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facts, instead of bewildering themselves and their readers with fine-spun theories and systems, they would be much better qualified than they are to give instruction to their less fortunate fellow countrymen.
F. P. is mistaken in supposing that the million of persons whom he assumes to be employed in the cotton manufactory have found that employment in consequence of the introduction of machinery; it must be considered that the cotton trade, as it regards articles of dress and furniture, has in a great measure superseded the woollen manufactures, and, it is probable, that it would have done the same if not a machine more complicated than the hand-wheel and the loom had ever been known. At no very distant period, every female in the kingdom was clothed either in worsted or silk, or mixed stuffs : now, nine-tenths of their dress are composed of cotton : it is the same with the men, and with the draperies of our household furniture. The lightness, the pleasantness, the susceptibility of ornament which the cotton goods possess, are sufficient reasons for this change; possibly, in another century or two, some other substance may be introduced which will supersede the cotton.
But it is useless to argue upon this subject, for if you dislodge those economists from their strong holds of machinery, they immediately take refuge in a redundant population--a chimera, conjured up for political purposes, and talked about so much and so long, that the conjurors, some of them, actually believe in the reality of its existence. I must therefore take a bop, skip, and jump, to the latter end of part 2, of F. P.'s essay, and make a few observations upon population. He there tells us, that “ England was once in a state similar to New Holland now:" it may have been so, but, observe, this is a mere conjecture, there is no historical evidence of the fact, and I cannot allow these system weavers to assume premises at their pleasure, and then draw therefrom inferences calculated to support their whimsical speculations. The earliest authentic records, or that are admitted to be such, concerning this country, are the writings of Julius Cæsar: he found it populous, powerful, and in some parts highly civilized; so powerful, indeed, that with his well-disciplined vetesans, and “all appliances and means to boot,” he was unable to subdue it. But I have no occasion for the evidence of Cæsar: I shall again call in F. P. to give evidence against himself. says, that in Great Britain there are fifteen millions of people, and that two thousand years ago, probably there was not one person for every ten thousand wbich it now contains. One in ten thousand will be fifteen bundred in fifteen millions, Very well, there were fifteen hundred persons, or, as F. P. says, probably not so many, in Great Britain two thousand years ago. Julius Cæsar 'invaded it fifty-five years before the Christiar era, that is eighteen hundred and eighty-one years ago : Now, if in a hundred and
nineteen years these fifteen hundred people increased to that great population which held the conqueror of the world at bay could afford in the year A. D. 61, to lose eighty thousand men under Boadicea in conquering the Romans, I have only to say that our forefathers were as clever at making men, as we are at making calicoes.
I am unexpectedly irterrupted in my scribbling, but being unwilling to lose a week I send you this hastily written fragment, ·and intend to address you again soon.
THE FOLLOWING WELL WRITTEN LETTER IS TAKEN
FROM WEDNESDAY'S HERALD.'
Sır, I have lately perused several articles in your “ Morning Herald,” stating that ministers consider that emigration will be a means of relief from the present dreadful state of distress into which the country is plunged, and that, therefore, they are desirous of encouraging it.
