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magnitude than the immediate effect of the abolition, declared that they But without innovation there can were also the sentiments of their be no remedy against existing evils constituents, whose earnest instrucand abuses. And whatever might tions they had received on the sub. be the consequences of the abolition ject. The genius of human nature of the slave-trade in respect of appeared as both a judge and advo. commerce and political power, the cate for the poor Africans. · It natural claims of man from man seemed as if the Sire, the common were not to be weighed in the parent of mankind, wrung with balance with any commercial or grief and anguish at the unequal political advantages whatever. These lot, and the evils inflicted on one were not considered by the British another by his offspring, had called legislature and nation as commen. with efficacy to their recollection, karate objects. The common feel. and touched their hearts with a ings of humanity roused, and di. sense, that they were all brethren. macted into one channel by a “la. The emotions of the liberal and bour of love" on the part of one humane appeared to be perfectly in nan, with patience, perseverance, unison with those of Adam, as de. and ability, for the space of twenty scribed by Milton in Paradise Lost, years, formed a generous torrent on the revelation made to him by that bore down all opposition, the angel Michael, of the effects Many of the members of the house that were to flow from his original of commons, while they declared crime :their own sentiments to be in favour
“ Dire was the tossing! deep the groaps ! Despair
* Paradise Lost, book xi. line 490—7. The abolition of the slave-trade gave th, as was to be expected, to the finest strains of eloquence, in both houses of arnament. But the most impressive eloquence we ever witnessed on this subject was not that of a inan, but of an inferior animal. Mr. T--W, Kensington, known for his taste, and admirable collection of antiquities and natural history,
da parrot that was newly brought home from the West Indies, by the lady of a santer, accompanied by a fenrale slave.-The animal would now and then make a terse which was an exact imitation of weeping and lamentation - Immediately on the back of this, it would set up another kind of noise which was as exact an imita." ton of loud laughter. What is the meaning of this? --It is a female slase smarting under puninhinent; and her mistress laughing at her crying.
CÍA P. VIII.
Motion by Mr. Whitbread for Leave to bring in a Bill for encouragin
Industry and the Relief of the Poor.- Description of the Number and actual Condition of the Necessitous Poor in England.-Obser vations on the New Systems of Poor's Laws proposed by Mr Malthus, and Mr. Arthur Young.- Principles on which Mr. Whit bread founded his Bill.-The particular Measures proposed t be adopted.- Prophetic Vision of the happy Effects that might o expected to result from their Adoption.—Compliments paid t Mr. Whitbread.-His Bill read a second time, and printed.-Sum dry Observations on the Bill.– Fate of the Bill.- Motion by Lor Howick for Leave to bring in a Bill for securing to all His Majesty' Subjects the Privilege of Serving in the Army and Navy-ob jected to by Mr. Perceval.—The Motion agreed to, and the Bill rea. a first time, and ordered to be printed.- Reasons for postponing from time to time the Second Reading of the Bill.-Resolution moved by Mr. Bankes against Grunting Places or Offices in Rever sion ; and carried.-- Motion by Mr. Martin for an Address to Hi Majesty, against Granting for Life any Office that had been hithert held during His Majesty's pleasure.— A long Debate. - The Motion carried.- Circumstances that led to a Change of Ministry, detailed by Lord Grenville in the House of Lords, and Lord Howick it that of the Commons.-Committee of Inquiry into the Propriety o permitting Sugar and Molasses to be used in Distilleries and Brem eries.-Conduct of the Marquis of Wellesley.- Freehold Estates
- Assets for Simple Contract Debts.-Administration of Justic in Scotland.- Adjournment of Parliament.
