THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1888
Any inveterate West-ender who may wish to test the truth of the old saying, "One half of the world does not know how the other half lives," can readily accomplish his desire by performing a brief and inexpensive pilgrimage to the Far East of this huge congeries of cities, and by passing in review the shop-fronts that furnish forth the street-shows upon which some hundreds of thousands of his fellow-townsfolk are mainly dependant for their daily and nightly amusement. Let him descend into the bowels of the earth at any station of our underground railway system, invest a few pence in the purchase of a ticket for the Whitechapel terminus, and, there arrived, direct his steps due eastwards, along one of the broadest, straightest, and longest thoroughfares of which any European capital can boast. This arterial avenue may be said to commence at Uxbridge and finish at Stratford, for it undoubtedly connects those outlying districts by a roadway of uninterrupted continuity. For the purposes of exploration to which we have above alluded, however, it commences, properly speaking, at Aldgate, where Leadenhall and Fenchurch streets converge, and thence, under the names of Aldgate High-street, Whitechapel High-street, Whitechapel-road, Mile-end-road, and Bow-road, follows a direct line to the industrial suburb of Bow. The East-end of London might appropriately be styled, like Washington, U.S., a "city of magnificent distances," for it is traversed by streets of exceptional length and width. Of these are the Bethnal-green-road (supplemented by Green-street and the Roman-road), to the northward of, and running parallel with, the great avenue above described, and the Commercial-road, the continuation of which (East India Dock-road) skirts the vast riverside and dock region intervening between the Tower and Poplar, and comprising the amphibious districts of Shadwell, Stepney, and Limehouse. Within the limits of this area have been committed the seven successive gruesome murders that still constitute the most appalling and impenetrable mystery of modern crime. Of all the London postal districts this is the one most in need of kindly and practical help to sustain its patient industries against the squalor, depravity, and crime which ebb and flow in its midst. It is also, on the whole, the uncomeliest, in spite of its huge highways and stately blocks of model lodging-houses and workmen's dwellings; for even its finest streets are skirted on either side by sordid buildings, rarely more than two storeys high, and for the most part exemplifying the ugliest varieties of cheap and depressing domestic architecture. As a rule, the ground floors of these edifices are occupied by small tradesmen, at whose shop-fronts we propose to take a cursory glance, selecting the Whitechapel-road itself, and a few of its affluents, as characteristic types of the enormous neighbourhood east of Houndsditch and the Minories which is practically a terra incognita to four-fifths of the metropolitan population.
The Whitechapel-road possesses one "sidewalk" - that flanking the northern side of its roadway - unequalled in any other part of town for breadth and massiveness of paving. This trottoir is itself as wide as many a palatial City lane, and on something more than a moiety of its smooth-flagged surface is transacted - especially on Saturday evenings - the greater part of the retail business of Whitechapel, sub Jove frigido, and by the garish light of innumerable flaring jets of naphtha. The picturesqueness of the spectacle afforded by this seemingly interminable vista of glittering, glowing open-air market would be greatly enhanced during eight months of the year were the main East-end thoroughfare, like the Old and New Kent roads across the water, liberally planted with healthy limes and beeches, upon the silky green of whose luxuriant foliage the gaslight and naphtha glare would play fitfully in high summertide. With the aid of trees in plenty, and of architectural reform in moderation, this Whitechapel-road might be converted into a boulevard of which London would have abundant reason to be proud. It already owns a merry-tinkling tramway-service; it is as long as the Nevskoi Perspective, and as broad as two Oxford-streets. To make it a popular promenade, on which pleasure and business might be harmoniously combined, all it wants is a little enlivening by the judicious introduction of green leaves, smart shops, comfortable places of amusement, and brilliant lighting, with a few gracefully-designed benches here and there - there is ample room for them on either side - for the temporary accommodation of the weary. At present the aspect of the Whitechapel-road is bleak, dreary, and, above all, deadly dull, like the unlovely, poverty-stricken district to which it belongs. The East-enders, men, women, and children alike, are manifestly under the influence of the gloom that pervades their district - a gloom, the outcome of ill-luck and hardship, that stamps itself as well upon things inanimate as animate. Their depressed appearance is not difficult to account for. Existence to them literally means all work and no play, the effect of which chronic condition of being is correctly defined in a well-known proverb. The enormous suburb in which they pass their lives only owns, besides the new People's Palace, three establishments providing evening entertainment for the general public - a theatre and two music-halls - probably because its population is too poor to support a greater number of pleasure-resorts. The gratuitous shows afforded to them by Whitechapel shop-windows are for the most part of an absolutely utilitarian character, neither ornamental nor amusing, and utterly unsuggestive of any ideas beyond those immediately associated with the objects they exhibit - chiefly "articles of strict necessity." Nearly all the displays set forth in East-end establishments are common-place and dispiriting. Even the colours of the huge bottles adorning the chemists' shop-fronts seem faint and sickly, alike lacking in comforting depth and cheering lustrousness.
