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refused to participate in their outrages, are deliberately assassinated in the open day; and sometimes the unoffenaing members of a family are indiscriminately murdered by burning the habitation.” A state in which even those best able to protect themselves, the gentry, are forced to build up all their lower windows with stone and mortar; to admit light only into one sitting-room, and not into all the windows of that room, to fortify every other inlet by bullet proof barricadoes; to station sentinels around during all the night, and the greater part of the day; and to keep fire-arms in all the bedrooms,
and even on the side-table at breakfast and dinuer time. Well might even Bishop Doyle exclaim-“I do not blame the absentees; I would be an absentee myself if I could.”
“RURAL LIFE OF ENGLAND."
From “Rural Life of England,” by Wm. H. HOWITT, we take the following extract:
“The wildness into which some of these children in the more solitary parts of the country, grow, (recollect this is in Lancashire, near the great city of Manchester,) is, I imagine, not to be surpassed in any of the back settlements of America. On the 5th July, 1836, the day of that remarkable thunder-storm which visited a great part of the kingdom with much fury, being driven into a cottage at the foot of Pendle by the coming on of this storm, and while standing at the door watching its progress, I observed the head of some human creature, carefully protruded from the doorway of an adjacent shed, and as suddenly withdrawn on being observed. To ascertain what sort of a person it belonged to, I went into the shed, but at first found it too dark to enable me to discover anything. Presently, however, as objects became visible, I saw a little creature, apparently a girl about ten years old, reared very erectly against the opposite wall. On accosting her in a kind tone, and telling
her to come forward and not be afraid, she advanced from the wall, and behold! there stood another little creature, about the head shorter, whom she had been concealing. I asked the elder child, whether this younger one were a girl. She answered, “Ne'a' "Was it a boy?' 'Ne'a.'
. What! neither boy nor girl? Was she a girl herself ?' Ne'a.' •What! was it a boy I was speaking to?' “Ne'a.' "What in the name of wonder were they then ?' “We are childer.' Childer! and was the woman in the house their mother?' 'Ne'a. "Who was she, then?' Ar mam.'
mam! and do you keep cows in this shed?' 'Ne'a,-bee-as. In short, common English was quite unintelligible to these poor little creatures, and their appearance was as wild as their speech. They were two fine young creatures, nevertheless,—especially the elder, whose form and face were full of that symmetry and fine grace that are sometimes the growth of unrestrained Nature, and would have delighted the sculptor or painter. Their only clothing was a sort of little boddice with skirts, made of a reddish stuff, and rendered more picturesque by sundry patches of scarlet cloth, no doubt from their mother's old cloak. Their heads, bosoms, and legs to the knees, were bare to all the influences of earth and heaven; and on giving each of them a penny, they bounded off with the fleetness and elasticity of young roes. No doubt the hills and the heaths, the wild flowers of summer, and the swift waters of the glens, were the only live long day companions of these children, who came home only to their oatmeal dinner, and a bed as simple as their garments. Imagine the violent change of life by the sudden capture and confinement of these litile English savages in the night-and-day noise, labor, and foul atmosphere of the cotton purgatories!
“In the immediate neighborhood of towns, many of the swelling ranges of bills present a much more cultivated aspect, and delight the eye with their smooth, green, and flowing outlines; and the valleys, almost everywhere, are woody, watered with clear, rapid streams, and in short, are beautiful. But along the rise of the tall chimneys of vast and innumerable factories, and even while looking on the places of the master manufactories, with their woods, and gardens, and shrubbery lawns around them, one cannot help thinking of the horrors detailed before the committee of the House of Commons, respecting the Factory System; of the parentless and friendless wretches, sent by wagon loads from distant work-houses to these prisons of labor and despair; of the young frames crushed to the dust by incessant labor; of the beds into which one set of children got, as another set got out, so that they were said never to be cold the whole year round, till contagious fires burnt out and swept away by hundreds these little victims of Mammon's ererurging never-ceasing wheel. Beautiful as are many of these wild recesses, where, before the introduction of steam, the dashing rivulet invited the cotton-spinners to erect their mills; and curious as the remains of those simple original factories are, with their one great waterwheel, which turned their spindles while there was water, but during the drought of summer quite as often stood still; yet one is haunted even there, among the
shadows of the fine old trees that throw their arms athwart streams dashing down their beds of solid rock, by the memory of little tender children, that never knew pity or kindness, but labored on and on, through noon and through midnight, till they slept and yet mechanically worked, and were often awaked only by the horrid machinery rending off their limbs. In places like these,
. where now the old factories and large houses of the proprietors, stand deserted, or are inhabited by troops of poor creatures, whose poverty only makes them appear the more desolate. We are told by such men as Mr. Fielden, of Oldham, once a factory child himself, and now a great manufacturer, who dares to reveal the secrets of the prison-house, that little children hare eren committed suicide to escape from a life worse than ten deaths. And what a mighty system is thig now become? What a perpetual and vast supply of human energy and human life it requires, with all the facilities of improved machinery, with all the developed power of steam, and with all the glowing thirst of wealth to urge it on! We are told that the state of the factories is improved, and trust they are; but if there be any truth in the evidence given before the Parliamentary committees, there is need of great amelioration yct; and it is, when we recollect these things, how completely the laboring class has, in these districts, been regarded as mere machinery for the accumulation of enormous capitals, that we cease to wonder at their uncouth and degraded aspect, and at the neglect in which they are suffered to swarm over these hills, like the very weeds of humanity, cast out into disre