THE acute distress which exists in this town, is aggravated, in a degree unprecedented, by the want of habitations, for the multitude of poor, attracted there from the country, by the chances for obtaining a subsistence at a watering place much frequented, as well as by the generous conduct of the townspeople, who are able, in relieving destitution. Rooms and other small tenements are so dreadfully crowded, that life in them is merely fuel for disease, which consequently rages unchecked amongst the lower inhabitants. But the extent of the privation, which the poor endure from the want of shelter, may be judged best from the following fact.
On one of the quays, where a soup kitchen is established, are to be seen some water casks, or large hogsheads, lying on the side with the head out; and each of these throughout the day contains its quota of human beings. Some of the creatures take up a temporary residence in this novel kind of tenement, only waiting to drink the soup which they receive, and then leaving it. Others, however, it appears, find the cask their sole refuge, not quitting it even during the night, except, perhaps to straighten their limbs. In several hogsheads, four or five children, with their mother, are thus lodged, wedged and packed together, the young tenants half suffocated and struggling and fighting in their prison.