British Workman Vol. 1, No. 28 (1857)


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No. 28.
Published for the Editor by Messes. PARTRIDGE & Co.; A. W. BENNETT; and W. TWEEDIE, London.
[Price One Penni.

Mr. Atkinson finds Isaac with some Latin and Greek books at the side of his loom.

THE TWO MILNERS.—It was a gloomy day in the early spring of 1760, and Quarry Hill, Leeds, had a full share of the gloom. Though not so densely populated then as now, still the clouds hung low like an ill-spread awning of dirty blankets, and the drizzly rain fell on the muddy and ill-kept roads. But cheerless as was all without, there was one dwelling on Quarry Hill far more cheerless within. In the centre of a large room, very clean, but very poorly furnished, stood the tressles that supported a coffin; a woman pale with grief sat near the head, and her three boys stood round taking their last tearful look of their dead father’s face. The eldest son, Samuel, was nearly grown up, the next, Joseph, was a youth of about sixteen, and the youngest, whose head was buried in his mother’s lap, was a child of ten years old. The undertaker was there waiting to close the coffin; not a word was spoken, but just as the man bearing the lid approached, the mother rose with a convulsive effort, lifted her youngest boy in her arms, and holding him over the coffin, said, “Look, bairn, at thy father once more, and see to it that thou art like him, for he were a good man if ever there were a good man on this earth.” Then after a moment’s pause, clasping the sobbing child to her bosom, she walked out of the room, followed by her eldest sons, and a short time after, the widow and her children stood by the grave, and consigned their earthly stay and support to its keeping.

The family had long been struggling with difficulties, for the father had been unsuccessful in business; but amid all his privations, he desired to get a good education for his boys. He had felt the want of learning, and he therefore the more earnestly craved it for his children. At that time, the Rev. Mr. Moore was master of the grammar school of Leeds, and Joseph and little Isaac, were among his scholars. How hard they studied—for every half year’s schooling they feared would be the last they could have. But their father’s

“Look, bairn, at thy father once more, and see to it that thou art like him, for he were a good man, if ever there were a good man on this earth.”

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sudden death ruined all their prospects of further learning: with a heavy heart the widow had-to take her two studious boys from school, and put them to learn some branches of the woollen manufacture in Leeds. Disappointed as they doubtless were, and desolate as they must have felt, they did not give up to murmuring and discontent. They thought of their widowed mother now advanced in life, and they resolved as they could not be men of learning, they would try to become men of industry.

But their diligence while at school had attracted the attention of the good master, and after some time, Joseph, the eldest, was taken from his weaving, and enabled by the kindness of friends, to pursue the studies he had so well begun. Poor little Isaac felt his toil the harder now he had no companion, and if he had possessed one particle of envy in his nature, he might have felt his disappointment the more when his brother was enabled to prosecute his studies, but he rejoiced in his brother’s joy, and never thought of self, except as to doing his duty to his mother and his employer.

There came a day, a joyful day, when Joseph left Leeds and went to Cambridge University as a student. The little weaver lad and his mother saw the young scholar depart — and breathed many prayers for his welfare ; they might be pardoned if a thought arose, “will he forget his humble home, his, illiterate mother, his poor toiling brother?” No! Joseph did not “forget his father’s house,” he was worthy of his name. He worked hard and won honours at the University, and in six years from his father’s death, he left college and became master of the grammar school at Hull.

As soon as Joseph found himself secure in his new position, to use his own words, “his bowels yearned upon his youngest brother,” and he sent a friend to ascertain what remained to Isaac of his early knowledge, and whether he might be qualified to become a junior master in the school at Hull. Isaac was now sixteen years old, and had not been inside a school since he was ten. But he had never allowed himself to forget what he had learned, and he had on all occasions added to his store of knowledge. His mother had been his true friend in counselling him to employ his-little leisure in study, and so it happened that when the clergyman (Mr. Atkinson) sent by Joseph to examine into the acquirements of Isaac, entered the long work-room in which the youth was employed, he found him seated at his loom with Tacitus, and another volume of some Greek author, at his side, and the interview was most satisfactory. Isaac was an apprentice, and Mr. Atkinson immediately negotiated the terms of his release; when the master came up shortly after to the loom and said, “Isaac, lad, thou art off” the joy of the youth was indescribable—he laughed and wept in a breath as he took leave of his companions and the loom, and accompanied his new friend to Hull.

He immediately became the usher of the younger boys, among whom was one who will be ever remembered with gratitude— William Wilberforce, then a child of seven years of age, but whose reading was even then so good that he used to be put on a table to read aloud for the benefit of the school.

