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Title: Darkest India - A Supplement to General Booth's "In Darkest England, and the Way Out"
Author: Booth-Tucker, Commissioner, 1853-1929
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Darkest India - A Supplement to General Booth's "In Darkest England, and the Way Out"" ***

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The remarkable reception accorded to General Booth's "In Darkest England
and the Way Out," makes it hardly necessary for me to apologise for the
publication of the following pages, which are intended solely as an
introduction to that fascinating book, and in order to point out to
Indian readers that if a "cabhorse charter" is both desirable and
practicable for England (see page 19, Darkest England) a "bullock
charter" is no less urgently needed for India.

In doing this it is true that certain modifications and adaptations in
detail will require to be made. But the more carefully I consider the
matter, the more convinced do I become, that these will be of an
unimportant character and that the gospel of social salvation, which has
so electrified all classes in England, can be adopted in this country
almost as it stands.

After all, this is no new gospel, but simply a resurrection, or
resuscitation, of a too much neglected aspect of the original message
of "peace on earth, good will towards men," proclaimed at Bethlehem. It
has been the glory of Christianity, that it has in all ages and climes
acknowledged the universal brotherhood of man, and sought to relieve the
temporal as well as the spiritual needs of the masses. Of late years
that glory has in some degree departed, or at least been tarnished, not
because the efforts put forth are less than those in any previous
generation, but because the need is so far greater, that what would have
been amply sufficient a few centuries ago, is altogether inadequate when
compared to the present great necessity.

The very magnitude of the problem has struck despair into the hearts of
would-be reformers, many of whom have leapt to the conclusion, that
nothing but an entire reconstruction of society could cope with so vast
an evil, whilst others have been satisfied with simply putting off the
reckoning day and suppressing the simmering volcano on the edge of
which, they dwelt with paper edicts which its first fierce eruption is
destined to consume.

Surely the present plan if at all feasible, is God-inspired, and if
God-inspired, it will be certainly feasible. And surely of all countries
under the face of the sun there is none which more urgently needs the
proclamation of some such Gospel of Hope than does India. That it is
both needed and feasible I trust that in the following pages I shall be
able to abundantly prove.

General Booth has uttered a trumpet-call, the echoes of which will be
reverberated through the entire world. The destitute masses, whom he has
in his book so vividly pourtrayed, are everywhere to be found. And I
believe I speak truly when I say that in no country is their existence
more palpable, their number more numerous, their misery more aggravated,
their situation more critical, desperate and devoid of any gleam of hope
to relieve their darkness of despair, than in India.

And yet perhaps in no country is there so promising a sphere for the
inauguration of General Booth's plan of campaign. Religious by instinct,
obedient to discipline, skilled in handicrafts, inured to hardship, and
accustomed to support life on the scantiest conceivable pittance, we
cannot imagine a more fitting object for our pity, nor a more
encouraging one for our effort, than the members of India's "submerged

Leaving to the care of existing agencies those whose bodies are
diseased, General Booth's scheme seeks to fling the mantle of
brotherhood around the morally sick, the destitute and the despairing.
It seeks to throw the bridge of love and hope across the growing
bottomless abyss in which are struggling twenty-six millions of our
fellow men, whose sin is their misfortune and whose poverty is their
crime, who are graphically said to have been "damned into the world,
rather than born into it."

The question is a national one. This is no time therefore for party or
sectarian feeling to be allowed to influence our minds. True for
ourselves we still believe as fully as ever that the salvation of Jesus
Christ is the one great panacea for all the sins and miseries of
mankind. True we are still convinced that to merely improve a man's
circumstances without changing the man himself will be largely labor
spent in vain. True we believe in a hell and in a Heaven, and that it is
our ultimate object to save each individual whom we can influence out of
the one into the other. True that among the readers of the following
pages will be those whose religious creed differs from our's as widely
as does the North Pole from the South.

But about these matters let us agree for the present to differ. Let us
unite with hand and heart to launch forthwith the social life boat, and
let us commit it to the waves, which are every moment engulfing the
human wrecks with which our shores are lined. When the tempest has
ceased to rage, and when the last dripping mariner has been safely
landed we can, if we wish, with a peaceful conscience dissolve our
partnership and renew the discussion of the minor differences, which
divide, distract and weaken the human race, but _not till then._




   I. Why "Darkest India?"

  II. Who are not the Submerged Tenth?

 III. The minimum standard of existence

  IV. Who are the Submerged Tenth?

   V. The Beggars

  VI. "The Out of Works"

 VII. The Homeless Poor

VIII. The Land of Debt

  IX. The Land of Famine

   X. The Land of Pestilence

  XI. The White Ants of Indian Society

      (a) The Drunkard

      (b) The Opium Slave

      (c) The Prostitute

 XII. The Criminals

XIII. On the Border Land

 XIV. Elements of Hope



    I. The Essentials to success

   II. What is General Booth's scheme?

  III. The City Colony

   IV. The Labour Bureau

    V. Food for all--the Food Depôts

   VI. Work for all, or the Labour Yard

  VII. Shelter for all, or the Housing of the Destitute

 VIII. The Beggars Brigade

   IX. The Prison Gate Brigade

    X. The Drunkards Brigade

   XI. The Rescue Homes for the Fallen

  XII. "The Country Colony"--"Wasteward ho!"

 XIII. The Suburban Farm

       The Dairy

       The Market Garden

  XIV. The Industrial Village

   XV. The Social Territory, or Poor Man's Paradise

  XVI. The Social City of Refuge

 XVII. Supplementary Branches of the Country Colony

       Public Works

       Off to the Tea Gardens

       Land along the Railways

       Improved methods of Agriculture

XVIII. The Over-sea Colony

  XIX. Miscellaneous Agencies

       The Intelligence Department

       The Poor Man's Lawyer

       The Inquiry Office for missing Friends

       The Matrimonial Bureau

       The Emigration Bureau

       Periodical Melas

   XX. How much will it Cost?

  XXI. A Practical conclusion




It is unnecessary for me to recapitulate the parallel drawn by General
Booth between the sombre, impenetrable and never-ending forest,
discovered by Stanley in the heart of Africa, and the more fearfully
tangled mass of human corruption to be found in England. Neither the
existence, nor the extent, of the latter have been called in question,
and in reckoning the submerged at one tenth of the entire population it
is generally admitted that their numbers have been understated rather
than otherwise.

Supposing that a similar percentage be allowed for India, we are face to
face with the awful fact that the "submerged tenth" consists of no less
than _twenty-six millions of human beings_, who are in a state of
destitution bordering upon absolute starvation! No less an authority
than Sir William Hunter has estimated their numbers at fifty millions,
and practically his testimony remains unimpeached.

Indeed I have heard it confidently stated by those who are in a good
position to form a judgement, that at least one hundred millions of the
population of India scarcely ever know from year's end to year's end
what it is to have a satisfying meal, and that it is the rule and not
the exception for them to retire to rest night after night hungry and
faint for want of sufficient and suitable food.

I am not going, however to argue in favor of so enormous a percentage
of destitution. I would rather believe, at any rate for the time being,
that such an estimate is considerably exaggerated. Yet do what we will,
it is impossible for any one who has lived in such close and constant
contact with the poor, as we have been doing for the last eight or nine
years, to blink the fact, that destitution of a most painful character
exists, to a very serious extent, even when harvests are favorable and
the country is not desolated by the scourge of famine.

Nor do I think that there would be much difficulty in proving that this
submerged mass constitutes at least one-tenth of the entire population.
No effort has hitherto been made to gauge their numbers, so that it is
impossible to speak with accuracy, and the best that we can do is, to
form the nearest feasible estimate from the various facts which lie to
hand and which are universally admitted.

Let any one who is tempted to doubt the literal truth of what I say, or
to think that the picture is overdrawn, but place himself at our
disposal for a few days, or weeks, and we will undertake to show him,
and that in districts which are as the very Paradise of India, thousands
of cases of chronic destitution (especially at certain seasons in the
year) such as ought to be sufficient to melt even a heart of stone!



Before passing on to consider of whom the destitute classes actually
consist, it will be well in a country like India to make a few
preliminary remarks regarding the numbers and position of their more
fortunate countrymen who have employment of some sort, and are therefore
excluded from the category.

The entire population of British India, including Ceylon, Burmah, and
the Native States amounts according to the Census of 1881 to about two
hundred and sixty-four millions.

These I would divide into five classes--

    1st--The wealth and aristocracy of the country consisting of those
    who enjoy a monthly income of one hundred rupees and upwards per
    family. According to the most sanguine estimate we can hardly
    suppose that these would number more than forty millions of the

    2nd.--The well-to-do middle classes, earning twenty rupees and
    upwards, numbering say seventy millions.

    3rd.--The fairly well off laboring classes, whose wages are from
    five rupees and upwards, numbering say at the most one hundred

    4th--The poverty stricken laboring classes, earning less than five
    rupees a month for the support of their families. These cannot at
    the lowest estimate be less than twenty-five millions.

    5th.--The destitute and unemployed poor, who earn nothing at all,
    and who are dependent for their livelihood on the charity of others.
    These can hardly be less than twenty-five millions, or a little less
    than one-tenth of the entire population.

The two hundred and ten millions who are supposed to be earning
regularly from five rupees and upwards per family, we may dismiss
forthwith from consideration. For the time being they are beyond the
reach of want, and they are not therefore the objects of our solicitude.
At some future date it may be possible to consider schemes for their

Indirectly, no doubt, they will benefit immensely by any plans that will
relieve them of the dead weight of twenty-five million paupers, hanging
round their necks and crippling their resources. But for the present we
may say in regard to them, happy is the man who can reckon upon a
regular income of five rupees a month for the support of himself and his
family, albeit he may have two or three relations dependent on him, and
a capricious money lender ever on his track, ready to extort a lion's
share of his scanty earnings. And thrice happy is the man who can boast
an income of ten, fifteen, or twenty rupees a month, though the poorest
and least skilled laborers in England would reckon themselves badly paid
on as much per week.

We turn from these to the workless tenth and to the other tenth who eke
out a scanty hand-to-mouth existence on the borders of that great and
terrible wilderness. But before enumerating and classifying them, there
is one other important question which calls for our consideration.



What may reasonably be said to be the minimum scale of existence, below
which no Indian should be suffered to descend? Fix it as low as you
like, and you will unfortunately find that there are literally
_millions_ who do not come up to your standard.

Pick out your coarsest, cheapest grains, and weigh them to the last
fraction of an ounce. Rigidly exclude from the poor man's bill of fare
any of the relishes which he so much esteems, and the cost of which is
so insignificant as to be hardly worth mentioning, and yet you will find
legions of gaunt, hungry men, women and children, who would greedily
accept your offered regimen to-morrow, if you could only discover the
wherewithal for obtaining the same, and who would gladly _pay for it
with the hardest and most disagreeable description of labour._

Take for instance the prison diet, where the food is given by weight,
and where it is purposely of the coarsest description consistent with
health. That the quantity is insufficient to satisfy the cravings of
hunger I can myself testify, having spent a month inside one of Her
Majesty's best appointed Bombay prisons, and having noted with painful
surprise the eagerness with which every scrap of my own coarse brown
bread, that I might leave over, was claimed and eaten by some of my
hungry, low-caste fellow prisoners!

The clothing and the blankets are also of the very cheapest description.
Of course it must be remembered too, that the food and materials being
bought in large quantities, are obtained at contract prices which are
considerably less than the usual retail rates in the bazaar. And yet
notwithstanding these facts it costs the Bombay Government on an average
Rs. 2/4 per month for each prisoner's food, and close upon Rs. 2 a year
for clothing, besides the cost of establishment, police guard, hospital
expenses and contingencies. Altogether according to the figures given in
the Jail Report of 1887 for the Bombay Presidency, including all the
above mentioned items, I find that the average monthly cost to
Government for each prisoner is a little over Rs. 6 a head.

Now it is a notorious, though almost incredible, fact, that in many
parts of India, men will commit petty thefts and offences on purpose to
be sent to jail, and will candidly state this to be their reason for
doing so. Many Government Officials will, I am sure, bear me out in
this. Here we have men who are positively so destitute that they are not
only prepared to accept with thankfulness the scanty rations of a jail,
but are willing to sacrifice their characters and endure the ignominy of
imprisonment and the consequent loss of liberty and separation from home
and family, because there is absolutely no other way of escape! In
Ceylon the jail is familiarly known among this class as their "_Loku
amma_", or "_Grandmother_"!

India has no poor law. There is not even the inhospitable shelter of a
workhouse, to which the honest pauper may have recourse. Hence with tens
of thousands it is literally a case of "steal or starve." I suppose that
nine-tenths of the thefts and robberies, besides a large proposition of
the other crimes committed in India, are prompted by sheer starvation,
and until the cause be removed, it will be in vain to look for a
diminution of the evil, multiply our police and soldiery as we will.

But I am digressing. My special object in this chapter is to show the
minimum amount which is necessary for the subsistence of our destitute

Another very interesting indication of the minimum cost of living in the
cheapest native style, consistent with health, and a very moderate
degree of comfort, is furnished by the experience of our village
officers to whom we make a subsistence allowance of from eight to twelve
annas per week. This with the local gifts of food which they collect in
the village enables them to live in the simplest way, and ensures them
at least one good meal of curry and rice daily, the rest being locally

Here is the account of one of our Native Captains as to how he used to
manage with his allowance of eight annas a week. I have taken it down
myself from his own lips.

    "When in charge of a village corps, I received with others my weekly
    allowance. When I was alone I used to get 10 annas, and when there
    were two of us together we got eight annas each. This was sufficient
    to give us one good meal of kheechhree (rice and dal) every day,
    with a little over for extras, such as firewood, vegetables, oil and

    "We had two regular cooked meals daily, one about noon and the other
    in the evening. Besides this we also had a piece of bajari bread
    left over from the previous day, when we got up in the morning.

    "For the morning meal we used to beg once a week uncooked food from
    the villagers. They gave us about eight or nine seers, enough to
    last us for the week.

    "It was a mixture of grains, consisting ordinarily of bajari,
    bhavtu, kodri, jawar and mat. These we got ground up into flour. It
    made a sort of bread which is known as Sângru and which we liked
    very much. With it we would take some sâg (vegetables) or dâl. This
    was our regular midday meal.

    "Including the value of the food we begged, the cost of living was
    just about two annas a day for each of us. We could live comfortably
    upon this.

    "The poorer Dhers in the villages seldom or never get kheechhree
    (rice and dal). They could not afford it. Most of them live on
    "ghens" (a mixture of buttermilk and coarse flour cooked into a sort
    of skilly, or gruel) and bhavtu or bajari bread, or "Sângru." The
    buttermilk is given to them by the village landowners, in return
    for their labour. They are expected for instance to do odd jobs, cut
    grass, carry wood, &c. The grain they commonly get either in harvest
    time in return for labour, or buy it as they require it several
    maunds at a time. Occasionally they get it in exchange for cloth.
    Living in the cheapest possible way, and eating the coarsest food, I
    don't think they could manage on less than one annas' worth of food
    a day."

One of our European Officers, Staff Captain Hunter, who has lived in the
same style for about four years among the villagers of Goojarat, and who
has been in charge of some 30 or 40 of our Officers, confirms the above
particulars. He says that on two annas a day it is possible to live
comfortably, but that one anna is the minimum below which it is
impossible to go in order to support life even on the coarsest sorts of

He tells me that the weavers have assured him that when husband and
wife are working hard from early to late, they cannot make more than
four annas profit a day by their weaving, since the mills have come into
the country and then they have to pay a commission to some one to sell
their cloth for them, or spend a considerable time travelling about the
country finding a market for it themselves. A piece of cloth which would
fetch nine rupees a few years ago, is now only worth three and a half or
four rupees.

Bearing in mind, therefore, the above facts, I should consider that if
India's submerged tenth are to be granted, even nothing better than a
"bullock charter," the lowest fraction which could be named for the
minimum claimable by all would be one anna a day, or two rupees a month
for each adult. As a matter of fact, I have no hesitation in saying,
that there are many millions in India who do not get even half this
pittance from year's end to year's end, and yet toil on with scarcely a
murmur, sharing their scanty morsel with those even poorer than
themselves, until disease finds their weakened bodies an easy prey, and
death gives them their release from a poverty-stricken existence; which
scarcely deserves the name of "life."



By classifying and grading the various orders that constitute Indian
Society according to their average earnings, and by considering their
minimum, standard of existence, I have sought to prepare the way for a
more careful investigation of those who actually constitute the Darkest
India, which we are seeking to describe. I have narrowed down our
inquiry to the fifty millions, or whatever may be their number, who are
either absolutely destitute, or so closely on the border-land of
starvation as to need our immediate sympathy and assistance.

Strictly speaking it is with the former alone, the absolutely destitute,
numbering as I have supposed some twenty-five millions, that we are at
present concerned. I have, however, found it impossible to exclude some
reference to the poverty-stricken laboring classes, earning less than
five rupees a month for the support of each family, inasmuch as they are
probably far more numerous than I have supposed, and their miseries are
but one degree removed from those of the utterly destitute. Indeed we
scarcely know which is the most to be pitied, the beggar who, if he has
nothing, has perhaps at least the comfort that nobody is dependent on
him, or the poor coolie who with his three or four rupees a month has
from five to eight, or more, mouths to fill! _Fill_ did I say? They are
_never_ filled! The most that can be done in such cases is to prolong
life and to keep actual starvation at bay, and that only it may be for a

Nevertheless, I have restricted the term "Submerged Tenth" to the
absolutely destitute, whom I now proceed to still further analyse.

In doing so I have been obliged to include several important classes
who happily do not exist in England, or who are at any rate so few in
number, or so well provided for, as not to merit special attention. I
mean the beggars, the destitute debtors, and the victims of opium,
famine, and pestilence, without whom our catalogue would certainly be

Including the above we may say that the Indian Submerged Tenth consist
of the following classes:--

     I. The Beggars, excluding religious mendicants.

    II. The out-of-works,--the destitute, but honest, poor, who are
        willing and anxious for employment, but unable to obtain it.

   III. The Houseless Poor.

    IV. The Destitute Debtors.

     V. The Victims of Famine and Scarcity.

    VI. The Victims of Pestilence.

   VII. The Vicious, including

        (a) Drunkards.

        (b) Opium eaters.

        (c) Prostitutes.

  VIII. The Criminals, or those who support themselves by crime.

They are alike in one respect, that if they were compelled to be solely
dependent upon the proceeds of their labor, it would be impossible for
them to exist for a single month.

It is these who constitute the problem which we are endeavouring to
solve. Here is the leprous spot of society on which we desire to place
our finger. If any think, that it is not so big as we imagine, we will
not quarrel with them about its size. Let them cut down our figures to
half the amount we have supposed. It will still be large enough to
answer the purpose of this inquiry, and should surely serve to arrest
the attention of the most callous and indifferent! About its existence
no one can have the smallest doubt, nor as to the serious nature of the
plague which afflicts our society. As to the character of the remedy,
there may be a thousand different opinions but that a remedy is called
for, who can question?



One of the chief problems of Indian Society is that of beggary. India is
perhaps the most beggar-beridden country to be found. Nor would it be
possible under present circumstances to pass any law forbidding beggary.
In the absence of a poor-law, it is the last resource of the destitute.

True it is a plague spot in society and a serious reflection both on our
humanity and civilisation, to say nothing of our religious professions,
to tolerate the continued existence of the present state of things.

And yet I see no reason why the problem should not be firmly and
successfully handled in the interests alike of the beggars themselves
and those who supply the alms.

A short time ago I was visiting a Mahommedan gentleman in the Native
quarter of Bombay. It was in the morning before he went to business, and
I happened to hit upon the very time when the beggars made their usual
rounds. I should think upwards of fifty men and women must have called
during the few minutes that I was there. In fact it seemed like one
never-ending string of them reaching down both sides of the street. Some
sang, or shouted, to attract notice; others stood mutely with appealing
eyes, wherever they thought there was a chance of getting anything. Many
received a dole, while others were told to call again. I could not but
be struck by the courteous manner of my host to them, even when asking
them to pass along.

On the opposite side of the road some food, or money, I forget which,
was being distributed to a hungry crowd by another hospitable merchant.
Evidently the supply was limited, and it was a case of first come first
served. The desperate struggle that was going on amongst that little
crowd of some fifty or sixty people was pitiful to behold.

Now the present system, while better than nothing, is fraught with many
serious objections, with which I am sure my Indian readers will agree.

    1. The weakest must inevitably go to the wall. It is the strong
       able-bodied lusty beggar who is bound to get the best of it in
       struggles such as I have above described, although he is just the
       one who could and ought to work and who least needs the charity. He
       is able also to cover more ground than the weak and sickly. To the
       latter the struggle for existence is necessarily very severe, and
       while needing and deserving help the most they get the least.

    2. This unsystematic haphazard mode of helping the poor is bound to
       be attended with serious inequalities; while some get more than is
       either good, or necessary, others get too little, and for the
       majority even supposing that on two or three days of the week they
       succeeded in getting a sufficiency, the chances are that on four or
       five they would not get nearly enough. It would be interesting to
       know the total amount of food thus distributed and the number of
       mouths that claim a share.

    3. Of course in the case of any rise in the price of grains, the
       position of the beggar is specially painful, as it is upon him that
       the weight of the scarcity first falls.

    4. Again the present system is a distinct encouragement to fraud. It
       is impossible for the givers of charity to know anything about the
       characters of those to whom they give. Thus much of their generosity
       is misapplied, and the most pitiable cases escape notice, either
       because they have not so plausible a tale, or because they have not
       the requisite "_cheek_" for pushing their claims.

    5. While the generous are severely taxed, the less liberal get off
       scot free. They cannot give to all and therefore they will give to
       nobody. Some beggars are frauds, therefore they will help none. They
       have been taken in once, therefore they do not mean to be taken in

    6. Finally the Indian army of beggars is continually increasing, and
       will sooner or later have to be dealt with. Private charity will
       soon be unable to cope with its demands, and humanity forbids that
       we should leave them to starve.

I return therefore to the question, can we not seize this opportunity,
in the common interests of both beggars and be-begged, for dealing
vigorously with the difficulty, and for mitigating it, if we cannot at
one stroke entirely remove it?

I am very hopeful that this can be done, and that now certain classes
of beggars. But in any case I think we may fairly view the problem in a
spirit of hopefulness.

Roughly speaking the beggars may be divided into four classes:--

    (a) The blind and the infirm.

    (b) Those who take them about and share the proceeds of their

    (c) The able bodied out-of-works, and

    (d) The religious mendicants.

Passing over the last of these for obvious reasons, I would confine
myself to the first three classes. But I must not anticipate. The scheme
for their deliverance is fully described in a later portion of this
book, and for the present I would only say that they constitute a very
important section of India's submerged tenth and no plan would be
perfect that did not take them fully into account.

It is true that this does not form a part of General Booth's original
scheme. But the reason for this is patent. In England vagrancy is
forbidden. There is a poor law in operation and there are work-houses
provided by the State. In India there is nothing of the kind, save a law
for the _compulsory emigration_ of European vagrants, who are deported
by Government and not allowed to return. For Natives there is no choice
save the grim one between _beggary, starvation,_ and _the jail._ To
obtain the shelter of the last of these they must leave their family,
sacrifice their liberty, and commit some offence. Therefore the honest
out-of-works are driven by tens of thousands to lives of beggary, which
too often pave the way for lives of imposture and crime.

That the problem is capable of being successfully solved, if wisely
handled, has been proved by the Bavarian experiment of Count Rumford
quoted by General Booth in an appendix to his book. True that in that
case the Government lent their authority, their influence and the public
purse to the carrying out of the Count's plan of campaign.

This we do not think that public opinion would permit of in India, even
if Government should be willing to undertake so onerous a
responsibility. Nor do I believe that there is any necessity for it. The
circumstances are a good deal different to those in Bavaria, and will be
better met by the proposals which I have elsewhere drawn up.

Anyhow it is high time that something should be done, and that on an
extensive scale and of such a drastic nature as to deal effectually with
the question.

I can easily imagine that some may fear lest in dealing with the system
we should wound the religious susceptibilities of the people. Begging
has come to be such a national institution and is so much a part and
parcel of the Indian's life and religion, that any proposal to
extinguish the fraternity may cause in some minds positive regret. To
such I would say that we do not propose to _extinguish_ but to _reform_,
and with this one hint I must beg them, before making up their minds, to
study carefully the proposals detailed in Chapter VII of Part II.



I should question whether there is a single town or country district in
India which does not present the sad spectacle of a large number of men,
willing and anxious to work, but unable to find employment. Moreover, as
is well known, they have almost without exception families dependent
upon them for their support, who are necessarily the sharers of their
misfortunes and sufferings. There is one district in Ceylon, where
deaths from starvation have been personally known to our Officers, and
yet the country appears to be a very garden of Eden for beauty and

In the early years of our work I remember begging food from a house, and
learning afterwards that what they had given us was positively the last
they had for their own use. Needless to say that it was hastily
returned. During the same visit a cry of "Thief, thief!" was raised in
the night. We learnt next morning that the robbery had been committed by
a man whose wife and child were starving. It consisted of rice, and the
thief was discovered partly by the disappearance of the suspected
person, and partly by the fact that in his house was found the exact
quantity which had been stolen, whereas it was known that on the
previous day he had absolutely nothing whatever in his house! He had
left it all for his starving wife and child, and had himself fled to
another part of the country, probably going to swell the number of
criminals or mendicants in some adjoining city.

