20 December 1888
"Practical Socialism : Essays on Social Reform." By the Rev. and Mrs. Samuel A. Barnett. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1888 -- In this collection of essays on social reform the vicar of St. Jude's, Whitechapel, and his wife have gathered together their occasional utterances on East-end subjects during a period of fifteen years. For fifteen years Mr. and Mrs. Barnett have worked in Whitechapel, and, as everyone knows, no one has a better title than they have to speak of the social state of the East-end of London, and other reforms necessary for its amelioration. Speaking of these essays, the authors say: -- "They do not pretend to set forth any system for dealing with the social problem.... Two or three great principles underlie all the reforms for which we ask. The equal capacity for all to enjoy the best, the superiority of quiet ways over striving and crying, character as the one thing needful, are the truths with which we have become familiar, and on these truths we take our stand." Personal service, gently and lovingly given, without "striving and crying" or anything approaching to sensationalism, is the keynote of the reforms which Mr. and Mrs. Barnett are striving to accomplish, and which they recommend to the attention of the wealthy. Besides much that is practical these essays contain much that is exceedingly beautiful and unspeakably pathetic. Mrs. Barnett's essay "At Home to be Poor" and "Pictures for the People," in particular, are such few, we should hope, could read quite unmoved. Breathing, as they do, a spirit of brotherhood between rich and poor, and imbued by the conviction that in the practical results of the appreciation of this human brotherhood, and in them alone, lies the secret of "Practicable Socialism," these essays are admirably calculated to stir the spirits of those who having time or money, or both, might, if they only choose, do much to promote the improvement of the East-end. And the East-end, after all, it is the most important and the most anxious of all the unsolved social problems of London. We shall be surprised if this little book does not bear some fruit.
Sarah Delliar, 40, who said she had no home and no occupation, was charged, before Mr. Horace Smith, of being drunk and incapable under the following extraordinary circumstances : -- Constable 434 N said that at one o'clock that morning he was on duty in Shacklewell-lane, when he heard screams proceeding from a mews in Dunn-street, Dalston. On hastening to the spot he saw the prisoner lying on a costermonger's barrow in a state of complete nudity. -- Mr. Smith : Did she complain of being ill-used? -- The constable said she was drunk. She bore signs of severe ill-treatment about the face, and her left eye was almost closed. -- A person, who said her home abutted on the mews, and who was not asked her name, now came forward. She said that soon after midnight, while she was in bed, she heard fearful screams proceeding from the mews. It was sometime before she had the courage to move in the matter. Ultimately she went into the room of a lodger whose window overlook the mews. There she saw the woman lying in the barrow and two men standing over her. She could not see well what they were doing, but she had an idea that it was "Jack the Ripper" at work, and as the screams still continued and the woman was evidently struggling, she induced her friend to open the window. She then called out, and the men, apparently being disturbed, ran away. She then went with her friend into the Shacklewell-lane, and there they saw the constable, whose attention they called to the screams. She went round with the officer and helped to dress the woman. -- The prisoner said she was now a lone but respectable woman, and her late husband had been in a good position. She did not know how she got down the mews, but she had been badly treated, and two rings she was wearing had been stolen. -- Mr. H. Smith said he must hear more of this, and he put the woman back for inquiries. -- Later in the day the woman was again put in the dock. -- The constable was unable to give any further information, and Mr. Horace Smith asked the prisoner if she was willing to go into the workhouse. -- She replied that she was, and should be only too glad to get there. -- Mr. Smith : Very well, you are discharged ; but the officer will take you to the workhouse.