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which arise from ignorance, misconcep- ed of a strong belief that the privations wilful
She by no means and miseries that they suffered were the thinks it her mission simply to amuse. result of the injustice and hardness of For motto to “Mary BARTON” she takes the rich, the even tenor of whose seemthese words of Carlysle : « • How knowest ing bappy lives appeared to increase the thou,' may the distressed Novel-wright ex- anguish caused by the lottery-like nature claim, that I, here where I sit, am the fools of their own. She saw the thoroughness ishest of existing mortals ; that this my Long of this belief manifested from time to ear of a fictitious Biography shall not find time in acts of deadly revenge ; and the one and the other, into whose still longer cars consequences were so cruel to all parties, it may be the means, under Providence, of that the more she reflected on them the instilling somewhat ? '
more anxious she became to give utterknows, none can certainly know : therefore, ance to the dumb agony of the people, urite on, worthy Brother, even us thou canst, and to disabuse them of their bitter miseven as it is given thee.' ” Thus encou- apprehensions; for they seemed to her to raged Mrs. Gaskell does write on, and be left in state wherein lamentation and does instill somewhat, well worth hearing tears were put aside as useless, but in and laying to beart; and that her words, wbich the lips were compressed for and others like them, have been laid to curses, and the hand clenched and ready heart, and have brought forth the fruit to smite. of good deed, witness the universal char- Mrs. Gaskell’s vocation was that of a ity that prevailed during the recent cot- peacemaker. She compels us to feel not ton famine, and contrast it with the angry how different men are, but how much distrust that existed between rich and they are alike when the accidents of poor during the calamitous years of 1846- wealth and poverty are put by. She ut47-48 when she first began to teach and to ters her voice often through tears, but preach.
always to a most wise and Christian pur
pose, and throughout “ Mary BARTON” “ Words are things; and a small drop of ink, her cry is for Patience with the Poor. Falling, like dew, upon a thought, produces That which make thousands, perhaps millions. The discussions she strove to pacify, the think.”
difficulties she strove to smooth, are crop
ping up again in these days with quite Those were days of great trouble and another light upon them, and it is not upsetting both in the social and the politi- always easy to get at her original point cal world. In Ireland there was famine of view, but when we do get at it, we and rebellion ; in France there was revolu- see that it was the just point for that tion, out of which rose the Second Em- time, whatever modifications and changes pire ; in England there was commercial twenty years may have wrought in the distress, such as always bears inost heavily respective positions of masters and men. on the multitudes whose daily labor is The literary merits of the story are great, their daily bread. In the preface of the but the moral of it, the deep, direct, earcheap edition of “Mary BARTON” Mrs. nest intention that underlies the story, Gaskell tells us how, living in Manches- which has performed its mission and beter, sbe learned to feel a deep sympathy come out of date, is its most forcible with the care-worn men thronging its part. busy streets, who looked as if doomed to The conversion of the masters is acstruggle through their lives in strange complished now. Their power is effecalternations of work and want, tossed to tually circumscribed by public opinion and fro by circumstances, apparently in and public government; their consciences even a greater degree than other men; she are better informed than they were half tells us how this sympathy opened to her a century ago, and few rich men would the hearts of one or two of the more care to assert at this hour an absolute thoughtful amongst them; how she saw right to do what they like with their own. that they were sore and irritable against The individual artisan also is wiser, abler, the prosperous, especially against the more willing to see straight than his famasters whose fortunes they had helped thers were ; but bodies of artisans banded to build
and how they wer possess- in trades' unions are what they always were-parts of a machine without heart, speech than their wardrobes. It was long without brain, without conscience. Ter- since many of them had known the luxury rible trade outrages, the perpetrators of of a new article of dress ; and the air-gaps
were to be seen in their garments. Some of which remain undiscovered, still occur at
the masters were rather affronted at such a intervals, startling the nation with a re
ragged detachment coming between the wind vival of the worst symptoms of a trea- and their nobility ; but what cared they ? cherous old disease, and almost justifying “At the request of a gentleman hastily the belief of the unaffiliated, that it is chosen to officiate as chairman, the leader of radical in the constitution of these so- the delegates read, in a high-pitched, psalmcieties.