I quote these instances as serving to show the impossibility of judging
merely from outside appearances in regard to the existence or
non-existence of destitution of the most painful character, which it is
often to the interest of the local landlords to whitewash and conceal.
It is only on looking under the surface that such can in many cases be
discovered. It has been the actual living among the people that has made
it possible for us to obtain glimpses of their home life, such as could
not otherwise have been the case.

But let me enumerate a few of the classes among whom the Indian
"Out-of-works" are to be found. I do not mean of course to imply that
the entire castes, or tribes, or professions, referred to, constitute
them. Far from it. A large proportion are comparatively well off, and
though entangled almost universally in debt, are included among the 210
millions with whom we are not now concerned. None the less it will be
admitted, I believe, that it is from these that the ranks of destitution
are chiefly recruited. I call attention to this fact, because it helps
in a large measure to remove the religious difficulty which might at
first sight appear likely to stand in the way of our being commissioned
by the Indian public to undertake these much-needed reforms. They are
almost without exception of either no caste, or of such low caste, that
religiously speaking they may justly be regarded as "no man's land." The
higher castes and the respectable classes are mostly able to look after
themselves, and will not therefore come within the scope of our scheme.

And yet on the threshold of our inquiry we are confronted with an
important and increasing class, of "out-of-works" who are being turned
out of our educational establishments, unfitted for a life of hard
labour, trained for desk service, but without any prospect of suitable
employment in the case of a great and continually increasing majority. I
do not see how it will be possible for us to exclude or ignore this
class in our regimentation of the unemployed. Certainly our sympathies
go out very greatly after them. But beyond registering them in our
labour bureau, and acting as go-betweens in finding employment for a
small fraction of them, I do not see what more can be done. However, the
majority of them have well-to-do relations and friends to whom they can
turn, and except in cases of absolute destitution will not fall within
the scope of the present effort.

Passing over these we come to the poorest classes of peasant proprietors
who, having mortgaged their tiny allotments to the hilt, have finally
been sold up by the money-lender. Add to these again the more
respectable sections of day-laborers. Then there are the destitute among
the weavers, tanners, sweepers and other portions of what constitute the
low-caste community. Out of these take now the case of the weaver caste,
with whom we happen to be particularly familiar, as our work in Gujarat
is largely carried on among them. Since the introduction of machinery,
their lot has come to be particularly pitiable. In one district it is
reckoned that there are 400,000 of them. Previous to the mills being
started, they could get a comfortable competence, but year by year the
margin of profit has been narrowed down, till at length absolute
starvation is beginning to stare them in the face, and that within
measurable distance.

To the above we may add again the various gipsy tribes, who have no
settled homes or regular means of livelihood. Finally, there are the
non-religious mendicants, the religious ones being considered as not
coming within the scope of our present effort, being provided for in
charitable institutions of their own.

Representatives of nearly all the above abound in our cities, and when
both town and village destitutes come to be reckoned together, I do not
think it will be too serious a view to take of their numbers, to reckon
the absolutely workless as numbering at least 25 or 26 millions.



On this question I do not propose to say much, not because there is not
much that could be said, but because in a climate like India it is a
matter of secondary importance as compared with food. The people
themselves are comparatively speaking indifferent to it. The "bitter
cry" of India if put into words would consist simply of "Give us food to
fill our stomachs. This is all we ask. As for shelter, we are content
with any hovel, or willing to betake ourselves to the open air. But food
we cannot do without."

And yet, looked at from the point of view either of a moralist, a
sanitarian, or a humanitarian, the question is one which calls for
prompt consideration and remedial action. For instance, according to the
last Government census, the average number of persons inhabiting each
house in the city of Bombay is no less than 28. The average for the
entire Presidency is six. But then it must be remembered that the great
majority of the houses of the poor in the agricultural district consist
of one-roomed huts, in which the whole family sleep together.

In the cities the overcrowding has become so excessive, and the
accomodation available for the poor is so inadequate, costly and
squalid, as to almost beggar description. Considerations of decency,
comfort and health are largely thrown to the winds. A single unfurnished
room, merely divided from the next one by a thin boarding, through which
everything can be heard, will command from five to thirty rupees a
month, and even more, according to its position, in Bombay.

The typical poor man's home in India consists as a rule of a
single-storeyed hut with walls of mud or wattle, and roof of grass,
palm-leaf, tiles, mud, or stones, according to the nature of the
country. One or two rooms, and a small verandah, are all that he
requires for himself and his family.

In the cities the high price of the land makes even this little
impossible. Take for instance Bombay. Here the representative of the
London lodging-house is to be found in the form of what are called
"chawls," large buildings, several storeys high, divided up into small
rooms, which are let off to families, at a rental of from three rupees a
month and upwards. Very commonly the same room serves for living,
sleeping, cooking, and eating. There being as a rule no cooking place,
the cheap earthen "choola" serves as a sufficient make-shift, and the
smoke finds its exit through the door or window best it can.

For hundreds, probably thousands, in every large city, even this poor
semblance of a home does not exist. Those who manage somehow or other to
live on nothing a month, cannot certainly afford to pay three rupees, or
even less, for a lodging. Whilst, no doubt, many of the submerged, tenth
are not absolutely houseless, inasmuch as they are often able to share
the shelter of some relation or friend, it cannot be doubted that a very
large percentage of them might say, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of
the air have nests," but we "have not where to lay our heads."

Of the homeless poor there are two classes. The more fortunate find
shelter in those of the Dharamsalas, Temples and Mosques which contain
provision for such purposes. It must be remembered, however, that a
large number of such institutions are reserved for certain favored
castes, and are not therefore available for the out-caste poor. For the
rest, the uncertain shelter of verandahs, porticoes, market-places,
open sheds, and, in fine weather, the road-way, esplanade, or some shady
tree, have to suffice.

As already said, I am quite willing to admit that this question of
shelter for the poor is of secondary importance as compared with that of
their food-supply. And yet is it nothing to us that millions of the
Indian poor have no place that they can call "home," not even the meagre
shelter of the one-roomed hut with which they would gladly be content?
Is it nothing to us that superadded to the sufferings of hunger, they
have to face the sharp and sometimes frosty air of the cold weather with
scarcely a rag to their backs, and no doors, windows, or even walls to
keep off the chilly wind? Is it nothing to us that in the rainy season
they have to make their bed on the damp floor or ground, though to do so
means a certain attack of fever? Is it nothing to us that under such
circumstances the houseless poor should be converted into a dismal
quagmire in which moral leprosy, more terrible than its bodily
representative, should thrive and propagate itself? Certainly if the
Indian destitute are to have a "bullock charter" granted to them, it
will be necessary that it should sooner or later include suitable and
decent shelter as well as food.

True, the problem is a vast one but this is no reason why it should be
looked upon as insoluble, or left to grow year by year still vaster and
more uncontrollable.

What we propose ourselves to undertake in this will be found elsewhere
(see Part II Chapter VI). It must be remembered, moreover, that if our
efforts to deal with the workless masses in finding them employment
should prove successful this will in itself help to remove much of the
existing evil. And by directing labor into channels where it can be the
most profitably employed, we shall help to disembarrass those channels
which have at present got choked up with an excess of it.



One of the darkest shadows on the Indian horizon is that of debt. A
drowning man will snatch at a straw, and it would surely be inhuman for
us to find much fault with the unhappy creatures who constitute the
submerged tenth for borrowing their pittance at even the most exorbitant
rates of interest in the effort to keep their heads above water.

I have no desire here to draw a gloomy picture of the Indian Shylock. In
some respects I believe him to be a decided improvement on his European
and Jewish representative. It was only a short time ago that I read a
blood-curdling description of the London money-lender, which put any
Indian I have ever come across altogether into the shade.

Nevertheless, Shylock flourishes in India as perhaps in no other country
under the sun. His name is Legion. He is ubiquitous. He has the usual
abnormal appetite of his fraternity for rupees. But strange to say he
fattens upon poverty and grows rich upon the destitute. Whereas in other
regions he usually concentrates his attention upon the rich and
well-to-do classes, here he specially marks out for his prey those who
if not absolutely destitute live upon the border-land of that desolate
desert, and makes up by their numbers for what they may lack in quality.
He gives loans for the smallest amount from a rupee and upwards,
charging at the rate of half an anna per month interest for each rupee,
which amounts to nearly 38 per cent. per annum. As for payment, he is
willing to wait. Every three years, a fresh bond is drawn up including
principal and interest. Finally, when the amount has been sufficiently
run up, whatever land, house, buffalo, or other petty possessions may
belong to the debtor are sold up, usually far below their real value.

I remember one case, which came before me when I was in Government
service, where the facts were practically undisputed, in which a
cultivator was sued for 900 rupees, principal and interest, the original
debt being only ten rupees worth of grain borrowed a few years
previously. Ultimately it was compromised for about 100 rupees. This is
by no means an exceptional case.

Of course it may be said in favour of the money-lender that he is
obliged to charge these high rates, to cover the extra risk, and that as
a rule, he is generally prepared to forego half his legal claim when
the time for payment comes. I am aware also that the subject has long
occupied the earnest attention of Government, and that in some parts of
the country enactments have been introduced for the relief of poor
debtors. But these are only local and the evil is universal. A judicial
Solon is sadly needed who shall rise up and boldly face the evil. The
extortions of usurers have led to revolutions before now, and it seems
high time for an enlightened Government to do something on a large scale
for the abatement of the evil, if only by an absolute refusal to enforce
any such usurious contracts.

But I have only mentioned the subject, because it plays a specially
important part in the present depressed condition of the submerged
masses. In the following pages I hope among other things to be able to
cast some rays of light into this valley of the shadow of debt, if not
of death.



Any review of Darkest India would be incomplete without some mention of
the widespread and calamitous famines which periodically devastate the
country and which reappear from time to time with terrible certainty.

In a country where so large a proportion of the population is
agricultural, and where the poor are almost entirely paid in kind, the
failure of a single crop means the most terrible scarcity and privation
for those who even in time of plenty live at best but a hand-to-mouth
existence. And when the failure is repeated famine faces the
poverty-stricken masses, and they are frequently swept off by thousands.

In the terrible Madras famine of 1877 to 1878, several millions
perished, in spite of the relief works and charitable agencies which
hastened to their assistance. When the census of 1881 came to be taken,
it was found that in this part of India, instead of the population
having largely increased, as was everywhere else the case, there had
been a diminution of two per cent as compared with the census of 1871.

It may be said that such famines are not frequent and we are thankful to
admit that this is so. Yet scarcely a year passes without some part of
India suffering severely from partial droughts. Only last year hundreds
of poor starving wretches, crowded into Bombay from Kattiyawar, and were
for weeks encamped on the Esplanade, an abject multitude, dependent on
the charity of the rich. And yet it was "no famine" that had driven them
hundreds of miles from their homes, but "_only_ a scarcity."

At the same time famine prevailed in the Ganjam District to an extent
which would probably have been utterly discredited, had not the Governor
of Madras proceeded personally to the spot, and reported on the terrible
state of affairs. No less than 30,000 persons were thrown upon
Government for their support. In the same year through a fortnight's
delay in the break of the monsoon, there were grain riots at
Trichinopoly and Tanjore, several merchants stores being broken into,
through a rise in the price of food. Happily a subsequent fall of rain
averted the impending calamity, prices fell and order was restored.

Now to deal radically with famines it is necessary to meet them half
way, and not to wait till they are upon us in all their stupendous
immensity. It must be remembered that, as in the above instances, the
present condition of things is such, that the mere threatening of famine
is sufficient to send up the prices of food at a bound, to famine rates.

The chief victims of famine are the very classes who have been here
described as constituting the "submerged tenth." In ordinary times "the
wolf" is always "at the door" but at these calamitous periods there is
no door to keep him out, and he is master of the situation. Now General
Booth's scheme proposes to deal with him promptly and remove him to such
a safe distance, as shall make his inroads almost impossible.

By leaving these destitute classes in their present miserable condition,
we prepare for ourselves a gigantic and impossible task when the evil
day of famine at last overtakes us. By facing the difficulty at the
outset, and meeting it midway, we make our task much easier. Time is in
our favour. True, the people are hungry, but they are not dying. We can
afford to let them drift a few weeks, months, or even years longer,
while we are putting our heads and hearts together to devise for them
some way of deliverance commensurate with the immensity of their needs.
But to resign oneself to the present condition of things as inevitable
seems to me almost as heartless as to fold our hands helplessly at a
time of absolute famine. To deafen our ears to the immediate distresses
of the submerged tenth may be less criminal in degree but not in kind.

To those who feel paralysed by the vastness of the problem I would say
"Study General Booth's Way Out and the adaptation of it to India which I
have endeavoured to sketch in the following pages."

Here at least is a plan, perhaps not a perfect one, but still definite,
tangible and immediately possible. Improve upon it as much as you like.
Help us to remedy its defects by all means. But whatever you do, don't
stand by as an indifferent spectator. Put your own individual shoulder
to the wheel. Help us with your sympathy, prayers and substance to make
the effort, and should failure ensue, you will at least have the
satisfaction of realising that you have helped others to make an honest
determined effort for dealing with a gigantic evil that involves the
welfare, if not the existence of millions.



Happily a description of English destitution does not call for any
reference to plagues, such as those which annually or at least
periodically, devastate India, and that with such certainty that their
presence has come to be regarded, almost with indifference, as a matter
of course, or at least of necessity. Indeed we suppose that some would
even look upon it as a Divinely ordained method for reducing the
population. True, that in Europe the matter is regarded in a very
different light. Public opinion has made its voice heard. Medical
science has exerted itself, and not in vain. The laws of sanitation are
better known, and are enforced upon the entire community by severe legal
enactments. And above all, Christianity has taught the rich to say of
the poor "He is my brother," and to provide for him the medical care and
attention that would otherwise not be within his reach.

What is possible in Europe is no doubt possible in India. Much has
already been done, and our Government is fully awake to the importance
of the subject, and will be able, year by year, to institute further
improvements in this respect.

With this, however, we are not directly concerned. My object in
referring to the subject is to point out--

1. That it is almost invariably from among the submerged tenth, with
whom we propose to deal that these fearful plagues usually have their
origin. Pestilence may indeed be said to take up its abode among them.
Destitution is as it were the egg from which pestilence is hatched.
There are brooding seasons when it may for a time disappear from sight.
But it is there all the same and we know it. If we are to eradicate the
evil, we must deal effectually with its cause. And this is the special
object of General Booth's scheme.

True, it may be possible to keep this deadly enemy at bay by multiplying
our hospital fortresses and putting into the field medical legions armed
with the latest discoveries of science. But the requisite paraphernalia
is too expensive for a country like India; and who does not know that
well-fed bodies, and healthy homes are better safeguards against disease
than all the most costly medicines that could be provided by the British
pharmacopoeia? If therefore we are able to deal radically with
destitution we shall at the same time strike an effective blow at the
pestilences which are at present such a scourge to India.

2. Again I would like to remind my readers of another fact, and in this
aspect of the question, all classes of the community are bound to be
interested. If pestilence begins its deadly work among the destitute, it
can never be reckoned on to stop there. Indeed pestilence may be
regarded as _Nature's revenge_ on society for the neglect of the poor.
Once the cholera fiend has broken loose, it is impossible to tell whom
he is going to select for his victims. The rich, the fair, the learned,
the young, the strong, are often the first objects of his attention. He
manifests a reckless disregard of social position. The distinctions of
caste and rank, of beauty or learning, are not for him. And even as I
write he may be preparing his invisible hordes of bacilli for fresh
invasions, more terrible than those that have ever swept down from the
mountains of Afghanistan. While we are spending millions upon
strengthening our North-Western Frontiers against a foe who may never
exist, save in our imagination, can we dare to neglect the more terrible
enemy who defies all Boundary Commissions, who overleaps the strongest
fortresses, and who laughs to scorn the largest cannon that ever capped
our walls?

3. Finally there is one very sad shade in this part of our picture of
darkest India. If on the one hand pestilence may be said to somewhat
thin the ranks of the destitute by decreasing the number of mouths
requiring to be fed, it must be remembered on the other hand that it
continually recruits them both by sweeping away so many of the
breadwinners, and by frequently paralysing many of those who are left,
and preventing them from earning what they otherwise might. How often do
we hear of even public institutions having to be closed, and of
thousands being thrown out of work by the panic which ensues at such

I have sought to confine myself to a matter-of-fact description of this
gloomy subject, and to avoid anything that could be construed into mere
sensationalism. And yet deaf must be the ears, and hard must be the
hearts, that can be insensible to the cries of agony that yearly ascend
from thousands and tens of thousands of homes. In a recent Government
report, I find that from cholera alone in one year there were reported
no less than 300,000 deaths; and yet the year was not remarkable for any
exceptional outbreak. Still more terrible and regular are the ravages of
the various malarial fevers, that sweep away millions yearly to a
premature grave, often just in the prime of life, when they are most
needed by the country. That a very large percentage of these deaths are
directly connected with destitution, and that pestilence frequently but
finishes the work commenced by months and years of starvation, is too
notorious to require proof. It is a melancholy picture, and yet without
it our review of Darkest India would be necessarily incomplete.



Hitherto our description of the Submerged Tenth has concerned those who
may be styled principally the children of misfortune, and who in their
struggle for existence have resort to means which are indeed desperate
in their nature, but against which no moral objection can be raised.

General Booth next calls attention to another great section of the
Submerged Tenth who have found a temporary shelter or asylum in the
temple of Vice,--those who either trade upon the sins of society, or are
the miserable victims of those sins. The unlawful gratification of the
natural appetites has ever been the snare by which millions have been
deluded to damnation. If it were possible to combat this tendency in
human nature by mere legal enactments, it would have been done long ago.
But though much has been done in this way to hold vice in check, and to
prevent it from openly parading itself in public as it otherwise would,
yet it has chiefly been by the chains of religion that the monster has
been bound, and even his legal shackles have mostly been manufactured at
the anvils of the religious public. Take for instance the wholesale
prohibition of intoxicating liquor by the Mahommedan religion, or again
the strong Temperance movement that has more lately been established
among Christians. The former has no doubt accomplished what would never
have been done by means of legal enactments, while the latter has first
educated the public on the Temperance question and has thus prepared the
way for prohibitory legislation of a more stringent character.

In dealing with this portion of the Submerged Tenth there can be no
doubt that the religious and moral appeals of the Salvation Army
Officers will serve to stimulate and enforce wholesale reformation. By
substituting the attractions of our public meetings, we shall do much to
counteract those of the liquor den and other factories of pollution and
destitution,--for it is as such that we may regard the places where
drunkards, opium-eaters, prostitutes, fornicators, and the other hideous
satellites of Vice are manufactured wholesale, whether with or without
the shelter of a license. A large proportion of those who are engaged in
vice as a trade openly profess to do so as a means of subsistence, and
because it enables them to eke out what is in nine cases out of ten but
a scanty subsistence, and what is almost invariably accompanied by the
most terrible penalties Nature can inflict on those who outrage her
ordinances. Many are heartily sick of the trade, but can see no way of
escape. In dealing with destitution we shall open for these a door of
hope. The deserters from the ranks of those who trade in vice will help
us to deal more effectively with those who still cling to the profession
on account of its profits.

In dealing with the panderers to the vices of society we shall largely
diminish the numbers of its victims. It has been said that sinning is
very much a matter of temptation, and in reducing those temptations, as
we believe General Booth's scheme will largely tend to do, we shall be
able to reduce in quantity, if we cannot hope to cause altogether to
cease, the frightful holocaust of human victims that is annually offered
up at this dark shrine.

_(a) The Drunkards._

I will take the question of the Drunkard first, for it is itself a
prolific root of all kinds of evil. The gradual breaking up of religious
restraints, the increasing facilities for obtaining at smallest cost
the most fiery and dangerous liquors, the added suffering entailed on
any drinking habits that may be formed by the tropical heat of India,
all serve to accentuate the gravity of the evil in this country. Add to
this a consideration of the distressing poverty, the chronic hunger, the
dull monotony, unrelieved by hope of amendment, in which myriads of the
people of India fight out the battle of life; reflect how these must
crave for the boon of forgetfulness and eagerly grasp at the wretched
relief which drunkenness may bring. Nor can we throw the responsibility
altogether upon the individual, if it be true that prior to contact with
Western nations, the Hindoos were largely a temperate and even an
abstinent people. We are in an especial manner bound to consider whether
there can be found any alleviation or remedy for a disaster which, if we
have not actually created, we have at least suffered to spring up
unheeded and unchecked in our very midst.

It is notorious that the large cities of India are crowded with shops of
the kind thus described by Mr. Caine, late M.P., in his "Picturesque

    "The wide and spacious shops in front of which are strewn broken
    potsherds, and whose contents are two or three kegs and a pile of
    little pots; are the liquor-dealer's establishments. The groups of
    noisy men seated on the floor are drinking ardent spirits of the
    worst description absolutely forbidden to the British soldiers, but
    sold retail to natives at three farthings a gill."

Mr. Caine goes on to say that in the city of Lucknow, with a population
of some 300,000 inhabitants, there were in 1889 thirty distilleries of
native spirits and 200 liquor-shops. The Government exchequer receipts
from spirits in the North-West Provinces amount to nearly £600,000,
having doubled themselves during the last seven years. This means that
in round numbers £1,000,000 worth of native spirits is sold in these
provinces per annum.

Now consider first that as a rule with rare exceptions a native of
India who uses the fiery country liquors drinks for no other purpose
than to become intoxicated. They are manufactured with a view to this,
and not as in Europe to provide a thirst-quenching potation. Mr. Caine
says: "The people of India, unlike other people, only drink for the
purpose of getting drunk, and if we make them drunken we destroy them
more rapidly than by war, pestilence and famine."

Nothing is clearer than that a rapidly increasing multitude in this
country, once remarkable for its sobriety and thrift, are rushing
headlong into the disastrous vice of intemperance and its attendant
horrors, almost without check. Something must be done. We cannot
cold-bloodedly abandon them to a gospel of despair.

_(b) The Opium Slaves._

Darker still perhaps is the dreadful night, and more sickening the
miasma, which lies around the opium creeks, multiplying and increasing
and slowly sucking down into their slimy depths thousands upon thousands
of those who dare to seek momentary relief from sorrow in its lethal
stream. Mr. Caine thus describes an opium den in Lucknow:--

    "Enter one of the side rooms. It has no windows and is very dark,
    but in the centre is a small charcoal fire whose lurid glow lights
    up the faces of nine or ten human beings, men and women, lying on
    the floor. A young girl some fifteen years of age has charge of each
    room, fans the fire, lights the opium pipe, and holds it in the
    mouth of the last comer, till the head falls heavily on the body of
    his or her predecessor. In no East-end gin palace, in no lunatic or
    idiot asylum, will you see such horrible destruction of God's image
    in the face of man, as appears in the countenances of those in the
    preliminary stage of opium drunkenness! Here you, may see some
    handsome young married woman, nineteen or twenty years of age,
    sprawling, on the ground, her fine brown eyes flattened and dull
    with coming, stupor; and her lips drawn convulsively back from her
    glittering white teeth. Here is a young girl sitting among a group
    of newly arrived customers singing some romance. As they hand round
    the pipes there is a bonny little lad of six or seven watching his
    father's changing face with a dreadful indifference.

    "At night these dens are crowded to excess, and it is estimated that
    there are upwards of twelve thousand persons in Lucknow enslaved by
    this hideous vice. An opium sot is the most hopeless of all
    drunkards. Once in the clutches of the fiend, everything gives way
    to his fierce promptings. His victims only work to get more money
    for opium. Wife, children, home, health, and life itself are
    sacrificed to this degrading passion."

If twelve thousand for Lucknow be a fair estimate, can we put the
figures for the whole country at less than 100,000?

Still there is a deeper depth. In the same city, says Mr. Caine, there
are ninety shops for the sale of Bhang and Churras. "Bhang," says the
same writer, "is the most horrible intoxicant the world has ever
produced. In Egypt its importation and sale is absolutely forbidden, and
a costly preventive service is maintained to suppress the smuggling of
it by Greek adventurers. When an Indian wants to commit some horrible
crime such as murder, he prepares himself for it with two annas' worth
of Bhang."

_(c) Prostitution._

In the all but impenetrable shades and death-breathing swamps of this
social forest, lie and suffer and rot probably not less than one hundred
thousand prostitutes. Multitudes of these are dedicated to such a life
in childhood, given over to it, in some cases by their parents and not
unfrequently kept in connection with the temples. Thousands are searched
for and persuaded and entrapped by old women, whose main business it is
to supply the market. We know of at least one village where beautiful
children, who have been decoyed or purchased from their parents by
these prostitute-hunters, are taken to be reared and trained for the
profession. In Bombay there is actually a caste in which the girls are
in early childhood "married to the dagger," or, in other words,
dedicated to a life of prostitution. In some of the cities old men are
employed as touts to secure customers for the women, who remain in their
haunts, thus seducing and leading into vice crowds of lads and young men
who might otherwise have escaped.

