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w Owe no man anything."
Mary II arris was sitting at her door one afternoon, with a basket of clothes before her, which she was busy mending, patching, and darning, as they required, when her neighbour, Jane Davis, CUM sauntering by, and stopped to speak to her. Now nothing could be more different than the look and dress of these two women. Mary Harris had never been handsome, but she was clean, cheerful, aud good-tempered ; Jane bad a few years before been a very pretty girl,but now
dirt, bad health, and care, had worn away or concealed, all her good looks. Mary was coarsely dressed, hut very neat ; her dark worsted stockings showed no holes ; her stuff gown and blue apron looked whole and tidy ; her cap, made of linen, with a very common herder, was white and clean ; her neck-handkerchief, of buff cotton, was clean too, and well put on ; all her clothes, however plain, seemed good of their kind, and proper for her stationshe looked altogether pleasing and respectable. Jane had on a dirty coloured gown that had once been too smart for her circumstances, and was now too shabby and miserable for any iliceiit woman to put OH cotton stockings that had been white, but were now 100 dirty to ihon much of their real colour ; a cap of muslin, trimmed with lace, with her hair coming through many holes, and her appearance altogether dirty and discreditable. These women were neighbours and old acquaintances. Mary looked up from her work and invited Jane in, who seemed indeed to have nothing else to do but to saunter about and complain ; instead of which Mary herself often said, that if she wished to grumble she had no time for it. The following conversation will show the different characters and ways of life of these persons, and perhaps too may bring out a few truths to the reader, which are often either not seen or forgotten.
Jane. I see, as usual, Mary, you are busy and tidy. You are a wonder to me, with your large family and weak health. I cannot think how you get along as you do.
Mary. It is a true saying, Jane, that God fits the hack for the burden. It is seldom I feel quite strong, but then I am seldom quite laid by, and I was brought up to work hard and be careful. All that man can do lies in these two rules, and if everybody would observe them, there are few that would not be better off than they are.
Jane. But all the working in the world will hardly keep bread in one's mouth, and clothes on one's back in these days ; besides, there is often no work to be hadmy husband has heen at home this fortnight ; and this morning he went to the parish officers to -,iv iliat we uiu-t have help.
Mar;/. Oh, .lane, 1 am sorry to hear this : going on the parish is the beginning of much evil, and your husband, who is a strong man, and generally earns such good wages, has only been one fortnight out of employ. Are you obliged to go to the parish already ?
Jane. Already why do you look so astonished 1 Bo you think we have put by any thing with four children to maintain 1 why we are in debt besides, above five pounds at the shop, and how I am to make up the rent I cannot tell: I never could have got through last winter without parish help. Have you never had any ?
Mary. No, I thank God, never ; and with His help, I hope I never shall. I should think it a sin and a shame to take other people's money if I could live without it. I had rather have nothing but bread and water, than be maintained by the earnings of other people.
Jane. Sin and shame what words to use about
such common thing as having parish help ; and as to taking other people's money, Mary, how you talk Would you have us starve! And have not we a right by law to be supported, when we cannot support ourselves I
Mary. \ es, .lane, there is such a law ; but the question is, whether you can say with truth that you cannot support yourselves. You are at this moment, by your own account, without a farthing, or a hit of food for vour children, but it Mad not Inive been so: surely, it yon had managed your husband's large wages well. \oii might have been out of debt, and t \ en had a little mom J in ham!, and then you could have managed to get on for a week or two, without living, as 1 said before, on the earnings of other people.
./tfiic. What do you mean by the earnings of other people I Arc not all the great people we see driving about in their carriages so finely dressed, well able to spare something for such as we 1 Do they ever miss what goes out of their pockets to the poor rates ? or did they ever in their lives do a day's work for all the money they have and spend ?
Mary. Hut, .lane, all the rates do not come out of the pockets of the rich, though a larger share may come from them than from others; and 1 do not think we have any reason to say they are not willing to give, when we look at the coals, and blankets, and clothing given away every year by the rich people besides their share of the rates; but these rates fall very heavy on small shopkeepers, and respectable hard-working people,
wlio can hardly pay their own way sometimes, and yet are obliged to help to maintain many, who, if they had been as prudent and industrious as themselves, would never have wanted.
Jane. You are thinking of me there, I suppose; 1 am afraid 1 am worse off than 1 need have been, but just now we must have help, or starve.
Mary. Well, Jane, I have no right to reproach you ; but just listen to the truth. It is not only the rich, out id' whose pockets the parish-money comes ; tuit it' a hard-working, careful man gets up in the world, if he takes a little shop, or sets up in any business, he is directly expected to pay to the rates ; and the more there are to receive parish pay, the higher the rates will lie,and the higher they are, of course the more every separate person pays to them. So that as soon as an honest, saving man has got himself and his family a little above the world, his earnings or savings must go to help those who might do as well as himself perhaps, if they choose ; and you are just now laying a heavier burden on such people. Now do you see what I mean t
Jane. Yes, I understand you. Indeed, Mrs. Jones, at the shop, said something of the kind yesterday, when 1 called to buy a little tea, and told her I must have it on credit, or not at all. She grumbled a good deal, and said she supposed we would be going on the parish next ; and then her husband would be giving me money with one hand, and lending it with the other.
Mary. And no wonder she should grumble. Her five pounds is now of no use to her; and if you
repay it, as I hope you will, it will not be for a long time; and besides this, her husband is paying for your maintenance by what he is obliged to give to the rates, so that what she says is very true. Mrs. Jones is stirring and industrious, so is her husband ; but had debts and a heavy poor rate are enough to pull hack anybody, and I think her case is harder than yours.
Jane. Harder than ours Why she has got bread to cat, and clothing for her family.
Mary. Yes : but if she and her husband had not been saving and laborious she would imt have
had either ; and, remember, she has as g.....1 a
right to her money, 1 mean the money you owe her, as our husbands have to their wages on a Saturday night : and if you run in debt more than you are able to pay, or go on the parish when you could keep off, and so increase the poor rates, you are acting just as dishonestly as if you went into her shop and took a loaf off the counter, or money out of the till. I say, Jane, her case is harder than yours ; for you suffer for jour own imprudence and had management, and she is losing by the imprudence and bad management of other people.
Jane. What you say sounds very true, but there are very few who talk as you do; and I have always thought that such people as the Joneses, who are well off in the world, might do a little to help poor people.
Mary. But you see after all, they do a great deal more than they can afford. Did Mrs. Jones let you have the tea I
Jane. Yes : but she says we shall have nothing more without paying ready money, though she is willing to wait a little for the five pounds we owe.
Mary. Surely you have nothing to complain of: she has as good a right to her five pounds as your husband to his week's money when he is at work, as 1 said before ; you would think it very unjust, if what he earned with his hard labour was kept back from him at the end of the week. It is just the same with the Joneses : they made their savings, and stocked their shop, with their own hard labour ; and now, it you or any one else take goods out of their shop which you cannot pay for, or take their money by going on the parish, you are doing as Unfair and dishonest an action as your husband's master would do by keeping back his wages. *
Jane. But, besides all this, you seem to think it such a disgrace to be on the parish. Now it is what most people in our line do in these days, without thinking it any disgrace at all.
Mary. The more is the pity. Yes, Jane, I do think it a disgrace to live like a beggar on what others give me. If I am ever so brought down by old age or misfortune as not to be able to live without parish pay, I hope 1 shall be thankful to (Jod for providing it; but while I can by hard labour and carefulness keep myself, I should think it, as I said before, a shame and even a sin to go like a beggar and ask for other people's money. Oh, Jane, how different it is to take the money earned by our own labour, or laid up by our own carefulness, which we have a right to,bow different this is from the sum given by the overseers,
who have to pay a share of it themselves, ami grudge you every penny.
Jane. Grudge it they do indeed Every sixpence is squeezed out as if it were their own last farthing. They have little mercy on the poor.
Mar;/. There are good and had in all conditions. 1 grant you some overseers are hard and ill-natured, but it is an overseer's duty not to give any one more than he is obliged. l'oor people would be even more careless and wasteful than they are, if they could get all they want by just asking for it. And as to those overseers who are most coin plained ot for cruelty and grumbling, 1 am sure it is not to be wondered at, when they see their own earnings going from them to feed and clothe people who deserve more blame than pity for wanting help at all. There is a gentleman 1 have heard of who is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Well, I suppose you would say, ho is quite able to pay the rates. You would think he ought to help the poor : but how did he begin in the world 1 He was not better off at first than your husband or mine, lie kept a stall in the streets, and made but little, as you may believe, but he was careful and industrious : he worked, and took care of his earnings. By little and little he got on, and took a small shop ; then a large one : and at last became a very rich man. lie has carriages, and horses, and servants, and many things which you and 1 have not : but, remember, he has earned them all, and gained them by his own labour, as much as a ploughman or a carpenter
earns what he gets by the week. Well, this gentleman, as soon as lie got into a house of his own, had to pay poor rates directly, when perhaps he could very badly afford it. Now, rich as he is, he feels the loss of what he pays to them very little, but still the money is his own, earned and saved by himself; and when he sees the poor rates increasing, I dare say he often looks back to his own beginning, and thinks how many are supported by his money, who began life as well as he did, and who, if they had been industrious and careful like him, might he well able to maintain t hem-' 1 \ es.
