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systematic mode of living, and may be, I trust, the commencement of a better race of men. You may ask-is this system appreciated by the labouring class ? I should say, most decidedly, it is. In three months after I had filled up my number I refused sixty applicants, and one poor woman walked twenty-four miles to get her boy placed with me, but my number was already

I must not omit to mention that in keeping these boys I am consuming my own manufactures) wheat, pigs, sheep, &c. (by which means I have the bran back on the farm; I have the butcher's profit on the sheep and pigs ; and I keep my capital in my own country (my farm), instead of sending it abroad (i. e., the labour market). I have said nothing of the accommodation and expence of fitting up, but it is not great. There are also books, &c., which are those generally used by the national schools, published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge; in these a sovereign will go a long way. This, and the interest of capital invested in furniture, &c., when divided amongst twenty boys, amounts to very little per week. Perhaps in all 2s. per boy per year.”

The author, after giving this extract from what he had himself written in 1848, inserts the remarks of a visitor of his farm, in which special mention is made of the intelligent manner of the boys, and of their healthy, contented looks, and that they showed fair acquirements in reading, in religious knowledge, and in arithmetic, although twothirds of them had not previously been sent to school at all, nor pos: sessed any knowledge beyond that of the letters of the alphabet, and only three had been able to read before they joined the establishment. Their ages, it is stated, varied from nine or ten to fifteen years, with the exception of one of nineteen, and that several of them were orphans from the workhouse, and the majority the children of mothers deserted by their husbands, or of a widowed parent. The regularity of their mode of working in the fields is noticed as remarkable, and their work as generally done with evident care and attention. In one field was to be seen the result of a late competition among the boys for a prize of 5s., for the boy who hoed half a rood of wheat in the best manner and in the shortest time. The prize had been won by a boy who hoed his half-rood in one hour and fifty-one minutes, being at the rate of 3s. per day. The others averaged from two and a quarter to two and a half hours. The work was generally done with care, the land was quite clean from weeds, and the whole of the surface had been moved with the hoe, which is not generally the case when done by the piece. The gang-work is mentioned as the most interesting of out-door operations, and as this is well calculated to illustrate the benefit of such a system in training a more skilful class of agricultural labourers, the short account of it is worth perusing :

“ Twelve boys, directed by the manager, were engaged in sowing swedes, in a field of thirty-three acres. The field had been sown with mangold wurzel, but the crop had failed owing to the unfavourableness of the season. Four boys went first, making holes with their hoes in the ridges at regular distances. These were followed by the same number of boys with small cans full of seed, who put a little into each hole. Behind came four more who closed up the holes. While there was evident difference in aptitude among the youthful labourers, it was also evident that they all worked cheerfully, intelligently, and with regularity."

Our author considers the further results of his system as still more satisfactory; for, whilst the general reduction of the price of provisions has materially lessened the expence of maintenance, the value of the labour of the boys, from a more thorough knowledge of their work, and from greater strength, owing to their more advanced years, has considerably increased ; so much so, indeed, that in some cases the daily work of each boy has been found equal to that of an able-bodied man. And thus far, he says, the advantages of the system have been generally acknowledged.

But several gentlemen of well-known experience in practical agriculture, having expressed a doubt as to the practicability of employing boys advantageously on a farm during the whole year, the writer undertook to keep a daily account of the work of the boys upon his farm, in order that a correct conclusion upon this point might be arrived at. This account it was his intention to publish in detail, but having found it too long to be brought within the limits of his pamphlet, he has reduced the substance of it into the more concise form of a monthly calendar of operations, with the addition of such observations as are necessary by way of explanation. For the particulars of this calendar we must refer our readers to the pamphlet, where will also be found very exact details of the several articles used in the food and clothing of the boys. From the calendar it may fairly be inferred that no lack of profitable employment for the boys has been experienced at any period of the year. A similar monthly account of the operations of boys on the Park Farm of the Duke of Bedford, at Woburn, during the years 1849 and 1850, is also given, and the writer adds that he has received a very satisfactory statement of the results of the labour of boys on this farm, in which it is confidently asserted, that “ there is no period throughout the year that the boys are not fully and profitably employed ; that the work is well performed, and that it is certainly more economical than that done by the piece." The testimony upon this subject by Mr. Valentine, now manager of the farm of the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, is as follows:

“I always found that boys' labour cost less on an average, and was better done, than that by men by the piece, at all work to which their strength was equal. There were certain times in the year when they were not profitably employed, as is often the case with men; they were, however, always employed at something, so that when required they were ready, and would therefore at busy times keep their places for this reason, although they might have had higher wages for a short time only. It very rarely occurred, however, that the boys could not be profitably employed at something."

