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Die a grave, and dig it deep,
Dig a grave, and dig deep,
Wherein England's Shame may sleep. Openly, in front of day, In the broadest public way, Dig that grave !--the ground will be Hallow'd by its own ministry.
Dig a grave, and dig it deep,
Wherein England's Shame may sleep. Dig the grave with freemen's swords, Keen thoughts and determined words ! Let the realmless tyrant's pall Be upborne by each and all,
To the caverns of the deep
Where oblivion sealeth sleep!
Dig his grave, and dig it deep :
Lower him to his
with ropes Closely twined of ages' hopes! Leaves and blossoms blight-forbid Drop upon the coffin-lid?
Dig a grave, and dig it deep,
Wherein England's Shame may sleep!
Save the rush of earth to heap
But, when ye are wending thence,
One strong hymn whose waves shall leap
The living dens where tyrants sleep.
Dig a grave, and dig it deep,
Wherein England's Shame may sleep,
Let no living creature weep!
quat public indignation should be roused against the Sloanes was natural.
Now they are punished. Perhaps not as less respectable people had
been punished; but let that pass. If there is further wrath to expend, let it be bestowed upon the system which connives at, encourages, occasions such abominations. Leaving these particular malefactors in their ignominy, let us examine the system which engendered them.
Jane Wilbred was a pauper. So long as landlords and capitalists exploit the labourer, there must be paupers; so long as injustice rules, the poor 'shall never coase out of the earth.' But a wise and paternal government, even a weak government endeavouring to be wise and paternal, would, if unable to prevent the impoverishment of the worker, at least care to lighten his sufferings. Nay, in its judicious kindness it might contrive to rescue some few of the rising generation from the curse of poverty. It would bring up its paupesr tenderly. In the poor-house, under the special supervision of the central authority, the burdensome pauper would be nurtured till it became a thriving and useful member of society. The child would be carefully nursed, properly educated, and reared to its full strength that it might buffet bravely with a hard world. Even when it left the parent house, the sheltering wings of the parochial guardians would brood over it, like angel watchers over--a ward in chancery. A very pleasant theory, but not tallying with the practice toward Jane Wilbred. She left the poor house, ignorant as a brute, to be the drudge of hard taskmasters; and the parish, rid of their burthen, cared for her no more. So ignorant was she, so imbruted and spirit-broken (by what? by what but her pauper education under the parish guardianship?), that she at once bowed unresistingly to the yoke of the new tyranny, and never listed her thoughts to the hope of redress from her old guardians. How the poor dumb wretch was abused we know but too well. Her tyrants, too, are smarting for it. But is the evil remedied? The law that punished them, volunteered to inform them, bow gratuitously they had incurred the risk of punishment. Barring the assault, they might have abused her at their pleasure. She, forsooth, was old enough to take care of herself. The law that permitted her ignorance, denies protection to the ignorant. They might have starved her, tormented her to madness or death, and been beyond the law, had they kept their hands off her. The law had no protection for her, because she was not of 'tender years. How had her tender years been protected ? No protection or compensation. By an accident she has escaped the Sloanes. So soon as she leaves the hospital, she may return to similar service, or, having none to give her a character, seek a living in the streets. She may not come to this, for private charity may interpose ; but her only dependence is on this chance of bounty. The Law ignores her. The Law, that permitted her childhood to be neglected, her girlhood to be starved and cruelly maltreated, will leave her womanhood to abuse, worse than neglect or starvation. She stands alone in the world, unfitted to cope with it—unprotected —uncared for. If no passing Samaritan will step out of his way to speak comfort to her,-let her die; trample her to death in her abandonment, and impanel twelve respectable householders to record a verdict of Died by the Visitation of God—a natural death.
This is law-government--social order. Dare to assail a system of things to which Jane Wilbred's case is not the exception, but of which it is the example, of which such cases as her's are logical and inevitable consequences : and from the senate-house, and from the pulpit, and from the rich man's comfortable fireside, will proceed a chorus of denunciation, cursing you as a disturber of society.' A ‘society,' which has neither law (if law is rule of justice), nor government (if government means social regulation), nor order; which is not society, but anarchy, a vicious anarchy far worse thau savage nature. There are no paupers among the savages.
'But it is unjust to argue from a solitary instance.' No solitary instance. Paupers are not educated, either, physically, intellectually, or morally." No solitary instance: 'next to governesses,' says Harriet Martineau, 'the largest
class of female patients in lunatic asylums is maids of all work.' No solitary instance: the law never protects those whom it has neglected in their teader years.' No solitary instance: for the law has no provision for compensating the injured, no means of securing employment even to the most willing, no refuge for the destitute woman except the City of Prostitution. This a solitary instance of the misgovernment, the disorder, the lawlessness of what we are fools enough to call society? Ask of the thousands of children brought up to theft and obscenity! • Ask of the thousands of the street-folk'-costermongers and others—who know not even the rudiments of morality! Ask the nurseries from which, o blameless fathers and mothers of families ! your children's brothels are supplied! Ask the needlewomen who clothe so cheaply their virtuous sisters, while they eke out 'a living' in disease and horror! Call above ground the fearful populations of your mines ! Examine the physical and moral condition of the factory slave, and of the serf of the soil! Ask the prosperous and highlyhonoured 'sweater,' ask in the gin-palaces or of some burial society, -whether there is any need for one to pick out an exaggerated case to condemn the present ordering of society !! • Your ordering is anarchy. One week's record of your disorders, if brought home even to the heart of a sordid, a cowardly, and an unprincipled race, would compel them to revolution.
