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"The mothers tell me that they save nearly one-third by purchasing on the Saturday, because it is a well-known fact that shopkeepers, knowing their regular Sunday customers, put an extra price on their articles on that day.
“One woman, whose husband does not receive his wages till between 11 and 12 on Saturday night, told me that this fund was of the greatest benefit to her. She is a decidedly pious woman, and therefore nothing would induce her to desecrate God's holy day. Being able to obtain credit with her baker, she took care to provide bread enough for her family on Saturday to supply them on Sunday; and when, on her husband's return, it has been too late to go and to purchase food, they have often been compelled to live on dry bread during the whole day on Sunday. Now this fund, in such a case, is most useful.
" During the ten months this fund has been in operation, only one failure has occurred, and that was from misfortune rather than delinquency-the husband being seized with a fit after the money was borrowed, and therefore being obliged to forfeit a part of his wages, which were so trifling in the whole, that he was unable to pay the 88. which his wife had borrowed; but even this they have promised to pay up by weekly instalments—and I have no reason to doubt their word.
“Three members have been suspended, but as the time of probation has expired, they are again receiving the benefit; and it is pleasing to see their caution-in not borrowing quite so much, lest they should be unable to repay it. We nominally limit the loan to 108., but there being no rule to this effect, we have sometimes increased to 12s."
The friends of Ragged Schools will do well carefully to consider this subject with a view to its more general adoption. The better observance of the Sabbath among the families of our scholars must be attended with the very best results. It may, perhaps, in some cases be requisite to require something by way of security when the loan is granted. In the above, this has been dispensed with, and the reason assigned by our friend is, the individuals to be honest and deserving ; but it would be attended with immense risk, and result in total failure, if the recipients were not personally
known to us.
TO RAGGED SCHOOL TEACHERS.
“ Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters."-ISAIAH Xxxii. 20. CHILDREN of the poor and needy
Tell them of their lost condition, Claim our sympathy and care,
Point to Adam's direful fall, Children destitute and helpless
Then exalt a glorious Saviour, Should our kindest interest share.
Dying to redeem them all. Young although in life they are,
Out of “ Truth’s” unerring standard, Vicious traits we plainly see,
Precepts teach which are Divine, And as bends the infant sapling,
And thus fit them for that station So the giant oak will be.
Providence may please assign. Do we wonder at the evil
Be not weary, let not patience These, though young, so oft display? Yield, though long and sorely tried, No! for 'tis from bad example
Pray that to the fainting spirit Thousands learn to go astray.
Stores of grace may be supplied. Can we look on them unmoved,
And whene'er your supplications Heedless can we turn away,
Like a cloud of incense rise, Or with unconcern and coldness
Let a plea for Ragged children Promise help another day?
Pass as fragrance to the skies. On each soul is writ "Immortal,"
Doubt not but a sacred blessing Nought can quench its living fire : Rests upon your work of love, Oh, then, take and train each young one
And when summon'd from earth's labours Upward, Heavenward, to aspire.
You shall join that throng above.
H. C. O.
A NEW SOVEREIGN, Addressed to the Author of an “ Appeal to Royalty,” in the May Magazine, page 95. Poet of the Ragged Race-clan,
Though in crowns, as you say rightly, Poet of the trodden down,
Charity may brightly shine; You have made a wretched case, man,
It in Sovereigns shines more brightly; In your charitable crown.
Ecce Signum! make it thine !
