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“ Men, my brothers, men, the workers; ever brains work, souls gush and mingle, the reaping something new :
orator becomes a prophet, and one univer[That which they have done but earnest of the sal echo proclaims one universal mind. things thai they shall do."
Where has this Mr. Horne been buried not Colonel Thompson, the apostle of free to have heard of this “spirit of the age," trade, and Cobden, its practical and indom- who with unpremeditated harangues steals itable champion; O'Connell, the last re- into men's hearts, as surely as the Greek presentative of clan-leadership, using his orators of old did, with their prepared and power to bond together a nation of disunited finished orations ? Mr. Horne seems to be Celts; and Wakefield, the originator of totally unaware that W. J. Fox has been systematic colonization,--all are spirits of heard of out of the pulpit
. This is clear the physical progress of the age. Faraday from his only alluding to him as a theolois the representative of the power which, in gist. This ignorance might be pardonable all ages, has sought to gather nature's se- as a result of a residence distant from the cret's for man's uses, and Rothschild is the metropolis ; but it was the business of one representative of the great power-accumu- taking on himself the task of pointing out lators of world, the hoarded labor of man- the ‘Spirits of the Age,' to visit the metropkind, ever on the increase, till at last it olis, if necessary, to fit himself, at least, for shall grow to a surplus, when men will rest his nomenclature, if bis publishers failed to from their work, and say “it is good.” supply the necessary materials. Many a weary day is before us, before we And even Elliott, of Sheffield, the poet of atttain that desirable end, but the time will the people, the Corn-law Rhymer, a man come.
known, we apprehend, from Pentland Firth Roebuck,—the watch-dog of the people, to the Lizard, a genuine poes, and one who, the most fearless advocate in the House of albeit a Radical, found praise even from Commons of public as opposed to mere party Blackwood;' whom Southey greeted from objects; Lovett, the true-souled Lovett, the his inn at Sheffield" to shake hands with a champion of education for his fellow-men, brother poet," even Elliott, of Sheffield, is the working-classes; the two Chamberses excluded from Mr. Horne's collection. Is of Edinburgh, whose genius has achiered this with purpose aforethought, or is it gross the task of popularizing knowledge at the negligence? A 'Spirit of the Age' editor cheapest rate,-all are samples of that spirit leaving out one of the most popular poets! of the age, which says the soul of man shall And where is Mrs. Austin, an original not die within him for want of culture. spirit also; an assimilating spirit, one who,
But taken merely on the limited plan thoroughly metempsychosising with the proposed by Mr. Horne, of names gener- German mind, can render it into pure Engally known in literature, the New Spirit lish, and make the English mind an abiding of the Age' is miserably defective. Is Mr. place for German thoughts? A true woHorne ignorant of the existence of John man, with all a woman's gentleness, yet a Stewart Mill, author of 'A System of free denizen of the great European repube Logic, perhaps the highest effort of intel-lic of letters, not unlike the Madame Rollect modern literature has produced ? and, of the French revolution, placed in a
Where has he been wandering ; on what new sphere to teach mankind the uses of Welsh mountain or in what distant valley Liberty, in harmonizing clashing opinions; has he been residing, that the name of W. teaching them to speak with one tongue, J. Fox has never rung upon his ear, other and no longer to “ commit crimes in the than as a theologist ?—
--a name so well known name of Liberty.” And Mrs. Somerville, to the public by his sermons on Christian the lady of science, the queen of the starry Morality; by his numerous articles in the heavens, one of the few minds that can comhigher class of periodicals; by the finest pass Laplace, a mind so lofty, yet so gentle dramatic criticisms extant. A name that and humble, as if unconscious of her own stirs the blood of every public audience attainments ? Have not the names of these where he appears, and calls forth respon- writers penetrated the asylum of the editor ? sive shouts; a name that stills even Chartist Professor Wilson, who has for many years opposition at free trade meetings. Well has stirred friend and foe with his untiring pen, he been named by Elliott, of Sheffield, the might surely have been glanced at. And “Orator-Bard.” He almost speaks in Peacock, the novelist, who, had he written rhythm, his words are music, reason be nothing but 'Maid Marian,' would have comes poetry, hearts thrill, eyes glisten, carried his name down the stream of time to distant ages, by showing how well bis 1 --there is no warmer advocate of the rights own spirit could enter into the spirit of past and real interests of the poor than Edwin ages.
