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into bad company at a public-house where concerts are held, to which he went with his brother, who was accustomed to take his meals there. This took place about seven months ago;
since which time he has lived by thieving.' * J- G- seventeen years
of age, in prison for vagrancy. His cousin induced him to go to a concert at à public-house, and being too late to obtain admission at his lodgings, he was found sleeping in the street, and was taken into custody."
“ CH-sixteen years of age, in prison for picking pockets; has kept bad company about eighteen months, during which time he has resided with his father, and was constantly robbing him for the purpose of frequenting theatres and concerts at public-houses, principally the Three-tuns in Moor-street."
F—, sixteen years of age, in prison for stealing ; left his situation six months ago. After taking his wages one Saturday night, he met with some boys who advised him to go to the play, instead of going home, since which time he has been a constant frequenter of theatres and the associate of thieves."
“T-C- fifteen years of age, has been the associate of thieves during the last three months, and the constant frequenter of theatres; he states that the theatre has been a great inducement to him to thieve.”
"J-B-, fifteen years of age, in prison for stealing; left his last situation about eighteen months ago, since which he has lived by thieving, and has spent the greater part of his money at the different theatres."
W twelve years of age, in prison for thieving; he states that he went to a theatre and was anxious to go again, that he commenced thieving in order to supply the means.
“J-P fourteen years of age; he states that he commenced thieving at the age of five years, and that the money so acquired has been principally spent in the company of young prostitutes at the different theatres.
“A boy, fourteen years of age, his father a journeyman tailor. Four years ago he was taken by an elder brother to one of the penny theatres, where he became acquainted with several young thieves. Declares that before this time he never committed an act of theft, but that he was very soon induced to follow the example of his companions. States that the theatre which was the scene of his ruin, has been closed a considerable time : the keeper, or one of the players, having been charged with receiving from a boy, in payment for his admission, a two-pound weight, knowing it to have been stolen. Denies having ever after attended theatres, or concert-rooms. Now committed for robbing a garden at Edgeware, during the period of the fair, to which he had gone down from
London with other boys of bad character.”
“ Four years ago a boy, now seventeen years of age, was in Clerkenwell prison three weeks, for robbing his uncle in order to
go to a twopenny theatre. He had previously been in the habit of stealing threepence or fourrence at a time from his parents for the same purpose.
He there fell into company of the worst description, and with the exception of having made two or three voyages in the American timber trade, has lived among thieves ever since. The offence for which he is now imprisoned for one month, is stealing a carpenter's tools.”
“An errand-boy, aged fifteen. Committed for one month, for keeping back six shillings he had received for his master, in order to go to a threepenny concert-room in Islington; and also to a theatre in the same street, kept by an undertaker. Never in prison before, and denies having made any bad acquaintance at these places."
“ A boy went to see the play of Jack Shepherd,' twelvemonths since, and soon afterwards was committed to prison for three months for robbing his employer, who kept a floor-cloth and carpet-warehouse, in order to go to the Pavilion and Garrick theatres, where he became connected with thieves. Has been in prison three times since, and now gets his living by theft.”
BARNET FAIR. At the request of Captain Trotter, we sent down four Missionaries to visit Barnet, during the large cattle and pleasure fair recently held in that town. It was not our intention to interfere
in any way for its suppression, it being an important business fair; x but we thought that the dealers, the drovers, and other persons of
a similar class, who are almost entirely neglected, or excluded by their avocations from the privileges of the means of grace, might be conversed with to their profit. At the same time we hoped that some of the poor families in the town might be visited by the Missionaries during their temporary sojourn.
The following are extracts from the two Reports of the four Missionaries who spent four days labouring in Barnet and its vicinity
EXTRACTS FROM THE FIRST REPORT.
Saturday.--In the evening of the day went to the fair, which we found to contain but little more than booths, stalls, &c., owing to the state of the weather, the rain, which descended fast, having cleared the ground of the company before our approach.
Sunday Morning.— After prayer for the Divine blessing, we proceeded, on the earlier part of this day, to visit some of the dwellings of the poor. On the way, we met three countrymen, with whom we conversed, one of them invited us to his dwelling, whither Brother H. and myself accompanied him. His wife (who is reputedly a pious woman), on being informed of the object of
to Barnet, wished success. "I am glad, gentlemen," said she, “that you have met my
husband, and that he is returned with you, for my prayers have been answered. This morning I prayed to God that my husband might be kept at home.” We were subsequently informed that this man, being of drinking habits, his wife was anxious for his detention, in order that he might attend the public worship of God. Having read a portion of Scripture and engaged in prayer, we departed amidst the blessing of both wife and daughter on our future labours.
Perceiving some men leaning over the rails of a pond, situated near a beer-shop, we solicited them severally to receive a tract, which they not only rejected with contempt, but behaved with the greatest insolence. One of the number in particular gave utterance to the most obscene and filthy expressions. We met this man several times after this during our visit to and from the fair, and were on every occasion assailed with the most abusive epithets. Brother H., on remonstrating with this man and his companions, was threatened with a ducking in the pond.
Visited an aged cottager, to whom having apologized for the intrusion, he kindly permitted me to take a seat. I remarked that I was come on a most important errand, for that both life and death were before us. I then referred him to the
of salvation by Jesus Christ, and inquired if he attended a place of worship. He replied, that he sometimes went to church. I then asked him if he knew the meaning of that text of Scripture, “ Ye must be born again.” Finding him ignorant, I besought him earnestly to pray to the Lord to teach him, and exhorted him to consider that his stay on earth being but short, it was of the utmost moment that he should repent and flee for refuge to the cross of Christ. The poor man listened to my appeal with the greatest respect, and expressed himself obliged for my visit, promising to attend to my request.
