ePub 版


chained to their perches, every person keeping at a way. The bearcoote is unerring in its flight, unless respectful distance from the feathered monarch. On the quarry can escape into holes in the rocks. the opposite side, kids and lambs were secured in a We have many other lively descriptions of life pen; and outside the door was a group of women, in the Mongolian Steppe, and of sublime scenery in with their small black eyes fixed on the stranger. the mountainous regions. The whole territory is Mr Atkinson says: 'My belt and pistols formed a among the least known in the habitable globe. great attraction. The sultan wished to examine them. We conclude with a few traits of Barnaul, which Having first removed the caps, I handed one to him, is the centre for the administration of the mines he turned it round in every direction, and looked of the Altaï. The governor, Tomsk, who is chosen down the barrels. This did not satisfy him; he from the mining-engineers,' is at the head of this wished to see them fired, and wanted to place a kid department. He resides three or four months of the for the target, probably thinking that so short a year at Barnaul, and under him is the chief director weapon would produce no effect. Declining his kid, of the mines, who must visit every smelting-work in I tore a leaf out of my sketch-book, made a mark in the district once every year, travelling several thouthe centre, and gave it to the Cossacks. He under sand versts in a mountainous country, or descending stood my intention ; split the end of a stick, slipped rivers in rafts. His power is extensive, and he has in the edge of the paper, went out and stuck the a population of about 60,000 miners, peasants, and stick in the ground some distance from the yourt. officers under his charge. It appears that convicts The sultan arose, and all left the dwelling. I followed have not yet been sent to work in the mines of the him out, and went to the target. Knowing that we Altaï. Every summer, eight or ten young officers were among a very lawless set, I determined they are sent into the mountains, each with a party; should see that even these little implements were and the chief in Barnaul assigns to him the valley dangerous. Stepping out fifteen paces I turned round, to be examined by his company. They start in cocked my pistol, fired, and made a hole in the paper. May, with provisions of bread, sugar, tea, and The sultan and liis people evidently thought this a brandy, their animal food being the game they kill. trick;

he said something to his son, who instantly ran The officer receives a map, and then the experioff into the yourt, and brought to his father a Chinese ments commence - the officer noting down how wooden bowl. This was placed upside down on the many tolotniks of gold can be obtained from the stick by his own hand, and when he had returned to hundred poods of sand. Several places are tried, a place near me, I sent a ball through it. The holes and on this the director in Barnaul decides what were examined with great care; indeed, one man gold is to be worked. While one party are seeking placed the bowl on his head to see where the hole gold in the sand, another party are seeking silver in would be marked on his forehead. This was suffi- the rocks. These operations are usually concluded ciently significant. The people we were now among by the middle of October, when they return home I knew to be greatly dreaded by all the surrounding to Barnaul. tribes; in short, they are robbers, who set at naught Barnaul is well stocked with smelting-works, the authority of China, and carry on their depreda- chemical laboratories, public offices, and private tions with impunity. On looking round, I noticed dwellings, all connected with the mining operations ; that a set of daring fellows had been watching my and during the winter, which is undoubtedly very movements.'

severe in point of climate, balls, soirees, and concerts The banquet then followed. A small space in front are given. It has also a bazaar, where European of the sultan was left cleared, the male elders near articles, fashions, French silks and bonnets, are sold, him, and fifty men, women, and children assembled besides delicacies of the table, comprising English in front; the boys sat behind the men, and behind porter, Scotch ale, and French and Spanish wines. them successively, the women, girls, and dogs. After There is also a museum at Barnaul, comprising choice ablutions with warm water, the cooks brought in long specimens of Siberian minerals, and stuffed Siberian wooden trays, piled up with heaps of boiled mutton, animals, including four tigers, which came from the garnished with rice, when each man drew his knife Kirghisian Steppe; their capture having, in two and fell to. "The Kirglis who sat nearest the trays instances, proved fatnl to some of the peasants selected the things he liked best, and after eating a engaged, who had thought to expel the intruder from part, handed it to the man sitting behind; when their farms by pea-rifles and hay-forks. To conclude, again diminished, this was passed to a third; then such is Barnaul, the capital of the most productive to the boys; and having run the gantlet of all these mining district of Siberia. hands and mouths, the bone reaches the women and girls, divested of nearly every particle of food.

