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move with his family to some other place where he can earn support.” In fact, he is prepared, as it were, for the day of adversity, when the storm lowers over him and his hearth, when work is scarce, or when sickness supervenes. And with what self-reliance, with what an independent spirit, does he look forward to the future! what a proud consciousness is his, when he reflects that it is his own efforts and his own foresight which have reared for him this rock amid the tempest, this tower of strength against the days of affliction! He passes by the workhouse with a quiet and elevating pride, knowing that, through God's help, he has fixed a great gulf between him and the Bastille of Poverty. Through the savings-banks is it, in a great measure, that this country has been saved the horrors of popular tumults; we go on our way calmly and peaceably, very few causes of disaffection ruffling the surface of society. Have we a bad harvest, or a severe winter, or a dearth of work? no small proportion of those who suffer from such reverses are, for the time, independent of them, since they possess the means of subsistence in the results of their own thrift. At this present time the efficacy of these institutions bas been wonderfully tested in the North. Why is it that we were so long before hearing of the distress in the manufacturing districts? The mills in Lancashire had been put on half-time, and in many instances wholly stopped, before the danger of our manufacturing population starving was even mooted. It was for this simple reason, that those brave-hearted, stanch, and independent men refused to appeal to public sympathy, or to avail themselves of the national aid, so long as they had a farthing they could call their own. But at length even this last farthing was exhausted; and the savings-banks, where their first deposits had been collected,-a monument to their industry and frugality,—could yield them no more. then, and not till then, that they turned to their fellow-countrymen. It is not for us to say how that appeal has been answered, or how the various systems set on foot for the relief of the distressed operatives have been worked; we will only say that, though much has been done, much more remains to be done.

Savings-banks are not confined to Great Britain. Into every country of Europe the system, with more or less development, has been introduced. Switzerland is entitled to the credit of possessing the oldest-established savings-bank in Europe, the one at Zurich baving been in operation since the year 1805. But the most considerable bank is that at Geneva, founded in 1816 by M. Tronchin, who bound over his own property, to the extent of 60,000 florins, for the security of the depositors. He also contributed, during twenty-six years, the sum of 2400 florins annually towards the expenses of management. Deposits from two shillings up to two pounds may be received; but the maximum amount that can be confided to the bank is 501. Three per cent interest is granted, and three months' notice required before the sum deposited can be withdrawn. The managers are nominated by the Council of State, and send in an annual account of their stewardship.

It was


In France the savings-banks cannot be established without the authorisation of Government, which exercises a strict surveillance over all their transactions. The managers keep a current account with the “Caisse des Depôts et Consignations," with whom the funds are deposited. Forty pounds is the largest amount received, and no sum beyond twelve francs can be paid in at one time. The interest is fixed at 4 per cent. Of this sum, 177 banks retain 1, and 202 ; per

cent for

expenses management; so that in fact the depositors have not the full benefit of the 4 per cent. In Belgium these Temples of Thrift are managed either by the administration of the towns in which they are situated, or by financial establishments. The maximum sum allowed to be deposited by private individuals is 801., and a uniform rate of 3 per cent is granted to the depositor. These institutions, however, do not appear to be very flourishing in the little Leopoldine kingdom. At Hamburg there is one savings-bank for the State of Hamburg, with six district establishments in the city and three in the country; but the Government has nothing to do with their administration. Sixty marks, or 31. 128. 6d. Hamburg currency, only may be deposited once a week; but the invester may accumulate his money in this bebdomadal proportion to an unlimited amount. The rate of discount is 24 per cent. In Prussia there were, in 1857, 405 savings-banks; and it is probable that the number is greater now, as the Prussian is a thrifty and prudent fellow, and understands the value of a kreutzer when he gets one. There is no regular sum fixed as to the amount of deposits; some banks allowing depositors to hold accounts to the extent of 751., others reducing it to 301. In the province of Brandenburg the rate of interest averages from 21 to 3} per cent; and many establishments, which at first favoured depositors with a higher rate, have found it advisable to reduce theirs to these figures. Savings-banks in Austria are started either by joint-stock companies or by municipal corporations; but the Government takes good care to have a finger in the pie. Four per cent is the average rate of interest, and the withdrawal of deposits of 101. or more requires one month's notice. However, lesser sums may be withdrawn at a moment's notice. Holland had 127 savingsbanks in operation three or four years ago.