.Inn:. This does make things seem different to what I have always thought, to be sure. Hut, Mary, what is to be done when the man is out of work, and the children crying for bread i
Mar;/. Why, if the man has had good work for a long time, ho ought to have some little store to go to for a week or two at least, and not run to the parish directly. How much did your husband earn ?
Jane. He had always twelve shillings a week till he was discharged.
Afar;/. And did not you earn something 1 1 used to hear of your going out to work.
Jam: All the summer 1 had two days' work in the week, at Mrs. Mann's, where I had one shilling; and sixpence a day, and my victuals.
Mar;/. Ah, all last summer then you were receiving fifteen shillings a week, and you had two days' victuals; surely you might have laid by something to meet worse times,and you have
only four children too Indeed, .Line, this is very bad management.
June. Well, Mary, you have made me think worse of taking the parish money than I ever did before ; hut do tell me how you have managed to do without it. You have six children, and never get out to earn any thing : your husband's wages are about the same as mine, and yet we are beggars, as you say : ami you seem well to do in the world. How did you contrive to get through last winter, when vour husband MM laid up for five weeks.
Mary. Thank < iod, we had the doctor and medicines from the I lispensary. We had to take a little of our money out of the Savings Hank, and with care and saving we did get through very well.
June. The Dispensary. Ah, I have heard a good deal about that Dispensary : and 1 sorely wished, when my husband hurt his leg last year, and was bad, as you may remember, three weeks, that we had put into one. Do tell me all about it.
Mary. So I will another day, but it is getting near supper-time now. The children will be coming home from school, and I must light the fire, and be getting something for them and my man when he leaves work.
Jane. How comfortable it all seems.
Mary. Yes, I thank God, we are comfortable. We owe no man any thing; and if we do live hard sometimes, we feel that we are not living on other people's money. 1 do not mean to hurt your
feelings, Jane, but a dry crust, of one's own earning, is sweeter than a better meal paid for by the parish. l>o stir yourself then, and when your husband gets to work again, do all you can to pay your debt, and keep yourselves respectably ; and when you come again 1 will tell you all the Rules of our Dispensary, and give you any other advice in my power. Good evening to you.
DISPENSARY AND THE SAYINGS BANK.
** Provide things hom-nt in the sight of all men."
Jane Davis did not altogether forget what her neighbour, Mary Harris, said to her. It made her look at the parish money with something like a feeling of shame, and she thought if once her husband got to full work again, she would try to get out of debt, and manage better for the future, .lane was not ill-disposed, hut she was, like many other poor women, careless and indolent. She and her husband began badly. They married without a farthing in their pockets, as many in these days do. The first year he had good work and there were no children,all was very comfortable: they lived well, and Jane was smartly
THE DISPENSARY AND THE SAVINGS DANK. 10
dressed, but they saved nothing,and as every year after brought a baby, they got poorer and poorer ; work grew scarce as the family grew large, and having no forethought, there was no store of any kind to go to in times of sickness: their money was spent before it was got, and they ran up a debt at the shop, which amounted to five pounds, when the man, as we have seen, was discharged, and they had then nothing left to do but go upon the parish, and, as Mary Harris said, live on other people's money, .lane had never looked upon parish pay in the way Mary did ; hut since they had talked it over together it had seemed a different thing to her. She began to CM ashamed of going to Mrs. .lone-, out of whose pocket she was taking money in two ways ; first, by running up a debt which she could not pay ; secondly, by taking the parish money. The parish money too was of course no great sum, for when there are many to maintain, that is to say, many paupers, there cannot be much for everybody, and of course the overseers only gave a bare living to those wdio cannot, or will not, maintain themselves. Jane therefore saw her family but very poorly off in every waytheir clothes were wearing out, and there was no means of replacing them ; and her husband, who was now much at home, seemed tired of the untidy, uncomfortable ways he saw going on, and tired too of his ill-managed, noisy children. One morning poor Jane walked up to Mary Harris in a very sad mood, and sat down to have a little comfort and advice. Mary. Indeed, Jane, you look poorly. Is any
THE DUPBHIAKT AM)
tiling the matter moro than usual, or is it that you cannot thrive on parish pay ?
June. 1 feel tired and unhappy, Mary. My money hardly holds out from week to week, though we live badly enough 1 am sure, and my husband is discontented and cross with us all. You are always hard at work, but always look happy and respectable. Your house is a house of peace, and 1 feel comfort in talking to you.
Mnri/. dust now, Jane, it seems to mo as if yon could do nothing but save, and manage what little you have. It is no wonder you should fret, with your husband out of work, and nothing to live on but parish pay ; but fretting will do no good ; stir yourself, and don't let things get worse, and when your husband does get work again, try to do better.
Jane. I want to hear about your Dispensary and the Bank you talk of, for whenever we can clear our debt to Mrs. Jones, I will try to put into it, against bad times or sickness comes again.
Man/. I am glad to hear you say this ; but it can only be done by care and saving, and denying yourselves some things you have been used to, but then it is worth all, to have a something to depend on in times of sickness and distress.
Jane. Do tell me all about it,what you pay in, and what you get from them.
Mary. I had better begin with the Dispensary. About the time we were married, the gentlefolks in our neighbourhood set one up, and we were among the first people who l>clonged to it. The plan is just this. Everybody who pays one
penny per week has a right to send for the doctor, and has his choice too which to send for, if more than one are concerned with the Dispensary. Medicines arc provided into the bargain, hut you must find your own bottles, and bandages if necessary.
Jane. For a penny a week you arc all doctored then ?
June. Ten shillings.
Mary. You see I only give eleven shillings and tenpence for myself for the whole year, when there is a lying-in, that is hut one shilling and tenpence more than you pay for that time only. I have no doctor's bills coining in, no going to plague the parish officers, or any one else, to help me. I am sure I have great reason to be thankful to the gentlefolks for this comfort only, if nothing else was ever done for me and mine.
Jane. Why, what have gentlefolks to do with it ? you pay your own money.
Mary. So we do ; but the money of such as we
are, though it goes a great way towards it, would never set these things going, or keep them going, without help. When first this Dispensary Association, for that is the right name for it, was set on foot, the rich people about, all subscribed) and many of them continue to do so every year ; for 1 believe our money would not do more than pay the doctors for their trouble, without leaving any thing for medicines. 1 am not one of those who like to run to the rich for help any more than to the parish : nor do I wish to depend on any one but liod and our own earnings ; but I would thankfully remember what is done for me, and give the credit where it is due. I am sure, .lane, you would find it a very great comfort to belong to this Dispensary;* but then you must be very regular and exact in your payments,1 take my shilling every month, and well bestowed it is.
* These Dispensary Associations were first set on foot by Mr. Smith (if Southam, in Warwickshire, who has also been very kind in helping to establish them in many other places, where they are going on, and are found a great blessing. It is much to lie wished that they were set up in every |iart of the country. As to parish doctors, it should lie remembered, that the overseers make the best bargain they can with them ; so that the doctor is often not paid as he ought to tie. for the time or medicines iiiven to the poor ; and it is often not worth his while to attend properly to them, unless he does it out of kindness or Christian feeling. Now there are many who do act with the greatest kindness, and look after the poor as well as the rich ; hut it is not always so, as everybody knows, and those labouring people who will lie paii|M'rs must make up their minds to lie neglected, where the parish doctor is too busy or too careless to attend to them. This is one of the distresses, which depending on parish money brings with it.
June. To be sure threepence a week seems but little, and yet I am sure just now I could as well give three guineas.
.Vary. Ah that is because you have let yourselves get so behind-hand : but do try, when things are better with you, to be more careful. Last winter you know my husband was laid by a long time : then I felt the comfort of a good doctor and good medicines, all fir threepence a week.
Jan<: But the doctor and the medicines could nut feed you all. I low could you get on with all \oiir children, and no money coming in '
Marii. Why we were obliged to take a little money out of the hank, and live close ; and thus, thank (led, we did get well through, without troubling anybody. 1 do not say but it was rather a struggle not to draw out more of our little store: hut I told my children, I mean those old enough to understand, what I thought was our duty, and they were contented as well as me to give up all that could be done without, and live as sparely as we could till their father got about again. But the comfort of having a little store to go to is not to be told, and it is just for such times that we have been careful to lay by. I am sure my husband got better all the sooner for having no distress upon his mind about our coming to want or going on the parish ; he knew he had a kind Father in heaven to look to; and he knew that by (Jod's help he had been able to provide something for his family, and he felt contented and easy through it all.
Jane. Oh, you arc I happy woman. You have
a good husband and good children. 1 wish mine were like them. Hut have you never any difficulty in getting up the shilling at the month's end ?
Mary. When my husband's money comes in every week the threepence is taken out directly whatever happens, that is not to be touched ; and only think, Jane, how often threepence is wasted, or badly laid out, and so lost, that might pay for this comfortable plan of ours. My own Indict' is that there are very few, scarce any families, who could not with care and management afford it. The poor weak tea you give your children, which does them no good, would pay it at once.
Jam. Ah, Mary, yon are always calling out about the tea.
