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follow easily. But it is of no use talking to a hungry man and his starving children ; I say hungry, because if by this bill you
take away a sixth of our wages, and set fast a sixth of masters' capital, we shall come to the scanty loaf. Now, suppose you lost a sixth of your money, a sixth of your estate, a sixth of your church advowsons, a
"I've certainly not looked at the question in this light. As to the bill itself, I thought all operatives were in favour of it.”
“ A few who don't see far. Now, my lord, I sincerely believe your philanthropy in this matter, but it is as impossible for a rich man to know the poor man's value of Time, as it is for the born blind to see.
This is where the harm is in the rich legislating for the poor ; it's Fiction playing a mistaken game for Truth. Keep to the few broad principles, and leave us to the development of the general rights of the community. The people wish to get rid of monopoly in every form ; no Restriction Bills under the guise of charity,--we've hail enough of them. Then when we shall have sufficient wages to satisfy propensive necessities, and to raise us beyond grinding want,—when we can see our children fed and clothed, our hearths cheerful, then we shall work less and rest more,—for Nature seeks repose. When we shall through better education perceive the mighty agency and worth of machinery, when we shall have newer Arkwrights, newer Hargraves, newer Lees, newer Watts, then we shall begin to see clearer the now involved question of Rest ; which is that steam, and perhaps some mightier agent yet undiscovered, shall be the worker and the willing slave,—the hewer of wood, the drawer of water,-leaving man to the mightier labours of direction and progress. This is the question, but the • Ten IIours ' bill is no step towards it.”
“You speak powerfully, Mr. Lackbread ; and I certainly will see the masters before I leave the town.” “ Think a bit, my lord,” added Shuttle,
added Shuttle, 6 words ain't like thought for the matter o' that, The best thing is to know that babies' food, and babies' frocks, and babies' shoes, are scarce enough already, and if the father's wages
“ I really will consider the matter ??
“ If you do, my lord, it 'll be the first time the Lackbreads of the earth have persuaded the Honeysips of a truth.” So, after another promise, and a generous reception of the petition, my lord bowed the deputation from the room.
“Well ! ” said Sam, who came popping into the hall from a
side door, “ I've had my ear to the key-hole all the time, and you may jist tell naut that the blessed aristocracy, in spite o' chickens and Maderia, was dead-beat by plain bread-eaters, and so I'm no longer elewated by that side o' the question.”
Well, Sam,” added Shuttle, “it isn't the first time that an ear to a key-hole has been persuaded of strange truths.
Stick to your opinions, my boy, and recollect that the shuttle and the loom, the spade and the hammer, the press and the pen, have yet to show Labour and Time to be things worthier of honour than all the milk and honey in the whole aristocratic land of unworking Goshen. This is my verdict, Sammy.
THE ADVANCE OF THE MASSES.
The difficulty of conceiving truths or things as possible which contradict established experiences, though such even be acknowledged the experience of crror, is powerful in proportion to the ignorance of the mind the conception affects. Where once however you have educated this single mind, or the aggregated minds of a community, you have increased the power of comprehension, and virtually laid those sequences of truth, which evolve and show themselves not to be dependent on the various contingencies of time, but upon the light of nature which is eternal ; for it is a natural law of truth to generalize and simplify itself, whether in connection with ethics, jurisprudence, government, or the more exact sciences ; in this simplification following out the harmony of nature, whilst the shallow conceptions of ignorance particularize only to be more steadfast in error, and more obstinate in dogma.
Towards this simplified generalization of causes, it appears to us the social organism of progressive civilization tends. A harmony of cause is in action, operating on the leading public mind, and will operate universally when education has enlarged the extent of comprehension ; for, passing by the once all-powerful particulars of a dogma or a party-cry, the foremost minds who lead society see only those mighty points of generalization which tend to the perfecting legitimate truth, or the eliciting some social phenomenon of advance. No point has shown this more clearly than the great measure of the corn laws; for granting that some few of its advo
cates, both in and out of parliament, might be led by party or interested views, we may safely infer that without this reasoning upon a general p:inciple, so many individual dogmas, so many particulars of belief, would not have been blended into that omnipotent spirit which was as powerful in action as the measure was one of greatness. Thus the more we discover of all universal laws, the more they appear to us simplified, and the more visibly linked by one great harmony of causation : the more that the moral and social laws shall evolve themselves, the more easy shall we be able to demonstrate them with precision. Our grand agent then of this demonstration is education. Educate the masses, and you
make cach one a discoverer as well as actor of truth ; but, whilst we bind this almost necessitated advance by dogma, we reason in the ignorance of all the essential laws of progress. Enforce this religious creed before you educate, says one ; bind by these articles and limit error, says another ; never heed the public mind so you make the public faith certain, cries a third ; and in thus crying and saying, forgetting that it is in a worse spirit than ignorance, for it is with the cant of affected wisdom. Open the mind, enlarge the understanding, limit no view of nature, and you create a nation of worshippers ; for the necessity towards a pure worship, is the comprehension of the greatness we adore. Now our opinion is, that we virtually create a religious public, in proportion as we educate it; and if religion means worshipping in spirit and truth, and in the earnest observance of moral laws, then religion has never yet been the glorious worship it has yet to be : for how can we in fulness adore, when we set a worse than helot bond upon the comprehension of the benevolence and attributes of that we would worship. The universal mind will need no artificial enactments to enforce religion, when enlightenment reveals to it the limitless wonders of creation, and the limitless generosity of the Creator ; for generosity, mercy, goodness, are apportioned to the perfected mind, and when these shall have become the natural sequences in the improved physical and improved mental condition of the masses, then will be rightly estimated these divine conditions of the Deity.
