The million-peopled city
"But, beside the pensioners who reside in the Hospital, there are upwards of 50,000, who reside throughout the world, and receive so much per diem, according to their length of service, their position in the army, and their former enterprises. Large numbers of these reside in the imme- diate vicinity of the Hospital. Nearly one-half of the people on my district are out-pensioners. Several lodging- houses are filled with them. I am therefore able to speak of them from a large acquaintance with them. As a class, they are much worse in moral character than those who dwell in the Hospital, who are subject to several restraints on open wickedness. Drunkenness is their besetting sin. Their pension is generally paid at the beginning of each month, and for 4 or 5 days afterwards drunkenness is so prevalent on my district, that my labours are considerably impeded. Drink they will have, if they starve for it afterwards. It is my privilege to labour in connexion with a clergyman, whose indefatigable zeal and activity has brought him acquainted with nearly every family on my district, and I believe the above statement agrees with our common experience. Some of the pensioners live in a very improper state with women; and it is said of some women on my district, that they receive old men from the College. When they are sober, I am able at all times to read or explain to them the Holy Scripture. They are, in all cases, most civil and friendly. Not unfrequently will they repay my teaching with a recital of their wanderings and battles, and, like the parson's guest in the village of sweet Auburn, " Shoulder a crutch, and show how fields were won."
|They love to talk over their victories, and to discuss the merits of the various commanders under whom they served. They are also generally fond of reading newspapers. Like their brethren in the Hospital, they manifest the same dis- content with their portion. Some of them are able to follow an occupation, but the far greater number live entirely on their pensions."