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less there are to be found among the The magnitude of the sums which manufacturing operatives very many a large proportion of these workmen virtuous and upright men, and respecto spend upon drink would exceed belief, able families. Even the failings and if it were not attested by the convices of a large proportion of the more curring evidence of every person verimprovident, are not so much owing sant with the habits of the operatives to individual inherent depravity, as to in every manufacturing district of the want of foresight, and the degrading kingdom. An action was recently habit of constant drinking or sensual brought in the Sheriff: Court of Lan. indulgence. But that habits of im- arkshire against a collier, for spirits, providence, and an insatiable thirst for porter, ale, and groceries, furnished immediate enjoyment from the senses, to himself and his family during three are general among this class of society, years, amounting to the sum of has long been known and lamented by L.78: 7:4; L.72 had 'been paid every person practically acquainted by the collier during the three years, with their situation, and is now de- being at the rate of L.24 a year, cisively proved by statistical returns and the balance of L.6 odds was ad. pointing to conclusions with unerring mitted. It may safely be affirmed certainty. Every person practically that the value of spirits consumed by acquainted with the operatives in a large proportion of the skilled
opergreat towns or manufacturing districts atives in all the manufacturing towns of the country, is aware that their ha. of the kingdom, amounts to eight or bits are, generally speaking, reckless ten shillings a-week of their earnings. and improvident in the extreme. Their Incredible as this doubtless will appear employment, except during periods of to persons who are not practically accommercial distress, is steady; and the quainted with the subject, there is no too great demand for the labour of one, we are persuaded, who is so, that children, boys and girls, in the facto. will not admit that we are rather ries and collieries, generally renders within than without the mark. In a large offspring an advantage rather fact, on no other principle is it possithan a burden, and doubles, often ble to account for the enormous and triples, to married persons, the gains almost incredible quantity of ardent of the head of the family. It is no spirits consumed in the manufacturing unusual thing for a family of this class, districts, more particularly of Scotto make from fifty to sixty shillings a- land.
. It appears from the Parliaweek; and the common gains, even of mentary Reports, that the proportion a single skilled operative, run in gen- of ardent spirits consumed in Scotland eral, according to the skill, from eight- amounts to six millions five hundred een to thirty-six or forty shillings. gallons a-year, being at the rate of two Yet, with all these advantages, these gallons and three quarters annually, operatives with their families, are in to every human being! Unquestionably general the most needy and desti- more than a half of this enormous tute of the community; a great part quantity is drunk in the manufacturing of their large earnings is spent in or mining districts; for it is there alone drink. They are almost all in debt that the working-classes have such to the baker, the butcher, the grocer, high wages as to enable them to drink and the other tradesmen with whom it in such profusion. Beyond all they deal ; their wives have the utmost doubt the average of these manufacdifficulty in getting money from their turing districts is at least six gallons husbaudseven for the necessary support a-head a-year over the whole populaof their families; and it is only by ac- tion-a higher average, it is believed, tions at law, and by arresting their than is to be found in any other counwages, that the shopkeepers are able, try of the globe. after long periods, to secure payment All the institutions calculated either of their debts. Paradoxical as it may to accumulate capital, relieve distress, appear, nothing is more certain than or to provide funds for the future, are that these classes are, generally speak- maintained by the middle or higher ing, the most destitute of the labour- classes, with hardly any assistance ing ranks; and, unfortunately, the from the lower. The operatives and most skilful workmen are not seldom workmen benefit largely by such the most profligate, and dissolute, as establishments, but they contribute well as needy, characters of the com- little or nothing to their support. It munity.
