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bination of state and calculation is the horror of horrors. Some good bread and cheese, and a jug of ale, comfortably set before me, and heartily given, are heaven on earth in comparison. I must not omit to mention, amongst other obstacles to sociability, the present excessive breadth of fashionable tables for the purpose of holding, first, the cumbrous ornaments and lights before spoken of; secondly, in some cases, the dessert, at the same time with the side dishes ; and lastly, each person's cover with its appurtenances ; so that to speak across the table, and through the intervening objects, is so inconvenient, as to be nearly impracticable. To crown all, is the ignorance of what you have to eat, and the impossibility of duly regulating your appetite. To be sure, in many particulars you may form a tolerably accurate guess, as that, at one season, there will be partridges in the third course, and at another, pigeons, in dull routine. No wonder that such a system produces many a dreary pause, in spite of every effort to the contrary, and that one is obliged, in self-defence, to crumble bread, sip wine, look at the paintings, if there are any, or if there are not, blazon the arms on the plates, or, lastly, retreat into oneself in despair, as I have often and often done. When dinner is over, there is no peace till each dish in the dessert has made its circuit, after which the wine moves languidly round two or three times, and then settles for the rest of the evening, and coffee and small talk finish the heartless affair.

I do not mean to say that such dinner parties as I have been describing have not frequently many redeeming circumstances. Good breeding, wit, talent, information, and every species of agreeable quality are to be met with there ; but I think these would appear to much greater advantage, and much oftener, under a more simple and unrestrained system. After curiosity has been satisfied, and experience ripened, I imagine most people retire from the majority of formal dinners rather wearied than repaid, and that a feeling of real enjoyment is the exception, and not the rule. In the long run, there is no compensation for ease; and ease is not to be found in state and superabundance, but in having what you want, when you want it, and with no temptation to excess. The legitimate objects of dinner are to refresh the body, to please the palate, and to raise the social humour to the highest point; but these objects, so far from being studied, in general are not even thought of, and display and an adherence to fashion are their meagre substitutes. Hence it is, that gentlemen ordinarily understand what pertains to dinner-giving so much better than ladies, and that bachelors' feasts are so popular. Gentlemen keep more in view the real ends, whereas ladies think principally of display and ornament, of form and ceremony-not all, for some have excellent notions of taste and comfort; and the cultivation of them would seem to be the peculiar province of the sex, as one of the chief features in household management. There is one female failing in respect to dinners, which I cannot help here noticing, and that is, a very inconvenient love of garnish, and flowers, either natural, or cut in turnips and carrots, and stuck on dishes, so as greatly to impede carving and helping. This is the true barbarian principle of ornament, and is in no way distinguishable from the 6 untutored Indian's” fondness for feathers and shells. In both cases the ornament is an encumbrance, and has no relation to the matter on which it is placed. But there is a still worse practice, and that is pouring sauce over certain dishes to prevent them from looking too plain, as parsley and butter, or white sauce over boiled chickens. I cannot distinguish this taste from that of the Hottentot besmearing himself with grease, or the Indian with red paint, who, I suppose, have both the same reason for their practice. To my mind, good meat well cooked, the plainer it looks the better it looks, and it certainly is better with the accessories kept separate till used, unless they form a part of the dish. In my next number I shall give my ideas of what dinners ought to be.

PAUPERISM.

А

I shall continue from time to time, as long as they last, to give such extracts from my pamphlet on pauperism, as I think will contribute to instil sound doctrines on the subject into the minds of my readers.

