We cannot conclude without a few reflections upon the results of the evils we have considered. The mass of the working classes, not only in London but our great towns, are wretchedly lodged, the distinctions of sex confounded,-a system sanctioned which overthrows all the decencies of life and fosters immorality. Are you surprised after this that women are thought marriageable with damaged reputations? that previous offences against chastity on the part of the woman are lightly regarded, not considered a subject of reproach? that men degenerate – love of truth, the foundation of all morality, grows weak – that they become indifferent to religion, that they rail against Divine and human laws, as though both were answerable for the ills under which they suffer? that infidelity is rife among the male part of the working classes? that lecturers in different parts of the town fan this discontent, endeavour to root out their attachment to Divine or human ordinances? that, under the cloak of lectures on science, their political grievances are magnified, our system of government decried, and men’s worst passions roused by the invectives of artful demagogues? that schools are established for the rising gene-[-224-]ration in connection with these hot-beds of sedition? that on the Sunday Chartist orators harangue? that there is a sullen feeling of discontent brooding among our working classes? that they lack the power, not the will, to overthrow the institutions of the country? that for several years pamphlets of a revolutiouary character have issued from the press? that sedition and blasphemy have formed a close alliance, and that men are banded together to upset the religious as well as political establishments of the country? We say not that they have made great progress, for our national character is on the whole fond of order, averse to commotion, patient long, and bearing much, yet these things should not be forgotten. We say not that the disposition of the nation at large is revolutionary. We are, perhaps, more secure against such attempts than any nation in Europe; but of what nature is our security? Some will say our safety lies in our army faithful to its trust; is this a proper ground for security in a nation whose form of government is popular? Has not the liberal party, ever since the times of Cromwell, lifted up its voice, at first against the establishment, ever since against the increase of a standing army? have they not professed to regard a large military force as fatal to the liberties of the country, and is it right to rely upon the fidelity of our army alone, as standing between us and popular disturbances?
Yet some will say that our middle classes, not our army, are the Palladium of the country; that the moral and physical force of an intelligent, wealthy, loyal, [-225-] powerful middle class, is the best defence of our country. We are not inclined to question this; we will admit, if you will, that, if there had not been a soldier in the country on the famous 10th of April, 1848, we could have stood our ground. Nevertheless, The Times, not usually the organ of alarmists, conceived that we were preserved from an outbreak, because the Liberals held the reins of government, and the sympathies of the middle classes were with them. Would the result, think you, have been different had ministers persisted in carrying out their plan for an increased Income Tax? Thus you reduce our liability to popular commotion, to the chances of support afforded to our government by the middle classes. But suppose a case where this influential body was divided, indifferent, sullen, disgusted – not, we admit, a very likely case, considering the property at stake – and suppose also any unforeseen combination to arise, and recollect we have had too many such in Europe during the last few years, the stability of our institutions would be endangered, though they might be tough enough to work through the convulsion; new elements have been brought into the field, and we must expect new combinations.
So thought Dr. Arnold, a man whose mind was essentially an historical one ; and so thought Lord Byron, whose poetical works were accompanied with notes indicating much foresight and discrimination. In one of these notes, appended to the four-volume edition of 1829, he thus writes :- “The Government may exult [-226-] over the repression of petty tumults; these are but the receding waves repulsed, and broken for a moment on the shore, while the great tide is still rolling on, and gaining ground with every breaker.” So thought Wilberforce, no mean judge,-so thinks his eloquent and far-sighted biographer, Sir James Steven, who thus records the misgivings of that celebrated philanthropist:- “Wealth,” says he “such as avarice had scarcely pictured in her dreams, was accumulated in the centres of mechanical industry; and the higher class of English society, commercial as well as noble, revelled in a sumptuousness of living, for which a description or an example could be found nowhere but in the fabulous East. Yet, behind this brilliant spectacle, his prescience saw the lowering of that storm, the approach of which is now confessed by the forebodings of every thoughtful man in Europe; his meditations and his discourse continually pointed to the still widening gulph between the two extremes of English society; he mourned over the coming conflict between vice, ignorance, poverty, and discontent, on the one hand, – and selfishness, sensuality, hardness of heart, and corruption, on the other-between our loathsome cellars and our luxurious palaces.”
Whilst these Rookeries remain, there must be something rotten in the state of Denmark; and we cannot forbear to recollect that some of the greatest convulsions which have shaken Europe at different times have had their origin in social discontent. We say not that the [-227-] popular indignation has always triumphed, or that the stability of the governments under which these seditions occurred has always been sacrificed; we merely indicate the source whence they arose. A review of some of these will not be an unfitting conclusion or moral for the present work; if it be nothing else, as an historical essay it may interest many.
In reading history, few things strike us more than the historical parallels which so frequently suggest themselves. Certain phenomena distinguish a particular reign, period, or century ; certain peculiar features characterise an epoch, give it an idiosyncrasy, and these features belong not to one country, but are rather common to several nations, so that men speak of the European mind being engaged in a particular object, or the fortunes of Europe as affected by a series of events in which each nation had a common interest. We do not mean to say that as, in the decline of the Roman Empire, you have first a series of convulsions which uprooted all the ancient institutions of the Empire, then an age of conquests, then an age of chivalry, then succeeds the feudal age, then the age of charters and municipalities, then the age of revivals, then the age of popular risings, and the like ;-but that the history of different nations is connected together by closer bonds, and more intimate associations than these, and that the coming events of a future generation have been typified in the experience of times gone by. Thus Europe, not a single country, has been the scene of several distinct [-228-] convulsions, which have modified, changed, and, at times, uprooted forms of government and political conditions; there is a wonderful similarity between the progress of popular discontent and its outbreaks, whether we consider the history of the fourteenth or the eighteenth centuries; such revolutions have not been confined to any particular country, they have extended throughout the whole range of modern civilisation, as though several nations had only one pulse, which beat with a like throbbing. Thus a particular age has been marked by great commotions, and these have extended throughout a great part of Europe, instead of being confined to a particular nation. Thus, again, the same features of popular discontent and outbreak have been reproduced after the lapse of centuries, as though certain changes in the history of our quarter of the globe must succeed one another in regular order, and after a certain time. We do not wonder that such an impulse should extend itself in an age of intelligence like our own,-the press, the railroads, steam-ships, and constant exchange of information, knit nations together, and the account of what has taken place in one country soon finds its way to that of its neighbours, yet the simultaneous movement of the European mind has not been confined to our times, it has been discernible for many centuries.
