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1838.] BARTHOLOMEW FAIR. 415
of the working men among my neighbours; and there are some whose good conduct, and,industry, and prosperous condition it is quite a pleasure to behold. There are some few who are in a very wretched condition; and these are all in the habit of frequenting the alehouse: this always leads to rags and wretchedness, and the destruction of every religious and every moral feeling. I have seen this misery spreading to such an extent, that I am often disposed to wish that there was no such thing as an alehouse or a beer-shop in the parish. I dread the thoughts of any one of the people belonging to me ever going into one of those places, for I know they are in danger of learning every thing that is bad there. J live a few miles from a large town, and I have occasion frequently to go thither in my carriage; and there is a very respectable and quiet inn on my side of the town, very convenient for me. But, such is my dread of ever obliging a servant to go into a tap'room, and to mix with the drinking companions common in an inn-yard, that I have hired a private stable in the town to prevent this mischief. I cannot help considering it a sacred duty to watch over the habits of those about us, and to take care that we do not ourselves lead them into such temptations as may in the end be their destruction.
Your constant reader,
EFFORTS TO PUT DOWN BARTHOLOMEW FAIR.
The market committee, of which Mr. Hicks is the chairman, are bent upon doing all in their power to put an end to this annual scene of rioting and blackguarding. They have this year exactly doubled the charges upon their fugitive tenantry, so that the exhibitions are reduced to a few of the capitalists. The fair, it has been ascertained beyond a doubt, is not only greatly injurious to the business of the market, but it is prejudicial to the trade of the whole neighbourhood. Even the publicans are willing to sign petitions for the purpose of stopping it altogether, as the wear and tear of their property and their constitutions, and the insults and robberies to which they are subjected, are by no means recompensed by the profits. Never was there a larger assemblage of the worst characters of both sexes, than in Smithfield at the last fair. In consequence of the high price demanded by the market committee, there was not one show on Cloth-fair side, and no more than one (Wombwell's) on the hospital side, and but four or five were ranged on the west side.—Globe.
A number of pickpockets and other thieves from Bartholomew Fair, were examined before the sitting alderman at Guildhall, and committed to prison—some for trial, and others for re-examination.— The same.
One of the police serjeants, (Mason, 15 G.) was nearly killed by a mob of ruffians from " Bartlemy Fair." He and three other officers were endeavouring to prevent an affray among them in West-street, Saffron-hill, and they were taking two of the ringleaders off to the station, when a cry of " Rescue" was raised, and the serjeant was struck on the back of his head with a heavy stone, which rendered him insensible; and he still remains in a state of great danger. Several of the ruffians are in custody.— The same.
"What do they sell?" They should sell what is good for food and refreshment. A public house was meant to be an accommodation to the public, a place of rest, and repose, and refreshment to the hungry, the thirsty, and the weary traveller: and, if carried on upon this principle, a person who keeps a public house may be a most useful member of society; and, whilst he is benefiting himself, he may be offering a safe and grateful and useful welcome to his guests. Some time ago, the keeper of a public house, who had become seriously impressed with the importance of religion, said he felt it to be his duty to give up that course of life, for he considered it to be quite contrary to the feelings of a man who saw the value of religion, and who must, therefore, be grieved to see the sinful profligacy which was constantly going on in a public house. A friend, whom he consulted, told him that he saw no need whatever for him to give up the house; that the sin was not in keeping the house, but in allowing what was 1838.] PUBLIC HOUSES. 417
wrong to go on there; and that, by encouraging what was good, and by trying to check all drunkenness and profligacy, he might be doing much good in his present occupation; and that his life would not be an unhappy one, when the thieves and drunkards had left his house, and it was frequented by sober travellers, and such respectable persons as wanted the accommodation of house room and provisions. The landlord took the advice, and his house flourished, and became known for its quietness and respectability: and the honesty of all that was made in the house, caused the home-brewed, to be so known for its goodness and genuine quality, that the neighbours were glad to send for what they wanted for their own tables; and, when there was a public meeting or dinner of any kind, the good fare and good management, and cleanliness and comfort of this house always caused it to be selected for the purpose. It has, moreover, often afforded accommodation between morning and evening church on a Sunday, for those persons who came from a distant part of the parish. Some of them brought