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"fame; not only by reafon that fuch "multitudes can hardly be governed, to " ferve God and obey her Majefty, without conftituting an addition of new of

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ficers, and enlarging their authority; "but also can hardly be provided of food and other neceffaries at a reasonable

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price; and finally, that as fuch multi"tudes of people, many of them poor who "must live by begging or worse means, "are heaped up together, and in a fort "fmothered with many children and fer

vants in one houfe or fmall tenement; "it must needs follow, if any plague or "other univerfal fickness come amongst "them, that it would prefently spread "through the whole city and confines, " and alfo into all parts of the realm."

There appears as little accuracy in this proclamation, as in the French ordinances. The fame error is obfervable in both, which is the limiting the extent of the city, instead of limiting the number of inhabitants. True it is indeed, that the regulation would have a better effect in London than in Paris. As ftone is in plenty about Paris, boufes there may be carried to a very great height; and are

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actually fo carried in the old town: but there being no ftone about London, the houfes formerly were built of timber, now of brick; materials too frail for a lofty edifice.

Proceeding to particulars, the first objection, which is the expence of governing a great multitude, concludes against the number of inhabitants not against the extent of the city. At the fame time, the' objection is at beft doubtful in point of fact. Tho' vices abound in a great city, requiring the ftricteft attention of the magiftrate; yet with a well-regulated police, it appears lefs expenfive to govern 600,000 in one city, than the fame number in ten different cities. The fecond objection, viz. the high price of provifions, strikes only against numbers, not extent. Befide, whatever might have been the cafe in the days of Elifabeth, when agriculture and internal commerce were in their infancy; there are at prefent not many towns in England, where a temperate man may live cheaper than in London. The hazard. of contagious diftempers, which is the third objection, is an invincible argument against limiting the extent of a great town.

It is mentioned above, that from the year 1666, when the streets were widened and the houses enlarged, London has never been once vifited by the plague. If the proclamation had taken effect, the houses must have been fo crouded upon each other, and the streets fo contracted, as to have occafioned plagues ftill more frequently than before the year 1666.

The Queen's immediate fucceffors were not more clear-fighted than fhe had been. In the year 1624, King James iffued a proclamation against building in London upon new foundations. Charles I. iffued two proclamations to the fame purpose; one in the year 1625, and one in the year 1630.

The progrefs of political knowledge has unfolded many bad effects of a great city, more weighty than any urged in thefe proclamations. The first I fhall mention, is, that people born and bred in a great city are commonly weak and effeminate. Vegetius (a) observing, that men bred to husbandry make the best foldiers, adds what follows. "Interdum tamen "neceffitas exigit, etiam urbanos ad ar

(a) De re militari, lib. 1. cap. 3.


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ma compelli: qui ubi nomen dedere "militiæ, primum laborare, decurrere, portare pondus, et folem pulveremque "ferre, condifcant; parco victu utantur

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et ruftico; interdum fub divo, inter"dum fub papilionibus, commorentur. "Tunc demum ad ufum erudiantur ar

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morum et fi longior expeditio emergit, "in angariis plurimum detinendi funt, proculque habendi a civitatis illecebris: ut eo modo, et corporibus eorum robur accedat, et animis *. The luxury of

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a great city defcends from the higheft to the lowest, infecting all ranks of men;

*But fometimes there is a neceffity for arming the townspeople, and calling them out to fervice. "When this is the cafe, it ought to be the first << care, to enure them to labour, to march them

up and down the country, to make them carry "heavy burdens, and to harden them against the "weather. Their food fhould be coarse and scanty,

and they fhould be habituated to fleep alternately " in their tents, and in the open air. Then is the "time to inftruct them in the exercise of their arms. "If the expedition is a distant one, they should be "chiefly employed in the ftations of pofts or ex

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preffes, and removed as much as poffible from "the dangerous allurements that abound in large "cities; that thus they may be envigorated both in "mind and body."


and there is little opportunity in it for fuch exercise as to render the body vigorous and robust.

The foregoing is a phyfical objection against a great city: the next regards morality. Virtue is exerted chiefly in reftraint vice, in giving freedom to defire. Moderation and felf-command form a character the moft fufceptible of virtue: fuperfluity of animal fpirits, and love of pleasure, form a character the most liable to vice. Low vices, pilfering for example, or lying, draw few or no imitators; but vices that indicate a foul above restraint, produce many admirers. Where a man boldly struggles against unlawful restraint, he is juftly applauded and imitated; and the vulgar are not apt to distinguish nicely between lawful and unlawful restraint : the boldness is visible, and they pierce no deeper. It is the unruly boy, full of animal fpirits, who at public fchool is admired and imitated; not the virtuous and modeft. Vices accordingly that show spirit, are extremely infectious; virtue very little. Hence the corruption of a great city, which increafes more and more in proportion to the number of inhabitants.


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