Mary. So 1 always shall : such tea as we can get is sad food for men, women, or children ; and it just prevents your getting what would be better for youbut about this Dispensary, wdiat do you think I
Jane. I think it must be a great blessing. If one of us were ill now, I could have no help, unless the parish would give us a doctor. I could not go to Mr. Dean for myself, for the last time my husband was ill, we could not pay his bill, and there is still three pounds owing to him: he has never troubled us about it, hut I should feel ashamed of sending to him just now.
Mary. Three pounds to Mr. Dean, and five pounds to Mrs. Jones : this is a large sum, Jane, and you cannot put into the Dispensary or save at all till this is paid. I do hope your husband will
get work soon, and then let ine advise you to put by something every week, and divide it between the doctor and the shop, till it is all cleared ; they will both bo more willing to help you another time if they see you are honest now : and I trust, if once it is cleared, you will do better. I should feel as if the medicine other people paid for did me little good ; and I pity those poor creatures who are running to the overseers in every time of sickness as well as distress. When you have got all straight again, do subscribe to the Dispensary; and then you will have a right to send for the doctor and get physic whenever you want it, without reproaching yourself or running in debt, or being grumbled at by anybody, tied puts plenty of comforts in our way if we will but use them.
Jane. But what were you saying about a bank I the Savings Bank, I believe it is called : I cannot think how you contrive to put into that, with all there is beside, to do with your money.
Mary. We do, however, put something in almost every month, and if it is ever so trifling, ray husband is best pleased to carry it there at once. You know they will take in the smallest sums even sixpence at a timeand many a sixpence is wasted which might go there. Then remember, Jane, though I am sure I cannot explain these things, the money is not only safe there, but, if left long enough, it is added to : you may have it out when you please ; and in what sums you please ; and everybody has their own account set down in a little book belonging to them, so that there can be no mistakes, and, as I said before, if
it is loft in long enough, the money increases. For every hundred pounds too, three pounds a year is allowed; hut such as we are, are not likely to save enough to receive much in this way : the great thing for us is to have a litte store laid by, and an increasing store too, to which we can go in times of sickness and distress. If my husband is ill or out of work, I know we need not starve or go on the parish ; we can take a little of our money out of the Savings Hank, and so get on till things are betterit makes one fee] so safe and easy as it were, so secure and comfortable ; but 1 must tell you, that when we do take anv thing out. we are not quite satisfied till it is | ul back, and are content to deny ourselves a little till this is done. My husband often says it is something for me and the children to look to in case he should be taken away ; and when we both go, it will be a comfort not to leave our dear little ones without some provision.
Jam: Do they allow nothing by the year for less than one hundred pounds?
Mary. Oh, yes : fifty pounds in the Dank brings you in one pound ten shillings a year ; twenty-five pounds gives fifteen shillings a year, and so on ; and all this time remember the money itself, which is called the principal, is safe, and, if you do not take this payment, which is called interest, the money is growing, for this interest is added to it, year by year.
Jam: 1 suppose you began putting into the Savings Dank as soon as you were married ?
Mary. Yes ; and this every couple can do,
and ought to do the first year. If a man and his wife and six children must live on twelve or fourteen shillings a week, surely a man and wife only should live on less ; hut I see people every day marry, and live away the first year or two, and having spent every thing on themselves, they have nothing put by for the poor children when they come. 1 think it cpiite a shame for a young couple, with only themselves to maintain, not to put by something handsome the first year, for then tlie wife can often earn as well a- the husband ; and when there is but one child a preltv -urn may be >aved too. Less and less can he put b] M the family increases ; but with care and attention, if the man is sober and industrious, and the woman active and saving, 1 think a little might be laid by every year, or at least the store which was first laid by might be kept up, in case of sickness or want of work.
lane. I dare say you had saved something before you were married t
Mary. Yes : my husband and I had both laid by a little ; indeed we did not think it right to marry, and take the burden of a family upon us, till we were a little before the world. I was at service you know some years, ami he had the wages of a labouring man. He had an old helpless mother to keep, whom he never would allow to have any parish help, or else he would have saved more ; but God blessed his dutiful conduct, and we neither of us ever thought it lost money that went to obey that positive command, which is so often repeated in the Bible, as to honouring
parents. The old woman died, hlessing her son, and that blessing seems to have remained with him. All this time, however, he did lay by something every month, which was put into the Savings Bank, and out of my wages, though they were but small, something always went there too ; so when the poor old woman died, and we thought well of marrying, we had between us a small sum laid up for a rainy day. l'art of it was taken out to buy some things wanted in the house, and make our home comfortable ; but this we quite made up again by our savings the first year, when I was able to go out and earn something as well as hilu, and we had no mouths to teed but our own. The first child of course made our expenses more, and our savings less, for 1 could not go out to work as 1 had done, and every one as it comes has given us more to do with our money ; and my large family, and not over strong health, keeps me now quite at home, but by the blessing of God we have always kept a little above the world. We put by what we can, and if in times of sickness, or any other distress, our little stock is lessened, why we work and save to make it up again.
Jane. If I did not see you and your husband well clothed, and the children fat and rosy, 1 should think you must pinch and starve yourselves almost to death to do all this.
Mary. But it is not so, you see ; our children and ourselves are dressed in common coarse things perhaps, but they are warm, and clean, and whole ; our food is plain, but we have plenty of itplenty to eat, none to waste ; we can have a doctor when
wo arc ill, without running in debt or troubling-anybody. If sickness, or any other cause, takes away my husband's work for a time, we have a little something to depend on till things come round ; and if we should either of us die, we could be buried decently without owing it to the parish, and leave something behind us. These are all comforts worth striving for, .fane : and I bless God every day for enabling us to do as we have done ; and remember, what has been done may be done, and if you will begin from this day on I right plan, and never depart from it, 1 shall expect, in the course of time, to hear you also thanking I iod for your comforts, instead of complaining of your hardships. It is never too late to mend. The money you have wasted is gone, but you may act differently in future ; and though it if OM difficult to get out of bad ways than to set out in good ones, yet I do think you, with four children, when your husband gets to work, and you are able 10 do something for yourself, by degrees may pay your debts, belong to the Dispensary, and even lay by a little in the Bank against had days come again.
MANAGE THE CHILDREN.
"Train up a rhiUl in tlic way he slmuM gu."
Onk afternoon Mary Harris, with her youngest child in her arm, walked out to meet her three elder girls coming from school. It was a fine afternoon ; and as she passed .lane Davis's door, she saw Jane herself sitting just outside, gossiping with her next neighbour, while the children of both were amusing themselves making dirt pies, as they called them ; loading their pinafores with dust and stones ; while one, a fine little boy of three years old, hail taken off his boot, and was trying to make it float on a pool close by. This was Jane Davis's child, who did not seem to notice what was going on, but went on chatting with her
friend ; both of them as idle as the children themselves, and not appearing to think or care about what they were doing. Just before Mary Harris came up, one of Jane's little girls coming near her mother with a lap full of stones, fell, and began to cry. Jane got up to see what was the matter ; and seeing the child's frock and pinafore covered with dirt, and torn with the weight of the stones, sent her with a hearty cuff, through the open door of the house, and followed to give her some further punishment for the mischief she had done. I a'n't as hail as Billy," said the child ; look at his new hoot made into a boat."' Out ran .'ane again, looking all rage and anger, seized the hoy with one hand, and got hold id' the hoot with the other. The dirty water, which it was full of, she poured on the child's head, who screamed and kicked till she could hardly hold him. The other children laughed at seeing the stripes of mud run over his face ; and the neighbour called out, Why you have made more work for yourself than before," and laughed too in a provoking manner. Jane shook the boy violently, and then was turning to say something sharp to her neighbour, when Mary Harris came up. It was a sad sight. The two children screaming ; the mother in a passion : the one child with a dirty frock and torn pinafore, the other with his face covered with mud and his new boot in a pitiful condition. Mary quietly put down her own child and began to w ipe the little girl's face, which had been cut by the fall, while Jane endeavoured to clear out the unfortunate boot, exclaiming all the time on the naughtiness of
her children, the way they spoilt their elothes, the trouble they gave her, and a whole string of grievances. Mary asked her if she would not wash her boy's head and face before the mud began to get hard and cake upon it? Jane looked about, and found a cracked basin, in which she got some water, and with a dirtydooking cloth, which had been stuffed into a broken pane in the window, made the poor child look something like himself again ; and then, bidding them both go and sit quite still and hold their tongues, she turned round to Mary, who was thinking with grief how badly things went on in this family, and said, Oh, Mary, it is fretting and worry all day long ; it is hard work to get clothes at all for the children ; and then to see them all spoilt is too bad."
Mary. But, .lane, why do you allow them to do what dirties and spoils their things I Before I came up, I saw what they were all about ; the girls making dirt pies in the road, and Billy with his boot in the pond. Why don't you forbid their doing such things altogether ? there are many nice ways of playing that would do them no harm.
Jane. Forbid them So 1 do, but they don't mind. I dare say, if I was to look out now, 1 should find the others doing just the same again.
