Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

a

that looked out across the narrow strip of moonlit sea between us and the Dark Continent.

Let me quote from a letter by one who had to return, compelled by ill-health to quit Zanzibar, but who now, I am thankful to say, has been able to take arduous work in a still farther part of Christ's Kingdom.

“When I first came here I thought all the boys had exactly the same face, and were only distinguishable by their height, and I find all visitors think the same.

But by degrees I began to see differences in them, in expression and feature, and now I find that I can learn to know each single boy just as easily as English boys. I was terribly puzzled for a long time between Cornwallis and Penyewe, I couldn't see the smallest difference between them. This went on for a long time and I discovered almost in despair that the two boys were really one, Cornwallis Penyewe. Sometimes he was called one name and sometimes the other. All the boys who have been baptized have got of course a Christian name as well as their heathen name. I always try to call them by their Christian names, but among themselves the lads almost invariably use the heathen name only. The English names puzzle them, for they cannot produce many of our sounds.

“When they see two or three Europeans together they are very shy of coming near us, but if one is alone they are pretty sure one by one to come sidling up, and climb about me like so many black monkeys. You would soon get very fond of them when you had once got over what seems to be a natural feeling in the English breast of shrinking from black skins and scanty drapery. They are very affectionate and easily impressed, but they are very shallow, and the impression soon fades away. They are much more easily taught by outward acts and pictures than by words, and that learning takes firmer hold."

Here is another extract:

“The boys have just finished tea and have gone out in the dark for a little play before Evensong in the yards. Their present amusement is to sing the tune ' So early in the morning,' to some words of their own invention, accompanied by some of them battering upon an old tin packing case, making altogether the most fearful noise. If you could only hear them at this moment you would be assured that past slavery had not crushed the life out of them."

I used to find that they were so fond of watching me draw, that my room used to get filled with a black crowd watching breathlessly every stroke of my pencil. Like all boys they liked caricatures of one another best, but I think it tells more for their own perception than for my good drawing, when I say that if I drew a leopard, or lion, or buffalo, there was always a chorus of delighted recognition, and some little fellow would immediately commence an animated description of some occasion on which he had come into contact with the wild beasts up country.

· Letter by Rev. E. Dodgson. Occasional Paper, xvi. p. 7. VOL. III.

[ocr errors]

a

F

One more story taken from the boy himself, (a very nice boy whom I knew well) must close my description of Kuingani.

“Denys Seyiti was playing about one day outside his hut, far away in Central Africa : this hut was built of cane and grass, with a little hole in one side for a door, just like a big beehive. His father was away at work in the field, and his mother had gone to the river to fetch water. All at once a strange man came by, snatched him up under his arm and ran off with him. Seyiti kicked and fought and screamed as loud as he could. His mother came running back, and she screamed too, but his father was too far away: he could not hear. So the louder they screamed the faster the stranger ran away, till he came to a big house, and pushed Seyiti into a dark room and locked the door. There were many other little boys and girls locked up there, and next morning they were all tied in a row and made to walk away as fast as they could. If any one screamed the Arabs put dirt into his mouth to stop him. If any one was tired out and could go no further, he was killed and thrown into the bushes. Many boys and girls were killed, but Seyiti was strong, and though the brambles tore his sides, and the india-rubber vines bruised his legs, and the hot, hard ground blistered his feet, he kept on till they came to the sea. There they were all put on a small ship, so close together that they could hardly move. When the Arabs gave them any rice to eat, they only scattered it in front of them, upon the dirty deck. Some were so hungry that they ate it, but Seyiti could not, it made him sick, and just as he going to die an English ship came in sight. The Arabs ran their ship on shore, hid the children, and shot at the English. But the sailors drove them away, and brought the children to Zanzibar and sent them to the Mission School. Some boys and girls in England had read in a magazine called My Sunday Friend about the African slave children, and saved their halfpennies to help them. So there was room for little Seyiti, he was adopted as the Sunday Friend child, has been baptized and called Denys, and is learning to walk in the steps of the Holy Child JESUS, Who has promised that He will say to us, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.'

