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which this has given rise; and that a provision for younger sons has been viewed as the great, if not the only good of a church, by many who hold the dispensation of its offices. It is this which has alienated from the Establishment so large a portion of the community; and, if the abuse of an institute were a sufficient argument for its destruction, perhaps the Church of England will be found to have sealed its own doom, and to have brought upon itself the sentence of its own overthrow. But we still hope, the impetuous spirit of the times may be tempered with discrimination, and that it will be judged better to direct the machinery, than to destroy it. An apparatus, in its own nature beneficial, may have been perverted to evil; yet, the way is, not to demolish or cast it aside, but to regulate its movements.
pp. 376, 7. And now, perhaps, our readers may be beginning to feel tired of the vexatious subject of political economy; and the signal failure of such a writer as Dr. Chalmers, may seem to justify the scepticism so prevalent in regard to the utility, or, at least, the attainableness of the science. All such doubters, we invite to turn from the dull paradoxes of Dr. Chalmers, to the delightful Political Economy made easy of Professor Harriet Martineau,—the most accomplished and engaging lecturer on abstruse subjects of science, that has taken the chair since the fair Novella d'Andrea, who lectured for her father, in the University of Bologna, behind a curtain
drawn before her,
And quite forget their jurisprudence. Whether our fair Dotteressa be charming or homely, old or young, matron or spinster, we know not; but this we must say, that she has employed to most admirable purpose very extraordinary talents ; extraordinary, not because these Tales of hers are in themselves beautifully simple, yet extremely touching, full of character, and at once dramatic and graphic,- for we have many female tale-writers in the present day, who have discovered similar knowledge of human nature and fertility of imagination; nor yet, because her notions indicate a clearness and comprehension of thought in relation to abstruse subjects of inquiry, a masculine faculty of abstraction, with a feminine power of illustration, rarely united; but because the combination of these qualifications for her difficult task is a phenomenon. Without pledging ourselves to an entire accordance with every one of the axioms laid down in these publications, we cannot too warmly applaud the design, spirit, and execution of the Parts which have appeared, and rejoice to know that they are already obtaining a wide circulation.
We must allow Miss Martineau to state her own design in undertaking the series.
· The works already written on Political Economy almost all bear a reference to books which have preceded, or consist in part of discussions of disputed points. Such references and such discussions are very interesting to those whom they concern, but offer a poor introduction to those to whom the subject is new. There are a few, a very few, which teach the science systematically as far as it is yet understood. These too are very valuable, but they do not give what we want—the science in a familiar, practical form. They give us its history; they give us its philosophy; but we want its picture. They give us truths, and leave us to look about us, and go hither and thither in search of illustrations of those truths. Some who have a wide range in society and plenty of leisure, find this all-sufficient; but there are many more, who have neither time nor opportunity for such an application of what they learn. We cannot see why the truth and its application should not go together,—why an explanation of the principles which regulate society should not be made more clear and interesting at the same time, by pictures of what those principles are actually doing in communities.
*For instance : if we want to teach that security of property is necessary to the prosperity of a people, and to show how and in what proportion wealth increases where there is that security, and dwindles away where there is not, we may make the fact and the reasons very well understood by stating them in a dry, plain way: but the same thing will be quite as evident, and far more interesting and better remembered, if we confirm our doctrine by accounts of the hardships suffered by individuals, and the injuries by society, in such a country as Turkey, which remains in a state of barbarism chiefly through the insecurity of property. The story of a merchant in Turkey, in contrast with one of an English merchant, will convey as much truth as any set of propositions on the subject, and will impress the memory and engage the interest in a much greater degree. This method of teaching Political Economy has never yet been tried, except in the instances of a short story or separate passage here and there.
This is the method in which we propose to convey the leading truths of Political Economy, as soundly, as systematically, as clearly and faithfully, as the utmost pains-taking and the strongest attachment to the subject will enable us to do. We trust we shall not be supposed to countenance the practice of making use of narrative as a trap to catch idle readers, and make them learn something they are afraid of. We detest the practice, and feel ourselves insulted whenever a book of the trap kind is put into our hands. It is many years since we grew sick of works that pretend to be stories, and turn out to be catechisms of some kind of knowledge which we had much rather become acquainted with in its genuine form. The reason why we choose the form of narrative is, that we really think it the best in which Political Economy can be taught, as we should say of nearly every kind of moral science. Once more we must apply the old proverb, “ Example is better than precept." We take this proverb as the motto of our design. We declare frankly, that our object is to teach Political Economy, and that we have chosen this method, not only because it is new, not only because it is entertaining, but because we think it the most faithful and the most complete. There is no doubt that all that is true and important about any virtue,-integrity, for instance, may be said in the form of a lecture, or written in a chapter of moral philosophy ; but the faithful history of an upright man, his sayings and doings, his trials, his sorrows, his triumphs and rewards, teaches the same truths in a more effectual as well as more popular form. In like manner, the great principle of Freedom of Trade may be perfectly established by a very dry argument; but a tale of the troubles, and difficulties, and changes of good and evil fortune in a manufacturer and his operatives, or in the body of a manufacturing population, will display the same principle, and may be made very interesting besides ; to say nothing of getting rid of the excuse that these subjects cannot be understood.'