Trades connected with the liberal arts are almost unrepresented - at least in the retail line of business - throughout this district. During a long stroll up one side of the Whitechapel-road and down the other, we were unable to discover any shops specially affected to the sale of musical instruments or compositions, or of painting and drawing materials. On the southern side, not far from the City boundary, there is a small establishment in the window of which are displayed about a score of coloured prints and lithographs, cheaply framed, most of which originally appeared in the Christmas or summer numbers of popular illustrated periodicals. It is noticeable that female beauty and country scenery are "to the front" in this humble art show.
Another establishment, bearing some distant relation to one of the plastic arts, is situate at a street corner nearly opposite the democratic picture-shop, within a vigorous stone's-throw of the London Hospital. It is no exaggeration to say that the most remarkable waxworks of this or any other age are now on view in a western section of the Whitechapel-road. This amazing exhibition occupies the ground floor and cellarage of a frowsy two-storeyed house, the upper floor of which appears to be unoccupied. An no wonder, for who would willingly live under the same roof with the ghastly dolls that tenant the lower part of this sordid messuage? A penny is the fee for admission to the display, the attractions of which are incessantly proclaimed urbi et orbi by the stentorian voices of two curiously ill-favoured male attendants, while a slatternly, unkempt girl, as grimy as the most approved Old Master, sits at the receipt of custom hard by the entrance. When we visited them, the showrooms were thronged with blowzy, bonnetless women and unshaven, unwashed men, affording to more than one of the senses conclusive evidence that they had recently been somewhat assiduously engaged in "sampling" the wares of a neighbouring gin shop. Squeezed in here and there among these miscellaneous adults, and eagerly striving to catch a glimpse of the hideous effigies lining either wall of the long, low room, dimly lighted by slender and tremulous jets of gas, were a few pallid, precocious children, whose language was no less "painful and frequent and free" than that of their elders. The show itself, however, despite its many repulsive characteristics, could not possibly lower their moral tone; and yet it is unquestionably a "penny dreadful" of the most blood-curdling description, mainly consisting of long rows of vilely executed waxen figures and plaster busts, propped up, some upright, some askew, against either wall of the showroom, rigged out in the refuse of a Petticoat-lane old clothes shop, and professing (according to the halfpenny catalogue) to be striking likenesses of all the most notorious homicides of modern times. From Palmer to Pranzini the collection claims to be complete, and its serried ranks, whatever their artistic shortcomings may be - and in this respect we believe them to be unrivalled - unquestionably teem with the strangest of surprises, a few of which are ineffably comical. For instance, there is a deeply-pitted, broken-nosed, plaster-of-paris head, surmounted by a faded green hat and issuing from a threadbare double-breasted jacket. It looks like a slovenly cast of some mutilated classical bust dressed up in modern "slops" by way of a mild joke, the contrast between its lifeless whiteness and shabby-genteel "get-up" being wildly ludicrous. In the catalogue, however, this outrageous anachronism is set down as the correct effigy of Eliza Webster, who, as an artless critic in our immediate vicinity suggested, while contemplating her astounding lineaments, "must a' been a rum 'un to look at" when alive, if she ever bore the least resemblance to her "portrait-model." The chief attraction of the show, as might have been expected, considering its locality, is a blood-boltered display of revolting figures, purporting to represent the victims of the Whitechapel murders, laid out on the floor, side by side, at the farther end of a darksome cellar, connected with the ground-floor room by a rickety corkscrew staircase. These horrible objects are like nothing that ever lived or died. They can only be compared to the visionary offspring of an uncommonly severe nightmare - unearthly combinations of hideous waxen masks and shapeless bundles of rags. One of them is tightly swathed in a cerement of bright blue glazed calico, scored and blotched with dabs of red ochre, indicative of the unknown assassin's butcherly handiwork. The others are somewhat less grotesquely arrayed in dark wrappers profusely stained with mimic gore. At the other end of the cellar, close to a flaring gaslight, are cooped up two melancholy freaks of Nature - a grey hen and a common or garden duck, each afflicted with an extra pair of legs. These, the