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AND FRIENDS OF THE
SONS OF TOIL
Published for the Editor by Messrs. PARTRIDGE & CO.; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London.
[Price one Penny.
CELEBRATED SONS OF FARMERS,
ROBERT BURNS, the chosen bard of Scotland, was born in a small mud cottage in the neighbourhood of the town of Ayr, and rose from his native obscurity through many difficulties. At the time of his birth, his father was employed as gardener and overseer by a neighbouring gentleman, besides having a small farm of his own, and two or three cows; he was, however, unfortunate, and the family were reduced to severe privations. Previously to this, his father had secured for Robert such an education as his means would afford, and had encouraged mental cultivation by conversing with him and supplying hooks, but it was in the green lanes, and when wandering alone on the banks of the Ayr, and when following the plough that Robert struck his sweet lyre to the harmonies of Nature, and awoke vibrations which reached the ears of the noble and the learned, and were his introduction to the refined society of the metropolis of Scotland. Here, alas! he was drawn into a course of dissipation which he never broke off, and he died in 1796, in the thirty-eighth year of his age.
The Rev. JOHN FOSTER, the gifted author of the well-known “Essays,” was the son of a small farmer near to Hebden Bridge. John was very studious and would retire into a barn to read, and then return to his work with fresh vigour. Composition was always a tedious process to him, but the works he has left are of standard value. The Essay on “Decision of Character” has probably benefited more individuals than any other work of its kind: many a wavering soul has caught its spirit, and has trampled doubt and difficulties under foot. He died in the year 1843.
COUNT RUMFORD, whose original name was Benjamin Thompson, was born in 1752, of humble parents, who were engaged in agriculture. Animated by self-reliance, he studied amidst great difficulties, and became schoolmaster in one, and then another, of the towns in the United States of America. He married at an early age a lady of large property, and at the commencement of the American Revolution, gave his mind to military studies, and entered into the contest. We afterwards find him a man of influence in the political and scientific circles of the metropolis of England, where he was knighted: and then a political economist and philanthropist in the kingdom of Bavaria, by the elector of which he was created a count, and appointed ambassador to England. He was one of the leading men in founding the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and died in 1814, at the age of 62.
THE REV. ROBERT NEWTON, D.D., one of the most popular, laborious, and successful ministers that this country has ever known, was the son of a farmer at Roxby, near Whitby, in Yorkshire. He died in 1854, and was interred in the churchyard of Easingwold, in his native county.
A poor man who had heard the preaching of the gospel, and to whom it had been greatly blessed, was the subject of much profane jesting and ridicule among his fellow workmen and neighbours. On being asked if these daily persecutions did not sometimes make him ready to give up his profession of attachment to divine truth, he replied, “No; I recollect that our good minister once said in his sermon, that if we were so foolish as to let such people laugh us out of our religion, till at last we dropped into hell, they could not laugh us out again.” The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Prov. xxix. 25.
Prospective Dialogue between Thomas Smith, son of William Smith, and James Marten, grandson of Elizabeth Marten, on a Monday afternoon.
BY MRS. LUCY CAMERON.
James. “I am glad I have found you at last, for I wanted to ask you a question. I looked for you last night all over the booths in the garden, and the concert room, and in the theatre, but I could not see you anywhere.”
Thomas. “Very likely not; do you not know that I have given up all these things on the Lord’s Day.”
James. “Lord’s Day! I know you used to work for one of those old fashioned Sabbatarians, but I thought that you had left him sometime ago, and were going on as all the world goes on.”
Thomas. “Not all the world even now James; but it is true I did leave my old master for a season, and I have bitterly repented of my sin in this matter; I am ashamed to say that I was enticed away with fair promises of high wages, and that I should never have to work on Sundays beyond the half day—but Englishmen do not keep their promises now as they used to do.”
James. “How do you know that?”
Thomas. “I have heard your old grandmother say, when I was a little hoy, that when she travelled abroad with some great family, an Englishman’s word was believed wherever he went, but that is not the case now.”
James. “Why, what did your master do to you?”
Thomas. When I got into my new place, the foreman would sometimes come to us on a Saturday night, and say, ‘Lads, you cannot have your half-holiday tomorrow, there is a order come, and it must be executed, it shall he made up to you another day,’ but that time rarely came.”
James. “But you got your Sunday holiday most commonly.”
Thomas. “Yes, such as it was, but I had no rest to my body in the
* Those who have not read “The Sunday Excursion” by Mrs. Cameron (Dialogue between Elizabeth Marten, Sarah Smith, and William Smith) should do so, before perusing the following conversation about the Ennealogue. See Nos. 15 & 16, pages 59 & 63.
“I wonder what she would have thought of the people I was with when working in France.”
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
bustle of our Sunday afternoons; and I am sure I had no peace to my mind till I got back to my old master.”
James. “Do you do no work on Sundays with him?”
Thomas. “No, we spend the day just as we used to do when I was a little lad, the shop is shut, and we all go to church twice, so that I could fancy now I was gone back twenty five years, saving for the noise in the street all day long.”
James. “Why, was the town quieter then than it is now ? Did all the people do then as you do now?”
Thomas. “ No, not? exactly that, there were always Sabbath breakers in those days to be found, but it was against the laws then to buy and sell on a Sunday, so all the shops were shut in the chief streets, and you never heard a hammer or saw any working tools, or any one, except by chance, in his working apron. I know there were bad doings then, but people were ashamed of them and did not disturb their quiet neighbours, unless it was by the trains in some parts,”
James. (Shrugs up his shoulders.) “Well, if you like your place, keep it, I shan’t try to rob you of it.”
