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Need we fear that the world stagnate under destitution. Scarcely ever does it descend to such a change? Need we guard ourselves squalor. Many causes combine to produce against the misconstruction of being held to this enviable difference; sometimes it is purrecommend a life of complacent and inglorious chased at a price which we are not prepared inaction ? We think not. We would only sub- to pay; but of the fact of the difference there stitute a nobler for a meaner strife - a rational can, we believe, be no question. We all know for an excessive toil — an enjoyment that how incessantly of late years our sympathies springs from serenity, for one that springs from have been aroused, and our feelings shocked excitement only; we would enable our country- and pained by pictures of the awful depths to men to find happiness in contemplation as well which misery descends in the courts and alas in action. To each time its own preacher, leys of our great metropolis, as well as of to each excess its own counteraction. In an Edinburgh and Glasgow; of human beings age of dissipation, languor, and stagnation, we living by hundreds in dens filthier than styes, should join with Mr. Carlyle in preaching the and more pestilential than plague hospitals; “ Evangel of Work," and say with him “bles- of men, women, and children huddled to sed is the man who has found his work, let him gether in dirt, disorder, and promiscuity like ask no other blessedness.” * In an age of that of the lower animals; of girls delicately strenuous, phrenzied, feverish, excessive, and bred, toiling day and night for wages utterly often utterly irrational and objectless exertion, inadequate to the barest maintenance; of we join Mr. Mill in preaching the milder and deaths from long insufficiency of food; of more.needed “Evangel of Leisure.”

deaths from absolute starvation. We are not

prepared to indorse the heart-rending and The worth of work does not surely consist in sickening delineations of Mayhew, Kingsley, its leading to other work, and so on to work up and Dickens,* in all their details, but neither on work without end. On the contrary, the mul- are we able to withhold our assent to their tiplication of work, for purposes not worth caring about, is one of the evils of our present condition. rough and general fidelity. They are too far When justice and reason shall be the rule of hu-confirmed by the cold official statements of man affairs, one of the first things to which we blue books for that. Poverty, then, in Great may expect them to be applied is the question :- Britain, assumes many and frequent forms of How many of the so called luxuries, convenien- aggravated wretchedness and squalor, which ces, refinements, and ornaments of life, are worth change its character from a condition of prithe labor which must be undergone as the condi- vation to one of positive infliction, which make tion of producing them? The beautifying of ex- life a burden, à malady, and a curse. In istence is as worthy and useful an object as the France and Germany, we believe we are war sustaining of it; but only a vitiated taste can see ranted in stating, these abysses of misery are any such result in those fopperies of so called civilization, which myriads of hands are now oc

never found-or only as anomalous and most cupied and lives wasted in providing. In oppo: them in Vienna. We believe they could not

astounding exceptions. We never hear of sition to the “Gospel of Work,” I would assert the Gospel of Leisure, and maintain that human exist there. There is nothing like them in beings cannot rise to the finer attributes of their Munich, Dresden, or Berlin. Sir Francis nature compatibly with a life filled with labor. Head and Lord Ashley put themselves in the ... To reduce very greatly the quantity of work hands of an experienced resident in Paris required to carry on existence, is as needful as with a request that they might be taken to to distribute it more equally; and the progress the very worst haunts and dwellings of the of science, and the increasing ascendency of jus- lowest portion of the population, and this is tice and good sense, tend to this result."'i

the testimony Sir F. Head gives :The second point in which it appears to I must own it was my impression, and I be

that continental life has greatly the lieve it was that of Lord Ashley, that the poveradvantage over our own, is in the aspect ty we had come to witness bore no comparison which poverty assumes. Rarely in France whatever to that recklessness of personal ap. and Germany does it sink so low as with us. pearance, that abject wretchedness, that squalid Far more seldom does it reach the form of misery, which-dressed in the cast-off tattered

garments of our wealthy classes, and in clothes

perforated with holes not to be seen among the * “Who art thou that complainest of thy life most savage tribes—Ireland annually pours out of toil? Complain not. Look up, my wearied

upon England, and which, in the crowded courts brother; see thy fellow-workmen there in God's and alleys of London I have so often visited sacred band of the immortals, celestial body-guard produce among our own people, as it were, by of the Empire of mankind.' Ever in the weak infection which no moral remedy has yet been human memory, they survive so long as saints, as able to cure, scenes not only revolting as well as heroes, as gods, they alone surviving; peopling, discreditable to human nature, but which are they alone, the unmeasured solitudes of time."'Past and Present.

