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they were before, and that, after that period, they may probably begin to improve. A marsh, to be sure, may be drained and cultivated; but no man who has his choice, would select it in the mean time for his dwellingplace.
The three books are all books of merit. Mr. O'Hara's is a bookseller's compilation, done in a useful and pleasing manner. Mr. Wentworth is full of information on the present state of Botany Bay. The humanity, the exertions, and the genuine benevolence of Mr. Bennet, are too well known to need our commendation.
All persons who have a few guineas in their pocket, are now running away from Mr. Nicholas Vansittart to settle in every quarter of the globe. Upon the subject of emigration to Botany Bay, Mr. Wentworth observes, 1st, That any respectable person emigrating to that colony, receives as much land gratis as would cost him 4001. in the United States; 2dly, He is allowed as many servants as he may require, at one third of the wages paid for labour in America; 3dly, Himself and family are victualled at the expense of Government for six months. He calculates that a man, wife, and two children, with an allowance of five tons for themselves and baggage, could emigrate to Botany Bay for 1001., including every expense, provided a whole ship could be freighted; and that a single man could be taken out thither for 301. These points are worthy of serious attention to those who are shedding their country.
CHIMNEY SWEEPERS. (E. Review, 1819.)
Account of the Proceedings of the Society for superseding the
Necessity of Climbing Boys. Baldwin, &c. London, 1816.
An excellent and well-arranged dinner is a most pleasing occurrence, and a great triumph of civilised life. It is not only the descending morsel, and the enveloping sauce — but the rank, wealth, wit, and beauty which surround the meats - the learned management of light and heat—the silent and rapid services of the attendants
the smiling and sedulous host, proffering gusts and relishes -- the exotic bottles — the embossed plate — the pleasant remarks — the handsome dresses — the cunning artifices in fruit and farina! The hour of dinner, in short, includes every thing of sensual and intellectual gratification which a great nation glories in producing.
In the midst of all this, who knows that the kitchen chimney caught fire half an hour before dinner!—and that a poor little wretch, of six or seven years old, was sent up in the midst of the flames to put it out? We could not, previous to reading this evidence, have formed a conception of the miseries of these poor wretches, or that there should exist, in a civilised country, a class of human beings destined to such extreme and varied distress. We will give a short epitome of what is developed in the evidence before the two Houses of Parliament.
Boys are made chimney sweepers at the early age of five or six.
Little boys for small flues, is a common phrase in the cards left at the door by itinerant chimney sweepers. Flues made to ovens and coppers are often less than nine inches square; and it may be easily conceived, how slender the frame of that human body must be, which can force itself through such an aperture,
you ever know
• What is the age of the youngest boys who have been employed in this trade, to your knowledge ? About five years of age: I know one now between five and six years old; it is the man's own son in the Strand : now there is another at Somers Town, I think, said he was between four and five, or about five; Jack Hall, a little lad, takes him about. — Did any female children employed? Yes, I know one now. About two years ago there was a woman told me she had climbed scores of times, and there is one at Paddington now whose father taught her to climb; but I have often heard talk of them when I was apprentice, in different places. — What is the smallest-sized flue you have ever met with in the course of your experience ? About eight inches by nine; these they are always obliged to climb in this posture (describing it), keeping the arms up straight; if they slip their arms down, they get jammed in; unless they get their arms close over their head they cannot climb.' – Lords' Minutes, No. 1. p. 8.
The following is a specimen of the manner in which they are taught this art of climbing chimneys.
Do you remember being taught to climb chimneys? Yes.What did you feel upon the first attempt to climb a chimney? The first chimney I went up, they told me there was some plumpudding and money up at the top of it, and that is the way they enticed me up;
and when I got up, I would not let the other boy get from under me to get at it, I thought he would get it; I could not get up, and shoved the pot and half the chimney down into the yard. - Did you experience any inconvenience to your knees, or your elbows? Yes, the skin was off my knees and elbows too, in climbing up the new chimneys they forced me up.
How did they force you up? When I got up, I cried out about my sore knees. - Were you beat or compelled to go up by any violent means? Yes, when I went to a narrow chimney, if I could not do it, I durst not go home; when I used to come down, my master would well beat me with the brush; and not only my master, but when we used to go with the journeymen, if we could not do it, they used to hit us three or four times with the brush.' - Lords' Minutes. No. 1. p. 5.
