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HINTS FROM GERMAN MUNICIPALITIES.
BY DR. ALBERT SHAW. DR. ALBERT SHaw gives us in the Century another of his admirable studies of municipal life in Europe, which may be read with great advantage in this country. Dr. Shaw says:
The German city holds itself responsible for the education of all; for the provision of amusement, and the means of recreation ; for the adaptation of the training of the young to the necessity of gaining a livelihood; for the health of families; for the moral interests of all; for the civilising of the people; for the promotion of individual thrift; for protection from various misfortunes; for the development of advantages and opportunities in order to promote the industrial and commercial well-being; and incidentally for the supply of common services and the introduction of conveniences. The methods it employs to gain its ends are sometimes those advocated by the socialists, and sometimes they are diametrically opposite.
Without going seriatim through Dr. Shaw's account of what the German cities do for their citizens, I would call special attention to some of the points upon which German example might well be followed in England.
STUDY THE DEATH-RATE. The first is that of a careful statistical analysis of the death-rate. It is startling indeed to learn from the following passage that dwellers in one room die twentythree times as rapidly as those living in three :
In 1885, in Berlin, it was found that 73,000 persons were living in the condition of families occupying a single room in tenement houses; 382,000 were living in houses (I mean by * house" the distinct apartments of a household) of two rooms; 432,000 occupied houses of three rooms; and 398,000 were quartered in the luxury of houses having at least four rooms. It was found that although the one-room dwellers were only one-sixth as numerous as the three-room dwellers, their rate of mortality was about twenty-three times as high, and the actual number of deaths among them was four times as great. Compared with dwellers in houses of more than four rooms, the mortality of the one-room dwellers was at a thirty times greater rate. In a total population at that time of 1,315,000, the 73,000 people who lived in one-room tenement quarters supplied nearly half the entire number of deaths. Their death-rate per thousand for the year was 163:5, or about onesixth their entire number, while the two-room dwellers sustained a death-rate of only 22•5, the three-room dwellers escaped with the marvellously low rate of 7.5, and the wellto-do people, who had four or more rooms for their household, suffered by death only at the rate of 5.4 per thousand of population. We are wont to regard an annual city death-rate of from twenty to twenty-fire per thousand of the total population as normal, and satisfactorily small. We have not, however,
recome accustomed to the minute analysis of such a rate, which might show that the respectable and “ normal ” tverage was made up of rates for different classes varying irom 3 or 4 per thousand to 200 per thousand. Half the nortality of the Berlin ope-room dwellers occurred in households where five or more persons occupied the one apartment.
Overcrowding, therefore, is murder. A man has thirty times greater chance of life if he live in a four-roomed house than if he is only able to rent a single chamber. This fact, which has never been brought out so clearly before, will do more to promote improved dwellings than anything that I have seen for a long time.
DEMOCRATISE THRIFT. Another German example which might be followed in this country is the pains which are taken by the municipality to democratise thrist and credit. A municipal savings-bank is to be found almost without exception in all the larger German towns. Most of them pay an interest of three per cent. The Berlin savings-bank has
seventy-five branch offices, and Hamburg forty. Berlin has 400,000 depositors, with seven millions sterling to their credit. The municipal pawnshops are as general in the German cities as the municipal savingsbanks. These, like the savings-banks, are a venerable institution in Germany. On the other hand, & considerable number of the rapidly-growing industrial centres of Germany have established municipal pawnshops as a part of the new municipal activities of the last ten or fifteen years. Experience has fully satisfied the German cities as to the feasibility, and the practical benefit to the poor, of an assumption by the municipality itself of the function of loan agent.
UTILISE SEWAGE. Another point on which we might take a hint from the Germans is their sewage farms. Berlin has acquired thirty square miles for the purpose of disposing of the sewage of a city which only covers twenty-five square miles within the municipal limits. Berlin spent oneand-a-half million sterling in buying and laying out its sewage m. The system is an unqualified success from the sanitary point of view, and after a sufficient period has elapsed it is expected that the sewage farm will earn sufficient profit to pay back all that has been invested in it, and contribute materially to lessen the load of municipal taxation.
