other parts of the world, the effect would be more and more beneficial.”

“ If there were no poor's rates, but more prudence, and wages were sufficiently high to enable the labourer to provide for old age, and to bring up decently the average number of children, allowing for the ordinary casualties, then where there were more than the average number of children, or extraordinary casualties, the resources would be a certain degree of privation, and, beyond that, the voluntary assistance of those around. Where there is general comfort, a few cases of poverty, (not pauperism,) so far from being considered burdensome, are not only cheerfully but eagerly relieved. These are the legitimate objects of charity, and as they excite the kindly affections, and repay them with gratitude, they tend to increase the general stock of virtue and happiness. But the Poor Laws, by serving to debase the one class, and to make the other believe such debasement inevitable, greatly retard any material improvement. They keep up a race of paupers even under the most favourable circumstances. There is at least a skeleton regiment in every parish ; a few gin-drinking, canting old women, two or three dissolute fellows, with a show of infirmity to excuse them from work-a half knave, half fool, with his attendant train of ragged urchins -- besides sundry loose characters, who alternately enlist and desert, as the humour takes them and the times permit. This corps, ever ready on emergency to be filled to its complement, is kept constantly exercised in a predatory warfare on the squire's game, the farmer's fences, his wife's poultry, and every petty pillageable article ; for which services, besides their regular pay, they obtain contributions from the poor, and pensions from the rich. Every Monday inorning, old Betty Tomkins sets off to receive her shilling from the vicarage, and toddles home with her pockets full of oddments, and her apron full of sticks, invoking the Lord to bless every one she meets. Lame Nathan occasionally hobbles his rounds amongst the little farmers, to pick up his dinner, and anything else he can lay his hands upon, with the character of being a willing fellow if he could but work.' For the better maintenance of this corps perhaps an establishment is kept up-a barrack-master and sur

* I once had an argument with well-known divine on the prevalence of ś pilfering, which he denied. Whilst I was on a visit at his house some time

after, and after this pamphlet was published, he observed a woman, who had been called in from the village to assist in his family during the illness of one of the servants, going away in the evening with very swollen pockets. He called her back, and the contents were exhibited in my presence. They consisted of a large heap of fragments of bread, toasted and untoasted, a broken phial, an old housewife, a goose's pinion, and half a carrot


geon-then stores are to be laid in, and petty interests are created at the expense of the general. It is the nature of pauperism to infect; it is the study of paupers to make converts. Experience teaches them that it is the tendency of numbers to increase their pay, and decrease their degradation. By numbers they overawe and tire out those whose interest it is to control them: by numbers they diminish the examples of independent exertion. They are consequently assiduous in every art of recruiting their ranks, and preventing desertion. It is little known by what persuasion, threats, derision, and intrigue, many healthy spirits are corrupted, and how many by the same means are prevented from emancipating themselves. As long as there is a permanent fund, it will be so. Temporary efforts may produce temporary reductions, but it is system against the want of it. The greater part of the population is kept too near the verge of pauperism, with unsettled habits and downward looks. Their thoughts are so habituated to what is low, that any partial scheme for their improvement advances slowly, is eyed with suspicion, and generally ends in decay ; and it may be laid down as a maxim, that in every political institution, the tendency of which is to induce other than self-dependence, abuse is unavoidable, and that if it were not, still the results could never be beneficial.”





“ There is a dread with some people that the labouring classes may be made so prudent as to become independent of work, or so refined as to be above it, or that their habits may be so raised as to require exorbitant wages. That individuals may become independent of work, is very true and very desirable ; but that very circumstance will always hold out sufficient temptation to ensure a supply of labourers. With respect to an increase of refinement, the error arises from taking the effect of transition for permanent effect. Where partial improvement is going on, the few who are the first to partake of it are very likely, as the phrase is, to give themselves airs, and to appear above their

but it is not the nature of the acquirement, but the newness of it and the distinction, which produce the evil. The individuals are not above their work, but above their fellow-workmen. As soon as the improvement becomes general, the inconvenience ceases. It is a common complaint, on an extension of education, that female servants become difficult to be met with, and difficult to be managed; but in those parts of the country where the same extension has long existed, no such complaint is ever thought of. It must not be forgotten, with respect to refinement, that the offices of labour are almost universally capable of being rendered much more agreeable and respectable than they


have hitherto been. It is to be wished that every portion of the labouring classes were too refined for the filth of Covent Garden, or the brutalities of Smithfield. The evil here lies in the bad contrivance and arrangement of those places of public concernment. It is surely a great error to spend nearly million of money on a penitentiary, whilst the hotbeds of vice from which it is filled are wholly unattended to. What must necessarily be the moral state of the numerous class, constantly exposed to the vicissitudes of the weather, amidst the mud and putridities of Covent Garden ? What ought it to be where the occupation is amongst vegetables, fruit, and flowers, if there were well-regulated accuminodations ?* As for Smithfield, it is only necessary to witness its horrors during the night and morning of a market, to be convinced of its corrupting effects, and, without witnessing, description can scarcely be adequate. It ought to be the first care, well to adapt every public institution to the end intended ; but to attempt to prevent, merely by penal enactments, the evils of mental debasement, arising from deficient municipal regulations, is like the practice which neglects the constitution, and applies caustic to each external eruption. But this is a subject of vast importance, and requiring a separate consideration. With respect to raising the habits of the labouring classes so as to require exorbitant wages, I will only observe in this place, that provided habits are proportionally raised, wages inay be considerably augmented without increasing the cost of labour, and that the drawbacks upon the enjoyments of this beauteous world, arising from ignorance, grossness, and dishonesty of the labouring classes, are so numerous and so heavy, that scarcely any expense can be too great to remove them.”

