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· which are so often circulated by men who lay claim to poetical talents. Lawrence never attempted sculpture but on one occasion; and, having executed a bust, he proposed the following lines to be engraved on it:
“ To shine, to bless, enlighten, and expire,
Is all that waits the mind of brightest fire.
In this loved form, once breathed in Addison." In reading more than 150 private letters from Lawrence to his family, his friends, to patrons, and to persons on business, written under every variety of circumstance, and often under excessive fatigue, disappointed hopes and pecuniary distress, not one single instance occurs of detraction, sarcasm, asperity, or discontent. His nature seems to have been one of perpetual benevolence, incapable of a morose humour, or of an ill-natured thought. He derived from friendship, and from the love his friends bore him, all his peace and happiness. To one person, who, in moments that were supposed her last, had spoken of him with affectionate admiration, he wrote on her convalescence :
"You have given us great comfort, my dear friend, by your letters, though mine but too sadly depicts the state of suffering in which you must be still remaining.-I am very grateful for your thoughts of me in those fearful moments. There are some few in whose mind and heart I would wish to be present when life's scene is closing, and you are one whose image would present itself to me amongst the first. God be praised that so irretrievable a loss is not yet to agonize your friends!
God bless you ever faithfully yours.”
To an old lady and very old friend, on her quitting London, he wrote, just before his own death :- “I cannot endure the thoughts of a residence for my dear friend. You know that there are no patrons of art there, and I must starve if I come to you; and though you will not be at my funeral, you and another loved friend must be at my death; so that five minutes' walk from this spot you are doomed to be -."
His whole private correspondence is of the same endearing character-a perpetual sunshine, without a cloud.
In speaking of Lawrence's promoting the establishment of the Royal Hibernian Academy, his biographer omits all mention of one of the most distinguished of its members, Mr. T. C. Thompson, an artist of celebrity, who was mainly instrumental with the Irish Secretary, Mr. Charles Grant, in organizing the academy, in enforcing its claims, and in procuring its charter of incorporation.
The public were very much mistaken with respect to Lawrence's celebrated sketch of Miss Fanny Kemble. This was not a good likeness, and scarcely was it meant as such. The sudden display of great talents by this young lady awakened in Lawrence all his recollections of the Kemble family, and he tried to give to his portrait, as much as possible,
the noble features of Mrs. Siddons, of which the face was not suscepti·ble. He flattered himself that he had made the portrait a sort of family or generic portrait, in which the breed or race of the house of Kemble could be traced. The sketch conveyed no idea of the contour or the scale of the lady's figure, and very little likeness to the face. The newspaper statements of his enthusiastic admiration of her acting were, if not fabrications, at least exaggerations. He perceived her great talents, but he detected many faults, and took much pains in pointing out her errors and showing the path of improvement. Miss Kemble was by no means proud of showing Sir Thomas's correspondence with her.
It is in no spirit of depreciating the merits of a justly popular writer, that I express my regret that Mr. Allan Cunningham, in his abridgment of preceding publications, which he calls his “Life of Lawrence, has copied all the most palpable errors which had been gathered from newspaper paragraphs, or studies, or even tea-table gossip. He relates the hackneyed anecdote of "the notorious Peter Finnerty's ” criticism in the “ Morning Chronicle” upon Lawrence's portrait of Lord Castlereagh. The fact is, the notorious Peter Finnerty never wrote a criticism on art for the “Morning Chronicle," and the criticism in question was written by Hazlitt, and contained very just observations. The anecdote was derived from a pupil of Sir Thomas's, but was without the slightest foundation. This biographer often totally mistakes the character of Lawrence, and generally to his prejudice. He represents him as gossip, a petit maître, who“ wrote perfumed billets full of studied conpliments to ladies, and ladies smiled and spoke of the accomplished Sir Thomas.” Several hundred letters, to ladies and gentlemen, from Sir Thomas have passed through my hands, and they are all of the very reverse character. In point of penmanship they are rapid, and careless, full of erasures, blots, and interlineations. In point of style, they are evidently written by a person intent upon expressing his first thoughts or present feelings with as little trouble as possible. The causes of George III.'s hating Reynolds and patronising Lawrence are well known to every body. In relating the fatal love attachment of a lady, with Lawrence's fickle fancy, Mr. Cunningham is evidently unacquainted with the piano-forte scene, and the cruelly deceptive letter, the deathblow of the lady.