only living things in the whole appalling collection of horrors, manifest a violent and resentful reluctance to display their deformities, which is in odd contrast to the glassy indifference to public curiosity characterising their wax and plaster neighbours. They evidently yearn for privacy; when dragged from retirement by any of their four legs, in order to be minutely inspected, they struggle strenuously, and give utterance to indignant protests. Such is one of the cheap entertainments provided by contemporary enterprise for the inhabitants of Whitechapel. It is open from an early hour of the forenoon until late at night, and is visited by many hundreds of men, women, and children of the poorer classes daily. To what extent it may influence the East-enders deleteriously, by fostering a morbid interest in crime and criminals, can of course only be a matter of conjecture; but it seems a pity that such a debasing exhibition should constitute one of the principal amusements available to the population of a poverty-stricken neighbourhood.
Careful investigation on either side of the Whitechapel-road is promptly and frequently rewarded by the discovery of local peculiarities in connection with shop-front displays. It is not often given to the West-end flâneur, for instance, to see bottles of raspberry syrup, alternating with soda-water syphons, set out in the window of a tea and coffee shop, and conveying to the thirsty passer-by suggestions of refreshing beverages having nothing whatever in common with infusions of the Chinese leaf and the African berry. These liquid elements of combination, walled in by mighty slabs of cheap cake, warranted to generate a burning thirst at a penny a slice, are among the temptations of the East-end "coffee palace." If it be true that demand creates supply, poverty must engender a devouring passion for unripe fruit in the breast of the impecunious working man and factory girl, to judge by the lavish provision of this forbidding comestible made throughout the highways and byways of Whitechapel. Enough sour apples and hard pears to meet the views of all the schoolboys in Christendom are proffered for sale in the Whitechapel-road alone, without taking into account the contents of the fruit-stalls that line the pavements of many a minor street in its vicinity. Indulgence in pot-herbs would also seem to go hand in hand with straitened means, for herbalists evidently do a brisk and lucrative trade in the East-end, as is demonstrated by the comparative handsomeness of their retail establishments. There is a shop of this kind near the Vine Tavern - a queer old wooden hostelry, standing alone on the verge of the broad trottoir, some twenty yards distant from the line of house-fronts, which not only advertises every known variety of aromatic and medicinal herb, but keeps a "Botanic Practitioner" (whatever that may be) on the premises, and pledges itself to relieve toothache "in half-a-minute; no Cure, no Pay." Close to this emporium, which gives out a pleasant fragrance, is another Whitechapel speciality in the way of retail trade, to wit, a stall exclusively consecrated to the sale of pot-lids. What can be the use of a pot-lid, unaccompanied by its parent pot, and why anybody should purchase an orphan pot-lid, which is not in itself either decorative or soothing, are questions calculated to bewilder the liveliest imagination and perplex the most speculative intellect. Cutlers' shops abound in the main artery of the East-end, and display vast numbers of horribly suggestive knives, any one of which would figure appropriately as a piece justificative in a murder trial. They may be harmless implements of some useful and commonplace trade or handicraft; but to the uninstructed eye they present a truculent and bloodthirsty aspect. A leading feature of the hosiers' shop-windows in Whitechapel is the gorgeous character of their cheap made-up neckties, executed in the gaudiest combinations of "sporting" colours, copied presumably from the racing jackets of popular jockeys - orange-yellow and grass-green, purple and pink, Prussian blue and bright scarlet. It is worthy of remark that cravats of less conspicuous hue and pattern, apparently identical with those for which three and sixpence is charged in West-end shops, are sold in Whitechapel for a shilling apiece. Inexpensive splendour, as far as ties, throat-wrappers, and pocket-handkerchiefs are concerned, seems to be the ruling foible of the youthful East-ender, who, as we have been assured, likes his colours "gay, and plenty of 'em." In this barbaric taste, or lack of taste, he is sedulously encouraged by local enterprise, which lends itself to manufacturing, for his express delectation, florid articles of wear, a casual glance at which would cause any confirmed aesthete to curl up in an artistic agony, racked by horrid throes of "low-toned" consternation and discomfiture.
