British Workman Vol. 1, No. 9 (1855)


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No. 9.]

Published for the Editou by S. W. PAETEIDGE, at the Office of the “British Workman,” No. 9, Paternoster Row, London. [Price One Penny.



Henry Wild was born in Norwich, in the year 1684, and, after attending the grammar school of that city, was bound apprentice to a tailor.

Being attacked by a lingering illness, he took to reading, and meeting with some Hebrew quotations, he was inspired with the determination to learn that language; accordingly he struggled with Latin, and then proceeded to Hebrew. After regaining his health, he used to sit up reading for a great part of the night, and in this way, within seven years, he had actually made himself master of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew,

Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, and Persian languages. His extraordinary attainments seem not to have been generally known, till, very singularly, he was introduced to Dean Prideaux, a distinguished proficient in oriental learning.

The Dean, who also resided in Norwich, was one day shown some Arabic manuscripts in a bookseller’s shop, which upon inspection he wished to purchase; but the bookseller would not dispose of them for the price offered by the Dean.

Some days after, regretting that he had not secured the manuscripts, the Dean called again at the bookseller’s intending to give him what he asked; when he learned to his consternation, that they had been sold to a tailor ! Not doubting that they were destined for the scissors, if not already in shreds, he requested that the tailor, who was no other than Henry Wild, might be instantly sent for, that they might yet, if possible, be saved. Upon Wild making his appearance, the Dean had the gratification of learning that the parchments were still uninjured ; but to his great surprise,

Wild refused to part with them.

“What can you mean to make of them ? ” asked the Dean. Wild told him he intended to read them ; and the Dean found upon examining him, that this was no vain boast, as when the manuscripts were produced, the tailor immediately read and translated a portion of them. Dean Prideaux soon after exerted himself to raise a small subscription for this poor and meritorious scholar, by which means he was sent to Oxford, that he might have access to the libraries, and find a more appropriate occupation for his extraordinary talents, in teaching those oriental tongues with which he had in so wonderful a manner contrived to make himself acquainted.

Andersen, a celebrated Danish poet of the present century, the author of “ Improvisatore” and several other works, was the son of a poor shoemaker, and in early life had to struggle through poverty and obscurity. His apprenticeship was served to a tailor.

Hannibal Caracci, a great Italian painter, amongst whose celebrated works are the “Dead Christ,” “The Resurrection,” and the paintings in the Farnese palace in Rome, learnt the trade of a tailor. He died in 1609.

Andrew del Sarto, an Italian painter, was the son of a tailor. He was at fust placed with a goldsmith, and afterwards entered the service of a painter, whose reputation he soon far surpassed. He died in 1530.

General Elliott, the celebrated defender of Gibraltar at the latter end of the last century, though descended from a family much distinguished for their military exploits, was when a boy, apprenticed to a tailor.

Sir John Hawkwood, who died at Florence in 1394, having gained amongst the Florentines the character of the bravest soldier of the age, was originally a tailor’s apprentice in London, his father being a farmer in Essex.

John Christian Theden, who rose step by step through his extraordinary talents, until he became chief surgeon to the Prussian Army, under Frederick II., was in his youth apprenticed to a tailor!

John Jackson, R.A., a successful portrait painter, and a native of Lastingham, in Yorkshire, was the son of a tailor, and was himself brought up to the same business. Very early in life he evinced a taste for drawing, and some of his sketches having attracted the notice of Sir George Beaumont, he was released by that gentleman’s means from his apprenticeship, and encouraged to devote himself to painting. He afterwards removed to London, and studied at the Royal Academy; and he then commenced portrait painting. On the 6th November, 1815, he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and on the 10th February, 1817, a Royal Academician. Jackson was noted for his extreme rapidity in painting, and it is related that on one occasion he began and finished the portraits of five gentlemen in one summer’s day. By each of these he earned 25 guineas, thus making no less a sum than 125 guineas in a day. He died in 1831.

Gelli, a celebrated Italian writer, even after he had obtained so much distinction by his writings as to have been elected to the high dignity of consul of the Florentine Academy, and appointed by the Grand Duke to deliver a course of lectures on Dante, still continued to work at his original profession of a tailor, which he had inherited from his father.

Robert Hill, a native of Hertfordshire, was a poor tailor, who with scarcely any education, by laborious application made himself master of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, and wrote several works on theological subjects. Although of a weakly constitution, he had accustomed himself to do very well with only two or three hours of sleep in the twenty-four; and he lived to be seventy-eight, dying in 1777.

Henrich Jung Stilling, who died in 1817, for a long time had to struggle against poverty; he was successively a tailor, schoolmaster, private tutor, physician, professor of political economy at Lautern, Heidelberg, and Marburg, and closed his career as Privy Councillor to the Grand Duke of Baden. He left an interesting autobiography which we recommend to the perusal of our readers.

Let the Working tailors who read these lines be stimulated to improve what Dr. Huie appropriately calls “ Corners of Time” (see next page); let them be careful to spend their Sabbaths and their Mondays in such a way as will bear a Tuesday morning’s reflection, and many of them will, we doubt not, become valuable and influential citizens of the world.

