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which tend to the destruction of the very means of increasing • the quantity of labour.'
“ Mr. Single inveighs against Mechanics' Institutions. He says, “I know of no journeyman in any trade who works from five in the morning to seven at night, and works six whole days out of the seven, than can earn more than is barely sufficient to support himself and family.' Does Mr. Single mean that ALL journeymen work these long hours, and that too with incessant toil six days out of seven, and that they get only a bare maintenance? If he does, he must be deplorably ignorant. Every journeyman in London knows that there are many thousands who do not work these long hours, and who yet earn more than is barely necessary to keep themselves and families. Let him look at the fields on a fine Sunday evening, and he will see multitudes of journeymen and their wives much better dressed, and much more genteel in their conduct than their employers were within my recollection. Let him look at their dwellings, and he will find every thing corresponding with their increase of knowledge and self respect. Flament, as much as any man can, that this is not the case with all. But again, every journeyman has not a family to support, and while he has not, what can the unmarried journeyman do which to him can be half so useful, as his spending his three farthings a day on a Mechanics' Institution, where he may acquire the most useful knowledge? Mr. Single, like all those who hate information and love ignorance in the “ lower orders," as the great vulgar call the working people, sinks the principal objects of Mechanics' Institutions, and blazons forth those which have been cavilled at. In the London Mechanics' Institution, the model for all others, Mr. Single knows, or if he does not know, he should not presume to give his advice until he does know, that there have been manv useful lectures on mechanics, on chemistry, as applied to the arts,-to the arts practised under the name of trade by multitudes of journeymen,and on geography; that there are schools in thať Institution in which considerable numbers of journeymen learn arithmetic, algebra, and geometry,--things of much importance to them and to their families, as they are to every one's else; that considerable numbers have learned, and are learning, the French language; and that there is, in fact, no branch of useful knowledge in which journeymen may not acquire information, and which numbers do not acquire. But they who cavil, like Mr. Single, will still pretend that knowledge is not useful to journeymenand in this they will persist, in spite of the evidence of their eyes and ears. Those who like to see people slaves hate knowledge. “ Aye,” say they, “bot show us how Mechanics’ Institution knowledge can be useful." Well I will do this, by telling a true story.
I was a journeyman at eighteen years of age, having no rela
tion or patron able to assist me in any way.
I got married before I was of age, and soon had a family. My business was one of the worst in London, both, as to uncertainty of constant employ, ment, and as to wages. I soon experienced the terrible evils of poverty,. It may be fairly said, that I had no other prospect than that of living a life of misery myself, and of turning loose into the world a large number of wretched children,' From this I was saved by precisely such teaching as journeymen may receive in Mechanics' Institutions. My school learning was merely reading, writing a bad hand, and arithmetic to vulgar fractions. But I had a good worthy man for my school-master, who, during the half-year before I was put to a trade, taught me a little geography, and thus excited a desire in me to know more of my own and of foreign countries, the shape and motion of the earth and of the
solar system : thus my ideas were somewhat enlarged. He - showed me also a book of anatomy, and thus further excited my curiosity ; and
as I was, and as I for several years continued to be, I always found the means of procuring books on various subjects, and these I read diligently. Thrown out of employment by no fault of my own, and kept out of employment for several months, I employed my time in learning arithmetic, some geometry, and in reading a portion of Euclid : this I did without any assistance. “Oh !” say all the Thomas Singles in the world,
yours is not a common case; and of what use, after all, could these branches of learning be to a poor leather breeches maker?" True, Messrs. Single, mine is not a common case, and this is a conclusive reason for supporting Mechanics’ Institutions. They will make such cases much more common among the most respectable journeymen; and these are they who will in the first in-' stance become members of such institutions. As to the use of this kind of learning, we shall see that presently. While strug. gling in poverty to maintain my family I was joined by four other journeymen, each of 'whom paid sixpence a-week to a poor French emigrant for a lesson in his language. A desire for knowledge had been excited in each of us by different causes, and the more we knew the more we desired to know: and this desire never ceased in any one of us, and is as strong in me at the present moment, as it was at any period of my life.
“ Increase of knowledge produced increase of self-respect. I had never since the day of my marriage drunk so much as a pint of porter at any one time, and had scarcely ever spent so much as sixpence at any one time on myself, except the French teacher ;--my coadjutors were as poor, or nearly as poor as myself, and equally sober and industrious. And now, Messrs. Single, mark the result-every man of us flourished; one only did not become a master, because bis business was a secondary business, but all became respectable men, and nearly all became men of property. Had we had the advantage of the London Me
chanics' Institution-could we have had knowledge imparted at such an institution, our poverty would have been of short duration-our success earlier, and more certain--our cares, anxieties, and fears would have been lessened, and our families benefitted much earlier. Every man cannot succeed in the same way, and to the same extent as I and my fellows succeeded: but a great number may, and, by aid of Mechanics" Institutions, most assuredly they will succeed. Let then the Messrs. Single preach for ignorance, the parent of vice and crime, and misery to the working people; heed them not-go on-get all the knowledge you can ;---no man can tell how much any kind of knowledge may aid him hereafter. My imperfect knowledge of the French language put hundreds of pounds in my pocket; the knowledge of art and science, although in none had i enough to entitle me to become a professor, were of all but infinite service to me; they gained me valuable friends, they enabled me to use all my means—they increased my business--they procured me neverceasing enjoyments; and finally, when I was enabled to quit business altogether, they supplied me, and will continue to supply me with constant and pleasurable occupation. Get knowledge, my friends, and let your motto ever be, • ABOVE ALL THINGS, KNOWLEDGE.'
