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scope. It is a curious fact which this Census shows. In 1801, the population of Great Britain was 10,578,956; in 1851, it had reached 20,959,477. Thus the population has nearly doubled in fifty years. But further, "The population of the United Kingdom, including the army, navy, and merchantseamen, was 21,272,187 in 1821, and about 27,724,849 in 1851; but in the interval 2,685,747 persons emigrated, who, if simply added to the population of the United Kingdom, make the survivors and descendants of the races within the British Isles in 1821, now 30,410,595."
Perhaps, Eusebius, you never considered that you have only right and title to a certain limited area, to live and breathe in, in this your beloved country. Your area is becoming more circumscribed every day. People are approximating fearfully. You You may come to touch very disagreeable people; at present you are only a few yards apart. There are two things, according to this Census, threatening you-"density" and "proximity." For "density" a French writer proposes "specific population after the analogy of specific gravity," so that if there be an accelerating ratio, you may be run in upon and crushed by your neighbours, after the annihilating principle of some of our railroads. I remember when a boy hearing an old gentleman make a curious calculation, equalising rights to the air we breathe. He came to the conclusion that a man who smoked tobacco took up more room in the atmosphere than he had any right to. This, now that we are so rapidly approximating, ought, you will think, to come under the consideration of the Legislature. See your danger" the people of England were on an average one hundred and fifty-three yards asunder in 1801, and one hundred and eight yards asunder in 1851." Thus the regular goers, the world-walkers, are coming in upon you; but there are some as erratic as comets, whose contiguity you will dread. I say this is your danger, for you do not suppose such infinite pains would have been taken, and such vast expense incurred, merely out of idle curiosity to give you this information. Perhaps it is kindly meant to give you a hint that your room would be pre
ferred to your company. abire tibi est." More than this-not only persons, but houses are encroaching upon each other. "The mean distance apart of their houses was three hundred and sixty-two yards in 1801, and two hundred and fifty-two yards in 1851." You see, then, you must not only set yourself in order to depart, but you must "set your house in order" also. It is really astonishing that the Census Commission should have taken such a world of trouble in making calculations which, at first sight, look so puerile; we must only conclude, that somehow or other the labour is as much worth the hire, as the labourer is worthy his hire.
Idare to say, among your ignorances, you are ignorant of this, that the British Isles are at least five hundred in number. "Five hundred islands and rocks have been numbered, but inhabitants were only found and distinguished on the morning of March 31, 1851, in one hundred and seventy-five islands, or groups of islands." I cannot very well tell what is meant by "distinguished," but you will perceive that there is a chance, if you fear the "crushing density and proximity" of escape to one of these islands, as yet uninhabited, where you may exist without contact or contagion, as a very “distinguished" individual. You may be another Alexander Selkirk, and "monarch of all you survey," and have the honour of a distinction, in the next census, now enjoyed by a lone lady. You will be enumerated as, and as solely taking care of, number one. There are British isles that have each but two inhabitants. "Little Papa" has but one-a woman; and "Inchcolm one solitary man." What think you of this "last man" and this "last woman," each upon his or her "ultima Thule?" The motherless man-hating woman, in contempt of the parental name, alone treading under foot "Little Papa." The" solitary man," if, as is likely he be, brutish, may live out of the fear of a recent Act of Parliament. For if he disdains the marital luxury, he cannot be punished for beating his wife.
