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actually expended in maintenance and clothing of the poor; and that in 1855, the next normal year in the foregoing table, they amounted to a good deal more than one-half. And this is the result and proof Sir George Nicholls promised of the superior economy, according to him, of a system of legal relief over that of voluntary charity !
The following are the statements for England in the years 1852 and 1856 respectively, and subjoined is a similar one for Scotland :
Thus in the three countries the inevitable tendency of Poor Law expenditure towards increase, and an increase disproportioned to any increase in the number of paupers relieved, is plainly visible. In England, with a four years' increase of paupers amounting only to 32,000 (on a total of 878,000), the increase of expenditure is one million ! Aud in Scotland, with a positive decrease in the number of paupers, there is an increase of £80,000 in the expenditure !
In Ireland, as it will be seen by reference back to the first of the foregoing tables, that whereas on a population in 1845, of 8,300,000, we had only 74,665 paupers, costing the country £292,733—we had in 1855, on a population of six millions, no less than 305,000 paupers, costing us £685,259.
That this country is not quite so content with his Irish Poor Law as Sir George Nicholls would persuade his English readers,
is sufficiently evident to all who read the Irish provincial papers. These latter constantly teem with complaints of its pressure, the extravagance of the expenditure under it, and the arbitrary and injurious interferences of the Head Commissioners in Dublin. The metropolitan unions, (North and South Dublin,) have their own particular grievances, which they have abundant opportunities of proclaiming. The general body of Poor Law Guardians throughout Ireland have, within the last few weeks, made a special occasion of their own, for proclaiming those matters of complaint which are common to them all. The following extracts are from the newspaper accounts of their proceedings, and although, as inevitably happens in such large and mixed assemblages, there was a want of definiteness and precision in the representations ultimately agreed to, andan omission of many important matters for the sake of unanimity, a perusal of these brief extracts will be found to support our assertion, that the Poor Law does not sit so easy upon us as our author declares ::
AMALGAMATION OF POOR LAW UNIONS-DEPUTATION TO
THE LORD LIEUTENANT.
A deputation of poor law guardians, appointed at the general meet. ing of guardians, held on the 30th of January at the Commercial Buildings, relative to the amalgamation of unions, and the reduction of establishment charges, waited yesterday upon the Lord Lieutenant at Dublin Castle. His Excellency, who was attended by Colonel Larcom, Mr. F. Howard, and the A.D.C.'s in waiting, received the deputation at one o'clock in the Presence Chamber. The following gentlemen were members of the deputation :
J. I, W. Naper, Samuel Vesey, D.L., county Tyrone; A. O'Reilly, D.L., county Cavan ; R. T. Truell, J.P., D.L, county Wicklow; A. S. Hussey, D.L., county Meath; R. H. Beauchamp, V.C., Clare; Fitzstephen Dwyer, J.P., Borrisokane, county Tipperary; W. O'Mahony, Youghal, Cork; Thomas M. Commins, J.P., Cork county; George Greene, V.C. Clonmel; Wm. Gilbert, Rathdrum ; James Coates, D.L., J.P., county Down; John Wingfield King, D.L., J.P., Sligo; John Blundell, Bart., county Kilkenny; James Harden, D.L. and J.P., county Armagh; F. A. Knox Gore, Col. Lieutenant of Sligo ; E. K. Tennison, Lieutenant of Roscommon; A. H. Stritch, J,P., Longford ; John J. Sullivan, Limerick ; G. A. Boyd, D.L., Middleton Park, Westmeath ; Henry Masters, Lieut. Colonel, Longford ; Lord Dupally, D.L., Kilboy, Nenagh; John Bayly, D.L., Dobsborough, Nenagh; Wm. S. Trench, county Monaghan; John P. Byrne, county Dublin ; Sir Richard Levinge, Bart. ; P. Creagh, H. J. M Farlane, Captain Lindsay.
The deputation having been introduced, J. L Naper, Chairman of the meeting, addressing his Excellency, read the following memorial:
"To His Excellency George Frederick William Howard, Earl of Carlisle,
K.G. Lurd Lieutenant General and General Governor of Ireland. "The Memorial of the Deputies appointed by the Poor Law Boards
of Guardians in Ireland, assembled at a meeting held in Dublin on the 30th Jan., 1857,
“Sheweth-That meinorialists baving met in Dublin to consider the existing evils in the administration of the poor laws in this country, and having conferred together, we beg leave to call your Excellency's attention to the following circumstances :
“ That there is at present a superabundant and very unnecessary amount of indoor accommodation, exceeding, by about four times, what is required, and this at a period when not only pauperism but the population is on the decrease, there being only 53,000 inmates of work. houses in the 163 unions in Ireland, being one-tifth of the number in 1851, the number then being 250,000. And whereas in 68 unions there are only 8,625 inmates ; the establishment charges in these unions alone amount to over £58,485 per annum, the greater portion of which sum might be saved to the country by an amalgamation in some cases and by the reduction of establishment staffs in others.
