While politics are still, it is otherwise with some urgent
social questions, and a few of the passive classes are growing active and independent in their efforts at self-advancement. The hand-loom weavers have been poking out the President of the Board of Trade ; complgining of low wages, combinations among masters, " abatements," and oppressions that bar them from appeal to the law : and Lord Dalhousie promises serious consideration of their case, with a view to legislative intervention of some sort. Others of 4he working-classes have taken more effectual means to redress, and have begun the formation of a great union of their body, to counterbalance the combinations of masters, with a cen- tral committee in London. In some such measure alone, we be- lieve, can the labouring classes derive any immediate protection against the pressure of influences that weigh them down : even their own weaknesses need such a stay. But let them shoose
managers who will take comprehensive views, stick to business, and keep clear of party politics.
The successful attempt at a spontaneous observance of "short time," by Mr. Gardner and his factory-people, at Preston, com- mands attention' others are about to follow the example ; and there is even a talk of official inquiry into the success of the experiment. The very domestic servants are astir, striving to secure some provision for their cheerless old age and sickness. The evil here seems to have its root in a moral fault—in that estrangement be- tween the several classes of society which takes its ugliest shape when it makes the inmates under the same room strangers to each other, if not enemies. Domestics ought to have a home already, where they serve. But servants, cry masters, are so "bad" that you cannot make friends of them. Perhaps they would not be so "bad "—so selfish, dishonest, and full of levity—if they were more kindly treated, and had the advantage derivable from con- versation with their superiors. Kindness and sympathy are the root of all the influence that rules mankind in positive action: harsher influences are merely negative and deterrent. However, till we have set our homes in order, let those who have served us, but whom we shut out of doors in old age and sickness, have an asylum to receive them.
Even the tenant-farmers are in downright earnest movement: they have resorted to those most formidable of protective weapons the tongue and the pen ; and they have done so at least in one
instance, with such effect that a titled antagonist been fain to confess his defeat by appealing from fair controversy to revenge. Let landlords only crown a few controversies on Game-laws and Corn-law rents with tenant-farmers by giving notice to quit, and we shall have a perfect agrarian revolt, which no restrictive laws styled "protective" can stand against.