Thomas. “My poor mother got the place for me before she died, and I hope I shall never be tempted to leave it again; but now, what did you want to ask me about?”
James. “Why I want to know what that great board is for that has been hung up lately in the Union, just by the board where the people’s names are written that are going to be married. I have asked several people and they can’t explain it, only one man laughed, and said it had something to do with me, which makes me the more curious.”
Thomas. “Why, it is what they call the Ennealogue.”
James. “Ennealogue! What does that mean?”
Thomas. “Why, don’t you know that the ten commandments are often called the Decalogue.”
James. “Yes, I have heard that word, but it is Ages since I have heard the ten commandments read.”
Thomas. “How should you hear them or see them either, when you are working all the time of morning service, and playing all the time of afternoon service; when you were a lad the Sunday schools were beginning to be thinly attended.”
James. “But why have they changed the word?”
Thomas. “Because Decalogue means ten commandments, and Ennealogue means nine, and now those in power have seen good to set at nought the fourth commandment, it is needful you know to find a new name for the other nine.”
James. “But why need we be bothered with any of them?”
Thomas. “It was my master that explained the word to me, and he told me that since the times have been so changed respecting these matters, the generality of the people are got to make so free with one another’s property, that those in authority think something must be done to prevent it besides constant punishment,and it was suggested that the nine commandments should be written up in some public place where the common people would be more likely to see them than in the old churches.”
James. “And does your master think the plan will be of any use?”
Thomas. “No; he says that all God’s words are equally binding upon us, and we must not pick and choose which we will obey, and moreover, that those who rob God of His due, must be expected to rob their neighbours of theirs.”
James. “As to that eighth commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Is not that the eighth? I think, according to what some people say, that it is very unfair and belongs only to the Jews.”
Thomas. “To the Jews, what do you mean?”
James. “Why I mean that it Was made for the Jews; I have been told that there is a great deal in the books of the law, in the Old Testament, about the manner of restoring oxen and such sort of things when they had been stolen, and that we are not to go to sleep till we have paid every hired man his wages, and many other rules of that kind, which we ought to mind if we are at all to keep the commandment, ‘not to steal.’”
Thomas. “Oh, those things you speak of belong to the ceremonial law, and that law was for the Jews only, and was done I away when Christ came, and we Christians have only to do with the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ The ten commandments are quite distinct from the ceremonial law. God wrote the ten commandments with His own finger and added no more.”
James. “Well, I do not understand all you say, but this I think, that it is very right for persons who have plenty of money not to steal, but the same cannot be expected of poor ignorant working men, and women, and children, who have no time allowed them for hearing about religion, and who, all the week long have no dainties to eat; I cannot see the very great sin in a woman taking a chop out of a butcher’s shop, where there is plenty, or a child taking a biscuit or an apple off a stall, nor in a man’s serving himself of an opportunity of putting a shilling in his pocket.”
Thomas. “Nor, I suppose, by selling bad drugs for good, and mixing a little sand with the sugar, or something not very nice with the flour, and so on. I have a notion you know something of all this James.”
James. “Well, and what if I do, I do no more than almost every body does now a-days, and I think it is very illiberal of our rulers to make a fuss about such little matters, at least that is my creed.”
Thomas. “And creed and practice most commonly go together, and so you would take one commandment more away, and some one else will take another, till they are all gone, and every man will do what is right in his own eyes, and quite forget that there is a God who rules the world, and an eternal life of joy and sorrow beyond the grave,”
James. “What, are you turned preacher?”
Thomas. “Well, and if I should preach a sermon to you it would be one I heard first from your old grandmother.”
James. “My grandmother Marten, I suppose then; but can you remember her words in that way? She died before I was born, I believe; and you must have been quite a child.”
Thomas. “Yes, I remember well, when I was a little lad, that she called one evening at our house, and told my father a very pretty story, and it was all to prove that those who break the fourth commandment will easily be led to break all the rest.”
James. “I have heard my mother speak of my grandmother Marten, she was not over fond of her, though she used to say my father was just like her, but he died before I can remember.”
Thomas. “I can recollect the first bands of music being set up in the parks and gardens, and my father talking it over with your grandmother. I remember his repeating to her what he had heard some one say, ‘that music was a very innocent amusement, and that there could be no harm in bands of music playing on a Sunday; but for all that my father never went to hear them.”
James. “I do believe that you Sabbatarian folks are more honest, decent kind of people than we of the other sort, but still I think, that suppose we were all to leave off working on Sunday as used to be the ease, there really would he no harm in a little music in a park or garden; why, you have music in your churches and chapels.”
Thomas. “I was sitting on a Steel at mother’s feet that day my poor father and your grandmother were talking over the matter, and I listened to all that passed between them, and I think I should not have forgotten it, even if I had not heard My mother repeat it over again to My sister Mary, as she was humming a song tune to herself one Sunday.”
James. “What could it be that drew your attention so much?”
Thomas. “Why, what your grandmother said was new to me then; though I have often thought of it since as quite true. First she said music is like food, it is not all alike wholesome. Some food you know is for home diet, some for feasts, some for nourishment, and some just to please the taste, though all may he good in its way. My poor father said he did not understand her meaning. Nay, she said, but. I think you do. When you buried your father down in Wales last year, should you have liked to have heard a London hurdy-gurdy setting up a jig by the grave side, while they were throwing the earth on the coffin, instead of a solemn hymn tune? And what sort of a tune is it that your wife sings to her babies to lull them to sleep, is it not something soothing and soft? And then she told a pleasant story of some good man in former days, whose father always woke him in a morning with a flute, and he became afterwards so fond of sacred music.”
