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Thou, that wert wont to dwell
In peace, tongue cannot tell, .
Where the proud Judge in purple splendour sate ;
Whose throne shall be the world
to final ruin hurled,
When“ Crucify him!" yelld the general shout;
Whose lightest whisper'd word
The Seraphim had heard,
Thy bruised feet went languid on with pain;
W bose native vesture bright
Was the unapproached light,
They smote thy cheek with many a ruthless palm, which
With the cold spear thy shuddering side they piero'd;
Thou, at whose words of peace
Did pain and anguish cease,
Thy voice sent forth a sad and wailing cry;
agony. That head whose veil-less blaze
Filld angels with amaze
Thy clay-cold limbs with shrouding grave-clobes bound,
Whom heaven could not contain,
» Nor th' immeasureable plain.
Of vast Infinity inclose or circle sound. Vol. XVII. N. S. ! *T
For us, for us thou didst endure the pain,
And thy'meek spirit bow'd itself to shame,
Thoa, that could'st nothing'win
By saving worlds from sin,
Ast. IV. An Appeal to the Public in Defence of the Spitalfields Act : with Remarks on the Causes which have led to the Miseries and moral Deterioration of the Poor. By William Hale. 8vo. pp. 46. London. 1822. THERE is something
very captivating in those general propositions which seem to offer, in familiar language, a rule for deciding at once upon intricate questions. "That things will find their level, that demand and supply will regulate each other, that production and exchange will, if left to themselves, fall into the most profitable channels, short, pithy axioms like these gain an easy assent even from many individuals who but imperfectly understand their bearings. And when persons think they have made good thus'far their progress in the most bother. *ing of all sciences, and that they stand upon'undisputed ground, if you venture to disturb their general reasonings by considerations in the humble form of exceptions to a rule, or qualifying positions drawn from existing circumstances, you are in some danger of being set down as a mere man of detail, unacquainted with abstract principles, or a dull reasoner.
The pamphlet which has 'occasioned this prompt and most efficient reply, is built on one of these specious half-truths; for general truths, which, 'in'order to be universally valid, require to be qualified by other general truths, are of this description. •Labour,' says the Writer alluded to, like every other mar• ketable cominodity, will find its value.' This is either a truism, or it is an error. If by value is meant market price, then, that Labour will, if left to itself, find its market price, may intend two distinct positions : either that wages in the saine branch of production, have a tendency to find their level, that'is, to become equalized, or, that Labour will find its fair market price, by the mere operation of competition. The first of these positions is true; the second, as we shall shew, is not true. For, if by value be meant that which must ultimately, regulate price-- the intrinsic value or cost, Labour does not admit of being compared in this respect to any other marketable commodity.
Wages, or the price of Labour, must be admitted to depend on the proportion between population and employment. In thijs
respect, it presents an analogy to marketable commodities, the price of which is determined by the proportion between supply and demand. But what makes one commodity fetch a higher price than another, is, its costing more labour in tlie production ; and so soon as the producer finds that the price will not cover the cost, he withdraws it from the market. Labour is the basis of price, and price cannot, in the case of any commodity," continue below what it costs in labour to produce it. But how are we to estimate the cost, or natural price of labour ?" According to any intelligent or fairly honest estimate of its natural va
lue, (that is to say, its cost in the blood and sinews of the labourer,) its price has a constant tendency to fall, and under certain circumstances will long continue, far below its And when this takes place, the redundant supply cannot be withdrawn, nor its production put a stop to, in any way analogous to that in which the processes of manufacturing industry can be regulated and adjusted to the demand. Labour, then, will not find its value, because it must still be brought to market, and must be disposed of at any price by the labourer, long after the article has ceased to yield bim in exchange an adequate compensation in food and clothing—the simple necessaries which enter into its essential cost.
Adam Smith says, A man must always live by his work ; and he inclines to the opinion, that the labour of an able bodied man is computed at the lowest, to be worth double his main
tenance. It is needless to point out how utterly these axioms have been disregarded, and how far these limits have been overpassed in the depression of wages. They who push their
theory of reducing wages to the lowest point that they can,' remarks Mr. Hale, seem not to be aware, that it costs the country more to make an article when it is paid for under the price, than when the labourer receives his fair and full wages. ''Let it be remembered, that if you pay the labourers but half their wages,
still they must be fed: you by these unjust means increase to a tremendous degree the poor's rate taxes ; you destroy the morals of the poor; you starve and make them discontented, and then, justly fearful ibat their enraged feelings will drive them to some desperate efforts, you oblige the government to continue a large standing army to restrain and kcep thein in awe by legal coercion.'
