British Workman Vol. 1, No. 29 (1857)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Image and PDF Files


Embedded PDF

Navigate using up and down arrows at top or bottom of viewer.
BW1-29

Uncorrected OCR Text

Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 113

BRITISH WORKMAN

No. 29.]

Published for the Editor by S. W. PARTRIDGE, at the Office of the “British Workman,” No. 9, Paternoster Row, London.

[Price One Penny.

THE SAILORS’ HOME, WELL STREET, LONDON DOCKS.
THE SAILORS’ HOME; OR,
Brunswick Maritime Establishment:
WELL ST., LONDON DOCKS.
We recently paid a visit to the well known Sailors’ Home in Well Street, Whitechapel, near the entrance to the London Docks, which is under the superintendence of Captain Pierce, R.N. We rejoiced to hear from so many of the “jolly sons of the sea,” that they had found this Home “ a harbour of refuge” to them. This large establishment forms a boarding and lodging house for seamen and apprentices, where they can live comfortably at a moderate charge. It has a registry office for recording the characters of the men, and aids in shipping them when they are ready to go to sea. Instruction is also provided, without charge, to those who may desire to acquire the knowledge or improve themselves in the science of navigation. A savings’ bank; money order office; reading room, and church are also to be numbered amongst the advantages of this Institution.

It is an interesting fact, that since the opening of this Sailors’ Home in May, 1835, the sum of five hundred and sixty-nine thousand pounds has been deposited by sailors in the Institution, of which one hundred and ninety-three thousand six hundred and seventy-two pounds have been remitted to “Jack’s” relatives and friends!

Many seamen, both old and young, will doubtless have to thank God throughout eternity for the advantages they have gained, and the evils they have avoided through taking up their residence at the Sailors’ Home, in Well Street. The Rev. Mr. Gribble, the chaplain of the Institution, having himself been a sailor, knows how to sympathize with the disadvantages of a seaman’s life. It is not only that the inmates are brought under the beneficial influence of the moral and religious counsel of the worthy chaplain, but the men have the advantage of good company. A pleasing instance of this was afforded not long ago in the case of an intelligent and noble-hearted American mate, who, during his temporary sojourn in the “ Homo,” sought to win his fellow sailors to habits of temperance and he paths of piety.
THE AMERICAN MATE IN THE SAILORS’ HOME, WELL STREET, LONDON DOCKS,


Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 114

114

THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
Not a few weather-beaten tars, men who had braved death at the cannon’s mouth were softened down under the affectionate remonstrances of this worthy mate, and we believe that the great day of account will shew that the seed thus sown has been as “bread cast upon the waters, found after many days.”

As many of our seafaring readers may not be aware of the advantages of this Institution, we insert the following extract from one of the circulars published by the Directors of this excellent “Home.”
Address to Seamen.
The Directors of the Sailors’ Home, are extremely desirous that Seamen should clearly understand that the Institution was designed with no other object than to benefit the Sailors who may come to the Port of London; and they are peculiarly anxious that the men who frequent it may, in every respect, and under all circumstances, find it to be truly a Sailor’s “Home.”

Care will be taken that the Provisions in the House shall be of good quality; that the men’s Lodging Cabins shall be kept a clean and made as comfortable as possible and that the Washing of their Clothes engaged for according to the Regulation shall be properly done.

Seamen will have to pay two shillings day, or fourteen shillings a week, for living at the Institution; each man has a sleeping cabin to himself; four meals a day are provided for the boarders; and a fair allowance of washing is included in the weekly charge.

Ordinary Seamen (under twenty year of age,) twelve shillings a week, washing included.

Apprentices will have to pay one shilling and sevenpence a day, or eleven shillings a week, upon the same terms.

The blessing of religious instruction, the opportunity of living a sober and a decent life, a just account of wages entrusted to the care of the Institution, and security of property, with free use of Library and Reading Room, are the advantages that the Sailors’ Home holds out to the Seamen.

Navigation Schools are open,

From 9 to 12 in the Morning,
2 to 4 in the Afternoon.
6 to 9 in the Evening,

which afford to Seamen who are desirous of rising in their profession, the opportunity of qualifying themselves to become Mates or Masters of vessels, and without charge to Seamen and Apprentices boarding at the Sailors’ Home.

The Institution is considered responsible for all monies that may be deposited by the Seamen; but all private money transactions with the Officers, or all money dealings in any way with the servants, is strictly prohibited. Officers of the Institution will attend the Pay-tables, when it is possible to do so, for the better security of the Boarders who may wish to lodge their surplus money at the Sailors’ Home; and the men will find whatever sums they may place in the Agent’s hands carried to their credit in the Accountant’s Office. By these means, men may be protected from that system of imposition and loss that so frequently occurs when the seamen receive their wages. The Seaman can receive any part of his money from nine o’clock in the forenoon until five in the evening; and the Cashier will receive money from the men at any time between the same hours; Sundays in both cases, always excepted. The Boarders are strongly recommended not to keep money in their chests, or about their persons, but on their arrival at the Sailors’ Home to lodge it in the hands of the Cashier, or, if after office hours, with the Superintendent.

The Officers of the Sailors’ Home are instructed to advise the men where they may purchase their Clothes, and whatever else they may require, so as to ensure their procuring them of a good quality, and on the most reasonable terms. The Secretary of the Institution will assist the men in writing to their friends, and in making any remittances of money they may desire to forward to their relations.

Allotment Notes for the benefit of the Families of absent Seamen, when payable in London, will be received by the Sailors’ Home, and the amount forwarded by the Cashier to the relatives of Boarders.

