executive less efficient than it should be.” Some elucidations of this significant hint will appear as we proceed.

That some jealousy exists between the heads of these establishments, is sufficiently probable from the circumstances of their posi. tion. Indeed, during the recent discussions at the British Association, the latent feeling was manifested in an anxiety to show that, on the one hand, the suburbs afforded shelter to the criminals of the city, and on the other, that the city was a refuge for the sinners of the suburbs. The truth is, that, from the independence of jurisdictions, there must be a floating mass of crime, eluding the vigilance of the police at the very moment when it appears within their grasp. But this is not all : none of these jurisdictions extend into the county, and the county is virtually destitute of any police protection whatever. Sheriff Alison declared, that the mass of undetected, and consequently of unpunished, criminality in the county was incalculable. As an illustration, he stated that a burglary had recently been committed on his own demesne, which he had allowed to pass without notice, because, in the absence of a police force, he was thoroughly convinced of the inutility of instituting investigation. He concluded by asking, “If these things be done in the green wood, what shall be done in the dry? If the Sheriff's property be thus unsafe, what must be the condition of his neighbours ? "

In the admirable report on the state of the suburban burgh of Calton, presented to the British Association by Mr. Rutherglen, a magistrate of that burgh, we find the following remarks, under the head of “Crimes which, from the state of the law, and the want of identification, the police are unable to suppress."

« There is a series of crimes, or, as they are more gently called, embezzlements, carried on both in the city of Glasgow and suburban districts to an alarming extent, and which are attended with very baneful effects; and indeed it is impossible to form an idea of the amount of property in pig and scrap iron, nails, brass, &c. stolen in this way. A gentleman, who has had much experience in the tracing of these cases, has given it as his opinion, that at the Broomielaw, and on its way for shipment, five hundred tons of pig-iron alone are pilfered ; and he calculates that in the above articles upwards of four thousand pounds' value passes into the hands of these delinquents yearly, without even a chance of their being punished. Another of this class of embezzlements is, that well known under the name of the bowl weft system, generally carried on by weavers, winders, and others employed by manufacturers, and consists of the embezzlement of cotton yarns, silks, &c. which are sold to a small class of manufacturers, who, in consequence of purchasing this material at a greatly reduced price, get up their stuffs at a cost that enables them to undersell the honest manufacturer; and, indeed, in hundreds of cases he has to compete with the low-priced goods, made from the material pilfered from his own warehouse, or embezzled by his own out-door workers; and it is to be regretted that this class of corks should always find, even among respectable merchants, a ready market for their goods. A gentleman, who employs somewhere about two thousand out-door workers, admits that his calculation is moderate, allows one penny each man per day as his loss from this system ; and it is believed from fifty thousand to sixty thousand pounds per annum would not cover the value of articles pilfered in this way within the Parliamentary bounds of this city.”

This statement is further confirmed by the secretary to the Glasgow Statistical Society in his valuable report, from which we have previously quoted. He says,

“ The manufacturers allege that weft is stolen by the weavers and winders to an extent approaching to from six to seven per cent, and is purchased at a cheap rate by bowl corks, who work it up into plain goods, which they can afford to sell at rates from ten to twenty per cent below the regular manufacturers, since they give lower wages to the weavers than those given by the regular houses.”

It is probable that many of our readers will be as much perplexed by the phrase “ bowl-weft” as we were when first we heard it; we therefore give the explanation we received. When weavers used to work in their own houses, hawkers of earthenware watched the opportunity when the operative was abroad to tempt his good woman by the exhibition of a handsome bowl, or some similar ornament of the shelf, into stealing a portion of the weft for the purchase of the article. In process of time this peculation became as recognised a perquisite of the weaver's wife as pin-money is among ladies of rank, and, though not formally recognised in marriage-articles, was not less perfectly understood than if it had been authenticated by sign and seal. The species of embezzlement still retains its name, though the profit is now transferred from the wife to the husband.

Before quitting this part of the subject, we are bound to state that the burgh of Calton is not exposed to the same degree of ani. madversion as the city of Glasgow. . The magistrates of that burgh allow no persons to keep lodging-houses without a license. The license limits the number of lodgers to the extent of accommodations, and is liable to be forfeited if more be admitted. Sanatory regulations for cleanliness are laid down, and rigidly enforced. For instance, floors must be washed twice a-week, walls whitewashed on four specified days in the year, and persons seized with fever must be immediately removed to the hospital. Mr. Rutherglen also stated that “the streets are intersected with common sewers of the best description, some of them fifteen feet in depth, which are well adapted for carrying off all surface-water. They are kept very clean, the large quantity of hot water flowing into them from public works.