We are collecting notices of celebrated Barbers, Stonemasons, Blacksmiths, Bricklayers, Shepherds, Sailors, &c., &c., and shall feel obliged by any assistance which our readers may be able to render us in this task

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One sultry day the Rev. Henry Townley was travelling by a stage-coach, when the coachman uttered several oaths. Mr. T. resolved to try the effect of indirect reproof.

“How hot the weather is!” the coachman presently observed.

“It is nothing,” said Mr. T. “ to the heat of Calcutta.”

“What, sir; have you ever been in India? ” “Yes; and when there, seen many strange sights. I saw a Hindoo girl goaded on by the priests, and in spite of every remonstrance I could offer, burn her own mother alive.”

The particulars of the Suttee gained his attention, when Mr. T. proceeded to relate some conversations, bearing on the ten commandments, which he had held with Brahmins and other natives of India.

After a short pause, the man’s conscience having applied what he heard to himself, he spontaneously said, “Sir, that’s a bad habit of swearing which we coachmen have got;” and throughout the remainder of the journey not another irreverent word escaped his lips.

Indirect reproof is in some cases the most efficacious.



THE most eminent physicians of Paris seemed to regard the approaching death of the celebrated Dr. Dumoulin as an irreparable loss to the profession. “Gentlemen,” said Dr. Dumoulin “you are in error. I shall leave behind me three distinguished Physicians.” Being pressed to name them, as each expected to be included in the trio, he answered—“Water,—Exercise,—and Diet.”



At a meeting in Birmingham, of a total abstinence society, the following statement was made by a working painter, who was called in his turn to speak on the subject of temperance. He said he had made a few calculations which he wished to communicate, with the view of showing the pecuniary benefit he had derived during the four years he had been a pledged member. Previous to that time he had been in the practice of spending, on an average, in intoxicating drink, five-pence per day, or £7 12s. 1 d. per annum, which in four years would amount to £30 8s. 4d. He would now show how this sum had been expended during the four years he had abstained from all intoxicating drinks.

First, it had enabled him to allow an aged father £3 5s. per annum towards rent, or in the four years £13.

Secondly, he had entered a benefit society, and paid 1s. 7d. per week, or £4 2s. 4d. per annum, or £16 9s. 4d. for the four years. For this payment he secured the following advantages : in case of his being disabled from doing his accustomed work by illness or accident, the society will pay him eighteen shillings per week, until restored to health; in case of death, his widow or rightful heir is entitled to a bonus of £9, besides half the amount paid into the society by the deceased up to the time of his death, with the interest due thereon.

Thirdly, it left him four shillings and nine-pence per annum, or nineteen shillings for the four years, to be expended in temperance and other periodicals. It might further be added that when the sum of £54 had been paid into the society’s funds, no further payment would be required, and the contributor would be entitled to all the benefits before enumerated; medicine and medical attendance being included in the arrangement. Reader, how much may be done with fivepence a day?



A Gentleman of New York, who personally knew Thomas Paine, and was repeatedly in his company during the last years of his life, gave the following account of a conversation with him respecting the Bible:—

“One evening I found Paine haranguing a company of his disciples, on the great mischief done to mankind by the introduction of the Bible and Christianity. When he paused, I said, ‘Mr. Paine, you have been in Scotland; you know there is not a more rigid set of people in the world than they are in their attachment to the Bible; it is their schoolbook; their churches are full of Bibles. When a young man leaves his father’s house, his mother always, in packing his chest, puts a Bible on the top of his clothes. He said it was true. I continued, ‘You have been in Spain, where the people are destitute of the Bible, and there you can hire a man for a dollar to murder his neighbour, ‘who never gave him any offence.’ He assented. ‘You have seen the manufacturing districts in England, where not one man in fifty can read, and you have been in Ireland, where the majority never saw a Bible. Now you know it is an historical fact that in one county in England or Ireland there are many more capital convictions in six months than there are in the whole population of Scotland in twelve. Besides, this day there is not one Scotchman in the almshouse, state prison, bridewell, or penitentiary of New York. Now then, if the Bible were so bad a book as you represent it to be, those who use it would be the worst members of society; but the contrary is the fact; for our prisons, almshouses and penitentiaries are filled with men and women, whose ignorance or unbelief prevents them from reading the Bible.’ It was now nearly ten o’clock at night; Paine answered not a word, but taking a candle from the table, walked up stairs, leaving his friends and myself staring at each other.”




