« AnteriorContinuar »
district schools, and that the government should be empowered to assist the unions willing to establish them, by partially contributing to the expense of the building
23. That the Ragged Schools existing in England and Scotland, and recently introduced into Ireland, especially the Ragged Industrial Feeding Schools, at present supported by voluntary subscriptions, or, as in Glasgow, by local rates, have produced beneficial effects on the children of the most destitute classes of society inhabiting large towns.
24. That voluntary contributions have been found inadequate to supply the number of such schools at present required in the metropolis, and other cities and towns; and therefore they should not be excluded from the aid of the National Grant, under the distribution of the Committee of Council for Education; great care being necessary in framing the minutes applicable to this description of schools, so as not to fetter private exertions, or to exclude men eminently qualified to fill the laborious and difficult position of teachers, by the requirement of too high an educational certificate.
25. That in any legislation which may take place on the subjects referred to this Committee, especial attention should be paid to the industrial part of the education of criminal and destitute children.
28th June, 1853.
THE CHOLERA. It is a painful duty to notify a third visitation to this country of the epidemic cholera. This disease again, first breaking out in Persia, has extended within the present year over a large portion of Russia, stretching as far northwards as Archangel, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. It has ravaged Denmark, Norway, and Sweden ; and then developing itself in the north of Germany, it has attacked Stettin, Berlin, Rotterdam, and Hamburg; and subsequently it has appeared in England, again breaking out on its north-east coast, in the near neighbourhood of the town in which it made its first appearance in this country in 1831. This time the cholera has allowed us but short respite, and although it is possible that we may not feel its full virulence until the cold season shall have passed away, yet here it is, and for the time its devastations appear to be more sweeping than before. For the moment the head-quarters of the disease are at Newcastle, and in that town the terrible fact has been already noted that, whereas in 1831 only 161 persons died of cholera during the first twenty-two days of its appearance, upon the present occasion 995 persons have fallen victims to its power during the corresponding period. It can scarcely, then, be said with propriety that the disease has assumed a milder form since the period of its first appearance.
It is far from our wish to give needless alarm to our friends and teachers, but we are anxious to call their attention to the subject, with a view to the adoption of such plans as may be within their power in connexion with Ragged Schools; so that, by timely precaution, the chances of attack among the scholars and their friends may be reduced to the lowest possible degree. We do not, of course, pretend to enter into scientific inquiries as to the peculiar causes which may facilitate the devastations of the cholera. It is not our province to determine whether it be infectious, or contagious, or both. We simply know as a fact, that when the cholera does come upon a country, multitudes of people are attacked by it simultaneously, or in rapid succession. That is clear enough. It is also clear that persons in a particular condition of body, and persons living in peculiar situations, are most frequently attacked, and most frequently perish. And as undrained neighbourhoods, and filthy localities and houses are the most dangerous, we therefore recommend that immediate steps. be taken thoroughly to cleanse and limewash every school building. Increase the means for ventilating the rooms to the fullest extent, let the windows be open and the ventilators have full play during the interim of school hours. Ascertain the exact number of
scholars the room is capable of accommodating without detriment to health, and on no occasion allow more to be present. Let there be no accumulation of dirt or filth of any description either on or near the school premises. Require all sinks, water courses, and closets, to be thoroughly washed at the close of every day. Have traps put to all drain openings, also to the closets. Keep a supply of approved cholera medicine, with full directions for use, to be supplied to any scholar needing it. Put up in a conspicuous part of the room a list of the medical gentlemen in the neighbourhood, to whom the poor can apply for assistance when needed. And let the most needy of the children be supplied with coarse warm clothing.
The carrying out of these suggestions will incur some extra expenditure, and in some cases beyond the means of the school Committee to supply. But we have the fullest confidence in the public, and believe it is only needful to make known a clear statement of the object in view, and a liberal response will be the result. If, however, there should be any difficulty in providing local funds for the above purposes, we recommend an immediate application to the Committee of the Ragged School Union, who, we doubt not, will willingly and liberally assist their local friends.