The good Joseph took his widowed mother to his home as soon as he had one, and when Isaac was twenty years old he was sent by his brother to Queen’s College, Cambridge. This generous kindness was most deeply felt by the young brother, who, long years after, when he was an eminent dignitary of the church, used to say with tears of gratitude and love, “ He made Isaac glad with his acts, and his memorial is blessed for ever.”

Isaac was a sizar, and at that time some menial offices were required of the sizars; and one day, when Isaac had been annoyed by some mischance in performing his duties, he said “When I get into power, I will abolish this nuisance.” These words, When I get into power, caused great laughter—he, the poor Yorkshire lad! But the words were prophetic, for he was ultimately president of his college.

His career was very brilliant. He became eminently pious as well as learned, and entered holy orders in his twenty-nitth year— just fifteen years from the time that he had stood a friendless orphan at his father’s grave.

Years went on, and the brothers Joseph and Isaac still continued to prosper in the best things. There was no better teacher in England than the elder, and no more learned and good clergymen than they both were. The mother lived to a great age, comforted for all her early sorrows by the affection and eminence of her sons.

Isaac was the survivor of the brother whom he had so deeply loved. He wrote his life—a beautiful memorial of brotherly affection—but his literary labours did not end here: he wrote a capital Church History, and as author, President of Queen’s College, and Dean of Carlisle, there is no worthier name in the English Church than that of Isaac Milner, the Weaver’s Apprentice.

GEORGE ABBOTT, Archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of James I. and Charles I., and one of the most active political characters of that period, was born in 1562, at Guildford, in Surrey, where his father was a weaver and clothworker. After receiving his education in the grammar school of that town, he was sent to Baliol College, Oxford; and became successively Master of University College, Dean of Winchester, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, then of London, and lastly, Primate of all England. He was one of the eight divines who, in 1604, by the order of James I., translated the edition of the Bible now in use. He died at Croydon, in 1633, and was buried in his native town, where he had founded and liberally endowed a hospital.

JOHN D0LL0ND, the eminent Optician, was a descendant of a French refugee family, settled in Spitalfields, London, and was born in 1706. His father was an operative silk weaver, and John’s boyhood was 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 invented the achromatic object-glass, the application of the micrometer to reflecting telescopes, &c. He died in 1761.

(Notices of Weavers to be continued in next number.)


Last Christmas Eve, the New Market Hall i of Holyhead presented one of the most gratifying meetings of employers and employed ever held in the Principality of Wales. Messrs. Rigby, the eminent contractors for the Holyhead Breakwater, gave their 940 workmen, a novel, but excellent treat in the form of a substantial piece of beef, wherewith the men might secure a good Christmas dinner for themselves, their wives and their children. We have been ; kindly furnished with a sketch of this interesting gathering, shewing the Hall, with the seven prime beeves suspended from the rafters.

The Hon. W. 0. Stanley, M.P. presided on the occasion. Animating addresses were delivered by the chairman, the Rev. J. Richards; Dr. Wm. Jones; Mr. Richard Jones, and C. Rigby, Esq. Mr. Rigby paid the following tribute to the temperance of Welsh working men.

“I most strongly, emphatically, and heartily state, that not in any part of England, Ireland, or the British Isles, have I met with men who have shewn that great virtue:—sobriety, as you do in Wales. I am not paying you a compliment, but I am saying what you deserve. I have had no less than 1,000 or 1,500 men employed on these works ; and, compared with an equal number employed by me in other parts in England. I say, that you possess one virtue which is the essence of all good to workmen—soberness. One fact I know from experience, that here not one in ten of you, compared to those employed on other works in England or elsewhere, are drunkards.” (Cheers.)

In the course of one of the best speeches ever delivered by a master to his men, Mr. Rigby further said:—

“Send your children to school. I will give preference in employing boys on these works, to those who can read and write, without reference to religion or parentage. I intend to institute an enquiry, and record , the names of those men who neglect to send their children to school, and they must not complain of me if I put them last on the list of applicants for employment. Those who are the children of widows on these works, may be sent to school at my expense.”

Prior to the distribution of the 5,320 lbs. of good beef, the chairman remarked—

“It is a satisfaction to us Welshmen to hear a Saxon bear testimony to the fact that he never found better men, and men so well conducted, and that you are a sober, industrious and a saving people. One of the great reasons why you have this character, is that you in Wales, have been taught in the Sunday schools to respect the Sabbath and to respect the Lord’s Day is a key-stone to all the other virtues. Instead of treating it as a day of idleness, and contaminating yourselves with drunkenness and debauchery as some do, you respect it.”

