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TRACTS ON POOR LAWS AND PAUPER MANAGEMENT. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
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TRACTS ON POOR LAWS AND PAUPER MANAGEMENT.
NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME COLLECTED.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR ON THE TRACTS ON POOR LAWS.
The following tracts which have all been previously printed, (though the last in order, is now for the first time published,) bear internal evidence that they are only a portion of what the author has written on the subject of the poor laws; he left behind him indeed a considerable number of unpublished MSS. on the subject, which on some future occasion may see the light. From the Annals of agriculture, it does not appear how far the queries there promulgated, from the answers to which the author intended to fill up the outline of his great work on pauper management, were responded to. In vol. xxix. of the Annals, (p. 556,) the Editor makes an earnest appeal to his readers on the subject, and expresses a hope that “the country gentlemen, and resident clergy, who can with so much ease satisfy many, if not all of his [Bentham’s] inquiries, will take the small trouble of sending him the particulars he requests for the parish at least in which they reside;” but it is probable that few of the persons able to supply the requisite information comprehended his enlightened views, and he seems not to have met with sufficient encouragement to induce him even to complete his outline.
It has been the practice of the Editor, on the occasion of the state of the law as it existed when the author wrote being animadverted on in the text, to mention in a note any changes that may have since taken place by statutory or other authority. In the present instance, however, the vastness of the alterations which have been made in the administration of the poor law, and especially in relation to the features chiefly noticed in these tracts, rendered it impossible to accomplish this object without introducing more extensive notes, than readers, who have so many other means of being acquainted with the subject, would have felt of service. The chief administration is, in the plan proposed by Bentham, in hands quite distinct from those in which it has been placed by the poor law amendment act: but the two systems agree in the principle of centralization. In the minutiæ of the plan so far as they are indicated in the ensuing outline, the reader will find many arrangements identical with those, of which the practical experiments, on which the new poor law is based, have led to the adoption; while many of the practical abuses attacked by the author, such as the system of settlement, the facilities for obtaining relief without submitting to labour, &c., have been duly acknowledged and rectified. But perhaps the most remarkable illustrations of the author’s practical segacity, are to be found in his anticipations of the civilizing benefits of such alterations as he suggests; benefits which may have then appeared as the wildest Utopianism, but which have of late been on so large a scale, practically and speedily realized. A comparison of the effects which the author expects to arise from his plans of juvenile training and apprenticeship, may be viewed as a text, of which the report on the training of pauper children presented in the year 1841 to the secretary of state by the poor law commissioners, may be considered as forming a series of practical illustrations.
SITUATION AND RELIEF OF THE POOR.
ADDRESSED TO THE EDITOR OF THE ANNALS OF AGRICULTURE.
Queen’s Square Place, Westminster, 8th September, 1797.
Dear Sir,—It was but t’other day that I became master of a complete series of your Annals:—accept my confession, and record my penitence. Having, on my return from my long peregrination on the Continent, lent to a friend—who had lent to another friend, whom we neither of us could recollect—the twenty-five or thirty numbers which I had taken in before that period, I postponed from time to time the completion of the series, in hopes of recovering the commencement of it. When at last shame and necessity got the better of procrastination, what a treasure of information burst upon me!—No—so long as power without—and without—shall have left an annual guinea in my pocket (blanks are better here than words) not a number of the Annals shall ever be wanting to my shelves.—Hold!—don’t take me for a Jacobin, now; nor even for a croaker—What I allude to, is not any common burden—such as you land-owners and land-holders grunt under:—but my own ten thousand pound tax—my privilegium—a thing as new to English language, as it is to English practice—sole and peculiar fruit of the very particular notice with which I have been honoured by ——.
This waits upon you with a proof of a blank Pauper Population Table: being a Table framed for the purpose of collecting an account of the Pauper Population in as many parishes, &c., as I may be able to obtain it from. Knowing so well your zeal for all zeal-worthy objects, and mindful of your often experienced kindness, I cannot on this occasion harbour a doubt of your assistance. But in what shape will it be most convenient and eligible for you to give it me? Will you reprint the heads alone, upon the plan of common letter-press, and without the form of a table? or will you accept of an impression, of the same number as that of the Annals, for the purpose of annexing a copy to each copy of your next number? This latter expedient, should it meet with your approbation, would lessen in a considerable degree the trouble to any such gentleman as may be disposed to favour me with their contributions.
Is it worth while to give the Table this indiscriminate kind of circulation? At any rate, your Editorial Majesty will I hope be pleased graciously to grant unto me your Royal Letters—patent or close, or both, addressed to all—and, if need be—singular, your loving subjects, my fellow-correspondents;—charging and exhorting them, each in his parish—and as many other parishes as may be—to fill my Tables, and send in their contributions.
Along with the Table you will find a MS. paper, exhibiting the importance of the information I am thus labouring to collect: you will print it in your Annals, or suppress it, as you think best. The danger is, lest there should be some, who, though they might otherwise have been disposed to furnish the information desired, may perhaps shrink back at the idea of the applications that might be made of it to the economy of the parishes in the management of which they may respectively happen to be concerned. A gentleman, who bears a principal part in the management of one of the great London parishes, had with more than ordinary alacrity consented to a general request of information. I sent him a pair of Tables, and (though this account of the use was not with them) he returned them with an excuse.
I also send, in MS., a Table of Cases calling for Relief—a general Map of Pauper-Land, with all the Roads to it. Few, if any, of the projects I have seen, but what have appeared (the arch-project not excepted) to bear an exclusive—at least a predilective—reference to some of these cases, overlooking or slighting the rest. I send it in the state in which I propose printing it for my own book; but, in the meantime, if it be worth the honour of a place in the Annals, it is altogether at your service. This preparatory insertion will turn to the advantage of the work itself, if any of your Correspondents (not forgetting their Editor) would have the goodness to contribute their remarks to the emendation of it. You will not easily conceive—few heads, at least, but yours are qualified to conceive—the labour it has cost me to bring the two Tables to this state. As to the work at large, it will occupy two independent, though connected, volumes. Pauper Systems compared—Pauper Managementimproved;—the last the Romance, the Utopia, to which I had once occasion to allude.—Romance?—how should it be anything less?—I mean to an Author’s partial eyes. In proportion as a thing is excellent, when established, is it anything but romance, and theory, and speculation, till the touch of the seal or the sceptre has converted it into practice?—Distress, at least—distress, the very life and soul of Romance, cannot be denied to mine: for in this short and close-packed specimen, already you behold it in all its shapes.—Magnanimous President!—accomplished Secretary!—Ye, too, have your Romance.—Heaven send you a happy catastrophe, and the fettered Lands a “happy deliverance!”—Patience! patience!—Ye, too, before you are comforted, must bear to be tormented.
Apropos of Presidents—the High Priest of Ceres having divined, or not divined, my recent occupations, has been pleased to send me a mandate in form, summoning me to devote myself to this branch of his Goddess’s service, that the fruits of my labours may be consecrated in her Temple at Whitehall:—so that, whatever other requisites may fail me, I shall be in no want of auspices. Continue yours to me;—and believe me, with the most serious respect,
Arthur Young, Esq., &c. &c. &c.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE PAUPER POPULATION TABLE HEREUNTO ANNEXED.
Showing the novelty, as well as use and importance, of the information that would be afforded by a set of Tables, one or two from every Parish or other Pauper District, filled up upon the plan of the blank Table here exhibited.
The stock of information here in question constitutes what will be found to be an indispensable groundwork to every well-digested plan of provision that can be framed in relation to the Poor. For some of the classes a peculiar mode of provision is requisite, different as between class and class; as in the case of infants, lunatics, idiots, the deaf and dumb, and the blind. The rate of neat expense per head, as between class and class, is also susceptible of a very extensive scale of variation: the quantum and value of return, actual or possible, in the way of labour, by the produce of such labour, is again susceptible of a scale prodigiously more extensive.
1st, To consider the variation where infirmity, whether of mind or body, is the constituent character of the class. In the case of lunatics, for example, the average rate of expense per head is probably double, at least, to what it is in the case of a person of sound mind, and of the same age, able or not able to work:* profit by labour of course nothing:—yet in a set of appropriate establishments, set apart for the reception of persons of this class, not only might the expense per head be reduced to the ordinary level, but in many instances a quantity of profit might (it is supposed) be extracted from their labour, to the advantage of the individual himself, in the way of medical relief, or even cure, no less than of the public in the way of economy: an observation which, as far as economy is concerned, applies in a greater or less extent to the other classes above exemplified; viz. idiots, the deaf and dumb, and the blind; to which may be added the various sorts of cripples.
So again, where the variation in point of neat expense has no other cause than the difference between age and age. In the case of a full-grown person, capable or not capable of work, (to take the male sex, for instance,) the amount of necessary expense, everything included, may, when compared to the case of a child of three or four years old, rise perhaps to twice as much; while, on the other hand, in the case of an individual of the same sex, possessing an ordinary degree of ability in regard to work, and full grown, whether arrived or not at what is properly termed the age of manhood, the capacity of affording, in the shape of labour, a return for the expense, (I speak of mere natural capacity,) may be from sixteen to twenty times as great as in the child; even supposing the child to stand already upon the working list, and to be earning every day a sum worth taking into the account; and therefore, when compared with a child not yet set to work, the capacity of the man, or full-grown boy, may be as sixteen or twenty to nothing.
Between these two extremes in the scale of profit and loss, there will be a series of perceptible gradations, at least as many as there are between year and year of age: insomuch that, although the total number of a parish stock of pauper boys were known, no tolerable calculation could be made of the quantum of profit or loss capable of being derived, or likely to accrue, from that stock, unless the proportions in which that number is divided betwixt the different ages were known, not less than a year being taken for the interval between age and age.
Simple and incontestable as these truths, when once pointed out, may appear, so imperfect are the advances as yet made in the arts of management and book-keeping in this line, that in no instance that has yet been made public, has any complete statement been ever given, in the accounts of any house of industry, or other poor-house, of the different varieties of condition in respect of infirmity, birth, parentage, &c., as expressed in this table: and in regard to age, the distinctions made have seldom gone beyond those between men and women on the one hand, boys and girls on the other; or, if anything has been said of age, the distinctions have been so few, that little, if any, additional information has been to be collected from that source.*
Distinctions thus loose will be apt to mislead rather than to inform. Individuals between whom there shall exist no difference at all, in respect either of profit or loss, are thus ranked under different classes; while individuals between whom the difference in respect of profit and loss stands at the very highest pitch, as 8 or 10 to 1, or as 8 or 10 to 0, are ranked under the same class. A boy of twenty shall earn quite as much, as well as consume as much, as a man of twenty-one. The same boy shall consume twice as much as another boy, the boy of three or four years old, for example: at the same time that, while he is costing twice as much, he might, on the other hand, be made to earn from sixteen to twenty times as much; the earnings of the boy of twenty years old rising as high as eight or ten shillings a week: while, for the boy of three or four years old, if he earns anything, sixpence may be full pay. True it is, that where (as above supposed) there happens to be profit as well as loss, earnings as well as maintenance, so that the account has two sides, whatever error there may be on the side of loss, will operate, as far as it goes, in compensation of the error on the side of profit. But where the capacity of yielding profitable labour is wanting, (as in many individuals in each parish,) or not improved into act, so that there is nothing on the profit side of the account, (as in most parishes,) whatever error results in regard to the expense of maintenance stands single and uncompensated; and, on the other hand, where there is something on the profit side of the account, the error may, instead of two hundred per cent. as in the other case, rise as high as eight hundred or a thousand per cent.
Such being the difference in point of value, as betwixt boy and boy, (laying aside, for shortness sake, men, women, and girls,) observe the difference that may result in the boy account, as between parish and parish.
Take two parishes, Bigham and Littleton—numbers of every class the same in the one as in the other. Not to have recourse to any such extraordinary supposition, as that at Littleton, they shall be, all of them, below (what, if the expression be allowable, may be termed) the workable age, and therefore yielding no earnings at all—at Bigham, all of them at the age of highest earnings; let us suppose that at Littleton those below the workable age and those above it being put together, the capacity of affording profitable labour is, upon the whole stock together, the same as if the whole was at the lowest workable age: while at Bigham, that capacity is upon the same footing as if the whole stock were at the age of half earnings; viz. the age at which, instead of earning from 8s. to 10s. as before, a boy might be made to earn from 4s. to 5s. All this being supposed, observe the errors it is likely to give birth to, as well in regard to the quantity of natural strength, as in regard to the goodness of the management, as between house and house. The number of boys being the same in the one as in the other, if in Bigham the sum of the earnings were from four to five times as great as in Littleton, (ages being by the supposition unknown,) the management under this head would naturally appear four or five times as good: whereas, in fact, it is not above half as good; for, had it been equally good, the actual earnings would have been as the capacity for yielding earnings; whereas they are but half as great.
In the pecuniary value, positive or negative, of the individual, there is another ingredient in respect of which this lumning distinction, between men and boys, affords no sort of light; nor will any division, of less minuteness than that into years of age, be sufficient to the purpose. The value of a child, in this point of view, will depend not only upon the present value, positive or negative, but upon the quantity of negative value past, and the quantity of positive value yet to come. Suppose fourteen years the age at which boys go off in both places, and let the total pecuniary value of the stock of hands (take it either in regard to actual earnings, or in regard to the capacity for yielding earnings) be equal in both places. Yet, for a period of six or eight years, the difference may be prodigious. At Bigham the positive part of the value may be derived—the earnings obtained—from a set of boys, who, wanting but a few weeks or days of fourteen years of age, are on the point of going off, (the rest being composed of boys below, or little above, the commencement of the workable age.) This elder part of the stock being gone, the value may sink to little or nothing; and so remain, even for years: while, in Littleton, the same value shall be afforded by a stock of boys of no more than seven or eight years old; whose value will, for six or seven years to come, be every year on the increase.
Averages (it may be said) may be taken.—Yes, so they may, with the benefit of proper data; but those data are wanting here. When a series is given, composed of terms having a common difference,—a first and last term consequently given,—the middle term gives the average. Here the lowest term is given, it is true; it is the day of birth—number of years 0, in all places: but the highest term, the highest age up to which a boy, sound in mind and body, stays upon the parish, is not given. What this highest age is in general, we do not know. It is as high again in some parishes as in others; and averages will not do here. In one parish, children shall go off at eight, seven, and six years old; in another, not till fourteen, fifteen, or even sixteen years old. We know, in general, that the differences in this respect are very great; but what they amount to we do not know. To suppose—first a lowest term—then a highest term—then an equal number of each—or a regular series from the one to the other—and so strike an average, would be altogether a random shot.
These (it may be said) are extreme cases, and not likely to have place anywhere.—Admitted: nor are they given but as extreme cases: they are given as the utmost limit to which error can extend itself. But below this improbable degree of aberration, how many other, yet still high degrees, are there, that are probable?—A difference—an error, to the amount of cent. per cent. can scarcely be stated as improbable. But what would be the fate of that mercantile adventure, in which as much capital again as was necessary had been expended, or not above half as much as was necessary had been provided; or which, in return for that advance had reckoned upon twice as much labour as the establishment had afterwards been found capable of affording, and this for many successive years.
For my own part, I must confess, I am unable to conceive how any plan of general economy in this line can rationally be attempted, without something like an estimate of the mouths to be fed, as well as of the hands to work with.
To give an idea of one general application, which I propose to make, of whatever information I might be fortunate enough to obtain, I will subjoin a sketch of a table I have been attempting to frame, and which for shortness might be styled the Non-Adult Value Table.
As to the particular uses that might be derived in practice from the information thus particularized, the case of lunatics, and other infirm classes, has already afforded one example. Among infants, the destitute class, comprehending bastards, orphans, foundlings, and deserted children, may afford another. Of these, no inconsiderable share of the whole pauper population would be found to be composed. Upon an average taken from the pauper population of a considerable number of parishes, bastards alone composed about a ninth.
Under a certain age, none of the individuals thus denominated being capable of any special attachment to person or to place, nor any other individual being likely to possess any very special attachment with regard to them, this absence of natural connexion might afford room for transferring them, without hardship, and in any numbers, to any proper situation or situations, if the state of the laws were such as to admit of such an arrangement, and the interest of the public, in point of economy or any other head of advantage, with reference either to the public or to the children themselves, were to demand it. During the age of sheer expense, for example, transference to a situation where the expense of maintenance is at the lowest: at the age of ability, or commencing ability, with regard to labour, transference to situations where the demand for labour is at the highest.
Thus much for illustration, and for illustration merely. To exhibit this or that arrangement as a proper one, would be to insert, into a petition for materials, the work itself for the construction of which they are desired. Advantages crowd in on one side, objections on the other; but this is not a place for striking the balance.
Were the several other classes to receive, each of them, a separate consideration in this view, many other proofs would appear of the importance of the information sought for by these tables; but the subject could not be thus exhausted, without plunging into the details of the particular plan, for the purpose of which these tables were contrived.
As it is, two points appear sufficiently established:
1. One is, that, whether quality or quantity of the demand in the way of supply for maintenance—or prospect of return in the way of labour—or quality or quantity of the demand in respect of the stock of requisites for the extraction and application of that labour—be considered, no well-grounded plan of provision, in relation to the pauper community, can be framed, without the stock of information sought for by these tables.
TABLE OF CASES CALLING FOR RELIEF.
N. B. The several distinctions exhibited in this Table, were collected with a view to their being respectively rendered subservient to one or more of the three practical subjects of consideration following; viz. 1. The nature and degree of prevalence of each efficient cause of Indigence (the degree being measured by the number, absolute and comparative, of the Individuals reduced to Indigence by such efficient cause):—2. The cause, degree, and duration, of the inability in respect to Work:—3. The mode and degree of Relief or Prevention, practised or practicable, adequate or inadequate, eligible or ineligible.—☞ A plan of provision in relation to theburthensomepart of thePoor,will, if complete, embrace all these Cases.
The DEMAND for RELIEF is constituted by INDIGENCE:—which may be the Result of
PERSONAL OR INTERNAL CAUSES;—viz.
INFIRMITY of MIND; viz.
in the case of
I. INSANE HANDS (a).
(a) [Hands.] N. B. The word Hands is chosen, as bearing reference to Employment, serving thereby to point the attention to the consideration of the Employments, to which the persons thus characterized may respectively be competent or incompetent.
(b) [Foolish,&c.] viz. to such a degree as to be unfit to be trusted with the management of their own affairs.
(c) [Class III.] Italics are employed principally for the purpose of pointing the attention to the efficient cause of indigence, in addition to the intimation of it conveyed in many instances by the name of the Class.
(d) [Classes XI. to XX.] All these Classes might be comprised under some still more general appellation, such as that of Employment-lacking Hands.
These general denominations, though many of them new and more or less uncouth, will, it is hoped, be tolerated, in consideration of the very important practical advantages derivable from the use of them—the very name of the patient expressing the cause of the disorder, and affording a sort of direction to the remedy.
(e) [Class XI.] The character of the Pauper, and thence the nature of the employment he is fit for, depending so much upon the question, whether, in his instance, the efficient cause of indigence was or was not accompanied with blame—the care taken to point the attention of the Reader without intermission to this important circumstance—will, it is hoped, not be looked upon as ill-bestowed. One practical inference is—that every plan of provision which regards the indigent, in the lump, either as virtuous or as vicious—either as objects of pure compassion, or as objects of pure coercion or pure neglect—must be fatally erroneous.
(f)Classes XIV. XV. and XVI. may be comprised under the more general denomination of the DANGEROUS Classes:—Classes XVII. and XVIII. under that of the DISREPUTABLE Classes. In the case of the Dangerous Classes, the demand for Relief (understand Relief suitable to their condition) is beyond comparison more cogent than in the case of the industrious: the latter requiring to be taken care of for their own sakes only; the former for their own sakes, and for the sake of the community at large, whose security they endanger.
II. INFIRMITY of BODY; viz.
in the case of
II. IMPERFECT HANDS;
III. FEEBLE HANDS;
IV. SICK and WELL HANDS;
V. TENDER HANDS.
Long-continuing; but of limited duration, and gradually evanescent;—viz.
in the case of
VI. UNRIPE HANDS;
Casual, and of uncertain duration;—viz.
INABILITY with regard to WORK;
as in the case of
VII. SICK HANDS;
VIII. CHILD-BURTHEN’D HANDS; through
UNWILLINGNESS with regard to WORK;
as in the case of
Which are all temporary, and of uncertain duration; viz.
LOSS of WORK;
(Original Property being also wanting,)
as in the case of
XI. OUT-OF-PLACE-HANDS (d) (e); ex. gr.
X. CASUAL-STAGNATION HANDS, ex. gr.
XI. PERIODICAL-STAGNATION HANDS; ex. gr.
XII. DISBANDED HANDS; ex. gr.
XIII. SUPERSEDED HANDS; ex. gr.
INABILITY to obtain WORK;
(Property being also wanting) through
I. Badness of Character;
as in the case of
XIV. STIGMATIZED HANDS (f);
XV. SUSPECTED HANDS.
XVI. UNAVOWED-EMPLOYMENT HANDS.
XVII. LAZY HANDS.
XVIII. UNCHASTE HANDS.
II. Want of Character and Acquaintance.
XIX. STRANGE HANDS; ex. gr.
III. Forced Exclusion from Work;
in which case may be
XX. CONFINED HANDS.
LOSS of PROPERTY;
(Ability with regard to Work, as well as willingness, being more or less impaired by inexperience of labour,)
as in the case of
XXI. PAST-PROSPERITY HANDS—
XXII. DECAYED-GENTILITY HANDS—
who may be distinguished in respect of the several
Causes of Impoverishment, viz.
2. That no such stock of information has ever hitherto been obtained, or at least made public, from any one place, much less from any assemblage of places, considerable and various enough to be considered as affording an adequate sample of the pauper population comprised within the territorial authority of the poor laws.*
Numbers I infer from expense: total numbers of the whole pauper population that would be to be provided for, from the known totals of past expense, compared with expense per head as far as it can be ascertained: then say—as the total of the pauper population, in any set of pauper districts, according to the tables when filled up for those districts, is to the total of pauper population in the whole number of such districts in South Britain, so are the numbers of the several classes, in the same parts of the country taken together, to the numbers of the same classes in the whole.
Observations on the Table of Cases calling for Relief, hereto annexed.
Pauper-Population-Table—Table of Cases calling for Relief: Why make two tables?—why not give the matter of both in one?
Answer—The Pauper-Population-Table, being contrived for a particular purpose—that of collecting information—such classes, and such only, were inserted in it, as afforded a hope, that the numbers of each might be found capable of being collected. A minute investigation, of the difference between two tables framed for different purposes, would be of little use: the general account of the matter is this. The classes, of which the respective numbers are here inquired after (the classes comprised in the Pauper-Population-Table) compose what may be considered as the permanent stock of pauper hands: in the Table of Cases calling for Relief are designed to be comprised every class, and every individual that can ever enter into the composition of the general mass:—the coming-and-going stock, as well as the permanent:—the able-bodied, as well as the infirm:—those who, under the existing order of things, come in but for casual relief; as well as those who, under the system of community-maintenance, are constantly in the House; and those who, under the system of home-maintenance, are constantly upon the list of pensioners.
A single glance at the Table of Cases calling for Relief, will be enough to show, that among the classes there exhibited, there are more than one, of the respective numbers of which no general returns could reasonably be expected. Such are all the degraded classes; those whose condition shuns the light; reputed thieves, and other depredators—deserters—beggars—prostitutes.
To state the particular use, the contemplation of which gave birth to each distinction, would be to state the particular plan of provision in contemplation for each class:—to state the particular plan of provision in contemplation for each class, would be to give the entire work of which this paper is but an offset. Thus much, however, may be observed, that, of all the classes there distinguished, there is not one, the circumstances of which have not in the framing of the plan of provision been specially taken into account.
OUTLINE OF THE NON-ADULT VALUE TABLE.
Contrived for the purpose of exhibiting (whenever the requisite data can be obtained) the pecuniary value, negative or positive, of the service of a pauper, or other individual (i. e. expenses and returns by labour on account of such individual) at and up to different years of age, from birth to twenty-one years complete.
DATES AND AGES.
Column 1. Day, month, and years of our Lord—twenty-one in number—taking a determinate period for the sake of illustration: viz. from 1st January, 1800, to 31st December, 1820, both inclusive. N.B. For some purposes it may be found of use to divide the whole term into half-yearly instead of yearly periods—Say, then, half-yearly.
Column 2. Correspondent column of half-years of age: viz. from birth to half a year old; from half a year to a year; and so on.
EXPENSES TO BE PROVIDED FOR, WHICH, AS FAR AS THEY GO, GIVE THE VALUE NEGATIVE.
Column 3. Expense of diet
Column 4. Ditto, clothing—materials.
Column 5. Ditto, ditto, making.
Column 6. Ditto, ditto, washing and mending.
Column 7. Individual’s share in the common and indivisible expenses of the establishment.
Column 8. Totals of expense (to be provided for before hand) during and for the several half-years commencing on the several days.
Column 9. Totals of expense from birth up to last days of the several ages; i. e. up to the ends of the several half-years commencing on the several days.
RETURNS TO BE EXPECTED, WHICH, AS FAR AS THEY GO, MAKE THE VALUE POSITIVE.
Column 10. Earnings for the several half-years commencing on the several days.
Column 11. Earnings from birth up to the ends of the several half-years, commencing on the several days.
BALANCES WITHOUT ALLOWANCE FOR DEATH OR SICKNESS.
Column 12. Balance of expenses and returns for the several half-years commencing on the several days; giving the value, whether positive or negative: negative, of course, for the first years; positive, if at all, not till after a number of years.
Column 13. Balance of expenses and returns, from birth up to the ends of the several half-years commencing on the several days; giving at first a negative value, then perhaps a positive value, as before.
Column 14.Present clear value of the service of a pauper (or other) hand; on the supposition of its being to be performed during the several half-years of age commencing on the several days:—Value, at first negative, then positive, as before. By present is meant on the day of the commencement of the term; viz. 1st Jan., 1800; supposing the future profit or loss were to be contracted for on that day.
Column 15. Present clear value of the whole period of service up to the ends of the several half-years commencing on the several days.
RATE OF MORTALITY ASSUMED FROM A STANDARD TABLE.
Column 16. Number of influents* into the respective half-years of age—(Number of influents into age stated, for the purpose of calculation, at 1000 or 10,000.)
Column 17. Number of decrementalists (effluents by death) dying, according to the standard-table, in the course of the several half-years of age.
Column 18. Number of remanents at the ends of the several half-years of age.
BALANCES AFTER ALLOWANCE FOR DEATH AND SICKNESS.
Column 19. Present value (deduced from the above standard-table) of the half-year’s service of a pauper taken at the several ages, and supposed to accrue at the end of the several half-years commencing on the several days;—allowance made for the chance of death, according to the foregoing standard-table.
Column 20. Present value of the whole period of service from birth up to the ends of the several half-years, commencing on the several days; allowance made for the chance of death, as before.
Column 21. Present value of the half-year’s service of a pauper, taken at the several ages, and supposed to accrue at the end of the several half-years commencing on the several days;—allowance made for the chance of death and sickness. (The chance of sickness taken from Dr Price.)
Column 22. Present value of the whole period of service, from birth up to the ends of the several half-years commencing on the several days;—allowance made for the chance of death and sickness, as before.
Column 23. Values, at the several successive ages of the whole of the period of service, remaining at these respective ages;—allowance made for death and sickness, as before.
Tables upon this plan, one for each sex, had actually been constructed under my direction; the numbers of the different ages being taken from the Censuses reported, as above, by Sir Frederick Eden, and the rate of mortality taken from Dr Halley’s Breslaw Table, which, on account of the roundness of the assumed number of influents (1000) seemed most convenient for the purpose. But (on examination,) the Census taken from Sir Frederick Eden being found inapplicable to this purpose, and Dr Halley’s table being found to labour under a very material error, not noticed by Dr Price, or any other of the many mathematicians who have made use of it, all the calculations that had been grounded on either of these bases have been given up; and it is to supply the deficiencies thus left that the information described in the blank Pauper-Population-Table is desired.
The value I take from the value of an adult employed at day-work on the lowest paid species of work, (agricultural,) on an average of the whole of South Britain; supposing the value to rise up to that pitch, by equal gradations, commencing at the earliest workable age. To get at the average in question I am ransacking, or causing to be ransacked, all the books I can lay hands on, in particular the Agricultural Reports. Your science, were I fortunate enough to have it within reach, might abridge the labour as well as secure the ground. You will recollect my question, to which you were kind enough to send me an answer, about the maximum of earnings, in a gradation formed by age.
What say you to this idea of forming a valuation of that part of the national live stock which has no feathers to it, and walks upon two legs? Is it new or old?—If old, can you tell me where it is to be found? I do not mean in the head of what West Indian, but in the tables of what mathematician or statisticalist? For strange it would be if the term value had less propriety when applied to the labour of the freeman than to that of the slave. Is an average child at his birth—supposing him certain of not living beyond the age of one-and-twenty years complete—worth more or less than nothing to those (himself of the number) who, during that period of legal, as well as natural, subjection, have the benefit of his capacity for labour at command? If more than nothing, at what age does he become so? Whether worth more or less than nothing, can he, by any, and what means, be made worth more? If worth more than nothing, how comes it that in an old-planted country, such as England, (whatever may be the case in a new planted one, such as America,) a child is, in every class without exception, regarded as a burden (I mean always in the pecuniary sense) to its parents? This deficiency in point of value, is it necessary and irremediable, or accidental and remediable? Is it absolute or relative only, (I mean with relation to the parents,) or partly absolute and partly relative? In other words, is it that a child has not, by the end of the period in question, produced so much as he has consumed; or that, though what he has produced be in itself considerably more than what he has consumed, yet, with reference to his parents, it is less, on account of their having expended more of what he has consumed, than they have received of what he has produced? In proposing to you these questions, I give you a clue, which, if it be worth following, will lead you to one of the main pillars of my plan;—an enigma which you, and, if you please, your correspondents, may amuse yourselves with, instead of a rebus, or a mathematical problem from the Ladies’ Diary.
My scale, you will observe, extends no farther than from the bottom to the summit of the hill of life: not that either the Table-Land at the top, or the descent on the other side, are undeserving of mensuration; but they do not lie within my present department; except the narrow slip at the very bottom, which belongs to Pauper-Land.
Amongst the different plans in relation to the poor, you lean, I observe, to that of Mr Ruggles: that being the case, I flatter myself with the pleasure of seeing you and your intelligent friend on my side. His plan is mine:—add only certain sources of profit—certain sources of saving—certain means of obtaining capital—not from the unwilling, but the willing—certain securities for good management—and certain other et cæteras, in which the welfare of the pauper community is not forgotten, and which, I hope, you will both approve of.
Some prefer home-provision in toto: but this will not do for those who have no home; in particular not for the destitute classes of children, for which see the table.
Others prefer working, without boarding or lodging, or working and boarding, without lodging, to working, boarding, and lodging: but this, again, will not do for those sons of indigence who have not where to lay their heads.—Look once more at the table.
Some are for doing everything by savings out of earnings; but this will not do very well where there can be no savings, still less where there can be no earnings.—Another glance, if you please, at the table.—Bating these cases, the recipe is good for the provident. Unfortunately, the bulk of labouring hands, especially the high-paid ones, is composed of the improvident. Providence may, by proper facilities, (for encouragement is scarcely necessary,) be rendered more general; but man must be new made, before it can be made universal.
Some think they annihilate the burden, when, from shoulders that cannot but be able to bear it, they shift it upon shoulders that may or may not be able to bear it; from shoulders more able, to shoulders less able; or from shoulders that are used to it, to shoulders that are not used to it: or, when instead of rate they write subscription:—like the old statute, which, to reconcile the farmer to a set of officers, who plundered him under the name of purveyors, ordered them to be called caterers. If this does with poor-rates, try it upon tithes, and call them offerings.
One gentleman (for whose probity of intention I would be security, though I have not the honour of his acquaintance) takes the burden from the shoulders of the man of property, and lays it upon those of the man of hard-pressed industry, who, unable to find subsistence among his friends and neighbours, is driven to hunt for it among strangers. An improvement this, at any rate, upon the existing laws; since a tax, so long as it is paid, is less heavy than a prohibition.
In some such ways as these we begin, all of us; and if we did not begin a little at random, how would anything ever be done?
Come, my Oedipus, here is another riddle for you: solve it, or by Apollo!—You remember the penalty for not solving riddles.—Rates are encroaching things. You, as well as another illustrious friend of mine, are, I think, for limiting them.—Limit them?—Agreed.—But how?—Not by a prohibitory act—a remedy which would neither be applied, nor, if applied, be effectual—not by a dead letter, but by a living body: a body which, to stay the plague, would, like Phineas, throw itself into the gap; yet not, like Curtius, be swallowed up in it.
When I speak of limitation, do not suppose that limitation would content me. My reverend friend, hurried away by the torrent of his own eloquence, drove beyond you, and let drop something about a spunge. I too have my spunge; but that a slow one, and not quite so rough a one. Mine goes, I promise you, into the fire, the instant you can show me that a single particle of necessity is deprived by it of relief.
One thing we shall not differ about;—the priority due to agriculture, and the necessary non-productiveness of every system of pauper-employment in which manufactures come in on any other footing than a supplemental one; to take off such part of the strength of an establishment, and such part of the time, as cannot be employed in producing food for it.
One thing I thank him for—(I should have said Mr Ruggles)—the confirming by his professional science a hope fondly nourished by my ignorance, that under such a system of management, as, if not already exemplified anywhere, might be framed at least for the purpose, employment might be found, even in agriculture, for almost every species of infirmity—for almost every modification of refuse labour. Stationary force being found by inanimate, ambulatory by animated Nature, how very little strength, and even how very little practice, is necessary in a guide!—and even supposing—what is not the case—there were nothing but girls for the plough, would not even a girl be better employed now and then at the plough, than spinning her health away, and earning twopence?
But away with party—away with exaggeration:—neither clothing nor lodging, any more than food, can be excluded from the catalogue of necessaries. In the principle of self-supply behold another of my sheet-anchors: and that, after giving two-thirds to agriculture, leaves one for manufactures. The principle of self-supply!—what say you to it?—Does the term explain itself?—Does the idea recommend itself?—Quit that—especially such part of it as looks to agriculture—and I divide your poor-houses for you—call them what you please—Houses of Industry—Schools of Industry—into two parcels:—one, the ill-managed, employed in ruining themselves; the other, the well-managed, in ruining their neighbours.—Assertions are not proofs; but announce the theorem—and another time, if it can be necessary, you shall have the demonstration.
This (you will say to yourself) is a sad farrago—but your miscellany, how superior soever to others in subject-matter and contents, has this in common with them—that half-formed ideas—so they have but matter in them—are not prohibited from presenting themselves. It is part of the character of your correspondents, to have more of substance about them than of form: and of the many recommendations which join in drawing so much good company to your conversatione, one, nor that the least, is the convenience of being admitted to it in boots. Mine (you will say) have hob-nails in them: for, somehow or other, the very idea of the person to whom I am addressing myself, has insensibly betrayed me into that sort of playful confidence—that épanchement, as I think the French call it—which I have always felt in his company. The opportunity of laying plans, before a sort of open committee, in an unripened state, and for the purpose of getting help for ripening them, before they have yet received the form they are to wear when presented at the bar of the public, by which they are to be tried, is a serious advantage; and as such, if you afford me any encouragement, I am not likely to be sparing in availing myself of it.
P.S.—For your next Number, or next but one, I don’t know but I may trouble you with a compressed Sketch of my two above-mentioned works, or one of them:—something between the work at large, and a mere Table of Contents. Imperfect it cannot but be, were it only for want of the data, the obtaining of which is the principal object of the trouble I am giving you at present.
OUTLINE OF A WORK ENTITLED PAUPER MANAGEMENT IMPROVED.
To be filled up, and the work published in one volume octavo, as soon as a sufficient number of the communications solicited in Vol. xxix. No. 167,*of the Annals of Agriculture have been obtained.
1. The management of the concerns of the poor, throughout South Britain to be vested in one† authority, and the expense charged upon one fund. 2. This authority, that of a Joint-stock Company,‡ under some such name as that of the National Charity Company.§
General Scheme of Provision.
The whole body of the burdensome poor to be maintained and employed, in a system of Industry-houses,∥ upon a large scale,¶ distributed over the face of the country as equally as may be, with each a portion of land** (waste in preference) at least sufficient for the maintenance of its own population. Utmost number of paupers that would remain to be provided for in the proposed order of things, say five hundred thousand:†† —number to a house two thousand:—number of houses two hundred and fifty.‡‡
Ways and Means.
1. The whole annual produce of the poor rates, taken at a period to be settled, (say the average of the last three years,) or such part of that produce as shall be agreed upon, but subject to such contingent reductions as herein-after mentioned, resulting from a division of the profits. (See Section 9.) 2. The growing produce of the labour of all non-adult paupers, now existing, or hereafter applying for relief, or on whose behalf relief is applied for, beneath a certain age, such non-adults to continue bound to the company in quality of apprentices—males, till twenty-one or twenty-three; females, till twenty-one or nineteen: without prejudice to marriage. (See Book ii. Ch. ii. Separation and Aggregation—Ch. iii. Buildings and Land—Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) For the value of this fund, and for the means of enlarging or narrowing the influx of this class of hands according to the ability of the company, see Book ii. Ch. i. Classes mustered: and Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates. 3. Ditto of all others—none, however, to be received, but on condition of continuing to work till the value of their labour has balanced the expense of relief—upon an account taken according to certain rules. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principlesof Management; and Ch. x. Book-keeping.) Such as are unable to balance the account to work in as far as they are able;—but without prejudice to the suitable relief of temporary indigence. (See Book iii. Ch. iv. Temporary Indigence relieved: and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 4. Contingent resources vested at present, in the hands employed in the management of the poor: such as compositions for bastards, forfeitures, &c. 5. Voluntary donations, in as far as concerns the expense of Extra Comforts. (See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 6. A capital to be raised by subscription, on the credit of the above annual and permanent funds. Say from four to six millions. (See Book v. Financial Grounds. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.) 7. Produce of lands purchased or rented with a part of the above capital. See infra Section 6.
1. Board of General Direction stationed in the metropolis—directors, say twelve or twenty-four; a governor and sub-governor included. 2. Qualification for a Director as in the East India Company—3. Qualification for voting at election of directors as in ditto.—4. Qualification for voting in assemblies of stock holders, as in ditto. 5. Shares very small,* and determinate;† say £10 or £5.
Powers for apprehending all persons, able-bodied or otherwise, having neither visible or assignable property, nor honest and sufficient means of livelihood, and detaining and employing them till some responsible person will engage for a certain time to find them in employment, and, upon their quitting it, either to resurrender them, or give timely notice; and so toties quoties. (See Book ii. Ch. i. Employment secured. Ch. ii. Mendicity extirpated. Ch. iii. Habitual depredation extirpated.) 3. Powers for apprehending non-adults of divers descriptions, being without prospect of honest education, and causing them to be bound to the company in quality of apprentices. (See as above Ch. iii.) 4. Powers for apprehending insolvent fathers of chargeable bastards and detaining them until they have worked out their composition money, as per Section 3, supra,—also mothers of ditto for a certain time. (See Book ii. Ch. ix. Child Nursing.)
Powers for purchasing or renting lands for the erection of the industry-houses, and the maintenance of the population of the several houses, in spots distributed as equally as may be over the surface of South Britain. 1. Lands in separate ownership in each industry-house-district (250, or thereabouts) in quantities sufficient for raising food for the population of the house (say 2000: chiefly aged persons and children.) 2. Purchase or lease at the option of the proprietor; if purchase, the bare value to be ascertained by a jury, and (10) per cent. to be added to that value, in compensation for the compulsion. 3. If lease, term (say twenty-one years) renewable perpetually at the option of either party, at a fresh rent, assessed by a jury; but not to be less than the preceding rent.—4. Indemnification for existing tenants.—5. Compulsion not to extend to land in occupation of the proprietor; 6. nor to land in the occupation of a tenant who has occupied it (say twenty-one years.) 7. Disabilities removed for the purpose of purchasing with consent at any time. 8. In lieu of land in separate ownership, waste land to equal saleable value, consequently in greater quantity—first lease, say thirty-one years, or longer. 9. Timber, in both cases the property of the company:—the only party interested and able to rear and preserve it. (See Book iii. Ch. x. National Force Strengthened.)
1. Obligation of receiving and maintaining every able-bodied pauper above the apprenticing age, &c., applying for relief, on condition of his working out the expense of such relief, as per Section 3, supra: continuing to him such maintenance, as long as he chooses to accept of it upon these terms. (Highest necessary expense, not so much as 4d. a day: average value of the lowest paid species of labour per day, not so little as 1s.) (See Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates; Ch. v. Prospect of Success; and Book iii. Ch. v. Frugality assisted.) 2. Obligation of receiving every sick pauper, as above, applying for relief, and maintaining him till cured; on condition of his working out the expense of relief and cure, as above. 3. Obligation of receiving on the footing of an apprentice, (as per Section 3,) every non-adult pauper beneath a certain age, if presented by the father or other natural guardian for that purpose. 4, 5, 6, and 7. Obligation of exercising the several coercive powers, as per Section 5, supra. 8. Obligation of indemnifying the rateable inhabitants against all further increase of the poor rates, during the existence of the company. 9. Obligation of sharing with the rateable inhabitants the half-yearly profits of the company, in a proportion to be fixed upon, by an abatement in the quantum of the poor rates for the succeeding half-year. See Section 9, infra. 10. Obligation of publishing, at weekly or other frequently recurring periods, complete statements and accounts, exhibiting the whole of the company’s transactions, including a complete state of the pauper-population throughout South Britain, for the satisfaction of all parties concerned. (See Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping.) 11. Power with, or in some instances, without obligation, in regard to the applying the system of industry-houses, on the company’s account in respect of profit and loss, to the several collateral purposes following; mostly for the benefit of the poor, and among them chiefly of the self-maintaining classes:* viz. 1. Employment register-offices and gazette—See Book iii. Ch. i. Employment secured. 2. Charitable loan offices—See Book iii. Ch. iv. Temporary Indigence relieved. 3. Frugality banks—See Book iii. Ch. v. Frugality assisted. 4. Superannuation-annuity banks—See ibid. 5. Widow-annuity banks—See ibid. 6. Post-obit-benefit banks—See ibid. 7. Charitable remittance office—See Book iii. Ch. vi. Pecuniary Intercourse facilitated, &c. 8. Frugality inns—See Book iii. Ch. vii. Conveyance facilitated, &c. 9. Frugality conveyance-houses—See ibid. 10. Delinquents’ pass-houses, See ibid. 11. Poor debtors’ pass-houses—See ibid. 12. Charitable dispensaries—See ibid. 13. Lying-in hospitals—See Book iii. Ch. xi. Rate of Infant mortality reduced. 14. Midwifery lecture-schools (for females)—See Book iii. Ch. xii. Useful Knowledge augmented and disseminated. 15. Veterinary or cattle-disease lecture schools—See ibid. 16. Militia exercise schools (for the male apprentices—See Book iii. Ch. x. National force strengthened. 17. Marine schools (for the apprentices in the maritime industry houses)—See ibid.—12. Obligation of providing indemnity for such interests, if any, of third persons, as may be affected by the change.—The weight of all this business, very inconsiderable, in respect to its pressure upon the intellectual faculties of the Board of Directors, in comparison with that which is sustained by the East India Direction. (See Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success.)
1. Precautions against the sudden acquisition of votes, to serve electioneering, stock-jobbing, or other sinister or temporary purposes, to the prejudice of the permanent duties or interests of the company—restraints grounded on the regulations made in this same view in the instance of the East India Company. (See infra, section 11. Director’s Oath.) 2. Precautions against applying the capital to purposes of speculation: buying articles for the purpose of selling them at high profit, in the same shape, instead of consuming them, or working them up. (See ibid.) 3. Precautions against applying the capital to purposes of monopoly:—pouring into any particular channel of production so large a proportion of capital and stock of hands as to overstock the market, and by a temporary underselling ruin individual competitors. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principles of Management—Principle of Self-supply.) 1. Power expressly reserved to Parliament for limiting the quantum of stock infusible by the company into any such channel, either in the whole kingdom, or in this or that part. 2. Power to the King and Council to make temporary regulations in that view, with the consent of the Directors, and subject to the pleasure of Parliament—3. Or without consent, time being given them to be heard by counsel. 4. Precautions against bubbles. (viz. contrivances for giving the stock an apparent value, over and above the real, in the view of enabling those who are in the secret to sell out at a high price, to the defrauding of the purchaser.) 1. Dividend to be declared (say three months) before payable: 2. Power meantime to the King in Council to reduce it, stopping payment of the excess. 3. The company to be heard by counsel, without prejudice to the exercise of the power of stoppage in the meantime. 5. Declaration of dividend void, unless accompanied or preceded by a publication of accounts, according to a pre-established form: i. e. digested under pre-adjusted heads. These forms might be inserted in the act of parliament, or the charter of incorporation. (See Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping.) 6. Power to a committee of council to examine directors and all other persons, upon oath, touching the truth of the matters set forth in the accounts. 7. Directors, or their paymasters, paying dividends after notice to the contrary from the council-board, responsible as for embezzlement. 8. Mandamus, at the instance of the Attorney-General, or any individual, for compelling, on the part of the directors, the performance of any of the obligations with which they are charged: costs, by the party moving—by the directors out of the company’s fund—or out of their own pockets—at discretion of the court.
Order of the Dividends, or Disposal of the growing Receipts.
1. Rent-dividend—payment of the rents of lands taken on lease, as per Section 6. 2. Bond-dividend—payment of the interest of monies, if any, borrowed on bond. 3. Maintenance of the pauper-community 4. Interest-dividend—payment of common interest (five per cent.) to the stock-holders, upon the capital subscribed. 5. Profit-dividend—distribution of the profit, if any, made by the undertaking:—Branches of this dividend. 1. Company’s profit-dividend (say forty per cent.) Parishes’ profit-dividend (the remaining sixty per cent.)—Branches of the parishes’ profit-dividend. 1. Proportional easement (thirty out of the sixty per cent.) accruing to the several parishes in proportion to their respective charges: 2. Overburden-easement, (the remaining thirty) applied exclusively to the benefit of the overburdened parishes, beginning with the heaviest burden* of all, and striking off the difference between that and the next heaviest, and so downwards; striking off, for example, the 6d. per pound from those who pay 18s. 6d. before anything is struck off from those who pay but 18s.—Standard rate, the assessed rate, not the rack-rent—to avoid disputes and murmurings. None can have much reason to complain, where all are gainers.
Provision forexisting Interests.—
1. Arrangement with the parishes and incorporated districts, who have already loaded themselves with the expense of buildings and stock. 2. Arrangement with the county and other hospitals. 3. Indemnification for persons enjoying lucrative situations in the management of the existing local establishments. Their experience a security for their being taken into the new establishment upon terms of increased advantage, the undeserving only excepted. The number of existing poor-houses upon a large scale much inferior to the number of the proposed industry-houses.
List of them, in form of a table, to be given in the work at large.
Not vague and general, but pointed and particular:—serving as a check upon personal interest and affection, in regard to such points of duty, the infraction of which is least susceptible of being ascertained for the purposes of penal or coercive law—a guide to discretion, and a buckler against external solicitation. Examples: 1. Abjuration of personal interest, favour, and ill-will in the choice of lands for the subject-matter of the powers of purchase, compulsive, or uncompulsive. (See above, Section 6.) 5. Abjuration of Electioneering, Speculation, Monopoly, and Bubbles. (See above, Section 8.) 6. Promise to consult the local attachments of the pauper, as far as shall be compatible with the discipline of the establishment, in respect of the place at which he shall be maintained. (See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 7. Promise to execute, with unremitting vigilance, the coercive powers given for the suppression of mendicity and habitual depredation. (See above, Section 5, Coercive Powers.) 8. Promise to adhere, with unremitting strictness, to such of the principles of economy as constitute the main pillars of the system: unless in as far as any departure from them shall have received the sanction of Parliament. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principles of Management.)
Plan of Management.
Separation and Aggregation.—
The task of separation incomplete, unless that of aggregation be combined with it. Purposes for which Separation may be necessary or useful—1. Preservation of health from infection. 2. Preservation of morals from corruption. 3. Preservation of decency. 4. Prevention of unsatisfiable desires. 5. Security (reciprocal) against annoyance, by bad smells, bad sights, noise, quarrels, scolding, &c. 6. Concealment (occasional) of the governed from the censorial eye of the governing class. 7. Security (particularly to the governing class) as against personal injury from the evil-disposed among the governed. 8. Distinctness in point of education, for moral purposes, and for the purpose of experiment, as between the indigenous, quasi-indigenous, extraneous, and coming-and-going stock of the non-adult class.—Purposes for which appropriate aggregation may be necessary or useful. 1. Matrimonial society. 2. Family society. 3. Nursing attendance. 4. Medical attendance. 5. Moral superintendence. 6. Instruction and direction of labour. 7. Intercommunity of work and labour. Modes and degrees of separation—as against contact, smell, hearing, sight.Means of separation. 1. In some cases separate huts or cottages. (See Ch. iii. Buildings and Land, and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 2. In general, in the common building, form of the building—divisions, separate and uncommunicating. (See the plate, and see Ch. iii. Buildings and Land.) 3. In out-door employments, mode of laying out the land. (See ibid.) 4. In spots that require to be occupied each by divers classes that require to be kept separated, separate hours: ex. gr. 1. Baths: one serving thus for both sexes. (See Ch. xii. Pauper Education: and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 2. Staircases, &c. 5. To indicate transgression,—conspicuous distinctions in dress. 6. Against infection, separation not merely as between class and class, but as between individual and individual.—Infirmary huts, to serve when not so employed, as Peculium huts. (See Ch. iii. and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 7. Against corruption, the corrupted and suspected separated from the unsuspected, and in some instances, from each other, as between class and class: casual depredators, especially those under twenty-one, to be kept separate from the unavowed-employment hands, who are habitual depredators: unchaste hands, from those of a susceptible age, of their own sex, as well as of the other: as between individual and individual, to serve as an obstacle to corruptive communication, appropriate aggregation, by intermixture of Guardian Elders, taken from classes rendered corruption-proof by good character, infirmity, or age. The Elders secure against annoyance—by the authority vested in them—by mutual support—(there being more than one in each ward) and by their being stationed, by the peculiar form of the building, generally within view, always within call, of the governing body in the centre of the building. (See the plate, and Ch. iii.)
8. For decency, separation as between sex and sex, at the usual times of repose, change of dress, &c.
9. For prevention of unsatisfiable desires—1. Separation at meal times, as between those who have the homeliest fare, and those, who in consideration of habit or infirmity, are indulged with choicer fare. (See Ch. vi. Diet.) 2. Separation as between sex and sex, from the commencement of a certain age. 3. Separation of the indigenous and quasi-indigenous stock of the non-adult class, from the coming-and-going stock, who might excite hankerings after emancipation, by flattering pictures of the world at large.
10. For security against annoyance, 1. Separation as between the annoying and the susceptible classes. 2. Intermixture of guardian elders. 3. Near vicinity and general presence of the members of the governing body, with reference to the several classes of the governed—the result of the peculiar form of the building, as above. 4. Infirmary Huts, moveable Watch-Houses, and other Peculium huts and cottages, allotted to the classes rendered by age or past prosperity peculiarly susceptible of annoyance. 5. The insane consigned to a set of appropriate establishments. (See Ch. xi.)
Concealment (occasional) i. e. security from observation—circumferential screens occasionally interposed between the governing body in the centre of the building, and the governed classes all round. (See Ch. iii.)
11. Security as against the violent and refractory among the governed classes.—1. Between the central lodge, (the proposed station of the governing body,) and the surrounding divisions occupied by the governed, an annular area interposed.—2. Intermixture of guardian elders with the dangerous classes, as before.
12. For distinctness in point of education, separation (as above) as between the non-adult and the adult, and, among the non-adult, as between the apprentice and the coming-and-going stock; and, among the apprentice-stock, as between the indigenous and the extraneous—coming in after a certain age.
13. For appropriate care, the insane in an establishment by themselves—or with distinct establishments for distinct classes. For appropriate care and education, the deaf and dumb, in a set of appropriate establishments; likewise the non-adult of those born blind; or, if in a common industry-house, collected into groups, large enough to afford, each of them, full employment to an appropriate tutor.
14. For the Union of matrimonial society with decency, separation, combined with appropriate aggregation. In the bed stages of the married ward, double cells each for a married couple, formed by high partitions, and alternating with cells of the same dimension, each holding four small children (feet to feet) of the innocent and unobserving age, say from two to four, five, or six, (see the plate annexed.)
15. For exemption from annoyance combined with family society, power of choosing an inmate, given to the occupant of each peculium abode.—(See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.)