Another parallel cannot escape him who reads history in a discerning spirit. Two kingdoms have alike suffered at the same time from popular commotions; although these commotions, originating in very similar causes, [-229-] have not had in each case the same results, still the parallel does not fail us even here. One nation has passed through a particular trial earlier than its neighbour, but the latter has not escaped the probation. Similar incidents to those which distinguished the political fortunes of the one have been repeated, after the lapse of more than a century, in the annals of the other. Thus Charles I., upholding the remnants of the feudal system, perished in 1649 – was succeeded by a military dictator – a restoration followed; and his son, who had not profited by the misfortunes of his father, was exiled within forty years of the death of Charles I. Louis XVI. fell beneath the guillotine in 1793; within forty years his brother was driven from the throne, the nation in the interval having experienced a dictator’s rule. In both cases the first revolution was sanguinary – followed by civil conflicts, coerced at length by the successful head of the army; in neither case did they who were brought back to the throne of their fathers, learn or forget anything in exile. The second revolution was of a much milder character in each kingdom than its forerunner, well nigh bloodless, and the monarchs who succeeded those that were banished connected closely with the royal family, and coming in with a promise of large popular concessions ; and had the life of William III. been spared as was that of Louis Philippe, it is not improbable that he would have passed the remnant of his days in exile, for he soon lost his popularity. The reign of his successor was cut short by the political intrigues [-230-] which weighed on her spirits, – was disgraced more than any period of our annals by political rivalries and party tactics. Thus Blenheim was to England a barren field; the triumphs which saddened the closing years of the Grand Monarque neutralised by the jealousy of a faction, and two formidable insurrections made the foundations of the throne rock ere many years had passed.
But the parallel we are most interested in, is that between the popular commotions which disturbed the reign of Richard II. and the contemporary disturbances of France and Flanders. During the latter part of the reign of Edward III., the father of Richard, the first symptoms of revolt against the hardships of the feudal system began to show themselves in France. The peasants felt themselves aggrieved – the unhappy state of the country during the wars with the English, no doubt aggravated the distress of the peasantry-they assembled together in large numbers, headed by a peasant whom they called Jacques Bonhomme. They attacked and plundered several castles of the nobility, under pretence of avenging their wrongs; their numbers soon increased to six thousand. Old Froissart tells us that, at length, after several successful expeditions, they were attacked and defeated by the royal forces, “yet that, at this time, they were so much increased in number, that, had they been altogether, they would have amounted to one hundred thousand. When they were asked for what reason they acted so wickedly, they replied they knew not, but that they did so because they saw others [-231-] do it, and they thought that by this means they should destroy all the nobles and gentlemen in the world.” Froissart habitually passes over the social inequalities of the times, and makes light of the slaughter of peasants and others of this class, being only alive to the chivalrous influences of the age, the daring of knights, the heroism of princes. There is no doubt that these assemblages of working men were provoked by their poverty, and a sense of the injuries which they sustained at the hands of their feudal landlords. This insurrection was the first protest made by the peasantry against the feudal system, yet so little were they ambitious of political privileges, that they were generally called into the field to aid their lord in his struggles with the municipal towns.
Not many years after this the famous Wat Tyler insurrection broke out in England. Froissart tells us, “that the evil disposed in Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Bedford, (although he admits that they were much injured,) began to rise, saying, they were too severely oppressed; that at the beginning of the world there were no slaves, and that no one ought to be treated as such, unless he had committed treason against his lord, as Lucifer had done against God; that they had done no such things, for they were neither angels nor spirits, but men formed after the same likeness as their lords, who treated them like beasts; but they had determined to be free, and, if they laboured or did any other works for their lords, they would be paid for it.”
[-232-] Their leader, a priest named John Ball, thus addressed them:- “My good friends, things cannot go on well in England, and never will, until every thing shall be in common, when there shall neither be vassal nor lord, and all distinctions levelled; when the lords shall be no more masters than ourselves. How ill they have used us, and for what reason do they hold us in bondage? Are we not all descended from the same parents – Adam and Eve? and what can they show, or what reasons can they give why they should be more masters than ourselves, except, perhaps, in making us work and labour for them to spend? They are clothed in velvet and rich stuffs, ornamented with ermine and other furs, while we are forced to wear poor cloth; they have wines, spices, and fine bread, when we have only rye and the refuse of straw, and if we drink it must be water; they have handsome seats and manors, when we must brave the wind and ram in our labours in the field; but it is from our labour they have wherewith to support their pomp. We are called slaves, and if we do not perform our services we are beaten, and we have not any sovereign to whom we can complain, or who wishes to hear us and do us justice. Let us go to the king who is young, and remonstrate with him on our servitude, telling him we must have it otherwise, or that we shall find a remedy for it ourselves. If we wait on him in a body, all those who are called slaves, or are in bondage, will follow us in the hope of being free. [-233-] When the king shall see us, we shall obtain a favourable answer, or we must then seek ourselves to amend our condition.”
To this period belong the well-known lines which were the rallying cry of the insurgents:-
“When Adam delved, and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman?”
This extract sufficiently shows the spirit of this great rebellion, which was not put down before many ravages had been committed.
Froissart, speaking of the great Flemish Rebellion, about the same time, after relating the defeat of the Commons, under Philip Van Artavelde, sufficiently explains the cause of the war, when he adds, “This event was very honourable to all Christendom, as well to the nobility and gentry; for, had these low bred peasants succeeded, there would have been unheard of cruelties practised, to the destruction of all gentlemen, by the common people, who had everywhere risen in rebellion.”
Mr. Hallam has an interesting note appended to his sketch of this period in his “History of the Middle Ages; it is as follows:-
“The Flemish Rebellion, which originated in an attempt, suggested by bad advisers to the Court, to impose a tax upon the people of Ghent, without their consent, is related in a very interesting manner by Froissart, who equals Herodotus in simplicity, liveliness, and power over the heart. I would advise the [-234-] historical student to acquaint himself with these transactions, and with the corresponding tumults at Paris-they are among the eternal lessons of history; for the unjust encroachments of courts, the intemperate passions of the multitude, the ambition of demagogues, the cruelty of victorious factions will never cease to have their parallels and analogies, while the military achievements of distant times afford in general no instruction, and can hardly occupy too little of our time in historical studies. To the example of the Gantois (or men of Ghent), Froissart ascribes the tumults which broke out about the same time in England as well as in France. The Flemish insurrection would probably have had more important consequences, if it had been cordially supported by the English government. But the danger of encouraging that democratical spirit which so strongly leavened the Commons of England, might justly be deemed by Richard the Second’s Council, much more than a counter-balance to the advantage of distressing France.”
