventilated, and having two comfortable firesides ; the walls are hung round with maps, diagrams, and several charts of reference. The tables and reading stands are supplied with the newspaper and other periodical literature of the day, the newspapers alone numbering thirty; the majority of which are presented by the friends of the Institution—the Lord Mayor of the city being one of the contributors. In order that the members may learn what is passing in our colonies, the Australian, Canadian, and other Colonial newspapers are taken occasionally, and amongst the “weeklies and monthlies” we find the Leisure Hour, Sunday at Home, British Workman, and British Messenger. A Library and Reading Room is also provided for those members who wish to read books, write letters (pens, ink, and paper being furnished gratuitously), or play at chess or draughts, several sets of which are placed at the disposal of those who wish to combine amusement with instruction. Here also is the Library, containing several useful and interesting works, which, though at present few in number, are being gradually increased by the gifts of friends. It is under the care of two working men, Messrs. Longtoft and Bilton who act as librarians, and lend out the books to the members who take them home, where it is hoped they are read by their wives and families in the place of that pernicious literature which from its cheapness and tendency to excitement so readily finds its way into the dwellings of our labouring classes. In addition to the advantages which the rooms offer for instruction and amusement, we find that they are invested with another attraction—-refreshment for the body—-in the shape of coffee, which is supplied at one penny per cup, and bread and butter at one penny per plate, a great convenience, especially to unmarried men, and those whose work takes them a great distance from home. As the ultimate success of an undertaking like the present rests in a great measure with the governing body it has been thought advisable to place the management of its affairs under the care of a committee, consisting of an equal number of working men and gentlemen, of which the Lord Mayor of the city has kindly consented to be the President, and Mr. G. L. Cressey, solicitor, the Treasurer, and Mr. Joseph Wilkinson, solicitor, the Secretary. It meets once a month for the transaction of business, and hitherto nothing has occurred to disturb the harmony of its proceedings. The institution is open every evening (Sundays excepted) from 6 to 10 o’clock, and the charges for admission are as follows single admission 1d., weekly 1-1/2, quarterly 1s.
There are at present (summer quarter) about 130 quarterly, and 30 weekly members.
It has been well said by the eminent historian Macaulay, that much depends upon the manner in which a man spends his evenings and his earnings. If a portion of the one be passed in the Mechanics’ or other Working Men’s Institution, and of the other paid into the Savings’ or Penny Bank, there is a hope however neglected a man had been, however debased by vicious tastes, that self respect would gradually return. Hope would look onward to a brighter future, and under its benign influence he would soon walk with lighter step and more cheerful heart. Once win a young man over from evil companions, draw him thoroughly into the better course, and it may be as difficult to turn him aside as it was to attract him there. Many would have to mark that day with a white stone in their memory — for that evening the future had been made to predominate over the present; victory had been won—self-indulgence had been conquered.
We congratulate the citizens of York on their having two institutions within the walls of their ancient city, to which the eloquent words of the historian will well apply; we allude to the York Penny Bank and the Reading Rooms.
VALUE OF THE SABBATH.
At a meeting held in Manchester a few years ago, the Earl of Shaftesbury made the following observations:—~ This is a fact stated to me by a dear and intimate friend of mine, a clergy-man, living in one of the great parishes within three miles of London:—He had in his parish a gentleman who was the proprietor of a vast number of omnibuses, which invariably ran on the Sunday. Neither he nor his family ever attended a place of worship; but by the exercise of his influence, my friend, the clergyman, persuaded him to attend a place of worship, and to make the experiment, and see the result of stopping the running of his omnibuses and the constant employment of his men on the Lord’s day. At the end of a year he came to my friend; he had been during that time constantly in the habit of attending church, and he said, “The experiment has answered so well that I will continue it to the end of my days. So far from suffering financially, I am a better man by several pounds this year than last.
In the first place, my horses, by having one day’s complete rest, are better able to do their work during the week, and not so subject to accidents; but the principal point is, that I receive more money than I used to do, and I trace it to this —it is not that the receipts I believe are actually larger, but it is that the men, having a better moral example set them, and having a day of repose, which they devote to honest, sober, and religious purposes, and being by that greatly improved in moral condition, they do that which they never have done before—faithfully bring to me every farthing which they earn.’
