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some measure bewildered by all this; his notions may be ob- / gentleman of very Independent fortune), who has con. scure, but his feelings will be roused, and the foundation at sented that he should be placed there. Mr. Sturges least of true piety will be laid.
| Bourne is undoubtedly a man of business, and of very Of moral instruction, the child may be taught less at home than at school, but he will be taught better; that is, whatever good sense : he has made some mistakes ; but, upon he is taught he will feel; he will not have' abstract proposi- | the whole, sees the subject as a philosopher and a tions of duty coldly presented to his mind; but precept and statesman ought to do. Above all, we are pleased practice will be conjoined ; what he is told it is right to do will with his good nature and good sense in adhering to his be instantly done. Sometimes the operative priuciple on the undertaking, atter the Parliument has flung out two or child's inind will be love, sometimes fear, sometimes habitual three or his favourite bills. Many men would have sense of obedience; it is always something that will impress, surrendered so unthankful and laborious an always something that will be remembered.
taking in disgust ; but Mr. Bourne knows better what There are two points which we consider as now admit- appertains to his honour and character, and above all ted by all inen of sense--Ist, That the poor-laws must what he owes to his country. It is a great subject; be abolished ; 2dly, That they must be very gradually and such as will secure to him the gratitude and ta. abolished.* We hardly think it worth while to throw your of posterity, if he brings it to a successful away pen and ink upon any one who is still inclined issue. to dispute either of these propositions.
We have stated our opinion, that all remedies, withWith respect to the gradual abolition, it must be out gradual abolition, are of little importance. With observed, thai the present redundant population of the a foundation laid for gradual abolition, every auxiliary country has been entirely produced by the poor-laws: improvement of the poor-laws (while they do remain) and nothing could be so grossly unjust as to encourage is worthy the attention of Parliament; and in sugges. people to such a vicious multiplication, and then, ting a few alteratious as fit to be immediately adopted, when you happen to discover you: folly, immediately we wish it to be understood, that we have in view the 10 starve them into annihilation. You have been call gradual destruction of the system, as well as its amend. ing upon your population for two hundred years to beget inent while it continues to operate. more children-furnished them with clothes, food, and It seems to us, then, that one of the first and greathouses-taught them to lay up nothing for matrimony, est improvements of this unhappy system would be a nothing for children, nothing for age—but to depend complete revision of the law of settlement. Since Mr. upon justices of the peace for every human want. The East's act for preventing the removal of the poor till folly is now detected; but the people, who are the they are actually chargeable, any man may live where fruit of it, remain. It was madness to call them in he pleases, till he becomes a beggar, and asks alms of this manner into existence ; but it would be the height the place where he resides. To gain a settlement, of cold blooded cruelty to get rid of them by any other then, is nothing more than to gain a right of begging: than the most gentle and gradual means; and not only it is not, as it used to be before Mr. East's act, a pow. would it be cruel, but extremely dangerous to make er of residing where, in the judgment of the resident, the attempt. Insurrections of the most sanguinary his industry and exertion will be best rewarded; but a and ferocious nature would be the immediate conse- power of laxing the industry and exertions of other quence of any very sudden change in the system of the persons in the place where his settlement falls. This poor-laws; not partial, like those which proceeded privilege produces all the evil complained of in the from an impeded or decaying state of manufactures, poor-laws; and instead, therefore, of being conferred but as universal as the poor-laws themselves, and as with the liberality and profusion which it is at present, ferocious as insurrections always are which are led on it should be made of very difficult attainment, and liaby hunger and despair.
