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wayside smithy, the roof of which can hardly be seen over the hedge!
Think of it - but you cannot think of it as it is, unless you could see
that nailer's shop and cottage. But think of what he was, when you took
him from the anvil and sent him to school. Then he could not tell a
letter of the alphabet, and never would have read a verse in the Bible,
if it had not been for your half dimes. Now see with what delight he
searches the scriptures, and marks and commits to memory choice verses
in that Holy Book. He has taught his father to read it too, and is
teaching his sisters, and the children of the neighbors to read it, and
all good books. A great many young boys and girls in England have heard
what you did for him, and some of them are beginning to write to him,
and he answers them, and gives them good advice. The last steamer from
England brought us a nice lot of letters from him, some directed to you,
some to me, and one or two to others, I will read them to you in the
order in which they are written.


My Dear Sir:

I thought that when I wrote to you again I
should have a few subscribers for the Citizen. I
will tell you the reason why I have not got them;
they are most all primitive methodists. They have
been trying to scheme them a chapel for this last
twelve months. They are having tea parties and
missionary meetings every two or three weeks, so
they have put me off a little longer. I had a good
deal on my mind through reading the Citizen. I
opened my bible at the forty-first chapter of Isaiah
and at the sixth and seventh verses. There I read
the following words: 'They helped everyone his
neighbor, and every one said to his brother, be of
good courage; so the carpenter encouraged the
goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer
him that smote the anvil, saying, it is ready for the
sodering, and he fastened it with nails.' I thought
about Mr. Burritt's sparks. He has got a few in
England and France and America. I thought about
the Russians, if they would but examine this chapter
as well as I have, I think they would make away
with their arms, for the Lord says, them that war
against thee, they shall be as nothing and as a thing
of nought. How dare they go to war against their
Maker. I dare not. I have another word or two to
say to my young friends in America. The boys
and girls in England, they are forced to work very
hard all the week till about middle day on the Saturday,
and then they get a little time to play while
their parents go and sell their work. They frequently
come for me but I am very often forced to
deny them. I tell them that I have some reading
and writing to do. Reading and writing must be
seen to. If that apostle Paul had neglected his
reading and writing, that jailor would have never,
perhaps, seen need to have cried out, 'what must I
do to be saved,' or if Mr. Burritt had neglected his
reading and writing very likely I should never have
been able to read or write. Though you are in
America and I am in England if we put our heads
to work we dont know what we may do some day.
It does me good to read that there are so many ladies
engaged in the work. I have been asked several
times what was the price of the Citizen, but I have
not found that out yet. I dont know how you count
your money. I dont know how much a cent is.
The first three newspapers that I had, I paid five
pence each for; but now I get them for twopence
each. I keep at my old employment. I did not know
that there was any other country besides England
till I had the Citizen. While I am hammering away
with my two hammers my mind is flying all over
America and Africa and South Carolina and California
and Francisco and France and Ireland Scotland
and Wales, and then it comes back to Devonshire,
then to Mrs. Prideaux, and then to them ladies at
Bristol, and then to Mr. Fry at London, and what a
good man he is in the cause.

I remain your humble servant wish to be a fellow
laborer, heart and hand.


* * * * *

BROMSGROVE LICKEY, Dec. 28th, 1849.


I have received your letter with two sovereigns
on Dec. 26. I dare say my young friends will look
for something very good from me, but nothing very
interesting for them at this time. I will tell you
the reason. The last week before Christmas I was
working late and early all the week, and at the
end of the week my foot and hand did ache very
much. In that week I received a letter of young
Mr. Fry, a little school boy, and a beautiful letter
it was. I have read it many a time to the boys and
girls and I had to write him one back again that
week, and a few days before I had to write one to
Mr. Coulton, Superintendent of the Sunday school
at Norwood. For this two or three last years, I have
made a practice in going a carol singing on Christmas
day in the morning and of course they looked
for me again. So I started out at five o'clock and
came home at nine, and then I went to school. I
have never missed going to school on a Sunday for
this last three years. I always like to be there to
teach or to be teached. Now I have got this present
in my hand, it leads me to the Scriptures; and at
the fifty eighth chapter of Isaiah and at the second
verse: "Now they seek me daily and delight to
know my ways as a nation that did righteousness and
forsook not the ordinances of their God." They ask
of me the ordinances of justice, they take delight in
approaching to God. Now if all nations would
act to one another as America does to me, I think
that better day would soon come. When I sat down
to write this letter I thought that I would tell my
young friends how thankful I was to receive their
Christmas present; but my pen is not able to express
nor my tongue is not able to confess it.

My young friends, when Mr. Burritt came to our
house first, we had no Bible, but now we have two.
My father could not read it but your kindness has
teached me to read it and now I have teached my
father to read it, and I am trying to teach my sisters
to read it.

