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LABOUR CONDITIONS

because humanity is a modern invention; and there are many chimneys in old houses which cannot possibly be swept in any other manner. But the construction of chimneys should be attended to in some new building act; and the treatment of boys be watched over with the most severe jealousy of the law. Above, all, those who have chimneys accessible to machinery, should encourage the use of machines1), and not think it beneath their dignity to take a little trouble, in order to do a great deal of good. We should have been very glad to have seconded the views of the Climbing Society, and to have pleaded for the complete abolition of climbing boys, if we could conscientiously have done so. But such a measure, we are convinced from the evidence, could not be carried into execution without great injury to property, and great increased risk of fire. The Lords have investigated the matter with the greatest patience, humanity, and good sense; and they do not venture, in their Report, to recommend to the House the abolition of climbing boys.

CHARLES LAMB

The Praise of Chimney-sweepers

I like to meet a sweep — understand me — not a^grown sweeper — old chimney-sweepers are by no means attractive — but one of those tender novices, blooming through their first nigritude the maternal washings not quite effaced from the cheek — such as come forth with the dawn, or somewhat

1. The price of a machine is fifteen shillings.

2. nigritude: an unusual word for blackness; Lamb purposely uses Latin words in contrast to the simplicity of his subject.

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