ble to the fewest possible changes. The constant These observatione may serve as an answer to those policy of our courts of justice has been, to make setangry and impatient gentlemen, who are always cry. Jilements easily obtained. Since the period we have ing out, Whai have the House of Commons done ?- before alluded to, this has certainly been a very mistaWhat have they to show for their labours ? Are the ken policy. It would be a far wiser course to abolish rates lessened? Are the evils removed? The com- all other means of settlement than those of birth, pamittee of the House of Commons would have shown rentage, and marriage-not for the limited reason themselves to be a set of the most contemptible char. stated in the committee, that it would diminish the latans, if they had proceeded with any such indecent law expenses (though that, too, is of importance), but and perilous haste, or paid the slightest regard to the because it would invest fewer residents with the fatal ignorant folly which required it at their hands. They privilege of turning beggars, exempt a greater number have very properly begun, by collecting all possible of labourers from the moral corruption of the poosinformation upon the subjeci ; by consulting specula- laws, and stimulate them to exertion and economy, by tive and practical men ; by leaving time for the press the fear of removal if they are extravagant and idle. to contribute whatever it could of thought or know. Of ten men who leave the place of their birth, four, ledge on the subject ; and by introducing measures, probably, get a settlement by yearly hiring, and four the effects of which will be, and are intended to be, others by renting a small tenement; while two or gradual. The lords seemed at first to have been sur three may return to the place of their nativity, and prised that the poor-laws were not abolished before settle there. Now, under the present system, here are the end of the first session of Parliament; and accord- eight men settled where they have a right to beg ingly set up a little rival committee of their own, without being removed. The probability is, that they which did little or nothing, and will not, we believe be will all beg; and that their virtue will give way to the renewed. We are so much less sanguine than those incessant temptation of the poor-laws : but if these noble legislators, that we shall think the improrement men had felt from the very beginning, that removal immense, and a subject of very general congratulation, from the place where they wished most to live would if the poor-rates are perceptibly diminished, and if be the sure consequence of their idleness and extravathe system of pauperism is clearly going down in gance, the probability is, that they would have escaptwenty or thirty years hence.
ed the contagion of pauperism, and been much more We think, upon the whole, that govenment has been useful members of society than they now are. The fortunate in the selection of the gentleman who is best labourers in a village are commonly those who are placed at the head of the committee for the revision of living where they are legally settled, and have there. the poor-laws; or rather, we should say (for he is a fore no right to ask charity-for the plain reason,
they have nothing to depend upon but their own exer. I am not quite so wrong in this as I seem to be, nor after tions: in short, for them the poor-laws hardly exist; all our experience am I satisfied that there has not been a good and they are such as the great mass of English peas. deal of rashness and precipitation in the conduct of this
admir- antry would be, if we had escaped the curse of these able measure. You have not been able to carry the law into laws altogether. manufacturing countries. Parliament will compel you to
It is incorrect to say, that no labourer would settle soften some of the more severe clauses. It has been the nucleus of general insurrection and chartism. The Duke of
out of the place of his birth, if the means of acquiring Wellington wisely recommended that the experiment should a settlement were so limited. Many men begin the be first tried in a few counties round the metropolis.
world with strong hope and much confidence in their
own fortune, and without any intention of subsisting | tlement at all. When a man was not allowed to live by charity ; 'but they see others subsisting in greater where he was not settled, it was wise to lay hold of ease, without their toil and their spirit gradually any plan for extending settlements. But the whole sinks to the meanness of inendicity.
question is now completely changed; and the only An affecting picture is sometimes drawn of a man point which remains is, to find out what mode of con. falling into want in the decline of life, and compelled terring settlements produces the least possible misto reinove from the place where he has spent the chiet. We are convinced it is by throwing every posgreatest part of his days. These things are certainly sible difficulty in the way of acquiring them. If a setpainful enough to him who has the misfortune to wii- tlement hereafter should not be obtained in that par. ness them. But they must be taken upon a large ish in which labourers have worked for many years, scale; and the whole good and evil which they pro. it will be because it contributes materially to their duce diligently weighed and considered. The ques. happiness that they should not gain a settlement tion then will be, whether any thing can be inore there ; and this is a full answer to the apparent injus. really humane, than to restrain a system which relaxes tice. the sinews of industry, and places the dependence of Then, upon what plea of common sense should a laborious men upon anything but themselves. We man gain a power of taxing a parish to keep him, bemust not think only of the wretched sufferer who is re cause he has rented a tenement of ten pounds a year moved, and, at the sight of his misfortunes, call out for there? or, because he has served the office of clerk, fresh facilities to beg. We must remember the in- or sexton, or hog-ringer, or bought an estate of thirty dustry, the vigour, and the care which the dread of pounds value? However good these various pleas removal has excited, and the number of persons who might be for conferring settlements, if it was desira. owe their happiness and their wealth to that salutary ble to increase the facility of obtaining them, they are feeling. The very person who, in the decline of life, is otally inefficacious it it can be shown that the means removed from the spot where be has spent so great a of gaining new settlements should be confined to the part of his time, would, perhaps, have been a pauper limits of the strictest necessity; half a century before, it' he had been afflicted with the These observations (if they have the honour of atright of asking alms in the place where he lived. tracting his attention) will show Mr. Bourne our opin
