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not wherewith to become manufacturers, but wherewith to control manufacturers. It is in this way (and we can see no other) that they will be enabled to weather all the fluctuations to which trade is liable. It is the cruel necessity of overworking which feeds the mischief of superabundant stock, and which renders so very large a transference of hands necessary ere the market can be relieved of the load under which it groans and languishes. Now, this is a necessity that can only be felt by men on the brink of starvation, who live from hand to mouth, and have scarcely more than the day's earnings for the subsistence of the day. Let these men only be enabled, on the produce of former accumulations, to live through a season of depression while they work moderately, or, if any of them should so choose it, while they do not work at all,--and they would not only lighten such a period of its wretchedness, but they would inconceivably shorten its duration. The overplus of manufactured goods, which is the cause of miserable wages, would soon clear away
under that restriction of work which would naturally follow on the part of men who did not choose, because they did not need, to work for miserable wages. What is now a protracted season of suffering and discontent to the lower orders, would, in these circumstances, become to them a short but brilliant career of holiday enjoyment. The report of a heavy downfal of wages, instead of sounding like a knell of despair in their ears, would be their signal for rising up to play. We have heard, that there does not exist in our empire a more intellectual and accomplished order of workmen than the weavers of Paisley. It was their habit, we understand, to abandon their looms throughout the half or nearly the whole of each Saturday, and to spend this time in gardening, or in the enjoyment of a country walk. It is true, that such time might sometimes be viciously spent; but still we should rejoice in such a degree of sufficiency among our operatives, as that they could afford a lawful day of every week for their amusement, and still more, that they could afford whole months of relaxed and diminished industry, when industry was underpaid. This is the dignified posture which they might attain; but only after the return of better times, and through the medium of their own sober and determined economy. Every shilling laid up in store, and kept in reserve for the evil day, would strengthen the barrier against such a visitation of distress and difficulty as that from which we are yet scarcely emerging. The very habits too, which helped them to accumulate in the season of well paid work, would form our best guarantee against the vicious or immoral abuse of this accumulation, in the season either of entire or comparative inactivity. We would expect an increase of reading, and the growth of literary cultivation, and the steady
advancement of virtuous and religious habits,-and, altogether, a greater weight of character and influence among the labouring classes, as the permanent results of such a system. Instead of being the victims of every adverse movement in trade, they would become its most effective regulators.
This is the eminence that the labourers of our nation are fully capable both of reaching and of maintaining. But it is neither the Poor-rate of England, nor the Law of Parochial Aid in Scotland, that will help them on to it. These have only deceived them away from the path which leads to independence; and, amid all the complaints which have been raised against the system of a compulsory provision for the poor, nothing is more certain than that our poor, because underpaid operatives, are the principal sufferers by it. Every other class in society has its compensation. It is paid back again to the manufacturer in the shape of a reduction in the wages of his workmen, and to the landholder by a reduction in the price of all manufactured articles. It is only the operative himself, who appears to be pensioned by it, that is really impoverished. It has deadened all those incitements to accumulation which would have raised him and his fellow-labourers to a footing of permanent security in the State-And, not till their eyes have been opened to the whole mischief and cruelty of this delusion-not till they see where it is that their most powerful and malignant enemy is lying in ambush—not till they have learned that, under the guise of charity, there has been an influence at work for many years, which has arrested the march of the lower orders to the elevation that naturally and rightfully belongs to them, and till they come to understand that it is by their own exertion and self-denial alone that they can win their way to it--not, in short, till the popular cry is for the abolition, rather than the extension of pauperism, will our labouring classes have attained their full share of comfort and importance in the commonwealth.
Art. VI. An Appeal from the Judgments of Great Britain
respecting the United States of America. Part First. Containing an Historical Outline of their Merits and Wrongs as Colonies, and Strictures on the Calumnies of British Writers. By Robert Walsh, Esq. 8vo. pp. 505. Philadelphia and London, 1819.
think, an unjust attack on the principles of this Journal. Yet we take part, on the whole, with the author :-and heartily wish him success in the great object of vindicating his country from unmerited aspersions, and trying to make us, in England, ashamed of the vices and defects which he has taken the trouble to point out in our national character and institutions. In this part of his design we cordially concur-and shall at all times be glad to cooperate. But there is another part of it, and we are sorry to say a principal and avowed part, of which we cannot speak in terms of too strong regret and reprobation--and that is, a design to excite and propagate among his countrymen, a general animosity to the British name, by way of counteracting, or rather revenging, the animosity which he very erroneously supposes to be generally entertained by the English against them. That this is, in itself, and under
circumstances, an unworthy, an unwise, and even a criminal object, we think we could demonstrate to the satisfaction of Mr W. himself, and all his reasonable adherents; but it is better, perhaps, to endeavour, in the first place, to correct the misapprehensions, and dispel the delusions in which this disposition has its foundation, and, at all events, to set them the example of perfect good humour and fairness, in a discussion where the parties perhaps will never be entirely agreed; and where those who are now to be heard have the strongest conviction of being injuriously misrepresented. If we felt any soreness, indeed, on the score of this author's imputations, or had any desire to lessen the just effect of his representations, it would have been enough for us, we believe, to have let them alone. For, without some such help as ours, the work really does not seem calculated to make any great impression in this quarter of the world. It is not only, as the author has candidly observed of it, a very clumsy book,' heavily written and abominably printed--but the only material part of it the only part about which any body can now be supposed to care very much, either here or in America-is overlaid and buried under a huge mass of historical compilation, which would have little chance of attracting readers at the present moment, even if much better digested than it is in the volume before us.
