« ÎnapoiContinuă »
one of which has now 250, and the ter's Orphanage, or Home Class, where others about 100 each, in attendance- about thirty orphan girls, who would othermaking a total of about 850, at a weekly wise be homeless, find shelter and many cost in payments to the young men of the comforts which are seldom enjoyed alone, without reference to other ex- except under the parental roof. This penses, of 351.
The classes are under “home class” is in connexion with the the superintendence of the clergy ; read- “Society for placing unemployed factory ing, writing, and arithmetic are taught ; women in temporary domestic service." and for five days' attendance per week With the existence, and to some extent the allowance is ls. 60.- :--or 3d. per day with the operations of this society, the should the attendance be irregular. public are pretty familiar, through the These classes also, so orderly and quiet, letters which Mrs. Potter has addressed are a cheering sight in presence of so on the subject to the Times ; and it much distress. The total cost of their may suffice here to say that 203 young formation and maintenance has hitherto women have, through the agency of this been defrayed by the clergy, who have society, found places of refuge from the appealed for aid, as they did in respect destitution which awaits them in Blackof the sewing classes, to their brethren burn, and that, with very few exceptions, in other parts of the country ; but the they express themselves grateful for the relief committee have now determined, blessing, while the benevolent people as we have already said, to make a grant who have opened their houses for their towards their support similar to that reception are pleased with their orderly which they make towards the mainten- and respectful demeanour. The costs ance of the sewing classes.
incurred on behalf of this movement nexion with some of the Dissenting are upwards of 7001. congregations there are also classes for In the same district of the townyoung men; but the number in attend- which is one of the poorest, and where
is comparatively limited. А happily there labours a clergyman, large class has recently been formed by the Rev. Dr. Robinson, who considers the Roman Catholics, which will, no no expenditure of time and toil too doubt, greatly increase in numbers so great in his pious duty—there have soon as the funds of the relief committee been established “ Penny Bible reading are available for its maintenance.
classes” for both men and The Industrial Class in Blackburn, Their origin was most unpretentious, which we have only just named, owns
and their success has been extraits existence to Mrs. J. G. Potter, of ordinary. Their origin we may give Little Mytton Hall, near Whalley. It in the words of the appeal of Dr. is a class which now numbers about Robinson and his curate :-300 men of all ages, who are taught tailoring, shoe-making, clog-mending and
“ Instead of giving indiscriminate help to
the crowds of poor starving creatures who conthe rougher descriptions of carpentry, stantly come to us for a penny soup ticket, and during certain hours of the day we began, merely as an experiment, penny receive instruction in the ordinary
Bible reading classes at the beginning of branches of education. The class meets
last week. For one hour's reading of the
Bible we give to each attendant one penny. in the unoccupied rooms of a factory, The men and women are assembled in two and is under the superintendence of the separate buildings, under the charge of some clergy of Holy Trinity parish—the Rev. of our pious Sunday School teachers. Dr. Robinson, incumbent, and the Rev.
first about a dozen came, next day about fifty ; W. Ogden, the curate.
and, gradually, as the classes became better
The weekly known, crowds flocked to them, who were expense of this class is upwards of 251.; taken in and instructed in relays hour by which has hitherto been defrayed by hour, from nine in the morning until twelve,
and from two until four o'clock. private benevolence.
In the same district of the town, and The daily attendance at each of these under the same management, is Mrs. Pot- classes is now upwards of one thou
sand ; and, as they meet five days in of what is being done, to a greater or the week, upwards of 10,000 pence, or less extent, in scores of other districts. about 421., are required weekly for Blackburn represents but a fraction of their support. This large weekly ex- the distress. As we have shown above, penditure has hitherto been defrayed there are upwards of 17,000 of her by such contributions as the clergy of industrious operatives now wholly out Trinity parish have received from the of employment, and upwards of 6,000 wealthy and benevolent to whom they who are working short time; but what have addressed their appeals.
are these to the 300,000 unemployed
and short-time workers in the whole of In these details of what is being done the Cotton Districts, who have now to in Blackburn for the mitigation of an claim parochial relief or accept assistunparalleled calamity, we have taken ance from the different local relief comno account of what individual mill- mittees? The appeal which is made to owners have done, and are doing, on the sympathy and generosity of the behalf of their own workpeople; but nation comes not from 23,000 starving the lengthy sojourn in the district, operatives, who have been left helpless which has enabled us to collect these amidst an impoverished population, but statistical facts, enables us also to say on behalf of upwards of 300,000 unemthat a great deal is being done by the ployed and short-time workers, who have mill-owners for their workpeople of not the means of earning their daily which the public never hear a whisper. bread by daily toil. To that appeal there And what is true of Blackburn is true has been, and there has still need to of other places.
be, a liberal response, for the calamity The details we have given of the is still on the increase, and the prosmodes and measure of relief adopted pect of happier times is still distant in Blackburn are merely illustrations
POSTSCRIPT. So far our Contributor. The few words that we shall add are from a more remote and general point of view:
1. There seems to be no reason for doubting that, though in certain special quarters there may be good ground for accusation of shortcoming, Lancashire, as a whole, has done a great deal. This, we think, is indirectly brought out in the facts stated by our contributor. But a writer in one of our most influential journals has ventured on a precise estimate. Defining the distress up to the present moment as having consisted in the reduction of a mass of people, now numbering 350,000, from a condition of comparative comfort to a condition of bare and hard subsistence, resembling that of the lowest agricultural labourers, this writer calculates that four-fifths of the supplies which have hitherto sustained the distressed up to that level, and prevented them from falling into the lower deep of starvation, have been contributed by Lancashire itself.
