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their morning song. But instead of jumping ont of bed, he again closed his eyes and fell fast asleep. And Solomon wrote down in his memorandum book, —“As the door turneth upon the hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” Solomon thought he might as well have a peep at the man's farm. And what a mess it was in. He said—“It was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof; the stone wall was broken down, and all was confusion.” And again the wise man considered it, and said—“Yes, that man in his bed may cry, A little more sleep, and a little more slumber, and a little more folding of the hands to sleep; but his poverty shall come as one that travaileth, and his want as an armed man."
There is another man of this class who is always pulling a long face at the many difficulties he has to meet with. He has a marvellous gift for making mountains of mole-hills; he wonders however in the world it happens that there are so many obstacles in his way; he thinks he could get a living easier if he were to set up a little shop. And if some kind friend would but give him a helping hand, and lend him a little money just to be going on with, ho could do,—that is, providing his friends would but exert themselves to send customers to his shop; and provided also, that they did not want serving too early in a morning. Thus he is, like Mr. Micawber, always waiting for something "Turning up.' But nothing dues turn up, nobody will help him, and there he is, with his hands in his pockets, his chin on his bosom, meditating upon the singularity of his troubles. Solomon saw him in a mood like this, and he said—“The way of the slothful is as a hedge of thorns." There is always some difficulty in his path. And again he saidThe slothful man saith, There is a lion without; I shall be slain in the streets.' He is always conjuring up difficulties; but the bottom of them all is, he is idle. He hates
work; and of such it man there comes 10 good. In a work-a-day world like this, he is altogether out of place. Then let me impress upon you the truth, that in mau's present state, labour is a blessing-not a curse. But by this I do not mean to say, that many have not to labour too much; I think they have. Nevertheless labour in itself is a blessing; our faculties could not be developed without it. Then let us go to it with strong and cheery hearts, singing the song of the Sheffield blacksmitii,"Idler ! why lie down and die Better rub than rust; Hark! the lark sings in the sky, die, when die thou must; Day is waking, leaves are shaking ;--better rub than rust. In the grave there's sleep enough--better rul, than rust; Death perhaps is hunger-proof -die, when die thou must ; Men are mowing, breezes blowing ;-better rub than rusť! He who will not work shall want, -nought for nonght is just; Won't do, must do, when he can't,- better rul than rust; Bees are flying, sloth is dying ;-better rub than rust!"
However, let it be said, to the honour of the working classes-and, indeed, of Englishmen generally; -—that they are not afraid of labour ; they are the hardest workers in the world, but then, they are the hardest drinkers also. Í do not wish to slander the working-men of our country; there are many noble traits in their character of which I am proud. I respect their sturdy independence and manly self-reliance; I admire their hatred to all despotism and injustice—their instinctive love of fair play, and their deep reverence for law and authority. Nevertheless, I cannot shut my eye to great defects in their character. And I don't know any lesson they need to learn so much as that of economy. "Economy!" I can fancy oue saying, “it is all very fine your talking about economy; but I should like to know how you would support a wife and four
on twelve or fifteen shillings a weck.” Well, I can scarcely tell: Lut this I know, that those who
have to live upon it, will live far better if they are economical, than those who are wasteful and extravagant.
But I know that in times of prosperity, many of the working.men receive more than this; and if they were economical, they have opportunities of laying a little by against a rainy day. Many such instances have come under my own observation. I have known families consume as much from Saturday night to Monday night as all the rest of the week besides.
many of the collieries of the north, and also in the mines of the west, the men receive their wages once a fortnight, or once a month ; and for three days after the pay-day, they have a feast of fat things,--a regular jollification; then for the rest of the time they are on short commons. Instead of being a week beforehand, and going to buy their week's provisions with money in their hands, they are always a week behind, and therefore tied to some petty little shop for the purchase of their goods, where they get an inferior article at a higher price; and thus they burn the candle at both ends : and when sickness comes, or bad trade, they are immediately in distress, and are compelled to resort to that great nuisance-a pawn-shop.
Many of the working-men with whom I have conversed, have an opinion that the present relation between the employer and the employed is radically wrong, -and that communism or socialism is the only salvation for the working-classes. Into that question I will not just now enter; but I am fully satisfied that neither the government nor the employer can do half as much for the working-man as they can do for themselves. And this I will make plain to you, by calling your attention to one fact : it is stated on the highest authority, that the working classes spend fisty millions of pounds per annum in intoxicating drinks and tobacco. And I maintain that if the working classes have not their proper position, it is not owing so much to the tyranny of
their masters, as the tyranny of their own appetites and lusts. I don't mean to say that there are no tyrannical masters,—there are,—and tyrannical workmen as well ;—but I say, that it is not this that keeps the workmen down. Now, it has been proved by the most incontestible evidence, that were all the large employers of labour to confer half their own actual expenditure on the labouring poor in the form of increased wages, this enormous and im. possible sacrifice would only raise them about one shilling per week. I dare say this statement is rather startling, but take a case:—there is an extensive manufacturer, he has a large factory in full Work, and altogether he employs a thousand persons. I cannot say what may be the amount of capital invested in such a concern, but it must be very great. Neither can I say what is the average nett profit of such a business. When trade is good, of course it will be a large sum; at other times it may be small. But let us suppose that bad tiines with good times, the master clears as nett profit five thousaud pounds per annum; that is to say, in twenty years he makes a fortune of one hundred thousand pounds. Then suppose the master divides half that profit amongst his people, it would not increase their Wages a shilling a week. Now is that such a great matter? I trow not. No, believe me, the temporal elevation of the working-luan does not lie in that direction. You will never get the masters to give up half their profits, -and you wouldn't if you were masters ; but, if they did, it would not be the great boon you fancy. Sydney Smith when writing of the Wants of Ireland, and the foolish cries that many of the people raised, said the object of all governtent is roast mutton,
· a stout constable, an honest justice, a clear highway, and a free chapel. What trash to be bawling in the streets about the Green Isle, and the Isle of the Ucean, the bold anthem of "Erin-go-bragh.' A far better anthem
would be, Erin-go-bread-and-cheese, Erin-go-cabins that keep out the rain, Erin-go-pantaloons without holes in them." And just so, if you working-men wish to improve your condition, it is no use you shouting "down with the government," or "down with the masters:" a far better anthem would be, "doun with the beer!" and “ down with the tobacco!" and “ down with the pawnshop!" for these are your hardest taskmasters. As working-men you deeply interested in keeping up the price of labour; but you often take very foolish methods to accomplish this end. Your most common method is to strike. Now I will not say that in no case have strikes been successful. When trade has been brisk, they have sometimes accomplished their end. I do say as a general rule you will not raise your wages by striking; for the rate of wages in the long run, is ruled by laws as fixed as those which rule the tides. The whole question is in a nnt-shell. It is here. When there are twelve masters wanting men, and there are only six men wanting masters, wages will rise : but when there are twelve men wanting masters, and only six masters wanting men, wages will fall. And you cannot alter that law by striking. Now allow me to shew you how economical habits would have a great tendency to keep up the price of labour. I have said that the workingclasses spend fifty millions of pounds per annum in beer and tobacco. No
suppose you saved half this money as a reserve fund against bad trade, and other contingencies, you would then be prepared for a panic, or a glutted market. But look at your present position. Trade is bad,-many of you are thrown out of employment. You have nothing beforehand, -nay, you are a week behind' at the provision shop,
-your family cannot starve. You go into the labour market and say, if I cannot sell my labour for a pound a week, I must sell it for fifteen shillings; and if I cannot sell it for fifteen shillings, I must