“WHIP ME, BUT DON'T CRY.” A pious father had devoted great atten- broken up. He wept aloud. For a motion to the education of his son, who had ment the lad seemed confused. He saw maintained an unblemished reputation the struggle between love and justice in until the age of fourteen, when he was his parent's bosom, and broke out with detected in a deliberate falsehood.
all his usual ingenuousness, “Father, The father's grief was great, and he de- father, whip me as much as you please ; termined to punish the offender severely. but don't cry.” He made the subject one of prayer ;
for The point was gained. The father saw it was too important, in his esteem, to be that the lad was sensibly affected by passed over as a common occurrence of this incident. He grew up, and became the day. He then called his son, and one of the most distinguished Christian prepared to inflict the punishment. But ministers in America. the fountain of the father's heart was
SCENE FROM Τ Η Ε LIFE. In a narrow room, and hot,
But her look was no longer sad, With a ceiling low and flat,
And her cheek was no longer pale, While a swarm of young ragged ones And the air that she breath'd was no throng'd the spot,
longer bad, A lover of children sat :
And her strength it had ceas'd to fail ! Gentle, and good, and fair, She labour'd the bad t improve;
I wonder'd; and sought to know, With a pallid cheek, and a pensive air, The cause of a change so great; And a patience that none could move!- And seeking, I neither had far to go,
Nor yet had I long to wait :I pitied, and pass’d away ;
And I said, as I heard the tale, Through different parts I rang'd;
Which the neighbourhood lov'd to tell, But I came again, on a distant day, GOD PROSPER THE FRIENDS OF THE And I found that the scene was chang'a. FANCY SALE,
Who have manag’d their plans so well! In a spacious room, and high,
May others to work begin, With a ceiling broad and large,
And follow their noble lead ; I saw the same gentle one's anxious eye That HEALTH may its triumphs o'er SICK. Still fix'd on her youthful charge :
NESS win, Temple, Sept., 1853.
And LIFE against DEATI succeed! J.P.
A NOBLE WORK. Oh! noble is the work for those
And let their mind, free as the wind, Who set the fetter'd free!
Emit the latent spark ?
When, ragged child, for thee
Come priest, come bard, come England
all, To give the light-investing might To bear the Christian's part.
Erect the standard high ; 'Knowledge, more knowledge!” is the
call, Though born ʼmid vice, though reared in
The universal cry. sin, Though “vagrant " be their name,
Tatter'd they are—but can ye dare Shall we forget the soul within,
Withhold your helping hand ? Nor light in them the flame,
Nay, foremost be, in setting free Their step to guide, though they may bide
The untaught ragged band. In cellar low and dark,
Sunday School Teachers' Magazine.
Hatices of Meetings, etc.
patient endurance of pain, and the expressions of confidence in Christ as his Saviour. A few moments before he breathed his last, he sang his favourite hymn, “Dear Lord, remember me."
LAMBETH RAGGED SCHOOLS.
GOLDSMITH PLACE, HACKNEY ROAD. The Fourth Annual Meeting of this School was held at Adelphi Chapel. Previous to the Public Meeting, a numerous company of friends took tea in the school-room. The Meeting was presided over by the Rev. W. Woodhouse, and addressed upon the necessity and importance, and good results of Ragged School operations in general, in plain and practical speeches, by the Revs. J. Vaughan, D. Katterns, E. Stallybrass, T. G. Williams, and H. Harrison; Joseph Payne, Esq., H. Althans, Esq., Mr. W. Ferry, and Mr. W. Brown, a fugitive slave.
