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to a purpose not adequate to carry out his own feelings; and, if consistent with the views of the subscribers, it was his wish and intention to expend the sum to be raised in the erection of a plain and substantial building for the accommodation of the Ragged and Reformatory Schools of Dundee, an institution which had already conferred the greatest benefits on the destitute and helpless portions of the rising generation; and in this way the liberality of his fellow-townsmen and friends might, by the blessing of God, be instrumental in insuring a sound religious education and industrial training to those who. were at present so eminently in need of their more favoured fellow-creatures. That he would therefore be prepared, when the presentation came to be made to him, to co-operate with the subscribers in carrying out the object which he had indicated, and it would be the proudest testimonial which could be offered to him, and the strongest incentive to those who should follow him to merit the good wishes of his constituents. The Sub-Committee have endeavoured to give Mr. Duncan's views as nearly as possible in his own words, and they have no doubt the generous and noble sentiments expressed by him will be fully appreciated by the community.
“It may be out of the province of that Sub-Committee to do more than to record the result of their meeting with Mr. Duncan, but they would respectfully suggest to the subscribers and receive the presentation in person, and that in our view a piece of plate, of however small amount, should be offered to Mr. Duncan, on which to record the inscription of the presentation, and of his generous and disinterested application of it.
Mr. Duncan being obliged to leave for London in the course of the present week to attend to his parliamentary duties, will not be able to meet the subscribers at present, but he has agreed, during the Easter recess, or or some early occasion, to meet with them. (Signed) “Dad. BAXTER, Convener. " THOMAS NEISH. DAVID SCOTT.
JOHN HURROCK. John SHIELL.”
To the Editor of the Ragged School Union Magazine. SIR,-May I inquire, through the pages of your Magazine, whether or not our Ragged Schools would be benefited by a judicious system of Rewards for Competition? I mean, not merely a partial system, but one connected uniform plan of procedure for individual schools, and also for the Ragged School Union. We are already rich in means, which would speedily increase if the principle should be approved and generally adopted. Some plan of the kind seems necessary, among others, for the following reasons :
At present, the smaller schools are the weakest, least organized, and most liable to the prevailing and fruitful evil-irregular attendance. Little good can be done with boys who attend only occasionally, and then at different schools—it is notorious that very many of them wander about from school to school, in search only of novelty and amusement, infecting the better disposed with a spirit of insubordination and mischief, which, in the Sunday Schools especially, renders the most strenuous efforts of the teachers abortive, or at best but seed-sowing by the way-side. In some schools, a continual succession of strange faces is noticed; but few are seen two or three months together, and those only at very irregular intervals. It is vain to expect permanent impressions under such circumstances, but the most obdurate offenders will
often yield to a continuous course of kind treatment, instruction, and advice. The evils complained of are greatest in the Sunday Schools, where order and regularity are of paramount importance, but the incentives to their observance are least ; this is of course owing to the apparently superior advantage, to the class concerned, of secular over religious instruction—the one being immediately subservient to their interests, while the other would, in most cases, be dispensed with altogether, were the religious element alone involved.
Important as the moral and religious training of this destitute class is, it is well known that many kind-hearted and willing labourers in this important field for exertion, are so discouraged by the inadequate fruits of their labours, and fall off to such a degree, that they cannot be induced to continue their work in sufficient numbers to supply the demand for their exertions ; this reacts upon the schools, and applicants are excluded, as each teacher can only keep a moderate number in order.
It occurs to me that these results are principally owing to the want of some such system as I propose, which shall appeal directly to the interests and feelings of the boys. Field Lane School is a case in point; a dormitory is attached, food is given, and trades are taught; as consequences, order reigns, the school prospers, and much good is effected. But all schools have not the same advantages, and the results are correspondingly barren. My idea is, that a system of rewards for competition would go far to obtain similar results in the smaller schools, besides being of advantage to the largerespecially if rewards were offered by the Ragged School Union to be competed for by all the schools. Such rewards as we can already offer might be made available, instead of being granted, as they now are, by favour. These are,—Emigration-Enlistment in the Shoe Black Society, Bands of Brassers, Mercuries, etc. Other rewards or prizes would no doubt be offered in due time, were the plan publicly announced; such as, sets of tools, books, money prizes, insertion of names in select registers as candidates for situationsthis last would no doubt be well supported by tradesmen and others, with such guarantees for good character. Probably it may be found expedient and possible to establish a separate and superior school instruction, in which should be one of the rewards.
The principle in question might, of course, be carried out independently in separate schools, but its success would be incalculably greater if adopted by the Ragged School Union.
Many modes of carrying out the idea might be suggested, perhaps the one in use in most private schools would be practicable. The superintendent of each school should keep a book in which the names are to be inserted, ruled and headed, and marks granted for good conduct, regular attendance, proficiency in the several branches of instruction, etc.-special importance being attached to the marks granted in the Sunday School. To secure uniformity, not more than one mark should be granted under one head at any one time, except in the Sunday Schools, in which two might be given. All the schools to commence granting marks from the same periods—say the 1st of January and July, and notice to be given to the Union of an intention to compete for these prizes. It is obvious that no difficulty would occur in distributing rewards in separate schools, but it would be necessary that the Union should offer at least one prize for each school, or more in proportion to the numbers in larger schools.
