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society from which he is separated by an almost insurmountable barrier; he must identify himself with the poor man's lot; he must feel not only for him, but with him; and strive to administer to the vast accumulation of mental and moral disease, as the physician would prescribe for physical ailments, commencing his operations by first visiting the patient, and by informing himself of his constitution, his symptoms, and his sympathies; and then he must not be fearful of the proper medicine, by a cruel kind of commiseration, but consider, that if his disease be great, so must the remedy be powerful. There is an actual cautery as indispensable to morbid states of the moral and mental part of man, as well as to the physical.

Both the moral and physical states of society require remedy; but it must be remembered that it will be perfectly in vain to endeavour to heal both by applying the remedy only to one. It will be useless to strive to bring morals to a healthy tone while physical suffering abounds; it will be as preposterous to think of producing permanent change in the physical or social state of the manual-labour class, without a direct, a powerful, and continued application of mental physic to the understanding and to the heart.

The intelligent and the philanthropic, then, must make common cause, under the solemn conviction, that partial, disconnected, temporary, and changeable methods of action, tend rather to augment than to cure a disease. Each individual must not be only careful about a family or a district in his own particular locality, but must direct his efforts into a more enlarged sphere of action. He must be zealous for the attainment of sound views relating to the state of society; and must act with a view to the general, as well as to the particular good of those, to whom God has appointed him the steward.

The state of the manual labour-class was never more interesting than at the present moment; a great part of a generation has been taught to read, many have begun to think, and all are desirous of action of some kind, good or bad. As yet instruction has not been brought to bear either specifically upon morals or manners; or, what is of more importance, upon habits: the deep-rooted vices of former ignorance have been rather met by those of modern luxury, than controlled by those that might be supposed to arise from increased and extended knowledge. A mighty engine in the moral world, as great as the steam engine in the mechanical world, has begun its workings, fuel is supplied at all points, but it wants the controlling influence of intelligence to regulate its motions, and adapt its action to the good of the community,

The heterogeneous mixture of ignorance and intelligence, of religion and fanaticism, of vice and morality, of riches and poverty, which is presented to the mind in its inquiries, forms a chaos of confusion, and renders futile any attempt to form a proper estimate of society in the gross; and almost prevents the possibility of a reference being made to the class of which we write in a general way. We divide this portion of society into three casts: the first is the petty shopkeeper, with those who may be in business in a little way on their own account; the second is the handycraftsman or mechanic; and the third is the



common labourer and the pauper; for unfortunately these two classes, if they can be considered such, form so complete an amalgamation at times, that it is impossible to separate them.

Of the first class, computed at about two millions, we may remark, that they are generally inferior to the second in information, but superior to the third; they seem to have no more intelligence than what has been gained in a conversational way over the counter; they have received, perhaps, a knowledge of reading and writing in their youth; but of any thing beyond parish and pot-house politics they are entirely deficient. They have some degree of pride in their calling, and would consider the mechanic a grade below them in society; and thus preclude themselves from those associations which sharpen the intellects of the second class in general matters. They are the boisterous majorities, or clamorous minorities, of parish meetings; have a great horror at the increase of intelligence; and have no higher idea of education, than that it enables their children to get on in the world. Their political information is generally drawn from the cheap trash of the atheistical demagogue; and their views of religion may be judged of more by their systematic abstaining from a place of worship, than by any acts of piety or Christian charity among their neighbours. They view alike the minister of religion and the sincere professor with distrust: the first they would taunt with not doing what he teaches, and the other they would brand as a hypocrite. Perhaps there is more cupidity and cunning manifested in this class than in both the others. There is, at the same time, an assumption of independence, in the midst of the most degrading dependence, which prevents their receiving any impulse in mental or moral action from the well disposed. They seem to hedge themselves in on every side from outward intelligence and the light of improvement, and would pass away their days in the same way, year after year; leaving, if it were possible, their obtuse feelings, their ignorance, and their prejudices, to their children.