MUNICIPALISE ELECTRICITY. Thirty of the larger German cities own and operate their gas works as municipal undertakings. In electric lighting Berlin las left the task to a company, whereas Hamburg builds the works but leaves them to be operated by a private contractor. Thirteen cities possess their own municipal light works. Berlin contents itself with exacting ten per cent. of the clectric lighting company's gross profits until it earns more than six per cent., when it will receive in addition twenty-five per cent. of the excess profits. The company, moreover, is bound to supply electric street lighting at the lowest possible figure. The municipality has a right to buy the plant at any time after October 1st of next year, upon a basis of valuation carefully laid down in the charter. Street railway companies pay, as a rule, eight to ten per cent. on their gross receipts.
REFORM THE POOR LAW. The last point in which Germany sets us an example which we might follow is in the administration of the Poor Law. This, Dr. Shaw states, is superbly organised.
Let us glance at the organization of Berlin, for example, as a typical city. There is a strong central department of the city government with a magistrate at its head, and with conipetent specialists and general advisers attached to it. But the practical work of relief is administered by about 250 local committees, the city being divided for purposes of poor-relief into that number of districts. Each district committee has attached to it, ex-officio, a member of the municipal council, and a physician who has been appointed as the regular city physician for that neighbourhood. In addition to these officers, the local committee contains from five to twelve citizens who reside in the district, and who have been appointed on the ground of character and trustworthiness.
To be designated a member of one of these local committees for the relief of the poor is regarded as a mark of respect, and is esteemed a substantial honour. It shows that a man hias good standing with his neighbours, and also that he possesses the confidence and regard of the ruling authorities of Berlin. No man would dream of refusing to serve on such a committee. Moreover, refusal would carry with it the penalty of increased taxes, and, under certain circumstances, a suspension of civil and political privileges. No remuneration is attached to these appointments, and the duties connected with them are far from nominal, and may not be shirked. Each district is sub
divided so that every citizen-member of the local committee is made responsible for a certain number of families and houses. He is expected to know the condition of his little parish. IIe is fully authorised to administer prompt relief in pressing cases, and is under obligation to examine thoroughly into cases which require continued assistance.
with an area of 360 acres, or about an acre to every 1,300 of the population. This may be taken as the Birmingham standard of open space per 1,000 inhabitants, and will be interesting to compare with that of other towns. Birmingham makes a profit of from £5,000 to £6,000 a year from its monopoly of the markets. Mr. Dolman concludes his paper by stating that when he was last in Birmingham a retired tradesman had just presented to the corporation his business premises which he no longer required.
A HINT OR TWO FROM BIRMINGHAM. MR. FREDERICK DOLMAN begins in the New Review a series of papers describing municipalities at work. Birmingham, he says, was the first to initiate in a broad and comprehensive spirit the new régime of municipal socialism. He tells anew the old story as to how Mr. Chamberlain bought up the gas and water works and carried out his great improvement scheme. These things need not be referred to again here, but there are two or three items that are worth while noting, for the guidance of other municipalities. Take this hint, for instance, which may be commended to the Gas Committees of other towns:
Stokers and others need to frequently quench their thirst. At one time they did this, in the intervals between the twenty minutes' shifts in which they work, at the public-house, which is almost invariably to be found close to the gates of a large gasworks. Some time ago, the Committee, after some inquiry into the best kind of beverages for the purpose, decided to provide at their various works an unlimited supply of oatmeal water for the free use of the men, and this has been so well appreciated that the formerly crowded public-houses have lost the greater part of their custom.
