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arrangements which turn out useful and comfortable to both parties. Friends in the remote part of the state of New York send contributions of work, which are sold in a room called the Store of the Home. Much that is the fruit of taste, ingenuity, and notableness is to be procured there—especially the pretty patched quilts, lightly lined with cotton, and neatly quilted, which make a cover as light, and at the same time as warm, as any eiderdown you may sleep under in Germany. Under the power of machinery, making Marseilles quilts and rugs of all colours, patterns, and dimensions, so quickly, and at such moderate rates, we in Britain are losing the notable habits of our grandmothers. It would require some practice before we could produce such nice quilts as are to be seen in all the American institutions.
The Female Guardian Society has added to its other efforts at usefulness a semi-monthly paper, called the Female Advocate. Together with moral instruction conveyed in tales and poetry, which are tasteful as well as religious, it records instances of the escape from danger and temptation of some friendless females, and introduces salutary warnings and cautions as to hidden snares. It notices books in unison with its peculiar subjects, and gives pertinent hints on education, training of servants, and housekeeping in general. The paper is well conducted, and by its wide circulation extends an interest in the success of the plans of the “Home for the Friendless” many hundred miles beyond the city.
There is a common sense about American charities, which sometimes brought the towered halls and pinnacles of “mine own romantic town” to mind in rather vexatious contrast. With us, a rich manwho may have been niggard of kindness to his poor relatives, or secretly chuckled at their procuring private aid from the society for helping decayed gentlewomen-is about to make his will. He cannot carry money to the world he is approaching. He transfers his covetousness to a new object, and now becomes desirous of posthumous fame. He bequeaths his hoard for the building of an hospital to bear his name to posterity, which is to prefer, in its charitable entertainment, candidates who are his namesakes. His trustees come into guardianship of the hoard. Do they hasten to fulfil the last will and testament, so that the poor may have bread and the orphan education ? No such thing. Those who come under the description of the will are in no pressing need. So the trustees set their thoughts on enriching with another splendid building their native city, already rich in architectural ornaments. They put the fund out to nurse for ten or twenty years, till they can make something handsome, something in keeping with this edifice, or that will form a grand point of view in reference to that. After a generation has passed, it rises a noble building, with no particularly noble name; and by and by it is occupied; but often with children who would have learned more of domestic affection and family virtue, and thus have made better heads of families in their turn, had they remained at their father's hearth, where they might, out of his honest earnings, have been educated in the parish school, and grown stout and hearty on his homely fare.
In America the order of progress is reversed. A pressing want is felt—a man or woman with energy, and a Christian heart to guide it, falls in with two or three orphans. What is to be done with them? Some compassionate friends are consulted. They join purses, hire a room, and engage a nurse. Presently another and another claimant on their humanity appears. They must hire a larger house. They must interest a wider circle, and by that means find access to their purses. Before another year passes over them, you shall find them under legislative protection, making their laws, receiving legacies, purchasing lots, and at last erecting a handsome and substantial edifice. By the time the building is finished, the inmates rejoice to enter on its more roomy and airy premises.
I believe I am correct in giving this as the history of the Orphan, the Half Orphan, and the Coloured Orphan Asylums, the Home for the Friendless, and the Coloured Home. It is not first a gorgeous palace, and then the inmates. It is first the cry of the widow and fatherless, then the heart stirred with compassion, and after that the house of shelter.
Edinburgh has many institutions the result of spontaneous benevolence. But it is a contradictory state of things, that, while we have magnificent asylums which are not much required, the really important places, such as the Refuge, the Night Refuge, the Maternity Hospital, the Shelter, the Delinquents' Refuges, and the Ragged Schools, can barely find funds to sustain them. One circumstance which depresses our charities is, that in our thronged population, if once one becomes a claim. ant for external help, he is likely always to be a burden. There is no room to plant him, no hope of being rid of him. In America thousands get a lift when under casual pressure, and pass on. Newlylanded and newly-born emigrants are aided in their extremity, but soon find place and means of support, and are heard of no more. In a year or two they are thriving “down east,” or “out west,” adding to the resources of the country instead of burdening them. · In examining the reports with which, without waiting for solicitation on my part, I was in every place bountifully furnished, I find evidence that necessity is invariably first proved, and then it operates as the mainspring of action. Thus the applications for a night's shelter, made at the Rosine House, Philadelphia, by women who had not the melancholy claim of its poor wanderer inmates, led to the formation of the “ Temporary Home Association,” for the benefit of friendless women and children, somewhat on the plan of our House of Industry, or our Servants' and Sailors' Homes — houses which not only alleviate present necessities, but act as preventives against surrounding dangers.
Were it not for fear of prolixity, it would be an enjoyment to myself to describe minutely what is to be seen in many of these charitable retreats from the world's hardships. I might mention the contented expression of countenance of many a dusky woman approaching to her eightieth year, and her expressions, not of complaint in the midst of infirmities, but of gratitude that God had afforded her a comfortable bed and room, with only other three in it, to wait so quietly in, till He calls her home. I might describe the sick-ward in the Coloured Home, and the tender pity of the ladies, fitting from couch to couch, reading with one, giving a tract to another, and speaking kindly to a third. I might tell of my deep interest in the coloured orphans in another house—their lively recital of lessons, their almost lightning-look, questioning of each other in turntheir skill in the geography of the United Statestheir sweet and cheerful songs, so well adapted to the country and to themselves. I might tell of little ones there, under strong spiritual influence, taking charge of putting some younger than themselves to bed, and being overheard, evening after evening, exhorting, imploring, and praying with them. I might mention their essays laid in the committee