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Mr. Daniel was stretched upon his death-bed; nor did | had as yet even come into the printer's hands, he was in any vitality of mind remain to direct such corrections as, his grave. The "Cardinal's Daughter" is, in the true had his intellect remained with him, would doubtless have sense of the phrase, a "posthumous work," and as such been made; and before the latter portion of his manuscript let it be judged.
SONNETS: "BY THE SAD SEA WAVE."
BY CALDER CAMPBELL.
WHAT of the Sea, to-day? what of the Sea?
Is Ocean fraught with messages, the core
A lifeless freight, or shipwreck'd corse, or bark
Yet-nor the Sea, nor Life, are always bearers
Of cheerful hopes-what time the ocean wrests
Our thoughts from shore. All God's bright world attests That, though its inmates are the frequent wearers Of raiment, dyed in sweat, and blood, and painLife hath not death, but life, for goal!—and so We should not drop our tears of hopeless woe On the corpse-carrying coursers of the main, But smile to see it-knowing it to be A type of Life and of Eternity! Torquay, October, 1846.
THE CORN FIELD.
ON yonder rising ground, where lately waved,
The scene is changed; for with industrious zeal,
The busy reapers well have plied their task,
Scatter'd o'er the field: each on the other
'Tis, then, the harvest field, where round is spread
Sun, sky, and fields in sweetest guise appear,
THE LONELY OAK.
WIDE and high thy branches spread;
Yet, though storms fiercely have o'er thee broke,
And the wind through thy green leaves softly spoke,
Yes, thou hast seen when our native land
When our youths were brave, and our chiefs were free,
Dost thou not sigh for the wild birds wing,
Here thou hast no companions near thee-
I have sought thy kindly sheltering shade,
And my weary form beneath thee laid.
And in manhood's time, when I strove to store
My seeking mind with ancient lore
Thy lone and silent foot I sought,
And tuned my mind to a deeper thought;
And the light, through thy thick leaves, faintly broke,
And when I have grown old like thee,
And when, with a tottering foot, I stand
F. I. O. B.
RELIEF OF THE POOR IN SCOTLAND.
people; and another system, or rather the no-system which had prevailed from the beginning of the Reformation, was applauded as exceedingly congenial with the pride, modesty, and independence of the national character. Science and philosophy came to the aid of avarice and greed; and elaborate arguments, founded upon ingenious but speculative theories of population, were added to the more vulgar reasons dictated by sheer selfishness, in support of the dogma that no provision should be made for the poor. The indigent population in Scotland were thus
claims. The acts and proclamations intended for their protection were forgotten; while that benevolence which beats spontaneously in the bosom of society, was lulled into dormancy or exhausted in other exercises than the humble one of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. The precarious collections at the church-doors, distributed often with a partial, and always with a stinted hand, formed the only patrimony of the poor. The result was obvious. In seasons of prosperity, the poor shared, to some extent, the abundance of the country; but in periods of gloom and distress, their numbers and their destitution increased to an alarming degree, pouring over the land a flood of vagrancy, pestilence, and immorality, the sad traces of which remained long after the calamity, which was their primary cause, had disappeared.