If they imagine that it will afford permanent relief, unless followed up by a subversion of the present system of granting relief to the poor, and by a dismemberment of the enormous farms so destructive to the welfare, happiness, morality, and health of the people, they are miserably mistaken. That superabundant population is the cause of the present distress, no one can doubt; anil that emigration of that superabundant population would be a temporary relief, no one can doubt ; but, in due course of time-about eighteen or twenty years' time, we should again be entering on an excess of population, unless, as I stated above, the present system of granting relief to the poor, and the enormous farms are put down, for there is the root of the evil to be found. I lived for many years in the country, in one of the most favourable districts for agricultural pursuits, and I have seen this assertion of mine verified to the fullest extent. The present system of relieving the poor is according to the number in family, and the wages that are paid for labour are a nothing, and the rest is paid to the applicant from the poor-rate. Now, an active single man, who has no claim on the poorrale, is, from the insufficiency of the sum paid to him for labour to sustain bim, induced to take a wife, and who producing to him annually a child, gives an annual increase of claim on the poor-rate, and thus be gets his subsistence, and population is by this forced measure improperly increased. Heretofore it was very rare to find labouring people diguified with the title of grandfather or grandmother from their offspring living; but now you may find even great grandfathers and great grandmothers existing in mul. titudes of parishes. You find then that there is another generation of pau. (pers introduced entirely by this system of paying out of the poor-rate according to family, and not allowing a young nian fair remuneration for his Jabour. Now, if the young man was allowed a fair price for his labour, he would, as heretofore, feel inclined to wait till he was of a fit age to marry, and had saved a sufficient sum to enable him to settle on a little land bimself as a renter. But observe, I mean the throwing open the large farms, and the alteration of the system of paying out of the poor-rate for labour and support, as inseparable, The present system is most degrading to my
fellow-countrymen; for with the most industrious activity and bodily strength, and the best and purest intentions, they are compelled by the farmers to become paupers, or starve ; and the indolence and sloth has a premium, while industry and virtue are below par. The degree of tyranny that is bsercised over them, too, by the parish officer, is insalting and degrading. I will now suppose a case of a young man who has had a fair remuneration for his tabour by a kind master, and has saved a sum of tnoney, and is arrived at an age of thirty-five years he is desirous to marry, and bring up a family in respectability, as we used to see heretofore done, but he is prevented by the destructive system of consolidating farms, for he has saved money enough to stock a neat little small one; but had he laid by the entire of his earnings, and doubled and quadrupled them, it would not have been half enough to stock a modern farm.” What then, is his case? Why, if he marry, he knows eventually his family must come to the parish. It is the cultivation of land is the source of the happiness and wealth of the people, while fairly distributed—but monopolized, it is the source of misery and demoralization to the major part. 'Hei etofore, whoever heard of national schools aud Sunday schools ? Each village had a useful, honest, active schoolmaster, and all the labourers' children attended his school at the parent's cost, and the parent felt independent, and the child, when he' grew up, was not to be told he had been taught as a pauper, at parish expence; and on Sundays parents and children read together at home ;-bul now you thrust the father to the alehouse, and then make a merit of whipping, the child to church and school. The magnitude of the evil of consolidating the farms, and paying the poor for labour out of the poor-rate, is such, that to dwell on it long quite overcomes us, and it requires the n.ost serious attention of Ministers. If the 'landowners will not give way and open the farms, I hope the whole of the Coro Laws will be repealed. This would render them of so little valué, that then they must do it, in some degree ; and I hope to hear that some public meeting will be convened previous to the meeting of Parliament, to lay the case fairly before the country, and petition the Parliament to adopt snch measures as shall afford some relief from the oppressive conduct of landowners. Our forefathers were so thoroughly of opinion of the evil of one man holding too much land, that'an Act was passed in the reign of Henry VIII. to prevent it, under a penalty, to be levied weekly. And why should the same not be now?--Why not, I ask, now, for surely never was it more required? Giving a fair price for labour, and throwing open the large farms, would empty our jails of poachers, and our work houses of paupers,-cheer the hearts of the people, and fill the hungry bellies of the poor half-famished husbandmen, and be a blessing to the whole nation.
If some useful, able, and active man of consequence would but take up the subject, and invite an assembly, he would certainly be supported, and I dare say a petition be presented to Parliament of the greatest hulk of names ever signed. The Editor of the “ Morning Herald” should seize the opportunity, and take up this affair as warmly as he has the schemes.,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE REPUBLICAN.
Bradford, Sept. 5, 1826. It is much to be regretted that in writing or speaking, words of an ambiguous, equivocal, or indefinite meaning, should be so much used, either from ignorance, carelessness, or design, and I was pleased to find the necessity of some remarks I had intended to make so ably superseded by an article, in the 6th Number of the present volume of “The Republican," on “ Superstition," by your correspondent A. Z.
