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1907.) Letter XII. on the Management of the Poor (concluded). 105 Letter XII ---On the Janagement Christ Church Spitalfields, Mile End
of the dffairs of the Poor. New Town, and Bethnal Green, be
(Concludiet from page 21.) sides donations amounting to a conI Thiana
The great disrespect which at Lloyd's. Since the year 1901, they is paid to religion descends from the have dragged on under their tormer master to the servants, and from load of parochial difficulties, without thuru to their relatives and acquaint- any assistance. No relief can be had ance, till it extends to all their con- from those parishes, for the greatest nec ions. If any reform is to be part of the inhabitants who are assessexpected, or even hoped for, it must ed are poor themselves; nor does he begin in the first rank among men, know on which the pressure bears or there will be nothing done to any with the greatest severity; whether great, or even useful purpose. on those who are obliged to crave re
But our legislators and authors, lief, or those who are forced to pay. who speak and write on this subject, Tie money advanced to the milínia seem never to have heard of any poor for the last four years, amounts io five but cottagers ; when the great body hundrel pounds, which the county of them is formed by a very different treasurer calls for in vain; for the description of people, who, instead parish treasurer is not able to pay even of indulgence, ought to be put under a part of it. As there are parishes alserere discipline. I believe there are ready in such a situation, that they cottagers in many counties hardly cannot support their present burdens, used by rigid masters, and something and others are verying towards it; are ought to be done to meliorate their they also to be crippled by additional situation more eit:ctually than teach- taxes? How long are we to go on ing their children to real; for this aulding prop after prop, and undercannot lessen their porerty, nor mining one part of the building to raise them higher in social life. support the other a little longer;
Before legislators hurry their pal- when it is evident to every reflecting sied Schemes into a law, they would person, that if we suffer the present do well to inquire how cottagers are evils to continue unchechied, they will treated in different counties; and procesd with a progressive motion, to consider of means to place them from very bad, to much worse. more upon a level, as there are many But it will be said, that the teaching who are not sunk so low as they seem the children of the dependent poor to to imagine. No one plan which the read, will remedy every defect in our wisest of men can adopt, will ever present system of direcring the paroclieck the growth of many of our pre- chial attairs, and prevent every evil, sent existing evils; and we onghi to of which we now so heavily combe careful in forming our schemes, plain. If we reason from what is Jest in endeavouring to case one part passing under our own eye, the conof the community, we depress ano- clusion to be drawn from the suppother; for there are several above the sition is certainly against us. rank of cottagers, who find it a great How few are there of the bulk of difficulty to spare a shilling. a week, mankind, who now read to store the to give iheir children a little learning. mind with religious and moral infor
Whatever those in atiluence may mation, in order to become better think, an additional shilling on the men, and berter christians! Many, poors’ rate will be a most distressing very many of those who now read, circumstance to many, who strive are more conversant with Bolinghard to make a decent appearance, broke, Hume, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Mr. Whitbread must know it, if Tom Paine's Age of Reason, and an he hath attended to the letter address- Apology for the Religion of Nature, ed to him by Mr. Hales, He in- than with the Testament; and they forms the public, that by the atten- are as vain in their own conceits, as tion of Mr. Henry Thornton, about they are destitute of real knowledge; twenty thousand pounds payable to and much more so than seven men him by warrants, were distributed in that can render a reason of the hope twelve months to the parishes of that is in them. When this course
UNIVERSAL Pag. VOL.VIII.
of reading is improved by the conver- our parochial system of taxation and sation which is heard at their masters' expenditure, many
evils which tables, it cannot fail of corrupting were not foreseen by the legisla:ors their religious and moral principles, in the reign of Elizabeth; and our tice. The poison hath issued from them, as many of them are a disgrace
, these sources, and bath continued to our police, and our nation. spreading, by being communicated Let us first dry up the sources of to relatives, friends, and acquaintance, peculation. Let us put the laws in and we may now look back with force to restrain that moral depravity astonishment at the mischief which which now walks forth at noon day. hath been introduced into society, Let us invite men of principle to take by our own misconduct.
