Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
LONDON. TUESDAY, 30 OCTOBER, 1888.
MR. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM, M.P., in the amusing letter we publish in another column, points the true moral of Sir Charles Warren's ravings about the London mob. Everyone knows the character of a London mob. It is the most harmless collection of underfed and thoroughly depressed individuals ever brought together in the streets of a great city. It carries no weapons and would not know how to use them if it had them. Cruelly punished by the police last November, it made little or no resistance, and during the conversaziones of the summer it was simply scattered like chaff by the burly constables. Practically there is no "mob" in London. There are some thieves who got the upper hand for once in a century for an hour or so a couple of years ago, and never showed their heads again. The mob of Sir Charles's imagination, however, is composed of either the unemployed, whose character we have described, or Liberal and Radical Clubmen, who are respectable artisans, or small traders and shopkeepers, who for the most part drink cocoa, and naturally feel a little sore against the ground landlords who rob them. These clubmen, of course, are the class against whom our Bomba with a bee in his bonnet has got his eye, and they may look for a hot quarter of an hour when Sir Charles gets his next chance at them.
Mr. Alfred Densham writes to the Standard :- I have just completed my second week (this year) of servitude as juror at the Lord Mayor's Court, and am amazed that the business men of the "greatest City in the world" should quietly acquiesce in the state of affairs enacted in that court week after week. On Saturday last at least three dozen of the cream of the commercial world spent their valuable time (as jurors and jury in waiting) in deciding who was the rightful possessor of two old chairs, an office table, and a desk; total value, from 25s. to £5 1s. To-day (Friday) it required the same number (of "the cream") to settle who should pay for two pairs of trousers and a coat, and also whether £4 19s. 6d. worth of patent medicine and 1s. the box (thrown in to bring the amount up to the dignity of a jury case) was not kept two days over the time required by a sale or return contract. The selection of jurymen is shrouded in mystery, and is most erratic. Numbers of those who are liable are never called upon to serve; while with others it becomes an intolerable tax. It should surely not be difficult to have a system by which everyone liable should be called upon to serve in rotation.
To-day the remains of the body found recently at Whitehall were interred at Woking. They were removed from the mortuary in Millbank-street, Westminster, where they have been lying to await identification, to Wallis's-yard Workhouse, and placed in a coffin. Among the persons who called yesterday at the mortuary was an old woman, who thought she recognised in the photograph of the remains some trace of her daughter, who has been missing since August, but she could not be positive.
Only Partially True, but Bad Enough.
If it be true that the police in the Strand have been ordered from headquarters to forbid the sale of The Star in that locality, whoever is responsible for the command is guilty of an act of tyranny almost without parallel in the annals of British journalism. For the sake of newspaper proprietors in general I hope The Star will not sit down tamely under this infamous proceeding. I have defended the police from undeserved slurs and abuse time and again (says Society Herald), and am prepared to do so whenever they are unfairly condemned, but this alleged proceeding is altogether, if true, indefensible, and must not on any account be permitted to continue.
George Ilsey, of 2, Derby Villas, Wood-green-road, a law writer, was hurrying down the staircase of King's-cross Station (Metropolitan) on Saturday afternoon to catch a train. He fell heavily to the bottom of the stairs. He severely fractured his left leg, which was amputated. The man never recovered.
John Allison, 52, described in the calendar as a general dealer, was indicted at the Old Bailey to-day, before Justice Cave, on the charge of maliciously wounding Marion Allison, his wife, with intent to murder her. - The parties had lived at 123, New-road, Battersea, but, in consequence of the drunken habits of the prisoner, the prosecutrix left him in the latter part of August. She was employed at the factory of the Army and Navy Stores, Ranelagh-road, Pimlico, and on the morning of 6 Sept. the prisoner came up to her in the street while she was going to the factory and attacked her with a hatchet, dealing her several severe blows on the head, face, hands, and wrists, first saying, "Now say your prayers, for I will do for you." A policeman, however, came up, and the prisoner was arrested. When told at the station that she was alive, prisoner said, "I intended to do for her, and if I have not done for her this time I will do for her some other time." The medical evidence was to the effect that although the injuries inflicted on the prosecutrix were of a serious nature, yet that she was never in a dangerous state. - The defence was that the prisoner had been drinking heavily for some time - The jury found a verdict of guilty of doing grievous bodily harm. - Sentence of five years' penal servitude was passed.
Arthur Hancocks, giving an address at the Mona Hotel, Covent-garden, who wore a naval cap and yellow sand boots, was yesterday charged at Brentford with escaping from Highshott House, Twickenham (a retreat for habitual drunkards). According to an agreement he signed, he desired to remain in there 12 months. He had written a letter, in which he spoke of his gratitude to the licensee of the home for curing him of a low and degrading habit. The defence was that when he signed the document he believed it was for six months only. - The Chairman: He must be sent back to the Home. - Mr. Lay (prosecutor's solicitor): He has had a pretty good vacation; he has been to the Isle of Man, where Sergeant Warren arrested him.
