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charitable allowance put together, come in fact to make out no more than the scanty remuneration which is ever attendant on an overdone employment. Thus it is, that men who, with the clearing away of goods from the market, might in a few months have been earning an adequate subsistence for their families, and that in the shape of a fair and honourable recompense for their work, be forced to drivel out a much longer period in a penury composed of two stinted ingredients, and rendered more degrading by the contribution which charity has made to it.
This is just the operation of Poor-rates in England, when employed in supplying the inadequacy of wages. They ultimately displace as much in the shape of wages, as is rendered in the shape of eharity; and men who, if the regulation of their numbers had been left to natural causes, would have continued scarce enough to have dictated the remuneration of an entire maintenance for their work, have been collected in such multitudes, as to have stripped themselves of all control over this matter, and brought the question of their subsistence under the determination of Church-wardens and overseers. It is thus that this fallacious system has inflicted on the labouring classes of that 'country a permanent degradation. What the Legislature intended as a buon, has turned out to be a sore bereavement. Had they confined it to one class of labourers, as weavers for example, then weavers would just have sunk mder the oppression of this apparent privilege, and been singled out to public notice as the miserable and degraded caste of our nation. They would thereby have descended beneath the level of all other labourers, and been, in our land, what hewers of wood, and drawers of water were in the land of Judea. And these are not the judicious friends of the poor, but their unwise advocates, or perhaps their designing agitators, who would plead, as a right of theirs, for that which passes in the first instance into the pockets of their employers, and then goes to stamp an unnatural cheapness on the produce of their employment.
Such works as those of Mr Cleland are of great value, anck are well fitted to pioneer the way of the economist to a sound and experimental conclusion on questions of great interest. He has extended his survey beyond the precincts of the immediate neighbourhood of Glasgow; or rather, instead of a survey, he has given an estimate of the country looms now employed by the manufacturers of Glasgow, and compares it with the number employed antecedently to the present depression in that branch of our manufactures. We should like to see a similar estimate for Manchester and its vicinity; as nothing could be more important than to learn the proportion between the em
ployed and unemployed looms in the great weaving districts of England, and thus to ascertain what effect the Poor-laws have had in fixing the labourers of a declining branch of industry down to their employment, and so in increasing and accelerating its declension. It is quite clear, that neither the feeling nor the clamour of distress were at all less in the country where a compulsory provision has a full, than in the country where it has yet only obtained a partial operation. But it were desirable to know in how far, allured by the promise of their own institutions, the weavers of England were kept together at their work, instead of going off by those outlets which, in times of fluctuation and distress, enable the people of every country, in a certain degree, to shift their wonted employments.
And here we may state an inequality between Scotch and English operatives, to which many of our Southern neighbours may never perhaps have adverted. Should the Poor-rates of England reduce the nominal price of weaving there to five shillings a week, that becomes the real price to the operative in Scotland. This at least holds true, without any qualification, in as far as the Poor-rate for manufacturing workmen is contributed, not by the capitalists who employ them, but by other capitalists, or by the landed interest of the country. The manufacturers of Glasgow must be undersold by those of Manchester, if the latter can hire their workmen with a bounty upon their work, in the shape of a legal provision; and, to put the capitalists in both places on a footing, the whole hardship of the difference must fall on the weavers whom they employ. To obtain an equalization, there are only two methods; either to extend the Poor-rate to Scotland, or to abolish that part of the English practice, by which the fund is made applicable to a defect of work, or to a defect of wages. We are quite satisfied, that the effect of the former method would be, to sink the whole profession, as by a death-warrant, into a state of helpless and incurable degradation—and that the effect of the latter method would be, to raise the price of weaving to the rate of allowance that is now made up of its present nominal price, and of the supplemental charity which goes to the English operative. It would ultimately work out a great and a glorious emancipation for the weavers of England; and, to Scotland, it would come with all the force and charm of an immediate deliverance. And, placed as we are, in the pestilent neighbourhood of our sister country, we would plead for this partial abolition of her whole charitable system, as the prelude to a gradual and entire abolition; so that this worthless and pernicious nuisance which her
who he was: the man, however, lost sight of him, and was obliged to return as he went. Mozart, now more than ever persuaded that he was a messenger from the other world, sent to warn him that his end was approaching, applied with fresh zeal to the Requiem; and, in spite of the exhausted state both of his mind and body, completed it before the end of the month. At the appointed day, the stranger returned ;-but Mozart was no more!
