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

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ESSAYS, political, economical and philosophical

by Benjamin Count of Rumford

Knight of the orders of the white eagle, and St. Atanislaus;
Chamberlain, Privy Counsellor of State, and Lieutenant-General
in the Service of his Most Serene Highness the Elector Palatine,
Reigning Duke of Bavaria; Colonel of his Regiment of Artillery,
and Commander in Chief of the General Staff of his Army; F.R.S.
Acad. R Hiber. Berol. Elec. Boicoe. Palat. et Amer. Soc.




First Essay
An account of an Establishment for the Poor at Munich

Second Essay
On the Fundamental Principles on which General Establishments for
the Relief of the Poor may be formed in all Countries.

Third Essay
Of Food and Particularly of Feeding the Poor.

Fourth Essay
Of Chimney Fire-places with proposals for improving them to save
Fuel; to render dwelling-houses more Comfortable and Salubrious,
and effectually to prevent Chimnies from Smoking.

Fifth Essay
A Short Account of several public institutions lately formed in
Bavaria. together with the Appendix to the First Volume.


To his most serene highness THE ELECTOR PALATINE reigning duke
of bavaria. etc. etc. etc.


In requesting permission to dedicate to you most Serene
Electoral Highness these Essays, I had several important
objects in view: I was desirous of showing to the world that I
had not presumed to publish an account of public measures and
institutions, planned and executed in your Electorial
Highness's dominions,--by your orders,--and under your
immediate authority and protection, without your leave and
approbation. I was also desirous of availing myself of the
illustrious name of a Sovereign eminently distinguished by his
munificence in promoting useful knowledge, and by his solicitude
for the happiness and prosperity of his subjects, to recommend
the important objects I have undertaken to investigate, to the
attention of the Great,--the Wise,--and the Benevolent.
And lastly, I was anxious to have an opportunity of testifying,
in a public manner, my gratitude to your most Serene Electoral
Highness for all your kindness to me; and more especially for
the distinguished honour you have done me by selecting and
employing me as an instrument in your hands of doing good.

I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect,
and with unalterable attachment,


Devoted Servant,



July, 1st, 1796.



together with

A Detail of various Public Measures, connected with that
Institution, which have been adopted and carried into effect for
putting an End to Mendicity, and introducing Order, and useful
Industry, among the more Indigent of the Inhabitants of Bavaria.


Of the prevalence of mendicity in Bavaria at the time when the
measures for putting an end to it were adopted.

Various preparations made for putting an end to mendicity in bavaria.
Cantonment of the cavalry in the country towns and villages.
Formation of the committee placed at the head of the institution
for the poor at Munich.
The funds of that institution.

Preparations made for giving employment to the poor.
Difficulties attending that undertaking.
The measures adopted completely successful.
The poor reclaimed to habits of useful industry.
Description of the house of industry at Munich.

An account of the taking up of the beggars at Munich.
The inhabitants are called upon for their assistance.
General subscription for the relief and support of the poor.
All other public and private collections for the poor abolished.

The different kinds of employment given to the beggars upon their
being assembled in the house of industry.
Their great awkwardness at first.
Their docility, and their progress in useful industry.
The manner in which they were treated.
The manner in which they were fed.
The Precautions used to prevent Abuses in the Public Kitchen from
which they were fed.

Apology for the want of method in treating the subject under
Of the various means used for encouraging industry among the poor.
Of the internal arrangement and government of the house of industry.
Why called the military work-house.
Of the manner in which the business is carried on there.
Of the various means used for preventing frauds in carrying on the
business in the different manufactures.
Of the flourishing state of those manufactures.

A further account of the poor who were brought together in the
house of industry:--and of the interesting change which was
produced in their manners and dispositions.
Various proofs that the means used for making them industrious,
comfortable, and happy, were successful.

Of the means used for the relief of those poor persons who were
not beggars.
Of the large sums of money distributed to the poor in alms.
Of the means used for rendering those who received alms industrious.
Of the general utility of the house of industry to the poor,
and the distressed of all denominations.
Of public kitchens for feeding the poor, united with establishments
for giving them employment; and of the great advantages which
would be derived from forming them in every parish.
Of the manner in which the poor of Munich are lodged.

Of the means used for extending the influence of the institution
for the poor at Munich, to other parts of Bavaria.
Of the progress which some of the improvements introduced at Munich
are making in other countries.


[ IMAGE ] view of the Military Workhouse at Munich

Situation of the Author in the Service of His Most Serene
Highness the ELECTOR PALATINE, Reigning Duke of BAVARIA.
Reasons which induced him to undertake to form an Establishment
for the Relief of the Poor.

Among the vicissitudes of a life chequered by a great variety of
incidents, and in which I have been called upon to act in many
interesting scenes, I have had an opportunity of employing my
attention upon a subject of great importance; a subject
intimately and inseparably connected with the happiness and
well-being of all civil societies; and which, from its nature,
cannot fail to interest every benevolent mind;--it is the
providing for the wants of the Poor, and the securing their
happiness and comfort by the introduction of order and industry
among them.

The subject, though it is so highly interesting to mankind, has
not yet been investigated with that success that could have been
wished. This fact is apparent, not only from the prevalence of
indolence, misery, and beggary, in almost all the countries of
Europe; but also from the great variety of opinion among those
who have taken the matter into serious consideration, and have
proposed methods for remedying those evils; so generally, and so
justly complained of.

What I have to offer upon the this subject being not merely
speculative opinion, but the genuine result of actual experiments;
of experiments made upon a very large scale, and under circumstances
which render them peculiarly interesting; I cannot help flattering
myself that my readers will find both amusement, and useful
information, from the perusal of the following sheets.

As it may perhaps appear extraordinary that a military man should
undertake a work so foreign to his profession, as that of forming
and executing a plan for providing for the Poor, I have thought
it not improper to preface the narrative of my operations, by a
short account of the motives which induced me to engage in this
undertaking. And in order to throw still more light upon the
whole transaction, I shall begin with a few words of myself,
of my situation in the country in which I reside, and of the
different objects which were had in view in the various public
measures in which I have been concerned. This information is
necessary in order to form a clear idea of the circumstances
under which the operations in question were undertaken, and the
different public measures which were adopted at the same time.

Having in the year 1784, with His Majesty's gracious permission,
engaged myself in the service of His Most Serene Highness the
Elector Palatine, Reigning Duke of Bavaria, I have since been
employed by His Electoral Highness in various public services,
and particularly in arranging his military affairs, and introducing
a new system of order, discipline, and economy among his troops.

In the execution of this commission, ever mindful of that great and
important truth, that no political arrangement can be really good,
except in so far as it contributes to the general good of society,
I have endeavoured in all my operations to unite the interest of
the soldier with the interest of civil society, and to render the
military force, even in time of peace, subservient to the PUBLIC GOOD.

To facilitate and promote these important objects, to establish a
respectable standing military force, which should do the least
possible harm to the population, morals, manufactures, and
agriculture of the country, it was necessary to make soldiers
citizens, and citizens soldiers. To this end the situation of
the soldier was made as easy, comfortable, and eligible as
possible; his pay was increased, he was comfortably, and even
elegantly clothed, and he was allowed every kind of liberty not
inconsistent with good order and due subordination; his military
exercises were simplified, his instruction rendered short and
easy, and all obsolete and useless customs and usages were
banished from the service. Great attention was paid to the
external appearance of the buildings; and nothing was left
undone, that could tend to make the men comfortable in their
dwellings. Schools were established in all the regiments,
for arithmetic; and into these schools, not only the soldiers
and their children, but also the children of the neighbouring
citizens and peasants, were admitted gratis, and even school-books,
paper[1], pens, and ink, were furnished for them, at the expense
of the Sovereign.

Besides these schools of instruction, others, called schools of
industry, were established in the regiments, where the soldiers
and their children were taught various kinds of work, and from
whence they were supplied with raw materials, to work for their
own emolument.

As nothing is so certain fatal to morals, and particularly to the
morals of the lower class of mankind, as habitual idleness, every
possible measure was adopted, that could be devised, to introduce
a spirit of industry among the troops. Every encouragement was
given to the soldiers to employ their leisure time, when they
were off duty, in working for their own emolument; and among
other encouragements, the most efficacious of all, that of
allowing them full liberty to dispose of the money acquired by
their labour in any way they should think proper, without being
obliged to give any account of it to any body. They were even
furnished with working dresses, (a canvas frock and trousers,)
gratis, at their enlisting, and were afterwards permitted to
retain their old uniforms for the same purpose; and care was
taken, in all cases where they were employed, that they should be
well paid.

They commonly received from sixteen to eighteen creutzers[2] a-day
for their labour; and with this they had the advantage of being
clothed and lodged, and, in many cases, of receiving their full pay
of five creutzers, and a pound and a half (1 lb. 13 1/2; oz.
Avoirdupois) of bread per day from the Sovereign. When they did
their duty in their regiments, by mounting guard regularly
according to their tour (which commonly was every fourth day,)
and only worked those days they happened to be off guard, in that
case, they received their full pay; but when they were excused
from regimental duty, and permitted to work every day for their
own emolument, their pay (at five creutzers per day,) was
stopped, but they were still permitted to receive their bread,
and to lodge in the barracks.

In all public works, such as making and repairing highways,
--draining marshes,--repairing the banks of rivers, etc.
soldiers were employed as labourers; and in all such cases,
the greatest care was taken to provide for their comfortable
subsistence, and even for their amusement. Good lodgings were
prepared for them, and good and wholesome food, at a reasonable
price; and the greatest care was taken of them when they happened
to fall sick.

Frequently, when considerable numbers of them were at work
together, a band of music was ordered to play to them while at
work; and on holidays they were permitted, and even encouraged,
to make merry, with dancing and other innocent sports and

To preserve good order and harmony among those who were detached
upon these working parties, a certain proportion of officers and
non-commissioned officers were always sent with them, and those
commonly served as overseers of the works, and as such were paid.

