Page:The farm labourer in 1872.djvu/29

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THE FARM LABOURER IN 1872.

it would not have met altogether in vain. For man, even the most depressed and degraded, is not a machine or an animal. If he have any intelligence whatever, he must have movement, progress, and object before him; he must have some practical motive and reason to be respectable, thrifty, energetic, careful, and the like. If he is to be of any account, of any real use to an employer or a farmer he must have some other outlook and distraction than the beershop—some better prospect than the workhouse. The want of sympathy and intelligence sometimes displayed, especially about the southern counties, in the depression of the rural labourer, caused by the careless and pernicious—it would not be too much to say the atrocious administration of Poor Law, as yet uncorrected by the central Board—call aloud for amendment and cure.

There is one more point, not quite belonging to the subject of this paper, which is yet one of considerable moment to the agricultural interest. It is the answer to the question. Is it possible to introduce into farming any industrial partnership, such as already obtains in manufactures? that is to say, by the farmer or employer giving, in addition to the weekly wages, other extra payments depending upon his own profits. I venture to assert, speaking from practical knowledge, that something of the sort is possible and desirable, and would also be for the advantage of employer as well as employed. And I say so as one who dare