Mary. Well, my children love me, but they mind me. I always take pains from the first to make them careful of their clothes. 1 taught the two eldest many little ways of amusing themselves, without doing mischief; and as they liked me to play with them, they got into the way of playing as I wished, and now they teach the
others. I used to tell them, as soon as they could understand, that I could not get them more clothes if they spoilt what they had ; and without anger or punishment, they got a habit of taking care of their things, particularly when they knew that their father and I worked hard to get them. Playing in the mud and dirt, and such nasty ways, I never would have allowed ; and I am sure, poor people may save a great deal in many ways, by teaching their children from the first to be tidy and careful.
June. A child tidy and careful How can you make them so ?
Mnrii. Why, by being so yourself first, and telling them why you are so as soon as they can understand you, and by never overlooking any dirty slovenly ways when they are young. Make thein understand that you have only a certain sum of money to spend in clothes, food, and every thing ; and that if they spoil their clothes they must have less food. Show them how wrong it is to waste or destroy any thing ; and, above all, make them obey you. Teach them that God has commanded children to obey their parents in all things : this must be the root of the matter. If once a family of children get the habit of disobedience, it will show itself in every thing. I do not mean that little children, if ever so well brought up, will never do any thing foolish, or careless, or wrong. Far from it. Sin will show itself in all children : but I mean, that children brought up to obey, will learn very early to mind what is said to them : and though there is in them all the evil
nature of man, and the faults and naughty tempers that children will have, yet we shall see a great difference betiveon them and others. A mother who brings up her family to obey her, will be able to make them keep their clothes whole and clean, and keep themselves out of dirt and mischief.
Jane. Do tell me some of your ways with your children. 1 used to remark, that their things in the beginning were no better than what mine have, but they leem to last twice as long.
Mini/. I and my husband began with teaching them to obey all our command-. This we told them was their duly both to I bid and to us. When they began to be able to understand sueb things, we used to t;ilk of all our affairs before them, and let them know the difficulty we should have in clothing and feeding them, if they were wasteful and careless. We told them what the different things cost ; and did not bring them up in ignorance of the value of their food and clothing ; and we set them the example ourselves of never wasting or spoiling any thing. We took particular pains with the two eldest, and made them, as far as we could, teachers to the others ; and, as I said before, when once the habit of obedience is brought into a family, it goes through. My husband has a nice way of talking to the children about all these things.
Jane. Ah, it is very different with mine. He says the children are noisy and quarrelsome ; and I am glad to put them to bed as soon as 1 can after he comes home, for that is the only place they are quiet in.
Mary. Then they cannot see much of their lather.
Jane. Oh no very little. He is often gone to his work of a morning before we are up ; and, as 1 said before, when he comes home at night he is glad to get rid of them, for he is tired, and they perhaps a little rude and noisy. Sometimes they get quarrelling together, and make each other cry ; and he is vexed and out of patience, and threatens to go to the public-house to he out of their wav, so 1 put them to bed as soon as I can.
Mary. Ah. many a time a man is driven to the ale-house by ,in uncomfortable home : and many a man, who might be a kind husband, and a kind lather, is made cross and cruel by having his temper tried day after day. A dirty house and screaming children have made many a good husband a bad one : and turned many a sober, quiet man into a drunkard.
Jane. Well, I sometimes think it is hard we should have all the pains and care to ourselves. Does not the mother nurse the children, and bear all their bad tempers the whole day I Is the man to have no trouble at all with them 1
Mary. Oh, Jane, is not the man out at work all day long for them, and in all weathers ? Does not he come home tired, and perhaps wet and cold 1 And is it too much for him to expect a quiet home, and peace, when he gets back 1 I do not mean that things being uncomfortable at home is any excuse for a man spending his money in the public-house. His duty is the same, if his wife is ever so untidy, ami his children ever so tiresome ;
but a good wife will not give, him any reason for wishing to be away from home. I wish you could see my children's joy when their father comes in. I brought them up from babies to watch for him, and crow, and clap their little hands at him. This pleases a poor man who has been at hard labour away from home all day. Then they have been taught to do all they can to make him comfortable. I have always told th an that every thing they have to eat. or put on, or enjoy, conies from their father's laboii; ; that lie supports us all. and we should all try to pleao him, and help m ,-\,-r\
way we i-1,1. \ on should ..... them all busy about
him when he conies in. I Ine will set Ins chair by the fire ; another is ready with his old ttMJ shoes to put on, instead of his heavy working boots ; another will have a little water for him to wash his hands and face. It is a happy time when father comes from work ; and I often bless God for His goodness, when I see them all so comfortable together.
Jane. All this sounds happy indeed. It is very different in our house. I do not think my husband loves his children.
Mary. Oh, Jane, there are few fathers who do not love their children, if they are not made plagues to them by bad management. Teach your children to mind their father and consider him, and he will be fond of them. The Bible says, Fathers, provoke not your children ;" but it says, also, Children, obey your parents."" Honour thy father and thy mother." The first thing is, to make your children obedient. If you let them
grow up in disobedient, disrespectful ways to their father and you, it is teaching them to break one of God's commandments ; and doing the very thing that is most likely to make your husband's home uncomfortable.
Jane. 1 do often punish them for not doing as I desire them ; but it is of no use, they will not remember, or mind any thing.
Mart/. But, Jane, you get angry yourself. You do not talk quietly to the children, and show them that they are wrong ; hut you put yourself in a passion, and so set them a had example. Besides, you do not seem to keep to your rules. Surely you saw your children grubbing in the dirt, which you say you do not allow ; and yet you took no notice, till you found Sally's torn pinafore and Billy's wet boot. Now, remember, they had both been doing wrong some time before you said any thing to them. If you make rules with children, you must keep them. The way is to be particular and firm always, and not in a passion now and then. Violence does no good ; and is itself a much worse sin than what you are angry about in them. But how does it happen that they are all here at play 1 Do not your children go to school 1 Are they always idling about in this way ?
Jane. I pay threepence a week for each of them, you know, and my two eldest used to go ; but the last fortnight I have not been able to get the sixpence for schooling, so they have been at home ; and Billy has never been at all yet.
Mary. Let me advise you, Jane, to pinch in every thing else sooner than give up the schooling.
Schools arc such blessing. The children learn what is good there ; they are kept out of idleness ami mischief; and they leave one time and room at home to do the work, and see to many things, which it is difficult to do when they are all in the house to be looked after. Kvery one of mine goes but this baby. Ah I there 1 see my girls coming. I must go. l'o, .lane, think of what I have been saving. A wife and a mother has a great deal to answer for. She has much good and much evil in her p.wer ; and will have to give an account for both. (iod hi- given our children to us to be brought up for Him. They are Hi- creatures ; and if we >poil them by false indulgence, or hurt their tempers by improper violence, we shall have to answer for it.
Jane. I know 1 am hot-teinpered, Mary, and sometimes very sharp with the children, and indeed with my husband too.
Mary. Then, Jane, your first duty is to correct yourself. Depend upon it, there is more to be done by mildness than by anger with everybody ; and besides this, it is so sinful to lose one's temper for every trifle. Is it like a disciple of Christ, who was himself so meek and gentle, who bore all kinds of ill usage and insolence without an angry word 1 What is the meaning of our calling ourselves Christians, that is to say, the followers of Christ, if we are not to imitate His example and try to be like Him ? And what good does this anger do 1 You say the children do not mind you.
Jane. No, they are frightened for a moment, and then as naughty as ever: but it is very difficult
MANAUK TIIH CII1I.IIKKN.
to be patient at all times; ami sometimes the elder girls will answer me so sharp and pert that it is very provoking.
Mary. There, you see what your own example does, Jane. They see you angry, and they lose all respect for you they hear you speak sharp to their father, and they get into the same way of speaking to you, and no doubt to each other. Take care they do not grow up both disobedient and quarrelsome, for these faults generally go together. But it is never too late to mend. Begin with your own temper. With God's help nothing is impossible Ask him to teach you how to manage yourself. Try to he mild and kind to your husband. Set the children a good example, and then you will find it easier to govern and correct them.
I|t>\V TO KEEP ABOVE THE WORLD.
'* Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing he hist."
It was about ten o'clock one morning when Mary Harris was busy washing, all her children being at school except the baby, who was quietly sitting up in the cradle, with a few old things to play with, which kept him happy and quiet, when Jane Davis came in. Her youngest child was with her: it was a fine little creature, but looked different enough from Mary's clean tidy boy ; though both Jane and her children began to profit a little by the good advice she received ; and as she took every thing Mary said in good part, it was to be hoped it would in time have its effect with her.
Jane. I just stepped up, Mary, to tell you that my husband has got work again, and goes to it to-morrow. You always tell me where I am
wrong, and blame me when I deserve it; but nobody is so kind as you, or so glad of any good happening to another.
Mary. I am truly glad to hear this, Jane. Indeed I know the burden of a family too well not to feel for others ; and I know when the man is out of work, it is very difficult to get along for any length of time : but now you have got right again,for I call it all wrong when a family is living on parish pay, you must be very industrious and very saving, or you will never lie out of difficulties. I suppose you will first of all think of your debts, and getting clear of them (
Jane. Ah, that is a load 1 hardly know how to get rid of.