We need scarcely, en passant, refer to the very serious commotions which took place in the reign of Henry VIII., a similar peasant insurrection having broken out about the same time in Germany, in which the famous Gotz von Berlichingen, of Goethe, distinguished himself so much. Speaking of this peasant war, Menzel tells us, – “The condition of the peasantry had greatly deteriorated during the past century. The nobility had [-235-] bestowed the chief part of their wealth on the church, and dissipated the remainder at court. Luxury had also greatly increased, and the peasant was consequently laden with feudal dues of every description, to which were added their ill treatment by the men- at- arms, and mercenaries maintained at their expense; the damage done by the game, the destruction of the crops by the noble followers of the chase, and, finally, the extortions practised by the new law offices, the wearisome written proceedings, and impoverishment consequent upon law suits. The German peasant, despised and enslaved, could no longer seek refuge from the tyranny of his liege in the cities, where the reception of fresh suburbans was strictly prohibited, and where the citizen, enervated by wealth and luxury, instead of siding with the peasant, imitated the noble and viewed him with contempt.” Much of this was owing to the extravagant lengths to which fanatics wished to carry the Reformation, but much also to the depressed state and great poverty of the peasantry. This is evident from some of the demands made by them in the Twelve Articles, as they are called, presented in their petition for a redress of grievances.
The Second Article is as follows:- “That the dues paid by the peasantry were to be abolished, with the exception of the tithes ordained by God for the maintenance of the clergy, the surplus of which was to be applied to general purposes, and to the maintenance of the poor.”
[-236-] The Fourth and Fifth.- “The right of cutting wood in the forests, hunting, fishing, fowling. Sixth and Eighth.- The modification of soccage and average service; the modification of the rent upon feudal lands, by which a part of the profit would be secured to the occupant. Eleventh.-The abolition of dues on the death of the serf, by which the widows and orphans were deprived of their right.”
In England, the abolition of monasteries had deprived the poor of their usual refuge in times of distress, and stung by poverty, goaded by the withdrawal of their customary aids, they took up arms to redress their wrongs. So great was the distress, that the famous poor law of the 43rd of Elizabeth was enacted for their relief, when other intermediate measures had fallen to the ground.
The great revolutions of England and France grew out of financial difficulties; the frequent applications of Charles I. to his Parliament for subsidies were met by their determined opposition; and his endeavours to levy ship money and other duties, the proximate cause of the outbreak which followed. In the case of France, however, it was not only the accumulation of monetary embarrasments, but rather the smouldering discontent of the masses, which eventually brought on the revolution. Had other causes been wanting, had there been no struggle between Great Britain and her American colonies, no encyclopaedists, that revolution would have come. Louis XV. only hoped that the storm would be postponed till his death, and Lord Chesterfield, forty [-237-] years before, had predicted what followed. ” In short,” he writes, ” all the symptoms which I have ever met with in history, previous to great changes and revolutions in government, now exist, and daily increase, in France* [* CHESTERFIELD’S Letters, Dec. 25, 1753.] .” Taxes there were, large taxes, but the peasants paid them, the nobles were nearly exempt; thus the rallying cry so fearfully distinct,- “Peace to the cottage, war to the chateau.” You cannot read the history of these times without remarking this.
Arthur Young, the celebrated agriculturist, published an account of a tour made by him just before, and during the period when the revolution broke out. He was a plain practical man, more the farmer than the politician, much better pleased to describe crops, grasses, cattle, farming instruments, and the like,. than to moralise over the fate of nations. Perhaps on this account he is a better guide; he had no very strong political bias towards liberal views to influence him,-no favourite theory to maintain, in what he wrote. On the contrary, he was a Tory of the old school, the decided enemy of reform. He published a pamphlet, in which he dealt roughly with Major Cartwright, Tom Paine, and other worthies of that class ; venting antiquated anathemas against them, muttering venerable grand-papaisms, like others of his day, terrified by the French Revolution, and fearing lest the infection should spread, watching the germs of the Irish Rebellion, and foretelling, from the g atherings and speechifyings of the manufacturing [-238-] districts, a similar outbreak in England. lie calculates that in 1789, the year when the revolution broke out, the rural labourer in France, taking into view the price of provisions, was seventy-six per cent, poorer than in England, – that is, he had seventy-six per cent. less of the necessaries of life than fell to the lot of a similar class in this country. “With very few exceptions, their houses dark and comfortless, and almost destitute of furniture, their dress ragged and miserable, their food the coarsest and most humble fare.”
In addition, says Mr. Alison, to an indigent peasantry, France was cursed with its usual attendant – a nonresident body of landed proprietors. This was an evil of the first magnitude, drawing after it, as is always the case, a discontented tenantrv, and a neglected country.
Arthur Young, writing in 1787, says that, ” in Montauban, the poor people seem poor indeed, the children terribly ragged – if possible, worse clad than if with no clothes at all; as to shoes and stockings, they are luxuries. In another place, he speaks of meeting with a poor woman, who told him that her husband had but a morsel of land, one cow, and a poor little horse; yet he had forty-two pounds of wheat and three chickens to pay as quit rent to one Seigneur, and one hundred and sixty-eight pounds of oats, one chicken, &c., to pay another, besides very heavy tailles and other taxes.”
“In one district, all the women and girls are without shoes and stockings, and the ploughmen at their work [-239-] without shoes or sabots or feet to their stockings; the poor people’s habitations are miserable heaps of dirt, – no glass, and scarcely any light, but they have earth chimnies. And, in another place, on the borders of Brittany, husbandry not much advanced, the people almost as wild as the country, and their town one of the most brutal filthy places that can be seen; mud houses, no windows, and a pavement so broken as to impede all passengers, but ease none.” You cannot read the journal of this eminent agriculturist without meeting with remarks in every chapter of this kind, – of the wretched food and miserable habitations of the poor, and this, too, when the condition of the farms, and system of farming, were his more immediate object. Thus, he says,- “The houses and cottages of wood, filled between the studs with clay or bricks, and not covered with slate, but tile, with some barns boarded like those of Suffolk; the fields are scenes of pitiable management, as the houses are of misery; yet all this country-highly improvable if they knew what to do with it-the property, perhaps, of some of those glittering beings who figured in the procession the other day at Versailles. One opinion pervaded the whole country (1787), that they are on the eve of some great revolution in the government.”
