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Nay, strangers frequently make a mistake in their way out, and find themselves in the middle of the riotous inhabitants of the saloon before they are aware. I have myself, more than once, in passing, stopped respectable parties at the door, and directed them the proper way to the stairs. I am confident that ten young men are ruined by the visitors of these saloons, for one that is led astray by the street-walkers. The females on the streets are either faded or worn out, or low vulgar creatures; they are generally ill-dressed, and in the dark and dirt of the streets cannot be seen to any advantage; a man, therefore, passes on and takes little notice of them. It is very different in the theatres; when a young man meets there with handsome fine looking girls, well dressed and with genteel manners, he forgets the indecency of their appearance and the looseness and impropriety of their language and behaviour, if these do not attract him the more; and he gets interested and entangled with them, and is led astray;-and this the more readily as he sees around him much older men of respectable appearance, without scruple talking, laughing, and romping with them. In corroboration of this, I have to state, that, in the confined circle of my acquaintance in London, very lately, two young men, or rather boys, for neither were past eighteen, were found to be spending much more money than they ought, or their friends could afford, and, upon investigation, it was discovered that they each kept a mistress. When questioned, they both declared that they had formed the acquaintance in the saloons of the theatres.

The last thing I shall mention on this head is, that if it were possible to put an end to the extreme bad practice of admission at half-price, it would contribute very much to the preservation of the morals of the youth of both sexes, as well as to the comfort of all who go to the theatres in the first part of the evening. To these, indeed, the entrance of the half-price company must be an intolerable nuisance; they may enjoy the three first acts of the play in comparative quiet and comfort, but the two last are generally drowned in noise and confusion, and the finest performances of Kemble, Kean, or Miss O'Neill, are completely lost, or appear as dumb shew. To the idle, dissolute, and licentious crew who enter, this is of little consequence, as very few of them go with any idea of attending to the performances on the stage, they go to attend to their own performances, they go there as to a professed and known place of rendezvous, where they can meet their old acquaintance, form new ones, and make assignations.

These, gentlemen, are what appear to me to be the objects which should engage the Society's attention. I have only touched slightly upon them, but I trust I have said enough to shew the dreadful extent of the evil, and the absolute necessity of a check

being given to it; and I hope that this feeble attempt of mine may have the good effect of rousing some able writer to take up the subject and to do justice to it. I think if the vice was only fairly described, the horrid consequences resulting from it faithfully painted, and the rapid progress it is making properly pointed out, every religious and moral man, every father of a family, every wellwisher to his country, and every well-disposed person in it, would immediately come forward and join your society with heart and

hand.

I cannot conceive how it has for such a length of time escaped the notice of our Statesmen, our dignified and established Clergy, our Dissenters, our Sectaries;-that, in a country where the abolition of the slave-trade first commenced, in a country where large sums are annually subscribed to send missionaries to the farthest extremities of the globe, in order to spread the light of the gospel on the darkness of the Heathens, and to convert them from a state of sin and misery, thousands, upon thousands of the finest youths of both sexes should be allowed to fall into a bondage worse than that of the Africans, and a state of sin and misery infinitely more deplorable than that of the Heathens, without any attempt being made to save them, is certainly very extraordinary. Had the money which has been spent by the Missionary Societies, been employed for this laudable purpose at home, it might have had the most beneficial effects. More young men and women are seduced and ruined, soul and body, in London, in one year, than all the converts the missionaries have made since they commenced their labours, will amount to.

Had those persons, who have arrogated to themselves the title of "the Society for the Suppression of Vice," devoted their attention to the suppression of this vice, they might have made themselves of real service to their country, they would have deserved well of society, and they might, probably, have gained that popularity and fame which they will never obtain by nibbling at the petty vices of the lower orders, and depriving them of the few comforts and enjoyments they have left, under pretence of reforming their morals.

I remain, with great respect,

Gentlemen,

Your most obedient Servant,

S. T.

OBSERVATIONS

ON THE EFFECT OF

The Manufacturing System :

WITH HINTS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THOSE PARTS

OF IT WHICH ARE MOST INJURIOUS TO HEALTH

AND MORALS.

DEDICATED MOST RESPECTFULLY TO

THE BRITISH LEGISLATURE.

BY ROBERT OWEN.

THE THIRD EDITION.

OBSERVATIONS

ON THE EFFECT OF

The Manufacturing System,
&c.

THOSE who were engaged in the trade, manufactures, and commerce of this country thirty or forty years ago, formed but a very insignificant portion of the knowledge, wealth, influence, or population of the empire.

Prior to that period, Britain was essentially agricultural. But, from that time to the present, the home and foreign trade have increased in a manner so rapid and extraordinary as to have raised commerce to an importance, which it never previously attained in any country possessing so much political power and influence.' This change has been owing chiefly to the mechanical inventions which introduced the cotton trade into this country, and to the cultivation of the cotton-tree in America. The wants, which this trade created for the various materials requisite to forward its mul

By the returns to the Population Act in 1811, it appears that in England, Scotland and Wales, there are 895,998 families chiefly employed in agriculture-1,129,049 families chiefly employed in trade and manufactures -640,500 individuals in the army and navy-and 519,168 families not engaged in any of these employments. It follows that nearly half as many more persons are engaged in trade as in agriculture-and that of the whole population the agriculturists are about 1 to 3.

tiplied operations, caused an extraordinary demand for almost all the manufactures previously established, and, of course, for human labour. The numerous fanciful and useful fabrics manufactured from cotton soon became objects of desire in Europe and America and the consequent extension of the British foreign trade was such as to astonish and confound the most enlightened statesmen both at home and abroad.

:

The immediate effects of this manufacturing phenomenon were a rapid increase of the wealth, industry, population and political influence of the British empire; and by the aid of which it has been enabled to contend for five-and-twenty years against the most formidable military and immoral power that the world perhaps ever contained.

These important results, however, great as they really are, have not been obtained without accompanying evils of such a magnitude as to raise a doubt whether the latter do not prepouderate over the former.

Hitherto, legislators have appeared to regard manufactures only in one point of view, as a source of national wealth. The other mighty consequences, which proceed from extended manufactures, when left to their natural progress, have never yet engaged the attention of any legislature. Yet the political and moral effects to which we allude, well deserve to occupy the best faculties of the greatest and the wisest statesmen.

The general diffusion of manufactures throughout a country generates a new character in its inhabitants; and as this character is formed upon a principle quite unfavourable to individual or general happiness, it will produce the most lamentable and permanent evils, unless its tendency be counteracted by legislative interference and direction.

The manufacturing system has already so far extended its influence over the British empire, as to effect an essential change in the general character of the mass of the people. This alteration is still in rapid progress; and ere long, the comparatively happy simplicity of the agricultural peasant will be wholly lost amongst us : It is even now scarcely any where to be found, without a mixture of those habits, which are the offspring of trade, manufactures, and commerce.

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