Besides this permission to work for hire in the garrison towns,
and upon detached working parties, which was readily granted to
all those who desired it, or at least to as many as could
possibly be spared from the necessary service of the garrison;
every facility and encouragement was given to the soldier who was
a native of the country, and who had a family of friends to go
to, or private concerns to take care of, to go home on furlough,
and to remain absent from his regiment from one annual exercise
to the other, that is to say, ten months and a half each year.
This arrangement was very advantageous to the agriculture and
manufactures, and even to the population of the country,
(for the soldiers were allowed to marry,) and served not a little
to the establishment of harmony and a friendly intercourse
between the soldiers and the peasantry, and to facilitate

Another measure which tended much to render the situation of the
soldier pleasant and agreeable, and to facilitate the recruiting
service, was the rendering the garrisons of the regiments permanent.
This measure might not be advisable in a despotic, or odious
government; for where the authority of the Sovereign must be
supported by the terror of arms, all habits of social intercourse
and friendship between the soldiers and the subjects must be
dangerous; but in all well-regulated governments, such friendly
intercourse is attended with many advantages.

A peasant would more readily consent to his son's engaging
himself to serve as a soldier in a regiment permanently stationed
in his neighbourhood, than in one at a great distance, or whose
destination was uncertain; and when the station of a regiment is
permanent, and it receives its recruits from the district of
country immediately surrounding its head-quarters, the men who go
home on furlough have but a short journey to make, and are easily
assembled in case of any emergency; and it was the more necessary
to give every facility to the soldiers to go home on furlough in
Bavaria, as labourers are so very scarce in that country that the
husbandman would not be able without them to cultivate his ground.

The habits of industry and of order which the soldier acquired
when in garrison, rendered him so much the more useful as a
labourer when on furlough; but not contented with merely
furnishing labours for the assistance of the husbandman, I was
desirous of making use of the army, as a means of introducing
useful improvements into the country.

Though agriculture is carried to the highest perfection in some
parts of the Elector's dominions, yet in others, and particularly
in Bavaria, it is still much behind-hand. Very few of the new
improvements in that art, such as the introduction of new and
useful plants--the cultivation of clover and of turnips--the
regular succession of crops, etc. have yet found their way into
general practice in that country; and even the potatoe, that most
useful of all the products of the ground, is scarcely known there.

It was principally with a view to introduce the culture of
potatoes in that country that the military gardens were formed.
These gardens (of which there is one in every garrison belonging
to the Elector's dominion, Dusseldorf and Amberg only
excepted[3]) are pieces of ground, in, or adjoining to the
garrison towns, which are regularly laid out, and exclusively
appropriated to the use of the non-commissioned officers and
private soldiers belonging to the regiments in garrison.
The ground is regularly divided into districts of regiments,
battalions, companies, and corporalities (corporalschafts,)
of which last divisions there are four to each company; and the
quantity of ground allotted to each corporality is such that each
man belonging to it, whether non-commissioned officer or private,
has a bed 365 square feet in superficies.

This piece of ground remains his sole property as long as he
continues to serve in the regiment, and he is at full liberty to
cultivate it in any way, and to dispose of the produce of it in
any manner he may think proper. He must however cultivate it,
and plant it, and keep it neat and free from weeds; otherwise,
if he should be idle, and neglect it, it would be taken from him
and given to one of his more industrious comrades.

The divisions of these military gardens are marked by broader and
smaller alleys, covered with gravel, and neatly kept; and in
order that every one who chooses it, may be a spectator of this
interesting scene of industry, all the principal alleys, which
are made large for that purpose, are always open as a public
walk. The effect which this establishment has already produced
in the short time (little more than five years) since it was
begun, is very striking, and much greater and more important than
I could have expected.

The soldiers, from being the most indolent of mortals, and from
having very little knowledge of gardening, or of the produce of a
garden, for use, are now becoming industrious and skilful
cultivators, and they are grown so fond of vegetables,
particularly of potatoes, which they raise in great quantities,
that these useful and wholesome productions now constitutes a
very essential part of their daily food. And these improvements
are also spreading very fast among the farmers and peasants,
throughout the whole country. There is hardly a soldier that
goes on furlough, or that returns home at the expiration of his
time of service, that does not carry with him a few potatoes for
planting, and a little collection of garden-seeds; and I have no
doubt but in a very few years we shall see potatoes as much
cultivated in Bavaria as in other countries; and that the use of
vegetables for food will be generally introduced among the common
people. I have already had the satisfaction to see little
gardens here and there making their appearance, in different
parts of the country, and I hope that very soon no farmer's house
will be found without one.

To assist the soldiers in the cultivation of their gardens,
they are furnished with garden utensils gratis; they are likewise
furnished from time to time with a certain quantity of manure,
and with an assortment of garden-feeds; but they do not rely
solely upon these supplies; those who are industrious collect
materials in their barracks, and in the streets, for making
manure, and even sometimes purchase it, and they raise in their
own gardens most of the garden-seeds they stand in need of.
To enable them to avail themselves of their gardens as early in
the spring as possible, in supplying their tables with green
vegetables, each company is furnished with a hot-bed for raising
early plants.

To attach the soldiers more strongly to these their little
possessions, by increasing their comfort and convenience in the
cultivation and enjoyment of them, a number of little summer-houses,
or rather huts, one to each company, have been erected for the
purpose of shelter, where they can retire when it rains, or when
they are fatigued.

All the officers of the regiments, from the highest to the lowest,
are ordered to give the men every assistance in the cultivation
of these their gardens; but they are forbidden, upon pain of the
severest punishment, to appropriate to themselves any part of the
produce of them, or even to receive any part of it in presents.


Of the prevalence of mendicity in Bavaria at the time when the
measures for putting an end to it were adopted.

Among the various measures that occurred to me by which the
military establishment of the country might be made subservient
to the public good in time of peace, none appeared to be of so
much importance as that of employing the army in clearing the
country of beggers, thieves and other vagabonds; and in watching
over the public tranquillity.

But in order to clear the country of beggers, (the number of whom
in Bavaria had become quite intolerable,) it was necessary to
adopt general and efficacious measures for maintaining and
supporting the Poor. Laws were not wanting to oblige each
community in the country to provide for its own Poor; but these
laws had been so long neglected, and beggary had become so
general, that extraordinary measures, and the most indefatigable
exertions, were necessary to put a stop to this evil. The number
of itinerant beggars, of both sexes, and all ages, as well
foreigners as natives, who strolled about the country in all
directions. levying contributions from the industrious
inhabitants, stealing and robbing, and leading a life of
indolence, and the most shameless debauchery, was quite
incredible; and so numerous were the swarms of beggars in all the
great towns, and particularly in the capital, so great their
impudence, and so persevering their importunity, that it was
almost impossible to cross the streets without being attacked,
and absolutely forced to satisfy their clamorous demands.
And these beggars were in general by no means such as from age
or bodily infirmities were unable by their labour to earn their
livelihood; but they were for the most part, stout, strong,
healthy, sturdy beggars, who, lost to every sense of shame,
had embraced the profession from choice, not necessity; and who,
not unfrequently, added insolence and threats to their importunity,
and extorted that from fear, which they could not procure by
their arts of dissimulation.

These beggars not only infested all the streets, public walks,
and public places, but they even made a practice of going into
private houses, where they never failed to steal whatever fell in
their way, if they found the doors open, and nobody at home; and
the churches were so full of them that it was quite a nuisance,
and a public scandal during the performance of divine service.
People at their devotions were continually interrupted by them,
and were frequently obliged to satisfy their demands in order to
be permitted to finish their prayers in peace and quite.

In short, these detestable vermin swarmed every where, and not
only their impudence and clamorous importunity were without any
bounds, but they had recourse to the most diabolical arts,
and most horrid crimes, in the prosecution of their infamous trade.
Young children were stolen from their parents by these wretches,
and their eyes put out, or their tender limbs broken and distorted,
in order, by exposing them thus maimed, to excite the pity and
commiseration of the public; and every species of artifice was
made use of to agitate the sensibility, and to extort the
contributions of the humane and charitable.

Some of these monsters were so void of all feeling as to expose
even their own children, naked, and almost starved, in the streets,
in order that, by their cries and unaffected expressions of
distress, they might move those who passed by to pity and relieve
them; and in order to make them act their part more naturally,
they were unmercifully beaten when they came home, by their
inhuman parents, if they did not bring with them a certain sum,
which they were ordered to collect.

I have frequently seen a poor child of five or six years of age,
late at night, in the most inclement season, sitting down almost
naked at the corner of a street, and crying most bitterly; if he
were asked what was the matter with him, he would answer, "I am
cold and hungry, and afraid to go home; my mother told me to
bring home twelve creutzers, and I have only been able to beg
five. My mother will certainly beat me if I don't carry home
twelve creutzers." Who could refuse so small a sum to relieve
so much unaffected distress?--But what horrid arts are these,
to work upon the feelings of the public, and levy involuntary
contributions for the support of idleness and debauchery!

But the evils arising from the prevalence of mendicity did not
stop here. The public, worn out and vanquished by the numbers
and persevering importunity of the beggars; and frequently
disappointed in their hopes of being relieved from their
depredations, by the failure of the numberless schemes that were
formed and set on foot for that purpose, began at last to
consider the case as quite desperate; and to submit patiently to
an evil for which they saw no remedy. The consequences of this
submission are easy to be conceived; the beggars, encouraged by
their success, were attached still more strongly to their
infamous profession; and others, allured by their indolent lives,
encouraged by their successful frauds, and emboldened by their
impunity, joined them. The habit of submission on the part of
the public, gave them a sort of right to pursue their
depredations;-- their growing numbers and their success gave a
kind of eclat to their profession; and the habit of begging
became so general, that it ceased to be considered as infamous;
and was by degrees in a manner interwoven with the internal
regulations of society. Herdsmen and shepherds, who attended
their flocks by the road-side, were known to derive considerable
advantage from the contributions which their situation enabled
them to levy from passengers; and I have been assured, that the
wages they received from their employers were often regulated
accordingly. The children in every country village, and those
even of the best farmers, made a constant practice of begging from
all strangers who passed; and one hardly ever met a person on
foot upon the road, particularly a woman, who did not hold out
her hand and ask for charity.

