twelve shillings a week; his lodging costs him one shilling a week; it is impossible for him to live on the remainder of his wages with a wife and only two children. Now, by the zeal of biblical preachers, and the traditional improvidence of the fathers, they have on the average eight children, sometimes fourteen or sixteen. The result is that they can not dispense with assistance, either public or private. Not a day-laborer in the field, says Mrs. Grote, lives or supports his family with his wages alone; he subsists partly upon his savings and partly on alms. Having no hope of becoming a proprietor, like the French peasant, the English rustic is prodigal and exacting in the matter of the comfortable; and, as his fecundity realizes the ideal of the Old Testament, his improvidence realizes that of the New. The fecundity and improvidence of the workmen in the factories are still greater.
Gold may be thrown out by the handful in vain; it is impossible to fill this sort of a cask of the Danaïdes; pure charity, while it may relieve the suffering, is incompetent to suppress the causes of misery and supply justice. Neither can religion replace science. There is one thing, says Mr. Spencer, which calls for especially severe reprobation; it is the waste of money inspired by a false interpretation of the well-known maxim, "Charity covers a multitude of sins." "For in the many whom this interpretation leads to believe that by large donations they can compound for evil deeds, we may trace an element of positive baseness—an effort to get a good place in another world, no matter at what injury to fellow-creatures."
But, we ask, does Mr. Spencer see where the evil and the remedy really are when he attributes the carelessness and the idleness of the poor to heredity, and is especially concerned to prevent the transmission of these vices by the blood to future generations? The best processes of Darwinian selection would be without important results in the absence of good education, and education would itself have little power in the absence of just laws. These two essential elements which the Darwinians have overlooked—education and laws—must, then, be reinstated in the problem.
[To be continued.]
|TRACES OF A PRE-INDIAN PEOPLE.|
BY the cautious archæologist all evidences of ancient man in Eastern North America—exclusive of true palæolithic implements—are wisely referred to those Indian tribes that, to within a comparatively recent period, were the sole occupants of the territory named. Perhaps, however, the time has come when it may be asked if all the