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It is proposed by the association to fit up a house in the most frugal manner for the reception of fifty women. A matron and servant are the only persons to be employed except the inmates; and it is hoped that their labour in washing, spinning, and such other work as can be procured, will go far towards their maintenance.
Borough Road School-On the 21st of January the children educated in the central schools of the British and Foreign School Society in the Borough Road were publicly examined before a respectable assembly.
The examination commenced in the girls' school; when, after exhibiting various samples of needle-work, which the ladies present pronounced to be well executed, the writing of those who are sufficiently. advanced to make use of copy-books was exhibited.
A number of the girls then read the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, on which they were questioned by the chairman, and afterwards by several gentlemen present. Their answers were clear, prompt, and satisfactory.
After a short exercise in their knowledge of the tables in arithmetic, the company adjourned to the boys' school.
Some boys were presented who had not been in the school quite six months, and who on their admisssion knew not a single letter. They read a lesson very distinctly, and exhibited words written in a good plain text hand.
The boys in the seventh class were next examined. They read the scripture lessons very well; they also exhibited specimens of good plain writing.
The boys in the eighth or highest class were then called upon to read the 19th chapter of John, and other passages in the society's scripture selections. They were questioned thereon both by the master and some gentlemen present. The answers given afforded the highest satisfaction to every one present.
A short exhibition was then given of their talents in arithmetic, when the expert manner in which sums were executed, both surprised and gratified the assembly.
A most interesting exhibition was made of the progress of eight youths from Madagascar, who had been sent over to this country by Governor Farquhar of the Mauritius, and placed under the care of the British Government. These lads, who in June last knew not a word of English, and who were thereby detained from entering the school nearly six weeks, have, notwithstanding, acquired considerable proficiency. They can now read easy lessons, and both write and spell words of two syllables.
Jews' Free School for 600 Boys and 300 Girls.-The new building of this highly useful institution has been opened with the solemnity of a consecration, and a subsequent examination of the scholars.
The consecration was conducted according to the Judaic practice on such occasions. The Rev. Dr. Hirschel, chief rabbi of the congregation denominated German Jews, accompanied by the Rev. Dr. Meldola, of that denominated Portuguese, together with several other rabbis, made seven circuits round the boys' school, preceded by some of
the committee, and sixteen boys bearing Hebrew bibles, prayer-books, and the Mishna; during which perambulation, the remaining boys in their places sung a Hebrew anthem; after this, a portion of the Mishna was recited by the boys who carried the books, and the 30th and 122d Psalms were repeated.
The annual examination next followed, and exhibited an excellent specimen of the progress made in a short space of time by the scholars in the various branches both of the Hebrew and the English languages, as well as in writing and arithmetic. A Hebrew ode was then recited, with great precision and emphasis, by a very young boy, and a translation of the same was delivered with equal impressiveness by another young scholar. Two psalms were then repeated, and a very appropriate prayer, composed for the occasion, was read with great fervency by the Rev. Dr. Hirschel. The boys then chanted a solemn Hebrew hymn, and retired. A report of the state of the charity, and votes of thanks to the officers, concluded this very interesting meeting.
The building is situated in Bell-lane, Spitalfields, is built on a very extensive and improved plan, and consists of a school for 600 boys, 100 feet long and 50 feet wide; the roof of which is considered to be the lightest ever formed for such a space. The girls' school will contain 300. Another room for a small number of scholars in the higher branches of learning, and residences for the master and mistress, besides ample play-grounds, are provided.
School at Tunstall for training Girls for Service.-The school was built last summer, and is forty-eight feet long, and eighteen feet wide. It contains a school-room, eating-room, kitchen and pantry, with three airy bed-rooms above, and a wash-house at the end of it.
It was opened on the 25th of last September, and before Christmas the number of scholars was completed. Twenty girls are accommodated; who are clothed, lodged, boarded, and educated, for three shillings a week; seven shillings entrance; a complete change of new clothes being required on their admission. Most of the girls are sent, and supported in the whole, or in part, by their parents. In many instances, a poor parent is aided in his weekly payment by some benevolent friend or friends in his immediate neighbourhood; while in other cases, the children have been admitted gratuitously, in a dependence upon annual subscriptions to defray the expense. There are seven girls in the school at present, at a loss of fifteen shillings weekly.
