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LONDON. FRIDAY, 5 OCTOBER, 1888.
SHALL we be thought extravagant if we say that the approaching Birmingham Conference could not do better than put down the Whitechapel murders for consideration on its agenda paper? There will be plenty of subjects discussed far less pertinent and far less fruitful. Dr. PARKER said very truly yesterday that the Church was out of touch with the rapid and tempestuous life of the day. If the Churches have made this mistake - and after Dr. CLIFFORD'S admirable address to the members of the Baptist Union, we hope better things of our Dissenting friends - do not let the Liberal party make it. The social side of politics is coming more and more to the front. Public opinion is getting magnetic on the subject. Remedies for poverty are in the air, and it does not behove the great organisation for the political salvation of the people to shirk their discussion.
We publish in another column an interesting and important communication from the Rev. S. A. BARNETT. Mr. BARNETT is an old and devoted friend of the East-end, and if he says one or two strong things about the faults of the poor, they will be received with the respect due to a record of many years of faithful and unselfish work. With his view of the moral of the murders we so far agree that we have repeatedly enforced it in these columns. "There are worse things in life than tears," says the poet; and there are far far worse things in it than death, sudden and violent as the taking-off of these poor street wanderers of Whitechapel has been. We do not know that any more piteous history has ever been written than that of the wretched creature whose story was told by the man KELLY to our reporters and to the coroner's jury. It was not altogether a bad life. There was struggle in it for honest work and honest wages. The end was bad, the moral defeat was striking enough, but there was the fact that she did her best to remain a decent woman and failed. So far as in him lay her companion helped her to keep off the streets, and as all moral standards are relative, this was to his good and to that of the poor creature who was his friend. The moral of the whole business is plain enough. It is poverty which lies at the root of what we perhaps rightly call the social evil, and it is by aiming at the abolition of poverty that we shall cure a variety of woes which we usually set down to an entirely different set of causes. Mr. BARNETT very rightly blames the people of London for their unfriendliness and unsociableness, their terrible want of public spirit. The Whitechapel murders are indeed a tardy visitation on us for our neglect of obvious social duties, for our hopeless individualism. In a city where very few of us know the names of our next-door neighbors we cannot be surprised that a crafty scoundrel like the Whitechapel murderer should be able to hide his misdeeds. But there is a far more rooted unfriendliness in our so-called Christian society than that which concerns the isolation of neighbor from neighbor. There is the alienation of the rich from the poor; there is that especially unneighborly form of dealing which consists in one class abstracting the fruits of the labor of another. The West owes to the East something more than platitudinarian gush and sentimental and spasmodic almsgiving. It is more of a debtor and creditor account than anything else, and the part which Belgravia must play in the purification of Whitechapel is one in which the poor may receive without abasement, and the rich may give without self-congratulation.
But how is that to be done? It is to be accomplished in the way in which all our social remedies must be applied - by political methods. Supposing, for instance, we could establish to-morrow a District Council or a Communal Board in Whitechapel, and could give it the power of dealing with the land for the benefit of its inhabitants. Well, the first step that the Council would take would be to clear out the slums by taxing out the ground landlords - i.e., by the help of the men who take their toll of the vice and poverty of the people, but do not contribute one farthing to their moral and material improvement. The Daily Telegraph points out to-day that we have dark alleys in the Hanbury-street district, because the Vestry have been economising in gas. Precisely so. But that is due to the bad arrangement by which poor parishes are made to pay the heaviest rates, while rich parishes escape scot free. A reform in the incidence of rating is only a very small part of the social programme we desire, but it shows how intimately these vulgar and hideous crimes are associated with causes that go deep down into the roots of our modern society. We want no sudden revolution, no topsy-turvying which would leave all the real work to be done over again. What we want is steady and continuous progress on the right lines. The signs are hopeful of a change, hopeful enough at all events to warrant the abandonment, even among the vanguard of the army of social extremists, of the tactics of despair. That is one thing to fight against; the other enemy is apathy. Now, we must kill apathy if we can, for it is itself the death of social progress, the very arch-enemy of mankind. In time we may do it, but for very shame's sake do not let it be said of us that we need such unspeakably shocking and bloody object lessons as the Whitechapel murders to keep us from it. Surely "Jack the Ripper" is not to be our modern JOHN the Baptist. Meantime, the brutalisation of nine-tenths of the population is too heavy a price to pay for the culture and refinement of the other tenth. Moreover, it is a fatal price, for it means Anarchy.
