« PreviousContinue »
elsewhere. Make food plentiful, i. e. in i women of the right to use their own disexcess of the mouths, and the voluntary cretion as to the amount of work they will principle will relieve all Lord Ashley's anx- perform, is gross tyranny. ''Faetory work iety about long hours. We will venture on is one of the few employments by which two illustrations.
women can render themselves independent Some years back, while examining some of the support of their relatives,—as a vinew buildings at the workmen's dinner cious father or brother, or a husband who hour, we were unintentionally listening to will not maintain them and their children the conversation of two laborers from the by his labor, but confines his attention to Emerald isle, who were planted in the sun robbing them of their earnings according behind some hoarding, dining on-smoke to law. A law which would protect a wo-two
- dudeens." Sure, Pat,” said one man's right to her own earnings, beyond of them, “it's I that wish wages was a the control of a vicious husband, would inguinea a day.” "And what would ye be deed be a boon to the working classes.* afther thin, Dennis ?" replied Pat. “Sure, We object to any law which would interand it's only one day in the week that I'd fere with the natural freedom of human acwork, any how," was the rejoinder. We tion, other than the protection of individuals are satisfied that Dennis spoke the simple and society from the aggressions of osher intruth in this matter, and in no way needed dividuals.
dividuals. If, for example, a solitary man Lord Ashley's paternal solicitude.
chooses, in an isolated spot, to live in an A very benevolent manufacturer in Lon- ill-drained and ill-ventilated house, or to don, who employed many workmen at their live on unwholesome or insufficient food, own dwellings, beheld, with compassion, society has no right to interfere with him; the misery they suffered from high rents but if he comes into proximity with other and wretched accommodation. They earn- people, the law ought to interfere to proed good wages, which, if well applied, tect their health from contamination. Also would have placed them in positions of we think the law may fairly interfere with
The work they were em- persons practising on the ignorance of othployed in was independent of locality, and ers for the sake of gain. If the owner of having purchased land in a healthy and the ill-drained and ill-ventilated solitary beautiful neighborhood, their employer fit- house tried to hire it to others, he should ted up several cottages, with gardens and be prevented from so doing, until it were every kind of convenience, and remored made wholesome. And we think society thither a certain number of families. He might fairly interfere with a inan keeping expected to get a greater amount of work his family in such a house, because the done, on account of their removal from wife and children are under his control, temptations to drunkenness.
But in this and society may be endangered by the dis• result he was disappointed.
eases they may be subject to; therefore it preferred working in their gardens to work is quite competent for society to say, that ing at their trade, and earned no more mon- after a certain period no houses shall be ey than was sufficient for their maintenance, erected in any inhabited districts below a in spite of the remonstrances of their wives. certain standard of health and comfort. It If Lord Ashley will place the factory popu- is certain that the children born in improrlation in such a position as this, we will ed dwellings would be an improved race, undertake that they shall not overwork ei- and the question of food in no way interther themselves, their wives, or their chil- feres with this. There are a certain numdren.
ber of laborers and artisans constantly unBut it is only indirectly that Lord Ashley mployed, who are, notwithstanding, fed, would interfere with the hours of working and their being employed in the construc
He professes to protect the children tion of better dwellings, i. e. working up and women of factories, and to say he will native material of all kinds for these and prescribe the hours for them, which is other useful purposes, would not add one equivalent, in other words, to prescribing shilling to the expenditure of the general the hours for the steam-engine and men community. The possession of better also. It is unquestionably right that chil- dwellings, with warmth and pure air, would, dren under age-not recognized as free on the contrary, virtually increase the agents, but who are under the control of persons older than themselves—should be attention of the House of Commons in the late de
* This point was urged by Mr. Roebuck on the protected from ill treatment; but to deprive bates.
amount of food, for it is a fact that a person result would be-if we could conceive the in impure air cannot well digest his food, possibility of such a thing—the downfall of and therefore requires to eat a larger amount English energy, English power, English to keep up his strength.
