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No. 30, JUNE 1, 1857.
Published for the Editor by Messrs. Partridge and Co. Messrs. W. and F.G. Cash; and W. Tweedie, London.
A single copy sent post free for twelve months for 2s.; or a packet of copies, post free for 4s.
[PRICE ONE PENNY.
THE LAST PENNY.
Thomas Claire, a son of St. Crispin, was a clever sort of man; though not very well off in the world. He was industrious, but, as his abilities were small, his reward was proportioned thereto. His skill went but little beyond half-soles, heel-taps, and patches. Those who, willing to encourage Thomas, ventured to order from him a new pair of boots or shoes, never repeated the order. That would have been carrying their good wishes for his prosperity rather too far.
As intimated, the income of Thomas Claire was not large. Industrious though he was, the amount earned proved so small that his frugal wife always found it insufficient for an adequate supply of the wants of the family, which consisted of her husband, herself, and three children. It cannot be denied, however, that if Thomas had cared less about his pipe and mug of ale, the supply of bread would have been more liberal. But he had to work hard, and must have some little self-indulgence. At least, so he very unwisely argued. This self-indulgence cost from two to three shillings every week, a sum that would have purchased many comforts for the needy family.
The oldest of Claire’s children, a girl ten years of age, had been sickly from her birth. She was a gentle, loving child, the favourite of all in the house, and more especially of her father. Little Lizzy would come up into the garret where Claire worked, and sit with him sometimes for hours, talking in a strain that caused him to wonder; and sometimes when she did not feel as well as usual, lying upon the floor and fixing upon him her large bright eyes for almost as long a period. Lizzy never was so contented as when she was with her father; and he never worked so cheerfully as when she was near him.
Gradually, as month after month went by, Lizzy wasted away. Her cheeks became paler and paler, her eyes larger and brighter, and such a weakness fell upon her slender limbs that they could with difficulty sustain her weight. She was no longer able to clamber up the steep stairs into the garret or loft, where her father worked; yet she was there as often as before. Claire had made for her a little bed, raised a short space from the floor, and here she lay, talking to him or looking at him, as of old. He rarely went up or down the garret-stairs without having Lizzy in his arms. Usually her head was lying upon his shoulder.
And thus the time went on, Claire, for all the love he felt for his sick child—for all the regard he entertained for his family—indulging his beer and tobacco as usual, and thus consuming, weekly, a portion of their little income that would have brought to his children many a comfort. No one but himself had any luxuries. Not even for Lizzy’s weak appetite | were dainties procured. It was as much as the
Thomas Claire’s sickly daughter gets the orange purchased for her with the “last penny.”
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
mother could do, out of the weekly pittance she received, to get enough coarse food for the table, and cover the nakedness of her family.
To supply the pipe and mug of Claire, from two to three shillings a week were required. This sum he usually retained out of his earnings, and gave the balance whether large or small, to his frugal wife. No matter what his income happened to be, the amount necessary to obtain these articles was rigidly deducted, and as certainly expended. Without his beer, Claire really imagined that he would not have strength sufficient to go through with his weekly toil—how his wife managed to get along without even her regular cup of good tea, it had never occurred to him to ask—and not to have had a pipe to smoke in the evening, or after each meal, would have been a deprivation beyond his ability to endure. So, the two or three shillings went regularly in the old way. When the sixpences and pennies congregated in goodly numbers in the shoemaker’s pocket, his visits to the ale-house were often repeated, and his extra pipe smoked more frequently. But, as his allowance for the week diminished, and it required some searching in the capacious pockets, where they hid themselves away, to find the straggling coins, Claire found it necessary to put some check upon his appetite. And so it went on, week after week and month after month. The beer was drunk and the pipe smoked as usual, while the whole family bent under the weight of poverty that was laid upon them.
Weaker and weaker grew little Lizzy. From the coarse food that was daily set before her, her weak stomach turned, and she hardly took .sufficient nourishment to keep life in her attenuated frame.
“Poor child!” said the mother one morning, “she cannot live if she doesn’t eat. But coarse bread and potatoes and buttermilk go against her weak stomach. Ah me! If we only had a little that the rich waste.”
“There is a curse in poverty!” replied Claire, with a bitterness that was unusual to him, as he turned his eyes upon his child, who had pushed away the food that had been placed before her, and was looking at it with an expression of disappointment on her wan face. “A curse in poverty!” he repeated. “Why should my child die for want of nourishing food, while the children of the rich have every luxury?”
In the mind of Claire, there was usually a dead calm. He plodded on, from day to day, eating his potatoes and butter-milk, or whatever came before him, and working steadily through the hours allotted to labour, his hopes or fears in life rarely exciting him to an expression of discontent. But he loved Lizzy better than any earthly thing, and to see her turn with loathing from her coarse food, the best he was able procure for her, aroused his sluggish nature into rebellion against his lot. But he saw no remedy.
“Can’t we get something a little better for Lizzy? ” said he, as he pushed his plate aside, his appetite for once gone before his meal was half eaten.
“Not unless you can earn more,” replied the wife. “Cut and carve, and manage as I will, it’s as much as I can do to get common food.”
Claire pushed himself back from the table, and without saying a word more, went up to his shop in the garret, and sat down to work. There was a troubled and despondent feeling about his heart. He did not light his pipe as usual, for he had smoked up the last of his tobacco on the evening before. But he had a penny left, and with that, as soon as he had finished mending a pair of boots and taken them home, he meant to get a new supply of the fragrant weed. The boots had only half an hour’s work on them. But a few stitches had been taken by the cobbler, when he heard the feeble voice of Lizzy calling to him from the bottom of the stairs. That voice never came unregarded to his ears. He laid aside his work, and went down for his patient child, and as he took her light form in his arms, and bore her up into his little work-shop, he felt that he pressed against his heart the dearest thing to him in life. And with this feeling, came the bitter certainty that soon she would pass away and be no more seen. Thomas Claire did not often indulge in external manifestations of feeling; but now, as he held Lizzy in his arms, he bent down his face and kissed her neck tenderly. A light, like a gleam of of sunshine, fell suddenly upon the pale countenance of the child, while a faint, but loving smile played about her lips. Her father kissed her again, and then laid her upon the little bed that was always ready for her, and once more resumed his work.