James. “There is something in that to be sure.”
Thomas. “Then she went on to say that there is music which raises the thoughts up to heaven, and music that brings them down to earth, even without the tunes being set to words, and that, on the Lord’s day we ought to have music to draw us up to God, and not to draw us down from him ; the other music may be good in its way and time. I can’t recollect all she said, but I remember her repeating two or three stanzas out of an old piece of poetry, to show the effect music has on the mind, and those very stanzas I got her to repeat to me afterwards, till I learnt them by heart.
James. “I wonder what grandmother would have thought of the people abroad, such as I was with when I was working in France; but after all, these days must be the best, because the education is so much better now than it used to be. I was an idle lad I know, but at the school I was at, they learnt more things than I can remember the names of.”
Thomas. “Everything but the Bible and the Catechism. Oh, James, the wisdom of the world is folly with God: man would be wiser than his maker, and fancied that education and civilization would do more than the Bible, and the church, and Christian teaching; and see what the practice of men is come to now, in spite of his worldly knowledge, arid consider what sore judgments are come on the land, and unless we repent these will come still worse.”
James. “Do you think then we must go back to the old times?”
Thomas. “Yes, and still on to better than those. In spite of all the evil I see around me, I am looking for that kingdom to come which our Lord teaches us to pray for, and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
James. “Do you think that will ever be?”
Thomas. “Yes, I am sure of it, all the Bible is full of prophecies of those better things, and I know that God will never let his word pass away till all be fulfilled.
James. “You would be finely laughed at by some folks if they were to hear you.”
Thomas. “I know that—-for the fool hath said in his heart there is no God; but I hope I should not mock again, but pray for such people; and oh, James, I do earnestly pray to God for you, that you may he led to come out from amongst them.
James. “Almost you persuade me* hut when I get amongst my neighbours again, I shall be of another mind; one says one thing and one another, and the greater part say that most ways are good if men think them so, and that we shall all be right at last.”
Thomas. “Heed your Bible then, and judge for yourself, it is the fashion in these days for some to take one part of the Bible, and some another, and others choose to understand the Bible just as it suits their own vain imagination, and not as if every word in it was true; But do you, James, take the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, for your rule. Oh, do promise me James, that you will spend a little time in studying your Bible—that will be far better for you than looking after the Ennealogue. I know you have a Bible, and I remember the very book.”
James. “Yes, it was grandmother’s, and there is the day of father’s birth in it. Well, I do think I will begin to read it next Sunday instead of going to the tea gardens.”
Thomas. “That is right, James, and look out for a master that keeps the Sabbath, and attends God’s house, and never heed those that mock, for now is the hour of temptation come upon all the world, which is to try them that dwell upon the earth, as it has been long foretold. But let us be faithful, James, and hold fast the blessed hope in which our fathers died, least we lose our crown. Behold the Saviour comes quickly, even to judgment now; the hosts of heaven may be mustering to attend Him, yet still He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. Oh! let us open to Him, before it be too late, and hear His gracious words, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcome and am set down with my Father on His throne.’”
“TWO STRINGS TO YOUR BOW! WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?”
HAVING TWO STRINGS TO YOUR BOW.
“Well, Hodge,” said a smart looking Londoner to a worthy cottager, who was on his way home from church, “so you are trudging home after taking the benefit of the fine balmy breezes in the country this morning?” “Sir,” said the man, “I have not been strolling about this sacred morning, wasting my time in idleness, and neglecting the duties of religion, but I have been to the house of God to hear His holy word.”
“Ah! what, you are one of those simpletons that, in these country places, are weak enough to believe the Bible, and not enjoy your Sunday. Depend upon it, my man, that book is nothing but a pack of nonsense; and none but weak and ignorant people now think it true.”
“Well, Mr. Stranger, but do you know, weak and ignorant as we country people are, we like to have two strings to our bow?”
“Two strings to your bow! what do you mean by that?”
“Why, sir, I mean that to believe the Bible, and act up to it, is like having two strings to my bow; for even should it turn out to be untrue, I shall have been a better and happier man in this world for living according to its dictates; and so it will be for my good in that respect—there is one string—-and if it should prove true, it will be better for me in the world to come-—there is another string; and a pretty strong one it is. But, sir, if you disbelieve the Bible, and on that account do not live as it requires, you have not one string to your bow. And oh! if its tremendous threats prove true, think, oh think; what will become of you then?”
This plain appeal to common sense, silenced the gainsayer, and afforded proof that he was not quite so wise as he supposed.— From Sabbath Illustrated Slips. Published by Partridge & Co.
Sir S. M. Peto stated at the Saturday Half-Holiday Meeting recently, that the person who is now at the head of the rail-way Works of his firm in Canada, and who is constructing one thousand miles of railway, and a bridge across the St. Lawrence, was fifteen years ago a common carpenter at twenty-five shillings a week; and three men, who ten years ago were earning only three and sixpence a day, are now receiving one thousand pounds a year each.
We trust that this important testimony will encourage many of our readers to improve their winter evenings.
A WATER DRINKER’S EXPERIENCE.
I’ve work’d in the heat, and I’ve work’d in the cold,
I’ve work’d with the young, and I’ve work’d with the old,
I’ve Work’d very late, and I’ve work’d very soon,
I’ve work’d by the sun, and I’ve work’d by the moon;
But I’m sure I can tell you without any fear,
I can work very well without any beer.
I’ve work’d far Atom home, and I’ve work’d rather nigh,
I’ve work’d in the wet, and I’ve work’d in the dry,
I’ve work’d amongst com, and I’ve work’d amongst hay,
I’ve work’d by the piece, and I’ve work’d by the day.
