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food, and if all the other conditions necessary
for their nourishment are maintained, while
at the same time light is wholly excluded
from them, their development is stopped;
they no longer undergo the metamorphosis
through which they pass from imperfect into
perfect beings; the tadpole, for example, is
unable to change its water-breathing apparatus,
litted for its first stage of existence,
into the air-breathing apparatus, with the
rudiment of which it is furnished, and which
is intended to adapt it for a higher life, namely,
for respiration in air. In this imperfect state
it continues to live; it even attains an enormous
bulk, for such a creature in its state of
transition, but it is unable to pass out of its
transitional state; it remains permanently
an imperfect being, and is doomed to pass
a perpetual life in water, instead of attaining
maturity and passing its mature life
in air."

It may give some support to the theory of
tadpole development above mentioned, to add,
that the same cause produces the very same
effects upon human beings; upon human
mothers, and upon human children. Human
mothers living in dark cellars produce an unusual
proportion of defective children. Go
into the narrow streets, and the dark lanes,
courts, and alleys of our splendid cities, there
you will see an unusual number of deformed
people, men, women, and children, but particularly
children. In some cells under the
fortifications of Lisle, a number of poor people
took up their abode; the proportion of defective infants
produced by them became so
great, that it was deemed necessary to issue an
order commanding these cells to be shut up.
The window duties multiply cells like those of
the fortifications of Lisle, in London, in Liverpool,
in Manchester, in Bristol, and in every
city and town in England by hundreds and by
thousands, and with the same result; but the
cells here are not shut up, nor is the cause
that produces them removed. Even in cases
in which the absence of light is not so complete
as to produce a result thus definite and
striking, the effects of the privation are still
abundantly manifest in the pale and sickly
complexion, and the enfeebled and stunted
frame; nor can it be otherwise, since, from
the essential constitution of organised beings,
light is as necessary to the development of
the animal as it is to the growth of the plant.
The diseases the want of it produces are of
long continuance, and waste the means of life
before death results; they may therefore
be characterised as pauperising diseases.
As to death itself, it has been calculated that
nearly ten thousand persons perish annually
in London alone from diseases solely produced
by an impeded circulation of air and admission
of light.

This prodigal waste of health, strength,
and of life itself, falls much more heavily on
the poor, than the mere fiscal burden, imposed
by the tax, falls on the richer classes.
Inasmuch, then, as health is the capital of the
working man. whatever be the necessities of
the state, nothing can justify a tax affecting
the health of the people, and especially the
health of the labouring community, whose
bodily strength constitutes their wealth, and
oftentimes their only possession. In conclusion
we may say, without wishing to libel
any respectable Act of Parliament, that the
Window-Tax kills countless human beings in
tens of thousands every year.

The next improvement which must speedily
be pushed under John Bull's very nose, is the
removal of the nuisances which abound in
crowded neighbourhoods from Land's End to
John o'Groats. The back-yards of houses in
poor neighbourhoods are so many gardens,
sown broadcast with the seeds of disease, and
but too plentifully manured for abundant and
continual crops. When rain falls on the surface
of these parterres of poison, and is afterwards
evaporated by the heat of the sun,
there rises a malaria, intensified by decomposing
refuse, which, inhaled into human
lungs, engenders consumption, ending in the
parish workhouse and death. It is a fact
that the surfaces of some of the back-yards in
London have been raised six feet by successive
accumulations of vegetable and animal refuse.
We must have no more such accumulations;
offal of eveiy kind must be removed daily by
Act of Parliament.

Ill-kept stables, which cause horses to become
blind, and men to die of typhus, must be
reformed; cow-feeding sheds, which produce
diseased milk and offensive refuse, must be
abolished, and milk supplied per railway from
the country; disgusting and noxious manufactures,
such as are carried on a few yards
west of Lambeth Palace, on the river's bank,
must be removed to consort with knackers'
yards, in places remote from human habitations.

The strong bar which John Bull opposes to
such improvements is the dread of the Centralisation,
which, he says, carrying them into
effect would occasion. Local Government, he
insists, is the great bulwark of the British
Constitution. No bill is ever brought into
Parliament for the good of the people,—that
is well known,—but is passed for the sake of
the places it creates, and the patronage it
gives. Now, if we allow a practicable bill for
the removal of these nuisances to pass, a
swarm of commissioners, secretaries, clerks,
inspectors, inquisitors, dustmen, and scavengers
will be let loose upon the contented public, to
supersede snug, comfortable, local boards, and
to ruin innocent contractors. " Is," John asks
vehemently, "this to be borne?" and answers
himself with equal emphasis, " Decidedly not.
We prefer the nuisances." But common
sense steps in to reply, that as nuisances are
a matter of taste, if every board could confine
its own nuisances to its own parish so as not
to take its neighbours by the nose, there
would, perhaps, be no harm in letting it doze