**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Review Of A Journal Of Eight Days’ Journey
by [?]

“To prevent such abuse in the streets, seems more practicable than to abolish bad habits within doors, where greater numbers perish. We see, in many familiar instances, the fatal effects of example. The careless spending of time among servants, who are charged with the care of infants, is often fatal: the nurse frequently destroys the child! the poor infant, being left neglected, expires whilst she is sipping her tea! This may appear to you as rank prejudice, or jest; but, I am assured, from the most indubitable evidence, that many very extraordinary cases of this kind have really happened, among those whose duty does not permit of such kind of habits.

“It is partly from such causes, that nurses of the children of the public often forget themselves, and become impatient when infants cry; the next step to this is using extraordinary means to quiet them. I have already mentioned the term killing nurse, as known in some workhouses: Venice treacle, poppy water, and Godfrey’s cordial, have been the kind instruments of lulling the child to his everlasting rest. If these pious women could send up an ejaculation, when the child expired, all was well, and no questions asked by the superiors. An ingenious friend of mine informs me, that this has been so often the case, in some workhouses, that Venice treacle has acquired the appellation of ‘the Lord have mercy upon me,’ in allusion to the nurses’ hackneyed expression of pretended grief, when infants expire! Farewell.”

I know not upon what observation Mr. Hanway founds his confidence in the governours of the Foundling Hospital, men of whom I have not any knowledge, but whom I entreat to consider a little the minds, as well as bodies, of the children. I am inclined to believe irreligion equally pernicious with gin and tea, and, therefore, think it not unseasonable to mention, that, when, a few months ago, I wandered through the hospital, I found not a child that seemed to have heard of his creed, or the commandments. To breed up children in this manner, is to rescue them from an early grave, that they may find employment for the gibbet; from dying in innocence, that they may perish by their crimes.

Having considered the effects of tea upon the health of the drinker, which, I think, he has aggravated in the vehemence of his zeal, and which, after soliciting them by this watery luxury, year after year, I have not yet felt, he proceeds to examine, how it may be shown to affect our interest; and first calculates the national loss, by the time spent in drinking tea. I have no desire to appear captious, and shall, therefore, readily admit, that tea is a liquor not proper for the lower classes of the people, as it supplies no strength to labour, or relief to disease, but gratifies the taste, without nourishing the body. It is a barren superfluity, to which those who can hardly procure what nature requires, cannot prudently habituate themselves. Its proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence. That time is lost in this insipid entertainment cannot be denied; many trifle away, at the tea-table, those moments which would be better spent; but that any national detriment can be inferred from this waste of time, does not evidently appear, because I know not that any work remains undone, for want of hands. Our manufactures seem to be limited, not by the possibility of work, but by the possibility of sale.

His next argument is more clear. He affirms, that one hundred and fifty thousand pounds, in silver, are paid to the Chinese, annually, for three millions of pounds of tea, and, that for two millions more, brought clandestinely from the neighbouring coasts, we pay, at twenty-pence a pound, one hundred sixty-six thousand six hundred and sixty-six pounds. The author justly conceives, that this computation will waken us; for, says he: “the loss of health, the loss of time, the injury of morals, are not very sensibly felt by some, who are alarmed when you talk of the loss of money.” But he excuses the East India company, as men not obliged to be political arithmeticians, or to inquire so much, what the nation loses, as how themselves may grow rich. It is certain, that they, who drink tea, have no right to complain of those that import it; but if Mr. Hanway’s computation be just, the importation, and the use of it, ought, at once, to be stopped by a penal law.