The rate of interest is ge. nerally 3 per cent, though some banks admit a higher percentage. Sweden beats Holland in the numerical force of these establishments, for at the end of the year 1858 she possessed 130 savings-banks. Deposits can be made of as small an amount as fourpence; but the total amount which can be paid in one year is limited to 171.; the depositor, however, may carry his account as high as 1151. In the Stockholm SavingsBank the rate of interest allowed is 4 per cent, though from 1821 to 1830 it was 5 per cent. In some instances, however, 6 per cent even

6 is granted. The colossal empire of Russia contains two savings-banks; one in St. Petersburg, and another at Moscow. Both are strictly Government institutions. The amount which may be deposited at one time ranges between 50 copecks silver (18. 8d.), and 25 roubles silver (41. 38. 4d.);

but not more than 50 roubles (81. 68. 8d.) can be received in the course of a year. The total amount a depositor may have to his credit is 750 roubles silver, or 1251. Three per cent is the interest allowed.

Such are the features of some of the savings-banks in the principal states of the Continent; but it is in industrious, opulent, and frugal England that these establishments have been most fully developed. Like all other great institutions, their origin has been comparatively small and unnoticeable. The credit of introducing them into this country is claimed for at least three persons, though Mr. Scratchley, who is a high authority in these matters, supposes that arrangements of a similar character

a may have been made at an earlier period, by benevolent persons desirous of aiding the hard-working poor in forming habits of frugality, and laying-by a store for the future. In the year 1798 a friendly society for the benefit of women and children was established at Tottenham High-Cross. It was under the superintendence of Miss Priscilla Wakefield, the foundress, and before the year 1801 had combined with its main design two other important objects, namely, a fund for loans, and a bank for savings. The celebrated Jeremy Bentham, however, has the credit of first suggesting the idea. It will be remembered that a system of frugality-banks, as he called them, was one of the main features in his well-known schemes for the management of paupers. The suggestions, however, of this political economist were never acted upon. To the fair sex we are again indebted, according to the best authorities we possess on the subject, for the establishment of the third savings-bank in Great Britain. This was founded at Bath, chiefly through the instrumentality of ladies, and was opened in the

1808. In 1806 the Provident Institution of London was established; and in 1810 the first savings-bank was introduced into Scotland by the Rev. Henry Duncan, minister of Ruthwell, Dumfriesshire. All these several institutions had the same object in view, which object has been steadily maintained by all subsequent establishments, namely, to aid the poor in laying-hy a sum of money to be at their disposal in the day of distress. Indirectly, it was intended to inspire them with a spirit of forethought, frugality, industry, and independence; and these noble aims have been largely attained. The sums of money, as we have already intimated, deposited in our savings-banks prove how much these cardinal virtues have been developed in the nation. During the seventeen years from 1840 to 1857, 116 millions of money were received from depositors by the trustees. It would be curious if we could so analyse the proportions in which each kind of labour has contributed towards this immense fund. This, however, is somewhat difficult; still some attempt has been made to arrive at an approximate idea of the truth. If we take them by classes, we find that charwomen, dressmakers, female artisans, laundresses, milliners, needlewomen, nurses, male servants and their wives, and shopwomen, form at least 25 per cent of the depositors. Artisans and mechanics, small farmers, tradesmen and their wives, constitute 24 per cent. Carmen, carriers, farm-servants, journeymen mechanics, labourers, and porters, 124 per cent. Clerks and employés in public and other offices, professional men, and persons engaged in education, 3 per cent. Boatmen, fishermen, letter-carriers, sailors and soldiers, pensioners, policemen, railway-men, revenue officers, steamboat, cab, and omnibus men, 2 per cent.


