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ESSAYS, Political, Economical and Philosophical. Volume 1. by Benjamin Rumford

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It will likewise be necessary sometimes to punish the obstinate;
but recourse should never be had to punishments till GOOD USAGE
has first been fairly tried and found to be ineffectual.
The delinquent must be made to see that he has deserved the
punishment, and when it is inflicted, care should be taken to
make him feel it. But in order that the punishment may have the
effects intended, and not serve to irritate the person punished,
and excite personal hatred and revenge, instead of disposing the
mind to serious reflection, it must be administered in the most
solemn and most DISPASSIONATE manner; and it must be continued no
longer than till the FIRST DAWN of reformation appears.

How much prudence and caution are necessary in dispensing rewards
and punishments;--and yet--how little attention is in general
paid to those important transactions!

REWARDS and PUNISHMENTS are the only means by which mankind can
be controlled and directed; and yet, how often do we see them
dispensed in the most careless--most imprudent--and most improper
manner!--how often are they confounded!--how often misapplied!--
and how often do we see them made the instruments of gratifying
the most sordid private passions!

To the improper use of them may be attributed all the disorders
of civil society.--To the improper or careless use of them may,
most unquestionably, be attributed the prevalence of poverty,
misery, and mendicity in most countries, and particularly in
Great Britain, where the healthfulness and mildness of the
climate--the fertility of the soil--the abundance of fuel--the
numerous and flourishing manufactures--the extensive commerce--
and the millions of acres of waste lands which still remain to be
cultivated, furnish the means of giving useful employment to all
its inhabitants, and even to a much more numerous population.

But if instead of encouraging the laudable exertions of useful
industry, and assisting and relieving the unfortunate and the
infirm--(the only real objects of charity,)--the means designed
for those purposes are so misapplied as to operate as rewards to
idleness and immorality, the greater the sums are which are
levied on the rich for the relief of the poor, the more numerous
will that class become, and the greater will be their profligacy,
their insolence, and their shameless and clamorous importunity.

There is, it cannot be denied, in man, a natural propensity to
sloth and indolence; and though habits of industry,--like all
habits,--may render those exertions easy and pleasant which at
first are painful and irksome, yet no person, in any situation,
ever chose labour merely for its own sake. It is always the
apprehension of some greater evil,--or the hope of some enjoyment,
by which mankind are compelled or allured, when they take to
industrious pursuits.

In the rude state of savage nature the wants of men are few,
and these may all be easily supplied without the commission of
any crime; consequently industry, under such circumstances,
is not necessary, nor can indolence be justly considered as a vice;
but in a state of civil society, where population is great,
and the means of subsistence not to be had without labour,
or without defrauding others of the fruits of their industry,
idleness becomes a crime of the most fatal tendency,
and consequently of the most heinous nature; and every means
should be used to discountenance, punish, and prevent it.

And we see that Providence, ever attentive to provide remedies
for the disorders which the progress of society occasions in the
world, has provided for idleness--as soon as the condition of
society renders it a vice, but not before--a punishment every way
suited to its nature, and calculated to prevent its prevalency
and pernicious consequences:--This is WANT,--and a most
efficacious remedy it is for the evil,--when the WISDOM OF MAN
does not interfere to counteract it, and prevent its salutary

But reserving the father investigation of this part of my subject
--that respecting the means to be used for encouraging industry--
to some future opportunity, I shall now endeavour to show, in a
few words, how, under the most unfavourable circumstances,
an arrangement for putting an end to mendicity, and introducing
a spirit of industry among the Poor, might be introduced and
carried into execution.

If I am obliged to take a great circuit, in order to arrive at my
object, it must be remembered, that where a vast weight is to be
raised by human means, a variety of machinery must necessarily be
provided; and that it is only by bringing all the different
powers employed to act together to the same end, that the purpose
in view can be attained. It will likewise be remembered, that as
no mechanical power can be made to act without a force be applied
to it sufficient to overcome the resistance, not only of the vis
inertia, but also of friction, so no moral agent can be brought
to act to any given end without sufficient motives; that is to
say, without such motives as THE PERSON WHO IS TO ACT may deem
sufficient, not only to decide his opinion, but also to OVERCOME

The object proposed,--the relief of the Poor, and the providing
for their future comfort and happiness, by introducing among them
a spirit of order and industry, is such as cannot fail to meet
with the approbation of every well-disposed person.--But I will
suppose, that a bare conviction of the UTILITY of the measure is
not sufficient alone to overcome the indolence of the Public, and
induce them to engage ACTIVELY in the undertaking;--yet as people
are at all times, and in all situations, ready enough to do what
they FEEL to be their interest, if, in bringing forward a scheme
of public utility, the proper means be used to render it so
interesting as to awaken the CURIOSITY, and fix the attention of
the Public, no doubts can be entertained of the possibility of
carrying it into effect.

In arranging such a plan, and laying it before the Public,
no small degree of knowledge of mankind, and particularly of the
various means of acting on them, which are peculiarly adapted to
the different stages of civilization, or rather of the political
refinement and corruption of society, would, in most cases,
be indispensably necessary; but with that knowledge, and a good
share of zeal, address, prudence, and perseverance, there are few
schemes, in which an honest man would wish to be concerned, that
might not be carried into execution in any country.

In such a city as London, where there is great wealth;--public
spirit;--enterprize;--and zeal for improvement; little more,
I flatter myself, would be necessary to engage all ranks to unite
in carrying into effect such a scheme, than to show its public
utility; and, above all, to prove that there IS NO JOB at the
bottom of it.

It would, however, be advisable, in submitting to the Public,
Proposals for forming such an Establishment, to show that those
who are invited to assist in carrying it into execution, would
not only derive from it much pleasure and satisfaction, but also
many real advantages; for too much pains can never be taken to
interest the Public individually, and directly, in the success of
measures tending to promote the general good of society.

The following Proposals, which I will suppose to be made by some
person of known and respectable character, who has courage enough
to engage in so arduous an undertaking, will show my ideas upon
this subject in the clearest manner.--Whether they are well
founded, must be left to the reader to determine.--As to myself,
I am so much persuaded that the scheme here proposed, by way of
example, and merely for illustration, might be executed, that,
had I time for the undertaking, (which I have not,) I should not
hesitate to engage in it.

PROPOSALS for forming by private subscription, an ESTABLISHMENT
for feeding the Poor, and giving them useful Employment;

And also for furnishing Food at a cheap Rate to others who may
stand in need of such Assistance. Connected with an INSTITUTION
for introducing, and bringing forward into general Use, new
Inventions and Improvements, particularly such as relate to the
Management of Heat and the saving of Fuel; and to various other
mechanical Contrivances by which DOMESTIC COMFORT and ECONOMY may
be promoted.
Submitted to the Public,
By A. B.

The Author of these Proposals declares solemnly, in the face of
the whole world, that he has no interested view whatever in
making these Proposals; but is actuated merely and simply by a
desire to do good, and promote the happiness and prosperity of
society, and the honour and reputation of his country.--That he
never will demand, accept, or receive any pay or other recompence
or reward of any kind whatever from any person or persons,
for his services or trouble, in carrying into execution the proposed
scheme, or any part thereof, or for anything he may do or perform
in future relating to it, or to any of its details or concerns.

And, moreover, that he never will avail himself of any
opportunities that may offer in the execution of the plan
proposed, for deriving profit, emolument, or advantage of any
kind, either for himself, his friends, or connections;--but that,
on the contrary, he will take upon himself to be personally
responsible to the Public, and more immediately to the
Subscribers to this Undertaking, that NO PERSON shall FIND MEANS
to make a job of the proposed Establishment, or of any of the
details of its execution, or of its management, as long as the
Author of these Proposals remains charged with its direction.

With respect to the particular objects and extent of the proposed
Establishment, these may be seen by the account which is given of
them at the head of these Proposals; and as to their utility,
there can be no doubts. They certainly must tend very powerfully
to promote the comfort, happiness, and prosperity of society,
and will do honour to the nation, as well as to those individuals
who may contribute to carry them into execution.

With the regard to the possibility of carrying into effect the
proposed scheme;--the facility with which this may be done, will
be evident when the method of doing it, which will now be pointed
out, is duly considered.

As soon as a sum shall be subscribed sufficient for the purposes
intended, the Author of these Proposals will, by letters, request
a meeting of the TWENTY-FIVE persons who shall stand highest on
the list of subscribers, for the purpose of examining the
subscription-lists, and of appointing, by ballot, a committee,
composed of five persons, skilled in the details of building,
and in accounts, to collect the subscriptions, and to superintend
the execution of the plan.--This committee, which will be chosen
from among the subscribers at large, will be authorised and
directed, to examine all the works that will be necessary in
forming the Establishment, and see that they are properly
performed, and at reasonable prices;--to examine and approve of
all contracts for work, or for materials;--to examine and check
all accounts of expenditures of every kind, in the execution of
the plan;--and to give orders for all payments.

The general arrangement of the Establishment, and of all its
details, will be left to the Author of these Proposals; who will
be responsible for their success.--He engages, however, in the
prosecution of this business, to adhere faithfully to the plan
here proposed, and never to depart from it on any pretence

With regard to the choice of a spot for erecting this Establishment,
a place will be chosen within the limits of the town, and in a
convenient and central a situation as possible, where ground
enough for the purpose is to be had at a reasonable price[5].
--The agreement for the purchase, or hire of this ground, and of
the buildings, if there be any on it, will, like all other
bargains and contracts, be submitted to the committee for their
approbation and ratification.

The order in which it is proposed to carry into execution the
different parts of the scheme is as follows:--First, to establish
a public kitchen for furnishing Food to such poor persons as
shall be recommended by the subscribers for such assistance.

This Food will be of four different sorts, namely,
No. I. A nourishing soup composed of barley--pease--potatoes,
and bread; seasoned with salt, pepper, and fine herbs.--The
portion of this soup, one pint and a quarter, weighing about
twenty ounces, will cost ONE PENNY.

No. II. A rich pease-soup, well seasoned;--with fried bread;--
the portion (twenty ounces) at TWO PENCE.