The writer of these statistics, aware that there is a good deal of dry matter, prudently sprinkles it with a little saltwater poetry. Thus, as a kind of pre
face to these British islands, he says, "The Scandinavian race survives in its descendants round the coasts of the British Isles, and the soul of the old Viking still burns in the seamen of the British fleet, in the Deal boatmen, in the fishermen of the Orkneys, and in that adventurous, bold, direct, skilful, mercantile class, that has encircled the world by its peaceful conquests. What the Greeks were in the Mediterranean Sea, the Scandinavians have been in the Atlantic Ocean. A population of a race on the islands and the island coasts, impregnated with the sea, in fixing its territorial boundaries would exhibit but little sympathy with the remonstrating Roman poet, in his Sabine farm over the Mediterranean
Nequidquam Deus abscidit
Non tangenda rates transiliunt vada.'” A writer or compiler of statistics should ride his own hobby. Pegasus is hard-mouthed to his hand; if he attempts the use of the curb, he is thrown, and thus is sure to be run away with. So here he has got quite beyond the ground of matter-of-fact. By the Vikings' soul in the British seamen-the burning soul too-he declares himself of the Pythagorean philosophy, quite gratuitously; and in the following sentence carries his transmigration notions to a strange but practical conclusion, for he tells us of a race "impregnated with the sea," imaging sailors' mothers and wives as mermaids that is, previous to the marine and marital alliances; by which unaccountable flight of poetic diction, I presume, he means only that the sea was rather a rough nursing-mother and how could he imagine that such an untutored race ever read, or could read, a syllable of what Horace wrote? Doubtless, he must have been weary, counting up these five hundred mostly barren islands, and, coming in the list to "Rum," it must have made for him a comfortable suggestion; and in consequence, a pretty stiff tumbler set all his ideas at once afloat, and poetically, "half seas over" among the islands, steering, however, steadily, as he was bound towards Mull Port, and the more pleasant hospitality of its 7485 inhabitants. Having descended from
this marine Pegasus, the author proceeds in his statistics.
The number of inhabited houses in Great Britain in 1801 amounted to 1,870,476; in 1851, to 3,648,347: these contained 4,312,388 familiespersons, 20,816,351. Thus it is seen that the number of houses since 1801 is nearly doubled. How commonly we boast, Eusebius, of things that have passed away! You hear it now often said that an Englishman's house is his castle, the garrison of which has been hitherto supposed to be known only to himself. There has been an idea that not only the master, but all down to the very scullion, are ready to stand with spits and skillets to keep out unwelcome invaders; whereas the truth is, as shown in this Census, that the castle has its government inspector, who notes down and registers the numbers, ages, names, sexes, and occupations of every individual the said castle contains. Houses are a very nice tangible property for the convenience of government taxation; by judicious scrutiny, of which the Census Commission provides ample means, it will be easily ascertained what each family has to live upon; or, what is quite the same thing for the getting the taxation, what on "an average" the Commissioners may think the said family ought to have to live upon; thus the income-tax is facilitated in computation and collection. These are surely encroachments, that, by little and little, are domineering over the subjects' liberty. There are other Acts of Parliament also which affect this liberty in the "castle;" some general, some local. In few places can a man make alterations in his building, inside or out, without an application for consent, and of course a fee to some commissioner or other. If he succeeds, there is a further penalty upon his improvements, though they may have been required for the very health of his family. He has, through this Census scrutiny, to pay a tax upon his improvements, nor is he allowed any deduction for repairs. This Englishman's castle, then, you see, is as much besieged as Bomarsund! At first it was pretty well thrown out of its own windows by the window-tax, and is always at
the mercy of commissions, whether it shall or shall not be turned out of doors. Many a one is there that has a ten-pound battery playing upon it all the year round. If, weary of watching your besiegers, you turn yourself out of house, and live a rambling, roving life how you can, you will not so easily escape; you will have an inspector after you with note-book and ink-horn, and you will be booked and pigeon-holed for further use when wanted. "Finally, there is the population sleeping in barns, in tents, and in the open air, comprising, with some honest, some unfortunate people out of employment, or temporarily employed, gypsies, beggars, strollers, vagabonds, vagrants, outcasts, criminals. The enumeration of the houseless population, unsettled in families, is necessarily imperfect, and the actual number must exceed the 18,249 returned; namely, 9972 in barns, and 8277 in the open air." The poor strollers! why should they be stigmatised and classed with vagabonds, vagrants, outcasts, and criminals? are they not following their lawful vocation, and doing something, as it is hoped they are, towards civilising the people through legitimate amusement? Is the compiler of these statistics a descendant of the old Puritans, and still retaining an unwarrantable prejudice? It were better he had the charity of the chimney-sweeper boy, who remonstrated with a brother sweep, who pointed his finger at Garrick in the streets, and said, "There be one of the player-folk.' "Don't say so," said the discreet one, "for thee dostn't know what thee and I may come to." But I know, as you rather patronise gypsies, you will be pleased to hear that one tribe of them baffled the officials. "It is mentioned in one instance that a tribe of gypsies struck their tents, and passed into another parish in order to escape enumeration."
