« PreviousContinue »
A SERIES OF LETTERS
HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.
By W. COOKE TAYLOR, LL.D., &c.,
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN ;
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SOCIETY, ROMANTIC BIOGRAPHY OF THE
AGE OF ELIZABETH,” &c.
PUBLISHED BY DUNCAN AND MALCOLM,
It has long been my purpose to write a description of the Factory System, as I had good reason to believe that its moral worth and social importance were generally misunderstood, and, therefore, not appreciated. A life spent in retirement, and devoted to literature, so far qualified me for the task as to leave me free from prejudices of party: I set out with a determination to see and judge for myself; I repeated my visits to the manufacturing districts for the purpose of testing the accuracy of my former observations. It was my custom on these little tours to send brief accounts of what I saw to the venerated Prelate to whom these printed Letters are addressed. In my recent tour I saw too much to allow of my adherence to my old plan, and I am induced to believe that what I saw must at this crisis possess general interest.
In preparing my notes for the press I have followed the plan which I would have adopted had I designed these Letters to be private. I have written them up just as they came, and as they were jotted down, believing that the vividness of first impressions and the point of immediate reflections would atone for abruptness of transition and a little occasional digression.
In going over so much ground in a short space of time, it is probable that I may have sometimes adopted hasty conclusions; but of this my readers will be able to judge, as I have set before them the reasons and evidence on which my
inferences were founded. My sole anxiety was to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and my dearest wish is that, on the various important questions connected with the manufacturing districts of the North of England, “a true verdict”
be given, “according to the evidence,” by the government and the country.
I have only to add that the Archbishop of Dublin is not responsible for any opinions contained in these Letters, as he will see their contents for the first time on their appearance in print.
34, Arlington-street, Camden Town,
NOTES OF A TOUR,
Manchester, 1842. It was originally my intention to have sent you the following letters privately and in manuscript; my change of purpose has been caused by the great interest which the present condition of the Factory population of Lancashire excites generally, and by my own earnest anxiety to enlist public sympathy in favour of a noble and a suffering people. In print as in private I shall state my observations and reflections with perfect freedom and candour, writing as if these letters were designed only for your eye, and as if the public had only got at their contents by peeping over my shoulder. “ Aperto vivere scripto" is perhaps an improvement on Aperto vivere voto," and, as the public is to enjoy the benefit of my confessions, I trust that it will not refuse to join in the absolution which I am sure of obtaining from you.
I well remember the effect produced on me by my earliest view of Manchester, when I looked upon the