Glasgow is the headquarters of what is called Sabbatarianism, that is, the observance of Sunday with the same rigidity that characterised the Jewish Sabbath. Without at all entering into the controversy how far this portion of Judaism belongs to the Christian creed, it may be cheerfully conceded that the consecration of every seventh day as a respite from labour is a blessed ordinance, and one capable of being made the source not only of spiritual but of temporal blessings to the entire community. But we hold it demonstrable that the Judaic, or rather Pharisaic, system established in Glasgow, leads to a worse desecration of the Sunday than is to be found in any part of Britain or the Continent.

The worst evil pressing on the operatives of Glasgow is, that they are crowded into limited, and often filthy, spaces; that they are accumulated on a tainted spot, where physical and moral corruptions generate as in a hot-bed, and, consequently, where the health both of soul and body requires occasional dispersion and separation of the mass. But Sunday is the only opportunity afforded to the poor man for temporarily removing himself and his family from the crowd into which they are not merely packed, and wedged. How does the

Pharisaic system act on such an occasion? It says to the operative, “For you the sun shall shine, the breeze shall breathe, and the flowers shall blow in vain ; you shall remain imbedded for ever, without hope or change, until your heart has had time to fester and dissolve,-until you retain nothing of humanity but its form.” Does any man deem this language too strong? Let him visit, as we have done, the wynds and closes of Glasgow on the Sunday morning, let him enter the dens and styes, which it would be an abuse of language to call dwellings,—and temperate indeed must he be if indignation at a system which confines thousands of human beings to

hose catacombs of living death, on the only day when a chance of temporary deliverance is opened, does not lead him to vent his feelings in stronger terms. Christianity and its ordinances, to use the sublime language of the prophet, were sent “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison-door to them that are bound.” “No,” says the Pharisaic system ; “one of its ordinances at least shall be applied to drive the wound deeper into the heart, to add fresh chains to the captive, and to place former barriers against his prison." This, moreover, is done with the professed design of improving his morality, when it is notorious that, from the prohibition of locomotion, the closing of every place where innocent recreation can be obtained, and the enforced idleness of all classes, profligacy must be the inevitable result of the system.

Two places are open to the operative, the kirk and the whiskey. shop. There are many things to prevent his frequenting the former, —the expense of pew-rents, the want of decent clothes, or the less innocent, though not absolutely guilty causes, dislike of the minister or the elders. On the other hand, admission to the whiskey-shop is cheap; little regard is paid to dress; indeed, amid the dense smoke of the back parlour, it would be often difficult to discover what kind of dress any visitant wore; and the landlord is all subservience and compliance. That the Sunday is thus spent in brutal smoking and drinking by the majority of the lower orders in Glasgow, no one acquainted with the city will venture to deny. The vice, indeed, is silent and solitary ; but on that very account it is the more perilous. It separates the operative from his wife and children, - it hardens his heart against them. The expanding influence of the Book of Nature, which assuredly is not less the work of God than the Book of Revelation, is closed equally against the father and the husband, the child and the wife ; its lessons of love are hidden from their eyes, and lessons of hate are inculcated by the darkening process. This is repeated week after week, and year after year; nay, its effects are known and felt by the most vociferous echoers of the cuckoo cry, “ Behold the beautiful solemnity of a Scottish Sabbath !"

Before concluding this paper, in which we have had often to tread on perilous ground, it may be permitted us to deprecate giving offence to any individual sect or party. “We have set down nought in malice.” On the contrary, feeling grateful for much kindness received in Glasgow, delighted with its natural and artificial beauties, and interested in its continued prosperity, we have endeavoured to perform the useful, but not always acceptable, service of pointing out the flaws and defects in its social machinery, which may not only impede its progress, but produce some perilous fracture as it moves forward in its present rapid and, we trust, prosperous career.



The pine-apple, the most delicious and rarest of fruits that grace the dessert, the fragrant melon, and the cool cucumber, are alike the delicate produce of a dunghill !

The stiff-starched, smart, and spotless frill, the snowy ducks, and trim shirt-collar derive their dazzling and cleanly beauty from the dexterous and spongy hands of the tea-quaffing and Geneva-bibbing washerwoman!

