Page images

en self. The town (Lanerk) contains nearly two thousand

- inhabitants, mostly Highlanders; all of whom, that are pre capable of labour, are employed by Mr. Dale in his ser12' vice, either in working at the cotton-manufactory, or in (022" repairing and keeping the mills in order. Five hundred

children are entirely fed, clothed, and instructed at the * expence of this venerable philanthropist. The rest of 3 the children live with their parents in comfortable and

neat habitations in the town, and receive weekly wages e for their labour.

The health and the happiness depicted in the counte

nances of these children, show that the proprietor of the : Lanerk mills has remembered mercy in the midst of his

gain; the regulations, adapted here for the preservation
of the health, both of body and of mind, are such as do
honour to the goodness and thediscernment of Mr. Dale,
and present a striking contrast to the generality of large
manufactories in this kingdom, which are the schools of
vice and profligacy, the very hot-beds of disease and
contagion*. It is a truth which should be engraven in

[ocr errors]

* The numerous evils, resulting from the generality of ma.
nufactures, have been energetically displayed by an interesting
fraveller, Mr. Heron ; our readers will read with pleasure his sa-
gacious reflections, and perceive, with satisfaction, that Mr.
Dale has contrived remedies for all these evils.

One shocking circumstance," says Mr. Heron, " which
in spite of every means that can be used to prevent it, results
unavoidably from the present management of the manufactures,
is the almost total ruin of the rising generation. They are.
cramped in their growth; their health is wasted by confine.
ment; their morals are corrupted in consequence of their being
crowded so much together; they become independent of pa.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

letters of gold to the eternal honour of the founder of new Lanerk, that, out of nearly three thousand children, working in these mills, during a period of twelve years, from 1735 to 1797, only fourteen have died, and not one has suffered criminal punishment.

[ocr errors]

rents, at an age when they are unfit to judge for themselves; if such children five to the age of thirty or forty, they ar commonly the most dissipated, idle, unthinking, improvident, helpless creatures in the world. But if their labour cannot be wanted, yet, why should their strength and life be prema. turely consumed for all the little labour of which they are ca. pable? Alas! we do with them as did the boy with his goose that laid him golden eggs; he was in haste to receive all that she had to lay, he killed his goose, the eggs were yet in embryo; thus do we, in our haste to render the rising generation useful to the community, anticipate in infancy all the services of youth, manhood, of age, nipping in the bud the flowers of humanity. When obliged to labour before the age of twelve or fourteen, children should never be confined for more than four, or at most six, hours in the day; this, if at employment within doors, for not more than four days in the week; the other two being set apart for their education. The parents are base, who, spending in eating, in drinking, in clothing, those earnings which they might employ to give their children the ! enjoyment of that sportive freedom in which the innocence of youth delights, to procure them instruction in religion, and in the other ordinary branches of education, sending the poor creatures prematurely into all the toils and miseries of life. Yet, I say not that, in great towns, it is better for the children of the poor to be idle than to be employed; if there be a choice between two such evils, I would rather employ them, to work them to death, than send them wandering about the street as blackguard boys and infant strumpets."


Journey through Scotland.

Pare and fresh air, without which life cannot exist, is administered in abundance to this manufactory, by frequently opening the windows, and by air-holes, under every other window, which are left open during the summer months. The children are all washed before they go to work, and after they have finished their daily labour, previous to their appearance in the schools. The floors and the machinery of the mills are washed once a week with hot water; and the walls and ceilings, twice a year, are white-washed with unslaked lime. The children are lodged in large airy rooms. The boys and girls are kept separate from each other during rest, mealtimes, and working hours. Hence, one most material source of the corruption and the profligacy which prevail in almost all other large manufactories, is here prevented from existing

They are fed plentifully with plain and wholesome food, which consists chiefly of fresh beef and barleybroth, cheese, potatoes, and barley-bread, with now and then some fresh-herrings as a variety. Their breakfast and supper are, principally oatmeal-porridge, with milk in the summer, and in winter, a sauce made of beer and melasses. At seven o'clock the children sup, after this there is no night-work; a pernicious and infamous practice in use at most other manufactories, for the purpose, as it should seem, of promoting immorality and debauchery amongst the poor, ignorant, unfortu. nate manufacturers. After supper the schools open, and continue so till nine o'clock. The lesser children, that are not yet old enough to work, are instructed in the day-time; the elder children learn in the evening, when the daily labour is concluded. Proper mas

ters ad misrases are employed to teach both the boys ad gris; tie beys learn to read and write, and cast æcounts; the gr's, in addition to these inestimable aquisicions, are tagit to work at the needle. Some cf äe ehüdren are taught church-music, and on Sunday they ail, under the insediate guidance of the mistars, atend a place of be worship, and the rest of the day is cecucied, a s, is receiving moral and relicus estructions from these masters.

Scoe few years since, 2 reszel, carrying emigrants frees the Fighlands to America, was driven by soul Theater isto Greecock, and, in ecosequence, more than two bonded poor creatures were put on shore in a most helpless and wretched state. Mr. Dale, as soon as be knew it, cifered bea al employment, and most of them entered immediately into his service. He also, soon after, invited other people from the Highlands, and undertoo's to provide habitations for two hundred families. The invitation was joyfully accepted, and numbers of Highlanders came, and have taken up their abode in the territory of their benevolent em. pover. Many families also, that were lately driven from Ireland by want and by famine, have found protection, support, and employment for them, and for their little ones, from this indefatigable philanthropift.

Such is the praise, the rare, the enviable praise of Dale; of one who has done more for his country and for the benefit of mankind, than all the warriors and all the conquerors that have ever lived, than all those whose names now stain the page of history with characters of desolation and of blood: but the name of Dale shall be remembered, and shall sbine forth with

honour in that great day, when the book of life shall be opened, and it shall be pronounced unto every man according to his deeds; in that awful and tremendous day, when men shall not be judged as kings, and as princes, and as lords, and as destroyers of cities, and as murderers of their fellow creatures, but all shall be judged as offending sinners. In that day will those, who have been deemed great upon the earth, in that they possessed and employed the power of oppressing and of afflicting human nature, hide their heads in confusion and dismay; while all those, who, like the benevolent Dale, have blessed their fellow-beings, even as the dews of heaven have blessed them, shall receive their reward, and sit as glorified saints on the right hand of Him who descended from the throne of God to save and to redeem fallen and lost mortality.



“ Behold the mountains, less’ning as they rise,

Lose the low vales, and steal into the skies.”


*Hirschberg, August, 1800. .... We had been obliged to take one of the common post-chaises of the country to go to Schreibershau t, the

* A handsome town of Silesia, with a number of noble edifices, which is situated in a valley, and surrounded by hills, more or less elevated on every side, with the sublime gloom of the Giant Mountains at the back-ground of the scene.

+ A Silesian village, containing about 350 houses and 1600 inhabitants, but they are scattered over an extent of sc.

« PreviousContinue »