The following statement of the comparative value of boys' work in 1847 and 1849 is given, to show the rapid progress made by the boys in their work from continued practice, and increased age and strength :


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Dibbling wheat (five pecks per acre)
Wheat hoeing
Turnip hoeing
Cleaning, heaping, and covering swedes

Cost in 1847
per acre.

s. d.
4 8
4 0
3 4

3 4 1 7 2 0 16

In 1850, eighty acres of wheat were let to six of the boys to hoe, at 3s. per acre, and during the whole time that they were thus employed, each boy earned 9s. per week.

From the above comparison the advantage of hiring boys for a term of years is obvious, inasmuch as their ability is greatly increased by continued practice and experience. In illustration of this the writer mentions, that, on comparing the account of work done on the Duke of Bedford's farm with that on his own, he found that the number of boys per acre in each operation was precisely the same as that of his own account for 1847, but that his number per acre in 1849 was considerably less. And this he explains by the circumstance that the boys on the Duke of Bedford's farm being daily labourers, there was of course frequent changes, while in his own case the same boys were employed for four years. Still the advantage of their being even so employed is proved to be very great by the readiness with which the neighbouring farmers take the boys after leaving "the gang ;” and it shows how thoroughly their value as farm labourers is appreciated.

Their is one other particular which must be noticed, and on which the writer says the success of the system must entirely depend, namely, the overlooking and general management of the boys in the field and in the schoolroom. A gang of boys to work well must work as a piece of machinery ; each boy must have his allotted task, and each must be placed according to his strength and capabilities. It is by this careful distribution of labour that such surprising amounts of work are performed ; as may be seen exemplified by the excellent management shown in the works of our great public contractors, and in large and complicated manufactories. The difficulty of obtaining a suitable person as overlooker will probably be one of the main obstacles to the adoption of the admirable system which the pamphlet before us describes. Still this difficulty is not insurmountable. "Mr. Valentine, already quoted, says, that the first person he employed had no idea of discipline; the second leaned to the boys, and yielded to the complaints of their fathers and mothers; but the third did well, and managed the boys to his entire satisfaction for about six years. thor, Mr. Batson, mentions that he procured a young man to superintend the daily labour and the evening instruction of his own establishment, who had been four years at Woburn National School and six years in a gang on the Duke of Bedford's Farm ; but he adds that he made it his duty to attend personally each evening to assist. It is doubtless from such establishments that proper overseers must be procured, and as the number of the former increases the difficulty of obtaining superintendents will diminish.

It is gratifying to observe indications of increasing public feeling in favour of such system as that above described and so successfully tried by Mr. Batson. He himself mentions the farm of the “ Philanthropic Society" in Surrey, and the “Orphan Agricultural School" for orphans of the City of London, which has lately commenced operations on a farm of 20 acres, with a view of employing, maintaining, and educating 25 boys, and which is intended merely as the foundation of a larger establishment. The Cambridge Industrial School, noticed in

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the last number of our Journal, may be cited as another instance where the training of boys as farm servants has been successfully established, Others might be mentioned, but unfortunately they are at present few indeed wlien compared with the demand for such establishments. We must conclude with offering our cordial thanks to Mr. Batson for having brought the important results of his labours before the public, and with expressing an earnest hope that they may become generally known, and thus induce others to carry out the system which he has explained, and of which we confidently predict that the result will be the foundation of a progressive improvement of the condition of the labouring classes.

ON SUNDAY SCHOOLS. We sincerely hope that the subject on which we here propose to say a few words is not beyond the province of our journal, for we have to say that which we believe materially concerns two classes of society deeply interesting to us.

