Page images
PDF
EPUB

CZSS - Sou ceas aihe aners will, doubtis soos 21 apreciate the boon thus coní ro share Corporation of London, =he zcek häll be afforded to o soc se sansaccion of their business, and the cocparative seczno with which they will be eatisd to bring ad display their valuable stocksbe Grea: Metropolitan Cattle Market.

Tots woode metropolis, which has already gathered benea:h its roofs nearly two millions and a ha of human beings, and has even within these last six years added not less than 290 miles of street to its extent, imperatively requires that those establishments which are to minister to the common wants of the whole should keep pace with its growth and magnitude. They can only be undertaken by public bodies, they can only be successfully carried out by public spirit. I know that the difficulties which have to be overcome, where so much private capital has acquired vested interests, are immense ; but I hail the spirit which is rising amongst us, and which, I doubt not, will meet those difficulties.

THE OLD ENGLISH HABIT.

THE Statistical Congress of All Nations * has been invited by the Government to hold its fourth meeting in this metropolis, in conformity with the wishes expressed by the late Congress held at Vienna, in 1857. Although, under these circumstances, it would have been more properly within the province of a member of the Government and minister of the Crown to fill this chair and open the proceedings of the day, as has been the case in previous meetings of the Congress in other places, the nature of the institutions and the habits of the people of the country in which this assembly was to take place, could not fail to make itself felt, and to influence its organization. We are a people possessing and enjoying the most intense political life, in which every question of interest or importance to the nation is publicly canvassed and debated. The whole nation, as it were, from the

* Held in London, in July, 1860.

H

highest to the lowest, takes an active part in these debates, and arrives at a judgment on the collective result of the thoughts and opinions thus called forth. This Congress could, therefore, only be either a private meeting of the delegates of different Governments, discussing special questions of interest in the midst of the general bustle of political activity, or it had to assume a public and a national character, addressing itself to the public at large, and inviting its co-operation.

The Government have chosen the latter alternative, and have been met by the readiest response from all sides. They have, I think, wisely chosen ; for it is of the utmost importance to the object the Congress has in view, namely, not only the diffusion of statistical information, but also the acquisition of a general acknowledgment of the usefulness and importance of this branch of human knowledge—that the public, as a whole, should lend its powerful aid.

SCIENCE, ART, AND INDUSTRY.

It has been a great pleasure to me to have been able to participate, in however trifling a degree, in a work which I do not look upon as a simple act of worldly wisdom on the part of this great town and locality, but as one of the first public acknowledgments of a principle which is daily forcing its way amongst us, and is destined to play a great and important part in the future development of this nation and of the world in general ; I mean the introduction of science and art, as the conscious regulators of productive industry.

SELF-RELIANCE AND THE WORKING CLASSES.

I CONCEIVE that this Society* is founded upon a right principle, as it follows out the dictates of a correct appreciation of human nature, which requires every man, by personal exertion, and

* The Servants’ Provident Society.

according to his own choice, to work out his own happiness; which prevents his valuing, nay, even his feeling satisfaction at the prosperity which others have made for him.

It is founded upon a right principle, because it endeavours to trace out a plan according to which, by providence, by present self-denial and perseverance, not only will the servant be raised in his physical and moral condition, but the master also will be taught how to direct his efforts in aiding the servant in his labour to secure to himself resources in cases of sickness, old age, and want of employment. It is founded on a right principle, because in its financial scheme there is no temptation held out to the servant, by the prospect of possible extravagant advantages, which tend to transform his providence into a species of gambling ; by convivial meetings which lead him to ulterior expense; or by the privilege of balloting for the few prizes, which draws him into all the waste of time and excitement of an electioneering contest.

Such are the characteristics of several institutions, upon which servants and many of our

« EelmineJätka »