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tuary register, out of 52 deceased, 41 only had attained the age of 25; and the average age of 33, who had died of disease of the lungs, was 28. In short, there is too much reason to believe that among these poor workwomen, as in the case of the journeymen tailors, one-third at least of the healthful duration of adult life is sacrificed to our ignorance or neglect of ventilation. Alas, how little do the upper classes, who fancy that the cheque completely liquidates the account, reflect on the real cost of the beautiful dresses they wear!
As to the want of separate apartments and the overcrowding of the private dwellings of the poor '—a very small portion only of the evidence adduced will suffice. The clerk of the Ampthill Union states that a large proportion of the cottages in his district are so small, that it is impossible to keep up even the common decencies of life: in one cottage, containing only two rooms, there existed eleven individuals: the man, his wife, and four children (one a girl above fourteen, another a boy above twelve) slept in one of the rooms and in one bed—the rest slept all together in the room in which their cooking, working, and eating were performed. The medical officer of the Bicester Union has witnessed a father, a mother, three grown-up sons, a daughter, and a child, all lying at the same time with typhus fever in one small room. The medical officer of the Romsey Union states that he has known fourteen individuals of one family (among whom were a young man and young woman of eighteen and twenty years of
age) together in a small room, the mother being in labour at the time.
The Rev. Dr. Gilly, whose able · Appeal on behalf of the Border Peasantry'is cited in the report, describes a fine, tall Northumbrian peasant of about forty-five years of age, whose family, eleven in number, were disposed of as follows. In one bed he, his wife, a daughter of six, and a boy of four years had to sleep-a daughter of eighteen, a son of twelve, a son of ten, and a daughter of eight had a second bed—and in the third were three sons, aged twenty, sixteen, and fourteen.
The greatest instances of overcrowding appear, however, as may naturally be expected, at Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, &c. In Hull, a mother about fifty had to sleep with a son above twenty-one, a lodger being in the same room. In Manchester more than half-a-dozen instances were given of a man, bis wife, and his wife's grown-up sister habitually occupying one bed! Mr. Baker, in his report on Leeds, states—'In the houses of the working classes, brothers and sisters, and lodgers of both sexes, are found occupying the same sleeping-room with the parents, and consequences occur which humanity shudders to contemplate.' Our readers will probably by this time have arrived with us at
the conclusion, that there exists no savage nation on earth in which more uncivilized or more brutalizing scenes could be witnessed than in the heart of this great country. Should, however, any doubts remain, we subjoin one short extract from the evidence of Dr. Scott Alison :
* In many houses in and around Tranent, fowls roost on the rafters and on the tops of the bedsteads. The effluvia in these houses are offensive, and must prove very unwholesome. It is scarcely necessary to say that these houses are very filthy. They swarm likewise with fleas. Dogs live in the interior of the lowest houses, and must, of course, be opposed to cleanliness. I have seen horses in two houses in Tranent inbabiting the same apartment with numerous families. One was in Dow's Bounds. Several of the family were ill of typhus fever, and I remember the horse stood at the back of the bed. In this case the stench was dreadful. The father died of typhus on this occasion.'
Here is another very important piece of evidence :
A gentleman who has observed closely the condition of the workpeople in the south of Cheshire and the north of Lancashire, men of similar race and education, working at the same description of worknamely, as cotton-spinners, mill-hands-and earning nearly the same amount of wages, states that the workmen of the north of Lancashire are obviously inferior to those in the south of Cheshire, in health and habits of personal cleanliness and general condition. The difference is traced mainly to the circumstance, that the labourers in the north of Lancashire inhabit stone houses of a description that absorb moisture, the dampness of which affects the health, and causes personal uncleanliness, induced by the difficulty of keeping a clean house.'
One consequence of the unwholesome workshops and houses in which the labouring classes are too often confined, is the disposition it creates among them to dispel by drink that depressing effect on their nervous energies which is invariably the result of breathing impure air. In Dumfries, for example, where the cholera swept away one-eleventh of the population, Mr. Chadwick inquired of the chief magistrate how many bakers' shops there were ? Twelve,' was the answer.
And how many whiskey-shops may your town possess ?' The honest provost frankly replied, “Seventy-nine !' Another consequence is the rapid corruption, in such unwholesome places, of meat, bread, and other food, which, by preventing the poor from laying in any store, forces them to purchase their provisions on the most disadvantageous terms.
'Here, then,' says Mr. Chadwick, 'we have from the one agent, a close and polluted atmosphere, two different sets of effects :-one set here noticed engendering improvidence, expense, and waste--the other, the depressing effects of external and internal miasma on the nervous
system, tending to incite to the habitual use of ardent spirits; both tending to precipitate this population into disease and misery." • In lamenting over the picture, but too clearly delineated, of the demoralization and disorganization of our labouring classes, caused by the removal of those architectural barriers by which nature, even among savages, protects modesty and encourages decency, Mr. Chadwiek maintains that no education as yet commonly given appears to have availed against such corrupting circumstances: dwelling, per contrà, on numerous instances of the moral improvement of a population apparently resulting from street-cleansing, land-draining, and improvements of the external and internal condition of their dwellings. We think it clear enough that it is mere mockery to talk of elevating by education classes whom we allow to be perpetually acted upon by physical circumstances of the deeply degrading tendency now sufficiently exposed.' How striking are these words of Mr. Walker, the magistrate of the Thames Police Office! After deprecating the practice of building for the poor miserable hovels, instead of more comfortable and respectable, well-drained dwellings, he says,
From what I have observed, I am fully convinced that if shambles were built on any spot, and all who choose were allowed to occupy them, they would soon be occupied by'a race lower than any yet known. I have often said, that if empty casks were placed along the streets of Whitechapel, in a few days each of them would have a tenant, and these tenants would keep up their kind, and prey upon the rest of the community. I am sure that, if such facilities were offered, there is no conceivable degradation to which portions of the species might not be reduced. Wherever there are empty houses which are not secured, they are soon tenanted by wretched objects, and these tenants continue so long as there is a harbour for them. Parish-officers and others come to me to aid them in clearing such places. I tell the police and the parish that there is no use in their watching these places; that they must board them up, if they would get rid of the occupants. If they will give the acconimodation, they will get the occupants. If you will have marshes and stagnant waters, you will there have suitable animals; and the only way of getting rid of them is by draining the marshes.'
