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facturing districts, within the present century. Whilst the population of the districts from which he obtained his returns, augmented, between 1801 and 1841, from 975,553 to 2,208,771, or 127 per cent., the church and chapel sittings augmented froin 311,788 to 994,583, or 219 per cent., — the latter number of sittings being 45 per cent. of the entire population. Of the addition of 682,795 sittings made in this century, 612,184 were in churches and chapels built by voluntary subscription, whilst only 70,611 sittings were in churches built by the aid of parlia
In the same districts, 408,531 children and young persons, being one in every 5% of the whole population, are in Sunday-schools, taught by 66,000 gratuitous teachers; and 210,592 children are in day-schools—believed to be five per cent. below the actual number, and showing, therefore, one in ten under day-school education.
These are facts which decisively disprove the imputations cast on the manufacturing districts, and the case which Lord Ashley attempted to make out for the Factory Education Bill, - a measure which, by its unconstitutional character, and the spirit of ecclesiastical usurpation which it betrayed, aroused an unparalleled opposition, and brought forth the most effectual refutation of the calumnies on the manufacturing districts.
If ever there was an age or country in which outward prosperity acquired an extraordinarily rapid growth, whilst knowledge, education, and religion more than kept pace with it, England has been that country during the present century. And it may be said with truth, that all has taken place with as little of government help as has ever been known. Is it not, then, the most prudent as well as the most constitutional course, still to have faith in the energies and the principles of a free people ? Would it not, with this so recent experience before us, be the height of folly to relinquish our dependence on the natural, outof-doors fruits of liberty, and to put industry and mind under the forced cultivation of a government conservatory?
The thoughtful reader must have observed, of late years, the growth, among a certain class of politicians, of a sentimental, effeminate, and sickly spirit, which, under the name of humanity, threatens to sap the energy, hardihood, and perseverance for which English men have hitherto been distinguished. It is these characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon race that have made England what she is in industry as in arms. If, instead of those qualities, the population should be led to relax their energies, to shrink from exertion, to prize amusements, holidays, and personal indulgences, to rely on government protection and help, and to cherish a superstitious veneration for forms, names, and
ceremonies, they may become fit tools for a Romanizing clergy and Young-England statesmen, but the pith and marrow of Old England will be gone.
We have now assigned our reasons for thinking, first, that it would not be right, safe, or expedient, that factory labour should be limited to ten hours per day; and second, that even though it were so, the limitation ought not to be imposed by act of parliament, but left to agreement between masters and workmen.
We would not be understood to think that factory labour for twelve hours per day is in itself desirable, or that we wish to see that period perpetuated. This is not our opinion or our wish. We look at the question in the actual circumstances of the country-suffering under restrictions on the supply of food which compel the manufacturers to work harder for their subsistence than would be needful under free trade,—with a most injudicious import duty on the raw material of the largest manufacture,—and having to sustain the increasing competition of countries, every one of which has longer hours of factory labour than England. Let the circumstances be altered, and the hours of labour might perhaps be abridged with safety. If parliament wishes the factory operatives to work shorter hours, let it repeal the corn laws and the cotton duty. Should the mills of other countries begin to run the same length of day as the English mills, the latter might safely make the day still shorter.
Our own wish would be, that the day of factory labour should be eleven hours instead of twelve. Not that we think this abridgment demanded by the health of the operatives,—not that we expect it to be an unmixed good,-still less, that we think parliament would ever be justified in enforcing it; but that we should hope from this measure for increased opportunities of mental cultivation and the discharge of domestic duties, and that it would add to the personal comfort of the operative, without seriously, if at all, retrenching the income of his family. An abridgment to ten hours, considering the lightness of factory labour, seems to us quite out of the question. And any abridgment at all would be of most doubtful policy for the working classes themselves, so long as trade is burdened with the present duties on food and on cotton-wool, and so long as the factory day in all other countries is more protracted than in this.
We must not conclude these remarks on the factory system and factory legislation, without pointing out to the proprietors of factories the ample field which their circumstances open to them for the exercise of moral influence, and the responsibility
which lies upon them to occupy that field. The new industrial system, which has placed such large numbers of workpeople, consisting of men, women, and children, under the employment of comparatively few masters, and brought them into such close contact with each other, may produce moral good or evil, according to the use that is made of it. A mill-owner who attends to the manufacturing department, has his workpeople very much under his own eye.
He sees their countenances, their manners, their dress, knows much of their characters and connexions, hears something of their conversation, and can form a tolerable judgment of their moral conduct. Through the medium of the overlookers, he can learn their history, and the condition of their homes and families. His own position with regard to them is one of vast influence, though not of actual power and authority. His example as a husband, a father, a Christian, and a member of society, cannot but produce important effects on the hundreds of persons, young and old, who see him daily. The individuals whom he sets over them as managers and overlookers, have an influence on the operatives, even more direct than that of the master himself; and the nature of that influence must be according to their respective characters. But, further, it is often in the power of the owner of one of these large establishments, to ascertain, by conversation and personal inspection, what his workpeople are in their homes,-whether their habits are sober, their wives managing, their children educated, and whether the families attend religious instruction. This is more difficult in towns than in country places, but it is not impracticable anywhere.
