« AnteriorContinuar »
Smiths soon arranged that Ann was to be married on the it could not be advantageously used for the finer qualisame evening as her sister Sally.
ties, as thread of great tenuity has not strength to bear On the morning of the double-wedding day, Mr Biley, the pull of the rollers when winding itself on the bobbin. the law-agent of Mr Morison, called on Mary, having only | This defect in the spinning was remedied by the invenreturned to town on the previous evening.
tion of another machine called the Mule Jenny, from its “I have to congratulate you on an improvement in combining the principles of Arkwright's water-frame your affairs, Miss Morison,” said this honest lawyer. and Hargreaves' jenny. Like the former, it has &
“I am afraid, sir,” said Mary, “ all improvements have system of rollers to reduce the roving; and, like the come too late, for I feel that I have not long time to live. latter, it has spindles without bobbins to give the twist, The cruel things I have had to endure have left me too and the thread is stretched and spun at the same time by low to enjoy any thing this world can give.”
the spindles, after the rollers have ceased to give out the “Say not so, my dear; you are but a young woman, rove. By this arrangement, comprising the advantages and bright days will yet come. Your father's embarrass both of the rollers and spindles ; the thread is stretched ments arose from the supposed failure of a foreign more gently and equally, and a much finer quality of correspondent, who is to stand after all, and not only will yarn can therefore be produced. every body be paid, but as much will be left over as to “This excellent machine," says Mr Baines (Hist. of keep you handsomely all your life.”
Cotton Manufacture, p. 198), " which has superseded the “Riches will not make me live."
jenny, and to a considerable extent the water-frame, and “But revenge will all women like it. Look here at which has carried the cotton manufacture to a perfection this paper ; with it, you can crush the scoundrel Lithgow. it could not otherwise have attained, was invented by Old Smith borrowed money from your father, and gave Samuel Crompton, a weaver of respectable character and him this bond over his half of the Minerva. Smith has moderate circumstances, living at Hall-in-the-Wood, near not paid it, and, from the extravagant living of his family, Bolton, Lancashire.” This machine was at first called cannot do it. The Minerva is entirely your own, and you the Hall-in-the Wood wheel, from the place where the can kick the puppy out this hour if you will."
inventor then lived; but, owing to its combining the “ Give me the bond, and tell him to call upon me in principles both of Hargreaves' and Arkwright's machines, an hour."
it soon obtained the name of the mule jenny, which it “ Who do you mean by him-is it Smith or Lithgow ? " has since retained. Mr Baines happily adapts the followsaid the lawyer.
ing couplet to Crompton's invention :" It is Will— I cannot pronounce the name, Mr
The force of genius could no farther go; Biley; but you know who I mean.”
To make a third, he joined the other two. "I do, I do; and I am glad you are going to punish the rascal.”
The short and simple annals of Samuel Crompton are An hour afterwards Lithgow made his appearance-he easily told. He was born in 1753. He began to conhung down his head, but conld not summon courage to trive his machine in 1774, when twenty-one years old, speak Mary looked at him steadily-for the innocent and he did not bring it to maturity till nearly five years and injured are ever strong.
afterwards, namely 1779. Amid unambitious obscurity “Do you know all ?”
and indigence, he devoted his spare hours and the ener“ I do."
gies of an ingenious mind to the invention and fabrication " William, you have broken my heart, but you need of a machine which has enriched his country, but which not break another's. Take this paper, and do with it as to himself or his family brought no substantial or lasting you please, and may God forgive you, as I shall try to do. advantage. Being of a retiring disposition, he did not Nay; no thanks or apologies--the mockery of words secure a patent for his invention; and only regretted would sicken me. Farewell-and farewell for ever.” that public curiosity would not allow him “ to enjoy his
The guilty man slunk from her presence; but at the little invention to himself in his garret;" and to earn, by marriage hour he came not. The alarmed guests waited his own manual labour, undisturbed, the fruit of his own in terror and suspense; and search and inquiry were in- | ingenuity and perseverance. (Vide Mr Kennedy's Brief stituted to no purpose. He had called at his uncle's | Account of Crompton in Memoirs of the Lit. and Philos. dressed for the ceremony, and told them that, feeling Society of Manchester, vol. v., second series). In the folunwell, he intended taking a walk on the pier before lowing simple, but interesting, letter to a friend, he says, going to Mr Smith's. The harbour was dragged, and his “ In regard to the mule, the date of its being completed body was found, the feet and wrists being tied together was in the year 1779. At the end of the following year, with his own hands, as if for the purpose of preventing I was under the necessity of making it public, or destroyany after attempt at life, for he was known to be upcom ing it, as it was not in my power to keep and work it; monly expert as a swimmer.
