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the bed-clothes, sobbing, “O Susie, Susie, do open your Both girls looked confused, and Susie said, “I was eyes and speak to me once more, and let me tell you all afraid, teacher.” about this dreadful money ; I won't keep it, I hate it," “Afraid !” repeated the teacher. she added passionately tugging at the bosom of her “Yes, teacher, everybody said Susie was a thief," said ragged frock, and at last dashing a little bundle to the Elfie with a little heightened colour. « She didn't floor.
deserve to be called a thief,” she went on," but I did ; The teacher had not paid much attention to what I often used to steal things, but I don't now, for I Elfie was saying, for the clergyman was speaking to couldn't bear to think Susie should bear my punishment her, asking what was to be done with Susie, who was all for nothing." evidently suffering from want and privation. The “And so this is why you gave the money back toroom was bitterly cold, and the first thing to be done night ?" said the teacher. was to send Elfie to buy some coals and wood, and then, Elfie nodded. “I couldn't help it,” she said, “when when the fire was lighted, for some milk and a loaf of I saw Susie ; all she had said about our Father's love, bread.
and what the Lord Jesus had suffered to save me from While the teacher was lighting the fire, and the my sins, came back to my mind, and I was obliged to minister cutting some slices of bread from the loaf, throw the money down." Susie slowly opened her eyes and looked round her. Susie had only dimly understood what she said before, Elfie saw the change, and the next moment was kneel. but it was explained to her now, and likewise that she ing at her side. “O Susie, Susie, I almost forgot; was not to attempt to go out the next day until her but Jesus saved me from being quite a thief again. As teacher had been to see her again. She was obliged soon as ever I saw you, I remembered what you said, to leave them now, and giving Susie some money to and threw the money down."
buy food for the next morning, she took her departure. “Poor Elfie,” said Susie in a whisper ; and then After she had gone, the two girls sat talking of all that becoming conscious of the fire and candle light, and the had happened, but it was evident Elfie was greatly bowed presence of others in the room, she said in a frightened down at the thought of her attenpt to rob the minister. tone, “What is it, Elfie?"
“ I shall never learn to be honest,” she said ; “ for if But Elfie was pushed aside, and the teacher came I see anything I can take, I want it directly, and I forward with a little warm milk in a cup, and gave a seem to forget everything else." few spoonfuls to Susie. The first was poured down her “But Jesus has helped you to begin, Elfie, and he'll throat ; but she took the rest eagerly, and then help you to keepon till you quite hate the sin," said Susie. whispered, “ More, please.”
“I don't really like it now,” said Elfie. The minister could not bear to look at that pale, fam- “Well, that is something, for you did love it once ; ished face, and turned away to crumble some of the bread you said so," replied Susie quickly. “Jesus has made into the milk, and urged Elfie to eat some. Elfie, how- you dislike it, and he will go on helping you." ever, could talk of nothing but money, it seemed, and so “But I am so wicked, I shal't mind about his help at length the minister said, “What is this you are if I have to stay here for ever; and it's always so hard to talking about—what money have you stolen ?"
keep honest.” “O sir, I didn't think about stealing when you sent This was just what the minister was saying to some me for the candle. I promised Susie I never would gentlemen as they walked home together. Temptations steal again; but when I saw what a lot of money there were so strong, the battle of life so hard, for these poor was, and you thought it was only sixpence, I took it, little street children, that it was no wonder they grew and here it is,” and Elfie gave him the little pile of up to be wicked men and women. silver tied up in a piece of dirty rag.
