What kind of working conditions are implied by the capitalists’ complaints that open book 2?

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As the narrator satirically describes it at the beginning of the first chapter of the second book of Hard Times, the mill owners, who are compared to fragile china, are undone (driven out of business) under the following circumstances:

They were ruined, when they were required to send labouring children to school; they were ruined when inspectors were appointed to look into their works; they were ruined, when such inspectors considered it doubtful whether they were quite justified in chopping people up with their machinery; they were utterly undone,...

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