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gave constant employment to not fewer than 250 printers and bookbinders. Another great source of information to the country is the increase of circulating libraries. In the year 1770, there were only four circulating libraries in the metropolis: there are at present one hundred; and about nine hundred more scattered throughout the country. Besides these, there are from 1500 to 2000 book clubs, distributing throughout the kingdom large masses of information on history, voyages, and every species of science by which the sum of human knowledge can be increased, or the human mind improved. Here I may also observe on the increase of periodical works. Of these there are two (the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews), many articles in which are written with an ability equal to some of the best original writings of former times, and having a greater circulation than all the periodical works of thirty years ago put together.
"While so many and such fruitful sources of information are thus opened to the higher orders, the means of improving the minds of the poorer class have advanced at a pace not less rapid or less steady. First came the establishment, about five-and-twenty years ago, of the Lancasterian Schools, which have distributed so widely the blessings of early instruction; and after these followed the no less beneficial system of National Schools, which afford to the poor education suitable to their state and condition in life. In addition to those means of improvement, another has been opened not less advantageous to the poor. I allude to the great facilities which at present exist of getting the most valuable works at a rate so very cheap as to bring them within the compass of all. Some time ago an establishment was commenced by a number of individuals with a capital of not less than a million, for the purpose of printing standard works at a cheap rate. By that establishment, the history of Hume, the works of Buffon, the Encyclopedia, and other valuable productions, were sold in small numbers at sixpence each; and by this means sources of the highest and most useful instruction were placed within the poor man's reach. I regret much to add that this valuable establishment was very much checked in its operations by the effect of one of those acts for the suppression of knowledge which were passed in the year 1819. I regret this the more, as one of the rules of that establishment has been not to allow the venders of their works to sell any book on the political controversies of the day.
"In noticing the means which have contributed so much to the mental improvement of the great body of the people, I ought not to omit noticing the very good effects which have resulted from the exertions of the Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and other valuable associations of a similar character. Since the commencement of the Bible Society it has applied the immense sum of 900,000l. to the laudable purpose of disseminating the knowledge of the Holy Scrip tures. From the Religious Tract Society not fewer than five millions of tracts are distributed annually, and the Society for Christian Knowledge distributes one million. These facts will show the rapid strides which have been made by the public in the improvement of general knowledge,
"I will now come to the state of political knowledge in the country. This has been greatly augmented by the extraordinary increase in the circulation of newspapers. Some time ago I moved for a return of the number and circulation of the several newspapers printed in London and in the country.
That return has not been made in the manner in which I had intended; but from the account I was enabled to procure, it appears that there were not less than 23,600,000 newspapers sold in the country in the last year. Of these the daily London papers sold above 11,000,000, the country papers above 7,000,000, and the weekly papers above 2,000,000. From another source I have been enabled to procure more particular information as to the increase in the number of papers within the last thirty or forty years; the substance of which I will read to the house."
In Sir James Mackintosh's late speech, on moving for leave to bring into Parliament a Bill to amend the Criminal Code, he touched on the labours of those highly interesting females, who, with Mrs. Fry at their head, have wrought so extraordinary a revolution in some of the prisons of the metropolis, and have diffused a portion of their spirit over the whole kingdom.
