Abbildungen der Seite

as might be expected, grossly incompetent—unable to write a decent hand, or to spell an ordinary word. Those who have sunk into the workhouse from a good position, possessing fair educational attainments, are often morally unfit to be entrusted with the rearing of youth. In the Barnley workhouse the teacher combined the duties of a porter with those of the school-room. The mistresses are frequently inefficient. One schoolmistress described the miracles of Christ as having been wrought before Pharaoh. The position of a workhouse instructor is, however, described as being by no means an enviable one. It is a post of much confinement, of frequent collision with the union authorities, and generally of such a nature that no master who can procure a situation elsewhere will accept it.

In Alston, a boy who had been a scholar for two years could not tell how many two and three made. In a Durham school, the “ only boy who showed any intelligence" believed that there were fourteen hours in the day, and that the sun rose in the west, but did not know the name of the country. At Gateshead, a scholar said that Yorkshire was the capital of England. At Sedgfield, in the workhouse school, “ none knew the Queen's name, nor the capital of England.” In Kirkby Moorside, the Queen's name was understood to be “Anna." In the Pickering workhouse school, “our Saviour was stated to hare been crucified by order of the Virgin Mary.” At Stokesby, an island was “ a place where there 's no person to see.” In Bradford Idle, the last three Gospels were understood to have been written by “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego;" and an island was described as “a great city :” in Kirkham Fylde it was a “place where nobody lives.” In Haslingden, none could say in what county they dwelt ; and in Preston, by a most singular confusion of ideas, “prophecy” was defined as “fortune-telling."

In a great many of the workhouse schools, however, education, though of a low species, is actually progressing, and the teachers, according to their capacity, strive to do their duty. The larger towns generally, as might be expected, take the lead, and in these the inspector frequently found competent and intelligent masters and gradually-improving pupils. In many instances the remark is “inefficient, but promising,” and teachers are often spoken of as earnest and pains-taking. The two great cities of Lancashire support two great pauper educational establishments, which may in some respects be reckoned models. Manchester has its Swinton, and Liverpool its Kirkdale. In the infant school-attached to the former establishment, the children could point to Washington and Iceland on the mar. They named the books of the Testament, and understood what a thermometer was. In the girls' school, five-sevenths of the papils could read the New Testament. They were also taught to sew, knit, cut out, wash, iron, and mangle. In the boys' school, the reading was “ fair,” and a “certain standard of education attained by many ;” so that “ material progress may be expected.” The industrial training consisted of tailors' and shoemakers' work, and clogging, and the general discipline was “excellent.” At the Kirkdale establishment, the boys' school was efficient ; but the infant and girls' schools were less satisfactory, and the progress of the learners slow. The girls sew and do household work, being out of school one week in three.

THE TEE-TOTALLER'S HOME. SOME of our readers have probably seen a series of letters on “ Labor and the Poor,” now in course of publieation in the Morning Chronicle. Amongst others of the working classes in London and the provinces, visited by the writer, the coal-porters occupied considerable attention ; chiefly with a view of ascertaining, whether there was any truth in the statement, that large quantities of intoxicating drinks were actually necessary to enable them to perform their work satisfactorily. The result proves, we think pretty clearly, that in some cases such stimulants may be dispensed with. “It's a delusion to think beer necessary,” said a coal-whipper, who for four years had been a tee-totaller, and who was still at work. “I belong to a total abstinence society, and there are about a dozen coal-whippers and about the same number of coal-backers, members of it. Some have been total abstainers for twelve years, and are living witnesses, that fermented drinks are not necessary for working men.”

The writer gives so interesting and graphic a description of the home of this tee-totaller, in contrast to the immorality, filth, and wretchedness which characterize the dwellings of the less temperate, that we are sure our readers will thank us for transcribing it.

“ Choosing an hour,” says the writer, “when there could have been no preparation, I called at the lodgings. I found the whole family assembled in the back kitchen, that served them for a parlour. As I entered the room the mother was busy at work, washing and dressing her children for the day. There stood six little things—so young that they seemed to be all about the same height—with their faces shining with the soap and water, and their cheeks burning red with the friction of the towel. They were all laughing and playing about the mother, who, with comb and brush in hand, found it no easy matter to get them to stand still whilst she made the parting.'

“ First of all, the man asked me to step up stairs, and see the sleeping room. I was much struck with the scrupulous cleanliness of the whole apartment. The blind was as white as snow, half rolled up, and fastened with a pin. The floor was covered with patches of different coloured carpet, showing that they had been bought from time to time, and telling how difficult it had been to obtain the lux. ury. In one corner was a cupboard, with the door taken off, the better to show all the tumblers, teacups, and coloured glass mugs, that, with the two decanters well covered with painted flowers, were kept more for ornament than use. On the chimney-piece was a row of shells, china shepherdesses and lambs, and a stuffed pet canary in a glass case, for a centre ornament. Against the wall, surrounded by other pictures, hung a half-crown water colour drawing of the wife with a child on her knee, matched on the other side by the husband's likeness, cut out in black paper, Pictures of bright coloured ducks, and a print of Father Moore, the tee-totaller, completed the collection.

