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him, because he has spent all his savings in keeping himself since times have been so bad ?
Nay, I can't say I think he ever saved much.
Then what better would he be now, however good the times had been? Would he be a penny richer? With most of you (I don't say all) the only difference between good and bad times is, that when they are good, you drink more and work less, and when they are very good, there are many who choose to work and starve one week, in order to drink and be idle the next, and that is all the good they get. You know, they say they belong to a good parish ; they don't care for spending the last penny ; they are sure to be provided for; there's property enough. They shall be provided for, they may depend upon it; they shall be provided with hard work and coarse food. The money that is taken from the industrious to keep the idle, shall no longer be taken in this parish. As for this foolish old man, he is past mending ; so we must see what little work he can do, and allow him some trifle in addition. When any one of you once think of living by any other means than your own honest labour, from that moment, you may depend upon it, you doom yourselves to lives of poverty and wretchedness. So, good-by to you, and take care of yourself.
Well, sir! I have never troubled the parish for a farthing.
It would have been a disgrace if you had ; but have you never thought about it? How often have you and your wife talked it over when
of your neighbours got relief? How often have they tried to persuade you to apply, and told you you were fools for slaving? If you had not been ashamed to show those active limbs of yours, should we never have seen you at the vestry ? Come, be honest, and tell the truth.
Well! I won't press you; your silence is an answer. I'll tell you what— the parish is the ruin of nearly all of you ; and they are your worst enemies that countenance you in having anything to do with it. Again, let me advise you to depend only upon yourself.
THE ART OF ATTAINING HIGH HEALTH-(continued.) Of Diet.—Health depends on diet, exercise, sleep, the state of the mind, and the state of the atmosphere, and on nothing else that I am aware of. I have been accustomed, for many years, to take the air before I eat, or even drink a drop of liquid, and at whatever time I rise, or whatever the weather is. Sometimes I am only out for a few minutes ; but even a few draughts of the open air, when taken regularly as part of a system, produce a tonic effect; and I attribute my constant health more to this
practice, than to any other individual thing. Sometimes I walk or ride a considerable distance, or transact business for some hours ; and twice I have ridden thirty miles, and sat magisterially for a couple of hours, before breaking my fast, or feeling the slightest inconvenience. This strength arises from habit, and I observe my rule so religiously, that I should have the greatest repugnance to break it, from a thorough conviction of its efficacy. To those who are not in a situation, or have not the resolution, to adopt my practice, I recommend as near an approach to it as possible. I recommend them, before taking anything either solid or liquid, to perform their ablutions, and to dress completely, and to breathe for a time the freshest air they can find, either in-doors or out. I also recommend them to engage themselves in some little employment agreeable to the mind, so as not to breakfast till at least an hour and a half or two hours after rising. This enables the stomach to disburden itself and prepare for a fresh supply, and gives it a vigorous tone. I am aware that those who have weak digestions, either constitutionally or from bad habits, would suffer great inconvenience from following my rules all at once. I remember the faintness and painful cravings I used to feel after rising, and like others I mistook weakness for appetite; but appetite is a very different thing -a pleasurable sensation of keenness. Appetite supplied with food produces digestion—not so faintness or craving. The best means—and I always found it effectual --of removing the latter sensations, is to take a little spirit of lavender dropped upon a lump of sugar. After that, a wholesome appetite may be waited for without inconvenience, and by degrees a healthy habit will be formed. It is to be observed, that nothing produces a faintness or craving of the stoniach in the morning more surely than overloading it overnight, or any unpleasant affection of the mind, which stops digestion, and this shows the impropriety of adding more food as a palliative. With respect to the proper food for breakfast, that must depend much upon constitution and way of life, and, like most other matters pertaining to health, can best be learned by diligent observation. I think, as a general rule, abstinence from meat is advisable, reserving that species of food till the middle of the day, when the appetite of a healthy person is the strongest. But at breakfast, as at all meals, it is expedient to select what is agreeable to the palate; being then, as always, specially careful not to let that circumstance lead to excess, even in the slightest degree, but on the contrary, to observe the often laid down rule of leaving off with an appetite. Some people swallow their food in lumps, washing it down with large and frequent gulps of liquid-an affront to the stomach,
which it is sure to resent with all the evils of indigestion, as it is impossible for the gastric juice to act, especially if the body is under the influence of motion. Even the motion of the easiest carriage on the smoothest road in such case tends to produce fermentation and fever, and drinking more, the usual remedy with the ignorant, aggravates the inconvenience; the only plan is to wait till the stomach is drained, and digestion can commence. Mastication is good in two ways; first, io break the food into small pieces, upon which the gastric juice can sooner act; and secondly, to mix it well with saliva, which is the great facilitator of digestion. This subject of saliva is of great importance. When the salival glands are dry, it is impossible digestion can go on well. They are much affected by the mind; and joy and grief will produce an instantaneous change, and whatever partakes of joy or grief acts in a corresponding degree. It is for this reason that I have remarked, in a former number, that it is expedient at meals to avoid all unpleasant or even serious topics. Light, agreeable conversation, with moderate mirth and laughter, promote digestion, and principally, I believe, by stimulating the salival glands. Hence the wholesomeness of food that is fancied to such a degree as to make the mouth water. Hence the benefit of talking invalids into an appetite; and frequently the first symptoms of recovery, after a dangerous or even hopeless illness, manifest themselves by desiring some particular food grateful to the palate ;--so persons, who have been given up and left to eat what they chose, have recovered from that very circumstance, when medicine and prescribed diet have failed. All this is from stimulus to the salival glands; and from it I infer the expediency of allowing invalids, except in things manifestly detrimental, to follow their fancy, and, for the same reason, it is desirable to make their meals as cheerful as possible, by the presence of some one agreeable to them, or by any other means.