Claire’s mind had been awakened from its usual leaden quiet. The wants of his failing child aroused it into disturbed activity. Thought beat, for a while, like a caged bird against the bars of necessity, and then fluttered back into panting imbecility.
At last the boots were done, and with his thoughts now more occupied with the supply tobacco he was to obtain than with anything else, Claire started to take them home. As he walked along he passed a fruit-shop, and the thought of Lizzy came into his mind.
“If we could afford her some of these ice things!” he said to himself. “They would be food and medicine both to the dear child. But,” he added, with a sigh, “we are poor!—we are poor! Such dainties are not for the children of poverty.”
He passed along, until he came to the ale-house where he intended to get his pennyworth of tobacco. For the first time a thought of self-denial entered his mind as he stood by the door, with his hand in his pocket, feeling for his solitary copper.
“This would buy Lizzy an orange,” he said to himself. “But then,” was quickly added, “I would have no tobacco to-day nor to-morrow, for I won’t be paid for these boots before Saturday, when Barton gets his wages.”
Then came a long, hesitating pause There was before the mind of Claire the image of the faint and feeble child with the refreshing orange to her lips; and there was also the image of himself uncheered for two long days by his pipe. But could he for a moment hesitate, if he really loved that sick child? is asked. Yes, he could hesitate, and yet love the little sufferer; for to one of his order of mind and habits of acting and feeling, a self-indulgence like that of his pipe, or a regular draught of beer, becomes so much like second nature, that it is as it were a part of the very life; and to give it up, costs more than a light effort.
The penny was between his fingers, and he took a single step towards the alehouse door; but so vividly came back the image of little Lizzy, that he stopped suddenly, the conflict, even though the spending of a single penny was concerned, now became severe; love for the child plead earnestly, and as earnestly plead the old habit that seemed as if it would take no denial.
It was his last penny that was between he cobbler’s fingers. Had there been two pennies in his pocket, all difficulty would immediately have vanished. Having thought if the orange, he would have bought it with one of them, and supplied his pipe with the other. But, as affairs now stood, he must bitterly deny himself, or else deny his child. For minutes the question was debated.
“I will see as I come back,” said Claire at last starting on his errand, and thus, for he time, making a sort of a compromise. As he walked along, the argument still went on in his mind. The more his thoughts acted in this new channel, the more light came into the cobbler’s mind, at all times rather dark and dull. Certain discriminations, ever before thought of, were made; and certain convictions forced themselves upon him.
“What is a pipe of tobacco to a healthy man, compared with an orange to a sick child?” uttered half-aloud, marked at last the final conclusion of his mind; and as this was said, the penny which was still in his fingers, was thrust determinedly into his pocket.
As he returned home, Claire bought the range, and in the act experienced a new pleasure. By a kind of necessity he had worked on, daily, for his family, upon which as expended nearly all his earnings; and the whole matter came so much as a thing of course, that it was no subject of conscious thought, and produced no emotion of delight or pain. But, the giving up of his tobacco for the sake of his little Lizzy was an act of self-denial entirely out of the ordinary course, and it brought with it its own sweet reward.
When Claire got back to his home, Lizzy was lying at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for his return. He lifted her, as usual, in his arms, and carried her up to his shop, after placing her upon the rude couch he had prepared for her, he sat down upon his bench, and as he looked upon the white, shrunken face of his dear child, and met the fixed, sad gaze of her large, earnest eye, a more than usual tenderness came over his feelings. Then without a word, he took the orange from his pocket, and gave it into her hand.
Instantly there came over Lizzy’s face a deep flush of surprise and pleasure. A smile trembled around her wan lips, and an usual light glittered in her eyes. Eagerly she placed the fruit to her mouth and drank refreshing juice, while every part of her body seemed quivering with a sense of light.
“Is it good, dear?” at length asked the father, who sat looking on with a new feeling at his heart.
The child did not answer in words; but words could not have expressed her sense of pleasure so eloquently as the smile that lit up and made beautiful every feature of her face.
While the orange was yet at the lips of Lizzy, Mrs. Claire came up into the shop for some purpose.
‘An orange!” she exclaimed with surprise. “Where did that come from?”
‘Oh, mother, it is so good!” said the child, taking from her lips the portion that yet remained, and looking at it with a happy face.
‘Where in the world did that come from, Thomas?” asked the mother.
‘I bought it with my last penny,” replied Claire. “I thought-it would taste good to her.”
‘But you had no tobacco.”
‘I’ll do without that until to-morrow,” replied Claire.
‘It was kind in you to deny yourself for a Lizzy’s sake.”
This was said in an approving voice, and added another pleasurable emotion to those he was already feeling. The mother sat down, and for a few moments, enjoyed the sight of her sick child, as with unabated eagerness, she continued to extract the refreshing juice from the fruit. When she went down-stairs, and resumed her household duties, her heart beat more lightly in her bosom than it had beaten for a long time.
Not once through that whole day did Thomas Claire feel the want of his pipe; for the thought of the orange kept his mind in so pleasant a state, that a mere sensual desire like that of a whiff of tobacco had no power over him.
