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trial occupations of the people has led to so much idleness and dissoluteness, that the legislature (overlooking the cause) has determined to cover the country with workhouses, a measure which takes us back two centuries in the career of civilization*. The ninth fact is—that crime has proceeded at a fearful pace; the commitments in 1811, (as early as data are in existence) + being 5,337, and in 1832, 20,829. The tenth fact is—that discontent, violence, and organized unions, threatening the very safety of manufactures, universaily characterize the artisans of the present day. The eleventh fact is—that drunkenness and irreligion have made fearful advances amongst the depressed operatives g.”—(p. 323-24.)
For all these facts and assertions various authorities are quoted, and we cannot here help wishing that the author had in addition made use of Mr. Marshall's Statistical Tables, published about 1834, by order of the House of Commons. In that elaborate work, the pith and marrow of sixhundred volumes of Parliamentary Reports, digested with immense industry and consummate skill, into the form of tables, full confirmation of all these assertions is to be found ; and the truth of our author's statements are most decisively and impregnably supported.
What then is our condition? We double, triple, increase tenfold, a hundredfold, our wealth, because we increase to such extent our productive powers; and yet we fling away the advantages which might be realized by running, madly, the heedless race of competition. We vaunt ourselves on our increased population, while their numbers, rendered superfluous by our false and absurd social arrangements, are driven with contumely to distant shores, in order to find the means of support; and yet we have, at home, a plethora of wealth, and space for double our present amount. We affect to wish for the improved condition of our operatives; and yet we strenuously urge forward the increase of foreign commerce, which can only be maintained against our competitors, by keeping down the rate of wages. We invent machines, whose beneficial action might confer on the highest conceivable numbers that could inhabit our island, the blessings of leisure, education, and physical comfort; and having thus exerted our creative powers, we start in horror, like Frankenstein, from the contemplation of the power to which we have given life and motion, and strive to render nugatory its benefits.
These stupendous errors, it is true, have not been deliberately committed; they have gradually arisen out of circumstances that, apparently, could not be controlled; but the time is fast approaching, when the further endurance of their effects will be impossible. Individuals, associations, and governments, have sedulously inquired the causes that could have originated such tremendous evils out of what ought to have produced unmixed good, and they have essayed to remedy the acknowledged evils, but in vain. Emigration societies, truck bills, factory bills, poor laws’ amendment bills, are monuments at once of their good intentions, and of their feeble comprehension. All are slaves to the enormous fallacy, that, to whatever extent human labour be superseded, it must still be necessary
* Poor Law Amendment Act.
Vide Table, Progress of Crime, in Appendix.
to find employmenty—work,-hired action--for those who now form the class or caste of workers.
An impression, among those who, in their speculations, are without the pale of stern political economy, is however gradually arising, that all is not right. Thus Mr. Babbage, who originally wrote his Economy of Machinery, apparently, to show the human labourer of how little value he was becoming, seems latterly to have discovered that something more was due to the millions, than to exhibit them as slaves to the units. Mr. Babbage, in his late edition, regrets that the working classes do not reap, from advancing science, the share of advantage that they might expect. His quick perception immediately detects the fact that the capitalists, the masters, would not willingly lend a hand to the work of regeneration; but fearless of the sneer or the anger of an unreflecting world, he recommends that bands of working men, raising, by the exertion of prudence and economy, small capitals of twenty to forty pounds each, should club their total amount, and establish independent joint-stock labour companies, and thus realize to themselves not only wages but also profits*.
There is, in all this, something bold and characteristic. It will be at once perceived, that it involves a complete change in our social arrangements; that it is, in fact, a direct and open attack on the supremacy of capital. And so, in the Results of Machinery, Become capitalists, go out of the [labour] market.” What do these Delphic hints, these oracular exhortations, mean, unless they declare a perception of the present unequal, imperfect, and prejudicial action of our immense scientific resources; and point to a great and powerful exhibition of the combinative principle, as the only means of giving to the labourer his fair proportion of advantage derivable from these resources. These two, the most lauded books on the subject of machinery, thus tacitly or openly presume or admit that, to the labourer, the powers of science, while held by individual capitalists, is erroneous and defective, in spite of the interest, the triumph, and the feverish excitement of competitive prosperity. Is another authority worth calling for? Take the Edinburgh Review t.
“ Labour's thousand arms of sinew and of metal, all-conquering everywhere, from the tops of the mountains to the depths of the mine, and the caverns of the ocean, ply unceasingly for the service of man,-YET MAN RE
He has subdued this planet, his habitation and residence, yet reaps no profit from the victory.
