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and, consequently, if we fail in unfolding the mysteries of any mare's-nest, we run a chance of falling immeasurably in their estimation. To such correspondents we would say, that we have not the slightest desire to make the "Letter-Box" a medium for displaying wit, learning, or profundity; that we wish to take rank alongside of our readers as humble inquirers on any matter of interest and importance which may occur to thoughtful and intelligent persons; and that we are not aware what object can be answered, in our way at least, by questions about Almacks', or the nature of the fruit which Eve ate. Neither are we ambitious of rendering the "Letter-box" the arena of a juvenile debating club; and care but little about the honour of being arbitrator in matters of no moment.
As the "Letter-Box" was "opened" for the benefit of all our readers, we hope correspondents will keep its objects distinctly in view. We have certainly no great reason for complaint; for the seriously-solemn letters on foolishly-trivial subjects, have hitherto proved to be in the minority. We should like, however, to see their number diminished; and it would gratify us to find that our objects are not only appreciated, but fully seconded.
"MR. EDITOR,-I am sadly afraid I am going to ask a favour which, perhaps, you will not feel yourself perfectly justified in answering; but relying upon the general tone of gentle kindness and benevolence of your really worthy and useful periodical, I put my case before you.
"I am a self-educated young man, with an inquiring mind, a spice of enthusiasm, addicted from my childhood to the reading of what fell in my way relating to science, which indeed has been, till within these two or three years, the only subject I felt any interest in (next to poetry), so that I have a smattering in most of the sciences. From early practice, for amusement, I am a very good cabinet-maker, and can work in iron as well as wood.
"I have an intense desire to live in London, to be nearer those wonders of art and science I have read so much about, to partake of the immense advantages London offers to a steady young man for the improvement of his mind. I am almost wild with desire, when I read or hear of the vast treasures of science and art in the metropolis of my dear country, and I not there to drink my fill of their influence and beauty. But, alas! I am poor. I live only from hand to mouth, with an aged mother and a bright eyed sister to support with the scanty proceeds of a clerkship in a lawyer's office, with nothing in the distance to reflect back my ardent hopes. I now come to the object of my letter, and I ask you, as from a son to a dear father (for such is the feeling with which I always read the London Saturday Journal,'-my own father, with his sweet and good counsel is now dead to me), for your opinion whether I, having moderate ability, but a strong desire to improve myself, could procure a subsistence in London in any light occupation, or where I could obtain information as to situations.
"I should not have troubled you, but that I hope you could have penned a gracious answer so as to meet the wishes of other young men in similar circumstances to myself. Your time and space are too valuable to be consumed upon a single individual. With hope for a kind answer, I remain, your most obedient servant,
"William" has not informed us what is to become of his "aged mother and his bright-eyed sister," in the event of his abandoning them and coming up to London. Has he some visionary idea of getting into some fine situation, saving money, and remitting them as much as will keep them comfortably? All young men have a restless tendency, and, within certain limits, this restless tendency is one of the propensities of our nature, for a wise purpose. But let "William " beware how he quits his present situation, and ventures into the "great metropolis" without a friend, and without a profession, for his amateur mechanical craftship we hold as of little account. After he had seen all the "wonders of London, and after he had entered upon some situation yielding him-say fif
teen or twenty shillings a-week, to which he would be obliged to devote day after day, where would be his time and opportunity for benefiting himself by all those treasures of "art and science" of which he is so enamoured? Let "William" remain where he is, for the present, and pursue his studies-we shall have some advice for him and others soon.
J. R." Whether the national debt has been increased or diminished, and to what amount, during the last ten years?”
The national debt has been increased and diminished during the last ten years, but the precise amount we cannot say. The system of applying simply the surplus revenue to the reduction of the debt, instead of attempting to decrease it by a delusive "sinking fund," came into operation in 1829; and in most of the years since, until recently, there has been an annual surplus, which has been applied to the reduction of the debt. For instance, in 1835, the debt was reduced 3,818,7587., but in the same year it was increased 18,693,3257., borrowed to pay the owners of negroes in our colonies, as compensation for their emancipation. We find the entire amount of the debt, funded and unfunded, on the 5th of January, 1831, stated at 840,814,022., and on the 5th of January, 1836, 787,638,8167. This would show a reduction, in five years, of 53,175,406: but it has not been effected by the actual payment of so much money to the public creditor, but by processes of a complicated character, which we do not distinctly understand, and which could not be distinctly explained in a small compass-such as reductions of the unfunded debt, which is mainly composed of Exchequer bills, and forms a kind of paper-money, alterations in the nominal amount of stock, terminable annuities, &c.