Thinking of the orange, of course, brought other thoughts; and before the day closed, Claire had made a calculation of how much his beer and tobacco money would amount to in a year. The sum astonished him. He paid rent for the little house in which he lived, four pounds sterling a year, which he always thought a large sum. But his beer and tobacco cost nearly seven pounds! He went over and over the calculation a dozen times, in doubt of the first estimate, but it always came out the same. Then he began to go over in his mind the many comforts: seven pounds per annum would give to his family; and particularly how many little 1 luxuries might be procured for Lizzy, whose : delicate appetite turned from the coarse food that was daily set before her.
But to give up the beer and tobacco in toto, when it was thought of seriously, 1appeared impossible. How could he live without them.
On that evening, the customer whose boots he had taken home in the morning called in, unexpectedly, and paid for them. Claire retained a sixpence of the money, and gave the balance to his wife. With this sixpence in his pocket he went out for a mug of beer, and some tobacco to replenish his pipe. He stayed some time — longer than he usually took for such an errand.
When he came back he had three oranges in his pocket: and in his hands were two fresh buns and a cup of sweet new milk. No beer had passed his lips, and his pipe was yet unsupplied. He had passed through another long conflict with his old appetites; but love for his child came off, as before, the conqueror.
Lizzy, who drooped about all day, lying down most of her time, never went to sleep early. She was awake, as usual, when her father returned. With scarcely less eagerness than she had eaten the orange in the morning did she now drink the nourishing milk and eat the sweet buns, while her father sat looking at her, his heart throbbing with inexpressible delight.
From that day the pipe and the mug were thrown aside. It cost a prolonged struggle. But the man conquered the mere animal. And Claire found himself no worse off in health. He could work as many hours, and with as little fatigue; in fact, he found himself brighter in the morning, and ready to go to his work earlier, by which he was able to increase, at least, a shilling or two his weekly income. Added to the comfort of his family, eight or ten pounds a year produced a great change. But the greatest change was in little Lizzy. For a few weeks, every penny saved from the beer and. tobacco, the father regularly expended for his sick child; and it soon became apparent that it was nourishing food, more than medicine, that Lizzy needed. She revived wonderfully; and no long time passed before she could sit up for hours. Her little tongue, too, became free once more, and many an hour of labour did her voice again beguile. And the blessing of better food came also in time to the other children, and to all.
“So much to come from the right spending of a single penny,” Claire said to himself, as he sat and reflected one day. “Who could have believed it!”
And as it was with the poor cobbler, so it will be with all of us.
There are little matters of self-denial, which, if we had but the true benevolence, justice and resolution to practice, would be the beginning of more important acts of a like nature, that, when performed, would bless not only our families, but others, and be returned upon us in a reward of delight incomparably beyond anything that selfish and sensual indulgences have it in their power to bring.
T. S. A.
(Concluded from page 114)
WILLIAM HUTTON, a celebrated book-seller of the last century, was born at Derby, in 1723. He was apprenticed to an uncle, a stocking weaver at Nottingham. During his leisure hours he taught himself bookbinding. In 1746 he walked to London, to purchase a few bookbinder’s tools, and three years afterwards commenced his operations as a bookseller, renting a small shop at Southwell, fourteen miles from Nottingham, at twenty shillings a year, and attending there every Saturday. “I was,” says he, “my own joiner, put up my shelves and furniture, and in one day became the most eminent bookseller in the place. Throughout a very rainy summer, I set out at five every Saturday morning, carried a burden of from three pounds’ weight to thirty, opened shop at ten, took , from one to six shillings, shut up at four, and, by trudging through the solitary night and the deep roads five hours more, I arrived at Nottingham at nine, where I always found a mess of milk porridge by the fire, prepared by my valuable sister.” His object was to save a small sum to enable him to commence business in a large town; and, the next year, being offered about two hundred pounds’ weight of old books, on his note of hand, for twenty- seven shillings, by a dissenting minister to whom he was known, he gave up his establishment at Southwell, and took the lesser half of a small shop in Birmingham at a rent of one shilling per week. He-succeeded so well, that, by never allowing his expenses to exceed five shillings a week, he found that by the end of the first year he had saved about thirty pounds. This enabled him to extend his business, which he soon made a very valuable one. He acquired an ample fortune, and filled successively all the local offices of the town. In 1791 his house in Birmingham, and villa near that town, were destroyed during the Church and King riots, for which he recovered £5390 from the county. Mr. Hutton died in 1815, a few days before the completion of his 92nd year. In 1816 his daughter published “The Life of William Hutton, Stationer, of Birmingham, and the History of his Family.” An edition of this work was published in 1841, in the series of Knight’s Miscellanies.
JOHN BROWN, M.D.— Founder of the system of medicine termed “Brunonian,” was born in Berwickshire. His parents, who were poor, apprenticed him to a weaver. His love of learning, however, was such, that he commenced the study of physic, and in the course of time, was admitted as an indigent scholar, to a gratuitous attendance on the lectures at the University of Edin- . burgh; then he obtained the patronage of Dr. Cullen, who employed him as a tutor in his own family. he now rose step by step to eminence in his profession. He died in London, in 1778.
ROBERT DODSLEY.—A celebrated book-seller and publisher, was born in 1703, at Mansfield, Nottingham. His parents were very poor, and his education, consequently, of the scantiest description. He was apprenticed to a stocking weaver, but after I some time, he abandoned this employment, and became footman to the Hon. Mrs. Lowther. In this situation, having addressed a copy of verses to Pope, he obtained the notice of that celebrated poet, and under his encouragement was induced to publish by subscription a volume of poems, to which he gave the title of “The Muse in Livery.” Shortly afterwards he produced a satire, called “The Toy Shop,” the success & of which was so great, that its author was enabled to emerge from his humble situation, and set up as a bookseller in Pall Mall. By prudence and attention he became one of the most eminent London publishers of his day. He died in 1764.