I remain your humble servant, wish to be a fellow


* * * * *

BROMSGROVE LICKEY, Jan. 18th, 1850.

My Dear Young Friends: - I will write you
a few more lines. I have got a very nice cloth coat
and trousers, and I have a suit from head to foot.
I have had three happy Christmases, but this is the
best I ever witnessed before. It is not because I
have had much play. I have been so busy in reading
letters and writing letters. I have received two a
week, for this last three weeks, of the friends of
peace. On the morrow after Christmas day I was
at work again. When my sisters have called me
to my breakfast or dinner, I have been forced to be
reading while I have eaten my food. One night I
was reading in the Citizen about my young friends.
I was reading about that little girl which went without
milk at supper time because I should have a
suit of clothes. My mother she dropped her head
and began to wipe her eyes, but I kept on reading
till I come to that little girl which came skipping
across the street with a good long list of names
which she had been collecting money of. I was
forced to put the paper down. I told her that you
sent that money to make me comfortable not to
make me miserable. My mother she made me
promise to pay you all again. I told her you did
not want money you only wanted me to be a good
boy and write about peace and Brotherhood, and as
soon as I can I shall send some money to pay for
some Olive Leaves and a good song to put in them.
There are some good boys in America as well as
girls. They have been very busy for me. I return
you all many sincere thanks for your kindness. I
am writing to you with pen and paper hoping sometime
I shall come and see you all face to face. I
shall not come with a sword in my hand nor a gun
nor a fine feather in my cap flying about. I shall
come with a nice book in my hand or a roll of paper
and tell you some good news. It did not take quite
all that money to buy my suit, so my sisters have
got a little shawl apiece. They have not quite worn
out their sixpenny bonnets.


* * * * *

Dear Children: -

I have read these letters to you just as Josiah wrote them. He is now
about 12 years old, "working with two hammers, one with his foot, the
other with his hand, striking off nails as fast as he can." But I should
like to compare his writing with the writing of any little boys and
girls of his age, that meet in our school-room. He has no nice desk to
write on; his pens and ink are such as he can get. There were no pen and
ink in his father's house three years ago; for no one could make letters
there when you sent Josiah to school. You see his care for his little
sisters. It did not take all the two gold sovereigns we sent him first
to pay for his suit of clothes; it would have done, if he had determined
to buy himself a nicer suit. But he remembered his sisters lovingly, and
gave part of his money to buy each of them a shawl; and pretty nice
shawls they were, we have not the slightest doubt, and took a
considerable part of the money you sent him. He knew you were kind to
him, but he did not think you would remember his sisters too, and send
them something to make them warm and comfortable through the winter.
They have received before this time the two sovereigns, or ten dollars,
which you contributed for their New Year's present. How I wish that all
of you who sent in your half dimes for them, could look in upon that
nailer's family circle when they open the letter and see two bright gold
sovereigns for the little ones. The baby will crow a little at that, and
the mother, who dropped her head and wiped her eyes, as Josiah read to
her out of the Citizen about that little girl in Newton, who went
without milk so long that he might have a suit of clothes for Christmas,
will drop her head again, but she will cry for joy, and there will be
hopping up and down for the space of fifteen minutes, I reckon, and
Josiah's black eyes will twinkle with the gladness in his heart; and the
neighbor's children will know it all before the news is two hours old,
and then you will have another letter from Josiah; and may be his oldest
sister will try her hand at a few marks for you.

And now, before I dismiss the School, I want to ask each boy and girl on
these benches, who gave a half dime for Josiah's education, if the
brightest silver dollar ever coined would buy of either of them that
half dime? Would you sell for a dollar your share in his education and
happiness, in the joy, hope and expectations which your gifts have
brought to life in that poor nailer's cottage? There are some beautiful
verses in the Bible which I hope you will write in your copy-books, and
remember all your days. "He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord,
and he will repay." And have you not been paid fifty times over for what
you gave Josiah? "It is more blessed to give than to receive," said One
who gave the greatest gift that God could give to mail. Have you not
found it so in regard to your gifts to Josiah? You see how happy you
have made him; how blessed it has been to him to receive your presents.
But how blessed and happy you must be to make him all this joy and
gladness! Ask little Phebe Alcott there, if she has not got her pay ten
times over for going without milk so many days that he might have some
warm clothes for winter. Ask little Sarah Brown if she has not been
repaid well for carrying around her subscription paper for him so many
frosty mornings in Worcester. And now, good-night. It has been a long,
long time since I met you in the School-room. Many new faces have been
added to our circle. Some that I used to see here are gone. But still,
the benches are full, and I hope no boy or girl will vacate their seat
for the next year.