Bit a Policeman.
A rough-looking fellow named Meyer struggled and bit Constable 72 Y twice on the hand in the Seven Sisters-road on the latter telling Meyer to move on. - Mr. Smith sentenced Meyer to 21 days' hard labor.
David Braden has got his living by selling milk at Tooting, notwithstanding that he only bought on an average two gallons. All over this quantity he borrowed from the cans left outside houses by other milkmen. His customers' supply will be cut off for the next 14 days. The Wandsworth magistrate has decreed that for that period David shall be in prison.
George Hall and William Burns got sentence of six months' hard labor each at Clerkenwell for punching and kicking Police-constable Hughes, who had to eject them from a shop in Leather-lane. A police-inspector asked for a remand, as the doctor had stated that there was a possibility of serious results from the constable's injuries; but Mr. Bros said in such a case a further charge could be preferred.
Edward Curron, a blind street musician, accidentally knocked against Edward Kent, outside a public-house in the East-end, and begged his pardon. Kent didn't grant it, though, and kicked the helpless blind man. Curron swung his stick round and broke it; then Kent kicked him again. That the blind man's assailant was Kent several people who saw the affair are ready to swear, but they were not at the Thames Police-court to-day, so the case was remanded.
A man and a woman named Small were charged at Lambeth with begging in Brixton. They were arrested by Bosley, a mendicity officer, who took a child they had with them to Lambeth Workhouse. The porteress there said the child prior to being cleansed was laid down on a bed. In a short time the blanket and sheets were covered in vermin. Two truck loads of bed clothing had to be removed. The head of the child was a quarter of an inch thick with vermin and dirt, with large sores beneath. She had several sores on the body which were swarming with vermin. It took nearly three hours to cleanse the child, who was evidently half starved. - Mr. Biron sentenced the prisoners to three months' hard labor.
Henry Baker, a barber, was charged at the Old Bailey with trying to murder Mary Cowan. The prisoner and the prosecutrix had for some time lived together in the neighborhood of the Elephant and Castle; but in June last the prisoner had taken up with another woman. The two, however, were in the habit of meeting in the streets, and it was alleged that the prosecutrix always annoyed and aggravated the prisoner. He often threatened to do something to her if she did not desist. On 9 July, about midnight, the parties met in St. George's-road, Southwark. One of the usual altercations took place, and both of them were admittedly under the influence of drink. The prosecutrix struck the prisoner with a basket, whereupon the prisoner stabbed the woman with a knife and then walked away. She fell into the arms of some bystanders and fainted. - Baker was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months' hard labor.
Lord Monkswell, speaking at a crowded meeting of Liberals at Bridport last week, told the following anecdote about the selection of the London police :- A friend of his, a Gladstonian candidate, and a very distinguished man, knew Sir Charles Warren. This candidate wanted to get a very fine athletic young fellow over six feet high and of good character into the London police, so he wrote to Sir Charles asking how to do it. He mentioned in the letter that the young fellow was over six feet, and a fine athletic young man of good character. Down came an official reply from Scotland Yard to this effect, that the young man need not apply; it would be quite useless, because Scotland Yard never admitted as policemen anybody over six feet high. (Loud laughter.) Thinking he had seen among the London police men over six feet, the candidate asked the opinion of a friend on the matter, who characterised the letter as an impudent lie. The Gladstonian candidate then wrote to his young friend who wanted to be in the police force, and told him he had reason to think that the answer he had received from Sir Charles Warren was incorrect, and perhaps he had better try again. The young man, however, replied that he need not apply again, as he had been to a Tory friend, and he had got him in without any trouble. Such facts as this might reasonably account for the recent failure of the police to track wretched criminals. (Hear, hear.) He (the speaker), would, however, venture to prophecy, and his prophecy was this - when the terror of Tories culminated, they would betray their allies, and they would bring in a Home Rule Bill themselves, which would be based upon the proposals made by Sir William Harcourt and Mr. John Morley at the Round Table Conference. (Cheers.)
SIR, - I am much alarmed about poor Sir Charles Warren. Does he drink, do you think? Or can it be that he is the victim of mental hallucination? Perhaps both. In an article recently written by him to Murray's Magazine he expresses himself so strangely that many of his friends (amongst whom I am proud to include myself) have become seriously frightened about him. We would not lose him; no, we love our Charles; knowing full well that did he die, such a combination of red tape, buckram, and wooden head were hard to match.
It appears, Mr. Editor, that we are really living on a volcano.
You have heard me say so in full senate, and no one believed; but now that I am corroborated by Sir Charles I shall repeat the offence next session. The first of the day dreams that afflict this mystic warrior is that London has been for many years past (in fact, till he entered office) exposed to the "sinister influence of a mob stirred up into spasmodic" (spasmodic is good) "action by restless demagogues."