In the town of Dudley in Worcestershire, the Magistrates have not taken the lessons which the Ministers seem to have taken on the inạtility and wickedness of political persecution. The following statement has been printed .-
A circumstance occurred in this town in May, of a novel and singular nature. As it has excited a considerable sensation, I beg to hand you the particulars, which you may rely upon as being accurately stated. A Mr. Samuel Cooke, a respectable draper, whose establishment is situated in High Street, is in the habit of exbibiting in his shop window certain papers of a heterogeneous description; sometimes political, at other times containing matters relative to the business of the town, It appears, that, on the day in question, he had exhibited a placard containing expressions which the “powers that be” conceived had a pernicious tenden-. cy, and it was considered necessary to obtain possession of the obnoxiously written paper. An odd red-headed runner of errands was by them promised protection and a reward to break the windows and take the papers. Accordingly, whilst Mr. Samuel Cooke was at dinner, at two o'clock on the market-day, when all was bustle and confusion in the street, the man made a regular attack upon the glass, seized certain papers, and handed them to one of the town Constables, who immediately rescued the fellow
from a person who had collared him, promised to be bail for him, and then walked off. The papers so unjustifiably taken were transmitted by the authorities here to the official authorities in London, and were immediately returned with an answer, that they did not see the expediency of interfering; but if those who sent them could discover any thing in them of a dangerous or libellous tendency, they might act according to their own view of the importance of the case. Several papers have since been forcibly taken from the window; and at night another pane of glass broken."
Mr. Cooke was summoned before the Magistrates, and on the refusal to give bail was committed to Worcester. He was confined three weeks; but at the late Assizes he traversed the cüse and bailed.
The tenour of the papers were wisely considered by the Ministers as indifferent. Though strongly tinged with an expression of indignity at the suffering and starving state of the people, and though Mr. Cooke's remedy was a Minister's head for every person starved to death, those Ministers do not seem to have been alarmed at the proposition, and the Magistrates have foolishly raised a storm about nothing. Mr. Cooke seems determined to defend his right to publish his sentiments upon any subject, and perhaps his krmness will accomplish among the little despots of Dudley what the greater despois have been made to feel : that all prosecutions for the statement of opinions on public matters are inexpedient and produce an effect contrary to the one desired. Our present Ministers seem to understand this well, and I wonder that when Mr. Peel could not see the expediency of proceeding against Mr. Cooke, he could not see the expediency of Liberating Perry, Campion, and Clarke, instead of removing them from one gaol to another, after an imprisonment of two years and upwards for the mere sale of that which we now sell as openly and as commonly as tobacco and snuff are sold. How is this, Mr. Peel?
Public discussions on the validity of revealed religion are extending. The possession of a regular chapel by the Rev. Robt. Taylor is a point gained, a step in advance made. The Cateatonstreet Room is likely to be occupied by a sort of branch of the Christian Evidence Society. Several meetings of this branch have. taken place in Primrose-street, and the numerous audience makes a larger place necessary. The Christians cannot stand before free discussion, The Unitarians crow over Mr. Beard's letters but these letters are blank indeed on every thing that can be considered a valid evidence of the good foundation of Christianity.
I wish we had more of such opponents as Mr. Beard; for we must gain in its being seen, that men of first rate ability can do nothing for the support of Christianity upon tenable grounds. Notwithstanding the great distresses of the people, this is an important era. The people can only get rid of their distress by getting rid of taxation and they are not in a state to talk of getting rid of taxation, while they are in a state to be priest-ridden! Ignorance is a primary cause of their present sufferings. It is rare to see a well informed moral man in distress. Such circumstances do occur; but they happen as exceptions to the rule. Misfortunes do happen; but nine cases out of ten that pass under this title would be more properly called misconducts.
In a few months, we shall see free discussion on matters of religion publicly practised wherever two chapels can be found in one place in this Island.
JOINT STOCK BOOK COMPANY.
The little stock of the Company, the nucleus of a larger one, is now arranged in its intended place, and open to the examination of every subscriber, or of any respectable person. The printingoffice is not yet in order, from alterations to make it more commodious, so that, though we have more works partly done, we have finished nothing since “ Janus on Sion,” which will be ready for delivery in a few days. It must be the work of another week, to state the total of receipts, expenditure, &c., as an arrangement of the stock in its proper place was not completed until the 27th instant. Were wages paid for management, a. more early arrangement would have been made; but no expence has been incurred beyond that of getting up the works by the printer and binder. I now purpose to charge the Company £30. per year for the rent of the room in which the stock is placed, a sum which may be made of the room, if let for any other purpose. This charge is to commence from Midsummer last, and will constitute the total expence of management for the first year. In addition to its being a room large enough to contain twenty times the amount of the present stock, it has all the conveniences which are required for book-keeping, and it has that respectability of appearance and locality which the subscribers must desire. In this room the Company may be said to have made its first appearance ; for though books have been printed and on sale, the stock as a whole has been nowhere visible. All persons who have contemplated a subscription to this Company, are desired to inspect its procedure for their satisfaction. We can proceed steadily without more subscriptions; but here is space, and it is now desirable to make it an affair of magnitude.