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Folkestone, November 11, 1830. A WALK NEAR THE SEA-COAST, ON A MILD AND BEAUTIFUL EVENING IN TURBULENT TIMES. Still is the hour; the sun benign descends,
And gilds the ocean with his joyous beam;
Whispers the breeze; hush'd is the sea-bird's scream;
Cheer'd is all nature- save the human heart:
There, wrath and faction strive,-and envy's dart,
Her counsels fell, for the destructive * night.
Of woes impending augury too bright!
How ill must man his Saviour's love repay.
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO COTTAGERS. RETURNING home, the other evening from a country walk, I was accidentally ear-witness to a conversation, the substance of which may perhaps interest your readers. The parties were two labourers who lived in adjoining cottages; small in size, but apparently comfortable, and each provided with a strip of gardenground which was well stocked with vegetables and fruit. The owners (Thomas Mitchel and John Cross) were leaning over their garden gates, and I leard the latter speaking to the former in rather a loud and consequential tone of voice.
Jolin Cross. I tell you what, neighbour, it's no use argufying: I have thought on these matters more than you ; and besides it stands to reason, that if all stand alike, there would be nobody poor :--and you and I,
* That expression has a peculiar and local meaning, but which, unhappily-few will misunderstand.
ad ale, alla me had a cup of comay-bei
A Dialogue between two Cottagers. 125 instead of sitting down just now after a hard day's work to a dish of greens and potatoes, and may-be a rasher of bacon, with nothing but a cup of cold-water to wash it down, should have had our bellyful of good butcher's meat and ale, and nothing to do but to smoke our pipes.
Thomas Mitchell. True enough, John, if it could be managed for all, as you say, to share alike, but I don't justly see how that could be done.
J. C. Done! nothing so easy. There's the squire with his fifteen hundred acres, and the parson with his glebe and tythes. What should hinder them from being equally divided among us all, and the squire and the clergyman made go to work themselves. Why should one have so much more than another?
T. M. Fine talking, John, but let us think a little. If your plan of sharing was to be acted upon, how much d’ye suppose would fall to the lot of each of us in our parish here?
J. C. Why, I guess about six or seven acres to each family, and that well managed would find plenty for all and something to lay by for bad crops or a hard winter.
T. M. Just so. You and I John, should manage very well if we happened to get our acres in good land: but what d'ye think of Bill Smith, who made such a foolish match, and has taken so to drinking. Would he keep matters together, I reckon his six or seven acres would not be worth much in a year or two. I guess the landlord of the Fleece would soon get Bill's acres. And then your savings and mine (you know) must be divided to make all alike again, and keep Bill's poor children from starving.
J. C. Oh no! I would have a law to make all work: the idle should not, as they do now, eat the bread of the industrious.
T. M. Ay, indeed! It seems then we could not do without law altogether. But there are such things as misfortunes, John, which make people poor, as well
beogether, aken so toho made
as idleness. Poor Charles Blackwell (you know) has lost the use of his arm : would your industry be quite so keen, if you were made to divide your crops equally with him every year? You seem to think that all men are born equal : but it appears that your case and his are very different by nature, for you were born with sound limbs, and he a cripple.
- J. C. Why, that's true, to be sure, but that's not what the great lecturer told us tother day at the county-hall, when he talked about the lords, and the parsons, and the taxes.
T. M. I fancy, John, the great lecturer took a shilling from you for hearing his lecture.
J.Č. Yes: and I could not spare it well; but then I had the pleasure of learning all about the rights of the people, and how every body should vote for members of parliament, and how shameful it is to make one child rich at the expense of all the rest; and then he proved as plain as the nose in your face, that what nature made, was meant to belong to all alike. - Just at this moment the conversation was interrupted by a great outcry in John Cross's garden, which called off the attention of the two debaters, who immediately knew the shrill voice of Betty Cross, the wife of the last speaker. She had caught a ragged and half-starved tramper in the act of breaking their hedge to get at a few turnips which lay most temptingly handy to the road side. John Cross flew with the fury of a tiger to the defence of his turnips, and I (who by the way am a magistrate) first made my appearance just in time to save the trespasser from very rough usage. Having heard Cross's statement (who on this occasion was extremely ready to appeal to my authority,) I addressed the parties to this purpose. - The present fact, my friends, is the best argument on the subject which you have been debating. You see now, that, poor as you are, there are others worse off still, and what John Cross has been saying against
Labourers' Friend Society. 127 the squire may be said with equal right by this tramper against John Cross. What is sauce you know for the goose is sauce also for the gander, and he indeed must be sillier than either who would wish the present laws to be done away with, which secure every man's property against fraud or violence. Now to make and execute those laws, requires leisure, instruction, and authority. Besides, you may depend upon it that a lord or a parliament man who does his duty, works as hard as either of you, Cross and Mitchel, though in a different way; and a good deal harder than Bill Smith: for it seems there are some idle ones among the poor as well as the rich. We gentlemen who consider these things pass many a sleepless hour in studying for your good, while you are quietly asleep in your beds. I am sure that Cross will own there is some use in a justice to get a man well trounced for robbing his garden, and to keep off like offenders.
The Bible teaches us that the “ powers that be are ordained of God." This being the case, you will hardly (I hope) deny, that upon the whole they are the ministers of God to us for good-and if so, you will probably agree in the conclusion that we must needs “ be obedient not only for wrath (or fear) but also for conscience sake.'
LABOURERS' FRIEND SOCIETY. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor. MR. Editor, THE accumulation of facts bearing on the subject of the value of a small portion of land when in possession of the labourer, must, if possible, be communicated to the public. The importance of the object presses more and more daily; and, I doubt not, will be suitably appreciated by you.
Their Majesties, having been applied to have most graciously condescended to be patrons to the inclosed humble publication. Any favourable notice you may be pleased in whatever way) to afford will be esteemed.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
We cannot help believing that a publication like that which is circulated by this Society is likely to be the means of greatly improving the condition of the labouring poor. No. 1 of the Society's paper contains some important facts in proof of the advantage of allotting small portions of land to be cultivated by labourers, and to be paid for at a fair rent.
Our limits do not allow us to make copious extracts
and, indeed, we have already in our own Numbers given many instances of the good that has been done by similar attempts. THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF A SMALL PORTION
OF LAND TO INDUSTRIOUS LABOURERS. A gentleman in Dorsetshire, having an orchard, of a quarter of an acre, unproductive, grubbed it up. A poor man, residing in a cottage contiguous, who had unfortunately become lame, from having met, two years before, with a miserable fracture of the leg, and having a family of eight children, four of whom were incapable of earning any thing, took it at the rent of 10s. per annum. The same gentleman allowed him to apply to his heap for manure.
By the occupation of the land, he has become so much of a horticulturist, as to be employed as a labouring gardener, occasionally, in different families in the parish. He has now had the land six years. It is fenced in a most beautiful manner with quick-set. The rent is always paid most regularly; and the gentleman