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among them, the Negro would scarcely notice any stranger, however wretched, if he were not of his own family or tribe.
Upwards of 200 Missionaries are employed by this Society; more than 10,000 children are under instruction. Printing presses are established in various places; churches have been erected, and many hundreds have been converted to Christianity.
'PROCEEDINGS OF BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS.
Refuge for the Destitute. A general court of the governors of this institution was held in February last, when a very gratifying report was made. It is, or ought to be, generally known that the object of the Refuge is to provide a place for the reformation of persons discharged from prison, or from the hulks,--for unhappy females, and others, who, though willing to work, are unable from loss of character to earn an honest maintenance. Within this asylum, they are no longer exposed to the temptations of vice: the most kind and persevering exertions are employed to induce them to renounce their former guilty habits; religious instruction is imparted; useful trades are taught; and when their conduct has afforded reason to believe that they can with safety quit the institution, suitable situations are provided for them.
The Report was very interesting and encouraging. It stated, that this institution has already examined the cases of 2,800 objects, of whom 1,500 have been admitted into the two branches of the institution, a majority of whom have been recovered from vice and misery, and restored to society.
The number of males received into the Hoxton establishment last year, was 54, which, with 61 in the establishment at its commencement, make 115: of these 55 have been discharged, and 60 remain. Of those discharged, 31 have been apprenticed, and 9 others were provided with employment, or restored to their friends.
Of the females, 66 were in the house in Hackney Road at the commencement of the year, and 50 have been admitted, making together 116, of whom 24 have been placed in respectable service, 17 restored to their friends, and 58 remain in the establishment.
The employment of both sexes is an object of the first consideration. Of the males, between 20 and 30 are constantly employed in tailoring, and as many in shoemaking; several in bookbinding; a few in basketmaking, and the rest in cutting fire wood for sale. The females are occupied in washing and in household work. With this employment is connected a daily course of religious instruction and devotion, and there are schools for both sexes.--There is also a temporary refuge attached to each establishment, where destitute objects are sent by the committee, on the payment of 7s. per week. Into these asylums, 148 persons have been received during the last year.
Mendicity Society.--The fourth anniversary meeting of the Society for the Suppression of Mendicity was held on the 27th of Febru ary, and was numerously and respectably attended. From the Report it appeared that the number of cases had decreased from 4546 in
the year before last, to 2339, the number of cases in the last year, but that the average expenditure on each case had been proportionately increased. The society had taken measures for the formation of an asylum to receive female servants out of place, and prevent the contagion of common lodging-houses. Notwithstanding the experience and the utmost vigilance of the governors, they had been greatly imposed upon by the most numerous class of mendicants--those who alleged want of work as the cause of their distress. For this class the mana gers had hit upon a plan to prevent imposition, and which had succeeded to a degree by no means anticipated. A wharf had been hired on the Grand Junction canal, to which were sent such as professed to be willing to work, to break stones for the roads. These persons were paid for their labour by the ton, and furnished with provisions by the society; but out of 257, who had been sent there, 193 absconded, and the results were such as to prove the utility of labour as a test, and the impositions which those are subjected to who give relief in the streets indiscriminately. Having entered into a system of investigation into the circumstances under which begging letters were written, the committee had obtained a list of 900 worthless individuals, who in that manner lived by committing depredations on the public, and there was on an average only one in five found worthy of attention. At a late meeting of the committee, a report of the proceedings in the begging letter department was read, of which the following are extracts: Respecting the cause of charity, the committee hope it has been greatly benefited by the opportunity afforded to the subscribers, of distinguishing the appeals of positive and genuine misery from the artful and fallacious tales of distress. The fact is, indeed, established, that, during the course of many years, gross inpositions have been regularly and systematically practised on the nobility and gentry of this country by persons whose only trade is begging by letter; and it is lamentable to reflect how considerable have been the sums thus obtained; how the easy credulity of benevolence has served the purposes of deep-laid fraud; how the money intended to lessen the sum of human calamity has, by its hasty or improvident appropriation, gone to the encouragement of imposture, idleness, and profligacy. The committee have a list of 600 worthless individuals, who, in this manner, are in the practice of committing their depredations on the public; and it is a striking fact, that of the begging letter cases investigated by your committee, there is, on an average, only one out of five which they have reported deserving attention.