The blood thrills, and the heart Chadwick. But, knowing also that it is imleaps into companionship with such a spirit possible to accomplish the mental instrucof high genial hunanity.
tion of the physically wretched, he sought And the 'Times' newspaper has, more to secure for those classes of the community over, grown to be a spirit of the age, albeit who do the work, and pay the taxes of the Mr. Horne sees it not. It has its crotchets, community, the largest possible share of and its hobbies, and its party predilections, their own earnings, abstracting as little as the influence of which on the public mind possible from them for the maintenance of is sometimes to be deplored, but may always the non-workers. For it is an unquestionbe felt. Once it was a very weathercock, able fact, that all those of the community but it has now fixed itself to point straight who do not work, must in some shape or forward at certain things, which, if not other be maintained by those who do work. things of the best kind, are yet earnestly To say that he did not strike “palaced advocated. It sees that man cannot live by paupers” off the pension list, is only saying bread alone, though it has ever urged, and that he accomplished no more than he was still urges at times, and never denies, that able. Palace or hovel pauper, would have cheap corn and bread is a most desirable been alike to his equal justice; but there's conclusion. Of O'Connell it dreams that a government that doth so hedge in and prohe is not il mere warm-blcoded feudal chief- tect palace paupers” that justice cannot tain over Celtic tribes, but a veritable anti- reach them. There was one broad principle christ. It believes that the poor law is a to look at the pauper system was encroachthing of unmixed evil, only operative to the ing on capital, and in a mercantile coundetriment of the deserving poor, and refuses try, not to advance is to recede. The food to discern that it does operate also to stop of the community was not enough for all,what might be a fearful leak in the growth the mouths were in excess,—the ship must of national independence. But in the have her crew put on shorter allowance, course of nature O'Connell cannot live for and the working crew were, in all justice as ever, and free trade sooner or later will re-well as policy, entitled to full rations, while move for the most part the causes of poverty; the invalids were put on ball allowance. the really unfortunate poor will then be bet- To have put the invalids on full allowance, ter distinguished as the crowd lessens, and while the working crew were reduced, these two circumstances removed, the would have been offering a premium to the * Times,' we may hope will forget its contro-workers to invalid themselves. To have versies, and strive more and more to make given full rations and conveniences to the itself a power amongst the people, for the work house inmates would have been monwelfare of the people, and not for the pur- strous injustice to the hard workers out of poses of party. In these latter days the the work house. genius of a ‘Times' reporter constituted the The pseudo-benevolent haranguers, who Times' a legislator to put down a Welsh have talked so volubly of philanthropy and rebellion.
