81 148


375 260 77

193 9569 1223 838 252


one loom, for which he had paid £12 within the pre- hold over their corn till the most favourable time vious twenty-four years, without any other alteration arrived for bringing the produce of their farin to than that which was necessary on the invention of the market. fly-shuttle; and after having paid the price of four What, on the other hand, has been the experience new looms in interest, he was not at that time the of the last summer? Those 550 families borrowed, on owner of one. Here, and in many similar cases, the moderate interest, from the Mont de Piété, £1640, and Mont de Piété was the means of relieving the poor, and by habits of industry and increased diligence, their the owners of looms for hire began to find it difficult weekly instalments are paid; at harvest, instead of to let them out. One farmer, indeed, proposed to sell being deeply involved in debt, they owed nothing for his stock of looms to the institution, finding the hope their summer's food, and the produce of their land has of his gain drawing to a close; but of course the pro- in many cases been reserved for weeks, till the best posal was rejected, as these old looms were incapable price could be obtained; they are able not only to pay of producing as good a fabric as the new looms issued their rents, but to supply themselves and their children by the Mont de Piété.

with better clothing. But other moral effects hare At the period of which I speak-namely, the first followed. Halfpence and pence, which formerly were nine months of operation--above 2600 loans had been squandered in tobacco, snuff, and ardent spirits, are granted for the following purposes:

treasured up for the Monday morning's instalments,

and the people are beginning to feel the value of small For provisions,

Loans, 550 Amounting to £1640 sums, and the truth of the old homely proverb, that Materials for trade,


• if you take care of the pennies, the shillings will tako Dealing,


664 Clothing,

care of themselves.' Repairs of houses,


Again, we find that £2569 has been borrowed for Yarn for weaving,

612 the purchase of cows. The benefit to the poorer classes Looms,


in this particular is incalculable—the health arising To pay small debts, To buy cows,

from the possession of an abundant supply of milk; 594 pigs,

the improvement on their farms, by sowing green crops Farming purposes, secil, &c.

for the maintenance of their cows; the increased quan. Rent,

tity of manure which is provided for the land--while

it has been ascertained that in twenty weeks the geneTotal,


rality of cows purchased have paid, by the produce of In order to form some idea of the benefit derived milk and butter sold, one-half of their own cost. Hunby these borrowers, I examined great numbers of dreds of families are now possessed of a cow each, and them as they appeared on the payment of the last great numbers have already procured a second. As a weekly instalment. I ascertained pretty nearly the proof of the saving habits which are promoted by this amount of money saved or realised by their having the system, I may mention that a respectable person has advantage of ready money, and from these I formed an settled in this town, whose sole business is the purchase average estimate of the whole.

of butter and eggs for exportation; and he finds it

frequently difficult to attend to the immense influx of Oatmeal, £1100 Saving,

persons who come to sell their produce to meet their Potatoes,

weekly instalments, One poor woman borrowed a Cows,


pound; she bought five hens for 4s. 2d.; she expended Pigs,

15s. 10d. in clothing; and at the end of the twenty Dealing,

weeks her fire hens bad been the sole means of paying Total, £6096 Total, £3596 off her debt to the loan fund.