The Board of Trade, being desirous of encouraging Seamen to save their earnings, and of preventing, as far as possible, the risk of losing their money after being “paid off” from their ships, have established a “Seamen’s Savings’ Bank” at the Sailor’s Home. Deposits from £5 to £200 will be received, and interest of £3 per cent, allowed.

Money Orders are also granted to Seamen and Apprentices, free of expense, for the purpose of enabling them to send a part of their wages to their friends or relations, residing at any other Port in the United Kingdom.

A Shipping Office is established under the provisions of the Mercantile Marine Act, where Captains can obtain Crews, sign Articles, pay off their Men, &c., and Seamen can register their Names, and obtain employment.

GEORGE PIERCE,
Secretary.

Other Sailors’ Homes.

We are glad to he able to state that Mr. Green, the eminent Ship-owner, who opened an excellent “Sailors’ Home” in the East India Road, Poplar, for the crews of his own vessels, has liberally extended the admission to all seamen of good character. We hope that the large Ship-owners in other ports will follow Mr. Green’s good example. They will doubtless, secure to ;hemselves a blessing, whilst conferring a blessing on others.

Sailors Homes’ may now be found at

Aberdeen.
Devonport.
Liverpool.
Belfast.
Dover.
Plymouth.
Bristol.
Dublin.
Portsmouth.
Cardiff.
Falmouth.
Stornoway.
Chatham.
Folkstone.
Sunderland.
Cork.
Greenock.
When any additional “Homes” are opened, we shall be glad to be informed.

THE OLD SAILOR’S REBUKE.

A merchant and ship-owner of the city of New York, stood at the entrance of his store, conversing with a gentleman on business. A pious sailor, belonging to one of his vessels, approached the store with the intention of entering it, but observing that the door was occupied, modestly stepped aside, not willing to interrupt the conversation.

As he stood waiting patiently an opportunity to pass into the store, he overheard profane allusions made to Christ, and turning to look, he perceived it was his employer who was speaking. Instantly he changed his position, and stood in front of the gentleman with his head uncovered, and his hat under his arm, and addressed his employer in the following language. “Sir, will you forgive me if I speak a word to you?” The gentleman recognising in the sailor one of the crew of the vessel recently arrived, and supposing he might have something to communicate affecting his interests, kindly encouraged him to speak. Without further hesitation, the sailor proceeded: “You won’t be offended then, sir, with a poor ignorant sailor, if he tells you his feelings.” The gentleman again assured him he had nothing to fear. “Well then, sir,” said the honest-hearted sailor, with emotion, “will you be so kind as not to take the name of my blessed Jesus in vain! He is a good Saviour: he took my feet from the pit and the miry clay, and established my going. O sir, don’t, if you please, take the name of my Jesus in vain! He never did any one any harm, but is always doing good.” The rebuke was not lost upon him for whom it was intended; a tear suffused his eye, and he replied to his urgent request, “My good fellow, God helping me, I never will again take the lame of your Saviour in vain.” “Thank you, sir,” said this faithful witness for Christ, and putting on his hat, he walked away to his work.

ANECDOTE GF A SAILOR.

When the late Rev. Charles Back was once preaching in Silver Street Chapel, in London, a sailor, passing along and hearing he singing, thought within himself, “I am shortly going to sea, I shall perhaps never rave another opportunity—I’ll go in.” During the sermon something deeply impressed his mind. He inquired the name if the preacher, which he never forgot. He went to sea, and all his serious impressions wore away, but after he returned he was taken ill, and was visited by some pious gentlemen, who found him very ignorant, he acknowledged his neglect of divine things, but said there was a religion that he liked, and that was what he once heard a Mr. Buck preach at Silver Street Chapel, they continued their visits, and at length witnessed his happy death. One of his last expressions was, “I now take my cable, and fix it on my anchor, Jesus, and go trough the storm.

Jesu, lover of my soul Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, 0 my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life be past;
Safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last!

WIFE BEATERS.
SUGGESTION IV.

There are but few men in the world whose opinion on matters affecting “reformation of manners,” are entitled to such attention as those from the lips or the pen of Dr. Guthrie, of Edinburgh, the celebrated author of the successful “Plea for Ragged Schools.”

The worthy Doctor has written us a letter in which he recommends the adoption of the “shaving process,” as an efficient mode of punishment for those miscreants— the wife-beaters.

Dr. Guthrie urges his recommendation by the fact that the plan has been tried in the army and found successful. He says, “the colonel of a regiment was annoyed and distressed greatly at the prevalence of drunkenness among the men. Severe punishments were tried, but all in vain—all the common remedies were tried, but all in vain. It occurred to him to try the effect of shame and ridicule. He announced his intention, and ordered his plan. Next day an offender was caught. He was neither lashed nor ironed, simply committed to the hands of the regimental barber, who operated upon him forthwith; and when he appeared with his head as bald as a pealed turnip, he became such a laughing stock for all, officers, men, and band boys, that no man ventured thereafter to get drunk! It wrought like a charm. Thousands will stand corporal punishment, who can’t stand ridicule.”

