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and tell their tale of woe. The influence which their position in society gives them, and the powers with which many of them are invested, are exercised for the general good of the community; and the fear which their presence inspires, tends materially to prevent immorality. The language in which they usually converse with each other is English. Their conversation is conducted on topics of useful knowledge, and is generally innocent and entertaining. They seldom indulge in severe observations upon others, though they may be political opponents, nor do they deal in uncharitable remarks on those who differ from them on some points of religious belief or practice. The amusements in which they indulge are the same as those of the highest order. They are to be seen at hunts, balls, and parties of pleasure. An exception, however, must be made in favour of the Clergy, a few only of whom are to be seen, in the present day, at such places. Public opinion, and it is to be hoped, a sense of the duty which they owe to God and their profession, have induced them to absent themselves from amusements which tend so materially to injure their usefulness.
The next class of people which claims our consideration is composed of large farmers, and tradesmen possessing some capital. Persons of this description hold a respectable and an important place in the community. Most of them are freeholders of some extent. They are entitled to vote for the election of members to serve in Parliament, and are qualified to act as jurors. This class of people have a moderate acquaintance with the English language, but generally give the preference to their own. In towns indeed, especially the larger towns, the wealthier shopkeepers prefer the English, and attend divine service conducted in that language, though not altogether to the neglect of services in their native dialect. Many of them may have been a year or two in England, completing their education, which after all is but very superficial. However, they pursue their avocations with great diligence and
considerable success. Though few of them realize so large a fortune as persons of similar occupations in England, yet they generally do well, and many of them accumulate considerable property. Some
very excellent farmers may be found in Wales. They who have capital, employ it in bringing their farms into a high state of cultivation. But farmers generally have very little money to spare, and can raise only that quantity of produce which is barely sufficient, after meeting all demands, to enable them to continue their operations. With the exception of a few select spots, the soil of our country is inferior to that of England, therefore similar results cannot be expected. In most of our vallies and glens, and even on the slopes of our numerous hills, much water lodges, and draining is required to free the land from it, but in this important branch of cultivation the farmers of Wales, from want of capital, are very deficient. This is certainly to be regretted, as it subjects both landlords and tenants to a very serious loss. An improvement in this department appears to be commencing, and it may be hoped that a brighter period is about to dawn on agriculture in the principality
'There is a very large class of persons immediately below the portion of society which we have just been considering. They are people of small means engaged in various trades, among whom we would enumerate the smaller farmers, who are tenants dependent on the good pleasure of their landlords, and the occupiers of small shops, who obtain their livelihood by great diligence, and the observance of every strict economy. Though the employment, by which the tradesmen of towns and villages earn their subsistence, does not, generally speaking, bind them to what may be considered hard labour, yet the work which they have to perform, owing to the protracted hours which they are obliged to devote to it daily, affects in so small degree their physical powers and their moral state. They are not able to bestow on each portion of their nature that sure of culture which the laws of their constitution demand. Their bodily wants requiring so much of their time, they have neither the inclination nor the energy which is necessary, to cultivate their minds and discipline their dispositions. Hence most persons of this class have but a small degree of intelligence; and if religion came, not to their aid, imparting its benign influence to them, and filling their hearts with consolation derived from a higher source, they would be a very inferior part of the community, with respect both to their minds and morals. But happily for this portion of society, they are generally actuated by religious motives, and have attached themselves to the different religious communities into which the population of Wales is divided.
Such of this class as are engaged in agriculture deserve particular consideration. The hardships which many of them endure, and the privations to which they are subjected, are very great. Though they may have the name of masters, it is accompanied, not unfrequently, with greater hardships than those which fall on the labourers whom they occasionally employ. Their victuals are exceedingly poor, and the work which they have to perform is laborious. Fresh animal food, or wheat bread, is a luxury which very rarely appears on their table. Even the pigs which they rear are sold, either to pay the rent or to meet some other demand; consequently that coarsest of all animal food is but seldom enjoyed by them. Barley bread, herrings, buttermilk and potatoes, weak tea with little or no sugar in it, are the ingredients which compose their food. A small matter throws them into embarrassment. An unfavorable season, or the death of one of their cattle, casts a gloom over the whole family, and causes the principal person in it to look forward to the approaching rentday with distressed and melancholy feelings. Apart from religion, the circumstances of these persons would be truly distressing What with hard labour, coarse, unwholesome food, and anxiety of mind, their homes would be comfortless and their lives miserable. It so happens, however, that heaven often deigns to cheer those abodes of penury and want, with consolations which the world can neither give nor take away. Most of this class are quiet and contented, industrious and religious.
We come next to the great mass of the population, who are variously engaged in manual labour-we mean the peasantry of the principality. They find employment in the cultivation of the soil and in mines of different descriptions, in quarries, and in the various mechanical arts which are called into activity by the necessities of the community. The remuneration of the labourer in Wales depends on the nature of his occupation, and on the skill with which he performs his work. The agricultural labourers are the worse paid, but they are not the hardest working portion of the population, and their employment is healthy. The quarrymen, the miners, and the workmen in iron foundries, generally work much harder, and the employment of most of them is less healthy and more disagreeable than that of cultivating the land. In most of the mining districts, the workmen receive very fair wages, and if they were provident during the times of prosperity, and deposited in saving-banks some portion of their gains, they would be able to meet times of depression without dismay. Instead of which, it frequently happens that when high wages are obtained, the whole are spent in unusual indulgences, so that when trade becomes stagnant, or indisposition unfits them for labour, they are suddenly reduced to a state of great destitution. Such was the mode of proceeding among the miners in Flintshire a few years ago. Of late years they have had but few opportunities of indulging in their former excesses, as their earnings have been so small that bare subsistence is all they have been able to procure. The general habit appears to be very similar in the mining districts of other parts of Wales. Undoubtedly there are many exceptions to this conduct, and it is time that all should acquire habits of greater prudence and self-denial.
Farm-labourers are subject to a more uniform regulation. Their wages are partly paid in kind, and in accommodations which are to them of the greatest service, and some portion is paid in money. Cottages on farms, are let at a low rent to the married workmen, who are allowed to maintain a cow on the land. Some farmers dispose of a quantity of hay to them for winter provision; but frequently the cows of labourers, and other poor people, are supported by tithe-hay, a 'parcel of which is taken by a number of them in conjunction. Not less than from forty to fifty cows, belonging to the poor, are supported in this manner by the tithe-hay of the parish in which the writer happens to reside. The commutation act will put an end to this accommodation, of which the poor complain very bitterly. It may be hoped, however, that landlords as well as farmers will take their case into consideration, and endeavour to afford them, on reasonable terms, as much provender as will enable them to keep their cow, which to them is of the utmost importance.
The writer is not able to ascertain what variation exists in the of men who are hired by the day, in all the counties of the principality. As far as his knowledge extends, the price of labour is less in Cardiganshire, than in any other part, except that portion of Carnarvonshire which lies contiguous to Bardsey Island; but it is also deserving of remark that in no other districts of Wales are provisions so cheap. Many of the people, in those places, live in a state of great wretchedness. The abodes which accommodate a large number of our fellow-men, in the county of Cardigan, are made of turf, cemented with mud, and thatched with straw! A labourer may be had in the neighbourhood of the county town, for one shilling a day, providing his own victuals. In Carmarthenshire wages are a little higher; but even there, labourers receive only fifteen or eighteen pence a day, using their own food. The rate of wages, and the price of provisions, are much the same in the Island of Anglesey ; but on the con