and to destroy it was too painful a task, having been four Ann Smith married in three months afterwards; and and a half years at least, wherein every moment of time about the same time, the stranger gentleman, Mr Wight, and power of mind, as well as expense, were devoted to who had formerly lived with Mary's father, came to town.
this one end, the having good yarn to weave; so that to The first place he sought for was the churchyard ; and, destroy it I could not." long after sunset, he was seen gazing with clasped hands Poor Crompton having made no effort to secure by a on a white marble slab bearing the simple inscription patent the exclusive enjoyment of his invention, it be“MARY Morison."
came public property; and was immediately turned to advantage by the active enterprise of manufacturers,
regardless of the claims and worth of the inventor. [The above sketch has been handed to us for publica
The remainder of his ill-fated history cannot be better tion by the literary legatee of the “Unfortunate Author,"
told than in the words of John Kennedy, Esq., long an referred to in No. 13, page 252 of the Torch. Our corre
eminent manufacturer in Manchester, and now resident spondent states that he has other sketches in reserve, if
| at his seat, Knocknalling, Kirkcudbrightshire :the one now sent meets with approval.]
“ About the year 1802, Mr G. A. Lee and myself set on foot a subscription for Mr Crompton, which amounted
to about L.500; and with this he was enabled to increase SAMUEL CROMPTON, AND THE MULE JENNY. his little manufacturing establishment in Bolton, namely,
of spinning and weaving. He was prevailed upon also Of the great inventions of Hargreaves and Arkwright, to sit to a London artist for his portrait, which is now namely, the Spinning-jenny and the Water-frame, we in my possession. He was left a widower when his have given an account in our two preceding Numbers. | children were very young; and his only daughter kept his These inventions established the cotton manufacture, as little cottage in King Street, Bolton, where he died, and by far the most important branch of business, in this where she is now (1829) living. Being a weaver, he erected country. But perfection is seldom attained suddenly. / several looms for the fancy work of that town, in which The water-frame, for example, spun twists for warps, but I he displayed great ingenuity. Though his means were
but small, his economy in living made him always in be productive alone of misery and vice above the easy circumstances. In 1812, he made a survey of all ordinary growth, unless it be submitted to the steady the cotton districts in England, Scotland, and Ireland, culture of a sound judgment united with unremitting and obtained an estimate of the number of spindles then industry.” We have culled a few notes, which will at work upon his principle, which amounted to about hen we
help, we trust, to knock the "indolence fallacy” upon four or five millions (the number is now above ten millions !) On his return, he laid the result of his inquiries
the head. Other peculiarities will be talked of in before Mr Lee and myself, with a suggestion that Parlia
future “ Notes." ment might grant him something. With these data
Who, we should like to know, was more laborious before him, Mr Lee, who was a warm friend to genius of
than Sir Walter Scott? Are the “Waverley Novels” every kind, with his usual energy entered fully into his not a monument of his industry? And then his merits, and made an appointment with the late George miscellaneous prose writings, of course they were Duckworth, Esq. of Manchester, who also took a lively not written by machinery. He wrote a few poems interest in the scheme, and gratuitously offered to draw also, but, perhaps, these won't count! He was one up a memorial to Parliament in behalf of Mr Crompton. of the clerks of the Court of Session too, but that This was signed by most of the principal manufacturers
was trifling. And then in addition to these, he was one in the kingdom who were acquainted with his merits. He went to London himself with the memorial, and
of the partners of a great printing office. He was pestered obtained an interview with one of the members for the
night and day also by correspondence. He had, we county of Lancashire. He remained there during the
dare to say, letters from half the needy authors of session, and was in the House of Commons on the even.
Great Britain, asking advice and assistance. He was ing that Mr Perceval was shot, and witnessed the a country gentleman, and had his property to supercatastrophe. A short time before this disastrous occur intend. He was for years the lion of society, and rence, Mr Perceval had given him a promise to interest saw more company, perhaps, and was at more parhimself in his behalf; and, in accordance with this assur- ties, and attended more public meetings, than any ance, had brought in a bill, which was passed, for a grant man of his day. Verily, his life was no sinecure. of L.5000 in full, without fees or charges.