It is not true, that the undue depression of wages is the result of a redundant population merely. It arises, not from the mere excess of the supply of labour, but from the steady and unaccommodating nature of the article supplied, under all the Auctuations in the demand, and from the urgency of the dealer,
wbích places him at the mercy of the buyer in striking lis har. gain. Besides the natural operation of the law of supply and demand, there is at work in another shape the ever active spirit of selfishness,-a selfishness often cruel and always shortsighted. Besides the immediate effect of competition among the poor, there is the effect of a tacit combination among the rich, of that legalised species of extortion which consists in takiag an unfair advantage of the necessities of the labouring classes.
To prevent this ruinous depreciation of labour at the expense of the country at large, the Spitalfields Act was passed ; and the experience of fifty years has fully attested its efficacy. The facts brought forward by Mr. Hale are decisive. For the past twenty years, the workinen of Spitalfields have been more constantly employed and better paid than in any one of the manufacturing districts throughout ihe kingdom.
I speak,' adds Mr. Hale, from long and accurate observation when I say, that we seldom meet with a pauper amongst the weavers, unless he has been brought into distress by illness or depravity. Our poor rates are only four shillings in the pound for the whole year; and at no period since I have been the treasurer of the parish, have they exceeded six shillings.'
In Coventry, wbere no such local act protects the journeymen weavers, the poors' rates were in 1818, NINETEEN SHILLINGS in the pound! The case of the Framework knitters of Leicester has recently been brought under public notice by a most competent and eloquent advocate, who has ably exposed the filippancy, or hypocrisy, of bringing forward stale hypothetical objections to legal provisions in favour of the labouring classes, in the face of the inass of existing statutes to protect the agricultural, the manufacturing, and the mercantile interests. As to the Author of the attack on the Spitalfields Act, whosoever he may be, we hope that he will have the good sense and the candour to acknowledge the force of Mr. Hale's very tenperate and conclusive remarks. But we wish also, that the facts which he has brought forward, interesting and important as tbey are in a 'much wider reference, may attract the general attention they deserve. The principles of Political Economy are soon learned, and, in their bare and literal truth, easily understood; and so are the rules of aritbmetic. But a good arithmetician may make a sorry financier. So, as to the subjects to wbicb the rules of Political Economy apply, the difficulty lies in their application.
Art, V. Letters from the Illinois, 1820, 1821. Containing an Account
of the English Settlement at Albion and its Vicinity, and a Refu. tation of various Misrepresentations, those more particularly of Mr. Cobbett.' By Richard Flower. With a Letter from Mr. Birk beck; and a Preface and Notes by Benjamin Flower. 8vo. pp. 76.
Price 28. 6d. London, 1822. WE
E take it for granted that our readers bave not quite for,
gotten Morris Birkbeck and bis Allinois prairies; and the thought Iras doubtless crossed their minds, when Mr. Owen's parish farms, or the charms of Van Diemen's Land, or the merits of the Timber question, bave been under discussion, How go ihey on in the Illinois ? This pamphlet is to tell them that the selileinent goes on swimmingly. Its founders not only continge to be reconciled to their escape from this land of taxation, but exult, with something of self-gratulation, in the fulfilment of all their reasonable expectations,' in their present abundance of good fare, and their brilliant prospects. They are rather in want, il seems, of farming labourers and female servants; for the latter get married as fast as they come. Also, of tailors and shoemakers, and, in the dry season, of stock water'--poods or the Thames water-works. But the finest water is to be raised at all times from twenty-five to thirty feet from the surface. Tbe infant town of Albion bas increased in its population one bundred since last September, and its vicinity seventy; and no foreigninarket, Mr. Flower states, will be wanted, in all probability, to take off the surplus produce, for ten or a dozen years to come. The number of deaths has been in the ratio of four in piuety-five in each year. Albion contains at present, thirty babitations, in · which are found a bricklayer, a carpenter, a wheelwright, a
cooper, and a blacksmith; a well supplied shop, a little library, an inn, a chapel, and a post-office, where the mail regularly
arrives twice a week.' • The Reformed or Unitarian liturgy is read on the Sunday, together with the Scriptures and sermons * from our best English authors.' Mr. Birkbeck bas opened a place of worship at Wanborough, bis residence, where he officiates himself, and reads the Church of England service;' 'so that,' Mr. Flower facetiously adds, Wanborough is the seat of orthodoxy, and our place stands, as a matter of course, in
thie ranks of heresy. The moral state of the settlement is inore fully described in the following paragraphs.
On the return of Christmas day (1819), we invited our party us at Marden, my
late residence in Hertfordshire: we assembled thirty-two iu number. A more intelligent, sensible collection never had under my roof in my own country.
A plentiful supply of plum-pudding, roast bect, and mince pics were at table, and turkeys in plenty, having purchased four for a dollar the preceding week. We found among the