THE BONSPIEL. Finally, when these poor creatures have gnawed till nothing is left on the bone, it is tossed to the dogs.' Can our English readers imagine a Scottish loch or

A hunting excursion then followed in a day or two, lake in the winter season after four or five days' hard the sultan's three hunters leading the van, followed frost-a beautiful white plain surrounded by white by eagle-bearers. The eagle had shackles and a heights, and all under the stillness which allows of an hood, and was under the charge of two men. They ordinary sound being heard at a great distance? The had not gone far when several large deer rushed past existence of such circumstances in nature has given a jutting point of reeds, and bounded over the plain. In an instant, the bearcoote was unhooded and his birth to an appropriate game which might be described shackles removed, when he sprung from his' perch generally as bowls played on ice, though with certain and soared up in the air. Mr Atkinson watched him peculiarities, the chief being the use of flat-bottomed ascend as he wheeled round, and was under the stones to slide, instead of bowls to roll, said stones impression that he had not seen the animals; but in being furnished with handles to grasp by, much in this he was mistaken. He had now risen to a con- the manner of smoothing-irons. siderable height, and seeming to poise himself for a minute; gave two or three flaps with his wings, and

The frost having set labour free in some degree, swooped off in a straight line to his prey. The deer en assemble at the loch, and give the day to this gave a bound forward, and fell, the bearcoote having ancient national sport, usually wakening into wild struck one talon into his neck, and the other into his excitement and glee a scene which would otherwise back, while he torc out with his beak the animal's liver. wear the torpor of death. To stand on a height near Wild goats, wolves, and even foxes are hunted in this by, and see the bustle going on below; to hear the roar of the stones careering along the icy surface, and a hard one for about a week, and a' was right. So, the shouts and cachinnations of the players as these one afternoon, two of the Mitchell-hill lads came to knock against each other and settle in their respective us at Blendewan, and asked if we had ony objections destinies, is, we can assure our friends, no common- to meet them next day, providing the frost held. place amusement. To be, however, an actual player They said they had been at the laird's, and that he -a curler-'a keen, keen curler,' as the natives phrase was willing to come out, and bring a guest of his-Sir it--is something far beyond all this; for there are Alexander Gordon-along with him; that the herds joys in curling that none but curlers know. How of Stanhope and Eildon were to be there; and that else could it be that there are local clubs, county Wully Wilson, the wright, and Andrew Blair, the smith, clubs, and a national association of clubs, binding all were both keen to give us our revenge for last year's ranks and denominations of people together for the drubbing. So I mentioned that if I could get our enjoyment of this game? How else could it be that side made up in time, we would meet them on the ice curling lias its almanacs, its annual, its literature; by ten o'clock next morning. The two lads were that, curling is a kind of second freemasonry in rather crouse about the match, and said they Scotland?

hoped we would not let them win so easy a victory There is a kind of piquancy given to this game by this year as last. I said nothing; but, thinks I, wait the very uncertainty of the means and opportunities a wee, my lads, and we'll see who will craw the of playing it. The curlers watch for a hearty frost, loudest the morn. So away went Jolinny Armstrong woo it as mariners do a wind, and when it comes, and Peter Blackstocks back to tell the laird and the

snatch a fearful joy.' That no time may be lost in rest o' their folk that we would meet them, on the making an appointment, a flag hoisted on a hill-top understanding that if anything happened to interfere, sometimes informs a district of ten miles' radius that I was to send them a line not to come. the loch will bear, and the game hold. Then are

• Well, Mr Editor, I ken ye like particulars; so ye seen farmers, lairds, village tradesmen, ministers, see I threw my work bye, put on my cap, and went ploughimen, and shepherds, converging to the ren through the village, speering at the folk if they would dezvous, all full of charming anticipation. Society is be ready to come forrit next morning; and I must at once convulsed and cheered by the affair. No great add that I was very fortunate too: but who could regard is paid to common distinctions in making refuse the chance o' playing a bonspiel for the honour up the game. The laird is glad to have a clever o’ Blendewan! I soon got the minister to promise, ploughman on his side. Masters and servants often and the precentor too (Jamie Forgrieve, the miller, play together. The distinctions most thought of are could not be spared from home); Adam Prentice, local: the people of one estate or parislı will often the old herd, said he would be our man; Sandy play against each other-or it may be county against Grieve, the tailor, swithered a wee, but promised at county—in which cases the match is termed a bonspiel. last ; so there was five, and we wanted other three Each man requires at the ice two curling-stones and / -but these I kent where to find. I gaed the length a broom wherewith to sweep. Two marks, called o' the Fairy Knowe, and secured Mr Thompson-a tees, being made on the ice at the distance of thirty- keen hand—and a boarder of his, who was learning eight yards, and several rings drawn round each, the farming-another keen hand, and a great wag; and players arrange themselves, perhaps four, six, or eight I made up the number with Isaac Melrose, the on a side ; each with two stones to play, and each side cadger. Isaac's horse was not sharpit for the frost, having a director or chief called a skip. The space of glad of the opportunity o joining us against the

