« 이전계속 »
On this unfortunate' tract, Mr. Cobbett, for reasons wbichi it is not needful to analyse, fastened with bis usual energy; and availing himself of some singularly weak paragraphs, made a fierce attack, not only on the defenders of the “ Friendly So
ciety,” but on the system of association itself. There was a mixture of boldness and speciousness in his address, which produced a considerable effect; and it was felt expedient, that some competent writer should take up the discussion, in order to counteract the impression which had been made, not upon the workmen, but on such of the masters as had viewed the progress of the system with dislike, and were now glad to avail themselves of the services of this unexpected ally.
Under these circumstances, Mr. Hall bas again come forward, and, in this admirably written pamphlet, bas reinforced. his former positions, with great strength of argument, and in his own peculiar and exquisite style. As we feel no disposition to ipingle as partisans in the contest, our present business will be to supply such extracts as may vindicate the encomium we have expressed, and excite our readers to a perusal of the whole.In some of the tracts for which this business has given occasion, the legal penalties connected with combination had been held up in terrorem. This is put aside in the following masterly paragraph.
• Since in the case before us, it is the surplus of labour alone which affords the facility of effecting a depression so destructive, by obliging those who are unemployed to engage themselves at a price by which they could not live, the object of the Union is simply to take away that necessity, by withdrawing that portion of redundant labour which produced it; a mode of proceeding perfectly analogous to that which takes place in every branch of trade and manufacture. He who is engaged in these, endeavours invariably to adjust the extent of the supply to the demand: if his capital enables him, he withholds his commodities from the market when it is glutted, and reproduces them when they are more eagerly called for. Is there any principle of political economy conceived to be violated by this discretionary power of the manufacturer to adjust his productions to his demand-to withdraw them from the market at bis pleasure, when he foresees their sale will fetch no adequate returns ?' But this, mutatis mutandis, or with a slight change of names, is exactly the case under present discussion. The labour and skill of the mechanic or the artist, constitute the article he has to dispose of; and the Framework-knitters' Fund, against which such a clamour has been raised by interested and designing men, is nothing more or less than a provision for withholding such a portion of that article, as he perceives cannot be employed without ruinous consequences. If the principles of political economy are those of justice and common sense, they will authorise no more interference with the labouring mechanic, than with the tradesman or manufacturer : and if the manufacturer is not compelled to dispose of his productions on destructive terms, why should the mechanic be obliged thus to dis
pose of his labour! It will be acknowledged, it is more difficult for the mechanic to adjust his labour to the demand, than it is for the manufacturer to regulate his supply by the state of the market; but this is a distinct consideration: the Framework-knitters' Fund is contrived with a view to obviate this difficulty; it has already done it to a great degree, and nothing but a more general co-operation of the workmen, and of parishes, is wanted to enable them to šurmount it 'altogether.' p. 8, 9.
Mr. Cobbett bad urgently recommended to the Frameworkknitters to abandon their fund, and to depend upon the poocrates. To this it is forcibly replied :
• If the Framework-knitters' Union is dissolved, it is universally allowed, wages will sink still lower, nor can any limits be assigned, to which they may not descend. Before its formation, nearly half the subsistence of the workmen was drawn from the parishes, or, in other words, from the public. But what more monstrous can be conceived, than a manufacture carried on at the public expense, but not for the public benefit, where all the profits are appropriated to one description of persons, while the public are taxed to an enormous amount to enable a few individuals to secure to themselves those advantages ? Is there an anomaly in the social system more prodigious than this, or more pregnant with the most alarming consequences ? Is it a greater enormity, let me ask, to be compelled to support a numerous herd of sinecurists, pensioners, and “ eaters of taxes," to use the elegant phraseology of Mr. Cobbett, than to pay half the wages of an extensive manufacture, without deriving from it one farthing of profit, while it wells out a putrid stream of pauperism which overflows the land ? Mr. Cobbett perhaps sees nothing in such a state repugnant to his feelings : in the despair of the poor, and the utter incapacity of the parishes to relieve their wants, he seems to exult, as the infallible prognostic of some great convulsion; but there are those, and I hope not a few, who will contemplate such a prospect with horror.'
pp. 14, 15.
