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condition of things to last for a long time to come. A famine price for cotton is irrefragable evidence of the terrible reality of the Cotton Famine.
Nor was it the fault of the manufacturers that they were absolutely dependent on American cotton. They were forced to buy the best article at the lowest rate at which they could get it. To do otherwise would have been to court inevitable ruin; and no country could compete with America in price and quality. So long, therefore, as American cotton was forthcoming, it' had a practical monopoly in the European market. The manufacturer could not choose but use it; the growers of cotton in India and elsewhere, finding that they could not compete with it, ceased to grow more than a very limited amount for exportation to Europe. No doubt it was most unfortunate that we should be dependent for the material of our largest manufacturing industry on a foreign country and on slave-labour; but the misfortune was not one for which the manufacturers could possibly have provided a remedy.
But, granted that they could not have averted the distress, have they done their best to relieve it? With few exceptions they have. Put aside the idea that the manufacturers are all rich men, men of large realised wealth. Spinners, indeed, must have a considerable capital, -their own or borrowed; but of the manufacturers who are not spinners, but only weavers, multitudes are very poor; scores are now scarcely better off than their work-people; hundreds could only contribute to relief funds by defrauding their creditors. Those who are rich have, as a rule, behaved nobly ; how nobly, let the following list given by Lord Derby—one list among many which we have seen-assure the most sceptical. It contains extracts from reports sent us from a few places taken at random, and fairly represents the general conduct of the maligned class.
“1. Nearly 3000 operatives out of work. Most of them are the hands of Messrs.
; and Mr.
at his own cost, employs 555 girls in sewing five days a week, paying them 8d. per day ; sends 76 youths, from thirteen to fifteen, and 332 adults above fifteen, five days a week to school, paying them from 4d. to 8d. a day, according to age. He also pays the school-pence of all the children. Mr. has hitherto paid his people two days' wages a week; but he is now preparing a scheme like Mr. to a great extent. I should add, that, in addition to wages, Mr. gives bread, soup, socks, and clogs. 2. Mr.
has, at his own expense, caused fifty or sixty dinners to be provided for sick persons every day.
3. Messrs. are giving to their hands three days' wages, about 5001. a week. Mr. and Mr. are giving their 130 hands, and Mr. his 230 hands, two days' wages a week. I may mention that Messrs.
are providing for all their 1700 hands.
4. A great deal of private charity exists, one firm having spent 14001. in money, exclusive of weekly doles of bread.
5. Messrs. - are providing all their old hands with sufficient clothing and bedding to supply every want, so that their subscription is merely nominal.
6. The ladies of the village visit and relieve privately with money, food, and clothing, or all if needed urgently. In a few cases distraint has been threatened, but generally the poor are living rent-free.
7. Payment of rent is almost unknown. The agent for several landlords assures me that he could not from his receipts pay the property tax; but no distraints are made.
8. The bulk of the rents are not collected, and distraints are unknown.
9. The millowners are chiefly cottage owners, and are asking for no rents, and sacrificing a large amount of income they had a right to count upon."
Before the larger benefactions of this kind, the most munificent gifts on the subscription-lists sink into insignificance. Of course some manufacturers who could well have afforded to do likewise have failed in their duty. There are in every class men who do not understand their own interests, and men who care for no interests but their own. And, especially in the towns, the absence of any habitual intercourse or personal relation between master and men has made shortsighted and cruel selfishness more possible,-less palpable and less unnatural,—than would be a similar indifference on the part of a landowner to the sufferings of a destitute tenantry. Nevertheless, a wise master knows that he has a great interest, if his mill is ever to reopen, in keeping his workpeople from being dispersed, and even in seizing this opportunity to cultivate a friendly relation with them; a kindly man, even if he know nothing of his hands except in the mill, is pained to think that they are starving; a Christian cannot forget the duty he owes to those to whom he is bound by an especial tie of Christian neighbourhood. And the millowners are generally clearsighted, kindly, and Christian ; they have done what they could for their hands, not generally by subscribing to relief-funds, but in a far better manner, by attending themselves to the wants of their own people. The man who is foolish enough to give up all care for his hands,—the man who is shameless enough to allow them to starve while he can fairly afford to help them, -is a rare exception among millowners, as he would be in any other class.