A. (We shall have no objection to receive other Impromptus of a like shining character.,
A LONDON DEN. CHARLOTTE'S BUILDINGS, GRAY'S INN LANE, BY NIGHT. We will enter the worst of these courts, Charlotte's Buildings, which, whether viewed in the bright sunlight, in drizzling rain, in the twilight, or the dead of night, still has the same dismal, dreadful aspect. During the day, and particularly in the evening up to about ten or eleven o'clock, the narrow area is filled with strange-looking and ragged figures, whose dresses and complexion harmonise with the grey, mouldy, and dingy-looking walls of the buildings. So wild and haggard is the scene, that few who have not had experience of these places and people would venture to the bottom of the court. There are fifteen houses in this narrow place. Let us take one at random, and examine the interior. We have, Asmodeus-like, removed the outer wall from the top to the bottom that our readers may examine without fear, and at their leisure, the extraordinary and distressing scene it presents. Let us schedule its contents, beginning with the ground-floor front. There are no bedsteads, chairs, or tables, a few ragged clothes are drying before a little fire in the grate, above the mantel are a looking-glass about three inches high, and some torn prints of the Crucifixion, etc.; in the cupboards, without doors, are pieces of broken crockery ; a kind of bed in one corner, with children asleep; the floor rotten in many parts, the walls and ceiling sadly cracked. The rent 2s. 3d. per week, which is called for every Monday, and must be paid on Wednesday. The ground-floor back presents a sad scene of distress—the man, his wife, and some children earn a living by chopping fire-wood; the man had been ill and not able to rise for two days; he was lying on a quantity of wood-shavings, and was partly covered with an old black and ragged blanket ; his skin did not appear as if it had been washed for weeks; he was very ill, and evidently
, in a state of fever; his wife was almost equally dirty. “We have no wood to chop," was the expression of their ultimate distress. This room was much dilapitated, and they had suffered greatly during the late severe weather, owing to the broken condition of the windows. The rent was ls. 9d. per week; the window overlooks & back yard, the condition of which was shocking. The first-floor, both back and front, was crowded with inhabitants. The people acknowledged that fifteen persons slept in the two little rooms last night; the walls were cracked and dirty, and the ceiling constantly falls upon the floor while the inmates are taking their food; one woman said that a part of the cracked hearthstone from above had fallen amongst the children. The rent of the front room is 2s. 3d.; back, 1s. 9d. Continuing our way upstairs, we found the state of the staircase and the rooms worse and worse. In the front room two-pair, when our eyes had become accustomed to the Rembrandtish gloom, we found fifteen persons : some had been selling onions, etc., in the streets ; some begging ; one or two were seemingly bricklayers' labourers; and others had been working at the carrion heaps in the neighbourhood. It was a motley group: characteristic Irishman was seated
on the top of an iron cooking-pot, engaged in conversation with one whom he called “Mr. D.” at the chimney-corner. They were
exceedingly polite, and no gentleman in his arm-chair could have been more courteous than our friend on his odd sort of throne. It is, unfortunately, difficult to get truth from the poor Irish. The rent of this floor is the same as that below. The attic, if possible, exhibits greater poverty than below. The attics are full of large holes, and the light is visible through the roof. The rent of the attics is the same as below. It may seem strange that the prices of the rooms should not vary, but this uniformity is effected by the landlord removing those whose necessities are greater, or who may be a shilling or so in arrear of rent, to the upper quarters. The first feeling after visiting this place is that of astonishment that persons should be allowed to let such dilapidated buildings to these poor people, who really pay more than a fair rent for a good house; the rooms are seldom unoccupied, and the loss trifling. The rent would be as follows :-Four front rooms at 2s. 3d., 9s. per week ; four back rooms at 1s. 9d., 78. per week; total 168.; or 411. 128. per annum. The population of this small court is immense. If we take an average of fifteen persons in each floor of the houses visited, and this is greatly below the number, we find sixty persons are occupying one house, and 900 are in the court.— The Builder.
TRAITS OF HEROISM.-No. I. A MOUNTAINOUS part of our possessions in the East was infested about a quarter of a century ago, by a wild fierce race, called Bheels, who regarded robbery as a sacred institution, and followed it as a profession! A tribe of fifty thousand of these plunderers, under leaders whom they implicitly obeyed, held the strong fastnesses of their native mountains, and seemed to defy the power of our Government to dislodge them thence, more especially as the climate of the place was so deadly, that it was calculated that in three years' service amongst the mountains of the Bheels, a hundred soldiers in every regiment became totally disabled.
So degraded did the character of the Bheels appear, that even the Hindoos regarded them as outcasts, whom it was pollution to assist, and righteousness to slay! Drunkenness fearfully prevailed amongst them, and they offered up bloody sacrifices to the false deities whom they adored. Their depredations were dreaded, and so hopeless appeared the idea of their ever becoming anything but robbers and murderers, that a governor of Bombay had looked to their utter extermination as the only means by which
peace could be given to Candeish! Yet, by the mild Mountstuart Elphinstone, a scheme was formed to reclaim even these outcasts—a scheme which required yet more courage to execute than benevolence to plan. To James Outram, a youthful officer in the Bombay service, was the dangerOlis task assigned, -and he did not shrink from it! In vain his friends attempted to dissuade him from what they deemed a vain sacrifice of his life,—he only saw the duty before him, and went straight forward !