Mr. Dolman sheds & passing tear over the fact that Birmingham, instead of taking the electric light into its own hands, has handed over its rights for thirty years to a limited liability company. For this, however, Birmingham has probably very good reasons of its own. Here is another hint for the utilisation of vacant ground while its full value is maturing :
The Council resolved on the erection of twenty-two cottages in the place of a street of insanitary “back to back” houses which had como into its possession under the Improvement scheme. These cottages contain five rooms, and all possible provision for the health of their occupants; they were neatly and attractively built at a cost of £4,000, and were all very speedily let to families of the class for whom they were designed, at a weekly rental of 5s. 6d. per week. Seeing that they are quite near the centre of Birmingham, and that they have been liberally provided with open space, it was a matter of some surprise how these cottages could be let by the Corporation at these rents without serious loss on the ground value. It is estimated that after making the necessary deductions in the shape of rates and taxes, the rents yield a net income sufficient, when interest and sinking fund are provided for, to pay an average ground rent of 11d. per square yard per annum for seventy-five years. The market value of the land is believed to be a little more than this, but, on the other hand, something has been gained by making immediate use of it, instead of it being left vacant for several years, while its full value was maturing.
Another hint which may be useful is the attempt which is being made to teach all children in Birmingham to swim. There are five municipal swimming baths erected at an expense of £70,000, and managed at an annual outlay of £7,000, of which £5,000 comes back in the shape of fees. Nearly all the school children of the city have the use of the baths at the charge of a penny or halfpenny each. Last year the number of bathers numbered 310,000, a figure which hardly bears out Mr. Dolman's boast as to the universality of the swimming lesson. There are at least a hundred days in the year when swimming is popular, and this only gives 3,000 bathers a day. Birmingham has fourteen parks
MR. TOM MANN ON CHURCH AND PEOPLE. The Rev. T. C. Collings, in the Review of the Churches, gives some account of an interview which he had with Mr. Tom Mann, on the Labour Church and Religion in the North of England. Mr. Collings knows Tom Mann of old, a friendship having been formed before the Dockers' strike. He says:
One remembers then how cautious was Tom, how he spoke and acted as one who believed in his accountability to his Maker, and instinctively you felt anew that you were in the presence of an honest man. Time has rolled on since then. but it has only served to bring out those characteristics of one of Nature's true nobility which self-sacrifice and self-denial readily produce.
Mr. Collings draws an analogy between Mr. Tom Mann and Annie Besant, which is closer than seems to be the case at first sight. Mr. Collings says that but for the premature announcement of Tom Mann's intention of entering the Church of England, he might have been curate at St. John's, Southwark. Although he is not in the Church, it is not because he does not see that something must be done to bring the Churches into touch with the people. In reply to a question, Mr. Mann said :
“I cannot say that the Churches influence powerfully the lives of the people. It is true that where the parson has got the right grip of social questions he is a power for good, and that is shown by the confidence and trust which men like some of the clergy inspired during the miners' strike of last summer. In South Wilts I have seen that there is a great chasm between the labourers and the Church, and the reason why so many earnest working men have not found the churches congenial places is mainly-I will not say altogether-because many of those who utter the words " Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," not only find nothing to complain of in the conditions that are, but really do not want any alteration of those conditions, and would even make it their express purpose to thwart and frustrate all who strive to alter them. Again, a great deal of real work ought to be done by the Churches in the streets. There are many who feel it their duty to propagate what they believe to be true religion in this way, because the Churches give them no opportunity of expressing their convictions."
· And have our Nonconformist friends any greater influence among the masses than the ministers of the Establishment ?"
“Not that I know of in the Colne Valley; though of course there are some who are doing noble work, but the ministers of all religious bodies seem to me to ignore many vital questions upon which the labourer wants enlightenment.”
What is the Labour Church, and is it progressing ?” “ Yes ; in our new party we are doing everything we can to form these churches, and we have some flourishing branches. Let those who say that the Labour Church makes a divorce between religion and practical politics go to the brotherhood church in the Southgate Road, of which Mr. Bruce Wallace is the minister, or to Mr. Belcher's at Hackney, and there he would find earnest and devout worship going on.