Thus change, or the irresistible approach of change, is manifest everywhere."
Mr. Gaskell, then, does but comment fully and openly on the texts afforded by the writers we have quoted; but this commentary is not, with him, to be given by side-wind and implication. If the evil exist, it must be probed to the bottom, and to do this is the task the author places before himself. He examines his all-important subject, the anomalous and disastrous condition of the people, in every point of view. He glories in the perfection of science, but with unsparing hand exhibits its appalling affects upon the mass of mankind, in this highly civilized country. He has produced, say the quietistic economists, the utilitarians of class and caste, “a very clever BAD BOOK."—He needs no higher
* Economy of Machinery, 1833, p. 253. + Edin. Review, 1831; article on Schlegel and Hope.
encomium. The man who endeavours to see the end, from the beginning;" who will not join in the hush-cry of peace and safety," when there is no peace; who disdains to minister to the vitiated cravings of avarice, vanity and selfishness, by striving to
Skin and film the ulcerous place,
Infects unseen, is ever considered troublesome and impertinent. This rule has been madą absolute, in all cases, from Noah downwards. But the question is not. whether his statements be pleasant and agreeable to the preconceived notions of fashion and theory, but whether they be true. To us it appears that they cannot be impeached. His references for verification are perpetually made, and to the best possible authorities; made to the Reports of the Poor Law Commissioners; to the works of Dr. M‘Culloch and Mr. Babbage; to Baines's History of the Cotton Trade; to Dr. Ure's Philosophy of Manufactures, &c., so that he leaves scarcely any point resting on his own unassisted dictum.
The old proverb says one mend-fault is worth two find-faults.” This is only half true. The fault must be discovered before it can be mended. The vices of our present system afford ample materials for the volume before us. It is too late to close our eyes to facts which such concurrent testimonies combine to establish.
Let those, then, who discern the remedy, present it clearly, explicitly, and perspicuously, to the public eye. The door of inquiry is flung open; it must not be shut again.
III. Three Addresses delivered before the Society for the Promotion of
Science and Literature of Staines and its Vicinity, by the Rev.
ROBERT JONES, D.D., M.R.S.L., Vicar of Bedfont. Staines: Smith. This little series may be considered a manual to be used on all future occasions when similar Societies may be suggested, formed, and launched into their useful courses. We wish it may be at least weekly used for some years to come. The addresses were adapted to three epochs in the infant life of the Staines Society, which owes much of its rapid growth and flourishing state to this intelligent guide and eloquent advocate.
We regret that we have not room for large quotations, by which some of the liberal sentiments and powerful arguments in favour of an unsparing distribution of knowledge, might have all the circulation which may be in our power to give. We are compelled to confine ourselves to an earnest recommendation of the perusal and dissemination of all the three discourses; and the selection of the following passage:
“ Terms of art have now become household words ;' and the very pastimes of youth have changed. I see no reason why science and amusement should not be blended ;- -or why the boy should not be classing and labelling stones and fossils, employed by his father at his age as mere missiles of mischief. Whether this general instruction will ultimately make wiser and more useful men, remains to be seen. I think it will. I have ever lamented, that so many of the invaluable "irrevocable years of youth are, must I say, sacrificed to Greek and Latin, to the neglect --often in contempt–of science, modern languages, and even of English literature. That some of the finest specimens of human genius are to be found in the authors of Greece and Rome, it would be absurd and plebeian to deny; and, perhaps, no liberal education could be complete, were the classics wholly omitted; but every mental attainment has its value and its use; let each have its merited rank and praise. Be the object of intellectual ambition what it may, there is a living link between all cultivated minds ;—there is a golden band which ties together the sheaf of knowledge. I would not teach to the future tradesman the tragedies of Æschylus, or the dialogues of Plato ;-nor would I mislead the future scholar into the by-gone fallacy, that there is neither merit nor fame but in scholastic prosody and syntax. Let us never cramp the ardent mind of youth by fetters, however venerable from custom they have become. Let us cherish talent, and prize knowledge, wherever we may find them. And this is applicable to all classes. If there be a general and a generous effort (and certainly there is) to instruct the children of the poor, why should we hesitate in carrying out such noble views-in perfecting what all allow to be a good beginning ? If, by infant–Sunday-national-or other schools, we all agree-and all contribute-to prepare the mind of the rising generation for knowledge, surely we leave our task most imperfectly accomplished, if we do not supply the mental appetite, thus created, with safe and nourishing aliment. Are we to give the power to read, and then abandon the youthful craving mind to all the profane and ribald trash, that will be offered to its hunger ? Inquisitive the popular mind will bemenlightened and moral it should be. Think for a moment of what you are doing—think of the co-existence of a reading populace, and a licentious unbridled press. Is it not religious—is it not wise-is it not mere common discretion—to provide, that the goodly seed, sown under your care, is duly tended in its after-growth, cleared from weeds, and fenced against dangers ? Can there a more ruinous error, than to confound the art of reading with educationthe one a mere mechanical vehicle of knowledge—the other the business and the duty of our whole life?