Mary. Why there is but one way of getting rid of it, which is to pay what you owe. l'ut by something every week, and take it regularly to Mrs. Jones : this will show your honesty, if it is ever so small, and in time it will all be paid ; and as for Mr. Dean, you should not trouble him so often, but pay bin five or ten shillings at a time, if he will take it in such sums. Surely you can put by eighteen pence or two shillings a week.
Jane. What, with six of us to keep! I can hardly get along, as you know, without putting by any thing.
Mary. Why, indeed, your having a debt of five pounds at the shop is a proof you have been in the habit of spending more than your income. But is this honest, Jane t Surely there is waste or over indulgence in your house. My husband's wages are the same as yours used to be, and I never go
out to earn anything, as you used to do in the summer; we have two more children than you; and yet, thank God, we owe nobody a farthing, and put into our Dispensary every week.
Jane. Well, 1 cannot think how you contrive ; I am sure we don't seem to live better than other people. There is seldom a bit of fresh meat in our house, except on Sundays, when my husband will have a hot dinner ; and he often complains, that if he would send for a pint of beer now and then, there is no money to pay for it. Mil ii. What do you all live on then ( .lain- Why the children have little but bread and butter and a drop of tea. I have my tea night and morning ; and according as the money lasts, 1 get my husband his dinner and supper. lie does not come home to dinner, and 1 send him what I can.
Atari/. My children have gruel for breakfast, and often for supper, for 1 find it cheap and nourishing. I can make three quarts of good oatmeal gruel, with brown sugar and spice to flavour it, for fourpence. This makes a good breakfast and supper for them and me ; and if we have the same every day, it comes to little more than two shillings a week. My husband's share 1 make better ; but 1 can give hint his, very good, with a good allowance of beer stirred up in it, for about fourpence the quart. A bason of this gruel, 1 can tell you, with a nice slice of toasted bread, is good nourishing food for a labouring man ; and he finds it very comfortable when he comes home from work. The school is some way oil', and my
children generally take their dinner with them a slice of bread and cheese, or a cold rice-pudding perhaps. When their father comes home to dinner, I have a little hit of bacon, boiled with potatoes for him, or a bason of broth ; or, if he does not come home, he takes his bread and bacon, or bread and cheese, with him. I always feel it a duty, as well as a pleasure, to have things as good as I can for the one who supports us all. Then, Jane, I allow no waste. If any gruel is left in the bason it is scraped out ami put back : and not a potato is to be thrown away. The children are taught from the lirst [hat nothing is to be lost or spoiled. 1 try to remember myself, and teach them to remember what Christ himself said, after giving a good meal to those who followed llim; "(iather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." This text alone would make me think it a sin to waste a bit ; and I see how necessary it is to begin, by making children observe this great rule. When I give them potatoes for dinner or supper, I boil them with the skins on, for peeling first makes waste ; and the potatoes are not so good boiled without their skins, except when they are for broth, or boiled with meat or bacon ; then of course they are skinned first. But we do not live much on potatoes. I find there are many other things to be had for a trifle ; which we all like better. I can make a gallon of good broth for less than nine-pence ; and a large rice-pudding, enough to give all the children dinner or supper, only costs eightpence. There are other dishes I could tell
HOW TO KEEP AIIUVK THE WORM).
you of, which are nourishing ami relishing, ami cost but little. We often have such things at dinner or supper, when we are all at home ; but, at least, I try to get something comfortable for my husband, after his day's work.
Jane. 1 always thought broth, and such things, too dear to suit us ; and as to the gruel, I dare say my children wovdd not eat it I suppose it is not very savoury.
Mary. My children do not choose their own food : tbev know 1 give them the best I can atford, and that most days I eat the same a- they do. lint as to the gruel, they arc used to it. and very fond of it. Il i- warm and nourishing, and with a little bit of bread, fills their stomachs, and makes theui feel satisfied. Then 1 know it is wholesome and cheap ; and these are the two things for us to consider. If poor people would be satisfied always to live like poor people, they might live much better than they do. In Scotland, 1 believe, they live almost entirely on this oatmeal porridge, as it is called ; but here, people who are taking parish money out of other men's pockets, must have their butter, tea, and so on ; and thus are always scrambling and struggling, because they will not live as they ought : they are in debt and distress, because they will add to the burthen of a family by waste and extravagance.
June. I sometimes think it hard that we are never to have any of the good things which others have every day ; and that we are to see plenty on all sides, and yet never taste it.
Mary. I think the hardest thing of all is to be
in debt, or taking other people's money by going on the parish. What signifies the taste of a thing, if it is really wholesome and strengthening? It is better to eat oatmeal gruel and dry bread, with a clear conscience and no debt, than to drink the best tea and eat the best butter, with parish money, a weak body, and a discontented husband. I see my children healthy and satisfied; and feel myself better and stronger with this food, than I should with the poor weak tea I could afford. You might keep your four children on the grind, if they had it night and morning, for one shilling and eight-pence a week; and. if you took it yourself, it would come to about two shillings. Both you and they would be better for it ; and if a child is hungry, it will not refuse gruel, or anything else that is not really unfit for the stomach.
Jane. Well, 1 must try to mend our ways of going on, or I shall never be able to pay my debts : but what with food, candles, firing, and all, it is enough to make one crazy, to know where to find the money to get them with.
Mary. As to candle-light, there is another extravagance of poor people. I see the lights in my neighbours' houses often at ten or eleven o'clock, when my fire and candle have been out a long time.
Jane. Ten o'clock Surely that is not late.
Mary. Late for a man and woman who have been at work all day. If one gets up early, one must be in bed early. In winter it is dark before five o'clock : now what can be the use of burning fire and candle for five or six hours after this 1 I
46 UOW TO KKKT ABOVE THE WORM).
am sure bed is the warmest place, and saves much expense. And as to the summer, from April to October, I seldom have any fire between breakfast and supper, except to heat water on washing days ; and for months together I use no candle at all : I have light enough in the long days as long as I wish to sit up ; and by going to bed early, as I said before, I can get up early. Things may as well be done in the morning by day light, as in the evening by candle-light. Pay-light is the gilt of (iod, mid costs nothing; candle-light costs a great deal. In lie summer mornings, 1 am up and about so early that I am glad to go to bed when the day close*, and my husband the same. \\ hat does (iod give us the light of his sun for, if we are to sleep when he is shining, and then light candles to sit up by when he is gone ? One might almost think DWDM wished to be poor and in debt, by the way they waste God's gifts.
June. I am always so glad when the winter is over. In the summer, one is always better off: 1 seem to get on pretty well then.
Mary. Summer is the time to save in many ways. The fire money and the candle money is so much put by (or it ought to be) for rent, or ready against winter, when we want lights and firing again. I see many people seem pretty well off, as you say you are, in the summer, when there is more coming in and less going out; and yet, when winter comes these people have saved nothing. Nothing is laid by, at the time when there is least expense, to meet the time when all the expense comes on again. How is this?
IloW TO KKEI' AIIOVK THK WORM).
Jane. Indeed I hardly know : hut while the money lasts, I suppose we are tempted to live hetter.
Mary. Ah, that is often the way, I believe, l'eople think only of the present moment : they forget that winter and hard times are to come back. >\ ith some all goes into the stomach. The children are in rags ; the man's clothes not fit to be seen ; and the money eaten up, as long as it lasts. I toes a good dinner or supper leave a very pleasant thought in the mind when it is gone ?
Jane. No, indeed ; the pleasure is all gone when it is swallowed.
Mary. And does coarse, common food, such as you call my gruel, hurt one to think of after it is down }
Jane. Why no ; if one is able to work upon it, and feel strong and well, it is not likely the food will be found fault with after it is eaten.
Mary. Then, Jane, how much better off those are who live carefully at all times, and save their money for better uses, than those who eat and drink dainty things every now and then, and have nothing to show for it. I do believe, that if we were to make a bill of what we each spend in food, you would find that our family, eight in number, is far better off, at less cost than yours, which is but six. We don't eat and drink the same things, perhaps, and some of your articles are of a richer and more expensive kind than ours ; hut I am pretty sure we have more good nourishing food, and feel more satisfied upon it, than you; and
yet it costs us less by a pretty sum every week. We live much the same all the year round ; you live well sometimes, and very badly at others.
Jane. That is very true. I believe we are all wrong. And then, besides food there is clothing. I find it next to impossible to keep us all decently dressed.
Mary. It requires thought, and care, and saving, to do it, to be sure: but here again I see great carelessness and want of management among such people as we are. One great thing is to keep the clothes mended. Every night, when the children are in bed, I look at their things : if there is a hole, or a rent, or a string broke, Or a button off, I mend it at once. It saves the clothes wonderfully, and does not take me above a quarter of an hour, one night with another. The same with my husband's things, I look at them every night: A stitch in time saves nine," you know. The things all last twice as long, and the time it takes up is very trifling, and prevents a load of work coming upon one all at once. My eldest girl helps me in this, and will soon do it all, for I like to make the children useful as soon as I can. She could look over the things long ago, and bring them to me when they wanted mending, and will now darn or piece any thing almost as well as 1 can. Then, Jane, I never throw away the least scrap. Almost the smallest bits come into use one time or another, or, if too small to be used, they go into the rag-bag : the paper-makers will give something for rags of any kind. However, most things come into one's own use. Flannel petticoats, ever so
now to ki:ei' above the woelp. 49
old, if quilted together, will make a warm garment for one or other of the little ones. My husband's old stockings cut up into nice socks for the boys ; for the legs are often good when the feet are all but worn out. His old coats and waistcoats too help to clothe them : for as I am a pretty good needle-woman, I can turn, and cut, and contrive. The same with my own gowns : they will piece together, to make frocks for the younger girls.