JOHN DOLLOND, the eminent optician, was a descendant of a French Refugee family, settled in Spitafields, London, and was born, in 1706. His father was an operative silk weaver and his boyhood was I spent in a manufactory; like a wise lad, he redeemed his leisure hours, and made considerable progress in the study of mathematics, natural philosophy, and ecclesiastical history; besides which he cultivated a knowledge of anatomy. He learned the Greek and Latin languages; and also made himself intimately acquainted with French, German, and Italian. In 1752, he became an optical instrument maker, entering into partnership with his son Peter, who had been apprenticed to that trade. He indented the achromatic object-glass, the application of the micrometer to reflecting telescopes, &c. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and his name will long be honoured. He died in 1761.
ALEXANDER WILSON was born at Paisley, in Scotland, in 1766, and at the age of thirteen was bound apprentice to a weaver. This he followed for seven years, when he turned pedlar. He early tried his hand at making verses, and in his peddling tours solicited subscriptions for a collection of his poems, but failing in this and other schemes, he sailed for the United States, where he arrived with only a few shillings in his possession. He was employed successively as copper-plate printer, weaver, pedlar, land measurer, and teacher, and in 1802 he took charge of a school. He became acquainted with a gentleman who was a botanist and naturalist, and also with an engraver, who gave him some idea of drawing and sketching natural objects, and stimulated his taste for such pursuits. A trial of his skill in drawing birds was unexpectedly successful, and from that time it became the ruling passion of his life. In October 1804, he made a pedestrian tour to the Falls of Niagara, and with his gun and bundle traversed forests and plains, making a journey of 1257 miles. His plan was to make drawings and write descriptions of the birds on the spot where they were taken. Four years after this, appeared the first volume of his superb American Ornithology, which was received with admiration and wonder, not only in the United States, but in Europe. Other long exploratory tours he took, and the results of all his observations form nine splendid volumes, the subscriptions to which included almost every royal personage in Europe. He died at the age of 47. Few instances are on record of such a growth of genius and taste, of enterprise and perseverance, of success and fame, all within so brief a period.
JAMES STEEL, the late able Editor and proprietor of the Carlisle Journal, was the son of an industrious working weaver in that town. He began life in the humble effort of winding bobbins for his father, subsequently he became a printers’ boy, and lived to become the master of the establishment in which he was originally a servant. By his talents, tact, and perseverance, he attained great prosperity and influence, and for two years he filled the honourable and responsible chair of the Chief Magistracy of his native town.
MARIE JOSEPH JACQUARD, the inventor of the loom known by his name, and so extensively used, was the son of a journeyman weaver of Lyons, and raised himself by developing his ingenious ideas, by patient and persevering toil. He was first placed with a bookbinder, then with a cutler, then with a type founder, and on his father’s death, followed up his business, he having left him, together with a small sum of money, a couple of looms. Twice in the revolutionary wars he acted as a soldier, but when peace was restored, he became known by having his new loom in the Exposition of National Industry, in 1801, and was called to Paris to have an interview with Napoleon, who gave him a residence there, and placed means at his disposal for perfecting his views, and multiplying his invention. He died in 1834, and was buried in the cemetry of Oullins.
SABBATH EVENING SONG.
Millions within Thy courts have met,
Millions this day before Thee bowed;
Their faces Zion-ward were set,
Vows with their lips to Thee they vowed.
But Thou, soul-searching God! hast known
The hearts of all that bent the knee;
And hast accepted those alone,
In spirit and truth, that worshipp’d Thee.
People of many a tribe and tongue,
Men of strange colours, climates, lands,
Have heard Thy truths, Thy glory sung,
And offered prayer with holy hands.
Still, as the light of morning broke
O’er island, continent, and deep,
Thy far spread family awoke.
Sabbath all round the world to keep.
From east to west the sun survey’d,
From north to south adorning throngs,
And still, when evening stretch’d her shade,
The stars came forth to hear their songs.
Harmonious as the winds and seas,
In halcyon days when storms are flown,
Rose all earth’s Babel languages,
In pure accordance to thy throne.
Nor angel trumpets sound more clear,
Nor elder’s harps, nor seraph’s lays,
Yield music sweeter to Thine ear,
Than humble prayer and thankful praise.
Did not a prayer, a tear, a sigh,
Hath fail’d to-day some suit to gain;
To those in trouble Thou wert nigh,
Not one hath sought Thy face in vain.
The poor were bountifully fed,
Thy chasten’d sons have kiss’d the rod;
Thy mourners have been comforted,
The pure in heart have seen their God.
Yet one prayer more; and be it one
In which both heaven and earth accord!
Fulfil thy promise to thy Son.
Let all that breathe call Jesus Lord.
His throne and sovereignty advance,
For his soul’s travail let him see,
The heathen, his inheritance,
And earth’s last bound his portion be.
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
OUR BEST BOOK.
Salmasius, one of the most consummate scholars of his time, shortly before he expired, said, “Oh! I have lost a world of time—time, the most precious thing in the world! Had I but one year more, it should be spent in perusing David’s Psalms, and Paul’s Epistles. Oh, sirs,” said he, addressing those about him, “mind the world less, arid God more.”
In this age of book making, we are in danger of forgetting the Book of Books. There are many good books, but none of them can afford a poor sinner solace in the hour of death like the Bible. Hear what that blessed volume saith:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John iii. 16,17.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1. Tim. 1. 15.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm cxvi. 15.
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm xxiii. 4.
THE WIDOW’S SON, OR, A NIGHT WITH THE WASHINGTONIANS (Continued from ‘page 111.)