In the great towns, besides the children of the poorer sort,
who almost all made a custom of begging, the professional beggars
formed a distinct class, or cast, among the inhabitants; and in
general a very numerous one. There was even a kind of political
connection between the members of this formidable body;
and certain general maxims were adopted, and regulations observed,
in the warfare they carried on against the public. Each beggar had
his particular beat, or district, in the possession of which it
was not thought lawful to disturb him; and certain rules were
observed in disposing of the districts in case of vacancies by
deaths or resignations, promotions or removals. A battle, it is
true, frequently decided the contest between the candidates; but
when the possession was once obtained, whether by force of arms,
or by any other means, the right was ever after considered as
indisputable. Alliances by marriage were by no means uncommon in
this community; and, strange as it may appear, means were found
to procure legal permission from the civil magistrates for the
celebration of these nuptials! The children were of course
trained up in the profession of their parents; and having the
advantage of an early education, were commonly great proficients
in their trade.

As there is no very essential difference between depriving a
person of his property by stealth, and extorting it from him
against his will, by dint of clamorous importunity, or under
false pretence of feigned distress and misfortune; so the
transition from begging to stealing is not only easy,
but perfectly natural. That total insensibility to shame,
and all those other qualifications which are necessary in the
profession of a beggar, are likewise essential to form an
accomplished thief; and both these professions derive very
considerable advantages from their union. A beggar who goes
about from house to house to ask for alms, has many opportunities
to steal, which another would not so easily find; and his
profession as a beggar gives him a great facility in disposing of
what he steals; for he can always say it was given him in
charity. No wonder then that thieving and robbing should be
prevalent where beggars are numerous.

That this was the case in Bavaria will not be doubted by those
who are informed that in the four years immediately succeeding
the introduction of the measures adopted for putting an end to
mendicity, and clearing the country of beggars, thieves, robbers,
etc. above TEN THOUSAND of these vagabonds, foreigners and
natives, were actually arrested and delivered over to the civil
magistrates; and that in taking up the beggars in Munich, and
providing for those who stood in need of public assistance,
no less than 2600 of the one description and the other, were
entered upon the lists in one week; though the whole number of
the inhabitants of the city of Munich probably does not amount
to more than 60,000, even including the suburbs.

These facts are so very extraordinary, that were they not
notorious, I should hardly have ventured to mention them,
for fear of being suspected of exaggeration; but they are perfectly
known in the country, by every body; having been published by
authority in the news-papers at the time, with all their various
details and specifications, for the information of the public.

What has been said, will, I fancy, be thought quite sufficient to
show the necessity of applying a remedy to the evils described;
and of introducing order and a spirit of industry among the lower
classes of the people. I shall therefore proceed, without any
farther preface, to give an account of the measures which were
adopted and carried into execution for that purpose.


Various preparations made for putting an end to mendicity in bavaria.
Cantonment of the cavalry in the country towns and villages.
Formation of the committee placed at the head of the institution
for the poor at Munich.
The funds of that institution.

As soon as it was determined to undertake this great and
difficult work, and the plan of operations was finally settled,
various preparations were made for its execution.

The first preliminary step taken, was to canton four regiments of
cavalry in Bavaria and the adjoining provinces, in such a manner
that not only every considerable town was furnished with a
detachment, but most of the large villages were occupied;
and in every part of the country small parties of threes, fours,
and fives, were so stationed; at the distance of one, two, and
three leagues from each other; that they could easily perform
their daily patroles from one station to another in the course of
the day, without ever being obliged to stop at a peasant's house,
or even at an inn, or ever to demand forage for their horses,
or victuals for themselves, or lodgings, from any person whatever.
This arrangement of quarters prevented all disputes between the
military and the people of the country. The head-quarters of
each regiment, where the commanding officer of the regiment
resided, was established in a central situation with respect to
the extent of country occupied by the regiment;--each squadron
had its commanding officer in the centre of its district,--
and the subalterns and non-commissioned officers were so distributed
in the different cantonments, that the privates were continually
under the inspection of their superiors, who had orders to keep a
watchful eye over them;--to visit them in their quarters very
often;--and to preserve the strictest order and discipline among

To command these troops, a general officer was named, who,
after visiting every cantonment in the whole country, took up his
residence at Munich.

Printed instructions were given to the officer, or non-commissioned
officer, who commanded a detached post, or patrole;--regular
monthly returns were ordered to be made to the commanding
officers of the regiment, by the officers commanding squadrons;--
to the commanding general, by the officers commanding regiments;--
and by the commanding general, to the council of war, and to the

To prevent disputes between the military and the civil authorities,
and, as far as possible, to remove all grounds of jealousy and
ill-will between them; as also to preserve peace and harmony
between the soldiery and the inhabitants, these troops were
strictly ordered and enjoined to behave on all occasions to
magistrates and other persons in civil authority with the utmost
respect and deference;--to conduct themselves towards the
peasants and other inhabitants in the most peaceable and friendly
manner;-- to retire to their quarters very early in the evening;--
and above all, cautiously to avoid disputes and quarrels with the
people of the country. They were also ordered to be very
diligent and alert in making their daily patroles from one
station to another;-- to apprehend all thieves and other
vagabonds that infested the country, and deliver them over to the
civil magistrates;-- to apprehend deserters, and conduct them
from station to station to their regiments;--to conduct all
prisoners from one part of the country to another;--to assist the
civil magistrate in the execution of the laws, and in preserving
peace and order in the country, in all cases where they should be
legally called upon for that purpose;--to perform the duty of
messengers in carrying government dispatches and orders, civil as
well as military, in cases of emergency;-- and to bring accounts
to the capital, by express, of every extraordinary event of
importance that happens in the country;--to guard the frontiers,
and assist the officers of the revenue in preventing
smuggling;--to have a watchful eye over all soldiers on furlough
in the country, and when guilty of excesses, to apprehend them
and transport them to their regiments;--to assist the inhabitants
in case of fire, and particularly to guard their effects, and
prevent their being lost of stolen, in the confusion which
commonly takes place on those occasions;--to pursue and apprehend
all thieves, robbers, murderers, and other malefactors;--and in
general, to lend their assistance on all occasions where they
could be useful in maintaining peace, order, and tranquillity in
the country.

As the Sovereign had an undoubted right to quarter his troops
upon the inhabitants when they were employed for the police and
defence of the country, they were on this occasion called upon to
provide quarters for the men distributed in these cantonments;
but in order to make this burden as light as possible to the
inhabitants, they were only called upon to provide quarters for
the non-commissioned officers and privates; and instead of being
obliged to take THESE into their houses, and to furnish them with
victuals and lodgings, as had formerly been the practice, (and
which was certainly a great hardship,) a small house or barrack
for the men, with stabling adjoining to it for the horses, was
built, or proper lodgings were hired by the civil magistrate, in
each of these military stations, and the expense was levied upon
the inhabitants at large. The forage for the horses was provided
by the regiments, or by contractors employed for that purpose;
and the men, being furnished with a certain allowance of fire-wood,
and the necessary articles of kitchen furniture, were made to
provide for their own subsistence, by purchasing their provisions
at the markets, and cooking their victuals in their own quarters.

The officers provided their own lodgings and stabling, being
allowed a certain sum for that purpose in addition to their
ordinary pay.

The whole of the additional expence to the military chest,
for the establishment and support of these cantonments, amounted to
a mere trifle; and the burden upon the people, which attended the
furnishing of quarters for the non-commissioned officers and
privates, was very inconsiderable, and bore no proportion to the
advantages derived from the protection and security to their
persons and properties afforded by these troops[4].

Not only this cantonment of the cavalry was carried into
execution as a preliminary measure to the taking up of the
beggars in the capital, but many other preparatives were also
made for that undertaking.

As considerable sums were necessary for the support of such of the
poor as, from age or other bodily infirmities, were unable by their
industry to provide for their own subsistence; and as there were
no public funds any way adequate to such an expence, which could
be applied to this use, the success of the measure depended entirely
upon the voluntary subscriptions of the inhabitants; and in order
to induce these to subscribe liberally, it was necessary to
secure their approbation of the plan, and their confidence in
those who were chosen to carry it into execution. And as the
number of beggars was so great in Munich, and their importunity
so very troublesome, there could have been no doubt but any
sensible plan for remedying this evil would have been gladly
received by the public; but they had been so often disappointed
by fruitless attempts from time to time made for that purpose,
that they began to think the enterprize quite impossible, and to
consider every proposal for providing for the poor, and preventing
mendicity, as a mere job.

Aware of this, I took my measures accordingly. To convince the
public that the scheme was feasible, I determined first, by a
great exertion, to carry it into complete execution, and THEN to
ask them to support it. And to secure their confidence in those
employed in the management of it, persons of the highest rank,
and most respected character were chosen to superintend and
direct the affairs of the institution; and every measure was
taken that could be devised to prevent abuses.

Two principle objects were to be attended to, in making these
arrangements; the first was to furnish suitable employment to
such of the poor as were able to work; and the second, to provide
the necessary assistance for those who, from age, sickness, or
other bodily infirmities, were unable by their industry to
provide for themselves. A general system of police was likewise
necessary among this class of miserable beings; as well as
measures for reclaiming them, and making them useful subjects.
The police of the poor, as also the distribution of alms, and all
the economical details of the institution, were put under the
direction of a committee, composed of the president of the
council of war,--the president of the council of supreme
regency,--the president of the ecclesiastical council,--and the
president of the chamber of finances; and to assist them in this
work, each of the above-mentioned presidents was accompanied by
one counsellor of his respective department, at his own choice;
who was present at all the meetings of the committee, and who
performed the more laborious parts of the business. This committee,
which was called The Armen Instituts Deputation, had convenient
apartments fitted up for its meetings; a secretary, clerk,
and accountant, were appointed to it; and the ordinary guards of
the police were put under its immediate direction.

