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and with my eye upon the clock, I have written some of the short moral pieces above mentioned at the Athenæum, at the same table where others have been writing notes and letters; and sometimes I snatch an interval at my office. Moreover, most of these short pieces have been written by measure to fill up certain spaces. I write down a title, and then wait for the first sentence; then for another, and so on, without any plan, till I have got as many lines as I want, and I have generally found that the more unsatisfactory the process has been to myself, the more satisfaction I have given to others. I can only attribute my succeeding under such circumstances to the extent I am told I have done, to my formerly having read with great attention, not crammed, many of the best authors, and to my habitual cultivation for many years of the pure truth, unmixed with party feeling, or any bias whatever. The disposition and the hidden materials seem to bring me through my einergencies. I shall conclude with a tribute which I feel to be due. In former times, printers appear to have been the torment of authors; but mine are to me the reverse, for they render me every assistance, and in each individual in the office with whom I have to do, I find so complete an understanding of his business, such punctuality in execution, so much intelligence, and such a desire to accommodate me, as make what might be very irksome very agreeable. With my publisher, to whom I applied without any previous knowledge, from his contiguity to the printing-office, my business is less frequent and less urgent, but I can speak of him with equal praise ; so that with readers, printers, and publisher, I consider myself ! altogether most fortunate.
In my first address to you I expressed a hope that we should soon be on intimate terms. In what I have just written I have assumed that we are so, and have let my pen talk as if I were talking in person to a familiar acquaintance.
SAVINGS' BANKS. In looking over some papers, I found a little tract entitled Observations on the Utility and Management of Savings' Banks, which I wrote a long time since in reference to the village where I first turned my attention to the subject of pauperism. Though savings' banks are now well understood, which was not the case when I wrote, I subjoin a few extracts, as placing some of their advantages in a familiar point of view, and as having relation to the article in my twenty-fifth number on a bank for seamen. Some of the reasoning, too, is applicable to
those who are above the condition of the classes to whom I was addressing myself. Should
young man of eighteen begin to save two shillings a week, and go regularly on for ten years, he would at the age of twenty-eight have in bank, reckoning his savings and the interest, about sixty pounds ; the value of which, observe, consists very much in the manner of acquiring it. For suppose him to have spent those ten years, as is too commonly the case, working half his time, and drinking and idling the rest, and suppose the sum of sixty pounds to be then given him, what effect would it have? Would he not most likely drink more and work less ? Does money make bad habits into good ones? It is rather like putting manure upon weeds—it only makes them ranker. But when a man has set his mind upon saving, he will almost necessarily contract such habits as will make his savings useful. He will find hard work grow easier, becanse it increases his gains ; he will shun idleness because it stops them; he will turn away from the alehouse, because it swallows them up; he will be content with frugal fare, because it adds to his savings, and though he
may look forward to the comforts of marriage, he will be in no hurry to bring upon himself the charges of a family. Being careful himself, he will look about for some careful young woman, and they will resolve not to be married till they can furnish a house and have some money in store. This will make them doubly industrious and doubly careful, and then their savings will mount up so fast, that perhaps they will begin to have higher notions, and will put off their marriage a little longer, till they have saved enough to set up on a small farm, or in some business, where they think they can, by joining their savings, become richer, though married, than they could separate. Here marriage is indeed a blessing! The children will have advantages in education, which their parents did not possess; and though all this cannot happen to all, it is yet impossible to foresee what benefit may arise to a man and his descendants, from placing a portion of his early earnings in a savings' bank. shilling a week saved will, with the interest, amount to twenty pounds in seven years. Three shillings a week will amount to sixty pounds in the same period. If a man who earns thirty shillings a week deposits ten, he will possess at the end of five years one hundred and forty pounds; and if he should marry a female who has been able to accumulate half as much, they would together possess no less a sum than two hundred guineas to begin the world with.
" It is true that a savings' bank holds out the best prospect to those who are young and unencumbered ; but almost all may
derive some advantage from it—at least they may point out to their children the easy means of securing their own comfort, and it will be strange, if out of a large family, some do not prove able to assist their less fortunate parents in their old age.- Teach but a child to put part of his first little earnings in the bank, and in all probability poverty will not overtake him to the end of his life. Teach one child to save, and others will follow the example, till industry and frugality become as common as vice and misery are now. If a boy of twelve years of age can lay by threepence a week till he is fourteen -then sixpence a week till he is sixteen —and then one shilling a week till he is eighteen, by which time he may be supposed to have learnt his business, he will have in the bank, adding the interest of his money, ten pounds; besides having acquired habits of industry and carefulness. It has been shown above, what he may lay by in the next ten years; and what he will be at the end of that time, compared with men of his own age, who have not saved, and who are neither industrious nor careful, need not be shown.