the affairs of the poor into their own Young women made as good wives hands, and give them authority to before they were so deeply read in the act, without being perplexed with tracts which are issued from the those, who, from interested inotives, shelves of circulating libraries, as they give them all the trouble they can; will do now, with ibeir heads filled and let every one who abuses the with the delineations of such perfect power be haih, be subject to fines, characters, as are not to be met with to be levied in a summary way. in this age. Consult the list of a libra Those who have the direction of rian's memorandum book, and it will parochial assesscients, know as well there be seen that their course of read- how to make up their accounts, as ing is not adapted either to improve those who preside at public boards. the understanding, or mend the heart. At present, every person who is ap
The maid will endeavour to be as pointed to direct ihe affairs of the learned as her mistress, and she will poor, is so fenced in, and secured by watch every opportunity of spelling the law, with the terror of treble da. the love-tales which she reads; and mages ; that there are but few who even in the country they will find will venture to prosecule tor maltwo-pence to have the loan of a novel. practices. All corporate and other
Mr. Windham hath rightly ob- bodies ought to be compelled reguserved, that when truth and error larly at stated times, io distribute present themselves to such persons, charities left to their care, under it will not be difficult to say which heavy fines, to be recovered by an will prevail. We may as well think easy process; for as the law 'now of draining the Thames dry, without stands, the expense is too great, and stopping up the springs and streams the procrastination too long, for any which flow into it, as to ease the bur- one person to institute an inquiry. dens of our parochial assessments, by There are many existing evils too teaching the children of the depend- notorious to be hid, unless they are ent poor to read.
hid to those who legislate for us, and Far be it from me to wish a single they are capable of a remedy; and individual to be kept in ignorance, if there be a difficulty, there is no for I wish every one could be better danger in rooting them up, and in all informed; the poor made more com- such cases we ought to proceed with fortable, their number diminished, energy, and execute with firmness. and our expenses for keeping them If we attend to the monthly list of lessened; but these are not to be ex. bankrupts, we shall be careful how pected from the effects to be produced we adopt new and expensive schemes; by Mr. Whitbread's first bill. for as our manufacturers decline, our
We are now arrived at that state, poor and our expenses will of course in which something must be attempt- increase for maintaining them; and ed; but while we are racking our in- if schools are deemed indispensably ventions to settle the price of the seeds necessary, as preventatives of other of mint, anise, and cumınin, we evils which threaten us, let us have cannot expect to see any thing at- recourse to what may be saved from tempted of real use and importance, abuses to raise a fund for their supin easing our present burdens. port, instead of adding new burdens,
It must be expected, that upwards when we are bending under those of two centuries have introduced into which are already laid upon us,
The Origin, Progress, and Decline, made themselves masters of the island
of the Commerce of France with of Tortue, situate a few leagues from its American Colonies, including Saint Domingo. The Spaniards, who that with the French West Indies. disliked such neighbours, obliged
ITHOUT entering into a de- them to quit Tortue in 1638, at which
tail of the various revolutions time Captain Willis, an Englishman, which occurred in the American established himself there, where he islands, from the time of their dis- remained till 1640, when he was covery, to that in which they appear- forced to abandon it by Levassell
, who ed worthy of exciting the attention of retook it in the name of the French the French government, suffice it to nation, and built a fort called La state, that Martinico, Saint Lucia, Roche, to insure his conquest. Such Guadaloupe, Marie Galande, the was the origin of the important colony Saintes, Grenada, Saint Kitts, Saint of St. Domingo. Its inhabitants for Martin, Saint Bartholomew, Saint a considerable space of time, formed Croix, and Tortue, after having been three distinct classes; the first was subject from 1020, to the monopoly composed of those addicted to hunt. ot privileged companies, whose rights ing, who were named Bucaniers, were renewed in 1628-35 and 42, from the circumstance of their drying were at length disposed of to joint their provisions in places called partners and individuals for 500,000 loucans: the second, of those called trancs, and were afterwards bought Filliustees, (signifying Corsairs) who by Colbert in 1664, for the sum of committed piracy on the Spanish ves1,500,000 francs : this minister then sels; and the third, (whose number established the West India Company, was the smallest) of husbandmen. in whose commercial privileges was The piracies, the cruelty, and savage included the right of trading, not only heroism of the Fillustees, have alto the islands of America, but like- ready been depicted in glowing coWise to Africa, Cayenne, and North lours by the masterly hand of Raynal: America.
