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an article prefixed to it, "On the Grounds of our Faith in a Divine Government of the World." We are not perfectly sure in which it occurs; for the biographer is not exactly luminous on this point, and we have not the Philosophical Journal for 1798 before us. Let the two German adepts in metaphysical juggles share the merit of so admirable an application between them. But they should at least have added what the poor deluded Margaret said so touchingly in reply, — "That is all fine and good; the parson says nearly that, only in words a little different. And what shall we say to you, English Mr. Smith, who can gravely repeat such perfidious trumpery?"
With respect to the preface of the American editor, we cannot say that we entirely like its tone, or agree with all its positions. But we are reluctant to find fault. It implies a wish, towards the close, that the writings of Fichte might be "domesticated here," since "they would materially assist us in the solution of many of the impending questions which now appear above our horizon." From this opinion we dissent. From the offer of such aid we turn away. In answer to such a wish for domestication, we should be ready to say any thing that sounds least like Amen.
5. Report of the Committee on the Expediency of providing Better Tenements for the Poor. Boston: Eastburn's Press. 1846. 8vo. pp. 36.
We have opportunity only to call attention to the remarkable statements made in this pamphlet, and earnestly to recommend the well digested and practicable scheme of philanthropy that is set forth in it, for alleviating what is perhaps the most fruitful of all evils in the condition of the laboring poor who reside in large cities. The situation of Boston on a peninsula of very limited extent, the rapid increase of its population, especially during the last ten years, and the consequent rise in the value of real estate have contributed to abridge the accommodations for the poor, till they are now worse lodged than their brethren in the foulest and most crowded districts of the large cities of Europe. Broad Street and its vicinity are more crowded, and probably more unhealthy, than the most noted dens of misery and crime in Liverpool and London, than Shoreditch, Whitechapel, or St. Giles. On an average, there are thirty-seven inhabitants to a house, and each person has but seven square yards on the ground. A large
building often contains more families than it has rooms, even if we include under this name the subdivisions of the cellar. We have examined with some care the statements and authorities on which the following conclusions, taken from this Report, are founded, and we are satisfied that they do not exaggerate the evil.
"First. That the present population of the first section' of Boston is nearly as dense as that of the central parts of London.
"Second. That the number of individuals to the house, throughout the whole city, is greater than in the principal commercial and manufacturing towns of England.
Third. That the distribution of the population with us is shockingly unequal, producing crowds in certain sections which are rarely surpassed.
"Fourth. That the proportion of deaths among infants has been steadily on the increase, and the average duration of life diminishing. Fifth. That the infant mortality is vastly greater among the Catholics than in the whole population, and the average duration of life among
"Sixth. That the average of life in Boston is less than in London, or in Ireland, and but little greater than in Liverpool, where the greatest mortality, in England, prevails.
"Seventh. That the average duration of life among the Catholics of Boston is less than that of operatives and laborers in the great commercial and manufacturing cities of England."— p. 10.
The physical discomforts, the squalor and privations to which the tenants of these miserable abodes must submit, the alarming increase of mortality among them, and the peril to the general health of the city are not the only, or the greatest, evils produced by this density of population.
"As to the influence of this crowding, on the moral health, there can be, we apprehend, even less doubt. This is indeed so evident, that it is not our intention to go into details, which would be equally shocking and unnecessary. It is enough to say, that every one who has been in the habit of observing the character of excessively crowded populations has remarked, that, just as their physical nature becomes blunted, and hardened to the impurities about them, so their moral nature gradually accustoms itself to the sight of evil, and ceases, at last, to be offended at what was originally shocking to it."— p. 11.
It is found that the poor pay very high rents for their loathsome and unhealthy habitations. Hiring single rooms, and paying for them by the week, the aggregate rent obtained from them for a house cheaply built or much dilapidated is very great; and in many parts of the city, land can be more profitably occupied by buildings of this sort than by expensive structures for stores or for the habitations of the wealthier classes. Land thus occupied in
Broad Street produces yearly sixty cents a square foot; while in Tremont Street, facing the common, it yields but forty-five cents, and in Morton Place but thirty-one cents. Now, this fact suggests at once a remedy for the greater part of the evil here complained of, without calling for any charitable contributions whatever. Capitalists may erect large buildings in the very districts where they are most needed, suitably arranged to be let out in small tenements, so as to afford comfortable, healthy, and convenient dwellings for the poor, and still receive a very good income from the investment. The experiment has already been tried on a small scale, and the results are perfectly satisfactory. Plans and estimates are submitted with this Report, apparently well considered and trustworthy, which show that such buildings will produce from seven to eleven per cent. on their cost. The apartment for each family will consist of at least two rooms, well ventilated, and with suitable minor conveniences attached. It is proposed that houses of this character should be built at first by an association, or chartered company, and be put under the charge of a judicious and careful superintendent; but the obvious utility of cultivating amicable and kind relations between landlord and tenant makes it desirable that individual capitalists, also, should engage in this enterprise.