THOUGII there were not any community, and the relief and re
I other bills of public and great im. gulation of the necessitous poor.” ] portance that passed in what re. was an assertion, he observed, noi mained of this session, into laws; pretty generally made, that the sys yet not a few of this character were tem of our poor's laws had served t brought into discussion, which it degrade those whom it was intende would be improper to pass over un. to exalt; to destroy the spirit noticed, as the progress of publie independence throughout the land opinion leads sooner or later to to hold up hopes which could not b practical consequences.
realized ; to encourage idleness an Mr. Whitbread, in the house of vice; and to produce a superfluou commons, February 19th, moved population, the offspring of impre for leave to bring in a bill “ for pro. vidence, and the early victims moting and encouraging industry misery and want. By the accurat amongst the labouring classes of the returns, which had of late year
been laid before parliament, which ness than would have existed withwere made up in 1803, it appeared out them. But in many of the conthat upon a population in England clusions to which Mr. M. had and Wales (exclusive of the army pushed his doctrines, Mr. W. ma. and navy) of 8,870,000 souls, not terially differed from him. Any less than 1,231,000 were partakers man who read his writings, ought to of parochial relief. That is, that place a guard over his heart, lest it Dearly one seventh part of the people should become hardened against the of England was indebted to the distresses of his fellow-creatures : other six, wholly or in part, for lest, in learning that misery and vice their support; but by far the larger must of necessity maintain a footing part of that pumber wholly. It was in the world, he should give up all so prored, that exclusively of all attempts at their subjugation. clateral expence, such as army, Many persons agreeing in Mr. Mal. aritia, and so on, which was raised thus's position, had wished that at the same time with the rate for the whole system of the poor's-laws the relief of the poor, and paid out were expunged from our statute of it, there had been raised, in the book. But, Mr. W. thought that Fear ending at Easter 1803, for the no one had been bold enough to naintenance and relief of the poor, propose a total and immediate abro. $4,287,000, being almost double gation of the poor's-laws. Supposing the sun raised for the same purpose, the ultimate good to be certain ; on the average of the years 1783, could the house of commons, in 1784, 1785, and nearly double the order to obtain it, give their consent tum raised in 1776. All would to a measure which, in its dreadful agree that a remedy was imme. execution, would be more widely diately to be sought for an evil so fatal than any edict, that ever pro. great and so rapidly increasing.- ceeded from any tyrant conqueror ar. W. beliered man to be born to upon earth? which would spread labour, as the sparks fly upwards; famine, desolation, and death that a certain portion of misery was throughout the laud, and consign to beparable from mortality; and a premature grave infirmity, age, inhat all plans for the lodging, cloth- fancy, and innocence? The imme. ing and feeding of all mankind, with diate abrogation of these laws was ab. what might be called comfort, were solutely out of the question. But their quite impossible in practice.He gradual abolition had been suggested xlieved that the work of Mr. Mal. to be practicable. And he recollected taus on Population had been very two plans which had been laid before
erally read, and that it had come the public for that purpose. The one Hleted that change of opinion with bore the name of Mr. Arthur Young. pagard to the poor's-laws which had The other was suggested by Mr. 19 some measure begun. He be. Malthus himself. Mr. Young's plan, Lifted his principles to be incontro. was, to take the amout of the rate yurtible. This philosopher had de raised for the relief of the poor utered it as his opinion, that the at a given time, and to enact that poor's.laws had not only failed in it should not, on any account, be in. bair object, but that they had been creased. But Mr. Young, as Mr. productive of much more wretchedMalthus had shewn, beyond a doubt, Vol. XLIX.
