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poets. The music and the just and pure been fond of personal delineations, from modulation of his verse carry us back not Claribel and Lilian down to his Ida, his only to the fine ear of Shelley, but to Mil- Psyche, and his Maude; but they have ton and to Shakespeare: and his powers of been of shadowy quality, doubtful as to fancy and of expression bave produced flesh and blood, and with eyes having little passages which, if they are excelled by or no speculation in them. But he is far that one transcendent and ethereal poet of greater and far better when he has, as he our nation whom we have last named, yet now has, a good raw material ready to could have been produced by, no other his hand, than when he draws only on the English minstrel. Our author has a right airy or chaotic regions of what Carlyle to regard his own blank verse as highly calls unconditioned possibility. He is characteristic and original : but yet Milton made not so much to convert the moor has contributed to its formation, and occa- into the field, as the field into the rich sionally there is a striking resemblance in and gorgeous garden. The imperfect turn and diction, while Mr. Tennyson is nisus which might be remarked in some the more idiomatic of the two. The chastity former works has at length reached the and moral elevation of this volume, its fulness of dramatic energy: in the Idylls essential and profound though not didactic we have nothing vague or dreamy to comChristianity, are such as perhaps cannot plain of: everything lives and moves, in be matched throughout the circle of Eng- the royal strength of nature: the fire of lish literature in conjunction with an equal Prometheus has fairly caught the clay: power: and such as to recall a pattern each figure stands clear, broad and sharp which we know not whether Mr. Tennyson before us, as if it had sky for its backhas studied, the celestial strain of Dante.* ground: and this of small as well as great, This is the more remarkable, because he tor even the little 'novice' is projected on has had to tread upon ground which must the canvas with the utmost truth and have been slippery for any foot but his. vigour, and with that admirable effect in We are far from knowing that either heightening the great figure of Guinevere, Lancelot or Guinevere would have been which Patroclus produces for the characsafe even for mature readers, were it not ter of Achilles, and (as some will have it) for the instinctive purity of his mind and the modest structure of St. Margaret's for the high skill of his management. We do the giant proportions of Westminster Abknow that in other times they have had bey. And this, we repeat, is the crown- . their noble victims, whose names have be- ing gift of the poet: the power of concome immortal as their own.

ceiving and representing man.

We do not believe that a Milton-or, "Noi leggevamo un giorno per diletto in other words, the writer of a “Paradise Di Lancilotto, e come amor lo strinse. Lost,'—-could ever be so great as a Shake.

speare or a Homer, because (setting aside Galeotto fu il libro, e chi lo scrisse.'t

all other questions) his chief characters How difficult it is to sustain the eleva are neither human, nor can they be legition of such a subject, may be seen in the timately founded upon humanity; and, well-meant and long popular “Jane Shore' moreover, what he has to represent of of Rowe. How easily this very theme man is, by the very law of its being, may be vulgarised, is shown in the Che limited in scale and development. Here valiers de la Table Ronde' of M. Creuzé at least the saying is a true one: Antiquide Lesser, who nevertheless has aimed at tas sæculi, juventus mundi ; rendered by a peculiar delicacy of treatment.

our poet in “The Day-dreain,' But the grand poetical quality in which this volume gives to its author a new

For we are ancients of the earth, rank and standing is the dramatic power :

And in the morning of the times.' the power of drawing character and of representing action. These faculties have The Adam and Eve of Paradise exhibit to not been precocious in Mr. Tennyson :

us the first inception of our race; and but what is more material, they have neither then nor after their first sad lesson, come out in great force. He has always

could they furnish those materials for re

presentation, which their descendants have * It is no reproach to say that neither Dante nor accumulated in the school of their incesHomer could have been studied by Mr, Tennyson sant and many-coloured, but on the whole at the time--a very early period of his life-when he wrote the lines which are allotted to them too gloomy experience.

To the long respectively in "The Palace of Art.'

chapters of that experience every generaInferno, c. V., v. 127.

tion of man makes its own addition. Again


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we ask the aid of Mr. Tennyson in ‘Locks- Read before the Statistical Section of ley Hall:

the British Association at Liverpool in

September, 1837. By Henry Ashworth. Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing

Manchester, 1838. purpose runs, And the thoughts of men are widened with the 2. The Preston Strike ; an Inquiry into process of the suns.'