It has been objected, that this plan of abolishing all ion of his bill for giving the privilege of settlement settlements but those of birth, would send a man, the only to a certain length of residence. In the first labour of whose youth had benefited some other par- place, such a bill would be the cause of endless vexa. ish, to pass the useless part of his life in a place for tion to the poor, from the certainty of their being which he existed only as a burden. Supposing that turned out of their cottages, before they pushed their this were the case, it would be quite sufficient to an. legal taproot into the parish ; and, secondly, it would swer, that any given parish would probably send rapidly extend all the evils of the poor laws, by idenaway as many useless old men as it received: and, titying, much more than they are at present identin. after all, little inequalities must be bome for the gen- ed, the resident and the settled inan—the very opposeral good. But, in truth, it is rather ridiculous to talk ite of the policy which ought to be pursued. of a parish not having benefited by the labour of the Let us suppose, then, that we have got rid of all the man who is returned upon their hands in his old age. means of gaining a settlement, or right to become a If such parish resembles most of those in England, the beggar, except by birth, parentage, and marriage ; for absence of a man for thirty or forty years has been a the wite, of course, must fall into the settlement of great good instead of an evil; they have had many the husband; and the children, till emancipated, must more labourers than they could employ; and the very be removed, if their parents are removed. This point man whom they are complaining of supporting for his gained, the task of regulating the law expenses of the few last years, would, in all probability, have been a poor-laws would be nearly accomplished : for the beggar forty years before, if he had remained among most fertile causes of dispute would be removed. Es. them; or, by pushing him out of work, would have ery first settlement is an inexhaustible source of litigamade some other man a beggar. Are the benefits de- tion and expense to the miserable rustics. Upon the rived from prosperous manufactures limited to the simple fact, for example, of a farmer hiring a plougbparishes which contain them? The industry of Hali- man for a year, arise the following afflicting questions: fax, Huddersfield, or Leeds, is felt across the kingdom –Was it an expressed contract? Was it an implied as far as the Eastern Sea. The prices of meat and contract? Was it an implied hiring of the ploughcorn at the markets of York and Malton are instantly man, rebutted by circumstances? Was the plougbaffected by any increase of demand and rise of wages man's contract for a year's prospective service Was in the manufacturing districts to the west. They have it a customary hiring of the ploughman? Was it a rebenefited these distant places, and found labour for trospective híring of the ploughman? Was it a contheir superfluous hands by the prosperity of their man. ditional hiring? Was it a general hiring? Was it a ufactures. Where, then, would be the injustice, if special, or a special yearly hiring, or a special hiring the manufacturers, in the time of stagnation and pov. with wages reserved weekly? Did the farmer make erty, were returned to their birth settlements? But as it a special conditional hiring with warning, or an er. the law now stands, population tumors, of the most ceptive hiring? Was the service of the ploughinan dangerous nature, may spring up in any parish :-a actual or constructive? Was there any dispensation manufacturer, concealing his intention, may settle expressed or implied ?--or was there a dissolution imthere, take 200 or 300 apprentices, fail, and half ruin plied ?-by new agreement ?-or mutual consent ?-01 the parish which has been the scene of his operations. by justices ?-or by any other of the ten thousand For these reasons, we strongly recommend to Mr. means which the ingenuity of lawyers has created ? Bourne to narrow as much as possible, in all his future Can any one be surprised, after this, that the amount bills, the means of acquiring settlements,* and to re- of appeals for removals, in the four quarter sessions duce them ultimately to parentage, birth, and marriage ending Mid-summer, 1617, were four thousand seren -convinced that, by so doing, he will, in furtherance hundred ?* Can any man doubt that it is necessary to of the great object of abolishing the poor-laws, be only reduce the hydra to as few heads as possible ? or can limiting the right of begging, and preventing the resi- any other objection be stated to such reduction, than dent and almsman from being (as they now common the number of attorneys and provincial counsel, whom ly are).one and the same person. Bui, before we dis- it will bring into the poor house? Mr. Nicol says, miss this part of the subject, we must say a few words that the greater number of modes of settlement do mi upon the methods by which settlements are now gain increase litigation. He may just as well say, that the ed.
number of streets in the Seven Dials does not increase In the settlement by hiring it is held, that a man has the difficulty of finding the way. The modes of sela claim upon the parish for support where he has la: tlement we leave, are by far the simplest, and the er. boured for a year; and yet another, who has laboured idence is assisted by registers. there for twenty years by short hirings, gains no set Under the head of law expenses, we are convinced . This has been done.
