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Notwithstanding the adverse feelings entertained by inanv individuals towards the New Poor Law, and the odium and obloquy which some, from interest, and others from principle, have unsparingly heaped upon it, there have been few enactments more imperatively called for, and still fewei have more successfully grappled with most gigantic evils, than this much abused measure. So exten- sive and complicated had become the numerous prejudicial effects of the Old Poor Law-snrronnoed as was this im- portant feature in the municipal arrangements of this great country with difficulties of the most perplexing character-tuat several attempts were vainly made by the Legislature to check the augmenting evils, which a statute originating in motives of the purest humanity had entailed upon the country. Committee after Committee of both Houses of Pailiament were appointed to enquire into this important subject, and the result of their investi- gation, as detailed in their respective reports, shew that the system of Poor Laws, as formerly administered, proved alike injurious to the owner as well as the occupier of pro- perly-to the rate-payer as well as the rate receiver. Indeed, so rapidly had pauperism extended, that, in a period ofless than half a century—between the years 1785 and 1830—the sum raised fortheretiefofthe poorinerpased from two to eight millions per annum. Such an enormous sum. raised in one form of taxation alone, could not but be deeply and extensively felt, and a Special Committee of the House of Commons expressed their deliberate opinion, that unless some efficacious cheek was interposed, the amount of assessment would continue to increase, until it should absorb the whole profits of the property on which the rate might be assessed and incredible as it may appear, it is nevertheless a well-authenticated fact, that in more than one parish this prediction was fulfilled. The •vils of the old law were not, however, entirely of a pecu- 1 niary nature, the moral degradation into which its cor- rupting influence had reduced the lower classes in this country, was a far more serious and important consider- ation. This rpstilt of the old law is so well and powerfully depicted by Mr. Cowell, one 8f the gentlemen deputed to enquire into its operation, that we cannot do better than transcribe his remarks. A person," he says, must con- verse with paupers—must enter workhouses and examine the inmates—must attend at the parish pay-table, before lie can form a just conception of the moral debasement which is the offspring of the system—he must hear the pauper threaten to abandon his wife and family, unlets more money is allowed him—threaten to abandon an aged bed-ridden mother, to turn her ont of his house, and lay her down at the overseer's door, unless he is paid for giving j her shelter; he must hear parents threaten to follow the same course with regard to their sickchndren he must see mothers coming to receive the reward of their daughter tgnomy. and witness women in cottages quietly pointing out, without even the question being asked, which are the children by their husband, and which by other men, previous ta marriage; and when "e finds that he can scarcely step into a town or parish without meeting with some instances or other of this character, he will no longer consider the pecuniary pressure on the rate-payer as the first in the class of evils which the Old Poor Law en- tailed upon the community." These are statements not Kglitly made, but are supported by a body of testimony of the most unimpeachable character. We think we have -■HflUP'WWE wtforfte rtsmertial measure was absolutely necessary; in our next we stall resume the snbject, and endeavour to shew how far the Poor Law Amendment Act is calculated to counteract the e*ils of the old law.

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