After having repelled the various arguments brought forward against the Union from different quarters, the Writer of the present tract turns upon Cobbett himself io the following language, than which we know of nothing more eloquent and impressive in the Philippics or the Catilinarians.
• These, and such like extravagancies, will be quite sufficient to satisfy the reader, that he is a popular declaimer, not a philosopher ; a firebrand, not a lúminary. He emits fire and smoke in abundance, like a volcano, but the whole effect is to desolate, not to enlighten. His principal artifice consists in the exhibition of a few specious and bold generalities, which he illustrates and confirms by a few prominent facts, culled for his purpose, without the slightest attempt at that patient induction and inquiry, which alone lead to solid and useful results. Shrewd, intemperate, presumptuous, careless of tlie truth of his representations, and indifferent to their consequences, provided they make an impression, he is well qualified, it must be confessed, by
his faglts no less than his talents, by his inflammatory style and incendiary spirit, for the office he assumes, to scatter delusion, to éxcite insurrection, the Polyphemus of the Mob, the one-eyed monarch of the blind.” His strictures, however, on the topic under consideration are pregnant with instruction it was not his design to communicate. Whatever the inhabitants of this. County may think of the Framework-knitters' Union, he plainly foresees in the consequences of its failure, the materials of ferocious delight; he sees without the aid of inspiration an inundation of miseries to follow, paupers crowd ing by thousands to the doors of overseers, parishes dismayed and perplexed, the poor clamouring for bread which cannot be given them, and rushing upon the point of the bayonet to avoid a more cruel and lingering death; the commencement of that tempest, in a word, which he boasts having crossed the Atlantic to witness, which is to shake all that is stable, to prostrate all that is great, and to accumulate a pile for the elevation of future demagogues.
Rome trembled when Cataline rejoiced. Let the friends of peace and order then, let the landed proprietor especially, take warning: they stand upon the brink of a precipice, from which if they suffer themselves to be precipitated, it will be no small aggravation of their calamity to perceive the ease with which it miglit have been prevented ; together with the contemptible agency, and the flimsy sophistry, which accelerated their overthrow. If it is some consolation to the fallen to have perished by a noble hand, the indignity of being bafiled and deluded by the Author of the Political Register, must be more humiliating than words can express.'
pp. 25-27. "Though we reluctantly abstain, we can afford room for but one extract more, in which Mr. Hall avows his ụndimioished attachment to the cause which he so eloquently advocated at the commencement of his public life,
• If he should be thought to have treated Mr. Cobbett with too much severity, he wishes it to be clearly understood, that his censure is in no degree founded on the professed attachment of that Writer to the cause of reform. Educated in the principles of Mr. Fox, and in those of the earliest and best days of Mr. Piti, to which advancing years and experience have increased his attachment, it is impossible he should entertain a doubt that an important reform in our representation, is essentially connected with the freedom, the glory, and the happiness of the British Empire.' p. 29.
On the whole, though we greatly prefer Mr. Hall's theology to his economics, it is not that we, like the latter less, but the former more : and if he cannot be prevailed ou to gratify our wishes by taking a right view of what appear to us his bigher responsibilities, we shall endeavour to be grateful for a humbler dole. Vol. XXI. N.S.
