6 MARCH 1869, Page 23


Tait Fortnightly is the best of the magazines this month, or at least the most readable, and its most interesting paper is one by Professor Beesly on " The Future of the Working Class," which is curiously unlike the regular paper of that kind, and will give the Professor himself a very different position in the eyes of capitalists. He announces his disbelief in Socialism, Communism, and Co-operation alike, holding that in. their best forms they demand virtues which average men do not possess and which those systems cannot of themselves -develop. He finds that the Army, the most direct and efficient organization of all ages, has been efficient in. proportion to the authority of its chief, and believes that this is the true model for industrial enterprise—the capitalist being general, the workmen the organized army. He sneers at the notion of infusing stokers and platelayers into the direction of a railway, and predicts :— "The separation, then, between employers and employed, between capitalist and labourer, is a natural and fundamental condition of society, characteristic of its normal state, no less than its preparatory stages. We may alter many things, but we shall not alter that. We may change our forms of government, our religions, our language, our fashions of dress, our cooking, but the relation of employer and employed is no more likely to .be superseded in the future by Communism in any of its shapes, than is another institution much menaced at the present time—that of husband and wife. It suits human nature in a civilized state. Its aptitude to supply the wants of man is such that nothing can compete with it. There may be fifty ways of getting from Temple Bar to Charing Cross ; but the natural route is by the Strand; and along the Strand the bulk of the traffic will always lie. And so, though we may have trifling exceptions, the great mass of workmen will always be employed by capitalists."

4‘ The relation of employer and employed is permanent, and destined to survive all attacks," this is a world with hard work to be done in it, and the most the workmen have to hope for is a distinct improvement in their position as workmen. The fewer the employers and, as we understand Mr. Beesly's remark on peasant proprietors, the fewer the owners of land the better ; but the men must be strictly combined, must insist, as Government does in its fighting services, on an average of wages for average men, must struggle for an eight-hour law, must obtain from the State free water, education, and sanitary arrangements, and must then remain civilized workmen : "I think that a London workmen in steady employment, earning such wages as ho does now, working eight hours a day, living in his own house, and with such means of instruction and amusement as I have described gratuitously afforded him, would not have an intolerable lot. His position would, it is true, be less brilliant than that of his employer. But it does not follow that the lot of the latter would be so very much more desirable. His income, of course, will be lessened in proportion as his workmen receive a larger share of the profits of production. He will live in greater luxury and elegance than they do, but within limits ; for public opinion, guided by religious discipline, will not tolerate the insolent display of magnificence which at present lends an additional bitterness to the misery of the poor. His chief pleasure will consist, like that of the statesman, in the noble satisfaction of administering the interests of the industrial group over which he presides. But the responsibilities of this position will be so heavy, the anxiety and the strain on the mind so severe, that incompetent men will generally be glad to take the advice that will be freely given them, namely, to retire from it to some bumbler occupation. The workmen, on the other hand, will lead a tranquil life, exempt from all serious anxiety ; and although their position will be less splendid than that of the employers, it will not be less dignified. For in that future to which I look forward, the pressure of public opinion, directed, as I have several times said, by an organized religion, will not tolerate any idle class living by the sweat of others, and affecting to look down on all who have to gain their own bread. Every man, whether he is rich or poor, will be obliged to work regularly and steadily in some way or other as a ditty to society ; and when all work, the false shame which the industrious now feel in the presence of the idle will disappear for ever."