“Much as the Lord’s day is profaned in this country, even now it does more than our magistrates and prisons, and other legal terrors, to perpetuate and multiply our social, civil, and religious blessings. Take away this barrier, and you open the floodgates of vice and irreligion upon a godless and suffering people. You may try to prop up your free and admired civil institutions, but be assured that all your efforts will be in vain.”—Dr. Humphrey.
“There is nothing in which I would recommend you to be more strictly conscientious than in keeping the Sabbath holy. By this I mean not only abstaining from all unbecoming sports and common business, but from consuming time in frivolous conversation, paying or receiving visits, which, among relations, often leads to a sad waste of this precious day. I can truly declare, that to me the
Sabbath has been invaluable.”—Wilberforce.
SKETCHES FROM REAL LIFE.
BY MRS. C. L. BALFOUR.
HOW often it happens in life that those whom we have despised and slighted in the thoughtlessness of health, or the pride of prosperity, are the first to enter our minds when sickness or sorrow assails us. Thus it came to pass that although the old nurse Toxy—the drunken mother of Patty’s stepfather had despised the poor child in years gone by, and been the first to counsel her profligate son to put Patty into the workhouse when her mother died, still in the recesses of the old woman’s hard heart there lurked, almost unknown to herself, a consciousness of the worth of the poor girl, who had been so cruelly neglected and cast forth among strangers. She would not have spoken well of her, she hated her with all the malice of a bad heart; yet, when Tom went on board ship, and thus escaped from his bad companions; and when the two younger boys, by the help first of poor Patty, and through her, of Miss Maitland, were able to go to school, nurse Toxy, over her dram glass used to say to her cronies, “Only to think of that.
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crooked little fright, a putting herself for’ard arter that fashion.” But a day little thought of by her and her drinking gossips was near. One or two sudden deaths had happened among the men of the foundry, it was said from cholera, which created rather an excitement than an alarm. Nurse Toxy was busy in the households of the dead—-“Scenting her prey afar off,” she was ever to be found where strong drink was freely passing, and by the folly of the working men, at deaths and funerals, as well as at weddings and births, the cup of waste, of sin, and of death was always to be found—-for wages were high in that district, though cleanliness and comfort were low enough. But in a few day after the first visitation, the besotted gossips who haunted the chambers of sickness and death, were startled by finding more illness than they had ever before known, they were panic stricken, and when one and another of the tribe of aged harpies themselves were smitten down, the terror was complete, and the sick were speedily deserted. “I’d go as far, and do as much for a neighbour (‘for a glass of gin,’ she should have said) as e’er a one, but I can’t no how go into this,” was nurse Toxy’s speech when a poor man came to ask her to tend his sick wife. Before that day was over, Patty’s stepfather was brought home by his work-mates—cold, and cramped, and with the death agony upon his face. “Send for Patty—Lor’ love ye! go for Patty,” was nurse Toxy’s exclamation as the sufferer was laid on the bed. “And who be Patty, missus? ” said one of the men wiping his face. “Why, the eldest of the young’uns, least-ways his wife’s gal.”
“What, she as you put in the house?”
“Yes, sure,” whined nurse Toxy.
“She ain’t no use—I’ve heard you becall her for a lazy cripple, scores of times.”
“Oh, but she’s of great use,” said the old woman, answering the first part of his words, “and you fetch her, that’s a good soul, and tell her mistress it’s on life and death, and she must come.”
“I shan’t say as it’s cholera, or may be her missus wont let her come,” said the man as he took an address card that nurse Toxy gave him out of a broken china tea-pot, the only ornament on the dusty mantel piece, and departed on his errand.
Patty had been very busy from six o’clock that day, helping her mistress to finish some work that was promised in the afternoon; it had been completed in time, taken home, and paid for, and the children were at their evening meal when the man arrived, saying that “Patty’s father was dying and wanted to see her.” Mrs. Vineer was in no mood to refuse, for she had found the benefit of Patty’s help more than ever that day, but she said, “A strange sort of father he’s been to Patty,” then her heart checked her utterance, for alas! her own children had as strange a father; and she added, “But go, child, and see him.”
