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felicius de rebus politicis scripsisse, quam philosophos dubitari non potest,” declares Spinosa ; and this admission is but the confession of those qualities making up the great points of statesmanship in the instances afforded by Machiavelli, by Bacon, and by Edmund Burke.
This is no digression from our subject. If Poets of Labor tell us that they sing the feelings of their fellows; if they write, as they declare, their hearts in their poems,—and if he who wrote in 1836, is exceeded in strength and genius by him who wrote in 1854, surely a Poet of Labor is something more than a Poet-he becomes a teacher to his readers—a teacher to the statesmen of his country. These cannot, unless they be forgetful of every duty of a statesman, permit the growth of such a spirit as that which Massey indicates ; they cannot suffer ignorance, springing from their own neglect, to produce its terrible results-hatred and crime-ending in a veritable “People's Advent.”
Let us not be understood as at all contemning Gerald Massey because he has published poems written when his heart was imbittered by grief and misconception-he were a knave to suppress them. Publishing them as we have them now, with the declaration of his preface, he is a patriot, as truly as he is thoroughly a Poet. If he but continue unspoiled by the just approbation with which his poems have been received, he will yet be as great a poet as he is now an honest, out-speaking man; and as he has taught that Labor has its Chivalry, so it may come to pass that he will yet be the Laureate of that Chivalry.
SCHOOLS. SECOND PAPER-FACTORY SCHOOLS.* 1. Special Reports By The Directors to The Proprietors of
Price's Patent Candle Company, Respecting that Part of the Proceedings of the Annual General Meeting of the Company, 24th March, 1852, which has reference to the Educational, Moral, and Religious Charge to be Taken by the Company Over the Persons, (and Especially the Young Persons) in its Employment; with Nine other Pamphlets on thisImportant Subject. By James P. Wilson, Esq.
Managing Director of the Company. 1851 to 1854. 2. Education In The Mining Districts: Report on the Factory
School, of Messrs. John Bagnall and Sons, at Gold's Hill,
11th, 1855. The author of that remarkable book, The Claims of Labour, has wisely observed—“ We say that Kings are God's Vicegerents upon earth; but almost every human being has at one time or other of his life, a portion of the happiness of those around him in his power, which might make him tremble, if he did but see it in all its fulness :” these are words of gravest import; declaring a truth which all should know, declaring a truth upon which one man has acted, and upon which many are worthily proceeding. And yet, plain as the principle that employer and employed have mutual duties and mutual rights to be discharged by each to each, they generally act as if the sole bond between them consisted in the payment and receipt of wages. Hence the strikes, the lock outs, and the whole barbaric code of artizan honor--where the impotent gold of the master is matched against the impotent poverty of the workman.
Fortunately, however, there are some men who, remembering the sage counsel of Fuller, know that " well may masters consider how easie a transposition it had been for God, to have made him to mount into the saddle that holds the stirrup; and made him to sit down at the table, who stands by with a
* For the first paper of this series---National Schools_being a history of the English and Irish systems, from Bell and Lancaster, to the publication of the Lords' Report on Irish National Schools, 1854, see IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. IV. No. 16, p. 1042.
trencher," and endeavour to perform their duties towards their work-people; and in doing so, in rendering their people happier and better, a feeling of identification in interest and in well being springs between employer and employed; and the general business of the establishment is thereby incalculably benefited. We are not, in this paper, to argue upon abstract points; we are not now to concern ourselves, or to vex the reader by fancied cases, and glowing accounts of theoretic or supposed utopias ; but we are about to write the narrative, a simple and plain one, of Price's Patent Candle Factory School, as founded and conducted at Belmont Factory, Vauxhall, London.
Price's Patent Candle Company, like all other joint stock Companies, is guided, in its manufacturing and trading departments, by Managing Directors—and the gentlemen holding this office, in this particular Company, are Mr. James P. Wilson, and his brother, Mr. G. F. Wilson ; our references shall be, however, chiefly to the former.
“What kind of man," we asked an esteemed mutual friend, “is Mr. Wilson?” “ James Wilson," he replied, “ is one of the best men living, he has all Cobbett's good-sense and ability, and none of Cobbett's rascality;" and, beyond all doubt, when the reader shall have concluded the reading of this paper, he will admit that Mr. James Wilson is as good and true a Christian as he is an able, judicious, earnest man.