The shortest way from Whitechapel-road to the permanent open-air market held in Wentworth-street passes in front of the decorative porch and fountain of St. Jude and the archway leading to the peaceful stone oasis on which stands Toynbee Hall, one of the many civilising institutions established in the East-end of London by enlightened benevolence. In this particular neighbourhood, formerly a network of filthy slums denizened by thieves, "fences," and fallen women, handsome and commodious model lodging houses and workmen's homes have recently been erected, and broad, straight streets have advantageously replaced the narrow tortuous alleys, a few squalid odds and ends of which still withstand the march of improvement. One side of Wentworth-street itself consists of new, solidly-built houses, the ground floors of which, however, let out in shops to petty retailers of Polish and German extraction, already show signs of deterioration, whilst the miserable tenements opposite offer a saddening spectacle of dirt and decay, and between them both is set out, higgledy-piggledy, an array of modern stalls, displaying certain Whitechapel food staples. Amongst them figure the ubiquitous unripe fruit, and many of the coarser varieties of sea-fish, some doubtfully fried, some questionably fresh, and some indisputably dried. Branching out from the northern side of this busy and grimy, but by no means unpicturesque thoroughfare, are two or three of those gloomy courts, terminating in culs-de-sac, and forlorn of gas lamps, which seem predestined to become the scenes of crime. We were informed that the courts in question were, in every essential respect, exactly similar to those in which more than one of the Whitechapel murders had been committed. Among the Wentworth-street shop fronts are two that may confidently challenge competition as metropolitan curiosities. One belongs to a tea shop, and displays a few loose heaps of faded tealeaves, something like sun-baked molecasts, into which are carelessly thrust half-a-dozen fly-blown labels, partly sallow with age, partly grey with dirt. These mounds of "sweepings" are dimly visible through window panes, the inner surface of which has been rendered semi-opaque by the dust of ages. Just opposite is an even more archaic grocer's étalage, exhibiting a murky show of fossil prunes, fragments of prehistoric candied fruits, tertiary fancy biscuits, and dirty trays full of dreadful nondescript scraps, making unseemly pretence to have been eatable at about the Locustrian period of unwritten human history. Seen from the street, all the cakes and comfits of this weird, mysterious grocery store look as if they had been turned to stone aeons ago, and were being now offered for sale as petrified relics of a primaeval and rudimentary civilisation. The western end of Wentworth-street is crossed by an unprepossessing thoroughfare, in which the irrepressible gherkin, pickled salt or sour according to taste, and wallowing in its own acrid liquor by the tub-full, predominates over all other edible articles of commerce, in which this street appears exclusively to deal. Near the spot at which it issues into Whitechapel-road, and within hail of an outlying cabstand which marks the confines of Aldgate, is a long row of butchers' stalls, the avant-garde, of an equally long range of slaughterhouses. These stalls are chiefly remarkable for their curious assortments of objects culled from the internal arrangements of those domesticated animals which supply us with sirloins of beef, saddles of mutton, and loins of pork in the ordinary way of business, but which obviously furnish forth to the East-ender a good many organic substances, convertible into food, with which the West-ender is altogether unfamiliar. After indulging in a brief contemplation of these strange objects, and of the general lack of cheer and brightness which pervades the region, one wonders all the more at the patience and general good-temper of the people, and yearns for some sweeping and salubrious measures which would clear away the hideous slums, provide recreation and amusement for the toilers, and make life in the East-end better worth living.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
The SPEAKER took the chair at a quarter-past twelve.
THE NEW COMMISSIONER OF POLICE.
Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM asked the First lord of the Treasury whether it was true that Sir Henry Blake had been appointed Chief Commissioner of Police. (Laughter.)
Mr. W. H. SMITH: The hon. member must surely be aware of the absolute absurdity of the question. (Hear, hear.)
