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trading classes would be involved in hopeless
ruin, and millions would be deprived both of
work and food.

Now, it scarcely needs a political economist
to tell us that there was more safety when
we drew our supplies from thirty different
sources than now that we receive them
almost exclusively from one.

A Cotton Supply Association at
Manchester, papers by Mr. Ashworth, and speeches
from Lord Stanley, ought hardly to be
required to urge manufacturers and merchants
and Englishmen of all classes to look about
and around them for the much-desired
cotton. But where? Not certainly to the
West Indiesfor there the difficulties of the
labour question seem insurmountable. Not
to our new colonieseven though soil and
climate may seem favourable; they have
hard enough work just now to obtain the
actual necessaries of life for themselves.
Cotton might be grown in Turkey, but we cannot
intrust our capital to the Sick Man. India
remains: the government is in our hands,
and we have made ourselves responsible for
the well-being of the country, which must,
for the future, largely depend on and affect
our own. But again we are met by difficulties
and delay, and find ourselves in the
position of a man dying with hunger to
whom a well-wisher shall give a handful of
seed, assuring him that in a few months it
will produce him an abundant meal. The
two essentials for making India a cotton-
producing country are irrigation and means
of communication; but, with the present
social and political difficulties of that country,
it cannot be expected that we should, for
many years, supply these two gigantic wants.
No fear need be felt, however, for India, even
if meanwhile we should convert the cotton-
trade into another channel, for she might
ultimately furnish tea, coffee, rice, sugar, and
almost every other colonial and tropical
produce. It seems, indeed, impossible to avoid
and difficult to surmount the obstacles that
meet us on all sides; we cannot find land
suitable for cultivation, or, if we do, it is in a
country convulsed, or possibly soon about to
be convulsed, by great political changes;
everywhere labour seems to be insufficient,
and even if we could find labourers, they
would require training for a work like picking
cotton, which needs practice and skilful
manipulation; indeed it is often asserted that
none but negro fingers are sufficiently nimble
for it.

And all this time, whilst the scarcity of
cotton creates almost a panic; whilst it is
calculated with alarm that the entire stock
of all kinds of cotton in England is only
equal to a consumption of four weeks; whilst
our manufacturers declare, with a tragic
mixture of resignation and despair, that raw
cotton might be, and ought to be, half the
price it is at present; and whilst, in spite of
this, the price of cotton rises, and our thirteen
millions of money are as good as lost to us,—
all this time there lies a vast and unexplored
territory in which from all times cotton not
only has grown, but has been cultivated.
While weor our predecessorswere
tattooing our naked bodies, the inhabitants of
this land were spinning cotton cloths, and
clothing themselves with a certain approximation
to decency, and were transporting it
to the sea-coast for exportation in caravans
similar to that with which Joseph travelled
when his brethren left him in the pit. At
this very time, whilst we seek labour here,
and land there, and cotton everywhere, the
tribes we allude to possess, not a narrow
belt some hundred miles in width, but a vast
unexplored region, where

      The Cotton blooms below the barren peak;
      The Cotton blows by every winding creek.

so that any man who is so inclined gathers
as much as he needs; the rest falls and drops,
and is wasted. Labour is superabundant;
and the manufacture of cotton has never
ceased since the ancestors of these people
brought their rude spindle and distaff and
looms out of Egypt, where the "tree-wool"
of Herodotus was hardly known.

The legitimate metropolis of King Cotton's
territories is undoubtedly Western Africa.
"Africa," says Doctor Livingstone, "is the
very territory for cotton." And this assertion,
which stands good for the parts of
Africa with which he is acquainted, is most
fully borne out for other parts by the testimony
of Mr. Campbell, our Consul at Lagos,
and that of Commodore Wise, and others.
We learn that "cotton grows in wild
profusion throughout the vast province of
Angola, in the settlement of Sierra Leone,
within gunshot of the citadel of Cape Coast
Castle; in the neighbourhood of Bolola; in
the Byonga Islands; and from end to end of
the territory of Liberia;" and that these
districts possess the requisites for the
production of the Sea Island, or finest kind of
cotton, namely, sea air and periodical inundation
by rains. It is to Mr. Campbell that we
are indebted for the fullest information and
most accurate details as to the growth of
cotton in Africa which we at present possess.
He tells us, that there is no tribe or
country, from latitude sixteen degrees north,
to the Equator,—that is, a tract in width
about equal to that part of Europe which
lies between the Black Sea and the North of
Russia, and stretching out in breadth
indefinitely,—who do not more or less cultivate
the cotton plant, and clothe themselves with
cotton goods of their own manufacture.
Clothe, is scarcely the appropriate word,
when we consider the elementary knowledge
of the art which the natives of Atrica possess.
Still they do wear a something; they have
the rudiments and first principles, as it
were, of dress; so that the clothes-
philosophers may be encouraged, may even hope