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means wbich it employs to effectries of years, and without any abateits object are different-the spirit in ment of their feelings, to be exaspe. which it acts is different--and Mr rated by any law, that is not in it M'Culloch's maxim or apophthegm self both theoretically unjust, and falls to the ground.

practically pernicious ? A law must In our opinion, Mr M'Culloch has bear upon them and their comforts, grossly exaggerated the bad effect and pursuits, and pleasures, before of the Combination Laws on the we can admit that its influence on spirit of the workmen towards their the whole temper and character can employers—and of the employers be such as Mr M'Culloch has detowards their workmen. “ They scribed. There are few such laws taught them," he says, “to believe in this country, but perhaps the that there was one measure of jus. Game Laws were of that kind; and tice for the rich, and another for the they produced such effects. Manypoor. They consequently set the in our opinion, most of the nocturinterests and the feelings of those nal meetings alluded to-the oaths of two great classes in direct and hos. privacy-and secret conjurations, tile opposition to each other; and among the idle, the profligate, and did more to engender hatred be the disaffected-were meetings of a tween the different orders of 80- very different character-for differ. ciety—to render the masters deg- ent objects, and for the concert of potic and capricious, and the work very different means. They were men idle and turbulent, than can be meetings of a political character easily conceived or imagined by such meetings as will often take those who are not pretty intimately place, whether there be Combinaacquainted with the state of society tion Laws or not, in such a country in the manufacturing districts. In as ours, where, from the very nastead of putting down combinations, ture of our prosperity, there must they had the effect of rendering be severe fluctuations in the condi. them universal, and to give them a tion of the people-where, from the dangerous character. For the fair very nature of that people, licen. and open, though frequently foolish tious as well as free, there never and extravagant proceedings of men will be wanting dark spirits to aghonestly endeavouring to advance gravate distress by disaffectionthemselves in society, and to sell and where, from the nature of our their labour at the highest price, the civil polity, incendiaries and demaCombination Laws gave us nocturnal gogues are long suffered to plan meetings, secret cabals, and oaths of their nefarious machinations against privacy." The statement is in part by the peace of the poor, rather than much too highly coloured. That the that Government should, in its anxworkmen occasionally were irritat. iety to guard the social blessings we ed by laws which they did not under- enjoy, do in any danger aught to stand, and generally disliked, is cer- violate that liberty which is our tainly true; that their whole tempers, safeguard while we are good citi. dispositions, and state of mind, were zens, and a shield even between the thus disturbed, agitated, incensed, agitators of the public peace, and and rendered fierce and savage, is the infliction of punishment on powhat cannot be granted by any one litical crime. intimately acquainted with the cha- It is true, that unjust and pernicious racter of the working classes in Bri. legislation produces the very crimes tain. It is all along admitted by Mr it cruelly and inexorably punishes. M‘Culloch, that the Combination But the Combination Laws, how. Laws were in truth harmless-or ever objectionable, cannot be spoken nearly harmless, in as far as the rise of by any judicious person, as parand fall of wages depended upon taking of that character. The enorcauses altogether out of the power mities alluded to must have proeither of workmen or their employ- ceeded from causes altogether uners long to control. Now, igno. connected with Combination Laws. rant of political economy as the Sober, honest, industrious workmen working classes are, and long will do not become drunken, idle, un. be, is it not plain, that they never principled, and profligate, because do suffer themselves, for a long se. They are exasperated against their

masters, by laws leaning too much ted workmen, that he can afterwards in favour of those masters. Such find compensation for any losses persons may be dissatisfied, and may which he may have sustained by act, under the impulse of occasional the suspension of his works. Masirritation, more violently than other ters and manufacturers can lay an wise they would have done-but the assessment on the wages of the reevils we talk of were not the sins admitted workmen, or, which is the and crimes of such classes of work- same thing, can take them in again men, but they were chiefly the work upon reduced wages, till they have of the thoroughly bad, whom the received, by the difference, a comopportunities of the times brought plete indemnification for all that forth into warfare, secret and sa- they have suffered by the interrupvage, against the interests and wel. tion of the manufacture.” Nothing fare of those whom they pretended more easy than to make such an asto befriend.