By them, and by those who have come forward to supplement and complete their work, provision has been made, or is about to be made, for the present. The prospect of the future is as yet utterly uncertain. Every thing is doubtful. No one can venture positively to predict that the cotton of the Confederate States will, or that it will not, be liberated this year. None can say what quantity of cotton actually exists there. We have seen estimates, official, commercial, and speculative, ranging from two to five millions of bales. The first figure is probably too low; the last is almost certainly too high. Our own iinpression, gathered from a comparison of conflicting statements, is, that not more than three millions of bales would be forthcoming, if peace were declared to-morrow; a quantity which would suffice us until the crop of 1863 came forward, but which would not reduce the price of cotton to its normal rate. If-which is hardly to be hoped-peace should be restored before the planting season of 1863 arrives, we should probably be able to rely on a sufficiency to keep the mills in full work for the future; if not, little or no cotton will be planted this year, and that already existing will, whenever liberated, have to last us until the winter of 1864-5. In the absolute impossibility of forming any reliable opinion on the time and conditions of peace in America, those who have endeavoured to forecast the future of Lancashire have turned their eyes elsewhere, and chiefly to India. The Economist, which expresses the views of the most sanguine, anticipates a supply of 2,175,000 bales; which, it affirms, would suffice to provide for the foreign demand (calculated at 12,000 bales per week), and to keep the mills of Lancashire working forty hours weekly. A correspondent of that paper impugns its conclusions, on grounds which we are inclined to think substantially sound.* But the controversy is one on which we cannot pretend to pronounce judgment. It certainly seems to us that the
*" To the Editor of the Economist. Sir,-Allow me to say that your ‘Resources of the Cotton Trade for the next Year,' in the Economist of 15th inst., are not likely to be borne out by facts.
1. You under-estimate “full consumption. The consumption in 1861 was not 42,000 bales per week, but 45,454 bales per week, according to George Holt and Co.'s statement, which is admitted to be the best authority. But 1861 was not a year of full consumption, owing to considerable reduction having already taken place during the last months. In 1860 the deliveries for home consumption were over 50,000 bales per week : making allowance for extra stock in spinners' hands, the real consumption, according to Holt, amounted to 48,523 bales per week. For the sake of round numbers, we will say that full consumption in the kingdom requires 48,000 bales a week.
2. You under-rate the consumption of the Continent. The average of the two years 1860 and 1861 has been 1,746,000 bales — say 33,577 per week — which I will prove to you, if you wish it.
3. You forget that the average weight of India cotton is only 380 lbs. per bale, and of Brazil cotton 180 lbs. per bale; while the average weight of bales consumed in Great Britain in 1861 was 426 lbs., and in 1860 429 lbs.
4. You begin your statement with the supposed stock in ports on 31st De
millowners do not believe in the immediate large relief which the Economist expects; and that a gloomy view of the future prevails generally among those who are best acquainted with the circumstances of the trade. If that view should unhappily be realised, some years may elapse before prosperity returns to Lancashire; and during those years no small proportion of the industry that has made her what she is may be withdrawn, and no small part of the wealth on which that industry depends may have perished. The evil effects of this terrible season will not soon pass away. Nor, we trust, will the lessons it has taught--lessons of mutual trust and goodwill between masters and men, lessons of charity, good understanding, and frank and fair dealing-be lost on either rich or poor. England has learned to be proud of Lancashire ; Lancashire men have learned to be proud of and grateful to one another; and we hope and believe that the adversity which they have endured together will bind them closely and kindly to one another through the years of plenty which Providence may yet have in store for them.
cember next, which is a guess; while it would be better to take the stock on 31st October last, which is a fact.