A NOVEL and important document has been presented to Parliament this session, entitled the "First Annual Report of the Board of Supervision for Relief of the Poor in Scotland." One of the most notable features of the Scottish Poorlaw Act, passed in 1845, was the erection of a central Board or Commission, somewhat akin to the Board of Poor-law Commissioners in England, and charged with the supervision of the parochial officials. Previous to the passing of the new Act, the parishes were left to do very much as they pleased: the consequence was, great inequality in the mode and amount of relief through-flattered, argued, and mystified out of their legal out Scotland, and in the majority of parishes an inconceivable degree of hardship and injustice to the poor. The old poor-law, in so far as it appeared on the statute book, was not to blame for these evils. The rights of the poor, and the duties of the parochial boards, were singularly well defined by the various acts and proclamations which the Legislature and Privy Council of Scotland, from the days of James VI. to those of William and Mary, had with exemplary perseverance enrolled among the laws of the realm. Even the usual checks and counterchecks, with which it is customary in this country to regulate the exercise of authority and secure the impartial discharge of official duty, were not neglected. A power of appeal was given from the parochial boards to the sheriffs of counties; and from these again to the lords of session. Magistrates, justices of the peace, sheriffs and judges, were all by turns invoked to protect the interests of the poor, and to visit the negligence of parishes with severe pecuniary penalties. In short, the sustenance of the poor was constituted a right—a legal and civil right-surrounded with the same sanctions as the right of property, and capable of being enforced by the same means as a creditor would recover a just debt, or as an heir of tailzie would make good his claim to an estate. But in vain were all these benevolent precautions. The "still small voice" of charity which issued at intervals from the hall of Parliament, or the recesses of the Secret Council, was utterly lost amid the theological contentions and civil convulsions of the times. The first enactments relating to the poor, were passed in the crises of the Reformation; the last received the touch of the Royal sceptre when the nation had newly and but temporarily emerged from the fiery struggle by which an ancient line of kings was finally expelled from the throne. The claims of the poor and indigent had but small chance of being respected in an age when ecclesiastics strove for supremacy, and kings themselves were forced to contend for their crowns. Even when civil turmoil had subsided, and peace, order, and government were fully established, new pretexts were not long in being discovered for evading the administration of laws which proposed to relieve the wants of the poor out of the superfluities of the wealthy. It was found that such a mode of relieving destitution was very ill adapted to the peculiar genius of the Scottish |
But the tide ultimately began to turn. volence, reason, and an enlightened self-interest, gradually assumed their proper sway. The general desire for practical reforms, which began to be manifested after the passing of the Reform Bill, directed attention at once to the condition of the poor. Their extreme destitution was found to be, in Scotland at least, the great origo mali-the one radical source of filth, ignorance, vagabondism, and disease. The best schemes of sanitary and moral reform were seen to be utterly worthless, so long as the numerous class, whom the misfortunes and vicissitudes of time had reduced to a state of dependent poverty, were either doomed to starve upon three farthings a day, or abandoned to a life of wild and unsettled vagrancy. In 1841 the well-known case from the parish of Ceres was brought before the Court of Session; and a decision was given by that supreme judicatory which exercised a powerful influence on the position of the poor-law question in Scotland. Hitherto attention had been exclusively directed to the necessity of a new Act of Parliament; but the decision in the Ceres case shed a sudden light over the laws for relief of the poor which had already found their way into the Statute-book. It was established by a majority of the judges, that the proceedings of the parochial boards were subject to the review of the Court of Session; that this power of review on the part of the Supreme Court extended to the question of amount of aliment, as well as to the more strictly legal question
£306,044. In the previous year the sum raised for the same purposes was £258,814 19s. 11 d., being £36,417 8s. 1d. less than the sum expended in the year ending 1st February 1846. Nor is this increase confined to the year 1846 alone; for if we take the four years preceding 1845, we find that there was an average annual increase in the expenditure on the poor of no less than £21,890 15s. And going back farther still, it appears that during the six years from 1836 to 1841 inclusive, there was a progressive increase, amounting in all to £47,439. Were we to go still farther back, we believe the same feature would be exhibited; but taking the ten years from 1st January 1836 to 1st February 1846, we have the sufficiently striking result that the funds for the relief of the poor have increased by £135,002, or nearly 79 per cent. At the time the Board of Supervision drew out their Report, they anticipated a still greater increase in the year ending 1st February 1847; and it is very probable that their next returns will show that the sum raised for the poor in Scotland has been doubled in eleven years- —a space of time in which the population has possibly not increased more than some 10 or 12 per cent.
of right to relief; and lastly, that the Court was
A wide diversity of opinion prevails respecting the nature and intention of this new law. That large portion of the public, who, not feeling deeply interested in the question, take but little pains to acquaint themselves with its practical bearings, are, for the most part, content to regard it exactly as its preamble describes it-" An Act for the better administration of the laws relating to the relief of the poor in Scotland." While, on the other hand, those who pay a closer attention to the working of the measure, and take a deeper interest in the condition and complaints of the poor, are inclined to condemn it as a cunning contrivance for stopping the cases of appeal in the Court of Session, and destroying the chance of justice which, by the Ceres case, had been unexpectedly opened up to the poor through the channel of that supreme judicatory. These conflicting opinions will be most effectually tested by the practical results of the measure, and therefore we proceed to lay before the reader, as concisely as possible, the leading facts contained in the Report of the Board of Supervision.
