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classes above the masters. They will be
modified by circumstances, and they will be
the less excusable among the better-educated,
but they will be pretty fairly distributed.
I have a strong expectation that we shall live
to see the conventional adjectives now
apparently inseparable from the phrases working
people and lower orders, gradually fall into
complete disuse for this reason."

"Well, but we began with strikes," Mr.
Snapper observed impatiently. " The masters
have never had any share in strikes."

"Yet I have heard of strikes once upon a
time in that same county of Lancashire,"
said I, " which were not disagreeable to some
masters when they wanted a pretext for raising
prices."

"Do you mean to say those masters had
any hand in getting up those strikes?" asked
Mr. Snapper.

"You will perhaps obtain better information
among persons engaged in some Manchester
branch trades, who have good memories,"
said I.

Mr. Snapper had no doubt, after this, that
I thought the hands had a right to combine?

"Surely," said I. " A perfect right to combine
in any lawful manner. The fact of their
being able to combine and accustomed to
combine may, I can easily conceive, be a
protection to them. The blame even of this
business is not all on one side. I think the
associated Lock-out was a grave error. And
when you Preston masters—"

"I am not a Preston master," interrupted
Mr. Snapper.

"When the respectable combined body of
Preston masters," said I, " in the beginning of
this unhappy difference, laid down the
principle that no man should be employed henceforth
who belonged to any combinationsuch
as their ownthey attempted to carry with a
high hand a partial and unfair impossibility,
and were obliged to abandon it. This was
an unwise proceeding, and the first defeat."

Mr. Snapper had known, all along, that I
was no friend to the masters.

"Pardon me," said I; " I am unfeignedly a
friend to the masters, and have many friends
among them."

"Yet you think these hands in the right?"
quoth Mr. Snapper.

"By no means," said I; " I fear they are
at present engaged in an unreasonable struggle,
wherein they began ill and cannot end
well."

Mr. Snapper, evidently regarding me as
neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, begged to know
after a pause if he might enquire whether I
was going to Preston on business?

Indeed I was going there, in my unbusinesslike
manner, I confessed, to look at the strike.

"To look at the strike!" echoed Mr.
Snapper fixing his hat on firmly with both
hands. "To look at it! Might I ask you
now, with what object you are going to look
at it?"

"Certainly," said I. " I read, even in liberal
pages, the hardest Political Economyof an
extraordinary description too sometimes,
and certainly not to be found in the books
as the only touchstone of this strike. I
see, this very day in a to-morrow's liberal
paper, some astonishing novelties in the
politico-economical way, showing how profits
and wages have no connexion whatever;
coupled with such references to these hands
as might be made by a very irascible
General to rebels and brigands in arms. Now,
if it be the case that some of the highest
virtues of the working people still shine
through them brighter than ever in their
conduct of this mistake of theirs, perhaps the
fact may reasonably suggest to meand to
others besides methat there is some little
things wanting in the relations between them
and their employers, which neither political
economy nor Drum-head proclamation writing
will altogether supply, and which we cannot
too soon or too temperately unite in trying to
find out."

Mr. Snapper, after again opening and
shutting his gloved hands several times, drew the
counterpane higher over his chest, and went
to bed in disgust. He got up at Rugby, took
himself and counterpane into another
carriage, and left me to pursue my journey
alone.

When I got to Preston, it was four o'clock
in the afternoon. The day being Saturday
and market-day, a foreigner might have
expected, from among so many idle and not
over-fed people as the town contained, to find
a turbulent, ill-conditioned crowd in the
streets. But, except for the cold smokeless
factory chimneys, the placards at the street
corners, and the groups of working people
attentively reading them, nor foreigner, nor
Englishman could have had the least
suspicion that there existed any interruption to
the usual labours of the place. The placards
thus perused were not remarkable for their
logic certainly, and did not make the case
particularly clear; but, considering that they
emanated from, and were addressed to, people
who had been out of employment for three-
and-twenty consecutive weeks, at least they
had little passion in them though they had
not much reason. Take the worst I could
find:

"Friends and Fellow Operatives,

"Accept the grateful thanks of twenty thousand
struggling Operatives, for the help you have
showered upon Preston since the present contest
commenced.

"Your kindness and generosity, your patience
and long-continued support, deserve every praise,
and are only equalled by the heroic and determined
perseverance of the outraged and insulted tactory
workers of Preston, who have been struggling for
some months, and are, at this inclement season of
the year, bravely battling for the rights of
themselves and the whole toiling community.

*' For many years before the strike took place at
Preston, the Operatives were the down trodden and
insulted serfs of their Employers, who in times of

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