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the politico-economical sense is called profit? The working class believe that some such attempt should be made. Whether it should be so, is a very legitimate matter of inquiry; and the question it involves is one now agitated between the labourer and the capitalist. It is not touched, however, by the discussions in the "Rights of Industry."*
Again, every improvement in machinery is attended, say the working classes, by a certain portion of evil-evil, in the first place, to such persons as have machines of the old construction; and, secondly, to the workmen previously employed to perform the work to be done by the new machine. The skill of the workman which formerly was a means of subsistence to him, they say, becomes useless, and the possessor of that skill, as well as the possessor of an old-fashioned machine, suffers by the improvement. It may, and usually does happen, that the whole community is benefited by the change, and that eventually the labourer is placed in a condition better than the one he previously enjoyed. Still it may happen that misery may be immediately inflicted on certain portions of the labourers; and "we," again say the working classes, "are desirous of learning whether the evil like the good may not be shared amongst the whole community." This is again a very legitimate matter of inquiry, and in discussing the question of machinery ought to have been entertained.
On the whole of this latter subject, there seems to be little doubt but that hitherto the working men have thoroughly mistaken the facts. Their inference is correct supposing the facts to be as they state them, and then the matter would be reduced to an inquiry whether any and what means could be devised of apportioning the evil created by machinery; in other words, of legally relieving the persons distressed by the improvement. But if the facts be honestly investigated, it will be found that, although much misery has existed, does exist, this misery is not, has never been, the result of machinery. And we should be willing to take any specific case that may be suggested, and thoroughly sift it, utterly careless of what might be the result, (truth being the object sought, and through it the welfare of the working classes,) though now we are strongly of opinion that the result would be that at no time was the evil felt the result of improvements in, or the existence of machinery. Still this does not touch the question respecting the apportionment of the mischief, supposing any to have arisen, neither does it show that evil may not arise: but the question between the working class and the rest of society on this point cannot be fairly discussed, unless both the one and the other of these matters be entertained. Nor will any one be likely to gain the confidence of the people who disregards or forgets them.
It is clear that if the number of the labourers be limited, they will obtain a portion of the surplus return in exact proportion to the smallness of that number as compared with the capital used to employ them: and the decisive answer to the statements of the working classes is, that no scheme to the end they desire, but the one now existing, viz. competition, can be proposed, which will not entail greater evil than that which it is intended to remedy. If the people limit their numbers, the competition among the capitalists will give the working classes the portion of the surplus they wish-any legislative enactment to the same end would do nothing but create confusion, idleness, and discord.
If the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge and its writers will thus fairly place themselves between all parties; if they will endeavour to explode the mischievous prejudices of one set, as well as the other; if they will show themselves the unflinching friends not merely of the truth, but the whole truth; if they will instruct all classes, they may win the confidence of, and do immeasurable good to the labouring population. They must place themselves far above all distinctions, and all fears, reckless as well of the petty jealousies of the wealthy, as those of the poor; let them be impassible as regards each, and they will gain the respect of both.
But have they done so? Will the Society permit its writers to do so? Are they not themselves jealous of their own privileges and prejudices? Do they not throw a chain upon all who would assail them? Do not the benevolent of them do good by stratagem, and win the rest to liberality by flattery? If this be so, then must we pity as well as deeply respect the benevolent writers, who, under the baneful auspices of such an influence, still strive to impart useful instruction to the people. Let us, however, not suppose any such evil influence existing; let us put faith in their benevolent professions, and take this series of works as a small earnest of their future endeavours.
From the form of the work we suppose that the present volume is only one of a series, which will include the whole field of political economy, and that consequently as this first part has related chiefly to PRODUCTION, the next will treat of DISTRIBUTION. If such be the case, we would earnestly recommend the writer to inquire thoroughly into all the ideas involved in the notion of property, and to give, at the commencement of his next volume, a complete exposition of that very important subject. Let him expound what are the obligations, as well as rights, which property entails-obligations as well on the possessor of the property as the rest of society. We often hear of the duties of the poor to the rich, but seldom of those of the rich to the poor. If the writer will honestly and thoroughly expound this matter, he will at once gain, as well as richly deserve, the confidence and admiration of the people. The task is a difficult one-difficult as well by the intricacy of the matter itself, as by the host of prejudices by which it is surrounded. If he attempt what is here recommended, he must have acuteness, perseverance, and courage-acuteness and perseverance to attain the truth, and courage to declare it.
