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to the fund for Mr. Douglas's District inapplicable to the St. Marylebone Board. after the frank announcement that many In the first place, the members of it are thousands in each case are being in- not all shopkeepers. If the reviewer vested for the benefit of posterity, may were to attend any ordinary meeting of be surprising, but it proves nothing the Board, he would find there two against any Board of Guardians. It is baronets, who have justly earned the quite certain, again, that if the magis- respect and goodwill of their colleagues trates are found willing to distribute and fellow-parishioners; the Rector of crowns and shillings promiscuously, they St. Marylebone, who devotes a main will have plenty of applicants till their part of at least two days in every week fund is exhausted. That the lowest class to the workhouse ; gentlemen of indeof labourers, when thrown out of work, pendent means, and of the military, the will beg in the streets, if they can get legal, and the medical professions, reanything by it, is also certain. I have tired men of business, and tradesmen just heard, on good authority, of a large, of all degrees,—working together with number of labourers having refused work much zeal and industry. Not one of which was offered to them, preferring these would think of taxing any section the chances of relief in the streets. But of the Board with hardness or inhuthe existence of such a degree of want manity. Nor is the popular or demoas is implied in these applications does cratic feeling in favour of a harsh not sustain the attacks which have been parsimony, but decidedly against it. If made on the Metropolitan Boards of the Poor-Law Commissioners exercised Guardians. These attacks have been complete control over the parish, hunsingularly reckless and unfounded. dreds of pounds would be saved to the
The Times, with its usual breadth, rates. The salaries of certain officers assumes that the parishes and unions in would be paid out of national funds, London are quite inoperative as regards the out-door relief would be contracted, the relief of the poor, and that the poor- and other reductions secured. But the rates are paid for nothing. The Satur- popular feeling is strongly against the day Review believes all London guar- Poor-Law Board, and one reason for it dians to be a set of niggardly shop- is the belief that, under their rule, there keepers, privately employed in scraping would be less indulgence towards the together small gains, and dealing in a poor. I may say generally, that no ex
barbarous manner with the poor. It pense is spared which the most humane is very different, we are told, in the of the guardians are satisfied would be country and in Manchester, where the legal and beneficial. Poor-Law works admirably. Now, as Every Board of Guardians, moreover, regards this contrast between London acts under many checks. The reporters and the country, it will probably be know very well that any complaint or allowed that no place, unless it be Liver- scandal makes better reading in their pool, presents so many difficulties to newspapers than the most exemplary Poor-Law administration as London,
as London, freedom from reproach. The Poor-Law with its unsettled colluvies gentium. This Board makes inquiry upon every appeal being considered, it is probable that an addressed to it, even from a single poor average London Board would not be at person. Clergymen and philanthropists all behind any country Board either in are jealously on the watch to protest intelligence or in humanity.
against any cruel treatment of their If we take the parish of St. Maryle- neighbours. In ninety-nine cases out bone as an illustration, it will not be of a hundred the complaints which are supposed, by Saturday Reviewers at brought to the notice of the Board are least, to be too favourable a specimen. disposed of by correcting the alleged I speak with a prejudice in favour of a facts. In any exceptional case, redres: body of which I am a member; but the is instantly given. language I have referred to is manifestly I admit, however, that, notwithstand
ing the good intentions of the Board, distress. The causes of physical misery, the results of their administration are whilst they remain, make that misery by no means of a kind that would defy inevitable. In those instances of uncriticism. Not to speak of the insuper- doubted destitution which have been able difficulties of a constant weary detailed before the magistrates and elsestruggle against vice, and idleness, and where, we do not know how much is fraud, the management of so vast a due to drunkenness, that plague and business as that of the St. Marylebone curse of our poor. And how can you workhouse requires great administrative keep a drunkard out of want ? Another capacity and constant vigilance; and a cause of distress is scarcely less difficult board of thirty perfectly equal members, to cope with--the imbecility and want elected every year, does not promise of energy which infects some persons much efficiency in government. The like a disease. Then there is the downnumbers of in-door poor at this moment right idleness of not a few, which keeps (January 18th), amounting to 2,039, them from seeking work, and throws would people a small town; whilst them out of occupation when they get there are 3,332 “on the books” receiv- it. The destitution which arises from ing out-door relief ; and, in addition to sickness and misfortune-the character these numbers, 2,851 have had casual of the sufferers having been reasonably relief during the last week. The cost of good-ought to be relieved humanely the relief of the poor during the year by the workhouse, if not more indulhas been 53,5001. This does not look gently cared for, as one might surely as if the guardians of the poor in the hope it would be, by the kindness of metropolis were doing nothing. It is friends and by Christian charity. inevitable that, in the execution of so Let me add, somewhat abruptly, the enormous a task, we should be too much following suggestions :in the hands of our paid officers, so long 1. It seems to be necessary to revive as the power and the responsibility are the old warnings against unguarded and diffused equally through thirty members. too ambitious almsgiving. Of course, the If a salaried chairman were appointed, magistrates who have laboured so geneto give his whole time to the business rously during the last few days in the of the workhouse, he would probably summary relief of crowds of applicants, soon save his salary by the economies he will be compelled to discontinue those might introduce, besides guarding the unprofitable labours. It is a very inconparish from frequent troubles and scan- siderate benevolence which has imposed dals.