The age is not very strictly limited; but it is wished not to admit any under eleven, except in cases of peculiar urgency: from eleven or twelve, to fourteen or fifteen, is deemed the most desirable period for their residence in the school.
Three young women are now in it, (two of them above twenty,) who have had small sums of money left them; and with a rare exercise of good sense, are appropriating a part to the purpose of thus remedying the defects of education in their earlier years. It is truly pleasing to witness the cheerfulness and humility with which they submit to the discipline of the school.
Washing is conducted at the school by a laundress hired for the
purpose, and who lives there. Thus, while the girls have the advantage of learning the business of a considerable wash, the laundress undertakes at the same time the superintendence of the house. hold department, at a trifling expense to the institution; while the mistress is left at liberty for the school-room.
There are always three girls in office, as house-maid, laundry-maid, and kitchen-maid, under the direction of the laundress. They continue in these capacities for a fortnight at a time; and are thus learning household work, at the same time that they are going forward with their instruction in the school.
The object in view is to fit them for respectable service, without lift. ing them above the humblest situations which Providence may assign them in after life. If more than this were attempted, it is conceived that an injury, rather than a benefit, would be done both to the girls themselves and to society at large.
Hence, in the school-room nothing is taught beyond reading, writ. ing, pence- and multiplication-tables, and the first four rules, simple and compound, in arithmetic; knitting, marking, plain sewing, mend< ing, and cutting out.
In the household department, as they are actively and constantly engaged in cleaning, washing, ironing, baking, and preparing the meals, &c. they will obtain, it is hoped, a general knowledge of work, and of tidiness and quickness in the execution of it, which will lay a good foundation for future service, without raising their expectations too highly. With the same view, particular attention is paid both to their food and dress.
The advantages of such an institution must be obvious. Sunday- and day-schools may do much towards ameliorating the condition of the rising generation; but it too frequently happens that the good they en◄ deavour to effect, is grievously counteracted at home. In many cases, it must evidently be no small advantage in forming the minds of the young, and preparing them for future usefulness, to have them freed from that counteraction.
In a school, too, of this nature, many must acquire that knowledge of which otherwise they would remain wholly ignorant. And if it is desirable to send out useful servants into society, it is equally desirable to be training up young women in habits of economy, tidiness, and industry, which may promote their comfort and respectability in their own families after the period of service. Depending upon the divine blessing, unceasing pains are taken to lead them to a knowledge of religious truth; while, at the same time, every thing is urged upon them, which is calculated to promote, through.life, the happiness and interests of themselves and their employers.
With respect to procuring work for the school, plans have been formed, and are now in operation, which will ensure a sufficiency.
1. The girls will of course make their own clothes, and be taught to keep them in the neatest order and repair. The whole of every Saturday morning is devoted to this latter purpose. Darning and patching are amongst the most useful things that they have to learn.
2. It is proposed to take in sewing and knitting at a reasonable rate, In a country place like Tunstall, however, it is not to be expected that much work will be obtained in this way.
3. A repository of ready-made linen will be kept at the school. Farming servants and others who are distant from their friends, and are con sequently obliged to put out the making of their linen, will find it answer their purpose to get supplied here, as the different articles will be sold at the wholesale price of the materials, with the addition of a moderate charge for the making.
Charitable individuals may also perhaps sometimes procure bundles of baby-linen, &c. at the repository, for the purposes of charity.
4. But the source of employment which will be the most abundant, and the arrangement for which has given the most unfeigned pleasure to those concerned in it, is the following: it is proposed to devote all the knitting and sewing, which are not wanted for other purposes, to the aid of the Spitalfields Benevolent Society. The girls will thus have an ample continuance of the most useful various kinds of work; an important benefit will be rendered to a society which has peculiar claims on the public at large; nor will the moral good to the young people, it is hoped, be trifling, taught as they will thus be, to sympathize with those who are so much more destitute than themselves. Thankful contentment with their lot seems, in these days especially, to be one of the most necessary duties to urge on the minds of the rising generation; and it is conceived, that no better means can be adopted for this purpose, than to make them familiar with the deeper miseries of many of their fellow-creatures.
