Imatges de pàgina

tinctly to shew the astonishing effects of accumulation, and at the same time present an undoubted certainty of repayment with interest, could not fail to have irresistable attractions, to those whose income is derived from weekly wages, or other trifling receipts. Such a scheme would not only accommodate itself directly to their circumstances, but would have a powerful effect in arresting their attention. In an institution of this kind, too, which implies the combination of a number of individuals of the same rank, example would lend its salutary influence; and what a man would never bring himself to do of his own accord, he might be induced to perform with eagerness from a principle of imitation.

Reflections of this kind led to the institution of the Ruthwell Parish Bank, about the beginning of the year 1810. In this attempt, there were discouragements of a peculiar kind, which it will not be improper to state, that the success of the experiment may appear in its true light. -In point of local circumstances, indeed, there are perhaps few parishes in Scotland where the scheme might not have been tried to greater advantage than in the parish of Ruthwell. One of these discouragements arose from the want of resident heritors, who might countenance the undertaking with their approbation, and

support it with their purse and influence.

But there was a still more formidable difficulty to encounter. Notwithstanding by far the greater part of the inhabitants are poor villagers or cottagers, without manufactures, or any other means of subsistence than such as are usually to be found in a remote country parish, there were a great majority of the adults (no fewer than three hundred individuals out of a population of eleven hundred) already connected with Friendly Societies within the bounds of the parish. It was well known, that by far the greater part of these individuals were obliged to strain every nerve for a bare subsistence, and, so far from being able to lay up any additional savings, found at times extreme difficulty in fulfilling their engagements to the established Societies. The scheme of the Savings Bank was drawn up and put in execution, with the advice and co-operation of some of the most respectable inhabitants of the parish; and in the period of four years and a half, the funds of the Institution have risen to upwards of eleven hundred and sixty pounds, which sum is now bearing interest at five per cent. in the hands of the Dumfries branch of the British Linen Company.

The gentlemen who have been so laudably and so successfully employed in suppressing mendicity in Edinburgh, instituted, in January last, a "Bank


The following is an abstract of the state of the funds of the Ruthwell Bank at the time of settlement, every year since the commencement of the institution.

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The whole money repaid since the commencement of the Bank amounts only to £43, 8s. The surplus interest obtained is £.2:0:74. The funds now (16th Deceinber 1814) amount to £.1164: 9:3.-The rapid increase of the funds during the last year is very remarkable, and arises chiefly from the nature of the institution being better understood.

for Savings," on the principle of the Parish Bank, and, notwithstanding they allow in no instance more than 4 per cent. for the money deposited, the experiment has been attended with such appearances of success as are highly encouraging. In Alloa, a Bank on similar principles has been lately opened, which, in the seven first weeks, received deposites to the amount of no less than £.70, 19s. In Kelso and in Hawick, Parish Banks have also within the last month been founded, which, having commenced under very favourable circumstances, promise to be productive of incalculable advantages to these towns. In Mid Calder, an institution of the same kind exists; and in the parish of Clunie, Perthshire, by the benevolent exertions of Dr Baird, the very Reverend Principal of the University of Edinburgh, the establishment of a Bank is proceeding, under the patronage of his Grace the Duke of Athole. The gentlemen of Selkirk. shire, and some benevolent individuals in Dumfries, in Gatehouse of Fleet, in Langholm, in Jedburgh, in Berwick, in Musselburgh, and in several other places, are now taking steps for the accomplishment of a similar object in their respective districts; and there is reason to believe, that a very general interest is, through almost every part of Scotland, excited in favour of the scheme.

This subject has now attracted the attention of the Highland Society, who have exerted themselves with such laudable zeal in every object which promised to contribute to the improvement of the country. They have published a report upon the subject, in which they point out at once the advantages which may be derived from such institutions, and the best mode of conducting them. The following observations seem particularly deserving of attention.