Outram had already in fight gained some successes over the robber tribe; he now sent back his detachment, and alone, unarmed, unattended, threw himself among the savage Bheels, his life being entirely at the mercy of those against whom his sword had so lately been drawn! Many times was he in imminent peril, but a merciful Providence watched over him whose errand was mercy. Outram gained the hearts of the robbers,—he hunted with them, and astonished them by his feats of daring,-he taught them mechanics, he dressed their wounds, he listened to their tales, he prescribed for their diseases ; those whom the sword could not subdue, were subdued by the power of kindness! The young British officer enlisted the wild Bheels into a military corps,—those who had carried terror in their name throughout the country, became now its defenders ; in less than two years, those who had been formerly trained only to slaughter and rapine, had shed their blood freely in the cause of order!
And shall we draw no lesson from facts like these ? Behold the power of kindness! Are we not called upon to civilize in our lanes and alleys, those whose education has, alas! too much resembled that of the robber tribes of Candeish? There are hundreds and thousands of unhappy boys, trained up to vice, living as pests to society, who. require but the voice of kindness, the fostering hand of benevolence, to become, under the Divine blessing, defenders of the peace which they now break. Who will enlist them under the banner of the Cross, -who will come forward to enrol them as the soldiers of Christ? Who will venture into the haunts of misery and guilt to seek the
outcast by the force of kindness,--the spell of sympathy, to draw forth the latent good in young bosoms now only familiar with crime? If Outram found success among the robbers of Candeish, can it be wanting to those Christian heroes who go forth on a like errand of mercy, and in the spirit of faith and prayer toil in the service of that Heavenly King, who willeth not that one of these little ones should perish!
NEW NICHOLL STREET, BETINAL GREEN. A VERY interesting meeting was recently held in the School-rooms, situated in one of the most depraved neighbourhoods in the metropolis; being the Second Annual Meeting of a cause combining the efforts of the London City Mission, the Ragged School Union, and Union Chapel, Islington. After tea, a public meeting was held, presided over by the Rev. Henry Allon, and supported by representatives of the London City Mission, the Ragged School Union, the Sunday School Union, and many Islington friends.
Mr. J. H. Lloyd, the Superintendent of the schools, read the Report, which stated that the average attendance of children at the Sunday School was—morning, 165; afternoon, 260 ; being an increase of 120 children during the year. Teachers' average attendance, 28; being an increase of 15 during the year. 5,300 children have passed through the schools during the nine years they have been established. The daily attendance of children in the Ragged School is 100; on the Sabbath evening, 70 ; and on Wednesday and Friday evenings, 65. The attendance at the Ragged Church is most encouraging, the evening service being so full that no sitting accommodation can be obtained.
Average attendance at the Monday evening service, 60; the Thursday evening Prayer Meeting, 25, and the Sabbath morning early Prayer Meeting, (seven o'clock,) 25. The Tract Society comprises 20 members, who visit 300 families twice a month. A course of 12 interesting lectures had been delivered to audiences averaging 150. Details of many other operations were given, such as Adult Classes, Clothing Club, Music Class, etc.'; and the whole was so satisfactory, that Henry Reid, Esq., whilst speaking to the adoption the Report, offered the magnificent sạm of £100 towards building a room adequate to the requirements of the neighbourbood. Other gentlemen followed, and, at the close of the meeting, the Chairman stated the total amount raised during the evening was £190. Never was there a cause that demanded Christian liberality more urgently, or that will better repay the outlay. Union Cliapel has set a noble example in assisting to diffuse the Gospel in that dark locality, and is already beginning to reap the benefit, in the number of conversions that have taken place.
evening, on the occasion of opening the Kent Street Ragged Schools, which are situated in one of the most degraded localities which it has ever been our lot to traverse. They owe their origin chiefly to the exertions of a few devoted young men and women, who commenced their efforts on Sunday evenings, a comparatively short time since, upon a very limited scale. The demand for instruction increased; the erection of suitable school-rooms became ne. cessary;. and a few philanthropic individuals having given a sufficient sum for that purpose, a commodious building was erected, which was formally opened on Friday evening, under the presidency of the Lord Mayor. The Report, which was read by Mr. W. Russell, stated the circumstances under which the school had originated, the progress which had been made in the instruction of the children, and the prospects of usefulness which were entertained by the teachers. The building had cost upwards of £600, £ 400 of which had been subscribed. The Lord Mayor, in addressing the meeting, gave some of the results of his experience as the Chairman of the East Committee of the City of London, and as a magistrate. He dwelt upon the importance of dealing with the most depraved in a spirit of love and kindness, and urged the importance of every young per, son, possessing a knowledge of the truth, and enjoying the comforts of life, adopting, to a certain extent, some one poor child, and imparting to it spiritual instruction and temporal relief.
