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extremely fat, and are half stupid till the season returns; perhaps the wild ones do the same, and retire into secrecy during the winter. I merely surmise that such may be the case.
Evening drawmg on, and the wind edging round to the northward, I bend my course through Peckham, and again enter the busy haunts of man, where, reaching my home, I sit down and write this for your columns, hoping it may be acceptable.
I am, Sir, &c. J.
Kent Road, April 14, 1826.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 50 . 20.
In 1658, during this month, the accomplished colonel Richard Lovelace died in the Gatehouse at Westminster, whither he had been committed for his devotion to the interests and fortunes of the Stuart family. His celebrity is preserved by some elegant poems; one is especially 'remarkable for natural imagery, and beautiful expression of noble thought:—
When love with uncon6ned wings
Hovers within my gates,
To whisper at my grates;
And fettered with her eye,
Know no such Hbertye.
When flowing cups ran swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When healths and draughts goe free,
Know no such libertie.
When, linnet-like, confined I
With shriller note shall sing
And glories of my king;
He is, how great should be,
Know no such libertie.
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron barrs a cage,
That for an hermitage i
If I have freedom in my love, And in my smile am free,
Angels alone, that soare above, Enjoy such libertie.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature ... 50 ■ 21.
The April Of 1826.
This month is remarkable for the endurance of great suffering by many thousands of English artisans.
In a "Statement to the Right Hon. Robert Peel, by the Hand-loom Weavers of Blackburn," they say—
"Our dwellings are totally destitute of every comfort.
"Every article of value has disappeared, either to satisfy the cravings of hunger, or to appease the clamour of relentless creditors.
"Thousands who were once possessed of an honest independence gained by laborious industry, are now sunk in the lowest depths of poverty.
"Were the humane man to visit tho dwellings of four-fifths of the weavers, and see the miserable pittance which sixteen hours' hard labour can procure, even of those who are fully employed, divided between the wretched parents and their starving little ones, he would sicken at the sight.
"When we look upon our starving wives and children, and have no bread to give them, we should consider ourselves still more degraded than we are, as undeserving the name of Englishmen, were we to withhold our complaint from his majesty's government, or to abstain from speaking in proper terms of what we consider the present unparalleled distress which exists among the weavers; and we implore you, sir, by all the ties which bind the patriot to his country, by that anxiety for the welfare of England which you have frequently evinced, to use that influence which you possess with his majesty's government towards procuring an amelioration of the condition of the most injured and oppressed class of his majesty's subjects."
The rev. Joseph Fletcher of Mile-end corroborates these statements by local acquaintance with the districts, and affirms of his own knowledge, that "the recent causes of commercial distress have produced unparalleled misery."
"In the town of Blackburn and its vicinity, it has reached its highest point of aggravation. At the present ciisis, upwards of seven thousand looms are unemployed in Blackburn, and nearly fourteen thousand persons have been compelled to depend on the bounty of the inhabitants; and as, according to the late census, Blackburn contains about twentyone thousand inhabitants, two-thirds of the population are in a state of utter destitution.
"The remaining number of the middle and higher classes of society, bears a far less proportion to the population than in any part of the kingdom, while the same disproportion exists amidst a teeming and immense population in the villages and hamlets of the district.
"Thus, the accessible sources of relief are diminished, and the means of alleviation are not in the power of those whose very dependence for their own supply rests on the destitute themselves"
The pleasure of the very poor man, while he endures the privations of his ordinary condition, is the mere absence of bodily disease; and he patiently awaits the time when his life shall depart, and his body shall be buried at the parish expense, and his family shall walk from his funeral into the workhouse. This is his state in the best of times; but, in a season of general calamity to his class, when the barely sufficient sources of existence fail, his death is no provision for his wife and children; then the poor are rated for the maintenance of the poor; whole parishes became paupers; and the district must necessarily be supported by voluntary contributions throughout the country.