And I’m sure lean tell you without any fear,
I can Work very well without any beer.
I’ve work’d amongst lime, and I’ve work’d amongst chalk,
I’ve work’d amongst still folks, and those that could talk,
I’ve worked amongst iron, and I’ve worked amongst wood,
I’ve work’d amongst bad, and I’ve work’d amongst good.
But wherever I go, there’s nothing I fear,
So much as the foolish, made foolish by beer.
I’ve wrote and I’ve read, I’ve summ’d and I’ve talk’d,
I’ve been out on pleasure, with friends I have walk’d,
But never, no never, no use could I see,
Of taking strong drink, so hurtful to me;
Thus I’m sure I can tell you without any fear,
These things can be manag’d without any veer.
T. Martin, Chalk Digger, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
GOD ELESS YE, MERRY HARVESTERS.
God bless ye, merry harvesters! down with the golden grain;
I love to hear your, sickle strokes enlivening the plain;
And joy to see those happy smiles which brighten up your lace,
Gleam through those briny drops of sweat, and give your cheeks a grace.
I love to see your waving fields like undulating sea,
And green blades flutter in the wind like pennants in the breeze;
But more I love your monuments, reared by the hand of toil,
Those yellow sheaves and golden stacks which crown the gen’rous soil.
Ye sing of other harvesters who mow down fields of men,
Who widows make, and orphans too, then deify the slain;
But tell me, are those crimson piles, heaped high in bloody strife,
Deserving more the song of praise than bread, the staff of life?
Long may ye live, and healthfully to quaff the cup of peace,
And may your Hocks and little ones, and lowing herds increase;
And Oh! may he who giveth bread send plenty to your door,
Enough to spread the rich man’s hoard, and satisfy the poor.
“God bless ye merry harvesters! ”Let every Briton sing;
Till with the song the hills awake and lowly vallies ring;
’Neath cottage, hall, and temple roof prolong the joyous strain,—
God bless ye merry harvesters! again, again, again.
God bless ye, merry harvesters, who plough the fallow sod;
Who sows the seed, and harrow it, and leave the rest to God;
To him who sendeth sun, and rain, and seed, and harvest time,
God speed ye all, ye sturdy sons of England’s happy, clime.
And ye who own the fruitful soil, as Boaz did of old,
Pray don’t forget the helping hands that store your purse with gold;
But when young Ruth, the gleaner, comes, go bid your honest men
Drop, here and there, and liberally, an ear of precious grain.
God bless ye all, ye harvesters, and when that day shall come,
When those who sow and reap in tears shall shall shout the harvest home;
May you among those ripened shocks be found of which we read.
And find yourself safe lodged in heaven as precious garner seed.
From “Poems by Edward Capern, Rural Postman of Bideford, Devon.” Published by D. Bogue.
[From the preface to the above book of poems we learn that the author “is a rural letter carrier from Bideford to Buckland Brewer and its neighbourhood, distributing the mail through a discursive walk of three miles dally. Including Sundays; for which his salary is ten shillings and sixpence per week. He has a real poet’s wife. His Jane a charming brunette is intelligent, prudent, and good. He has two children, Charles, a boy of seven, and Milly, a girl just three years of age; and he tells me that he is happy—happy where thousands would be discontented; rich, where many would be in want; blessing providence for its bounties, instead of repining for that which has been denied.”]
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Gloucester.—We rejoice to learn from “a Commercial Traveller,” that Fowler’s Temperance Boarding House and Hotel, in this city, is a model one, for cleanliness, comfort, and attention. We feel assured that if it retains this character it will be well supported; and we trust that its success will be such as to lead to the establishment of similar houses in other places. When staying at Brown’s Temperance Hotel in Clayton Square, Liverpool, a few years ago, we sat down to dinner with about fourteen commercial gentlemen, and in the course of conversation it transpired that there were not more than two Temperance men in the party. On the question being put by one of them, “How is it that you come here;-—why do you not go to where you can have your wine, and beer, and spirits?” “Sir,” replied the chief speaker, “we are glad to get to a good Temperance House, like this—-it is a harbour of refuge for us!”
Our Circulation. We were much gratified with the receipt of the following letter sometime ago, and publish it in the hope, that it will induce our readers, to present specimen copies to the various manufacturers in their respective localities.
Swan Garden Iron Works, Wolverhampton.
About a month ago, we had a few copies of the “British Workman,” kindly brought under our notice (the firm of G. B. Thorneycroft and Co.,) by a friend of Working Men, who requested us to introduce it among the operatives employed at these works. Believing it calculated to elevate the working classes, both in a social and religious point of view, we at once commenced a canvas, and the result is, that out of somewhere about three hundred and fifty hands, we have already secured the names of nearly one hundred as subscribers to your very excellent periodical. Hoping we shall yet further increase the number of our subscribers, and wishing you and the “British Workman” every success,
We remain dear sir, yours truly,
JOHN WOOD, Clerk.
WILLIAM BAGNALL, Manager.
Unanswered Letters. To our numerous correspondents whose letters have had no reply or attention, we beg to apologise. Being engaged in business, and having only our leisure hours for literary matters, we have no alternative but to leave, however reluctantly, many important letters unanswered.
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
SCENES FROM REAL LIFE.
BY MRS. C. L. BALFOUR.