When he saw the teacher again, he heard of Susie's It was some little time before the clergyman could wish to learn to be a servant, and all she had told her fully understand the mistake he had made, and how he concerning her mother, and he resolved to befriend should make it was then a mystery to him. And by her if he could. the time this was made somewhat clear to his mind, he It would not be easy to persuade any one to take a was compelled to leave to attend the meeting, for it girl, without a character, from such a place as Fisher's was very late now, and what he had seen made him Lane, he knew ; but he thought his wife would do so, more anxious than ever that a refuge should be estab- and could find her some employment in helping the lished for the poor destitute children of this neighbour- other servants, and a day or two afterwards Susie heard hood.
that she was to go to the minister's house about this. The minister had placed the money given back to him But, to the teacher's surprise, Susie burst into tears, and by Elfie in the hand of the teacher, to be expended for said, “Please, ma'am, could Elfie go instead of me?" the benefit of the two girls; and after she had seen “Instead of you ?” repeated her teacher," why I them both eat a basin of bread and milk, she questioned thought you wanted to be a servant." then upon their mode of living, and asked why they “Yes, teacher, but so does Elfie-and-and I'm had never mentioned to her Susie's wish to get a place. | afraid Elfie would give up trying, if I was to go away."
“But I don't think Elfie would be able to do the work required," said the teacher.
Susie looked disappointed. “I'm very sorry," she said, “but I can't leave Elfie.”
The teacher had thought, too, it would never do to leave the poor little friendless creature to berself, and believing there was already a great change effected in her character, she had determined to take charge of her herself. Elfie could run errands, and go to school with her all day, and by-and-by she would learn to do things about the house and make herself useful ; and she told Susie of this plan now.
“Oh thank you, then, I shall be so glad to have this place,” said Susie joyfully, and she went at once to prepare herself for the walk. It was settled that she should go as kitchen-maid, as soon as some decent clothes could be made for her, and at the same time Elfie would take up her abode with the teacher. They would still see each other, for Susie was to attend the Ragged School of an evening, and Elfie promised to go to church every Sunday, that she might sit by her, and hear from the lips of their kind friend truths which they-young as they were—had experienced ; and this above all others, “Our Father's” love.
BY THE REV. W. H. WITHROW, M.A., CANADA.
T is just one hundred years ago since John
Howard was initiated into his life-work of
office of Sheriff of Bedford. It may not be an inappropriate centennial commemoration of that important event to trace briefly the principal incidents of his life, and to note the results of his philanthropic labours.
John Howard's father was a successful London merchant, in religion a Nonconformist, of respectable Puritan stock. Having amassed a considerable fortune in trade, he retired to the little village of Cardington in Bedfordshire, where the subject of this paper-early orphaned by the death of his mother--spent the years of his childhood. The date of his birth is not definitely known. It was probably in the year 1726. He was a gentle, shy, and sickly child, giving no augury of that strength of character and force of will which he afterwards evinced.
Young Howard had good masters, but exhibited no genius for learning. He was early placed in a London counting-house, where, among ledgers and day-books, invoices and bills of lading, he formed that practical acquaintance with business, and acquired those habits of industry, which characterized his after-life. At the age of seventeen he became, by his father's death, the beir of nearly the whole of his large fortune. But Howard's health was poor, and a change of air and occupation became imperative. He therefore forsook the leaden skies of London for the balmy atmosphere of France and Italy. While on the Continent, his Puritan training and his high moral principles preserved him from the fashionable vice and folly of the gay European capitals in which he sojourned.
On bis return to England, after an absence of two years, he was obliged by his precarious health to live the quiet life of an invalid at Stoke, Newington. Here an event took place which gives an insight into his character. He lodged with a widow, a Mrs. Loidore.
She, too, had been an invalid for years, was in humble circumstances, homely in appearance, and fifty-two years of age. While in her house, Howard became dangerously ill. She tended him like a mother, and nursed the sick stranger back to life. On his recovery he astonished his simple landlady by the offer of his hand, his heart, his fortune. She refused his rather portentous offer, alleging as reasons her age---more than twice his own--and their disparity in social position. He was urgent: he felt it his duty to marry her, he said ; and, having overcome her scruples, marry her he did.