Neither the presidents nor the counsellors belonging to this
committee received any pay or emolument whatever for this service,
but took upon themselves this trouble merely from motives of
humanity, and a generous desire to promote the public good;
and even the secretary, and other inferior officers employed in
this business, received their pay immediately from the Treasury;
or from some other department; and not from the funds destined
for the relief of the poor: and in order most effectually remove
all suspicion with respect to the management of this business,
and the faithful application of the money destined for the poor,
instead of appointing a Treasurer to the committee, a public
banker of the town, a most respectable citizen[5], was named to
receive and pay all monies belonging to the institution, upon the
written orders of the committee; and exact and detailed accounts
of all monies received and expended were ordered to be printed
every three months, and distributed gratis among the inhabitants.

In order that every citizen might have it in his power to assure
himself that the accounts were exact, and that the sums expended
were bona fide given to the poor in alms, the money was publicly
distributed every Saturday in the town-hall, in the presence of a
number of deputies chosen from among the citizens themselves; and
an alphabetical list of the poor who received alms;--in which was
mentioned the weekly sum each person received;--and the place of
his or her abode, was hung up in the hall for public inspection.

But this was not all. In order to fix the confidence of the public
upon the most firm and immoveable basis, and to engage their good
will and cheerful assistance in support of the measures adopted,
the citizens were invited to take an active and honourable part
in the execution of the plan, and in the direction of its most
interesting details.

The town of Munich, which contains about 60,000 inhabitants,
had been formerly divided into four quarters. Each of these was
now subdivided into four districts, making in all sixteen
districts; and all the dwelling-houses, from the palace of the
sovereign to the meanest hovel, were regularly numbered,
and inscribed in printed lists provided for that purpose.
For the inspection of the poor in each district, a respectable
citizen was chosen, who was called the commissary of the
district, (abtheilungs commissaire,) and for his assistance,
a priest; a physician; a surgeon; and an apothecary; all of whom,
including the commissary, undertook this service without fee or
reward, from mere motives of humanity and true patriotism.
The apothecary was simply reimbursed the original cost of the
medicines he furnished.

To give more weight and dignity to the office of commissary of a
district, one of these commissaries, in rotation, was called to
assist at the meetings of the supreme committee; and all
applications for alms were submitted to the commissaries for
their opinion; or, more properly, all such applications went
through them to the committee. They were likewise particularly
charged with the inspection and police of the poor in their
several districts.

When a person already upon the poor list, or any other, in distress,
stood in need of assistance, he applied to the commissary of his
district, who, after visiting him, and enquiring into such the
circumstances of his case, afforded him such immediate assistance
as was absolutely necessary; or otherwise, if the case was such
as to admit of the delay, he recommended him to the attention of
the committee, and waited for their orders. If the poor person
was sick, or wounded, he was carried to some hospital; or the
physician, or surgeon of the district was sent for, and a nurse
provided to take care of him in his lodgings, If he grew worse,
and appeared to draw near his end, the priest was sent for, to
afford him such spiritual assistance as he might require; and if
he died, he was decently buried. After his death, the commissary
assisted at the inventory which was taken of his effects, a copy
of which inventory was delivered over to the committee. These
effects were afterwards sold;--and after deducting the amount of
the different sums received in alms from the institution by the
deceased during his lifetime, and the amount of the expenses of
his illness and funeral, the remainder, if any, was delivered
over to his lawful heirs; but when these effects were insufficient
for those purposes; or when no effects were to be found,
the surplus in the one case, and the whole of these expences in
the other, was borne by the funds of the institution.

These funds were derived from the following sources, viz.

First, from stated monthly allowances, from the sovereign out of
his private purse,--from the states,--and from the treasury,
or chamber of finances.

Secondly, and principally, from the voluntary subscription of the

Thirdly, from legacies left to the institution, and

Fourthly, from several small revenues arising from certain tolls,
fines, etc. which were appropriated to that use[6].

Several other, and some of them very considerable public funds,
originally designed by their founders for the relief of the poor,
might have been taken and appropriated to this purpose; but, as
some of these foundations had been misapplied, and others nearly
ruined by bad management, it would have been a very disagreeable
task to wrest them out of the hands of those who had the
administration of them; and I therefore judged it most prudent
not to meddle with them, avoiding, by that means, a great deal of
opposition to the execution of my plan.


Preparations made for giving employment to the poor.
Difficulties attending that undertaking.
The measures adopted completely successful.
The poor reclaimed to habits of useful industry.
Description of the house of industry at Munich.

But before I proceed to give a more particular account of the
funds of this institution, and of the application of them, it
will be necessary to mention the preparations which where made
for furnishing employment to the poor, and the means which were
used for reclaiming them from their vicious habits, and rendering
them industrious and useful subjects. And this was certainly the
most difficult, as well as the most curious and interesting part
of the undertaking. To trust raw materials in the hands of
common beggars, certainly required great caution and management;
--but to produce so total and radical a change in the morals,
manners, and customs of this debauched and abandoned race, as was
necessary to render them orderly and useful members of society,
will naturally be considered as an arduous, if not impossible,
enterprize. In this I succeeded; --for the proof of this fact I
appeal to the flourishing state of the different manufactories in
which these poor people are now employed,--to their orderly and
peaceable demeanour--to their cheerfulness--to their industry,--
to the desire to excel, which manifests itself among them upon
all occasions,--and to the very air of their countenances.
Strangers, who go to see this institution, (and there are very
few who pass through Munich who do not take that trouble,) cannot
sufficiently express their surprise at the air of happiness and
contentment which reigns throughout every part of this extensive
establishment, and can hardly be persuaded, that among those they
see so cheerfully engaged in that interesting scene of industry,
by far the greater part were, five years ago, the most miserable
and most worthless of beings,--common beggars in the streets.

An account of the means employed in bringing about this change
cannot fail to be interesting to every benevolent mind; and this
is what has encouraged me to lay these details before the public.

By far the greater number of the poor people to be taken care of
were not only common beggars, but had been up from their very
infancy in that profession; and were so attached to their
indolent and dissolute way of living, as to prefer it to all
other situations. They were not only unacquainted with all kinds
of work, but had the most insuperable aversion to honest labour;
and had been so long familiarized with every crime, that they had
become perfectly callous to all sense of shame and remorse.

With persons of this description, it is easy to be conceived that
precepts;--admonitions;--and punishments, would be of little or
no avail. But where precepts fail, HABITS may sometimes be

To make vicious and abandoned people happy, it has generally been
supposed necessary, FIRST to make them virtuous. But why not
reverse this order? Why not make them first HAPPY, and then
virtuous? If happiness and virtue be INSEPARABLE the end will be
as certainly obtained by the one method as by the other; and it
is most undoubtedly much easier to contribute to the happiness
and comfort of persons in a state of poverty and misery, than,
by admonitions and punishments, to reform their morals.

Deeply struck with the importance of this truth, all my measures
were taken accordingly. Every thing was done that could be
devised to make the poor people I had to deal with comfortable
and happy in their new situation; and my hopes, that a habit of
enjoying the real comforts and conveniences which were provided
for them, would in time, soften their hearts;--open their
eyes;--and render them grateful and docile, were not

The pleasure I have had in the success of this experiment is much
easier to be conceived than described. Would God that my success
might encourage others to follow my example! If it were generally
known how little trouble, and how little expence, are required to
do much good, the heart-felt satisfaction which arises from
relieving the wants, and promoting the happiness of our
fellow-creatures, is so great, that I am persuaded, acts of the
most essential charity would be much more frequent, and the mass
of misery among mankind would consequently be much lessened.

Having taken my resolution to make the COMFORT of the poor
people, who were to be provided for, the primary object of my
attention, I considered what circumstance in life, after the
necessaries, food and raiment, contributes most to comfort,
and I found it to be CLEANLINESS. And so very extensive is the
influence of cleanliness, that it reaches even to the brute

With what care and attention do the feathered race wash
themselves and put their plumage in order; and how perfectly
neat, clean and elegant do they ever appear! Among the beasts of
the field we find that those which are the most cleanly are
generally the most gay and cheerful; or are distinguished by a
certain air of tranquillity and contentment; and singing birds
are always remarkable for the neatness of their plumage. And so
great is the effect of cleanliness upon man, that it extends even
to his moral character. Virtue never dwelt long with filth and
nastiness; nor do I believe there ever was a person SCRUPULOUSLY
ATTENTIVE TO CLEANLINESS who was a consummate villain[7].

Order and disorder--peace and war--health and sickness, cannot
exist together; but COMFORT and CONTENTMENT the inseparable
companions of HAPPINESS and VIRTUE, can only arise from order,
peace, and health.

Brute animals are evidently taught cleanliness by instinct; and
can there be a stronger proof of its being essentially necessary
to their well-being and happiness?--But if cleanliness is
necessary to the happiness of brutes, how much more so must it be
to the happiness of the human race?

The good effects of cleanliness, or rather the bad effects of
filth and nastiness, may, I think, be very satisfactorily
accounted for. Our bodies are continually at war with whatever
offends them, and every thing offends them that adheres to them,
and irritates them,--and through by long habit we may be so
accustomed to support a physical ill, as to become almost
insensible to it, yet it never leaves the mind perfectly at peace.
There always remains a certain uneasiness, and discontent;--
an indecision, and an aversion from all serious application,
which shows evidently that the mind is not at rest.

Those who from being afflicted with long and painful disease,
suddenly acquire health, are best able to judge of the force of
this reasoning. It is by the delightful sensation they feel,
at being relieved from pain and uneasiness, that they learn to
know the full extent of their former misery; and the human heart
is never so effectually softened, and so well prepared and disposed
to receive virtuous impressions, as upon such occasions.

It was with a view to bring the minds of the poor and unfortunate
people I had to deal with to this state, that I took so much
pains to make them comfortable in their new situation. The state
in which they had been used to live was certainly most wretched
and deplorable; but they had been so long accustomed to it, that
they were grown insensible to their own misery. It was therefore
necessary, in order to awaken their attention, to make the contrast
between their former situation, and that which was prepared for
them, as striking as possible. To this end, every thing was done
that could be devised to make them REALLY COMFORTABLE.

