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leave the School ? “ They are bound apprentice until they are twenty-one years of age,” was the chilling reply. Apprentice for so many years.!! “We are always particularly careful to inquire the character of the persons to whom they are bound *.” It may be so, but have you always the means of ascertaining the truth of the accounts you receive ? Are the habits and dispositions of obscure individuals, any where, but more especially in a City like London, so easily known, as that an innocent young Girl, hitherto kindly and tenderly treated, but ignorant of the world and its corruptions, should be put in complete subjection to their authority?" "We make frequent inquiries after them t, and it often happens that Ladies who come hither take a fancy to particular individuals, and adopt them.” Be it so: as far as it goes, all this is well: but do palliations of an evil, or exceptions to its operation in particular cases, make it cease to be evil ?”
The following case has occurred while this very article is under our hands. We copy from The Morning Chronicle, of the 26th of October, 1814.
“ Thomas Brookes and his wife were indicted on a charge of cruelty towards Sarah Jackson, their apprentice, a child about thir
From the statement of the child it appeared that she had been with the defendants, who live in Chicksand-lane, Mile End, upwards of three years, and during that time had been frequently beaten and ill treated by them; her mistress was in the habit of charging her with faults, and then beating her till she confessed herself guilty. On the 5th of September last her mistress charged her with stealing some halfpence. She denied the charge, when recourse was had to the usual mode of enforcing confession, namely, beating her with a rope knotted at the end. First Mrs.
* “ I have been repeatedly told, that no such precautions are taken respecting the poor Girls bound apprentice by the Asylum for Orphans near Westminster Bridge; and I have heard that a case of great atrocity lately occurred in the cruelty inflicted upon two Girls from that school, by a pastry cook and confectioner, in a principal town in the county of York. It ought to be observed, that it is only in extreme cases that the lamentable voice of the oppressedd sufferer can ever reach the public ear, and that there are various gravlations of misery, which, if they fall short of actual murder, must continue scaled up in silence, until the great day of account !"
+ “There can be no doubt but that this is true, respecting the present Governors ; that they do make inquiry from time to time after the fate of all such Girls as are within their reach; but, if this laudable attention could be effectual to counteract all the bad consequences necessarily resulting from the very nature of the contract, which however will hardly be affirmed, are they possessed of a talisman which shall oblige all their successors to imitate their example? If not, what must we conclude respecting the wis. dom, or the humanity, of continuing the practice?”
Brookes beat her, and was succeeded by Mr. Brookes ; and at length the unhappy object of their tyranny was forced to confess, and said she had thrown the money down the privy. Mrs. Brookes then insistep on her searching there for it, and ordered a boy who was in the house to put her head down and hold her by the heels whilst she searched with her hands for it. Under the misery occasioned by this punishment, the child changed her tale, and said she had thrown it into the kennel; she was then again beaten and turned into the street to look for it, when she took the opportunity of running away. She found a person who sheltered her for the night, and next morning, whilst wandering in the street she was met by a respectable tradesman named Mathers, who seeing her distressed and miserable state, took her to the parish officers.
“ Mr. Mathers detailed the distressed situation in which he found the unfortunate child covered with rags, and her back bruised and lacerated
in a shocking manner. 66 Mr. Duckrow, the overseer, and Mr. Hall, master of the Workhouse, gave similar testimony,
“ Mr. Harvey, an undertaker, who lives next door to the Defendants, heard the child's screams, and also heard Mrs. Brookes order the boy to put her head down the privy. Mrs. B. then quitted the yard, saying she could not bear the stench from the disturbed soil, and at the same time declaring, if the money was not found she would murder the girl.
“ Several other persons were called, who spoke to the severe treatment which they hal witnessed from the Defendants towards the unfortunate girl.
“On the part of the Defendant, two women who lodged in the house, and à neighbour, were called, who stated that the girl was an extremely bad dispositioned child, dishonest, and a liar, and that the correction she had received was only such as was proper and necessary
“ The Jury, however, without hesitating a moment, found both the Defendants Guilty. --- Judgement postponed."
Another subject, treated of at great length in this work, that of Female Friendly Societies, we must adjourn till another opportunity. There is one other observation, however, of Mrs. Cappe's, which has too much relation to the topics treated of in this article, and in some of the articles in our former numbers, that we deem it useful to offer it to the serious consideration of the public.
“ There is one more subject, productive of innumerable evils, to which the author, having the opportunity of adverting, cannot persuade herself tbat she shall fully discharge her duty, were she to pass it over in absolute silence.- The crowds of footmen, in the Metropolis, retained, not for use, but for show, idle themselves, corrupted and corrupting; insolent, luxurious and extravagant in their
habits whilst they continue in place, and unable as well as indisposed to gain an honest subsistence when they leave it*.
“ But it will be objected perhaps, What power have Ladies to remedy this evil ? We would reply, That to remove one source of it, is certainly in their power.-- They have the power of lessening the numbert. If we inquire into the reason, why a Lady, for example, has four footmen to precede her chair ; why our public prints make a boast of the distinction, and thereby excite an ardent desire in others to imitate, what they delusively represent as so illustrious an example ; shall we not be told, that these are discriminating marks of high rank in the world of fashion, and that it is utterly impossible for a Lady of ton to appear without a certain number of these necessary appendages? But what is fashion ? What is ton? Have Ladies no influence in the Temple of these capricious deities ---no power to regulate the rites by which they are worshipped? It is admitted indeed, that a small number of Ladies, however inestimable for their talents and virtues, or respectable for their rank and station, might not be able to effect a perceptible change; but if great numbers would unite for the purpose of erecting a juster standard, and were at the same time to recommend and enforce by their own exemplary example, all those amiable dispositions and virtuous habits which constitute real respectability and true excellence ; can a doubt remain, but that many misconceptions on these subjects would be removed ? and that juster ideas and sentiments would rapidly prevail ?
