Page images
PDF
EPUB

room

sin, experienced the

ont of the careworn change called conver

features of an old man sion, and in the first

which surmounted the ardour of his real he

spare stunted frame of a resolved to dedicate

child of ten. It was the himself to the cause of

child, not so much of Chinese missions. De

the slum, which is the siring to attain medical

foetid lair of the Savage knowledge as well as

of Civilisation, as of the theological training, he

street-the desert of the came to London, and

City Arab. entered himself as

The doctor having student at the London

finished his teaching, Hospital. He had hardly

and weary enough with commenced working

the nervous exhaustion when the cholera broke

of keeping the attention out. A wild stampede

of a pack of young took place, leaving ampe

rowdies, somewhat perfor volunteers.

emptorily ordered the Dr. Barnardo, although

boy home. then only a raw student,

Then Jim pleaded volunteered for cholera

piteously to stay. service. His offer was "BABIES' CASTLE," HAWKUURST.

* Please, sir, do let me eagerly accepted, and he

stop. I won't do no’arm.” began the house-to-house visitation of the East-end poɔr Stop in the schoolroom !--the idea seemed absurd to which gave him so deep an insight into the conditions Birnardo. of their life. He did not spare himself in those days. “What would your mother think?” He says:

Ain't got no mother.” Devoting my days mainly to attendance at the hospital and “But your father ?” dissecting-room, and most of my evenings to needful study, I “ Ain't got no father.” nevertheless reserved two nights a week which I called my “Stuff and nonsense, boy; don't tell me such stories ! free nights, and which, as well as the whole of Sunday, were

You say you have not got a father or a mother. Where given up to the conduct of a ragged-school situated in a room in the heart of squalid Stepney.

are your friends, then ? Where do you live?

" Ain't got no friends. DON'T LIVE NOWHERE.” That was how he came to be in the way with Jim And when little Jim had thus delivered his message, James Jervis, the messenger of the Lord.

the man to whom it was delivered was sure he was There were other medical students associated with

lying. For the young medico, with all his experience Barnardo in the ragged-school work.

The school was

of Stepney, had at that time never heard of the great held in a disused donkey stable. It was worse even Bedouin tribe of the Don't-Live-Nowheres. than the “small chamber ” where, friendless and unseen,

III.—WHERE THE DON'T-LIVE-NOWHERES SLEEP. Toiled o'er his types one poor unlerned young man. Assuming his most inquisitorial air, the young doctor The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean,

proceeded to cross-examine Jim in order to convict him Yet there the freedom of a raco began.

of scandalous falsehoods. But Jim was a witness of Barnado's ragged-schoɔl was worse than Garrison's truth, and not to be confounded. He told his simple printing-office :

story and stuck to it, begging lustily to be allowed to Boards had been placed over the rough earth. The rafters sleep all night by the fire, which seemed-no wonder—so had been whitened, and so had the walls ; but much use of fascinating in its light and warmth. . gas, together with the accumulated dirt deposits of three or four

And as he was speaking a sense of the meaning of his years, had changed the colour to a dingier hue. Yet I and my student friends who helped me thought it an admirable room,

message suddenly smote the young medico to the heart. for was it not water-tight and wind-tight? Had we not good

For the first time in his life there rushed upon him with bars to the windows, almost capable of resisting a siege ?-by

overwhelming force this thought: “Is it possible that in po means an unnecessary precaution in that quarter. And,

this great city there are others also homeless and destitute, above all, was it not situated right in the very heart of an over

who are as young as this boy, as helpless, and as ill crowded, poverty-stricken district, filled with little one-storey prepared as he to withstand the trials of cold, hunger, houses of four rooms cach, every room containing its family ? and exposure ?"

To this place one night in 1866 came Jim, not, it must Is it possible? He must promptly put it to the proof. be admitted, with the slightest suspicion of the import 'Tell me, my lad, are there other poor boys like you ance of the message with which he was charged.

in London without a home or friends?" Neither had he come from any desire to be taught, as he He replied promptly: "Oh! yes, sir, lots-'eaps on frankly admitted. Another lad had told him of the 'em; more'n I could count.” school, or as Jim put it, “ He telld me to come up ’ere Now the young Barnardo did not liko to be hoaxed. to the school to get a warm, an'he sed p'raps you'd let So being of a practical turn of mind, he bribed Jim with me lie nigh the fire all night.” It was a raw winter a place to sleep in, and as much hot coffee as he could night and a keen east wind was shivering through the drink, if he would take him there and then—or at least dimly lit streets, when all the scholars having left the after the coffee had been drunk-to where the Don't-Liveroom, little Jim still lingered, casting a longing look at

Nowheres sleep.