Political Economy is described as treating of the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth ; understanding by the latter term, whatever material objects contribute to the support
and enjoyment of life.' As the necessaries and comforts of life must be produced before they can be distributed, and distributed before they can be consumed, the order of subjects seems determined by their nature; and accordingly, it is first proposed to shew, in the Tale called "Life in the Wilds', what labour can effect, and how it is to be encouraged, economized, and rewarded. In the second Tale, “The Hill and the Valley', the nature and operation of Capital are illustrated, the proportions of its increase, and the union of the two mighty agents of Production. The same general principles are exemplified by further illustrations in “Brooke and Brooke Farm.' · In No. IV., 'Demerara', the respective values of different kinds of labour, brute and human, free and slave labour, are treated of, together with the conditions upon which property is held. Having, in these four parts, illustrated the leading principles which regulate the production of wealth, the Author proceeds, in No. V., 'Ella of Garveloch', to consider the laws of its distribution; and first, to illustrate the nature of Rent. Wages and Profits will form the subject of illustration in the succeeding parts ; and finally, the principles which relate to the Consumption of Wealth, will be treated of in the same ingenious style of familiar exemplification.
We have very few observations to offer upon the Author's doctrines. Political economy may be generally described as treating of the sources and distribution of wealth ; although this does not, and is probably not intended to define the range of inquiry which the science embraces. These illustrations sufficiently prove that, with purely economical inquiries, collateral questions of a strictly moral or political nature are indissolubly connected and interwoven. The moment we speak of labour, or at least of the
which are labour, different kindln No. I by furthe
labourer, man, we have got out of pure "catallactics', and have entered upon a mixed subject, which may be said to belong to political ethics; and 'national wealth' can no longer be the proper definition of the object of inquiry, unless we understand the term as implying national welfare. In proof of this, we need only transcribe part of the 'Summary’of principles affixed to No. IV.
• Free and slave labour are equally owned by the capitalist.
“Where the labourer is not held as capital, the capitalist pays for labour only.
• Where the labourer is held as capital, the capitalist not only pays a much higher price for an equal quantity of labour, but also for waste, negligence, and theft, on the part of the labourer.
Capital is thus sunk, which ought to be reproduced.
As the supply of slave-labour does not rise and fall with the wants of the capitalist, like that of free labour, he employs his occasional surplus on works which could be better done by brute labour or machinery.
• By rejecting brute labour, he refuses facilities for convertible husbandry, and for improving the labour of his slaves by giving them animal food.
• By rejecting machinery, he declines the most direct and complete method of saving labour.
Thus, again, capital is sunk which ought to be reproduced.
In order to make up for this loss of capital to slave owners, bounties and prohibitions are granted in their behalf by government; the waste committed by certain capitalists abroad, being thus paid for out of the earnings of those at home.
Sugar being the production especially protected, every thing is sacrificed by planters to the growth of sugar. The land is exhausted by perpetual cropping, the least possible portion of it is tilled for food, the slaves are worn out by overwork, and their numbers decrease in proportion to the scantiness of their food, and the oppressiveness of their toil.
When the soil is so far exhausted as to place its owner out of reach of the sugar-bounties, more food is raised, less toil is inflicted, and the slave population increases.
* Legislative protection, therefore, not only taxes the people at home, but promotes ruin, misery, and death, in the protected colonies.
"A free trade in sugar would banish slavery altogether, since competition must induce an economy of labour and capital ; i. e., a substia tution of free for slave labour.
Let us see, then, what is the responsibility of the legislature in this matter.
· The slave system inflicts an incalculable amount of human suffering, for the sake of making a wholesale waste of labour and capital.
Since the slave system is only supported by legislative protection, the legislature is responsible for the misery caused by direct infliction, and for the injury indirectly occasioned by the waste of labour and capital. Part IV., pp. 142—3.
All this is clearly and admirably stated, nor can we have any
principhis axiom infair demandlitical econoe in the
possible objection against thus extending the range of inquiry to the principles of government and the responsibilities of legislators: we protest only against the affectation of those who would represent political economy as a mere technical inquiry into the principles of commercial exchange. In the first Part, we meet with this axiom in the summary of principles : 'All labour for • which there is a fair demand, is equally respectable. Now can this be called an axiom of political economy? It has clearly, whether correct or not, no right to a place in the summary ; although, in the tale, the lesson meant to be conveyed is instructively exemplified. The respectability of labour cannot depend, however, upon the "fair demand' for it; nor is it absolutely true, that every description of labour that is demanded, is equally respectable.
The next sentence to this would also require qualification, to be entirely just: 'Labour being a beneficial power, all Economy
of that labour must be beneficial.' This is true as a general rule, but it is not universally true. Economy of labour is beneficial-to whom? To the labourer himself? To the employer of labour ? Or to the community? The rule does not say. If it be meant, that it is always beneficial to all parties, the principle is positively erroneous. If the labourer can economize his own labour, he is of course the gainer, unless the whole advantage be taken from him by his employer. But, if it is one benefit of an economizing of labour, that it sets a man at liberty for • other work,' it is required to realize this benefit, that the man can be set to other work. Whenever the supply of labour is inadequate to the demand, the economizing of labour must be a source of wealth, by giving an augmented power of production. But, when the supply of labour is in excess, the economizing which tends to increase that excess, may be beneficial to the individual capitalist, but must add to the burdens of the community. Should this consequence be temporary and partial, it will not weigh much against the ultimate benefit of increasing the productive power of labour; yet, it is a circumstance not to be overlooked in the statement of principles.
The fact is, that, as labour cannot set itself to work beneficially, but requires the cooperation of capital, the economy of labour is beneficial only when it sets at liberty—not the labour that is superseded, but—the capital which employed it, and which is sure to afford employment for other labour. The benefit consists, not in the employment of less labour, but in the accomplishment of more by the same labour. If, by an economy of labour, five men can be enabled to produce what formerly required the toil of fifty, the benefit to society will be so far absolute, that that species of production will be cheapened, as costing less labour. And this will be the whole benefit, unless, by the increased consumption of