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nine. This has been, for so many years,
provedby Red Tapeto be the perfection
of human reason, that we merely remark
upon the circumstance, and there leave it, for
another ornamental branch of the subject.

Light and air are the first essentials of our
being. Among the facts demonstrated by
Physical Science, there is not one more
indisputable, than that a large amount of Solar
Light is necessary to the development of the
nervous system. Lettuces, and some other
vegetables, may be grown in the dark, at no
greater disadvantage than a change in their
natural colour; but, the nervous system of
Animals must be developed by Light. The
higher the Animal, the more stringent and
absolute the necessity of a free admission
to it of the Sun's bright rays. All human
creatures bred in darkness, droop, and become
degenerate. Among the diseases distinctly
known to be engendered and propagated by
the want of Light, and by its necessary
conconcomitant, the want of free Air, those
dreadful maladies, Scrofula and Consumption,
occupy the foremost place.

At this time of day, and when the labours
of Sanitary Reformers and Boards of Health
have educated the general mind in the
knowledge of such truths, we almost hesitate to
recapitulate these simple facts: which are as
palpable and certain as the growth of a tree,
or the curling of a wave. But, within a few
years, it was a main fault of practical Philosophy,
to hold too much herself apart from
the daily business and concerns of life.
Consequently, within a few years, even these truths
were imperfectly and narrowly known. Red
Tape, as a great institution quite superior to
Nature, positively refused to receive them
strangled them, out of handlabelled them
Impositions, and shelved them with great

This is so incredible, that our readers will
naturally enquire, when, where, and how?
Thus. In the Spring of 1844, there sat
enthroned, in the office of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, Downing Street, London, the
Incarnation of Red Tape. There waited
upon this enshrinement of Red Tape in the
body and flesh of man, a Deputation from the
Master Carpenters' Society, and another from
the Metropolitan Improvement Society: which
latter, comprising among its members some
distinguished students of Natural Philosophy,
took the liberty of representing the before-
mentioned fact in connexion with Light, as a
small result of Infinite Wisdom, eternally
established before Tape was. And, forasmuch
as the Window Tax excluded light from the
dwellings of the poor in large towns, where
the poor lived, crowded together in large old
houses; by tempting the landlords of those
houses to block up windows and save themselves
the payment of duty, which they notoriously
didand, forasmuch, as in every room and
corner thus made dark and airless, the poor,
for want of space, were fain to huddle beds
and, forasmuch, as a large and a most
unnatural per-centage of them, were, in
consequence, scrofulous, and consumptive, and
always sliding downward into Pauperism
the Deputation prayed the Right Honourable
Red Tape, M. P., at least so to modify
this tax, as to modify that inhuman and
expensive wrong. To which, the Right
Honourable Red Tape, M. P., made reply,
that he didn't believe that the Tax had
anything to do with scrofula; "for," said he,
"the window-duties don't affect the cottager;
and I have seen numerous instances of
scrofula in my own neighbourhood, among the
families of the agricultural peasantry." Now,
this was the perfection of what may be called
Red Tapeosophy. For, not to mention the fact,
well known to every traveller about England,
that the cottages of agricultural labourers,
in general, are a perfect model of sanitary
arrangement, and, are in particular remarkable
for the capacious dimensions of their
windows (which are usually of the bay or
oriel form: never less than six feet high,
commonly fitted with plate glass, and always
capable of being opened freely), it is to be
carefully noticed that such cottages always
contain a superabundance of room, and
especially of sleeping-room: also, that nothing
can be farther from the custom of a cottager
than to let a sleeping-room to a single man, to
diminish his rent: and to crowd himself and
family into one small chamber, where by reason
of the dearness of fuel he stops up crevices, and
shuts out air. These being things which no
English landlord, dead or alive, ever heard of,
it is clearas clear as the agricultural labourer's
cottage is light and airythat the exclusion
of light and air can have nothing to do with
Scrofula. So, the Right Honourable Red
Tape, M. P., gave the lie (politely) to the
Deputation, and proved his case against
Nature, to the great admiration of the office

Well! But, on the same occasion, there
was more Red Tape yet, in the back-ground,
ready, in nautical phrase, to be paid out.
The Deputation, rather pertinaciously dwelling
on the murderous effects of a prohibition of
ventilation in the thickly-peopled habitations
of the poor, the same authority returned,
"You can ventilate them, if you choose.
Here is Deputy Red Tape, from the Stamp
Office, at my elbow; and he tells you, that
perforated plates of zinc, may be placed in the
external walls of houses, without becoming
liable to duty." Now, the Deputation were
very glad to hear this, because they knew it
to be a part of the perfect wisdom of the Acts
of Parliament establishing the Window Tax,
that they required all stopped-up windows
to be stopped up with precisely the same
substance as that of which the external walls
of a house were made; and that, in a variety
of cases, where such walls were of stone, for
example, and such windows were stopped up
with wood, they were held to be chargeable

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