././,/-. Well, 1 am a poor worker, and know very little about cutting and contriving. I was never
taught to do t|...... thing-.
Man/. 1 had a careful mother, thank (iod, and 1 find the comfort id' many things .die taught me, which makes me wish to do the same for my own girls, who may some time or other have families of their own to manage. I know how far old habits go; and if children are taught to be careful and neat, they generally continue so. Then 1 must mention one thing more. 1 never buy any thing for my children or myself, that is too fine, or too dear for our station. I should wish to have warm and decent clothing for them and my husband and myself, but nothing smart or expensive ; I know we cannot afford such things. Before I buy anything I consider whether I want it whether it is fit for meand whether it is the most prudent way of laying out my money.
Jane. I think, Mary, you must live in constant care and worry. Your head must be always at work on all these things.
Mary. As to worry, Jane, it is more worry to
bo in debt, or to see one's children without proper clothing. Is it not my duty to care for them and for my husband I It docs sometimes seem a great undertaking to keep such a family as mine neat and tidy, to get food and firing, pay rent, and so on ; but, somehow or other, it is all done. God helps me through and directs me in it ; ami 1 should feel that I was offending Ilim, if I neglected my family or injured other people. It is certainly an undertaking to manage all tlii- without getting into debt ; and my hands are full, and my thought* are bu-y ; but then my heart is light when 1 lie down in bed at night, and think that, by God's mercy, we are all well and comfortable, and owe nobody a farthing : it is well worth all the care and pains.
Jane. Ah so it must be : I love to talk to you, Mary ; and I hope all you say is not quite lost upon me.
Mary. Do think it over, Jane, and ask God to teach you better than I can, to be a good wife and mother. I think, with all my care and worry, as you call it, I am the happier woman of the two ; and then, when Sunday comes, I put away my cares. Sunday is such a happy day ; it is worth working all the week to enjoy it.
Jane. Well, 1 must go, for it is getting late, and I have sat here a long time : however, I have not hindered you.
Mary. No, 1 do not let anybody hinder me, unless it is some one who wants help : one may talk and work too. Good bye, Jane. Let me only add one word more. If you and I, and
others, choose to marry, and take the care of a family upon us ; if, by choosing to marry, we have brought children into the world, surely we can never do too much to keep them decent and comfortable, ami bring them up in good habits. Nobody obliged us to marry : that was our own doing. We must not complain of burdens we bring on ourselves. We must not grudge work, and care, and saving for the poor dear children, who we knew were likely to come ; and whom it is our duty to do the best for, now they are come.
CHEAP AND NoriUSIIING DISHES.
No. 1.Take a pound of meat, cut it into little pieces, grease a deep dish well with suet or lard, and put the bits of meat into it with plenty of pepper and salt. Take a pound of flour, half a quarter of a pound of suet, cut up into very small pieces, and three pints of water : mix these very well together till they are a stiff batter, pour it over the meat, and bake it.
The cost of this dish is about tenpence.
No. 2.A pound of coarse beef, an onion or two, a few potatoes, or any herb that may be at hand, boiled together in two quarts of water for nearly three hours. Then put half a quarter of a pound of oatmeal in a pint of water ; mix it well, pour it in, and let it all boil up together
The cost of this dish is about sevenpence farthing without the garden stuff.
No. !A sheep's head, a quarter of a pound of Scotch barley, or rice, three onions, three turnips, a little parsley, and one gallon of water ; stew all this together, for two hours, or more. Then mix a quarter of a pound of oatmeal in about a pint of water, pour it in, and let all boil up together.
The cost of this dish is eightpence halfpenny, and makes a most excellent meal for a large family.
No. 1. Onion IViuunoi:. If you have the liquor in which any meat ha- been boiled, use it ; if not, water will do. Take two quarts, and boil
In n twelve e.....1 onions or leeks when they are
quite tender, have ready lour spoonfuls of oatmeal, or Hour, mixed well in one pint of water. Stir this into the other, and keep stirring till it boils up and is thick, and put in a little pepper and salt.
This dish, to any one who has a garden, will cost (juite a trille, and makes a capital supper for a labouring man or a family.
No. 5. Milk I'orridue.Excellent for Children. One pint of water,be sure it boils. Have ready a quarter of a pound of oatmeal, well mixed in one pint of water ; stir it briskly into the boiling water, and let it boil up a few minutes, till quite thick ; sweeten it with coarse sugar, and put in a little allspice. When it is done stir in one pint of cold milk.
This will cost about three halfpence, besides the milk.
No. (>.One pound of Scotch barley, or rice (rice is best), boiled in one gallon of water. Boil
CHEAP AND NOURISHING DISHES. M
it till half the water is gone ; add a quarter of a pound of coarse sugar and a little allspice. This will cost about eightpence.
No. 7.One pound of rice, five pints of cold water, let this boil gently for two hours, when it will be like thick paste.Then stir in a pint of skim-milk, add a quarter of a pound of coarse sugar, and let it boil again gently, stirring it well, till it is quite mixed.
This will not cost quite eightpence, and is a guild meal for a large family of children.
No. S. Gai'Ki,. I'nt one pint of groats to six quarts of water ; let it boil gently, till it comes to little more than half; stir it often all the time; and, when done, put in a quarter of a pound of sugar.
This will be seven pints of the best gruel for about sixpence. It is rather cheaper made with oatmeal. A bason of such gruel, warmed up with a little beer and spice, is a good breakfast or supper for a labouring man, and, by itself, is excellent food for children.
'Tin' Suliuath, u dYligtit."
One Saturday afternoon, Jane Davis stepped up again to her neighbour's, with whom she wished to have a little more conversation; but she found the family so busy that it did not seem as if she could be attended to. Saturday is a half holiday at most schools, and all the little Harrises were at home. One of the boys was nursing the baby, and keeping him quiet and happy ; the other was busy rubbing the chairs, which he seemed to do with all liis might, making them look bright and clean. The eldest girl was scouring the inner room ; and her sister busy washing potatoes, peeling turnips, and, as it seemed, doing the ollice of cook. Mary Harris herself was dusting all the furniture, and
had given a piece of old cloth to the youngest girl, who, willing to imitate the rest, was hard at work rubbing a table. The mother smiled as she looked at her, and said, Betsy will do more when she is bigger ; little girls cannot do much, but we must all do something." Mother," said the little creature, when I am a big girl I will do as much as sisters, won't I?" "Yes, I hope so," said the mother : look at Mary, how nicely she is washing the floor ; and Henry makes the chairs look bright, and Sally gets the dinner ready for to-morrow: what is to-morrow, Betsy?" "Sunday," said the child ; "I love Sunday." Ah," sisid Henry, as he worked away at his chairs, "father will be at home with us all to-morrow ; I have so many things I want to ask him about." Sunday is the happiest day of all the week," called out Sally from her potatoes. Mary looked up from her washing, and said, Oh, yes; it is so pleasant to have time to listen to father and mother, to go to church with them, and then walk afterwards : Saturday is next best, because it is so near .iSunday." 1 am sure Saturday is very happy," said the ether boy, who had the baby in his lap, "it is so nice to be all at home, busy with mother, and get all the house ready before father comes in, and then to hear him say, Well, my little men and maids, you have made everything very spruce.'" The children laughed as the boy repeated his father's little speech of praise, and the mother looked happy to see them all so pleased. Jane heard a good deal of all this, and thought to herself, What a nice way Mary Harris has witli
her children 1 all mine put together would not help me so much as one of hers." She looked in, as this passed over her mind, and said, Mary, vmi are so busy, one would think you were all going to move ; 1 could not tell what to make of the hustle at first."
Munj. You would always find us busy on Saturdays. My little men and maids are at home for their half holiday, ami they help ine to clean the house, and get everything done for Sunday, and they are almost all old enough to be of some use i veil little lietsy In re m i lib ., table bill 1 think we have almost don.' lor to-day. Sally, my dear, when the room i- quite scoured and dusted, tell me, for 1 must go to the shop ; and Henry, you can get your hat and the basket and come too. Sit down a minute, Jane, till we are ready, if you have time.
June. Yes, 1 have not more business on a Saturday than any other day ; and though my children are at home, they are all at play, and do not want me. Your children seem very happy : mine would think it very hard to be set to work as soon as they come home from school ; they like to be out and about, playing, and sometimes, I am afraid, in mischief.
Mury. It is a pleasure to my children to be helping me, and getting things forward for Sunday. My eldest girl has cleaned and done everything in the inside room, and Sally has got everything ready for supper to-night and dinner to-morrow ; this evening they will help mo to get all the Sunday clothes ready to put on in the morning ; and
very soon, I expect, they will be as well able to clean a house and cook a dinner as myself.
Jane. And the boys seem so quiet and well behaved.