We hope that when the next Act of Parliament for the protection of women is framed, the “shaving process” will not be overlooked. It will certainly be much more economical to the rate payers than the present plan of “six months with hard labour.”
PROPOSED “SHAVING PROCESS” FOR WIFE BEATERS.
CELEBRATED WEAVERS.
(Continued from page 110.,)

HENRY KIRKE WHITE, a youthful poet of great promise, was born at Nottingham, in 1785, and from his infancy manifested an ardent love of learning. His father being a butcher, he assisted him in his business for some years, but in his fourteenth year was put apprentice to a stocking weaver. Aspiring, however, for some situation in which his mental energies could be developed he was at length placed in an attorney’s office, and applying his leisure hours to the study of languages, was able, in the course of ten months, to read Horace with tolerable facility, and had made some progress in Greek. At the same time, he acquired a knowledge of Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and even applied himself to the acquisition of some of the sciences. In 1803 he published a volume of poems, and in the preface stated that they were published for the purpose of facilitating his future studies, and enabling him “ to pursue those inclinations which might one day place him in an honourable station in the scale of society.” These poems procured for him the notice and encouragement of Southey and other influential men, and at length, through the generosity of Mr. Wilberforce, he was admitted a student of St. John’s ^ College, Cambridge. There he applied himself to his studies with such unremitting labour, that his constitution sunk under the continued effort, and he died in 1806. It is worthy of remark that all the poetry of Henry Kirke White was written before his twentieth year. His “Remains,” consisting of poems, letters, and fragments, were edited by Southey, who also wrote a sketch of his life.

JOHN ETELDEN, M.P., whose exertions on behalf of the labouring classes deserve honorable mention, was originally himself a weaver. He gradually worked his way up to competence, influence, and authority; and when, through the influence of his combined industry and intelligence he had become a master, his fidelity to the class from which he sprung, made him the earnest and untiring champion of the rights of his fellow-toilers. He sat in Parliament for Oldham, from 1832 to 1847. His exertions in reference to the memorable Ten-hours’ Bill, will not speedily be forgotten. He died in 1849.

Dr. JOSEPH WHITE, an eminent divine and orientalist, was the son of a poor journeyman weaver, of Gloucester, where he was born 1746. His father brought him up to his own trade, but sent him for a time to a charity school. The education he there received had the effect of inspiring him with a love of reading and study, which he carried so far in his leisure hours, that his attainments attracted the attention of a neighbouring gentleman, who furnished him the means of entering Wadham College, Oxford. In 1775, he was elected Laudian Professor of Arabic; and subsequently took the degree of D.D. He published several learned works, and died in 1814.
JOHN BACON, the eminent English sculptor, was the son of a weaver in Southwark, Surrey, where he was born in 1740. When he was fourteen, he was apprenticed to a porcelain manufacturer in Bow Church-yard, who taught him the art of painting china and making figures for chimney-piece ornaments. I he sculptors of that day were accustomed to send their clay models to be burnt at the furnaces of his employer, and the superiority of their execution over the figures he was accustomed to model, struck his observation, and caused him to aspire after the higher exercise of his art. On nine occasions he gained the first premium of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, and on the establishment of the Royal Society, he became a student, and afterwards a Royal Academician. Among his statues may be mentioned, that of the Earl of Chatham, in Guildhall; Dr. Johnson and John Howard, in St. Paul’s, and the allegorical figure of the Thames, in the courtyard of Somerset House. He died in 1799, and was buried in Whitfield’s Chapel, Tottenham Court Road; the tablet placed over the grave bearing the following inscription, written by himself:—

“What I was as an artist seemed to me of some importance while I lived; but what I really was as a believer in Jesus Christ, is the only thing of importance to me now.”

THOMAS SIMPSON, an eminent mathematician, was born in 1710, at Market Bosworth, and was the son of a weaver, who brought him up to his own trade. He employed his leisure hours in the acquisition of knowledge, and was led to the study of mathematics by obtaining possession of a copy of Cocker’s Arithmetic, to which was annexed a short treatise on Algebra, For many years he worked as a weaver during the day, and taught a school in the evenings, but his attainments and abilities becoming known, he was enabled to give up his trade, and devote himself to the study and teaching of mathematics. In 1743, he was appointed Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and three years afterwards was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society. He died in 1761, after having written several works of considerable value.

(Notices of Weavers to be concluded in next No.)

CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL.
Col. iii. 11.

Compar’d with Christ, in all beside,
No comeliness I see;
The one thing needful, dearest Lord,
Is to be one with thee.
The sense of thy expiring love,
Into my soul convey;
Thyself bestow! for thee alone.
My All in All, I pray.
THE BOARD OF TRADE

Being desirous of encouraging Seamen to save their earnings, and of preventing as far as possible the risk of losing their money after being “ paid off’’ from their ships, have established
SEAMEN’S SAYINGS’ BANKS
at the Shipping Offices at the principal ports (Kirkwall, Lerwick, and Stornoway excepted). The following are a few of the
ADVANTAGES
which Seamen will derive by depositing their money therein:—

1st. That the Seamen’s money will always be SAFE, it being under the care of the Board of Trade.

2d. That they can PAY their deposits first at one port and then at another, just as it may suit their convenience.

3d. That they can WITHDRAW at any port they please the whole amount of their deposits, or can withdraw portions of their money first at one port and then at another.

4th. That the deposits, if allowed to remain in the “Seamen’s Savings’ Bank,” will be increased by the INTEREST which the Board of Trade allow to depositors at £3 per cent, per annum.

5th. That in the event of the Seaman dying without a will, any deposit or interest that may have belonged to him wiU be paid over to his nearest relation or legal representative.

The Wives, Widows, and Children of Seamen are also allowed to open accounts in the “Seamens’ Savings’ Bank.”

Seamen are also allowed to deposit sums of Money for their Children, which the Children can withdraw whenever required, if they are above 14 years of age.
THE SAILOR’S EVENING PRAYER.

Long the sun hath gone to rest,
Dimmed is now the deepening west;
And the sky hath lost the hue
That the rich clouds o’er it threw:
Lonely on the pale blue sky
Gleam faint streaks of crimson dye,
Gloriously the evening star
Looks upon us from afar;
Aid us, o’er the changeful deep,
God of power;
Bless the sailor’s ocean sleep,
At midnight’s hour.