Such portions of the subject as he has hitherto touched, he has correctly expounded, and the manner of his explanation, with a slight alteration in the style, would be exceedingly happy. The various points are illustrated with great felicity, and many an important truth is rendered accessible to minds that never would have acquired it, from a work of more scientific form and character. Until the whole field has been gone over, it would be premature to offer a definitive judgment respecting the portion already published. The danger of omission has already been touched on; and it certainly would have been more prudent to have guarded against the suspicions that will necessarily arise from those that have been pointed out. If the intention be to treat the questions alluded to in another portion of the work, such intention ought to have been announced. We are well
assured it is the author's wish to appear, as well as to be an impartial expounder of the important science of which he is treating; and to this end, he must not permit unfair inferences to be suggested, either directly or indirectly, either through commission or omission.
The alteration in style abovementioned, can only be effected by more thoroughly conceiving the present state of mind of the working classes, by distinguishing more completely between want of knowledge and want of capacity. The following observations in the "Examiner" newspaper, on the same subject, explain the distinction alluded to.
"There is another point respecting this work, which we must not omit to mention. It relates to the manner in which it is written. There is a distinction requisite to be taken when addressing the working classes, seldom steadily attended to. The working classes have little knowledge: but they have a capacity of understanding quite equal to the mastery of the most difficult questions of science. Writing then, which presupposes knowledge, is not intelligible to them; all allusive expressions should consequently be strictly avoided. But no style which would be a clear, straightforward exposition to an ordinary reader or student, is above their comprehension. They who wish to be read by the people, must address them precisely as they would address any sensible person who might be desirous of instruction. They must be treated as equals-there must be no expression of contempt or patronizing regard-in short, there must be nothing which has peculiar reference to their station. Those of the more educated classes, and particularly many of the writers of the present day, will obstinately fancy that the intellect of the grown mechanic is like that of a child; and they are ever saying this is too difficult, that is too abstruse for the people.' This opinion arises out of a gross ignorance of the present state of the popular mind, as well as of the nature of the human intellect generally. There are portions of the labouring classes so degraded in feeling (to our shame be it spoken) and intellect, that no books, no instruction coming from the classes above them, will ever affect their opinions. These persons cannot then be addressed, and need not be considered. They, however, are guided by the more instructed portions of their own, the labouring class; and these latter have minds well fitted for the highest kinds of instruction. Let any one who doubts this, ask Mr. Wilmot Horton what were the temper, tone, and capacity of mind exhibited by the persons with whom he discussed the question of emigration. Let any one go among those portions of the working classes who try to discuss the circumstance influencing their own condition-let any one take part in the proceedings of the Council of a National Political Union, and he will, to his own great astonishment, find minds equal to his own! minds which, were we the judges of the matter, would be declared far superior to the average of those who assume to be the élite of the people. There is an admirable candour, simplicity, straightforwardness, and masculine vigour about them, unknown to the emasculated intellects of those who are ever accustomed to look up to those above them, following where fashion leads, obedient when the great command. If the writers who pretend to superiority over the people, would for a while descend from their high condition, would mingle a little with the classes whom they despise, they might, by such a course, not degrading themselves, reap really important information, and at once do honour to, and improve their own feelings. To the author of the “Rights of Industry," we do not recommend this course-he has long since pursued it; but we would earnestly entreat one who is so really right-minded, to trust to his own opinion, and disregard the ignorant suggestions of those by whom he is surrounded. Let him drop all assumption of superiority; avoiding the distinctive we and You, which disfigure his work, and which will inevitably lessen its utility.”
The remarks we have hazarded in the present article, have been made in perfect friendliness towards the Society, and with feelings of respect towards the author of the work discussed. We hope they will be received in the spirit in which they have been offered.
LIFE OF UGO FOSCOLO.
SCRITTA DA GIUSEPPE PECCHIO. LUGANO, 1830.
Ir was on a beautiful day in the month of May 1830, which month was that year unusually bright and mild for our weeping climate, that with my friend Count G. Pecchio, and the worthy Canon Riego, the brother of the ill-fated Spanish General and patriot, I repaired to Turnham Green on a species of literary pilgrimage, to visit the house in which Ugo Foscolo, one of the most distinguished geniuses of modern Italy, suffered his last mortal pangs, and breathed the last sigh of a life that had been stormy and most prolific of sighs and tears. After we had seen the humble abode, and after we had reposed for some minutes with really religious feeling in the narrow room whence the soul of the poet had flitted to eternity, we walked on to the quiet and rather romantic churchyard of Chiswick, where, a little to the left of the church, and among a crowd of tombstones, and the graves of the obscure, a modest stone flag, with the very modest inscription of
OBIIT XIV. DIE SEPTEMBRIS
showed us the last resting-place of the poet who had so often agitated the deepest feelings of our nature. The friends who stood by my side looking upon that stone, had been his friends, and among his warmest. Count Pecchio had intimately associated with him many years before, in his own country, when Italy was filled with his fame. They had met afterwards in England, both exiles, both oppressed by those wrongs of fortune, so hard for noble minds to bear, and the friendship of former and better days was consecrated by mutual adversity. The worthy Canon, the warm-hearted Riego, had been among those who never deserted the imprudent and suffering poet. During his illness, he walked down from somewhere in the neighbourhood of Pancras to Chiswick, to see him, almost every day. One of the last, if not the very last letter that child of genius wrote (only a few days before his death) was to him, and when all was over he was one of the five friends who followed him to the grave, and saw the soil of England heaped over the remains of the Greco-Italic Ugo Foscolo. For myself, I had seen the strange person of the bard but once, and had only heard for a few minutes his singular, energetic voice; but I had lived long in the country, though not of his birth, of his genius. I had made, to a certain degree, the tongue in which he wrote, my tongue, and my mind had been for many years familiar with his poems. Of these poems, that called "I Sepolcri," (" The Sepulchres,") is the best, and with Gray's immortal" Elegy" harmonized most exquisitely with the spot where we stood, and the character of the gifted being who was now dust, beneath our feet, and the village church, and the flow of the river Thames at a few yards' distance! I shall ever remember this fine May morning, and this pilgrimage, which I undertook and prosecuted with feelings as devout as those with which, in early life, Foscolo described a similar visit to Feb.-VOL. XXXIV. NO. CXXXIV.
the Tomb of Petrarch, in Arquà, as among the brightest and purest passages in my existence.
It was during our return to town that Count Pecchio informed me that the work whose title stands at the head of this article was finished, and on its way to the press. It had a long way to travel! But it is melancholy to reflect, that it was not in Italy, in the country they both honoured, that the biographer could produce his tribute to the poet. No! Such is the lamentable absence of rational liberty in that beautiful country, that from the Alps to the Sea of Scylla, no press durst print the free-toned, but every way moderate, philosophic, and most moral work of Giuseppe Pecchio! Excluded from Italy, the work was therefore published as near her frontiers as possible, and from the free Swiss Canton of Lugano many hundred copies will, long ere this, have found their way over Lombardy, and all the rest of the Peninsula. The Austrian Government here, the Papal there, may seize and burn the book, but that will only make it the more sought after. The custom-house officers and gens-d'armes, and all the lynx-eyed myrmidons of a suspicious and trembling despotism spread along the frontiers, may do their best, but they can no more stop the spread of mind--can no more intercept effectually those little pieces of paper and print, those pages that "make hundreds, nay, make thousands think," than a military cordon, though perfect in organization and operation, can affect the heavens above their heads, and stay in its march an epidemic or a healthful breeze. Such is the might of mind-such the influence of the press, whose abuses we detest the more, from the deep conviction of its power in working evil as in working good!
A posthumous good fortune has befallen Foscolo, in having Pecchio for his biographer. Sound judgment, an admirable discretion, a freedom from prejudice and confined views, an intimate acquaintance with human nature, and the modifications of mind different from the peculiar one of an Italian poet, a purity of taste, a warmth of feeling, not cooled, but kept to its proper objects, by judgment and experience, a suitable love for his task-all these peculiarly fitted him for its execution. The modest, feeling words with which he opens his book must secure the reader's esteem and affection.
"Ugo Foscolo, renowned in the literary world for the last thirty years, now lies in a humble country churchyard, a few miles from London, undistinguished as yet, and confounded with the crowd of the obscure defunct, who die for ever. Perhaps a day will come when opulent friendship, or the love that the English people bear towards poets, that race the favoured of Heaven, will erect to him a monument worthy of his name. In the mean while, I will endeavour by these pages to transmit to the rising generation some notices of his life, not with the ambitious pretension of raising him a literary monument, but with the sole desire of rendering him a slight tribute of that friendship that united us for many years. This my work, I repeat, is nothing but the pious office of one exile towards another exile. Both of us refugees from the smiling sky of Italy, I only aspire to the imitation of the poor mariner, who to his companion dead on a foreign shore, raises a few clods of earth, with a cross, above his remains, in order that others, in more favourable opportunities, may perform the funeral rites with becoming pomp."
Count Pecchio has been unable in his exile in England to procure