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is always enough to be met with for very little searching. There are every where papers and pamphlets, good and bad indiscriminately, yet few comparatively that bear upon the peculiar wants and occasions of those to whom they are addressed. The Cottager's Monthly Visitor is a publication that was much wanted. It affords to the poor,-rational, useful, practical information, sufficiently applicable to their station to give the interest of use and novelty, and is calculated to set them a-thinking on their own condition. Here are directions about matters of daily demand; cheap dishes; garden management; remedies for wounds and burns; means for restoring suspended animation; descriptions of saving banks and their advantages; epitomes of historical periods; observations to elucidate the events of scripture; remarks on the church-service; the composition and construction of the Prayer-book; natural history; extracts from newspapers of remarkable incidents, with very judicious annotations; the evils of ale-houses, fairs, &c. All tending to stir the stagnant understanding to thought, and furnishing mental aliment; conveyed in familiar stories and plain narratives, or in short dialogues, not always, indeed, very naturally or logically conducted :-no matter, they are well designed and intelligible.
This is all very good, and claims our decided approbation: but there are, we think, very striking omissions; there are a few things which we shall venture to suggest to the benevolent conductors, as matters for future consideration, and one or two which we must unequivocally condemn.
For instance: while so much earnestness is shown in recommending cleanliness, economy, reading the scriptures, observing the sabbath, and sending children to Sunday schools, to none of which recommendations can we dream of objecting, it is very remarkable that so little is said of what are more properly, and religiously termed virtues. The whole attention is directed to what is external and visible; the progress and effects of which the Visitor may judge of by the eyes alone; while no pains are taken, no injunctions given, to controul the temper or discipline the evil passions, Are corrections of these things without their beneficial effects? The worthy conductors conceive they have provided for all these demands by their frequent insisting on the study of the scriptures, and attendance on public worship; but this we venture to say is a mistake, and a very serious mistake. It is extremely difficult to turn the mind inward upon itself; it requires art and pains to make it its own object, says Locke metaphysically; and we are quite sure the same may be said morally and religiously. It is more easy and natural for unenlightened people to apply grave lessons and weighty precepts, undeveloped by circumstances, to their neigh
bours than to themselves. They have a set of principles, by which their actions are guided, operating imperceptibly by association; they do not refer explicitly to them when the occasion for action arrives; they cannot tell how these principles were generated,-by custom, precept, experience; they know nothing about the matter; they do not concern themselves about it. The correctness of these latent guides they neither question nor interrogate; nor do they suspect themselves of any lurking vices. Therefore, when they hear or read of what is incompatible with their own course of action, that contrary conduct, except in a few gross instances, is not the first thing that strikes, but that of Will Jenkins or Bet DodFor sermons, or even scripture reading, to arrest the attention beneficially, their conscience must in some degree be awake and alert. The effect of these things upon people in this torpid state, is commonly vague, and general, and uninteresting. A story the incidents of which are of a familiar cast, and of every-day experience, will imperceptibly lay hold of their imagination; they will couple themselves with the hero,-contrast, compare, and finally be let into the secrets of their own bosom. Every thing requires to be driven home to them-almost personally and individually pointed, to rouse the sleeping conscience from its lair. Uneducated and unreflecting people, again, under the best directions and discipline, are generally content with a very brief list of virtues. One at a time is almost enough. That one swallows up all the rest. We have observed many of very clean and notable habits, and very careful of religious observances, exceedingly malicious, detractive, and revengeful withal. We wish to see forbearance, gentleness, kindness, the true virtues of the heart, inculcated and enforced again and again; we would have the darker and more selfish passions, jealousy, envy, hatred, hard-heartedness,-stripped of their disguises, and their effects exhibited and urged, till they were felt to be as odious as they are verbally perhaps allowed to be. These effects may not be of so turbulent or of so obvious a kind as those of the grosser vices; but they are equally hostile to the contentment of the individual, and destructive to the peace of society.
One very prolific source of evil in villages, to which, we believe, there is not a single allusion in the Visitor, though the opportunity frequently presented itself, is gossiping-by which we mean the discussing and retailing of the concerns of the neighbourhood. This is always accompanied with the delivery of opinions built of course upon partial knowledge and inaccurate reports. It is not merely the communication of incidents and the detail of events,-this is natural and often harmless,-but the judgement and censures inseparably linked with them, of which we complain. As long as people have tongues in their heads, we know their owners will
wield them; we do not propose to silence those valuable organs, but to correct their obliquities. Difficult as it confessedly is for the most considerate persons to collect the circumstances that are necessary for the formation of an accurate judgement, the tattling decisions of these gossipers must inevitably be of the most erroneous description. One error, we know, begets another; bad news flies fast; the tale rolls with all its accumulations; enmities rouse; retaliation watches; and hatred and vengeance become the settled feelings of the injured party. Here then is a fruitful source of mischief, to which we would beg to direct the "Visitor's" assiduous attention.
There is another point, which, though not altogether omitted, we think might usefully be more dwelt upon, and that is, the means of improving the condition of the poor by small patches of land. To be sure, this matter might seem rather to be urged upon proprietors; but if the poor be impressed with the advantages of land, they will be eager to seize on opportunities of obtaining it, which often perhaps occur; and which would otherwise be suffered to escape. We should be glad to see the time when every labourer in the kingdom had a cow grazing near his cottage.