Let no man, then, and especially the refined exquisite, who delights to adorn his sweet person in all the luxury of clean linen, despise the presiding priestess of the washing-tub. Draggle-tailed drab as she may appear to his refined vision, it is to the exercise of her saponaceous ablutions that he owes the major part of his attractions. For his sake she patiently dooms herself, with the resignation of a martyr, to be continually “in the suds," — and in “ hot water.” The vocation is of so ancient a date, that the commencement of her toilsome art is lost in the vanishing point of time, extending far, far beyond the memory of man! The earliest mention extant we believe to be in that exquisite classic poem, commencing with the euphonious line,

“Sing a song for sixpence,” in the third verse of which we find it particularly mentioned, that

“ The maid was in the garden

A-hanging out the clothes;" and we have no hesitation in asserting in the teeth of all commentators, past, present, and to come, that the “maid ” therein mentioned was none other than the King's washerwoman; for although now-adays the majority of washerwomen is composed of wives and widows, yet there is no tenable objection why a maid should not be of the fraternity or rather the sorority, or sisterhood !

In this age, however, the class usually consists of women of fiveand-twenty to fifty.

Frequently dining with “ Duke Humphrey” from necessity, they are unacquainted with his namesake, Sir Humphrey Davy; yet are they undeniably practical chemists, — well knowing that soda and potash are not to be indiscriminately used, and are thoroughly initiated in the knowledge of the various aqueous solutions and compounds, suited to the garments to be submitted to their cleansing operations.

The “ sorting” of the clothes into white and coloured portions is their primary care ; for even the colours that are “ warranted” will “run," if not washed with the greatest circumspection. While they know from experience that linen and stockings may be “ biled,” they are aware that flannels, if put in the copper, will “s'rink up to nothink," and be “ spiled.”

So delicate, too, is their vision, that they pretend to discover “co

lour"-even in white garments; for nothing is more common than to hear them exclaim, - that the white things' is a werry bad colour.” Although they know this may arise from their own negligent handling, they generally attribute it to the age of the article.

In London and its vicinity, the washing” forms a considerable item in the domestic expenses, especially when “ given out" to those laundresses who profess “to do” for gentlemen and families. The economical housewife, therefore, is compelled to hire a woman

ance of all the males in the establishment, who nauseate, with a sort of hydrophobic feeling, the steamy odours sent forth by coppers, washing-tubs, and drying linen. A six-week's wash is in truth an awful visitation !

Happy, thrice happy are those who are able to escape the chilling horrors of a horse full of wet clothes steaming before a roasting kitchen-range !-or, when they open their eyes and their bed-room windows on a summer's morning, behold their “trim garden" eclipsed by transverse lines, extending “ from pole to pole,” with a formidable array of bleaching linens " pegged " thereon, and fluttering in the breeze!

Such a sight is enough to make a man cut himself in shaving, although priding himself in the possession of the best-tempered razor, and the steadiest hand in the world!

A “dab-wash " is bad enough of all conscience; but a regular six-weeks' one is enough to send a man clean out of his seven senses, and make him exclaim in an ecstasy,

“Oh! the good old days of Adam and Eve !" -turn his milk of human kindness to-curds and whey, and make his whole composition as “mothery"-as a jar of uncovered preserves !

Washerwomen and chimney-sweepers are the earliest disturbers of domestic repose. It almost infallibly happens, however, that the serving lassie is never stirring when the poor little sweep applies his sooty fingers to the noisy knocker, and the base accompaniment of the dull single knock, to his shrill and prolonged cry of “Swee-ee-ep!” generally arouses the inmates of the house and the neighbours, before the sleepy and slip-shod girl shuffles down the creaking stairs to let in the shivering child, who is only too punctual in his appointment.

The washerwoman, however, is usually more fortunate; for she is a much more welcome visitor to the kitchen; and, notwithstanding the place is “cluttered up ” with heaps of clothes and wash-tubs, a blazing fire gives a cheerful glow to the busy region, while a bright copper tea-kettle singing on the hob greets her with its refreshing harmony, and a pleasing anticipation of a “dish of tea,” preparatory to commencing operations.

The washerwoman par excellence is generally a sort of round bundle of a figure, habited in a cotton dress, with short sleeves, provided with a capacious pair of pockets, for the reception and concealment of candle-ends, bits of soap, or broken victuals, just as chance, opportunity, or the generosity of the maid may determine. A mob-cap, with a very full border, conceals her tresses when in the

« 上一页继续 »