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and it is now acknowledged that his form the only safe basis the calculation of Benefit and Friendly Societies. In fact, it found, at the time of his inquiry, that nearly all the Benefit societa' were insolvent. They had proceeded upon very unsatisfactors indiscriminating Tables, while it is now known that the quantity sickness in every man's life is much modified by his locality and 3. occupation. Plumbers, painters, and glaziers, knife and blase grinders, and the like, cannot be classed with ploughmen and opez: air labourers, yet they were formerly so classed; and, even now. ind criminating rates are too common. The injurious pecuniarr me , of such confusion and commixture will be best seen by an illasts tion. Suppose one Sick-Benefit Society to exist in a rural distrs another in a town, and a third in a city district, and that each of the three Societies consists of 180 members; twenty of whom are of the age of 30, and as many of the ages of 35, 40, 45, 50, 51, I , and 70. The payment is to be £1 per week to each member dan: illness. In such cases, the probable amounts which each Smu would have to pay during the ensuing year would be as follows.
In the Rural District . . . . . £673 15 11
. . . . . 808 0 0
683 7 6 Such an example at once displays the unexpected difference betwe town, city, and country, and the necessity for proportionate d e ences in charges.
The quantity of sickness experienced by any man during 1-es now reducible to a Tabular computation upon an average of large numbers, and also his expectation of sickness at any giren For instance, at age 70, the experience of the Scottish Frerlis Societies would lead to the expectation of ten weeks and five ist of sickness in the ensuing year ; the English Benefit Societies wie 4 give eleven weeks and six days; and the * Vital Statistics of Nr. Neison, fourteen weeks. The difference of the authorities is siderable, but there is no doubt that the last is the neart to the truth. It is manifest, therefore, that there is no chance-work in the matter; but the whole is capable of being placed on as sand s. safe a basis as Life Assurance itself. Every Benefit or Fr I society should have its rates and rules certified by a congrat Actuary, and no man should join one without satisfying himself such certification. Moreover, unceasing vigilance should be cm cised with reference to all officers connected with such Scan Nothing should be taken for granted. Vouchers shouli be vem for every item of expenditure, and the Banking pass.book i ss and frequently compared with the books of the bank. Wirbe! precautions, no failures can take place. The remedy for all de alea and defects lies within the power of the subscribers themselves 1: they wish to reap pecuniary advantages, they must not only se!, vatch; they must watch while they ure uell, that they may m g when they are ill.
In all that we have said, we have had one or two important practical objects in view. We have shown, as well as our limits will permit, that Life and Sickness Assurance proceed upon sure and undoubted experience and science, when these are called in for counsel ; that the whole is the result, not of conjecture or of chance, but of mathematical certainty. Let us now, in a few sentences, place the principle clearly before our readers, as regards a LifeAssurance Company. The Assurer may inquire : How do I know that the Company can perform its part of the contract ? We reply: It depends upon the truth of several postulates, which may now almost take the place of Assurance axioms. The principal of these are :-1. The average duration of human life is correctly estimated by the Company; experience has confirmed it. 2. The rate of interest assumed by the Company, for its investments, will be actually realized, and often exceeded; and the rate assumed is that which can always be fairly expected. 3. The annual surplus accumulated shall defray ordinary expenses of management, and contribute something to a Reserve Fund. 4. The lives assured shall be of average health and soundness, and enough shall be secured to obtain an average. 5. An equal, or nearly equal, amount of risk shall be distributed over all the lives assured. 6. Periodical and particular investigations, and valuations of the Company's liabilities and assets, shall place the whole state of affairs in a clear light; and the future shall be governed by such light.
