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General News. .





Kossuth at St. Louis, America.




THE MISERIES OF FREE TRADE. The Rev S G. Osborne has addressed a witty and sensible letter to the Times, on the question of Protection. He takes the shire of Dorset, one of the most agricultural in England, and best known to him—and analyses the condi;ion of every class in it, from the squire and the parson, down '0 the ploughman and the mechanic, under Free Trade as contrasted with the Cora Laws. He declares tiley are all more (trosperous now thao formerly. The landlords have not been obliged to reduce their rents; and the, most popular of them have given ample satis. faction, by returning on the gale day (not reducing) ten per cent. To apply another admirable test—" Within an area of twenty miles round where I now w.ite, I will venture to say more money has been expended within these six years, in baild- iog new farm premises aod improving existing buildings, than was spent in forty years previous to the repeal of the corn laws. Ten years ago I was told there was not a steam engine in Dorset- shire. Within the area I have spoken of above, I now know myself of five in connexion with farm homesteads. As to land going out of cultivation, why, sir, there will very soon scarcely be left a yard of our famed dowDS." Mr Osborne then takes the condition of the clergy into account. He says their income from tithes may be less-but they have not to wrangle for it with their parishioners there are fewer calls on their charily money goes farther than it used. The outcry of tiie tenant farmers he treats as mere grumbling. Ii That there are men unfortunate as farmers is only to be expected,—for what trade or profession is there in which all can command success? but that fewer farmers fail than any other clas. of tradesmen, I hold to be a fact as honourabie to them as a cless, as it is declaratory of the wholesome nature of the farming business. There is one curious fact relative to this figure,—the farmer,—that the chief complainers of the ruin" are just those who, for years, have cried wolf," as they chased the fox. It is consolatory to hear a p;ood humoured lot of well. mounted men talking, year by yeu, of their ruin, and yet to find that they are the first and most constant in the field. Long may they be so, for so long shall I believe their ruin is a mere market phantom,—the crafty creation of those who, for political pur- poses, like to keep up the cry." Lastly he addresses the argumentum ad Jwmilie':2 to the plough- mao. stubborn and unsot.hisiicatcd :— Now, John Styles, stand forth, honest ploughmaD, with homed hands and good-humoured red face-has cheap bread been thy ruin 1 You may well laugh you and Susan and the children never were so we l orf and you know the reason why The wages have, in some instances, fallen since 1346, but in most cases theJemand for labour, from the improved system of farming, and the amount of additional land brought under the plough, has kept them up. Where even only 65 a week is re- ceived, the labourer is still better off than I ever knew him. There is not a thingheeatsorwears he cannot get at a less price. At the boards of guardians the work is infinitely less than it used to be the rates have much decreased. Take the children at school, or the congregations at their places of worship, and who is there who will deny that, in our generation, we never knew the poor so well and respectably clad ? Tiie rent of their cot. tages, the contributions to their clubs, ere now scarcely ever in arrear. For tny own par'. I can say, after more than twenty years' active interest in their condi'ion, I never saw them so comfortable as I have known them to bs for the last five years. That which is the result of my own observation, is corroborated by their own evidence, cheerfully given me. They have no need now to purchase dirty foul tailings,' at 6s the bushel. They do not take it as a favour to buy the meat of animals which die in the field at 4d the found. They can get good cheap bread, and enough 01 it, and now they can buy a bit of real butcher's meat. I know you will be told this is all untrue that they prefir dear bread and h'gher wages, &f. 1 should He this test applied :— Let a day be appointed, on which evE\y man who is lor cheap bread shall give himself a holyday, i.e., lo?e the day s wages. I doubt whether 100 men would go to work ia Dorset oa that day."