Изображения страниц



of folly, if not impropriety. In these different kinds of life, however, from the best to the worst, there are drawbacks, difficulties, snares, and dangers, which, though in some degree common to all, seem peculiarly to beset the path of the factory-girl. Of these we shall mention, in the first place, her ignorance of household concerns. In no class is the knowledge of common things” lamentably deficient, as in factory-girls; not only while they continue such, but when they have assumed the more responsible situations of wives, mothers, and housekeepers. From six in the morning till six at night, with the exception of meal-times, the mill-girl lives in a world of machinery. The management of looms and shuttles, warps and wefts, mules and throstles, is, of necessity, her first thought and duty. After mill-hours she dresses, pays visits, and gossips for the rest of the evening; and so it happens, that of working with her hands in a house, of managing with prudence and economy, and of making other people comfortable, she knows literally nothing. This would not be so bad, if she intended to remain all her life behind her loom; but-as productive of most of the misery, discontent, and bad habits, of our manufacturing towns and districts -it comes to be a national calamity, when women, thus totally uneducated for domestic life, marry from the mills, as they generally do, and take upon themselves the important every-day duties, for which they are totally unfit.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ That's true, I'm sure," said Mary. “I mind there was a woman, who had been a lady's-maid, in a court near to where I lived in Manchester, and she made quite a fortune by patching the clothes of the handless bodies that couldn't sew for themselves. She got 3d. or 4d. for a patch; and that was a sad drain on a large family, wi' bairns aye tearing themselves."

“But what hindered them to learn, the feckless creturs ?” said Betty Smith.

They've got into the way of not doing the things; and unless they learn young, their fingers, that have been aye twirling at machines, get stiff and useless."

“I'm sure, Mary, we'll thank you a' our days for teaching us sewing,” said Anne Foster; "though I thought it hard to do at first. Mither says, it's saved her a heap o' trouble, sin' I began to mend for the bairns and mysel'."

This is not the case with one mill-girl only, or a dozen, or a hundred; but, unfortunately, with nearly the whole class. Wherever, in our wide manufacturing districts, we enter a house which is particularly uncomfortable, and ill managed, the mistress of which-though perhaps amiable and well-meaning-cannot boil a potato, or darn a stocking, or mend a shirt; whose hands seem as if they were no hands; whose head is filled with nothing but idleness, dress, and vanity; we may be pretty sure that that woman was married from the mill. And, 0! that the mischief stopped there. Alas! for the bad sons and the ruined daughters, that have sprung from the ignorant homes of manufacturing towns. Mr. Wright, the “prisoner's friend,” who has laboured for forty years among the crime-stricken and the wretched in Manchester, bears witness, that, in every case, the evil could be traced to the bad mother and the uncomfortable home; that out of twenty-nine criminals, whom he has attended to the scaffold, only one had had a good mother: all the others denounced the mother and the home, -two words that ought to be sacred on earth, and pronounced with gratitude in heaven. Rouse yourselves, then, Oye mill-girls of England and Scotland ! more work lies at your hands than throwing the shuttle, or guiding the machine : you have to prepare yourselves for future life, here and hereafter. You are but girls now, it is true; but you must either help to restore health




and safety to the masses of manufacturing life, or you must add misery, and degradation, and infection to them. You are but girls, it is true; but the common duties of life which we require you to learn, and to learn well, are not too heavy for your age: now is the time, if ever. We would beseech you, therefore, dear young friends, not to despise these common things, as mill-girls, living in large towns, and engaged in the large pieces of work peculiar to factories, are apt to do. Learn a lesson from the majestio steam-engine which you see every day; look at the unceasing industry and vast power with which it performs, quietly and well, the smallest as well as the largest portions of its work; see how—despising nothing, neglecting nothing—it goes on its daily mission, a rebuke to the idler and the trifler beside it. It is difficult, indeed, for those who have ten hours of constant work to find time out of the hours which they consider their own for rest and amusement, to learn things for which they have no natural taste : but were the old fable to come true, that wizards could show in a magic glass the scenes of future life,-and you could see what you were to be and to do, and what your children and your husbands were to be and to do in consequence, -you would grudge no time, no pains, no loss of amusement; you would count this domestic knowledge which we are endeavouring to commend to your attention, as only inferior in importance, and, in fact, going hand in hand with the knowledge of your Bible and the fear of

your God.