and was sair fatigued forbye; so the carrier was ice between the tees is called the rink. The object of

Mitchell-hill curlers. course, for each side, is to have as many of its stones It was late before I got our side made up, and my as possible in positions as near to the tee as may be. wife was beginning to give me up for lost. But ye 'il When a stone fails to reach a certain limit, called the mind Nancy, sir, and ye ken she's no ill to temper hog-score, it is laid aside. On any one, therefore, down! Well, everything was settled, and I sent two appearing likely to be laggard, all the players on that lads to the pond early in the morning, to sweep it side busy themselves in sweeping the way before it. clean and make the rink; and just as I was getting Soop, soop!' becomes a great cry among the curlers. my stones ready, the laird and Sir Alexander drove An English stranger once remarked that he heard day, and the laird speered at me if we were prepared,

up to my door. I went out and gave them time o' them always crying for soup, but no soup ever came ; as the players on his side were just coming down the much, no doubt, to liis disappointment. When one road in a cart. I told him we were all ready, and side counts thirteen, twenty-one, or thirty-one, as that our chaps had gone down to the pond with the may be, before the other, it has gained the victory.

minister a few minutes before. Wi' this, up drove Tliere was lately a bonspiel in a well-known district the Mitchell-hill cart with the six rival players ; but of the southern Highlands of Scotland, and a charac- with me, they never halted, but drove straight on.

when they saw the laird and Sir Alexander cracking teristic account of it having been obligingly sent to The laird got me in his dog.cart, and gave me a lift us by one of the players, we hasten to insert it, as down; and when we got to the ice, his servant drove perhaps the best means of conveying an idea of this the gig back to the nearest farmhouse, where the national game. The original language is so appro- beast was put up. priate that, notwithstanding its being possibly obscure “Well, Frank,” says the laird, "what sort of trim to some readers, we have left it almost unchanged.

are you in?” *You remember,' says our correspondent, that I

“Oh, sir,” says I, “I'm thinking I'm in kind o? promised to send you something of our bonspiel with

guid trim.” the Mitchell-hill lads, whenever it should be played. away with the match, as we did last year.”

"That's right, Frank. See and don't let us run Well, it was a bad winter for frost: not aboon two or “Well, I think, sir, it will tak a' your pouther to three days of it till Candlemas; but at last we got | master us this time."





laird's overseer.

6. Mr


[ocr errors]

“Think so, Frank? Why, here's Sir Alexander wonderful, and then we commenced to curl in Gordon on our side, and he's one of the best curlers earnest. It was but child's play before: we begood in the country.”

to play like men now. “That may be, sir, but he'll maybe find his match I will not take up your time by alluding to the in the cadger.”

various outs and ins of the game either before the 'In the meantime the minister and two gentle mid-day halt, or up till nearly the finish ; but I will

were holding a preamble about which side go on to relate how we gained the bonspiel after as was to be the winner, and I must say the gentry tough a contest as the Mitchell-hill players would were just as keen as us chaps. But you will better ever wish to have. understand how the match was made up if I give At 3 o'clock, P. M. the game stood thus: Mitchellyou the players' names on each side, in the order of hill, 24; Blendewan, 29—the latter wanting but two their playing:

to be game.

"The closing shots were lost and won thus: Mr Our Side-Blendeuan. Their Side Mitchell-hill. 1. Rev. Mr Montgomery.