With all speed the poor girl set forth and reached the house, or hovel rather, to find, not only her father, but nurse Toxy in the grip of the stern destroyer. That was a dreadful night in the crowded street; every medical man in the district was there; and the moan of pain, and the wail of grief, were heard in nearly every house. With ready tact, Patty’s orderly hand made something like a clearance in the muddled room; her light swift step and quick apprehension of the doctor’s orders, made her indeed invaluable in the sick room, but all help was vain! if youth, health, strength, and good habits often were overcome by the terrible disease, what chance had dirt, drunkenness, and debauchery? How terrible was the scene! No time amid the fearful spasms and wringing agonies, for words or prayer, or even distinct thought; all was pain, and dread, and a fearful looking for of death and judgment.
The doctor who attended them was the same kind gentleman that years before Patty had fetched to the bedside of her dead mother. He had not so completely lost sight of Patty as to have forgotten her, and he was evidently surprised and interested by her intelligence. Perhaps when he saw her lifting the drink to the lips, and wiping the death damps from the brows of the harsh old woman, and her son, he remembered the starved and frightened child whom he had rescued, and sent from her tormentors to the workhouse; and he wondered at the patient sweetness that was in her manners. He had heard a great deal about “returning good for evil,” but in the conduct of this poor girl he saw it, and the sight impressed him.
Patty’s mistress, when her shop was opened the next morning, heard from a doctor’s boy the dismal tidings of the pestilence that was devastating the foundry village, and that Toxy and his mother had died within two hours of each other. She was naturally a timid woman, and moreover, her motherly fears for the safety of her children were aroused. And she felt that she could not let Patty come from such as she thought, contagious death-beds, to her dwelling. It was a great vexation, but alarm and prudence both prompted the determination. It was well she made it, for many reaped the benefit. At first, when word came to Patty that she had better stay a few days where she was, the poor girl felt as if cast out of her place, but the next moment she thought of her little brothers, and of making the poor abode a little more comfortable for them while they were able to stay in it. But, as it proved, there was no lack of work for Patty—-many of the healthy had fled, and by the doctor’s order Patty went from house to house, giving the medicine, and rendering such help as she was able, to the sick. It is wonderful what one steady orderly person can do! her quiet manner inspired confidence, and as she passed in and out among the sick, the blessing of many that were ready to perish came upon her. In a few days, after numerous deaths and several recoveries, the disease left the village to attack the town. Patty had developed such valuable qualities that the kind doctor would not let her return to her place, even supposing the terrors of Mrs, Vineer had permitted her to do so; he found her employment among the sick, and as she had nursed the poor, thinking only of their benefit, and not her own in nursing’ among a class something better off, her medical friend took care that she should be properly paid—-a very needful precaution, for Patty wanted if possible, to keep her young brothers from the Workhouse. The visitation lasted full six weeks. Scores had died, but in one family, where the deaths of the aged parents had occurred, the three daughters, all of mature age recovered.
They knew Captain Drift, under whom Tom was serving, and had always noticed Patty kindly, but her attention to them in their sickness was such, they felt, as money could not repay.
Patty often heard of her brother through these kind sisters, and was cheered by a good account of him; she would have liked to see him; and indeed, thought the time very long, but the tidings that cholera was at Blankport, had caused Tom’s master to put into another port twenty miles further along the coast.
There was one lady who often came to sick and dying beds where Patty was ministering, and that was Miss Maitland. She encouraged the poor girl when human nature shrank from such sufferings as she witnessed, and by her prayers, and words in season fitly spoken helped on the good work of religion in the soul, that many years before had commenced.
There is no earthly scene so impressive as a death-bed. The soul quivering on the brink of eternity; the world rapidly passing away; the gate of death, that universal gate, opening to let the poor mortal through to where? Heaven or Hell? joy or woe? Ah, Patty knew by many signs, when words failed, the difference between the Christian’s hopes, and the poor unrepentant worldling’s fears. She had seen a gleam of the joy that passeth all understanding, shine out amid the gathering shadows of death, and she had seen terrors and anguish greater than bodily pain, overwhelm the affrighted soul, and while she wept natural tears for suffering and death, she prayed some little simple prayer, such is “Lord help me,” or “God be merciful to one a sinner.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Vineer and her family had escaped the malady, and had proved that they could spare Patty—-though they would have liked her to come to them again, now the cholera had departed. But Miss Maitland told Patty that she knew of a nice situation for her, to wait upon an old lady who lived a few miles off, at a cottage in the country. A farmer near the cottage wanted a little boy, and the elder of Patty’s two little brothers was successful, by Miss Maitland’s recommendation in getting the place, with leave to attend an evening school four nights a week.