During the time that Patty had been at tending the sick, she had, of course, seen many people, and formed some acquaintances. Her previously secluded life and early sorrows had increased the natural quietude of her disposition, but when opportunity arrived, she felt it a new pleasure to have as a friend a young girl, who lived as servant a the draper’s in Blankport, where Patty had been employed as nurse. Jane Flight was what is called a good-natured girl: that is she was merry and gay, and seldom gave serious thought to anything. She was the daughter of a decent couple, who had a large family, and thought they did all their duty when they brought their children up to be clean and industrious, and sent them out in the world as soon as they could get place for them. Patty was interested by Jane’s mirth and light-hearted laughter. The very contrast between herself and her new friend made her inclined to love her. “If I had known no sorrow,” said she mentally, “I should, perhaps, have been like Jane.” Now, here Patty—-as long years afterwards, she admitted—-was wrong. It was her sorrows that had produced the best qualities of her character.
There is nothing that young people need to be more careful about than the friendships that they form. Many things which Patty would never have allowed in herself, she did not think wrong in Jane. Thus, when Jane, who had little wages, spent all her quarter’s money in clothes, many of them shewy and useless, Patty thought “her parents are comfortably off, and she has no little brothers to provide for, and so she can afford to dress.” Then, when Jane, somewhat reluctantly, went to church, and openly avowed to Patty, she “would rather go home during the time.” That is her love for her parents, was Patty’s conclusion. “Ah, if I had a home, and a good mother, I should want to go too.”
Not quite so easy was it for Patty to excuse some lightness of Manner that she once saw Jane manifest, When two young men came to the back entrance, during the pestilence, to ask about the health of the family, Patty ventured, in love, to tell her friend that what she had accidentally seen when looking from the bedroom window appeared to her wrong.
“They were my brothers that I was laughing with,” said Jane, “leastways, one was.”
“Oh! that altered the case,” Patty said, but still on this subject she felt uneasy, and wished Jane could see the shame, and ruin, and misery which she had seen young girls reduced to in the workhouse, through light and foolish intimacies with young men. Patty knew, for she had seen, that such wretchedness began in weakness, and ended in wickedness. But Jane fired up so at the mention of the workhouse cases, that Patty felt rebuked and silenced.
Patty’s removal to her new situation, which proved such a comfortable home, though separating her from her new friend, did not abate her attachment to her. It was agreed that though they could not see each other, they could write; and as William Flight, Jane’s eldest brother, worked at a boat-builder’s, a mile beyond where Patty now lived, he often brought and carried notes and messages between the two young women. For a long time it never occurred to Patty that the young man was very obliging, or that he called very frequently. At odd times, that she could fairly call her own, she had been doing a little needlework for Jane, who was neither quick at, nor fond of her needle, and it seemed natural to her that as William passed the house, he should take a message or parcel. Indeed, she was so conscious of being but homely in looks, and when she compared herself with Jane, felt so humbled by a sense of personal inferiority that the thoughts of courtship and marriage, which spring up like weeds in a neglected garden after a shower, in the minds of most girls, were very slow of growth in that of Patty. Besides, her contentment in her new home, her grateful attachment to her dear aged mistress, her cares for her brothers, gave her many subjects for thought and care, so that, she was preserved from an empty mind and wandering heart, the common sources of many foolish feelings. Her frequent occupation of reading aloud to Mrs. Drift, was another preservative, for the books selected were good, and now that Patty had reached maturity, and thought of all the way the Lord had led her, she was humbled by a sense of her own unworthiness and God’s great goodness, and the desire to live the life of a sincere Christian was strong in her heart. Thus her sabbaths were very sweet and pleasant, leading her mistress to the neighbouring church, and listening to the truths that seemed the more precious the more she heard them, so that when Jane urged her to ask for a holiday on the Lord’s day, Patty never for a moment thought of it. Her kind mistress, however, often thought that it must be dull for Patty, living alone with a blind person, and so completely confined as she must needs be, and therefore, she permitted Patty to ask Jane to come at any opportunity she had, and as Jane liked to shew her new clothes to such an admiring friend as Patty, and moreover, felt that sort of liking for our nimble heroine that gratified vanity inspires, she came as frequently as she could; and it was from her jokes about William’s eagerness to take a message to “Sea View Cottage” that Patty first attached any importance to William’s calls.
It must be owned that Patty having been so long an object of neglect and contempt, added to the depreciating observations on her personal appearance, so often made during her early years, caused her to listen with surprise and pleasure to the words of Jane. William was a fine young man—-a good workman at a good trade; and could it be possible he entertained serious thoughts of her? For one entire evening after Jane had left, Patty’s thoughts were in a tumult, then came the season of reflection as she read the evening’s chapter, and heard her aged mistress pray “that God might keep and direct them in all things.” What do I know of William, or he of me, that my mind should dwell on Jane’s foolish words, said Patty to herself as she retired for the night. Nevertheless, this thought once admitted, banished the frankness with which she had before seen and spoken to William. And in a short time she could no longer doubt the matter, for William called with a parcel from the draper’s, that he had volunteered to bring for Mrs. Drift, and while he was seated in the kitchen, he told Patty of the intended wedding of a young friend of his that was to take place the next week, and to which he was invited. Patty knew something of the couple, and said simply, “I hope they will be happy.” “I hope so too,” said William, “but I half fear it, for Mary Wilson is a flighty sort of girl, fond of pleasure and dress, and not very fit for a working man’s wife.” After this beginning, the reader need not be told, that William contrived to let Patty know that she herself was far more to his mind as a partner for life. It was a short interview, but it exerted a great influence on Patty. A new emotion, a strange anxiety sprung up in her heart, and banished the calm that she had previously felt. Alas! that was not the only anxiety Patty was doomed to feel in reference to William Flight.