6. You see,' said the man, 'we manages pretty well ; but I can assure you we has a hard time of it to do it at all comfortably. Me and my wife is just as we stands. All our other things are in pawn. If I was to drink, I don't know what I should do. How others manage is to me a mystery. This will show you I speak the truth,' he added; and going to a secretary that stood against the wall, he produced a handful of duplicates. There were seventeen tickets in all, amounting to £3. Os. 6d., the highest sum borrowed being 10s. • That'll show you! I don't like my poverty to be known, or I should have told you of it before. And yet we manages to sleep clean,' and he pulled back the patchwork counterpane and showed me the snow white sheets beneath. • There's not enough clothes to keep us warm, but at least they're clean. We're obliged to give as much as we can to the children. Cleanliness is my wife's hobby, and I let her indulge it. I can assure you last week my wife had to take the gown off her back to get a shilling with it. My little ones seldom have a bit of meat from one Sunday to another, and never a bit of butter.' *

“I then descended into the parlour. The children were all seated on little stools that their father had made for them in his spare moments, and warming themselves round the fire, their little black shoes

• We wish the writer had been somewhat more explicit upon this subject. The ordinary wages of these coal men are about 20s. to 24s. per week, and we are told that the tee-totallers work as hard as any of them. How this tallies with their extreme poverty we know not.-ED,

resting on the white hearth. By their regular features, small mouths, large dark eyes, aud fair skins, no one would have taken them for a laboring man's family. In answer to my questions he said, “The eldest of them (a pretty little half-clad girl, seated in one corner) is ten, the next seven, that one five, that three, and this (a little thing perched upon the table near the mother) two. I've got all their ages in the Bible up stairs.' I remarked a strange look about one the little girls, “ Yes, she always suffered with that eye, and down at the hospital they lately performed an operation on it. An artificial pupil had been made.

“The room was closed in from the passage by rudely-built partition. “That I did myself in my leisure,' said the man ; 'it makes the room snugger. As he saw me looking at the clean rolling-pin and bright tins hung against the wall, he observed. That's all my wife's doing. She has got them together by sometimes going without dinner herself, and laying out the 2d. or 3d. in things of that sort. That is how she manages. To-day she has got us a sheep's head and a few turnips for our Sunday's dinner,' he added, taking off the lid of the boiling saucepan. Over the mantlepiece hung a picture of George IV., surrounded by four other frames. One of them contained merely three locks of hair. The man, laughing, told me, •Two of them are locks of myself and my wife, and the light one in the middle belonged to my wife's brother, who died in India.' That's her doing again,' he added.”

Enquiries and Correspondence.


No. 1. Pantheistic Mysticism. DEAR SIR,—Your correspondent A. J. H. does not appear to have


clear ideas of the terms he uses, Pantheism being one thing, and Mysticism quite another, with no necessary connection between the two.

Pantheism is one of the great tendencies of the human mind, the antagonist principle to polytheism, both which principles must have been co-existent with mind itself. The idea of Pantheism is, that there is one universal mind, and that all other minds are parts and off-sets from this universal mind; and are destined, at some future period, to coalesce with it. Thus, according to this principle, nature herself is part of the Divine mind; and thus nature, and everything else, is God.

Polytheism, on the contrary, is the idea of many separate and independent minds.

We see these two antagonist principles at work through the whole history of mind in all ages. Thus the vulgar faith at Athens was polytheism; Plato's creed was a pantheistic reformation

upon it. In India, both now, and for ages past, the same two principles have been at war; Brahmanism being a development of Polytheism, and Buddhism, the representative of Pantheism. Christianity, without of course borrowing from either, takes a middle course between the two, and partaking of both ideas, has in turn been represented as exclusively polytheistic, or purely pantheistic. Thus Rome, with her saint worship, leans towards the former : the Reformation was a revival of the pantheistic principle which had been lost sight of, and it has reached its culminating point in modern Germany.

We cannot do without either principle, only each must be kept in due subjection to the other. Thus if we take away the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, the idea of heaven becomes purely pantheistic. For in a future state, the body and all therewith connected being removed, nothing is left but the will, and all wills in a perfect state being supposed pure and holy, they will all tend to the same objects, and thus coalesce, and become one will,—that is, all mind will be merged into the one universal mind, from which it was originally an off-set-which is


Pantheism. Mysticism is not, any more than Pantheism, essentially “ infidelity," as your correspondent supposes. Indeed, mysticism in the proper sense of the word, is a most essential element of Christianity, and there is no danger of infidelity, unless the mystic principle has undue prominence assigned it. Mysticism supposes that there is a Divine principle of guidance within us, and that this is the source, or a source of all true knowledge. This is a doctrine most clearly inculcated in the Bible, as in John xiv. 26, and many other

passages. Mysticism is the last refuge of the human mind after all other sources of first principles of knowledge have been tried. Neither the senses, nor the reason, nor the traditionary principle will suffice, without a due blending of the mystic element.

« ZurückWeiter »