Such being the opportunities of knowledge, and the means of influence possessed by a mill-owner, he is bound, by the clearest duty, to use them for the happiness and true well-being of those placed by Divine Providence under him. It is his duty to promote their health and personal comfort, by enforcing the utmost cleanliness in the mill, ventilation, and whatever arrangements may have a good sanitary tendency. It is his duty to employ managers and overlookers who are moral and humane, and never for a day to keep a man in either of those important situations who is otherwise, be his talents what they may. It is his duty to impress on his workpeople the necessity of personal cleanliness and propriety of dress. It is his duty to prevent, by strict regulations, the use of profane or licentious language, and any species of immorality, and to make it known that no person of bad character can be suffered to remain in his employ.
These are clear and obvious points of duty. But the care of a good man will go much further. He will ascertain the attend
ance of the children in his employ, and of the other children in the families, at day-schools or Sunday-schools. He will use his influence to induce his workpeople to attend religious worship, leaving them as free as air to select their own religious teacher. He will see that each family has a Bible. He will endeavour to put within the reach of his work people a well-selected library, including some of the best books, religious as well as of general instruction and entertainment. He will be the foremost man of his neighbourhood in promoting mechanics' institutions, eveningschools, well-regulated benefit societies, and every society calculated to diffuse intellectual and moral advantages. Above all, he will promote the building of places of worship and Sundayschools adequate to the wants of the population. In these respects he will be as far from adopting the tone of the dictator, as from acting in the spirit of the exclamation, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' He will be as far from wishing to control the consciences of his workpeople, as from neglecting their best interests for time and eternity. He will rather help, animate, and influence their exertions, than assume the direction of them. A conscientious sense of duty, true benevolence, and good sense, will suggest both what he should do, and what he should avoid.
It is a proud and happy thing to fill so eminent a position when its duties are faithfully discharged. The enlightened, benevolent, public-spirited, and pious mill-owner, may be the spring of countless blessings to his neighbourhood. We rejoice to know that there are many such, and that they diffuse around them as much happiness as a working population can enjoy. We would hold them up to the emulation of all their class. The immoral and irreligious mill-owner, on the other hand, or the man who cares nothing for his work people, except as tools wherewith to carry on his business, is a disgrace to his order, and often a curse to his dependents.
It is our belief that the prosperity of a manufacturing establishment will generally bear some relation to the good order, not only of its machinery, but of the sentient and rational beings by whom it is attended. Industry, care, watchful attention, and cheerful service, are the natural accompaniments of good morals, and the appropriate reward of the master who has promoted the well-being of his workmen. It is therefore the true interest of the master to care for the moral state of all who are in his employ.
Ànd in another respect it is the interest of the mill-owners to discharge the duties imposed upon them by their position. So doing, they are least likely to be interfered with by unwise and mischievous legislation. It is highly probable that the admirable
state of many of the largest manufacturing establishments has contributed not a little to prevent the passing of a more stringent factory act; and certainly the cruel disregard of their workmen, by some of the smaller and more needy mill-owners, before the
year 1832, mainly tended to provoke factory legislation. The more, then, the state of the factory workers is improved, the more secure will the proprietors be from legislative intermeddling.
One more important advantage results to the mill-owner whose workmen are moral and happy. His property is safer from private malice or public disorder. There are, doubtless, elements of danger in a dense manufacturing population, amongst whom discontent spreads rapidly, and is dangerous in proportion to the ignorance, immorality, and distress that prevail. There cannot be a question that the mill-owner, who is known as a just, upright, benevolent, and good man, will have many friends and few enemies, and that his person and property will be proportionably secure. A body of the working class, amongst whom there are many well-instructed men, and men who have been kindly treated, must be far less liable to inflammation and disorder than a demoralized population.
On every ground, then, of duty and interest, the mill-owners are called upon to promote the improvement and moral welfare of their workmen
Thus acting, whilst their own prosperity is advanced, they will be deservedly regarded as benefactors of
Art. V. (1.) Meteorological Observations and Essays. By JOHN
DALTON, D.C.L., F.R.S. First Edition, 1793. Second Edition,
1834. (2.) A Nero System of Chemical Philosophy. By John Dalton.
Part I., 1808. Part II., 1810. Vol. II., 1827. (3.) Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester,
from 1793 to 1836. The recent decease of Dalton, the greatest of English chemists, and one of the most distinguished cultivators of general physics, has naturally awakened a desire, on the part of many, to know something concerning his scientific discoveries and personal history. No satisfactory account has been hitherto published either of the former or the latter. We trust that the following sketch will go some way towards supplying this deficiency.
John Dalton was born at Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth, in