THE Common Council yesterday unanimously ratified the action of the Lord Mayor in offering a reward for the detection of the Whitechapel murderer. We have no great love for the Corporation of London, and anxiously await the day when they will join the majority of our corrupt old political anachronisms. But in this case the City Corporation has done the right thing, and in doing it pointed an important moral - the moral which we drew yesterday. The Corporation sees that the offer of a reward may lead to something, may check a repetition of the crime, and if it fails in that, will allay some of that public uneasiness which comes from the feeling that the authorities are idle, negligent, or helpless.
WHY this difference between the Mansion House and Common Council on the one hand, and Scotland Yard and the Home Office on the other? Because, with all its faults, the Corporation is a municipal institution. It has constituents to please, and at the present moment it is more anxious to please than ever. Consequently, it does its best to show sympathy with popular feeling and to keep in touch with popular feeling. That is why municipal affairs should be regulated by municipal authority, rather than by a redtape-fettered bureaucracy like that which at present paralyses the metropolitan police.
Letters to the "Star" from People with Theories about the Murders.
H. Thomas thinks the murderer may be a seafaring man, employed in a coasting or short journey boat, living and sleeping on board. The intervals between the murders are just about the time a collier or trading boat takes for a trip. And how easy for a sailor man to get on board his boat at any time during the night unseen, and remove with a bucket of water all traces of his guilt! Could it not be ascertained by reference to a shipping paper what boats were in London on all the dates of the murders, and if a boat was in port on each of those days, and away in the interval?
"E. A. V.," who favors the police theory, remarks:- After the first three murders these wretched women would probably have thought twice before going up a dark passage or into a dark yard with a perfect stranger. But this man they know, they follow him willingly and unsuspectingly; possibly they are anxious even to court his good graces and tolerance; for if not a member of, he is at least allied to the great army of order, and could have them "run in" if they did not prove compliant. May there not be some obscure police agent - hardly a plain clothes constable - but rather some needy detective, some "nose," as people of the kind are called - who is domiciled in or about Whitechapel, who is physically circumstanced in the manner described by Mr. Forbes?
It is the belief of "R. J. B." that the murderer goes down sewer manholes.
"Perplexed One" asks: Is it possible that the murderer carries slips for putting on his arms like the waiters, and an apron to get all the splashes on?
"Success" thinks all persons who let lodgings to single men should be asked to take notice of the time their lodgers come home of a night, and their general habits.
"J. B. P." advises the police to look to the West, not to the East. With an experience of Bohemian life in Chambers, he knows how easy it is to isolate oneself from observation.
"A. W." thinks the French secret police system should be immediately adopted here.
"E. L. G. M." advises that detectives, disguised as women and protected with steel, should traverse the streets watched all through the night by police from house windows.
J. P. Vooght suggests that the books in which every house and family is scheduled by the officers of the School Board for London should be utilised in the search for suspicious characters.
E. Hunt thinks the authorities are tempting the murderer to commit a crime in another district by drawing off all the police to Whitechapel.
W. Meadows says:- Mr. Matthews would have resigned long ago were it not for the threat he has held over the heads of his colleagues in the Cabinet that if they drove him out he would resign his seat for East Birmingham.
"Primrose League," who says he is "a strong Tory," complains of the disgraceful apathy of the Home Secretary.