No. VIII.- WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 1835.
[I am induced to give the following article on account of its appropriateness to the time; and notwithstanding its forbidding title and its length, I beg to recommend it to the perusal of my readers, both male and female.]
POOR-LAWS IN IRELAND. I met the other day with the following passage from Inglis’s book on Ireland. Speaking of Limerick, he says, “Some of the abodes I visited were garrets, some cellars, some were hovels on the ground-floor, situated in narrow yards or alleys. I will
not speak of the filth of the places ; that could not be exceeded in places meant to be its receptacles. Let the worst be imagined, and it will not be beyond the truth. In at least three-fourths of the hovels which I entered there was no furniture of any description, save an iron pot; no table, no chair, no bench, no bedstead ; two, three, or four little bundles of straw, with perhaps one or two scanty and ragged mats, were rolled up in the corners, unless where these beds were found occupied.” After describing the corresponding appearance of the inmates, he adds, “ I allude to the disputed question, whether there be or be not a necessity for some legal provision for the poor; and I confess, that with such scenes before me as I have at this moment, it does seem to me an insult to humanity and common sense to doubt the necessity to which I allude.” Then he concludes, “ Justice demands that in the ratio of their abundance men should be forced to contribute.” The inference from the above passage is, that this state of things is attributable to the want of poor-laws. Now the same scenes may be witnessed in the heart of this wealthy metropolis, where poor-laws are in full vigour, and where the complaint has been that they were administered with too lavish a hand. It is not the want of poor-laws, but improvident and debased habits from other causes, that produce this misery, real to a great extent, but apparent to a far greater. In the year 1829, when I became a police-magistrate, I was in the habit of visiting, both by day and night, the habitations of the lowest classes, of which a great portion are Irish, in the courts and alleys branching from Rosemary-lane and from the High-street, Whitechapel, towards Spitalfields. I also renewed my visits when the cholera first appeared. In respect to filth and want of furniture, I have frequently witnessed scenes quite equalled by those described by Mr. Inglis ; in respect to inmates, I never saw misery to such an apparent extent, but certainly to greater, reference being had to the general state of the two countries. I will mention particular instances. I remember going one Sunday morning with the parochial authorities of Whitechapel, amongst other places of a like description, to a house in Rosemary-lane, now pulled down, which was inhabited at free cost by several families, there being no legal claimant. It had an ornamented front, and had formerly been of some consideration. The ground-floor was in too dilapidated a state to be occupied at all. We were obliged to borrow a candle at ten o'clock in the morning, to enable us to ascend with safety the ruined staircase. The first room we saw was the common receptacle of the filth of the house, and, as Mr. Inglis says, “ let the worst be imagined, and it will not be beyond the truth.” Through an interior window we saw two nearly naked children standing in a wretched room, the door of which was locked. With some difficulty we gained admission, In one corner a woman was lying on dirty straw, covered only with a ragged sack. In another was a basket of sprats, with some skate heaped on the floor by it.—There were a few broken pieces of crockery on the mantel-piece, and a fagot of wood was reared up in the fire-place; other articles there were none in the
The woman hawked fish, and probably earned some shillings a day; but, like most of her tribe, preferred mere sensual enjoyment to comfort, and was no doubt, from what we observed, sleeping off the effects of supper and gin. In another room were two young men and their wives, with no other furniture than two poor beds, and the rest of the inmates were of a similar class. In a street near, called Cartwright-street, is a disputed property, which is occupied, or was, without ceremony. In one house alone, when cholera was prevalent in that quarter, there were forty inhabitants, several of whom fell victims to the disease. There were at that time great complaints against the keeping of pigs, at the number of which I was much surprised. Some were even found living up stairs, and from them and those below in the most confined places the nuisance was excessive. Filth and mud were accumulated in all directions, some abatement of which has been effected by the alarm from cholera. In short, the generality of the world has very little idea of the state of the lowest parts of it, even in its immediate vicinity, as I had proof in the ignorance of the respectable inhabitants of Whitechapel of what was existing around them ; and this is one of the strongest arguments in my mind in favour of organized and vigilant parish government, because such evils as I have described have only to be brought frequently before men's eyes to be made to disappear. In one of my visitations I went into a house in a filthy court at two o'clock in the morning, and found an Irishman very drunk, sitting with his wife and children on tubs and mugs, and without any tables or chairs, round a fire, on which they were frying beef-steaks and onions, which sent forth a most savoury odour. This was another instance of a love of enjoyment at the expense of comfort, and any person, visiting the family in the day-time, would have had no doubt of their being in a state of destitution, -an error into which medical men and benevolent ladies are very apt to fall, from not having opportunites of distinguishing between the real and the apparent, and from attributing the temporary effects they witness to unavoidable poverty, instead of to systematic improvidence. The consequence is, that though the course they pursue administers present alleviation, it tends to permanent aggravation. In further illustration of the