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Original Papers.


WE have often felt it painfully interesting to listen to the simple narrative of a juvenile outcast. The romantic adventures-the schemes and scrambles for a bare existence the strange admixture of honesty and deception, simplicity and cunning, of which his character seemed to be composed; the fearful past, the dreadful present, and the hopeless future gathering around him—have sometimes almost forced us to the conclusion, that surely in such circumstances "ignorance is bliss," and indifference a sad necessity. Doubtless, the most callous and indifferent are best able to bear up under the pressure of so hard a lot; and those who have no softening recollections of early childhood and happier homes, will be less able to realise the magnitude of their present miseries, or dread the portentous shadows of the coming future. But very different is the experience of many a friendless outcast wandering on the world's highways. However much the effects of a life of vagrancy acting upon a young and plastic spirit, may tend to deaden the sensibilities of his nature, and enable him to laugh and leap even in his wretchedness, yet there are times when the memories of better days will rise up like visions of the past, reminding him of painful partings and severed friendships. As he lies at midnight under a cold archway, burying his naked feet in the damp and dirty straw, he can scarcely help wishing it were a corner of his mother's grave, for ever since the day she died he has neither tasted the blessings of home nor the sweets of sympathy. True, she was very poor-often poorer than she might have been-but even in her drunken moments she often showed a childish kindness, which, coarse though it was, he would wander far to taste again. Often he thinks of that sad morning when he bade her farewell, although he knew nothing of the sea of misery that lay before him. He is willing now to forget her faults, and read the measure of his loss in her better deeds, for in her absence there is nothing left but hunger and the world's frown. He could not prevent her death, but the world treats him now as if he caused it; for frowns and floggings, kicks and curses, are mingled with his daily lot. He did not steal at first, but he soon found that begging was an equal crime that the same cell was often reserved for the orphan-beggar and the hardened thief. Although he knew nothing of heaven or hell, or a judgment seat, he was afraid of death when his little brother died; but now, in his thoughtful moods, he often longs to share his bed, for he feels sure that in dying soon he had the better fate.

We believe it is a fact, not sufficiently considered, that a majority of those poor children who are sunk in the extremes of destitution and misery are in a state of orphanage. In many cases it will be found that the number of parents belonging to the children attending an ordinary Sabbath school is nearly double the amount of those who represent an equal number of ragged children. This may partly arise from the intemperate habits of the parents, and the filthy pestilential dens in which they are forced to congregate; but we have reason to know that in many



instances the parents were decent and industrious, until prolonged sickness reduced them to extreme poverty, and when death came it left the children helpless and destitute.

On a late examination of the minute book of the Grotto Passage Industrial School, we found entries of forty-three boys admitted into the institution varying from eleven to seventeen years of age. The ground of their admission was not orphanage, yet we find that out of the whole number there was not one boy who had both parents alive; four had no mother, eighteen had no father, and twenty-one out of the fortythree had neither father nor mother. Scarcely have we ever perused a more affecting record of the dreadful consequences of desolate and unprotected orphanhood:-" Father dead nine years, mother dead ten;" "Father dead twelve years, mother dead eleven;" "Father dead six years, mother dead four years." Such commence the first entries of this repertory of juvenile suffering and crime. In very many cases the deaths of the parents form the date of the children's downfall. How could it be otherwise? Often cast upon the open streets, without either friend or counsellor, their first refuge is a low lodging-house, where they are speedily instructed in the arts of thieving, and every possible facility and encouragement afforded them. Nor is it merely in the Grotto Schools that cases of orphanage preponderate, but the facts are similar in connection with every industrial school in London and the provinces. From the examination papers of nearly five hundred candidates for emigration, we find that not one-fourth of the children had both parents alive.

In the usual course of events it is scarcely possible to imagine a case of more unmixed suffering than such as we have heard related by some of those friendless children. The home broken up the very day on which the only parent was buried, the sticks of furniture seized by the landlord, and the poor friendless child left to wander where he might. A case of this nature was lately brought under our notice, the details of which we shall briefly state, merely because they illustrate the experience of many others. A poor working man in Lambeth, when returning one Sabbath afternoon from a Ragged School, found a little boy sitting in a very destitute condition on the steps of a door. There was an affectionate simplicity in his forlorn and desolate looks that particularly arrested his attention. He took him home, supplied him with food and lodging for the night, and on the following morning brought him to Exeter Hall, with the view of obtaining admission for him into the Westminster Refuge. The little orphan was about thirteen years of age, the son of a weaver who formerly lived in the New Cut. His mother died when he was a baby, so that he had no recollection of her. The father died about twelve months since, partly from the effects of drink. His loom and furniture were sold the same day on which he was buried, to pay the expenses of his funeral. When the poor boy returned from the grave he found a man busy removing them. Nothing was left for him-not even a morsel of food, a place of shelter for the night, or the sympathies of a single friend. With swollen eyes and a bursting heart he left the empty room, and wandered forth a homeless unprotected outcast. Vainly he searched for a place of shelter, until at last, tired and wearied, he crept into an open cart; there he lay till morning, with the blue sky for his only covering, and watched by the

