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In the Mediterranean there are Gibraltar and Malta ; the conditions of that treaty which should give national from which we import L.40,000 and L.232,000, and to freedom to our colonies, exchange the bonds of force for which we export L.938,000 and L.289,000 respectively. those of gratitude, and render Great Britain no more
If to these we add, as too unimportant for classifica- the rival or the mistress, but the friend and ally, of the tion, the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, and St Helena, new world. As for the advantage of such establishwe have a grand total of L.3,088,000 imports, and ments with reference to our shipping and seamen, which L.3,199,000 exports, forming the whole of the British has been so much insisted upon by the press, this will colonial trade.
vanish, as a matter of course, with the repeal of the
To come to the point, however: colonies are, in our
opinion, neither commercially nor politically useful ;
they are simply the means appointed by nature, and
unconsciously adopted by mankind from the beginning Gibraltar,
L.139,830 of time, for peopling the desert places of the earth, by Malta,
110,818 offshoots from countries where the population has inCape of Good Hope,
creased so far as to draw too heavily upon the sources Mauritius,
of subsistence or comfort. It has een the destiny of Fernando Po,
our island to accomplish more in this way than any Ascension,
4,907 other nation, ancient or modern. To say nothing of Heligoland,
our military and maritime stations, which dot the globe Ionian Islands, St Helena,
throughout, a great part of the new world is already Jamaica, Bahamas, Honduras,
232,428 English, and the germs of English empires are now Barbadoes, Grenada, St Vincent, Tobago, An
planted round the coasts of a still newer world in the tigua, Montserrat, St Christopher's, Nevis,
vast expanse of ocean between India and America. But Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Lucia, Trinidad, British Guiana,
the misfortune is, that we have never been satisfied Lower Canada, Upper Canada,
with this legitimate exercise of our energies ; indeed Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward's
we have never given ourselves to the task but by Island, Newfoundland,
fits and starts, as if colonisation was not one of the Sierra Leone, Gambia,
great and regular duties of government in an old and Western Australia,
crowded country, but merely a casual necessity imNew South Wales, Van Diemen's Land,
533,501 posed by temporary circumstances. On the other hand, General charges,
when the true objects of the colony are accomplished ; Total, omitting fractions,
when our offspring has grown old in turn, and comes,
in the common course of nature, to have duties and The item alluded to as an exception to the correct interests of its own apart from ours; when, in fact, it is ness of the above account, is the sum of L.221,441, set no longer a source of convenience and comfort, but of down for the Canadas. On this point M'Culloch says anxiety and weakness -- then do we cling to it with in bis newly published work—'Our ascendancy in Ca- an insane pertinacity which can only be loosened by nada, at this moment, is wholly dependent on the pre- blood ! sence of a large military force, occasioning, one way It would be difficult to say whether our follies of and another, a direct outlay of little less than L.1,500,000 omission or commission in this respect are the more a year ; and all this heavy expense is incurred without remarkable ; but, in point of fact, our whole colonial any equivalent advantage, and with a full conviction system-if a tissue of puerile crotchets, wrought out by on the mind of every man of sense in the empire that, petty expedients, can be called a system at all-is quite at no very distant period, Canada will be independent, or unworthy of the age and the nation. The splendid an integral portion of the United States !' To all this countries which have fallen into such incapable hands, may be added upwards of L.20,000 for the expense of have advanced, in those few cases in which any real the colonial office at home; and thus we see that the advance has been made, in spite of us; but, generally expense of keeping up our colonies is greater--not than speaking, they present an unbroken aspect of ruin and the mere profits—but than the entire gross amount of desolation. the colonial trade, by more than L.900,000 a year! Let But let us not be understood to blame the governit, in short, be distinctly understood that, in order to ment exclusively, in a case in which the people are do business to the extent of three millions annually, we likewise only too obviously in fault. In fact, we do not spend pretty nearly four millions annually. To save know that in England a minister could hold his place money and trouble, would it not be better to pension for a month who appeared willing to abandon even a every colonial merchant to the extent of his profits, useless colony! 'Ships, colonies, and commerce,' are and devote the remainder of the four millions to some inseparably associated in the national mind; and he useful purpose? What a splendid system of national who attempts to sever them, is looked upon as a parrieducation could be supported for two millions annually! cide, who would destroy, if he could, our trade and our