Step out of your shop into the crowded street. Take the first ten human beings you meet, so that they are below the grade of a respectable householder. Question them of their lives : and if you have a heart in your bosom, if your conscience has outlived the overlaying of a trader's selfishness, you will ask yourself what manner of social government is this which so orders the lives of its subjects ; you will crimson with shame at your long acquiescence in its iniquity; and your wrath will convert you, from something worse than a slave, to an honest man,--and you will put down the Evil--though it be to the loss of your best customers through the overthrowal of a tyranny whose roots have spread into all classes.
If indeed, it is to be called government.--this misrule under which the Sloanes and the Wilbreds have become types of classes,—will some admirer of the present system of society,' some one of the party of order,' tell us what is misgovernment or disorder, inform us as to the real meaning of Anarchy.
a THE SORT OF EDUCATION ALLOWED BY LAW TO PAUPERS:
(From the Times of October 15, 1850.) * These starving and almost mouldering relics of humanity are penned by hundreds within yards and lofts, and subjected to the dreadful experiment,---on how little human life may be prolonged. Of the most meagre quality of food the smallest possible quantity is administered. When the victims of the experiment begin to drop rather too fast a little more is added, to be checked again when it is found to do more than keep body and soul together. Tottering in a balance between just alive and actually dead, or rather, to use a common Irish ejaculation, dead alive,' the human subject rapidly and fearfully deteriorates. IIe becomes dwarfish, stooping, and contracted. His arms are thin and pendant; his fingers long and bloodless. His eye becomes dim. His jaws and cheek-bones become bratishly prominent. His face is covered with a down suggestive of a more terrible degradation. A boy at fourteen acquires the sodden and careworn look of an old man. Smiles are unknown in this form of humanity. Even hope is not always there, and the natural affections are liable to be displaced by animal cravings. Witnesses assure us that as they beheld hundreds of these beings herded together, listless, unemployed, incapable of instruction, of religion, or of any human office, except those which are common to the lowest ranks of animal life, they were possessed with a fearful foreboding as to the new generation of men thus sent upon the earth. In whose image have these been created ? Into what image have they been transformed ?'
How GOVERNMENT TAKES CARE OF THOSE OF TENDER YEARS. As a sample of that Government, of that ordering and regulation of society, which only wicked and seditious persons' assail, take the following from the report of the Morning Chronicle's Commissioner. He is speaking of the 'Penny Gaff'--the penuy theatre at which the children of the London street-folk are educated.
"It is impossible to contemplate the ignorance and immorality of so numerons a class as that of the costermongers, without wishing to discover the cause of their degradation. Let any one curious on this point visit one of these penny shows, and he will wonder that any trace of virtue and honesty should remain among the people. Here the stage, instead of being the means of illustrating a moral precept, is turned into a platform to teach the eruelest debauchery, The audience is usually composed of children so young, that these dens become the school-rooms where the guiding morals of a life are picked up (under a Gorerament that cares for tender years); and so precocious are the little things that the girl of nine will, from constant attendance at such places, have learned to understand the filthiest sayings, and laugh at them as londly as the grown-up lads around her. What notions can the young female form of marriage and chastity, when the penny theatre rings with applause at the performance of a scene whose sole point turns upon the pantomimic imitation of the most corrupt appetites of our nature ? The men who preside (under Government) over these infamous places know too well the failings of their audiences. The show that will provide the most unrestrained debauchery will have the most crowded benches; and to gain this point things are acted and spoken that it is criminal eren to allude to.'---Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor.
That he might not exaggerate, Mr. Mayhew visited one of these obscene dens. We need not describe the whole entertainment. * There was one scene that was perfect in its wickedness.
'A ballet began between a man dressed up as a woman, and a country clown. The most disgusting attitudes were struck, the most immoral acts represented. If there bad been any feat of agility, any grimacing, or, in fact, anything with which the laughter of the uneducated classes is usually associated, the applause might have been accounted for; but here were two ruflians degrading themselves each time they stirred a limb, and forcing into the brains of the childish audience before them (boys and girls from eight years of age) thoughts that must embitter a life-time, and descend from father to child like some bodily infirmity. The crowd without (of children waiting their turn) was so numerous that a policeman was in attendance TO PRESERVE ORDER.'
The number of the London Costermongers is estimated at 35,000. They ‘have no religion at all.' 'Very few of the children receive the least education. This is what the party of 'Order' call the government of society.' Their 'order' is that of the Policeman at the door.
< WHAT SOCIETY IS. The following sample of society' is from the Westminster Review for July, 1850.
Mr. Mayne, one of the Commissioners of Police, states the number of regular Prostitutes, at from 8000 to 10,000 in the Metropolis, exclusive of the City. * Mr. Talbot states that the number in Edinburgh is about 800; in Glasgow 1,800; in Liverpool 2,900; etc., etc. * The number who live by prostitution, whose sole profession it may be said to be, cannot be under 50,000 in Great Britain.'
Most of the higher class of brothels are supplied by means of regularly employed and