How

His incredulity was natura the fire. He had neither shirt, shoes, nor stockings. often I remember that marvellous tales of what could Small sharp eyes, restless and bright as a rat’s, gleamed be seen here and there dissipated into thin air when I

[graphic]

asked to be taken to see them. Jim, however, knew his facts, and could produce his vouchers.

After drinking as much coffce as he could swallow lie imparted to his teacher-who was now the taught, learning a far greater lesson than ho had ever giventhe reasons why he was sure that Jesus Christ was in very deed the Pope of Rome, for hadn't his mother crossed herself when she named the Pope, and the black dressed man who came when she died crossed himself when he said Jesus, and was that not enough proof to satisfy any onc? Now, although from his youth up the Popo of Rome has been Antichrist in Barnardo's eyes, at that moment it was absolutely nothing to him whether the boy was a Roman Catholic or a Jew or a Mohammedan. He was moved by one fact only-the poor little chap's utter friendlessness. His touching confidence in the strange teacher when he found to was likely to be his friend fairly touk Barnarlo's heart captive. Sɔ let the Don't-Live-Nowlreres sleep where they might, Jim must at once without losing a moment be rescuel from that heathen durkuess. So he turned to and told little Jim as graphically as he knew how the story of thio

Passion of our Lord. The lad was interested, for the · tale was new, anl to him it might have been the story of a poor bloke in the next alley. But when it came to the crucifixion, little Jim fairly broke down, an'l said, amil his tears, "Oh, sir, that wor wuss nor Swearin' Dick sarved me!"

At last, half-an-hour after midnight, they sallied forth on their quest for the sleeping quarters of the Don'tLive-Nowheres. Jim trotted along leading his new mado friend to Houndsditch, and then diving down the shellike alloy of the 'Change that leads by many passages from Petticoat Lane. Hero they were at last, but where wero the Don't-Live-Nowheres ? Barnardo thought that ho had caught Jim out. There was not a soul to be seen. He struck matches and peered about under barrows and into dark corners, but never a boy could he discover. “They durstn't lay about 'ere,” said Jim in excuse, “ 'cos tho p’licemen keep such a werry sharp look-out all along on these 'ere shops. But we're there noiv, sir. You'll see lots on’em if we don't wake 'em up."

But Barnardo could sey nothing. A high dead wall stood in front, and nover a lad was to be seen.

“Where are the boys, Jim ?” he askol, much puzzled.

“Up there, sir," replied Jim, pointing to the iron roof of the shed of which the wall was the boundary.

How to get up was the next question, but Jiin made light work of this. His sharp eyes detected the well-worn marks by which the lads ascended and descended-little interstices between the bricks, whence the mortar had fallen or had been picked away. Jim rapidly climbed up first, and then by the aid of a stick which he held down for me, I too made my ascent, and at length stood upon the stone coping or parapet which ran along the side.

There, exposed upon the dome-shaped roof, with their heads upon the higher part, and their feet somewhat in the gutter, but in a great variety of postures—some coiled up, as one may have scen dogs before a fire; some huddled two or thrco together, others more apart-lay eleven boys cut on the open roof. No covering of any kind was upon them. The rags that most of them wore were mere apologies for clothes apparently quite as bad as, if not even worse than, Jim's. One big fellow who lay there seemed to be about eighteen years old; but the ages of the remainder varied, I should say, from nine to fourteen. Just then the moon shone clearly out. I have already said it was a bitterly cold, dry night, and, as tho pale light of the moon fell upon the upturned faces of those poor boys, and as I, standing there, realised, for one awful moment, the terrible fact that they were all absolutely homeless and destitute, and were perhaps but samples of numbers of others, it seemed as though the hand of God Himself had suddenly pulled aside the curtain which concealed from my view the untold miseries of forlorn child-lite upon the streets of London. Add to this that a passionato sense of the unfairness of things flooded my heart and mind as I stood that night upon the roof top. Why should these eleven have nothing, and I and countless others have all we needed? It all seemed so unfair, so wrong, the problem was 80 mixed. I was fairly dazed at the thought of it, and only found relief when I gave up trying to solve it and thought I must do just the one duty that lay so manifestly at my door-save this one poor lad, whatever might come of it.

