[ocr errors]

The Self-Destroyers. : T. How much did your master give, when prices were the highest?

W. Why about fourteen shillings a week at the highest, and afterwards about twelve; to some more, and to some less, according to what they could do according, I mean, to what they could earn for him.

T. Why, that is the right way. It does not signify to a farmer how many men he employs, if every one brings in something to profit him; but if they earn him nothing, it is not likely that he should be able to keep them. But I heard say that the wages were a good deal lower than what you speak of.

W. Why, I'll tell you how that was. Master did not want to lower his pay, but he could not take all the men; he did not want them, and there are so many of them that have married, and have got great lads grown up fit for work, and a great many more than our master and the other farmers wanted; and so those that were out of work came and said it was not fair that others should have all the benefit, and that they should have none; and so he had compassion on them, and gave them some work too.

T. Well then, to be sure, if he set more to work than he wanted, he could not pay them as well as he had done before.

W. No; and there lay the matter; and so they have rebelled against him, because he cannot afford to give full pay to all, when he wants only half of them.

T. But now they seem to me to be ruining him, and he can give them nothing now.--for they fired his stacks, and broke his machine; so he will have nothing coming in now to pay them with. They have hurt him, but they have hurt themselves worse.

W. Yes; and now they have pulled down his house, and have done a cruel deal of mischief to themselves.

T. Yes; and I have always found that whoever would pull down one rich man, is bringing ruin on scores of poor men; they are, in truth, " pulling a house upon their own heads."

W. O yes, all the shopkeepers feel the loss at once; and the blacksmith, and the butcher, and the baker, and all the people that they employ, will suffer dreadfully by the loss of what my master used to spend amongst them. ,

T. But surely all the men did not join in this !

W. Oh dear no: many of them feel wonderfully hurt at these goings on. But those who are the worst of the labourers, and are often out of work, get to the ale-house, and there they listen to a set of mischiefmakers, who would persuade them that all their misfortunes came from those above them; when perhaps the greatest part of it is their own fault: for my part, I never would go into such places, nor listen to such foolish advisers, who always teach a man those things which will bring on him his ruin. «When the times were good I took care to lay by something; and then, when there is a change, I am not driven to distress, and that I know has been your way too.

T. There is no other way of being comfortable ; but I must say, that I think many of the workmen are very badly off, and earn less than will do to maintain themselves and their families.

W. O yes, I know that; and I grieve for them with all my heart; but how is it to be mended ? I can't see that it is their master's fault; and the way they are going on is making bad worse.

T..O yes, it is, indeed! Besides, it is a great crime, a dreadful crime, to act in this way: I hold that no man has a right to injure another in any way; and he who does will be sure, in the end, to suffer for it. .

W. And what does your good clergyman think of all this?

T. Think of it, poor man! it grieves him to the heart: he has laboured for many years amongst us, His income is not great, but it is good; and he spends it amongst us, and we are all the better for it; and his advice to us is good, and many a one in the village is comforted and bettered by the Gospel truths which

The Self-Destroyers. : 41 they learn from him; and those who have followed his good advice have been kept out of all these troubles that have ruined those who would not listen to him. But some of these mistaken creatures say that they will pull him down too; and, if they do, they will ruin us all. It is of no use talking to such men about their spiritual good; but I know very well that, if they ruin the clergyman, they will ruin many of the poor people of the parish that live by him-I mean in a worldly sense.

W. O yes; and if they hurt any body that spends money amongst them, they must, I say, be hurting themselves,—they must be “ pulling the house upon their own heads.” But, poor fellows, still, I say, what is to be done for them ? ' I think your master and the other farmers do what they can, and the clergyman does what he can; but it is a sad thing that a man that is willing to work cannot get employment, and earn enough to maintain him. I hope the government will take it in hand, and try what they can do. I think they will.

T. Yes, I am sure they will; but it is not the fault of government either.

W. No; but perhaps they may be able to think of some remedy; and I think that the great landlords will try all they can to help the working people. In the mean time, I am sure that it is our duty to keep off from all these riotous proceedings and destruction of property,- for this only puts more men out of work, destroys food, encourages every crime, breaks all the rules of Scripture which God has given to guide us, and brings down a house upon the heads of those who engage in it.




DOMESTIC OR PRIVATE DEVOTION. O Almighty God, King of kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to them that truly repent; save and deliver us, we humbly beseech 'thee, from the machinations of wicked men, assuage the malice of the discontented and tumultuous among the people, who defy the laws of God and man; overthrow, we pray thee, the devices of that impious mischief which is directed to the destroying those precious fruits of the earth, with which thou in thy bountiful mercy hadst blessed the nation.

We beseech thee to protect our sovereign lord the king, to enlighten and guide his counsellors, and all that are put in authority under him; endue them with wisdom to detect, and with ability to defeat the plots of secret incendiaries, and the attempts of violent and unruly spirits. Grant, O God, that they who are more especially appointed to preserve peace, may not forget daily to implore thy aid; grant them to have a right judgment in all difficulties; grant them grace to be vigilant, active, temperate, and resolute, in the discharge of their duty; and enable them, through thy mighty power, to stay and avenge betimes the doings of ungodly men, lest thy people be led astray and put their hand unto wickedness. Delay not, O Lord, to give the word, and to speak peace unto our land, that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the author of peace and the lover of concord, through the merits of thy only Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Sent by a Correspondent.)



WHEN a manufacturing machine is introduced into a country, it generally brings, at first, a great business into its neighbourhood, and many hands are wanted, and good pay given; but it also puts out of work some of those who were accustomed to work in the old way: thus many poor women who were used to spin, or to knit, or to card wool, are put out of work by spinning, and weaving, and carding machines; and there is, in truth, this inconvenience generally attending changes, even when they are improvements, that whilst many are benefited, a few are injured. There are people enough in this country, even amongst the poorest, who can understand this well enough, if it is fairly explained to them; but there are some people who talk to them as if they were fools, and could understand nothing; and come to them under the pretence of friendship. These mischief-makers talk to them as if they were much injured, and they try to make them believe such things, as nothing but the grossest ignorance can swallow. But every body who considers a moment, knows very well that a poor man can now go into a shop and buy as good a shirt for three shillings as would have cost him six before the improvements in machinery were introduced ; and as good a pair of worsted stockings may now be bought for a shilling, as would have cost half-a-crown a few years ago. And it is the same with other articles; if we get rid of machinery, we must pay double prices. Moreover, foreign nations are not such blockheads as to destroy their machines; and if we had no machines, they would beat us out of the market, and get all the business into their own hands; and then all our trades would be at a stand-still, and thousands of people would be ruined. A great deal might be said on this subject, but we have not room at present. The people, however,

« ElőzőTovább »