Mary. They like a bit of play as well as other boys, and have plenty of time for it between school hours on most days ; but Saturday afternoon they like best to help me ; and by all helping together everything is done, and Sunday is a day of rest to us all.
Jane. You seem to look to Sunday a great deal.
Mar;/. Yes, I do. Ii is our happy day, as we call it. V\ e rest our bodies and our minds ; 1 mean we put away all work, and try to put away all care lor the things of this world ; and we enjoy so much being all together. Don't you enjoy the Sunday /
Jane. Why, I don't know. Yes : it is a day of rest from some things, to be sure ; but as the children are all at home, and my husband too, 1 often find there is a great deal of trouble to_ keep them cptiet and good, which makes me feel almost as tired on Sundays as other days. We are apt to lie in bed rather too long on Sunday morning; then it is a bustle to get up and have the elder children dressed, and breakfast done, in time for church ; then it is a bustle again for me to get the dinner done, and be ready for afternoon church ; and I hardly know what to do with my little boy if I leave him. I do not think Sunday can be half so pleasant to me as it seems to be to you.
Mary. I find there is no bustle at all, for everything we can do the day before we are careful to have done ; the breakfast is put ready, as far as
we can, over night, and all (lie clothes in order, so it is only to put them on. We take care to he up in good time ; for if a labouring man does like a little more rest on Sunday morning, still there need he no hustle, for church you know does not begin till eleven o'clock. Our breakfast is over long before churchtime, and we all sit round the table, wdiile my husband questions the children, and talks to them ; or perhaps he reads to himself, and lets me question them, till it is time for morning church. They all set oil in good time, and I stay at home with the two youngest. There i little trouble in get tiie_r the dinner, fur it is all put ready beforehand; so 1 have plenty of time to myself while they are gone, and the baby asleep. This is a great comfort to me alter the week's work, to sit and rest, and to think of all my mercies, and God's undeserved goodness to me : this is an opportunity for prayer, and looking into my own soul. 1 think of the past week, and consider whether I have got on or gone back in the ways of God. I pray for my husband and children, and feel the blessing of a day of rest that may be so spent. Xhe Sabbath is indeed one of God's best gifts, wh^p. He teaches us how to enjoy it.
Jane. Well, I am gifre I have no time for rest and thinking. What with cleaning myself and the child, putting away breakfast, and getting dinner, Sumlay morning is busy enough.
Mary. But you s^e 1 provide against all this beforehand. 1 have nothing to clean, for we are all washed and dressed before breakfast; or to get ready, except to lift the pot on the fire, and put the
plates on the tahle; and the hoys mostly do this before they go to church. When they all come home, dinner is ready, and we sit down to it with thankful hearts, I hope. After dinner, all is cleared away into the little hack kitchen, but nothing else done till the next day;-we remember, Sunday is the day of rest, and observe it as such. As soon as our dinner is over, I can be ready for church. I leave my eldest girl, who is very steady, at home with the baby, and take little Betsy with me; she i- old enough now to begin to go to church, and learn to behave quietly. In the summer days we all lake | walk togtthtc after evening service, and a happy lime it is : the children are so pleased to be with their father, and he is fund of them. If the weather is bad, and we cannot walk out, or in the winter evenings when it is dark so soon, still the time does not hang heavy : the elder children have got some nice books, given them by the ladies of the school, and they are fond of reading to their father and me, or to themselves. My baby i3 very good, and does not disturb us ; and little Betsy mostly climbs up on her father's knee, and he tells her stories or talks to her, as he sits by the fire ; stories, I mean, out of the Bible, or what is likely to do the children good, for they are all fond of listening to their fatber : the time goes very cmick.
Jane. Did not you say, when you advised me to leave off giving the children tea, that you all had it for a treat on Sundays 1
Mary. Yes ; we like to make some little difference in our days, and to give the children a feeling that Sunday is a day of happiness ; so about
six o'clock, the older ones get out all the tea-things, with great care and pleasuresettling everything nicely ; and then waiting upon their lather and me is considered quite an indulgence. Our little Sunday feasts are very happy ones, I assure you : and after tea is the time to repeat the texts, or hymns, or any part of the sermon they remember, or to ask their father questions about the Bible, or what they have heard in church. About seven o'clock, or soon alter, the younger ones are put to bed by Marv : and then the others know they are to be quiet, for ihv husband and I like to read, and consider over what we have heard. We generally go to bed early ourselves, as 1 told you ; and 1 believe every Sunday evening we feel the day has been very happy and very short.
June. Your husband is always at home on Sundays, then \
Mary. Yes ; no place is so pleascnt to him as his home ; and on Sundays he feels it a duty as well as a pleasure to hear the children read, and talk to them : this is why they do not go to the Sunday-school.
Jane. Well, 1 was wondering, Mary, that you, who are so good, do not send your children to the Sunday-school. I have had our clergyman several times at our house, to ask why mine did not go ; and I was thinking of sending them.
Mary. Indeed I would advise you to do so, for Sunday-schools area very great blessing. If your husband docs not read to bis children, or instruct them at home on Sundays, send them to school by all means ; for there they are taught to remember
the Sabbath-day and keep it holy ; there they are taught much, that some parents are not willing, and some not able, to teach them at home.
Jaw: 1 am afraid my husband would not like the trouble of it, even if he was a better scholar than he if, lie never thinks of such things.
Mary. It is different with us. My husband loves to have his children with him, to hear them read, say their catechism, and see how they get on. He makes them repeat the texts they hear, and all they can remember of the sermons ; they learn (diapters out of the Bible to say to him, and he talks them over and explains them. He is a quiet man, you know, tond of reading himself, and can teach them many things ; ami blessed be God, he is a christian man, and loves to see them grow up in the right way. As they go to school all the week, and he does not see much of them any day but Sunday, and as he is so fond of talking to his children and teaching them, I think it better to have them at home ; but such a case does not often happen ; and for your children, I should say it was far better to go to school. They will learn there what may be a blessing to them in this world and in the next ; it will make the house quieter for your husband, and he will still he able to take them a walk, and see something of them.
Jam: Your husband must have given his time a great deal to his book, to be able to do so much with his children.
Mary. I have heard him say he was kept very strictly to his school when he was a child ; and he has always been fond of reading, but he has not
much time for it now. lie reads a little every night before we go to bed, and on Sundays a good deal more: but, Jane, he thinks over what he reads, and what is more, he prays over it. He learns much from our good minister's sermons ; and when a person really knows anything, it is not so difficult to teach it to others. He remembers what he hears and reads, and talks it over in a plain way with his children : but all this comes from his really feeling these things in his heart. He i* a Christian, by which I mean a disciple of Christ. He docs not go to Church because it is the custom, but because be loves the worship "I God, and feels it a delight to serve and honour Him. He tries to make the children feel this too. Sunday is to my husband, and I hope to me, a day, not of idleness, not to put on our hest clothes, and stroll about, but a day of holy rest, to be taken from this world and its cares, and given up to God a day to refresh our bodies and our minds.
Jane. Well, I wish it was so with us ; but I will take your advice about sending my children to the Sunday-school, and will try myself to manage better, and get regularly to church.
Mary. I believe, Jane, if you will not only go to church, but really give your mind to what you hear there, and try to think about it when you come home, begging for God's help in so doing ; 1 believe, if you will do this, you will see things very differently, and many truths will open to your mind which are not plain to you now. You seem to see that Sunday is not the same thing to you that it is to me. Ask God to show you the
real beauty and pleasure of the Sabbath : He is the best teacher. But it is time for me to go ; 1 see Mary has done her work and got the baby. Sally, you will look after Betsy while I am gone. Come, Henry, get your hat and basket. Good bye, Jane.
Jane walked home in a serious humour ; she felt more and more the difference between herself and Mary Harris, and, in her own heart, resolved t'< try and he mere like her neighbour in future. She saw that Mary was a happier as well as a better woman than most about her; that her children wen- better ted and clothed, as well as belter taught, than others. There was a something in Mary and her husband very different from many, whose circumstances in life were much the same as theirs ; there seemed some inward rule of feeling which led to their outward conduct, and made them so respectable and comfortable ; their love of Sunday, and all their Sunday ways, seemed a part of this ; and Jane thought she would see Mary again soon, and hear more, and try to profit by it.
THE ROUT UK T11K MATTEK.
"GodltMM is profitable unto all things, having promise of tilt; lift' that now is, ami nt'that which is to tome."
Jank Davis, as we have said, began to perceive a very great difference between herself and her neighbour. Sometimes Mary said things which Jane did not agree to, or quite understand : but the tree is known by its fruit, and she often thought to herself"Mary must be in the right. She is out of debt, her family and herself well clothed, her children dutiful and obedient, her husband is always at home, her house clean, and she herself good-tempered and happy. 1 wish I could learn her ways, for they must be good ones." .lane took the first opportunity of paying her another visit, saying, as she came in, Here 1 am again, Mary, come for a little more good."
Mary. How thankful 1 should feel, .lane, to do good to anybody. I have but little to give away except advice, and that is what few care to take.
