Towards the end of January 1854, Charles Dickens visited the north England town of Preston to observe the effects of the Preston strike of 1853-4, which closed the cotton industry in the town for seven months. Whilst there he attended trade union and workers’ meetings. Dickens wrote about his experiences in the following article, which was first published in his own magazine Household Words on Saturday, 11 February 1854.

Travelling down to Preston a week from this date, I chanced to sit opposite to a very acute, very determined, very emphatic personage, with a stout railway rug so drawn over his chest that he looked as if he were sitting up in bed with his great coat, hat, and gloves on, severely contemplating your humble servant from behind a large blue and grey checked counterpane. In calling him emphatic, I do not mean that he was warm; he was coldly and bitingly emphatic as a frosty wind is.

“You are going through to Preston, sir?” says he, as soon as we were clear of the Primrose Hill tunnel.

The receipt of this question was like the receipt of a jerk of the nose; he was so short and sharp.


“This Preston strike is a nice piece of business!” said the gentleman. “A pretty piece of business!”

“It is very much to be deplored,” said I, “on all accounts.”

“They want to be ground. That’s what they want to bring ’em to their senses,” said the gentleman; whom I had already began to call in my own mind Mr. Snapper, and whom I may as well call by that name here as by any other. *

I deferentially enquired, who wanted to be ground?

“The hands,” said Mr. Snapper. ” The hands on strike, and the hands who help ’em.”

I remarked that if that was all they wanted, they must be a very unreasonable people, for surely they had had a little grinding, one way and another, already. Mr. Snapper eyed me with sternness, and after opening and shutting his leathern-gloved hands several times outside his counterpane, asked me abruptly, ” Was I a delegate?”

I set Mr. Snapper right on that point, and told him I was no delegate.

“I am glad to hear it,” said Mr. Snapper. “But a friend to the Strike, I believe?”

“Not at all,” said I.

“A friend to the Lock-out?” pursued Mr. Snapper.

“Not in the least,” said I,

Mr. Snapper’s rising opinion of me fell again, and he gave me to understand that a man must either be a friend to the Masters or a friend to the Hands.

“He may be a friend to both,” said I.

Mr. Snapper didn’t see that; there was no medium in the Political Economy of the subject. I retorted on Mr. Snapper, that Political Economy was a great and useful science in its own way and its own place; but that I did not transplant my definition of it from the Common Prayer Book, and make it a great king above all gods. Mr. Snapper tucked himself up as if to keep me off, folded his arms on the top of his counterpane, leaned back and looked out of the window.

“Pray what would you have, sir,” enquired Mr. Snapper, suddenly withdrawing his eyes from the prospect to me, “in the relations between Capital and Labour, but Political Economy?”

I always avoid the stereotyped terms in these discussions as much as I can, for I have observed, in my little way, that they often supply the place of sense and moderation. I therefore took my gentletnan up with tlie words employers and employed, in preference to Capital and Labour.”

“I believe,” said I, “that into the relations between employers and employed, as into all the relations of this life, there must enter something of feeling and sentiment; something of mutual explanation, forbearance, and consideration; something which is not to be found in Mr. M’CulIoch’s dictionary, and is not exactly stateable in figures; otherwise those relations are wrong and rotten at the core and will never bear sound fruit.”

Mr. Snapper laughed at me. As I thought I had just as good reason to laugh at Mr. Snapper, I did so, and we were both contented.

“Ah!” said Mr. Snapper, patting his counterpane with a hard touch. ” You know very little of the improvident and unreasoning habits of the common people, I see.”

“Yet I know something of those people too,” was my reply. ” In fact Mr. ——,” I had so nearly called him Snapper! “in fact, sir, I doubt the existence at this present time of many faults that are merely class faults. In the main, I am disposed to think that whatever faults you may find to exist, in your own neighbourhood for instance, among the hands, you will find tolerably equal in amount among the masters also, and even among the classes above the masters. They will be modified by circumstances, and they will be the less excusable among the better-educated, but they will be pretty fairly distributed. I have a strong expectation that we shall live to see the conventional adjectives now apparently inseparable from the phrases working people and lower orders, gradually fall into complete disuse for this reason.”

“Well, but we began with strikes,” Mr. Snapper observed impatiently. ” The masters have never had any share in strikes.”

“Yet I have heard of strikes once upon a time in that same county of Lancashire,” said I, ” which were not disagreeable to some masters when they wanted a pretext for raising prices.”

