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It ought not, surely, be difficult to have been hitherto uneducated, we regard persuade the people of the prudence and as statements and arguments addressed to the necessity of their hearing with indif- such as are henceforward to be the rulers ferent and attentive minds every side of of our destiny. Of these, the one enthe question, where their own good is titled “ Conversations on Political Ecothe subject of enquiry, and they them- nomy, by John Hopkins," appears to us selves the final and absolute judges of the to be the best, as containing the greatest debate. The attempt to stifle argument portion of useful information, unmixed by clamour was, perhaps, not unnatural with much error. It commences by a in those who could not otherwise influ- story, which we think bad better be ence the debates or decrees concerning omitted, as it adopts a form of instructheir most vital interests. But this cause tion which, in our opinion, is very ill of prejudice has been removed, and let calculated to impart a knowledge of conus entertain a hope that this impediment troverted truth. In it, John Hopkins, to the progress of truth is fast wearing described as a poor labourer, with a large away, and that the labours of those who family of children, is supposed to apply are endeavouring to enlighten the minds to a Fairy for assistance, and to attribute of the people to a true sense of their real all his want to the luxuries of the rich. interests, will not be utterly ineffectual. He makes the plausible complaint that in The march of knowledge, though sure order to gratify the rich with luxuries, and unremitting, is indeed slow. It is the poor are debarred almost from the not immediately that truth reaches the necessaries of life. To give John Hopunderstanding of the vulgar. Their kins a practical proof of the fallacy of teachers, or perhaps the teachers of these his opinions, the fairy consents by a stroke latter, become acquainted with important of her wand_“ to destroy all luxuries truths, mixed frequently with important whatever.” The first effect which John error ; gradually the falsehood yields to perceives from this important change is the force of the opposing arguments, and that “ his wife's best cotton gown is the truth becomes familiarly known, and turned to a homely stuff," her china teaeven reckoned among the most obvious pot into crockery-ware, his children's principles, by the class which a short play things into dry sticks, fit only to be time before looked upon it as a paradox, burnt.” To take time to turn over the or at least, a suspicious novelty. Pre- subject, and to console himself for his sently, by the force of example, and the disappointment, be called for his pipe ; natural communications of thoughts and but being a luxury it was also opinions, it descends a scale lower among pacify him his wife offers him a pinch of the people, and by the influence of au- snuff, but his box is, of course, empty; thority and education, becomes known to snuff, “the luxury,” is not there.He those who would have been unable to then admits that he was a fool not to comprehend the arguments by which it desire the Fairy to meddle with the luxuwas originally defended or opposed. It ries of the rich only. He will, therefore, appears almost self-evident to those to on her next visit beg her to make an exwhom it is early taught, and thus, in the ception in favour of the poor. The concourse of a few years, those truths be- sequences of the innovations made by the come familiarly recognized and known by Fairy wand are shortly displayed. John's all, which a short time before could scarce- relations, who were engaged in the maly have found a single supporter. It is nufacture of various articles of luxury, therefore, we conceive, no serious ob- are turned out of employment; John jection to the utility of books intended himself, who worked as a labourer in the most for the instruction of the labouring field, and thought that he was in no poor, to say, that it is unlikely that any danger of being thrown out of work, as number of them will ever learn or read corn and hay are not luxuries, receives a them. The same end will be as effec- visit from the landlord on whose estate tually, though more slowly obtained, if he worked. The landlord informs him they communicate knowledge to those that he means to turn his land into a who are the natural instructors of the sheep-walk, or let it lie uncultivated, as labouring classes, and who are in con half the produce of the land will be sufstant communication with them.
