Copyright
William Dealtry.

The laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society online

. (page 30 of 33)
Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 30 of 33)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


habitants are rich in silver and gold, and in all the necessa-
ries of life. They drink no water unless at certain times,
by the way of doing penance ; they are fed in great abun-
dance with all sorts of flesh and fish ; they are clothed in
good woolens; their bedding is of wool, and that in great
store j they are all well provided with household goods and



376 THE LABORER;

implements for husbandry. Every one, according to his
rank, has all things to make life easy and happy."

"Evidence before the, House of Commons, in 1824, stated
that the laboring classes of Suffolk were robbers too deeply
corrupted to be ever reclaimed. The sheriff of Wiltshire
stated the food of the field laborers to be potatoes. The
judges of the King's Court declared the general food of the
laborers to be bread and water, and that some had eaten
horse-flesh and brewer's grains.

"A law recently published tells the world that this nation,
once the greatest and the most moral in the world, is now
a nation of incorrigible thieves, the most impoverished, fall-
en, and degraded that ever saw the sunlight." Cobbett.

Such a condition of life is caused by selling the food of
laborers abroad for useless things. It is converting men,
who should be farmers, into sailors, custom-house officers,
life-insurers, and other pursuits that cause the misery of the
nation.

Burke, in his writings, said : "Religion is for the man in
humble life, to raise his nature, and to put him in mind of
a state in which the privileges of opulence will cease^ where
he will be equal by nature and more than equal by virtue."

Reasoning like this will not make the toiling man con-
tented, when earth has such an abundance. Burns has said :

"If I'm designed yon lordling's slave,

By nature's law designed,
Why was ever an independent wish

E'er implanted in my mind ?
If not, why am I subject to

His cruelty or scorn ?
Or why has man the will, the power,

To make his fellow mourn ?

See yonder poor o'erlabor'd wight, Who begs a brother of the earth

So abject, mean, and vile, To give him leave to toil."



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 377

Dr. Charming says: <l The fruits of modern civilization
are, a contempt for other's rights, fraud, oppression, a gam-
bling disposition in trade, reckless adventure, and commercial
revulsions tending to impoverish the laborer, and to render
insecure every condition of life. Relief is to come from the
new application of Christian principles, and of universal
justice to men."

M. Sismondi says: " There is spoliation. The rich man
robs the poor, when he draws from his fertile and easily
cultivated soil his opulence. Whilst he who has raised
this income, who with his sweat has bathed every produc-
tion, dies with hunger."

"The great living mass, who are the creators of wealth,
are trampled down with as much indifference as if they
were weeds." London Times, December 8^, 1844.

John Ball, a priest, in 1378, went up and down England,
inculcating on the minds of the common people that man-
kind were all derived from one common stock; and he ex-
plained to them that it was to support a few in riotous lux-
ury, in extravagance and debauchery, that many were re-
duced to starvation. He tried in vain to find out the right
a few had to bind the mass of their fellow-beings to their
will, because they happened to be born in a palace. He
also informed them all had an equal right to liberty and the
goods of nature, from which they had been deprived by the
ambition of the insolent few. Three years after this the
Wat Tyler rebellion broke out, caused by these circum-
stances: The French wars of Edward III caused much ex-
pense, to meet which a tax was put on every person fifteen
years of age and upward. A collector of this tax went to
the house of Tyler, and demanded the tax for the mother
and her daughter. A dispute arose with the mother about
the age of her child. The ruffian resorted to his usual bru-



378 THE LABORER;

tal method of deciding the difficulty. The indignation of
the mother and the terror of the daughter caused such an
outcry that a multitude was quickly assembled, which hast-
ened the father, who came with his blacksmith hammer, and
laid the agent of oppression dead at his feet with a single
blow. Tyler soon had 100,000 armed men. The king fled
to the Tower for safety. Tyler demanded an audience. He
told the king his people were perishing on account of taxa-
tion, and his father did not treat them so. The young king
said: "He did not know the people suffered." The atten-
dants gathered around to hear Tyler tell his story, which
caused him unthinkingly to lay his hand on his sword. This
offended Wm. Walworth, Lord Mayor of London, and he
struck him with his spear. Another thrust him in the side.
The arrows of the angry insurgents were about to be sent
among the royal retainers. The king, with great presence
of mind, threw himself among them, and said : tl I grant all
your demands ; follow me, I will be your leader." The
concessions made were afterward revoked, and the leaders
were executed. This rebellion loosened the chains of the
people and taught kings a lesson.