singing voice, a paper containing the operaSuch an outrage is one of the leading complaints and demands, which last were not
tives' statement of the case at issue, their events in the story of “Mary BARTON.”
remarkable for moderation. He was then deThe plot is woven on the back-ground of sired to withdraw for a few minutes, with his a long strike, Mary, her father, and her fellow-delegates, to another room, while the two lovers being the most prominent ac- masters considered what should be their tors in it. John Barton is a busy mem
definitive answer. The masters would not ber of his union, a man not naturally workmen. They would agree to give one
consent to the advance demanded by the harsh or bitter, but one whose sufferings shilling per week more than they had prehave turned the milk of human kindness viously offered—the delegates positively dein his heart to gall. His mother had clined any compromise of their demands. died of want, his little lad had “clem- " Then up sprang Mr. Henry Carson, the med to dead” before his eyes. Hating head and voice of the violent party amongst factory work for women, he had 'pren- the masters, and addressing the chairman, ticed his dear little Mary to a dressmaker,
even before the scowling operatives, he proand she grew up so bonny, blithe, and posed some resolutions-firstly, declaring all
communication between the masters and that attractive that she not only engaged the particular trades' union at an end ; secondly, affections of Jem Wilson, a suitor in her declaring that no master should employ any own rank of life, but also drew on her workman in future, unless he signed a declaself the less honorable admiration of ration that he did not belong to any trades' young Mr. Carson, the son of a wealthy stood listening with lowering brows of defi
union. Considering that the men who now cotton spinner. She let her fancy run on the notion of being a lady, and discour- the union, such resolutions were in them
ance, were all of them leading members of ages Jem, though she does not love his selves suficiently provocative of animosity; rival, and while matters stand in this po- but not content with simply stating them, sition comes the crisis of the story—ihe Harry Carson went on to characterize the murder of young Carson in fulfilment of conduct of the workmen in no measured a unionist oath of vengeance against the terms, every word he spoke rendering their
looks more livid, their glaring eyes more masters, and the arrest of Jem Wilson
fierce. for the crime. The circumstances that “Now there had been some by-play at this immediately preceded its commission we meeting. While the men had stood grouped will quote. The first scene is a meeting near the door, on their first entrance, Mr. of masters, and delegates from the men, Harry Carson had taken out his silver pencil, with a view to putting an end to the
and had drawn an admirable caricature of
them-lank, ragged, dispirited and faminestrike which was ruining both.
stricken. Underneath he wrote a hasty quo* The door was opened, and the waiter tation from the fat knight's well-known speech announced that the men were below, and in Henry IV. He passed it to one of his asked if it were the pleasure of the gentlemen neighors, who acknowledged the likeness that they should be shown up. They assen- instantly, and by him it was sent round to ted, and rapidly took their places round the the others, who all smiled and nodded their official table. Tramp, tramp, came the heavy heads. This proceeding was closely observed clogged feet up the stairs, and in a minute by one of the men. He watched the masters five wild, earnest-looking men stood in the as they left the hotel (laughing, some of them room. Had they been larger-boned men you were), and when all had gone, he went to the would have called them gaunt; as it was, waiter, who recognized him—“There's a bit they were little of stature, and their fustian on a picture up yonder, as one of the gentleclothes hung loosely on their shrunk limbs. men threw away; I've a little lad at home In choosing their delegates, the operatives as dearly loves a picture; by your leave I'll had more regard to their brains and power of go up for it.'"