has recently been ascertained, from a comparison of returns from the differ- Trial at Edinburgh, in January 1838, ent assurance offices, that the total that the Cotton-Spinners' Association number of persons holding policies of in Glasgow liad raised eleven thousand life insurance is only 80,000—a pounds for the objects of their union in number so very small in proportion to a single year; and it is understood that the population of the empire, as to that association from first to last have demonstrate decisively that the provi- had L.200,000 through their hands. dent regard for the future, and self- It is well known that the strikes in denial of the present, which prompts which the operatives were engaged men to belong to these admirable as in the preceding year, in the vicinity sociations, is confined almost entirely of that great manufacturing emporium, to the middle or wealthier classes of cost the community from six to eight society. Who is it that maintains our hundred thousand pounds. Yet the hospitals, our dispensaries, our charity operatives contrived to maintain the schools, and a large part of the Volun- struggle against their masters in most tary Church? The middle or higher of the skilled branches of industry, classes, and they alone. Nobody ever for three or four months together. heard of such establishments, how Examples of this kind prove, that essential soever and beneficial to the although doubtless there is often great working-classes, being maintained distress and suffering among the by their efforts or contributions. manufacturing classes of the commuWere it not for the Christian cha- nity, yet they do possess within them- . rity, the humanity, and unwearied selves funds to a very great amount ; exertions of the middle classes, the and that it is by their misdirection that operatives, who are now rising in so little is contributed from their earnsuch fearful array against them, would ings to purposes either of benevolence rot in indigence and misery ; pesti- or practical utility. lence, unmitigated by medical skill, But to bring this matter to a more would annually desolate their ranks; accurate test, we shall take the case of and the ordinary calamities of life, un- a single city, and calculate from aurelieved by the humanity and efforts thentic data the sums that are anof the better classes of society, would nually spent in it by the workingsoon reduce the lower to hopeless des- classes upon ardent spirits. We shall titution.
take Glasgow for the subject of the But the working-classes, it may per- calculation, and that for several reahaps be said by their advocates, are sons; but chiefly because it is the too poor to be able to support such city in the empire in which the Liberestablishments by themselves, and the als will find, most completely exemplicontributions which the middle classes fied, the practical working of their make to charitable institutions for favourite principles of social and politheir behoof, are but a part of the re- tical government. Its prosperity has turn of the fruits of their labour, which been unprecedented in the old world; their monopoly of capital have ena- its inhabitants, which in 1770 were bled them to wrench from their hands. 30,000, are now 270,000—that is, they This argument may possibly appear have augmented ninefold in seventy forcible to many persons of a hu- years ; its customhouse dues, which mane turn of mind, not practically forty years ago were L. 3000, are now acquainted with the situation and ha- L.400,000 a-year; its harbour, which bits of the manufacturing operatives, in the memory of man contained only or the magnitude of the funds which fifty or sixty boats, now sees flags wavtheir great numbers pat at the disposal ing in it from every quarter of the of any persons who obtain from them globe. Nowhere, therefore, in the an contributions, however small. We cient abodes of mankind, can a parallel never see or hear of any want of funds be found to its extraordinary progress to enable the operatives to engage in and unbounded prosperity. It is, par any undertakings, how costly soever, excellence, also the spot in which the which they have really at heart, such institutions and the remedies against as long and protracted strikes against evil, which the Liberals have so long their masters, in the vain hope of and so ardently supported, are to be keeping wages up, during periods of found; and where the alleged abuses adversity, at the level which they had on which they have wished to fix the obtained in prior periods of prosperity. sufferings and vices of society are It was proved at the Cotton-Spinners'
Society, from its extraordi
pary rapidity of growth, has entire- than fourteen hundred young men, ly outgrown the dimensions of the chiefly from those districts, receive, at á national Church establishment ; its comparatively moderate raté, the eleancient allowance of six or
ments of a liberal education. Many churches was soon lost amidst the cir- other institutions, still more important cumjacent multitude, and all the ef- to the working-classes, have long exforts of benevolence in the middle and isted and flourished in the city. The bigher ranks, sunk before the impos. Andersonian Institution, established sibility of providing church accommo- expressly as a rival to the University, dation for a population advancing at has long boasted of professors of repu. the rate of eight or ten thousand tation and ability, who, at the hours souls a-year. The Voluntary sys
