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of the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews, on the proceedings and prospects of that society; dated Moscow, Feb. 24,1818. With an Appendix, containing some interesting documents illustrative of the present state of the Jews on the Continent. By the Rev. Lewis Way, M.A. of Stansted Park, Suisex. 2i, 6d.

Sermons on various Subjects. By James Lindsay, D.D. 8vo. 13s. bds.

The Holy Minister, a Sermon, preacht '1 at the annual meeting of the Ministers educated at Ilomerton Academy, May 19, J818. By Robert Winter, D.D. 8vo. Is. 6d.

The Apostacy of the Church of Rome, and the Identity of the Papal Power with the Man of Sin. By W. Cunningbame, Esq. 8ro. 4s. 6d.

Scripture and Common Sense, on the doctrines of Regeneration and Baptism. By the Rev. Melville Horne, 2s. 6d.

THAriLS AMD TOPOGRAPHY.

A Jonroey from India to England, through Persia, Georgia, Rasiia, Poland, and Prussia, in the year 1817. By Lieut. Colonel Johnson, C.B- illustrated by numerous engravings, -Ho. 21. 2s.

A Second Journey through Persia to Constantinople, between the years 1810 and 1816. With a Juurnal ofthe voyage by the Brazils and Bombay to the Perlian Golf; together with an account ofthe proceedings of his Majesty's Embassy under his Excellency Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart. K.S.L. By J. Morier,

Esq. late his Majesty's Secretary of Embassy, and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia. With maps, coloured costumes, and other engravin«r» from the designs of the Author. Royal 4to. 31 13s. 6d.

A Journey round the Coast of Kent; containing Remarks on the principal objects worthy of notice throughout liie wholeof that interesting border, and the contiguous district; including Penshursl and Tuubridge Wells, with Rye, WinChelsea, Hastings, and Battle, in Sussex: being original Notes made during a cummer excursion. By L. Fussell, Esq. With maps, 8vo. 9s. boards.

England Described; being a concise delineation of every county in England and Wales; with an account of its moat important products, notices of the principal seats, and a. view of the transactions, civil and military, &c. By Joha Aikin, M.D. being an enlargement of the work by that Author, entitled, England Delineated. 8vo. 14s. boards.

A new History and Description of York. By William Hargrove, 3 \o\t. royal 8vo. 11. 16s.

Travels in Canada, and the United States of America, in 1814 and 1817. By F. Hall, Esq. late Military Secretary to Gen. Wilson, Governor in Cauada. 8vo. 14s. boards.

An Autumn near the Rhine; or, Sketches of courts, society, and scenery, in some of the German States bordering on the Rhine. Sro. 14s.

THE

ECLECTIC REVIEW,

For SEPTEMBER, 1818.

Art. I. 1. A Treatise upon the Poor Laws. By Thomas Peregrin* Courtenay, Esq. M.P. 8vo. 1818.

2. Considerations on the Impolicy and Pernicious Tendency of the Poor Laws; with Remarks on the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons upon them; and Suggestions for improving the Condition of the Poor. By Charles .Terrain, A.M. Vicar of Chobham, &c. 8vo. 1818.

3. A Summary View of the Report and Evidence relative to the Poor Lava, published by Order of the House of Commons, with Observation* and Suggestions. By S. W. Nicoll. 8vo. 1818.

4. Observations on the Circumstances which influence the Condition of the Labouring Classes of Society. By John Barton. 8vo. 1817.

5. An Inquiry into the Nature of Benevolence, chiefly with a View to elucidate the Principles of the Poor Laws, and to show their immoral Tendency. By J. E. Bicheno, F.L.S. 8vo. 1817.

6. Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee appointed to consider of the teveral Petitions relating to Ribbon Weavers. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 18th March, 1818.

"IV/TORE than four hundred volumes on the subject of the -"•*• Poor Laws, are enumerated by Sir Frederick Eden, and still this vast and intricate subject, vast as regards its bearings upon human happiness, and intricate on account of its involving in the discussion the fundamental principles of political science, is continuing to employ and to baffle the sagacity of our legislators and philosophers. Not fewer than sixty-six statutes (forty of the number during the present reign) have been passed since the famous 43d of Elizabeth, (which was itself a digest of all the existing laws on the subject,) in order to give perfection to the present system. And now, the eventual abolition of the whole, the clearance of the Statute-Book from the total nuisance of the Poor Laws, is represented as the only adequate remedy for this gigantic mischief. ' the political plague of Vol. X. N.S. S

f England.' One writer, whose name carries with it very considerable weight,* has not scrupled to affirm, that 'No Scheme 'for the amendment of the Poor Laws' merits the least attention, 'which has not their abolition for its ultimate object.1 And even the Committee of the House of Commons seem to be of opinion, that their abolition would be decidedly beneficial, could it be effected with safety. In the interim, some remedial regulations are on all sides admitted to be indispensably necessary, in order to arrest the accelerating progress of the evil. 'The 'strongest conviction of the impolicy and mischievousness 'of the system, has as yet,' remarks Mr. Courtenay, ' induced * no man to propose its total and immediate abrogation;' while those who are for proposing palliatives, are* willing that every partial amendment should have a tendency towards a general 'abandonment.' As to the best means of introducing a reform, however, there fortunately exists a diversity of opinion which mil, we hope, secure the rigid and suspicious examination of any legislative project of the nature of experiment. It will be well if the clamour and the panic which have spread through all ranks, on the subject of the Poor Laws, and the vehement eloquence with which the dangers arising from the Law of Relief have been aggravated, should not favour the passing of enactments not less injurious, in some points of view, than the evils they are ostensibly designed to remedy.