The Rev. T. Binney, in a humorous speech, congratulated the Lord Mayor upon visiting Kent Street, and shaking hands, as his Lord ship had done, with the little ragged boys who had crowded around him. He argued that a deep moral effect might be produced by this circumstance upon the minds of the children, and that it might influence their entire history.
The Rev. Dr. Armstrong, of Bermondsey, spoke of the necessity of making the Bible the supreme rule of instruction in every schoolroom, and showed the substantial unity of all Evangelical Protestants upon the vital principles of religion.
J. Payne, Esq., recited some verses composed for the occasion, with his accustomed ability and vivacity; and concluded with remarks having a practical bearing upon the Ragged School movement.
Apsley Pellat, Esq., M.P., the Rev. Mr. Cadman, Rector of St. George's, and other gentlemen, also addressed the meeting. During the whole of the proceedings the building was densely crowded.
KENT STREET RAGGED SCHOOLS. Aşinteresting Meeting took place, on Friday
Papers, Original and Selected.
THE VAGABOND BOY. A few nights since we had passed some most joyous hours with the children of a dear friend. With a light heart we walked homeward, though the morning was chilly, and a thick mist hung upon the air. The hum of voices, and the whirl of wheels, were hushed, and London seemed like a mighty hive, whose myriads awaited the coming day to pour forth and gather.
We thought of the little revellers whom we had left, tired with laughter and merriment. The youngest boy had struggled manfully with sleep, that had perched upon his drooping eyelids like a bird upon a waving bough. The little rogue ! we pictured him a-bed. We saw the blessed aspect of peace upon his rosy facem-that face whose bloom was so rich and plenteous that we wondered not to find its tint upon the pillow. We fancied his merry dream, nothing but prank and song (music-talk, as we heard a lisper call it.) We listened to his morrow's history of the revel, and from his little lips kissed off the words he could not utter !
Such "sweet fancies " soon brought us to the door of our humble dwell ing; and as we extended our hand to the knocker, a squalid child, who had been sleeping (unperceived by us) upon the stone step, suddenly sprang up, and darted away like a startled deer. We called him to return, but our voice seemed to lend wings to his shoeless feet. We, however, knew him to be the VAGABOND Bor-the street outcast, the bedesman of poverty. It is well that easy comfort should sometimes look into the dens of cheerless squalor, and venture into the narrow alleys whose atmosphere is laden with fætid exhalations ; for some good inay be gathered from the impurities some sympathy awakened by the selfishness of want. Who so fitting a guide as the vagabond boy ? He who drew his first breath in a noisome cellar, and whose swaddling-clothes were rags-foul rags.
We write not thus that inincing daintiness should distort her flaccid features, and exclaim, “Poor wretch I rags and a cellar !” There is no real demand upon her sympathy—the vagabond boy is the naked heir of vagabond parents, who celebrated his birth at the bar of a ginshop ; since he could lisp he has often asked for food, and been told to be silent. Habit made him obedient, and with hunger for his playmate he has returned again to his toys, (an oyster-shell or a broken tile,) and been as happy as the pampered offspring of abundance. As
soon as the vagabond boy can run, he becomes the denizen of the streets—hunting up and down the highways, (like the wild dogs of the East,) for chance morsels, and wondering why the plenty which he beholds on every side is withheld from him. He would take from any, but he fears the blow, for he has been taught the morality of the scourge. Still he exbibits no fretfulness, for he has never known indulgence ; and alike reckless of the present and the future, he trusts to the boons of accident for the luxury of existence. His want soon teaches him cunning, and he becomes an actor of no mean pretensions. Now he is one of a group that haunts unfrequented streets, bellowing most discordant psalmody, and trafficking with holy names, which he has heard daily joined to oaths uttered in the
NO, LV.-VOL. V.