most convenient for the working-classtem therefore, has long, practically es, every winter give lectures to nuspeaking, been in operation ; the merous assemblages of the operatives efforts of the Churchmen to enlarge and working classes : add to this, their the establishment, were, till within professors, though intelligent and able these few years when such noble men, are, from the absence of any probenefactions have been made, una- per foundation, and the excessive de. vailing and the existence at this sire to render education cheap, with moment of eighty thousand human à view to the benefit of the workingbeings, who neither go to church nor classes, remunerated in a manner wholly can find a place in any place of wor- unsuited to their merits or their public ship within its bounds, proves, that services, and in fact kept at very near whatever causes of evil have been what Mr Hume would consider the operating within its bosom, priestcraft, ne plus ultra of perfection in such esand the undue ascendency of the tablishments, viz. the starving point. clergy, cannot be reckoned among the In addition to this, there are too large number. Aristocracy there is none and flourishing Mechanics’ Institutes, within its limits; its sons and its daugh- one in the city and one in the suburbs, ters can neither allege that they have the former attended by six, and the been misled by the example, or seduced latter by fourteen, hundred students. by the passions, or depressed by the Here, then, is a city in all circuminfluence, of the landed proprietors or stances the most favourable for the nobility; the national Church esta- exemplification of the working of the blishment is small; the number of boasted antidotes to evil; therefore, Voluntary meeting-houses consider- let us examine the habits of the people, able ; plenty of Catholics among the and judge from that of their qualificahumbler classes, and unbounded re- tion and fitness to take the managepublican prosperity among the higher. ment of public affairs into their own
Add to this, Glasgow is the place, hands, and rule the empire with abperhaps, in the island, where the means solute sway, by the irresistible force of of secular and intellectual education numbers. have long existed on the most exten- There are within the city of Glassive scale; and where the grand cor- gow properly so called, technically rectives to evil, provided by Lord named “ the royalty,” one hundred and Brougham and the other education two thousand inhabitants, and twelve advocates, have been in the full- hundred spirit-shops. In the adjoinest operation. The cost of element- ing suburbs, which form part of the ary education is exceedingly cheap; city, both in Parliamentary language it requires only half-a-crown or three as to elections, and also in common shillings a quarter, to send a child to language, there are one hundred and the grammar schools, less than the sixty-eight thousand inhabitants, and wages of a single day to all the at least eighteen hundred spirit-shops. skilled workmen. Numerous scien- In the whole Parliamentary city of tific and literary establishments of Glasgow there are three thousand spigreat celebrity exist; the univer- rit-dealers. sity, long distinguished by its illus- Of these 3000 spirit-dealers, above trious men, affords tuition so cheap 2000 are enrolled as Parliamentary as to be within the reach of the sons, electors; and of course must possess not only of the middle classes in the premises affording a rental of 1.10 city, but even of the farmers in the and upwards. It is universally known adjoining counties; so that no less that a great number of spirit-dealers
pay very high rents in Glasgow orderly and comfortable as their immesome from L.80 to L.100 a-year, or diate superiors, and, like them, become even more. Taking a medium, it may fit to be entrusted with public duties and fairly be presumed that the average legislative powers. It is in vain to say rent of these spirit-shops is L.25. the operatives have not money to ac«
The profits earned by each spirit- complish these ends. The money exists dealer at an average, may be taken in ample quantity-all that is wanted at double the rent, or L.50 a year.
is to alter its direction. The three We are aware that many of the re- thousand spirit-shops, and six hundred spectable dealers, who make thousands thousand pounds needlessly wasted a-year in this great and flourishing every year by the working-classes on line of business, will smile at the idea ardent spirits in Glasgow, furnish a of the average being struck so low, black monument, alike decisive of the but we wish to be within the mark. ample amount of means which they It may safely be asserted, that if the have at their disposal, and of the deaverage profit of the spirit-dealer, di- plorable use which they at present vided between himself and the land. make of them. lord, is L.75, the gross sales in whole- We have no wish we never had a sale and retail which must be effected wish—to cast a shade upon the characto produce that profit, must be at ter of the working-classes.
We fully least four times that amount, twenty- and gratefully acknowledge the great five per cent being about the average
number of meritorious persons to be profit of that class of dealers. Thus found among them. We admit that it may safely be concluded, and in their labour is the great source both the most moderate estimate, that the of national subsistence and wealth; calculation will stand thus, viz. and we do not believe that there ex. Rent of 3000 spirit. dealers,
ists in the world a class of labourers L.25 each on an average, L.75,000 of more upright and virtuous habits, Net profits of 3000 spirit
than those engaged in agricultural dealers, at L.50 each on
employments. If the working-classes an average,
150,000 even in manufacturing towns will con
fine themselves to their proper sphere, Total annual sales of spirits,
and direct the vast efforts of which porter, and ales, to pro
they are capable, to the attainment of duce this profit, L.900,000 practical objects of real reform they
will always find us the first to give them What blessings might, at this mo- our support. Let them direct their ment, be obtained by the working exertions to the alleviation of the exclasses, from the surplus funds which hausting labours of the factories, by a they have at their disposal, and which ten hours' bill; let them unite with the are now,