Speaking of Sir Walter Scott very naturally brings “Mr Crompton was now anxious to place his sons
us in remembrance of another industrious author, in some business, and fixed upon that of bleaching; but the unfavourable state of the times, the inexperience and
the Ettrick Shepherd. Surely none will doubt his mismanagement of his sons, a bad situation, and a mis
industry. He wrote for everything and for everyunderstanding with his landlord, which occasioned a body: Essays for weekly periodicals, and tales for tedious lawsuit, conspired in a short time to put an end monthly ones ; treatises on sheep, and long poems to the establishment. His sons then dispersed ; and he about long pilgrimages to the sun; sketches for the and his daughter were reduced to poverty. Messrs newspapers of the day, and novels for those who Hicks and Rothwell of Bolton, myself, and some others, could afford to buy them. Like more commonplace in that neighbourhood and in Manchester, had, in 1824, men, too, he had other duties. He was married, and recourse to a second subscription to purchase a life I had a family. But whether married or single, shepannuity for him, which produced L.63 per annum. The herd or
herd or farmer, his written works show him to have amount raised for this purpose was collected in small
been a man of hard untiring industry. sums, from one to ten pounds, some of which were contributed by the Swiss and French spinners, who acknow
Of the living authors of the present time, especially ledged his merits and pitied his misfortunes. At the
of the novelists, there is little cause to complain. The same time, his portrait was engraved for his benefit, and female writers, in particular, appear to be trying who a few impressions were disposed of. (A very striking can write most. Mrs Gore, Mrs Howitt, Mrs Ellis, print of him is given in Baines' book, already referred to.] and Mrs Johnstone, are ceaseless in their endeavours He enjoyed the small annuity only two years. He died to cater for the public. What a pity, we often January 26, 1827, in the 74th year of his age, leaving his think, that the latter named lady confines her writdaughter, his affectionate housekeeper, in poverty."
ings so much to the periodicals. What a great treat would be a three-volumed novel, all at once, from
the all-accomplished Mistress Margaret Dods. We NOTES BY A BIOGRAPHY READER. have no hesitation in saying, that her labours in THE INDUSTRY OF GENIUS.
periodical literature are equal to about seventy novel
volumes a year. There is industry! To gain some Men of genius, according to Mr Gilfillan, the author idea of what Mrs Gore and the Howitts (William of a “ Gallery of Literary Portraits,” are very much and Mary) do, it is only necessary to look occasionakin to their neighbours in regard to industry, indo- ally at the newspapers. Seldom a week passes that lence, vanity, irritability, poverty, and the many other there is not a new announcement from one or the “ills that flesh is heir to." That is to say, that they other of them. G. P. R. James is a frightful are, in a great measure, just like their more prosaic “ shedder of ink." Catch him idle. Some person brethren who are busily engaged in trade and com once said, that he was so accustomed to write, that he merce. There can be little doubt about the truth could never stop; and that, sleeping or waking, it was of the observation. Some authors are remarkable all the same : write he must; and in sooth, one for their industry and economy of time, and others would suppose it was quite true. Biographies, are less so. It is the same in trade. We may take novels, or essays for periodicals, are all the same to it for granted, that in all cases where men arrive at G. P. R. James. He dabbles in everything. Poor distinguished excellence, either in the world of let- man! we are afraid it is quite a steam-leg case. ters or in the world of trade, labour-much labour “ What a terrible fellow that Jerrold is," said a friend must have been employed. In fact, a prodigious deal of of ours one day : “why, he's never done writing. nonsense has been written in regard to the peculiarities One week he brings out a comedy, and in a day or of men of genius, and much has been said, in particular, two after, pop appears some amusing sop of Caudle; about their laziness. It is all humbug. “ The richest and then he has a Magazine, writes in the Daily land will not yield corn without tillage and seed- News, and, last of all, there's his 'Punch.'” Lord sowing: on the contrary,” says Mr Cromwell, in his Jeffrey, Lord Brougham, Sydney Smith, Sir James Essay on Genius, “it will be possessed by weeds, Mackintosh, J. G. Lockhart, and others of the Review whose number and luxuriance will be in exact cor-class, have not been idlers. Perhaps no man works respondence with its native fertility. So genius will harder than Henry Brougham. What a herculean task was his defence of the unfortunate Queen Ca- | their works, is good evidence of the fact. Luiz de roline !
