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    Great Britain bears a heavy burden of taxation, yet she does not seem to feel it. Many years ago Mr. Disraeli, in the House of Commons, called the National Debt a "flea-bite." It is not quite so light a matter as that; still, it does not seem to render her step less firm, nor retard her progress, nor give her much trouble. It is a matter of wonder to foreigners how the British people manage to have so much money after paying so smartly in the shape of taxes, and spending so much on food, clothing, and household accommodation. The secret lies in the wonderful industry and thrift in the masses of the people. They work hard, live well, and waste little. The number of people who live in Great Britain without labouring in any way for their support with head or hand is very small. Of 5,812,000 males twenty years of[424] age and upwards, in 1831, no less than 5,466,000 were engaged in some calling or profession. The progressive well-being of the middle classes of England has been indicated very satisfactorily by the improved character of their dwellings. If the country is more healthful than the city, one cause may be found in the less crowded state of the habitations. In the country the proportion was about five and a half persons on an average in each house; in London about a third more. In Scotland the proportion was six to ten in 1831, and in Ireland it was six to twelve, taking the capital in each case as representing the urban population. The number of inhabited houses which England contained in 1821 was 1,952,000; in Ireland the number was 1,142,602; in Scotland it was 341,474. In 1841 the numbers wereEngland, 2,753,295; Ireland, 1,328,839; Scotland, 503,357. The large increase in Scotland is accounted for by the fact that in the returns of 1841 "flats" were set down as houses, which was not the case in the first return. The tax on inhabited houses rated in three classes from 10 to 20, from 20 to 40, and from 40 and upwards. From 1821 to 1833 the houses rated at 40 and upwards increased in England from 69,000 to 84,000. The other two classes of houses increased in about the same proportion. The house duty was repealed in 1834. There was a duty on bricks till 1850, by which means the quantity consumed was ascertained, and the increase between 1821 and 1847 was 130 per cent. Between the years 1821 and 1841 the use of carriages with four wheels increased 60 per cent.double the ratio of the increase of the population. In the meantime hired carriages had increased from 20,000 to 33,000. Colonel Sykes, at a meeting of the Statistical Society, counted the cost of keeping a four-wheeled private carriage, including servants, at 250 a year. This may be too high an estimate; but taking four-wheeled and two-wheeled carriages together, Mr. Porter thought the average expense was not less than 100 a year for each, which would give more than 5,000,000 for this luxury in 1821, more than 9,000,000 for 1831, and more than 10,000,000 for 1841a proof of wealth which no other country in Europe could show.

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