23 JUNE 1860, Page 13


Kennington Park, Wednesday. Sin—I have been perusing with much interest your nicely-written and very argumentative article on "Combinations, Strikes, and Conspiracies." 3. he strain of the inquiry is as you say thrown on the statutal words, "molesting, or in any way obstructing another." You " apprehend " and I agree in the suggestion, that by the statute "conversational expostulation" is no obstruction, nor a workman's hand placed on a brother workman's arm an assault. But how about an expression which I think neither you nor I could feel, as knowing the value of words, could have listened to for an instant, with- out feeling our individual independence of thought and action, attempted to be controlled ? "If you dare work, we shall consider you as blacks, &c." I have seen more meaning of hostility in a look than in words. But when words are used as in this case, and I think in no ease was this fact ever more proved that the words were used advisedly, that is to say, the daring and the blacking the two unfortunates, would lead to what r-.-to personal afront, and from that to personal injury. Contempt morally inflicted leads to the next step, physical suffering ; or let me put it that rather, imprimis, comes the hiss, than the hoot, next the hit—three degrees of comparison, not two.

Hence conspiracy, and so, properly, punishment.

I wrote this, as you may see, in haste ; but I trust you may consider it a reflection of your own—au amiable exposition of an antagonist view of the matter.

I should have wished to examine closely the view of Judge Littledale,