sleepless eye of Him who hath promised to be a "Father to the fatherless," and the stay of the orphan. For some time afterwards he repaired each night to a railway arch; but even of this slender privilege he was at length deprived, for the police, on discovering his place of concealment, turned him away. After this he took refuge in the boot of an omnibus, special permission having been obtained, through the kind intervention of the driver's son. After begging a bit of soap, he generally repaired weekly to a hot-water pipe belonging to a manufactory near the river, where shirt and skin were as thoroughly washed as if under the direction of a Sanitary Commissioner. For upwards of twelve months the poor orphan wandered the streets in this forlorn condition, scarcely ever in a bed, except for a short time when he obtained admission into a workhouse. By his gratitude and attention shown since admitted into the Refuge, he has proved himself worthy of a better home.

Much has been said and sung respecting the claims of the orphan, and not a few have liberally manifested for them a praiseworthy sympathy; but until the establishment of Ragged and Industrial Schools, the only refuge for the orphans of the very poor was the prison or the workhouse. As early as the year 1703, an Orphan School and Refuge was established in London, and twenty-five others have since then been erected; but out of the whole number there is not one available for children such as we have described. In some "preference is given to those descended from respectable parents," and in others to the children of " parents who have moved in the middle and respectable classes of society-but no provision was made for the orphan child, who could not procure a bed the first night after his father's funeral, and whose only "proxies" were the evidences of want and prolonged suffering. It remained for the friends of Ragged Schools to make provision for them; and certainly there is not one other feature in their merciful designs that ought to secure for them a stronger claim upon the sympathy and liberality of all classes of Christians.



I SUPPOSE that every one of a loving heart, truly desirous of lending a helping hand in any benevolent undertaking, must, now and then, be puzzled in trying to solve this common-place, but very difficult problem-" What can I do and say that will most effectually serve the good cause before me?" To work out this problem, neither the definitions, the postulates, nor the axioms of Euclid, afford us the slightest assistance. Many a head and many a heart has ached without being able to come to any satisfactory conclusion on the matter; but such headaches and heartaches are excellent things. Have you ever, reader, had a headache or a heartache, on behalf of Ragged Schools? Often have I seen-and I daresay that you have also observed the same thing-the first three or four horses of a loaded wagon, walking along idly, and not so much as keeping the traces tight, but leaving the shafter to do all the work. This is too much the case with benevolent undertakings; for while the greater number of those who engage in them scarcely keep their traces tight, a few warm-hearted shafters take on themselves the principal part of the labour.

If, in Christian enterprises, the work to be done could be more equally shared, it would make the labour lighter; but as there are some who will work, so are there some, also, who will remain idle. Were I, in the event of a division of labour in the Ragged School movement, left at liberty to choose my own allotment, it should be the pleasant task of animating the teachers in the course they are pursuing I mean the thorough-going and devoted teachers, whose hearts are in their employment-for I cannot help thinking that in encouraging such, in the humble, patient, prayerful, and persevering discharge of the duties they have undertaken, we are oiling the very hinges of the whole machine. If I could be satisfied that I had set the pulses of a hundred teachers throbbing more healthily, and their hearts beating more ardently for the welfare of the cause they support, it would be as a cordial

to me.

"Great Fountain, whence all good must flow,
Creator, Sovereign, Saviour,
Deign on their labours to bestow

Marks of thy special favour;

And let their seasons, as they move,

Be times of peace, and joy, and love."

I want teachers to feel that when they go forth to battle against the great Goliaths of juvenile ignorance and depravity, with the sling and smooth stones of God's Word, and an upright intention, that they go not forth alone, but that they are attended with the good wishes and prayers of multitudes whose faces they see not, and whose voices they cannot hear. I want them to feel as David felt, when he said, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel," 1 Sam. xvii. 45, 46.


