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junior, by twenty years or so, is still wasting his time and talents in uncongenial occupation, for which the tapeworm aforesaid might be by nature qualified, but for which, thanks to a system of blundering, the junior is utterly unqualified, and so doomed to be a man of wasted energies; one of a large class who are at once the credit and reproach of the Civil Service of our enlightened Government.

An instance is better than argument. Take the the following. A. and B. are candidates for the Civil Service; they pass their examinations, and are appointed to two different offices. A. is a man of detail-little originality, much industry and neatness in all he undertakes; a man of figures, and in an office where figures are requisite, a first-rate clerk; but A. is placed in an office where a skill in composition, or a quickness of comprehension is, perhaps, more requisite than his own peculiar virtues. Where all are quick, A. will be slow, and give satisfastion to no one. B. is of another turn of mind entirely-quick, if somewhat irregular, in all he does, save figurework, for which he has little ability and less taste; but B. is not, therefore, on the score of his inability for arithmetical drudgery, to be deemed a dolt; B. can draw out reports in concise and perspicuous language--can hit off, perhaps, the salient points of any subject submitted to him with ready wit and power of analysis. B. would, therefore, be of service in a secretariate department. But no such thing occurs. He is appointed to an office where the work is mere mechanical drudgery -where he must sit, biting his nails, day by day, on his stool, as his poor brain gets bewildered over dreary columns of £ s. d., over which he will in all probability blunder, till he is dismissed as incompetent, or resigns in disgust. Had A. B.'s place, had B. A.'s; or had A. B.'s ability, and B. A.'s, the nation would not be paying money yearly to two incompetent civil servants, who each might have been, under a system of judicious selection, useful in a public office.


There is, in the Civil Service of the Crown, a far worse prospect for a young man of ability than in the open professions, the church, the bar, and physic; nevertheless, the Civil Service Commission now demand the same class of education as in part would be neccessary for these professions. Moreover, the majority of persons in the Civil Departments are-as said Sir Charles Trevelyan (Memorandum on the Superannuation Question, Nov. 8, 1853)—“ under a disadvantage, compared with the members of other professions, in providing for their families. The lawyer or physician capitalizes his gains when he is in the full exercise of his profession for the benefit of his family; the merchant and banker lay by a proportion of their profits when the times are favourable; but public servants have no incidental receipts, and the salaries of the numerous bodies of clerks, and others of that grade in the revenue and other departments are so moderate, and augment so gradually, compared with the domestic claims upon them, that they have great difficulty in making a provision for their families, even in the customary way of life-assurance." In spite of all these things, the civil servant is still considered as an official Aladdin, fit for nothing, but one whose position, nevertheless, is as enviable as his duties— light, lucrative, and easy. There are many of them whose abilities would, if better directed, have led them to the best honours the open professions can offer-many men who are content for a very lean annuity to waste those abilities on dry techni. calities and uncongenial duties-and let us hopefor, in spite of Sam Weller's opinion, "hope" is yet "going"-who will soon have an opportunity, under a better system than that which is at present perverting talent and damping energy, of proving that, when the "round men," for once in their lives, do get into "the round holes," the Civil Service of the Crown will be no worse conducted than that of the East India Company, or of any other government whose policy is to secure a "fair day's work" by paying " a fair day's wages."


"AN Englishman's house is his castle." This information has been repeated in the Commons towards the close of the first session of the Parliament of 1857, until the statement has become nauseous in connection with the cause of the palaver. An Englishman's house may be his castle as a matter of fact, without that affording him the slightest justification for keeping an immoral castle, or a castle of one apartment for a family of ten and the lodger. Castles in old times were expected to stand sieges; and during each siege the garrison suffered from the want of air, of cleanli ness, of food, and of water. Children were not

able to amuse themselves on the green before the ramparts, during hostilities; and while they lasted the females were unable to bleach clothes there, even when they could obtain water to wash them; but when people cannot procure water to drink, they are not very particular in their laundry work; and at these seasons the beleagured persons were often scarce of food. As to ventilation, we have no reason to suppose that it was attended to in the most scientific manner during these difficulties, even in the castles of England. Ballad testimony is supplied of the value placed on it in one Scotch castle, at least, during an assault in the Dahara fashion

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I wad gie half my lan', my son,
Sa wad I a' my fee,

For a'e blast o' the northern win
To drive the reek frae thee.