The effect of this discovery upon her mind was too painful to be concealed. A moment or two she looked into his face with a forced calmness—but nature was too powerful to be controlled. The tears gushed from her eyes; and rising, she left the table, and retired to her chamber.
“Mother!” he called after her in a feeble, hesitating tone. But she did not hear him; or, hearing, did not pause at her name. Then he, likewise, arose from the table, and went into his own room, his mind oppressed with the keenest remorse. Conscious that his appearance was such, that to seek her presence would only add to her distress of mind, he threw himself upon his bed, and endeavoured to lose himself in sleep. Still oppressed and sluggish from the effects of his debauch, he soon fell into a profound slumber that lasted for several hours. When he awoke his mother was standing over him, and looking down into his face with an expression of tender solicitude, mingled with a look of suffering that deeply touched his feelings.
For some time after Mrs. Lennox retired to her chamber, her mind was in a tumult of distress. None but a mother can imagine the anguish of her heart, on making the discovery that her noble-minded boy had fallen. And with this discovery, was the chilling fear, that, being once upon enchanted ground, no power could awaken him from his delusion. The paralyzing influence of such feelings could not long remain. A sense of duty roused her.
“What can I do?” “What must I do?” were questions hard to answer. Still, she must act. Danger was lurking in the path of her son, and she must, if possible, so make him sensible of that danger, as to arouse him into watchfulness.
It was nearly an hour after she had retired abruptly, as has been stated, to her room, that she found herself sufficiently composed to leave it. On coming down stairs, she was greatly relieved to find that Alfred had not gone out. She did not inquire for him, for she was particularly anxious not to have, if possible, the attention of the servants directed to his condition. Not finding him in the parlour, she concluded that he was in his chamber, and perhaps, asleep. But, as hour after hour passed away, and he did not appear, her anxiety about him increased to such an extent, that she could not rest until she had seen him, and learned something of his state of mind. She went to his chamber, and tapped at the door. She tapped again and again, but there was no answer.
“He is asleep, and I will not disturb him,” she said, and so retired again to her own room. The very tenderness of her affection now caused her to begin to make excuses for him. She reasoned, that, like hundreds of other young men, he had been led on to drink, unsuspectingly until he was overcome. He had spoken of an engagement for the previous evening, which was doubtless with some of his male companions, with’ whom he had lingered toe long over the wine.
Thus she comforted herself and excused him—her anxiety to meet him increasing every moment. It was not long before she was again tapping at his room door, but with no better success. Finding that he did not answer, it was suddenly suggested to her mind that he might not be there. Instantly she opened the door and entered. He was lying in a deep sleep upon the bed, his face flushed, and his breathing hard. The air of the room was oppressed with the vile odour of his breath, the inhalation of which made his mother sick. Stepping lightly to the windows, she opened them, and after letting the room get thoroughly ventilated, closed them again, and went and stood over him. His face had already become paler, and his respiration less deep and oppressive. The pure air had already imparted its healthy influence.
“Alfred, my son!” she said in a low, earnest voice, laying her hand gently upon him.
But his ear was too deeply sealed. He could not hear her.
“Alfred, Alfred!” she called, still louder.
Her voice was now evidently heard, for he aroused partially, in which state he lay for some time, consciousness gradually returning. At length he opened his eyes, and saw his mother bending over him. But he quickly closed them again, and for some moments endeavoured to collect his scattered senses.
“Alfred, my son!” Mrs. Lennox said tenderly.
That low, earnest tone, full of maternal pathos, thrilled upon his heart. He felt it was atone of forgiveness, but mingled with grief. It touched the fountains of emotion, and the waters could not be restrained. Mrs. Lennox saw the quivering of his closed eyelids, and then the drops oozing forth, the tokens of repentance.
“My dear child!” she murmured, stooping down and kissing him. “Let this one lesson be a sufficient warning.”
“It is—it shall be!” he whispered, the tears now gushing forth, and rolling in large pure drops over his cheeks.
“Then Alfred let the past be thought of —not with remorse that gives present unhappiness, but with a resolution, fixed and immutable, never again to be charmed by the voice of a deluding syren — never again have your garments soiled.”
“Can you forgive me, mother, this first and last departure from a right path—that path in which you have so steadily guided my early footsteps?” the young man asked, looking up into his mother’s face.
“You are already forgiven, Alfred,” was her reply, “only guard yourself in future, and the past will soon cease to be remembered by me with pain. If again tempted, think of the widowed mother resigned to your care by a dying father. Recur to that parting scene, and I think you will not yield to temptation again.”
Thus soothed and encouraged, Alfred Lennox gradually recovered himself. From that time he was more attentive to his her, and remained at home with, and read to her more frequently in the evening, but his painful feelings in thinking of his debauch, arose principally from the fact that his mother had discovered its effect upon him. Had she known nothing of it, he would have felt little concerned about the matter, and recurred to it only to laugh with his gay companions.
As to the use of liquors, he did not dream of abating that in any degree, except in the presence of his mother, to whom he plainly perceived that it gave pain. What he bated in her presence was, however, made up when out of it. As often as half–dozen times a day would he resort to the tavern with some two or three of his professional and other friends to drink, and as frequently during the evenings meet them t wine parties and oyster suppers. But he was careful not to permit himself again to lose his consciousness. Thus he succeeded in completely blinding his mother, to whom he increased his kind attentions -not hypocritically, for he loved her as she deserved to be loved, purely and tenderly. He deceived her only because he knew she would esteem his course of life an exceedingly dangerous one, and he did not wish to give unnecessary pain. As for himself he had no fears on the subject.
