Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

banditti that any country was ever infested with, for they produce a continuous famine amongst the really deserving.

The author never could be happy in Europe, in any circumstances. There is such a vast disparity in the condition of the people, and so much frightful destitution amongst the poorer classes, that he was truly miserable in witnessing, without having the power to relieve them. He never wishes to revisit Old England, unless he has the means of doing the poor some good, by ihe diffusion of honest republican principles; and to this en it he would beg the assistance of every generous American, as he firmly and conscientiously believes, the best way to secure their own happiness and freedom, and to establish it on an imperishable basis, will be to extend their generous assistance and sympathy to the poor and unfortunate of England and Ireland, as they are worthy their warmest sympathy and regard ; for never, in our opinion, were any class of people so patiently, so incessantly, engaged in toil, both night and day, and from the tenderest infancy to extremest old age, as the mechanics and laborers of England, Ireland, and Scotland are, and all for the aggrandisement of their worse than Egyptian task-masters, who, by the machinations of unjust laws and enormous taxations, have appropriated to themselves the greater part of the earnings of the industrious classes.

Never did a people toil so incessantly, never did a people exbibit more faithfulness in their respective duties, and never, do we think, were any people so outrageously defrauded of their just earnings, or subject to so many privations, as the unfortunate productive classes of Europe, but more particularly of Great Britain and Ireland. The sympathies of the generous have here often been appealed to in behalf of the enslaved Greeks, the oppressed Polanders, and even of the remote South Sea Islanders, and Africans at home; yet, we venture to say, desirable as it may be to afford them assistance, their absolute wants we believe were never so urgent as the oppressed artisans of Great Britain ; nor do we believe generosity could be so well applied, to produce such good results both to the giver and receiver. The price of labor, materials, &c., in England, is of much greater importance to this country than is generally supposed. The rise or fall of cotton one farthing per pound, in Liverpool, causes a corresponding change in value in the commodity in this country. So it is with labor. We can in no way so effectually improve and elevate the condition of the laboring or producing classes in this country, as by elevating the same class in Europe ; for, so long as men there, by unjust legislation, are compelled to labor for a shilling a day, so long will our markets here be glutted by the over-production from non-consumption by these poor people in Europe, who present the horrible anomaly of being the greatest producers of clothing, and other comforts and luxuries for man, yet are themselves the worst fed and clothed of any human beings, next to savages; and unless this country is protected with heavy tariffs, (which are fraught with evil,) we must always be glutted with foreign manufactures made at these ruinously low prices.

Prohibitory tariffs are injurious to free trade, and are diametrically opposed to our free institutions, and also to our agricultural interests, those composing which of course are desirous of purchasing their clothing, &c., at the lowest possible pri and the inevitable consequence appears to us to be, that we must either elevate the condition of artisans in Europe, or they will, and absolutely do at this day, very much depreciate

the condition of the productive classes here. So that policy, no less than humanity, dictates the course we ought to pursue to our suffering and oppressed brethren in Europe ; and we contend, those having the first claim, as being the greatest sufferers, are our brethren in England, and more particularly Ireland, whom perhaps we ought to place first, as being the most oppressed; but she has more powerful advocates than we, and may she have many more of them!

Our space here does not permit our going into detail on this subject; but the English newspapers, decidedly aristocratic as they necessarily must be, (the duty being id. each to the abominable government-consequently there are no penny papers for the poor—and this, of course, is a trick of the enemy to keep them in darkness as to their real condition,) in their bickerings with each other, occasionally let out the truth as to the real condition of the laboring classes, who can be scarcely said to have any organ or papers to express their views, as the price of them from the cause just stated, necessarily precludes the great body of the people, who are miserably poor, from enjoying this literary luxury. The following table is gathered from one of them, which was merely used as a political argument, without expressing the least sympathy for the sufferings here described, and which can scarcely be read without horror and indignation. It says:

“In Liverpool there are 7,802 cellars, dark, damp, dirty, and ill-ventilated, in which live 39,000 of the working people. There are also 2,270 courts, in which from two to six families reside, and few of these courts have more than one outlet.

“ In Manchester, of 123,232 working people, 14,960 live in cellars.

" In Bury the working classes are so poorly off, that in 772 houses one bed served for four persons; in 907 one bed served for five persons, and in 78 one bed for six persons.

“In Bristol forty-six per cent. of the working classes have but one room for a family.

" Leeds is a very poor, unhealthy place. Of 17,800 houses, 13,600 are under 101. rent.

“ In Glasgow the annount of wretchedness and disease is alarmingly great. In 1827, 28,100 persons had fevers in that city, which has a population of something like 250,000.

