« AnteriorContinuar »
347 On the estates of Lord Kenyon, the cottagers all keep cows and pigs: his Lordship lets them cottages at 505. per annum, with from two to eight acres of good land attached to each, at 30s. per acre, tythe-free, unless they plough.
Results.-Scarce any poor-rates; grateful, punctual tenants, trust-worthy labourers, and numerous applications for an allotment and cottage, when a vacancy occurs.
EDUCATION. When some wretched men, a few years ago, were convicted of rick-burning, and other atrocious crimes, it appeared that the greater number of them could neither read nor write, and that they were, in all respects, in a grievous state of ignorance. A newspaper took this opportunity of reflecting on the clergy of the county, as having been negligent of the education of the poor, and expressed a hope that they would be stirred up to exert themselves, that their flocks might receive such education as should be a means of recovering them from that ignorance, and brutality, which led to so many crimes. The newspaper writer seemed really to believe, that the poor of the country were generally in this brutal state of ignorance; and that the clergy looked on, and let them continue without instruction. Now, if the writer had really known anything about the matter, he would have known that the greater number of poor people now can read and write; that their education has been going on for many years, and that the clergy, instead of being idle on this point, have been particularly active and diligent. You can scarcely go into any parish now, on the sabbath day, without finding a number of children receiving education, under the direction of the clergyman of the parish. There are many Sunday schools too, under the care of dissenters, so that instead of education being neglected, there is, and has long been, a great deal doing to give instruction to the poor; and no child need be without the power of reading his Bible where there is a Sundayschool to be had for nothing. But the education of the poor is not confined to Sunday. National schools, under the care of the clergy of the establishment, are open every day of the week in the greater number of parishes throughout the country, in some of which schools children are educated for nothing, and in others at a very small expence. If parents do not send their children, where there is opportunity, it is their own fault. Those children, however, who are so notorious for crimes, have generally been the children of those who have refused to partake of the opportunities which they have had: the parents have allowed their children, and it is to be feared sometimes encouraged them, to go on in a course of ignorance and wickedness, which might have been checked if they had been better taught..
It is not, however, to be expected, that every child who can read and write will, therefore, be filled with an abhorrence of crime. A spirit of devotion towards God, and uprightness towards man, will not come by merely learning to read and write. But these are means by which good may be sought and found ; and God's grace will be given to those who ask it; and the knowledge of his ways will be found by those who seek it; and thus will they escape much misery, and receive many a blessing. But when these benefits are offered and refused, it is hard to throw the blame on those who hold out the offer, instead of on those to whom it is made, and by whom it has been rejected.
BOLTON PARISH SUNDAY SCHOOL. We have frequently heard the Bolton Sunday School spoken of, as one of the best in the kingdom. We beg to thank our correspondent from Bolton, who has sent us a description of it. It is not every place that can be expected to provide a school-room so handsome as that which the liberality of the inhabitants of Bolton has supplied. Great places can do great things, especially if there be a willing mind. But in a small village, there is no need of a grand room; and one sufficient for the purpose, may be built at a small expense. The description of Bolton school, sent by our much valued correspondent, may supply some useful hints.
BOLTON PARISH CHURCH SUNDAY-SCHOOL. This spacious and commodious building is situated at the western extremity of the church-yard, from which it is separated only by a street; it is about ninety feet in length, and thirty in breadth, containing upwards of 1000 scholars, for which there are nearly 100 teachers and superintendants. The room on the ground floor is for boys, the upper room for girls; the boys enter the school through a yard on the right hand, and the girls through a yard on the left; the middle door being used only by teachers and strangers. The two rooms are kept perfectly distinct, except that there is a private door leading from the lower school into the staircase; except, also, during the prayer and singing, then a communication is made between the rooms, that the children may all join together in worship. An opening is then made about two yards wide, extending nearly across the floor of the upper room, by means of folding doors, which lift up, and are fastened together so as to make an inclosure; at the end of this stands the desk, from which the prayer is distinctly heard by both rooms. During the week, the lower room is used as an Infant School; a temporary gallery being erected in the middle, which divides the school into two compartments, and thus renders it extremely convenient for the management of infants: they are 180 in number, from two years old to eight. The upper school is rendered farther convenient for the holding of various meetings; as for vestry meetings, when the attendants are more numerous than the vestry can contain; for the meetings of the Temperance Society; for the district meetings of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; and for the purposes of several charities. In this room, also, which has an organ, the scholars occasionally meet to practise singing ; so that altogether the building is turned to good account; as indeed it should be, as it is a handsome edifice, built of worked stone, by public subscription, and cost, furniture included, nearly £2000.
A COMFORTABLE HOME AND A GOOD-TEMPERED WIFE.
(Extracted from the Weekly Visitor.) Letter addressed to Mr. Chapman, one of the Secretaries of the Birmingham Auxiliary Temperance Society.
Sir,-I am employed at a chemical work, in Love Lane, Aston Road, belonging to Messrs. Armitage. My fellow-workmen, although they had constant employment, and good wages, were in a wretched condition, and their families in misery. I have often argued with them to attend a place of worship; but their excuse always was, that they could not go for want of clothes. About Christmas, 1831, one of my children brought home a Temperance tract, addressed “ To the Industrious Poor," which had been given him at the Ashted school : this I read to the men in the factory; and as it contained a calculation of the expense of two glasses of gin per day, at three-halfpence per glass, and the quantity of clothes which might be obtained instead of the gin, they agreed to try the experiment of doing without the liquor, which had brought on so much misery. At this time, a large sum every week went to the public-house amongst us; sometimes twenty shillings, sometimes forty shillings per week: each man drank there from three to six shillings per week; then we were in the habit of drinking spirits in the morning, and ale in the evening. Soon after this, we joined the Temperance Society; and instead of sending for the usual quantity of gin in the morning, and ale in the evening, we were supplied with tea, coffee, or milk. The men have given up the public-house, and now spend their evenings at home. Those who know any thing of our employment must be well convinced, that few men are exposed to greater heats than we are, or subject to such a disagreeable smell; so much so, that if any employment could justify or require hard drinking, it would be ours. But we have all given up the habit, and we are all convinced, from the experience of many months, that strong drink is wholly useless, and that good substantial food is the best thing to support men under hard labour and fatigue. The men work all night in regular turns; but instead of drinking spirits, or ale, we drink