It is it practical religious movement, and I should be very sorry to see the day come when religion will have no hold on the working classes. May I again repeat that it is the practical part of life which must be kept to the fore.
MAN AS HE IS.
MAN AS HE WILL BE.
WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL our interests. Man-past, present, and future-lays claim to OF HIM?
our devotion. What, then, can we say of him? THE ANSWER : BY MR. BALFOUR. MR. ARTHUR BALFOUR contributes to the International
Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is
no longer the final cause of the universe, the heaven-descended Journal of Ethics for July a paper on “Naturalism and heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, his Ethics,” in which he descants upon his favourite theme,
story a brief and discreditable episode in the life of one of the the worthlessness of any purely naturalist foundation meanest of the planets. Of the combination of causes which of ethics. To a certain extent he traverses the ground first converted a dead organic compound into the living procovered in his essay on the religion of humanity, and which genitors of humanity, science, indeed, as yet knows nothiny. he will probably deal with more at length in his forth It is enough that from such beginnings famine, disease, and coming introduction to the study of theology. It is a mutual slaughter, fit nurses of the future lords of creation, paper somewhat difficult to summarise, but the following
have gradually evolved, after infinite travail, a race with extracts contain the gist of two of the salient ideas.
conscience enough to know that it is vile, and intelligence
enough to know that it is insignificant. We survey the past NATURALISM AND THE MORAL LAW.
and see that its history is of blood and tears, of helpless The first is that from a strictly biological point of view blundering, of wild revolt, of stupid acquiescence, of empty there is no reason for regarding one set of actions as
aspirations. more virtuous than another set of actions, provided they alike contribute to the evolution of the race. In We sound the future, and learn that after å period, deed, vices and virtues, selfishness and altruism, depend long compared with the individual life, but short indeed more upon chronological position than intrinsic difference compared with the divisions of time open to our investigain their essential character.
tion, the energies of our system will decay, the glory of Not only does there seem to be no ground, from the point of
the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, tideless and inert,
will no longer tolerate the race which has for a moment view of biology, for drawing a distinction in favour of
disturbed its solitude. Man will go down into the pit, and all the processes, physiological or psychological, by which the individual or the race is benefited; not only are we bound to
his thoughts will perish. The uneasy consciousness, which in
this obscure corner has for a brief space broken the contented consider the coarsest appetites, the most calculating selfishness, and the most devoted heroism, as all sprung from analogous
silence of the Universe, will be at rest. Matter will know
itself no longer. “Imperishable monuments” and “immortal causes and all evolved for similar objects; but we can hardly
deeds,” death itself, and love stronger than death, will be as doubt that the august sentiments which cling to the ideas of
though they had never been. Nor will anything that is be duty and sacrifice are nothing better than a device of Nature
better or be worse for all that the labour, genius, devotion, and to trick us into the performance of altruistic actions. Could
suffering of man have striven through countless generations to we imagine the chronological order of the evolutionary process
effect. reversed ; if courage and abnegation had been the qualities
THE MORAL RESULT OF NATURALISM, first needed, carliest developed, and therefore most deeply rooted in the ancestral organism; while selfishness, cowardice,
It is no reply to say that the substance of the moral law greediness, and lust represented impulses required only at a
need suffer no change through any modification of our views later stage of physical and intellectual development, doubtless
of man's place in the Universe. This may be true, but it is we should find the “ elevated" emotions which now crystallize
irrelevant. We desire, and desire most passionately when we round the first set of attributes transferred without alteration
are most ourselves, to give our service to that which is universal, or amendment to the second ; the preacher would expend his
and to that which is abiding. Of what moment is it then eloquence in warning us against excessive indulgence in deeds (from this point of view) to be assured of the fixity of the of self-immolation, to which like the “worker” ant we should
Moral Law when it and the sentient world, where alone it has be driven by inherited instinct, and in exhorting us to the per
any significance, are alike destined to vanish utterly away formance of actions and the cultivation of habits from which within periods trifling beside those with which the geologist we now unfortunately find it only too difficult to abstain. and the astronomer lightly deal in the course of their habitual Kant, as we all know, compared the Moral Law to the starry
speculations? No doubt to us ordinary men in our ordinary heavens, and found them both sublime. It would, on the
moments considerations like these may seem far off and of naturalistic hypothesis, be more to the purpose to compare it to
little meaning. In the hurry and bustle of every-day life the protective blotches on a beetle's back, and to find them both death itself-—the death of the individual-seems shadowy and ingenious. But how on this view is the beauty of holiness"
unreal : how much more shadowy, how much less real, that to retain its lustre in the minds of those who know so much of
remoter but not less certain death which must some day its pedigree?
