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THE SHOE-BLACKS' DORMITORY. The Christmas treat of the Polishing Brigade was deferred until the occasion of the opening of their New Dormitory, on February 11th. Forty-two of these lads were regaled with the usual delicacies of cake and tea, etc., in the premises at 1, Off Alley, which are now in a state in which the friends of Ragged Schools may be invited to inspect them.
The Earl of Shaftesbury addressed the Shoe-blacks and Broomers, and kindly gave
the new “Good Conduct Badges " (cloth chevrous on the arm) to the six boys selected as worthy to receive them. The yearly volume of the Band of Hope Review was presented by the worthy editor of that periodical to the same deserving boys, to whom, also, pictures were given by Mr. Macgregor, new uniforms by Mr. Fowler, and a plum pudding by Mr. Fellowes. Messrs. Warren sent a pair of socks for each boy of the whole troop; and the proceedings of the evening, which had been opened by the Rev. Mr. Mackenzie, the rector of the parish, were closed by an exhibition of the magic lantern and dissolving views by Mr. Cuthbertson, who introduced, with great effect, a slide depicting a Shoe-black at his work, with an arm moving so vigorously as to threaten the demolition of the boot submitted to the operation.
The boys have been behaving well during the last three months, during which time no serious misconduct has occurred. The connection between the Society and the Superintendents of the various schools has been drawn closer by an arrangement as to the drawing of the boys' bank savings, and the Sunday clothes of the lads are now really respectable. One little fellow even ventured to appear in a new hat, but his increased dignity subjected him to a lively persecution about it.
STEPPERS. A NEAT little girl, in a blue frock and a straw bonnet, could carry a pail of water to the doorstep of a gentleman's house, and having washed the flag. stone, she might whiten it with pipeclay, A penny would repay her, and she could earn at least sixpence in this employment every morning before breakfast. Who will start her?
PREVENTIVE AND REFORMATORY SCHOOL COMMITTEE. Ar the last meeting of this body, the following important resolutions were passed, from which it will be seen that the Government are to grant a Committee of Inquiry into the whole subject of juvenile criminals and their treatment:
“That as this Committee have been this day informed that it is the intention of Sir John Pakington to move the House of Commons for a Committee of Inquiry with respect to the best mode of treating Juvenile Criminals, and that such motion will receive the support of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, this Committee will use every exertion to assist and promote the inquiries of such Committee, and to excite public interest upon the subject."
“That, pending the Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, this Committee is of opinion that it would be premature to prepare the heads of a Bill upon the subject; and will therefore suspend further proceedings for that purpose until nearer the time when legislation may be expected.”
That a Copy of the above Resolutions be submitted to Sir George Grey." The Committee having thus satisfactorily disposed of this part of their objects, will now turn their attention to the Preventive Schools, or those intended for the destitute who are not criminal.
We earnestly trust that the Committee will steadily keep in view this truthThat if we desire to prevent crime, we must seek to produce a change of heart in the youths we deal with by the saving efficacy of a Saviour's blood, applied to their souls through the agency of the Holy Spirit of God. Temple.
EDINBURGH ORIGINAL RAGGED SCHOOLS. The following extracts from the speech delivered by Dr. Guthrie, at the Annual Meeting of the above schools, will be read with much interest :
“I have now been labouring fourteen key-hole, sending his story through it. years in Edinburgh. During six or seven Mr. Smith, a number of years ago, in a of these years, I sper a very large portion Report to the Governors of Heriot's of my time among that portion of the Hospital, showed that the only way to population to which the children in our check crime was to get hold of the chilInstitution belong; and the longer I live, dren, and the only way to get hold of the and the more experience I acquire, I grow children, was to provide them with food. more and more satisfied of the almost He showed that the condition of these hopelessness of attempting to tell success- outcast children stood 'to crime in the fully, and evidently, and permanently, on relation of cause to effect. How can it be the condition of the adult degraded popu- otherwise ? Just think of the homes lation; and the longer I live, and see the occupied by these children ; 48 were progress and course of our Ragged School, fatherless, with drunken mothers ; 50 the more thoroughly am I convinced, that were motherless, with drunken fathers ; almost all our efforts of a reformatory of 51, both parents were worthless; 189 character should be brought to bear upon had been apprehended once or oftener ; 93 the young, and that the public should were believed to be the children of thieves ever bear in mind the saying which, the never apprehended. In their own homes longer the world rolls on, will still stand they were taught no lesson, prayer, nor out the truer, * Can the Ethiopian trade. They were sent to no school, and change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? from their childhood were familiar with then they that have been accustomed to vice in its grossest form. What else than do evil may learn to do well.' I believe criminals could such children turn out? that the grace of God can do anything ; When I saw these children punished, but I say that that is the course of God's although the Judges say they cannot help ordinary providence, and that the course it, and the public prosecutors say they of God's ordinary providence is equally cannot help it,—and I fully sympathize indicated on the other hand by the with them-yet I cannot help saying that maxim,—Train up a child in the way