On the stilly twilight air
We would breathe our solemn prayer,—
“Bless the dear ones of our home,
Guide us through the wild waves’ foam,
To the light of those dear eyes,
Where our hearts’ best treasure lies,
To the love in one fond breast,
That unchanging home of rest!
Hear her, when at even tide She kneels to pray,
That God would bless, defend and guide,
Those far away! ”

Now the moon hath touched the sea,
And the waves all tremblingly
Throw towards heaven their silvery spray,
Happy in the gladdening ray;
Thus, Redeemer, let thy love
Shine upon us from above;
Touched by thee, our hearts will rise,
Grateful towards the glowing skies;
Guard us, shield us, mighty Lord,
Thou dost not sleep,
Still the tempest with thy word,—
Rule the deep!”
GENTLENESS.

If thou hast crushed a flower,
The root may not he blighted;
If thou hast quenched a lamp,
Once more it may he lighted;
But on thy harp or on thy lute,
The string which thou hast broken,
Shall never in sweet sound again
Give to thy touch a token!
If thou hast loosed a bird,
Whose voice of song could cheer thee,
Still, still he may he won
From the skies to warble near thee.
But if upon the troubled sea
Thou hast thrown a gem unheeded,
Hope not that the wind or wave shall bring
The treasure hack when needed!

If thou hast bruised a vine,
The summer’s breath is healing,
And its cluster yet may glow
Thro’ the leaves their bloom revealing.
But if thou hast a cup o’er thrown
With a bright draught filled—oh, never
Shall earth give back that lavished wealth
To cool thy parched lip’s fever!

The heart is like that cup,
If thou waste the love it bore thee,
And like that jewel gone,
Which the deep will not restore thee;
And like that string of harp or lute
Whence the sweet sound is scattered—
Gently, oh, gently touch the cords,
So soon for ever shattered!

Mrs. Hemans.


Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 115

THE BRITISH WORKMAN,

115
A PAGE FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

THE INDEPENDENT LABOURER.

In many parts of England, but more particularly in the south,—where agriculture is the chief employment of the poor—may bee seen, amidst the green hills and wooded valleys, many a peaceful cot, with a little garden neatly kept, showing that the inhabitants are a thrifty sort, spending their leisure hours in usefulness; raising vegetables for their own table, and sometimes earning a few pence by selling them in the village.

You will often find, too, that those of an industrious turn take a pride in rearing a few flowers, training the rose and honeysuckle round the windows or over the porch, making their humble cottage look more inviting. It is such as these who can lie down at night with a feeling of contentment; they know they have served their master well, and that in so doing they have done their best for the support of their family; they can therefore ask Heaven’s blessing upon their labours.

In the outskirts of a small town, in such a cottage as is here described, there lived an honest labourer—one, who by the “sweat of his brow” had contrived by his example and industry to bring up a family likely to be as independent as himself, although his wages were not high. His wife, too, was one of those who make the best of everything; she knew how much was gained by neat and careful habits, and the advantage it would be to her family to bring them up in such ways; and she well knew that there was no way so respectable for her daughters to get a livelihood as that of household service ; and what lady would not prefer taking a girl out of a cottage that was always neat and clean, rather than from one where you may very plainly see that the mother must be a slovenly woman?

In going from cottage to cottage, how striking the difference in their appearance! On entering one you see nothing but dirt and confusion—the family all dirty too, presenting a most squalid picture; at first sight you may think there is real distress here. You enter the next; so neat and tidy—everything in its place, and nothing put away without being properly cleaned giving the whole such a look of comfort that you can hardly believe want has ever entered at its door; but upon inquiry you may find as much hardship and as great a struggle for a maintenance as in the former, although they put a smiling face upon it; and who would not feel more pleasure in helping such, who are evidently striving to make the best of their scanty means, than those whose dirty condition too plainly shows that from their carelessness and idle habits they are not likely to improve, however much you may try to help them.

These girls of Mrs. Fairley (for that was the name of the family) were seen going to school every day neatly dressed, and never loitering by the way or playing with the idle ones—they knew their mother could give them something to do when they got home. By showing them how to do things properly in their own little cottage, she knew they would have a better idea of setting about their work when they got a place in a gentleman’s house. The cloth was neatly laid on the table by the time their father and brothers returned from their work; and when everything was washed up and put in its place, there was nothing more left for them to do alter the tea hour but to sit down with their mother to needlework, which gave them quite enough time to keep their clothes in the tidy way in which they were always seen. This is a time too often spent in idle gossip, in consequence of which you may see many looking very deplorable and wearing nothing but rags, entirely from their own idleness.

How important it is that wives should strive to make a comfortable home for their husbands and sons; by so doing,many evils are avoided. Oh! let every wife think of this; think how much more pleasant it is to the husband who has to toil from morning to night, and how it must lighten liis labour to see that, by the good and frugal management of his wife, she has made out of the fruit of his scanty earnings a happy home, and brought up his sons and daughters to he respectable; respectability belongs to the poor as well as to the rich, that man who is known to be steady and industrious and to have brought up his family well, merits respect.

Mrs. Fairley never used an angry word in urging her children to their work; she knew they would take far more pleasure in what they had to do when led to it by kindness and fair words, than when driven to it by scolding, and not unfrequently by hard blows, which must give them a distaste for work, and often drives them to idleness, preferring to play in the streets rather than to return to their homes, where they know there is nothing but discomfort and harsh treatment. Her boys usually employed their leisure hours in the garden, or reading useful books.