Messrs. Ayrton, Cox, and other juvenile members of the House, and politicians who have to earn places in the world of speech, and work hard to obtain them, are evidently ignorant of the true origin of the saying "An Englishman's house is his castle," as applicable to very many Englishmen's houses, namely, that it is the place in which he resists a perpetual siege, and daily suffers all the inconveniences once sustained by the no-surreuder people of Derry, and twice a hundred thousand persons since then in similarly straitened circumstances. Even when an Englishman possesses a real castle, he has no right to convert it into a manufactory of nuisances against the health of the vicinity. All the outcry raised respecting Englishmen's castles in the House originated in a short bill, so very small that we bought a copy for a halfpenny, and paid the money. It is true that the Ministry might do much mischief in few words, although that is far from being their common sin; and in the present instance they deserve the support of all except the Conservatives of filth and misery.

Some of these members assume the character of friends of the people-and they are undoubtedly champions of the unwashed; but a great majority of the people dislike that name, and use baths when they can obtain them. We have always had a curious body of politicians, who have stooped to flatter a class for their hardships or their mistakes, instead of endeavouring to reform the last and remove the first; but one very honourable member, who declared that the halfpenny measure was devised not for the sake of the poor but of the rich, is the best specimen of the genus extant, and should be petrified and preserved, if possible, for the inspection of the curious in generations yet unborn, and who will be so much happier than ourselves in the extinction of this race. If the gentleman be quite correct, and the measure really was designed for the safety of the rich, without any regard for the security of those who are not rich-is there crime in that? We have contended long for the recognition of the serious truth, that the rich cannot shut themselves up in their houses, even if they be their castles, from contact with the poor, in one sense; and therefore, in their own interests, they should exterminate the nurseries of epidemics and fevers around them. The person who made this uncharitable statement must imagine that the rich -meaning, by the way, one-half of the population

of large towns probably-are criminal because they use moderately clean linen, walk through the world in decent clothing, and try to keep comfortable apartments. They might have mosquito curtains, if they needed them; but they cannot obtain curtains of any muslin fine enough to exclude malaria, and all the mephitic poisons that float in a taiuted atmosphere; yet they are justified in making war on the pest or the plague in its infancy. We give this honourable utterer of nonsense credit for any amount of folly that his constituents may claim in his behalf, but if he die of cholera, engendered by filth in some very poor place, it would only be a retribution of his folly; most righteous; yet justice is not to be always expected as the effect of a cause, coming in a mathematically straight line, in the present world.

Why the poor should be assumed thus to be unclean, lovers of dust, and revellers in cobwebs and worse, by one section of politicians, is perfectly comprehensible. They know nothing practically of those whom they call the poor. They keep carefully out of their way, and only speak of them. We have known homes inhabited by families who were poor, without any mistake on the subject; and yet, all that water and work could do to make and keep them clean, was done. The efforts were perhaps unsuccessful, from the nature of the accommodation. In some of the very high Scotch houses water could not be carried up eight or ten flights of stairs in sufficient abundance, aud it was not "laid on." In Glasgow we have heard that the water company withdrew their goods entirely from some "low" districts, but the error will not again occur, as a magnificent supply of water is secured for that city, not by a private company, but by the corporation. Public economy of life and money consists with an abundant supply of all the appliances essential to cleanliness; therefore public officials are entitled to see that people's castles are constructed properly. We should not consider it a very tyrannical provision by Parliament that all new houses should consist of a minimum number of apartments, with a minimum height from ceiling to floor; of at least a fixed breadth and length, with water in each house, a bath room, and all that class of conveniences. We are guilty of not considering a law of this nature very oppressive and týrannical, although well acquainted with all the eloquence that can be and has been employed in the advocacy of filth, indecency, and over-crowding. Would we not then permit the poor to have a hovel of their own? Certainly not. We have not a bit of sympathy with hovels or with huts either. They are very pretty at a distance in poetry, and very objectionable in the plain common sense, matter-of-fact, near neighbourhood of prose. But people must have accommodation for which they can afford to pay. The rents of many houses are much higher than the wages of many families, and with that class of arguments a number of well-meaning persons cheat themselves out of truth. Nobody, unsuited for Bedlam, suggests a


general equality of houses more than a general uniformity in servants and silks; and it has been shown, that even in large towns-in London itself -homes in which families can live, instead of merely subsist, may be supplied with profit at rents not larger than are paid for shelter worth nothing, because ruinously dear at nothing. It is this fact on which we retire when charged with cruelty.

