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ever, we merely remark, that the practice of cursing and swearing is a sign of weakness, and, if it did not call for pity, would be sure to awaken contempt. It is a proof that those who practise it have no command over higher and more refined means of influencing others. It is a very frequent accompaniment of bullying, and serves the bully as a handy tool. Take an instance from the early life of George Stephenson : “A man named Straker was a great bully, a coarse swearing fellow, and a perfect tyrant among the women and children. He would go tearing into old Nanny the huckster's shop in the village, and demand, in a savage voice, “What's your best ham the pund? What's floor the hunder ? What d'ye axe for prime bacon? His questions often ending with the miserable order, accompanied with a tremendous oath, of 'Gie's a penny row (roll) and a bawbee herrin'!' The poor woman was usually set all of a shake by a visit from this fellow. He was also a great boaster, and used to crow over the robbers whom he had put to flight; mere men in buckram, as everybody knew. We, boys,” says Stephenson,“ believed him to be a great coward, and determined to play him a trick. Two other boys joined me in way-laying Straker one night at a corner. We sprang out and called to him, in as gruff voices as we could assume, to 'stand and de
liver. He dropped down upon his knees in the dirt, declaring, he was a poor man, with a sma' family, asking us for mercy, and imploring us as gentlemen to let him a-be. We couldn't stand this any longer, and set up a shout of laughter. Recognising our boys' voices, he sprang to his feet again, and rattled out a volley of oaths; on which we cut through the hedge, and heard him shortly after swearing his way along the road to the yill-house.”
(4.) Be careful not to force others tyrannically to adopt your plans, habits, and recreations. It is pure tyranny to persecute a fellow-workman because he will not conform to all the ways of the rest. No doubt, where many men are employed, there must be a certain uniformity in their way of working; and every intelligent workman will feel it right to conform, to a reasonable extent, to the practice of the shop. But to persecute a man because he will not conform in every thing to the habits of the rest—because he will not drink with them, nor be amused at their coarse jests, nor enter into their conspiracies, nor, in short, be as one of them—is pure tyranny. It is a practice that deserves the sturdiest denunciation, as a piece of mean and dastardly oppression, destructive to independence of mind and improvement of every kind, especially ruinous to the young, and fitted to degrade the character of workmen wherever it prevails. (5.) Cultivate a spirit of kindness to the young, the aged, and the infirm. Kindness shown by a workman to an apprentice is seldom or never forgotten. You may notice in the lives or letters of working men who have risen to higher stations, how affectionately they speak of those who were kind to them in their apprenticeship. It is said that in India, when a father is cruel to his son, the son comforts himself by the reflection, that he will one day be stronger than his father, and able to turn him out of doors. The father grows old and weak, the son strong and active, and very probably the aged father becomes the drudge of the household, or is exposed to death on the banks of the Ganges. In some workshops, a system prevails scarcely less civilized. The journeymen tyrannizes over the apprentice; and when the apprentice turns journeyman, and the journeyman a feeble old man, the tables are turned, and the frail old man becomes the drudge of the establishment. But a right Christian spirit will change all that. A kind and considerate spirit to the young, secures kindness in turn from them to yourselves in your old age. A kind and considerate spirit to the aged and infirm, wins the gratitude of their children and their children's children. The whole establishment is then pervaded by the spirit of kindness and love. Young hearts, instead of being crushed by untimely
oppression, expand with all their native buoyancy; and old age, instead of being querulous and crusty, still shows some traces of the glee and gladness of youth. The able-bodied and generous-minded workman, diffusing his benevolent regard to both old and young, becomes, like the firm and stately oak, that at once shelters the venerable tree beside it from the fury of the hurricane, and rears to strength and maturity the tender sapling under its grateful shade. CHAPTER IV.
“ A FAIR DAY'S WAGE FOR A FAIR DAY'S WORK.”
“Depend upon it, the interests of classes too often contrasted are identical, and it is only ignorance which prevents their uniting for each other's advantage. To dispel that ignorance, to show how man can help man, ought to be the aim of every philanthropic person.”—Prince Consort's Speeches.
· That the labourer is worthy of his hire no one can or dares to deny; but what the hire is of which he is worthy, or on what principle the amount of it is to be settled, is one of those questions which of late years especially have been discussed almost ad infinitum, and on which we seem to be about as far from a settlement as ever. “A fair day's wage for a fair day's work,” is just another formula for expressing the same thing; every one grants it in general terms; but when you grapple with the practical question, what is a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, one man says one thing, and another, another; and particularly, the worker of the work and the payer of the wage entertain very different opinions. Political economy has its ready answer and there is at least one great merit in that answer