"0! if ye knew the distress I've seen,” said Mary, "and the misery that might hae been spared, if the women had been trained, or had trained themselves, in their spare hours, you would lay these words to heart, dear lassies."

“But how folks are to learn, I dinna see, especially in other places where there's no you to help, Mary, dear,” said Katie Johnson.

“Where there's a will there's a way; but I'll just read on.”—Miss Brewster.

(To be continued.)

FUNERAL OF A GREEK ARCHBISHOP. During a residence of some weeks on the little island of Vido, I was enabled, by the unusual calmness of the weather, to make many interesting trips to the mainland of Corfu, in order to inform myself as to the manners and customs of its inhabitants. The death of the Greek Archbishop, which took place a few days after our arrival, gave me an opportunity of beholding one of the most curious customs with which the barbaric splendour of the Greek Church still loves to astonish its votaries. In one of my strolls through the city, I unexpectedly found myself in the presence of a vast concourse of people, who, crowding round a lofty flight of steps leading to the door of a handsome Greek church, evidently appeared to await the performance of some religious rite. Prompted by curiosity, and assisted by my uniform, I gained a ready admission into the interior of the building, which was also thronged with a living mass of both sexes, and of every age. The object of attraction, whatever it might be, was not at first distinguishable ; but, observing that the ardent gaze of the multitude was turned towards the altar, I forced my way, not without difficulty, to the head of the church, from whence I beheld a sight, the most interesting, though barbarous, that can be imagined. In the front of the altar, occupying a chair of state, sat a most dignified and commanding personage; his clear olive complexion, his high aquiline nose, and beautifully-chiselled mouth, gave a dignity to his mien which I have never seen surpassed. The mitre on his brow, the costly robe, the crosier in one hand, and the Bible in the other, at once proclaimed his high ecclesiastical rank; while, one by one, the silent and seemingly awe-stricken spectators were admitted within the altar, to kiss the hand of their beloved High Priest. What could it mean? I gazed more intently. The noble old man was evidently asleep; at least his eyes were closed. “Dorme," I whispered to a respectable-looking native who stood near me. No, no, Signore, non dorme ; è morto.” The mystery was solved. Could it be? Was that princely broy indeed damp with the dews of death ? Had the pulses of that upright and commanding form indeed ceased to beat? It was, alas ! but too true. More interested than ever, now that I comprehended the scene, I watched with untiring patience the evident marks of true and unaffected grief displayed towards their dead Archbishop. Little children and women embraced his hand, while the scalding tears of unfeigned sorrow coursed down their swarthy cheeks. Did they grieve for the man or the Bishop? It matters not: never was sincerity more apparent. Was it indeed death that I saw before me? I could scarcely believe it. The clear olive complexion of the dead man spoko not of dissolution: ho seemed calmly and silently to slumber; but it was his last slumber on earth. What a singular scene! a dead man's levée; for such it was, to all intents and purposes : and yet what levée of the living had ever called forth such unmistakeable signs of affection and respect ? Spell-bound by so strange a ceremony, I lingered for some time in the interior of the church, observing the ebullitions of affection and superstition so variously displayed by this excitable people.