2. It is, nevertheless, good—at all events, it is natural—that all the rest of Britain should now look on critically to see how Lancashire behaves. It has jarred on some, indeed, to hear the language of the Heptarchy revived in connexion with such a matter—to hear Wessex upbraiding the flower of the population of old Northumbria and Mercia with greed and want of manliness, and Northumbria and Mercia retorting with the question whether their method of high wages and low poor-rates or the Wessex method of low wages and high poor-rates argues the sounder human metal hitherto. Even this form of the discussion, however, is not altogether to be discouraged. Nay, should it be enlarged into a controversy between the whole agricultural South-England of the Saxons and the whole manufacturing North-England of the Angles as to the merits of their respective systems of society, the results cannot fail to be useful. It is to a great extent owing to the admiration of the energy of Lancashire until now that her behaviour in the present crisis of her fortunes is so jealously watched. Lancashire ought to know this, and to take note of manifestations which amount to nothing less than an eagerness to see whether she will come out of the present crisis retaining, or having lost, her weight and leadership in the political system of the country. It is incumbent not only that she should do her utmost in all ways, but also that all the publicity of exact statistics should be given to what is being done by Lancashire men in every shape. If blame is to fall on any, it would thus fall on the right persons. These, it is alleged, would not be mainly the mill-owners.
3. It is noble to see the whole of Britain, nay of the empire, astir, as it now is, to tide over a grand national calamity. It will be a grand thing if the voluntary benevolence of the nation and the rough temporary machinery that has been devised for its administration, apart from the State, shall fairly support the new and increasing mass of destitution till the return of better days. Whether, if the crisis lasts long, voluntary benevolence will furnish the five millions sterling which, it is calculated, may then be about the necessary expense, remains to be seen.
The push now being made in the forms of donations, collections, and subscriptions of fixed sums weekly for various terms, ought, at all events, to make all clear on to the time when Parliament will meet, and when the question of State-action may, if necessary, be raised. It is curious, in an age when we are told that Government is a vanishing quantity in human affairs, to see our nation compelled to extemporize a Government to deal with a particular exigency. For what is that organization for the relief of
a the Lancashire distress which is headed by Lord Derby and others hut a Government pro re nata, alongside of the general Government, and slightly linked to it?
4. An unexceptionably good feature in the present management of the destitution consists in the efforts made everywhere, as by a common instinct, on the part of persons of influence, and especially of the clergy, to convert this time of compulsory idleness into a time, at least, of instruction for the sufferers—of lessons in reading, writing, sewing, and the like, as well as in religion. Of course, the query sure to suggest itself to one hearing in a general way of such distress, is, “ Might not some forms of employment be found or devised for numbers of the destitute, so that, as the money must be supplied them anyhow, they might be doing something ?” Such are the difficulties in the present case, however—where the destitute are operatives trained in a particular industry, and who can neither be dispersed, nor set to unaccustomed work in large numbers—that, only to a very small extent, has anything of the kind been found possible. Even were the operatives of a different and less select class, the country, we believe, would be the less disposed to press for experiments in employing them, from recollecting the mess that was made of road-making and other public works during the Irish Famine. On the whole, it will be satisfactory if arrangements can be made so as to save the sufferers from the worst perils of idleness. But, of all conceivable kinds of arrangement, none is so thoroughly good in every respect as that which should aim • at converting this period of grief and bodily prostration for so many thousands,
into a period of mental improvement for all, and of quiet elementary schooling for those who need it. It is to the credit of the clergy, that they have hitherto perceived this most clearly, and have claimed the season of distress as a teachingseason furnished to their hands. But the teaching arrangements, already put in action by the clergy and others, are capable of being extended and systematized. EDITOR.
THE PINES AT HAMPSTEA D.
A DREAM OF CHRISTMAS EVE.