If we were to go to the mart or the exchange, to the university or the church, to the bar, or the senate, and select the names that are marked with distinction in their respective annals, we should discover that fortune and fame had encircled their choicest honors around the heart of those men who were distinguished for self-denial and self-dependence. The distinctions amongst men are not natural and compulsory; they are in a great measure voluntary and self-determined. Fate does not bind us in fetters that cannot be broken, nor place us in the bondage of uncontrollable circumstances. We are slaves or men by an act of our own will. When Demosthenes harangued, captivated, and controlled “the fierce democracy of Greece,” many of his auditors would presume that the charms of his eloquence were owing to some superior endowments of nature. But we are told that he had a weak voice, a thick way of speaking, and he was so short breathed that he could not utter a whole period without stopping. His first attempt to speak in public was rewarded with hisses; and lie withdrew, hanging down his head and in the utmost confusion. He was cast down, but not discouraged; a friend met him, and having ascertained the cause of liis dejection, he assured him that the evil was not without remedy, nor the case so desperate as he imagined. He gave him advice, and Demosthenes, like a true Philosopher, resolved either to remove the difficulties that environed his path or cleave his way through them. The result was one of the noblest efforts of an indomitable will. By the use of small pebbles he corrected his pronunciation; by ascending or climbing steep hills, he improved his respiratory organs; by pronouncing harangues at the sea side, he increased the power of his voice and the inflexibility of his nerves; by reading Thucydides, his favourite author, he gave grace and vigour to his style; and by exercise before the mirror, he acquired propriety of gesture and demeanour. So that he became such a master in the rhetorical art, that when he appeared at the forum he was the delight and wonder of his fellow countrymen.

Councillor Wilkinson.



Mr. Rogers, a Puritan Divine, was styled the Enoch of his day. Bishop Rennet said of him, that England hardly ever brought forth a man who walked more closely with God. He was always remarkable for gravity and seriousness in company. Being once addressed by a gentleman of rank:—

“Mr. Rogers, I like you and your company well enough, but you are too precise! ”

“Oh, Sir,” replied Mr. R. “ I serve a precise God! ”



The most useful lesson in the school of life is that which teaches us to be content.




A Lion was sleeping in his lair, when a Mouse not knowing where he was going, ran over the mighty beast’s nose, and awakened him. The Lion clapped his paw upon the frightened little creature, and was about to make an end of him in a moment, when the Mouse, in pitiful tone, besought him to spare one who had so unconsciously offended. and not stain his honourable paw with so insignificant a prey. The Lion, smiling at his little prisoner’s fright, generously let him go. Now it happened, not long time after, that the Lion while ranging the woods for his prey, fell into the toils of the hunters; and finding himself entangled without hope of escape, set up a roar that filled the whole forest with its echo. The Mouse, recognising the voice of his former preserver, ran to the spot, and without more ado set to work to nibble the knot in the cord that bound the Lion, and in a short time set the noble beast at liberty; thus convincing him that kindness is seldom thrown away, and that there is no creature so much below another, but that he may have it in his power to return a good office.

From James’s Aesop’s Fables.




It is pleasant to observe the charming effect which it is often in the power of a poor labourer to give to his cottage, by making some of the most simple productions of nature subservient to the decoration of his home. That home may be small, and yet the source of great comfort and refinement to him, who, following tlie inclination of his taste for beauty, and being an unsophisticated lover of Nature, culls here and there, as often as the blessed opportunity offers, from the immense variety of the vegetable kingdom,—

“Seeks for the beautiful in oozy caves,
In rocks, uncovered by receding waves.
Where the sea-weed grows; ”

and after a healthy ramble, and the enjoyment of that peacefulness which the tumult of a crowded city or toil forbids, he has something that rewards his search, that gratifies his eye, and reminds him of well-spent time and past pleasures. We have seen the walls and ceiling of a peasant’s home thickly studded with shells of all kinds and colours, displayed in agreeable forms: and in conjunction with flowers, dried plants, seaweed, and mosses, the whole had a most delightful appearance. F. L.—Builder.




A gentleman was railing, at a public table, against the law of Maine, as depriving men ot their natural rights to buy and sell, and get gain; and turning to his neighbour, asked him, if he did not think it high-handed oppression. The gentleman replied:–

“ Sir, call it oppression if you please; I will state one fact well known to myself. A tax bill was recently brought to me on my city property, of 800 dollars, for which I gave my cheque, I carefully looked into the subject, and found that 650 dollars of it was for the support of drunkenness. Now, what is this but oppression? But, I suppose, I have no rights! Bumsellers have all! They may tax me to support criminals and drunkards— they make me pay 650 dollars, and I must be still.”

“ Sir,’’ said the gentleman, “ Maine is right. It is the best argument I ever heard. It has overthrown all my theory about free-trade. I will say no more, hut go with you for a Maine Law in New York.”

American Paper.



We cannot build too confidently on the merits of Christ, as our only hope; nor can we think too much of the mind that was in Christ, as our great example.





A celebrated author, who was also a judge in the supreme Court of Scotland, being once asked by a friend how he, who was otherwise so much engaged, could find any leisure for literary pursuits, he replied that he accomplished all by improving the Corners of Time. An explanation being requested, he went on to say that he spent in literary composition those seasons of leisure which other men lost, because they thought them not worth improving. “For instance,” said he, “when I come down to breakfast, I find it not quite ready; well, I step into my study, take pen, ink, and paper, and write a few lines; my thoughts continue to flow during breakfast, and when that is over I finish the paragraph. In the same manner when I come home to dinner, the ladies are not dressed; I wash my hands, adjust my cravat, and step into my study. Ten, fifteen, or even twenty minutes will elapse before I am summoned to the dining-room, and in that time I can do a great deal. Similar intervals often occur in the evening, and these I call the Corners of Time.