Thompson o' the Fairy Knowe played uncommonly 1. Wully Dalgleish, the Stan. hope herd.

well, and his boarder chield not amiss; and Johnny 2. Adam Prentice, the auld 2. Tam Anderson, the Eildon Armstrong, the forester, and Wully Wilson, the

wright were bye-ordinar guid. Wully played his first 3. John Donaldson, the pre- 3. Wully Wilson, the wright.

stone a perfect pat-lid on the tee, and with his second 4. Sandy Grieve, the tailor. 4. Andrew Blair, the smith. guarded it within two feet. The first remained a pat5. Mr Thompson o' the Fairy 5. Johnny Armstrong, the lid till the end was played out, though his guard was Knowe.

chippit frae its place. They were unco near getting Robert Sibbald, his 6. Mr Dalrymple, the laird.

other two forbye this one, and indeed they were three 7. Isaac Melrose, the cadger. 7. Sir A. Gordon, a guest at the shots in, till my last stone inwicked from one and


curled in second. They were now twenty-five to our 8. Myself, Francis Baldwin, 8. Peter Blackstocks, the laird's

twenty-nine. souter (skip). forester (skip).

“We're gradually making up on you, Frank,” the Well, sir, in about a quarter of an hour the rink laird quietly observed. “You'll have to play your was ready, the stones lying a' thegither about the best, or we'll be upsides with you yet." brugh (the brugh, ye 'll remember, is the ring round “ That 'll be seen next end, Maister Dalrymple, or the tee), and every man had his besom in his hand. I'm cheated.” Just to try the keenness o'the ice, we sent our stones “And the next end began by Wully Dalgleish, the to the other end--of course not counting. Sir Stanhope herd, making a hog. “That's one off the ice, Alexander, I must admit, laid on his stones well, and, at any rate, says I to our side; and you 'll see more o' faith, I began to think he was like to be fashious a that kind before the end's played out, for the ice is wee, from his easy style and curler-like appearance. beginning to be dour. Now, lads," says I, “this end In driving his two trial-shots, the laird asked him must decide it; there's nae use in hinging on or saying to tak the wick-which means to strike the stone on ony mair about it: we want but two; the minister's the side, and glance off at an angle-o' one o' Tam to be first shot this time, and, faith, I'll be second Anderson's stones; which, faith, he managed; and his myself.' second one he drew to the laird's besom, and lay. I And up comes the worthy minister's stone, fine saw our chaps looking rather queer when they saw howe-ice-that's straight along the centre o' the rink, the shots played, but I counselled them never to as you know, sir-and lies within three feet o' the tee. mind that, for he couldna aye play the sanie.

The herd's second stone was better than the first, and “Now, Frank,” says the laird, when I was about to lay a goodish side-shot. They were on their metal, play my trial-stones down the rink, “here's a chance and playing their very best; sometimes putting in for you ; raise that stone."

plenty o pouther when it was needed, and whiles • I played a fine shot; but being out o' practice, I playing gently for a draw when it was needed. Three couldna be expected to do very well at first, so, hogs had been already played through over-caution. instead o' raising (which, as you know, means just Adam Prentice shewed that he was still the auld striking it fair-your own stone lying) the stone at man, and a swankin' player into the bargain. The the laird's besom, I missed it, and took an outwick tailor and precentor did their best, which, however, on another stone, which sent it close to the tee. was by no means bye-ordinar; but Mr Thompson Though the laird nichered and laughed at my miss, and his boarder proved themselves curlers o'the richt he wasna sae ready to laugh a while afterwards. sort, and played every shot in grand style. On the

*For the first two or three hours, the spirit of the other side, the players were just as good-not a hair game was never very high; both sides played toler- to judge by, and each man following the skip's direcably well, but without that roaring fun which I have tion terrible weel. Well, sir, the stones were lying known to accompany every "end" at curling-matches well about the brugh, and they were two shots in. It like ours; in fact, the company was beginning to was Sir Alexander's turn to play, and fortunately for get a thought dull, though the scoring was even us, he unintentionally opened up a port—which you enough to have excited more enthusiasm between know means a clear passage between stones-the very rival parties, when a halt was called, the besoms thing they should have avoided, but just what we flung down, and half an hour was allowed for bread wanted; and then the cadger stood ready to play. and cheese. There was a good deal of sport going “Now, Isaac," says I, “ye ken as weel as I, what to on while we sat on the banks of the pond, all mixed play for. The port is open, and they are two shots throughither; the laird and the cadger were holding in.” a contab about something I couldna hear, and Sir The cadger's stone is delivered, and, for a wonder, Alexander and auld Adam Prentice were smoking he misses the port ; however, "She's coming forrit their pipes thegither as crouse as ye like.