But what is the testimony of the manufacturers in Had the Mont de Piété conferred no other benefit on the neighbourhood ? That the industry which is prothe country than that derived by the peasantry, in promoted by the necessity of those weekly instalments, and curing their summer provisions for ready money, that the punctuality of the weavers in returning their cloth, alone would amply repay the directors for all the la- has already had the most beneficial effects. bour bestowed on the working of the institution. What And how are persons in trade affected by the operawere the circumstances of these 550 families in bygone tions of the Mont de Piété? I have it from the best summers? Many of them found it difficult to procure authority, that a great increase of business has been tbe credit, or obtain a sufficient supply of wholesome food result, and a greater degree of punctuality in meeting for the maintenance of their families ; idleness pre- all engagements on the part of the poorer classes. One vailed, sickness increased, and not unfrequently fields class alone are suffering from the effects of the Mont were mortgaged to more wealthy neighbours, who sup- de Piété, and they are little deserving of compassion. plied the wretched bolders of two or three acres of land Those who live by the destruction of others, both soul with the required food at an exorbitant price. Others, and body, are not to be commiserated-those who keep whose credit was good, passed promissory-notes, payable open houses for the drunkard—and when they have at harvest, and not unfrequently they were charged for given a poor person as much whisky as they think le meal 6s, or 8s. per cwt. more than the market price, in- can pay for, or is able to consume, turn him out, incadependent of the expense of stamps; and it was no un- pable of taking care of himself, and exposed to the common practice for a poor man, wanting the imme- risk of a watery grave in the next river or canal he diate use of a few pounds in money, to purchase oat- meets—those are surely persons whose lack of business meal from a forestaller of provisions, while a third person and prosperity is a blessing, and whose failure in trade would buy back the oatmeal from the poor man at a must be held as a common good. I have undoubted much less price than he was charged, band him the authority for saying that the temperance cause and the money, and the oatmeal would never be delivered, but Mont de Piété are going hand-in-hand; and the twosold again by the forestaller to the next customer. The pence for the morning glass, or the shilling for the object of this transaction is evident. The value of a night's carousal, are now carefully saved to meet the promissory-note for provisions would be easily recover- weekly instalment. able at the quarter sessions, while one for cash, bear- I might enlarge on the important benefits which ing usurious interest, would be likely to involve the this institution confers upon the working-class-above forestaller in an open violation of the law. Thus were £1200 expended in the purchase of pigs, which are the poor on every side oppressed : the harvest-time ar- such a source of wealth to the Irish poor, being rived, and the debts for the supply of summer provisions nearly fattened on the refuse from the tables of the were generally first paid from the produce of the farm; owners.' too often were they unable to pay just demands of rent We must be excused for adding, in illustration, one and other charges, while in few cases were they able to more anecdote from a report by Mr Haynes of the

550 2569 1923 664


338 1284 166 166

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Limerick establishment:

-A poor woman, when the resources. He presents a hundred cases of applications, institution first opened, was in the habit of pledging being those within the few weeks before the time when every morning her bed-tick for two shillings and six- he was writing, and out of these he shows that there pence, and releasing it every evening; this she did for were fifteen young single men, all of whom but two the purpose of purchasing potatoes from the country had been in employment till the time of their illness, people, and retailing then afterwards in small quan- twelve at well-paid crafts, and one as a labourer. tities, at a higher price, thereby endeavouring to sup-Eleven cases were of married persons without children; port her family: for this loan she daily paid the pawn- and thirty-two applicants were married, with only one broker the sum of twopence. When the Mont de Piété or two children. In some of the latter instances, the opened, she, being only charged a halfpenny, saved only child is a daughter eighteen or twenty years of three-halfpence daily, which eventually enabled her to age, who has never been allowed to go out to place, or raise a small stock-purse of ten shillings; and she now to learn any business ; in others, a son apprenticed to seldom, if ever, visits even that office.'

