Obrazy na stronie

portion desirable and healthful means; more him such quantity and quality of food as would dangerous than meat because of its intoxicat- best develop his strength, preserve his health, ing properties and strangely powerful fas- and satisfy man's natural craving for good cination, but necessary in some countries-- nutriment. In many of the manufacturing in all damp, cold, and depressing climates, districts in England this craving becomes an while hurtful in southern latitudes. Potatoes excess—a positive and hurtful vice. Any are insufficient as the chief article of food; rise in wages—any piece of good luckas is fish. The Irishman in his own country, means only a more expensive diet, and the living on potatoes alone, says M. Le Play, is addition of sensual luxuries; often of unnot so strong as the Bergamasque blacksmith wholesome ones. Drunkenness, riot, and fed principally on maize; and the fishing pop-gluttony, are too often the correlatives of ulations of the seacoasts are seldom as hale, high wages among our artisan population : hearty, intellectual, or light-hearted as the and the English workman is known generalmore variously fed populations inland. In ly for greater luxury in food, for more unEurope the workman's staple article of food thrift and gluttony than any other workman is cereals-wheat, oats, rye, barley, &c. Le in Europe. This low sensualism, together Play says that these cereals comprise two- with other cognate vices, will be greatly dithirds of the whole amount of nourishment minished if not wholly abolished, only when taken by the European workman; a state-education has spread among our people, and ment to be accepted with caution, especially when mental refinement has sprung out of it. as he makes the scale diminish to the tenth But while we deprecate the over-sensualor twelfth part, when speaking of a higher ism of our English workmen, we cannot declass of society. Less meat is eaten in France, sire to see them live in the want and penury Spain, and Italy, than in any other coun- of many of their continental confrères. Å tries in Europe, (how about Scotland and work recently published by M. Ducpétiaux Ireland ?) Frequently, only once in the on the Belgian ouvrier, gives but a melanyear, on the fête-day of the Patron Saint of choly picture of his physical condition. By the village, does the ouvrier eat flesh-meat. many degrees worse off than the Belgian Yet, as the consequence, no one would cite prisoner, the tables set forth in M. Ducpéthe workmen of these countries as types of tiaux's pages are full of suggestions of the animal strength. They are enduring, but most frightful destitution among the best, they have very little muscular development; the most industrious, and the most important they can undergo privations which would members of the State. And what is true of destroy the British Life-Guardsman, as un- Belgium is equally true of England. Take happily we have proved to our cost of late, the Dorsetshire labourer and the favoured and they can work long; but they cannot inmate of a model prison, and which condiwork hard, and they do not work well. But, tion, think you the artisan would most indeed, no question of economic science is envy? It is a sad lesson which society is so simple. So many extraneous causes disturb diligently teaching its lower classes, that our calculations, that very few rules can be poverty is verily a crime, and that industry laid down as unalterable. Quoting the High- is not practically a virtue; that the felon is lander again living on oatmeal and potatoes, better cared for than the pauper, and that -see the energy, daring, strength, which while punishment is so swift, prevention and for ages he has been famed for possessing. reward are so tardy. What practical atheTake him at a curling match, at wrestling, ism is worse than this, now being taught the at a fight, and where is the best-fed man of working classes—that a man's labour, that all Europe who can stand against him? Thus, all his life, and energy, and power, and soul, this one opposing instance destroys all our cannot support him as a Man should be supformer reasonings, even in so simple a mat-ported—that, in a word, his virtue, frugality, ter as food. Climate, race, extraneous cir- industry, be they ever so great, profit him cumstances of every kind, all modify rules; nothing? If married, and with young and the law which would hold good for the children to support, he can never be otherHighlands of Scotland would be utterly in- wise than on the verge of destitution. Unappropriate among the Highlands of Spain. der the present condition of things, a hard The animal warmth to be supplied by meat selfish celibacy is the only possible means by or alcohol in the one country, must be tem- which a working man can attain a competenpered and subdued in the other by vegeta- cy for the future. ble diet and cooling drinks. Still, we may lay down this as a broad and incontrovertible The second article in the expenses of the principle; the ouvrier should be fed in every working classes is the habitation. A house, country according to the best physical condi- as we have said, is generally the first possestions of that country; his labour should give sion coveted by the ouvrier; and with the

