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selves. Their own industry, prudence, and domestic habits, far exceed in intrinsic value, MILLIONS which may be raised for their relief and while they contribute to our national wealth and security, they all dispense comfort and happiness to those individuals, and to those families, which are blessed in their possession.
But whatever may be done for the permanent well-being of the labour- The call for ing class, the fabric of human private charity will still prosperity will never be so firmly remain. established, as for man not to want the aid and kindness of man. While castles and palaces remain subject to the instability of fortune, it is vain for the cottager to claim the exemption. His possessions may exceed the extent of his desires:-his cow may be in
affection. A state thus composed of a virtuous and thriving peasantry,-of cottagers, possessing property and the means and habits of improving it, will acquire a degree of consolidated and defensive strength, which depravity or indigence can never hope to attain. Every individual will then have a stake in the country. The magnitude of the stake may be different; but the general interest will be the same.
full produce, his garden cropped, his piggery flourishing, and his hives increasing ;—and yet, MY DEAR SIR, in the change of a few passing hours, all this domestic affluence may vanish like a dream.-He may be in full health and vigour;—and yet a casual exposure to cold and wet, the too eager exertion of labour, or the blight of febril infection from a source unknown, may chain him to the bed of sickness,-may exhaust all the savings of industry,—and require the constant aid and attendance of those, whose only stay and support he had been a few hours before. It is here, that benevolence should come forward, like the invisible hand of Providence, to relieve and sustain his sinking spirit. This is the moment that calls for PERSONAL CHARITY,-not only kindly administered, but liberally and sedulously bestowed;-so as speedily to restore his labour and utility to his family and his country.
To these three principles I have to add a fourth;-that in every measure respecting
the poor, we should avoid, not only sudden
possible, an OPTION for the cottager, to accept or decline its benefit.-That which may be well and safely done by gradual progress, and under present names, may become absolutely impracticable, when attempted at once, or under a new description of character and agency.
With these impressions, I have prepared Reference an outline* of measures, which I to plan. conceive may tend to improve the character and condition of the English poor. In every part of it, I have endeavoured, while the poor man possesses the option of benefiting by it, to supply the motive and
* See the Appendix No. I.-Whilst this sheet is printing, I have the pleasure of perusing Mr. Rose's “Observations on the Poor Laws and the Management of "the Poor in Great Britain, arising from a Consideration "of the Returns before Parliament." It is no small satisfaction to me, that the principles which I have been led to adopt on this subject, are confirmed by the opinion of a gentleman, who has devoted considerable talent and attention to the subject.-The table of returns as to the state and expense of the poor in 1803, annexed to this Pamphlet, is full of interesting information; and merits the attention of every one, who at all concerns himself in the welfare of this country.
inducement; and I have attempted to operate, not only by apparent, but by real kindness; -looking to his essential welfare, and to that of his nearest and dearest connexions. In dealing with rational and accountable creatures, inducement may do much to improve them, but compulsion* can only produce apparent conformity, and systematic hypocrisy. THE DIVINE AUTHOR OF THE UNIVERSE has given us abundant motive and inducement to seek our own happiness: but force and necessity would have been inconsistent with the privileges of a free and intellectual being.
It is indeed conformable, not only to the principles of Christianity, but Our earliest also to those of created nature, virtues are produced by that the most potent means of kindness.
* I have already taken the liberty of observing, that` MACHINERY is not at all calculated, for the governance of rational beings. I will venture to go further, and to assert, that it is not proper even for living creatures, endued with will and inclination.-We do not attempt to correct the irregularities and aberrations of the horse by pullies and levers, but by instruction, habits of attention, discipline, and encouragement.