* Cominous' Report, 1817.
a great deal may be done, by making some slight al. , attention they woud be able to afford them at their teration in the law of removals. Al present, removals own houses. are made without any warning to the parties to whom The common people have been so much accustomed the pauper is removed ; and the first intimation which to resort to magistrates for relief, that it is certainly a the defendant parish receives of the projected in. delicate business to wean them from this bad habit ; crease of their population is, by the arrival of the but it is essential to the great objects which the poor. father, mother, and eight or nine children at the over- committee have in view, that the power of magistrates seer's door-where they are tumbled out, with the of ordering relief should be gradually taken away. justice's order about their necks, and left as a specta- When this is once done, half ihe difficulties of the cle to the assembled and indignaut parishioners. No abolition are accomplished. We will suggest a few sooner have the poor wretches become a little famili. hints as to the means by which this desirable end arized to their new parish, than the order is appealed may be promoted. against, and they are recarted with the same precipi. A poor man now comes to a magistrate any day in tate indecency-Quo fata trahunt, retrahuntque. the week, and any hour in the day, to complain of the
No removal should ever take place without due no overseers, or of the select cominittee. Suppose he tice to the parish to which the pauper is to be remov. were to be made to wait a lilllc, and to feel for a short ed, nor till the time in which it inay be appealed time the bilieruess of that poverty which, by idleness, against is passed by: Notice to be according to the extravagance, and hasty marriage, he has probably distance—either by letter, or personally; and the de- brought upon himselt. To effect this object, we cisiou should be made by the justices at their petty would prohibit all orders for relief, by justices, besessions, with as much care and attention as if there ween ihe 1st and 10th day of the inonih; and leave were no appeal from their decision. An absurd no. the poor entirely in the hands of the overseers, or of tion prevails among magistrates, that they need not the select vestry, for that period. Here is a beginning take inuch trouble in the investigation of removals, -a gradual abolition of one of the first features of the because their errors may be corrected by a superior poor-laws. And it is without risk of lumult; for no court; whereas, it is an object of great importance, one will run the risk of breaking the laws for an evil by a fair and dirigent investigation in the nearest and to which he anticipates so speedy a termination. This cheapest court, to convince the country people which Decameron of overscers' despotism, aud paupers' sufparty is right and which is wrong: and in this man- fering, is the very thing wanted. It will reach the ner to prevent them from becoming the prey of law parishes to administer their own charity responsibly, vermin. We are convinced that this subject of the and to depend upon their own judgment. It will teach removal of poor is well worthy a short and separate the poor the miseries of pauperism and dependence ; bill. Mr. Bourne thinks it would be very difficult to and will be a warning toʻminarried young men not draw up such a bill. We are quite satisfied we could hastily and rashly to place themselves, their wives and draw up one in ten minutes that would completely children, in the same miserable situation ; and it will answer the end proposed, and cure the evil complain effect all these objects gradually, and without danger. ed of.