Let all working men respect the Sabbath; and let masters when they have their treats, give beef instead of beer, and the happiness and prosperity of both employers and employed, will be in every way promoted.

We trust that the good example set by Messrs Rigby will be followed by not a few.
(Concluded from p. 108.)

Alfred also translated a “Church History,” by the Venerable Bede, who had lived in the eighth century.

He established trial by jury on a firm basis. Ethelbert, the first Christian King of England, had instituted something like trial by jury, but it had never been fully carried out. It is an interesting fact that the good Queen Bertha, the wife of this Ethelbert, was the instrument in the conversion of her husband. She was a Christian, and loved the doctrine she professed, her piety and sweetness of temper so won upon her husband, that he was induced to inquire into the faith she had adopted; he thought it must be true, because Bertha was so much more gentle and compassionate than the Heathen Princesses. Oh! that Christians would always remember that heir faith is not only a creed, but a life, ind then many of our modern infidels would be put to silence, and constrained to admire, and perhaps adopt that which was proved to be so lovely in the lives of its professors.

Under the sense of justice that Christianity inspired, there was thus established trial by jury,— before then, a rich man would buy himself off, or an unjust judge pervert the law; but Alfred was so determined that the rights of the people should be maintained, that some of his sternest acts arose from a sense of justice. In one year he condemned no less than forty-four unjust judges, who had tampered with juries, or passed wrong sentences. Alfred was the friend of law.

He had compassion on the poor. He had lived in the days of his adversity in a poor man’s hut in Somersetshire, and there he learned to know and feel for the labouring classes, and he never forgot their claims. Once he met a boy driving pigs in a wild part of Hampshire, he spoke to the lad, and was so pleased with his answers, that he had him instructed; and that pig driver became Bishop of Winchester. Alfred was the friend of the poor.

How was it that this monarch crowded so much into a life of only fifty-two years. Great on land and sea, a ripe scholar, a wise ruler, a just judge, a true patriot? The question is soon answered. He was a Christian.

C. L. Balfour.

Let not the, failure of your first efforts deter you. Alexander Bethune’s first effort for print was a contribution to the “ Amethyst but the lady at whose request it was written, advised him not to send it. He wrote an article for “Blackwood,” and it was declined; a host of others have tried, and failed ; but where there has been a firm and settled purpose to succeed, they have tried and tried again, and in the end have been successful.

Let not the unfavourable opinion of others deter you.

Xenocrates was a disciple of Plato, and a fellow-student with Aristotle. Plato used to call Xenocrates, “a dull ass that needed the spur;” and Aristotle “a mettlesome horse that needed the curb.” When, after the death of Plato, the Chair of Instruction in the Academy was vacant, the choice of a successor lay between Aristotle and Xenocrates, the honour was conferred on Xenocrates.

Industry is an excellent guard to virtue; the more active your life, the less opportunity have the passions to corrupt you.

A Hint for Workmen in Poor Health, who have to rise early, and to walk a great distance before breakfast:— Into the bottom of a tumbler or sugar-basin put the yolks of two eggs, and mill them up into a froth, with some powdered lump sugar or brown sugar: then fill the tumbler or basin with boiling coffee, and you will have a “before breakfast” fit for a king, and on the strength of which you may defy malaria, or a ten miles’ walk. I write this for the “delicate,” as health is everything to them, for themselves and families; and it is far better than taking the morning dram, or glass of beer, and it is a cheaper and far better tonic than can be purchased at the doctor’s shop. Engineers on railways agree that coffee is the very best thing to take early in the morning. Plumbers, painters and glaziers should drink good milk,”—From the Builder.


Prayer is the medium God has given
To waft our wishes up to heaven;
And he has promised to appear
For all who bow in humble prayer.

Prayer is the language of the soul—
Prayer makes the wounded spirit whole—
Relieves the mind in deep distress,
And cheers the sad and comfortless.

When the Redeemer sojourned here,
He taught a solemn form of prayer;
And who so often prayed as he
Who wrestled in Gethsemane?

When in the house of God we meet,
And bow before the mercy-seat,
We realize the bliss of prayer,
For God himself is present there!

But, see the soul in solitude,
Where earthly cares cannot intrude,
With holy awe and ardent love,
He supplicates the throne above!

Such is the Christian’s Bethel-place,
Where God imparts his special grace;
He gives his choicest blessings there.—
Oh! blessed fruits of closet prayer!

J. P.

It is gratifying to us that on the same page as we publish the narrative of the Weaver’s Apprentice, the celebrated Dean Milner, we have to acknowledge the receipt of the following encouraging letter from the present Dean of Carlisle, whose efforts in the County of Gloucester for the welfare of the working classes will long be remembered.

