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system, and in the reduction of our poorrates, it must be by measures similar to those which Mr. Clarkson has here detailed, and which have been so eminently successful among the Quakers. It must be by melioration of character, originating in vital religion, and by education, the basis and foundation of all civil improvement. To the reasons which I have offered in favour of such a system, in the beginning of this volume, I beg leave to add the foregoing statement by Mr. Clarkson, as a practical commentary.
We are considerably indebted to the Quakers, in point of finance. We receive tithes and church-rates from them, while they support their own religious establishments and places of worship: we levy the poor'srate upon them, while they maintain and educate their own poor; and they pay taxes, at the same time that they renounce all claim to every species of official or public emolument. Such, however, is the irresistible power of industry and prudence, and
such the advantage of a general system of education, that they thrive and prosper under all these disadvantages.
To the Quakers, however, we owe a still greater obligation, for having afforded a practical example of the wisest and most benevolent system, which can be adopted with regard to the poor. If ever we should have the good sense and virtue to follow it, if we should ever be able effectually to carry a similar plan into execution throughout the British dominions, it will do more for the happiness and stability of the country, than if we had added millions to our domestic wealth, and new and unexplored regions to our foreign dominions.
12th Nov. 1806.
Extract from an Account of the Retreat for old Age at Chaillot,near Paris. By SAMUEL EDWARDS FREEMAN, ESQ.
THE Retreat for old Age at Chaillot, is most beautifully situated, about two miles from Paris; commanding an extensive view of the city, the Seine, and the Champ de Mars. In the establishment* there are nearly one hundred aged persons, male and female, whose countenances indicate an unusual degree of happiness and contentment. The chambers occupied by the female part of the society, compose the right wing of the house. Each has a bedchamber to herself exclusively; and there is one sitting room appropriated to two females. Their clothing if required, is found them. The left wing of the house is occupied by the males, who
* This account is extracted from Mr. R. Yorke's Letters from France.
are distributed in the same manner as the females, each having a bedroom to himself, and a common parlour being allotted to two persons; in which they receive the visits of their relatives and friends, without the inconvenience of being obtruded upon by strangers. A husband and wife have a room also to themselves.
The previous contribution of a monthly subscription, is the indispensable condition of admittance to this asylum. Every subscriber must pay regularly and punctually ten-pence per month, from ten till thirty years of age; one shilling and three-pence per month from thirty to fifty; and one shilling and eight-pence per month from fifty to seventy. These different payments will amount to £45., which must be completely made up before a person can acquire the right of admission. Hence, if any one of more than ten years of age, should offer as a subscriber, he or she must deposit, at the time of subscription, and according to his or her age, the sum which would have
been paid if the subscription had commenced at ten years old. In order to give encouragement to benevolence, all persons who are disposed to subscribe, may transfer their right to as many persons as they have made subscriptions; subject to the condition, that the person who is to be benefitted by the transfer, shall be nearly of the same age as the benefactor, and that he shall not be admitted before the attainment of seventy years of age, and payment of the sum of £45. This transferred subscription is extinguished by the death of the substitute. The funds are placed on securities, and are subjected to an administration, which is said to be in every respect safe and undeniable.
Their diet corresponds with the neatness and simplicity of their apartments. At one o'clock dinner is served up in the hall for the Society; and at seven they again assemble at supper. Besides a sufficient quantity of meat and vegetables, each person is allowed a pound and a half of bread, the men a bottle of wine, which is of the thin