“With regard to paupers in London, it is observed that the whole number of such persons in that city and suburbs, who received in and out-door parochial relief, for the year ending March, 1838, was 77,186. of these, 13,972 were sick with fever, 7,017 from syanchus, and 5,692 from typhus."

Such paragraphs as the following are frequently met with :

“ Joseph Goldsmith, a nephew of the renowned Oliver Goldsmith, is now living in extreme penury, in Great Peter street, Westminster. This poor man is now in his seventy-third year. His only resource for a long time past has been the teaching a few poor children, at 3d. per week, and he is at this time on a sick bed, destitute of even the necessaries of life.”

But, thank God, these poor and oppressed people have many a noblesouled champion, amongst whom stands foremost the brave, the gallant, the chivalrous Irishman, Fergns O'Connor, the chartist, whom we have heard braving the lion in his den, and denouncing these tyrants to the

ter,

assembled multitude in Whitehall, in terms equally bold as those which we have attempted there to use, and in this book also. This generous Irishman, we conceive, is a greater friend to the poor than O'Connell, as he regards the English, as every generous man must do, as the joint sufferers with the Irish, and does not denounce them as their natural enemies, which, we conceive, is productive of incalculable mischief, and retards the progress of liberal, extended, national philanthropy. It is this very disunion of the Irish themselves, and sectional, party strife, which has given their tory oppressors, both English and Irish, the means to enslave them, as well as the English also. We conceive ought to be the aim of true philanthropy to heal these unfortunate national antipathies, which have enabled these vile tories to embattle nations against each other, and to murder by wholesale ; as witness England and France, who for ages have been taught to regard each other as natural enemies. So of the tory press of England, and the English tourists visiting this country, before alluded to. These have done all they possibly could to traduce and misrepresent everything in this country free or generous, in order to create dislike in the people of England against us. These tories would war on America to-morrow, had they but the same ignorant people to support them in it as in former times. But the light of truth and liberty is gradually disfusing itself, and the people of England begin to perceive, that by warring on America, they war with their very best friends. This, it is hoped, will be more apparent every succeeding year; and we venture to say, the tory government of England will yet continue to blus

and bully this country as long as they possibly can ; for they sincerely hate liberty and republicanism. But, thank God, they dare not war on this country now, as they know full well the chartist party at home, of whom we are an humble advocate, would raise a more formidable enemy in their own suffering people, than they would find to contend with here.

Let the free and generous Americans convince the poor of England that they are their friends, by their sympathy and kindness to them, and particularly to this gallant O'Conner and his party, who have told the aristocrats of England so many unpalatable truths, and have so exposed their villanies, that he is now immured in a loathsome prison. Yes, this noble child of freedom, and friend of the suffering poor, with many cthers of the same noble spirit, in England, have been punished by imprisonment and transportation, for advocating the permission of every man who pays taxes, to have a voice in the disbursement of those taxes. But no; the tyrant oppressors say, 'You have no knowledge of these matters ; 'they are above your comprehension. We only require you to pay; we will assume the duty of disbursing according to our will and pleasure ; and, hark'e, if you give us any of your advice, we will send you beyond the seas, where you shall never see your dear wives or sweethearts more!' And these cold-blooded tyrants have done so.

The greatest men in this country, or indeed in any country, were the patriots of the Revolution. These men have cast an imperishable halo of glory around their names, in resisting the same tyrannous, would-be masters, and teaching them (to use a fashionable phraseology) that they could ’nt come it.' The generous advocates of the same principles in England, are now ffering every horror of banishment and imprisonment; and will not the free and the generous sympathize, ay, and assist them too, some of whom, it is feared, are in indigence and poverty? These men have been contending no less for the freedom of the present Americans, than did the patriots

of the Revolution resist their usurping tyrants for the good not only immediately of the Americans themselves, but as the richest legacy they could bequeath to all mankind. Liberty achieved is not the exclusive property of any ; its very spirit and essence is light and life, and the more it is diffused abroad, the more is it invigorated and strengthened at home.