Some persons answer that the use of colonies is passive: very maritime existence. This is an instance of the conthat we must retain them in our own hands, even at the stancy which is real inconsistency; for the foundation of enormous sum they actually cost, in order to prevent our faith in colonies has crumbled away before our eyes, their getting into the hands of other nations. If this leaving behind only an empty prestige. Our colonies notion has reference to trade, it is, considering the plain were ours, in the closest and most selfish meaning of the and obvious facts of experience, nothing less than expression; hence the exorbitant value we attached to absurd. By the United States, since they acquired their them. They were snug little farms, cultivated for our independence, we have been prodigious gainers; and own supply, and the wages of the labourers paid upon how the extension of a territory so profitable to us- the truck system. But all would not do. It was in vain supposing this to take place through the manumission that we mulcted ourselves to keep up these pet estabof our North American colonies—can be reckoned inju- lishments. We were at length tired of eating dearer rious, it is difficult to imagine. But if we are deter- sugar than we could purchase in the general market, mined, by political jealousy (no doubt the true reason), and of circumscribing the sale of our manufactures to to prevent the States from extending their available line avoid dealing with other people; and what is more, we of coast, this would be quite as well accomplished by found that the monopoly worked in quite another way
than we supposed, being injurious to colony and mother Never mind, Tom ; leave me to myself,' was the reply; country alike. Year after year our colonies are ceasing and the young delinquent moved, with unfaltering step, more and more to be ours, in the meaning we once at towards the door of the mansion, the knocker of which le tached to the expression; yet we do not regard them unhesitatingly raised. The summons was answered by a the less fondly, or cling to them the less franticly. We footman.
“Is the master of the house at home?' he with some repeat, that it is not the executive who are to be blamed
diffidence inquired. for maintaining these expensive toys. The people are
. He is.' the party in fault. If the whistle must be had, it must "Then I wish to see him, if you please.' be paid for.
"That you can't do, my man; but I'll deliver any message Is it, then, our wish to dissolve the existing attach- for you.' ment between England and her colonies ? Far from it. No, that will not do. I must-indeed I must see the It is the duty and the fate of this great country to colo- gentleman himself.'. The earnestness and perseverance of nise; but in doing so, she should proceed according to the boy at length induced the man to comply with his reason, instead of following, as heretofore, a blind in- request, and opening the door of the library, he apologised stinct. The real use of a colony is to absorb the excess for asking his master to see a shabby little fellow; adding, of population at home; and the real use of a colonial that he could neither learn his business nor get rid of hini. minister is to conduct this great bbject in a manner
• Bring him in,' said the gentleman addressed, who, haywhich will benefit alike the new and the old country. sation, was curious to know the object of the boy's visit.
ing witnessed the transaction, and overheard the converAs things are conducted at present, our splendid pos- The poor child, whose ideas had never soared above his sessions in Canada-to say nothing of the glaring mis- father's second floor, stood for several moments in stupified management at a greater distance—are a mere emigra- amazement when ushered into an elegant apartment; but tion highway into the United States. The emigrant, remembering the painful circumstance which had brought of all men in this world, is the most dependent upon him into this scene of enchantment, he in some measure certainty in his pecuniary calculations; but this is regained his self-possession. altogether out of the question in the former country, I am very sorry, sir,' he began in a faltering voice, In the States, where there is a fixed price, land is' but I have broken your window. My father is out of bought like ary other commodity, and the intending work just now, and cannot pay for it ; but if you will be purchaser knows what he is about, and can take his kind enough to take the money a little at a time, as I can measures accordingly; but in Canada, when he has get it, I will be sure to make it up;' and as he spoke, he made his selection, the lot is put up to auction, and drew a few halfpence from his pocket and laid them on
the table. after all his trouble, expense, and anxiety, may be sold over his head! In fact the constant failures of our emi.