Camoens, the “warrior bard," the poet of Portugal, And the classics—what about them? Hear Gil. is a striking example of the hardships that men of gefillan :-“ Homer seems to have been as active as nius occasionally endure. His life was a great series most ballad-singers ; and verily their trade is no of privation and labour. Erasmus wrote a book on sinecure. Eschylus was a tragedian, a leader of a journey. All the great painters have been great armies, and a writer of ninety plays. Demosthenes workers; and those amongst them who have achieved talked perpetually ; and to talk at his pitch for a the most fame, have been the greatest. We may lifetime was something. Pindar added the activity merely mention Caravaggio, Salvator Rosa, Raffaelle, of an Olympic jockey to the fury of a Pythoness. Titian, and Murillo, as examples. Neither have our Virgil polished away all his life, and the labour of modern artists been triflers away of their time. the file is no trifle. On what subject has Cicero not | How many hours of hard and persevering labour had written ? And an encyclopediast is not thought the Wilkie to endure before his native talent, displayed most indolent of animals. Horace, we admit, was in a shop window at Charing Cross, called the attenindolent. Not so Lucretius, who, besides other tion of the public to his genius? We might enuthings, was at the pains of building up an entire merate numerous other painters of eininence, whose system of the universe in a long and lofty poem." road to fame has been rough enough. These are but Talking of Horace,-De Quincey, in a recent a few instances of the industry of men of genius. number of Tait's Magazine, thinks Gilfillan quite Many more could be cited, but, for the present, we wrong in his admission of Horace's idleness. * Mr conclude. De Quincey says, that although he wrote less than Lucretius, yet be bestowed much more pains upon what he did do. “ The curiosa felicitas of Horace
ON THE PRICE OF MONEY. in his lyrical compositions, the elaborate delicacy of
There is no contract, public or private; no engagement, na. workmanship in his thoughts and in his style, argue," tional or individual, which is unaffected by the exchange. The
enterprises of commerce, the profits of trade, the arrangements to
be made in all the domestic relations of society; the wages of any equal number of lines in Lucretius, would mea
labour, the transactions of the highest amount and of the lowest; sure itself by months against days. There are single the payment of the national debt, the provision for the national odes in Horace that must have cost him a six weeks'
expenditure on the one hand-and the command which the coin
of the smallest denominatian has over the necessaries of life, on seclusion from the wickedness of Rome.” De Quincey the other--are all affected by it.”-Sir Robert Peel. is right. A man's industry is not according to the size of his produce, but according to the amount of There is no subject on which more misconception tiine, labour, and thought he bestowed upon it. exists than on Foreign Exchanges; and although all
Let us back to “Old England.” Shakspeare, who read the earnest words of the Premier above “the immortal bard,” the swan of Avon, wrote quoted will admit that the matter is of grave and thirty plays before he was fifty. Who wrote personal import, yet their perception of this is vague more than Dryden? Milton was a working man; and indefinite, and many give their assent to the feeling himself always in the eye of his great soundness of what Sir Robert says, without really task-haster, labour was to him a thing to love. | knowing what is implied in his warning words. This The author of Robinson Crusoe, as well as being a should not be. The foreign exchanges are undermost active citizen, was a most voluminous writer, stood by those who have practically to do with both of novels and other works. Pope was a great them, and we do not see why they should not popolisher of his writings. It is said of him that he pularly be understood as well as other technical wrote much, but polished more.” Goldsmith must topics. There is nothing inherently difficult in the write, if from nothing else but vanity and desire of subject; and if such of our readers as do not underpraise. Cowper never was indolent, except when in stand it will give us their attention for a few minutes, à fit of derangement. “Byron had all the activity we think we shall, with the assistance of an article of a scalded fiend." Wordsworth has been called from the Companion to the British Almanac, be indolent. He has, however, written “ The Recluse;" | able to make the preliminary points so plain, that and it is long since Jeffrey sought for a “ powerful they have only to go to a regular treatise on political calculus” to compute its colossal magnitude. Southey economy, in order to master the subject thoroughly. was the most regularly industrious man of his day. Suppose that A, a grocer in London, bays figs Coleridge was of an indolent constitution; and yet, from B, a fruit-merchant in Spain, to the amount besides talking incessantly, he wrote a great deal of one hundred pounds. In due course B has to be “Shelley gave himself no rest till his glorious eyes paid, and A can pay him only in one of three ways. were shut, and his warm heart hushed in death. 1. He can send goods in exchange. He had drank poison, and he slept no more.” Ro 2. He can send a bill of exchange. bert Burns wrote a very great deal; and, in addition, 3. He can send 100 sovereigns, technically called he was a farmer and an exciseman. Allan Cunningham, besides writing many volumes of novels and If B wants none of the goods that A can send biography, was, for a number of years, foreman to him, the first plan must be abandoned. The third Sir Francis Chantrey, the eminent sculptor, and his is a plain simple method, but it is liable to two duties in this establishment were far from being objections ; the carriage is expensive, and the risk light. In a preceding number of the “ Torch," our is so great that recourse must be had to insurance, readers got some idea of the industry of J.C. Loudon, which of course increases the cost of transit. Say whose widow, also an authoress, we are glad to per- that freight and insurance were to cost L.3, it would ceive Sir Robert Peel has rewarded with a pension of evidently be desirable to remit by a bill of exchange, L.100 per annum.