overtake the race! Yet, after all, it is in moments of reflection MAN AS HE THOUGHT HE WAS.
that the worth of creeds may best be tested; it is through The second idea is that of the littleness of man, always
moments of reflection that they come into living and effectual
contact with our active life. It cannot, therefore, be a matter regarded of course from the naturalist's point of view, and
to us of small moment that, as we learn to survey the material on the supposition that we know nothing concerning our world with a wider vision, as we more clearly measure the destinies as individuals and as races, excepting what we true proportions which man and his performances bear to the can learn from the study of the natural laws by which ordered Whole, our practical ideal gets relatively dwarfed and we appear to have been evolved :
beggared, till we may well feel inclined to ask whether so For what is man looked at from this point of view ? Time transitory and so unimportant an accident in the general was when his tribe and its fortunes were enough to exhaust
scheme of things as the fortunes of the human race can any the energies and to bound the imagination of the primitive
longer satisfy aspirations and emotions nourished upon beliefs sage. The gods' peculiar care, the central object of an in the Everlasting and the Divine. attendant universe, that for which the sun shone and the dew fell, to which the stars in their courses ministered; it drew its origin in the past from divine ancestors, and might by
That excellent magazine Little Folks begins its new divine favour be destined to an indefinite existence of success
volume with a coloured frontispiece, two new serial and triumph in the future.
stories, nd gives away as a special supplement a ho day These ideas represent no early or rudimentary stage in the painting-book for children. Among its other attractions human thought, yet have we left them far behind. The the magazine contains an article by Mrs. Molesworth family, the tribe, the nation, are no longer enough to absorb entitled “How I Write My Children's Stories.”
FEATS OF REPORTING ENERGY.
A SECULARIST'S STUDY OF MR. BALFOUR.
JOURNALISM AS A PROFESSION. MR. ROBERTSON devotes some twenty pages of the Free
“The Fourth Estate,” its prospects, perils, and prizes, Review to a study of Mr. Balfour. It is very carefully
are discussed in the Gentleman's Magazine by a Fellow of written, and may be read with advantage even by those
the Institute of Journalists. As that Institute now who entirely differ from his conclusions. Scientifically
numbers 3,556 members, the writer concludes that "the considered, Mr. Robertson thinks that Mr. Balfour is of great majority of the working journalists of the United double interest, as a mind and a character, and as the
Kingdom have entered the Union.” To raise the educamoral development of his party and period. At bottom, tional standing of the craft, the Institute is considering Mr. Robertson thinks that Mr. Balfour is unconscientious. a schenie of examination for pupil associates and for He has no real warmth of conviction, but only a warmth members. English history and literature, Latin and of prejudice, and of prejudices of a peculiar kind : French, or German, geography, natural science or mathe
matics, constitutional history, economics, law of libel and His intellectual secret is that he resents the activity of the minds which, criticising the beliefs and policies of his caste,
copyright, general information, are among the subjects of the beliefs and policies which it is convenient for him as an
the more advanced examination. The requirements are individual to connive at, would drive him by a process of reason
“sufficient, if insisted on, to secure on the part of future ing to clash instead of conniving. Here is an aristocrat by birth members of the Institute such a command of the art of and kinship, caring all the more for his order because not far composition as will take the sting out of the taunting descended from a parvenu, and so much more intelligent than phrase, “Reporter's English.” most aristocrats that he can follow the arguments against the conventional creed in politics and religion, especially religion.