sertion with all possible seriousness But, is any man entitled to say, and gravity. But is it not surprising from his acquaintance with the cha- that Dr Chalmers did not suspect racter and conduct of the working that this indemnification was not of classes, that before the repeal of the such easy accomplishment, when he Combination Laws, they were pos- himself adds, in the very next sensessed with this sullen or ferocious tence, that “ this has often been spirit towards their employers : Quite held out as a threat, although we are the reverse.

not aware of any instance in which Dr Chalmers, in his Civic Econo- it has been put into execution !” my, argues, that masters have little But Dr Chalmers is determined or nothing to apprehend from any that masters shall not suffer by any combinations among workmen. He imaginable combinations, and adspeaks of a system of prevention, vances the somewhat startling docnamely, “to engage their labourers for trine," that in the mere working of a service of months, instead of weeks such a transaction, as a strike among or days, and then to put forth a legi. workmen-there does naturally and timate strength to compel their ful. at length cast up a most liberal comfilment of the stipulated period. To pensation, I will not say to each inmake the security more effectual, dividual master, but certainly to the they could hire their workmen in general body; so that their interest, separate classes at all separate pe viewed as a whole, does not suffer riods, so that, at the worst, it could by it. The master, in truth, is only only be a partial, and never a uni- the ostensible, or at most the temversal strike at any one time.” This porary sufferer by this conspiracy suggestion is not original; neither of his workmen; and if there be any could the plan proposed be carried sufferer at all in the long run, it is into effect without great difficulty not he, but the customer. He loses and inconvenience, and frequent dis- profit for a season; but it is all made satisfaction on the part either of up to him by the eventual rise of master or workmen, when, owing to profit that ensues on the production the alternations in trade, the one or of his commodity being suspended. the other might be paying or recei. This is the well-known effect of a ving more or less than the state of general strike among operatives; it the trade would, but for the long relieves the overladen market of bargain, have of itself caused. The the glut under which it labours, and plan would be a bad one, and could by the time that workmen at length only be resorted to to prevent the give in, the manufacturer enters upgreater evils of combination. But on what to him is the most enrichbetter surely to prevent an evil by ing of all harvests, the harvest of a law, than to attempt it by circuitous, brisk demand upon empty wareclumsy, and, we must say, impractin houses. These cessations are the cable modes of hiring and paying la- very calms that not only precede, bourers.

but ensure the gales of prosperity But the Doctor maintains, that be that come in between them.” sides this system of prevention, “such Now, suppose this doctrine to be is the plenitude of the master's means sound - it follows, that the loss for the counteraction of his associa- which is generally and universally

