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population, wealth, and intelligence, it would be impossible to form one constitution to suit them all ; nor would it be quite practicable to meet the exigencies of each case, or of each class of cases, by separate acts of parliament; besides that amidst the rapid improvements of the age, which would become still more rapid by better local organization, no constitution could in numerous instances be long applicable without some change.
I would therefore suggest a general act of parliament, empowering commissioners to apply its provisions according to the circumstances of each parish ; which being done, the commission to cease, and any future alterations, from time to time deemed requisite, to be made by the magistrates in quarter sessions assembled. All that the commissioners or magistrates should have to do, should be to adapt parochial constitutions, and then the parishioners should manage their own affairs independently of all control, except that of the legal tribunals. Any system of interference is a mockery of freedom--childish in conception, arbitrary and debasing in effect. The difference in the size of parishes I think very desirable, as affording varied scope for intelligence and exertion. At the same time there may be some so small as to require consolidation, at least for certain purposes : and others so large, and possessing such different interests, as to make division expedient. It seems to have been an universal oversight with the founders of empires and with great legislators, to have made no provision for the change of circumstances their wise institutions were sure to produce, and baneful have been the consequences to mankind.
There are three principal points to be attended to in parish government-subdivision according to extent and population -election of officers - and their powers. Division is in all things essential to order, and every parish too extensive or populous for individual superintendence, ought to be divided into wards, over each of which a warden or guardian
annually elected by the rate payers of the ward or of the parish, according to circumstances, should preside. It should never be forgotten, that it is indispensable to every well-regulated community that there should be no part of it with which some individual superintendent should not be thoroughly acquainted. In parishes requiring no subdivision, the rate payers should annually elect a certain number of governors. In parishes containing few subdivisions, the wardens and a sufficient number elected in addition, should be governors, and where the wardens were numerous enough, they alone. In every parish there should be a principal and his deputy chosen from amongst the governors by themselves.
With respect to the powers of the governors, they should have those of peace officers, and each warden should have a subwarden and the requisite number of assistant constables, elected in the same manner as himself.
When fit persons could be found, a certain portion of the governors, to be elected amongst themselves, should be magistrates within the parish. All the ancient officers of England from the sheriff downwards are supposed to have a community of interest with those over whom they are placed—the only principle for a free country. In the acts of parliament relating to the management of the poor from Elizabeth's time to that of George the First, magisterial acts are directed to be done by magis
residing in or near the parish,” and to the nonobservance of that direction may be attributed a great deal of the mal-administration of the poor laws. should further have the power of enforcing the laws, of prosecuting such felonies or misdemeanors committed within their parish as to them should seem meet, of holding a court of requests, of abating and fining for nuisances, “ of inquiring of,” to use Lord Bacon's words respecting the jurisdiction of the court leet, “punishing and removing all things that may hurt or grieve the people in their health, quiet and welfare,” of managing the poor and the highways, of providing school
The governors houses and savings' banks, of making drains, public walks, bathing-places, and any other improvements for the common good, and of raising rates within certain limits for carrying the above objects into effect.
Were parishes properly constituted, it can scarcely be doubted but that the advantages of distinction, the hope of further advancement, and the desire of doing good, would be sufficient to induce the best qualified to seek office; and as the electors would come much into immediate contact with the objects of their choice, they would most likely, at least after a little experience, be more careful and discriminating than electors under other circumstances usually are. Mobflatterers, adventurers, and jobbers would be too nearly in view long to escape detection.
It would be very desirable, I think, that every parish where the means would allow, and in many parishes that every ward, or an union of wards, should possess a place of meeting for the convenience of the governors, and under their control, and that the rest of the rate payers or inhabitants should be admitted by ballot, and on payment of a certain subscription, to form a sort of club. A point of union amongst different classes having a common interest, must be advantageous to all, especially in the communication of information and the promotion of mutual good-will; and such institutions would be excellent objects for the munificence of publicspirited individuals, either by donation or legacy.
The chief points to be attended to by the Commissioners would be, what parishes ought to be divided — what subdivided or consolidated, and in what manner. governors there should be in each, and the mode of election in each. What portion of the powers contained in the act should be extended to each parish. Where there should be magistrates, and their number, and what the limits of taxation according to wealth, distribution of property, and intelligence.
general Parishes are so many little commonwealths, capable in different degrees of being made by effective organization nurseries of useful ambition, manly intelligence, and social virtue. It is here that public men should begin their discipline, cultivate their sympathies, and learn to see their way. It is here that the lowliest citizen should proudly feel within the reach of merit the first steps to advancement. It is from this goal that all should have a fair start, and the State place her sons in their proper order. Then might representation be the extraction of the choicest of the land, legislation become something like the essence of wisdom and simplicity, and police an ever vigilant force having for its chief characteristic moral influence.
I have sketched this outline to endeavour to give to the public mind a little of what I conceive to be the right tone on the all-engrossing topic of Reform. I like comfortable generous times. I loathe the base, malignant, destroying spirit now in the ascendant, chilling and poisoning as it works; and I would fain see the present age of calculation and economy pass away, to be succeeded by a glorious one of high-minded morals. To inspirit the rich, to enrich the industrious, and to ensure a sound and brilliant prosperity, what this great country wants, is not a sour system of paring and pulling down, but a statesmanlike infusion of the splendour and energies of war into the conduct of peace-the same prompt and liberal application of means to ends-the same excitements to action -- the same encouragements to those who serve their country.
THE ART OF ATTAINING HIGH HEALTH.
According to the promise made in my last number I enter upon the subject of attaining high health. If my readers are like myself, it will be satisfactory to theni to know what autho
rity I have for so doing, and what is my experience. My acquaintance of later years are accustomed to treat my precepts as theoretical, and to maintain that I am indebted for the health they see me enjoy, to an originally very strong constitution. With what truth the following statement will show.
Some months before I was born, my mother lost a favourite child from illness, owing, as she accused herself, to her own temporary absence, and that circumstance preyed upon her spirits and affected her health to such a degree, that I was brought into the world in a very weakly and wretched state. supposed I could not survive long, and nothing, I believe, but the greatest maternal tenderness and care preserved my life. During childhood I was very frequently and seriously illoften thought to be dying, and once pronounced to be dead. I was ten years old before it was judged safe to trust me from home at all, and my father's wishes to place me at a public school were uniformly opposed by various medical advisers, on the ground that it would be my certain destruction. Besides continual bilious and inflammatory attacks, for several years I was grievously troubled with an affection of the trachea, and many times after any excess diet or exertion, or in particular states of the weather, or where there was new bay or decayed timber, my difficulty of breathing was so great, that life was miserable to me. On one occasion at Cambridge I was obliged to send for a surgeon in the middle of the night, and he told me the next morning he thought I should have died before he could open a vein. I well remember the relief it afforded my agony, and I only recovered by living for six weeks in a rigidly abstemious and most careful manner. During these years, and for a long time after, I felt no security of my health. At last, one day when I had shut myself up in the country, and was reading with great attention Cicero's treatise De Oratore, some passage, I quite forget what, suggested to me the expediency of making the improve