+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

building. The lessons of the senior sections
are conducted in a much quieter manner than
those of the junior classes; even in a way
which some persons would consider tame and
uninteresting. This quietude was, however,
more than balanced by another department.
As we passed to the elder boys' court-yard,
the chaplain threw open the door of a room,
where a small music class was practising the
fife and the drum. The class consisted of eight
youths, who had not learnt long, but
performed the "Troubadour" in creditable style.
When they marched out, they headed about
two hundred boys, who were drawn up in
line; the music-master acting as drill-
sergeant and commander-in-chief. After passing
through some drill-exercises, they marched off,
drums beating and colours flying, to dinner.

We need say no more of this pleasing ceremony
than that it was heartily performed.
The viands were relished in strong illustration
of Dr. Johnson's emphatic remark, " Sir, I
like to dine."

After dinner, we visited the workshops––a
very active scene. The living tableaux were
formed chiefly by young tailors and cobblers.
A strict account is kept of all manufactured
articles and of their cost; and we learnt that
a boy's suit of fustian (labour included) costs
4s. 10½d.; a girl's petticoat 12¾d.; and that
the average weekly cost of clothing worn by
the children was estimated at 3½d. per head
making 15s. 2d. for the wearing apparel of
each child per year. This may be taken as a
commentary on the " slop work " prices to
which public attention has been so forcibly
drawn of late.

In all the industrial sections, the children
are occupied alternately at their work and in
schoollabouring for one afternoon and next
morning, and then attending their classes in
school for the next afternoon and morning.
This is a decided improvement on the Mettray
system. In that agricultural colony, the boys
only attend school once a week, and work at
handicrafts, or on the farm, during the other
five. There is, however, something defective
in the Swinton plan, as applicable to advanced
pupils; perhaps they are not stimulated
sufficiently; but it happens that no pupil-teacher
had ever passed a government examination;
although last year the grant of money, by the
Committee of Privy Council for the
educational departments of the Swinton school,
amounted to £531. Those among the scholars
who have gone into other lines of life, have
generally conducted themselves well; and
when absorbed into the masses of society,
have become a help and a credit instead of a
bane to it. Indeed, having been brought up
at the Pauper Palace appears a safe certificate
with the public, who are eager for the girls of
this school as domestic servants. Both boys
and girls, on leaving the institution, are
furnished with two complete sets of clothes, and
their subsequent behaviour is repeatedly
inquired into.

As we descended the steps of the school
we scanned the prospect seen from it. The
foreground of the landscape was dotted
with rural dwellings, interspersed with trees.
In the distance rose the spires and tall
chimneys of Manchester, brightened by the
rays of the evening sun, while a sea of smoke
hung like a pall over the great centre of
manufacturing activity, and shut out the
view beyond. It typified the dark cloud of
pauperism which covers so large a portion of
the land, and which it is hoped such institutions
as the Swinton Industrial Schools are
destined to dispel. The centre of
manufacturing activity is also the centre of
practical and comprehensive education. Why
does this activity continue to revolve so near
its centre? Why has it not radiated over the
length and breadth of the land? The Swinton
Institution is a practical illustration of what
can be done with even the humblest section
of the community; and if it have a
disadvantage, that is precisely because it succeeds
too well. It places the child-pauper above
the child of the industrious. Narrow minds
advocate the levelling of the two, by
withdrawing the advantage from the former. Let
us, however, hope that no effort will relax
to bring out, in addition to Pauper Palaces,
Educational Palaces for all classes and

Thus ended our visit to the "Pauper
Palace." As we issued from the iron gate
into the open road we met a long line of the
elder girls, accompanied by a master, returning
from a walk which they had taken, after
school hours and before supper, for the benefit
of their health. The glad smile of
recognition, and the cheerful salutation with which
they greeted us as we bade them good evening,
were a touch of that gentle nature which
"makes the whole world kin." It refreshed
us like a parting blessing from well-known


AFTER his disasters in New Ireland, our
friend Blungle could not be prevailed upon
to go fishing again.* The sport was conducted
under circumstances which deprived it of all
attraction to him. He could understand fishing
in the Thames,—sitting all day in a
comfortable arm-chair in a punt, moored off
Ditton, with a stock of brandy and water
and mild Havannahs. This was true sport;
but digging holes in the ice to catch fish was
neither sportsman-like nor exciting. Under
the circumstances, he was not to be
reasoned with; so we only laughed at him,—
Perroque advising him, on his return to
St. Pancras, to try his luck in a parlour fish-
bowl. This put him on his mettle,—and to
show that he was ready to "rough it" with
any man, he challenged us to go hunting

* See page 243.