Such suffering, shame, cruelty, and wreckage belong to this crime that
one's heart bleeds to think of the tens of thousands doomed, not by
their own choice, but by the wicked greed of unnatural parents or the
crafty cunning of wicked decoys to such a gehenna, without the least
power to extricate themselves from its torment and its shame.

With so much pity left upon the earth to weep over human woes, with so
much courage still to hack and hew a path through grim forests and
morasses of suffering, there must, and shall, be found "a way out."



The most recent report of the Indian Government informs us that there
are now no less that 737 Jails in British India (exclusive of Native
Territory), with an average population of 75,922 prisoners. In the
course of last year in the Bombay Presidency alone no less than 76,000
criminals were convicted, while 152,879 were placed on trial before the
various courts. In the whole of India the number of annual convictions
amount to upwards of one million, while the number who appear before the
Court are at least twice as numerous. Again, there are also immense
numbers of offences committed yearly, in which the Police are unable to
get any clue, the offenders having succeeded in eluding altogether the
vigilance of the Law. For instance a celebrated outlaw has only recently
been apprehended in Central India after several years of successful and
daring robbery, arson, mutilation and murder. Indeed in many parts of
India there are predatory tribes and communities of thieves who have to
be perpetually under Police surveillance, and who are brought up from
their infancy to thieving as a profession.

We desire to plead the cause of the voiceless multitude who occupy our
Indian Jails. The fact that they are voiceless,--that they have no means
of voicing their claims, their wrongs and their rights (for they, too,
_have_ rights), only adds to their danger. How can a criminal hope for
redress? What chance has he of being heard? Who will listen? What
advocate will plead his cause? Ah, if he happen to be rich, it is true,
he will have many friends! But as a rule the criminal is poor. Often he
has to choose between crime and starvation. For himself he might prefer
to starve, but the sight of his emaciated wife and aged parents,--with
whom, criminal though he be, he is as a rule ready to share his last
crust,--the clamour of his hungry children, all this drives him to
desperation and to a life of crime. He can only give voice to his
sorrows and his needs by some fresh act of lawlessness. Hence the
occasional outbursts of mutiny, and the murders of jail warders, which
from time to time reach the newspapers and shock the public ear.

And here I would desire to call attention to the fact that though crime
must be vigorously dealt with and punished, at the same time the
tendency of punishment is not to _reform_, but to _harden._ Who does not
know that the _worst criminals_ are those who have been _longest in
Jail_? Instead of _getting better_ they _grow daily worse_,--more adept
in committing crime and eluding detection,--more careless as to its

Equally futile would be the offer of a wholesale pardon. A singular
illustration of this occurred in 1887, when in honour of Her Majesty's
Jubilee in the Bombay Presidency alone, no less than 2,465 prisoners
were released out of a total of 6,087. Yet the Government report goes on
to show that within a few months of their release the Jails were fuller
than ever!

What, then, is to be done? Punishment hardens the criminal, pardon
encourages crime, while the hearts of the offenders remain the same!

Here steps in the Salvation Army. Its methods and meetings, however
distasteful to the educated and refined, have a special attraction for
these dangerous classes. Its Officers are accustomed to handle them with
superhuman love and patience, as well as with a tact and adroitness
such as has often elicited the admiration and praise of those who have
no sympathy with our creed or ways of work.

We have all over the world fearlessly invaded these criminals in their
lowest haunts and dens, in the teeth of the warnings of the Police; we
have braved their fiercest fury when, urged on by publicans, maddened
with drink, misled by all sorts of infamous lies, and winked at or
patronised by the Police and Magistrates, they have wreaked on us the
utmost cruelties. We have invariably weathered the storm, though often
at the cost of health and even life itself. And in the end as a rule the
Roughs, Criminals and Dangerous Classes have become our warmest friends
and vigorous supporters. From amidst them we have rescued and reformed
some of the noblest trophies of Divine grace. This has been done all
over the world. It has been done in India and Ceylon. In a later part of
this book we have given a glimpse of this most interesting and important
portion of our work. Independent witnesses testify to its reality.
Government officials assure us of their warmest sympathy, and in not a
few cases aid us with their influence and subscriptions. In Ceylon the
Government has treated us most handsomely, throwing open their prisons
for our Officers to visit and hold meetings among the prisoners,
assisting us in the expenses of our Home with a monthly grant of Rs.
100, and encouraging the criminal classes to take advantage of the
opportunity thus afforded them for reforming their lives.

The common reason given for refusing such assistance elsewhere is that
Government cannot interfere with the religion of the prisoners. But in
Ceylon the majority of the prisoners are Buddhists, Hindoos and
Mahommedans, and what has been found to work so well there can surely be
tried with equal success elsewhere! Government does not hesitate all
over India to assist religious bodies in their endeavours to _educate_
the people, and they may therefore well countenance and help forward, as
they might so easily do, our efforts to reach and reform the criminal
classes on precisely the same grounds, offering similar advantages to
any Hindoo or Mahommedan Associations that might afterwards be formed
for the same purpose. At present the Indian criminal has no friend to
lend him a helping hand. Prison officials in various places have
personally informed me that they are distressed at being able to do
nothing for criminals, who, having lost their character and being
abandoned by their friends, have no alternative but to return to their
old associates. If our example causes others to rise up and make efforts
for reaching and reforming these classes, who would not rejoice? At
present it is a sad fact that throughout India the native criminals are
debarred from all opportunities of being reached by the softening
influences of religion. The Europeans have their Chaplains,--the
Natives are allowed to have no one to minister to their souls' needs, or
to bring to bear upon them those moral influences which might, and we
know often would, lead to their reform. There seems no reason whatever
why the following rules, which have been drawn up by the Ceylon
Government, should not be adopted likewise in India:--

    General Rules made by His Excellency the Governor, acting under the
    advice of the Executive Council for the Government of Prisons, for
    the guidance of the prison officers, _under and by authority of
    Section_ 26 _of the Prisons Ordinance_, 1887.

    226. Ministers of religion and religions instructors shall be
    entitled to visit prisoners under commitment for trial and prisoners
    undergoing sentence after trial, and to give religious and moral
    instructions to those who are willing to receive the same on Sundays
    and other days in which prisoners are usually allowed freedom from
    work, between the hours of eight in the morning and four in the

    227. Such ministers or other persons shall be allowed access at all
    times (but between the hours specified) to all prisoners who shall
    be certified by the medical officers of the prison to be seriously

    228. In prisons where such an arrangement can conveniently be made,
    a suitable room shall be set apart where religious instruction can
    be afforded to prisoners and the rites of religion administered.

    229. If, under the directions of Government, Christian services be
    held in any Jail, on Sundays and on other days when such services
    are performed, all Christian criminal prisoners shall attend the
    same unless prevented by sickness or other reasonable cause--to be
    allowed by the Jailor--or unless their service is dispensed with by
    the Superintendent. No prisoner, however, shall be compelled to
    attend any religious instruction given by the ministers or religious
    instructor of a church or persuasion to which the prisoner does not

    230. It shall be lawful for the Superintendent in charge of any
    prison to prohibit any particular minister or instructor visiting
    any prisoner in such prison, if it shall appear to him that such
    minister or instructor is an improper or indiscreet person, or
    likely to have improper communication with the prisoner, provided
    that such Superintendent shall without delay communicate his reason
    for doing so, to the Inspector General for report to Government.

    231. No books or printed papers shall be admitted into any prison
    for the use of the prisoners, except by permission of the
    Superintendent, and the jailor shall keep a catalogue of all books
    and printed papers admitted into the prison.

    232. It shall be the duty of the minister or instructor admitted to
    visit any prison, to communicate to the jailor any abuse or
    impropriety in the prison which may come to his knowledge, on pain
    of being prohibited from visiting the prison.



Besides the 25,000,000 who constitute the actual destitute and criminal
population, we estimate that at a very low computation there are
25,000,000 who are on the border-land, who are scarcely ever in a
position to properly obtain for themselves and for their families the
barest necessities of existence. I do not say that they are wholly
submerged, but they pass a sort of amphibious existence, being part of
the time under water and part of the time on land,--some part of their
life being spent in the most abject poverty, and some part of it in
absolute starvation--positively for the time submerged, and liable at
any moment to be lastingly engulfed. These are the classes whose income
never rises above five rupees a month, while more frequently it is under
four rupees.

On one farm, concerning which we have detailed information, where the
rent of the land is unusually low, the soil good and well irrigated,
where loans can be got at a merely nominal interest, the cultivators,
with the additional help of occasional cooly work, did not average in
their earnings four rupees a month, some having to keep a family on
three and a half, while if a bullock died, or a plough had to be
procured, it meant positive hunger and increased indebtedness to supply
those needs.

The fact is that in many districts there is not only an increase of
population to be sustained by a constantly narrowing area of cultivated
land, but the land itself is deteriorating through the unendurable
pressure put upon it. As the forests grow more distant through being
used up for timber and fuel, wood becomes dearer. The manure which ought
to go upon the land is therefore by necessity consumed for fuel. The
ground in consequence becomes impoverished. As the struggle for
existence becomes fiercer, the people are unable to let their land
periodically lie fallow, so the crops grow lighter. Again, the ryot is
not only unable properly to feed himself, but his bullocks share a
similar fate. The feeble animals can only draw a plough which merely
scratches the surface of the ground. Furthermore, as the population
increases the land is divided into smaller and smaller holdings. The
struggle against the advancing tide of adversity cannot be maintained.
Inch by inch the tide rolls up, pushing the border-landers closer and
closer upon the black rocks of famine, to escape which they at length
plunge into the sea amongst the submerged millions, who, weary and
bitter and despairing, or with blind submission to the iron hand of
fate, have grown hopelessly and miserably indifferent.

Now, it is notorious that millions live thus on the border-land. Granted
that after the harvest border-landers may for a time get two good meals
a day. Yet as the reserve store dwindles down and long before
harvest-time comes round, again, they get but one, and that frequently a
scanty one. They do live, multitudes of them, it is true, amidst
conditions that seem to us impossible. But how many of them die on this
one meal a day, there is nobody to chronicle. But if we do nothing
beyond rescuing a considerable mass of the totally submerged, we shall
considerably ameliorate the condition of these border-landers.

By rendering independent of charity thousands who now depend upon the
gifts of the more fortunate, by making large tracts of land productive
which at present lie waste, by enlarging the stream of emigration, and
partially draining the morass of crime, it is absolutely certain that
the conditions of life will become more favourable for the
border-landers. New markets will be created both for produce and labour,
which will tend to relieve the congested condition of the land now under

The land at present is like a good, but overworked and under-fed horse,
which, under this double adversity of overwork and under-feeding, dies
and leaves his poor owner, who was entirely dependent upon his earnings,
a pauper. It is a condition of things which is bad, and bound of
necessity to grow only worse and worse, till the willing horse drops
under his load, and his master falls from poverty to destitution. Once
enable the man to temporarily decrease his horse's labour and
permanently increase its food supply, that horse will regain its
strength, and by its increased strength become able to do double the
amount of work, increase its master's earnings, and so in time enable
him not only to properly feed his horse, but also to properly feed

Now close to hand there is an unemployed horse available which will
afford the relief, for want of which the overworked horse is dying. The
unoccupied and waste lands, waste labour, and waste produce, constitute
the ideal unemployed horse, on whose back we would put part of the
burden of maintaining the life and feeding the mouths of the Nation.
This idle and hitherto useless horse will immediately become useful and
productive, and will enable its under-fed companion, not only to be
relieved of part of its burden, but also to get sufficient food, and
grow once more plump and strong. Thus the man, or nation, that lived,
however miserably, yet still lived, on the labour of the one famished
over-worked horse, will then be able to get a decent living, since there
will be two strong well-fed horses to work for them, instead of a single
broken-down one.

It is simply impossible within the limits of this chapter to trace out
the whole process. Enough to say that as a rule, to which of course
there are exceptions, one man's prosperity means some one else's
prosperity. Suppose I am a beggar. I wear practically no clothing. The
little I have is what somebody else has cast off. I have no home. I
sleep in the street. I get very little food, and that I do not pay for.
I produce nothing. My children, if I have any, are wastrels like myself.
But I am lifted out of this beggary, I become a productive worker. I get
a home, wear clothes, buy food, educate my children. Not only have I
improved my own circumstances, but I have helped to improve the
circumstances of others. Builders, shopkeepers, food-producers, all
profit by my redemption.

Now, if not one wastrel only, but 1,000,000 such are raised, a mighty
impetus is given to industry of every kind, and the border-landers,
instead of being driven on the black rocks by the tide of adverse
surroundings, begin to drive back the tide, and conquer the earth, and
subdue it, till the border-landers will be border-landers no longer, and
the dreadful days of hunger will live only in the stories of famine and
want, which the grey old man will tell to his happy and prosperous
grandchildren, and ten thousand links of love between emigrant sons and
home-staying fathers will bind the fertile plains of Ceylon, Burmah,
Africa, and other countries to the populous shores of India.



The picture which I have endeavoured to paint in the foregoing pages is
dark enough to strike despair into the hearts of the most sanguine. And
if there were indeed no way of escape for these victims of sin and
misfortune, we might well prefer to draw a veil over the sad scene, and
to bury in the ocean of forgetfulness, the very recollection of this
earthly purgatory.

But there are elements of hope in the consideration of this problem,
which should prevent us from regarding it despair.

1. In the first place, supposing that we are correct in computing this
human wastage at from twenty-five to twenty-six million souls, this
would represent only some five million families. It is true that looked
at even in this light the number is vast. But surely it is not
impossible for India to make sufficient and suitable provision for them
within her own borders, to say nothing of the "regions beyond" if
reasonable thought and effort were put forth in dealing with the

2. Again, as regards the _numbers_, it will be found _easier_ to deal
with these great national problems in bulk than piecemeal, and their
very size will give them an impetus when once they are fairly set in
motion. It will be found as easy to dispose of 1,000 people as of a
hundred, and of 50,000 as of a thousand, if they be properly organised.
Indeed, for many reasons it is easier. The larger the community, the
more work they at once provide for each other. Once let this social ball
be set rolling on a large scale, and we may believe that it will soon
get to move of its own weight.

3. Again, it is not an indiscriminate system of largely extended charity
that we propose to provide. Our object is to find work for these
workless multitudes, and such work as shall more than pay for the very
humble pittance the Indian destitute requires. He must be a poor
specimen of a human being who cannot fairly earn his anna or two annas a
day, and our brains must be poor addled affairs, if in this great vast
world of ours we cannot find that amount of work for him to do. It is
all nonsense to talk about over-population, when the world is three
parts empty and waiting to be occupied.

4. While we are piercing the bowels of the earth in search of gold,
minerals and coal, there lies at our very door a mine of wealth which it
is simple folly for us to ignore. True, the shaft has become choked with
the rubbish of despair, vice and crime, which will take time, trouble
and untiring patience to dig through. But it needs no prophet to foresee
that beneath this rubbish are veins of golden ore which will amply repay
our utmost efforts to open up. The old adage that "labour is wealth,"
and that a nation's riches consist in its hardy sons and daughters of
toil, will yet be proved true. Treat this human muck-heap even as you
would ordinary sewage or manure, and who does not know that the very
same putrefying mass of corruption which if allowed to remain near our
doors would breed nothing but fever, cholera, and the worst forms of
disease and death, when removed to a little distance, will double and
treble the ordinary fertility of the soil and produce crops that will
increase the wealth of the entire nation?

And knowing this can we be so blind, even to our selfish interests, as
to treat this human waste in a manner that we should deem the very
height of imprudence and folly in dealing with the other sort? Can we
shut our eyes to the fact that there are moral diseases, more terrible
in their nature, and more fatal to a nation's life, than the bodily
ones, against which we are so anxious to guard, even at the most lavish
expenditure of the public purse? And shall we, in dealing with this
moral sewage, neglect even the most ordinary precautions that we
consider necessary in dealing with the conservancy of our cities?

If on the other hand the problem be boldly and wisely faced, I am
convinced that in India, as in England, General Booth's most sanguine
prophecies will be realised, our most pestilential marshes shall be
drained, our moral atmosphere purified, prosperity take the place of
destitution, and hope that of despair. The millstone that hangs around
our national neck, so that we can barely keep our heads above water,
even when there is not a ripple upon its surface, and that always
threatens to engulf us in perdition at the first symptoms of a
storm,--this millstone shall be converted into an unsinkable life-buoy,
that shall not only support itself upon the crest of the highest waves,
but shall help to keep afloat the entire national body. What is now an
eyesore shall become an adornment, and what is now a cause of weakness
shall be a source of strength, bulwark of protection and mine of wealth
to all India. How this can be done we have sought in the following pages
to unfold, adhering carefully to the programme marked out by General
Booth, and suggesting only such additions and alterations as the
circumstances of the case appear to necessitate.




General Booth prefaces his scheme for the deliverance of the submerged
by laying down briefly the essentials to success. I cannot do better
than quote from his own words.

(1) "You must _change the man_, when it is his character and conduct
which constitute the reasons for his failure in the battle of life. No
change in circumstances, no revolution in social conditions, can
possibly transform the nature of man. Some of the worst men and women in
the world, whose names are chronicled by history with a shudder of
horror, were whose who had all the advantages that wealth, education and
station could confer, or ambition could obtain.

"The supreme test of any scheme for benefiting humanity lies in the
answer to the question; what does it make of the individual? Does it
quicken his conscience, does it soften his heart, does it enlighten his
mind? Does it, in short, make a true man of him? Because only by such
influences can he be enabled to lead a human life. You may clothe the
drunkard, fill his purse with gold, establish him in a well furnished
house, and in three, six, or twelve months, he will once more be on the
"Embankment," haunted by delirium tremens, dirty, squalid and ragged.

(2) "The remedy, to be effectual, must _change the circumstances_, when
they are the cause of his wretched condition, and lie beyond his

(3) "Any remedy worthy of consideration must be on _a scale commensurate
with the evil_, which it proposes to deal with. It is no use trying to
bale out the ocean with a pint pot. There must be no more philanthropic
tinkering, as if this vast sea of human misery were contained in the
limits of a garden pond.

(4) "Not only must the scheme be large enough, but it _must be
permanent._ That is to say, it must not be merely spasmodic coping with
the misery of to-day, but must go on dealing with the misery of
to-morrow and the day after, so long as there is misery left in the
world with which to grapple.

(5) "But while it must be permanent, it must also be _immediately
practicable_, and capable of being brought into instant operation with
beneficial results.

(6) "The indirect features of the scheme must not be such as to produce
injury to the persons whom we seek to benefit. Mere charity for
instance, while relieving the pinch of hunger, demoralises the
recipient. It is no use conferring sixpenny worth of benefit on a man,
if at the same time we do him a shillings worth of harm.

(7) "While assisting one class of the community, it must not seriously
interfere with the interest of another.

"These are the conditions by which I ask you to test the scheme I am
about to unfold. They are not of my making. They are the laws which
govern the work of the philanthropic reformer just as the laws of
gravitation, of wind and of weather govern the operation of the
engineer. It is no use saying we could build a bridge across the Tay, if
the wind did not blow. The engineer has to take into account the
difficulties, and make them his starting point. The wind will blow,
therefore the bridge must be made strong enough to resist it. So it is
with the social difficulties, which confront us. If we act in harmony
with these laws we shall triumph. But if we ignore them, they will
overwhelm us with destruction, and cover us with disgrace."



His object is to supply the destitute with food, shelter and clothing,
to provide them with work and to set them on their feet for making a
fresh start in life.

With a view to this he proposes to call into existence, a threefold
organisation, consisting of self-helping and self-sustaining
communities, governed and disciplined on the principles of the Salvation
Army. These he calls "Colonies", and divides into

    (1) The City Colony,

    (2) The Country Colony, and

    (3) The Over-sea Colony.

All these are to be linked together and to be interwoven with and
dependent on each other. In the City Colony a series of agencies will be
established for gathering up and sifting the destitute. Thence they will
be passed on to the Country Colony and subsequently many of them will be
sent to Colonies across the sea.

Now this triple organisation can be brought into existence, on the
largest possible scale in India under circumstances peculiarly favorable
to the success of the scheme.

Our country is not of limited extent like England. It covers an immense
area and includes a conglomeration of nationalities, such as we find in
Europe, with the special advantage of being united under a single, and
that a friendly Government.

Then again there is the fact that, though the influx from the country
to the cities has commenced, yet it has not at present got beyond
manageable proportions, so that it is possible for us, if awake to the
emergency, to rise up and divert the stream into more desirable

If instead of waiting for a further irruption of village Goths and
Vandals, (which is only a matter of time, and which will soon overwhelm
our City labour market and compel the attention of our civil
authorities,) we anticipate the event and meet them half way by opening
up fresh channels for them, more in harmony with their own taste and
preference, we shall not only confer an inestimable boon upon them, but
shall turn them into a source of strength and revenue for the country,
and shall with them people tracts which are at present barren and
fruitless, but which are only waiting to be occupied and which in many
cases have only to be restored to the prosperity that they formerly

Finally we have the great advantage of a people already trained to
husbandry from their youth, and accustomed to the very co-operative
system of farming which General Booth advocates, where payments are
mostly to be made in kind rather than in cash, and where the exchange of
goods will largely supersede transactions in money, a strong but
paternal government regulating all for the general good.



The first portion of General Booth's threefold scheme consists of the
City Colony.

This may aptly be compared to a dredger, which, gathers up all the silt
of a harbour, and carries it out to sea, leaves it there and then
returns to repeat the operation. If such an operation is necessary in a
harbour, and if without it the best anchorages in the world would often
get choked with rubbish and become useless, how doubly important must it
be in the case of the human wastage that abounds in every large Indian

Should a single ship strike on an unknown rock, we hasten to mark it
down in our charts, or erect over the spot a lighthouse as a warning to
others. Should it sink where it is likely to hinder the traffic, we set
our engineers to work to remove it, even though it may be necessary to
blow it to atoms.

And yet it is a notorious fact that our cities abound with rocks over
which there is no lighthouse,--that every channel is obstructed with
sunken vessels, and that there are not a few tribes of pirates who
fatten on the human wreckage. But we fold our hands in despair, and
allow bad to grow worse, till the problem daily becomes more enormous,
desperate and difficult to deal with.

Now General Booth's scheme proposes to establish a dredger for every
harbour, a lighthouse for every rock, an engineer for keeping clear
every channel. It may be too much to expect that there will be no
wrecks, but they will be fewer, and that surely is something! We do not
say that there will be no accidents, but there will be willing hands
held out to deliver. We cannot hope to abolish failures, mistakes,
shortcomings and weaknesses of various sorts, but we shall do our best
to anticipate and provide for them? We are sure there will be
difficulties and disappointments to encounter, but we shall meet them in
the confidence that God is on our side, that He is intensely interested
in the efforts which He Himself has inspired us to undertake and that
ultimate victory is bound to crown our efforts.

And now I would give a brief description of this great City Dredger,
explaining its component parts in the chapters that are to follow. We
cannot promise that the entire machine will get into working order at
once. We are anxious to start it immediately and to complete it as soon
as possible. But on the public will largely depend the question as to
how long it will take us to get it afloat and finished. Its simplicity,
practicability, and universality are to me at the same time its chief
charms, and its credentials to success. It is only part of a larger
scheme with which it is entwined. But it is an important, perhaps the
most important part and will continue to exercise over the entire effort
the controlling head and the inspiring heart without which the whole
apparatus will be as motionless as a machine without steam, or a body
without life.

The following are the various branches of the City Colony--

    (1) The Regimentation of Labor.

    (2) Food for all--Food Depôts.

    (3) Work for all--Labor yards.

    (4) Shelter for all.

    (5) The household Salvage Corps.

    (6) The Prison Gate Brigade.

    (7) The Drunkard's Home.

    (8) The Rescue Home for fallen women.

    (9) The poor man's Metropole.

    (10) The Emigration Bureau.

To these no doubt will in course of time be added many other branches.
In the meantime this is in itself a sufficiently extensive programme for
some years to come. How we propose to elaborate each of the above, will
be found in the following pages.



One of the most painful sights with which modern civilisation presents
us is the enormous and increasing wastage of valuable human labor. The
first step towards remedying this gigantic and alarming evil will be to
ascertain its extent. This we propose to do by means of our Labor
Bureau. Here all classes of out-of-works will be welcomed, from the
respectable well educated intelligent youths, who are being poured out
of our colleges by thousands, to the most squalid specimen of a Lazarus
that lies at our gates desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fall from
our tables. All will be sorted out, sifted and regimented, or organised,
into distinct corps, which will in time no doubt develope into legions.