Deanery, Carlisle, Feb. 28, 1857.

Sir,—Amidst so much that is trashy, and so much that is wicked, in the ephemeral publications of the day, it is refreshing to turn to the pages of the British Workman, assured that in them not only shall we find nothing offensive to good taste, morals, or religion,— but much that is calculated to benefit both the heads and hearts of those for whom it is especially written. It has my cordial support.

Yours faithfully,
Francis Close

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Thursday, the 19th of February last, was a day of sorrow long to be remembered at Wambwell, near Barnsley. An explosion took place in the Lund Hill Colliery, by which nearly two hundred of our fellow creatures are supposed to have been hurried into eternity without a moment’s warning. How uncertain is life, and how needful that we should be prepared for another world! Many prayers have ascended to heaven that the numerous bereaved families may be graciously sustained under their severe trial. Whilst deeply sympathizing with the mourners, we would affectionately remind them, in the words of the late Mr. Jacob Post,* that, “The Bible is a book of consolation for the fatherless and, widows in their affliction.—God hath said, “ Leave thy fatherless children, and let thy widows trust in me.”— “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widow, is God in his holy habitation.”— “ The Lord relieveth the fatherless and widow.”—And “I will be a swift witness against those that oppress the widow and the fatherless.” Christ hath said, “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” This book is the friend of every repenting sinner; in the hour of his extremity, it directs him to a wonderful counsellor to plead his cause—a ransom to obtain his pardon, and thus to save him from the penalty of sin—even Jesus Christ the righteous.”

* From “The Bible, the Book for all,” a valuable little work, which deserves a place in every working man’s home.—Published by Messrs Cash, price 6d.
(Continued from page 107.)

Mrs. Lennox’s voice slightly trembled.

“I feel that I have done wrong, mother,” Alfred said, after a pause. “I ought not to neglect you for any engagement—and I will not. To-night’s engagement I will break, and stay at home with you.”

“No, Alfred, I will not have you fail to keep any engagement on my account,” Mrs. Lennox said, in a more cheerful tone, for the prompt resolution of her son had re-assured her. “Go as you have promised. Hereafter I shall be glad to have your society whenever I can have it without interfering with your duties or your lawful recreations.”

Alfred hesitated awhile, but at length, urged by his mother, went out He proceeded at once to a room in the Fountain Inn, Light Street, where half a dozen young men were collected for a wine-drinking frolic.

Here’s Lennox at last! Why, we’ve been waiting this half-hour for you,” said one, as he seated himself at the table, which was plentifully supplied with glasses.

“Why did you wait for me?” he asked. “O, because we wished to start fair,” was the reply. “I’m going to make every man here drunk to night.”


“Yes. I can drink more wine than any person in the room, and then walk home to my lodgings without staggering, while every one of you lies under the table as drunk as Bacchus.”

“I can stand as much as you, I know,” responded one.

“And so can I,” added another.

“I’m not afraid,” chimed in a third.

And so it ran round the table; no one showing any disposition to reject the challenge. Then the trial commenced at once between these young men, emulous of degradation. For a moment or two Alfred thought of his mother, and the interview which he had just held with her; but the spirit of insane emulation that prevailed among his friends, was almost instantly superinduced upon his own mind, and he was not only ready, but willing and delighted, to enter upon the trial,

The consequence was, that at eleven o’clock he fell from his chair perfectly intoxicated. One after another of his companions followed him, until only two remained—the challenger and another, who, though far gone, had just sense enough left to agree upon a truce, and then to go off home, leaving the others to take their drunken sleep out under the table.

It had been Mrs. Lennox’s habit to retire at the usual hour, whether Alfred were in or not. But on this evening she felt in hopes that he would return early, and therefore continued to sit up, expecting his return every moment, until the clock struck twelve.

“He ought not to stay out so late,” she murmured to herself; the impropriety of his doing so, forcing itself strongly on her mind.

Another hour passed away, and then she retired to her bed and lay, listening an hour longer, in the hope of hearing him enter. Finally she fell asleep, but was frequently awakened, ere the morning broke, by troubled dreams. At day dawn she arose, and ascertained that Alfred had returned. This was a relief to her mind—though the fact of his having staid out so late troubled her, she scarcely knew why.