if that could be done for L.1. But what is a bill Dante, the author of the “ Divine Commedia," the of exchange? It is this. A has a neighbour, C, a lover of the blue-eyed Lady Bice, had too restless a leather-merchant, who has sent leather to the value soul for an indolent man. Petrarch, Boccacio, Tasso, of one hundred pounds to D, a second party in Spain. Metastasio, and Alfieri, were all of them hard-work- C of course draws on D for the amount; but as he ing men. The number and elegance of finish of ! is about to send the bill to his banker, A steps in
and says, I am owing that sum to B; give me your the price of his figs be raised. Whoever, then, bill on D, and I will pay you L.100, and a small sweats a soyereign, or clips a shilling, may enrich sum (which is the rate of exchange) for your bill, himself, but he clearly robs some other man ; and and then D will pray the proceeds to my creditor B. | if he practises his roguery to a great extent, he imThus:
poverishes his country by raising prices. A owes B, but pays C.
The effect of degrading the coinage of the realm D owes C, but pays B.
was strikingly illustrated in the time of Henry VIII. All the transactions are in consequence adjusted, and his successor, Edward VI., the former monarch without the necessity of despatching either goods or having depreciated the value of the currency by an specie.
undue admixture of alloy. It is stated in a pamWhen settlement of a foreign account can be ac-phlet written at the time, “ that there began to be complished by a bill of exchange, such as we have some disorder in the price of all wares and commomentioned, at a cheaper rate than it could be done dities." This was farther increased by Edward VI., by sending gold or silver, the exchange is said to be who diminished still more the quantity of pure in favour of this country ; in other words, the ex silver in each coin, and the consequence was, “ that ports of Britain exceed the imports to such an ex- | the English pound sterling, which heretofore extent, that debts due by (i. e. bills due by) foreign changed abroad for twenty-six Flemish schillings, merchants can readily be got at a small premium. became worth no more than thirteen Flemish schilBut if, on the other hand, Britain should buy more lings," the price of English commodities being at from, than she sells to, foreign countries, then the the same time proportionally increased. exchange must be against her; and if she can buy | In the reign of William III. the silver coin had bills at all, it must be at a high premium, for the become depreciated, owing to wear and tear, and simple reason, that foreign merchants owing us little fraudulent clipping, more than 25 per cent., and the or nothing, we cannot purchase claims against them consequence was, that the nominal exchange bewherewith to settle individual obligations. Bills of tween England and Holland was 25 per cent. against exchange being thus unprocurable, we must remit England when the real exchange was at par. Beby bullion ; and if the remittances are heavy, there fore the reformation of our gold coinage in 1774, will be a scarcity of coinage money at home, and a the guinea contained so much less than its standard consequent pressure in the money-market. Bank weight as to be degraded from 2 to 3 per cent. when notes represent money within a country, so long as compared with the current French coins ; and the the party issuing them is solvent ; but if that party exchange between England and France was comcannot, when required, meet all demands in coin, or puted to be 2 or 3 per cent. nominally against this other property convertible into it, their notes are country. Upon the improvement of the gold coin worth as little as the promissory-notes of a private the exchange rose to par. The Turkish government, bankrupt. The mere possession of bank notes does in the course of the last forty years, have made not prevent a monitory or bullion panic, any more three great alterations depreciating the intrinsic than an over-stock of unsaleable goods will prevent value of their coins. Before these frauds were coma shopkeeper, who has sunk his capital in buying mitted, the Turkish piastre contained nearly as much them, from being pinched for ready money. A drain silver as the English half-crown; and in exchange of specie on this country consequently shows, that the par was estimated at eight piastres to the pound the balance of trade is against us that we have to sterling. But the consequence of these adulterations buy more than we have to sell and that having to has been the reduction of the silver in the piastre buy that more with the only kind of money which to one-half, and a fall in the exchange of one huna foreign country will equitably take, namely, specie, dred per cent. Bills on London have been bought of which we are short, it follows that prices in this