The octavo “ Life of Lawrence,” in speaking of his vagaries with the Princess of Wales at Blackheath, omits some of his anecdotes of her singular style of conversation. The Princess was fond of narrating, and not in very good English, that when a child, her governess, was instructed to make her thoroughly acquainted with the Old Testament. The lady cautiously read the book, and as carefully put patches of black sticking-plaster over all the places that she thought a young female ought not to read. The patches were easily removed, and the Princess, in her bad English, used to repeat many of them, in a broader manner than modern manners will admit of.
THE TRADES' UNIONS. The contest between the masters and the operatives has at length commenced in good earnest. At Leeds, Cambridge, Derby, here in the metropolis and elsewhere, the former have associated together for the purpose, not only of resisting the demands of the Unionists, but of withholding employment from every man who does not henceforth abandon the principle of confederacy altogether. It cannot be denied that the employers have, at least, as good a right to combine for their mutual protection as the employed, and we only regret that the spirited measures which have been at last resorted to on the part of the capitalists had not been adopted at a much earlier period. By permitting the strikes to proceed, one after another, from time to time, they have very much increased the difficulties against which they are about to contend, and have engendered feelings among the laborious classes which threaten to terminate, sooner or later, in political consequences of the most formidable nature.
In discussing the proceedings of these Unions, however, we ourselves, as well as most of our contemporaries, have been, perhaps, rather too much inclined to take part with the capitalists on all occasions. As the two parties are now committed in the conflict, let us show them “ fair play,” and inquire whether the operatives really have not some substantial grievances, of which it is not only their right, but their duty, to complain. Let us take the case of the tailors for example. The masters declare that the men may easily earn six shillings a day, according to the regulations previously existing in the trade. From inquiries which we have instituted, we are disposed to believe that this sum is the maximum which a journeyman, working in his master's shop, can possibly earn even by a long day's labour; that this sum he can acquire only during a few months at the full season, and that during the greater part of the year many of the men are often without work, at a rate of wages considerably inferior to the average here stated. It further appears, that the men who are kept pretty generally employed are by no means a majority of the whole who have been brought up to the trade; that they necessarily lose a great deal of time in waiting for work before they can get it, and that there is a vast number of what are called " show shops,” in different parts of the town, where clothes of every description are sold cheap, and which seldom pay the men who work for them more than two, or at most three shillings a day. For this paltry pittance they are obliged to work twelve, and fourteen hours successively, aided even by the female members of their families !
Now we have no objection to the existence of that competition which benefits the public at large by reducing the prices of articles of general consumption; but when we calculate the profits, which even the “ show shops” realize upon
their sales, we must say, that the wages given to the men who supply those shops is far from being a fair remuneration for their labour. But if this be true of the cheap shops, what is to be said on behalf of those which charge the highest prices for their wares ? The exorbitant items which usually go to make up a “ tailor's bill” have become proverbial. We have seen some specimens of this kind of manuscript produced in courts of justice, which have
been quite ludicrous for their magnitude. Let justice be done to all parties, say we, to the employer, the operative, and the consumer. For this purpose, an investigation ought to be made by Parliament into the state of wages generally; and although the master should not be compelled to hire men against his will, nor the men bound to labour against their consent, nevertheless some rule of conduct ought to be laid down, by which the profits of every trade should be equitably divided between the parties who supply the capital and the labour. This is the common sense of the whole question, and unless some measure of the kind be adopted, we must expect the strikes to go on whenever the men think that they can enter upon them with advantage.
Something should be done, we think, with a view to rescue the mass of the operatives throughout the country from the influence of the daring and unprincipled men who have acquired dominion amongst them. The doctrines which these leaders are endeavouring to propagate in the Unions to which they belong are of the most atrocious description. They have lately formed what they call a “consolidated association,” which is governed by an "executive," composed of a few persons, who have assumed to themselves an entire control over all the trades of the kingdom. They issue their proclamations in an official form, for the raising of supplies, whenever they think necessary, and to any amount which they may deem proper. Now there is a turn-out at Derby, where three or four thousand operatives resolve to abstain from work for months together. In order to support them, the “ executive" command the members of the Unions to pay, by a certain time, a regulated portion of their wages—and the mandate is obeyed! The tive" is now informed, that in particular towns the operatives are tardy in joining the Unions. Down goes a proclamation from this directory, reviling them by all sorts of dishonourable names, unless they forthwith enrol themselves in the ranks of the heroes who are destined to raise labour above capital ;—and again the mandate is obeyed !