It would of course be the same thing on principle, it We proceed to a number of small details, which are relief were confined to three days between ihe 1st and well worth the attention of the legislature. Over. 10th of each month ; three between the 10th and 20th ; seers' accounts should be given in quarterly, and pass three between the 20th and the end of the month ;-or ed by the justices, as they now are, annually. The in any other manner that would gradually* crumble office of overseer 'should be triennial, The accounts away the power, and check the graiuilous muniticence which have nothing to do with the poor, such as the of justices,-give authority over their own affairs to constable's account, should be kept and passed sepa. the heads of the parish, and teach the poor, by little rately from them; and the vestsy should have the and little, that they must suffer if they are imprudent. power of ordering a certain portion of the superfluous It is understood in all these observations, ihat the poor upon the roads. But we beseech all speculators overseers are bound to support their poor without any in poor-laws to remember, that the machinery they order of justices; and that death arising from absolute must work with is of a very coarse description. An want should expose those officers to very severe pun. overseer must always be a limited, uneducated per ishments, if it could be traced to their inhumanity and son, but little interested in what he is about, and with neglect. The time must come when we must do withmuch business of his own on his hands. The exten. out this; but we are not got so far yet-and are at sive interference of gentlemen with those matters is present only getting rid of justices, not of overseers. quite visionary and impossible. If gentlemen were Mr. Davisou seeins to think that the plea of old age tide-waiters, the custom-house would be better serv. stands upon a very different footing, with respect to ed; if gentlemen would becoine petty constables, the the poor-laws, from all other pleas. But why should police would be improved ; if bridges were made of this plea be more favoured than that of sickness ?gold, instead of iron, they would not rust. But there why more than losses in trade, incurred by no impruare not enough of these articles for such purposes, dence. Every inan knows he is exposed to the help
A great part of the evils of the poor laws, has been lessness of age; but sickness and sudden ruin are very occasioned by the large powers intrusted to individual often escaped-comparatively seldom happen. Why justices. Every body is full of humanity and goodis a man exclusively to be protected against that evil nature when he can relieve misfortune bý pulting his which he must have foreseen longer than any other, hand-in his neighbour's pocket. Who can bear to and has had the longest time to guard againsi ? Mr. see a fellow-ereature suffering pain and poverty, when Davison's objections to a limited expenditure are much he can order other fellow.creatures to relieve him? more satisfactory. These we shall lay before our Is it in human nature, that A should see B in tears and readers; and we recommend them to the attention of inisery, and not order C to assist hin? Such a power the commillee, must, of course, be liable to every degree of abuse ; and the sooner the power of ordering relief can be "I shall advert next to the plan of a limitation upon the taken out of the hands of magistrales, ihe sooner shall amount of rates to be assessed in future. This limitation, as it we begin to experience some mitigation of the evils of is a pledge of some protection to the property now subjected the poor-laws. The special-vestry bill is good for this to tlie maintenance or the poor against the indefinite encroachpurpose, as far as it goes; but it goes a very little beueft; and supposing it were rigorously adhered to the very way; and we much doubt if it will operate as any sort knowledge, among the parish espectants, that there was some of abridgment to the power of magistrates granting limit to their range of expectation, some barrier which they relief. A single magistrate must not act under this could not pass, miglit incline them to turu their thoughts homebill but in cases of special emergency. But every case
ward again to the care of themselves. But it is an expedient, of distress is a case of special emergency; and the at the best, far from being satisfactory. In the first place,
there is much reason to fear that such a limitation would not double magistrales, holding their petty sessious at some little alehouse, and overwhelmed with all the
* All gradation and cautiou baye been banished since the romonthly business of the hundred, cannot possibly give form bil-rapid high-pressure wisdom is the only agent in to the pleadings of the overseer and pauper ball the public affairs.
eventually be maintained, after the example of a similar one style. If he would think less about it, he would write having failed before, and considering that the urgency of the much better. It is always as plethoric and fullapplicants as long as they retain the principle of dependence dressed as if he were writing a treatise de finibus bonoupon the parish unqualified in any one of its main articles, rum et malorum. He is sometimes obscure ; and is would probably overbear a mere barrier of figures in the parish account. Then there would be much real difficulty in the occasionally apt to dress up common-sized thoughts in proceedings, to be governed by such a limiting rule. For the big clothes, and to dwell á little too long in proving use of the limitation would be chiefly, or solely, in cases where what every man of sense knows and admits. We there is some struggle between the ordinary supplies of the hope we shall not offend Mr. Davison by these re. parish rates, and the exigences of the poor, or a kind of run marks; and we have really no intention of doing so. and pressure upon the parish by a mass of indigence: and in His views upon the poor-laws are, generally speaking, circumstances of this kind, it would be hard to know how to distribute the supplies under a fair proportion of the appli- very correct and philosophical ; he writes like a gencants known or expected; hard to know how
much might be tleman, a scholar, and a man capable of eloquence; granted for the present, and how much should be kept in re- and we hope he will be a bishop. If his mitred proserve for the remainder of the year's service. The real intri- ductions are as enlightened and as liberal as this, we cacy in such a distribution of account woulil show itself in dis- are sure he will conter as much honour on the bench proportions and inequalities of allowance, impossible to be as he receives from it. There is a good deal, however, avoided ; and the applicants would have oue pretext more for in Mr. Davison's book about the virtuous marriages discontent.