“That's an honest speech, my lad; but how am I to be gration system betray a want, not only of great talents, returned. Do you know that I could have you sent to the
sure that you will fulfil your engagement ?' Mr Cavendish but of the most ordinary capacity; and we bring for station-house till the money is made up ?' ward the above details with the view of inducing the Oh don't send me there, sir ; it would break my dear people to be satisfied no longer with debating on minor mother's heart! I will pay you all—indeed I will, sir;' and points, but to proceed, from the groundwork thus laid the poor boy burst into a flood of tears. down, and seriously inquire into the whole question. I am glad that you have so much consideration for your
We must not conclude, however, without suggesting mother's feelings; and for her sake, I will trust to your that, in an examination of the system, it will be proper
honesty.' to discriminate between colonial settlements and poli
‘Oh thank you, sir-thank you!' tical points d'appui. We have included, for instance, another payment ? This is a very small sum towards the
* But when do you expect to be able to make me the expenses of Gibraltar, Malta, Heligoland, &c. in the price of a large square of plate glass ;' and as he spoke, he general account, because we have likewise stated the glanced at the four halfpence which the boy had spread amount of the trade carried on through them; but the out. importance of such stations is in a great measure irre “ This day week, sir, if you please.' spective of commerce, and must be estimated by other * Very well, let it be so. At this hour I shall be at home rules than those of arithmetic.
to see you.' Poor Jack made his very best bow, and re
tired. TRUTH AND HONESTY.
True to his appointment, our high-principled boy appeared at the door of Mr Cavendish's mansion. As the
footman had previously received orders to admit him, he A REVOLUTION of opinions is taking place in the present was immediately shown into the library. day ; sectarian and national prejudices are giving way to 'I have a shilling for you to-day, sir!' he said exulta holy feeling of universal brotherhood ; military con- ingly, and his countenance was radiant with smiles. quests are robbed of their tinsel, and appear in their * Indeed! That is a large sum for a boy like you to obnative deformity; and moral dignity, though discovered tain in so short a time. I hope you came by it honestly?' amid poverty and ignorance, is raised to its legitimate A flush of crimson mounted to the cheek of poor Jack, but place, exciting the respect and admiration of all capable it was not the flush of shame. of estimating true worth. This latter remark will plead I earned every penny of it, sir, excepting one my an apology for introducing to the reader a young hero, mother gave me, to make it up,' he energetically replied; filling a station no higher than that of a pupil in a paro- and he proceeded to say that he had been on the look-out chial school.
for jobs all week; that he had held a horse for one gentleTwo boys, of nearly the same age, were one day amusing man, and had run on an errand for another; in this way themselves with that dangerous, though not uncommon accounting for elevenpence. pastime, pelting each other with stones. They had chosen “Your industry and perseveranco do you credit, my lad,' one of the squares for their playground, thinking by this Mr Cavendish exclaimed, his benevolent countenance lightmeans to avoid doing mischief. To the consternation of ing up with a smile. • And now I should like to know your the thrower, however, a missile, instead of resting on the name and place of residence.' shoulders of the boy at whom it was aimed, entered the 'I will write it, sir, if you please. Indeed I brought a library window of one of the lordly mansions forming the piece of paper for the purpose of putting down the money. quadrangle.
I hope I shall be able to make it all up in a few weeks, for Why don't you take to your heels, you blockhead ? you I am trying to get a situation as errand-boy.' will have the police after you whilst you are standing star You can write then? Do you go to school ?' ing there,' was the exclamation of his companion, as he “Oh yes, sir. I go to a free school.' And Jack stepped caught him by the arm in order to drag him from the spot. forward to take the pen, which Mr Cavendish held towards The author of the mischief still retained his thoughtful him. position,
You write a tolerably good hand, my little man. You * If your father is obliged to pay for this, you will stand may, I think, do better than take an errand-boy's place. a chance of having a good thrashing, Jack, the other boy Let me see if you have any knowledge of arithmetic.'' Jack arged.
stood boldly up, and unhesitatingly replied to the various
A LESSON FOR LITTLE BOYS.
questions which were put to him. “That will do, my good IRELAND-Population in 1841, 8,175,125; annual value of boy. Now, when do you think you will be able to come property rated to the poor (return of 1845), L.13,204,234 ; and bring me some more money ?'
expenditure for the relief of the poor (1844–45), L.298,813; I will come again this time next week, if I'm alive and rate per pound on value of property, 5d.--this calculation well, sir.'
is made on the annual value of 113
unions, or L.12,305,784 ; * That was wisely added, my lad ; for our lives are not in total number of paupers returned, including casual poor, our own keeping. This, I see, you have been taught.' 125,774 ; proportion per cent. to population, 1:5; rate of
Another week passed, and again Jack appeared, but his expenditure per head on paupers relieved, L.2, 7s. 9 d.— countenance now wore an aspect of sadness.