his father, and both in regular employment. In one

instance, where the wife was the patient, the daughter

was in a warehouse, and the son, a youth of fourteen
On the subject of medical attendance, the working-man, years of age, was a day scholar in a respectable private
in ordinary circumstances, may well be at a loss how to academy in the town. The husband had received regu.
act; for, on the one hand, when he calls in a doctor larly twenty-four shillings a week for the last twenty
on account of himself or his family, he is oppressed years. Many of the thirty-two cases are even more
by the high charges for attendance and medicine; and flagrant instances of impositions on the charity.'
on the other, if he resorts to a dispensary or hospital, Certainly in the whole number of applicants for relief,
he loses his independence. That these are evils of large as far as our author has described ther, we do not find
amount, and widely prevalent, might easily be shown. that proportion of persons likely to be in necessitous
In England, the ordinary medical practitioner charges circumstances which might be expected. To support
for medicine only, but he gives much of that, and places his views, he brings the testimony of the house-surgeon,
a high price upon it. A working-man, ill for three who, in answer to queries put to him, says, “The cha-
weeks, will find, on his recovery, a bill of thirty or forty racter and appearance of the patients generally are
shillings run up against him, either causing him to break very different from what they were fifteen or twenty
up his little hoard in the savings' bank, or keeping him years ago. The patients are much more respectably
in embarrassment for the ensuing twelvemonth. Con- dressed, and in better circumstances. Many now, not
ducted as the medical profession is in that country, it is from inability to walk, are conveyed to the house in
impossible, in short, for a poor man to have independent hackney - coaches. They apply for much more
medical attendance which he means to pay, without the trivial ailments than formerly. The author, from the
most serious pecuniary distress being entailed upon him. data afforded him, speaks of females who come to the
So severely is this felt, that the resort to medical chari institution in elegant cloaks, shawls, and clous. Not
ties has of late years been rapidly on the advance in one-half of the applicants have the appearance of indi-
England, both involving more individuals, and indi. gence. 'The frequency with which they apply for
viduals of a better class than formerly. In 1821, when very trifling ailments, such as slight symptoms of indi-
the population of Manchester was 158,000, the dispen- gestion, coughs, or occasional pain, or, indeed, for the
sary patients were 12,000. In 1831, when the popu- removal of disease which just perceptibly mars the
lation was 230,000, this class of patients had adranced beauty of the face or neck, is evidence that their situs-
to 41,000; an increase of fully two to one. It was cal- tion in life is very remote from those circumstances which
culated in the latter year that, of all the persons ill and entitle them to the sympathy of the benevolent. The
requiring medical advice, the dispensary patients were really poor never apply for the relief of slight and unin-
a majority. Similar facts are stated with respect to portant complaints,' Afterwards he adds—' In evidence
Leeds and Birmingham. It would appear as if a wide- of the trifling nature of many of the medical cases, we
spread demoralisation were going on throughout Eng- may state that one-half are often cured in ten days,
land from this cause. Dr Holland of Sheffield has and two-thirds in three weeks."
recently published a volume calling attention to the The results of his inquiries at the dispensary are
subject. He sets out by stating very broadly, as his nearly the same. The great bulk of the applicants are
opinion, that the character of the working-classes in either themselves artisans in the receipt of good wages,
Sheffield were, at the period of his writing, undergoing or the connections of such persons. They come in re-
a certain degree of deterioration, in consequence of so spectable apparel, and when visited at their homes by
many charities, and particularly medical charities, the medical men, are found to possess every appearance
being thrown open to them, the self-respect connected of domestic comfort. Recommendations from sub-
with independence being thus gradually worn 'away, scribers to the institution are necessary to procure ad-
and with it the virtues which have never yet been mission; but these are given, in seven cases out of ten,
found to exist without it. The Infirmary, we are told, by persons who have no knowledge of the circumstances
was established for the benefit of the poor and needful of the applicants. “A gentleman who, from his position
of all nations; but it never, our author argues, could in society, is often applied to, informs us that he always
have been designed for those who are able otherwise to refuses, unless the individual bring a letter from his
obtain the desired aid. Now, however, the fact of employer, stating that he is a necessitous object; and
being an operative is held as a sufficient claim. The though promising to give a recommendation on this
artisan never dreams of the possibility of rejection on condition, not one in twenty returns to receive it.'
the ground of being in full and regular employment, Facts still more remarkable are brought out by Dr
and being amply remunerated for his labour. He ap- Holland. “The distresses of a community,' he says
plies now as naturally to the charity when he is sick as | (meaning such a community as that of Sheffield, upon
to the tailor for the repair of his clothes, with this dif- which he founds his opinions), will be admitted to
ference, that he would be perfectly astonished were any bear a strict relation to the state of trade. When this
one to hint at the propriety of paying for the favours is extremely depressed, many hands are thrown out of
conferred by the former. Our author argues against employment. When the trade is good, the demand for
the following classes at least having any right to the labour is great; wages advance, and the blessings of
benefits of the institution :—Single men in employment plenty are universally experienced. The amount of
--married men with only young and small families misery or destitution cannot be the same in these very
men with several children but high wages-men who different circumstances. It cannot be a fixed quantity
have several song and apprentices working along with floating in society. The idea is preposterous; and yet,
then-servants in situations. All of these persons, if the registered demand for charity be any criterion of
excepting the last, must be able to provide medical the misery existing, there is indeed a quantity subject
attendance for themselyes, if they econoinise their to scarcely any variation whatever.