The limitation itself in many places would be only in words of the poor. To have really the charge of a famůy and figures. It would be sel, I presume, by an average of cer- as a husband and a father, we are told, -10 have the tain preceding years. But the average taken upon the pre- privilege of laying out his life in their service, is the ceding years might be a sum exceeding in its real value the poor man's boast,- his home is the school of his senhighest amount of the assessments of any of the averaged timents,' &c. &c.' This is viewing human life through years, under the great change which has taken place in the a Claude Lorraine glass, and decorating it with colours value of money itself. A given rate, or assessment nominally the that do not belong to it. A ploughman marries a same, or lower, might in this way be a greater real money value ploughwoman because she is plump; generally uses than it was some time before. In many of the most distressed her ill; thinks his children an incumbrance ; very districts, where the parochial rates have nearly equalled the rents, a nominal average would, therefore, be no effectual ben- often flogs them; and, for sentiment, has nothing efit; and yet it is in those districts that the alleviation of the more nearly approaching to it, than the ideas of burthen is the most wanted.
broiled bacon and mashed potatoes. This is the state * It is manifest, also, that a peremptory restriction of the of the lower orders of mankind-deplorable, but true whole amount of money applicable to the parochial service, and yet rendered much worse by the poor-laws. though abundantly justified in many districts by their particu
The systein of roundsmen is much complained of; lar condition being so impoverished as to make the measure, for them, almost a measure of necessity, if nothing can be subs as well
as that by which the labour of paupers is paid, stituted for it; and where the same extreme necessity does not partly by the rate, partly by the master; and a long oxist, still justified by the prudence of preventing in some way string of Sussex justices send up a petition on the sutthe interminable increase of the parochial burtheus; still, thülject. But the evil we are suffering under is an excess such a restriction is an ill-adjusted measure in itself, and of population. There are ten men applying for work, would, in many instances, operate very inequitably. It would when five only are wanted; of course, such a redun. fall unfairly in some parishes, where the relative state of the dance of labouring persons must depress the rate of poor and the parish might render an increase of the relief as their labour far beyond what is sufficient for the supjust and reasonable as it is possible for any thing to be under the poor-laws at all
. It would deny to many possible fair port of their families. And how is that deficiency to claimauts the whole, or a part, of that degree of relief coin-| be made up but from the parish rates, unless it is monly granted elsewhere to persons in their condition, on this meant suddenly and immediately to abolish the whole or that account of claim. Leaving the reason of the present system of the poor laws? To state that the rate of demands wholly unimpeached, and unexplained ; directing no labour is lower than a man can live by, is merely to distinct warning or reinonstrance to the parties, in the line of state that we have had, and have, poor laws-of which, their affairs, by putiing a check to their expectations upon po- this practice is at length the inevitable consequence ; speaking to them in a definite sense, and a sense applicable to and nothing could he more absurd than to attempt to all: this plan of limitation would nurture the whole mass of prevent, by acts of parliament, the natural deprecia. the claim in its origin, and deny the allowance of it to thou- tion of an article which exists in much greater abun. sands, on account of reasons properly affecting a distant quar- dance than it is wanted. Nor can any thing be more
ter, of which they knew nothing. The want of a clear me- unjust than the complaint, that roundsmen are paid • thod, and of a good principle at the bottom of it, in this direct by their employers at an inferior rate, and that the
compulsory restriction, renders it, I think, wholly unaccept; difference is made up by the parish funds. A roundsfor accomplishing the same end. If a parish had to keep its man is commonly an inferior description of labourer account with a single dependent, the plan would be much more
who cannot get regularly hired; he comes upon his useful in that case. For the ascertained fact of the total parish for labour commonly at those seasons when amount of his expectations might set his mind at rest, and put there is the least to do; he is not a servant of the him on a decided course of providing for himself. But, in the farmer's choice, and probably does not suit him; he limitation proposed to be made, the ascertained fact is of a goes off to any other labour at a moment's warning, general amount only, not of each mau's share in it. Conse- when he finds it more profitable, and the farmer is quently, each man has his indefinite expectations left to him, forced to keep nearly the same number of labourers and every separate specific ground of expectation remaining as before,
as if there were no roundsmen at all. Is it just, then,
