Page images

When I found my uncle, I will say he received me kindly enough; but he seemed to look upon me much more as soon as he heard how a gentleman like you had been pleased to stand my friend; and I do not think but I should have been a very

different character to what I am, if I had not had the good fortune to see you. I should have come long ago, but I hope you will excuse me for saying I did not forget your advice not to neglect my mother. Now, however, she is so comfortably off, that she has sent me word I need trouble myself no further on her account. I hope, sir, you will not take it amiss— "(here he paused and blushed);—“ but why I have taken the liberty to come to-day is, my uncle at this time of the year makes a kind of large, seasoned pie, which is much thought of by the better sort of people in our neighbourhood. It will be nothing to a gentleman like you, I know, but if you will only allow me to bring you one,—" said the youth in a supplicatory tone.

“ Well,” said Mr. B. with a smile," as I clearly perceive it is a free offering on your part, I accept it willingly. Your gratitude does you great credit. Bring your pie as soon as you please, and let me see you again this day week, that I may tell you how I like it."

A day or two after, Mr. B. had a dinnerparty, at which something occurred to induce him shortly to relate the boy's story. It drew forth various commendatory remarks, which were put an end to by the fashionable witling of the day, expressing an affected curiosity just to see what it was “the better sort of people” in the Borough liked. He said he had rather a turn for that kind of thing, and had lately been reading some account of the manner of living in Madagascar. In consequence of this sally, it was resolved to have the pie introduced; when, contrary to all expectation, and after much grimace, it was ascertained to be a pie of real and original merit, and its history giving it an additional zest, it met with much applause. Mr. B.'s chief guest, a man of great patronage and intrigue, partly to introduce a Aling at the witling, whom he hated for a personal jest, and partly to please his host, whose interest he wanted, desired he might have one of the pies sent to his house; whereupon an expectant at the lower end of the table immediately protested his lordship, as usual, showed his taste, and begged to follow so high an authority. A baronet of pretence joined in the request, for the sake of a subject to dilate upon at his own table, and for an appropriate opportunity of signifying his acquaintance with a grandee of the first class. A wealthy member of the lower house, who had not spoken a word before, ventured to express a similar wish, simply because he was not willing to let the day pass without saying something. An indefatigable fashionhunter, judging it a possible case of vogue, resolved not to be left behind ; and lastly, an unprincipled wit modestly gave a double order, chuckling at the opportunity of getting a good thing he never meant to pay for.

The donor of the pie made his appearance at the appointed time, and his anxiety was changed into delight, when he found his present had given satisfaction to Mr. B.; but when he was informed of the whole of his success, he was all but overwhelmed. He hurried back to his uncle with the joyful news, and the worthy man of victuals, who had hitherto been kept in ignorance of his nephew's proceedings, no sooner recovered from his astonishment, than he confidently anticipated countless wealth and never dying fame from the patronage of his distinguished customers. B

But alas ! he was unversed in the intricate and slippery ways of the world, and especially of that part of it which lies in the interior of great men's houses. He naturally concluded his pie had been sought for simply for its merits, and that consequently it would make its own way; and he honestly resolved it should continue to deserve its reputation. But his praiseworthy intentions were doomed to meet with no reward in the quarter he most calculated upon; and from the household ministers of the West in the plenitude of their power, he experienced nothing but mortification and defeat. Every pie-purveyor's place was filled up, in possession and reversion, through interests and by means, of which his simple soul never dreamed, and he not only never received a second order, but was unable to obtain payment for half the first. However, after all, the balance was greatly in his favour; for the first noise of his success prodigiously increased his custom amongst his plainer dealing neighbours, who considered it would be showing an unpardonable want of taste not to eat his pies even to surfeit.

But, to return to the hero of the story, in whom Mr. B. began to take a permanent interest. Finding from examination that he had attended more to pie-making than to scholarship, he advised him to devote his leisure time to attendance upon some competent master ; “ for," said he, “ if you get on in the world, which you seem well qualified to do, you will find the want of suitable acquirements a constant hindrance and mortification. Lose no time in beginning, and I will charge myself with the expense.” With such encouragement it is not to be wondered at that the scholar soon came to write a beautiful hand, and to be more than commonly expert in accounts, by which means he was enabled greatly to assist his less learned uncle, who, in return, made him first his partner, and finally his heir ; and to his benefactor, who happened to possess a neglected property in the vicinity of his residence, he was fortunate enough, by his local knowledge and zealous superintendence, to render the most important services.









No. VII.] WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 1835. [Price 3d.


Parochial Government.
Dialogue on Pauperism.

The Art of attaining High

Health ( continued.)



The notions of the upper classes as to the nature and importance of parochial government are in general most inadequate and erroneous. They are scarcely extended, as I have said before, to any thing beyond the administration of the poor-laws; and as that has been a very troublesome and disagreeable duty, and as the discharge of it was under the control and exposed to the caprice of the magistracy, it has been considered that parish offices were only fit to be filled by persons of unrefined habits and low station. The consequence has been the gross neglect of the fundamental principle of sound government, which is the principle of self-government by small communities. In the mean time the wealthy and enlightened classes, either from public-spirited motives, or sense of duty, or from love of distinction, or want of occupation, have diverted their attention to expedients, which either very inade


quately remedy, or greatly aggravate the evils arising from the absence of efficient local government. The means of accomplishing a beneficial change consist in a re-organization adapted to present circumstances, in the concentration of existing powers, and in the creation of new ones. By re-organization I mean, first, internal division, where division is requisite; secondly, the creation of new functionaries, more in number than at present; thirdly, a remodelling of the mode of election. By the concentration of existing powers I mean the transference of all powers, vested in separate boards, or commissions, or officers, to the general parochial council. By the creation of new powers, I mean of such increased powers of interference, of taxation, and of making improvements, as might be advantageously entrusted under a system of completely organized popular control. The greater the power vested in parochial government, the more likely it would be to fall into proper hands; because, in the first place, it would enhance the inducements to seek it; and, in the second, it would create an apprehension of abuse, if misplaced, and it would make electors more cautious in their choice. In order to ensure a willingness for office on the part of the well-qualified, it would be necessary to remove all control over them, except that of the higher legal tribunals. It would be extremely unfitting to submit men, freely elected by their fellowcitizens, to the control of individual magistrates. They ought to be responsible to no tribunal lower than the court of Quarter Sessions. The instances of abuse could but be very infrequent, and a feeling of independence is absolutely necessary to the manly discharge of public duty.

According to my, view, parishes should be divided into five classes. The first class is that in which the population is so small as not to admit of representation, and in that case the vestry would be the council, and from itself would choose what executive officers were required. The second class is that which would not need division, but which would be sufficiently

« PreviousContinue »