in a great measure, devoted to worthiest of the community in labourpurposes of debauchery, vice, and de- ing for the extension of an ecclesiastical gradation! No assessment on the other Establishment the real church of the classes of society ; no' voluntary, or poor; let them petition Government i charitable contributions are required for the immediate duplication of the to obtain these blessings. All that duty on spirits, and the removal of the is needed is, that the working classes taxes on soap, paper, and other articles should do justice to themselves. How which contribute to their comfort, is it that the middle classes so gen- innocent enjoyment, and recreation ; erally enjoy competence and com- let them contribute a large portion of fort, and that from their efforts the their earnings to saving banks, life whole wealth of the state generally insurances, and other objects of real takes its rise ? Simply because they and permanent benefit to themselves practise order, regularity, and economy and their families; let them aim at in their dwellings; because they put eradicating from the New Poor-Law of a bridle on their licentious appetites; England the harsh and unjust features because they restrain present desire, by which it is stained, without seekfrom a sense of future benefit; because ing to return to the abuses of the they sacrifice sensual and selfish gratis old system, which were not less perfication on the altar of domestic duty. nicious to themselves than to the classes If the working-classes would acquire who bore the assessment; and they such habits, they would soon be as will find not only ourselves, but the
whole Conservative party, anxiously persons of property and influence, and withdevoted to their support. But when, out that subordination of rank usually exinstead of this, they surrender them. isting in other conditions of society. The selves to the guidance of mountebanks mass of the people there consisted of one and demagogues; when they unite in great working-class, and of the few indivifierce demands for political privileges duals by whom they were employed, and which their habits prove that they who had but little connexion with them of are wholly unfit to be entrusted with, the sort calculated to produce that species and indignantly demand the mas- of subordination which prevailed in other
communities. In those districts of the tery of others when their conduct demonstrates they are not able to
country there were not sufficient schools or
churches ; there were not those means of govern themselves ; when they abandon their only real friends, the moral religious and moral instruction which and religious portion of the community, society; hence, then, there was a material
were required for knitting men together in and range themselves under the ban.
difference in their constitution and condition ners of their real enemies, the dema
from that which distinguished British sogogues, who seek to screen themselves
ciety in other parts of the empire, and which from insolvency by the aid of their
even marked those parts of the country in passions ;-they necessarily unite the whole strength and property of the state, in a compact phalanx, against fect which has resulted from Chart
Here, then, is at least one good eftheir efforts, and voluntarily destroy rebellion-one lasting instruction which their own cause. They may be assured that they never will prevail of attempting to improve the people by
has been obtained from the experiment against such an alliance it was not
intellectual education and political agiby the conquest, but by the infaEbor tuation and weakness, of the middle tation, without any regard to their spi.
ritual or moral improvement. The baie classes, that the French Revolution Greiner by this time found, at all events they effects of political passion have recoiled was triumphant. They have probably bubble of intellectual education has
now completely burst; the ruinous will soon find, that the middle classes of -572 England are formed of very different upon its authors. The tendency of stuff, and that they will neither fly classes into the most ruinous excesses,
political excitement to lead the workingtheir country, nor desert their pro- the utter inefficacy of secular education perty, at the waving of the Chartist
to check the progress of evil, is now potte torch., By continuing in their pres loudly proclaimed both in the Lords ct the sent headlong course of iniquity, the
and Commons by the leaders of the Chartists
liberal Administration. Here, then, is at b their families ; but they will neither least one great gain effected by the ith't break down the Constitution of the
progress of liberal measures. Truth is labor. country, nor gain, by the aid of con
forced iasis flagration and plunder, one iota of bought experience of error-the prin
upon the country by the dearof the additional power in its Government. ciples for which we, with the whole enne! A great reform is indeed wanted be- Conservative party, have all along of ex fore they can be entrusted with any strenuously contended, and which the al of us share in the administration of affairs ; Parok but it is required not in the institutions death, are now loudly proclaimed from
Liberals every where resisted to the of the State, but in their own hearts. Lord John Russell has told us, in Let us hope that the lessons taught by
the seats of the liberal Administration. his late speech in Parliament, what is
the flames of Birmingham will not be Loks, / the main cause to which the present lost ; that Government will act upon lamentable condition of the working- the principles which are now extorted
from their mouths; and that, laying “ In certain portions of the country the
aside the selfish and perilous pursuit of condition of the manufacturing population political excitement, they will at length was not only lamentable, but appalling, become sensible that the only secure. (hear, hear,)-and unhappily this population foundation for either national security existed in those districts without the usual
or welfare, is to be found in the extenless concomitants of a densely peopled region- sion of the means of religious instrucheckt without sufficient means of instruction, tion to the great body of the people. and without suffici:nt places of worship, with
To the Conservatives also, recent but out the presence of a sufficient number of events afford a lesson of no ordinary
COM.A. creatie ortion
Zemse! classes is to be ascribed.
t fearr out se es at: