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and pursue an official career. And perhaps he was not aware of all that was involved, when he took charge of a bill to regulate factory labour, called by the now historic name of the Ten Hours Bill, which its original projector was obliged to relinquish on his rejection for the new reformed Parliament in 1833. Lord Ashley was a year younger than the century, and was consequently then in the full flower of youthful manhood, with all his life before him. One of the few clergymen who supported the movement was sent to town to ask the young statesman to take this work in hand.

"As to Lord Ashley" (writes this gentleman, the Rev. G. S. Bull), "he is noble, benevolent, and resolute in mind, as he is manly in person, I have been favoured with several

interviews, and all of the most sat

isfactory kind. On one occasion his lordship said, 'I have only zeal and good intentions to bring to the work. I can have no merit in it; that must all belong to Mr Sadler. It seems no one else will undertake it, so I willand without cant or hypocrisy, which I hate. I assure you I dare not refuse the request you have so earnestly pressed. I believe it is my duty to God and to the poor, and I trust! He will support me. Talk of trouble What do we come to Parliament for?"

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keep himself free for the enterprise he had taken in hand. It will not, however, impair Lord Ashley's character in the opinion of any reasonable person to show that he felt, and felt deeply, the slight put upon him in this respect by the head of his party. His note in his diary on Sir R. Peel's offer of a Lordship of the Admirality, shows us the natural pangs of a proud and sensitive though self-contained spirit. “Had I not, by God's grace and the study of religion, subdued," he writes. "the passion of my youth I should now have been heartbroken. Canning, eight years ago, offered me as a neophyte a seat at one of the Boards, the first step in a young statesman's life. If I am not now worthy of more, it is surely better to cease to be a candidate for public honours." Five years after, it is with a still more profound sense of humiliation and injury that he records the offer made to him of an appointment in, of all things in the world, the Royal Household. On this occasion the pinch was evidently very

keen :

"I have been fourteen years in Parliament, twice in office; in both cases I have won, thank God, esteem and honour. I have taken part in many debates. I have proposed great with the most important undertakquestions. I have been mixed up ings of the day, and been prominent in all. Vast numbers are good enough to have confidence in my principles and character; no one questions the great services I have rendered to the Conservative cause,—and all this was dinners and carrying a white wand! to be henceforth employed in ordering The thing was a plain, cruel, unnecessary insult."

Why Peel should thus have slighted a man who has been proved to have possessed so many of the qualities of a statesman, it is im

possible now to say: perhaps he found him too independent, too crotchety, too much bent upon his own great projects. At all events it was much better for these projects that he should not "take office," and to this determination he finally came.

Space does not permit us to enter into the horrible condition of affairs which by degrees forced Lord Ashley into the position of a popular agitator. The indictment which the Laureate brings against England in his poem may be true. The hopes of sixty years ago may not have been realised as dreamers believed; but it is not yet fifty years since the cry of the children, lifted in many an eloquent voice, and dumbly breathed in myriads of little desolate hearts, in the depths of coal-mines, and in the stifling factories, where babies of five years old were kept at work longer than grown men will labour now, with every horrible accompaniment of neglect and cruelty-ran over all England, in anguish and indignation. The details are such as seem incredible in these days. Miserable little children kept in darkness and nakedness in the pits for fourteen hours a-day; women employed like beasts of burden; whole generations choked by the cotton flue, dying old and decrepit at twenty. Such were some of the conditions of labour when Lord Ashley began his work. There is a curious and amusing story told of the demonstration given to Lord Palmerston by two delegates from the cotton-spinners, of the labour' required by the "spinning-mule," in working which the women and children employed had, according to careful measurements and calculations, to walk or trot twentyfive or thirty miles a-day." This was done by the use of "two large lounging-chairs upon castors."

"Placing them in the middle of the room, they were made to perform the Mr Haworth being placed, as it were, operations of the spinning-mule,'

and knee pushing them back to their at the wheel-handle, and with arm destination, or to what is technically called the roller-beam; whilst Mr Grant performed the duties of the piecer-trotting from one side of the room to the other, following up the carriage, leaning over the imaginary advancing 'faller,' and picking up the supposed broken ends."

Lord Palmerston himself was made to help in the experiment, and declared himself convinced by so lifelike an illustration of what the labour was. Thus, without education, without rest-" where all day long the wheels were droning, turning"-the children toiled and died unheeded. Lord Tennyson, had he thought of it, might have made a saving record, among all the failures, of this amelioration at least.

Not very long ago, we heard a travelling lecturer-one of those who have been turned out of working men into itinerant agitators— discoursing in a little English town to the effect that all the measures favourable to working men-among others, this great bill had been passed by the operations of Liberal politicians, and against all that the Tories could do. Perhaps he believed what he said; for, as a matter of fact, the final victory was won under a Liberal Government; and no doubt a great many even of his educated hearers, in the lapse of time, or because most of them had been born after the struggle, believed him. This book will perhaps convince its readers how far such a statement is from the truth. It mattered little, no doubt, whether Lord Ashley had been Whig or Tory; it was of the nature of the man that he should thus devote

himself. But, as a matter of fact, he was a Conservative of the old school, little tolerant of political innovations, though penetrated to the heart by those principles of justice and mercy which made it impossible for him to see a fellowcreature wronged and hold his peace. And he was hotly opposed throughout by the most prominent members of the popular party, Mr Cobden and Mr Bright in particular assailing him with the most violent and bitter antagonism, though the first of these gentlemen had the heart to be moved at last by the Tory lord's selfdevotion. There is perhaps some excuse for them in the absolute faith which they had in their own panacea of the repeal of the Corn Laws, which was to amend everything. It was highly ungenerous, however, if they had any knowledge of the real state of affairs (though perhaps not unnatural), to taunt the champion of the poor cotton-spinners with the miserable cottages and wages of the Dorsetshire labourers on his father's property, over which he was so far from having any control, the most moderate statement the question was enough to disturb the reconciliation which, after many years of estrangement, had temporarily brought together the then Lord Shafterbury and his

son.

that

on

The great measure for which he had fought for years was at last made into law when Lord Ashley was out of Parliament. He had not the gratification of giving the last touch to his work. After the achievement was complete, he thus sums up briefly the list of his assistants and his opponents :—

"Fielden and Brotherton were the only 'practical' men, as the phrase then went, who supported me; and to 'practical' prophecies of overthrow

of trade, of ruin to the operatives
themselves, I could only oppose
humanity and general principles.
The newspapers were, on the whole
friendly some very much so: a
few, especially the local journals, in-
conceivably bitter, though balanced
by local papers sound and hearty in
Out of Parliament
their support.
there was in society every form of
good-natured and compassionate con-
tempt. In the provinces the anger
and irritation of the opponents were
almost fearful; and men among first
classes of work-people, overlookers
and others, were afraid to avow their
sentiments. In very few instances did
any mill-owner appear; in still fewer
the minister of any religious denom-
ination. At first not one except the
Rev. Mr Bull of Brierly, near Brad-
ford; and even to the last, very few,
so cowed were they (or in themselves
so indifferent) by the overwhelming
influence of the cotton lords.

Bright was ever my most malignant opponent. Cobden, though bitterly hostile, was better than Bright. He abstained from opposition on the Collieries Bill, and gave positive support on the Calico Printworks Bill. Gladstone is on a level with the rest. He gave us support to the Ten Hours Bill; he voted with Sir R. Peel to rescind the famous division in favour of it. He was the only member who endeavoured to delay the bill which delivered women and children from

mines and pits; and never did he say a word on behalf of the factory children, until, while defending slavery in the West Indies, he taunted Buxton with indifference to the slavery in England. Lord Brougham was among my most heated opponents. He spoke strongly against the bill in 1847. Miss Martineau also gave her voice and strength in resistance of the measure.

"By degrees public men came round. Russell, then Lord John, did me disservice while he was Minister; he espoused the cause when turned into Opposition. Then Sir G. Grey adhered, and towards the end Macaulay gave us one of his brilliant and effective speeches."

In the House of Lords "the Bishops behaved gallantly, 13 of

Mr

The book is perhaps not too big for the quantity of matter with which the biographer had to deal, but three vast volumes is a great deal to appropriate to any man. The reader, however, will find much that is both interesting and valuable in these pages. Hodder has done the work neither ill nor well. He has not produced a memorable biography, but he has been thoroughly conscientious and careful, and Lord Ashley's own diaries supply full material for an estimate of the character of so great a public servant and so excellent a man.

them remaining to vote;" and less goodness of all his ways and indeed the Upper House was works, something at which we can always ready to do what justice smile. it could to the oppressed workpeople. The bill was finally passed in the summer of 1850, after the unceasing labours of seventeen years the best years of Lord Ashley's life. He was in no mood even then to rest from his work, but for thirty years longer continued to exert himself for the best interests of the poor. He was not a man who ever seems (except in his private circle) to have awakened any warmth of personal feeling. His disposition was reserved, and his aspect cold. But on several occasions the restrained fervour and unmistakable earnestness of his great plea moved to the heart that assembly which it is so difficult to move, the House of Commons; and long before his career was over, the name of Lord Shaftesbury was a power in the country. We could easily find out the shadows in this noble life, and show how he mistook magnitudes like other men, and was almost more enthusiastic over the establishment of the Bishopric at Jerusalem than over the success of his own great work; how the establishment of the Evangelical Alliance appeared to him one of the greatest facts of the age, and the Puseyites the worst enemies of the country; how he admired "Satan" Montgomery, and with a certain solemn folly not unattractive, bowed to the Jews whom he met about Carlsbad or some other German watering-place, to show his respect for their nation! Thus he was not wiser than the rest of us erring mortals, but leaves us, along with the recollection of his high aims and the spot

Slighter sketches in what may be called either autobiography or personal gossip, or a mixture of both, have become so much a fashion of late, that such books as those of Sir Francis Hastings Doyle1 and the late Hobart Pacha,2 scarcely seem to call for serious criticism. Besides, what has the critic to do with a work (if it can be called a work) which is already in its fourth edition? Shade of Firmilian! who does not recollect that the poet-victim's startled statement, "I have a third edition in the press," sealed (and who can say unjustly?) the doom of that fortunate-unfortunate! Therefore it is clear we can do Sir Francis Hastings Doyle no harm if we say that his respectable maunderings are of the smallest possible interest, that most of his jokes are flat and his stories pointless, and that a certain amusing self-complacency, especially in respect to his poetry, is the chief and indeed almost the only feature in the book. We ourselves re

1 Reminiscences and Opinions. By Sir F. H. Doyle. London: 2 Sketches from my Life. By the late Admiral Hobart Pascha. mans & Co.

Longmans & Co.
London: Long-

and can thus afford to be a poet, so to speak, for love-an amateur, and not a professional. Here are the views of Sir Francis in respect to the distinguished appointment which was the crowning glory of his life :

"In 1861, as I have said, I was elected Poetry Professor at Oxford. The holder of this professorship, I think, ought to fill a more important place than he does in university life. He should have a much larger salary, do a great deal more work, and exerof criticism and thought. cise jurisdiction over wider portions In point of fact, as I have always thought, he should reside in Oxford, devote his whole time to his business, and be professor not of poetry alone but of literature in general. I do not think I did my work ill, so far as there was regretted that during Mr Arnold's any work to be done; but I always ten years I had not prepared for my duties by a formal and methodical course of studies in the proper direction. The fact is, that the Bishop of Rochester (I had once dreamed of succeeding to him) retired from his office at the end of the first five years, thereby taking me by surprise. Before I had time to consider the matter under this new aspect, Mr Arnold was in the field, and I let him walk over; but in middle life years glide away at a great pace, and I found Arnold's reign ended before I knew where I was; then after some hesita

member, several years ago, travel- civil servant at the same time, ling from Oxford in the same carriage with a cheerful gentleman who had the kindness, between Didcot and Reading, to inform us, apropos de bottes, that he was the Professor of Poetry! a piece of information which at first moved us to more amusement than reverence, and set us to work puzzling our brains in our ignorance to remember who on earth the Professor of Poetry might be! And why was he made the Professor of Poetry, one wonders? Sir Francis Hastings Doyle thinks the conundrum a very easy one. He knows more about his own poetry than anybody else does, and naturally has a better opinion of it than most other people. It is indeed a fact that is seldom out of his mind. He likes to tell it, in case they might not know, to the public in general, as well as to chance travellers whom he meets in rail way carriages. The recollection of this fact gives him a sincere pleasure, a sort of mental elation which tends at once to the aimable and the communicative. "Had he lived and given the strength of his mind to poetry, I feel quiet sure that he would have beaten ME easily in the long-run," he says, with good-humoured nanimity, speaking of Arthur Hallam, that name made sacred by death and song, which to so many of his contemporaries is as the name of a saint or demigod, "but his compositions," adds Sir Francis, "though full of promise to a discerning eye, were at the moment somewhat crude and immature, so that the preference given to me over him was not wholly unreasonable." If Lord Tennyson had been at Eton, no doubt the same disparity would have been visible. It is a fine thing to be a poet, and perhaps a finer thing still when one is a

mag

The lectures

tion I allowed the old half-forgotten
wish to wake up again, and offered
myself as a candidate.
I published afterwards were, I flatter
myself, good of their kind. They had
always been well received in the lec-
ture-room, and were afterwards wel-
comed in print by a large majority of
deserved.
my reviewers quite as kindly as they
spiteful noticer set to work after his
fashion, treating me with that mag-
nificent contempt in which our un-
known Aristarchuses are apt to in-
dulge themselves behind their visors."

I need not add that the

We hope the ex-Professor of Poetry will not confound us in the

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