that a labourer, combining every species of imperfecMr. Davison talks of the propriety of refusing to tiou, should receive the same wages as a chosen, regu. find labour for able labourers after ihe lapse of ten lar, 'stationary person, who is always ready at band, years, as if it was some ordinary bill he was propos- and whom the farmer has selected for his dexterity ing, unacompanied by the slightest risk. It is very easy and character? to make such laws, and to propose them; but it would Those persons who do not, and cannot employ la. be of immense difficulty to carry them into execution. bourers, have no kind of right to complain of the third Done it must be, every body knows that ; but the merit or fourth part of the wages being paid by the rates; will consist in discovering the gradual and gentle means for if the farmers did not agree among themselves to by which the difficulties of getting parish labour may take such occasional labourers, the whole of their be increased, and the life of a parish pauper be rend. support must be paid by the rates, instead of one-third. ered a life of salutary and deterring hardship: A law The order is, that the pauper shall be paid such a that rendered such request for labour perfectly lawful sum as will support himself and family ; and if this for ten years longer, and then suddenly abolished it, agreement to take roundsmen was not entered into by would merely bespeak a certain, general, and violent the farmers, they must be paid, by the rates, the insurrection for the year 1830. The legislator, thank whole of the amount of the order, for doing nothing. God, is in his nature more cunning and gradual ani. If a circulating labourer, therefore, with three chil. mal.
dren, to whom the justices would order 125. per week, Before we drop Mr. Davison, who writes like a very receives 8s. from his employer, and 4s. from the rates, sensible man, we wish to say 'a few words about his the parish is not burthened by this system to the
amount of 4s. but relieved to the amount of Ss. A is gradation ; and the true reason for abolishing these parish manufacture, conducted by overseers, is inti- laws is, not that they make the rich poor, but they nitely more burdeusome to the raies, than any system make the poor poorer.* of roundsmen. There are undoubtedly a few instances to the coutrary. Zeal and talents will cure the origi. nal detects of any systein ; but to suppose that average men can do what extraordinary men have done is the ANASTASIUS. (EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1821.) cause of many silly projects and extravagant blunders. Mr. Owen nay give his whole heart and soul to the Anastasius; or, Memoirs of a Greek, written in the 18th Cenimprovement of one of his parochial parallelograms;
tury. London. Murray. 3 vols. 8vo. but who is to succeed to Mr. Owen's enthusiasm? Anastasius is a sort of oriental Gil Blas, who is Before we have quite done with the subject of rounds. tossed about from one state of life to another -somemen, we camot help noticing a strange assertion of times a beggar in the streets of Constantinople, and Mr. Nicol, that the low rate of wages paid by the at others, au officer of the highest distinction under an master is an injustice to the pauper-ihat he is cheat. Egyptian Bey, with that mixture of good and evil, ed, torsooth, out ot' Es. or 10s. per week by this ar- of loose principles and popular qualities, which, against rangement. Nothing, however, can possibly be more our moral feelings and better judgment, render a novel absurd than such an allegation. The whole country pleasing, and an hero popular. Anastasius is a greater is open to him. Can he gain more anywhere else? 18 villain than Gil Blas, merely because he acts in a worse not, this is the market price of his labour ; and what country, and under a worse government. Turkey is a right has he lo complain? or how can he say he is country in the last stage of Castlereagh-ery and Vansit. defrauded? A combination among farmers to lower tartism; it is in that condition to which we are steadi. the price of labour would be impossible, if labour diu ly approaching--a political finish ;-the sure result of not exist in much greater quantities than was wanted. just and necessary wars, interminable burthens upon All such things, whether labour or worsted stocking, aflectionate people, green bags, strangled sultanas, or broadcloth, are, of course, always regulated by the and murdered mobs. There are, in the world, ali proportion between the supply and demand. Mr. shades and gradations of tyranny. The Turkish, or Nicol cites an instance of a parish in Suffolk, where last, puts the pistol and stiletto in action. Avastasius, the labourer receives sixpence from the farmers, and therefore, among his other pranks, makes nothing of the rest is made up by the rales; and for this hé re- two or three inurders; but they are committed in cha. probates the conduct of the farmers. But why are racter, and are suitable enough to the temper and disthey not to take labour as cheap as they can gei it? position of a lawless Turkish soldier ; and this is the Why are they not lo avail themselves of the market justification of the book, which is called wicked but price of this, as of any other commodity? The rates for no other reason than because it accurately paints are a separate consideration ; let them supply what the manners of a people become wicked from ihe long is wanting ; but the farmer is right to get his iron, his and uncorrected abuses of their government. wood, and his labour, as cheap as he can.