so hopeless a task upon them. But there But even if such blots were more is great fear lest societies, rich in means numerous and discreditable than they and eager to help the needy, should be are, it is obvious—and no well informed tempted to stimulate mendicancy and person could forget it—that the sub- vagabondage. No greater harm can be stantial relief of the poor is, and must done than this to our labouring popube, the work of the guardians, and that lation. the better this work is done the less the 2. In dealing directly with distress, public hear of it. At the same time, the the efforts of charitable persons should public have ample opportunities of be based as far as possible upon personal knowing what is going on at the work- knowledge, and should chiefly aim, I house, through the meetings, open to submit, at assisting with judgment and ratepayers and reporters, at the work- delicacy those whom a temporary gift or house and the vestry, and through the a little pension may save froin pauperism, reports in the local newspapers. But and make more comfortable, without enthe Poor-Law administration does not couraging vice or idleness ;-not at supexterminate distress, nor pretend to do plying the wants indiscriminately of the it. No system of relief, however chari- needy or unemployed.
needy or unemployed. Exceptional discall for an exceptional effort of private institutions and practices have a tendency charity; but workhouse relief has advan- to educate and encourage the poor, and to tages for dealing with the lowest strata promote their self-respect, are more useof poverty which private persons do not ful agencies “for the relief of distress," possess; and there need be no scruple than those which may hold out a deluabout leaving apparently destitute appli- sive hope to the improvident. A sober cants for help, when we can know no- and industrious working man, even of thing of their character or real circum- the poorest class, ought to be able to stances, to the relieving-officer.
stand against a fortnight's loss of work 3. Gentleinen of leisure and public without running a risk of starvation. We spirit may do much service by obtaining may all remember, for the spring and the a knowledge of our public relief-system, summer, the importance of sound efforts by watching its administration, and by to encourage hope, and knowledge, and offering themselves for election as guar- self-reliance amongst our poorer neighdians of the poor.
bours; and so, when the dangerous and 4. By far the best way of battling with irregular charity - work of this winter destitution and misery is to labour in is over, we may be labouring beforethose efforts which are likely to better hand most effectually to mitigate the sufthe condition of the poor. Whatever ferings of the next.
LETTER FROM PROFESSOR HENSLOW.
January, 1861. MY DEAR SIR,
The manner in which my name is noticed in a review of Mr. Darwin's work in your number for December, is liable to lead to a misapprehension of my view of Mr. Darwin's “Theory on the Origin of Species." Though I have always expressed the greatest respect for my friend's opinions, I have told himself that I cannot assent to his speculations without seeing stronger proofs than he has yet produced. I send you an extract from a letter I have received from my brother-in-law the Rev. L. Jenyns, the well-known author of “British Vertebrata," as it very nearly expresses the views I at present entertain, in regard to Mr. Darwin's theory-or rather hypothesis, as I should prefer calling it. I have heard his book styled “the book of the day,” on more than one occasion by a most eminent naturalist; who is himself opposed to and has written against its conclusions ; but who considers it ought not to be attacked with
flippant denunciation, as though it were unworthy consideration. If it be faulty in its general conclusions, it is surely a stumble in the right direction, and not to be refuted by arguments which no naturalist will allow to be really adverse to the speculations it contains.
J. S. HENSLOW,
EXTRACT. “I see, in Macmillan's Magazine, you “are arranged with Lyell, Hooker, and “ others in the list of those who have
espoused Darwin's views. I was not
aware you had become a convert to “his theory, and can hardly suppose "you have accepted it as a whole,
though, like myself, you may go the “ length of imagining that many of the “smaller groups, both of animals and
plants, may at some remote period “ have had a common parentage. I do “ not, with some, say that the whole of “his theory cannot be true—but, that it
very far from proved; and I doubt “ its ever being possible to prove it.”
ERRATUM. By a mistake in the article on “DIAMONDS” in the last number (p. 189), the weight of the Koh-i-noor in its cut state was given as 104 carats, instead of 103.
VICTOR AMADEUS, THE FIRST KING OF SARDINIA,
BY GEORGE WARING.