The demands were -first) freedom from the condition of
serfs ; second, the reduction of the lands to a moderate price ;
thir^ that they be charged with no more taxes than their
forefathers paid ; fourth, the right to sell in all the fairs in the
kingdom; fifth) a field rent instead of villanage services;
sixth, the right to hunt and fish.

.Wm. Godwin, a philosophical recluse, during the storm
of the French Revolution, sent forth out of his retreat
arousing thoughts and burning words, that gave vigor and
life to the heaving mass of minds around him. In his
" Political Justice" is this : " Kings are the most unfortunate
and the most misled of all human beings. Royalty allies



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 379

itself to vice. Kings debauched from their birth, and
ruined by their situation, can not endure intercourse with
virtue. Monarchy is so unnatural an institution, that man-
kind have, at all times, strongly suspected it was unfriendly
to their happiness. The man who, with difficulty, earns his
scanty subsistence, can not behold the ostentatious splendor
of a king without being visited by some sense of injustice.
He inevitably questions, in his mind, the utility of an officer
whose services are hired at so enormous a price.

" These reflections are so unavoidable, that kings them-
selves have often been aware of the danger of their imagi-
nary happiness. They have sometimes been alarmed at the
progress of thinking, and have often regarded the prosperity
of their subjects as a source of terror and apprehension.
Hence, the well known maxims of monarchical govern-
ments, that it is necessary to keep the people in a state of
poverty and endurance, in order to render them submissive,
and ease is the parent of rebellion. Hence, this lesson is per-
petually read to monarchs : ' Render your subjects prosper-
ous, and they will speedily refuse to labor; they will be-
come stubborn, proud, unsubmissive to the yoke, and ripe
for revolt. It is impotence and penury alone that will ren-
der them supple, and prevent them from rebelling against
the dictates of authority.' Fenelon's Te/emachus.

"A second source of destructive passions, by which the
peace of society is interrupted, is to be found in the luxury,
pageantry, and magnificence with which enormous wealth
is usually accompanied. Human beings are capable of en-
countering, with cheerfulness, hardships when they are im-
partially shared by the rest of society The rich are, in all
such countries directly or indirectly the legislators of a State;
and are perpetually reducing oppression into a system. Leg-
islation, in almost every country, is in favor of the rich."



380 THE LABORER;

Let no one think that if we mitigate human misery the
earth will be too populous. It has been computed that the
20,000,000 of acres in Ireland, will support 100,000,000
of persons in potatoes. Sharon Turner tells us that the
rice that can be grown in China will maintain 900,000,000
of people. Let no one harden their hearts with Malthu-
sian doctrines, or think the earth will be too populous, and
look on little children with pain, and imagine they will in-
crease faster than food. Hugh Miller tells us that pam-
pered animals do not increase as fast as those in an opposite
condition. If universal luxury should prevail, it will no
doubt put a "check on population."

Wm. Godwin has given us an "Essay on Population," in
which he asserts that three-fourths of the earth is a wilder-
ness. This book was to show how absurd were the teach-
ings of Malthus. Godwin, by these quotations, taken from
Montesquieu's "Persian Letters," proves that our world is
not as populous as it was:

"Italy, though its present population is confined to the
towns, is a mere vacancy and a desert. It seems they ex-
ist for no other purpose than to mark the spot where those
magnificent cites stood, with whose policy and wars history
is filled.

"Rome contained a greater population than any one of
the most powerful kingdoms of Europe does at present.
There were single Roman citizens, who possessed 20,000
slaves for rustic purposes.

"Sicily, in times of old, contained within its shores pow-
erful kingdoms and flourishing states, which have entirely
disappeared.

"Greece is so wholly deserted as not to contain the one-
hundreth part of the number of its former inhabitants.

"Spain, formerly so abundant in men, exhibits nothing at



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 381

the present day, but a variety of provinces, almost without
inhabitants ; and France is an unpeopled region compared
with the ancient Gaul that Cassar described to us.

"The North of Europe is in a manner stripped of its
people. The times are no more when she is obliged to
separate her people into portions, and to send them forth in
swarms and colonies, to seek some new spot where they
might dwell at large.