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From midsummer 1835 to midsummer 1836, between ture with these dispensaries is the practice, now pretty which periods trade was better in this town than it had extensively adopted at public works where a great been known for years, the number of patients admitted number of hands are employed, of compelling each on the books of the Infirmary was 3126. From mid-workman to deposit a certain amount of his wages for summer 1836 to midsummer 1837, between which the purpose of medical aid-a practice which has been periods trade was exceedingly depressed, the num- attended with the best results in many instances which ber was 3431, being an increase only of 305 patients. have come under our own knowledge. Between the former periods the number of patients on Whatever may be the sentiments of the profession the books of the Dispensary was 2888. Between the upon this point, it must be evident to all that, for the latter periods--that is, from July 1836 to July 1837— working-classes themselves, the provident dispensary the number was 2575, being less by 313 patients. Ac- is a most unexceptionable species of institution. It cording to these returns, there were eight patients more carries them over one great difficulty in their career during a prosperous state of trade, recipients of medical with the preservation of their independence ; it does charity, than during the severe depression of it.' more, for, being on the assurance principle, it encou

Dr Holland elsewhere states that healthy seasons rages habits of foresight. Some other advantages preare marked by no diminution of the number of appli- sumedly incidental to it are thus stated by Mr P. II. cants. “We hesitate not to assert that, during the Holland, in the pamphlet above quoted :- Assistance last twelve months, there has been less disease in this in sickness is much more easily accessible in provident town and neighbourhood than has been known for than honorary dispensaries. The patient need not lose many years, and yet during this period the demands time, or degrade himself, by running about to beg a on medical charities have increased.'

recommendation, but applies at once for an attendance As a remedy to these evils, some benevolent persons, ticket, and puts himself under the care of the medical with the co-operation of a few of the more liberal officer of his own choice ; in fact, procures assistance of the medical profession, have instituted what are just as readily as the richest of the land. Consequently, called Prorident Dispensaries, the main feature of as I am informed by Mr Nankivell, at the Coventry which is, that the working-man contributes a small Dispensary, the cases being seen by the surgeons at the sum weekly from his earnings, to entitle him to medi- very outset, the probability of a successful result is cal attendance and the requisite medicines, in the much higher than in ordinary dispensaries : for inevent of illness entering his household—the united stance, at Coventry, they have lost, out of 6094 patients contributions of a few hundred members being sufficient attended, 92, or 1 in 66; at the Chorlton-upon-Medlock to engage a respectable physician, and defray all the Dispensary, in the same period, out of 6438 patients other expenses. Such institutions have been tried with admitted, 210 died, or 1 in 30.6. All who have had marked success at Coventry, Derby, and some other experience in ordinary dispensary practice, will know places. They are limited strictly to the class who are the advantage of getting the cases early; for, at preunable to fee medical attendants in the ordinary way, sent, very many patients, rather than undergo the but who are yet anxious to keep themselves in all re- trouble, unpleasantness, and painful sacrifice of honest spects above the condition of paupers. Individuals pride, will not apply for a recommendation until they wishing to belong to the provident dispensaries must dare delay no longer ; consequently, many cases are join when in good health, as the object is in reality an not under treatment until the only time at which it

assurance against sickness, and the provident cha- could be available is past, and it is this which renders racter of the institution could not otherwise be main- dispensary practice so harassing. tained. One penny a week is paid for each adult of It is probable, nay certain, that the large number of the family, and a halfpenny for each dependent child. patients, in proportion to the deaths, is in a great Individuals of the more affluent classes contribute measure owing to the very easy access to a provident without the design of benefit for themselves, in order dispensary, causing many to apply on very trivial occato encourage the institution, and from them in general sions ; but who shall say how many of these trivial the directing body is chosen - the only part of the cases would have become serious, or even fatal, if arrangement which we cannot fully approve of. From neglected? But this partial explanation will not at all the proceeds a medical man is feed, and medicines are account for the very gratifying result which, by the provided; and it is remarkable that a thousand sick following analysis of the reports of the Coventry Selfpersons connected with a provident dispensary have Supporting Dispensary, I have elicited-namely, that the been found to cost considerably less than a similar average mortality among the members of that dispensary number of patients resorting to the medical charities. is considerably less than the average mortality of the The tendency of such institutions to maintain the moral country generally. This is the more remarkable, as it uprightness of the working-classes is obvious; and it is is fair to presume that the sickly will be more ready to already proved that, wherever they have been planted, subscribe than those in robust health, and therefore applications for parochial relief have been diminished. we might have expected a mortality somewhat greater It is to be lamented that medical men have a prejudice than the average. The mortality of a town like Co. against them, probably from no other cause than that ventry is about 1 in 50 per annum. The following small copper sums are concerned in supporting them. table exhibits the number of members, upon the preBut surely it is better even for medical men that the sumption that each on an average contributes at the humbler order of patients should pay something within rate of 3s. per annum, which must be very near the their means, and that regularly, than only pay in a truth, as adult members pay one penny per week, and few instances, and in others either resort to charities children a halfpenny, while any more than two in a or leave a large debt unliquidated. Of the same na- family, below twelve years of age, are not charged:

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The average annual mortality among 2676 of the that they depend on charity, and sometimes suffer from population, taken promiscuously, would be about 53; the indifference which the midwives in that case emwhereas the mortality among the Coventry Dispensary ployed are apt to feel where their care is not to be repatients has been only 23. We must not suppose that munerated. A poor woman recommended to the Wife's the dispensary is saving lives at the rate of thirty Friendly Society pays 2d. weekly for a year to the treaa year, for much of this difference of mortality must surer (the vicar's wife), making 8s. 8d. in all. To this be attributed to the circumstance of the members of the society froin charitable contributions adds 2s. 100., the institution consisting almost entirely of the most making 11s. 6d. If she is confined that year, she gets frugal, industrious, and prudent of the work-people. an order for 10s., which serves as payment for her Something ought perhaps to be attributed to there medical attendant. The remaining Is. 6d. serves to being probably a disproportionate number of adult mem- furnish gruel and other little comforts—a small suin for bers. " But if we are ever warranted,” says Mr Nanki- such a purpose, but better than nothing. The person vell in a letter to the author,“ in ascribing to medical who recommended the member guarantees that, after means the saving of life, most surely are we so among this payment is made, she will continue to pay her the patients of a self-supporting dispensary, where the weekly twopences till the end of the year. Should no members have medical advice at the very outset of dis- confinement take place, the money is spent on clothes. ease, more promptly perhaps than any other set of In the case of the Penny Clothing Fund, the proporpersons in the country.”'

tion of charitable contribution is greater than in any
other of Mr Osborne's schemes. The object is to encou-

rage the poor to exert themselves to furnish decent clothThe Hon. and Rev. S. G. Osborne, of Stoke Vicarage, ing to their children. A benevolent person pitches upon Buckinghamshire, has published an account (* Hints to some child belonging to a poor neighbour; the patron the Charitable. Price 1s. T. and W. Boone, London.) and the child each pay Id. weekly into the fund; that of several small economic funds, which have been is, 8s. 8d. annually. Some persons take two, three, or formed in his parish-a large agricultural one--for the more children under their care. Mr Osborne speaks benefit of the humbler classes, apparently in a great of 150 in all his parish being clothed by these means measure by the active and well-directed zeal of the in one year. " The buying of the clothing is thus author himself. They are worthy of notice.