Was it not this – the degraded social condition of the labourer-that made him a tool in the hands of the anarchist? Do you suppose that a man-badly educated, little conversant even with the course of events – became [-240-] a political enthusiast, – that he could enter into nice distinctions between hereditary monarchy and republican government? Is it not, rather, the case of the patient, sick with an inveterate malady, he gains no relief from the regular practitioner, and at length, as a last hope, in the very despair of his heart, resorts to the empiric? The working classes had lived in the midst of contrasts the most appalling: they had seen rents rigidly exacted and thoughtlessly squandered, – they who resided in the capital were scandalised by the excesses which marked the age,-they who tilled the soil of the provinces, felt that the wealth wrung from their labours was withdrawn to be squandered by their landlords,-they knew what the country produced, and how little their share in the plenty which others abused: the revolution promised a change; in that change was hope. If it failed, what did they lose ? if it succeeded, they would enjoy their own. The historical student can afford to smile at such aspirations; seldom has the wild tempest of a revolution swept across a land and left anything except the traces of havoc and desolation; and the greatest social and political blessings have been achieved by moderate reforms. But can you teach the mass this? Are not the victims of poverty the victims of recklessness and impulse, catching at any gratification, however short-lived, which promises forgetfulness of their woes ? And, can you hope to check this, when men vaunt political milleniums, and glow with visions of the plenty which is to fill the hungry stomachs around them?
[-241-] In truth, poverty is a strange thing; the poverty, not the will consenting, so well brought out by the great Master of the human heart. At one time it presses so, that men seem to lose the freedom of the will, and to resign themselves to the current, not caring where it bears them, to be content to drift down the tide without an effort to escape the ruin which is before them: at another, it makes them the tools of the designing, as though they lent themselves willingly to the delusion, hopeless though they knew it to be, which prompted hope. You may tell him who is the victim of such a condition of being, that anarchy will profit him nothing; you may prove that the expenses of the state during the reign of terror doubled the expenditure of the mild and retiring Louis XVI.; that the conscription under Napoleon entailed upon the peasantry a burden which preyed upon them to an extent unparalleled during the history of France. But men who have been trained under the discipline, and imbibed the habits which Rookeries foster, do not reason when their hearts have been long seared; and even if they did, there is enough of real suffering around them; the injustice of the present system is palpable enough to give a show of truth to the railings of the demagogue. Old Hooker could write, about the end of the sixteenth century,- “He that goeth about to persuade a multitude that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers; [-242-] because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject; but the secret lets and difficulties which, in public proceedings, are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider; and because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of state are taken for principal friends, to the common benefit of all, and for men that carry singular freedom of mind; under this fair and plausible colour, whatsoever they utter passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech is supplied by the aptness of men’s minds to accept and believe it.”
The French peasantry lived in mud hovels; yet around them rose those glorious old chateaus, some of which are still standing, the relics of different ages, the strongholds of power and feudal greatness, the palaces of that golden age of nobles – the age of Louis XIV.,-all speaking of riches, and power, and many retainers; pomp and splendour sadly contrasted with the ruined dwellings of the peasant: and then the duties, whose name was legion, and laws, some of which, from their severity, would seem to have been rather the fictions of the romancer, than the records of history: do you wonder that the revolution swept, like the blast of the destroying angel, over the devoted land,-that chateaus were first pillaged, then given up to the flames, whilst memory would drop a veil over the excesses which accompanied the havoc?
It will be urged that we are exceeding the bounds we had assigned to our lucubrations, – that we are concerned with one form of evil, when popular outbreaks are the offsprings of accumulated injuries. Still, Rookeries are seldom tolerated where other evils have been long banished. They would cease to be, were landlords mindful of the duties property entails-were they who pay their share in the taxation allowed a fair share in the councils of the nation. Rookeries never stand alone; if they were the only cause of complaint, their very isolation would be their death-warrant. If our boast be well founded, that we have brought our Constitution near to perfection, it is very evident that the working classes have not the benefit of the change. You say that England had long ago, by wise reforms, anticipated the changes brought about by bloodshed in France, – that that we are far in advance of any country in Europe, our institutions more liberal, our government more sensitive to the popular wants, the voice of the people more audible than in any other corner of the world. We are not inclined to contest this, inasmuch as the question itself demands a close investigation, and one so elaborate, that we are unequal to it. Still it is forgotten that laws have not taken cognizance of many offences against the welfare of the mass, yet that these very offences may have eaten deep into the hearts of the sufferers. A nation may be governed by an oligarchy, though the form of government be republican, for so it was in the days of the Italian Republics; Florence under the Medici, Venice [-244-] and others are instances of it, and revolutions may break out under a system of institutions whose very motto is freedom. For these very institutions may retain a place in the statute book, when they have long been practically ignored; the changing circumstances of the age may make them of non-effect, and several classes unwittingly combine to keep them in the background. No great political change took place between the Revolution of 1688 and the Reform Bill; still you would not say that the exercise of the political franchise was equally effective during the reigns of the different sovereigns who held the sceptre in that interval, or that the popular voice was heard with the same distinctness in the reigns of William of Orange and George III.
Our argument rather is, that Rookeries are among the seeds of Revolutions; that, taken in connection with other evils, they poison the minds of the working classes against the powers that be, and thus lead to convulsions; and seldom, we repeat it, are such evils found alone; the spirit of justice, which regarded the claims of labour in other respects, would scarcely doom the working man to crowded dwellings and a forfeiture of the commonest blessings God has given us : nor are recent events wanting in the same conclusions.
From the days of the Gracchi till now, the working classes have been turbulent in proportion to their wants; in some cases they have originated commotions,-or if it be not so, it seldom happens that leaders, demagogues, are wanting. Certain disappointed candidates for forensic or legislative honours,-authors, men whose imagination is stronger than their judgment,-men troubled with an unhappy, more than Irish, fluency of speech,-persons, whose ill-success in the occupation which they originally took up has disgusted them, and who suppose they have a destiny to fulfil,- needy men, envious men, vain, ambitious men,-men weary of toil, with an unhealthy distaste for business, or routine, are never wanting. Not seldom the leaders are men fired with a nobler enthusiasm, whom success enrols in the list of patriots, – men scandalised by the real injuries which the working class endures,- men eager for the renovation of their species,-optimists, if you will, yet optimists from sympathy.
