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South Africa, are of general knowledge ; but we could have wished that, as Mr. L. seems to bave some practical acquaintance with mineralogy, he had devoted a chapter to that important subject : his casual references are too slight to be satisfactory. The decorations of the book are respectable ; they give a very pleasing and sufficiently complete representation of the principal features of the Moravian settlements, and of other remarkable scenery in Mr. Li’s track; two of them, in particular, the pass of Trekataʻkow, and the Paerdekop, are well managed both" in design and colouring. We must, however, make a decided protest against all the puny aids of the Camera Obscura and Lucida ; they are but substitutes for skill, and completely destructive of it, since they tend effectually to discard all feeling and discrimination of outline. The unerring dependence of the true artist is on his eye and hand, and with right principles and sufficient practice, they will never deceive nor desert him.
We are glad to learn that Mr. Thom is about to take a journey into the interior of the Cape colony, for the purpose of fixing geographical positions. It appears to us that there are three objects which our missionaries should keep in view, all of them valuable, though unquestionably of very uuequal importance. The first and most indispensable is the religious instruction of the igoorant; the second, and next in the scale, is the civilization of the barbarian ; and the third is the promotion of science and discovery. The elements of Botany, Mineralogy, and the scientific arrangements of the various kinds of animal existences, may be easily and pleasantly acquired in the intervals of more * important studies. Mapping, surveying, and the means of taking the observations necessary for ascertaining geographical position, are also accomplishments of easy and agreeable acquisition. We would also especially recommend, that in acquiring the art of drawing landscape, the instructions of a
genuine artist should be obtained. Students are in the two- fold danger of cramping their hand by endeavouring with imperfect means to instruct themselves, or of acquiring erroneous principles from unqualified masters; but a few sound instructions from an experienced artist will, with practice, enable them to
form a decided and characteristic outline, and to put in with “ a bold and rapid pencil such indications of shade and colour,
as shall give a far happier and richer effect than they would otherwise be enabled to produce by hours and days of feeble elaboration. Above all things, we would urge scrupulous fidelity, a quality wbich we have too often seen sacrificed to effect and false principles. In this respect, the late Mr. Gilpin did extensive injury: his writings contain some sterling matter, mingled with a large alloy of affectation. He was a sort of picturesque
dandy, and carried bis new invented fashions in art to the extreme of foppery. His original drawings, some of which are now before us, display great dexterity and much knowledge, but are disfigured by a flutter and feebleness; palpably the effect, not of ignorance, but of misapplied knowledge.
Art. II. J. Third Report from the Select Committee on the Poor
Laws ; (1818 :) With an Appendix, containing Returns from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Ordered by the
House of Commons to be printed, 26th May, 1818. 2. A Bill (as amended by the Committee) for the Establishment of
Parochial Benefit Societies. THIS Third Report of the Select Committee, is in itself ex.
de tremely short, and merely serves to introduce the Report of the Committee of the General Assembly, which occupies the bulky Appendix. It states, that it has been the object of the Select Committee, during the late sessions, rather to carry into effect the suggestions contained in their previous report, than to bestow more time on the investigation and discussion of the subject at large, the Committee - being satisfied of the justice
of those principles and opinions which had been before submitted to the judgement of the House.' It represents the attention of the Select Committee to have been necessarily so much occupied with the details of those measures which bad received the sanction of Parliament, as to have added na• terially to the difficulty of maturing other measures tbat would
apply to the radical evil of the system. If they have, therefore, the Report proceeds to say, 'abstained from offering to • the consideration of the House, during the present Session of • Parliament, any measure the nature and object of wbich • might have been to provide an effectual check to the progress, • and a gradual remedy to the evils which have resulted from a * compulsory assessment for the purposes of relieving the Poor;
it has not been from any alteration in the opinions they have expressed of the necessity wbich exists for making such a • provision, or from any unwillingness on their part, to en
counter the difficulty of offering such a provision to the con6 sideration of the House.' It is, however, far from heing improbable, that the Honourable Committee, although they may not see reason to change their opinion as to the theoretical expediency of radical remeslies, have found the practical difficulties of the subject baile every attempt to frame a feasible plan in conformity to the principles they have adopted.
In resuming the general subject of the Poor Laws, what wo propose to ourselves, is, to take a cursory review of the various seinecial projects which have been subunitted to public atten. kon; and this will necessarily introduce the consideration of the
rcknowledged evils connected, either inherently or otherwise, with the system of Parochial Relief, as at present administered.
With regard to the projects having for their object the eventual abolition of the Law of Relief, they are of such a pature as in themselves almost to justify the doubt whether the end can even be desirable, the attainment of which must evidently be regarded as so hopeless. Unless, however, we are satisfied as to the precise nature of the ultimate object at which it is desirable to aim, we shall make but little progress in the inquiry into the fitness or expediency of any measures of a remedial nature. Is, then, the ultimate extirpation of the present system, the object to which every modification of the existing laws should tend? Can we,' to adopt Mr, Courtenay's language, hope
that labour and wages will so completely adjust themselves, "and the people be so nicely proportioned to the soil and wealth
of the country, as to confine want and misery to the profligate I only? Or, if we are not sanguine enough for this, are we prespared to leave wholly to private benevolence the relief of un. foreseen and undeserved inisfortune? If so, if our readers are prepared to concur with Mr, Ricardo in his assertion, that no scheine merits the least attention which has not the total aboJition of the Poor Laws for its ultimate object, it will only remain to inquire how the transition from one state of things to another can be accoinplished at the least expense of intermediate suffering, or, what may perhaps be a still more impressive consideration,) with the least danger to ourselves.
