Chapters in the life of a Dundee factory boy, an autobiography [by J. Myles].

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J. Myles, 1850 - Child labor - 96 pages
First edition in book form, originally published in the columns of the Northern Warder according to the dedication. The author, who worked first in a spinning mill, writes of the moral degradation of the female spinners and the drinking habits in mills, and of his own reading (Defoe, Smollet, Bunyan). He then turned shoemaker, met Robert Nicoll, the poet, married, and settled down. An uncommon contribution to Victorian working-class literature.
 

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Page 26 - Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ; But, seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Page 87 - Green grow the rashes, O ; Green grow the rashes, O ; The sweetest hours that e'er I spend, Are spent am'ang the lasses, O ! THERE'S nought but care on ev'ry han', In ev'ry hour that passes, O ; What signifies the life o' man, An
Page 12 - Carolina on the unfortunate slaves than the canes and "whangs" of mill foremen were then used on helpless factory boys. When I went to a spinning mill I was about seven years of age. I had to get out of bed every morning at five o'clock, commence work at half-past five, drop at nine for breakfast, begin again at half-past nine, work until two, which was the dinner hour, start again at half-past two, and continue until half-past seven at night. Such were the nominal hours; but in reality there were...
Page 81 - Praise to the good, the pure, the great, Who made us what we are ! Who lit the flame which yet shall glow With radiance brighter far. Glory to them in coming time, And through eternity, Who burst the captive's galling...
Page 13 - Such were the nominal hours; but in reality there were no regular hours, masters and managers did with us as they liked. The clocks at the factories were often put forward in the morning and back at night, and instead of being instruments for the measurement of time, they were used as cloaks for cheatery and oppression. Though this was known amongst the hands, all were afraid to speak, and a workman then was afraid to carry a watch, as it was no uncommon event to dismiss any one who presumed to know...
Page 84 - I fervently hope," he said, writing to a friend, "that the time has for ever gone by when genius was considered an excuse for evil — when the man who could appreciate and express the beautiful and true was supposed to be at liberty to scorn all truth, and all beauty, mental and moral. Our influence on mankind may be small, but it will ever be exerted to purify, and better, and enlighten. The time has come, the day of human improvement is growing to noon, and henceforth men with free and disenthralled...
Page 65 - it is better to be wise and not seem so, than to seem wise and not be so, yet men for the most part desire the contrary.
Page 48 - Dundee jail for deserting, and she was brought back after having been in the jail for seven months, to make up for her lost time and the expenses incurred. One day I was alarmed by the cries of "murder" from the lowest flat, and when I went there she was lying on the floor, and the master had her by the hair of the head, and was kicking her on the face, and the blood was running down.
Page 11 - begging a brother of the earth to give him leave to toil," willing to work, unable to want, yet cannot get labour, is, says an eminent writer,
Page 50 - The great mass of men and women are like corks on the surface of a mountain river, carried hither and thither as the torrent may lead them.

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