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forth by ill-usage, neglect, and starvation, to pick up his living as best

On the other hand; even the best-disposed parents in such regions find an almost insuperable difficulty in keeping their boys from evil influences that sweep them away from home control. Indeed, family life is impossible under the conditions imposed by necessity on many of the London poor; and one of the most promising reforms of the present day is the improved system of erecting workmen's dwellings in blocks, by which the economy of land enables the builder to give better accommodation for the same rent. But at present we have to do not with radical reforms (properly so called) which go to the root of the evil, but only with one which seeks to nip it in the bud, just where a naughty boy is beginning to turn into a vicious and criminal man.

The prospect brightened across the Essex marshes, where the grey green of the autumn grass was dotted with dull-red cattle, and touched with a chilly sunshine. And when, towards Grays, the river opened full in view, all eyes were searching for the object of our visit, as though the earliest glimpse of it was a matter not lightly to be sacrificed.

“There she is !” cried a friend ;--"there, near the Exmouth !!Be it observed that the Exmouth is a workhouse ship; that is, she takes from various Unions the boys thought best adapted for a sailor's life. This is the ship whose predecessor was burnt some years ago, when the steadiness, discipline, and even heroism of the boys excited universal sympathy and admiration. How much better off are these boys than in the depressing atmosphere of a workhouse! It is not inappropriate that the school-board ship should be so near to a sister vessel engaged in so similar a work. But while our friend is bidding us observe the long, shapely lines of the Shaftesbury contrasted with the bluff proportions of her consort, and is explaining the advantages involved in her iron construction-all previous school-ships being, we believe, of wood —the train stops at the station and we dismount. The captain and one of the officers are there to meet us, distinguished by their naval uniform. And, indeed, smarter-looking officers are probably not be met with in the navy than these of the Shaftesbury. It might have been supposed that a body elected like the School Board would have been less free than the committee of a voluntary society to give moral and religious considerations their full weight in selecting men for this philanthropic work. Experience, however, so far does not justify such a fear. While insisting upon seamanlike experience and skill, the Board has clearly been guided in its selection by evidence of previous interest in Christian work on the part of the candidates, and of a disposition to regard as a sacred trust the office that they sought.

At the landing-place we found the ship's cutter awaiting us, mannedif the expression be not inappropriate-by ten or a dozer boys in their blue jackets and sailor's hats. On the first glance it seemed impossible to believe that these smart-looking lads had, only a few months before, been waifs and strays on the streets. But a closer inspection showed that the traces of neglect and misery were not yet wholly effaced, and, to say truth, the handling of the oars as we pushed off proved that they were as yet but the raw material for sailors. Yet the cheerful energy with which they scrambled the boat along-so to speak-showed at least contentment and willinghood. We first pulled alongside the tender Swift, a small barque-rigged vessel attached to the Shaftesbury for the purpose of exercising the boys in the actual duties of a voyage, by short trips to the mouth of the river. We then dropped down to the schoolship, and on ascending the companion-ladder found ourselves on a grand sweep of deck 290 feet long, with a breadth 38 feet at the broadest part. This deck has been added, in adapting the ship to her present purpose. Through the wide hatches, fitted with broad ladders like flights of stairs, we could see the main deck, where the mess-tables were being rapidly cleared. Beneath that again is the dormitory, with beds for three hundred and fifty boys, only about sixty of whom had been admitted at the time of our visit. On the main deck are classrooms with all needful apparatus for instruction. Below the sleeping deck, and resting on the concrete which forms the ballast, is the heating apparatus, secure from dangers of fire, since it has nothing round it but the iron famework of the vessel. At the same depth there is also a band-roorn for the noisy and necessarily discordant practice of the tyros of the band. But indeed some of the latter had already made progress enough to strike up a lively march as we made our appearance on deck, while the boys not otherwise on duty paraded past us.

As we have already said, there is not much at first sight to distinguish these lads from any other young sailor-boys; but, as we pick up information about their individual histories, our interest and our sympathy are vastly deepened. There, for instance, is one, aged twelve, appar.. ently healthy, happy, and innocent-looking. Surely such a boy would have done very well at an ordinary day-school ? Such is our inexperienced impression ; but that only shows how little we know about it. This very boy was picked up a few months ago, wandering homeless in Southwark at two o'clock in the morning. He was half-starved and in a deplorable condition of rags and filth. The inquiries of the police found out his father; but there was no use in sending him home, for the latter had no control, was in ill-health, and had not seen the lad for a quarter of a year. Here is another, whose father is a solicitor's clerk, with pay at the rate of thirty shillings a week. Of course such a father is required to make a proportionate contribution towards the cost of keeping the boy on the ship. But some will perhaps maintain that the community ought to be burdened with no part of the expense in such a Yet, after all

, is the community quite blameless ?" The truth is, certain bad elements, for a long time neglected and even fostered by the community, laid hold of this lad and made a thief of him. He had a marked inclination for bad companions; and bad companions existed in sad abundance, owing in a great measure to the conditions of society amongst us, Here is a third, whose mother ekes out by needlework the



father's casual earnings as a laborer. They have come down in the world, by whose fault we know not, or whether by unavoidable misfortune. But the next generation seemed bent upon going a great deal lower. The boy being perhaps of a lively, adventurous disposition, and having no attractions at home, became ringleader of a little gang who are described as a great annoyance to the shopkeepers of the neighborhood. They would hang about the doors watching their opportunity, or making it by the disturbance they created, and then they would run off with anything they could lay their hands on. Thus the lad was in a fair way to become a burglar. He is now, thank God! in a fair way to become an honest sailor. Here is a fourth case, in which the parents, despairing of the boy's future, were willing to pay five shillings a week to any school that would take him; and did so for six months while he remained in an industrial school. But not being sent there by order of a magistrate, he was removed for some reason or other, and for a year was worse than ever. He sought the companionship of thieves, ran away from home for days together, and would then be pulled out of some dust-bin or cellar-area by the police. He is now here by order of a magistrate, and he will not find it easy to evade the custody of the School Board.