Vicinity—General principle with regard to arrangement, as between class and class, in point of vicinity. Next to every class, from which any inconvenience is to be apprehended, station a class unsusceptible of that inconvenience. Examples: 1. Next to raving lunatics, or persons of profligate conversation, place the deaf and dumb, if (included in the same establishment, and) separated as to sight. 2. Next to prostitutes, and other loose women, place the aged women. 3. Within view of the abodes of the blind, place melancholy and silent lunatics, or the shockingly deformed. 4. Next to each married couple (as before) place at bed-time a set of children under the age of observation. Barrier-Ward—a ward interposed for making the separation the more perfect between a ward occupied by a class considered as noisome or dangerous, and another considered as susceptible: classes that, for one or other of the above purposes, require separation as between class and class.
Annoyance, the great source of discomfort in the existing poor-houses—overbalancing the comfort from fare much superior to that of the independent state. This discomfort may to a certainty be banished altogether from the proposed industry-houses. (See Ch. iii. Buildings and Land; and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.)
A separate establishment not necessary, as against moral corruption, since, in an industry-house of the proposed form, separation may, as to this or any other purpose, be as perfect in the same establishment, as between two establishments ever so widely distant.
Buildings and Land.
Size, number, and distribution of the Industry-houses.—Number of paupers of all ages, at the opening of the institution, say five hundred thousand: at the end of twenty-one years, by the accumulation of the apprentice stock, five hundred thousand more, at which period the accumulation ceases: the effluents or outgoers, equalling the inffluents or incomers. (See Book v. Ch. i. Population expected.)—Number to a house two thousand—number of houses at the opening, say two hundred and fifty: at the twenty-one year’s end, five hundred. Number of spots therefore to be marked out for industry-houses, five hundred: whereof at the outset two hundred and fifty full, two hundred and fifty vacant.—Average distance accordingly between house and house 10⅔ miles: viz. the side of the square, of which four contiguous houses occupy the angles. Distance of the remotest part of each industry-house district from the house, upon the supposition of an exact equality of distribution, 7½ miles: being the semi-diameter of a circle circumscribing that square.—Distances upon the supposition of two hundred and fifty houses, miles fifteen and 10⅝. Reasons of the above arrangement—The larger the houses the fewer; and the fewer, the farther asunder. But the fewer the better, especially on the score of expense, for the company; partly on account of there being the fewer, partly, (as will be seen,) on account of there being the larger: the more, however, the better for the paupers, and others resorting to the houses: partly because the distance is less between house and house, partly because it is the less between each house, and that part of the country which is at the greatest distance from any house. The number of the houses being given, the more equal the distribution of the spots the better, because the maximum of the distance between house and house is the less, as also between any part of the country and the nearest house.
Advantages from having the houses upon a large scale, and thence from having them few. 1. Saving in the article of salaries, in the instance of such officers of which there must be one to each house, be the house ever so small; yet not more than one, be the house ever so large—such as governor, matron, medical curator, chaplain, &c.* 2. Ditto, in regard to subordinates, where the whole of a man’s time must be paid for, though there is business for no more than a part: the smaller the establishments, the oftener this loss may come to be repeated. 3. Saving in the article of building, in the instance of such apartments, of which there must be one for each of the officers.—Bedchamber at any rate, if no other. 4. Ditto in regard to such, of which there must be one, at any rate, for each house, viz. Inspector’s Lodge or Officers’ Common Room in the centre, Kitchen, Surgeon’s Room, Chapel, &c. 5. Ditto in respect to a walled yard attached to the strong ward.† 6. Ditto in respect to utensils necessary to every house, but which need not be multiplied in proportion to the population of the houses: such as clocks, house-door lamps, ladders, &c. 7. Saving in the article of vessels, the proportion of matter to capacity diminishing as the vessels are enlarged; as in kitchen boilers. 8. Advantage in respect of the faculty of carrying the division of labour to the higher pitch, the greater the stock of hands. 9, 10. Advantages by making purchases, and saving refuse of all kinds on a large scale. 11. Advantage in respect of the security for good management, by attracting the greater share of public notice and attention: e. gr. on the part of travellers, topographers, &c.—See, as to all these points, the next Chapter—Book vi. Ch. i.—and Pauper Systems compared.
Advantages from having the houses as near to one another as may be:—I. To the pauper community. 1. The distance the less for the sick to walk, or be carried to the house. 2. So, for all classes, in visiting their friends in their native parishes, or other places of prior residence, within the district. 3. So, for out-of-employ hands to go to the house for employment. II.—To the self-maintaining poor—The less time and labour consumed in making use of the nearest house, in its several qualities of, 1. Employment-Register-Office. 2. Charitable Loan Office. 3. Frugality Bank. 4. Superannuation Annuity Bank. 5. Widow Annuity Bank. 6. Charitable Remittance Office. 7. Frugality Inn. 8. Frugal Conveyance Stage. 9. And in visiting friends and relatives in the house. 10. Stages likewise the shorter, as between house and house, in the character of frugality inns and frugal conveyance houses on long journies. III.—To the Company, in respect of journies for transferring the transferable part of the stock of hands to situations where provision is cheap, or the demand for labour in general, or for a particular species of labour, high. IV.—In the character of Poor Debtors’ Pass Houses, and Delinquents’ Pass Houses, to the public at large.
The thing to be desired is, that between house and house the distance shall not be greater than a man, or even a woman, of the labouring class can conveniently travel on foot without baiting: nor, from any place to the nearest industry house, so great but that he or she may travel to and fro in the course of the day without sleeping.
Plan of an Industry House, with its Appurtenances.—
Points to be attended to on this occasion. I. Health; depending on, 1. Freedom from damp. 2. Facility of ventilation. 3. Security against the spread of infection—thence occasional faculty of separation. II. Comfort; depending on, 4. Exemption from excessive cold. 5.—Heat. 6.—Bad smells. 7.—Noise. 8.—Observation of superiors, when not necessary. III. Industry; depending (as far as the building is concerned) on, 9.—Size. 10.—Form. 11.—Dimension;—and 12. Lightsomeness of the whole building, and of each apartment, according to the nature of the business carried on in it. 13. Compactness, i. e. distance between apartment and apartment throughout—the shorter the better—as well for the purpose of work, as for the purpose of book-keeping, (in which is included the keeping account of work;) and that the whole establishment may be surveyed by the principal manager, and orders given, and answers received by him, from every part of it without change of place, IV. Morality; in as far as depends upon, V. Discipline: for the perfection of which there should be, 14. Universal transparency. 15. Simultaneous inspectability at all proper times. 16. On the part of the inspectors, the faculty of being visible or invisible at pleasure. 17. On the part of the building, faculty of affording separation, as between class and class, to the extent of the demand, as detailed in the last chapter. 18. Means of safe custody, in relation to the dangerous and other disreputable classes. 19. Subserviency to the purpose of preventing intrusion of prohibited company. 20. Giving warning of the approach of apprehended intruders. 21. Preventing the introduction of prohibited articles—such as spirituous liquors, gunpowder, arms, &c. VI. Reception and Accommodation ofVisiters. VII. Safety againstFire. VIII. Subserviency to the Exercise ofDevotion. IX. Economy.Expense as small as possible in comparison to use: degree of use being measured by degree of subserviency to the several purposes above-mentioned.
All the above points provided for, and the principal of them to a degree of absolute perfection, by a plan of architecture, governed by a new and simple principle—the central inspection principle. General form, circular; or, for cheapness, circularly poligonal—say in twelve sides or cants, each constituting a division of the building: each division divided in height into five stories, viz. two long or whole floors, alternating with two short or narrow floors, and a gallery above, divided into six stages, rising one above another.—Ward, the name of an occasional division, adjusted in its dimensions to the population of the class to which it is allotted. The governed, (the paupers of all ages and classes) occupying the several divisions at the circumference; the governors, (the officers,) the central part, termed the Lodge, or Inspection Lodge. (See the plate annexed.) Any part capable of being withdrawn from inspection at any time, for comfort, decency, &c., by circumferential screens, parallel to the outer front of the division, and up to the height to which it reaches, closing the inner front.
At the time of divine service, a stage, on which are placed the pulpit, reading-desk, clerk’s desk, and communion table, lets down through the ceiling upon the floor of the lodge. Balanced by counterpoises all round, a moderate force is sufficient to raise or lower it. The under surface of the stage, in form of a flattish dome, constitutes, as far as it extends, the ceiling of the lodge. The descent of this dome discloses a set of circular seats above, serving as a gallery for chapel visiters. The pauper congregation are ranged, at the inner front of their several divisions, on a set of forms, backed by the circumferential screens, which keep the implements of work out of sight. An interval of two feet all round, above the top of the circumferential screens, serves for the admission of the light.
Means of Ventilation. 1. Between the lodge and the divisions all round, an annular well covered by an opening sky-light, and clear from top to bottom, except in as far as occupied by the staircase, and the two stories of landing-place or gallery all round, for communication between the staircase and the several divisions. This well will maintain a draught of air from the several stories of windows all round (five in number) whenever they are open, as a chimney does from a door. 2. Chains of ventilation tubes, running from the bottom to the top of each division.—Conceive a square tube, (like that used for conducting rain water from the top to the bottom of a house,) running through the building, at bottom piercing the floor of the lowest level or ground story, at top piercing the roof. On the ground story, conceive a few inches of this tube cut away, from the ceiling downward. This discontinuance will give room for that part of the air injured by respiration, which being the lightest, tends to occupy the top of the room, (viz. the azote) to escape through the ceiling, at the part where the tube recommences: and (the height at which the tube opens being so much above the height of a man standing in the room) will not incommode any of the inhabitants by the blast. An equal part, and no more, is cut away, in like manner, in the room immediately above; where, for the reason just given, the foul air issuing from the room below will not be breathed over again by the inhabitants of the upper room; not being discharged into it, but at a height considerably above that of their mouths. Another chain, the converse of the above, for carrying off the heavy part of the foul air, (viz. the carbonic acid;) the interruptions being in this case towards the floor, instead of being towards the ceiling, as in the former case.
One division, allotted for officers’ private apartments, is exhibited in the draught: five whole floors, as in an ordinary house. Out of the interior part of it is taken the only staircase: out of the annular well, the galleries forming the communication between the apartments and the staircase. In the central part, the lowest floor a little lower than in the circumferential, for the sake of getting two floors of store-room under the lodge.
The height of the central lodge being, according to the plan, fourteen feet, and capable of being increased, a gallery (not exhibited in the draught) extending all round to a breadth limited by the circumference of the dome, would on week days afford a commodious station for any number of clerks, and on Sundays would add to the accommodation of chapel visiters. Should any deficiency of light be perceived in the lodge, a supply might be obtained by lining the interior boundary of the gallery on the outside here and there with pieces of looking-glass, by which the light, coming through the windows of the upper or gallery floor of the divisions all around, might be reflected down into such parts of the lodge as it would not otherwise reach; and by the same means some parts of the upper floor or gallery all around might be rendered visible to some parts of the lodge, to which they would not present any direct view.—Means whereby the lodge, notwithstanding the centrality of its situation, might at all times be subjected to any degree of ventilation that would be required.—Two hollow trunks, leading from the outside of the building, through the radial passage, one on each side the door-way, forming each of them at its surface a seat, skirting the passage the whole of its length. Entering the lodge, one on each side of the door, they terminate each in a hollow pilaster; from this pilaster the air may be discharged either at a height approaching that of the ceiling (as in the chain of ventilation-tubes for the apartments in the circumference) or at any lesser elevation, by means of apertures opening or closing at pleasure. Continued up through the chapel-visiters’ gallery, they would afford ventilation to that part. In general a sufficient current would be kept up by difference of temperature: but in a hot season, and a stagnant atmosphere, the current might be accelerated or produced by the action of any one of a variety of machines, too well known to need any description here.
The same room for all purposes—work, meal, and sleep. Lodging is thus afforded with scarce any addition to the expense.* —Accommodation for sleeping.—I. Single Bed-places;i. e. places for single persons of all ages, from about six years old upwards. (See the plate.)—A range of bed-stages, or frames, in a line, running along each of the side-walls of each room, as shown in the ground plan; the head towards the wall. Each bed-stage six feet in width, and from six feet and a half to five feet and a half in length: the longest where the room is broadest; some holding three persons, others four, with a partition between every two persons: height at the head, the width of two boards; (a little less than two feet) sloping down to the breadth of one board at the feet; (a little less than one foot.) Room in width for each person—in a stage holding three, twenty-four inches;—in a stage holding four, eighteen inches: (seamen have but fourteen.) Each bed-stage, being furnished (as in the plate) with a counterpoise at two or each of the four corners, might draw up to the ceiling in the day-time, to leave the space below clear. But if reversed, it would form a table for working at, or any other purpose; the extra-depth, which would be in the way of the knees, being got rid of, by doubling up on hinges: by means of a few cords remaining constantly attached, the beds and bedding would pack up within the frame: the stand, composed of two horses crossing one another, and turning round a common upright (the horizontal section of it being represented by an X) would be nearly flat when the legs of X were brought close, for the purpose of stowing the stand away at bed-time, when not thus employed. The partitions furnished with proper stands, might form each of them a bench to sit upon at table; or two together might form a narrow table. Various means of adapting the articles in question to these changes may be conceived; the particularizing them would require more room than can be spared. II. Double or married Bed-stages. (See the plate.) Each four feet in width, bounded by a moveable partition or screen on each side, six feet and a half high.—Alternating with these married bed stages, sets of children’s bed stages, for children of an innocent and unobserving age:—say from two to six years: each for two rows of children, lying feet to feet: breadth, in some, for two children in a row, in others, for three. In the two opposite ranges, in the same room, the alternation should be so managed, as that each couple should have for its opposite neighbours—not another married couple—but a set of children. In the day-time, these high partitions serve for the circumferential screens, employed as above at chapel-times, and at other times (still in the same circumferential situation) as anti-inspection screens, in vacation hours.—When not in use, they stow away in the radial direction, close and parallel to the radial walls.—For the sets of cribs for infants, see the plate, and see Ch. ix. Child-nursing.
Infirmary. Persons labouring under infirmities neither noisome nor contagious, are lodged in the uppermost or gallery floor: a person labouring under an infirmity either noisome or contagious, occupies to himself an infirmary hut. Description of an infirmary hut. A cube of seven or eight feet. Width of the door, three feet: width of the bed, three or four feet; space on the other side of the bed, one foot. The door close-fitted and well listed: particularly at the side by which it hangs on the door-case. As the door opens, it forms a screen to the head of the patient, defending him against the blast. On the inside, a thin board, as long as the door is wide, fastened to the top of it, making with the plane of the door an angle greater than a right angle, for the purpose of directing up towards the ceiling such of the air as, at the opening of the door, comes in above. To weaken the reverberation of the blast, opposite the door, an oval hole, closed by a well-fitted and listed shutter, playing loosely on a pin on which it is hung, and loaded a little at the bottom, that it may the more effectually overcome the friction, and replace itself in a position exactly vertical;—the fresh air, as it comes in at the door, pushes before it, and pushes out at the aperture, a part of the air which it finds in the room, and which, were it not for the vent thus given to it, would reverberate upon the bed. On the right hand of the patient, as he lies in his bed, a small window, not opening, but closely caulked. The bedstead on feet, one foot and a half above the ground. On each side, and at the feet, a flap, running the whole length, and reaching to the ground, turning by hinges on the bedstead. For warmth, the flaps are turned up, and occupy a vertical position, enclosing the patient as it were in a box, and keeping the bed-clothes from being undesignedly thrown off: for coolness, they let down. The ceiling, instead of being flat, coves a little in two slopes, corresponding to those of the roof: at top they do not meet in an angle, but in a narrow plane, say a foot wide; in the middle of its length, an aperture, say about two feet in length, closed by a slider, to let out the foul air occasionally at the top, more or less frequently, according to the temperature. The convergescence of the roof, which may take place in two directions only, or in all four, enables the blast to sweep out the air the more clearly; there being no corners where it can lurk unexpelled. For equality of temperature, the outside covering thatch: unless any apprehension should be entertained of its harbouring infectious vapour, in which case tiling or slating must be employed instead. The door clogged by a counterpoise, to ensure the shutting of it, and to moderate and equalise the blast produced by opening it. In cold weather, to close it more effectually at bottom, a roller hanging loosely by the woollen cloth by which it is covered. When not occupied as an infirmary, each hut would make a comfortable abode for two persons, at bed and meal times. By putting four together, four walls out of the sixteen, or by putting together two, one wall out of the eight might be saved, as in this figure, in which the situation of the door is marked by the short line:—but, on the quadruple plan, the benefit of the vent for the blast of the door is sacrificed. In as far as noisomeness is the sole ground of sequestration (as in bad venereal cases) the quadruple plan may be as good as the double or single; and there seems no reason why the double plan, at least, should not be upon a par with the single, even in the most infectious fevers.*
Approach and out-lying Cottages.—
The approach, an avenue bounded by parallel walls; each wall serving as a support or back to a pent-house roof, supported in front by slender posts, forming thus a sort of covered walk or corridor, tiled or thatched, paved with brick or stone, according to the country. The same wall forming one of the boundaries of a line of out-lying huts or cottages. The door of each cottage opening into the corridor: a small window, either at the top of the door, or in the wall opposite. Between door and door, a bench for the customers to the Industry-house, in its quality of Employment-Intelligence-Office: over the benches the series of Employment-Gazettes pasted against the wall. (See Book in. Ch. i. Employment secured.) No cooking being to be performed in any of these huts, each consisting of but a single room, on a plan nearly similar to that of the Infirmary Huts, they might be warmed by a flue running through the line of them, as in hot houses.†
Uses of the Avenue. This the only approach—no introduction by stealth—neither ingress nor egress for any one without his being exposed to scrutiny, the whole length of the avenue. Occasional barrier across the avenue at one or both ends, to keep out the promiscuous influx of the employment-seeking hands.
In the corridor, the bedridden and infant part of the population might receive air and exercise on a rainy Sunday, by being drawn on droshkies (a vehicle in use in Russia, consisting of a board mounted on wheels) by the stout part of the children of their own sex; the non-existence of windows towards the avenue, would preserve the ancient inhabitants of the cottages from being incommoded by the noise and promiscuous resort of the Employment-seeking hands: and if, on this or any other account, it were an object at any time to cut off such communication altogether, the access of those visiters might be confined to hours when the inhabitants of the cottages were at their employments in the house.
Means of Separation.
Uncommunicating floors in each division, three out of the five: each short floor communicating with the long floor immediately underneath it. Divisions, eleven out of the twelve: the twelfth being reserved for the officers: three, multiplied by eleven, gives thirty-three uncommunicating apartments. Three and thirty classes may thus be kept in a state of perfect and constant separation from each other, yet all of them constantly present to the officers in the lodge. Between whatever classes a separation is kept in the house, it must be equally kept up without the house: the land must, therefore, be separated into wards, as well as the house. Between class and class, the barriers will be constituted by roads, not to be crossed by either class, nor to be made use of as roads by both at the same time. Barrier against strangers, a double fence all round: the space between fence and fence a belt planted with wood. It may be termed the sequestration belt. The land divisions radiating in continuation of the house divisions: the house not far from the centre of the land, that the land divisions may be equal as well as the house divisions; or if one ward requires less land than another, the land division may, on that side, be so much the shorter, and the house so much the nearer to the extremity of the land.
Difficulty of framing the conception to an adequate comprehension of the central-inspection plan, and of the effects it would have upon the management.—If in a building on this plan, anything of disorder is supposed, it must be, because though in words, the adoption of it may have been admitted, the state of things that would be the necessary result of it, is not present to the mind. The disorder supposed is supposed to be out of sight, which in fact it never could be. From the want of this advantage, proceeds that anxiety, the intensity, and at the same time, the inefficacy, of which is apparent in every page of the rules and orders that one sees. “Officers frequently to go into the wards—frequently to hear complaints—master frequently to go into every ward, and inspect the persons therein, on a particular day of the week especially—Twice a-week the matron to inspect every part of the house—Paupers to be kept clean—Officers frequently to take a view of them—Paupers to come down into the dining-hall to be mustered and employed—doors to be locked, that they may not harbour in the wards in the day time—Nurse-children frequently to be visited—once a-month at least—Apprentices frequently to be visited by the Messenger.”—This, from the regulations of one of the first-rate Poor-Houses—All this an attempt—and that, probably, in a great degree, an unavailing one—to effect by great exertions, not a hundredth part of what on the central inspection plan would take place of itself, without a man’s stirring from his chair.*
Means of extension. First method—
If the purpose, for which the extension is wanted, be such, as a floor of one of the divisions of the house will suffice for, apply it accordingly, giving a proportionable increase to the line of avenue, or outlying cottages: for, (per estimate,) when once provision has been made for the two thousand upon the central inspection plan, outlying cottages, at two lodgers to a cottage, may be built at an expense not greater per head than the expense of the main building. This plan of extension may be pursued, so long as there is an assurance of a correspondent number of inhabitants, so circumstanced, as that they can be made to do as much work in value, out of the main building as in it: being employed, for example, partly in out-door work, partly in such in-door and sedentary work, as they may be trusted with, and would be capable of doing, in such a confined and ill-lighted situation: to which may be added, such farther number for which room can be found in the main building at the in-door working times. The additional stock of comfort afforded by this method, will be no small recommendation to it.—Second method, by which an extension may be given to the main building to an unlimited amount, for any purposes in relation to which the benefit of the central inspection principle is not wanted:—Before, and parallel to, that division which fronts the avenue, add a projecting front, communicating with the main building by a narrow passage:—length of the passage, such as to save the division from having its light materially obstructed by the projecting front: for which reason, so far at least as that division extends, the projection should consist of but one floor: the roof low, and if flat, so much the better.*
Principles of Management.—
Necessity of finding a name for each leading principle, for the purpose of reference.—The newspaper mode of naming parliamentary bills, a precedent, and an example of the use. To each principle corresponds a rule, given at length in the work at large, with the requisite limitations and explanations.
Means: 1. Separation and Aggregation principle. (See above, Ch. ii.) 2. Central Inspection, or Inspection-architecture principle. (See above, Ch. iii.) 3. Ample Scale principle—Push to the utmost the advantage derivable from the amplitude of the scale—For applications, see infra. 1. Labour-division principle.—2. Whole-sale purchase principle—Refuse-employing principle.—(And see supra, Ch. ii.) 4. Management-selection principle. Under each head of management, observe in what industry-house the management in relation to that head, is better than in the rest, and introduce it into the rest. 5. Tabular-statement principle. In each industry-house, reduce the system of book-keeping to the form of a table, inspectable at one view, and at each period, from the two hundred and fifty particular tables, form a general table. (See infra, Ch. x. Book-keeping.) The use of the Tabular-statement principle, is to facilitate the application of the Management-selection principle.—No close and persevering comparison, but when the objects are on the same surface of the same paper, or of divers papers ranged in the same plane. 6. Uniform-management principle. Keep up the same plan of management in all the industry-houses, in all points, which present no particular reasons for variation, as between house and house. Frame for this purpose at the outset, a set of blank books or forms, to be observed in all, improving them from time to time, according to the suggestions of experience. 7. Local-consideration observing, or exception-observing principle—a memento, not to push the principle of uniformity too far—so far as to keep the management the same in any two establishments, in regard to any point, in respect of which the influence of local circumstances requires a difference.
Motives: 8. Duty and Interest junction principle.—No means to be omitted that can contribute to strengthen the junction between interest and duty, in the instance of the person intrusted with the management:—i. e. to make it each man’s interest to observe on every occasion that conduct which it is his duty to observe. Application of this principle to practice—All means of acting upon a man’s interest, reduceable to the two heads of punishment and reward.—Punishment, commonly so called, is out of the question here, being provided by the general dispensations of law—applications of reward are left mostly free in transactions between individual and individual. But money (including money’s worth) is, in point of effect, the matter either of reward, or punishment, or of both at once, in so far as it lies in the power of one man to cause it to pass into, or to pass out of, the hands of another. A given mass of reward is the more valuable (because the more certain) where it attaches of course upon the conduct intended to be promoted, without the formality of legal investigation, directed expressly to that purpose. The duty of the manager of an industry-house has two main branches: duty towards those under his care, resolvable into humanity—and duty to his principals, (the company,) resolvable into economy. Publicity, the most effectual means of applying the force of moral motives, in a direction tending to strengthen the union between his interest and the humane branch of his duty; by bringing to light, and thus exposing to the censure of the law and of public opinion, or at any rate of public opinion, every instance of contravention. For enforcing economy, what is called contract, is the most efficacious species of arrangement, where the case admits of its being adopted:—the contractor standing to the whole loss (the apprehension of which operates like the fear of punishment) as well as to the whole profit, (the expectation of which operates like the hope of reward.)—Next to that, partnership; in which a man stands to only a part loss and part gain:—the union between interest and duty being of course the stronger, the larger a man’s share: (regard being had to the sum-total of his property) especially since the larger a man’s partnership share, the less the difference between the whole of any profit which he might make to himself in fraud of the partnership, and the share that would come to him fairly, under the partnership. Next to that, a share of profits, without any share of loss. Danger to be guarded against, where share of profit is confined to particular articles—temptation to increase, to the prejudice of the partnership, the amount of the partnership transactions in these articles—and so per contra in the case of loss. Salary, an expedient to be recurred to no otherwise than as far as contract or partnership are inapplicable. Salary, however large, affording no motive for the habitual discharge of the trust, much less for any extraordinary exertions in the view of discharging it to the best possible effect, but only for the single act of undertaking it, and thereby exposing one’s self to the penalties appointed for non-discharge or mis-discharge of it.—General receipt for connecting a man’s interest with his duty—Cause a profit to accrue to him of itself, on the taking place of the result proposed to be promoted—or a loss, or other prejudice, on the taking place of the result proposed to be averted. For instances of the application of this principle to the working and other subordinate hands, see the several principles of detail, exhibited further on, under the head of working-hands—Motives.—For an instance of its application to the situation of the local manager in chief, (the governor,) or other persons bearing parts in the management, see the next principle.
9.Life-Assurance, or Life-warranting principle.—Give to every one, on whose care, in the instance of each child, the probability of its life in any degree depends, an interest, and that a pecuniary and never-ceasing interest—in the preservation of its life.—Application of this principle. That the service of an average child to twenty-one, possesses a clear value—reckoning even from birth—much more, from any more advanced period, is proved in another place. (See Book v. Ch. ii. Pecumary Estimates.) By giving this service to the company, an interest in the wished-for result (viz. the preservation of life to the latest period)* is given to the company: an interest, from which flows the company’s best and largest source of profit. It is therefore the company’s interest to communicate a share of this interest to such of its several subordinates, on whose conduct the result in any way depends, in such shape and quantity, as shall in each instance be best adapted to the purpose.—Examples: 1. Establish it as a rule, that the governor, matron, medical curator, and female midwife, shall, each of them, pay head-money, for every woman who dies in child-bed. 2. Give to a certain part (the larger the better) of the emoluments of the governor, matron, medical curator, and nurses, the shape of head-money, payable for the survivors only of the non-adults, from year of age to year of age, either during the whole of the apprenticeship (viz. to twenty-one) or only during the age of extra-mortality. 3. Give in all like manner an extra premium or bounty to the governor, matron, medical curator, and nurses, of such of the industry-houses (in a certain number) in which the success of the management in this particular, shall, within a certain period, (say yearly,) have been most conspicuous.—The interest which a member of the community at large, has in the populousness of the community at large, is as nothing, in comparison with the interest thus created; viz. on the part of a member of the company, and still more on the part of an officer of a company’s industry-house. This is the only shape which genuine and efficient humanity can take. The notion, which insists upon disinterestedness (i. e. the absence of the species of motive most to be depended upon) as an indispensable qualification, or even though it were but a recommendation, in the instance of a person bearing a part in the management of such a concern, is a notion respectable in its source, but the most prejudicial in its tendency of any that can be imagined—Every system of management which has disinterestedness, pretended or real, for its foundation, is rotten at the root, susceptible of a momentary prosperity at the outset, but sure to perish at the long run. That principle of action is most to be depended upon, whose influence is most powerful, most constant, most uniform, most lasting, and most general among mankind. Personal interest is that principle: a system of economy built on any other foundation, is built upon a quicksand.
10. Principle of Publicity, or Transparent-management principle. This regards motives as well as means. The more universally the particulars of the management are held up to view, the more universally the means of observing, and thence of adopting, whatever is good, and of observing, and thence of avoiding whatever is bad, are held up to view: and the stronger the force (because the greater the certainty) with which the motives derivable from the popular or moral, as well as those derivable from the political or legal sanction operate towards the insuring such adoption and avoidance. For the dependance of the degree of publicity on the amplitude of the scale, see supra, Ch. iii.
11.Concourse-attraction principle—a branch of the principle of publicity.—In the contrivance of the buildings, and the whole system of management, neglect no circumstance that can contribute to engage attention to the management, and attract to the spot a concourse of such visiters, whose remarks may afford instruction, and their scrutiny a spur to improvement, and a check to abuse. (See Ch. xii. Pauper Education—and Book iii. Ch. x. National Force strengthened.)
12.All-employing principle. Reasons—Health, amusement, morality, (i. e. preservation from vice and mischief,) as well as economy. Not one in a hundred is absolutely incapable of all employment. Not the motion of a finger—not a step—not a wink—not a whisper—but might be turned to account in the way of profit in a system of such a magnitude. (See below, Labour-division principle.)—A bed-ridden person if he can see and converse, may be fit for inspection; or though blind, if he can sit up in the bed, may knit, spin, &c. &c. Real inability is relative only—i. e. with reference to this or that species of employment, or this or that situation.—In the situation in question employment may be afforded to every fragment of ability, however minute. On the part of the deaf and dumb, and the blind, the ability is entire; requiring only to be directed into particular channels. So, on the part of most classes of the insane, requiring only particular means for the direction of it.—In a limited local establishment on the present footing, the stock of ability lies oftentimes unemployed, for want of those appropriate means and opportunities of employment which could not be afforded to any profit in any other than an establishment on the largest scale.
13.Employment-appropriation principle.—Till the several classes of confined hands (i. e. who, by reason of infirmity, are susceptible of particular employments only, see Ch. viii. Employment) are provided, allot no such employment to unconfined-ability-hands, possessing a natural capacity for every employment. Husband the stock of anybody’s work employments, reserving them for confined-ability hands, according to the nature of the case, and expending none of them upon hands of all work. Examples: 1. Allot not to males any employment exercisable by females, till the female stock of hands is fully provided: 2. Nor to adults, or children of a superior age, any employment exercisable by children of the lowest workable age, till the stock of hands of that lowest age is provided: 3. And so with regard to the deaf and dumb, the blind, the lame, &c.: 4. Nor to the willing, any employments to which the earn-first principle is applicable, without imputation or danger of inordinate severity, till the stock of lazy hands is provided with employments of that nature. (See infra, Section iv. Earn-first principle.) 5. Nor to practised hands any employments to which unpractised hands are competent, till the stock of unpractised hands is provided in like manner.*Any-body’s work employments are such as may be carried on by unpractised hands: imperfect-hand employments, though capable of being carried on by imperfect hands, may require practice.
14.Labour-division principle. In the choice and allotment of employments, remember to improve to the utmost the room afforded by the largeness of the scale for the division of labour. Besides the saving of time, in respect of the passing from employment to employment, and from place to place, the more operations a process is divided into, the more simple the several operations: and the more simple an operation, the better the chance it has of being brought within the competence of the different classes of confined-ability hands, as just described.—Thence, 1. Time saved. 2. Relative ability increased. 3. Quantity of the scarcest sorts of employment increased.—The extent of the advantage derivable from this principle has no other limit than what is set by the expense of conveyance, viz. the expense of conveying the stock of raw, or less elaborated materials, to the spot where the stock of hands is accumulated; and from thence, in a finished or more elaborated shape, to the field of consumption or demand.
15.Employment-changing, or several-trade principle.—Classes of employments proper in divers points of view, to be assigned interchangeably to the same hand: 1. For health and gain of working time, one laborious, another sedentary or unlaborious. 2. For health and equal development of strength, (See Ch. xii. Pauper Education,) one stationary, (which may yet be laborious,) one ambulatory. 3. For gain of working time, one out-door, or fair-weather employment; one in-door, or all-weather employment. 4. For saleable profit to the Company—to the public, despatch, and saving of expense—one low but certain-profit employment for a peace employment; ex. gr. improvement of land:—one high though temporary profit employment, for a war employment; ex. gr. ship-building, and the trades connected with it. In the instance of the female branch of the unripe stock of hands, by way of preparation for matrimony, or private service, the circle of family employments alternating with the manufacturing, agricultural, and other profit-yielding community employments of the house. Examples: Child-tending, sick-tending, cooking, washing, making, mending. Inattention to this point among the existing community-establishments.
16. Principle of self-supply.—In the whole stock requisite for the maintenance of the establishment, there will be few, if any, sorts of articles—even raw materials included, as well as workmanship—that might not be produced by the working strength of the establishment:—if it be sufficient in quantity the whole expense of the present poor rates might thus be saved. Advantages: Value in the way of use, not susceptible, like value in the way of exchange of being destroyed or reduced by glut, competition, stagnation, change of fashion, war, or other causes; nor by imperfections in workmanship affecting appearance rather than use:—imperfections particularly congenial to such unpractised and feeble hands.—Under the principle of self-supply, neither market, i. e. demand, nor capacity of production, are exposed to failure.—Each hand working, for the most part, not only for the establishment of which he is a member, but, in some degree, individually for himself, natural justice holds out its sanction to this arrangement, sympathy helps to promote it, and self-advantage to sweeten it.—Acknowledged community of interest will enable the willing to spur the lazy, without exposing themselves to the reproach of officiousness or ill-nature.—Working for sale would, unless laid under restraints by superior authority, expose individual competitors to universal ruin: self supply injures nobody—affords ground of complaint to nobody. In the case of an individual, indeed, the principle of self-supply is repugnant to good economy, and is the forced resource of a nation little advanced in the career of opulence: for in that case, in as far as the application of the principle of self-supply extends, the benefit of the labour-division principle is foregone. But in this vast populous establishment, affording within itself the means of carrying the division of labour—not only to the ordinary pitch, but beyond it,—the two principles act in conjunction, and the operation of each is favoured by the assistance it receives from the other.
Motives. End view,—the extraction of labour to as great a value as may be, consistently with the regard due to health, customary relaxation, and the observance of religious duties. N. B.—The principles exhibited in this section, as subservient to that end, are but so many applications of the Duty and Interest-junction principle.
17.Self-liberation principle. No relief but upon the terms of coming into the house, (i. e. an industry house,) and working out the expense;—till then no enlargement.
18.Earn-first principle.—When ability adequate to the task is certain, and laziness apprehended, no meal given, till the task by which it is earned has been first performed. The self-liberation principle is sufficient, without the earn-first principle, in the instance of adequate ability hands: such alone excepted, if any such there be, who would prefer idleness and confinement to industry and liberty. For these the addition of the earn-first principle would be necessary; but principally to those who, though habitually able to earn more or less towards their maintenance, are not able to earn the whole of it. Without this, or some severer and less unexceptionable spur, the lazy among them would do nothing. As to those who come within the operation of the self-liberation principle, whether a man works more or less, makes no difference to the Company: the better he works, the sooner he is out: the less he works, the longer he stays. So far as the operation of this principle extends, the Company need never be a loser, but may be a gainer if it pleases: utmost expense of maintenance per head per day, of an ablebodied male, not so much as 4d. average value of the lowest paid species of labour, not so little as 1s. Humanity, however, will not be the only check upon the abuse of rating the value of the relief too high, or, what comes to the same thing, the value of the work performed, too low: since, the worse terms the Company afford to self-liberation hands, the fewer they will have; the better the more. It is only by the combination of the self-liberation principle with the earn-first principle, applied, the one or the other, according to circumstances, that voluntary charity is reconcileable with industry, or compulsory charity with justice. Employment for lazy hands, (to be administered upon the earn-first principle,) should be—1. Certainly performable. 2. Exactly measurable: ex. gr. turning of a wheel for grinding, &c.—or for raising water—so many turns made, so much work done.—To husband this sort of work, give a new hand the option between a greater quantity of this sort of work, and a less quantity of a sort which is more wanted, but, in respect to which the quantity, or the relative ability of the workman, is less free from dispute: ex. gr. digging, wheeling away, carting, hedging, gathering, chaff-cutting, weaving, picking, sorting, &c.
19.Piece-work, or proportionable-pay principle.—The application of it seems confined to three cases: 1. That of the relative extrability hands among the permanent stock: i. e. those who, though not capable of earning a full maintenance elsewhere, are capable of earning more than a maintenance in this establishment—the Company keeping up a fund of employment, such as is not to be had elsewhere, and affording maintenance cheaper than it can be had elsewhere. 2. Among these may be reckoned the extra-ability part of the apprentice stock; who cannot earn a maintenance elsewhere, because they are not yet permitted to go elsewhere. 3. The case of encouragement-money given out of earnings. If a man cannot be maintained in the establishment for less than 3d. and he cannot, in the way of piece-work, earn more than 2½d. nothing is to be got by the Company by paying him the whole of his earnings, and making him pay for his board, instead of finding him in board, and working him upon the earn-first principle.—Caution necessary in the application of the piece-work principle, where badness of quality may be masked—ex. gr. in those parts of a house or ship which are covered up—inside brick-work, caulking, &c.—or where despatch, under the spur of the reward, threatens to be productive of bad workmanship or waste. Caution in favour of health, especially in the case of the apprentice stock. Many, under the spur of the piece-work principle, injure their healths, and shorten their lives. But the mischief is probably owing, in a considerable degree, to fermented liquors: by the use of which such excessive exertions are commonly accompanied and supported, and which would have no place here.
20.Peculiar-premium, prize-giving, or competition-excitement principle.—Advantages: 1. By paying one or a few victors, you get the result of the extra-exertions of the whole multitude of competitors. 2. This combines well with the piece-work principle:—nor does either supersede the other; some being more taken with the certainty of a smaller reward, others with a chance of a larger one:—the degree of excitement, and thence of exertion, is thus rendered greater than it could be even by the certainty of a reward to the same amount, in a state of insulation.
21.Honorary-reward principle.—This is mostly an application of the Peculiar-premium principle, and the class of hands, to the circumstances of which it is more particularly applicable are, the unripe hands. In this shape, reward costs nothing.—Examples: 1. Superiority of seat, at table or elsewhere.* 2. Precedence in processions, or other public exhibitions. 3. Promotion to a higher class or form, i. e. to a form already occupied by children standing higher on the scale of acquirments, and mostly of a higher age. 4. Distinction in dress, with or without addition for the purpose of decoration.—Query, which is the greatest? The good done by the exercise of useful exertion, or the mischief by the suffering produced by the ferment raised among the dissocial passions—disappointment, dejection, envy, jealousy, revenge.—The good is supposed to predominate considerably: but all possible care should be taken to reduce the mischief to its minimum.
22.Separate-work principle, or performance-distinguishing principle.—This is the basis of the foregoing principles: without this, neither punishment nor reward:—especially no punishment. Rules: 1. Where tasks can be separated, avoid gang-work. 2. Where gang-work is inevitable, the smaller the gang the better. 1. Because the fewer the workmen whose work is thus blended, the easier each man’s share in the work may be distinguished. 2. Because, if a reward be given to the gang, the smaller the gang, the larger the share which each man’s own exertion procures for him. N. B. If the gang be not large, by shifting the hands from gang to gang in the same work, the share contributed by each to the result of the joint-work, may be obtained separate. 3. Where the reward is divisible, to spur a lazy hand, join him with a willing one: viz. if the arrangement be temporary: for, if it be permanent, despair and resentment against injustice, will be apt to slacken the exertions of the industious hand, and reduce them to a level with those of his unindustrious partner. 4. In work for self-supply, allot to each individual what he has individually been concerned in producing: he will then be his own rewarder and his own punisher, according to the goodness or badness of his work. 5. Giving him the last choice, may, in some cases, be a means of bringing his workmanship to a uniform pitch of goodness. 6. In work for sale, the price fetched by the work of each gang, and if possible of each individual, should be noted, that the reward, if any, may be proportionate.
Fare: 23. Suitable-fare principle.—Charity-maintenance—maintenance at the expense of others, should not be made more desirable than self-maintenance. Fare consequently the cheapest that can be found, so it be nourishing and wholesome—for, if there be any cheaper in use, it must be among the self-maintaining poor.—Luxury, being a relative term, is applicable with as much propriety to the diet of the poor as of the rich. Luxury, if it does not render the condition of the burdensome poor more desirable than that of the self-maintaining poor, fails of its purpose: if it does, it violates justice, as well as economy, and cuts up industry by the roots.—This extends not to any who may have earned, though it be in the establishment, more than the expense of their maintenance—since these are not burdensome, but self-maintaining:—nor to any extra comforts, purchased with any such peculium share of earnings, the allowance of which, is productive of a value more than equal to the expense, although the whole amount of a man’s earnings should fall short of the whole expense of his maintenance. Example: Expense of maintenance, say 2s. a-week; ordinary earnings, 1s., if, by giving fifty per cent. encouragement-money for extra earnings, you can make him earn 1s. 6d. you save 3d.; and the 3d. he spends and costs over and above the 1s. does not go counter to the principle—although it should be clear that a self-maintainer of the same degree of ability without doors, would not earn above the 1s.
24.Habit-respecting principle.—This principle is the antagonist of, and a check upon, the former: its application is merely temporary, confined to the existing stock of old-stagers. How far, in consequence of habits of luxurious fare, contracted under the existing plan of poor-house provision, (how uncomfortable soever upon the whole,) the Suitable-fare principle should be departed from in the instance of that stock, is a problem for the humanity and discretion of the company to solve. (See Ch. vii. Diet.)
25. Principle of Sobriety or No-fermented liquor principle.—1. Fermented liquor, even of the weakest kind, is a drink not natural to the human frame. 2. In as far as it is fermented, it contributes nothing to health or nourishment. 3. In its abuse it is the most fertile of all sources of vice and misery.—4. No line can be drawn between the use and the abuse.—Some constitutions are kept in a state of perpetual intoxication by small beer.—5. Perfect health reigns where fermented liquors are excluded,—proved in the instance of the Philadelphia prison.
26. Wholesale-purchase principle.—27. Refuse-employing or Save-all principle.—These are but applications of the ample-scale principle. On a scale of such magnitude no species of refuse but has its value: all animal—all vegetable substances—if good for nothing else, are valuable as manure. (See the paper of the Board of Agriculture on manures.) But before their arrival at this state, many are the articles that may have gone through more stages than one in the scale of degradation. (See Ch. x. Book-keeping.)—28. Use-multiplying or Several-use principle.—An article being deemed necessary, observe whether it may not be rendered applicable to more uses than one.—Examples: 1. Each room serving for work, meals, sleep, and devotion: the consecrated part being let down from above at chapel-times.—2. Married bed-stage partitions serving for circumferential privacy screens.—3. Single ditto, serving for forms, working-tables, &c.—4. The bed-stages themselves all capable of serving for tables. (See Ch. vii.)—5. Straw for beds, employed first for men, and then for cattle.—6. The whole establishment applied to the several different purposes of a poor-house—an hospital—a house of correction—a prison—a pawnbroking establishment—a bank for the poor—an inn for the poor, &c. &c., without prejudice to any, and much to the advantage of many, of the objects in view.—For the application of this principle to actions as well as things, see Ch. xii. Pauper Education.
29. Apprenticeship principle.—No relief to a pauper within the latest age at which it is usual for a child to be bound apprentice, but on the terms of being bound to the company till full age. Advantages: 1. To the child instruction, intellectual, moral, and religious; inbred habits of systematical frugality—certain security from vice and criminality—certainty of employment during the apprenticeship, and ever afterwards—chance of promotion to rank and affluence. (See infra, Indigenous-promotion principle.) Condition, upon the whole, more than upon a par in point of happiness with that of an individual of the same age in the world at large. (See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.)—2. To the Company, and its copartners the rateable parishioners—a fund of increasing profit, at the end of twenty years, and ever afterwards, more than equal to the amount of the present poor-rates. (See Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.)
30.Talent-cultivation principle.—Natural talents of any kind, manifesting themselves in an extraordinary degree to receive appropriate culture. Examples: Musical habits principally:—viz. an extraordinary fine voice, or an extraordinary good ear, and thence affection for the pursuit. (In the instance of a natural taste for the arts of design, or of strength or comeliness adapted to dancing, or other theatrical exhibitions, superiority is less manifest, culture is less exceptionable in the eyes of a severe moralist, and the object is of inferior account.)—Advantages: Comfort and consideration of this part of the pauper community increased.—Importance and desirableness of the condition of a Company’s apprentice raised. For the importance of music, as an assistant to instruction, intellectual, moral, and religious, see Ch. xii. Pauper Education.
31.Fellow-instruction principle;—a branch of the Indigenous-promotion principle.—The children themselves to be employed in the instruction of their fellows; the more advanced, in the instruction of the less advanced:—as much of the instruction as possible to be given upon this plan—in time the whole of it may.—Advantages: 1. Saving in the expense of superior instruction. 2. On the part of the pupils, comfort increased: the impression of awe, and idea of coercion being in great measure removed. 3. Progress accelerated—the alacrity being increased, and the analogy of ideas betwixt teacher and pupil closer. 4. On the part of the teacher.—Comfort increased, in respect of the pleasures of superiority and command. 5. Progress accelerated: the knowledge acquired by teaching being much more perfect than what can be acquired by simple learning in the one case the mind being in good measure passive—in the other completely active. To the cultivated mind of a master, the task of perpetually dwelling on ideas of no higher rank than those which are upon a level with the capacities of children, is a wearisome and fastidious task. In the case of the pupil-instructor, the task which he has but just ceased to learn, in quality of pupil, is some time before it has lost its relative importance in his conception in his new quality of tutor; and when it has, it is exchanged for a higher. 6. Preparation for the application of the indigenous-promotion principle, by appointing the quondam apprentice to the higher offices of the establishment.
32.Indigenous-promotion principle.—From the time that the institution has been long enough on foot to have laid a suitable foundation in point of education, none of the officers (unless perhaps the chaplain) to be chosen elsewhere than out of the establishment, viz. out of the apprentice stock.—Advantages: I. To the Company’s wards, hope, encouragement, and consideration. II. To the Company—1. Certainty of fitness, in respect of suitable education, character, experience, and probation—2. Saving in respect of expense of salaries. A given allowance, administered to persons whose habits of expense have been of the very lowest rank, will go proportionably farther, than if administered to an individual trained up in the profuse habits of the world at large.
Officers—Numbers and Functions—
the same in every Industry House.—1. Governor. 2. Chaplain. 3. Medical curator. 4. Schoolmaster, to act likewise as secretary. 5. Organist to act on Sundays as music-master, and* on weekdays as a clerk. 6. Governess, for the female part. 7. School-mistress, for the younger part of the female apprentices. 8. Matron, or head nurse, for the infant part—to act as midwife. 9. Husbandry bailiff. 10. Foreman and forewoman, at first, for the several employments.—Impossibility of determining with exactness, previously to experience, the exact number of officers requisite: two functions may be exercised by the same individual; or several individuals may be requisite for one function.
In most instances, the greatest part of the emolument must wear the shape of a fixed salary from first to last: the value of the service actually rendered by each individual, not being capable of being exhibited in any such precise quantity, that the quantum of the reward shall be capable of being made to rise and fall with it. Governors must, at the outset, be in great measure, if not altogether, upon a salary: in process of time, as the expenses and returns of the establishment become ascertained and known, they may be paid upon the footing of contract or partnership. Till the apprentice stock has produced individuals ripe for this as well as the other offices, the emoluments being fixed, it might be sold by auction to candidates possessed of certain qualifications: power to the Company to revoke the appointment at any time on payment of the purchase-money. The price a man gives, will be a proof of the degree of his inclination for the business of the office; thence of his fitness, as far as depends upon inclination. The other exceptions regard the officers to whose functions the application of the life-assurance principle is extendible—the nurse receiving the whole of her emolument, and the medical curator a proportionable part of his, and so, perhaps, the governor and governess, in the shape of annuities on the lives of the apprentice-children under their care, up to a certain age. (See Ch. iv.)
Powers and Restraints.—
Except as undermentioned, the authority of the governor to be absolute over the whole establishment; but no act to be done without the privity of the rest of the officers: each being rendered responsible for every act of the governor to which he does not enter his dissent; and the entry of each act being accompanied with a memorandum, stating what officers were present, and which, if any, absent at the time. Cases to be specified in which, to prevent any such mischief as would be irreparable, the veto of the chaplain or surgeon shall be sufficient to suspend the execution of any order of the governor, until there shall have been time for the pleasure of the Direction-Board to be made known.—Examples: 1. Danger to the security of the whole establishment by fire or water.—2. Danger to the safe custody of the apprentice stock, or stock of self-liberation hands; especially such as belong to any of the dangerous or disreputable classes. 3. Danger of communication of infection, or danger of life and limb to any individual in the establishment.—4. Danger of violation of the principle of separation, as between class and class.—5. Mischief, by the cutting down, destroying, or damaging timber, or other trees: the mischief in each case being such, as, were it not for the veto, might take place before the intimation of the pleasure of the Board could arrive. Contracts of purchase, sale, hire, and loan, such as are made in the local establishment, and not by the general Direction-Board, to be made by the governor, but with the privity of all the officers of both sexes. In cases that will admit of suspension, power to be reserved to the Direction-Board, to disallow any such contract within a limited time; these, like all other acts, being reported to the Board in weekly or daily course. No officer to be ever absent for a day together, without a substitute chosen by himself; but liable to be disallowed by the governor singly, or by any two other officers—the principal to be peculiarly responsible for the conduct of the substitute. The substitute to be, in the case of the chaplain, a minister in holy orders: in that of the medical curator, a person who has undergone such tests of capacity as shall have been established for the purpose. Power to each officer to take an assistant or assistants, upon the same terms as specified above, in regard to substitutes. Each officer will thus have the faculty—not indeed of appointing his successor, but of placing any one whom he is disposed to favour, in a situation which will naturally afford him an advantage in this respect. The power of nomination remaining in the Board, no detriment seems likely to ensue from such a privilege: the choice of a person, for whose conduct the chooser is personally responsible, affording as fair a presumption of fitness, as a choice made by an irresponsible member of the General Board. Each officer to be responsible to the Board, for every instance of misbehaviour, or proof of manifest incapacity, exhibited by any other, if within a certain time he does not give information thereof by minute in the books; taking care that a copy of the minute be transmitted to the Board. The plea of self-preservation will thus afford a shield against the imputation of officiousness and ill-nature. All the official acts to be exercised in the common room; viz. the central lodge.
Rich and honourable source of encouragement, were it the pleasure of his Majesty to confer the honour of knighthood on a select number of such of the governors, as should have distinguished themselves in the humane, upright, intelligent, and dignified, exercise of their office:—also to bestow some of the church sinecures on some of the chaplains; but tenable only during their continuance in the exercise of that laborious and useful office.—Might not an arrangement of this sort help to protect the church establishment from obloquy?
The Company at the end of every year to present pieces of plate, in the way of premiums, to such of the officers of the two hundred and fifty houses—governors more particularly—as shall have distinguished themselves in their respective situations. The act of remuneration to be grounded, in every instance, on specific, and specified, exemplifications of merit, with reference to the evidence presenting itself in each instance, as apparent on the face of the books. A thousand or two a-year thus expended would go a good way, and probably produce ample repayment in the way of zeal and useful service.
All magistrates and clergymen, resident in the county, visiters ex officio. Power to inspect the books, especially the complaint-book; (See Ch. x. Book-keeping)—examine persons, and make minutes. The power might be coupled with an obligation, to be performed (suppose once a-year) in the instance of those resident within the pauper district, belonging to the industry-house. In the case of the ecclesiastical visiters, especially those resident at a distance, a small fee, fixed, or increased with the distance, might be a reasonable accompaniment to the obligation. The whole establishment, with its two thousand members, being inspectable, and every member of it examinable, sick or well, from a single station, (the centre lodge,) the time thus required to be bestowed will not be great.
Diet about two-thirds of the necessary quantum of expense.—Distinction between diet for the new-comers, and diet for the old-stagers.* —Necessity, in respect of life and health, is the only standard in the former case; habit may prescribe an addition to the expense in the latter. (See p. 384, Habit-respecting principle.)—In the case of the new-comers,—animal food—meat—is the great source of expense—The greater part of mankind use animal and vegetable together; many, however, use vegetable only: ex. gr. the Hindoos:—some, animal only, viz. the Esquimaux, and other inhabitants of the regions too cold for vegetation—also some Tartar nations.—It is not clear that the latter are healthier or stronger than the former.—Whether a mixture, of animal food with vegetable, be more advantageous in point of health and strength, taken together, than vegetable alone, and if so, what proportion is most advantageous, is a matter of experiment in the highest degree interesting, never as yet tried, but which might be tried with the utmost advantage, in the proposed establishment, in the instance of the indigenous branch of the apprentice stock.—Bread is uneconomical—not only as being the result of an expensive manufacturing process, but as being considered as an appendage to meat, and thence impressing the idea of a want of meat. Bread and water, a penal diet in England, more expensive than the ordinary diet in Scotland.