One evening, as Fairley was returning from his work, he met John Styles, with his head hanging down and looking very gloomy—“Well, John, what’s the matter now? you look as if things were not going quite right somehow.”

“Going right? no; and when are they likely to be going right, I should like to know?— times is very hard!”

“Ay, that was always the saying, and I suppose ever will be; but the way to make things go right, is to do what you can for yourself and never think anybody else is to blame if they do go a little cross sometimes; but step in, John, I dare say my good woman has got some tea ready by this time. Sally, my gal, put another cup and saucer on the table, and make your pot hold a little more, if you can. And now tell me, John, what is it that makes things wrong now?”

“Why, there’s the little gal has got the fever —my missus is gone to Mrs. Selby there, to see if she can get a sick-ticket or something—”

“Ay, there you go,” said Fairley, striking his heavy fist upon the table and making all the cups and saucers rattle. “ That’s how it is—once begin to ask for charity, and your independence is gone! Live on your own earnings, and then you may hold up your head, and in the fulness of an honest heart thank God for all his mercies.”

“But,” continued John, “I ha’n’t had regular work lately—master hadn’t enough to employ all, and I was one that was turned off.”

“Ah, John, I mean no offence, but I dare say your master turned off’ the idle ones— they are sure to go first; a master soon finds out who serves him best; you seldom find a good steady labourer out of work. Depend upon it, John, there is generally something wrong in the character of that man who is often complaining that he can’t get work. Always turn your hand to something, John — never be idle; it was an old say -ing in my father’s days, and it’s a true saying still —‘The devil tempts idle people, but idleness tempts the devil.’”

“And then,” continued John, “when any that’s out of work goes to the Board, they only tells ’em that they may go into the house.”

“And that’s where they ought to go—any that’s out of work and hav’n’t laid by anything against a rainy day, which everybody should do; you can’t expect the sun always to shine. But just look here, John—perhaps you have never thought of it, though it is what all ought to think of; those who can’t keep themselves and come upon the parish to be kept, ought to be willing to be as little chargeable as possible, because the more we cost the parish the heavier it makes the poor-rates—and heavy enough they fall upon some poor creatures; there’s many a little tradesman, I’ll be bound, that does not earn more than some of us labourers, but because he lives in a house only a little bit bigger than some of our cottages, he is obliged to pay to the poor-rates, little as he can afford it, ay, I know it’s a sore pinch to some of them. Now, it’s very clear that it must cost the parish less to keep a family in the house than out of it.”

“But then it lowers a fellow so, to go into the house; when he comes out he feels so sheepish, as if he had been in disgrace like.”

“No, no; that’s not the way to look at it, John; the disgrace is in what brought you to it. If it is idleness, or spending your time at the public-house, or such like bad habits, it is that that has disgraced you. There are some that will live by begging, or even by dishonesty, rather than go into the house; and such are pretty sure to go on from bad to worse till they get into jail,— that’s a disgrace, if you like—”

“There’s a great deal too much of that begging going on,” said Mrs. Fairley; “when I was charing at the squire’s, the other day, the servants said it was almost work enough for one to open the door to the beggars, and mistress thought she must put a stop to it.”

“Ay, they are like the birds,” said her husband; “I suppose the hard weather makes them bold, and they come flocking round the rich man’s door to pick up the crumbs that fall from his table. But it ought not to be; I often think whether charities don’t do more harm than good.” “What put that into your head?” said John, “I dont see how that should be; it often seems to me very hard that we should be in such want, while they have every comfort; it’s enough to sour any man to see how things are shared.”

“Shared, man! Why, you wouldn’t have all alike; what should we do, I wonder, without the rich man ? What would become of all the mechanics, if it was not that the rich man wanted this comfort and that comfort? You may depend upon it, John, the more comforts they indulge themselves with, the better it is for us; indeed, it seems to me, the most charitable thing that gentlefolks can do, is to find employment for the poor.”

“But how do you make out that charities do more harm than good? tell me that.”

“Why, in this way; the more relief the rich man gives, the more he may give,—‘the flies come in swarms when there is a honey-pot near.’ If his wife gives a blanket to one poor creature, wont there be ever so many more coming to her, telling her how badly they are off—with only one blanket to cover them all? And every bushel of coals that the rich man gives is sure to bring another family shivering round his door to excite his compassion—”

“And no wonder, either, when they are starving with cold, as we often do.”

“But if you had the proper spirit of independence, my man, you would shiver on, till you had laid by money enough to buy one. I should feel much more comfortable under a blanket that I had got by my own earnings than one I had begged for. When once you take to begging, you become careless; you think if trouble comes there will be some one to help you out of it, and that’s how charity does harm; it’s of no use to help the man who does not try to help himself—he’s sure to go lower and lower, whatever others may do for him. Many’s the time that I have been hard -up myself, and that we have had nothing to look to for a dinner but bread and water, but, my good woman there (she’s one of the clever sort, that I will say for her, though she is here to hear it) she slices away at the bread, and, after sprinkling a little pepper and salt over it, pours scalding water on; and I can assure you it goes a great deal further in that way than the dry bread, and is no bad thing, either, especially if you have an onion to pull up in your garden to give it a flavour. Ay,” he said, with a sigh, “I should have saved myself a hard struggle when I first married if I had begun to save when I was young. Why, just look here. If a lad lays by 1s. a-week when he is eighteen, 2s. a-week the next year, and after that 3s. a-week, why, by the time he is twenty-two years old, he’ll find he has £23 8s. in the savings’-bank, and that without reckoning the interest—I never learnt enough about figures to do that. At twenty- six, I always says, its quite time enough for .a man to think about marrying, and then he has a nice little sum to begin upon; he can make a little cottage look comfortable to bring a girl to; and if he chooses one that can turn her hand to anything, she’ll keep it comfortable. It’s folly for a man to marry before he can keep himself.”

