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up there, be
under government, are prompted by the
bound, than among the seamen in Greenwich hospital.
A poor-house tends to corrupt the body no less than the mind. It is a nursery of diseases, fostered by dirtiness and crouding.
To this scene let us oppose the condition of those who are supported in their own houses. They are laid under the necessity of working with as much asliduity as ever; and as the sum given them in charity is at their own disposal, they are careful to lay it out in the most frugal manner. parsimony they can save any sinall
it is their own; and the hope of encreasing this little stock, supports their spirits and redoubles their industry. They live innocently and comfortably, because they live industriously; and industry, as every one knows, is the chief pleasure of life to those who have acquired the habit of being conftantly employ'd.
A Great City considered in Physical, Moral,
and Political Views.
N all ages an opinion has been preva
lent, that a great city is a great evil; and that a capital may be too great for the state, as a head may be for the body, Considering however the very shallow reafons that have been given for this opinion, it should seem to be but slightly founded. There are several ordinances limiting the extent of Paris, and prohibiting new buildings beyond the prescribed bounds; the first of which is by Henry II. ann. 1549. These ordinances have been renewed from time to time, down to the 1672, in which year there is an edict of Louis XIV. to the same purpose. The reasons assigned are,
First, That by enlarging the city, the
air would be rendered unwholesome. “ Second, That cleaning the streets would
prove a great additional labour. Third, “ That adding to the number of inhabi
tants would raise the price of provi
“ fions, of labour, and of manufactures.
Fourth, That ground would be covered “ with buildings instead of corn, which
might hazard a scarcity. Fifth, That
the country would be depopulated by “ the desire that people have to resort to " the capital. And, lastly, That the dif“ ficulty of governing such numbers, “ would be an encouragement to robbery " and murder.”
In these reasons, the limiting the extent of the city and the limiting the number of inhabitants are jumbled together, as if they were the fame. The only reasons that regard the former, are the second and fourth ; and these, at best, are trifling. The first reason urged against enlarging the city, is a solid reason for enlarging it, supposing the numbers to be limited; for crouding is an infallible means to render the air unwholesome, Paris, with the same number of inhabitants that were in the days of the fourth Henry, occupies thrice the space, much to the health as well as comfort of the inhabitants. Had the ordinances mentioned been made efn: fectual, the houses in Paris must all have been built story above story, ascending to VOL. III.
the sky like the tower of Babel. Before the great fire anno 1666, the plague was frequent in London; but by widening the streets and enlarging the houses, there has not since been known in that great city, any contagious distemper that deserves the name of a plague. The third, fifth, and last reasons, conclude against permitting any addition to the number of inhabitants; but conclude nothing against enlarging the town. In a word, the measure adopted in these ordinances has little or no tendency to correct the evils complained of; and infallibly would enflame the chief of them. The measure that ought to have been adopted, is to limit the number of inhabitants, not the extent of the town.
Queen Elisabeth of England, copying the French ordinances, issued a proclamation anno 1602, prohibiting any new buildings within three miles of London. The preamble is in the following words : “ That foreseeing the great and manifold “ inconveniencies and mischiefs which
daily grow, and are likely to increase, “ in the city and suburbs of London, by " confluence of people to inhabit the