I. Non-adults: especially the Indigenous and Quasi-Indigenous Classes.—Taking the cheapest food in point of quality, experiments should be made for ascertaining the most advantageous quantity. The lowest step in the scale, a quantity greater, in a known proportion, than the least quantity consumed by an average child of the same age among the husbandry part of the self-maintaining poor in Scotland—This ascertainable, with great precision, from the observations made by the Guardians of the Poor at Glasgow. The highest step, the quantity consumed by an average child of the same age, to whom as much is given as it will eat. Gradations to be marked out at equal intervals between these two points.—Difference to be tried between two meals a-day, and three—whether any, and how much, more is consumed at three than at two;—the quality the same,—quantity at option, as before:—and, if more is consumed, whether any, and what difference in point of strength or health be the result.—One a-day, and four a-day, hardly worth trying.—The two sexes to be compared to each other for this purpose, at the different ages.—Health being the mere negation of disease, if their be no disease in any instance, (which is the most probable, as well as the most desirable, result,) no indication in this respect will be afforded: in that case, as far as health is concerned, the smallest allowance is preferable, as being least expensive.—Difference between general strength, and particular or local strength. The human frame to be examined in this point of view—Some muscles stronger in some subjects, others in others—even where, in point of general strength, there may be no difference.—Tests of strength to be established—a single species of exertion, such as running, lifting, rowing, turning a wheel, &c.—each taken singly—is not of itself an adequate test of general strength, for all varieties in point of organization.—The proper tests for this purpose, are the exertions made in the several employments in actual use:—the experiment having by this means a direct application to practical use.—The effect of differences in point of quantity being ascertained, another class of experiments may regard the effect of differences in point of quality, i. e. species of food, each species taken apart; and another, of the effect of mixtures.
II. Adults—(New-Comers.)—A fixed dietary would be irreconcileable to economy; since the proportions in point of price, as between article and article, are subject to great and continual variation. So, likewise, a fixed allowance in money; since the same quantity of money will purchase as much again of any given species of food, or even of that which is cheapest at the time, at one time as at another: and, by an improvident application of a limited sum, famine might be produced.—The following course seems the proper one for the Direction Board to take. Give a list of rations, of different sorts—the more numerous, the better—all regarded as coming within the price proposed. Give to the governor of each house the option, as betwixt these several rations; allowing him even to employ, or at least to propose, others:—but on condition of their not exceeding a fixed price.
III. Adults.—Old-Stagers.—Paupership habit, is the habit principally to be considered in this case; the original habit, acquired during the self-maintaining state, having been more or less superseded by it. The paupership habit, instead of being less luxurious and expensive throughout, is, in the instance of those maintained in the way of community-maintenance (i. e. in poor-houses, howsoever denominated) invariably, and in an enormous degree, more luxurious and expensive.—Original habits are determined mostly by professions, though in some degree by territorial situations:—the agriculturalist, the lowest paid of all classes. In community-maintenance, the habit has generally been adjusted to the habits of the best-paid classes, though influenced more or less by territorial situation. Difference in this respect between bread countries and meal countries; and among bread countries, between wheaten bread countries and inferior bread countries—viz. rye, barley, oaten, and pease-bread countries. Meat is the great article of excess in the existing poor-houses.* Whatever degree of indulgence it may be thought fit, in consideration of acquired habits, to extend to the old-stagers, they should be dieted apart from the new-comers.—Briefly thus—two tables—New comers’ table, and old-stagers’ table. This to save the new-comers from the pains of regret and privation, and from the dissocial emotions and affections of envy and discontent.
Should any retrenchment be deemed advisable, voluntary charity will remain as a resource for the amount of the difference. (See Book iii. Ch. xiii. Voluntary Charity assisted—and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.)—Fish a contingent resource, in situations and seasons affording a glut.—Expectations entertained of a mode of curing, by which the benefit may be extended to all seasons and situations.—Conduct with regard to the mode of retrenchment.—1. Diminishing the number of meat-days.—2. Diminishing the quantity of meat on each day.—3. Diminishing partly the number of days, partly the quantity on each.—Saving by inferior pieces, a casual resource, depending on local situation:—the amount limited, since the ratio of inferior to superior cannot be increased. The distinction being principally the result of prejudice and caprice, differing widely as between country and country, any considerable increase in the relative demand would raise the price. In great towns, many parts, considered elsewhere as delicacies, and in vain coveted in country places, are degraded in saleable value, and even reprobated as unfit for man, by being denominated according to the demand made of them for the use of inferior animals. The principle of self-supply, though applied to this article, would not altogether supersede the distinction between superior and inferior pieces; since the superior, fresh or preserved, might be reserved for sale, and the inferior, in greater quantity, purchased with the price. This mode of retrenchment, a point of great delicacy: the settling of it, as far as can be done, by resolutions, conceived in general terms, a proper subject for the authority of Parliament. The execution ought not at any rate to be sudden: time should be allowed to the class in question to accommodate themselves to their new situation, and experience the benefit of it in other points of view.
Clothing, Bedding, &c.—
I. Clothing.—Two points to be attended to—frugality and distinction—the latter, for the purpose of separation and aggregation—(See Chap. ii.)—Frugality.—1. Materials, the cheapest, so as to afford sufficient warmth. 2. Form, excluding all useless parts—such as skirts to coats and waistcoats—brims to hats—unless it be in the heat of summer, for protection against the sun; for which purpose straw would be preferable.—Necessity and use the standards—not fashion—though fashion has of late been approaching nearer and nearer to use.—Distinction, principally by colour—form being determined by frugality. In default of a sufficient number of cheap colours sufficiently contrasted, shreds of one colour, applied to a ground of another colour, might be employed.—Shoes with wooden soles, used in many country places, and even in London, under the name of clogs, Saving on this score alone, 3s. 6d. a head, in the instance of adults: about £40,000 or £50,000 a-year, in the whole.—In summer, no stockings; but the leg covered, or nearly so, by a prolongation of the breeches; which at that part may be repaired by piecing, more advantageously than stockings by darning. In winter, stockings might be added, or rather hose: i. e. stockings of woven cloth, as being more advantageously repairable.—At the parts most exposed to wear, viz. under the arm-pits, between the thighs, and at the elbows, linings, for strength, of shreds of leather—a species of frugality already in use.—For coverings of shoes, in place of, or in addition to leather, the materials of cast-off coats and waistcoats might be employed—or, for women’s, gowns and petticoats—such as could not be applied with more advantage to other uses.
Soldiers wear uniforms, why not paupers?—those who save the country, why not those who are saved by it? Not the permanent hands only, but likewise the coming-and-going hands should wear the uniform while in the house, for order, distinction, and recognition, as well as for tidiness: being charged at a fixed rate per day; reserving to them the option with regard to shoes and stockings.
Clothing would be made, all of it, by the strength of the establishment, according to the principle of self-supply: but this would make no difference in point of relative cheapness and dearness, as between material and material; the quantity of labour requisite being the same, whether home-made, bought, or sold.—For the particulars, see Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.
II. Bedding.—For the Bed-stages, see above, Chap. iv.—Bed, stuffed with straw:—one side covered with the cheapest linen or hempen cloth, for summer; the other, with coarse woollen for winter.—Stretching the under sheet on hooks, pins, or buttons, will save the quantity usually added for tucking in:—in cold weather, that the woollen may be in contact with the body, the sheet might be omitted. Rug, and two or three blankets:—upper sheet of no greater width than the cell, and tacked on to one of the blankets. Bed, one for the whole stage, or a separate one for each cell; and so the under sheet.—The advantages of separation are, superior portability; each bringing and stowing away his own bed without embarrassment or delay; and that in case of uncleanliness, the annoyance may be confined to the author of it. Straw, the more frequently changed the better, particularly in the warm months.—To the extent of the quantity wanted for littering cattle, the change will cost nothing; and beyond that quantity the expense will be only the difference between the value of the straw, as straw, and the value of it, as manure.
The grand point is, to suit the nature of the employ to the nature of the hands.—The only difficulty is to find employment of a nature suited to the unwilling hands, and the infra-ability or inadequate-ability hands.* The quantum of this sort of employment requisite for the population (when complete) of each Industry-house, will of course depend upon the population of these two classes of hands. A stock of easy, or any-body’s-work employment, having been found in a quantity adequate to the number of difficulty-employed hands, the difficulty is at an end. Self-supply is a principle particularly fruitful in any-body’s-work employments.—In the agricultural branch, most of the operations being suitable to unexercised, many to feeble hands: in the clothing branch, most to feeble, many to unexercised hands. The stock of everyman’s-work operations being increased more and more by the division of labour, (which in this scale of unexampled amplitude may be carried to an unexampled pitch,) the stock of work adapted to these confined-ability hands will receive a proportionable increase.
To afford the extra stock of labour suited to the extra demand in time of war, or preparation for war, each hand, exercising a war-trade, must be prevented from employing in it more than a certain part of his time (say three or two days out of the six) in peace: otherwise whatever accession to the national stock of war-employment hands were afforded by the Company’s apprentice-stock of hands, would only drive out, or keep out, so many free hands; and there would be no more to spare of the sort of labour in question—no greater fund of capacity for that sort of labour lying by and unemployed then, than there is now. The advantage derivable from the employment-mixing principle, is peculiar, in great measure to such a company and its hands: since “no man can serve two masters,” nor, in general, the same master-man carry on, without disadvantage, two or more unconnected trades.
Local advantages appurtenant to the situations of the several Industry-houses, may afford employments, to a value which in part might otherwise be lost; and those such as would be less apt than others to interfere with private trade. Examples: Stone-cutting—brick-making—mining—fishing, with the preliminary employments subservient to it—such as ship-building, sail-making, &c. The quantity of work performable in these subservient employments, might be confined to the supply of the Company’s own demand.—No more vessels to be built, &c., than what the Company employs. In regard to husbandry-work for individual farmers, the Company might restrict itself, or be restricted, to rates regarded as excessive; say, all beyond double the ordinary rate: the object being not to deprive self-maintaining hands of any employment, nor even of any such advantage as would be a reasonable compensation for casual want of work, and want of adequate pay in winter time—but only to get this or that work done, which might otherwise not be done at all—not being capable of being despatched in time, with all the labour that could be afforded by the obtainable stock of self-maintaining hands.
With regard to the pouring in hands into over-paid employments, whether in the view of taking the benefit of the excess, or (what would be the necessary consequence) for the purpose of reducing it, this advantage would be open to the Company, as well as to private masters, and private hands. The fund of information created by the Employment-Intelligence-Office plan, would be alike open to all parties interested. See Book iii. Ch. i. Employment secured.
In regard to the choice of employments, and the prudence of hazarding the necessary expense of such parts of the dead stock as might be requisite to a certain branch of industry, and could not, without loss, be transferred to any other branch, much will depend upon the permanence of the stock of hands capable of being allotted to any such employment: that is, in the instance of each hand, on the assurance of his continuance upon the establishment for a term not less than a certain time. The great and general uncertainty in relation to this head, is one of the most powerful and insuperable obstacles to productive economy in poor-houses, in the existing order of things.—(See Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success.)—Hence an important division of the population of a proposed Industry-house, into—1. Coming-and-going, or short-staying stock of hands—2. Longer-staying stock—3. Permanent, or standing stock.*
Owing partly to the permanence of their situation, partly to their aptitude for receiving a suitable education, it is the labour of the stock of unripe hands, in their quality of apprentices, that would constitute the chief basis of the Company’s profit-seeking arrangements.†
What the Company supplies itself with, will be gain to the Company, without being loss to other traders: since, whatever be the value that is thus produced by the Company, value to the same amount is saved out of the poor-rates. If the whole expense of the pauper community—say three millions—were thus defrayed by the labour of the pauper-community, and the Committee were but as trustees for the rateable inhabitants to the whole of the amount, the whole of the three millions would be saved to the rateable inhabitants, and they would have so much the more in their pockets, to lay out with individual traders of all sorts. Divided, as it is proposed to be, between the rateable inhabitants and the Company, the benefit to individual traders will be the same: the only difference being, that the part which is gained by the Company, will be laid out by and for the benefit of the members of the Company; while that part only which is divided amongst—that is, saved by—the rateable inhabitants, will be laid out by and for the benefit of the rateable inhabitants.
Great advantages the Company’s infants would have, in comparison with those of private families,—even of the most opulent, much more of the indigent.—1. Medical curators, as well as head-nurses and nursery girls, prepared by the most eminent lecturers in this line. 2. Uninterrupted medical attention. 3. Uninterrupted nursing attendance:—nurses constantly sitting up—no avocations—no over-laying. 4. Appropriate exercise, administered by the help of machinery, in whatever quantity may prove most advantageous—not stinted by the portion of time and labour that can be spared from other occupations, as in private families.—Examples: The infants danced, as they lay in their cribs, in numbers at a time.—(See the plate.) The labour performable by the slight exertion of a feeble hand, the weight being taken off by a counterpoise. For airing, in conjunction with exercise, an open carriage being provided, upon a principle as simple as that of the droshky spoken of in Ch. iii.—the cribs (which for this purpose should be capable of being separated from each other) may be suspended from horizontal poles, supported by proper uprights. They might be drawn about in this way in numbers by a single ass; or in smaller numbers, on smaller carriages, on the same principle, by some of the bigger children.—5. A system of experiment, for the purpose of improvement, constantly carrying on on a scale covering the whole kingdom, and recorded according to an uniform plan of registration, pursued alike in every industry-house.—(See Ch. x.) 6. Attention, uniform, systematical, governed by principle:—not exposed to be relaxed by casual want of affection; or to be misguided by ignorance, prejudice, or caprice.—7. Best mode of bringing up by hand, a particular field for experiment—The great medical authorities to be consulted previous to the formation of the plan. 8. Attention sharpened by the Life-Assurance principle by premiums, and by the honour of publicity. Rate of vitality among suckled children the standard. Two children to be suckled by each woman delivered in the house, the woman being supplied with extra nourishment for the purpose:—mothers of bastards might be detained (say for six or twelve months after delivery) for that purpose. The great object of endeavour will be to reduce the mortality among weaned children, to a level with that of suckled children—what if still lower? Liberal premiums every year to the nurses, &c., of a certain number of the houses, in which the rate of infant mortality has proved lowest: emulation consequently among all the houses. To show how much has been owing to local situation, and how much to management, if an industry-house, in which a premium has been gained twice running, be in a situation deemed peculiarly healthy,—as in the Welsh mountains—transfer this part of the official establishment to a situation in ill repute for health,—such as the hundreds of Essex; or to any other industry-house, if there be any other in which mortality has been higher: if, under this disadvantage, the success be similar, augment the premium in proportion.—For the savings to be made in the expense of child-nursing, as compared with ditto under the existing system, see Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates—and see Book iii. Ch. xi. Infant Mortality diminished.
Peculiar extent and importance of the system of Book-keeping in an establishment of this sort—Besides being, in every case, an indispensable basis to good management, it is in the present case an indispensable security for the due discharge of the several obligations, which the Direction of the Company, and the several agents in the several local establishments, will have taken upon themselves, with relation to the various parties interested—viz. the paupers—their individual friends, the rateable parishioners, the stockholders, government, and the public at large.
In a small and single poor-house there may be neither the demand for a full and perfect system of book-keeping, nor the adequate means of satisfying any such demand: the difference between the best and the worst management that can be expected may hardly be sufficient to make up for the expense of an adequate system of registration; that is, of engaging persons competent to the task. In a system of poor-houses of the proposed extent and magnitude, good book-keeping is the hinge on which good management will turn: the demand rises to the highest pitch; and so (it will be seen) does the sufficiency of the means at command for satisfying it. With the instruction, and under the check, of an adequate system of book-keeping, the management may be better conducted by the most ordinary hand, than by the ablest hand without that advantage; and the good management accidentally introduced by an able hand, would vanish with the hand that introduced it. Without this advantage, everything would be too much; with it, nothing would be too much. Without it, any single one of the collateral benefits hereinafter proposed, might be deemed visionary; with it, all of them together would be found practicable, easy, and secure.
In book-keeping, the heads—as in management, the principles of the system—will be governed by the objects or ends which it has in view. Of the objects or ends of action requisite on this occasion to be kept in view, the list will, as far as it goes, be the same in the one case as in the other; and will not be much less extensive or diversified in the case of book-keeping than in that of management itself.* Pecuniary economy, usually regarded as the sole object of book-keeping, will here be but as one out of a number; for the system of book-keeping will be neither more nor less than the history of the system of management in all its points. Health—comfort—industry—morality—discipline—and pecuniary economy—(both branches included—the saving or preservative, as well as the productive or augmentative) compose the list of objects in view in the present instance. In relation to all these points, and at each period, it is equally necessary that it should be known what, at that period the state of the management is and has been, in order that it may, in no future period, be suffered to grow worse, but in every future period be made to grow better and better in as high a degree as may be.
The unprecedented multitude of establishments, all requiring to be conducted upon a plan in most points exactly the same, (say two hundred and fifty, spread at equal distances over the surface of the whole kingdom,) is another circumstance which enhances the importance of the process, and at the same time gives an unprecedented turn to it. In ordinary economical concerns, the whole system of management is single and insulated: here everything is comparative; under every head, the management in each house presents an object of comparison to the management of every other. In relation to each head, the management in each local establishment has therefore two hundred and fifty times the chance of being advanced to the highest possible pitch of perfection that it can have, in any insulated establishment standing upon the ordinary footing. To profit by this advantage it is necessary that the system of book-keeping should in each house exhibit, with the utmost precision, and in the utmost detail, what the management is:—as, for example—under the head of pecuniary economy, what the rate of expense is on each of the articles consumed or used; and what the rate of expense, on each of the articles produced: that it may be seen in which of all the houses the management, in relation to each of those heads, is most advantageous upon the whole; and thence, with a view to practise, that the management of the most successful house may be taken in each instance for a pattern, and copied in every other. To book-keeping in its ordinary form must therefore be added, in the present case, a new and peculiar branch, which may be styled comparative or tabular book-keeping. To that comparison between period and period, which is so instructive, as often as it is made, in the case of any private concern, may here be added the comparison between house and house.
The plan of registration—at least the plan traced out in the first instance—cannot be too particular:—multiplied by the number of industry-houses in the kingdom, (two hundred and fifty,)—by the number of souls in an industry-house, (two thousand,)—or by the number of souls in the whole pauper population, (five hundred thousand,)—the minutest article may swell into importance. The supposition to set out upon is—that everything is to be registered, for the registration of which any use whatever can be found; then to strike off the list such heads, if any, of which the use, it is supposed, would not pay for the expense.
Multiplication of the number of the books would render the business—not the more complex, (as at first glance it might seem,)—but the more simple: as in manufacturing establishments, the several operations, separately considered, are the more simple, the greater the number of the hands amongst which they are distributed. Allotting to each article a separate book, would save the writing the name of that article as many times as it would occur in a general book. The quantity of matter to be entered being given, no addition is made to the labour of entering by any addition made to the number of the books. Books in any number may be given in charge to one hand; so long as no two, that are designed as checks to one another be given to the same hand. Multiplication of books, is but division of the contents.*
Under the proposed system of management, as the demand for a copious system of book-keeping is in an unexampled degree urgent and extensive, so are the facilities afforded to the process of book-keeping, by the peculiar plan of architecture, equally unexampled. Compactness and simultaneous transparency—both of which properties it exhibits in perfection—are the principal points upon which the advantage turns. Elsewhere, the knowlege of the matter of fact requires to be communicated to the manager in chief, often through a variety of channels: here, it is present to all his senses, and requires only to be preserved.—No false musters—no running to and fro—no mislayings and huntings—no crossings and justlings, for the purpose of survey and registration:—every person, and every thing, within view and within reach at the same instant.—A degree of minuteness which might elsewhere be impracticable or unthrifty—(costing more than the amount of any advantage that could be made from it)—would be without obstruction, and without objection, here.*
Chronological and Methodical—Elementary and Aggregate—are the natural and fundamental distinctions between book and book, in a set of books, having for their common subject-matter the transactions of the same establishment—and they apply, not only to books in which pecuniary economy is concerned, but to all the several books that respectively bear relation to the several other heads of management here concerned. In a chronological book, the arrangement of the entries is governed by the order of time merely: in a methodical book, by some other order, according to the purpose it is designed to serve. Entries of the elementary kind are generally entered in a chronological book, in the first instance;† and from thence copied either in their separate and elementary state, or in aggregate state and expression, into a book of the methodical kind. Elementary entries are of course the foundation of the aggregate:—an error in an elementary article cannot but be productive of a correspondent error in the aggregate in which it is included: an error in an aggregate article may exist, without any error in an elementary one.
Considered with reference to their subject-matters, the books may be distinguished into—1. Population-books—2. Stock-books—(including accounts of articles received, issued, and consumed)—3. Health-books—4. Behaviour-books—and 5. Correspondence-books. The plans of the population-books and stock-books, (elementary and aggregate included,) including also in each instance an indication of the use, would take up so much room, that they must either be omitted altogether out of the present outline, or posted off to an appendix. Of the health-books a sketch will be given in Book iii. Ch. xii. Useful Knowledge augmented, &c.—To the class of behaviour-books may be referred—1. Complaint-books—2. Misbehaviour-books—3. Black, or punishment-book—4. Red, or merit-book.
Idea of a complaint-book—I. Objects of complaint to the pauper inhabitants of any house—1. Fellow inmates of the same house—2. Officers of ditto—3. The general plan of management—as manifested either by the established practice, or the rules and orders of the house—4. Paupers of other houses—5. Officers of ditto—6. Strangers at large. II. Complainants against the pauper himself may be—1. Fellow inmates of the same house—2. Officers of ditto—3. Paupers of other houses—4. Officers of ditto—5. Strangers.—These five last cases may be considered as belonging to the Misbehaviour-book.‡ III. Heads for a complaint-book—1. Time (day, hour, and minute)—2. By whom—3. Against whom, or what—4. Concerning what—5. To whom—6. By whom examined into—7. Witness or witnesses examined—8. By whom decided upon—9. Time when decided upon—10. Time employed in the examination—11. Decision—12. Decision, by whom executed—(if it be a case calling for execution)—13. Time, &c., when executed.
Provision against suppression of complaints, where a pauper is complainant.—Time for complaining, a time when the whole official establishment is assembled—right of having the complaint entered in the book.—Complaints by paupers against paupers, will of course have officers for judges.—An appeal will in that case be a complaint against the officer who acted as judge. At every visitation (see Ch. v. Official Establishment) the governor bound to present to the visiters the books, exhibiting the complaints made by paupers, whether against officers, or against the management, for a certain time back. Complaints against the management not to be repeated by paupers after having been decided upon by the General Board. Punishment for complaints adjudged rash as well as groundless—still more if malicious, and made for the purpose of vexation.
Unexampled perfection, of which the system of procedure is susceptible in such a situation—the result, partly of the discipline, but principally of the architecture. Delinquency known the instant of its being committed: defendant, complainant, witnesses—(if distinct from the complainant)—judges—everybody—on the spot:—delinquency, complaint, trial, sentence, execution—might all be included—and without injustice—in the compass of the same minute.* Punishment may here be the less severe, in proportion as the certainty of it is the more entire: but in proportion as punishment is certain, delinquency will be rare. In case of complaints of a serious kind, (such as those which constitute a legal charge, civil or criminal,) the Industry-house itself will be a perfect, and the only proper, safe-custody house: by a common jail, such as common jails are at present, a scratch in the moral character would be inflamed into a death-wound.—(See Book iii. Ch. viii. Imprisonment, &c.)
In case of a complaint by a pauper against a stranger, if the stranger will not make up the matter, or it be a matter not fit to be made up, the consequence of a decision given against the stranger, will be a report from the house to the general Direction-Board—of which report, if confirmed, the consequence will be an order to prosecute.—Unexampled degree of protection thus secured to the pauper-population:—thence a degree of security, from which, by the intricacies and expenses, partly natural, partly factitious, of legal procedure, the self-maintaining poor—that is the great bulk of the community—are debarred. (See Defence of Usury, and Protest against Law Taxes.)
The black-book will be of use chiefly by its name; the matter of it will have already found a place in the misbehaviour-book: cases either of high delinquency, or of conspicuous pertinacity, (both classes rather ideal than probable in such a situation) will be the only ones proper to be put upon it.
Red-book.—The instances of the application of the peculiar premium principle, will constitute the ordinary matter of the red-book: uncalled-for, and unexpected manifestations of merit, the extraordinary. The chaplain, the “recording angel:”—one amongst other means of encompassing with sentiments of love and veneration the idea of this officer, the special guardian of religion and good morals.
viz. for the Insane, &c.—In the instance of some of the classes, appropriate houses may be of use: the appropriation being special, but not exclusive; that is, the complement of the establishment being made up out of the other classes, rather than room or officers’ time should be unemployed:—the central-inspection-architecture obviating whatever inconvenience might result from the aggregation, if, instead of being but apparent, it were real.—Classes requiring appropriate establishments.—I. The Insane. II. The Deaf and Dumb. III. The Blind—in some cases.
Reasons for collecting together, into appropriate establishments, persons afflicted with the above infirmities—I. Reasons applying to the curable classes of the insane. 1. Benefit of appropriate medical curation and attendance. 2. Giving to the patients the whole time, and entire attention, of the medical curator, undivided by miscellaneous practice. 3. Enlarging the field of his observation and experience. 4. Benefit of suitable instruction and superintendence, in respect of employment. 5. Ridding the ordinary houses of an annoyance.
II. Reasons applying to the case of the deaf and dumb; also to the blind, especially to children born blind, or become so at an early age. 1. Benefits of appropriate education. 2. As well as attendance—instruction—and superintendence—in respect of employment.—The deaf and dumb are of sound mind, or upon the footing of idiots, according to the care bestowed upon them at an early age.
III. Reasons applying to the case of the incurably insane—appropriate attendance, and (where susceptible of employment) instruction and superintendence. The insane of different descriptions—such as curable and incurable, susceptible and unsusceptible of employment, dangerous and innoxious, &c.—are not to be considered as necessarily allotted to the same establishment, one class as another, by reason of their common attribute of insanity, but may be aggregated to other establishments, and with other infirm classes, according to the nature of their respective cases. (See Ch. iii. Separation and Aggregation.)
An inquiry concerning the best method of providing for the non-adult classes of the pauper population coming under the management of the proposed Company—that is, for each individual, during the period of his non-age—requires for its answer a complete plan of education, adapted to this numerous division of the community. The importance of the inquiry is in the joint proportion of the advantage to the multitude of the individuals concerned, and of the degree of influence which—in the situation in question—a plan for this purpose may be expected to manifest. The multitude included under the denomination of the poor, compose the bulk of the community:—nineteen twentieths might perhaps be found to belong to that class:—in the condition of one of these twentieths, the plan in question would exercise a direct and all-commanding authority; and over the remainder a very considerable,—and finally, perhaps, an all-prevailing—though less certain, and immediate, influence. If, in point of real importance, the education of the rich can bear any comparison with that of the poor, it can only be in respect of the influence which the conduct of the former class has over the latter. In the situation proposed, the conduct of the poor will depend—not upon the remote and casual influence of the rich, in the way of example or casual communication, but upon the direct and constant exercise of plastic power. The influence of the schoolmaster on the conduct of the pupil in ordinary life, is as nothing, compared with the influence exercised by the Company over these its wards. Yet these are the classes whose case is so generally overlooked by the writers on education: partly (it should seem) as not being worthy of their notice; partly as not lying within their reach.
Education is the conduct of the individual through the early part of life.
The proper end of education is no other than the proper end of life—wellbeing.
The wellbeing here in question is, partly that of the individual to be educated, partly that of the parties at whose expense, and by whose care, he is to be educated—viz. the proposed Company:—in respect of the wellbeing of the child, they are as guardians, in respect of their own, they are as masters.
From the commencement to the conclusion of the period of education, (comprising in this country the first twenty-one years of life,) the field of education comprises the whole of the individual’s time.
The time of an individual is employed, partly in active occupations, partly in repose which is the absence of them all.—List of the ends or objects to one or more of which all occupations ought here to be directed.—I. For the advantage of the Company, as well as his own. 1. Profit of the pecuniary kind, the fruit of productive industry.—II. For his own advantage, in respect of his present condition in the apprentice-state. 2. Comfort (including amusement.) 3. Continuation of existence (viz. by nourishment.) 4. Health. 5. Strength. 6. Cleanliness. 7. Personal security.—III. Partly for his own advantage—in respect of his future condition after emancipation—partly for the advantage of the public at large. 8. Faculty of self-maintenance. 9. Faculty of self-amusement. 10. Intellectual strength. 11. Moral health. 12. Military strength. 13. Faculty of pleasing. 14. Religious affections. 15. Suitable instruction—instruction in all suitable points of art and knowledge.
Among these objects, some lead to others; many are compassed by one and the same occupation:—in some instances, the connexion is necessary; in others, it is dependent on management, and presents a wide field for improvement: and here comes in the application of the several use principle, spoken of in Ch. iv.—Examples—Repose and comfort sweeten the time occupied in nutrition.* —Cleanliness is subservient to health, comfort, and the faculty of pleasing. Productive industry is naturally, though not necessarily, accompanied by (bodily) health, strength, the faculty of self-maintenance, and moral health:—by management, not only may the connexion between these objects be much strengthened, but intellectual strength and comfort, (in the shape of amusement,) be added to the group.—Learning, otherwise of little value,—unless by being subservient to intellectual strength, is, (if suitable in kind,) capable of being made subservient to the faculty of self-maintenance—to the faculty of self-amusement—to moral health—to the faculty of pleasing—and to religious affections.—Military strength (of use principally to the public) is naturally enough subservient to comfort, (i. e. to amusement,) and to the faculty of pleasing.—The faculty of pleasing depends upon native comeliness, (the gift of nature, not of education,) upon health, strength, cleanliness, intellectual strength, and moral health.* Of religious affections, moral health is in this world the great use. From suitable instruction (suitable art and knowledge) these sublime affections, as well as intellectual strength, may derive nourishment and increase.—Amongst active occupations (occupations accompanied with strong exercise) there is one, viz. swimming, peculiarly subservient to personal security—applying to a danger, against which there is no constant security by any other means:—and to this advantage is added comfort, (including amusement,) health, strength, cleanliness, and even increase of strength (by increase of security) in a military view.
Of diet and clothing, (two of the efficient causes of comfort and continuation of existence,) mention has been made in the Ch. vi. and vii.:—of occupations, considered as directed to pecuniary profit, in the Ch. iv. and viii.:—of the accession of military strength, that might be derived from the apprenticeship system, mention will be made in Ch. x. of the next book.—Of the remaining principles of education, relative to these and the several other objects, a compressed view may be exhibited by the following Rules and Observations:
1. In the whole system of occupations, and in each occupation in particular, the attainment of the several objects enumerated, in the greatest possible number, and each in the highest possible degree, (regard being had to their respective degrees of subserviency to the general end,) ought to be kept in view.
2. Of absolute repose, considered as the total negation of all active occupations, the quantity allowed ought to be, the least that can be made sufficient for health and strength.†
3. The efficient causes of positive discomfort being absent, comfort (amusement included)—comfort, even where it is but the collateral result, is the natural concomitant, of the several occupations which have for their objects or effects—repose, (especially after strong exercise,) nutrition, health, strength, cleanliness, personal security, the exercise of the faculty of pleasing, and the consciousness of possessing it; and, by suitable management, it may be infused into those which have for their objects intellectual strength, moral health, military strength, religious affections, and suitable instruction: and, towards the close of the period, the lists of comforts may be closed and crowned by matrimonial society; of which comfort is naturally the object, though the continuation of the species, with its attendant comforts and anxieties, is another fruit of it.
4. Strong exercises, seem in the instance of most individuals to be, in some proportion or other, necessary to the perfection of health and strength; and in particular, in non-adults, to the development of strength: and the greater the proportion of such exercises, infused into the mass of occupation, without excessive fatigue, or the support given by artificial stimulants, the better both for health and strength.
5. To answer in perfection the purposes of health and development of strength, a system of exercise taken together, should be general in respect of the parts concerned in it, not local: it should find employ for every limb and every muscle: it should not be confined to particular limbs, or particular motions of the limbs.
6. Of the occupations which, having profit for their object, come under the head of productive labour, health, and strength, (supposing a due admixture, as above of the different species of labour,‡ )—health, strength, and even comfort, will be the natural, though but collateral results.
7. In the choice of occupations (due provision being made for health and strength, as above-mentioned) productive labour ought to take the lead: and that to such a degree, that no part of the time allowed by religion to be employed in productive labour, ought to be employed in any occupation directed exclusively to any other object, the portions of time allotted in each day to repose, nutrition, cleanliness, and religion, only excepted.
8. In particular, no portion of time ought to be directed exclusively to the single purpose of comfort;§ but amusement, as well as every other modification of comfort, ought to be infused, in the largest possible dose which economy admits of, into every particle of the mass of occupations by which time is filled.
9. The period preceding the birth of the faculty of productive labour, with the addition of those intervals of time from which, though not occupied by religious services, productive labour stands excluded by religious prohibitions, compose the time proper to be bestowed amongst the several other objects.
10. Instruction considered in the lump, the time of its commencement should be the earliest possible: and, in determining the earliest time possible, the commencement of physical capacity, (ascertainable by experiment as well as observation,) not usage—should be the guide.
11. In determining the quantity of instruction to be administered within a given compass of time, practicability—not usage—should be the measure.*
12. In the choice of subject-matters of instruction, utility—not usage—should be the guide.
13. In regard to the order of commencement, as between study and study, natural facility, not usage, should be the arbiter.
14. The utility in view ought to bear reference—in the first place to the situation of the individual, during the apprenticeship; in the next place, to his situation in the world at large, after the expiration of it.†
Introduction.—Taken in its narrowest extent, the object or scope of a system of provision in relation to the burdensome part of the poor, is—the affording mere subsistence to all persons actually in a state of indigence, and willing to accept of relief upon the terms on which it is thought fit to be offered. An establishment being instituted for the purpose, whatever further benefits—to the burdensome poor, to the self-maintaining poor, or to the public at large; whether in the shape of employment, pecuniary assistance, security against depredation, or other moral evils—security against death, or other physical evils—comfort—accommodation—useful instruction—or in any other shape,—may be found capable of being ingrafted on this stock, may be termed, with reference to that direct and principal object, collateral benefits.
Under every other system that has been either exemplified or proposed, the task, even in its narrowest extent, is too great—by much too great, for any means that can be spared. Under the proposed system—Under a Company, instituted on mercantile principles, with an undivided authority, extending over the whole field of action—furnished with a competent stock of land and capital—acting according to the system of management, and that management registered and made public according to the system of Book-keeping, above pointed out—neither the extra-business here about to be proposed, nor a superstructure even of much greater extent, would be too broad for the foundation. Of these extra benefits, or collateral results, some take place, of themselves—others by means of a particular direction given to labour, without any addition to the quantity of it.—Those which require expense, in most instances either find or provide ample funds for the defraying each of them its own expense. Some may be found to be pure sources of profit—considerable and increasable profit, over and above the expense, or even without expense:—while, of such as may be attended with expense, the neat expense, taking them all together, would be as nothing in comparison with the sum of profit deducible from the rest. Considered with regard to its pressure on the intellectual faculties, the whole burden of management may be pronounced light and inconsiderable, in comparison with that which has been sustained with so much success by the East India Company, for such a train of years, especially since the improvements made in the constitution of that imperial body, by the super-imperial power of Parliament—(See Book v. Ch. v.)—Wisdom—true wisdom consists—not in the scantiness of measures—but in the amplitude of means.
Certainty of the Company’s being able, (so long as land is not wanting,) to find employment for any multitude that can present itself.—Necessary cost of maintenance—for men, not so much as 4d. a-day: capacity of yielding return of labour, not so little as 1s.—return, treble the expense. For women, cost of maintenance not more than 3d. capacity of yielding return by labour not so little as 6d.—return, double the expense. Non-adults, on the apprenticeship footing, on terms of permanency, and thence still more advantageous.—(See Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.)—Were the balance on the profit side less, the liberation of the individual would indeed be less speedy, but the accomplishment of the benefit, in its utmost extent, not the less certain. With land and capital sufficient, worse than common management would suffice for this: and securities for better than common management have been provided.—(See Book ii. Ch. iv. and x.—and see Book v. Ch. v.)—All the hands here in question, are able by the supposition; inability being already provided for by the principal and fundamental part of the system:—physical inability may, taking the country throughout, be considered as a fixed quantity, not susceptible of fluctuations, as want of employment is.
Company’s employment, however, is but a make-shift—a dernier resort.—Free employment is the primary and preferable object: preferable as to the employment-lacking hands, because liberty and superior pay go along with it: preferable as to individual employers, because profit on their part goes along with it: and because in their instance the supply of it operates in satisfaction of a demand, which by the supposition exists already, and wants only to be made known.
This being the case, the terms given by the Company ought not to be so high as the terms given by individuals, much less higher: because, in either case, individuals would every now and then find their supply of hands narrowed by this means. On the contrary, the affording to individuals a positive assistance in this respect, ought to be added to the list of the Company’s obligations: for otherwise a number of profit-yielding hands, who, by means of a suitable channel of intelligence, might have been made to find their way to individual employers, might fall to the Company’s share. The refuse of the population, able as well as unable, is the lot best adapted to the situation of the Company. It is natural that it should fall to their share, because, after experience at least, it is natural for men to prefer liberty to confinement, independence to dependence: it is desirable, on all accounts, that it should fall to their share, and that as little else should fall to their share as may be: it is better for a good workman to fall to the share of a private employer, as well on account of the employer, as on that of the workman: it is better for a bad hand to fall to the share of the Company—on account of private employers, that they may escape being troubled with him—on his own account even, because the Company possess such means of making him better, as the private employer does not possess; and since they do possess those means, the possession of the workman, bad as he is when he comes to them, will, so long as the Company prescribe the terms, be no disadvantage to the Company.
Demand for labour might as well not exist, as not be known to those who have the labour to bestow: in as far then as, under the existing order of things, this demand fails of being thus known, thus to cause it to be known is as much as to create it. The thing requisite for this purpose is a channel of intelligence—a regular and constant channel of intelligence—co-extensive with the demand for employment on the one hand, and that for labour on the other.—Articles requisite to constitute this channel of intelligence—I. The Employment Gazette: a publication rendered accessible to all by its cheapness: rendered cheap by being cleared of all matter foreign to this purpose. The Company could render it free of expense to the employment-lacking hands, by printing and circulating it at their own charge, waiting for their indemnification to a later stage of the business.—II. A system of Employment-Register and Intelligence-Offices, spread all over the country at equal and convenient distances:—a set of constant statutes, (as the term is in some countries for those marts for labour, which serve in that capacity for no more than one or a few days in the year.) These for particular inquiry: the gazette for offers of service, and offers of employment, in general terms.—To this purpose the system of Industry-houses is already supposed to be adapted.—See Book ii. Ch. viii.
Mode of Advertising.—A master-employer, wanting hands, to apply at any Industry-house most convenient to him, paying so much a-piece (say 1s.) for every hand he wants: this, lest he should advertise for more than he means to employ—for the purpose of having the more to choose out of, or of swelling the apparent magnitude of his business:—fruitless journies after sham offers is an inconvenience that will thus be guarded against.—Deposit (say 10s. each) to be returned for every hand, the acquisition of whom is mentioned in a subsequent counter notice of supply. This, as before, to prevent disappointment, by preventing the continuation of offers which would not be realized. This counter-notice should be inserted by the Company in the next Employment-Gazette.—The offers should be numbered:—to indicate the total numbers, and for the purpose of being referred to in counter-notices of supply. An employment-lacking hand to pay for insertion (say one-fourth) of the daily pay he declares himself willing to accept: 1. To prevent wanton offers, as above: and, 2. Because if it were known that employment-lacking hands might make known their offers without any check from the expense, master-employers would lie by in expectation of such offers, partly to save the fees, partly to get hands on the cheaper terms, by receiving offers, instead of making them. The master is the party from whom it seems best that the offer should come: since, having an employment already, and wanting hands for that employment, and that only, it is for him to specify what it is:—what an employment-lacking hand wants, is rather money than employment: many will be willing to undertake, with or without reservation, any employment by which money is to be got.—No deposit here; sufficient counter-notice being insured by the master’s deposit, and the employment-lacking hands not being always able to afford it.—By practice (which might be anticipated in some sort by intelligence) these advertisements would, on both sides, be thrown into settled forms; in the framing of which, amplitude of matter and conciseness of expression would be the main objects in view: points of character would come to be digested under heads:—general heads, of the moral cast, applying to hands in general: particular heads, of the professional cast, applying to this or that class of hands.—Examples of general heads—1. Age. 2. Character in respect of honesty, sobriety, good temper, assiduity, despatch, dexterity, &c. 3. Employment desired, exclusively or preferably. 4. Number of years’ experience in that or similar employments (naming them.) 5. Wages demanded, &c.
To the Industry-house hands, the benefit of the Employment-Gazette might be given gratis: the Secretary, under the direction of the Governor, and with the privity of the rest of the official establishment, digesting and methodising their offers. The same matter in two different forms:—1. According to the occupations in which employ is wanted; 2. According to the class of hands by which it is wanted.—Classes to be distinguished in this point of view—1. Free hands at liberty immediately. 2. Self-liberation hands, at liberty after the debt is worked out. 3. Bonded hands—Hands not suffered to leave the Industry-House but upon certain conditions—for which see Ch. ii. Mendicity extirpated—and Ch. iii. Habitual Depredation extirpated.—These, with their divisions, as per Table of Cases calling for Relief. 4. Out-poor hands—viz. self-maintaining hands—not belonging to any Industry-house.—The numbers of candidates for each employment, within a given period, at (or, in the case of self-maintaining hands, resident near to) each Industry-house, should be noted. Under both heads, notice of the amount of increase or decrease, as thus—1. Offers remaining on the last day of publication, so many. 2. Fresh offers, so many. 3. Gone off since the last day, so many. 4. Remaining at present, so many.—Returns from situations distant from the place or places of publication, would of course come in later and later, in proportion to the distance: hence another source of division and arrangement, regulated by the course of the post.—General totals and balances, every year, or oftener. The established Corn returns afford something like an example, though of course not near so complex and voluminous. The press to be set at one place only, viz. London, or at several parts of the country at once, according to the quantity of the matter.—For example: Home Counties, northern, and western—a place for each. Each Industry-house would be a general repository for the series of these gazettes, as well as a place of resort for the explanation of their contents. The walls of the approach would be a proper receptacle for these gazettes, if printed only on one side.—(See Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Land.)—Very small fees for search and inquiry, (say Id.) just sufficient to prevent wantonly-troublesome applications. A receipt to this amount would be sufficient for the expense; clerks being trained up out of the apprentice stock, maintained or paid according to the frugal plan of the house. To render the provision perfect, by giving to the benefit in view its utmost possible degree of extension, would require the use of the system of Industry-houses in their further proposed capacity of frugality-inns, and frugality-travelling stages, whereby an employment-lacking hand, though pennyless, would be enabled to travel from any part of the country to any other.* —(See Chap. vii.)—Hence one out of so many reasons for placing the Industry-houses at distances as equal as possible.
Less immediate effects and uses of the institution, over and above the more immediate ones of affording subsistence and occupation, on the most advantageous terms, to employment-lacking hands, and hands to master-employers—1. Promoting the augmentation of scanty wages. 2. Promoting the reduction of exorbitant wages. 3. Promoting steadiness in the rate of wages. 4. Preventing combinations among masters for sinking or keeping down wages. 5. Preventing combinations among working hands for raising or keeping up wages. 6. Keeping present to their view tables of rates of wages, that (for themselves and children) they may make a timely choice of the most profitable and least over-loaded occupations. 7. Reducing the prices of commodities, in as far as kept up by exorbitant wages.† 8. The Employment-Gazette and Register will be a useful check; and, with the help of the visitation plan, the complaint-book, and the all-comprehensiveness and perfect publicity of the rest of the book-keeping plan, an effectual check against contrivances on the part of the Company or its local agents, for keeping out of free employment, and thence keeping to the Company and themselves the most profitable hands. The rate of a man’s pay is public; the goodness of his performances are open to inquiry: if he disputes, in any point, the character given of him by the agents of the Company, he may refer to other testimonials.‡
On the plan here proposed, maintenance coupled with employment—preservative and improving maintenance, not corruptive, as in the idleness of the present poor-house or pensioned cottage—is rendered absolutely secure to everybody: of the sort most eligible to present feelings, as far as the stock of that sort will go; and where that fails, it is only by giving place to another sort still more favourable to morality and lasting happiness.
Additional Matter.—Intelligence capable of being ingrafted on the Employment-Gazette; or rather on which the Employment-Gazette might be grafted, being more certain and regular in its amount—Periodical (say weekly) pauper-population reports: being abstracts of the population-books of the whole system of Industry-houses.—(See Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping.) The escape list (including out-stays from furlough) would answer a further purpose, if accompanied with statements of identification marks, (in French signalement,) and rewards for apprehension. The benefit would be extended by admitting of escape notices from without doors; in the instance of children-wards, apprentices, army and navy deserters, prison-breakers, and other fugitives from justice.
Promulgation.—The lists of offers of employment and offers of service, articles comprising the principal matter of the gazette, may be distributed to the parishes in the whole or in parts, according to the chance there may be, in the instance of each parish, of its affording supply to either branch of the demand. These papers may be conveyed either by the general post, or by and from each Industry-house within its district: they may be directed to the parish clerk, the only species of public officer whose abode is permanent, and his residence constant and certain; to be read by him, in the whole or in part, and then stuck up in a certain place within or without the church. The Pauper-Population Report might be read by the minister, and, by means of suitable comments and offices, be ingrafted into the Liturgy:—prayers (deprecatory) for the unprosperous, thanksgivings for the prosperous part, of the results. An office of this kind would come home to the business and bosoms of the audience: it would be congenial to that gospel, in which the concerns of the poor are the objects of such anxious and distinguished notice. The gospel itself means, in the original, good news: this would be truly gospel news. By the constancy and universality of the attention it would excite, it would be among the most powerful of the securities for good management, particularly in regard to the points in which humanity and morality would be more particularly concerned. Briefs, which solicit attention in behalf of inconsiderable fragments of the mass of the poor, or pretended poor, present a very inferior title to admittance.
Indemnity to the Revenue.—The utmost possible degree of cheapness is essential to that universality of promulgation on which the utility of this part of the plan depends. There seems no reason why a stock of intelligence, instituted expressly for the benefit of the poorest classes, should, in as far as it is new, be taken for a source of accession to the revenue. It is no small matter that charity, and that of so useful a sort, be administered without expense to government. That the revenue may not be deprived of any part of the supply at present derived from this source, the Company might compound with the Stamp-office, paying, yearly and forever, the greatest amount ever received in a year, reckoning (suppose) ten years back, for advertisements of this class: in the character of a newspaper nothing, it not being a paper of general intelligence. Escapes from without doors might be excepted from the composition: so offers of service from, and of employment to, domestic servants: male town servants at least, who may be reckoned among the overpaid classes. The benefit to them would still be great, by the universality of the circulation.—An indemnity to existing newspapers for the loss of this source of profit seems also to be requisite.
By no other hand than that of the proposed Company, could this invaluable national benefit be created to advantage: by government not near so well: by a loose multitude of scattered Industry-houses, under separate mangement, not possibly.—(See Book v. Constitution defended.)—The existing law of settlements, and the existing law of apprenticeships,* both join in opposing the circulation of labour.
The former would vanish of course: the latter has ever been a nuisance, against which many have protested, and for which nobody has ever pretended to find a use.
The Industry-house system (the Company being invested with the necessary powers) a certain means, and, in this country, at least, the only possible means, of extirpating mendicity. In this country, under the existing poor laws, every man has a right to be maintained, in the character of a pauper, at the public charge: under which right he is in fact, with a very few exceptions, (amounting not to one perhaps in fifty,) maintained in idleness. But in this same country the condition of the common beggar is more eligible, in his own estimation at least, than that of a pauper, maintained in idleness; for, if it were not, he would become a pauper, having it in his option so to do at any time. It would be absurd, therefore, to expect that by any management—at least, by any good management—the Industry-house provision could be rendered generally acceptable to beggars: that is, that a system which affords bare maintenance—maintenance in the most frugal and least luxurious shape—nor that otherwise than on the condition of working, as far as ability extends, to the full amount of it, should be preferred to a mode of life exempt from working—to the condition of him who is not at present the lowest of those who are maintained in idleness. If, in any country out of England, plans for the extirpation of mendicity without compulsion, (i. e. without bodily compulsion,) have met with a temporary success, no inference can be drawn from the success of such a plan in those countries, to the success of a similar plan in England; since, in those countries, beggars being liable to starve, and many, doubtless, being starved, the question will have been, whether to accept of the proffered provision, or starve:—whereas here the question would be, whether to accept of it, or to be maintained in idleness. If, notwithstanding the adoption of the proposed system in other respects, begging were to be tolerated, the nuisance would be much greater than at present: since, of those who are now maintained in idleness in the character of paupers, multitudes, rather than be set to work, would become beggars.
Mischiefs produced by the practice of begging—1. In the instance of passengers in general, considered as exposed to the importunity of beggars—to some, the pain of sympathy:—no pain, no alms-giving;—begging is a species of extortion to which the tender-hearted, and they only, are exposed. 2. Disgust; which may exist where there is no sympathy:—the sympathy experiences a sort of relief by giving; the disgust finds no relief.—From the disgust excited by the presence of a filthy beggar, none but the equally filthy stand exempted. The multitude of the persons subject to this pain of sympathy, or to this disgust, considered, there can be little doubt but that the sum of these pains taken together is greater than the difference to the beggar in point of comfort between begging and working. 3. Discouragement to industry. Every penny spent is the reward of industry: every penny given, a bounty upon idleness.—The luxuries seen in many instances to be enjoyed by beggars, are a sort of insult to the hard-working child of industry: by holding him out as a dupe, who toils and torments himself to earn a maintenance inferior to what is to be earned by canting and grimace. 4. Facility afforded to real crimes.—Mendicity, by the removal of shame, removes one of the chief safe-guards to honesty: and to tolerate beggars, would be to tolerate habitual depredators; for those who are now unavowed employment hands, would then, if under that name subjected to compulsive industry, declare themselves beggars. 5. Unfavourable influence on happiness, even in the instance of the begging tribe itself, taking the whole together.—There are many, it is true, who, for a time at least, would, unquestionably, be no inconsiderable sufferers by the proposed change. But the greater part would be gainers in point of happiness, at least in the long run: since—(it being a property of this as of other unlaborious professions to be overstocked)—for one prosperous and happy beggar, there are probably many unprosperous and miserable ones; wretches who, notwithstanding, keep lingering in their wretchedness; sometimes for want of power, sometimes for want of resolution, to emerge from it. The discomfort would cease at any rate with the existing stock of prosperous beggars: the benefits would be everlasting: and the disturbance of the prosperity of the prosperous ones appears to be a sacrifice necessary to the attainment of the benefit.
Plan for the Apprehension of Beggars.—
Power to any one to apprehend a beggar, begging in any public place, and conduct him either to a constable or to the next Industry-house.* —Obligation on constables and magistrates, with power of commanding assistance.—Reward 10s. or 20s. advanced by the Governor, and charged to the beggar’s account. The whole to the constable, if he apprehends on view: if on simple information, the informer to have a quarter: if on information, accompanied with apprehension, half.—Necessity in this case of admitting the informer as good evidence. Power of commitment to the governor, or else to the chaplain; the latter being without pecuniary interest in the management.—Intervention of a magistrate (unless the chaplain should be nominated to the magistracy) would produce complication and delay, and might render the execution of the law less steady.* Time of detention, till the beggar’s self-liberation account is balanced.—(See further on.)—Items for which the beggar is to be debited.—1. Reward for apprehension, as above. 2. Expense of conveyance.† 3. Diet, while in the house. 4. Use of clothing and bedding, while in ditto. 5. Medicine, or any other articles of separate expense. 6. Individual’s share of the joint expense of the house for the time. 7. Ordinary profit upon so much of the Company’s capital as is employed in the defraying of that expense. 8. Expense of life-assurance in this instance: i. e. equivalent for the chance of his dying before his account is balanced.