Art. V. The Rise and Progress of the City of Glasgow, com
prising an Account of its Public Buildings, Charities, and
and contains a great body of useful and curious information. Nothing, indeed, can be more interesting than an enlightened and comprehensive account of such an assemblage of human beings as are now to be found in the second-rate towns of our empire: And, when one thinks of the mighty influence of Cities, either as the organs of political sentiment, or the engines of political disturbance—when one regards the economy of their trade, and sees in living operation what that is which originates its måny and increasing fluctuations—one cannot but look on the authentic memorials of such facts as are presented to our notice in this volume, with the same sense of their utility, as we would do on the rudiments of an important science, or on the first and solid materials of any deeply interesting speculation. There is one point, however, which at this moment engrosses all that we can spare of our attention.
So late as the end of last August, when the wages for weaving were at the lowest, Mr Cleland made a survey of the employed and unemployed hand-looms of Glasgow and its immediate neighbourhood. Taking a radius of about five miles from the centre of the city, thus excluding Paisley, but em. bracing the whole suburbs, and many very populous villages, --he found 18,537 looms altogether, within the limits which we have just now specified; of which 13,281 were still working, and 5256 were, for the time, abandoned. It is to be observed, however, that, in many instances, several looms belong to one proprietor, which are wrought, in conjunction with himself
, either by journeymen, or the members of his own family; and that this, of course, reduces both the number of weaving families upon the whole, and also that number of them who had Tesigned their wonted employment.
The above statement, we are persuaded, will recommend it. self to the experience of all practical men ;-nor do we think it difficult to apprehend the rationale of it. Jen must have a subsistence for themselves and their families; and if this is only to be had through the medium of employment, men must have employment. If they cannot earn thereby a plentiful subsist. ence, they will rather put up with a scanty subsistence than have none at all. And thus it is that a surplus thousand of labourers may cheapen work, by a fraction greatly larger than the excess of their own number, over the former number of labourers ;—and thus, from the necessity of a few, may there emanate an adverse influence which will spread itself over the many—and, with a very slight importation of more hauds into a branch of industry already sufficiently occupied, may there be imported an evil so weighty, as to overbear for a time the whole profession, and to call forth from all the members of it a general outcry of apprehension and distress.
This view of the subject, if it contain in it matter of regret, that a cause so trivial should operate a mischief so extensive, contains in it also matter of consolation. As we have already travelled from the cause to the effect, we have only to travel back again from the effect to the cause; and if the cause be trivial, it may be remedied by a trivial exertion. The actual magnitude of any present or existing distress amongst a body of workmen, will not alarm us into a fear of its perpetuity, if we are right in tracing it to a cause so remediable, as to a small fractional excess in the number of these workmen. Should the addition of a thousand men on a branch of industry which affords sufficient maintenance to twenty thousand, have the effect of reducing their maintenance by one-fourth, then, when a case of such grievous reduction actually occurs, it is fair to infer, that the transference or removal of a single twentieth part of these labourers, would operate as a restorative to the comfort and circumstances of them all. And, when one thinks of the many natural securities which there are for bringing about .an adjustment of those partial and temporary differences that obtain between the demand for labour and the number of labourers, he may both admit the severity of an existing pressure, and be foremost in every sound and practicable measure for its alleviation, without reading in it the symptoms of any great national catastrophe, or losing his confidence in the stability of his country's wealth and greatness.
It is proper, however, to remark, that there are certain kinds of work where these fluctuations are far more sudden than in others -where the appearance of a given excess of hands will tell oni