Imágenes de páginas

to force it below produces a contrary effect, though it may cause a division of the payment. Individuals may contrive to lower wages, and may throw the difference, with the increased cost of labour, upon the public-the state may inadequately remunerate those it employs, and thereby keep down the amount of taxation; but the means of paying the taxation will be inevitably diminished in a greater proportion. It is in the nature of things that pauperised labourers should be dearer than independent ones, and that public servants inadequately paid should be either unequal to their duties, or negligent or corrupt in the discharge of them. It is beyond a doubt that an armed force raised by conscription or impressment, by ballot, or by the seductions of enlistment, costs a nation more than the necessary price, though it may cost the government less. The general rule for obtaining labour, of whatsoever kind, at the cheapest rate, seems to be, first, to render the service as agreeable and respectable as its duties will permit, and then to offer in open market the lowest direct remuneration, which will induce the best qualified spontaneously to engage themselves, and willingly to continue. I believe, if the subject were closely pursued, it would appear, that by rendering the various offices of labour as little irksome as may be practicable, and by approximating by all possible means the direct wages of labour to the cost of labour, pauperism and crime might be very considerably reduced; and that, notwithstanding the general opinion to the contrary, even under present circumstances the cost of labour, taking quantity and quality together, is less in England, owing to its superior advancement, than in any other country in the world. The same union of activity and perseverance, the same manly discipline, the same noiseless efficiency, that distinguish the best English soldiers and sailors, are to be found in the best classes of English workmen; and these are points of comparison much more to be depended upon than the fallacious ones of daily wages, the price of bread, or the

amount of taxation. The hope of an immediate and adequate reward, and the certainty of the secure enjoyment of it are indispensably necessary to obtain labour at the lowest price, and however high that price may be, still it is the lowest possible. By a law of nature the slave is the dearest of labourers, and the man whose heart is in his work the cheapest-nay, even the brute who is going home, in the hope of eating his corn in comfort, is able to accomplish more than by any urging that can be inflicted upon him. Heart, kept constant by prudence, constitutes the perfection of a labourer.

The cost of labour is divisible into two parts; the necessary and unnecessary. The first consists of direct and indirect wages; the second of the expenses of ignorance, vice, and improvidence. As science and wealth are diffused, the effects of ignorance become more injurious, and the temptations to vice and improvidence greater. But for the pains that have been partially taken to enlighten the working classes, it is impossible that the principal manufacturing towns and districts could have reached their present state of prosperity. The degree of ignorance which prevailed thirty years ago would not have permitted such collections of numbers amid such a diffusion of riches. Improvidence and disorder would long since have gained an overwhelming ascendency; and they remain to their present extent chiefly because knowledge has not made an equal progress with wealth. In estimating the effects of the diffusion of education, it is not a comparison of the relative quantity of disorder formerly, with that which exists now, but with that which would exist now if there had been no such diffusion. If the town of Manchester, for instance, sixty years ago contained 40,000 inhabitants, and now contains 160,000, and if the quantity of disorder were even more than fourfold, yet it would not be reasonable to say the spread of knowledge was the cause. The true account most probably would be that but for the spread of knowledge, the present wealthy population could not hold together at all.


Ignorant people conduct themselves towards any new institution, as cows in a field towards a recently erected rubbing post. First they are suspicious and alarmed, and stare at a distance; by degrees they approach, and make their awkward attack, and lastly, they quietly put it to its use.

Dryden says of Virgil," he dexterously managed both prince and people, so as to displease neither, and to do good to both; which is the part of a wise and an honest man, and proves that it is possible for a courtier not to be a knave."

If you wish to be happy, have a small house and a large balance at your banker's; if you wish to be unhappy, adopt the opposite plan. But this rule is to be taken with reference to means. The principle applies, but not the degree, to the man of twenty thousand, and the man of two hundred a-year. To be overhoused and underbalanced is an evil in all conditions, and disturbs both sound sleep and good digestion.

There is no need of painful toil to those who begin prudently, and seek to supply none but real wants; wholesome labour is sufficient.

Nothing has conduced to unsettle the different classes in this country more than the attempts to settle them by family settlements, marriage settlements, and parish settlements. Lawyers thrive by them, but nobody else. I purpose to take occasion hereafter to examine into the nature and effects of these contrivances.

Published also monthly with the Periodicals, stitched in a wrapper.







No. XXVIII.] WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25, 1835. [PRICE 3d.

[blocks in formation]

I WAS intending to make coffee the subject of an article, when I received an anonymous communication beginning thus: "When you next want a subject for The Original,' let me suggest to you to try your hand at a dissertation on making tea and coffee, so as to produce the best of each." Making tea is a very simple process, and consists merely of pouring boiling water upon the leaf. In making both tea and coffee, I believe, it is better to use water which has only just boiled, than that which has been long over the fire. The latter, I fancy, has something vapid about it, but of this I am not certain. Soft water I have always understood to be preferable to hard. It is scarcely necessary to say that in order to make good tea, it is requisite to provide a good material. The process I should recommend, as most certain to prove satisfactory, is as follows. Have a kettle in the room.


As soon as the water boils, pour some into the tea-pot to heat it; then put in as much tea as will produce the desired strength, not by long infusion, but almost immediately. Pour the water hot from the fire upon the tea. Put the quantity you like of sugar and good cream into your cup, and pour the tea upon them, stirring it as you pour, and all one way round, which causes a smoothness and amalgamation very agreeable to the palate. I am now supposing you to be drinking tea for the sake of the tea. Under other circumstances you must do as well as you can. During the season of fires, I think a kettle much preferable to an urn, as ensuring a better condition of the water. With respect to the look of the thing, that is no consideration with me in comparison with the real advantage. As to the trouble of reaching it, that is not much; and there is nothing good to be had without some trouble. Letting tea stand long to get the strength out, or putting it near the fire to stew, is a very erroneous practice. The quicker it is made the more delicate is the flavour. Long infusion makes it coarse and harsh. For this reason the second cup cannot be expected to be as agreeable as the first; but I recommend a habit to be acquired of taking only one cup on ordinary occasions. I think more weakens the digestive powers. A habit of sipping, instead of gulping, will make a small quantity produce as much enjoyment as a large one, and the difference as to health and elasticity of tone is immense. This question of quantity I recommend to the consideration of ladies, some of whom are apt to think that there is no harm in liquids except from strength. A small quantity of finely-flavoured green tea, made rather strong, and mixed with a large proportion of hot milk, is a very agreeable variety at breakfast. The ingredients should be stirred well together. Speaking from my own experience, I should say it is expedient to be cautious in the use of green tea in the later part of the day. Formerly I passed many sleepless nights without being at all aware that green tea was the cause. It sometimes makes me feel as if I

« AnteriorContinuar »