The dearest house property in all large towns is the worst; yet the rent is paid frequently week by week, and often in advance, and if the experiments in a better class of cheap houses were extended into common practice, the builders would make a greater return out of them than they ever obtain from villas, squares, and terraces.

The argument in favour of extremely cheap homes, even if such things existed, is a vicious race round a circle. A family are too poor to pay for a home that can be kept clean and made healthy. The male portions of the households dislike the appearance and the noisomeness of their room, and they stop at the parlour of the public house. The female division of these families share their companions' disgust, and follow them to their remedy; or stop at home, break down their spirits, grow slatternly, and the evil becomes incurable. The whole history is one of cause and effect, but the cause and the effect change positions frequently. It is a perpetual motion of a moral or immoral character, and never has stopped, and never will stop, until one of the springs be broken and thrown aside. Our opposition to cheap dwelling houses rests on their non-existence. There are no cheap dwellings. Plenty of low priced pretences are to be foundnot lower priced, however, than might suffice for tolerably convenient homes; but the former are dear at any price, and deserve the application of any other adjective rather than "cheap."

Englishmen might, however, pay a little more occasionally for their castles, with advantage and ease to themselves, and a little less, perhaps, for their beer or their tobacco. The opinion is at least equally true of Scotchmen and Irishmen. We have seen a man, a hard working man, who, we were also told, was not a curiosity—at least, in the respect for which we deemed him odd, erroneously deemed him peculiar-whose payments for niggerhead, or shag, or twist, or some other description of tobacco, amounted to sixpence daily, three shillings and sixpence weekly, or nine pounds, two shillings per annum. He rented for his family and himself a house, costing three to four pounds annually. Now, if he had taken on lease a castle at nine pounds two shillings per annum, rent and taxes, and paid only three pounds by the year for Virginia, he would have been a happier person, and could have defied the police inspection into the alleged overcrowding of his tenement.

The metropolitan members, especially the younger gentlemen, know little of their constituencies. One day of last winter, when the tempera


ture was low enough to please a Laplander, when the frozen snow was crisp and hard beneath one's boots, and more snow was falling, we were accosted by a boy, carrying a very young girl, and taking care of an intermediate boy and girl, in Newgate street. Neither of this juvenile and melancholy party wore stockings; the elder boy alone had shoes, and all their other garments consisted with these facts. The family seemed to be wound up in rags. The boy introduced himself in the usual way, and to no useful purpose, as, we suppose, was also the usual way. Cold days, however, exercises some influence over people's consciences; and so, before reaching Ivy-lane, it occurred to the writer that he had really nothing very particular to do for an hour, and he returned in search of the family. They wanted money, of course; but money was not all they required, or probably was not much use alone. So we passed by some means, near cuts and closes, through Little Britain, to Goswell-street, along the Barbican, through streets altogether unknown in the regions of Parliamentary experiences, until that misnamed Golden-lane was reached, and in a court opening into that thoroughfare, at a corner of the court, we were shown by the stockingless guide and his shivering companions up two pairs of outside and rickety stairs, with dwelling-houses obviously opening on each landing-place, and into one room, to the consternation of one woman and one child, to whom our friends stood in the closest family connexion, one woman with two children, who represented herself as a widow, and one younger woman with one child, who could not evidently claim the same title, and the man who was whitewashing.

The mistress of this castle of one apartment, assured us that the whitewashing had been commenced at that unseasonable date in consequence of the death of one of her children by fever. As that event did not seem to be regarded in the common manner, we suggested a total absence of surprise at this intelligence, and some wonder that any of her children were alive. None of them were at school. None of them could read much. Their father was a dock labourer, and there was no work at the river during the storm. The elder boy had been in a place. A manufactory in the neighbourhood was named as the scene of his last employment. We were acquainted with the proprietor, and promised the re-instalment of the lad if he had done nothing very wrong. Thereupon the countenances of the party fell; and, after a little fencing with the question, we learned that the young applicant for aid, under the advice and temptation of others, stole twine. Little more hope remained for him until he could earn a character, always a work of greater difficulty than to lose one.