Thus, when civil commotions stir the State, these tools are ready at hand. A burst of discontent is confirmed into a radical revolution; the movement loses its first vagueness, has a character, a name, an end; aims at a special reform, the removal of a special grievance, and the words “liberty, equality, and fraternity, have their utterance in national wages, and national workshops.
We are but just emerging from an European revolution,-it may be questioned whether we have emerged,- the agents of change may be recruiting their forces, preparing for some future and better conceived campaign. The revolutions took us by surprise, there were few harbingers of their coming – all seemed profound peace – there had been no fierce battling for popular rights – no smothered discontent agitating large masses of the people. The cry of anarchy was not a novel thing; men hoping much from it, as from some new and untried medicine, so that demagogues peopled the new era they anticipated with figures which their imagination conjured up. The Continental commotions did not follow upon the heels of transatlantic emancipation; nor did Louis Philippe pay the penalty of feeding disturbances in the colonies of a friendly state. Of a sudden, a cry for reform was heard – a cry artfully evoked by a party-which drew with it, as such cries ever do, a certain amount of sympathy. An attempt was made to stifle that cry, and behold a revolution-a revolution extemporized – a revolution accomplished, not so much in accordance with, but in spite of, the wishes of those who had agitated for reform,-a revolution which took its agents by surprise, which achieved more than they devised, attempted, or desired,-a revolution, just as when children in their sport kindle the tiny flame which, increasing in spite of themselves, involves a household in ruin, – a revolution carried out in spite of, yet not by the defeat, of the army, which had no definite object, which satisfied no one, which all would recall, which has yielded no fruits, which has checked, rather than aided the cause of French and European reform, which has entailed at least as despotic though a stronger government upon the people. Yet, no sooner was this revolution accomplished, than the claims of the mass, hitherto too much lost sight of, were recognised. Had we not witnessed the previous commotion, we should have supposed that a vast social change had taken place. Among the names of those to whom the government was entrusted figured conspicuously that of Albert, ouvrier (workman) ; Albert, workman! What did he there? what business had he there at such a time? It was felt that, if the revolution succeeded, it must succeed by redress; that, despite the political titles in which the change was veiled, at the bottom it was a social one. Workmen had aided in overturning the government, whether that can be called a victory which won no trophies from conquered troops, – whether that can be called a victory where rival combatants did not sustain, as they best might, their respective parts in the arena of the battle field, may he well doubted; but the mass had triumphed when the Reform party were indecisive, the Government supine. St. Antoine had sent her hordes, those hordes had shed blood, and been themselves attacked, not on a grand scale, not that they disputed their positions inch by inch, yet the blood shed was theirs, or that of their opponents; they were the force on which insurrection relied, and by which it prevailed, and they must have their reward. Behold, then, the type of their class, the representative of their claims – Albert, ouvrier! The title took men by surprise: a new political banner was unfolded, on which were written the demands of the working classes; Rookeries, the claims of labour, the abolition of privileges, were the real elements of liberty, equality, fraternity. If you doubt this, ask what were among the first institutions ?-national workshops, national employers, national wages. We are not concerned in the failure of these chimerical attempts, they were at least the straws thrown up into the air, they showed which way the wind blew.
Lamartine, speaking of an influential class among the labouring population of Paris, says,- “There exists a mass of workmen, artists, and artisans, belonging to those employments in which the hand and the mind are most closely connected, – printers, engravers, mechanicians, cabinet-makers, locksmiths, carpenters, and others, forming together a mass of about fifty thousand. They have among themselves, in their respective trades, their societies, unions, organisations for mutual assistance,-orators, delegates, who obtain a hold upon their confidence, and who discuss their interests with the contractors*. [* The historical student should read this book, because written by one who, as much to his own surprise as that of Europe, found himself the director of a revolution. Not that the book is remarkable for profound views; that it attempts an inquiry into the real causes of the revolution; its narratives are worked up too much with a view to dramatic effect. Incidents are pregnant only with Lamartine, a crisis takes place at every section of the work; there is a Deus intersit, that Deus is Lamartine. The people murmur; who quells them? – Lamartine. A thousand sabres glitter in the air; who sheaths them? – Lamartine. They want a leader – behold Lamartine! The fate of France depends upon an orator-listen [-249-] to Lamartine! The cry is for a Statesman; Nature is bountiful, and creates – Lamartine! A certain verse writer of this day, terms a new poem which he is engaged in, “A series of Mental Tableaux;” Lamartine’s work is a series of dramatic tableaux, a second “Henriade,” as though the several wants of the age cried out, and a good spirit gave them Lamartine! Yet certain facts axe elicited, from which the student may form valuable conclusions.] It was among these men that the different Socialist schools, which had sprung up since 1830, at Paris, Lyons, Rouen, and in Germany, recruited the greatest number of their followers. The problem, up to this period without radical solution, of the inequality of human situations, extreme misery by the side of extreme wealth, scandalised them, as it has scandalised, without effect, all the philosophers and religious men of all ages; they flattered themselves at having found a solution, some by imitation, with Fourier, of the monastic system,- others by the brutal Indian system of castes with St. Simon; others by the religious united possession of land with Pierre Leroux; others by the suppression of the sign of riches in specie with Proudhon; the great proportion revolting at the impossibility, violence, and chimerical projects of these schools, had imagined they had found a practical adjustment in the system, at first sight less unreasonable, and in appearance less subversive, of Louis Blanc.”
Here then we have the organisation of labour as the remedy proposed for bad lodgings, scanty food, intermittent wages, and the claims of toil. We are not concerned [-250-] with the provisions or the fruits of this notable scheme, but rather with the causes which led for a while to its adoption. We are not disciples of this eccentric reformer, nor do we think it necessary to go to Utopia to find a salve for the wounds of our countrymen. Practical men were either beguiled, over-ruled, or frightened into this scheme. Was it that despair made them victims of strange fancies, so that any hot-brained enthusiast had only to create a monster, and the people worshipped it as a God; or was it that their wrongs had made them mad? Men must have been hard driven by poverty to be thus beguiled; and we find accordingly that Louis Blanc, the author of the system, tells us that he proposed this organisation of labour as the remedy for social ills; he speaks of the earnings of the labouring classes, and very much does he dwell on the lodgings of the workmen, on the French Rookeries, the hot-beds of insurrection, and well he might. When Louis Philippe surrounded himself with troops, previous to the insurrection, he took especial care to guard St. Antoine, the St. Giles’s of Paris; the artillery of Vincennes (the Tower of that metropolis) had orders to present itself, at the first summons, at the Faubourg St. Antoine, as though the Rookery quarter of Paris was the focus of insurrection.