“Do you mean to say those masters had any hand in getting up those strikes?” asked Mr. Snapper.

“You will perhaps obtain better information among persons engaged in some Manchester branch trades, who have good memories,” said I.

Mr. Snapper had no doubt, after this, that I thought the hands had a right to combine?

“Surely,” said I. ” A perfect right to combine in any lawful manner. The fact of their being able to combine and accustomed to combine may, I can easily conceive, be a protection to them. The blame even of this business is not all on one side. I think the associated Lock-out was a grave error. And
when you Preston masters—”

I am not a Preston master,” interrupted Mr. Snapper.

“When the respectable combined body of Preston masters,” said I, ” in the beginning of this unhappy difference, laid down the principle that no man should be employed henceforth who belonged to any combination—such as their own—they attempted to carry with a high hand a partial and unfair impossibility, and were obliged to abandon it. This was an unwise proceeding, and the first defeat.”

Mr. Snapper had known, all along, that I was no friend to the masters.

“Pardon me,” said I; ” I am unfeignedly a friend to the masters, and have many friends among them.”

“Yet you think these hands in the right?” quoth Mr. Snapper.

“By no means,” said I; ” I fear they are at present engaged in an unreasonable struggle, wherein they began ill and cannot end well.”

Mr. Snapper, evidently regarding me as neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, begged to know after a pause if he might enquire whether I was going to Preston on business?

Indeed I was going there, in my unbusinesslike manner, I confessed, to look at the strike.

“To look at the strike!” echoed Mr. Snapper fixing his hat on firmly with both hands. “To look at it! Might I ask you now, with what object you are going to look at it?”

“Certainly,” said I. ” I read, even in liberal pages, the hardest Political Economy—of an extraordinary description too sometimes, and certainly not to be found in the books —as the only touchstone of this strike. I see, this very day in a to-morrow’s liberal paper, some astonishing novelties in the politico-economical way, showing how profits and wages have no connexion whatever; coupled with such references to these hands as might be made by a very irascible General to rebels and brigands in arms. Now, if it be the case that some of the highest virtues of the working people still shine through them brighter than ever in their conduct of this mistake of theirs, perhaps the fact may reasonably suggest to me—and to others besides me—that there is some little things wanting in the relations between them and their employers, which neither political economy nor Drum-head proclamation writing will altogether supply, and which we cannot too soon or too temperately unite in trying to find out.”

Mr. Snapper, after again opening and shutting his gloved hands several times, drew the counterpane higher over his chest, and went to bed in disgust. He got up at Rugby, took himself and counterpane into another carriage, and left me to pursue my journey alone.

When I got to Preston, it was four o’clock in the afternoon. The day being Saturday and market-day, a foreigner might have expected, from among so many idle and not over-fed people as the town contained, to find a turbulent, ill-conditioned crowd in the streets. But, except for the cold smokeless factory chimneys, the placards at the street corners, and the groups of working people attentively reading them, nor foreigner, nor Englishman could have had the least suspicion that there existed any interruption to the usual labours of the place. The placards thus perused were not remarkable for their logic certainly, and did not make the case particularly clear; but, considering that they emanated from, and were addressed to, people who had been out of employment for three-and-twenty consecutive weeks, at least they had little passion in them though they had not much reason. Take the worst I could find:


“Accept the grateful thanks of twenty thousand struggling Operatives, for the help you have showered upon Preston since the present contest commenced.

“Your kindness and generosity, your patience and long-continued support, deserve every praise, and are only equalled by the heroic and determined perseverance of the outraged and insulted factory workers of Preston, who have been struggling for some months, and are, at this inclement season of the year, bravely battling for the rights of themselves and the whole toiling community.

*’ For many years before the strike took place at Preston, the Operatives were the down trodden and insulted serfs of their Employers, who in times of good trade and general prosperity, wrung from their labour a California of gold, which is now being used to crush those who created it, still lower and lower in the scale of civilization. This has been the result of our commercial prosperity!—more wealth for the rich and more poverty for the Poor! Because the workpeople of Preston protested against this state of things,—because they combined in a fair and legitimate way for the purpose of getting a reasonable share of the reward of their own labour, the fair dealing Employers of Preston, to their eternal ‘shame and disgrace, locked up their Mills, and at one fell swoop deprived, as they thought, from twenty to thirty thousand human beings of the means of existence. Cruelty and tyranny always defeat their own object; it was so in this case, and to the honour and credit of the working classes of this country, we have to record, that, those whom the rich and wealthy sought to destroy, the poor and industrious have protected from harm. This love of justice and hatred of wrong, is a noble feature in the character and disposition of the working man, and gives us hope that in the future, this world will become what its great Architect intended, not a place of sorrow, toil, oppression and wrong, but the dwelling place and the abode of peace, plenty, happiness and love, where avarice and all the evil passions engendered by the present system of fraud and injustice shall not have a place.