Jane. I don't much like advice in general, but I am ready to take yours, for you seem so comfortable and happy, that I am sure you must be right in your ways of going on ; and I feel the truth of many things that you say; but it is the same with you, as with our clergyman, you both say things which I do not always seem to understand ; you said twice the other day, that your husband was a Christian ; and the clergyman, in one part of his sermon on Sunday, said, I am speaking now to Christians." Now what does this mean 1 are we not all Christians ?
Mary. I fear not. Are you a Christian, Jane ?
Jane. A Christian to be sure I am. Was I not christened when I was a baby 1 and do I not go to church whenever I can ? and do not I take my children to be christened too 1 I may not be as good as some, Mary, but I am sure I am a Christian.
Mary. A person may do all the things you talk of, and yet not be a Christian in anything but name.
Jane. Well,this is strange! What is a Christian, then I
Mary. A true Christian is a faithful disciple of Christ.'
Jane. A disciple of Christ! surely disciples were those who went about with him ; Peter and John, and the others.
tick root of TI1K mattkr.
Mary. Perhaps you do not (|uite understand the word a disciple is one who learns of Christ. You and I, and anybody, may be His disciples, if we really wish it, ami pray to be made so ; a disciple of Christ, and a Christian, mean the same thing.
.lane. We'd, tell me what you call a Christian.
Mary. One wdio really belongs to Christ, as a servant to his master, or as an obedient child to its parent. I call any one a Christian who believes in Christ, and trusts Him for everything; who tries to i,hey all His commands, and copies 111-example continually A Christian will be always thinking how to please his father in heaven and this is only to I. done by imitating His Son, who came down on earth to take away our guilt by suffering instead of us, and to set us an example, which if we do not follow, we do not belong to Him.
Jane. Well, Mary, you make it seem a great thing indeed to be a Christian ; if you had said that Jane Bond, who lost her last place for thieving ; or Betsy Jones, over the way, who, spends her husband's money in gin ; or Sarah May, who, we all know, quarrels and swears too if you had said that these were not Christians, I should not be so much surprised ; but to say a woman who goes to church, and has a good character, is not a Christian, because she is not so very good as yourself, seems harsh.
Mary. Do not let us talk of Jane Bond, or Betsy Jones ; 1 find it a bad plan to speak of other people's faults, unless 1 can mend them. I
THE ROOT OK THE MATTER. 07
have plenty of my own to attend to ; and as to you, Jane, it is not the love of finding fault that leads me to say what 1 do. It is the hope of doing you good, and because you come of your own accord to talk about these things : if we do talk together I must tell you the truth. You were baptized in the name of Christ, to be sure ; but do you think when you are cross to your husband, or in a passion with the children, you are then acting like a follower of Him who bore all lli> torments and injuries without an unkind word l oil take your children to be christened ; but it you let them glow up without teaching them to hue and fear God, is this doing like Him who came down from heaven to show sinners the way there! loll may go to church sometimes ; but if you run in debt, or injure your neighbours in any way, is this likely to please llim, who says, "Love your neighbour as yourself!" and who not only said this, but by shedding his blood for us all, showed how we should feel and act toward one another. You do not swear, or drink, or steal, as many wretched women do; but if you live without thinking of God, and feel no real love for llim who loved you enough to die for you, 1 do not see how you can call yourself a Christian.
Jane. You make things more clear to me than anybody, and 1 know 1 am not what 1 ought to be ; but how can you talk of your faults ? I am sure you cannot think yourself guilty of any.
Man/. I, and you, and every one else, Jane, are sinners; ami fur myself, 1 can truly say, that
THE ROOT OF THE MATTER.
though God lias kept me from great offences, ami given me the wish to serve Him, I have nothing by nature good in inc. I can see much evil in my heart, though, by the help of God's grace, I mav keep it down ; and if you sec anything to approve of in me, it is first and last His work and His gift.
Jane. Well, however that may be, there it is ; and if 1 was half so good as you, 1 should feel verv safe and sure of going to heaven.
Marti. Why should von feel sine of going to heaven %
.Ian:. Because God will reward the good ; and vour life and all your act ions show that you deserve to he rewarded. \ on are a good wife, and a good mother kind, industrious, careful every thing you ought to be.
Mar>/. And do you really think that 1 or anybody can deserve heaven ( can any poor creatures, such as we all are, by our own good deeds, put God into our debt, and get heaven for ourselves 1 No, Jane ; 1 believe we cannot get there without good works, but I am sure we shall never get there for the sake of them. I will try to put the thing before you in plain words, if you will listen. I found out many years ago that 1 was a weak, sinful creature ; and saw it was impossible for me, by my own doings, either to have my past sins forgiven, or to be kept from sin in future ; but I found in the Bible a way to both. The Son of God has taken our place, and suffered all the punishment we had deserved. He has also promised help to all who wish to profit by this
great mercy, by sending His Holy Spirit to teacb tliem ; so that we shall not only be accepted by (iod tor Chist's sake hereafter, but made able to walk in His ways and be His true disciples here. But remember, the two things go together ; we have no right to think our sins are forgiven if we are not brought to forsake sinwe have no reason to expect to be owned by Christ at last, if we are not loving and serving lliui now.
June. But you seem to think there is no merit in serving (iod as you do : you talk as if all your goodness was worth nothing. I do not see the Use of such constant striving and struggling, if there is no merit in it.
Man/. 1 lo not misunderstand me, .lane there is indeed no merit in it ; but there are two reasons why no one can be a Christian who does not strive and struggle. How can we tell that we love Christ, if we do not obey Him ? or how can I know that I belong to Him, if I do not find myself always trying to follow Him I And how can any one who owes a great deal to another be so ungrateful as not to do everything to serve and please the other I If I was to save your life, you would feel so obliged to me that you would be ready to do anything for me ; and if we believe that Christ has saved our souls, we shall surely be willing to do every thing to please Him.
June. 1 suppose, then, you find this desire to please Him an encouragement when you are working and striving from morning till night?
Mail/. I do indeedyou cannot think how these things come into my mind at all hours, to
TIIK BOOT 01 TIIK MATTER.
keep me up. If 1 feel tireil and weary, as will sometimes be the ease, with the care of a large family, 1 remember that Jesus was weary, as we read in the 4th of John, but He did not complain. If my work seems hard and constant, I recollect that the Son of God suffered hardships. If at any time I feel provoked or out of patience, I have help against that in thinking how God bears with all our sins, and how Jesus bore accusations and falsehoods brought against Him, as well as the Mows, and wounds, and pains lie had to go through. If I was dispo-ed to be discontented at being poor, which, however. I am not tempted to, 1 might reiin mber that .lesus had not when1 to lay hi- head ; and his Apostle said to the lame man, Silver and g.dd have 1 none.'' There is a word for all times, and all conditions, to be found in the Bible. How can I waste any tiling, when 1 read there that Christ, who had all things in his power, said, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost?" How can I be happy in debt, when 1 find such texts as these, Render therefore to all their dues." " Owe no man anything 1" How can I be satisfied in idleness, when I know that St. Paul says he laboured night and day, that he might not be chargeable to any one ; and commanded those people he was teaching, with quietness to work, and eat their own bread f"
June. If all this is required to be a Christian, it is true enough that 1 am not one ; and though 1 believe I am far from right as I am, it seems as if 1 never could get into such a different state, or do all the things you talk of.
Til K ROOT 01 TIIK MATTKR.
Mary. No more you can, Jane, by your own strength. We are all of us by nature adverse to these things : but we are not left to do the work ourselves. God will assist us by his Holy Spirit, if we pray for his help. In the 11th of Luke, ver. 13, you will find that Christ has promised this; and remember, there is no hour of the day that you cannot look up for this help. God not only hears our prayers, and sees our tears, but knows the secret thoughts ami desires we never speak to any one. Oh, Jane! if this change was wrought in you, you would find it a change in every thing! You would find yourself observing many things you used to pas- by as trilles. and yet not minding many little trials you have been used to think a great deal of. If there is any thing to be approved of in me, and in the ways of my family, I say again, it all comes from having my eyes opened to the truth, and from God's having given nie the wish to serve Him in all things.
TImM, 1 must think over all this, and come again and hear more from you. I begin to be afraid, Mary, that I have been all wrong from beginning to endbut I have heard you say, it is never too late to turn from evil.
Mary. The Bible says it is never too late whilst we are yet here, but we do not know how long that may be. You and I, Jane, may be cut off this night.
Jane. Oh I if we wereyou would be ready to go !but not me.
Jane walked thoughtfully away to consider what she had heard : she felt for the first time that
tiik BOOT of tiik mattkh.
she was not a Christian ; and it was a startling thought! Tlie.tirst step towards being right, often is, to feel ourselves wrong ; and as she did not shut her eyes to this truth, there is reason to hope that she found, though slowly perhaps, the way to happiness, in this world and the nextand let us be sure that these are two things very closely united. The more entirely any one acts on real Christian principles, the more respectable, peaceful, and happv, will that person he. There are trials
sent by tied, indeed, for wise and g.....1 reasons,
which come alike to all the righteous and the wickedwhen lie sees fit ; but his servants will be the better able to bear all these, and be satisfied under them. But there are many trials, and very grievous ones, which we make for ourselves and for each other : these would be done away with by living as Christians, and making Christ our jattern and guide in all things.
I o id 11 1 rint. rt > y
.Sin *- I .ii.'