Jim looked at the whole thing from a very matter-of-fact point of view.

“Shall I wake 'em, sir?” he asked.

“Hush,” said I,“ don't let us attempt to disturb them," and as one of them moved uneasily I hurried away.

Reaching the street, Jim, blithely unconscious of any reason for special emotion on the subject, said: “Shall we go to another lay, sir? There's lots more!”

But the doctor had seen enough to know that the Don'tLive-Nowheres existed, and to realise how they existed and where they slept.

IV.—THE FIRST HOME, The sight of these upturned piteous fices on the iron roof of that shed, glimmering wan through their

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

dirt in the wintry moonlight, haunted Barnardo. homeless lads, all willing and cager to accept such help as Silently and before God he vowed to dedicate himself I could give them. henceforth, while life lasted, to save the Arabs of the Thus had Jim's messise from the Lord borne the fruit Streets. The Chinese must seek other missioners; his whereto it was appointed. Dr. Barnardo had found his work lay nearer home. But what could be done, and vocation. The Homo vas born. The little one has now how could he do it? It seemed indeed a forlorn enough become a thousand, and in place of twenty-five homeless task. But the seed had been sown, and the Sower who

boys he has now 5,000 boys and girls in his Homes. But could employ Jim Jervis as His messenger could provide although Dr. Barnardo has been the cultivator of the for the rest. Speaking of this long afterwards, Dr. crop from which this great harvest has been reaped, Barnardo said:

the message from the Lord caine by little Jim-little I knew no one then who could render me any help in the Jim Jervis, the first of a procession of more than 30,000 of rescue and care of these boys. I was, comparatively speaking, the Don't-Live-Nowheres who, thanks to his message, have friendless and unknown in London myself; but our heavenly been homed and savel. Father, who feeds the hungry ravens, and whose open hand supplies the young lions when they roar, heard the prayer of PART II.-FROM TRIALS TO TRIUMPH. my heart, and gradually the way opened to accomplish the work I had set before me. I asked Him, if it was His holy

I.-TIE MESSENGER FROM SATAN. will, to permit me to provide a sbelter for such poor children, Now I must make a leap of thirty years, and come and to give me the wisdom needed to seek them out during

down to the present day to meet the thought of many who the hours of darkness, and to bring them in to learn of God, of Christ, of heaven.

on reading the foregoing pages will ask themselves, The answer was not long in coming. Some weeks after

“But is there not something wrong about Barnardo? We

have got an idea that Labby has his knife into him wards, Barnardo was at dinner at a great man's house, and opportunity occurring he spoke warmly of what he

somewhere.” So, discarding all chronological order,

and leaping at once to the point, I will say a few words had seen and knew. For he had then seen other “lays,” and he knew of what he spoke. His host and his fellow

in passing on this question.

There is not a kinder-hearted man anywhere in London guests were incredulous. “Do you mean to tell us that

than Mr. Henry Labouchere, proprietor of Truth, unless this very night,” they said, “raw and cold and wretched

it be Mr. Horace Voules, editor of the same flourishing as it is, there are children sleeping out in the open air

weekly journal. It is to their thoughtful care that the in London?” “I do," said Barnardo. "Can you show

little ones in the London hospitals and workhouses have us them ?” he was asked. Albeit somewhat shrinking lest the "lay” might that night be drawn blank, he stoutly

their Christmas gifts, and this is but one of numberless declared he could and he would. So cabs were summoned,

benefactions of which the public hears little. For many and a score of gentlemen in evening dress fared forth

years past they have worked together in the production

of Truth, and no one who is familiar with tho career of towards Slumdom piloted by Barnardo. Through the

that journal can deny that their influence has been, on city they drove on and on and on, until they reached a

the whole, an influence for good and not for evil. We space by Billingsgate Market, where he knew the lads

may detest the politics of Little England and the slept by the score.

journalism of the back stairs, but with all these drawA strange sight it was, that of these West-end revellers

backs Truth has exercised a clarifying influence on straying to Billingsgaté seeking outcasts-and finding none. For there was not a boy to be seen.