The time of the labouring man is at the command and disposal of his employer, and yet the most fully occupied of the sons of toil will see from the foregoing anecdote, that even his time has Corners which he can make his own. In fact, without defrauding his master of a single minute which is his due, the sober and well-disposed labourer or mechanic will find, upon reflection, that there are short intervals in almost every day, which are spent by himself in merely resting his body, and by his companions (it may be) in drinking or smoking; but which, if watched for and improved might be converted into precious seasons of mental and spiritual advancement. By rising a quarter of an hour earlier in the morning, ten minutes would be gained for reading the Bible, and five for communion with God in prayer. By a little effort twice that length of time might be set apart in the evening for the same exercises, in which his wife (if he has one) and his family might join. From the breakfast and dinner hours also ten or fifteen minutes might in most instances he spared, for reading the “British Workman” or the “Leisure Hour,” or some other useful and entertaining publication. By putting these Corners of Time together at night the reader of my present remarks would find, that he had spent from an hour to an hour and a quarter in a profitable and edifying manner ; and that while his employer had not suffered to the value of a hair, he himself had gained what is more valuable than rubies.

And if the habit were once formed of thus improving the Corners of Time throughout the week, and turning them into seasons of mental and spiritual advancement, 0 how precious to such a labourer or mechanic would the weekly return of the Sabbath be! when, instead of spending a few minutes in communion with his God and Saviour, and in promoting the spiritual interests of his household, he could pass the whole day, (and that day one in seven,) in the public and private exercises of devotion, and in the use of those other helps to moral and religious progression, which in this highly favoured country are within the reach of all!

It is a common saying, that “ a penny saved is a penny gained.” In the same manner a minute saved is a minute gained. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time.” “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing may be lost.”

Dr. Huie





Nay, speak no ill!—a kindly word
Can never leave a sting behind;
And oh! to breathe each tale we’ve heard
Is far beneath a noble mind.

Full oft a better seed is sown
By choosing thus the kinder plan;
For if but little good be known,
Still let us speak the best we can.

Give me the heart that fain would hide–
Would fain another’s fault efface;
How can it pleasure human pride
To prove humanity but base ?

No: let us reach a higher mood,
A nobler estimate of man;
Be earnest in the search for good,
And speak of all the best we can.

Then speak no ill,—but lenient be
To others’ failings as your own;
If you’re the first a fault to see,
Be not tho first to make it known.

For life is but a passing day.
No lip may tell how brief its span;
Then, oh, the little time we stay,
Let’s speak of all the best we can.



“A few days since, a man-of-war’s man, a regular British tar, stepped into the post-office at Cork, and addressing one of the clerks, said, ‘Do you know Jem Jenkins, A.B., of the Bulldog? ’ ‘Not I,’ replied the clerk, surprised; ‘why do you ask ?’ The sailor replied, ‘Because I want you to give a letter to him,’ saying which he produced an epistle. ‘Very well,’ replied the clerk, ‘the letter will be sent to him, but you must put a stamp on it.’ ‘How in the world can you send a letter to Jem unless you know him?’ inquired the tar. ‘Oh, that does not matter,’ answered the clerk;

‘I can send the letter, but it will cost you a penny for the stamp.’ ‘Stamp! ’ cried the sailor; ‘show me one. A stamp was accordingly shown to him, when he exclaimed, ‘No, shiver me, if I put Jem Jenkins off with a penny, for he often spent a crown upon me; haven’t you got anything better than this?’ The clerk replied in the affirmative, and showed him a twopenny stamp. ‘Well,’ cried the other, ‘this looks decenter; but haven’t you got anything better?’ The clerk showed him a shilling stamp, which Jack inspected with an expression of approval, saying, ‘All right; put five of them on the letter; shiver my timbers! I will never send Jem Jenkins less than five shillings’ worth.’ Saying this, he threw down five shillings on the counter, took up the five shilling stamps, and stuck them on the letter, which he then threw into the letter-box with expressions of satisfaction at having spent a crown’s worth on Jem Jenkins.”— Cork Constitution.

We are preparing a No. of the “British Workman” specially for sailors, being desirous not only of inducing “Jack” to take care of his money when on shore, and lay up something against a rainy day; but also to lay up treasure for a better land. We shall be glad to receive any interesting facts suitable to our purpose.—[Ed. B. W.]




The first charter of the Merchant Tailors was granted by Edward III., and is addressed to the ‘Tailors and Linen Armourers of the c-ity of London.’ In 2 Henry IY. the company received a new confirmatory charter by the name of the “Scissors and Fraternity of St. John the Baptist of London.” And in the sixth year of the reign of the same month, another charter was granted, addressed to the “ Scissors of London, keepers of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist.”

The Cissor, or Tailor, anciently made both the men and women’s apparel.—History of the twelve Livery Companies of London.

