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there does not exist any good reason to doubt the ability of this country to meet it. In order, however, the more clearly to demonstrate this to my own satisfaction, I availed myself of the opportunity afforded me by a tour which I took last July and August to Switzerland, in company with Mrs. W. and a few friends, to take Lyons in our way; and having had the precaution to furnish myself with some letters of introduction from LONDON and Paris, I had the good fortune to find a ready entrance to many of their manufactories, and to engage in several interesting conversations with some intelligent merchants.

It is a fact no less remarkable than true, that those identical measures of our enlightened ministers, which excited so much alarm amongst the majority of the manufacturers of this country, ás being calculated, in their opinion, to throw the whole silk trade of Europe into the hands of our rivals, were viewed by the latter as a deep stroke of policy that would give the coup de grace to an already tottering trade in France; but in what way such 'misfortunes were to be brought about, both parties were unable to explain. The effect, however, of this impression on the part of the French silk manufacturers, has been to render them extremely jealous of their English competitors, and they now observe the most ridiculous secrecy as to all the details of their trade; in addition to which they have institu ed proceedings in the French courts of law against some of their more intelligent and opulent countrymen, who have not thought it incompatible with the real interests of France, to have mercantile and manufacturing establishments in England as well as at PARIS and LYONS. Indeed, so great is the prejudice excited against these individuals that I have the best authority for saying they could not appear in the latter city, but at the risk of their lives; and so considerable are the apprehensions thus excited, that in a letter which I have just received froin a native and respectable resident who is above these vulgar feelings, I find every thing connected with the silk trade, and the proceedings just alluded to, noticed in the most ambiguous terms, in order that the writer may not be exposed to

popular indignation, should the letter be detained. How far the government of France participates in this ignorance of the true principles of political economy, I am, of course, unable to state, but am happy to find that some members of the legislative body have expressed themselves as fully aware of the necessity of falling in with those liberal and correct views which are rapidly obtaining in this commercial country, and that they are ably seconded by one or two of the French journals.

I feel conscious that I ought to apologise for so lengthened a digression on a subject which, however important it may be to me, as a silk manufacturer, does not present many points of interest to the general reader, and by a gentleman so well informed as yourself, must be sufficiently well understood without the explanations I have attempted; but it occurred to me that some remarks of the kind would form an appropriate introduction to a few extracts from my journal, in which I shall purposely omit many technical matters that I fear would be but imperfectly understood, and confine myself to those particulars with which I originally proposed to supply you. I also refrain from the introduction of any details respecting the beautiful and romantic situation of Lyons, its many elegant and venerable buildings, the copious remains of Roman antiquity which have from time to time been discovered in the city and its vicinity, its local peculiarities, the number of its inhabitants, and the historical recollections connected with it, as I take it for granted all these will be described by yourself in those glowing terms and that correct diction which are so natural to you, and which I have had so frequent opportunities of admiring on occasions and on subjects much less calculated than these to excite the imagination. It is sufficient for me to say that we arrived at that noble city on Sunday the 15th of August, 1824, and took up our quarters at the Hôtel de l'Europe after a most fatigueing but in many respects agreeable journey from PARIS on the Bourbonnais road.

It only remains for me to add that should you find any of the particulars I have collected of sufficient importance to be introduced into your forthcoming volume, they are, I can assure you, very much at your service.

I beg to subscribe myself,
My Dear Sir,
Yours very truly,

THOMAS WINK WORTH. 150, Cheapside,

May 10, 1825.

AUGUST 17, 1824. – Visited several of the silk weavers and in particular the apartments of a man who employs a number of journeymen in the manufacture of rich furniture silks for the royal family of France. One of the patterns has already occupied him three years, and the quantity wanted will not be finished till another year is expired. It is a very rich figured brocade of brilliant colours, blended together with singular skill and taste in a fanciful design. The price of this silk is to be 500 francs per ell. In another loom was a border for tapestry in damask at 40 francs per ell, though but ten inches in width. The subject is Cupid and Psyché surrounded by a Grecian acanthus. The colours introduced are only crimson, amber, and white, but the shading is so exquisitely managed as to throw out the figures as if in relief.

18. This day I have delivered my letters of introduction, and have met with much civility from the several gentlemen to whom they were addressed. At the house of Messrs. G-bankers and silk merchants I was shewn their stock of raw and thrown silk, and examined some samples of a sort which is always reserved for the Lyons market, being most excellent in quality, but limited in quantity. It is called Organsine de Provence, and is much superior to the best silks we can procure from Fossombrone, or indeed from any part of Italy.

At the warehouses of Messrs. D- and others, I saw some of the best specimens of workmanship and style which have ever perhaps been produced in this city, and though the greater part of them are by no means superior to what are made in Spitalfields, yet I must do these gentlemen the justice to say, that the taste and execution they display in many of their patterns fully justify the preference given to French silks on the Continent.

Mons. M. dined with us at the Hôtel de l’Europe, and from him I obtained some curious information relative to the mode iu which justice is administered between manufacturers and their journeymen, and also between each other. A permanent committee is established for this purpose, consisting of three masters and three journeymen, which takes cognisance of every offence or violation of the rules it promulgates. For instance, this committee (which is called “le Prud'homme,”) can condemn å master in damages who pirates the pattern of another; or who pays his journeyman less than the tarif of prices agreed upon by the whole body; or who, when he takes a man into his service who is in debt to his former master, neglects to keep back one eighth part of his wages till the debt is liquidated. It can also commit a journeyman to prison who neglects, embezzles, or wilfully damages the property committed to his care.

From all the decisions of the Prud'homme there is an appeal allowed to the “ Tribunal de Commerce," but this is seldom resorted to, as the judgment is generally confirmed.

The mode of ascertaining whether a pattern is pirated or original is very simple. At the office of the Prud'homme a large book is kept in which are placed and registered all new patterns of colour or design in the precise order they are received from the manufacturers. If therefore one person complains of another on this matter, reference is immediately had to the book, where the priority of insertion decides the point.

I think the manufacturers of England might take a hint from our neighbours on this subject with considerable advantage, for at present the most ingenious master has no property in his invention or taste, but is at the mercy of every unprincipled fellow who chooses to tempt a workman to betray his employer's interests,

19. This day we have been conducted by Mons. M. and also

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by Mons. D. to some of the larger weaving establishments of the city. These are principally situated on the high parts between the two rivers (Saône and Rhone,) and, except in the clearness of the atmosphere, and general cleanliness of the streets and houses, the whole department bears a strong resemblance to Spitalfields. The constant rattle of the shuttle and the cheerful countenances of the industrious inhabitants, reminded ns very strongly of our own manufacturing districts. With respect to the workmanship exhibited to us, we saw little to admire or condemn, and certainly nothing calculated to excite apprehension as to the effect of the expected competition, on the score of superior talent in the weaver. In the price of labour, however, we observed a material and alarming difference which, when the ports are opened to the admission of French silks, will, I fear, operate to the injury of the English manufacturer, unless such a duty is imposed and strictly exacted as will compensate for that difference.

Much stress has been laid in England upon the superiority of colour which, it is said, the French dyers produce and of course we found the manufacturers here much disposed to give currency to this prejudice in their favour. This superiority they attribute to the peculiar properties of the water of the Saône, which is used in the process of dying. However, they were quite unable to explain wherein its greater excellence consists, and in point of fact, I have reason to think there is nothing in it, as we have now several French dyers in England who produce colours quite equal to any that are shewn in France, and which are frequently sold as of LYONS manufacture.


T. Woodfall, Printer, Little Queen Street, Westminster.

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