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sundered into antagonistic bodies, and organized in hostile camps.

The Trade Guilds fell into decay under the influence of changes which in themselves were highly advantageous. But, if we look to the root of the matter, it will be seen that the cause of the decay of the Guild-system was identical with the cause of the chief evils above mentioned as characteristic of the present system. This cause was the mobilization of industry, promoted by the increase of population and of facilities of locomotion. A workman has now no local ties: his hereditary connection with a place benefits him nothing. He fights for his own hand; his greatest success is to be obtained by taking his labour to the best market. And the fluctuations of trade, greater in this than in any other country, produce constant aggregations and dispersions of the working classes. The large employers, too, seek labour from any quarter. And thus, alike from the constantly changing personality of their workmen, and the impossibility of intimacy between an employer and so large a body of labourers, the gulf between the two classes grows apace.

In Agriculture this change was slow in taking place, and the present generation can well remember the old class of farm servants and labourers. The shepherds were almost hereditary upon a farm, serving under father and son in succession, and themselves succeeded by their own sons; and the farm-labourers generally, the Scotch 'hinds' and English cottiers, occupied their little houses and worked on the same farm without ever dreaming of changing either their locality or their masters. Hence the social relations in the rural districts for long remained on a better footing than elsewhere; there was a kindlier feeling on the part of the better class, and the wants of the poorer class were better cared for. But mobilization (in all other respects so beneficial) has now done its socially disintegrating work in the country districts; and young Hodge cares just as little for his masters or their welfare as does the navvy or the artizan.

These changes have come naturally with the development of industry; and in seeking for remedies, we must go with the wind and work with the tide. It were utterly vain to seek to revive old institutions, however useful they may have been in their day. The Young England' party of 1847-50 took no root. But, although the old forms have become antiquated, their spirit and principle may be as wise and as applicable as ever. Indeed our modern system of trade will not be completed and perfect until it has attained to the old

principle of Association, in new forms suitable to the times. What masters and men are now doing each for themselves, and in mutual antagonism, cannot these things be done in accord and in combination? That is the question. If they cannot, then a growing antagonism, an organized warfare within the bosom of Society, alone remains in prospect. And he is a sanguine man who can believe that such organized antagonism of classes, ever growing in magnitude, would never go beyond the smouldering stage, nor pass into active and fierce hostilities such as, for a time, might destroy Society itself. Happily, not only is Association possible-not only may the future have in store Unions embracing both employers and employed, organizations of labour and capital conjointly, but we can see this new-old principle already at work. It is curious and instructive to observe, that although the Trade Guilds are dead and inapplicable, the principle of that old corporate system, although not established in each trade or craft as a whole, is being revived in separate parts of each trade. This is the ordinary way in which such changes begin. In truth, some of our great trade-establishments are almost as large, both as respects capital and labour, as some of the old Trade Guilds; and not a few of the larger class of our trade-establishments now constitute a partially corporate body, with special rules and arrangements, and privileges and advantages, for the employés or members. In a few of those establishments, the employés, who are well-nigh a permanent body, obtain a percentage on the increased profits of the business,-in some of the larger banks a bonus is periodically given, varying in amount with the grade or length of service of the members. In many large establishments the employés live and are boarded on the premises, as the apprentices' under the Guild system lived in their master's house; and in some cases (e.g., in "The Times" office), the employés are required to belong to a Mutual Benefit Society pertaining to that particular establishment, and engage to maintain their allegiance to the establishment untrammelled by any rival or extraneous rules. Thus, in not a few of the large establishments by which trade is now carried on, it is found advantageous, both for employers and employed, to revive, each establishment for itself, the Corporate System; and it may safely be predicted that this system will more and more gain ground. Beginning in separate establishments, such organizations of labour and capital (for such they really are) will extend, and also become more developed. Their influence will gradually leaven the spirit of trade, the prin

ciples or considerations under which the national industry is carried on. Employers will come to see that 'unlimited competition' is not the only or surest means of getting money's worth, that the quality of a workman depends not merely on the strength or wits which he brings, but upon how he is treated, that isolating selfishness is not profitable, and that a man generally promotes his own interests best by sacrificing to others a part of them.*

Despite all their faults, the working classes in this country have done wonders for themselves. By their various clubs and societies, designed to mitigate sickness, funeral expenses, and lack of employment, they exhibit the provident spirit quite as extensively as among the better classes; while their Trade Unions are a wonderful manifestation of the spirit of association, each individual freely making sacrifices for the good of his own trade-community. When a like spirit comes to pervade the nation, the Social Question-the Red Spectre which looms over Europe-would disappear, at least in this country. But the working classes cannot be left to themselves. The Rich must co-operate, not necessarily in new or unheard-of forms, but by the spreading of that associative spirit which is already seen at work in isolated instances. Legislation cannot do much it is not by legal compulsion, but by moral influence and voluntary action, that the change is to be perfected. By the recent graduations the Income-tax has been made satisfactory at its lower end, but graduation ought to be correspondingly applied at the upper end. Such a change seems to me inevitable, and it is to be desired even more for its justice than for the material results to be so obtained. So likewise with the kindred impost of the Succession-duties.