During the next week she missed his passing at the accustomed hour, and she recollected that he was invited to the wedding of his friend, and had told her, he meant to make holiday; but he came not the next day, nor the next, and the week closed without her seeing him, and she felt wretched and uneasy, and for the first time was reproved by her kind mistress for some neglect, and thought herself harshly treated, and wept bitter tears, to the amazement of Mrs. Drift who wondered at the grief and impatience of her usually gentle, affectionate servant.
On Sunday, her youngest brother came after his school time to see her, and after telling her how he was getting on, and hoped soon to be able to keep himself, he added, “Oh Patty! There’s a deal of news in Blankport, Mr. Vineer’s come back from America, and people say Mrs. Vineer will be worse off with him than she was without him. And there was a wedding in the town. Mrs. Wilson the beer-shop keeper’s daughter—such a smart affair it was, only there was a good deal of drinking, and it ended in a row—quite a fight.”
“A fight!” said Patty.
“Yes, William Flight, they say, once wanted Mary Wilson himself, and some jeers going on, they came to blows.” “They! who?” said Patty.
“Why William, and Tom Wilson, Mary’s brother.”
Not another word was said, not even about the return of her old master; enough had been heard to banish all comfort from Patty’s heart.
During the following week, the weather being fine, Mrs. Drift walked out several times led by her faithful attendant; once they went to a hill that overlooked the boat builder’s yard where William worked, and Patty caught a glimpse of him with his head tied up, and she knew that he went round by another road to prevent her seeing him in so disgraceful a state.
But the human mind, where the feelings are influenced, is very skilful in self-delusion, and with all Patty’s sound good sense, she was doing, what hundreds of well-meaning women are doing daily; she was making excuses for the object of her affection. No doubt she made up her mind that he had been the subject of the brutal attack. Ah! Mrs. Drift was not half so blind as poor Patty just then.
On her return home there was a letter from Mrs. Vineer, to ask Patty to obtain permission to come for an afternoon to Blankport. This could only be granted by Patty getting a substitute to mind the house in her absence, but as Mrs. Drift had heard a great deal about Patty’s first place, and the troubles of Mrs. Vineer, she consented, on condition that Patty’s brother Ned at the neighbouring farm, could be spared to stay in the house while Patty was gone, this being arranged, Patty, after some month’s absence, set out for the house where she had spent so many useful years. The scene she saw there helped to arouse her from her delusion.
(To be continued.)
Penny Puffs; or the £90.
FROM THE DIARY OF A YORK SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER.
I once visited a travelling tinker, who had become lame, and was unable to follow his daily labour. He was in distress, and required help. The pipe on the bob shewed that he was a smoker. On my making some allusion to the pipe, be said, “Both me and wife have smoked, sir, ever since we were wed. We have never had more nor less, than ‘a pen’orth of bacca’ every day.” Having ascertained the length of time they had been married, I took out my pencil, and made a calculation as to the amount spent by them in these “pennies.” Judge of the tinker’s surprise, when I thus addressed him, “My friend, if you had placed the money in the Savings Bank, (where you would have had interest allowed for your money,) instead of wasting it in smoke, you might to-day have felt independent of others, for your Pennies would have amounted in your bank-book to the noble sum of NINETY POUNDS!”
A working man informs us that after smoking tobacco for about thirty years, he gave it up about five years ago. At that time, there was established in the town where he resides, a “Five Years Friendly Society” of which he became a member. Into this society he paid the amount which he had formerly spent in tobacco, and when the society was broken up last month, he had the gratification to carry home the five years’ smoke, in the condensed form of FOURTEEN POUNDS & SEVEN-PENCE HALF-PENNY!—From the Adviser.
No. 14. Illustrated Hand-Bills.
Sold in Sixpenny assorted packets. May be had through all booksellers, or post free on forwarding six postage stamps to the publishers, Messrs. W. & F. G. Cash, 5, Bishopsgate Street Without, London.
COLUMNS FOR WIVES AND MOTHERS.
WOMAN’S WORK IS NEVER DONE.
“No never!” said Mrs. Swift as she began putting a patch on her eldest boy’s trousers, while rocking the cradle of the youngest with her foot, and every now and then laying down her work, to look to a saucepan on the fire, and stir its contents, a comfortable mess of onion porritch, that she was preparing for her husband’s supper. He was at home, for he left work at six o’clock; but for two hours he had been mending the window shutter, and putting list round the door, and making the little cottage as snug as he could, and truly it was a comfortable place; what it wanted in smartness was made up in cleanliness. There was not much furniture but it was all well kept; the deal table was without a spot. The windsor chairs rubbed bright, the fire glowed and sparkled on the fire irons, and the white hearth was clean swept. A door opened into an inner room where two children were soundly sleeping, their rosy faces on the white pillows looking like the sunshine upon snow; yes, it was very true the good wife and mother who kept that little dwelling so clean and neat, and her husband and children so respectable, and herself so comely, in her decent stuff gown, white collar and cap, must work hard and constantly. Every day and every hour of the day brought its cares. There was getting the breakfast, washing and dressing the children, and sending the two eldest to the infant school; then there was dressing the baby, clearing up, and getting dinner ready. Whether the baby was cross or quiet, the dinner must be punctual at twelve o’clock, and Mrs. Swift knew, that if food was to nourish and to go far, it must be well cooked and neatly put upon the table. A half-dressed muddled meal she knew was never liked, and often half wasted. So there was a great bustle to have it all tidy and nice against John came in to dinner. How, with her baby on her arm, she contrived to clear up so well, was always a wonder to us. That one active arm of hers was better than the two arms of most people. And sometimes when the children tore their clothes, and she had to sit up at night to mend them, and when the buttons came off John’s shirts and waistcoat—and buttons really seem to jump off on purpose, then good Mrs. Swift would say, with a bit of a sigh, “a woman’s work is never done.”