* * * * *

It was our fortune to be born in the country - far away, at the foot of
one of the blue hills of Scotland - in a quaint old fashioned little
house - in a quiet little village that seemed shrunken and grey, and
grim, and decrepid with age. The drooping ashes, the solemn oaks, and
the shady plane-trees, spread their long arms tenderly over the
straw-thatched roofs of this lowly hamlet, as if to defend it from the
burning sun and reckless storms; and the Ayrshire rose and ivy crept up
and clung to its damp and crumbling walls. In the broken parts of the
gables, and in the crevices of the ruined chimneys, the dew-fed
wall-flower grew in poverty and beauty, and shook the incense from its
waving flowers into the bosom of summer. The bearded moss clustered like
a thousand little brown pin-cushions upon the old thatch, and older
stones; and sometimes the polyanthus and primrose, planted beside it by
some child who loved to look at flowers, would close their eyes and lay
their dewy checks upon the moss's breast at evening.

The only links that connected the simple, primitive people of this
little hamlet, with the purely ideal was their flowers. They did not
know about the participle mysteries that science has discovered in those
beautiful children of God, the flowers. They could not, like the poor
pariahs to whom the proud Hindoos of India will not speak, converse
poetic stories with those daughters of spring and summer; yet, they saw
something in their flowers beyond the visible and lowly circumstances of
their own every-day life - something that lifted their eyes from the
ground to heaven. The marigold, that star of the earth, with its bright,
yellow petals, reminded them of the golden stars of heaven; the daisy,
with its pure white blossom, bathed in the dew and sunlight of smiling
morning, recalled to their minds the stories they had heard in their
childhood about the diadems of fairies; and the blue forget-me-nots
seemed to twinkle like the blue eyes of the angels. And when winter
came, and the fair summer flowers faded away; moralizings on life, on
death and eternity, came sighing in their expiring exhalations, over
that simple people's souls. It was from being taught, in this way, to
love the flowers of the country, that I Cultivated sympathies which
pre-disposed me to love city flowers.

When I was first transplanted from my own green, native valley, into
the heart of a great city; when my early home was levelled to the
ground, and when its flowers were withered, never to bloom any more, I
felt as if I had come amongst grim walls to wither too, and had been
uprooted from the light and life of my youth that I might die. The birds
that wailed around me in their prison cages, seemed to weep for the
hawthorn and alder trees that were growing beside the ruins of my old
home, and I wept with them, for I, too, was sighing for nature.

As I became familiar with the lanes, and streets, and byways of the
city, I began at last to find, that there were flowers, too - flowers
beautiful as the roses in the gardens of paradise, and bright as the
smile of Abel when he worshipped his God. Day by day, in my little
walks, I passed a large square encompassed by a low wall and lofty iron
railing, in which several hundreds of boys and girls with rosy cheeks
and light hearts, sported, and sang like fairies holding festival. Here
were faces lovelier than roses; lips brighter than ripe cherries, and
eyes purer than dew; from the day I first beheld those flowers of the
city, I ceased to sigh for the country and its flowers. I used to stand
and gaze at them with grateful delight, and live over again my own
childhood's hours, as I watched their childhood's sports. By and by I
knew and became known to several of those children; I gave them kind
words, and they returned me beautiful smiles.

There was amongst that host of children one little boy whose face was
very fair; whose eyes were very bright, and whose little feet made merry
music on the smooth pavement. Girls have a strong intuitive love of the
beautiful, and Johnny with his liquid eyes, and dimpled cheeks, and
floating ringlets of gold was the favorite of all the girls at school,
often wished that I had roses to place upon his brow, and the waters of
paradise to sprinkle on his cheeks, that I might preserve their bloom
forever. But, alas! city flowers droop and fade and die; and though
tears fall, like Hermon's dews, upon the cold green earth where they are
sleeping, it will not renew their blooming, nor bring them back from the

I looked amongst the tiny throng one day, and Johnny was not there - I
came again and again, and still he was not there. "He has gone away,"
said I, "to gladden his grandmother's bosom - his grandmother, who
doubtless lives far away in some little cottage in the country. He will
soon come back again."

And he did come back again, for on a lovely summer day, when the birds
and butterflies and children were sporting in the sun, I saw him seated
in a little chair, amidst his young companions.

"Shall I soon get well again, to play with them?" said he, lifting his
pale face and sad eyes towards his mother's.

"Yes," said his mother, with a sad smile and a deep sigh, "you will
soon get well again, Johnny."

Alas no, fond mother; the bloom has gone from his cheek forever, the
beauty from his form. Henceforth, if he lives, the thoughtless will
laugh at him, as he moves painfully about the streets - the wicked will
mock him. In thy heart only, and in the bowers of paradise, shall he
now, henceforth and forever live and bloom. Slowly and sadly I saw his
pale cheek grow paler, and the lustre fade away from his eyes.

