List Of Contents | Contents of The Pedler of Dust Sticks, by Eliza Lee Follen
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was the cause of his success. A gentleman who had known him from the
time when he used to carry about dust sticks to sell came forward
and offered him a large boiler, and told him that he might pay for
it whenever he could conveniently. Henry accepted the kind offer,
and commenced business directly.

His old customers all came to him, and in a short time he was able
to hire a man to help him. It was not long before he wanted another,
and then another man. Every thing prospered with him. He made money
fast. His business grew larger constantly. He did all sorts of work
in whalebone and cane; now he added ivory, umbrella sticks, keys for
pianos, canes, and whip handles, and made all sorts of things in
which these materials are used.

Henry was so well acquainted with his business, so industrious and
faithful, was known to be so honest and just in his dealings, and
was so kind in his treatment of his workmen, that all who wanted
what he could supply went to him, and his success was very great. He
grew rich. It was not a great while before he was able to build a
large factory in the neighborhood of the city.

The little pedler of dust sticks was now one of the richest men in
Hamburg. He had four hundred men in his employ, had a large house in
town, and another in the country. He was thus able to indulge his
love for nature. After a hard day's work, he could come home and
enjoy the beautiful sunset, and look at the moon and stars in the
evening, and hear the nightingale sing, and join with his Agatha in
the song of praise to the Giver of all good things.

Henry did not, because he was rich, lead a lazy and selfish life. He
still worked with his own hands, and thus taught his workmen
himself, and made their work more easy and agreeable by his presence
as well as by his instructions. He was continually making
improvements in his business, inventing new things, and so keeping
up his reputation. He exported large quantities of the articles made
in his factory. Every year his business grew larger, and he gained
still higher reputation.

Henry's fellow-citizens offered him some of the highest offices of
honor and profit which the city had to bestow; but he refused them.
The only ones he accepted were those that gave no pay. He was one of
the overseers of the poor, and was always one of the first to aid,
in any way he could, plans for the benefit of his suffering fellow-
beings. He gave money himself generously, but was very anxious not
to have his charities made public.

He was one of the directors of the first railroad from Hamburg.

He engaged all his workmen with reference to their character as well
as their capacity, and no one of them ever left him. He was their
best benefactor and friend.

So lived this excellent man, as happy as he was good and useful, for
sixteen years with his dear wife; they had seven living children;
but, as I before told you, she had very delicate health, and it was
the will of God that these two loving hearts should be separated in
this world, as we hope, to meet in heaven to part no more. After
sixteen years of perfect love and joy, he parted with his dear

Henry bore his sorrow meekly and patiently. He did not speak, he
could not weep; but life was never again the same thing to him; he
never parted for a moment with the memory of his loving and dearly-
beloved wife. He was then only thirty-five years old, but he never
married again; and when urged to take another wife, he always
replied, "I cannot marry again." He felt that he was married forever
to his dear Agatha.

I must relate to you some of the beautiful things Henry's daughter
told me about her mother. Agatha had such a refined and beautiful
taste and manner that though, from her parents' poverty, she had not
had the benefit of an education, yet it was a common saying of the
many who knew her, that she would have graced a court. She never
said or did any thing that was not delicate and beautiful. Her
dress, even when they were very poor, had never a hole nor a spot.
She never allowed any rude or vulgar thing to be said in her
presence without expressing her displeasure. She was one of nature's
nobility. She lived and moved in beauty as well as in goodness.

When she found she was dying, she asked her husband to leave the
room, and then asked a friend who was with her to pray silently, for
she would not distress her husband; and so she passed away without a
groan, calmly and sweetly, before he returned. An immense procession
of the people followed her to the grave, to express their admiration
of her character and their sorrow for her early death. There were in
Hamburg, at that time, two large churches, afterwards burned down at
the great fire, which had chimes of bells in their towers. These
bells played their solemn tones only when some person lamented by
the whole city died. These bells were rung at the funeral of Agatha.