English politics, finance and social life. “Labby,” as

he is almost lovingly called by multitudes who have moment Barnardo's heart sank within him; but a policeman standing by told him it was all right. "They'll

never seen him, has risked much and spent immense

sums in expozing frauds, in denouncing swindlers, and come out,” he said, “ if you give them a copper." A halfpenny a head was offered, and then from out

in showing up impostors. In all this he has had a most

competent and indefatigable lieutenant in Horace Voules, a great confused pile of old crates, boses, and empty barrels which were piled togeiher, covered with a hugo

upon whom indeed there has, from the first, fallen far tarpaulin, seventy-three boys crawled out from the lair

the greater proportion of the journalistic work of Puth.

Now it is a curious thing that both men, who are by where they had been seeking a shelter for the night. Called ont by the offer of a halfpenny, there they stood,

way of journalistic profession the most advanced

Radicals in England, have in tliem a curious vein of oldbeneath the light of the lamps, a sorrowful and mournful

fashioned Conscrvatism. They stand in the ancient regiment of the great army of the destitute, confronting

ways and distrust a nev society or a new philanthropist an even more sorrowful and mournful regiment of the

almost in the fashion of those natives who heave half well-to-do. “I pray God,” said Dr. Barnardo, “that I

bricks at strangers who trespass within the boundaries may never again behold such a sight.” But it was a

of their village. Familiarised with imposture, these vision which, although apocalyptic in its horror, carried with it a glad promise of better things to come.

detectives of journalism are prone to scont imposture For

everywhere, and whenever by any unfortunate accident Lord Shaftesbury was of the party, and with him were

the new comer treads on their coras, they are apt to be a many of the best philanthropists in London.

trifle indiscriminate in their attack. But they are honest After thus having proved his case Dr. Barnardo was

men-men who are fathers each of one clearly loved not long in getting to his life-Fork.

child, and they have the courage and the cadour to. As may well be imagined, I began in a very small way. A

change their course when they can be induced to open little house in a mean street was first opened for some twentyfive boys. We did the repairs ourselves. Many a happy hour

their eyes to the facts which pri judice, tradition, or was spent in whitewashing the walls and ceilings, scrubbing

sheer cussedness, of which both have a fair share, have the floors, and otherwise putting what seemed to me at that

concealed from their view. They used to tomahawk time a veritable mansion for capaciousness into suitable con

General Booth and the Salvation Army. Now there is dition for the reception of my first family. Then I spent two not a more useful backer of the Salvationists in all whole nights upon the streets of London, cast my net upon the

London than the editor of Truth. It is not so many "right side of the ship,” and brought to shore twenty-five years ago since they scalped Benjamin Waugh. But

For a

He says:

[ocr errors]

to day the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Barnard) is mentioned. B't both of the bigoted comChildren has no firmer friends than Mr. Labouchere and batants are more to be admired than the humanitarian Mr. Voules. And knowing all three men as I d), I have secularist who allows his sympathies with suffering not the slightest hesitation in prelicting that before children to be altogether dulled or annulled by his long Truth will discover Dr. Barnardo to be what he is, in iguation at the pother that the rival sectarians are and recognise his work to be one of the best things making about one or two striy children. achieved in our time.

Dr. Barnardo in the course of thirty years his rescued To effect this transformation what is necessary ? Only some 39,000 destitute children from a life of misery, vice, one thing. That the good gentlemen who in their shady and crime. Out of these 30,000 it is alleged that he has in retreats at Twickenham and at Brighton prepare or three or possibly four cases at the outside brought up as sanction smashing articles intended to roast Barnardo, a Protestant a little child born of Catholic parents who, should spend one hot July day seeing the actual work if he had not interfered, would have gone to the devil by that Dr. Barnardo is doing for the destitute children. the broad road of drink, beggary and vice. Now I am

Mr. Labouchere expends on his daughter, Mr. Voules quite willing to a Imit for the sake of argument that Dr. on his son, the wealth of loving fatherhool which is Barnardo was utterly wrong in all these four cases, and quite enough to enable them to sympat vise and under t'iat he ought to have allowed the little Catholic waif an stand the paternal love which enables Dr. Barnardo to cure for five thousand of nobody's children whom he has saved from the gutter. The work is. there. It speaks for itself. Every one of these five thousand small children is an epistle that can be know 2 and read of all men.

And one day among them all would charge the whole tone of Truth's references to Dr. Barnardɔ.