Of the second class, much more that is favourable may be said. Their intellect, at least, has dawned; and the sun of knowledge is in the horizon, although it is rising in mist, and in cloud, and in storm. Beginning to see the real independence which labour confers, the mechanic is like the grub at the warmth of the sun, almost ready, if it were possible, to burst his cerements; and would, in the endeavour, from sheer ignorance only, topple down the best of our institutions, and sever the civil compacts of society. He has just sufficient information to lead him to see one side of a question; and draws all his information from the wrong side. He has been taught to read in our National and Lancasterian schools; and he reads the "Penny Magazine" for amusement, and the trash of a Hetherington or a Carlisle for the information which interests him most,-thus constantly vibrating between the wholesome and the deleterious. The knowledge of the Scriptures he imbibed at his school is not entirely obliterated; he finds occasional glimpses of gospel truth flashing upon his mind, even when the works of the infidel are clouding his understanding and wrapping that mind in a mist. He sees the bickerings, the quarrels, and the inveterate hatred of sects; he is told that self-interest alone governs those who

are its promulgators; he looks at rank as an excrescence on the body politic, from not understanding the organization of society in general; and for the same reason he is rather bewildered and astounded, and unsettled in his views, than fixed to any in particular, moral or political; and is liable to be moulded, to a certain degree, to good or evil, as the circumstances which surround him are more or less of a vicious cha


The same state of half knowledge, half ignorance, that unsettles his opinions, is found also to render his domestic state as much a compound. His domestic knowledge, like his literary, or moral, or poÎitical, has come to him by scraps and shreds; accordingly his domestic state is one, in most cases uncomfortable, and in many cases miserable in the extreme. Although comparatively high wages may be earned by this class, the effect of their miserable economy is more strikingly marked by a comparison of the condition of persons in other classes; such for instance as merchants' or lawyers' clerks, with salaries from £70 to £80 per year, with the condition of mechanics earning, on the average, from 30s. to £2 per week. The one will be comparatively well fed, well lodged, and respectable in appearance; whilst the other lives in a hovel; his wife, perhaps, is seen filthy and idle, and his children about the streets, without a shoe to their foot or a decent rag to cover them. Many mechanics who, during nine months of the year, earn from 50s. to £3 a week in the Metropolis, are frequently at the workhouse, with their families, during the winter months. But perhaps the most lamentable circumstance connected with the social state, is the injudicious and careless manner in which they rear their offspring: from the time of their birth up to that of adolescence, their whole system is one of the most mischievous error, both moral and physical. They feel, and are exceedingly fond of their children; but generally think that the only way of showing love is to cram them with every thing they ask; and thus the children are the masters of their parents; beer, gin, and every other unwholesome thing is forced down the throats of even infants; and children of two or three years old are generally found so addicted to things of that sort, as to crave for them incessantly. With regard to forcing filial obedience, and fostering filial love, it is rarely thought of; and it is by no means an uncommon thing to see children abusing, ill-treating, and even fighting their parents. It is in many cases the most difficult thing imaginable to induce parents of this class to send their children regularly to school: they take no care themselves of their moral character; and send them to a place of worship or a school, more for the sake of getting them out of the way, than for any value they set upon education itself, and this is evinced by the very small share of instruction with which they are initiated. From what is written, it will naturally be presumed that religious information is at a very low ebb: it is so. It may confidently be affirmed, that at least four-fifths of this portion of the population rarely attend a place of worship; a very large portion, particularly in towns, do not so much as wash and dress themselves during the Sabbath: many who are intoxicated on the Saturday night, the public-houses and beer-shops receive again on the Sunday morning; and here they sit till

they are turned out about the time of going to church, when they return home brutalized and stupified, to quarrel and to fight. Others sit about during the Sabbath reading the cheap newspapers, or are engaged in some nick-nack in-door work in the morning, go to bed in the afternoon, and sleep till the evening; and thus passes away life, in many cases prematurely. They live without God in the world; and when stretched on the bed of sickness, and their hopes of mercy in a Saviour is elicited, the lamentable and awful ignorance they display on the most momentous of all subjects, strikes with horror the clergyman or pious visitor, and accounts very materially for the recklessness and improvident thoughtlessness of their existence.