Caledonian Mercury, 15th April 1847. *I am very sorry, sir,' he said, “I have been unfortunate, and have only a small sum to give you.' And as he spoke, he laid three pennyworth of halfpence before Mr Caven
THE MOTHER'S CALL dish. “I assure you, sir,' he earnestly added, 'I have offered my services to every gentleman on horseback that I could (The smaller poems and songs of Allan Cunningham have very
properly been presented by his son, in a small volume calculated for • I believe you, my boy: I am pleased with your honest wide circulation. (Murray, London.) The editor accompanies the intentions. Perhaps you will meet with better success collection with an account of the manner in which Allan first came another time. Let me see ; you have now paid one shilling before the world as an author. Finding an English stranger roamand fivepence: that is not amiss for the time;' and with an
ing through Dumfriesshire in quest of ancient ballads and songs, encouraging smile Mr Cavendish suffered him to depart. Though Mr Cavendish had, from the first, concealed his they were published as antiques. From peculiar habits of feeling,
the young poet imposed his own compositions upon him, and thus intentions, his heart was planning a work of benevolence,
we never have been able to look on this proceeding quite in the which was nothing less than to befriend the poor boy, whose sportive light in which it is usually regarded; but, at the worst, noble conduct had won his admiration. For this end he, a
it was no heavy subtraction from the really estimable character of few days subsequently, paid the parents a visit when he
Cunningham, while of the merit of the poetry concerned in the case knew that the son would be at school. He related the in
there can be no manner of doubt. cident which had brought him under his notice, and proceeded to ask whether his conduct towards themselves
The best of 'honest Allan' is here. His strength lay in his Bon
nie Lady Anne, his Hame hame, Carlisle Yetts, &c. and in his short was equally praiseworthy.
Oh yes, sir,' exclaimed the mother, her eyes filling with poems. For greater literary efforts his defective education, and tears. He has ever been a dutiful child to us, and always duties, unfitted him. It was early in life that he wrote the bulk of
want of due intellectual discipline, not to speak of heavy worldly acts in this honest, straightforward manner.'
He has indeed a noble spirit, sir,' the father rejoined; the present volume, which, being mainly the expression of a glow. i 6 and I am as proud of him as if he were a prince.'
ing youthful mind, is best fitted to give pleasure to minds at the • Would you part from him?' Mr Cavendish asked. “I
same stage and in the same condition. With such minds, how ! have something in view for his future benefit.'
ever, it should be a bosom book. * Undoubtedly we would, for his benefit,' was the reply The following poem is a specimen of the English verses of of both.
Cunningham.] Well, then, purchase him a new suit of apparel with these two guineas, and bring him to my residence this day
COME, sweet ones, come to the fields with me,
I hear the hum of the honey bee, week. I will then acquaint you with my views for him
I hear the call of the gray cuckoo, for the future.'
I hear the note of the shrill curlew; Language cannot describe the heartfelt gratitude which
I hear the cry of the hunting hawk, beamed in the eyes of the happy parents, nor could they The sound of the dove in our 'customed walk, find words to give it utterance.
The song of the lark, the tongue of the rill, When next our young hero came into the presence of The shepherds' shout on the pasture hill. his benefactor, his appearance was certainly altered for the better, though no disadvantages of dress could rob his
My sweet ones, all come forth and play,
The air is balm, and I smell new hay; noble countenance of its lofty expression. Mr Cavendish
Come, breathe of the flowers, and see how neat had previously made arrangements for him to become an
The milkmaid trips on her scented feet; inmate of his own house, and had also entered his name as
Young folks come forth all joy, and run a pupil in a neighbouring school. John Williams is now Abroad as bright as beams of the sun; receiving a liberal education, and enjoying all the advan
Old men step out with a sadder grace, tages which wealth can procure. Such a sudden change of And matrons come with a graver pace. position and prospects would, in many instances, prove injurious to the moral character ; but with a mind based
The smoke streams up, and the air is rise upon the solid principles which our young friend possesses,
With joy, and all is light and life;
From east to west there's not a stain little fear may be entertained that such will be the result.