About forty years ago, good and pious men, lamenting, as they well might, the fewness of parochial schools, and anxious to make up the deficiency as far as in them lay, gradually introduced what is now the Sunday school system. A school here, and another there, was established, till in the course of time they have filled the land, and at the present hour a parish can scarcely be found in town or country which does not possess a Sunday school. Far be it from us to deny-nay, we gladly and thankfully affirm—that at the time this system began to be developed among us, it was a most praiseworthy exercise of en. lightened Christian benevolence, and has proved a great blessing to thousands of our fellow-subjects. Nor at the same time do we wish to discourage Sunday schools as such, but to call attention to what we are disposed to think is Sunday-schooling carried to excess, and thereby defeating the end in view. Since the time spoken of above, a great, and, we trust in the main, a happy change has taken place among us. There was then no national education; nothing that deserved the name of national schools. Sunday schools were established for the benefit of those who, for the most part, now attend national and other parochial schools; and what was stern necessity then, if the children of our poorer brethren were to have religious education at all, is at the present open to a temperate and kindly review. Our object is, therefore, to call attention to the system as described below, to point out how, in such cases, it is likely to work on the parties immediately concerned-on the children, that is, and on the parochial minister and his staff.

Let us first consider the case of the children, for whose benefit this work is undertaken. Let us attend them through the day. And here we must be allowed to state that the cases to which our remarks are intended to have reference, and which we fear are not uncommon, are those where the routine is as follows, or very nearly so :-From nine to eleven in school, from eleven to one in church; they are then allowed to run home for dinner. Al two in school again; from that hour till half-past four or five they are, in towns, in school; and in the country in school and attending the afternoon service in church. With but little interniission, therefore, the attention of the children is kept, or supposed to be kept, on the most important subjects for nearly eight hours together. Some of these too are little children; many of the rooms and churches are crowded, and in the summer are too often illventilated and oppressive. Let those who are concerned with schools conducted after this manner think what is likely to be the result. Ought we to wonder if we find that weariness and not instruction or edification is the principal fruit of a day spent in this way? May it not be in some measure owing to this that boys and girls, as soon as they leave school, are unhappily so rarely seen at church at all? Can the sabbath have been a delight to them, when, as soon as they are in a sense their own masters, they notoriously pass the day in a manner almost entirely at variance with their early training and liabits ?

At this point we desire to call attention to a practice followed in schools of a higher kind, especially in establishments for young ladies, the practice, we mean, of seiting children to write out as much as they can recollect of the sermon. This has always seemed to us calculated to give young people something like a dislike gf Sunday and its services. They will dread the task, and the day on which it recurs, and the services with which it is connected. And even where this is not the result, is not the practice likely to create in their minds an absorbing interest in the sermon, and make them consider that part of the service the only part with which they are concerned ? We cannot but think it desirable to avoid as much as possible rendering Sundays, or ordinances of religion, tasks. Not that these are to be days of idleness ; far otherwise. Still the notion of " rest is not to be entirely overlooked, and whatever is attempted in addition to public and private acts of devotion, should be rather reading and partaking of a conversational character, than what is irksome and of the nature of task-work.

We could not resist making this short appeal in behalf of those young ladies and others who are running this risk; our proper business however is with the clergyman and the teachers in Sunday schools. In the majority of cases the clergyman has two full services to perform, and frequently other occasional duties on the Sunday. Besides this, in all districts the sick would be most beneficially visited on that day, if he had the time and physical strength, especially in the case of those sick persons who in health have been in the habit of attending the church regularly. On this day, too, in rural districts, he would have, humanly speaking, the best chance of being of service to the father of a sick child, or the husband of a sick wife, who is never to be found at his home on other days of the week. To do these important duties well, and to the good of those among whom he ministers, is quite sufficient for one day. Whereas, if he be young or zealous, or fear the remarks of gossiping neighbours, he will be found spending two or three hours in a school-room. In trying to do as much good as he can, he attempts more than he is equal to. And thus, after a few years, men have been weakened in health, obliged, it may be, to leave their work and their parishes, and seek in a distant part of the country that bodily

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