So far then I have endeavoured to give you some description of the place and the work there. It was a very happy time when we were there, for one was always feeling the great responsibilities of the work. Our greatest difficulties always lay in two directions, the heathen around us and the moral weakness of our boys.

It is only when one goes to such a place as Zanzibar, or, indeed, any great Eastern town, that one feels the terrible downward influence of the irreligion and immorality around. Here, for instance, one takes it at least as granted that a man is telling you the truth, there

you

must begin by supposing that he is telling you a lie. The temptations to drink and to general immorality to which our poor boys are exposed are far greater than in schools in England, and alas ! their characters and power of resisting temptation are far weaker than those of English boys. Such work as the Universities' Mission is carrying on can only be done by everlasting prayer and watchfulness, and the burden is greater than the mere handful of men and women there can support. These boys are to be the future missionaries to their nation, the future ministry of the Native Church. Some have gone out from us and are doing the work of CHRIST as teachers to their own countrymen. One is just ready for ordination, another has been ordained and is doing excellent and zealous work among them and reaching their hearts and respected by them in a way which English missionaries can hardly hope to be.

So you see in these boys lie our hopes of a native ministry. Among them are the future bishops and priests who are to win the tribes of Central Africa for Christ. But you see too how much must be done in teaching them and training them.

They come to us as orphans, having lost father and mother, sister and brother, whom perhaps they have seen killed before their eyes, and we ask those at home to adopt them and to be to them godfathers and godmothers, sisters and brothers in CHRIST JESUS. They come as sick and with terrible sores, and we ask those at home for help to heal them. They come as heathen and ignorant, and we ask for help to teach and make them Christian. It costs nearly £7 a year to clothe and feed and educate a child in these schools, and we ask parishes and Sunday schools and kind friends to support a child, and if they cannot undertake so much as that, to do what they can towards it.

S. MARGARET'S LAMP.1

THE wind blows mort on yonder wold,
On one a-dying,
What now to him those broad fair fields
In moonlight lying ?
His spirit hasteth to be gone

Ere morrow's morn. 1 In the Chancel of the Church of S. Margaret, Canterbury, is “a brass plate, with effigies and inscription for John Wynter, Mayor of Canterbury, obit 1520, who by his will founded a lamp to burn before the High Altar of this Church, in perpetual memory of the most Holy Body and Blood of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.”Hasted, v. xi. p. 23. (note.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Pierceth her earth-mists, till all fair
The soul shines there.

*

Lights that in hope we kindle here
So soon a-dying,
Why should we weep for you, while Love
To dark souls flying
Quickens a light that every year
Groweth more clear ?
The wind blows mort on yonder wold,
And thou art dying,
What then ? lift up thy darkening eyes
To where are lying-
A thousand stars, for heaven is light
Though earth is night!

M.

THE KYRLE SOCIETY.

SOME people perhaps, glancing at the heading of this paper, may say as I did myself comparatively a short time since, “What may the Kyrle Society be?”

Is it a literary, philosophical, or philanthropical Society? What are its aims and objects? who originated it? who are its supporters, what is its machinery, and who its agents ? lastly, from whence, or from whom does it take its name? To answer briefly some of these questions is the intention of the present paper, with the hope that it may further the Society's good work by making it more widely known, and increasing the number of its workers and helpers.

The Kyrle Society, then, is distinctly philanthropic in its aims, and has

sprung into existence through the well known labours of Miss Octavia Hill, who for many years past has unweariedly worked to improve the condition physically and morally, of the poor in some of the crowded London courts ; beginning with improvements in the dwellings themselves ; and in at least one of these favoured courts, the people have attained a high level of thrift and self-help. The published accounts of her work will well repay perusal, and we especially commend to our readers the pamphlet, “A Suggestion to those who love beautiful things," by her sister. The Society's aims and objects may be classed as twofold : viz, the defence and elevation of the poorer classes. Defence,

« AnteriorContinuar »