* " I remember, about forty years ago, that my Father, a Clergyman, and who resided principally at that time on a living in the country, when lamenting the many disorders and immoralities among his Parishioners, which he could neither prevent nor cure, used to attribute their greater prevalence, in that particular place, to the circumstance of a high road passing through it from London to the North, and to the cousequent influx of South Country Servants, who not unfrequently staid some time at an Inn in the Village. May I also here be permitted to mention another circumstance which fell within my own observation, some years after? Happening to be on a visit to a relation in London, at the west end of the town, the Lady of the house desired me particularly to remark the ingenuous pleasant countenance, and modest respectful behaviour of a Tenant's son, who had been lately taken from the country, to be her own footman. Soon after, she had a paralytic attack, which terminated fatally.' Her husband continued the same establishment; and from a mistaken principle of kindness, as I believe, retained this very young man among the rest, in his service, for whom he had, now, no employment whatever. Two years afterwards, when on a visit to the family, I was forcibly struck with the total alteration in the countenance, and manner of this servant.--On remarking the change, to his master, be replied, “ Your observation is just, I inust part with him, a winter's campaign in London has completely ruined him.”
“† Were ladjes to do this, and at the same time to increase the number of their female attendants, they would not only have it in their power to prvide for a much greater proportion of deserving young women, but the servants' apartment would cease to be a place of so much danger to those who are inexperienced, modest, and well disposed."
“ Another fruitful source of the depravity of footmen in the Metropolis and in some other large towns, it will not, I am afraid, be very practicable to remove, so long as the season principally allotted for amusement, shall continue to be that which was intended for quiet and repose. Where, it may be asked, when the servants are supposed to be waiting through the night for their respective Ladies at the door of the crowded assembly, do they usually, in fact, repair for shelter ? Is it not to the brothel, or the gaming-house? . But it is not the province of the writer to enlarge further upon this pain. ful subject. Let the answer be given, and the inferences be deduced, by those to whom these things more properly belong.”
In the new edition of Mrs. Cappe's performance, she adduces, in illustration of her ideas, a history of a charity school for female children, entitled the Grey Coat School, in the city of York. Until the year 1786 it had been conducted upon the usual principles : and the children, with few exceptions, turned out ill; almost always unprofitable, generally depraved, and noxious members of society. By a certain happy combination of circumstances, Mrs. Cappe, and some other ladies, her associates, were allowed to interfere in its management. She dedicates a chapter of her present work to an account of the new regulations which were introduced into this school by the Ladies' Committee; and she prefaces that account with an observation, which, for the extent of its practical application, deserves to be written in letters of gold. “I would apprise the reader," says she, “if he know it not already,--that the work of reformation, though it should merely relate to an obscure charity-school, is always a laborious work : that in its very nature it is invidious, as seeming to imply some censure on former conductors : that it necessarily involves in it the dismissal of those who have been gainers by the corruptions about to be removed : and, therefore, that the adventurous projector, however upright his intentions, or disinterested and laborious his exertions, must always expect to be misunderstood, misrepresented, and opposed."
The particulars of the plan which they carried into practice are too long for insertion, and too instructive for abridgement. We therefore recommend to the public, and that with much earnestness, the Tract itself. We cannot, however, abstain from the relation of one circumstance; because it has a reference coextensive with that of the nation; and shows the urgent demand wbich exists for deliverance from the causes which work these pernicious effects. “ For upwards of twenty years," says Mrs. Cappe, “from the final adjustment of the new regulations in 1787, the affairs of the school went on with what must be deemed uninterrupted prosperity. The young women educated in it were in high reputation as servants; and some of them married, and at this time the respectable, industrious mothers of numerous families.—But within the last few years, difficulties have arisen ; in the first place, for the want of a regular supply of wool, and the impracticability of substituting any other einployment in the place of spinning. In the next place, the continually increasing weight of taxes, and the present high price of flour, butcher's meat, and all other necessaries, (added to the loss of the money earned to the institution by the spinning of the girls,) has induced the necessity of reducing their number."-- These are the effects of the war, which strikes with its pestilential atmosphere, the productive population down to thc minutest of its ramifications, and diminishes the powers of every beneficial institution. The derangement of trade, and the increase of taxes, both produced by the war, at once paralysed the industry, and diminished the subsistence of the school.
We shall adduce another opinion of our intelligent authoress; because we are glad to have her authority for an opinion with which we have for a long time been not feebly impressed. Notwithstanding the pains which she has taken with charity-schools, and the degree of perfection to which in some instances she had experimentally carried the management of them, she scruples not to inake a decided declaration against their utility. One circumstance to which our attention had always been strongly attracted, is, that they narrow the field of utility. The funds which might extend the benefits of education to some hundreds of chil. dren are expended upon twenty. The defalcation from the sum of benefit is therefore immense. But the twenty children, in the charity-shool, they tell us, are clothed and fed.' True. And why are they clothed, and fed, in addition to education, while others have none of these advantages ? If we consider the charitable funds of a nation as one common stock, to be applied in the best possible manner for the general good, is this the mode in which any one would wish to see them disposed of? To make a partial selection of a few favourites, upon whom to bestow them in prodigality; while the general mass are left to their fate ? Would not this be a certain expedient to prevent a vast proportion of the good which an impartial and unrestricted application would produce ?
In the present case, the reasoning which we have just now stated, applies with peculiar force. Why schools to feed and clothe the children? If their parents are able to feed and clothe them, why not allow them ? and apply the funds which