"The labours of the committee have not been confined, however, to the detection of falsehood, or the exposure of fraud. It has also been their delightful task, after ascertaining the existence of positive wretchedness, to turn the tide of benevolence into its proper and legitimate channels: and the board will be gratified to learn, that, through the instrumentality of the begging-letter committee, many cases of real and unaffected misery have been relieved, effectually and permanently, by a consolidation of those contributions which, but for this system of investigation, would probably have been diffused and wasted amongst those importunate and worthless letter-writers, who have inundated the
town, during many years, with counterfeit representations of distress. And it is matter of congratulation, that while your committee have, in numberless instances, unmasked the impostor, and marred the pro spects of his disgraceful traffic, their single recommendation has sufficed to carry consolation and joy into the bosoms of worthy, and afflicted, and destitute families; that the society has thus multiplied its oppor. tunities of removing or assuaging human misery, and advancing its claims on the countenance and support of a benevolent public."
Guardian Society.--This institution, established "for the preser. vation of public morals, providing a temporary asylum, with suitable employment, for females who have deviated from the paths of virtue," has lately published a very able and interesting Report. From this document we learn that the following facts have been clearly established :-
"That houses of the worst possible description are established in various parts of the metropolis, daring and defying all attempts to put them down; that their agents are incessantly at work, disguised in various ways, labouring with the utmost ingenuity of wickedness to ensnare the ignorant and unwary; that the streets are thronged day and night with females, who are in intimate union with thieves of all sorts, and are associated with depraved characters of every description; that of these unhappy creatures, the average age is from eighteen to twentytwo; and that the period during which their life of wretchedness and sin continues (owing to irregular hours, exposure to the weather, and frequent intoxication) is generally not more than from two to three years."
The committee deplore the inadequacy of all the legislative enactments at present in force on this subject, it being proved" that the law, as it at present stands, is wholly unequal to the punishment of the guilty, or the protection of the innocent, to remove the evil, or to check its growth."
No one, whose sensibilities are at all alive to human misery, can wit ness those scenes of moral degradation which are constantly to be beheld in the streets of London, without feelings of disgust and pity. The committee forcibly remark
"Every outcast woman we behold is, in her sphere and daily walk, a moral pestilence. Need we appeal to the hearts of parents? They know full well how deep and constant a source of anxiety this subject is to them: this is the weapon that stabs domestic peace; that cuts asunder all those social and endearing ties which in their union constitute the sweetness and loveliness of civilized life: it severs the brother from the sister-the child from the parent--the husband from the wife. From the same fountain of iniquity flows every variety of theft, and riot, and murder; it is the prolific mother of crime; and it is only by a vigorous and unremitting attention to do all we can to stem this evil, that we may hope, as lovers of our country, to preserve its morals; as members of society, to promote its happiness; and as heads of fami.. lies, and filling the various parts of the domestic circle, to ensure the continuance of that pure and quiet bliss, which is comprised and expressed in one delightful word-our home."
One hundred and twenty-seven females have been under the care of this society during the last year, at the asylum, New-road St. George's in the East; of these, twelve have been provided for in service, twenty have been restored to their friends, two have been sent to their parishes, one has died, forty have been discharged or have withdrawn, and fifty-two now remain under the care of the society. Several instances are given of females who have been restored to their friends, placed in service, or married, and who are now conducting themselves with the greatest propriety.
Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb.-An historical sketch of the purposes, progress, and present state of this institution, was pub. lished in November last, by which it appears, that during the first fourteen years nearly 100 children were educated and rendered useful members of society. In the subsequent fourteen years upwards of 500 children obtained the same advantages, making in the whole 600 persons who have been enabled to participate in the general requirements of their fellow-creatures, and have, in consequence, been rescued from a state of deprivation and ignorance, which, when unrelieved and unin structed, often degenerates into confirmed fatuity.