charity to the work house poor, and out-door Nor should Edwin Chadwick be forgot- relief, have utterly mistaken the matter. ten, the vizier of the “three Kings of Som- They have been generously disposed, not erset House,” whose reports on many sub- at their own expense, but at the expense of jects connected with the welfare of the great the working classes of England; for we mass of the people alone form a valuable defy them to show any mode of obtaining statistical library. He has been one of the contributions to the poor rates, except most valuable spirits of the age.” Bene- through the work of the workers. The volont, benescient, and in virtue of these whole food of England has to be produced two qualities beneficent, he has dared to do by the agency of the brains and arms of the right thing, though the unpopular thing. the workers, whether from English or forHe has braved odium, and disregarded oblo- eign soil. This total amount has to be quy and cant. To become popular is an divided amongst the whole population in easy thing; to do unpopular justice requires larger and smaller shares, and it must be
Satisfied that crime is the result of obvious to the shallowest capacity, that if poverty and mal-administration—that pov- the whole of the workers ceased to work, erty is greatly the result of ignorance—that there would be no food to divide; and it general education is the cure for ignorance must follow, as the night the day, that the
greater the number of the supernumeraries The secret of Dickens's success doubtwho do not work, the harder must be the less is, that he is a man with a heart in work of the workers, in order to maintain his bosom; and as most men and women them. Therefore the charitable gentlemen though not all--have hearts, a sympathy is who are non-workers, and cry out lustily created which predisposes liking. He has for full rations and out-door allowances also a strong perception of all the comto paupers or poor non-workers, are, with moner class of excitements—the murdervery great ease to themselves, calling upon ous, the malignant, and the ludicrous. А the workers to work harder than before. very large portion of the common people And when, as it frequently happens, these are susceptible of the former; people of all very charitable gentlemen are the advo-classes are susceptible of the latter. With cates of artificial high prices for provisions, all this, he has the eye of a Dutch and also in the form of corn laws—that is to say, of an Italian artist for all external effects. when they seek to diminish the total amount A street, a dwelling, a rural scene, and the of food-our indignation at their injustice human beings therein, are so painted to the is only restrained by our contempt for their life, and doubtless from the lise, that no pauper-like ignorance.
one who has ever seen them can doubt the Years hence, when the biography of Ed- resemblance. And all people like to bewin Chadwick shall be written-when the hold portraits of things and persons familiar results of his labors, known and unknown, to them. Mrs. Keeley was excessively popshall be gathered together—when trade and ular amongst the artisans, on account of food shall be free, and paupers be no more the skilful mode in which she handled Jack —when it shall be known how many are Sheppard's jack-plane. But Dickens has, the wise measures and changes of which beyond this, a strong perception of physical he has been the secret morer, stirred by beauty, and also of the beauty of generthe desire of mau's good, and leaving to osity, not merely the hackney-coachman others the ostensibility and the repute-he kind of generosity--the shilling givingwill serve for one more example of the but generosity in the large sense- -the lo truth, that a high and original mind works of kind, the unselfish attachment of man to for the service of humanity, but not for its man, and of man to men, and also of men thanks. And a future time will recog- to man; the protection of the poor by the nize him as a true and genuine spirit of rich, of the helpless by the powerful, and his age, who has left his permanent mark of the kindly gratitude thence arising. behind him.
But with all this, he is not an imaginative Having thus briefly attempted to show writer, he is not a philosophical writer; he what Mr. Horne ought to have done, and pleases the sensation, but he does not satisfy has failed to do, we turn to the examination ihe reason ; he pleases and amuses, but he of what he has done.
does not instruct; there is a want of base, First on the list, as the great spirit of of breadth, and of truth; and therefore, the age, appears Mr. Charles Dickens. A though he is probably the most widelyparallel is drawn between him and Hogarth popular writer, he is not a great writer. upon the following ground:
The great elementary truths on which - Both of them have a direct moral purpose man's physical well-being, and in view-a desire to ameliorate the condition quently his mental well-being, must deof the poorer classes, by showing what society pend, he apparently has not mastered ; and has made of them or allowed them to become, the pleasure we feel in reading his works and to continue."
is akin to the pleasure we feel in reading We doubt this. In Hogarth's Good and any other work of fiction-the pleasure of Bad Apprentices,' we have both of them put fine description and sympathy with human upon equal terms by society. The con-adventure. The impression which his trast of their fates grows out of a presumed works leave on the mind is like that with innate goodness on one side and badness which we rise from the perusal of the on the other. In the story of Good Fool of Quality'—that all social evils are Tommy and Naughty Harry,' which is a to be redressed by kindness and money version of the same thing, Good Tommy given to the poor by the rich. This, doubtcame to be lord mayor, and Naughty Harry less, is something essential; but it is only was eaten up by a wild beast. It forms a small part of the case. The poor require one of the lessons in one of the old spelling justice, not charity, i.e. almsgiving. Charbooks.
lity is a word of large import. The necesAugust, 1844. 31
sity for almsgiving implies previous misery. | society. This is the true perception of Destroy the misery by earnest care in the eternal justice, at which Dickens has not early training of men and women, the dis- yet arrived in his writings. . Dickens is a ease will be eradicated, and the symptom- Londoner, Bulwer is a cosmopolite. soothing process of charity, i. e. almsgiv- In the Christmas Carol,' Scrooge the ing, will not be needed.