Sir W. LAWSON: Is it true, as reported, that Mr. Monro has been appointed Chief Commissioner of Police?
Mr. W. H. SMITH: It is true. (Ministerial cheers.)
Yesterday afternoon a boy named Husband, eleven years of age, who stated that he saw a man struggling with the boy Searle who was murdered at Havant shortly after six o'clock on Monday evening, was apprehended at his parents' residence on a charge of having himself committed the deed. From the outset the police had suspected the accused, and this impression was strengthened by the evidence at the inquest, which was commenced yesterday morning by Mr. E. Goble, coroner for Hants.
Robert Searle, a labourer in the employ of the Portsmouth Water Company, proved that the deceased, Percy Knight Searle, who was eight years of age on April 11 last, was his son. He was a very quiet boy, and witness knew of nobody who had any spite against him.
Dr. F. St. Quintin Bond deposed to having been called to see the deceased, life being then extinct. Considerable force must have been used to inflict the wounds. He was of opinion that they might have been inflicted with the knife produced. On the left side of the middle line of the neck there was a small wound, apparently a mere abrasion, and on the right side of the middle line of the neck was a penetration of the skin. He assumed that these two superficial wounds were caused by some one attempting to cut the throat, and neither would have proved fatal. There was a punctured wound on the right side of the neck about three inches in depth, which corresponded with the blade of the knife produced. The direction of all the wounds was from left to right, as if inflicted from behind by a right-handed person. In his opinion an attempt was made to cut the throat with the blade of the knife, which failed, and the murderer then plunged the point into the neck and pulled it upwards.
The Coroner: I suppose any man or boy could really inflict such a wound? - Yes.
A boy could inflict such a wound, I suppose, as well as a man? - I should think so.
A boy would have sufficient strength to inflict that wound, you say? - Certainly, with the point of the knife. The deceased was only a little boy.
John Pratt, of North-street, Havant, stated: Between a quarter and half-past six on Monday evening I was coming from St. George's-street into the Pallant, Havant. It was very dark, and pouring with rain. I did not meet any one from St. George's-street. There was a lamp alight on the left-hand side, going down by the yard of the Bear Hotel. It is a public lamp. I could not say whether as I passed through the Pallant I looked across to the wall of the Manor House Academy, where deceased was found; but if I did look it was too dark for me to have seen anything. The road was very dark, and when I went to the spot, on hearing the boy Husband calling me, the deceased looked just like a bundle of clothes. It was impossible to see any one standing there until you got within seven yards. I had before seen the little boy Husband talking to a young man named Shirley at a draper's shop. There was a woman there who cried out "Do go and see" to the shopman. Then the little boy Husband ran up to me and said, "There's a man murdering a little boy up there under the wall." I said, "No such thing." He said, "Yes, there is, Mr. Pratt. I've seen him lying under the wall." I said, "Where?" and he said, "Up under the wall." I went with the boy. I had heard no sound whatever. Husband seemed excited, and was afraid to come. (Husband was brought into court.) That boy was the one who came to me. I took hold of his hand, and said, "You must come with me and show me." When we got there I said to the boy, "Did you see any one?" The boy replied, "Yes, I saw a tall man, and he ran across that way," pointing to Fairfield. That would be leading to the Emsworth road. He did not say how the man was dressed. I sent him to get some one to go for the police. I was the first to arrive on the scene, and was then left alone. The boy was alive. He was lying with his head close to the wall, and his feet eighteen inches from it. I had a lamp with me. He was in a pool of blood, and blood was gushing from his nose and mouth. He was not able to speak to me. When I lifted his head he gave three breaths and died. It took us about a minute to get from where Husband met me to the place. The boy had his hat off as he lay on the ground. I did not hear any one going away from the body when I got there. The boy's necktie was not disarranged. From the appearance of the boy, who was covered with mud all over, I should think that there had been some scuffling. I should think Searle would be taller than Husband. I told Husband to go for the sergeant of police, and when the sergeant came I found that Husband had not returned, but had gone home. I went to his home, and found him there. He had washed his hands. I don't know whether he was going to bed or not. That would be ten minutes afterwards. Husband lives in North-street, at the coal yard. I rapped at the front door, but could not make them hear. I went to the other door, and the father opened it. I said "Where is your boy?" He replied, "Here he is." The boy's hands were wet, and he was wiping them with a towel. I did not see the water the boy washed his hands with. The boy went willingly with me to the sergeant. I did not notice whether there was any mud on Husband's clothes, but I noticed that his boots were very dirty.
