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dashing occupation of travelling agent to Mr. Bish, the noted lottery speculator and agent. He saved enough in that person's service to enable him to set up in business on his own account, but his money did not prosper, and he afterwards became reduced to the occupation of bill-sticking. Employment in that line becoming scarce, he took to the occupation to which I have alluded, in addition to bone-picking and raggathering; but so many persons have embarked in the occupation through poverty that it afforded a very scanty living. During the sprat season he obtained a dinner in the following manner. He attended Billingsgate Market during the unloading of the sprat vessels-many poor persons do. He would perhaps collect as many as a pennyworth of sprats that were dropped on their way to the proprietors, and to which no one laid any claim. This man had evidently been very well educated, and was in his diction and address quite the gentleman. He preferred being about in the fresh air, he said, to being shut up in a workhouse, as God was pleased to give him bis health.
The second case, Mr. S-, I had long visited, and am not without hope respecting him. He
delighted much to hear the Bible read, and to be prayed with, but was very ignorant, could neither read nor write. He died of the cholera of 1849. On visiting him, the stench from accumulations of his gatherings was awful; I was almost beaten out of the room by it. Mr. S. was struck with that terrible scourge suddenly. His power of speech was gone. I said, "Mr. S., do you know me? are you praying for forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ, as I have so often taught you?” He could not speak, but he smiled, and nodded his head. To hear the Scriptures read and be prayed with, was always very pleasant to him.
I have seen something of other society, besides that of the very poor, and I have known men to die in ancestral halls and mansions, less hopefully than that poor dung-gatherer.
The third case is that of a strolling player, named ->, who prefers this employment to the theatrical profession. Said he, “When Richardson was alive, I used to go round the country with his company. Richardson, your reverence knows, was the greatest man in the line. He was a very religious man, Richardson was, and wouldn't have not so much as a nail knocked in his booths on a Sunday. He would If you
not allow no bad songs, nothing of the sort for him.
His company was married people principally, he didn't like single ones. went along with Richardson you must behave yourselves, I can tell you, or you wouldn't
, do. “As to the rest, — (mentioning one, and so
) on, it's quite different with them; nothing's bad enough; the goings on is awful; I can't express what I've seen, sir, it's too bad-such songs, too. I'm not what I should be, and I know it, but thanks be to God I'm not bad enough for that. When I was at your tea-meeting, what was said, and the prayers, made the tears come into my eyes. It put me in mind of several things. I
. took a stable, by Shoreditch Church, some months ago, for a gaff; that's some of the scenery what you see in the corner, sir; there the boy there and another young man.
Me and the old woman did the comic business. I only took the stable for a week, but I was forced to close it up in three days, it didn't answer; first night there was lots ; but when they found I wouldn't suffer no blackguard goings on, and there wasn't no bad songs-nothing's bad enough—they wouldn't come, and the third night there wasn't half a
dozen.* I consider it honester to go about getting dung and bones than to be a theatrical; I hate it-it's worse than I can repeat. You know, sir, I'm a tailor by trade, but I never properly learned the business, worse luck."
I have long known this man, and some of these particulars were given in answer to questions.
I forbear to multiply such details as these, and should not have presented those given, was it not that they are very illustrative of the lost class among whom the City Mission, to a large extent, unostentatiously imparts the Gospel.
Such a work seems the
mercy. The Lamb and Flag Ragged Schools, Clerkenwell Green, are, as has been stated, situated upon my late district, and are numerically the largest in London. It will, I am sure, be gratifying to those who have sustained the City Mission by their donations and prayers, to be informed that this important establishment was founded by a City Missionary. The first Annual Report of the Schools (1846) contains the following passage : “ Your Committee think it right, in justice to
* This strange detail I have thought well to give in his own words, as an experienced witness to the evils of such places.
others, briefly to refer to the circumstances attending the establishment of these schools. small, confined, and unhealthy room, in Lamb and Flag Court, was opened for the reception of children of the very destitute poor, under the care of the City Missionary.” In the second Annual Report, the following passage occurs : “Let any man inquire as to the origin of the few Ragged Schools in the Metropolis, and it will be found that this great work, in which the whole of our social system is so deeply interested, has been begun in almost every case by a few pious laymen-often by a City Missionary,* as in the case of the school for whose interests the Committee now most earnestly plead.”
On the appointment of the writer to this district, now six years since, the schools consisted simply of a boys' and girls' Sunday School, numbering about sixty children. This was the sole effort that was being carried on. The Committee, consisting of men engaged in business from early morn to late eve, did not feel themselves in a position to extend their operations. Any amount of philanthropic exertion, under such circumstances, cannot but be esteemed highly commendable.
* Mr. Humphreys.