WEATHERCOCK inquires "whether, in these days of weather almanacks, and infallible predictions, we can give him any information as to the true author of the celebrated announcement of rain, hail, and snow,' actually fulfilled in July, to the letter, generally attributed to the renowned Francis Moore?" This notable prediction occurred in the year 1780, and is of American origin. Jsaiah Thomas, printer at Worcester in Massachusetts, printed an almanack for that year; one of the boys asked him what he should put opposite the 12th of July. Mr. Thomas, being engaged, replied, " Anything, anything ! " The boy returned to the office and set "rain, hail, and snow." The country was all amazement ;-the day arrived, when it actually rained, hailed, and snowed, and from that time Thomas's almanacks were held in the highest estimation.
A correspondent, who, we suspect, knows more of the matter than we do ourselves, asks the following:
"What is the chemical name of common salt? By what artificial means is it obtained? To how great an extent from the salt mines of England? The yearly consumption in England? The mode of working a salt mine?"
Common salt was called muriate of soda, on the supposition that it was a compound of muriatic acid and soda, the composition of muriatic acid and soda not having been at that time ascertained. It has since been found that muriatic acid is composed of hydrogen and chlorine, and it is therefore now called hydrochloric acid; that soda is a compound of oxygen and the metal sodium; and that salt is a compound of chlorine and sodium; so that the proper chemical name of salt is chloride of sodium.
Salt is obtained by evaporation of sea-water, and of the water of salt springs. When the water is sufficiently evaporated. the salt precipitates in cubic crystals. Salt is also obtained from mines of rock-salt. In some of them the salt is sufficiently pure to be fit for use when powdered; in others it is so impure as to require to be dissolved and re-crystallised.
The annual consumption of salt in this country has been estimated at upwards of 140,000 tons. In 1834 we exported 11,093,674 bushels. Nearly the whole of this is obtained at home; so that we may estimate the quantity of salt obtained annually in this country at not less than 340,000 tons.
The mode of working a salt mine is very simple. A shaft is sunk (but wider than the shaft of a coal pit) down to the bed of rock salt, which is then cut out with pickaxes or blasted with gunpowder, leaving of course thick pillars of salt to support the roof.
QUERIST says that he remarked a paragraph lately in the newspaper, to the effect that "M. Laurent had been nominated Bishop of Chersonesus in partibus." He asks what it signifies. "Where the succession of the Catholic hierarchy has been interrupted, as in England, or never been established, as in Australasia, or some parts of India, the bishops who superintend the Catholic church, and represent the papal authority, are known by the names of vicars aposA vicar apostolic is not necessarily a bishop. Generally, however, he receives episcopal consecration; and, as from local circumstances, it is not thought expedient that he should bear the title of the see which he administers, he is appointed with the title of an ancient bishopric now in the hands of infidels, and thus is called a bishop in partibus infidelium, though the last word is often omitted in ordinary language."
All Letters intended to be answered in the LITERARY LETTER-Box are to be addressed to "THE EDITOR of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," and delivered FREE, at 113, Fleet-street.
London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. Edinburgh: FRASER and Co. Dublin: CURRY and Co.-Printed and Stereotyped by Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars.
LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1840.
CHANCES OF LIVING IN LONDON.
THE Japanese apply the complimentary epithet of "the universal theatre of pleasure and diversion" to Osacca, one of their five "imperial" towns. To the French, Paris is also the "universal theatre of pleasure and diversion;" and though we of England are not so sprightly in our notions, and look as much to the chances of living as the chances of fun, still London has ever been regarded, even by the "natives," as a concentration of all comfort, a combination of all means and appliances to enable life not only to live, but to be spent as pleasantly and as agreeably as possible. We all know how Johnson and Charles Lamb adored London, and how Boswell sighed after it; and though convenience of access to the country, and the thousand improvements of the last half-century, have effected a great change in the feelings of the fashionable and wealthier classes, and they no longer shudder to quit for a season what was, to their fathers," the universal theatre of pleasure and diversion," still, at the appointed time, they all return, to the joy of the tradespeople of the "West-end," and to the gratification of annuitants, and other respectable people of limited means, who have nothing to do, and to whom the annual half-yearly excitement of politics, court gossip, and the congregation of much people, is necessary, as an essential of existence.
