« PreviousContinue »
use they made of their faculties, and responsible for||1400 volumes, there is a yearly issue of about 16,000, their conduct and actions. The total abstinence so- their number is quite inadequate to the necessities ciety was growing up with this institution, likewise, and demands of the town. Strenuous efforts bave side by side ; and a more healthy tone gradually ma- been made to increase this store of books, and turn its nifested itself amongst the adult as well as the junior hundreds into thousands of volumes, but with small population. The Sunday-schools were filled with success. The rich do not sufficiently estimate the scholars; these again filled the institution, and the in- moral power and influence of these silent and beautistitution the churches. The cycle was complete.ful teachers over the character and habits of the peoEvery sacred and secular influence was brought in its ple, or they would see to it that the funds should not tum to bear upon the people; and hence the improve.be wanting to purchase them. Books are the largest ment in their general character. Lloyd has been nearly | educators, when we have said all we can for our driven out of the literary market by the noble brothers schools and universities. I would have the home of Ciambers, by the “ People's Journal,” the “Family | every man, therefore, made sacred by the
presence of Magazine," and other periodicals of a like stamp. The these venerable worthies, whose names are the glory readers of this man Lloyd are now indeed contined, for of literature and the pride of Christendom. If the heroic the most part, to the Castlegate; although I regret | deeds, celebrated in the Iliad of Homer, gave spurs to learn that Reynolds is occupying his vacant place to the ambition, and stimulated the fiery zeal of Alexamongst a certain class both of the middle and lower | ander in his career of conquest, will the wisdom and ranks of life.
poetic beauty of Shakespeare, the divine contemplaThis last fact makes me thankful for the police and tions of Isaac Barrow and Jeremy Taylor, the manly the guardianship which the laws exercise over the sentiments and the splendid eloquence of Milton, in his public morals. Confirmed readers of corrupt books || prose writings, have no influence upon the heart and are always of an unclean nature, and are only restrained conduct of those who read them ?
The poorest from an open and profligate violation of the decencies“ Mother-Goose story” is not so poor as to leave no and sanctities of society by the fear of punishment. | seed behind it. There is an endless, measureless Remove these judicial barriers, and we should have germination in everything that touches the human gangs of the dissolute in our streets; and Love herself mind; evil and good are alike prolific of offwould restore the rule of force, by taking up the cud- l spring, and I prefer to breed for the latter, and so gels to brain them. In the most virtuous and refined occupy the ground, that the former may have as little communities, however, there are always bad men hidden chance as possible of fathering the world with an illein the holes and dens; and in a population like that of gitimate progeny. There should be a good public Huddersfield, which is in a transition state between library in every town and village of the kingdom. I village and town, crude and immature as a society, we would make it binding upon all communities to see must expect to fiud more or less of these unwelcome this good done; and cannot understand why so patritroglodytes.