we shall therefore content ourselves From 1669 the commerce with with stating, that this class became the West Indies was declared free, peaceable towards the end of the and liberty was given to the French sixteenth century ; but scarcely had subjects in general, to fit out ves- it turned its attention to the cultivasels for the American Colonies on tion of the soil of Saint Domingo, condition that the said vessels should ere that island was subjected to the bring their returns to the ports jurisdiction of a French Company, whence they set out. Two years whose privileges lasted from 1698 to afterwards the duties upon West 1720, when its members petitioned India produce were mitigated, and for its dissolution. The commerce all articles sent to the islands freed then became free, notwithstanding from imposts of every kind. In pro- the efforts of the celebrated East portion as these privileges became ad- India Company, to become possessed vantageous to the French merchants of the privileges of the ancient Saint trading to America on their own ac- Domingo Company: counts, the prosperity of the West Previous to describing the nature India Company seemed to decrease, and extent of the commercial inin so much, that it was obliged to tercourse of France with the islands seek a reimbursement of its capital in of the American Archipelago, we 1074, when all its settlements de- deem it not unnecessary to volved to the crown. From this few words respecting the island epoch to that of the revolution, the of Cayenne or 'French Guiana, as French commerce with the West also of Canada and Louisiana, all Indies was no longer under the con- of which at one time formed a part troul of a privileged and monopo- of the French Empire. From the lizing Company, with the exception romantic representations of the Spaof that of Saint Domingo, of which niards and English who had visited we are now about to say something. Guiana, the former in 1499, and the
In the year 1636 some French latter in 1595, some French specuadventurers driven from Saint Kitt's, lators were induced to proceed thither
in 1604, and endure incredible hard. In 1629 it fell into the hands of the ships under the chimerical idea of English, who restored it in 1031. finding inmense treasures in gold The continual wars with the natives and precious stones. Rather worn did not permit the colonists to enjoy down by fatigues, than disabused of profound peace till 3008, at which their erroneous expectations, they time free trattic was allowed in the settled at Cayenne, in consequence of article of skins, with the exception which two Cayenne Companies were of beaver, which remained subject to established in France in 1043 and monopoly. 105), which as well as the colonists, War again broke out between the experienced a series of mistortune : patives, the English, and the French, another Company started up in 1003, in 1087, and terminated at the and in the course of the following year peace of Riswick 1697: soon how. was united to the great West India ever, the war of the Spanish suicCompany: in fine, Cayenne was pil- cession afforded the English an oplaged and abandoned by the English portunity for the renewal of bostili. in 1007, taken by the Dutch in 1072, lies, and by the peace of Utreicht in and four vears afterwards re-taken by 1713, the French were obliged to the French, who have since retained cede to England, Hudson's Bay, possession of it. The chain of cala- Newfoundlaud, and Acadia or Nova mities sustained by this colony from Scotia, all of which previously formed its first establishment, became com- a part of New France. At this plete in 1058, when the Fillustres, period Canada was in a state of incon. (then just settled in Cayenne) at the ceivable misery and weakness, as will instigation of their chief Ducasse, appear by the amount of its exports determined · upon ransacking the in 1714, which was-only 300,000 Dutch colony of Surinam ; the per- francs; but indeed, even at its most nicious example of the new settlers flourishing epoch, the value of the was followed by almost all the inba- exports amounted but to 1,200,000 bitants; the enterprize failed; part francs. From 1750 to 17ớo, incluof the brigands perished in the attack, sively, the colony of Canada cost the and the rest were made prisoners and French nation no less a sum than sent to the Antilles. The colony 122,090,000 francs. never recovered from the 'effects of
The vast country of Louisiana, to. this blow, and was in fact, almost for- gether with the Mississippi, was disgotten by the French government till covered in 1609 by Dilerville, a 1703, when 25,000,000 francs were Canadian, and in 1712 Grosat, a ce expended in order to lead 10,000 lebrated merchant, demanded and men to misery and the horrors of dis- obtained the exclusive right of trading,
to the former, but soon got tired of Although Cayenne alone, of all his privilege : nevertheless, in 1717 the French colonies, possesses the the prosperity of France was risked, exclusive privilege of trafficking with on account of the pretended riches foreign nations, its increase has of Louisiana. Few are unacquainted been very inconsiderable!!-Canada with the gigantic organization of the promised a more felicitous issue, but French West India Company, invest. not in the opinion of Sully, who thus ed with the double monopoly of North expresses himself: “ I place amongst American and East Indian Commerce, the number of things done contrary or with the springs which in 1720 to my advice, the colony sent this put in motion, elevated, and at length year (1603) to Canada.” Although overthrew the machinery of its sysChamplain dates the foundation of tem, and which caused many FrenchQuebec, the capital of New France men bitterly to lament their credu. or Canada, as far back as 1608, and lity and cupidity. that its commerce was vested in a The India Company in 1731, ob company during 1620; the French, tained a renewal of its commercial even in 1627, possessed but very privileges in regard to Louisiana, weak settlements there, surrounded which experienced but little change by palisades, and the inhabitants male for the better till about 1736, when and female amounted but to fitty, the natives were entirely driven out.
