Imágenes de páginas

Yorkshire) 9,087 persons who can read ; 1,630 who cannot read; 5,523 who can write; and 5,194 who cannot write. The proportion in every hundred is as follows:-85 who can read ; 15 who cannot read ; 48 who can write ; 52 who cannot write. In factories in Lanca. shire there are 11,393 who can read ; 2,344 who cannot read; 5,184 who can write ; 8,553 who cannot write. The proportion in each 100 is as follows :Can read, 83; cannot read, 17; can write, 38; cannot write, 62. The pris. portion of those who can read and write in the agricultural districts of these counties is, it is feared, much less.

best line to what he considers the best point for a depôt; the part of the river to which the railway is now proposed to come is navigable to all vessels which drop their masts; has heard complaints from the parish of Salford about cutting off the springs; examined the wells and made inquiries of the man who sunk them, but found the cuttings would not interfere with the springs. There was some proposition (not his) for tunnelling under Bath, but it was given up from the utter impossibility of ascertaining the compensation to be given if they endangered the Bath springs, the great riches of Bath. In Salford the wells are deeper than the bottom of the tun. nel ; even if the springs should be cut off, the mischief might be avoided by deepening the wells, or constructing a reservoir; has allowed occupation bridges, for the conveyance of manure, &c. by water; could not have kept on the Kel. stone side of the river, so as to have avoided Mr. Gore Langton's property : the embankment at these meadows would be about 15 feet high, which would allow sufficient room for occupation bridges. The price of land and houses from Bristol to Bath would be about 44,0001. Has been required, by the commissioners of the roads, to raise the bridges over the roads near Bath; would have to raise them three feet : it would involve no material additional expense; not 15,0001. certainly: has made ample allowance for it in the price of embank. ments and sundries. The whole eleva. tion between Bristol and Bath is 50 feet. Mr. Townsend, of Bristol, took the levels on the Bath and Bristol end. This is the best line as a fixed point."

YORKSHIRE. Education in Yorkshire and Lancashire.–From a paper shed by authority of the Factory Commission, we find that in a certain number of factories, taken indiscriminately, there are (in

Poor-Rates. On the motion of Mr. Hodges, a detailed account of the poorrates and county-rates in England and Wales, for the year ending March 25, 1833, has been printed, from which it appears that the whole amount levied was 8,739,881l., of which 6,790,7991., was expended for the relief of the poor, 254,4121. in suits of law, and 1,694,6691. for other purposes. The diminution, as compared with the year before, is, on the whole, 4 per cent. The greatest di. minution is found in Lancaster and Southampton, each 1 per cent. ; the greatest increase in Bedford and War. wick, each 4 per cent. In Middlesex the diminution has been 6 per cent. In that year there was a considerable expense incurred on account of the cholera ; and, from what has transpired, we run no risk in asserting that the di. minution of the poor-rates in 18331834, will be considerable on the diminished expense of last year. The great evil, then, let us hope, is permanently on the decline; and let us now record the fact of a diminution last year, that we may not hereafter believe that the country is indebted for it to the Poor. Laws' Amendment Bill. Times.




“ The real evil of our present Government is the enormous amount of the national debt. Were we to make any complete and total change in any one branch of our Legislature, the people would soon inquire whether that change had lightened the burden of the debt. It would be no satisfaction to them to be told that by reductions in the army, and other establishments, savings to the amount of three or four millions had been made. After requiring and obtaining a complete revolu. tion in the form of the House of Commons, the seat of Government, they would expect much greater alleviation than any economy could grant. New and more violent changes would be demanded. Law and prescription would be less regarded in every fresh change. The national creditor would in vain urge the justice of his claim to the payment of the interest due to him. I know there are many persons disposed to say, " Why, this is the very thing we want; we only value Reform as a prelude to measures too comprehensive, or, if you will, too violent for an old established government to undertake.' Such is the feeling of the most able, but, I think, not the most prudent of the reformers. It is a question however of feeling, rather than of reasoning. For my own part, I cannot understand how a man can have read the histories of Athens, of Sparta, of Venice, of France, of Spain,-how he can have looked for an hour into the history of the world—how he can have thrown a single glance at the governments existing in the world at the end of the eighteenth century-how he can have weighed the miserable result of the most benevolent plans, and the most brilliant schemes of Government, and not cling the closer to his native home. Corrupt as the administration of English affairs may be, it is impossible not to see that the laws afford a greater protection to civil, personal, and political liberty in England, than the general average of governments attain.” -Lord John Russell.

