« PreviousContinue »
Arkwright, by whose inventive genius the machine had been constructed. The consequence was that he and his partners were driven to embark largely in the manufacture of cotton hosiery and calicoes, doubtless much to the ultimate advantage of the country, since they carried into all their undertakings that mechanical skill and energy which was needed to raise the cotton manufacture from its previously imperfect condition to the marvellous pitch of perfection which it shortly attained. The further steps of its progress we cannot dwell upon. Among the more important inventions which have contributed to it is the mule-jenny, invented by Samuel Crompton. Excellent as was the yarn produced by the spinning-jenny and the water-frame, compared with the old handspun stuff
, it was coarse and full of knots ; and when a demand arose for imitations of the fine India muslins, the weavers found they could produce but a very poor piece of work with such rough materials. Young Sam Crompton, who lived near to what was then the little rural town of Bolton in the Moors, grew quickly sensitive of the imperfections of the machinery he had to work with. “He was plagued to deeath,” he used to say, 'we' mendin' the broken threeads ; " and could not help thinking many a time whether the jenny could not be improved so as to spin more quickly and produce a better thread. By the time he was twenty-one his thoughts had settled so far into a track, that he was able to begin making a contrivance of his own. He had a few common tools which had belonged to his father, but his own claspknife served nearly every purpose in his ready hands. He had his “ bits of things " "filed at the smithy, and to get money for the materials he fiddled at the theatre for 1s. 6d. a night. Every minute he could spare from the task-work of the day was spent in his little room in forwarding his invention. The five years of labour and anxiety bore fruit in 1779, when the “mule-jenny," with its spindlecarriage, was finished and set to work. As its name indicates, it was an ingenious cross between the jenny and the water-frame, combining the best features of both with several novel ones, which rendered it a very valuable machine, and may be considered the parent of the British manufacture of the muslins.
The earliest practically useful power-loom, or machine for weaving by automatic power, was that patented in 1785 by the Rev. Dr. Cartwright; but many years elapsed before the application of improved machinery in this department of the cotton manufacture became. general. What the cotton manufacture has become, as a development of commercial enterprise and mechanical ingenuity, is a thing to be felt rather than described. To the Peel family much is owing for the progress it made. Robert Peel, the founder of the family, developed the plan of printing calico, and his successors perfected it in a variety of ways. While occupied as a small farmer near Blackburn he gave a great deal of attention to the subject, and made a great many experiments. One day when sketching a pattern on the back of a pewter dinner-plate, the idea occurred to him that if colour
were rubbed upon the design an impression might be printed off it upon calico. He tested the plan at once. Filling in the pattern with colour on the back of the plate, and placing a piece of calico over it, he passed it through a mangle, and was delighted with seeing the calico come out duly printed. This was his first essay in calico printing; and he soon worked out the idea, patented it, and started as a calico printer, succeeding so well, that he gave up the farm and devoted himself entirely to that business. His sons succeeded him; and the Peel family, divided into numerous firms, became one of the chief pillars of the cotton manufacture. To such perfection has calico printing now been brought, that a mile of calico can be printed in an hour, or three cotton dresses in a minute; and so extensive is the production of that article, that one firm alone turns out in a year more than 10,000 miles of it, or more than sufficient to measure the diameter of our planet.
Sir Robert Peel had a favourite saying to this effect, " That the gains of individuals were small compared with the national gains arising from trade ; " and there can be no doubt that the success of the cotton trade has contributed essentially to the present affluence and prosperity of the United Kingdom. A nobler monument of human skill, enterprise, and perseverance than the invention of cottonspinning machinery is hardly to be met with, and it is not extravagant to say that the experiments of the humble mechanics have in all their results added more to the power of England than all the colonies ever acquired by her arms.
If ever an opportunity is presented to the reader of visiting a large cotton mill, I would advise him to accept it. To watch the various processes is a most interesting sight. As you think of the obstacles which those humble inventors in the past had to contend with, the perfect machinery which you will see doing its work so quickly and so well will have a voice if you will but listen to it, and what it will say will be this, “Let not difficulties dismay, nor even temporary failures dishearten; a course of persevering industry never yet failed of its reward.” We would conclude by adding, above all, interweave industry with piety. Alas! there are other agencies which are active beside the agencies for good. Satan is actively industrious to entrap souls to their everlasting perdition; industrious to make creatures born for immortality forget their high destiny, and live as though they were to perish like the brute; nothing can enable us to withstand his influence, except faith in a Redeemer's atonement and intercession, bringing to our aid the help of an Omnipotent Spirit. Be this our prayer, be this our effort, to live to God's glory, to strive in firm reliance upon the Mediator's promised grace and the Spirit's proffered succour, to use this world as not to abuse it, and to pass through things temporal so as, finally, not to lose the things that are eternal.
OUR SUNDAY-SCHOOL ALBUM.
By ENOCH GRATTON.
XXIV.-A FAMILIAR GROUP.
have their likenesses taken at the same time, and to
call your attention to a group of well-known faces found in our Sunday-School Album As a rule groups do not take well; the faces are dim, distorted, and some positively ugly, while others are very comical and ludicrous; the first glance at them provokes laughter. Please remember that if this Sunday-school group looks queer and muddled it is only like many other groups. In many respects the men in this group differ widely, but in one respect they are all alike. They are all retired teachers. Not one of them at present is in active service. All of them have worked, and some of them with commendable devotion.