In its most prosperous days this co- exports amounted to 9,172,000 luny only sent merchandises to the francs, viz. manntactured articles to salue of 2,000,000 francs to France the value of 4,100,000; eatables and the Islands. Louisiana was ceded 190,000; wine and brandy 150,400; to Spain in 1762, which power detini- and wood and metals 154,800 francs. nitively took possession of it in 1769. At the time of the revolution France As the commerce of France with received from the said colonies, merGuiana, Canada, and Louisiana, may chandises to the value of 151,000,000 be said to have proved burthensone francs, and exported thither various in every instance to the former, so to articles to the amount of 42,447,000 that with the Soutli Sea, may be at- francs. Previous to drawing a line of tributed in some sort, the alleviation comparison between the foregoing of that barthen.
statements, let it be remembered, The union of France with Spain that from 1782, France no longer in the war of succession of the latter possessed Canada, Louisiana, the monarchy, opened to French traders island of Grenada, (belonging to the the sole trattic with the coasts of English since 1763) nor that of St. Chili and Peru, and all the ports of Bartholomew, which was surrendered the South Sea: hence ihey took oc- to Sweden in 1784. The quantities casion to supply the rich Spanish of merchandises annually brought colonies with French and other into France of late years from the European commodities, in return for West Indies, are nearly as follows, which, was brought home such a vast viz. quantity of dollars, that during the Of Coffee 650,000 quintals year 1709, the merchants of Saint
Sugar 1,500,000 ditto Malo (the chief port for South Cotton 50,000 ditto. Sea commerce) sent to the mint The West India Islands now pos30,000,000 dollars. The peace of sessed by the French are, GuadaUtretcht having put a stop to this daloupe, Marie Galante, Deseada, lucrative traffic, the liberty of navi- and a part of Saint Domingo. gating in the South Sea was probibited by proclamation in January KNOWLEDGE IS POWER." 1716.
Sir, From this historical sketch, an idea T is sententiously observed by may be formed of the basis upon Lord Bacon, that “ knowledge which the commerce of France with is power;" and every one who conAmerica rested at the end of the siders for a moment the multifarious reign of Louis XIV: that with Louis- advantages possessed by the man of iana, Guiana, and Cayenne, was cultivated intellect over hiin who is next to nothing; the same might be iminformed, will abundantly verify its said of Canada, the establishment of truth. But I have often thought, the French at Saint Croix was de- that this great philosopher, when he stroyed in 1696, and Saint Kitts delivered this apopthegm to the ceded to the English in 1713. There world, meant that it should bear a still remained to France, Martivico much more extensive import than it and Saint Lucia, then neutral islands, usually does. It has, I believe, Guadaloupe and its dependencies, hitherto been considered as applying such as Deseada, the Saintes, Marie only to the cultivation of the mental Galante, Saint Martin, and Saint powers in the higher walks of literaBartholomew; and finally Saint Do- ture; and though, even in this sense, mingo, Tortue, Grenada, and Tobago, it has a strict propriety, yet it would which had been ceded to the French be doing greater justice to the comin 1678. The imports of France prehensive genius of Bacon, to mulfrom all its American colonies at this tiply to the utmost its points of appliepoch amounted to 16,059,000 cation. francs; viz. Sugar to the value of Human knowledge may be divided 11,000,000; indigo 4,081,000; cot- into two sorts, and which may be deton, leather, hides and skins, 775,000; nominated Natural and Artificial. and tobacco 200,000 francs. The By the former is meant that gradual