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disposed to furnish on the following “ What persons may practise in points :

the Vice-Chancellor's Court? “ 1. The amount of your corporate

« Is the number of such persons revenues and their specific applica- limited by any statute, or by custom? tion.

“ What qualification, or course of “2. The sources from which each study, is required of those who are portion of the income is derived, and appointed to practise in the court ? the amount arising from each source.

ir What has been the number of “ 3. The proportion of your cor

suits in the court in each of the last porate property which is let on rack

five years ? rent, and on lives, or for terms of “ What is the most usual cause of years; and the principle on which civil action in the court? fines are set.

“ What is the expense of each “ 4. The emoluments of the head- party, under ordinary circumstances, ship, of the several fellowships, stu- in a suit for the recovery of a debt of dentships, scholarships, demyships, 201. ? or the like.

“What length of time, under or“5. The number, value, and dinary circumstances, passes from period of tenure of the several unin- the first to the last step in a defended corporated scholarships, exhibitions, suit for the recovery of such a debt ? or the like.

Are the witnesses examined in open “Her Majesty's Commissioners court? Do they give their testimony also request that you will furnish orally? Are they subject to oral them with a copy of your statutes, cross-examination? If not, be so and with any decrees made by the good as to state how they are exavisitor.-I have the honour to be, mined and cross-examined. Gentlemen, your obedient humble “ If a defendant be sentenced to servant,

pay a debt or sum of money to a “ A. P. STANLEY, Secretary." plaintiff, how is the payment en

forced? Oxford University Commission, “ How are the costs of litigating

Downing-street, Nov. 1859. parties in the court taxed, and by “Sir-Her Majesty's Commission- whom? ers for the University of Oxford re- “ I have the houour to be, sir, quest that you will have the goodness your obedient humble servant, to furnish them with answers to the A. P. STANLEY, Secretary." following questions :

To Correspondents:

Our correspondent, “A Country Master," appears to beg the question, or at least he assumes what requires to be proved : he speaks boldly of our present absurd orthography," and of “what is erroneously called the right method of spelling words," and he applies these expressions generally ; i.e., without immediate reference to the education of the “dull and dense.” We cannot afford to part with anything which serves as a clue to the original meaning of words, and we should not admit our correspondent's general conclusion, even if it could be proved by a very extensive induction, that the phonetic system is a good introduction to the Romanic. To our correspondent, who would fain see the Romanic system abolished altogether, surely this can be no recommendation.

G. N. S. J.'s mode appears to be a good one; but our November correspondent proceeds upon a true principle-that bad spelling is infectious, and that repeated right impressions made upon the retina do more good than the admission and momentary correction of wrong ones. He speaks of dictation as generally practised.

A Subscriber” will find Turner's Notes to Herodotus useful.

33

EXTRACTS FROM THE PRIVATE DIARY OF THE MASTER

OF A LONDON RAGGED SCHOOL. [This diary was not written for publication : it contains, however, told in a quaint way, much that is interesting and instructive.]

No. 7.

THE LITERATURE OF OUR ALLEY. Of the ballads, which, as we have already shown, constitute the staple of “the Literature of our Alley,” those which refer specially to social subjects, are for the most part not available, as they contain allusions and expressions which might be misunderstood.

• Many of them are the songs of transports, and felons of various grades, who review their past life or future prospects :

“ It was a few hours after her father did appear,
And march'd me back to Omer gaol in the county of Tyrone,
And there I was transported from Erin's lovely home;
When I heard my sentence it grieved my heart full sore,

And parting from my true love it grieved me ten times more.” The next verses inform us, that his “true love” politely called at the gaol to say, that she would remain unmarried until the transport's return

“Erin's lovely home.” These songs seem to hold transportation very lightly; and they, with few exceptions, allude to the return of the felons to this country:

There is a girl in London town, a girl I love full well;

If e'er I get my liberty along with her I'll dwell."

to

former part

Throughout these songs there is not the least expression of remorse, nor do their authors attempt to make the victims of the law give vent to feelings of contrition or sorrow for the past, nor do they ever suggest, that the criminal loses more than his liberty by the punishment awarded for his crimes. He is always made to speak of returning to his friends, as if nothing out of the way had happened ; and I have remarked, in a

of

my diary, that this is the actual state of the case in their society. They have very little or no feeling of shame; their behaviour would lead to the belief that they rather gloried in their degradation than otherwise. This is, perhaps, the most unpromising feature in their character.

I quote from the spoken” part of a song about the police court, which

says little for their natural affection :“Now, what is this man brought up for? Felony.--Aye, I think you've been here before. No, I arnt. I think you have; answer me directly, sir ; haven't you been here before? Vell then, I are, and vhat then? it vasn't felony to beat my own mother, vos it? That vas all I vas brought up before for.—How do you live? I can't tell.- Where do you get your bread ? . I can't tell.- Who are your parents ? I don't know; you don't think I'm such a soft tommy to go for to criminate myself, vhen 'torney told me vhen I vos up before, not to answer any questions, and he got me off. No, no, it vont do!”

VOL. IX.-NO, II.