" Poland and Turkey in Europe are almost without in-
habitants.

"Asia is not in a much better condition. Asia Minor,
which boasted of so many powerful monarchies, and so pro-
digious a number of great cities in her limits, with Greater
Asia, or the part subject to Turkey, is in no better condition.

"Persia, if we compare it with its former condition, we
shall see it contains but a very small residue of the popu-
lation which anciently furnished the innumerable hosts of
Xerxes and Darien.

"As to the smaller states, which were placed in the vi-
cinity of these great empires, they are literally unpeopled,
such as Circassia, Guriel, and Imiretta. The princes over
the extent of the country in which they now preside have
scarcely under their subjection as many as 50,000 beings.

"Africa has always been so unpenetrated that we can not
speak of it with the same precision as of the other parts of
the globe ; but, if we only turn our attention to the coast
of the Mediterranean the portions which are known we
see how wretched it has sunk since the period in which it
first formed a Roman province of the highest kind. Its
princes are now so feeble, that they are strictly the smallest
powers in existence.

" Egypt has not suffered less than the countries I have
mentioned.



382 THE LABORER;

u ln a word, I review the different nations of the earth,
and I find nothing hut destruction. I seem to see a race
of beings who have escaped from the ravages of a univer-
sal plague or a universal famine.

"Upon a calculation, I am led to think that the earth
does not contain the fiftieth part of the population that in-
habited it in the time of Caesar. What is more astonish-
ing, that its population grows thinner every day; and if it
goes on at this rate, in one thousand years the human race
will become extinct.

" Here, then, my friends, we are presented with the most
fearful catastrophe that imagination can conceive of, yet it
is hardly attended too, because it proceeds by insensible
degrees, and spreads itself over such a series of ages. This
very thing incontestibly proves, that there is an innate vice,
a concealed and inaccessible poison, a wasting disease, which
clings to our nature and can not be removed."

David Hume wrote an "Essay on Population," which
contradicts the author of Lettres Persanms. The strange
doctrines of Malthus found an opponent in Sharon Turner,
a legal gentleman, whose life begun in 1761, and ended in
1847. By improving his leisure hours he has left a pleas-
ing, enlightening, and enduring monument in his " History
of the Anglo-Saxons" and "Sacred History of the World."
Each is in three volumes. The last begins with man in
his creation, brings him through the deluge, and down the
disturbed stream of time to the present age. Malthus, in the
last books, gets some hard blows for asserting his incongru-
ous, contemptible ideas that man's increase lessens his food.
Turner's books contain this : "When the work is indispen-
sable we can only take such laborers as we can get. As the
working population increases, selection becomes possible."
This applies to the idle. He treats on the "food supplies."



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 383

Mr. Wesley wrote on almost every subject. He did not
write on political subjects. The code of rules he gave to
his people will make any nation rich. His rules forbid or-
naments on dress, houses, or equipages. His rules make
him a Christian philosopher of the highest order. No one
in modern times has exceeded him in benefiting mankind.
He said : "The early Christians made no account of per-
ishable goods. They despised all that luxury had intro-
duced, all the idle expense in magnificent buildings, costly
apparel, sumptuous furniture, and vessels of gold. As to
their dress, they wore no glaring colors, mostly white, the
emblem of purity. They used no costly stuffs, rings, jew-
elry, or perfumes ; nothing fine or delicate. Plainness, mod-
esty, gravity, and a contempt for ornament was visible in
their whole exterior."

In his "Sermon on Money," it is thus written: "Do not
waste any part, merely in gratifying the eye, by superfluous
or expensive apparel, or by needless ornaments. Waste no
part of it in curiously adorning your houses; in superfluous
ornaments or expensive furniture, costly pictures, gildings,
books, paintings; in elegant rather than useful gardens.

"Who would expend any thing in gratifying these desires,
if he considered that to gratify them is to increase them?
Nothing can be more certain than this: daily experience
shows, the more they are indulged they increase the more.
Whenever, therefore, you expend any thing to please your
taste or other senses, you pay so much for sensuality. If
you lay out money to please your eye, you give so much for
an increase of curiosity for a stronger attachment to the
pleasures that perish from the using. While you are pur-
chasing any thing that men applaud, you are purchasing
more vanity. Had you not, then, enough vanity, sensuality,
and curiosity before ? Was there need of any such addition?