No. III. A rich and nourishing soup, or barley, pease, and
potatoes, properly seasoned;--with fried bread; and two ounces of
boiled bacon, cut fine and put into it.--The portion (20 ounces)

No. IV. A good soup; with boiled meat and potatoes or cabbages,
or other vegetables; with 1/4 lb. of good rye bread, the portion

Adjoining to the kitchen, four spacious eating-rooms will be
fitted up, in each of which one only of the four different kinds
of Food prepared in the kitchen will be served.

Near the eating-rooms, other rooms will be neatly fitted up,
and kept constantly clean, and well warmed; and well lighted in
the evening; in which the Poor who frequent the Establishment
will be permitted to remain during the day, and till a certain
hour at night.--They will be allowed and even ENCOURAGED to bring
their work with them to these rooms; and by degrees they will be
furnished with utensils, and raw materials for working for their
own emolument, by the Establishment. Praises and rewards will be
bestowed on those who most distinguish themselves by their
industry, and by their peaceable and orderly behaviour.

In the fitting up of the kitchen, care will be taken to introduce
every useful invention and improvement, by which fuel may be
saved, and the various processes of cookery facilitated, and
rendered less expensive; and the whole mechanical arrangement
will be made as complete and perfect as possible, in order that
it may serve as a model for imitation; and care will be likewise
be taken in fitting up the dining-halls, and other rooms
belonging to the Establishment, to introduce the most approved
fire-places,--stoves,--flews, and other mechanical contrivances
for heating rooms and passages;--as also in lighting up the house
to make use of a variety of the best, most economical, and most
beautiful lamps; and in short, to collect together such an
assemblage of useful and elegant inventions, in every part of the
Establishment, as to render it not only an object of public
curiosity, but also of the most essential and extensive utility.

And although it will not be possible to make the Establishment
sufficiently extensive to accommodate all the Poor of so large a
city, yet it may easily be made large enough to afford a
comfortable asylum to a great number of distressed objects; and
the interesting and affecting scene it will afford to spectators,
can hardly fail to attract the curiosity of the Public; and there
is great reason to hope that the success of the experiment,
and the evident tendency of the measures adopted to promote the
comfort, happiness, and prosperity of society, will induce many
to exert themselves in forming similar Establishments in other
places.--It is even probable that the success which will attend
this first essay, (for successful it must, and will be, as care
will be taken to limit its extent to the means furnished for
carrying it into execution,) will encourage others, who do not
put down their names upon the lists of the subscribers at first,
to follow with subscription for the purpose of augmenting the
Establishment, and rendering it more extensively useful.

Should this be the case, it is possible that in a short time
subordinate public kitchens, with rooms adjoining them for the
accommodation of the industrious Poor, may be established in
all the parishes;--and when this is done, only one short step
more will be necessary in order to complete in the management
of the Poor. Poor rates may then be entirely abolished,
and VOLUNTARY SUBSCRIPTIONS, which certainly need never amount to
one half what the Poor rates now are, may be substituted in the
room of them, and one general establishment may be formed for the
relief and support of the Poor in this capital.

It will however be remembered that it is by no means the
intention of the Author of these Proposals that those who
contribute to the object immediately in view, the forming A MODEL
for an Establishment for feeding and giving employment to the Poor,
should be troubled with any future solicitations on that score;
very far from it, measures will be so taken, by limiting the
extent of the undertaking to the amount of the sums subscribed,
and by arranging matters so that the Establishment. once formed,
shall be able to support itself, that no farther assistance from
the subscribers will be necessary.--If any of them should, of
their accord, follow up their subscription by other donations,
these additional sums will be thankfully received, and faithfully
applied, to the general or particular purposes for which they may
be designed; but the subscribers may depend upon never being
troubled with any future SOLICITATIONS on any pretence whatever,
on account of the present undertaking.

A secondary object in forming this Establishment, and which will
be attended to as soon as the measures for feeding the Poor,
and giving them employment, are carried into execution, is the
forming of a grand repository of all kinds of USEFUL MECHANICAL
INVENTIONS, and particularly of such as relate to the furnishing
of houses, and are calculated to promote domestic comfort and

Such a repository will not only be highly interesting,
considered as an object of public curiosity, but it will be
really useful, and will doubtless contribute very powerfully to
the introduction of many essential improvements.

To render this part of the Establishment still more complete,
rooms will be set apart for receiving, and exposing to public
view, all such new and useful inventions as shall, from time to
time, be made, in this, or in any other country, and sent to the
institution; and a written account, containing the name of the
inventor,--the place where the article may be bought,--and the
price of it, will be attached to each article, for the
information of those who may be desirous of knowing any of these

If the amount of the subscriptions should be sufficient to defray
the additional expence which such an arrangement would require,
models will be prepared, upon a reduced scale, for showing the
improvements which may be made in the construction of the
coppers, or boilers, used by brewers, and distillers, as also of
their fire-places; with a view both to the economy of the fuel,
and to convenience.

Complete kitchens will likewise be constructed, of the full size,
with all their utensils, as models for private families.--
And that these kitchens may not be useless, eating rooms may be
fitted up adjoining to them, and cooks engaged to furnish to
gentlemen, subscribers, or others, to whom subscribers may
delegate that right, good dinners, at the prime cost of the
victuals, and the expense of cooking, which together certainly
would not exceed ONE SHILLING A HEAD.

The public kitchen from whence the Poor will be fed will be so
constructed as to serve as a model for hospitals, and for other
great Establishments of similar nature.

The expense of feeding the Poor will be provided for by selling
the portions of Food delivered from the public kitchen at such a
price, that those expenses shall be just covered, and no more:--
so that the Establishment, when once completed, will be made to
support itself.

Tickets for Food (which may be considered as drafts upon the
public kitchen, payable at sight) will be furnished to all
persons who apply for them, in as far as it shall be possible to
supply the demands; but care will be taken to provide, first,
for the Poor who frequent regularly the working rooms belonging
to the Establishment; and secondly, to pay attention to the
recommendations of subscribers, by furnishing Food immediately,
or with the least possible delay, to those who come with
subscribers' tickets.

As soon as the Establishment shall be completed, every subscriber
will be furnished gratis with tickets for Food, to the amount of
ten per cent. of his subscription; the value of the tickets
being reckoned at what the portions of Food really cost, which
will be delivered to those who produce the tickets at the public
kitchen.--At the end of six months, tickets to the amount of ten
per cent. more, and so on, at the end of every six succeeding
months, tickets to the amount of ten per cent. of the sum
subscribed will be delivered to each subscriber till he shall
actually have received in tickets for Food, or drafts upon the
public kitchen, to the full amount of ONE HALF of his original
subscription.--And as the price at which this Food will be
charged, will be at the most moderate computation, at least FIFTY
PER CENT. cheaper than it would cost any where else, the
subscribers will in fact receive in these tickets the full value
of the sums they will have subscribed; so that in the end, the
whole advance will be repaid, and a most interesting, and most
useful public institution will be completely established WITHOUT
ANY EXPENSE TO ANYBODY--And the Author of these Proposals will
think himself most amply repaid for any trouble he may have in
the execution of this scheme, by the heartfelt satisfaction he
will enjoy in the reflection of having been instrumental in doing
essential service to mankind.

It is hardly necessary to add, that although the subscribers will
receive in return for their subscriptions the full value of them,
in tickets, or orders upon the public kitchen, for Food, yet the
property of the Whole Establishment, with all its appurtenances,
will nevertheless remain vested solely and entirely in the
subscribers, and their lawful heirs; and that they will have
power to dispose of it in any way they may think proper, as also
to give orders and directions for its future management.
"A. B."
London, 1st January

These Proposals, which should be printed, and distributed gratis,
in great abundance, should be accompanied with subscription-lists
which should be printed on fine writing-paper; and to save
trouble to the subscribers, might be of a peculiar form.--Upon
the top of a half-sheet of folio writing-paper might be printed,
the following Head of Title, and the remainder of that side of
the half-sheet, below this Head, might be formed into different
columns, thus:


For carrying into execution the scheme for forming an
Establishment for feeding the Poor from a Public KITCHEN,
and giving them useful employment, etc. proposed by A. B.
and particularly described in the printed paper, dated London,
1st January 1796, which accompanies this Subscription List.

N.B. No part of the money subscribed will be called for, unless
it be found that the amount of the subscriptions will be quite
sufficient to carry the scheme proposed into complete execution
without troubling the subscribers a second time for further

Subscribers Names. I Place of Abode. I Sums subscribed.
I I pound. s. d.

that this list is authentic, and that the persons mentioned in it
have agreed to subscribe the sums placed against their names, is
attested by [ ]. The person who is so good as to take
charge of this list, is requested to authenticate it by signing
the above certificate, and then to seal it up and send it
according to the printed address on the back of it.

The address upon the back of the subscription lists, (which may
be that of the author of the Proposal, or of any other person he
may appoint to receive these lists,) should be printed in such a
manner that, when the list is folded up in the form of a letter,
the address may be in its proper place. This will save trouble to
those who take charge of these lists; and too much pains cannot
be taken to give as little trouble as possible to persons who are
solicited to contribute IN MONEY towards carrying into execution
schemes of public utility.

As a public Establishment like that here proposed would be highly
interesting, even were it to be considered in no other light than
merely as an object of curiosity, there is no doubt but it would
be much frequented; and it is possible that this concourse of
people might be so great as to render it necessary to make some
regulations in regard to admittance: but, whatever measures might
be adopted with respect to others, SUBSCRIBERS ought certainly to
have free admittance at all times to every part of the
Establishment,--They should even have a right individually to
examine all the details of its administration, and to require
from those employed as overseers, or managers, any information or
explanation they might want.--They ought likewise to be at
liberty to take drawings, or to have them taken by others,
(at their expense,) for themselves or for their friends,
of the kitchen, stoves, grates, furniture, etc. and in general of
every part of the machinery belonging to the Establishment.

