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very moderate rate of wages, when employed in constant work that required no particular skill; as we were determined to pay their labour something lower than the rates paid by the manufacturers; as the prejudice to the individuals, and the detriment to industry, that must necessary result from the smallest inattention to this point, is obvious.

3. We established Sunday schools for such children as were employed through the whole week, and which many of those girls continued to attend, that had been brought into service.

In these schools, there were now upwards of 600 children, all of such parents as received support from the institution, and whose decent appearance in the Sunday schools was remarkably pleasing. The average amount of the expense for the last three Ol. per annum.

years, was

The whole amount of our expense for the year 1793-94, amounted to

Our revenues were

Hence an exceeding revenue

£2,144

It is but justice to the beneficence of the citizens of Hamburgh to mention, that this increase is greatly owing to their contributing largely to put the revenue upon an equal footing with the necessary expenditure.

Our institution has only two sources of revenue, independent of public benevolence, and of the satisfaction of the public with the measures of its administration.

They are, a contribution levied upon the apparent fortunes amounting to

And half per cent. of the amount of goods sold by public sale, with one quarter of the brokerage of them. This upon an average is about

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£14,773 16,917

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£2,000

2,300

£ 4,300

Thus the institution is dependent for more than ten thousand pounds on the annual charity of the public.

1

This joined to the publicity of the accounts, is, I believe, the third cause of success.

A.

It is this only that prevents all institutions of this kind from becoming a job, the directors from being careless of the public approbation or censure, and the whole administration from falling into the hands of under-officers, who afterwards know so well how to embroil the business, that no subsequent one ever is able to unravel the clue,

This at least is the history of nearly all the workhouses and many hospitals in Europe.

. It may be worth while to remark, that in an institution, where 14,000l. are yearly received and paid in small sums, and where books of every description are regularly kept; where the subscriptions must be collected; and where, beside personal attendance, numberless messages are necessary between the directors and the overseers, the overseer and the treasurer, and the overseer and the poor; that all these details are managed and executed by eleven officers, whose salaries do not exceed together 400l., and fifty poor, who get 1s. per week, perhaps, more than what the institution would be obliged to allow them.

The remainder of the sum wanted was raised by the following

means:

1. A subscription, which, at an average, brought yearly £5,850 and since the second year never varied 2007.

2. A weekly collection through all the houses of the town who had not subscribed,

3. Unsubscribed donations. This indeed is one of the most interesting sources of our income, in respect to the feelings that occasion them. Some of them the expression of gratitude of a merchant who has either escaped some loss, or gained some unexpected profit. Others a joint donation made by two disputing parties, of the sum about which they did not agree. A considerable part, the produce of near 3000 poor-boxes, kept in different families, in order that their children or their servants may have an opportunity of indulging their pity; and where, in the midst of conviviality, many a collection is made for the poor. They serve too in the counting-houses of the merchants for collecting a trifle, when a bargain is concluded, or when at the end of the year large sums are paid. And they are presented to strangers in the hotels, who thus enjoy the pleasure of doing good, without being tormented by the aspect of disgusting misery. This sum amounts to an average of

Legacies, which have yet only amounted to a yearly average of

200

Half of the money collected in the churches on Sundays 1,050 Two extraordinary collections in the churches, the one intended to supply the clothing, the other the extraordinary fuel for the poor

Annually contributed by public benevolence,

1,340

1,375

1,430

£ 11,245

I would stop here, if I did not recollect many a conversation with several of the respectable men to whom this letter is addressed, the result of which was, that relieving the present distress, though the first essential thing in providing for the poor, is by no means the most difficult. That the less easy task is, to distribute supplies in such a manner as may not, by increasing the number of the poor, leave real want unrelieved, and give encouragement to vice and idleness; and that, even after the attainment of this object, much remains to be done by the friends of humanity. An investigation of the sources of poverty, we often thought, might indicate the means of preventing the evil; and might suggest such measures for supporting the falling, as would, in many cases, counteract that combination of circumstances, which impose on a man the dishonourable necessity of throwing himself on the charity of the public.

But I do not presume to give my ideas, I only wish to state facts, Certain it is, that the extension of the benefits of the schools, and of the medical institution, to those not yet entitled to receive support, may prevent many a family from ever being in want of it. We ascribe the diminution of the annual increase of poor, partly to our having given medical assistance to 1135 persons of that description.

The establishment of beneficent societies, founded upon solid calculations, and under the direction of the institution, might be a good substitute for that private economy, so seldom to be met with among the poor; it might even be a very good policy, to receive the sums thus collected, and to allow the beneficent societies, not only more than the legal, but even compound interest. The institution, by sacrificing a few hundred pounds yearly, certainly would encourage establishments that might in time save as many hundred families from the necessity of being a burden to the public charity.

A timely payment of house-rent, or releasing of pawned goods, &c. might save many a family. But these charities, where much must be left to discretion, cannot make a part of the general system: it must be referred to a committee, composed of gentlemen perfectly aware of the danger attending misapplication of benevolence. The multiplication of employments for the female part of the children, such as hair-dressing, making of clothes, shoes, &c. and all possible easy work for the manufactures of the country, ought to be attended to.

A careful moral education of all the children, would undoubtedly be the most effectual way of promoting the happiness of the rising generation. Towards this desirable end, the establishment of male and female seminaries would be the first step. I think we are far

back in this respect every where, but something less in Germany than in any country I know of.

Nursing-rooms, such as those mentioned above, would do a great deal towards the health of the infants, and the earnings of the mother and the elder children.

Magdalen-houses, well conducted, would certainly be a palliative of a great moral disorder, whose sources are so deeply rooted in our manners, that a radical cure will only be the work of time, and the triumph of a happier generation.

When once the history of the poor is well known, it will be seen how large a proportion of the miseries of the lower orders arise from local errors and prejudices, from ignorance and want of advice. Surely it could not be thought unworthy of the leisure of any true philosopher, to point out those prejudices and give those advices, in popular language, in the shape of an almanack, either gratis, or so cheap that it could be in the hands of every body.

As for our prisons, who knows not, that the very place which ought to bring back the offender to industry and to virtue, is the school of crimes! Who feels not for men whose only crime is poverty, when he sees them crowded into the same work-houses with shameless profligates, and into such work-houses!

The incalculable harm caused by these circumstances, may give us an idea of the good that might be produced; and ought to invigorate our earnest resolution to do every thing which our situation will permit us to do in so great and worthy a cause, Whenever any exertion succeeds, it is a moral discovery, which it is criminal to conceal; and wherever a man meets another in the intention of doing good, there at least he may be sure to shake the hands of a brother.

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