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charge of a bro:her, and seldom manifest any desire to get way. Such is the influence of the mild and christian sway to which they are subjected. We are glad that occasion bas been furnished for the following frank acknowledgement, which creditable to those wlio make it:
"Our sist ör asylums have not allowed their pecuiir views of duty to interrupt a harmony we on our part, would certainly be slow to interrupi.” (p. 11.)
We learn that since the organization of this society, the total amount expended by it is $651,108 17, of which less than one-half has come out of the public treasury, the remainder being contributed by the catholic community. There is much question as to the propriety of state aid for institutions under denominational control, but we have no disposition to enter into the controversy. On this point we will give an extract from the report before us, which will show how the matter in regarded by the catholics, who certainly have some reason for their position:
“Precisely as we attain the thorough christian and secular education of children in the mass (not including now the inmates of our strictly eleemosynary institutions), at an expense (oumbers and expense being considered) not one-third of what the city is forced to pay for similar work, qualified by the very questionable consolation of having all religious truth in their schools left strictly and severely untaught ; so we can well afford, by means of self-restraints, which nothing but profound convictions of their value can either practice or explain, to name at least a third of the cost of managing all eleemosynary undertakings aiming at the alleviation of the sufferings of penniless and friendless humanity.
When the opinions now prevailing on the subject of the state's province in relation to works of charity and education shall hare ex. ercised their urquestionable right to be no longer what they are, but to approach something nearer to what they will be, our present offers, we trust, will be g'adly remembered, and be as confidently re-invited as they will, on our side, be cordially renewed.” (p. 9.)
We learn from the report that the number of children receiving the bencfits of the Protectory, during the year 1868, was, 1,304, of whom 1,069 were boys, and 235 girls. The total outlay of the institution for the year, including construction and repairs, was $125,337 39. The receipts for the same period were, from the city and county of New York, $90,139 00 ; from the state, $4,905 67; from private sources, $23,267 07; from the labor of children, $32,954 71; and from the farm attached to the institution, $1,836 50. It looks well that so much can be credited to the labor of the children, in the various trades carried on in the establishi.ent, and to the farm connected therewith. It is one of the best features of the institution that it teaches the children to labor, where practicable, at trades which will be useful to them through life.
It is in contemplation to establish, somewhere in the west, a branch home for such of the children as it is best to remove where they may have advantages which cannot be obtained for them in the city. It is desired to secure the co-operation of some state west of the Mississippi; and with this end in view, Brother Tellow, the rector of the boys' department of the Protectory, an intelligent, humane Prussian, heartily devoted to the good work, bas made an extended tour to that region. We hope that this plan may be carried out, and thus extend the benefits of a really reformatory institution.
Annual Reports, Statements, &c., of various Insurance Companies, with
other Documents. New York, Boston, Ilartford, Philadelphia,
&c. 1870. Among the many speeches reported by that accomplished stenographer, Plato, is one in which a new disciple of Socrates naively remarks to his master that the law would be a very good thing were it not that it sometimes punishes benefactors as well as malefactors. “Very true, it does," says the philosopher, “but don't you think that an honest man should be willing to suffer more or less in order that a rogue should be found out and punished ?” “Well," replies Phædo, “I had not regarded it in that light. Now that I see the reason of it I do not feel half so much offended with the inn-keeper who searched my pockets and even tore my coat a few nights since for some spoons stolen from tlie table while I happened to dine there."--Soc. “But were the spoons found ?” “Oh, yes; but the thief fared better than I who knew nothing of the matter. When the purloined articles were felt in bis pocket he slipped some money into the owner's palm. This made the thief an honest man, while my companions and I, who would meddle witli nobody's share, still remained under suspicion in the eyes of such of the lookers-on as did not understand the trick."-Soc. “Ah! but the thief was found out; if he was not exposed and pun-. ished it was because the inn-keeper was not what lie ought to be. Remember that all who are robbed are not such inn-keepers as your late, host."*
Now, this is the light in which we regard the investigation into. the condition of our insurance companies recently ordered by the legislature. Whether the New York legislature be like tlie Athenian tavern-keeper, remains to be seen; in the meantime, we cannot say that we have much more confidence in the former than we should have had in the latter bad he lived in our time. Accordingly we are not surprised that some of our best as well as our worst companies are uneasy; the former are uneasy lest they be subjected to unmerited suspicion, while the latter are uneasy lest they should be found out and exposed.
