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4th. We know that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, when the sufferers venture to complain, they are thrown out of work, though we have no evidence to shew that it is so in the present instance.
We jast lay hold on this as one of a most numerous class of instances, to elucidate what we mean when speaking of the wbite slavery system of the mills.
“A respectable-looking young man named Jonas Booth was charged with assaulting Mary Haigh, a delicate little child of about twelve years of age. She said she worked at Mr. Ambler's mill in Shaw Lane, Ovenden, at which Mr. Booth was an overlooker, and the assault consisted in “setting ber up," that is, making her bold a brush above her head for an hour and forty minutes ; and when her arms began to be tired and dropped a little he bit them op again. Her sister proved the case ; she said it occurred on Tuesday morning. She herself worked in another room of the mill, but the hands kept coming ap and telling her what Booth was doing to her sister; and “she bided as long as she could," but at last went down and saw her little sister “set up.” In defence Booth said the girl
“ had committed some offence" for wbich she was turned away, but her father wanted her to come to work again, and therefore she was accepted on condition that she was first punished for what she had done. A Mr. Thomas, the bookkeeper, bad set her on the steps, and given her the brush because she was a delicate child, and he thought could not hold the maul which was generally used in this punishment. He admitted that she stood there above an hour, but said it was her own choice, she might have come down, if she would have submitted to him and gone on her knees to beg pardon ; but she would not. She was put up at a quarter past six and stood there till after seven. (The sister said it was until about twenty minutes to eight.) He denied knocking her arms up when they flagged, but admitted be took hold of the arm and made her bold it up. The magistrates gave Booth a very severe reprimand. To “set up” a delicate child for even
an hour was a piece of very great barbarity, which neither Booth nor his master had a right to practice on any working person in the mill. As for ordering the child to go down on her knees to beg his pardon, it was
a very impudent thing indeed. Working people were never intended to go down on their knees to beg pardon of any body. When they did kneel it was for a different purpose. The sooner, therefore, that practice was discontinued in the mill, the better it would be. The magistrates did not sit there for the purpose of saying anything that could lead either children or servants to be refractory, but they must be required to do what they have to do in reason. The father of the child and the constable of the township both testified that Mr. Ambler, the millowner, had declared that Booth had kept the child up too long; a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes was the time he allowed. The father also begged the magistrates to hear the “offence" the girl had committed. She had been seized with an internal complaint while in the mill, and had gone out for a few moments only, and entirely on that account. And for this she was to be punished. He had a wife and eleven children living; and he could assure their worships he bad hard work “to
keep th’ band in t' nick;" but he did not wish to break the laws of his country. The magistrates, after some consultation, said that as Booth had acted not from sheer barbarity, but in a very mistaken sense of what he conceived to be bis duty, they would (after the lecture he had received) be satisfied with his paying 5s. to the little girl's father for the loss of work of his two children, and 6s. the other expenses of the case."
After this, shall we be told that the poor of the factories are duly protected by any existing act ? We know it to be frequently alleged by individuals when asked to co-operate in seeking parliamentary redress, that by some recent laws the grievances are greatly mitigated, if not removed. A fact like the foregoing, brought forward at a Police office, is the best reply; and therefore we have put it in our readers' bands. Lord Ashley's success in his appeal to the House of Commons on the frightful enormities of the coal mines has shed a ray of hope even on this dark subject of the mills; but it will be an arduous work to combat in detail all the obstacles to the success at which he aims. We beseech our friends to procure, and to peruse Lord Ashley's speech on the mining commission, wbich is published in a pamphlet, by Mr. Murray.
ON VISITING CONDEMNED FELONS.
There is a subject which I am anxious to see argaed in your valuable Magazine, if you have no objection. It is one that concerns the Ladies more particularly; and although it has been brought forward in many of the worldly periodicals of the day, I am not aware that I have ever seen it touched upon in any religious publication. I allude to a very remarkable sign of the times, viz: the increasing morbid sympathy for hardened and desperate offenders. The more villainous any villain is, the more atrocious bis crime, the more he is noticed, and he becomes an object of general sympathy, instead of universal execration.
In one of the daily London Newspapers, a short time since, I observed a long article upon this subject, and in which the name of a well known Christian lady of rank was brought prominently forward as having evinced rather more than Christian sympathy, for a condemned felon imprisoned in one of the Midland Counties, and under sentence of death for a most diabolical crime. It even said that the carriage of Lady - was daily seen at the door of the prison, and that her Ladyship was closeted with this hardened wretch, whilst all the other prisoners were neglected. I remember that the same visited by the Bishop of the Diocese in full canonicals,
who confirmed him, and administered to him the Lord's Supper; a piece of Popish profaneness, that I could hardly bave expected from a Protestant Bishop. I will say no more at present, but I hope you will take the matter ap. I do know many truly pious Christian Ladies, who give much occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, by the undue attention and sympathy they evince for the vilest characters. Yours, very faithfully,
(We should be grieved to throw any hindrance in the way of those whose chosen office it is to visit the captive, and to exhibit to the most guilty the blessed hope set before us in the gospel; but we must say that we fully concar in our correspondent's view. We know not to whom he alludes, nor have we ever heard of the circumstance related; but surely it would be well for females to confine their visits to those of their own sex, unless it should happen, which in this day of gospel light is not very probable, that no man can be found competent to the office of a preacher of righteousness to male offenders. The public voice bas recently proclaimed, in no measured tones or terms, the public disapproval of customs whereby the most awful circumstances in which a convicted, condemned felon can for the last time appear before the Lord, in congregational worship, are perverted into a theatrical exhibition; and we shall be glad if the remonstrance of our reverend correspondent (which we are not sure he intended us to publish) may direct some wavering minds to a right conclusion as to the proper sphere of a Christian Lady's duty. With that feeling, we leave it before our readers.-Ed.]