The wedded life of this singularly matched coupleone of calm and quiet joy-lasted only three years, when Howard's grave and gentle spouse, always infirm in health, died. His domestic ties dissolved, his empty heart yearned for employment to fill its vacuity. Action was a habit and necessity of his soul. The fearful earthquake of 1755 had just occurred. The city of Lisbon was shaken to its foundations, and 60,000 of its inhabitants were buried in its ruins. Howard hastened to relieve the distress of the sufferers; but his generous purpose was frustrated. The Seven Years' War was raging. French privateers swept the seas. Howard was captured, and suffered the barbarities inflicted upon prisoners of war in the French dungeons of Brest; and those sufferings he never forgot. The iron of affliction entered his own soul, and made it ever thereafter more sensitive to the sorrows of others. He was released on parole, obtained an exchange, and rested not till he had procured the freedom of all his fellow-prisoners.
In three years Howard married again; and this time the choice of his heart was--in age, rank, person, and character-every way worthy of the good man whose life she was to bless. Mild, amiable, pious, and philanthropic, she ably seconded his benevolent designs. With a spirit answering to his own, during the first weeks of their honeymoon she sold the most of her jewels to establish a fund for the relief of the sick and the destitute. Richer jewels in her husband's eyes, and a
fairer adornment of her character, were her alms-deeds worthy of his zeal. To reform the prison system of and charities, than any wealth of pearls or diamonds England, to grapple with its dire evils, to drag to light that could bedeck her person, and in the sight of God its dark facts, and to take away from his country the an ornament of greater price. After seven years of reproach of her infamous treatment of her prisoners,wedded happiness she was snatched away untimely in this was to be henceforth the work of his life. giving birth to their only child.
The Bedford jailer had no fees from the county, but The blow fell with appalling force on the bereaved lived by oppressing the prisoners. Howard demanded husband. Howard's dream of joy was over. His heart's for him a stated salary. The Bench of Justices, after love, withered at its core, never budded again. His their wont, asked for precedents. Howard rode into the thoughts dwelt often with the past. The anniversary neighbouring counties in search of them. What he of his Harriet's death was a day of fasting and prayer, sought he found not, but he found that which filled his and the whispered utterance of her name quickened the soul with grief and indignation—a world of sin, of sufferpulsings of his heart till it grew still for ever. On hering, and of wrong before unknown. He forth with burtombstone, in grateful recollection of her virtues, her rowed in all the dungeons in England-literally burhusband inscribed the touching tribute of praise :- rowed, for many of them were underground, sometimes "She opened her mouth with wisdom;
mere caverns in the solid rock, in which human beings And in her tongue was the law of kindness.”
were immured for years. No place, however obscure or
remote, escaped his inspection ; his official position, his Howard's health gave way beneath the intensity of munificent charity, and his resolute will everywhere prohis grief. He again sought the balmy air of Italy for curing him admission. its restoration. But the glowing skies, and lovely Sadder than the wildest horrors of fiction were the scenery, and glorious art of that favoured land possessed awful realities of England's dungeons-the worst in no longer the absorbing interest they once had. A Europe save those of the Inquisition. The condition of noble purpose filled his soul and swayed his will as the the prison-world—a world distinct by itself, with its moon the tides of ocean. A new zeal fired his heart: own peculiar laws and usages, and with a densely not the passive contemplation of pathetic dead Christs crowded population-was simply execrable. It was, in on canvas, but succouring his living image in the person the words of one who has made the subject a special of suffering humanity was henceforth the purpose of his study, “a festering mass of moral and physical corruplife. So, on partial restoration to health at Turin, be tion.” The prisons were very pandemonia-chambers abandoned his design of wintering in Naples, “As I of horrors—whose misery and wickedness recall the feared,” he writes in his journal, “ the misimprovement dreadful pictures of the regions of eternal gloom in the of a talent spent in mere curiosity, and as many dona- pages of the Italian poet. They were a world without tions must be suspended for my pleasure......Oh! why the pale of the constitution, and their inmates beyond should vanity and folly, pictures and baubles, or even the protection or control of the law. Religion and its the stupendous mountains, beautiful hills, or rich valleys, rites were banished from a region cut off from civilizawhich ere long will be consumed, engross the thoughts tion, apparently a precinct of hell, and already made of a candidate for an everlasting kingdom! Look up, over to the government of fiends. The cruelty, and lust, my soul! How low, how mean, how little is everything and cursed greed for gold of a brutal jailer, who frebut what bas a view to that glorious world of light and quently united the humane profession of hangman to his Jove!”