in Turkey at the rate of sixteen piastres for every country must rise. To obviate such a difficulty as pound sterling. This was several years ago; but it this, the new currency regulations provide, that the shows distinctly the effect of a depreciation of the amount of the circulating medium is to fluctuate currency on the nominal exchange. Although it in accordance with the exchange; that is to say, may not be certain that this great fluctuation in the when an adverse exchange occurs, with a demand exchange was entirely to be attributed to the defor gold to export, that gold is to be taken from the preciation of the coin, because the balance of trade circulation of the country, which will consequently as regarded England and Turkey may have had some be reduced exactly in proportion to the foreign de- effect ; yet “the exact correspondence of the fall of mand. The effects which are expected to follow the exchange with the acknowledged depreciation are an increase in the rate of discount and inter- of the coin, shows that it proceeded almost entirely est; a fall in the price of goods; a decreased im- from that cause." portation of those commodities which can only be . We have mentioned that the value of foreign imported at a profit while prices here are high : an currencies is ascertained by means of the assay ; but increased exportation of commodities at the reduced as it would be very expensive and troublesome if prices ; a consequent increase of foreign bills; and a every merchant was obliged to discover the purity diminished exportation of gold, whose place will be of foreign coins by actual experiment, tables are supplied by those foreign bills, which will thus turn published, which have been prepared with great acthe exchange.
curacy, and supply the required information. Sir It will not do, as some have imagined it would, Isaac Newton, when Master of the Mint, caused the to debase the coinage ; because, whatever name we principal coins in Europe to be assayed, and their may give our coins, their exact worth in foreign values ascertained. His tables were published in countries is the precise quantity of pure metal that 1719, by order of the Privy Council, and were for a they contain, the same being valued at the current long period taken as a guide by the exchange and market price. Thus, if our sovereigns only con- | bullion merchants. But since their publication so tained as much gold as we say a half sovereign con- | many changes have taken place, that further assays tains, then if A had to remit in specie for his figs, became necessary ; and of those which have been he would have to remit two hundred instead of one made the tables of Dr Kelly, published in his “ Unihundred sovereigns, and in that proportion would'versal Cambist," are perhaps the most accurate and valuable. They have been transferred into the last provide a sufficiency of food and raiment, and a comfortedition of the “ Encyclopædia Britannica," and able dwelling place, is not a poor man. There must be M'Culloch's « Dictionary of Commerce" to which different ranks and degrees in every civil society, and, inthe reader may refer if he desires to know the value
deed, so it is even amongst the savage tribes. There
must be different degrees of wealth ; some must have of any particular foreign coin. In the “ Companion
more than others; and the richest must be a great deal to the British Almanac" for 1830, p. 102, will be
richer than the least rich. But it is necessary to the very found a table of the weight and value of the differ
existence of a people, that nine out of ten should live ent coins used by various nations with which Eng wholly by the sweat of their brow; and, is it not degrading land has intercourse.
to human nature, that all the nine-tenths should be called We trust we have made the matter somewhat in- poor ; and, what is still worse, call themselves poor, and be telligible; and in conclusion we may state, much of contented in that degraded state ? the misconception arises from the idea that we can The laws, the economy, or management, of a state may attach a fixed arbitrary value to money, whereas it
be such as to render it impossible for the labourer, howhas its price like every thing else that passes from
ever skilful and industrious, to maintain his family in man to man; that price being effected by two great
health and decency; and such has, for many years past,
been the management of the affairs of this once truly causes its scarcity, and the cost of its transmission
great and happy land. A system of paper-money, the from one country to another.
effect of which was to take from the labourer the half of his earnings, was what no'industry and care could make
head against. I do not pretend that this system was THE AUTHORS OF THE NINETEENTH adopted by design. But, no matter for the cause; such CENTURY.
was the effect.