In forming the Establishment, and providing the various machinery,
care should be taken to employ the most ingenious and most
respectable tradesmen; and if the name of the maker, and the
place of his abode were to be engraved or written on each
article, this, no doubt, would tend to excite emulation among the
artizans, and induce them to furnish goods of the best quality,
and at as low a price as possible.--It is even possible, that in
a great and opulent city like London, and where public spirit and
zeal for improvement pervade all ranks of society, many
respectable tradesmen in easy circumstances might be found,
who would have real pleasure in furnishing gratis such of the
articles wanted as are in their line of business: and the
advantages which might, with proper management, be derived from
this source, would most probably be very considerable.

With regard to the management of the Poor who might be collected
together for the purpose of being fed and furnished with
employment, in a Public Establishment like that here recommended,
I cannot do better than refer my reader to the account already
published (in my First Essay) of the manner in which the Poor at
Munich were treated in the house of industry established in that
city, and the means that were used to render them comfortable,
HAPPY, and industrious.

As soon as the scheme here recommended is carried into execution,
and measures are effectually taken for feeding the Poor at a
cheap rate, and giving them useful employment, no farther
difficulties will then remain, at least none certainly that are
insurmountable, to prevent the introduction of a general plan for
providing for all the Poor, founded upon the principles explained
and recommended in the preceding Chapters of this Essay.


Of the Means which may be used by Individuals in affluent
Circumstances for the Relief of the Poor in their Neighbourhood.

As nothing tends more powerfully to encourage idleness and
immorality among the Poor, and consequently to perpetuate all the
evils to society which arise from the prevalence of poverty and
mendicity, than injudicious distributions of alms; individuals
must be very cautious in bestowing their private charities,
and in forming schemes for giving assistance to the distressed;
otherwise they will most certainly do more harm than good.--
The evil tendency of giving alms indiscriminately to beggars is
universally acknowledged; but it is not, I believe, so generally
known how much harm is done by what are called the PRIVATE CHARITIES
of individuals.--Far be it from me to wish to discourage private
charities; I am only anxious that they should be better applied.

Without taking up time in analyzing the different motives by
which persons of various character are induced to give alms to
the Poor, or of showing the consequences of their injudicious or
careless donations; which would be an unprofitable as well as a
disagreeable investigation; I shall briefly point out what appear
to me to be the most effectual means which individuals in
affluent circumstances can employ for the assistance of the Poor
in their neighbourhood.

The most certain and efficacious relief that can be given to the
Poor is that which would be afforded them by forming a general
Establishment for giving them useful employment, and furnishing
them with the necessaries of life at a cheap rate; in short,
forming a Public Establishment similar in all respects to that
already recommended, and making it as extensive as circumstances
will permit.

An experiment might first be made in a single village, or in a
single parish; a small house, or two or three rooms only,
might be fitted up for the reception of the Poor, and
particularly of the children of the Poor; and to prevent the bad
impressions which are sometimes made by names which have been
become odious, instead of calling it a Work-house, it might be
called "A School of Industry," or, perhaps, Asylum would be a
better name for it.--One of these rooms should be fitted up as a
kitchen for cooking for the Poor; and a middle-aged women of
respectable character, and above all of a gentle and humane
disposition, should be placed at the head of this Establishment,
and lodged in the house.--As she should serve at the same time as
chief cook, and as steward of the institution, it would be
necessary that she should be able to write and keep accounts; and
in cases where the business of superintending the various details
of the Establishment would be too extensive to be performed by
one person, one or more assistants may be given her.

In large Establishments it might, perhaps, be best to place a
married couple, rather advanced in life, and without children,
at the head of the institution; but, whoever are employed in that
situation, care should be taken that they should be persons of
irreproachable character, and such as the Poor can have no reason
to suspect of partiality.

As nothing would tend more effectually to ruin an Establishment
of this kind, and prevent the good intended to be produced by it,
than the personal dislikes of the Poor to those put over them,
and more especially such dislikes as are founded on their
suspicions of their partiality, the greatest caution in the
choice of these persons will always be necessary: and in general
it will be best not to take them from among the Poor, or at least
not from among those of the neighbourhood, nor such as have
relations, acquaintances, or other connexions among them.

Another point to be attended to in the choice of a person to be
placed at the head of such an Establishment, (and it is a point
of more importance than can well be imagined by those who have
not considered the matter with some attention)-- is the looks or
EXTERNAL APPEARANCE of the person destined for this employment.

All those who have studied human nature, or have taken notice of
what passes in themselves when they approach for the first time a
person who has any thing very strongly marked in his countenance,
will feel how very important it is that a person placed at the
head of an asylum for the reception of the Poor and the
unfortunate should have an open, pleasing countenance, such as
inspires confidence and conciliates affection and esteem.

Those who are in distress, are apt to be fearful and apprehensive,
and nothing would be so likely to intimidate and discourage them
as the forbidding aspect of a stern and austere countenance in
the person they were taught to look up to for assistance and

The external appearance of those who are destined to command
others is always a matter of real importance, but it is
peculiarly so when those to be commanded and directed are objects
of pity and commiseration.

Where there are several gentlemen who live in the neighbourhood
of the same town or village where an Establishment, or Asylum,
(as I would wish it might be called,) for the Poor is to be
formed, they should all unite to form ONE ESTABLISHMENT, instead
of each forming a separate one; and it will likewise be very
useful in all cases to invite all ranks of people resident within
the limits of the district in which an Establishment is formed,
except those who are actually in need of assistance themselves,
to contribute to carry into execution such a public undertaking;
for though the sums the more indigent and necessitous of the
inhabitants may be able to spare may be trifling, yet their being
invited to take part in so laudable an undertaking will be
flattering to them, and the sums they contribute, however small
they may be, will give them a sort of property in the
Establishment, and will effectually engage their good wishes at
least, (which are of more importance in such cases than is
generally imagined,) for its success.

How far the relief which the Poor would receive from the
execution of a scheme like that here proposed ought to preclude
them from a participation of other public charities, (in the
distribution of the sums levied upon the inhabitants in Poor's
taxes, for instance, where such exist,) must be determined in
each particular case according to the existing circumstances.
It will, however, always be indispensably necessary where the same
poor person receives charitable assistance from two or more
separate institutions, or from two or more private individuals,
at the same time, for each to know exactly the amount of what the
others give, otherwise too much or too little may be given,
and both tend to discourage INDUSTRY, the only source of effectual
relief to the distresses and the misery of the Poor.--And hence
may again be seen the great importance of what I have so often
insisted on, the rendering of measures for the relief of the Poor
as general as possible.

To illustrate in the clearest manner, and in as few words as
possible, the plan I would recommend for forming an Establishment
for the Poor on a small scale--such as any individual even of
moderate property, might easily execute; I will suppose that a
gentleman, resident in the country upon his own estate, has come
to a resolution to form such an Establishment in a village near
his house, and will endeavour briefly to point out the various
steps he would probably find it necessary to take in the
execution of this benevolent and most useful undertaking.

He would begin by calling together at his house the clergyman of
the parish, overseers of the Poor, and other parish officers, to
acquaint them with his intentions, and ask their assistance and
friendly co-operation in the prosecution of the plan; the details
of which he would communicate to them as far as he should think
it prudent and necessary at the first outset to entrust them
indiscriminately with that information.--The characters of the
persons, and the private interest they might have to promote or
oppose the measures intended to be pursued, would decide upon the
degree of confidence which ought to be given them.

At this meeting, measures should be taken for forming the most
complete and most accurate lists of all the Poor resident within
the limits proposed to be given to the Establishment, with a
detailed account of every circumstance, relative to their
situation, and their wants.--Much time and trouble will be saved
in making out these lists, by using printed forms or blanks
similar to those made use of at Munich; and these printed forms
will likewise contribute very essentially to preserve order and
to facilitate business, in the management of a private as well as
of a public charity;--as also to prevent the effects of
misrepresentation and partiality on the part of those who must
necessarily be employed in these details.

Convenient forms or models for these blanks will be given in the
Appendix to this volume.

At this meeting, measures may be taken for numbering all the
houses in the village or district, and for setting on foot
private subscriptions among the inhabitants for carrying the
proposed scheme into execution.

Those who are invited to subscribed should be made acquainted,
by a printed address accompanying the subscription lists, with the
nature, extent, and tendency of the measures adopted; and should
be assured that, as soon as the undertaking shall be completed,
the Poor will not only be relieved, and their situation made more
comfortable, but mendicity will be effectually prevented, and at
the same time the Poor's rates, or the expense to the public for
the support of the Poor, very considerably lessened.

These assurances, which will be the strongest inducements that
can be used to prevail on the inhabitants of all descriptions to
enter warmly into the scheme, and assist with alacrity in
carrying it into execution, should be expressed in the strongest
terms; and all persons of every denomination, young and old, and
of both sexes, (paupers only excepted,) should be invited to put
down their names in the subscription lists, and this even,
--Although the sums which day-labourers, servants, and other in
indigent circumstances may be able to contribute, may be very
trifling, yet there is one important reason why they ought always
to be engaged to put down their names upon the lists as subscribers,
and that is the goods effects which their taking an active part
in the undertaking will probably produce ON THEMSELVES.--Nothing
tends more to mend the heart, and awaken in the mind a regard for
character, than acts of charity and benevolence; and any person
who has once felt that honest pride and satisfaction which result
from a consciousness of having been instrumental in doing good by
relieving the wants of the Poor, will be rendered doubly careful
to avoid the humiliation of becoming himself an object of public

It was a consideration of these salutary effects, which may
always be expected to be produced upon the minds of those who
take an active and VOLUNTARY part in the measures adopted for the
relief of the Poor, that made me prefer voluntary subscriptions,
to taxes, in raising the sums necessary for the support of the
Poor, and all the experience I have had in these matters has
tended to confirm me in the opinion I have always had of their
superior utility,--Not only day-labourers and domestic servants,
but their young children, and all the children of the nobility
and other inhabitants of Munich, and even the non-commissioned
officers and private soldiers of the regiments in garrison in
that city, were invited to contribute to the support of the
institution for the Poor; and there are very few indeed of any
age or condition (paupers only excepted) whose names are not to
be found on the lists of subscribers.

The subscriptions at Munich are by families, as has elsewhere
been observed; and this method I would recommend in the case
under consideration, and in all others.--The head of the family
takes the trouble to collect all the sums subscribed upon his
family list, and to pay them into the hands of those who
(on the part of the institution) are sent round on the first Sunday
morning of every month to receive them; but the names of all the
individuals who compose the family are entered on the list at
full length, with the sum each contributes.