Robert Walker has come to the conclusion that the murderer is either a police-constable out of uniform, or is an ex-policeman, who has had some surgical education and has a grievance, and that the motive is to bring the present police system into disrepute.
William Douglas says pigs resemble inwardly the human race, and are slaughtered quickly, the first cut being made at the throat and the next at the abdomen. He thinks no one but a pig-killer could have perpetrated these murders.
"A Laborer" fancies the murderer as much likely to be a woman as a man, jealousy being the motive.
"J. P. F.," a butcher of 30 years' standing, protests against the slaughterman theory. He declares that thorough butchers are most humane men.
The suggestion of Edwin J. Wells, of Brixton, is that the police should be provided with some sort of magnesium light, by which, on any alarm, they could flash a bright light on the dark places where the murderer walks.
"J. M.," who lives in Whitechapel, urges that the police authorities should take a census of all private houses in London that take in lodgers, with as near a description and occupation of the lodgers as possible, and then should thoroughly investigate every case where there is the least resemblance to the description of the man that is wanted.
Samuel Julius suggests a house-to-house visitation over an area of six or seven miles.
"H. F.," who has often had to walk from Stratford to the City between two a.m. and four a.m., says that from Bow Church to Houndsditch the road has been deserted except by an occasional tramp and by five or six couples - not more. Surely such a limited number of couples could be closely watched.
The regularity of a policeman's round and the heaviness of his tread are pointed out by Henry Knott, of Stamford, as likely to assist the murderer, and he suggests the wearing of indiarubber soles, and the variation of the policeman's beat.
"One who is Shocked" considers there cannot be a better opportunity than is now offered for the use of bloodhounds. Let the dogs take the scent of the piece of apron and trace the man.
When the Queen opened the People's Palace (writes a correspondent) hundreds of Army Reserve men were sworn in to act as special constables. Why should there not be a quantity put on duty in the murder area?
"Trafalgar Square" thinks a public meeting should press on the Government the absolute necessity of replacing our present military Chief Commissioner by a police officer who can think of something besides Trafalgar-square.
From Wiesbaden, Ned Hay writes:- It is morally certain that there are living women who have escaped after having been completely in the power of the murderer, owing to the sudden appearance of the police or some other person upon the scene. The women who have been accosted and escaped certainly ought to be able to give some clue to the murderer's identity.
P. James, of Bolivia House, Wandsworth, was stopped in Commercial-street, yesterday afternoon by two policemen, who told him their suspicions had been aroused by the fact that he had been looking down courts and alleys. They questioned him, and he purposely answered them in a hesitating manner, saying he was looking for a firm of glass writers. Finally one constable said to the other, "I suppose it's all right, come along." P. James says: "The Whitechapel fiend need not fear capture if they do 'business' like this."
Because the victims are lost sheep, writes F. Thornburn, from Airdrie, Scotland, the Government are slumbering, while London, and even the provinces, are in a panic. How long are we going to stand this imbecility? If Matthews were to get his head examined, I fear the phrenologist would pronounce "causality" very deficient, and "stubbornness" as large as it is on the head of the mule.
"An Observer" writes from Southampton :- In the lives and positions in the social scale of the victims we have a heartrending picture of a vain struggle to act honestly and uprightly, and the ultimate sacrifice of the body in order to earn its right to shelter from the cold and pitilesss night. Whose fault is it that the people are herded and packed in loathsome dens? Who builds and furnishes the flaring gin palaces which beckon and lure the cold and shivering wretch at every step? Who are the seducers of women, and why should women bear the sole blame of that which they equally share with their male accomplices? What a nation of hypocrites we are!
The correspondent who advanced the slaughterman theory, and defended it with much sagacity, declares that it is now strengthened. Doctors do their work in the dissecting room with minuteness and care; slaughtermen theirs with expedition. They are paid for their quickness, and one slaughterman can dress a sheep, i.e., skin, disembowel, and remove the heart, liver, and lungs in a quarter of an hour; a quick man in 10 minutes. Our correspondent adds:- It is suggested, but it is more than probable that
when in search of his victims. For these reasons:
1. To induce the women to make advances to him, as such women consider drunken men their legitimate prey as they are their most lucrative customers.