The first question for consideration is, Whether it be better that the bank

be planned and conducted principally, or at all, by the persons who are to use it, or by persons in a higher situation in life? That the general frame must be formed principally by persons of education and knowledge of business, is quite apparent: but, in some instances, the ordinary contributors hold regular meetings, monthly or quarterly, for examining the state of the establishment, forming rules, electing officers, and the like. The Committee, however, are rather inclined to think, that this is, in general, an objectional course, and is in fact one of the great disadvantages of the Friendly Societies, occasioning loss of time, dissipation, and expense; and that, though it must be submitted to, where matters cannot be otherwise arranged, and may, sometimes, be advisable to a small extent, in order to produce confidence and popularity, it will generally be the most beneficial arrangement, that the concern be entirely planned and conducted by individuals of knowledge and experience, of a higher station; so that those who use the Bank, may have nothing to do but to pay in or draw out their money as in an ordinary bank. This is the footing on which a very thriving bank for servants was established at Bath about seven years ago, on which the Edinburgh bank has been established, which has been extremely successful, and on which a bank has been established at Alloa, which drew £70 during the first seven weeks. Perhaps there may be more difficulty in getting this arranged in the country than in towns; but even there, probably, the minister, and a few of the respectable resident landholders and farmers of the parish might join in putting such an establishment in motion, and in attending one hour a-weck, by turns, for receiving and paying money. The Committee observe, indeed, that the Parish Banks, both in Luthwell and West Calder, are conducted


which he has favoured them, and in
which he says No one should be
made dependent upon any
• other con-

for either the time or the amount of his payments: therefore, no attempt should be made to enforce regulari

by the subscribers as a society, holding regular periodical meetings of the members, for forming rules, electing officers, &c.; the latter consisting en-tingency but his own conveniency, tirely (it appears) of persons contributing on their own account; the former comprising a certain number of honorary and extraordinary members,ty of payments by fines or forfeitures who are contributors to a surplus fund forming part of the establishment, (which is applied in giving compound interest at 5 per cent., on marriage, 561 years of age, or other occasions thought proper by the Directors, and in giving relief in sickness, &c.) But probably this was rendered advisable in these two parishes, chiefly because there were Friendly Societies already established in them, which might make it appear expedient to hold out, to the contributors to the Bank, the same powers of administration and legislation as those possessed by the members of these Societies.

Another question occurs, how far it is expedient to compel payment of certain small sums, at regular intervals, by imposing forfeitures of interest, &c. in order to keep the members in mind of the establishment; leaving them at liberty, of course, to contribute as much more as they may find convenient. This is done at West Calder, and is proposed to be introduced at Ruthwell, and will, no doubt, have the effect intended. But it is not done at Bath, Edinburgh, or Alloa; and the Committee doubt whether its good effect, in one way, may not be more than counterbalanced by its bad effect in another way, in deterring persons from entering into a scheme where there is any compulsion. Mr Bone, author of Tracts on Political Economy, who established an office in London to enable labourers to make provision for sickness and age, confirms the Committee in this opinion, in a communication with

' of any sort.' And accordingly, the
Committee understand, from some of
its members who attend at the Edin-
burgh Bank, that one of its greatest
recommendations, and which has in-.
duced many to become contributors,
is, that those entering are not bound
to go on, unless they incline; and that,
at the same time, very few of its nu-
merous contributors have discontinued.
It appears, at least, that it is safest to
commence upon this footing, in order
to hold out the greatest possible en-
couragement to the beginning of ha-
bits of economy. If any compulsion
of regular payments to a certain a-
mount be thought advisable in any
place upon experience, the alteration
can be made afterwards.

The Committee observe, that, in some establishments, those who have been members for a certain time, have greater advantages than those who have recently entered. But this is not usual; and the Committee rather think, that, as the commencement of saving habits is more difficult than the continuance of them, it is hardly advisable.'

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An Account of the Life and Adventures of SIR HUMPKIN BUZ, and his Journey to the City of NUBIBUB. Written by himself.


(Continued from page 902.) Felt much indebted to the proprictor for the great attention he had shewn to me; I thought the only way I could return the obligation was, to bespeak some of his machinery. I was rather at a loss what to order, when, at last, I bethought me of a castiron coffin, that I would send as a present to the disciples of Johanna Southcote. Upon my ordering such an odd article, the man expressed his utter indignation, and said, If there had been so many weak persons led astray by their follies, while the prophetess was living, he was determined not to be ranked amongst them, now she was no more, and absolutely refused to make the coffin as I proposed. Leaving this disgusting subject, he shewed me a new apparatus bespoke by the Postmaster General.