Two lists of the same tenor must be made out for each family;
one of which must be kept by the head of the family for his
information and direction, and the other sent in to those who
have the general direction of the Establishment.

These subscription-lists should be printed; and they should be
carried round and left with the heads of families, either by the
person himself who undertakes to form the Establishment,
(which will always be best,) or at least by his steward, or some
other person of some consequence belonging to his household.
--Forms or models for these lists may be seen in the Appendix.

When these lists are returned, the person who has undertaken to
form the Establishment will see what pecuniary assistance he is
to expect; and he will either arrange his plan, or determine the
sum he may think proper to contribute himself, according to that
amount.--He will likewise consider how far it will be possible
and ADVISABLE to connect his scheme with any Establishment for
the relief of the Poor already existing; or to act in concert
with those in whose hands the management of the Poor is vested by
the laws.--These circumstances are all important; and the manner
of proceeding in carrying the proposed scheme into execution
must, in a great measure, be determined by them. Nothing,
however, can prevent the undertaking from being finally
successful, provided the means used for making it so are adopted
with caution, and pursued with perseverance.

However adverse those may be to the scheme who, were they well
disposed, could most effectually contribute to its success--yet
no opposition which can be given to it by INTERESTED PERSONS,--
such as find means to derive profit to themselves in the
administration of the affairs of the Poor;--no opposition, I say,
from such persons, (and none surely but these can ever be
desirous of opposing it,) can prevent the success of a measure so
evidently calculated to increase the comforts and enjoyments of
the Poor, and to promote the general good of society.

If the overseers of the Poor, and other parish officers, and a
large majority of the principal inhabitants, could be made to
enter warmly into the scheme, it might, and certainly would,
in many cases, be possible, even without any new laws or acts of
parliament being necessary to authorize the undertaking,
to substitute the arrangements proposed in the place of the old
method of providing for the Poor;--abolishing entirely, or in so
far as it should be found necessary,--the old system, and
carrying the scheme proposed into execution as a GENERAL MEASURE.

In all cases where this can be effected, it ought certainly to be
preferred to any private or less general institution; and
individuals, who, by their exertions, are instrumental in
bringing about so useful a change, will render a very essential
service to society:--But even in cases where it would not be
possible to carry the scheme proposed into execution in its
fullest extent, much good may be done by individuals in affluent
circumstances to the Poor, by forming PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS for
feeding them and giving them employment.

Much relief may likewise be afforded them by laying in a large
stock of fuel, purchased when it is cheap, and retailing it out
to them in small quantities, in times of scarcity, at the prime

It is hardly to be believed how much the Poor of Munich have been
benefited by the Establishment of the Wood-magazine, from whence
they are furnished in winter, during the severe frosts,
with fire-wood at the price it costs when purchased in summer,
in large quantities, and at the cheapest rate. And this arrangement
may easily be adopted in all countries, and by private individuals
as well as by communities. Stores may likewise be laid in of
potatoes, peas, beans, and other articles of food, to be
distributed to the Poor in like manner, in small quantities,
and at low prices; which will be a great relief to them in times
of scarcity. It will hardly be necessary for me to observe,
that in administering this kind of relief to the Poor it will
often be necessary to take precautions to prevent abuses.

Another way in which private individuals may greatly assist the
Poor, is, by showing them how they may make themselves more
comfortable in their dwellings. Nothing is more perfectly
miserable and comfortless than the domestic arrangement of poor
families in general; they seem to have no idea whatever of order
or economy in any thing; and every thing about them is dreary,
sad, and neglected, in the extreme. A little attention to order
and arrangement would contribute greatly to their comfort and
conveniences, and also to economy. They ought in particular to
be shown how to keep their habitations warm in winter, and to
economise fuel, as well in heating their rooms, as in cooking,
washing, etc.

It is not to be believed what the waste of fuel really is, in the
various processes in which it is employed in the economy of human
life; and in no case is this waste greater than in the domestic
management of the Poor. Their fire-places are in general
constructed upon the most wretched principles; and the fuel they
consume in them, instead of heating their rooms, not unfrequently
renders them really colder, and more uncomfortable, by causing
strong currents of cold air to flow in from all the doors and
windows to the chimney. This imperfection of their fire-places
may be effectually remedied;--these currents of cold air
prevented,--above half their fuel saved,--and their dwellings
made infinitely more comfortable, merely by diminishing their
fire-places, and the throats of their chimnies just above the
mantle-piece; which may be done as a very every trifling expence,
with a few bricks, or stones, and a little mortar, by the most
ordinary bricklayer. And with regard to the expence of fuel for
cooking, so simple a contrivance as an earthen pot, broad at top,
for receiving a stew-pan, or kettle, and narrow at bottom, with
holes through its sides near the bottom, for letting in air under
a small circular iron grate, and other small holes near the top
for letting out the smoke, may be introduced with great advantage.
By making use of this little portable furnace, (which is equally
well adapted to burn wood, or coals.)--one eighth part of the
fuel will be sufficient for cooking, which would be required were
the kettle to be boiled over an open fire.--To strengthen this
portable furnace, it may be hooped with iron hoops, or bound
round with strong iron wire:--but I forget that I am anticipating
the subject of a future Essay.

Much good may also be done to the Poor by teaching them how to
prepare various kinds of cheap and wholesome food, and to render
them savoury and palatable.--The art of cookery, notwithstanding
its infinite importance to mankind, has hitherto been little
studied; and among the more indigent classes of society, where it
is most necessary to cultivate it, it seems to have been most
neglected.--No present that could be made to a poor family could
be of more essential service to them than a thin, light stew-pan,
with its cover, made of wrought, or cast iron, and fitted to a
portable furnace, or close fire-place, constructed to save fuel;
with two or three approved receipts for making nourishing and
savoury soups and broths at a small expence.

Such a present might alone be sufficient to relieve a poor family
from all their distresses, and make them permanently comfortable;
for the expences of a poor family for food might, I am persuaded,
in most cases be diminished ONE HALF by a proper attention to
cookery, and to the economy of fuel; and the change in the
circumstances of such a family, which would be produced by
reducing their expenses for food to one half what it was before,
is easier to be conceived than described.

It would hardly fail to re-animate the courage of the most
desponding;--to cheer their drooping spirits, and stimulate them
to fresh exertions in the pursuits of useful industry.

As the only effectual means of putting an end to the sufferings
of the Poor is the introduction of a spirit of industry among
them, individuals should never lose sight of that great and
important object, in all the measures they may adopt to relieve
them.--But in endeavouring to make the Poor industrious,
the utmost caution will be necessary to prevent their being
disgusted.--Their minds are commonly in a state of great
irritation, the natural consequences of their sufferings, and of
their hopeless situation; and their suspicions of every body
about them, and particularly of those who are set over them,
are so deeply rooted that it is sometimes extremely difficult to
sooth and calm the agitation of their minds, and gain their
confidence. --This can be soonest and most effectually done by
kind and gentle usage; and I am clearly of opinion that no other
means should ever be used, except it be with such hardened and
incorrigible wretches as are not to be reclaimed by any means;
but of these, I believe, there are very few indeed.--I have never
yet found one, in all the course of my experience in taking care
of the Poor.

We have sometimes been obliged to threaten the most idle and
profligate with the house of correction; but these threats,
added to the fear of being banished from the House of Industry,
which has always been held up and considered as the greatest
punishment, have commonly been sufficient for keeping the unruly
in order.

If the force of example is irresistible in debauching men's minds,
and leading them into profligate and vicious courses, it is not
less so in reclaiming them, and rendering them orderly, docile,
and industrious; and hence the infinite importance of collecting
the Poor together in Public Establishments, where every thing
about them is animated by unaffected cheerfulness, and by that
pleasing gaiety, and air of content and satisfaction,
which always enliven the busy scenes of useful industry.

I do not believe it would be possible for any person to be idle
in the House of Industry at Munich. I never saw any one idle;
often as I have passed through the working-rooms; nor did I ever
see any one to whom the employments of industry seemed to be
painful or irksome.

Those who are collected together in the public rooms destined for
the reception and accommodation of the Poor in the day-time, will
not need to be forced, nor even urged to work;--if there are in
the room several persons who are busily employed in the cheerful
occupations of industry, and if implements and materials for
working are at hand, all the others present will not fail to be
soon drawn into the vortex, and joining with alacrity in the
active scene, their dislike to labour will be forgotten, and they
will become by habit truly and permanently industrious.

Such is the irresistible power of example!--Those who know how
to manage this mighty engine and have opportunities of employing
it with effect, may produce the most miraculous changes, in the
manners, disposition, and character, even of whole nations.

In furnishing raw materials to the Poor to work, it will be
necessary to use many precautions to prevent frauds and abuses,
not only on the part of the Poor, who are often but too much
disposed to cheat and deceive whenever they find opportunities,
but also on the part of those employed in the details of this
business:--but the fullest information having already been given
in my First Essay, of all the various precautions it had been
found necessary to take for the purposes in question in the House
of Industry at Munich, it is not necessary for me to enlarge upon
the subject in this place, or to repeat what has already been
said upon it elsewhere.

With regard to the manner in which good and wholesome food for
feeding the Poor may be prepared in a public kitchen, at a cheap
rate, I must refer my reader to my Essay on Food; where he will
find all the information on that subject which he can require.
--In my Essay on Clothing, he will see how good and comfortable
clothing may be furnished to the Poor at a very moderate
expence; and in that on the Management of Heat, he will find
particular directions for the Poor for saving fuel.

I cannot finish this Essay, without taking notice of a difficulty
which frequently occur in giving employment to the Poor, that of
disposing to advantage of the produce of their labour:--This is
in all cases a very important object; and too much attention
cannot be paid to it.--A spirit of industry cannot be kept up by
making it advantageous to individuals to be industrious; but
where the wages which the labourer has a right to expect are
refused, it will not be possible to prevent his being discouraged
and disgusted.--He may perhaps be forced for a certain time to
work for small wages, to prevent starving, if he has not the
resource of throwing himself upon the parish, which he most
probably would prefer doing, should it be in his option; but he
will infallibly conceive such a thorough dislike to labour,
that he will become idle and vicious, and a permanent and heavy
burden on the public.