Monopoly is essentially a selfish principle. What is good in principle should be as widely extended as possible. The rain of heaven falls upon the just and unjust alike, and there are few things which might not become common to all mankind. But, as a rule, the world is far from being ready to bring this theory into practice; we are far too exclusive; we love to be aristocratic in our tastes and feelings, that is to say, to be possessed of certain habits and manners which do not belong to, but are on the contrary caviare to the multitude. This wish may be seen in the private circles of life; has been long developed in our modes of government and our political dogmas. But as we become better acquainted with the rudiments of economical science, all these restrictions are grubbed up, and that which has been the “preserve” of a few is thrown open to every citizen of the empire. At first savings-banks were confined to the better conditioned of the commercial and labouring classes. The small tradesman found it convenient to invest a small sum weekly; and the shilling of the artisan was also welcomed as an indication of thriftiness on his part, and a desire of becoming a more independent member of society. It is only recently, however, that the savings-banks have been opened to the less well-to-do portion of the community; that the word Sesame has been pronounced for them. There were no institutions in which they might positively hoard up their well - earned pence. Silver and gold were received, but the mite of the journeyman was rejected. This state of things, however, has fortunately been abolished. Twelve or fourteen years ago the penny-banks were established in some of the poorer parishes of East London, through the practical benevolence of its clergymen. Already they have acquired immense proportions, and have proved of the utmost benefit to that indigent class, those journeymen labourers in the field and street, who have been induced to make use of them. The experience of those institutions has testified to the fact that there is as strong a desire amongst the poor to put-by their humble "coppers," and to have a little store in readiness to meet the “rainy day,” as in their better-to-do neighbours. A writer who has carefully collected bis facts stated some time since, that at the Birmingham Savings Bank 171. was the average balance owned by each depositor, whilst at the Birmingham Penny-Bank this average did not reach 178. But see how the day of small things may become a great day. Though the average did not amount to 178. per head, upwards of 100,0001. had passed through that penny-bank in deposits of small savings. How far did these amounts ramify? Into how many homes did this good principle penetrate? How many persons must have subscribed their pence to have created such a heap of gold ? And then with what feelings must the reflection have been made in those

humble tenements, that so much, however small the sum, was ready at their demand? To the poor, labour is not always at hand; but here the consciousness was created that there lay a sum of money which would be serviceable in the hour of need, at a sudden pinch, when the labour-market might be closed. And when we estimate the moral value of these small deposits, we must admit that they have been eminently productive of good.

Still there were many defects in the working of savings-banks, which rendered them far from being of that service to the humbler classes of the community which they ought to be. The machinery was frequently cumbersome, the management unbusinesslike; besides which, there was no security against the frauds of treasurers. Now, however, these flaws have been greatly removed by Mr. Gladstone's celebrated measure. Since the establishment of Post-Office savings-banks, not only has a Government guarantee been obtained, but the system of depositing has been wonderfully simplified. The consequence has been, the business of the Post-Office banks has attained an enormous magnitude. People instantly appreciated the new boon, and marvellous have been the results realised. Although we have no very detailed statistics with respect to these admirable institutions, some particulars of their progress occasionally transpire, and show that, in despite of the general depression of trade, and the frightful condition of particular districts, a vast amount of good has been achieved. The acknowledgments for deposits which are sent from the General Post-Office to the depositors are printed with consecutive numbers. This enables us, without going to the fountain-head, to glean some slight information. We have recently seen acknowledgments proving that more than 360,000 deposits have been made in the Post-Office savings-banks, although these banks have been in full operation only for a few months. Some Post-Office banks have issued books to more than 500 depositors, whilst several have gained more than 1000 depositors. The rapidity and precision with which the business is transacted is truly remarkable. Take an example: a man who had deposited money in a Post-Office bank in London, and whose occupation compelled bim to visit a town in the north of England, required a portion of his money. He wrote in the usual way to the General Post-Office on a Thursday night, and on the following Saturday the money was paid to him at the post-office of the town at which he was staying. So admirable, indeed, are the arrangements of these banks, that the trustees of many old establishments have determined to transfer the labour and responsibility which they have so long sustained, through motives of pure benevolence, to the shoulders of the Government. The trustees of the Poulton-le-Fylde Savings-Bank, having determined to close that establishment, issued the following notice to their depositors and to the public:

At a meeting of the trustees and managers held on Monday last, it was resolved that, in consequence of the death of the late actuary, Mr. George Parkinson, the resignation of Mr. Hodgson, the treasurer, and the

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