The great king whom we read of in history, who, in the excess of his felicity, thought it needful to have a flapper appointed to remind him every day that he was mortal, though he was made the example of many a theme in our school days, I look upon now as a very
silly fellow. I have often heard you express your dislike of any impertinent memento moris - you have even thought it irreligious, and unthankful for present good; and tending to chill the life-blood, the little that is left in the old, and to throw a wet blanket over the cheerfulness of the young, out of which cheerfulness elastic manhood is to spring, and to take upon itself to do the manly responsible duties of life vigorously. I repeat that you have always maintained, that to thrust a memento mori in every man's face, or to carve it upon his walking-stick, is irreligious, because it is essential unthankfulness.
It is not pleasant, certainly, to have one's days numbered by other people, and sent to you in circulars. I knew one of these life-calculators; a clergyman called to condole with him on the recent death of his wife. All he could get from him was partly a submission to a necessity, and partly a congratulation that death had not taken him. "Yes, sir," said he, “if A does not die, in all probability B will; and if neither A nor B die, C must." You will be indignant, but your philosophy will have the pleasure of its indignation, if I pointed out to your notice Busybody's table of mortality. When last he knocked at your door, and booked your age, did his eyebrows arch with surprise? Eusebius, that look meant to tell you that you had no right whatever at that moment to be alive. He longed to filch your name out of his pigeon-hole of life. You are a hale man, and will, I hope, doing so much good as you do, outlive a couple of censuses yet. Have your eye upon Busybody when he next appears; not like Death, with one of his warnings, but ready to receive a certificate of burial. There is a table showing how very few who were alive in 1801 are now living, and so on, at every succeeding census. "By the English Life Table it is shown that the half of a generation of men of all ages passes away in thirty years, and that more than three in every four of their number die in half a century." But I pass by this unwelcome subject-nor will I be the one to say to you or to any man, "Proxi
mus ardet, Cealegon." Let Ucale- causes may have induced occasional gon's house escape if it can.
It is more agreeable to contemplate births than deaths. There is something very curious in that hidden law which evidently regulates the proportion of the sexes to each other. It has been commonly thought that the males have exceeded the females, in order to make allowance for the greater waste of life to which the males are subject by wars and the elements. But the facts show the contrary. "The number of the male population of Great Britain was 10,386,048, of the female population 10,735,919; the females exceeded the males by 349,871; and the males at home were 10,223,558; consequently the females exceeded by 512,361 the males in Great Britain. To every 100,000 females the males were 96,741, including 1538 males abroad, the exclusion of whom leaves 95,203 males at home. The excess of females over males was nearly the same proportionally in 1801 and 1851. Thus, in 1801, to every 100,000 males there were 103,353 females; in 1851, the females were 103,369 to the same number of males. The proportion in both periods was nearly 30 males to 31 females." It may be inferred from this that there is rather a greater waste of female life than of male. It would be worth while to ascertain how long this excess has been found to have taken place; I am inclined to suspect that the unhealthy employments of young women, to so large an extent, may have been the cause; for it seems to be the law of nature to make a supply for the greater waste. Humanity requires a strict scrutiny into the healthy or deleterious employments of young women, especially in our manufacturing districts, to account for this excessive supply, that as far as is possible some remedial measures may be adopted. That all is regulated by a law of Providence, there can be no doubt in any mind. My present knowledge of the Census is entirely confined to the Report No. 1 of 1851. I shall look to the second Part for an elucidation of this problem.
It is surprising, however, on the whole, to see how evenly the sexes are balanced; it would be a speculation not uninteresting to see what
variations. Thus speaks the Report:
The sexes have apparently increased at different rates in certain decennaries, but the average annual rates of increase through the whole period have been so nearly the same (males 1.328, females 1.329 per cent) as to cause a slight difference only in the third decimal place, and have differed little from 14 annually. The decennial rates of increase were, males 14.108, females 14.111." The "law of population," as it relates to proportion of sexes, is a mystery. No human polity can provide for that. It is plain to see, however, that there is a wise, benevolent, superintending power which makes and maintains the law in a just equilibrium. Whether people shall marry or no may depend on human laws and civil institutions; whether due encouragement be given, or the reverse.