house a little land to follow. Many of our ed a house from the Administration worth workmen-in spite of their miserable earn- 1480 francs, for which he had ever since paid ings—might live in houses of their own, who four per cent, and a certain annuity, to rub now pass their lives uncomfortably in lodg- off the purchase-money; all coming out of ings, if they had had moral courage enough his wages. Twenty-six years had now reto save the money they spent in folly and duced the debt to 280 francs; but in the riot. But not one man in ten has sufficient meantime he had repaired, renovated, and self-control to keep and put out to interest improved the house, and made it worth such small sums, as, spent on the moment, much more than it was at the beginning. would only give perhaps an extra joint of This mode of letting to the poor, adopted meat in the week, and which, saved, seem as by us in some districts in our allotment unprofitable as piling up a mountain out of gardens, might not be disadvantageously sea sand. Yet the habit of saving, and the employed in the letting of houses as well. fact of self-gained proprietorship, are two Four per cent. is good interest in these things of incalculable moral benefit to the days, and what we are doing by our buildouvrier. Few workmen made suddenly ing-societies (for this is the same system as rich without exertion or previous moral that of most building-societies) our landlords training, fulfil their new duties. The great- might advantageously do for themselves. est disaster that can happen to a man is Light is the expense set down immediateoften a sudden accession of fortune; for the ly after that of the dwelling-house. The mind of every one must be trained by self- farther we go from manufactures , and the education before any new state can be well present condition of (western) commerce, the or properly supported. The possession of a more barbarism do we find in this small, house--this first essay of independent pro- and apparently necessarily uniform requireperty—is also one of the most pleasant and ment of life. A wick plunged in fish-oil the most beneficial. The sad, dull, ignorant lights the people of the Polar Sea; resinous Russian peasant, whose life passes like a wood cut into torches, the dwellers in and sick man's dream, finds one of his highest about the Northern forests; animal grease pleasures in beautifying his house—though fashioned into candles more or less rude, the his only to a certain point-his to live in, to people of central Europe; and vegetable oil adorn, and to be inhabited by his children in lamps lights the Southerns now as in old after him, but not his to dispose of nor to classical days. People are as obstinately mortgage. Yet his house is almost the only wedded to their particular form and matething of pleasure he has, and the beautifying rial of lighting, as they are to their particular and improving it one of his dearest occupa- cereal. Light and bread are the two domestions.

tic circumstances most difficult of all to In other countries, houses are held in as change. In the Irish famine it may yet be many different ways as land. The Hartz remembered that starving men emptied miner buys his nominally from the Admin- sacks of Indian corn on the highway rather istration of his mines. Every now and then, than eat what they deemed food fit only for when tenements fall due, the Administration pigs. And as to light, so distinct and uncalls together all heads of families not changeable are local customs, that in the lodged in houses of their own; and offers North and East of Europe territories and them houses at a certain rate, to be paid boundaries are often marked by the form off, together with interest, by fixed yearly and material of the torches or fragments of sums. This mode of obtaining a house does burnt wood found not ten feet apart. In not seem to be bad, if the workmen are con- France, near Bretagne, a little candle made tent to rest always in the same place and of resin mixed with animal grease, and callunder the same Administration. To a rest- ed oribus, 1s used among the peasantry. In less and wandering nature it would be mise. England 'the poor make use of the most ry, because it would be enforced fixity. nauseous and inferior kind of grease; in But in a state of society where the desire of Spain and Italy classic-shaped lamps burn change and the wish of enterprise have not pure white oil; while the rich of every yet arisen, it is a good and kindly plan country import and interchange productions, enough; and what M. Le Play says is very which by length of transport become luxlikely true, that it is one which tends to uries. raise the workman in his own estimation, After light come clothes. The Easterns and to give him the dignity as well as the manufacture and make all their clothes at feeling of a proprietor. An instance is given home. Indeed, there, where money cannot of an old man, married but childless--a be put out to interest, and where every man miner living in the village of Clausthal, who, fears the the reputation of being rich, it is a when he was thirty-four years of age, receiv- safer mode of investment than most others.

It furnishes employment likewise to men tages? Did he think of the real meaning of and women who would else be dozing lazily those grandly sentimental words, “le foyer by the side of a fountain, and it gratifies the domestique," and see the small, dark, damp taste and the pride while offering tolerable kitchen, where a few half washed rays hung security of “placement." It also gives a mouldering rather than drying, where the certain dignity to a man, to feel himself the smoke and the soot spoiled all as soon as it possessor of beautiful clothes-clothes that was done, and where the cost of fuel to heat he has wrought and embroidered himself, the miserable supply of water, made the and that represent so much real property. “grand wash" a greater luxury than necesWhat a wide difference there must be be- sity? If he had ever really seen with his tween the feelings of such a one and those of own eyes what he has dared to write about a miserable, flaunting wretch who has drag- with all the ignorance of a savant, and all ged from the depths of the old clothes shop the precision of a theorist, he would never second-hand finery, dirty, worn, and greasy, have cast contempt on two of the most valthat leave him neither the honourable dis- uable institutions of our western cities—the tinction of a workman, nor give him the ap- public baths and wash-houses, and gratuitous pearance of a higher condition ; "the garb hospitals. Granting, gladly, that the workof intemperance" truly-one of the many men ought to be in such a position as to repainful instances of aping the class to which quire no extraneous aid, yet in common juswe do not belong, which pervades the whole tice and humanity begin by making him in of our English suciety. Certainly, the clean dependent and then withdrawing your chariwhite cap of the house servant, and the nation- ties, not by first denying or abolishing these al blue blouse of the ouvrier, give a mark of charities, and then, by the slow course of respectability and dignity which our flounced events, leaving him to grow independent housemaids and milk-women with old vel- afterwards as he can. M. Le Play, like vet bonnets, our workmen in second-hand other imperfect political economists, falls clothes that have passed down from lords and foul of all the aids of misery, instead of the their footmen, never can obtain. In France no causes which produce that misery and so neman is ashamed of his condition; the ouvrier cessitate those aids. At best, in a humane does not attempt to appear a bourgeois; the and civilized country, charities are degradbourgeois does not give himself the airs of ing, and we have too many of them; tenderthe aristocrat. The one is simply the hearted individuals with more money than ouvrier, the other unmistakably the bour- reason are also national grievances; but for geois. Each is to proud of himself to feel low- all that, we must not let the poor man die ered by his état. In England, on the con- without care and live without aid, if we detrary, we all strive to appear what we are not. prive him of his inborn right to live well by The peasant dresses like the shopkeeper, the his labour. The poor-laws, again, our aushopkeeper like the gentleman. The absurd thor brands with his displeasure, as legaliznational vanity which sinks the “ shop” asing the Socialists' dogma that poverty has a "low," has ended in confounding us all in a right to help. In a word, all manner of help mass of confusion and masquerading, in independent of the master's will, he repudiwhich no man is content to appear what he ates for the workmen : from his hand, espe is, and all wish to be taken for what they are cially coming in the shape of a loan or subnot. Speaking of clothes, our author natur- vention that practically includes servitude ally comes to the article of washing those for life, he finds it ennobling and beautiful. clothes, as one item of domestic expenditure. He calls it solidarité, and the workman's deAnd in touching on this, he could not but pendence he calls love. Hospitals are bad, notice the newly established institution of as breaking the link between master and public baths and wash-houses.—Disapprov- workman; poor-laws are bad, as recognising ingly. He questions their utility in any way, the right of helplessness to help, the right of and then asserts their immoral tendency. poverty to bread; baths and wash-houses This establishment he says, “constitue un are bad, as withdrawing women from home nouvel envahissement de l'industrie manu- influence, and congregating them together in facturière sur les travaux de ménage : elle larger masses than he thinks advisable. a d'ailleurs pour effet, d'agglomérer les But he never thinks of the misery from femmes en grand nombre, et de les soustraire which all these are but so many imperfect momentanément à la tutelaire influence du means of escape; he never reflects on the foyer domestique." When M. Le Play seething mass of agony and wretchedness wrote this inflated speech, did he reflect from that he would leave festering at the jewelled what discomfort and impossibility of clean- feet of his idolized aristocrats, were these liness this new institution withdrew those righteous aids to be withdrawn ;-righteous poor women who made use of its advan- now in the unrighteous state in which we live.

But we are free to confess that we believe world, we should hardly accept as any pat in the possibility, and future establishment, tern for the rest. Yet M. Le Play finds so of a better state of things, where charities much to admire and to recommend to the will be no longer necessities.

Western workman's imitation, among the The fourth and last domestic expense is drowsy shepherds of the Ural' valleys, that that of recreations, in general not a very if we believed his impressions we must name large item in the budget of the working-man. all our own boasted civilization but a myth Tobacco, women talking together, in the and a delusion. The confinement of the West the gin-shop and the cabaret, in the women pleases our author; the abject reSouth the village green, dances and games, spect of the young to the old, of the son to and lately with us a higher class of amuse- the father, of the lower in social grade to his ments, established first by the Mechanics' superior—the want of manufactures, and the Institute—such as lectures, public readings, circumscribed existence generally-the ignoprize essays, &c.—this is the list of European rance, inducing a brute content--all seem to pleasures customary among the working the learned engineer to contain so many of class. But as we have said before, the want the primary conditions of the poor man's of amusement in England—of mere mind- happiness. Ambition, education, and social less, purposeless, pure amusement—is one elevation, he would remove out of the workgreat cause of our working.man's depravity, man's reach as he would keep poison from of his brutal habits and his love of gin. It the hand of a child. He regards the present has become the fashion to decry such plea- classification of society as of divine necessity, sures as we are now alluding to, as unintel- and it seems to him as if men warred against lectual and unworthy the dignity of manhood, the gods when they attempt to diffuse the and many of our leading classes have sought light of intellect handed down from heaven to substitute the most jejune, flat, and insipid to some. Ignorance, content, animal satiskind of pseudo-intellectuality instead : we faction, and the strictest conservatism--as may be sure, however, that men need posi- with the Bachkirs—these are the alphabets tive amusement as much as children do, and to his dictionary of the ouvrier's best means that pleasures, innocent and exciting, are the of wellbeing. greatest foes vice can have.

The Bachkirs live chiefly on subventions ;

of trade there is none, and not much of home We come now to the examples in M. Le manufacture. Summer pasture, firewood Play's Atlas, or Monographies—the first from the forests, game, fish, wild fruits, &c., being that of the Bachkirs or demi-nomads which the individuals of the community of Eastern Russia. A wandering, ignorant, enjoy only by right of their membership, pastoral people are these Bachkirs, doing form their principal means of existence. But little else in life but strike their tents once in their communism—which is rather patrior twice in the year, to move off to fresh archal than communistic—the chief enjoys pastures as the old ones are exhausted; the lion's share of all, and is king and irresometimes waking out of their lazy dreams sponsible head over all. The young people to bring down a head of game, or gather a of the same village, or of the same nomadic handful of wild fruit in the forest ; drinking horde, never marry. They wisely abstain large draughts of khoumouis, or fermented from all danger of consanguinity, and its mare's milk, which acts like opium, and result-an enfeebled and sickly offspring. wraps them through all the long hours of The higher class of Bachkirs, chiefs and such the precious working day in a fool's paradise like, sleep all day long, only rousing them. of sleep and dreams. Shutting up their selves for more tobacco and more khoumouis, wives as good Mussulmans should; buying or for a draught of airhan, or curds and another wife as they grow richer, as West- whey, if they are already sufficiently soothed erns would buy another hound or a second by the khoumouis. They have grand days hunter ; such a wandering, ignorant, useless of associated labour for their chiefs, and people as these, whose place might be empty even for each other if haply such are needed, to-morrow and the world no loser and civili- which they call heummin; institutions like zation no farther off, we should hardly have the grandes journées of Bearn, the devès-bras taken as the type of human wellbeing in any of Basse Bretagne, and the pomotch of the of their arrangements. We look to those Oremburg Steppes. on the deeds and thoughts of whom rolls the The agricultural peasants and wheelwrights great car of human history, whose influence of the Terre Noire of the Oremburg Steppes, sways the doctrines of the present, and by form the next monography. They are Ruswhose light the world walks, as the types of sians of the Greek religion, and for the most present society. A nomadic tribe of Eastern part, live under the system of abrok. The Russia, without mark or influence on the meaning of the abrok is this :-The peasant owes two-thirds of his time to the seigneur. ing passions, and doing the work of citizen To redeem this time, and to be able to em- priests. These emigrant workmen do all ploy it for himself and his family, he pays the rough handy jobs in St. Petersburg. either a certain sum of money once for all, They are the porters and ironworkers, they for his life-redemption, if he tan afford it; load and unload boats, saw and deliver fireor he engages a substitute at a lower rate wood, shape and drive in the stakes for the of wages than he can make by his independ foundations of buildings, and rough-dig ent and unfettered labour. Sometimes a gardens in the city and the suburbs. But whole community or village does this; when their favourite employment is iron work-they portion out the common lands among this being the best paid. They take their themselves, and work them without hindrance food in brigades of from thirty to thirty-five; or intervention. But at all times the seig- the expenses are paid out of the common neur can claim their sayings, whether à l'abrok fund, and generally cost about fourteen or not: They never do so, however, accord- francs a month each. Sometimes a women ing to M. Le Play-a statement, the truth is hired by the artèle to do the cooking-of which we are inclined to question. sometimes, and most generally, a traiteur Human nature is the same all over the supplies them with certain meals at so much world, and cupidity is unfortunately one of a head. Tea, brandy, clothes, and private its most salient characteristics. Russian luxuries are paid by each out of his own seigneurship we do not believe to be different private purse; but not much is generally from any other.

spent in that way; all else is paid by the The patriarchal system is in full force association. Sixteen days are given to each among these bleak Oremburg Steppes, member during the campaign for extra work, descending from the Czar to the seigneur, to be paid by extra wages, and at the end and from the seigneur to the village elders all the money is divided. It generally comes -fathers, masters, old men, and so on. to about one franc sixty centimes a day; or Age, paternity, and social superiority are all thirty-six francs eighty centimes a month. absolute here; but even here, the fact that Fifteen generally start together from the the abrok is a privilege eagerly sought for, same village, making their own commenceand that it is a system which gives more ment. They borrow, says M. Le Play, 240 dignity to the character and more worldly francs from a peasant in good circumstances, wealth to the possessor, refutes all our for which they pay no interest. But the author's assertions respecting the good and peasant indemnifies himself by selling them the sanctity of obedience and dependence. a horse worth ninety francs, at the sum of Everywhere men kept in leading-strings 115 francs. Each takes with him a certain struggle to be free; and everywhere freedom amount of coarse meal or bread, and they go brings advancement.

from twenty-five to thirty miles a day. It would be endless to go through all the They keep the horse for a week at St. Peterstypes set down in the Atlas. We can take burg, at the common expense, and then sell only such salient points or special institutions him for thirty-five francs. All this time the as distinguish some above the rest. For wife stays at home with the father, or the instance, the institution called artèle, peculiar eldest brother, if the father be dead. When to some of the Russian workmen. A num- the husband goes home again, rich for him, ber of men, chiefly from the valley of the he buries his money in the woods. Untold Oka, émigrate yearly to St. Petersburg as heaps of wealth lie at this moment buried, no boatmen, porters, wheelwrights, and handy man knows where, in the forests of the day-labourers generally. The term of their Oremburg Steppes; for as each man must be emigration is from April to November. secret as the grave, for fear of pilferers and About sixty or seventy join together in this robbers, it often happens that the grave association; they form the artèle-placing closes over his secret; and that his hardthemselves under the control of an artelchick, earned gold lies to this hour mouldering in a cloutchnick, and two starchi. The artel- the ground. chick is the business man of the troupe, he These workmen of the Oremburg Steppes finds the work, and regulates the price of never marry with the servants or dvarovie payment, &c.; the cloutchnick is the trea of the district. The young men marry early, surer, he keeps the accounts and the cash, to have some one to take care of their linen, pays the bills, markets for the artèle, and says M. Le Play, and their social and moral does all that the housekeeper would do in condition he affirms to be perfect; though large families; while the starchi, men of the seigneurial rights are so unbounded that weight and experience, are the magistrates serfdom, and the right of seizing the savings of the association, controlling the artelchick of those à l'abrok, are the fundamental laws and the cloutchnick, settling disputes, calm- of society. The recruiting system he men

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