Provision after Discharge.—
Beggar’s offer of service, for any employment of his choice, to be previously inserted in the Employment Gazette. No discharge, however, without a responsible bondsman, (a housekeeper paying taxes,) undertaking for the giving him a specific employment, not to be withdrawn till after (suppose a week’s) notice to the house: giving notice also to the house of the beggar’s departure, on whatever day it happens, or the next. The beggar to enter into a corresponding engagement on his part—not to depart from such service without (suppose a week’s) notice to the employer; and, upon departure, to return that same day to the Industry-house, unless provided with another employer, on the same terms;—and so toties quoties. This probation period to continue (say) a year: and at the end of it, the beggar to be entitled to his certificate of full emancipation.—Failure of such notice or return, to be considered as an escape, and advertised as such in the Employment Gazette, with a reward quadruple to the original one. In case of a relapse into the begging trade, the original reward doubled; in case of a second relapse, quadrupled: and so on, doubling it each time.—The self-liberation account not to be balanced by money, but by labour (otherwise rich beggars might, in despite of the provision, continue their trade) or, if balanced by money, only in part. By coming in as a volunteer, a beggar will save himself from the expense of being pressed, and from the clog of the probation period. The provision will tend so far to execute itself.
Classes that must be considered as beggars, or the provisions would be nugatory. 1. Offerers of pretended services to passengers.—Examples: Street and road sweepers—Layers of boards over kennels—Link-bearers—the two last are apt to be in confederacy with pick-pockets. 2. Pretended hawkers.—Hawking to be deemed a pretence, if the quantity remaining exposed to sale be too small to afford a profit equal to a day’s subsistence. Licences might serve to distinguish the real from the pretended. Acceptance of alms, in a road, street, or other public place, with or without previous petition, sufficient evidence of begging:—dumb show may be as expressive as words.
1. Penalties on givers of alms would be needless; since if nobody durst take, nobody could give. 2. Unpopular: being penalties on the exercise of what, in respect of the disposition and motive, or apparent motive, at least, could not be denied to be a virtue. 3. Obstructive of the end in view: since, in the case of begging by dumb show, it would take off the only evidence.—Punishment is out of the question on both sides: even in the case of the beggar, what is proposed to be done is no more a punishment, than sending a boy to school is a punishment. No pain inflicted on purpose, for the purpose of operating on others by the prospect of it: and the duration of the discipline is made to depend upon the exertions of the party subject to it:—in the instance of the lazy hand, as in the instance of any industrious self-liberation hand.
Existing Remedies incompetent.—
Remedy 1st, Punishment under the Vagrant Act, &c. (17 Geo. II. Ch. v.) The effect of this provision is rather to obstruct the design than promote it.—Whipping does not give employment. Imprisonment in a common jail, so far from giving employment, excludes a man from it: besides corrupting him, by aggregating him with bad characters of all sorts, out of the reach of all tutelary aggregation and inspection.—The prisons called houses of correction are not universal; and where they exist they afford little or nothing of correction but the name. They either afford him no employment at all, or an employment which will be no resource after discharge: an employment not to be had elsewhere, because not affording a maintenance to the workman, together with an adequate profit to a master-employer.‡ 2. The law is inexecutable.—The mere want of jail-room would itself be a physical bar to the execution of it. The spare room in all the existing jails and houses of correction put together would scarcely lodge, much less set to work, the beggars alone, without reckoning the unavowed-employment hands, and other classes aimed at by the act. Were it even capable of being executed, the necessary parties would not generally concur with the degree of willingness requisite for the execution of it:—magistrates not, were it only in consideration of the useless expense to the public: constables not, through compassion, and fear of odium: private informers not, the reward being so small, and, on account of the known disinclination of the other parties, the trouble of the business being so much more certain than the success. Hence it is, that (excepting the punishment of here and there an individual who happens to be particularly obnoxious) things go on as if there were no such law: and the limits that are set to the number of this tribe, are set—not by the operation of the laws, but by the quantum of encouragement afforded, within a given space, to this mode of life.—If the law had any effect, otherwise than in the way of casual and useless punishment, it could only be that of driving a man out of the street into the poor-house: that is, quartering him upon the unwilling, instead of the willing.
Remedy 2d.—Private Bondage;—by an old statute still existing, but scarcely known.—(5 Eliz. Ch. iv.)—In the case of males, under a self-appointed master, from any age not under twelve, up to sixty.—This remedy, such as it is, includes beggars no otherwise than as it includes everybody, certain denominations only excepted. 2. Females do not lie quite so completely at the mercy of a self-appointed master: servitude expires when beauty begins to fade:—at forty years of age:—and the magistrate has a control upon the choice.* The very existence of a law like this, is sufficient proof of the inefficiency of it; since the execution of it would never be endured. 3. With all its harshness towards the intended servant, it holds out no adequate advantage to the intended master:—for it affords him no adequate means of securing either the service or the person of the bondsman. While willing servants are to be had upon such easy terms, no man will encumber himself with an unwilling one, without the power either of confining him to prevent escape, or apprehending him afterwards.
Parallel between the proposed Remedy and the two existing ones.
Existing Remedy 1st.
Existing Remedy 2d.
Habitual Depredation extirpated.—
Measures the same in kind as those which serve for the extirpation of mendicity, will serve and suffice, nor will any others suffice, for the extirpation of habitual depredation. But here the reward may be greater, because the service is greater; the mischief to which it applies the remedy being greater, as also the danger that may attend the rendering the service. The reward being greater, the self-liberation period will be proportionally longer, of course; and the probation-period may be rendered so. The necessity of compulsion is still greater here, because the repugnancy is still greater:—beggars are so, because they are above being paupers; habitual depredators are so, because they are above being beggars. It would be a sad inconsistency to extirpate the undangerous habit, and leave the dangerous habit untouched. The habit of depredation may be inferred with the most perfect certainty, and without the possibility of injury, from the want of honest means of livelihood, (sufficient property as well as honest occupation included) coupled with the non-exercise of mendicity: for existence has no other means of support. What is not known, is, whether a man is a smuggler—a sharper—a coiner—a thief—a highwayman—or an incendiary:—what is known, is, that he is one or other of these, or several in one. This, though an indirect, is an irrefragable proof—not only of an act of depredation, but of a multitude of such acts: a multitude sufficient to constitute a habit. If any one of them were specifically proved in a legal way—in the course of a criminal prosecution—a man would be dealt with as a criminal: this proof being wanting, he can no otherwise be dealt with than as one to whom honest employment is necessary, and who is not provided with it. The inference with respect to the existence of the habit of depredation—the ground of proceeding—is therefore still stronger, in the case of the unavowed-employment hand, than in the case of the suspected hand, or even the stigmatized hand. In the first case, there is certainty: in the other, it is but suspicion and apprehension:—unless the suspected or stigmatized hand happens also to be an unavowed-employment hand; a coincidence not unfrequent, but nothing like universal. The suspected hand, having been adjudged unpunishable, must not be punished: the stigmatized hand, having been punished sufficiently, must not be punished more. But this, it has been already shown, is not punishment.—The remedy is in little danger of being employed where it is not wanted: for if a suspected hand, i. e. a person discharged for want of legal proof, be really innocent, and looked upon as innocent, and of good character, bondsmen will not be wanting: even supposing him guilty, and believed to be so, if he be but a casual depredator, not an habitual one; for a bondsman may then get him on reduced terms, and the reduction may be his indemnity for the risk.
Proof of Habitual Depredation.—
Living without any assignable and honest source of income (an act of which habitual depredation is the necessary consequence) being a negative act, or rather habit, proof of it cannot be obtained but from the party himself: positive acts offering themselves to sense, proof of them may be obtained from those to whose senses they have presented themselves: negative ones, not offering themselves to sense, can no otherwise be proved than in the way of inference; viz. from the want of proof of the opposite and corresponding positive matters of fact on the part of him, whose interest it is, or is made, to furnish such proof; and who is so circumstanced, that supposing them to have had existence, he could not but have it in his power to demonstrate it. To put the party to the proof, is in such a case, to interrogate him. Interrogation of the party is therefore an indispensable ingredient in the proof of want of honest livelihood. Employment supposes an employer. Honest employment does not shun the light, but court it; employment that does not shun the light, supposes witnesses to every circumstance belonging to it—the place operated in—the several subject-matters of the operation—the operations themselves:—so many partners to the operation—so many witnesses:—and to the disposal of the result there are at least as many witnesses as there are parties to it, and commonly many more. Under these circumstances, any the slightest indication of the want of honest livelihood may be looked upon as affording sufficient ground for putting the question—Have you any honest means of livelihood, and if so, what is it?
Indications that may be established as sufficient grounds for examining a man, for the purpose of ascertaining whether he has any sufficient means of honest livelihood; and thence, whether it shall be lawful and proper to consign him to an Industry-house, in the character of an unavowed-employment hand.—1. Conviction of an act of depredation—followed by punishment for a term, and the punishment undergone: (the case of stigmatized hands.)—2. Prosecution for ditto grounded on oath, though for want of legal proof not followed either by punishment or conviction; or, by stretch of prerogative, the party withdrawn from punishment:—the case of the suspected hand.—3. Accusation of an act of depredation, by a charge, which, though specific, has been deemed insufficient in the character of a ground of commitment for trial.—4. Oath by a person of character, declarative of a suspicion that the party has no honest and adequate means of livelihood.—5. Even strangership to the place, if coupled with more than traveller’s stay, and with apparent indigence.
Examples of Heads of Interrogation.—1. What are your means of livelihood?—2. What has it been for (say one) year past?—3. In what places have you served or worked?—4. Whom have you worked for, or served under?—5. Whom have you worked with?—6. With whom have you dealt for the materials and implements of your work?—7. With whom have you dealt for the produce, &c.—If no answer, or no satisfactory answer, commitment to the next Industry-house, on the footing of an unavowed-employment hand. The answer in such a case seems not much in danger of containing falsehood, the falsehood being in its nature so open to disproof:—but in case of falsehood, the answer being on oath, will be punishable as perjury.—Power of provisional commitment to the Industry-house, on declared suspicion of perjury. Whether the rule prohibiting the extraction, or even reception, of evidence deemed self-criminative be reconcileable to the ends of justice—whether it be steadily observed by those who profess to regard it as sacred, are questions which have here no place—here, no crime—no punishment—no crimination—no self-crimination.
Families of the Disreputable Classes.—
The provision would be incomplete, if the rising generation were left out of it; if it neglected the many, after providing for the few.—1. Non-adults being themselves beggars, stigmatized hands, suspected hands, or unavowed-employment hands, might be bound on the footing of apprentices: their respective accounts on the self-liberation principle, not to open till their arrival at full age.—2. Nonadults, being children of a beggar, and living with the parent, might for this purpose be presumed beggars, unless an adequate, honest, and industrious occupation be proved.—3. So in the case of the children of unavowed-employment hands.—4. Children of a stigmatized or suspected hand, to be presumed unavowed-employment hands, unless as before.—5. Also children of a confined hand, confined in execution for a predatory offence.—6. Children of a confined hand, confined for ditto, on mesne process, to be consigned or not to the Industry-house, till the trial of the parent, on recommendation of the committing magistrate, at the discretion of the chaplain of the House.—7. Failing the father, the mother or other next friend, being master or mistress of the abode in which the child resides, to be regarded on the footing of the father, for this purpose.—8. Children (unless for special reason assigned by the children) to be consigned to the same house with the father, for his comfort and satisfaction, exposed habitually to his view, but, to preserve them against corruption, not exposed to his conversation, unless in the presence of an officer, or two or three quardian elders.—9. Provision of detail against collusive apprenticeships, and other contracts entered into for the purpose of frustrating the above provisions.—The general presumption—that the parent is the child’s best guardian—fails here. The parental influence would be employed—not in the support of morality, but in the destruction of it. In the case of the notoriously immoral, the parental power may require to be suspended till recovery, as in the case of the insane; and for that purpose transferred, although involuntarily, in the present case, as it is voluntarily in the case of ordinary apprenticeship.
The wife of a beggar, unavowed-employment hand, stigmatized hand, or suspected hand, consigned to an Industry-house, might be consigned (if living with the husband) to an Industry-house likewise, unless by consent of all three parties, the husband, the wife, and the Direction Board, (on report from the chaplain,) it should be ordered otherwise:—and to the same house, unless on petition, by either husband or wife, it be determined otherwise:—and (unless on like determination, grounded on like petition) the self-liberation accounts of husband and wife should then be consolidated into one—that when the parties go out, they may go out together. Cohabitation should be received as presumptive proof of marriage, for the purpose of justifying on the part of the Company the exercise of power to this effect; unless and until this presumptive marriage be disproved, by a valid one with a husband or wife living at the time of the proof.
Efficiency of this Plan.
By this plan might be accomplished—and that in a degree little short of perfection—upon an all-comprehensive scale—and not only without expense, but with profit—what at a vast expense, and with inadequate powers, a most respectable Society have so long been striving at, upon a comparatively minute scale. In 1795, numbers provided for, 131: rate of expense per head, £28, 10s. a-year, over and above earnings. Total cost of the pauper population, were the whole of it provided for at that rate, £14,250,000 a year.—Extirpating habitual depredation, will not extirpate depredation altogether, but it will go a great way towards it:—casual is probably the smaller branch.
To give the plan, even as against habitual depredation, its utmost degree of efficiency, might require some such institution as that of an universal register of names, abodes, and occupations; with power to magistrates, in certain cases, to examine parties as to the truth of their returns:—in a word, Mr Morton Pitt’s Census rendered all-comprehensive and obligatory.—Fragments of such a work are growing up as it were of themselves.* This and more is done by government every half year, in the case of the affluent and undangerous classes, for the purpose of taxation: those in whose instance it would be doubly useful, are alone exempted from it. Were the examination even oral and public, (which, however, it need not be,) as well as universal, the highest dignity would be rather illustrated than hurt by it.† Leaving the extirpation of casual depredation to some maturer age, which, with intelligence enough to recognise the defects in the law, may possess energy enough to correct them, were the proposed Industry-house system now established, and the care of the police reposed, with adequate powers, in hands such as those which, with such well-directed zeal, and such unexampled celebrity, we have seen employed in depicturing the existing state of it, habitual depredation might even now be confined within a narrow range.
Existing Law incompetent.—
The Vagrant Act, (17 Geo. II. c. 5.) coupling the unavowed-employment class with the begging class, and with so many other classes, some differently pernicious, some unpernicious, is rendered incompetent to this purpose by the causes that have been seen, and many more beside.—It misdescribes the case—it falls short of it—it overshoots it.—It violates justice, by punishing, as for delinquency, without proof.—A clause in the Police Act, (32 Geo. III. c. 53.) grafted on the Vagrant Act, of infinitely superior texture, but tainted with the irremediable vice of the original stock, confines itself to a minute and accidental portion of the mischief, and punishes as for repeated depredations, without proof of one.
Temporary Indigence relieved.—
The best mode of relieving temporary indigence, on the part of the self-maintaining poor, is—not by donations, but by loans.—Loans preserve unimpaired the spirit of frugality and industry; donations impair it, by leading them to transfer their dependence from their own exertions to those of others. Gratuitous bounty, from the Company to the self-maintaining poor, would be inconsistent with the self-liberation principle:—the main pillar of industry and economy. When those who have nothing are not relieved gratis, nor on any other terms than that of full payment in the way of work, it would be an inconsistency to afford relief gratis to those who have wherewithal to pay for it. Gratuitous bounty is among the shapes which private charity may with propriety assume.—where the expense arises out of a man’s own pocket solely, he will naturally be the more attentive to the justice of the claim; when it comes wholly or principally out of the pockets of others, (as it would do if bestowed on the Company’s account by the agents of the Company,) profusion has neither sufficient check nor certain bounds.—(See Pauper Systems compared.—Home-provision.)—By loans made at a reduced rate compared with the established terms, the Company might afford an immense mass of substantial and unexceptionable relief, without injury either to their own purse, or to the morals of those whose momentary feelings they relieve. In the instances in which dissipation is promoted by money advanced in the way of loan, it would be favoured still more by money given without condition of repayment.
The Governor, with the privity of the Chaplain, might be empowered and directed to advance money, either to all persons indiscriminately, or to any particular class or classes meant to be favoured on the ground of the lowness of their wages: the rate of interest, little or not at all greater than what will be sufficient to cover common interest, with the addition of the expense of management, which (with the assistance afforded by the official establishment and the population of the Industry-house) might be very small:—suppose six per cent. per annum in the whole.—To prevent wanton applications, a fee must be taken on admission into the office for the purpose of borrowing, and again on redeeming, say a halfpenny or a farthing each time, the expense of booking and ticketing included. No loans being gratuitous, the fraction due on the score of interest in each account would require in every case to be raised till it amounts to the lowest denomination of coin.* In the case of immoveable property, possession not being sufficient evidence of title, mortgage-conveyance, preceded by scrutiny into the goodness of the title, would necessitate an additional expense. Were a law clerk to form a part of the establishment, upon a fixed salary, this might form part of his business; the learning as well as labour of which might be reduced within a narrow compass by fixed forms: in which case, for the additional one per cent. the mortgager might be exempted from the expenses of conveyance; which bearing the larger ratio to the property the smaller it is, in small properties such as cottages, would eat up a great part of the value of what there is to pledge:—and, the goodness of the title being once ascertained, the money might be advanced to him in small successive sums, as he wanted it, and after repayment readvanced, all without addition to the expense, which on the present plan cannot be done.—This branch of relief would, if exonerated from stamp-duties, require to be confined, in its application to property, to value not exceeding a certain sum; and, in its application to persons, it might be confined to labourers in husbandry, as, being the class lowest paid, most apt to possess immoveable property in small parcels, and in point of affection most attached to it.
Reasons for supposing that six per cent. with the above fees, would defray the expense.—At Paris, under a government establishment, five and a half, and in some cases five, (before the Revolution,) used to defray it: six per cent. defrays it, and with a considerable profit, at Hamburgh; where, before this public institution, private pawnbrokers used to exact from sixty to eighty per cent. At Rome and in other parts of Italy, this branch of charity is or used to be administered upon as cheap or cheaper terms.—In a proposed Industry-house, part of the requisites are already provided for other purposes:—a system of management, and a system of book-keeping—presiding local agents, the Governor and Chaplain—a system of general superintendence, the General-Direction Board. Other parts would be furnished at a rate of expense prodigiously below the ordinary Warehouse-men and warehouse-women, from amongst such of the elder members of the community as would be fit for little else:—Book-keepers, from the apprentice stock, of which a sufficient number might soon be qualified for so simple a task:—both classes maintained for less than £5 a-year a head, instead of eight or ten times the sum, as under private pawnbrokers:—in the meantime, such of the existing transferable stock of adults as could write or read, might be distributed for the purpose as far as they would go:—the distinction of the trust, seconded or not by a small addition to their allowance, would render the situation a desirable one. The only considerable expense would be a warehouse-room, the central part of which would serve for the keeper’s office.
Exigencies, operating as efficient causes, or sources of demand, for funds in store, in the sphere of life in question, viz. that of the self-maintaining poor; particularly the lowest-paid classes, of which the greater part of the population is composed:—with an indication, in each case, of the form in which the supply requires to be administered, so as to satisfy the demand.
Exigencies operating as sources of demand.
Forms of supply correspondent to the demand.
Sources of funds in store, common to the self-maintaining poor—even the lowest paid classes—1. Difference between customary personal expenditure (of the man) before marriage, (in England, nearly equal), generally speaking, to the whole amount of earnings,) and customary personal expenditure (of a man) after marriage—the latter equal, at most, to no more than the portion of the earnings remaining after defraying the expenditure of the other members of the family. 2. Difference (if any) between customary personal expenditure (on the part of the man) after marriage, and necessary personal expenditure (of the man) after the marriage. 3. Difference between customary family expenditure (on the part of the rest of the family) after marriage, and necessary family expenditure (on the part of the rest of the family) after the marriage.—The sum of these differences will give the possible amount of savings capable of being laid up in store on the man’s side, during celibacy, applicable to the defraying the first cost attending the marriage union, or to the making provision for the several other exigencies above enumerated. Speaking of what is possible, this proportion cannot be set down at less than three-fourths of the earnings of a male of the lowest-paid class, reckoning from his arrival at the age of highest earnings (say twenty years.)*
As to the female of this class, though her physical faculty of making earnings, is perhaps by not more than one-third or one-fourth inferior to what it is in the male; yet her opportunities of turning that faculty to advantage, are comparatively so slender and precarious, as scarcely to present a ground for calculation capable of being put upon a level with the above.
Difficulty of Hoarding.—
Difficulties which the self-maintaining poor are apt to labour under, in respect to the laying-up and improvement of their surplus monies.—1. Want of physical means of safe-custody—such as lock-up places:—thence, danger of depredation and accidental loss.—Pocket, the only strong box, and that an unsafe one.—2. Difficulty of opposing a never-yielding resistance to the temptations afforded by the instruments of sensual enjoyment, where the means of purchasing them are constantly at hand.—3. Want of the means of obtaining an equivalent, especially on safe terms, for the use of such small sums, either in the shape of interest, or in the shape of a supply, adapted in its form and conditions to any of the several exigencies above-mentioned.—A Bank, instituted for the purpose of supplying this deficiency, might be distinguished by the name of a frugality-bank.* —4. Want of a set of instructions and mementos constantly at hand, presenting to view the several exigencies or sources of demand for money in store, together with an indication of the most eligible means of making provision for the exigency in each case, by means of a system of banks, supposing it instituted, upon the plan exhibited below.
Properties to be wished for in a System of Frugality-Banks, commensurate to the whole population of the self-maintaining poor, within a tract of country such as that here in question—viz. South Britain.
1.Fund, solid and secure—proof against the several causes of failure, of which below.
2.Plan of provision, all-comprehensive—comprehensive, as far as may be, of all sorts of exigencies, and at all times, as well as of all persons, in the character of customers: thence the amount of the deposit transferable from exigency to exigency, at the will of the customer, at any time.
3.Scale of dealing commensurate to the pecuniary faculties of each customer:—i. e. on each occasion as large or as small as his convenience can require.
4.Terms of dealing sufficiently advantageous to the customer: (the more so, of course, the better:) regard being had, in the necessary degree, to solidity; and if views of pecuniary advantage are admitted, allowance made for the quantum of profit necessary to be allowed to the undertakers.
5.Places of transacting business suitable: adapted in point of vicinity, as well as in other respects, to the conveniency of the customer.
6.Mode of transacting business accommodating: suited to the circumstances of the customer in respect of times of receipt and payment, and quantum of receipt and payment at each time.
7.Mode of operation prompt: consuming as little of the customer’s time in attendance as may be.
8.Mode of book-keeping, clear and satisfactory.
9.Constitution exempt, as far as may be, from all collateral inconveniences, incident to association a circumstance, in some shape or other, necessary to the voluntary composition of a common fund.
Plan for a System of Frugality-Banks, managed by the proposed Company—and possessed of the above properties.—Money to be received from a contributor in any quantities, paying each time a trifle (suppose the smallest coin current) for registration. The benefit granted in the first instance, a benefit adapted to all conditions and circumstances—viz. a superannuation annuity:—this benefit convertible in the whole, or in any part, into any other species of benefits, at any time, or even capable of being withdrawn in the lump, at the option of the contributor; and so toties quoties, on pre-established terms. A contributor to be at liberty to pay in his contribution in small sums, according to his convenience: as soon as it amounts to an even sum of a certain magnitude, (say £1,) credit to be given him for a superannuation annuity to a certain amount, to commence at such age as he chooses; the amount being consequently adapted to the age of commencement, according to a table previously constructed for that purpose: the option being given to him on each occasion, as between the increasing the quantum of the provision already made, or accelerating the commencement of it:—and so for every £1, he contributes, at the same, or any other time.
Example of divers shapes into which contributions might be convertible, at the option of the contributor, at any time, in whole or part.
1. An annuity for an existing wife, in the event of her becoming a man’s widow, commencing at her age of superannuation, or else at his death.
2. In the case of a married man, having or not yet having a child or children, an annuity, during the time that each child, or each child above a certain number, shall continue under a certain age, considered as the commencement of complete or partial self-maintenance.
3. It might serve as a pledge on which he might borrow money of the Company, to supply a demand created by any species of exigency that may chance to present itself: whether it be regularly accruing, such as the above, or purely casual, and in either case, whether it be of the afflictive class, (such as failure of employment, or sickness, as above, or any other of the causes of impoverishment as exhibited in the Table of Cases calling for Relief,) or of the lucrative kind—exigencies constituted by the opportunity, or supposed opportunity, of deriving a positive and extraordinary advantage from the use of a sum thus required. For this he may be made to pay common interest, to cover which the greatest sum lent may be restricted to an amount not quite equal to the amount of his contribution. If, at compound interest, the amount of his debt comes at any time to equal the amount of his contribution, the annuity is thereupon forfeited, but the debt is cancelled. When the money wanted to be borrowed, exceeds the amount of the least portion of purchase-money received—(viz. the above-supposed £1)—he may have the option of selling instead of pledging so many of his elementary annuities as correspond to it: which would be the simpler mode, though, upon calculation, if the lapse of time since the purchase has been considerable, not quite so advantageous.
4. By selling a certain number of these elementary annuities, a man would at any time be able to raise money, to serve as a marriage fund:—nor ought such alienation to be accounted bad economy; since, to a bachelor, or a maiden, this nearer and more agreeable object would naturally be the foremost of the two, the other of superannuation being chosen at that early period in no other view than that of securing the money, and placing it out to advantage in the meantime.—The age at which the formation of such a fund may be expected to commence, may be, in males, from sixteen to eighteen or nineteen: when the amount of earnings has got the start of the amount of physical wants, and the youthful eye has begun to turn itself towards the opposite sex. The idea of the attracting object, especially if determinate, will be a never-failing encouragement to perseverence:—contests may come to take place amongst suitors, which shall have given the strongest proof of attachment, by laying up the largest marriage-fund in proportion to his means. The publicity inherent to all transactions in which the Company is a party, will of course (unless otherwise ordered in the present case for special reason) give a correspondent publicity to these exertions of individual virtue:—that the degree of exertion may be indicated, as well as the magnitude of the result, the total amount of the earnings may be in a line with the amount of the savings thus applied: the degree of frugality being thus measured and exhibited, a high degree may become proportionably honourable:—not to be upon the list may even become disreputable. A maiden known to have lovers, may come to take a pride in the magnitude of such their respective sacrifices; and to make a point of honour not to yield her hand till the degree of attachment thus demonstrated has risen to a certain pitch.—Frugality, being thus brought forward by desire, as it were in a hot-bed, in the spring of life, will maintain itself without difficulty in the maturer seasons. What has been withdrawn by marriage from the provision for old age, will gradually be restored, and finally with increase. Throughout the circle of domestic expenditure, the future will rise in its value in its comparison with the present:—in England, perhaps one day as high as in Scotland it appears to stand already: and whatever is taken from the distant future to be given to immediate comfort, will be invested in articles of durable use, rather than lavished upon the short-lived instruments of momentary gratification.
Friendly Society Banks inadequate:—
shown by reference to the above list of properties.*
I.Solidity—as against the several causes of failure.—Causes of failure to which a frugality-bank stands exposed.—1. Terms too favourable to the customer: the result of want of calculation, ill-constructed calculation, or ill-grounded calculation: the last a cause liable to take place in as far as the accessible stock of data, or facts requisite to constitute a proper and sufficient ground, happen to be defective. To all these sources of profusion, the solvency of the Friendly Societies, taken in a mass, appears to stand exposed. For the principles of calculation, they have access indeed, to the works of the respectable authors who have laid the foundation of this branch of traffic: but whether, in each instance, they have taken these authors, or any other competent persons, for their guides in these dangerous and slippery paths, or whether they have taken any guide at all, any other than the over-weaning presumptions of such uninformed individuals to whose guidance the rest of the members may have happened to commit themselves, is a matter which not only had been from the beginning, but after all the attention that has been bestowed upon them by government, still continues a matter of chance. Against so much of the danger as depends upon the want of data, it is not in the power of skill to afford any adequate assistance. In the case of superannuation-provision and widow-provision (the two most important of the exigencies for which provision is made by any of these societies) the whole stock of data known to exist seems deplorably deficient, nor is the deficiency such as can be supplied without the aid of government.†
2. Further cause of failure, embezzlement or dissipation: embezzlement in the hands of some unfaithful member, or dissipation by the insolvency of some third person to whom the fund has been lent, for the purpose of obtaining an interest from it.
3. Another cause of failure—dissolution of the society, in consequence of disagreements among the members.—Of the influence manifested by these two last causes among the Friendly Societies, examples, but too numerous, are to be found in Eden. How sure a refuge might not they have found in a bank, kept by the proposed Company!
II.Plan of provision all-comprehensive and changeable at the will of the customer. Under this head the plans of the Friendly Societies appear to be considerably diversified, but where the plan is most comprehensive, it is far from being adequately so: and as to the faculty of transmutation, it is probably without example. The exigency provided against is, in some instances sickness alone:—in some, possibly, superannuation alone:—in more, probably, sickness and superannuation together:—in others, sickness and widowhood together:—in others, perhaps, all three:—in some, (perhaps the greater number,) these useful objects are unhappily combined with an ostentatious and expensive burial. In no instance does the plan extend to the affording a provision for the expenses of marriage—against failure of employment, unaccompanied by sickness—or against the temporary burden resulting from an extra number of children under the self-maintaining age. In the two first of these instances, the smallness of the fund, in the case of these local associations, is an invincible obstacle to the making provision for the exigency; since, in this line of life more particularly, it is convenient to a man at least, that his contribution be received from him in any quantities; and in the list of exigencies there are several demands to the satisfaction of which it is essential that it be returned to him in any proportion and at any time, he pleases. But a fund composed altogether of the petty and unincreasable contributions of a small and determinate number of individuals, can leave no such room for individual will to operate: whether the contribution be in the form of a gross sum, or in that of a chain of payments, or in a compound of both forms, no part of it can ever be given back, but in the case of the particular exigency against which it provides: if it be a chain of payments, the chain must continue unbroken, and the links undiminished, or all security is at an end.
But great as is the mass of population thus provided for in the whole, it is still not near so great as it might be, if the comprehensiveness of the scheme, in regard to persons, were not reduced by a variety of conditions, limitations, exceptions, and exclusions: some direct and intentional; others, indirect and unthought of. The members being to pass more or less of their time in company with each other, they must not be unacceptable to each other; hence acception of persons, and occasional rejection of individuals. In some places, community of occupation is regarded as a necessary bond of union; in that case the benefit is confined to a few of the most populous occupations. Differences resulting from sex, religion, party, and a variety of other sources, add to the causes by which not only scattered individuals, but whole majorities are excluded: for if forty are necessary to make up a society, and out of the only forty whom the vicinity would have afforded, a single one stands excluded, the exclusion envelops in effect the other thirty-nine.—Among the unperceived, or at least undesigned causes of exclusion, may be reckoned the comprehending under one association objects which in this point of view are repugnant to each other: an individual who with reference to one of these objects would be an acceptable associate, being an unacceptable one with reference to another. Thus a man, who by reason of occupation or constitution is regarded as a bad life, would not on that account be a member the less acceptable, but the more acceptable, to a society confining itself in its object to provision for old age. As it happens, the only society within his reach, is a society which to that remote object, adds the immediate one of a provision during sickness. But the same cause which brings death near, is apt enough to render sickness habitually frequent. Apprehension of a man’s adding to the immediate burden, occasions him to be regarded as a dangerous associate, and he thence becomes excluded from taking his chance for the more distant benefit, for which he would have been an acceptable co-adventurer, had he stood alone. When provision for widows, to commence with the death of the husband, is confined with provision for old age, in the shape of a superannuation annuity payable to the man, the case may be much the same. To a society confined in its object to provision for old age, an unhealthy man would appear a valuable member, on account of the apparent improbability of his ever reaching that age: but the only society situate within his reach happens to unite both objects, and the apparent goodness of his wife’s life, when coupled with his own unhealthiness, more than compensates the advantage promised by the apparent badness of his own life. The two benefits not being to be purchased but in conjunction, he thence becomes debarred from both, by his unacceptableness with reference to one.*
III.Scale of dealing accommodated to the pecuniaryfaculties of each customer. This property is scarcely possessed, or so much as capable of being possessed by a Friendly Society bank: not only the original calculations, but the current accounts, would be too complicated for any literary talents, or at least too operose for any time, which such an association could in general be expected to afford. The contribution is paid at so much per week, or per month, the same for each contributor, though in some instances the amount of the earnings from whence it is drawn may be some number of times greater than in others. In general, compared to earnings, the amount of it appears to be very small; from 3d. to 1s. a-week, where the earnings may run from 6s. to 36s. or more: so that frugality, though invited to raise itself to this low pitch, is in a manner kept from rising higher: its claims having been acceded to up to this standard height, will be apt to be looked upon as satisfied: and thus a man who might by possibility lay up above £90 a year, and with comfort and decency £70 or £80 is supposed to have done enough when he has laid up two and fifty shillings.—On the other hand, small as the contribution is, it may yet be too much for an individual already burdened with a numerous family, and belonging to the lowest-paid class; hence another source of unobserved exclusions: though, for the same individual, before marriage, a contribution some number of times greater might not have been too great.
IV.Terms of dealing sufficiently advantageous to the customer. This property antagonizes with, and forms the limit of, the more important property of solidity: due provision being made for that superior object, then and not till then, the more advantageous the terms can be made the better. As to the Friendly Societies, it is not natural that they should be found deficient under this head:—the danger is (as we have seen) that of their promising more than they will be able to pay, rather than not so much. The mischief resulting from want of calculation, ill-constructed calculation, or ill-grounded calculation, vibrates between these two dangers:—in one place too much is allowed in return for contribution, and there bankruptcy is the consequence: in another, not so much as might have been allowed, and there a proportionable part of the benefit is lost.—The scale of variation being so great, stretching from below twenty to one, to above sixty to one, the co-existence of these two opposite mischiefs seems an inevitable result of the assumption of a common standard for all places, even though that standard were the exact representative of the national rate. In the case of a national Frugality-Bank, such as that proposed, if the standard be but just, both mischiefs are completely obviated.*
V. VI. VII. Place of transacting business suitable in other points, as well as that of vicinity—Mode of transacting business prompt, as well as accommodating, in regard to times and quantities of receipts and payments. Among the Friendly Societies, with few, or perhaps no exceptions, the office of this sort of the Frugality-Bank is at a public-house: for here it must be, or nowhere; this being the only sort of house to which it is convenient to be thus employed: at the same time, if there were any option in the case, choosing a tippling-house for a school of frugality, would be like choosing a brothel for a school of continence. The sacrifice a man is enabled to make to that virtue is small and limited: the sacrifice he is perpetually solicited to make to a habit which is the most formidable adversary of this virtue, has no bounds. The obligation (commonly annexed) of spending at this office not less than a certain quantity of money, (perhaps 3d.) for every shilling saved, as well as a certain quantity of time, (an evening in every month, or every week,) would be a very heavy tax on the contribution to frugality, if the contribution itself were not so slight in proportion to the means; and if, either already, or in consequence of a man’s admission into the society, the tax were not so unhappily habitual and congenial to inclination, as to present itself as if divested of all its burdensomeness. Be this as it may, here comes in another addition to the list of unperceived exclusions; since, whatever may be the benefit, no man is admitted to the purchase of it, who will not frequent an alehouse.
As to vicinity, the associations in question are thus far exempt from disadvantage on that score, that the members, in their quality of bankers, are in every such society sufficiently within reach of one another, in their quality of customers to the bank: but this circumstance is in effect but another cause of exclusion, under the mask of a convenience; since, in as far as this condition fails, the society fails of extending itself. At the same time, it may be owing, in no small degree, to the difficulty of collecting together members within reach of one another, (that is, within reach of the common office, the public-house,) in number sufficient to form a society for this purpose, and capable of sparing the necessary proportion of the working time, that the benefit, such as it is, is mostly confined to towns.
As to the times for receiving contributions, and paying allowances, these are points that, in the instance of these societies, must be fixed by general regulation, and in respect of which little or no indulgence can accordingly be shown to individual convenience. The contribution must be so much a week, or so much a month: less cannot be accepted, for no further advantage can be allowed:—the time must be the periodical time of meeting, and no other.
As to the Company’s system of Frugality-Banks, in point of mere vicinity, if confined to the system of Industry-houses, they certainly would be in no small degree inferior to the system of public houses which officiate in that capacity to the existing societies: but even were no further accommodation provided, the advantages it would have in those other respects seem to be more than an adequate compensation for this head of disadvantage. No tax,—no obligation to drink;—neither obligation nor invitation to rob the domestic circle of a regularly recurring evening. Ten miles, the utmost distance:—times more or less frequent, governed altogether by individual convenience:—the time consumed by the augmentation of distance might, in many instances, be made up for by the diminution in the number of attendances; and the time of the week might be the day (for wherefore should it not be?) on which time, considered in a pecuniary light, has no value.
Should this not be enough, the vestry-room of each place of worship presents an office as near, and the clerk an officer, or sub-agent, as suitable as can be desired. The minister and churchwardens would be his natural inspectors. In a place in which he is already stationed by his existing and more important duties, the smallest coin current, multiplied by the number of members, and that by the number of times of payment, in the instance of each, would afford a compensation more than adequate to his trouble. For the service thus rendered to morality, religion need not go unrewarded: attendance on the service of the day might be a condition precedent, and its offices rendered preparatory, to the exercise of this virtue. Money transactions are neither ill-suited nor foreign to the main business of the day, when sanctified by the occasion, or the use: witness surplice-fees, communion offerings, collections on briefs:—and if a money transaction be sanctified by charity, why not by a virtue which stands paramount to charity herself, by preventing the mischief for which her best exertions are but a palliative.
VIII.Mode of Book-keeping clear and satisfactory.—In the instance of the existing societies, the provision made in favour of frugality being so inadequate, the plan of book-keeping necessary will be proportionably simple: and indeed so simple, that the stock of literary acquirements existing in each society does not, it is true, appear likely to be found in many instances inadequate to the task. But the proposed Company, in their quality of keepers of a universal frugality-bank, would not extend their scheme of provision without providing a system of book-keeping altogether competent to the purpose. Under their management, that degree of competency, which at present is exposed everywhere to contingencies, would be certain and universal.
IX.Exemption from collateral Inconveniences.—Collateral mischiefs, to which the management of the Friendly Societies is liable to give birth, (as appears by examples from Eden,) and from all which, by the management of the proposed Company, the business would be cleared: 1. Drunkenness and Dissipation, as above. 2. Disagreements and quarrels—results mischievous to themselves, besides operating occasionally in quality of causes of dissolution, as above. 3. Combinations for sinister purposes, of a professional or other comparatively private nature:—such as rise of wages, (always in favour of occupations already overpaid,) or diminution of working hours.* 4. Combinations for sinister purposes of a public nature—the raging malady of the times.
Exigencies to which the Company’s Bank is least competent.—
These are such, and such only, in which the result of the largeness of the society may be the danger of its not defending itself, with sufficient vigilance, against the arts of customers: the interest of each associate, in each transaction, decreasing as the multitude of associates increases.
Among these cases would evidently be to be found those of simple failure of employment, sickness, and provision for widows, on the supposition that, in return for the consideration-money received, the burden to an unlimited amount—to a value not limited by that of the consideration-money in each instance—is to be borne by the Company—1. As to failure of employment, the exigency itself is so absolutely dependent on the will of the customer, as to be palpably unsusceptible of being insured against on such terms. To a man who has an employment, which fills up his time, and affords him the means of living, it will not commonly be a very easy matter to appear to have none: but there is no man who could not so manage matters as not to have any such employment. 2. Sickness indeed is not altogether in this case; but it is too much so to be capable of being provided against upon these terms, by so large a company, without an evident danger of incalculable loss. 3. Even in the case of provision for widows, though the event from which the actual commencement of the burden takes its date, is not to be considered as being (as in the former cases) dependent upon the will of the customer; yet the knowledge of the matter of fact, in regard to constitution, occupation, &c., on which the probable duration of life depends, and thence on which the terms of the contract, or even the reception of a candidate, in his proffered quality of customer, may be made to depend—and therefore, in this way, the probable commencement of the burden, in each instance, are in no small degree dependent on his will.* Against the danger here in question, in the case of provision against sickness, there seems to be but one remedy, viz. the calling in the aid of the duty-and-interest junction principle, and taking for sharers in the bargain some individual, or small assemblage of individuals, whose personal interest in the event of each bargain shall be adequate to the purpose:—in the case of provision for widows, there is, besides the above remedy, that of reducing the burden of the allowance to a rate adjusted to the supposed utmost efficacy of the cause of disadvantage, and for that purpose supposing the lives of husbands (among the customers of the bank) to be as much worse than ordinary, and that of wives as much better than ordinary, as the purpose shall be found to require. If the latter remedy be not employed, there remains still unprovided against, in the case of this mode of provision for widows, the danger of a sinister and secret interest, on the part of the agent, strong enough to overcome the known and legitimate interest by which his fidelity is endeavoured to be insured; and, upon the whole, these are the branches of the trade of assurance which appear the least adapted of any to the constitution of the proposed Company. In the case of a provision for widows in no other shape than that of a superannuation-annuity, as the commencement of the burden depends—not (as before) upon the badness of the life of the man, but upon the goodness of the life of the woman, the danger of imposition has no place. This, as well as every other case of a superannuation-annuity, is as competent to the constitution of the Company as any branch of assurance can be: and as competent to the constitution of the proposed Company, as to any other Company, existing or proposable:—and this is the only shape in which provision for widows is adapted to the situation of the lowest-paid classes, that is, to the bulk of self-maintaining hands: for surely it is not a matter even to be wished for, that a woman who during her husband’s life has been subjected to labour, should be raised above it by his death.
In those cases to which the Company’s management is applicable with least advantage, it is not that this management is less competent to the enabling an individual to make provision for the exigency, but only as to the making provision against it in a particular mode—viz. in the way of insurance:—for, to a party who is content to be his own insurer, the Company’s bank, (as we have seen,) holds out against this, as well as so many other exigencies, a provision not to be derived from any other source. If a man has time before-hand, it enables him to lay up a fund of self-relief, by means of which he may be provided for in his own way, at his own time:—if, for want of time, or otherwise, he has laid up no such fund, at the worst it provides for him, on the self-liberation plan, in an industry-house. Compared with self-insurance, insurance by contract, as in other cases, so, more particularly in this, seems, it is true, most favourable to happiness upon the whole: the distribution of good and evil being in this way more equable:—for though what there is of personal suffering in the case is incapable of being distributed, yet its concomitant, the pecuniary burden, is distributed by this means; and, by being distributed, the pressure of it upon the whole is lessened:—and the strength given by exercise to the benevolent affections, and to the habit of beneficence, is a kind of indirect advantage, which, in a moral point of view, is not to be contemned. To this mode of provision, the Company, though it were not itself to embark in the adventurous part, might afford very considerable encouragement and assistance. By undertaking, in terms attended with no risk to itself, but with a moderate advantage, the receipt of contributions, the payment of allowances, and the charge of book-keeping, the Company would ease the associations of all danger and apprehension of embezzlement and dissipation: it might release them of a great part of the burden of attendance, and exempt them from the dangers of discord and dissolution. It would contribute, in a great variety of ways, to increase the amount of the population thus associated: it might reduce the number necessary to the forming an association, by taking for itself (which it might do without danger) a certain proportion of the shares;—as far as ten (suppose) out of forty;—by enabling those to form a common purse, who, by reason of any of the causes of separation above spoken of—(as, religion, party, private disagreement, and the like)—might have been prevented from forming a common assembly—in a word, it might remove, almost without exception, the various causes of latent exclusion above exemplified or alluded to.
So in the case of associations bound for annuities to commence at widowhood—the Company might perhaps not think it advisable ever to contract any obligation of that sort on its own account:—at any rate it could never pledge itself for the discharge of obligations already contracted on this score of existing associations:—but it might take their funds into its own hands, keep account of the produce, and undertake for the discharge of the engagements, as far as that produce extended, and no further.
The benefit that has resulted from these associations is as important as it is extensive: the principle of frugality being rendered popular, the foundation is laid, the chief difficulty removed. What regards relief under sickness is unmixed good:—thousands and tens of thousands must have been preserved by it from death, misery, and pensioned idleness.—But, of what concerns provision against distant contingencies, the result is in the clouds. It is in vain to inquire into remote effects, when the state even of existing causes is wrapt in darkness. Who can say to what extravagancies overweaning hope may not have soared, while unlettered minds have been left to wander in the field of calculation without a guide?—Take even the oldest of these bodies, the past prosperity, were it ever so universal, can scarce as yet have afforded any pledge of future. The oldest cannot as yet have reached the age of trial.* Meantime, safe or unsafe, how little they have done or can do towards satisfying the demands of frugality in their fullest extent, and in all their diversity of shape, has been already seen. The body of collateral mischief of which they may prove pregnant, appears not to be inconsiderable.† But whatever there may be of danger in the institution, results from circumstances that are altogether accidental to it—the multitudinous and unbridled concourse of rough and uncultivated minds:—democracy is no more of the essence of frugality, than it is of prudence, tranquillity, or science. The benefits result from the object itself, the disposition to frugality: the mischiefs, from the means which chance has hitherto furnished for the exercise of that virtue. Under the management of the proposed Company, the mischiefs would drop off of course: the benefit would remain—with vast increase of magnitude, and in its most perfect purity.
Were the disadvantages attached to these petty Frugality Banks, as compared with the proposed General Frugality Bank, ever so considerable, it does not follow that it would be abstractedly useful, any more than honestly practicable, to employ the hand of government to break them up. The Company’s General Bank being added, and these particular banks remaining as they are, the customer, in this, as in most cases, could not but be a gainer by the competition. Whatever part of this business they chose should be done for them by the Company’s Bank, it would always be ready to do for them on pre-adjusted terms: whatever part they either found they could not do or conceived that the Company would do for them better than they could do for themselves, they would of course give the doing of it to the Company: and if, in any instance, the result of their choosing to do their own business, instead of turning it over to the Company, should be its being ill done, they could only have themselves to thank for it. The cases in which it is not better for a man to suffer by his own will, than to be saved against his will, are neither many, nor very easy to determine. In every shape in which assistance could be wished—instruction—legal powers—pecuniary funds—trust-worthy hands—the Company, with its all-comprehensive and omnipresent Bank, would never cease to hold out to them a sure and inexhaustible resource.
Pecuniary Remittance facilitated to the Poor.—
Disadvantage the poorest and most numerous classes labour under, in this respect, the relative of expense of remittance increasing as the sum to be remitted decreases. A considerable proportion of the self-maintaining poor of this country are stationed habitually at a distance from their dearest connexions. In this humble line of life, so small a sum as a crown, or half-crown, might be no inconsiderable assistance—from a parent to a child—from a child to an infirm parent, or grand-parent—from a sister to a sister, &c.—There are individuals in this country, to whose expenditure £500 does not bear so great a proportion as half-a-crown does to the expenditure of many an individual among the self-maintaining poor.—Useful arrangements taken by the post-office relative to this head, since the first penning of this paper.* But these arrangements do not altogether come up to the present purpose: neither the least sum nor the retribution being quite small enough: nor does the post, in all places, reach the cottage of the poor.† This part of the business of remittance might be managed by the assistance of the Company, in and from the several industry-houses, for the benefit of the lowest paid classes, with proper checks, (such as the letters being sent open, &c.) to save the benefit from being usurped by those who have no need of it. The accommodation will of course be the more valuable, the more frequent and regular the intercourse between the several industry-houses and the parishes within their respective circuits. By the use proposed to be made of each vestry-room in the quality of a sub-office to the proposed system of Frugality Banks, the demand for this intercourse would naturally be increased. Leaving other days to casual opportunity, Sunday, the day of universal leisure and social intercourse among the poor, might be a day of regular communication, between each industry-house and the several parishes within its circuit. Special messengers would seldom be necessary. The visits which the inhabitants of each industry-house would of their own accord be making to their friends in the respective parishes, would in general, be sufficient for executing these and such other commissions as there might be occasion to give them from the house.—For the facilities that might be given to conveyance, see the next chapter.
Distant Conveyance facilitated to the Poor.—
Use of the industry-houses in the capacity of frugality-inns and frugal-conveyance-stages.—Mean distance from house to house, on one supposition, fifteen miles; on another, but ten miles and two-thirds. Inns are altogether unnecessary, where, comparing the distance between house and house, with the ability of the traveller in respect of self-conveyance, he can make his way from house to house without stopping for a night’s rest. But houses for stopping at in the day time are not necessary to the poor traveller. Repose he finds, at the worst, upon the ground; food he carries in his pocket, from the industry-house where he slept. The cheapest beasts of draught (asses) might be kept, at a small expense, in sufficient number for those who by childhood or infirmity were disqualified for self-conveyance.
I.Uses in the Instance of the Industry-house Poor.—1. The transferable classes distributed all over the country without expense, whereever food is cheapest, or labour, such as they have respectively to bestow, most in demand. 2. A pauper, on his becoming burdensome, conveyed from his last abode to one of the nearest industry-houses without charge; sufficient conductors, where requisite, being always to be found among the population of the house. 3. A well-behaved pauper, on his petition, conveyed, by indulgence of the Company, to the abode, or to the industry-house nearest to the abode, of any of his near connexions, whom he wishes to visit, though it were at the remotest part of South Britain. If able, no loss, for want of his labour, need be incurred. Ten, or even fifteen miles a-day, would scarcely make too large an addition to his ordinary day’s labour, even if it were of the hard-work kind; none at all, if it were of the sitting work, or other slight-work kind. When not employed for travelling, as above, the asses, attached to proper vehicles, might serve for giving open air, in conjunction with exercise, to the children beneath the self-conveying age, and to the bedridden—especially on Sundays.—(See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.)
II.Use to the self-maintaining Poor—Travelling all over the country, wherever their occasions lead them;—setting out without money, and arriving with money in their pockets.* At present this cannot be done, because there is nobody in a condition to give employment at such short warning, in large or small quantities, as it may happen, to persons unknown, coming in any number. A man, having money in his pocket, might work or not work, as he chose:—taking the benefit of the diet and lodging at the cheap price of the house, instead of using a public-house, under the obligation of paying for expensive food and liquors. Domestic ties would be strengthened, and social affections cherished, by laying open, in this way, to the poor, those opportunities of occasional intercourse and uninterrupted sympathy, which at present are monopolized by affluence.
Persons under engagement to, or in relation to whom this accommodation might be particularly convenient—1. Soldiers; 2. Militiamen; 3. Seamen; 4. Marines:—on furlough, or when disbanded:—and with or without their children.—No expense to the public—no scandal of begging—no danger of stealing or robbing, on pretence of begging.
III.Persons not under Engagement.—1. and 2. Welsh and Irish harvesters, periodically visiting—3. Settlers and employment-seekers from Scotland—4. Accepters of offers of employment in the several branches of industry, to and from every part of England, as advertised in the Company’s Employment-Gazette—(See Ch. i.)—So many industry-houses as a man were thus led to visit, so many establishments, alike prepared, in the capacity of frugality-banks and remittance-offices, to enable him to lay up, improve, or remit, whatever savings he may have made.—(See Ch. v. and vi.)
IV.Confined Hands—Persons travelling in Custody.—1. Suspected hands, arrested, and to be passed, on mesne process, or in execution. 2. Delinquents, by delinquencies of an inferior class, arrested, and to be passed, on mesne process, or in execution. 3. Debtors, arrested, and to be passed, on mesne process, or in execution:—the debtor having the option to bait at an industry-house, or at a public-house:—an important saving to poor debtors, and thence to their poor creditors:—each industry-house containing a strong ward, with provision for appropriate separation and aggregation, carried to the utmost extent, (see Book ii. Ch. ii.) and capable of affording assistance, upon occasion, to constables and bailiffs. Thus would be superseded the necessity of irons for suspected hands, and the expense of occasional extra guards for confined hands of all classes. Debts would thus be payable by industry-houses, though not by prisons.—See the ensuing chapter.
Imprisonment rendered unexpensive and reformative.—
Efficient causes of corruption—1. Idleness (i. e. want of honest occupation.) 2. Corruptive aggregation. 3. Exemption from tutelary inspection. 4. Access to the means of intoxication.—Efficient causes of reformation, the reverse of the above. 1. Industry (i. e. honest and profit-yielding occupation.) 2. Tutelary as well as innoxious aggregation. 3. Constant tutelary inspection. 4. Seclusion from the means of intoxication.—The presence of all these causes of corruption is of the essence of a prison: a few of the lately improved prisons excepted, where an imperfect dose of the efficient causes of reformation, (viz. industry, absence of corruptive aggregation, and seclusion from the means of intoxication, but without tutelary aggregation, or constant inspection,) is purchased, by means of separate lodgment, and thence at an enormous price. The perfect absence of all the efficient causes of corruption, the perfect presence of all the efficient causes of reformation—is equally of the essence of a proposed industry-house.† None of these requisites of a prison (except confinement) are to be found in any ordinary prison: all of them would be to be found in every industry-house. Practical consequence—common prisons ought to be extirpated as common nuisances: and their function supplied by a strong ward in each of the proposed industry-houses. An industry-house would need no Howard—no Paul—no Pitt.—Every man might be a Howard without danger, difficulty, trouble, or merit. Any man by looking at the Company’s Journal might know incomparably more of every industry-house, the prisoner-part of its inhabitants included, than Howard could ever know of any prison: the passing moment filled the measure of his knowledge.—Terror and safe custody are the only purposes answered at present by the use of ordinary prisons: those securities being indispensable, prisons of some sort or other must still be employed, though corruption, instead of reformation, be the price paid for the advantage. Some men must be sent there, or the fear of being sent there would not find its way into the bosoms of the rest. Prisons are what they are, because they have been what they are: when prisons were first built, not an idea of the system of antiseptics here exhibited had ever presented itself to view.