“ Ignorance, blank ignorance” -Dr. Johnson'sexcuse for making a mistake in defining pastern in his dictionary-is no doubt the excuse they would make after the first hour's actual contact with the real work that is going on at Stepney. And as they pictured to themselves their own bairns, sweltering and hungry, maltreated and homeless as these other bairns were, and would have been but for Dr. Barnardo, they would change front with the thoroughness and courage which distinguish them.

It is, odd but true that the same virus which wrecked the Education Bill lies latent in our contemporary's criticisms. But while it is natural for Lord

PLAY-ROOM IN A COTTAGE IN THE GIRLS' VILLAGE HOME. Salisbury to fall a prey to the bigots of denominationalism, it is odd to find Mr. stray to go to the devil its own road. Let us admit Labouchere ensnared by the priests. Dr. Barnardo that it was utterly abominable of him to try to save a has, perhaps, a bee in his bonnet about the Popo, Catholic's child which, so far as he was concerned, ought and the Papists repay him by keeping a whole hive of to have been left to suffer cold, privation, nakedness, and bees in their beads which, when he is mentioned, buzz misery. All that I would urge in mitigation of his and sting until all chance of reason and argument offence is that the mere writing out in plain English of the js quite impossible. If the subject-matter be regarded rule which a regard for his own interest would prompt from the serene altitude of Laboucherian philosophy, him to pursue, creates a shudder which, if I feel it who nothing can be moie ludicrous, if it were not so have no anti-papal prejudices, must be felt much more pathetic, than the spectacle of these Protestants an keenly by Dr. Barnardó. Papists wasting time and money in vain disputes over a Still even if we admit it all at its worst, what are three unit, while a thousand perish with no one caring for or four among thirty thousand ? Is it not difficult to their souls or their bodies. But narrow-minded people conceive any sane, sensible, secular-minded men allowing must act according to their lights, and broad-minded a wrangle about three to blind them to the service men should make the necessary allowance for their rendered in saving 30,193 about whom there is no disweaknesses and limitations.

pute? What should be recognised by all of us surely is For my part I have no more sympathy with Dr. that men like Dr. Barnardo have the faults of their Barnardo's prejudice against the Pope than I have with qualities, the vices of their virtues. Archangels do not the frantic panic into which many Papists fall when Dr. exist even in the office of Truth. What we have to do is

[graphic]

to strike a Lalance. Granted that Dr. Barnardo is perhaps

II. —TO THE LAW AND THE TESTIMONY. hipped about the Catholics. Granted that he must have As to the infinitely trivial quarrels between the Papists his knuckles rapped whenever he does any good to any and anti-Papists over building sites or individu il infants, child of Catholic birth; still, after all that is said and I shall best observe the laws of historical perspective ly Jone, there remains an overwhelming surplus of good saying nothing. For even if I grant that it is possible works which in duty and in honour bound as friends of that in every single case in which disputes have arisen little children the proprietor and editor of Truth will Dr. Barnardo was in the wrong, as the cases of dispute yet come to recognise.

are to the cases not in dispute as 30,193 to six, the rule But meantime Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Voules fulfil of three is good enough for me to settle the question as their appointed mission. For as the Apostle Paul was to where our sympathies ought to lie.

[graphic][merged small]

plagued with a sore trouble from which he could not free Dr. Barnardo has dealt in thirty years with 30,000 himself, so Dr. Barnardo has Truth as a thorn in the children, or, to put it roughly, an average of 1,000 flesh. The old Scripture text applies not inaptly, " And per annum. He has been assailed in eighty-eight of lest I should be exalted above measure there was given these cases, chiefly on account of the protection he to me a thorn in the flesh, the Messenger of Satan to has afforded to the children of Roman Catholics. buffet me, lest I should be exalted beyond measure." None of these children had been admitted until after For this thing also, no doubt, Dr. Barnardo besought the the Catholic priests concerned had refused to do Lord, not only three, but many times, that it might anything for the little ones. In seventy-six of the depart from him. Hitherto that prayer has not been eighty-eight cases the procce lin.rs were stopped in their answered. But for the sake of my friends of Truth I initial stage by the discovery that the action of wish they would tire of the somewhat unworthy rôle in Dr. Barnardo was fully covered by the provisions of the which they have persisted so long.

Custody of Children's Act, a measure which was passed

« PreviousContinue »