It was surmised of old, and the exact sciences of our own day teach, that a harmony of numbers pervade creation ; the tendency towards logical induction proves this likewise a law of the mind ; and in our opinion a necessity in the education of the masses, after the first one of scouting dogmatic particulars and teaching gene
ralising truth, is, that the simple principles of mathematics and geometry should form a large element of universal rudimental learning. The rigid processes of thought as they operate afterwards upon the great principles of social and political governance, can only be elicited from the masses by an inductive method of this kind; and education can as easily give precision to the great law of association of ideas, as it now blindly places truth and falsity in juxtaposition ; easier too, for the laws of nature are kindred principles in the mighty organism of advance. We want a rigid principle of induction in all things, for that accuracy of form, that precision in mental ideas, which is the great necessity in manufacturing England, that necessity which still limits her artistic power, both as to creation of, and appreciation in, art and design, is one which equally affects the phenomenon of her historical and political phases, for she has yet to discover that it is not mere specific experience that will either promote her artistic or political advance : she must generalize the truths of progression, and form her progression thereby.
With this mighty spirit of advance in abeyance, virtually on the very surface of humanity, waiting but for the vivifying touch of knowledge, it behoves the government to give, and to set no dogmatic bonds
upon this vital necessity of progress ; and it behoves the great intellectual aristocracy of the people, to allow no coercive hand of ignorance to bind down mighty comprehension, by the narrowness of particular opinions. Let it be taken as an axiom, that man has no right to gauge the extent of human knowledge, or set down his puny thoughts for abstract truths, because he may have the art of clothing them in brilliant metaphor. Let us have truth if in homely guise ; let us smile at small journalists, who solemnly show their profundity by calling this a barren age ; an age that has produced a Bacon in John Mill, that has given an Auguste Le Comte and Humboldt, and clothed with all the grace of humouristic fiction, some of the divinest principles of the human heart. Educate this vital mind, and you paralyse the hypocrite and the bigot, who only fester and flourish whilst ignorance remains. Cultivate the appreciating mind and writers become fearless; cultivate the heart through the judgment, and Truth stoops to earth, as it were heaven ; give life to thought and you sepulchre the hideous form of persecution ; cultivate the harmonies of nature and we may elicit a combining intellect, and create from among ourselves the God spirit of a second Shakspeare.
FE.ISTS AND FIXERALS.
jov on earth at this moment, that man has made such advances ! Vasculine jug founded on truth and the “ soliditics of nature,” not running forth in loud vociferation but filling the comprehending soul, ils Col does the universe with Ilis own divine harmonies, and who way, in llis high watch-tower of eternity, gladden that man that least comprehends the purposes of his creation.
Vor last, nor least, that the spirit of the English people waits but for its law-yivers to invest it with the insignia of comprehending advance.
FEASTS ANI) FUNERALS.
A lOVILY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASSES.
BY PAUL BELL. One of my boys, sir, who has made acquaintance with a German family, (much to my lirs. Bell's discomfiture, who says is sure he will learn to smoke himself to death amongst them,”) brought home the other day a number of their “ Pictorial Times, to show me a grand woodl-engraving of the burial procession of those who were burnt in the late fire at the IIotel de Pologne at Leipsiy. I have not seen anything grander at any of the theatres, even when Mr. Grievens half-ruined himself to bring out his own tragedy of the Sack of Troy. Cocked hats and splendid uniforms—mourners in knee breeches : and the bodies set at equal distances-singers and ringers.
There was a great deal in the picture, I assure you, to constitute what the print-sellers would call a “richly-attractive page."
A great deal, too, which set me a-thinking of matters at home as well as abroad. We did not, it is true, then indulge ourselves in thus decking out the last scene of a similar frightful tragedy, which startled all London some two seasons ago : but I cannot help fancying we are too apt to flounce and to furbelow the serious transactions of life, not asking ourselves the while how far it is or it is not, in accordance with a barbarous custom. I should like to see the fashions with regard to these matters closely, wisely, and kindly looked into ; and till some better and wiser observer of manners shall do so, perhaps, sir, you and your friends won't object to use my old tortoise-shell spectacles.