well enough, lads," says I; “soop her up, soop her up, “Now, Frank,” says the laird, "we'll have a dram 80-op her weel—there now-come: that's as good as together. I know that's what you want."

the port yet. You've positively brought one of the “Weel, laird, may be if we had had one sooner, we minister's stones in for shot." "And great was the might have shewn you more sport; but better late consternation on their side at this unlooked for turn than never, if it's your pleasure!"

in our favour. However, Peter the skip told them “So we all got a dram-a guid ane too, which I not to mind that, for the port was still open for Sir must say improved the spirits of the company most | Alexander's second and last stone. And to that


gentleman's praise I will say, he took the port in if you will be good enough to send us a few copies o' first-rate style; and had he given his stone a little the Journal, for the chaps to see their names in, you less pouther, he would have retrieved: but his stone will oblige your old friend—the Skip.' curled away to the other side o' the brugh, and lay outside. “ Isaac, man, I want you to close that port—draw

THE CITY OF MEN. to my besom; and if you do touch any of the stones, HOLINGSHED, in his History of Mancuniensis, repeats break an egg, and no more, for they ’re both against a prophecy well known to all northern antiquaries :

When all England is alost, "Put your bannet on the ice, where ye want me to lie, Frank.”

Weel ar they that are in Christ's Croft;

And where should Christ's Croft be, “ I'll do that, my man: there's the verra bit.”

But between Ribble and Mersey? And by one of the cadger's best strokes, the port was filled.

And however learnedly Camden may dispute the 'It was now Peter Blackstock's turn to play, so the etymology which derives the name of Manchester from laird acted skip for him.

the English tongue, instead of referring it to a purely “ Peter, if you 'll take an inwick on this stone at British origin, the former will still find favour in our my besom, I'll make your wife a present of a new eyes, since, as he tells us, its good people call the city gown.”

Manchester because it is a 'city of men!' And they “I saw the stroke fine, for I ettled (intended) to play are right, those good people; that is a conclusion I it myself when my turn came; and says I to myself: have come to from a recent close, however brief, inspec“Oh for a miss from Peter, though it should lose tion of themselves; and I give my vote accordingly a gown to the wife!” Peter's hand was trem- for the English etymology. bling with anxiety, and he fairly bungled the stroke If ever a place could apply to itself the account altogether.

Black Topsy gave of her origin, it would surely “Od, laird,” says I, “ye shouldna have spoken about be this great capital of the north of England : for the gown till after the stroke was played, for you've when one sees its most important streets, with fairly dumfoundered the forester's nerves!”

scarcely two houses together of uniform appearance, “Now, Frank,” says the cadger, “I wasna feered and with commerce sitting enthroned at one end to for onything the forester could do, for I kent it wasna dispense millions of wealth, while at the other the one o' his kind; but that's not to say I'm frightened huckster hawks his petty wares from a stall; its for you. Try for the verra same stone; and if ye tak princely edifices hustled by mean low-browed shops ; the wick at my besom, we're game."

its warehouses of palatial vastness and decoration, side “ Stand awa' from the stone, Isaac, my man. I ken by side with factories that are mere brick boxes; and what's wanted : here goes.” And up comes the stone. its long, long rows of poor streets, bare, plain, and “I believe she has it—10--yes, she has it. Dinna monotonous as the calico which the inhabitants have soop, callants—she's there, she's there, she 's THERE!” spent their lives in producing: he is by no means

“Frank, you 're a gentleman (the first time I was inclined to question the Topsyan surmise—“spects I ever called that before, Mr Editor), and no mistake!” growed.' Yes, we have here the America of England,

'A kind of unnatural calmness now spread over the not certainly in the shape of a Philadelphia or a laird's countenance; and after the bursts of enthu- Washington, no deliberate brick fulfilment of a paper siasm had subsided on our side, a perfect silence plan, but a heap of spontaneously formed Smithvilles reigned over the rink, for on the forester's last stone and Jonesvilles, that have risen up impulsively just depended all their hopes of cutting us out yet; when, and where, and how the need of the moment twenty-nine before, we were now thirty-one, or game, required, each capitalist centre having apparently unless the forester's last stone should render his given birth to its own surrounding accretion, and side a service by knocking out one, or may be both, all together forming an inartistical and unattractive of ours. In a calm, clear voice, the worthy laird whole. informed Peter what he, poor chap, already knew too It is a disappointment, too, to see the coal-born haze well-namely, how the game stood.