its Causes and Consequences. Read

before the Statistical Section of the BriThe substitution of law for force has in- tish Association at Liverpool, Septemdeed altered the relations of the strong ber, 1854. By Henry Ashworth, Esq., and the weak; the hardening or cooling F.S.S. Manchester, 1854. down of political institutions and social 3. Combinations and Strikes, their Cost traditions, the fixed and legal track in- and Results ; comprising a Sketch of stead of the open pathless field, have re- the History and Present State of the moved or neutralised many of those occa- Lar respecting them, with a few Sugsions and passages of life, which were for- gestions for remedying the Evils arising merly the schools of individual character. therefrom. By George Price. London, The genius of mechanism has vied, in the 1854. arts both of peace and war, with the strong hand, and has well-nigh robbed it No labourer is better worthy of his hire of its place. But let us not be deceived than the English one, It is not merely by that smoothness of superficies, which that he works harder than the labourer of the social prospect offers to the distant any other country, but he generally proeye. Nearness dispels the illusion; lite is duces a better quality of workmanship. still as full of deep, of ecstatic, of harrow- He possesses a power of throwing himself ing interests as it ever was. The heart of bodily into his occupation, which has man still beats and bounds, exults and always been a marvel to foreigners. When suffers, from causes which are only less sa- the first gangs of English navvies went lient and conspicuous because they are more over to France to construct the works of mixed and diversified. It still undergoes the Rouen Railway, the peasantry used every phase of emotion, and even, as seems to assemble round them, and gaze with probable, with a susceptibility which has wonder at their energy and dexterity in increased and is increasing, and which has handling the spade and mattock, and at its index and outer form in the growing the immense barrow loads of earth which delicacy and complexities of the nervous they wheeled out. · Voilà ! voilà ! ces system. Does any one believe that ever Anglais ! comme ils travaillent !' was the at any time there was a greater number common exclamation. of deaths referable to that comprehensive But it is not merely where muscular cause, a broken heart?

Let none fear strength, bone, and sinew are needed, that that this age, or any coming one, will ex- the continuous power of the English latinguish the material of poetry. The more bourer displays itself. Even in cotton reasonable apprehension might be lest it manufacturing, where little exertion is reshould sap the vital force necessary to quired, the English workman by his pahandle that material, and mould it into tient application contrives to do as much appropriate forms. To those especially, in six hours as the Frenchman does in ten. who cherish any such apprehension, we A witness before a Parliamentary Comrecommend the perusal of this volume. mittee, who had been employed in superOf it we will say without fear, what we intending eight men in one of the best would not dare to say of any other recent manufactories in Alsace, was asked, “Supwork; that of itself it raises the character posing you had eight English corders unand the hopes of the age and the country der you, how much more work could you wbich have produced it, and that its au- have done ?"

His answer thor, by his own single strength, has made one Englishman, I could have done more a sensible addition to the permanent work than I did with those eight Frenchwealth of mankind.

It cannot be called work they do, it is only looking at it, and wishing it done.'*

was, With


* Evidence of Adam Young before the CommitART. VI.-1. An Inquiry into the Origin, tee on the Employment of Artisans and Machinery, Progress, and Results of the Strike of the in 1824. It ouglit, however, to be added, in jus. Operative Cotton-Spinners of Preston, considerable progress as skilled workmen during

tice to the artisans of Alsace, that they have made from October, 1836, to February, 1837. the last thirty years.

The English workman, besides his energy | mechanical skill, greatly exceed what could and steadfastness in working, is extremely have been effected by the entire human dexterous in the use of tools. Mechanism family by means of physical labour alone. is the genius of England, and the source Such being the diligence, the dexterity, of an enormous portion of her wealth and and the ingenuity of English workmen, it power as a nation. . What has been is meet that they should be liberally reachieved by means of improvements in munerated. None will deny them their tools and in machines, which are but organ- right to a fair day's wages for a fair day's ized tools—has been accomplished almost work; nor do we think that they fail to entirely by the ingenuity of our skilled obtain it. At no previous period has so workmen. Deduct all,' says Mr. Helps, large a number of skilled workmen re

that men of the humbler classes have ceived higher wages, and in no country done for England in the way of inventions are they able to live more comfortably only, and see where she would have been upon the proceeds of their toil, if we exbut for them. By the contrivances which cept only those new colonies in which land they have from time to time produced, is unusually abundant. There never was labour has been relieved from its most a time when skill and diligence received irksome forms of drudgery, and the more general encouragement, or in which heaviest burdens of toil have been laid there was a greater disposition to do honupon wind and water, upon iron and steam, our to the lot of labour. The road to and various other agencies of the inani- success is as free and open to the mechanic 'mate world. These are now the only as to any other member of the community. real slaves in England, the veritable It is notorious that many of our most suchewers of wood and drawers of water. cessful employers, and some of our largest There is, indeed, scarcely a department of capitalists, have sprung directly from the productive industry-especially where the working class, and, to use the ordinary articles produced are in great demand, phrase, been the architects of their own and are indispensable to the subsistence fortunes ;' whilst many more have risen or comfort of the masses—into which ma- from the rank scarcely a degree above chinery does not largely enter. It fashions them. It was the prudent thrift and wood and iron into the most exact propor- careful accumulations of working men that tions; weaves all manner of textile fabrics laid the foundations of the vast capital of with extraordinary accuracy and speed; the middle class; and it is this capital, prints books and newspapers; and carries combined with the skilled and energetic on the greater part of the locomotion of industry of all ranks, which renders Eng. the civilized world. Even in agriculture, land, in the quantity and quality of her hoeing, sowing, reaping, thrashing, and work, superior to any other nation in the grinding are done to a vast extent by ma- world. chinery, which every day extends its supre- The working-classes, again, are the prinmacy more and more over the materials cipal purchasers of those domestic and fofor food, for clothing, for housing, for loco- reign commodities which enter most largely motion, for defence, and for instruction. into the general consumption. By far the

