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the boy, that whenever he did obtain a berth, if he had conducted himself honestly and well up to that period, he should have something that he most wanted on his departure: hence he has been supplied with a pair of canvass trousers. I went with him to the shop, chose, and paid for them.
The unwearied zeal of Miss Martin in collecting her subscriptions is remarkable: they were gathered quarterly in no instance exceeding 2s. 6d. per quarter; the time this demanded should be considered, as well as the degree of resolution it required as each season returned, to appear as the applicant for her charities; although in some cases this was made easy, by the donor expressing, that it was considered a favour to be able to put some of the abundance possessed, into hands where it would be satisfactorily disposed of. She constantly acknowledged, with gratitude, the support and kindness she received from the magistrates, and authorities of the town, as well as the pecuniary help from many of them; also the liberality and consideration of some tradespeople, who, knowing her object, would reserve for her pieces of print for patch-work, scraps of paper, or pasteboard, pictures, etc.; from all of which her invention, quickened by necessity, would contrive to produce a marvellous result. The much she did with a little, the gathering up the fragments that nothing might be lost, was one of her most striking characteristics. A leaf of a spelling-book would be pasted and set up for use; and the worn-out Testaments of a school, incomplete by use, and the handling of children, were begged by her; the torn leaves
were repaired, and portions put into a stiff cover, to be given to a prisoner on being liberated, or for the use of one to whom she did not like to lend a neat copy.
In the spring of 1837, another source of interest and fresh demand on her funds was opened, in her beginning to teach in the girls' evening school. This school is to give instruction in reading and writing, to young women from the age of sixteen, engaged all the day at the factory; so that the evening, when dismissed from their work, is the only time when they are at liberty to attend the school, which is held two evenings in the week in the vestry of St. Nicholas church, from seven till nine o'clock. Some ladies had kindly begun it, but from many causes, the teachers had fallen off, and Miss Martin entered upon it with only one teacher beside herself; thus two classes were formed: Miss Martin's consisted of between forty and fifty young women, and some thirty years of age, of a description of character which may be imagined. Miss Martin often deeply lamented the shock to her feelings, in hearing the noisy unchecked laughter and talking which rang through those hallowed walls, as her pupils passed through the church to reach the vestry; however, once seated round the long table, all unruly behaviour was at an end, complete attention and subordination were enforced and obtained by the very firm manner of their teacher; for, accustomed to deal with persons of undaunted character, she knew, that until influence and authority were established, there must be no relaxation in a manner apparently severe;
it was only manner, for no heart ever beat with warmer love to her fellow creatures, or in a higher tone of benevolence. As usual, writing was the acquirement most desired by the scholars, and a certain time was given to it; but the chief aim of the teacher was to furnish them with the precious word of God, and to make Bible reading the principal instruction. After the chapter had been read verse by verse in turn by the girls, she questioned them closely, explained the passages to them, and had the power of making her remarks so attractive, that the lady who taught the other class says, she sometimes begged Miss Martin to allow her girls to join in listening; occasionally she would illustrate her subject by repeating a piece of poetry, or telling them a story, every countenance was turned towards her, and the whole party rivetted with attentive interest. The private griefs, the peculiar difficulties and hinderances of these poor young women would be entered into, and a trial made to withdraw them from the haunts of infamy and the toils of sin. In seeking to do these young women good, she was greatly hindered by the occasions of amusement in the town: some of them, who were going on steadily and diligently, for weeks never missing attendance at the school, with an improvement of manners and conduct, would be thrown back in every way by the recurrence of the fair or the races; and, above all, she deplored the fancy balls advertised to be held at some low public-house: a species of assemblage so attractive to the poor girls of this grade. On such occasions, her evening school was very thin, and
for many times of meeting afterwards the hurtful effect was manifest, in the entire absence of some, and the bold effrontery of others. For two years and a half, Miss Martin zealously gave herself to this school, nor did she relinquish it from any diminution of interest, but from failure of physical power; for, after long reading and speaking in the day, this continuation of it was too great a strain upon her chest, and she discontinued it that she might devote all her remaining power to the gaol, which was her peculiar field of labour.
Those who saw much of Miss Martin during the last twelve months previous to her being laid aside from her active work, felt that there was an evident ripening as it were for the gathering in. She appeared to have come near to that state which has been expressed in uncommon terms as a just idea of a true Christian, "not as one who looks up from earth to heaven, but one who looks down from heaven on earth," having ascended a high eminence, and from thence to have looked upon those earthly scenes with which too many are engrossed: she seemed to shrink from intercourse with persons where she could not speak of her Saviour, and for him: wherever she went, the proposal was, "Let us read God's word together;" this she did statedly two evenings in the week with her landlady and some others, in the house where she lodged; also, every Saturday evening, an hour was devoted to reading the Bible and prayer, with a friend who, from infirmity, was little able to partake of the privileges of public worship. Their pleasant stream is dried up, but there is a river, "the streams whereof
make glad the city of God," to which
It pleased God to keep her in the furnace of great bodily affliction even to the hour of her departure, which took place in the month of August, 1843. About twenty minutes before her death, she begged for more anodyne to still the pain : the nurse then told her, she believed the time of her departure was arrived; when clapping her hands together she said, "Thank God! thank God!" and spoke no more, till she joined the heavenly choir in the full burst and perfection of that song which was her unceasing theme on earth, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever."