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its bosom rather than cherishes, for the stout arm that can hardly win its bread, and the stout heart almost broken by witnessing distress it cannot relieve, the terrors of the boundless forest must be small indeed. Listen to Mr. Head, who does not speak without experience: the privations of this species of life he was as likely to feel as another, and yet his memory is charged almost wholly with the advantages of such an existence in comparison at least with pauperism at home; and pauperism is not confined to the dependancy of the parish.
It seemed wonderful to think there should be so few among our poorer classes with energy enough to break the chains of poverty, and visit a land where pauperism is yet unknown; where youth and strength supply the catalogue of human wants, and where industry must meet its sure reward. The exuberant abundance of wood for fuel renders the fire-side of the peasant, during the long evenings of winter, a solace equal to that of many a wealthier citizen of the world, and as his children, with united strength, drag each log to the hearth, he rejoices at the clearance of the encumbered earth, when those of the civilized world pay dearly for the enjoyment of warmth. An emulative feeling stimulates the natural industry of his constitu-tion. The rattling clank of a neighbour's axe, the crashing fall of a heavy tree, seem to demand responsive exertion on his part, and give rise to an energy, which, even if the tinkling frosty air at his fingers' ends fails to remind him that he has work on hand, quickly rouses within him the spirit of active labour. The work of his young children is of a value to him, far exceeding the expense of their maintenance, and he lives in the enjoyment of the consciousness of being able to leave them an inheritance of peace, if not of affluence. With facilities of water-carriage, fish in abundance, and fuel, by the help of his gun, he may complete the necessaries of life, and while the partridge and wild pigeon supply him with variety in food, he has also in store both recreation and amusement.'-pp. 259–260.
It must be understood all along that our author speaks of the Canadas : other countries, as New South Wales, South Africa, may have their advantages-- may have also greater countervailing evils. The apparent objection to the more northern parts of North America is the severity of the cold, which it is very possible may be so far from being a real objection, that it may contribute to the production of energy and the preservation of health.
Mr. Head was not permitted to remain long in his retreat : an order from his superiors drew him from the woods, and before the end of summer he was on his way to England to give the world a report of the pleasures and pains of a forest life. He concludes his volume with some remarks on emigration : without being profound, or embracing any wide extent of .
question, they are sensible and practical, and together with the remainder of the book of which we have endeavoured to give a faint idea, entitle him to the favour of the public. Mr. Head is not a scientific traveller ; he makes no discoveries of any kind, but he is a lively and agreeable artist, who paints things as he sees them. We have heard that he is a brother of the captain Head, of whose galloping course across the continent of South America we gave a favourable account in an early number. The brothers seem to resemble one another in straightforwardness of style and promptitude of manner. They write like athletic persons capable of contending with fatigue, and not afraid to encounter danger. Mr. George Head will now be as renowned for his exertions on foot, as captain Head has been for his feats on horseback.
Art. VI.---The Further Division of Labour in Civil Life proposed. By
William Wickens. 8vo. Saunders and Otley. 1829.
arts, and the various provinces of industry, has passed into a maxim; and it would be considered idling with common places to remind people, that an increase of skill is to be procured by contining attention and ingenuity to few objects. In the daily occupations of life it is sufficiently known, that constancy of application is a cause of proficiency, and the dabbler in many employments, the workman in many trades, is proverbially incompetent in all; but this opinion, which is a truism in respect of the ordinary walks of labour, will almost startle as paradox when affirmed to hold at least equally good in the business of legislation and government.
It is thus that principles are often unseen in their highest applications, as the doctrine of gravitation to the earth's centre was long recognized before Newton discovered the prevalence of attraction in the celestial system. So long as we keep to the subject departments of duty and industry, we find the law of division of labour, and preparation for employment of admitted virtue and regulating force, but the governing world above is constituted and treated as if properly exempt from such rules. Every part of the main machinery of our “matchless constitution,” both in structure and operation, would encourage the opinion, that nothing is necessary to the business of governing but the
power. Of our three Estates, two depend on the accidents of birth, and the third on purchase. The king of England is educated, only rather worse than any private nobleman or gentleman, and no
nobleman or gentleman is educated in morals or politics, as a science necessarily preparative for the performance of his public duties.