“The examples of reformation which have hitherto been afforded,” said the orator, "have chiefly occurred in the case of female offenders. To produce that reformation is, perhaps, the only public service which females in this country can render to the state. They are enabled to render it, not by the slightest departure from the delicacy and modesty of their sex, but by a more tenacious adherence to that kind and persevering benevolence which is one of the most graceful and endearing qualities of the female character. We have all heard a great deal of the benevolence of a community of females in certain catholic countries, called by the affecting name of Sisters of Charity. It is their task to visit hospitals, to attend the sick, and to perform other offices of a charitable and benevolent nature. But those Catholic Sisters of Charity are bound by certain vows; they are under the controul of peculiar religious obligations; they have previously relinquished all the duties of social life. Our Protestant Sisters of Charity are bound by no vows; they are not under the controul of any peculiar religious engagements; and in discharging the various duties of social life, they afford examples of all the domestic virtues, and yet they go a step further than their illustrious Catholic models. Not content with visiting hospitals-not content with administering to bodily disease and infirmity, we behold the purest and most virtuous of their sex voluntarily engaged in the daily contemplation of depravity and wickedness in their most hideous form-that of a profligate and abandoned woman. We observe them coming in contact with the lowest and vilest of
their species. We see them exerting themselves with as much earnestness and ardour to rescue and amend, as the villains by whom, probably, the objects of their generous compassion have been betrayed, have manifested in depraving and destroying. Their exultation in saving is as great as that of the man of the world in alluring to perdition. I am entitled to say all this of the incomparable persons to whom I allude, for I have seen much of them. When engaged in their benevolent occupation, I have visited them in company with females of distinguished ability, of keen observation, and of a strong sense of the ridiculous. By those females all their actions have been closely watched and remarked, and the result has been, that, although prepared to witness benevolence and humanity, they have been utterly astonished at the calm good sense, at the repugnance to any exaggeration, at the steady prudence and caution invariably manifested. Never could my friends sufficiently express their admiration at seeing those who were engaged in a work that might naturally tempt display, conduct themselves with a modesty that at once evinced an unwillingness to receive even the reward of approbation. The energetic benevolence of their character was easily excited by the exhibition of distress, but their equanimity was incapable of being disturbed by vanity. Sir, it was impossible to quit such a scene without a strong feeling of self-congratulation at the consciousness of belonging to the same species as the inestimable individuals engaged in it."
MONASTERY OF ST. BERNARD.
Statement relative to the Monastery of St Bernard, by Professor Pictet, made at the first Meeting of the Session of 1821 of the Helvetic Society of Natural Sciences sitting at Basle.
"The generous care which the monks of the monastery of St. Bernard take of travellers in distress, and theif eagerness to preserve them from danger even at the risk of their own lives, is known and admired by all Europe. But what (and this is generally but very little known) renders their pious devotion still more admirable, is the danger they incur by residing in the building which they occupy; it frequently proves fatal to their health: at the end of a few years they are attacked by sharp and incurable rheumatisms, and compelled to descend to the plains, where, though still young, they drag on a miserable existence, which offers nothing but pain and sorrow.
"From the progress which art, guided by science, has made in our day, in the distribution of caloric in the interior of buildings, this serious inconvenience might probably be remedied. But the funds of the establishment are so small, that they only enable them to subsist very frugally, and distribute annually from 30 to 35,000 daily allowances of nourishment to travellers of every sort and description.
"A Professor of the Russian University of Dorpat, struck with these considerations, invited last year all the philanthropists who should become acquainted with it to come forward to the support and assistance or these good monks, by a subscription, the amount of which should be employed to procure the desired amelioration. We published this invitation in the BiblioWe have received some contritheque Universelle, and not without effect. butions; but these sums are very inadequate to defray the necessary expenses for heating the inhabited part of this vast edifice.
"When this our first object is accomplished, there remains still more to be done: Mr. Prevost, one of my sons-in-law, visited this monastery only 15 days ago accompanied by his son (whom the president admitted to this meeting), when Mr. Prevost was informed, and afterwards convinced himself by examining the building, that the southern front of the edifice requires very great repairs, without which it is in danger of falling into ruins. This increase of necessary expenses calls for an increase of efforts to meet it.
"I thought the most prompt and efficient mode of obtaining this result would be, to give to the deplorable situation of these very useful men the greatest notoriety, by making it known to the whole of the Helvetic Society in the present session, and by soliciting its members to mention it to their friends, and to all the friends of humanity. I am not even sure if some portion of the funds dormant in our chest ought not to be destined to this purpose. Naturalists are more frequently called on than other travellers to expose themselves on the summits near the monastery, and thus to put to the test the courage and adroitness of the monks in the hour of danger. In this point of view, the sum which we may vote will not be a mere charitable offering, but in some measure the payment of a debt."
SOCIETY FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF ARTS, MANUFACTURES AND COMMERCE.
The Anniversary Meeting of this excellent Society was held on May 26th, when the usual rewards adjudged to the various candidates for their meritorious productions were presented, before an assemblage of rank and beauty seldom equalled, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the place appropriated for the interesting ceremony.