The entire article reads to us rather like the forecast of a philanthropic peer than of the apostle of labour Mr. Beesly is sometimes said to be, and predicts for Great Britain, if it is correct, a future of Saltaires. We need not say we do not agree with it. We believe that the sense of property is one of the most beneficial as well as the strongest feelings ever developed in man ; that servitude in any form is injurious to one side of the human character, and that, Consequently, the ideal relation of capital and labour is not one of

command and obedience, but of copartnership, in which mutual help supplants the idea of mastery. Of course, there must be direction, and direction must be prompt, decided, and secure of obedience ; but there is no more reason why such director should be self-appointed than there is why he should be red-haired. The industrial State can obey an elected chief

as well as the political State, even if it should be found that direction by an individual is always abler than dime% Lion by a Cabinet,—a point on which experience is not clear. We incline to believe it, not only from the experience of armies, but from that of banks, railways, and other great industries; but the theory is certainly not borne out by the experience of agriculture. The temptation to luxurious refinement has there proved so strong, that the capacity for business has declined, and the great land, lords of the world, especially outside England, are among the very worst rulers of industrial armies. We have noticed Mr. Beesly at such length that we have no room for other papers, but we

would recommend Mr. Cliffe Leslie's monograph on " The Iron District of Westphalia." It is very high coloured, and we do not share the fears it expresses ; but still it shows Englishmen that they have no monopoly in the iron market of the world.

" In a fog, the air of Hillsborough looks like a thing to plough, if you want a dirty job." No need, after that quotation, to say

that Charles Reade has begun a story in the Cornhill, or that the

story is as readable as a genius for epigram spiced with impudence can make it. Whether it will be more we cannot tell yet, but our faith in the workman who drew Christie Johnstone has never been seriously shaken yet, and can bear oven the apprehen

sion of a novel on the rights and wrongs of Trades,' Unionism, which this one threatens to be. Apart from the stories, the two best papers are one on the Civil Service, the pith of which is that the honest ambition of that service is too much checked, that rewards and decorations should be a little more liberally bestowed ; and another on travelling in America, which the writer clearly, thinks an improving but somewhat dull amusement. The distances are so vast, the new cities so alike, the spaces of wilderness just beginning to be cleared so wanting in picturesque beauty, :— " America is precisely the reverse of this. In spite of all that we have heard of its vast size, we generally fail to realize how much of wilderness still lurks in the immediate neighbourhood of the towns. Starting oven from New York, we come in a tow miles upon country which, to an English eye, is still in a state of colonial roughness. It is like entering a large house whore the painters have not yet finished their work, and where one or two scattered bits of furniture only make the surrounding bareness more dismal. The roads are tracks, with ruts knee-deep in mud, and the fields are surrounded by stretches of tangled wood. The Englishman is startled by signs which he is accustomed to interpret as evidences of slovenly neglect. It is only by reflection that he can read their true moaning Let him go a similar distance in America. He has the variety of sometimes passing half-cleared forests, and sometimes crossing mile after mile of level plain—once prairie and now covered with one enormous field of Indian corn. But the towns seem as if they had all been turned out of one manufactory ; after long stretches of solitude he comes upon a little centre of population, and finds that, for all ho can see, it might be a slip of the town from which ho started accidentally set down in the wildernoas. When some ruler of Russia travelled across his empire, it is said that Amin villages wore hastily run up to deceive him with an exaggerated estimate of the population. The American traveller might fancy that a similar trick had been performed on him, and that to save trouble the scenepainter had made all his villages of the same pattern. A vast steppe is dull in its natural form ; when it has been despoiled of its wildness by the presence of a scattered population, and when the population so scattered is identical in appearance and manners, from one end of it to the other, it is a trifle duller than before."

It is the people, not the scenery, which the essayist thinks worth studying, and he recommends the traveller to spend a large part of his holiday in settling down in some well-chosen place : " Wo laugh at Americans for galloping across Europe., and rightly enough ; but it is at least equally absurd to gallop through America. In Europe, at least, a superficial glimpse shows much that is worth seeing; in America, what is revealed to the superficial observer is comparatively uninteresting; what lives below the surface is of far greater value. If you see a pyramid or a cathedral for five minutes you carry away something ; but in learning the character of man or a nation, the first five minutes probably gives you only something to unlearn. It is worth while, therefore, to take your preliminary canter—if I may so speak— whilst the mind is still fresh to new impressions, and to distribute the remaining time between two or three places, whore you have the best chance of penetrating a little into society. If a man spends a week at half-a-dozen different points, he loses two or three days of each in distributing letters of introduction, and has to break off every acquaintance as soon as it is formed. If he spends six weeks in one, be begins to form real intimacies, and has time to correct his natural blunders. In this way, too, he can best learn the most important lessons of a, foreign country."