When the bell rang for breakfast, Alfred came down. He had returned a little before daybreak, pretty well sobered, and deeply mortified at the result of his drinking frolic. His inclination was to lie down again and sleep off the effects of his debauch, but his anxiety to keep it from his mother’s observation was so strong, that he roused himself up, and made every preparation that he could to meet her, so as to throw off any suspicion of the truth. But he could not disguise the too evident marks of a deep debauch, from which he was but partially recovered. One glance of his mother’s eye sufficed to tell her but too truly that her son had fallen.
(To be continued.)


We may sometimes learn a lesson of great and beneficial importance from the words we use. With many of them we are so familiar, that the fulness of their signification escapes us, and they pass from our lips without impressing the mind. Now, one of these words is intoxication; I would not say that we are quite ignorant of its evil import. The picture which it places before the mind, is one of the grossest moral degradation; the drunken husband returning home to inflict increasing suffering on his unhappy family; the children ignorant and neglected, and worse than all, the drunkard himself daily becoming more and more addicted to the vice which has ensnared him, loses by degrees all control over his passions, until at length the mind which God has given him in common with his fellow men, has lost the energies with which it was endowed. Now it strikes me, that if we knew the true meaning of intoxication, many a youth would tremble ere he touched the fatal cup, and would shrink instinctively from the draught which can contain such evil.

The word intoxication comes from a Latin word signifying poison, and show’s, I think, clearly, in what light we ought to consider it. It is a pity that it has lost its original meaning, for it still acts as poison upon those, who, enticed by bad company, or urged on through fear of the jeers of their associates, first enter the drunkard’s haunt.

In a village by the sea coast, which I often visit, there is a cottage conspicuous among the rest for its neat exterior ; the trim garden is showy with wall -flower and London pride, and the little porch covered with luxuriant creepers. There is a look of comfort too within; the clean-swept hearth, the brick floor strewn with the freshest sand, the white deal table, and the little row of china treasures upon the mantlepiece, all speak of comfort, if not of plenty. It is a poor cottage though; the owner, a fisherman, gains but little in his calling, and a hard one it is—but he brings his gains home to his wife, and they sit there and have many a happy evening over their small bit of fire.

One day when I called to see them, I asked the poor fisherman how it happened that his scanty earnings could allow then to live in such comfort.

“It is almost a wonder to myself, sir,” he said, “and it wasn’t always so I can assure you. When first we married I was about as bad and as wild a fellow as you could see anywhere. My mother had brought me up very careful like, and had saved all she could to send me to school that I might get a little learning; well, I don’t know how it was but I fell in with bad company, lads a little older than myself, who taught me to hate my books and to despise all my mother’s advice; then I used to dread going home at night, for my mother used to look so sad like at me, and I could’nt bear that, so I began to join the boys at the public house; I did’nt mean to drink when I first went there, but one step leads to another ; I could’nt resist, and I became a drunkard! It broke my mother’s heart, sir; she couldn’t look at the wretched state of the son of her widowhood and old age, and one night when I was carried home senseless and intoxicated, the final blow was struck, and on coming to myself in the morning, I found my mother was released from all the sorrow I had brought upon her grey hairs. She was dead.

“I was very unhappy for some time, but I resolved to deaden my grief by drink, and every farthing I could earn went in this way. I fell in with a set of smugglers, and was the most lawless of the band, notorious for evil conduct through all the country round. I had married my wife soon after my mother’s death, but I left her often, and she had many a heart-ache I doubt not, when the winds and waves roared in some of our furious storms. Still my mother’s words were often in my mind; I used to drink to stifle the sound of them in my ears, and I sunk deeper and deeper into vice.

“At last a widow lady and her daughter came to settle in the village; they were kind to my wife, and often used to have her up to the Hall, and gave her work to do, and all that sort of thing. No one had ever before said a kind word to me, but Mrs. M. has often said to me since that time, that her motto always is ‘Despise none, despair of none; for there may be some hidden work of grace in the heart which one spark may kindle into a flame.’ “Well, one day when she came to our cottage, I was at home, and she pressed me to go with my wife to church; I made many excuses, but she had such a sweet way of talking, and she told me she would give me clothes to go in if I wouldn’t let Jenny go alone. Well, sir, I went, and I heard that which I had not heard since I stood at my mother’s knee! It seemed to come back to me, then, how she used to say to me in after-times,—

“‘Bob! Bob! you’ll ruin yourself if you don’t mind!’ and how she showed me in the Bible that drunkards cannot go to Heaven. But I did not heed her. Now, I listened and listened, and it came strange over me, and I did not want to drink to forget it all; but I made up my mind, that by God’s help, I would never taste a drop again; and God has helped me, sir; I came home that night with my wife; I gave up all the old haunts; I wouldn’t notice the lads who laughed and jeered at me, and our little cottage soon began to look as pleasant and happy as it looks now.”