If "a labourer is worthy of his hire," he is peculiarly so,
where that labourer is a poor person, who, with all his
exertions, can barely procure the first necessaries of life;
and whose hard lot renders him an object of pity and compassion.

The deplorable situation of a poor family, struggling with
poverty and want,--deprived of all the comforts and conveniences
of life--deprived even of hope; and suffering at the same time
from hunger, disease, and mortifying and cruel disappointment, is
seldom considered with that attention which it deserves, by those
who have never felt these distresses, and who are not in danger
of being exposed to them. My reader must pardon me, if I
frequently recall his attention to these scenes of misery and
wretchedness. He must be made acquainted with the real
situation of the Poor--with the extent and magnitude of their
misfortunes and sufferings, before it can be expected that he
should enter warmly into measures calculated for their relief.
In forming Establishments, public or private, for giving employment
to the Poor, it will always be indispensably necessary to make
such arrangements as will secure to them a fair price for all the
labour they perform. They should not be OVER-PAID, for that
would be opening a door for abuse;--but they ought to be
generously paid for their work; and, above all, they ought never
to be allowed to be idle for the want of employment. The kind of
employment it may be proper to give them will depend much on
local circumstances. It will depend on the habits of the Poor;--
the kinds of work they are acquainted with;--and the facility
with which the articles they can manufacture may be disposed of
at a good price.

In very extensive Establishments, there will be little difficulty
in finding useful employment for the Poor; for where the number
of persons to be employed is very great, a great variety of
different manufactures may be carried on with advantage, and all
the articles manufactured, or prepared to be employed in the
manufactures, may be turned to a good account.

In a small Establishment, circumscribed and confined to the
limits of a single village or parish, it might perhaps be
difficult to find a good market for the yarn spun by the Poor;
but in a general Establishment, extending over a whole country,
or large city, as the quantity of yarn spun by all the Poor
within the extensive limits of the institution will be sufficient
to employ constantly a number of weavers of different kinds of
cloth and stuff, the market for all the various kinds of yarn the
Poor may spin will always be certain. The same reasoning will
hold with regard to various other articles used in great
manufactories, upon which the Poor might be very usefully
employed; and hence the great advantage of making Establishments
for giving employment to the Poor as extensive as possible.
It is what I have often insisted on, and what I cannot too strongly
recommend to all those who engage in forming such Establishments.

Although I certainly should not propose to BRING TOGETHER, under
one roof, all the Poor of a whole kingdom, as, by the inscription
over the entrance into a vast hospital began, but not finished,
at Naples, it would appear was once the intention of the
government in that country; yet I am clearly of opinion that an
institution for GIVING EMPLOYMENT TO THE POOR can hardly be too

But to return to the subject to which this Chapter was more
particularly appropriated, the relief that may be afforded by
private individuals to the Poor in their neighbourhood; in case it
should not be possible to get over all the difficulties that may
be in the way to prevent the forming of a general Establishment
for the benefit of the Poor, individuals must content themselves
with making such private arrangements for that purpose as they
into execution.

The most simple, and least expensive measure that can be adopted
for the assistance of the Poor will be that of furnishing them
with raw materials for working. Flax, hemp, or wool, for instance,
for spinning; and paying them in money, at the market price, for
the yarn spun. This yarn may afterwards be sent to weavers to be
manufactured into cloth, or may be sent to some good market and
sold. The details of these mercantile transactions will be
neither complicated nor troublesome, and might easily be managed
by a steward of house-keeper; particularly if the printed tickets,
and tables, I have so often had occasion to recommend, are used.

The flax, hemp, or wool, as soon as it is purchased, should be
weighed out into bundles of one or two pounds each, and lodged in
a store-room; and when one of these bundles is delivered out to a
poor person to be spun, it should be accompanied with a printed
spin-ticket, and entered in a table to be kept for that purpose;
and when it is returned spun, an abstract of the spin-ticket
itself, should be bound up with the bundle of yarn, in order that
any frauds committed by the spinner, in reeling, or in any other
way, which may be discovered upon winding off the yarn, may be
brought home to the person who committed them. When it is known
that such effectual precautions to detect frauds are used, no
farther attempts will be made to defraud; and a most important
point indeed will be gained, and one which will most powerfully
tend to mend the morals of the Poor, and restore peace to their
minds. When, by rendering it evidently impossible for them to
escape detection, they are brought to give up all thoughts of
cheating and deceiving; they will then be capable of application,
and of enjoying real happiness, and, with open and placid
countenances, will look every one full in the face who accosts
them: but as long as they are under the influence of temptation
--as long as their minds are degraded by conscious guilt,
and continually agitated by schemes of prosecuting their
fraudulent practices, they are as incapable of enjoying peace or
contentment, as they are of being useful members of society.

Hence the extreme cruelty of an ill-judged appearance of
confidence, or careless neglect of precautions, in regard to
those employed in places of trust, who may be exposed to
temptations to defraud.

That prayer, which cannot be enough admired, or too often
repeated, "LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION," was certainly dictated
by infinite wisdom and goodness; and it should ever be borne in
mind by those who are placed in stations of power and authority,
and whose measures must necessarily have much influence on the
happiness or misery of great numbers of people.

Honest men may be found in all countries; but I am sorry to say,
that the result of all my experience and observation has tended
invariably to prove, (what has often been remarked,) that it is
extremely difficult to KEEP THOSE HONEST who are exposed to
continual and great temptations.

There is, however, one most effectual way, not only of keeping
those honest who are so already, but also of making those honest
who are not so; and that is, by taking such precautions as will
render it EVIDENTLY impossible for those who commit frauds to
escape detection and punishment: and these precautions are never
impossible, and seldom difficult; and with a little address, they
may always be so taken as to be in nowise offensive to those who
are the objects of them.

It is evident that the maxims and measures here recommended are
not applicable merely to the Poor, but also, and more especially,
to those who may be employed in the details of relieving them.

But to return once more to the subject more immediately under
consideration.--If individuals should extend their liberality so
far as to establish public kitchens for feeding the Poor,
(which is a measure I cannot too often, or too forcibly recommend,)
it would be a great pity not to go one easy step further, and fit
up a few rooms adjoining to the kitchen, where the Poor may be
permitted to assemble to work for their own emoluments, and where
schools for instructing the children of the Poor in working, and
in reading and writing, may be established. Neither the fitting
up, or warming and lighting of these rooms, will be attended with
any considerable expense; while the advantages which will be
derived from such an Establishment for encouraging industry, and
contributing to the comfort of the Poor, will be most important;
and from their peculiar nature, and tendency, will be most highly
interesting to every benevolent mind.


Footnotes for Essay II.

This English Reader is desired to bear in mind, that the Author
of this Essay, though an Englishman, is resident in Germany;
and that his connections with that country render it necessary for
him to pay particular attention to its circumstances, in treating
a subject which he is desirous of rendering generally useful.
These is still another reason, which renders it necessary for him
to have continually in view, in the Treatise, the situation of
the Poor upon the Continent, and that it is an engagement which
he has laid himself under to write upon that subject.

The only step which, in my opinion, it would be either,
necessary, or prudent, for the legislature to take in any country
where an Establishment for the Poor is to be formed, is to
RECOMMEND to the Public a good plan for such an Establishment,
and repeal, or alter all such of the existing laws as might
render the introduction of it difficult or impossible.

This is an object of the utmost importance, and the success of
the undertaking will depend in a great measure on the attention
that is paid to it.

This measure has been followed by the most salutary effects at
Munich. The commissaries of districts flattered by this
distinction have exerted themselves with uncommon zeal and
assiduity in the discharge of the important duties of their
office. And very important indeed is the office of a commissary
of a district in the Establishment for the Poor at Munich.

It will be best, if it be possible, to mention and describe the
place, in the Proposals.


of FOOD and particularly of FEEDING the POOR


Great importance of the subject under consideration.
Probability that water acts a much more important part in
nutrition than has hitherto been generally imagined.
Surprisingly small quantity of solid food necessary,
when properly prepared, for all the purposes of nutrition.
Great importance of the art of cookery.
Barley remarkably nutritive when properly prepared.
The importance of culinary processes for preparing food shown
from the known utility of a practice common in some parts of
Germany of cooking for cattle.
Difficulty of introducing a charge of cookery into common use.
Means that may be employed for that purpose.

Of the pleasure of eating, and of the means that may be
employed for increasing it.

Of the different kinds of food furnished to the poor in the
house of industry at Munich, with an account of the cost of them.
Of the Expense of providing the same kinds of food in Great
Britain, as well at the present high prices of provisions,
as at the ordinary prices of them.
Of the various improvements of which these different kinds of
cheap food are capable.

Of the small expense at which the Bavarian soldiers are fed.
Details of their housekeeping, founded on actual experiment.
An account of the fuel expended by them in cooking.

Of the great importance of making soldiers eat together in
regular messes.
The influence of such economical arrangements extends even to
the moral character of those who are the objects of them.
Of the expence of feeding soldiers in messes.
Of the surprising smallness of the expence of feeding the poor
at Munich.
Specific proposals respecting the feeding of the poor in Great
Britain, with calculations of the expense, at the present
prices of provisions.

It affords the cheapest and most nourishing food known.
Proofs that it is more nourishing than rice.
Different ways of preparing or cooking it.
Computation of the expense of feeding a person with it,
founded on experiment.
Approved Receipt for making an INDIAN PUDDING.

Receipts for preparing various Kinds of cheap Food.
Approved receipts for boiling potatoes.
Of potatoe puddings.
Of potatoe dumplings.
Of boiled potatoes with a sauce.
Of potatoe salad.
Is much more nutritious than wheat.
Barley meal, a good substitute for pearl barley, for making
General directions for preparing cheap soups.
Receipt for the cheapest soup that can be made.
Method of preparing it
Is an excellent Substitute for Bread.
Of brown Soup.