Patty was to have double the wages she had before received; and she had been so well paid while nurse-tending, that she had a little sum to put into the savings’ bank, and she resolved to pay two shillings a week to a decent widow woman, who kept a little shop, and who offered for that to take her youngest brother, letting him still go to school, and having his help as an errand boy out of school hours.
It was with a grateful heart that Patty, after mending up her brother’s few clothes, and taking them to their respective places, set out to Miss Maitland’s, who promised to let Patty ride with her in her pony chaise, to enter on her new place. The time had been so fully occupied that both Patty and the lady had depended on Miss Maitland, and no interview had taken place. Patty wanted to ask Miss Maitland about her new duties, but that lady was silent, merely saying, “you will find out all that in time.”
At length they reached the garden gate of a pretty cottage, on a hill side that looked towards the sea. A stout man in a glazed hat was pacing the garden, and evidently looking out for them. Patty instantly knew that cheery face, and the hail of that sea-breezy voice saying,
“Why, ma’am, have you kindly taken the trouble to bring little what’s-her-name over to my mother?”
“I wanted to see the meeting,” was Miss Maitland’s reply, as she alighted, followed by Patty, whose face was covered with the blush of gratified feeling, for she gathered it was Captain Drift’s mother she was to serve—-but who shall paint her surprise and joy when she entered the little parlour, and there, facing the sunny window, sitting in an easy chair, her head bent forward to listen—was—oh could it be? yes! there was her dear old blind friend, Madam Dark!
(To be continued.)
THE CHILD’S ADMONITION.
A bad, passionate man was, one morning, swearing at his wife, when his little girl of five years old came into the room and said, “ Mother! I know my text, let me make haste to school.”
“What is the text, my dear,” said the poor mother, wishing to keep her child from hearing the oaths of the father.”
“Bless, and curse not,” said the little girl, putting up her rosy mouth to her father for a kiss as she finished the words.
The tears came into the man’s eyes as the child departed. All that day “Bless and curse not,” rang in his ears. He became a changed man from that time. God had spoken by the mouth of a little child.
THE WAYSIDE REPROOF.
“Hush child! or I will give you to ‘Swearing Bridger.’” These words were uttered in a loud voice, by a harsh looking woman who was trying to quiet a fractious child.
Just as she spoke, the man called “Swearing Bridger,” passed the garden paling, and heard the threat. This man had long been a profane profligate, but when he heard a woman, who was noted for her angry temper, mark him out as an object of dread to her child, he was struck to the heart. Shame and grief both smote him. He was on his way to the public-house, but had to pass a place of worship on the road, the door was open for a week night service, and the song of praise resounded beneath the humble roof. He entered, the words “Swearing Bridger” ringing in his ears. The text was, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity,” James iii. 6. Conviction darted on his mind, the grace of penitence and prayer was granted to him, and he was led to complete reformation.
The gift of speech is man’s glory, it lifts him above all the lower orders of created animals and enables him to tell his thoughts to his fellow man, and more than that to hold communion with his God. The use often made of this great gift is man’s shame. He blasphemes God, and curses his own soul with that tongue given him for good and great purposes. The Bible tells us that the wearer’s tongue “is set on fire of hell,” “That it is in unruly evil full of deadly poison.” Oh, reader, be warned in time, check that profane word, hush that filthy oath, pray for power to conquer the vile habit of swearing, for the Lord hears you, and “he that being often rebuked, hardeneth his neck, shall be suddenly cut off, and that without remedy.”
Truths in the soul are like gold in the ore. Meditation coins the gold and brings it forth in holy discourses and pious actions; whereas where there are no spiritual mines in the soul, it is no wonder thought coins dross and vanity.
A FEW WORDS TO THE DAUGHTERS OF WORKING MEN.
A LADY rich in heart and mind, as well as wealth, (Miss Burdett Coutts) has recently given several prizes to schoolmistresses, for a knowledge, and a power of teaching common things, such as plain needlework, house-cleaning, cooking, washing, and all that makes a home comfortable. One of those who competed for the prize, was specially commended for some sensible remarks on the influence exercised by “the Head of the Family,” (the husband and father). “It should not be forgotten,” said this pupil, that though a woman cannot alter this (evil dispositions) after marriage, it is entirely in her own power whom she chooses to make the head of her family.”
