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tionate respect which I received from the poor people for whose happiness I interested myself? Will it be reckoned vanity if I mention the concern which the poor of Munich expressed in so affecting a manner when I was dangerously ill ?—that they went publicly in a body in procession to the cathedral church, where they had divine service performed, and put up public prayers for my recovery ?—that, four years afterwards, on hearing that I was again dangerously ill at Naples, they of their own accord set apart an hour each evening, after they had finished their work in the Military Workhouse, to pray for me; for me—a private person—a stranger-a Protestant!"
Having thus described the procedure at the Military Workhousewhich, although it was established with a philanthropic design, and had at first the aspect of a charitable institution, was in fact no such thing, but a mere commercial concern, yielding a profit on the capital invested in it-we shall now briefly narrate Count Rumford's plan of dealing with the pauperism of Munich --with the real poverty and destitution
which remained after all that could be effected by the Military Workhouse.
The entire management of the poor of Munich was put into the hands of a committee, consisting of four of the principal Bavarian ministers of state-namely, the president of the council of war, the president of the council of regency, the president of the ecclesiastical council, and the president of the chamber of finances; and these four were to choose each a counsellor of his own department to assist him. Neither the presidents nor the councillors were to be paid for their labours in this committee; and the secretary, clerks, and inferior officers required, were to be paid, not out of the fund for the poor, but immediately from the treasury. The mode of reaching the poor was as follows:- The whole town, containing about 60,000 inha
was divided into sixteen districts, the houses being all regularly numbered. In each district, a respectable citizen was chosen to be inspector of the poor within its limits. This inspector, whose services were to be purely voluntary, and unpaid, was to have for his assistants a priest, a physician, a surgeon, and an apothecary. The business of the inspector was to receive applications for relief, to inquire into the circumstances of the applicants, to furnish immediate assistance if it was required, and, where assistance might be delayed, to refer to the committee. Relief was granted, as might be required, in clothing, in medical aid, or in weeklý sums of money ; but in making the allowance, care was taken to find out how much the applicant was in a condition to earn. If he was able to work, work
provided for him, either at the Military Workhouse, or at home, to be delivered at the workhouse. The fact of his having been industrious, was certified by a government stamp affixed by the overseers of the workhouse every week to a slip of paper, on which also was marked the sum he had earned, and whatever
was necessary for his support over and above this sum was granted. Those who could
not work, were of course provided for. The funds out of which all the provisions were made consisted, as we have already said, of the voluntary contributions of the inhabitants. There were a few legacies for the poor; certain fines, also, went into the poor's fund; but the great mass of the money required was collected statedly from the citizens in the manner described in a previous page, not by assessment, but by purely voluntary subscription. Besides donations in food and clothing, the sum collected in ready money during five years from the inhabitants of Munich was 200,000 florins, which was found amply sufficient for all purposes. It must be remembered, however, that the peculiar circumstances of the people of Munich, in having just been relieved from the scourge of mendicancy, made them more apt to fall into the habit of voluntary subscriptions than probably might be the case with the inhabitants of other towns not so circumstanced. Indeed the citizens of Munich effected a clear pecuniary saving by the change—a saving amounting in all to more than two-thirds. This saving consisted of two items:- First, an actual diminution of the mass of pauperism, numbers of those who formerly subsisted by charity being now able to support themselves either in whole or in part; and secondly, a retrenchment of all that' waste which accompanies a private dispensation of charity, as compared with a system of general management, where, in consequence of the wholesale scale of operations, economy can be studied. The value of this second consideration will appear when we come to speak of Count Rumford's devices for economising food and fuel.
It will now be seen how the Military Workhouse, and the system of management for the
worked into each other's hands, although in principle totally independent of each other. No part of the Military Workhouse was under the control of the committee for the poor, except only the kitchen and bakehouse, which, as being supported out of the funds for the poor, were placed under their management.
Having thus described, at considerable length, Count Rumford's measures for the suppression of mendicancy in Munich, it only remains to be added that our description is to be taken rather as an historical account of an interesting and apparently successful experiment, than as a thorough appreciation of its merits as a social scheme. To criticise all the details of Count Rumford's plan, especially as a plan of universal application, would require much space, and would lead to controversy. It may be safely said, however, that while some of the scheme may be theoretically objectionable, and others may not be adapted for circumstances different from those in which they had their origin, the general features of the scheme are as sound as the spirit which prompted it was philanthropic.
PLANS FOR ECONOMISING FOOD AND FUEL.
As one of Count Rumford's reasons for preferring a general system for the administration of charity was the superior economy which it admitted, especially in the articles of food and fuel, it is not to be wondered at that he turned his attention to a consideration of the subject of food and fuel itself. In doing so, he opened up a new field for the exercise of his practical genius. What is the cheapest way of feeding large bodies of men ? and what is the most economical way of applying heat for the purposes of warmth, of cooking, and of manufactures? These are questions upon which Count Rumford occupied himself more zealously and more successfully than any one had done before him, or, probably, than any one has done since his time. With the former question he was engaged while yet resident in Bavaria -one of his subsidiary schemes for the benefit of the poor there, and in other large towns, being the establishment of public kitchens and dining-rooms, where the poor, or indeed the labouring classes generally, might be supplied with better food at a cheaper rate than in their own houses. As the subject of cookery --of the improvements which are possible in the mode of preparing food for the use of man, whether with respect to economy, or to the gratification of the palate, or to both-is one to which scientific men have not yet applied themselves with sufficient zeal, we will note down such of Rumford's conclusions on it as do not appear to be antiquated. The importance which Count Rumford himself attached to the subject will appear from his extraordinary saying, that the number of inhabitants who may be supported in any country upon its internal produce, depends almost as much upon the state of its art of cookery as upon that of its agriculture."
