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on public topics of great interest, illustrate and support them by facts, and keep both relevant and applicable to the existing state and wants of society.
In the APPENDIX will be found valuable statements elucidatory and corroborative of different portions of the work; especially the Tables of Prices, of Rates of Wages in different branches of industry formerly and at present, the Progress of Population and Poor-rates, Returns of Mortality, Diseases, Marriages, Crimes, Education, Friendly Societies, Occupations, and other documentary evidence, illustrative of the past and present state of society, and of the industrious classes. Also several articles, such as those on the Poor-law Commission, Increase of Crime, Maxims of Conduct, &c., which could not without inconvenient digression be incorporated into the body of the work.
Now, Sir, allow me in conclusion to congratulate you on the favourable aspect of human affairs. The temple of Janus is shut; in the new and in the old world there is peace, with hardly a rumour of war, and what is more, there is the spirit of peace, and an aversion in both people and their rulers, to resort to violence, as the arbiter of national rights. Every state in Europe is advancing in wealth and intelligence, and in mutual goodwill. There is no agitation any where, save that of OPINION, which of itself strongly denotes that the natural wants of man are tolerably satisfied. Amidst all this, it is pleasing to
think our own country keeps the foremost place. One of the noblest indications of moral and intellectual worth, is the love of justice and humanity, and of this we are about to afford a splendid example. It has long been the boast of the Christian over the heathen world, that it was the first to establish asylums for indigence and misfortune. The second, and not less brilliant triumph of modern over Greek and Roman civilization, will be the extinction of slavery, by the emancipation of the African race.
I am, my dear Sir,
Truly yours, London, June 12, 1833.
J. WADE. P.S. In the numerous Literary Notices of the first and second impressions of this work the chief objection urged against it has been, that the title is a misnomer,—that it is not so much a history, as a popular compendium of social and economical science. Perhaps there is some foundation for this representation. My purpose was to give a brief exposition of the facts and principles influencing the social and industrial state of the Middle and Working Classes, and to accomplish this design within the limits I had prescribed, did not admit of my devoiing greater space to the historical department of my subject. J. W.
July 25, 1835.
Decay of the Nobility-Progress of the Middle Classes-Rise
of Country Gentlemen--Industry fettered by Patents and
Trust Reposed in Physicians and Attorneys Wages vary