Anxious to obtain full information relative to this ceremony, I at last learned that, as soon as the “Reverendissimo Arcivescovo" had breathed his last, the insensate clay was arrayed in all the proud insignia of earthly rank, placed in a chair of state, and carried by his ecclesiastical brethren to the principal church of the city; where, in accordance with established custom, it was to remain exposed to the gaze of the multitude for a period of three days, previous to being publicly interred with all the honours of the orthodox Greek Church. The following day I paid a hurried visit to the ghostly reception, and found the principal actor in this strange drama firm and erect as on the preceding day; and the crowd, if possible, more numerous and enthusiastic than ever. The hand alone of the Bishop seemed to have suffered, from the repeated and affectionate salutations of his mourning flock.

The funeral was to take place on the following day, and I resolved to be a witness of the closing scene : so, taking advantage of the kindness of a friend who had offered me a place on his balcony, I was early at my post, in order to lose no part of so unusual a spectacle. Noon had been announced by a furious peal from every church-bell in the city, and the roar of the minute-gun loudly proclaimed that the funeral cortège had commenced its march. A long procession of bearded and moustached Priests has already reached and passed the spot where we are standing; banners, symbols, and canopies are seen advancing in rich profusion; while, far in the rear, the body of the Bishop, still seated in his chair of state, is seen high above the heads of the spectators, borne on the shoulders of a dozen men. What is it that now approaches ? Every head is uncovered, every knee is bent, while each hand is engaged in making the sign of the cross, with a rapidity that is truly surprising. A rich canopy of silk, carried by four Priests, shades from the sun and the wind some precious relic. What can it be? It is carried on a yelyet cushion, and covered by a glass


[blocks in formation]

case ; it is thin and pointed, resembling a head of asparagus. Burning with curiosity, I descend into the street, and address the nearest spectator : Che cosa è questa, Signore ?" Reverently uncovering, and rapidly crossing himself, he politely and gravely replies, “Signore, è l'indice di un santo.Bah! “the forefinger of a saint!” I indignantly repeat in English, as I return to my former position. Long lines of men and boys, carrying huge lighted waxcandles, skirt the procession on either side; while banners are waving and incense burning in every direction. But what is this that again causes each knee to bend, each head to be uncovered, while the commotion and enthusiasm is even greater than before ? It is the patron saint of the island, an embalmed mummy; who, enclosed in a costly case of silver, with a glass front, which permits his dried and blackened features to be visible, has descended from his mountain-convent to do honour to the dead man's obsequies. At last comes the cynosure of every eye, the man in whose honour we are all assembled, -- the departed Archbishop: but how changed from the preceding day! The movement to which he has been subjected has shaken the dignity from that ample brow, the repose from that commanding figure: the mitre, the crosier, and the revered Bible, are indeed there; but where is the stately look of the ecclesiastical potentate, which should have added a living charm to these insignia of earthly power? Alas! the all but decomposed dignitary presents a ghastly spectacle of mortality in its most revolting form; the head now rests on the shoulder, and nods with each motion of the bearers; while the hand, which still grasps the crosier, has fallen from its position, and hangs listlessly by the side of the corpse. A still larger train of Priests followed their chief; while in the rear of all came the functionaries of the republic, the Members of Assembly, the President and Senate, the Lord High Commissioner, and a numerous staff. Such is the procession that accompanied this respected, and, I believe, excellent Prelate to his last home, (where he is not, however, destined to repose,) till, amidst the booming of cannon, and the pealing of churchbells, the funeral pageant has traversed every thoroughfare of the city ; which necessary custom being fulfilled, the mournful train direct their now weary steps to the vault,-where, divested of his costly raiment, the body of the once beloved Ecclesiastic at last finds a peaceful though temporary home.-Hogg.