But he had great cause of fear. He had ever calculated the power of habit, although, like others, he could utter and admit the adage, that “habit is second nature.” It must not here be imagined, that Lennox was abating his professional zeal— that he was forming to himself a new and admitted end of life. Not so. He was still a legal student of great industry, and was rapidly rising into eminence, not by the overpowering and dazzling brilliancy of genius, but by the strong, clear, steady light of a well-balanced, well-furnished intellect. A good cause, placed in his hands, was sure of success, because his mind, acting upon truth, was like a burning glass, revealing in intenser light every minute particular. In a word, he was the pride and first promise of the—bar.
At the age of twenty-six, he became deeply attached to Florence R———, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. That affection was plainly reciprocated, although no declaration had yet been made on his part. After consultation with his mother, as to the young lady’s true character and fitness for a wife—for in this matter he felt willing to confide in her judgment and close observation—he concluded to make proposals and did so accordingly. He was referred by Florence to her father.
“Mr. R—–,” he said, on waiting on that gentleman, with the genuine frankness of his character, “I wish to say to you, and without preliminaries, that I find myself deeply attached to your daughter Florence. Will you consent to our marriage? ”
Alfred had expected a prompt and cordial assent, but he was mistaken.
“Allow me a week to consider your proposition, Mr. Lennox,” was the grave reply, “My daughter is very dear to me, and I cannot part with her lightly.”
“All perfectly right,” Lennox endeavoured to say with a cheerful air, but his heart sunk within him. He perceived doubt in the tone of Mr. R———’s voice, and, he thought, disapprobation in the expression of his countenance. This he could not understand. His position in society was as good as that of Mr. R——, his character as fair, and his reputation at the bar high, and still rapidly rising. It was all a strange mystery. He had supposed that his offer would have been met promptly and gladly. For a time his wounded pride resolved to give up all idea of Florence—to cast her aside. But this lie could not do. The doubt thus unexpectedly thrown over his prospect of obtaining her, increased ten-fold his love, and made him ten times more desirous of possessing her. (To be continued.)
“Up, up,” cries the wakeful Cock,
“Did you not hear the village clock?
I have been up for an hour or more,
Crowing aloud at the stable door;
Dobbin has gone with the boy to plough,
Betty has started to milk the cow;
Sure there is plenty for all to do,
And all are up, young friend, but you.”
“Up, up,” cries the soaring Lark,
“Only sleep, my young friend, in the dark.
Oh let it never, never be said
You wasted the morning hours in bed;
Out of the window glance your eye,
And see how blue is the morning sky;
Open the casement, your slumber spare,
And smell how fresh is the morning air.”
“Up, up,” cries the busy Sun,
“Is there no work, little friend, to be done?
Are there no lessons to learn, I pray,
That you lie dosing the hours away?
Who would give light to the world below,
If I were idly to slumber so?
What would become of the hay and corn,
Did I thus waste the precious morn?
“Up, up,” cries the buzzing Bee,
There’s work for you, as well as for me;
Oh how I prize the morning hour,
Gathering sweets from the dewy flower;
Quick comes on the scorching noon,
And darksome night will follow soon;
Bay, shall it chide for idle hours,
Time unimproved, and wasted powers?”
[From Rhymes worth Remembering, by S. W. Partridge. A valuable sixpenny book for the Nursery.]
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Prov. xxvii. 23.
COLUMNS FOR WIVES.
HINTS FOR THE WIVES OF WORKING MEN.
BY ONE WHO HAS LIVED AMONGST THEM.
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.”— Proverbs xii. 4.
My Dear Friends. Are you aware of your very great influence at home—how very much you may do to make your home happy, your husbands steady and sober, and your dear little ones grow up to be good men and women ? Now just fancy that I am a friend speaking to you very earnestly, but very kindly—that I am sitting in one chair and you in another, and listen to what 1 am going to say. Well then, in the first place, I hope that you have A Bible, and that it does not lie unopened to collect the dust, but that you read a few verses out of it every day of your lives. I intreat you never to let a morning pass without asking God’s blessing for the day, nor a single evening without thanking Him for the mercies you have received. Pray earnestly, in the name and for the sake of the Saviour, in faith and humility, and assuredly your prayers will draw a blessing upon you and yours.
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”—Prov. x. 4.
Small houses are often in rows; what goes on in one is often overheard in another, and I am sorry to say that it is a great temptation to many working men’s wives to lose much valuable time in gossipping, which very often leads to quarrelling. But, my dear friends, time is money to you; do not be thus tempted away. Especially do not allow yourself to waste away the first precious hours of the morning; you must regulate your work, or it will always be behind-hand. You have, perhaps, your little ones to wash and dress, others to send to school or to set to work; then you must think of what you have to prepare for dinner, and if it be something to be boiled or stewed, you will need to look to it early in the day, that it may be gently simmering while you are cleaning and tidying your house, or washing.
Always make it a rule to do the dirty work as much as possible in the early part of the day, or during the absence of your husband at his work, so that the house may be clean and comfortable, and yourself tidy and ready to receive him.
Many men take to drinking because these little comforts are never attended to; and when a man has been working hard for his family, it is certainly the wife’s duty to do all she can make his home comfortable, and to spend the money thus hardly earned, as carefully and judiciously as possible.
Neatness and Cleanliness.
Neatness and cleanliness cannot be too much cultivated, and when once you find the advantage of them you will wonder how people can live in the dirty, slovenly way they so often do.
