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decoy a little child into a dark street and strip it of its clothes, or rob it of the sixpence which is shut up in its hand. Every man who writes anonymous letters ought to be whipped at the cart's tail, and pelted with eggs and potatoes in the public streets. But this is a digression. I only mention this letter to advert to the only sentence in it that I read through---which was this, -"What does it signify to you, sir, how many handsful of hair have been torn from a wife's head, or how many drops of blood have been spilled by a husband in the last six months ?” This was said in allusion to a sentence in an earlier address in this hall which some present may possibly remember.
6 What does it signify to me?” What does it signify to any man with a heart to feel for his fellow-men, or a tongue to speak for defenceless womankind ? It is no business of mine--is it not ? It is
my business: I make it my business: and if by an earnest entreaty to any cruel husband here, I can save his wife a blow or his child a frown, I shall feel thankful to God that I have interfered where I had no business. I implore every extravagant, heartless, drinking man, especially those who have farbilies dependent on them, in God's name, in the name of humanity, in the name of every pure and holy principle I can invoke, to spare himself the deep damnation of such guilty deeds. O let the mute appealing glances of that wife whose tender bosom you have bruised, have its due eloquence with you: let the tears that roll down your poor daughter's pallid cheeks and hang upon her fringing lashes, fall upon the blazing furnace which Vice has lighted in your heart, and quench the hell-fire blaze that burns up every tender impulse in your soul, and sign and seal the temperance pledge of reformation with a vow, a kiss, and an embrace.
I have said twice or thrice already, that it is not desirable to work simply from ambition. But to a certain extent ambition is a good thing. To tell a man not to try to get rich is to talk nonsense to him. To tell him not to get rich at the expense of the poverty of his neighbours is to tell him that which a great many men in Manchester and elsewhere need to be told. But there is a great deal of cant talked about wealth. Many men who have seen some competition in business pass by them in the honourable race-begin to turn up their eyes and rail against the love of money. This is only the old story of the fox and the grapes over again. Every man who is not a fool would be rich if he could consistently and without compromise of principle or duty become so. But there are many better things than riches. For instance, a tranquil consciencem a sense of self-respect. If you can't get rich without giving up these, then keep poor. A word here to the artizans of Manchester, and to those who are employed in shops, warehouses, and elsewhere. Many of your employers would like you to pay them an amount of obsequious deference which is not their due. Many of them exact services from you which conscience tells you you ought not to render. Don't submit to it. If they turn you away for keeping a conscience-there are lots of honest men who will take you in because you have one.
Don't do too much in the bowing and scraping line. Be respectful, but don't be a toady. Don't lie down at any man's feet because he is richer than you don't tremble before him because he drives his carriage and you ride on Shanks's pony. Don't fawn, and smile, and grin, when there is nothing to smile about. Don't try to purchase any man's favour at the expense of your own self-respect. Be independent: don't let yourself be insulted by insolent authority : always be a man, and not a sneak. You have as much right to
in existence as anybody else; and while your character is unimpeached, you may bid defiance to every foe on earth and every devil in hell.
“Is there, for honest poverty,
What though on homely fare we dine,
A man's a man for a' that.
It would be a good thing if a word could be introduced into this address which might tend to diminish the amount of filthy and profane conversation for which the British workshop is becoming proverbial. Employers are generally too self-interested to trouble themselves about anything further than the mere discharge of the day's work by those whom they employ. But every employer who has any regard for himself or for the respectability of his establishment, ought to make a point of restraining as far as he can this propensity, and do all in his power to prevent his shop, his warehouse, or his office, from being turned into the club-room of the libertine, or the chatting-chamber of the debauchee.
I have left but little time to trace the obvious step from the workshop to the workhouse. Let a man once relax his energies in the one, and the other is pretty sure to be his doom. Let him once begin to fritter away the earnings which he makes in the workshop, and either he or his family will soon appear in the parish uniform in the workhouse. Go into any of our too-crowded Unions (thank God, not quite so crowded now as at sometimes), and how many of those poor women who wear the pauper badge would say they were driven there by the idleness and dissipation of a tippling husband. That hasband may have drunk himself into the grave, or he may have swilled himself into that “Stone Jug” which shuts
the misery and vice of our land. But in nine cases out of ten, drink is the prolific seed of poverty. It is the foundation and the top-stone of every workhouse in the world, it is the key of every dungeon-cell, and the bolt of every pauperward. It flings back the hinges of the one to incarcerate the
the poor asylum of the other to receive the woman whom that sot has ruined. It is the sort of link-boy who bears the flaming torch before the groper through the fogs and mists of life, and instead of landing him at his own door, leads him to
the Madhouse, the Union, or the Jail. Right happy should I be if any persuasion of mine could add one drunkard's name to the teetotal pledge. O let the certain prospect of a workhouse for your family, and a pauper's burial for your broken-hearted wife, drive
for ever from the alehouse door, and make your back upon the cup you cannot touch without abusing!
And now, are there any who have gone deep upon the downhill road of self-degradation we have traversed, to whom a word of encouragement might be of service. Never despair. It is never too late to mend. Don't look back into the dark past, but forward to the future, bright or dark as you decide. The path of duty lies before you. Ask God's help and He will lead you along it, and he will forgive the misspent past.
“Why these murmurs and repinings,
Who can alter what is done ?
There are goals yet to be won.
Oftentimes it is a sin,
We should a reform begin.
With determination true,
All have got their work to do.
Though we see, on looking round us,
Man to wickedness is prone,
Virtue's paths but rarely known,
Is a spark of life divine,
If we wish that spark to shine.
With determination true,
All have got their work to do.
Every one his task assigned ;
When we see him lag behind.
We must strive, by education,
Man's condition to improve,
In a bond of mutual love.
With determination true,
Ye have all your work to do.”
But our work is only half done, if we confine ourselves to the dry bones of mere morality which we have laid before you. Happiness of a certain kind is to be secured by sobriety, by economy, and by social circumspection. Industry, abstinence, and thrift will fill the cupboard, and in a temporal point of view will make home happy. But these are not the pillars you and I must lean upon when we come to die. And if we would have any substantial support
in that last hour we must be laying up our treasure now. The sober, honest, hardworking man, the fond husband, the kind father, and the loving son, he stands just as much in need of a Saviour as the drunkard, the libertine, and the thief. We are all of us born under a common curse, and all need a common deliverer. There is none of us without sin, and unless we have the grace of God there is none of us without danger. The richest amongst us is a pauper if he has not invested his interest in the treasury of the gospel. The entire world is a vast Union Workhouse where all mankind are engaged in working the works of darkness. The wages of that work is death. That cage in which you are enclosed is no asylum, it is but a dungeon where every aspiration is constrained, and every hope extinguished. O come out of it, and turn to at the hardest drudgery, the sternest warfare, namely, the conquest of your own passions. Break stones upon the great highroad of life, rather than submit to this ignoble thraldom; and let the first stone you shatter be the flinty surface of your own insensate heart. The hammer of the gospel only can achieve the task, but beneath its potent stroke the hardened mass shall yield, and as the mighty weight of the "faithful saying that Christ died for sinners” strikes upon it, it shall call forth from the cold