It was proposed likewise to plant rows of useful trees by the road-side from one station to another throughout the whole country, and it was calculated that after a certain number of years the produce of those trees would have been nearly sufficient to defray all the expences of repairing the roads.
Such an arrangement, with the striking appearance of order and regularity that would accompany it, could not have failed to interest every person of feeling who saw it; and I am persuaded that such a scheme might be carried into execution with great advantage in most countries where standing armies are kept up in time of peace. The reasons why this plan was not executed in Bavaria at the time it was proposed are too long, and too foreign to my present purpose to be here related. Perhaps a time may come when they will cease to exist.
ADDRESS and PETITION to all the Inhabitants and Citizens of MUNICH, in the Name of the real Poor and Distressed.
Too long have the public honour and safety, morality and religion, called aloud for the extirpation of an evil, which, though habit has rendered it familiar to us, always appears in all its horrid and disgusting shapes; and whose dangerous effects show themselves every where, and are increasing every day.
Too long already have the virtuous citizens of this metropolis seen with concern the growing numbers of the Beggars, their impudence, and their open and shameless debaucheries; yet idleness and mendicity (those pests of society) have been so feebly counteracted, that, instead of being checked and suppressed, they have triumphed over those weak attempts to restrain them and acquiring fresh vigour and activity from success, have spread their baleful influence far and wide.
What well-affected citizen can be indifferent to the shame that devolves upon himself and upon his country, when whole swarms of dissolute rabble, covered with filthy rags, parade the streets, and by tales of real or of fictitious distress--by clamorous importunity, insolence, and rudeness, extort involuntary contributions from every traveller? When no retreat is to be found, no retirement where poverty, misery, and impudent hypocrisy, in all their disgusting and hideous forms, do not continually intrude; when no one is permitted to enjoy a peaceful moment, free from their importunity, either in the churches or in public places, at the tombs of the dead, or at the places of amusement? What avail the marks of affluence and prosperity which appear in the dress and equipage of individuals, in the elegance of their dwellings, and in the magnificence and splendid ornaments of our churches, while the voice of woe is heard in every corner, proceeding from the lips of hoary age worn out with labour; from strong and healthy men capable of labour; from young infants and their shameless and abandoned parents? What reputable citizen would not blush, if among the inmates of his house should be found a miserable wretch, who by tales of real or fictitious distress should attempt to extort charitable donations from his friends and visitors? What opinion would he expect would be formed of his understanding--of his heart--of his circumstances? What then must the foreigner and traveller think, who, after having seen no vestige of Beggary in the neighbouring countries, should, upon his arrival at Munich, find himself suddenly surrounded by a swarm of groaning winching wretches, besieging and following his carriage?
THE PUBLIC HONOUR calls aloud to have a stop put to this disgraceful evil.
THE PUBLIC SAFETY also demands it. The dreadful consequences are obvious, which must ensue when great numbers of healthy individuals, and whole families, live in idleness, without any settled abode, concluding every day with schemes for defrauding the public of their subsistence for the next: where the children belonging to this numerous society are made use of to impose on the credulity of the benevolent, and where they are regularly trained, from their earliest infancy, in all those infamous practices, which are carried on systematically, and to such an alarming extent among us.