It would, One cardinal fault which pervades this work is, that we admit, come nearly to the same thing, if 1001. were it is too long ;-in spite of the numerous fine passages paid in wages rather than 251. in wages, and 751. by with which it abounds, there is too much of it;~and it rate; but then if the farmers were to agree to give is a relief, not a disappointment to get to the end. Mr. wages above the market price, and sufficient for the Hope, too, should avoid humour, in which he certainly support of the labourers without any rate, such an does not excel. His attempts of that nature are among agreement could never be adhered to. The base and the most serious parts of the book. With all these the crafty would make their labourers take less, and objections, (and we only mention them in case Mr. fling heavier rates upon those who adhered to the Hope writes again,) there are few books in the Eng. contract; whereas, the agreement, founded upon giv- lish language which contain passages of greater power, ing as little as can be given, is pretty sure of being feeling, and eloquence than this novel, -which deline. adhered to; and he who breaks it, lessens the rate to ate frailty and vice with more energy and acuteness, his neighbour, and does not increase it. The problem or describe historical scenes with such bold imagery, to be solved is this : If you have ten or twenty labour. and such glowing language. Mr. Hope will excuse us, ers who say they can get no work, and you cannot ..but we could not help exclaiming, in reading it, Is dispute this, and the poor laws remain, what better this Mr. Thomas Hope ?—Is this the man of chairs scheme can be devised, than that the farmers of the and tables-the gentleman of sphinxes--the (Edipus parish should employ them in their turns ?—and what of coal-boxes—he who meditated on muffineers and more absurd than to suppose that the farmer so em. planned pokers ?-_Where has he hidden all this eloploying them should give one farthing more than the quence and poetry up to this hour?-How is it that he market price for their labour?
has, all of a sudden, burst out into descriptions which It is contended, that the statute of Elizabeth, rightly would not disgrace the pen or Tacitus—and displayed interpreted, only compels the overseer to assist the a depth of feeling and a vigour of imagination which sick and old, and not to find labour for strong and Lord Byron coukl not excel? We do not shrink from healthy men. This is true enough ; and it would have one syllable of this eulogium. The work now before been eminently useful to have attended to it a century us places him at once in the highest list of eloquent past : but to find employment for all who apply, is now writers, and of superior men. by long use become a practical part of the poor-laws, Anastasius, the hero of the tale, is a native of Chi. and will require the same care and dexterity for its os, the son of the drogueman to the French consul. abolition as any other part of that pernicious system. The drogueman, instead of bringing him up to make It would not be altogether prudent suddenly to tell a Latin verses, suffered him to run wild ‘about the million of stout men, with spades and hoes in their streets of Chios, where he lives for some time a lubhands, that the 43d of Elizabeth had been inisconstru- berly boy, and theu a profligate youth. His first exed, and that no more employment would be found for ploit is to debauch the daughter of his acquaintance, them. It requires twenty or thirty years to state such from whom (leaving her in a state of pregnancy), hé truths to such nunbers.
runs away, and enters as a cabin boy in a Venetian We think, then, that the diminution of the claims of | brig. The brig is taken by Maynote pirates : the pisettlement, and the authority of justices, coupled with rates by a Turkish frigate, by which he is landed at the other subordinate improvements we have stated, Nauplia, and marched away io Argos, where the capwill be the best steps for beginning the abolition of tain, Hassan Pacha, was encamped with his army. the poor-laws. When these have been taken, the de.
• I had never seen an encampment: and the novel and strikscription of persons entitled to relief may be gradually ing sighit absorbed all my faculties in astonishment and awe. narrowed by degrees. But let no man hope to get rid of these laws, even in the gentlet and wisest method,
* The boldness of modern legislation has thrown all without a great deal of misery and some risk of tumult. tion into the background. Was it wise to encounter such a If Mr. Bourne thinks only of avoiding risk, he will do risk? Is the danger over? Cun the vital parts of tbe bill be nothing. Some risk must be incurred: but the secret' maintained ?