The Bureau will not, however, stop short with simply ascertaining the
extent of the evil which exists. It will at the same time turn its
attention to the examination and regimentation of the channels which
already exist for the absorption of that labor. For while it is true
that there are vast quantities of unutilised labor, and that the present
supply of labor greatly exceeds the demand, it is also true that for
want of suitable arrangements for bringing together capital and labor,
the capitalist also frequently loses time and money, either in searching
for labor which he cannot get, or in resorting to labor of an inferior
quality, where labor of a superior quality would bring in much larger

Into the pre-existing channels it would be the first aim of our Labor
Bureau to pour the labor supply of the country. And experience would
probably enable us to widen, deepen and lengthen these channels in such
a manner as would prove profitable to both employers and employed, as
well as to the nation at large.

When, however, this had been done, it is alas! only too certain that we
should still have left upon our hands a vast amount of surplus labor,
for which we should next proceed to dig out new and profitable channels.
The problem no doubt bristles with difficulties, but that is no reason
why we should sit down before it and fold our hands in despair.

Once upon a time, aye for hundreds of years, the waters of the Cauvery
were poured in one useless torrent into the sea, sweeping past great
tracts of thirsty land, which craved its waters, but could not reach
them. At the present moment scarcely a drop of that river reaches the
ocean. Its course has been diverted into a thousand channels, and so
fertilising are its waters that the rich alluvial deposits which they
bear render the use of manure unnecessary. And yet for centuries these
possibilities were unrecognised and suffered to go to waste.

Is not this a fitting picture of the huge river of labor that winds its
course through arid plains of want and poverty and starvation, which it
is capable of fertilising and converting into a modern Paradise? True
that on its banks and in its immediate neighbourhood are strips of
luxuriant vegetation. But those only show up in painful relief the utter
barrenness of the "region beyond." Why should the dwellers upon the
banks be allowed to monopolise and appropriate that which they cannot
even utilise, and that which is often a source of positive danger,
annoyance and loss to them? Why should not channels be devised for these
human waters, by means of which they should be distributed, so as to be
put to the utmost possible use?

This social problem is no doubt the "white elephant" of society. Cannot
we devise a "kheddah" for capturing the entire herd wholesale? Perhaps
after all we shall find it easier and quicker to catch and tame the
herd, than to set snares and pitfalls for individual ones and twos. Ah,
you say, many have tried and failed. That is because they have not
studied the habits of the animal. Besides it is by means of failure that
the grandest successes have ultimately been achieved. See how skilfully
that "mahaut" manages his huge yet obedient servant. And cannot we point
already in our own ranks to elephants more wonderful that have been
tamed and mastered by the goad of love?

It is the successes of the past that encourage General Booth to face the
problem in the spirit of hopefulness that breathes through every page of
"Darkest England." And if the genius of man has been able to tame the
strongest of animals, such as elephants,--the fiercest, such as
lions,--the swiftest, such as horses, and the dullest, such as the
ass,--why should we despair of reducing to order this chaotic mass of
labor, and of turning that which at present constitutes a danger that
threatens the very existence of society into a source of safety, of
wealth and power? At any rate this is the object that will be kept
steadily in view by our Labor Bureau.

All persons will be able to register names at our Bureau. If they are
destitute and willing to go to our yards, they will be sent there and
given work suitable to their caste, or profession. If on the other hand
they are not in need of such assistance, being supported by their
friends, we shall simply register their names and do our best to find
suitable work for them, though it would of course be distinctly
understood by them that we undertook no responsibility in regard to
this. A small fee will be charged, in proportion to the nature of the
case. This would serve to cover the expenses of the Bureau, which would
I am sure meet a long felt want.

Employers of labour would benefit almost more even than the men
employed, as we should always be able to supply them at a short notice
with any description and number of "hands" that they might require, and
they would be saved the expense, delay, and uncertainty of having to

For instance I know of millowners who complain that they cannot get
labourers who will stay, and that their work suffers from the flotsam,
jetsam character of those whom they employ working for a few weeks and
then leaving. This we should be able to remedy.

Indeed after a short time we might reasonably expect that in recognising
the great convenience thus afforded them, millowners and other great
employers of labour, including very possibly the Government and the
Railway Companies would refuse to employ any who had not registered
themselves at our Bureau.

Again it would doubtless be a great satisfaction to employers in cases
where a reduction of establishment became necessary, to feel that they
could hand over to us those with whose services they were dispensing,
knowing that every effort would be made to make suitable provision for

The labour register would contain columns in which would be entered the
various kinds of employment for which the applicant was willing or
suited, and the minimum pay which he was prepared to accept, so that we
should be able to ascertain exactly how many out-of-works there were of
each particular class. We should also enter in a separate register those
who had accepted an inferior position, in the hopes of being able to
better themselves subsequently.

In connection with our registers we should keep a character roll. Copies
of certificates would be filed, and notes made in regard to
unsatisfactory characters, so that in course of time we should be able
to give some sort of a guarantee in regard to those whom we sent out. In
the case of any one being reported to us as unsatisfactory, we should
still, however, give him another chance by redrafting him into our
Labour Yards, or by giving him some sort of inferior employment, more
immediately under our own surveillance, till he had regained his

Among other things we might undertake to supply servants to European
families. A register of such would be very useful both to masters and
servants. For instance in the case of lost "chits" we could supply
certified copies of the original.

There is another class to whom I should think the establishment of such
an agency will be particularly welcome. Our cities swarm with educated
young men unable to find employment. Although we cannot include them
among our destitute classes, we believe that without turning aside from
our main object, we could do a great deal to help them.

If our scheme grows to the proportions and with the rapidity which we
anticipate, this would in itself absorb large numbers of them. And where
we could do no more we could obtain a moral influence over them and they
would come within the scope of the Advice and Intelligence Bureaux which
are described elsewhere. Constituting as they do the cream of the youth
of India, full of ardent, though often misdirected, enthusiasm, we
should be able to help mould them into happy, independent, prosperous
and loyal citizens, who would be a bulwark to the State, instead of
leaving them to simmer in their present unfortunate circumstances. "To
dig" they don't know, and "to beg" they are ashamed.

They would in their turn I believe give an important impetus to our
scheme and might constitute themselves its fervent apostles helping it
to sweep from end to end of India in less time than it is possible for
us to conceive.



In England, owing to the severity and uncertainty of the weather, the
food and shelter questions go hand in hand. This is not the case in
India, where the shelter is not so important as the food, and there is
no such urgency in dealing with the former as with the latter. For
instance during nine months out of twelve it is not such a very great
hardship to sleep in the open air in most parts of India. I have myself
done it frequently and so have many of our Officers. It is true that we
should not like it as a regular thing, and still less perhaps, if driven
to it by absolute want. Still I am perfectly prepared to admit that the
circumstances are totally different to that of England, and that the
question of shelter is of secondary importance as compared with food.

The time will come when we shall be obliged to face and deal with it. If
our scheme meets with the success that we anticipate, having first
satisfied the gnawings of these hunger-bitten stomachs, we shall
certainly turn round and think next what we can do to provide them with
decent homes for themselves and their families.

But we can safely afford to defer the consideration of this question for
the present, in order to throw all our time and energy into the solution
of the infinitely more urgent and important problem of a regular and
sufficient food supply for these destitutes.

At present as I have already pointed out, they are dependent solely on
the help of relations and friends and on the doles of the charitable;
or on the proceeds of vice and crime. The insufficiency of these to meet
the needs of the case I have also, I believe, proved to demonstration.

Therefore one of the first parts of our City programme will be the
establishment of cheap food depôts, at which food of various kinds will
be supplied at the lowest possible cost price. These depôts will be
dovetailed in with other parts of our scheme, which have yet to be
described, and the one will help to support the other.

It may be objected that if we undertake to sell food at lower than the
ordinary market rates, we shall interfere with the legitimate operations
of trade. But to this we would answer that the same objection would be
still more true in regard to charitable doles, which are given for
nothing. And further, we shall fix our prices with a view to covering
the actual cost of the food, so that there will not be any probability
of our interfering with ordinary market rates. Besides, should there be
any very serious difficulty of the kind, we could always make a rule
limiting the food sold at these depôts to those who came under the
operation of the other branches of our social reform.

At the outset it would probably be wisest to avoid all caste
complications by confining ourselves entirely to uncooked food, leaving
the people to do their own cooking, but it is very probable that before
long we should be forced to undertake the preparation of cooked food. We
should of course pay due regard in this respect to the customs of the
various castes, religions and nationalities concerned. To a Hindoo for
instance it would be extremely disagreeable to eat out Of the same dish
as others, while Mahommedans, as one said to me the other day, only
enjoy the meal the more, when others are sitting round the platter.
These, however, are subordinate details which would largely settle
themselves as we went along. Food in some shape or form, the destitute
must have, good in quality and sufficient in quantity, and if they
prefer it uncooked this will save us trouble, whereas if cooking becomes
necessary we shall have another industry for the employment of many
hands. Meanwhile the fact that nearly every native of the poorer castes,
be it man, woman, or even child, knows how to cook their own food, is
likely to be of no little help in settling the question of the food



But it may next be asked, what we shall do in the case of those who have
no money with which to buy their food, even at the reduced rates we
would propose? To this we would reply that such will be expected to
perform a reasonable amount of work, in return for which they will be
given tickets entitling them to obtain food from the depôts just
referred to.

In order to do this we shall establish labour yards, where we shall
provide work of a suitable character for the destitute. This will
involve very little expense, as sheds of a cheap description will answer
our purpose, there being no necessity for providing against the
inclement weather which adds so greatly to the expense and difficulty of
carrying on such operations in England.

Whatever may be the produce of this cheap labour, we shall be careful to
sell it rather above than below the ordinary market rates, so as to
avoid competing with other labour. Moreover, we shall direct our
attention from the first to manufacturing chiefly those articles which
are likely to be of service to us in other branches of our scheme, so
that the labour of the destitute will go chiefly towards supplying their
own wants and those of the persons who are engaged in prosecuting the

For instance, supposing that a number of the destitute were employed in
making coarse cloth, baskets, mats, or cow-dung fuel, these could be
retailed at a nominal figure to those who presented our labour tickets
at our food depôts.

The most encouraging feature in the establishment of labour yards is
that nearly every Indian has been brought up from childhood to some
trade. You can rarely meet the most ignorant and uneducated Native
without finding that he is thoroughly expert at some kind of handicraft.
In brigading the poor we should be careful to make the best use of this
knowledge by putting each as much as possible to the trade with which he
was most familiar.

The following industries, the majority of them directly connected with
various branches of our work, could be started at once and would need
scarcely any outlay to begin with.

    1. _The Potters Brigade_--Would furnish us with the earthenware, for
    which we should from the first have a very large demand. The
    Household Salvage Brigade would require some thousands of pots to
    start with and in connection with our food depôts we should be able
    to dispose of thousands more.

    2. _The Weavers Brigade_--This would give employment for a large
    number of skilled hands. Their first object would be to supply the
    kinds of clothes, blankets, &c., which would be most suitable for
    the use of the submerged tenth. In catering for their wants we
    should avoid, however, anything _prisony_, or _workhousey_, or
    charity-institutiony in appearance. As our numbers increased we
    should find plenty of work for our weavers, at any rate for many
    years to come without entering into any sort of competition either
    with the market or the mills.

    3. _The Basket Brigade_--Would supply us with all sorts of cheap
    baskets, for which we should have a constant demand.

    4. _The Mat Making Brigade_--Would find employment for many more
    hands in supplying us with mats for sleeping and household purposes.

    5. _The Fuel Brigade_--Here we have an industry which requires no
    skill. There would be two branches of it--the woodchoppers and the
    Oopala makers. For the latter women and children could be largely
    employed both in the collection of the cow-dung and in the
    preparation of it for use as fuel.

    6. _The Tinners Brigade_--Will be kept busy making receptables and
    badges for the Salvage Brigade, and also probably emblems for the
    Labor Bureau.

    7. _The Ropemakers Brigade_--Will furnish employment to a number
    more and the results of their labour will find an ample market in
    our various colonies.

    8. _The Tanners Brigade_--Will supply all our departments with such
    leather as may be required for various purposes, and among other
    things will be attached to.

    9. _The Shoemakers Brigade_--Who will be employed in patching up the
    old shoes collected by our Household Salvage Brigade and in making
    new ones for our consumption.

    10. _The Tailors Brigade_--Will supply uniform and clothing of all
    kinds. For these we have already a very considerable demand, which
    would increase year by year.

    11. _The Carpenters Brigade_--Would have plenty to do in providing
    seats for our Barracks, office essentials, boxes, and household
    furniture for our colonies. They would be linked with

    12. _The Building Brigade_--For whom we shall find ample employment
    in the erection of our Labour Sheds, Shelters and Farms.

    13. _The Masons Brigade_--Would also be attached to the previous
    one, and would become an important feature in our Labour Department.

    14. _The Brick Makers Brigade_--Would supply us with all the bricks
    and tiles that we might require. Here again it is easy to see that,
    without trenching in the least on the outside public, we should
    create and support an important industry which would soon absorb
    hundreds if not thousands of hands.

    15. _The Painters Brigade_--Would undertake the painting and
    whitewashing of our buildings, carts, tinware, &c.

    16. _The Dyers Brigade_--Would find employment in dyeing our cloth,
    or the various sorts of thread we might require for the use of our

    17. _The Dhobees Brigade_--Although among our community we should
    encourage every one to be his own dhobee, yet from the first we
    should have plenty of washing to employ a considerable number of

    18. _The Umbrella Makers Brigade_--Would find considerable scope in
    repairing the old frames collected by our Household Salvage Brigade;
    while the Sewing Brigade would work the covers.

    19. _The Paper-makers Brigade_--Would also be supplied with plenty
    of material by the Household Salvage Brigade, and would keep our
    printing establishment supplied with whatever paper they might
    require. Already we consume a considerable quantity, and this would
    be enormously increased by the development of our scheme.

    20. _The Book-binders Brigade_--Would furnish us with our registers
    for the Regimentation Bureau, besides doing our other miscellaneous
    work of a similar description.

    21. _The Brass Brigade_--Would supply Our colonies with the various
    kinds of brazen vessels we should be likely to require. For these in
    process of time there would be a large demand.

    22. _The Net-making Brigade_--Would make nets for fishing purposes.

    33. _The Hawkers Brigade_--There could be no possible objection to
    our disposing of our goods in this way at the ordinary market rates
    supposing that we were in a position to manufacture more than we
    required for our own consumption.

    24. _The Barbers Brigade_--Would also be a necessary addition to our
    forces, and would find plenty of scope for their skill among the
    unwashed multitudes who would compose our labour legions.

Such are some of the occupations which might at once be set on foot. To
these would no doubt be added many other sorts of handicraft, as our
numbers and experience increased, and fresh opportunities opened up
around us.



A considerable portion of General Booth's book is devoted to the
description of shelters, improved lodgings and suburban villages for the
poor. As elsewhere remarked this question is not of such vital
importance for India as for England, though the dealing with it is
simply a question of time.

We would therefore simply refer our readers to the admirable proposals
embodied in General Booth's book. It is possible that there may be some
who will desire that immediate steps should be taken for the preparation
of similar quarters for the poor in our terribly over-crowded Indian
cities. It is in any case extremely likely that the question will be
forced upon us at an early date by the people themselves.

But I have thought it best to narrow down the scheme as much as possible
to those things which seem of the most absolute and immediate urgency,
and I have therefore divested it as much as possible of all that could
reasonably be dispensed with.

Still I see no reason why each city should not have its "Poor Man's
Metropole," as well as its model dwellings and suburban villages, for
the working classes. I would have these, moreover, as purely oriental as
possible with a careful avoidance of anything that might be European in
their appearance and arrangements. There should be tanks for bathing,
and washing purposes, gardens, recreation grounds for the children,
proper conveniences for cooking, and quarters in which they would not be
herded together like cattle, but given the decencies of life, so
necessary and helpful to the encouragement of cleanliness and morality.

Another point would be the absolute absence of anything in the shape of
mere "charity" about any of the buildings. Everybody would be made to
feel happy and at home, and their self-respect would be cultivated by
arranging for suitable charges to be made, payment being taken either in
cash or labour.

However, these are only hints that are thrown out, to show that we are
fully awake to the importance of this subject, and in order that friends
who are interested in the question may feel free to communicate their
wishes and give us their advice.



I now come to a special element of both hope and difficulty in the
solution of our Indian Social problem,--The Beggars. Here we have the
lowest stratum of the submerged tenth, excluding from them the religious
mendicants with whom we are not now concerned. I have classified them as

    1. The blind and infirm.

    2. Those who help them and share the proceeds of their begging.

    3. Able-bodied out of works.

Now I propose to deal with them in a way which will not call for
Legislation. In the first place it is most improbable that Government
would interfere with beggary, even if asked to do so. Certainly no such
interference would be possible without assuming the responsibility of
the entire pauper population, involving an expenditure of many million
pounds. In the second place any such interference would in all
likelihood be extremely distasteful to the native public. In the third
place I believe the question can be better dealt with in another way.

I propose to cut diamond with diamond, to set a thief to catch a thief,
to make a beggar mend a beggar. In other words my plan is to _reform_
the system rather than _abolish_ it. To the radical reformer who would
sweep out the whole "nuisance" at one stroke, this may be a
disappointment. But I believe that this feeling will be diminished, if
not entirely removed, when he has made himself familiar with the
following scheme.

Of course if the Upas tree could be uprooted and banished from our
midst,--if with a wave of his magic wand some sorcerer could make it
disappear, so much the better. But this is impossible. We should require
an axe of gold to cut down the tree; and this we do not possess. If a
rich and powerful Government shrinks from the expense of such an
undertaking, we may well be excused for doing the same.

But after all supposing that you can transform your Upas tree into a
fruit-bearing one, will not this be even better than to cut it down?
Such things are done every day before our very eyes in nature. The stock
of the crab-apple can be made to bear quinces, and a mango tree that is
scarcely worth the ground it occupies, can be made to yield fruit which
will fetch four annas a piece!

What is done in the garden is possible in human nature. And God will yet
enable us to graft into this wretched and apparently worthless Upas
stock, a bud which in coming years shall be loaded with fruit that shall
be the marvel of the world. This human desert shall yet blossom as the
rose, this wilderness shall become a fruitful garden, and the waste
places be inhabited.

Surely then, better even than the _annihilation_ of beggary will be its
_reformation_, should this be possible. At least the suggestion is well
worthy of consideration, and in examining, the matter, there will be
several important advantages to which I shall afterwards refer.

(1.) The first step that we would take in reforming the-beggars would be
to _regiment them._ The task would be undertaken by our Labor Bureau. In
this I do not think there would be serious difficulty encountered, if
the scheme commended itself to the native public. They would only have
to stop their supplies and send the beggars to us.

(2.) Our next step would be to _sort out_ the beggars. They would be
divided into three classes:--

    (a) _The physically unfit_, who could be furnished with light work
        at our labor yards, or otherwise cared for. At present there are
        hundreds of beggars who are physically unfit for the exertion that
        begging involves, and who are driven to it by the desperate pangs
        of hunger.

    (b) _Those who like_ it, and are physically well fitted for it,
        besides being accustomed to the life, and not being fitted much for
        anything else.

    (c) Those who dislike the life, and would prefer, or are suited for
        other occupations. Some of these we would draft off to other
        departments of our labour yards, while some would for the present
        be kept on as beggars, with the hope of early promotion to other

(3.) We should _brigade the beggars_ under the name of the Household
Salvage Brigade, or some similar title, dividing them into small
companies and appointing over them Sergeants from among themselves, and
providing each with a badge or number.

(4.) We should with the advice and consent of the leading members of the
native community, _map out the city into wards_, and assign each company
their respective streets, allotting as far as possible the Mahommedan
beggars to the Mahommedan quarters, and the Hindoos to the Hindoo. In
this we should also take the advice of experienced beggars, from whom we
should expect to learn many useful hints.

(5,) Each house that was willing to receive them would _be supplied with
three receptacles_, one for waste cooked food, another for gifts of
uncooked food, and a third for old clothes, waste paper, shoes, tins,
bottles, and other similar articles.

(6.) At an appointed hour the Brigade would proceed to their posts,
would patrol their wards, and bring or send the various articles
collected to the labor yards, where all would be sorted and dealt with
as necessary the cooked food being distributed among those who were
willing to eat it, or sent to the surburban farm for our buffaloes. The
raw grain would be handed over to our food depôts, and credited by them
to the Beggars Fund for the special benefit of the destitute.

(7.) At the end of each day every member of the Brigade would receive a
food ticket in payment of his services. The amount could be regulated
hereafter. This ticket he would present at our food depôt, where he
would be supplied with whatever articles he might require. There would
be a regular system of rewards and encouragements for good conduct. But
all such details will be settled hereafter.

(8.) A special feature in the system would be the introduction of the
ancient _Buddhist_ custom of "_meetihal_," or "the consecrated handful
of rice." This is as follows. A pot is kept in each home and a handful
of grain is put into it every time the family meal is cooked. We think
that there would be no difficulty in getting this custom universally
adopted, when it was understood that the proceeds would be devoted
entirely to feeding the destitute. I believe that the income derived
from this alone would in course of time be sufficient to meet the needs
of the destitute in any city in India, at the same time that it would
serve to equalise and therefore minimise the burden which now rests
chiefly on a comparative few.

(9.) In case the food supply thus obtained should be insufficient, we
have little doubt that we could persuade leading merchants in the city
to club together and make up the difference, when they saw the good work
that was going on.

Such in brief is a skeleton of the scheme for elevating and renovating
the Beggar population of India. It is no doubt open to criticism on some
points, but it has special advantages which I will proceed to point out,
apologising for the extra space I am obliged to occupy, in dealing with
this subject, on account of its novelty and importance, and in order
that I may be thoroughly understood.

1. _It is conservative._ Here you have a reformation without a
revolution, or rather a revolution by means of a reformation. And yet
there is no attempted upheaval of society.

2. It is thoroughly _Indian_, and suited to the national taste.

3. It _costs nothing_ and may even prove in time a source of income to
the Social Scheme.

4. It is _doubly economical_ since it uses the human waste in collecting
what would be the natural wastage of the city, and devotes each to the
service of the other.

5. It is _systematic_ and therefore bound to be as immensely superior to
the present haphazard mode, as a regular Army is to an undisciplined

6. It unites the advantages of _moral suasion_, with those of the most
perfect _religious equality_ and _toleration._

7. _It saves the State an enormous expenditure_ and avoids the necessity
for harsh, repressive, unpopular legislation, and increased taxation.

8. _It benefits the public._

    (a) It removes a public nuisance.

    (b) And yet it satisfies the public conscience.

    (c) It stimulates private charity, and directs its generosity into
        wise and beneficial channels.

9. _It benefits the beggars._

    (a) It protects the weak from the painful and often unsuccessful
        struggle for existence.

    (b) It ensures everybody their daily food and a sufficiency of it.

    (c) It restores their self respect.

    (d) It teaches them habits of honesty, industry and thrift.

    (e) It opens up to them a pathway of promotion.

10. Finally it will furnish honest and honorable employment right away
for hundreds of thousands all over the land, and create an entirely
_novel_ industry out of what is at present an absolute _wreckage._

But I am well aware that certain objections are likely to be raised.
These I would seek to remove, though if we are to wait for a plan which
is free from all liability to criticism, we may wait for ever, and wait
in vain. There is a famous answer given by John Wesley to a lady who was
objecting to something about his work,--"Madam, if there were a perfect
organization in the world, it would cease to be so the day that you and
I entered into it." Hence it is not simply a question as to whether
there are difficulties in the present proposals, but can anything better
be suggested. However, I am anxious to meet in the fairest possible
manner all conceivable objections, and am perfectly prepared to make any
such modifications as may appear advisable.

(1.) Some will perhaps say that the beggars are already too well off to
desire to come,--that they are making a good thing of it and will prefer
to prosecute their calling under the present arrangements. Of course if
it be true that they are able to do better for themselves than we are
proposing to do for them, then they have no right to be included in the
submerged tenth. I would congratulate them on their success and turn my
attention to those who are more in need of our services. But could any
one seriously defend such a supposition? And if they are likely to be
bettered by the new arrangements, why should we suppose that they should
be so blind to their own interests as to refuse to profit by the new
chance? Besides, this is contradicted by all experience. Let there be a
prospect of a feast, or a supply of rice or food, and who does not know
that beggars will flock eagerly to the point, though it be only for a
single meal, and we propose to provide a _permanent livelihood._

(2.) But says some one else _they are bone-idle and will not work_, and
you propose to give them no food save in exchange for their work. This
is a real and serious difficulty. We fully recognise it. Yet we do not
think it is un-get-over-able, for the following reasons:--

    (a) We do not intend to be hard-taskmasters. The work given will be
        of a light character, and suited to the strength of each. We are
        not going in for oakum picking and stone breaking. We shall do our
        utmost to make everything bright, cheerful and easy. We have no
        idea of treating them as criminals.

