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law; and it is rapidly gaining ground, notwithstanding the unwillingness of the Scottish
people, and the remonstrances of the Scottish publicists and politicians.
The difference between the enactments of the English and Scottish laws is indeed very small, but between their administrations it is still very considerable. The ancient discipline of the Scottish ecclesiastical establishment enforced more by manners than by laws an equal system of assessment. But circumstances have arisen which have weakened the connection between the Kirk Session and the congregation; and a laborious writer on the subject of the Poor Laws in that country*, with natural regret for the existence of those circumstances, is forced to acknowledge that the compulsory assessment is now called for there by “Necessity and General Expediency.”“ If (says a sagacious observer) the love of many wax cold; if the rich withdraw from religious worship and neglect good works; if absent
proprietors do nothing for the poor on their estates; if the humane be burthened above what they are able to bear; if the poor be tempted, by their increasing number and pressing wants and failure of other sources, to put forth their hands and
* Historical Dissertations on the Law and Practice of Great Britain, and particularly of Scotland, with regard to the Poor, &c. by the Rev. Robert Burns : 1819. page 109.
steal,-a legal provision seems then to be expedient; it seems then to be equal and right that the landholders who will not give to the poor be compelled to give*.
The process by which the population of the Highlands has been, without diminishing their numbers, transferred from the country to the towns, and the relief of indigence from the feudal lord to the public at large, has passed under observation within the memory of mant.
It is not improbable, that the dissolution of the feudal system in the Lowlands, which took place about the middle and end of the seventeenth century, occasioned that inundation of beggary noticed by Fletcher of Saltoun. As emigration did not assist in the alleviation of this great revolution, as it has since done with respect to the Highlands, there can be no doubt but it produced much wretchedness, and for which the readiest remedy seems to be licensed mendicity*.
But the public establishments in France, so far from repressing, have encouraged mendicity. The system of domiciliary relief, although adapted for cities and large towns, has not reached or alleviated the wants of the rural population. To their wants, the only remedy as yet afforded is licensed mendicity; but so late as the 26th of December 1821, it appears that the abuses of this particular mode of relieving indigence had been acknowledged by, and had attracted the attention of its legislature*.
* Dr. Charter's Sermons, quoted by Burns, p. 110. + Selkirk on Emigration.
# What modern reader is unacquainted with Edie Ochiltree? See “ The Antiquary."
There must have been something in the state of general society in Europe which called forth, from the cótemporary and rival monarchs who reigned in the most civilized parts of Europe, enactments similar in their tendency, and almost at the'same period. Among various edicts and ordonnances published by the Emperor Charles V. at Brussels in 1531, there are a system of regulations which contain provisions for the main
“Chamber of Deputies, Dec. 26.—The Count de Bernis, the Reporter of the Committee of Petitions, called the attention of the Chamber to one, which prayed for a tax of the tenth part of a franc on landed and personal property, for the relief of the poor who were unable to gain their livelihood by labour. He stated that the Committee had ordered him to move the order of the day on this petition.
“M. Duhamel, in seconding the motion for the rejection of this petition, observed, that experience had already shown the evil of such a tax in England : it had led to the production of vagrancy and crime. It ought to be rejected immediately. He lamented the alarming increase of beggars throughout France; and proposed that beggars should be registered, and that the licence (or certificate) of begging should not be granted with such facility as at present."-(Courier, Dec. 31, 1921.)
“ Nous avons couru en France, en 1818, le risque de voir la taxe des pauvres s'etablir parmi nous, sous un autre nom et une autre forme."--DeGerando, Visiteur du Pauvre, page 135.
tenance of the poor : and as they commence with punishments for mendicity, they end with establishments for relief; and they domiciliate the poor in those places where they were born or where they have lived a year*.
The spirit of these ordonnances has been followed by the Provinces, which forming one kingdom under Charles V., and divided into two distinct governments for two centuries, are now again united as the kingdom of the Netherlands. The
great difference between the religions of the two kingdoms has varied the mode of administration ; but the spirit of the settled provision for the
poor still remains, and the principle was expressly recognised in the 228th 'article of the New Constitution, established in 1814.
“The poor, (says the Count van Hogendorp, one of the framers of that Constitution, such as must always continue to be found, are divided into, old persons, the maimed, the sick, and children who are helpless. For all these who have no friends or relations able to assist them, civil society must provide, either by means of local, provincial, or national fundst."
The administration in the Northern or Protes. tant Provinces bears a great resemblance to that of the Kirk Session in Scotland.
* Ordinancie von Vlandrien : 1639.
+ Bijdragen tot de Huishouding van Staat in het Roningrik der Nederlanden. vol. iii. p. 379.
In the Southern or Catholic Provinces it
partakes more of the French system, as the destruction of the ecclesiastical establishments has transferred it to the municipality.
But both in the Northern and Southern provinces the means of support are derived principally from the local divisions, and aids from the province or the state bear but a small proportion to those procured either by indirect taxation or voluntary donation in the communities.
From the Report on the State of the Poor for 1825, it appears that there were advanced for relief to the poor in their own houses (Huiszittende Armen), exclusive of foundlings and deserted children, 5,311,088 florins.
Of this sum 2,719,079 florins was derived from fixed property. 1,369,776 from indirect taxation. 1,217,049 from voluntary gifts.
5,164 from the Province or the State. This sum of 5,164 florins was apportioned principally to Liege (a manufacturing district), North Holland (including Amsterdam); North Brabant (including Brussels); and the proportion of all persons of this description receiving relief to the total population of the kingdom, was as 11775 to 1000.
Referring again to Italy, it is most probable that the importation of slaves for the culture of the soil ceased very soon after the decline of the