GIVING THE HEART. "MOTHER!” said a little boy, who had only numbered three summers, "what does it mean to give your heart to God ?” The mother put down her sewing, and, looking at her boy, said, “Charlie, do you love anybody ?" With a look of surprise, the child answered, “I love you; I love my father, and my sister, and Henry." "Then you give your heart to your father, to Henry, to Four sister, and to me; and you show that love by doing all you can for us, and obeying our commands.” The child's face looked bright with a new thought. And you ought,” continued the mother, “ to love God best, because He gave you your father and mother, and all your friends and comforts; and He gave you His dear Son Jesus Christ, who came from heaven to die, that you may live for ever.” I do want to give my heart to Him, mother: how shall I do it ?” The mother taught him to tell Jesus his wants, and led him by her example into the good way. His child-life did not disappoint her hopes. He always tried to live like Jesus. Charles is now one of the best of men, and he

says had one of the best of mothers.—Mother's Friend.


tears, seated on the ground, and surAFTER the men had finished their re- rounded by walls half in ruins, the old past, the women began; they always eating man resembled Jeremiah weeping over separately and last. This is another the desolation of Jerusalem : “Behold," reflection of Arabic manners; a barbarous said he, “all that now remains to us of custom, which places the woman in an our holy books of the Law !" inferior position to the man. In this 1, in my turn, examined the shred of respect the Jewees of the desert is no parchment, the yellow tint of which atbetter off than the Moorish woman, as, tested its great antiquity, and which, by from the time of her marriage (which a singular accident, to which the old man generally takes place at the age of twelve called my attention, was found to contain or thirteen) until old age comes on, she all the series of curses and miseries which remains withdrawn from public gaze, and Moses had predicted to the Israelites in it is only under very rare circumstances case they should transgress the law of that she goes out of her husband's house. their God. The aged women alone have liberty to go “Is it not evident from that,” said the out as they like, to procure the necessary old man, “ that the anger of Adonaï is not articles for their use. However, (and this yet appeased, and that Israel has yet à is a remarkable thing,) polygamy, so long time to suffer?” much practised by the Arabs, has not “ Truly,” said I, “our misfortunes are penetrated into the houses of the Jews. great; but does not God know how to Thus the family-tie, besides being drawn remove them? Often does He make good tighter by persecution and the necessity to result from a wicked action : was it of union, is much better developed in not by the sin of his brothers that Joseph them than in the Arabs.

became chief among the Egyptians, as The most profound silence reigned well as the saviour of the children of during the whole of the repast; and it Jacob? If violence has been committed was not until after the final benediction on any of thine, it must be attributed, that Elihu said to me: “ Thou seest that without doubt, to the soldiers of the Arab the children of the desert are not happy, race, misled by the sight of blood and the and the wrath of Adonaï has not ceased desire of pillage. God will not abandon to fall upon Israel. The time no longer His people; since on this very remnant of exists in which we were the happiest the holy records which you have shown people on the face of the earth; when me, and which contains so many terrible Abraham, our father, could offer under predictions, it is written, 'And yet for all his tent to the angels of the Most High a that, when they be in the land of their munificent hospitality, or King Solomon enemies, I will not cast them away, neither could distribute silver as stones for abun- will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, dance. Rejected and despised, Israel and to break My covenant with them; for suffers still for the crimes of her fathers; I am the Lord their God."" and a year has not passed since the time “ So be it," replied the old man. when Adonas raised up against us new that Adonaï would turn His face toward enemies, who came from afar, and have us, and restore peace to my children, and spread among us misery and death. above all, to Naomi my beloved daughter!" Women and children have fallen under Is Naomi, then, very unhappy ?" I the sword of the French, our little fortune asked, being curious to learn some details has become the booty of the soldier, our of the history of this young widow. temple is nothing better than a ruin, the “ She is the most sorrowful of the holy books of the Law even have not been daughters of Rebecca," replied he; "for on respected!”

her the arm of God has fallen most heavily. At these words, a flood of tears fell from Naomi, formerly happy, was the honour the eyes of Elihu; and he made one of of the old age of Elihu, the pearl among his sons bring him a shred of a roll of the the women of our tribe, and the pride of Law, which each embraced as a precious her husband. Pious as Deborah, chaste relic, and upon which Elihu, sobbing, as Judith, she was worthy to have lived fixed his steady gaze. Thus, bathed in in the happy times of the Prophcts. Now

[ocr errors]


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »