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sequently, while the proportion of deaths at the several ages to the whole number living at those ages may be all correct, the expectancy of life is deprived of the benefit that it would derive from the great age, to which many officers unquestionably attain after their retirement from the army. Mr. Francis finds the expectancy of life at all ages still lower than that ascertained by Mr. Woolhouse; but we believe the reason is similar, the objection taken against the experience afforded by the Army List being applicable, in still greater degree, to that afforded by the Assurance Office registers. Were this not so, we should be obliged to believe that the climate of Bengal is far more unhealthy than we can persuade ourselves that it is. Mr. Francis gives the expectancy of life about two years less, on an average of all ages than Mr. Woolhouse does. But this is not all. About 5,600 out of 9,541, or nearly three-fifth of the lives taken account of by Mr. Francis, are those of military officers, and consequently are part of the lives taken account of by Mr. Woolhouse. If therefore we allow for them the favourable average of Mr. Woolhouse, we must conclude that the average is reduced by the 3,941 civil lives, so that the expectancy of such lives must be very little short of five years* less than that of military lives on an average of all ages. This conclusion is far too improbable to be admitted.
We cannot therefore go along with Mr. Francis in the following reasoning: "The result of this investigation seems to establish the fact, that the mortality is higher among mixed assured lives in India than it is among the officers of the Bengal Military Service, according to Mr. Woolhouse's computations. May not this be accounted for by the fact before alluded to, that the officers of the army have the opportunity of proceeding to a more favourable climate, when their health is impaired, and the option of re-visiting their native country on furlough for some years after a certain period of service in India? These are advantages from which a very large porportion of those who are assured in the Calcutta offices are debarred; and they are no doubt such as more than counterbalance the supposed deterioration of life by exposure in marches, &c., and the casualties of war, to which military men are subject.'
We are not disposed to estimate very highly the casualties of war, at least among the officers of our army; nor do we think that the fatigue and exposure of a march are more trying to most constitutions than sedentary employments; and if the results were merely equal for military and civil lives, we should not be surprized, or startled. But when we have to account for a difference of expectation of life to the amount of four years on all ages, we cannot admit the possibility of accounting for it in this way. And especially is the difficulty enhanced, when we take into consideration that, while a large propor
* As thus; 9,541 men enjoy 19,082 years less of life on Mr. Francis's shewing than on Mr. Woolhouse's. But of these, 5,600, being the same persons in both cases, cannot enjoy less life in the one case than the other, consequently the whole deficit is to be divided among the 3,941, which gives all but 5 years to each.
tion of those assured do not enjoy the privileges stated, a considerable. proportion must be officers in the Company's Civil Service, who have quite as large advantages of the kind in question, as their military. brethren; and that a considerable number more must be mercantile men, who can go where they like, without the formality of a medical committee; and who do, in point of fact, frequently "make a run home," for commercial and sanatory purposes in combination.
We think then it is unquestionable that the main cause of the very small expectation of life exhibited by the tables before us is to be sought for in the very short duration of the time during which the lives come within the author's cognizance. The average duration of the policies in the Oriental is only 3.8, and in the Laudable 7.9, years.
The fact just stated appears to us to be very suggestive, with respect to the purposes for which assurances are generally effected in India. The original, and the most valuable, object of life assurance, is the making of a provision for a family in the event of the death of its "bread-winner." Now if this were the purpose to which it is mainly applied here, the policies would be generally kept up till the deaths of the assured, and would therefore give a much longer average duration in the course of thirty-three years, which is the period over which the experience of the Assurance Offices extend. It seems certain then, that a very large proportion of the assurances in India are effected for a temporary purpose, viz., to afford security for debts contracted; and this is what we meant, when we stated before, that the number of assurances is not a measure of the prudence and forethought, but too often rather of the extravagance, of our community.
We regard Mr. Francis as having laid the community under a considerable obligation by the present publication. So far as his data went, he has done his work in an unexceptionable manner. We should also notice the singularly neat "getting up" of the work. It is indeed the best executed work, that has ever issued from an Indian Press.
V.-The Anglo-Hindústani Hand-Book; or, Stranger's Self
Interpreter, and Guide to Colloquial and general Intercourse with the Natives of India.-With a Map of India, and five illustrations. Calcutta. Thacker and Co. 1850.
WE regret that the late period at which we received this work, precludes the possibility of our noticing it as its importance and merits entitle it to be noticed. We therefore confine ourselves at present to announcing its publication, and recommending it to all newcomers. In our next issue we hope to mete out to it a less niggardly share of justice.
SANDERS, CONES AND CO., TYPS., NO. 14, LOLL BAZAR.