In practising the art of climbing, they are often crippled.
• You talked of the pargetting of chimneys; are many chimneys pargetted? There used to be more than are now; we used
to have to go and sit all a-twist to parge them, according to the floors, to keep the smoke from coining out; then I could not straighten my legs; and that is the reason that many are cripples, — from parging and stopping the holes.'— Lord's Minutes, No. 1. p. 17.
They are often stuck fast in a chimney, and, after remaining there many hours, are cut out.
· Have you known, in the course of your practice, boys stick in chimneys at all? Yes, frequently. - Did you ever know an instance of a boy being suffocated to death? No; I do not recollect any one at present, but I have assisted in taking boys out when they have been nearly exhausted. - Did you ever know an instance of its being necessary to break open a chimney to take the boy out? O yes. — Frequently? Monthly I might say; it is done with a cloak, if possible, that it should not be discovered: a master in general wishes it not to be known, and therefore speaks to the people belonging to the house not to mention it, for it was merely the boy's neglect; they often say it was the boy's neglect. - Why do they say that? The boy's climbing shirt is often very bad; the boy coming down, if the chimney be very narrow, and numbers of them are only nine inches, gets his shirt rumpled underneath him, and he has no power after he is fixed in that way (with his hand up). - Does a boy frequently stick in the chimney? Yes; I have known more instances of that the last twelvemonth than before.—Do you ever have to break open in the inside of a room? Yes, I have helped to break through into a kitchen chimney in a dining room.' - Lords' Minutes, p. 34.
To the same effect is the evidence of John Daniels (Minutes, p. 100.), and of James Ludford (Lords' Minutes, p. 147.).
You have swept the Penitentiary? I have. — Did you ever know a boy stick in any of the chimneys there? Yes, I have.
-Was it one of your boys? It was. - Was there one or two that stuck? Two of them. - How long did they stick there? Two hours. How were they got out? They were cut out. Was there any danger while they were in that situation? It was the core from the pargetting of the chimney, and the rubbish that the labourers had thrown down, that stopped them, and when they got it aside them, they could not pass. — They both stuck together? Yes.' -- Lords' Minutes, p. 147. VOL. II.
One more instance we shall give, from the Evidence before the Commons.
* Have you heard of any accidents that have recently happened to climbing boys in the small flues? Yes; I have often met with accidents myself when I was a boy; there was lately one in Mary-le-bone where the boy lost his life in a flue, a boy of the name of Tinsey, (his father was of the same trade); that boy I think was about eleven or twelve years old. – Was there a coroner's inquest sat on the body of that boy you mentioned? Yes, there was; he was an apprentice of a man of the name of Gay, - How many accidents do you recollect, which were attended with loss of life to the climbing boys? I have heard talk of many more than I know of; I never knew of more than three since I have been at the trade, but I have heard talk of many
Of twenty or thirty? I cannot say; I have been near losing my own life several times.' — Commons' Report, p. 53.
We come now to burning little chimney sweepers. A large party are invited to dinner- a great display is to be made ; — and about an hour before dinner, there is an alarm that the kitchen chimney is on fire! It is impossible to put off the distinguished personages who are expected. It gets very late for the soup and fish, the cook is frantic—all eyes are turned upon the sable consolation of the master chimney sweeper — and up into the midst of the burning chimney is sent one of the miserable little infants of the brush! There is a positive prohibition of this practice, and an enactment of penalties in one of the acts of Parliament which respect chimney sweepers. But what matter acts of Parliament, when the pleasures of genteel people are concerned ? Or what is a toasted child, compared to the agonies of the mistress of the house with a deranged dinner ?
• Did you ever know a boy get burnt up a chimney? Yes. Is that usual? Yes, I have been burnt myself, and have got the scars on my legs; a year ago I was up a chimney in Liquor Pond Street; I have been up more than forty chimneys where I have been burnt. - Did your master or the journeymen ever direct you to go up a chimney that is on fire? Yes, it is a general case. - Do they compel you to go up a chimney that is on fire ? Oh yes, it was the general practice for two of us to stop at home