But there is another large class, mostly of the young, who, scattered through the provinces of Great Britain, look towards LONDON with longing eyes, and fancy that it is altogether different from all other places--that it is the "universal theatre," not only of" pleasure and diversion," but of all intelligence, improvement, and exertion: if they were only "up in London," how they would get on! The ready access to London now enjoyed, might, one would think, much diminish the exaggerated notions entertained, by enabling a much larger number of the provincials to report, as eye-witnesses, what London is really like. But the contrary is the result; for, like travellers in all places, the now much-increased number of visitors, having but a limited period to stay, are hurried from "sight to sight," and see "shows" which the regular Londoners have neither time nor inclination to go and see; and so, flying from the British Museum and the National Gallery to the Tower and the Tunnel, rambling in the parks, staring at the endless stream of carriages, carts, equestrians, and pedestrians, which throng along the continued thoroughfare of Cheapside, Fleet-street, and the Strand, and wandering amongst the streets and squares of the "West-end," they go back to their "country quarters," holding up their hands and exclaiming, "What a wonderful place London is, to be sure! "
But take the case of a young man who has come up to London with a pound or two in his pocket, and who calculates on obtaining some employment before his supplies are exhausted. His letters home-perhaps to a mother, or a sister, or a companion-are, for the first week or two, of an excited nature. He, too, marvels over all that he sees; enjoys with eager zest the cheap and comfortable enjoyments of some "dining-house;" gets a glimpse of the
"Queen "" as she goes to parliament, or to the park, or the theatre; and can give his opinion as to the personal appearance of not a few great people, for whom he has patiently watched; has got into the House of Commons during the daytime, and actually sat down in the Speaker's chair; penetrated to the bar of the House of Lords, and wonders in his inmost heart (for he is afraid, in these intelligent times, of being ridiculed if he should let this out) how so many lords should look like so many plain gentlemen; and visiting Westminster Abbey, for which he pays, aud the other sights for which he does not pay, he is full of laudation, and echoes the universal, or, at least, all but universal, sentiment, that "London is a wonderful place, to be sure! "
Wait a little he has not yet got employment, and it is very easy for him to count the remaining shillings in his purse. He has seen everything, and he does not much care to go and see them again. If he had any letters of introduction, they are all delivered, and he is unwilling to go and trouble the kind people, who all faithfully promised that they "would bear him in mind" and "see what they could do for him." He knows nobody, and nobody knows him. His spirits sink rapidly, for he feels that he is in a wilderness of men; and if a dreary, down-dripping day should come on, he goes to bed with the feeling that of ali horrible, selfish, and unenviable places, big, monstrous, straddling London is the worst!
For the benefit of our country readers, we will endeavour to state, as impartially as we can, what are " the chances of living in London." No universally general rules can be laid down of two individuals of the same profession who have come to London together, one might get employment on the morrow which might be of a permanent nature, and the other, after waiting for a month, may only get a situation of a casual and temporary character.
We may, then, commence with the too-generally well-known fact, that London presents a vast field for employment; and that, generally speaking, the common observation may be admitted as true, that it would be strange if, after a time, a clever, steady young man did not, as the phrase is, "get on. "We say, time." People do not carry descriptive labels on their foreheads or their backs, indicating their qualifications; and though a good face and a good manner are very good letters of introduction, a stranger must submit to be treated as a stranger until his workmanship and his character gradually bring him under notice. We will not advert to the cases of superior workmen in professions requiring nice mechanical skill and handicraftship. The combinations of intelligence, steady conduct, and nice mechanical skill, in one ard the same individual, are, thanks to the "diffusion of knowledge." not so rare as they were: it is not now thought so necessary, thanks to the spread of temperance habits, for a clever workman to manifest his foolish importance by spending three days of every six in the pot-house. No!-workmen begin to understand their own interests a little better. Still, the combination is rare, as compared with the mass of operatives; and, therefore, a clever, ingenious, intelligent, steady mechanic may always be sure of
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
forcing his own way in London, especially if his profession be one which requires considerable training and practice, and, to a certain extent, prevents the pressure of competition.