I am a solitary man. For a good many circuit of the first stage from the metrosummers and winters now I have lived polis in the old coaching-days, that, in London ; but I know few persons in when I hear of proposals for the fortiit , and none intimately. I visit no one. fication of London, my fancy at once There have been weeks together during traces the probable circumference and which I have not opened my lips to any dots many well-remembered spots which human being, unless it were the waiter I suppose the ramparts will cross and at the little-frequented place where I connect. These walks of mine, both usually dine, or the servant in the house within and without London, have been where I lodge. My time is divided in all seasons. I know the streets both between long sittings alone in my own by day and by night. The country room, generally spent in reading, and round is familiar to me both in the rich aimless walks in the streets and about summer season, when it yies in various the suburbs.
beauty with any in England, and in the Few, I should think, even of those winter months, when either the snow is born in London, know London so well on the ground, or the air is dull and as I do. In the maze of streets and brown, the trees stand leafless, and the lanes that form its heart I know by ways are foul. On the whole, however, daily footings every turn and winding; my walks into the country have been successive excursions north, south, east chiefly in summer and autumn, and and west, from this central block of the during the day. In the winter, and vast city have made me acquainted with in my night-walks, I keep most to the those scarcely less populous tracts of streets on both sides of the river, or, at built road and street, with odd squares least, within the space reticulated by and polygons interpersed, that surround the long straggling rows of the gasit in ali directions before the suburbs lamps ere the outer blackness begins. are reached ; and my walks have ex- I have, indeed, a strange fascination for tended themselves at almost every point the nocturnal aspects of cities and their 80 far beyond the boundary where even scenery. London during the day seems the suburban brick-and-lime ceases and to me, in physical respects, a supremely the green fields begin, and, during these ugly city, in which, with the exception remoter walks, I have been so much in of St. Paul's and one or two views the habit of skirting right and left and from the bridges and river-banks, there zig-zagging among the villages and ham- is nothing, in the way of shape or comlets that yet remain, with their quaint bination of mere object, able to seize inns and deserted smithies and wheel- and rouse the eye and the thought as wrights' shops, to mark the forgotten one passes. But London by night is No. 39.- VOL. VII.
inexhaustibly glorious. By night, in- of yet returning to my rooms, have I suddeed, the smallest and poorest village denly turned away from these too noisy that there is, the merest cluster of cot- and luminous haunts, and, prolonging my tages or rude hovels flung together in a walk unconsciously through some main hollow or at a bend of a high road, line of street leading to the quiet outcontracts a sombre impressiveness. De- skirts, found myself at last, after many tails are obscured; and, involved for the turnings, in regions of villas and railed time in the Earth's great shadow, which terraces, so desolate that the one watchbrings out the stars, the puny walls man whom I met on his rounds looked and shafts and gables which man's after me as I passed him, or in still hand has reared become somehow more more desolate regions where the ground a part of the wheeling globe itself, and was dug up for the foundations of new help, by their jutting forms and angles, buildings, and I had to beware of planks in those near oppositions of light and and dim heaps of rubbish in the yet darkness, that variously-shaded massing rudimentary streets. Sometimes, in these and fretting and interlacing of black on walks, I have found myself beyond the a universal ground of pale silver, in built limits altogether, out in the open which Night exults as her peculiar scenic roads, between fields and trees, where if wealth, and by which she teaches man any watchman was met it was a mounted lessons that are hardly taught by her one ; and I am not sure but, of all my more garish Brother. Nor in large towns nocturnal rambles, these occasional penedoes Night part with many of those trations of the absolute outer blackness effects with which she thus plays among linger most powerfully in my memory. the villages scattered over the dark From them I think it is that I have country. For what may be lost, at all picked up a strange superstition about events, there is more than a recompense
trees. Whether it is because, as one in the greater heights and depths and walks in a road at night bordered by lengths of fabric among which she fields, the nearer trees and hedges flit weaves her shadowy phantasies, and in past one in the glimmering light, and the concentrations and ranges of artifi- so produce an appearance of stealthy cial lights which break, with bursts stirring among the more distant stems of lurid yellow and the roar of accom- and bushes, certain it is that these panying night-traffic, or else with far-off
permanent objects of a landscape by twinklings and flickerings, what might day, the quietly-rooted trees, seem to be else be too vast a monotony of grey
and possessed at night with a ghastly restgloom. And so London, because of its lessness, and to teem with a life of which very vastness, is a noble city for one we know nothing. For my part, though who, like myself, has the habit of soli- I laugh at the fancy, I cannot, even tary walking at unseasonable hours when I am travelling in a railwaywith no other end than that of partly carriage at night and look out, shake escaping, partly indulging, reveries that myself free from a hideous superstition, Fate and Chance have made among thc that the trees are there in the fields saddest. Oh! the dark, dreary, and only while men see them, and that, in yet soul-exercising and soul-soothing the dark hours when no one beholds, walks that its nocturnal vastness has they unfix themselves from their rooted afforded me! Many a night through mounds, and career, in their own or in its flaring centre have my feet carried other shapes, over the shining solitudes me, round and round again through which are then all their own, leading labyrinths of alleys, to the same more some haggard life of enchantment, from open and bus ling spots-little atten- which the dawn recalls them to their tive, and yet not altogether inattentive, hypocrisy of seeming rest. I laugh, I to the crowdeıl shows of vice, merriment say, at this fancy ; but others, I find, and misery there to be met with ; and have had it besides myselt; and some many a night, unable to bear the thought notion of the kind, I believe, exists