    (b) It ought not to be difficult to get each one to do two annas
        worth of work, and this will be more than sufficient to cover their
        expenses. We have no desire to become _sweaters._

    (c) _Begging is hard work._ If you don't believe it, come and try
        it! I and many of my officers have begged our food as religious
        mendicants, so that we, are able to speak from _experience_!
        It is at best a life of sacrifice, hardship and suffering. And yet
        we have practised it under _specially favorable circumstances_,
        particularly those of us who are Europeans. But that there can be
        any sort of rest, or ease, or enjoyment in it to those who are
        driven to it by the pangs of hunger, unsupported by any spiritual
        consolations, I cannot conceive. On the contrary I should say that
        the task of the beggar is so hard, and disagreeable not to say
        _shameful_, that the majority of them would leap to do the
        most menial tasks that would deliver them from a bondage so

        Have you ever solicited help and been refused? Have you known what
        it is to feel the awful sickenings of heart at hope deferred? Have
        you known what it is to be regarded with suspicion, with contempt,
        with dislike, with scorn, or even with _pity_ by your fellow men?
        If so, you may be able to realise the experiences that every beggar
        has to go through a hundred times a day, many of them with feelings
        every bit as sensitive as your own. Will he demean himself and work
        hard at so miserable a calling and yet be unwilling to do some
        light work, with which he can earn an honest living? I for one
        cannot believe it, till I see it.

    (d) Our experience further contradicts it in dealing with the more
        depraved, hardened and supposed-to-be-idle criminals and
        prostitutes, whom we receive into our Prison Gate and Rescue Homes.
        When Sir E. Noel Walker was visiting our Prisoners' Home in
        Colombo he was astonished at the _alacrity_ with which the men
        obeyed orders, and the _eagerness_ with which they worked at their
        allotted tasks. He asked the Officer in Charge whether he ever
        _"hammered"_ them, and was surprised at finding that the only
        hammer he ever required was the _allsufficient_ hammer of _love._
        And yet the gates were always open and they were free to walk out
        whenever they liked. Moreover, beyond getting their food and a very
        humble sort of shelter, their labour was entirely unpaid.

    (e) Finally by means of a judicious system of rewards and promotions
        we should educate and encourage them into working, besides teaching
        them industries which would be useful after they had left us.

(3.) But some one else will say "They are thievish and will rob you.
They are roguish and will decieve you. You don't know whom you have to
deal with." Well, if we don't know them, we should think nobody does! I
would answer,

    (a) Granted that some of them cheat us. All will not. And why should
        the honest suffer with the rogues?

    (b) What if we do lose something in this way? It would be little in
        comparison with the enormous gain. I feel sure it would in no case
        exceed ten or twenty per cent, on the collections made, and that
        would be a mere trifle.

    (c) Our system of regimentation would largely guard against any such
        danger and would be an encouragement to honesty.

    (d) It is notorious that there is "honour among thieves." They would
        watch over one another. Among them "_nimak-harami_" or
        "faithlessness to their salt" would soon come to be regarded as a
        crime of the first water.

    (e) The inducement for thieving would be largely gone. Very few
        steal _for the sake of stealing._ A man usually steals to fill his
        own stomach, or some one else's, whom he loves. But here all would
        be provided for.

    (f) Besides he would feel that all he could earn was for the _common
        good_ and was not going to make any individual rich at his expense.

    (g) Our experience in the Prison Gate Homes contradicts it. True, we
        have had some thefts especially at the beginning, but when I was
        last visiting our Colombo Home, the Officers in charge assured me
        that they were now of the rarest occurrence, while the gentleman
        who owned the tempting cocoanuts that were hanging overhead told
        me that he had never had such good crops from his trees, as since
        our colony of thieves and criminals had been settled there!

(4.) Some one else may perhaps object that we shall have thrown upon our
hands a swarm of helpless, useless, cripples and infirm. Well, and what
if we do? Are they not our fellow human beings, and ought not some one
to care for them? We shall look upon it as a precious responsibility,
and I speak fearlessly on behalf of our devoted officers when I say,
that they would rather spend and be spent for such than for the richest
in the land. If, as I have already shown, the effort can be made
_self-supporting_ and _self-propagating_, the mere fact of their misery
or poverty only impels us to love them the more and to strive the more
earnestly for their emancipation.



This has already been in operation for two years in the cities of Bombay
and Colombo and a branch has been recently established in Madras. Now
that it will be connected with other branches of our Social Reform, we
may look for a rapid increase of this useful though difficult work.

The establishment of our Labor Yards will greatly help us in finding
work for this class, without branding them with the perpetual stigma of
their crime. The chief difficulty in the working of these Homes consists
in the almost insuperable objection of the men to be _known as
criminals_ after their release from jail. This is of course perfectly
natural. Besides, it is important that we should hold out before them
hopes of bettering themselves by their good conduct, and earning an
independent and honest livelihood at no distant date. When once our
Labor Yards and Farm Colonies are in active operation, we shall be able
to do this for our rescued criminals, continuing at the same time the
fatherly supervision and help which they so very much need.

The following quotations from our last annual report will serve to
explain this branch of our work, and to give a glimpse of the
encouraging success with which we have already met in our efforts to
reach and reform the criminal classes.


Picturesquely situated among palm trees in one of the most beautiful
suburbs of Colombo, within easy reach of the principal city jail, is our
Sinhalese Prisoners' Home. Cinnamon Gardens, as the district is called,
forms one of the attractions of Colombo, which every passing visitor is
bound to go and see. The beauty of the surroundings must be a pleasant
contrast to those dull prison walls from which the inmates have just
escaped. Still more blessed and cheering must be the change from the
Warder's stern commands to the affectionate welcome and kindly
attentions of the red-jacketed Salvationists, who have the management of
the Home.

A bright lad who is on duty in the guard-room opens the gates and
introduces you to the grounds in which the quarters are situated. There
are groups of huts with mud walls and palm-leaf thatching, which have a
thoroughly Indian and yet home like appearance. The first few of these
are occupied as workshops or carpentry for the manufacture of tea boxes,
and here from early to late the men may be seen busily employed, sawing,
planing, measuring, bevelling, hammering and working with such a will
that you might imagine their very lives depended on it, or at least that
they must be making their fortunes out of it, whereas they are not being
paid at all, and all the profits of the manufactory go towards the
support of the Home!

"What I admire about your work," observed Sir Athur Gordon, the late
Governor of Ceylon, "is the way in which your Officers identify
themselves with these convicts, and live among them on terms of perfect

But I was describing the little colony. On the left of this group of
workshops is a neat little hut where Captain Dev Kumar and his young
bride, Captain Deva Priti, reside. What a change for them form the
English Homes to which they have been accustomed, to this little jungle
hut, surrounded as they are continually by a band of ex-convicts, and
criminals. Yet it would be hard to find a happier couple in the
island,--in fact, quite impossible outside the Salvation Army.

"It is all our own work," explains the Captain. "Our men built the hut,
and the materials only cost about Rs. 25!" Certainly this is the
perfection of cheapness in the way of house building! A little further
inside the enclosure you come to more huts, in some of which the men
live, while others serve for quarters for the native officers who assist
in the superintendence of the Home, and to whose noble efforts so much
of its success is due. Then there is the kitchen, and a dining-room, and
a stable for the bullock trap, in which the released prisoners are
brought to the Home, to avoid the risk of a foot journey when their old
associates might hinder them on the way.

The spare bits of ground are all laid out in little plots of garden,
where plantains and vegetables are grown, and in front of the Captain's
quarters is a dainty little scrap of a flower garden. The entire
enclosure forms really a portion of the garden of a neighbouring house,
the property of the late Mr. Ginger, who took a warm interest in our
work, and leased the grounds to us at a nominal rent.

The following are the statistics of the work during the past year:--

    Total number of admissions, ..........................  230
    Found Situations,  ...................................  115
    Left, the Home and lost sight, of,  ..................  103
    Total number of sentences of imprisonment,............  459
    Number of juvenile convicts under 16 years of age, ...   40
    Number of meals given,.............................. 15,774
    Number of tea-boxes made,  .......................... 2,880
    Profits on same,.................................  Rs.  350

The accompanying is the official report form sent in by us to
Government every month showing the results of the work--



A.--This Return for the preceding month shall be forwarded on 1st or 2nd
of each month, by the Officer Commanding Salvation Army, through the
Superintendent of the Convict Establishment to the Inspector General of
Prisons, with columns 1, 6, 7, and 8, duly filled in.

B.--The Superintendent Convict Establishment shall fill in columns 2, 3,
4, and 5, and send on the Return to the Inspector General.

1. Name and age of Prisoner.

2. Nationality and religion.

3. Name of Offence.

4. Length of imprisonment in months.

5. General character in Jail.

6. Number of days maintained by the Salvation Army

7. How employed now, or going to be employed.

8. Result of action of salvation Army on prisoner, roughly estimated.

_Superintendent Convict Establishment._

_Commdt. Salvation Army, Colombo._

That the work of the Colombo Prisoners' Home is highly appreciated in
Colombo is further proved by the fact that most of the leading
Government officials subscribe to its funds, including the Colonial
Secretary, Sir E. Noel Walker, the Chief Justice Sir Bruce Burnside,
and many others. Again, it is not an uncommon thing for us to receive
such letters as the following from the Magistrate:--

    From the POLICE MAGISTRATE, Colombo,
    _Dated, Colombo, October 30th, 1889._

    _Subject--Habitual Offender, Dana._


    I have the honour to inform you that a man named Dana, produced
    before me this day, charged with being a habitual thief, has
    expressed a wish to be admitted into the Prison Brigade Home.

    I shall be glad if you afford him an opportunity to redeem his

    I am, Sir,
    Your obedient Servant,
    _Police Magistrate._

The past year was suitably finished up by providing a special feast to
which only ex-convicts were admitted. No less than 150 accepted the

About this branch of our work a leading daily paper, the Ceylon
_Independent_, writes as follows.--

    Most of our readers have read in our columns of the good work the
    Army is doing at the Prison Gate, in reclaiming from criminal
    courses the discharged prisoners who have served their time of
    confinement. In that critical moment, when the wide world is once
    more before the newly discharged culprit, when he emerges from
    confinement to overwhelming temptation, big it may be with fresh
    schemes of crime, armed with enlarged experiences to aid in its
    accomplishment, to be met, taken kindly by the hand, and led gently
    to the pleasanter and more peaceful path of honesty, industry, and
    virtue, is a surprise that is calculated to disarm temptation at
    least for a moment, and thus virtue gains time for thought.

The success of the Prison Gate Brigade has hitherto been surprising, and
quite beyond its founders' anticipation. It has been especially useful
in reclaiming juvenile offenders, of whom a large number have been
induced to take to the honest means of livelihood, chiefly carpentry,
which the Home provides.


This work in Bombay was commenced some two years ago at the instance of
a leading Parsee gentleman, with a generous subscription of Rs. 1,200.
Owing partly to the fact that we have been hitherto unable to secure
suitable premises and partly to the entire absence of any assistance on
the part of Government, the work in Bombay has been much more uphill and
discouraging than in Ceylon. Nevertheless we have persevered in the
teeth of all sorts of difficulties, and the results have been very
encouraging. Recently in one week no less than three of the inmates of
our Bombay Home were accepted as cadets, to be trained up as future
officers. Previously to this nine others had been similarly accepted.
One of these, Lieut. Hira Singh, is now himself taking an active part in
the rescue of other convicts, while another is sucessfully working in
Gujarat. Accounts of their lives are given further on.

Indeed Bombay has proved itself to be an even richer field than Colombo
itself; and now that some of the peculiar difficulties that have
hitherto hindered the work, are one by one being removed, there is every
reason to believe that this work will soon make rapid progress.

The returns for the past year show that the prison gates have been
visited 235 times, for the purpose of meeting the convicts on their
release. Since the commencement of the Home about 134 men have been
admitted. Of these 74 have professed conversion, about 12 having been
accepted as officers by ourselves and the remainder having mostly found
employment elsewhere. The number of meals given during the past year has
been about 7,800.

One of the special features of the work here consists in the constant
visitation of the liquor dens, with a view to persuading those who were
frequenting them to give up their evil ways. No less than 430 such were
in this way visited and a large number of papers distributed. While the
opposition was in some instances severe, as a rule our officers were
well treated even by the grogshop-keepers, who while admitting that
their trade was evil, pleaded that they had the Government's approval,
and that they must somehow support themselves and their families.

Besides the regular inmates, a large number of casuals have been
relieved and assisted, but of these we have no exact figures.

The following are some specimens of the work done by us among the
criminal classes in Bombay and Ceylon:--


Is a Hindu of the Kshatraya caste. He comes of a soldier race and
family, his father having served in the East India Company's army before
him, and he having from his youth followed the same profession for the
past eighteen years, serving successively as Private, Lance-Corporal,
Corporal, and Sergeant in a native Regiment. He went through the last
Afghan campaign, having been to Cabul, Quetta, and other places.

For many years his conduct was excellent, but latterly he took to
drinking, got into serious trouble with the police, and was sent to
prison for forty days, thus losing his post as well as his claim to
pension. He was met by our officers on his release, accompanied them to
the Home, gave his heart to God, and has now been an officer in our
ranks for more than a year. During most of this time he has been
connected with our Bombay Prison Gate work, and has in turn helped to
rescue many others. But for the help he then received, a life of
drunkenness and crime would probably have been, almost forced upon him.
He is a good specimen of numbers who would _like_ to reform, but with
ruined reputation have no choice, save between starvation and crime.


"I am a native (Singhalese) of Kalutara in Ceylon. My father was a
toddy-drawer. We were very poor. Sometimes my uncles would give me a
cent or two for mounting guard to give them warning about anybody's
approach while they were slaughtering stolen cattle in the jungles.
Once, being very hungry, I climbed up a palm tree to steal cocoanuts,
but was caught by the owner and handed over to the police. The
magistrate sent me to jail for three weeks. After my release I came to
Colombo, and falling in with the Salvation Army, I went to their Home
for prisoners, and now thank God I am saved."


This is only one of the many aliases by which he is known. He has been
one of the worst thieves and bad characters to be met with even in
Colombo, where there is a pretty good assortment of the scum of slumdom.
Adopted as an infant by a pious Mahomedan, he was trained up in that
religion. But in spite of every effort that was made for his
reformation, he rapidly went from bad to worse, till at length he found
himself in the hands of the police.

His first sentence was twelve months for throwing sand in a Singhalese
man's eyes and then robbing him of his comb. When released he fell in
with other criminals, from whom he learnt many new tricks of the trade.
Once he was stealing some clothes from a line when the lady of the house
saw him. A hue and cry was raised, and he soon found himself surrounded
with coolies and dogs. Seeing that there was no chance of escape, he
began to jump and scream and go through all sorts of antics. The lady,
thinking he was mad, and having pity on him, let him go.

He has seen the inside of nearly all the Colombo jails, but without
being made any better. Finally, he was received into our Home. At first
he was rather troublesome, but after a short time he gave his heart to
God, and has been doing well. "He cannot read or write," says the
Captain in charge, "but he prays like a divine, and I am believing to
see him become an Officer some day."


Was brought from his village by a Singhalese gentleman when quite a
little boy, but, leaving his master, thought he would start life on his
own account. He soon became a practised thief. "I always managed to
escape," he says, "till one day with some of my companions I robbed a
Buddhist temple. I managed to get a silver 'patara' (plate), which we
sold for Rs. 24, but was caught and sent to jail." "But you were
yourself a Buddhist," said the Captain. "How came you to rob your own
temple?" "What of that? I thought nothing of sin in those days. But it
is all so different now. I am saved, and mean to spend all my life in
saving others. I am just now practising a song to sing in the meeting

The Captain asked him whether he did not think it a great disgrace to go
to jail. "Oh, no! I thought everybody in Colombo had been there some
time or other. All the people with whom I mixed had been." "Well, how
did you like it?" "Oh, it was not such a bad place! The food was fairly
good, and I had not to work very hard but I wish I had known about
salvation sooner. Even then I used to wish that I could find something
which would _make_ me good, but all my efforts were in vain till I came
to the Home, and got saved."

In conclusion, I feel sure that a few brief particulars regarding this
branch of our work in Australia will be read with interest, and will
serve to prove the usefulness of this portion of our social reform

Some six or seven, Prisoners' Homes have been established in
Australasia. The Victorian Government give an annual grant of £1,000, to
assist us in this branch of our work. Special facilities are afforded to
our Officers in visiting the prisoners, and in some of the jails printed
notices are posted up by the authorities to the effect that any
prisoner, previous to discharge, may communicate with the officers in
charge of our Home, with a view to making a fresh start in life.

The testimony of Sir Graham Berry, Agent General, the Chief Secretary,
the Inspector General of Penal Establishments, and the Chief
Commissioner of Police, proves conclusively how much good has thus been
done. The following extracts from their letters are copied from our
Australasian Prison Gate report:--

H.E. SIR H.B. LOCH, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., writes through his Private
Secretary to express "his approval and appreciation of the work done by
the Salvation Army in connection with the Prison Gate Brigades and
Rescued Sisters' Homes, and has great pleasure in expressing his belief
in the good which has resulted from the philanthrophic endeavours of the
Salvation Army to rescue and afford material assistance to those in
whose interests these organisations have been formed."

SIR GRAHAM BERRY, Agent General for Victoria, writes:--"I have
confidence in the permanent results of your labours, because you, treat
these unfortunates as if they were human beings and capable of better
things. I believe your organisation is a very powerful agency for good
among that class which is practically neglected by others."

CHIEF JUSTICE HIGGINBOTHAM says that "it is only proper to mention that
there is no better nor more useful work done in rescuing discharged
prisoners from relapsing into crime, than that effected by the Prison
Gate Brigade of the Salvation Army."

Similar letters have also been received from the following gentlemen:--

  The Hon. ALFRED DEAKIN, M.L.A., Chief Secretary.


  The Hon. M.H. DAVIES, M.L.A. (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly).

  The Hon. F.F. DERHAM, M.L.A., Postmaster General.

  The Hon. H.T. WRIXON, M.L.A., Attorney General.

  The Hon. W.F. WALKER, M.L.A., Commissioner of Customs.


  The Bishop of MELBOURNE.

  W.G. BRETT, Esq., Inspector General, Penal Department.

  H.M. CHOMLEY, Esq., Chief Commissioner of Police.

  A. SHIELDS, Esq., M.P., Medical Officer, Melbourne Jail.



Hundreds of habitual drunkards have been soundly converted and reformed
in connection with our ordinary spiritual work in India. Probably there
are not less than 500 such enrolled in our ranks in this country, and
turned into staunch and perpetual abstainers.

The terrible nature of the drinks and drugs consumed by the Natives, I
have already had occasion to describe, as also the increasingly large
number of those who are becoming enchained by the habit.

In connection with our present Social Reform, special efforts will be
made to reach this class. They will be personally dealt with, and placed
as far as possible in circumstances that shall put them beyond the reach
of their besetting temptation.

For some time past our Officers, more especially those in charge of the
Prison Gate work, have visited liquor-shops and opium and ganja dens,
speaking personally to the frequenters, and in some cases distributing
among them suitable appeals and warnings in regard to the fatal
consequences of the habit.

Untimately it is intended to establish homes for the most hopeless class
of inebriates, both for those habituated to liquor and for those who are
the slaves of the still more fatal drugs, such as opium and bhang.



Here again we have made a beginning. It is now a year since the opening
of our Home in Colombo, and during that time 52 girls have been received
into our Home. Of these

  2 have been restored to their friends,

  4 are with others--doing well,

  23 have turned out unsatisfactory, and

  23 are with us in the Home, almost without exception giving evidence of
  being truly reformed.

Heart-rending are the tales which have reached our ears as to the way in
which many of them have been decoyed from their homes, and as to the
miserable existence which they have since been dragging out.

Every Indian city teems with a too fast increasing number of similar
unfortunates, for whom at present nothing has been attempted. We
propose, therefore, very largely to extend our Homes at all the large
centres of population.

Connected as will be this department with the network of other agencies
that we have already established, and increased as will be our
facilities for reaching this class, we are confident that we shall be
able to carry out this much-needed reform on a scale commensurate with
the evil, besides warning the youths of our cities against the terrible
contamination to which they are at present exposed. All the weight of
our increasing influence will be thrown into the scale for cutting off
both the supply and demand of this infamous traffic in human souls.



As has been already explained in the first part of this book, the
congested state of the labor market in the agricultural districts is
leading to an enormous and increasing immigration of the country
population towards the towns, not as a matter of preference, or of
choice, but of dire necessity. The object of the Country Colony, as
applied to India, will be twofold:

1. It will seek to divert into more profitable channels the steadily
increasing torrent of immigration from the villages to the towns.

2. It will re-direct and re-distribute the masses of the Submerged Tenth
who already exist in every large city.

Like his English representative, the Indian village bumpkin has a
natural aversion to town life. Peculiarities in his dialect, dress, and
manners make him the laughing-stock of the clever Cockney townsman. His
simplicity and ignorance of the world cause him to be easily victimised
by the city sharper, for whom he is no match in the struggle of life. He
sighs for his green fields, and longs to get away from the bustle that
everywhere surrounds and bewilders him. He surrenders these preferences
only, because starvation is staring him in the face, and he has better
chances of working, begging, or stealing in the city than in his

And yet within a few miles of his birthplace there are frequently tracts
of waste land amply sufficient to support him and thousands more. He
could reduce it to cultivation if he had the chance. He would infinitely
prefer eking out the scantiest existence in this manner to flinging
himself into the turbulent whirlpool of town life. Strangely enough the
"Sirkar" (Government), to whom these tracts belong, is equally anxious
that the land in question should be cultivated. It would yield in the
course of a few years as rich a revenue as the acres of exactly similar
soil that have been brought under cultivation in the neighbourhood. But
the difficulties in the way are well nigh insuperable:

1. The congested labor consists almost entirely of those castes which
are looked upon as inferior. The very idea of their emancipation is
distasteful to the higher castes, who enjoy in most parts of India an
almost exclusive monopoly of the land. Hence any effort to obtain a
grant of waste land is met with strong and often bitter opposition, and
it is next door to impossible for any one in the position of the
Submerged Tenth to fight the battle through.

2. Of course, under the British Government these caste distinctions are
not officially recognised. But as a matter of fact they still carry
great weight. Anybody can, it is true, petition the Government for a
grant of this land, but to secure favourable consideration is almost
impossible. During the last four or five years I have personally
interested myself in several petitions, with a view to assisting the
petitioners, whom I knew to be thoroughly deserving of success. And yet
after going through a weary tissue of formalities, seldom lasting less
than a year, I have not known of a single favourable answer, nor have
these advances met with the least sort of encouragement. The Government
officials to whom these vast estates are entrusted are mostly so
preoccupied with other work that it is impossible for them to give to
the subject the personal attention that it requires, and they are guided
by the reports of interested and sometimes bribed subordinates. The very
fact that they are entitled to draw exactly the same salary whether the
public estate improves or not, removes the incentive that would
otherwise exist, even if they were the absentee landlords of the
property, while the constant liability to be transferred from one
district to another aggravates the difficulty of the situation.

3. Again, there is a lack of the capital necessary for the initial
expenses of the cultivator in sinking wells, building houses, supplying
cattle and obtaining both seed and food till the harvest has been
gathered in.

4. The lack of combination among the congested mass of labourers is
another serious evil. They are as sheep without a shepherd. Individually
they have no influence. Collectively they are capable of becoming a
mighty power. What is needed at the present moment is a directing head
and an enfolding organisation that shall gather them together, bind them
in one harmonious whole, and with the help of a friendly Government lead
them on to occupy and cultivate these waste lands, converting them into
districts inhabited by a sober, thrifty and enterprising population.
Without such a combination the efforts that are made by private
enterprise will continue to be carried out on such a petty scale as will
utterly fail to cope with or remove the existing evil, and will merely
serve to give relief in a few isolated cases. For instance I have in
mind one district where to my personal knowledge the amount of congested
labor cannot amount on the most moderate calculation to less than half a
million people. There is in their immediate neighbourhood abundance of
waste land capable of supporting them. The Government is anxious for
that land to be occupied. The people are eager to obtain and capable of
cultivating every piece of waste that can be placed at their disposal.
If, instead of leaving it to individual caprice and effort to carry on
in the present haphazard and redtape fashion, we are able on the one
hand to combine this mass of labor, and to obtain on the other hand from
Government the particulars of the land they are desirous of having
cultivated, and the most favorable terms on which it can be granted to
us, we shall be in a position with, but a very moderate amount of
capital at our command, to solve the double problem of the waste land
and waste labor, and that within a very short period.