mind, and a state of ruin and misery to the Had Alfred the Great passed efficient many nations, civilized, uncivilized, and sanatory laws, virtually prohibiting the ex- half-civilized, dependent on English guidistence of disease, i. e. prescribing the min-ance and English progress. imum of physical comfort and health in We do not doubt that the movement dwellings and their concomitants, the prob- amongst the working classes-instinctive, ability is, that the increase of population but not yet perceptive-analogous to the would always have been restrained within u Blind motions of the Spring, the limits essential to national happiness,
That show the year is turned," and we should at this time have possessed will produce results of far more scope than a healthier, wealthier, and far more power- Lord Ashley's benevolence, which not being sul population. The same results would based on benescience, cannot bring forth have obtained with our people as with our beneficence. His legislation, if not of the cattle; the wretched would be unborn. | Jack-Cade calibre as to intellect, does not We have the finest sheep and horses, cows get beyond paternal Jesuitry, which the and oxen, that the world has ever produced, English genius has far outstripped. because our farmers take care that they not a spirit of the age, he is but an appenshall be well fed and lodged. With the dage of a blind movement of the age, and same care for our people, the same results Mr. Horre is a small dog, either leading or would follow sound legislative enactments, following him in the wake of Oastler and always supposing they could be carried out Company, who have donned the mantle in practice. But instead of passing laws inherited by the Chartist agitators from to increase comforts, we find in the statute Robert Owen, who first propounded the books, enactments called sumptuary laws, sacred month" in which the weary were tending to diminish personal comforts or to be at rest as a commencement of the luxuries. Strange is it that the State millennium. Prosy, unreasoning, and imshould think it necessary to take care of practicable was Robert Owen, and he, morepeople's money for them, as it still tries to over, wasted about 100,0001., lawful
money do, by means of usury laws.
of the realm, and thus filled the mouths of Had Alfred the Great passed laws to people with intellects no better than his regulate the hours of labor, they must have own, with matter for ignorant exultation been accompanied by other laws to regulate that there was no millennium produced by it; the wages of labor, and in such case, labor- but still we like justice, and think that Mr. ers and employers would constantly have Horne may continue to expatiate on the virbeen at work, trying to defeat the laws fortues of a respectable nobleman like Lord the sake of their own interests, just as the Ashley, without robbing Robert Owen of Jews, ancient and modern, have succeeded the merit of originating the plan of shortin defeating the usury laws. But if such labor hours. laws had been successful, we should have Mr. Horne has a very odd mode of huntmade no national progress ;-we should ing in couples with his spirits of the age, have been a nation of schoolboys, of ser- dodging from one to another till we somevants doing what our governors taught and times lose sight of the subject of his reordered us to do, but originating nothing; marks. In this mode he has introduced we should have been like the Austrian Dr. Southwood Smith, which we think very nation under Prince Metternich, or the unfair treatment. Southwood Smith is a Paraguay Indians under the paternal care real man of earnest purpose, working for · and instruction of the Jesuits. If a Gov- the poor from strong sympathies for the ernment be competent to regulate the hours miseries with which his medical practice of labor for adults, it is also competent to has made him familiar. He is, moreover, regulate their wages, their food, their in- a practical man of sound purpose, not struction, books, religion, and their par- working for self-glorification, but for a true ticular branches of labor. Such a people and useful result. No believer is he of would neither require a House of Com- results without causes, no planner of Jackmons nor suffrage at elections. An aris- Cade or French-princess legislation, no robtocracy of land holders might deem this a ber of the independence of women in legally very desirable condition of things, but the denying them employment by which to
earn their own living, independent of the the wisdom-poet, the master mind, above frequent coarse tyranny of their male rela- the littlenesses of humanity, and looking tives. Working for the public as a public through every varied phase of nature and of instructor, and thereby neglecting private art, ancient and modern-and yet more: pecuniary advantage, it is to us a matter of surprise that no Government has yet ad- "I dipt into the Future far as human eye could verted to an easy method of attaining popu- Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder lar approval, by appointing him to a Pro
that would be." fessor's chair. Praise Lord Ashley at your pleasure, Mr. Horne, but we beg of
And withal a patriot loving bis native land. you in charity and fairness to let Dr. Southwood Smith alone. A sad jumble have
" It is the land that freemen till
That sober suited Freedom chose, you made of his life and history. Mr.
The land, where girt with friends or foes, Grant, of the Great Metropolis, must
A man may speak the thing he will." surely have been one of the “hands” engaged on this.
Of old sate Freedom on the heights, Passing by "William Howitt, his grand
The thunders breaking at her feet; father and ancestors up to the time of Above her shook the starry lights; Queen Elizabeth,” and various other spir- She heard the torrents meet." its of all ranks and sizes, we come to a veritable spirit of the age, Alfred Tenny
A statesman too, and a hero: son. A man of genius, who it appears, “ Make Knowledge circle with the winds, according to Mr. Horne, has escaped the But let her herald, Reverence, fly persecution of the “ Reader,” and is recog
Before her to whatever sky nized by the public. Having stated this,
Bear seed of men or growth of minds. off he flies at a tangent and begins a criti- If New and Old, disastrous feud, cism on John Keats, the chief purport of Must ever shock, like armed foes, which, we incline to think, is to hint that
And this be true till Time shall close "a kindred spirit has had (its) own inhe
That Principles are rained in blood; rent pulses quickened to look into (its) Not yet the wise of heart would cease own heart and abroad upon nature and
To bold his hope through shame and guilt, mankind, and to work out the purposes of
But with his hand against the hilt,
Would pace the troubled land, like Peace; (its) soul,” in the production of Orion.' Mr. Horne speaks with great approbation Not less, though dogs of Faction bay, of Tennyson, and so he does of Landor. Would serve his kind in deed and word, But of Landor he says
Certain, if knowledge bring the sword
That knowledge takes the sword away“His complete dramas are not often read
Would love the gleams of good that broke through twice, even by readers who applaud
From either side, nor veil his eyes; them, but for the sake of a particular act or
And if some dreadful need should rise scene."— Vol. i.