By restless demagogues I conclude, sir, that Sir Charles refers to you and me, as we often have addressed the "sinister mob" in days gone by. He should not be so previous. To refer to a member of Parliament as a "restless demagogue," is no doubt praiseworthy, but to lift his ruthless pen against one who like yourself combines in his single person the sacred offices of popular representative and editor, this passeth all understanding.
London exposed to mob rule! London, the most peaceful of European cities, not excluding Reigiavik.
If our jaunty Chief Commissioner could see the Californian hoodlum or the Australian larrikin at play; if he had seen a New York street or a Paris boulevard after a street war, with shops wrecked, trees broken, and dead men as thick as flies on a bath bun at a railway station - then perhaps he would be warranted in getting up and snorting like an Indian pony.
How can an unarmed mob terrorise a town? how can a mob composed of starvelings like a London mob be dangerous to anyone but itself? Do London democrats carry pistols? If they did, perhaps last year Trafalgar-square would have looked different.
A London mob is the quietest, most pacific, underfed collection of human atoms it has ever been my lot to see.
The abject misery of the mob in contradistinction to the overfed appearance of the bourgeoisie is the thing that appeals most strongly to any one who is not a pious soldier. Our military friend does not descend to instances of this mob coercion. No, I presume that particular instances would be too sociable and respective for his conversing, and that he prefers to vilify his countrymen in general terms. Besides, too, the instance of the park railings would hardly be a good one for a man who poses as a Radical to bring forward.
The second hallucination that troubles this gifted soldier, is that Trafalgar-square was cleared last year without loss of life. If I did not know the fixity of your religious principles, sir, and that you would hesitate to sully your columns with an oath, I should say, like Julius, "It's a damned lie."
Does Sir Charles forget the funeral of one Linnell (to which he was invited), a funeral at which a million people turned out? Has he forgotten the devices the police resorted to (no doubt in opposition to his orders) in order to get the body out of the relatives' hands. Does he pretend to forget the inscription on the coffin, "Killed by the police?" Has he forgotten the howls of execration that greeted him when at that time he was seen in the streets?
Was it not he who failed to lecture on Palestine?
Oh, Sir Charles, "without loss of life!" Who was Curwen. Was he not also buried publicly?
A soldier, even a pious one, may suffer from hallucination; the tightness of his uniform, no doubt, may impede circulation, and so produce brain disturbances.
But a lie and a public one. When he knows that these men were killed through his own folly. I question, sir, if even the position he holds at pious tea-fights authorises him to print what he knows to be untrue.
Then, his statement that "ex-Ministers have not hesitated to embarrass those in office by smiling (sic) on the insurgent mob."
Would they had done so. But, no, a Ministerial smile is such a scrumptious article, I would not have it wasted. And where was the "insurgent mob?" Fancy the rictus of Sir Harcourt in Trafalgar-square! It would be better than a square meal to the unemployed. Imagine, if you can, Mr. Shaw Lefevre grinning through a horse collar from the railings.
John Morley is an awkward smiler, too.
As to Sir Ughtred Shuttleworth, perish the thought; no one (not even Sir Charles) would dare to connect him with anything so indecent. But there were some who smiled, who smole. Where be the gay smilers? "Oh est le preux Charlemagne?"
I saw no smiling; no laugh of a Minister grated jarringly on my ears.
I saw a miserable mob trampled down for doing nothing. I saw all law and order outraged by Sir Charles Dogberry and Mr. Henry Verges (the Home Secretary), and so far from ex-Ministers smiling, they were too cowardly to say a word.
Go to, Sir Charles. Look not on the wine when it is red. The race suffers, as Chaucer says.
Let thy study be ever on the Bible. Pore not over Monsieur Lecoq. Try and see London as it is, with its awful miseries. Incline thine ear to the cry of the unemployed for bread.
Survey human misery no longer through a piece of flint glass (or maybe pebble), but with eyes of human sympathy. Be less of a soldier and more of a Christian. Such is the prayer of your earnest well-wisher.
SIR, - Your correspondent, "A Fabian," cannot, I think, have heard or read Mr. Chapman's sermon. I have before me a report of the sermon in the South London Press for 20 Oct., and I find that so far from merely saying "Let the rich forego luxuries," he says "Let the State give every man and woman a chance to live;" "Let work be provided for the starving;" "Let there be an eight-hour bill for tramways, railways, Government and other factories"; "Let a check be put, first by a combination of workers, then by the State, on the rapacity of capitalists"; "Let there be a sound actual taxation of wealthy landlords"; "Let the liquor traffic be restrained, marriages under 21 be forbidden, and free meals provided in Board Schools."
I do not say that these reforms will be sufficient, but, at any rate, they are much more than the mere proposal that the rich should forego luxury. - Yours, &c.,