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mendicity; in other words, work houses for the destitute. In many countries however, even in those where it is acknowledged that all men have certain rights, there has been as yet a culpable propensity to treat beggars as men having no rights or will of their own. There has been a mania for general systems, for placing all relief to the poor under the direction of government. And yet the depôts have not answered the expectations formed of them; they have not extirpated mendicity, as any one travelling over the continent may perceive. After we have examined the interior of some of these depôts, it is some consolation to know that many mendicants succeed in evading their confinement."
In fact, the mortality in these houses is often frightful; M. Arrivabene doubts very much of the justice of making the act of begging a punishable offence in itself; and be quotes MM. Duchatel, Guizot, and Lucas, in support of his doubts.-vol. ii. p. 127.
“ Much may be done to diminish mendicity, more still to prevent fraud and imposture, but beyond a certain point, especially in our densely-inhabited cities, I fear we must resign ourselves to the sight of a certain number of beggars, for whose wants private compassion, generally more discriminating than public charity, must be left to provide."
Of the Mechanics’ Institutions, our author observes, that at the beginning of their establishment they awakened the fears of many and the exaggerated hopes of others.
“But there were persons more dispassionate, who, without either fearing or hoping too much froin those institutions, considered that they would tend to improve the arts, and to refine the manners of the artizans, and who trusted for the continuance of social order to the powerful stimulus of necessity, which will ever oblige man to work, and to the inequality of men's minds for the preservation of social inequality. The truth of this has already been shown in London, where most workmen bore the distresses of 1826 with exemplary patience, and censured the conduct of those of their brethren who broke the machines. Mechanics will become persuaded of the necessity of being temperate and provident, of saving something out of their wages for times of distress, and they will learn to understand belter the relative principles of capital and labour, of profits and wages, and their inseperable connection."
And on the subject of the co-operative societies, he says :
“ It is much easier to see and to lament that the working classes are, all over che world, doomed to toil and privations, than to devise means of changing a state of things, which seems inherent in society and in human nature itself. But there are some men who imagine that, if their nostrums were adopted, poverty and distress would disappear from the face of the earth. Foremost among these men in Great Britain stands Mr. Owen.”
After speaking favourably of his intentions and charitably of bis eccentricities, after relating the vicissitudes of his schemes both here and in America, and their ill success, he adds —
“ Such is the fate of all those vast projects which aim at changing all at once the condition of mankind, without being grafted on the present state of society, and on the habits of men.”
And after mentioning the schemes of community of labour, community of goods, and the common education of children, &c., and
noticing the weekly meetings of the London Co-operative Society in his time, he makes the following sensible reflections.
“ It is quite sufficient to any person of but moderate judgment to have attended one of those meetings, in which questions of political science are debated, in order to estimate them as they deserve. The speeches consist chiefly of invectives against the rights of property, and against what they are pleased to call the monopoly of the lands by the actual owners, to which causes, and to the whole present social order, they attribute the miseries of the greater part of the human race, miseries for which they see in the co-operative societies the only, the universal panacea. That poor mechanics should think and say such things need not be matter of wonder, but that men in a higher rank, and who have received a better education, should flatter and delude their uninformed brethren by such sophistries, is subject enough of surprise; for they cannot but know that it was the establishment and the security afforded by the laws to the rights of property, that began to diminish the mass of individual misery all over the world."-vol. i. And again, about the absurd outcry against " the tyra
“ the tyranny of capital," “ When a workman receives, in the shape of wages, a part of the produce, in the creation of which he participates, and this by a voluntary convention between him and the master, or capitalist, where is the tyranny, where the robbery? Tyranny and robbery occurred in former ages, when many men were obliged to work for one who gave them whatever pittance he pleased, a state of servitude from which they were not allowed to emerge. But in the present condition of society no man is forced to work in a particular spot for a particular master. Talent, good conduct, good luck make workmen rise to be masters, while capitalists and masters, from opposite causes, frequently descend to the condition of workmen. Instances of the former are more rare, it is true, because it is easier for a rich man to become poor than for a poor man to become rich, and because good qualities are scarcer than bad ones; yet the number of successful workmen is increasing, and may still further increase through the advancement of their moral powers. But to strive to impress upon workmen a false notion of the mechanism of society, to instil into their minds the poison of envy and hatred against those who happen to be better favoured by fortune, are certainly not the best means of improving their condition or making them happy.”—vol. ii. p. 352.