Do not sigh good wife and mother whereever you are; you are happier amid “the work that is never done” than many women I know whose work is never begun.
I know a woman; she is rich, (thank God, all the rich are not like her.) She lays down on a soft bed at night; in the morning, a servant comes to dress her. She feels tired when she gets up. She sits at her breakfast table, and though she eats her meal, she has no relish for it. If it is fine, she walks out—looks into the shops, or saunters in the park; she is soon weary and returns home, she takes up a book, but soon, with a yawn, lays it down. People, tired like herself, call in upon her, they have a little talk—mostly languid—sometimes ill-natured—they leave, and then the lady sits down to a dinner which she does not relish. She lays down after dinner on a sofa and takes a troubled dose; she brightens up at night a bit if any one comes in to play a game of cards with her, if not, she is low-spirited; dwells on old grievances, remembers old offences; grumbles at her servants, murmurs at her friends; feels bitterness and sorrow; then comes bed-time, and away she goes to lie tossing on her soft bed that never seems to give her rest. If she sleeps, it is to dream over the joyless day. God is not in all her thoughts. Life, death, eternity, are words she does not like to hear, they convey ideas she wants to shut out. The morning comes only to renew the vapid round of the previous day. She lives with none to love her, for those who eat her bread, earn it from her in such bitterness, that they cannot feel affection for her; and she dies with none to lament her, for she had done no one good, and most of all she has done evil to herself. A selfish life is a joyless life—a selfish death is a hopeless death. Oh, pious working mother! finding the day all too short for what you have to do; sing and shout aloud for joy! Your homeliest, hardest, humblest work is blessed. You are in your duty—husband, children, home, neighbours, are the better for your toils and your example. To your dying day perhaps your work will never cease, it is always doing, and you are blessed in your deed. “Rising Up early, lying down late, eating the bread of carefulness;” sweet is that bread, useful and noble that active life. In the great day of account when the Lord reckons with his servants, no industrious Christian mother, however humble, will be among those who have hid their Lord’s talent in a napkin. No! plenty of work to do, and health and heart to do it, is one of God’s best blessings, and many throughout eternity will rejoice that in this world, a “woman’s work is never done.”
THE HAPPIEST PLACE IN HEAVEN.
“Which is the happiest place in heaven?”
A Christian bard was asked to tell;
And they who hear the answer given,
Will own he met the question well.
One moment only did the cloud
Of doubt upon his face remain;
The next he struck his lyre so loud,
It startled all who heard the strain.
“Though wide o’er heaven joy’s anthem roll,
And bliss may reign in every part;
The happiest place amidst the whole,
O! ’tis THE RANSOMED SINNER’S HEART!”
– Dr. Huie.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE WITH THEM?
Shortly after penning for our last number the notice relative to “mad bulls,” the Lord Mayor of London, on having before him one of that numerous class of English barbarians—-the wife-beaters; after sentencing the culprit to be sent to prison, to be there kept at the public expense for several months, his Lordship said, “here is a case of absolute brutality, for which a fellow deserves to be put into an iron cage, and exhibited from one end of London to the other.” (See Times, Aug. 19.)
Although we have various other plans and proposals from several correspondents, which would, we believe, be far more effective than the iron cage, we give precedence as a matter of courtesy, to the suggestion of the chief magistrate of the metropolis. We shall duly notice the other plans in future numbers.
The best pledge of woman’s love is her attachment in poverty.
Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 88
THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
“HE WANTED SOME DRINK AS USUAL, BUT I POINTED HIM TO MY CARD.”
VISIT TO THE HAGGERSTONE COAL-HEAVERS.
(Continuation of James Skinner’s Testimony;) See August No., p. 80.
By God’s help I kept firm; my health and strength began to mend, and my appetite for good food increased, just as my relish for drink lessened; but it was no slight struggle, I assure you.
One thing that tried me very hard, was my relations, coming to see me and wanting me to send for drink for them. But I said, “No, what’s so bad for me, I’ll not give to you.” But some of them would have it, and to vex me, actually fetched drink from the public-house, and began to drink in my room. I said to myself, “This won’t do!” but, how to manage rightly I did’nt know, particularly with my brother-in law, Jack Hunton, for he could talk a deal faster and better than me. After thinking a good deal about it, I went to a painter, and got him to do me a card, with “No intoxicating liquors allowed here,” painted on it. I fastened the card over my chimney-piece, and the next time that Jack came, he wanted some drink as usual, but I pointed him to my card. He jeered and laughed at me, but it was all to no use. I stuck to my resolution, and I’ve lived to see the day when Jack Hunton thanks me for doing so. If I were to tell you what my family has endured through drink, and what temperance and industry has done for us, it would make tears come into your eyes. For my part, I thank God for His mercy to me in the past, and desire to trust Him for the future.
John Hunton, of 45, Dove Row, Hackney Fields, states:—
It is five years ago, the 28th of last June, since I signed. Blessed be God that I ever did so. I called Jem Skinner a shabby fellow when he would’nt let me have drink in his house; but although I ridiculed him, I was forced to respect him in my heart for his consistency. The card over his chimney piece made me think. I could’nt drink so comfortably after I had seen it. It was a silent lecturer, and at last I told Skinner that I would join the good cause.