Having obtained possession of the car and in familiarizing themselves with its icature he produces it the same evening details. in an assembly of working-men-like
“ Then came one of those fierce, terrible himself out of work—John Barton being to any given purpose. Then under the flaring
oaths which bind members of trades' unions amongst them.
gaslight they met together to consult further. “ The heads clustered together to gaze at
With the distrust of guilt each was suspicious and detect the likenesses.
of his neighbor, each dreaded the treachery " "That's John Slater! I'd ha' known him of another. A number of pieces of paper anywhere by his big nose. Lord ! how like; (the identical letter on which the caricature that's me, by God, it's the very way I'm obli- had been drawn that very morning) were torn gated to pin my waistcoat up, to hide that up, and one was marked. Then all were I've gotten no shirt. That is a shame, and folded up again, looking exactly alike. They I'll not stand it!'
were shuffled together in a hat. The gas was *** Well!' said John Slater, after having extinguished ; each drew out a paper. The acknowledged his nose and his likeness; “I gas was re-lighted. Then each went as far could laugh at a jest as well as e'er the best as he could from his fellows, and examined on 'em, though it did tell agen mysel', if I the paper he had drawn without a word, and were not clemming, and if I could keep from with a countenance as stony and immoveable thinking of them at home, as is clemming,'
as he could make it. (his eyes filled with tears;
he was a poor,
Then, rigidly silent, they each took up pinched, sharp-featured man, with a gentle their hats and went every one his own way. and melancholy expression of countenance); He who had drawn the marked paper had but with their cries for food ringing in my drawn the lot of the assassin ! and he had ears, and making me afeard of going home, sworn to act according to his drawing. But and wonder if I should hear 'em wailing out no one, save God and his own conscience, if I lay cold and drowned at th’ bottom of knew who was the appointed murderer.” th’ canal, there—why, man, I cannot laugh at aught. It seems to make me sad that there is any as can make game on what they never
Harry Carson is the victim selected ; knowed; as can make such laughable pic- and the evening but one after the swear tures on men whose very hearts within em ing of the secret oath, he is shot dead are so raw and sore as ours were and are, God on his way home. At this crisis the help us.'
dramatic interest of the story quite runs "John Barton began to speak; they turned away with its morality. Jem Wilson to him with great attention. It makes me more than sad, it makes my heart burn within falsely accused of the murder and brought me, to see that folks can make a jest of to trial, gets a safe deliverance in one of starving men ; of chaps who comed to ask for the finest scenes in the book, but the a bit o fire for th’ old granny as shivers i' th' real criminal goes unpunished of human cold; for victuals for the childer whose little justice, the wickedness of his act is disvoices are getting too weak to cry aloud wi' simulated, and the law is mocked.' That hunger. I have seen a father who had killed
such crimes, done in the supposed intebis child rather than let it clem before his eyes; and he were a tender-hearted man!""
rest of communities, occasionally evade
discovery, is a fact too patent to be deBrooding and talking over this wound nied, but in a work of fiction, written • to their self-love kindles their vindictive for a great purpose, where points are passions. Barton suggests that instead strained here and strained there, to fit of beating poor “knobsticks,” or blind- immaginary circumstances, we would raing them with vitriol, they should“ have ther this point had been strained also, at” the masters—set him to serve out and that the murderer of Harry Carson the masters and see if he will stick at had expiated his crime upon the gallows, aught.
a warning and example to others, tempt“ And so with words, or looks that told
ed and tried as he was tempted and more than words, they built up a deadly plan. tried, at whatever cost of feeling to wriDeeper and darker grew the import of their ters and readers. The book, as we have speeches, as they stood hoarsely muttering said, still enjoys a wide popularity, and as their meaning, and glaring with eyes that told
we have allowed to it the credit of haythe terror their own thoughts were to them, upon their neighbors. Their clenched fists,
ing wrought true sympathy for the poor their set teeth, their livid looks, all told the
in the hearts of their richer neighbors, sufferings which their minds were voluntarily we venture also to express a fear that undergoing in the contemplation of crime, it may have wrought real mischief in the
hot heads of angry unionists by granting " It was the latter part of July when Marimpunity to murder.
