Miscellaneous Essays: Second Series (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Miscellaneous Essays: Second Series

Maintained that the former were generally right and the objects they aimed at were at all events desirable and probably attainable; while it was confidently urged that the artisans might be trusted to under stand and manage their Own interests better than their masters could do for them. The experience Of the last two years, and more especially the disastrous proceedings of 1878, have lowered the confident tone of the soberer among the workmen's friends, and brought about, more speedily than I had hoped, and far more painfully than I could wish, a recognition of many facts once noisily denied, and justified assuredly nearly all the neglected warnings of Cassandra. The state of trade has been stagnant, gloomy, and disastrous in the extreme, and it cannot be denied that much Of its deplorable condition has not been immediately traceable to the specific causes which I pointed out as so ominous in the approaching times. But still less can it be controverted - indeed it is almost universally admitted - that this condition has been enormously aggravated by the almost incredible blunders and perversity of the working classes them selves, all the more disheartening because the true facts and bearings of the case have been fairly and anxiously laid before them by friends whose sincere and well-proved sympathy should have secured at least a patient hearing.

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