The writer offers two words of warning to the enthusiBut he has no mission to be a heretic; and it grates on bim,
astic novitiate. “The first is, the profession of journalism as on many another, to see heretics taking for granted either the stupidity or the dishonesty of those who will not go with
is an arduous one; the second, it is not in itself a likely them. He is not stupid, and he dislikes being called dishonest.
road to fortune.” He cites instances of the high pressure Accordingly he will show, on strictly philosophic lines, that ail at which journalists have to work :beliefs alike rest on intuitive mental tendencies, and that if a The writer has known of a four-column speech delivered by man has such a tendency to believe in religious mysteries, he the late Lord Sherbrooke, when still Mr. Lowe-one of the is not otherwise founded psychologically than the man who most difficult speakers the phonographer ever followed believes in the continuity of law and rejects all religions alike. written out by a single reporter during a railway journey When Mr. Balfour has done this—and this is the gist of his between Glasgow and Preston, en route to Manchester. H, “Defence"-he has satisfied what principle of conscientious has seen a colleague rise from the sub-editorial chair at eight ness there is in him. He is so far incapable of the grossest o'clock at night, and, filling a breach in the reporter's arrangehypocrisy that he does not absolutely profess to believe the
ments, attend an important meeting, produce a four-column creed for which he finds these unbelieving arguments. But it report for next day's paper-all the while keeping a general is rather an intellectual refinement than a moral scruple that supervision of his own proper work. He has known two) restrains him; for, as the case actually stands, he has been reporters make a five hours' railway journey, take full notes of more gratuitously deceptive in his treatment of the great a six-column speech, re-travel the same long way, and each questions of belief than almost any public man of his time; produce an independent verbatim report. He has seen men and he has been opportunist on this head to an extent out of work, not eight hours nor sixteen hours, but twenty hours at a all comparison with any action of Mr. Gladstone's life.
spell, and be ready for duty on the following day. Mr. Robertson declares that Mr. Balfour's essay upon Of the sub-editor's occupations, perhaps the most the “Religion of Humanity” is a trivial tissue of make constant is “ the restraint of excessive zeal." belief. He says: The formula for the consolation of the Church Congress
The reporter for a country weekly paper seldom receives a stands thus: “Earthly life is a hopelessly miserable business.
higher weekly wage than is paid to a journeyman printer, and freWe Christians feel this ; but we have the comfort of looking quently he is expected to assist either in the counting-house or forward to heaven and hell . Of the unbelievers, no doubt,
in the case-room. The salaries of junior reporters on the daily many are cheerful, but perhaps the many are not numerous,
Press are not under-stated when they are set down as between and we may hope that they are not multiplying; while the £100 and £150. The more experienced men on the better class fools and the desperate are sure to multiply; and we may hope provincial dailies receive from £150 to, perhaps, £250; while that the latter will seek to share our comforts. And thus they the remuneration of the heads of the staff may range from and we will be led to find this hopeless life hopeful.” The £250 to £100—very rarely indeed reaching £500, even when rest of this unparalleled treatise is worthy of the foregoing, special descriptive work, or art and musical criticism, is in point of logic and plausibility.
expected of them. The rate of the sub-editorial pay is on the
whole a little higher, but few of the best men on the best Waxing more wroth as he proceeds, Mr. Robertson
papers are allowed as much as £100 or £500 per annum; while declares that Mr. Balfour becomes more untruthful as he
the editors who receive £1,000 or more may be counted on the grows more plausible. The negative note in his book
ten fingers. It is true, indeed, that many opportunities of an becomes tedious and repellent.