It is a common saying, that necessity is the mother of
invention; and nothing is more strictly or more generally true.
It may even be shown, that most of the successive improvements
in the affairs of men in a state of civil society, of which we
have any authentic records, have been made under the pressure
of necessity; and it is no small consolation, in times of
general alarm, to reflect upon the probability that, upon such
occasions, useful discoveries will result from the united
exertions of those who, either from motives of fear, or
sentiments of benevolence, labour to avert the impending evil.

The alarm in this country at the present period[1], on account
of the high price of corn, and the danger of a scarcity, has
turned the attention of the Public to a very important subject,
curious in itself, and so highly interesting to mankind, that
it seems truly astonishing it should have been so long neglected:--
but in the manner in which it is now taken up, both by the
House of Commons, and the Board of Agriculture, there is great
reason to hope that it will receive a thorough scientific
examination; and if this should be the case, I will venture to
predict, that the important discoveries, and improvements,
which must result from these enquiries, will render the alarms
which gave rise to them for ever famous in the annals of civil


Great importance of the subject under consideration.
Probability that water acts a much more important part in
nutrition than has hitherto been generally imagined.
Surprisingly small quantity of solid food necessary,
when properly prepared, for all the purposes of nutrition.
Great importance of the art of cookery.
Barley remarkably nutritive when properly prepared.
The importance of culinary processes for preparing food shown
from the known utility of a practice common in some parts of
Germany of cooking for cattle.
Difficulty of introducing a charge of cookery into common use.
Means that may be employed for that purpose.

There is, perhaps, no operation of Nature, which falls under
the cognizance of our senses, more surprising, or more curious,
than the nourishment and growth of plants, and animals; and
there is certainly no subject of investigation more interesting
to mankind.--As providing subsistence is, and ever must be, an
object of the first concern in all countries, any discovery or
improvement by which the procuring of good and wholesome food
can be facilitated, must contribute very powerfully to increase
the comforts, and promote the happiness of society.

That our knowledge in regard to the science of nutrition is
still very imperfect, is certain; but, I think there is reason
to believe, that we are upon the eve of some very important
discoveries relative to that mysterious operation.

Since it has been known that Water is not a simple element,
but a COMPOUND, and capable of being decomposed, much light has
been thrown upon many operations of nature which formerly were
wrapped up in obscurity. In vegetation, for instance, it has
been rendered extremely probable, that water acts a much more
important part than was formerly assigned to it by philosophers.
--That it serves not merely as the VEHICLE of nourishment,
but constitutes at least one part, and probably an essential part,
of the FOOD of plants.--That it is decomposed by them, and
contributes MATERIALLY to their growth;--and that manures serve
rather to prepare the water for decomposition, than to form of
themselves--substantially, and directly--the nourishment of
the vegetables.

Now, a very clear analogy may be traced, between the vegetation
and growth of plants, and the digestion and nourishment of animals;
and as water is indispensably necessary in both processes, and as
in one of them, (vegetation,) it appears evidently to serve as
FOOD;--why should we not suppose it may serve as food in the
other?--There is, in my opinion, abundant reason to suspect that
this is really the case; and I shall now briefly state the
grounds upon which this opinion is founded.-- Having been engaged
for a considerable length of time in providing Food for the Poor
at Munich, I was naturally led, as well by curiosity as motives
of economy, to make a great variety of experiments upon that
subject; and I had not proceeded far in my operations, before I
began to perceive that they were very important;--even much more
so than I had imagined.

The difference in the apparent goodness, of the palatableness,
and apparent nutritiousness of the same kinds of Food, when
prepared of cooked in different ways, struck me very forcibly;
and I constantly found that the richness or QUALITY of a soup
depended more upon a proper choice of the ingredients, and a
proper management of the fire in the combination of those
ingredients, than upon the quantity of solid nutritious matter
employed;--much more upon the art and skill of the cook, than
upon the amount of the sums laid out in the market.

I found likewise, that the nutritious of a soup, or its power of
satisfying hunger, and affording nourishment, appeared always to
be in proportion to its apparent richness or palatableness.

But what surprised me not a little, was the discovery of the very
small quantity of SOLID FOOD, which, when properly prepared, will
suffice to satisfy hunger, and support life and health; and the
very trifling expence at which the stoutest, and most laborious
man may, in any country, be fed.

After an experiment of more than five years in feeding the Poor
at Munich during which time every experiment was made that could
be devised, not only with regard to the choice of the articles
used as Food, but also in respect to their different combinations
and proportions; and to the various ways in which they could be
prepared or cooked; it was found that the CHEAPEST, most SAVOURY,
and most NOURISHING Food that could be provided, was a soup
WHEATEN BREAD, vinegar--salt and water in certain proportions.

The method of preparing this soup is as follows; The water and
the pearl barley are first put together into the boiler and made
to boil; the pease are then added, and the boiling is continued
over a gentle fire about two hours;--the potatoes are then added,
(having been previously peeled with a knife, or having been
boiled, in order to their being more easily deprived of their
skins,) and the boiling is continued for about one hour more,
during which time the contents of the boiler are frequently
stirred about with a large wooden spoon, or ladle, in order to
destroy the texture of the potatoes, and to reduce the soup to
one uniform mass.--When this is done, the vinegar and the salt
are added; and last of all, at the moment it is to be served up,
the cuttings of bread.

The soup should never be suffered to boil, or even to stand long
before it is served up after the cuttings of bread are put into it.
It will, indeed, for reasons which will hereafter be explained,
be best never to put the cuttings of bread into the boiler at
all, but, (as is always done at Munich,) to put them into the
tubs in which the soup is carried from the kitchen into the
dining-hall; pouring the soup hot from the boiler upon them;
and stirring the whole well together with the iron ladles used
for measuring out the soup to the Poor in the hall.

It is of more importance than can well be imagined, that this
bread which is mixed with the soup should not be boiled.
It is likewise of use that it should be cut as fine or thin as
possible; and if it be dry and hard, it will be so much the

The bread we use at Munich is what is called semel bread, being
small loaves, weighing from two to three ounces; and as we
receive this bread in donations from the bakers, it is commonly
dry and hard, being that which, not being sold in time, remains
on hand, and becomes stale and unsaleable; and we have found by
experience, that this hard and stale bread answers for our
purpose much better than any other, for it renders mastication
necessary; and mastication seems very powerfully to assist in
promoting digestion: it likewise PROLONGS THE DURATION OF THE
ENJOYMENT OF EATING, a matter of very great importance indeed,
and which has not hitherto been sufficiently attended to.

The quantity of this soup furnished to each person, at each meal,
or one portion of it, (the cuttings of bread included,) is just
ONE BAVARIAN POUND in weight; and as the Bavarian pound is to the
pound Avoirdupois as 1,123842 to 1, --it is equal to about
nineteen ounces and nine-tenths Avoirdupois. Now, to those who
know that a full pint of soup weighs no more than about sixteen
ounces Avoirdupois, it will not, perhaps, at the first view,
appear very extraordinary that a portion weighing near twenty
ounces, and consequently making near ONE PINT AND A QUARTER of
this rich, strong, savoury soup, should be found sufficient to
satisfy the hunger of a grown person; but when the matter is
examined narrowly, and properly analyzed, and it is found that
the whole quantity of SOLID FOOD which enters into the
composition of one of these portions of soup, does not amount to
quite SIX OUNCES, it will then appear to be almost impossible
that this allowance should be sufficient.

That it is quite sufficient, however, to make a good meal for a
strong healthy person, has been abundantly proved by long
experience. I have even found that a soup composed of nearly the
same ingredients, except the potatoes, but in different
proportions, was sufficiently nutritive, and very palatable, in
which only about FOUR OUNCES AND THREE QUARTERS of solid Food
entered into the composition of a portion weighing twenty ounces.

But this will not appear incredible to those who know, that one
single spoonful of salope, weighing less than one quarter of an
ounce, put into a pint of boiling water, forms the thickest and
most nourishing soup that can be taken; and that the quantity of
solid matter which enters into the composition of another very
nutritive Food, hartshorn jelly, is not much more considerable.

The barley in my soup, seems to act much the same part as the
salope in this famous restorative; and no substitute that I could
ever find for it, among all the variety of corn and pulse of the
growth of Europe, ever produced half the effect; that is to say,
half the nourishment at the same expence. Barley may therefore
be considered as the rice of Great Britain.

It requires, it is true, a great deal of boiling; but when it is
properly managed, it thickens a vast quantity of water; and, as I
suppose, PREPARES IT FOR DECOMPOSITION. It also gives the soup
into which it enters as an ingredient, a degree of richness which
nothing else can give. It has little or no taste in itself, but
when mixed with other ingredients which are savoury, it renders
them peculiarly grateful to the palate[2].

It is a maxim, as ancient, I believe, as the time of Hippocrates,
that "whatever pleases the palate nourishes;" and I have often
had reason to think it perfectly just. Could it be clearly
ascertained and demonstrated, it would tend to place COOKERY in a
much more respectable situation among the arts than it now holds.

That the manner in which Food is prepared is a matter of real
importance; and that the water used in that process acts a much
more important part than has hitherto been generally imagined, is,
I think, quite evident; for, it seems to me to be impossible,
upon any other suppositions, to account for the appearances.
If the very small quantity of solid Food which enters into the
composition of a portion of some very nutritive soup were to be
prepared differently, and taken under some other form, that of
bread, for instance; so far from being sufficient to satisfy
hunger, and afford a comfortable and nutritive meal, a person
would absolutely starve upon such a slender allowance; and no
great relief would be derived from drinking CRUDE water to fill
up the void in the stomach.

But it is not merely from an observation of the apparent effects
of cookery upon those articles which are used as Food for man,
that we are led to discover the importance of these culinary
processes. Their utility is proved in a manner equally conclusive
and satisfactory, by the efforts which have been produced by
employing the same process in preparing Food for brute animals.

It is well known, that boiling the potatoes with which hogs are
fed, renders them much more nutritive; and since the introduction
of the new system of feeding horned cattle, that of keeping them
confined in the stables all the year round, (a method which is
now coming fast into common use in many parts of Germany,) great
improvements have been made in the art of providing nourishment
for those animals; and particularly by preparing their Food, by
operations similar to those of cookery; and to these improvements
it is most probably owing, that stall feeding has, in that
country, been so universally successful.

