Page images



tioned by the last speaker, or one of titution, a great impression for the the girls from the training home will

better would necessarily be made sing a solo, accompanying herself on

on the misery of our great cities. her instrument, while all join in a

But the unfortunate who has rattling and rollicking chorus.”

been received as General Booth's Here then, unquestionably, is a guest, and whose supply of fourray of light in the darkness. The pences is practically at an end, " shelter has all the merit of must be provided with work, else being a simple, practical, and he is no better off than before. readily intelligible plan. It may General Booth has to fall back serve to save those who are in upon the labour-test, as the poordanger of falling into still lower laws had to do before him. So depths; it opens a door of escape he has workshops and factories in for those who are already sub- operation, an extension of which merged. There is an easy feeling is the next great part of his of homeness and sympathy and scheme. In these, under strict hearty fellowship in the atmos- rules, enforcing orderly habits, phere of those resorts, which, as correct conduct, and industrious compared to the alternative of the application, men who have been Embankment or the doorstep, or

unable to obtain work are even the common lodging-houses of ployed. These workshops were the slums, must be a great help to- opened in Whitechapel last spring, wards rousing these wretches from and people are engaged there in despair, and giving them a disposi- various occupations until

some tion to retrieve. We may perhaps means

found of providing be a little shocked at the religious them with an independent livelidiversion provided for the refugees; hood. It is now proposed to exbut when we come to consider the tend factory operations on a large characters and minds of those who scale, and in a variety of branches are likely to be drawn thither, we into which we cannot enter. must admit that no small judg- his light - heartedness General ment is shown in the selection of Booth overlooks difficulties, both the method of arousing a religious natural and economic, which will sentiment. The people who crowd tax to the utmost the resources thither have most of them lived both of his ability and capital. We on the excitement of vice and shall at all events learn important crime and of shifty means of liv- lessons from the struggle which he ing. The Salvation services sup- will inevitably have to carry on ply a counter - irritant and sub- with these forces. He has shown stitute for ruinous and wasting himself a shrewd and able business excitement, one that, at all man, he has a strong organisation events, is harmless, may be bene- under his control, and he has one ficial, and must, to say the least, important advantage which his be infinitely preferable to that socialist predecessors deprived which it supersedes. General themselves of. He has the stimuBooth is honest enough to admit lating assistance of religion, which that these services do not impress ought not to be left out of count all alike, and it would be strange as an important, if not the most if it were so; but we have no important, auxiliary in such an doubt, if the system of shelters undertaking. It was its antiwere carried out to

an extent Christian character that ruined adequate to meet the mass of des- Robert Owen's attempt; Chris

In very well do.

tian principles form the basis of immediate demand for the bulk General Booth's operations, and of the farm produce. Here is afford our most confident hope that the way it is proposed to set to they will be blessed with some work : measure of success. As a useful

“After having got the farm into pendant to these two institutions,

some kind of ship-shape, we should General Booth's idea of a Labour select from the city colonies all those Bureau may be mentioned. It will who were likely to be successful as ascertain what work a man can

our first settlers. These would condo and assist him in getting em

sist of men who had been working so ployment, thus it is to be hoped factory, or had been under observa

many weeks or days in the labour establishing him in a suitable live- tion for a reasonable time at the lihood, and ridding the General's shelters or in the slums, and who had hands of him. With such assist given evidence of their willingness to ance, a large number of unfortun- work, their amenity to discipline, and ate persons, who are still possessed their ambition to improve then selves. of ability to work and a modicum

On arrival at the farm they would be

installed in a barracks, and at once of character, might be kept from

told off to work. In winter - time swelling the normal population of there would be draining, and roadDarker England, especially if em- making, and fencing, and many other ployers of labour on a large scale forms of industry which could go on give their countenance to the when the days are short and the scheme, as we think they might nights are long. In spring, summer

time, and autumn some would be The other two leading features employed on the land,

chiefly in spade

husbandry, upon what is called the of the plan are a farm of from system of' 'intensive agriculturefive hundred to a thousand acres such as prevails in the suburbs of in some of the home counties Paris, where the market - gardeners within a reasonable distance of literally create the soil, and which yields London, and a large agricultural much greater results than when you settlement in some of our colonies merely scratch the surface with a