“ Many, who have been wild in their youth, begin to be steady when they marry; but bad habits will break out, and an increasing family presses so hard upon those who have nothing beforehand, that they often become discouraged, and sink under the evils of poverty. They need not, however, despair-let them consider, if they have not some inclination, which they now and then indulge at the expense of some of their comforts, though the thought of it afterwards only causes them pain. Let them try to turn that inclination into an inclination for saving; it will soon grow upon them, for it gives pleasure both in deed and in thought; it will go with them to the plough, it will stay with them at the loom, and will sweeten the labour of both. Let them only make a beginning, if it is but with sixpence; if necessity compels them, they can take it back; the attempt will do them credit, and perhaps they will be more fortunate another time. Let them consider every penny they spend ; let them examine if they cannot do without something which before they thought necessary. If they happen to have money in their pockets, without any immediate use for it, let them take it to the bank, and trust to their industry to supply their future wants. A shilling, not called for, soon tempts to the alehouse, it spent there, a shot is soon run up, a day's wages are soon lost, and thus five shillings are gone without thought and without profit. Now five shillings in the bank would make an excellent beginning towards rent, or towards clothing. Scrape a little money together, and some pounds in the year may be saved, by laying in potatoes, or flour, or coals at the best hånd, instead of
in very small quantities, and on credit. By buying two pair of good strong shoes at once, so that they may always be well dried before they are put on, and mended as soon as they want it, two pair will last as long as three that are constantly worn; here are at least ten shillings saved, besides the saving of health and strength.
" There are many other ways of saving, by means of a little money beforehand ; and it is clear that a man and his family who earn four-and-twenty shillings a week, may, by good management, live better than they did before; or, if they prefer it, may lay by a few pounds at the end of the year. If a man wants to borrow a little money on any particular occasion, or for any particular purpose, what is so likely to obtain him credit, as his having been a regular saver in the bank ? If he has unfortunately not been so steady as he might have been, what is so likely to get him a character as his beginning to put money in the bank? But there is scarcely any end to the advantages of such an establishment to those who choose to avail themselves of it; for unmarried women especially it is particularly desirable ; they may there (place their savings in safety, without trouble or expense; it gives them the best opportunity of making themselves comfortable if they marry, and independent if they do not.
“ As yet savings' banks have not been established long enough to prove more than a very few of the good effects that may be expected from them. They are calculated, however, to serve the country in the best of all possible ways, by enabling every man to serve himself; they hold out encouragement to youth, comfort to middle life, and independence to old age, and a perpetual opportunity to men to improve their condition from generation to generation."
CASE OF DISTRESS. I am in a state of great perplexity at this moment. It is half past four in the morning, and by twelve o'clock I want six pages in order to complete this number. All yesterday I was racking my brain upon various topics, but with no sort of success. I might as well have rummaged for gold in an empty chest. I could not find an idea on any subject. At eleven I went to bed in the hope of rising in a more fertile humour. I was up at three, but found no change. I suppose the weather has something to do with producing this collapse of the imagination ; that is, the weather combined with a want of my customary quantity of exercise and a sufficient attention to diet. It is a losing game to persist, when the humour is directly contrary ; and, probably, if I had taken a vigorous ride yesterday, my inaptitude would have vanished, and I should have saved time. These difficulties might easily be avoided, and I am quite determined I will avoid them for the future, by increased and regular attention to my state of man; though it is almost worth while to feel their weight, on account of the
delightful sensation of lightness which follows their removal. I must eschew formal dinners as much as possible, and live according to the dictates of reason; indeed, I think I have done penance almost long enough. I mean, amongst other things, to attend particularly to sleep, upon the quantity and quality of which, I find, vigour and elasticity of body and mind very much depend. There is a great art in sleeping; though it is much neglected, because everybody can sleep after a fashion without any art at all. I will make it the subject of a special article, as soon as I have made my observations practically. Time creeps on, and I find myself at a complete stand-still ; so with many apologies for my helpless state, and promises to prevent a recurrence, I have recourse once more to my pamphlet on Pauperism, and make a sufficient quantity of extracts to fill up my remaining space. The last extract, on the cost of labour, I thought had been inserted before, and I searched for it for the purpose of referring to it in the article in my last number on Impressment. It will serve to make a part of what I have said there better understood by those who take the trouble to compare the two.
PAUPERISM. Pauperism, in the legal sense of the word, is a state of dependence upon parochial provision. That provision, so far as is necessary to supply the demand for labour, is a tax upon wages; beyond that amount it is a tax upon property, and operates as a bounty to improvidence. Where labourers, with an ordinary degree of prudence, cannot maintain themselves and their families without parish relief, such relief is part of their own wages, kept back to be doled out to them as emergency requires. The feigning, or unnecessarily bringing on such emergency, demands an increase of the provision, which increase falls on the property assessed to the rates. Of the large sum annually raised for the purposes of pauperism, that part only is a tax upon property, which is absorbed by the bounty to improvidence and by the expenses of the system; the remainder is merely a tax upon wages, and has this double injustice in it-it is not refunded by the ratepayer in the proportions in which it is retained by him, nor distributed to the labourers in the proportions in which it is deducted