5. The religious influences which we should bring to bear on the
colonists would be invaluable, especially in the early days of these
colonies. The example of our Officers, their self-sacrificing devotion
to the interests of the people, the knowledge that they would gain
nothing by the success of the enterprise and that they were actuated
solely by the highest motives, the facts that they were sharing the
homes of the people, enduring the same hardships and eating the same
food, all this would act as an inspiration to the colonists when the
early days of trial and difficulty came upon them. No less an authority
than Mr. John Morley, M.P., remarked when he first heard of General
Booth's scheme, that he considered that its combination of religion with
the other details of the plan of campaign was its most hopeful feature,
and would be most likely to ensure its success. This seems to apply
especially to that portion of the scheme now under consideration.
Indeed, were such an enterprise directed solely by an agency destitute
of this powerful lever, we should anticipate failure in nine cases out
of ten, no matter how great the ability that directed and how abundant
the capital that could be commanded. Individual rapacity and selfishness
would spoil everything, and instead of a beautiful spirit of harmony and
self-sacrifice, we should find a lucky few gaining the prizes and the
masses left no better, perhaps worse, off than before.

With these preliminary remarks I would introduce the Country Colony, as
suggested by General Booth. It will consist of the following branches,
to which no doubt others will be added as we advance:--

  1. The Suburban Farm in the vicinity of large cities, including

     (a) A dairy for the supply of milk, ghee, cream and butter.

     (b) A market garden for fruit and vegetables.

  2. The Industrial Village.

  3. The Social Territory or Poor Man's Paradise.

  4. The City of Refuge.

  5. Miscellaneous:

     (a) Gangs for public works, such as tanks, railways, roads, &c.

     (b) Gangs for tea gardens.

     (c) Land along the railways.



The connecting link between the City Colony and the Country Colony will
be the Suburban Farm. Situated conveniently near to the largest cities,
it will serve many important purposes.

1. It will form the channel, or outlet, by which the agricultural
portion of the labor overflow in the cities will make its way back to
the country. In fact, it will constitute a sort of sluice which will in
time act with the same regularity and ease as those which are attached
to any reservoir of water, directing to the most needy places, and
distributing without waste, those very waters which if uncontrolled
would sweep everything before them as a devastating flood.

2. It will at the same time find a ready market in the city, not only
for its own produce, but for that of the other branches of the country
colony, with which it would be in constant and close communication.

3. It will supply the city with wholesome and unadulterated dairy
produce, together with the best fruits and vegetables, at the ordinary
market rates. These could be disposed of either wholesale to city
merchants, or by moans of stalls in the various markets, or we could
undertake to retail them in connection with our Household Salvage
Brigade. The Suburban Farm would consist of, say, from fifty to five
hundred acres of land in the immediate neighbourhood of a city. It would
combine three or more separate departments.

1. _The Dairy._ Buffaloes and cows would be given us by friends,
besides being purchased and reared by us, in large numbers. To tend
them, milk them, prepare the ghee, cream and butter, and to convey it
all to town, would find employment for a large number of the Submerged

2. The _Market Garden_ would employ a still larger number. Bananas grow
quickly in all parts of India, and with them we could make an immediate
beginning, introducing from different districts the best species.
Sugar-cane and other popular native products would receive special
attention, and where the European population in the neighbourhood was
sufficiently numerous we could include the cultivation of such fruits
and vegetables as would be liked by them. In the case of seaport towns
we should no doubt do a large business with the steamers in the harbour,
as for instance, in Bombay, Colombo, or Calcutta.

3. We should probably at an early period transfer some of the industrial
brigades enumerated in Chapter VI to our Suburban Farm. In doing this
there would be several obvious advantages:

  (a) We should have more elbow room for them on the Farm, than in the
      Labor Yards, where land would be so expensive that we should be
      obliged to crowd everything into the smallest possible compass,
      both in regard to work sheds and sleeping accommodation.

  (b) In removing them from the contaminating influences of city life,
      we should be able to exercise a more personal and powerful influence
      upon these members of the Submerged Tenth and should stand a far
      better chance of effectively carrying out that spiritual and moral
      regeneration, without which we reckon that any mere temporal
      reformation would be ineffective and evanescent.

  (c) We should prevent our labor yards from getting gorged, and would
      keep them within manageable dimensions. At the same time that we
      should cope more effectively with all existing distress.

  (d) The Suburban Farm being closely connected with other portions of
      our Country Colony, we should be able to use the latter to relieve
      it in case of its becoming in turn overcrowded by the influx from
      the City.

  (e) It would thus form a natural stepping-stone to the Industrial
      Village, which we have next to describe.



For the Industrial Village we have already before our very eyes an
admirable object lesson in the existing organisation and subdivision of
an ordinary Indian village. Indeed it is singular how precisely India
has anticipated just what General Booth now proposes to introduce in
civilized Europe.

The village community so familiar to all who have resided in India
consists of an independent or rather interdependent, co-operative
association which constitutes a miniature world of its own, producing
its own food and manufacturing its own clothes, shoes, earthenware,
pots, &c, with its own petty government to decide all matters affecting
the general welfare of the little commonwealth. Very wisely the British
rulers of India have left this interesting relic of ancient times
untouched, so that the institution can be seen in complete working order
at the present day all over India. The onward march of civilisation has
somewhat shaken the fabric and has threatened the existence of several
of the village industries. But at present there has not been any radical
alteration. The village may still be seen divided up into its various

Take for instance a village in Gujarat. Those substantial houses in the
centre belong to the well-to-do landowners. The cultivators or tenants
have their quarters close alongside. The group of huts belonging to the
weavers is easily distinguishable by the rude looms and apparatus for
the manufacture of the common country cloth. The tanners' quarter is
equally well marked, and yonder the groups at work with mud and wheel
and surrounded with earthenware vessels of various shapes and sizes,
remind you that you are among the Potters.

On inquiring into the interior economy of the village a system of
payment in kind and exchange of goods for labour and grain is found to
prevail exactly similar to that suggested by General Booth. Only here we
have the immense advantage that instead of having to explain and
institute a radical reform in the existing system, we have to deal with
millions of people who are thoroughly imbued with these principles from
their infancy.

For instance one of the staple articles of food in the village consists
of buttermilk, which is distributed by the high caste among the low
caste from year's end to year's end in return for petty services. One of
the usual ways in which the high caste will punish the low, for any
course of conduct to which they object is by the terrible threat of
stopping their supply of "chas," which means usually nothing short of

Here then is our model in good working order and in exact accordance
with the ideal sketched out by General Booth. We cannot do better than
adhere to it as closely as possible.

Probably the first industrial settlement which we shall establish, in
addition to the labor yards and suburban farms already referred to, will
consist of a colony of Weavers in Gujarat.

For this we shall have special facilities, as we have now 150 Officers
at work in that part of the country, as well as more than 2,000 enrolled
adults, a large proportion of whom have been in our ranks for several
years. From amongst these we shall be able to select thoroughly reliable
superintendents (both European and Native), and shall be able to take
full advantage of their local experience.

But how far we shall consider it wise to confine our first settlement
to one particular caste or to include within it from the outset some
other useful village industries such as have been above referred to, I
am not as yet prepared to say. Much will necessarily depend on the
course that events may hereafter take. For the present I can only say
that we will adhere as closely as possible to our Indian model.

The one weak point about the Indian system, as it at present exists, is,
that there is no means of regulating the proportion of labour in each
section of the community. The rules of caste prevent any transfer from
one trade to another, while there is no system of intercommunication
between the villages to enable them to readily transfer their surplus
population to the places where they would be most needed. In a case
where some village industry is threatened with annihilation, as for
instance the weavers, there is absolutely no provision for the transfer
of the unfortunate victims of civilisation either to some more favored
locality or to some other sphere of labour.

Now this is just where our combined plan of campaign with its union of
City, Country, and Over-sea Colonies would step in and supply the
missing link. We should be able to direct the glut of labor into just
those channels where it would be the most useful.

And why should this be thought impracticable? Everybody is acquainted
with the power of wind, water and steam, where properly directed, to
move the most gigantic machinery and yet for centuries those powers were
suffered to go to waste. It is only of late that we have learnt for
instance to put chains upon the genii of the tea-kettle, to put them as
it were into harness, to bridle them and to compel them to drag our huge
leviathans across thousands of miles of ocean. May not the enormous
mass of waste labor that has accumulated in our cities and rural
districts be fitly compared to the former waste of steam. The best that
we have been able to do for it so far has been to provide for it the
safety valves of beggary, destitution, famine, pestilence, crime,
imprisonment and the gallows.

Is it too much to suppose that this enormous waste of human steam, the
most valuable sort of steam that the world contains, can be properly
controlled and guided so that it will make for itself railways and
steamers that shall carry its human cargoes by millions across lands
that are at present mere wastes, and to populate countries which are as
yet wildernesses? In doing so, we shall but fulfil the words of prophecy
uttered 26,000 years ago. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall
be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing.* *
For in the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs
of water.* * * And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be
called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it
shall be for those. The way-faring men, though fools shall not err
therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up
thereon; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there,
and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with songs
and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and
gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."



Probably the biggest wholesale emigration scheme ever undertaken was
that of Israel out of Egypt into Canaan, under the leadership of Moses.
The circumstances were so very similar to those with which we are
dealing, that I may be excused for referring to them, as they have a
direct bearing on the present problem, and may help largely towards its
solution. It is said that "History repeats itself" and certainly this is
true in regard to the evils that then existed, and we do not see why the
remedy should not in some respect correspond.

Looking back then, we find that there was in Egypt in the year 1,500
B.C. a submerged tenth, consisting of 600,000 able-bodied men with their
wives and families and numbering therefore at least two and a half
million souls. They constituted a distinct caste, or nation, which had
been grafted into the original Egyptian stock 430 years previously.
Owing to hereditary customs, race distinctions and religious differences
they had preserved their identity and had never become assimulated with
the Egyptians. It was a famine that had driven them to take refuge in
Egypt at a time when their numbers were so few that their presence
caused no particular inconvenience to the original inhabitants, while
the services of the King's Vazir, to whose caste they belonged secured
them a suitable reception.

At the time however when we take up their history a change had taken
place. Their numbers had immensely increased. The labor market was
deluged with them. The rulers, capitalists and landowners began to
tremble for their very existence. Enormous public works were planned and
the enslaved caste were compelled to carry out their allotted labour
under rigorous taskmasters, who made their lives a burden to them. Still
their numbers continued to increase. Alarmed at the prospect of an
impending revolution, the King gave orders that every male child of the
Hebrews should be drowned, thinking thus to stamp out the nation. It is
easy to imagine therefore that affairs must have come to a desperate
pass, when from the palace of Pharaoh and yet from among their own caste
a deliverer was raised up to organise and carry out the wholesale
emigration of the entire nation.

Looked at in this light it was certainly the boldest venture and
greatest scheme of the kind that had ever been conceived, and without
the aid of remarkable miraculous displays of Divine power Moses could
never have carried out so magnificent a project.

Everything appeared to be against him. The people whom he had come to
deliver were an undisciplined mob of cowardly slaves, whose spirit had
been crushed by years of cruel tyranny. They were unarmed and
unaccustomed to war. They were the subjects of the most powerful
military monarchy of those times. For them to dream of emigrating must
have seemed the wildest folly. On the one hand the Egyptians would not
hear of it, and their way would be barred by legions of the best
soldiers the world could produce. On the other hand the country to which
they were to emigrate was already occupied by numerous and warlike
tribes, who would contest every inch of territory. Added to this there
was a "great and howling wilderness" which separated the one country
from the other.

Hence it will be seen that this vast national emigration scheme was
carried out by Moses under circumstances of peculiar difficulty which do
not exist in the problem at present under consideration.

There are the same destitute hunger-bitten multitudes, it is true, and
the same difficulty arises before us as to what to do with these
steadily increasing hordes. The same Egyptian remedy, the construction
of vast public works, has been resorted to over and over again, with the
effect of giving temporary, but not permanent relief. In some respects
the position of the Hebrews in Egypt was preferable to that of the
destitute masses in India. They seem at least to have had no lack of
food and shelter, and if they had to work hard, and were cruelly treated
by their taskmasters, we have become familiar in the Indian villages
with many instances of cruelty in the treatment of the low caste by the
high such as could not well have been surpassed in Egypt itself, to say
nothing of the extortions of the money-lender and the ravages of famine
and pestilence referred to elsewhere.

But in many respects the situation is far more hopeful. Our Pharaoh is a
Christian Queen, under whom we have, not one, but many Josephs, who are
really anxious for the highest welfare of the submerged masses, and who
are likely to hail with gladness (as has been already the case in
England) any project which bids fair to alleviate permanently the
existing misery. The wealth and power of the British Government and
Nation, instead of being used to hinder such a scheme, is likely to be
thrown bodily into the scale in favour of all reasonable reform that
will help congested labour to redistribute itself and recover its normal

Again the progress of science and civilization has removed immense
barriers that previously existed, and railways, steamers, post and
telegraph have rendered possible for us, if not comparatively easy, what
was before only within the reach of miraculous manifestations of Divine

Furthermore, _the land is there, plenty of it, for centuries to come_,
some of it across the seas, within easy reach of our steamers, but a
great deal of it quite close at hand. Nor will it be necessary to
dispossess others to occupy it. The only enemies that will have to be
faced are the wild beasts, always ready to beat a retreat when man
appears. It does not even belong to some different nationality or
Government, jealous of our encroachments, but is the property of the
same Power to whom these destitute multitudes are looking for their
daily bread.

Hence it is impossible to imagine circumstances more favorable than
those which already exist in India at the moment that General Booth's
scheme is placed before the public, towards the carrying out on an
enormous scale, hitherto never dreamt of, the portion of his projects
referred to in the present chapter.

What I would propose is that a considerable section of waste Territory
should be assigned to us and placed at our disposal in some suitable
part of India, upon which we could plant colonies of the destitute,
similar in many respects to those already described, save that we should
here carry out on a wholesale scale what elsewhere we should be doing by
retail. Into this central lake or reservoir all our scattered streams
would empty themselves, till it was so far full that we should require
to repeat the process elsewhere. Beginning with a single social
reservation in some specially selected district, we should easily be
able to repeat the experiment elsewhere on an even larger scale
profiting as we went along by our accumulated experience.

From the first, however, I should suppose that it would be preferable to
carry out the manoeuvre on as large a scale as possible, for the reason
that this is just one of those things which will be found easier to do
wholesale than retail.

We have many illustrations of this in business. The merchant who amasses
a colossal fortune will perhaps scarcely spend an hour a day in
superintending the working of an establishment that covers half an acre,
while the poor retail shopkeeper over the way toils from early morning
to late at night and is scarcely able then to earn a bare subsistence
for the support of his family.

Compare again the labour and profits of a boatman in Bombay Harbour,
with those of the owner of an ocean going steamer. The former toils day
and night at the peril of his life and earns but little, while the
latter rests comfortably at home and enjoys a handsome income.

Or again let the village hand-loom weaver be pitted against the Bombay
Mill-owner, and we see at a glance that under certain circumstances it
_pays_ infinitely better to do things on a large than on a small scale,
and that in so doing the amount of labour and risk are also economised.

Now this applies to the proposal contained in this chapter. Given a
people who are well acquainted with Indian agriculture and who are
willing to be moved;--given a leader and an organisation in which they
have confidence;--given those religious and moral influences which will
so help them in overcoming the initial difficulties of the enterprise;
and given a suitable tract of country which (without displacing existing
population) they can occupy, and I would say with confidence that it
will be found easier to accomplish the transfer on a large than on a
small scale, by wholesale rather than by retail.

In the present case all the above conditions are satisfied. The entire
congested labor of the rural districts is thoroughly versed from
childhood in the arts of Indian agriculture. They are willing in many
parts of the country to emigrate by thousands even across the "kala
pani," to which they have such an intense and religious aversion, or to
enlist by thousands in our merchant marine and military forces. Much
more then will they be willing to emigrate in far larger numbers to
districts close at hand. A leader to inspire, an organisation to enfold,
and a plan of campaign to guide, have in the most marvellous manner
almost dropped from the skies since the publication of General Booth's
book. The religious and moral restraints and incentives, so important
for guarding against the abuses of selfishness and for inspiring with a
spirit of cheerful self-sacrifice, are provided, and that in a purely
_Native garb_, and yet with all the advantages of European leadership
and enthusiasm. And finally there is land in abundance which Government
desires to see colonised, and which is being slowly retailed out bit by
bit in a manner altogether unworthy of the urgent necessities of the

What then is there to hinder a big bold experiment? General Booth will
have in England largely to _make_ his agriculturists before he can put
them upon the land. Here in India we have _millions_ of skilled
destitutes ready to hand, and it will be possible within a very short
period with a few bold strokes to relieve the congested labor market
from one end of India to the other in a manner that can hardly now be

Is not this plan infinitely superior to the spasmodic Egyptian
expedient of occasional public works, which cost the State enormous sums
and only increase the local difficulty as soon as they are completed?
Should we not here be erecting a satisfactory and permanent bulwark
against the future inroads of famine? Shall we not rather be increasing
the public revenue for future years by millions of pounds and that
without adding a single new tax, or relying upon sources so uncertain
and detrimental to the public welfare as those founded upon the
consumption of drugs and liquors that destroy the health of the people?
Shall we not again be increasing the stability and glory of the Empire
in caring for its destitute masses and in turning what is now a danger
to the State into a peaceful, prosperous and contented community? And
finally will not our Poor Man's Paradise be infinitely superior from
every point of view to the miserable regulation _workhouse_, that is in
other countries offered by the State, or again to the system of
charitable doles and wholesale beggary that at present exists? To me it
seems that there is indeed no comparison between the two, and General
Booth's book has opened out a vista of happiness to the poor, such as we
should hardly have conceived possible save in connection with a
Christian millennium or a Hindoo "_Kal Yug._"

But it may be objected by some that in providing those outlets for the
destitute, we should in the end only aggravate the difficulty by
enormously increasing the population. This reminds one of the gigantic
folly of the miser with his hoards of gold. An amusing eastern anecdote
is told of one who having gone two or three miles to say his prayers to
a mosque suddenly remembered that he had forgotten to put out an oil
lamp before leaving home. He at once retraced his steps and on reaching
his house called out to the servant girl to be sure and put out the
light. She replied that she had already done so, and that it was a pity
he had wasted his shoe leather in walking back so far to remind her. To
this he answered that he had already thought of this and had therefore
taken off his shoes and carried them under his arm so as not to wear
them out!

And here you have a wretched class of miserly so-called "_economists_"
who are afraid to light their lamp, lest they should burn the oil, and
who would rather sleep in the darkness, doing nothing, or break their
necks fumbling about in their vain efforts to do little, when for a
farthing dip they may put in hours of profitable toil! And when a shoe
is provided for the swollen foot of a nation they are so afraid of
wasting their shoe leather, that they would rather hobble about belamed
with thorns, stones, heat, or cold, than lay out the little that is
necessary to bring them so ample a return!

Each labourer represents to the state what the piece of gold is to the
miser. He is the human capital of the nation and is capable of producing
annual interest at the rate of at least a hundred per cent, if placed in
sufficiently favourable circumstances. What folly is it then, nay what
culpable negligence, nay what nothing short of criminality to sink this
human gold in the bogs of beggary and destitution! Man is the most
wonderful piece of machinery that exists in the world! The cleverest
inventions of human science sink into insignificance in comparison with
him! The whole universe is so planned that his services _cannot_ be
dispensed with and indeed he is at the same time the most beautiful
ornament and the essential keystone of the entire fabric! The utmost
that science itself can do is to increase his productive powers.

But the idea of dispensing with the service of a single human being, or
of consigning him hopelessly to the perdition of beggary, destitution,
famine and pestilence is the most stupendous act of folly conceivable.
What should we think of a railway company that would shunt half its
engines on to a siding and leave them to the destructive influence of
rain and dust? And how shall we characterise the stupidity that shall
shunt millions of serviceable human beings into circumstances of misery
so appalling as well as of uselessness so entire, as those which we have
endeavoured to picture? Why, here we have not even the decency of a
siding! These wonderfully made semi-Divine human engines are suffered to
obstruct the very main lines on which our expresses run, not only
wrecked themselves, but the fruitful cause of wreckage to millions more!

But I have said enough I trust to show that the problem is not a
hopeless one, and that the portion of General Booth's scheme to which
this chapter refers is particularly applicable to India and capable of
being successfully put into operation on a scale commensurate with the
necessities of the hour.

Having obtained our territory we should proceed to mark it out, and to
direct into the most advantageous channels, the inflowing tide of
immigration. There would be a threefold division into agricultural
districts which would furnish food for the incoming population, a
pastoral district for the cattle, and a central market, which would
furnish the pivot on which all the rest would work. Our agricultural and
dairy farm proposal I have already fully discussed and will now proceed
to describe the social City of Refuge which will act as a sort of solar
system round which all the minor constellations would revolve.



I am tempted again to turn to Hebrew history to find a parallel for what
would I believe be easily accomplished at an early period in connection
with our "Poor Man's Paradise." I refer to what was styled the "City of
Refuge." The object of this institution was to provide a temporary
shelter for those who had unintentionally killed any one, so that they
might escape from "the avenger of blood." If on inquiry it could be
proved that the death was purely accidental, the fugitive was entitled
to claim protection until by the death of the high priest, the blood
should have been expiated when he would be free to return to his home
and people. If, on the other hand, it were a case of premeditated
murder, the city authorities were bound to hand over the fugitive to

The careful provision made by the Hebrew law for the occasional
manslayer surely casts a severe reflection on the millions who, many of
them through no fault of their own, represent the submerged tenth! Let
us leave for the time being the wilful criminals who are the open
enemies of society to be dealt with as severely as you like by the arm
of the law. Turn for a moment a pitying gaze towards those hungry
destitute multitudes, who cannot it may be, plead their own cause, but
whose woes surely speak with an eloquence that no mere words could ever
match! Why should we not provide them with a City of Refuge, where they
will have a chance of regaining their feet? If it be urged that their
numbers preclude such a possibility, we would reply that it has already
been proved in the previous chapter, that this will in really make
our task the more easy. The impetus and enthusiasm created by a movement
in mass tends largely to ensure its success.

If on the other hand it be urged that our object is to divert the flow
of population from cities to villages, it must be remembered that this
does not preclude the creation of new towns and cities, which shall
furnish convenient centres and markets for the surrounding villages. It
is not a part of General Booth's scheme to abolish cities, but rather to
dispose suitably of their superfluous population. And no doubt in course
of time the world will be covered not only with suburban farms and
industrial villages, but with cities which for commercial importance and
in other respects will rival any that now exist.

I am the more encouraged to believe that this will be particularly
practicable in India for the following reasons.

1. We have an enormous population close at hand. If at a distance of
12,000 to 14,000 miles, England can build its Melbournes, Sydneys and
Adelaides, surely it does not require a very great stretch of
imagination to suppose that here in our very midst with millions upon
millions of people at disposal we shall be able to repeat what has
already been elsewhere accomplished under circumstances so specially

2. Again let it be remembered that in this case we should have the
special advantage of carrying out the work on a carefully organised plan
and in connection with a scheme possessing immense ramifications all
over India and the world.

3. Once more, India supplies labor at the cheapest conceivable rate, so
that the cost would be infinitesimal as compared with the other
countries just mentioned.

4. Another important fact is that the laborers are accustomed to be
paid in kind, and to carry on a system of exchange of goods which will
further minimise the cost of the undertaking.

5. A still more encouraging element in the solving of our Indian problem
is the fact that nearly every native is a skilled artizan and you can
hardly meet with one who has not from childhood been taught some
handicrafts. Indeed the majority both of men and women are acquainted
with two or three different trades, besides being accustomed from
childhood to draw their own water, wash their clothes and do their
cooking. Hence it is impossible to find a more self-helpful race in the

6. Again this very thing has been already done in India itself,
especially by its great Mahommedan rulers, hundreds of years ago, and
that under circumstances, which made the undertaking infinitely more
difficult than would now be the case. What was possible to them then, is
equally possible to us now.

7. Finally in the midst of some of the very waste tracts of which we
have spoken may be found cities which were once the flourishing centres
of as large and enterprising a population as can anywhere be seen. Why
should not such places be restored to their former prosperity instead of
being handed over to become "the habitation of owls and dragons."

The selection of the site of the future city would of course be made
with due reference to advantages of climate, water, and communication
and it would be planned out previous to occupation with every
consideration of convenience, health, and economy. Gangs of workmen
would precede the arrival of the regular inhabitants, though we should
largely rely upon the latter to build for themselves such simple yet
sufficiently substantial dwellings as would meet the necessities of the
case. We might reasonably anticipate, moreover, that the influx of
population would attract of its own accord a certain proportion of
well-to-do capitalists, for whom a special quarter of the town could be
reserved and to whom special facilities could be granted for their
encouragement, consistent with the general well-being of the community.

It would be easy to fill many pages with a description of the internal
colony, the business routine, the simple recreations, the practical
system of education for the children and the lively religious services
that would constitute the daily life of the City of Refuge. Suffice it
to say that we should spare no pains to promote in every way the
temporal and spiritual welfare of its inhabitants, to banish drunkenness
and immorality, to guard against destitution and to establish a happy
holy Godfearing community, that would constitute a beacon of light and
hope not only for its own immediate surroundings but far and wide for
all India and the East.