The "artists" stand in the same position as literary men. The supply exceeds the demand; their profession leads to "genteel " and often wasteful habits; and they are frequently on the verge of starvation, unless they are regularly connected with, or employed by, some extensive firm. We of course exclude all the higher-class artists, as we excluded the higher-class literary men. During the past twelve months, it has been painful to witness the numbers of engravers, many of them possessing great taste and talent, entering, cap in hand, with their specimens, into publishing shops, and sometimes begging for employment on almost any terms. Very clever engravers may earn, on an average, four pounds a week; but we know more than one who, with much sedulous attention, steadiness, and skill, have not earned on the whole, for the last two years, above one hundred pounds per annum.
Quitting the precarious professions, of which we can say little more than that there are too many barristers, physicians, and surgeons in London struggling to put something more than nothing into an empty purse, and far too many lawyers' clerks, all eagerly jostling each other, and rushing in crowds after vacant
But, beginning with the beginning, we may commence with "authors." Authorship, then, is a regular profession in London, numbering a great many "professors," who truly subsist by their "wits," but who scarcely hold a recognisable place in society, and for whose profession our language has no generally available and descriptive name. With the Bulwers, the Dickenses, the Hooks, the Ainsworths, and the Trollopes, we have nothing to do. These, by the force of ability and the force of circumstances (for generally both have to be combined), have "got their names up," and can command, like first-rate artists, clever physicians, and dextrous mechanics, their own terms, or at least nearly so. Nor have we much to say to literary men, who are not dependent on their literary exertions, but, having some little independence, write for pleasure as well as for pence. We speak of the hard-working literary men (and some of them are hard worked), who live by the collection and the hammering out of ideas, and to whom words are money. There are of course all ranks and grades amongst them. Some, who affect the genteel style, and like to visit at the "West-situations, we may pass on to the "trades." And as we began end," find it hard enough to make both ends meet and keep up appearances; a few, who care more for realities than appearances, live secluded, attend to their work, and save money. We know one hard-working gentleman, who has no time and less taste for visits and dinner-parties, whose hands are always filled with work, who earns about six hundred pounds annually, and who saves about one-half of it; another, who earns about four hundred, and perhaps saves, on an average, about a hundred. But there are many more who rank literally as "journeymen," and who only earn from one hundred and fifty to two hundred, and, therefore, can save nothing. In the case of regular literary men, "unknown to fame," it is necessary to be permanently connected with some publishing house, as a "point d'appui." Several large publishing houses keep a number of literary "journeymen," who are paid generally by fixed salaries, who stand in much the same position as "clerks," and who are treated with more or less of gentlemanly consideration, according as the temper, taste, or inclination of their employers may incline. These men, if they are quiet, humble, jog-trot compilers, may pursue the "even tenor of their way" without much disturbance; and are only puzzled, when they go to register the birth of a child, as to whether they shall inscribe themselves" gentlemen," or indicate their profession by some odd title, such as that of "literary contributor." It is difficult, however, to creep into the ranks of the "journeymen" literati, humble as pay and prospects may be. Like all precarious employments which require no capital to begin with, and for the exercise of which there is no definite qualification or test, beyond the ability "to write" to the satisfaction of the employer, the supply exceeds the demand.
We need not here notice the reporters for the newspapers, and the short-hand writers who haunt the courts and the houses of parliament. Amongst the short-hand writers, in particular, there is a kind of "conventional corporation," by which the supply is in some measure kept down to the demand. Persons wishing to get amongst them must become acquainted with some of the regular members of the craft, and serve patiently as supernumeraries, before they get admitted on the staff. The employment of short-hand writers, like the employment of lawwriters, is generally an alternate "burst and a starve ; " all hurry, hurry, at one time, and a large amount of money made within a short space; and then perhaps an interval of days without anything to do.
with authors in the professions, so we may begin with printers in the trades. The compositors employed on the daily morning newspapers receive as weekly wages 21. 8s., and those employed on the daily evening newspapers, somewhat less, or 21. 3s. 6d. The night-work of the morning papers is extremely laborious and exhausting; nevertheless, the competitors for vacancies are always numerous, and many a man has waited for years for such a situation. There are supernumeraries always employed about newspaper offices; and too frequently these rank, in relation to their regularly-employed brethren, in much the same way that the watermen at hackney-coach stands do to the drivers. Steady supernumeraries have, of course, a good chance for stepping in to fill up vacancies.