B

I pass over such songs as refer to the parish officials, songs descriptive of wakes and marriages, and the like; because the Irish poor rather cherish the poor law than otherwise, and the numerous squibs against their peculiar customs do not gratify them; it is the lower order of English people who rejoice in what are called Irish songs, and not the Irish themselves. I think it is well, also, to state that I merely quote those sentiments from the ballads, which I feel assured the people entertain ; I do this with the view of broaching the question, as to whether an effort made to cleanse their literature, might not be an important step in the right direction for the improvement of these people. I have an idea that their welfare is intimately connected therewith. They are influenced by their ballads to an extent which a casual observer would not readily credit. The railway mania did not create a greater sensation on the Stock Exchange, than did the Negro Melodists in our streets and alleys. I do not mean to allude to the historical ballads further than to say, that to the perusal of them the inhabitants of the alleys are indebted for any little historical knowledge they possess. “ Adam” figures in a ballad, and so does “ Prince Charlie.” Yet I do not affirm that the chain of song between them is complete--although the old mysteries are traceable; but from the times of the Stuarts down to those of the Nepaulese, ambassador and General Haynau, no man of note has figured in the world, who has not been the subject of the people's doggrel.

“ Lord Melbourn down to Windsor went,

As you may understand,
And bolted in the castle,

Like a little leg of Lamb.
He told the Queen the Tory lords

Was in the mire stuck.
What shall I do, your Majesty ?
Then little John, set out upon

His horse so fine and gay,
With the mutilated Poor Law Bill,

To Windsor went his way.

“The Nepaulese Songster,” which is printed in the ballad form, that is, in one sheet, measures a fathom and a half, measured as sailors measure ropes on board ship. It is more remarkable for its length of sheet than for the delicacy of its songs. The beautiful wife of the Chief Hankyway is described as having fine teeth :

“ And with them oft, the white men's flesh

She prov'd she'd griddle too." The songs of emigrants and emigration are innumerable. The next ballad is from the pen of one who could be satisfied nowhere, except, perhaps, as a citizen of the model republic :

There no petty workhouse lord

Tears a man and wife apart;
There no pamper'd tax-fed horde,

Preys upon a nation's heart."

But others leave their native country with a better spirit :-.

They say there's bread and work for all,

And the sun shines always there;
But I'll not forget ould Ireland,

Were it fifty times as fair.” “ England is going down the hill.” This songster makes a lady provide for some fatherless children, as if she were doing no more than her duty :

“ 'Twas then, said the lady to the little town's boy,

What food on the road did you have ?” To go about making such inquiries would seem to be a lady's business :

A lady standing by, who heard the little boy to cry,

With a voice so meek and low ;
Then her eyes did start with tears, saying,

Come my little dears,
For compassion I'm resolved for to show,-
So quickly gave them a shelter from the storm.

She did it with a free good will,
For she said, there's none can learn under

What planet they were born,
Whilst old England is going down the hill."
The cadgers and tramps have their songs also :-

TUNE.—All round my Hat.
“ All round the squares and round about the airies,

All round the squares in a quiet arternoon;
And, when the flunkies turns their backs, I comes the presto business,
And takes unkimmin care of all their silver spoons.
All round the squares Sal lugs a pair of babbies ;
All round the squares Sal lugs a pair of twins ;
And when the public passes by, she pinches them voraciously,
Which inakes the babbies for to cry, and sympathy it vins.”

Tune.—The Long Letter.
" Then I flings my corpse into the river,

Where there's plenty to drag me safe on shore:
Sal comes up, a long tale to deliver,

To say I've been out of vork six months or more.
Tears from the people's eyes are flowing -

Ten or twelve bob, they gathers one soon ;
Then off ve goes, vith a vink so knowing,

And gets jolly drunk at the Man in the Moon. Then ve takes up the starved Manchester chizzle-myself, Sarah, and the kids. Ve turns out of a morning vith clean mugs, and myself vith a vite apron in front of me, and I pitches 'em a yarn. The Duk, werry much infected, sent me down a fourpenny bit, and told me to call some day vhen he was out. No! sooner than I'd stoop to a Joey, I'd drive a cab on the Thames, or bail out the sea vith a mustard spoon.” .

The tramp differs from the cadger, inasmuch as he works occasionally:

"I'm a roving journeyman,

And I rove from town to town;
Wherever I get a job of work,

I'm willing to set down.
With

my
kit

upon my shoulders,
And my stick then in my hand ;
It's down the country I will go,

A roving journeyman.
But when I came to Carlow,

The girls all jumped for joy ;
Saying one unto the other,

Here comes a roving boy.
One treats me to a bottle,

And another to a dram."

The tramps are usually drunkards :

“Of such pals, oh ! how sweet the communion,

From each other we never will roam ;
While we keep ourselves out of the Union,'

We'll still have a drop at our home.”
And they very often fall out with the parish authorities :-
“ Who are you?

Faith, I'm four-score next Lady-day, and so feeble I can hardly walk. - How the Devil did you get there? Faith, I walked, your Reverence.-Oh, then, if you are able to walk, and to go of errands, you may walk off. Oh, bad luck to me, if that a’nt the Poor-law.–Well, I know it is the Poor-law, and it must not be broken, because it has lately been amended. Ah, your Poor-law is like the Humane Society—all the good you do, is done with a hook !—What is all that noise about? Why, your Honour, it's the poor undone pauper's petition to Just Starve us :

Hear, O bear us, our parish king,
Th' workhouse bell with fury ring ;
All who love their children sing,

Hear us, O hear!
Then tell us what can be worse,
Than a hungry maw and an empty purse ;
Mercy show, and pity us-

Great Overseer.”

Those who believe that Teetotalism can regenerate the world, have their opinions strongly supported in the “ Railroad to Hell; or, if you will, from Dissipation to Poverty, and from Poverty to Desperation," which, among other things, tells us :

We've White and Black Bulls, and two Suns, in one street ;
One Swan and two Lions which never taste meat;
And here you see women, with bottles and jugs,
Roll into these Taverns and Dram-drinking snugs,

As brazen as brass, to get an odd glass,
In some of these shops which a fool cannot pass.”

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