2. To lull suspicion and fear in the woman.
3. To lull the suspicion of the police and passengers.
4. To lull the suspicion of his friends and those in whose house he lives.
It is absolutely clear that the man who commits these crimes is perfectly sober when he commits them. He has probably always been sober, and if he has put on the habit of frequent drinking (as he would have to be "on the drink" on other nights than just those of the murder) this would have been done at some time directly after or shortly before the first murder. The time of such a change in a man's apparent habits is a factor in identification.
The man we want is not a slinking peculiar, solitary, un-genial person. To such a one suspicion would have attached before now. The man is of quiet if not amiable manners, and even probably a jolly companion.
While the weak eyes of the police are fixed on Texas villains and American millionaires, let the people of Whitechapel turn the eyes of their minds on their closest and most intimate friends, and in their own circle look for a man who unites in himself the following qualifications :-
1. A man who is a slaughterman.
2. Who lives in Whitechapel.
3. Who is a Volunteer.
4. Who was in uniform, and carrying a bayonet on 7 Aug.
5. Who was not in uniform on 3 April.
6. Who was a sober man till the beginning of these crimes, but then apparently took to drink and to being "out on the booze."
7. Who is respectable, and the "last man one would suspect."
One of these facts would count for nothing. Two or three in conjunction would be worth consideration - but we venture to think there are not many men in London to whom all these will apply.
Shoreditch has ordered improved lighting of their end of Commercial-street, and last night the Bethnal-green Vestry received two memorials from inhabitants on the same subject.
A Man with a Knife Accosts a Woman and Bolts when Another Man Arrives.
The police at Arbour-street Station, Mile-end, have received circumstantial information of an occurrence last night, which may or may not be of importance in connection with the Whitechapel murders. We give the information they have received, and leave readers to draw their own conclusions. Mrs. Sewell, of 2, Pole-street, Stepney-green, is a woman who is employed at the Great Assembly Hall (Mr. F. N. Charrington's) as a cleaner. At half-past nine last night she was on her way to attend a temperance meeting at the Assembly Hall. As she was passing along Redman's-road, a very dark thoroughfare, a man suddenly sprang out in front of her. She was greatly alarmed, especially when she observed that he was holding in his hand up against his sleeve
The man noticed her alarm, and as if to ingratiate himself he said, "I did not hurt you, missus, did I?" Just then a young man came by, and the mysterious stranger made his conduct all the more suspicious by taking to his heels. The young man, in a tone of alarm, said to Mrs. Sewell, "Did you see what he had in his hand?" and the woman replied, "I saw he had something glittering." "Why," said the young man, "it was a huge knife, a foot long." The two followed the man, but failed to track him, and in the pursuit they lost sight of each other. Mrs. Sewell went on to the Assembly Hall, where she arrived in a state of the greatest nervous excitement. She said the mysterious man was rather tall, with red bushy whiskers. She noticed that he was wearing a brown overcoat, and that he had with him a white dog. Mr. Charrington and Mr. Richardson, a well-known Mile-end Vestryman, to whom Mrs. Sewell communicated her strange experience, went to the Arbour-street Police-station, and gave her information to the inspector on duty; and at one o'clock this morning Mrs. Sewell was herself
who got her story from her direct. Both Mr. Charrington and Mr. Richardson have known the woman for a considerable time, and, as Mr. Richardson remarked to a Star man this morning, there is not the slightest doubt as far as her statement goes that it is genuine enough, although it is open to different interpretations.