otic an institution should not be supported by taxaStill
, it is worth while for the readers of Reynolds tion as well as the army and the police. I think, for to inquire whether he is the best leader they can fol. my own part, that it is as much the duty of Governlow. The literary talent of this person is certainly ment to educate as it is to punish the people; and I higher than that of the driveller he has superseded ; am persuaded we should save our pockets, to the tune but there is no intrinsic difference between these two of some hundreds of thousands per annum, by this panders : Lloyd is Reynolds naked, and Reynolds is course; and, what is higher and better still, we should Lloyd dressed. Have not the best of us enough to do build up a nobler commonwealth in Britain than Cromto keep the devil at our heel, enough temptations to well saw or Milton thought of. In the meanwhile, withstand, without the aid of any man to rouse these are there no men who have good books they never enemies against us, by exciting our lowest passions, read, which they can very well spare, therefore, as gifts and so turning the great sanctuary of our nature into to the public libraries of the town wherein they rea hell of infamous orgies : I do not set myself upside? It is a hint to the generosity and justice of for a purist, and, above all other things, I hate cant, men, which whoso takes shall have my fair word for whether religious or literary; but I am the foe of this the brave example. It would be thought a little impudent system, which, in the garb of fiction, and Utopian, perhaps, in these stern days of iron and steel, with the pretence of setting forth life as it is, and were I to suggest that all the private libraries in a things as they are, strikes at the root of morals and town might be merged into a public one, with the exchastity, and coolly pockets the wages of its iniquity. | ception of such books as are really our friends and
I will say no more upon this subject, however; counsellors. But in reality, there is nothing so bad in and congratulate myself that these remarks apply to the face of this suggestion, after all; for, generally but a small and very low section of Huddersfield society. || speaking, a large library is but an expensive idol
, set The set-offs to this gross account are large and en- up more for show than worship. Let us avoid this couraging. It is true there are many circulating novel foolish seeking, this hereditary love of displaying the libraries in the town, to each of which there is a extensiveness of our means, and try what we can do numerous tail of readers ; but these are mainly sup. I to supply the moral wants and intellectual cravings of ported by the middle classes, and contain the works | man. of our best writers of fiction, and those likewise of We have neglected the working classes so long that the worst. The Mechanics’ Institution possesses the now they have increased in number and importance, only public library accessible to the working classes. we begin to find themi rather an unwieldy element to The books in it are mostly of a standard character, deal with. I have no space here to enter upon the and, though so well read that out of a catalogue of lorganization of labour question, which, nevertheless, affects the vital interests of this realm; but I can urge to the classes, for every guinea subscribed. There is. the plea of popular education as a matter of no less a fortnightly loss of about £7, between the expenses moment; as a thing that may be done, not only with of the institution and the income derived from the out danger to political institutions, but with the sure classes; which is made up by the annual subscribers, and certain prospect of strengthening, by this means, and by occasional soirees, &c. A weekly lecture is the foundations of the state. As a mere matter of given in the saloon, and the last Saturday evening of social prudence, without alluding to higher considera- | every month is devoted to a soiree of all the members, tions and sanctions, it is the blindest folly a govern- / when a short lecture is delivered upon some subject ment can commit to suffer an ignorant populace to connected with literature, science, or art, enlivened by remain in the very heart of its civilization. A horrid subsequent musical entertainments and recitations. vulture gnawing for ever at the vitals of Prometheus The influence of this institution upon the working is no pleasant companion for him, and should be driven classes is, as I have already said, of a large and saluoff at all hazards. Why not tame the vulture, at all | tary nature. The members belong almost entirely to events, by clipping his talons, and dipping his wings in the workshops and the factories, and, on account of the heavenly fire ? This is a national question, though their low earnings, they could not afford to buy educaput forth in metaphor, and the sooner it is answered | tion at a dearer rate than it is here afforded them. AI the better it will be for us all.
their days are spent at work, and all their evenings are, I confess to have a strong attachment to the volun- | devoted to the suit of knowledge. This noble martary principle in all things ; but I think it is not sufi-|| riage of mental and manual labour—this union of the ciently active for national purposes. If all men were two mighty dignities that sway the world-cannot fail alike liberal, it would be easy enough to drive the to exalt the character, and increase thereby the complough through the mental fallows of England, and make fort and self-respect of the population. It is an example them yield abundant harvests. But the burden of this worthy of universal imitation, and has all that I can husbandry lies on the few generous men whose hands give it, viz.—my services and my blessing. are always open; whilst the many, however rich, grudge It is worthy of remark, as a proof of the growing to tax themselves for the public benefit. I hate to taste of the people, that two reading clubs have been force the nature of a churlish and niggardly man; and established in the town, where all the quarterly remy conscience smites me for asking largess after lar-views, monthly magazines, and serials of note and gess from the bountiful heart. No doubt it is very standing, are provided, at the rate of 2s. a quarter. blessed to give, but it is very miserable to beg; and I to each member. It is the better class of workdo not like that a noble enterprise should be at the people alone, however, who avail themselves of these mercy of selfish men.