On the 29th day of May, 1851, a Committee was appointed, by the Board of Directors, for the purpose of making the following inquiries :
« First. To inquire and report to the Board the nature and extent of education at present available both to the children and adults employed at the Company's works. Secondly. The outlay that has been incurred on this account to the present time and from what source. Thirdly. The nature and extent of religious instruc. tion available for the work-people and their families in the employ of the Company, and the facilities afforded them for attending public worship or otherwise, and Fourthly. Generally to suggest the course which it may be expedient for the Company to adopt on these heads, and the nature of the propositions which it may be advisable to submit for the sanction of the proprietors."
Ou the 18th day of March, 1952, this Education Committee, reported to the Board of Directors, that, assisted by Mr. Moseley, the Government Inspector of Schools, they had inspected the day and night Schools of the Factory, founded and supported by Mr. James P. Wilson ; that the total number
of young persons in all the Schools, on the day of inspection, was 512; that when sufficient employment could not be given to the children in the factory, they were drafted to the School, and thus were kept from evil, and were always ready when wanted ; that they are not paid except when at work; that children from the neighbourhood of the Factory are taken into these schools before old enough to work, and when fit, those who have earned for themselves the best characters are drafted to the work-rooms; that by these means the neces. sity of employing strangers is prevented; that the increased expense of these out scholars is under £50—with advantages more that equivalent to the cost ; that the annual expense of the Schools was— Candle Factory day School
£130 Candle Factory evening School,...
£190 Night Light Factory boy's School
£110 Night Light Factory girl's School
that Mr. Wilson had established a cricket ground, small garden allotments, and summer excursions ; that in addition to the teachers provided for the factory work-people there is a permanent chaplain, who visits the sick, acquaints himself with the names of children employed, makes himself familiar with the characters of the men, reads prayers for the assembled work-people, and exercises a general superintendence over all matters connected with the education and moral welfare of the persons employed; that a chapel had been leased for the use of the work people ; that the conduct of all attending it was most edifying; that the chaplain's salary was £200 per anuum, which with the £510 for the schools, and £135 for the cricket ground and summer excursions, made the total annual expenditure £845 ; that the chapel itself involved an additional expense of £260, which raised the entire annual estimate to £1,105; that Mr. Wilson had, from the original formation of the schools to the 31st of December, 1851, expended no less than £3,289 of his own monies in annual payments in furnishing accominodation and books. The Committee, in con•, tinuation, called upon the Board of Directors to consider how, and to what extent, these schools should be supported; and how, and to what amount, Mr. Wilson should be reimbursed.
We have thus considered the report of the Committee, a Report which records the beginning of the end ; but it is for us to show the commencement of the beginning, and the continuance of the work, as detailed in a letter from Mr. Wilson to the Committee, and upon which, supported by the evidences of usefulness, witnessed by themselves, they more than recommended the extension of a munificent support, now most wisely and advantageously conceded.
The Education Committee however, thought it advisable to obtain from Mr. Wilson an account of the Schools, believing that he, as the founder, could best describe their origin and progress. Mr. Wilson commenced his letter, bearing date 9th March, 1852, by stating that
“ The schools began in a very humble way by half a dozen of our boys hiding themselves behind a bench two or three times a week, after they had done their day's work and had their tea, to practice writing on scraps of paper with worn-out pens begged from the counting-house. The foreman of their department encouraged them and, as they persevered, and were joined by others of the boys, he begged that some rough moveable desks might be made for them. When they had obtained these, they used to clear away the candle. boxes at night, and set up the desks, and thus work more comfortably than before, although still at great disadvantages as compared with working in any ordinary school-room. My brother encouraged them with some books as prizes, and many who had been very backward improved much in reading and writing. The fact of the whole thing being the work of the boys themselves seemed to form so large a part of its value that we carefully abstained from interfering in it further than by these presents of books for prizes, and of copy books, spelling books, and testaments, and by my being (but not until long after the commencement, and after being much pressed and being assured that it would cause no restraint) always present at the school meetings to give them the sanction of authority, but taking no more active part than hearing the most backward boys their spelling."
These half dozen lads soon increased to thirty, and considering that the numbers might increase still further, Mr. Wilson and his brother "gutted" the upper part of an old building belonging to the factory and formed a large schoolroom, capable of containing one hundred pupils, and erected an iron staircase by which it could be reached, at a total cost, for construction and furniture, of £172.
In the winter of 1848 the boys took possession of this school-room, and so completely was the whole management entrusted to them, that the prayers with which the school