It has long been a practice in Germany for those who fatten
bullocks for the butcher, or feed milch-cows, to give them
frequently what is called a drank or drink; which is a kind of
pottage, prepared differently in different parts of the country,
and in the different seasons, according to the greater facility
with which one or other of the articles occasionally employed in
the composition of it may be procured; and according to the
particular fancies of individuals. Many feeders make a great
secret of the composition of their drinks, and some have, to my
knowledge, carried their refinement so far as actually to mix
brandy in them, in small quantities; and pretend to have found
their advantage in adding this costly ingredient.

The articles most commonly used are, bran, oatmeal, brewers grains,
mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, rye meal, and barley meal,
with a large proportion of water; sometimes two or three or more
of these articles are united in forming a drink; and of whatever
ingredients the drink is composed, a large proportion of salt is
always added to it.

There is, perhaps, nothing new in this method of feeding cattle
with liquid mixtures, but the manner in which these drinks are
now prepared in Germany is, I believe, quite new; and shows what

These drinks were formerly given cold, but it was afterwards
discovered that they were more nourishing when given warm; and of
late their preparation is, in many places, become a very regular
culinary process. Kitchens have been built, and large boilers
provided and fitted up, merely for cooking for the cattle in the
stables; and I have been assured by many very intelligent farmers,
who have adopted this new mode of feeding, (and have also found
by my own experience,) that it is very advantageous indeed;
that the drinks are evidently rendered much more nourishing and
wholesome by being boiled; and that the expence of fuel, and the
trouble attending this process, are amply compensated by the
advantages derived from the improvement of the Food. We even
find it advantageous to continue the boiling a considerable time,
two or three hours, for instance; as the Food goes on to be still
farther improved, the longer the boiling is continued[3].

These facts seem evidently to show, that there is some very
important secret with regard to nutrition, which has not been yet
properly investigated; and it seems to me to be more probable,
that the numbers of inhabitants who may be supported in any
country, upon its internal produce, depends almost as much upon
the state of THE ART OF COOKERY, as upon that of agriculture.
--The Chinese, perhaps, understand both these arts better than
any other nation.--Savages understand neither of them.

But, if cookery be of so much importance, it certainly deserves
to be studied with the greatest care; and it ought particularly
to be attended to in times of general alarm on account of a
scarcity of provisions; for the relief which may in such cases be
derived from it, is immediate and effectual, while all other
resources are distant and uncertain.

I am aware of the difficulties which always attend the
introduction of measures calculated to produce and remarkable
change in the customs and habits of mankind; and there is perhaps
no change more difficult to effect, than that which would be
necessary in order to make any considerable saving in the
consumption of those articles commonly used as Food; but still,
I am of opinion, that such a change might, with proper management,
be brought about.

There was a time, no doubt, when an aversion to potatoes was as
general, and as strong, in Great Britain, and even in Ireland,
as it is now in some parts of Bavaria; but this prejudice has
been got over; and I am persuaded, that any national prejudice,
however deeply rooted, may be overcome, provided proper means be
used for that purpose, and time allowed for their operation.

But notwithstanding the difficulty of introducing a general use
of soups throughout the country, or of any other kind of Food,
however palatable, cheap, and nourishing, to which people have
not been accustomed, yet these improvements might certainly be
made, with great facility, in all public hospitals and work-houses,
where the Poor are fed at the public expense; and the saving of
provisions, (not to mention the diminution of expence,) which
might be derived from this improvement, would be very important
at all times, and more especially in times of general scarcity.

Another measure, still more important, and which might, I am
persuaded, be easily carried into execution, is the establishment
of public kitchens in all towns, and large villages, throughout
the kingdom, whence, not only the Poor might be fed gratis, but
also all the industrious inhabitants of the neighbourhood might
be furnished with Food at so cheap a rate, as to be a very great
relief to them at all times; and in times of general scarcity,
this arrangement would alone be sufficient to prevent those
public and private calamities, which never fail to accompany that
most dreadful of all visitations, a famine.

The saving of Food that would result from feeding a large
proportion of the inhabitants of any country from public
kitchens, would be immense, and that saving would tend,
immediately, and most powerfully, to render provisions more
plentiful and cheap,--diminish the general alarm on account of
the danger of a scarcity, and prevent the hoarding up of
provisions by individuals, which is often alone sufficient,
without any thing else, to bring on a famine, even where there is
no real scarcity: for it is not merely the FEARS of individuals
which operate in these cases, and induce them to lay in a larger
store of provisions than they otherwise would do; and which
naturally increases the scarcity of provisions in the market,
and raises their prices; but there are persons who are so lost to
all the feelings of humanity, as often to speculate upon the
distress of the Public, and all THEIR operations effectually tend
to increase the scarcity in the markets, and augment the general

But without enlarging farther in this place upon these public
kitchens, and the numerous and important advantages which may in
all countries be derived from them, I shall return to the
interesting subjects which I have undertaken to investigate;--
the science of nutrition, and the art of providing wholesome and
palatable Food at a small expence.


Of the Pleasure of Eating, and of the Means that may be
employed for increasing it.

What has already been said upon this subject will, I flatter
myself, be thought sufficient to show that, FOR ALL THE PURPOSES
OF NOURISHMENT, a much smaller quantity of solid Food will
suffice than has hitherto been thought necessary; but there is
another circumstance to be taken into the account, and that is,
the PLEASURE OF EATING;--an enjoyment of which no person will
consent to be deprived.

The pleasure enjoyed in eating depends first upon the
agreeableness of the taste of the Food; and secondly, upon its
power to affect the palate. Now there are many substances
extremely cheap, by which very agreeable tastes may be given to
Food; particularly when the basis or nutritive substance of the
Food is tasteless; and the effect of any kind of palatable solid
Food, (of meat, for instance,) upon the organs of taste, may be
increased, almost indefinitely, by reducing the size of the
particles of such Food, and causing it to act upon the palate by
a larger surface. And if means be used to prevent its being
swallowed too soon, which may be easily done by mixing with it
some hard and tasteless substance, such as crumbs of bread
rendered hard by toasting, or any thing else of that kind,
by which a long mastrication is rendered necessary, the enjoyment
of eating may be greatly increased and prolonged.

The idea of occupying a person a great while, and affording him
much pleasure at the same time, in eating a small quantity of
Food, may, perhaps, appear ridiculous to some; but those who
consider the matter attentively, will perceive that it is very
important. It is, perhaps, as much so as any thing that can
employ the attention of the philosopher.

The enjoyments which fall to the lot of the bulk of mankind are
not so numerous as to render an attempt to increase them superfluous.
And even in regard to those who have it in their power to gratify
their appetites to the utmost extent of their wishes, it is
surely rendering them a very importance service to show them how
they may increase their pleasures without destroying their health.

If a glutton can be made to gormandize two hours upon two ounces
of meat, it is certainly much better for him, than to give
himself an indigestion by eating two pounds in the same time.

I was led to meditate upon this subject by mere accident. I had
long been at a loss to understand how the Bavarian soldiers,
who are uncommonly stout, strong, and healthy men, and who, in
common with all other Germans, are remarkably fond of eating,
could contrive to live upon the very small sums they expended for
Food; but a more careful examination of the economy of their
tables cleared up the point, and let me into a secret which
awakened all my curiosity. These soldiers, instead of being
starved upon their scanty allowance, as might have been suspected,
I found actually living in a most comfortable and even luxurious
manner. I found that they had contrived not only to render their
Food savoury and nourishing, but, what appeared to me still more
extraordinary, had found the means of increasing its action upon
the organs of taste so as actually to augment, and even prolong
to a most surprising degree, the enjoyment of eating.

This accidental discovery made a deep impression upon my mind,
and gave a new turn to all my ideas on the subject of Food.--
It opened to me a new and very interesting field for investigation
and experimenting inquiry, of which I had never before had a
distinct view; and thenceforward my diligence in making
experiments, and in collecting information relative to the manner
in which Food is prepared in different countries, was redoubled.

In the following Chapter may be seen the general results of all
my experiments and inquiries relative to this subject.--A desire
to render this account as concise and short as possible has
induced me to omit much interesting speculation which the subject
naturally suggested; but the ingenuity of the reader will supply
this defect, and enable him to discover the objects particularly
aimed at in the experiments, even where they are not mentioned,
and to compare the results of practice with the assumed theory.


Of the different kinds of food furnished to the poor in the
house of industry at Munich, with an account of the cost of them.
Of the Expense of providing the same kinds of food in Great
Britain, as well at the present high prices of provisions,
as at the ordinary prices of them.
Of the various improvements of which these different kinds of
cheap food are capable.

Before the introduction of potatoes as Food in the House of
Industry at Munich, (which was not done till last August,)
the Poor were fed with a soup composed in the following manner:

Weight Cost in
Ingredients Avoirdupois sterling money.
lb. oz. L. s. d.
4 viertls[4] of pearl barley, equal
to about 20 1/3 gallons ... ... ... 141 2 0 11 7 1/2
4 viertls of peas ... ... ... ... 131 4 0 7 3 1/4
Cuttings of fine wheaten bread ... 69 10 0 10 2 1/4
Salt ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 19 13 0 1 2 1/2
24 maass, very weak beer--vinegar,
or rather small beer turned sour, about
24 quarts ... ... ... ... ... ... 46 13 0 1 5 1/2
Water, about 560 quarts ... ... ... 1077 0
-------- -------------
1485 10 1 11 8 13/22

Brought over 1 11 8 13/22
Fuel, 88lb. of dry pine wood, the Bavarian
clafter, (weighing 3961 lb. avoirdupois,)
at 8s. 2 1/4d. sterling[5] ... ... ... ... ... 0 0 2 1/4
Wages of three cook-maids, at twenty florins
(37s. 7 1/2d.) a year, makes daily ... ... ... 0 0 3 2/3
Daily expence for feeding the three cook-maids,
at ten creutzers (3 2/3 pence sterling) each,
according to an agreement made with them ... ... 0 0 11
Daily wages of two men servants, employed in
going to market--collecting donations of bread,
etc. helping in the kitchen, and assisting in
serving out the soup to the Poor ... ... ... 0 1 7 1/4
Repairs of the kitchen, and of the kitchen
furniture, about 90 florins (8L. 3s. 7d. sterling)
a year, makes daily ... ... ... ... ... ... 0 0 5 1/2
Total daily expense, when dinner is provided for
1200 persons ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 15 2 1/4

This sum (1L. 15s. 2 1/4d.) divided by 1200, the number of
portions of soup furnished, gives for each portion a mere trifle
more than ONE THIRD OF A PENNY, or exactly 422/1200 of a penny;
the weight of each portion being about 20 ounces.