privileges. I have little to complain of, however, so far as Hud- I am much struck with the intelligence and the dersfield is concerned, with respect to the voluntary || general knowledge manifested by the operative classes principle, in the matter of popular education. The of this neighbourhood. It is true they have, as a merchants and manufacturers of this town, though body, received no regular systematic education; but drained in all sorts of ways, contrive to support one they are learned in politics, and have read something of the largest educational institutions in the kingdom, of the history and literature of our country: they can and have borne it bravely through the dull times of talk sensibly upon all ordinary subjects, which is more distress and peril. I allude to the Mechanics’ Institu- than the rhetoricians can do. They have likewise a tion, which is under the presidency of F. Schwarr, keen eye to the merits of a question, and are not Esq., and is entirely devoted, with all its machinery easily carried away by declamation. I have, more than and means, to the education of the working classes. once, heard a speaker at our public meetings laughed Properly speaking, it is a misnomer to call it a me-out of his windy nonsense, and compelled to leave his chanics’ institution, for it is essentially a people's col. || figures of speech, and deal once more with the argulege, numbering between 600 and 700 students, who ment of his discourse. Richard Castler has still sway are divided into 52 classes, and taught by 45 paid and here, but the people are preparing themselves for å voluntary teachers. The fee of membership is 3d. per wiser man. They are mostly Chartists in political week, and this entitles the member to all the privileges principle, and Nonconformists, of the latitudinarian of the classes, library, reading-room, and lectures. The sort, in religion. An attempt has lately been inade tu course of instruction is libcral enough, as will be seen provide them with a higher kind of instruction than from the subjoined extract, taken from the report of they have been used to, by means of public lectures; the last year's proceedings of the committee :- and although I heartily wish success to the effort, it
“ Instruction is afforded in the following branches of know- is desirable that the range of subjects should be wider, ledge, viz.:-- Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, and not so exclusively ethic in its character. Lectures History, French, German, Singing, Instrumental Music, Llocution, on the whole duty of man” might very well be varied Composition, Phonography, Book-keeping, Geometry, Literature, by others upon the chief epochs of English history, &c.”
upon science, art, and literature. A course of lecThere is a good school of design likewise in con- tures on the literature of England, if the subject were nection with the institution, conducted by competent skilfully handled, would stimulate many persons to masters. In this school are taught designing, as ap- i read and think, who at present are not much troubled plicable to the manufactures of the district; as well as with propensities in that direction. Our elder writers, mechanical, architectural, and ornamental drawing both of poetry and prose, are very little known, and There are no extra fees charged for these privileges
. || the more modern men of the Commonwealth are not The annual subscribers pay twenty-one shillings, and read by one in a thousand of the population. are allowed to send a young man under 18 years of age || noble sentiments of these writers, often uttered with
extraordinary eloquence and power, would tell in allija library of several hundred volumes, and occasional ways upon the auditory, if they were quoted by a lectures are delivered to them. They pay 2d. a week competent lecturer; and I am persuaded that religion, for these privileges. The ladies of the town assist the morals
, and intellect, would gain much by the ex-paid masters in conducting the classes, and form a part amples.
of the committce of management. So much for the Now that the Ten Hours Factory Bill has come into educational means which are provided for the people full operation, there is leisure enough for the work-i of Huddersfield; and such has been the effect of this ing classes to get wisdom and understanding. It is, beneficial example upon the ncighbourhood, that there moreover, certain that they will do this, or something is scarcely a town, village, or hamlet
, within six miles else not so creditable to them. Hence, I am for afford- of it, which does not possess a mechanics' institution. ing them every facility in the great business of self-in- The holidays of the working people are chiefly construction. It is better to fill the lecture-room than fined to Easter, Whitsuntide, and Christmas ; although the tavern. Neither would I forbid, but encourage, they generally manage to have a day or two of it at all rational amusements, in connection with educational Honley Feast. This feast is remarkable, and embraces endeavours.