Though the sum annually raised on account of pauperism is so large, yet in any ordinary period, the amount of real pauperism is probably much less than is supposed; and of that amount a large proportion is directly produced by the certain anticipation of a provision from the parish. The expenses of management and of litigation, and indeed all the expenses of the system, except the money laid out for the actual maintenance of paupers, may here be put out of the question, because, if the latter could be dispensed with, the former would cease of course. pauper,

in the strict sense of the word, is one, who, being without property, and unable by his labour to support himself and those legally dependent upon him, and, having no competent friends compellable or willing to help him, is forced to resort to the parish for relief. From the number of real paupers, then, are to be excepted, 1st, The few who have property, but conceal it, some of whom, from miserly habits, receive relief for many years ; 2ndly, The more numerous class, with competent friends, who would willingly assist them, but do not choose to save the parish; 3rdly, The large class who successfully feign inability to perform or procure labour; 4thly, All those who

other species of imposition, or by abuse on the part of their friends, wrongfully participate in the parish fund; and, lastly, the more prudent portion of the immense number, who, whilst in full employ, receive a part of their maintenance from the poors' rates, which portion, if they were not remunerated in so degrading a mode, would learn immediately to depend

by any

upon themselves. So far as the classes above enumerated are concerned, no inconvenience would result from the immediate abolition of the Poor Laws. With respect to those who are really paupers, but who have become so from the certain anticipation of a provision from the parish, there may be reckoned, 1st, Those to whom property has at some period of their lives come, but who have wilfully run through it, in consequence of their habits having been previously formed according to the low standard of the Poor Laws; 2ndly, The numerous class who have had opportunities of accumulating, but who have wasted their means with a fixed determination eventually to have recourse to the parish ; 3rdly, Those whose determined pauper habits have disgusted their friends, or made them lose opportunities of making some; 4thly, Those who have incapacitated themselves from labour by dissolute habits, contracted from a reliance on parochial assistance ; 5thly, Those (and a numerous class they are) who, from perverseness of temper, have wilfully brought themselves upon the parish ; 6thly, Those who married from a reliance on the rates; 7thly, Hereditary paupers; in country places, especially where there are no great changes, it will often be found, that the principal part of the poors' rates are paid to a few families, who have been in the habit of depending upon them from the remotest periods to which the accounts go back, and who think they have acquired as good a title to the parish fund as the land owners have to their estates; lastly, Those who have been persuaded by other paupers to pauperize themselves. I have not enumerated these different classes from theoretical inference, but from practical observation; and it is obvious, that, so far as they are concerned, the Poor Laws might, without inconvenience, be made to cease with the next generation.

Amongst the various means of reducing pauperism, it is highly desirable that its true nature should become as generally understood as possible, in order that it may meet with

more discouragement than has hitherto been given to it. It is to be wished, that the magistrates would not so frequently inculcate the doctrine of reliance upon the overseer, in the various cases of distress and difficulty presented before them that the affluent and humane would not incautiously encourage applications to the parish, and, on the plausible statements of the applicants, take part with them against those whose duty it is to be strict~that the employers of labourers would not, for the sake of a pártial and temporary saving, assist in pauperizing their workmen, who are sure to repay them with idleness, dishonesty, and refractoriness; that political partizans would not deceive the labouring classes, by holding out to them that they are forced into a state of dependence by misrule and oppression ; and lastly, that the prudent part of those classes would not stand aloof from sympathy or fear, but would heartily unite against the spirit of pauperism as the worst of all possible enemies to their nearest interests. There can be no humanity in the Poor Laws: if wages are not sufficient, they are only paying what is due in a degrading and cruel manner; if wages are sufficient, they are a provision held out beforehand to improvidence and all its desolating evils. Nothing can permanently better the condition of the working classes, but an increase of prudence. Any improvement in means would be wasted, or worse than wasted, unless there should be a corresponding improvement of habits. How could a reduction of taxation, or a diminution in the price of corn, permanently benefit those who become idle and profligate, as the means of living become easy, or what better is a man in the end for being able to gain as much in four days as he gained in six, if he only works in proportion, or wastes his money as fast as he gets it? It is lamentable, but true, that to the improvident population of large towns, and to the pauperized labourers of most of the agricultural districts, any facilities for maintaining themselves, beyond drudging for the bare necessaries of life,

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