The substantial question is, what has been the true character and condition of the United States since they became an independent nation,—and what is likely to be their condition in future? And to elucidate this question, the learned author has thought fit to premise about 200 very close printed pages, upon their merits as colonies, and the harsh treatment they then received from the mother country! Of this large historical sketch, we cannot say either that it is very correctly drawn, or very faithfully coloured. "It presents us with no connected narrative, or interesting deduction of events--but is, in truth, a mere
heap of indigested quotations from common books, of good and of bad authority-inartificially cemented together by a loose and angry commentary. We are not aware, indeed, that there are in this part of the work either any new statements, or any new views or opinions; the facts being mostly taken from Chalmers's Annals, and Burke's European Settlements; and the authorities for the good conduct and ill treatment of the colonies, being chiefly the Parliamentary Debates and Brougham's Colonial Policy.
-But, in good truth, these historical recollections will go but a little way in determining that great practical and most important question, which it is Mr W.'s intention, as well as ours, to disc. cuss- What are, and what ought to be, the Dispositions of England and America towards each other?-And the general facts as to the origin and colonial history of the latter, in so far as they bear upon this question, really do not admit of much disputa. The most important of their settlements were unquestionably founded by the friends of civil and religious libertywho, though somewhat precise and puritanical, were, in the main, a sturdy and sagacious race of people, not readily to be cajoled out of the blessings they had sought through so many sacrifices, and ready at all times nanfully and resolutely to assert them against all invaders. As to the mother country, again, without claiming for her any romantic tenderness or generosity towards those hardy offsets, we think we may say, that she oppressed and domineered over them much less than any other modern nation has done over such settlements-that she allowed them, for the most part, liberal charters and constitutions, and was kind enough to leave them very much to themselves; and although she did manifest, now and then, a disposition to encroach on their privileges, their rights were, on the whole, very tolerably respected so that they grew up to a state of prosperity, and a familiarity with freedom, in all its divisions, which was not only without parallel in any similar establishment, but probably could not have been attained had they been earlier left to their own guidance and protection. This is all that we ask for England, on a review of her colonial policy, and her conduct before the war; and this, we think, lio candid and well-informed person can reasonably refuse her.
As to the war itself, the motives in which it originated, and the spirit in which it was carried on, it cannot now be necessary to say any thing-or, at least, when we say that having once been begun, we think that it terminated as the friends of Justice and Liberty must have wished it to terminate, we conceive that Mr W. can require no other explanation. That this result, however, should have left a soreness upon both sides, and especi. ally on that which had not been soothed by success, is what all men must have expected. But, upon the whole, we firmly believe, that this was far slighter and less durable than has generally been imagined; and was likely very speedily to have been entirely effaced by those ancient recollections of kindness and kindred which could not fail to recur, and by that still more powerful feeling, to which every day was likely to add strength, of their common interests as free and as commercial countries, and of the substantial conformity of their national character, and of their sentiments, upon most topics of public and of private right. The healing operation, however, of these causes was unfortunately thwarted and retarded by the heats that rose out of the French revolution, and the new interests and new relations which it appeared for a time to create :- And the hostilities in which we were at last involved with America herself—though the opinions of her people, as well as our own, were deeply divided upon both questions-served still further to embitter the general feeling, and to keep alive the memory of animosities that should not have been so long remembered. At last came peace -and the spirit, but not the prosperity of peace; and the distresses and commercial embarrassments of both countries threw both into bad humour, and unfortunately hurried both into a system of jealous and illiberal policy, by which that bad humour was aggravated, and received an unfortunate direction.
In this exasperated state of the national temper, and, we do think, too much under its influences Mr Walsh has thought himself called upon to vindicate his country from the aspersions of English writers; and after arraigning them, generally, of the most incredible ignorance, and atrocious malignity, he proceeds to state, that the EDINBURGH and QUARTERLY Reviews, in particular, have been incessantly labouring to traduce the character of America, and have lately broken out into such cesses of obloquy,' as can no longer be endured; and, in particular, that the prospect of a large emigration to the United States has thrown us all into such paroxysms of spite and jealousy, that we have engaged in a scheme of systematic defamation that sets truth and consistency alike at defiance. To counteract this nefarious scheme, Mr W. has taken the field-not so much to refute or to retort—not for the purpose of pointing out our er, rors, or exposing our unfairness, but, rather, if we understand him aright, of retaliating on us the abuse we have been so long pouring on others. In his preface, acom tingly, he fairly avows it to be his intention to act on the offensive-to carry the war into the enemy's quarters, and to make reprisals upon the honour and character of England, in revenge for the insults