« السابقةمتابعة »
Moral Philosophy," we have some confidence that matters will not be allowed to go to extremes. Most readily do we admit that he is a discreet and modest gentleman; and then has he not the “ Lady Principal," and the “ Assistant to the Lady Principal,” nay, the whole “ Faculty," to aid him in arriving at a conclusion ?
We confess that the transition from Vassar College to Dr. Van Norman's Young Ladies' School, in Thirty-Eighth street, New York, is quite a relief to us. Here there is no ostentation; no attempt to cast the University, or Columbia College into the shade, not to mention Gottingen or the French Academy. Yet, if we wanted a passage from some Latin author well translated, or any other piece of work which an educated, accomplished lady would be expected to perform, we should have much more faith in going to Thirty-Eighth street than to Poughkeepsie. The average number of pupils at the Van Norman school during the past year was 140, and we are glad to learn, that high as its character has been for years, it had never so efficient a corps of teachers, or so encouraging a prospect as it has for the school year just commenced.
It must not be supposed, however, that we would sneer at a good female institution merely because it is called a college; still less would we do so because it is a country college. We once criticised a female university which was situated in the most fashionable part of the Fifth Avenue; but that we did not do so on account of its name, is now sufficiently known.
We do not, for example, criticise Rutgers Female College; on the contrary, we say that it deserves to be supported for the good work it does. We have never been on very intimate terms with Dr. Pierce, its president; there have been years during which we had certainly no reason to abstain from criticising Rutgers under his auspices, had we thought it deserved it; but to this day we never have. We are glad to know that the institution is now in a condition which does much credit to his judgment, energy, and perseverance. We have before us a copy of his Address to the second graduating class of Rutgers Col
lege, and it affords us pleasure to copy an extract or two from it, by way of contrast with the Vassar style of addressing young ladies. Speaking of the necessity of self-examination in the sense of the divine Plato, as well as of the Christian moralist, Dr. Pierce pertinently remarks :
“Therefore, in the course of a liberal education, the youth should be made to study the soul itself. Of what avail is it that he study the globe, and the adaptation of its continents and isles to the great families of mankind; that with the chemist, he analyze the varied forms of earth and air; that with the caturalist, he study the grasses that clothe the earth, or the animals that feed upon them; that with the geologist, he trace backward to the birth of time the changes of the globe, and read in the rocks and hills the history of the world before man was created; that with the mathematician and geometrician, he investigate the numbers and forms in harmony with which the universe was made ; or that with the astronomer, be study the planetary or stellar systems ? 'What good to him to have searched the vast aerial domes, and traversed, in his soul, the heaven's infinity,' unless he study the soul itself, by whose powers he is enabled to comprehend these marvellous high works?”
But the president of Rutgers utters still wiser and more useful words. He puts his students on their guard against allowing their education to lead them beyond their sphere, into the domain of the ruder sex-in a word, he warns them against the “Woman's Rights” mania. We are sorry we can only make room for a inere fragment:
"In my Baccalaureate address to the first graduating class of this College, and on other occasions, I trust I have sufficiently shown my sympathy with all judicious efforts to widen the sphere of woman; bat I am here constrained, in view of the feverish and disorganizing tendencies of the times, earnestly to impress upon you the great truth that, whether in circumstances of individual concern, or in those affecting the general condition of the sex, it is wisest and best for you to be in sympathy with the customs and laws written on your own souls, and approved by the wisdom of ages, rather than with those women who exhaust all their powers of thought and capacity of feeling, in an absurd protest against the inexorable fact that God in His wisdom hath not made them men !"
If all who have charge of female institutions would address their students in this spirit, there would be much less indelicacy than there is—much more modesty; and we can
assure our educators that this is the wish of the American people. It is because so much of the “Woman's Rights " doctrine is taught both by precept and example at our female seminaries, that such a large number of the more thoughtful and enlightened class of Protestants, in all parts of the country, send their daughters to the Catholic convents, where they know they will be taught to comport themselves in a womanly manner; and it is for the opposite reason that so many of our seminaries fail, or only succeed at best in drag. ging out a sickly existence. Dr. Raymond would only have to turn his attention to the neighborhood of his late “Polytechnic Institute," to find more than one example of this, from which he may learn a useful lesson. Only a few brief years ago there was a flourishing female seminary on Brooklyn Heights, but if it exists now at all, it is only in a decrepit state. Within the same period the institutions of Drs. Van Norman and Pierce had a pretty hard struggle to sustain themselves, whereas now both flourish in vigorous but friendly rivalry.