(1.) _Public Works_--

While the central idea of the entire system will be that of providing
permanent, as contrasted with temporary work for the destitute, there is
no reason why the former should not be supplemented by the latter. The
great public works which at present afford occasional relief for
thousands would still be possible, only provision would be made for the
redistribution of the masses of labour thus withdrawn from the ordinary
channels as soon as the public work in question was completed.

For this again we possess a scriptural parallel in the "levy out of all
Israel" raised by King Solomon, consisting of thirty thousand men who
were sent "to Lebanon ten thousand a month by courses; a month they were
in Lebanon and two months at home." In addition to the above we find
that he employed seventy thousand "that bare burdens" and eighty
thousand "hewers in the mountains, beside the officers which were over
the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people
that wrought in the work." It was the elaborate organisation of these
laborers, and the provision for their spending a certain proportion of
their time at home, which enabled Solomon to carry out his great public
works without seriously deranging the labor market, or hindering the
prosperity of the nation. I have selected this instance because it is
from well authenticated sources, goes fully into details and refers to a
nation and country very much resembling India. Indeed it is almost
identical with the familiar Indian institution known as "begar" or
forced labour.

The weak point of such special efforts is that they tend to leave
things in a worse position than ever when they are concluded. Nobody
sits down to calculate what is to become of the thousands who have been
drawn together, often hundreds of miles from their homes, when the time
comes for them to be paid off. They are thrown bodily upon the labor
market and left to shift for themselves as best they can, without any
means of informing themselves where they ought to go, or into what other
channels they can most profitably direct their labor.

This evil we hope to obviate by means of our Labor Bureaux, which will
be planted in every city and district, and will keep such elaborate
returns as will enable to watch all the fluctuations of the labor

For instance let us be informed of the fact that a railway is to be
opened, a canal dug, or some other public work constructed in a
particular district, we should be able to calculate from our returns the
amount of labor that could conveniently be withdrawn from existing
channels, and the amount that would have to be imported.

We should be able to constitute a Solomon's levy (voluntary of course),
and the laborers would have the assurance that when the work on which
they were engaged was concluded, sufficient provision would be made for
their reemployment elsewhere, or for their restoration to their ordinary
occupation. Our Labor Bureau would thus do for the laborer what is at
present impossible for him to do for himself, and would economise his
time to the utmost.

(2.) _Off to the Tea Gardens_--

We should be able again to supply the Tea and Coffee Districts with
gangs of laborers, and should guard the interests of both employer and
employed. The former would be supplied with picked laborers at the
ordinary market rate, without the worry, delay and expense of having to
procure them for themselves. The latter would be kept in communication
with their families, and could be worked in "courses" on Solomon's plan.

(3.) _Land along the Railways_--

Among other proposals General Booth suggests that the land along the
Railway lines might well be utilised for the purpose of spade husbandry.
There seems no reason why these extensive strips of often fertile soil
should be left to go to waste, conveniently situated as they are on
borders of the main arteries of commerce and in close vicinity to

(4.) _Improved methods of Agriculture_--

This is a subject which deserves a chapter to itself in a country like
India. If it be true that there are millions of acres of waste land that
are only waiting to be cultivated to yield a rich return, it is equally
notorious that by improved methods of agriculture the present produce of
the soil may be doubled and trebled. To this subject we intend to pay
the full attention that it deserves, making the best possible use of
Native experience and European science. We shall be in a peculiarly
favorable situation for experiments on a large scale. But this is a
subject on which we cannot at present do more than touch, reserving for
a future period the elaboration of schemes which will doubtless have an
enormous reflexive effect upon the whole of India, and thus materially
increase the wealth of the entire country and the revenue of the



As in England, so in India, the establishment of a colony over the sea
will in the end prove the necessary completion of our scheme for
supplying work to the workless. There are sure to be found eventually in
overcrowded centres many for whom work at home cannot be found, and for
whom vast reaches of unoccupied territories in other lands wait to
afford a home.

Happily this will not be an immediate necessity in India. Over the
extended area occupied by the various races which comprise the Indian
Empire, large tracts of land still wait to be conquered by well-directed
industry, and the numerous settlements which it will be possible to form
in different parts of the country may for some time to come absorb the
surplus labour, add to the wealth of the country, the stability of the
Empire and the more rapid advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. Since,
however, we must look forward to emigration as the ultimate solution of
the problem which confronts us, we shall briefly indicate the lines upon
which we propose to carry it out.

In the establishment of Over-sea Colonies we shall follow very closely
the lines laid down in "Darkest England."

At present the continuous stream of emigrant labour flowing into
existing colonies already overstocked with labor, is creating serious
difficulties, and we have no idea of relieving a congested labour market
in one country by overstocking another: this would be, not to heal the
disorder, but only to shift the locality.

It may not be generally known how extensively emigration is already
resorted to by the people of India. We know that the impression is
abroad that Indians will not leave their country, that they fear the
sea, are too much attached to their home and their customs, and are far
too much filled with the dread of losing caste to yield to any pressure
that may be brought to bear upon them to quit the shores of their own
land for foreign fields of labour. As a matter of fact, however,
emigration to a considerable extent already exists.

In Ceylon alone there are nearly 300,000 Tamil coolies employed on the
Tea Estates, besides hundreds of thousands more who have permanently
settled in various parts of the Island. Vast tracts in the Island are
still waiting to be occupied. The former population of Ceylon is
variously estimated as having been from twelve to thirty millions,--now
it is only three! Is it impossible for us to suppose that it can be
restored to its former prosperity? Immense tanks and irrigation works
cover the entire country in tracts which are now unoccupied and desolate.
Many of these have been restored by Government, and there are now
100,000 acres of irrigable land in that country, only waiting to be
occupied and cultivated. Government is ready to give it on easy terms.
Here, then, alone is a wide and hopeful field for Indian emigration,
only requiring to be skilfully directed in order to find a home and
living for millions of India's destitute.

Now what we propose to do is not to check the stream of emigration, nor
yet to help it to flow on in its present channel until it overflows its
banks and engulfs in ruin the colonies it might have enriched, but
rather to dig out new channels, founding entirely new colonies in
districts yet unoccupied, on the plan laid down in "Darkest England."

The stream which, diverted into 20 or 30 channels, would enrich and
fertilize a whole continent, would if confined to one or two channels
burst its banks and become a desolating flood.

We shall ourselves become the leaders of the coolies, and dig out
channels in Ceylon, in Africa, in South America, and other countries,
building up from entirely new centres new colonies and territories and
kingdoms where the Indian colonist would find himself not a stranger in
a strange land, unwelcome, neglected, or illtreated, but at home in a
new India, more prosperous and happy than the one he had left behind,--a
colony peopled and possessed and managed by those of his own race and

Emigration carried on simply in the interests of those who promote it
and derive a profit out of it, without regard to the needs of the
districts to which they are exported, and with absolute disregard to the
comfort and convenience of the emigrant, and often attended with
heartless cruelties, must necessarily be fraught with grave evils. These
we believe we should largely be able to obviate. In vessels chartered by
ourselves or in some way under our direction, and with every comfort and
convenience which can be secured for the limited sum available for cost
of transit, for men, women, and children, under the direct
superintendence of our own trained officers, what a curtailment of human
suffering and shame there will be in the transit of the Colonist alone!
On his arrival he will be met by those who, if strangers, are his
friends, and who will secure for him comfortable quarters, communicate,
or enable the emigrant to communicate, with his friends at home,
introduce him to the particular industry to which he is assigned, and
who will not cease their personal care of him until he is happily
settled in his new home, and who will afterwards be available for
advice and counsel. He will find himself, not amongst people who are
eager to secure their own profit at his expense, but a part of a
commonwealth where each is taught to seek the good of his neighbour, and
where the laws are framed to secure and perpetuate this desirable
condition of things. A community where the blessings of home and
education and sanitary laws and religion are valued and made available
for all, and where liberty, which nowhere shines so sweetly as amongst a
frugal, industrious, intelligent, simple and godly people, reigns in

Moreover, our widely extended operations, our connection and oneness
with the great social movement of the Army in various lands, and the
regulations which will control the movement, will enable us invariably
to convey our colonists to fields where their labours will be of the
greatest value, and instantly to check any tendency to excess of labour
at any given centre, and even at times to greatly relieve temporary
gluts in the labor market arising from unforeseen circumstances.

In short, it is scarcely possible to overrate the blessings likely to
flow from Colonies where drink and opium will be unprocurable, where
vice will be repressed, where greed will receive little encouragement
and have few opportunities to grow, and where the comparative absence of
poverty on the one hand, and of extreme wealth on the other and the
general contentment of the people, will make life on earth a joy to
those who were once nearly starved out of it.




In connection with our Labor Bureau we shall establish an intelligence
department, the duty of which will be to collect all kinds of
information likely to be of use in prosecuting our Social Reform.

For instance, it would watch the state of the labor market, would
ascertain where there was a lack of labor and where a glut, would inform
the public of the progress of the movement, would bring to our notice
any newspaper criticisms or suggestions, and would generally make itself
useful in a thousand ways.


This would meet a long-felt want, and could also be worked in connection
with the Labor Bureau.

The poor would be able to get sound legal advice in regard to their
difficulties, and we should be able to help them in their defence where
we believed them to be wronged.


This has been established for some time in England with admirable
success, our worldwide organization enabling us to trace people under
the most unfavorable circumstances. No doubt there would be much scope
for such a department in India. At the outset it would form part of the
duties of the Labor Bureau, and would not therefore entail any extra


A thoroughly confidential matrimonial bureau which would wisely advise
people desirous of getting married, would certainly be of great service
in India. Its operations would no doubt be small in the beginning, but
as it got to be known and trusted it would be more and more resorted to.

Even supposing that outsiders should hold aloof from it, we should have
a large inside constituency to whom its operations would be very
valuable, and it would be thoroughly in accordance with native notions
for the mutual negotiations to be carried on in such a way.

Missionaries are everywhere largely resorted to in regard to questions
of this kind; and we have every reason to believe that it would be so
with ourselves, and we should thus be able largely to guard our people
against ill-assorted matches, and to furnish them with wise counsel on
the subject.


The subject of emigration has been already referred to elsewhere. No
doubt we shall ultimately require a separate and special office for this
purpose in all the chief cities but at the outset its duties would fall
upon the Labor Bureau and Intelligence Departments who would collect all
the information they could preparatory to the launching of this part of
the scheme.


In place of the "Whitechapel by the sea" proposed by General Booth, a
suitable Indian substitute would I think consist of periodical "melas"
similar to those already prevalent in various parts of the country.

These might be arranged with the treble object of religious
instruction, bodily recreation, and in order to find an occasional
special market for the surplus goods that we produce.

Everything would be managed with military precision. The place would be
previously prepared for the reception of the people. An attractive
programme would be arranged. Everybody would be made to feel comfortable
and at home. And no effort would be spared to make the occasion morally
and spiritually profitable, as well as valuable for the relaxation it
afforded to the bodies of those who attended, and financially profitable
for the purpose of our Social Reform work.



In order to put the whole of the foregoing machinery into motion on an
extensive scale, there can be no doubt that economise as we may, a
considerable outlay will be unavoidable. True we are able to supply
skilled leadership under devoted and self-sacrificing men and women for
a merely nominal cost. True we have Europeans willing to live on the
cheap native diet, and to assimilate themselves in dress, houses and
other manners to the people amongst whom they live. True that we have
raised up around us an equally devoted band of Natives, in whose
integrity we have the fullest confidence and whose ability and knowledge
of the country will prove of valuable service to us in the carrying out
of our scheme. True that around our 450 European and Native officers, we
have enlisted and drilled a force of several thousands of earnest
soldiers of the Cross, who are pledged abstainers from all intoxicating
liquors and drugs, who have renounced all forms of impurity and
sin,--who have promised to devote their lives to the social, moral and
spiritual regeneration of their fellow countrymen,--who are accustomed
to pray and preach in their leisure hours, without being paid a cowrie
for doing so, and who not only support themselves and their families by
their labor, but contribute for the support of their officers.

Nevertheless, while it is a fact that this cheap and efficient agency
exists for the carrying out of the reforms that have been sketched in
the foregoing pages,--it cannot be denied that a considerable sum of
money will be needed for the successful launching of the scheme.

Once fairly started, we have every reason to believe that the plans
here laid down will not only prove strictly self-supporting, but will
yield such a margin of profit as will ultimately enable us to set on
foot wholesale extensions of the scheme. No doubt there will be local
disappointments and individual failures. We are dealing with human
nature, and must anticipate that this will be the case. But the
proportion of success will far outweigh the fraction of failure, and
when the profits and losses of the scheme came to be balanced year by
year we have no doubt that socially, physically, morally and financially
we shall be able to show so enormous a gain that the most unreasonable
of our critics will be silenced.

And yet when we come face to face with the details of the scheme, we
find that the scale of our operations must necessarily depend on the
amount of capital with which we are able to start. The City Colony, with
its Labor Bureau, Labor Yards, Food Depôts, Prison and Rescue Homes, and
Salvage Brigade, will involve a considerable initial expense. Although
we are able to supply an efficient supervising staff for a mere fraction
of the ordinary cost,--rents of land and buildings will have to paid.
And although work will be exacted from those who resort to our Yards and
Homes, yet the supply of food to the large numbers who are likely to
need our help will at the outset probably cost us more than we are able
to recover from the sale of the goods produced.

The Country Colony, with its Industrial Villages, Suburban Farms, and
Waste Settlements, will involve a still heavier outlay of capital. There
is every reason to believe that we may look for an ample return. Indeed
the financial prospects of this branch of the scheme are more hopeful
than these of the City Colony. But to commence on a large scale will
involve no doubt a proportionate expenditure. We may hope indeed that
Government, Native States and private landowners will generously assist
us to overcome these difficulties by grants of land, and advances of
money and other concessions. Still we must anticipate that a
considerable portion of the financial burden and responsibility in
commencing such an enterprise must of necessity fall upon us.

The Over-Sea Colony may for the present be postponed, and hence we have
not now to consider what would be the probable expenses. But omitting
this, and having regard only to the City and Country Colonies, I believe
that to make a commencement on a fairly extensive scale we shall require
a sum of one lakh of rupees. We do not pretend that with this sum at our
command we can do more than make a beginning. It would be idle to
suppose that the miseries of twenty-five millions of people could be
annihilated at a stroke for such a sum.

We do believe however that by sinking such a sum we should be able to
manufacture a road over which a continuous and increasing mass of the
Submerged would be able to liberate themselves from their present
miserable surroundings and rise to a position of comparative comfort.

We are confident moreover that the profits, or shall we call them the
tolls paid by those who passed over this highway, would enable us
speedily to construct a second, which would be broader and better than
the first. The first two would multiply themselves to four, the four to
eight, the eight to sixteen, till the number and breadth of these social
highways would be such as to place deliverance within easy reach of all
who desired it.

The sum we ask for is less than a tithe of what has been so speedily
raised in England for the rescue of a far smaller number of the
submerged. And yet there may be those who will think that we are asking
for too much. But when I see far larger sums expended on the erection,
or support of a single Hospital, or Dharamsala, and when I remember that
Indian philanthropy has covered the country with such, I am tempted to
exclaim "What is this among so many?"

Surely it would be a libel upon Indian philanthropy and generosity to
ask for less, in launching a scheme, which has received the hearty
support of multitudes of persons so well able to form a judgment as to
its feasibility and soundness, and this too after having been submitted
to the most searching criticisms that human ingenuity could suggest! At
any rate this we can promise, that whatever may be given will be laid
out carefully to the best possible advantage. A special annual balance
sheet will show how the money entrusted to our care has been expended,
and if the success of the work be not sufficient to justify its
existence, it will always be easy for the public to withhold those
supplies on which we must continue to depend for the prosecution of our

Looking at the future however in the light of the past history of the
Salvation Army, both in India, and especially in those other parts of
the world, where its organization has had more time to develop and fewer
obstacles to contend with, we are confident that the results will be
such as to repay a hundred fold every effort made and every rupee laid
out in promoting the welfare of India. And even supposing that
comparative failure should result, we should have the satisfaction of
knowing that

  "'Tis better to have tried and failed,
  Than never to have tried at all!"

The anathemas of posterity will alight upon the heads, not of those who
have made a brave effort to better the evils that surround them, but of
those who by their supineness helped to ensure such failure, or by their
active opposition paralysed the efforts and discouraged the hearts of
those who, but for them, might either have wholely succeeded in
accomplishing what all admit to be so desirable, or might at least have
been far nearer reaching their goal than was possible owing to the
dog-in-the-manger obstructions of those who had neither the heart to
help, nor the brains to devise, nor the courage to execute, what others
might have dared and done!



In proposing at once to deal with the problem of lifting out of the jaws
of starvation India's poorest and darkest however impossible it may look
to some, we have the immense advantage and encouragement which arises
from the fact that General Booth's scheme (which I have followed as
closely as the widely differing conditions of Indian society would
admit) has already received the all but universal approval of the best
and ablest in Europe from the Queen downwards. It has in fact so
commended itself to the general public that men of all shades of
religious belief, men of no belief at all, men of every political party,
and from every rank of society have not only heartily approved but
contributed already £100,000 for the carrying out of the project.
Moreover, some of its most important details have already had applied to
them both in England and Australia the valuable test of experience.

There is one question which may start up in the mind of the reader and
that is, granted that the scheme is sure to prove successful in England,
is it not still probable that, owing to the complex arrangements of
caste and religion in India any such scheme would meet with failure. To
this I answer in the first place, that all will be helped, irrespective
of their creed, and any change of opinions on their part will be purely
voluntary, since no compulsion, beyond that of love and moral suasion,
is intended to be used. Moreover, drowning men are not too particular as
to the means available for their rescue. They would rather be dragged
out of the water by the hair of their heads than left to drown, or would
rather be lifted out feet foremost than left to be devoured by
alligators. If it be true that starving men are driven by hunger to
commit theft solely that they may be sent to jail where at least they
will get food and be saved for a time from the hunger-wolf, how can we
doubt but that thousands will hail with gladness a deliverance which is
not only a deliverance from want and starvation, but the opening out of
a brighter path for their whole future.

The blessed example set by hundreds of men and women in our ranks who
have given up friends, parents, home, prospects and everything they
possess to walk barefooted beneath India's burning sun in order to seek
the weal of its people cannot fail I believe to stir up the rich and
well-to-do, nay _all_ but those too poor to help,--to make some
sacrifice to heal the unutterable woes, and to sweeten the hard and
bitter lot of those who, often through no fault of their own, have
fallen in the battle of life, and who have been all but crushed and
cursed out of existence by misfortunes which are to some extent at least
within our power to remedy.

True lovers of India (and nothing is more encouraging than the splendid
manner in which the intelligence of this country is arousing itself to
thoughtful active effort for the weal of the nation, putting aside all
differences of race and religion, that it may unite to seek the common
good,) true lovers of India, we say, will never allow differences in
race and religion to hinder them in a question affecting the well-being
of some 26,000,000 of people who are already a drag and a hindrance to
the rising prosperity of the nation, and who are sure if neglected to
become a danger. No one asks about the religion of Stanley. His heroic
march through the terrible forest, his rescue of Emin Pasha, his
successful achievement of that which to most men would have been
impossible, have made him to be admired and praised in every land.

Here we are proposing to rescue, not one Pasha and a handful of his
followers, but almost as many people as the entire population of Great
Britain. We stand at the edge of this forest. We know something of it
before we enter. We are not dismayed. We only ask you to meet the cost
of the expedition. Great armies of beggars and workless, and drunkards
and opium-eaters and harlots and criminals are going to be dragged out
of these morasses, to bless the land which gave them birth with the
wealth of their labor and to build new Indian Empires across the sea.

A bold and daring expedition has been planned into this dark social
forest, with its dismal swamps, its pestilential vapours, its seemingly
endless night, to rescue and bring to the light of hope, to green
industrial pastures and healthy heavenly breezes, its imprisoned
victims. May we not then, since men can be found to do and dare in such
a godlike enterprise, confidently claim the enthusiastic interest and
the practical help of all good men, no matter when or how they worship
the great Eternal Father of the human race!

If any one should object that is an impossible enterprise, we answer,
who can tell? Why indeed impossible, seeing that millions of acres wait
to be tilled and to yield their treasures to the unfed mouths of
workless labourers? Why impossible, since hundreds of thousands are
saying, it is not charity, we crave, but the privilege to work and earn
our bread? Why impossible, when willing hearts and hands are ready to
spring forward and at any cost dive into this dark forest and bring the
hungry mouths into the fostering care of the fruitful earth? Why
impossible, when a mass of unproductive wealth waits to serve some
useful purpose and bless its holder, bringing back to him a hundred per
cent, if he will but lend it to his God by giving it to the poor?

We have portrayed with studied moderation the dark regions of woe. We
have laid before you with careful explicitness the scheme or remedy. We
have endeavoured to anticipate and answer all objections. And now it is
for you to make this great enterprise possible by uniting to subscribe
the sum we ask for, as necessary to float the scheme.

We have built our deliverance ship in the dockyard of loving design, we
have wrought her plates, riveted her bolts, fixed her masts, put in her
boilers and engines, fitted her and supplied her with gear. It is your
privilege to launch her--to draw the silver bolt and permit her to leave
the stocks and glide down into the dark deep sea of misery and land on
heavenly shores the drowning submerged millions.

We believe that your response will be worthy of you. Coming generations
will thank you, and the blessings of them that were ready to perish will
rest upon you, and the God of the fatherless and the widow will remember
you for good.


_The Poor Whites and Eurasians._

It will doubtless be noticed that I have excluded the consideration of
this question from the foregoing pages. This has been decided on, though
with considerable hesitation, for the following reasons:--

1. Numerically they are much fewer than the submerged India of which we
have been speaking.

2. Influential charitable agencies already exist, whose special duty it
is to care for them; any effort on our part to apply General Booth's
scheme to them would probably be regarded by those societies as a work
of supererogation, and would be likely to be received by them with a
considerable measure of opposition.

3. The circumstances and surroundings of the European and Eurasian
community are so different that the scheme will require considerable
readaptation. Indeed the subject will need a pamphlet to itself, and I
have found it impossible to work it harmoniously into the present

4. I am convinced moreover that this is a _subsidiary_ question, and
that our main efforts _must_ be directed towards reaching and uplifting
the purely Indian submerged.

5. Should however the question be pressed upon us hereafter, we shall be
quite prepared to take it up and deal with it systematically and
radically on the lines laid down by General Booth. I have studied with
considerable care and interest the writings of the late Mr. White on
this important matter, and believe that if the necessary funds were
forthcoming, it would be comparatively easy for us to adapt the Darkest
England Scheme to the necessities of this important class.


_Her Majesty the Queen-Empress cordially sympathises._

Her Majesty says "The Queen cannot of course express any opinion on the
details of the scheme, but understanding that your object is to
alleviate misery and suffering, her Majesty cordially wishes you success
in the undertaking you have originated."

_His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales,_

Writes to express his hearty interest in the scheme and is seen
earnestly studying the book and making notes upon it.

_The Empress Frederick reads the book with interest._


_November_ 1, 1890.

Count Seckendorff begs leave to acknowledge by command of her Majesty
the Empress Frederick the receipt of General Booth's book in "Darkest
England and the way out." Count Seckendorff is commanded to say that her
Majesty will read the book with special interest.

_The Earl of Aberdeen expresses his sympathy._

In common with thousands of others I have been studying your "plan of
campaign." Last night I saw Mr. Bancroft's letter. I think he has
performed a public service in coming forward in this spirited manner at
the present time. Those who have been in any way associated with past or
existing efforts on behalf of the classes which you aim at reaching
should reasonably be amongst the first to welcome a scheme so practical,
so comprehensive, and so carefully devised as that which you have placed
before the country. I shall be happy to become one of the hundred
contributors who according to Mr. Bancroft's proposal shall each be
responsible for £1,000 on the condition specified. With the offer of
sympathy, and the assurance of hearty good wishes,

I remain, yours very faithfully,


_The Earl of Airlie Subscribes._

"The Earl of Airlie has forwarded towards General Booth's fund a cheque
for £1,000."

_The Marquis of Queensberry offers his services._


_November_ 21.

My Dear General Booth--I have read your book "In Darkest England" with
the greatest interest, also with thrills of horror that things should be
as bad as they are.

I send you a cheque for £100, and shall feel compelled if your scheme is
carried out to give you a yearly subscription. You say you want
recruits. When I come to town I should very much like to see you to talk
this matter over, for I see no cause which a man could more put his
heart and soul into than this one of endeavouring to alleviate this
fearful misery of our fellow-creatures. I see you quote Carlyle in your
book, but is it possible for any one like myself, who is even more
bitterly opposed than he was against what to me is the Christian
falsehood, to work with you! We have two things to do as things are at
present--first to endeavour to alleviate the present awful suffering
that exists to the best of our abilities, and surely this ought to be a
state affair; and secondly to get at the roots of the evils and by
changing public opinion gradually develop a different state of things
for future generations, when this help will not be so necessary. I do
not wish to get into a religious controversy with you on how this is to
be brought about, but I tell you I am no Christian and am bitterly
opposed to it. A tree, I believe, is to be judged by its fruits.
Christianity has been with us many hundreds of years.