The Report stated, that the school had been in operation now five years, and that it had been the means of great good to numbers of children, who, but for its efforts, no doubt would have been entirely neglected. The operations of the school now consist of a Day, Infant, and Juvenile School, a Week Evening School, and Sabbath Evening School. In connexion with these, a Scholars' Saving Fund has been established, and the children's deposits during the past year amounted to £14 178. 5d., besides which the children have been encouraged to purchase by small savings, 29 copies of the Scriptures, 164 copy books, 48 hymn books, and 61 of “Our Children's Magazine.” A marked improvement is very apparent in many of the children, mentally, morally, and physi. cally considered; and some pleasing instances have occurred, sufficient to induce hope, that a good work has been begun in their hearts. One youth, 14 years of age, who had been in the school from its commencement, had recently died, giving pleasing evidence that he had been taught of God. His teacher, who often visited him, was much encouraged by his
THE Fifth Annual Meeting of these Schools was recently held, under the presidency of the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, in one of the rooms of that magnificent building erected a few years since by the late H. Beaufoy, Esq. The attendance on this occasion was very large, and on the platform were several of the most respectable and influential gentlemen of Lambeth.
The Rev. J. Aldis having been called upon to engage in prayer, the Chairman rose amidst applause, and said, that there was a time when the term Ragged Schools appeared to be an illchosen one, calculated to deter many of those for whom the schools were especially established from entering them; but experience had shown that it was the best epithet that could have been applied; for in the first place, it indicated a regard for a neglected class of society, testifying that however deeply they may have sunk in misery, squalor, and wretchedness, they were not beyond the helping hand of benevolence; whilst at the same time, it was an admonition to classes more highly favoured and blessed, that they had been too long guilty of a dereliction of duty towards their unfortunate fellow-creatures. Since he had been called to sustain the office of chief magistrate, a large amount of misery and distress had come under his observation. His lordship then detailed a case: it was that of a
It often happened to boys who were allowed to wander about the streets, that if anything occurred, the police would catch hold of them just because they were in company with others, and so get imprisoned. Once there, they were sure to be corrupted. There were many boys who had been in prison between twenty and thirty times. He hoped, however, that the existence of Ragged Schools would exert a salutary influence upon the juvenile population, and make them better members of society.
Mr. H. Doulton, the Secretary, read the Report, and the Treasurer stated the receipts of the year to have been £342. 158. 5d., and the balance due to him €79. 198. 3d.
The meeting was addressed by the Revs. W. Leask, Sparkes, Aldis, Ashmead, and T. Davies; also by Messrs. Richards, Gent, Corderoy, and Miller.
family of five children, who at one time had been in a respectable sphere of life, but became subsequently so reduced, as frequently to be two days together without any food, and had parted with so many of their garments, that it was scarcely decent to enter their room. ANI the support they derived was from one of the children employed in a newspaper office at 5s. per week; but he having fallen sick, the officer found him laid upon a mat in a wretched plight, and the family cut off from all means of sup. port. Cases like that, his lordship observed, were not rare: but he trusted that the establishment of Ragged Schools was an indication that the public mind was turned to that class of persons. Would that some of the enormous wealth spent upon luxury in this great city were appropriated to reform the disease and destitution that abounded in its streets and alleys ! He would earnestly impress upon the Meeting the fact, that it was not sufficient to build Ragged Schools, noble and praiseworthy as that was, but that the most strenuous efforts should be to fill them. Controverting the assertion sometimes made, that the class of persons invited to Ragged Schools were sunk too low to be raised and improved by means of instruction and kindness, his lordship related an interview that he had had with a prisoner to whom he was advised by an official of the prison not to go; kindness won the heart of the prisoner, and he was most docile and teachable. So, too, with the outcasts of society; let proper means be employed, and they will yield to their influence. It is true that many poor people are prejudiced against schools; but if they were able to understand that art and science teach persons to use their eyes ; if that higher form of teaching were more generally aimed at—the discipline of the heart-making children more obedient to their parents, and more correct in their general behaviour, the prejudice of their parents would be greatly modified. If parents could be got to visit the schools, and mark the contrast between the children there and those in the streets, that would prove the most powerful argument and most successful inducement to send their own children. You have, his lordship feelingly observed, an admirable school, built by a generous benefactor whose name will live for ever. He regretted that the school was in debt; in a locality like the one in which they were assembled, the school ought to be amply supported by the sixpences and shillings of the inhabitants of Lambeth. He would especially beg the ladies to look to that matter, and trusted that they would not allow another month to elapse without visiting the establishment and taking their friends with them. No one could visit the Ragged School without learning something. He had often thought what he should have been if brought up in a garret, and sent into the streets to get a living as he best could.