In process of time the whole system of imprisonment might be undertaken by the Company, to the universal advantage of all parties interested.—Debtors and delinquents from the higher lines of life, are the only classes of prisoners who could not be accommodated to advantage in a proposed industry-house, without additions for the purpose.
Precedent debts, due to creditors at large, might as well be worked out upon the self-liberation plan, as debts due to the Company for sickness-relief administered in advance.*
Domestic Morality enforced.—
At present, unless the disease be violent indeed, imprisonment, the only remedy, (besides being mostly placed out of reach by the expenses, natural and artificial, of procedure,) being but an aggravation of the disease, domestic disorders, are, as it were, without remedy. A fit remedy would, for the first time, be brought into existence by the proposed industry-houses.
I. Classes to whom an industry-house might be of use in the capacity of a reformation-house—1. Bad apprentices—at the instance of the master.—2. Bad children—at the instance of the father or guardian.—3. Bad wives—at the instance of the husband.—At the instance of the father, by the mere parental authority—in the other cases, by adjudication of one or two magistrates.
II. Conversely, it might be little less useful in the capacity of an asylum against domestic tyranny:—1. From the power of a bad master—2. a bad father or guardian—3. or a bad husband.—In this latter case, adjudication, it should seem, would be scarcely necessary. Without serious ill-treatment, a wife would hardly exchange matrimonial comforts, an independent abode, and the government of a family, for celibacy under inspection—in company of her own sex only, and not of her own choice. Spite, or a project of governing the husband by fear of the privation would hardly go such lengths:—neither malice nor ambition are to such a degree stronger than self-regard.—Preferableness of such an asylum to a domestic one in the present case, though it were under the protection of a parent, or elder relation of the same sex.—Elopement, though it were to the house of a natural guardian, is seldom exempt from danger, never from suspicion, during the attractive age: Infidelity, when it was not the cause, being in such circumstances but too natural an effect.
On reconciliation, the industry-house, like a well-regulated convent, but free from the objections that attach on convents, would restore the fugitive, without spot or suspicion, to the marital arms.†
There, as in a convent, conjugal infidelity, become scandalous, might moreover receive its punishment, from a tribunal of magistrates—sitting in private, unless publicity, with or without the intervention of the ecclesiastical court or a jury, be reclaimed by either of the parties.‡
III. Utility of the industry-house regimen, to divers classes, comprised within the principal design of it, in the character of a certificate, as well as of a pledge, of good behaviour, in their respective spheres. 1. and 2. To out-of-place domestic servants of the female sex, it would be a preservation of chastity and of reputation of chastity: so of the habit of industry and regular obedience, in both sexes. 3. and 4. To repentant prostitutes, and to friendless females, at the approach of the perilous age, it would be an asylum for the benefit of the lower classes, that is, the great bulk of the community; doing, upon a universal scale, and without expense, that sort of good which is endeavoured to be done upon a minute scale, but at no minute expense, by two magnificent as well as benevolent institutions—in a style of accommodation, congenial (as is but natural) to the habits and sentiments—not so much of the classes into which they are to be returned, as of those higher classes to which they are indebted for their support.
IV. Under the plan already traced, the Employment Gazette itself (see Ch. i.) will be a perpetual school of morality—an inexhaustible fund of unexpensive premiums for good behaviour. The more points of good character a man can muster, the better and speedier his chance for employment, and the better the terms upon which he will be received. The inference is natural from theory; and there will be the evidence of experience,—published experience,—to show whether it be not just.
Let it not be imagined, that because the place is the same, the treatment given in it may not be infinitely diversified. There is nothing either in relief or in correction, that should render them incapable of being administered—administered to the pinnacle of perfection—within the compass of the same walls. Even now, the same chamber is witness to the caresses given to the dutiful, and the chastisement given to the froward child. It is in truth but through want of wisdom, not by any law of nature, that the disparity has remained hitherto so wide between penal justice and domestic discipline. Good order is a condition not less necessary to the delicacies of domestic comfort, than to the utmost severities of public justice. The presence of the fostering hand is not less necessary to the infant, of the feeding hand to the hungry, of the assisting hand to the infirm, of the healing hand to the sick, of the soothing hand to the afflicted, or of the ministering hand to the luxurious, than that of the avenging hand to the criminal who is to be punished for his crimes. The one thing needful was a perfect and general instrument of good order;—an instrument not to be constructed without the aid of the inspection-architecture. The desideratum being found, good order may be introduced into any system of management, and applied to all purposes that end in utility, however wide of each other they may appear to spread at the first stage.
National Force strengthened without Expense.—
Another collateral benefit, of a most important nature, deducible from the proposed industry-house system—without effort—without disbursement—without expense to anybody;—a nursery—a supplement—and, in part, a succedaneum—to the existing system of national defence.
One of the members of the official establishment a drill-serjeant:—on Sundays to act as such, in training the fencible part of the apprentice-stock, after an appropriate prayer:—on week-days, in the capacity of a clerk.—Arms for exercise, whatever have been condemned as unserviceable, as far as they will go.—Age of training, from fourteen, or earlier:—age of requisition, from eighteen, seventeen, or even sixteen:—numbers to be expected, by the time the accumulation of the apprentice-stock has attained its maximum (according to a basis of calculation not now relied upon, but to which the eventual number, if deficient, might, by the means of extension hereinafter suggested, beyond a doubt be raised) from sixteen to eighteen, 29,296; from eighteen to twenty-one, 42,841; from sixteen to twenty-one, 72,137.
The establishment of officers would be framed, of course, upon the existing constitutional plan:—some of the inferior, the Crown might perhaps find a convenience in selecting out of the official establishments, to whose authority those privates will have been in the habit of paying such unvarying obedience;—the superior, from the landed strength of the country, as at present.
Utility of a corps thus constituted, not only against the rare and contingent danger of invasion, but as an eligible and universally present succedaneum to the less popular assistance of the regular force, against casual tumults, the result of sudden and partial discontents. Sequestered from the world at large, the intercourse, as between house and house, written as well as personal, being altogether at the Company’s command, (that is, through the Company, at the command of Government, and of that Public on which Government depends for its existence,) no existing body of military force could be equally proof against seductions and combinations. Completely trained by so many years of exercise, at the expiration of their apprenticeship, and consequent diffusion into the mass of the population, they would form an ample fund of disciplined force, ever ready in the hour of exigency.
Not the slightest idea of hardship could attach upon this gentle and self-executing institution. Under the military conscriptions that prevail in Russia, Austria, and Prussia, the discipline is severe, the service constant and frequently foreign, the danger frequent, and in full prospect. Here the service is purely home-service, the duties occasional only, the dangers no other than what they will have been prepared for from birth; and those contingent, and, unless at a moment like the present, scarcely to be looked upon as probable:—the whole concern, (instead of a terror,) an exercise, a pastime, and a spectacle.—No need of their lodging, any of them, anywhere out of an industry-house, unless in case of an immediate approaching invasion. Were even the service ever so irksome, and the dangers ever so serious, there are none, surely, on whom the lot could fall with equal justice, as upon those who, indebted to public charity, all of them for maintenance and education, many of them for life itself, may literally be termed the foster-children of the country.
Inconveniences attending the militia establishment, on its present footing.—The obligation falling by lot on individuals, many of them ill-adapted to it by disposition, none of them prepared for it by education:—married men taken from their families, and the burden of maintaining those families thrown upon the public;—a great and recent addition to the burden of the poor-rates:—all of them exposed to the influence of corruptive aggregation, and initiated (since such is the custom) into habits of idleness and dissipation:—all thrown out of employment;—a means of existence which, on their return to their families and homes, many of them may find it difficult to recover.*
The maritime industry-houses adjacent to the sea-coast, or great rivers, would be a natural nursery for the navy—private as well as public.—A suitable turn might be given to the education of the apprentice-stock—Swimming universal.† —Here they might be initiated, from the earliest age, in the exercise of the handicraft arts practised on ship-board.—Examples—Oakum-picking—rope-splicing—sail-making—netweaving—even ship and boat-carpentry: alternately with land trades, in peace time: practised exclusively, in war time.—(See Book ii. Ch. viii.)—Navigation, the literary part of it, might be added here to whatever school-learning were taught on Sundays, on the principle of the Sunday schools.—Minds as well as bodies being thus prepared for this branch of service, by original destination, education, example, and habit, the male youth of the maritime industry-houses would constitute a sort of naval militia:—but should, at the same time, be trained to the land exercise, as well as those of the inland houses.
In situations where the fishing business could be carried on at ordinary times without loss, upon occasion of a glut, instead of degrading this valuable food to a manure, the opportunity might be embraced of victualling the circumjacent industry-houses to a considerable distance—inland as well as coastwise.‡
Could any use be derived from the maritime industry-houses towards forming a chain of signals?
The chain of maritime industry-houses might form a valuable addition to the existing stock of sources of relief against ship-distress and shipwreck. By means of an out-post or two, here and there, betwixt house and house, a chain of telegraphic communication, embracing the whole coast, might thus be kept up at a comparatively small expense.
By Report 11th of the Commissioners for inquiring into the Land Revenue, (printed in 1792,) the stock of ship-timber in the country is lessening and growing precarious.—The nature of the proprietorship, in the case of the proposed Company, would be peculiarly favourable to the rearing and maintaining of a stock that can be depended upon. The landlord here would neither be forced by necessity, nor so much as have it in his power, to cut timber at a premature growth.—Elsewhere it requires a numerous and uninterrupted succession of frugal and uninterruptedly prosperous landlords, to preserve an oak to its full size. Here the vegetable hopes of the nation would not be left at the mercy of careless, malicious, or predatory tenants: no persons having access to the plantations but such as would be more under command than either the neighbours or the inhabitants of a private estate, and incapable of enjoying the fruit of depredation without discovery. The preservation of the plantations might be rendered the joint interest and concern of the Company and Government. The Company, at the same time, might lie under a perpetual injunction as to the cutting of timber, otherwise than with the allowance of government; and might be under an obligation to keep a perpetual account of it, tree by tree:—a sort of obligation to which ordinary proprietors cannot be subjected. A periodical state of the timber, verified by oath of proper eye-witnesses, might be included in the Company’s periodical Reports. The plan of book-keeping would of course be extended to this most valuable part of the stock. The plantations delineated upon a scale in which, from the first, the number of plants within a given square, and, after thinning, the place of each remaining plant might be marked, and the plant denominated by a number.—Annual surveys, enumerations, and valuations.—Plantation book,—in which every plant, as it disappears, shall be marked off, and the cause, or supposed cause, of its disappearance entered under heads:—as, natural decay—blown down—destroyed by animals—(naming the animals, when ascertainable, as hares, rabbits, &c.)—Places for a plantation in every industry-house demesne, where soil and situation permitted, would be, 1. The ward-separation belt—2. The exterior-sequestration belt; viz. the belt planted for the purpose of contributing to the general design of sequestering the apprentice-stock from promiscuous association with individuals at large.—(See Book ii. Ch. ii. and iii.)
Rate of Infant Mortality diminished.—
Under the head of Child-nursing, (Book ii. Ch. ix.) together with what bears relation to that subject, in the chapter on the Principles of Management, (Ch. iv.) a plan has been sketched out, by which the rate of mortality, during the whole of the apprentice-period, but more particularly during the trying period of infancy, bids fair for being reduced to its lowest terms:—lower, much lower—for what should hinder it?—in this hitherto neglected line of life, than in those higher lines,—the highest not excepted,—which command every attention that opulence can procure.
Under the head of Education, including what bears relation to that subject in the chapters on the Principles of Management, and on Employment, a plan has been sketched out, by which, under that important head, the condition of the Company’s wards promises to be placed upon a footing obviously more eligible than that of the children of the self-maintaining poor, even in the highest-paid classes.* —Condition in life is better and better, in the ratio of the stock of ways and means to that of wants. Here the ratio is increased at both ends. The stock of wants reduced to the lowest limits, by being confined, from the beginning, within the circle traced out by nature: the stock of ways and means, on the other hand, augmented by a multiplication of talents and employments, and thence of securities for future livelihood, hitherto without example.
But should it appear, that the condition of a Company’s apprentice is more eligible in every point of view—probability of life and health, good conduct, and assurance of future livelihood, than that of his fellows withoutdoors: and of this superiority, such part as is demonstrable (which is the case with so much as regards life and health) should stand continually demonstrated to the eyes of all men, upon the face of the Reports, natural affection, would in many cases join with economy, in disposing a prudent parent to put his children in possession of the same advantages.
An arrangement of this kind would operate to the unspeakable advantage of all parties. The causes of good management would be reacted upon and strengthened by this collateral effect. Good management bestowed on the indispensable or free-school part of the non-adult stock—the bound apprentices—would procure a stock of volunteers in the character of boarders: and as the profits derivable to the Company and its agents, from these boarders, would operate when the time came, so would the prospect of it operate, from the beginning, as an incentive, calling forth and applying their utmost exertions to the rendering the condition of these their wards as advantageous, in every respect, and as conspicuously and unquestionably so, as possible. By the reduction of infant mortality among the pauper stock, the way would thus be paved to a similar reduction among the offspring of the self-maintaining stock: and the prospect of this latter reduction, and of the profit that might accompany it, would tend in the most powerful degree to promote and increase the original reduction, in the instance of the pauper stock. Sow causes, and you will reap effects.—Can it be wondered at, that the crop of good effects should in this field have hitherto been so scanty, when the list of good causes sown is so mere a blank?
By the defalcation of all factitious wants,—by the reduction in the expense of inspection,—(the result of the inspection-architecture principle, and of the advantage of operating on a large scale,)—the expense of rearing youth, in the best manner, may not only, without the smallest prejudice in regard to probability of life, health, or comfort, but with increased benefit in all those respects, be reduced to a pitch considerably below the amount of what a sufficient allowance of the stock of articles deemed necessaries, according to the customary mode of living among the working classes, could be afforded for in a private family of the working class. The difference betwixt the customary expense of maintenance, and the necessary expense of maintenance, upon an improved plan, would be found so great, as to admit of the Company’s reimbursing the amount of the receipts upon as many of their boarders as happen to die under their care, reserving still a profit sufficient to afford to the Company, and its agents, an ample recompense for every exertion they can bestow.†
Here, or hereabout, might be the maximum rate of receipt and profit.—Under this, the terms might be accommodated to the circumstances of the parents, at the discretion of the Company, in favour of the lowest-paid classes. As to the state of those circumstances, in each instance, the Company being master of its own favours upon its own terms, there could be no difficulty about evidence. The existence of a positive value, in the case of an average child in this situation, for the period between birth and twenty-one, being a point supposed to be established, the child would stand as a security for the expense of its board: on this condition, the terms of payment might be accommodated to the convenience of the child’s friends; except that if the score were not cleared by the end of a certain time, (say a twelvemonth,) the child should become forfeited, i. e. considered as bound till twenty-one, in the character of an apprentice. Regular payment should be required, at any rate, for some of the first weeks, lest a child supposed to be likely to die should be brought to the Company, for the purpose of its dying under their care: a result by which (besides the expense of burial, &c.) the reputation of the management, in this respect, would be injured. At whatever age a boarder of this sort happens to die, under the charge of the Company, the whole of the money that has ever been paid with him should be returned: though it then will, of course, make the reduction greater and greater the older the child is at the time of his death, it will not, however, by the time of his arrival at the age of self-maintenance, have reduced the profit so low as to eighty per cent. For the purpose of this eventual receipt, a testamentary guardian, appointed by the will of the surviving parent, might stand in the parent’s place: in default of such appointment, the money might lapse to the Company, and the child remain to the Company on the footing of an apprentice. The older the child, when first placed with the Company on this footing, the greater, of course, the advantage to the Company; since so much more of the expense of the unproductive period will have been defrayed, and so much more of the period of greatest mortality will have been got through.
If a parent, able to pay in this way for a child’s board, chooses rather to bind him to the Company on the footing of an apprentice, the money that would otherwise have been employed in paying for his board, would, if invested in the Frugality-Bank, have produced, by the time of his arrival at twenty-one, a very considerable sum, which at that time might even serve as a capital to set him up in business; or, in case of a female, would afford her a marriage-portion:—without interest, £145 : 12s.: with benefit of compound interest, at four per cent. about £219:—at five per cent. about £247.—On this plan, in the event of the death of the child before his arrival at full age, the parent would, in compensation for the wound suffered by his affections, find himself not only relieved in pocket, but enriched.
Examples of classes of persons, in whose circumstances it might be particularly eligible to a man, to have his children taken care of, from birth, or soon afterwards, for the first years, (say the first two, three, four, five, six, or more years,) according to circumstances; and who would naturally be disposed to profit by the opportunity, could they have, and at the same time be known to have, as full assurance of the child’s being preserved in life, health, strength, and good habits, as they could have were it to be kept at their own homes, or at any other private house.—1. Domestic servants—in whose case it would have the farther good effect of removing an obstacle to marriage. 2. Widowers among the self-maintaining poor, left with small children. 3. More especially widowers of the seafaring and other classes, whose occupations carry them frequently to a wide distance from home. 4. Married men, with young children, and diseased, infirm, or ill-behaved wives. 5. Married men whose wives were engaged in business for themselves, or whose whole time was wanted for the assistance of their husbands. 6. Fathers who, having young children, have given them step-mothers.
In proportion as the success of the plan came to be demonstrated, and the proposition established, that a child’s probability of life is greater in an industry-house than elsewhere, parents even of the superior classes, who otherwise would have put their children out to nurse, or to an early boarding-school upon the ordinary footing, would see the advantage of trusting them to the Company in preference; at least up to that period at which a child begins to require, as supposed, a mode of treatment adapted, in point of society and instruction, to the rank and circumstances of the circle in which it will afterward have to mix: and if averse to avail himself of the pecuniary saving, a man might make what further recompense he thought proper to the Company or its agents, or give the whole, or any part of it, to be applied in his own way, in augmentation of the fund for pauper extra-comforts.—See Book iv.
Means of ascertaining the rate of mortality, particularly at the first years of life, in the community at large, to serve as an object of comparison with that of the pauper community, particularly at the same years of age, under the Company’s care, for the purposes above proposed—The Company, by its agents, at the respective industry-houses, to procure, at stated periods, copies, or sufficient abstracts, of the registers of the several parishes comprised within the circuit of each industry-house. Such copies or abstracts, attested, in each case, by the resident minister and parish clerk, might be periodically transmitted by the clerk to the chaplain of the house; each parish being visited for that purpose by a pauper of the house, whose connexions lay that way.* —(See Ch. v.)—From these returns, tables to be made, under the care of the chaplain, exhibiting the rates of mortality, absolute and comparative, for the several ages, as between the population of the industry-house, and the general population of the industry-house circuit, in which it stands. Of these tables, regularly published at weekly or monthly intervals, the result might be read and exposed to view in the churches, (as proposed in Ch. i.) and would thus be perpetually presenting itself to the eyes, as well as the ears, of parents of all classes, the poorest not excepted.
Such are the documents necessary for demonstration; and for which, therefore, it would be necessary for a parent to wait, if nothing less than demonstration could satisfy him in such a case. Yet where the security is in itself so strong, and the appearance it affords of attention, at least, so much beyond anything that is to be had from any other quarter, the number, to all appearance, would not be small, to whom the principle itself, without waiting for the result, would appear a sufficient ground for confidence.
The above securities for infant life not only have hitherto lain altogether out of the reach of parents, but are not so much as capable, in their full extent, of being afforded on any other than the plan here proposed.—Requisites, the concurrence of which is necessary to this purpose. 1. Capital for the maintenance of a stock of children in sufficient number to fill up the whole time of a set of nurses, acting as checks upon one another, several at a time, and relieving one another in such manner as to continue the attendance without interruption, night as well as day. 2. Ditto, for the maintenance and pay of the nurses themselves. 3. Ditto, for a sufficient stock of suitable superintendence, medical as well as economical, constantly present. 4. Ditto, for a building adequate, in point of magnitude, to the above purposes. 5. Ditto, for Ditto, suitable in point of construction, i. e. constructed upon the central-inspection plan. 6. System of book-keeping regular, suitable, and all-comprehensive. 7. Means of exhibiting the relative rate of infant mortality in the establishment, as compared with the average rate without doors.—Where children are taken in to nurse, on the ordinary plan, the nurse having a house and a family to manage besides, can spare but a part of her time for attendance on the children, and is therefore scarcely looked upon as capable of taking care of so many as from six to eight children at a time: what she receives for these children must therefore, besides defraying the expense of their maintenance, be sufficient to defray the personal and house expenses of the nurse. Not being secure of a sufficient number for a constancy, she could not afford to take them upon the life-assurance principle: hence, when the preservation of infant life has been made a capital object, (as in the Foundling Hospital,) and the employment of the duty-and-interest-junction principle recurred to as a means, the only modification of it employed has been the giving extra pay, in the way of a premium, in the instances where the object has been accomplished:—that is, when the child has been kept alive to a certain age.
Though the terms and place of boarding would be peculiar to the establishment, the method of treatment would, if crowned with success, spread itself, of course, in the community at large, by means of the girls employed in the house as nursery-girls; who, when out of their time, or, by the allowance of the Company, before that period, would naturally be sought after in private families. Hence, too, one sort of post-emancipation provision for this part of the apprentice-stock. To exhibit the rate of mortality, under this management, in private families, returns might be required to be made, by each nursery-girl, of the result of her management in every family she served—stating how long she served in each—whether she left the child dead or alive—if alive, whether in good health, or under any, and what infirmity, &c. From these returns, it might be collected how much was owing to local situation, or mode of life observed in the family, and how much to management—except in as far as the plan of management learned in the industry-house happened to be counteracted by the family. For obtaining these returns, so long as a nursery-girl continued in the service of the Company on the apprenticeship footing, the authority of the Company would suffice; to insure the communication after the expiration of the apprenticeship, the Company might be empowered to cause a bond to be given by each girl, conditioned for her making the proposed returns:—a certificate of good behaviour would, if customarily given by the Company, come of course to be required by each private mistress; upon this certificate might be printed a memorandum of the bond, with instructions how to make the entries accordingly, and blanks for the making of them: by this means a girl could never avail herself of her certificate, without exhibiting to view the obligation imposed on her in that respect, and showing how far she had fulfilled it.
Useful Knowledge augmented and disseminated.—
Observation and experiment compose the basis of all knowledge. This basis, in proportion as it spreads in extent, swells in solidity and value. Hitherto the stock of relative data, or known facts, the materials of which this basis is composed, has been in almost every line, and more especially in the most useful lines, scanty, accidental, irregular, incomplete, both as to time and place,—the scattered fruit of the uncombined exertions of unconnected individuals. The institution of the proposed Company would afford the first opportunity ever presented to mankind, of enriching the treasury of useful knowledge by contributions furnished on a national scale, and on a regular and all-embracing plan; and would thus form an epoch—not only in political economy, but in many and many another branch of science. The sciences which now await this epoch, for a degree of improvement altogether unattainable by any other means, would thus be raised to a pitch of certainty, to which neither example, nor, till now, so much as conception, has perhaps ever reached.
The advancement of knowledge is performed—partly in the way of extension or augmentation—partly in the way of propagation or dissemination:—in the way of extension, in proportion as new lights are added to the old stock; in the way of dissemination, in proportion as the multitude of individuals, to whom any part of the existing stock of lights has been communicated, is increased.
I.Augmentation of useful Knowledge.—Examples of branches of science in respect of which the proposed institution may be made productive of this effect. 1. Medicine—the therapeutic branch, surgery included. The collection of sick and ailing books of the industry-houses, kept according to a universally pre-established plan, with proper abstracts, periodically made and published—exhibiting, in the instance of a multitude of individuals, amounting at the outset to (suppose) forty or fifty thousand, and capable of being increased, by the accumulation of the apprentice-stock, to a million and upwards—congregated in from two hundred and fifty to eight hundred establishments, spread over the surface of the country, at uniform distances.* 2. Medicine—the dietetic branch, (a) as to what concerns food.—Sources of information—The mess-books, as compared with the sick-books and the progress-books—exhibiting the effects of food upon health and strength, under the diversities, in point of quality and quantity, established for this purpose. (b) Drink—result of the total abstinence from fermented liquors, in the instance of at least the apprentice-stock, and new-coming stock, of all ages: to which might be added, by way of contrast, the result of the indulgence that might be given in respect to the whole or a part of the old-stagers.—Sources of information as before.—(c) Temperature—Some of the apartments kept uniformly hotter, for this purpose—some uniformly colder—others alternating.—Sources of information as before: with the addition of the uninterrupted course of thermometrical observations; also of the entries in the house-warming, or fuel books. (d) Commencement of sexual intercourse.—Result of the early marriages proposed to be permitted and encouraged in the apprentice-stock, previous to the proposed respective periods of emancipation of the two sexes.—Sources of information, the sick and ailing books, and progress books, as before.
3. and 4.Mechanics and Chemistry.—See Domestic Economy, Technical Economy, and Husbandry.
5.Domestic Economy:—in relation to (a) food.—Sources of information—The mess books, as compared with the housekeeper’s maintenance-consumption books in relation to the raw ingredients, and the fuel book.—(b) Fuel, burnt for heat.—Sources of information—The fuel or house-warming books, as compared with that part of the furniture inventory, which contains a description of the stoves, &c.—the house registerof temperature, and meteorological journal for the temperature without doors.* (c) Ditto, burnt for light.—Source of information—The house-lighting book.† —So in regard to the other branches of maintenance-consumption expenditure. (d) Child-management:—the physical branch—Sources of information—Child’s progress book,‡ compared with the children’s mess books, distinguished according to sexes and ages, and the children’s division of the sick and ailing books, distinguished in like manner.—For the intellectual or didactic branch of child-management, see article Logic, farther on.
6.Technical Economy.—Under this head may be compared the management observed in the several branches of manufacture carried on in the system of industry-houses. Everything that concerns management in manufactures, belongs either to mechanics or to chemistry, or to both together. What comes under the department of mechanics, is in general too well ascertained to afford much matter for registration: but this is not the case with what comes under the department of chemistry:—Examples: Brick-making, lime-burning, mortar and plaister-making, pigments or impregnations for wood, glass-making, pottery, tanning, bleeching, paper-making, &c. &c., all of them included in the system of pauper-employment, by the principle of self-supply. Appropriate details cannot be given without plunging into the details of particular manufactures.—For analogous examples, see what has been said in relation to the several branches of domestic economy, as above.—Sources of information—The several manufacturing progress books, as compared with the manufacturing-consumption books; to which may be added such particular derivations, according to the nature of the subject, as may come from time to time to be minuted down by zealous and intelligent superintendents in the different branches, at the instance of the Company, or of their own accord.
7.Husbandry—including agriculture and gardening.—Sources of information—Husbandry-progress books, compared with the husbandry-stock books: also the meteorological journal, or register of the weather, as below.—The framing a set of husbandry books, with instructions for the use of them, would be a noble field for the exertions of the Board of Agriculture.§ —Abstracts of the results of these books, when kept, to be periodically made and published under the direction of the Board.—Utility of an official relation between the Company’s Direction-Board and the Board of Agriculture.—The Board of Agriculture, as a department of Government, to operate as a Board of Control over the Agricultural proceedings of the Company, so far as concerns the reporting opinions to the King and Council, and to Parliament, as to the national consequences of any extensive measure, but without the power of directing or negativing—being thus to the Company’s agriculture, what the Board of Trade is to trade in general.—Unexampled interest, as well as facility, which the Company would possess, with regard to the devising, ordering, and registering agricultural experiments, weighing the result, and applying it upon the most extended scale, to practice. The benefit and opportunity of extension being greater than what exists in the instance of any individual landholder, or landowner, in the proportion of the number of industry-house farms (from two hundred and fifty to five hundred) to one.
8.Meteorology—a branch of science, consisting chiefly in mere observation without experiment, but subservient to medicine, domestic economy, technical, and other branches of chemistry, and husbandry, in a variety of ways. Sources of information—The meteorological journal of the house, or register of the weather—to be kept by the medical curator, with the privity of the chaplain; whose assent to, dissent from, or absence, at the time of each entry, might be noted in the book.∥
9.Book-keeping, in all its branches.—Sources of information—The books of the Company compared with the benefit derived from them in practice, in respect of the goodness of the management, under every head: a result which, according to the plan of book-keeping proposed, will be constantly apparent under every head, upon the face of the Company’s periodical accounts, as published in the Company’s Gazette.
10.Logic—In respect of a division of the branch of it termed by Bacon ars traditiva,—the art of communicating ideas:—in the present instance, the art of communicating ideas to uninformed minds.—Sources of information—School-progress book: containing minutes of the course of instruction pursued in each industry-house, in relation to the several branches in which instruction is administered to the non-adult class—regard being had to age, sex, choice and order of subject-matters of instruction, quantity of time employed, number of scholars to a teacher, and mode of teaching observed in each instance, with the results in point of success, absolute and comparative.*
II.Dissemination of Knowledge.—1. Whatever branches of instruction were expressly taught, or points of management practised, with success in the above or any other ways, in the system of industry-houses, would, upon the emancipation of the apprentice-stock, be disseminated, along with them, through the community at large. 2. They would in a less direct and certain way be disseminated, more or less, in the way of adoption and imitation, through the bulk of the self-maintaining poor; and in both cases to a degree of extent, and with a degree of rapidity, proportioned to the number of central points (the industry-houses) which the light of instruction would thus have to issue from.† 3. In the case where lessons were given in form to the apprentice-stock, or any other branches of the population of the house, non-adults, and others, of all ages, among the self-maintaining poor without doors, might be admitted on these occasions, in quality of auditors. This, by means of the structure of the building, (see the plate,) might easily be arranged, without any infringement on the separation-principle. 4. What was learnt by the house poor, rather by habitual practice than positive precept, might in some instances be communicated to those without doors, in the way of lesson, by courses of instruction directed especially to that purpose.
III.Dissemination of Knowledge continued.—Branches of knowledge, in relation to which instruction might be given, in a special degree, to visiters from without doors, beyond what came, of course, to be administered to the population of the house,
The art of medicine, (in the most extensive sense of the word,) as applied to the several sorts of animals maintained for the use of man.‡ The medical curator of the house, (if he has received that course of instruction, without which he ought not to be received into the house,) cannot be altogether a stranger to this important branch of science:—and a part of the qualification required of him, might be the having given himself the benefit of the valuable course of instruction, which of late years the neighbourhood of the metropolis, but of the metropolis only, has afforded in this line. Opportunities, more or less ample, of keeping up and enlarging his acquisitions in this way, will be afforded by the live stock of the industry-house farm. These acquisitions it might be made part of his duty to communicate to visiters from without doors, in a course of lectures, to be read on any day of universal leisure, on the principle of the Sunday schools. Pursuing the plan originally devised by the learned and truly reverend Dr Derham, the instruction, rendered not merely physical but physico-thcological, might be impregnated by the spirit, and rendered subservient to the sacred purpose of the day. Previous attendance on divine service, in the chapel of the house, might be made an indispensable condition:—a small fee, applicable to the augmentation of the stock of pauper extra-comforts, (of which in the next book,) might be required, or not, from visiters of the superior classes, and a ticket of recommendation from the inferior classes.
A system of instruction being thus provided, and rendered universally accessible, the having partaken of the benefit of it might be rendered a condition necessary to the faculty of practising anywhere in the character of a farrier. This might be accomplished, in the instance of this occupation, without private hardship, or public expense; which, in regard to occupations in general, has been so vainly aimed at, and at the expense of such an enormous mass of hardship, by the statute of apprenticeships. Private zeal, sharpened, if necessary, by encouragement from the Company, would exert itself in bringing in, as occasion served, those necessary materials, which in this, as in so many other instances, may be termed the food of science. A domestic animal, overtaken by natural death, would, instead of being thrown by, or employed at once as carrion, be conveyed to the nearest industry-house, that the seat and causes of the disease may be subjected to examination, and the loss sustained by the individual compensated, in some degree, by the accession derived from it to the general stock of useful knowledge. In this way the good which has been the object of so much exertion, on the part of a respectable society, as well as of parliamentary encouragement, bestowed with so much judgment, though at the public expense, might, without further expense to the public, be multiplied from two hundred and fifty to two hundred fold.
So much for the augmentation and dissemination of useful knowledge. On this collateral topic, thus much must suffice at present. Were this application of the proposed industry-house system the only use, might it not even then be styled a polychrest—an instrument of many uses? In this point of view, at least, Bacon, from whom the word is taken, would not have regarded it with indifference.—Would the several uses in any respect impede—would they not rather promote and fortify each other?
To the several scientific societies—medical, philosophical, and economical—this source—this inexhaustible source of information, would be a perpetual treasure.—Nor is it in the nature of science to be ungrateful for the assistance she would thus receive. So many classes of well-informed, inquisitive, and communicative observers, to whom an interest would thus be given in the copiousness and accuracy of the information brought to view,—so many unpaid and incorruptible inspectors—so many discerning censors, and enlightened applauders—so many ready instructors and advisers—of the various classes of persons from whom the information would have to come.
Voluntary Charity assisted and directed.—
1. Officiating in the character of trustee, is one mode in which the Company may afford an indisputable and much wanted assistance to the purposes of private charity. What is every man’s business being no man’s business, funds bestowed for this purpose are universally and notoriously exposed to depredation. No adequate or comparable security is afforded by the existing order of things. Private trustees render no account but to the Court of Chancery; nor to that, unless called upon by some individual, who, for the chance of obtaining that satisfaction, must begin with dividing between government and the profession a sum sufficient to maintain a multitude of families for a multitude of years: and the account, when obtained, at the end of a certain number of years, and at this expense, exists after all but in manuscript, among the rubbish of an office.—Under the Company, everything of this sort would find its place, of course, in the most diffused of all publications, the Company’s Gazette.
2. Another and very important assistance is by conveying, to the hands of the poor under its care, a very large mass of the fruits of private charity, which, though destined for the use of the burdensome poor, has, by a strange though scarcely avoidable fatality, been intercepted by the whole body of the rich. Whatever falls in from any casual fund, so much the less comes to be drawn for upon the standing fund: whatever donation, therefore, is meant for the poor in general, and unaccompanied by the designation of the individuals who are to receive it, scarce ever finds its way, and indeed on any other than the proposed plan, could scarcely ever find its way, in any case, to the hands for which alone it has been designed. A sum in gross (say £50) is sunk in toto: an annual sum, given in annuities amounting to less per head than the necessary expense of pauper maintenance, (suppose 40s.) sinks in the same manner: a sum about equal to that expense (say £5) produces, where there is a poor-house, the difference in point of comfort between home-maintenance and community-maintenance in the poor-house: the pecuniary benefit being shared in toto among the body of the rich. If (to suppose the most favourable case, but that a rare one) the amount of the annuity rises as high as to twice the necessary expense of maintenance, (say to £10) then indeed the poor, for whom the whole was designed, do profit by it, viz. to the amount of half; the remainder, a tax of £50 per cent. being levied upon the patrimony of the poor, for the use and benefit of the rich. Where, in the view of guarding against this misapplication, the benefaction has been appropriated, by the terms of it, to poor persons not receiving parish allowance, the effect of the appropriation has still been rather nominal than real. At the time of his being pitched upon for the benefaction, a man has not as yet become burdensome to the parish; yet, had it not been for the benefaction, he might have become so, perhaps immediately.
Under the proposed system, though scarcely under any other, this grievance is capable of receiving, and may easily receive, an effectual remedy. Every circumstance, by which the condition of an individual can be influenced, being remarked and inventoried, nothing being left to chance, caprice, or unguided discretion, everything being surveyed and set down in dimension, number, weight, and measure, a certain mass of comforts is marked out, under the name of comforts of course, as what shall be inseparably annexed to the lot of a pauper, under the Company’s mangement, and served out by means of their efficient causes to all individuals without distinction, at the Company’s expense. Other articles, which, though of less necessary complexion, are not incompatible with the plans and arrangements of the Company, may in the instance of each individual be added, or not, according as the amount of the expense necessary for the providing of them can be obtained from the voluntary charity of individuals, or from any other of the sources of extra-comforts, the list of which will be exhibited in its place. The ground being purposely and carefully prepared for the reception of the superstructure, what comes to be given with the view of its being applied to the use of the poor, and of the poor only, in augmentation of the stock of ordinary and universally-imparted comforts, may thus be certain of being conveyed to its destination, without misdirection or loss.—Borne aloft upon the platform of public charity, what private charity gains thus in power, is like what the dwarf acquired in prospect, when mounted on the giant’s shoulders.
In the arrangement of the proposed industry-house plan, special care is taken that each distinct claim to extra comforts, whether on the ground of special merit, or past prosperity, or peculiarly afflictive infirmity, shall be held up to notice, in the view of receiving, though it were at the Company’s expense, the indulgence competent to it. The existing poor-houses know of no such distinctions; they know of no such claims. Everything lies prostrate upon the same dead and dreary level: the virtuous and the vicious, the habitual beggar and the man of fallen fortunes, the healthy and the agonizing—all are confounded together, in the poor-house as in the grave.
The above-promised list of extra-comforts will be of use to private charity—not only by serving to guide the application of voluntary donations, but even by swelling the amount.
Each article of comfort might have its receiving-box appropriated to it: the boxes ranged by the side of one another, and over them an assurance, that whatsoever should be put into each should be faithfully and exclusively appropriated to the destined purpose. Along with these particular boxes a general one, to receive such donations, the application of which shall have been trusted by the donors to the discretion of the government of the house.
Accounts to be regularly published of the produce of each box, and of the application made of it, that the charitably-disposed, before they give in their contributions to any head of comfort, may see what degree of supply the want in question has received, in comparison with the other articles in the list.
To a second glance, at least, the effect of these specifications may not appear so trifling as it may be apt to do to a first. Pity, like other emotions, is never so strong as when called forth and excited by particular impressions. It is the observation of some particular want—some particular instance of distress—that gives birth to that pain of sympathy, which can no otherwise obtain relief than by the idea of the cessation of the suffering thus witnessed or imagined. To be assured, that not only the condition of the object will upon the whole be meliorated by what is given, but meliorated in that particular way—meliorated by the removal of that very distress, to the idea of which the pain of commiseration and the consequent desire of affording relief owed its birth—such an assurance is not only the most suitable, but the only perfect satisfaction which that desire can receive.
Even setting aside any particular distresses, which in their intense degrees, a man may have witnessed or imagined on the part of others, those which in an inferior degree he may have experienced in his own person, (an experience which the most opulent are not exempt from occasionally partaking of,) will have a particular tendency to summon the hand of charity to their relief. Chilliness will thus suggest to charity the importance of warm clothing.—Good appetite, or a love of good cheer, will propose additions under the head of diet.—An experience of the discomforts of disagreeable society, will produce oblations to the fund for augmenting the number of peculium huts, or out-lying cottages;—and so on. Charity, in a word, will act with the utmost advantage possible, when thus enabled to address herself to each individual by his particular experiences and sensibilities.*
Even the propensity to censure may thus be productive of useful fruit, and lend its aid to the purposes of benevolence. Be the scheme of provision ever so perfect, it is not in the nature either of man or things, that it should give satisfaction to every individual on every point. To some, it will appear deficient in one article—to others, in another. Of the observation of any defect, a natural consequence is—a wish to see it corrected. Every such wish is, as it were, a handmaid in the train of charity.—The existing system chills in a variety of ways the spirit of benevolence:—under the proposed system, it is kept to work, and preserved in its full vigour.
3. Lastly, a very great though indirect assistance will have been given to the fund applicable to the purposes of private charity, by the extirpation of mendicity. The money which is now so much worse than thrown away on beggars, will then be left free to be applied, still under the orders of charity, to purposes of pure and real use.
We now stand upon proud ground. Having elsewhere plucked the mask from the visage of false charity, the arch enemy no less of comfort than of industry, let us take up true charity and seat her on her throne.
Economy too shall have her day. But her place is but in the second rank. Charity is the end; economy but the means.
Comforts destined for our pauper-community have already presented themselves as occasion served; comforts not despicable either in weight or number. With a few added articles, let us here bind them up into a wreath—an offering not to be disdained by the altar of Beneficence.
Reader, observe and judge, how little comfort depends on money, and how much on the attention and felicity with which it is bestowed.
Comforts of Course,extended to all Classes:—together with the several Points of Management from which, as from theirefficient Causes,they may respectively be expected.
Comforts of Course,extended to all Classes:—together with the several Points of Management from which, as from theirefficient Causes,they may respectively be expected.
1. Extraordinary security in respect of health—the first of all blessings, and without which all others put together are as nothing—better security not only than is to be found in a poor-house under the existing order of things, but than can ordinarily be found within the circle of a private family, even in a high sphere, not to say the highest.
2. Consciousness of a superior probability of long life and health.
3. Security against want of every kind. } 4. Consciousness of security against want. }
5. Constant cleanliness and tidiness.
6. Employment favourable to health and recreation.
7. Nights comfortable.
8. Security against annoyance, as from fellow paupers.—See below, under Apprentices.
9. Security against oppression from officers.—See below, under Apprentices.
10. Entertainment of various kinds, a day in a week.
11. A clear conscience, brightened by religious hopes.
12. Occasional faculty of visiting and being visited by friends and relatives wheresoever situated, and howsoever dispersed.
13. Prospect of melioration of fare.
14. Tranquillity—the result of security against that deterioration of condition, which, in the existing order of things, is liable to take place in all manner of ways and degrees, in consequence of changes in the parochial government.
15. To those who have remains of property, preservation of the use of that property in kind, where the nature of it allows of its admission into the poor-house.
1.Diet—Species of it regulated with an express view to health. Goodness of it, in its kind, secured by official examination, checked by right of complaint. Book ii. Ch. iv. vi. and x.—No fermented liquors. Book ii. Ch. iv.—No excesses of any kind: quantity of food not stimuating enough to invite to excess Irregularities of the impure class excluded by the inspection-architecture, and the separation and aggregation principle. Book ii. Ch. ii. and iii.—Ventilation constant, and regulated upon scientific principles. Book ii. Ch. iii.—Temperature regulated with a view to comfort as well as health. Book iii. Ch. xii.—Constant and universal cleanliness. See below.—The state of the whole community, in this respect, incessantly exposed to the view of the whole official establishment, the manager, chaplain, medical curator, &c. as well as of the visiters provided for the inspection of their management.—All causes of disease systematically guarded against. Sickness provided against in the way of prevention as well as cure.—Every attack from disease combated at its commencement.—No unhealthy occupation, no excessive labour, prescribed, or so much as permitted. The healthiest of all employments, agriculture, the principal one; but the violence of its exertions tempered by a frequent intermixture of domestic and slight-work employments.—No disorder capable of happening, or at least of continuing, for want of attention, the state of health in every house being regularly reported and made public.
2. Premiums to the amount of some thousands a-year annually distributed among the medical curators, &c. of such of the industry-houses (say 10) in which the degree of vitality (all classes included) shall have been highest, and the superiority evidently the result of attention and good conduct bestowed on this part of the management. Book ii. Ch. iv.—Could the idea of a regulation such as this ever present itself to the mind of a pauper, without producing a confidence in the exertions of which it cannot but be productive for his benefit, as well as gratitude towards the fountain from which they flow?
3. and 4. Peculiar, as compared with the condition of the self-maintaining classes, though not in general, as compared with such of the burdensome poor as are maintained in the way of community-maintenance in poor-houses.
5. Facility given to the enforcing of regulations to this purpose, by the central position and omnipresence of the official establishment, the result of the inspection-architecture principle. Book ii. Ch. iii.—Interest given to the governor, governess, chaplain, and medical curator, in the enforcing as well as instituting regulations to this effect, by the centrality of their position, and their omnipresence, as before: and by the attention in the plan of management to promote a concourse of visiters. Book ii. Ch. iv. and v.
6. No unhealthy occupations, no excessive labour, so much as permitted—Employments of different kinds, out-door and in-door, hard work and slight work, sitting work, and moving work, alternating—and operating, with reference to each other, in the way of recreation. Book ii. Ch. iv. and viii.
7. Beds separate. Book ii. Ch. vii.* —Temperature regulated, as before—Vermin, of course, extirpated. See No. 2. and 5. Health and Cleanliness.
8. Centrality of position, and omnipresence of the official establishment, as before. Appropriate aggregation, as between class and class among the paupers themselves. Book ii. Ch. ii.—Right and facility of complaint. Book ii. Ch. x. (p. 393.)
9. Centrality and omnipresence, as before. The officers constantly in the presence of each other—Incapacity on the part of each to exercise any act of oppression without the immediate knowledge of the rest. Right, facility, and publicity of complaint to the public at large—from the institution of the complaint-books. Book iv. Ch. x.—Influence of the concourse of travellers and other visiters, and the regular publication of the conduct observed in the management under every head.
10. Psalmody and other suitable music. Concourse drawn by the music, physico-theological lectures, and other exhibitions. Book ii. Ch. iv. and xii. Book iii. Ch. xii.
11. Seclusion from incentives to sin, and opportunities of sinning—the result of the sobriety of the regimen, the omnipresence of the rulers, and the aggregation and mixture of the guardian classes of the paupers themselves with the susceptible classes.—Uninterrupted benefit of divine service.†
12. Consolidation of the burden of maintenance, and assessment of it on one fund:—thence the local situation of the pauper a matter of indifference in point of interest to those on whom the nomination of his place of residence depends. Book i. Sect. i. ii.—System of cheap conveyance attached to each industry-house. Book iii. Ch. vii.—Equality of distance between industry-house and industry-house. Book. ii. Ch. iii.—Disposition to indulgence, in relation to this comfort, maintained by a clause in the director’s oath of office. Book i. Sect. xi.
13. Prospect of success from the undertakings for catching and curing fish, from the maritime industry-houses. Book ii. Ch. vi. (p. 388.) Meat in additional quantity, in the event of a certain degree of profit resulting from the agricultural labour of the pauper population of the house.
14. Unity and permanence of the body possessing the government in chief.—Determinateness, fixity, and consistency of the fundamental principles of management. Book vi. Ch. i. ii.—In this subordinate community, steadiness of management will be what security for property is in the community at large.*
15. Establishment of the all-employing principle, and principle of sobriety.—Hence no fear that persons possessed of property will come to the Company to be maintained in idleness, as they would be apt to do, spending their property in strong liquors, if the opposite rule were not established in the existing poor-houses.†
Appropriate Comforts;extended by special Care to Classes ordinarily bereft of them.
Feeble hands, incapable of self-conveyance.
1. Faculty of partaking of the benefits of divine service.
2. Opportunities of air and exercise.
3. Opportunities of constant occupation, suited to their remaining faculties.
1. Centrality of the chapel part—thence the paupers, in the several divisions all round, within sight and hearing of the minister without quitting their seats. Book ii. Ch. iii.‡
2. Faculty of being stationed for the purpose of superintendence in the moveable watch-houses, adding at night to the number of peculium abodes. Book ii. Ch. iii.—Opportunities of being sent on errands to the circumjacent parishes, or industry-houses, by means of the system of cheap conveyance. Book iii. Ch. vii.—Means of air and exercise, even in rainy weather, in the corridor. Book ii. Ch. iii.
3. Largeness of the scale of management, thence faculty of finding suitable employment for every remnant of ability, however circumstanced. Book ii. Ch. iv. Book vi. Ch. i.
Infirm and sick persons labouring under cases of peculiar difficulty.
4. Superior chance of medical relief.
4. Publicity of the management in a medical as well as all other points of view—hence the attention and beneficence for which the medical faculty are so peculiarly conspicuous, attracted to all such cases. Book iii. Ch. xii.* (p. 427.)
III. and IV.
Persons deaf and dumb.—Persons born blind, or stricken with blindness while unmarried.
5. Facility in regard to obtaining the comforts of matrimony.
5. Advantages of being educated or associated with persons of the opposite sex, partakers of the same infirmity. Book ii. Ch. xi.—A value, scarce yielding to that of ordinary labour, being moreover given to the labour of persons thus circumstanced, the difficulties which stand in the way of matrimonial union among persons thus circumstanced, especially in the case of the poor, whether charity-fed, or of self-maintaining families, are thus removed.
Extra Comforts:—to be imparted to more or fewer, according to Claims, Means, and Opportunities.
1. Peculium habitations—occupiable at all hours but working hours: viz. infirmary huts, when not occupied as such. Book ii. Ch. iii.—2. Moveable inspection-houses, or field watch-houses—when not occupied as such.—3. Out-lying cottages. Book ii. Ch. iii.—4. Peculium garden-plots:—with or without the use of the huts or cottages.—5. Power of choosing a partner for the peculium habitations or garden-plots.† —6. Faculty of being chosen as a fellow-occupant of a peculium habitation or garden-plot.—7. Extra allowance in the way of clothing.—8. Bedding.—9. Diet.—10. Pocket-money.—11. Holiday times, in the manner of school-holidays, for a temporary residence in the circle of a man’s friends.
The number of out-lying cottages may come to be extended—and that to an indefinite amount—by a demand created by persons able and willing to pay an adequate rent. The industry-house management affording on the one hand employment to hands of all descriptions—to many, who through one accident or another, could no longer get employment, or at least adequate employment, at their respective homes—and, on the other hand, affording maintenance cheaper than it can be obtained in a private cottage, many persons so circumstanced would be disposed to settle under the wing of the Company, could they enjoy the privileges of a separate abode.—So, of two near relations, one of them incapable, the other capable of self-maintenance out of the house; the self-maintaining one, rather than part company, might be happy to accompany the other to an industry-house, where the faculty of self-maintenance, coupled with the comforts of a common residence, separate from that of the multitude, might still be enjoyed by both. Taking ten per cent. in the way of rent for capital thus invested—taking 20s. a-year, for instance, for a cottage that cost £10—the Company would, in little more than ten years, have reimbursed itself for the expense: at that period it could very well afford to add one out of every two of these rented cottages to the list of peculium habitations allowed rent-free. The place of out-houses being supplied by the industry-house itself, ten pounds would be sufficient for a cottage capable of lodging two persons without inconvenience. (See Book ii. Ch. iii.) This is according to the London prices. But where brick and lime were to be had upon the spot, or at no greater distance than that of one of the immediately circumjacent industry-houses, and by means of a competent portion of the apprentice strength of each house, bricklayers and other building hands come to be had for 3d. or 4d. a-day, it may be conceived to what an expanse this capital source of pauper-comforts may easily be extended. Is not this rather more eligible than the all-devouring and everlastingly-increasing and encroaching system of pensioned idleness, in a private cottage?
By original property—by savings—by donations, or by earnings while in the house, a man might, after the extinction of his capacity of self-maintenance, possess an income sufficient to maintain him out of the house for a part of the year—for so many weeks or for so many months—though not for the whole of it. Property being preserved to him, as above, a correspondent portion of the summer, which (besides being the pleasantest time, and the best adapted for travelling) is the least expensive, might thus be enjoyed by him in the bosom of his family: the winter part, which is the most expensive, being the part spent by preference in the industry-house.
Funds and Grounds of Title in regard to Extra-comforts.
Funds for the Expense of Extra-comforts.
1. Remains of property.
2. Money earnt by this or that individual in the way of encouragement-money, in the nature of a per centage on the value of work done for the Company.
3. Poor’s share in forfeitures, as by the existing law. }
4. Existing foundations, and other benefactions for the benefit of parish poor. }
5. Benefactions by visiters admitted on Sundays and other celebrities.* Book ii. Ch. iv. Book iii. Ch. xii. xiii. }
6. Extra-establishment, instituted by the Company, at its own expense. }
7. Foundation in favour of this or that class of paupers, by private benefactors. Book iii. Ch. xiii.
8. Private bounty bestowed on this or that individual, in the way of foundation, or casual donation, by an individual friend.*
Correspondent Grounds, or efficient Causes of Title.