supposed to fall on the employers provided for him for the loss susof workmen from a strike, falls on tained during the strike. the consumer. What the better is Dr Chalmers confines himself society at large of that? The loss is solely to what the combiners may incurred-and the main question is, suffer- and is of opinion with Mr not who bears it, but what is its M'Culloch, that great as that suffering amount? But Dr Chalmers has not may be, it is better that they should shewn that the additional profits of be taught by experience than fetterthe manufacturer, when the men re ed by law. “ It is," he thinks, “alturn to work, will more than come together misplaced and unnecessary pensate for the loss he sustained by for Government to meddle with the the non-employment of his capital steps of a process that will so surely during the strike. He has merely terminate in the very result which it said that profits will rise, because can be the only object of Government there will be a brisk demand on to effectuate.” That is to say, that it empty warehouses- and because is and ought to be indifferent to Gothe cessation of the workmen from vernment whether the people suffer labour had relieved the overladen frequent and severe distress, since market of the glut under which it things are so sure to come right again, had laboured. But what right has or whether the natural course of trade Dr Chalmers to assume that the and manufactures, agriculture and overladen markethad laboured under commerce, be undisturbed, and pera glut? It had done no such thing; mitted to proceed by the directlaws by for in most cases, and certainly in which the interests of all classes are the cases to which he alludes, the regulated and guarded. So confi. strike had taken place when there dent is Dr Chalmers in the soundwas a great demand, and an ibade- ness of all his doctrine on this subquate supply, aud therefore when ject-that he treats it almost in a style the workmen were making high wa. of jocularity-and talks of all the ges. The very reason why the distress, misery,and rice and wickedworkmen struck was their knowledge ness, that attended the combinations, of that fact; the knowledge tbat their as mere exercises and discipline, and work was wanted - and therefore schooling which it was advantageous they would not give it except its to the community that the workprice was considerably augmented. ing classes should endure. “ We are Had there been a glut in the market, aware," says he," of the spirit which the masters would not bare com- is going forth in succession through plained of a strike among their work, the manufacturing districts of the men surely, but they would of them. land. But truly, we contemplate selves have diminished their num- the progress of these outbreakings ber.

with no other feelings, and po otber But it is altogether a mistake to anticipations, than we should regard think that the profits of the masters the progress of an ambulatory school, would be greater io consequence of whose office it is to spread the lese the strike. The demand had not sons of a practical wisdom over the been supplied but after the supply face of the country, and the peace again answered the demand, the de- and meekuess of wisdom will be the mand would not be greater because inevitable result. lo some places of its former disappointment ofsup- they bave acquired the lesson, wbile ply. I do not burn more coals in in others they are only learning it. my family this month, because I had The country is still at school upon been obliged to burn fewer the this subject, and it were a pity she month before. I do not wear two was not permitted to finish her edupair of shoes this month because I cation." !!!!!!!!! did not wear out one the month be- It is admitted by all, that every fore. The consumers are not in- kind of violence used to force workcreased in number-and their wants men into combinations is uulaware the same as before-therefore ful—and by the new act enacted the demand cannot be greater after the repeal of the old lairand the master's profits cannot be it is punishable-as it is at comgreater than before the strike. mon law. “ The truth is,” says Therefore there is no compensation Dr Chalmers, most eloquendy," the

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truth is, “ that the workmen re- does dispose of it, often to his own
quire the strongest protection from ruin. The old Combination Law
a still more odious and oppressive guarded workmen against this sort of
tyranny than that which they so evil, just as the new law for the protec-
often denominated the tyranny of tion of workmen affects to guard them
their masters, which is apt to spring against open and direct violence;
up among themselves. We can con- and if the latter be worthy of Dr
fidently appeal to the experience of Chalmers' most eloquent panegyric,
many workmen, whether they ever or rather, if in his panegyric he
felt so grievously thwarted and over- point out the necessity of imbuing
borne out of their own free choice, the law with a still sterner and more
as by the terrors of their own asso- unsparing spirit, on what principle
ciation, whose secret and mysterious must we withhold our approbation
power wielded a far more despotic from the old law that had the same
sway over their imaginations than object in view, and guarded against
ever did the old law in the plenitude both classes of the evil at once?
of all its enforcements. We venture Not once during the whole of our
to affirm that the dread of ruin to argument, have we mentioned the
their families, and of injury to their Trades' Unions. They have re-
persops, has been far more frequently futed the speculations and assertions
inspired by their new despotism, of Mr M'Culloch and Dr Chalmers,
within these few months, than has with other weapons than ours; and
been done by the statutes against have made worse than ridiculous the
combinations among all the working predictions alike of lay and of cle-
classes put together for a whole cen- rical prophet. Tbey bave smashed
tury. An act for the further protec. all that pseudo-science which was
tion of workmen from this regime of sold to them at a penny a.pound, or
terror, so far from even the most dis- given gratis; their “effervescence
tant approach to a re-enactment of the and extravagance,” eight years and
Combination Laws, would in fact be more after the recovery of their
tantamount to a grant of additional rights, of which the Combination
liberty; and notwithstanding all the Laws bad deprived them, has got
clamour and jealousy of the obsti- hotter and wilder, and more “gro-
nately disaffected among them, would tesque;" the “ambulatory schools"
be substantially felt as such by the are in more active motion than
body at large."

