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To excite emulation,-praise, distinctions, rewards are necessary; and these were all employed. Those who distinguished themselves by their application, by their industry, by their address, were publicly praised and encouraged, brought forward and placed in the most conspicuous situations, pointed out to strangers who visited the establishment, and particularly named and proposed as models for others to copy. A particular dress, a sort of uniform for the establishment, which, though very economical, as may be seen by the details which will be given of it in another place, was nevertheless elegant, was provided; and this dress, as it was given out gratis, and only bestowed upon those who particularly distinguished themselves, was soon looked upon as an honorable mark of approved merit; and served very powerfully to excite emulation among the competitors. I doubt whether vanity, in any instance, ever surveyed itself with more self-gratification, than did some of these poor people when they first put on their new dress.

How necessary is it to be acquainted with the secret springs of action in the human heart, to direct even the lowest and most unfeeling class of mankind! The machine is intrinsically the same in all situations; the great secret is, first to put it in tune, before an attempt is made to play upon it. The jarring sounds of former vibrations must first be stilled, otherwise no harmony can be produced; but when the instrument is in order the notes cannot fail to answer to the touch of a skilful master. Though everything was done that could be devised to impress the minds of all those, old and young, who frequented this establishment, with such sentiments as were necessary in order to their becoming good and useful members of society (and in these attempts I was certainly successful, much beyond my most sanguine expectations), yet my hopes were chiefly placed on the rising generation.

The children, therefore, of the poor, were objects of my peculiar care and attention. To induce their parents to send them to the establishment, even before they were old enough to do any kind of work, when they attended at the regular hours, they not only received their dinner gratis, but each of them was paid three kreutzers a day for doing nothing, but merely being present where others worked.

I have already mentioned that these children, who were too young to work, were placed upon seats built round the halls where other children worked. This was done in order to inspire them with a desire to do that which other children, apparently more favored, more caressed, and more praised than themselves, were permitted to do; and of which they were obliged to be idle spectators; and this had the desired effect.

As nothing is so tedious to a child as being obliged to sit still in the same place for a considerable time, and as the work which the other more favored children were engaged in was light and easy, and appeared

rather amusing than otherwise, being the spinning of hemp and flax, with small light wheels, turned with the foot, these children, who were obliged to be spectators of this busy and entertaining scene, became so uneasy in their situations, and so jealous of those who were permitted to be more active, that they frequently solicited with the greatest importunity to be permitted to work, and often cried most heartily if this favor was not instantly granted them.

How sweet these tears were to me, can easily be imagined.

The joy they showed upon being permitted to descend from their benches and mix with the working children below, was equal to the solicitude with which they had demanded that favor.

They were at first merely furnished with a wheel, which they turned for several days with the foot, without being permitted to attempt anything further. As soon as they were become dexterous in this simple operation, and habit had made it so easy and familiar to them that the foot could continue its motion mechanically, without the assistance of the head,-till they could go on with their work, even though their attention was employed upon something else,-till they could answer questions and converse freely with those about them upon indifferent subjects, without interrupting or embarrassing the regular motion of the wheel, then-and not till then-they were furnished with hemp or flax, and were taught to spin.

When they had arrived at a certain degree of dexterity in spinning hemp and flax, they were put to the spinning of wool; and this was always represented to them, and considered by them, as an honorable promotion. Upon this occasion they commonly received some public reward, a new shirt, a pair of shoes, or perhaps the uniform of the establishment, as an encouragement to them to persevere in their industrious habits.

As constant application to any occupation for too great a length of time is apt to produce disgust, and in children might even be detrimental to health, besides the hour of dinner, an hour of relaxation from work (from eight o'clock till nine) in the forenoon, and another hour (from three o'clock till four) in the afternoon, were allowed them; and these two hours were spent in a school, which, for want of room elsewhere in the house, was kept in the dining-hall, where they were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, by a school-master engaged and paid for that pur pose. Into this school, other persons who worked in the house of a more advanced age, were admitted, if they requested it; but few grown persons seemed desirous of availing themselves of this permission. As to the children, they had no choice in the matter; those who belonged to the establishment were obliged to attend the school regularly every day, morning and evening. The school-books, paper, pens and ink, were furnished at the expense of the establishment.

