Imagens das páginas


e efforts in favour of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Wan 35

betajogos ay 9p8l DW91Voving those eff
must content ourselves. with a notice of
peace by which he acquired a dieting revet him, as has been sai
zeal. In 1914 1 he gave vent t

soulith une to of the Custom

that lemarkable tract," A Solemn Review of one of the most successful and efficient pamphlets of any period. It has been translated into many languages, and circulated extensively through the of society have been pe chief instruments by

within the present was weated with

was favourable auch

the a new association, ciation, called the Peace Society of Massa

,» , chusets, was instituted in this place (Brighton, Massachusets, whither he had removed in 1813). I well recollect the day of its formation in yonder house, then the parsonage of this parish; and if there was a happy man that day on earth, it was the Kindred ones in this country, and its influence was felt abroad.” Me conducted its periodical, which was commenced in 1819, and was published quarterly for ten years. It was almost entirely written by himself

, and is remarkable not only for its beautiful moral tone, but for fertility of resource and ingenuity of illustramon tire wished it to be inscribed on fier toe began to write

the the Friend

Solemn Review," he declares his belief that the subject of war had not been absent from his mind, when awake, an hour at a time during that whole period. This concentration of all the powers of an earnest and vigorous

mind enabled him to produce a greater effect than perhaps any other individual. Many are entering into the fruits of his labours by whom his name

sun known.

1800 Watt

Sando91103 10 9MIJ Dr Noah Worcester died in 1837, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. Of his character Dr Channing thus speaks: Two views of him particularly impressed me. The first was

the harmony of his character. He had no jarring ele

His whole nature had been blended and melted into one strong, serene love. His mission was to preach peace, and he preached it not on set occasions, or by separate efforts

, but in his whole life. And this serenity was not the result of torpidness or tameness, for his whole life was a conflict with what he deemed

He made no compromise with the world

1 as if it had and yet he loved it as deepesas com as

from that of the suficiency of the mind to its own Happiness, or of its independence on outward things." Notwithstanding his poverty and infirmities, “ he spoke of his old age as among the happiest

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

mtr lit

portions, if not the very happiest, of his life. In conversation, his religion manifested itself more in gratitude than any other form." His voice was cheerful, his look serene, and he devoted himself to his studies with youthful earnestness.

" On leaving his house, and turning my face towards this city, I have said to myself, how much richer is this poor man than the richest who dwell yonder! I have been ashamed of my own dependence on outward good. I am always happy to express my obligations to the benefactors of my mind; and I owe it to Dr Worcester to say, that my acquaintance with him gave me clearer comprehension of the spirit of Christ and of the dignity of a man.”.


ALL hail to the name of this worthy denizen of the “gentle craft!” Obscure during his life, he shall be so no longer! John Pounds was born of parents in a humble rank of life, in Portsmouth, in the year 1766. In early life, while working with a shipwright in the royal dockyard, he had the misfortune to have one of his thighs broken, and so put out of joint as to render him a cripple for life. Compelled, from this calamity, to choose a new means of subsistence, he betook himself to the shoemaking craft. The instructions he received in this profession, however, did not enable him to make shoes, and in that branch of the art he was diffident in trying his hand. Contenting himself with the more humble department of mending, he became the tenant of a weather-boarded tenement in St Mary Street in his native town. | John was a good-natured fellow, and his mind was always running on some scheme of benevolence; and, like all other benevolent self-helpful people, he got enough to do. While still a young man, he was favoured with the charge of one of the numerous children of his brother; and, to enhance the value of the gift, the child was a feeble little boy, with his feet overlapping each other, and turned inwards. This poor child soon became an object of so much affection with John, as thoroughly to divide his attention with a variety of tame birds which he kept in his stall. Ingenious as well as kind-hearted, he did not rest till he had made an apparatus of old shoes and leather, which untwisted the child's feet, and set him fairly on his legs. The next thing was to teach his nephew to read, and this he undertook also as a labour of love. After a time, he thought the boy would learn much better if he had a companion—in which, no doubt, he was right, for solitary education is not a good thingand he invited a poor neighbour to send him his children to be taught. This invitation was followed by others : John acquired a passion for gratuitous teaching, which nothing but the limits of his booth could restrain. " His humble workshop,” to follow the language of his memoir, was about six feet wide, and about eighteen feet in length; in the midst of which he would sit on his stool, with his last or lapstone on his knee, and other implements by his side, going on with his work, and attending at the same time to the pursuits of the whole assemblage; some of whom were reading by his side, writing from his dictation, or showing up their sums; others seated around on forms or boxes on the floor, or on the steps of a small staircase in the rear. Although the master seemed to know where to look for each, and to maintain a due command over all, yet so small was the room, and so deficient in the usual accommodations of a school, that the scene appeared, to the observer from without, to be a mere crowd of children's heads and faces. Owing to the limited extent of his room, he often found it necessary to make a selection, from among several subjects or candidates, for his gratuitous instruction; and in such cases always preferred, and prided himself on taking in hand, what he called the little blackguards,' and taming them. He has been seen to follow such to the townquay, and hold out in his hand to them the bribe of a roasted potato, to induce them to come to school. When the weather permitted, he caused them to take turns in sitting on the threshold of his front-door, and on a little form on the outside, for the benefit of the fresh air. His modes of tuition were chiefly of his own devising. Without having ever heard of Pestalozzi, necessity led him into the interrogatory system. He taught the children to read from hand-bills, and such remains of old schoolbooks as he could procure. Slates and pencils were the only implements for writing, yet a creditable degree of skill was acquired ; and in ciphering, the Rule of Three and Practice were performed with accuracy. With the very young especially, his manner was particularly pleasant and facetious. He would ask them the names of different parts of their body, make them spell the words, and tell their uses. Taking a child's hand, he would say, 'What is this? Spell it. Then slapping it, he would say,