a circuit of nearly eight miles. Beef, pickled cabbage, One great want existing everywhere amongst the and ale, are the staple provisions of each household; working classes has been attempted to be supplied in and on the evening of the first day of the feast, HudHaddersfield, with more or less success. I allude to! dersfield, Lockwood, and all the adjoining hamlets, are the education of females; and it is important that the in a state of commotion. Carriages rattle along the example set by a private gentleman of this place in streets, filled with merry men and women, who scent founding an institution for these young persons should the good things afar off, and hasten to enjoy them. be generally followed. I feel no little pleasure, and The roads are fairly blocked up, and darkened with the some pain, in the reflection that this town of yesterday long lines of foot-passengers, drawn by the same atshould be the first in England to found a college for wo- traction. The feast lasts for a full week; and the men. It is true that Tennyson's ideal of such an in- usual quantity of sins are committed there, to the stitution, as revealed in his Medley,” is not realised satisfaction of all parties concerned. here; but there are endless possibilities in a beginning ; To give the rising generation a distaste for these and we may safely leave the issues to time. Why | large feudal orgies, the committee of the Mechanics’ should we not have our “girl graduates,” even if we Institution provide their members with a “gala” once exclude our "dowagers” from the “deaneries ?” Why | a-year, and occasionally with a cheap trip to York, should so much attention be paid to the educational the Isle of Man, or the beautiful lake districts of CumFants of men, and so little to those of women? Iberland and Westmoreland. The “gala” is generally have always had a notion that women are something celebrated amongst the neighbouring hills and valleys. more than beautiful, or even than useful animals; and Last year, through the kindness of H.W.Wickham, Esq., although I have no chivalry in me for what are called it was held in the park and grounds of Kirklees, * where the “rights of women," as this phrase is ordinarily understood, I would break a lance or two in defence * Kirklees Hall is the property of Sir George Armitage, alof their right to be educated. No cultivated man houg it is occupied by the gentleman whose name I have stated would like to marry a woman who could not open her above. It stands on a high platform of hills
, and overlooks the mouth without murdering the Queen's English, and vale of the Calder and the Backbone Mountains of England.
Kirklees is remarkable in a historical and traditional point of whose mind was empty of everything but vanity. A || view, as containing the grave of Robin Hood, and the ruins “blue stocking”_that is, a female literary pedant
of the nunnery, in the lodge chamber of which poor Robin is certainly no desirable person to know either in pri-died. The following extracts from a poem, written in celebration rate or public; but there is no necessity to manufac- of the “ Kirklees gula” of the Mechanics’ Institution, which I ture this kind of hosiery in our educational looms. I have alluded to above, will be read, I think, with interest by those For the rest, I do not see why a woman should not that the poem in question, though printed last year, was con
who care for the memory of the noble outlaw. I may just add be as good a housewife, and as prudent, virtuous, and ined exclusively in its circulation to the members of the instituhonourable in all her relations with a furnished as with tion. The writer begins with some previous recollections of an unfurnished mind. I have a reverence for beauty | Sherwood:aznounting almost to idolatry—and, moreover, beauty “I well remember, when with reverent foot is the highest symbol which God employs in His di
I made my first historic pilgrimage vinest initiatious—but, wherever I find an ignorant
Unto the outlaw's grave. Oft had I heard
In Sherwood Forest, by the cottage hearths and profane soul in the sanctuary, I lose my faith, and
Of Edwinstone, on many a winter's night, can worship no longer.
Traditions of his death and burial. In all large manufacturing towns, there are thou- And all the scenes which Robin loved so well, sands of young girls who are left pretty much to follow From Cresswell's savage crags, where Wollen rolls, their own inclinations, and whose moral and social
And Budby's heath, and Birkland's faery realm
Of silver birches, to the ruined oaks condition is deplorably low. Few of them have re- Of Bilhagh lone and desolate, I know. ceived even the commonest rudiments of education, And, standing there, beside his mouldering bones, and their resources of enjoyment are confined, therefore, The dews of Sherwood I that morn had brushed to the mere animal sphere. Now, it is precisely this
From the dark ling, scarce dry upon my feet, class of females who most need to be cared for; and
I seemed to bring the forest to his manes it is for them that the female educational institution
With all its wailing memories and trees. has been established in this town.