It appears that in olden times, besides making clothes, the Merchant Tailors’ Company always dealt in cloth. In the Moorfield or Finsbury Manor, were various Tenter grounds and gardens possessed by the Merchant Tailors. The Old Survey of London mentions “Certain gardens and tenters belonging to the prebend called the ‘Moor,’ in the tenure of the Merchant Tailors of London, on the South.”

At the present time there are very few of the “Scissors” of London members of the Merchant Tailors’ Company, the bulk of the members being of other trades or professions!




A few weeks ago Isaac Plumb, now in his hundredth year, walked half a mile to see his son reaping on the farm of Mr. Murfit, of Outwell, Norfolk, when the sight of the crops made age relax, and the youth of a hundred harvests, with a sharp hook, began reaping in a style so neat and easy, that all who saw him said, “Well done.” He was born in the adjoining parish of Upwell, but has lived in Outwell eight years, and been a very hard-working man; he always rose early, and rises now at six o’clock in the morning, and is very healthy.



“ Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt he fed.”

Psalm zxxvii. 3.

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GENTLEMEN, there are two ways of governing a family: the first is by force, the other is by mild and vigilant authority; the first is brutal, and you certainly lose your happiness in adopting it; the second will occasion you to be respected, and your directions to be observed. A husband deserves to lose his empire altogether, by making an attempt to force it by violence.

2. Never contradict your wife; you never did so before marriage, and do not begin it now. There is something so harsh about contradiction in a man, that it always generates an unkindly feeling. It prevents the confidence which ought to exist between married persons; and confidence destroyed, we cannot hope for much good afterward.;

3. You cannot possibly have a trustier confidant than your wife. She will always advise for the best, and very safely too. Trust her wholly.

4. Be strictly moral in your conduct, how can you pretend to be a guide to your house, if you are not ? Consider what you would think if your wife should become immoral in her conduct.

5. Be as attentive in reason after marriage as you were in courtship. Attention to your wife, is respect to yourself. It is her due, and shows clearly that you do not regret your choice.

6. Pride yourself only on those qualities which a man ought to possess, and give your wife credit for hers. You ought to have a manly understanding, but remember that infers no superiority over the wife’s.

7. Be careful in your choice of friends ; you have one that will never desert you; cherish her.




We are glad to learn from “The Times” of the 20th Sept that a second attempt has been made this year in the parish of Brooke, to put an end to the system of public-house harvest feasts; and that it has proved eminently successful. On Friday the 14th, after Divine Service, when the church was crowded in every part, about 400 men, women and children sat down to a substantial repast. A good band of music enlivened the scene, and the happiness and decorum of the whole party will not, says the report, soon be forgotten. Copies of the “British Workman” had been procured for distribution as the party sat at table, and as the shades of evening began to close a display of fireworks terminated the fe?tmtier

What a contrast is this to former meetings ; let our friends strike the balance.

Absence of women and children.
Gin, Rum, Brandy, Beer.
Stupid Jokes.
Headache and Remorse.

The joyous faces of women and children.
Beef, and other substantial fare.
Intellectual Enjoyment.
Harmony and Union.
A Band of Music.
Renewed Health and a clear Conscience.



I have now in my hand a gold watch, which combines embellishment with utility, in happy proportions, and is usually considered a very valuable appendage to the person of a gentleman. Its hands, face, and chain, are of chased and burnished gold. Its gold seals sparkle with the ruby, the topaz, the sapphire, the emerald.

I open it and find that the works, without which this elegant chased case would be a mere shell, those hands motionless, and those figures without meaning, are made of brass. I investigate further, aud ask, What is the spring, by which all these are put in motion, made of? I am told it is made of steel. I ask, what is steel? The reply is, that it is iron which has undergone a certain process.

So then I find the main-spring, without which the watch would be motionless, and its hands, figures, and embellishments but toys, is not of gold ; that is not sufficiently good—nor of brass, that would not do—but of iron. Iron is therefore the precious metal; and this watch an emblem of society.

Its hands and figures, which tell the hour, resemble the master spirits of the age, to whose movements every eye is directed; its sparkling seals, with their sapphires, topaz, rubies, and embellishments, the aristocracy ; its works of brass, the middle class, by the increasing intelligence and power of which the master spirits of the age are moved ; and its iron main-spring, shut up in a box, always at work, but never thought of, except when it is disordered, broken, or wants winding up, symbolizes the labouring classes; which like the main-spring, we wind up by the payment of wages ; which classes are shut up in obscurity, and though constantly at work, and absolutely as necessary to the movements of society as the main-spring is to the watch, are seldom thought of except when they require their wages, or are in some want or disorder of tome kind or other.

Hon. Edw. Everett.




In Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall’s valuable book on Ireland there is the following interesting passage:—

“We entered one day a cottage in the suburbs of Cork; a young woman was knitting stockings at the door. It was as neat and comfortable as any in the most prosperous district of England. We tell her brief story in her own words, as nearly as we can recall them:—My husband is a wheelwright, and always earned a guinea a week ; he was a good workman, but the love for the drink was strong in him, and it wasn’t often he brought me home more than five shillings out of his one-pound-one on a Saturday night, and it broke my heart to see the children too ragged to send to school, to say nothing of the starved look they had out of the little I could give them. Well, God be praised he gave up the drink, and the next Saturday he laid twenty-one shillings upon the chair you sit upon. Oh! didn’t I give thanks upon my bended knees that night; still I was fearful it would not last, and I spent no more than the five shillings I used to, saying to myself, may be the money will be more wanted than it is now. Well, the next week he brought me the same, and the next, and the next, until eight weeks had passed; and glory to God! there was not any change for the bad in my husband; and all the while he never asked me why there was nothing better for him out of his earnings; so I felt there was no fear for him, and the ninth week when he came home to me, I had this table bought, and these six chairs, one for myself, four for the children, and one for himself, and I was dressed in a new gown, and the children all had new clothes, and shoes and stockings ; and upon his chair I put a bran new suit, and upon his plate I put the bill and receipt for them all; just the eight sixteen shillings, the cost that I’d saved out of his wages, not knowing what might happen. And he cried, good lady and gentleman, he cried like a child, but ’twas with thanks to God, and now where’s the healthier man than my husband in the whole county of Cork, or a happier wife than myself, or decenter or better fed children than my own ?




My dearest Kate, be not distressed,
Nor let thy heart despair;
Infinite Wisdom knows what’s best,
And what we best can bear.

Weak human reason cannot scan
His providential law;
Or comprehend the amazing plan
By which he rules below.

Tho’ poverty be now our lot,
And gloomy prospects rise;
Contentment in a humble cot,
The want of wealth supplies.

Tho’ coarse our fare and scanty too,
Our clothes of humble kind;
If to His will we humbly bow,
Sweet peace o’erflows the mind.

Our real wants are very few,
These few He will supply;
Who clothes the flowers in glorious hue,
And hears the raven’s cry.

And is a raven’s ravenous brood
An object of his care ?
Sure, he’ll provide our children food,
Oh I why should we despair.

Let anxious care which rends the heart,
For ever banish’d be;
His voice will heal the painful smart,
“Oh! cast your care on me.”

“Lo, every heart’s at my command,
The churl shall liberal prove,
And open his contracted hand
To feed the man I love.”

He’ll be our God, he’ll be our guide,
The lonely desert through;
Then let us never leave his side,
But all his steps pursue.

Soon shall we reach the heavenly goal,
Where saints no more complain;
Where Christ shall be our “all in all,”
And we with him shall reign.



Why that look of sadness;
Why that downcast eye ?
Can no thought of gladness
Lift thy soul on high?

O thou heir of heaven.
Think of Jcsu’s love;
While to thee is given,
All his grace to prove.

Is thy burden’d spirit,
Agonized for sin?
Think of Jesu’s merit;
He can make thee clean.
Think of Calvary’s mountain,
Where his blood was spilt;
In that precious fountain,
Wash away thy guilt.

Is thy spirit drooping ?
Is the tempter near ?
Still in Jesus hoping,
What hast thou to fear.
Set the prize before thee,
Gird thy armour on;
Heir of grace and glory,
Struggle for thy crown.




“Have your money before you spend it” is a good maxim for all, but for none moro so than the Working Man’s Wife. Many wives have brought themselves and their husbands into sad trouble by yielding to the solicitations of the Tallyman, and buying “ Cheap Bargains” on trust. The husband has perhaps been thrown out of work and the weekly instalment could not be paid; the amount has swelled up to several shillings. The Tallyman applies to the County Court—Law expenses increase the debt fourfold, and the better portion of the poor man’s furniture goes to satisfy the demand.

One Monday morning not long ago, a Tallyman procured at one of the London County Courts upwards of twenty summonses against Working Men for debts thus contracted by the wives! Well may it be said “Have your money before you spend it.”




Some years since, a fine young man, “the only son of his mother, and she was a widow,” on becoming of age, and receiving liis patrimony, entered into company, and indulged in the dissipation of genteel society. Her watchful eye saw his danger, pointed out ita tendency to ruin of body and soul. She used every argument, persuasion, and entreaty in vain. One day she learned lie was to dine with a large and jovial party, and she spent the forenoon in persuading him to relinquish it, but all in vain. “Mother, I will go.” “Then John, I will retire to my closet, and pray for you, till I see your face again.” He went to the party but could find no enjoyment; the thought of his mother being on her knees, wrestling with God in prayer for him, formed such a contrast to the scene before him, that he slipped away—found his mother in the act of prayer— knelt down by her—fell on her neck,—and from that day became the delight of his pious mother’s heart,—a brand rescued from the burning.—A religious parent’s prayers are never offered in vain.



God’s mercy and Christ’s merit should bear up our faith and hope when a sense of our sins is ready to cast us down.





In England, every mechanic is supposed to have, or to be about to have a wife. The many thousands of these spouses are divided into sorts. Thus we have good and bad; very good and very bad; unspeakably good and insufferably bad; and as a sort of par expression,— tolerable. It is not every good woman who is a good wife; nor is it every good wife, who is a good wife for the mechanic. A working man needs a working wife; but as to qualities of mind, manners, and morals, she cannot run too high in the scale. There is an error prevalent concerning this.