Would strike, and firmly, and one stroke." And of Tennyson he says
This is the impress of a man. A house “ He does not appear 10 possess much in. of parliament of such men, were ventive construction. He has burnt his epic or this would have settled the question. We « The Parliament of man, the Federation of the would almost venture to predict that he will World." never write another, nor a five-act tragedy, nor a long heroic poem. Why should he ?"
A marvel, indeed, will this our England
be, if ever such a parliament should assemWhy indeed ? Ilas not Mr. Horne done
ble. It will be, in the words of Longfellow, all this, and does he not claim to be the equal of the Greek and Elizabethan dra- “ The holy, and the happy, and the gloriously matists? Tennyson would be superfluous,
free.' and Mr. Horne says, “ certainly Tennyson is not at all dramatic."
Under the head of “Sheridan Knowles Mr. Horne's paper on Tennyson is, how- and William Macready” is embodied the ever, the best in the book. He does partly true spirit and gist of Mr. Horne's paraappreciate him, but the magnificent
in these two volumes.
portrait does much more than Mr. Horne's “ The Drama should be the concentrated Spirit writing. It is emphatically the head of of the Age.”
That is to say, Mr. Horne's drama. cause they have hearts in them; and they Speaking of Knowles, the writer says- are, moreover, essentially the works of an
artist. Compare Richelieu' with 'Cosmo, “ The age is domestic, and so is he. Com- and the difference will at once be perceivfort, not passionate imaginings, is the aim of ed. The former is a thing of life; the latevery body, and he seeks to aid and gratisy this love of comfort."
ter is a piece of statuary.
The taste of the article on Macready is And so does Mr. Horne too, by his specu
what might have been expected from an lation on 3001. and 1001. for epics and angry unacted dramatist of weak mind. tragedies, but there is a merit in his
No man of genius could have written it. popu
Not larity which Mr. Horne does not penetrate.
“ straitened in means,” but Sheridan Knowles is a man with a heart in straitened in soul, and working, not from his bosom, and that heart speaks in sym
high impulse, but for "remuneration," calpathy to the hearts of his audience in true for life and due honors "-only such a man
culating on a permanent 1001. per annum words of passion. The merits of all the minor stage authors
could have done this thing.
We quote who do not write epics or tragedies are
again :handsomely acknowledged by the writer,
“ But if the unacted drama be held in no rebut he says that “ managers only regard gard by theatrical people, it is not much more them as a degree above street minstrels," esteemed by the majority of the public press. and
The slightest acted piece often has a long no
tice; whereas, of an unacted tragedy or com• Herein is shadowed the fate of their edy, any thing or nothing may be said, and mighty predecessors, and in the red herring any thing with iinpunity."-Vol. ii. p. 112. and Rhenish banquet that killed Nash-in the tavern-brawling death of Marlowe-in the To this is appended a foot note, stating penury of Dekker-of Webster, who was a that a certain unacted dramatist was not parish clerk-of Beaumont and Fleicher, and The distresses of nearly every one of the dra noticed by a professional critic, who, in “a matists of their age, is to be found the symbol fit of frank cordiality,” said it was because of the conduct which originality ever suffers." he did not like the dramatist's whiskers. -Vol. ij. p. 92.
The taste of betraying this "frank cordial
ity” is questionable; but the dramatist This seems to us very like bathos. What might as well have stated at the same time on earth have red herrings and tavern- that the “offending hair” was cut off, lest brawlings to do with the matter? They it should be a bar to a promised public emwere quite optional to Nash and Marlowe, ployment where “ my Lordés" sat as critics and the latter Mr. Horne has made a trage-on appearance. dy hero of, out of the very tavern brawl The statement that Macready weft to which he seeks to lay on the poor man- America on account of bad success in Lonagers.
don, is untrue. As regarded the public, To Talfourd is given some faint praise Macready did not fail. It was the plunderas a classicist. Of Sir E. L. Bulwer it is ing system of compelling him to make up said
theatrical" properties” from his gains, that
drove him away. Ile publicly stated him“He can hardly be considered as a dramatist, having pursued this class of writing not self, that as regarded his receipts they were froin any strong internal gilt and predomina- ample. He labored only under the difficulting influence. but rather as a man of first-rate ty of “dead weight,” paying interest on talent and ingenuity who could produce any capital sunk and wasted under a monopoly. kind of literary article that might be in re- Could he have built a new theatre on the quest.”—Vol. ii. p. 103.
favorable terms of modern buildings, he
would have grown rich beyond a doubt. In the “False Medium,' Mr. Horne ex- The“ wish” of the “unacted dramatist " is presses the direct contrary opinion to this. the “father to his thought.” It is the petty Now it is certain that Bulwer has been a feeling of a minor artist, seeking to gratify successful dramatist in the ' Lady of Lyons,' itself by mischief, in the spirit of “Swing," and this seems to be the groundwork of the when burning down a haystack, or a disapcritic's
anger. He cannot abide any one pointed dramatist, who" would burn down who may be a rival. Bulwer's plays, like a theatre.” those of Sheridan Knowles, are popular, be- The cool egotistical assumption of this writer, in supposing that a manager is/ unison with kindred spirits, actors, and aubound to expend his property to produce thors, unshackled by monopoly and unwor. the play of any dramatist who may present ried by vanity. And we shall be glad if one, is very amusing. Much stress is laid no future play be brought out, till it has on the superfluity of show-rich dresses, stood the test of printing, publishing, and scenery, and decoration. If all these mat- public' reading. ters are indeed superfluous, why then the Mr. Browning and Mr. Marston are both matter resolves itself into a very narrow applauded as poets by Mr. Horne; but as compass. If the writing be the chief, and to their plays, though acted, he thinks they the acting merely an adjunct, let the unact-are utter failures. To make amends for ed dramatists read their plays to the public this, we are introduced to the acquaintanceat lecture rooms. Great interest is excited ship of a new Lope de Vega, a dramatic by lecturing on Shakspeare; and if the genius of the highest order as to quantity, modern unacted dramatists be of the Eliz- one Mr. Powell, who writes “five act trageabethan school, they will not fail to excite dies at three sittings.” lecture audiences, testing the subject matter in a similar mode to that in which Mol- “ That he has stuff in him of a good kind, if ière tested his writings—by reading them fairly worked upon and with any justice done to his cook. There is, to our apprehen- be doubted from these specimens whether he
to its own nature, is evident; though it may sion, a great deal of quackery in the mys- will ever be a dramatist.” tery preserved about new plays till they are produced on the stage. We should rather There is clearly but one “ dramatist" in have all plays tested by publication and pub- the openly-expressed opinion of Mr. Horne. lic reading previous to acting. We think The article on Bulwer is got up in the this would be the best security against fail- style which Carlyle calls“ valethood.” ure; far better than the coterie readings We do not think this work will add to which take place at present, and which pre- Mr. Horne's repute. The animus is of the sent the most remarkable instances of er- same kind as that of the False Medium;' rors in judgment. At any rate, the extinc- and as a false medium Mr. Horne will go tion of the monopoly has now left the unact-forth to the public, not as a spirit of the ed dramatists without ground of complaint. age, not as a high spirit. We would it had The world is all before them where to been otherwise. We counsel him to abanchoose; but we counsel them to bear in don his craving for notoriety, and apply mind that actor-artists of genius may be himself diligently to work, without regard stirred by as high a spirit as writer-artists. to results. Shakspeare wrote thirty odd Insolent assumption of superiority is no plays. Mr. Horne has written but three. mark of genius.
Let him go on writing more. Let bim lec. The services which Macready has ren- ture on them at all manner of Syncretic as dered to the drama are not lightly to be sociations, which will save printing; and, passed by. He risked his own capital ; he above all, we counsel him to ponder on drove vice from his theatre. He establish these lines of Tennyson :ed order in every department. actor and a poet-artist also, he was unspar
" Watch what main currents draw the years: ing in expenditure. He produced new
Cut Prejudice against the grain :
But gentle words are always gain: plays—the best that could be got; and if Regard the weakness of thy peers: they failed, it was not his fault. The public knows of none better than he produced.
Nor toil for title, place, or touch He did not produce 'Cosmo' or 'Gregory,'
Of pension; neither count on praise ;
It grows to guerdon after days; neither have they been produced elsewhere,
Nor deal in watch words over much." though all stages are now thrown open to
N. U.S. all dramatic writing. And it is quite clear that he " has enemies, some for one thing, some for another, abstract or personal, public or private;" disappointed morbid vanity having no little to do with it. But gladly shall we behold his return to the management of a new theatre, wherein his perfect from Buenos Ayres, date 3d December, 1843, tha:
RoboR CAROLINUM.-M. F. Senillosa writes taste and thorough integrity to the texts of for six months the star Robor carolinum has aphis dramatic authors may be developed in peared a star of the first class.