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formation; and I am sorry to say my stock of knowledge has received very little increase since that period. I must, however, with your permission, make a few further remarks upon the subject, in consequence of F. P.'s communication of Friday last.
I give that gentleman full credit for goodness of intention, and he has done ihe same by me: but though we have thus shaken hands there is no reason why we should not endeavour amicably to detect each other's errors and misconceptions.
I did not intend to infer, that F. P. would have had Mr. Single's letter rejected by the Editor of The Trades' newspaper, but I certainly did think he replied to him with an air of contempt which the occasion did not warrant. I dismiss, however, this unimportant part of the subject by leaving the phrase “even Mr. Thomas Single" to the interpretation of the most“ careless reader."
Now, Sir, for the more important part of the business: and that I may avoid the misrepresentation of quoting too little, I will in the present article make no quotation at all. I suppose, as a matter of course, that whoever reads my letter will read, or have read, that which occasioned it, and be able to appreciate them equally: if he do not he is idle or unjust, and his opinions can be of no. consequence either to F. P. or any other
person. F. P. asserts, that machinery has a tendency to lessen the cost. of production; which is doubtless the case; but admitting that it enables the agriculturist to bring his corn to market at a cost of five shillings a quarter less than he otherwise could, what benefit is that to the working hand, whilst employment is scarce, wages low, and provisions dear? I must have no ifs about the corno laws, &c. ; let us look to things as they are. Machinery might, unquestionably, be employed for the advantage of the labouring part of the community, but is it so? If you were to go and ask the poor woman whom I saw six weeks ago, in the middle of summer, and in the best part of one of the first agricultural counties in England, labouring in the open fields for the miserable stipeod of one shilling per week, she would answer in the language of nature and of truth, “ I don't know, Sir, 1 dare say what you speak of are very fine things, but I don't find that they do any good to poor folk.” This woman's low rate of wages is an extreme case I admit, but it is a true one: the gradations of agricultural wages in that district range from one shilling a-week to nine. The latter is considered a princely income for an ablebodied man. To talk of people having surplus money to expend when all their earnings, added to the weekly pittance obtained at the parish board, will not provide food enough to satisfy the eravings of hunger, is mockery of the cruellest description.
F. P. asserts that there are more people employed in agricultural labour now than five and twenty years ago. I denythe fact. But admitting it to be true, unless he can prove that they receive
individually for their labour more bread and beer, and pork and clothing, than their predecessors did, what benefit do they derive from cheap production and agricultural improvements? I am tempted to think they would be as well off with a pig in the stye, a goose upon the common, their pe:rter upon the shelf, and their beer in the buttery, as they are now with their rags and wetchedness and 'threshing machines, and Holkham and Woburn sheep-shearings !
- I am told to push my enquiries in the right direction. Sir, I have witnessed the scenes and circumstances to which I allude. I was accustomed to agricultural employment in my earliest years ; I am nearly connected with some of the best farmers in the kingdom; I have seen and enjoyed the former coinfort--the comparative viches of the peasant's cot, and I am well acquainted with its present miserable and hopeless state of destitution.
But, I shall be answered, “ We speak of the whole quantity of employment, and not of a particular branch of business.” Well, shew me that the whole mass of labourers and operatives throughout the kingdom, are better off, that they have more of the necessaries and comforts of life than formerly, and I will give up the point immediately.
With respect to " the spinning of woollen and cotton yarn,” I re-assert, that there is not a fourth part of the number of " men and children” (mark the description, for F. P: has adroitly, or carelessly, substituted the word " people") employed in that branch that there were formerly. Besides which, our spinningwheel grandmothers were clean, and healthy, and domesticated; but our poor spinning-jenny cotemporaries are dirty, sickly, and helpless. Doubtless a great number of women and children are or have been employed in the factory spinning process; it is calculated that 57,000 looms have been going at once in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and that they would produce 376,200,000 square yards of cloth in a year! But if we allow one woman and one child (as spinners) to every loom, which is, I apprehend, con-' siderably. above the average, we have only 114,000, whereas, I have reason to think that before the introduction of machinery there were at least half a million of women and children'employed in spinning and winding.
A cottage housewife, with one or two little girls of six or seven years old, would in my remembrance earn seven shillings a week, and attend to the domestic comforts of the family; whilst the husband was able to earn from nine to twelve shillings more.
“ Look on this picture, and on this" The agricultural labourer and his family, if they cannot earn much as will purchase half a peak of flour for each individual, and sixpence more per week, (which is a very common case) receive the difference from the parish overseer.
It may be true that machinery, by producing things at less cost, leaves a surplus, which will be laid out in other commodities; but it is pretty evident that the labourers and operatives in general get none of this surplus: who does get it then? Where goes it? And what commodities are bought with it? I believe it passes through the hands of the farmer, the steward, the lawyer, the landlord, the parson, the upholsterer, the jeweller, the wine-merchant, the manufacturer, &c., and, no doubt, some of it sometimes sticks by the way; but the chief commodities ultimately purchased with it are
“ Poh! nonsense !" cries my antagonist, “ who ever heard of buying taxes? There is not such an idea in all the works of Jeremy Bentham and Adam Smith." Perhaps not; but it is true notwithstanding. Sixty millions of pounds a year are collected by Government in taxes: every one knows that, I.maintain that such a sum could not be collected without the co-operation of machinery.- Let him disprove it who can.