A Star reporter had a chat with Mrs. Sewell herself on the subject as she was scrubbing the floor of the Assembly Hall. "It happened," said Mrs. Sewell, who is a buxom good-featured woman of 38, "as I was coming over here last night at about half past nine. As I was a-coming along Redman's-road, that is round, you know, from West's, the dairyman's, in Jubilee-street, a man came up to me. I didn't hear him coming, but he came close up behind me all of a sudden just like that" - and Mrs. Sewell illustrated the attitude. "I turned round sharp, and he says, 'Did I frighten you, missus?' 'No, you didn't frighten me,' I says, just like that - ," and
and put on an am-not-frightened sort of look. "I noticed that he was a tall man - a little taller than my husband - my husband is five foot ten - but stouter. He had a beard and wore a felt hat. I noticed something bright down by his right side, and that there was a white dog with him. He went away very quickly and silently. I could hardly hear his feet, and a young man he comes up and says to me, says he, 'Did you see what he had, missus? That was a knife, and the blade was a foot long.' I then knew for certain what he had by his side. Yes, I have given a description of him as well as I could to the police."
No arrests were made during the night in connection with the Whitechapel murders, and all yesterday's victims of the zeal of the police have now been set at liberty. No important clues have been discovered, and none of the old ones have thus far yielded fruit. The excitement in the East-end is rapidly subsiding, the only visible effect of the latest horrors being the very noticeable decrease in the number of low women in the streets after midnight, and it is becoming known to not a few that some of those who appear to belong to that class would be found to be
if the murder-maniac should make any approaches towards them. But the loss of the women is far more than made up by the presence of amateur detectives. A Star reporter who made an early tour through the district this morning found even more shadowy figures creeping about in tennis shoes or goloshes than was the case yesterday.
The police by no means think it possible that the murderer will now cease operations, but they are inclined to the opinion that, owing to the sharp look-out that is being kept for him, he may break out in a new spot.
One of the surgeons who has been engaged in the post-mortems states that it is a mistake to suppose the intestines of the Mitre-square woman were thrown up around the neck simply to increase the horrible effect of the crime. It is evident to a surgical eye that they were disposed as described for the sole purpose of getting them out of the way of the operation of removing the parts of the body that are missing.
It has been found that there was no human blood on the knife found in Commercial-road, so that it may now be considered to be out of the running.
A man has been arrested at Tiptree-heath on suspicion of being concerned in the Whitechapel murders. He was met by Police-sergeant Creswell, of whom he asked alms. He objected to be searched. His appearance answers to the description circulated by the Metropolitan Police of the Whitechapel murderer in almost every particular.
William Bull, who gave himself up to the police, on Tuesday, for the Mitre-square murder, came before Alderman Stone at the Guildhall to-day. Inspector Izzard stated that he was satisfied that the man had made his statement out of pure mischief. He was respectably connected, but was unfortunately the worse for drink when taken into custody. - The Alderman discharged the prisoner, adding he was sorry there was no law to punish him. - The young man said he had signed the pledge.
The British Medical Journal says that the theory started by the coroner - not altogether without justification on the information conveyed to him - that the work of the assassin was carried out under the impulse of pseudo-scientific mania, is exploded by the first attempt at serious investigation. It is true that inquiries were made at one or two medical schools early last year by a foreign physician, who was spending some time in London, as to the possibility of securing certain parts of the body for the purpose of scientific investigation. No large sum, however, was offered. The person in question was a physician of the highest respectability and exceedingly well accredited to this country by the best authorities in his own, and he left London fully 18 months ago. There was never any real foundation for the hypothesis, and the information communicated, which was not at all of the nature which the public has been led to believe, was due to the erroneous interpretation by a minor official of a question which he had overheard, and to which a negative reply was given. This theory may be at once dismissed, and is, we believe, no longer entertained even by its author."
At Thames Police-court, yesterday, John Pizer, who was arrested on suspicion of being connected with the murder of Annie Chapman in Hanbury-street, and who gave - as the Coroner said - a perfectly satisfactory account of himself, complained to Mr. Lushington that since he was released from custody he had been subjected to great annoyance. Only that morning a woman accosted him in the street, and after calling him "Old Leather Apron" and other insulting expressions, struck him three blows in the face. Mr. Lushington told Pizer he could have a summons against the person who had assaulted him.
