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“She is in Kingsport. Edward camo direct from the vessel this morning."
A shadow came over her face, “ Mary,” she asked, “is he angry with me still ? "
“No; he has come to beg your forgiveness; as well he may.”
“Oh, I do not want that; I was in fault too. Mary, I must see him."
And Mary again felt that opposition would be more harmful than compliance.
“You will promise to try and keep calm, and not to talk much or long?"
“I will try ; indeed, I will try; but you know, I must see him. I am very
ill. If I should die first, after all. : I must see him, and please, dear, alone."
Then Susan brought the medicine, and Clarissa took it, and while Mary went to recall Edward, she lay quite still, trying to wait patiently, and listening intently for the first sounds which should tell of his arrival.
(To be continued.)
LORD ASHLEY, THE PHILANTHROPIST.
BY J. EWING RITCHIE.
Four miles from the Penwood station, on the South Western Railway branch line which runs from Salisbury to Wimborne, stands St. Giles's House, the family seat of the Shaftesburys. In the centre of the building is a remarkable room, very lofty, and lighted by an oval lantern in the roof; on the south side of this apartment hangs the full-length, life-size portrait of Lord Ashley, presented to his Countess by the people of Yorkshire, in appreciation of the passing of the Ten Hours Bill into an Act of Parliament. His lordship is represented in the act of speaking, with the Ten Hours Bill in his hand. At the west-end of this room stands Noble's fine bust of his lordship, presented, in 1859, to the Countess, by the working people of the North of England. The following is the inscription on the pedestal, “Presented to Emily, wife of the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, by the operatives of the manufacturing districts of the North of England, as a token of the esteem and regard for the persevering and successful efforts of her noble husband in promoting, by legislative enactment, a limitation of the hours of labour of children, females, and young persons employed in mills and factories.—August 6, 1859."
On the occasion of the presentation at Manchester, an address was read, in which occur the following passages, " The assembly, now honoured by your presence, is chiefly composed of persons employed in the mills and factories of this city and the neighboaring towns. There are amongst as many now in authority over the various branches of factory labourers, and who willingly join their more subordinate fellow workers in bearing testimony to the beneficial results of factory legislation, especially those clauses wbich make the education of the children imperative. May we now be permitted, on behalf of the factory workers of this vast manufacturing district, to solicit your acceptance of this marble bast and pedestal of your noble husband as a small token of our love and esteem, and may the samo spirit of benevolence, which prompted your noble lord to esponse our canse, descend from generation to generation; and may the house of Shaftesbury maintain inviolate the title which the seventh Earl has now won by his perseverance in well-doing-namely, the Poor Max's FRIEND." It is said that there were at least 7,000 persons present at this presentation meeting, and so outspoken and deepseated were the love and esteem entertained towards Lord Ashley by these people, that nothing would satisfy them but kissing his lordship's hands. He was unable to resist them anfortunately, and yet to receive such a token of affection from each person in so great a multitude was a serious matter. However, the thing was done by his lordship kneeling down on the platform, with his hand over the rail, which the multitude kissed, and then passed on. It should be stated that wben the work, so successfully concluded, was commenced, his lordship, seeing that his leadership involved material interference with the domestic comfort of his wife and family, referred the question to his wife for her consideration and decision. Her reply, after mature deliberation, was —Yes, go; go on, for God has called you to it.
Lord Ashley was born on the 28th of April, 1801, and was eda. cated at Harrow, and afterwards at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his B.A. degree, first-class in classic, 1822, his M.A. in 1832, and became D.C.L. in 1841. He entered Parliament and became a Lord of the Admiralty and an Ecclesiastical Commissioner. In 1830 he married Lady Emily Cowper, eldest daughter of the fifth Earl of Cowper, but it was not till he had placed himself at the head of the agitation for shortening the hours of labour that be became a power in the State, and perhaps, by the Free Traders, the most abused man of his time.
It is impossible to realise the Condition of England Question, when Lord Ashley, in 1843, moved that an address be presented to Her Majesty to take into her instant and serious consideration the best means of diffusing the blessings and benefits of a moral and religious education among the working classes of the people. The writer at that time happened to be in the manufacturing districts; jast before they had been in a state of revolt; and was quite horrified as he went among the people at the bitterness of the feeling with which they regarded their employers. In reality nothing had been done to make the people sober and intelligent. They were in a dark and ignorant condition. In the year 1841, in Manchester, 13,345 persons were brought before the magistrates. At that time Manchester had 769 beerhouses, 498 public-houses, 498 brothels, an army of prostitutes and thieves, and it was calculated that 1,500 vagrants and neglected children were added to its dangerous classes annually. At Birmingham matters were quite as bad. In Leeds, if anything, matters were worse.
