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Disputes have often been carried in their especial excitability, and, to the extremity of a strike or it must be confessed, frequently lock-out by the respective parties, exhibited self-conceit; more comwith varying results. Sometimes mon association and discussion; one, sometimes the other, has given the cheap press, of which they way, under the pressure of loss and are the great supporters,
all suffering entailed. But with few these new conditions of life and exceptions (of which the Sheffield environment have transformed outrages a quarter of a century artisan society, giving to it a ferago was the most flagrant case) menting ingredient which must these contests have been waged work itself out in some way or and settled within legal bounds, other. Let us hope that out of and without violating the estab- the seething in this huge body will lished customs of fair dealing which evolve suitable heads or leaders. characterise the British nation. Such leaders as have from time Latterly, alas! we get very noisy to time in the past arisen, have demonstrations, as they are called, on the whole been no discredit to and ebullitions of clamorous im- their origin or to the body of patience of the laws of the land, British workmen; and this waracting under which the police rants the belief that suitable men do—as they are bound to do- will arise in due time, gifted as keep a watchful eye on exhibitions heretofore and duly recognised, of brute force, and check illegal who will lead their fellows with domination. Men in all public a true instinct in a right course. spheres are too apt to forget that But just now we must expect to freedom cannot thrive in an atmo- have to do with movements and sphere of impatience. Irritability aims of a rough, crude, and even engenders a perpetual growth of rashly ambitious kind. Such are insubordination, and that is the the natural excesses of youth and weed which chokes the growth of inexperience. The majority in freedom. The adjustment of the every walk of life is always the rights of controlled and controller younger members, but somehow in this country is the eternal prob- the wisdom of the elders mainlem of the legislator of each suc
tains its sway. ceeding age and generation. To Turning now to the capitalists, abandon the peaceful study and which is the proper term for emreasonable solution of the difli- ployers to-day, we contemplate a culty, and to resort to force, is for a race of giants. Gigantic are the free people to despair of the special proportions to which the establishgifts bestowed by freedom, and to ments or concerns have grown in plunge into revolution.
mining, manufacturing, carrying The growing power of workmen, by rail or ship, docks and wareresulting from and appertaining houses, and all the various modes to larger combinations of them; of industrial enterprise; and the the diffusion of information and small ones are constantly merging broadening of scope; the quicken- into larger ones. Each enterprise ing of their apprehension of their is thus becoming more and more a own interests; the stimulated taste concentration under one head of for and enjoyment of luxuries; the wealth, power, scientific and meholiday and leisure times estab- chanical skill, and a mastery over lished by law and custom; the all the obstacles arising in a freefirst - fruits of national education trade competition with all the among the younger men, shown human race. At the service of
So the combination is a loose one, by working men cannot be contemeasily dissolved. An examination plated without a feeling of pain of some of the books of these and sorrow. The earnings of arsocieties would tell a tale of ex- tisan and labourer, it is too well treme fluctuation in number of known, are needed week by week. members. Public lamentations by Each recurring strike or lock-out, leaders on this score
occasion fresh the mind of the observer ally throw a gleam of light on during many years, has left its rethis inherent weakness, especial- cord of want and destitution. The ly among the unskilled workers. 5 millions of our workmen compose, The discipline of such an army with their families, quite 25 milmust necessarily be of the mild- lions of our population. Statistiest. Influence can only be ex- cians tell us that the wages earned erted by appeals to self-interest, and expended amount to 400 million to fears, or to some of the many pounds annually; and our temperallurements held out in the re- ance friends aver that 100 millions laxation of toil or the supposed at the very least of this sum goes increase of happiness from higher in drink and tobacco, which, again, wages. Now, if it could be sup- say the hygienic economists, is posed possible for the societies to purely wasted. The Savings Banks desire to get by law some greater reports, on the other hand, have a hold over their members—say, that modest tale of a little sum put by a man should be bound to con- yearly, and this little increases. tinue a member, or that, in de- So a short study shows us that our fault, his goods and chattels be- workmen have a propensity for came liable for his dues—one can wasting their resources, and that conceive how quickly such a move they virtually live from hand to would extinguish them altogether. mouth. Strikes hitherto have deThe forfeiture of interests therein pended for success on the fund is at present the only sacrifice available for paying the strikers, entailed, and is so often under and their organisation precludes gone as to show that it is lightly the accumulation of sufficient esteemed. It must be remembered funds for large operations. Levies that these societies have been on men at work have been utilised created by the working men them- in aid of these funds; but the volselves, and the fundamental loose- untary nature of this impost shows ness of the bond may be expres- how little it can be depended on, sive of the ineradicable hold which and at a very critical time an act freedom has on the mind and in- of a hostile kind by employers can stincts of the men. So we must cut it ofl. The sympathies of perforce admit that Liberty her- public feeling have added to the self takes care that her sons shall funds on some occasions, as when not easily be beguiled back into the dockers struck ; but in the case a self-imposed bondage. Societies of the gas-workers, which followed such as these, therefore, for pur- immediately, the way in which poses either of aggression or re- this support dries up was rapidly sistance, are inherently weak in shown. Therefore, in case of half their organisation; and hence it a million striking, the weekly pay follows there cannot be sufficient of even 10s. a-head—which is the financial preparation for a widely very smallest sum possible to mainextended movement.
tain five persons alive—requires Resources.—The powers for ag- £250,000 a-week; and two weeks gression and endurance possessed of this would entirely exhaust all