Young girls, ponder this remark carefully. Is the man who is courting you worthy your respect? Can you look up to him as your guide, esteem and obey him as the head of the house? Is he sober, industrious, Godfearing? If not, never become his wife, or you may live to feel that you ought to ask your children’s pardon for giving them such a father.
THE YOUNG WORKING MAN ADDRESS TO HIS BOOKS
“Books are strict unreproaching companions.”
My Books! there’s magic in these words!
My books have been to me
As sunshine to the grateful earth,
Or flowers to the bee.
Or, as the prosperous breeze which wafts The bark across the sea;
Or summer rain to plant and herb.
My books have been to me.
That I must work my bread to earn.
With modest pride I’d tell;
And sure, no drone in nature’s hive.
E’er yet loved books so well.
A miser’s treasures shut his heart,
E’en to his fellow kind;
But mine to all that’s good, they seem
In closer ties to bind.
Some pine and fret for want of friends,
Well I have full a score;
And when my purse is not so light,
Shall number many more.
And yet they are not venal ones,
Who fawn or love for gold;
But in religion, virtue, sense.
Pay me a thousand fold.
At summer’s eve, or winter’s fire,
When my day’s toil is done,
I take a book, and converse hold
With some immortal one;
Whose name Time on his forehead wears,
Which, like a star of night,
Shines steadfast in its lustrous course,
Above each meaner light.
I will not mate with her, whose eyes
No charms in books can see;
A pretty mind-less doll shall ne’er
My children’s mother be.
For what the sun is to the earth,
Or rain to plant and tree,
Or fair winds to the prosp’rous bark,
My books have been to me.
—Jane Bowring Cranch
THE SPIRIT OF PROGRESS.
The gloomy night is breaking,
E’en now the sunbeams rest.
With a faint yet cheering radiance
On the hill-tops of the west.
The mists are slowly rising
From the valley and the plain,
And a spirit is awaking,
That shall never sleep again.
And ye may hear that listen,
The spirit’s stirring song.
That surges, like the ocean,
With its solemn bass along.
“Ho! can ye stay the rivers,
Or bind the wings of light;
Or bring back to the morning
The old departed night?
“Nor shall ye check my impulse,
Nor stay it for an hour,
Until earth’s groaning millions
Have felt my healing power.”
That spirit is Progression,
In the vigour of its youth;
The foeman of Oppression,
And its armour is the Truth.
Old Error, with its legions.
Must fall beneath its wrath;
Nor blood, nor tears, nor anguish,
Will mark its brilliant path.
But onward, upward, heavenward,
The spirit still will soar,
Till peace and love shall triumph,
And falsehood reign no more.
—Mrs. F. D. Gage.
THE PLUCKED FLOWER.
A gentleman’s gardener had a darling child, in whom his affections seemed to be centered. The Lord laid his hands upon the babe—-it sickened and died. The father was disconsolate, and murmured at the dealings of Providence.
The gardener had in one of his flower-beds a favourite rose. It was the fairest flower he had ever seen on the tree, and he daily marked its growing beauty, intending, when full blown, to send it to his master’s mansion. One morning it was gone—-some one had plucked it. Mortified at what he thought was the improper conduct of one of the servants, he endeavoured to find out the culprit. He was, however, much surprised to find that his master, on walking through the garden, had been attracted by the beauty of the rose, and, plucking it, had carried it to one of the beautiful rooms in the Hall, The gardener’s anger was changed into pleasure. He felt reconciled when he heard that his master had thought the flower worthy of such special notice.
“Ah, Richard!” said the gentleman, “you can gladly give up the rose, because I thought it worthy of a place in my house. And will you repine because your Heavenly Father has thought wise to remove your child from a world of sin, to be with himself in Heaven?”
Illustrated Handbills, No. 1. Sold in Sixpenny Assorted Packets. May be had through all Booksellers; or may be had, post free, by enclosing six Stamps to the Publisher, S. W. Partridge, 9 Paternoster Row, E.C.
A popular minister, whilst preaching to a large congregation in London recently, on the importance of seeking to do good to others, said, “Several months ago, I was visited with a severe domestic bereavement. The Lord laid the hand of affliction on my darling boy, and the sickness was unto death. On the morning of the funeral, just before leaving the house to lay the remains of our dear child in the grave, the postman knocked at the door. On opening a neat envelope which he left, I found a beautiful little handbill about a plucked rose. There was something in it so singularly appropriate to our state of mind, that it proved, particularly to my afflicted wife, peculiarly consoling. It was, indeed, a word in season. I have never been able to this day to find out who sent it me, but whoever it was, I thank him— from my heart I thank him.”
