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curious. Let a man study it carefully,—observe the characters by whom the movement was first planned,* the history of the veto, t the remarkable change of organisation in 1793, the difficulties respecting the disappearance of the funds, and especially a note s showing that this is no singular occurrence in such bodies in Ireland—the frequent schisms, when the rude honest violence of the democratical spirit, which another power beyond it was employing for its own purpose, began to overrun its bounds, as in the first establishment of Maynooth, when the democrats proposed a scheme of education without religion, and the bishops privately betrayed them, and obtained exclusive possession of Maynooth. Again the connexion of the Catholic Committee with the Rebellion of 1798,|| their frequent communications with foreign countries, the details of secret organisation, delegacies, parochial affiliated committees—the general tone of their opinions, as latitudinarian and democratical as any which Jesuitism has ever assumed,-and at the same time bigoted to religion, and controlled by some secret hand which prevented the democratical spirit from bursting out into the destruction of Popery. Then add the character and proceedings of their leader. History should not descend into personality; but let a thoughtful person study the conditions represented by the great philosophical satirist of Athens, Aristophanes,s as requisite in hiring a demagogue, and their perfect union in one individual now living-let him remember the admirable skill with which Jesuitism has ever selected its instruments, and bent them to its purpose-then consider the utter impossibility of such a character exercising any permanent influence in an enlightened state of society, unless supported by some secret power beyond him, as the demagogues of Athens were supported—and that this power in Ireland cannot be the priests, who are evidently only instruments in the hands of this power-and that it is not the people, for the people are in the hands of their priests—that neither is it the aristocracy nor the gentry, for they all repudiate the connexion-neither is it a Roman Catholic spirit in the mass of his followers, for the maxims of this man would destroy Popery, as much as they would the Church-think again that some extraordinary power must be exerted to raise the tax imposed for his payment—that this tax does not originate with the people, for the collection of it is compulsory, sometimes under the terrors of the horsewhip’-nor with the priests, for a movement simultaneous like this must have its directory without.-Put together these facts, and many other minute points in the secret and public history of this person, and, we think, that one explanation, perhaps only one, can be found of them—whether it is correct or not, we do not presume to
* See especially the characters of Mr. Scully, vol. i. p. 153, and Dr. Dromgoole, p. 162. | Page 166. | Page 105.
9 Page 79. Vespæ, passim, and especially the Knights.
|| Page 113.
but it might be worth while to inquire if it exists in the archives of the Propaganda
And here we must pause for the present. We have touched but one branch of a wide subject, every part of which throws light on another part, and all should be studied together. But if the inquiry is once commenced, the development will proceed easily. That some power of a mysterious and alarming nature is now, and has been for years, working in the heart of Ireland, no one can doubt: of its whole extent readers will form but a very inadequate conception from our previous hints, without studying another very important branch of the Papist system in that unhappy country, to which we shall ask their attention in our next Number. But if even a doubt may have been raised in their minds as to the real state of Ireland, and the security of the empire, as connected with it, something will have been gained.
Art. V-1. On the Employment of Children in Factories
and other Works in the United Kingdom and in some foreign Countries. By Leonard Horner, F.R.S., Inspector of
Factories. 1840. 2. Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on
the Act for the Regulation of Mills and Factories. 1840. WE TE have some reason to be gratified by the appearance of
Mr. Horner's pamphlet. While it shows many imperfections of detail, it affirms the success of mercy by statute; and declares, on a retrospect of the last seven years, the commencement of many of those great and good results which we were called fools and zealots for venturing to prophecy. Well do we recollect the clamour; the awful predictions of a ruined trade and a starving population; commerce flying to foreign shores; England depressed; France exalted in the scale of nations; with every terrible inference that ingenuity could draw from Tyre, Zidon, Carthage, and Holland. Were we frightened by such arguments ? Not at all; we had one great and quickening principle, comfortable and true as revelation itself (for it is deduced from it), that nothing which is morally wrong can be politically right. We have now undertaken a new but similar task; new in its objects, * Quarterly Review, vol. lvii. p. 443.
but similar in its principles; and we invite from all, the confidence which experience has justified, in the re-assertion of truths, which are ever, and under all circumstances, the same.
But let us first hear Mr. Horner.
The law,' says he, which was passed in 1833, to regulate the labour of children and young persons in the mills and factories of the United Kingdom, has been productive of much good. But it has not, by any means, accomplished all the purposes for which it was passed. The failures have mainly arisen from defects in the law itself; not in the principles it lays down, but in the machinery which was constructed for the purposes of carrying the principles into operation.'-p. 1.
· Had all the remonstrances,' continues the inspector, which were made, been attended to, the children would have been left with but a scanty measure of protection; and we may, in some degree, judge of the value of those which were yielded to, by the experience of the working of those enactments which were persisted in. It was confidently predicted that, by limiting the employment of children of eleven years of age to eight hours a-day, the most serious losses would accrue; that when, in the following year, the act should apply to children of twelve, the difficulties and evil consequences would be vastly increased; and that, if it were attempted to enforce the restriction as far as thirteen, a very large proportion of the mills in the country must of necessity stop. Government were applied to to prevent the impending evil; the inspectors were appealed to by the government, and they stated that the assertions had been so often and so confidently made to them, that they could not venture to set up their opinions and their then limited experience in opposition to them. The President of the Board of Trade, Mr. Thomson, was prevailed upon to propose to parliament that the restriction to eight hours' daily work should be limited to children under twelve years of age; but, happily, parliament was firm, and would not yield. And what was the result ? Not a single mill throughout the United Kingdom stopped a day for want of hands.'
It is very satisfactory,' adds Mr. Horner, 'to know that the act is now viewed by a great majority of the respectable mill-owners, their managers, and, as far as I have had an opportunity of learning, by the most considerate and best-disposed among the workpeople themselves, with a very different feeling from what it was at first. I have had abundant testimony that the law is not only not felt to be oppressive and detrimental to trade, but, on the contrary, has been productive of great good, by introducing a steadiness and a regularity which did not exist before. Many mill-owners have said to mem"We find no fault with the act, except that we are not all placed by it on the same footing, in consequence of the evasions which our neighbours may and do practise with impunity; and if the law will not reach them, it ought to be made to do so." - p. 4.
Such are the valuable statements of the inspector in reference to the past operation of legislative interference in this matter.
Let it be observed, moreover, that he quotes the opinions of several proprietors engaged in the trade : nor are we without testimony from other quarters, that many of them in the present day admit the truth of those doctrines they so hötly opposed. The Report of the Minutes of Evidence before the Committee of last session contains some important acknowledgments from master mill-owners. But we will not dwell longer on the condition and claims of the factory children, their evils, and their miseries; all is now sufficiently known :
Quis aut Eurysthea durum, Aut illaudati nescit Busiridis aras ?' The remedy and redress lie with the nation.
We now turn to a still more helpless class of juvenile workers in the trades and manufactures of the United Kingdom. The vast numbers of this class demand our consideration, exceeding, as they do, perhaps in a tenfold degree, the numbers of those who are engaged in the four great departments of industry, the cotton, the woollen, the worsted, and the flax, now regulated by the provisions of statute-law. Yet, numerous as they are, many causes conspire to shut them out from observation and sympathy. These manufactures are less ostensible in character, not concentrated in single spots, in large masses and enormous buildings, striking the eye, and rousing the imagination. Diffused through all the towns and cities of the empire, the workers pass unregarded in the body of the population; or if honoured occasionally by an inquiry, or a remark, they are speedily set aside, as constituting that proportion of crime and suffering, which must necessarily exist without remedy, even in the best regulated communities of civilised men. Nor have they any benefit from the clamorous, though just, indignation of their adult fellowlabourers; theirs is not generally a toil which, according to its regularity and duration (as in the factories), can diminish or prolong the toil of the older operatives : nothing is lost by their suffering, and nothing would be gained by their relief. They remain, therefore, unwept, unhonoured, and unsung'-obtaining neither notoriety nor compassion; because it is no one's interest to examine their wrongs, and institute that wholesome agitation, which, in the case of their brotherhood in the factories, acted first on the feelings of the country, and, at last, on the decisions of parliament.
But this furnishes to us an additional motive to undertake their defence; and, on behalf of England and the Christian faith, to assert those inalienable rights which belong to their nature, and are independent of their station. It is a monstrous thing to behold the condition, moral and physical, of the juvenile portion of
our operative classes, more especially that which is found in the crowded lanes and courts of the larger towns, the charnel-houses of our race. Covetousness presided at their construction, and she still governs their economy; that covetousness which is idolatry.' Damp and unhealthy substrata, left altogether without drainage ; frail tenements, low and confined, without conveniences or ventilation; close alleys, and no supply of water :-all these things overtopped by the ne plus ultra of rent, reward the contractor, and devour the inhabitants. Emerging from these lairs of filth and disorder, the young workers, rising early, and late taking rest,' go forth that they may toil through fifteen, sixteen, nay, seventeen relentless hours, in sinks and abysses, oftentimes more offensive and pernicious than the holes they have quitted. Enfeebled in health, and exasperated in spirit, having neither that repose which is restorative to the body, nor that precious medieine which alone can tranquillise the soul, they are forced to live and die as though it were the interest of the state to make them pigmies in strength, and heathens in religion. Much are we often tempted to imprecate on these cities the curse of Jericho;* but far better is it for us, at most humble distance, to imitate those gracious and holy tears which fell over the pride, and covetousness, and ignorance of Jerusalem.
Of the various employments which demand and exhaust the physical energies of young children, we cannot give by any means a full specification ; nor is it necessary for our purpose. We will state a few, as to which the evidence is ample and correct; imagination may supply the deficiency of the rest; and it will not deceive, because it cannot exceed the truth. The list, as we find it, runs thus :-Earthenware, porcelain, hosiery, pin-making, needlemaking, manufacture of arms, nail-making, card-setting, drawboyweaving, iron-works, forges, &c.; iron-foundries, glass-trade, collieries, calico-printing, tobacco-manufacture, button-factories, bleaching and paper-mills. We must add to this the mills for the manufacture of silk and lace, kept hitherto, by the legislature, beyond the pale of protection.
Will not any one, who may read this enumeration of employments, be deeply and painfully struck by the reflection that it is not the supply of necessaries, the provision of what is indispensably required to sustain our nature, or clothe our nakedness, that inflicts this amount of human suffering? It is the exaggeration of comforts, the indulgence of luxury; for even if we admit that some of these trades are essential to a high state of civilisation, we must deny the same admission to their operation and conduct. At the bottom of all lies the avarice of the public. The cheap, * Joshua, vi. 26.