The inhabitants of this single apartment were twelve in number. The widow, and also the mother who was not a widow, professed to be only casual lodgers, turned out of the workhouse only

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a few evenings previously. The house evidently supplied no sleeping apartments, and nothing more than "bare boards" to sleep upon. It was equally defective in other necessary articles-for it had nothing capable of carrying a moderately small quantity of coffee from a coffee house, until the bright idea occurred to the boy with the shoes, that something might be borrowed from above; and above he went, and was successful. The crockery ware on the premises consisted, we understood, of one whole cup, and it seemed rather a subject of congratulation that it existed.

Without professing to know much of the frontier between the City and Finsbury, we believe that this was one of the Englishmen's castles represented by Mr. Cox, who imagines that, in protecting places of this description, he vindicates the liberty of a man to foster disease in his family, and all the families around him; and the imagination of the junior member for Finsbury is, in this instance, perfectly correct.

The absolute want of employment would justify individual submission to its consequences, and leave the public culpable for neglecting cases of that nature; but the three females in the single room were all employed. They had shoes to bind, or some similar operation to perform; and as they must have earned some money, the probable mode of its expenditure would have appeared more promising, if more than one cup had existed among the families.

The statements of some of the City officials respecting overcrowding in courts and lanes, close upon the district where these persons possessed their single room, proved the necessity of some power more impartial than that of landlord or tenant, to prevent it. The employment of the police in these investigations may not be the happiest selection that could be made. The police are naturally unpopular with the class who are likely to be compressed in this manner; and the arrangements of buildings within towns might be placed under the surveillance of a different department. A strong case was made against this little bill, because it allowed the police to enter people's dwellings and inspect them. The measure itself -it only contains two working clauses-expressed no opinion on the entrance of the police into any castle. The only words that could be construed into that meaning commence the third clause, and

thus run:

Whenever it appears to the Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis that any house is so overcrowded as to be dan gerous or prejudicial to the inhabitants of such house or of the neighbouring houses, and the inhabitants of such firstmentioned house shall consist of more than one family-the Commissioners may apply to the local authority mentioned in the "Nuisances Removal Act for England, 1855," to cause proceedings to be taken, &c., &c.

First, they are to apply to the justices; second, after the lapse of seven days, if the justices do nothing, the Commissioners are to work without them, but at their cost. Thus, the Commissioners

are constituted the judges of the manner in which the justices perform their duty. Still, the bill says nothing of a power of entering Englishmen's castles vested in the police. That body of men have a general idea of the breadth and height of the apartments within their jurisdiction. They also know, or are expected to know, the number of persons who inhabit usually the houses in their beat. Their Commissioners may instruct them to report cases of overcrowding; and as each report ensures to the policeman considerable trouble, he will naturally be economical in his informations. The Commissioners, after the case has been thus introduced to them, may proceed as directedfirst with, but second, if need be, without the justices. The eloquence thrown away upon the tyranny of the police entering castles, and trespassing within dwellings, to count the number of their tenantry, was a pitiable waste of froth if not of thought. The long title was "An Act for the Prevention of Overcrowding in the Dwellings of the Poor." The words, "of the Poor," were meaningless and useless. Who are the poor? Those only in a legal sense who receive charity, or subsist on parochial relief. The words, therefore, which are absolutely unnecessary, limit the operation of the act. The second or short title fixed the nature of the bill in a more sensible manner. It was there styled "The Crowded Dwellings Prevention Act, 1857," and that was sufficiently general; but Mr. Henley amended that description. by words which limit its application to lodginghouses; and the second clause defines the meaning of a Common Lodging-House, in at least a nega

tive way:

No house or part of a house which would be deemed to be a common lodging-house or part of a common lodginghouse, if the lodgers therein were not members of the same family, shall be exempted from the provisions of the said common lodging-houses acts by reason only, that the lodgers in such house or part of a house are members of the same family, unless such family consists solely of persons in the relationship of husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, child or children, grandchild or grandchildren, and the burden of proving such relationship shail lie upon the persons against whom proceedings are taken.

A question might be raised on the words of this clause, whether a son-in law or a daughter-in-law could be deemed part of a family. These are not included in the clause as it stands, although their children are members of the family for the pur poses of this act. The child might be legally re tained while the mother might be legally thrust out of the family circle, not by the family but by the Commissioners of Police. This circumstance requires explanation; but, perhaps the son or daughter-in-law is considered legally a child to one person, while a father or a mother to another, by some common, great, and overhanging precedent, or statute, that keeps everything in order and place. Brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, are excluded "for the purposes of this act," and cannot become members of one family, so far as it is concerned.