their dinner with them, and ordered some little refreshment at the house; but the landlord was very willing that they should rest at his house, whether they spent anything or not; and there was never any drinking company on the Sunday to disturb the quietness of religious people; and the landlord always went to church himself and took his family with him. If public houses were conducted in this manner, a conscientious and religious man might keep one of them well enough, and might get an honest living without being obliged to witness the scenes of profligacy, and hear the vile and profane language which too commonly resounds from these houses. There need be no such number of these houses as there are at present, where there cannot be custom enough for all in the fair way of business; but the worst characters are brought together by the temptations which a landlord holds out, for the sake of assembling those people who like the place the better, the more wickedness is to be found in it. "What do they sell V is a question which was lately asked in a newspaper. They ought to sell food and refreshment, and to find rest for the traveller ; but this purpose seems, in many places, wholly forgotten; and, instead of being victuallers and selling victuals, as the name imports, they sell nothing but drinkables, nothing that can bring any body to the house but those who delight in wasting their time and their money in the filthy practice of drinking, when there is no necessity; and starving their families, and ruining their own characters, and destroying every feeling that might lead to what was honest, respectable, and good. V.
FROM A YOUNG LADY RESIDING IN READING, BERKS.
We go on as usual at church. Our valuable pastor is, I think, increasingly excellent, laying himself out for the good of his flock. During the summer season, he has had three services in his church, always performing the greater part himself, with the addition of catechizing the Sunday school children in the afternoon: this has been I trust a benefit to them and useful to the teachers also: for they want stirring up. And, now, let me inquire for your progress. I should think there must be hundreds of ignorant neglected children in your neighbourhood. I hope your pastor has been enabled to gather some of those little ones out of this naughty world for instruction and training in the ways of God! J. W.
GIN PALACES AND CHEAP GIN.
The inhabitants of Blackfriars-road have been greatly annoyed by the performance of bands of music stationed at two gin palaces recently opened, and the concourse of persons necessarily collected. The band representing one establishment has been driven backwards and forwards in a van, increasing the nuisance by distributing bills of the prices of the spirits in front of the house of the rival. One of these temples is a very magnificent building, the architecture being superior to that of any other similar establishment in town, and the street is illumined with the glare of three splendid lamps, at about half the height of the building, each having numerous jets of flame.
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Whilst the rise of such establishments in every neighbourhood of the metropolis is a matter which the moralist cannot pass by without reflection, the quality of the articles which they in general vend, from the nature of the ingredients employed, to enable the proprietors to diminish the prices and increase the consumption, is a matter which requires legislative inquiry and interference. The immense mass of poison distributed through their agency, independent of the moral influence of the destructive vice upon the community, is a matter, indeed, which cannot be viewed without serious alarm. By the rapid increase of such establishments, it is not too much to say that whole districts are becoming more demoralized, and proportionally increase with the wretchedness in which they are engendered. The low priced gin, which is the general excitement to indulgence, will not indeed bear chemical examination, and the nature of the ingredients which it contains is sufficient to excite a just apprehension of the physical and moral consequences which necessarily ensue from excessive indulgence. Were this confined merely to a reduction in the strength of the spirit, it would be comparatively unobjectionable; but, in addition to this, the articles employed to give a factitious strength to the reduced gin are by no means of a harmless quality. The effect of the sulphuric acid, sulphate of zinc, and some other matters employed, is to create an artificial stimulus on the palate, and excite a thirst which the drinker vainly endeavours to allay with more of the deadly fluid. It cannot be considered a matter of surprise that the first indulgence is the almost inevitable forerunner of those confirmed habits which reduce the honest and industrious to a level with the crew of wretchedness surrounding the portals of these mansions reared on their wretchedness and woe. Some excellent laws exist on the statute book for the punishment of adulteration, and the legislature cannot be considered as doing its duty for the common weal, if it any longer neglects to place this branch of trade, unhappily so much on the increase, under some judicious, efficient, and salutary control.—Hampshire Advertiser.