ever shutting out heaven's sunshine, and sprinkling all " There's but one chance left, Peter-a forlorn- things with its dismal flakes, while the very mud, hope, and it's do or die. Come up the ice all your soot-tempered, seems muddier than even the renowned force, and take that stone" (pointing to one of ours compound of London. It is a disappointment, because at some distance in front of the tee).

not very long since we were told that these grim "The forester eyes with an air of determination the furnaces were to be endowed with the saturnian power group of close-set stones that close up every road to of devouring everything they generated; and the City the tee; he sets himself firmly in his crampets, to the of the Thames was admonished to look to the City of precise posture requisite for a dashing stroke; his Men, and profit by the example. But now while roses stone steadies for an instant in the air behind him, even have learned to bloom in the purified Temple and away it careers with tremendous force.

atmosphere, smoke, checked but for å time in Man. “ Splendid !” cries the laird, the only word he has chester, again rears its head, and flings out its time to say:

Mind your feet," cries Sir Alexander serpent-wreaths from nearly every stalk. Gordon, as half-a-dozen stones are sent scattering in There is something repulsive in shops of inferior all directions. But to no purpose; for though the dimensions, and generally shabby appearance, anminister's stone was slightly touched, it still remained nouncing their ownership and wares in colossal first shot, and mine second. “Game-game-GAME!” inscriptions, letters three or four feet high, while the and up went our bonnets fleein' in the air.

legends of vast warehouses and factories, in the “Give us your hand, Maister Montgomery,” says I, modesty of conscious worth, lurk upon door-posts, or “ for you and me's played unco weel;" and the worthy peep in smallest type from beneath some deep-arched pastor and I shaked hands up to the shouthers. portal. Yet Manchester streets may be irregular, and

“But you must be tired o' me by this time, Mr its trading inscriptions pretentious, its smoke may be Editor; so I will only add that the laird had us all dense, and its mud may be ultra-muddy ; but not any up at the Ha', where we had plenty o' everything, not nor all of these things can prevent the image of the forgetting beef and greens, and plenty of good ale to great city from rising before us as the very symbol synd it ower. I'll maybe write another account if we of civilisation, foremost in the march of improvement, are spared to see another year; and in the meantime, a grand incarnation of progress. That commerce has had no unduly materialising influence upon those easily traced. The children are the chief workers in engaged in it here, that vast building at Old Trafford a family here; they are regarded according to what which rose at their bidding, and whose glorious con- their labour will fetch, and as soon as they are old tents were collected under their auspices, presents | enough, are sent forth to earn. The money-power sufficient proof; but there is no lack of minor evi- must always be the ruling power: the parents, theredence. When any of these great cotton-lords gives fore, who are often idle, are subordinated to the childme a commission for a picture,' observed an artist, a ren, on whose wages they mainly depend; parental Londoner by birth, but now resident in Manchester, authority is overthrown; the harmony of family-life 'they always speak and seem to feel as if it were they broken up; and the female character of course injured who were the obliged party.' There is nothing among in proportion.' them of the too common vulgarity of the petty trades- This was at least the substance of the speech, man, none of that demand for a servile gratitude so though it gives but an imperfect idea of the clearness often one of the trials most galling to genius. Again, of his argument, or the felicitous language which conin the rooms of the Royal Institution hangs a picture veyed it. Our pleased surprise was not lessened when of an old French abbé, equally attractive on the an individual, of equally humble appearance, in another grounds of its merit and its history. It is the work compartment, made some remarks on the comparative of a French lady who devotes all the produce of her characters of the factory-worker and agricultural art to purposes of benevolence, and was originally sent labourer, and in words more homely than those of the here to an exhibition by native and foreign artists. blind speaker, but not less fluent, maintained his view A gentleman delivering a lecture on this exhibition, of the question. The subject veering round to the commented on the extraordinary excellence displayed physical differences in different ranks, led to a disin the picture, and regretted, as it was still unsold, covery of his occupation, for on my mentioning having that it should be allowed to leave the country. He lieard that hatters kept assorted sizes of hats for had no sooner ceased than the appeal was responded the various classes of society-gentlemen, servants, to; the picture was at once purchased, and at rather mechanics, &c.—and that the gentlemen's were usually a high price, by one of his hearers, who then observed the largest, he observed that at least the gentlemen's that he thought he could not do better than present servants were invariably the smallest ; adding—' And it to the Institution with which they were connected: my opinion may be received as something worth on and, accordingly, there it hangs at this moment on this subject, for I am a hatter.' the walls of that noble building. Nor is this spirit And how is this general intelligence and cultivation confined to the upper classes. On the recent exhi- to be explained ? One cause of the advance, though bition of the competition-works of students in the not of the tendency, may be easily traced. When the schools of art, it was truly gratifying to see what question of the free-library system was first discussed, flocks of rough-looking, ill-dressed people crowded in Manchester was one of the first towns to demand the the evening to the rooms, and to observe with what institution; and amid long mean streets, well fitted to attention they examined the various merits of even supply its readers, stands one of the noblest efforts chalk-shadings and pencil-outlines ; and people like made in the cause of human culture, the Camp Field these are hardly to be suspected of affecting an interest Free Library. Here a large and handsome groundthey do not feel.