ficient for him in the new style of living, Such considerations give a value in our which he and his family are obliged to eyes to the books whose names are pre- adopt. Poor John is now convinced of fixed to this article which they might not his error and reduced to despair. He otherwise possess. All works on those hastens to the Fairy and implores her to subjects, for the instruction of those who reverse the fatal decree, and to bring
back things to their former state. From he entertains upon this head, than this, and some conversation with his the consequences to be apprehended friends, John draws the conclusion, that from a total demolition of all luxuries. the rich and poor have but one and the We fear that if his kind Fairy gratified same interest, and that the comfort of him with another experiment, the consethe poor are derived from the wealth of quences, though ruinous to the public, the rich. Now, although we acquiesce might not at first, or until it was too late in this conclusion, and wish every John to mend the evil, be found equally preHopkins in the country did the same, yet judicial to himself. It is not easy to we should be glad that they arrived at it anticipate the effects of a change which by a different path. It is hardly neces never can take place, where we have sary to dissuade the poor from desiring nothing like experience or analogy to such changes as are manifestly beyond guide us. Every man may imagine a the power of legislation to accomplish. connected train of consequences acIf John Hopkins were now to obtain the cording to his interest or dispositioa. power of making a change according to Perhaps, on the next occasion, the landhis desire, we suspect he would be more lord, finding that he cannot possibly spend anxious to deprive the rich of their pro- more than half the produce of his estate
, perty than of the opportunity of spending may give Joha a portion of it for his own
use, instead of letting it remain uncalti
. It would be of some use to shew how vated and turning him out of employlittle such a change in the distribution of ment. property would add to the comforts of But we shall not press the subject
, The rich man, who possesses being satisfied that the experiment will wealth sufficient to support 100 poor, not be made a second time. Would that distributes it among them in the purchase we had equal reason to believe that the of enjoyments for himself as effectually, more practicable experiments of a partial as if the most benevolent patriot under destruction of luxuries and property took the management of it for the public would not again be made. It is a thing good. If we look at all the articles on so quickly imagined, so easily contrived, which the wealthy consume their reve- and so readily executed, to destroy or nue; we shall see that they derive their injure a quantity of property, requiring high value from the amount of the labour immediate repair for the purposes of pra bestowed on their manufacture. Thus curing employment in the re-construction the income of the rich is expended in or reparation of the injured property, maintaining labourers, that is, in support that we think it of the utmost imporing the poor, with this additional advan- tance that the mischievous consequences tage that the poor are thus relieved from of such conduct should be clearly taught, the temptations to which idleness would and familiarly known to all. This is the subject them, and their dignity and in- more necessary, as the arguments genedependence of mind may be preserved, rally urged to prove the impolicy of this while they feel that they are earning their system on the part of the labourer, are own bread instead of receiving it, as cha- not perfectly sound, and do not accurately rity. This subject, followed on to a shew where the mischief lies. We allude greater length, would, we think, shew to those arguments which prescribe such in the most unanswerable manner, the conduct as a destruction or diminution of utter impossibility of relieving the able the fund appropriated to the subsistence bodied poor by any enactments in the of labourers. Those certainly shew shape of poor laws, or a compulsory pro- that the country at large suffers by such vision for them. Without any benevolent proceedings, but the proofs would be designs on our part, all our income is ex- brought nearer home, by shewing the pended in the support of labourers. If tendency such conduct has to deter prohalf is taken from us by the state, and perty from embarking in useful speculaappropriated to that purpose, there re- tions in the places where they occur
. mains' only the other half to be thus No moderate rate of profit will be sufficient expended by ourselves. We hope in some to attract capital to a spot where the trafuture edition to see John Hopkins' no- der is exposed to constant danger and tions upon these subjects. From the depredations and injuries to his property ; chapter" entitled “ The Poors’ Rate, or where a visit from the nocturnal legislathe Treacherous Friend,” we are confi- tors may involve him in total ruin, of dent that they will be well weighed and where the same effect may be produced correct. It will be more important to by a run for gold at the demand of a dis
. the public to know what opinions comfited agitator, who is content to dis
play his power by overwhelming friends we are not scared from the wish by even ób and foes in one undistinguishing calami- serving the erroneous doctrines advocated ty. “ Incendium meum ruinâ extingu- in some of them, as we are confident that am."