Giles says, “ I do not want a wife with too much sense.” Why not Perhaps Giles will not answer; but the shrug of his shoulders answers, “Because I am afraid she will be an overmatch for me.” Giles talks like a simpleton. The unfortunate men who have their tyrants at home are never married to women of sense. Genuine elevation of mind cannot prompt any one, male or female, to go out of his or her proper sphere. No man ever suffered from an overplus of intelligence, whether in his own head or his wife’s.

Hodge says, “I will not marry a girl who has too much manners.” Very well, Hodge: you are right; too much of any thing is bad. But consider what you say. Perhaps you mean that a fine lady would not suit you. Very true; I should not desire to see you joined for life to what is called a fine lady,” to wit, to a woman who treats you as beneath her level, sneers at your friends, and is above her business. But this is not good manners. Real good manners and true politeness are equally at home in courts and farm houses. This noble quality springs from nature, and is the expression of unaffected good will. Even in high life, the higher you go the simpler do manners become. Parade and “fuss” of manners are the marks of half-bred people. True simplicity and native good will, and kind regard for the convenience and feelings of others, will ensure good manners even in a kitchen; and I have seen many a vulgar dame in a fashionable party, and many a gentlewoman in a humble shed. Nay, your wife must have good manners.

Ralph declares, “I hope I may never have a wife who is too strict and moral.” Now my good Ralph, you talk nonsense, I perceive you do not know what you mean. Are you afraid your wife will be too virtuous?

“ Bless me! no.”

Then you rather prefer a moral wife to an immoral one?


Are you afraid then, of a religious wife?

“ Why something like that was in my head; for there’s neighbour Smith’s wife, who gives him no peace of his life, she is so religious.”

Let me hear how she behaves herself.

“Why, she is for ever teaching the children out of the Bible.”

Indeed! and you, Ralph, are an enemy to the Bible?

“O, no ! But then,— there is reason in all things.”

Yes, and the reason you have just given is that of a child, and, like the child’s because, is made to do hard service. But let me understand you. Does Mrs. Smith teach the children anything wrong ?

“O, no ! But plague it all ? if one of them hears Smith let fly an oath, it begins to preach at him.”

Then you wish, when you have children, to have liberty to teac-h them all the usual oaths and curses, and obscene jokes that are common?

“Dear me, Mr. Quill, you wont understand me,”

Yes, I understand you fully; it is you, Ralph, who do not understand yourself. Look here; Mrs. Smith is so religious that if she proceeds as she has begun, her children will break their father of his low blasphemies. I hope you may get just such a wife.

“But then, Smith can’t spend a couple of hour’s at the tavern for fear of his wife! ”

Ah! what does he go to the tavern for ?

“Just to sit and chat, and drink a little.”

And how does his wife interfere ? Does she fetch him home ?


Does she chastise him on his return ?

“O, no ! ”

Does she scold him then!


What is it then that disturbs him ?

“Why, she looks so solemn and mournful, and shuts herself up so and cries, whenever he is a little disguised, that the man has no satisfaction.”

Good ! And I pray he may have none till he alters his course of life.

A proper self-respect would teach every noble hearted Briton of whatever class, that he cannot set too high a value on the conjugal relation. We may judge of the welfare and honor of a community by its wives and mothers. Opportunities for acquiring knowledge, and even accomplishments, are happily open to every class above the very lowest; and the wise mechanic will not fail to choose such a companion as may not shame his sons and daughters in that coming age when an ignorant Briton shall be as obsolete as a fossil fish.

Away with flaunting, giggling, dancing, squandering, peevish, fashion-hunting wives! The woman of this stamp is a poor comforter when the poor husband is sick or bankrupt. Give me the house-wife who can be a “help-meet” to her Adam.—

“For nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study household good ;
And good works in her husband to promote.”

I have such a mechanic’s wife in my mind’s eye: gentle as the antelope, untiring as the bee, joyous as the linnet; neat, punctual, modest, confiding. She is patient, but resolute; aiding in counsel, reviving in troubles, ever pointing out the brightest side, and concealing nothing but her own sorrows. She loves her home, believing with Milton, that

“The wife, where danger and dishonour lurks.
Safest and seemliest by her husband stays,
Who guards her, or with her Hie worst endures.”

The place of woman is eminently at the fire-side. It is at home you must see her to know who she is. It is less material what she is abroad; but what she is in the family circle is all-important. It is bad merchandise, ir. any department of trade, to pay a premium for other men’s opinions. In matrimony, he who selects a wife for the applause or wonder of his neighbours, is in a fair way towards domestic bankruptcy. Having got a wife, there is but one rule—honour and love her. Seek to improve her understanding and her heart. Strive to make her more and more such an one as you can cordially respect. Shame on the brute in man’s shape, who can affront or vex, not to say neglect, the woman who has embarked with him for life, “forbetter, for worse,” and whose happiness, if severed from his smiles, must be unnatural and monstrous. How can two walk together except they be agreed?”

Charles Quill.