It is true, that in this class are nevertheless found, some that are complete contradictions to those we have fairly described,—some who are more economic in their habits, and more careful in their duties; but they comprehend a small portion, and are those whom religion has rescued from the power of sin, and whom true saving knowledge has enlightened; and it is worthy of remark, although it ought not to be held remarkable, that in almost every case where we find the power of religion at work, we find at the same time increased intelligence and information. Most of this portion are either communicating members of the church, or of some Christian sect, and evidence the sincerity of their profession by the correctness of their conduct. There are a few of another kind, who although not religious, are in some degree moral and economic: these who are members of Mechanics' Institutes, Book Societies, &c.; and are generally intelligent, far beyond their situation in life. They ground their religion and morality on doing as they would be done by; and without thinking any further on the subject, endeavour to make their means support them, have a benefit club to provide for them in sickness, and employ their leisure hours in reading and talking politics, and watching the movements of party; and this, in London and in large manufacturing towns, forms by far the larger class, but in country places and small towns the smaller.

If we now descend to take a view of the common labouring and pauper population, we shall, in the agricultural portion, find more simplicity of character, more ignorance, and more improvidence. It will therefore be necessary to distinguish between the poor of the towns, and the poor of simply agricultural districts. In the former the evils of ignorance are perhaps more dreadful, although not so apparent, as in the latter. In London the destitution, vice, and wretchedness of this class baffle all description. Here poverty, vice, and crime go hand-in-hand;-here houses are crammed, from the garrets to the cellars, with every kind of iniquity; twenty thousand prostitutes, and as many professed thieves, prowl the streets night and day; almost as many, when they rise in the morning, have no certain place of lodging for the night. There is far less religion in proportion;-thousands upon thousands know no more of an Almighty Being, or of salvation, than the barbarian to whom the glad tidings have never come; and it is certain, that not above one-fourth of the population ever enter a place of divine worship. The poor live a life of expedients, and contrive to pay for every article they consume fifty per cent. more than

the rich; and by the habit of pledging the most trifling articles, pay from 200 to 5000 per cent. for the loan of money. Mr. Mott, the contractor for Lambeth workhouse, in his evidence before the Poor Law Commissioners, said, that he had many thousand duplicates of articles pledged by the poor, nearly all for sums from three pence to one shilling; he made a calculation of the interest paid by them for these trifling loans.

Per Cent. Per Cent

A loan of 3d. if redeemed same day, pays out at the rate of 5200 weekly 866













In the

But leaving the metropolis for the country at large, a most deplorable picture presents itself in the manufacturing districts, of ignorance, vice, improvidence, want, and pauperism. Gin, or what is cheaper, opium, is more in use every day among those who work at the factories; and its destructive effects on the physical and moral state of this part of the population cannot be described. agricultural districts, although the evils are indeed great to contend with, yet here there is some hope. The evils here arise more from ignorance and injudicious management, than from surrounding circumstances that cannot be controlled. The condition of this portion of society has been produced almost entirely by bad laws or the bad management of good laws. The wages of idleness and vice, and the wages of good conduct, have been paid out of a common purse; and the present state of that class must continue till there is a knowledge in both rich and poor of the social relations between man and man. The errors of the poor have been great, but the errors of the rich have been no less so. It has been the province on one side to demand, by clamour, by intimidation, and knavery; and of the other, through fear or carelessness, to grant. Thus the relief given to the poor has been looked upon as a freehold,—considered as a fund in which they had an absolute property; and many have received stipulated allowances, although earning high wages. The farmer and the parish have both acted on the same system of paying the labourer, according to the wants of himself and family; and then get what work they can out of him. The idle and dissolute are paid equally with the industrious and prudent; the greatest thief in the parish gets the magistrates' allowThus the lot of ance-the honest, but unfortunate, get no more.

every man being the same, no one can raise himself by good conduct above the ordinary level, and no one is under the fear of sinking. This mode of proceeding acts as a bounty upon marriage; and it is a common thing for mere children to marry, who have not got a bed to lie on, nor a home to go to, nor the money to pay the fees.

The effect of the allowance system is calculated to demoralize and debase in every way: it not only relieves the most notorious drunkards, rogues, and thieves, but it engenders in the young and old The evidence of the overseer of the most abominable selfishness. Buckland, which may be corroborated in every parish, is to the effect -that those whose minds have been moulded by the operation of the

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