augmentation of income present themselves. Never does he work out a political problem on its sociological Parliamentary reporters by extra work for provincial merits: he has no sociology, no programme, no ideal. Given papers are able in a few cases to make really handsome a faculty of analysis, guided always by a personal bias or pre incomes, but never reach the scale of pay received by a judice; a temperamental defect of and disregard for conviction; popular doctor or barrister. The leader-writer, unless he a dislike of people who have convictions that clash with his secures himself by partnership or proprietorship, is apt position; a certain ambition to distinguish himself by opposing
to find himself shelved in middle life. them--and you have the main outfit of Mr. Balfour, the Conservative “statesman," who does not want to do anything,
The prizes which await the journalist, however gifted and but wants a good deal to hinder other people from doing
industrious he may be, are really few and slight compared things.
with those which are to be won in the other learned or
scientific professions; and though, as a journalist, I think no Finally, Mr. Robertson sums up by declaring that Mr. higher or nobler profession than mine exists, I must ask young Balfour has erected the negation of right feeling into a men of talent and ambition to think not once, but twice and system of politics.
thrice, before they decide to enter it.
THE RATE OF PAY.
“ ARMS AND THE MAN.”
critics really believe all their futile sermonising about “poor AN AUTHOR'S REPLY TO His CRITICS.
humanity” and the “seamy uide of life,” and meanness, MR. BERNARD Shaw in the New Review has a charac
cowardice, selfishness, and all the other names they give to teristic and amusing article in defence of his play qualities which are as much and as obviously a necessary part
of themselves as their arms and legs, why do they not shoot “ Arms and the Man." He explains his play and tells his critics what he thinks of them with engaging frankness.
themselves like men instead of coming whimpering to the
dramatist to pretend that they are something clse? I, being a Mr. Shaw is evidently of the opinion which I have fre man like to themselves, know what they are perfectly well; quently expressed, that there is no one so well qualified and as I do not find that I dislike them for what they persist to explain what the author wants to be at as the author in calling their vanity, and sensuality, and niendacity, and himself, and that there is no more intelligent and en dishonesty, and hypocrisy, and venality, and so forth; as, lightened a critic of a play than the man who has written furthermore, they would not interest me in the least if they it. The average dramatic critic has many sins to answer were otherwise, I shall continue to put them on the stage as for according to Mr. Shaw, but chief among them is his
they are to the best of my ability, in the hope that some day it intense distaste for real life, and this naturally brings
may strike them that if they were to try a little self-respect, him into sharp collision with Mr. Shaw's attempt to
and stop calling themselves offensive names, they would dis
cover that the affection of their friends, wives, and sweethearts picture war as it actually is. This is Mr. Shaw's account
for them is not a reasoned tribute to their virtues, but a human of the matter:
impulse towards their very selves. The production of “ Arms and the Man” at the Avenue
He finds, however, some consolation in thinking that Theatre, about nine weeks ago, brought the misunderstanding
Mr. Walkley has at least achieved the unique distinction between my real world and the stage world of the critics to a climax, because the misunderstanding was itself, in a sense,
of a perfectly successful analysis of his play, and Mr. Shaw the subject of the play. I need not describe the action of the
concludes his paper by declaring that since the critics piece in auy detail: suffice it to say that the scene is laid in
take it upon themselves to decide who is the best author, Bulgaria in 1885-6, at a moment when the need for repelling
it is the right of the author to decide who is the best critic. the onslaught of the Servians made the Bulgarians for six months a nation of heroes. But as they had only just been
A RESURRECTED DEVIL. redeemed from centuries of miserable bondage to the Turks,
OR, THE A. P. A. IN AMERICA. and were, therefore, but beginning to work out their own redemption from barbarism-or, if you prefer it, beginning to
In the Arena for June, under the title of “A New contract the disease of civilisation-they were very ignorant
Disease,”. Elbert Hubbard describes the extraordinary heroes, with boundless courage and patriotic enthusiasm, but