The above is a copy of the handbill alluded to. Our readers will find the series (comprising 31 different handbills) well adapted for enclosure in their letters, and for general distribution. An assorted packet may be had by forwarding six postage stamps to S. W. Partridge, 9, Paternoster Row, E.C.
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
OPINIONS OF WORKING MEN.
The advantages of the Sabbath being strictly kept would be, the rearing of a race of intelligent beings, who, as subjects, would be patriotic,— as members of society, virtuous,—-as friends, faithful,—-and as accountable beings, ready for the last tribunal in the universe, the judgment-seat of Christ.—John Bennett, Sheffield,
Urge upon your employer the great evils of Sabbath days’ labour; also of paying wages on a Saturday night, as it not only prevents your laying out your little pittance to advantage, but also causes you to violate the demands of the Sabbath, by purchasing the necessaries of life on that day, and thereby promote and encourage the obnoxious system of Sunday trading, which is a great evil, as it keeps numbers of shopkeepers away from the privileges of the Sabbath, to wait upon customers.—John Greet, House Painter, Leamington.
The fifty-two Sabbaths of rest with which the year is interspersed are like patches of verdure, watered by ever-springing fountains that dot the inhospitable wilderness, and invite its fainting travellers to exhilaration and repose. They are the ports that fringe the sea of human industry, in which the distressed bark may find a sure anchorage, and where it may renew its outfit for time and for eternity.—J. A. Quinton, Printer, Ipswich.
How to secure Monthly Packets of the BRITISH WORKMAN delivered at your own door, post free.
Packets of the British Workman will be forwarded to every part of the United Kingdom, post free, according to the following scale, the amount being paid in advance by post office order, (or if under 10s., in postage stamps) to the Publishers, Messrs. PARTRIDGE and Co., 34, Paternoster Row, London.
A packet of 3. d. £ s. d.
*4 copies for 0 4 Or for one year 0 4 0
8 „ 0 8 “ 0 8 0
16 „ 1 4 “ 0 16 0
24 „ 2 0 “ 1 4 0
32 “ 2 8 “ 1 12 0
40 „ 3 4 “ 2 0 0
60 „ 4 2 “ 2 10 0
* Fewer than 4 copies cannot be sent at this rate post free.
Several Ladies have rendered us important service by enclosing our small circulars in their letters to correspondents. By this means the British Workman has been introduced to the knowledge of many. A supply of these circulars may be had by addressing a letter to the Publishers, 34, Paternoster Row, London.
Anonymous communications cannot be attended to.
We cannot undertake to return rejected communications.
Rev. A. C. We are glad to find that by your excellent plan of giving one month’s number amongst your parishioners, you have already secured 130 monthly subscribers. We trust that in the adjacent parishes a similar course will be tried.
Hitchin. It is very cheering to find that through the efforts of the Town Mission upwards of 600 copies are now monthly subscribed for in this town. We hear that the Missionary at Hertford is about to emulate the good example of his fellow labourer at Hitchin.
Railway Stations, If our wealthy readers would follow the example of a lady named in our last, and present copies of the yearly parts of the British Workman for the Waiting Rooms of Railway Stations, Barbers’ shops, &c., in their respective localities, important service would be rendered.
The British Workman is now sold at the railway book stalls of Messrs Smith & Son. We hope that some of our friends who travel will occasionally scatter a few copies amongst the railway porters, &c., who have frequently leisure time for reading.
Harvest Work. We regret that the interesting communication from C. Henwood, shewing the benefits resulting from the substitution of tea and coffee for beer in the hay and harvest fields, came too late for insertion. We purpose inserting it next month, together with some important testimonies from well-known agriculturists. We shall be glad to have further communications on subject.
As camels, journeying o’er the waste,
Where skies meridian beam,
Long in the fertile vale to taste
The cool refreshing stream,
So does the Christian long to view
The Sabbath morn arise,
That he may feast on heavenly dew.
And drink divine supplies.
Weary with toils, with cares opprest.
He seeks for an abode;
Awhile from toils and cares to rest.
And commune with his God.
Oh! how delightful is the place
Where holy men proclaim
The Gospel of eternal peace,
And preach its Author s name.
“MINE’S A RELIGION FOR ALL WEATHERS.”