Amongst the large number of "book-offices "—that is, offices where books are printed, in contra-distinction to newspaper-offices in London, there must be a considerable number where tolerably snug situations can be procured. But these become fewer every day, while the competitors for vacancies in those that do exist are increased. The time has long since gone by (mourned over by the old men who remember the old state of things) when compositors had their own "frames," or stances, in which quietly to do their work, and whole volumes given to them composedly to compose. Work is now got out with lightning-like rapidity; volumes are transferred from manuscript to type with a celerity which is astonishing; and there is, consequently, no time to think about the personal comfort or convenience of individuals. The slightest delay, neglect, or absence of a compositor, often produces great inconvenience; and so, too frequently, the considerate and the inconsiderate are obliged to be treated alike, and the man who has been waiting all day in his office for "copy," if he goes out in the afternoon, may find on his return that the expected "copy" has arrived, but been given into the hands of another. On the adage that "a cook should not starve in a cook-shop," compositors should be intelligent men; and there are many intelligent men in their ranks. But there are also too many amongst them who have little taste and little intelligence, and who put types together in much the same fashion that one might pitch bricks together. We may, therefore, say that the supply exceeds the demand: for though really good compositors are comparatively scarce, and one such, as soon as he becomes known, may command tolerably steady employment, the entire number are more than sufficient for the work to be done ; and the unsteady, the unskilful, and the unfortunate, cannot average
above 17. a week, taking all the year round. Good compositors in regular employment may average yearly about 21. per week; a few, 27. 10s.; where weekly wages are given, the fixed sum is Connected with printers are readers, or correctors of the press. These may be either of the superior order of compositors, whose intelligence raises them to the reading-desk; or individuals, not printers, selected for the purpose. London readers take far higher rank than the printing-office readers of provincial towns; many of them are familiar with several of the Continental languages, and have a smattering of Greek and Latin; a few are really good scholars. Their work is of a close, confining nature, and their pay varies from 21. to 31. per week.
Of the tailors, scarcely anything more may be said than that they absolutely swarm in London. Provincial men come up to spend a season or two in order to improve themselves; and there is a perpetual variety of new faces. A very great number do not get constant employment throughout the year. Still, a superior man, who holds his head erect, dresses decently, and can handle his needle and scissors in a decent style, has always a good chance of getting into one of the large establishments at the West-end; and if he is an attentive and sober man, he may calculate on earning from 30s. to 36s. a week. There are some very good situations to be got, as "foremen," "cutters," &c., which may produce from 27. 10s. to 47. per week; but these are the tailors' prizes, and can only be procured by men of good character, good address, and other "superior characteristics. The usual pay of tailors is 5s. and 6s. a day. There are many respectable men amongst them, who do very well, but there is also a sad set of careless and indifferent idlers.
Allied to the tailors, are the numerous "assistants" of drapers, silk-mercers, &c. The influence of " large establishments," and the eager competition which exists, is beginning seriously to interfere with the personal comfort of working-men in almost all departments: men come to-day and go to-morrow, and there is, too frequently, as little personal attachment and connexion between the employers and the employed, as there would be between a ship and an anchor united by a line of rotten packthread. But it is amongst the drapers and silk-mercers that the influence of large establishments produces its most offensive and degrading results. If we had a son or a brother who was about to select a profession, we would say to him with all earnestness, “Oh, whatever you propose to do, for goodness' sake do not become an assistant' in one of those large establishments!" In some of them there are from one hundred to one hundred and fifty young men, who are boarded in the houses, and get about 207. per annum, or rather we should say at that rate, for a year's residence is a long time to calculate on. Some of the more clever, who are very sharp in pushing business, may get 30%. or even 401. per annum. Scarcely any of them can calculate on holding their situations except as from day to day. Let a lady go into one of those large establishments, and if it happens not to be a very "busy" day, she will be beset by a dozen young men, all of them teazing her, with the most nauseous blandishments, to " buy, buy, buy! The young men's sales are always balanced; and if the employers think that any one of them has not sold as much as he ought to have done, he will get immediate notice to quit. Porters keep "watch and ward" at night at the doors, after business is over; the moment eleven o'clock strikes, the bolts are entered; and any of the young men who have been out to spend their evening, and who happen to be a few minutes too late in reaching the "barracks," may go and get a lodging where they can, and, very possibly, next morning, if numbered amongst the "missing," may have to seek out for another situation. The influence of all this on the young men is very pernicious. They are stimulated to become proficients in what they fancy to be smartness and politeness, but which, in fact, is only a sort of underbred impertinence; they pique themselves on their coats being of the newest cut, and their cravats put on with the nicest tie; but in the qualities of manly independence and general information they are compelled to be sadly deficient. In some of the large establishments, libraries are provided for the young men: but after they have spent an entire day rolling and unrolling, coaxing and entreating, and shouting out "Cash!" we may easily understand that to spend their evening leisure in going out to have a stroll will be more tempting than to sit down and read.