he injustice is done under the form of justice. should go, and when he is old he will not I know the Judge's heart is often melted depart from it.' We have received this with pity, when he is pronouncing sentence year a large sum of money, though not on some unhappy child. That naked, adequate to meet our necessities. With withered, stunted, starved creature, with the exception of a balance of £400, we its hollow cheeks and tangled hair, and have received this last year £2,239,-not head scarcely reaching the bars of the all from Edinburgh, however. We have dock,- that is not the real criminal. The received money from the shores of the real criminal stands there in the crowd,-Baltic, and the Bosphorus, from America, that ruffian man who has often been and from Ireland. Only two days ago, within half an inch of his life,—that wowe got remittances from officers in the man,—I will not disgrace the sacred name Indian army, and last year we received of mother by applying it to her,-yon from friends in Singapore a sum of no less woman, the disgrace of her sex, who sends than £70. When our schools were insti- that weeping child to a bed of straw, tuted, there were in Edinburgh no fewer while night after night she goes to the than 2,000 children, in a condition most dram shop, there to spend in dissipation miserable to themselves, and dangerous to the gains of its painful beggary or its
guilty the public. These children, how did they theft. The other day I had the honour live? Why, they rose every morning like and pleasure of conducting a distinguished a cloud of musquitoes out of the lower Member of Parliament through the Ragged parts of the city, and spread themselves School, along with Mr. Thackeray, and I over the town, and swarmed in our streets, was very much struck with the way in attacking the passengers with a persever- which that gentleman condensed the ance that defied all attempts to repulse whole of our machinery, so to speak, into them. They came to our doors, and even two words. Turning to Mr. Thackeray, when the door was opened and shut in he said, “This is a most agreeable sight.' their face, they did not beat a retreat. Mr. Thackeray declared it was the finest Often have I seen a little fellow down on sight in Edinburgh, the most touchivg his knees, and applying his mouth to the sight he ever saw. The gentleman then 52
EDINBURGI ORIGINAL RAGGED SCHOOLS.
remarked, 'I see where the whole power of their system rounded off in fat and flesh; this Ragged School lies. It lies, first, in you see them gradually losing their savage the food, and secondly, in the twelve hours looks; and in the course of two or three daily in the school. In these two things months they are as respectable looking you have the whole secret of our machi- children as you could cast your eyes upon. nery. The child's own home becomes little
In regard to other results, we have sent else than a dormitory, and the streets forth 216 children, who have gone out to where it used to learn crime, become little employment. Of these 216 saved and else than a passage between its dormitory renewed creatures, as large a number of and the school. I will just tell you, in them have done well as children belonging one word, what we do with a child when
to any other class of society would have we pick him up and bring him to our done. So much as that we were not school. He is employed for four hours in entitled to expect. Some of them have acquiring moral, religious, and secular emigrated during the last year, no fewer education. Four hours of the day are than six girls having been sent abroad. devoted to play, amusement, food, etc.; I was shocked the other day by hearing and the other four are devoted to the of a remark made by a person of influence industrial part of the work. There are in the country, whom I would be
sorry 10 boys employed in the tailor's shop, 5 name, as I hope he has repented of it in the shoemaker's, 4 in the carpenter's, 26
before now. When the subject of Ragged in the boxmaker's, 24 in the bracemaker's, Schools was brought before him, he re. and 43 of the younger boys are employed marked,— As long as there are pockets in hair-teasing, net-making, and other to pick, I believe you will find men to simple work. I am glad to say that our pick them.' Had I been present when industrial department is so well conducted the remark was made I would have shown that, after paying the wages of those who that gentleman the table, the results of teach the boys these different kinds of which had already been laid before the work, and after paying for the material meeting by the Lord Advocate, and would and all other expenses, we not only educate have begged him to attend to the effects these children to industrial habits, but we produced by our institution and others actually make money out of it, for it of a similar character in Edinburgh. I appears by the accounts that the profit, would have told him, that when we began after paying all expenses, on the industrial our school there were five out of every department, is about £40 a year. We hundred criminals in Edinburgh Jail have at this moment about 300 children under fourteen years of age, and that now on our school roll. I was up lately, and there was not even one in the hundred of saw a child brought in from the Police criminals belonging to this class. I take Office,--a lean withered creature of a girl, my stand upon that table and say, that it who had been picked up for some petty proves ours to be the cheapest, safest, and offence, and, to the credit of the Magis- best way of all to repress crime that has trate, had been sent, not to prison, but to yet been tried. The question is often the Ragged School. I was much struck raised,What are we to do with our by her appearance. She was dressed in an convicts ? My answer is, — Support old tattered gown, made for somebody a Ragged Schools, and you wont long be great deal bigger than herself, and it was troubled with them. Some may say,curious to see her little withered face Why, we have teachers in our prisons away deep in the hollows of a great black already, and we spend a great deal of bonnet. She had never been in such a
