Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 7/The relief fund in Lancashire: a commendation


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An amateur dramatic performance took place at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, on Wednesday, the 9th instant, in aid of the funds for the relief of the present distress in Lancashire. Mr. Wilkie Collins’ drama of “The Lighthouse,” the burletta of “The Waterman,” and the well-known farce of “Betsy Baker,” were the pieces presented. In pursuance of a strongly expressed request, these performances passed unnoticed by the public journals, as the gentlemen engaged were all amateurs, and among them were several members of the public Civil Service; but we are enabled to certify the entire success of the representation, and that there resulted some two hundred pounds, or more, to be added to the “relief fund” for the Lancashire weavers. Mr. Tennyson was requested to furnish an introductory address; but, from a letter from Farringford, the committee regretted to learn that Mr. Tennyson had been “suffering so much that it had been an effort even to sign his name, so that to write anything for them has been out of the question.” The above Vignette was to have accompanied his address. Failing the Poet Laureate, at the last moment the Rev. T. J. Baty, of Roehampton, wrote the following lines in furtherance of this good object:

The echo of the wailing farther West
Sounds in our land;
And in her midst, with want opprest,
Our brothers stand.

Their voices clamour for the daily bread
They cannot gain.
And, oh, the fire of charity were dead,
Were it in vain.

Then honour every effort for their weal,
And ours to-night:
Our cause, at least, must your approval steal;
What though we act!—we feel;
And your fair presence here gives our poor effort might.