plough." beyond sea. To the first it is proposed to draft from the shel- . A code of rules, simple and ters and workshops those who can- workable, is laid down for the not be placed in other employ- conduct of the farm colony, with ment, who may be most properly penalties ranging from being reengaged in agriculture, and whose ported, to expulsion and being reclamation necessitates their with handed over to the authorities. drawal from the city. This scheme, An elementary school, and a traintoo, carries with it the recommen- ing industrial school, will also dation of common-sense, although form parts of the scheme. The there are many difficulties that farm is also to be “a training will have to be faced. The in- school for emigrants ; a place fluence of the seasons, the state where those indispensably practiof prices, the provision and main- cal lessons are given which will tenance of markets, all tend to enable the colonists to know their suggest that the farm's progress way about, and feel themselves at cannot be uniformly smooth, al- home wherever there is land to though General Booth proposes till, stock to rear, and harvests to being his own largest purchaser, reap.” Round the farm are to be the operations of the Salvation planted agricultural settlements, Army in the city providing an each with its historical

" three



acres and a cow," and the neces- training on the home farm; the sary means for prosecuting hus- supervision which will enable the bandry for those who wish to most promising materials to be remain at home instead of going selected to the rejection of those abroad, and provision is made for distinctly unfitted; the fact that the occupant becoming a perma- the same care which since their nent tenant, subject, of course, to rescue has watched over them at his observing the moral regula- home will still remain with them ; tions laid down for the others. that every care will be taken to With regard to the religious care shield them against the temptaof the Home, the spiritual direc- tions and mistakes to which intion of colonists will be assumed dependent emigrants are so freely by the Salvation Army; but exposed, — are all circumstances General Booth

us that which would contribute to this “there will be no compulsion to portion of the scheme being suctake part in its services.” We cessfully carried out. Its importcordially commend the General's ance as providing for the children declaration of toleration, but there who have been rescued and trained can be little question that Gentiles to work, and for the families of will practically feel that their po- the home farm colonists, cannot sition of outsiders is an untenable be too highly estimated.

That they should find them- The Shelter, the Home Farm, selves in it at all is not, however, and the Colony beyond Sea are General Booth's blame, but that of the three practical points in Genus who are of their own number.

eral Booth’s proposals that will Of the great emigration scheme most commend themselves to the

-a New Britain beyond the sea consideration of those who are whither the approved workers on anxious to see something done for the farm colony with their wives the destitution of our great cities and families are to be sent to on a scale commensurate with the settlements already prepared for urgency of the subject. Scarcely their labour—we speak with much less important are the schemes sympathy and many misgivings. for rescuing fallen women, the inIn these pages we have recently temperate and criminals on their had to regret the failure of sim- discharge from prison. ilar philanthropic attempts at The number

of subsidiary colonial settlement. Colonies of schemes which General Booth this description and there have broaches as auxiliaries to his three been many of them in late years— great means of reclamation — the have almost uniformly resulted in shelter, the farm, and the colony misery and failure. We question are proofs of the thorough study whether successful colonists can be and careful inquiry that he has made out of the materials that pass applied to his subject, but they through the General's mill; we even have a tendency to divert attendoubt if his best efforts will be able tion from the cardinal features of to instil into them the spirit of en- his undertaking, and to raise a terprise and sturdy independence dread lest too many irons be put which alone can sustain a settler into the fire. His idea of a Poor

new country. But yet he Man's Bank has attracted has points in his favour which siderable criticism, and there are have been wanting in other certainly strong objections to his schemes of the kind. The initial entering into competition with

in a


thrift among


the Post Office in a work which were not at times capable of carmust be ultimately based on char- rying his projects to the verge of ity. General Booth, however, is appearing ridiculous and objecmerely following the example of tionable. There is at the first other institutions, such as the Girls' glance a fine air of absurdity Friendly Society, Bands of Hope, about his Household Salvage Briand other bodies, which encourage gade and his Whitechapel-on-Sea,

their members by high - sounding titles, which veil savings banks. We should much schemes for collecting the broken prefer, for many reasons, to see meat and sardine tins of the West the managers of such institutions End, and for establishing a seadirecting their members towards side resort (an estate of some three placing their savings in Govern- hundred acres) for the Salvationment hands; and until this is done ists and their friends of the slums. we cannot wonder that the State There is, however, a common-sense is unable to take a more direct foundation for both projects. If interest in national thrift, while it the immense household waste of

so many other bodies inter- richer London can be garnered vening between it and the masses. and utilised in General Booth's In enforcing thrift, in collecting work, it wi afford substantial deposits, and ultimately lodging assistance in both feeding and them in the Post Office, these employing his waifs. The Little societies might continue still to do Sisters of the Poor have already excellent service, and identify the shown that the waste of West-End interests of the masses more close- kitchens can be utilised in the ly with those of the State. There work of charitable relief, and we is something to be said in favour of are glad to see that General Booth a mont de piété in connection with promises that their beats will not General Booth's plans; but the less be interfered with. But it is its accommodation is required, the scarcely desirable that attention better for the success of his work. should be diverted at the very out

The department which General set from the practical and weighty Booth wishes to establish under parts of the plan by a multiplicity the title of the Poor Man's of details which will in all probLawyer is even more objection- ability attract either ridicule or able, and liable to be misunder- objection. stood. We have nothing to say A careful examination of Geneagainst the Salvation Army using ral Booth's proposals, and of the every means to push the interests means at his command for carrying of its protégés, but the typical them out, warrants our entertaincases which General Booth has ing a reasonable belief that, should cited as showing the utility of he be provided with the necessary such a department afford consider- funds to give effect to his views, he able ground for the charge of solic- will be able to make a sensible imiting subscriptions for organising pression upon the great mass of a black-mailing agency. We think London poverty and vice. The so well of the more practical fea- three main features in his schemetures of the General's scheme that the shelter, the farm colony, and we trust such a stumbling-block the colony beyond sea—appeal to as this will promptly disappear. common-sense and ordinary experiGeneral Booth would not be the ence as affording exactly the species successful enthusiast he is if he of relief of which the destitute in

our great cities stand most in need, judices which we might under and which they are most likely to other circumstances entertain be persuaded to avail themselves against utilising the services of of. As these three branches are the Salvation Army—prejudices the points to which least objections by no means unfair or unreasoncan be attached, and which promise able—to operate with us in reto effect the greatest amount of pelling its offer? We can by no good, we trust that towards them means dismiss the subject with the greater portion of the stream the lofty scorn with which Proof outside liberality now flowing in fessor Tuxley buttons up his upon the General will be mainly breeches-pockets, and passes along directed. If they succeed, as we on the other side with Levite-like trust they will do, no higher ser- alacrity. Professor Huxley has vice will have been rendered to the condemned the whole scheme in nation during the present century. very decided language. But has If they fail, we shall surely gather he any special claim to speak with some valuable social lessons from authority on this particular subthem for future use, as we have ject ? We attach great weight to done from the wrecks of all pre- Professor Huxley's views in his vious undertakings of the same own particular province, but we description.

are scarcely able to accept him in The objections which have been the pronounced position in which already launched against the Gen- he has installed himself of late erals scheme are for the most part years—that of an oracle de omnifanciful or interested. We have bus rebus et quibusdam aliis. already described it as partaking With regard to the question of a good deal of the nature of a national destitution, Professor forlorn-hope; but that is no rea- Huxley's opinion can be of no son why we should either oppose more interest to practical thinkers or discourage it. Even if it is than, say, “Mrs Todgers's idea of doomed to failure—which we trust a wooden leg.” It is much easier may not be the case---it must do a to condemn than devise. And certain amount of good in pass- if we do condemn General Booth's ing, and

show the

way in scheme, what other general alterwhich a more successful attack native have we at hand to fall can be led. And if we reject back upon ? General Booth's offer, who is there A ridiculous attempt has been to volunteer to take his place? made to cause alarm by imagining Several eminent writers have General Booth and his Salvation justly enough pointed out to us Army endowed with wealth enough very serious questions that are to make them a power in the raised by the acceptance of Gen- country, which with its organisaeral Booth’s proposal. Well, it tion and resources would equal in would be interesting and perhaps its influence for good or evil that profitable to discuss these; but of the Jesuits or the greater monwhile are discussing them astic orders in their best days, . there crowds starving by Such a fear seems to us very farnight on the Thames Embank- fetched indeed. If the Salvation ment, and misery, vice, and desti- Army survive in the struggle for tution running a devil's riot all existence, it will solely be that the over the East End. In the face public recognises it to be doing of this, are we to allow the pre- useful work; and when it ceases to



« PreviousContinue »