It was

a tin pipe, which was to be conveyed under ground from London to Edinburgh, the two ends terminating in the rooms wherein sat the two secretaries, who were to open all letters from one department to the other, and repeat the contents through the tube, which were instantly copied by the one receiving the information at the further end, written down, and transmitted to the parties concerned. This plan, it was supposed, would be much approved of, as it not only expedited the correspondence of individuals, but would be a great saving to the government in the expence of conducting the mail. The proprietor of the works said he would recommend what he thought would please me. I followed him up stairs to an elegant saloon, the end of which was Occupied by a very handsome castiron organ; a patent had been taken out for it by a gentleman who had visited Nubibub from some place in


the North; its virtues and powers consisted in being able to produce a note hitherto unknown in music. was very anxious to have this extraordinary instrument, and he wishing to gratify me, called lustily for the foreman of his works to send the men up to play the organ. Bless me, said I, the men! does it require more than one to play this piece of machinery ? I was soon relieved, by seeing seventeen of the work people, men and boys, enter the saloon, and each took hold of a handle that acted as a pedal, the master sat down to the front, to direct the movements. The steam was let on, and the seventeen fellows were pumping, first at the trebles, then at the bass, which produced a kind of running passage, not giving any distinct note, but sliding and slipping upon the ends of them, so that, for the life of me, I could not make out the tune, (which I afterwards learnt was, Speed the Plough,) this, I was told, was the great merit of the Organ: for, instead of eight notes, as usual, being divided into semi-tones, or half notes, they were divided into so many more parts, that it was impossible for the most refined ear to detect a break between the intonations. The only thing against this truly admirable piece of furniture, or rather musical instrument, was, that it required so many persons to attend to the pedals, that he was afraid he should not sell many of them, although it has cost the inventor much labour and expence: this being an objection also on my part, I declined becoming a purchaser. We now took our leave, I felt considerably distressed at not being able to make some small purchase, out of compliment to the proprietor of the work. At length we reached the Hustings, built in the common garden of the city. The nomination of the member to represent the city was to take place at three o'clock; the crowd that assembled upon this occa

sion was prodigious, but those who have not seen a public meeting in Nubibub can form no idea of the ease with which persons pass to and fro; the elasticity of their bodies yields to the pressure, so that the noise occasioned in a London mob by the squeezed calling out for mercy is not heard here.

The high bailiff now came forward to take the nomination: the first candidate that offered himself was, at that time, a person of some consequence under the existing ministry, a man of most considerable talent, but of such an idle and dissipated life, they could not trust him in any active situation, but he held a place where the otium cum dignitate reigned paramount.

A friend of this gentleman's came forward, and in a speech of about three quarters of a minute long, set forth and enumerated the whole of his good qualities, and ended by proposing Mr Gilowhisky as a fit person to represent the city of Nubibub in parliament; this nomination was hail. ed by the acclamations of some hundreds of people, all paid for their vociferating powers-Gilowhisky for ever! resounded from all quarters.

The next gentleman who made his appearance was a neat little dapper fellow from the north: his father, Mr Krakalousky, was originally a tailor, but young Krakalousky, of a more enterprizing spirit, had sailed to a foreign country, and returned with a handsome fortune. He was the most popular candidate upon this occasion, and popularity being opposite to the great influence of the other party, a severe contest was expected. Two or three voices at once proposed Krakalousky, the nomination was received with equal favour as that of Mr Gilowhisky's. A few votes were taken on each side, and the parties went to prepare their books for the next day's Pole. Upon leaving the hustings, a violent scule ensued between two

Jan. 1815.

agents of the opposite parties, and a challenge was the result. Being anxious to witness the mode practised in that country of revenging injured honour, my friend having heard the challenge given, and the time and place named, said he would accompany me to the spot, where I might gratify my curiosity. For the present we returned to the hotel, and passed away the time by dinner till 6 o'clock, the hour appointed by the duelling combatants: they met in a field about a mile from the city, attended by their seconds armed, like themselves, with small swords. Pistols were prohibited from being used in duels, on account of a person once having missed his antagonist, the ball lodged in the dome of the metropolitan church, which, by letting out the gas, had nearly caused the destruction of the whole fabric. The parties set to with much confidence and skill, but I evidently perceived the friend of Gilowhisky had the advantage. After several unsuccessful passes, at last he hit the Krakalouskite in the ribs; my friend told me this wound would prove mortal. I began to be under some apprehension that my own safety might be committed by being merely a passive witness to this most honourable murder; my fears in that respect were quieted, I observed the wounded gentleman diminish very fast as his gas escaped at the hole in his side; in about ten minutes life was extinct; his second, with the greatest composure, gently rolled up his skin, put it under his arm, and walked away with it to a surgeon's, accompanied by the opponents,

(To be concluded in our next.)

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