Amongst the smaller establishments, there are some very good situations, especially where the employers are kind and considerate, and can afford the time to become acquainted with their young
men. But, as a general rule, the situation of shopman is difficult to procure, and frequently difficult to keep, whether it be with grocers, oilmen, or even booksellers. Superior young men of good address, intelligent habits, and active, are unfortunately rather scarce, as compared with the mass of competitors for situations; and these therefore, as we said of superior mechanics, may, after a time, force their own way, and get into good situations, which it will be their own fault if they do not keep. The large grocery establishments rank next to the drapers and mercers in the treatment of young men; much depends on the temper of the employer. We know instances where, on the slightest movements of caprice, men who, some few hours before, had been praised for their exertions, have been "kicked out," like mangy dogs.
Of the condition of the cabinet-makers in London we have no general information. We have been over Seddon's large establishment in Gray's-inn-road (which is the largest, we believe, of the kind in the metropolis), and admired the splendid array of costly furniture in the show-room. The cabinet-makers employed here are rather "select," that is to say, men known to be good workmen. It is, consequently, rather difficult to get employed; as, if the "regular hands" can do the work, they get it all to do. These "regular hands," some of whom have been years in the establishment, are paid by the "job," which, according to its nature, may be very productive or otherwise. Taking the year round, they may average 27. a week.
But our space and our information would fail us were we to attempt to indicate the varied employments of London which afford" chances of living." To take an instance. Mr. Adams, a very intelligent carriage-manufacturer, published, some little time ago, a work on "English Pleasure Carriages," in which he describes the various classes of workmen connected with the building of a carriage. Thus, the workmen employed by coachmakers, out of their own premises, and through the agency of other tradesmen, are, axle-tree makers, spring-makers, wheelwrights, lamp-makers, trunk-makers, blind-makers, joiners, turners, lace-makers, curriers, japanners, ivory-workers, platers, chasers, and embroiderers. Many more workmen are indirectly employed, such as cloth-workers, silk-weavers, glass-makers, screw, nail and lock-makers, metal-workers generally, carpet-weavers and floor-cloth makers, waterproof cloth-makers, cotton workers, tanners, morocco-dressers, hemp and flax-workers, glue-makers, colour and varnish-makers, and others who do not work exclusively for carriage-builders. The workmen usually employed in the best carriage-factories are-body-makers, carriage-makers, carvers, smiths, trimmers, painters, brace and harness-makers, sawyers, and labourers. Designers, draughtsmen, and heraldpainters, come under the category of artists.
Body-makers are skilful joiners, who must be able to draw well, or they cannot work well; must have correctness of eye and skill of hand, and each workman must have a capital in tools varying from thirty to forty pounds. As such men are not numerous, they command high wages. When in full work, very quick workmen will earn 51. per week; but as they seldom have full work the year through, they do not average more than four. Ordinary workmen do not earn more than 31. per week, and on the average less than that.
Carriage-makers are more akin to millwrights in the work they perform; and neatness, not extreme delicacy, of workmanship is required from them. According as the carriage-maker is an indifferent or a good workman, he may earn, while employed, from 21. to 31. per week. Carvers are divided into classes, some being artists, furnishing designs as well as executing them, others only working from designs furnished. Their wages therefore vary from 30s. to 47. and 57. per week; but, like many other workmen, they are unemployed during several months of the year.
Coach-smiths are the most skilful of all iron-workers. They are divided into three classes-firemen, hammermen, and vicemen. Firemen mostly work by the piece, and earn from 27. to 31. and 47. per week, according to the kind of work. The hammermen earn from 25s. to 30s., and the vicemen from 30s. to 21.