Louis Blanc’s book is seldom read now its plans have failed; it is only wonderful that they should ever have had a trial, yet it is valuable as showing the social condition of the labourer at that time; very valuable to us, because it gives us an account of the condition of the dwellings – it describes the Rookeries where the working classes lived. The following is a quotation from Doctor Gu?pin:- “If you would know how the artisan lodges, enter one of the streets where he dwells, in crowded poverty, like the Jews of the middle ages, owing to the popular prejudices, in the quarters set apart for them. Enter, with stooping head, into one of those allays opening from the street, and situated below its level. The atmosphere there is cold and damp, as in a cellar, the feet slip upon the dirty soil, and you dread falling down amid the filth. On each side of the alley, and below its level, there is a room, sombre, large, and cold, whose walls drip with damp, dirty water, and which receives air from a miserable window, too small to admit the light, and too badly made to exclude the wind. Open the door, and enter, if the foetid air does not cause you to recoil; but take care, for the uneven floor is neither paved nor boarded, or, if so, is covered with such a thickness of dirt, that it is impossible to distinguish whether it is or not. Here are two or three beds, repaired with rotten string – they are mouldy and broken down,-a mattress, a coverlet of ragged patchwork, rarely washed, because it is the only one, sometimes sheets, and a pillow, behind the interior of the bed. As for drawers and chests, they have no need of them in these houses. Often a spinning-wheel and weaver’s frame complete the furniture. On the other stories, the rooms, though drier and better lighted, are equally dirty and wretched. There it is, often without fire in the winter, that, by the light of a candle of resin, men work fourteen hours a-day for a salary of fifteen to twenty sous. The children of this class, up to the moment that by a painful and brutalising toil they can increase by a few farthings the incomes of their families, pass their life in the mud of the gutters, – pale, blotched, and bruised, their eyes red and sunken, or injured by scrofulous ophthalmia, they are painful to behold-one would imagine them of another nature than the children of the rich. Between the men of the suburbs and those of the wealthier quarters, the difference is not so great; but there has been a terrible purification; the strongest fruits have ripened, but many have fallen from the tree. After twenty years of age they are vigorous, or dead.” Again, we are told: “The number of lodging houses of the lowest grade amounted in 1836 to 243, and that they altogether contained a population of 6000 lodgers, of which one-third were women living by prostitution or robbery.”
France, then, many will say, is in the same condition as ourselves. There is at times the same glut of work, the same minimum of wages; the same social discomforts, bad lodgings, scanty furniture, insufficient food, want of ventilation. But then the expenses of the French working man are not so great as ours, or his lodging so dear.
Thus, again, Louis Blanc tells us,- ” Whatever we could add on this subject, the detail of the expenditure of this portion of society will speak more effectually.
“Rent for a family . . . 25 Francs annually
Washing . . . 12
Fuel . . . 35
Repair of furniture . . . 3
Moving (at least once a year) . . . 2
Shoes . . . 12
Clothes (they wear old clothes which are given them).
Surgeon . . . gratis
Chemist . . . gratis”
A revolution breaks out, for which it is difficult to find a sufficient cause. The king was unpopular, yet not so much as he had been. French society was rotten at the heart, but the agitation for reform did not seek to remedy its defects; it was merely got up to extend the elective franchise. Full soon did the crying evils of the day claim to be heard,- reform was forgotten,-bread, wages, work, the rights of labour, the overthrow of the tyranny of capital, were the watchwords of the insurgents. The Rookery districts poured forth their thousands. St. Antoine rallied the combatants-supplied the flames with fuel,-St. Antoine the stronghold, the citadel, the centre of the reaction.
Thence did the men who wished to rise upon the downfall of a monarchical government borrow their emis-[-254-]saries: thence did demagogues call spirits from the vasty deep, and they did come when these did call. What had they to lose? what had they at stake? Success was justice; liberty, plenty; riches perhaps in prospect. The reformers for a time had their wish-more than their wish. Louis Philippe was overthrown; but did they retain the power they had snatched from him? For a time the flames they had kindled were smothered, not quelled; yet for how short a time! Visionary schemes could not feed the bankrupt and the starveling. A philosophy which set facts and experience at defiance, was too refined for hunger and sedition. Again they rose, to be again soothed into patience; yet a little while,-and they came again maddened by previous disappointment, resolved this time not to be cheated of their rights. Wilder still their theories. Communism, in their hands- a much injured name! But one purse, but one storehouse for the nation’s wants and the nation’s expenditure, was the rallying cry of their hosts. Frantic with a government which had only played with their wrongs, maddened by hope deferred, they burst forth as a torrent for the destruction of all that opposed; and, after the issue had long been doubtful, were put down by the practised soldiery of France, yet not without much bloodshed, havoc, and ruin. Yet where did the battle rage the fiercest,-where do houses, riddled by balls, appal the stranger? In the Faubourg St. Antoine, in the neighbourhood of the Pantheon and the Jardin des Plantes, where Rookeries abound,-the native atmosphere of the [-255-] refuse of the people, – the nursery of wretchedness, despair, and crime, where men are sheltered who have else no shelter,’-where common iniquities bring men together for the common defence. Each Rookery district – and there are several in a city like Paris – was the scene of a separate combat. How desperately the denizens of those retreats struggled, the number of officers and soldiers slain bears fearful witness. After a conflict of four days, unparalleled for its savage ferocity, the anarchists were vanquished, but at a fearful cost,-three or four thousand killed, and double that number wounded, is the very lowest estimate of the loss. At this time 120,000 workmen were receiving state wages; and nearly 10,000 are supposed to have been killed, wounded, and taken prisoners.
The flame which first broke out in France quickly extended through Europe. Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Naples, Rome, Frankfort, Madrid, were the scenes of fierce outbreaks. In most of these capitals the people obtained some triumphs, before they were ultimately quelled; still, the working classes were for the most part the combatants, though the labour question did not assume so prominent a place in the agitation elsewhere as in France.
