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Book III.: Collateral Benefits. - 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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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.
[* ] 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.