Looking at the extraordinary conse- greater part of the agricultural produce of quences produced by the inventions of the country is raised for them; they are England during the last century—the re- the chief buyers of sugar, tea, and other sult of so much patient plodding and per- similar articles; and they are the best cussevering ingenuity on the part of our me- tomers of the manufacturers themselves. chanics—it will be obvious how immense Thus for the sake of the prosperity of the is the debt which the nation owes to this entire community it is most desirable that admirable class of persons. They have they should be abundantly supplied with enormously increased the resources of the the necessaries of life, be enabled to rent kingdom, and created remunerative em comfortable dwellings, clothe themselves ployment for immense masses of people decently, and educate their children congregated in all the great seats of in- creditably. For this purpose their earndustry, such as Manchester, Glasgow, and ings must be sufficient; and the great Birmingham, which may even be said to question arises, how is this to be secured ? have been called into existence by the va- Under the free competitive system which rious inventions of our skilled mechanics. prevails, the master's interest is to get his Mr. Bazley has stated that the useful pro- work done for as little as possible, comductions of the six counties of Lancaster, pared with other employers, in order that York, Chester, Stafford, Nottingham, and his profit may be the larger; whilst it is Leicester alone, aided by art, science, and the workman's interest to obtain as high wages as possible, in order that his coni- | Henry VIII.'s reign the sole monopoly of mand may be the greater over the com- labour was confirmed tơ them in some dismodities of life. How are these conflicting tricts. Bacon denounces their selfish interests to be reconcilerl ?

policy in opposing the admission of apThe ordinary modes which have hereto- prentices, and calls them “fraternities in fore been adopted for the purpose of regu- evil.' lating wages have been by law and by In the legislation of these early times conbination. The omnipotence of law has the greatest pains was taken to prevent been invoked alike by employers and em. the poor rustic from turning mechanic. ployed in various stages of our history. In The rustic was as yet a serf; and the law the infancy of skilled industry, great care (12 Richard II.) decreed that those emwas taken to foster the growth of par. ployed in husbandry until twelve years of ticular trades, with the object of securing age were not afterwards to leave their a ready supply of the necessaries of life, employment. Woollen-weavers were preincreasing the national wealth, and pro- cluded from taking apprentices, excepting viding remunerative employment for the they were the sons of freeholders of 3i. population. For this purpose franchises per annum; so that the whole advantage were bestowed, and guilds and corpora- derived from these legalized combinations tions founded, by the early English kings. of the guilds was confined to the compaThe guilds were fraternities of workpeople, ratively limited class of artisans in the the only free labourers of their time, who towns, who were then, as now, the aristoenjoyed a monopoly of producing the cratic order amongst working men. The articles in their respective trades in the constant resort to legislation, however, towns in which they were established. tended to impress on the minds of the They were legalised combinations of men community that the wages of labour, as and masters-trades' unions in their earliest well as the prices of commodities, were form. It was only the freemen in the things that could be determined by law; trade—those born in it, or who had been and those who conceived themselves to “bound' and served a long apprenticeship be insufficiently remunerated for their to it, thereby acquiring their freedom - work, or who paid what they thought that were entitled to its privileges. The exorbitant prices for the necessaries great body of the population at that time of life, were too ready to arrive at were serfs, and derived no advantage the conclusion that Government was the whatever from the combinations, being sole source of the evil. Hence distress rigidly excluded from their benefits. But among the working people, whether aristhese early trades' unions, instead of pro- ing from deficient crops, decaying indusmoting industry, were found to shackle try, or other causes, almost invariably asit; and hence, as early as the reign of sumed the form of political discontent. Edward III., we find a law passed annul- The reformation’ vowed by Jack Cade ling the franchises of the guilds as 'preju- in the insurrection of peasants in Henry dicial to the King, prelates, and great men, VI.'s time, as described by Shakspeare, and oppressive to the commons.' In the was probably the true expression of this same reign, however, a law was passed rooted feeling in the minds of the popufixing the wages to be paid for labour, de lation : There shall be seven halfpenny creeing that apprenticeship was to be the loaves sold for a penny; the three-hooped indispensable qualification for enabling any pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it person to follow a particular trade, and felony to drink small beer; all the realm that when the trade was once chosen no shall be in common.