“The earth was not made for the misery of its people; intellect was not given to man to make himself and fellow creatures unhappy. No, the fruitfulness of the soil and the wonderful inventions—the result of mind—all proclaim that these things were bestowed upon us for our happiness and well-being, and not for the misery and degradation of the human race.

“It may serve the manufacturers and all who run away with the lion’s share of labour’s produce, to say that the impartial God intended that there should be a partial distribution of his blessings. But we know that it is against nature to believe, that those who plant and reap all the grain, should not have enough to make a mess of porridge; and we know that those who weave all the cloth should not want a yard to cover their persons, whilst those who never wove an inch have more calico, silks and satins, than would serve the reasonable wants of a dozen working men and their families.

“This system of giving everything to the few, and nothing to the many, has lasted long enough, and we call upon the working people of this country to be determined to establish a new and improved system—a system that shall give to all who labour, a fair share of those blessings and comforts which their toil produce; in short, we wish to see that divine precept enforced, which says, ‘ Those who will not work, shall not eat.’

“The task is before you, working men; if you think the good which would result from its accomplishment, is worth struggling for, set to work and cease not, until you have obtained the good time coming, not only for the Preston Operatives, but for yourselves as well.

By Order of the Committee.

Murphy’s Temperance Hotel, Chapel Walks,
Preston, January 24th, 1854.”

It is a melancholy thing that it should not occur to the Committee to consider what would become of themselves, their friends, and fellow operatives, if those calicoes, silks, and satins, were not worn in very large quantities; but I shall not enter into that question. As I had told my friend Snapper, what I wanted to see with my own eyes, was, how these people acted under a mistaken impression, and what qualities they showed, even at that disadvantage, which ought to be the strength and peace—not the weakness and trouble—of the community. I found, even from this literature, however, that all masters were not indiscriminately unpopular. Witness the following verses from the New Song of the Preston Strike:

“There’s Henry Hornby, of Blackburn, he is a jolly brick,
He fits the Preston masters nobly, and is very bad to trick;
He pays his hands a good price, and I hope he will never sever,
So we’ll sing success to Hornby and Blackburn for ever.

“There is another gentleman, I’m sure you’ll all lament,
In Blackburn for him they’re raising a monument,
You know his name, ’tis of great fame, it was late Eccles of honour,
May Hopwood, and Sparrow, and Hornby live for ever.

“So now it is time to finish and end my rhyme,
We warn these Preston Cotton Lords to mind for future time.
With peace and order too I hope we shall be clever,
We sing success to Stockport and Blackburn for ever.
“Now, lads, give your minds to it.”

The balance sheet of the receipts and expenditure for the twenty-third week of the strike was extensively posted. The income for that week was two thousand one hundred and forty pounds odd. Some of the contributors were poetical. As,

“Love to all and peace to the dead,
May the poor now in need never want bread.

The following poetical remonstrance was appended to the list of contributions from the Gorton district:

“Within these walls the lasses fair
Refuse to contribute their share,
Careless of duty—blind to fame,
For shame, ye lasses, oh! for shame!
Come, pay up, lasses, think what’s right,
Defend your trade with all your might;
For if you don’t the world will blame,
And cry, ye lasses, oh, for shame!
Let’s hope in future all will pay,
That Preston folks may shortly say—
That by your aid they have obtained
The greatest victory ever gained.”

Some of the subscribers veiled their names under encouraging sentiments, as Not tired yet, All in a mind. Win the day. Fraternity, and the like. Some took jocose appellations, as A stunning friend, Two to one Preston wins, Nibbling Joe, and The Donkey Driver. Some expressed themselves through their trades, as Cobbler Dick, sixpence. The tailor true, sixpence, Shoemaker, a shilling, The chirping blacksmith, sixpence, and A few of Maskery’s most feeling coachmakers, three and threepence. An old balance sheet for the fourteenth week of the Strike was headed with this quotation from MR. CARLYLE. “Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” The Elton district prefaced its report with these lines:

“Oh! ye who start a noble scheme,
   For general good designed;
Ye workers in a cause that tends
   To benefit your kind!
Mark out the path ye fain would tread,
   The game ye mean to play;
And if it be an honest one,
   Keep steadfast in your way!