“That’s all very fine, Master Fairley, but how do you think a man’s going to lay by 3s a-week?”

“I know that if he has not found out how to do that he has no business to think of marrying. How is he to keep a wife and family too, if he can’t keep himself? It’s these incautious marriages that bring so many on the parish. But, John, I must say, a good deal depends upon the wife,—a good manager will make things go a great . deal farther than a bad one,and give a place a more comfortable look, too. Why, there are some wives enough to drive any man out of doors, to get comfort where he can—anywhere rather than in his own cottage, which might he comfortable enough if his wife only tried to make it so. Look at that Bet Gibbons, there, over agen the mill yonder, a dirty, gossiping creature; why, she would rather go in rags than take the trouble to thread a needle to put a stitch into ’em. And the children of such a woman are brought up to be beggars, like herself, and never sent to school. In many a family, I’ll answer for it, there’s more money spent at the alehouse than would pay for the schooling of all the children; so, by the bad habits of the parents, the children are brought to ruin!”

This was a harder blow to poor John Styles than Fairley was aware of; he felt that if he had not just spent his last halfpence in indulging his own selfish propensity, he might have bought some little thing to alleviate the burning fever that was wasting the strength of his little girl, instead of sending his wife to beg for it. He could stand it no longer; he left Fairley’s with a heavy heart, but with a resolve to do better in future. He knew Fairley was right; but, having sunk so low, the difficulty was how to get up again. His wife observed his dejection, and wondered what could be the matter.

“How downcast you look, John; I never saw you in such a way before—I hope you are not going to sicken with the fever.”

“No, wife, that isn’t it. I have been entirely wrong; and what Fairley says is right.”

“Why, what has Fairley been saying?” asked his wife.

“Oh, he has been talking a deal about independence, and how a man is sure to go down if he once begins to look for charity. But what’s done can’t be undone; I must try and do better in future,” and he sighed deeply. He hardly liked to confess, even to his wife, how much he had been in the habit of spending in drink. After a long silence he said, “How many of the children, wife, should you say are old enough to go to school?”

“Old enough for school? why, there’s Tom and Sam for certain—they are always playing in the street and getting into mischief for want of something better to do; it would be a great blessing if they could learn to read to keep them out of such idle ways. And there’s this little Nell, too, if it should please God to spare her,” and she bent mournfully over her poor sick child. Her husband sighed again as he thought how much he had wasted in the indulgence only of his own appetite whilst his family were left almost starving. He knew he spent that week, and most weeks it was about the same, more than enough to pay for the schooling of the three children.

“It wont do, wife,” he said, at last, “ it must not be so any longer; they must have some schooling, or they will grow up to be idle, and make no better men than their father. I wont spend another farthing at the alehouse, and that’s what I wont!” What joy it was to his wife to find he was come to that at last! She had long mourned over the sad way in which they had been living, and all the more so from knowing that her husband’s faults were the cause of it. But she ventured to remark that such resolutions, though good in themselves, often failed from our not seeking for help to carry them out; we are so weak of ourselves that we cannot do any good thing without the assistance of Him who is the author of all good.

That night—shall I say it?—for the first time in his life, his cries for help ascended to the Throne of Grace! Yes, I believe it was the first time! for it is often found that those who have got into had habits have lived in forgetfulness of God, But, reader, if thou art one of these, think of the many precious promises of a gracious God extended to such, and take courage. What encouragement is there in these words: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”—Isa. lv. 7.

The next morning he arose with a lighter heart than he had ever known before, and from his earnest importunities for work his master was induced to take him on again. His children went to school, and it was not long before they took pleasure in it. And when their father returned at noon to the frugal meal his wife had prepared for them, humble as it was they sat down to it with a feeling of contentment hitherto unknown to them. He was able to stand firm against the idle taunts of his former companions. As he returned home one evening from his work, one of them standing at the door of the house he was in the habit of frequenting, said to another,—“ See how blithely Jack Styles walks home to night, looking neither to the right or left.

“Hallo, Jack! what’s up now, I wonder? ain’t you coming in to have a pint?”

“No,” said John, still walking on, “I have found out something better to spend my wages on, and hope you will one of these days.” That Saturday night he thanked God for the happiest week he remembered in his life.

“As the sunbeam dries the morning dew,
That glitters on the grass;
So contentment will our cares subdue,
And make them lights pass.”

Contentment like a sunbeam had entered his humble cottage, that cottage, which before looked one of the most wretched in the village, now wore the aspect of cheerfulness, is if the sunbeam had rested there. His wife took a pride in seeing her children neat and clean, and in training them up to be industrious; not even Fairleys look more tidy than they do now, or more orderly; they are no longer looked upon as idle beggars. And little Nell, after long and anxious watching, is playing about again. And think what a pleasure the reflection must be to the father when his work is over and he can sit down and hear his children read,—that it is all owing to his having given up one sinful, one selfish gratification. Often does he thank God for enabling him to resist his former temptation. He can now lift up his head with a feeling of independence. Truly, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.”

“Aye, there you go,” said Fairley, striking his heavy fist upon the table, making all the cups and saucers rattle. “That’s how it is—once begin to ask for charity, and your independence is gone.”

WHAT A WIFE SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT BE.

A Wife, domestic, good, and pure,
Like snail, should keep within her door;
But not like snail in silver track,
Place all her wealth upon her back!
A man must ask his wife leave to thrive.
She that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.
An obedient wife commands her husband.
Idleness is the parent of shame and want.


Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 116

116

THE BRITISH WORKMAN.

SELF-ELEVATED MEN.
PROFESSOR FARADAY.

An electrical machine was in the window of a scientific instrument maker’s shop,and a youth stood looking at it with eager eyes. He was observing every part with in tense curiosity. At length, after a long absorbing gaze a neighbouring clock struck—he started like one awakened from a sleep, and ran with all speed to hi! master’s workshop. The boy was the son of a working man—a smith, and was intended also for a working man, but not quite so laborious a trade. Perhaps the boy was not strong enough for his father’s manly trade so he was apprenticed to a bookbinder in Blandford Street, Marylebone. He was a diligent lad, fond of work in hours of business, and fond of a book in hours of leisure. In particular he loved books on scientific subjects. He liked to read about the wonders of chemistry; still more about electricity—that wonderful power that flashes out of the thunder cloud, that dwells unseen in the dew drop, that at a touch thrills through the startled nerves, and like an invisible but mighty spirit, pervades all things, from the clouds of heaven to the clods of earth. One day he found out the shop window with the electrical machine, and at every spare moment he haunted that window, taking the shape and measure of every knob, and wire, and wheel, and plate, with earnest eyes. Then he resolved to try and make one for himself. So by the light of the early summer mornings, he was up and working away at his machine. In time he completed it and found it would act He touched the brass knob, and the shock that went through him was as nothing compared to the joy that throbbed in his heart at seeing his work complete. He shewed it to bis master, who, being a kind and sensible man, was pleased and surprised at the ingenuity of the lad. The master was fond of shewing the electrical apparatus of his industrious apprentice to every person likely to be interested in a clever youth. Among them were some Fellows of the Eoyal Society, who might, perhaps, have an admission ticket to give.

Some few years after, the lad, now a young man, was again gazing with wide open eyes, and laying up all he saw in his mind. This time, it was not through a shop window that he looked. It was from a seat in the Royal Society’s lecture room, that he witnessed Sir Humphrey Davy making some beautiful chemical experiments. The youth did not know which most to admire, the beautiful apparatus, the wonderful experiments, or the eloquent lecture—all was so new to him, so interesting! But the lecturer himself was above all the rest, the object of his admiration; our youth having been a reader, knew that Sir Humphrey Davy was not born of rich parents, though his kindred and his breeding were virtuous and respectable. In the remote town of Penzance, in Cornwall, from the most western extremity of England, the great man had come. He had taught himself nearly all he knew— and now the youth saw him standing before the mighty and the noble of the land. The light of genius in his flashing eyes, the words of wisdom on his eloquent lips. “Oh! if I could but follow the steps of such a master,” was the involuntary wish of the youthful hearer. This thought produced action; promptness was a leading part of the young man’s character, so he resolved to write to the great chemist and state that he wished to follow some other trade than that to which he had been apprenticed, that he loved science, and would think himself happy to be employed in any way in the laboratory of so great a man. It was a bold step, but the request, though urgent, was full of the noble humility of real worth. His letter was not neglected—enquiries were made; the good master had no wish to prevent the youth entering on a career for which his talents and studious habits fitted him. The electrical apparatus was another aid to him, so the wish of his heart was granted; he entered the laboratory of the great man, and had ample opportunity to study and to improve. There is no need to say he did not waste his ‘time or neglect his opportunities. Sir Humphrey Davy died, leaving a name dear to the philanthropist as well as the man of science; but his place was not long vacant.. Who fills it? He whose youth we have feebly sketched—he, whose lectures at the Royal Institution are listened to by Prince Albert and the Prince of Wales—the celebrated and much beloved Professor Faraday.

“Seest thou the man that is diligent in his calling, he shall stand before princes.” B.
A PLEA FOR THE OMNIBUS-MEN AND CABMEN.

We know no class of men in this country who undergo a more severe life of toil, for the convenience of the public, than the Omnibus-men and Cabmen of London.

Some time ago, a few gentlemen who felt a deep sympathy for the Omnibus-men, collected from them, a considerable number of testimonies. We give the following brief extracts from six of the cases, as illustrations of the whole. They carry with them their own affecting appeal.

No. 1. ——— “I have driven for seven years on the Paddington line. Never have more than one Sunday to myself in the course of twelve months. Have forty-five minutes for my meals, but cannot get them at home. I commence work at eight in the morning, and leave off at eleven at night. Would gladly go to a place of worship if I could.”

No. 2. —-“I have been a driver for fourteen years. Seldom can get to a place of worship. I have sometimes asked master for a day’s rest on a Sunday, but his reply has always been ‘Rest when you are dead.’ My wife is a religious woman, and it is a sad trouble to her that I can never go with her to church.”

No. 3.—-“I am on the Islington road. I have one Sunday in every five, but am generally so worn out, that I am glad to spend most of that day in bed. I should rejoice to have every Sunday to myself, and would willingly sacrifice my day’s wages for this purpose. I was once a Sabbath school scholar, and know that I ought not to work on the Sabbath, but what am I to do ? I have no other employment to go to, and my wife and family must not starve.”

No. 4.—-“I am time-keeper at——. My day’s work commences at nine in the morning, and finishes at ten it night. I have no leisure for meals, but get them as I stand in the street. I never have a Sunday’s rest.”

No. 5.—“I leave home for the stables at half-past seven and I never see my own door again until twelve at right. Week days and Sundays are all alike to me. I get two or three Sundays in the course of a year, but I have to sacrifice my wages, and employ a substitute.