To distinguish those among the grown persons that worked in the house, who showed the greatest dexterity and industry in the different manufactures in which they were employed, the best workmen were separated from the others, and formed distinct classes, and were even assigned separate rooms and apartments. This separation was productive of many advantages; for, besides the spirit of emulation which it excited and kept alive in every part of the establishment, it afforded an opportunity of carrying on the different manufactures in a very advantageous manner.

The awkwardness of these poor creatures when they were first taken from the streets as beggars and put to work, may easily be conceived; but the facility with which they acquired address in the various manufactures in which they were employed was very remarkable, and much exceeded my expectation. But what was quite surprising, and at the same time interesting in the highest degree, was the apparent and rapid change which was produced in their manners-in their general behavior, and even in the very air of their countenances upon being a little accustomed to their new situations. The kind usage they met with, and the comforts they enjoyed, seemed to have softened their hearts, and awakened in them sentiments as new and surprising to themselves as they were interesting to those about them.

The melancholy gloom of misery and air of uneasiness and embarrassment, disappeared by little and little from their countenances, and were succeeded by a timid dawn of cheerfulness, rendered most exquisitely interesting by a certain mixture of silent gratitude which no language can describe.

In the infancy of this establishment, when these poor creatures were first brought together, I used very frequently to visit them-to speak kindly to them, and to encourage them; and I seldom passed through the halls where they were at work without being a witness to the most moving scenes.

Objects, formerly the most miserable and wretched, whom I had seen for years as beggars in the streets; young women, perhaps the unhappy victims of seduction, who, having lost their reputation, and being turned adrift in the world, without a friend and without a home, were reduced to the necessity of begging to sustain a miserable existence, now recognized me as their benefactor; and, with tears dropping fast from their cheeks, continued their work in the most expressive silence.

If they were asked what the matter was with them? their answer was ("nichts") "nothing; " accompanied by a look of affectionate regard and gratitude, so exquisitely touching as frequently to draw tears from the most insensible of the by-standers.

It was not possible to be mistaken with respect to the real state of the

minds of these poor people; everything about them showed that they were deeply affected with the kindness shown them; and that their hearts were really softened, appeared not only from their unaffected expressions of gratitude, but also from the effusions of their affectionate regard for those who were dear to them. In short, never did I witness such affecting scenes as passed between some of these poor people and their children.

It was mentioned above that the children were separated from the grown persons. This was the case at first; but as soon as order was thoroughly established in every part of the house, and the poor people had acquired a certain degree of address in their work, and evidently took pleasure in it, as many of those who had children expressed an earnest desire to have them near them, permission was granted for that purpose; and the spinning halls, by degrees, were filled with the most interesting little groups of industrious families, who vied with each other in diligence and address; and who displayed a scene at once the most busy and the most cheerful that can be imagined.

An industrious family is ever a pleasing object; but there was something peculiarly interesting and affecting in the groups of these poor people. Whether it was, that those who saw them compared their present situation with the state of misery and wretchedness from which they had been taken; or whether it was the joy and exultation which were expressed in the countenances of the poor parents in contemplating their children all busily employed about them; or the air of self-satisfaction which these little urchins put on at the consciousness of their own dexterity, while they pursued their work with redoubled diligence upon being observed, that rendered the scene so singularly interesting, I know not; but certain it is that few strangers who visited the establishment came out of these halls without being much affected.

Phillis Wheatley Peters.

BORN in Africa, about 1754. Brought to America, and sold into slavery, 1761. DIED in Boston,
Mass., 1784.


[Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England.-London, 1773.]


MAGINATION! who can sing thy source,


Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
The empyreal palace of the thundering God,
We on thy pinions can surpass the wind
And leave the rolling universe behind.
From star to star the mental optics rove,
Measure the skies, and range the realms above;
There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,

Or with new worlds amaze the unbounded soul.



HROUGH airy roads he wings his instant flight
To purer regions of celestial light;
Enlarged he sees unnumbered systems roll,
Beneath him sees the universal whole,
Planets on planets run their destined round
And circling wonders fill the vast profound.
The ethereal now, and now the empyreal skies
With growing splendors strike his wondering eyes:
The angels view him with delight unknown,
Press his soft hand, and seat him on his throne;
Then smiling thus: "To this divine abode,
The seat of saints, of seraphs, and of God,
Thrice welcome thou." The raptured babe replies,
"Thanks to my God, who snatched me to the skies,
E'er vice triumphant had possessed my heart,
E'er yet the tempter had beguiled my heart,
E'er yet on sin's base actions I was bent.
E'er yet I knew temptation's dire intent;

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