Зображення сторінки

- the system could do : but, as long (tled, “ Happy Poverty," or the as they complain of want of price, " Lancashire Cottager.What so long will they be laughed at does all this show? Why, a conby some and detested by others; sciousness on the part of the rich, and this is precisely what they that the poor have not fair play; merit.

and that the former wish to obThat the labourers have gained, tain security against the latter by and greatly gained, " by Agri- coaxing. 6 cultural Distress” is certain. And, what has brought things Not because they say so,or because to this pass? Why, the high any body else says so, but because prices of corn. This is the fact. the thing must be so. Labourers, | No matter; as to my argument, Smiths, Wrights, Shoernakers, what produced the bigh prices of Taylors, Masons, all the work-corn. It was those high prices ing people, in short, are, and that brought down the labourers, must be, bettered by a falling that made them marry without market of corn, and especially forethought, that swelled the list the farn-labourer : he must be of paupers, and that maile them bettered in a great many ways; comparatively regardless of chain a great many little things, and rac!er. One of the first conseon tlie score of prices of labour quences of high price, was, the besides. But, is not the nation driving of the single labourers, bettered too from the same c use? the boys, the young women and When did we, until these days, the girls from the farm-house. hear of millions of “ TRACTS, Each considerable farmer used to "moral and religious ” for the have one head carter, and one. purpose of keeping the poor from mder (arter at the least, a coucutting the throats of the rich ? Iple of threshers, a shepherd, a The parson's sermon, once a week, cow-boy, a couple of young woor forinight, used to be quite suf- men, ad a girl or two, all in the ficient for the religion and morals house; and all sitting at the same of a village. Now we have a table with the master and the busy creature or two in every dame. These touk the head of village, however small, dancing the table, had ihe tirsi cut, perabout with “ Tractsfor the be- haps; but all sat at the saine nefit of the souls of the labourers board. Here was a group of and their families. It is surpriz- young people bred up under the ing to see how eager these med-eye and in the company of those dling things are in this way. who were so well able to teach Thegit of the whole of the Tracis ibem their various duties, and is, to inculcate content in a state whose interest it was to see them of misery! To teach people 10 | perform those duties with regustarve without making a noise! larity, and in the very best manTo teach them to die quietly! ner, and whose example must neI picked up in a stage-cach, the ces arily be powerful. Fiere was other day, a Tract,” which a ducation. Here were early ris. sanctified piece of female anti-ling, industry, good - hours, soquity bail left behind her, enti- briety,decency of language, clean

liness of person, due obedience, This was good-breeding. From all taught, and that, too, by com- this arose the finest race of peopetent teacliers; who had a deep ple that the world ever saw. To interest in the success of their this the nation owed its excellent teaching. This was England: habits. All was in order here. this was an English farm-house. Everyone was in his place. Aud how shall language afford | These were the breeding places words wherein to express our de- of sober and able workmen. testation of the man, who, by This supplied the cities, occameans of his Paper-System and sjonally with their most active consequent high prices, broke up and successful tradesmen and thiese schools of the youth of the merchants"; and it supplied the country! It well becomes fools feet and army with hardy men, and villains to celebrate the birth- fashioned to due subordination day of such a man.

from their infancy. . These were the schools that an Cúrse on the Paper; curse on English community recognized: the system ; curse on the high Instead of these schools, we have prices that broke up those 'schools, Lunčaster’s-system and Beil's- and drove the scholars into hovels, systent and the Tract-systenr, and, indeed, deprived them of and, at last, we are to bave the house and home. Brougham-system, which is to Poor-rates! Paupers ! How cram education" into the heads, should it be otherwise ? When a of poor ragged things with empty boy was under the eye of, and bellies..