Enough-we have no space to describe other cases; and, indeed, they are all very much alike. These boys were the pregnant germs of crime and disorder for a coming generation. They have been removed from the evil influences that surrounded them; and it is found that good is not wholly blighted within them. They can be obedient, obliging, kind one to another, faithful to little trusts. And it is not too much to expect that as good influences have been substituted for ill, the better nature will be strengthened by a few years' discipline, so that it will bear the stress of life. From the heart we pray God grant it. For the parting cheer of those boys rings in our ears still ; and it has a tone of confidence and hope.

HENRY C. EWART, in Sunday Magazine.




A GREAT deal of human life consists in the simple operations, mentioned in our title, of being knocked down and picked up again. This is a process constantly going on, both in a physical and a metaphorical

Life is full of ups and downs. Properly speaking, we cannot have the one without the other, as we cannot have up-hill without downhill

. Naturally, we prefer the “up” to the “down,” and would probably prefer knocking down other people to the converse operation of being knocked down ourselves. The gentleman who committed suicide, on the high ground that he objected to the absurd and constantly recurring practice of dressing and undressing, ought to have more of those serious ups and downs of life, which have sometimes been enough, with a better show of reason, though not with the reality of it, to drive better people to self-destruction. If one were using a Butlerian mode of argument, it would be proper to say that this uncertainty is so certain, that want of uniformity so uniform, that they are part of the very plan and structure of human life. To be always “up” would be something monstrous and abnormal. When Amasis of Egypt found that the island despot Polycrates was always successful, that when he cast his priceless ring into the sea it was brought back in the fish captured by the fisherman, he renounced all friendship with him. He knew that it foreboded no luck at the last. And he ingeniously argued that if he made a friend of Polycrates he would certainly have to endure considerable mental anguish through the misfortunes which would happen to his friend. He used rather a pretty expression, indicating that life was a kind of tracery, a blending and interlacing of shadow and sunshine.

Of course this way of looking at human life might be treated on the method either of weeping or laughing philosophers. Most sensible men are content to take together the rough and smooth, the bitter and sweet. They know that these things make the man and the athlete. Beaumarchais beautifully says in his “Memoirs : ” “The variety of pains and pleasures, of fears and hopes, is the freshening breeze that fills the sails of the vessel and sends it gaily on its track.” I heard a man say once, that he had had great trials, and with the blessing of heaven he hoped to have some more of them. It was a bold expression, perhaps an overbold, but still he saw into the kernel of this mystery and problem of reverse and misfortune. Sometimes the knockdowns are so continuous and so stunning, that they tax all our philosophy to understand them, or even be patient about them. Let us first look at the plain, prosaic, practical, and somewhat pugilistic force of the expression. The earliest education of an ancient race consisted in shooting, riding, and speaking the truth. I am afraid that the last item is very much falling out of the modern fashionable curria culum. We may take the intermediate department as an illustration. We must all have our tumbles. Every man learns to ride through a process of tumble continually repeated. Who ever learned to ride except through continual falls, or to fence except through continual buffetings! The other day, I was reading Mr. Smiles's “Life of George Moore.” It is a little too much of the Gospel according to Hard Cash. Mr. Moore had neither chick nor child, and he invested a large portion of his wealth in philanthropic and religious munificence, which yielded him immense social returns. Bishops and judges flocked around the drygoods proprietor, who seemed made of money, who bled gold at every. pore. I do not say that he was not a good and sincere man, but the worship of the golden calf was comically mixed up with the whole of it. But how this man George Moore worked in order to accumulate money: He had for a partner a man called Copestake. He led the wretched Copestake an awful life. Copestake worked away in a little room over a trunk-shop. For many years together he never took a day's holiday: He went through awful anxiety in providing funds for the enterprising Moore. Mr. Moore worked quite as hard. He spent the week in very sharp practice, and on the Lord's Day he balanced his accounts. “I never took a day,” he says, “for the first thirteen years during which I had to travel.” All this work, in the long run, did not fail to act injuriously upon his health. Lawrence, the great surgeon, gave him some sensible advice : “You had better go down to Brighton, and ride over the downs there ; but you must take care not to break your neck in hunting.” And now Mr. Moore had to learn the acrobatic art of tumbling. He had to combine the two objects of learning to ride, and of not breaking his neck. In a sort of way, he was constantly being knocked down and picked up again. Dr. Smiles records the Gilpin-like adventures of his monetary hero.

"He had some difficulty in sticking on. He mounted again, and pushed on nothing daunted. Wherever a jump was to be taken, he would try it. Over he went. Another tumble ! no matter. After a desperate run he got seven tumbles.” Mr. Moore thus sums up his experience: “Whatever other people may say about riding to hounds, I always contend that no man ever rides bold unless he has had a few good tumbles.” This had been identically his experience as the Napoleon of commercial travellers. Lector benevole, we must learn to tumble gracefully. Half the art of the bicyclist is to learn how to tumble. We must become used to being knocked down, and even appreciate it-like the eels, which are said to have a partiality for the process of being skinned-and learn to come up smiling, after a sponge, for the next round.

How often we find a man saying, “I was fairly knocked down. I bore a good deal as I best could, but the last straw breaks the camel's back. The fatal letter came. The fatal telegram came. It told the

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