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-'the high-born, or the wealthy man—
Who looks upon his children, each one led
but it fails, with relation to the middle and happier ranks of life, to whom circumstances allow, and who allow themselves leisure for the only earthly enjoyment that can wholly satisfy the heart of man.
There is more of this in humble life,-more of this virtue, and of the happiness which is its sure reward, than they who look only upon the surface of things are apt to imagine. Rewards were proposed in the better days of agriculture, by the Bedfordshire Agricultural Society, for such men as should have brought up the largest families upon the wages of labour, without parochial relief. Mr. Whitbread assented to the proposal, without expecting that it would bring forth any claimants. At the first distribution, he was surprised to find swarms of candidates for the inspection of their certificates; those certificates having been required, in a way to preclude the possibility of fraud;' and he was not less affected by the emotion manifested, even to tears, by those to whom the rewards were adjudged. He could not, he says, help exclaiming to the farmers about him: Do you see this sight? Could you have believed the existence of these men, if they had not been produced before your eyes? Let it be a lesson to us. The idle, the profligate, and the clamorous, are constantly obtruding themselves upon our notice. They defraud, irritate, and fatigue us, and we are apt to judge and condemn all their brethren in consequence of this misconduct. Virtue is patient, silent, and unobserved.' The alehouse and the poorhouse, smuggling and poaching, and the poison of the liberal press, which is carried everywhere, are doing all that can be done to sap and destroy this virtue and this happiness; the more needful is it, that every endeavour should be made for preserving and promoting that on which the public weal depends.
Extreme poverty also saps and destroys it; and to that degree of poverty the condition of the labourer is tending, and must be brought, unless channels are opened for a constant and regulated stream of emigration. For population must and will go on increasing. No laws nor regulations can prevent this. As Lord Haversham said once, in parliament, upon a different subject, A
will be conjoined; what he is told it is right to do, will be instantly done. Sometimes the operative principle on the child's mind will be love, sometimes fear, sometimes habitual sense of obedience, and it is always something that will impress, always something that will be remembered.
Let it not be imagined that I am willing to deprecate the benefits of ordinary juvenile education; I estimate them, I trust, at their full value, and only say, to the theory of the school-add the practical influence of domestic feeling.'-p. 57-59,
man might as well endeavour to stop the tide at Gravesend with his thumb.' We may smile and wonder at the check positive, or, rather, superlative, which was gravely proposed last year, in Germany, by the counsellor of government, Weinhold, whom Mr. Malthus has frightened out of his wits: and we may shudder at the application of Mr. Malthus's doctrines, made by certain wretches of the radicalschool; for whose writings the pillory and a pelting shower of popular indignation would have been the deserved and proper punishment, if there were not some offences of such a nature, that it is better they should go unpunished in this world, than be brought into light and notice. The poor will continue to increase and multiply, notwithstanding the schemes of madmen and the devices of men who are the opprobrium of humanity. The diminution in the rate of mortality, which, by whatever causes to be explained, has certainly taken place, and, to a great degree, within the last half century, accelerates this increase; and nothing can be more preposterous than to suppose it can be checked. Even those moral and prudential considerations which, while the poor are miserably poor, never will be regarded, would little tend to lessen it, could they be made as prevalent and as influential as it is most desirable they should be. They would render marriages less early and less improvident, but not less numerous, nor less prolific. The better you make men--the more you improve their moral nature—the more surely will they yearn after the enjoyment of domestic affection; and it is ascertained, as the result of observation,* on an extensive scale, that whether women marry as soon as they are marriageable, or six or seven years later, they have just as many children in the course of a certain time. Marriages, therefore, when prudentially deferred, would have the excellent effect among the poor, of bettering their condition, but not of keeping down their numbers. The poor are the prolific portion of the community. Increase and multiply they will and must; it is in the order of nature and of Providence that they should; and woe be to the nation, whose institutions should strive against that order! Our duty is to provide for this necessary increase; and the time is fast approaching, when this must be regarded as one of the most important parts of the business of the state. Because it has not been so regarded in time, it is, that the increase of population, instead of a blessing, is to us an evil at this crisis,-great, pressing, and all but insupportable.
There is another point which should be impressed upon the public: that, as this natural increase must be expected to go on, so also will those causes continue, which are operating for the increase of pauperism, and, consequently, of individual misery, extensive wretchedness, and national distress. Machinery will be
* Minutes of Evidence on Friendly Societies, 1827, p. 42.
brought still further into competition with human labour: in the present state of mechanical science (and, let us add, of political science also!) this is inevitable; and not less certain is it, that we shall consequently suffer at intervals, more or less frequent, under that disease, which, in its hot fit, is mistaken for a symptom of public health, and in its cold one, shakes the body of the nation like an ague. The spirit of trade is short-sighted and rapacious. There was a curious example of this in Canada, when that province belonged to the French. The trade of hunting was pursued with such eagerness, for the sake of skius, that several species of animals were wholly extirpated from the country within the hunters' range, and the storehouses of Quebec were filled with peltry in such abundance, that the whole demand of France could not take off the supply. Manufacturing greediness sacrifices a nobler species! At this very time, when the trade-barometer is but beginning to rise from its lowest point of depression, the Manchester newspapers put forth a display of our productive powers as if for exultation they tell us, that there are in the United Kingdom fifty-eight thousand looms propelled by water and steam, and that they are manufacturing at a rate which, allowing six yards for the yearly consumption of one person, would supply 62,700,000 persons per annum! There is a popular belief that the foundations of some of our most splendid and venerable edifices are laid upon woolpacks: one might suppose, that the great fabric of British prosperity rested upon cotton; that the two purposes for which human beings are sent into this world, are to manufacture it and to wear it; that the proper definition of man is a manufacturing animal, and that the use for which children are created is to feed power-looms!