We have given a very imperfect synopsis of this excellent report, for in truth, though clear and full, it is so succinctly drawn up as not to admit of abridgment. To the "merchant princes" of Boston, whose fame for judicious and munificent philanthropy stands so deservedly high, we heartily commend it, in full confidence that to draw their attention to such a project is enough to insure its immediate success.
Lectures to Young Men on their Moral Dangers and Duties. By ABIEL ABBOT LIVERMORE. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 1846. 12mo. pp. 160.
A GREAT disadvantage attends books whose titles announce them to be written expressly for young men or young ladies ; the particular class for whose benefit they are intended are not in the least disposed to read them. So many admonitions have vexed their unwilling ears in the course of their adolescence, that they have come to regard advice very much in the light of physic, and though it is recommended as "the sovereign'st thing on earth against all the ills that flesh is heir to, they swallow it with dis
gust, and, however skilfully the pill may be sugared, they taste as little of it as they can. For our own part, though we have arrived at a discreet and experienced age, and are both able and willing to dispense of the fulness of our wisdom to our inferiors, we have not wholly outgrown this prejudice of our youth. We find ourselves taking up books of this sort with the same sense of their good intention, but entire want of success, with which we have lent an ear to a coaxing nurse, representing to Master Wilful that sugar-plums, toys, and smiles are exclusively the portion of the good boy, and the most forlorn condition of disfavor and emptiness of pocket the certain lot of the unsubmissive. The connection between virtue and happiness is so much and so constantly insisted on, that it seems a mere matter of policy to be good; and he who, from recklessness or stupidity, is indifferent to the consequences set before him, feels that he has full liberty of choice, whether to do good or to do evil. Warnings and cautions have no more effect upon such heedless and impulsive natures than the nursery tales about Master Jacky and Master Jemmy, who always meet with a poetically just reward of their lawless enterprises, breaking their legs in robbing orchards, or making themselves sick with stolen sweetmeats. The fear of contingent consequences, whether immediate or remote, is no sufficient bridle for ardent and thoughtless spirits. Like young colts, not yet broken in to the jog-trot of life's journey, they spurn control with their active heels, and see a bar placed before them only as a temptation to leap over it, neck or nothing, and dash forward blindly in the very direction from which it was designed to turn them aside.
On the other hand, there are some who are distrustful and timid by nature. They are ready enough to see bars and hear warnings on every side; they dare not look upward or onward; they are afraid to run in any direction, but stand still, when many an open and safe, but as yet unbeaten, road lies directly before them. It is a melancholy sight, a young man divested of enthusiasm, without ardor or generous impulses. There are men, and perhaps they are the majority, as the world goes, who are very useful as clogs to the wheels of improvement, which might otherwise roll on faster than the way could be cleared before them, crushing opposition instead of overcoming it. We naturally look to the young and hopeful for the onward movement, and to the old and cautious for the necessary conservative counteraction. May not the slow progress of reform in most instances be owing to the influence of those well-meaning persons who, taking it for granted that youth is naturally more disposed to evil than to good, keep up a constant cry of "Beware! Beware! in the ears of
their children and pupils, when they might keep them from evil without repressing their hopes and energies, by cheering them on to useful and generous aims, and inspiring a noble ambition to ac quire influence over others, or to cooperate with them for good? Mr. Livermore's Lectures for young men have not a little revived our spirits, by furnishing, in some good measure, what has been wanting. It is not the trite warning of an unsympathiz ing superior; it is the voice of a young man leading on his fellows in the honorable path which he is himself zealously and wisely treading. Throughout the book there is a youthful warmth of style and feeling, which must recommend it to all young men who have not become prematurely old and cold-hearted. The first two lectures are plain and sensible representations of the moral dangers which beset young men, and the most flippant scoffer at good advice could hardly find in them any thing to gainsay or cavil at. There is no exaggeration, no painting for effect, no holding up of the gallows (how useless a bugbear in these days of good-natured juries!) to the disobedient, and the drunkard's grave to the convivial. The writer seeks to make the young man aware of the value, not of character and worldly prosperity alone, but of his own soul, and its fresh feelings and delicate sensibilities, and earnestly pleads with him to watch over and preserve that purity of heart and taste, which once lost can never be regained, and which is the greatest safeguard of virtue. It is in the tone of one who has safely borne this treasure in his own bosom through the period most beset with dangers, that he puts others on their guard lest it be insensibly stolen from them. He points out to them the very beginnings of evil; he would have them conscientiously avoid, as moral poison, all such associates, books, or recreations, as tend to tarnish, and finally destroy, their moral refinement.
The lectures are written in an easy and correct style, without any attempt at smartness or originality of expression. On this account they may not reach a large circle of readers, or leave any strong or vivid impression on the minds of those who peruse them. But to whatever extent their influence may be felt, it will be for good; and we gladly contribute our little effort to widen their circulation. They are honorable alike to the taste, the good sense, and the moral sentiments of the writer, who has shown the same excellent qualities in some previous publications which the public have received with well merited favor.