The observations, I am about to make, are drawn from me by the remarks of Mr. Thomas Turton, in the 5th number of the present volume, on an argument used by me for the possibility of the existence of mankind from eternity. I imagine that Mr. Turton and I attach the same meaning to the word --Damely, duration without limit, and in that case, notwithstanding the indefiniteness of the word, and the impossibility of having a precise idea of the meaning comprised in the term, yet the definition above given, will, I think, be sufficiently exact for our purpose.
Infinity is another abstract term of the same nature and both are negative. They are difficult of illustration by comparison, but they may, for want of a better, be thus compared ; eternity, to a right line, of which neither end can be perceived, and, inknity (or boundless space), to a sphere, of which the circumference cannot be approached. • Mr. Turton thinks my reasoning illogical, because I argue that if mankind may exist through an eternity to come, they may have existed through a past eternity, and he endeavours to shew the absurdity of my ipference, by applying the argument to prove the like possibility of the eternity of the steam-engine and railway. If we had had no experience of the invention and commencement of these pieces of machinery, but had always found them produced, each from its like, by generation or vegetation, the reasoning, even in this case, foolish as Mr. Turton may deem it, would have been perfectly logical, and especially so, in the absence of all proof or experience to the contrary, but having once seen any thing contrived by a designer, and arranged and fitted up by a workman, we infer the impossibility of its natural eternity as a species, by which I mean, its tendency to exist in succession beyond any assignable period. The steam-engine and rail-way are totally independent of any antecedent steamengine and rail way, but in man and other animals the case is different; like proceeds from and produces its like, and has done so from eternity, for any thing that Mr. Turton, or any one else knows, but if the beginning of markind be a matter of fact (to
which I have not the least objection) I am ready to yield my assent to the proof of its probability : and, as Mr. Turton has taken the affirmative side of the proposition, he must be aware that the onus probandi, or, burden of proving, rests with him. I and those who argue with me deny that mankind had any beginning, and
are waiting patiently for our opponents, proofs of the contrary.
I am not aware, “ that geological research gives evidence from the strata of changes on our globe, before man was an actor, that animals” (with the exception of the doubtful instance, the American Mammoth) “ have existed that at present do not exist, and that animals, now in existence, were not in existence when such changes took place,” but I do not deny the possibility of such evidence though I must have it before I admit Mr. Turton's conclu. sion, “ that our present existence is no evidence of the existence of man either from or to eternity." He should bave said the possibility of his existence, for I argued nothing more. But I beg to differ with Mr. Turton in his conclusion very widely. I say, the present existence of man is an evidence of his existence from eteroity; for I believe Mr. Turton will uot deny that a man's existence is an evidence that he had a father; the father's existence is an evidence that he had a father, and every preceding man's existence is an evidence of the existence of a mau' still preceding him, and thus we may go back till the series becomes infinite, so that the evidence becomes so highly probable as al. most to amount to direct proof, but which I know is impossible. I hope Mr. Turton will not attempt to prove the eternity of the steam-engine by the application of this argument.
The author of “ The System of Nature,** in his chapter "on the origin of man," is not quite so positive as Mr. Turton that man is a production of time, though he leans to that notion, but he disagrees with him on another point; he thinks it probable that the existence of man may be co-eval with the globe in its present position, while, if I understaad Mr. Turton rightly, he supposes man to have been produced subsequent to the arrangement of the materials of the globe in its present general position. But Toulmin in the 11th sect. of the “ Antiquity and Duration of the World," says, “ And yet though matter ever thus is agitated, and nature changes forms, her forms do all exist. Thoughi men are seen to die, or change existence, the human species flourish in eternal being !"
It is perfectly true that the climate and soit of one zone are not suitable to the productions of another zone. The tea plant of China, and the sugar cane of Jamaica do not appear calculated for growing and maturing in the vallies of Yorkshire or on the highlands of Scotland. Neither is the lion of Africa, br the tiger of Bengal to be found in the forests of Canada, or among the snows of Lapland. Yet we are told by naturalists, that the re