Mr. Chadwick dwells on domestic mismanagement generally, as one great predisposing cause of disease. There is no doubt that the poor are in the habit of buying their tea, coffee, sugar, butter, cheese, bacon, and other articles, in small quantities from the hucksters, who, to cover bad debts, charge exorbitant prices. Destitution is often therefore caused by the wasteful misapplication of wages which, with habits of frugality, would prove to be sufficient; but the grand evil is, that every species of mismanagement promotes or ends in the gin and whiskey. Every day' intemperance' is talked of and preached against as the
cause of sever, and of the prevalent mortality, We neglect, however, to reflect that it is the discomfort of the poor that drives them to drink. Rival pleasures might be encouraged, which would keep them sober; but, alas, whiskey is declared to be good for damp and rheumatism, when drainage and a clean residence are really the physical remedies that should be prescribed,
IV. Comparative chance of life in different classes of the community.
There is no proverb more generally admitted than that Death is no respecter of persons.' Mr. Chadwick, however, has drawn from the mortuary registers a series of tabular returns, of which the following is a single specimen :No. of LIVERPOOL, 1840.
5,597 Labourers, mechanics, and servants, &c. 15 Again, it is an appalling fact, that, among the labouring classes in Manchester, more than fifty-seven out of every hundred die before they attain five years of age !—More than one-half of their progeny die within the fifth year of their birth; while one-fifth only of the children of the gentry die within the same period. In explanation of such a difference, Mr, Chadwick has annexed to his report plans of different towns, showing, by different tints, that the localities of the epidemic diseases which raged there are identical with the uncleansed and close streets and wards occupied by
Instead of actively searching for the causes which have been so fatally shortening as well as embittering the existence of our labouring classes, it has of late years been much the fashion among political economists—who clearly enough saw that this mortality, from whatever cause it was proceeding, did not affect them--to adopt the convenient theory that wars, plagues, pestilence, epidemic disorders, and accidents of every description, which cause premature deaths among the poor, are, if it could only be satisfactorily explained to them, a terrible corrective,' kindly ordained by Nature, in order to prevent population exceeding the means of subsistence. But Mr. Chadwick, standing forward as the advocate of Nature and of the poor, denies the Malthusian doctrine altogether, and produces tabular accounts taken from the bills of mortality of every county in, England, which certainly appear to prove that the proportion of births to the population is greatest where there is the greatest mortality-and consequently that pestilence or excessive mortality does not diminish the sum total of population! Our mismanage
ment produces disease, and that makes the gap which Nature immediately labours to fill up. Let us allow as largely as we choose for inconsiderate and reckless conduct in individualsstill, inasmuch as two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time, the young in almost every trade and profession of life must unavoidably defer marriage until their seniors vacate by death the places of trust and confidence which they have gradually attained. So long, therefore, as these places linger in the possession of the old, the increase of population is proportionably subdued ; whereas, on the other hand, if, from avoidable or unavoidable disease, the duration of life be so shortened that those loca tenentes, who neither increase nor multiply, shall be either partly or wholly replaced by those of an age to do both, it evidently follows that this description of mortality must produce more births than deaths.
In fact, even the returns of the deaths, marriages, and births among the white population on the west coast of Africa demonstrate that, though the mortality there has been as frightful as we have described it, the births have exceeded it largely :-for instance, in the different districts of this pestilential abode the number of deaths (nine-tenths of which were of persons under forty years of age) amounted in 1839 to 241, while in the same year the number of baptisms was 464, and the number of marriages 542; indeed it seems natural that young people should become reckless of consequences, and regardless of the future, in a climate which, by the ravages it is daily creating, appears always to be relentlessly exclaiming to them, • To-morrow you die !
V. Pecuniary burdens created by the neglect of sanitary measures.
To whatever extent,' says Mr. Chadwick, 'the probable duration of the life of the working man is diminished by noxious agencies, I repeat a truism in stating that to the same extent productive power is lost; and in the case of destitute widowhood and orphanage, burdens are created and cast, either on the industrious survivors belonging to the family, or on the contributors to the poor’s-rates, during the whole of the period of the failure of such ability.'
It appears that the number of widows chargeable to the poorrates in the year ending Lady-day, 1840, was 43,000, and that the total number of orphan children to whom relief was given was 112,000. Of these it is estimated that 27,000 cases of premature widowhood, and more than 100,000 of orphanage, might be traced to removable causes.
Take one pleasing example of a cause removed :
• In one mine,' says Dr. Barham, 'the Dolcoath mine, in the parish of Camborne, in Cornwall, great attention is paid to obviate agencies injurious to the miners. Care is there taken in respect to ventilation