It is difficult to describe the state of agitation, uncertainty and misery, in which the industrious classes are almost universally kept, by the proceedings of those who have undertaken to lead them to the “ land of promise," which they paint for their contemplation in the most alluring colours. The agitators are, at this moment, engaged in attempting to realize the most ridiculous vision that ever deluded the mind of man. They have called upon all the operatives in every department to unite in one body, to subscribe weekly to a general fund, which is to be applied to the purchase of land and manufactories, and materials of every kind. When this fund is created, the operatives are to form a body apart from all other sections of the community; they are to brew their own beer, bake their own bread, feed and kill their own meat, build their own houses, cultivate their own estate, make their own clothes, and, in short, to labour only for themselves. They are to be a kingdom within a kingdom, and to be governed exclusively by their own laws.
" There canmot,” it is declared,“ be a more perfect realization of brotherhood than a well-organized society of tradesmen, guided by laws of their own enactment, creating wealth for their mutual benefit, and distributing that wealth in just proportions to each member of the fraternity, not loading the indolent with caresses, nor refusing his due share to the active and the industrious. Such an organization is as near an approach to perfection as we can make. It is the ultimation of the progress of society; the beau ideal which we ought at all times to have transfigured before us; a stimulant to exertion, and a compass to direct our movements. There is no peace, no justice, no happiness till then ; for then only shall man be equal to man--the servant be as his master, and the maid as her mistress.” This is the millennium which the leaders of the Unions teach their followers to expect, which they must well know to be, in every sense of the word a gross deception; but which they nevertheless gravely inculcate in speeches and writings, for no other purpose
than that of preserving the empire which they have acquired over the minds of the unhappy men who are induced or compelled to be their slaves.
If it could be supposed for a moment that all the operatives of the kingdom, amounting at the least to two millions of men, were combined in one association, and that they were possessed of funds, by means of which they might purchase land and manufactories for their own use, where would the power be found capable of holding such a body, together for a single week? How could labour go on without a permanent and increasing capital, in a community of that description ? Either they would all be rich or poor, for equality is the principle of such a union; if rich, they would cease to labour; if poor, they must come back to society for the means of existence. The idea of such a combination can, therefore, have been taken up only for the mere purposes of imposture; it admits of no discussion, unless amongst men who have lost their reason.
But if no such co-operative society as this could ever be reduced to practice ; if, in truth, the principle of such a union must of necessity be defeated by the separate interests which actuate mechanics of every class, how is it possible that they can expect to realize anything but an aggravation of their misfortunes, by the partial mutinies in which they have hitherto indulged? There are at this moment, it is supposed, thirteen thousand operative tailors out of work in the metropolis, and they have been so for three weeks. Assuming that, on the average, they earned no more than a guinea each per week, here is at once a sum of upwards of 40,0001. lost for ever to these unhappy men and their families. They have received from other Unions a wretched contribution which has scarcely preserved them from starving, and they have not only deprived themselves and their families of their ordinary subsistence, but they have prevented 40,0001. from circulating in the usual channels amongst the tradesmen who supplied them with provisions. Pro tanto, those men are thus disabled from affording employment not only to tailors, but to shoemakers and other artisans, and thus the loss which falls upon the mutineers in the first instance, is extended proportionably to all classes of the industrious.
It is admitted now, that the operative tailors have failed in their strike. It was altogether a premature proceeding, the result of passion uncontrolled by calculation. They were not prepared for the resistance which they have encountered, and foolishly threw themselves first into the breach, which the shoemakers were also anxious to enter at the same time. But suppose that the operative tailors had succeeded in their object, what would have been the result? The extinction of the cheap shops, in which the lower classes of society have hitherto obtained their clothes at a reasonable price, and a considerable rise in the cost of