England escaped, not without a strong demonstration of physical force on the part of the Government. Yet who were they whom the vast array of the 10th of April were in arms to resist. Were they not the inhabitants of our Rookeries? Did not each poor quarter of [-256-] the town pour forth its multitudes to swell the great gatherings on Kennington Common? And, as the cellars in Berlin had been the debating-rooms of the insurgents, so the Rookeries of London were the nuclei of the disaffected. And when an army was sent to Ireland, against whom was the array set in order? Against the tenants of mud huts and Irish cabins,-against the remnants of Skibbereen; those whom fever had spared, who had not been among the victims whom famine had doomed. As if Rookeries, whether in the courts of St. Giles, or in the plains of Tipperary, were not the types of social disease – the abodes of those who were the victims of the plague.
We gather, then, from the survey we have just made, that disturbances and outbreaks spring from social privations and neglect. The history of Europe furnishes too many parallels. Arbitrary laws have held captive mind and body, till, as the mind expanded, it burst the bonds, and men achieved reforms by violence, which wisdom and foresight should have long ago conceded. The poor were neglected, till they pleaded their own cause with arms in their hands, or laid down their own terms as masters whom strength and success allowed to dictate, – or when forcibly repressed, in their very defeat inspired wholesome terror, lest the returning wave, stronger than that which preceded it, should make a further inroad, and engulf what had been hitherto preserved. So that men in power have given way to reforms, not because prejudiced in their favour, but rather from a [-257-] conviction that it was wise to yield what they could hold no longer. So that these very reforms have not been so much the redress of political, as social grievances-and the rights of labour recognised, in proportion as the licence of luxury was abridged.
Strong as we are, secure as we have been, we may yet bear to listen to the teaching of history; its lessons are for us – for us, round whom the middle class reared an impregnable rampart, and who have lived through convulsions which shook to the centre the great powers of Europe. That splendid monument of wisdom and courage, the English Constitution, may defy minor attacks- afford to despise them; other nations are only now winning the privileges we enjoy – are only opening their eyes slowly to the light which has long been our birthright. Yet with all this, if we forbear to renovate where time has ravaged, to remedy abuses which none can palliate, the day of retribution must come, – our children may possess an heritage blasted by our neglect, and the swords their fathers have sharpened pierce them to the heart. We cannot defy history, we cannot be so secure, as that the same causes shall not again produce the same effects. Our boasted middle class envies the privileges of the aristocracy, – our aristocracy feels their loss of influence in the national councils. The advocate of free trade elicits cheers in one county; in another, and that an adjoining one, the champion of agriculture is hailed with applause. Surely, then, there are elements of strife, and though opposite combinations greater than [-258-] these have been dissolved without injury to the nation, there are grounds of apprehension, should either appeal to popular support.
Let us, then, be up and be doing. Our task it is to describe only one social evil, although that a monster, and the parent of a host of ills. Sufficient for us it is to have denounced that we have seen and known, and which has been a source of almost daily disquiet. Grant, if you will, that such an anomaly may exist, and yet England be the home of a peace as profound as that under which we now repose; calculate, if you will, how many years the strong walls of England’s citadel may withstand a storm, – believe it, and there is much to cherish the idea, that our sons and our sons’ sons may escape the desolation which has laid waste foreign cities, if only they progress in the same course of temperate reform as their forefathers ;-tell us that every large city must have its back ground of wretchedness; and still we cannot believe that our countrymen, kind, liberal, generous, wishing that others should participate in the blessings they enjoy, will sit down quietly with the consciousness that such evils are unchecked. Grant that the evil day be staved off, the sore will yet fester, and English life be poisoned by a wound so deep, so rankling. Grant that among us insurrection is a hopeless thing,- vaunt, if you will, with some pride, the social and political blessings which exalt the working man in England above his compeers in other lands; yet, recollect the spirit which won those blessings is still alive in the [-259-] breasts of Englishmen, and they who suffer must suffer in sullen silence and brooding discontent. The feudal institutions, much as they degenerated, were conceived upon the idea and in the spirit of brotherhood – union for mutual interest and defence. The lord might call his vassal to the war, but then he protected him in peace; he wrung hard service from him, but deemed as his own the affront offered to his dependent; in the seine hall with himself that dependent fed – he was nourisbed and sustained by his lord. The property of the baron depended much on the fidelity of his retainers,-it was his interest to protect one so closely united to him. Feudal government at length degenerated into an oppression, yet this its early practice knew not, and it was foreign to the theory which gave it birth. Many bodies corporate there are now, though no corporate title distinguish them. Our large manufactories, our foundries, &c., what are they but commercial leagues, in which masses are associated together, obeying one mind, and working out the designs of one employer-not seldom a thousand hands in a single establishment? You may answer, that the numbers engaged in such schemes are too fluctuating to allow of a comparison with our ancient institutions, even if other circumstances permitted it. Yet, fluctuate as they will, these operatives follow only one trade; if dismissed by one employer, they must get work from another in the same branch of commerce. And there is a numerical standard, below which those employed never fall. Many are constantly em-[-260-]ployed for years under the same manufacturer, and are, to all intents and purposes, his dependents; yet where is the recognition of brotherhood here? Is there the slightest connection other than that of work and wages between them? Does the employer know even by name the men who have been constantly for years employed in his factory ?-has he the most distant idea how they are lodged, fed, or tended in sickness? Suppose the employer a man of active benevolence, and you might expect that a little colony would rise in the neighbourhood either of his factory, or the town in which it was situated – this colony tenanted by his operatives, super-intended by himself-the place where lie gave his little senate laws. Many such colonies there were in feudal times-why not now? Is it that the law has made men less dependent upon the strong arm of their lord and patron? – or, is it that individual avarice denies the funds, individual indolence shrinks from the experiment?
We have termed our Rookeries plague-spots; are they not indeed such? Where are our convicts nursed-the men whom our distant colonies reject; for whom there is our vast array of penitentiaries, prison-ships, hulks, penal settlements, and the like?
These men ply a daily trade in our large towns, their occupation regulated by laws peculiar to themselves- their very thefts determined by the nicest and most rigid calculation. These men exist in bodies; there are particular sections of crime, particular gathering-places, and bodies corporate. Do not such outcasts hide their heads [-261-] in Rookeries, because the very wretchedness of these districts acts as a charm – is their shield; disgusts men so that they shun them- avoid them, as though they were the nurseries of disease?
