facing each other in combats which often assumed the proportions of a regular battle-till all culminated at length in the terrible day, when seventeen men were hanged on one gallows for frame-breaking, in the market-place of York.

Nor was even this all. In its eagerness to remedy the evil, the Government only made it worse. The mischiefs caused by the abolition of the Workhouse Test in 1815, and by the blundering administration of the old Poor Law, were aggravated a hundred-fold by the adoption of David Ricardo's false and monstrous theory that the price of labor is regulated by that of food and other necessaries, instead of vice versa. This astounding heresy, although refuted in advance by Adam Smith as early as 1776, was eagerly read and believed. It formed the basis of Sir Robert Peel's home policy down to the time of the Irish famine, and the foundation of the worst error ever committed by an English Cabinet-viz.: the notorious Corn Laws (more justly styled "bread-taxes" by the faminestricken working men) which a popular poet of the time denounced in language that has certainly no lack of vigor:

"Make haste, slow rogues! prohibit trade, prohibit honest gain, Turn all the good that God hath made to fear, and hate, and pain, Till beggars all, assassins all, all cannibals we be,

And death shall have no funeral from ship-less sea to sea!"*

But this bitter trial was not sent in vain. In that season of universal gloom, misery, and despair, the first germ of the coming harvest took root. The English working man now saw clearly that that which met and foiled him at every turn was the power of combination among his opponents, and that the same power might be used with equal or even greater effect by his own class. Divided, they were as loose pebbles scattered by a great wave; united, they would form the breakwater which should scatter that wave in its turn. The result was the modern Trades-Union.

The obloquy heaped upon this famous system is a striking instance of the "faulty generalization" condemned by Lord Bacon, which makes so many well-meaning blockheads excommunicate Scott and Cooper for the sins of Paul de Kock, or

* Ebenezer Elliot, Corn Law Rhymes.

look askance at Shakespeare because his name is associated with the dreadful word "theatre." Confounding all Trades-Unions with the vitriol-throwers of Manchester and the "ratteners of Sheffield, many worthy people regard the whole system as a kind of unhallowed modern Vehm-Gericht, given to turning out by torch-light at unlawful hours, in black masks and other sinful paraphernalia, with Wat Tyler for its president, Jack Cade and Thomas Münzer for its officers, and the robbing, murdering, or blowing-up of all respectable and Christian householders for its avowed object.

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Now, no sensible man has ever attempted to deny that the Trades-Union was at first used far more as a weapon than as a shield. Rough and uncultured men, furious with long suffering, which threatened to deepen into absolute starvation, were not likely to be very nice in their choice of means of deliverance; and direct appeals to violence were unhappily only too consonant with the spirit of the age. The national temper, rendered savage by twenty years of almost unbroken war, sanctioned and even encouraged, half a century ago, acts which would now be universally condemned. In days when George IV himself drove a common bruiser in his own drag to the scene of an impending prize-fight, and with his own august hands assisted his favorite to "peel" for the fray, a Yorkshire "artisan" might well think himself justified in knocking down the man whom he considered to have "takken t' bread out o' th' childer's mouths." That far too many Trades-Unions have, even in more recent days, abetted and even deliberately planned outrages of the worst kind, is well known to every man who has studied the subject at all, but it as little follows that every Trades-Union in existence should therefore be condemned and extirpated, as that fire should be so because it may consume a house as well as warm it. Applied mistakenly and violently, the combination system has certainly done much harm; applied temperately and judiciously, it has as certainly done much good. The question to ask is, on which side does the balance lie? On this point we have conclusive evidence in the testimony of the Government Commissioners deputed to report upon the Trades-Union

