and not of climate. But for them, one might doubt
whether the hope General Booth conceives for the “submerged
tenth” would be hope at all in their eyes.
Nothing so difficult as to persuade the Londoner to
go into the country, and the emigrant to keep to work
away from the congenial interludes of town pleasure.
But once create this hope (and persistent reiteration
can do much when the agent is a kindly man or woman)
and you have introduced a new element into the life
of the wastrel. Our prison system, growing in
harshness, failed utterly to deter; with the reformatory
system, based on the principle of making it to a man’s
interest to behave well within the walls, a new era
dawned on criminal legislation. It is for these
reasons that I look with deep interest on General
Booth’s experiment. Do not let us say, “The
experiment has been tried before; it is useless to
attempt it again.” I believe there is enough
of novelty in General Booth’s scheme to justify
a hope of success. But for past failures I can
but say that people do not regard failure as a ground
for inaction when their interest is deeply involved.
When I was a boy, some 45 years ago, I saw at the old
Polytechnic experiments in electricity: the electric
light, the electric cautery, &c. For years I
expected to see them introduced into the work-day world.
Now, at last, they are coming into use, but I do not
think the shares stand at a very high premium.
None the less electricity will one day be of universal
use. That is what experiment in spite of failure
has done; that is what we ought to do in social matters.
When all is done, the result will be comparatively
small when compared with our aspirations, but it will
create, as all good work does, new outlets for effort,
new objects for hope.
The Vicarage, Greenwich, Nov. 19.
Dr. Parker approves the General’s Scheme.
A report in the Star says:—“Dr.
Parker, preaching his one-minute sermon at the City
Temple yesterday (Sunday) morning, said, ’I hope
General Booth will get every penny he asked for.
No man can make better use of money. I wish be
would include other Englands in his scheme. There
is another England, darker than the darkest he has
in view. I mean the England of genteel poverty
and genteel misery.... These people are not in
the slums, but they are fast being driven in that direction....
From my point of view, one of the best features in
General Booth’s scheme is that nobody is to
receive anything for nothing. It is easy to throw
money away. Money we work for goes farthest.