garet returned home. The forest trees were The sacrifice of what is eternally right all one dark, full
, dusky green ; the fern below to what is temporarily agreeable is liable them caught all the slanting sunbeams; the to be often demanded by the exigencies Margaret used to tramp along by her father's
weather was sultry and broodingly still. of romance, and therefore is it that so
side, crushing down the fern with a cruel many critics set their faces against moral glee, as she felt it yield under her light foot, aims in novels, and declare that it is their and send up the fragrance peculiar to it, sole mission to be entertaining. In her out on the broad commons into the warmearlier works Mrs. Gaskell never con
scented light, seeing multitudes of wild, frec, sented to this, and “ NORTH AND SOUTH” living creatures, revelling in the sunshine,
and the herbs and flowers it called forth. is a second illustration of the quarrel be- This life - at least, these walks--realized all tween Manchester masters and opera- Margaret's anticipations. . . Her out-of-doors tives as it was in the times that are past. life was perfect. Her in-doors life had its But here the quarrel is incidental to drawbacks." another story, designed to set forth the different fibre of Hampshire and Lanca- And very serious drawbacks they shire men-to the distinct advantage of were ;—the shadow of a dear son, lost to the latter. It is easy to see where Mrs. home and country, an exile and fugitive Gaskell's heart is, and where also was her under sentence of death, for the leading truer and fuller knowledge at this period part he had taken in a mutiny on board of her career.
a king's ship; failing health and broken The scene opens on the eve of a wed- spirits for the bereaved mother, and sad ding in London, and we are introduced doubts and unrest on the part of Mr. first to the bride elect, a pretty young Hale, which brings him to a resolution to lady afraid of anybody who does any- give up Helstone and his
office as a minthing for conscience' sake, and her cou- ister of the Church of England. And sin, the heroine, Margaret Hale, who has here we think there is some haziness been brought up with her in Harley and exaggerated sentiment. As a man of Street. We make a passing acquaint- honor and conscience, Mr. Hale could ance with the bridegroom, a brave, certainly not any longer hold a handsome noodle ; with his brother, á under a religious system that he believed clever, ambitious barrister ; and with the contrary to right (what his special diffibride's mother, Mrs. Shaw, who, having culties were we are not told), but it is a married for position, has all her life since curious misconception of Anglicanism to professed regret for what she missed in set forth as one of its principles that to not marrying for love like her sister, leave the Church of England is to be Margaret's mother, who having accepted severed from the Church of God. We an amiable clergyman, has moped with had hitherto rested in peace under the him in affectionate discontent and ob- belief that all the reformed congregations, seurity ever since at Helstone, a parish at home and abroad, whatever their govin the New Forest, and in such straight- ernment, were of the same household ened circumstances that she cannot at- of faith as ourselves. To be sure it is by tend her niece's marriage, because it the lips of Margaret Hale that the new would not be prudent to buy new clothes notion is promulgated, and that may acfor the occasion, and she will not dis- count for its eccentricity ; heroines are grace it by going shabby. After the commonly nice girls and good practical wedding, we are taken down to Hels- Christians, but they are not often strong tone, with Margaret Hale and her father, in doctrine or ecclesiasticism. pot greater strangers to the heroine's From the sunny parsonage in the New home than she is herself; and here occur Forest to a dreary little house in a dull some of those sweet descriptive bits of suburb of Milton - Northern, Darkshire, country which betray that if Mrs. Gas- is a long step, but Mr. Hale takes it, with kell's lot was cast in murky Manchester, delicate wife and reluctant daughter, and her immagination made it one of the one faithful tyrannical servant, Dixon, brightest holidays in the woods and Mrs. Hale's confidant, and her maid befields.