There is a fishing village on the coast of Cornwall, near the Land’s End, where the people are very poor, but very pious and intelligent. Last year they were sorely tried. The winds were contrary, and for nearly a month they could not put to sea; at last, one Sabbath morning the wind changed, and some of the men, whose faith was weak, went out towards the beach, the women and children, looking on sadly, many saying with sighs, “I’m sorry its Sunday,but—” “If we were not so poor.”
“But!” “If!” said a sturdy fisherman, starting up and speaking aloud, “surely neighbours you’re not going with your ‘Buts,’ and ‘Ifs’ to break God’s law.”
The people gathered round him, and he added, “Mine’s a religion for all weathers, fair wind, and foul. ‘This is the love of God that ye keep his law,’ ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,’ that’s the law, friends. And our Lord came not to break, but to fulfil the law. True, we be poor, what of that! Better poor and have God’s smile, than rich and have his frown. Go you that dare; but I never knew any good come of a religion that changed with the wind.”
These words in season stayed the purpose of the rest. They returned to their homes, and made ready for the House of God, and spent the day in praise and prayer. In the evening, just when they would have been returning, a sudden and terrible storm sprung up, that raged fearfully for two days. It would most likely have cost some of them their lives. After the tempest came settled weather, and the pilchard fishery was so rich and abundant that there was soon no complaining in the village. Reader, have you a religion for all weathers? Remember the words, “Trust in the Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed.”—Psalm xxxvii.
THE WATER JUG.
“If Employers would arrange to have a good supply of fresh sparkling Water always at hand in their Workshops, Warehouses, and Counting Houses, they would prevent many a visit to the gin-palace and beer-shop, and also would enable their hands to do more work with less fatigue.”—Dr. Ellis.
VISIT TO THE HAGGERSTONE COAL-HEAVERS.
In our last we referred to the remarkable transformation, from in temperance to sobriety, which has taken place during the last few years amongst a considerable number of the London coal-heavers. From the testimonies of these hard-handed sons of toil, we have gathered several important facts, which we trust will be serviceable to many of our readers. They afford a striking illustration of the power of kindness, and the blessing which attends the man who bears an insult in the spirit of our Divine Master, “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.”
The following testimony from one of the oldest Haggerstone Coal-heavers shows the result of one act of kindness.
James Skinner, of 19, Gloucester Street, states, “I was once a hard drinker, and, like all my mates, did not believe that our heavy work of carrying from 20 to 30 tons of coal on our backs every day, could be done without plenty of drink. Consequently we were always off to the public house, spending our money faster than we earned it, and too often getting into ‘rows,’ and finding ourselves next morning in the ‘lock up.’
“About 5-1/2 years ago, I worked at the Independent Gas Works, Haggerstone. I had been on what they call ‘a fuddle’ for three weeks. A few days before I gave up my drinking ways, I and some of my mates took a cab and drove to one of our ‘Call houses.’ We ordered two gallons of old ale, six cigars, and a sovereign; we got them, for we coalheavers being the publican’s best customers, could get anything. We drank the ale, smoked the cigars, and spent the money coming home. The next morning I was terribly bad, and had something like the ‘horrors.’ How was I to cure it? The “Anchor” was my doctor’s shop. I went and called my mates, and we went to the foreman, and got, I think £3, and we had another cab, and another drinking bout. At night I was found drunk on the bridge; the policemen were about to take me away on a stretcher, but my wife came up. I was in such a state she did not know me at first, though we had been married for 17 years. The next morning there was no bread in the cupboard for the poor children. I went to work and on my way was met by a friend who spoke to me and treated me kindly. I am sorry to say that I shamefully insulted him, but he bore it without turning again. Strange to say, he invited me to go and take tea with him, and then he invited me to go to a Temperance meeting in Islington. At last his kindness overcame even me, and I agreed to go. That day I believe I had drunk twenty glasses of rum. But I signed the pledge for a month, and determined by God’s help to keep it. I had, once before been a total abstainer from both beer and tobacco, but it was against my will, for I was in Giltspur Street (prison) for 31 days, and there I got neither beer nor tobacco, and people generally leave such places the better for being without them. One day an old friend said, “This is my birthday, let us have some rum.” But I had my pledge-card, and I said, “No, I will stick to this. My mates got worse, and I got better. At first my wife thought I was going to die, and I almost thought so too.
(To be continued.)