In all the sky, and the birds are fain, The above little sketch is authentic in every respect,
And the beasts are glad, while man in song excepting the names of the parties concerned. The events Breaks out, for rain has lorded long, occurred a few months ago, and are here made public, with And earth has drunk more than her need the hope that the truth and honesty, and judicious bene
To fill her flowers and nurse her seed.
Now, now ye come, my little ones all,
Another go hunt from bud to bloom
The worm that flies with a painted plume,
Or see the doe solicitous lead presents us with some comparative statistics of pauperism
Her twin fawns forth to the odorous mead, in the three kingdoms, which are at this moment of prac
Or mark the nestlings newly flown, tical interest :-ENGLAND-Population in 1841, 15,906,741;
With their tender wings and their crests of down. annual value of property rated to the poor rates (return of But stay, my children. Ere ye run, 18+1), L.62,640,039; expenditure for the relief of the poor
Who made the sky and yon glorious sun? (1844-45), L.5,039,703 ; rate per pound on value of pro
Who framed the earth, and strewed it sweet perty, 1s. 77d. ; total number of paupers relieved, including With flowers, and set it 'neath mankind's feet? casual poor, 1,470,970; proportion per cent. to popula
'Twas one in heaven. Kneel down, and lay tion, 9-2; rate of expenditure per head on paupers relieved,
Your white foreheads to the grass, and pray; L.3, 8s. 6 d. SCOTLAND—Population in 1841, 2,620,184;
And render him praise, and seek to be
Pure, good, and modest-then come with me. annual value of property rated to the poor rates (return of 1843), L.9,320,784 ; expenditure for the relief of the poor (1814-45), L.292,685 ; rate per pound on value of property, Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also 74d. ; total number of paupers relieved, including casual
sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow ; W. S. ORR,
147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAX, poor, 96,326 ; proportion per cent. to population, 3.7; rate
21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, of expenditure per head on paupers relieved, L.3, Os. 9fd. Edinburgh.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE, CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.
No. 179. New SERIES.
rubbed and dressed them, he shall give them meat; THE HIGH AND THE HUMBLE.
then shall the servants go in to their dinner, which The grand outcry of the present day is for an improve allowed half an hour, it will then be towards four ment of the condition of the humbler classes—improve o'clock, at which time he shall go to his cattle again, ment in their homes, their gains, their social position, and give them more fodder; which done, he shall go everything concerning them. It is well there should into the barns, and provide and make ready fodder of be a straining to this end-let it have free way in every all kinds for the next day. This being done, and carlegitimate channel. Let us guard, however, against ried into the stable, ox-house, or other convenient every mode of propelling this cause which seems likely, place, he shall then go water his cattle, and give them by raising bad feeling between class and class, or by more meat, and to his horse provender, as before exciting an over-impatient discontent, to retard the showed; and by this time it will draw past six o'clock, safe and sure progress which it is actually making. at what time he shall come in to supper; and after Occasionally we find views propounded on the subject supper, he shall either by the fireside mend shoes, which seem to us of this obstructive kind; they would both for himself and their family, or beat and knock represent the present position of the labouring class as hemp or flax, or pick and stamp apples or crabs for unusually degraded, and the amount of wretchedness at cider or verjuice, or else grind malt on the querns, the base of society as unprecedented; they would mark pick candle rushes, or do some husbandly office within capital as the enemy of labour, and fix a kind of stigma doors till it be full eight o'clock. Then shall he take upon every well-replenished pocket, as if there were a his lantern and candle, and go see his cattle, and having criminality on the part of the rich in the fact of any cleansed and littered them down, look that they be other persons being poor.