And in close connection with such dregs of society does the honest and the hard-working labourer rest his weary head, his children playing with felons’ children, learning their habits, infected by their example; and, as a man sinks in the world, here is the receptacle for him; his heart broken, he retreats to scenes like these, to learn by contrast the height from which he has fallen.
You have, as you are bound to have, your remedial schemes. Schools, cramped and crippled as they are by party feuds, which impart religious and secular knowledge to the children of the poor.
Yet is not the edge of teaching blunted by the habits these Rookeries oppose to it ? You teach precepts not merely conducing to present profit, but rather elevating and ennobling the child’s nature. What an atmosphere is that of Rookeries to mature them! Dwellings which barely supply the most elementary wants of our being- the scenes where children shall put to proof what they learn ;- where the good, the generous, and the noble within is cramped by the narrowness of all around.
Still, we may not despair; whilst our pen traces these concluding pages, an appeal for the needlewomen of England has been answered, as Englishmen should answer the cry of distress, and large already is the contribution which their advocate has obtained from his [-262-] countrymen. Oh! that one with eloquence would plead the cause we have so feebly set forth! that one earnest for his poorer brethren-known and honoured in his generation-would arise, to urge the claims of labour on those who direct it, and on those who are benefited by its results!
Circumstances are related, tales told of the sufferings of these needlewomen, which make the blood run cold,- the needlewomen who people our Rookeries, whom Drury Lane, Saffron Hill, Wapping, and Shoreditch shelter, if the term be not a mockery. Mothers toiling by day and night to earn 8s. Gd. a-week for the support of their family, and part of that, too, spent in the materials needed for the work, and then eking out the rest of their miserable pittance-how? by involuntary prostitution. And these prostitutes, too, not merely the unmarried, but married women,- their husbands consenting because poverty was killing their children,-these wretched victims of Mammon putting on the unwilling blandishment, made tempters in spite of themselves, lest their offspring should starve. Is not the very name of Christianity, we might ask, forgotten in a land which tolerates such a curse ? Are there shopkeepers banded together to sell articles, spotted with the poison of that which is more precious than the life-blood of their fellow creatures, and purchasers economising on the infamy of their countrywomen? Men daring to take the Bible in their hands, who dole out, under pretence of pay, the wretched pittance in return for the days of toil and nights [-263-] of agony. Not that all the purchasers know the source whence comes the cheapness so precious in their eyes; that the thoughtless many pause to think; that they deck themselves willingly with the spoils of their country’s disgrace; but some there must be, many who are aware at whose cost this accursed cheapness is achieved, and into what a pit of despair these thoughtless economists are plunging the mothers of our working classes.
No one who pretends to interest himself in the great question of the day,-may we not write of his country’s infamy, perhaps his country’s ruin,-should be without the pamphlet, entitled “The Needlewomen of England* [*Printed by Peter Duff and Co.].” It has been before published in, and is now extracted from, the Letter to The Morning Chronicle. Every mother should come forward from every class with her superfluities and her savings, to check the unhallowed work which is polluting her countrywomen. We read in Roman history, that when Carthage was brought to the verge of ruin in the last Punic War, the Carthaginians brought their vessels of silver and gold and gave them to the state, which needed them so much, and the women plaited their hair into bowstrings, lest the war should flag; and in our Great Rebellion, many of the colleges of Oxford melted down their plate to support the royal cause. Is no effort to be made to save the mothers of England from prostitution?
We may not despair. The strong old English spirit [-264-] still warms many a heart, and the strong old English energy still nerves many a hand among us.
Europe is heaving with the swell of a revolution – a Jacquerie, and yet a war of opinions too, as Canning predicted; and men have stirred the fire, who felt they were not fed, clothed, paid, lodged as they ought to be. We have stood firm as a rock, looking on with careful scrutiny, looking round with jealous vigilance, to detect the blemishes of our own fabric; not from fear so much as sense of duty, not from impulse but inquiry, we have shaken off our apathy; and men are coming forward with new schemes, and aiding, by new grants, the distress to which their eyes at length are opened. What a time, then, to plead that Rookeries may no longer be-what a time to speak to the better emotions of English hearts. England, our beloved country, the mother of freedom, the asylum of the persecuted, whose sons have gone forth from their island home to teach the British tongue, and hand down the British name to empires now just springing into life ; who, at the cost of twenty millions, willed that Slavery should be no more. Look around on what she has done, and think not that her strength is spent, or her arm unnerved. If Rookeries be the canker-worms, not of England but of Europe, may she be the first to sweep them from the land they disgrace ;-may she take the lead in the holy work, from whom the voice has oft gone forth which awoke Europe from her slumber. It shames us to plead with Christian men in arguments which expediency commends, or where profit must be the medium of conviction.
[-265-] We call them by that better, nobler, holier bond to remember that they are brethren. Yes, brothers they are, whose sickness Rookeries aggravate, whose weariness they mock, whose hearts they sear-brothers clinging, with a fondness which poverty cannot shake, to the country which gave them birth-brothers proud of the name that country has won-brothers still bending before the laws which govern them, still sending forth their sons to combat for England’s fame, and to bleed in her defence!
Oh! that these our feeble hands might lay one stone of this vast reform-our eyes be permitted to see some part of the good work done in this our age! We stand hig1~, and we deserve it. We alone support a law for the relief of the poor. Such provisions are questionable, yet rather than that the poor should starve, we maintain them; and though founded in fact, syllogisms of the political economist convince us not.
Verily, we are obstinate, in spite of figures even, to maintain a custom, which our fathers valued and our brethren stand by. Let us do more,-remove the necessity of a State assistance, by teaching the poor man to respect himself, and to be proud of his own independence. Love of decency is still a home plant; cherish it by dwellings large enough for its indulgence. Teach men to care for their minds, by showing them you are not indifferent to their bodies. Bind them to you, because you share with them the blessings you enjoy. Evoke their loyalty to their sovereign, when the ruling [-266-] powers have recognised their claims as subjects. Appeal to their consciences as Christians, by acknowledging first that they have the feelings of men.
Education will be valued by those who have means to improve themselves; religion will thrive when it makes the rich alive to the wants of the poor. A happier day will dawn; Rookeries will be remembered not by what they are, but as the dungeons of an ancient castle, whose horrors tradition records, but custom has long superseded; like monoliths and cromlechs, relics of an elder age.