nearly seventy years, nor the burden of
growing ill-health, had dragged down the In the year of grace 1729, on one of slight sinewy figure, or robbed it of that those golden days of the late Italian royal presence which stamps the man autumn, the court of Sardinia was who has wrought out great things in his gathered in the banqueting hall of the day. At intervals, as the door opened, palace, waiting till the chapel bell should and some fresh person joined the group ring out its summons to mass. The in the back-ground, the king would court was gay, after the fashion of that turn and sigh deeply-as who among time and that country, with velvets, us has not marked the old sigh when plumes, and jewels, though the king, one has thus sought a beloved preVictor Amadeus, who stood in the em- sence, forgetful for the moment that it brasure of a window conversing with the has vanished for ever? And, indeed, French envoy, presented in his own per- the monarch had cause for regret. From son a somewhat contemptuous contrast that assembly he missed the few whom to his glittering subjects. A little old he had ever really loved—the few of man, in his unvarying garb of plain whose affections he could feel secure. brown cloth ; his linen coarse, and un- Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy, the king's trimmed with lace; the hilt of the mother, had died in 1723, and his queen, sword, which had won him his kingdom, the good Anna of Orleans, who had was guarded with leather, that it might borne the rough humours and inconnot fray his coat. There was a parade of stancy of her lord with a patience worthy simplicity in his bamboo cane, in the her blood-she was grand daughter to tortoiseshell snuff-box, not even inlaid, our ill-fated Charles-had followed her from which he was offering the count a during the past year ; but the deepest pinch. Only one piece of an old man's wound of this man's heart, a wound coxcombry showed out of keeping with which time was powerless to close, had the severely plain costume, and this was been inflicted when his eldest son, the a magnificent peruke, so full-flowing and idol and the image of his father, perished ostentatiously curled, as to rival, if not in the promise of his brilliant youth. to surpass, that of the Grand Monarque As the king's glance traversed the ashimself. Under that wig, brows, knotted sembly, it fell on his son Charles Emwith combinations, bent over an eye still manuel, now heir to his throne; but vehement and eager; an eye which had nothing like affection marked the cold never overlooked a weak point in an steady gaze, before which the prince enemy, nor a vantage ground for its quailed and shuffled awkwardly back master. The face was fearless, but not behind his wife, Polyxena, a princess posfrank; the lines of the thin lips secre- sessing far greater force of character than tive and astute. The old man kept his her husband. Her Victor greeted respertsollier's bearing; neither the weight of fully, and after a sharp survey of Charles's
No. 17.-VOL. III.
paltry person, disfigured by a remarkably have either. With him Victor entered short neck, and an approach to a hump freely into details of his policy, which on the left shoulder-defects which his sound curiously enough in the present splendid attire only served to make more day-the means, for instance, by which conspicuous-his father turned again to he contrived to keep up ill-will among the window, with a gesture of impatient his ministers; saying that it was indisdislike, which he affected to conceal in pensable to a ruler that the servants of contemplation of the landscape before the State should not be on good terms him. From that window the eye looked among themselves, or they would join in on the palace gardens, and away over a deceiving their master. "If you would
“ wide sweep of country, till it rested avoid being ruined,” he added, "get up where Lombardy showed on the horizon, a quarrel between your cook and your sunny and vague as a dream of ambition. steward.” More worthy of a king were The quick Frenchman, by the monarch's some words.spoken to the same man on side, following the direction of his
gaze, a subsequent occasion. “I began to fancied that he held the clue to his reign in my raw youth,” said the thought. “Those are the great plains monarch; “I found the resources of my of Lombardy," he said, with significant country drained ; troubles, and dangers emphasis. The old war-horse started on every side, were my inheritance. to the echo of the trumpet; his eye Nevertheless, I have done something in flashed for a moment; but the gleam my day; I leave an army well-disciplined faded, and, after a pause, the king said and faithful, a Nourishing treasury, a gravely, “I know your meaning, but you good name, and a kingdom to my sucmistake my desires."
cessor. And how far these words were Before Count de Blondel had found a from an idle boast, a glance at the life reply, the court proceeded to the chapel, of the first King of Sardinia, through a where the great treasure of the reliquary reign of fifty years, will show. was a fragment of the Holy Winding- Until the close of the previous century, sheet. Stopping before this relic to give Savoy had been little more than a force to his words, the king whispered high-road for the French into Italy. to his companion, “You all suppose me Louis XIV. kept an iron hand over the ambitious; but the world shall soon have Duchy, and his Cabinet imposed treaties a proof that all I desire is quiet and on its sovereign, which rendered him repose.” De Blondel bowed low, the much more the vassal than the ally of bow of mingled deference and humility, France. These were the relations of with which it behoves a courtier to re- Savoy with her powerful neighbour, ceive the confidence of a sovereign, say- when, in 1684, Victor Amadeus took ing meanwhile to himself, “So the Fox the reins of Government at the
of of Savoy is trying to blind us; he is eighteen. The young prince possessed busy with some great project; he will those opposite qualities which mark the strike a blow yet for Milan.” And the man born for success ratherthan heroism ; Frenchman thought over the probabili- -an eager ambition restrained by the ties in a quiet way, while he was upon coldest calculation, an impetuosity which his knees, rising from them fully de- was never suffered to overleap his prutermined to be on the qui vive, to note dence. Resolving from the first hour what way the royal designs might tend, of his reign to throw off the tyranny of and to despatch the very first informa- France, he yet appeared to accept the tion he could gain to his own master. part of vassal assigned him by her king,
This Count de Blondel was an espe- and kept his hand upon his sword, decial favourite with Victor Amadeus-his termined never to unsheath it till he confident and counsellor, as far as a man could strike a decisive blow. This attiwho never told a secret, unless it was tude he preserved until 1689, when one he wished to make public, nor took Louis, menaced by the league of Augsany counsel but his own, can be said to burg, demanded, in proof of his fidelity,