« AnteriorContinuar »
DWELLINGS FOR THE POOR.
In our advertising columns will be found the first public appeal for funds in aid of that most important undertaking to which we have already once or twice alluded, the establishment of healthy and economical DWELLINGS FOR THE POOR in this metropolis.
Such is the general feeling of the necessity for some effort of this description that there have been two or three schemes of the kind within the last five years. The association, however, which now appeals to the public for support has the honour to be the first to commence an actual building. This body—the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes-has obtained a suitable site on Lord Calthorpe's estate, at the eastern end of Guildfordstreet, and has nearly completed, on this spot, a range of buildings which is intended to accommodate twenty labouring men and their families, with a separate house for thirty poor widows or single females of mature age. The expectation of the committee is, that for the lodgings they will here be able to offer to the poor-well-drained, ventilated, and provided with all requisite conveniences—they will be able to charge about one-half, or less than one-half, of the rents now exacted for the miserable garrets and cellars into which the labouring classes are at present forced to cram themselves.
We have already stated our conviction, that no one of the various plans for ameliorating the condition of the labouring classes is of equal importance with this. We very recently took a survey of several houses in one of the lanes near Fleet-street, and which would obviously afford a very favourable specimen of their class. We found, in nearly every instance, a whole family crowded, by day and by night, into a single room. The reason was obvious and unanswerable. A single room cost the family 3s. 6d. or 4s., or even 4s. 6d. per week. Two rooms, at a cost of 78. or 8s., would have made two large a deduction from weekly wages of only 189., 208., or 24s. Hence, what
ever the number of the family, or the ages or sex of the children, all lived, and cooked, and fed, dressed and undressed, sickened, died, or recovered, in this one room, generally measuring some eight or nine feet by ten or eleven.
It was impossible to look at these poor people without seeing at a glance what was their chief temporal want. There was no mistaking it. Facilities for washing and bathing will be great boons, and we will not undervalue them. But when we see a man and his wife, and six children, girls and boys of 16 and 18, all huddled together, night after night, in two or perhaps three beds, placed side by side in one small and ill-ventilated attic, can we for a moment imagine that we have done our duty by such a family when we have brought into their neighbourhood a cheap warm bath and a place where they may wash their clothes ?
If we have the least regard, then, for the morals, the health, or the good conduct of the labouring classes, we must make an effort in this direction. No other mode or plan for improving their condition can be thoroughly effectual so long as this is overlooked; nor can any amount of money be so economically laid out in any other way. We noted down, the other day, the several rents paid by the lodgers in one small house in the lane above referred to. We found them to amount, collectively, to rather more than eighty pounds per annum. The full value of the house to a yearly tenant might be about twenty-five pounds. Add ten or fifteen for rates and taxes, and it will be seen that the fair value of each room was doubled. Extend this calculation over that enormous mass—the working classes of London--and imagine what the aggregate sum extorted from them by lodging-house keepers must be.
But it may be asked, How is this gigantic evil to be overcome? The reply may be difficult; but assuredly the Society above alluded to has taken the only feasible course. Legislation
cannot touch this kind of oppression; and mere talk, like that in which the Times delights, will effect nothing. The first step to be taken is, practically to show how the poor might be better lodged-on what terms—and with what return on the capital employed. Let this problem be once solved; let houses be actually erected and tenanted, and let the public have a fair account of the experiment and its results, and we cannot doubt that from among the enormous wealth of this metropolis thousands and tens of thousands would be offered to carry on such an operation on a larger and still more effective scale.