“Under the foregoing circumstances, the law obviously requiring amendment, we beg leave to request your Excellency to apprise the government of the necessity of applying some remedy by legislative enactment to the evils of which we complain.”
Mr. A. O'Reilly remarked that the great point at present was to reduce the excessive establishment expenditure. When the war was over the war establishment was reduced, and so when the necessity for a large poor law machinery in workhouses, was at an end the expenses should be reduced.
Mr. Dwyer said that from the way the children were brought up under the present system in the workhouses they neither made good labourers nor good soldiers.
The Chairman, Mr. Naper, checked the further ebullition of such complaints as those of Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Dwyer, by reminding all present that for the sake of unanimity they had, at their previous meeting, agreed strictly to confine themselves to the statements of the memorial.
There is one fearful consideration connected with the operation of the Poor Law upon which we have not as yet touched, and which we have not now either the space or the desire to enlarge upon. It is that of the demoralisation of young females in the workhouses. Virtuous honest girls are thrown into the company and close companionship of the most depraved and wretched of their sex, and contamination too frequently follows. Add to this, that officials and even guardians of the work houses have been known to bave abused their position and opportunities, to gratify their vilest passions among the unfortunate
female inmates. And not only in Dublin, but in inany workhouses in various parts of Ireland it is well known that procuresses for houses of ill-fame have gone in for the purpose, (in a number of instances only too successfully accomplished,) of recruiting among the young female paupers for the infamous establishments to which they themselves belonged, or by which they were employed !
The conclusion we would come to upon all this is, that Sir George Nicholls has been at least premature in sounding the note of triumph, as he does in the work before us, upon his Poor Law for Ireland. It has not delivered us from beggars, it has increased enormously the exactions from us towards the support of pauperism. It is year after year becoming in itself more costly. It is rearing up in the workhouse young generations without one kindly tie to bind them to society, but rather with rancour towards it in their hearts. It expatriates or demoralizes too many of the young females who are abandoned to its tender mercies. It hardens the hearts of the ratepaying classes, and creates evil feeling between them and the increasing class of recipients of relief. And we almost feel as if mocking the real impoverishment of our people if we allude even in passing, to the total and utter failure of Sir George Nicholls' promises of abounding and overflowiug manufacturing, commercial, and agricultural prosperity, all to be brought about by the magical agency of Poor Laws ! Truly the “ Case of Ireland" is sad, not only as regards the old grievance of Molyneux's time, “her being bound by acts of Parliament in England,” but as having one of the most difficult and intricate points of her legislation made over as a hobby, and a matter of rash and random experiment, to a puffed-up, hard-headed theorist and sciolist in political and social economy, like Sir George Nicholls !
ART. V.-THE FRENCH OPERA AT PARIS.
1. Petits Mémoires de l'Opéra. Par Charles de Boigne.
Paris, 1857. 2. Histoire du Théatre de l'Académie Royale de Musique en
Prance. A Paris, 1757. 3. Musical History, Biography and Criticism, by George
Hogarth, 2 Vols. London, 1838. 4. Memoirs of the Opera, by George Hogarth. Richard
Bentley, London, 1851. In these our days, and amongst this our people of habitués of the stalian opera, when the legitimate drama is at a discount, and Shakespeare is laid aside for the quatrains of Italian improrisatori, it must be a very difficult task to cause to be appreciated, the early efforts of the French to establish a national representation of theatrical music amongst themselves. Notwithstanding the talents of Balfe and Wallace, and numerous others, our own English opera has been completely thrown into the shade; it is not the ton, it does not possess the foreign twang, and must yield to the imperative mandate of fashion. In nothing arethe English so slavish to conventionalities, as in their theatre-going; not that we mean to say, the music of these foreign performances may not be superior to many of our own, but out of every hundred spectators there are not perhaps two, who understand the meaning of the words, or can follow the singer through his part. A blind subservience to a public furor hurries them on, and they sit out the evening with open eyes and mouths, catching at the pantomimic gestures of the singers, and now and then recognizing an aria, which they have most probably picked up from the barrel-organ of a strolling Savoyard. There is unfortunately very little encouragement given to the improvement of native talent in this direction, and the consequence is, that we are immeasurably inferior in our musical knowledge, tastes, and capabilities, to every nation in Europe, except, perhaps, the Spaniards. In Germany long since, musical universities and academies have been established, which by a regular system of education, train up professors and develope native talent, while in all parts of the Continent, it is considered as necessary a part of polite learning to be instructed in the first priuciples of the musical art, as it has been in these countries, to be somewhat