1. The central figure in the group is that of a well-to-do, prosperous man of business; a man who has risen in the world, but who has risen as the fir-tree rises; its lower or earthward part is broad and ample, its higher or heavenward part is narrow and small. So our friend has risen; materially he is richer, larger, weightier, but spiritually he is feeble and puny. When he was a less prominent man, lived in a smaller hou-e, and carried a lighter purse, he worked steadily in the Sunday school, but his “ engagements
ri became so pressing and numerous, his “circle of friends" so large and respectable, that he was really obliged to give up his class. He was very sorry, he loved the school, wished it well, would still subscribe to its funds, and now and then look in to see how the school was going on, but really he must give up teaching; business, of course, must be attended to, and so must friends, and politics, and parties.
And so he left the school in which he had received priceless good, and to which he professed undying attachment. He rarely looks in to see his old friends; the fact is he forgets, or is too busy, or too tired. But, mark you, he does not forget clubs, and banquets, and billiards.
2. Next to this centre figure is the likeness of Mr. Easy Soul. He was on the roll a few years, but he did not like to be at the trouble to get ready and come in time, and when he did come it was in a sleepy. jog-trof sort of fashion. The state of the school or class did not disturb him. He had little to give to his scholars, and what he did give was no better than dry, mouldy crusts; and at last, when out of shame he could not keep his class longer, he gave it up.
felt that his poor soul was dried up like a withered twig, and he promised that some time, when his soul was charged with fresh sap, he would come back to the school. I wish that time would come soon.
3. The Offended Teacher. You see he has a cross look upon his face yet, although it is many years since he left the school. He was not without some excellent qualities. He was active, punctual, and keenly alive to whatever was going on in the school which he attended. But because he could not have all his own way, and make other people have it too; because one slighted him, another opposed him, another was put before him, he was offended—“ angry, and would not go
in." “ It must needs be that offences come, but woe be to that man by whom they come,” and blessed be that man who, if offences come, still remains patiently and prayerfully at the post of duty.
4. The Discouraged Teacher. You can easily pick this friend out; he wears a downcast, dejected expression, and is bitterly disappointed with the result of his labours in the Sunday school. When he commenced his work he was hopeful and ardent. He thought that the
young Melancthon would soon conquer old Adam " in the hearts of the scholars; but he soon found out his mistake. Many and many a time has he left the school utterly weary and sick at heart, saying that he had laboured in vain, and spent his strength for nought, and would be compelled to give it up to somebody who would do the work more successfully. To toil all night and take nothing is indeed very dispiriting, but the noblest men have suffered in this way, and because they were noble and brave, they toiled in spite of failure, and toiled until they won solid and lasting success.
5. The Inconsistent Teacher. This is one of the saddest faces in the whole group, and beneath the sad face there beats a restless and aching heart. Yet that heart once thrilled with joy, that face once beamed with the radiance of love and fervour. He did run well, but something hindered him. What was it ? . It was tippling. It was drink, that terrible, terrible evil which ruins so many, both scholars and teachers. Little by little the fatal and hateful passion for drink grew upon him. Ugiy rumours were circulated, sacred confidences were being shattered. Many wished he would resign or reform. By-and-by his attendance became irregular, his interest slackened, at last he withdrew. And this man, once active, useful, and esteemed, has now taken a painful position among this
of Retired Teachers all through strong drink. My advice to you, my young friends, is this : Let it alone! Let it alone!
6. The Busy Teacher. It is now some years since I met with this friend, but my memories of him are still vivid. He lives in a busy town where many are making haste to be rieh, and not a few have become rich; and our friend also wants to be rich. He had an anxious, worried look. He was usually short of time, and wanted to put two days' work into one, and so cheat nature. He had really no time for week-night meetings, and he worked so late on Saturday pights that on Sunday morning he was fairly done up. The world and business had diajned and absorbed all bis vital energy, until he was more like a sucked orange than anytbing else. No wonder that the school was dull, and the lesson tedious, and the class restless ; there was no force in his words, po lustre in his eye, no glow in bis beart. He had fair abilities, had been brought up in the school, was generally esteemed, might have been very useful; notwithstanding all this he left the school, stating that he had not time to prepare, and that he had to work so hard during the week that he needed rest on the Sunday.
The group, as you may know, contains the faces of other retired teachers, but I cannot now stay to speak of them. Of the six to whom I have referred let me say this, that every one of them might have been in the Sunday school to-day. They have all health and ability. The school needs them most urgently. From the school they have received immense blessings, and yet they are all outside. Wealth keeps one out, indolence another, pettishness another, discouragements another, strong drink another, and business another. Where lies the blame-in these things, or in the men ? certainly. They need not be mastered by any of these things. Thousands are not. It does seem a pity that while the harvest is so vast and the labourers are so few, men not yet crippled by age and sickness should step aside from a work so holy, and grand, and imperative.
In the men,
BAND OF HOPE PAPER.
ND so, Charlie, you ask me, do you," said Uncle Robert,
“why I am so anxious to have you sign the temperance
" I do."
“When I have told you fifty times that I consider
it a young man's only safety ? “Yes, Uncle Robert; but what are your reasons for believing that?"
Charlie Selwyn was the only son of a deceased friend of Uncle Robert's, and Uncle Robert, a kindly bachelor, had been his guardian and almost father since the age of ten. Now he was nearing man. hood, and on this the eve before his twenty-first birthday Uncle Robert again approached him on the subject of temperance, anxious that he should start aright in manhood's path.
“ If you sign the pledge, Charlie, you are surely safe.”
“Yes, Uncle Robert, i grant that'; but where is my manhood if I cannot depend upon it to carry me through the world aright? Where are my principles if I cannot restrain myself when I am in danger ?"