"When it is remembered," says an able pen, "that the great majority of the Ragged School teachers had no time to spare, and that what they gave the instruction of these outcasts was taken from the little time they had for healthful relaxation or mental improvement, it is not too much to say that self-denial has seldom been exhibited on a larger scale, not even in the boasted religious brotherhoods of the Romish Church.'



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It is said that a sheep-farmer in the Highlands, remarkable for the amount of his stock and sales, while boasting one night over his cups of his doings at Falkirk, and of the vast number of his flocks, was interrupted by one of his companions with the remark, Why, you are making yourself as great a man as the Duke of Wellington." The Duke of Wellington!"_replied the other, with a look of astonishment, not unmingled with pity-"It was easy enough for the Duke of Wellington to put down his men at Waterloo-some men here, and some men there, up and down in the fields—but let him try to put down ten thousand sheep, forbye (besides) black cattle, at Falkirk Tryst, (station,) and it's my opinion he'll make a very confused business of it."

Now, should any one of my readers interrupt me with the remark, "Why, you are making Ragged School teachers as great as if they were learned professors and doctors of divinity"-my reply must be somewhat after the fashion of the Highlander-" It may be an easy thing for the head-masters of our public schools to impart knowledge to tractable and obedient scholars, but had they tried their hands a year ago in educating a few hundred turbulent and refractory Ragged School scholars, forbye a fair sprinkling of Happy Jacks, Long Bills, Black Joes, and Irish Toms, reckless rogues and vagabonds among them, at Spitalfields, Golden Lane, Old Pye Street, and Seven Dials Trysts, it's my opinion they would have made but a very confused business of it."

While different opinions are held and freely expressed on the success or

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want of success of Ragged Schools, teachers will do well to fix their attention, not on what these schools have not effected, but on what they have. And instead of afflicting themselves with the thought that they have done so little, thank God, who in his goodness has enabled them to do so much. This view will animate them, encourage them, and help them, and they will respond to the motto, "Up, and be doing," not listlessly, but with alacrity.

Among the many departments of usefulness in which it is very desirable the friends of Ragged Schools should " up, and be doing," is that of providing striking and interesting papers, very short and very attractive, for distribution. The immoral publications now extant are as numberless as the herrings and pilchards that from time to time visit our shores. How are we to keep up with them? Folios are out of fashion, if we could print them; and if they were not, they would be unwieldy or useless. Quartos are little read, and octavos, and even duodecimos, are not equal to the exigency. I should like to see, floating in the air, like flakes of snow, and falling in the pathway of the youthful throng, innumerable scraps of prose and poesy, suited to the occasion. I should like to see, flowing through the densely-populated alleys and courts of Westminster, Southwark, and the City, a flood of short, pithy, practical papers, that would require but little trouble to read, and impose but little difficulty in committing them to memory. The following piece, that has just attracted my attention, might serve as a kind of model. Some might bear the impress of usefulness, some of morality, and some of religion.


Dost see that hall, with massive wall,
And Gothic nooks and niches ?
The squire lives there, in grief and care,
Intent on getting riches.

But where the trees wave in the breeze,
By gentle zephyrs driven,

Old Jacob prays through all his days,
And seeks for joy in heaven.

Oh, tell me, ye of mirth and glee,
While death is drawing nigher,

Who fares the best in peace and rest,

Old Jacob or the squire ?

That thousands and tens of thousands of these would be lost, trodden under foot, and come to nothing, is certain, but thus it is with the seeds that supply us with food-some fall by the way-side, and some in stony places; some are taken by the birds of the air, and some are choked with thorns. Yet are there those that fall into good ground, and bring forth fifty and a hundredfold. Up, and be doing," you who have the means.


It is wonderful how the desire to do a thing quickens the invention and increases the ability. If the desire to be " up, and be doing" for Ragged Schools, could once be generally called forth, what a glorious reformation might be effected! Men are, however, of different dispositions. Where one lives, another starves; and this remark is true, not only physically, but mentally, morally, and spiritually. One man dies of thirst, where another digs a well, and drinks of the water. One man longs for the fruit that is far above his reach; another climbs the tree and obtains it. One man's mind is not acted on by the beauties of the natural creation; another finds in earth, air, sea, and skies, a thousand thoughts, and the germs of a thousand aspirations. One man lives viciously where there is little temptation; another lives a virtuous life in an atmosphere tainted with immorality: and where one man lives without God in the world, another sees God in all things, fears God, loves God, obeys God, and lives to his glory. These remarks are as practical as they are true.

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