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sical Condition, p. 14.) A girl says—' was at service, but fa• ther persuaded her to go below, (into the mine ;) much pre
fers service, but father needs her earnings.'-(Ibid. p. 50.) John Duncan, collier, says—*It must be admitted that children • are sadly overwrought; have always been sorry when two of
my own wrought hard ; still I had need of their help, although • not nine years of age.'-(Ibid. p. 50.*) In the lace and hosiery manufactures at Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester, which for years have been in a state of deplorable depression, we have seen that the children are set to work even before they are four years old. • In these districts (say the Commissioners) the wages • in all branches of the lace trade are wholly insufficient to afford ' a decent living.'-(Second Report, p. 95.) In the hosiery trade, for some years the hours have become longer, and the • wages less.'-(P. 112.) This is all too true ;-and as long as it continues to be the case—as long as the labour of children is required to eke out the insufficiency of their parent's earnings, so long will that labour be enforced; and any effectual prohibition of it will not only be a mistaken charity-as inflicting severer privation than it supersedes—but will be a flagrant and cruel injustice. To enact, or to maintain, laws which make the inordinate labour of children essential to the sustenance of their half famished parents, and then to forbid this labour-is surely the very wantonness of despotic power. Our legislators cannot unite the pleasures of benevolence with the profits of oppression. They cannot combine the luxury of doing good with the emoluments of doing evil.
In many cases, however, in which the earnings of the parents are indisputably sufficient, under good management, to support their families in comfort, it is nevertheless true that they employ their children too early, and too long. This is frequent in many of the coal districts of England and Wales—in calico-printing, and in many branches of metallic manufactures. Here the cause of the evil is not so much poverty, as that want of domestic skill, that ignorance, dissipation, and insensibility to social duties, which an early and sound education could scarcely fail to have prevented. Where an operative has been well brought up, nothing but the actual pressure of want will drive him to extract subsistence from the hard-earned wages of his children. Where he has not bad this advantage, and where careless, drunken, and unfeeling habits have in consequence ohtained the mastery, he will have no scruples, and little compas
* Also Second Report, p. 13.
sion; and legislative interference cannot instil them, and can do but little to guard against the evils arising from their absence. It is vain and childish to allow a population to grow up in uncultivated barbarism; and then to demand from it the foreseeing and forbearing virtues which only education can engender.
Again, the same earnings which, in the hands of a clever, frugal, and managing housewife, would be adequate to a family's support, and would therefore enable them to dispense with the early labour of the younger members will be wholly insufficient for this purpose, when laid out with that clumsy unthrift which characterises women who have had no opportunity of learning that most essential part of their duties—a knowledge of household economy. Many families live in comfort and respectability upon the same amount of earnings which leaves others in squalid misery. We earnestly request attention to the following remarks of the Commissioners, (II. p. 174,) which long acquaintance with the labouring classes enables us fully to confirm.
• The early removal of female children from girls' day-schools, and from home, to be placed at labour, prevents them from learning needlework, and from acquiring those habits of cleanliness, neatness, and order, without which they cannot, when they grow up to womanhood and have the charge of families of their own, economise their husband's earnings, or give to his home any degree of comfort. This general want of the qualifications of a housewife in the women of this class, is stated by clergymen, teachers, medical men, employers, witnesses, and all others, in all the districts, to be one great and universally prevailing cause of poverty and crime among the working classes.
928. Among innumerable other statements to the same effect, the following may serve to show the prevalent feeling on this subject :“ The employment of females during childhood prevents them from forming the domestic habits usually acquired by women in their station, and renders them less fit than those whose early years have not been spent in labour for performing the duties of wives and mothers. The slenderness of the stock of domestic knowledge possessed by the females, is attested by all parties. When they come to be wives and mothers, the consequences are very injurions to the husband and children, from the want of management in the outlay of the earnings ; from the expense entailed in paying for work which ought to be done at home; and from the coarse and insufficient culinary processes, adopted through ignorance of better methods. The very slight knowledge of culinary work possessed by the young women, leads to a crude and coarse preparation of food, which is one cause of the disorders of the stomach.”
Instead, then, of any longer contenting ourselves, and soothing our consciences, with idly nibbling at the outskirts of a vast and growing mischief in our social state,- let us have the courage and the candour to go at once to the origin of the evilto strike at the source of that malady which has so long withered up both the physical energies and the moral virtues of our people. Let us unfetter the springs of the national industry, in the full confidence that, if we do so, it has an expansive elasticity within it, sufficient to absorb into profitable employment all those numbers whom it is now the fashion to consider as redundant. That, under a system of unrestricted freedom, the field of employment is capable of this indefinite enlargement, is the conviction of all the best informed of our Practical Economists ;-and the few who differ from this opinion will allow, that the Colonization to which they look as a subsidiary relief, will be most safely and beneficially conducted, when left to the operation of natural motives on an intelligent and instructed people.