The grape story is effectually disposed of by the statement of the authorities at Leman-street to a Star reporter. In the first place the police have no evidence that any grapes were found on the site of the Berners-street murder, and, moreover, Dr. Phillip's post mortem disclosed no trace of grapes or grapestones in Elizabeth Stride's stomach.
A Man With a Stinking Parcel Who Hurriedly Left a Tramcar.
A Star reporter had an interview to-day with Mr. Edward Deuchar, a gentleman who has communicated some important information to the police which may assist in the discovery of the man who deposited the body of the woman in Whitehall and the arm in the Thames. Mr. Deuchar is a commercial traveller, and a little over three weeks ago he went on a tramcar from Vauxhall Station to London-bridge. He noticed a man on the car carrying a parcel. He would not have taken particular notice of the parcel but for the fact that there was a terrible smell emanating from it. The olfactory organs of most of the passengers were affected by
which pervaded all the car. A lady gave her husband, who was sitting next to the man, some lavender to hold to his nose. The parcel seemed to be heavy. The man carried it with extreme care under his arm. It was tied up in brown paper. The top of it was under his arm while he held the corner end in his hand. Mr. Deuchar says the man looked ill at ease and agitated. He described him as a powerfully built man, of rough appearance, with a goatee beard. He was rather shabbily dressed. Mr. Deuchar is confident that he could recognise him again. The car went on, and when at the Obelisk, St. George's-circus, several persons alighted. Mr. Deuchar still remained on the car, but when about 30 yards past the Obelisk, said, "This stink is awful;
and proceeded to go out. Just at that moment the suspicious-looking individual with the parcel asked the conductor, "Have we passed the Obelisk yet?" and then jumped out. Mr. Deuchar, when he had descended and walked some distance towards London-bridge, called a policeman's attention to the retreating form of the "man with the stinking parcel" and told him to "keep an eye on him."
The theory that the victim of the Whitehall crime was a lady, or at any rate a person of good position, which has been asserted, is not now countenanced by the police. It is more likely she was an unfortunate or a servant. Dr. Neville adheres to the opinion that the hand showed indications of hard work. The skin was rough and hard. The finger nails were dirty. It is believed that the head had been cleanly cut from the body by a very sharp instrument, and that the victim was a dark-complexioned woman, presumed to be about 26 years of age, and in stature 5ft. 7in or 5ft. 8in. The site of the new police offices, where the National Opera House was to have been erected, faces the Embankment, and backs on Cannon-row. It is on the west side of the gardens of Whitehall and Buccleuch House, while on the western side of the site are the offices of the Civil Service Commission. Between this house and the site of the police offices is a temporary plank-made road for heavy carts, which deliver the material for building, entering from the Thames Embankment, and passing into Cannon-row, whence they emerge into Parliament-street or into Bridge-street, Westminster. The road by which the loaded carts enter is the nearest way to the recess where the body was found. Brought in a cart, and carried as a load across the planks on to the building, its disposal would be easy in the recess. The murderer, too, could have chosen the dinner hour at which the cart should arrive. There is no doubt the deposit was made by someone intimately acquainted with all the intricacies of the underground part of these works. This fact narrows the examination.
Mr. Walker, the vestry clerk of Shoreditch, corrects an inaccuracy in the report of the proceedings at the Worship-street Police-court, in which Mr. Montagu Williams made some strong remarks about East-end lodging-houses. Mr. Walker was made to say that there was only one section in the Criminal Law Amendment Act which could deal with these cases. He really said that such cases - indiscriminate letting of beds to strangers of both sexes - could not be dealt with under the Criminal Law Amendment Act unless it could be proved that the premises were used for habitual prostitution. The Magistrate suggested that further legislation was required. That, remarks Mr. Walker, may be desirable; but does it not suggest to any ordinary observer that the same law which would prevent a travelling tinker and his wife or companion from staying at a common lodging-house in a "double" would also apply to Lord Beldash and Lady Nocash staying at a big hotel.