These postulates being complied with, no man can have any good ground for doubting the stability of a Life office, and for abstaining from assuring his life on that plea. There are offices which will meet his views in almost every particular-either as to low premium at first, or high profits afterwards, or reduction of premium after a certain number of payments. We do not like to name offices, because we are strictly impartial; but we may affirm that there are in London at least fifty good and sound offices, in any one of which any man may assure with advantage. His particular wants can only be satisfied by either personal inquiry or friendly counsel-the latter being hard to obtain, apart from bias and inclination towards a particular company. What is most wanted of all things in this direction is a Public Adviser or two, who should be fully competent to advise on each case, and receive a moderate fee for a conscientious and carefully-founded opinion. The same things may be saidmutatis mutandis—of Assurance against sickness and incapacity.
The next main object, in our view, is to show that no man can do for himself what a good office or society can do for him. This will be admitted, when attention is paid to the main principle of Assurance-the law of average. An individual is never sure against death for an hour; the office assures the loss which this uncertainty may render, at any hour, a melancholy fact. Numerous little books and tracts have been printed, which are full of instances of sudden death, and the painful consequences of a lack of pecuniary provision; and, on the other hand, of certain cases where the benefits of Assurance VOL. III.
have been derived after the payment of one or two premiums. I: seems strange that such narratives are needful in a dying wort but the old line is still applicable
“All men think all men mortal but themselves." Certain it is, that any family man who neglects to assure his Efr. and yet has no provision ready for his offspring, is chargeable w.. a social delinquency which, were it less common, would be publes reprobated.
Then, again, as to the individual's becoming his own Assurer, 2 the assumption that he does live the usual term of life at all times and in all cases, an unwarrantable assumption-and that he is save: Will he always leave his savings untouched? Will he inrar. ably and regularly put them out at compound interest ? Will a 3 the consciousness of their existence and ready accessibleness le to a sudden draw upon his banker, or drain upon his secret board? Lastly, can the individual obtain compound interest upon sme sums as the Life office can upon large ones? Can the man w: ten or twenty pounds put out to interest as well as the office w ten or twenty thousand ? On no assumption whatever can be husband and father, who lives upon precarious income, be excom from the incumbent duty of assuring his life ; and—what we es cially have in view as a consequent duty-on no ground can the ai Assurer excuse himself from the pains of making himself acquainted with the principles and practice of Life Assurance, so as to secm the best office for his purpose. At present, he can hardly do this by proxy; and, therefore, he must needs do it personally. H some of us ourselves followed the advice we now give to others, re should have been, pecuniarily speaking, happier men. It is very remarkable that the affairs of institutions, guaranteeing at this time about £200,000,000, should be, for all practical purposes, totally exempt from public check and inquiry, and by no means intunately known to their own constituents. Confidence is good when we founded, but not when it verges upon mere credulity.
All the arguments employed to induce men to assure their live will bear, with redoubled cogency, upon working-men with mirrence to the assurance of their health. These men stand in the same relation to Benefit societies as those above them, in the social sale stand to Life offices. The working man, indeed, is rather the sur bound to enter a Benefit or Friendly society, because his health is his only capital, while the Assurer may continue his Premium ar he has once paid it, whatever his health. But he who do make any provision against sickness, is living daily upon a diminative and diminishing capital. Nor does he know how soon he will exhaust it. An accident; a cold, long neglected; a conta gious disease; any one of the thousand contingencies upon which boxlily vipar anni capacity depend, may, at one moment, make him bankrupt ani Can any rational, much more religious man, dare to tempt the future so recklessly? Ought friends and families to suffer for this neglect !
Should not clergymen, Dissenting ministers, and employers, all combine to enforce these things upon the thoughtless artizan ? Let lectures be given in popular forms, and frequent illustrations be adopted, and every encouragement afforded to those who need to make such provisions; and who, without them, ever hang over an abyss of poverty and suffering, both in their own persons and in those of their innocent families, from which every good man ought to seek to warn them by every method and measure within his reach.
“BY THE RIVER'S SIDE.”