The first and main point in the Report to which we would call attention, is the increase in the expenditure on the poor in Scotland. From the returns made to the Board of Supervision, it appears that the sum raised from all sources for the relief and management of the poor, in the year ending 1st February, 1846-during the latter half of which the Board of Supervision and the machinery of the new law were in operation-was
So much for the fact of increase: let us briefly inquire into the causes to which it is to be attriIt is obvious that this increase in the expenditure on the poor cannot be traced to the operation of the Act of 1845, seeing that it existed and was progressing at an annually increasing ratio many years before the passing of that measure. The increase in the first year of the new law is certainly greater than in any previous year; but when we take into account the additional cost of management under the new system, it seems doubtful whether the recent measure has not actually checked, rather than augmented, the force with which the sum expended on what is, properly speaking, the relief of the poor, was increasing. Nor do we believe that the increase is owing to any increase in the amount of destitution in the country, or even in the number of paupers on the parish rolls.* There is one fact especially which seems to overturn such a supposition. In the years 1839-40-41, when the most extreme distress prevailed in all parts of the country, the expenditure on the poor was less, and the rate at which it increased was smaller, than in 1843-44-45, which were years of abundance and prosperity. Had the poor-law expenditure of Scotland been affected in any sensible degree by the state of trade and the condition of the people, this state of things would have been entirely reversed. The expenditure in the three former years would have been large, and in the three latter it would have undergone a rapid diminution. It is obvious, therefore, that the progressive in
* We would have this latter remark to be understood as applying to the whole country in general. There are no doubt some exceptions-as, for example, the city parish of Glasgow, where the poor rates have increased from £24,000 in 1846, to £48,000 in 1847, owing partly we believe to an increase of paupers on the roll. It will be observed, however, that we allude in the text to the increase of expenditure prior to 1846.
crease which has been going on in the sum raised | dole out to the poor in Scotland, in the name of a for the poor cannot be taken as any indication of legal provision. Five shillings a quarter was an increasing amount of destitution, though it is considered, in the majority of parishes, an ample by no means improbable that such an evil may allowance for any poor old man or woman; and exist collaterally with it. In support of the same with some such paltry sum as this, the most desopinion, it may also be observed, that though the titute and deserving persons were left to eke out expenditure during the year 1845, was greater by subsistence by appeals to the charity of their £36,417 83. 1 d. than in the previous year, yet neighbours. A system of mendicity was thus enthe number of paupers on the roll, at the end of gendered among a people proverbially proud and the former year, was only 6,362 more than at the high-spirited, which was most discreditable to the end of the latter. Supposing that these addi- Christian benevolence, and entirely inconsistent tional paupers were on the roll six months on an with the rapidly increasing wealth, of the country. average out of twelve, and that they received the The homes, the food, and the clothing of the average allowance of £3 10s. per annum, this poor were all of the meanest description; and the would produce an increase in the expenditure of most shocking scenes-aged paupers falling exonly £11,133 10s., being less than one-third of hausted on the roads and the streets, and helpless the actual increase which took place. There widows laying themselves down, amidst their must be some other causes at work, therefore, in famishing offspring, to die-were of frequent ocproducing the increased expenditure, than any in-currence. crease which is going on in the number of the recipients of relief, or in the amount of actual pauperism.