Time wore away, and this stricken flower of the city faded away with it.
He could no longer sit and look upon his former playmates; the airs of
Autumn were too cool at last for his sensitive, thin, pale, transparent

I was walking one day, in a pensive mood, along a crowded thoroughfare,
where active men jostled each other in the pursuit of business. There
was life and hope in their eyes, and vigor in their limbs. It is not on
the streets that one is likely to meet the blighted flowers of the
city - the drooping and the dying do not wither away there. Within the
chambers of silent and sorrowful homes they breathe out their lives, and
fade away.

As I walked along, gazing at the tall grim buildings and dark alleys,
that were so full of old, historical memories, I was suddenly recalled
from a reverie, by a feeble cry; and turning quickly round I saw, in
the arms of a robust and rosy lad, the wasted, corpse-like form of my
little friend. I do not know how I recognized him. It was by an
intuition of the soul, for not a feature that his countenance bore in
his healthful days, was visible.

I took his trembling little hand in mine, and shaking my head to clear
the moisture from my eyes, said I, attempting to smile - "How are you?"

"Quite well," said the dying infant, and he, too, smiled.

I knew that it was an angel that lighted up that smile - that it was the
immortal spirit, rising in sublime resignation above the vanity of
health and earthly beauty, that beamed in his blighted face.

"I cannot walk now," said Johnny, in a soft, low voice, that his panting
chest could scarcely articulate.

I could not speak - and, continued the boy, with a little sigh, and in
tremulous tones - "My mother is dead." - But thy Father, from whom the
purest and holiest things and thoughts have their being - the Source of
all light and life and beauty and goodness, lives to thee Johnny, said I
in my heart. Poor little blighted city flower, thought I, as I looked at
him through my tears - immortal flower of humanity - purer and lovelier
now in thy pain and resignation than when thy cheeks were rosy, and thy
laugh was like a song-bird's music; thou shall soon be transplanted to a
land where no sorrows, sighs, and pains are known; thy little feeble
frame will moulder away beneath the daisy and the weeping snow-drop, but
thy purified soul shall bloom in everlasting glory, in the bosom of God.

Oh! you who are strong and full of life, speak gently to the fragile,
drooping, blighted flowers of cities, and do not scorn them. They once
were beautiful; and now they only linger sadly here, with no mother to
cherish them. Kind words and gentle looks are everlasting sunshine to
city flowers.

Around the throne of God are white-winged cherubim, whose countenances
are purer than transparent snow, and whose voices are sweeter than that
of the angel Azazil, who leads the choir of the daughters of Paradise.
Those are the souls of little children, who have suffered in their
bodies and in their affections, and who have yet complained not. The
soul of little Johnny blooms brightly amongst those celestial spirits - a
flower of heaven.



_ELIHU BURRITT_, Proprietor.




_Edmund Fry_, London, _Ernest Lacan_, Paris.

THE SEVENTH VOLUME of this large and popular Family Newspaper, commenced
Jan. 1st. 1850. Devoted to

_Christianity and Reform, Literature, Education, Science, Art,
Agriculture and News._




* * * * *

The Citizen is the organ of no party or sect, but expresses freely the
sentiments of its editors upon all the great reformatory questions of
the day. Sympathising with all the great enterprises of Christian
benevolence, it especially speaks against all war in the spirit of
peace. It speaks for the slave as a brother bound; and for the abolition
of all institutions and customs which do not respect the image of God
and a human brother, in every man, or whatever clime, color or condition
of humanity.

All orders should be POST PAID and directed to either of the Editors, at

* * * * *


The Second Edition of this collection is just published, with additions
and a


The rapid sale of the first edition of the collected writings of Mr.
Burritt, has rendered necessary the second edition, to which we have
added TWELVE pages of matter, and an Electrotype portrait of the author.

Price, 25 cents a single copy. A liberal discount made to those who buy
quantities to sell again.

All orders should be addressed post paid to

_THOMAS DREW, Jr., Worcester, Mass._



* * * * *

Under this title, we propose to publish a series of little
sweet-breathing books, filled with instructive stories and sentiments,
illustrating the overcoming power of kindness and love, and the beauty
of peace. They will be written by persons of highly cultivated hearts
and minds in England and America, and be adapted and designed for
circulation among children in Sunday Schools, Common Schools, and other
institutions for the education of the young, and in family circles
generally. We trust that their benevolent teachings, and the Christian
spirit which pervades them, will commend them to Sunday School Teachers,
and all others engaged in the moral education of children, as
appropriate gifts to the young.



Online LibraryAnonymousJemmy Stubbins, or the Nailer Boy Illustrations of the Law of Kindness → online text (page 2 of 2)