After other evidence had been taken, the inquest was adjourned until Tuesday next.
From the nature of the evidence at the inquest yesterday the police consider that strong suspicion attaches to Husband, and at 2.30 p.m. he was arrested at his father's house. On being charged with the crime he said, "I never did it." He was taken to the police-station, and upon examining his clothes several spots of blood were found at the back of his right wristband. He had accounted for this by a cut which he had received on his hand while at work. The father, upon being asked last night how he thought the blood got on the shirt, said it was the result of a pimple which had been scratched. The knife has been identified by several persons. It originally belonged to a boy named Stevens, in the employ of Messrs. Smith and Sons. Stevens gave it to Husband's elder brother, who on Saturday endeavoured to sell it. Whilst Husband was being charged yesterday the father, who was present, said, "If I saw a murder committed I would not say a word about it." The accused answered the various questions put to him promptly, and exhibited the coolest demeanour. The excitement in Havant is even greater at the turn things have taken than it was at the discovery of the crime. The father of the lad stated last evening that his son was absent from home only about ten minutes on the night of the murder, and returned in an excited and frightened condition. There was no blood about his person.
WE have no fault to find with the choice which the Government has made in appointing Mr. MONRO to the post of Chief Commissioner of Police. On the contrary, it seems to us quite possible that, under all the circumstances, this was the best and wisest way of filling up the vacancy caused by Sir CHARLES WARREN'S resignation. It is a distinct advantage that the new Chief Commissioner has been educated in the civil traditions of his office, alike by Indian and home experience. All the greatest difficulties in connection with the Department during recent years have arisen from the fact that its head was a soldier and not a civilian. We return, with the accession of Mr. MONRO, to a more natural and sensible state of things, under which the Metropolitan Police Force will be ruled by one wholly free from military traditions. We set aside, as being at present imperfectly understood, the recent collision of views between Mr. MONRO and Sir CHARLES WARREN. If the former is considered the ablest man within the range of choice, we feel sure that Sir CHARLES is too high-spirited and generous to grudge to the public service such well-tried abilities as those of his successor. Nor is it any real point of objection to Mr. MONRO that our London Detective Department, while he was Director of Criminal Investigations, showed itself sadly inefficient and degenerate. In this regard it is fair to remember that he was never able to act with a free hand; and since it may be safely concluded that Mr. MATTHEWS finds nothing distasteful in the present appointment, and will interfere as little as may be with the new chief, we can all afford to wait while observing what progress the Detective Department makes under the fresh regime. It will be distinctly unwise, in truth, if Mr. MONRO should be troubled with too much interference on the part of the Home Office. The Secretary of State in that Department possess no spare popularity to bestow, and will do well to afford his Commissioner full opportunity for earning the good opinions so long lacking, and for refreshing the faded laurels of the Force. If Mr. MONRO be thus reasonably let alone, the public on its own part will be well advised to have much patience with him and his Department. At the same time it will also be naturally very watchful; and the time must come, after a just and proper interval, when we shall have to take stock of the work done, and see whether the reputation of the Force has been repaired, and whether the terrible arrears of undetected crime of all sorts now registered against Scotland-yard have been wiped out. In confiding this great charge to a civilian, no fear need be entertained that we shall lose that degree of quasi-military drill and discipline which is essential for the proper handling of this great force, and which, indeed, holds it together, and gives it unity and sodality, when not pushed too far. In his Assistant Commissioners Mr. MONRO will have men of great and proved experience, who have well merited public respect by the way in which they have fulfilled their duties. These and their subordinates are amply qualified to maintain that trimness of bearing and practised mobility for which the Metropolitan Police have hitherto been distinguished, and which are characteristics that must certainly not be lost.