Visited a sweep whom I saw with the Bible laying before him; affectionately inquired if he had felt the power of the truth on his heart? He replied, that he hoped he had. I then exhorted him to read the Scripture at all times with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. This visit was also most thankfully received.
Near the Church I met with a group of Welsh drovers and others. Having given them some tracts, I proceeded to address them on the value of the soul. A man, who appeared to be a horse
dealer, passing at the time, inquired if my tracts were full of lies, X as he had plenty to tell on the morrow. Finding that he was
pressing through the people, regardless of my reply, I called aloud to him to « Count the cost.”. That a liar was abomination to the Lord.” I then took out my Bible and read a few verses—last chapter of Revelation, on which I commented : exhorted the bystanders not to be deceived, that “God would not be mocked;" showed the inevitable doom of the impenitent sinner; and exhorted them to “ Seek the Lord while he was to be found," &c.
Brother H., on observing a sign-board denoting “Lodgings to let,” knocked and asked permission to give tracts to the inmates. In a back apartment there was an assemblage of about fifty persons variously employed : some were cooking, others eating, &c. &c. Brother H. having solicited attention, said, “I have called, my friends, to present you with some tracts concerning Jesus Christ. Will you accept them?” “Yes, Sir, yes,” responded through the room—a rush being at the same time made by the beggars and trampers present to receive the tracts presented. “Knowing your habits of life, my friends,” Brother H. continued, “I have brought a message to you, as I feel for your spiritual welfare, “ This is a faithful saying," &c. The Missionary was then permitted, for nearly half an hour, to expatiate on the love of Christ. The greatest attention prevailed during the visit, at the close of which some of the beggars arose to shake the Missionary by the hand indicative of their gratitude for the visit. On the following day we met two of the number, who, on recognising Brother H., thanked him for the advice that he had given them on the occasion referred to.
In a miserable hovel, says one of the Missionaries, I found a poor cobbler, who stated that he had formerly been the subject of serious impressions, but that he was now unhappy. “I know," said he, “that my way of life is irregular.” Having read a portion of Scripture, the Missionary gave the poor man a tract, accompanied with the advice which he deemed most suitable to the occasion.
We had a kind reception at the cottage of an aged pensioner. A lady residing in the place, who is a visitor of the poor, was present, and having read various portions of Scripture, commenting on the same, we proposed prayer, and were agreeably surprised and delighted to notice that the lady before referred to, knelt with us on the brick-floor of the humble cottage. At parting, we received the thanks of the cottager, with an invitation to the residence of the lady the day following, which having accepted, we were admitted within the family circle, when an opportunity was afforded us of explaining the nature, objects, and successful operations (I am happily permitted to add) of the Mission, with which we have the honour to be connected.
Monday Morning. The fair on this day being chiefly for the sale of horses and cattle, presented a scene of bustle. Little was to be seen but the striking of bargains for horses, whose mettle was tested on the spot, to the great annoyance of the humble pedestrian. Graziers and drovers were abundant. With several persons of the latter class we had occasional converse. Some of them solicited tracts to take home to their families, which, on receiving, they folded up with care, promising to read them.
The afternoon and evening of this day we stationed ourselves in the avenues leading to the fair, presenting tracts to the people as they passed along. The reception of the tracts was of a mixed character; some silently receiving them, others, as might be expected at such places, heaping abuse and insult upon us for daring to present them.
Tuesday.—The weather proving but partially fine, I took occasion to visit the booth and stall-keepers, at the period when I considered them likely to be disengaged. Some of these people received my tracts, others wished me and the tracts in hell together, for coming there to prevent people from enjoying themselves. A stall-keeper at first refused my tracts, stating that I was doing him great injury, that he, having been brought up in that line of life was, of course, anxious to sell what he could; but that I, with others, came for the express purpose of discouraging people from attending fairs, to the annoyance and injury of his trade or calling. Having explained, by showing that my object was the eternal welfare of the soul, and not in reality to injure his temporal interests, the tract was received.
Several respectably dressed persons on horseback asked us for tracts, which, having received, they thanked us for the same.
On presenting a tract to a man of gentlemanly appearance, he politely requested that I would take one to his friend on the box, he being within the coach ; having complied with his request, I was assailed with the most abominable language, the tract being rejected with indignation.
An omnibus-driver having reproved some persons, who opposed us, requested to have a few tracts, that he might spread them along the seats of his vehicle for the perusal of his passengers.
In one of my visits I found a young woman who stated, with tears, that her husband through his folly had been subjected to a year's imprisonment, and afterwards to severe illness. “These trials," said she, “ have been blessed to me, and, I hope, to my husband also, for he is now humbled.” She then informed me, that her husband was unable to read, but that she read to him. I encouraged her to pray to the Lord to grant his Holy Spirit, to lead them in the path of life. On the whole, I would remark that our visits to the
have been appreciated, and I doubt not but that much good has been effected in the dissemination of the tracts. The opposition we were called to experience was more immediately from the low inhabitants of the place, among whom it may be said that drunkenness and Sabbath-breaking are proverbial.
EXTRACTS FROM THE SECOND REPORT. From a Scotch drover, rather an intelligent man, we learned, that about 300 of this class annually attend this fair. From a group of Welsh drovers, to whom Brother C. and myself were reading tracts, about seven o'clock on Sabbath morning, I also learned that 100 of them were up from Wales this year. We much regretted that we had no Welsh tracts with us, as they could not