He warns the traveller, however, not to trust even to impressions so gathered, for they will be untrue. Americais the most difficult

of problems :—

"A country of boundless resources, only waiting to be turned to account; a nation of amazing and restless energy, developing in every direction with incredible rapidity ; a stream of the poor and ignorant of every civilized country pouring in and threatening almost to swamp the native population ; he has seen religions creeds struggling keenly for the mastery ; political theories trying to work themselves out under conditions previously unexampled ; new social circumstances modifying all accepted opinions, and bringing about changes in the most settled relations of life ; a vast country, in short, resembling a vast cauldron, in which a strange mixture of populations, creeds, and prejudices is constantly fermenting, and whose ultimate product it might puzzle the boldest prophet to foretell..... The greatest thinker who over visited America expected that the Federal system would fall to pieces at the first serious effort at secession ; the acutest ruler in Europe thought that the South had succeeded in establishing its independence ; and, therefore, common-place people who dip into American society for a few months may well be shy of confident prophecy, and may doubt whether they have not left out of calculation some of the forces which, in the event, may prove of most importance. When, therefore, a vacation tourist sums up the whole evidence, and delivers a confident verdict on the success or failure of the great experiment, wo may, I think, congratulate him on his courage, but hardly on his judgment."

Miss Nightingale's "A Note on Pauperism" in Fraser will not add much, we fear, to the wisdom of Parliament, clever as some of the paragraphs undoubtedly are ; but they show how rapidly the dislike of the Poor Law is spreading, even in minds essentially philanthropic. Miss Nightingale's plan, so far as we can gather it from insufficiently connected memoranda, is something like this. Put the sick poor in hospitals, as in theory we have already agreed to do. Distribute the children as boarders in cottages, to be brought up to labour, a plan which has been adopted in Scotland, and found completely successful ; but which would, we fear, fail in England, or renew the brutalities of the apprentice system. In Scotland a child so placed would be sent to a school attended by all classes, and any attempt to starve or ill-treat him would be instantly made known and punished, and, moreover, his master is always an educated man ; but in England a boarded little pauper would too often be the slave of a drunken boor, who would beat him for the sake of exercising power. The sick and the children disposed of, adult paupers should be taught to work, shown carefully where work exists, or, if the pressure becomes severe, organized into colonies and planted on wild lands in Australia and the Canadas. No relief should be given save in the means of earning it. That may be a sound plan, we are by no means sure it is not, but there is a question to be settled before any such plan can be adopted which no one will answer,—how far is compulsion to be carried? Is Miss Nightingale prepared to " brigade " paupers as Carlyle proposed, that is, in plain English, to shoot paupers who will not obey, or to leave them under the strong compulsion of hunger? If not, her scheme will fail ; if yea, then almost any scheme will succeed. With her advice to individual philanthropists, that they can help the poor best by opening new opportunities of industry, industrial homes, in fact, we heartily concur ; but such homes do diminish the resources of the trades they com pete with, and do not provide for that mass of temporary pauperism which is caused by sudden suspensions of particular industries. Besides this" Note," which has been largely advertised and will be read with great interest, at the present moment Fraser is full of good papers, the newest, in a magazine sense, being a striking, though somewhat sensational, account of the deaf and dumb religious service at the Polytechnic, where the writer had recently the fortune to see a sermon delivered by a deaf and dumb orator, who seems, from the description, to be also au accomplished actor, whose pantomime might teach the best upon the stage. "No Oriental could give a painter or a sculptor more delight. He is elevating his hands now to Heaven in close appeal ; and now he has no hope left of mercy, and stands there abased. He is resignation, alarm, hope, and tender love ; he is gratitude, humiliation, anger, rapture ; he turns from adoration to hate, from joy to despair ; ho supplicates, he mourns, he worships, he disdains, and all with the swiftness and beauty of a man with a fairy gift."