managed: a linen-draper attends with his shopinan on One of these is a Coal Fund. The poor in Mr Os- a given day at the expiration of the year, with a large borne's district are generally ill off for coal during the supply of all such articles of clothing as the poor most winter months; and when the weather is unusually need for their children; the school-room is allotted to severe, it is found necessary in many parishes to sub. him as a shop for the day. In addition to the linenscribe to obtain for them a portion of that domestic draper, we have a person over from a neighbouring necessary. In Stoke parish, the poor are induced to market-town, whose business it is to deal in ready-made commence in June paying one shilling a week each into clothing and shoes for boys; he has a room adjoining the parson's hands, until twelve shillings have been the school for his shop. Each lady (these clubs are paid. Coal is there generally from 1s. Id. to Is. 5d. almost always wholly supported by the female sex) apa bushel ; yet the managers of the fund undertake that pears with the children she has put in, together with each person shall have twelve bushels of coal delivered their parents ; they are served in turn, and it is the to hin, during the course of winter, at his door, free of lady's duty to see that they hare their 8s. 8d. worth all charge (a sack of three bushels being given every of goods. The pence are received from the children three weeks four times). The extra money required weekly at the school; from the persons putting them is contributed by the benevolent people of the neigh-in, at the end of the year.' Clothing for children bourhood. Charity is here partially employed ; but it being one of the things which the poor, amidst the is to be remembered that the benefit is conferred upon various difficulties which beset them, are least apt to a class who might otherwise be entirely dependent in provide for, we can well believe that this fund is likely this respect. Mr Osborne considers it a great matter to do much more good than the practice of presenting that the poor are induced to contribute the larger share blankets at Christinas-a blanket being an article which of the funds : their spirit of self-dependence is en- the parent couple feel the want of pressingly themselves, couraged to that extent. The reverend manager of the and are therefore eager to provide from their own means. fund endeavours to save a little in good years, in order The Endowment Suciety for Children is the last of Mr to be the more able to succour the poor in bad ones. Osborne's parochial schemes which are different from The poor complain of this, but he waits patiently till a those already developed in these pages. The object bad year comes to show them the good of the system. here is to make a provision, by small payments, in the In the severe winter of 1837–8, he had £24 in hand. course of a few years, for an event connected with a 'We thought the severity of the season such an ex-child which will inake a small sum of money necessarytreme case, that we ought to do something more than as, for instance, to put him (or her) out to service or apusual for the poor. Accordingly, we took a part of the prentice him, or to furnish him with tools for his trade balance, and bought 114 sacks of coal, some of which when his apprenticeship is expired. One shilling, one we gave away, but sold the greater part at the low price and sixpence, and two shillings, are the various sums of sixpence a sack. The poor were thus taught the received, and they may be for two, four, or six years. advantage of having saved this balance, and we had the The principle is the saine as in a savings' bank, but the satisfaction of affording a most seasonable relief, with money is devoted to a particular object, and that a out begging for a single sixpence from any one. It very interesting one, and a stimulus to saving is added. may be presumed that the parties on the coal fund will The managers of this fund place the money collected in be more careful of fuel thus obtained than of that which the savings' bank; in the event of the nominated child is given them for nothing. They can look forward dying, another is taken, or the money given back. to the winter,' says Mr Osborne, with one heavy care For further information on these economic institufor it removed. When the winter comes, with little or tions, we refer to Mr Osborne's little volume. It may any addition, the tired labourer may ever find a com- be mentioned that he has published other pamphlets fortable fire at home to spend his evenings by; he is (T. and W. Boone, London) connected with the subnot forced to go to the beer-shop to warm himself.' ject of this sheet, and all of which seem to us well

The Wife's Friendly Society is designed to enable korthy of the attention of those who aim at benefiting married women of the poorest class to have a small the poor by evoking their own best powers in their own fund which they can draw upon, to defray the expense behalf. Politically, socially, or morally, a man can be of a proper medical attendant at their confinements, said to fulfil his proper function only when he trusts and furnish some of the comforts required on those to his own right arm for the support of himself and occasions. Generally, this class of persons have no family, and leans upon no one save in the general sense provision for such occasions, and the consequences are in which mankind are all mutually dependent,

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STATISTICS is a science of comparatively recent date, but | sophy, and it decides that the most mischief is done by it is one which promises to be of considerable service the less obvious evil. To put an end to such modes to mankind. Whatever can be ascertained by taking of judging, by adducing the undeniable testimony of down numbers and instances, and making summaries of figures, is, we humbly submit, a worthy service, and them, may be said to be a proper object for this science. this service is rendered by statistics. It is usually applied to such matters as the amount There is one other service which statistics has renof population, the rate of mortality, the progress of dered, of a more remarkable, though perhaps less commerce, manufactures, and agriculture, the increase directly useful, kind than the above. Almost all the or diminution of crime, the state of education, and the occurrences which depend on the human will happen comparative social condition of the several classes irregularly as to time, as far as an individual is conwhich compose any given community. The benefit of cerned. A man commits some particular crime which coming to correct reckonings about these matters must he is not likely ever again to commit in his life-for be obvious; but we shall cite one instance to make it instance, an assault with violence. It was, to all human quite clear. From accounts which have been kept of pprehension, the merest chance which brought him the burials in England for the last fifty years, it ap- into the circumstances which provoked or prompted pears that the rate of mortality (or number who die him to commit the offence. Yet, strange to say, there yearly in comparison with the whole population) dimi- is no offence so accidental as to individuals, or so unnished regularly down to 1821, but has since then been likely to occur above once in an ordinary man's lifea little on the rise ; showing that the condition of the time, but what statistics finds it to occur, with the people at large (inortality depending on condition) was greatest regularity, in a certain range of individuals improving till that time, but has since been slightly and within a certain range of time. The returns of a declining. When such a fact as this is ascertained, particular crime, in such a country as England or statesmen are put on the alert to discover, and, if France, are nearly the same for each successive year. possible, remove the causes. Thus it is seen a nation In all classes of occurrences which appear occasional as may be much benefited by taking a census, and the to individuals, the same uniformity is observed when keeping of a correct register of deaths. The value of we go to sufficiently large numbers : even in the nunstatistical operations, then, is manifest. Statistics may ber of letters put into the post-office without addresses, be said to be the account-book of a nation for ascer- there is a precise uniformity, if we take the office of a taining the condition of its affairs. One which keeps large city, and reckon year against year. Thus to find no statistical records may be said to be like a merchant an order in the most casual of things, even in the waywho transacts business without keeping a ledger, or ward and fleeting movements of the mind, affords ever coining to a balance.