resurrection of the old devil of Anti-Papal hatred which with so little military skill that they had to place themselves
has died out in the Old Country. It is almost incredible under the command of Russian officers. And their attempts to find the spirit of Lord George Gordon rampant in the at Western civilisation were much the same as their attempts great sections of the Western World. Mr. Hubbard at war-instructive, romantic, ignorant. They were a nation says:of plucky beginners in every department. Into their country
A year ago I was visiting an old farmer friend in Illinois, comes, in the play, a professional officer from the high democratic
and very naturally the talk was of the great Fair. Was he civilisation of Switzerland-a man completely acquainted by going? 'Not he-he dared not leave his house a single day; long, practical experience with the realities of war. The
did I not know that the Catholics had been ordered by the comedy arises, of course, from the collision of the knowledge of
Pope to burn the barns and houses of all heretics? It sounded the Swiss with the illusions of the Bulgarians. In this
like a joke, but I saw the gray eyes of this old man flash, and dramatic scheme Bulgaria may be taken as symbolic of the I knew he was terribly in carnest. With trembling hands he stalls on the first night of a play. The Bulgarians are showed me the Pope's encyclical, printed in a newspaper dramatic critics; the Swiss is the realist playwright invading which had a deep border of awful black. I tried to tell this their realm; and the comedy is the comedy of the collision
man that Pope Leo XIII. was a wise and diplomatic leader, of the realities represented by the realist playwright with the
and probably the most enlightened man who had been at the preconceptions of stage-land.
head of the Roman Church for many years; and by no human Mr. Shaw elaborately defends his representation of the probability could he do a thing which would work such injury Swiss soldier by quotations from Lord Wolseley and to the Catholics as well as the rest of humanity. (This General Porter, and refers to Kinglake's account of the pretended encyclical has since been proven and acknowledged Balaclava charge. He defends the chocolate which his a forgery.) But my argument was vain. I was taken to the officer carried with him on the ground that it is the
two clergymen in the village, a Presbyterian and a Methodist ; cheapest and most portable kind of food. Mr. Shaw says
both were full of fear and hate toward the Catholics, with a he knew a man who lived for two days on chocolate in
little left over for each other. They were sure that the order
to kill and burn had gonu forth. the Shipka Pass. After delivering himself of a denuncia
And so in many towns and villages as I journeyed I found tion of our present system of soldiering, le proceeds to
this quaking fear. In many places men were arming themdenounce with even greater vigour his critics, especially selves with Winchester rifles; many preachers never spoko those kindly ones who praised him as a monstrously in public without fanning the flaine; A. P. A. lodges were clever fellow who secured a brilliant success by taking rapidly initiating new members, and lurid literature which advantage of patent facts. So far from this being the was being vomited forth from presses in Louisville, Chicago, case, Mr. Shaw declares that his more audacious efforts Omaha and Kansas City was being sent out broadcast. were simply lifted from the stores of evidence which lie The A. P. A. seeks to spreail hate; it thrives by fear, and ready to every one's hand. Mr. Shaw says :
its only weapon is untruth. This broadcast sowing of false
hoods is doubtless done by men who are thriving by it I created nothing; I invented nothing; I imagined nothing;
politically and financially, and the real victims are the people I perverted nothing; I simply discovered drama in real life.
who believe these outrageous stories, subscribe for the papers I now plead strongly for a theatre to supply the want of this
and pay dues to be initiated into the A. P. A. lodges. Yet sort of drama. I declare that I am tired to utter disgust of
whenever any one has taken up pen to try to stop the insano imaginary life, imaginary law, imaginary ethics, science, peace, war, love, virtue, villainy, and imaginary everything else, both
panic he has been greeted as “a Jesuit hireling.” on the stage and off it. I demand respect, interest, affection
Mr. Hubbard mentions by the way as an interesting for human nature as it is, and life as we must still live it, even fact that nearly one-lialf of the railway servants of when we have bettered it and ourselves to the utmost. If the America are communicants of the Church of Rome.