We learn from Herodotus that among the Sauromatæ, a people in the northern parts of Europe and Asia, the women dressed in the habits of men, and, like them, engaged in battle; that none were allowed to marry till she shall first have killed her man. Hence it happened, we are further told, that many died old maids, never having been able to fulfil the conditions. How any population could be kept up under the existence of such a law, no one now can question the historian. I suppose, from the necessity of the case, that a reform was demanded, and more peaceful marriages were the first-fruits of a free trade. It must have been an adventurous thing for a man to marry a woman who had once killed her man to obtain one husband; he might have lived in continual fear that she might kill a second man to have another husband.
It appears that marriage, though it is nominally free, is under restriction; were it otherwise, the increase of population would be far greater. "In ordinary times a large proportion of the marriageable women of every country are unmarried." The writer might have spared his ink; but he adds: "And the most direct action on the population is produced by their entering the marriage state." As one example may serve a general purpose,
the Census gives that of the southeastern_division, comprising Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hants, and Berks, in which "the number of women of the age of 20, and under 45, amounted at the last Census to 290,209, of whom 169,806 were wives, and 120,403 were spinsters or widows. 49,997 births were registered in the same counties during the year 1850, or 10 children were born in 1850 to every 58 women living in 1851." It is to be presumed that among matrimonial chances every lot is a prize. The difficulty of a choice, where multitudes assemble, maintains a law of hesitation-of indecision-by which it happens that celibacy becomes wise, and is fond of repeating the philosopher's advice as to the time to marry: if young, not yet; if middle-aged, wait; if old, never. Let us see how the reverse operates where the choice is very limited. St Kilda, in the parish of Harris, is 70 miles away from the mainland in the Western Hebrides; the population is 110-48 males, 62 females; 32 families in 32 houses. "There are 19 married couples on the island, 2 widowers, 8 widows. Five unmarried men, 5 unmarried women of the age of 20, and under 46." One would imagine these had only to meet and to marry. Five is no great choice; the greater haste, you would suppose, to take a partner. Is the solution to be found in this extraordinary fact, that there is no clergyman to unite the couples resident on the island? The five couples must wait; and as the clergyman on the mainland may hesitate to go 140 miles to marry one couple, he is probably waiting for all five to come to a decision. It must have been some such unfortunate place as St Kilda which supplied the wit to the epigrammatist upon the question of marriages ceasing elsewhere, the priest asserting that women are not to be found there; the reply being
"Women there are, but I'm afraid
tion be one jot advanced, by registering our tailors as well as their paletots ?-by knowing how many tinkers there are in the world to mend our kettles? They will, be sure of it, trudge about just the same, and do their work as badly or as well as before. All trades will be governed by their own instincts, without the least difference; unless, indeed, statistics take a more useful turn, and fix their stigma upon the adulterators of goods. We may have reason to say something in favour of the ScrutinizerGeneral, when he can tell us where the wines called port are manufactured that never came from Portugal, and who make them; who adulterates our drugs, so that people are dying for lack of the genuine; who, in fact, poison all we eat and drink, and put devils'-dust on our backs for woollen cloth. It is very little to the purpose to have the number of thieves and rascals that infest the world, if the Augean stable of crime is left uncleansed. If dishonesty should ever be driven out of common trades, which it has so notoriously infected, a great thing would be done; and we might bear with a grateful quietude more numbering and registering of us and all our concerns than we quite like; although it surely is not necessary for this to carry on such espionage as this Census contains. Perhaps even its absurdity is dangerous, for it induces people to fix their minds upon that, not upon its ulterior purposes. While men are laughing at things, willy ridiculous in themselves, they know not what mischief is secretly brewing. I maintain that it is a great offence in any way to touch the sanctity of the hearth that what economists and statistic inventors may please to call public liberty, should be allowed to destroy home liberty. It is something monstrous that every one should be obliged to give an account of every inmate in his house, their ages, conditions, and their relationship. It is better to let some of the peccadilloes of life escape notice, than register them and the house. If Miss or Mrs Debora Wilkins shall receive under her hospitality a big nephew, it is very hard upon her to be obliged to certify the exact relationship, or induce her into