“Who now will come with me and pay once more
Instruction is afforded them in needlework, reading, writing, arith
Sad homago-at the brave old hero's grave?
I know the spot which yonder pine-trees hide metic
, geography, grammar, and history. They have Under their sunless gloom; and we will go
the bones of Robin Hood lie buried; and I name this || goodness of man, than this fine feeling of the rich tocircumstance that other institutes may profit by it, and wards the poor; and I am sure if the various classes avail themselves of a similar permission from gentle- of society were thrown together in this way more fremen in their immediate locality. Nothing pleases me quently, they would understand and love each other more, and strengthens more my faith in the natural | all the better for it.
And not a sound disturbs the deep repose
So rise and vanish all the ghosts of men." Passing from the grave of Robin Hood to the Nunnery on the other side of the park, the same writer says:-
« Old and gray,
Down to the Porter's Lodge, and mount the heights
And o'er us flames the vaulted dome of heaven.
Till the Great Spirit doth unloose your tongues. For where those yew-trees nod their funeral plumes Upon the highest platform of the hill, Lies gentle Robin Ilood; his mighty heart All mufiled up in dust, and his bright eyes Quench'd in eternal darkness. Never more Shall the woods echo to his bugle horn, Or his unerring arrow strike the deer Swift flying, till it bites the bloody grass. Clean gone for ever all his merry band, Who erst in garberdines of green and gold, · Waylaid rich abbots in the Watlyne Street, And broke their staves upon the Sheriff's men. Broad-humoured Scathelock, and envious Much, Will Stutely of the Quarterstaff, and Tuck The jolly friar, who liked more wine tban prayer; And all the hundred archers, banished quite. And she whom Robin loved, Maid Marian, Light as a fawn, and beautiful as night, When streams her starry hair along the heavens, Rests like a lily, in the wild wood laid Amongst the moss and violets. Allan Dale, The gentle harper, who was crossed in love, Lies silent as the rest, his grave unknown. And Little John, the master's favourite man, Stiff in his giant bones at Hathersedge, Sleeps on till doom, amongst the Derby hills. So here the Head of this broad historyWho from his native hills in Loxley Chace, With Simon Montford fought at Evesham, For the great Charter of the people's rights, In unsuccessful battle, and became A wild wood rover, rather than abide The whips and arrows of a tyrant's powerLies prisoned in black rails, his epitaph
Proclaiming all his woodland gifts and deeds, “ How lone and silent is the hallowed spot!
O’ergrown with fringed ferns and mosses dank.
With narrow windows facing the dark woods,
Which fell upon the place that marks his grave. “ Beyond the lodge, enclosed in mouldring walls,
The convent garden lies. The old oak door
And pensioned on the bounty of the sun.
Promiscuous mingled with their mother earth.
THE GOLD-SEEKER OF GUAZACOALCO.
THE START AND THE STORM.
mined character. Aware that in every part of Mexico
quits home, family, future peace--all-to wander everA SMALL schooner lay sleeping calmly on the waters of lastingly in search of the precious metal. The mountains the Bay of Galveston, in front of the custom-house of the and valleys, the hills and brooks, the deepest recesses of principal seaport of the young Republic. Her low, black caverns, and the precipitous rocks of this splendid country, hull
, taut masts, her rake aft, her long jib-boom project- | are all ransacked by these men. Do they succeed ? No ing far out upon the waves, her long streaming pennant, | man can say, for a gambucino rarely returns. He beand a brass swivel gun upon her deck, gave her something comes a wild and wandering being, lives apart from man, of the appearance of a pirate. She carried a huge square- || and, if he finds treasure, makes no use of it. sail forward, for times of favourable wind; but her chief
Don Rafaele Zacara was a gambucino. For fifteen strength lay in the huge mainsail, now laying idly wrapped years had this man, a native of Minatitlan on the Guazaround the swinging boom, that, like the jib, projected aft coalco, followed his perilous trade, and always with over the stern. She looked like a black bird with white
Every year he came to his native town to rehead
upon the sunny waters, rising and falling with the || pose, and, it afterwards appeared, to bury his golden treaswell, and holding against the flood-tide by one anchor.