This deplorable state of matters was all the more inexcusable, inasmuch as in Scotland none but the infirm, the disabled, or the orphaned poor were entitled to relief. The able-bodied have never been recognised as qualified objects of legal support; so that three-fourths of the arguments, which are usually urged against a public provision for the poor, lose all their force when applied against the poor law of Scotland. To increase the rate of allowances was a course to which the parochial boards were urged by every principle of justice and every feeling of regard for the public interest; and we have little doubt that the fruits of this policy, if wisely and temperately pursued, will be manifested in the improved health, morality, and happiness of the community.
We are disposed, no less by the facts of the case than by inclination, to trace the rapid increase of the funds, raised for relief of the poor, to a more hopeful and satisfactory source. We believe it is, in a great measure, accounted for by the more general adoption of the plan of assessment, and by the suppression of mendicity and the increased allowances with which the introduction of that mode of relief is invariably accompanied. In 1842, there were only 230 legally assessed parishes in Scotland. In 1846, when the Board of Supervision made up their report, the number of such parishes had increased to 448. When an assessIt is a misapprehension to suppose that a system ment is instituted in a parish, the old system of of adequate allowances is worse to the public, supporting the poor, or rather of the poor support- even on the score of expense, than the niggardly ing themselves, by public begging, is abolished; system which has so long been common in Scotbut to compensate the poor for the loss of this land. The poor must always be supported somesource of subsistence, their allowances must always how. If no provision is made for them, they be increased. In 1842, the average rate of allow-will contrive a way of providing for themselves. ance in the assessed parishes, was £2 14s. 9d.; The more criminal, and especially the juvenile while in the non-assessed parishes, it was so low class, will apply themselves to the art of thievery; as £1 0s. 4d. The same disparity will still be while those of a timid and innocent cast of chafound to exist; so that the introduction of assess-racter will prefer to beg. The few, whose honesty ments into 218 additional parishes since 1842, must have had a powerful effect in raising the rate of allowance, and, consequently, in increasing the amount of expenditure on the poor. Some idea of the extent to which allowances have increased, may be formed from the fact, that while in 1842 the average rate of allowance in assessed parishes was, as we have stated, £2 14s. 9d., in 1846 it was so high as £3 10s. over both the assessed and the non-assessed parishes. Here, then, is the true source of that increased expenditure to which the Board of Supervision has called attention; and the main question to be considered is, whether the important change, both in the rate of allowance and in the mode of rais
ing the funds, which is gradually spreading over Scotland, be really necessary and beneficial?
That a considerable augmentation of the allowances was absolutely requisite, will not be disputed by any, who are at all acquainted with the miserable pittances which it was customary to
and virtuous pride prevent from resorting to either alternative, will, doubtless, endure severe distress, and eat much less of the public bread than would have fallen to their lot under a system of legal relief; but any saving to the community, from this source, will be far more than balanced by the exactions of impostors, who, taking advantage of the license, which must always be granted under such a system, will mix in the crowd of beggars, and, in the garb of poverty, prey upon the benevolence, the fear, and the ignorance of the public. But of the enormous sums thus extracted from the community there is never any return. The figures which indicate this quantity never appear in the Report of a Board of Supervision, or any board whatever, to appal the economist, or frighten debt-ridden lairds. The exaction of beggary is an unfathomed abyss of expenditure, but an abyss not less real or less impoverishing to the commonwealth, because its limits are not accurately known.
