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ported in the most frugal manner, the duty of charity is fulfilled. And in no other manner can they be fupported fo frugally, as to leave to their own disposal what they receive in charity. Not a penny will be laid out on fermented liquors, unless perhaps as a medicine in sickness. Nor does their low fare call for pity. Ale makes no part of the maintenance of thofe in Scotland who live by the sweat of their brows. Water is their only drink; and yet they live comfortably, without ever thinking of pitying themfelves. Many gentlemen drink nothing but water; who feel no decay either in health or vigour. The perfon however who fhould propose to banish ale from a poor-house, would be exclaimed against as hard-hearted and void of charity. The difference indeed is great between what is done voluntarily, and what is done by compulfion. It is proyoking to hear of the petulance and even luxury of the English poor. Not a perfon in London who lives by the parish-charity will deign to eat brown bread; and in feveral parts of England, many who receive. large fums from that fund, are in the constant custom of drinking tea twice VOL. III. a-day.


a-day. Will one incline to labour where idlenefs and beggary are fo much encouraged?

But what objection, it will be urged, lies against adopting in a poor-house the plan mentioned, giving to no perfon in money more than what his work, juftly estimated, falls fhort of maintenance? It is easy to forefee, that this plan can never answer in a poor-house. The materials for work must be provided by mercenary officers; who must also be trufted with the difpofal of the made work, for behoof of the poor people. Thefe operations may go on fweetly a year or two, under the influence of novelty and zeal for improvement; but it would be chimerical to expect for ever ftrict fidelity in mercenary officers, whofe management cannot eafily be checked. Computing the expence of this operofe management, and giving allowance for endless frauds in purchafing and felling, I boldly affirm, that the plan would turn to no account. Confider next the weekly fum given in charity: people confined in a poor-house have no means for purchafing neceffaries but at a futlery, where they will certainly be


impofed on, and their money go no length.

We are now ripe for a comparison with respect to economy. Many a householder in Edinburgh makes a fhift to maintain a family with their gain of four fhillings per week, amounting to ten pounds eight fhillings yearly. Seldom are there fewer than four or five perfons in fuch a family; the husband, the wife, and two or three children. Thus four or five perfons can be maintain'd under eleven pounds yearly. But are they maintain'd fo cheap in the Edinburgh poor-house? Not a fingle perfon there but at an average cofts the public at least four pounds yearly. Nor is this all. A great fum remains to be taken into the computation, the intereft of the fum for building, yearly reparations, expence of management, wages to fervants, male and female. A proportion of this great fum must be laid upon each person, which fwells the expence of their maintenance. And when every particular is taken into the account, I have no hesitation to pronounce, that laying afide labour altogether, a man can make a fhift to maintain him

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felf privately at half of the expence that is neceffary in a poor-house.

So far we have travelled on folid ground; and what follows is equally folid. Among the industrious, not many are reduced fo low, but that they can make fome thift for themfelves. The quantity of labour that can be performed by those who require aid, cannot be brought under any accurate eftimation. To pave the way to a conjecture, thofe who are reduced to poverty by diffolutenefs or fheer idleness, ought abfolutely to be rejected as unworthy of public charity. If fuch wretches can prevail on the tender-hearted to relieve them privately, fo far well: they ought not to be indulged with any other hope. Now laying thefe afide, the quantity of labour may be fairly computed as half maintenance. Here then is another great article faved to the public. If a man can be maintained privately at half of what is neceffary in a poor-houfe, his work, reckoning it half of his maintenance, brings down the fum to the fourth part of what is neceffary in a poor-house.

Undiftinguished charity to the deferving and undeferving, has multiply'd the poor;


and will multiply them more and more without end. Let it be publicly known that the diffolute and idle have no chance to be put on a charity-roll; the poor, inftead of increafing, will gradually diminifh, till none be left but proper objects of charity, fuch as have been reduced to indigence by old age or innocent misfortune. And if that rule be ftrictly adhered to, the maintenance of the poor will not be a heavy burden. After all, a house for the poor may poffibly be a frugal fcheme in England where the parifh-rates are high, in the town of Bedford for example. In Scotland, it is undoubtedly a very unfrugal scheme.

Hitherto of a poor-houfe with respect to economy. There is another point of ftill greater moment; which is to consider the influence it has on the manners of the inhabitants. A number of perfons, ftrangers to each other, and differing in temper and manners, can never live comfortably together will ever the fober and innocent make a tolerable fociety with the idle and profligate? In our poor-houses accordingly, quarrels and complaints are endless. The family fociety and that of a nation


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