SIR. - The Star< suggests watch societies as aids to the police. A helpful suggestion; but should we do the work of the police and pay them for their inefficiency - so leaving them more at leisure to break our heads? Is this a fair way of taking money from the taxpayer? No wonder the police are inefficient when members of the detective force, in order to make their work thorough, are expected to pay necessary expenses out of their own pockets. We are too busy paying pensions, or wishing to do so, to the already overfed and over-wealthy. The Home Secretary can't offer rewards now for the detection of crime. It's only half a dozen poor women who have been butchered. We forget that the poor Prince of Wales's eldest son must have an establishment, for which when Parliament meets a demand will be made. What does it matter about the poor? We must not forget the practical service done for us by these crimes; they create a diversion. Truly Mr. Jesse Collings says, "What do we care for the civilised world?" Our civilisation, indeed! What a mockery! Practical Christians like Mr. Balfour want to make of Ireland another Whitechapel; but Ireland, who is crucified for us, declines to be made criminal by Coercion. All these frightful butcheries are being continued with an appalling regularity, and Endacotts and Bloys swarm in our police force; and why? Ireland blocks the way. How terribly fulfilled are the words of our great leader. We can't afford to do justice. We must even promote our criminal constables for bludgeoning unprotected women in our streets "for fear Home Rule should be given to Ireland."
Cannot Mr. Matthews and Sir Charles be proclaimed from our house-tops. Is all decent humanity and mercy so dead within us that we must keep silence? Our evil deeds are coming home to roost with a vengeance, and I call on all honest men and women to see to it that our rulers shall be made to listen to us. - Yours, &c.,
(BY THE REV. S. A. BARNETT.)
The world has not grown worse because women have been murdered. The world is probably better this year than it was last year. If in some way crime has been vulgarised by familiarity there has also been a moral tightening by the sight of its terror. Some men and women talk lightly, but as many, notwithstanding flippant articles and sensational placards, feel solemnly that life is serious. The murders, therefore, do not mean that the world has suddenly become worse. They are simply effects following causes as regularly as fevers follow dirt, as expansion follows heat, or as disaster follows unrighteousness. The causes of which the murders are the result have lain in the world year after year, and the only change is that their results are manifest. The world in which the causes flourished was certainly not a better world than the world in which the results show themselves. What, though, were the causes. Some are faults of the rich and some are faults of the poor. The faults of the rich must be told in journals which they read. He is a very poor sort of preacher who only tells his hearers what they like to hear, and leaves them to think that they have nothing to do but to abuse their neighbors. I should be unworthy of your attention if, by the courtesy of the editor, addressing the readers of The Star I were to repeat what I have elsewhere said about the faults of the rich. It is more to the purpose if, summing up the experience of my wife and myself, I tell you what seem to us to be those faults of working people which result in brutality.
First and foremost I put their
In one short street on a late occasion two married women were found at three o'clock in the morning, fearing to go home because their husbands had threatened to beat them. These women did not belong to the class which make rows and frequent police-courts; they were mothers of families and their husbands pass as respectable workmen. In their cases the man's sense of superiority showed itself in the threat of blows; generally it shows itself in assuming the best chair on Sunday, in carelessness as to the woman's opinion on politics, and in treating wages as if they were earned by the man's work at the bench or forge, and not also by the woman's work, as for longer hours she washes, mends, and scrubs. The sons out-do their fathers, so the boys of our time talk "beastliness," and clap the songs, the joke of which is a fool's shame. At the best periods of history men have honored women, and have delighted to keep them apart from the strain and struggle of life. At the present period, so far are men from "striking" to get for women higher education, or to keep them out of workshops, that it would be counted an advance if men "struck" to get for working women as good wages as are paid to working men. It does not seem to have dawned on men that women are their equals, that they might get for their wives more valuable teaching than from their lecturers; that the care of the children, the management of his house, the washing and the mending is hard work, and that the life at home is dull. The better men look down on women, hence it has become possible for lower men to beat women and for the worse men to use them brutally. A state of things like that described by the witnesses as common on Saturday nights is the result - by perhaps a long chain - of a cause, and the cause often is the working man sitting easily in his chair or enjoying himself at his club while his wife is working without thanks or notice.
The second fault I find with workmen is
"We don't know our neighbors" is the boast of respectable people. When rows occur the plan adopted is to pass by on the other side; when a locality is unpleasant the residence is changed; there is a want of the public spirit which makes a man seek his neighbor that they together might right wrong; there is such selfishness that for the sake of a quiet life screams are disregarded, streets are allowed to remain dark, and crime go unpunished. The consequence is, that so many duties are thrown on the police that proper performance is impossible, a low standard of conduct is permitted, and people are allowed to disgrace the thoroughfares. Such scenes as those common in Whitechapel could not have been possible if the inhabitants had not through regard for their own quiet neglected public duty. They have been content that theiving, brutality, and lawlessness should flourish in their dark streets, and they ought not to be surprised that murder is the result. The murder is a horrid fact, but one of the causes is the citizen who does not vote, and who does not care so long as his own home is quiet.
The murders, after all, are not the worst facts which have become manifest. "The picture of that wretched woman, ill and weak, driven out so to earn the money for her bed, is far sadder than the atrocities perpetrated on her dead body." The whole picture of life, with its 100 causes all alive and making for evil, are worse than the mad brutality of one man and the deaths of six women. It is with these causes we all have to deal.
They must pay to give better lighting, better houses, and they must by sharing help the poor to like the "best." The workmen also must do their part - honoring women, and caring for their neighbors as for themselves. All, however, must remember that no rapid cure can be a radical cure. Through long years of neglect the causes have grown stronger, and it is not possible in one year, or in ten years, so to strengthen other causes as to produce other results. Character has been made brutal by one set of causes, character must be made gentle by another set of causes. He will be the best reformer who honors a woman as his equal and scorns the man who by act or word lowers her position. He will be the next best who considers his public duty before his private duty; and refuse to take his ease while wrong endures.
The result of those causes would be happy homes and a united nation.
[And at that hour she, who had perhaps a happy and innocent girlhood, and was once a wife had to turn out, and seek through the sale of her body the price of a bed. A few hours afterwards she was found a corpse. - The Star, 27 Sept., 1888.]
Ne jetez pas l'insulte à cette pauvre fille;
Tant de pleurs sout mêlés à sou destin affreux!
Si son œil est ardent, c'est de fièvre qu'il brille,
Et son sourire n'est qu'un rictus douloureux.
Vous qui ne savez point le drame de sa vie,
Ni quels sentiers glissants l'ont conduit sie bas;
Vous qui dès son berceau ne l'avez point suivie
Et n'avez point connu les pièges sous ses pas;
Ne jetez pas l'insulte à la fille bonnie!
Car souvent sur ces fronts, même les plus osés
Vous pourriez découvrir des traces d'agonie
Daas les mornes sillous que l'orgie a creusés.
Une mère a manqué peut-être à son enfance;
L'ange gardien n'a pu veiller sur son berceau,
Et quelque lâche amant, la trouvant sans défense,
Après s'etre assouvi, l'a jetée au ruisseau.
Il en est tant, hélas! comme la Madeleine,
Oui sentent de dègoût leur frout s'appesantir,
Et dont l'âme troublée est anxieuse et pleine
De ce vague tourment qui mène au repeatir!
Oh! ne l'accablez pas, vertueux de ce monde!
Car son affreux destin, souvent immérité,
Ne doit vous inspirer qu'une pitié profonde
Et que ce sentiment divin: La Charité!