The law of England says, in another place, that a man may not marry his own grandmother, and mankind generally refrain from infringing on this law; but our little halfpenny bill excludes a man's great grandmother or great great grandfather from, his family, and is equally cruel to his descendants of the third generation; yet cases which might involve either of these classes of relatives are not uncommon. Verbal criticisms are often puerile, but when the composition criticised is that of an act of Parliament their character changes, and the discussions of the past session have not shown eminent skill in drawing bills among the Governmental subordinates.

This act would have provided against the miserable overcrowding in the single apartment which we have noticed, for it arose from parts of three distinct families; but it could have done nothing to prevent the absolute overcrowding by one of these families-that one which consisted of eight individuals-immediately before the fatal fever case. This subject has never been met in any bill, and yet it interferes with other improvements, and stops the way for useful legislation. Two years since a bill was introduced by Lord Robert Grosvenor to stop Sunday trading in the metropolis. The measure was sought by many of the tradesmen who felt their incapacity to take care of themselves, and required Parliamentary aid. It was opposed upon many pleas, of which the most notorious were the rows in Hyde-park. One of the more remarkable arguments against the bill was founded upon the allegation that many families, living in single rooms, could not purchase meat on Saturdays, and keep it fresh until the next day, because it would be tainted in their dwellings. The argument was not founded upon the summer temperature of extreme weeks, but the general fact that the state of the rooms wherein families lived by day and night would taint food in twelve hours. The statement may be perfectly true; and if flesh suffers in this manner from the pestilential air of these rooms, how fares it with the human beings, especially the young who breathe it always and ever, sleeping or waking? We cannot be astonished, in these circumstances, that half of the deaths in the towns of Britain and Ireland are those of infants under five years of age. The argument was worth nothing more than as evidence that we valued the dead flesh of bullocks more than the lives of children. The bullocks have a money value, and the children have none.

Every fact collected upon this subject confirms the feeling, that a new and different class of measures from any hitherto proposed are necessary to secure the comfort and health of society in large towns, and even in rural parishes. The law limits the number of persons who may be crowded together for half an hour in an omnibus. The law regulates the number of passengers who may be placed for a few weeks in an emigrant ship. The law even provides for the existence of certain


arrangements on these vessels necessary for the comfort and health of the passengers. The law should make the same provision to maintain the lives and strength of those individuals who stop at home as of its subjects who travel. The regu lations respecting emigrant ships were made because the emigrants are often unable to act for themselves. They proceed upon the same reasons that dictated the management by law of factories and mines. The tenants of low-rented houses are in a similar position. They are unable to command good accommodation, even if they comprehend its necessity, and are willing to make the requisite payments for its use. They need protection because they are unable to protect themselves. The bill introduced in the Upper House, passed, sent to the Commons, and sold for a halfpenny, is not the thing required. The public interest needs a law against the construction of bad and defective dwelling houses-rooms where fresh meat is spoiled in one night, and lives are shortened by seven years on an average. If it be right to demand good ventilation for workshops, it must be better to seek it for sleeping apartments. The labouring classes of this country spend onethird of their lives in sleep, or nearly; and twothirds of that large population, including children and females, pass a much larger portion of their time in those rooms that were magniloquently designated castles by ambitious members of Parliament. The homes of many families are in a sanatory condition; or as near to that state as their circumstances will allow; but of a great number it may be said with truth that they require to be radically revolutionised; and this work will never be effected without an act of Parliament, limiting the compressure of the population into boxes, or, as Viscount Palmerston more aptly describes them, into "modern black holes."

We have no sympathy therefore with the Englishman's castle mania. High sounding words in one il ventilated house-and the House of Commons is very objectionable in that respect-will not help the difficulties of a thousand or a hundred thousand dwelling houses. The set of politicians who suppose that they can gratify any considerable proportion of the community by language of this kind, are not fast men in the right sense. They are altogether as much out of date as old almanacs. They serve the purpose of old almanacs. They remind us how men felt and thought long, long ago. They are as good as any other antiquarian curiosities; and would be in the right place on the shelves of a museum.

A very large proportion of the present generation see their own wants and those of their times, and their number will increase; for death, or even disease, cannot be traced to any social cause clearly and distinctly without ultimately securing its removal, even although, as in this and many similar cases, the way out of the evil has to be tunnelled through mountains of self-interest and prejudice.

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