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phenomena composing our motley, and probably unique, form of society. But the leading impressions he seems to have carried away with him are, that England offers the most forcible contrasts which human life can furnish. Splendour and comfort are everywhere to be found side by side with misery; benevolence, piety, love of order, in company with squalid indigence, and debauched and vicious habits; whilst industry, talents, and the domestic virtues are to be found flourishing in the centre of depraved multitudes. The manufacturing “hives” present equally marked contrasts—vast masses of workpeople shall be comfortably cared for and their morals watched over, in one district; whilst in others, the human species shall be found degraded to the level of swine. Beholding these monstrous inequalities of lot amongst the members of one community, M. Faucher is prompted to express a sentiment which, indeed, seems but too just and natural, in regard to the sacrifice of human life and powers by which the prodigious wealth and power of England have been acquired. M. Faucher deems the price paid for our superiority too great—he considers the manufacturing system to have been reared upon an inhuman basis, and thinks that a severe retribution must overtake the capitalists sooner or later. Furthermore, whilst he accords to the over-worked factory labourer a measure of deep commiseration, he reserves a scarcely inferior feeling of pity and sympathy for the agricultural or out-door labourer. No class, in short, earning their subsistence by labour in this country, but is an object of profound compassion, excepting, perhaps, those individual factories whose proprietors, like Messrs. Greg, Strutt, Ashworth, and Ashton, E
consent to dedicate a portion of their time and attention to the well-being oftheir people.
* Lorsque les premières atteintes du mal industriel se firent sentir en Angleterre, on essaya d'abord d'en détourner les yeux; l'on en contesta la réalité. . . . . Plus tard, le recensement de la population ayant fait connaître l'effroyable mortalité des districts manufacturiers, et la publication des tables criminelles ayant montré l'accroissement des délits, il ne fut plus possible de prolonger ces illusions. Alors la discussion reporta sur les causes du désordre nouveau qui venait de se révéler. Pendant que l'aristocratie foncière en accusait l'industrie elle-même, et ne voyait dans l'activité des ateliers que des germes de mort, l'aristocratie industrielle s'en prenait aux lois et à l'état de la société. Bientôt les avocats des manufactures, quittant la defensive, ont cherché à établir que la condition des populations rurales était encore inférieure à celle des ouvriers fileurs ou tisseurs ; mais tout ce qu'ils ont prouvé en jetant sur les faits cette cruelle lumière, c'est que le mal existait des deux côtés."—Tome i. p. 381.
Without concurring in the loose declamatory accusations against the wealthy, which are now so commonly vented by the " friends of the poor" par excellence, M. Faucher is nevertheless impelled, by the strong feelings of humanity he cherishes, to address them in the following language—in reference to the foregoing StatementS :- «
* Il y a là un scandale qui pèse à la conscience publique ; chacun sent bien que, dans un pays où de pareilles maladies se déclarent, les hommes qui président à la direction de l'ordre social ne sauraient échapper à toute responsabilité. . . . .
* Il est triste, quand on aspire à une renommée de richesse, de force, et de moralité, de se voir montré au doigt en Europe, et de devenir pour les uns un sujet de reproche, pour les autres un objet de pitié. .. . .
* Enfin, l'Angleterre comprend que son avenir même est menacé. Un peuple aussi profondément attaché au culte de la matière doit mettre la force physique au premier rang des élémens sur lesquels repose la puissance d'un état, et il doit s'alarmer plus qu'un autre dès qu'il voit décliner, sous l'influence des privations combinées avec l'intempérance et avec l'excès du travail, la constitution des ouvriers. • e • • • Il s'est organisé (i. e., le peuple) pour une sorte de lutte universelle avec le monde civilisé, qu'il défie tout ensemble dans les conquêtes aussi peu pacifiques de l'industrie. Comment ne tremblerait-il pas, à la seule idée d'une diminution probable dans l'effi
cacité desinstrumens avec lesquels il combat et il produit.”—Tome i.
These appeals to the conscience as well as to the fears of the educated classes, dictated as they are by the sincerest benevolence, have their use in keeping alive that sense of duty towards inferiors which is indispensable to the existence of civilized society. But we must be allowed to observe that, to English ears, they savour of that entire ignorance of what we are doing, and what has been doing, in regard to our domestic organization, which is so universal in the French mind when treating of England. It is, perhaps, on this account, superfluous to wonder that M. Faucher should not be aware that no subject, bearing on our internal condition, has occupied anything like the same degree of laborious attention and earnest solicitude, both on the part of the legislature and the influential classes, lay and clerical, for the last twenty years, as this very problem of the increase of indigence. And if we are no nearer to the discovery of a means of extinguishing it than before, it is well to have laboured heartily to that end, as we have done, and to have accomplished the most effectual mitigation of the evil which the actual condition of society admitted of.-viz., the New Poor Law of 1835.
But in order to appreciate the efforts made by England towards a healthier state of morals and comfort among her working population, it ought to be carefully ascertained how much of human suffering is curable by human agency, and how much incurable. The Turk or Egyptian fatalist quietly resigns himself to misfortune and suffering, in the belief that no part
of it is curable by man. This is one end of the scale
of faith. At the opposite end may be found sanguine
to the poor is, of course, also spent, by the party receiving it, unproductively. What is saved might be likewise given; but if no savings are made, all provision against casual reverses, as well as all accumulation of capital, destined to reproduce wealth, is annihilated— a consequence which cannot be too emphatically deprecated. But whilst we estimate the agency of charitable donations as a very inadequate counterpoise to the pressure of the general mass of poverty in a community, it is fitting that the wide extent to which the habit of benevolence is practised in Great Britain should be placed in a strong light, by way of proving that the experiment has at least been extensively tried.
When, indeed, we come to look into the amount of what is given, without a shadow of return, by rich to poor in this country—not counting various services in person rendered by rich men—its magnitude is astonishing. Setting aside the enormous standing provi
sion for sick and infirm (the result of endowments),
and for educational objects, an Englishman of fortune seldom has his purse out of his hand. He pays all sorts of legal demands for the subsistence of the poor
in the first place; next, he subscribes to various public
charities, also to ploughing-matches, &c.; he assists poor dependents; supports decayed relations; he gives alms on the highways; he drops money into the charityplate at dinners and after sermons; he encloses fivepound notes to the police magistrates, as from “A. X.”; he distributes coals, clothes, meat at Christmas; he gives land to build a school upon; he pays for the doctors of the poor; he lends to inferiors, and never gets paid; finally, he dies and leaves bequests to halfa-dozen eleemosynary institutions, and to humble ser