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the yarn produced. Differences of this kind, though not perhaps of such an amount, are rife in the manufacturing districts, and hence arises the proverb now universal in Lancashire, “ The better the machinery is, the higher the wages will be.”

Wages cannot be permanently increased without a continual expansion of markets, because every year that passes over our head witnesses a new accession to the population ; that is, increases the number of competitors for employment in the labour-market. How are these men to be employed ? No one will engage them to produce goods unless there be a market in which the goods produced can be remuneratively sold; and that market is the most effectually closed against us in which we are prohibited from taking the only payment that our customers have to offer. It is evident that there can be no wages where there is no employment, and that there can be no active employment where there is not an active consumption of the articles produced.

The operatives were quite right in denouncing the depreciation of wages during the recent disturbances as a national grievance. They have only to go one step farther, and inquire—by whom wages have been depreciated ? The shopkeepers and dairy-farmers, whose business depended on the supply of commodities to the operative population, had good reason for their sympathy with the operatives. Stockport is a convincing proof that the business of the middle classes


suffers severely when the value of labour is depreciated. I have been accused of overstating the decay of Stockport, and I may therefore be excused for digressing so far as to insert the following plain facts, derived from the Chairman of the Board of Guardians to the Stockport Union. The poor-rates this year will be 10s. in the pound; three years ago they were but 1s. 8d.; that ls. 8d. rate produced over 50001., the last 28. rate produced only 36001.

In the principal street of Stockport there are 45 shops untenanted, and rather more than one-fourth of the population has disappeared from the place. The question of wages will henceforth occupy the attention of the operative, to the exclusion of the Charter, which will henceforth be regarded as a mockery and a by-word. An able writer, in the 'North of England Review,' very justly says, “In truth, nothing is more remarkable than the feebleness and incapacity of the Chartist body, under circumstances which certainly held out to them a chance of success far superior to any which is likely again to befall them. With the great body of the operatives in open combination against their employers -with the minds of the people alienated almost equally from the government and the middle classes—under the excitement of accumulating privations and still more alarming prospects—with all the stimulants to folly supplied by idleness and hunger, they were unable to make a single move in advance; and even among their chosen representatives were found, to use their own words, hesitation, weakness, want of confidence, and indecision, together with a total deficiency in the courage, the energy, and the determination so essentially necessary to the carrying out of their objects. The ‘Northern Star' itself seemed utterly ignorant what course to recommend, and foresaw that the event would have a great tendency to dispirit the people, to damp their ardour in the movement, and to throw seriously back the Charter agitation ;' and even the affectionate adjurations of Mr. Feargus O'Connor failed in producing any effect, though he besought the people, if he had any weight with them, and if his name had not lost its wonted charm, to foster the opportunity which faction had given them to accomplish their Charter.'

“ This utter prostration of Chartist influence will, we trust, be attended with beneficial results. The working people must now be convinced how utterly powerless they are by themselves to relieve their present distresses, still more to work out their political redemption. They must begin to doubt the infallibility of those who teach them to look with distrust upon the efforts now made to abolish commercial restrictions; and finally, tracing effects to their causes, they will, we doubt not, discover that 'the unjust and inhuman corn-law is the main cause of the evils which affect the industrial community, destroying the profits of manufacturers, reducing the wages of the working men, and bringing beggary and ruin upon a large portion of our countrymen ;' while all classes must be convinced that there can be no guarantee for the peace of society, or for the security of life and property, whilst large masses of the people are sinking into a state of abject destitution.'


London, Sept. 1842. Since my return to town I have been very often asked, “Has the insurrection in Lancashire been suppressed ?" My answer is, that there was no insurrection to suppress, but, what is far more difficult, that there was a social commotion to tranquillise—an object which has not been effected. The operatives indeed are returning to their work almost invariably without effecting their object, an advance of wages, but more impatient than ever to better their condition, and more convinced than before that they have been visited with unmerited wrong and suffering. The manifestations of discontent have become less ostentatious, but the discontent and dissatisfaction have taken a deeper hold of the minds of all the working classes from Birmingham to Aberdeen. God only knows what the next move may be. Inflammable materials are spread everywhere; Incedimus per ignes cineri suppositos doloso." The operatives are disappointed at the result of their late proceedings, but they certainly are not daunted; on the contrary,

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