had completely refuted hingseif, by ground occupied by another, or anextractfrom his Trarıls in France. any part of the fruit of his labos "The national assembly of France," But if all the land were occupi says Vr. Younia" though they dis- and the poor were denied any ri aprived of the English poor-laws, to assistance, might they not beca stili adopted their principle, and de. a most formidable body ? and w clared that the pooriad a right to pre step could be taken to cure ord cuniary assistance; that the assembly rect an evil thus improvider ought to consider such a provision created ? Mr. W. could not le one of its first and most sacred dutits; forward to such a situation with and that with this yiew an expence great apprehension and dread, ou, ht to be incurred of 50 millions a consent to break that chain, whi year. But Mr. Young does not com. with all its imperfections and prehend how it is posible to regard advantages, bound the differ the expenditure of 50 millions a classes of society indissolubly year as a sacred duty, and not to gether. If then a total and in extend that 50 to 100, if necessity diate abrogation of the poor-la should demand it; the 100 to 200; were out of the question, and the 200 to 300, and so on in the practicable plan presented itself same miserable progression that had their gradual abolition, what taken place in England.” -Mr. mained to be done ?-It was Malthus's own plan was, “ that a Mr. W.'s wish to get rid of regulation should be made, decla. poor-laws, but he thought that ring that no child born from any taking proper steps, they might marriage taking place after the ex. come obsolete in the lapse of hal piration of the law; and that no century: though he would have iltegitimate child born two years a code always to remain on from the same daie, should ever be statute book, that there might b entitled to parish assistance." By sure and legal refuge, under a this measure Mr. W. observed, the change of circumstances or soci poor-laws would absolutely cease for indigence and distress. after a very short period, as to the The principles on which he wo rising generation. But to what a proceed to effect this most desira scene of confusion, jarring, con object were these. To exalt tention, and suffering, would it not character of the labouring classes give birth? Ile was perfectly cer the community. To give the tain that if the legislature could be bourer consequence in his owney induced to pass a law pregnant with and in those of his fellows. To na such cruelty, within two years him a lit companion for himself, a after the commencement of its open fit to associate with civilized m ration it must be repealed.-The TO excite him to acquire prope poor, denied their right to support, by a prospect of tasting its swed by those who possessed property, and to give him inviolable secur might have recourse to the original for that property when acquir right of occupancy. For each man To mitigate those restraints wh born had surely a risht to occupy a confined his sphere of action. spot of ground unoccupied, though hold out a hope of reward to pati ne might not possess awy right to the exertion. To render depende poferty, in all cases, degradation word, by making them both wiser in his eyes, and at all times less de- and better, to make them less a sirable than independent industry.---' burthen to themselves, or to the Having accomplished this first grand public. “ Look," said Mr. White object, he would endeavour to bread,"at Scotland ; see her enviable ighten the burthens inevitably to state with regard to her poor. That ise borne, by a more equal distribue country is the theme of panegyrick tiju. He would propose some ma. amongst all who have visited her, on trial alterations in the mode of account of the situation of her labour. Liording relief, and to put some of ing classes: and yet she has your ile present institutions on a more System of poor-laws. The enact. orderly footing, that it might be ments are the same; they are still in sible to make a distinction be force; they have been in general use; ***1 the criminal and the innocent. they may be, and are still sometimes . yucessitous poor. It would car- resorted to. And time was when tius far beyond the scale of our nar- the state of the poor, on the other rative to enter into the details of the side of the Tweed and Eske, was lan proposed. The great princi. more wretched, and their violence the. out of which, the greater and greater, than was almost ever known Morget important part of them sprung, in the southern part of the island. ut which they might be referred, The truth of this position Mr. W. $15 a national or general education; proved from the political discourses of with was expected to extend tlie the celebrated Fitcher of Saltount. its of men, by enlightening their Now (Mr. W. continued, ) the poor. widerstanding, to raise their aims, laws are almost totally in disuse, and Hoy quicken their industry, to purify all is regularity and order. What Bir morals, to make them sensible was the day-star then which shone to bonour or dishonour; and in a forth and calmed those troubles?
* These may be seen in Mr. W.'s bill, which was printed and sent to the maferes o che diferent counties in England. *Ibere are at this day, 1698, in Scotland, says Mr. Fletcher, (besides a great
Deir families very poorly provided for by the church boxes, and others who, Tag upon bad food, 'fall into divers diseases, 200,000 people berging from
door. There are not only no way advantageous, but a very great burthen to so a cumtry. And though the number of them be perhaps double of what it ornetly, hy reason of this present grcat distress; vet in all times there have
0:1 100,00) of these vacabonds, who have lived without any subjection ! : laws of die land, or even to those of God, or nature. Fathers incestuously
par to, with their own daughters, the son with the mother, and the brother "} the sister : 09 magistrate could ever discover which way one in a hundred of
witches dies, or that ever they were bap:ized. Vany murders have been Atted among them, and they are not only an unspeakable oppression to poor ., / who if they give pot brcad, or some kind of provision, to perhaps forty of Pap? Wain, in one day, are sire to be insulted by them,; but they rob inany poor Je one who live in houses distant from any neighbourhood. In years of plenty, aj thousands of them meet together in the mountains, where they fcast and riot
many days: and at country weddings, markets, and other like public occasions, py are to be seen, boch men and women, perpetually drunk, cursing, blasphemins, tri fighting together.'