One day I went to the house of a superior workman. It was a convenient, roomy house, for the man received very high wages, but I saw at a glance that neatness and cleanliness had no place there. Everything was out of order; the chairs and tables looked as if they had never been well rubbed since they were bought; the floor, as if it had not been cleaned for a week at the least. The children were very dirty, ragged, and noisy, though some of them were old enough to have helped their mother to clean the house, if they had been trained to do so, but they were not brought up “in the way they should go.” The woman herself was a pleasant, gentle-looking person, but dirty and untidy in the extreme. I felt very sorry for her, for I knew how much happier she, and everybody a the house would be, if she would but practice neatness, order, and cleanliness. I enquired if her husband was at all given to drunkenness; she replied that sometimes he was so, but not always. This reply made me even more sorry for her, for I plainly saw that the dirt and misery of such a home would drive almost any man from it.
Presently I visited another house in the same row; here all was different. The furniture looked clean and bright, the chairs were in their places, the floor was clean, and there was throughout an air of neat comfort and neatness.
The wife, too, was clean and tidy in her dress, and looked good humoured and cheerful. She had finished her dirty work early in the day, and now, in the afternoon, she was quietly sitting sewing for her little ones. It was a pleasant sight.
The very tea kettle, singing on the black hob, seemed to invite the husband to his own hearth—and bad indeed must the man have been who could prefer drunkenness and bad company to such a pleasant fireside as this.
People who are habitually untidy, destroy their property much more than those who are careful and clean—and who clear away things after they have been used. Many make the excuse that they have not time to be tidy. Alas! alas! if they could but see the extreme folly of such an excuse! If they could but know how much valuable time they lose by their careless ways they would certainly try to alter them.
There are many who are very careless in their general habits, but who are not exactly fond of dirt; and these have every now ind then a grand scrubbing and setting to fights; of course it is better thus, than not to do it at all, but quiet, constant neatness is far, very far better—and part of neatness is Order, of which I shall write in another number.
I noticed, said Franklin, a mechanic among a number of others, at work in the erection of a house but a little way from my office, who always appeared to be in a merry humour, who had a kind word and a cheerful smile for every one he met. Let the day be ever so cold, gloomy, or sunless, a happy smile danced like a sunbeam on his cheerful countenance. Meeting him one morning, I asked him to tell me the secret of his constant happy flow of spirits.
“No secret, Dr.,” he replied; “I have got one of the best of wives, and when I go to work she always has a kind word of encouragement for me, and when I go home, she meets me with a smile and a kiss, and then the tea is sure to be ready, and she has done so many little things through the day to please me, that I cannot find it in my heart to speak an unkind word to anybody.”
What an influence, then, hath woman over the heart of man, to soften it and make it the fountain of cheerful and good emotions. Speak gently then — a happy smile and a kind word of greeting after the toils of the day are over cost nothing, and go far toward making a home happy and peaceful. Whenever a young man asks my counsel about getting married, I tell him to look out for a young woman who is domesticated, healthy, and pious. With these three good qualifications, she will be worth her weight in gold, even if she be penniless ; whilst if she is without them, she will be a bad bargain, no matter how-rich she may be.
SPEAK HOT TO HIM A BITTER WORD!
Would’st thou a wanderer reclaim?
A wild and reckless spirit tame?
Check the warm flow of youthful blood,
And lead a lost one back to God?
Pause, if thy spirit’s wrath be stirr’d.
Speak not to him a bitter word;
Speak not! that bitter word may be
The stamp that seals his destiny.
If widely he has gone astray,
And dark excess has marked his way,
Tis pitiful, but yet, beware,
Reform must come from kindly care;
Forbid thy parting lips to move,
But in the gentle tones of love;
Though sadly his young heart has err’d,
Speak not to him a bitter word.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Eph. iv. 32.
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THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
WORTHY OF IMITATION.
There are few ways in which the British Workman can be made more extensively known, than by presenting copies of the volumes* to the Directors Railway Companies for the Railway waiting rooms. We are glad to state that Samuel Gurney, Esq., M.P., presented 119 of the volumes, bound in cloth, for the various stations on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Such presentations will bring the British Workman under the notice of tens of thousands of persons during the time they are waiting for the trains, and we trust that good will result therefrom.
* A complete edition, bound in cloth, may be had, price 3s.
WORKING MEN’S LIBRARIES.
An important Society has been formed in London which deserves the active support of persons of wealth and influence, and of all the friends of the Sons of Toil. We allude to the “Society for the Diffusion of Pure Literature amongst the People,” which the Earl of Shaftesbury (justly styled “the Working Man’s Friend”), is the President.
We have much pleasure in calling attention to the Catalogue of Books for Working Men’s Libraries just issued by this Society. Through the liberality a member of the Committee, numerous grants of Book are made at half-price.
Further particulars, together with a copy of the Catalogue, List of Pictures and Diagrams for Lectures, &c., may be had by enclosing a postage stamp to Mr. Richard Turner, the Assistant Secretary of the Society, 9, John Street, Adelphi, Strand, London.
“I know what that means,” I hear a schoolboy say “it means Doctor of Laws and perhaps he adds musingly, “I hope it will some day be attached to my name. How fine it would sound! ‘Richard Williams LL.D.” Well, I won’t soil my hands at a dirty trade like Philip Smith, who is learning to be a blacksmith but I’ll stick to my books, go to college, study law and then I shall have a chance for a great name in the world.”
All that may be, Master Richard, though I warn you to look out for Philip Smith, that he does not become an educated, honorable man before you, with all your high notions, and hope of college training, His love of reading, and fondness for listening to the conversation of sensible men speak well for him, even though his hands and face are soiled with his trade. I read of an LL.D. the other day, very unlike the kind you hope to become. He never went to college, and worked hard most of his life, at the trade of leather dressing, so that he was called LL.D., or the Learned Leather Dresser.” He scorned not to soil his hands at what you call a “dirty trade,” and worked so well at it, that the leather he dressed was the best that could be obtained. Yet with all this, he became a truly educated, refined man. He found time at night to read and improve his mind, and when he died left a library to the Historical Society of Massachusetts worth ten thousand pounds. What was better than all, he did not buy his books for display, or to pretend to literary taste, but read them himself, and as his native language was the only one he understood, selected principally English books. Yet to compensate for his lack of college training, he owned and read translations of all the Greek and Latin authors.