The following are the projects having for their object the removal of the radical evil of the system. : 1. ? To fix the whole sum to be raised, at its present rate, for any other that might be determined upon, and to make a
law that on no account this sum should be exceeded :' a plan said to have been suggested by Sir Wm. Pulteney, favoured by Sir Freçlerick Eden and the Coinmittee of the House of Commons, but strongly condemned by Mr. Malthus and Mr, Davison, as well as by Mr. Courtenay, who exposes its injustice, and shews at the same time the impracticability of realizing it.
2. To reduce the amount raised, by taking off one-tenth of the Poor's Rates annually, so as to destroy the whole in ten years; (a scheme recommended by Mr. Townsend ;) or, by means of 'ą decennial reduction of one-tenth, to deliver us from the burtben in a hundred years.'
3. To exclude, after a short notice, from the benefit of the Law of Relief, the children of future marriages. This is Mr. Malthus's suggestion ; but, in his Letter to Wbitbread, cited by Pr, Courtenay, he seems virtually to abandon it, wheú he owns
that he should be very sorry to see any Legislative regulations ' founded upon the plan he bad proposed, till the higher and • middle classes of society were generally convinced of its ne
cessity, and till the poor themselves could be made to un. • derstand thut they had purchased their right to a provision
by law, by too great and extensive a sucrifice of their liberty and happiness.' Such a condition as this, if it does not amount to a sine die postponement of the plan, refers it to a period too remote, we imagine, to come into our present calculations. Mr. Courtenay has, in our opinion, satisfactorily disposed of each of these propositions ; we are not aware of any others.
Were there, however, no alternative but such as the above suggestions impiy, to our sitting down under the unmitigated pressure of the existing burdens, the desperation wbich such a prospect would induce, might seem to warrant any experiments, however bold, that afforded the chance of eventual relief. Much, however, it is admitted on all sides, may be done towards alleviating the evil, by correcting the injurious administration of the Poor Laws, which has, within a comparatively recent period, given a new character to the original system, and by institutions adapted to raise the moral character of the lower classes. To these two objects, we are well persuaded, all measures of beneficial reforın must be exclusively directed...
And here, at the very outset, in considering the evils arising froin the mal-administration merely of the law of relief, we are met with the prevailing practice of mixing relief with wages. This in itself presents by far the greatest obstacle to any plans of amendment. The Comınittee of the House of Commons, although they have expressed themselves very strongly on the subject, have been unable to suggest any legislative remedy for this enormous abuse. There would seem, indeed, to be but two ways in which this practice could be put a stop to; either to make it obligatory on the employer, in every branch of productive industry, to pay a certain price for labour according to a fixed scale, regulated by the price of provisions, so as to supersede the necessity of relieving any who are in the receipt of wages; or to enact that no man who is in the receipt of wages, shall be entitled to claim pecuniary relief. To the former plan, insuperable objections would oppose themselves ; objections both of principle and of detail. We have seen, it is true, that in one branch of our manufactures, a local bill of this description has appeared to have had a beneficial effect in protecting the labourer from oppression; and in casc's where no legislative interference has been exerted, a scale of wages mutualiy agreed upon hy the masters and workmen of a trade, is generally found to be attended with their mutual advantage. But setting aside the reasonings
ive as it would be the other mode to any man who existing cir
of the economists, who contend that the wages of labour should always be left to be regulated by the increase yr reduction of the demand, it is sufficient to reinark, that work of various descriptions must be paid for in relation to its quality, not less than in proportion to quantity; its quality as produced by the superior skill of the workman. Of the material difference in the marketable value of the same commodity arising out of this circumstance, a fixed scale of wages can take no cognizance. The infinite modifications of labour by skill, can no otherwise be taken into account, than as labour of all kinds is left to be paid for according to the market price. Any further discussion of this matter, is, however, superseded by this simple consideration, that the attempt to put a statute-price upon labour, by whatsoever severities the law should be enforced, would prove as abortive as it would be injurious and unjust.
With regard to the other mode,, the enacting that in future no relief in money shall be given to any man who is in the receipt of wages, it is obvious, that by itself, under existing circumstances, it would be next to impracticable to carry it into effect. This is, bowever, the only plan wbich promises an efficient reform of the present system, and it deserves, therefore, our most attentive cousideration. For if it be true, as there can be little doubt, that the Poor Laws are the means of keeping down the wages of labour, that but for such a provision the wages of the labourer would have been higher, it would seem to be for the good even of those who subsist upon the wages of labour, that, so far as regards them, the provision by which they are losers rather than gainers, should be abolished. The consequence of such an enactment would, of course, be, that many would prefer casting themselves wholly upon the parish for support, to selling their labour for a sum inadequate for their maintenance : this would operate as a check upon the supply, and by that means tend to enhance the price of labour. Under these circumstances wages must, we should conceive, rise to the level of a fair living price ; and as soon as this should be the case, the condition of the labourer would become so superior to that of the pauper, as to furnish the strongest inducement to industry. The aggregate number of paupers would be lessened by the total number of the labourers then receiving wages, who now subsist partly upon wages, and partly upon parochial relief; and it may be questioned whether the expense incurred by the inaintenance of those who should be left entirely dependent upon parochial relief, would long continue to exceed the amount which is now expended upon a larger number in connexion with wages. Pauperism would then again become associated with the idea of degradation, as a state of dishonourable and comfortless indigence, into wbich the labourer would dread to sink, and in which