We have dwelt so long upon these points, that we must confine ourselves to a few hints on the subjects which we proposed to suggest for the conductors' future consideration, and for which we think their publication a most convenient vehicle. These are, popular prejudices, superstitions, and proverbial maxims. Of the first kind are the common notions of constitutional temperaments,-of being passionate, impatient, &c.-which, though we shall not undertake to prove that they have not their root in nature, are too easily allowed and quoted as the apology for a multitude of faults. Hostility to changes and new ways; which may be combated by showing the success of many innovations within their own memory and experience. Of the second kind are the idle fancies relative to charms, fortune-telling, dreams, witchcraft, &c., which prevail to an extent, particularly among girls and women, scarcely credible to those who know little of the country; and of the maxims of a bad or of an equivocal tendency, capable of an ambiguous application, there is abundance. They are used on all occasions, and back and justify all sorts of perversions. "When things are at the worst, they will mend;" and little regard is paid to the base, profligate, or imprudent causes from which the supposed extremity has originated.
So much as there is in this publication that is unexceptionably laudable, it was with unfeigned sorrow that we found any thing which we felt ourselves compelled directly to censure. How could the worthy conductors deliberately admit the strange letter
which appears at page 467? It is calculated to foster the poorestparty feelings-to corrupt, we will say, the moral judgements of the people. We must earnestly implore them to preserve the purity of their future pages from such contamination;—we implore them to shun the rock of politics, or they make shipwreck of their own utility.
There are histories of poachers, of their idleness, profligacy, punishments, and fatal termination, about which matters we have a word of reproof: to the stories themselves we do not object, for poaching is indeed productive of lamentable consequences; but let poaching, its perils and penalties, and moral evils, be referred to their proper source, the unreasonable severity of our Game Laws. No legislative enactments can place the mala per se, and the mala prohibita, on the same level in the brain of any human being, educated or uneducated, escaping from childhood or idiocy; and miserable would be the result, if they could.. The moral feelings of mankind, in an age of any civilization, are not to be corrupted to such an extent, nor any thing near it. When we contemplate the laws against poachers, framed on the poor pretence of the necessity of defending game, and hear of the sad consequences, our indignation against these cruel enactments springs up irresistibly, and contends with our grief for the violations of them; for they are laws which generate ferocity and revenge.
We take our leave of this very useful book, and trust the conductors will receive our remarks with good temper. If we had not thought favourably of their efforts, we should not have expended so much of our attention upon them: we give no extracts; it was our desire to put our readers in possession of the general objects of the publication, and extracts would have contributed very little to that purpose. We recommend it heartily, and exhort our benevolent friends to promote its circulation in the country to the utmost of their power.
BENJAMIN HAWES, ESQ.
Jan. 10. Suddenly, aged 79, being struck with a fit while on his usual walk, three miles distant from Worthing, Benjamin Hawes, esq. Mr. Hawes was a native of Islington. He was the youngest of three brothers, of whom Mr. James Hawes, the eldest, died in 1789, the other, -the philanthropic and much lamented Dr. William Hawes,-died in 1808, and was the founder of that admirable charity, the Royal Humane Society.
Mr. Hawes was for many years a respectable indigo merchant in Thames-street; and having, by great skill in business, with unremitted industry and unsullied integrity, acquired an ample fortune, he relinquished trade, and passed his latter years at Worthing, where his loss will be felt in an extraordinary degree, even by many who did not know him to be their benefactor. The great distinctive feature of his mind was an ardent and conscientious desire to relieve the distresses of his fellow-creatures, without taking to himself the merit of his good works. Having retired from the busy scene of life, he lived very abstemiously, and his constant study was not only to communicate good to all around him, but if possible to conceal the hand which thus diffused blessings. In his own immediate neighbourhood, his charity, which often amounted to munificence, could not always escape the detection of gratitude; but, wherever it was practicable, his benefactions were anonymous; he seemed even ingenious in devising means of" doing good by stealth;" and he literally" blushed to find it fame." In many instances he even made considerable transfers of stock to meritorious individuals whom he saw struggling with adversity; and who were never informed of the source from which their timely accession of property was derived With the same shrinking modesty, he became an anonymous contributor to many public institutions for the alleviation of pain and suffering, the instruction of the ignorant, or the reformation of the depraved. Naturally attached, for 48 years together, to an institution founded by his brother and congenial with his own generous sensibility, his liberal annual donation to the Royal Humane Society was nevertheless contributed under the mere designation of "A Life Governor in 1774."
But the great object which interested his philanthropic feelings through life was the abolition of the slave trade. To promote this measure of enlightened humanity, he in many different ways contributed large sums anonymously. Nay, so indignant was he, on the close of the late war, at the treaties which tolerated that abominable traffic, that in a letter which he had sketched to Mr. Wilberforce (whether he ever sent it we know not) he offered to sacrifice several thousands a-year, if that sum could ensure the adoption of means to compel all the European powers to put an end to the slave trade entirely. Even in this princely conception, however, ostentation had no part; for he sti