He died, leaving behind him the name of an honorable, refined, and truly educated man, and yet worked most of his life at a trade. So you see, Richard, the boys who are forced to learn trades have a chance to make as great attainments as those to which you aspire. You must study hard, and improve your advantages well, or some of them will outstrip you.
The sons of working men like Philip Smith, may receive great encouragement by the life of the “Learned Leather Dresser;” and those who say they have no time for books, and no need of knowledge, as they are expecting to become mechanics, should blush as they read of his wonderful acquirements and faithful labours. I hope that if any who read this paper, sigh over their shortened schooldays and hard work, and envy their companions who have more liberal advantages, they will remember that there is more than one kind of LL.D.
M. E. W.
PUNCTUALITY AND TEMPERANCE.
A LESSON FROM THE LIFE OE THE LATE J. BROTHERTON, ESQ., M.P.
No man, whether rich or poor, can make, or retain, a good and useful position in life without the two valuable habits of punctuality and temperance.
The first of these compels careful employment of time, and the second, careful employment of money.
Health and wealth, under God’s blessing, may be gained by these two principles being combined. The late M.P. for Salford, (whose portrait is given above), though born among those manufacturing classes whose wealth has so largely increased during the present century was one of the most temperate and punctual of men.
On vegetable diet, adopted in early manhood, his health became perfect. A constant serenity of temper, and even flow of spirits, made him, to use a common phrase, always in “ good working trim.” As a man of business he was prompt and ready. A time for every thing, and everything in its time, was his plan. He had not only a strong brain, but a warm kind heart. His benevolence will be gratefully remembered with gratitude in the populous town he so long represented in Parliament.
When Mr. Brotherton relinquished commercial pursuits, and commenced serving his country in the Senate, he was no longer a young man ; but his sound health, vigorous mind, and regular business habits, made him one of the most valuable men in “the House.” His punctuality was proverbial; whoever was absent he was always in his place; on this account he was selected to be on all the Committees that had to transact the private business of the nation. Such as passing railway and canal bills, and all those matters that have to do with the social progress of the people. It was not only that Mr. Brotherton’s judgment was sound, that he was thus occupied, but he was always to be relied on, true to the minute, ready as the day.
A punctual man is almost always a good tempered man. He is never irritated and fretted by being “just too late? “ a little behind time.” His occupations as they are taken in regular order, all progress regularly and calmly, without hurry and without anger. Thus as Mr. Brotherton advanced to a green old age, his urbanity won him the respect of all and the warm affection of many. Those who differed from him in opinion always paid the tribute of sincere esteem to the aged water-drinker, who walked down to the House so regularly, sat so closely on Committees, did so much real hard work and yet always looked so bright, and had manners so urbane.
This truly good man was permitted to work to the last, and to die apparently without pain. Seated in an omnibus (for he did not scorn the conveyance of the people), a little languor crept over his kindly face, his head drooped, and on his friends hastily offering their aid, it was found his peaceful spirit had departed. In the words of the funeral sermon preached on the occasion, it is justly said:—
“A sudden death, if men could have their choice, is not generally desirable, because so very few of us are sufficiently prepared for it. But to him, the constant employment of whose life was the best preparation for death, no death could be sudden. Indeed, his removal, might, without impropriety, be termed a translation rather than a death ; and what was said of Enoch might be applied to the departure of our lamented friend ‘He walked with God, and was not, for God took him.’”
Mrs. C. L. Balfour.
VALUE OF MACHINERY.
Time works many changes both in men and things, and the last thirty years have shewn not a few instances where inventions in machinery, which at the time were regarded by the working classes as injurious, have in the course of time been found to be “ blessings in disguise.” Within the recollection of many persons, horses and even hand power were in use at the Lambeth Potteries for crushing the clay; and the potters all used wheels, called “kickers,” which were turned by the foot.
When Mr. Green determined to introduce the new wheel into his manufactory, the whole of the workmen struck! All the men left except one, who was allowed to continue at his “kicker” until his death, a period of fifteen years, he earning 30s. a week, while the man with the improved lathe, who sat next to him, earned double that sum. So much quicker could the potter work at the new wheel than the man at the “kicker,” that he could make as many stoneware ink bottles for 6d., as the other could throw off by his machine for 1s. 3d. Since the day of the “kicker,” the number of men and boys employed at Mr. Green’s pottery alone, has increased five fold!
What strikes and riots were witnessed in Lancashire and Yorkshire in bygone years on the introduction of power looms and other machinery! Short sighted policy said, “These will injure the working classes, and reduce the number of hands employed.” The result, however, has been very different to what the desponding and faint-hearted dreamed of. Those very inventions which were regarded with such bitter hostility, have in the providence of God, been the means of extending the commerce of our nation to an extent previously unknown. Great Britain and Ireland are now the great markets for the world, and the products of our power looms are now to be found in nearly every part of the habitable globe. The old “kickers” could not possibly have supplied the present demand for pottery, neither could the old hand looms have produced one half of the cloth now required for the clothing of the people Men and women are now employed by tens of thousands in the weaving mills throughout the manufacturing districts, and they can produce far more work and earn better wages than under the old system. What was thought to be a national evil, has proved a national good.
We have to thank Messrs Dixon, of Carlisle, for kindly favouring us with a photograph of two of their power looms.
POWER LOOMS IN MESSRS. DIXON’S MILL, CARLISLE.