floor hall is filled with desks and tables devoted to Much has been said-perhaps too much-about the periodical literature; and the poorest wanderer may humanising influence of art; but, simultaneously with drop in and acquaint himself with the chief events and the fine feeling we have alluded to, the men of the great discussions of the day. Here, if it be washingCity of Men are unquestionably more than usually day at home, and the wet linen still hangs in the one devoted to the small amenities of life. An illustration room, or the workman is weary with his labour, and of this may be met with in every street in the polite | his children are ill or noisy, what a resource is within and painstaking anxiety of the passers-by to direct a his reach when he can repair to this lofty, well-lit stranger on his way. The minute directions, patiently room, with its comfortable seats and unfailing stores repeated when not understood, will even sometimes be of amusement! Here, too, is a circulating library for followed up by a long walk out of the way, in order to home-reading, available on presenting a recommendamake sure that the road shall not be mistaken; and tion; while a staircase, profusely adorned with excelno touched hat and appealing look at the end of the lent engravings, leads to a large room containing a journey imply that your honour's health' was the library of reference, the valuable books of which can expected conclusion. The general intelligence, also, of be perused only within the room, but are freely handed the lower classes is remarkable. A boy in a ware- to any applicant without question or introduction. house, a lad from the factory, will not only readily But, in addition to the kind of intelligence alluded reply to any inquiries as to the processes going on in to, there is a certain completeness in the mind of his own department, but will shew himself equally Manchester, which recognises the mutual dependence conversant with the general details of the business, of the physical and intellectual nature. Here, for and in respect to the materials employed, the amount instance, public baths and wash-houses were founded of trade, and the average of wages. Returning once some time before they made their way to London. from an excursion to inspect a mill a short distance Even swimming - baths for females have begun to from Manchester, I happened to remark to one of my make some progress, at least in principle: at Peel companions that a medical friend of mine had been Park, the Gymnasium affords not only to sedentary deploring the prevalence of female labour in the men and boy-workers an opportunity of healtlıful factories, on the ground that the feminine character exercise, but a secluded portion of the grounds is set was exclusively adapted for domestic seclusion, and apart for girls, to allow them also some small chance invariably deteriorated in congregations even of her of proper muscular development. Might not the own sex, when a clear though somewhat feeble voice authorities of the London Parks take a hint from behind begged to be permitted to make'a remark upon this great charity, and so enable many a poor girl the subject. I was then in a third-class carriage, for who sits all day working bugles or quilling blond, the very purpose of studying the character of the or making artificial flowers, to enjoy the means of masses, and I turned quickly, and saw the pale thin obtaining stronger limbs and a straighter spine ? face and sightless eyes of a man about thirty, neatly Leaving Peel Park, the eye is caught by an but very meanly clad, and evidently of the lower rank. announcement at its gates concerning a school in

• You are speaking,' said he, of the way the female connection with the Salford Institute; and here again character is injured in factories: the causes may be a striking fact presents itself. Not only is general

« 上一頁繼續 »