By this plan each scholar would have a double incentive to exertion-the prizes of his own school and those of the Union ; it seems likely to give the required stimulus, and each boy would find his interest in striving for rewards, which now have little or no temptation for him, and seem hopeless of attainment.
Girls have not been mentioned, but of course similar plans might be devised for them.
Should these suggestions-submitted in a very crude form, amid the pressure of other engagements, prove to be of any practical value, my pleasure will be great in having served, even in the least degree, so excellent à cause.
I am, sir, yours very truly,
F. P. W. [A general and systematic application of a plan similar to the above is now under the consideration of the Committee, having been originally suggested by Mr. W. Locke. It is obvious, that until it has been matured a more formal announcement of it in our pages would be premature.-Ed.]
To the Editor of the Ragged School Union Magazine. Dear Sir,-Allow me, through the medium of your columns, briefly to report the results of the Ladies' Sale, held a few months ago for the benefit of the Golden Lane Ragged Schools. I regret that an earlier notice of it has not appeared as an encouragement to others, and especially as an acknowledgment to those friends who so generously contributed their handiwork - but lengthened absence from town must be my apology.
You are aware that great difficulty has ever been experienced in raising funds for this school in its own neighbourhood. “I contribute to a Ragged School near to my residence,” has often been the reply of the city merchant, although we were pleading for a population living within a short distance of the very spot where all his wealth has been accumulated. Hence, our ragged bark has often been sailing among financial breakers, creaking, leaking, and sinking. Last autumn, when we were almost under water, the ladies hastened to the rescue. Every hand, head, pen, needle, tongue and foot, was set in motion; and in a few weeks the fruits of their industrious activity were exhibited on amply furnished stalls in the Jewin Street School-room, which was kindly granted by the Committee free of expense. The scene was greatly enlivened by the notes of a well-toned pianoforte, kindly lent by the maker, and efficiently played by a lady volunteer. So numerous were the customers, so willing to buy and pay full-price for everything they purchased, that at the close of the second day it was found advisable to extend the sale over a third. The consequence was that almost every article was sold, and as the result, £116 was handed over to replenish the more than empty coffers of the Treasurer, after paying all expenses.
It is unnecessary to add that we were grateful beyond measure for this unexpected assistance, and greatly encouraged to continued perseverance.
Like honest men, the first portion of the goodly sum was expended in paying our debts, the next in the purchase of a School Library, and a third item on a Parents' Tea Meeting. This important gathering was attended with hopeful symptoms, and from which we expect good to follow. Some of the poor creatures came in borrowed garments—others were obtained from the Ragged School Union, and not a few possessed a greater quantity of " valuable property” in the rags that covered them, than all the furniture in their cheerless homes. The few homely, affectionate addresses delivered, were listened to with marked attention; and the company, one hundred and sixty in number, dispersed at an early hour, many of them breathing blessings on their bene. factors, and expressing gratitude for their kindness. Nor were the enjoyments of the evening confined alone to the recipients, for not a few of us felt, with a force like the freshness of a new discovery, that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Yours, dear Sir, ever truly,
ALEXANDER ANDERSON, Hon. Sec,
The Children's Gallery.
Let us gaze,
THE BOUQUET AND THE BIBLE. The day was a fine day, but an unexpected shower suddenly drove two or three little parties into the cottage for a temporary shelter ; a Bible and a bouquet of flowers lay upon the table.
A shrewd-looking man, one of the company, approached the table—he was an infidel. He opened the Bible, and closed it again with a smile that was mingled with derision. He then took up the bouquet. “This suits me best,” said he, with an exulting air, “for it has no mysteries ; I can understand it; its colours are fair, and its scent delightful.” Saying this, he pulled a flower from the bouquet, and stuck it in his bosom.
A pause succeeded; but it was soon broken by an old gentleman, whose meek and mercy-loving face was grateful to gaze on, and whose grey hair entitled him to respect. He had heard the observation of the infidel, and felt anxious to counteract its influence; advancing to the table, he also took up the bouquet.
“How bounteous in this gift,” said he, " is the Father of mercies! This bouquet is delightful. How delicately formed are these beautiful flowers! How rich are their varied tints, and how sweet is the fragrance they exhale! But shall we forego the joy of inhaling their fragrance, and the delight of gazing upon their beauty, because we cannot explain the hidden mysteries of their existence? We know not how the dry, husky, unsightly seed, when set in the ground, could start up into such glorious forms. We cannot tell how it is that from the same soil such different stems should spring, and on the same flower such varied tints appear; nor know we why some of the fairest and sweetest of flowers should be thickly pointed with thorns. These things are mysteries; but if we wait till we can comprehend them, the flowers will fade
away, for their life is short. then, on their beauty, and inhale their fragrance while we may.”