system in 1869-the very last men, surely, to err on the side of partiality. "It is a fact worthy of notice," says their report, "that the fewest disputes with employers, and the greatest steadiness in the rate of wages, have been observable in those trades which have the strongest and the most extended Unions." This statement obviously implies that, in the cases referred to, the workmen have been at once strong enough to carry their point without a struggle, and wise enough to do so with as little quarrelling and heart-burning as possible. Were further evidence needed, the history of 1878 would alone suffice to furnish it. In the April of that year, a number of Lancashire mill-owners, finding their trade falling off, judged it necessary to make a reduction of ten per cent. in the wages of their workmen. What did the men do? To a measure which their grandfathers would have answered by the instant firing of every mill, and the attempted murder of every master, for ten miles round, they replied by offering either to submit the matter to arbitration, or to compromise it by accepting a reduction of five per cent. instead of the proposed ten. Had the combination system done no more for England than this, it would unquestionably have "deserved well of the State."

. But it has done more. Since it first came into operation, the whole world of labor has been remodelled. The workingclasses, who had formerly no appeal save to torch or bludgeon, have now spokesmen and orators of their own, whose influence no one can deny. The passing of the Ten Hours' Act put an end to overwork. The iniquitous system which stunted, maimed, and even killed hundreds of young children every year, by forcing them into employments wholly unfit for them, is now prohibited by law. Meanwhile, the condition of the laboring class as a whole, despite of its many drawbacks and much severe privation, is visibly and steadily improving. The Trades-Unions themselves, at first so few and scanty, now reckon both their numbers and their funds by hundreds of thousands. The "friendly societies," which are now studding the whole length and breadth of England, with an aggregate of 1,787,291 members, and a total capital of £8,630,525, are

largely recruited from the ranks of the working men. An Agricultural Laborers' Union has been formed on the model of the operative combinations; and although its success is but slight as yet, the fact betokens, at least, a tendency in the right direction. The statistics of the small savings-banks, always a sure criterion of the state of English labor, are even more significant. In 1863, the number of depositors was 3,080,402, and the total amount deposited £27,187,401, an average of between £8 and £9 per man. In 1873, the former figure had risen to 4,002,567, and the latter to £63,471,412, an average of nearly £16 per man; while the returns of the past year, notwithstanding the marked depression of trade, show a considerable advance in both.

These are undoubtedly great and precious results; but, as Frederick the Great said in the crisis of the Seven Years' War, "all that has been done only shows how much more is still left to do." The great work can never be pronounced complete till capital and labor shall fully understand each other; and they will do so only when the last vestige of the old feudal tradition shall have been rooted out of every land from the Caspian to the Atlantic-when the Russian peasant shall give his vote in a free national Parliament, the English laborer till a farm of his own upon the ground once occupied by a corner of "his Grace's" deer-park, and the German artisan have a voice in deciding whether he and thousands of his brethren shall be sent to rot on foreign battle-fields without even knowing why they are thus sacrificed.

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1. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge: Statement
and Exposition of Certain Harmonies of the Solar
System. By STEPHEN ALEXANDER, LL. D.: 1875.
2. Système du Monde. Par P. S. LAPLACE.

ALL changes in nature are subject to laws, which man has been able only in part to understand. The forces of the universe constantly manifest themselves in either neutralizing the action of one another in producing equilibrium, or in producing changes in the position and the physical constitution of bodies. In one department of nature we see worlds in existence, and in another organic bodies-animals and plants. Man has learned something of the nature of the life-forces, and of the laws which move worlds and regulate their motions. But he is not satisfied with this knowledge. From early times philosophers have tried to account for the existence of things, especially unorganized bodies, and they still keep the problem under consideration. This clearly proves that man inherits from nature the desire to investigate and the faculties to do so. The outward phenomena of the physical universe, if we may be allowed the expression, early attracted his attention, and many years ago he made an effort to discover the process which produced worlds and systems of worlds. The continuation of this effort has finally given us a theory of creation known as the Nebular Hypothesis, remotely connected with which is the science of geology.

The earliest cosmogony of the Indian and the Egyptian schools of philosophy ascribes the first creation of the world to an infinite Being who had existed from all eternity. He

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