highly-interesting matter for reflection. Statistics bears in a similar manner upon many of Statistical science has its quicksands and difficulties the interests of private life: of this we trust to be as well as its triumphs. Often, when an extensive able to give some notable instances in the sequel. It range of facts has been accumulated, all, as is thought, is one of its least utilities, that it tends to substitute tending to confirm a certain view, there may still be real and distinct knowledge in many matters for vague room to contend that they lead to directly opposite and general impressions. There are many things which, conclusions, or that they show the presence of totally to the uninstructed mind, can only be mentioned to opposite causes from those presumed to exist. There create a feeling of doubt-for example, the compara- is a tendency in those who pursue the science to make tive likelihood of life in men and women. Ask an un- inferences in accordance with their own prejudices, or instructed person whether women or men in general to seek only for facts by which these are favoured : on live longest, and, at the best, he will only be able to fact, to pursue the prejudiced system of planting a answer from some obscure notion in his mind, the re- theory, and then setting out in search of facts to supsult of a few observations which he has happened to port it, instead of the more philosophiical method of make. Statistics has ascertained, though only within first collecting facts from which to deduce a sound and the last fourteen years, that female life is better--that practical conclusion. Such errors are particularly likely is, of longer duration, than male. Here is a thing to be made in subjects where many causes are prewhich no individual could ascertain for himself, and sumedly involved, and which are so extensive that it about which all was doubt for hundreds and thousands is difficult to command a general view of them. As an of years, settled at last by statistics. We have now example, we have only to remind the reader of the the satisfaction of knowing the fact distinctly, instead various notions which are usually entertained as to the of only conjecturing, and perhaps wrangling about it. causes of any distress which may take place throughout

On some of these vague questions proverbial wisdom the country. The higher class of statisticians usually, is found to have made a conclusion for itself. For however, are cautious in drawing inferences and tracexample, this oracle has long been clear, that an open ing causes, believing it to be their best course, in all winter is the most fatal to life, and that more die of doubtful cases, to restrict themselves to the collection surfeit than of want. Statistics finds both of these, and of facts. We are employed,' say the members of the many like conclusions, to be exactly the reverse of the Statistical Society of London in their Report for the truth. It has here corrected decided error, which is year 1848–49, “ in narrowing the circle within which better still than giving distinct knowledge where for the final truths must lie, rather than in an attempt merly there was only doubt. It is observable of almost at once to seize them, in which we should fail, to the all such proverbial notions, that they appear to have loss of that credit which is due to our exertions. In proceeded upon a principle of contradiction or paradox, this arduous and commendable labour many indithe contradiction being generally to what is the most viduals are now engaged: Britain has her Office of likely conclusion of the mind upon the subject. For Statistics ; France her Bureau de la Statistique Géné. instance, want seems at first sight a more deadly thing rale; Belgium her Central Commission of Statistics; and, than over-abundance; but then it is also found, if we in fact, all the principal states of Europe have now pause and look narrowly, that it is possible also to die their central offices in imitation of our own. Without of cholic and of pampering. The clownish oracle has a sustained effort of this kind, correct data can never the same wish to be novel, original, and striking, which be accumulated ; and without a broad basis of facts, is so much the bane of higher

and more aspiring philo- | all attempts at generalisation are worse than useless. No. 85.


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