It is freely confessed, that this scheme, which has grown incidentally, as it were, out of the original design, seems to crown the objects of the institution, and greatly to augment the hope which is indulged of its utility.
The expense of building and furnishing has been 240l. 15s. 7d.
Savings Bank at New York.-The value of an institution is to be estimated by the evil which it prevents, or by the good which it produces in some the effects are more remote, in others more immediate. Banks for savings are among the latter; the attempt is no sooner made, than the most salutary effects follow..
An act having been passed by the Legislature to incorporate an association, by the name of a "Bank for Savings," in the City of New York; the establishment was opened in July 1819 on the premises of the New York Institution, granted to the trustees by the Academy of Arts, &c. On this occasion, the trustees had the satisfaction of receiving the sum of 2807 dollars from eighty depositors. By a subsequent Report of this institution, which has been published, it appears that from the above period to the end of the same year, including six entire months, the number of depositors had increased to 1527, who had lodged the sum of 153,378 dollars in the hands of the trustees; and the institution still continues to enjoy the same measure of success. From the classification of the number of depositors, it appears that 496 were 1 mechanics or persons carrying on trades, 170 domestics, 118 female
ditto, 276 females under age, ninety-eight widows, twenty orphans, 287 males under age, fifteen apprentices, and twenty seamen. The trus tees were led to anticipate that the establishment of an institution of this nature, which, by inculcating economy among the middle and lower classes of society, and inducing them to spare their earnings for future exigencies, thus necessarily withdrawing them from places of public resort, would excite the enmity of those whose emolument was the fruit of prodigal expenditure. Happily, however, few such instances have occurred; on the contrary, it appears that several public tavern-keepers have brought their money to the bank for safety and increase. Such examples, it is hoped, will operate upon those whose conduct has heretofore been reprehensible; and a reform at the sources of waste, will soon spread its influence through a large portion of the population.
It is observed, in the Report of the trustees, that in every part of an active population, and particularly in large cities, the difficulty of procuring the reward of labour is not so great as the power to preserve it. The man who attends to the regular discharge of his duties, and is enabled to lay up a weekly sum from his hard-earned income, is too often the dupe of the idle, the profligate, the designing, or the unfortunate. Want of caution, and sometimes an excusable vanity, induce the possessor of an increasing fund to reveal the knowledge of it to his less prosperous neighbour: the desire of accumulation, and the hope of bettering his condition, will incline the listener to try the means with which his friend can furnish him, on some object of speculation; he tries, and both are ruined. There are others who live only to prey upon society; they insinuate themselves into the confidence of the unsuspecting, give the most plausible reasons for the small sums they ask, and the strongest assurances of a speedy re-payment: the money is lent, but the lender too soon finds that the fruit of years of labour is gone for ever. This reasoning has been justified by many cases which have come before the notice of the trustees of the savings bank. The causes, as often stated by the sufferers themselves, arose alike from their want of some secure place of deposit, and their ignorance how to improve what they had laid up. The sums are generally too small to be received at any of the banks; and where this is not the case, it was found equally as difficult to retain it, as if it had been actually in the owner's hands: the temptation to loan was the same.--Though many depositors understand how to invest their money in public funds, yet, anticipating an early use for it, or fearing a loss from the fluctuations of the funds, they preferred letting it lie useless. In proof of this, numerous instances have occurred where sums of from 100 to 300 dollars were found to have lain unimproved for many years, whilst others had lost the whole.
The trustees state, in their Report, that the habit of saving among the depositors becomes very soon not only delightful, but permanent. Those who have brought their one dollar, are anxious to increase it to five, and so on. The number of re-deposits sufficiently confirms this fact and such has been the effect on the habits of emigrants from Great Britain, that the very guineas which they received from the banks for savings at home, they have deposited in the one at New York, imme