safely tied, and then give them food for all night; then Our tendency to poetise the past is perhaps the chief giving God thanks for benefits received that day, let cause of the error in comparing the former and present him and the whole household go to their rest till the condition of the labouring orders. Reposing on the old next morning.' phrase Merry England, and dwelling on the sports and Here, it will be observed, is sixteen hours' work, holidays of past times, we imagine that the lot of the abated only by three half-hours or so for meals—surely ancient English peasant was one of uninterrupted sun no improvement upon the peasant's lot in our own shine and merriment, as if the earth had then yielded times ! her fruits almost spontaneously. When we consult the With regard to the food of farm-labourers in those actual documents of the past, something very different days, Tusser in his Points of Good Husbandry speaks appears. For example, as to the amount of labour of an abundance of fish and flesh, chiefly salted; but expected from a farm-servant, take the simple unvar we know from Markham that oats were then the bread nished account presented by Gervase Markham in his of the English peasantry, as they continued to be in Farewell to Husbandry, dated 1653. It refers to the the early part of the last century. Tusser, too, says season immediately following Christmas, when of course expressly, 'Give servants no dainties.' Food is, howthere is no daylight till eight o'clock. •At this time ever, the point in which past times show best in conthe ploughman shall rise before four o'clock in the trast with the present. morning, and after thanks given to God for his rest, As to the social condition of the peasantry, and the and the success of his labours, he shall go into his treatment they received from their employers, we bestable, and first he shall fodder his cattle; then he lieve that great misapprehension prevails. It is supshall curry his horses, rub them with cloths and wisps, posed, because the working-man sat in the same apartand make both them and the stable as clean as may ment, and ate at the same table with his master, that be; then he shall water both his oxen and horses, and he was his friend and companion. There could not be housing them again, give them more fodder, and to his a greater mistake. The presence of the master was a horse by all means provender, as chaff and dry peas or constant restraint on the servant. A severe discipline beans, or oats. And whilst they are eating their meat, was kept up. Tusser says, 'Keep servants in awe,' and he shall prepare his plough-gear, and to these labours elsewhere adds— I will also allow full two hours — that is, from four No servant at table uso * sauc'ly to talk, o'clock till six; then shall he come in to breakfast, and Lest tongue set at large out of measure do walk.' to that I allow him half an hour, and then another half Nay, it appears from this quaint author that beating hour to the gearing and yoking of his cattle, so that at was a recognised piece of discipline with the housewife seven o'clock he may set forward to his labour ; and in the management of her servants. A maid that beats then he shall plough from seven o'clock in the morning her clothes in washing, deserves, he says, to be beat till betwixt two and three in the afternoon ; then he shall unyoke and bring home his cattle, and having
* That is, accustom or permit.
herself. “Make maid to be cleanly, or make her cry while on Sunday he has often had from twenty to creak; that is, make her run into a corner for safety. thirty quartered in his outhouses. Now, it was perAnd, as a general advice,
haps better for the poor to wander about the country 'A wand in thy hand, though ye fight not at all,
than to be pent up in the darkest recesses of our large Makes youth to their business better to fall.'
cities; but still it is only an evil shifted in its locality Where corporal punishment existed, there could of —it is not one generated of new. We may also remind course be no real sense of equality, nor, one would sup- the reader that, about fifty years ago, so pressing pose, any great amount of good feeling, between the were the hardships of the rural labourers of England, parties.
that the legislature was compelled to adopt the AllowThe admirers of the past also overlook the actual de ance System ; that is, to make them partially the stigradations which attended the system of a common pendiaries of the public, which they continued to be table in old times. In a gentleman's house, the salt-vat till 1834. indicated the point where gentility ended and servility One of the most telling charges against our present began; a distinction which would now be pronounced social state is, that it embraces such violent inequalities odious and intolerable by both parties. Nor was the --some excessively rich, some excessively poor, as if fare uniform. Fynes Morison, who travelled in Eliza- the good things of fortune underwent a kind of polari. beth's time, tells us of his being present at the table of sation. And yet there is no country where so vast or so a Scottish kuight, where the servants had porridge with affluent a middle class fills up the space between the a bit of sodden meat, while the gentlefulk ate pullet broth opposite poles-where, indeed, the gradation of condiwith prunes. More lately, Lord Lovat assigned different tions is so nicely shaded ; neither is there anywhere beverages to his different classes retainers—wine to such free and frequent movement from one step in the himself and immediate friends, ale to his troop of High- scale to another. The middle class, with its wealth and land cousins, beer or water to the common men. Is it its comforts, is a body mainly composed of the children not simply a reform in point of taste, that, if the diffe- of the classes below it-promoted in consequence of inrent classes are to fare differently, they should each dustry, enterprise, and general merit. The higher enjoy it apart, so as at least to shut out the view of class, again, is continually recruited from the middle those comparisons which are justly said to be odious ?