*“ London Poor," “ Alton Locke," and "Bleak† Fraser's Magazine.

house,"

" " Tom-all-alone's."

us

to be witnessed in no other portion, civilized or doned and despairing than ours.* Why is uncivilized, of the globe. In another lo this? And when we thus come to compare cality, La Petite Pologne, we found the general the results of our opposite notions and procondition of the poorer classes in no way worse ceedings in matters of social policy, is there than those we had just left

. On entering a not reason to suspect that, even if the ultimate large house, four stories high, running round a small square hollow court, we ascertained that and average verdict be given in our favor, we it contained rather more than 500 lodgers, usu- may not be so wholly right, nor our neighbors ally grouped together in families or little com- so wholly wrong, as it has hitherto pleased us munities. In this barrack or warren, the rooms, to imagine? There must surely be something paved with bricks, were about fifteen feet long, good and imitable in a system under which, ten feet broad, and eight feet high. We found while there is more poverty, misery is less frethem, generally speaking, clean and well venti- quent and less extreme than in our free, proslated, but the charge for each chamber unfurnished, was six francs a month. .... In the perous, and energetic land.

One of the causes which contribute to this most miserable district in the west end of Paris, we also failed to meet with anything that could superiority, in Germany at least, we have albe said to add opprobrium to poverty. The in- ready incidentally noticed, and we shall pass habitants of the few houses we entered were, no it over the more briefly as it is of a nature doubt, existing upon very scanty subsistence, which we could not imitate or approach. We but in every case they appeared anxious to pre- allude to the care taken by the governments serve polite manners, and to be clean in their dress. In the Reu de la Roche, No. 2, we enter- * Even classes like the “distressed needleed a lodging-house, kept by a clean, pleasing-women scem far less miserable in Paris than mannered woman, and as all her lodgers were in London. Compare the following from “Un out at work, we walked over her establishment. Philosophe sous les toits,” with the harrowing The rooms, which were abont eight feet seven pictures given us in “ Margaret,” “Alton Locke," inches in height, contained, nearly touching each and “ Realities : "other, from three to five double beds; for each "Je me suis trouvé dans un wagon près de of which she charged ten sous a night, or 24d. deux seurs déjà sur le retour, appartenant à la for each sleeper, (in London the charge is usu- classe des Parisiens casaniers et paisibles dont ally 4d.) Each room had one window, and we j'ai parlé plus haut. Quelques complaisances de found every one wide open.--Head's Fagots of bon voisinage ont suffi pour m'attirer leur confiFrench Sticks, i. 114-118.

ance; au bout de quelques minutes je savais

toute leur histoire. Now, when we remember that England is

“ Ce sont deux pauvres filles restéos orphelines beyond comparison richer than these® Conti- à quince ans, et qui, depuis, ont vécu comme nental States , and that the earnings of our de privation. Fabriquant depuis vingt ou trente

vivent les femmes qui travaillent, d'économie et laboring classes are far higher than those of the same classes in either France or Germany va dix maîtres s'y succéder et s'enricher, sans

ans des agraffes pour la même maison, elles ont higher even in reference to the price of the que rien ait changé dans leur sort. Elles habinecessaries of life; and that we are accus-tent toujours la même chambre, au fond d'une tomed to regard ourselves as standing at the de ces impasses de la rue St. Dennis où l'air et head of European civilization, and as having le soleil sont inconnus. Elles se mettent au trapursued a more enlightened social policy than vail avant le jour, le prolongent après la nuit, other nations; there is much in the contrast et voient les années se joindre aux années sans we have noticed that should startle us into in que leur vie ait été marquée par aucun autre quiry and reflection. What are the causes

évènement que l'office du dimanche, une prome

nade ou une maladie." of a phenomenon so painful and discreditable to us? As a general rule the laboring already returning, belonging to the quiet and do

I found myself in a wagon near two sisters, poor abroad are more respectable in their char- mestic class of Parisians, of which I have spoken acter and mode of life than their analoga in before. Some ordinary civilities of good neighborEngland---not certainly cleverer, not better hood were enough to gain their confidence; in a workmen, not made of more sterling stuff, few minutes I knew their whole bistory. than most of the same class with us, but still years of age-and since, they have lived, as work

These two poor girls were left orphans at fifteen leading generally a more decent, worthy, satis- ing women do, by economy and privation. Making factory, social existence; their peasants are hooks and eyes, twenty or thirty years for the more contented, better-mannered, less boor- same house, they have seen ten másters in succesish, and (when unexcited) less brutal, and change in their own condition. They have lived

sion enrich themselves, while there has been no more comfortable, though often with fewer of always in the same room at the bottom of one of the raw materials of comfort; their artisans those closes of the Rue St. Denis, where air and are steadier, soberer, more cheerful, more sunshine are unknown. Their labor begins before saving, and more sensible than ours; and even day, and is prolonged into the night, and years their very poor, destitute and forlorn, are less join themselves to years while their lives have

been marked by no other events than the Sunday wretched, less squalid, less absolutely aban- service, a walk, or a sickness.

of Central Europe that there should be a call-| quent and the most powerful of all, in pro ing, an opening, a mode of livelihood for ev- ducing the contrast we have noticed in the ery one of their citizens as he reaches man- aspect of French and English poverty, is the hood—a place at life's banquet in short, to use more habitual sobriety of the laboring class Malthus's illustration. They take vigilant on the other side of the Channel. The vice cognizance of each man's means of support, of intemperance, or where it does not reach and do not allow him to marry till these means that point, the custom of indulgence in spiritare reasonably adequate. In Norway, no one uous liquors, so unhappily prevalent in our can marry without " showing, to the satisfac- country, may not only do much to account for tion of the clergyman, that he is permanently whatever is peculiarly afflicting and disreputasettled in such a manner as to offer a fair ble in the condition of our poor, but is the prospect that he can support a family:" In one main reason why, in spite of our general Mecklenburg, marriages are delayed by the prosperity, this class has not risen to a height conscription in the twenty-second year, and of comfort, case, and opulence unparalleled by military service for six years; besides in the old world. As is well known, our which the parties must have a dwelling, with- working classes yearly waste in the purely out which the clergyman is not allowed to mischievous enjoyments of the palate a sum marry them. In Saxony, “a man may not equal to the whole imperial revenue,*—a sum marry before he is twenty-one, if liable to which, if suffered to accumulate, would soon serve in the army. In Dresden, artisans may render them capitalists; if invested in annuinot marry till they become masters in their ties or savings banks, would secure them trade.” In Wurtemburg and Bavaria, (be- against the day of reverse or incapacity; if sides being obliged to remain single till the judiciously expended, would raise them at termination of the period fixed for military once to a condition of comfort, respectability, service), “ no man may marry without per- even of luxury, and if they desired it, of mission, and that permission is only granted comparative leisure. A cessation of this exon proving that he and his wife have between penditure would be equivalent to raising the them sufficient to establish themselves and earnings of every poor man's family through maintain a family ;-say from 800 to 1000 out Great Britain, by £10 a year, or four shilflorins in large towns ; 400 to 500 in smaller lings a week. But this would be the sınallest ones; and in villages 200 florins, or about portion of the saving. The whole habits and £16." In Lubeck, Frankfort, and many Can-mode of life of the individual would be retons of Switzerland, similar regulations are in generated. The home would become happy; force. It is difficult to say that there is any- the whole domestic circle would be a scene of thing in them which is inconsistent with jus- peace instead of strife. There would be few tice or a fitting amount of social freedom, filthy dwellings, few neglected children, few since the universal and tacit custom in mo- of those scandalous cases of wives half-murdern civilized states, of compelling the com- dered by their drunken husbands, which now munity to maintain those who cannot main-disgrace every police court in our cities. It tain themselves

, certainly implies and involves is impossible to overcolor or exaggerate the a correlative right on the part of the commu- change which that one circumstance would nity to watch that the number of these public make. All who have had to do with the poor burdens shall not be selfishly or wantonly know how directly, how inevitably, how raaugmented ; and after all, these regulations pidly, a habit of drinking, yielded to by the only impose by law upon the poor the restric- head of the family, changes poverty into des tions which the middle and upper ranks by titution, stinted means into squalid wretched habit

, and voluntarily, impose upon them- ness, a home into a den. The French artisan selves

. But these restrictions are too foreign comparatively seldom gives way to this dreadto our national notions to be adopted here as ful vice, and seldom, therefore, incurs the externally imposed fetters : all that can be sordid misery which is its invariable consehoped for is that in time our laboring classes quence. He is often, generally, much poorer may become enlightened enough to assume than his English brother; his fare is scantier; them of their own free will, as they become his house is smaller; his bed is harder; but conscious of the beneficial effect they could he rarely aggravates these privations gratuinot fail to produce on their condition, and tously by sensual indulgence; seldomer still cognizant of the general though moderate does he cast these privations on his wife and and monotonous wellbeing which they are in children, while living in wasteful intemperstrumental in diffusing among the inhabitants ance himself. of central Europe.

But connected with this greater sobriety, A second cause, and perhaps the most fre- and operating in the same direction, is an

* See Senior on Foreign Poor Laws. Answers obtained from our consuls abroad.

* Mr. Porter has shown that this amount cannot be less than .£54,000,000 per annum.

other cause of the superiority of the French l'insecte, disposer les fils conducteurs pour les poor man. He is by no means always better tiges, grimpantes, leur distribuer avec précaueducated, but he has nearly always, whether tion l'eau et la chaleur. from nature or training, a degree of taste and

Que de peines pour amener à bien cette moisimagination of which our poor are sadly des- son! Combien de fois je le verrai braver pour titute. These qualities give him, in however bise ou le soleil! Mais aussi, aux jours les plus

elle, comme anjourd'hui, le froid ou le chaud, la straitened circumstances he may be, a fond- ardents de l'été, quand une poussiére enflammée ness for the embellishments and amenities of tourbillonnera dans nos rues, quand l'æil, ébloui life, which makes him strive against squalor par l'éclat du plâtre, ne saura où se reposer, et to the very last. He refuses to accept an ut- que les tuiles échauffées nous brûleront de leurs terly unornamented and inelegant existence, rayonnements, le vieux soldat, assis sous sa tonand because he is pinched, overworked, and nelle, n'apercevra autour de lui que verdure ou even almost destitute, he does not see why he que fleurs, et respirera la brise rafraichie par un should also become thoroughly hopeless, spirit- ombrage parfumé.* less, and degrading. Much of this æsthetic How rarely do we find among our town superiority is owing, no doubt, to original dif- poor this cherishing of flowers and green ference of constitution ; much of it may, we plants! And how invariably, when we do believe, be traced to peculiarities of educa- find it, is it a sign of a comparatively refined tion. The French peasant is probably in disposition, and hopeful and easy circumstangeneral as ignorant as our own; but in what ces! education he does receive there is mingled The same difference of character in the less that is merely rudimentary and mechani- two people manifests itself in other ways. An cal, and more that is imaginative and refining. English artisan will spend any extra earnThis is still more the case with the German ings in adding to his comforts or luxuries, and the Swiss. They have less of the alpha- French one in purchasing another, ornamento bet instilled into them, but more of music, The cottage of the Englishman will often be poetry, and the sentiments of poetry. Alto- better furnished and more comfortable; but gether, the temperament of the laboring class everything in it will be for use, not show. on the Continent, while sometimes more ex- The Frenchman will have fewer chairs, a citable, and sometimes more homely and stu- less solid table, and a poorer bed; but he pid than in England, is nearly always more will probably have a bit of a mirror, or an poetical. One fact has always struck our at- ornamental clock. He will have scantier and tention very strongly in Paris. In the worst very inferior crockery, but is nearly certain dwellings of the poor-we do not mean the to have a fragment of Sèvres China on his haunts of the actually vicious and criminal, chimney-piece or chest of drawers. He will but, in the wretched attics, seven or eight sto- feed much worse in order that he may look ries high, quite in the roof, and with little somewhat better. There is something of the light, which must be fearfully close in sum- swell, and something also of the decayed genmer, and painfully cold in winter-we almost tleman about him. He will live in the poorest always see the little window not only orna- garret, and on the scantiest crust,-food and mented by a coarse muslin curtain, but adorn- Lodging which the English artisan would scout ed with flower-pots, or boxes of cress, or mignonette, or some humble vegetable, and evi- step, his gray moustache, and the ribbon which

* You may know the soldier by his measured dently tended with the utmost care. There adorns his button-hole. You might guess him by will never be absolute despairing squalor, how- the care he takes of the little garden which decoever great the poverty, where there is this rates his aerial gallery-for these are two things love of flowers, this passion for fragments of particularly loved by, old soldiers-flowers and

So the cold wind has not driven simple nature. Here is a sketch of the pro- my neighbor from his balcony. He works away ceedings of a poor old soldier, who inhabited at the earth in his green boxes, and carefully sows the garret opposite that of our philosopher:- there the seeds of the scarlet nasturtium, and of

the green pea. Every day afterwards he comes to

watch their sprouting, to defend their young growth On reconnait le militaire à sa démarche ca- from parasitic herbs and insects, to arrange the dencée, à sa moustache grise, et an ruban qui conducting threads for the climbing crecpers, and orne sa boutonnière; on le divinerait à ses soins carefully to give them light and heat. attentifs pour le petit jardin qui décore sa gale

How much trouble for this little harvest! How rie aérienne; car il a deux choses particulière many times I have seen him for this, brave, as he ment aimées de tous le vieux soldats, les fleurs does to-day, cold and heat, the sun and the wind! et les enfans.. Aussi le vent froid n'a But then, in the hottest days of summer, when in

flamed clouds of dust whirl through streets; wlien pu chasser mon voisin de son balcon. Il laboure the eye, dazzled by the glare of plaster, knew not le terrain de ses caisses vertes ; il y sème avec where to rest, and the hot tiles burn us with their soin les graines de capucine écarlate, de volubi- reflection, the old soldier, seated under his shed, lis, et de pois de senteur. Désormais il viendra sees nothing around him, but verdure and flowers, tous les jours épier leur germination, defendre and breathes the breeze refreshed by a perfumed les pousses naissantes contre l'herbe parasite ou shade.

-in order that he may drink his eau sucrée, How “un-English ” is the following narrative and read his journal at a decent Café, or take The next neighbor of our Philosopher in the his wife and children a walk on the boule- garret, is an old soldier named Chaufour, vards, or in the Tuileries gardens in respecta- minus one leg and one arm, and earning a ble attire. The desires and expenditure of scanty subsistence by working at coarse paper the Englishman may be for the more solid articles from long before sunrise till long after good; but we doubt whether the preferences nightfall. He explains to his companion that &f the Frenchman are not far the surest guar- he lost his leg, at Waterloo, and his arm antee against sinking in the social scale.* " while working in the quarries of Clamart:" The love of the latter for holidays and gala days, we hold also to be a wholesome safe

Après la grande débâcle de Waterloo, j'étais guard, even though sometimes carried a little demeuré trois mois aux ambulances pour laisser too far. These festivals are something to look à ma jambe de bois le temps de pousser. Une forward to, something to save for, something fois en mesure de ré-emboiter le pas, je pris conge to enliven and embellish an otherwise monot-du major et je me dirigeoi sur Paris, où j'espéonous existence. Man's nature requires these rais trouver quelque parent, quelque ami; mais breaks and brighteners to keep up its elastic rien; tout étoit parti, on sous terre. J'aurais été spring; without them he becomes dull and Cependant, pour avoir une jambe de moins à

moins étranger à Vienne, à Madrid, à Berlin. spiritless, or gross ; he cannot without injury nourrir, je n'enétais pas plus à mon aise ; l'appetit to both soul and body live on work and sleep était revenu, et les derniers sous s'envolaient. alone; to keep up heart, to maintain cheer

A la vérité, j'avais rencontré mon ancien chef fulness through the dull routine, the daily re- d'escadron, qui se rappelait que je l'avais tiré de petitions, the hot and dusty thoroughfares of la bagarre à Montereau en lui donnant mon chethis world's ordinary lots, some of these gay, val, et qui m'avait proposé chez lui place au feu stirring, enlivening solutions of continuity" et à la chandelle. Je savais qu'il avait épouse, are imperatively needed. We, in this coun- l'année d'avant, un château et pas mal de fermes; try, have far too few of them; and it is not de sorte que je pouvais devenir à perpétuité easy to say how much of the depth to which brosseur d'un millionnaire ; ce qui n'était pas poverty allows itself to sink is owing to this rien de mieux à faire. Un soir je me mis à ré

Restait à savoir si je n'avais paucity.

flection.

Voyons, Chaufour, que je me dis il s'agit de Lord, help us poor people!--and that's my de- se conduire comme un homme. La place chez fence

le commandant te convient; mais ne peux-tu If we'd nothing to trust to but wisdom and sense ! rien faire de mieux ? Tu as encore le corse en

bon état et les bras solides; est ce que tu ne dois The ready and susceptible imagination of pas toutes les forces à la patrie, comme disait the Frenchman, too, must be of inestimable l'oncle de Vincennes ? Pourquoi ne pas laisser service in enabling him to embellish and glo- quelque ancien plus démoli que toi prendre ses rify his poverty in ways that an Englishman invalides chez le commandant ? Allons, troupier, would never dream of. Not only we believe encore quelques charges à fond puis qu'il te are our poor, as a general rule, more discon- reste du poignet. Faut pas se reposer avant le tented with their lot in life than the same

temps. class among our mercurial neighbors, but offrir mes services à an ancien de la batterie qui

Sur qui j'allai remercier le chef d'escadron et even where submissive and unmurmuring, était rentré à Clamart dans son foyer respectif, they are so in a different spirit. The Eng- et qui avait repris le pince de carrier. lishman accepts his meagre fare and humble Pendant les premiers mois, je fis le métier de position doggedly, when the Frenchman ac- conscrit, c'estrà-dire, avec plus de movements cepts them cheerfully. The latter makes the que de besogne; mais avec de la bonne velonte best of matters, and puts a bright face on on vient à bout des pierres comme de tout le everything that will bear it; the former is too reste: sans devenir comme on dit, une tête de apt to take a diametrically opposite course. colonne, je pris mon rang, en serrefile parmi les

bons ouvriers, et je mangeais mon pain de bon * “Riding through Normandy one beautiful appetit, vu que je le gagnais de bon cœur. Cest Sunday evening, I overheard a French peasant de- que, même sous le tuf, voyezvous, j'avais garde cline the convivial invitation of his companion. ma gloriole. L'idée que je travaillais pour ma

Why-no, thank you,' said he, 'I must go to the part, à changer les roches en maisons, me flattait guinguette for the sake of my wife and the young intérieurement. Je me disais tout bas. people, dear souls !'

Courage, Chaufour, mon vieux, tu aides de The next Sunday I was in Sussex, and as my embellir tu patrie. Et ça me soutenait le moral. horse ambled by a cottage, I heard a sturdy boor, Malheureusement, j'avais parmi mes compagwho had apparently just left it, grumble forth to a big þoy swinging on a gate:' You sees to the nons des citoyens un peu trop sensible aux sow, Jim, there's a good un; I be's just a-going to charmes du cognac; si bien qu'un jour, l'un d'eux the Blue Lion, to get rid of my missus and the qui voyait sa main gauche à droite, s'avisa de brats-rot 'em!"-Bulwer's England and the Eng- battre le briquet près d'une mine chargée : la

mine prit feu sans dire gare, et nous envoya une

lish.

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