The dwelling of the very poor man is always cheerless ; but the abode of indigence, reduced to starvation, is a cave of despair. Thousands of families are perishing for lack of food at the moment when this is written. From him who has a little, a little is required—and from him who lias much, much is required—that the plague of famine be stayed. The case is beyond the reach of legislation, but clearly within the power of associated oenevolence to mitigate. A cry 01 hunger is gone forth—is the ear deaf, that it cannot hear?—are the hands that have been often effectually stretched forth, shortened that they cannot save?
The Poor Man's Home. "Home it home, though it it never to homely." Exceptions to this position are taken by Elia, who, as regards the poor man, deems it a " fallacy," to which *' crowded places of cheap entertainment, and the benches of alehouses, if they could speak, would bear mournful testimony." —" To them the very poor man resorts for an image of the home, which he cannot find at home. For a starved grate, and a scanty firing, that is not enough to keep alive the natural heat in the fingers of so many shivering children with their mother, he finds in the depth of winter always a blazing hearth, and a hob to warm his pittance of beer by. Instead of the clamours of a wife, made gaunt by famishing, he meets with a cheerful attendance beyond the merits of the trifle which he can afford to spend. He has companions which his home denies him, for the very poor man can ask po visiters. He can look into the goings on of the world, and speak a little to politics. At home there are no politics stirring but the domestic. All interests, real or imaginary, all topics that should expand the mind of man, and connect him with a sympathy to general existence, are crushed in the absorbing consideration of food to' be obtained for the family. Beyond the price of bread, news is senseless and impertinent. At home there is no larder. Here there is at least a show of plenty; and while he cooks his lean scrap of butcher's meat before the common bars, or munches his humble cold viands, his relishing bread and cheese with an onion, in a comer, where no one reflects upon his poverty, he has sight of the substantial joint providing for the landlord and his family. He takes an interest in the dressing of it ; and while he assists in removing the trivet from the fire, he feels that there is such a thing as beef and cabbage, which he was beginning to forget at home. All this while he deserts his wife and children. But what wife, and what children? Prosperous men, who object to this desertion, image to themselves some clean contented family like that which they go home to. But look at the countenance of the poor wives who follow and persecute their good man to the door of the public-house, which he is about to enter, when something like shame would restrain him, if stronger misery did not induce him to pass the threshold. That face, ground by
want, in which every cheerful, every conversable lineament has been long effaced by misery,—is that a face to stay at home with? is it more a woman, or a wild cat? alas! it is the face of the wife of his youth, that once smiled upon him. It can smile no longer. What comforts can it share? what burdens can it lighten? Oh, it is a fine thing to talk of the humble meal shared together. But what if there be no bread in the cupboard? The innocent prattle of bis children takes out the sting of a man's poverty. But the children of the very poor do not prattle. It is none of the least frightful features in that condition, that there is no childishness in its dwellings. Poor people, said a sensible old nurse to us once, do not bring up their children; they drag tliem up. The little careless darling of the wealthier nursery, in their hovel is transformed betimes into a premature reflecting person No one has time to dundle it, no one thinks it worth while to coax it, to soothe it, to toss it up and down, to humour it. There is none to kiss away its tears. If it cries, it can only be beaten. It has been prettily said, that a babe is fed with milk and praise. But the aliment of this poor babe was thin, unnourishing ; the return to its little baby-tricks, and efforts to engage attention, bitter ceaseless objurgation. It never had a toy, or knew what a coral meant. It grew up without the lullaby of nurses; it was a stranger to the patient fondle, the hushing caress, the attracting novelty, the costlier plaything, or the cheaper off-hand contrivance to divert the child; the prattled nonsense, (best sense to it,) the wise impertinencies, the wholesome lies, the apt story interposed, that puts a stop to present sufferings, and awakens the passion of young wonder. It was never sung to, no one ever told to it a tale of the nursery. It was dragged up, to live or to die as it happened. It had no young dreams. It broke at once into the iron realities of real life. A child exists not for the very poor as any object of dalliance; it is only another mouth to be fed, a pair of little hands to be betimes inured to labour. It is the rival, till it can be the co-operator, for food with the parent. It is never his mirth, his diversion, his solace; it never makes him young again, with recall* ing his young times. The children of the very poor have no young times. It makes the very heart to bleed to overheat the
casual street-talk, between a poor woman and her little girl, a woman of the better sort of poor, in a condition rather abov j the squalid beings which we have been contemplating. It is not of toys, of nursery books, of summer holidays (fitting that age); of the promised sight, or play; of praised sufficiency at school. It is of mangling and clear starching, of the price of coals, or of potatoes. The questions of the child, that should be the very outpourings of curiosity in idleness, are marked with forecast and melancholy providence. It has come to be a woman, before it was a child. It has learned to go to market; it chaffers. It haggles, it envies, it murmurs; it is knowing, acute, sharpened; it never prattles. Had we not reason to say that the home of the very poor is no home?""