Even in the classes below the latter, there is a Past misliaps, it is said, are easily forgotten. Thus continual movement upward, the child of the unskilled it is, perhaps, that we lose sight of the vast extent of labourer becoming the ingenious well-paid artisan of popular misery which every now and then attracted at the next age. Many transitions there are even more tention in former times, as it does now. "The poor you startling; and certainly it is not uncommon to see men shall have with you always,' was pronounced nearly two in the high position of legislators, whose fathers were thousand years ago. To keep, however, nearer our own poor men all their days. time-hear how Jeremy Taylor described the sufferings But the high, it is said, now divided from the of the many in what are thought to be the better days humble, and keep them at a distance, which was not of England. “If we could,' says he, ‘from one of the the case in former times. We have shown that much battlements of heaven espy how many men and women fallacy exists regarding the associations of the rich with at this time lie fainting and dying for want of bread, how the poor in past ages. It was attended by distinctions many young men are hewn down by the sword of war, which would have made their separation preferable. As how many poor orphans are now weeping over the far as local residence is concerned, there is a greater graves of their father, by whose life they were enabled division than there was. The advance of taste in their to eat; if we could but hear how many mariners and habits of life has also placed the rich personally more apart passengers are at this present in a storm, and sbriek from the poor than they once were. In these respects out because their keel dashes against a rock, or bulges the alleged separation is a truth. As far as real feeling under them; how many people there are that weep with on the part of the rich towards the poor, and actual want, and are mad with oppression, or are desperate by exertion of benevolence in their behalf, are concerned, too quick a sense of constant infelicity-in all reason we we believe the allegation to be the reverse of the truth. should be glad to be out of the noise and participation The fact is, that, till the present time, the state of the of so many evils! This is a place of sorrows and tears, humbler classes was little regarded at all by the affluent. of great evils, and a constant calamity,' &c. Certainly, Howlett, Davies, Eden, and a few others, wrote on this whatever be the present condition of the agricultural subject to a languid public. At an earlier period, labourers of England, it is no falling off from the past. the subject had no place in literature, and hence, we Arthur Young, the Rev. Mr Howlett, and the Rev. Dr may infer, none in public regard. How different is the Davies, who wrote about this class at various times case at the present day, when philanthropists, legisladuring the latter half the last century, invariably tors, and great societies formed from the miscellaneous describe their condition as one of great wretchedness. public, are giving the most earnest attention to the Arthur Young considered it as inferior to that of the subject! Nor is the movement confined to speculation. Irish peasant. Stephen Duck, the poet, tells us that he The positive beneficences of the present generation of worked at threshing in Wiltshire, about 1730, at 3s. the upper and middle classes put all past experience to a-week. In former times, there were not those masses shame. Even that personal attention to the wants of of wretched people in the large towns which form so the poor which is attributed to past times, may be said appalling a feature of our time; but this does not imply to have undergone only this change in the present day that the wretched were then fewer in proportion to the —that the duty is mainly in the hands of clergymen, population. We forget, when we hear of the miserable missionaries, directors of sick societies, leisurely ladies, huddlings of the poor in the Cowgate of Edinburgh, the and other individuals; a change implying only an allowynds of Glasgow, the cellars of Liverpool, the rookeries cation of the labour, not its cessation. A busy merchant of London, that for thirty years past vagrancy has does not go much among the poor himself, but he subbeen everywhere sternly put down. The poor are only scribes liberally to those who have time to do so. A driven off the roads and out of the country into the country gentleman sees, perhaps, little of the insides of large towns, which, in such circumstances, have become his cottagers' houses, but his wife and daughters are their sole refuge. At the beginning of the last century, continually visiting them, and they furthermore mainthe vagrants of Scotland alone were estimated at a tain a school in the village, and even in some instances hundred thousand, or about a twelfth of the whole become its teachers. The humbler classes are often people. About 1770, they continued to be so numerous, spoken of as everywhere neglected, if not oppressed, by that a relative of the present writer, who occupied a the rich; whereas, in reality, the succour of the poor, large pastoral farm on Tweedside, seldom passed a and their moral and physical improvement, are about night without having to entertain half-a-dozen beggars, the most engrossing subjects of thought and of exertion wool-gatherers, wandering idiots, and other miserables, in our day.