Most of them had been used to living in the most miserable
hovels, in the midst of vermin, and every kind of filthiness; or
to sleep in the streets, and under the hedges, half naked, and
exposed to all the inclemencies of the seasons. A large and
commodious building, fitted up in the neatest and most
comfortable manner, was now provided for their reception.
In this agreeable retreat they found spacious and elegant
apartments, kept with the most scrupulous neatness; well warmed
in winter; well lighted; a good warm dinner every day, gratis;
cooked and served up with all possible attention to order and
cleanliness;-- materials and utensils for those who required
instruction;--the most generous pay, IN MONEY, for all the labour
performed; and the kindest usage from every person, from the
highest to the lowest, belonging to the establishment. Here,
in this asylum for the indigent and unfortunate, no ill usage;--
no harsh language, is permitted. During five years that the
establishment has existed, not a blow has been given to any one;
not even to a child by his instructor.

As the rules and regulations for the preservation of order are
few, and easy to be observed, the instances of their being
transgressed are rare; and as all the labour performed, is paid
for by the piece; and not by the day; and is well paid; and as
those who gain the most by their work in the course of the week,
receive proportional rewards on the Saturday evening; these are
most effectual encouragements to industry.

But before I proceed to give an account of the internal economy
of this establishment, it will be necessary to describe the
building which was appropriated to this use; and the other local
circumstances, necessary to be known, in order to have a clear
idea of the subject.

This building, which is very extensive, is pleasantly situated in
the Au, one of the suburbs of the city of Munich. It had
formerly been a manufactory, but for many years had been deserted
and falling to ruins. It was now completely repaired, and in
part rebuilt. A large kitchen, with a large eating-room
adjoining it, and a commodious bake-house, were added to the
buildings; and such other mechanics as were constantly wanted in
the manufactory for making and repairing the machinery were
established, and furnished with tools. Large halls were fitted
up for spinners of hemp;--for spinners of flax;--for spinners of
cotton;--for spinners of wool;--and for spinners of worsted; and
adjoining to each hall a small room was fitted up for a clerk or
inspector of the hall, (spin-schreiber). This room, which was at
the same time a store-room, and counting-house, and a large
window opening into the hall, from whence the spinners were
supplied with raw materials;--where they delivered their yarn
when spun;--and from whence they received an order upon the
cashier, signed by the clerk, for the amount of their labour.

Halls were likewise fitted up for weavers of woollens;--
for weavers of serges and shalloons;--for linen weavers;--
for weavers of cotton goods, and for stocking weavers;--
cloth shearers;--dryers;--sadlers;--wool-combers;--knitters;--
sempstresses, etc. Magazines were fitted up as well for finished
manufactures, as for raw materials, and rooms for counting-houses,
--store-rooms for the kitchen and bake-house,--and dwelling-rooms
for the inspectors and other officers who were lodged in the house.

A very spacious hall, 110 feet long, 37 feet wide, and 22 feet
high, with many windows on both sides, was fitted up as a
drying-room; and in this hall tenters were placed for stretching
out and drying eight pieces of cloth at once. The hall was so
contrived as to serve for the dyer and for the clothier at the
same time.

A fulling-mill was established upon a stream of water which runs
by one side of the court round which the building is erected;
and adjoining to the fulling-mill, is the dyers-shop; and the

This whole edifice, which is very extensive, was fitted up,
as has already been observed, in the neatest manner possible.
In doing this, even the external appearance of the building was
attended to. It was handsomely painted; without, as well as
within; and pains were taken to give it an air of ELEGANCE, as
well as of neatness and cleanliness. A large court in the middle
of the building was levelled, and covered with gravel; and the
approach to it from every side was made easy and commodious.
Over the principal door, or rather gate, which fronts the street,
is an inscription, denoting the use to which the building is
appropriated; and the passage leading into the court, there is
written in large letters of gold upon a black ground--

Upon coming into the court you see inscriptions over all the
doors upon the ground floor, leading to the different parts of
the building. These inscriptions, which are all in letters of
gold upon a black ground, denote the particular uses to which the
different apartments are destined.

This building having been got ready, and a sufficient number of
spinning-wheels, looms, and other utensils made use of in the
most common manufactures being provided; together with a
sufficient stock of raw materials, I proceeded to carry my plan
into execution in the manner which will be related in the
following Chapter.


An account of the taking up of the beggars at Munich.
The inhabitants are called upon for their assistance.
General subscription for the relief and support of the poor.
All other public and private collections for the poor abolished.

New-Year's-Day having, from time immemorial, been considered in
Bavaria as a day peculiarly set apart for giving alms; and the
beggars never failing to be all out upon that occasion; I chose
that moment as being the most favourable for beginning my
operations. Early in the morning of the first of January 1790,
the officers and non-commissioned officers of the three regiments
of infantry in garrison, were stationed in the different streets,
where they were directed to wait for further orders.

Having, in the mean time, assembled, at my lodgings, the
field-officers, and all the chief magistrates of the town, I made
them acquainted with my intention to proceed that very morning to
the execution of a plan I had formed for taking up the beggars,
and providing for the poor; and asked their immediate assistance.

To show the public that it was not my wish to carry this measure
into execution by military force alone, (which might have
rendered the measure odious,) but that I was disposed to show all
becoming deference to the civil authority, I begged the
magistrates to accompany me, and the field-officers of the
garrison, in the execution of the first and most difficult part
of the undertaking, that of arresting the beggars. This they
most readily consented to, and we immediately sallied out into
the street, myself accompanied by the chief magistrate of the
town, and each of the field-officers by an inferior magistrate.

We were hardly got into the street when we were accosted by a
beggar, who asked us for alms. I went up to him, and laying my
hand gently upon his shoulder, told him, that from thenceforwards
begging would not be permitted in Munich;--that if he really
stood in need of assistance, (which would immediately be enquired
into,) the necessary assistance should certainly be given him,
but that begging was forbidden; and if he was detected in it
again he would be severely punished. I then delivered him over
to an orderly serjeant who was following me, with directions to
conduct him to the Town-hall, and deliver him into the hands of
those he should find there to receive him; and then turning to
the officers and magistrates who accompanied me, I begged they
would take notice, that I had myself, WITH MY OWN HANDS, arrested
the first beggar we had met; and I requested them not only to
follow my example themselves, by arresting all the beggars they
should meet with, but that they would also endeavour to persuade
others, and particularly the officers, non-commissioned officers,
and soldiers of the garrison, that it was by no means derogatory
to their character as soldiers, or in anywise disgraceful to them,
to assist in so USEFUL and LAUDABLE an undertaking.
These gentlemen having cheerfully and unanimously promised to do
their utmost to second me in this business, dispersed into the
different parts of the town, and with the assistance of the
military, which they found every where waiting for orders,
the town was so thoroughly cleared of beggars IN LESS THAN AN HOUR,
that not one was to be found in the streets.

Those who were arrested were conducted to the Town-hall,
where their names were inscribed in printed lists provided for
that purpose, and they were then dismissed to their own lodgings,
with directions to repair the next day to the newly erected
"Military Work-house" in the Au; where they would find
comfortable warm rooms;--a good warm dinner every day; and work
for all those who were in a condition to labour. They were
likewise told that a commission should immediately be appointed
to enquire into their circumstances, and to grant them such
regular weekly allowances of money, in alms, as they should stand
in need of; which was accordingly done.

Orders were then issued to all the military guards in the
different parts of the town, to send out patroles frequently into
the streets in their neighbourhood, to arrest all the beggars
they should meet with, and a reward was offered for each beggar
they should arrest and deliver over to the civil magistrate.
The guard of the police was likewise directed to be vigilant;
and the inhabitants at large, of all ranks and denominations,
were earnestly called upon to assist in completing a work of so
much public utility, and which had been so happily begun[8].
In an address to the public, which was printed and distributed
gratis among the inhabitants, the fatal consequences arising
from the prevalence of mendicity were described in the most
lively and affecting colours,--and the manner pointed out in
which they could most effectually assist in putting an end to
an evil equally disgraceful and prejudicial to society.

As this address, (which was written with great sprit, by a man
well known in the literary world, Professor Babo,) gives a very
striking and a very just picture of the character, manners, and
customs, of the hords of idle and dissolute vagabonds which
infested Munich at the time the measure in question was adopted,
and of the various artifices they made use of in carrying on
their depredations; I have thought it might not be improper to
annex it, at full length, in the Appendix, No. I.

This address, which was presented to all the heads of families in
the city, and to many by myself, having gone round to the doors of
most of the principal citizens for that purpose, was accompanied
by printed lists, in which the inhabitants were requested to set
down their names;--places of abode;--and the sums they chose to
contribute monthly, for the support of the establishment. These
lists, (translations of which are also inserted in the Appendix,
No. II.) were delivered to the heads of families, with duplicates,
to the end that one copy being sent in to the committee,
the other might remain with the master of the family.

These subscriptions being PERFECTLY VOLUNTARY, might be augmented
or diminished at pleasure. When any person chose to alter his
subscription, he sent to the public office for two blank
subscription lists, and filling them up anew, with such
alterations as he thought proper to make, he took up his old list
at the office, and deposited the new one in its stead.

The subscription lists being all collected, they were sorted,
and regularly entered according to the numbers of the houses
of the subscribers, in sixteen general lists[9], answering to
the sixteen subdivisions or districts of the city; and a copy of
the general list of each district was given to the commissary
of the district.

These copies, which were properly authenticated, served for the
direction of the commissary in collecting the subscriptions in
his district, which was done regularly the last Sunday morning of
every month.

The amount of the collection was immediately delivered by the
commissary into the hands of the banker of the institution,
for which he received two receipts from the banker; one of which
he transmitted to the committee, with his report of the collection,
which he was directed to send in as soon as the collection was

As there were some persons who, from modesty, or other motives,
did not choose to have it known publicly how much they gave in
alms to the poor, and on that account were not willing to have
put down to their names upon the list of the subscribers, the
whole sum they were desirous of appropriating to that purpose;
to accommodate matters to the peculiar delicacy of their feelings,
the following arrangement was made, and carried into execution
with great success.