1. Legal title, confirmed by the indulgence of the Company.
2. Legal title, created by the allowance of the Company.
Grounds of title, or claims to the funds 3, 4, 5, and 6.
a.Past prosperity:—especially if accompanied with,
c. Infirmity particularly severe.
d. Extraordinary age.
e. Exemplary character before admission.
f. Exemplary conduct since admission.
g. Seniority—claims grounded as above being satisfied, and the general fund not exhausted.†
7. Donation, confirmed by the allowance of the Company.
8. Donation, confirmed by the allowance of the Company.
Necessaries, together with the stock of comforts of course, ingrafted on them, as it were, by the system of management, being afforded as above, to all without distinction, and provision made for the specific claims just now enumerated, these extra-comforts, and whatever else is beyond necessaries—everything that comes under the head of superfluity and luxury—however innocent, and how much soever the utmost possible extension of such benefits be to be wished—may be left, it should seem, not only with strict propriety, but with very tolerable security, to rest upon no firmer nor broader basis than that of contingent and spontaneous beneficence. Every indulgence a man is witness to, will either in possession or prospect be his own: and when the difference between prospect and possession is the only difference, inequality, though it were much greater than here, can scarcely be looked upon as a grievance. The real grievance would be, if here, as in other countries, existence itself were to be left to the choice of others, and to chance.
Company’s Apprentices—their Condition in Point of Comfort.
The comforts of course, which the apprentice class will possess in common with the rest of the population, but to the value of which they cannot, for the want of experience, be expected to be in every instance equally sensible, may be passed over almost without notice.—Of this kind are, 1. Security in point of health. 2. Consciousness of superior probability of long life and health. 3 and 4. Security against want of every kind, and consciousness of that security. 5. Constant cleanliness and tidiness. 6. System of employment favourable to health and recreation. 7. Nights rendered comfortable by separation and cleanliness. 8. Security against annoyance and oppression from fellow-paupers, and especially from fellow-apprentices. 9. Security against oppression from officers.† 10. Sunday entertainments suitable to the day. 11. The comfort of a clear conscience, brightened by religious hopes, the result of remoteness from temptation. 12. Prospect of melioration of fare. 13. Tranquillity as against the apprehension of change.*
Of the several articles classed under the head of extra comforts, (unless perhaps it be such an article as that of a peculium garden-plot,) scarce any account need be taken in the case of the present class; partly because they cannot be afforded; partly because, through want of contrary experiences, they would be little relished; partly because, for the same reason, they would be not at all desired.
The comforts of which a distinct mention will be made under this head, accompanied with an indication of their respective efficient causes, as discoverable in the plan of management, are such the value of which, to render it particularly apparent, requires a comparison to be made under the same heads between the condition of these children of the Company, and that of their fellows in age, whether in their own, or in ever so much higher ranks of life.
1.Diet.—No deficiency—no want of the means of health and strength at the ages most apt to be stinted in the economy of the self-maintaining poor: viz. all the ages prior to the self-maintaining age.
2. No sense of privation: none of the pains attendant on the emotions of regret, discontent, and envy, on that score.
3. Recreation in the way of bathing (to both sexes.)
4. Security against danger of drowning—by practice and instruction in the art of swimming.
5. Exemption from intellectual exertions of the most painful kind.
6. Comforts of matrimony allowed at the earliest period compatible with health.*
7. Ulterior prospects—chance of rising to superior stations, by the cultivation of any natural talents that may happen to display themselves—hence hope and emulation.
1. That part of the system of management, which proposes that the allotments made of quantity according to age, should lean to the safe, that is, to the superabundant side; and that which proposes that allotments differing from one another in quantity, shall be made to different assemblages of children of the same age, for the purpose of ascertaining by experiment the most advantageous quantity for each age. Book ii. Ch. vi.
2. Inexperience and ignorance of any fare more palatable than what they possess—the result of that part of the plan of management which prescribes the separation of the apprentice-stock, especially the indigenous, and quasi-indigenous branches of it, from the world at large. Book ii. Ch. ii.
3 and 4. Bath proposed to be made, if possible, in the land attached to each industry house—secluded from the access of strangers; and, by being allotted to the different sexes at different times, and by the constant presence of guardian elders of the same sex, clear of objection on the score of decency.†
5. Exemption from the obligation of learning languages (especially dead languages) by grammatical rules.
6. Removal of all difficulties and uncertainties with regard to subsistence:—the result of the frugality of the plan of maintenance, coupled with the certainty of giving to the labour of each individual a value secured against depreciation and want of employ, by the principle of self-supply, with a sufficient stock of land for it to operate upon. Book i. Section 6. Book ii. Ch. iii. iv. Book v. Ch. ii. Continuance of the married apprentices under equal subjection before as after marriage, until the age of emancipation—thence removal of the difficulties attendant on self-government at that early period. Right possessed by the non-adult parents of having their children taken care of in the same way they themselves had been, and at the same time in the same house, and under their own eyes.
7. Universal publicity of the conduct of the whole system.—General concourse of strangers expected to each house.—On the part of the officers and their subordinates, opportunities easy, perpetual, and universal, of remarking anything extraordinary that may present itself in the way of natural talent on the part of the apprentices. Appropriate culture of extraordinary talents, should it be thought advisable: and even a system of experiment, for the purpose of bringing latent talents and capacities into light. Book iii. Ch. xii.
Comforts, or other Advantages, applying exclusively to the Female Part of the Apprentice Stock.
1. Security against seduction, and its attendant miseries.—Opportunities of conversation with the other sex, as in well-regulated families, in a safe manner, and at safe times: the degree of safety even superior to anything which commonly is, or easily can be, afforded in the best regulated, and even the highest families.
2. Preparation for the married state. Instruction and experience in the duties of the house-maid, the kitchen-maid, the nursery-maid, and the sick-nurse, by alternate employment in the performance of the family business of the house, and in attendance on the infant part of the society, and on the sick. Lessons of economy in every branch of domestic management—cooking—warming—lighting—clothing, &c., drawn from the most approved sources of instruction—digested into general rules—and illustrated and inculcated by practice.*
Efficient Causes of the several Advantages.
1. Uninterrupted presence of the governess and her subordinates; also of guardian elders of the proper sex—as before.
2. Proposed regulations of the house. Manner in which the population of the house is composed—comprising a numerous stock of infants, as well as of the sick and infirm of all descriptions.
This important point duly attended to and provided for (as it easily might, and, after warning such as this, and suitable regulations deduced from it, naturally would be) an inspection industry-house would add to its list of collateral uses that of serving as a school of domestic economy for the use of all classes, but more especially for that of the self-maintaining poor.
Works are already in existence, among which Count Rumford’s Essays relative to the Poor, are entitled to a distinguished place, in which these principles have been carried to a state very little, if anything, short of perfection, in relation to some of the most important points:—works, and, what is more, practice according to these works,† and these, in exhibiting the improvements that have been devised, show how great the room for improvement is under the current practice.
Compare now the lot of the Company’s apprentices with that of any other class of the same age, the very highest not excepted—survey it in its whole extent—probe it to the bottom—and judge whether they are so much to be pitied as to be envied.
Against pains of all sorts, better security than is to be found in any existing situation, without exception.
Desires not crossed, but prevented:—obstacles not moral, but physical;—not terror, but ignorance.
Among enjoyments, the coarser, though more indispensable—(those which attend the satisfaction of the appetities of hunger and thirst)—purified—I mean from pains: the more exquisite—(for I speak of nothing that is not common to the species—nothing that is the peculiar fruit of extra culture in particular minds being to the purpose here:)—the more exquisite, not only in like manner purified, but accelerated:—increased at the earliest and best stage,—at the stage at which their intensity is at the highest:—increased in the only way in which the mass of them is susceptible of being increased.
In the article of diet, no unsatisfied longings, no repinings:—nothing within knowledge that is not within reach.—That he who has been habituated to poignancy and variety of diet, suffers on being reduced to simple and insipid fare, is not to be doubted; but that the enjoyment of him who has never known any sort but one, though it were the most insipid sort, does not yield in anything to that of the most luxurious feeder, seems equally out of doubt:—in this way all the efforts of art are but a vain struggle to pass the limits set to enjoyment by the hand of nature.
*∗* In the original there is an intimation that the communications are “to be continued;” but though the matter of Books v. and vi. is unsupplied, there are no farther papers on the subject in the Annals of Agriculture by the author. The last of this unfinished series, containing Section 6 of Book iv., as above, is in vol. xxxi. of the Annals, p. 273 to 288.—Ed.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE POOR BILL, INTRODUCED BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM PITT (WRITTEN, FEBRUARY, 1797.)
NOTE BY THE EDITOR OF AN EDITION PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION IN 1838.
The “Observations” were written forty years ago, and were recently found amongst Mr Bentham’s manuscripts. They have never been printed; but from some correspondence it appears that he was in communication with some of the influential members of the Legislature, and that the “Observations” powerfully contributed to the abandonment of the measure in question.
The provisions of the Bill, as compared with the principles set forth in the “Observations,” may be adduced as a specimen of empiric as compared with scientific legislation. To those who may be masters of the principles of the New Poor Law it will be manifest that, had the measures embodied in Mr Pitt’s Bill been brought into general operation for any length of time, the effects would have been more disastrous to property, and, through property, to the ultimate welfare of the labouring classes, than the most disastrous revolution in modern times. The New Poor Law is, perhaps, the first piece of legislation based upon scientific or economical principles; the main principle for the administration of the law being, however, a principle which neither Mr Ricardo nor Mr Malthus had seen when they gave the weight of their opinions against the institution of a legal provision for the compulsory relief of the poor. The preparation of the new measure by laborious inductions from a large mass of facts specially examined may be recommended for imitation where safe legislation is required for large subjects.
To those who are unacquainted with Mr Bentham’s works, as the greater number even of his professed followers undoubtedly are, (since the best refutation of some of their favourite doctrines are to be found in his writings,) the “Observations” will furnish a fair specimen of his mode of treating such subjects. Another of numerous instances of his great perspicuity for practical purposes is to be found in his plan of frugality banks, published during the year 1798. [See above, p. 409.] In this plan will be found the anticipation of the improvements which some years of trial have suggested in the institution of savings’ banks, particularly the addition of the provisions for annuities to the labouring classes, made by the act of 3 Will. IV. c. 14.
7th May 1838.
Though no determinate system of arrangement presents itself as having been adopted for the purpose of this Bill, or at least as having been steadily pursued throughout the course of it, the whole matter of it at least may be conceived as distributable under four heads or compartments: one part taking up the out-allowance or home-provision system, and opening new sources of relief in that shape; a second, taking up the home-provision system and the small*establishment system jointly and in a system of working places under the names of Schools of Industry, establishing throughout the southern division of the united kingdoms a system of employment and industrial education, of which the scene is to shift in a manner between the public school-room and the private home; a third occupied in establishing a system of superintendence to watch over the management of these schools of industry; and the fourth taken up with a set of regulations in the way of procedure and a few other arrangements of a technical nature, such as it is commonly deemed necessary to tack to the end of statutes creative of new powers to be exercised by particular authorities.
On looking into the portion of matter relative to the subject of home provision, we shall find it distinguishable into two main divisions: the one occupied in the distribution of occasional or temporary allowances; the other in giving commencement or security to a system of what may be termed superannuation annuities, humanely destined to diffuse a gleam of comfort over the evening of life.
On looking into the amendments applied by the Bill to the plan of relief afforded by the home-provision system in the present state of the law, we shall find them introductive of the following extensions.
In Section 2, a supplement is meant to be provided for whatever deficiency, in point of earnings, may result from any deficiency in point of ability with reference to work. This clause I shall take the liberty of distinguishing by the name of the under-ability, or supplemental-wages clause.
In Section 1, another supplement for whatever deficiency, in respect to the means of maintenance, may be produced in families by an overcharge of helpless children. This may be termed the family-relief, or extra-children clause.
In Section 3, power is given (to whom not mentioned) to administer relief in the shape of capital, to be employed in the purchase of “a cow, or other animal yielding profit.” This may be termed the cow-money clause.
In Section 4, a provision is made that property, “visible property,” though it amount to £30, or perhaps more, shall not operate in exclusion of relief. This may be termed the relief-extension, or opulence-relief clause.
And in Section 23, provision is made for conferring on the scholars of these schools, in certain cases, the benefit of apprenticeship at the public expense. This I shall term the apprenticeship clause.
I shall now consider the several clauses in the order in which they have just been brought to view.†
1. Under-Ability, or Supplemental-Wages Clause.
“LIV. And be it further enacted, That if any poor person residing in any parish under the authority of this Act, and not being able to earn the full rate or wages usually given in such parish, or the parish or parishes united therewith, shall, with the previous consent of the person or persons appointed to the management of the poor of any such parish or united parishes, contract and agree to work at any inferior rate or wages, which wages shall not be sufficient for the maintenance and support of such poor person singly, or in conjunction with his or her family, it shall and may be lawful for such officers of the poor, with the approbation of one or more justice or justices of the peace in the district, to make up such deficiency as may be necessary for the support of such poor person, and his or her family, (regard being had to the earnings of such family,) out of the rates made for the relief of the poor, without compelling such poor person to be employed in any school of industry, or in any other manner under the authority of this Act.”
By the under-ability, or supplemental-wages clause, provision is made that “if any poor person entitled to the benefit of this Act,” (the efficient cause of title is not otherwise specified,) “not able to earn the full rate or wages, shall agree to work at an under rate, the deficiency may be made up to him out of the poor rates, without compelling such poor person to be employed in any manner under the authority of this Act.”
What sort of persons this class is intended to be composed of is a question respecting which I must confess myself unable to satisfy myself, not being able to collect who the persons are “entitled to the benefit of this Act;” thus much, however, I understand from the clause, that there is a class of persons to every one of whom, upon condition of their working in any manner, and receiving for their work a rate or wages falling short to any amount of the “full rate usually given in the parish,” somebody or other (I do not perfectly see who) shall have it in his power to make up the deficiency at the public charge.
The inability of the lowest class (I mean the worst paid class) of working hands in this country, viz. the labourers in husbandry, to make such provision for the sustenance of themselves and families as shall be constantly adequate to the purpose,—that is, under every variation which the ability as to work, the facility of obtaining work, and the magnitude of the burden resulting from the condition and multitude of the infants and other helpless branches of the family are susceptible of,—is a point which I fear has been but too incontestably established.*
To this inconvenience such remedies as in the course of the preceding observations presented themselves as the proper and only proper remedies, have already been pointed out. The remedies proposed by the Bill in general, and the part now in question in particular, must be confessed to be of a different stamp.
As to the casual inadequacy of the earnings of the individual compared with the demand for subsistence on the part of that same individual, two expedients have presented themselves: one is to fix the rate of wages, and thereby of earnings, viz. of the rate to be paid to individual labourers by individual employers; the other is leaving the rate indefinite, to make up the deficiency, whatsoever in each individual instance it may happen to amount to, at the public charge.
The fixation of wages is an operation which on different occasions has been proposed, and on some occasions even practised with opposite views,—to prevent what has been looked upon as excess, and to cure what has been looked upon as defect. It is with the latter view that it has lately been proposed with reference to the case now before us.
Against the fixation of wages with a view to prevent deficiency there is, however, this objection, viz. that thereby you exclude from employment many persons who might otherwise have obtained it. You aggravate the distress of the very persons, or at least a considerable proportion of the persons, whose condition you propose to meliorate. What you can do (let it be admitted) is so to order matters in behalf of the object of your benevolence, that if he receives anything he shall not receive less than what you wish him to receive; but what you cannot do is so to order matters as that, under these circumstances, he shall receive anything at all. To give him that sufficient rate of wages is an obligation not imposed upon any employer whatsoever; it is therefore an expense to which no employer who does not think he shall find his account in it, will ever think of subjecting himself.
In a word, a regulation fixing the rate of wages so as to prevent its falling below a certain rate, is, in effect, a regulation of the prohibitive kind, excluding from employment all such hands the value of whose labour does not rise to a level with that rate; a prohibition enforced by a specific and unavoidable penalty, and that penalty is the difference (whatsoever it may be in each case) between the highest sum which the labour of the workman is worth, and the lowest sum which the employer is allowed to give.
True it is that, upon a minute scrutiny, the exclusion will not be found altogether so universal as at first glance it might appear. In some instances (partly from motives of a personal nature under the difficulty of getting another hand, but at an extra price, partly from motives of compassion, rather than have an industrious workman destitute) an employer, who otherwise might have got the labour of the feeble hand in question at an under rate, proportioned to his diminution in point of ability, will pay him that full and intended legal rate which, with reference to that ability, will be an extra rate. But the effect of the principle thus operating in limitation of the exclusion has its bounds. An employer may give 9s. a week, for example, to a labourer whose labour is worth but 8s. or 7s., but he will not give the 9s. to a labourer whose labour is worth but 3s. or 4s. He will rather give for his 9s. worth of labour 10s. or 11s. or 12s. to one workman in full ability, (importing him, if necessary, from another parish,) than 27s. among three labourers whose labour taken altogether is worth no more than the 9s.
Besides the general danger (the danger of idleness) inseparable from the home-provision system, a particular source of danger seems to be opened by the particular wording of this clause. By his character for negligence or idleness, a man, though in respect of bodily ability not unequal, perhaps, to the fullest rate of earnings, shall have so ordered matters that no master will employ him but at a rate more or less inferior to that rate. In that case it will be perfectly true that, to use the words of the Bill, he is “not able to earn the full rate or wages usually given:” for, whatever may have been the original cause of the inability, the existence of it is not the less real. So far, then, as this cause of inability extends, that is so far as the class of the idle, the negligent, and the dissolute extends, (a multitude, the increase of which seems but too much to be apprehended from the operation of this clause,) the effect of it seems to be the putting the idle and negligent exactly upon a footing in point of prosperity and reward with the diligent and industrious.
If conjecture may be allowed, the circumstance that gave rise to this clause in the breasts of those who framed it seems to have been the humane consideration that, when a man does his utmost, it is hard to leave him in a worse condition than his neighbours on account of an infirmity which is his misfortune merely, not his fault. But the extreme difficulty of forming in each individual instance a well-grounded judgment (to whomsoever it belongs to form it) in the question fault or no fault, and if fault, in what degree, may, perhaps, by this time have been perceived. But fault will not, ought not to be, imputed without special and full proof: and, perhaps, the blameable conduct, the blameable cause of the inability, the bad character in which the inability to obtain the ordinary rate of wages originated,—this cause, though continuing and operating in full force, is susceptible of no proof but what is confined to a period long since past. This being the case, and supposing all possible ability as well as integrity on the part of those by whom the claim to this bounty is to be determined, I must confess I do not see how it can be otherwise than a frequent, not to say general case, that idleness should, upon the establishment of this clause, find itself in as good plight as industry.
Under this difficulty of drawing the line, an expedient which I must confess I expected to have found adopted, was the confining the title to some such efficient cause or causes as should be out of the reach of counterfeiting as well as of fabrication; old age stands in this respect on the highest ground in point of eligibility; after that come specific modifications of infirmity, such as loss of limbs, loss of the use of limbs, rupture, epilepsy, nervous afflictions, complaints which, according to the greater or less difficulty of ascertaining the matter of fact, will constitute so many efficient causes of inability more or less clearly, and certainly exempt from blame—more or less exempt from the danger of opening an inlet to abuse.
Whether all the precautions that could be taken, all the precautions which the nature of the case admits of, would be sufficient to confine the mischief within any tolerable bounds, is what I cannot but entertain some doubts of; but at any rate so long as no such checks are applied, the danger from this clause, supposing it to stand, seems very serious; for how opposite soever the views and intentions of the contrivers in the two cases, the equalization system, as applied to wages, seems hardly less threatening to industry, and thence to property, (to say nothing of the expense,) than, as applied to property, it would be to property, and thence to industry.
Against these and all other dangers of abuse the dependence for a remedy and safeguard is of course on the wisdom and integrity of those into whose hands the execution of the Act may come from time to time to fall: but, (not to mention how multifarious the ingredients sine quibus non of the mixed class called wisdom are,) wisdom may be wanting in one quarter, integrity in another, both together in a third, and after all we know not who they are. Besides that, as we have seen, the cases are various and of frequent occurrence where the union of both qualities, and both in the highest degree, would be of no avail. To oppose all new powers on no distincter ground than that all powers are open to abuse, would be the effusion of undistinguishing imbecility or of political jealousy run mad. But when a system of provision is on the carpet, involving in its essence a system of powers particularly open to abuse, the danger may at least operate as a motive for inquiry, whether there may not be found some other system less obnoxious to abuse.
What, in such case, shall be deemed this “full rate or wages,” which is to be made up at all events is another point that seems as necessary as it may be found difficult to be settled. In the compass of England and Wales some hundred thousands a-year may be at stake upon this single point. 1. Is it the full rate or wages of the highest paid species of labour in the district in question? Certainly not in every case. 2. Is it the “full rate or wages” of the highest paid species of labour where the employment of the individual in question happens to be of that species? If so we may have bad ship-wrights pensioned at 9s. a-week or a guinea, (according as day work or piece work is taken for the standard,) or bad mathematical instrument makers at half as much: this therefore was not intended. 3. Is it the “full rate or wages” according to an average taken of the earnings of all the species of employment exercised within the district put together? This, requiring a vast previous assemblage of highly interesting but hitherto uncollected documents, is what (for that as well as other reasons) can hardly have been intended. 4. Is it the “full rate or wages” earned in the species of employment most abundant in the district, as the words “usually given” might seem to import? I should suppose nor that neither. 5. Is it the “full rate or wages” earned in the lowest (meaning the lowest paid) species of employment therein exercised? This I should rather think is what is meant, (or at least upon this view of the diversity would be meant,) because this construction would be the least dangerous; but this is not anywhere expressed.
Take even the lowest paid species of employment, the quantum of the earnings will be found to admit of great variation in great towns (the metropolis for example) compared with distant country places. There are country places in which it is not higher than 1s. a-day; in London and the neighbourhood it can hardly be reckoned lower than 2s. With all this enormous difference in the habitual rate of supply the necessary means of living are scarcely cheaper anywhere than in London. Are so many thousands of bad workmen then, with or without families to receive near £32 a-year as a minimum, when less than £16 a-year is proved by experience to be enough for good ones? And who will stay in the country at single allowance if he can secure double allowance only by coming up to London, which partly by a late Act, partly by this intended Act, everybody is enabled to do without disturbance?
An answer is, that as at present and in practice necessity is measured for the purpose of relief, so in future and under this Act will wages be measured for the same purpose. The reply is, no such thing. As far as the intended law is obeyed, as far as it produces the effect it aims at, the measure at present, used for this purpose will not be employed but laid aside. Under the existing order of things the relief granted is measured by and adjusted to what (in the breasts of those to whom it belongs to judge) is the proper quantum of the demand on the score of indigence. But this mode of measurement is precisely that which will not satisfy the liberality of the framer of the Act, for this is what the Act declares, if it declares anything. Full is a word not only of precision, but of energy. The “full rate,” that and nothing less, is the rate without which the legislator has declared he will not in future be satisfied; and whosoever presumes to give less than that full rate disobeys. That such disobedience would not be uncommon is what I will not say either I should hope or I should fear, but what at any rate I should except. But where would be the expediency of that law of which the sole trust were to be in the disobedience it might excite? Meantime disobedience, eligible or ineligible, pardonable or unpardonable, will not be universal. Five standards (as we have seen) for the measurement of the bounty, five standards rising one above another in liberality, will be in every parish open to a man’s choice. In each instance, be his inclinations what they may, ever so weak, ever so lavish, ever so heedless, within the prodigious scale raised up by these five standards, a man may without much straining find a warrant in this part of the intended Act; but at any rate, to one or other of them he must conform himself if he pays any regard to the Act:—five standards, the lowest of them little less than sufficient, as we have seen, to double the poor rates, overwhelm the metropolis, and depopulate whatever part of the country is not covered by a town.
2. Family-Relief, or Extra-Children Clause.
“XXXVII. And be it further enacted, That any father entitled to the benefit of this Act, and having more than two children under the respective ages of five years, and part of his family unable to maintain themselves; and any widow being so entitled, and having more than one such child, and part of her family, shall have such allowances from the parish or united parishes where he or she shall reside, in respect of all such children of such father beyond the number of two; and in respect of all such children of such widow beyond the number of one; to such amount as the person or persons appointed to the management of the poor of such parish or united parishes, with the consent of the visiters of the district in rotation or any two of them, shall deem sufficient for the maintenance of such child or children under all circumstances, or as two justices of the peace in the district on appeal from the allowances made by the consent of the said visiters, shall order and direct; and that such allowances so made shall continue in respect of such child or children above the number of two and one respectively, until such child or children, in respect of whom such allowances are made, can and shall maintain themselves by their labour; and that all and every the child or children of any such father or widow being respectively of the age of five years or upwards, in respect of whom any such allowance as aforesaid shall be paid, shall, upon request made in pursuance of this Act, be sent into the school or schools of industry established in or for any parish or united parishes, and shall be received into such school or schools of industry to be instructed and employed in such business as shall be suited to the age and strength of such child or children, and not dangerous or prejudicial to the health of such child or children, unless the parent or parents of him, her, or them, will undertake diligently to instruct and employ, and shall diligently instruct and employ such child or children at their own homes in such business as the person or persons appointed to the management of the poor of such parish or united parishes, or the manager of the said school or schools of industry, shall from time to time direct; and which such persons respectively are hereby authorized to direct to be done in conformity to the provisions of this Act, and that such allowances so directed shall continue to be paid until such respective children can maintain themselves by their labour, and that the earnings of every such child, to whom any such allowance shall be directed to be paid, except such part thereof as is hereinafter directed to be allowed to the parent or parents of any child or children who shall be industrious and conform to the rules established by or in pursuance of this Act, shall, during the continuance of the same, go in aid of the fund for the support of the said school or schools of industry; and that any child or children whose parent or parents is or are not able to maintain them, and in respect of whom no such allowance shall be paid or payable by virtue of this Act, may be received into such school of industry, to be therein instructed and employed in such work or employment as shall be suited to such child or children as before directed, or in such other place and under such instruction as shall be agreed upon in the manner before directed, and under such terms and conditions or at such rate or wages, as shall, in pursuance of this Act, be settled to be paid and performed in consideration of the work done by such child or children; and the earnings of such last-mentioned child or children, except such part thereof as shall be allowed as aforesaid, shall go in aid of the fund for the support of such school or schools of industry.”
In this Section (clause 1) two classes of persons are instituted, who, on the condition of their respectively having a certain number of children, parts of their respective “families, and unable to maintain themselves,” shall be entitled to a weekly allowance, considered in respect to its quantum; this allowance is not to amount at any rate to less than 1s. a-week for each extra child, and it may amount to ever so much more. Considered in respect to its duration, it is to continue not only till each such extra child shall be able to maintain itself by its own labour, but till it actually shall maintain itself by its own labour,—“can and shall maintain themselves by their labour,” says the Act.
1. Measuring the extent of this clause, we shall find it, I much fear, at once too ample and too narrow: too ample to be reconcileable to the interests of private industry or of public economy; too narrow to cover the extent of the demand for the relief which itself provides. To judge of the demand in point of necessity and utility for the bounties given by this clause, let us observe upon what footing the title to relief stands under the existing order of things. At present, supposing the discretion properly and successfully exercised, demand and supply are proportioned to each other: from those who have not wherewithal to maintain themselves and families, be those families ever so small, relief will not be withholden; to those who have wherewithal to maintain themselves and families, be those families ever so large, relief will not be given. Under this clause a family may labour under the severest distress, and derive no benefit from the intended Act. A family may wallow in abundance, and derive an enormous pension from it. To entitle the head of the family to the allowance—to the pension or congeries of pensions thus provided, it is not necessary that the family taken together should be unable otherwise to maintain itself. It is sufficient if the extra children, the children taken in the extra number, should, separately taken, be unable to maintain themselves. The heads of families in question as described are, first, a father having more than two “children unable to maintain themselves;” and, second, “a widow having more than one such child.” As to the difference made here between fathers and widows, that in general the ability of the male sex in this respect will be greater than that of the female is not to be disputed. But will it in every instance be exactly in that proportion? May not there be some instances in which a woman with a good trade will be better able to maintain two children than a man to maintain the same number with a bad one? May not the instances be many in which a man with or without a wife shall be better able to maintain three children than a widow to maintain two? And may not there be instances where a widow with two children shall be better able to maintain herself and family, than a widow left pregnant for instance with one child in arms, or in a state requiring still more attendance, may be able to maintain herself and that one?
Doubts remain with regard to the import that are material to the effect. This inability with regard to the maintaining themselves, is it sufficient if it extend to the supernumerary children, or must it extend to all the children? And in either case is it sufficient if it be partial, or must it be entire?
2. As to the quantum of the pension. Under the existing system if 6d. a-week (for example) per child be requisite and sufficient to make up for the deficiency of earnings, 6d. a-week may, without any further addition, be allowed. Under this Bill 1s. a-week, requisite or not requisite, must, if anything, be allowed. Shillings in any number may be allowed, and that more than one should in general, or at least frequently, be allowed, seems to be intended: for that less than 1s. requisite or not requisite should not in any case be allowed is expressly stipulated. A shilling a-week is £2, 12s. a-year; 6d. a-week is £1, 6s.; 9d. a-week is £1, 19s.; 3d. a-week is 13s. Thirty-nine shillings, (almost £2 a-year,) or even 26s., or even 13s. a-year, repeated upon forty or fifty thousand children, amounts to no small sum. Granting (what is a good deal to grant) that less than the shilling a-week cannot in any situation, or at any age, be made to suffice for the maintenance of any child,—what cannot possibly be granted is, that this deficiency in the amount of earnings cannot exist in the shape of any less sum than the entire amount of the sum necessary for the child’s maintenance. In situations where money is oftener reckoned by millions and thousands than by pounds and shillings, the saving that might be made upon a pitiful shilling a-week is apt to appear as nothing; but where a penny comes so often to be repeated, an error to the amount of a few pence in this low pension-list may amount to a source of profusion not only more abundant in quantity, but much less warranted by use as well as much more pregnant with mischief, than even the high pension-list which is the object of so much jealousy as well as so much envy.
3. The duration of the allowance presents another topic of observation. The continuance is to be until the children in question actually “shall maintain themselves by their labour:” while their earning anything will depend of course upon the head of the family, who, through wilfulness, or negligence, or indolence, may keep the children either in idleness or employed in labour, which, however useful to the family, cannot or need not be brought to account in the shape of a fixed sum so long as the allowance, excessive or moderate, is to continue.
The maintenance, it may be said, will be afforded, and that in the fixed shape in question, by the wages which the child will receive for the work which the head of the family must send the child to perform at the school of industry on pain of receiving none of the benefits of the Act. It may be so; but, however, it may be otherwise. The children may, some or all of them, be under the age, (five years is the age at which this schooling is to commence, sec. 20.) In a thinly-peopled part of the country the burthen of the school, with its schoolmaster and schoolmistress, and warehouse and warehouse-keeper, will, if the parish be single, be by far too heavy for it: if several parishes are put together, the school, put it where you will, by its distance will be rendered inaccessible to a great part of its scholars. The pensions are to commence in July next, (Sec. 1, 67.) Not a school can be begun to be built till at the end of a chain of administrative operations, such as in known instances has taken up years, and of which the first link cannot take place till after Michaelmas, (Sec. 10,) and it is in aid of the “fund for the support of the schools,” and not in aid of this pension-fund, that the earnings, whenever they do take place, are after all to be applied.
A circumstance that renders the danger the more formidable is, that the two currents of profusion, the allowance on the score of extra children, and the allowance on the score of supplemental wages, may, for anything that appears to the contrary, mingle together, and flow with united force. First comes the pay of the idler, made up to an equality with the earnings of the industrious; then come the extra children of the idler to be put in whatsoever number upon the pension-list.
“Regard” (it is provided) shall be “had to the earnings of the family.” Regard (it is provided) shall be had to the allowance from a fund, not named, but which appears to be what I call the superannuation fund; but of any “regard which may be had” to any such allowance as that on the score of extra children, no mention is to be found. No deduction is, therefore, intended to be made on any such score.
The over-narrowness of the provision with reference to its evident object, the scantiness of it in a particular point of view, comes now to be considered. To characterize the head of a family on whose labour the subsistence of the family is considered as depending, “father” if of the male sex, “widow” if of the female, are the only terms employed. But there are other relations which are either charged by law, or at least apt to be engaged by shame or affection in the maintenance, or at any rate in the guardianship of their infant or other helpless relatives. Within this sphere of duty, perfect or imperfect, (for I will not plunge into discussions of positive law for the purpose of drawing the line,) grandfather and grandmother, brother and sister, uncle and aunt, may at any rate be considered as comprised. In whatever point of view the matter be considered, if the claims of the two relations specified are to be regarded as strong enough with reference to the intended bounty, those of the six relations not specified present themselves as still stronger.
In the instance of these comparatively distant relatives, if bound by law, the burthen of the obligation, unaccompanied as it is in their case with those matrimonial comforts which constitute the equivalent for parental burthens, is so much the harder: if not bound, the act of taking up the burthen is so much the more meritorious, and stands so much the more in need of foreign inducements to give it birth.
To give consistency to the provision by the supply of these omissions is a task which, though certainly not impracticable, would be found not unaccompanied with difficulty, and if the expediency of the provision considered in substance be liable to doubts, this difficulty will add force to them. Complication is of itself an evil, and such an evil as requires no inconsiderable mass of benefit to outweigh it.
3. Cow-Money Clause.
“LXVII. And be it further enacted, That whenever any poor person entitled to the benefit of this Act, shall want relief for himself or herself, or his or her family, and such person shall be possessed or can obtain possession of land, or is entitled unto common of pasture sufficient to maintain a cow, or other animal yielding profit, whereby such poor person by care and industry might, in addition to their other earnings, acquire a competence to maintain himself or herself, and his or her family without further parochial relief, it shall and may be lawful for any two justices of the peace in the district, on the recommendation of the persons appointed to the management of the poor in such parish or united parishes aforesaid, and of two of the visiters of the district in rotation, certifying that such person is of good character, and that, in their opinion, an advance in money for the purpose mentioned in the said certificate (and which purpose shall be set forth in the certificate of such persons appointed to the management of the said poor) might tend to increase the income of such person, and thereby ultimately tend to diminish the parochial burthens, and which certificate shall be in the form No. NA, in the Schedule hereunto annexed. And which justices are hereby authorized and empowered, on receipt of such certificate, and on due consideration, to order and direct the payment of such money in advance, as in the judgment of such justices will be necessary for the purchase of such cow or other animal, or to direct security to be given for the rent of such land, and which money so to be allowed shall not exceed what shall be necessary to increase the income of such person by the profits to arise therefrom, to the amount to which such person would be entitled to relief for himself or herself, or for his or her family.”
I now come to the cow-money clause. The benevolence which suggested this clause is expressed in the most conspicuous characters; on the question of policy, the following observations have presented themselves.
Hitherto the danger of profusion has confined itself to income: it now threatens capital. In the preceding clauses the allowances authorized, how much soever too ample, continued to be, as they are under the existing system, in the first instance occasional only, at the worst gradual, accommodated as to their rate of efflux to the influx of the fund from which alone they could be derived. Here capital is given under the very name of capital, and as a substitute to income. The pension during pleasure is instantly converted into a pension for years or during life, and that pension at the same instant bought out by a gross sum, leaving the demand for a fresh pension to recur at any time, to be again bought off, and so toties quoties. The spigot was there opened, here the bung-hole.
It would be something in the way of security, though surely not much, if the cow were but safely lodged in the cow-house of the indigent to whom the possession of her is to be an inexhaustible spring of affluence. But even this security, slender as it is, is not provided. The capital is to be advanced, not in the shape of the cow, but in the shape of hard money, with which the object of this extraordinary bounty is left perfectly at liberty to lay in a fund either in milk or gin, according to his taste.
The cow dies or is stolen, or (what is much more likely) is supposed to be stolen, being clandestinely sold to an obliging purchaser at a distance. What is to be done? “Want of relief” warranted the first cow; the same cause will necessitate a second—limit who can the succeeding series of cows: The disappearance of the first cow (it may be said) will excite suspicion; the disappearance of a second cow will strengthen suspicion; true, but upon a mere suspicion without proof will a family be left to starve? The utmost security then amounts to this, that to a certain number of successive pensions thus bought out will succeed a pension which will not be bought out.*
By donations or loans of this sort, made by gentlemen, of high amount to deserving individuals, selected from such of their tenants or dependants as have been fortunate enough to be comprised within the circle of their notice, good is said to have been done in certain instances. I make no doubt of it. Milk is a wholesome as well as pleasant beverage; milk is particularly good for children. Thirty pounds, twenty pounds, or even ten pounds, cannot but form a very comfortable accession to the property of an individual who happens at the time to be suffering under the pressure of indigence. When at his own expense a man administers charity in so large a mass, it would be extraordinary indeed if he did not pay a considerable attention to the propriety of the application of it; and should the object prove less deserving than was supposed, or the benefit less permanent than was hoped, there is at least no immediate perceptible harm done to any assignable individual. But while the hands by which the bounty is to be dealt out remain in the clouds, or were they even lying upon the table, it seems rather too much to expect equal attention, or even in general sufficient attention, when the praise and the thanks are reaped by the hands which thus disseminate the bounty, while the burthen of it rests on the shoulders of third persons.
Over and above the general love of popularity, motives of a more personal nature may intervene, and that most naturally and frequently to no such light amount. A man to all appearance wanting “relief” for “him”...“self” or his “family,” and who to all appearance “would be enabled by the advance of money for purchasing a cow” “to maintain him”...“self” and his “family” without further “parochial relief,” may, besides being to all appearance a very industrious and deserving man, have the good fortune to possess a vote. No matter what the situation, high or low—parliamentary or having nothing to do with parliament, for a county, for a borough, or for one of those situations which gives votes for boroughs. If he himself does not possess the vote, the father, or his son, or his brother, or the father or brother of his wife or sweetheart may, which may come to much the same thing. To any man thus circumstanced (and the multitude of men thus circumstanced is not likely to be small) this cow-money clause will be a matter of particular convenience. To give the value of a dinner to such a purpose might be an act of imprudence as well as a matter of expense, and as (experience has shown) might be fatal to the cause. A bounty for good votes, a bounty to the amount of £10, as we have seen, or £20, or £30, might, under favour of this clause, be given with the most perfect safety, and without a farthing expense.
It is the profusion, I must confess, that frightens me; the topic of corruption I leave to more brilliant pens. Figures of arithmetic, and not of speech, are the figures that govern me. Standing even upon this frigid ground, I can see no bounds, I must confess, to the profusion, where the incentive remaining in full force, the main checks, all the checks which preserve any tolerable uniformity of operation, are thus to be taken away.
Even the shape of the bounty seems to my unfortunate apprehension as objectionable as the quantum of it. If the £10, or the £20, or the £30, must be given, I had rather have seen the disposal of it left altogether to the dispensing hand than clogged with the condition enforced or not enforced of converting it into a cow.
1. A resource which is to supply a permanent deficiency should be permanent as that deficiency. Here the deficiency is deemed permanent, since an occasional or temporary allowance is deemed inadequate to the supply of it. The probable remainder of the life of a cow, already in a condition to yield an annuity in the shape of milk, is limited, sickness and casualties apart, to about eight years, after which she may sell for about half price.
2. A resource which is to supply a permanent deficiency should in the variations, if any, to which the amount of it is subjected or exposed, keep pace with any variation in the deficiency, or, if that cannot be, should remain constant and invariable, so as to afford a solid ground of dependence without any partial, much less total, cessation during the period that the demand continues in unabated force. But the annuity paid by a cow undergoes a necessary suspension,—frequently of four months’ continuance, never of less than two months,—average, (say) three months, or a quarter of a year.
3. A supply allotted as a resource to indigence should be of a nature rather to strengthen by exercise, than to weaken by omission or disuse, the spirit and habit of industry. A dairy of cows would do this. Attendance upon a single cow is a species of industry, if industry it can be called, which is, of anything that can bear that name, the nearest of kin to idleness.
4. In the general account of the national wellbeing nothing is gained, but a good deal lost, if Paul be stript of as much as is bestowed on Peter. Setting aside the accidental faculty of profiting by the too-little-known opportunities afforded by husbandry in its highest and freshest state of improvement—to the maintenance of a cow the possession of land will be indispensable. This land must either be land in separate ownership, or land in the state of waste, and common land. Of land in separate ownership about three acres is looked upon as necessary to the constant maintenance of a cow. Those three acres, how are they to be had? are they to be bought and given along with the cow? This the clause does not go so far as to say. Are they to be hired, and the rent paid for them?—not to mention cow-house and dairy, for which articles shifts (it may be said) will be made. Nor for this neither does the clause go so far as to make provision. The cow, then, is to be turned upon the common; but no sooner is the cow upon the common than the expiration of the annuity of at least by far the greatest part of it, five, six, or seven-eighths, is certain and near at hand. In the existing state of population on the one hand, and husbandry on the other, it is a point pretty well ascertained,—a common will afford airing ground to a milch cow, but it will not afford maintenance. It will keep the animal alive; but it will not keep alive in her the capacity of yielding milk in a quantity amounting to a resource. While the annuity is thus sinking, so is the value of the capital itself. After a year’s existence upon a common, a well-fed cow turned out in the increasing vigour of her youth will instead of gaining have lost in value.
But before the cow was turned upon the common the common was already overcharged. The common which is not already in this state it will I believe be difficult to find. The accession of this new mouth will not add to the quantity of the pasture. So much, therefore, as the owner of this cow gets, so much do the owners of other cows lose.
Capital, therefore, cannot be given in this shape without being paid for at least twice over, (even laying out of the question the certain and enormous depreciation in value:) once by the amount of the purchase-money, again by the amount of the annuity or rent charge thrown by the depreciation of the amount of the pasture upon the other commons: a depreciation equal at least to the utmost gain accruing to the commons thus favoured. If £10 then be the money paid, and £10 be the value of the cow to the individual on whom she is bestowed, £20 at least would be the loss to the community, the receiver of the bounty deducted:—£10, the clear loss to the whole community, the receiver of the bounty included.
By donations in any shape you may take a few favoured individuals out of the class of poor, and place them in the class of people of easy circumstances. But this, which is only the system of monastic charity upon a great scale, giving the beef whole instead of dealing it out in broth, is limited in its extent as well as pernicious in its effects, and in relieving present indigence sows the seed of future.
The system to be sought for is a system which shall make the supply of means keep pace with that of wants, and that by a pre-established chain of causes and effects, whatever be the rapidity or anomality of the progression. This problem has been the object of a good deal of reflection, embracing the subject in all its relations and dependencies, and the solution of it is supposed to be effected.
Consistency may be another point to be considered. While the Bill with this clause in it for the surcharging of common lands is depending, another Bill is depending, or at least in contemplation, the professed and sole object of which is the diminution of the quantity of the land thus circumstanced. The principle in the one case is, that the existence of land in this state is advantageous to the community; in the other case, that it is disadvantageous. An option between these two conflicting measures seems very requisite to be made.
The tendency of the General Enclosure Bill seems alike favourable to the interests of the rich and poor. It does, perhaps, without much seeking, all that can be done, of what appears to be sought to be done by the present Bill. Its most direct and prominent object is the giving facility to the wealthy towards the augmentation of their wealth. But at the same instant it effects with equal certainty an object of still higher amount, the raising of the wages of labour in favour of a class among the poor, and that the only one in which the wages of labour have been shown to be in many cases unavoidably inadequate to the purpose of maintenance.
I confine myself to the cow, because the cow alone occupies the foreground; there are indeed other animals in the offscape, but the species are indiscernible, and I have already plunged but too deep into the details of husbandry.
I should incline to the sow as absorbing less capital, as giving more exercise to industry, and affording a resource less precarious in its nature. But there are those that will tell me that in the government of the dairy swine are dependent upon cows; nor will the expensive beneficence of the author of this clause content itself with so inferior a resource. Looking beyond the sow I see everything or nothing. A rattle-snake is “yielding profit” to the hand that shows it, and no common is surcharged by it.
The resource presented by a loom is a permanent one: it may be rendered an unfluctuating one. A loom eats nothing; is not apt to be sick; does not sink in value by under-feeding; has no legs to be driven away upon; and is not exposed to sudden death. The working of one loom need not hinder the working of another.
A loom is but one example of a machine. But protesting against the donation of capital in any shape, protesting against the principle, I will not dive further into the mode.*
4. Relief-Extension, or Opulence-Relief Clause.
“LXVIII. And be it further enacted, That no person shall be excluded from parochial relief, or the benefit of this Act in any particular before-mentioned, on account of any real estate hereinafter-mentioned, or on account of any visible property not exceeding the value of £ NA in the whole, and of the description hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, if such property shall consist of a tenement or cottage with the appurtenances, whether such person shall hold the same or any part thereof in his or her own right, or in the right of his wife, and whether severally or as joint tenant, or as tenant in common, or shall occupy any tenement or cottage with the appurtenances, belonging to his or her lawful child or children, or the issue of such child or children being respectively part of his or her family, and whether as guardians or otherwise, of whatever value the said tenement or cottage with the appurtenances may be, and also if such property shall consist of tools or implements of trade, or household furniture, wearing apparel, or other necessaries suitable to the condition of such poor person, not exceeding in value in the whole the sum of £ NA , but that every person in the situation and condition before-mentioned, and not able from other circumstances to maintain himself or herself, or his or her family, shall be entitled to the benefit of this Act as fully and effectually as if such person was not possessed of such property as aforesaid.”
We come now to the relief-extension clause, or opulence-relief clause. In reading the above system of donations, a natural, and I am apt to think, a scarcely avoidable supposition is, that it is for the indigent, and the indigent only, that they could have been intended; whether they are really confined to the indigent, whether the field open to them be not so ample as to comprise what in the instance of people of the working class may be styled opulence is a question on which it will rest with the reader to decide.
The proviso is “that no person shall be excluded from parochial relief or any of the benefits of this Act, on account of the possession of any tenement or cottage with its appurtenances, whatever may be his or her estate or interest therein, or on account of any other visible property not exceeding in the whole the value of £30, which shall consist either of tools or implements of trade or household furniture, wearing apparel, or other necessaries suitable to the condition of such poor persons.”
Under these words, what seems tolerably clear is that a man may be worth £30 of “visible property,” (to say nothing of concealed or non-apparent property,) and still come with as irrecusable claim to the above list of pensions and donations as if he had not property to the value of a single farthing. What to myself (I must confess) is not by any means clear, is to what higher pitch the opulence may rise without striking the proprietor’s name out of the book of indigence.
Let us consider it, in the first place, as not exceeding £30. A document naturally enough to be wished for by one who would wish to form a just estimate of the effect of this clause, is a comparative statement, setting forth on one hand the number actual or probable of individuals whose property rises to the height of this minimum, on the other hand the number of those whose property falls short of it. Should the indigent list, as thus defined, be found, as I cannot help vehemently suspecting it would be found, to include a vast majority of the good people of England, five, six, or seven millions for example, the system of home provision, as thus explained, would be found (I much fear) to amount to a plan for throwing the parish upon the parish.
The nature of the process by which the mass of national wealth is accumulated was (I doubt) not sufficiently considered in the formation of this Bill. To judge by this clause in particular, it looks as if certain hypotheses somewhat of kin to the following had been assumed—that wealth is the gift of nature, not the fruit of industry; that every human creature, male as well as female, comes into the world with £30 in its pocket; and that this sum is what it belongs to the government to guarantee to every man the undiminished possession of against misfortune and imprudence, as it guarantees to him the possession of his two arms and his two legs against the attacks of injury.
The apprehension of doing undesigned injustice to the intentions of the Bill is an apprehension that pursues me through the whole tenor of it, but really I know of no means of coming at the intention of an instrument, unless it be through the words. Judging of it, then, from the words, £30 is the mass of property which every person without exception may it is supposed possess, and yet be in a state of indigence: in a state so low, so much below the natural state of man, as ought not to be suffered to continue. This minimum, the guarantee we see thus made of it, is not confined to families collectively taken; it is not confined to heads of families; it extends to every human being whatsoever, having a family or none, living under the head of a family, or living by himself. A head of a family may have his own £30,—£300 may be the amount of the family estate, and all the while the family hanging on the parish.
If consistency be an object in legislation, it may be worth while to compare this intended pauper relief with the Pauper Law Relief Act of Geo. I., which exempts, or seeks to exempt persons, whose circumstances fall below a certain pitch of supposed indigence, from the sort of general outlawry in which that proportion of the people stands involved; against which the weight of the expense, howsoever heaped together, has shut the doors of justice. Five pounds is the sum assigned in that case, £30 (not to say £300) is the sum assigned in the present case; according to this proportion it will be matter of some curiosity to observe how much easier a man will find it to get other people’s money than his own, and how many there will be in possession of the former faculty, while they stand excluded from the latter.
That it is by no means clear that under this clause the specified sum of £30 is the highest which a man might retain of his own while he was maintained at the charge of others, has been already hinted; and the more closely the clause is scrutinized into, the greater the difficulty of ascertaining the real limit will appear.
My doubt is, in the first place, whether in the computation of the visible property the moveable is, or is not, to be added to the immoveable; whether the words “in the whole,” are meant to be confined to the “other visible property,” or to be extended to the tenement or “cottage.” That they were not meant to extend to the tenement or cottage, and that therefore a man may, without standing excluded from any of these bounties, be possessed of £30 worth of visible moveable property in addition to the fee-simple of a cottage, may be thus argued.
From the word “appurtenances,” it may be inferred that the cottage may have more or less land annexed to it, especially when it is considered that under the cow-money clause, it is intended a man shall keep a cow. But even without land, 40s. or even 50s. a-year is but an ordinary rent, but an ordinary annual value, for a cottage; and as in the instance of immoveable property, small concerns (coming within the reach of a greater proportion of purchasers) are apt to sell for more years’ purchase than large ones, twenty years’ purchase upon 40s. a-year, that is £40, may be taken for rather a low estimate. Allow but the £30 for the value of the dwelling, this will not leave a farthing for the furniture, tools, clothes, and other necessaries. It does not seem to accord with the views manifested in this Bill, that the property of the cottage a man lives in, altogether unaccompanied with any other necessary, should debar altogether from a share in the bounty so liberally bestowed, when the annual value of the house is no more than the ordinary rent of the abodes of the worst paid class of labourers.
But if the value of the cottage is not to be included in the £30, it is then to be added to the £30; £40 worth of immoveable property upon a low estimate may thus be added to £30 of immoveable property, and the possessor not excluded by this £70 from the right of obtaining cows, supplemental wages, and pensions, on the plea of indigence.
The pursuit of the strict rules of grammar might raise up other difficulties in abundance, on the ground of this single clause: but this specimen may suffice.
The more conspicuous the spirit of humanity that shines through every clause, the more sincerely one regrets to see it in such straits. What seems to have led the author of the Bill into the difficulty in the present instance, is the often painted, and always melancholy, picture of an industrious family, reduced by blameless misfortune from a state of comfort and independence to a state, perhaps, of confinement, at any rate of wretched dependence, from which a small relief, if administered in time, might have rescued them; dependence on scanty and, in point of quantity, precarious charity, confinement to the idleness, and discomfort, and ignominy of an ordinary poor-house,—Come in and give up your all, or stay out and starve; such is the harsh though unavoidable alternative presented by poor-house charity in the existing state of things; an alternative the more excruciating when the all thus to be given up for a mess of pottage is (as it sometimes will be found to be) the sad remnant of fallen opulence, sufficient at one time to place its possessor above the necessity of manual labour.
This is one of the many cases in which compassion is as laudable, as in a feeling heart, it is unavoidable. But compassion is one thing; relief, efficacious and unmischievous relief, a very different thing: the one may be always bestowed and in any quantity; the other should never be attempted to be bestowed, especially at the expense of the community, and upon a scale extending over the whole community, till after the strictest and most comprehensive inquiry whether the undertaking lies within the sphere of practicability, and whether the removal of the evil, if possible, be not inseparably connected with the introduction of still heavier and more extensive, though less permanent and immediate, evils. We commiserate Darius, we commiserate Lear, but it is not in the power of parishes to give kingdoms. To banish not only indigence but dependence, it would be necessary to banish not only misfortune but improvidence. To guarantee to every man a subsistence is practicable and practised; to guarantee to every man the perpetuity of his station in the scale of opulence would be altogether impracticable, the very attempt mischievous and perseverence ruinous.
What seems not to have been sufficiently considered is, that betwixt the absolute refusal of relief and the exaction of the absolute surrender of permanent property, in return for transient relief, there is a medium, which is the granting the relief to the extent of the property on the footing of a loan. This middle course, the only feasible one, the only unpernicious one, is practicable, for it is practised. A mode of practising it, and practising it without expense, forms one leading feature of the large-establishment system in the shape and magnitude herein-above supposed.