BEDFORD STREET, COMMERCIAL ROAD,
RAGGED SCHOOL. The First Public Meeting on behalf of this School was held in the large school-room of Commercial Road Chapel, on Tuesday, September 20th. Previous to the Public Meeting, a very numerous company of the friends and supporters of the school took tea together. The Rev. G. W. Pegg, Minister of the Chapel, presided, and the meeting was addressed by Mr. T. L. Jackson, the Thieves' Missionary; Joseph Payne, Esq., Messrs. W. Ferry, J. B. Day, and H. J. Hollingsworth.
Mr. Barnet, the City Missionary of the district, to whose indefatigable exertions this school owes its origin, stated, that it was opened on the Sabbath evening of April 24th, on which occasion there were 75 children and 12 teachers, and ever since the attendance of scholars and teachers had gradually increased. The children admitted were at first in a very ragged and dirty condition, and very noisy and troublesome; but already a great change for the better had taken place in their appear. ance. The rags were now mended, their faces and hands were clean, and they conduct themselves in an orderly manner. Many of them had been induced to purchase Bibles, hymn, and other good books. Very pleasing testimony has been borne by the neighbours, as to the improvement of the children. He considered the success of the school was greatly to be attributed to a good superintendent, and a band of pious teachers. The operations of the school had been greatly assisted by contributions of needful and useful books from private individuals, the Bible, and Band of Hope Societies, and also the Ragged School Union. The success of the operations thus far had encouraged the Committee to resolve to open a Week Evening School shortly. There was a balance in hand of €1 8s. 9d.
Papers, Original and Selected.
REFUGES. The subject of Refuges in connection with the Ragged School system, is one which, although it has excited interest in the minds of many, yet has not in our opinion received that general attention which its importance demands. It is manifest that Ragged Schools, however rigorously their influences may be brought to bear on the classes for whom they are designed, lose much of their moral power in consequence of the constant and daily antagonism which they encounter when the scholars retire from the scene of instruction, and come in contact with so much that is contaminating and vile. In addition to this, the education there imparted, however excellent in its present results, is often rendered comparatively useless, either from the children being driven, by starvation or the solicitations of wicked associates, to the commission of crime, or else from the want of a guardian care extended over them for a period sufficiently lengthened to qualify them by industrial education to obtain a livelihood by the labour of their own hands.
Alas! how often have the hearts of many teachers and managers of our schools been wrung with grief in seeing too plainly that the children who waited on their instructions, were ready to perish for want of sufficient food by day or proper shelter by night, whilst, to supply the one or to furnish the other, there were no means at hand!
The experiment of providing Refuges has been partially made in the metropolis, and also in various other cities and towns of the kingdom. These Refuges have been of two classes. The first is that of the ordinary Night Refuge. These are more especially designed for the houseless
Where they exist, as at Field Lane and in other places in connection with the Ragged School, preference, we believe, is given to children attending it. In addition to shelter for the night and some food, all who enter the Refuge receive a certain amount of religious instruction. Many of the occupants of these Night Refuges are casual vagrants, or houseless and penniless strangers who here receive a temporary shelter. The second class that for the permanent support and education, for a stated period, of young persons between ten and sixteen years of age. A separate building is provided for them, together with food, lodging, and religious and general instruction, besides which the acquisition of industrial skill is made imperative, and all are placed under the superintendence of a resident master or matron. With regard to the first of these two classes, it appears
from Report of a Sub-Committee on Refuges” now lying before us, that the number of houseless poor of both sexes and all ages in London, does not ordinarily exceed 500 or 600 persons, and the Committee are therefore “of opinion that a very limited number of Night Refuges, judiciously situated, would meet its requirements.” Perhaps many of our readers will be surprised to hear that the number of houseless poor, in a metropolis containing the vast population of nearly two millions and a half, is so small. Nevertheless, we believe that the statement has not been made without strict examination and inquiry.
NO. LIX.-VOL. V.