So long then as men in trade are actuated by selfishness, which is the spirit of trade, and as competition, which is the life of trade, continues unrestrained, so long will a manufacturing country be liable to the distress that arises from having overstocked its markets; and a great part of the ingenuity of this country, and no small part of its capital also, will continually be employed in bringing on this distress. But we must not suppose, that ingenuity of this kind is confined to Great Britain, or that British capital can be kept at home if channels are opened for employing it advantageously abroad. Manufacturing is an evil only in its abuse: within certain bounds it is essential to the cultivation and improvement and prosperity of a nation; and as no nation can become either highly civilized or permanently powerful without manufactures, so we may be assured, that no great or rising nation will long be contented to receive from another country such articles of general use as it can manufacture for itself. There are secrets in trade which depend upon some accidental discovery, or upon
some art of manual dexterity, not discoverable by any research; and these secrets may be kept-till they are purchased or betrayed. But in the present state of the natural sciences (would that other knowledge kept pace with them!) there can be no secrets in mechanics or in chemistry. Whatever processes may be discovered by our chemists, the chemists of other countries can detect-whatever improvements may be made in our machinery, the engineers of other countries can imitate. Write, and orate, and legislate as we will upon the principles of free trade, there is no government (except our own) which will not act upon the plain principle, that the plain and direct advantage of its own subjects ought to be its primary consideration in such things. If skill be wanting for the first attempts, they will import from us, not our work, but our artificers, for that such persons can be prevented by penal laws from carrying their ingenuity wherever they may think it will be best rewarded, is now an admitted impossibility. The woollen, which was the great staple manufactory of England till the cotton age began, was thus carried to the Palatinate, about a century and a half ago, and to Portugal a little later: both attempts failed, from causes which it is not necessary here to explain: but in our own days, Englishmen have settled on the continent, and in more places than one, taught the people to rival our finest cloths. There are already sufficient grounds for supposing that this will soon be the case with the manufactory of cotton also: capital alone is wanting; and capital will find its way from England, wherever it can advantageously be employed-the knowledge that it is so employed to the detriment of their own countrymen will not prevent men from thus employing it. Mammon has a large family; and his children, wherever they may thrive, are ready to write over their door, with Ludlow, omne solum nobis patria quia Patris!'
It appears, then, that in the present circumstances of Great Britain, all things are tending to the increase of pauperism, and that even seasons of prosperity, as we call them, which suspend it for a time, have the sure effect of accelerating the increase afterwards. We are not arguing without certain data upon which to proceed, as Mr. Whitbread was, when he first took up the subject of the Poor Laws; doubting whether our population has augmented, and inclining, on the contrary, to think that it had decreased we know that it has increased, is increasing, and cannot be diminished: we know also the extent of the increase, and the rate at which it advances. We know that machinery must come more and more into competition with human labour, and that seasons of over-production, and then of consequent stagnation, will continue to succeed each other in miserable alternation; that, in proportion as other nations manufacture for themselves, which every powerful, every prosperous, every ambitious and intelligent,
and rising nation is endeavouring to do, hands must be thrown out of employment here: that agriculture is far more likely to be depressed than encouraged, even if other things continued in their present state; that agricultural distress acts always to the injury of the manufacturer, and that when manufactures are depressed, that depression, in like manner, operates injuriously upon the husbandman. Meantime, an immigration of Irish outcasts is going on, and systematically supported, which keeps down the wages of both classes, and which, if it proceeds unchecked, must surely and speedily reduce the English labourer to the wretched condition of the Irish, that is, to the very lowest condition in which human beings have ever existed in any country calling itself civilised and Christian. These causes alone might but too well justify a fear that the foundations of society will give way, and the whole fabric be brought down, even if the sappers and miners were not continually at work, the battering-ram shaking its walls, and the dry-rot spreading in its main beams and timbers!
For the evils, however, of a redundant population, and the pauperism which this and other concurrent causes have produced, there is the sure remedy of emigration, for which our situation, our maritime means, and our extensive colonies afford facilities greater than have ever been possessed by any other people. Prosperity must of itself ere long have enforced us to use this remedy -the inconvenience of crowded numbers being an attendant upon happy times,' as Lord Bacon says, and an evil effect of a good cause.' So that great statesman said, when addressing James I. upon those plantations in Ireland which laid the foundation for all the prosperity that Ireland has yet enjoyed.
'An effect of peace in fruitful kingdoms,' said he, when the stock of people, receiving no consumption nor diminution by war, doth continually multiply and increase, must, in the end, be a surcharge or overflow of people, more than the territories can well maintain; which many times insinuating a general necessity and want of means into all estates, doth turn external peace into internal troubles and seditions. Now what an excellent diversion of this inconvenience is ministered, by God's providence, to your majesty, in this plantation of Ireland, wherein so many families may receive sustentation and fortune, and the discharge of them also out of England and Scotland may prevent many seeds of future perturbations: so that it is as if a man were troubled for the avoidance of water from the places where he hath built his house, and afterwards should advise with himself to cast those waters, and to turn them into floods, pools, or streams, for pleasure, provision, or use. So shall your majesty, on this work, have a double commodity, in the avoidance of people here, and in making use of them there.' But it were superfluous to adduce authorities; the remedy is as obvious as the necessity for having recourse to it is urgent.