Meantime, although it were regarded as an established point that cottages, any more than kingdoms, cannot by the hand of public charity be secured against decline, let us not conclude that the misfortune is altogether beyond the relief of remedy. It is in this quarter of the region of distress that we may behold a part of the extensive field in which private charity, as well as domestic friendship, may exercise and feast itself without prejudice either to industry or justice; nor let it remain unheeded that so long as there is propriety or even established character, with but a tolerable prospect of repayment, if no assisting hand can be obtained either from domestic connexion, from neighbourly intimacy, from special patronage, or from wide-spreading though private charity, the presumption, though not absolutely conclusive, is at any rate not weak, not only that extraordinary merit, but that ordinary good conduct, has been wanting; and that the pangs of falling prosperty are but the just and useful punishment of improbity or improvidence.
Thus stands the account of the mischief, the apprehension of which has been excited by the view of the destined amendments to the existing system of out-allowances. What possible good can arise out of those amendments in any instance, I must confess myself unable to conceive. Under the existing system indigence does actually receive such, and, taken in the lump, at least as much relief as is necessary. The plan of distribution remaining untouched, what was the task that could remain for these amendments? Either to do nothing, or to administer relief where it is not necessary.
Against the system of out-allowances (setting aside these objections on the score of economy and industry, which have been urged by way of objection to the system itself) the great and general complaint, as far as I have had occasion to observe, is, not that it is insufficient, but that it should be necessary; that is, that many industrious hands should be continually thrown upon the parish, (as the phrase is,) who ought (as certainly they ought, if possible) to be enabled to maintain themselves without being subjected to any such degrading obligation. But the keeping them from thus falling upon the parish is what the Bill neither does, nor so much as professes to do. So far from it, as far as it does anything, it throws them there, it throws them in greater numbers; it throws them with greater weight. The grievance is that the industrious poor should be so liable to be indigent, that the independent hand should be so liable to fall into dependence. Whether the cure be possible is another question; but be that as it may the Bill does not attempt it.
What I had all along been considering as a point understood to have been established, was the inferiority of the wages of husbandry as compared with those of other labour. What I had in consequence understood to have been the object of the Bill, as far as out-allowances are concerned, was to confine the bounty to the class which presents the title to it. But unless the benefit of the cow-money clause be thus confined, (which it can only be by forced implication, for there are no words of limitation, to perform the office,) I can see no branch of the bounty to which working hands in general have not a claim as irrecusable as any that can be made by this particular, though not very ample class: all are equally invited, none excepted; manufacturers, handicraftsmen, even domestic servants, and others, the high paid and pampered inhabitants of large towns.
If necessity (it may be said) be equal, no matter what the class. True, but in any other class necessity is not equal; at the same time that in every class, “the full rate or wages,” (whatever be the class and whatever be the rate,) the full rate or wages, be the work worth anything or nothing, is guaranteed by the Bill to every hand without exception, which with ever so little good-will or fruit will set itself to work. The bounties it provides are bestowed (for anything that appears) not only upon the worst paid classes, but upon every better paid class, up to the best paid. And upon these the quantum of the bounty it bestows is not a quantity limited by that which is necessary, but a superfluous quantity rising up to the height of the highest pitch of superfluity which the earnings of the best paid class are capable of furnishing. It relieves them not according to the measure of their necessities, nor according to the quantity of relief they really want, but according to the “full rate or wages usually given,”—given one knows not to whom, unless to them; in a word, according to the means they have had in their hands of placing themselves above the necessity and above the bounty.
5. Apprenticeship Clause.
“XL. And be it further enacted, That all poor children, who shall at any time have received employment under or by virtue of this Act, and shall obtain a certificate of his or her good behaviour during the time of such employment from the person or persons appointed to the management of the poor of any parish or united parishes, with the consent of two of the visiters of the district in rotation, and confirmed by the guardian of the poor for the county or division, shall be entitled to be put out as apprentices or hired servants by the person or persons appointed to the management of the said poor, with such rewards as hereinafter mentioned, by writing under their hands, according to the Form No. NA and No. NA in the Schedule hereunto annexed, or to that or the like effect; and that every male child of the age of fourteen years, and every female child of the age of twelve years, or at an earlier age if it shall be thought fit, may be bound apprentice to any reputable person in Great Britain, to be taught any art, trade, mystery, or occupation, or any handicraft business or manufacture, which they are respectively fit for, for any term not exceeding seven years, and so that the term of such apprenticeship shall not endure beyond the age of twenty-one years for male children, and of nineteen years for female children, and in any employment of husbandry for such time not less than three years for such child or children respectively, and as the major part of the persons hereby authorized to bind such apprentices shall think most suited to the circumstances of such respective child or children, or until such child or children respectively shall attain the ages, if a male, of twenty-one years, or, being a female, of nineteen years; or such persons respectively may, if they shall think the strength or capacity of any male child or children suited thereto, cause him or them to be employed and bound as apprentices in the sea service for the time and in manner aforesaid, and according to the laws in force for binding poor apprentices to the sea service; and that every writing made in pursuance of this Act shall be as binding as an indenture between the master, mistress, and apprentice, and the guardian of the poor for the county or division confirming the same, and his successors; and shall in all respects have the same effect, and operate as an indenture for apprenticing poor children, whose parents are not able to provide for them, made and executed in conformity to any of the laws now in force relating thereto, and shall be enforced in like manner by the guardian of the poor for the county or division for the time being, according to the directions of this Act herein given, with relation to any property belonging to any parish in such county or division. And all and every child or children, of the respective ages before-mentioned, or at an earlier age if it shall be thought fit, may be hired to any reputable householder or husbandman in Great Britain by such persons as aforesaid, with such allowance of the visiters as before is mentioned, to be domestic or menial servants in husbandry, housewifery, or otherwise, for any term not less than one year, or until such child or children shall respectively attain their ages, if male, of twenty-one years, or, if a female, of nineteen years, or until marriage, at such competent rate of wages as shall be in that behalf agreed upon; and at the end or other expiration of such hiring, may be taken into employment in the said school or schools of industry, or otherwise, under the authority of this Act, or may be again hired for such term as aforesaid, and so from time to time, until they shall respectively arrive at such ages as aforesaid. And that, upon every such binding or hiring as aforesaid, the persons joining in such contracts, on the behalf of such poor apprentices or servants, shall take care that they shall be sufficiently clothed and maintained according to their respective wants and conditions, and that the wages (if any) to be paid to them shall be paid to or laid out for the use and benefit of such child or children: and the said person having authority to join in making such contracts may, with such consent as aforesaid, pay out of the funds provided for the relief of the poor by virtue of this Act, or any the laws now in force, such reasonable fee or consideration for the binding out of such poor apprentices as they shall deem necessary; and may also provide such poor child or children, so bound out as apprentices or hired as servants, with such suitable clothing as shall be necessary, at the expense of the parish or united parishes, and as a reward for the good behaviour of such child or children during their said employment in such school or schools of industry, or other places aforesaid, in which they shall have been employed before the commencement of such apprenticeship or hiring as aforesaid; and that such fee or consideration so paid or contracted for, or such suitable clothing so provided, shall not be charged or chargeable with any stamp duty whatever.”
By this clause every child of a certain description is declared to be entitled to be put out as an apprentice or hired servant, with certain advantages not specified.
This clause being but a frame, and the picture not hung up (but why not hung up?) a criticism on the picture may appear chargeable with precipitation.
Reasoning under this disadvantage, what occurs to me on the subject is as follows:—In the matter of apprenticeship, three points may be distinguished; the legal subjection during the continuance of the relation thus contracted—the exclusive privileges attached to that relation by a particular law in a numerous class of instances—and the comparative rank in life it confers in a still more extensive class of instances as compared with the condition of an unprivileged hand occupied in ordinary labour.
1. Of the utility of the legal subordination my conception is the same with that which stands apparent on the face of the bill. Conceiving of it as calculated to operate in a certain degree as a source of instruction, and in a yet higher degree in the still more important function of a security for good behaviour, every accession to the number of the instances of its existence presents itself to me in the shape of a public benefit.
2. As an instance of the monopoly in trade, I know of but one opinion relative to it—oppression, in the instance of the individuals excluded from the occupation thus engrossed—excessive earnings, in the instance of the partakers of the privilege; whence the alternation of penury with excessive plenty in a rank of life where sensual excesses supply the demand for occupation in a vacant mind:—enhancement of prices in every article connected with the subject-matter of the monopoly:—such appear to be the consequences to the several parties interested—to individuals excluded, individuals favoured, and the community at large.
3. As a source of exaltation, so long as the superiority it confers is confined to that which is the natural result of the improvement and augmentation of natural powers, the situation presents nothing but what appears to be the unavoidable consequence of any such improvement—a consequence beneficial, perhaps, in some points of view, pernicious in none: but so far from being either necessary or useful, it seems pernicious, to wit, on the accounts just mentioned, if in any respect it be the result of coercive law. But this property is what may be attributed to it in either of two cases; if a man be excluded from the situation by a direct prohibition to engage in it, or if public money be employed to pay a man for helping a boy to get into it; in the one case the coercion takes the shape of restraint, in the other case of compulsion; in the one case the monopoly is a direct one, in the other case an indirect one, produced by an addition made to the general mass of taxes.
Considered as confined to the lowest, that is, the lowest paid class of working hands, I see an uncertain chance of improvement, in point of morality, to be bought at a certain expense. I am not disposed to underrate morality, but in the present instance I am not able to obtain what to me appears a requisite assurance that the chance purchased will be worth the price. In the instance of each apprentice thus taken in consideration of so much public money, I want sufficient means of assuring myself in relation to both of two points; that an apprentice would not have been taken without the money, and that the portion of morality paid for by the money will be worth it. In the first case, the business seems exposed to the following dilemma: if the fee be small, it will not be sufficient to turn the scale; it will produce no more apprenticeships than would have been produced without it: if it be large, it opens a proportionably wide door to profusion and abuse. In the second case, the fee, large or small, holds out to improper hands a temptation, which without it does not exist. He who takes the apprentice without money can propose to himself no other advantage than what is to be derived from the service; and thence the instruction, employment, and morality of the apprentice. He who takes the apprentice with and for money, may have employment for the money without having any for the apprentice.
All this while, let it not be forgotten, there are existing laws under which the taking of apprentices, in the employment in question, without money, is compellable, and which are more or less enforced. Hence a source of complaint and jealousy and injustice, real or imagined, while one man in a parish is compelled to do for nothing that which another man is paid for.
Under these doubts, though really they are but doubts, with regard to the value of the purchase, the vis inertiæ would, I think, if it depended on me, be sufficient to keep the money in my pocket, especially while there are so many purchases to be made with it, the value of which is beyond doubt; among which the purchase of so much security in respect of property, as is constituted by the leaving the money in the pockets of the contributors, ought not to be forgotten.
To judge of the clear benefit resulting from this or that application of a sum of money, compare the gross benefit with the mischief of the most mischievous tax—for instance, the taxes operating in prohibition of justice. This test I consider as a principle in finance, and it is, for aught I know, a new one:—of the expenditure that will abide it, the utility ought, it should seem, to stand pretty clear of doubt.
If the occupations into which it is proposed to force hands by public money be of the high paid class, the question of the expediency of the provision presents itself under a different shape. If the individual thus forced into apprenticeship in this class by dint of the fee be one more than would have existed in the class without the fee, this addition, as far as its influence extends, goes to the reduction of the monopoly, and tends accordingly, though in a microscopic degree, to the diminution of the mischiefs of it. If, on the contrary, he makes no addition to the number of the sharers in the monopoly, but only occupies the place of some other individual, who, but for the fee would have occupied it, then no effect is produced, but the throwing away of so much money.
Reasons for apprehending that the addition upon the whole may be rather apparent than real, are not wanting. This expedient for forcing hands into the class of employment in question has no tendency to increase the quantity of employment in the species of employments belonging to that class: its real tendency is of the opposite kind, to send hands to the employment, not employment to the hands. But viewing the whole mass of employment, of the species in question, in the lump, while the demand for the work—for the produce of the employment—is not increased, no fresh hand can be forced into the employment in question without forcibly keeping some other out of it. The individual who would thus have been kept out, in any instance, by force of the bounty—the individual who but for this bounty would have been received into this extra paid and superior class—is more likely to be one belonging to that same class than one belonging to the inferior class. For no reason can be assigned why the superior class should not in the way of natural increase be as capable of keeping up its numbers as the inferior class; and the offspring of the superior class has better opportunity of an introduction into his own superior class than is likely to fall to the share of a member of the inferior class.
If this then be the case, it seems to follow that as often as the child of the labourer or impoverished tradesman thus gets a lift, the consequence is, that some other child of a tradesman, by finding the condition of the tradesman shut against him, must receive a fall.
Let me not be understood as pleading in favour of any forced system of casts; all I contend for is a system of equal and unexpensive liberty. Where no partitions are set up or kept up by the hand of law, good fortune and merit on the one hand, ill fortune and improvidence on the other, will keep up every degree of mixture which the interests of hope and industry can require.
The conclusion seems to be, that in this instance, as in the other, no advantage is near so certain as the expense.
If the bargain,—natural advantages and bounty taken together—be worth making, candidates for a share in it are not likely on either part—on the part of master or apprentice—to be wanting. The individuals it lies open to are “every child who shall at any time have received employment by virtue of this Act, and shall obtain a certificate of his or her good behaviour during the time of such employment, according to the form, No. (NA) in the schedule annexed.” If then £5, for example, be the apprentice fee, £5 may be the price of a day’s service. While a patron exists in whose judgment a douceur of this kind, whatever may be the amount of it, may be worth the acceptance of an obsequious client, howsoever it be with other manufactures, the manufacture of apprentices need not stagnate. Whether an article of this sort be worth throwing into any such fund as the election fund, is a question that must wait its answer till the picture above spoken of has been inserted into its as yet vacant frame.
The facility thus provided might have been regarded and intended in either of two lights: in the light of a distinction or reward, or in the light of a general benefit. In either case it may have been regarded as an instrument of morality, though exercising its operation at a different period in the two cases: in the one case, at the period previous to the apprentice-contract, acting upon the individuals concerned in the quality of candidates for the advantage; in the other case, at the period subsequent to the formation of the contract, acting upon them in the quality of persons subject to the powers conferred by the contract.
In which of these two lights it was considered is what I do not clearly see: the question is not altogether immaterial: for the purposes do not exactly harmonize, at least in the quantity of expense they call, for there is a considerable difference; in the one way the magnitude of the benefit is in the direct ratio, in the other in the inverse ratio of the numbers on whom it is conferred. The facility of admission being so great, the attainment of the advantage being so easy, it follows that unless the facility were the result of inadvertence, the direct general benefit rather than the indirect one resulting from the operation of the distinction in the character of a reward, was the object principally in view; for the certificate of general good behaviour being a matter of course, unless where some very flagrant and special instance of ill-behaviour can be proved, can scarcely be considered as drawing any other than an accidental line.
The difference between the quantity of money that may be requisite in the two cases is such as may render this point, minute as it may seem, worth settling. Call the average number of parishes in an union five; this for the 10,000 parishes in England (Wales included) makes 2000 unions. Annual average number of boys and girls capable of being put out apprentices in each union, suppose ten, 20,000 in the whole. Annual total amount of apprentice-fees at £5, £100,000; at £10, £200,000.
Suppose distinction and reward to be the object rather than immediate and universal benefit, then instead of the five, one apprenticeship for each five in the course of the year will (let us say) suffice: in this way the expense would he reduced from the £100,000, or the £200,000 to £20,000 or £40,000.
The refusal of the certificate will be a stigma: fewer or more, what is to become of the individuals thus stigmatized? Who will give them employment? Who will have anything to do with them that can help it? They who have been thus pronounced unfit either for apprenticeship or service? Those for whose good behaviour security is most wanted, these are they in whose instances the security is refused. Once more, what should we say to that pharmacopæia which, for those who are in good health, should provide aurum potabile, and other expensive drugs; but for those who are sick, nothing? whether found sick, or made sick by it as here.
The considerations thus brought under review will be apt to appear minute and somewhat vague; but that the utility of a provision should turn upon considerations to which those epithets are applicable, and that too a provision by which public money is scattered without being weighed or counted,—is not that a circumstance sufficient of itself to present the provision in a questionable shape?
Is the supposition above made of the ten apprenticeable youths per union to be regarded as a reasonable one? This is but one out of a multitude of arithmetical questions all equally pertinent, which may have presented themselves in crowds under this as well as every other of the clauses touched upon. For all such questions, I must confess myself to have but one answer—utter ignorance. The blame, however, if I may venture to say as much, lies not with this humble comment, but with the text, which, while heaping up so immense a mass of bounty, knows nothing of the numbers of those by the number of which that bounty is to be multiplied, nor consequently of the expense.
General Remarks on Home Provision.
The grant of this indulgence is limited, it is true, to the case of a man’s being “a person entitled to the benefit of this Act,” but how this point is to be ascertained is a matter which I am much inclined to believe will be found beyond the comprehension of those who are to judge—it most certainly is beyond mine—and, in the meantime, the family must not be left to starve.
But for all those bounties a fund, it may be said, is provided, and that an ample one, the fund arising from the whole stock of as yet unemployed ability, now for the first time to be turned to use.
To this I feel myself compelled to make two answers: one is, that I doubt the real produce of this stock when put in motion will turn out to be little or nothing, to say no worse; another is, that, be it ultimately what it may, it cannot for a long time be in readiness to honour the drafts thus largely made upon it.
On the first of these points I shall have occasion to touch separately; the other is more particularly to the purpose here.
The impediments to the union of profit with relief-employment, and thence all profit to be drawn from employment on the one hand, and relief and the distribution of the bounties on the other, are these:—
1st. That the distribution of the bounties is to commence at the very commencement of the Act, viz. on the 10th of July in the present year. But, by section 10, it is not till after the 29th September following that the first link in the long and complicated chain of causes and effects, on which the commencement of the means of employment is to depend, can be begun upon; a work which, where it finds willingness on the part of the great variety of persons whose co-operation is necessary, can scarcely do otherwise than take up years; and which in those districts in which there is any want of such necessary co-operation will, so long as such want continues, not be begun upon at all.
Meantime the distribution of the bounties is running on full swing, for immediately “from and after the commencement of the Act” as aforesaid, it begins as soon as “any father” is “entitled to the benefit thereof according to the provisions hereinafter-mentioned.”
For the purpose of entitling a man to the benefit of the Act there is nothing anywhere specified, from the beginning to the end of the Act, unless it be the qualification of wanting relief, the qualification spoken of in the 16th section; nor yet to disentitle a man, but the act of refusing employment or instruction, the disqualification specified in section 21. On such refusal a man is made to stand precluded not only from the “benefit of the Act;” in short, not at all from the benefit of the Act by name, but from relief itself, from every species and degree of relief whatever.
But till a man has made the refusal in question the disqualification does not take place, and till tender shall have been made refusal cannot have taken place. But tender of employment cannot be made till the means of employment exist; that is, till the establishment for affording employment has been set upon its legs. The only assignable disqualification then cannot take place in any district till nobody can say when, while the only assignable qualification, the wanting relief, exists in itself already, and exists in the shape of a qualification under the Act, as soon as the Act itself comes into existence—that is, on the 10th of July next.
Another circumstance that stands in the way of the coincidence between disbursement and supply is the impracticability of performing the condition on which the bounties are made to depend, viz. the acceptance of the instruction and employment, an impracticability that will be found to take place in many cases. That the children are not to be lodged in the schools in which they are to work seems pretty clear; that the adults are to be lodged in any such common dwelling does not appear. The districts, though not upon anything like what I have termed the large-establishment scale, will, so it seems, consist of a considerable number of parishes laid together. The greater the number of parishes that may come to be laid together, the greater the distance between the school wheresoever situated, and the houses of the greatest part of the number of the scholars, who are to be of all ages from five years upwards. Here then comes a sort of dilemma.
If the district is small, the expenses necessitated by those parts of the establishment, of which the expense is incapable of diminution, will be so great as to cut out every possible profit that could be made out of the earnings of so small a number of working hands. If the district is large, whether from the proportion of the time consumed on the journey to and fro, or from inability to perform it, or inability on the part of the parents or managers to enforce the performance of it, the labour of a great part of the intended scholars will be out of the reach of being collected.
The exclusion thus put by distance in the instance of infancy is co-extensive, it is evident, with the inability, whatever be the source.
But wherever the performance of the condition meant to be annexed to the receipt of the bounty is or is deemed impracticable, and that without any supposed fault on the part of the intended object of the bounty, the condition sinks of course, and the bounty stands alone.
After what has been said on topics of so much more weight, a hint of this topic will probably be deemed sufficient; to follow it up and apply it in the way of calculation would be matter of some difficulty, and occupy more space than can be allotted to it here.
A third reason is, that from the mode of payment a large proportion of the hands must be fully paid, while their work is worth nothing, so far from being worth enough to pay for its own charges. The mode of payment prescribed, and prescribed without limitation or exception, is payment by the piece. I do not say that this is not the best mode of payment in many instances, perhaps in by far the greatest number of instances; but in some instances it is impracticable, because the degree of advance made in quantity of work done is unsusceptible of mensuration; in other instances it is apt to be disadvantageous, on account of the difficulty of ascertaining the goodness and quality of what is done, and in proportion to the difficulty of ascertaining quality will be the certainty of bad work; and work may in many instances be so bad, as not only to afford no profit but to destroy the value of the materials. But in all instances there will be a certain period, the period of instruction, during which, with all imaginable diligence and honesty on the part of the workmen, the work will be worth nothing. But while the work is acquiring its value the workman must live, and will be made to live. Accordingly, by section 19, if “the sum allotted for the support and maintenance” of the family, whether under the name of wages, earnings, or allowances, proves deficient, the deficiency is to be made up. Payment by time, instead of the piece, will then take place in the first instance through necessity, and, having taken root, the interest which idleness will give a man in its continuance will render it not very easy to eradicate. I do not dispute but that it may in most instances be eradicated under a proper system of regulations and inducements adapted to the nature of the case; all I mean is, that I see no great probability of the growth of any such good economy, under the auspices or rather the rod of a system of legislation, which after enacting that, practicable or not practicable, the working hands, that they may do so much the more work, shall be paid according to what they do, enacts, in the same breath, that they shall go on for an indefinite time, receiving whatsoever may be thought proper to allow them under the name of maintenance, although what they do shall continue to be worth nothing; and this without so much as the inconvenience of quitting their own homes.
Had the application been left to individual discretion, a hint, coming from so high a quarter, might as a hint have been of no small use; but the precept being thus peremptory and unbending, its tendency would rather be to bring the principle into discredit than to promote the use of it.
Essay on the question,—Who are the persons for whom the several bounties provided by this Bill are intended?
When a system of bounties so various in its appearance, so vast in its magnitude, and in its apparent burthensomeness to the public so formidable, is provided, a natural question is, Who are the persons destined to partake of it? The answer I must confess myself unable to give: had I been able, it is the answer I should have given, not this essay, or, rather, as the question would have been needless, the question would not have been started.
“The benefit of the Act:”—the word benefit, as employed with reference either to the Act in general, or to some part of its contents, occurs either in the singular or the plural number in nine sections: in five of them (1, 2, 3, 19, 20) in the singular; on which five occasions such of the effects of the Act as are considered as being of a beneficial nature are considered as comprising one entire undistributed, undiversified mass of benefit: in two others in the plural (sections 4, 17); and in the two remaining ones the benefits spoken of are spoken of as resulting from particular provisions therein mentioned, and not as resulting from the entire body of the Act. In neither of these two sections, therefore, is to be found the benefit of the Act. The first time the phrase occurs, which is at the very opening of the Act, a sort of promise is made to give the elucidation here sought: “Any father entitled to the benefit thereof,” viz. of this Act, “according to the provisions hereinafter mentioned.” The accomplishment of this promise, if it be one, is unfortunately forgotten. Provisions there are enough which speak of this benefit, which allude to it, which, like this provision, speak of it as indicated, but there are none that indicate it.
Had the task been mine, having settled with myself who the persons were whom it was my view to benefit, my first care I must confess would have been either to have found or to have made for them a name. This name, and no other, is the name I should have called them by as often as occasion recurred for speaking of them.
Having fixed a name for them, little should I think of discarding that name for any circumlocution, much less a circumlocution so enigmatical as that contained in the words, “the persons entitled to the benefit of this Act:” a designation of this sort may be pleasant in a riddle; but, whether pleasant or no, is certainly not profitable in an Act of Parliament.
If it seemed to me a fit occasion for a riddle, I should, at any rate, think it incumbent on me to give the key to it; and, how little soever conformable it be to the usage of riddles, I would give the key along with the riddle in the first instance. I would say, the persons entitled to the benefit of this Act are such and such persons. But it is evident how much better it would be to say, simply, such and such persons at once, leaving the benefit to speak for itself. To state who the persons are who are intended to be bound by an Act is matter of necessity—of equal necessity and facility, because when new obligations are meant to be imposed, if nobody is bound by them, nothing is done. But to state and discriminate who the parties intended to be benefited by it are, is, perhaps, never a necessary task, and would seldom be found an altogether easy one. The very existence of benefit in any shape may be problematical; and, supposing it ever so undisputed, the wider it is in its extent, and the more pregnant in its consequences, the more difficult it is to trace. Should the benefits of this Act prove such as the benevolence of the authors of it has been expecting to see, and such as the author of this essay on it would most sincerely wish to see result from it, the more rich the benefit, the more difficult to discriminate. Of this Act it might truly be said as is said by the poet of, I forget what else,—
So diversified, so extensive, so lasting, so prolific, the benefit, it would be difficult to say whether rich or poor, old or young, enjoyed the largest share of it.
But little as it seems necessary in the text of an Act to make mention of its benefits, what seems indispensably necessary is to state, and that in the clearest terms, who the persons are who may be considered as entitled to such of the benefits or supposed benefits of it for which there is anything to be done: in other words, how a man may know whether he is or is not entitled to whatever he may be disposed to claim under the notion of its being a benefit; and, consequently, if anything for that purpose is to be done, what that is which becomes thus requisite to be done.
The necessity of being thus explicit will appear the more indispensable when it is considered out of what description of persons those for whom the most immediate and largest share of the benefit appears to be intended are to come—the class of all others to and for whom information of every kind is most wanting and most necessary. In such mouths a most natural, and surely not altogether an unreasonable, question is, If the writer knew which of us he meant, why did he not tell us, and if he did not, could he expect that we should?
Whatever situation in life be considered, that of the poor or lowly who are to receive the main benefit of the Act, or that of the exalted or magistrates who are to dispense them—of this, as of every other Act, all and singular the benefits depend upon its being understood, and its being understood depends upon its being intelligible.
Whatever is given in such abundance by the Act—head-money for children—supplemental wages, in default of ability and industry—cow-money—is expressly confined to those who are entitled to the benefit of the Act. Who are they? I don’t know. Where is it said who the persons are that are to be considered as entitled to this benefit? Nowhere.
In five of the Sections, as we have seen (Sections 1, 2, 3, 19, and 20,) the beneficial result of the Act is spoken of as one undiversified, indivisible, or, at least, undivided mass, and then the persons in question, the persons alluded to, are spoken of as entitled to it, viz. to the whole of it, insomuch that nobody who has any part of it can have, or at least is intended to have, less than the whole of it.
In two other Sections (4 and 17) benefits in a countless, or at least uncounted, multitude are spoken of as flowing from the Act; and now a man may have some of them without having others. By Section 4, “no person shall be excluded from parochial relief or any of the benefits of this Act” on any of the accounts there specified.
By Section 17, employment and instruction—employment and instruction, two most desirable benefits, are destined for certain persons. But, to come in for his share of the benefits, it is expressly provided that a man must be “entitled to all the benefits of this Act.” Before he can have these two, or either of them, he must take out his title to every other. Before he can obtain the smallest particle either of employment or of instruction, this vacant, this neglected, this uninstructed, this altogether unfurnished mind must possess a degree of instruction—I fear to state it—a degree of instruction, with respect I speak it, such as does not appear to be possessed by even the legislator himself—a degree of instruction (I much fear) beyond the power of any man that lives. He must have comprehended the Act; comprehended it in all its parts, traced it through all its consequences, investigated and catalogued without exception “all its benefits;” and this as an operation preliminary to the inquiry whether it be his good fortune to be entitled to any the smallest share in so rich a prize.
Confessing myself not possessed of anything like the degree of instruction exacted with so little mercy of the forlorn objects of the intended bounty, I will endeavour, to the best of my ability, to make out the list of these benefits.
I. Articles which in themselves would appear to be entitled to be comprehended under the list of benefits, though not expressly characterized by that appellation, but rather expressly excluded out of it.
1. Benefit of receiving head-money for supernumerary children.
2. Benefit of receiving supplemental wages at the public charge, in addition to such wages as individuals will give.
3. Benefit of receiving cow-money—money to buy a cow—Section 3. This is, however, expressly mentioned as neither constituting the benefit of the Act, nor so much as any part of it; since the being “entitled to the benefit of the Act” is mentioned as one of two conditions which must concur in order to give a man his chance for receiving this species of bounty. The same observation is equally applicable to both those other clauses.
In one sentence our inquirer might be tempted, for a moment, to fancy himself on the point of possessing the object of his wishes,—but disappointment would be the termination of his hopes. In Section 68, after providing that “no person shall be excluded from parochial relief, or any of the benefits of this Act, on account of the possession of” certain property therein described, it goes on and adds, “but that every person in the situation and condition before-mentioned, and not able, from other circumstances, to maintain him or herself, or his or her family, shall be entitled to all the benefits of this Act.” Absolutely? If this be the case, then, the problem is solved. Is it, then, absolutely? Alas! no; but comparatively only, Section 68, “as fully and effectually as if such person was not possessed of such property as aforesaid.” Property, or no property, so the property be not above the mark, a man will be equally entitled to these benefits: but still the question remains unanswered, What must I do to be entitled?
If this concluding reference had not put out the light which for a moment appeared to show itself, the introductory one would have done the business,—would have been sufficient to render the obscurity equally impenetrable. To be entitled to all the benefits of the Act, it is necessary a man should be in the situation and condition above-mentioned: and in travelling over the three preceding sections to see what that situation and condition is, it appears to be the situation and condition of him who is entitled to the benefit of the Act. Who, then, is a person entitled to the benefit of the Act? Who? why a person entitled to the benefit of the Act.
In one place (Section 16) a case is mentioned in which a certain class of persons therein specified may receive certain advantages therein specified; and a sort of person therein also specified “shall,” (it is said,) with the consent of two other persons therein specified, (two justices of the peace in the district,) “take order for” the administering to them these benefits. This, though something like light, and the most like it of anything that is to be found in the whole compass of the Bill, is not, however, that light. The advantages there spoken of are special in their nature, the description of them being contained in, and confined within that single clause; neither are they spoken of under the name of benefits. They are benefits, if to be instructed, and employed, and maintained, are benefits: but they are not therein spoken of under the name of benefits; much less as the benefits comprising the benefit of the Act.
If they were, we might cry with Archimedes, ευϱηϰα, we have found it: for to these benefits the statement of the title is as explicit as could be wished. Who are the persons entitled to these benefits?—Answer, All persons wanting relief. If these were the same persons as those alluded to by the expression, any person entitled to the benefit of this Act, with what advantage, in point of brevity as well as precision, might the former expression have been substituted to this latter.
If, then, it be really the case that by the words “every person entitled to the benefit of this Act,” is meant neither more nor less than “all persons wanting relief,” the secret is out,—the mystery is unravelled. But if all persons wanting relief are really to be let in, why are they to be thus muffled up? why all this pains to put them in masquerade? Throwing away the surplusage about benefits and titles, why not say simply, “All persons wanting relief;” or even more simply still, “all persons;” for if relief is to be had in such quantity, and on such terms, it may be difficult to say who it is that will not be “wanting” it. The adjunct wanting relief, may be the more easily spared and added to the heap of discarded surplusage, inasmuch as if a man wants relief it is intended he should have it, and if he does not want it he will not ask for it.
Unfortunately we are still at sea. The hope of a safe landing, though at such an expense of words, and after so much buffeting from clause to clause, is still but a pleasing dream. The want of relief is not sufficient to entitle a man to the benefit after all; for in the 19th Section the case is put of a man wanting relief; and it is, if not expressly stated, yet necessarily implied, that a man may want relief, and yet not be a person entitled to the benefit of the Act, “in case (says the Bill) the person wanting relief shall be a person entitled to the benefit of the Act;” so that now we are as much at a loss as ever.
Moreover, in Section 3, the being “entitled to the benefit of this Act” is one thing, and the wanting relief another; for both conditions, it is there expressly provided, must concur, before a man can be admitted to receive the bounty there provided, namely, money to buy a cow.
Another thing which we learn from that same clause concerning the benefit of this Act, is, that the receiving money to buy a cow does not constitute the benefit of this Act, nor, indeed, so much as any part of it, since the benefit of this Act is a distinct thing, which a man must absolutely be entitled to before he can take his chance for receiving this money for the purchase of a cow.
I said but now, if this clause is to be trusted to; but that this clause is not altogether nor exclusively to be trusted to, will appear from another section to which, however, it makes no reference. Should any one, in the course of his pursuit after the true intent and meaning of the Bill, be led to take any such stride as that from the 16th Section to the 21st, he will there find it written, that in regard to relief, if that be the benefit, or among the benefits of the Act, in order to be entitled to this benefit, for such it will not be denied to be, whatever may be thought of the benefits of the Act, it is not altogether sufficient to be a person, nor yet to be a person wanting relief; for that there is a sort of person who, be his want what it may, is not to be considered as “entitled to any relief from any parish or united parishes.”—“No poor person who shall refuse any work offered to him or her under the authority of this Act, which he or she is able to execute, or to receive instructions for executing such work, or who shall not, on request made, according to the directions of this Act, permit all or any of his or her family, who are able to work and cannot otherwise support themselves, to be employed under the authority of this Act, shall be entitled to ask, demand, or receive any relief . . . . except as hereinafter is provided.”
Here, if anywhere, one should have thought was the place for speaking of the benefits of this Act; in which case, if we had not learnt in direct terms who are entitled to those benefits, we should at any rate have learnt who are not, which is one step towards it. Instead of that we have the very general and extensive word relief. Thus much the mention of the word relief will be apt to do, to put a man in mind of the benefits of the Act; but this is to raise doubts, not to solve them. Is relief precisely the same thing with the benefits of this Act? It covers a great deal of the same ground certainly; but, if tried in the geometrical way of superposition, we should find it, in some parts of its extent perhaps, overhanging the benefit, in other parts, at any rate, falling short of it. The advantage of being put out apprentice can hardly be termed relief; and yet this, wherever the Bill has more benefits than one belonging to it, is surely one of them. Instruction, if instruction be a benefit, is another of the benefits of the Act; yet this is certainly not comprehended under relief, for it is expressly put in contradistinction to it: no instruction, no relief; and so with regard to employment. Besides, in the cow-money clause, (Section 3,) as we have already seen, the benefit of the Act is one thing, relief another thing; the benefit is a sort of thing he must be entitled to, the relief a sort of thing he must want, in order to take his chance for getting the cow-money. Yet, while it thus falls short of the full measure of the benefit or benefits of the Act, it extends, or at least wears the appearance of extending, beyond the Act, for it extends to whatever relief can be found to be provided by all the existing Poor Laws put together. This sends our inquirer upon the hunt over the whole body of the Poor Laws, for the purpose of picking up the several crumbs of relief, the several constituent elements of the general mass of relief provided by those laws, for the purpose of taking measure of the aggregate, and comparing it with the aggregate mass of the benefit or benefits provided by this Act.
It may here occur, that in proportion as the difficulty of finding out receivers for the bounty increases, the arguments that turn upon the alarming magnitude of the bounty will be losing their force; and that, if, after all, no claimants for it should be found, the mischief of which so much has been said in this comment will be as ideal as the benefit of which so much is said in the Act. But not to mention that the benefit of a parliamentary revisal is yet in store, let it not be thought that, because the draftsman has not perfectly succeeded in finding out the objects of his bounty Bill, there may not be others who will find them for him.
“Hunger,” says the proverb, “will break through stone walls;” it will find still less difficulty in making its way through mists: and whether it be from humanity, (for humanity, howsoever misguided, ought not to be robbed of its name,) whether it be from humanity, or from some of the less pure motives above hinted at, the efforts of those who may conceive themselves invited to put in their claim to the bounty, are not likely to pass everywhere unseconded by the corresponding efforts of those who may conceive themselves called upon to dispense it. In a word, the obscurity may plague the magistrate, but it will not prevent the mischief. Obscurity is the source of every mischief; it is a remedy to none.
The conclusion is, that I am altogether ignorant who they are that are entitled to the benefits of the Act, and how to find them; and in this I am altogether positive. Should anybody else be more fortunate, (it is not easy to be more diligent,)—any one of the million, for example, who have been set a gaping for these benefits,—let him accept my congratulations and my envy: I envy him and give him joy.
To give a short specimen of prolixity, to give a clear picture of confusion is no easy task. One efficient cause of unintelligibility pervades the whole Bill. Open it where you will, you find a benefit or supposed benefit spoken of as designed for somebody. Who is that somebody? The sort of person for whom the benefit is designed. Question. What is to accommodate? Answer. To accommodate is to accommodate. Explanation. As if I were to accommodate you, or you were to accommodate me. Question 2. Who then is the person to be accommodated? Answer. The person to be accommodated. Explanation. The person entitled to the accommodation given by the Act, the person for whom the benefit of the Act is intended. It would be something, if there were but one benefit, or soi-disant benefit running through the whole; unfortunately, there are as many benefits or supposed benefits almost as clauses, with as many different sorts of persons, into whose laps they are showered down by the hand of the learned draftsman, who, through the whole of its vast expanse, may be seen dealing out his favour like Merlin in the masquerade, in the character of Fortune.
Howsoever it may be with regard to contrivance, there is no want, at least, of felicity in the result. A composition of such bulk and such texture is examination proof; the lightest comment would find itself sunk down without redemption to the very bottom of the gulf of oblivion by the ponderosity of the text.
When observations to this effect, having this or any other production of the same pen for their subject, are made, (and the occasion presents itself as often as any such production presents itself,) one answer is ready, and a distinction is at hand. How much the world of industry is a gainer by the division of labour is well known: it can be no secret to any one who has ever opened a page of Adam Smith. It is thus, that in one branch of the department of the revenue, the province of the cocket reader has been separated from that of the cocket writer; it is thus, that in a higher branch of the same department, the offices of statute writer and statute interpreter, with or without that of statute understander annexed, have undergone a similar separation; the latter having, by an arrangement of some years’ standing, been allotted exclusively to the Noble and Learned Lord who presides so worthily in the Court of King’s Bench. At the end of a certain number of months or years, and at the end of a certain number of hundreds of pounds a-piece, the poor of this country, such of them as have more money than they know what to do with, may know by a knock at the noble interpreter’s great gate, which of them this and that benefit was intended for: and then it will be, as if this or that mountain of words had been left out, and this or that word or two were inserted, which, to a plain and unlearned understanding, might as well have been respectively left out or inserted in the first instance.
This being the case, so long as Westminster Hall, the great mine of certainty, is open to all who have a golden spade to dig in it with, it seems perfectly well understood, as well at the Treasury as in Westminster Hall, that whether a Bill or an Act be or be not intelligible in the first instance is a matter of indifference. To enrich it with a proper quantity of surplusage is a necessary work: but to drop into it a single grain of original intelligibility would be a work of supererogation. Certum est, says a maxim of law, quod certum reddi potest: certain is that which certain can be made. The capacity of being rendered intelligible is an attribute that constitutes the proprium in modo, as logicians term it, of an Act; since, whether it has or has not a meaning of its own, the Court are bound to construe it, that is, to find a meaning for it; so that, in fact, it would be but an idle sort of business to be at the pains of giving a meaning to a composition, which, whether it have a meaning or no, can never be in want of one.
Carrying modesty to excess, it assumes no other title than that of “Heads of a Bill,” as if there were not such thing as a word of surplusage to be found in it. On the contrary, so rich is it in surplusage, that a man might find enough in it and to spare, not only for a Bill or for an Act, but for a whole session full of Acts; and as to heads, a head is the thing of all others of which there is the least trace or appearance to be found.
In certain circumstances, to denominate is to characterize; to class is in effect to criticise. This and this alone is the sort of criticism which a work of the nature, I mean of the bulk and texture, of that which I have before me, will admit of.
With this single dissertation, the reader is now let off; want of the necessary time, despair of attention, despair of fruit; to these he is indebted for his dismission, even at this late period: certainly not, by any means, to any want of matter in the text. Fifty is the number of pages here bestowed on it, considered in this limited point of view. Considered in the same point of view, the same or thereabouts is the number of volumes that might have been bestowed on it, and with about equal cause. The same is about the number of volumes that may at any time be bestowed with about equal cause, on almost every law, while the form in which laws have hitherto been expressed continues to be observed. Reform in the mode of composing the laws, reform in the laws considered as laws, is reform in the instrument, in the very instrument by which all the work is done. Reform in the Poor Laws, or in any other branch of the laws, is but a reform in this or that branch of the work. Bad instruments can make nothing but bad works. Reform in the instrument, how remote soever in apparent use, is, in fact, prior in importance and in necessity to any reform that can be conceived to be called for in this or that corner of the field of legislative labour.
[* ] In St George’s and St Andrew’s, Holborn, for example, no less than 8s. a-week for board and attendance.—This was in the year 1791; when the average expense of an ordinary pauper was, in the same establishment, not so muchas 1s. 10d. a-week,—£4, 15s. 3d. a-year. In the country, in some of the parishes reported by Sir Frederick Eden, 4s. a-week; in others, 3s. 6d.
[* ] The information here called for, new as it is to pauper economy separately considered, constitutes, it is true, but a small portion of the statistical matter that would be exhibited by a Census, constructed upon the excellent plan contrived and exemplified by that indefatigable philanthropist Mr William Morton Pitt. But, besides being the part the least difficult to collect, it is the only part directly applicable to that portion of the population, the concerns of which I have ventured to take in hand.
A few of the distinctions that will be found here do not appear upon his Table; the parish which was the theatre of his operations, not affording exemplifications of them: as to the rest, whatever lights may be found here are but borrowed lights, drawn from that most respectable source, collected into a focus, and thrown upon this particular spot.
[* ] Among the highly valuable collections of Sir Frederick Eden, are Censuses of the Pauper Population of thirty-one Parishes. Unfortunately there are few, if any, of them applicable to this purpose. After a string of individuals distinctly characterized comes a “family,” number of members not mentioned. Age, likewise, though in most instances given, is in several instances omitted. Proportions taken from such data would evidently be false; the uncertainty that envelopes particular articles communicating itself to the whole.
[* ] The term decrementalists is derived from Dr Price’s expression, “Decrements of life,” which did not appear to exhibit the simple matter of fact in so clear and unambiguous a point of view. The terms influents and effluents (analogous to the mathematical terms fluxions and fluents) have been added, together with the term remanents, as being requisite to make up a nomenclature competent to the purpose.
[* ] See the contributions to the Annals of Agriculture printed immediately above.—Ed.
[† ] Why in one undivided authority, embracing the whole country, rather than in a mixed multitude of independent authorities, in districts composed of parishes, parts of parishes, and sets of united parishes, as at present, see Book vi. Ch. i. and iii.
[‡ ] Why in a joint-stock subscription company, such as the Bank of England, East India Company, &c., rather than in a branch of Administration, such as the Treasury Board, the Admiralty Board, &c.—Reasons. 1. Burden of raising the capital annihilated, the contribution being transferred from the unwilling to the willing. 2. Security to the rateable inhabitants against augmentation of the rates greater, by the amount of the capital subscribed. 3. Probability of thrifty management in every respect greater. [See Adam Smith.] 4. Jealousy of influence, &c., avoided. 5. Benefit of a distinct check from the superintending power of government, &c. &c. [See Book vi. Ch. ii.]
[§ ] For the course to be taken, in the event of an inadequate subscription, see Book vi. Ch. vi.
[∥ ] Community-maintenance, why preferable to private? See a subsequent work, entitled “Pauper Systems compared.”
[¶ ] Community-maintenance, on this large scale, why preferable to a small scale? See ibid.—and see Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Land: Ch. iv. Principles of Management; Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success; and Book vi. Ch. i. Management, why in one Authority, not several.
[** ] The disadvantages incident to community-maintenance removed, and unexampled advantages produced, by a new plan of construction. See Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Land.
[†† ] Grounds for estimating the numbers that would be to be provided for at less than five hundred thousand. See Book v. Ch. i. Population expected.
[‡‡ ] Reasons why the houses should not be fewer, nor in the first instance more, than two hundred and fifty, and why, the number being given, the distance between house and house should be as small as may be. See Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Lands.
[* ]Shares why small?—Reasons. 1. Satisfaction of concurring in a work of beneficence, the more extensively diffused. 2. The necessary quantum of capital, the more easy to obtain. 3. Pecuniary benefit the more extensively diffused, by bringing to light small hoards, hitherto barren, and enabling them to bear an interest. 4. Frugality promoted, by giving additional security as well as value to small savings. (See Book iii. Section 5, Frugality assisted.) 5. Content promoted, by giving, to the frugal among the self-maintaining poor, an interest in the economical maintenance and due employment of the burthensome poor. 6. National quiet promoted, by giving to some of the classes most disposed to turbulence, an interest in the prosperity of the proposed company, and of the government under which it acts—as the national debt gave to the public creditors an interest in supporting the title of King William.
[† ]Shares why determinate?—Reasons. To avoid the perplexity that would attend the paying dividends of interest upon fractional sums. 2. To hold out to frugality a determinate mark to aim at. 3. To facilitate the allowance of interest, as between seller and buyer, according to the number of days elapsed since the payment of the last dividend, as in the case of India bonds.
[* ] All these services might be rendered in each spot, in one and the same industry-house, and, (with very inconsiderable additions) by the same hands that compose the official establishment of the house.
[* ] Instances have been produced, of rates as high as 19s. in the pound; but this (we may suppose) was not upon the rack-rents.
[* ] Chap. I. Classes mustered, is here omitted; room not being to be spared for it in an abstract thus compressed. The chief object of it is, to bring to view the several heads of inquiry, which a reader would expect to find touched upon, in relation to the several classes of hands that might naturally be looked for in the population of an Industry-house; with references to conduct him to the provision made in relation to each head, and enable him to satisfy himself whether anything be wanting, either in the list of cases, or in the provision made for them. Of the several Classes in question, a tabular view has already been given in “Annals of Agriculture,” Vol. xxix. No. 167, (see Pauper Population Table,) which is supposed to lie before him. The heads may mostly be collected from the Table of Contents already given.
[* ] For an exemplification by calculations, see the note at the end of this chapter.
[† ] See the note at the end of this chapter.
[* ] Systems which afford work alone, or work and diet without lodging, exclude from relief those whose homes are too far distant, and the homeless classes, whose need of relief is the most urgent. Want of a home is the result of extreme poverty in any of the classes: but there are some to which it is essential, others to which it is more particularly incident.—Examples.—1. Children deserted by both parents. 2. Orphans (fatherless and motherless.) 3. Foundlings. 4. Bastards. 5. Strange hands. 6. Stigmatized hands. 7. Suspected hands. 8. Unavowed employment hands. 9. Beggars. 10. Unchaste hands. 11. Disbanded hands.
[* ] Advantages from the transfer of the place of sick-relief, from an hospital on the common plan to a company’s Industry house.—1. In contagious cases, separate huts as above. (See Aikin on Hospitals.)—2. In cases requiring confinement, confinement more effectually ensured, a point found to be attended with great difficulty in the government hospitals.—3. Exercise suitable to convalescents, (whether mere exercise, or in the way of profit-yielding employment,) facilitated by the stock and personal strength of the house.—4. Airing, in addition to exercise, facilitated by the same means.—5. Habits of industry thus maintained without relaxation.—6. Saving, (to the company,) by exclusion of cases of pretended sickness, and convalescence purposely protracted.—Profit by the work.
[† ] Estimate of the expense per hut, on the above plans:
N. B. Chimney and fire-place are not included: the most advantageous mode of warming, for cases 1, 2, and 3, not having been determined on: but will be in Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.
[* ] What is still better than facilitating extension, is the reduction effected in the demand for extension, to the degree that has just been seen, by the substitution of the law of universal settlement to the law of local settlement. This depends on the distinction (already glanced at in the paper printed in No. 167 of the Annals, see above, p. 364) between the transferable and untransferable stock of hands. For a moderate and limited time (suppose a year or two) any persons may be considered as transferable to any part of the country, except persons beyond a certain age, who have never dwelt for a certain length of time together, in any place more than  miles distant from the parishes in which they were born, or settled ever since  years old.—I. Hands transferable without reserve—Children not above years old, being, 1. Deserted by their parents. 2. Orphans, fatherless and motherless. 3. Foundlings. 4. Bastards. 5. Insane hands.—II. Hands transferable with less difficulty than others, though not altogether without reserve.—1. Strange hands. 2. Stigmatized hands. 3. Unavowed-employment hands. 4. Suspected hands, (including children of stigmatized and unavowed-employment hands.) 5. Beggars. 6. Unchaste hands. 7. Disbanded hands. 8. Children of disbanded hands.
[* ] For a gross sum once paid, new-born infants have been taken off the hands of parishes and individuals, by persons whose management has not been exposed to observation. This arrangement illustrates in the way of contrast that which is here recommended. A dead child neither tells tales, nor in any shape gives trouble to any body.
[* ] In the work at large, lists of any-body’s work employments, and imperfect-hand employments, will be endeavoured to be made out.
[* ] Employed at Westminister and other schools: boys of the same form taking place of each other each day, according to the success they have respectively had on that day in the species of competition called challenging.
[* ] For the means of defraying the expense of the salary of the music-master without charge to the Company, see Ch. xii.
[* ] Those who, upon the opening of the establishment, are transferred to it from the existing poor-houses.
[* ] Curious scale of fare compared with the qualities of the persons maintained—Self-maintaining poor, meat scarcely one day out of the seven—(Eden on the Poor passim.)—Burdensome poor, upon an average of seventy-seven houses, four days out of the seven. (Taken, on examination made in this view, from Eden.) Convicts of the worst species, and enemies, seven out of the seven. In the latter instance, quality advertised for, the best, and quantity excessive.
[* ] Those whose natural ability, with reference to labour, is decidedly below the necessary expense of their maintenance. This will include, 1, Feeble hands—as to a considerable part. 2, Unripe hands, up to a certain age—younger or older according to the management. 3, Sick hands—during the continuance of the sickness.—The unripe hands being capable of paying, with a profit, before maturity, and the sick after recovery, the feeble hands, together with such of the unripe and sick hands as die insolvent, (together with the few able hands that may chance to die in the same case,) are all that contribute at the long run to the necessary burden in point of expense. All others may be termed adequate-ability hands: most of whom will, of course, be extra-ability hands.
Confined-ability hands—those who may be able to do as much work as able hands in general;—only it must be of a certain sort—or preceded or accompanied by instruction or attendance of a certain sort, are—1, Insane hands (divers sorts.) 2, Imperfect hands. 3, Sick-and-well hands. 4, Tender hands. 5, Past-prosperity hands. 6, Of the dangerous and other disreputable classes, such as have been bred up, or confirmed, in habits of idleness or dissipation—but this only for a time.
[* ] I. Short-staying, or coming-and-going stock.—1, Sick hands. 2, Child-burdened hands. 3, Casual-stagnation hands. 4, Periodical-stagnation hands. 5, Out-of-place hands. 6, Disbanded hands. 7, Strange hands.—II. Longer-staying stock:—viz. as lying under difficulties, with regard to the obtaining of employment, over and above what exist in the preceding case.—1, Superseded hands. 2, Stigmatized hands. 3, Suspected hands. 4, Unavowed-employment hands. 5, Beggars. 6, Unchaste hands.—III. Permanent or standing stock: composed in one instance of those, who, by positive institution, are proposed to be fixed within the pale of the establishment for a long and determinate time; and as to the rest of such as, in virtue of their natural state and condition, are likely to remain for a time altogether undeterminate, and not likely to be of short continuance, and, in some instances, not likely to terminate but with life.—1, Unripe hands, or apprentice stock. 2, Among insane hands, all whose cases are looked upon as incurable. 3, Feeble hands. 4, Imperfect hands. 5, Sick-and-well hands (some sort). 6, Tender hands. 7, Past-prosperity hands.
