The People of the Abyss eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about The People of the Abyss.
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South-western Police Court, London.  Before Mr. Rose.  John Probyn, charged with doing grievous bodily harm to a constable.  Prisoner had been kicking his wife, and also assaulting another woman who protested against his brutality.  The constable tried to persuade him to go inside his house, but prisoner suddenly turned upon him, knocking him down by a blow on the face, kicking him as he lay on the ground, and attempting to strangle him.  Finally the prisoner deliberately kicked the officer in a dangerous part, inflicting an injury which will keep him off duty for a long time to come.  Six weeks.
Lambeth Police Court, London.  Before Mr. Hopkins.  “Baby” Stuart, aged nineteen, described as a chorus girl, charged with obtaining food and lodging to the value of 5s. by false pretences, and with intent to defraud Emma Brasier.  Emma Brasier, complainant, lodging-house keeper of Atwell Road.  Prisoner took apartments at her house on the representation that she was employed at the Crown Theatre.  After prisoner had been in her house two or three days, Mrs. Brasier made inquiries, and, finding the girl’s story untrue, gave her into custody.  Prisoner told the magistrate that she would have worked had she not had such bad health.  Six weeks’ hard labour.

CHAPTER XVII—­INEFFICIENCY

I stopped a moment to listen to an argument on the Mile End Waste.  It was night-time, and they were all workmen of the better class.  They had surrounded one of their number, a pleasant-faced man of thirty, and were giving it to him rather heatedly.

“But ’ow about this ’ere cheap immigration?” one of them demanded.  “The Jews of Whitechapel, say, a-cutting our throats right along?”

“You can’t blame them,” was the answer.  “They’re just like us, and they’ve got to live.  Don’t blame the man who offers to work cheaper than you and gets your job.”

“But ‘ow about the wife an’ kiddies?” his interlocutor demanded.

“There you are,” came the answer.  “How about the wife and kiddies of the man who works cheaper than you and gets your job?  Eh?  How about his wife and kiddies?  He’s more interested in them than in yours, and he can’t see them starve.  So he cuts the price of labour and out you go.  But you mustn’t blame him, poor devil.  He can’t help it.  Wages always come down when two men are after the same job.  That’s the fault of competition, not of the man who cuts the price.”

“But wyges don’t come down where there’s a union,” the objection was made.

“And there you are again, right on the head.  The union cheeks competition among the labourers, but makes it harder where there are no unions.  There’s where your cheap labour of Whitechapel comes in.  They’re unskilled, and have no unions, and cut each other’s throats, and ours in the bargain, if we don’t belong to a strong union.”

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The People of the Abyss from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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