Meanwhile, the Society, which has commenced this important work, calls for further aid. Even for this, its first attempt, it needs larger funds than have yet been provided. Strange, that in one town alone (Manchester not less than £28,000 should have been raised for the purpose of providing play-grounds for the poor; and that in London and Birmingham £10,000 should have been subscribed to supply them with warm baths; and yet that not so much as five thousand should have yet been given to provide the poor with comfortable and wholesome homes. We must insist upon it that this is a great mistake. Give the poor man his “Victoria Park"we decry it not, nor undervalue its
utility. Give him a laundry and a warm bath; they will add to his comfort, and promote his health and cleanliness. But when all this is done, you have still left him in his “chair-lumbered closet, just eight feet by nine,” the best that his wages will allow him to provide. Here he is obliged to stow away his family, as well as he may, himself, his wife, his girl of 16, his boys of 15 and 14–all reposing, night by night, in one narrow attic! We give the most simple and ordinary outline; we describe merely what will occur this night in ten thousand cases. Easy would it be to add depth to the portraiture; to speak of the mother in her confinement, or of the infectious diseases which are sure to find their way into such scenes as these; but we forbear. If we have not said enough to induce some of the wealthy to look backward at their shortcomings, and forward at their responsibilities, we shall despair of touching their sympathies or their consciences by any further details. We shall merely repeat-knowing that many are accustomed to think of these things—that, in our judgment, there is scarcely any one way in which the temporal necessities and sufferings of the poor can be so effectually and permanently alleviated as by taking effectual measures for the improvement of their dwellings.-Mor. Her.
GENESIS ï. 5, 6.
WHENCE come ye, clouds of darkest Why is man's path with thorns behue ?
spread ? Ye shut out heaven from our view, The fading leaf, the grave, the dead, And cast a gloom around;
The sweat upon the brow; Alas! earth once had cloudless skies, | These cloud the heart and dim the eye; Ye never wept o'er Paradise,
Whence all this toil and misery But this is cursed ground.
O man, why weepest thou ? Our home is thine, from sinful earth Lo! we depart—the God of love We clouds of darkness take our birth, Hath placed his bow of grace above; And in its doom we share;
Joy to thee, man forgiven! Think, when our falling drops ye see, Thy home, not ours, is in the skies; Creation's tears are shed o'er thee, We rise to fall, ye fall to rise Need we the cause declare?
From earth, sin, death-to heaven!
ON PSALM xxxi. 7.
FATHER of mercies, 'tis not in the hour
When earthly joys shine brightest here below;
Thy covenanted love our spirits know.
Not when our path is smoothest-when the smile
Of our beloved ones beam fondly bright, .
And life's horizon knows no gloom of night.
“ God of all consolation”-thou hast known
Our souls in darker sadder hours than these ;
Tossed on the billows of life's raging seas ;
Then-as of old upon the stormy deep,
The tempest of our souls obeys thy will;
The fearful storm is hushed with, “ Peace, be still !”
'Tis in the hour when gilded joys are fled,
And, 'reft of those we loved, the spirit grieves ;
Or flit beside our path like autumn leaves :
In hours like these we feel thy presence near,
Thine “ everlasting arms”-our shield-our might;
"Till life's dark day shall set in cloudless light.
PROTESTANT MINSTRELSY.-No. VII.
(For the Christian Guardian.)
. REPROACHES. “When all other fires of martyrdom are put out, these burn still."-LEIGHTON.
APOSTATĖ Church! thy pleasant song | We know thy guile, we hear the chain
That thou hast forged a thousand Andmen have heal’dthy deadly wound. years,
And temper'dwell with blood and tears. Thy lamb-like voice, so soft, so clear, Our brethren weak have burn'd to The grievous taunt, the word of scorn, hear;
By every wind to us are borne; And girded on our threshold stand, We heed them not--we will abide Ready to take thy guiding hand. | In safety, where our fathers died.
Review of Books. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. A Sermon preacht at Brighton, Dec.
