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to whom the taste of meat is unknown, and a little bit of bacon a luxury for the Sunday dinner. The farmers who employ them are, in most instances, but one remove above them; and yet they steadily employ their men the long winter through rather than have the burden of sustaining them out of the poor-rates, small though the weekly pittance is which the parish affords to the unemployed labourer. To the tenant farmer, and especially to the country clergyman who pays about a quarter of them, the poor-rates are the most serious outgoings for every little parish has its quota of aged and disabled poor, and more than its share ; for it is no uncommon thing for a family of young children to be thrown quite unexpectedly upon a parish it has never known, and the name of whose father or grandfather is but indistinctly remembered by the oldest inhabitant.
This is a very great hardship to small parishes. The population is necessarily limited to what is absolutely wanted for the cultivation of the soil; but it goes on increasing and migrating till a large population exists without the parish, scattered up and down in various towns, and all liable to the vicissitudes of age and sickness, when they must all in their turn— except a very small proportion indeed who have gained a settlement elsewhere-go to the parish to which their father or grandfather belonged previous to the passing of the new Poor Law in the year 1834. It is no easy matter for a poor person to gain a settlement
under the present law, and it requires no great stretch of imagination to suppose a state of things when small country villages will be wholly eaten up and ruined by having to support the disabled poor of this extraparochial population.
The burden is already becoming too grievous to be borne, and some alteration in the law of settlement has become imperative.* There is certainly no moral necessity which compels a parish to support more than its own inhabitants; and that it should support all its inhabitants who need relief can be no hardship to a town which has had the benefit of their labour, and which already overflows with the munificence of private charity. Beyond some alteration in the Law of Settlement, there is not much to be gained by meddling with the Poor Laws. They can never be anything but mechanical means for relieving the most dire necessities. Friendly and Benefit Societies, when based on sound principles, can do much to raise the position of the labouring man; but they have had no chance under the present system, which holds out no helping hand to the man who is willing to help himself. It is even thought by some that it would be much to the interest of employers and employed if these Societies could be made co-extensive with labour, by compulsory membership and a higher rate of wages equal to the required payments.
*This was changed by the Act of 1865; the relief of the poor was charged to the Common Fund of the Union, and the time for gaining a settlement shortened to one year.
ROYALTY AND REVOLUTIONS.
[Union, May 24, 1861.]
OYALTY and devotion to our beloved Queen -which none can glory in more than we -will not blind us to the many inconsistencies which hedge in and surround Royalty. We do not confound Majesty itself with her Majesty's advisers, or hold the Sovereign responsible for the acts of a Ministry which a British Parliament has imposed upon her. When, therefore, we have had occasion to comment upon ecclesiastical appointments, which were neither more nor less than a caricature of the Royal prerogative, we have never lost sight of this circumstance, or attributed them to aught else than the Puritan element which predominates in the Cabinet, and in all its vagaries, takes shelter under the shadow of the Throne.
Proclamations emanate from the Queeu as directly as do the appointments of Bishops; and yet they, too, have their satirical as well as their grave aspect. Not quite a year ago a proclamation was issued which
(amongst other things) enjoined reverential behaviour during the worship of GOD. But the authorities from the highest to the lowest continued to wink at the profane parody on it which was weekly enacted at S. George's-in-the-East. In last week's Gazette we have another proclamation enjoining all her Majesty's subjects to observe strict neutrality in regard to the civil war in the United States-united no longer. The meddlesome, hot-headed temper of the English is so well known that, if only it is obeyed, the Royal proclamation comes out most opportunely to restrain those who, having nothing else to do, are ready to take up arms on the side of popular clamour, no matter whether for right or wrong, provided a few clap-trap phrases can be strung together to rouse their John Bull propensities.
But as the exception proves the rule, so in this instance the converse is strictly true that the rule proves the exception. Or how was it that only a few months ago steam vessels, with levies of men and arms, left these shores openly and without any attempt at disguise in order to take part in the Italian revolution, and yet no voice was raised; nor, as far as we have heard, did anyone incur the high displeasure of her Majesty for affording assistance to Garibaldi, or those Powers whose tool he was. If ever Englishmen were out of their places, it was assuredly when they were ranged on the side of rebellion and revolution. We are now properly forbidden to take part in an Ameri
can civil war ; and yet only last year, not merely with the connivance but with the encouragement of our Government, supplies were forwarded to Italy to enable one who seemed nothing more than a common adventurer and a brigand to overturn a State with which we, as a nation, hypocritically professed to be at peace! The Army and Nary Gazette declared at the time, as the result of mature opinion, that every man who joined an armed force for the purpose of killing the soldiers and servants of a State with which the country to which he belonged was not at war— whether he did so because he had nothing else to do, because he wanted to see service or desired excitement —was little if at all better than a principal or accessory in murder.
When we think then of the supineness if not complicity of our Government in the matter of the Italian Revolution we tremble lest a Nemesis should visit our quiet homes. When the peace-at-any-price principle in Quaker guise has fulfilled its mission, and has drawn all it can out of a very clever but too complacent Chancellor of the Exchequer or an unwilling Parliament, who knows but that some Irish adventurer may then come to finish the work which has been so ably begun under the influence of a malignant Star ; and, should he receive supplies of men and arms from our nearest neighbour, that neighbour may in an unneighbourly way, according to the principles we acted upon last year, find himself in a position to direct the