This was written some years since; what would our author say were he to attend now the debates of the society at King's Cross, another and a more recent foundation of Mr. Owen, at which debates the belief in revelation, and the hopes and fears of a future state, are openly stigmatized as obstacles to the developement of the faculties and to human bappiness ; and this before hundreds of mechanics and their wives, who cannot possibly have the information required for the rational investigation of such questions, and who, dissatisfied with their present condition, are ready to adopt any wild solution of the problem which sophistry can devise ?
If unemployed artizans can be benefited by exchange of goods and labour notes, so much the better ; but where is the necessity of making infidels of them? Will infidelity improve their condition?
We speak not of moral responsibility, of the awful denunciations against those who give scandal to their brethren; these are written in a book, which to them is of no authority.
Our author speaks with approbation of the friendly societies and savings' banks, as being, next to the schools, the institutions best calcnlated to raise and to “ improve the condition of the poor classes." He gives us some information on the societés de prevoyance, which answer the same purpose in France. In Paris there are two hundred of these societies, of which 19,000 workmen are members, and their savings amounted last year to 1,300,000 francs. The regulations to maintain order and decency at their meetings are worthy of attention : in the savings' banks of the same city there were, at the beginning of 1830, eleven years after their first institution, thirty-five millions of francs.
M. Arrivabene treats at great length of the societies for the improvement of Prison Discipline, and gives many statistical details on similar institutions in France and elsewhere. The society for the Promotion of Permanent Peace gives occasion to the following reflections :-
“ War encourages, for the moment, certain branches of industry, while it stops others; when peace comes, the first cease immediately, whilst the latter revive but slowly. War gives rise to a few rapid fortunes, made Heaven knows how, and ive meet, therefore, with minds base enough to invoke war in the hope of being among the favoured few. There are also ininds of a higher stamp, who will approve of war for national interests. But the morals of men, in general, are not iinproved by war, which is besides decidedly opposed to the precepts of Christianity. The Society of Christian Morality' in France and tható for Universal Peace,' at Geneva, co-operate with those in England to diffuse anti-warlike principles. The President of the Geneva Society, M. Sellon, received last year a letter from the King of Prussia, expressing the interest that monarch takes in the proceedings of the society, and his intention to favour its object by his external policy. The society received similar communications from the King of the French, and from the late M. Perier. It is painful, however, to reflect that many obstacles will yet interfere between these wishes and their fulfilment." - vol. ii. p. 253.
And here we must take leave of M. Arrivabene, recommending his work as full of interesting information, useful to English as well as foreign readers. Whilst the latter will be enabled by the attentive perusal of these two small volumes to form a more correct estimate of the English nation, than they would derive from a dozen of books of travels; the former will see in them reasons for being better satisfied with their own country, and for cherishing its institutions, which bear in them the germ of further improvement.
Art. XII.-Briefe eines Lebenden. Herausgegeben von F. F. (Letters
by one of the Living. Edited by F. F.) 2 vols. 12mo. Berlio.
1831. However critical opinion may be divided touching his Puckler Muskau Highness's account of England and English society, there can be little doubt but that Germans are, generally speaking, the individuals best adapted to achieve and record travels in such lands of enchantment, of almost holy associations, as Greece and Italy. Free alike from French vanity and from English superciliousness, Germans surrender themselves with frank bonhommie to the impressions of the moment; and even their peculiar subjectiveness, * by flinging the colour of the traveller's own mind over what he sees, only serves to give greater vivacity to his descriptions. Their impassioned imaginations, swayed by their æsthetic * philosophy, dispose them to kindle into enthusiastic rapture alike at the splendid remains of classic genius, at the brilliant revival of the fine arts in Italy during the middle ages, at the really admirable creations of modern talent, and even to contemplate with satisfaction the rude, stiff, imperfect, and half-faded attempts of second-rate or uncultivated powers; whilst a genial joviality of temperament, curiously blended with these more etherial qualities, by equally disposing them always to delight in sunsbine, good wine, and female beauty, (without detriment to their eternal and inviolable fidelity to the “beloved one”—die geliebte-left at bome,) maintains their spiritual part in a constant state of complacency, favourable to the birth of generous admiration. All this we knew long before the “ Letters of one of the Living," written during a journey to and in Italy, met our eyes, and should have said as much, probably, in answer to any inquirer who might have questioned us touching German fitness for picturesque travelling. Yet so weary, so beart-sick, are we of Italian tours, with their eternal admeasurements of standing churches and fallen temples, with their cognoscente cant and technical slang-crammed descriptions of pictures and statues, that with a loathing reluctance, subdued only by a sense of duty, did we open these little volumes.