Better times, however, are approaching. The labourer No. V.-WILLIAM COBBETT.
now appears likely to obtain that hire of which he is ECONOMY AND EDUCATION IN FAMILIES.
worthy; and, therefore, this appears to me to be the
time to press upon him the duty of using his best exerThe word Economy, like a great many others, has, in its tions for the rearing of his family in a manner that must application, been very much abused. It is generally give him the best security for happiness to himself, his used as if it meant parsimony, stinginess, or niggardli- wife and children, and to make him, in all respects, what ness; and, at best, merely the refraining from expending his forefathers were. The people of England have been money. Hence misers and close-fisted men disguise their famed, in all ages, for their good living; for the alnındance propensity and conduct under the name of economy ; of their food, and goodness of their attire. The old sayings whereas the most liberal disposition, a disposition pre | about English roast beef and plum-pudding, and about cisely the contrary of that of the miser, is perfectly con English hospitality, had not their foundation in nothing. sistent with economy.
And, in spite of all refinements of sickly minds, it is ECONOMY means management, and nothing more; and abundant living amongst the people at large, which is the it is generally applied to the affairs of a house and family, great test of good government, and the surest basis of which affairs are an object of the greatest importance, national greatness and security. whether as relating to individuals or to a nation. A If the labourer have his fair wages; if there be no false nation is made powerful and to be honoured in the world, weights and measures, whether of money or of goods, by not so much by the number of its people as by the ability which he is defrauded; if the laws be equal in their and character of that people; and the ability and character effect upon all men, if he be called upon for no more than of a people depend, in a great measure, upon the economy his due share of the expenses necessary to support the of the several families, which, all taken together, make up government and defend the country, he has no reason to the nation. There never yet was, and never will be, a complain. If the largeness of his family demand extraornation permanently great, consisting, for the greater part, dinary labour and care, these are due from him to it. He of wretched and miserable families.
is the cause of the existence of that family; and, therefore, In every view of the matter, therefore, it is desirable, he is not, except in cases of accidental calamity, to throw that the families of which a nation consists should be upon others the burden of supporting it. Besides, "little happily off; and as this depends, in a great degree, upon children are as arrows in the hands of the giant, and the management of their concerns, the present work is blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” intended to convey, to the families of the labouring classes This is to say, children, if they bring their cares, bring in particular, such information as I think may be useful also their pleasures and solid advantages. They become, with regard to that management.
very soon, so many assistants and props to the parents, I lay it down as a maxim, that for a family to be happy, who, when old age comes on, are amply repaid for all the they must be well supplied with food and raiment. It is toils and all the cares that children have occasioned in a sorry effort that people make to persuade others, or to their infancy. To be without sure and safe friends in the persuade themselves, that they can be happy in a state of world makes life not worth having; and whom can we want of the necessaries of life. The doctrines which be so sure of as of our children ? Brothers and sisters fanaticism preaches, and which teach men to be content are a mutual support. We see them, in almost every with poverty, have a very pernicious tendency, and are case, grow up into prosperity, when they act the part that calculated to favour tyrants by giving them passive slaves. the impulses of nature prescribe. When cordially united, To live well, to enjoy all things that make life pleasant, a father and sons, or a family of brothers and sisters, may, is the right of every man who constantly uses his strength, in almost any state of life, set what is called misfortune judiciously and lawfully. It is to blaspheme God to sup- at defiance. pose that he created men to be miserable, to hunger, These considerations are much more than enough to thirst, and perish with cold, in the midst of that abund- sweeten the toils and cares of parents, and to make them ance which is the fruit of their own labour. Instead, regard every additional child as an additional blessing. therefore, of applauding “ happy poverty," which applause But that children may be a blessing, and not a curse, care is so much the fashion of the present day, I despise the must be taken of their education. This word has, of late man that is poor and contented; for such content is a cer- years, been so perverted, so corrupted, so abused in its tain proof of a base disposition, a disposition which is the application, that I am almost afraid to use it here. Yet enemy of all industry, all exertion, all love of indepen- | I must not suffer it to be usurped by cant and tyranny. dence.
I must use it; but not without clearly saying what I mean. Let it be understood, however, that, by poverty, I mean Education means breeding up, bringing up, or rearing up; real want, a real insufficiency of the food and raiment and and nothing more. This includes every thing with regard lodging necessary to health and decency; and not that to the mind as well as the body of a child, but, of late imaginary poverty, of which some persons complain. years, it has been so used as to have no sense applied to The man who, by his own and his family's labour, can I it but that of book-learning, with which, pine times out of