Mean Temperature ... 49 - 02.
On the 30th of April, 1745, the battle of Fontenoy was fought between the allied armies of England, Holland, and Austria, under the command of the duke of Cumberland, and a superior French army, under marshal count De Saxe. Here the advantage of the day was to the French; the duke of Cumberland left his sick and wounded to the humanity of the victors, and Louis XV. obtained the mastery of the Netherlands.
The battle was commenced with the formal politeness of a court minuet. Captain Lord Charles Hay, of the English guards, advanced from the ranks with his hat off; at the same moment, lieutenant count D'Auteroche, of the French guards, advanced also, uncovered, to meet him. Lord Charles bowed :—" Gentleman of the French guards," said he, "fire!'" The count bowed to lord Charles. " No my lord," he answered, "we never fire first!" They again bowed; each resumed his place in his own ranks; and after these testimonies of "high consideration," the bloody conflict commenced, and there was a carnage of twelve thousand men on each side.
Mean Temperature ... 50 ■ 57.
• New Monthly Magazine, March, 1620.
Also, in calendars, the month of May
Is marked the month of Love—two lovers stray,
In the old wood-cuts, in a forest green,
And there they talk unheard, and walk unseen,
The month of May was deemed by the they made several expiations, they proRomnns to be under the protection of hibited marrying in Miy. On the first Apollo; and it being the month wherein day of May the Roman ladies sacrificed to
BonaDea, the Good Goddess, or the Earth, represented in the Frontispiece to the first volume of the Every-Day Book, with the zodiacal signs of the celestial system, which influences our sphere to produce its fruits in due order.
It is in May that "Spring is with us once more pacing the earth in all the primal pomp of her beauty, with flowers and soft airs and the song of birds every where about her, and the blue sky and the bright clouds above. But there is one thing wanting, to give that happy completeness to her advent, which belonged to it in the elder times; and without which it is like a beautiful melody without words, or a beautiful flower without scent, or a beautiful face without a soul. The voice of man is no longer heard, hailing her approach as she hastens to bless him; and his choral symphonies no longer meet and bless her in return—bless her by letting her behold and hear the happiness that she comes to create. The soft songs of women are no longer blended with her breath as it whispers among the new leaves; their slender feet no longer trace her footsteps in the fields and woods and wayside copses, or dance delighted measures round the flowery offerings that she prompted their lovers to place before them on the village green. Even the little children themselves, that have an instinct for the spring, and feel it to the very tips of their fingers, are permitted to let May come upon them, without knowing from whence the impulse of happiness that they feel proceeds, or whither it tends. In short,
'All the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday:'
while man, man alone, lets the season come without glorying in it; and when it goes he lets it go without regret; as if 'all seasons and their change' were alike to him; or rather, as if he were the lord of all seasons, and they were to do homage and honour to him, instead of he to them I How is this? Is it that we have 'sold our birthright for a mess of pottage?'—that we have bartered 'our being's end and aim' for a purse of gold? Alas! thus it is:
'The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste out powers:
Little we sec in nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away—a sordid boon! —But be this as it may, we are still able to feel what nature is, though we have in a great measure ceased to know it; though we have chosen to neglect her ordinances, and absent ourselves from her presence,we still retain some instinctive reminiscences of her beauty and her power; and every now and then the sordid walls of those mud hovels which we have built for ourselves, and choose to dwell in, fall down before the magic touch of our involuntary fancies, and give us glimpses into " that imperial palace whence we came," and make us yearn to return thither, though it be but in thought.
'Then sing ye birds, sing, sing a joyous