Virtue was here, as usual, its own reward. We found no more of such description than was indispensable from a professed æsthetiker and kunst-freund (friend of the arts), the letter-writer avowing a conviction, as complete as our own, of the impossibility of conveying by words any idea whatsoever of the merits of a picture or a statue, or of the effect of a building; and in lieu of all this we bave a more lively portraiture than we at this moment recollect having before met with of Italy, animate and inanimate. Amongst other points, the remarkable beauty of form of the Italian hills, the amphitheatrical or terrace arrangement of the towns built up a mountain side by the sea coast, such as Genoa and Naples, the vegetable wealth displayed in the wild luxuriance of oranges, lemons, myrtles, and an hundred plants that we are accustomed to see laboriously reared and preserved by horticultural skill and care, and the rich tints of a southern sea and sky, are presented to us with an intensity of delight, which, even more than the graphic truth of the descriptions, places the scenes before the reader's eye. But we seem actually transplanted amongst them when the traveller vivifies these scenes with the fervid Italian life, so unlike all his and our northern babits; when he exhibits to us the streets of Florence swarming with rival mountebanks eloquently baranguing, with story-tellers, &c. &c.; when he leads us through the silence of the desert Campagna to the Eternal City, or to Naples, through a clamour, a hurry, and an uproar, that alarm bim with fears of having arrived at the very out-breaking of an insurrection. We incline to translate part of his visit to Mount Vesuvius, as combining specimens of his descriptive style in both kinds. We must premise that our letter-writer was ssociated with a party of German artists.
* Can it be necessary at this time of day to explain that, in modern German, subjective describes the character of mind which stamps external objects with its own feelings and opinions—objective, that which is vividly impressed by them as they are? or that-asthetic-which being taken from the Greek word aiolavouas, literally means perceptive-philosophy, signifies in the same creative and somewhat fanciful language, the philosopby of the sublime and beautiful--the theory of the fine arts and of poetry?
“ Scarcely had the carriage stopped when we were surrounded, and ere we could put out a foot, already were we torn to pieces within it; a rabble springing upon us froin all sides, who grasped us by the head and the collar, by the coat-skirts and the leys, dragged us out, and, like so many bales of merchandize to be forwarded, packed us upon donkeys. Vainly we protested with hand and foot against such forwarding; vainly we clamoured for our intended guide, Signor Salvator, who had been recommended to us as the only rational being in Resina; every one screamed to us that he was either the brother or the cousin of Salvator, or Salvator himself. As our destiny seemed irrevocably fixed, we now begged as a favour to be led to an inn, where we might leave our baggage and take some refreshment. This was granted; those who had got possession of us, shoved us, with their donkeys, into a narrow, dirty yard, and fastened the gates behind us, to cut off further competition of other donkey men. Four or five of these worthies only were now with us, and, perceiving our advantage, I asked which was Salvator. One of the most impudent instantly stepped forward, assured us by all the saints that he was Salvator, and rudely pressed us to enter his house. I seized him by the throat, and said very loudly and distinctly, “Thou liar and cheat! I know Salvator, and thou art not be! But whichever of you will fetch me Salvator shall have these two carlini.' This conduct, and the offered reward, staggered the whole pack; even without, the silver sound of the carlini had been heard, and it was not long ere the gates were thrown open: we found ourselves again at large, and saw the rout shrinking back before a stately man, distinguished from the rest not so much by his dress as by his port and behaviour. He said, 'You would place yourselves under the protection of Salvator, and Salvator will take care that you are treated with respect. You other folks begone, and let none of you cross my threshold.' The crowd dispersed, raving and railing indeed, but we were free."
Under the conduct of this stately guide the party ascend the hill, attended by a donkey loaded with provisions, that they may not be obliged to visit a hermit, called by Salvator “ a rogue, wbo sells sour wine for its weight in gold.” The arrangement appears to have been fortunate, inasmuch as the hermitage, which this strange sort of hermit vehemently urged them to enter as they passed, was occupied by a singing and dancing company of officers half-seas over, and of damsels no better than they should be.
Higher up, vegetation suddenly ceases, and we find ourselves upon the field of death, upon the territory of utter desolation. ... Amongst the glaciers and ice-fields of the Alps a shiver seizes us, but there we see how a kindly sunbeam steals a tear from the hard mass : we hear, rushing underneath, the streams by which they fertilize the valley far below; and amidst the crystal of the ice and snow, rays of light sport in a varying, moving, glitter of colours; whilst ainid these black lava-clods, these petrified billows of mud, dwells no hope of light or life, and those fearful verses inscribed by Dante over the eternal gates of hell would be here in their proper place. Laboriously and cautiously does the mule climb over the scoria, through which a new path is gradually trodden. ..... We first breathed freely as we reached the foot of the ash-cone inclosing the crater. We dismounted, and, surrounded by the