It is true that the two kinds of uneasiness are different; an honest man often suffers from suspicion, but rarely long; time generally, if not invariably, vindicates him. Even while he sustains most injury he has the consolation to reflect that it is wholly undeserved; and that if the public only knew the truth instead of eliciting public censure he would command the public gratitude.
Most cheerfully do we admit that there are underwriters of whom this may be as truly said as of the members of any other profession or calling whatever. The misfortune for the public is that there is such a paucity of this class when compared to the opposite. Not but we have
* Plato, περί κλεπτοσύνη.
sufficient henest underwriters; we have faithful companies enough in New York, Newark, Boston, and Hartford, not to mention other American cities, which have, doubtless, honest companies also, to insure every person who wishes to be insured, or can be induced by legitimate means to take a policy. As the public memory is proverbially defective, and since, were the fact otherwise, we could not suppose that all who read these remarks have also read our former remarks on the same subject, we will take occasion to show before we close, more nostro, that there is no lack of reliable underwriters in the great republic; nay, we think we can show, without indulging in any lıyperbolical statements, that tlie underwriters of the United States are as much superior to those of any other country as our great lakes and rivers are to those of any other country. That we are not actuated by excessive patriotism, or any selfish motive in making this statement, will, we think, be admitted by those aware of our comparisons between our literary institutions and those of the principal countries of Europe. There are no other institutions whose prosperity and high standardi would afford us so much sincere pleasure as our colleges and universities; were we at all prone to boasting it is of these we would boast loudest did we feel that we could do so justly or truly. But we regret that we can not; the best we can do is to indicate those of our colleges and universities which make the nearest approach to the corresponding institutions of England, France, and Germany, and endeavor to induce those of an inferior grade to imitate their example.
Nor is it by any means inexplicable that while each of the countries mentioned excels ours in learning, literature, science, philosophy, and the fine arts, our country excels all in its system of life insurance. Those who reflect a little will admit that the two facts are consistent enough with each other. Although it is necessary that underwriters should be intelligent men, it is not necessary that they should be profound scholars or philosophers. Again, although there is less learning in this country than in England, France, or Germany, we have at the same time more general intelligence. Then, if we add to this the fact, that according to the universal verdict of Europe the forte of America lies in making and hoarding money, it will be acknowledged that after all there is nothing strange in the superiority of our insurance system. If we can make piles of money for ourselves and for those who employ our skill for that purpose better than others, why should not our labors in that field inspire more confidence, accordingly, both at home and abroad? It is just as natural and as logical to purchase a policy of insurance on this ground as to purchase a cargo of silk, a cargo of broad cloth, or of any other commodity whatever. When sensible people make experiments in certain kinds of manufactures, or in agricultural productions, and find their efforts a failure, just because they are sensible they will try whether it will not be better after all to depend upon the foreign market for a supply.
The English, French, and Germans have in turn attempted to cultivate cotton and tobacco; not succeeding at home, some of them have tried the same experiments in their colonies: but although in some instances they have produced very passable cotton, and equally passable tobacco, they are now pretty well satisfied that the American articles are the best, and, upon the whole, the most profitable to deal in.