almost constantly in company In tlie farm-houses there used with, a 'master, he necessarily to be a long oak table, three became industrious, regular; skill inches through; at which the ful in his calling, and obedient; whole family sat. The breakfast and, when grown up, he was not was by candle-light in winter'; only an useful man, but had a and it consisted of beer, bread spirit of pride that restrained him and bacon or other food, prepared from mean and vicious courses. by the dame and the maids, Compare this with the poor thing: while the men and boys and mas. left to the command of a misera ters went out to feed and clean ble mother, while the father is. their horses and cattle by lantorn- out at work. See the ragged light. It was not a mess consist- disorderly, idle, disobedient young ing of tea-water and potatoes. dog, roaming about here and When the men went out, they there, at play half his time, and had their bottles of beer and their noť unfrequently thieving, una láncheon bags. It was not water censured, too, by his wretched . and cold potatoes to eat in the parents, whose hunger is their field. The return from plough justification. Such a boy'is little was the signal for dinner, the better than a gypsy in dress, look horses having been fed first. At and manners; and, is it any night all assembled again, and wonder if he make his exit on all were in bed four hours before the gallows ? At least he is but midnight. This was education. a poor half-grown man at lasti

He has not had the food requisites parents' hovel is too small to con to his proper growth. He is but|tain the whole brood; they want half a lutourér. His habits are a hovel; and to get a hovel from those of idleness, irregularity, the parish they must marry. and disobedience. Bred up a MALTHUS, unfeeling Malthus, pauper he has no desire to keep would punish their offspring for from the list. From his very this! The parson never looked earliest days, he has been in the at the causes. The parson thought habit of hearing the schemes and that he could check the breeding: devices of his miserable parents He talked of “moral restraint >> fór obtaining relief fronithe parish' There were morat restraints as He has; too, been listening to plenty when young people had* their curses on the rich. And comfortable homes in farm houses, thus' he' is formed and fashioned and could, while they lived well, to eraft and meanness, and 10 save a little money, and when to ., envy and hatred of those, whom, be a pauper was a disgrace. in a good state of things, he These were the true “ moral reži would respect and honour. It “ straints;" the hope of getting is useless to preach tó such a on in the world, and the fear oft . man : it is useless to tell him, that pauperism. Besides, in the good he must not covet' other men's state of things, very frequent? "goods:""and that he must" order were the intermarriages between “himself lowly and reverendly to the farning and the labouring • all his bétters." I put it to any classes. The cartér very often parson, who has lived forty years married his young mistress, and in his parish (if there be such an as often, the farmer's son one of one in the whole kingdom), whe- the maids. But the Paper-Systher his parishioners have not tem; that infernal system brought wholly changed character: whe- intò full play by Pitt, has created ther they have not, with the in- a farming aristocrucy, who now crease of their poverty and dé- mix with attorneys, bankers, gradation, become careless of cha-ljews, jobbers, and all sorts of racter, and disrespectful towards devils. The link of connection, those whom their well-fed and the community of feeling, between well-clad forefathers treated with the farmer and the labourer is respect. This is in human na- broken. The pride of the latter, túre. Slaves are proverbially in that great protection against pausolent. They yield to the lash'; pêrism, is gone'; and it was fast but, they curse the hand that getting into a state of masters and holds it'; thán which' nothing can slaves, if low prices had not come be more morally just.

to give us a chance of seeing bet- . Early marriages in the labour ter days. ing classes, are a great 'evil; but The way to provide a si moral. this arises from the same cause : " 'restraint" from early or improthe misery, the hopelessness of vident marriages, is to let the state the parties, and especially from of things be such as to afford hope the driving of them from the farm of bettering his lot to the prudent, houses." They are grown up; the and to inspire fear of'disgrace in

the imprudent. If there exist | tice, Wisdom, Abundance, and neither this hope nor this fear, happy Industry! where is any moral restraint to be Now then, Gaffer Gooch, found? If it be no disgrace to be as high prices drove the man and

fed by the parish, how are we to maids, the boys and girls from ' expect this restraint being im- the farm-house, and as this is such

posed ? If the party knows, that! a mother of mischief, ought we his lot cannot be made worse by noi to rejoice at the present low indulgence; if he knows, that his prices? If, as I am sure is the children must be fed by others, case, fifty gain where , one loses, what should restrain him? The by the low prices, ought the parblacks in the Northern States of liament to pass any act to raise America have greatly decreased the prices, or to keep them up? by being made free. In Long | This ought to be matter of strict Island they have diminished in inquiry with your Committee ;numbers prodigiously. The only and, indeed, you ought to have paupers in the island are found labourer: before you. You ought amongst them; but, even they are to ask them, whether they desire ashamed to be paupers. This is a high prices. You oughi to ask · very striking fact; but, it is what some old labourers, when it was common sense would naturallyt at they were driven out of the expect. Having to provide for farm-house. You ought to ask their offspring, they take time to them when it was that the beer-, calculate, even those thoughtless butile was banished ; and when it beings take time to reflect, before was that they themselves (being they take the preliminary steps to married) ceased to brew their own the having of families.