Those who were desirous of contributing privately to the relief
of the poor, were notified by an advertisement published in the
news-papers, that they might send to the banker of the
institution any sums for that purpose they might think proper,
under any feigned name, or under any motto or other device;
and that not only a receipt would be given to the bearer, for the
amount, without and questions being asked him, but, for greater
security, a public acknowledgement of the receipt of the sum
would be published by the banker, with a mention of the feigned
name of device under which it came, IN THE NEXT MUNICH GAZETTE.

To accommodate those who might be disposed to give trifling sums
occasionally, for the relief of the poor, and who did not choose
to go, or to send to the banker, fixed poor-boxes were placed in
all the churches, and most of the inns; coffee-houses; and other
places of public resort; but nobody was ever called upon to put
any thing into these boxes, nor was any poor's-box carried round,
or any private collection or alms-gathering permitted to be made
upon any occasion, or under any pretence whatever.

When the inhabitants had subscribed liberally to the support of
the institution, it was but just to secure them from all further
importunity in behalf of the poor. This was promised, and it was
most effectually done; though not without some difficulty,
and a very considerable expence to the establishment.

The poor students in the Latin German schools;--the sisters of
the religious order of charity;--the directors of the hospital of
lepers;--and some other public establishments, had been so long
in the habit of making collections, by going round among the
inhabitants from house to house at stated periods, asking alms,
that they had acquired a sort of right to levy those periodical
contributions, of which it was not thought prudent to dispossess
them without giving them an equivalent. And in order that this
equivalent might not appear to be taken from the sums subscribed
by the inhabitants for the support of the poor, it was paid out
of the monthly allowance which the institution received from the
chamber of finances, or public treasury of the state.

Besides these periodical collections, there were others, still
more troublesome to the inhabitants, from which it was necessary
to free them; and some of these last were even sanctioned by
legal authority. It is the custom in Germany for apprentices in
most of the mechanical trades, as soon as they have finished
their apprenticeships with their masters, to travel, during three
or four years, in the neighbouring countries and provinces, to
perfect themselves in their professions by working as journeymen
wherever they can find employment. When one of those itinerant
journeymen-tradesmen comes into a town, and cannot find employment
in it, he is considered AS HAVING A RIGHT to beg the assistance
of the inhabitants, and particularly of those of the trade he
professes, to enable him to go to the next town; and this
assistance it was not thought just to refuse. This custom was
not only very troublesome to the inhabitants, but gave rife to
innumerable abuses. Great numbers of idle vagabonds were
continually strolling about the country under the name of
travelling journeymen-tradesmen; and though any person, who
presented himself as such in any strange place was obliged to
produce (for his legitimation) a certificate from his last
master, in whose service he had been employed, yet such
certificates were so easily counterfeited, or obtained by fraud,
that little reliance could be placed in them.

To remedy all these evils, the following arrangement was made:
those travelling journeymen-tradesmen who arrive at Munich, and
do not find employment, are obliged to quit the town immediately,
or to repair to the military work-house, where they are either
furnished with work, or a small sum is given them to enable them
to pursue their journey farther.

Another arrangement by which the inhabitants have been relieved
from much importunity, and by which a stop has been put to many
abuses, is the new regulation respecting those who suffer by
fire; such sufferers commonly obtain from government special
permission to make collections of charitable donations among the
inhabitants in certain districts, during a limited time. Instead
of the permission to make collections in the city of Munich,
the sufferers now receive certain sums from the funds of the
institution for the poor. By this arrangement, not only the
inhabitants are relieved from the importunity which always
attends public collections of alms, but the sufferers save a
great deal of time, which they formerly spent in going about from
house to house; and the sale of these permissions to undertakers,
and many other abuses, but too frequent before this arrangement
took place, are now prevented.

The detailed account published in the Appendix, No. III. of the
receipts and expenditures of the institution during five years,
will show the amount of the expense incurred in relieving the
inhabitants from the various periodical and other collections
before mentioned.

But not to lose sight too long of the most interesting object of
this establishment, we must follow the people who were arrested
in the streets, to the asylum which was prepared for them, but
which no doubt appeared to them at first a most odious prison.


The different kinds of employment given to the beggars upon their
being assembled in the house of industry.
Their great awkwardness at first.
Their docility, and their progress in useful industry.
The manner in which they were treated.
The manner in which they were fed.
The Precautions used to prevent Abuses in the Public Kitchen from
which they were fed.

As by far the greater part of these poor creatures were totally
unacquainted with every kind of useful labour, it was necessary
to give them such work, at first, as was very easy to be
performed, and in which the raw materials were of little value;
and then, by degrees, as they became more adroit, to employ them
in manufacturing more valuable articles.

As hemp is a very cheap commodity, and as the spinning of hemp is
easily learned, particularly when it is designed for very coarse
and ordinary manufactures, 15,000 pounds of that article were
purchased in the palatinate, and transported to Munich;
and several hundred spinning wheels, proper for spinning it,
were provided; and several good spinners, as instructors,
were engaged, and in readiness, when this house of industry was
opened for the reception of the poor.

Flax and wool were likewise provided, and some few good spinners
of those articles were engaged as instructors; but by far the
greater number of the poor began with spinning of hemp; and so
great was their awkwardness at first, that they absolutely ruined
almost all the raw materials that were put into their hands.
By an exact calculation of profit and loss, it was found that the
manufactory actually lost more than 3000 florins upon the
articles of hemp and flax, during the first three months; but we
were not discouraged by these unfavourable beginnings; they were
indeed easy to be foreseen, considering the sort of people we had
to deal with, and how necessary it was to pay them at a very high
rate for the little work they were able to perform, in order to
persevere with cheerfulness in acquiring more skill and address
in their labour. If the establishment was supported at some
little expence in the beginning, it afterwards richly repaid
these advances, as will be seen in the sequel of this account.

As the clothing of the army was the market upon which I
principally depended, in disposing of the manufactures which
should be made in the house, the woollen manufactory was an
object most necessary to be attended to, and from which I
expected to derive most advantage to the establishment; but still
it was necessary to begin with the manufacture of hemp and flax,
not only because those articles are less valuable than wool,
and the loss arising from their being spoiled by the awkwardness
of beginners is of less consequence, but also for another reason,
which appears to me to be of so much more importance as to require
a particular explanation.

It was hinted above that it was found necessary, in order to
encourage beginners in these industrious pursuits, to pay them at
a very high rate for the little work they were able to perform;
but every body knows that no manufacture can possibly subsist
long, where exorbitant prices are paid for labour; and it is easy
to conceive what discontent and disgust would be occasioned among
the workmen upon lowering the prices which had for a length of
time been given for labour, By employing the poor people in
question at first in the manufactures of hemp and flax,
manufactures which were not intended to be carried on to any
extent, it was easy afterwards, when they had acquired a certain
degree of address in their work, to take them from these
manufactures, and put them to spinning of wool, worsted, or
cotton; care having been taken to fix the price of labour in
these last-mentioned manufactures at a reasonable rate.

The dropping the manufacture of any particular article altogether,
or pursuing it less extensively, could produce no bad effect upon
the general establishment; but the lowering of the price of labour,
in any instance, could not fail to produce many.

It is necessary, in an undertaking like this, cautiously to avoid
every thing that could produce discouragement and discontent
among those upon whose industry alone success must depend.

It is easy to conceive that so great a number of unfortunate
beings, of all ages and sexes, taken as it were out of their very
element, and placed in a situation so perfectly new to them,
could not fail to be productive of very interesting situations.
Would to God I were able to do justice to this subject! but no
language can describe the affecting scenes to which I was a
witness upon this occasion.

The exquisite delight which a sensible mind must feel, upon
seeing many hundreds of wretched being awaking from a state of
misery and inactivity, as from a dream; and applying themselves
with cheerfulness to the employments of useful industry;--upon
seeing the first dawn of placid content break upon a countenance
covered with habitual gloom, and furrowed and distorted by misery;--
this is easier to be conceived than described.

During the first three or four days that these poor people were
assembled, it was not possible entirely to prevent confusion:
there was nothing like mutinous resistance among them; but their
situation was so new to them, and they were so very awkward in it,
that it was difficult to bring them into any tolerable order.
At length, however, by distributing them in the different halls,
and assigning to each his particular place, (the places being all
distinguished by numbers,) they were brought into such order as
to enable the inspectors, and instructors, to begin their

Those who understood any kind of work, were placed in the
apartments where the work they understood was carried on; and the
others, being classed according to their sexes, and as much as
possible according to their ages, were placed under the immediate
care of the different instructors. By much the larger number were
put to spinning of hemp;--others, and particularly the young
children from four to seven years of age, were taught to knit,
and to sew; and the most awkward among the men, and particularly
the old, the lame, and the infirm, were put to the carding of wool.
Old women, whose sight was too weak to spin, or whose hands
trembled with palsy, were made to spool yarn for the weavers;
and young children, who were too weak to labour, were placed upon
seats erected for that purpose round the rooms where other
children worked.

As it was winter, fires were kept in every part of the building,
from morning till night; and all the rooms were lighted up till
nine o'clock in the evening. Every room and every stair-case was
neatly swept and cleaned twice a day; one early in the morning,
before the people were assembled, and once while they were at
dinner.--Care was taken, by placing ventilators, and occasionally
opening the windows, to keep the air of the rooms perfectly
sweet, and free from all disagreeable smells; and the rooms
themselves were not only neatly white-washed and fitted up, and
arranged in every respect with elegance, but care was taken to
clean the windows very often;--to clean the courtyard every day;--
and even to clear away the rubbish from the street in front of
the building, to a considerable distance on every side.

Those who frequented this establishment were expected to arrive
at the fixed hour in the morning, which hour varied according to
the season of the year; if they came too late, they were gently
reprimanded; and if they persisted in being tardy, without being
able to give a sufficient excuse for not coming sooner, they were
punished by being deprived of their dinner, which otherwise they
received every day gratis.