All that we shall attempt in the present Article, is, to introduce our readers to a general view of the question itself; we shall then proceed to examine the measures proposed, by way of mitigating the existing burden. There are a few previous considerations which, although some of them may appear little better than truisms, the reader may find it very convenient to carry with him into the investigation. *

In the first place, whether there exist a Law of Relief, or not, there will always rcmdn a portion of the community in a state of poverty. Whether the Poor Laws tend to lessen, or' to increase, the sum of Pauperism, they are not the cause of poverty. This is a state which, under any conceivable circumstances of society, must be incidental to a large portion of the labouring classes. When the population of a country h?s attained t!ie point at which the supply of labour is fully adequate to the demand, the wages of labour are not likely to remain much higher than suffices for the bare subsistence of the labourer and his family. This is poverty, when a man can earnno more than he must expend in the supply of his daily wants; and when his earnings fall below the sum requisite for his main

* Ricardo " On the Principles of Politic*! Economy and Tax"ation." p. 113.

tenance, his poverty sinks to the point of indigence. Those of the labouring classes whose earnings are casual or uncertain, are, it is obvious, in perpetual danger of falling into temporary indigence. A depreciation of labour below the price of subsistence, will have the effect, without any fault on the part of the suffering class, of placing them in the permanent condition of paupers. This depreciation may take place in particular branches of labour, without implying any redundance in the population, or in the general supply of labour. It may arise from local and temporary causes. It is indeed, the inevitable consequence of the fluctuations which take place in the demand for the commodities which labour is employed in producing; and unless the hands which have been habituated to one species of labour, could be immediately employed in a totally different species of manufacture, occasions of local and partial distress must occur continually in every country, the capital of. which is liable to undergo any change in its application.* It is ridiculous to advert to 'the race between population and provision/ in proof of the necessary existence of poverty, since, in point of I'.u-t, it has, in this country at least, nothing to do with the cause of pauperism. If the whole capital of the country could be more beneficially employed in commercial enterprise or in manufactures, than in agriculture, and it was found more advantageous to import corn than to grow it, the quantity of provision obtained by home cultivation would be indefinitely lessened; but we should have in that case no more to fear from the geometric increase of population, than we have at present; nor would there be necessarily any increase in the number of poor. The 'demonstrations of Malthus' on this subject, to which Mr. Jerram and some other writers appeal, may therefore be safely 'eft out of the present question. There have been commercial states which have subsisted and risen to wealth and opulence, without any part of their resources being derived from agriculture. Were a nation wholly dependent, indeed, upon. the physical powers of the soil of its own territory, long before the check of famine should be suffered to operate upon the population, we should expect that at least its waste lands should be brought universally into cultivation, and that the thousands of acres occupied by park-land and pleasure-ground, should not be put quite out of the calculation, nor yet the exhaustless provision of the waters which wash its shores. And before the poor were left absolutely to starve for want of a sufficient supply of food, the claims of a numerous rival class of superfluous consumers, sueh as dogs and hunters, might be reasonably called in question. After all, the remedy of Emi

* Hence the impolicy of the old Apprentice Laws. gration, in the case of any real excess of people, remains to b« extensively applied. That excess, however, must have relation to something different from the quantity of provision derivable from the soil.

In order to the production of any species of commodity, two thing's must co-operate, Labour, and Capital. Labour, tinassisted by some species of Capital, is under scarcely any conceivable circumstances, adequate to give existence to even the rudest species of produce. But some—in fact the greater part of every civilized community, must of necessity be destitute of capital; must be in the condition of mere labourers, who, as •such, are dependent upon the Capitalist for his co-operation in giving employment and efficiency to their industry. The general prosperity of a country depends upon the increase of its capital keeping pace with the increase of the supply of labour; nor is there any possibility that the combination of these should ever fail to procure the supply of the utmost wants 'of the population. But where, in the natural progress of society, the capital of a country accumulates in the hands of a few, while the numerical proportion of labourers has become greatly increased, although the quantity of labour may not upon the whole exceed the demand, yet, it is obvious that the dependence of the labourer upon the capitalist places him in a much more precarious situation than formerly. The object for which .the capital of the one, and the labour of the other, are brought to co-operate, is, the production of the means of subsistence and wealth; and the bails of the contract, the only bond between them, is reciprocal benefit. If, therefore, the prospect of benefit to the capitalist be by any circumstances cut oil', the withdrawment of his capital from that branch of productive industry, follows of course, and the labourer in that branch is left to form, if he can, a connexion with some new employer. The capital exists the same, but it is diverted into a different channel. The quantity of labour to which it gives an efficient direction, may also be the same, but a different species of labour is set in action by it, and a connexion is formed with a different class of individuals. The division of labour, which has conduced so powerfully to the increase of wealth, has rendered the labouring classes at the same time more dependent, and more exposed, on any considerable fluctuations of capital, to sink into helpless indigence.

Whatever moral claims an individual who has contributed to the wealth or convenience of another, may have upon his benevolence, it is obvious that the labourer has no right to expect that his employer shall continue to occupy his capital, in putting in action a species of labour which has ceased to be beneficially productive. In other words, no man has a natural right to be

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