Miser is so drawn as to leave an impression In most of Dickens's works there is to that he cheats the world of its “ meat, be found some old gentleman with surplus clothes, and fire,” which he buries in his cash going about redressing the evils which own chests, whereas in truth he only cheats some other old or young gentleman goes himself. He is the conventional miser of about perpetrating. It is the principle of past times; and, when reformed by his the proceedings of Harlequin and Panta-dreams, he gives away half-crowns to boys loon. Thus the Brothers Cheeryble are to run quickly to buy turkeys to give away, the incarnation of the good principle, and and pays cabmen to bring them home Ralph Nickleby of the evil principle; and quickly, to say nothing of giving bowls of the good principle is made to triumph. punch to clerks. A great part of the enNickleby Junior comes to his fortune, joyments of life are summed up in eating which his wicked uncle has kept him out and drinking at the cost of munificent paof, and Miss Nickleby is respectably mar-trons of the poor; so that we might suppose ried. Most excellent people are those the feudal times were returned. The prosame mill-owning Brothers Cheeryble; but cesses whereby poor men are to be enabled we cannot help reflecting on the position to earn good wages, wherewith to buy of the mass of workmen whose labors have turkeys for themselves, does not enter into accumulated their capital. We do not ob- the account; indeed, it would quite spoil ject to the help given to the Nicklebys, but the denouement and all the generosity. Who we think justice is the most essential part went without turkey and punch in order of generosity. Justice being done in early that Bob Cratchit might get them—for, untraining, Ralph Nickleby would not have less there were turkey and punch in surbeen enabled to accomplish bis evil deeds, plus, some one must go without-is a disand the almsgiving of the Brothers Cheery-agreeable reflection kept wholly out of ble would not have been needed.
sight. We suspect Mr. Horne of a little So in ‘Oliver Twist,' Mr. Brownlow is sly satire on Dickens's propensity to rethe good fairy who thwarts the evil one, ward all good fellowship by eating and and Oliver Twist is finally made happy. drinking, in his choice of a motto to this Pickwick, too, is a benevolent old gentle-paper. Don Quixote had a peculiar way man with abundant ready cash, who treats of philanthrophizing the distresses of huthe poor prisoners in the Fleet, as the un- man nature; and so has Dickens, whose cle of Henry Moreland does in the 'Fool remedy for human distresses resolves itself of Quality'-pays away his surplus cash to into something like this:-George has fire palliate the pressing wants of a few amongst shillings, which he gives to Richard, who a huge class who suffer under the radical gives it to Henry, who gives it to John, evils of bad legislation. A strong contrast who gives it to James, who gives it to Thoto this “good fairy" system is found in mas, who gives it to Frederick, who gives Bulwer's Paul Clifford.' The unfortu- it again to George, and by that process they nate, ill-trained child, who has grown up to all have five shillings each. T'he motto is be a highwayman, finds no old gentleman taken from · Don Quixote' as follows: to give him a fortune. By indomitable energy, he escapes from the punishment replied the cook, 'thanks be to Camacho the
Hunger does not preside over this day.' awarded to his ignorant acts, to a
So saying he laid hold country where shoes are imperfectly polish-of a kettle, and sousing it at once into one of ed and opinions are not persecuted” (by the hall jar-pots, he fished out three pullets the state), and there he makes himself a and a couple of geese.