Henry, ever after his separation from her, would go, at the
anniversary of her birth and death, and take all his children and
grand-children with him to her grave. They carried wreaths and
bouquets of flowers, and laid them there; and he would sit down with
them and relate some anecdote about their mother.

It is a custom with the people of Germany to strew flowers on the
graves of their friends. The burying ground was not far from the
street, and often unfeeling boys would steal these sacred flowers;
but not one was ever stolen from the grave of Agatha.

The sister of whom we have before spoken, whom we will call also by
her Christian name, Catharine, loved her sister with the most
devoted love, and when Agatha was dying, promised her that she would
be a mother to her children, and never leave them till they were
able to take care of themselves.

She kept her word. She refused many offers of marriage, which she
might have been disposed to accept, and was a true mother to her
sister's children, till they were all either married or old enough
not to want her care. Then, at the age of fifty, aunt Catharine
married a widower, who had three children, who wanted her care.

From the time Henry lost his dear wife, he devoted himself not only
more than ever to his children, but also to the good of his workmen.
He sought in duty, in good works, for strength to bear his heavy
sorrow; so that death might not divide him from her he loved, but
that he might be fitting himself for an eternal union with her in

Henry never forgot that he had been obliged to work hard for a
living himself, and he also remembered what had been his greatest
trials in his days of poverty. He determined to save his workmen
from these sufferings as much as possible.

He recollected and still felt the evils of a want of education. He
could never forget how with longing eyes he had used to look at
books, and what a joy it had been to him to go to school; and he
resolved that his children should be well instructed. The garden of
knowledge, that was so tempting to him, and that he was not allowed
to enter, he resolved should be open to them. He gave them the best
instructors he could find, and took care that they should be taught
every thing that would be useful to them--the modern languages,
music, drawing, history, &c.

Henry had found the blessing of being able to labor skilfully with
his hands; so he insisted that all his children should learn how to
work with their own hands.

"My daughters," he said, "in order to be good housewives, must know
how every thing ought to be done, and be able to do it. If they are
poor, this will save them from much misery, and secure them comfort
and respectability."

He insisted that those of his sons who engaged in his business
should work with the workmen, wear the same dress, and do just as
they did; so that the boys might be independent of circumstances,
and have the security of a good living, come what would. Thus every
one of his children had the advantages which belong to poverty as
well as those of riches. Their father said to them, that if they
knew what work was, they would know what to require of those who
labored for them; that they would have more feeling for laborers,
and more respect for them.

Henry was truly the friend of his workmen. He gave them time enough
to go to school. He encouraged temperance; he had a weak kind of
beer, made of herbs, for them to drink, so that they might not
desire spirit. He gave them, once a year, a handsome dinner, at
which he presided himself. He encouraged them to read, and helped
them to obtain books. He had a singing master, and took care that
every one who had a voice should be taught to sing. He bought a
pianoforte for them, and had it put in a room in the factory, where
any one, who had time, and wished to play, could go and play upon
it; and he gave them a music teacher.

He did every thing he could to make their life beautiful and happy.
He induced them to save a small sum every week from their wages, as
a fund to be used when any one died, or was sick, or was married, or
wanted particular aid beyond what his wages afforded.

Henry's factory was the abode of industry, temperance, and
cheerfulness. The workmen all loved him like a brother. It was his
great object to show them that labor was an honorable thing, and to
make laborers as happy as he thought they ought to be.

Henry was much interested in all that related to the United States
of America; and he was very angry at our slavery. He felt that
slavery brought labor into discredit, and his heart ached for the
poor slaves, who are cut off from all knowledge, all improvement.
Nothing excited in him such a deep indignation, nothing awaked such
abhorrence in his heart, as the thought of a man's receiving the
services of another without making adequate compensation; or the
idea of any man exercising tyranny over his brother man.

Henry's workmen were the happiest and best in Hamburg. They loved
their employer with their whole hearts; there was nothing they would
not do for him. When his factory had been established twenty-five
years, the workmen determined to have a jubilee on the occasion, and

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