With regard to the materials of food, it needs only to be mentioned that Rumford, besides recommending in Bavaria a larger use of vegetables generally, advocated in a special manner the introduction of the potato, and of Indian corn—the former by cultivation, the latter by importation. In recommending Indian corn, he says, “The common people in the northern parts of Italy live almost entirely upon it, and throughout the whole continent of America it makes a principal article of food. In Italy it is called polenta ; and it is there prepared in a variety of ways, and forms the basis of a number of very nourishing dishes. The most common way of using it in that country is to grind it into meal, and, with water, to make it into a thick kind of pudding, like what in England is called hasty-pudding, which is eaten with various kinds of sauce, and sometimes without sauce.” In America, besides being used for puddings, it forms an ingredient of bread. In testimony to its pleasantness and wholesomeness as an article of food, he mentions the circumstance of the universal fondness of the Americans for it; and the fact that the negroes, in countries where both rice and Indian corn are grown, invariably prefer it to rice, alleging that “rice turns to water in their bellies,” but “ Indian corn stays with them, and makes them strong to work."
As to the best mode of preparing food for the purposes of economy, Rumford's grand recipe was-soup.
“At the time when Rumford entered the service of the elector,” says his biographer, Dr Renwick, “the pay of the private soldier was no more than about three cents a-day; under his administration it was raised to about four cents. Out of this he was compelled to purchase every article of food, except bread, of which a ration of little more than two pounds was issued to him. When we compare this scanty allowance with the rations of our own army and navy, we should fancy that the condition of the Bavarian soldiers must have been miserable in the extreme; but so far from this being the case, they are described as
the finest, stoutest, and strongest men in the world, whose countenances show the most evident marks of health and perfect contentment.' Such was the skill in cookery possessed by the Bavarian soldier, that he was enabled to subsist on two-thirds of his scanty pay, and, in addition, to save five-sixths of his ration of bread, which he sold.” * By inquiries and experiments, Rumford became convinced that the cause of the mystery lay in the fact, that the Bavarian soldier used his food almost universally in the form of soup. “What surprised me not a little,” he says,
was the discovery of the very small quantity of solid food which, when properly prepared, will suffice to satisfy hunger, and support life and health; and the very trifling expense at which the stoutest and most laborious man may in any country be fed. After an experience of nearly five years in feeding the poor at Munich, it was found that the cheapest, most savoury, and most nourishing food that could be prepared was a soup composed of pearl barley, pease, potatoes, cuttings of fine wheaten bread, vinegar, salt, and water, in certain proportions. I constantly found that the richness or quality of a soup depended more upon a proper choice of the ingredients, and a proper management of the fire, than
upon the quantity of solid nutritious matter employed—much more upon the art and skill of the cook, than upon the amount of the sums laid out in the market. I found also that the nutritiousness of a soup, or its power of satisfying hunger, and affording nourishment, seemed always to be in proportion to its apparent richness or palatableness." Struck with these remarkable results, Rumford endeavoured to explain them, by supposing that the water used in converting solid nutritious matter into soup became of itself nutritious, serving not merely as the vehicle for food, but really constituting a part of the food itself. This sup
* Life of Count Rumford-Sharp's American Biography.
position of Rumford is now ascertained to be a mistake. “Physiologists, however,” says Dr Renwick, “ have reached the true explanation. The quantity of matter required to supply the waste of the body at all ages, and furnish the material for the growth of the young, is small compared with the actual capacity of the digestive organ; while the latter is not satiated, nor the appetite satisfied, unless it receive a certain degree of distention. A quantity of warm liquid, holding so much nutritious matter in solution as to render digestion necessary, will fulfil the latter object as well as an equal bulk of solid food; while the necessity of expelling the excess above the actual wants of the system may in the latter case be productive of evil.”
With such a decided preference for the soup form of food as Count Rumford had been led to entertain, it is not to be wondered at that soup was an essential feature in all his schemes for the benefit of the poor. Soup was the great article of food employed in his experiments in Munich; and in his contemplated project of public kitchens and dining-rooms for large towns, the necessary condition of success was, that soup should be the staple diet. He even went into the details of the composition of soup; and his essays contain receipts for making various kinds of soup, with and without butcher-meat. The following judicious observations of Rumford's American biographer seem to sum up both the merits and the demerits of these experiments and speculations :-“The only question which admits of doubt is, how the description of food preferred by Rumford adapted to the circumstances of all countries. Now, to the greater part of the Anglo-Saxon race, soup, if not an abomination, will never be received as the staple of more than one daily meal; while tea and coffee, whose use Rumford reprobates, with their accompaniment of sugar, have become necessaries of life. In Paris, soup, which became for a while the fashionable mode of administering charity, was well adapted to the habits of the people; but in England and America it was received with grumbling, or rejected by all who could in any other mode obtain food. One reason no doubt was, that it was considered sufficient to make the food nutritious, without attempting to make it pleasing to the palate. This defect is far from inherent; for the soups of Rumford, whether containing none but vegetable matter, or a mixture of animal substance, may be easily rendered as delicious as the most costly preparations of the French kitchen.”
Besides the general schemes which we have mentioned, Count Rumford was engaged, during his residence in Bavaria, in many minor plans of social improvement; indeed, as we have already said, he acted the part of surveyor-general of the abuses of the electorate. It was not in the nature of things that he should be able to proceed in his various innovations and reforms without provoking some jealousy and opposition among the Bavarian nobles : the support and favour, however, of the elector never