normal duty of warden, were indulged without restraint. The immediate occasion of his entering on his great Men had to crouch at a narrow wicket in the door and life-task was, as we have seen, his acceptance of the gasp for breath. The stench was intolerable. There office of Sheriff of Bedford in the year 1773. He was fréquently no straw," and prisoners had to lay their entered upon his duties with energy. To him the rheumatic limbs on the damp and cold stone floor. Yet shrievalty was no mere matter of gold lace and red to those who had money the utmost license was allowed. plush, of petty pomp and ostentation, but of earnest The keepers pandered to the worst vices of those who work. He forthwith began his inspection of Bedford could bribe their aid. Jail. That old historic prison becomes thus invested The inhumanity practised seems incredible. " In the with a twofold interest. At its gate, padlocked by the leg, episcopal City of Ely," writes Howard, "the prison was John Bunyan often sold the tags and laces, by making rickety and ruinous, but instead of strengthening the which he won his bread. Yet to his rapt soul its gloomy vanlts were glorified by the beatific vision of the New
* In one large prison the allowance for bedding was a guines a Jerusalem, and there airs from the " Land Benlah”
year! The victualling was farmed out to mercenary wretches
who lived by starving the victims they were paid to feed. ProThe appalling horrors of those hideous cells, wbich
vision for clothing there was none, and many poor wretches were
naked in consequence. Light and air were apparently contrahad been thus hallowed with the light of genius, smote band. Seldom were public fees paid to the wardens : on the one the heart of Howard with consternation. It was a
trary, the occupants of that office frequently paid large sums fa
the privilege of pillage and plunder which it afforded. The revelation of duty to bis soul. Here was a mission
wardenship of the Fleet Prison was sold for £5,000.
walls and doors, the cheaper plan was adopted of chain- to use the language of Burke" not to survey the sumping the prisoners on their backs to the floor, passing tuousness of palaces or the stateliness of temples; not over them several bars of iron, and fastening an iron to make accurate measurement of the remains of ancient collar studded with spikes round their necks to prevent grandeur, nor to form a scale of the curiosities of modern their escape."
art; not to collect medals nor collate manuscripts ;-but Howard found comparatively few felons in the prisons. to dive into the depths of dungeons, to plunge into the The frequent jail deliveries, when the unfortunate infection of hospitals, to survey the mansions of sorrow wretches were dragged on hurdles to the place of execu- and pain; to take the gauge and dimensions of misery, tion, and, amid every indignity, put to death, effectually depression, and contempt; to remember the forgotten, emptied the cells of the more flagrant criminals. It was to attend to the neglected, to visit the forsaken, and found cheaper to hang them than to keep them in prison; to compare and collate the distresses of all men in all and this inhuman policy was publicly advocated by countries.” eminent jurists. The poor debtors, who could not be In 1777 Howard published his great work on the hanged for their misfortunes, were allowed to rot in “State of Prisons”-a gallery of horrors almost as terdungeons. Howard, when he met such, generally paid rific as Dante's vision of the realms of gloom. In the their debts and set them free. Occasionally, to his great execution of this work he was so extremely consciengrief, his charity was too late. At Cardiff, a debtor to the tious, that while reading the proof he would sometimes exchequer to the amount of £7, languished in prison for start off on a journey of bundreds of miles, to verify ten years, and died just before the liberator came. some doubtful fact, or to obtain some fresh information.