Children of tender years were constantly brought before the magistrates. We cannot sally our pages with the disgusting details of javenile depravity by which Lord Ashley enforced his argament. At Sheffield the working-class were so depraved that one of the Government Commissioners writes the town was preserved from an organised scheme to fire and plunder it merely by the information of one man, and the consequent readiness of the troops. A large body of men and boys marched on it in the dead of night, and a very large quantity of crowsfeet to lame horses, pikes, and combustibles were found on them, at their hoases, and left on the road. In sach places as Willenhall, and Wolverhampton, and Warrington, and the Potteries, a still worse condition of things was revealed Well might a witness state that a spirit of dissatisfaction prevailed. I took down myself, writes one, from the then disturbed districts, the following words, as they fell from the lips of a Chartist orator“Tbe prevalence of intemperance and other vicious habits was the fault of the aristocracy and the mill-owners, who bad neglected to provide the people with sufficient means of moral improvement, and would form an item of that great account which they would one day be called upon to render to a people indignant at the discovery of their own debasement." The Chartist orator was right, and it is because such men as Lord Ashley realised such to be the case that the manufacturing England of to-day may be described as a new heaven and a new earth, compared with what it was fifty years ago.
The man who commenced the agitation which Lord Ashley carried to a successful termination was Richard Dastler, to whom a statue at Bradford has been erected, and very properly so, since his decease. Next in the work was Joseph Rayner Stevens, originally a Methodist minister, who was the mightiest colleague of Oastler, who stood by him when living, who shared his labours, who was his counsellor in his work, and who incurred imprisonment for the cause. Mr. Sadler was the first man who introduced to Parliament a Factory Bill in the interest of the workers, and not before it was needed, however much it was at variance with the teachings of Political Economy.
Let us give our readers an idea of the state of things when this Factory agitation was commenced. One case mentioned, which excited particular attention at the time, was that of one Robert Blincoe, a Scotch apprentice, who, observing that the pigs of his master were fed with warm meal puddings, ased to get into the stye and eat them in order to satisfy the cravings of his hunger. The pigs, finding their allowance of food decreased, attacked the poor apprentice, who was one day discovered fighting with the pigs for their puddings. He was punished for bis larceny in the stye, and once more the pigs got their proper allowance. In those days children were often killed in the mills by privation, punishment, and excessive hours of working. Mill owners boasted that they made large sums annually by fines. Some of them had the wickedness to keep two clocks for that parpose. In the House of Commons Mr. Sadler produced the black, heavy leathern thongs, employed by mill owners to beat children with to prevent them falling asleep at their work. In 1833 the cry of these poor little ill-ased ones had reached as far as the metropolis, and a meeting was held of their friends, in the Loudon Tavern, in February, convened by the Duke of Sussex, and presided over by himself. At the meeting Mr. Oastler said “he had seen children with back aud breast black, and on a child living within a mile of his house he had counted thirty-three cats on his back, his lip was cut, and his eyelid was cut. What crime had this child committed ? He had worked so long that he had fallen asleep over his work. The Rev. G. B. Bull once sent me a lock of hair with a part of the scalp attached to it. He said it had been torn from the head of a poor factory girl in his neighbourhood. She was asleep, as many of them used to be, and the angry overlooker had seized her by the hair and swung the child round in the air and dashed her on the floor, and in doing so had torn the hair and part of the scalp from off her head.” Mr. Jacob Holyoake writes :-“ Facts were related at the public meetings then held which seem incredible now,
but were not and could not be contradicted then. Little half-fed, ungrown things were kept at work twelve, fourteen, and eighteen hours without meal times. They ate what they had to eat as they worked. Children slept as they stood, overseers kept tanks of cold water at hand in which they dipped the lads to awaken them,
who had to work afterwards all day in their wet clothes. Sometimes when the poor children went to work they had their fingers taken off by the machines through drowsy inattention. Some, when they were careless, were put to torture by being made to stand upon a tub holding a weight with one leg up, and were flogged if the weight descended. The legs of girls were constantly swollen with long standing, and as often as any of them perished by this treatment, others took the places of the dead. Every Wesleyan minister knew of these things in the district in which he was placed.” Mr. Oastler on one occasion said he remembered a poor widow, who used to worship at the same church as himself, whose children should have gone to the Sunday School, but they could not-they were too weary from excessive work. Many a time had he seen this poor woman dressing her children's ankles when they came from work, and then setting them on the bed to feed them. She would give to each child in turn a mouthful of bread and milk, but when she came with a second spoonful to the eldest she would find it asleep, with the food unmasticated in its mouth. No wonder such things made Chartists and revolutionists of the poor. No wonder that men had the courage to speak the truth and to declare that this awful condition of the working classes should be put a stop to. No wonder that a good deal of fierce feeling was created by the discussion. There are always two ways of looking at such questions There are always two ways of treating them. Fathers and mothers were to blame in rearing children to be thus sacrificed at the shrine of Mammon. Parliament was to blame for not preventing, as far as lay in their power, the commission of such outrages on human flesh and blood. People who are too poor to be able to bring up their offspring properly have no business to marry. It is this created poverty which lies at the root of the evil; nevertheless Parliament was bound, when its attention was called to the natter, to interfere.
Mr. Sadler was the first man who introduced into Parliament a Factory Bill in the interest of the workers. To him succeeded Lord Ashley. Lord John Russell had aided in so far as to offer an Eleven Hours Bill. The Halifax masters offered an Eleven Hours Bill and reduced wages. Mr. Baines offered a compromise when the inevitable hour of legislation had arrived, but Sadler, who had started the Ten Hours claim, sent round the country the cry of Ten Hours and No Surrender. The Political Economists, who objected to the bill on the ground that the people should be taught to acquire better habits and to learn to trust in themselves rather than in Government, were beaten, and the Ten Hours Bill became law. By his conduct in the matter Lord Ashley did not