“And do you never drink now?” I asked.

“No,” he replied, “sometimes when I get wet at night, when out on the sea, my wife say ‘take a drop, Bob! to warm you;’ but I wont do it—it tastes like poison to me now, and I cannot put it to my lips ; and often and often I thank God for sending that kind lady to me, who, by His blessing, was the first to arrest me in the evil course in which I was treading.”

6h! that all who have tasted the poison-cup, could thus learn its effects! I walked borne from the fisherman’s cottage, thankful that one at least had abandoned the draught, which, alas! has robbed too many a hearth of comfort, peace, and love.




“Dear partner of my heart and home, in sadness, joy, or woe,
You’ve ever proved a faithful wife, and will prove ever so:
When I have been opprest with care, your ready help was near;
And you could find fresh cause for hope, your husband’s heart to cheer.
My little cot has always proved the dearest place to me,
And sweeter joys I never found than those I find with thee.
So I will stay, if ’tis your wish, and strive to seek, at home,
Those solid comforts of the soul they seldom find who roam.
And while you sit, and sew, or knit—my ever loving wife—
We’ll search for truths that all may learn in Wisdom’s Book of Life:
So, while I read, you’ll meditate, and then by reas’ning o’er,
And thus communing, mind with mind each will increase its store.
Thus, toiling on from day to day—how sweet the evening’s rest!
When Knowledge sweet is with us found and Truth a constant guest.
We then can teach our children dear, to walk in wisdom’s way,
For home-taught truths are soonest learnt, and longest felt, they say.
And why should we, in ignorance, ride o’er life’s troubled sea?
With charts to guide, and course to steer, away from danger free!
Henceforward, then, I’ll stay with thee, and as the evenings roll,
We’ll traverse earth from east to west, from distant pole to pole.
I’ll read to thee how nations rose—their progress thou shalt view—
How mighty kings made thousands fall, and then have fallen too!
We’ll wander by the sacred Nile, through Egypt’s ancient land,
O’er Abyssinia’s hills and vales, and Afric’s burning sand.
Arabia’s happy fragrant plains their sweetest balms shall shed,
And Canaan’s milk and honey flow, for us, by fancy led!
Young Persia shall be old again, and Babylon, once more,
Shall boast her walls, and countless gates, and armies, as of yore.
So we will go from north to south, from land to land we’ll roam,
And see all these, yea, more than these, in this our cottage home.
Thus shall my books their stores unfold, my mind its gems display,
To teach and cheer the wife I love, with whom henceforth, I stay.”

Thus spake the Husband to his Wife. The wife looked up and smiled;
While tears were sparkling in her eyes, thus ran her accents mild;—
‘I thank thee, William, from my heart; my home will happy be,
When with thy constant self each night, a heaven on earth to me.”

We recently had the pleasure of paying a visit to Parkfield Colliery, near Bristol, where we saw and heard many things which we hope to make use of in a future “ Colliers’ Number.” One fact, however, we cannot refrain from publishing at once. Our esteemed host, Mr. Handel Cossham, of Shortwood Lodge, took us into the cottage of one of the miners, where, to our surprise and pleasure, we found the “ house ” not only most respectably furnished, but just under the pretty plants in the window was a capital Harmonium, for which we were told the worthy owner had paid his “ten guineas! ” On the opposite side of the room was a neat mahogany and glass bookcase, with a creditable selection of good books. Around the walls were hung a few paintings, and everything betokened peace and plenty. The good wife, who was clean and tidy like her cottage, shewed us the music-books from which her husband played various tunes on the Harmonium, adding, with a smile of laudable pride, “Nobody taught him music, sir, he learned himself.” As we left the cottage, Mr. Cossham said, “Now, sir, you have just seen the fruits of savings from beer and tobacco.”

Mr. C. added, “A few evenings ago. that miner asked me if I would procure for him a good Family Bible, with a commentary, and when I enquired how much I might expend over it, he told me that he should not mind spending as far as two guineas or fifty shillings!”

A few hours previously we had been hearing of meetings in London about sending out the thousands of “unemployed workmen ” to the Colonies, and we involuntarily remarked, “ If all working men in the United Kingdom would act as wisely as this sensible miner, what an unheard-of impetus would be given to trade. Musical instrument makers, cabinet makers, printers, bookbinders, carvers and gilders, and many other trades, would soon have more orders than they could possibly execute, and “unemployed workmen” would indeed be “few and far between.”

We sincerely hope that many of our readers will take a leaf out of the Gloucestershire miner’s book. It will not only be good for trade, but good for wife and children; good for body, good for soul; good for time, and good for eternity.

James Hodges went home one night very sorrowful, for his pious master’s death had thrown the business, where he had been employed many years, into the hands of a grasping worldly nephew of his former employer, and James was told that he would be expected to render some service on the Lord’s Day.

“What a look, Jim! on your face,” said the wife in a cheery voice, as she stirred up the fire to a blaze, and held out the baby laughing and crowing to welcome her pensive husband.

“Ah Betty, I may well be sad, I’m told to come to work on the Lord’s Day.”

“Never!” said the wife, “never! If you can’t support your family by keeping the Lord’s Day, you’ll never support them by breaking it.”

“Bless your brave heart, Bess, you’ve helped me by that word,” he said, as the cheerful smile broke over his countenance, and from that moment his resolution was taken to obey God’s law. The next morning he gave notice to leave ; but before the day was out, one of the clerks was sent to speak to him. James was a good servant, and worked well the six days, so they agreed to his terms, and left him the Lord’s Day.

By this consistency, he not only did himself good,but all the men who worked for the firm —for the injustice was soon seen of exempting one man and oppressing others, so the plan of working on the Lord’s Day was given up by the master through the consistency of his God-fearing servant.

– B.

In a country parish in the south of Devonshire, near the town of K-, an aged Christian widow receives the turnpike tolls, and for that purpose occupies by day an exposed little tenement at the end of a bridge crossing the picturesque river Avon. Not long since, a gentleman and his daughter residing in the neighbourhood, whilst taking a ride, overpaid her a halfpenny.

The widow only discovered this when they were out of reach, but availed herself of the earliest opportunity to return it. The gentleman made no remark at the time, but a few days afterwards, when riding through the village, left her a parcel containing a warm knitted jacket, and a pair of cuffs, accompanied by a note to say that they were the “ fruits of an honest halfpenny,” and that he hoped they would help to keep her warm during this winter.

“He that walketh righteously, and speak-eth uprightly, bread shall be given him— his water shall be sure.”



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Mr. “Weston was a manufacturer, who for years employed hundreds of workers in his mill, and was thought to be a very prosperous man. He had always a careworn look, am no one ever saw him in the house of God, or quietly reading in his dwelling, on the Lord’; Day. Sometimes he would go off to hi; office, lock himself in for hours, and be busy with his account books ; sometimes he would pace up and down his rooms lost in thought: and on Monday morning, he would tell his clerk he had planned some great business transaction on the previous Sabbath. Mark the issue of all this toil. He was seized suddenly with congestion of the brain. The physician who attended him, said very impressively, “he is over-wrought, his mind has had no Sabbath.” He recovered the first attack, but his faculties were so impaired, that he had to be placed in a lunatic asylum, where he remained six years. His affairs, meanwhile, were too confused for strangers to know how to arrange them, and though his wife made the effort of carrying on the concern, its failure added to her grief, and hastened her death in the fourth year of her husband’s lunacy. At length he recovered his reason, and found himself a ruined man, alone in the world, with a shattered constitution as his only inheritance.

Ah! to think of his applying for admission into the Union, at the house of the poor-law guardian, who lived within sight of the mill he once called his own!

God’s holy law of one day of rest in seven, is good for body as well as soul, for time as well as eternity.

-Mrs. C. L. Balfour.


Amongst the celebrities in humble life whom English tourists have encountered in every Irish locality, famous for its scenery or antiquities, none will be remembered with more kindly or pleasurable feelings than old Gandsey, the blind piper of Killarney. Accompanied and guided by his son, himself a proficient in the tuneful art, the old man has, I for many years past, delighted visitors to the far-famed Lakes of Killarney with his genuine humour, and the musical skill with which he executed the sweet and simple melodies of his native land upon the bagpipes. Those who have listened to his performances, and been amused with his smart repartees and good-humoured drolleries, will regret to hear that the old man is no longer of this world. He died a week or two ago at his humble cottage in the village of Killarney, at the advanced age of eighty, and in the full possession of all his faculties. Future visitors to the Lakes will encounter, as heretofore, much originality of character among the guides, boatmen, and car-drivers, but such a piper as old Gandsey they are not likely to meet for many a season.

Killarney, the village in which poor old Gandsey passed his long life, is situated a little to the north-east of the Lower Lake, and a road thence, skirting the domain of Lord Kinmare, leads to Boss Castle, from which may be seen Innisfallen and Babbit Island, with Toomies Mountain towering to the height ol 2,115 feet on the opposite side. More southward, and bordering on the Middle Lake, is the domain of Mr. H. Herbert, M.P. for Kerry, on which stands the ruins of Muckross Abbey. “No one,” says Inglis, “should visit Killarney without seeing Muckross Abbey, a very beautiful and perfect ruin, containing within it, the most gigantic yew tree I have ever seen; its arms actually support the crumbling wall, and form a canopy above the open cloisters, while the majestic trunk is thirteen feet in circumference.”