If one who looks out upon the ocean from the deck of a small vessel were to promise himself that he could count the numbers, measure the dimensions, and ascertain the force of the billows that are rolling around him—that he could penetrate the depths and descry all that is hidden or dissolved in the world of waters, he would undertake a task scarcely more impossible than that he purposes who attempts to survey the complexities, and note the passions, predilections, and prejudices, the motives and incitements of that now extraordinarily mixed and varied portion of English society to which the mighty name of “The Democracy” appertains. For as nations depart from the simplicity which for so long a period confines them to small and distinct classes while the range of their wanderings and their experiences is limited, society becomes as it were more and more individualized ; and when it has reached a point in the progression, marked, like that of our own age, by immense accumulations of knowledge and of property, by gigantic discoveries in science, by all-pervading inquiry and diligence in the search after information, and the acuteness, rapidity, and power that these things imply, almost every mind is as it were a single spring, acting with its own unconnected


2 F

and almost undirected force, and constituting one amongst many millions of similar movements. This chaos of the elements of intellectual agency is no less a characteristic of the time, than is that general impulse called “ the spirit of the age,” nominally and practically that desire of extreme and ultimate improvement, thus derived and thus formed, that would, if it were permitted, neither make stop nor stay till the “ perfectibility": is accomplished, which a good many of the generation immediately preceding us believed might be achieved by the exertion of an imaginary energy, and which, though latent, they maintained to be an inherent and essential portion of the nature of man. He then who would begin such a survey must fix his most profound regard upon this principle, for by its activity alone will he be enabled to account for the various appearances that vex and disturb the ever-changing surface his field of vision embraces.

Nor does this principle contravene the tendency to effect objects by the concentrated efforts of masses of men, we see pervading almost all public operations; for this it is, not to speak irreverently, imaging while it performs the intention of Creative Wisdom, this it is which plants the seeds of their dissolution even at the moment it gives birth to associations powerful almost beyond control in their beginnings, feeble even to absolute nothingness in their end. While the understanding is strongly drawn to one pursuit, and constantly employed in it, uniformity of thinking, no less than the acquaintance with its several bearings thus acquired, engenders a confidence that impels the man to rely upon his own strength and his own superiority, whether real or imaginary. A multiplicity of objects, on the contrary, while it extends the perception of things necessary or desirable, inevitably weakens the reliance which the individual is, in the other case, induced to place upon his own means; and the very facility. allures him to conceive, that by lending a part of his ability to general combinations, he may successfully exert his force in many ways. But it not less certainly happens that the want of intensity brings on indifference and mutability, to say nothing of that overweening self-opinion, and consequent contempt of others, which follow a little learning; and by the action of these subtle solvents, the ill-compacted mass soon precipitates and crumbles to pieces. This appears to explain the ever-changing fickleness of all republican forms; this, too, is the reason why Governments of another mould have so little cause to dread any lasting effect from the combinations or os unions” of numbers.

The English are of all nations the most individualized. Even our love of country has indeed been imputed to deeply-rooted selfism. An Englishman loves the land of his birth, it has been said, merely because it gave him being, and his affections towards everything appertaining to it centre there because they are his. A very few words will explain this fallacy, which consists in a mere antithesis. The Frenchman, who loves his country because he belongs to it, and the Englishman, because it belongs to him, differ only in their mode of expression. The consciousness of mere possession confers neither pleasure nor honour, for no man would feel either satisfaction or pride in possessing what is worthless-it is the knowledge of the value of the possession that gives both. If the notion of property have anything to do with love of country, it is because the idea of greatness is connected with it. An Englishman, therefore, boasts of his origin, and loves the natale solum because he feels and knows that it is a distinction among nations to belong to a country elevated into supremacy by that which can alone ennoble it, by the virtues of its offspring, those virtues which have won that supremacy, whether proceeding from valour or from wisdom, from arms or from arts. Were England notorious for the cowardice of its natives, for vice and povertywere the King a tyrant, and the people slaves—it would still be his country, but would any man congratulate himself that it was so ? Certainly not. It is then the pride of the majesty of England's station and character, not the notion of possession in any other sense, that constitutes the ground of this love of country.

