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poor-rates, as a collateral security; this was rejected by the Lords, and again in 1789, after it passed the Commons a second time. But in 1793 passed the first Act to be found in the statute book, which Mr. George Rose originated, with the concurrence of Mr. Pitt, and which is mentioned in page 97 of the Magazine. Bearing in mind the last date, and the years in which were passed the two Acts (also there mentioned), as to unlawful assemblies and oaths, it wants small penetration to arrive at the reason why affiliated societies were formed.
The originators of the Manchester Unity may have said, "the Freemasons are excepted from very stringent enactments because their lodge meetings have been in great measure devoted to charitable purposes. Šo have Friendly Society meetings. The suppressed political corresponding societies must have some useful men amongst them. Why not employ them? Our societies have been hitherto isolated. They must be combined. Better still, as many men have not yet joined any of them, because they no longer benefit the members if they remove from the locality, why should we not have some second Order, which may at least deserve the same consideration as this Masonic fraternity? It shall at least be more useful to the working classes-it shall have attractions-it shall bestow honours-it shall be managed by themselves." Such the budding of this great association. Such the expression of strong desire for some combination, upon, fortunately, a most worthy object. For while performing a pleasing duty in practising the precept, "Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you," an opening was found to satisfy the legitmate ambition of every one who sought to become a man of mark amongst his fellows. At that time the little difficulties which beset you in understanding the Unity could not be experienced; simplicity must have been supreme; and now, from long experience-sometimes troubles-have been evolved a mass of useful laws, which at present cause a seeming complication; but which, I trust you will soon learn, can always be accounted for.
You say the peculiar customs-so different from outside life-seem very strange. Of course they do-if it were not so you would have been disappointed. You knew, when you asked me to introduce you, it was a secret society; when initiated, you obtained the first secret, and, you admit, you did so amidst some charming novelty you will not soon forget. Why there should be so much fuss about initiation? you ask. It was only in your imagination. You were in a new place, expecting SOMETHING. The Society knew that, and "first impressions," you know, are proverbial. You were reluctant when being "walked up and down the room," as you called it; but do you not see that if you were to introduce a friend to any new company you would do the same, and let his name be known, or how could he become personally acquainted with ALL present, that they might remember him in future? Could anything be more delicate or neat than your initiation? But, "going out to work your way in," was nonsense, you think. Was it? You told me lately you heard a fellow workman repeat the pass word he had heard at a lodge door, and boasting he could get in. You said you wouldn't bother with him, because you knew he couldn't. Think now, in saying that, if you did not admit the use of learning to work the way in. Would it not have been indulging you in laziness to have invited you to sit down, and watch others, so that you might learn? How much better was it to come in boldly and properly, having mastered your little duty, and make some first impressions upon the minds of your brothers, who, you know, consider that if you do little things well, you may, after probation, be entrusted with more important matters.
With the charge, you say you are satisfied—indeed, you were surprised and pleased. I am glad to hear you say so. It would be well if every member always recollected its import, and acted upon it.
Reading the Magazine and other books, you say you are now for the first time gaining the knowledge that with increased age may be expected increased sickness, as compared with any lower age; and that the average length of life is less every year a man grows older; but you can't comprehend why our lodge should have been so very particular, with the form, to know your birthday and your wife's. Let me ask you to suppose an Assurance Office granting a policy upon some friend's life, he telling them he is 27 years of age he dies immediately, and the directors ask for proof of his age-the parish register is referred to, and he turns out to have been baptized 29 years since-"he made a mistake," the poor widow says "he intentionally committed a fraud upon this office," say the directors, "and we shall not pay anything." Would it not have been better had he been careful to be correct when he was living, and taken a little more trouble over a matter of business. The premium he paid was thrown away; and the provision he made for HER, nothing! In our little business of Odd-fellowship we must be as precise as an Assurance Company, and the general law properly requires proof of age on initiation. No honest man should write down a lie, and declare it to be truth, for the paltry motive of saving a few shillings yearly in contribution. It becomes him to think, be careful, and truthful, for if he is not, he will forfeit his claim to sick pay, and be expelled-never to enter the society again-or if not discovered till his death, his widow's claim for funeral money will then be rejected. It is for his convenience to do right in the time of health and vigour. Would you like to be asked when first taken sick to prove your age the lodge having doubts, and they must be cleared up-before you receive anything, or when you die would you like your widow to be then asked? To her, perhaps, the money would be necessary at once, and through your neglect on initiation she would suffer delay and expense in obtaining the proof, at such a time of trouble! But this is not all. You have learnt that the secretary of your lodge has to send to the District C.S. every year a return of the number and ages of members initiated, and of the number and ages of members and wives dying; these returns are collected, and sent to the C.S. of the Order, for him to analyse for publication, and you, with other members, are interested in learning the result. Every five years a much larger return is required-the exact age of every member and wife, and, placed opposite, the exact sickness experienced by the members during that period, with all the deaths distinctly stated. From similar returns have all previous results of the average sickness amongst members been collected; not merely the sickness on the given number of members in the Order, but the average sickness amongst all of each age, of each trade, and in particular localities; then also the number of deaths, not only the whole number of members and wives, but, as before, at each age, in each trade, and each locality. General law empowers the Directors to require any other information they may think necessary. Now consider, how is it possible for your lodge secretary to do his humble share in this great work if you allow your fellow-members to over-ride the laws, and make some muddy ones of their own, refusing to take ten minutes trouble to assist with full particulars for entry in your lodge register! Such conduct is not becoming, but one sometimes hears it is practised by "old" members. How can a secretary have an intuitive knowledge of such particulars, merely because a stranger is brought into the lodge-room and called brother? This would be a tremendous "secret" to possess! If you are asked what good there is in all this figuring, give a simple answer. Tables of payments and benefits are calculated upon certain expected sickness and duration of life. If the Unity experience for five years, ending December, 1860, shows different results, that less
than the expected sickness has been experienced, and that the number of deaths at each age has been less than what was calculated upon, every member's payment might be reduced; but if, on the other hand, the sickness and mortality should have exceeded previous averages, common prudence would require the contributions to be increased for future members. Either way it might be but a shilling or so difference, yearly, to each; but, with the vast number in the Unity, see what a great difference in its income and stability would be made, to say nothing of the public credit gained by being RIGHT.