But, moderate as these expenses are, which have attended the
feeding of the Poor of Munich, they have lately been reduced
still farther by introducing the use of potatoes.--These most
valuable vegetables were hardly known in Bavaria till very
lately; and so strong was the aversion of the public, and
particularly of the Poor, against them, at the time when we began
to make use of them in the public kitchen of the House of
Industry in Munich, that we were absolutely obliged, at first,
to introduce them by stealth.--A private room in a retired corner
was fitted up as a kitchen for cooking them; and it was necessary
to disguise them, by boiling them down entirely, and destroying
their form and texture, to prevent their being detected:--but the
Poor soon found that their soup was improved in its qualities;
and they testified their approbation of the change that had been
made in it so generally and loudly, that it was at last thought
to be no longer necessary to conceal from them the secret of its
composition, and they are now grown so fond of potatoes that they
would not easily be satisfied without them.

The employing of potatoes as an ingredient in the soup has
enabled us to make a considerable saving in the other more costly
materials, as may be seen by comparing the following receipt with
that already given.


Ingredients. Weight Cost in
Avoirdupois. sterling money.
lb. oz. L. s. d.
2 viertls of pearl barley ... ... 70 9 0 5 9 13/22
2 viertls of peas ... ... ... 65 10 0 3 7 5/8
8 viertls of potatoes ... ... 230 4 0 1 9 9/11
Cuttings of bread ... ... ... 69 10 0 10 2 4/11
Salt ... ... ... ... ... ... 19 13 0 1 2 1/2
Vinegar ... ... ... ... ... 46 13 0 1 5 1/2
Water ... ... ... ... ... ... 982 15
Total weight 1485 10
Expenses for fuel, servants, repairs,
etc. as before ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0 3 5 5/12
Total daily expence, when dinner is provided for
1200 persons ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 7 6 2/3

This sum (1L. 7s. 6 2/3.) divided by 1200, the number of portions
of soup, gives for each portion ONE FARTHING very nearly; or
accurately, 1 1/40 farthing.

The quantity of each of the ingredients contained in one portion
of soup is as follows:

In avoirdupois weight.
Ingredients. Soup, No I. Soup, No II.

Of pearl barley 1 1058/1200 0 1129/1200
Of peas ... ... 1 960/1200 0 1050/1200
Of potatoes ... ------ 3 84/1200
Of bread ... ... 0 1114/1200 0 1114/1200
----------- --------------
Total solids 4 772/1200 5 977/1200
Of salt ... ... 0 316/1200 0 316/1200
Of weak vinegar 0 748/1200 0 748/1200
Of water ... ... 14 432/1200 13 127/1200
----------- --------------
Total 19 968/1200 19 968/1200

The expence of preparing these soups will vary with the prices of
the articles of which they are composed; but as the quantities of
the ingredients, determined by weight, are here given, it will be
easy to ascertain exactly what they will cost in any case whatever.

Suppose, for instance, it were required to determine how much
1200 portions of the Soup, No. I. would cost in London at this
present moment, (the 12th of November 1795,) when all kinds of
provisions are uncommonly dear. I see by a printed report of the
Board of Agriculture, of the day before yesterday (November 10),
that the prices of the articles necessary for preparing these
soups were as follows:

Barley, per bushel weighing 46lb. at 5s. 6d. which gives for each
pound about 1 1/2d; but prepared as pearl barley, it will cost
at least two pence per pound[6].

Boiling peas per bushel, weighing 61 1/4lb. (at 10s.) which gives
for each pound nearly 1 1/2d.

Potatoes, per bushel, weighing 58 1/2lb. at 2s. 6d. which gives
nearly one halfpenny for each pound.

And I find that a quartern loaf of wheaten bread, weighing 4lb.
5oz. costs now in London 1s. 0 1/4d.;--this bread must therefore
be reckoned at 11 25/69 farthings per pound.

Salt costs 1 1/2. per pound; and vinegar (which is probably six
times as strong as that stuff called vinegar which is used in the
kitchen of the House of Industry at Munich) costs 1s. 8d. per

This being premised, the computations may be made as follows:

Expence of preparing in London, in the month of November 1795,
1200 portions of the Soup, No I.

lb oz s d L. s. d.
141 2 pearl barley, at 0 2 per lb. 1 12 6
131 4 peas, at 0 1 1/2 ------ 0 16 4
69 10 wheaten bread, at 0 11 25/99 ------ 0 16 6
19 13 salt, at 0 1 1/2 ------ 0 2 5 1/2
Vinegar, one gallon, at 1 8 ------ 0 1 8
Expences for fuel, servants, kitchen
furniture, etc. reckoning three times
as much as those articles of expence amount
to daily at Munich ... ... ... ... ... 0 10 4 1/4
Total 3 9 9 1/4

Which sum (3L. 9s. 9 1/4d.) divided by 1200, the number of
portions of soup, gives 2 951/1200 farthings, or nearly 2 3/4
farthings for each portion.

For the Soup, No II. it will be,
lb. oz. s. d. L. s. d.
70 9 pearl barley, at 0 2 ------ 0 11 9
65 10 peas, at 0 1 1/2 ------ 0 8 2
230 4 potatoes, at 0 0 1/2 ------ 0 13 9
69 10 bread, at 0 11 25/65 ------ 0 16 6
19 13 salt, at 0 1 1/2 ------ 0 2 5 1/2
Vinegar, one gallon ------ 0 1 8
Expenses for fuel, servants, etc. ------ 0 10 4 1/4
Total 3 4 7 3/4

This sum (3L. 4s. 7 3/4d.) divided by 1200, the number of
portions, gives for each 2 1/2 farthings very nearly.

This soup comes much higher here in London, than it would do in
most other parts of Great Britain, on account of the very high
price of potatoes in this city; but in most parts of the kingdom,
and certainly in every part of Ireland, it may be furnished,
even at this present moment, notwithstanding the uncommonly high
prices of provisions, at less than ONE HALFPENNY the portion of
20 ounces.

Though the object most attended to in composing these soups was
to render them wholesome and nourishing, yet they are very far
from being unpalatable.--The basis of the soups, which is water
prepared and thickened by barley, is well calculated to receive,
and to convey to the palate in an agreeable manner, every thing
that is savoury in the other ingredients; and the dry bread
rendering mastication necessary, prolongs the action of the Food
upon the organs of taste, and by that means increases and
PROLONGS the enjoyment of eating.

But though these soups are very good and nourishing, yet they
certainly are capable of a variety of improvements.--The most
obvious means of improving them is to mix with them a small
quantity of salted meat, boiled, and cut into very small pieces,
(the smaller the better,) and to fry the bread that is put into
them in butter, or in the fat of salted pork or bacon.

The bread, by being fried, is not only rendered much harder, but
being impregnated with a fat or oily substance it remains hard
after it is put into the soup, the water not being able to
penetrate it and soften it.

All good cooks put fried bread, cut into small square pieces, in
peas-soup; but I much doubt whether they are aware of the very
great importance of that practice, or that they have any just
idea of the MANNER in which the bread improves the soup.

The best kind of meat for mixing with these soups is salted pork,
or bacon, or smoked beef.

Whatever meat is used, it ought to be boiled either in clear water
or in the soup; and after it is boiled, it ought to be cut into
very small pieces, as small perhaps, as barley-corns.--The bread
may be cut in pieces of the size of large peas, or in thin slices;
and after it is fried, it may be mixed with the meat and put into
the soup-dishes, and the soup poured on them when it is served out.

Another method of improving this soup is to mix it with small
dumplins, or meat-balls, made of bread, flour, and smoked beef,
ham, or any other kind of salted meat, or of liver cut into small
pieces, or rather MINCED, as it is called.--These dumplins may
be boiled either in the soup or in clear water, and put into the
soup when it is served out.

As the meat in these compositions is designed rather to please
the palate than for any thing else, the soup being sufficiently
nourishing without it, it is or much importance that it be
reduced to very small pieces, in order that it be brought into
contract with the organs of taste by a large surface; and that it
be mixed with some hard substance, (fried bread, for instance,
crumbs, or hard dumplins,) which will necessarily prolong the
time employed in mastication.

When this is done, and where the meat employed has much flavour,
a very small quantity of it will be found sufficient to answer
the purpose required.

ONE OUNCE of bacon, or of smoked beef, and ONE OUNCE of fried
bread, added to EIGHTEEN OUNCES of the Soup No. I. would afford
an excellent meal, in which the taste of animal food would
decidedly predominate.

Dried salt fish, or smoked fish, boiled and then minced, and made
into dumplins with mashed potatoes, bread, and flour, and boiled
again, would be very good, eaten with either of the Soup No. I.
or No. II.

These soups may likewise be improved, by mixing with them various
kinds of cheap roots and green vegetables, as turnips, carrots,
parsnips, celery, cabbages, sour-crout, etc. as also by seasoning
them with fine herbs and black pepper.--Onions and leeks may
likewise be used with great advantage, as they not only serve to
render the Food in which they enter as ingredients peculiarly
savoury, but are really very wholesome.

With regard to the barley made use of in preparing these soups,
though I always have used pearl barley, or rolled barley(as it is
called in Germany), yet I have no doubt but common barley-meal
would answer nearly as well; particularly if care were taken to
boil it gently for a sufficient length of time over a slow fire
before the peas are added[7].

Till the last year, we used to cook the barley-soup and the
peas-soup separate, and not to mix them till the moment when they
were poured into the tubs upon the cut bread, in order to be
carried into the dining-hall; but I do not know that any
advantages were derived from that practice; the soup being,

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