Toomies, though a fine object in the landscape, from the woods which clothe its base, is far from being the highest of the Hills encircling Killarney. That dignity belongs to Carrantual, which rises to the height of 3,394, and is the loftiest peak in Ireland, The one most frequently ascended, however, is Mangerton, the summit of which is 2576 feet above the sea. Within 500 feet of the highest rock is the Devil’s Punch-Bowl, a lake of considerable extent, occupying a deep chasm, and the water of which is extremely cold, thougH it never freezes. From the summit of this mountain a charming view is obtained, extending as far northward as the Shannon, and to the bays of Dingle, Kenmare, and Bantry, on the south-west coast. A magnificent prospect is obtained of Macgillicuddy’s Beeks, the ridge from which Carrantual rises, and which are here seen to the greatest advantage. It is impossible to convey an adequate idea of the beauties of Killarney by any written description. Lady Chatterton truly says, “A hundred descriptions have been written, thousands of sketches made, but no description 1 have read, or sketch I have seen, made me familiar with Killarney. The Upper Lake, and the Lower Lake, Muckross and Innisfallen, must be seen to be understood. It is the colouring, the gleam of sunshine, She cloud, the tone, the effect, —what, in short, cannot be conveyed by the pen without the cant of art, and is beyond the power of the pencil — that gives magic to the scenery of Killarney. I say, beyond the power of the pencil, because everything changes its hue so rapidly, and the forms of objects seem to change with their colour; it is impossible to convey the variety of images presented to the eye, the eye may follow them as it follows the flash of lightning; but record faithfully requires thought and profound repose, which dwell not here.” N.

Grotius, a little before his death, said, “I would give all my learning and honour could I change situations with Jean Urrick,” an illiterate neighbour, who spent much of his time in prayer, and in the study of the Scriptures.
“Pray without ceasing.”

The Bagpipe is so generally represented as being played upon by a Highlander, in a full suit of tartan, that it is commonly believed to be an instrument of music peculiar to Scotland. This however is by no means the case. It is in truth one of the most ancient instruments of music known, and has been popular throughout Europe for more than two thousand years. It was common amongst the ancient Scandinavians, when their country was invaded by the Romans; and, whether borrowed from them or not, the instrument was also popular in Borne, in the time of the Caesars; for it is matter of history, that the emperor Nero, so celebrated for his cruelty, and his skill in music, was no contemptible performer on the bagpipe!

In modern Italy and in Spain, the bagpipe is a favourite instrument amongst the peasantry. In England, except in the Northern counties, it is now seldom met with; but in former times, and especially during the reigns of the three first Edwards, it was very popular. In Wales it does not appear ever to have competed with the harp, at least to any extent: but it has long been, and still is, a favourite instrument in Ireland.

But though not peculiar to Scotland the bagpipe has been for ages, and still continues a popular instrument of music there. In feudal times, the piper was an unfailing appendage to the household of a Highland Chief. He performed at his birth, at his wedding, and at his funeral; and when, he led his clan to battle, the piper always accompanied them, to inspire fresh courage by his martial strains. This hereditary connection between the warlike ardour of the Highlander and the notes of the bagpipe still continues in full force, or is believed to do so. There is accordingly a piper attached to all our Highland regiments; and not a few of our readers will yet remember, that on the occasion of one of the late Duke of Wellington’s victories in the Peninsula, the attack was commenced early in the morning, by the Highland brigade, while the pipers played the well-known national air of “Hey Johny Cope, are ye waukin’ yet?” May the happy day soon arrive, when the nations “shall learn war no more,” and when the sweet strains of music shall no longer be associated with scenes of bloodshed and woe!

Among other uses, to which the Highland chieftains occasionally put their pipers, was that of making their pleasure known in the form of proclamations. Some of these had at times a spice of royalty in their character. It is not quite a hundred years, for instance, since the proprietor of one of the smallest of the Western Islands, after dining in state, sent his piper out to the front of his mansion, there to proclaim with a loud voice, that “all the kings of the world might now take their dinner, as the great Mc Neile of Barra had got his!” It is but fair to add, that, (in consideration doubtless for the convenience of other potentates,) this sovereign of a few square miles dined at twelve o’clock!
Dr. Huie.