in the conflict of opposite opinions, truth Perhaps, on some future occasion, will speedily arise victorious. We do not John Hopkins will favour the public with fear that the doctrines respecting rent his notions on this head. If he compares expressed or implied in « Ella of Garvetwo places together, situated equally as loch,'' will be long current among those to trade and manufacture, the partial who have an opportunity of hearing or sufferings produced by a fall of wages, or reading the truth. Ronald (page 125) by improvement of machinery, throwing is sorry to find that by tilling his piece a few out of employment, met in the one of moorland he had created a rent upon place by outrage and combination and his sisters land, and Angus explains that mob-legislation; in the other by prudence the case would have stood the same if
and energy and a disposition to adapt Murdoch, or anybody else, had tilled the 2ė their conduct to the altered circumstances moor. Again, in page 73, it is assumed
in which they find themselves placed, he that rent is produced or increased by will readily perceive, and will do service taking bad lands into cultivation. by stating the consequences from such The truth appears to be that the indifferent systems. The market of the creased demand for corn by an increased one diminishing, of the other extending population raises prices, and therefore every day. Since the goods manufactured raises rents, and makes it expedient to at the two different places will no longer take inferior land into cultivation, or to
compete on the same terms and can no lay out more capital, with a diminished i, longer be sold at the same prices at the return, on the old lands. The increased
markets beforecommon to both. At length demand, and the necessity of procuring = trade will be entirely extinguished in the an increased supply, produces all those
spot which was the scene of riot and tur consequences; but though one effect may bulence, and will have been transferred be sometimes conveniently madò the iito the settlements where peace and order dex of another, it should not on that were observed. Distress will have reach- account be deemed the cause of it. Ined its utmost height, and to crown the deed, so far from its being true, that edifice, the demagogue will appear to tell taking inferior lands into cultivation has the people, already too well disposed to a tendency to raise prices or rents, it mischief, that their misery is caused by has a direct tendency to diminish them the union, or by tithes, or by the number by increasing the supply. On this head of bishops, or free trade, or the grand we are more inclined to agree with the jury laws, or by any thing abstruse and opinions entertained by Hopkins and flattering to their feelings, rather than by Stubbs, page 172. We cannot conclude such obvious and natural causes as their this head without remarking that the own idleness, turbulence, and improvidence. author of John Hopkins' notions seems These will not be mentioned, as not in some danger of falling into the comsuiting so well with the designs of the mon error of writers instructing the poor, interested agitator.
of imagining that a style will be more It will not, we hope, be difficult to intelligible by interspersing it with vulgarconvince the people of the truth of these isms or incorrect language, such as “why two simple propositions. Indeed, their so then,” “ Man," and “in a wonderenunciation is almost sufficient to secure ment,” &c. Where this is done that the chaassent to them. Firstly, that mob-vio. racters may speak suitably to their supposlence will not be able to compel capital ed circumstances, we do not much object to embark or to remain in a losing busi- to it, although we see the danger of an ness. Secondly, That it cannot deter author's too readily adopting such an capital from pursuing a profitable manu- easy mode, as employing vulgar idioms facture, although it can make it depart to appear intelligible to vulgar minds. We and remove to exercise it in a more should even prefer the opposite extreme, quiet spot. These and similar useful and as in “ Ella of Garveloch,” where every evident truths may be easily inculcated. speaker employs language that would beEvery calm discussion has this tendency, come a professor. In real life, even by sharpening the minds of the people, among the lower orders, correct language and accustoming them to reflection. We, is not more uncommon, than correct therefore, wish to see as many cheap and ideas upon these points. simple productions on political economy If we were to propose a mode of the as possible, offered to their perusal. And style proper for communicating know
ledge, we should refer to the articles on ful knowledge upon which he seems ttpolitical economy contained in the Sa- informed himself, and which he does not turday Magazine, particularly those on take care to present to the public in the Value, page 186; on Wages page 222, most tangible and attractive form. The and those on “ The Duties and Advan- pamphlet before us contains a clear and tages of Society.” Such articles may be comprehensive course of instruction fa read with profit by all, as they convey the practical gardiner, unencumbered with most useful truths in simple and correct any of the difficulties which mere theorista language. We cannot now wait to quote in the art are in the culpable habit of any part, but shall conclude by request- placing, as stumbling-blocks, in the way ing all to read at least so much as proves of those who care little about the science that wages are beyond the reach of law or its technical terms abstractedly from to regulate. It is of importance that all actual practice. We have no hesitation should be acquainted with such simple in pronouncing Martin Doyle's pamphlet and useful truths, and with the necessary to be the very best for common use that arguments to support them, as it may be we have ever met with. He promises every man's turn to disseminate them to follow the present with similar maamong those to whom such truths, or nuals upon Fruits and Flowers, &c. saying, the opposite errors, will be influential modestly, that his future exertions in this principles of action.