These men, it ought to be remembered, have been moved by the discresses of their countrymen; and by the light of your liberty shining across the Atlantic, have discovered the cause of their ruin and degradation, and in the attempt to explain these causes to the suffering people, have been most cruelly maltreated. But we invoke you, free Americans, by the spirit of your gallant sires of '76, which we know is a talisman of power you can scarcely disobey, to sympathize with them. Nay, we who never begged before, implore your assistance for these grievously wronged and oppressed of our nearest kindred in Europe, and to extend your generosity to these sincere and zealous friends to the poor, who have been engaged in endeavoring to extend to them the same inestimable privileges so fully enjoyed here. Let it be remembered, their wrongs and outrages are perpetrated by the same party, who still have the same malignant hatred against liberty, and consequently against the Americans, as they always have had, and always will have; and it is only by the diffusion of the light of liberty and truth, that their robberies and villanies can be made known. Disseminating a knowledge of this country and its institutions amongst the people of England, will prove the strongest safeguard to the continued liberty and happiness of the American people; for so long as the people of England are ignorant or degraded, so long will they be dangerous neighbors to liberty and America; because these are the only tools with which the tory aristocrats of Great Britain can carry on the

Enlighten the people of England and Ireland, and they will perceive you are their real friends. Sympathize with them, and endeavor to elevate their moral and physical condition, if you desire to improve your own. . Thus shall you secure to yourselves unalloyed and true happiness, resulting from gratifying the moral sentiments only, and in doing good. You will thereby secure the gratitude of mankind, and the downfall of your only enemies, and those of all men, the proud aristocrats of Great Britain, who only want the power to crush you and liberty now, as they have attempted before, as in its establishment they hear their own deathknell.

Since writing thus far, we have heard the gratifying, the cheering intelligence of the receipt by Mr. O'Connell of a very liberal donation from the generous and patriotic sons of Ireland here, who, aroused to a sense of the wrongs of their patriotic countrymen, have determined to aid in their rescue from the servile bondage in which they have been so long enslaved by the tory aristocrats of Great Britain-English, Irish, and Scotch-as witness Wellington, Castlereagh, and others, the most oppressive aristocrats we ever knew, who have been the aiders and abettors of every villanous scheme to impoverish England and Ireland indiscriminately.

Much as we admire and advocate Mr. O'Connell's views, it is with pain and regret we again read a portion of his remarks, calculated to produce

war.

differences betwixt the English and Irish people, who must be united in sympathy and feeling before they can both be free and happy; for so long as they are divided, so long will their oppressors rule them both. Sympathizing sincerely as we hope we do with any movement which can improve the condition of the poor, we must express our surprise that Mr. D'Connell

, whilst advocating a partial measure of freedom for the Irish people, should denounce, as he has done, Mr. Fergus O'Conner and the chartist party in England, as rebels, and boast that he would, in case it were required by the government, bring an army of one hundred thousand of his repealers to put down chartism. Surely, the free and universal suffrage of all men, and women too, and the vote by ballot, with annual parliament, can be the only and efficient remedy whereby the monstrous evils at present afflicting the whole people can by, possibility be reformed. Can it be imagined the corrupt court, which wields one half the legislative power in England, for good or ill, and the other half by their hereditary legislators, the proud house of peers, in their own persons and by their nominees in the house of commons, can ever be made to disgorge their ill-gotten power and plunder, unless it is by a union of the whole people, English, Irish, and Scotch-and we hope we may yet say, the Americans, for we insist they would be almost as much benefitted by a course of just and liberal policy in England, as the whole English people themselves.

The mind is almost lost in the contemplation of the stupendous effects which would result, with our new facilities of communication, in trade, commerce, civilization, and advancement in knowledge and happiness, could the formidable barriers once be removed, which now cruelly divide those who are so nearly-may we say, so dearly--allied by every tie of kindred, sympathy, literature, and science! In Great Britain and Europe how many noble spirits, of a truly Shaksperean or Newtonian mould, would shine in the literary world, were they not subdued, repressed and lost to the world, by the inhuman tyranny which subdues their energies !

A million pens would not suffice to describe the details of misery, which like gaunt, famine-struck spectres of every grade, start up before you at every turn in that vast metropolis and emporium, London, where also sit boundless riot, ruin, debauchery, and extravagance, presenting pictures to make humanity shudder. This is where the most abandoned profligate nobles and the most notorious courtezans have sat cheek by cheek with royalty, or the boasted fountain of honor! If this be so impure, what are the streams to flow from it? Their history will answer.

We are desirous of advocating a peaceful remedy for these enormous abuses; and in no way do we conceive this can be effected but by diffusing cheap political intelligence respecting this country, by lectures and pamphlets, amongst the poor of Great Britain.

As for the author, he has taken his stand. Although he may be suspected, traduced, and probably disowned, yet will he humbly advocate the opinions here expressed. And what is here advanced as truth, may you, gentle reader, receive as such, and reject the errors and imperfections, In conclusion, permit him to repeatthe union of the producing classes in England and America is the only means effectually to improve their own condition and that of all mankind.

« AnteriorContinuar »