There is one well-known drawback to Mr. MONRO'S personal efficiency which may be touched upon here without unkindness, because it is, singularly enough, also one of his proudest testimonials. The new Chief Commissioner is very lame, and could not without difficulty mount a horse; while any long-continued exercise, even on foot, fatigues him excessively. This infirmity, however, is the record of a signal act of devotion to duty. When he was assistant-magistrate and police-officer in Bengal he once attempted to arrest an offender with his own hands. The criminal escaped over the mud wall of an enclosure; and Mr. MONRO, in the act of pursuing him on his horse, put the animal at the wall, but fell, and with a shock so severe that he lay unconscious for many days, and recovered only to find his hip-joint permanently disabled. It need hardly be said that a misfortune of this sort carries with it a certain disadvantage, as it not unfrequently happens that the Chief Commissioner of Police on great public occasions finds it necessary to move about on horseback, and be indeed almost ubiquitous. Probably, however, means will be found to provide some equally facile method of locomotion for the new Commissioner at such times, and for the rest his partially crippled condition should in no way interfere with the discharge of his duties. If the new Head of the Police should, after due trial, not be found "lame" in any other respect he and the public alike will deserve to be congratulated. Mr. MONRO entered the Indian Civil Service as one of the earlier "Competition Wallahs," and served in the Bengal Presidency as magistrate, collector, district judge, and eventually as Inspector-General of Police, with great success and high distinction. He became, in truth, well known all over India for his strong will, ardent energy, and rare sagacity in following the tracks of crime, and ended by making his name a terror to evildoers there. On the strength of this Indian record, and of the strong recommendations of the Bengal officials, he was chosen to succeed Mr. HOWARD VINCENT and certainly he well justified the opinion formed of his capacities by the skill with which he followed up and brought to justice the Home Rule dynamiters, as he had long ago, in India, detected and defeated the Wahabi conspirators. His reputation in India was that of a strict disciplinarian, who was, nevertheless, always considerate and reasonable with his men and there were times, it should be remembered, when Mr. MONRO controlled bodies of Asiatic Police numbering more than twenty thousand. Long ago, therefore, he was accustomed to handle large masses of men, and it is not a secret that the arrangements for public safety during her Majesty's procession to Westminster Abbey, and in connection with the other celebrations of the Jubilee Year, were placed under his supervision. How excellent those arrangements were need scarcely be recalled. It is fresh in the memory of the public that the whole proceedings from first to last passed off without hitch or accident, and it was not until long afterwards, when revelations were made as to the designs of certain Fenian scoundrels, that the value of the police services rendered on that historical occasion was fully appreciated. Mr. MONRO has thus united extensive experiences in East and West, and we have every reason to hope that, with a free hand and the absence of too much interference from the Home Office, his appointment may turn out propitious for the Metropolitan Police Force and for the safety and well-being of this vast capital.
No doubt, also, we may confidently rely on the experience and acumen of such a Chief Commissioner to perceive the points in which the "new broom" of his powers should begin to "sweep clean." For the time being the police are not quite so popular, perhaps, with citizens in general as they have been before, and as they always well deserve to be. By the many means at his disposal, and in a hundred other ways not included in any official plans of procedure, Mr. MONRO will be enabled to do - and rightly advised if he does - all in his power to restore complete friendliness of feeling between the police and the populace. He will be empowered readily to effect this through the superintendents and inspectors, who are too sensible, as a body, not to desire to restore the old mutual good understanding, so as to possess that great source of assistance in their daily duties, the active sympathy of the public. The Detective Department wants overhauling from top to bottom, as regards direction, method, and promptness of action; and many of the official rules governing it, in what concerns independence of action, initiative, individual means and expenses, selection of men, and the like, are far at present from being ideal. In these and other points we shall expect, and shall await, large and gradual improvements from the new Chief Commissioner, without, of course, demanding miracles. It is not unknown that the lower ranks of the Force have been harassed and vexed of late by orders and restrictions which should be relaxed, when this can be done with no danger to discipline and correctness of conduct. With respect to the general condition of the men, we have not now, and never have had, anything to offer excepting the warmest eulogy. For some little time past, here and there in particular places, and as regards particular men, there has been a certain amount of demoralisation; but, considering the class from which they are taken, the work they have to do, and the rate at which they are paid, they are better than any police force to be found in any European capital. If their number be increased, and an able and close intellectual hold kept upon them, we have no doubt their reputation may be enhanced; that the few scandals which have lately come to light will speedily be forgotten; while good work will yet be done by the Force, and crime no longer profit by the contentions of high-placed officials.