The fame of Howard's inquiries spread rapidly. He This magnum opus, on which he bestowed such expendiwas summoned before a Parliamentary Committee to tare of toil and money, was at length literally given to the give evidence on the state of prisons. His revelations public; for besides presenting copies to the press and to overwhelmed the legislature and the country with sur- every prominent individual in the kingdom, he ordered prise. He was called to the bar of the House to receive the remainder to be sold below the cost of printing and its formal thanks. As a result of his importunity, an paper. Act was passed for the inspection and reform of prisons. In 1781, the indefatigable philanthropist started on a Knowing the inertness of the official mind, Howard re- new continental tour through Denmark, Norway, Russia, solved to see personally that the Act was put in force. Poland, Sicily, Spain, and Portugal. While on the voyHis presence carried light and air, food and raiment, age from Civita Vecchia to Leghorn, an incident occurred sympathy and consolation to hundreds of dungeons, which gave a new direction and a fresh impulse to his and life and liberty to many who were unjustly de- labours. A storm arose, and their shattered bark was. tained.
successively driven upon the Tuscan and the African About this time Howard became a candidate for the coasts. But everywhere the inhabitants, both Christian: parliamentary representation of Bedford. He lost the and Moslem, refused them permission to land-their election, however, by a narrow majority. He was no ex- fears of the infection of the terrible plague conquering pert in the electioneering tactics of a hundred years ago. every instinct of humanity in their breasts. This inciNevertheless, he was exceedingly chagrined, for he dent made a deep impression on the mind of Howard. thought that the political rights of nonconformity were Here was a new source of human suffering to be excompromised in his person; but he thus devoutly re- plored, and the misery it caused if possible removed. cords his submission to the decrees of Providence: “I He was now in the sixtieth year of his age. His health, would say, 'It is the Lord ; let him do what seemeth always infirm, was sore broken. He had already trahim good. He maketh light to arise out of darkness.' velled 42,000 miles over Europe-from Lisbon to MosHoward lived to see that light, and to know that God cow, from Stockholm to Naples—in all manner of conhad reserved him for something nobler than the repre- veyances--in cumbrous diligence or lumbering drosky, sentation of the petty borough of Bedford. His privilege on horseback or on foot. He had sacrificed a life of it was to give a voice, whose echo should ring around ease and dignity for the self-denying toil of an apostle the world, to the great dumb weltering mass of human or a martyr. He had expended £30,000 on his labourswretchedness languishing and dying in a thousand of love. Most men would now have ceased from their dungeons.
toil, and enjoyed in old age their well-earned rest. Not Howard had hitherto confined his philanthropic la- so he. While human suffering could be relieved, and bours to Great Britain ; but this was too limited a range human sorrow assuaged, his philanthropic efforts must for his sympathies. They could not be confined within know no surcease. He girded up again his loins, and the narrow seas, but, like the waters of the ocean, en- took his pilgrim-staff in hand, and set forth to encounter compassed the earth. A wider horizon of suffering was the perils of disease and death in their most frightful before him, which he was eager to explore. So he over- forms. leaped the barriers of national distinction, and claimed He went forth alone in his sublime crusade against the world as the field of his labours. He started upon the dreaded plague, the terror and the scourge of Eua grand tour of the old historic lands of Europe, “not,” rope. He knew the danger, and would not suffer even
his The tidings of his death caused a thrill of sympathy
his faithful servant, the companion of all his former From St. Petersburg Howard went to Moscow, where, travels, to share it. He explored the lazarets and as if in anticipation of his near departure, he renewed hospitals of Marseilles, Rome, Naples, Valetta, Zante, his solemn covenant with God. He was greatly inSmyrna, and Constantinople. He daringly penetrated terested in the condition of the Russian conscripts, the pest-houses and infected caravanseries. He seemed to mortality among whom was appalling. Their sufferings bear a charmed life. He braved the fever-demon in his excited his deepest commiseration. To visit their canlair, and came forth unscathed. To this result his tonments, and, if possible, to better their condition, he abstemious diet doubtless contributed. Some dried sailed down the Dneiper to Cherson, a Tartar town near biscuit and a cup of milk or of cold water was his usual its mouth. Here he was called to visit a young lady ill fare.