M. L. line shall be guided by the success of his
first attempt. For our parts, as he has Practical Gardening. By Martin Doyle. Curry succeeded, and deservedly, in all his meand Co. Dublin-1833.
ritorious undertakings, we entertain no We cannot avoid congratulating Martin doubt but that a grateful public will conDoyle's countrymen upon the great ac- tinue their patronage and support to an quisition his varied and extensive abilities author who, from the importance of his have proved, in the direction of their subjects and the talent with which they judgment and formation of their taste. are discussed, has the best possible claim There is not a subject of practically use- upon their attention and regard.
We are fallen upon evil days. perceptibly draws its victim unresisting Abroad thrones have been shaking to the grave, so is this evil, breaking sceptres and diadems are breaking and rendering powerless the Protestdynasties are changing, and constitu- ant interest, and promises so to waste tions are vanishing away ; at home all its once mighty energies, that day after the time-honoured and time-nurtured day it becomes weaker and weaker, must give way to the novel and ideal, and so will, almost without a struggle, for the spirit of change has breathed vanish from the land. over all things, and while she rides We have no desire to magnify this in her rampant chariot against the evil beyond its just dimensions, but we throne of kings and the ark of God, ask, of what use will be the Protestant all that we prize and love in the in- press—the. Conservative Clubs-our stitutions of our country is to be Tory Principles-even the Established dragged at her wheels, dishonoured Church herself, when the protestant in the dust. We are indeed fallen population has emigrated ?--of what use upon evil days ; but of all the elements will be the protecting measure, when of evils that are now overshadowing there are no Protestants to protect ? It the protestant interest of Ireland, will, then, be mere idiotcy, or, at least, there is none that in the desolation a waste of time and talent to devise and utter hopelessness of despair, can plans for the support of the protestant compete with that giant evil, the interest, when those who are the bone threatened emigration of the protestant and sinew of that body shall have abanpopulation. The number of Protes- doned the country for cver. tants, who have emigrated from Ire- nitude of this evil will stand revealed land during the last few years is as still more plainly when we reflect on follows : in 1829, 12,000 ; in 1830, the value of the character and prin21,000 ; 1831, 29,500 ; in 1832, 31,500, ciples of that class, First, they have making a total of 94,000, during the invariably supported the interests of short space of four years ! Nor is the landlords; and in all the strife, this all-the evil is gradually in- and storm, and civil commotion of creasing, the stream is widening its three centuries, have been ever found banks every successive year, so as maintaining, with their voices and with to promise to exhaust before long the their lives, the property of the country; whole protestant population by its in- secondly, they have been found, by long creasing drain ; it is a slowly consum- experience, to be most conducive, by ing and wasting malady that is working their industry, to the improvement of its noiseless and secret way through the country, and especially conducive, the land ; and as consumption in the by their respect for, and support of the human form pales the cheek of beauty laws, to the maintenance of peace and and prostrates the strength of youth, tranquillity ; thirdly, they have ever and then gradually and almost im- proved themselves to be, by feeling VOL. I.