money in trying to improve the criminals, place before, and sat perfectly amazed, and it is all in vain. Perfectly true; but confounded, dumbfoundered, and immo- depend upon it, the proper place for the vable, as if she had been cut out of stone ; teacher is not within the prison, but the only things about her that seemed to without the prison. Talk of pockets to have life were her eyes, and they went pick! As long as there are throats to cut, continually rolling round and round. An there will be people to cut them! I wish hour afterwards I found my urchin at the I had that gentleman in our Ragged dinner table, driving her spoon into the School. I would open the Savings Bank soup in grand style—and I have no doubt book, and show him the name of a boy that before three weeks were over I would who, if he had been left to himself, would not have known her again. The fact is, now have been picking pockets. We found that under the combined power of patience him on the street, lies on his tongue, and porridge, a most remarkable effect is hunger in his looks, beggarly rags upon produced. You see all the angularies of his back. And what have we made of
EDINBURGH ORIGINAL RAGGED SCHOOLS,
him? We have converted him from a should adopt in bringing our case before money-taker into a money-maker, and his Lordship. I said, 'I will tell him that in an honest way.
In his savings- that every child, left to be a criminal, costs bank book we find entered £1 for a good the country £300. Now,' says Mr. black coat, and so many shillings for a Smith, with all the caution of a canny Scot, seat in a church. There is that boy now take care ; if you cannot prove it, it is seated in a church, decently dressed, his better not to state it. However, when I Bible before him, after our good Scotch got into Whitehall, and became warm fashion ruffling its pages for the text, and with my subject, out bolted the £300 then fixing his calm, placid, devout face before I was aware of it. I was afraid I had upon the preacher. When I see that boy done wrong, but on the following night I there, I am carried back in recollection to was re-assured, by a conversation I had a place where I preached some years ago. in the Bow Street Police Office with Mr. My beadle was a turnkey. Having un- Pierce, the gentleman at the head of the locked one iron door after another, and Bow Street Police force. He said, 'It is led me through a number of dark gloomy a waste of money and means to try to save passages, he at last took out one ponder- the country otherwise than through the ous key, and after opening the door, and children, by giving them a sound educapointing me to the pulpit, again turned tion. But how are you to get hold of the key and locked me in. When I had the children and give them the education time to look around me, a most dismal you speak of?' After some reflections, and depressing sight met my eyes. Before he said, Well, I do not see any way in me were ranged in a semi-oval form a which they can get that, unless you feed large number of cells, one rising above them.' It was worth going to London to another, that reminded me of the dens of hear, from a person so well qualified to à menagerie on a gigantic scale. They judge, such an opinion in favour of the were divided from each other by sufficient system pursued in our Ragged School. walls, the front of each being guarded and "Well,' said I, 'what do you think of staunchioned by strong bars of iron, and punishment ?' Punishment!'he replied, there,—where in another such place I had talking of punishment with the most seen the hyena, the lion, the tiger, and the sovereign contempt, -'I
never see a boy leopard,—there, peering through the bars placed at the bar of the Police Court, but were the eyes of my congregation, hoary I say, Well, my lad, you will cost the ruffians, stout felons, abandoned women, country £300 before we are done with many youths, and not a few little children. you,'-echoing the very thing I had said I say then, that had this boy committed in Whitehall a few hours before! It is a crime before our schools were established, simple question of arithmetic. We have I would have met him in another dress, I sent out 210 of our children to employ. would have seen him in another church, ment. Suppose that even 60 of these I would have seen him in the old prison children have not done well. Then mulchapel on the Calton Hill, glaring at me tiply the remaining 150 by £300, and like a tiger cat through the bars of one of you have the expense to which these the cells, with habits as rugged as his would have put the country, if they had dress, with a heart as hard as the stone- become criminals, amounting to £45,000. paved floor, corrupted and corrupting, The expense of the whole 216 trained in hating and hateful, a victim,
the Ragged School amounts to about hesitation in saying, of his unhappy circum- £4,000, showing that the difference of stances, and of his country's neglect of him. the cost of these children, according to I say, therefore, that the question with the the different modes of dealing with them, country is, Will you have the teacher within is about £40,000, to say nothing of souls the prison, or without the prison? The saved, and misery and crime prevented. cost of a criminal to the country, on an aver- But that is not all. We must add all the age, could not be less than £300. I will expense of maintaining the criminal in give you an illustration of it. When Mr. idleness, while he earns his livelihood by Duncan, Dr. Bell, Mr. Smith, and I went theft, and what would have been the up to London to bring before her Ma- value of his labour had he been turned jesty's Government the question of Ragged into a decent member of society. I stand Schools, we got a most gracious reception here, therefore, prepared to prove that from Lord Lansdowne. He pledged him- this Ragged School, during the five years self to nothing, but he was very kind and of its existence, has saved the country courteous. We had met together in the nearly £100,000. But our work has not morning to consult as to the course I only been very profitable, – it has also
THE APPROPRIATION OF TIE DUNCAN TESTIMONIAL.