“ Our Institution is intended to meet and satisfy these very mental longings which instruction will engender. Hither, for the trifling sum of one shilling, the humblest amongst us may repair, and slake his thirst for knowledge*. Mere solitary unassisted study, is often more a task than a pleasure, and many are content to be ignorant, from the mere want of sympathy and encouragement. At a public lecture it is otherwise ;--the very locality seems sacred to the cause of science and of letters, the companionship of the pursuit, the mere meeting together of those we love and value, cheers and prepares the mind for instruction. Many subjects are explained which books are unable sufficiently to illustrate ;-access is afforded to the lecturer to remove difficulties, perpetually occurring in scientific treatises ;-nay, the after conversation, which often ensues among the hearers of a lecture, clears away many a doubt, and leaves behind it many a kind sentiment, many a wise and gentle lesson. None but first-rate minds can hope to master the higher branches of science, unaided by experimental illustrations.
* This is so precisely a portrait of the Adelaide Street Gallery and its objects, that we feel we may be liable to the suspicion of having selected the passage on this account, but it was, how
STATUTE-LAW OF 1835.
In examining the statutes which were enacted by the Imperial Parliament, in 1835, we find but two which come within our scope to report: one on Weights and Measures and one on Letters Patent. The reforms produced by either appear extremely meagre, when a comprehensive view is taken of what is desirable, and even of what is easily attainable, on these two important objects of legislative interference; but still the alterations are improvements, and though the moves are little ones, they are in advance. We propose never to lose sight of these widely influential questions, particularly that of improvements in the Patent law, convinced, from an inquiry into the effects of the Patent Regulations in other countries, that the inventors of our own are crushed by the weight of bad, unnecessary, and expensive law.
Of the act relating to Weights and Measures we present a copious and careful abstract. The other we give entire; it is short (unfortunately so) and a large portion of it consists in instructions for proceeding to obtain certain objects.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. Act 5 & 6 Will. IV. c. 63. Royal Assent, 9 Sept. 1835. An Act to repeal an Act, 4 & 5 Will. IV., relating to Weights and Measures, and to
make other provisions instead thereof. 1. Act 4 & 5 Will. IV. repealed. 2. Nothing herein to interfere with anything done under the repealed act.
3. Provisions of 5 Geo. IV. c. 74, and 6 Geo. IV. c. 12, repealed; namely, those which require that Weights and Measures should be of the same form as the standards, and which allow the use of weights and measures not in conformity to these acts; and which allow the sale of goods, &c., by such weights and measures, and which allow the use of the heaped measure.
4. Weights and measures stamped at the Exchequer to be legal, though of dissimilar form to the standard.
5. Defective and mended copies of the standard must be re-verified.
6. The Winchester bushel, the Scotch ell, and all local and customary measures henceforth abolished. Penalty of using such, not exceeding 40s.
Articles may be sold in vessels not representing any amount of imperial measure, nor being of any local measure heretofore in use.
7. Heaped measure henceforth abolished, penalty not exceeding 40s.
8. Articles formerly heaped to be sold by measures filled in all parts as nearly to the level of the brim as the size and shape of such articles will permit. These articles may be sold by weight also.
9. Coals, slack, culm, and cannel of every description, to be sold by weight after January 1st, 1836. Penalty, not exceeding 40s.
10. All articles sold by weight shall be sold by avoirdupois weight, except gold, silver, platina, diamonds, or other precious stones, which may be sold by troy weight: and drugs, which when sold by retail may be sold by apothecaries' weight.
11. Weight denominated a stone henceforth shall in all cases consist of 14lbs. avoirdupois. The cwt. shall be eight of such stones. The ton twenty such cwt.
12. Weights of a pound upwards shall have their number of pounds expressed upon them in legible characters. Measures of capacity shall also have their contents marked in the same manner on their outsides.
13. Weights of lead and of pewter not to be used after January 1st, 1836; but these materials may be used to fill up and adjust weights of brass, copper, and iron. When used for filling up, the weights must be stamped with the word "cased.”
14, 15. Rents, tolls, &c., payable on grain, &c., according to former weights