There is no reason why our European friends may not in due time arrive at a similar conclusion in regard to American policies of life insurunce; and, what is more, not a few of them have done so already. The number would ere this have been a bundred fold larger than it is were it not that there are so many of the class whose sleiglit-of-hand operations we indicate to a greater or less extent in every number of our Journal, in order to put the unwary on their guard against losing their money, but at the same time to contribute to vindicate a system which is not only beneficent in itself, but is founded on principles which are as strictly scientific as those upon which Newton founded his law of gravitation,
An honest Englishman who had been insured in the defunct Albert Life, and therefore feels somewhat in the condition of the burned child, makes use of the following argument: “ How are we to know the genuine from the spurious ? You tell us yourself that for every one honest, reliable underwriter, there are at least twenty in your country that are neither honest nor reliable. It is not long ago since you told us about such companies as the Scribner & Smith Vampire Mutual, the Batterson Cross and Crooked Road Mutual; the Bage & Shader Great Paste Diamond Mutual, etc., etc. Since this class constitute, on your own admission, the large majority of American insurance companies, how can we foreigners have much confider.ce that in buying such policies we can lit upon the right kind ?”
At first sight there seems a good deal of force in this; but would not the same argument apply to any of those wares which England, France, or Germany takes most pride in exporting. Everybody knows, for example, that there is excellent cutlery manufactured in Sheffield; but all properly informed on the subject are equally aware that the very worst cutlery is manufactured in the same place. Nowhere else can we find a better knife or razor; but for every one of genuine well-tempered steel, there are at least twenty which have not a particle of steel in them, though most of them are duly stamped“ best steel.” Do we not see such “Sheffield steel,” daily, in abundance ?
It is also true that the best diamonds in the world are to be found in Paris ; but who will deny that more spurious diamonds are manufactured in that city than in all other cities combined? Again, no one questions the superiority of genuine champagne, There is but one limited district in France in which it is produced ; no district anywhere can pretend to rival this. Every intelligent person is aware that for every bottle of genuine champagne manufactured at least fifty bottles of spurious champagne are manufactured. We might give many other examples, but these will suffice. Now, is it not true, that although myriads of spurious knives and razors are manufactured at Sheffield, myriads of spurious diamonds at Paris, and myriads of bottles of spurious champagne in the Champagne district, Sheffield, Paris, and Champagne are everywhere recognised as the places in which the best articles in their respective specialities are to be found ?
The philosophy of it is this: children are sent to school not merely that they may learn to read, write, and cyplier; they are expected also to learn sense—to learn to be able to distinguish steel from pot-metal, diamond from paste, etc. We do not mean that every parent who sends his child to school has all these ideas in his head; wc merely desire to show, in passing, how useful intelligence is, and how injurious is ignorance. By means of the former those who possess it can avoid being imposed upon in a thousand instances, whereas in a thousand instances those who do not possess it are duped and swindled. If the former are offered a bottle purporting to be champagne, covered with a long eulogy on its superior virtues, they do not on this account accept it for all that it is represented; nor are the purchasers of diamonds or cutlery less cautious. Each look at the trade-mark; enquire about the manufacturer ; try to ascertain something about his character, etc. It is only the ignorant and thoughtless who pursue the opposite course, and believe that what is most praised by its owner, and sold cheapest, must be the best.
We do not pretend to be at all surprised, therefore, to learn that several of our life companies are preparing to establish agencies in all the principal cities of Europe. We believe the Knickerbocker, the New England Mutual, and the Equitable have done so already; and if they have, it is certain, at all events that the prestige of American underwriting will not suffer at their hands. We only wish they may be supported in their efforts iv the new field by companies like the Security Life, the Phenix Mutual, the Mutual Benefit, the Manhattan, the Continental, the National, (N. Y.,) &c. We feel convinced that in less than seven years these companies would establish as decided a preference throughout Europe, for American policies, as that which is now given to American cotton or American tobacco.
It is true, at the same time, that their progress will be slow in proportion as certain other companies are encouraged to follow them; for we learn that some of our worst, as well as our best companies, have their eyes turned in that direction. This is one reason why we regard the contemplated investigation by the legislature as quite opportune. It is indeed too bad that men of tried integrity should be subjected to the same ordeal as men whose integrity is at best of a very questionable character; but the former sliould remember the case of the stolen