of an infectious fever. He went,-riding four-and-twenty As the crowning act of his enthusiastic self-sacrifice, miles by night through a pitiless winter rain-storm. He Howard resolved to sail in an infected vessel, that he caught the infection. He soon felt that his race was might undergo the strictest quarantine, and leave a. run. But death had no terrors to his soul. “It is an record of his experience in case he should not survive, event,” he said, “to which I always look with cheerfulfor the benefit of the medical profession in England. ness ; and, be assured, the subject is more grateful to The plague was in the vessel. It was also attacked by me than any other. Suffer no pomp,” he continued, Barbary pirates. Our hero fought as valiantly as he had “to be used at niy funeral, nor let any monument be encountered danger in the fever-hospital. He endured ever made to mark where I am laid ; but lay me quietly a living martyrdom of forty days while quarantined in in the earth, place a sun-dial over my grave, and let me the lazaretto of Venice, parched with fever, racked with be forgotten." Vain request ! His name was too inpain. But these sufferings were nothing to the pang delibly engraven on the heart of the world to be ever caused by letters from England, announcing the mental erased! In this assured faith, and like the setting sun aberration of his son, the result of a life of vicious in- calmly sinking to rest, John Howard died on the 20th dulgence. The fever of his body abated, but the barbed of January 1790. sorrow rankled in his heart to his dying day. On his return to England he found his son a raving maniac. and sorrow throughout all Europe ; but the deepest syniSuch he lived for ten years longer, and such he pathy and the bitterest sorrow were doubtless in the died.
hearts of the innumerable prisoners whose miseries he Howard found no consolation in the proposition to bad soothed, and whose lives he had blessed. On the erect a monument in his honour. He peremptorily de- base of the statue, erected to his memory in that noble clined this act of public homage. His noblest monument mausoleum of England's glorious dead-St. Paul's Cathewas in the grateful hearts of fifty-five poor debtors whom dral—is recorded a grateful country's estimation of his he liberated with the money subscribed.
worth:Though his stricken heart returned ever from all its wanderings to the dear home-scenes of Cardington, he was not permitted there to end his days. Bearing his
FROM THE THRONE TO THE DUNGEON, HIS NAME WAS MEX. crushing load of sorrow, the lone old man turned reso
TIONED WITH RESPECT, GRATITUDE, AND ADMIRATION, lutely once more to his great life-work. He designed visiting Russia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Egypt, and the Barbary States. But his work was well-nigh done. He seemed to have a presentiment of his death. To a friend he wrote: “ You will probably never see me again ; but, be that as it may, it is not a matter of
EMULATION OF HIS TRULY GLORIOUS serious concern to me whether I lay down my life in
ACHIEVEMENTS.” Turkey, in Egypt, in Asia Minor, or elsewhere. The way to heaven from Grand Cairo is as near as from As we drop a tear over his foreign grave, where, after London." Like the word of that dauntless Christian life's long toil, he sleepeth well, let us gather up the mariner, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, is this, as in the storm lessons of that life and write them on our hearts for and darkness he was heard to cry, “ Fear not, shipnien, ever. May they lead all who read his story to acts of heaven is as near by water as by land !” Or like the beneficence and self-sacrifice for others, and to an imitaolder word of the monk Jerome : “ Et de Hierosolymis tation, in spirit at least, of that life by which he gloriet de Britannia æqualiter patet aula cælestis.”
Howard's highest praise is that he was a sincere and “Not from Jerusalem alone
humble Christian. No less potent principle than the The path to heaven ascends ;
constraining love of Christ could have led him to forsake As near, as sure, as straight the way That leads to the celestial day,
ease and fortune, to toil on alone and in obscurity, to From furthest climes extends,
encounter prejudice, misconception, and opposition, and Frigid or torrid zone.”
to espouse danger and death. No self-seeker was he
IN EVERY PART OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD WHICH
HE TRAVERSED TO REDUCE THE SUM OF HUMAX MISERI,
HE TROD AN OPEN BUT UXFREQUENTED PATH
EXERCISE OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY :