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A SWEDISH LOWELL.*
wind of which we have just spoken which one day moved among the members of our family circle, and united them in one will and for one purpose.
BY FREDRIKA BREMER.
One evening when Ivar and Gerda had just been speaking of their visit to the celebrated American manufactory of Lowell, and all had listened with the warmest, and most joyful interest, Augustin all at once sprang up and exclaimed,
It was an active, merry, restless, strange life which prepailed there. There were now together these young, "Listen my friends! We are here many of us, and powerful human beings, who, upon different paths, had developed their different talents, and who, by means of we ask what shall we do? What shall we undertake? them had attained to clearness and stability even in the Why should we not unite ourselves and establish-a outward life. They had arrived at a certain station in Swedish Lowell? A community on Swedish ground, their life's career, and now a pause occurred, or rather with Swedish customs, in which we might endeavour a moment of rest. Most of them felt that something new to elevate the work people to the highest possible immust now take place, a higher a more perfect develope-provement, freedom, and happiness, and where every ment of life. This in a particular manner had refer- one can give his talent to the common weal. ence to Ivar and Gerda. The professional life which they had hitherto led was not sufficient for them, therefore, either their professional talents were not sufficiently great to satisfy this, or this was not sufficiently large alone to satisfy their souls. They longed for something else, for something more.
And all the brothers and sisters, and their friends were, as it were, infected by this longing. But the word, the originating thought for this was still wanting to them.
They were altogether every day, in particular every evening, these warm, struggling souls. Then were they all alive with news from foreign lands; thoughts about mankind; the times, life, both the inward and the outward; thus did heart and brain open their chambers and give and receive new light. Drop fell to drop; fire kindled fire.
This tendency was not however new to the greater part of the brothers and sisters. We have long since seen in Hedvig, in Augustin, in Ivar and Gerda, in Bror and in every one of these in their own way that loveful tendency which leads man out of his own private I, and his own individual circle, to diffuse generally the good and the happiness which he has himself obtained.
And the household gods of home guarded and watched it, whilst all the winds of the world blew up the flame.
They were all of them, in this way, children of the very best spirit of the age. Augustin's proposal had merely opened a way, by which good desires would make themselves available; had shown a central-point, a definite object around which they could gather.
Beloved reader! That wind which caresses thy brow, or which whistles at thy window, is indeed the same great wind which roars around the globe, and which journeys over all the lands of the earth. Thou hearest in its voice, a voice of the universe.
In the light of enthusiasm this now grew, and became more and more beautiful and significant. Patriotism and Christian sentiments give birth to great thoughts, to beautiful institutions.
Ivar was again a fanatic, but this time in the light of a corrected understanding, for that Utopia which was the most beautiful dream of his youth. Gerda sung aloud in joy, because she should be able to introduce singing into the life of the people;-she divided already the
So is it also with the wind of the spirit; and more so than ever in our days, when steam is united to mind and loosens its fettered wings for an altogether freer flight round the world. And dost thou not hear how it speaks from coast to coast, from land to land, from city to city? Dost thou not hear feeling awake to feeling, thought reply to thought, tone vibrate to tone, and the little is-work-people into choruses-the boys' and the girls' land's echo back the accords of the great hemispheres? choruses-and taught them, beautiful, ennobling songs. Dost thou not hear the spheres rush on in altogether purer harmonies, in more inward melodies, altogether more powerful and loftier? Dost thou not hear it? then bewail thyself. For thine ear is not pure, and thou art deprived of a great enjoyment.
Hedvig sate with her deep, loving eyes full of tears, and her heart full of maternal thoughts. She already clasped all the children of the young community in her embrace. Bror undertook to establish a library; he would the very next morning hasten away to three book auctions to begin the collection.
But if thou dost hear it-and knowest of a certainty that thou dost-then must thou also hear, at this time, a certain melody, a certain song which goes through every other, and in which peoples, remotely separated peoples, sing harmoniously together.
There is a peculiar kind of joy which a person feels in great and good undertakings in which he is a participator. We do not believe that there is a nobler or a better on earth. It is a joy which elevates his consciIt is the song of union, of fraternization on earth, of ousness, and strengthens all his powers. That spirit of a great brother-and-sister-life, in which all mankind shall the life of the community which permeates his indivirecognise each other as children of the same father-dual life; that sentiment that has united him in thought born to divide with each other the same inheritance of and action, with the noblest interests of the age give to his existence a higher importance and a greater purpose. goodness and joy. Now he knows himself to be one of God's instruments on earth, and more joyfully and more freely he lifts up his eyes to him.
Yes, in this great recognition mankind will be united. It is caused by the spirit of Christianity.
Societies are formed; both small and great, to carry out into life what this spirit desires. Weak human beings give to each other their hand, and thereby beThe electric stream of the power of God's love more rapidly penetrates them all. It was a spark of this fire; it was a wind from that
That was the word, that was the thought, that was the point of union of which there had been an undeAll fined presentiment and for which all had sought. at once it was felt by the whole family circle, and as the brooks roar with the unbinding of the fetters of spring, and gush forward to carry their waters to the river, so now hastened gladly brothers, sisters, and friends with their consent, their gifts and powers, to aid in the
From "Brothers and Sisters," translated from the original, unpublished manuscript, by Mary Howitt, published by Henry Colburn, Great Marlborough-street.
Sweden has more than once seen spring forth from its bosom, associations, the offspring of a noble thought. That so called Gothic Association is of this kind, and we all know what beautiful fruits it has borne.
Its object was to regenerate and develope the arts of That brother-and-sisthe Fatherland. And it did so. ter society, which is here founded, will form that perfect association, and through, and with this, develope the perfect human being.
Will it succeed? The result of it is uncertain. it is beautiful to attempt that which is great. And we are not without good anticipations; because we see in the association; good desires; good heads; and large capital, which is a capital thing in carrying out great ideas.
We see little Bror-thanks little Bror!-with his young bride stand with their million, ready to employ it in the common enterprise.
We see Mina, the millionaire's second daughter, animated by the same spirit, stand ready with her portion. The young girl has had a clear insight into the blessing of wealth.
We see, in the end, many other persons, out of our family-circle, induced to take part in this enterprise with heart, hand, or capital.
Because all enterprise founded upon noble and true principles, has the power of attracting human beings. The noble-minded hear in them a heavenly voice, and they follow it. Others follow with the stream, and thus it grows.
A little deliberative society was formed, to bring into shape the proposal for this new association. The whole conduct and management of the business was unanimously confided to Augustin. Even Uncle Herkules went to the assembly-for even he was warm for its plans - although some of the members entertained doubts as to the harmony which would subsist between him and the others.
Augustin had a little difficulty sometimes to keep the balance equal between two of his friends. The one would give too much and the other altogether too little.
To the first Augustin said,
"Softly! Nothing for nothing! We would gladly provide our workpeople with every good thing, but they must themselves obtain them. We will therefore place them in a condition to acquire them by their industry and good behaviour. To deny oneself, to give up does no harm in the beginning. Nay, it is beneficial. Have not the most of us begun with it. I remember very well how I, many a time, at the university, went out at dinner-time, and wandered about the streets to dissipate the hunger, which I had not the means of satisfying, and how many an act of self-denial my young comrades and I were obliged to submit to. But we knew that we were labouring for preferment and for a certain after advantage. This supported temper and courage, and enabled us merrily to bear the renunciation which was at the same time a good teacher. Nay, we should not be frigid with our workpeople, but give the best that we have for ourselves; a position in life in which they can, from year to year, nay from month to month make an advance onward; in which they can improve themselves, layup something for their children, and prepare for themselves, a calm old age. But we must firmly establish the principle-to every one according to his merits.
Yes, this must become the law.
But in order that justice may here become perfect, we must judge of merit and reward it according to the Gospel.
And in this way we enter into the Kingdom of Heavenly Justice.
You see, my friends. I am so arrogant, that I claim for us in our society, that we should take the place of the great husbandman should represent God the Father! And this would be an unpardonably bold word, were it not spoken with a heart in the dust !-In short; we must besides the usual money-reward of labour, introduce a new one, a reward for industry and good conduct.
But at the beginning all went on well. All was life-Augustin said:and gladness, and brisk activity in the circle of family and friends. And the following winter promised to be lively and active also, for during this time, the great plans were to be concerted in readiness for the following spring, when, with the first song of the lark, they were to be carried into operation.
From this, at the close of every month or quarter of a year, shall be advanced the wages of merit, equally great for the unskilful workman as for him who is the most dexterous, when it is merely proved that the former as well the latter did what he was able to do, when honestly commanded to work.
I know that many land owners and others, who have servants in their employment, act towards them in this way. And I wish merely that what is done accidentally and imperfectly elsewhere, should become a principle in our association, and that moral-wages of merit should be given to its members. And thus in this small way the great husbandman's will might be done as in heaven so on earth.
And that this heayenly justice added to worldly prudence, would in the long run, conduce to our greatest worldly advantage, is not difficult to foresee."
To the other-the one whose views were contracted
"We are very careful about our own enjoyments; we consider it of the highest importance that every day should have some moments of refreshment and pleasure. And it ought to be so, because it is conformable with our nature and our needs. And I maintain that our Lord desires that it should be so; his wish is to see us all happy and cheerful. Has he not made the communion of love as the very heart of his church? Nothing is more certain to me than that Christianity is a doctrine of happiness, as well as a doctrine of wisdom for this life and the one which is to come; that it gives a blessing as well to our work as to our repose, and wills that water should be turned to wine. And when we thus act towards those who are dependant upon us, give them opportunities for that enjoyment which we wish for ourselves, we only fulfil our duty as Christians. Even the heathen acknowledged this duty, and had days-for example the Roman Saturnalia!-when liberty was given to all their slaves, and even to their animals, to enjoy the festival of life. But it was merely for a few days. We will infuse into the chalice of every day some drops of the enjoyment of existence, and give pure pleasure to the members of the association.
The work which we have in hand is in reality nothing but that we meditate, in an amicable spirit, a change in society, which sooner or later, in its despite, will be brought about. And in doing this we benefit ourselves quite as much as those whom we seek to benefit. Do not let us therefore call it doing good. Let us call it doing what is right. Let us call it pure, human pleasure.
And as a means of pleasure in our society we must have entertaining societies, with dance, music, games; and we must be there ourselves also, we must take part in them ourselves."
"Take part in them ourselves?" many people thought that this would not answer.
"But this would be precisely the thing," said Augustin, "which would be important and highly advantageous. That personal, cordial relationship between the more cultivated classes and those which are less so, a relationship which ought to extend to all classes of so
Merit shall be estimated not merely from the consideration of advantage. The honest endeavour, the good-ciety, is precisely that which is peculiarly beneficial, will must also have its rank, and its value ought to be reckoned as merit.
and the best lever of society. And since The Highest descended to us, in order to raise us to himself, that is
"I could not have thought it!-you will lecture on everything except the most important of all-that is to say-Theology! And in particular is it of the very highest importance, now-a-days, to endeavour to make it popular and comprehensible to the unlearned. It is high time that the reason of Christianity found its way to the reason of the people, that it may counterbalance all that unreason or half reason which endeavours to confound it, and in order to teach them how they may acquit themselves in the questions which will arise, and to be able to defend their holy belief against the attacks of infidelity and doubt.
"It makes me angry, yes, both angry and grieved, when I hear people who otherwise mean well towards their fellow creatures and Christianity preach against reason as an enemy to faith and revelation!
'Is it not to set them down as something irrational? to set enmity between the reason of God and the reason of man? just as if the latter were not the offspring of the former, created to conceive and to comprehend, and comprehending to adore its highest revelation on earth! Nay, I say, take reason, and understanding and science to help you, and when you, by their aid, have endeavoured to conceive and to understand the height and breadth and depth of God's wonderful revelation, so that you can see its whole connection, behold! as it is quite right man stands there, as a child in the presence of the great and good father, believing and adoring; believing precisely because he understands; believing even where he does not fully understand, because he now for the first time properly understands the Divine; because he now knows whom and what he believes. Yes, first of all enter into the child-like spirit, and with this we then-enter into the kingdom of heaven! Is it not so, sister Hedvig? Am I not right?"
Right! right!" said Hedvig with beaming eyes. "But talk about this to the many; do you, yourself, give the lecture you speak of."
"Ah! how gladly would I do so, if I only could!" replied the old man warmly. "But I am not capable of it, I am old; my voice is weak and broken; and an old school-fox like me can scarcely express himself in a sufficiently popular manner. The old scholastic phrases lie continually on my lips and in my way; and I might say the very best things, and the people would believe nevertheless that I was talking Arabic, and wished to lead them into some heathenism. No, take in preference another teacher. The limits between learned and unlearned, priest and layman, exist no longer as formerly, and I know a few of my young friends here who far better than I could accomplish the important work of making Theology or Christian philosophy popular. Uno?--a great blessing has been conferred on you. Go and communicate its fruit to your brethren."
As regarded the internal administrative regulations of the Association, Augustin laid the highest importance upon the establishment of a savings'-bank, to the prudent management of which he devoted particular attention. For this purpose he adopted the most celebrated
economic calculations of the time which a prudent and benevolent guardianship of the wealthy might apply for the benefit of the indigent in the association.
For the rest Augustin satisfied himself with connecting the prosperity of the workman with that of the institution for which he worked. The first ought, as a matter of course, to be bound up with the latter.
They talked about dwelling-houses. Augustin wished not to have any great Phalanstery-like establishments. "Where they have been erected they have not answered," said he, " and least of all would they answer with us in Sweden than anywhere. Because in the Swedish disposition exists the desire for each man to have his own. There is for him no comfort except in his own home and upon his own spot of ground. I will for our workpeople erect small dwelling-houses for two, at most four families under each roof. Every family ought to have two rooms and a kitchen. I know that this will be more expensive than a common kitchen and a large common dwelling-house. But we should gain in the comfort and fidelity of our work-people what we expended in money. And the advantage which we look for is not merely that of sordid interest. These dwellings shall be of wood, simple but tasteful, with difference in their design, and roofed with red tile. By every dwelling we will plant a few trees, and if possible let every householder have a little garden, or at least an enclosure where they can sow and plant something. I know how these little pieces of their own ground attach men to the places which possess them.
"I wish very much that we could obtain one thing for our work people, and that is a large park, where they would have an opportunity of enjoying life in the open air, and the innocent pleasures which would thence accrue. Where they would, during spring and summer, be able to recreate themselves every holiday with the freshness of rural life and the beauties of nature. For autumn and winter evenings we have the great hall of the school-house, where they would assemble, and where we must also take care to have beautiful works of art which may develope the sense of beauty, and where at the same time readi and music may agreeably employ, give pleasure, and at the same time ennoble.
One arrangement within the association, which was warmly advocated "by the brothers and sisters, was the establishment of a tribunal of peace, a union of that which is public in Norway and of the patriarchal great village-law in Dalecarlia. Before this all quarrels and lesser offences committed within the Association should be brought, and if possible there adjusted or reconciled. The workpeople themselves should every year elect the members of this court, and should each one possess the right of voting and of sitting in it."
And we should endeavour so to regulate ourselves,” said Augustin, "that no prison or house of correction should be enriched from our Association!"
"And one of the first laws which our Court of Justice shall inculcate and be observant of," exclaimed Uno, "shall have reference to the treatment of domestic animals. England and France have established fines and punishment for the ill treatment of animals. Why should the Swedes be behind these people in humanity?
"No! Let it not be said of us, that we thoughtlessly abandoned to the heedless or the cruel, those of our workers who are dumb, and who are deprived of the power of demanding their own rights, or of presenting their complaints. No let us ourselves become their spokesmen, and not permit that the most hard-working and the most faithful of our servants should suffer an injustice. Not so! we will have around us happy human beings and happy animals!”
The motion was unanimously and warmly adopted. And Göthilda, informed of this by Bror, promised,
purposely for this paragraph in the Legislative Book of the Association, to design a vignette, representing the Holy Family, with the ass, which should have a remarkably interesting physiognomy.
But Göthilda felt in this only half of that which was affecting and deep in the thought-which the popular sentiment and the genius of art long since appropriated to themselves--that the animals have their place by the manger of the Saviour, and that they belong to the Holy Family.
"Yes!" exclaimed Dr. Lund one day, "now I see nothing further to be done than to christen the new town which I see springing up with the red-tiled roofs and the green trees-and sister Hedvig shall do that; she who sits there and is silent, but who secretly has kindled all their operations by the flre of her love and her good-will-for all. Sister Hedvig shall give a name
to the new town."
"Nay, nay," said Hedvig," that you yourself must do, my little father. Otherwise the christening will be good for nothing."
"Well then," exclaimed the doctor with vivacity. "I baptize the new town by the old Swedish name of Birka! It is indeed on Birch Island that it will be situated, and we will plant birches beside the houses of the workmen. It was in that old Birka, in this region, that Christianity was first preached. It is a grain of that seed, which now is growing up in the old ground, with harvests for the new time. No! not for time merely, for eternity! Not for earth merely but for heaven.