HERE, beside Westminster Bridge, this bright May morning, it is pleasant to watch the crowds passing and repassing above, and the well-laden steamers gliding underneath, and the busy workmen pulling down the old bridge on the one side, building up on the other side the new, and all the while that human tide pouring so unceasingly along; and pleasant is it to look on that broad current below, spanned now by so many bridges, and bordered by so many lines of building--graced, too, by that truly royal structure that rises so queen-like on the very site of the old Palace of Westminster-and think over the changes of only three or four hundred years. It is a place to dream of the past in, although modern buildings are around us; for yonder are the old towers of Lambeth Palace, and not a stone's-throw from us that shrine of historical recollections, the Abbey; while, as though compelled to yield to the presiding genius of the place, even that stately New Palace is true, from base to turret and topmost pinnacle, to the traditions and the architecture of the “ olden times.”
Pleasant is it to picture to oneself this “ silent highway," as Charles Knight rather affectedly calls it—inappropriate enough is the title now when it bore the gilded barges, with their dainty freight of beauty, from the gardens that bordered its northern bank to the gallant tournaments of our later Plantagenets, or the quaint jousts of the days of Elizabeth in the Tilt-yard, when Lambeth was still little more than a mere wide tract of marsh-land, and the stately swans sailed forth in snowy fleets from their reedy coverts, fair and graceful as the “fayre damsels" who glided by ;--or that earlier day, when the Old Palace of Westminster arose on the water's edge, and the Abbey lands were half-submerged during the rainy season, but when high festival was held each Christmas, and Pasch, and Pentecostide, and the King summoned “all good men
and true," with herald-call and trumpet-blast, to feast right merry "at our royal Palace of Westminster;" and the solemn procession with the monarch crowned and sceptred, swept along each das a gorgeous state to the Abbey close by, welcomed by the Abbot ni his train with chant and incense, taper and banner. Yes, MAT changes has that old river seen, and many have been its changes. since that far earlier day-not the apocryphal one of Geoffres Monmouth, who tells how, some two thousand nine hundred rem ago, Brutus wandered by “the silver Thames," and chose the site of his city Troynouvant, but some eighteen or nineteen centuries ago,--when “ the city of the waters-Llyndun," a mere collection of wattled huts, the giant cromlech probably crowning the green eminence on which it stood—was first gazed upon by the mastaa of the world, who afterwards named it, in unconscious prophecy. “ Londinum Augusta.”
And this river, world-famed now-did it flow on then, bearin on its swelling current the carved and gilded galleys of the Rota legions ? Few are aware of the changes our ancient Thames has passed through, for few are aware of the changes which, even within the limits of the historic period, have passed over our land Tradition records-in Brittany as well as in Cornwall-that the whole space between St. Michael's Mount and the Scilly Isles mus once a fertile territory; they named it the district of the Lyonese and told how that, in King Arthur's day, it boasted many a fer church and strong castle : this is unlikely enongh, but that the Scilly Islands formerly joined the mainland, is a fact accepted to every geologist. That the Goodwin Sands extended over land are both cultivated and inhabited, has also been asserted by tradice and also been assented to by geologists, who consider that, s comparatively recent date, the district through which the Thamrs flows was a great basin, “ confined on the southern side by the mus of the Surrey Hills, and on the north by those high lands of wburb Highgate forms one of the highest northerly ridges "
le estuary, in fact, subsiding into bog and morass.
Strange enough does this appear to us; and strange enongh wald this view appear to our forefathers even five or six hundred your ago, when they were almost as proud of their river as they weru their ancient city. But there are many incidental facts wurd corroborate it--facts which have never received the attention the deserve, inasmuch as, while learned dissertations enongh have been written upon rivers of * classic fame," it has been thonght a task only worthy of some dull, plodding, London antiquary, to trace the history of that noble stream which bathes the metropolis of the world. Now, we have seen that the name of the city-be angsal Celtic name, " Llyndun "-is," city or town of the water :" we find that the name of the river-Celtic, too_* Tam-I ** DAL "a collection of waters :" a name that obviously could not hare been given to a river, but characteristic enough of the alternate marsh and lake which subsiding waters would form. Indeed, we