But even were it so, the Englishman has perhaps a right to judge of it in this manner, because he has a greater share in making the advantages his own. For if we inquire to what these accidents (glory, and wealth, and dominion are accidents) are owing, we shall find they arise from causes intimately connected with this same individuality. We pass over the instinct every man is supposed to feel towards his father-land, for it is a matter of belief, not of demonstration; we pass over the attachment generated by habits, manners, and associations, for these also are accidents, and go down to the physical cause of the formation of character. An Englishman's wants are greater than those of nations planted nearer to the sun. Hence he must exert more effort, if only to gain his subsistence. Effort is the parent of hardihood, not less than of acquisition, and hence it is that in the English character there is more strength, more self-dependence, as well as more independence, than in the character of other nations. The man born where climate lays upon him the necessity of providing animal food and strong drink, must labour more than he who can find sufficient support for the day in a slice of bread, a bunch of grapes, and a glass of iced water. Nature has made it imperative upon the Englishman to work, and to work hard ; individual power becomes national power, in whatsoever direction it is exercised. Property and personal exaltation are but the natural consequences, the natural rewards. Thus the distinctions of affluence and aristocracy have been born and nurtured of individual exertion, and thus also they re-act in re-producing their origin. But still they are only secondary


* It is singular that the author who has attributed our love of country to selfishness should have so clearly perceived the effects of industry upon the national character, without tracing it to its source, or following it out still further upon our affections and habits. “I think,” says Mr. Bulwer, “ that I need take no pains to prove the next characteristic of the English people-a characteristic that I shall but just touch upon, viz. their wonderful spirit of industry. This has been the saving principle of the nation, counteracting the errors of our laws, and the imperfections of our constitution. We have been a great people because we have been always active; and a moral people, because we have not left ourselves time to be vicious. Industry is, in a word, the distinguishing quality of our nation, the pervading genius of our riches, our grandeur, and our power !

« Every great people has its main principle of greatness, some one quality, the developing and tracing, and feeling, and watching of which has made it great. Your Excellency remembers how finely Montesquieu bas proved this important truth in the 'Grandeur et Décadence des Romains.' With France that principle is the love of glory, with America it is the love of liberty, with England it is the love of action ;--the safest and most comprehensive principle of the three; for it gains glory without seeking it too madly, and it requires liberty in order to exist. Now I think And if we follow this clue, it will guide us to the preference, the natural preference of home, which binds all our hearts in so firm a chain. Our affections are by this means concentrated, not dispersed, for dissipation belongs not to laborious occupation. But the English are unsocial !—they are so only in proportion as they are hearty and sincere in their feelings. A strong moral attachment to wife, children, and friends, nay, even to localities and things, grows out of this concentration. That interpretation of social life which implies wide and various society, a life of casual, public, and general admixture, rather than of intimate, private, and particular combination, wars against this moral attachment. An Englishman thinks even more than he acts, for he thinks while he does, and while he does not act. His thoughts and his sentiments are stedfast and profound; mere isolated amusement is seldom his desire, for he is moral even in his amusements; where it is not so, his natural dispositions have been changed, not to say corrupted, by the laxity which accompanies habits and affections dissipated over a large surface of society, and attenuated by such dissipation. Thus we perceive the variance, and we perceive also why acquisition, being the measure of individual power, comes to be held so high in estimation.

This theory has been even more strongly illustrated by the American writer, Dr. Channing.“ Generally speaking," says that able man,"we can do much good by individual action, and our own virtue is incomparably improved by it."

“ All the great works of genius come from deep lonely thought;" and when speaking of natural associations in opposition to the wisest and best of those founded by men, he thus forcibly establishes the superiority of natural relations :“We can easily illustrate by examples the inferiority of human associations. In Boston there are two asylums for children, which deserve, we think, a high place among useful institutions. Not a little time is spent upon them. Hundreds conspire to carry

and we have anniversaries to collect crowds for their support. And what is the amount of good accomplished ? Between one and two hundred children are provided for, a number worthy of all the care bestowed on these charities. But compare this number with all the children of this city, with the thousands who throng our streets and our schools. And how are these fed, clothed, educated? We hear of no subscriptions, no anniversaries for their benefit; yet how they flourish compared with the subjects of asylums! These are provided for by that unostentatious and unpraised society which God has instituted, a family--that shelter, home, which nature rears, protects them, and it is an establishment worth infinitely







that your Excellency, (than whom if no man sees more the folly in a statesman of over-refining, no man also, I apprehend, sees more clearly the necessity of his piercing beyond the surface, and seizing from the confused history of the past some one broad though metaphysical principle by which to guide and work out his policy,) -I think, I say, that your Excellency will perceive that when we have once discovered the national quality which has chiefly made a nation great, we cannot too warmly foster, and too largely encourage it ; we should break down all barriers that oppose it ; foresee, and betimes destroy all principles that are likely to check or prevent it. It is the vestal-fire which daily and nightly we must keep alive; and we should consider all our prosperity to be coupled with its existence. Thus, then, if industry be the principle of our power, we cannot too zealously guard it from all obstacle, or too extensively widen the sphere for its exertions."- England and the English, vol. i., p. 83.

« AnteriorContinuar »