The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.

Here we must end, at least for the present; but there is so much anecdotical pleasantry in Salmonia that we might continue our extracts through many columns, and we are persuaded, to the gratification of the majority of our readers.  Even when we announced the publication of this work a few weeks since, we were led to anticipate the delight it would afford many of our esteemed correspondents, especially our friend W.H.H., who has “caught about forty trout in two or three hours” in the rocky basins of Pot-beck, &c.[5]

Sir Humphry Davy mentions the Wandle in Surrey, as we have quoted; but he does not allude to the trout-fishing in the Mole, in the Vale of Leatherhead in the same county.  There are in the course of the work a few expressions which make humanity shudder, and would drive a Pythagorean to madness,[6] notwithstanding the ingenuity with which the author attempts to vindicate his favourite amusement.

* * * * *

SHROPSHIRE AND WELSH GIRLS.

There are few Londoners who in their suburban strolls have failed to notice the scores of female fruit-carriers by whose toil the markets are supplied with some of their choicest delicacies.  As an interesting illustration of the meritorious character of these handmaids to luxury, I send you the following extract from Sir Richard Phillips’s Walk from London to Kew.

PHILO.

In the strawberry season, hundreds of women are employed to carry that delicate fruit to market on their heads; and their industry in performing this task is as wonderful, as their remuneration is unworthy of the opulent classes who derive enjoyment from their labour.  They consist, for the most part, of Shropshire and Welsh girls, who walk to London at this season in droves, to perform this drudgery, just as the Irish peasantry come to assist in the hay and corn harvests.  I learnt that these women carry upon their heads baskets of strawberries or raspberries, weighing from forty to fifty pounds, and make two turns in the day, from Isleworth to market, a distance of thirteen miles each way; three turns from Brentford, a distance of nine miles; and four turns from Hammersmith, a distance of six miles.  For the most part, they find some conveyance back; but even then these industrious creatures carry loads from twenty-four to thirty miles a-day, besides walking back unladen some part of each turn!  Their remuneration for this unparalleled slavery is from 8_s_. to 9_s_. per day; each turn from the distance of Isleworth being 4_s_. or 4_s_. 6_d_.; and from that of Hammersmith 2_s_. or 2_s_. 3_d_.  Their diet is coarse and simple, their drink, tea and small-beer; costing not above 1_s_. or 1_s_. 6_d_. and their back conveyance about 2_s_. or 2_s_. 6_d_.; so that their net gains are about 5_s_. per day, which, in the strawberry season, of forty days, amounts to 10_l_.  After

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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