God’s mercy is abundant over all his works; it is man only that dares to limit its operation.


PUBLISHED BY W. TWEEDIE, 337, STRAND, LONDON. Price One Penny. With 5 Illustrations.


By X. Y. Z.

We know of no publisher who, during the last few years, has sent forth so many excellent publications for the working classes as Mr. Tweedie, and we have much pleasure in drawing attention to the above amusing little work, in rhyme, which he has issued for the special benefit of the numerous members of Goose Clubs. We have reason to believe that it is from the pen of the late “Old Humphrey,” and we trust that the friends of temperance will scatter it widely.

Four copies may be had (post free) by enclosing four stamps to Mr. Tweedie, 337, Strand, London.

Uncorrected OCR-PAGE 36



There, perhaps, never was a time when the people of these realms were more loudly called upon to


to an over-ruling Providence than at the present. Two months ago the hopes of the most sanguine were be-clouded by the long continued and heavy rains, which seemed to threaten us with an unfavourable harvest. But He who ruleth over all, graciously caused the rain to stay, and the sun to shine, and now the bounteous crops of golden grain have been safely gathered. Whilst grateful, let us also


for we have, in all probability, a trying winter before us,—not only to the working classes, but to many in the middle and higher ranks of life. The blighting influence of a desolating War will come still nearer to our doors, for there will probably be more widows, orphans, and helpless poor; than England has ever known. Let those whose lands have yielded their increase, and to whom God has given much,


to those who are in need; ever remembering that he who giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord,” and “he that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him; but blessings shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.” Thus whilst grateful, careful, and bountiful, let us above all


Let young and old, rich and poor, high and low, join in one earnest supplication to Heaven for a return of the blessings and bounties of Peace; and that the day may be hastened when they shall “beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks,” when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn War any more.”




“The God of harvest praise
In loud thanksgiving raise
Hand, heart and voice;
The valleys laugh and sing,
Forests and mountains ring,
The plains their tribute bring,
The streams rejoice.

Of food for man and beast,
Jehovah spreads a feast,
Above, beneath;
Ye herds and flocks draw near,
Fowls, ye are welcome here;
His goodness crowns the year
For all that breathe.

Garden and orchard ground,
Autumnal fruits have crowned
The vintage glows;
Here plenty pours her horn.
There the full tide of corn,
Sway’d by the breath of morn.
The land o’erflows.

The wind,the rain, the sun.
Their genial work have done.
Wouldst thou be fed ?
Man, to thy labour bow,
Thrust in the sickle now,
Heap where thou once didst plough
God sends thee bread,

Thy few seeds scatter’d wide.
He hath so multiplied,
That thou may’st find
Christ’s miracles renewed;
With self-producing food,
He feeds a multitude—
He feeds mankind.”

The God of Harvest praise,
Hands, hearts and voices raise
With sweet accord.
From field to garner throng.
Bearing your sheaves along,
And in your harvest song
Bless ye the Lord.

Yea, bless his holy name,
And your souls’ thanks proclaim
Through all the earth;
To glory in your lot
Is comely—but be not
God’s benefits forgot
Amidst your mirth.




All the back numbers of the “British Workman” have been reprinted, and may be had through any bookseller; or they may be had (Nos. 1 to 9) post free, by sending ninepence in postage stamps to S. W. Partridge, No. 9, Paternoster Kow, London.




We have to acknowledge the receipt of the following amounts.

£ s. d.

— Malcolmson, Esq………… £1 1s. 0d.
Mrs. Bramley-Moore………. £0 10s. 0d.
Z…………………………………… £0 15s. 0d.
C. K………………………………. £0 5s. 0d.

for which the value has been sent in copies of the “British Workman” to the London City Mission, as requested.

Also £ s. d.

Capt. Hodgson, Skelton….. £1  0d. 0s.
Mr. G. H. Pointer…………… £1  0d. 0s.

for which copies have been transmitted to the Soldiers’ Friend Society. The secretary of this Society in acknowledging the receipt, says “You will he glad to know that the Band of Hope Review and the British Workman are received and read with great pleasure by the soldiers in the different Barracks where our agents are stationed both at home and abroad. Had you sent us as many thousands as you have hundreds, we should have found abundant opportunities of distributing them to advantage,
Yours, &c.,
W. A. BLAKE, Sec.

Benj. Agar, Esq., of York, has sent £1, for which 330 copies have been sent to the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society.

We have also forwarded a parcel to the Crimea through Messrs. Hayter and Howell of Mark Lane. For every 6s. sent to us 100 copies of the British Workman will be forwarded to any Society in London.

Puddders.—Several interesting communications have been received. As we expect others, we defer any notice.

Anonymous communications cannot be attended to.

Numerous communications are acknowledged with thanks.

The “British Workman” has been registered at the General Post Office for transmission abroad, so that single copies may be sent within fifteen days of publication to almost any British colony for a penny postage stamp. Further information may be had at any post office.

We hope that our friends will kindly do what they can to extend the circulation both at home and abroad. Our monthly issue is gradually rising, but we are far from the paying point.