sures, found in the innermost recesses of the mountains, But not a living soul could be seen in or about her. Like in some safe place. At last he had given up, just at the a phantom-ship, she was tenantless.
time when Santa Anna succeeded in revolutionising the It was about eight o'clock in the morning. The ne- country for his own private purposes. Don Rafaele at groes were working on the wharfs, and the free and en
once declared himself a federalist, and opposed the proud lightened citizens of the juvenile Republic of Texas were Napoleon of the West, as this somewhat over-conceited enjoying refections in the shape of coffee, steaks, corn | general modestly styled himself, The excitement of pododgers, stewed venison, oysters, and the other delicacies | litics seemed to replace with him the excitement of goldwhich belong to the woods, wilds, bays, and forests of that seeking. He threw himself, with energy and desperate favoured land, where I spent a short, but to me charming, || valour, into every insurrection ; and one fine morning had part of my existence.* It was in the month of March, to run for his life from his own troops, who had been and the weather, which had been favourable for some days, || bought over by General Santa Anna, the largest dealer in was calm and lovely. The warm sun darted its rays ob- | promises in all Mexico, which is saying much, and the liquely on land and water, while a gentle south-east wind
worst fulfiller, which is saying a great deal more. Beemed to give promise of rain.
Texas had just revolted--that is to say, the tent houSuddenly two men appeared on one of the long jettiessand and odd citizens of the Mexican colony, trusting to of the port. These wharfs or jetties are the means used their distance from the metropolis, and to the great difito unload vessels without using boats. They consist of culties in the way of an army of repression, as well as to cedar posts firmly imbedded in the sand, and supporting the disturbed state of politics, had declared war on the six a floor of planks some two hundred feet in length. There million other inhabitants of the Republic; and it must be were three when I was in those diggens, which did great said they went to work conscientiously, like men detercredit to the artistic talents of their makers,
mined to be free, or to die in arms. Don Rafaele saw at The two men presented a very different appearance one once that a federalist must in Texas be a welcome man, from the other. The one was a handsome, young, Eng- simply because General Santa Anna was a centralist; just lish-looking sailor, of about five-and-twenty, in the uniform
as if had Santa Anna been a federalist, a centralist would of the Republic. He was of middle height, with flaxen have been the popular character. The gambucino, who hair, and an open, gentle expression of countenance, which had a few dollars and a dozen quadruples about him, acat once prepossessed you in his favour, while the other did | cordingly sloped to Texas, and demanded to be received a not present any features nearly so pleasant. IIe was a
citizen of the free and enlightened Republic of the Lone Mexican. His broad sombrero, his poncho or blanket, his | Star. gay trousers, were all of rich materials; but the expression
As long as his money lasted, Don Rafaele was contented of his face was bad. He was dark, with thick projecting enough; but soon his exchequer, like that of the state, eye-brows, an aquiline nose, a closely-compressed mouth, began to ebb low, and the Don felt pretty considerably and a pair of eyes black as coals, and which shone peer- || puzzled. Work he neither would nor could ; and there ingly on every person who looked at him.
was very little to steal, even if a gentleman of pure CasThe one was Lieutenant Bruce Harris, of the Texan tilian race could have indulged with propriety in so naty; the other, Don Rafaele Zacara, formerly the most delicate an amusement, the occupation, in very recent celebrated gambucino, or gold-sceker, of Mexico.
times, of all who claimed to be of “race,” as is said The gambucino of New Spain is a man apart from all in the aristocratic slang of certain sons of Adam. Don other men. He is a treasure-seeker of the most deter- || Rafaele, however, had made numerous friends and ac
*. Let nobody suppose that I recommend Texas to English- || quaintances, and amongst his familiars was Lieutenant
knowledge, and a far better sailor than his captain; but