The hereditary legislator's idea of morals is generally conveyed to him by his intercourse with the world; there he finds certain degrees and manners of irregularity; occulpying the whole of the moral code in affairs of the sexes; and as for his politics, as he calls them, he takes the name of Whig or Tory according to the custom of his family, and derives his notion of the points in question from his party newspaper and club. The member of the House of Commons, in the third instance, is perhaps a country booby or an idler, who has money, but wants consequence, and accordingly buys the power of making laws, franking letters, and adding the coveted M. P. to his name; or, if a person of ability, and habits of application, he is engaged in a profession or business which occupies and exhausts his best power during the day, and leaves nothing but the husk and emptiness of the rhetorician for the senatorial business of the evening. The interests of a community would be simple and self-evident indeed, if these persons were capable of perceiving and promoting them. But they are confessed to be of vast intricacy; and yet this acknowledgement of the difficulty of the task of dealing with them, has been attended with no improved application or opinion, that it is a paramount duty to render the most anxious attention to matters often involving the prosperity of thousands to fearful extents. The terms on which the power of legislating is obtained, have naturally served to beget a habit of regarding the function with levity. It is bought as a bauble, and treated as a bauble when possessed-for the pleasure of the owner, not the welfare of the people, who are no parties to the bargain. This is the common sentiment, and it prevails where there are not the special causes mentioned for its conception. It is the habit to treat Parliamentary duties, as they are in mockery termed, as matters of secondary concern. The most sacred public obligation which can be contracted by an individual is waived for his personal interest or convenience, openly, avowedly, and without any sense of his committing a wrong to the society with whose welfare he has chosen to charge himself. We have not only to lament that devotion to public business has no existence, but we find ourselves so far removed from it, that the opinion even of its fitness has yet to be created. In an article in the Edinburgh Review attributed to Mr. Brougham, it was gravely affirmed that there was not one of an English Stateman's duties which was incompatible with the most active pursuits of business words of that import. Here we have the key to the common
vice-the opinion that legislation is an affair requiring no study or preparation--that it is a faculty coming after dinner, as, according to Dogberry, reading and writing come by nature. And certainly such legislation as that, which makes our Statutebook one monument of absurdity, is achievable under any circumstances, and consistently with any conceivable extent of ignorance and carelessness. If the requisites for the thing be deduced from the thing afforded, the position ascribed to Mr. Brougham is incontestible. The worthlessness of an abortive effect is not, however, to be converted into a law for the worthlessness of means to a desired and unattained end.
But whence is it that the public, who are vitally concerned in the effect, without sharing in the seductions productive of it, regard the carelessness of duty in their legislators with an indifference having all the appearance and the sanction of acquiescence? Is it that having never experienced good from parliament, they do not think of looking for the means of good? Or is it that the habit of considering it merely as a debating society has caused all that should be the real and substantial objects of its existence to be lost sight of? The contest of words has certainly the consequence of many a contest conducted with equal honesty in our streets, where the spectator has his pocket picked while he is idly amusing himself with viewing the affray. It has unquestionably grown into the popular habit to consider parliament as a rhetorical theatre, and the actorical circumstances have cheated men's niinds, and led them to disregard what its works are, and yet more, what they ought to be. To try in some measure the truth of this position, let us consider what the estimation of parliament would at this day be, had it enforced its standing order against the reports of its proceedings, and made itself known only by its actsacts which would give the world to suppose their authors idiots, lunatics, and candidates for Bedlam rather than for the honours of public opinion. Let Marriage Acts, Baker's Acts, Publican's Acts, most indeed of the late acts affecting popular regulation, be run over in mind, and an idea be formed of the judgment on the law-makers, excluding the knowledge that they have shewn themselves articulate creatures, capable of stringing phrases together in a manner superior to the performance of parrots : what would be thought but that the framers were creatures in the last stage of mental imbecility? The records of no society exhibit such stupendous accumulations of error and evidences of absurdity as the laws of our collective wisdom; and let it not fail to be noted that its blunders have
been increasing in frequency and grossness as the community has been making advances in wisdom and intelligence.
Mr. Wickens, in the pamphlet before us, has traced the vices and weaknesses of our legislation to their true causes, in the incompetence or culpable negligence of the law-makers, and he
urges that without relieving it of some of its labours by. transferring them to executive departments, the business necessarily devolving upon the House of Commons cannot be properly considered and satisfactorily despatched. Wisely, however, says the Proverb, "What is every body's business is nobody's business,” and too aptly does the House of Commons exemplify the adage. In mobs of all denominations, idleness has an easy excuse for negligence ; each man supposes that his associates will give that attention and study which he refuses, and the reliance on others is the cause of the failure of all. By parcelling out labour, by reducing the demands on study within the scope of easy performance, and increasing the pressure of obligation by decreasing the number subject to it, the fault we have noted is in a great measure to be corrected. To the first mentioned point Mr. Wickens's argument mainly applies, and he follows parliament through the evidences of its insufficiency to meet the demands on it with great method and succinctness. It is not our intention to accompany him through all the details of exposure, for pursuing the catalogue of a dung-hill's composition is a work of ungracious supererogation to those acquainted with its nature, and we shall confine ourselves to the main arguments of objection, and those instances most immediately in point, or suggestive of corroborative observation.
Mr. Wickens commences with these remarks, shewing the set of his objections, and the remedial principle :
"The author of the “ Wealth of Nations” tells us, there is a period in the progress of states, when the artificer in any given material is the workman upon all the occasions on which that material happens to be concerned :-when, for instance, the artificer in wood, besides being a carpenter, is also a joiner, a cabinet-maker, a carver in wood, a wheelwright, a plough, cart, and waggon maker, and we know not what more ; thus engrossing in his own person offices or occupations the most multifarious and dissimilar. * ' If by any possibility this statement could be regarded in the light of an allegory, we should say that it depicts, with no ordinary fidelity, the present actual position or predicament of our legislature. Only so far, however, as we thus cite the passage, does it suggest to us ideas of analogy or parallelism to the case of parliament; the entire context being to the effect that
* Wealth of Nations, book i. chap. 3.