SELF-DISCIPLINE. It is now nine o'clock at night of Monday the fourteenth of September, and I have four pages of this number to write by nine o'clock to-morrow morning. In my number for the twentysixth of August, I concluded an article on Composition with saying, that I intended to avail myself of the comparative solitude of the present month, to pay special attention to my state, both for my own ease, and to see the result as to my facility in writing. I have done no such thing; but thinking my temptations would be fewer, I have been more off my guard than usual, and have deteriorated instead of improving. The consequence is, I write with difficulty, and what would have been perfectly easy to me, if I had followed up my resolution, is now an irksome task; but I rejoice at it nevertheless, because it makes me feel more strongly the expediency of discipline, and I hope by this time next week to have made a regular progress. Self-discipline is the most important occupation of man, and ought to be the never-ceasing object of his attention. There can be no spectacle so noble as a human being under perfect self-control-self-control, not only in abstaining from what is wrong, but in pursuing what is right. In such a state alone is to be found perfect freedom. Every other is more or less a state of servitude to indolence or ill-directed energy. Till this morning, when necessity compelled me, I could not bring myself to put pen to paper for this week's number, and the consequence was, that during the previous days I was a slave to irresolution, which irresolution was produced by inattention to diet, and by too much sleep. Selfdiscipline is the regulation of the present with a view to the future ; but unfortunately the temptations of the present generally prevail against advantages which are not present, and we content ourselves with deferring the execution of our resolves from occasion to occasion throughout our lives. It seems to me as if the first thing we ought to attend to, was our physical state, or bodily health, and that everything else would follow almost as a matter of course. I mean that sound state, which is equally removed from debility and feverish excitement, and the attainment of which implies the exercise of many virtues, whilst it is favourable to the development of many more.

* Since this was first written, Covent Garden market has been remodelled and greatly improved as to buildings, but as to slovenliness and filth, much remains to be done. This is to be lamented on another account, as there are the elements of a very agreeable place of resort. It is now to be hoped that the nuisance of Smithfield will not exist much longer.

It is the character of the Christian religion to inculcate the practice of self-discipline to a much greater extent than was erer even thought of before, and the Christian religion is constantly represented by its earliest teachers as holding out perfect freedom to its disciples. pears to me certain that the practice of its precepts is calculated to ensure the greatest quantity of happiness here, as well as hereafter, because, whilst it permits every rational enjoyment, it imposes restraint only in those things which are injurious. An individual who acted up to the rules of Christianity, could not but enjoy existence in the highest perfection of which it is capable. But a degree of perseverance is necessary, to which few can bring themselves. It is not by violent efforts that a proper state can be attained, for they are never lasting. It is not by plunging into extremes that we can ensure our well-being, for they defeat every object of living ; but it is by a steady, temerate course, with a constant check upon ourselves even at the

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thought of evil. When we have gone wrong, we must get right by degrees, so as to acquire a new habit as we reform. A violent resolution is only made to be broken. A sudden start from the wrong to the right road is followed by as sudden a start back again. It is necessary also in self-discipline, in order to make it effective and permanent, that it should be extended to all our actions and habits. It is the whole man that must be reformed, or there is no safety. There must be no reserves, no compromises, no granting ourselves, as it were, a lease of certain irregularities, with a determination to quit them at the expiration of a term. We must begin from the present, and go steadily on, watching ourselves unceasingly, making our aberrations daily less and less, and securing every advance by all the precautions in our power. We must never be too sure, which is the almost certain forerunner of a relapse, but must distrust our strength on every occasion of temptation, either of commission or omission. It shall be my endeavour to practise somewhat of all I preach; and, indeed, I feel to a certain extent the beneficial influence of turning my thoughts to the subjects I have treated of in these papers. I shall set to work in earnest in carrying that resolve into execution which I have mentioned at the beginning of this article.

IMPOSITION. A short time since a boy about twelve years of age was brought before me by a journeyman shoemaker's wife, who said she had found him in a state of great destitution, and had taken him in for charity, but that her husband would not let him remain any longer, and the overseers of the parish, to whom she had represented the case, would not afford any relief. On being questioned, the boy said he was born and had lived in some out-ofthe-way place in Essex, which he described ; that his father had died of cholera, and that his uncle, after keeping him some time, had brought him to London, and left him without a place to go to. Though I was convinced, from experience, that there was imposition on the part of the woman, or the boy, or both, I was unable to detect it, and I sent the boy to the workhouse of the parish where he was found, and, after my business was over, went there myself; but still, with the assistance of the parish-officers, I was baffled in endeavouring to get at the truth, and the woman was told to take the boy till inquiries could be made. From those inquiries enough was learned to refuse assistance : and the boy, having been turned out by the shoemaker, was again brought to

my office for wandering about. A policeman was now sent with him to ascertain the truth, and by some means he discovered

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