[† ] According to a calculation, in which the value of earnings was taken at a rate supposed to be too low, and the expense of maintenance, at a rate supposed to be too high, the neat value of the service of a male child, from birth up to twenty-one, after all deductions on the score of death and sickness, appeared to be £23, 3s. 5d. and a fraction, payable at birth;—increasing, of course, with each year of age, up to a sum amounting to £66, 12s. 5d. and a fraction, at the commencement of the eighth year of age:—from which period, on account of there being fewer and fewer years of positive value to come, it went on diminishing. In this calculation, there is nothing but what is perfectly consistent with the known and indisputable fact of the universal burdensomeness of children, in the existing order of things, in all ranks of life, and in particular among the self-maintaining poor. In the early stages of the period of non-age, a large proportion of the natural value, or capacity of yielding a clear profit, is lost, by lying unemployed, for want of time, opportunity, intelligence, and capital, on the part of the parents, to turn it to account: in the latter stages, by the dissipation of the produce by the minor himself, (rendered independent of his parents by the faculty of self-maintenance,) in the habitual purchase of luxuries, to an amount which is more than equal to that of necessaries; as is demonstrated by his being obliged and able to do without them, when, out of the same earnings, he has a wife and children to maintain, in the married state.—(See Book iii. Ch. ii, Mendicity extirpated; Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success; and Book iii. Ch. v. Frugality assisted.)—Under these circumstances, no wonder that the pecuniary value of a child, reckoning from the beginning to the conclusion of this period, should be generally regarded as negative, in this country; especially considering that it really is so—in a high degree, and without any exception—in the case of the superior and liberally-educated classes:—that is, in the experience of all who either write or speculate upon the subject.—For the particulars of profit and loss upon this part of the Company’s stock, see Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates:—and, for the mode of taking account of it, see, in the meantime, the heads of a Non-adult-Value-Table, by the author, in Annals, No. 167, vol. xxix. (supra, p. 365.)—To give a positive value to an average child—is a problem, the solution of which would be an inexhaustible source of wealth, population, and happiness, to the state.—The proposed system bids fair to be—and it is the only one that, in the nature of things, could be—equal to the task.
[* ] Book-keeping is one instrument in the hand of economy, architecture (as we have seen) another. In all these branches of art, the list of objects to be aimed at is, in the present case, the same, in as far as their respective fields of action are co-extensive.
[* ] The names of the articles, and other heads, will be predetermined, and already entered on written or printed forms: the scribe will have little or nothing to do, but under these heads to set down individual objects by their names, and aggregates by their quantities.
[* ] In the form called the Italian, book-keeping is a science of itself, and a most intensely difficult one. Happily it is not here a necessary one. It is not practised in any of the existing poor-houses; nor (what is much more material) on any of the occasions in which national accounts are delivered in to Parliament.—Thus much seemed necessary to be intimated, lest a large number of professed book-keepers thoroughly initiated in the intricacies of the Italian mode, should be regarded as a necessary part of the official establishment of each industry-house, and an acquaintance with their language a necessary condition to the faculty of understanding the accounts:—on the former supposition, the expense would be great indeed; and on the latter, the security for good management, as well as the satisfaction to the public not a little weakened. If two copies of one and the same original (the waste book) may be of use in the character of checks, of how much greater use will not two original accounts be, kept by two uncommunicating hands? For instance, in the case of articles transferred from house to house, the transfer-inwards book of the one house, and the transfer outwards book of the other.—In the public accounts, the method is the method called for by the subject-matter and the occasion, and the language is the language in use with everybody. Would public accounts be rendered the clearer, by translating them into a language composed entirely of fictions, and understood by nobody but the higher class of merchants and their clerks?
The real use of the peculiarities which characterize the Italian mode, might be a subject well worthy of investigation. I mean in the situations in which it is at present employed; for here every purpose of the Italian mode might be answered, and answered in perfection—(I give it as the result of a particular and very laborious inquiry) by a set of heads, taken exclusively from the ordinary language.
[† ] To save the delay and danger of error that might result from determining in the first instance to what methodical head they belong to—and to preserve a constant assurance that nothing is omitted.
[‡ ] If there be an officers’ misbehaviour-book, it should be separate from the common misbehaviour-book, and kept by a separate hand. The name of the offender need not be entered—nor in the case of a first offence ought to be: the entry itself would be a punishment, and that a severe one. When a baker is fined for short weight, publication is held up to him in terrorem, as an ultimate punishment for delinquency otherwise incorrigible.
[* ] The mode of procedure observed by a wise and good man in private life, in the character of a father or the master of a family, within the sphere of his authority—the procedure of the domestic tribunal—is a standard by which the fitness of a system of judicial procedure—the procedure of public tribunals—may be tried:—the mode of procedure observable in such a tribunal as that of the proposed industry-house, is a standard of still greater simplicity and perfection: the real difficulties, that in some cases obstruct the procurement of evidence, constitute but one cause indeed, but that the principal one, of the necessity which really exists in some cases of deviating from these standards.—Compare with either of them the refusal to examine parties in the common law courts—civil as well as criminal—and the practice of examining parties—but in writing only, and after a six weeks’, month’s, and fortnight’s time for fabrication—in what are called the equity courts.—Delay is spoken of, by Montesquieu, as if it were of the essence of justice; and as if the greater the delay, the better the justice. But delay without special cause—all delay that takes place of course, and previous to the knowledge of the case—is—so long as it lasts—injustice. Lawyers, under the notion of coming at the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—lawyers of all nations—have, in the instance of certain classes of witnesses, (differing in their list of these classes without end,) refused to judge whether the narrative be, or be not, a true one:—assuming, that there are but two degrees of probity, in this respect, among mankind—that of the ever-lying, and that of the never-lying—and not considering, or not sufficiently considering, that a refusal to hear any sort of witness—how depraved soever—is a license to commit, in the presence of that sort of witness, all imaginable crimes. Apply these rules of inaudibility to a population composed exclusively of convicted felons.
[* ] Concerning which, see Ch. vi.—Diet.
[* ] In the higher lines of life, it is moreover cultivated by instruction of a particular cast, directed exclusively to this object.
[† ] Sleep is not life, but the cessation of life: lying a-bed without sleep, is a habit productive of relaxation, and thence pernicious to bodily health: and in as far as it is idleness, pernicious to moral health.
[‡ ] Out-door, with in-door—loco-motive, with stationary—strong, with gentle exercise.—See above Ch. iv. Principles of Management.
[§ ] Make amusement, (i. e. comfort,) the sole end in view, regardless of those other objects, a sacrifice, not only of those other objects, but of comfort itself, will be apt to be the result. Those children are by no means the happiest, whose amusement is the most studied:—in particular, whose amusement is studied and provided for at the greatest expense. The faculty of leading to profit, either at once, or through the paths of dexterity and skill, is a property that may destroy the value of an occupation in the character of an amusement, in the eyes of a fond and prejudiced parent, but will not so much as diminish it in the estimation of the child. Forty pounds is no uncommon price for a house provided for the lodgment of a waxen child, and for the amusement of a human one:—forty pounds, by which, on the proposed plan, lodging for ever might be provided for eight children such as he: while his very amusement, duration as well intensity taken into the account, might have been much better provided for by his being led to take a part in the making of the house, than by all the industry that could be employed in getting him to look at it, when brought to him ready made.
[* ] Not but that usage may with advantage be taken for a mark to aim at—provided it be not the most general, but the most advantageous usage:—and so long as the quantity afforded by that best usage be taken—not for the maximum—but for the minimum. That the greatest quantity administered any where, may be administered every where, is certain: that a yet greater than that greatest quantity may be, administered everywhere, is probable.
[† ] The question whether any instruction of the literary kind ought to be administered, and the details of the system of instruction which, if any, would be the properest to be administered in such a situation, must be reserved for the body of the work.
[* ] At present, if a single man be a self-conveying animal, a poor man with a family is virtually immoveable: and if, without his family he goes in quest of employment, he is punished by the parish as for desertion, under the name of a vagrant.
[† ] Exorbitant wages, and still more deep fluctuating wages, are the bane of happiness as well as morality, among improvident and uncultivated minds. Stagnation is ruin: a fall produces the sensation of a tax: a rise drives a man into sensual excesses:—excesses which, in one who, for want of education, has no fund of self-amusement, no other tastes to gratify, are fatal to health, industry, and content.
[‡ ] Even previously to the institution of the proposed Company, no inconsiderable advance might be made towards the equalisation and stabilitation of wages, by Tables of Trades, or (to speak more comprehensively) of profit-yielding Occupations, with their correspondent earnings:—an existing publication, professing to include this object, gives but a very small part of the number of the trades: the author of this having collected as many again, without supposing himself to have gone half way towards a perfect list.—Judging from the state and comparison of the classes of interests concerned, so much at least of the plan as concerns the reduction of exorbitant wages, bids fair for being executed; inasmuch as the parties to whose interests it is favourable, are the major part, as well in number as in opulence and power. The classes to whose interests it is advantageous are—1. The class of consumers (that is, everybody.)—2. The class of master-employers.—3. The class of under-paid hands.—The only class to which it is disadvantageous, is the class of over-paid hands: to these it cannot but be confessed to be in a certain point of view disadvantageous, since to their immediate feelings it cannot but be galling—however advantageous to their lasting interests. It is only in some such indirect and remote, in some such gentle and uncoercive way, that government can occupy itself, to any good effect, either in raising, sinking, or steadying prices: operating not by the creation of inducements, but by bringing into notice inducements which spring of themselves from other sources.
[* ] This latter has been materially amended by 54 Geo. III. c. 96. As to settlements, see editorial Note at commencement.—Ed.
[* ] This power exists already in the case of felons, and seems in little danger of being abused; since, in exhibiting the beggar, a man exhibits himself at the same time.
[* ] In the Shrewsbury house of industry, a similar power is vested in the Board of Directors.
[† ] As in case of a beggar unable, or pretending to be unable, to walk; or in case of his being refractory, and extra assistance hired. This will render it the beggar’s interest not to give unnecessary trouble.
[‡ ] List of requisites, the concurrence of which is necessary to the carrying on a branch of manufacturing industry without loss. 1. Building suitable—in point of space—materials—dimensions—and divisions.—2. Land sufficient.—3. Appropriate stock of all kinds, in hand or at command, in sufficient quantity and value.—4. Scale of the establishment, in point of number of hands, &c., large enough to afford adequate recompense for a suitably-qualified manager’s time.—5. Mode or terms of management, mercantile—the manager having a sufficient pecuniary interest in the success.—6. Stock of hands so circumstanced, as to be depended upon for a continuance.—7. Appropriate instruction administered.—8. The managing hands, by education and habits, qualified for the charge.—9. A system of book-keeping appropriate, adequate, and regular.
The existence of these united requisites, in here and there an instance, would avail nothing, unless it were universal; since the preparing for the beggar, in one district, a place of reception which was not to his taste, would but drive him into another.
[* ]Appius, therefore, under this law could not have possessed himself of Virginia, without taking the part that he took at Rome.
[* ]London Directory—Fashionable Calendar—Birmingham Directory, &c., Universal British Directory the last, a most copious and extensive work, not yet completed, the object of a patent.
[† ]What, sir, is your name?—George the Third, your King.—What is your occupation?—My occupation is—to govern you—Alfred’s law of decennary aggregation was an infinitely stronger measure, though so much praised. To notoriety of occupation it added vicarious responsibility, and that to a degree equal to vicarious punishment—punishment without offence.—Its roughness fitted the roughness of the times.
[* ] Thus, if a farthing only were lent, and only for a day, a farthing is still the interest that would be paid for it:—of course the least sum a man would ever borrow, would be the largest sum the interest of which would be paid for by a farthing, at the rate of six per cent. per annum, for the time he borrowed it for.
[* ] These four first articles (it should be observed) are common to married and single, and to both sexes.
[† ] These fifth and sixth articles, though peculiar to married persons in respect of the existence of the exigency, are almost peculiar to single persons, in respect of the faculty of laying up the means of supplying it, (i. e. the faculty of saving out of earnings a fund adequate to the purpose,) and for that reason apply almost exclusively to males. Supposing the widow to have lived, in every instance, till the youngest of the children had attained the age and faculty of self-maintenance, and by that time to have arrived at the age of superannuation, child-maintenance-provision and widow-maintenance-provision would both be consolidated, as it were, into one efficient cause of demand, taking place immediately upon the commencement of the widowhood, in the instance of this lowest class, as in that of the superior classes:—and so long as the widow and the children under the age of self-maintenance were all living, whatever provision could be made for the family would naturally require to be managed and administered by the widow, to whom, as the children attained the age and faculty of self-maintenance, the benefit of the saving resulting from this diminution of the burden would naturally accrue. Such accordingly is the form naturally given to the provision made in favour of wives and families, in the classes whose habits are superior to that of ordinary day-labour, and whose income affords a surplus capable of purchasing a provision in this way superior to the style of provision connected with those habits. But, in the day-labouring class, the surpluses being so scanty, whatever supply could be provided would require to be cut down and shaped as closely as possible to the exigency. In the instance of the widow, it would accordingly be to be shaped, not to the whole of her remainder of life, but only to the helpless or superannuation part of it: and, in the instance of the children, not to an undefined multitude of contingent children, and that during their respective periods of nonage, but to each actual child, and to him or her no longer than to the commencement of the age of self-maintenance, which in this class may take place before the period of nonage is half elapsed.
[‡ ] This seventh article (an article peculiar to single persons) applies more particularly to males, by reason of their greater surplus of earnings: the earnings of the stronger sex being (as it should seem) not only absolutely greater, but bearing a greater ratio to the necessary expense of maintenance: besides that the faculty of obtaining employment appears to be more assured.
[* ] The average earnings of a male of the above description (South Britain taken throughout) can hardly be set down at less than 1s. a-day, (the year throughout,)—6s. by the working week, making, by the working year, £15, 12s—In the county of Sutherland, in North Britain, £3:13:5, and no more, is the customary personal expenditure of an unmarried man, according to a statement reported by the Rev. Mr Davies, in his Case of the Poor, p. 200 and the sufficiency of the allowance is indubitable, since, according to the same statement, nearly as much is laid up as a fund for house-keeping and marriage: nothing is set down for rent, but then 5s. is set down for merry-making, i. e. drinking fermented liquors; and the one, it should seem, may be set against the other. A fourth of £15, 12s. is £3, 18s,—so that what the Scotchman spends is not so much as one-fourth of what the Englishman earns. What the Scotchman does live upon by choice, the Englishman could live upon if he chose: for oatmeal and potatoes, (the Scotchman’s only food in Sutherland,) do not cost less there (it is supposed) than in England, it seems probable, that, in point of real cost, they would even cost least in England; i. e. might be raised for less land and labour though, on the other hand, the rent that must be paid for the land, is probably higher in England than in Sutherland. The excess of expense on the one score, and the deficiency on the other, may perhaps, without much error, be set the one against the other.
At Glasgow, indeed, the average customary personal expense of a married man of this class is set as high as £4:15:4,—(See Letter to the Citizens of Glasgow:—Glasgow, April 12, 1783, attributed to the Rev. Dr Porteous)—It is natural that, in and about that great and thriving commercial town, expenses should be higher than in the thinly inhabited county of Sutherland: but I cannot help suspecting that the expenses of the man are here rated rather too high; since, in the same statement, the expenses of the woman are rated at no more than £2:16:4, not much more than half those of the man; and the expenses of an average child, being one of a family of four children, are rated at no more than £1:8:2, not more than half those of the woman, and not much more than a quarter of those of the man.—[As will readily be expected, the circumstances brought to view in this Note have been materially changed since 1797. In Glasgow, labourers’ wages and expenditure differ but slightly from those of the same employments in England. By the new Statistical Account of Scotland, it appears that in Sutherland, day labourers’ wages average 1s. 3d. per day.—Ed.
[* ] Bankers, safe and even unpaid, are not wanting to the rich: without the aid of some special institution, such as that here proposed, such bankers will always be wanting to the poor, especially to the lowest paid, who are the most numerous classes; because a bank, capable of presenting adequate security, could not, on this petty scale, ever find its account in dealing on any such terms.
[* ] The inadequacy of these institutions, compared as well with what have been, as with might have been their objects, reflects nothing like imputation upon the members, contrivers, promoters, or patrons, of these truly useful and meritorious associations. They worked, as they had to work, by the existing lights, with the existing materials, in the existing state of things. [By the new system applicable to saving’s banks, by the 9 Geo. IV. c. 92, and the 3 and 4 Wm. IV. c. 14, a remedy is applied to several of the defects here noticed, especially in the provisions for vesting the funds in Government Stock. Like improvements have also, to a certain extent, been extended to Friendly Societies. The deficiency of uniform information mentioned in the immediately following note, is now in the course of being supplied by the Registration system established by the 6 and 7 Wm. IV. c. 86.—Ed.]
[† ] The set of facts that appear requisite for this purpose are such as, taken together, shall afford a sufficient indication of the rate of vitality or mortality, in the whole, and in each distinguishable part of the territory of South Britain, as diversified by local situation, age, sex, condition in respect of marriage, and occupation. But if place differs materially from place in healthiness, it is not the rate of mortality in any one place that can afford an adequate indication of the rate of mortality for the whole territory taken together, much less for each separate part of it: if the proportions of mortality, as between age and age in different places, are materially different, it is not the proportion in any one place that can afford an adequate indication of the proportion for the whole territory together, much less for each separate part of it. If the rate of mortality, all ages taken together, is in all places taken together, or in any particular place, different as between occupation and occupation, an average rate made out from all occupations taken together: will not, in any place, suit the case of him whose occupation is of the healthiest cast, nor of him whose occupation is of the unhealthiest cast. In particular, so great have been the differences observed in the rate of mortality, as between place and place, that there cannot anywhere be that place, the rate of mortality in which, how accurately soever ascertained, and for whatever length of time, can present any tolerable assurance of its affording an adequate sample of the average or mean rate for the whole territory taken together, much less a sample that shall at once be adequate for the most unhealthy and the most healthy situations—for great towns, and for country places—for marshes, and for mountains.—The rate of mortality employed by Dr Price, and adopted by Mr Morgan, is that which is exhibited by Northampton: and the rate pitched upon by these celebrated calculators, is that which bids the fairest chance for being assumed, at least presents the fairest claim to be assumed, by each of the several Friendly Societies, wherever situated. Yet, in Northampton, the number of the living is to the number of annual deaths, (according to Dr Price,) no more than as 26 and a fraction to 1: but, at the same time, in the average of seven places reported by Mr Howlett, (See Howlett on the Poor, 1788, p. 93,) two of them in Suffolk, and five in Glamorganshire, the number of the living was to the number of annual deaths, as 54 and a fraction to 1; in the parish where highest, as 59 one-third to 1:—population of the seven places taken together, about equal to that of Northampton:—the probability of life consequently more than twice as high as in the spot which seems likely to have been taken for a general standard. This is not a place to investigate the consequences of the error, supposing the Northampton standard to be an unsuitable one: but that it gives the rate of vitality—the probability of life—too low for the whole kingdom taken together, may be suspected from the above instances; much more for all country places taken together in contradistinction to towns, and still more for situations above par in point of healthiness: and if there be an error, the amount of it, may, it is evident, be very considerable.—Dr Price (p. 140, 5th edition) proposes a plan for a society, in which superannuation annuities are to be combined with weekly payments during sickness. “If the probabilities of life” (he concludes) “are lower among the labouring poor, than among the generality of mankind, this plan will be surer of succeeding:”—meaning, by succeeding, not the formation of the bank, but the preservation of its solvency. This is as much as to say, that if, in any place, the probabilities of life are higher among the labouring poor, than among the “generality of mankind,” (i. e. persons of all classes taken together,) at Northampton, this same plan will in such place be so much the surer of not succeeding. But in the seven places above-mentioned, the probabilities of life, taking the whole population together, are, as we have seen, more than twice as high as at his standard place, Northampton. What effect an error to this amount, viz. upwards of cent. per cent. (and which certainly is not by a great deal the greatest to be found) in the general rate of mortality, may have upon the solvency of a bank of the kind in question, is what I have not taken upon me to investigate:—not so great I suspect as upon this statement it may be apt to appear:—but what we cannot at least avoid suspecting is, that, according to the Doctor’s own notions, a society for the purpose in question, instituted upon his plan, in any of the above, or any other of the situations in which the probability of life is from twice to thrice as great as in this his standard place, would be little less than sure of not succeeding. In these seven places, it is true, the whole population of all ranks is comprised:—but so is it at Northampton:—and as the labouring poor alone are to the whole population in the one case, so are they, probably, with little or no difference in the other: and since in all places the labouring poor constitute the great bulk of the population, the difference between the rate of mortality among the sum total of the labouring poor, and the rate among the sum total of the population, cannot, in any place, be very great.—In the case of provision for a widow, by annuity, commencing at widowhood, the commencement of the burden upon the fund being not only distant, as in case of superannuation annuities, but subject to contingency upon contingency, self-partial hope has so much the wider field to range in. Of the several widow-provision banks which had been opened before the entrance of Dr Price into this field of inquiry, such as had arrived at the trying period of their existence, had all been broken up through the experienced insufficiency of their fund, and the rest have been broken up since by the assurance of the future insufficiency of it, as demonstrated by Dr Price; though constituted by societies of a magnitude in many instances much superior to any that appears to be common or even to have an example among what are termed the Friendly Societies. (See the histories of these failures in Dale and Price.) The protraction of the solvency of a bank of this kind too advantageous to the customer to be secure, depends upon the influx of succeeding customers: if the influx continues copious and steady enough, the original members, by their representatives, reap the benefit of the deception: if the influx fails at a certain period, the deception recoils upon the authors. Of the societies instituted for securing a provision for old age, a great part, perhaps the greatest part, appear now to be exposed to the same danger:—the sufferers in those past instances amounted to hundreds; the predestined sufferers in these future instances may amount already to myriads.
[* ]Comparative view of Sickness-provision, Superannuation-provision, and Widow-provision plans, in respect of the requisites for their being conducted with advantage, and their fitness for being included in one contract.
[* ] Superannuation age, suppose sixty-five: age of commencement of contribution, from twenty to thirty:—if none live beyond sixty-five, the fund will go on accumulating for ever; and if all were to live up to sixty-five, it would accumulate but so much the faster:—on the other hand, if all die within a few years after they have begun contributing, except those who live beyond sixty-five, and they live on to eighty or ninety, the insolvency, under a plan of calculation grounded on an average of ages, and a supposed regular scale of mortality, as between age and age, will be certain and enormous.
[* ] Combinations of this tendency, and of the most pernicious kind, are said to exist among the societies composed of London servants.
[* ] Child-maintenance provision, where the demand for it results from the co-existence of an extra number of children under the self-maintaining age, is an exigency not altogether incapable of being thus provided for on its own bottom, and even in the way of insurance. For however the reducing the amount of the exigency below any given amount may, physically speaking, not be out of the power of the parties, (such a result being attainable by abstinences repugnant to the object of the institution,) yet the increasing the amount of the exigency, that is, the number of the children produced by any given marriage, is a result not subject to the will of the individual, as marriage itself, apparent idleness, or apparent failure of employment are. Whatever were the chance, in respect of the co-existent number of burdensome children found to obtain at any period, might therefore be safely taken as the permanent amount of the chance; since no other cause than the desirable event of a general increase in the national rate of vitality could occasion it to be exceeded. But the calculations would be complicated; and the stock of data requisite in the capacity of grounds for calculation is such, as is not to be obtained without the aid of government: inasmuch as a complete enumeration of the whole population would be absolutely indispensable; and when once made, it were better, for this as well as so many other purposes, that it should be regularly kept up. At any rate the sale of annuities co-enduring with this exigency, would, it is evident, be a business of too much complication and delicacy, and would require funds of too great a magnitude, to lie within the sphere of ability of any of the local associations. But by the proposed Company, (supposing the data to be but obtained,) it might be conducted with perfect safety and regularity, to the great advantage of the industrious and frugal individual, as also of the Company, if the company thought fit to take a share in it.
Among the cluster of donations, proposed with too little thought of the ways and means, and among the least exceptionable in its principle, was that of a gratuitous allowance for extra-children altogether at the public charge. A bounty to a more supportable amount, upon that same principle, might be afforded, by enabling the Company, at the public expense, to insure a family against the burden for a premium in such proportion inferior to what would be an equivalent, as should be thought fit. But whether this expensive mode of affording relief would be preferable to the unexpensive mode of administering it by the taking of extra-children upon the footing of Company’s apprentices, the reader is by this time in a condition to judge.
[* ] Concerning the age of trial, see Dale and Price.
[† ] Whatever may be the amount of this collateral mischief, nothing of imprudence or oversight can, with justice, be laid on this account to the score of government. Government did not make these societies, it found them ready made. By the special protection it holds out to them, it has afforded itself its surest chance for their attachment, as well as a peculiar title to their allegiance. After all, what it gives as a boon to this privileged part of its subjects in the shape of a reward for virtue, is no more than what government owes as a debt to all subjects without distinction—accessible justice and liberty of residence the last, a blessing, the loss of which, the baneful fruit of the existing poor laws, is a misfortune peculiar to this land of otherwise so justly boasted liberty: a blessing which, by the proposed plan, and by nothing but the proposed plan, would effectually be restored.
[* ] By a regulation of very recent date, the intervention of the different classes of officers, which Government, for other purposes, has occasion to station, in spots more numerous than those of the proposed industry-houses, (though still not so numerous as the parishes,) have been employed for the purpose of enabling seamen in the king’s service to correspond, in the way of pecuniary remittance, with their families, wherever situated. The benefit of this arrangement is beyond calculation:—morality, as well as convenience, is served by it:—many a family, which used to be a burden to the public, derives now its nourishment from the natural source; and no inconsiderable portion of national wealth, which used to be worse than thrown away, is now applied to purposes of real and necessary use.
[† ] Defects in the post-office arrangement have, in this respect, during the present year, (1841,) and the immediately preceding, been materially amended by reducing the rate of commission.—Ed.
[* ] Expense of a day’s maintenance for a man, not so much as 4d.;—but say 6d.:—worth of day’s work, not so little as 1s.:—a quarter of each day expended in travelling from house to house;—this would leave three-quarters of a day to work in, and earn 9d.—At this rate, a poor man might work his way on from house to house, any number of days together, without intermission, putting 3d. a day into his pocket to his journey’s end, instead of being at any expense.—In the case of a woman, expense 3d.;—but say 4d.:—day’s earnings, 8d.:—three-quarters ditto, 6d.:—money in pocket each day, 2d.
[† ] Unceasing inspection, conjoined with appropriate separation and aggregation, does whatever good solitary confinement can do—does what it can not do—can be continued for any length of time without mischief—and is free from the unsurmountable objections to which the latter is exposed, under the head of expense.—Solitary confinement, like mercury, is good, not for diet, but for medicine.
[* ] Not a debt paid by the humane and respectable society instituted for that purpose, but might have been paid with still more advantage by the debtor himself, in a proposed industry-house. In two months the largest court of conscience debt would be worked out, though the charge of maintenance were as high as 4d. a day, and the earnings no more than 1s. Number relieved to 4th April, 1798, 15,827: average amount of debt, costs included, £2, 10s. 8½d. [Herald, 16th April, 1798.]—Excellent this! yet, how much more excellent, that he who owed his imprisonment to his own act, should owe his deliverance to his own industry.
[† ] In this case, as in many others, the legal remedy—divorce a mensa et toro propter sævitiam—is rendered altogether inaccessible to the self-maintaining poor—that is, to the great bulk of the community—by the artificial expenses of procedure.
[‡ ] The exhibition of a wife, sold like a beast with a halter about her neck, in a public market, would not then, as at present, offend the moral eye.
[* ] For the advantages of taking the earliest youth for the period of military service, see a very ingenious, judicious, and well-written paper, in Roederer’s Journal d’Economie politique.
[† ] On board of king’s ships, not half, scarcely a third, (I have been assured,) can swim. Five or six have been known to be drowned in the course of a voyage.
[‡ ] At a pound a-day per head, (adults and non-adults together,) two carts, holding half a ton each, with an ass to each, would carry, in a day, a day’s provision from one house to another.
[* ] For a summary but detailed and comprehensive view of the advantages peculiar to this and other branches of the Company’s population-stock, see Book iv. Pauper Comforts.
[† ]Example of the profit derivable to the Company, and, at the same time, of the saving obtainable by the parent, on a child thus taken in to board,—beginning at the first year of age.
In Halley’s Breslan Table, the rate of mortality within that period in Breslau, the capital of Silesia, is fourteen and a half per cent.—but the proposed industry-houses are all in the country—and the attention paid will be beyond what can be paid, even in the country, among the self-maintaining poor.—If the children dying within the year, were to die equally in all days of the year, it would come to the same thing as if each had lived, and the expense upon it been continued but half of the year: but of those who die in the year, more than half die within the first quarter, (See the Chester Table, in Price on Annuities,) so that the deduction of £10 per cent. is in truth too large.—Remains £90 per cent.—This for the first year of age: in the subsequent years, up to the period of self-maintenance, the necessary expense is not greater, and the rate of mortality much less: in Christ’s Hospital, though in London, never more than one and a half per cent.
[* ] Parishes and parish-like districts, about 15,000: number of industry-houses, at the greatest, five hundred: number of parishes, &c. to an industry-house circuit, or district, on that supposition, about thirty:—at the least, two hundred and fifty: parishes, on that supposition, sixty.
[* ] Heads for a book, of the elementary class, (see Book ii. Ch. x.) exhibiting the journal of an individual, when put upon the sick-list.—By way of table, description of the person, in respect of name, sex, age, station, &c. as per entrance-book, with the day of the admission on the sick-list. I First day of the disease.—Heads—1. Supposed name of the disease. 2. Symptoms, in a set of subordinate columns, sufficient for the reception of as many classes of symptoms as the human frame has been observed to be ordinarily susceptible of—[A table of symptoms, already constructed for this purpose, with columns, sixteen in number, may be seen in a paper by Dr George Fordyce, published in the Transactions of the Medical Society—London, 1793—under the title of “An Attempt to improve the Evidence of Medicine.”—Printed for Johnson: of whom may be had “Blank Schemes for taking Cases,” according to the plan there exhibited.]—3. Prescription in respect of employment—viz. a. Cessation from all work. b. Change of work: ex. gr. from out-door to in-door. c. Abatement of work, by defalcation from the ordinary number of working hours. d. Ditto, by defalcation from the quantity of piece-work.—(In the three last instances, it is a case for the ailing list.)—4. Prescription in regard to diet—a. Diminution or increase of quantity. b. Change of quality. 5. Prescription in respect of medicine. 6. Execution of the prescription, in regard to employment, diet, and medicine, as above.—Change of temperature, by clothing or fuel, putting to bed, &c. may be considered as comprised under the head of medicine.)—7. Subsequent symptoms during the day—distinguishing such as appear to be the result of the prescription.—II. Second, and every subsequent day, same heads repeated, mutatis mutandis.—III. Last day—different modes of termination. 1. Cure complete, thence reinstatement on the ordinary or healthy, and thence on the full-work list. 2. Cure partial, or approaching—thence transfer to the ailing list. 3. Supervention of, or change to another disorder, deemed not incurable. 4. Ditto of, or to ditto, deemed incurable. 5. Death.
An elementary ailing-book will (it appears already) be a book of a compound form, comprising the heads of an elementary or individual’s progress-book, or working-book, together with those of an elementary sick-book, as above exhibited.
[* ] See this species of information exemplified in the account given by the Foundling Hospital of the savings by a kitchen on Count Rumford’s plan, as advertised in the newspapers of 1797.
[† ] For the sake of experiment, the expenditure under this head might be compared with the results of a photometer, or instrument for measuring the degree of illumination, invented and named by Count Rumford, and published in the Philosophical Transactions.
[‡ ] Or Calendar of Hebe—so called by analogy to the Calendar of Flora; a term used by botanists to express a journal of the progress of vegetation.—(Hebe the goddess of youth, as Flora of flowers.)—Example of heads for a Calendar of Hebe, arranged in two classes—1. Advances independent of instruction:—First indication of fear; smiling; recognising persons; indication of a preference for a particular person; indication of dislike to a particular person; attention to musical sounds; crowing; appearance of first tooth; appearance of each of the successive teeth; duration and degree of pain and illness in cutting teeth; giving food or toys to others; attempt to imitate sound; laughing; general progress in bodily or intellectual acquirements, whether uniform, or by sudden degrees.—2. Advances dependent on instruction:—Standing supported by one arm; standing supporting itself, by resting the hands; token of obedience to the will of others; command of natural evacuations; walking, supporting itself by chairs; standing alone; walking alone; pointing out the seat of pain, &c.
[§ ] For the importance, difficulty, and rarity, of a good system of agricultural book-keeping, see Annals of Agriculture, vol. xxviii.—a paper by the Editor. What pen so well able to cope with the difficulties, as that by which they have been so well delineated?
[∥ ] A check upon carelessness on the part of the medical curator, who otherwise, to save himself trouble, might make entries without due regard to accuracy.—If the meteorological journal of a single spot be worth the place which it regularly occupies in the Transactions of the Royal Society, how much greater the value of a similar set of journals, for a number of from 250 to 500 spots, equally distributed over the whole surface of the country?
[* ] An elementary book of this kind—(see the chapter on Book-keeping)—a Calendar of Minerva, as it might be termed, would be a sequel, as well as in some measure a concomitant to the Child’s-progress book, or Calendar of Hebe above-mentioned.
For examples of the success of the fellow-instruction principle, (employing children soon after they have received any branch of instruction in the capacity of learners, to communicate it to other children in the capacity of teachers,) see Dr Bell’s account of the charity-schools at Madras—London, 1787—and a paper in the Repository, (a periodical collection in two volumes, published ten or twelve years ago,) giving an account of the result of the use made of that principle, in a charity-school of the higher class, in the neighbourhood of Paris.
[† ] The mode of managing infants, as carried on by the assistance of the nursery-girls, may serve as an example of the indirect dissemination of that branch of knowledge, in both these ways.—See Chap. xi.
[‡ ] The veterinary art—the term commonly employed on this occasion—extends not, in its proper signification, at least, beyond beasts of burden: it eaves out sheep, hogs, poultry, dogs, bees, &c.
[* ] It is to the power which distress acquires over the sympathetic affections, by presenting itself in a specific shape, that we are indebted to the multitude of specific charities that have started up of late years. Charity for the relief of ruptured patients—charity for the education of the deaf and dumb—philanthropic societies for the education and relief of the families of convicts and other malefactors—not to mention asylums—small-pox hospitals—venereal hospitals—lying-in hospitals, and dispensaries, without number.
Who does not remember the subscription in the hard winter, for the benefit of the soldiery serving in Flanders? when flannel was bought for jackets, and ladies of quality turned tailors, and, instead of money or flannel, sent in the jackets ready-made.
[* ] Not two, three, or even four, jammed together in the same bed, as in some of the existing poor-houses, in a manner equally repugnant to comfort and decency.
[† ] “Blessed are the poor,” says the gospel, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”—Of all descriptions of the poor, surely none that would possess a more promising claim to the benefit of this beatitude.
[* ] The perpetual revolutions to which the affairs of the pauper-community are subject, in the existing order of things, are not among the least distressing features of it. Change of persons, incessant, periodical, annual:—change of plans, and measures, frequent—from the working system, to the no-employment system—from the small establishment, or workhouse system, to the large establishment, or industry-house system—from the uninterested-management system, to the interested-management, or farming system, and (unless in the few places where the industry-house system is established) back again, with alterations continually liable to be repeated. In these obscure and partial, but always disastrous revolutions, every change brings suffering in its train: changes for the worse, immediately; even changes for the better, remotely; the deterioration, that sooner or later never fails to succeed it, being rendered in the latter case the more bitter, by the contrast it makes with the less uncomfortable state that went before it.
One revolution the proposed system (it must be confessed) supposes and proposes, and this too an universal one. But it is meant at least to be, and (may I not add) holds out a tolerably promising prospect of proving, a final one: and it ensures the community against annual, besides contingent ones.
[† ] Nothing is in fact lost by this indulgence: since the Company, were they to claim the money, would never reap any advantage from their claim. A man who, when the distress for subsistence came upon him, had property, such as a cottage, or its furniture, or both, would sell it and spend the money, before he came into the house. If his property came to him after his betaking himself to the house, he would go out, and live upon the money till it was gone.
Past-prosperity hands will frequently be in possession of some little article or two, of ancient, perhaps family property, the saleable value of which, bears no proportion to the value set upon it by the proprietor; were it confiscated and sold, the difference between the saleable value and this relative value, this value of affection, would be so much lost. As far as room could be spared, it should be among the standing orders, to afford to a pauper of this class houseroom for such articles. A person of this description would naturally be indulged with the use of a peculium abode of some sort or other. In that case there would be a quantity of room, such as in the common apartments could not be spared.
Where property thus reserved as a peculium happens to be in the shape of income, (the rent for example of a cottage,) there will be some who would wish to live upon it for a proportionable part of the year, in the circle of their friends. This indulgence might likewise be afforded.—See farther on, Extra-comforts.
[‡ ] To those who, regarding the salvation of souls as an object, regard the habit of devotion as a means, this single advantage, unenjoyed under the existing community-provision system, uncommunicable to the house-provision system, or to the self-maintaining poor, not to mention the rich, should seem enough to command their approbation and assistance.
A regulation one meets with in poor-houses having chapels within themselves is, that all that are well enough to quit their rooms shall pay attendance on divine service:—the benefit being thus sought to be imparted to all—except those whose case stands most in need of it, and among whom are likely to be found those who are most desirous of it.
[* ] Cases of peculiar difficulty are apt to be cases of peculiar affliction. To obtain a consultation of three or four physicians, is regarded as no small effort among the most opulent. Among our poor, cases of this description will naturally enjoy the benefit of a sort of general consultation, calling forth the united powers of the whole faculty.
[† ] Making the habitations to hold two persons, doubles the quantity of accommodation, with little or no addition to the expense. Taking one of the two for the principal person, and giving him the choice of his fellow-inmate, doubles the value of the habitation, besides the power it confers: an article capable of constituting a valuable item in the catalogue of rewards: naming each without consideration of the other, would be little less than destructive of that value.—An aged married couple—a pair of sisters—an aunt and niece—might thus find the principal comforts of home-maintenance, transplanted for their benefit into the Company’s demesnes.
The benefit of all this mass of comfort will far outstretch the expense. Hope will multiply it. Each possession in hand will draw a numerous knot of expectancies in its train.
[* ] Necessary admission price very low, that the number admitted may be the greater; but increasable, of course, at the pleasure of the guest.
[† ] All these grounds of claim agree in this, viz. in reducing the number of the claimants, and thereby the expense. Elsewhere, gratuitous bounty would operate, and does operate, and with irremediable efficacy, in relaxation of industry: persons whose cases proved thus distinguished not being excepted. Here, no such consequence can ensue. Work, such as a man’s faculties are equal to and suitable to, being secured by the regimen of the house:—by the application of the all-employing and earnt-first principles. Book. ii. Ch. iv.
In the cases of past prosperity and decayed gentility, (the latter an aggravated modification of the former,) the demand for extra-allowance is the greater, inasmuch as money, or money’s worth, bestowed to equal amount on this class as on another, would not be productive of equal comfort: opinion having here joined with habit, in adding to the mass of wants created by nature.
In the case of infirmity particularly severe, the demand stands upon a similar, and commonly a still higher footing: the mass of comfort being more depressed by the infirmity, than, generally speaking, it is even in the power of charity to raise it.
Extraordinary age, besides a title similar in kind, though inferior in degree, to what exists in the two preceding cases, possesses this recommendation, that, being independent of human will, it is not capable of being either counterfeited or fabricated; either by study or neglect.
In the case of exemplary conduct, whether before or after admission, the operation of the bounty is better than simply innocent: without doors, as well as in the house, its direct tendency is, to increase the stock of virtue. But to obviate injustice, and the imputation of injustice, and that the quality promoted may not be idleness in the name of virtue, the description of the efficient cause of title in this case should not float in the air, if possible, but ground itself in some specific act or habit: examples of which may be found in the transactions of some of the societies expressly formed for this amongst other laudable purposes.
Where seniority is the leading ground, goodness of character should to a certain degree be combined with it. In the instance of a man who stood first in point of age, anything particularly objectionable in his character might be admitted as a ground for his losing his claim to the species of promotion in question, either altogether, or for a certain number of turns: or even without any specific assignable objection, a man might be set aside in favour of another, who, being in point of character decidedly superior, should happen to stand next in age.
It might operate as an additional security for quiet and respectful behaviour on the part of the paupers towards the officers, individually considered as well as collectively, if a recommendation from an officer (the privilege to be shared by turns) were to be received as a ground of appointment, to such lots of extra-comfort as remained unoccupied by the prior titles above-mentioned.
[* ] The separate possession of one of the outlying cottages, with or without the addition of other articles in the list of extra-comforts, would, when mounted, as it were, upon the ordinary plan of maintenance, form a comfortable provision for a man to make for a superannuated servant, or other dependant, in a similar line of life. Many a master and mistress would at once be able and glad to do thus much, who, now that there is no other alternative than between the leaving a servant to share in the undistinguishing provision of a common poor-house, and giving him a complete maintenance, does nothing.
[† ] In regard to all these particulars, the lot of the Company’s apprentices will show to advantage, not only when compared to the lot of a pauper youth under the existing order of things, but when compared to the lot of a youth of the same age among the superior classes.
In a school, private or public, the quantity as well as species of correction administered, depends—not upon the real demand for correction, but upon the habits and temper of the master and his subordinates. Even in a private family, the mildness or harshness, reasonableness or unreasonableness, steadiness or unsteadiness, of the treatment given to the child, depends in every point on the temper and humour of the parents, or those who stand in the place of parents; on whose part every degree of caprice and tyranny, so long as it keeps clear of injuries threatening danger to life and limb, may vent itself without control. And as to what depends upon the conduct of the youths themselves towards one another, that is, of the stronger towards the weaker, even those great schools which bear the name of public schools, are known, perhaps without exception, to enclose an enormous and never-ceasing mass of unobserved and undivulged oppression one of the first lessons practised in these seminaries being that of enduring tyranny—one of the last, that of inflicting it:—both together conspiring to instil into the susceptible mind an insensibility and indifference to justice. Here no instance of any act of authority, or exercise of coercion, on the part of anybody towards anybody, but what will be immediately and universally known;—therefore, humanly speaking, no possibility of abuse.
As to punishments, no act of that kind but will be entered, of course, in the book called the Punishment-book, (see Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping,) and by that means forwarded to the cognizance of the General Board. On comparing the books of the several industry-houses, observation will be made which exhibits the greatest number of instances of punishment, which the least. Compare then the state of these two industry-houses in other respects: observe which upon the whole exhibits the fairest picture. If, in that which has afforded the least punishment, the result should happen to be fairer than in that which has afforded the most punishment, this circumstance alone, without further inquiry, would afford a strong ground for suspicion, that in this abundance of punishment there has been more or less that might have been spared.
I speak of punishment, because punishment is, in the existing order of things, a thing of course. Here, however, how can punishment gain admittance?—for from what occasion can it arise? No cessation of inspection, no transgression;—no transgression, no punishment.
If security against everything that savours of tyranny be liberty, liberty, in the instance of this hitherto luckless class of human beings, can scarcely ever have yet existed in anything near so perfect a shape.
But liberty, in a favourite sense of it, means lawless power: in this sense, it must be confessed, there will not only be little liberty, but in plain truth there will be none.
[* ] In the instance of St James’s, Westminster, a pattern of such good management as is compatible with the existing order of things, observe the expense of boarding the pauper children of the metropolis in the circumjacent villages; 3s. 3d. a-week, besides contingencies. What does all this expense terminate in?—what, in the account that has been published by the institutors of this management, is very justly termed “a dreadful period:”—“The time when these children were to be brought home (six or seven years of age) was a dreadful period to the children, and to the feeling mind.”—[Annals, xxviii. 167.]—The Company’s children have no such period. With them it is all country:—no transition from rural liberty to town confinement.
[† ] Swimming is to most young people a most delightful as well as healthful exercise: whenever it is in their power, they are in general ready enough to avail themselves of it. But for the most part they are debarred from it:—in many instances by the want of water;—in other instances by the anxiety of parents on the score of danger;—in others, by the repugnance of the elder part of the community at large, on the score of decency.
Females are, by the latter consideration, universally debarred from it;—unless it be in very few instances indeed, among the most opulent classes, in which the inducements happen to be strong enough to counterbalance the expense of a retired or covered bath, with suitable attendance.
Removed to a sufficient distance from the house, and secluded from view by proper fences, one bath, used at different times might serve for both the sexes.
The advantage of bathing, with comfort and convenience, is among the attractions that draw the higher classes to what are called the watering-places; and such is the activity of charity in this country, that it has even found out a means of displaying itself by facilitating the access to these places in favour of the inferior classes. Against particular diseases, fresh-water bathing is not, it is true, looked upon as standing upon a par with sea bathing; yet even against diseases—to say nothing of general health and strength,—fresh-bathing is not altogether without its use.
The existing charity gives sea-bathing to a few score perhaps in a year; the proposed charity gives fresh-water bathing to some hundreds of thousands of the pauper-community all the year round; and for the benefit of the self-maintaining poor all round, every one of the two hundred and fifty industry-houses may be a watering-place.
[* ] The maximum of clear happiness is the object, and the sole object, of every rational plan of conduct, public or private.
In this line, as in every other—concomitant and consequent inconveniences out of the question—the maximum of enjoyment gives the maximum of clear happiness. But the longer the duration of any source of enjoyment, nothing being lost in other respects, the greater the sum of enjoyment: and the duration is the longer, nothing being lost in other respects, the earlier the commencement.
Pecuniary difficulties being removed (as they are here) the inconveniences to be considered and guarded against are—1. Physical—the danger to health and strength from a too early indulgence, of which, amongst other ill consequences, premature termination might be one:—2. Moral—such, if any, as may be to be apprehended from the entering into a state of power, as well as independence, before the intellectual faculties have attained a growth commensurate to that state. Whatever may be the period suggested by a due consideration of the delay necessary to the avoidance of these inconveniences, thus much will not be liable to dispute—viz. that every portion of time, which, without incurring them, might have been passed in the social state, and yet is suffered to pass away in celibacy, is so much lost to happiness.
In the world at large, what may be the average amount of this loss, in the instance of the class in question, is one of the many interesting objects observable in the political line, of which no account, and scarcely so much as any notice, hath as yet been taken. A great comfort is—that owing to causes sufficiently obvious, and which are not to the present purpose—this loss is not quite so high in this lowest and most numerous, as in the higher classes. Yet, even in this class, and in this country, the number of years thus lost, must, upon any calculation, or rather without any calculation, leave a blank much to be regretted in the book of life.
In the proposed order of things, among our apprentices—there need be no such loss at all. Regard to health—this one prudential consideration, and this alone, will, in this privileged situation, draw the line. In private life, considerations of the intellectual and moral kind conspire to keep back the period of social happiness. Faculties, moral as well as intellectual, must be ripe for the business of government:—the business not of self-government only, but of family-government. At one-and-twenty, a youth will be allowed to be, in general, alike fit for self-government and for the government of the little family empire: and, whether married or single, it is at this age, and not before, according to the proposed plan, as under the existing order of things, that the management of his conduct will be in his own hands.
In regard to health, at what precise point the line shall be drawn, will be matter of consideration.—It being a point not capable of being determined otherwise than by experiment, it ought to be—it must be—committed to experiment. Nature shows the commencement of the ability—nature shows the commencement of the desire.—How long must the ability continue useless? How long must the desire be a source of vexation, instead of enjoyment?—Questions, surely, not uninteresting—surely, not undeserving of solution!—To give the solution, I see but one course:—to take the visible commencement of physical maturity in each individual for the standard and basis of experiment: from this starting-post to mark out periods of delay—three months—six months—nine months—and so on, for a small—it surely need not be a large—number of years—twenty-one in the male might be the utmost. From thenceforward observe the condition of the classes—see whether there be any and what perceptible differences in point of health and strength, as between class and class.
Fiat lux, were the words of the Almighty:—Fiat experimentum, were the words of the brightest genius he ever made. O chemists!—much have your crucibles shown us of dead matter;—but our industry-house is a crucible for men!
“The Chinese (says Sir George Staunton, vol. ii. p. 194, 8vo.) are, perhaps, upon an average, better able to support moderate labour, with little intermission, than many of the lower classes in Europe. They are bred in better and sounder habits, and continue longer under the direction of their parents. They are for the most part sober: they marry early: they are less exposed to the temptations of debauchery: they are less liable to contract diseases which corrupt the springs of life: their lives are more regular and uniform.”
And, in another place, (vol. ii. p. 385,) “The marriages in China are, in fact, observed to be prolific, as well as early.”
In France,—when France was France,—among the first families in the nation, and in others, as far as economy was supposed to permit, regard to health as well as happiness fixed for the period of matrimonial union the earliest age to which health, regarded in another point of view, was supposed to give a permit for that purpose. Sixteen scarce an early one;—fourteen not an uncommon one. What, under the French monarchy, was the best privilege of the Prince, is in our Utopia the universal lot of the whole community. And to what would they be indebted for this gentlest of all revolutions?—To what, but to economy? Which dreads no longer the multiplication of man, now that she has shown by what secure and unperishable means infant man, a drug at present so much worse than worthless, may be endowed with an indubitable and universal value.
Turn now to the palace, and behold what a fund it affords for pity, when confronted with our industry-house. Princes unmatched, or late matched, or unprosperously matched, or incongruously matched.—Princesses—five remaining—all ripe, but all too high, for happiness.
[* ] Partly for want of subjects to practise upon—in some measure, perhaps, from the want of the species of forecast here insisted on—in some very expensive retreats that have been prepared by private munificence for female innocence, the condition of these nurselings, in point of suitable acquirements, at the period of their emersion into the world at large, has been observed (I have been assured) to exhibit but an indifferent result. Pampered, unexercised, and uninstructed in the arts assorted to their subsequent destinations and resources, they make (it is said) but indifferent servants, nurses, or mothers.—A female course of education—a female apprenticeship, excluding from its exercises the characteristic and appropriate functions of the sex, must be a sad education—a sad apprenticeship indeed!
[† ] See Reports of the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor.
[* ] Before I engage in the discussion of particular clauses, I find it indispensably necessary to state an apprehension I have throughout been labouring under; the apprehension of doing an unintentional injustice to the Bill by mis-stating from time to time the intended import of it. The truth is, the degree of difficulty I have experienced in the course of my endeavours to comprehend that import, has been as extreme as those endeavours have been sincere. Whatever, therefore, is herein advanced as conveying my own sense of the import of the Bill, must be understood to be submitted all along to correction—to whatever correction may be thought fit to be administered by stronger minds.
[* ] So termed here, in contradistinction to the large-establishment system, by which is meant that branch of the public-establishment system as contradistinguished from the system of out-allowances, according to which the establishments would separately considered be upon a large scale, such as that of a country workhouse, or even a system of workhouses, of which four, suppose, should be allowed to a county upon an average.
[† ] In the Bill itself the sections are not numbered; it is not the usage: sections are never numbered either in an Act (I speak of the authentic manuscript) or in a Bill; I have taken upon me to number them at a venture, knowing no other means of distinguishing them in the way of reference. My principle of distribution has been the recurrence of the introductory surplusage, “and be it further enacted,” coupled with the consideration of those discontinuances or breaks in the line of text, which are the mechanical result of the operations of the press.
This privation of the physical possibility of becoming the subject-matter of reference; this prolific cause and certain pledge of uncertainty, disorder, and inconsistency, each in the extreme; this privation of one of the many helps to intellection, the exclusion of which is peculiar to that species of composition in which the importance of the qualities of order, precision, and conciseness, stands at the very highest pitch; this deficiency, if it be a fault, is not the particular fault of this Bill or of any one concerned in it. It is the fault of everybody, and thence of nobody. [See Nomography, vol. iii. p. 233. It has of late become the practice to number the sections of Bills.—Ed.
[* ] Particularly in the case of labourers in husbandry, by the Rev. David Davies, 1795, 4to.
[* ] The quantum of the capital thus to be hazarded is no light matter. A friend of mine, who at this present time happens to be looking out for a cow, assures me he can hear of no animal of that kind to be sold for less than £30 that can be depended upon for giving milk sufficient to pay for her keep, for “yielding profit,” to use the expression in the Bill. The time, it is true, is a dear one; and the place, the vicinity of the metropolis. But to this purpose, within what may be termed the vicinity of the metropolis, a circle of at least twenty miles radius must surely be comprised. A cow which is worth £30 in the heart of this southern division of the two united kingdoms, can hardly be worth less than £15 at the very furthest extremity; because a difference much less than that of £15 ahead would, upon a very moderate number of cows, abundantly pay for the expense of driving them up to London, from even the most distant parts of England. This £30 price (let us hope) will not always continue; but at the most favourable season, should it fall to £20, the reduction will be full as much, I fear, as can reasonably be expected.
[* ] Some five-and-twenty years ago, I remember seeing in Elmsley’s window, fresh imported from Germany, a book with this title, “Means of Enriching States,” by an Aulic Counsellor to one of the Margraves. It was seized with an avidity proportioned to the importance of the discovery. The secret had been tried, and had succeeded. It consisted in stocking your farms well with cows. But the difficulty was to get the cows.