Blackwood has no paper of much mark, and, a little to our surprise, nothing at all on politics ; but there is an account of Richardson which is not only a sound criticism, but a sufficiently full biography ; and a paper on stage morality, notable for the boldness with which the writer avers that the stage has, on the whole, improved in tone, that the age is decent, and that all the plays which have of late been successful have been decent too. "The most popular of the new pieces that have the longest run in London, and retain their hold most firmly on public favour, are virtuous par excellence, and trust for their success upon sensational incident, and the sorrows and agonies of innocent heroes and heroines in real life, and not upon double entendre and dialogue spiced with eroticism and sensuality." That is true, the most

successful play of our days, the Colleen Baton, having been as pure as it is possible for a play to be, but the writer admits that new good plays are few, and that the public has begun to crowd theatres where the real attraction is the repetition, by half naked women, of ridiculous puns and songs, positively unintelligible in their imbecility. It may be perfectly true that stage dancing is often beautiful in itself, that immodest tours-de-force are excrescences on the ballet, that Taglioni was proper and Cerito decent, but the real need is to defend not the ballet, which is as old as Homer, but the burlesque, which is new, and which has and can have but one attraction for ordinary people. Put the women into ordinary dresses, and would any human being enjoy, would many tolerate the imbecilities they now applaud? Did any human being not paid for it ever read a modern burlesque,—Planche's always excluded? The French stage is worse than our own, no doubt, in morality ; but the French "feerie "-makers do at least try to compose witty sentences, and Offenbach would be ashamed of scoring for some of our " breakdowns." The imbecility of the public taste is a worse sign even than its lax morality, for it spreads through everything, till in the cities the people do not seem to have a ballad left which is not meaningless.

We have noticed the most important paper in Macmillan, Dean Stanley on Keble, elsewhere, but we must call attention to the very curious and interesting paper on "Hereditary Genius—The Judges of England," by F. Galton. Mr. Gallon holds the doctrine of the transmission of ability, laying down the proposition that " If we analyze the families of men of high ability, we ought to find the number of able kinsmen in those families to be enormously larger than it would have been according to the ordinary law of chances, on the supposition that ability was irrespective of descent." He applies this theory to the British judges, who are men selected by a very severe competitive examination out of 3,000 barristers, and he finds that " there are 286 Judges within the limits of my inquiry. Of these, I find no leas than 133, or nearly one-half, to have one or more kinsmen of little or no less eminence than themselves. The proof-sheets of my forthcoming volume lie before me, in which these relationships are described at length, and are methodically arranged." Moreover, he also finds that out of the 30 Lord Chancellors among them, the creme de la creme of the profession, 23 have had kinsmen of exceptionally high ability, and he lays down this proposition as a general result :—" Ability does not suddenly start into existence and disappear with equal abruptness, but rather it rises in a gradual and exceedingly regular curve out of the ordinary level of family life. There is a regular increase of ability in the generations that precede its culmination, and as regular a decrease in those that succeed it. In the first case, the marriages have been consentient to its production, in the latter they have been incapable of preserving it. After three successive dilutions of the blood, the descendants of the Judges appear incapable of rising to eminence. These results are not surprising when compared with the far greater length of kinship through which features or diseases may be transmitted." The conclusion is supported by a mass of details, from all of which Mr. Gallon draws the conclusion that ability is rarely transmitted beyond three generations. "1 cannot think of any claim to respect, put forward in modern days, that is so entirely an imposture as that made by a peer, on the ground of descent, who has not been nobly educated, and who has no eminent kinsman within three degrees."