At the hour of dinner, a large bell was rung in the court, when
those at work in the different parts of the building repaired to
the dining-hall; where they found a wholesome and nourishing
repast; consisting of about A POUND AND A QUARTER, Avoirdupois
weight, of a very rich soup of peas and barley, mixed with
cuttings of fine white bread; and a piece of excellent rye bread,
weighing SEVERN OUNCES; which last they commonly put in their
pockets, and carried home for their supper. Children were allowed
the same portion as grown persons; and a mother, who had one or
more young children, was allowed a portion for each of them.

Those who, from sickness, or other bodily infirmities, were not
able to come to the work-house;--as also those who, on account of
young children they had to nurse, or sick persons to take care
of, found it more convenient to work at their own lodgings,
(and of these there were many,) were not on that account deprived
of their dinners. Upon representing their cases to the committee,
tickets were granted them, upon which they were authorized to
receive from the public kitchen, daily, the number of portions
specified in the ticket; and these they might send for by a child,
or by any other person they thought proper to employ; it was
necessary, however that the ticket should always be produced,
otherwise the portions were not delivered. This precaution was
necessary, to prevent abuses on the part of the poor.

Many other precautions were taken to prevent frauds on the part
of those employed in the kitchen, and in the various other
offices and departments concerned in feeding the poor.

The bread-corn, peas, barley, etc. were purchased in the public
market in large quantities, and at times when those articles were
to be had at reasonable prices, and were laid up in store-rooms
provided for that purpose, under the care of the store-keeper of
the Military Work-house.

The baker received his flour by weight from the store-keeper,
and in return delivered a certain fixed quantity of bread.
Each loaf, when well baked, and afterwards dried, during four days,
in a bread-room through which the air had a free passage, weighed
two pounds ten ounces Avoirdupois. Such a loaf was divided into
six portions; and large baskets filled with these pieces being
placed in the passage leading to the dining-hall, the portions
were delivered out to the poor as they passed to go into the hall,
each person who passed giving a medal of tin to the person who
gave him the bread, in return for each portion received.
These medals, which were given out to the poor each day in the
halls where they worked, by the steward, or by the inspectors of
the hall, served to prevent frauds in the distribution of the
bread; the person who distributed it being obliged to produce
them as vouchers of the quantity given out each day.

Those who had received these portions of bread, held them up in
their hands upon their coming into the dining-hall, as a sign
that they had a right to seat themselves at the tables; and as
many portions of bread as they produced, so many portions of soup
they were entitled to receive; and those portions which they did
not eat they were allowed to carry away; so that the delivery of
bread was a check upon the delivery of soup, and VICE VERSA.

The kitchen was fitted up with all possible attention, as well to
conveniences, as to the economy of fuel. This will readily be
believed by those who are informed, that the whole work of the
kitchen is performed, with great ease, by three cook-maids; and
that the daily expence for fire-wood amounts to no more than
twelve creutzers, or FOUR-PENCE HALFPENNY sterling, when dinner
is provided for 1000 people. The number of persons who are fed
DAILY from this kitchen is, at a medium, in summer, about
ONE THOUSAND, (rather more than less,) and in winter, about 1200.
Frequently, however, there have been more than 1500 at table.
As a particular account of this kitchen, with drawings; together
with an account of a number of new and very interesting
experiments relative to the economy of fuel, will be annexed to
this work, I shall add nothing more now upon the subject; except
it be the certificate, which may be seen in the Appendix, No. IV;
which I have thought prudent to publish, in order to prevent
my being suspected of exaggeration in displaying the advantages
of my economical arrangements.

The assertion, that a warm dinner may be cooked for 1000 persons,
at the trifling expence of four-pence halfpenny for fuel; and
that, too, where the cord, five feet eight inches and nine-tenths
long, five feet eight inches and nine-tenths high, and five feet
three inches and two-tenths wide, English measure, of pine-wood,
of the most indifferent quality, costs above seven shillings;
and where the cord of hard wood, such as beech and oak, of equal
dimensions, costs more than twice that sum, may appear incredible;
yet I will venture to assert, and I hereby pledge myself with the
public to prove, that in the kitchen of the Military Academy at
Munich, and especially in a kitchen lately built under my
direction at Verona, in the Hospital of la Pieta, I have carried
the economy of fuel still further.

To prevent frauds in the kitchen of the institution for the poor
at Munich, the ingredients are delivered each day by the
store-keeper, to the chief cook; and a person of confidence, not
belonging to the kitchen, attends at the proper hour to see that
they are actually used. Some one of the inspectors, or other
chief officer of the establishment, also attends at the hour of
dinner, to see that the victuals furnished to the poor are good;
well dressed; and properly served up.

As the dining-hall is not large enough to accommodate all the
poor at once, they dine in companies of as many as can be seated
together, (about 150); those who work in the house being served
first, and then those who come from the town.

Though most of those who work in their own lodgings send for
their dinners, yet there are many others, and particularly such
as from great age or other bodily infirmities are not able to
work, who come from the town every day to the public hall to
dine; and as these are frequently obliged to wait some time at
the door, before they can be admitted into the dining-hall;--that
is to say, till all the poor who work in the house have finished
their dinners;--for their more comfortable accommodation, a large
room, provided with a stove for heating it in winter, has been
constructed, adjoining to the building of the institution, but
not within the court, where these poor people assemble, and are
sheltered from the inclemency of the weather while they wait for
admittance into the dining-hall.

To preserve order and decorum at these public dinners, and to
prevent crowding and jostling at the door of the dining-hall,
the steward, or some other officer of the house of some authority,
is always present in the hall during dinner; and two privates of
the police guards, who know most of the poor personally, take post
at the door of the hall, one on each side of it; and between them
the poor are obliged to pass singly into the hall.

As soon as a company have taken places at the table, (the soup
being always served out and placed upon the tables before they
are admitted,) upon a signal given by the officer who presides at
the dinner, they all repeat a short prayer. Perhaps I ought to
ask pardon for mentioning so old-fashioned a custom; but I own I
am old-fashioned enough myself to like such things.

As an account in detail will be given in another place, of the
expence of feeding these poor people, I shall only observe here,
that this expense was considerably lessened by the voluntary
donations of bread, and offal meat, which were made by the bakers
and butchers of the town and suburbs. The beggars, not satisfied
with the money which they extorted from all ranks of people by
their unceasing importunity, had contrived to lay certain classes
of the inhabitants under regular periodical contributions of
certain commodities; and especially eatables; which they
collected in kind. Of this nature were the contributions which
were levied by them upon the bakers, butchers, keepers of
eating-houses, ale-house keepers, brewers, etc. all of whom were
obliged, at stated periods;--once a-week at least;--or oftener;--
to deliver to such of the beggars as presented themselves at the
hour appointed, very considerable quantities of bread, meat,
soup, and other eatables; and to such a length were these
shameful impositions carried, that a considerable traffic was
actually carried on with the articles so collected, between the
beggars, and a number of petty shop-keepers, or hucksters, who
purchased them of the beggars, and made a business of selling
them by retail to the indigent and industrious inhabitants.
And though these abuses were well known to the public, yet this
custom had so long existed, and so formidable were the beggars
became to the inhabitants, that it was no means safe, or advisable,
to refuse their demands.

Upon the town being cleared of beggars, these impositions ceased
of course; and the worthy citizens, who were relieved from this
burthen, felt so sensibly the service that was rendered them,
that, to show their gratitude, and their desire to assist in
supporting so useful an establishment, they voluntarily offered,
in addition to their monthly subscriptions in money, to
contribute every day a certain quantity of bread, meat, soup, etc.
towards feeding the poor in the Military Work-house. And these
articles were collected every day by the servants of the
establishment; who went round the town with small carts, neatly
fitted up, and elegantly painted, and drawn by single small
horses, neatly harnessed.

As in these, as well as in all other collections of public
charity, it was necessary to arrange matters so that the public
might safely place the most perfect confidence in those who were
charged with these details; the collections were made in a manner
in which it was EVIDENTLY IMPOSSIBLE for those employed in making
them to defraud the poor of any part of that which their
charitable and more opulent fellow-citizens designed for their
relief.--And to this circumstance principally it may, I believe,
be attributed, that these donations have for such a length of
time (more than five years,) continued to be so considerable.

In the collection of the soup, and the offal meat at the butchers'
shops, as those articles were not very valuable and not easily
concealed or disposed of, no particular precautions were necessary,
other than sending round PUBLICLY and at a CERTAIN HOUR the carts
destined for those purposes. Upon that for collecting the soup,
which was upon four wheels, was a large cask neatly painted with
an inscription on each side in large letters, "for the "Poor."
That for the meat held a large tub with a cover, painted with the
same colours, and marked on both sides with the same inscription.

Beside this tub, other smaller tubs, painted in like manner,
and bearing the same inscription, "for the Poor," were provided
and hung up in conspicuous situations in all the butchers' shops in
the town. In doing this, two objects were had in view, first the
convenience of the butchers; that in cutting up their meat they
might have a convenient place to lay by that which they should
destine for the poor till it should be called for; and secondly,
to give an opportunity to those who bought meat in their shops to
throw in any odd scraps, or bones, they might receive, and which
they might not think worth the trouble of carrying home.

These odd pieces are more frequently to be met with in the lots
which are sold in the butchers' shops in Munich than in almost
any other town; for the price of meat is fixed by authority, the
butchers have a right to sell the whole carcase, the bad pieces
with the good, so that with each good lot there is what in this
country is called the zugewicht, that is to say, an indifferent
scrap of offal meat, or piece of bone, to make up the weight;--
and these refuse pieces were very often thrown into the poor's
tub; and after being properly cleaned and boiled, served to make
their soup much more savoury and nourishing.

In the collection of the daily donations of bread, as that
article is more valuable, and more easily concealed and disposed
of, more precautions were used to prevent frauds on the parts of
the servants who were sent round to make the collection.