Trimmers are to carriages what upholsterers are to houses, and, according to their quickness and skill, may earn from 0s. to 31., or even 4., per week. Then there are the carriage-painters, whose work forms an important branch of the carriage trade; with the other branches, whose names we have given above, and whose earnings vary from 25s., 30s., and 21., up to 3. and 47. Lace making formerly constituted an important branch of carriagebuilding, as skilled workmen were few, and they commanded high prices for their labour. This was when the manufacturé
was confined to London; but since the increase of carriages it is made wholesale at Manchester, and other manufacturing towns. The London carriage lacemakers are, like most weavers, miserably poor; as is the case with all trades which are wearing out, or where the mode of operation is changing. On the whole, notwithstanding the apparently high wages earned by the greater part of the workmen employed by carriage-builders, but few of them, and those only amongst the most skilful, enjoy constant work. High wages have produced the common effect of increasing the numbers of the workmen beyond what are necessary for the demand.
Here we pause: but we have much more to say on this extensive and important subject; and one department of it-how far a shilling may be made to go in London-has not yet been touched. We will, therefore, resume the subject in our next Number.
VIEWS OF EUROPEAN MORTALITY. WHEN in the month of October we see frequent announcements to the effect that the duke or earl of so and so is about starting for Italy, where he means to spend the winter, one not in the habit of inquiring very minutely into statistical details would naturally conclude that Italy, of all other places in Europe, is the most delightfully salubrious-the most favourable to human life. When, on the other hand, we find that Scotch mists and Irish marshes or bogs have passed into proverbs, on account of their density or number, it being a settled point that humidity is a copious source of disease, we as naturally conclude that these countries will be anything but favourable to longevity. These, we say, are the ideas which arise in our minds from a simple statement of facts, without our stooping to inquiry or reflection. Will it be credited that the case is exactly the reverse; that the chances of life are twice as great amid the eternal fogs of Scotland as they are in the sunny clime of Italy "the beautiful?" It would require strong proof to convince us of this; but it is a fact supported and attested by the most unquestionable evidence. It is a very remarkable circumstance, that amongst the nations of Europe who live under the same zone, and present comparatively few differences in point of physical or moral condition, there should be such extraordinary differences in regard to mortality. In some places it is three times as great as it is in others. From an elaborate paper on this subject, which appeared in the celebrated French work the "Révue Encyclopédique," it appears that amongst the principal European states the difference of their mortality, compared with their population, is as follows:
In the Roman states, and the ancient Venetian provinces, there annually dies person in 28; in Italy in general, Greece, and Turkey, 1 in 30; in the Netherlands, France, and Prussia, l'in 39; in Switzerland, the Austrian empire, Portugal, and Spain, 1 in 40; in European Russia and Poland, 1 in 44; in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, 1 in 45; in Norway, 1 in 48; in Iceland, 1 in 53; in England, I in 58; and in Scotland and Ireland, 1 in 59. It must be borne in mind that data of this nature are to be taken as approximations to fact, instead of being actual facts, for the difficulties in the way of obtaining proper returns are very great. Still, even viewing them as mere approximations, no one could have anticipated such results. Who, from mere reflection on the subject, without having recourse to documents, would have placed Ireland so high in regard to health :—a country full of bogs, and where the bulk of the population are kept down at the starving point, potatoes being almost their only fare?