There shall change of it could be allowed. Licence be no money; all shall eat and drink on was afforded to all persons to make cloths; my score, and I will apparel them all in and the prices of the cloths were not only one livery, that they may agree like brofixed by law, but the particular kind of thers, and worship me their lord.' This clothing to be worn by mechanics and is nothing more than a caricature of the rustics respectively, and the particular kind legislation actually in force at the time, of shrouds they were to be buried in, were decreeing how much working-people were also specified.' During the Wars of the to be paid for their work, and in what Roses, the English monarchs, desirous of en- they were to dress and to be buried. couraging the increase of the town popula- The same idea has even been revived in our tion by way of counterpoise to the influence own day in a neighbouring country, unof the great baronial families, restored der the high-sounding phrase, the orgathe privileges of the guilds in most of nization of labour;' and it has there been the corporate towns and cities; and in attempted to regulate wages, the hours of


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labour, and the mode of performing la- to manual occupation as affording the best bour, with what results we all know. means of independent subsistence, and

Sometimes the English artisans appealed being acted on steadily from generation to legislation to help them in combating to generation, it gradually educated a naimaginary evils, as in the case of the tion of skilled artisans. The chartered Shrewsbury cloth-frizers, in the reign of guilds and corporations were in some deElizabeth, who complained that persons gree placed beyond the reach of this law; neither belonging to their company, nor and it is a remarkable circumstance that brought up to their trade, ‘have of late in almost every case their privileges with great disorder, upon a mere covetous proved their ruin. Industry fied from the desire and mind, intromitted with and oc- protection of the united trades and guilds cupied the same trade, having no know of the corporate towns, and took refuge ledge, skill, or experience of the same, to in the unprivileged and then obscure hamthe impeachment and hindrance of six lets of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, hundred people of the art or science of Sheffield, and numerous other towns, sheermen, or frizers, within the said town.' which soon left the ancient cities and boThe Legislature listened to the appeal roughs far behind. made to them to protect the united sheer- As manufactures extended, and especimen, and the consequence was that the ally when machinery began to interfere, non-union artisans were expelled the town. not only with the power, but also with the Not more than six years later, however, dexterity, which, more than any statute, we find the same town of Shrewsbury protected the highly-paid artisan, the upagain before Parliament, imploring the per class of operatives, besides redoubling repeal of the Act passed for the benefit their exertions, were led to seek protection of the sheermen, on the ground that it in combinations for the purpose of mainthreatened to prove the ruin of the in- taining the rate of wages. These combinadustry of the place. The Act was re- tions had long been customary; the men pealed accordingly, with the following had been taught them by the guilds and significant avowal: “And where sithence corporations, and as early as Edward VI.'s the making of the said Act experience reign, when "ye workemen dyd rebbelle hath plainly taught in the said town that ther worke and refuse their places,' we find the said Act hath not only not brought an Act passed (2 and 3 Edw. VI. c. 15) the good effect that was hoped and sur- forbidding contederacies to enhance wages, mised, but also hath been, and is now under severe penalties. The combinations likely to be, the very greatest cause of the of those early days, as appears from one impoverishing and undoing of the poor of the sections of this Act, seem princiartiticers and others, at whose suit the pally to have occurred among those emsaid Act was procured, for that there be ployed in building, such as free-masons, now, sithence the passing of the said Act, rough masons, carpenters, and bricklayers. much fewer persons to set them to work The same subject occupied the attention than before,' &c.

of successive English parliaments, and as The Legislature nevertheless long con- many as thirty separate statutes were entinued to regulate the operations of com- acted, directed against trades' combinamerce, the prices of commodities, and the tions. These Acts continued in existence wages of labourers. It was for this last as late as the year 1824, when they were purpose that the Statute of Apprentices' all repealed. Legislation was abandoned, Act was devised in the reign of Elizabeth, because its total failure had been concluand continued in force for two centuries sively proved. It was found that combiand a half. By this law all men, except nations were not prevented by repression, gentlemen born, were compelled to work but, on the contrary, they multiplied in all either at trade or husbandry ; their wages directions, though in secrecy, and were an were to be assessed by the justices; and increasing source of crime and outrage of it was declared unlawful for any per- the most detestable character. Vitriolson to exercise any art, mystery, or ma- throwing, arson, and assassination were nual occupation now used in England and practised upon such masters and workmen Wales, unless he shall have been seven as made themselves obnoxious to the trades' years apprenticed to the same.' This Act, uvions; the operations of trade and capi. however arbitrary its provisions may now tal were seriously interfered with; and it appear, unquestionably exercised an im- was felt that, not only was it impossible to portant influence on English industry. It stop combinations, but, by contounding stigmatised and punished the idle and the right and wrong, and treating unionists as vagabond, directed the mass of the people telons, men were led to regard things

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