“Although you may not gain at once
   The points ye most desire;
Be patient—time can wonders work;
   Plod on, and do not tire:
Obstructions, too, may crowd your path,
   In threatening, stern array;
Yet flinch not! fear not! they may prove
   Mere shadows in your way.

“Then, while there’s work for you to do,
   Stand not despairing by,
Let ‘ forward’ be the move ye make,
   Let ‘ onward’ be your cry;
And when success has crowned your plans,
   ‘Twill all your pains repay,
To see the good your labour’s done—
  Then droop not on your way.”

In this list, “Bear ye one another’s burthens,” sent one pound fifteen. ” We’ll stand to our text, see that ye love one another,” sent nineteen shillings. ” Christopher Hardman’s men again, they say they can always spare one shilling out of ten,” sent two and sixpence. The following masked threats were the worst feature in any bill I saw:

“If that fiddler at Uncle Tom’s Cabin blowing room does not pay. Punch will set his legs straight.
“If that drawer at card side and those two slubbers do not pay. Punch will say something about
their bustles, “If that winder at last shift does not pay next week, Punch will tell about her actions.”

But, on looking at this bill again, I found that it came from Bury, and related to Bury, and had nothing to do with Preston. The Masters’ placards were not torn down or disfigured, but were being read quite as attentively as those on the opposite side.

That evening, the Delegates from the surrounding districts were coming in, according to custom, with their subscription lists for the week just closed. These delegates meet on Sunday as their only day of leisure; when they have made their reports, they go back to their homes and their Monday’s work. On Sunday morning, I repaired to the Delegates’ meeting.

These assemblages take place in a cockpit, which, in the better times of our fallen land, belonged to the late Lord Derby for the purposes of the intellectual recreation implied in its name. I was directed to the cockpit up a narrow lane, tolerably crowded by the lower sort of working people. Personally, I was quite unknown in the town, but every one made way for me to pass, with great civility, and perfect good humour. Arrived at the cockpit door, and expressing my desire to see and hear, I was handed through the crowd, down into the pit; and up again, until I found myself seated on the topmost circular bench, within one of the secretary’s table, and within three of the chairman. Behind the chairman was a great crown on the top of a pole, made of parti-colored calico, and strongly suggestive of May-day. There was no other symbol or ornament in the place.

It was hotter than any mill or factory I have ever been in; but there was a stove down in the sanded pit, and delegates were seated close to it, and one particular delegate often warmed his hands at it, as if he were chilly. The air was so intensely close and hot, that at first I had but a confused perception of the delegates down in the pit, and the dense crowd of eagerly listening men and women (but not very many of the latter) filling all the benches and choking such narrow standing-room as there was. When the atmosphere cleared a little on better acquaintance, I found the question under discussion to be, Whether the Manchester Delegates in attendance from the Labour Parliament, should he heard?

If the Assembly, in respect of quietness and order were put in comparison with the House of Commons, the Right Honourable the Speaker himself would decide for Preston. The chairman was a Preston weaver, two or three and fifty years of age, perhaps; a man with a capacious head, rather long dark hair growing at the sides and back, a placid attentive face, keen eyes, a particularly composed manner, a quiet voice, and a persuasive action of his right arm. Now look’ee heer my friends. See what t’ question is. T’ question is, sholl these heer men be heerd. Then ‘t cooms to this, what ha’ these men got t’ tell us? Do they bring money? If they bring mooney t’ords t’expences o’ this strike, they’re welcome. For, Brass, my friends, is what we want, and what we must ha’ (hear, hear, hear!). Do they coom to us wi’ any suggestion for the conduct of this strike? If they do, they’re welcome. Let ’em give us their advice and we will hearken to ‘t. But, if these men coom heer, to tell us what t’ Labour Parliament is, or what Ernest Jones’s opinions is, or t’bring in politics and differences among us when what we want is ‘armony, brotherly love, and con-cord; then I say ‘t you, decide for yoursel’ carefully, whether these men ote to be heerd in this place. (Hear hear hear! and No no no!) Chairman sits down, earnestly regarding delegates, and holding both arms of his chair. Looks extremely sensible; his plain coarse working man’s shirt collar easily turned down over his loose Belcher neckerchief. Delegate who has moved that Manchester delegates be heard, presses motion—Mr. Chairman, will that delegate tell us, as a man, that these men have anything to say concerning this present strike and lock-out, for we have a deal of business to do, and what concerns this present strike and lock-out is our business and nothing else is. (Hear hear hear!)—Delegate in question will not compromise the fact; these men want to defend the Labour Parliament from certain charges made against them.—Very well, Mr. Chairman, Then I move as an amendment that you do not hear these men now, and that you proceed wi’ business—and if you don’t I’ll look after you, I tell you that. (Cheers and laughter)—Coom lads, prove ‘t then!—Two or three hands for the delegates; all the rest for the business. Motion lost, amendment carried, Manchester deputation not to be heard.