“And why should we not,” continued he, putting down the bouquet and taking up the Bible,—“Why should we not use the Word of God in the same way ? This blessed book prompts us to all that is good, warns us against everything that is evil, and, amid the darkness of this bad world, points us to brighter and a better. Mysteries it has—deep and awful mysteries—which its almighty Author alone can explain ; but shall we waste our short lives in brooding over them, and neglect the greater part which is quite plain, and overlook the manifold mercies it proffers for our acceptance ? While the Holy Scriptures reprove us in error, guide us in difficulty, console us in sorrow, port us in sickness and in death, shall we undervalue and neglect them? Never! Let us leave, then, all mysteries, both of providence and grace, till it shall please God to unravel them to our understanding; and, in the mean time, let us, while rejoicing that God's works and words both show that he is "The Wonderful!' gratefully place the glowing flowers of the bouquet in our bosoms, and the glorious consolations of the Bible in our hearts.” -The Visitor.
A SWARM OF BEES FROM A SCRIP.
Be quiet,-more ready to hear than to speak;
EXETER BUILDINGS RAGGED SCHOOL.
THE Annual Meeting of the above school was held on Wednesday evening, February 11th, in the Presbyterian church, Halkin Street, West Chelsea. There was a crowded and highly respectable company of friends of Ragged Schools. The Earl of Shaftesbury presided. The Report was highly satisfactory, and the Meeting was addressed by Admiral F. E. V. Harcourt, Capt. F. Maude, R.N., Joseph Payne, Esq., Rev. F. Rogers, Rev. J. E. White, M.A., and Rev. J. Alexander.
JURŠTON STREET SCHOOL, LAMBETH. On Wednesday, February 4th, the Annual Meeting of the above school was held in the schoolroom, which was most tastefully ornamented with banners, with appropriate inscriptions, ever
A large company of friends partook of tea, to which ample justice having been done, the tables were removed, and seats arranged as closely as possible, but even then there was insufficient accommodation for the numerous attendance that thronged the room.
The Earl of Shaftesbury having taken the Chair, said he regretted his stay at the meeting would be necessarily short, as about half an hour before he left his residence he received some very painful intelligence; notwithstanding, he had determined to be present, if but only for five minutes, for he felt particularly interested in the operations of that school, it being the first he visited when he commenced the Ragged School campaign. Besides, he knew not of any school that deserved public support more, that was better conducted, had been crowned with more abundant success, nor where the zeal continued so unabated. Let this prosperity, however, he urged, only prompt to renewed efforts in their combat with the sin and pollution which abounded on every side. His lordship expressed himself deeply indebted for the manner in which he had been received. He regarded it as personal, and was much gratified.
The Report was read by Mr. Harriss; it stated that “the neighbourhood in which the school is situated is second to none as far as regards its moral necessities. In passing the streets, courts, and alleys, the ear is constantly assailed with oaths, or profane and filthy language. The immediate neighbourhood has long been a continued scene of Sabbath breaking; and yet, amidst these fearful things, the men and women of the next generation are educated and trained. The school, at the present time, is in a more prosperous state than at any other period of its history. The average
attendance of children from March to August is 117 boys, 131 girls, total 248.
From September to February 175 boys, 155 girls, total 330. Teachers for the year 31. The working class for girls is in full operation, the average attendance for the year being 22. 346 garments, including frocks, etc., have been made and sold to the children at half of the cost price of the material. There is a balance due to the Treasurer of £1. 08. 10d.
The meeting was subsequently addressed by Rev. J. Sherman, Rev. J. Branch, and Rev, Mr. Davis, Joseph Payne, Esq., and Messrs. Henson, West, and Harriss.
SLANEY STREET RAGGED SCHOOL,
BIRMINGHAM. The Third Anniversary of the Slaney Street Ragged School, Birmingham, was celebrated on Friday evening, January 9th, by the subscribers and friends of the institution taking tea together in the school-roum, which had been decorated with artificial flowers and evergreens for the occasion. Mr. Joseph Sturge presided over the proceedings which followed the repast. During the proceedings a number of the boys and girls attached to the school sung several pieces of sacred music; and some rugs, the production of the scholars, were submitted for inspection.
Mr. Jennings read the Report, which was of a very gratifying character. It stated that the number of children in the school was steadily increasing, and that they not only exhibited a growing readiness to receive instruction, but a general improvement, which exerted a salutary influence on their parents and the neighbourhood. Last year the number on the books was seventy, and the average attendance forty;
the number was ninety, and the average attendance fifty. During the early part of last year a separate fund was raised, by which the children were supplied with a good dinner twice a week. The Committee were much indebted to Mr. J. C. Aston for the use of the present school-room, which is larger and more commodious than that occupied last year, and also to other donors and friends for their pecuniary assistance.
Mr. Houghton, Treasurer, read the cash account, from which it appeared there was a balance in hand of 6s. lld.
Mr. Jennings stated that the Committee thought of establishing an industrial class, and of providing food for the children. During the last year, the children made 1,398 coffee bags; they were now being taught shirt-making, and how to make beds out of small bits of paper, which made tolerably good beds, but required regularly shaking up, as feather beds.
Mr. Stokes stated that the first Ragged School ever commenced in the country originated in