No. 6.—-“We have a hard life of it. I sometimes think that Omnibus-men are regarded as men without souls, or else the religious people would surely do something for us. I never have a Sunday. I believe God intended that not only me but my horses, should have a day of rest, and I think that they ought to have it. To have an evening with my family is a pleasure unknown to me.”

The condition of many of the Cabmen, is even worse than that of the Omnibus-men. We are glad however to state, that during the last three years, a most remarkable improvement in the condition and morals of a large portion of the London Cabmen, has been effected. The last Hackney Coach Act, which gave to cab proprietors the option of taking out six-day licences, for a less weekly charge for Government duty than for seven-day licenses, has proved a great boon to this important class of our countrymen.

It should be generally known, that all cabs numbered 10,000 and upwards, are six-day cabs, and never come out on the Lord’s Day.

To the inquiry, “How many of the cab owners and their men have availed themselves of the six-day licences?” the answer is most pleasing, and gives the clearest proof that cabmen value the weekly boon of the Sabbath, and also that its observance has an intimate connection with the moral and spiritual welfare of society.

Out of about five thousand cabs in London, upwards of fifteen hundred of them have now six-day licences!

Sometime ago we were told of a cabman, who, since giving up work on the Lord’s Day, had risen from a state of wretchedness to one of comfort, and was now known as an active tract distributor. At some pains we found out his address, and in the course of our pleasant interview, he informed us that for many years he lived a wretched life of dissipation—working all days alike. For years he had not entered a place of worship, but one Sabbath evening, when passing Liverpool Street, King’s Cross, he was powerfully arrested by the singing of the children at a Sunday School anniversary sermon. The sweet sounds of childhood brought back to his remembrance the admonitions of early life, and he secretly resolved to attend that place of worship on the following Sabbath. He kept his resolution, and in the merciful providence of God, the first sermon led to his conversion.

He now commenced a new life, and although for a time he had to suffer for his observance of the Sabbath, yet, Providence gently smiled upon his path. God has honoured the industry and temperance of the man, and now, instead of being a seven-day driver of a shabby hired cab, he is the owner of sixteen cabs and twenty-nine horses!

On subsequently requesting the permission of this respected individual to publish the foregoing particulars, we received from him the following letter.

Feb. 10th, 1857.

Sir,

I should wish my brother cabmen to be informed that it is a mistaken notion to think that they get more money by working on Sundays. One hour sooner in the morning will make up for the supposed loss. The horses are fresher for the rest they get on Sundays. I can testify that horses can do more work in the long run in six days, than they can in seven. We have several poor horses which we have bought of masters who worked them on Sundays. They were thought to be “worked out,” but now they are getting fat! If it will do any good by mentioning how the Lord has blessed me with cabs and horses since I have kept the Sabbath, you may give my name and residence.

Yours, &c.,
JOSEPH POWELL.

No. 2, Sermon Lane, Islington.

We trust that many will ponder on these facts. We desire that they should create a feeling of sympathy for the over-worked omnibus-men and cabmen, and at the same time encourage the proprietors to take out in future six-day licences. Reader! will you do what you can to secure for your toiling fellow countrymen the privileges of the Lord’s Day.

THE SABBATH.

“Order and obedience, morality and power, are all in Britain connected with the observance of the Sabbath. Amidst the activity which pervades all things, the bustle of the towns, and the energy with which the inhabitants pursue their earthly callings, what would become of them if they had not a day of rest in which to recruit themselves, and, laying aside things temporal, which are seen, to look forward to things eternal, which are unseen!”—Dr. Merle D’Aubigne.

Joseph Powell, a well-known six-day London Cabman.

THE HAPPY WORKMAN’S SONG-.

I am a poor workman, as rich as a Jew;
A strange sort of tale, but, however, ’tis true;
Come, listen awhile, and I’ll prove it to you.

I live in a cottage, and yonder it stands;
And while I can work with these two honest hands,
I’m as happy as they that have houses and lands.

I keep to my labour, aye, all the day long;
I sing and I whistle, and this is my song—
“Thank God who hath made mo so lusty and strong”

I never am greedy of delicate fare,
If He gives me enough, tho’ ’tis never so bare.
The more is His love, and the less is my care.

I envy not those who have thousands of pounds,
Who sport o’er the country with horses and hounds;
There’s nought but contentment can keep within bounds.

I ne’er lose my time o’er a pipe or a pot,
Nor cower in a nook like a sluggardly sot;
But I buy what is wanting with what I have got.

And if I have more than myself need to spend,
I help a poor neighbour or diligent friend.
He that gives to the poor, to the Lord he doth lend.

With national quarrels and matters of state,
With factions and parties, I vex not my pate;
There’s some that I love, and there’s none that I hate.

What though my condition be ever so coarse,
I strive to embrace it for better and worse;
And my heart, I thank God, is as light as my purse.

In short, my condition, whatever it be—
’Tis God who appoints it, as far as I see;
And I’m sure I can never do better than He.

Gt. Raveley.
H. N—-, Carpenter.

Specimen of building, by a little British Workman—without hands.

A BIRD’S NEST.

It wins my admiration
To view the structure of that little work,
A bird’s nest. Mark it well within without,
No tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut,
No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert.
No glue to join; his little beak was all;
And yet how neatly finished! What nice hands
With every implement and means of art.
And twenty years apprenticeship to boot,
Could make me such another? Fondly then
We boast of excellence, whose noblest skill
Instinctive genius foils.
THE WEEKLY REST.

Another six days’ work is done,
Another Sabbath is begun;
Return, my soul, enjoy thy rest,
Improve the day thy God has blest.
In holy duties, let the day,
In holy pleasures pass away;
How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend,
In hope of one that ne’er shall end.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail