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benignant climate are still the same. The lofty national character is obscured, but not extinguished. The genius of the age has but to cross the Pyrenees, and the old Castilian spirit will awake, commerce will wbiten the numerous ports from the Atlantic to the Balearic Isles, and agriculture carpet the soil from the rocky steeps of Arragon to the beautiful vallies of Andalusia.
ART. VII.- The Young Duke. "A Moral tale, though gay."
By the author of Vivian Grey. In 2 vols. 1831.
This novel, as it is called, is attributed to Mr. D’Israeli, son of the gentleman who, some years ago, published some volumes of entertaining Anecdotes, compiled from sources not often in the hands of general readers. · The present work is a fictitious account of the Duke Fitz James, from his school-boy days, till his sober settlement in the world, comprising a long series of wanton waste of time, opportunity, and wealth, until his reformation and marriage shewing how he was an idle and spendthrift school-boy, a riotous, dissipated, disorderly student at college; a traveller on the continent for a few years till he returned with no valuable acquisition but the externals of politeness, and a taste in dress. On coming of age, he became entitled, through the prudence of his guardian, Mr. Dacre, a respectable country gemleman, though a man of the world, in the most valuable and honourable sense of the term, to about half a million sterling, and estates of above fifty thousand a year. In about two years, by extravagance in building, by luxurious entertainments, by the aid of an Italian female singer, by the jockeys at New-Market, and the vulgar rogues of a gaming-table, by an intrigue with a married woman, and by every possible kind of vicious, foolish and fashionable dissipation, he contrives to run through his half million, and becomes an insolvent debtor to his banker.
After having treated his respectable guardian with the most culpable neglect-after having been twice rejected by the beautiful and spirited Miss Dacre, he at length finds grace in the eyes of this fair one, and by sales of his superfluous establishments, with the aid of a portion of 100,000 pounds given with her, by her
father. On his marriage with this daughter of his guardian, he becomes released from his creditors, and retires, as a respectable peer and country gentleman, with his fifty thousand a year income. Such is the amiable hero of this novel, and such is the moral justice with which he is treated. His merits are confined to good temper, and constitutional kindness, with something like talent.
There is the usual tone of affected familiarity with the finery, the luxury, the gormandise, and the various forms of extravagance and dissipation of persons of fashion in England; with their unprincipled and immoral manners; the debaucheries of males and of females ; the disregard of family attachments and family duties; and the base motives of unqualified self-interest that rule so much of their conduct. We know not whether all this be a true picture of the majority of the class—we hope not, and are strongly inclined to believe that it may be somewhat exaggerated. But allowing much for exaggeration, it is a picture most revolting. To be sure the vice of the present day is not quite so gross as the manners of the court of the Regent Duke of Orleans, but it is still most barefaced and disgusting. No honest observer can doubt for a moment that it is the natural, necessary result of exorbitant wealth, enabling its possessor to indulge habitually in practices the most reprehensible, and to set at open defiance the opinion of every part of the public but that which belongs to what is called the fashionable world.
The debaucheries of the Regent of Louis XIV and XV were bad enough, but they could not be more barefaced and profligate than the conduct of the last king of Great-Britain, George IV.
The work before us suggests to the mind of the reader, the accumulation, and wasteful expenditure of enormous sums, in the most useless and trifling articles of ornamental expense; while the poor, from whose labour these sums are obtained, are starving by millions all around. There are 1600 men of wealth now in England, who can afford to pay off the national debt of 850 millions sterling. There are noblemen, whose incomes approach to 1000 pounds sterling per day; there are at least three millions of human beings, whose labour contributes to support and supply these incomes, unable to count with certainty upon their next day's meagre meal; and who live upon a very scanty portion of the common necessaries of life, earned by the actual daily labour of twelve hours out of fourteen,
Our readers must not suppose that any obvious reflections of this radical character contaminate the fashionable pages of the volume which serves as a text book for our present homily. There is very little of useful, or natural remarks throughout the book. The hero of the novel, is polite, good tempered, and careless of money, of which he seems to know not the use or the value. This thoughtless spendthrift disposition is to pass for generosity. The picture given of the aristocracy and their mode of life, excites strong disapprobation indeed, as it is well calculated to do, but the general air and tone of the narration, would lead us to conclude, that the scenes depicted, are the usual, natural, and very venial faults of what is called high-life.
These unwieldly incomes are the result of primogeniture, acting for half a dozen generations upon feudal donations, upon the salaries of overpaid officers of trust, of various kinds, on sinecures, pensions, lucrative jobs and employments, and well paid places under government, of alldescriptions. These incomes are streams abundantly supplied from the great main-spring of taxation. This taxation is contrived to bear heaviest on the poor, as all indirect taxation is sure to do; for to be productive, it must be laid upon articles of the most extensive and most inevitable consumption. It is the taxation of the many for the benefit of the few. Every war that increases the burthens of the poor and middling classes, produces a plentiful crop of wealthy aspirants to aristocratical distinction, whose parents were either successful peculators or speculators, or both, dur
ing the wanton waste of war-expenditure. All these classes of men, fruges consumere nati, exist in fact upon the labour of the operatives and producers; whose exertions are put into requistion so extreme in millions of instances, that the powers of life are scarcely able to support the combined wear and tear of paid work and hard living. To fill up the contrast more perfectly between the mode of living of the wealthy and that of the poor, let us consider some of the facts relating to the manufacturing population more particularly. During the course of the present year, a small pamphlet has been published in England, entitled “ An inquiry into the state of the manufacturing population, and the causes and cure of the evils that oppress it.”
The writer tells us he is himself extensively engaged in manufactures, and therefore not to be suspected of a wilful exaggeration of the evils he laments. His observations have principally in view the cotton manufacture, as it exists in the towns of Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn, Rochdale, Stockport, &c.; places, which as seats of the cotton manufacture of Lancashire, are to ourselves, personally well known, from frequent and ocular observation of the manufactories in all the places above enumerated.
Dr. M'Culloch speaks favourably of the health of manufacturers, from the proportion of deaths among them, being smaller than in agricultural districts. This is owing to the comparative difficulty of obtaining medical assistance in a country population comparatively sparse, and the prevalence of acute disorders among agricultural labourers, by which life is suddenly abridged; but those who survive, enjoy a state of health and vigorous sensation, owing to the nature of their pursuits in the open air, far greater than a manufacturer ever experiences; whose life is in fact one lingering disease, amid all the medical aid that the charitable feelings of his neighbours so abundantly supply. In Manchester, as in Lyons, a third generation of manufacturers is hardly known.
The author of this pamphlet enumerates among the prevailing disorders, dyspepsia, gastritis, gastralgia, epilepsy, varicose enlargements of the veins, ulcers of the lower extremities; always ill-conditioned, owing to the want of good air, defect of wholesome food, want of attention to cleanliness, depression of spirits, and frequent recourse to stimulating liquors. To these may be added, neuralgias of every kind, and typhoid forms of all the diseases to which they are subject, and the tribe of nondescript disorders that incessantly prey on their health and their spirits, from long and wearisome occupation in an atmosphere loaded with effluvium.
“ The fourth cause of ill health, (says the writer) which prevails among the manufacturing population, may be traced to the injurious influence which the weakened and vitiated constitution of the women has upon their children. They (the women) are often employed in factories some years after their marriage ; during pregnancy, and up to the very period of their confinement; which all who have attended to the physiology of the subject, know, must send their offspring into the world with a feeble and unhealthy frame; which the circumstances of their infancy are but ill calculated to renovate. Hence, when the children begin to work themselves, they are prepared at once to succumb to the evil influences by which they are surrounded."
This improper employment of the mothers, leads to all kinds of neglect of their offspring; producing bowel complaints, bronchitis, and hydrocephalus, that carry off the infant population in great numbers, and tend to debilitate the constitutions of those who survive. The hours of labour in a cotton-mill are from 6 in the morning to 8 at night, making twelve hours of actual work. When the operative comes home, exhausted by such long fatigue, he has no time, or spirits, or inclination to attend to any domestic concern; he is fit only for sleep or sensual indulgence; and feels too often a desire not to be resisted, to recruit his debilitated frame by the stimulus of liquor. No day's work of a human being ought habitually to extend beyond 12 hours at the utmost, with two full hours of the twelve dedicated to meals and rest. Between the capitalists, in the cotton manufacture, and the labourer he employs, there is no personal intercourse, no community of feeling or of interest. The master's head is always at work to discover how he can get his business done cheaper; and the result is almost always at the expense of the labourer. To be sure, these men sometimes revolt, and combine; but what can a combination of poverty effect against the resources of wealth ? All this relates to the cotton manufacture, which absorbs the labour of four millions of people. The operatives of Birmingham, Sheffield, Staffordshire, Norwich, the iron works of Wales, Lancashire, and Staffordshire, the great woollen establishments of Yorkshire, &c. &c. cannot comprise a less number; to whose labours the task of a negro in South-Carolina, is indeed but child's play; for where is there in South-Carolina a field negro on a cotton plantation whose day's work cannot be finished, if he chuses it, by 2 o'clock in the day? There may be occasional exceptions among us, but this is the general case. If cheapness of manufactured produce, is thus to be purchased by such incessant wear and tear of body and mind, among the operatives who thus earn the means of dragging on a wearisome existence from day to day, it is dearly purchased: so dearly, that no friend to his country would desire to see the system extensively introduced among ourselves. The pamphlet in question, ought to put an end to the complaints against negro slavery when urged by the favourers of white slavery, such as we find described among the manufacturing operatives of Great-Britain. And when it is thus described, we know of our own knowledge, that the description is true to the life, without exaggeration.
Let us now contrast this with a picture of fashionable entertainment and high-life hospitality, from the novel before us.
“The guests wandered through the gardens, always various, and now a paradise of novelty. There were four brothers, fresh from the wildest recesses of the Carpathian Mount, who threw out such woodnotes wild, that all the artists stared; and it was universally agreed, that had they not been French chorus-singers, they would have been quite a miracle. But the Lapland sisters were the true prodigy, who danced the inazurka in the national style. There was also a fire-eater; but some said he would never set the river in flames, though he had an antidote against all poisons! But, then, our Mithridates always tried