The asylum was originally constructed for 150 children; but owing to the increased number of applications, it has finally been rendered adequate to the accommodation and instruction of 200, which is the present number of children in the institution.
It is scarcely necessary to observe, that few claims to compassion can be stronger than those which are formed by the imperfection of the senses; and, as in no case the development of the rational faculties is so entirely precluded, without persevering zeal and assistance, as in that of the deaf and dumb, it is possibly the most affecting of the whole. This peculiarity in the nature of their misfortunes is briefly but forci bly pointed out in the last year's Report, which concludes with a simple statement of many of the affecting cases which have been relieved; from which it appears, that in a selection of twenty families, which appear to have the most pressing claims on the society, the total number of children was 155, of whom no less than seventy-eight were deaf and dumb,
Marine Society.-The last Report of this Society contains the following statement of the disposal of boys from the 30th Sept. to the 31st Dec. 1821.
One hundred and one boys have been sent to sea, and 68 admitted in the last quarter: when received, they were in the greatest distress for the want of the necessaries of life.
The Marine Society has since its formation sent 33,087 boys to sea, and clothed nearly 40,000 men for the Royal Navy.
One hundred and sixty boys are kept on board the Society's ship; and the good effects of its management are extensive: the greatest satisfaction is derived from the general conduct of the boys, and the gratitude they manifest to their benefactors.
Seamen's Hospital.-At a late meeting of the Seamen's Hospital Society which was held at the London Tavern, a Report was made
by the committee of management of their proceedings for the last year. It enlarged on the utility of the Society, which the habits of seamen rendered highly necessary for their relief in sickness: for it can only be conceived by those who have much acquaintance with seamen, how great a dislike they feel to enter an hospital on shore. --The Report acknowledged the liberality of Government, in at once complying with the application made to them by the Society for an hospital-ship, for which purpose the Grampus was immediately given; and it also commended the lords of the admiralty for having promptly made the required alterations, by which it was rendered in the highest degree convenient for the comfortable accommodation of diseased seamen.
The Report also mentioned the great advantage that was derived from that regulation of the Society, by which any sick seaman who presented himself for admission was immediately received, without any recommendation or qualification being required. It appeared that 413 sick seamen had been received on board the Grampus, of whom 13 had died, and the rest were either cured or under cure.
Royal Humane Society.-The forty-seventh anniversary of this institution was celebrated by a numerous and highly respectable assemblage of noblemen and gentlemen. The cases which have come under the notice of the society, during the past year, amount to 1.50, of which number 131 were successful, and 19 unsuccessful. The number of successful cases added to that of former years amounts to 5020.
It was resolved, that Dr. Fothergill's legacy be immediately funded, pursuant to the directions of his will, for the purpose of presenting annual or triennial medals out of the produce, for the following objects, viz. for the best essay or discovery on the following subjects: 1st, "On the prevention of shipwreck." 2dly, "On the preservation of shipwrecked mariners."
Captain Marriott, R. N. and several other gentlemen who had been instrumental in saving the lives of their fellow-creatures, received honorary medals from the hands of the noble president on this occasion.
House of Refuge. Dublin -The association for improving the condition of female prisoners in the city and county of Dublin, have lately directed the attention of the public to the pitiable condition of the numerous forlorn and destitute females, who are discharged from the gaols of that city. When these outcasts leave the prison, they have no place to go to, and are frequently driven to the commission of crime as no persons will take them into their houses for want of character, and other circumstances equally repelling. It is a melancholy fact, that not long since two wretched females actually drowned themseives a few days after they were discharged from prison.
These and many other deplorable cases which have come under the observation of the visitors, induced them to take immediate steps towards establishing a Refuge for such destitute females as evince, on their removal from prison, a desire to reform, and withdraw from their depraved connexions; willingly submitting to hard fare, strict discipline, and continued labour, until such time as the superintendants may feel justified in recommending them to proper situations.