The seemingly insurmountable character of many of the obstacles to social improvement and national harmony will be found, in reality, to rest merely on the present state of

* In the last annual report of the Early Closing Association there is a very interesting paper containing a list of the various Clubs and other Institutions which exist in many of the large wholesale houses in London for the instruction and amusement of the employés. These have been provided partly by the liberality of the firms and partly by the contributions and exertions of the employés themselves.

Returns were obtained from fifty-four houses in the Manchester and drapery trades, and an analysis of these returns shows there are in forty-three houses libraries and reading-rooms, in thirty-eight houses cricket clubs, in twenty houses classes for religious instruction, in seventeen houses volunteer corps or sections of corps, in seventeen houses musical societies, in fifteen houses football clubs, in twelve houses bicycle clubs, in eleven houses boating clubs, in ten houses dramatic clubs, in nine house swimming clubs, in nine houses literary clubs, in five houses scientific clubs.

In addition, there are in various houses clubs or classes for elocution, debating,

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Opinion, and will lessen and disappear as the National Sentiment grows. No one will accuse Mr. Bright of any lack of sympathy for the labouring classes, and Mr. Cobden was famous for humanitarian doctrines; yet, only thirty years ago, both Cobden and Bright were the most resolute and virulent opponents of the Factory Acts. It may be said, uncharitably, that they were manufacturers, and selfishly opposed a measure which would lessen the supply of cheap labour; but the same view was held by some hundreds of members of Parlia ment, most of whom had not the slightest personal or pecuniary interest in the question. Why, then, that stubborn resistance to what is now acknowledged to have been only far too small a measure of ordinary humanity and social justice? It was because (owing to Political Economy being at that time extended beyond its proper sphere, and its doctrines regarded as absolute, instead of merely a means to an end, viz., the national well-being), the principle of unlimited competition' and of buying (labour as well as goods) in the cheapest market,' was regarded like an apostolic maxim, any infringement of which would be a national error. The Nation, however, almost unanimously repudiated this view of the matter; and if we scan what Legislation has since done, and the sentiment now prevailing, it will be seen that the Nation is more and more protesting against these once famous doctrines of individualism and consequent social antagonism. How strong this healthy and humane social sentiment has become may be seen from the fact that, within the last few years, the nation has consented to pay fully a shilling extra upon every ton of coal which we buy,-this being the addition to the cost of coal output occasioned by the measures of protection for the life and limbs of the miners, made imperative by the Mines Regulation Act.' 'Freedom of Contract,' which used to be a watch-cry of the Liberals and Political Economists, now finds its chief upholders among the Conservatives. Look, too, at the Education Rate. In 1839, when Lord Russell moved that £10,000 should be added to the Education Vote, he was opposed by Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Gladstone. Yet now, although the rate is financially a very heavy burden, it is universally approved. From these and other facts of the day one may see how far the nation chess, &c. Of the forty-three libraries one contains eight thousand volumes, others contain four thousand, and others range from three thousand five hundred down to one hundred and fifty volumes. Another interesting fact is that in some of these houses entertainments are organized by the assistants, aided by the employers, and the proceeds (in some instances as much as £100) are given to various public charities.

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has shifted from and abjured the anti-social doctrine of 'every one for himself, and woe to the poor and the weak!' which was temporarily supreme only thirty years ago, when Bright and Cobden so vehemently opposed the first thin wedge' then driven into that system. It was truly a silver streak,' now brightening into dawn, and destined to grow into the golden day of the future.

The present is peculiarly the age of vast fortunes made in a single lifetime. Commerce creates fortunes far exceeding those possessed by territorial magnates and the accumulation of generations. W. H. Vanderbilt, of New York, holds ten millions sterling in the United States Bonds; Mr. Mackay, the lucky owner of a Nevada mine, is known to hold four millions similarly invested, and is stated to have an income of £800,000 a year. This is a perilous spectacle to the eyes of Poverty in these times of the Proletariat. The very wealthiness of the few-the gigantic private fortunes which abound, tempt to envy and bitter discontent the millions of toiling poor; yet we believe that ere long this very wealth will become a bond of social union, an agency as beneficent as it is powerful. Mr. Brassey says

Under no circumstances is it good for the country that there should be a large number of individuals enjoying exceptional fortunes, in painful contrast with the less favoured condition of their neighbours.

'Where, then, ah! where shall Poverty reside,

To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?'

Questions of legal right apart, can it under any circumstances be made better for society that an income of £100,000 a year should be concentrated in the hands of a single individual rather than distributed in equal proportions among twenty or fifty heads of families? In a social and intellectual point of view there can scarcely be a doubt as to the answer that we ought to give. For the diffusion of culture, and science and art, for carrying on works of beneficence, the labours of twenty or fifty persons must be more effective than the labours of a single individual. On the other hand there are operations, such as the beautifying and improvement of great cities, the development of the agricultural resources of a considerable district, or the creation of facilities of communication by sea and land-the Menai Bridge, the Mont Cenis Railway, the first Atlantic Cable, the Crystal Palace, are examples-where the object sought to be attained, while conducive to the well-being of society, is one which cannot prove remunerative to the promoters until after an interval of many years. Under such circumstances the capital required can only be furnished by the State, or by men whose incomes are in excess of their immediate wants (pp. 363-4).

Monotony is dismal, if not hideous; and personal equality is against nature. As well expect, or desire, that all the trees of the forest should be of the same height, as that all

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