You remarked once, when sick money was being voted, that it was a pity members should have their misfortunes made known so publicly. You had forgotten the benefits are a right, the honestly earned reward of a member's prudence and forethought. Then, why need he be ashamed to demand them, or you for him? Notice in future the order kept when claims are being considered, how the member's declaration and surgeon's certificate must be plain and of even date, how some present volunteer to visit the sick brother, how next week оTHERS are appointed, and you often hear some not appointed say they have also seen him. Do you know what little services they may have rendered, beside taking the sick allowance? Can you tell how many weary hours, to the sick man, have been beguiled by those who have been reading to him, chatting about "old times," or talking of the hopeful future. You will never know till you go and do likewise, and learn the warm and grateful attachments formed on such visits. Shall we suppose now you do things in your way: you would be content with the secretary saying a claim is made-to have money voted-he take it, or the N.G.-next lodge night the same, and so on continually, until a sudden revelation is made that the member is not sick at all, but able to work, and works at home. Can such things be? Yes, they have been, but happily not often. The sum assured at death has been paid on false documents whilst the member was living. It is your duty-the duty of every member-to prevent such things by removing any possible temptation. I do not say your officers intend to defraud. I say you should not neglect lodge business, and leave a chance for their yielding to unfortunate circumstances if they arise.
So much attention being required for the sick and funeral fund only, you fear you cannot properly attend to the others; the Widow and Orphan fund, for instance. But it follows that whilst guarding others you are doing the work for this, for seldom any claim comes upon it but has been already sifted for the funeral fund. In some districts fixed annuities are given to widows for life, or widowhood, and during good behaviour, and to orphans until attaining a certain age. In others, gifts are made in the discretion of the district or managing committee. Your duty is to see that all claims arising in your lodge are proper ones; and that the fund is well based for securing the benefits given. And if you can help a widow and her offspring in any way, pray do so. Your own may require the same kind assistance. In our next we shall have something to say of the Incidental Expense Fund, and other matters interesting to every true Odd-fellow.
A VISIT TO DONALDSON'S HOSPITAL.
AMONG the many splendid memorials of individual munificence adorning the British islands, few if any can compare with the magnificent structure known by the name of Donaldson's Hospital, situated on the Glasgow road, a short distance from the city of Edinburgh.
Conspicuous from the Castle Hill, in fact from almost any elevated position in the town, it cannot fail to attract the stranger's attention, as much from the beauty of its situation as from the imposing nature of its architectural structure. Truly palatial in its appearance, it eclipses ancient Holyrood altogether as a residence for royalty.
Its founder, James Donaldson, was a printer and newspaper proprietor, who died in 1830. The building, which cost £25,000, was nine years in the course of erection, from designs by Mr. Playfair, the well-known Edinburgh architect. It has now been opened rather more than eight years for the education and maintenance of boys and girls from all parts of the kingdom, about 60 of them being deaf and dumb. For these a special system of instruction is provided. It is built to accommodate 300 children, but as £8,000 per annum of the funds is vested in annuities of from £300 to £400, settled upon relatives of the founder, the number of inmates is not yet complete, although gradually increasing as the annuities fall in. If I remember rightly, there are now 100 boys and 70 girls, besides the deaf and dumb.