The cart which was employed for this purpose was furnished with a
large wooden chest, firmly nailed down upon it, and provided with
a good lock and key; and this chest, which was neatly painted,
and embellished with a inscription, was so contrived, by means of
an opening in the top of a large vertical wooden tube fixed in
its lid, and made in the form of a mouse-trap, that when it was
locked, (as it always was when it was sent round for the
donations of bread,) a loaf of bread, or any thing of that size,
could be put into it; but nothing could be taken out of it by the
same opening. Upon the return of the cart, the bread-chest was
opened by the steward, who keeps the key of it; and its contents,
after being entered in a register kept for that purpose, were
delivered over to the care of the store-keeper.

The bread collected was commonly such as not having been sold in
time, had become too old, hard, and stale for the market;
but which, being cut fine, a handful of it put into a basin of
good pease-soup, was a great addition to it.

The amount of these charitable donations in kind, may be seen in
the transactions of the original returns, which are annexed in
the Appendix, No. III.

The collections of soup were not long continued, it being found
to be in general of much too inferior a quality to be mixed with
the soup made in the kitchen of the poor-house; but the
collections of bread, and of meat, continue to this time, and are
still very productive.

But the greatest resource in feeding the poor, is one which I am
but just beginning to avail myself of,--the use of potatoes[10].
Of this subject, however, I shall treat more largely hereafter.

The above-mentioned precautions used in making collections in kind,
may perhaps appear trifling, and superfluous; they were
nevertheless very necessary. It was also found necessary to
change all the poor's-boxes in the churches, to prevent their
being robbed; for though in those which were first put up, the
openings were not only small, but ended in a curved tube, so that
it appeared almost impossible to get any of the money out of the
box by the same opening by which it was put into it; yet means
were found, by introducing into the opening thin pieces of
elastic wood, covered with bird-lime, to rob the boxes. This was
prevented in the new boxes, by causing the money to descend
through a sort of bag, with a hold in the bottom of it, or rather
a flexible tube, made of chain-work, with iron wire, suspended in
the middle of the box.


Apology for the want of method in treating the subject under
Of the various means used for encouraging industry among the poor.
Of the internal arrangement and government of the house of industry.
Why called the military work-house.
Of the manner in which the business is carried on there.
Of the various means used for preventing frauds in carrying on the
business in the different manufactures.
Of the flourishing state of those manufactures.

Though all the different parts of a well arranged establishment
go on together, and harmonize, like the parts of a piece of music
in full score, yet, in describing such an establishment, it is
impossible to write like the musician, in score, and to make all
the parts of the narrative advance together. Various movements,
which exist together, and which have the most intimate connection
and dependence upon each other, must nevertheless be described
separately; and the greatest care and attention, and frequently
no small share of address, are necessary in the management of
such descriptions, to render the details intelligible; and to
give the whole its full effect of order;--dependence;--
connection;--and harmony. And in no case can these difficulties
be greater, than in descriptions like those in which I am now
engaged; where the number of the objects, and of the details, is
so great, that it is difficult to determine which should be
attended to first; and how far it may safely be pursued, without
danger of the others being too far removed from their proper
places;--or excluded;-- or forgotten.

The various measures adopted, and precautions taken, in arresting
the beggars,--in collecting and distributing alms,--in establishing
order and police among them,--in feeding and clothing the poor,--
and in establishing various manufactures for giving them
employment, are all subjects which deserve, and require, the most
particular explanation; yet those are not only operations which
were begun at the same time; and carried on together; but they
are so dependent upon each other, that it is almost impossible to
have a complete idea of the one, without being acquainted with
the others; or of treating of the one, without mentioning the
others at the same time.--This, therefore, must be my excuse,
if I am taxed with want of method, or of perspicuity in the
descriptions; and this being premised, I shall proceed to give an
account of the various objects and operations which yet remain to
be described.

I have already observed how necessary it was to encourage,
by every possible means, a spirit of industry and emulation among
those, who, from leading a life of indolence and debauchery, were
to be made useful members of society; and I have mentioned some
of the measures which were adopted for that purpose. It remains
for me to pursue this interesting subject, and to treat it,
in all its details, with that care and attention which its
importance so justly demands.

Though a very generous price was paid for labour, in the different
manufactures in which the poor were employed, yet, that alone was
not enough to interest them sufficiently in the occupations in
which they were engaged. To excite their activity, and inspire
them with a true spirit of persevering industry, it was necessary
to fire them with emulation;--to awaken in them a dormant passion,
whose influence they had never felt;--the love of honest fame;--
and ardent desire to excel;--the love of glory;--or by what other
more humble or pompous name this passion, the most noble, and
most beneficent that warms the human heart, can be distinguished.

To excite emulation;--praise;--distinctions;--rewards are
necessary; and these were all employed. Those who distinguished
themselves by their application,--by their industry,--by their
address,--were publicly praised and encouraged;--brought forward,
and placed in the most conspicuous situations;--pointed out to
strangers who visited the establishment; and particularly named
and proposed as models for others to copy. A particular dress,
a sort of uniform for the establishment, which, though very
economical, as may be seen by the details which will be given of
it in another place, was nevertheless elegant, was provided; and
this dress, as it was given out gratis, and only bestowed upon
those who particularly distinguished themselves, was soon looked
upon as an honourable mark of approved merit; and served very
powerfully to excite emulation among the competitors, I doubt
whether vanity, in any instance, ever surveyed itself with more
self-gratification, than did some of these poor people when they
first put on their new dress.

How necessary is it to be acquainted with the secret springs of
action in the human heart, to direct even the lowest and most
unfeeling class of mankind!--The machine is intrinsically the same
in all situations;--the great secret is, FIRST TO PUT IT IN TUNE,
before an attempt is made to play upon it. The jarring sounds of
former vibrations must first be stilled, otherwise no harmony can
be produced; but when the instrument is in order, the notes
CANNOT FAIL to answer to the touch of a skilful master.

Though every thing was done that could be devised to impress the
minds of all those, old and young, who frequented this establishment,
with such sentiments as were necessary in order to their becoming
good and useful members of society; (and in these attempts I was
certainly successful, much beyond my most sanguine expectations;)
yet my hopes were chiefly placed on the rising generation.

The children, therefore, of the poor, were objects of my peculiar
care and attention. To induce their parents to send them to the
establishment, even before they were old enough to do any kind of
work, when they attended at the regular hours, they not only
received their dinner gratis, but each of them was paid THREE
CREUTZERS a day for doing nothing, but merely being present where
others worked.

I have already mentioned that these children, who were too young
to work, were placed upon seats built round the halls where other
children worked. This was done in order to inspire them with a
desire to do that, which other children, apparently more favoured,
--more caressed,--and more praised than themselves, were permitted
to do; and of which they were obliged to be idle spectators;
and this had the desired effect.

As nothing is so tedious to a child as being obliged to sit still
in the same place for a considerable time, and as the work which
the other more favoured children were engaged in, was light and easy,
and appeared rather amusing than otherwise, being the spinning of
hemp and flax, with small light wheels, turned with the foot,
these children, who were obliged to be spectators of this busy
and entertaining scene, became so uneasy in their situations,
and so jealous of those who were permitted to be more active,
that they frequently solicited with the greatest importunity to
be permitted to work, and often cried most heartily if this favour
was not instantly granted them.

How sweet these tears were to me, can easily be imagined!

The joy they showed upon being permitted to descend from their
benches, and mix with the working children below, was equal to
the solicitude with which they had demanded that favour.

They were at first merely furnished with a wheel, which they
turned for several days with the foot, without being permitted to
attempt any thing further. As soon as they were become dexterous
in the simple operation, and habit had made it so easy and
familiar to them that the foot could continue its motion
mechanically, without the assistance of the head;--till they
could go on with their work, even though their attention was
employed upon something else;--till they could answer questions,
and converse freely with those about them upon indifferent
subjects, without interrupting or embarrassing the regular motion
of the wheel, then,--and not till then,--they were furnished with
hemp or flax, and were taught to spin.

When they had arrived at a certain degree of dexterity in
spinning hemp and flax, they were put to spinning of wool;
and this was always represented to them, and considered by them,
as an honorable promotion. Upon this occasion they commonly
received some public reward, a new shirt,--a pair of shoes,--
or perhaps the uniform of the establishment, as an encouragement
to them to persevere in their industrious habits.

As constant application to any occupation for too great a length
of time is apt to produce disgust, and in children might even be
detrimental to health, beside the hour of dinner, an hour of
relaxation from work, (from eight o'clock till nine,) in the
forenoon, and another hour, (from three o'clock till four,) in
the afternoon, were allowed them, and these two hours were spent
in a school; which, for want of room elsewhere in the house, was
kept in the dining-hall, where they were taught reading, writing,
and arithmetic, by a school-master engaged and paid for that
purpose[11]. Into this school other persons who worked in the
house, of a more advanced age, were admitted, if they requested it;
but few grown persons seemed desirous of availing themselves of
this permission. As to the children, they had no choice in the
matter; those who belonged to the establishment were obliged to
attend the school regularly every day, morning and evening. The
school books, paper, pens, and ink, were furnished at the expence
of the establishment.

To distinguish those among the grown persons that worked in the
house, who showed the greatest dexterity and industry in the
different manufactures in which they were employed, the best
workman were separated from the others, and formed distinct
classes, and were even assigned separate rooms and apartments.
This separation was productive of many advantages; for, beside
the spirit of emulation which it excited, and kept alive, in
every part of the establishment, if afforded an opportunity of
carrying on the different manufactures in a very advantageous
manner. The most dexterous among the wool-spinners, for instance,
were naturally employed upon the finest wool, such as was used in
the fabrication of the finest and most valuable goods; and it was
very necessary that these spinners should be separated from the
others, who worked upon coarser materials; otherwise, in the
manipulations of the wool, as particles of it are unavoidably
dispersed about in all directions when it is spun, the coarser
particles thus mixing with the fine would greatly injure the
manufacture. It was likewise necessary, for a similar reason,
to separate the spinners who were employed in spinning wool of
different colours. But as these, and many other like precautions
are well known to all manufacturers, it is not necessary that I
should insist upon them any farther in this place; nor indeed is
it necessary that I should enter into all the details of any of
the manufactures carried on in the establishment I am describing.
It will be quite sufficient, if I merely enumerate them,

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