The Theatre probably never had to boast of so numerous and fashionable an attendance. By 12 o'clock the boxes, pit, and lower gallery, were filled with ladies and gentlemen; and the upper gallery was appropriated for a military band in full uniform.
The stage also contained a numerous body of ladies and gentlemen; and at each side the respective candidates were seated, and so arranged as to facilitate their introduction to the Royal Chairman at the presentation of the medals, &c. The Theatre was lighted up with additional chandeliers.
About half-past twelve the Duke of Sussex arrived at the Theatre. And the company received H. R. H. standing, and with great applause, while the band played "God save the King."
On taking the chair, H. R. H. was surrounded by several of the English and foreign nobility and gentry; and Mr. Aikin, the Secretary, was called on to read the Report, which furnished a most flattering description of the Society, and in many instances proved the beneficial effects derived from the present mode of encouragement by rewards, &c. It was received with immense applause.
At its conclusion, the candidates, intended to be rewarded by the Society, were separately ushered to the presence of the Royal Chairman, after having their names, and the nature of their performances, announced by the Secre tary, and each of their productions was placed for the inspection of the company: the paintings, &c. were hung on the front of the first and second tier of boxes and at the sides of the stage.
The rewards first distributed were in agricultural and rural economy. The large Gold Medal was presented to Messrs. Cowley and Haines, Winslow, for drawing turnips in the month of November 1821, and preserving the same in a sound state fit for feeding cattle to the end of April, 1822. The Gold Ceres Medal was also presented to the same gentlemen, for cultivating four acres of the White Poppy (Papaver somniferum), and extracting from it 60lbs. of solid opium, equal to the best Turkey opium.
The large Gold Medal was given to J. Peart, Esq., Settle, Yorkshire, for reclaiming 56 acres of Waste Moor Land.
In the Polite Arts, several most interesting and original productions of young ladies and gentlemen were rewarded with gold and silver medals, and complimented with an appropriate address by His Royal Highness.
In Manufactures there were many peculiarly interesting inventions and improvements, which were amply rewarded; the most striking were those of Mrs. Wells, Connecticut, United States, who received the large Silver Medal, and 20 guineas, for a correct imitation of Leghorn; and Mr. Starkey of Huddersfield for fine broad cloth, made entirely of wool from New South Wales, the Gold Isis Medal.
In Chemistry and Mineralogy, two medals were bestowed for a communication respecting the nature and preparation of the stones used in Tuscany for grinding fine flour: and a discovery of glaze for vessels, of common red earthenware, not prejudicial to the health of those who use them.
In Mechanics, H. Gordon, Esq. Captain R. N. the Silver Vulcan Medal, for a Life Boat. The large Silver Medal to Lieut. Littlewort R. N. for an improved ship's compass.
Silver Medal to J. Watson (blind), for a system of musical notation for the use of the blind-and a silver medal to Mr. Bailey, for an improved method of opening and shutting the windows of churches and other public buildings.
At this stage of the proceedings the risible faculties of the auditory were put into motion by the announcement of a reward of five guineas to Mr. S. Bowles for a Rat Trap, on which the instrument of death was laid on the table before His Royal Highness.
In Colonies and Trade--The Gold large Medal to Mr. J. M'Arthur, for importing 18,130lbs. of fine wool from New South Wales, the produce of his own flock.
Several other medals were awarded to other gentlemen, and the whole gave infinite satisfaction.
The General Meeting of this Institution was held at the Freemasons' Tavern on the 22d of May,―H. R. H. the Duke of York in the Chair, supported by the French Ambassador, the Duke of Somerset, Lords Torrington and Bolton, Mr. Canning, Sir B. Hobhouse, Sir J. C. Hippisley, and several other persons of distinction. After the usual toasts, Mr. Canning, Sir B. Hobhouse, and Lord Torrington addressed the meeting in behalf of the Fund. Dr. Yates delivered a very interesting Report of the proceedings of the Committee; but, as he justly remarked, the delicacy necessary to be observed in the distribution of their funds was such as precluded the Committee from