"Long live the new Birka!
There was a joyful murmur in the company. "Long live the new Birka! and Birch Island! and the birches, and all of us together!"
BY WILLIAM HOWITT.
EXTENSION OF THE ENGLISH MANUFACTURING SYSTEM,
THE employer to which Mrs. Tulloch had recommended Meldrum, had his manufactory and warehouse in Fenchurch-street. He was one of those quiet, substantial, unassuming men, who go through life like a quiet, almost entirely hidden stream through the country, diffusing comforts and benefactions in the shape of employment, and not that alone. He was never seen on the foamy ridge of politics, yet he held with a wise moderation of manner, the most thoroughly liberal and just opinions. He had come up from the country a poor lad, and had made his way to immense wealth. Though little known himself to the general political world, his money was well known to that particular class of politicians who may be termed Shilling Philanthropists, men, who, without a spark of talent, set up for political philanthropists, and possessed themselves of great wealth, purchase a reputation by the expenditure of their loose change on political agitation; men, who, if there be a public subscription to be entered into, that will be well blazoned about in the newspapers, can come
Thus in Sweden the peasants are accustomed to give their animals a feast at Christmas, to shine a light in their eyes so that they may see "the star," and then they say to them "Now
it is Christmas!"
down with their £100, but who, if a political veteran a political martyr, or a political organ is to be aided and supported in a quiet, unostentatious way, are always found wanting; plentiful in excuses, but having no cash to spare.
Mr. Martin Maxwell, as we may term him, was not one of this class. This class knew the way to his purse, and made free draughts upon it. For himself, he carried out practically the advancing doctrines of the times. He had re-built his premises, in a healthy and airy style. He gave good wages, and practised early closing. He was for universal suffrage, and universal education; the equal diffusion of God's blessings amongst his children. He had established a good library, with newspapers and periodicals for the use of his people. He had encouraged them to form a mutual improvement society amongst themselves, and at Christmas gave them a dinner, and presided at it himself. He had promoted the study of music and design amongst them; and to any and as many of these advantages as he could grasp even the porter was admitted.
Pursuing his way home one evening late, as he had been helping to pack a quantity of goods that must go FACTS FROM THE FIELDS.—THE DEPOPULATING off with all speed, he was accosted in Leadenhall-street,
by a tall and showy damsel near a gin shop, who taking
Meldrum, with fear and trembling went for some time through his duties; but by degrees, finding that he was -that he passed not discovered or suspected by any one-t to and fro in the streets with his knot on his shoulder or his arm, and went to wagon warehouses, and coach and railway offices with full security, he gave up his alarms, and with fifteen shillings a week, and such a house as that at Nancy Tulloch's, if he could have forgotten the past-he felt that he might still have called himself fortunate.
But if he could have stilled the avenging demon in his own bosom, there was but little chance but that some outward circumstance might soon put an end to his present favourable position. And such an one soon fell out.
Meldrum looked at the unhappy woman, and quietly endeavoured to draw his sleeve from her grasp, when at the same moment, father and daughter recognized each other! It was Dinah, painted, bedizened, and half tipsy, who, suddenly growing pale, rushed away-and left Meldrum withered as by a flash of lightning, and, staggering under the horrible blow of that discovery, till he was obliged to lean against the wall for support. A throng of busy vagabonds were in a moment about him, asking what was the matter, and advising him to go in and get a dram to strengthen his old heart. The old man gathered together his confounded faculties, and his prostrated strength, and went on as well as he could without a reply.
To describe such misery as now crushed the heart of James Meldrum, is beyond the art or vigour of a mortal pen. The last stroke seemed given to his fate. His livid and haggard looks startled all that he came near-the two women at home, Zealous Scattergood who still came in once or twice a week, to converse with him, and his employer, and the people in the factory. Meldrum only complained of pain, but refused to give up his work, and did it. But from morning till night, and almost from night to morning, one thing only was running in his head, and that was, how he might seek out and save Dinah. O if he had had that crime from off his conscience, how easy would it be if Dinah were inclined to reform, to get her into the warehouse or factory of that good Samaritan, who had employed himself, and rejoiced in nothing more than in rescuing the outcast of humanity. But then! Every attempt of this kind, was a