fore her marriage. Mr. Hale proposes
to eke out his slender private income by Bessy, but taller and stronger, was busy at giving lessons in the classics to any the wash-tub, knocking about the furniture manufacturers or sons of manufacturers in a rough, capable way, but altogether makwho can be induced to spare an hour ing so much noise that Margaret shrunk, out
of sympathy with poor Bessy. now and then from the universal business
". Do you think such life as this is worth of money-making. Through an old col- caring for?' gasped Bessy, at last. Margaret lege friend, Mr. Bell, Margaret's god- did not speak, but held the water to her lips. father, he gains his first and best pupil, Bessy took a long, feverish draught, and then Mr. Thornton, of Marlborough Mills, fell back and shut her eyes. Margaret heard the representative granite man of the her murmur to herself: "They shall hunger North, of whom his mother--more gra. the sun light on them, nor any heat.'
no more, neither thirst any more ; neither shall nite than himself — says with honest
“Margaret bent over and said : ‘Bessy, pride: “Go where you will.— I don't say dont be impatient with your life, whatever it in England only, but in Europe,—the is,—or may have been. Remember who gave name of John Thornton, of Milton, is it you, and made it what it is.' known and respected by all business men.
“She was startled by hearing Nicholas Of course it is unknown in the fashionable speak behind her; he had come in without
her noticing him. circles,” she continued, scornfully. “Idle
“Now, I'li not have my wench preached ladies and gentlemen are not likely to
to. She's bad enough as it is, with her dreams know much of a Milton Manufacturer, and her methodie fancies, and her visions of unless he gets into Parliament, or mar- cities with golden gates and precious stones. ries a lord's daughter.”
And if it amuses her I let a' be, but I'm none This John Thornton plays hero admir- going to have more stuff poured into her.'
“* But surely,' said Margaret, facing round, ably to Margaret Hale's heroine, and they
'you believe in what I said, that God gave begin in the most promising way with a
her life, and ordered what kind of life it was little aversion. How this aversion be-, to be.' comes interest, admiration, and
"I believe what I see and no more. That's thing more, is the substance of the story; what I believe, young woman. I don't beand a perfectly charming story it would lieve all I hear--no ! not by a big deal.' be, but for what strikes us as a wanton
Bessy had been watching Margaret's face;
she half sat up to speak now, laying her hand degradation of Margaret by putting her
on Margaret's arm with a gesture of entreaty. into circumstances where she is driven · Dont be vexed wi' him—there's many a one to think a lie better policy than the thinks like him ; many and many a one here. truth—necessary, indeed, to save her if yo' could hear them speak, yo'd not be brother's life-& tricky expedient for shocked at him; he's a rare good man, is faraising interest which blemishes more
ther—but oh!' said she, falling back in desthan one of Mrs. Gaskell's works. We pair, 'what he says at times makes me long to know how Sir Walter Scott dealt with a
die more than ever, for I want to know so similar difficulty in “The Heart of Mid- many things, and am so tossed about wi'
wonder.' Lothian," and what a profound effect he “Poor wench-poor old wench-I'm loth creates by making Jenny Deans tell the to vex yo', I am; but a man mun speak out for truth, and trust God for the conseqences.
the truth; and when I see the world going The subordinate characters in “NORTH all wrong at this time o' day, bothering itself AND SOUTH,” chiefly factory - folk, are
wi' things it knows naught about, and leav
ing undone all the things that lie in disorder touched in with force and distinctness,
close at its hand-why, I say, leave a’ this talk and this remark applies no less to about religion alone, and set to work on what “MARY BARTON,” than to all the later yo' see and know. That's my creed. It's productions of our author.
simple, and not far to fetch nor hard to work.' thetic example of the home-life of the “But the girl only pleaded the more with “hands,” in whose joys and sorrows she
Margaret. “Don't think hardly on him,-he's
a good man, he is. I sometimes think I shall had so keen a sympathy, we will quote a scene between a weaver on strike and if father is not there. The feverish color
be moved wi' sorrow even in the City of God, his daughter, whom Margaret Hale has came into her cheek, and the feverish flame gone to visit as she lies sick, and slowly into her eye. “But you will be there, father ! wearing away to the “ Land o' the leal." You shall! Oh! my heart ! She put her hand
to it and became ghastly pale. “A great slatternly girl, not so old as “Margaret held her in her arms, and put
As a pa