10th, 1840. By Julius CHARLES HARE, Archdeacon of Lewes. Parker:
London. IS UNAUTHORIZED TEACHING ALWAYS SCHISMATICAL: A
Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, May 12th, 1844. By the Rev. J. GARBETT, Professor of Poetry, and Prebendary of Chichester, Hatchards : London. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. By W. B. NOEL, M. A., Nisbet,
London. THE UNION OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS, POSSIBLE, DESIRĄ
BLE, AND NECESSARY. By A CLERGYMAN. Norwich: London,
Seeleys. We hail with great satisfaction the by largely pursuing this subject, and discovery of materials, wherever they noticing such materials as they occur lie, for the increase and establishment to us. “That they all may be one'! of Christian Union : and we are per- was the Saviour's prayer; and that suaded that we cannot render our prayer will be answered. It must inreaders a more important benefit than deed be answered, ere the world will arrive at its predicted destiny of bles- respect as well as in many others, sedness, or the Saviour at the fulness that they present the apparent uniof his glory amongst the sons of men. versality of that cementing and har
We are living in most singular monizing principle of which we speak. times, which are yet scarcely intelligi. Thus, if Christians and Churches are ble. “My soul, wait thou only upon manifesting an earnest desire forunity, God.” His purposes are ripening governments are doing the same. fast. Blessed indeed are they who Conciliation is the Premier's grand have a heart to long and pant for his policy; the polar star of his movekingdom! Never was there a time, ments. We cannot be present for a perhaps, when the Church of Christ night in the House of Commons, but was more suddenly and unexpectedly we see his ruling principle. We need drawn into a condition of hopeful- only turn to Ireland in proof of it. ness regarding her best and chiefest But is there any sympathy between beauty-her Christian Union. We such a spirit of union as that which may not see how it will be realized, our government is manifesting, and but we see all parties fainting and that which the Churches of Christenalmost dying for want of it; recog- dom are panting after? None whatnizing its indisputable necessity, and ever. The Premier aims at conciliating imploring the Dove of Peace to come all parties around him, in an entire and settle our distractions. Late and reckless disregard of character events have driven the faithful, wher- and principle and consistency. He ever existing, into the lively convic- sends a message of peace to Ireland! tion, that they must draw nearer and Words of blessed, welcome sound! nearer together. We are frequently But what solid, legitimate peace will reminded of a singular occurrence he effect in the succouring and buildsome time ago in the south of Eng- ing up of Popery on the ruins of the land, when the water had overflown a Protestant Church? Sir Robert Peel considerable tract of low country, and cannot touch the real Church of there were seen animals of various de- Christ. Against her the gates of hell, scriptions, and bitter enemies to each whether applied openly or insidiously, other, swimming and escaping to one cannot prevail. The Church of common point of elevation where Christ will continue to flourish in Irethe waters could not reach them; land amidst all earthly treachery and and there, exulting in their safety, desertion; but as it regards the best they forgot their animosities. The and dearest instrumentality for the fox and the rabbit and the hare and upholding of that Church, the Prethe rat and the sheep were good mier has sapped it to the foundations, friends together. They were happy and very soon, we believe, the Church in one common safety; and dwelt of Ireland will be in ruins. together in one common harmony. Then what are we to make of this The waters of destruction drove them apparent spirit of union and conciliato it. We need not point out the tion existing in governments? Our applicableness of the illustration to view of it is this; that it is the counourselves. Is it presumptuous to terfeit of that which is progressing hope that our floods of trial and en- amongst the faithful in Christ: that dangerment are bringing the faithful it is the policy of the devil to mix up to their common hill of Hermon, the base and spurious coin with the where the dews of Heaven will fall genuine: that he trembles to see any alike on all, and be like the oil poured advance to the accomplishment of out on Aaron, casting its sweet and Christ's prayer for the unity of his blessed perfume all around. We Church; and therefore that he is inshall not quarrel with the means, with fusing a spurious unity to blend and whatever uprooting or inundations mislead the ignorant and thoughtless: they may be effected, which bring us “messages of peace, where there can to such a consummation. But we be no peace; to make efforts to amalhave said that the times are strangely gamate the most opposed and hetersingular. And so they are in this ogeneous materials, irrespective of all