The amount then will stand thus for England and the Continent: Stock in British ports, October 31, 1862, 365,000 ; ditto, in Continental ports, 50,000— total 415,000, of which the average weight at the outside is 380 lbs. : these 415,000 bales are, therefore, equal to 370,000 bales of 426 lbs. Suppose India sends you 1,400,000 bales during the twelve months October 31, 1862, to October 31, 1863, they are equal to 1,248,000 bales of 426 lbs. ; Egypt you estimate at 200,000 bales, which I will increase to 240,000 bales of 426 lbs., including what goes to Marseilles and Trieste ; Brazil you estimate at 150,000 bales of 180 lbs., equal to 64,000 bales of 426 lbs. ; and the other small kinds, 25,000 bales of 426 lbs.; which will give a total supply of 1,947,000 bales of 426 lbs.; stock, October 31, 1863, England and Continent, 123,000 bales of 426 lbs.; would leave for consumption 1,824,000 bales of 426 lbs., or 35,077 bales per week. Full consumption of Great Britain is at least 48,000 bales per week; ditto of Continent, 33,577— total per week, 81,577 bales. The highest possible supply for the twelve months ending October 31, 1863, is therefore equal to 43 per cent of full consumption, or sufficient for 2.58 days per week, provided always no cotton comes from America and no cotton goes to America.
But you will not even get the 2.58 days per week; because the Continent, as a whole, will take more than its proportion. Spinning on the Continent has not been reduced, and, unless you prohibit the export of cotton from Liverpool, will not be reduced in the same proportion as is done at Manchester, for which I will state my reasons if you should wish it.--Your obedient servant, Zurich, Nov. 18, 1862.
CURRENT LITERATURE. I. Eugénie de Guérin, Journal et Lettres. Publiés par G. S. Trebutien.
Didier. Two years ago this Review contained a short notice of Malle. de Guérin's journal and letters, which had then only been printed for private circulation. The wish expressed in these pages, and felt we believe by many in France and England, that a book of rare charm and value should be given to the world, has at last been acceded to by the author's relatives. M. Trebutien, to whom the task of editing it has been intrusted, was singularly fitted to perform it, from his antiquarian habits of accuracy no less than from the instinctive good taste which is born of profound sympathy. He has omitted the dithyrambic preface, which formed the one blemish of the first edition, and has replaced it with a few pages of his own, which we could wish longer. A happy chance has enabled him to recover a large portion of the journal which had been given up as lost, and which now therefore appears for the first time. A more thorough or vivid picture of country and home life in France, as it was lived within our own generation by a woman of singularly strong and deep character, cannot be desired. We can only regret that M. Trebutien has omitted the description of Malle. de Guérin's daily life by her surviving sister, which we quoted from the first edition in our former article (Jan. 1861). But it will be easy to replace it; and we hope a third edition may also contain a few more of the numerous letters which are said to exist in manuscript. There are books of which it is difficult to have too much, and this is one of them.
In speaking thus strongly, we would yet guard against all misconception. Malle, de Guérin's life and letters are not meant to amuse an idle hour or a frivolous mind. Her casual description of one of her days,—"a reel of thread, a little reading, a little writing, a little looking out on the rain,”—may pass for a fair account of the ordinary routine of her life. But she adds a saving clause, “I do not speak of what has passed in my soul ;” and herein lies the whole difference between herself and an average squire's daughter. A woman of strong will and clear mind, living in a narrow circle, with no interests but intense family loves, no support but an intense faith, she grew inwards and upwards, so to speak, rather than outwards, and having few points of contact with mankind, fed all the more upon her own heart and heaven. The old father, whom she sustained; the gifted, weak, erring brother, whom she hoped for, prayed for, and trembled for, in whose grave the best part of her own life was buried,—are the realities of her existence on earth. “My thought,” she once says, only a reflex of my brother's; so vivid when he was there, then changing into twilight, and now gone. I am on the horizon of death ; he is below it. All that I can do is to strain my gaze into it; to see every thing without sympathy and without love." It was probably