I take a man, for instance, in one of the manufacturing valleys of Connecticut
If you get into the cars there at 6.30 o'clock in the morning, as I have done, you will find, getting in at every little station, a score or more of laboring men and women, with their dinner in a pail; and they get out at some factory that is already lighted up. Go down the same valley about 7.30 in the evening, and you will again see them going home.
They must have got up about 5.30; they are at their work until nigh upon eight o'clock. There is a good, solid fourteen hours. Now, there will be a strong, substantial man, like Cobbett
, for.instance, who will sit up nights studying, and who will be a scholar at last among them, perhaps; but he is an expert.
The average man, nine out of ten, when he gets home at night, does not care to read an article from the North American
, nor a long speech from Charles Sumner
No; if he can't have a good story, and a warm supper, and a glass of grog perhaps, he goes off to bed. Now, I say that the civilization that has produced this state of things in nearly the hundredth year of the American Republic
did not come from above.
I believe in the Temperance movement.
I am a Temperance man of nearly forty years standing; and I think it one of the grandest things in the world, because it holds the basis of self-control.
Intemperance is the cause of poverty, I know; but there is another side to that,--poverty is the cause of intemperance.
Crowd a man with fourteen hours work a day, and you crowd him down to a mere animal life.
You have eclipsed his aspirations, dulled his tastes, stunted his intellect, and made him a mere tool, to work fourteen hours and catch a thought in the interval; and while one man in a hundred will rise to be a genius, ninety-nine will cower down under the circumstances.
Now, I can tell you a fact.