On the first Saturday night after I had done so, I found that instead of giving fourteen or fifteen shillings out of my week’s wages to the publican as usual, I had it myself. I went home, my wife put on her bonnet and shawl, and we went off to market together! A long time since we had done that! Everything has gone on better with me since I gave up drinking, and I recommend my fellow working men to follow my example. Some people say that they cannot work without drink; but I have done without it as a coal-heaver for five years, and I am stronger and better now than I was when I took my beer. I am not so much fatigued now when my day’s work is done, as I used to be then.
James Maddocks, of 9, Clarence Terrace, Haggerstone, states:—
“I have been upwards of seventeen years in the Temperance Society; and although I have had to work hard, I have never had the least cause to regret the step I took. I have found it to be a good thing. I had not been a drunkard previously: I was hardly ever drunk in my life. I began when twenty-five years of age. I think prevention is better than cure. The result of my sobriety is, I have not been out of a situation for thirty years, — not one week. Although I have had several situations, I have left one on a Saturday night, and gone to another on Monday morning. I have not lost one week’s wages for thirty years.”
William Plank, of Frederick Street, Haggerstone, Coal-heaver, states;—
“I was brought up as a shepherd, on Salisbury Plain. When I first went to work it was as a ploughboy; and I was told to drink heartily, or I would never be able to drive the horses, or to plough a straight furrow. When I came to London. I had never tasted spirituous liquors; but I was not long here before I was led into the drinking ways. I had several good situations at the West End, and lost them in one way or another through drink.
Then I came to Kings-land Road, among the coal-porters: I was so poor I could not afford to pay for a night’s lodging. Many a time have I laid all night in he brick-yards, and in the morning found myself white with frost. My friend Price came one day after me. He said ‘Come and join our cold water guard, and we will take care of you.’ I went with him to the meeting in William Street, Curtain Road, and from that night I have never touched a drop of spirits or beer.
I used to be called by my drinking companions ‘a good fellow,’ I am not called such by them now; but I am called by my children, a good father; by my wife, a good husband, and by my landlord, a good tenant.”
[We have much pleasure in adding that the Earl of Shaftesbury, on hearing of the temperance labours of the Haggerstone Coal Heavers, kindly presented to James Skinner, John Hunton, James Maddocks, and Wm. Plank, copies of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.]
JOHN POUNDS, THE COBBLER.
Here is a cobbler seated at his work, with a company of little boys and girls around him. Who is he, and what is he doing for them? The old man is John Pounds. He lived in Portsmouth some years ago, and those are poor little ragged children, whom he found in the streets running about outcast and forsaken. He is teaching them to read, that they may learn about Jesus. This is the first Ragged School that ever was established in England, and it was formed by a British Workman. What an example for British Workmen! That man will not be less diligent in his own business who has a hand to help and a heart to feel for the wants and sorrows of others.
John Pounds was a clever man besides, and like Paul, if he could not win a poor boy any other way, he won him by guile. Many a time was he seen chasing a ragged boy along the quays, and inducing him to come to school, not by the power of a policeman’s staff, but by the power of a potato. He knew the love of the Irish for this vegetable, and many a ragged urchin did he gain to his humble school by holding under the boy’s nose a hot potato!
Dr. Guthrie, in one of his speeches, said, “John Pounds, a cobbler in Portsmouth, taking pity on the multitude of poor ragged children left by the rich to go to ruin in the streets, like a good shepherd, he gathered in these wretched outcasts. While earning his daily bread by the sweat of his brow, he rescued from misery and saved to society not less than five hundred of these children.”
One man had thus the honour and the happiness of saving five hundred children; one man, who was a poor man and a working man too. Was not John Pounds a happy man, and would not you be happy men too, if you follow his example? Try?
“He that winneth souls is wise.”
JOHN POUNDS, THE PHILANTHROPIC COBBLER, AND FOUNDER OF RAGGED SCHOOLS.
THE OLD MAN’S WATCH.
ONE morning in last July, an old man, in the garb of the respectable working-class, called at the gate of the Royal Free Hospital, and gave the porter a parcel sealed up in whitey-brown paper, with the simple remark, “That’s for the Hospital, I got nothing else to give.”
Declining further conversation, name or address, the unknown donor went on his way to work, and none of us will probably ever be acquainted with who or what that old man is. His, at all events, is the charity of Scripture, which “lets not its left hand know what its right hand doeth,” and it will interest our readers to know what the parcel contained. It was an old silver watch of the venerable turnip type, with an antique gold ring, and brass key complete. The watch was going at the time, implying it had been in use up to the period of its owner’s parting with it. This was probably no trifling sacrifice. That watch may have been a parent’s parting gift—or the purchase of the owner’s savings out of hard earnings—or an article, the long use of which had made the habit a necessity, and yet he bestowed it on the hospital—-the house of the sick and suffering. Like the woman whose praise is in the Gospels, “He did what he could.” If every one did as much as he could, there would be no lack of funds for works of charity and Christianity. Hearty old man! “the blessing of him that is ready to perish” follow thee and thy honest labours, and lighten their load with the reflection that thou hast lightened some poor suffering brother’s heavier burthen! The paper in which the old watch was wrapped contained these words written in pencil—a workman’s pencil probably he had more of the spirit of the “cheerful giver,” than of the pen of a ready writer—-“This watch and small gold ring for the benefit of the Royal Free Hospital. Anonymous.”
Anonymous to us it is, and probably will be, but not to Him, whose message to the church of Ephesus was, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience.” May He, to whose poor this lowly giver has sacrificed his gift, the chronometer of time, bless him with the grace and peace which are the earnest of a covenant interest in the things of eternity!
– Rev. J. B. Owen, M.A.
In our next number we shall record some noble contributions by working men to the Hospital at Poplar, near London.