384 THE LABORER;

And would you pay for it, too ? What manner of wisdom is
this? Would not the literally throwing your money into
the sea be a less mischievous folly ?"

Mr Paley, in his "Evidences of Christianity," said, you
can tell Methodists by their plainness, they resembled the
early Christians. Rev. Mr. Paley would not say that now.
If Mr. Wesley could see now the costly female colleges that
are erected, he could say, in the language of Mary Woll-
stonecraft: "A few brilliant minds at the expense of all the
rest." He could also say: The costly wood and stone carv-
ings, frescoed ceiling, glass stained, effigied, mullioned win-
dows, carpeted floors, and easy sofas that the pupils enjoy,
are at the expense of the comforts of some one else. To de-
monstrate this is easy : The parents of these pupils became
Christians, which made them thoughtful and money saving.
These savings, instead of being invested in lands and looms,
cultivated by the investor, are put in bridges, roads, stocks,
corner lots, and wild lands, the profits of which keep them
in learned, splendid idleness.

These investing Christians are conscious that their gains
through the State's care can go into the people's pockets. If
these pupils, the children of light and grace, would work at
farm work two hours a day, during the planting and reaping
time, and two hours daily in winter spinning and weaving,
they would have created their own food and clothing, which
would make them feel happier and better, and relieve others
from the burden of keeping them, who would find time for
home learning. Mr. Wesley, when young, made a vow that
he never would be rich. He said: "If I am worth more
than fifty pounds at my death, call me a thief and a robber."



CHAPTER XVII.

REASONS FOR REFORMS.

DR. PALEY ON SOCIETY A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE'S HOME COST OF IN-
TEMPERANCE THE FOOL'S PENCE THEORY OF GOVERNMENTS WHAT WK
PAY FOR BEING GOVERNED JOHN ADAMS' PLEA FOR THE CONSTITUTIONS.

" Seize upon truth wherever found,
On Christian or on heathen ground;
Among your friends, among your foes,
The plant's divine where'er it grows." COWPER.

|R. WILLIAM PALEY, D. D., ARCHDEACON OF
CARLISLE, in his "Principles of Moral and Polit-
ical Philosophy," says: "If you should see a flock
of pigeons in a field of corn, and if (instead of each picking
where and what it liked, taking just as much as it wanted,
and no more) you should see ninety-nine of them gathering
all they got into a heap, reserving nothing for themselves
but the chaff and the refuse ; keeping this heap for one,
and that the weakest, perhaps worst, pigeon of the flock ;
sitting around, and looking on all the winter whilst this one
was devouring, throwing about, and wasting it; and if a
pigeon more hardy or hungry than the rest, touched a grain
of the hoard, all the others instantly flying upon it, and tear-
ing it to pieces ; if you should see this, you would see noth-
ing more than what is every day practiced and established
among men.

"Among men, you see the ninety and nine toiling and




386 THE LABORE

scraping together a heap of superfluities for one (and this one,
too, oftentimes the feeblest aud worst of the whole set, a
child, a woman, a madman, or a fool) ; getting nothing for
themselves all the while but a little of the coarsest pro-
vision which their own industry produces ; looking quietly
on, while they see all the fruits of their labor spent or
spoiled ; and if one of the number take or touch a particle
of the hoard, the others joining against him, and hanging
him for the theft."

This is found in "Littell's Living Age: " "At a meeting
of the King's Council, at which a bishop was to have been
appointed, a member proposed Dr. Paley. At the mention
of his name, the king cried out : 'What ! what ! what ! Pig-
eon Paley! make Pigeon Paley a bishop? No, no, no;
never!'"

In society we often see men, who toil hard all day for
others, and scarcely get a sufficiency of good food, or a de-
cent suit of Sunday clothing in which to go to church and
learn the moral duties of life.* The reason why this is so,
men work at unprofitable employments. To illustrate this,
if you visit a cabinet wareroom in the principal street of
this city [Cincinnati], you will see book-cases worth $2,000,
bedsteads worth $1,000, and chairs $100 each. It will ex-
cite wonder at the delicate carving, fine polished woods, in-
laid with silver, satin and ebony wood from Brazil, mother

* "Brethren, you have in your city as much misery as there is anywhere. I
have seen more than one family in a room. I am often called to bury their
dead. I invite these poor to church. Then I call and inquire, if they had
been to church. The reply was : 'We looked in and saw the merchants and
bankers, and could not overcome the difficulties.' I said they are a good sort
of people, and want to do you good." A part of a sermon preached in Wes-
Uy Chapel, Cincinnati, Nov. 3Oth, 1868. By the Rev. Charles Ferguson.
Plainness of dress, as recommended by Mr. Wesley, cures these "difficulties'*
and invites people to church.