Art. VI.-Reports of Strike-Meetings and other Documents, 1868.
From time to time there appear in our daily papers accounts of associated “strikes” of employed persons for more wages, and less daily work, and lists of corresponding organi. zations of employers to protect rights which they claim likewise for themselves.
We do not intend to dwell upon these controversies, their spirit or their deeds, but considering the actual state of things bad, we propose to examine where justice and right lie,—what are the true principles which regulate the amonnt of wages, and how we can determine it in any case of hiring.
We get no light on this, which one would think the main point, from the proceedings of the opposing associations, as we get no polity or statesmanship from political meetings. Misrepresenting crimination and recrimination, and the individual interest, self-aggrandizement, conceit, or vanity of the
managers, too often take the places of truth, fairness, and justice.
In a practical examination of the question of wages, there are a few underlying principles that must be recognized at the outset. First, The amount of wages depends on the class and kind of employment. Second, It must depend on community and locality, the state of the country, and the times.
The wages of modern times bave increased with the wants of civilization with its enlarged list of necessities—nay, with the changed physical conditions of climate and shelter that accompany its progress. When civilization is being transferred to a new country, and that country is being developed like the United States and Australia, the wages there will differ from those of old and crowded countries. And so it will be found where an activity of civilization is carried from its home into a stagnant though old community. This is the spirit of railroads and telegraphs. It acts when the citizen retires to the village or the farm; it will act when the novel, expanded, and far-reaching activity of Europe and America enter by the avenues now opening into the old kingdoms of Japan and of China.
Third. We must bear in mind that the masses of both the employés and the employers are fair. The workman really does not want to be paid too much, nor does the employer wish to pay too little, as a general thing. The real question between them, and the one we are examining, is, what are just and fair wages. There are incoinpetent, unreasonable, worthless, lazy and vicious workmen, as well as grasping, cruel, mean, ill-tempered and tyrannical employers, but in all practical social questions, and especially those of political economy, as strictly as in mathematical and philosophical ones, the wonderful doctrine of averages must be used. A lucky or an unlucky speculation, an honest, or alas, a dishonest contract, a war, an undiscovered theft or swindle, a local rise in property, a pandering to extravagance or vice, a price of fancy or necessity, the finding of a diamond or of an oil-well, a rich marriage, and the marvellons results of comprehensive, financial and commercial combination, are occurrences comparatively few in number, and like floods and earthquakes, Borgias and Catilines, do not affect the general result.
Fourth. This is the great question of value; and all value has relation solely to man individually or socially : What is any thing worth to any man or to men? As all right of property comes to the first possessor by his adding his own labor to it in collecting it or digging it up, or cultivating, or making, or ornamenting it,—and to all successive possessors by their labor in fighting for and taking it by force, or by exchanging their own labor-values for it,-s0 labor is the source of all value. This last trite principle is practically and directly connected with this question on wages, and “strikes,” and “boss-unions."
Fifth. The question and the opposition are really not between labor and something else, but between the rights of labor of different kinds, and in the different shapes, original, bought, or accumulated. The ability to employ others, whether arising from the possession of knowledge and skill, or money, is but one shape of labor: capital is a shape of labor.
Look how the principle of fairness lies at the bottom of the workman's seemingly unreasonable demands. He allows that his employer has a perfect right to an article of his own make, or a gift, or what he has exchanged his property for, or what he has bought with his own property in the shape of representative money, but he complains that the employer receives more than his proportion of the value or price of the goods manufactured; or, as the slang of the demagogue words it, “ the capitalist grinds too much enormors profit out of the wages of the poor oppressed laborer.” Mere words. We have no doubt he does sometimes; nor have we any doubt that the laborer often charges twice as much as his work is worth, ard slights it at that, or twice as much for his time, and idles it away besides.
The employer has rightsbut the fatal crime of the times, and it would seem of all modern nations, is, to legislate and to write and to speak, to excite obedience against authority, ignorance against knowledge, what they call lower classes against the higher, inferiors against superiors