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Such is the spot which true Christian benevolence
has, for some time, marked as a chosen
field for its most unostentatious operations.
It was first taken possession of, with a view
to its improvement, by the London City
Mission, a body represented in the district by
a single missionary, who has now been for
about twelve years labouring–––and not
without success–––in the arduous work of its
purification; and who, by his energy, tact, and
perseverance, has acquired such an influence
over its turbulent and lawless population, as
makes him a safer escort to the stranger
desirous of visiting it, than a whole posse
of police. By the aid of several opulent
philanthropists whom he has interested in his
labours, he has reared up within the
district two schools, which are numerously
attended by the squalid children of the
neighbourhood––each school having an Industrial
Department connected with it. An exclusively
Industrial School for boys of more
advanced age has also been established, which
has recently been attached to the Ragged
School Union. In addition to these, another
institution has been called into existence, to
which and to whose objects the reader's
attention will be drawn in what follows.

The Pye Street Schools being designed only
for children––many of whom, on admission,
manifest an almost incredible precocity in
crime––those of a more advanced age seeking
instruction and reformation were not eligible
to admission. In an applicant of this class,
a lad about sixteen, the master of one of the
schools took a deep interest from the earnestness
with which he sought for an opportunity
of retrieving himself. He was invited to
attend the school, that he might receive
instruction. He was grateful for the offer, but
expressed a doubt of its being sufficient to
rescue him from his criminal and degraded
course of life.

"It will be of little use to me," said he,
"to attend school in the daytime, if I have to
take to the streets again at night, and live, as
I am now living, by thieving."

The master saw the difficulty, and
determined on trying the experiment of taking
him entirely off the streets. He accordingly
paid for a lodging for him, and secured him
bread to eat. For four months the lad lived
contentedly and happily on "bread and
dripping," during which time he proved his
aptitude for instruction by learning to read, to
write tolerably well, and to master all the more
useful rules in arithmetic. He was shortly
afterwards sent to Australia, through the
kindness of some individuals who furnished
the means. He is now doing well in the new
field thus opportunely opened up to him, and
the experiment of which he was the subject
hid the germ of the Institution in question.

In St. Anne Street, one of the worst and
filthiest purlieus of the district, stands a house
somewhat larger and cleaner than the miserable,
rickety, and greasy-looking tenements
around it. Over the door are painted, in
large legible characters, the following words;
"The Ragged Dormitory and Colonial Train
ing School of Industry." On one of the
shutters it is indicated, in similar characters,
that the house is a refuge for "Youths who
wish to Reform." None are admitted under
sixteen, as those under that age can get
admission to one or other of the schools.
Those eligible are such vagrants and thieves
as are between sixteen and twenty-two, and
desire to abandon their present mode of life,
and lead honest and industrious courses for
the future.

It is obvious that such an institution, if
not carefully watched, would be liable to being
greatly abused. The pinching wants of the
moment would drive many into it, whose sole
object was to meet there, instead of to subject
themselves to the reformatory discipline of the
establishment. Many would press into it
whose love of idleness had hitherto been their
greatest vice. As it is, this latter class is
deterred, to a great extent, from applying, by
the Institution confining its operations to the
thief and the vagrant. Each applicant, by
applying for admission, confesses himself to
belong to one or other of these classes, or to
both. If he is found to be a subject coming
within the scope of the establishment, he is at
once admitted, and subjected to its discipline.
The natural inference would be, that the
avowed object of it would turn applicants
from its doors. But this is far from being the
case; upwards of two hundred having applied
during the past year, the second of its

To distinguish those who are sincere in
their application from those who merely wish
to make a convenience, for the time being, ot
the establishment, each applicant, on admission,
is subjected to a rigid test. In the
attic story of the building is a small room, the
walls and ceiling of which are painted with
yellow ochre. Last year, for it is only recently
that the house has been applied to its present
purpose, this room was occupied by a
numerous and squalid family, some of whose
members were the first victims of cholera, in
Westminster. The massive chimney-stack
projects far into the room, and in the deep
recesses between it and the low walls on
either side are two beds formed of straw, with
a coarse counterpane for a covering. Beyond
this there is not a vestige of furniture in the
apartment. This is the Probation-room, the
ordeal of which every applicant must pass ere
he is fully received into the Institution. But
he must pass a whole fortnight, generally
alone, his fare being bread and water. His
allowance of bread is a pound a-day, which
he may dispose of as he pleases, either at a
meal or at several. He does not pass the
entire day in solitude, for during class-hours
lie is taken down to the school-room, where
he is taught with the rest. But, with that
exception, he is not allowed to mingle with