Art. IX. First Impressions on a Tour upon the Continent, in the 9- Summer of 1818, through Parts of Italy, Switzerland, the Bor
ders of Germany, and a part of French Flanders. By Marianne
Baillie, 8vo. pp. 375. London, 1819. THIS is, on the whole, a pleasant volume, carrying the reader
without fatigue, an agreeable post-cbaise tour through Paris, Lyons, Turin, Milan, the Simplon, Geneva, Berne, Nancy, Rheims, Calais, Dover, home. lo general, it is written with simplicity and ease, but there is an occasional attempt at vivacity and airiness, which usually misses its object, and excites an extremely uncomfortable sensation in the perusal. Now and then, too, we meet with a lofty and dashing allusion to points of theology, commonly accompanied with a damnatory reference to Calvin and his followers. These obnoxious sectaries will, however, recover from their cousternation when we assure them, that the lady has not the smallest knowledge of the subject on which she writes so flippantly; and they will probably agree with us io wondering at the ingenuity which could contrive to exbibit among the first impressions of a Continental tour, the signs of a snappish disposition to quarrel with her neighbours on the 9 score of their religious creed. We would fain hope that reflecsition and right feeling may hereafter dictate to Mrs. Baillie, a language less tinctured with virulence and self-complacency. But, not satisfied with the indulgence of this unaccountable tendency to vituperate Calvinism, she avails herself of a visit made by a friend of hers, the purest and most romantic child
of nature,' to a set of 'ignorant and unsophisticated' moudtaineers, blessed with the singular virtues, innocence,' and customary et ceteras of such people, to make a triumphant attack on the doctrine of Original Sin.
• The advocates for the doctrine of original depravity, and who deay that man is rendered vicious chiefly by circumstances, might have been somewhat staggered in this plain tale,' so truly calculated to put
them down.' We are unwilling to say barsh things to a lady, and shall. therefore abstain from treating this delectable sequitur as it deserves; but we shall take leave to intimate, that infidelity, as well as hypocrisy, may have its cant, and that sundry passages in the present volume may serve to prove, that a sectarian teinper is not confined to the admirers of Calvinism.
The scenery, manners, and costume, on the road from Calais to Paris, are slightly but agreeably described, and the little rencontres between the travellers and interesting or common place hostesses and filles de chambre, are amusingly sketched. "The height of the buildings, the narrowness of the streets, the want
of accommodation for pedestrians, and the villagous' and various congregation of foul smells,' gave Mrs. Baillie a feeling of disgust towards Paris, which all its novelties and exhibitions were insufficient to remove. After a short stay in the Capital, her party quitted it for Lyons. At Saulieu,
· Two very pretty, modest, rustic lasses waited upon us, named Marie and Lodine. "Lodine was a brunette, with an arch, dimpled, comical little face, (round as an apple, and equally glowing) teeth white as snow, and regular as a set of pearls ; but I rather preferred the opposite style of Marie, who was slighter in her person, graver, and whose large dark eyes and penciled brows alone gave lustre and expression to an oval face, and a pale, yet clear and fine-grained skin : those eyes, however, were not so often illuminated by bright flashes of innocent gaiety as those of Lodine, but they made amends by the length and beauty of their soft black lashes. Lodine's admiration was prodigiously excited by my English ear-rings and rings, &c. She took them up one by one to examine, and exclaimed frequently that she had never seen such beautiful things in her life.'.
Mrs. B. and her friends reached Lyons in time to witness the rejoicings on the féte de St. Louis, • which is always celebrated with particular pomp and splendour. It was also the great jubilee of the Lyonnese peruquiers, who went in "procession to high mass, and from thence to an entertainment prepared for them. The jouteurs (or plungers in water) likewise made a - very magnificent appearance. They walked two and two round the town, and after a famous dinner (laid out for them in a lower apartment of our hotel) proceeded to exhibit a sort of aquatic tournament, . in boats upon the river....... The dress of the combatants (among whom were several young boys of eight and five years old) was very handsome and fanciful, entirely composed of white linen, ornamented with knots of dark-blue riband. They had white kid leather shoes, tied with the same colours, caps richly ornamented with gold, and fur. nished with gold tassels. In their hands they carried blue and gold oars, and long poles, and upon their breasts a wooden sort of shield or breast-plate, divided into square compartments, and strapped firmly on like armour....... Against this they pushed with the poles as hard as possible, endeavouring to jostle and overturn their opponents ; the vanquished, falling into the water, save themselves by swimming, while the victors carry off a prize.'
If Mrs. Baillie means that plungers in water,' is the meaning of jouteurs, she is much mistaken ; the word means tilters combatants at a joust or tournament. Some good description occurs of the mountain of Savoy, and ample evidence is given of the admirable arrangements made by Napoleon for the safe and commodious passage of these elevated regions. On Mont Cenis, the party noticed the Hospice occupied by a set of kind and attentive monks.