Furnished with an order from a competent authority (who must either be a trustee of the charity, or a relative of the founder), I accompanied some friends to the building, which is indeed well worthy of a visit, as our guide-book informed us. A respectable official, a lodge-keeper at the entrance gate, having duly examined our passport, permitted us to proceed up the broad gravel walk and on to the terrace in front of the building; another liveried servant met us in the doorway and conducted us into the hall, in the centre of which, on a table, is a handsome model of the original plan of the building, which proved too expensive to be carried out, although not altogether lost sight of in the present quadrangular structure, with its turreted towers, in the Elizabethan style of architecture.
Under the escort of this most efficient and communicative guide we made the tour of the building, after first visiting the committee or founder's room, in which all business connected with the charity is transacted. The walls are adorned with portraits of the worthy founder, his parents, the architect, and the late medical attendant of the hospital. The expression of the mouth in the portrait of Mrs. Donaldson is so peculiar that it attracts the attention of all visitors; the corners are drawn down in a curve on either side-a peculiarity less conspicuous, but also noticeable, in the more mirthful physiognomy of her son.
From the founder's room we went to the large and airy dining-rooms, which the girls and boys had but recently vacated, and thence to the kitchens, where a blazing fire and huge coppers, still containing a small remainder of soup, gave us a little idea of the amount of cooking which had been going on: we also inspected a monster copper, originally intended for the wholesale manufacture of tea; but milk is now substituted for that beverage, perhaps out of consideration for the nerves of the junior branches of the establishment, some of whom are admitted at the age of six-they all leave at fifteen. Having examined all the culinary arrangements, and heard the proportions of soup, meat, and rice-pudding allowed for the nourishment of the various inmates of the hospital, we entered the extensive clothes-washing department, just then in full activity.
Here the newest inventions (of American origin, I believe), for washing the greatest number of things in the smallest possible time, were being most successfully employed. Towels at the rate of 300 in ten minutes, and other articles with proportionate expedition, underwent a thorough cleansing before being finished off in the drying-room, which we next entered. Not less interesting and efficient were the contrivances there in operation. In one part of the room was a row of hot-presses, which, upon being pulled
out from the wall, and pushed backwards and forwards at pleasure upon miniature tram-roads in front of them, exhibited an interior of heated rollers, on which the linen dried almost instantaneously; the pipes for this branch of the business were also connected with a stove at the further end of the room, on which irons innumerable stood hot and ready for immediate use.
The greatest neatness and cleanliness were everywhere observable, and as there are but nineteen servants in the whole establishment, much of the scrubbing and dusting is accomplished by the children themselves. Whoever were the cleaners, the apartments and extensive corridors on every basement were in a condition highly creditable to their exertions, for there was not a speck of dirt "visible to the naked eye;" all the more surprising, when it is remembered that our visit was not upon a "show-day," or under circumstances which necessitate an "extra polish" for the benefit of strangers, the building being open at any time for the inspection of visitors with the requisite order.
The chapel is a very beautiful part of the edifice, furnished with a goodly array of open benches, wood painted and varnished, to look like oak, in keeping with the roof. Not being devoted to Episcopalian service, it is unconsecrated, and is used occasionally for the distribution of prizes and other purposes. The stained glass window at the further end is divided into fifteen compartments; those in the centre containing personifications of the Christian graces, Temperance, Faith, &c.; Moses, David, and other Scripture characters being represented on either side. Stained glass windows along the walls of the chapel shed a pleasant, subdued light over the interior. Over the entrance is a memorial tablet to John Irving, erected by the trustees of the charity, with which he was also officially connected. The girls' lavatory was the room we first entered on the upper floor; it was fitted up with the same completeness which had characterised the other departments. Hot and cold water is laid on; the tap for the former being carefully concealed, however (as our conductor informed us), as the little ones are apt to play tricks, and might do some mischief, if they knew where to find the boiling water. The basins, all fixtures, are arranged in a half oval, and provided with perforations near the edge, so that the water should not overflow, in event of the tap being let to run, as it very often is unintentionally by the deaf mutes. In the boys' room both shower and swimming baths were provided. In fact, everything that can contribute to cleanliness and comfort seems to have been procured.
The dormitories, all precisely alike, contain twelve little beds, with the night attire and comb-bag of each occupant neatly arranged at the head. Four small looking-glasses are allowed in every room. The entire building is lighted with gas, and so effectually warmed by it that the numerous fireplaces along the corridors have never yet been required.
Besides the numerous dormitories on the second story, there is another floor above, appropriated to invalids; but apparently little used, as, notwithstanding the number of young children collected together under one roof, there have been but three deaths within the last five years, at least such was the statement at the time of our visit, a few months back.
There is a kitchen to the invalid department, a consulting room for surgeons, provided with a medicine chest of anything but homoeopathic proportions, and a nurse's room, out of which, on either side, is a door opening into two sick wards, each containing four beds; the flooring of the entire suite as white as any we had yet seen.
Once more downstairs, we were shown the teachers' private room, and the girls' play-room, a nice sized, octogon apartment, provided with an ample supply of pegs for the bonnets and satchels, which hung all round the wainscoating.