"I have nohome by the force of his own powers. He thing to put it in,' answered Sancho. “Then becomes useful to his fellow-men and ac- take ladle and all,' replied the cook, 'for Cama
cho's riches and felicity are sufficient to supply cumulates wealth, wherewith he repays
every thing.'" owners of the property he had taken with the strong hand in the days of his ignor- Oh! Mr. Horne, you are a sly wag after ance, while gaining his living by rapine, all. and revenging himself on the injustice of| Were provisions as plentiful in practice
age in time.
as they are in Mr. Dickens's books, small most squalid and hideous abodes of filth, and progress would Mr. Cobden make in free misery, and vice, and might well express trade; but, aş Mr. Harmony says in the themselves strongly in public after what they
witnessed.”—Vol. i. p. 116. play, “provisions are so dear."
With all these defects, which we hope to see amended in future, as well as the cari- “Privately and unattended." Oh! Mr. cature pictures of the Americans, which— Horne, Mr. Horne, you have certainly bating local circumstances and peculiari- some idea that modern noblemen go about ties—will apply equally well to the English, with barret caps and plumes, bedizened the books of Dickens are unquestionably with jewelry and masks, for all eyes to gaze humanizers of the people: and the speech on and single out for violence and plunder. es he has made, and the public meetings he
“Unattended”-i. e. we suppose has attended in furtherance of general ed- kins," with tall cane to guard them. Sureucation, are indications of still better things. ly there is no difficulty in believing that At present he is the “form and pressure of where Dr. Smith had penetrated uninjured, the age.” He may become a spirit of the Lord Ashley might go and return without
any great exertion of courage; but Mr. Lord Ashley and Dr. Southwood Smith Horne is deeply impressed with this selffollow next in the series of magazine arti- devotion in a nobleman, as an uncommon cles of which this book is composed. But act, and is determined it shall be authentifor these two names and those of Dr. Pusey cated. “My Lordés” will scarcely thank and Macready, a better title for the work him for his devotion to their interests. He would have been the 'Great Literopolis,' proves more than enough. as a parallel work with the “Great Metro- That the people of England have abad habpolis. Why Lord Ashley should be thus it of working too many hours for their physintroduced we cannot imagine, unless it be ical and mental health, is unfortunately but that Mr. Horne wishes to do honor to the too true; but it is equally true that this habit Factory Commission, in which he is him- does not arise from any abstract vicious deself concerned.
termination on their own part. It is also Lord Ashley stands in the anomalous po- true that in the present age they work fewsition of professing to improve the position er hours per day than they were accustomof one portion of the working classes, the ed to work in former ages; and it is morefactory workers, by limiting their hours of over true that the reason for the diminulabor, at the same time that he diminishes tion of hours is, that they obtain better wathe amount of their earnings by keeping up ges, i. e. they get a greater amount of usea high and artificial price of food. Very ful things for an hour's labor of the present pithily has this process been named Jack'- day than they obtained in the
good old Cade legislation. But Mr. Horne is very times;" and there is moreover a very prevearnest in his respect for hereditary legis- alent desire amongst them to work still fewlation. “Thank God there is a House of er hours, and by God's blessing we trust Lords," once said and wrote Cobbert, when that this shall come to pass without any of in anger at being thwarted; but Mr. Horne, Lord Ashley's legislation, which is akin to with good didactic deliberation, quotes the charity of the French princess, who Chaucer in proof of his case :
wondered “why people would starve when
such nice pastry was sold so cheap.” " And ye, my Lordés, with your alliaùnce,
We entreat Lord Ashley to believe that And other faithful people that there be,
the chief, almost the sole reason, why EngTrust I to God shall quench all this noisaùnce, And set this lande in high prosperitie.”
lish workmen labor too many hours per day,
is the undue pressure of population, which He states that Lords Normanby and Ashley forces them to compete with each other to
obtain an insufficient share of the national actually accompanied Dr. Southwood Smith into Whitechapel and Bethnal-green to stock of food, which is a minimum quanti
And this excess of population arises survey the miserable abodes of the
poor ; and fearing this is almost incredible when from the circumstance, that they live in islonly stated in his text, he confirms it in a
ands, from which they cannot well swarm foot-note as follows:
like the bees, to go to the food which might
exist elsewhere, while Lord Ashley and his These statements are strictly authentic. colleagues have made very stringent laws They went privately and unattended into the to prevent food being brought to them from