beer. You ought to ask them, It is nonsense, then, to rail when it was that they took to the against the poor for being pau- eating of potatoes instead of bread pers. The fault is not theirs. I and bacon. And, if you find that It is the system that has degraded all these took place at the time them. It is the system that has when high prices came, and when made them wholly careless about <he farmers began to wear shinmaintenance of family. It is ing boots, white cravats,' and the system that has made them broad cloth coais, instead of spat66 rounds-men," and that billetied terdashes, red handkerchiefs, and them upon farmers as soldiers are smock-frocks, ought you not to upon the ale-house keepers. It recmmend that which will bring is the system; the Pitt and Paper prices st ll lower? You ought, system, with its high prices, that when a big farmer comes before has produced all these evils; and you, to ask how many farms his yet, there are audacious mis present farm formerly consisted creants found to hold -festivals in of; huw many little farmers have honour of the memory of Pitt, ceased to be farmers 10 make up whose statue is stuck up in the his farm. Here you would get

at information truly valuable. very Guildhall of London, sur

How many little industrious hives rounded with the emblems of Jus- this hornet has driveni off; how

[ocr errors]

many decent families his wide- jabove all things, the rents must stretching grasp has enveloped in be lowerend! ruin and pauperism. What a This is the git! This is the system! And shall not the nation toucher! This it is that makes rejoice to see this system going all the stir; all the ferment; all' to pieces? Its evils were not the bubbling and boiling. I seen during the noise and bustle have not yet forgoiten the printed of the storm of war; but, now address, sent by the Landlords of that the storm is over and the Huntingdonshire to their Tenants, swell is come; now the crazy calling upon the Tenants to pething rolls about ; now we see the tition for remuneratingprices ! shattered masts and yards, we I inserted this address in my New hear the ominous creaking, and Year's Gift to the Farmers, pub see the planks open and shut; lished on the sixth of January and to pieces she goes, mind, in last. You hare read of the spite of all the pumping and all cunning Monkey, that used the the patching of all the projectors paw of the Cat to rake the Chesthat this projecting time has nuts out of the fire. Poor pussy ! hatched into life and activity. And the monkey eat the chesnuts

But, you will say, is the pre- after all; never having intend d sent race of farmers to be ruined. any part of them for the cat! Yes, if necessary to the general | Poor silly pussy | good. Besides, what is ruin? But, the trick will not take in Is it ruia for men, who always the case befure us. We all know, ought to have laboured, to be that it is rents that are wanted; brought to labour? Is it ruin to and we know that they cannot be leave off wearing shining boots ? had with the present 'prices, and Is it ruin to put on a smock frock? I w.th the present taxes; and we The big big ones are fund-holders also know, that prices must come or money-lenders (and sometimes I still lower unless Peel's Bill be reto their lords of the soil"), and, pealed, and that if the present therefore, they are safe. They taxes be not paid, there must be will get rid of their farms, and a breach of national faith!live on their means, and, per- Distracting difficulty ? For, if a haps, come to inhabit some of the “ breach of national faith” take above ten thousand new houses place, in will coine the Reformers. actually building this very year Horrible consequence ! round about London. They will What, then, is the probable quit “ Agricultural Distress," result of the proceedings of your and come here, and enjoy its Committee ? A Report to be blessings. Those who remain sure. Aye, aye; but what will farmers must have their rents the Report say? What will it relowered, untl. they can make commend ? Not a new Corn-Bill: both ends meet. · They must not a rcpeal of Peel's Bill: not

themselves put their hand to the a taking off of taxes. If it do · plough now-and-then, and not either of these I shall be very

think of a ride round the farm. much surprized; and, if it do the . The farms must be divided; and, first, petitiuns will come down

« НазадПродовжити »