Abbildungen der Seite

There are no two writers nor speakers who will handle a given topic exactly and in all respects in the same way. It is this variety that causes so many volumes, differing very little in matter, to be read with so much eagerness. This peculiarity in the mind of man affords another hope that the present publication will be honored with an attentive perusal.

It occurred to the Author that the ideas sought to be conveyed might be as readable in the novel shape of speeches as in any other dress in which they could havė been couched. Whether this form of imparting didactic suggestions be legitimate and satisfactory, must be left to the judgment of the reader. Many useful hints on household reform and domestic comfort are, it is presumed, embodied in the orations that the ladies are represented as delivering. And whether the little work obtain popular approval or otherwise, it is at any rate hoped that the good and the intelligent will put a charitable construction on the Author's motives, the whole having been begun and executed from a sincere desire to aid in removing an insuperable barrier to the happiness of English Homes.


November, 1849.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


. 151



PERSONS Wbo have been accustomed to travel in

the United Kingdom, and especially in the rural districts of England, will have observed that

many of the towns bear to each other a very striking resemblance. They seem to be of a genus. Were it not for a few peculiarities they would scarcely be distinguishable from each other. BRANDIPORT, the fictitious name of the town with which we have more immediately to do, is one of the class. Its population, the manners and customs of its inhabitants, its public buildings, its streets, and its internal government, are just what we would expect to see on visiting a country town in England. To describe its situation or point out its exact locality would only be pandering to a needless curiosity. The perusal of the following pages may throw some light -as far as the reader's abode is concerned-upon its contiguity or remoteness.

The population of Brandiport is divided into four distinct grades. The aristocracy and independent gentry, of which there is a tolerably fair proportion; the middle classes, or persons engaged in trade, for Brandiport does not form an exception to the general rule that

England is a nation of shopkeepers;" the industrial poor,


who are employed partly in agricultural labour and partly in neighbouring manufactories; and the mendicants, who live by alms or take refuge in the union workhouse.

The inhabitants are more than ordinarily sensible and intelligent. This circumstance may in a great degree be attributable to the facilities which the place affords for early instruction. The salubrity of the air renders it an eligible situation for boarding schools, and accordingly, there are several well-conducted establishments for the education of the middle and upper classes. The children of the poor are not less highly privileged. The charity schools are munificently supported and exceedingly well managed. They annually send ont a number of well-instructed boys and girls. Some of the most affluent and influential residents are mainly indebted to these invaluable institutions for their education. And to their praise be it recorded, they not only boast of the circumstance, but, as a more substantial testimony of their gratitude, they are among the most liberal and zealous supporters of the schools in question.

Brandiport has, among its other attractive edi. fices, a fine old parish church. Its architecture, antiquities, and other particulars, are explicitly detailed in the directories. There are also churches and chapels and meetinghouses belonging to the other denominational sections of religi sts ; so that, if the cause of christianity were duly regarded, there would seem to be little want of accommodation for sabbath worshippers. It cannot be said that the places of worship are thinly attended. Very far from it. The congregations are large; the preachers energetic; the hearers apparently serious and attentive. No one could pass through the streets of Brandiport on the sabbath morning without feeling that the day was regarded as the

« ZurückWeiter »