Taking the British isles together, we find that of all the European states they are the most favoured in regard to the chances of life. Of each million of inhabitants they lose only 18,200 annually; whilst the mortality is almost double in the countries washed by the Mediterranean sea. Next to these life is most certain in Norway and Sweden, three dying in the South of France for two in ancient Scandinavia, Denmark, and Germany. Nature and fortune have been as little lavish of the necessaries of life in Russia and Poland as anywhere, yet here the inhabitants spin out their existence nearly one half longer than those of Italy, where "corn, and wine, and oil" run over, and "Plenty leaps
cluded), about one million died. Of these 221 were above 105 years of age, 120 above 110, 78 above 115, 49 above 120, 16 above 125, 5 above 130; one attained the great age of between 145 and 150; and another had tenaciously adhered to life till he had reached the almost antediluvian term of existence, 155 years. In France, the Netherlands, Prussia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and the Austrian empire, the average time of life is nearly the same, one being cut off in forty annually. On the whole it has been calculated, taking one year with another, that in a popula tion of 210,000,000 there occur 5,256,000 deaths every twelve months, the mortality being much greater in the southern than in the northern states, one-fortieth being the average. The former have 1 death in 36 persons, whilst the latter have only 1 death in 44 persons. Of one million of inhabitants in districts situated in the north of France, 22,700 die; in those which lie toward the south, 27,000 die. This is a difference of more than 4,000 deaths, equivalent to more than a two-hundredth part of the population. Two great causes determine the rate of mortality to the population: these are the influence of climate and civilisation. climate is peculiarly favourable to the prolongation of life, when it is cold and even rigorous, or when the humidity in the environs of the sea is combined with a low temperature. The smallest mortality on the continent of Europe occurs in maritime countries which are in the vicinity of the polar circle, such as Sweden and Norway. This is also the case in Russia, where climate is not aided by civilisation, which shows that the condition of the atmosphere has by far the most powerful influence over human health. In those southern climes, where a mild temperature and other circumstances seem to promise long life, the human race is exposed to the greatest risks. Under the blue and beautiful skies of Greece, the certainty of life is one-half less than among the frost and snows of Iceland. If we proceed to the torrid zone, the pernicious influence which is exercised over the existence of man by a high temperature is strikingly exemplified. variations also take place the resistance of the vital principle in the tropics differing according to the races of men; the duration of life in some places is for the one double or triple what it is for the others. The following are examples :-BATAVIA in 1805— Europeans, 1 in 11 individuals; slaves, 1 in 13; Chinese, 1 in 29; Javanese (natives), 1 in 46. BOMBAY in 1805-Europeans, 1 in 18; Mussulmans, 1 in 174; Parsees, 1 in 24. GUADALOUPE, from 1816 to 1824-whites, 1 in 234; freedmen, 1 in 35. MARTINIQUE in 1815-whites, 1 in 24; freedmen, 1 in 33. GRENADA in 1811-slaves, 1 in 22. This is an immense mortality, and presents a remarkable contrast with that of Madeira, the only colonial establishment within the temperate zone. Here the proportion is about 1 to 50.
The foregoing details relate merely to climate; we shall now examine how far an advancement in social economy has tended to decrease mortality. This is by far the most important part of the subject, because it is that over which man himself has control. He cannot alter the climate, except slightly in some localities by draining and cutting down wood; but his civilisation is entirely in his own hands, and by promoting it he increases his chances of life. The effects produced by improved modes of living, methods of cure, and other causes, on the general duration of existence, are ascertained by comparing the number of deaths which have taken place in a given time at different periods. From tables which have been drawn up, it appears that the mortality has in different countries decreased as under :
In Sweden, nearly one-third in 61 years; in Denmark, twofifths in 66 years; in Germany, two-fifths in 37 years; in Prussia, one-third in 106 years; in Wirtemberg, two-fifths in 73 years; in Austria, one-thirteenth in 7 years; in France, one half in 50 years; in Holland, one-half in 24 years; in England, one-half in 131 years; in Great Britain, one-eleventh in 16 years; in Canton of Vaud, one-third in 64 years; in Lombardy, one-seventh in 56 years; and in the Roman States, one-third in 62 years. Thus we see a striking difference in the mortality of countries at the present day from what it was in former times. If, in the same manner, we compare the deaths in the principal towns, the same results will be found to have taken place. The annual mortality has, in Paris, diminished more than one-third in 80 years; in London more than one-half in 178 years; in Berlin, nearly oneThe Russian is fed upon a wretched sort of sauerkraut, pickled fourth in 72 years; in Geneva, three-fifths in 261 years; in Vienna, cabbages and cucumbers, and a remarkably coarse black rye bread, one-fourth in 80 years; in Rome one-half in 63 years; in Camyet he lives exactly twice the length of him who commands all the bridge, two-fifths in 10 years; in Norfolk, one-fifth in 10 years; in necessaries and luxuries of the Austrian capital. Remarkable Manchester, three-fifths in 64 years; in Birmingham, nearly twoinstances of longevity occur in Russia :-in 1821 it was found that fifths in 10 years; in Liverpool, one-half in 38 years; in Portsin a population of forty-five millions (Asiatic Russia is not in-mouth, more than one-third in eleven years; in St. Petersburgh,
To laughing life from her redundant born."