What do I do? Spell that.' So with the ear, and the act of pulling it; and in like manner with other things. He found it necessary to adopt a more strict discipline with them as they grew bigger, and might have become turbulent; but he invariably preserved the attachment of all. In this way some hundreds of persons have been indebted to him for all the schooling they have ever had, and which has enabled many of them to fill useful and creditable stations in life, who might otherwise, owing to the temptations attendant on poverty and ignorance, have become burdens on society, or swelled the calendar of crime."

Will the reader credit the fact, that this excellent individual never sought any compensation for these labours, nor did he ever receive any? Of no note or account, his weather-boarded

* A small pamphlet, published by Green, Newgate Street, London.


[ocr errors][merged small]

establishment was like a star radiating light around; but of the good he was doing, John scarcely appeared conscious. The chief gratification be felt was the occasional visit of some manly soldier or sailor, grown up out of all remembrance, who would call to shake hands and return thanks for what he had done for him in his infancy. At times, also, he was encouragingly noticed by the local authorities; but we do not hear of any marked testimony of their approbation. Had he been a general, and conquered a province, he would doubtless have been considered a public benefactor, and honoured accordingly; but being only an amateur schoolmaster, and a reclaimer from vice, John was allowed to find the full weight of the proverb, that virtue is its own reward. And thus obscurely, known principally to his humble neighbours, did this hero--for was he not a hero of the purest order!-spend a long and useful existence; every selfish gratification being denied, that he might do the more good to others. On the morning of the 1st of January 1839, at the age of seventy-two years, when looking at the picture of his school, which had been lately executed by Mr Sheaf, he suddenly fell down and expired. His death was felt severely." The abode of contented and peaceful frugality became at once a scene of desolation. He and his nephew had made provision on that day for what was to them a luxurious repast. On the little mantelpiece remained, uncooked, a mugful of fresh sprats, on which they were to have regaled themselves in honour of the New-Year. The children were overwhelmed with consternation and sorrow: some of them came to the door next day, and cried because they could not be admitted ; and for several succeeding days the younger ones came, two or three together, looked about the room, and not finding their friend, went away disconsolate." John Pounds was, as he had wished, called away,

without bodily suffering, from his useful labours. He is gone to await the award of Him who has said, " Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto me."

In drawing these biographic notes to a conclusion, the remark naturally arises, that no position in life, however humble, is an actual bar to intellectual or moral improvement—that where there is a will there is sure to be a way!. Independently of all chance of rising in the world, which is at best a secondary consideration, the self-examining and self-instructing youth will eagerly strive to improve his mental capacities, on the plain consideration that it is his duty to do so, as well as from the reflection, that the ignorant and the demoralised can never attain anything like pure enjoyment even in the present life. Besides, as in the case of the worthy John Pounds, how much satisfaction will arise from the consciousness of devoting acquirements to a purpose useful to our fellow-creatures !





BN the 1st of August 1809, a day I shall ever have þ cause to remember, I went on a pleasure excursion, in a small vessel belonging to my father, from Marseilles

to Nice. At this time the coast of France was strictly watched by English cruisers; and to elude these, we kept as much as possible close in-shore. This precaution was, unfortunately, useless. When off the isles of Hyeres, we

were observed, and chased by an English cutter, which soon came up with us. Resistance was of course useless, and, foreseeing the result, we at the first shot yielded ourselves pri

Before going on board the enemy's vessel, I concealed about my person as much money and other valuables as I could; and of this property I was not afterwards deprived. We were, indeed, treated with less severity than we had reason to expect. On the day after our capture, we were removed, with many other prisoners, into another vessel, with orders to make the best of our way to England. What my sensations were on being thus torn from my beloved country, my friends and relations, may be easily conceived.

In a few days we arrived on the coast of England, and were immediately ordered round to an eastern port–Lynn in Norfolk-whence we were forwarded, to the number of some hundreds, in lighters and small craft, to the depôt of prisoners of war at Norman Cross- I think about fifty miles inland. Arriving at Peterborough-a respectable-looking town, with a handsome ca

No. 116.


« AnteriorContinuar »