But the education requisite to effect the change desired in the character and habits of the people, must be of a sounder and more liberal kind than any which we have yet seen proposed. That the cultivation of religious feelings, the explanation of religious truth, and the inculcation of moral and social duties, must form a large- perhaps the largest-portion of its objects, we fully admit. But we think that considerable misapprehension prevails as to the nature and objects of that secular education which ought to be diffused as widely as possible, and which is essential to the well-being of society. It is no doubt of the utmost importance to open to the labouring classes the sources of a variety of knowledge, in order that intellectual gratifications may be placed within their reach; and we believe, indeed we know, that there are many among them in whose minds the beauties of nature, the wonders of science, and the curiosities of other lands, excite an interest sufficient to conquer the attractions of sensuality or sloth. But when we reflect how few can be found in any class who habitually prefer intellectual gratification to the allurements of animal indulgence, it seems scarcely reasonable to anticipate, from mere school instruction, such an effect upon the great mass of our operative population. We have, however, a right to expect a far more direct and powerful influence upon their habits, from a system of education which should include the science and practice of household management in the course of female tuition; and which should, in early life, thoroughly imbue the other sex with a distinct and familiar conception of those principles of social economy which will enable them to take a just view of their own position in the community; and to comprehend the nature and operation of those various agencies which influence, for good or evil, the condition of the class to which they belong. A knowledge of the laws which regulate wages
the relation of population to subsistence—and the state and prospects of our different colonies—if widely diffused, and thoroughly impressed upon the working classes, would, in the course of a few years, go far, not only to remove many of the most active causes of their misery, but to preclude all reasonable ground for that alarm which recent events have so powerfully excited, and which cannot fail to be experienced by the wealthy and luxurious, when surrounded by ignorant and suffering multitudes. Men instructed upon these points, would never, like the hand-loom weavers, be guilty of the egregious folly of bringing up child after child to their own occupation—an occupation which they know to be already overstocked, and to be doomed to certain and speedy extinction. Men instructed upon these points would be able to estimate how insignificant is the profit they derive from the daily labour of their wives in coal-mines and in factories; when set against its certain consequences—the absence of all good household management, the destruction of domestic comfort, and the neglected health and education of their children. Men thus instructed would never have wasted months of time, and millions of money, in strikes and outbreaks at once mischievous and futilemischievous, because involving severe suffering and great social disorganization, and sowing the seeds of permanent ill-willfutile, because commonly directed against the inevitable operation of natural laws. Men thus instructed would scarcely waste, as often as they now do, in ignoble and injurious indulgence, those ample earnings which-otherwise employed-might purchase comfort and independence, and frequently an advance into a higher station. And men thus instructed would never endure, year after year, the extremity of misery at home, when a moderate exertion of energy would ensure them plenty and repose in our colonial possessions. It may be added, too, that men so instructed would never have committed the singular and disreputable blunder of thwarting, from the misconceptions of a groundless jealousy, all the efforts of the class immediately above them, to procure extended commerce and abundant food.
ART. VI.-1. Aus der Gesellschaft, Novelle. Von (From Society,
a Novel, by) Ida, Gräfin (Countess) Hahn-Hahn. 8vo.
Berlin : 1838. 2. Der Rechte, (The Right One.) Von Ida, Gräfin Hahn
Hahn. 8vo. Berlin : 1839. 3. Gräfin Faustine. Von Ida, Gräfin Hahn-Hahn. 8vo.
Berlin : 1840. 4. Ulrich. Von Ida, Gräfin Hahn-Hahn, 2 vols. 8vo. Ber
lin : 1841. 5. Sigismund Forster. Von Ida, Gräfin Hahn-Hahn. 8vo.
Berlin : 1843. 6. Cecil. Von Ida, Gräfin Hahn-Hahn. 2 vols. 8vo. Ber
It t is a remarkable fact, that, out of the fourteen or fifteen thou
sand living authors of Germany, not one (if we except Tieck, who belongs to the last generation) has obtained any thing approaching to an European reputation, or given decided proofs of originality, as a novelist. Rich in historians, fertile in critics, abounding in metaphysicians, and overflowing with thinkers, (or gentlemen who think that they are thinking, ) the whole Confederation has proved, during the last quarter of a century, utterly unable to produce a prose writer of fiction, who does not turn out, on nice inspection, to be an imitator;—to have belonged, from his her first conception, to some one of the established schools, historical, metaphysical, or romantic; and kept constantly though unconsciously in mind, some one of the great masters or masterpieces-in nine cases out of ten, Scott or Goethe-Wilhelm Meister or Waverley. At last, however, we have found one who draws exclusively on her own resources, rises proudly superior to authority, holds on her course in entire disregard or forgetfulness, as well of the examples set by her predecessors as of the rules laid down by her contemporaries; and, as may be guessed, is utterly unlike all or any of her countrymen or country women, who, to our knowledge, have hitherto risked themselves in print.
Ida, Countess Hahn-Hahn, is, both by birth and marriage, a member of the Mecklenburg family of Hahn, which begins with a distinguished founder in the dark' ages, and boasts nine or ten centuries of unsullied nobility. When very young, she married