Well, then, is not machinery good? Yes, under conditions as I said before: but not as employed merely to enable the nation to bear, this enormous and unnecessary load of fiscal imposition. But where go these taxes ultimately? Are they not paid to my Lord Claretlip, to Sir Henry Hazard, to Lady Jopewell, and to Mrs. Saintly? And do they not again descend upon the people like the fertilizing dews of Heaven?
Not so fast, if you please, good Mr. Canning-I admire your talents, and you and I together have wound up the last period very prettily: but when Mrs. Saintly gives me any part of her dividend, she generally expects either labour or goods in return
_" the dews of heaven” descend gratuitously upon rich and poor, upon the just and the unjust. And, Sir, is the industrious.classes of the community could contrive to keep fifty millions of these sixty amongst themselves, instead of sending them to Sir Henry Hazard and Lady Lopewell to be squandered amongst their Mara's and their Velluti's, and their less estimable associates-would it not be quite as well for them and the nation at large? Would not these industrious people spend it in procuring those articles of food, and clothing, and furniture, which they so much stand in need of? And what matters it to me, whether I give my labour and goods to the peasant or the peer, so that I but receive an equivalent?
J. F. Aug. 14, 1826.
A series of letters has appeared in the “ Literary Gazette and Journal of the Belles Lettres,” under the title of “ Sketches of Society." Those, which bave lately been inserted, have been written in Paris, by a man of considerable talents; an accurate observer of manners, evidently enjoying opportunities of no common kind for observing the condition of society. In the number published on Saturday last, Aug. 12, is Letter XV, from which the following extract is taken:
“ I wonder whether Dr. Gall and Spurzheim have ever been able to discover the organ of philoprogenitiveness in a French head? That bump must surely be inissing in all who send their children to the Foundling Hospital, or phrenology is not worth a farthing. Now that I am on the subjcet of phrenology, I think that aforesaid organ must be wanting in the French generally. Nothing is more common than to hear a lady say, 'I have had two children. I will have no more.' And, strange to say, the prediction is accomplished. It is extremely rare to see a French family with half-a-dozen children. There are two reasons, I am told-1. The expence of bringing them up.-2. What is considered vastly important, their being a drawback on the pleasures of the mother. "The delights of the opera and the ball must not be sacrificed to a parcel of brats; besides, they would make her look so old, and then, who could support the ridicule of being pointed out as having half-a-dozen children, when it is the castom not to exceed two."
There is an English lady living at Versailles, who has nine children, she is very lusty, and very remarkable on account of her numerous family. She is known among the French ladies by a phrase not at all indelicate as expressed in the French language, but which, if literally translated, would be" the great sow.”
The phrenologists will find obstinate opponents in those who think that education makes all or nearly all the difference among mankind. Individually, I stand midway between them, allowing one-balf of the difference to organization and the other half to education. I see great changes worked in the buman character by education ; but I see as great a permanent difference arising from state or quality of body. I have examined the subject attentively and find that I can neither yield all to the phrepologists nor all to the education people, where they battle for system.
The education people grant that an exercise of particular organs will produce changes in those organs; and the phrenologists admit the same thing after asserting the organic predisposition to exercise those particular organs. Many cases in proof may be
started on each side, so as to put the general rule under a state of arrest and suspension.
The science of phrenology and the science of education are alike annihilative of religion or the doctrine of souls and spirits. They exhibit mankind in a state of self-sufficiency for all the improvements that can be made in the human character. Al extraneous or super-human power is set at nought.. Indeed, in all cases of scientific research, it must be put aside, and nothing but visible realities contemplated. It would be well, if the phrenologists would speak out upon this the most important point in their science. They make sad blunders, when they attempt to support phrenologically any thing that comes under the head of religion. The clergy of the country see clearly that phrenology is an Atheistical science, and they generally oppose it on that ground. The pbrenologists, therefore, will make more rapid progress, in taking the open ground and in sbewing, that, if their science be Atheistical, it is the science of man. And the advocates for education as the basis of character, whose doctrine makes religious acquirements a matter of education, and not an organio attainment, excluding, also, superhuman power from the formation of mind, will do well to admit all that they can admit honestly of the utility of the seience of phrenology. R. C.
Is an awful sound to a scribbler, when he has no subject, and wants to be at something else. There is no greater bore than to have to write by measure, and this is the reason why periodical works do not display on an average the same research, ability, and depth of mind, as works on which the writers have taken the time they wished. A public writer should not have his time and attention occupied with matters foreign to his peculiar profession, whereas, as yet, 1, from taste, habit, or necessity, am still obliged, to be a man of all work, and still looking forward to emancipation! Emancipation! thou “ pleasing, dreadful sound!”. Hope of the slave, dread of the tyrant when conquered, delusion of the weak, and attendant only on the bold and fearless, thou art more often talked of than found.
Here are a number of strange workmen about the house, in all parts of it, and where can one find a corner to sit in quietly and unmolestedly? This, too, is a bore. The sorrows of every class of writers have been intruded on the public, but what are they in. comparison with the sorrows of a political writer in periodicals, in the month of August, in London, when the people of the town are as careless about reading as he possibly can be about writ