But now, starts up the delegate from Throstletown in a dreadful state of mind. Mr. Chairman, I hold in my hand a bill; a bill that requires and demands explanation from you, sir; an offensive bill; a bill posted in my town of Throstletown without my knowledge, without the knowledge of my fellow delegates who are here beside me; a bill purporting to be posted by the authority of  the massed committee sir, and of which my fellow delegates and myself were kept in ignorance. Why are we to be slighted? Why are we to be insulted? Why are we to be meanly stabbed in the dark? Why is this assassin-like course of conduct to be pursued towards us? Why is Throstletown, which has nobly assisted you, the operatives of Preston, in this great struggle, and which has brought its contributions up to the full sevenpence a loom, to be thus degraded, thus aspersed, thus traduced, thus despised, thus outraged in its. Feelings by un-English and unmanly conduct? Sir, I hand you up that bill, and I require of you, sir, to give me a satisfactory explanation of that bill. And I have that confidence in your known integrity, sir, as to be sure that you will give it, and that you will tell us who is to blame, and that you will make reparation to Throstletown for this scandalous treatment. Then, in hot blood, up starts Grutfshaw (professional speaker) who is somehow responsible for this bill. O my friends, but explanation is required here! O my friends, but it is fit and right that you should have the dark ways of the real traducers and apostates, and the real un-English stabbers, laid bare before you. My friends, when this dark conspiracy first began—But here the persuasive right hand of the chairman falls gently on Gruffshaw’s shoulder. Gruffshaw stops in full boil. My friends, these are hard words of my friend Gruffshaw, and this is not the business—No more it is, and once again, sir, I, the delegate who said I would look after you, do move that you proceed to business!—Preston has not the strong relish for personal altercation that Westminster hath. Motion seconded and carried, business passed to, Gruffshaw dumb.

Perhaps the world could not afford a more remarkable contrast than between the deliberate collected manner of these men proceeding with their business, and the clash and hurry of the engines among which their lives are passed. Their astonishing fortitude and perseverance; their high sense of honour among themselves; the extent to which they are impressed with the responsibility that is upon them of setting a careful example, and keeping their order out of any harm and loss of reputation; the noble readiness in them to help one another, of which most medical practitioners and working clergymen can give so many affecting examples; could scarcely ever be plainer to an ordinary observer of human nature than in this cockpit. To hold for a minute, that the great mass of them were not sincerely actuated by the belief that all these qualities were bound up in what they were doing, and that they were doing right, seemed to me little short of an impossibility. As the different delegates (some in the very dress in which they had left the mill last night) reported the amounts sent from the various places they represented, this strong faith on their parts seemed expressed in every tone and every look that was capable of expressing it. One man was raised to enthusiasm by his pride in bringing so much; another man was ashamed and depressed because he brought so little; this man triumphantly made it known that he could give you from the store in hand, a hundred pounds in addition next week, if you should want it; and that man pleaded that he hoped his district would do better before long; but I could as soon have doubted the existence of the walls that enclosed us, as the earnestness with which they spoke (many of them referring to the children who were to be born to labour after them) of ” this great, this noble, gallant, godlike struggle.” Some designing and turbulent spirits among them, no doubt there are; but I left the place with a profound conviction that their mistake is generally an honest one, and that it is sustained by the good that is in them, and not by the evil.

Neither by night nor by day was there any interruption to the peace of the streets. Nor was this an accidental state of things, for the police records of the town are eloquent to the same effect. I traversed the streets very much, and was, as a stranger, the subject of a little curiosity among the idlers; but I met with no rudeness or ill-temper. More than once, when I was looking at the printed balance-sheets to which I have referred, and could not quite comprehend the setting forth of the figures, a bystander of the working class interposed with his explanatory forefinger and helped me out. Although the pressure in the cockpit on Sunday was excessive, and the heat of the room obliged me to make my way out as I best could before the close of the proceedings, none of the people whom I put to inconvenience showed the least impatience; all helped me, and all cheerfully acknowledged my word of apology as I passed. It is very probable, notwithstanding, that they may have supposed from my being there at all—I and my companion were the only persons present, not of their own order—that I was there to carry what I heard and saw to the opposite side; indeed one speaker seemed to intimate as much.