been very pleasant ; and I think one of school. I have but one fault to find with the best recommendations of our Ragged our building in Ramsay Lane. I would School is, the character of its manage- have liked to have seen above the door ment. It is catholic in its management,- what I see above the door of the Baptist I do not mean Roman Catholic ;-far Church that is next neighbour to the from it. Now, there is no place I like to Papists, with only a gable wall between go to so well as to a meeting of our them. I would have liked to have seen, Directors. Here we are,—Presbyterians, carved in stone above the door-way, an Episcopalians, Independents, Established open Bible, with this upon its open page, Churchmen, Free Churchmen, United Search the Scriptures.' To the principle Presbyterians, New Light Seceders, and of an open Bible we must adhere. I will Old Light Seceders,—here we are, all met never consent to let it go out of sight. I in perfect love and harmony. Connected will never consent to take that flag from with this, there is a point to which I the mast-head, either in storm or in calm. would like to advert. I was asked yester- We run up that flag to the mast-head. It day what were our peculiar principles. I was there on the day of our battle. If it think it right the public should know be asked, What would you have done if that the peculiar principle in which we you had been wrecked, and riddled, and take most delight is, that the Bible is in ready to sink, I reply, I would have taken our school. one sense this can scarcely the flag and nailed it even to the stump be called a peculiar principle, since it is of a mast, and, when we went down, the common to every Ragged School from last thing seen of our Ragged Schools John O'Groat's to Land's End, save one; would have been our flag, with the Bible and that certainly must be the peculiar on it, as it dipped beneath the waves.”
THE APPROPRIATION OF THE DUNCAN TESTIMONIAL. The inhabitants of Dundee have lately made efforts to raise a sum of money to present as a testimonial to GEORGE Duncan, Esq., their representative. The light in which that gentleman views this token, and the objects to which he determines to apply the same, are highly interesting to the friends of the poor. Such will be a lasting memorial of the high estimation in which he is held by his constituents, and of his noble and philanthropic spirit. We have, therefore, great pleasure in laying the following extract from the Report of the Sub-Committee before our readers :
“The Sub-Committee waited upon Mr. Duncan, and communicated to him that the Subscribers were now desirous of ascertaining his sentiments in regard to the presentation of the testimonial which the inhabitants of Dundee proposed giving to him, as a token of their sincere gratitude and esteem for his public services to the town, and of their appreciation of his private worth. They stated that the subscription at present amounted to upwards of one thousand guineas, but was still open, as numerous parties had not yet been afforded an opportunity of joining in the testimonial. That it was proposed to place the amount to be subscribed at his absolute disposal.
"Mr. Duncan expressed the deep sense of gratitude and obligation he felt to the inhabitants of Dundee for this generous and handsome expression of their confidence and esteem, and stated, that whether he looked to the large amount of the subscription, or to the spontaneous nature of the gift, he felt quite overpowered, and was wholly incapable of any adequate expression of his thanks and gratitude. The interests of Dundee had long been near to his heart, and he hoped he had spared no exertion to promote them;
but this magnificent and almost unprecedented testimonial far outweighed any merits or services of his.
“Mr. Duncan then said that, to invest this large amount in any of the usual forms of testimonial which were offered to public men, would be applying it