On the other
hand, every farthing expended under a legal sys- | 2s. 3d. per head on the whole population. We tem of relief is noted down, and in due time believe that, with the proverbial economy of the blazoned forth in reports and returns. In pass- Scotch poor, and by means of right educational ing, therefore, from one system to the other, as institutions, and a proper spirit of enterprise and we are now doing in Scotland, it may often hap- improvement on the part of owners of property pen that an apparent increase in the expenditure and capital, the poor rate in Scotland may, with on the poor, is accompanied with an actual saving all justice to the pcor, be smaller than in any to the community; and this, we believe, is the case country of Europe. But Scotland is not so disin the present instance. There is an increase in tinguished above neighbouring countries, either the public contributions to the poor; but, along for the superior education of her poorer classes, with this, there is a decrease of mendicity and or the extensive industrial enterprise of her landvagrancy, and of all the evils, pecuniary and owners, as to entitle her, in present circumstances, moral, which follow in their train. to any such immunity. She still suffers herself to Apart from considerations of expense, the new be trammelled by a barbarous law of entail, which system has many advantages over the old. It is directly prohibits the improvement of the soil, regular and certain in its operation. It admits and the independent sustenance of the poor; and, of every case being thoroughly investigated before though once at the head of European nations in relief is administered, and consequently affords point of education, there are but too good grounds the best security for the detection of imposture. to believe that, in this respect also, she now ocIt reaches the pockets of the greedy and uncha-cupies an inferior position. So long as Scotland ritable, as well as of the liberal and benevolent, is content with matters as they are, her poor rate and so equalises the burden of the poor. And, | must, and, we will add, it ought to increase. by means of its officers, its public character, its Even supposing that the number of poor on steady and constant authority, it secures the the roll was to remain as it is at present, without adoption of measures, such as the education and any addition, the increase in the rate of allowance, employment of destitute children, by which thou- which is still indispensably necessary, would be sands may be timeously rescued from the depths sufficient of itself to swell out the general exof pauperism, into which they would be inevitably penditure to a very considerable extent. For plunged, if left to be swept along by the current though a rapid increase has taken place of late of natural circumstances. The old system, on in the amount of allowances, these are still far the other hand, can lay claim to none of these from what the necessities of the poor require, excellences. It is most uncertain and capricious and from what would be sufficient to justify a in the distribution of its gifts. It fattens the measure which we ought never to stop short of, sturdy and importunate beggar by the wayside, viz., the total suppression of mendicity and vawhile it leaves the honest and diffident poor to grancy. It appears from the Report before us, starve in the dingy seclusion of their homes. It that the average rate of allowance per annum, imposes a most unequal burden upon the kind- throughout Scotland, is £3 10s., or about 1s. 4d. hearted, while it spares the hoarded gains of the per week. Let any one consider the most ordiilliberal. And by leaving the bereaved and thenary wants of a human being-the lowest items unfortunate to shift for themselves, it encourages vagrancy, permits beggars to multiply, and, neglecting all preventive and preservative measures, exposes society to the ravages of an ever-growing and inveterate pauperism.
In this view of the question, which we humbly take to be the correct one, the gradual increase which has taken place, during the last ten years, in the poor law expenditure of Scotland, is to be regarded with anything but feelings of alarm or regret. It is, on the contrary, the symptom of a most wholesome change in the administration of relief, both as regards the interests of the poor and of the community. Nor can it even be justly supposed that the expenditure has nearly reached its highest point yet. If the poor of Scotland are to be provided for like the poor of other civilised countries, it is clear that we must make up our minds to a considerable additional increase of poor law expenditure. In Holland the annual expenditure on the poor amounts to 4s. 4d. a-head on the entire population; in France, to nearly 10s. a-head; and in England, it is now reduced to about 5s. 10d. per head. But in Scotland, though containing, perhaps, a greater proportionate number of destitute persons than any of these countries, the expenditure on the poor is still only
of expenditure for food, clothing, and housing, which are indispensably requisite to support existence-and say whether such a rate of allowance be not very inadequate for the "needful sustentation" of the poor. It would be totally insufficient, even though designed for the maintenance of one individual only; but the truth is, that though appearing in the returns of the Board of Supervision as the average aliment of each individual pauper, it is practically the average aliment of an entire family of paupers. The majority, perhaps, of persons on the roll, are widows with families of helpless children, and old infirm men, whose wives, by reason either of their own infirmity or the attention which they must pay to their frailer partners, are really as dependent upon parochial support as their husbands themselves, though not admitted nominally to the roll. In all such cases, of course, the allowance allotted is not required for the sustenance of one merely, but of two, and frequently of a much larger number of destitute human beings-a consideration which must bring home to every judgment and every heart, a painful sense of the gulf which still separates the poor of Scotland from a necessary and adequate provision.
We confess that the more we examine the