On the Monday at noon, I returned to this cockpit, to see the people paid. It was then about half filled, principally with girls and women. They were all seated, waiting, with nothing to occupy fheir attention; and were just in that state when the unexpected appearance of a stranger differently dressed from themselves, and with his own individual peculiarities of course, might, without offence, have had something droll in it even to more polite assemblies. But I stood there, looking on, as free from remark, as if I had come to be paid with the rest. In the place which the secretary had occupied yesterday, stood a dirty little common table, covered with five- penny piles of halfpence. Before the paying began, I wondered who was going to receive these very small sums; but when it did begin, the mystery was soon cleared up. Each of these piles was the change for sixpence, deducting a penny. All who were paid, in filing round the building to prevent confusion, had to pass this table on the way out; and the greater part of the unmarried girls stopped here, to change each a sixpence, and subscribe her weekly penny in aid of the people on strike who had families. A very large majority of these girls and women were comfortably dressed in all respects, clean, wholesome and pleasant-looking. There was a prevalent neatness and cheerfulness, and an almost ludicrous absence of anything like sullen discontent.

Exactly the same appearances were observable on the same day, at a not numerously attended open air meeting in “Chadwick’s Orchard”—which blossoms in nothing but red bricks. Here, the chairman of yesterday presided in a cart, from which speeches were delivered. The proceedings commenced with the following sufficiently general and discursive hymn, given out by a workman from Burnley, and sung in long metre by the whole audience:

“Assembled beneath thy broad blue sky,
To thee, O God, thy children cry.
Thy needy creatures on Thee call,
For thou art great and good to all.

“Thy bounty smiles on every side.
And no good thing hast thou denied;
But men of wealth and men of power,
Like locusts all our gifts devour.

“Awake, ye sons of toil! nor sleep
While millions starve, while millions weep;
Demand your rights; let tyrants see
you are resolved that you’ll be free.”

Mr. Hollins’s Sovereign Mill was open all this time. It is a very beautiful mill, containing a large amount of valuable machinery, to which some recent ingenious improvements have been added. Four hundred people could find employment in it; there were eighty-five at work, of whom five had ” come in” that morning. They looked, among the vast array of motionless power-looms, like a few remaining leaves in a wintry forest. They were protected by the police (very prudently not obtruded on the scenes I have described), and were stared at every day when they came out, by a crowd which had never been large in reference to the numbers on strike, and had diminished to a score or two. One policeman at the door sufficed to keep order then. These eighty-five were people of exceedingly decent appearance, chiefly women, and were evidently not in the least uneasy for themselves. I heard of one girl among them, and only one, who had been hustled and struck in a dark street.

In any aspect in which it can be viewed, this strike and lock-out is a deplorable calamity. In its waste of time, in its waste of a great people’s energy, in its waste of wages, in its waste of wealth that seeks to be employed, in its encroachment on the means of many thousands who are labouring from day to day, in the gulf of separation it hourly deepens between those whose interests must be understood to be identical or must be destroyed, it is a great national affliction. But, at this pass, anger is of no use, starving out is of no use—for what will that do, five years hence, but overshadow all the mills in England with the growth of a bitter remembrance? —political economy is a mere skeleton unless it has a little human covering and filling out, a little human bloom upon it, and a little human warmth in it. Gentlemen are found, in great manufacturing towns, ready enough to extol imbecile mediation with dangerous madmen abroad; can none of them be brought to think of authorised mediation and explanation at home? I do not suppose that such a knotted difficulty as this, is to be at all untangled by a morning-party in the Adelphi; but I would entreat both sides now so miserably opposed, to consider whether there are no men in England above suspicion, to whom they might refer the matters in dispute, with a perfect confidence above all things in the desire of those men to act justly, and in their sincere attachment to their countrymen of every rank and to their country. Masters right, or men right; masters wrong, or men wrong; both right, or both wrong; there is certain ruin to both in the continuance or frequent revival of this breach. And from the ever-widening circle of their decay, what drop in the social ocean shall be free!