ever; the country is still attending
Nothing can be more justly and them, even by night; and does Dr
forcibly said than this; but if such Chalmers continue to think that “it
conduct be so deserving of the se- would be a pity she were not per-
verest inflictions of the law, so de- mitted to finish her education ?"
structive of all freedom, all comfort, Some of the aptest scholars-and
and consequently so destructive of who had made the greatest profi-
the interests of society, what would ciency-though not long ago simple
Dr Chalmers, or any other enlight- clod-hoppers, and still given to the
ened man, say of the crime of dri- singing of psalms-have most tyran-
ving others, against their will, into nically been bindered by a Whig
combinations by another kind of Government from finishing their
despotism as dreadful as this-and education in this country, and ship.
of which the quiet, the simple, the ped for Botany Bay; though guilt-
sober, the sensitive, the timid, the less, says Mr Roebuck, who bounds
home-loving, and the respectable, are over an impediment in the way of
in general the victims? That kind of an argument, as his namesake would
despotism the law, as it now stands, a paling in the season of love-
cannot punish or prevent; it works though guiltless of either moral or
precisely the same evil that Dr Chal- legal offence. The punishment does,
mers so indignantly denounces as a fit indeed, seem a sorry and savage sub-
object of severest punishment. But stitution for that of the mild and
the combinations are still called vo- merciful old Combination Law. But
luntary-and every man, forsooth, a fearful field lies before us--and we
has a right to the disposal of his own must contemplate it steadily to un-
property-his labour-and under the derstand and describe it,
brutal power of such a tyranny he

Noctes Ambrosianae.

No. LXV.



Phoc. ap. Ath.
[This is a distich by wise old Phocylides,
An ancient who wrote crabbed Greek in no silly days ;
An excellent rule of the hearty old cock'tis-
And a very fit motto to put to our Noctes.]

C. N. ap. Ambr.

SCENE— Tent in the Fairy's Cleugh-North and the Registrar lying on the

brae. (In attendance, AMBROSE and his Tail.)

“ The day is placid in its going,
To a lingering stillness bound;
Like a river in its flowing-

Can there be a softer sound ? " What, my dear North! Can't I waken you from your reverie even by a stanza of your own bard-Wordsworth ? Hollo ! are you asleep, you old somnolent sinner? (Shouting through the hollow of his hands into North's ear.) Nay, you must be dead. That posture grows every hour more alarming, and if this be not death, why then I pronounce it an admirable imitation. Laid out! Limb and body stiff and stark as a winter clod-mouth open-eyes ditto, and glazed like a window.pane in frost. How white his lips! And is there po breath ? (Puts his pochet mirror to North's mouth.) Thauk heaven it dims-he lives! North, I say again, you old somnolent sinner, "awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!"

NORTH (motionlessly soliloquizing in a dream). Never in this well-wooded world, not even in the days of the Druids, could there have been such another Tree! It would be easier to suppose two Shakspeares.

REGISTRAR Sleeping or waking—always original. I must let the bald-headed bard enjoy a little while longer his delusion. (Pats North on the forehead.) What a pile!

NORTH. Yet have I heard people say it is far from being a large Tree. A small one it capnot be with a house in its shadow. An unawakened house that looks as if it were dreaming! True, 'tis but a cottage-a Westmoreland cottage

REGISTRAR. The buck is at the Lakes.

NORTH But then it has several roofs shelving away there in the lustre of loveliest lichens

REGISTRAR. “And apt alliteration's artful aid." Yet methinks such affectations are beneath the dignity of his genius. Kit, you're a conceited callant.

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