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 387

of pearl, ivory, and tortoise shell, forming beautiful mosaic,
a landscape, or a bird of brilliant plumage. Often a bed-
stead has on it a carved hunting scene. The head-board is a
Carved mass of festoons and foliage, surrounding a bird's nest
with the bird on the edge of it cut in high relief. We of-
ten see a marble-topped table, with its whimsical-carved
frame, covered with gold. If laboring men turn reformers
they are often taunted with being idle, drunken, worthless
vagabonds, and if they had any energy they would rise above
their condition. Those making this assertion are well off,
and generally think others can become so. The money that
pays for this finery is often ill-gotten, and those from whom
k is taken should be making comforts for themselves. It is
impossible, from the nature of things, that the maker of these
articles should be in any other condition than that of pov-
erty, because some people use a thousand times more labor
than others do.

A Candidate 's Home. "The mansion is a most magnificent
one, with a finish such as is seldom seen this side of the
water. At every turn, evidences of European travel meet
the eye, while the floors of the principal apartments are laid
in marble mosaic of elaborate patterns. Attached to the
main building is an elegant floral conservatory, in the style
of a grotto, filled with all the choicest exotics, peeping out
from every little cave, in every variety and color. At a
little distance from this there is a succession of hot-houses,
in which I noticed, growing most luxuriantly, bananas and
pine-apples, and other tropical fruits. The grounds, which
are seventy-three acres in extent, are most charmingly di-
versified, and in all the highest state of ornamental cultiva-
tion. The views from the front and rear verandas of the
main building are wonderfully grand and beautiful." 51

* Cincinnati Commercial, July 15, 1868.



388 THE LABORER;

In addition to this he has no doubt velvet carpets, and his
seats are covered with soft shaggy plush, or satin damask.
Laborers, sitting on them not knowing their softness, would
be frightened at the sinking sensation. A truthful epitaph.

To keep from

falling into oblivion the name of

GEO. II PENDLEDON,

simple-minded and homeless men dug, polished,

carved, lettered, and sculptured this marble.
Ci He rose in the morning and went to bed at night,"

for years.

He could say with Watts, u There are a number of us born

Merely to eat up the corn."
His plans to pay a nation's debt was an inundation of

paper money.

He was an imitator of Charles XII, of Sweden,
who paid his debts with copper that was by his decree

made to be of the same value as silver.

He had no plans to ameliorate the condition of

impoverished, suffering men.

His "Escort," numbering, perhaps, 200 men, left this city,
and went to the city of New York, to name this man to be
the chief ruler. They took with them fifteen barrels of
beer, and five of whisky.* Said a paper of that city, "Their

*I asked a printer, an eye-witness to this carousal, if these things were so.
He said : The amount of liquor was, perhaps, twice as much. At their quar-
ters in the city, these " commissary stores " were put in a corner and given away.



A REMEDY FOR HIS WRONGS. 389



procession had a woe-stricken and dilapidated look." What
pain this scene must have given the moral Democrats, to see
their delegates under the power of bad drink, while naming
a chief ruler ! The result of such conduct is, that very bad
men get promoted. What a reproach it is that New York
City, filled with book and Bible printing-houses, the source
of those noble charities that are felt over this land and the
earth, should elect a John Morrissey, a pugilist, to Congress,
to make rules for the moral part of community, who has the
ability more than others, to knock a person down.

This Pendeldon who lives so finely in his sister's home, has
splendid wealth, a father's patrimony. His biographer tells
us he has traveled among the ruins of Thebes, and gazed
upon the Pyramids of Egypt. The money taken from the
dwellers on the banks of the Ohio, was given to the Arabs
on the Nile. In his life, sent out to prove that he was a prop-
er person to be the " standard bearer of Democracy,'* noth-
ing is said of his visiting the afflicted, and helping to dry up
their tears; nor is any thing said about founding asylums
for the unfortunate.



Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 30 of 33)