What can we think of it when its results are as they are at present with
the poor whom Christ, I believe, you say informed us we should always
have with us. I know nothing about other worlds, beyond that I see
thousand around me whom I presume look after their own affairs. It
appears to me our common and plainest duty to help and to try and change
the lot of our suffering fellow creatures here on this earth. You can
publish this if you please, but without suppressing any of it. If not
and any notice is given of subscriptions as I see you are doing, I beg
it may be notified that I send this mite as a reverent agnostic to our
common cause of humanity.

Yours faithfully,


_Lord Scarborough is amongst its supporters._

"Lord Scarborough, writing from Lumley Castle Chester-le-street, has
subscribed £50."

_Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone lend to it the weight of their influence._

"Mr. Gladstone has already expressed has interest in the scheme and now
Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone with a like kindly expression forward £50 towards

_Mr. Pickersgill, M.P., looks upon it with increasing favour._

At the New Debating Society, Haverstook Hill, Mr. Pickersgill, M.P.,
said when he first began to read the book he did not approach it with
any particularly favourable feelings towards the Salvation Army. He
thought that the scheme was the most plausible ever devised. There was
in it a happy blending of the ideal with the practical, and a nice
balancing of its various parts in the attempt to solve the problem
involved in the question "Can we get back to the ordinary conditions of
life as they exist in a small healthy community."

_The Bishop of Durham reviews the Scheme._

Speaking on Thursday night at the closing meeting of the General Church
Mission at Sunderland, the Bishop of Durham said that just now men were
talking on all sides of a great scheme which had been set forth for
dealing with some of the social sorrows of our age. The remarkable book
in which it was sketched was well calculated to present, in a most vivid
combination, the various forms of work to which Christian men must bring
the power of their faith. It brought together with remarkable skill the
different problems which were pressed upon them; it allowed them to gain
a view of the whole field and something of the relation of the different
parts one to another. For his own part he trusted that many might be
stirred to some unwonted exertion.

_The Bishop of Lincoln thanks the General._

"I thank you heartily for the book you have sent me. The name of it is
already well known to English Churchmen, and its object is one in which,
we all agree.

"The Cross of Christ is the only effectual remedy for the great mass of
vice and wretchedness in our large towns, to which you are endeavouring
to call public attention; and we must not be content with presenting
that Cross in words alone, but must endeavour to show, by our personal
efforts and example, how it may practically be applied so as to purify
the lives and quicken the hopes of those amongst our countrymen who are
now as much strangers to its power as the inhabitants of darkest

_The Bishop of Bath and Wells values the book._

"I beg to acknowledge, with very many thanks, the receipt of your letter
and the volume of your work, 'In Darkest England,' which you have been
so good as to send me. I shall read it with much interest, both from the
deep importance of the subject, whether viewed in its social, political,
or Christian aspect, and also from its containing the opinion of one who
has had such universal opportunities as you have had of becoming
acquainted with the wants of the lowest and most unhappy section of our
great population."

_The Bishop of Rochester is glad to possess the book._

The Bishop of Rochester writes that he hastens to thank Mr. Booth for
sending him his book, and he is glad to possess it, and hopes it may be
productive of much good. He takes the opportunity of expressing his
profound sympathy with him in Mrs. Booth's death.

_The Bishop of Wakefield (Dr. Walsham How) studies the scheme with
deepest interest._

I have just received your book, which you have so kindly sent me. I have
already bought a copy, which I shall give away. I am studying your
scheme with the deepest interest, and I trust and pray it may bring
blessing and hope to many. May I venture to express my sympathy with you
in your recent heavy bereavement? You do not sorrow as those that have
no hope.

_Canon Farrar preaching at Westminster Abbey, says we are bound to help
the scheme or find a better one._

It was not difficult to see, as early as half past one on Sunday
afternoon last, that something was about to take place in Westminister
Abbey. A friendly policeman informed me that the service in the fine old
pile of buildings did not commence till three o'clock, but that as Canon
Farrar was announced to preach, and upon such an all-absorbing topic as
General Booth's new book, people were bent upon securing a good position
by being in time.

Some three-quarters of an hour before the service commenced the gigantic
building was crowded, and the trooping multitudes only arrived at the
doors to find a crowd waiting for the least opportunity of getting in.
It was reported that thousands were turned away.

Canon Farrar had announced his subject as "Social Amelioration," and at
the outset stated that he alone was responsible for the opinions he
proposed to express in connection with General Booth's scheme. In a very
masterly and eloquent way he pictured the social evils which disgrace
our civilisation, the small and ineffectual efforts being put forth for
their removal, and the terrible responsibility resting upon us as a
nation to do our utmost to forward any scheme which appeared likely to
effect an amelioration. He proceeded:--

Well, here was General Booth's scheme, which he had examined, and with
which he had been deeply struck. He pitied the cold heart which could
read and not be stirred by "Darkest England." In his best judgment he
believed the scheme to be full of promise if the necessary funds were
provided, and he merely regarded it as his humble duty to render the
undertaking such aid as he could.

Had any such scheme been proposed by a member of the Church of England,
he should have given it every support. He regarded the scheme as
supplementing, not interfering with, the work of the Church, as
preparing for, not hindering, the Church's work. The scheme, although no
Christian scheme could be wholly dislinked from religion, was yet most
prominently a social scheme; its origin was The Salvation Army, but it
was intended to promote the work of the common Church.

Was the scheme to be thrown aside contemptuously at once on account of
prejudice, because it emanated from The Salvation Army? If any thought
so, he blamed them not, but he for one declared he could not share their
views. He was, perhaps, more widely separated from some of the methods
of the Salvation Army than many of his brethren, but the work of the
Army had not been unblessed, and there was much that might be learned
from an organisation which in so short a time had accomplished so great
a work. He dwelt upon the nature of The Salvation Army's work, the
officers who were exerting themselves in connection with it, the number
of countries to which the organisation had spread. The Salvation Army in
its work and extent had credentials which could not be denied. Were they
to stand coldly, finically aside because they were too refined and nice,
and full of culture to touch this work of The Salvation Army with the
point of the finger? He took it that he should fail grievously in his
duty if insult or self-interest caused him to hold aloof from any
movement which Christ, if He had been on earth, would have approved.

Then Dr. Farrar quoted the late Bishop Lightfoot and the late Canon
Liddon in favor of The Salvation Army as an organisation which had
accomplished a deal of good work.

Next he asked, "How shall we receive General Booth's scheme now that it
is here to our hands?" With some people the simplest way of treating any
scheme for good was to leave it alone. To those who took that position
with reference to General Booth's scheme he had nothing whatever to say.
There was no need for saying anything either to the other class of
people who would talk about a scheme, and having talked about it drop
the matter and think no more about it.

Another way in which General Booth's scheme might be received was that
of examining it, and if convinced against it of rejecting it. That, at
all events, was a perfectly manly course; a clear and decided method of
reception which there can be no mistaking. To those included in this
class, those who would regard the scheme as migratory or pernicious,
there was nothing to be said. But what about those who did not mean to
help in this or any other scheme, those who left others the burden of
the work, the opportunists who would want to step in when the breach had
been made? Here, no doubt, there would be such a class, but the last way
of receiving General Booth's scheme, and the way in which as he trusted
it would be received, was to support it by their influence, and to give
to it of their means. It was an immense and far-reaching scheme, which,
might bring help and hope to thousands of the helpless and hopeless,
made helpless and hopeless by the terrible conditions of society, but
for every one of whom Christ died.

To begin the scheme in earnest would require a sum of £100,000, but he
asked, "What was that to the wealth of England--to the wealth of
London?" It was a mere drop in the ocean compared to what was every year
spent on drink and wasted in extravagance. There were a hundred men in
England who might immortalise themselves by giving this sum, and yet not
have a luxury the less. He left the response to General Booth's appeal
with the public, but would it not, he asked, be a desperate shame for
England if any scheme giving so hopeful a promise of social amelioration
should fail without a trial, and like a broken promise, be lost in air?

But to this observation somebody might reply in the form of a queried
objection, "The scheme might fail." _Yes, it might fail; anything might
fail. But if to die amid disloyalty and hatred meant failure, then St.
Paul failed. If to die in the storm meant failure, then Luther and
Wesley and Whitfield failed; if to die at the stake by the flames meant
failure, did not martyrs fail; Finally, if to die on the cross, with the
priests and the soldiers spitting out hatred, meant failure, then Jesus
Christ failed._ Yes, the scheme might fail; but was all this failure?
Were there none among them bold enough to look beyond the possibility of
failure? Could they not somehow get round the word? Fear and jealousy
and suspicion and intolerance and despair were counsellors finding
multitudes to listen, but he for one would listen to the nobler
counsellor "Hope." Were none of them bold enough at the last moment to
prefer even failure in a matter like this to the most brilliant success
in pleasing the world and making truce with the devil? He would try to
hope that the scheme might not fail, but what each one had to consider
was the question, "Shall it fail through my cowardice, my greed, my
supineness, my prudential cautiousness, my petty prejudices, my selfish

"If, on examining this plan in the light of conscience, we see in it an
augury for the removal of the deadly evils which lie at the heart of our
civilisation, it seems to me we are bound to do our utmost to help it
forward. 'But,' you say, 'if we conscientiously disapprove of it?' Then
we are in duty bound to propose or to forward


"One way only is contemptible and accursed--that is, to make it a mere
excuse for envy, malice and depreciation.

"He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear;
but God shall be the judge between us, and His voice says in Scripture:
'If thou forbear to deliver them that are bound unto death, and those
who are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, "Behold," we knew it not,
doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it, and he that keepeth
thy soul, doth not He know it, and shall not He render to every man
according to his work?'"

_Archdeacon Sinclair wishes the scheme success._

Speaking at Bromley, Kent, on Friday night, in connection with the
Canterbury diocese, of the Church of England Temperance Society,
Archdeacon Sinclair referred to General Booth's scheme. He wished very
great success to that courageous and large scheme.

_The Rev. Brooke Lambert defends the scheme in the "Times."_

There is much that is not new in the scheme. General Booth allows that
much. But there are two factors in his scheme which, if not new, at
least acquire a new prominence. These two factors are help and hope.
Society drops these two h's. For help it substitutes money-giving, and
as for hope for the disreputable, it has none. The personal contact of
General Booth's workers, of his 10,000 officers, is an essential feature
of the scheme. They take the man or the woman as they enter the shelter,
and prevent it from becoming a means of dissemination of crime, of
filth, of disease. They stand by the new-fledged proselyte to work, to
encourage perseverance. They follow him to the country colony, the
abomination of desolation to one who has walked the London pavements and
found his heaven in the gin-palace and the music-hall, to stimulate
effort. They accompany him to the colony to remind him that true freedom
is not licence, that the conditions of success are a change of mind 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. There is


upon it.

DR. PARKER SAYS "NO BOARDS."--Dr. Parker, addressing his congregation on
Thursday morning, said:--"General Booth spoke to me the other day at my
house, amongst others, about boards of trustees and referees, and all
the rest of it, in reference to his scheme. I said that would spoil the
whole thing. I do not want any boards of reference. We have boards
enough and referees enough--(laughter)--and we do not want little men to
assume an awful responsibility which Providence never meant them to
handle. They had better let a great governing spirit like General Booth
manage the whole thing in his own way. I am afraid I was even more of a
democrat than even General Booth suspected. (Laughter.) I am an
autocrat--I believe in one man doing a thing. Some persons imagine if
they have got six little men together that they will total up into a
Booth. The Lord makes His own Booths, and Moodys, and Spurgeons, and
sends them out to do His work, and we shall do well to get out of their
way, except when we have anything to give of sympathy, money, prayer and
assistance. Presently, some Thursday morning, I am going to give you a
chance of giving--which you will--to this great scheme." (Applause.)

_Dr. Moulton, President of the Wesleyan Conference, is grateful for the
labour which the General has expended upon this problem._

"No one can read your book without recognising the claim which you have
established on the sympathetic help of all Christian churches. For
myself, I am deeply grateful to you for the enormous labor which you
have expended on the great problem, and for your able treatment of its

_Revd. Alfred Rowland says he believes the working of the Scheme will be
for the good of the people._

Yesterday morning the Rev. Alfred Rowland preached at Park Chapel,
Crouch End, the first portion of a sermon on General Booth's book. The
preacher said the scheme was a noble, bold, and generous effort to reach
the masses. He believed the result of the working of the scheme would be
for the good of the people at large. He asked them to give liberally to
the project, even if it was only an experiment, because he believed it
would succeed, and all he could do, financially and otherwise, he should
be pleased to do in support of the scheme.

_A Collection for the Scheme is raised at City Church, Oxford._

At the City Church, Oxford, on Sunday, the rector, the Rev. Carterel
J.H. Fletcher, preached at both morning and evening services in aid of
General Booth's Social Salvation Fund, and the collections were devoted
to the object.

_Revd. H. Arnold Thomas makes a successful appeal on behalf of the


The sum of £650 was collected at Highbury Congregational Chapel,
Bristol, on Sunday, as a contribution to General Booth's fund, for his
scheme unfolded in his book, "In Darkest England." This was in response
to an appeal from the pastor, the Rev. H. Arnold Thomas.

_Revd. Champness looks upon it as a forlorn hope._

A letter dated from Rochdale, and bearing the well-known name "Thomas
Champness," has reached General Booth, with a contribution of £50. "I
wish," writes Mr. Champness in his letter, "I could make you know how
much my heart is with you in your great scheme. I am not as sanguine as
some of your admirers are as to the success you are sure to win; but I
look upon it as a forlorn hope, in which a man had better lose his life
than save it by ignoble do-nothingness."

_Mrs. Fawcett points out the great value of the Scheme._


Mrs. Henry Fawcett, lecturing last night on "Private Remedies for
Poverty," before the Marylebone Centre of the university Extension
Lectures Society, at Welbeck Hall, Welbeck-street, W., said that
according to classified directories of London charities, these charities
had a yearly income of £4,000,000, but she did not think full returns
were made in all instances, and that the total sum was nearer
£7,000,000 than £4,000000, while the entire cost of poor-law relief in
the United Kingdom was only £8,000,000. Having dwelt upon the evils of
misdirected charity, she said the keynote of General Booth's scheme, and
what, as it seemed to her, gave her great hope of its being to some
extent a success, was the amount of personal devotion and energy which
it called for and which she believed the Salvation Army was prepared to
give to its development. Its keynote was the possibility of bringing
about a change in the individual by personal effort and influence. As
General Booth pointed out, the problem was unsolvable unless new soul
could be infused in the poor and outcast class whom it was designed to
help: and to this end it was not money that was wanted so much as the
personal service of men and women. One great feature of the scheme was
that no relief was to be given without work, except in very exceptional
cases. She had personally visited the workshops and shelters of the
Salvation Army in Whitechapel, and she found a number of people
apparently of the very lowest moral and physical type, and yet they were
de-brutalised and had a happy human look as they went on with their
work, which in some cases was the same as they had performed in gaol. No
temptation was afforded by the workshops or shelters to induce people to
stay away from ordinary industrial life longer than they could possibly
help. The men had to sleep in a kind of orange-box without bottom, on
the floor, upon an American oilcloth mattress; and with a piece of
leather for a coverlet. Most previous schemes for employing the
unemployed upon colonies and waste land had failed because of the men
put upon them, who were drunken, lazy, and half-witted. By General
Booth's scheme there was process of selection which would weed out those
individuals: and she thought photography might be employed in getting to
know bad and unsatisfactory characters.

_Mrs. Howard M'Lean hopes the Scheme may have an immediate trial._

Mrs. Howard M'Lean "presents her compliments to General Booth, and begs
to send him her promise of £100, in the earnest hope that the scheme set
forth in 'In Darkest England' may at least have a fair trial, and that

_The "Times of India" points out the advantages of the Scheme._

If we apprehend the scheme aright, it will be carried out independently
of existing charities, and indeed not under the guise of a charity at
all. The bread of poverty is bitter enough, but that of pauperism is
bitterer still, and General Booth, it would seem, intends to foster
rather than discourage such spirit of independence as he may find among
the lost souls for whom he works. But it seems to us that where such a
scheme as his chiefly gains its power, is in its total dissociation from
church or sect. However good the work which is done by the Church and by
the more widely ramified agency of the Non-conformist sects--and no one
will be found to deny that this work is of the greatest possible value
in relieving the destitute and reclaiming the criminal classes--there is
little or no unity about it. It is under no individual control, it is
not carried out on any uniform system, and one agency has no means of
knowing what another agency is doing. The result is that relief gets
very unevenly distributed, and the lazy and dissolute profit at the
expense of the deserving poor. Nor do any of these agencies, as a
general rule, aim at any systematic crusade against other destitution
than that of the moment. When they touch the lowest of low-life deeps;
it is for the most part in the way of temporary relief only, without the
effort (because they have not power) to set these people on their feet
again and give them the means of earning a living. It is here that
General Booth steps in, and by an elaborate but perfectly feasible
system, proposes without any attempt at proselytization to drag the poor
from their poverty, put them in the way of doing work of any kind they
may be fitted for, and eventually establish them in an over-sea colony.

Looking now to the objections which may be urged against General Booth's
scheme, we are at once confronted by two important considerations. The
first concerns the "General" himself. He asks for a million pounds
sterling to enable him to carry out his project, and the question seems
to have already been asked, Is he the person to whom a million pounds
may be entrusted? Will it be so safeguarded that those who subscribe may
feel assured that the money will be properly applied and an honest
attempt made to do the work here planned out? To all these questions we
are disposed to reply in the affirmative. General Booth and his
Salvation Army have by this time pretty well weathered the storm of
abuse and scorn with which their methods were at first received, and
however much we may be disposed even now to question the taste or
propriety of those methods, there can be no amount of doubt in the mind
of any reasonable man that the Salvation Army has been the means of
achieving enormous good the whole world over. In his administration of
this huge organization of which himself was the founder, Mr. Booth has
proved himself a man of probity and of the strictest possible integrity.
We do not hesitate to say that all the money he requires for this great
scheme may be safely placed in his hands, and that he will render a
strict account of its disbursement. Then comes the question, how far is
it possible for him to succeed in the work he proposes to undertake? He
has already in the field a vast organization doing good work among the
dregs of the population, and the extension of this organization to carry
out the main points of his project is not a matter of difficulty. The
ill is a terrible one, the evil gigantic, and the means to grapple with
it must be gigantic also. But given the means, will they be effective?
We frankly confess that we do not believe they will be so effective as
General Booth hopes, but we believe at the same time that if he can
achieve only one-tenth of what he hopes to achieve, ten millions of
pounds would be worthily laid out upon it. The hungry, the dirty, the
ragged, the hopeless and outcast, the criminal and the drunkard, the
idle and the vicious--can he gather all these in with any hope of
starting them afresh on the journey of life? So much work of this kind
has already been done without any special system, that there can be
little doubt that to a large extent he can. With the honestly poor it is
not a difficult matter, but with the vicious and criminal classes, who
have no inclination to work so long as they can steal, it will be a long
time before the Salvation Army or any other agency can effect any
sweeping reform. The work will be slow, but we believe it will be done.
It has been objected against General Booth's scheme that it is not new,
except in the fact that General Booth proposes that it shall be himself
who carries it out. It seems to us, on the contrary, that it is new in
one most vital aspect, and that is, that its details are to be worked
out by an enormous united body on a definite plan, instead of by
numberless charitable agencies all working independently of each other.
We believe, in short, that General Booth will meet with a very large
measure of success, and we believe also that when the details of his
scheme come to be read and discussed, he will have no difficulty in
getting all the money he asks for, and more besides. Looking at the
enormous wealth of England, a million pounds is as nothing. It is the
Duke of Westminister's income for three months, and it would open up the
means of finding hope and work and refuge, and a new life beyond the
seas, for a million or more of the helpless poor. We wish Mr. Booth
God-speed in his great undertaking.

_The "Bombay Gazette" of November 15th, 1890, gives an exhaustive
review, from which we cull the following extracts:_--

There is little of the form, though there may be much of the spirit, of
the Salvation Army in General Booth's "Darkest England and the Way Out."
It is on the whole a sober, and in some respects well-reasoned, attempt
to solve the most urgent problem of the day. Whosesoever the actual
workmanship of the book may be, the personality of General Booth
pervades every page--nowhere obtrusively it is true, but sufficiently to
impart life and warmth to the discussion of a problem whose solution,
though it must be sought for only within the limits marked out by
economic principles, will never be found, unless it is sought for with a
certain passionate sympathy for the outcast. The dramatic parallel which
the writer establishes between the savagery of Darkest Africa and the
suffering and sin of Darkest England, will arrest attention, and will of
itself make the book popular. Here, however, we are concerned with the
more matter-of-fact elements in the problem, and with the practical
remedies which are proposed for it. The heading of "the Submerged Tenth"
which is given to one of the chapters, roughly indicates the dimensions
of the task that has to be performed. General Booth takes three millions
to be the strength of the army of the destitute in England. The total
comprises the representatives of every phase of want--criminals and
drunkards and idlers and their dependants, as well as the class who are
destitute through misfortune, who are honest in their poverty, and whom
no man can blame for it. For these last-named, society does next to
nothing. There is the workhouse for people who have spent their last
penny; for so long as it remains unspent, it is a legal disqualification
for the help of the State. Or there is the casual ward, where a hard
task is exacted in payment for hard fare, but where absolutely nothing
is done to help the wayfarer to gain or regain a place and a living in
society. Out-relief has been reduced to the minimum. A few weeks ago the
whole parish of St. Jude, Whitechapel, with a population of sixty
thousand, provided only four applicants to the Board of Guardians for
out-relief. Thus far the organized official agency has done little
enough for the raising of the "submerged tenth." If _laissez faire_ were
a cure for all the ills of society, they would have been cured long ago,
for the remedy has been applied with a persistency that has failed not.
General Booth thinks that he has discovered a more excellent way, and is
entitled to a hearing for his plan, for part of it is already in
operation. In the "shelters" established by the Salvation Army in the
east of London, casual relief is given on almost as large a scale as in
the casual wards of the London Workhouses; but he claims for it that it
is a less degrading form of help, that sympathy goes with it; and with
him of course the emotional accompaniments which the Salvation Army is
careful to provide, count for much.

_The "Christian" prognosticates a good future for the Scheme._

Up to this stage the great social scheme of General Booth for uplifting
the "sunken tenth," has been, so to speak, "in the air." Monday night's
meeting at Exeter Hall may be said to have set it on the solid ground
and given good hope that it will run as fast and as far as the supplied
resources will allow. The great audience to which the General had to
address himself, was not mainly of the usual enthusiastic Army type; but
it cannot be said that it was not ready to approve and applaud when any
good and telling point was made. The brief religious service at the
beginning gave the proceedings the spiritual stamp of Army gatherings,
but the larger part of the time was taken up with the statement of the
General. For more than two and a half hours he was on his feet so that
he did not, at any rate, spare himself in his effort to interest the
public in his gigantic plan of campaign. At the outset, he expressed
diffidence in entering on the exposition of somewhat new lines of work,
but he soon showed himself at home, and in much that he advanced there
was a happy audacity and a confidence that boded well for the future
developments of his scheme.

_The "Bombay Guardian" defends the Scheme._

General Booth's aim is to give every one who is "down in the world" a
chance to rise. No one, however poor or however degraded, is to be left
out. By means of shelters and training factories in the towns, he would
give every one a chance who wishes to work, however "lost" their
character may have become. There is to be absolutely no charity. All
will work for their food and lodging, until they have gained sufficient
character and experience to take a situation as a respectable working
man or woman. There are thousands of "out-of-works," "ne'er-do-wells,"
&c., in every large town in England, who are naturally fitted for
agricultural work, although they have lived all their lives, perhaps,
far away from the green fields. For the training of these General Booth
has a scheme of a large "Farm Colony" which will be nearly or entirely
self-supporting. When trained sufficiently in agricultural work, they
will be drafted off by emigration to a great "over-sea" colony in South
Africa. The whole movement will be permeated by earnest Christian
teaching. The man who is in trouble and professes to be converted, will
be welcomed on that account, and the man who is in trouble but does not
profess to be saved, will be equally welcome in the hope that he may
give himself to Christ.

It is computed that there are three million people in England whom this
scheme will eventually hope to help. A first instalment of £100,000
towards an eventual million, is asked for as a starting-point for the

This seems a large undertaking and a large sum, but compared to the
needs of the world, it is very small.

There is a still darker France than the darkest England, a darker Italy
than the darkest France, and deeper depths of darkness still in India.

We think that those who know the "slums" of London and large English
towns the best, will be the heartiest in wishing God-speed to General
Booth's latest movement, which also includes every possible form of
Christian benevolent activity.

When Christ reigns as Viceroy for Jehovah for a thousand years, as the
Word of God so distinctly intimates, it may be that some such plan as
this, far more perfect and world-wide in its aim, will form part of the
inaugurative forces of that happy lot.

Speaking broadly, General Booth's great scheme is in harmony with views
that are accepted by all Christians. His design is to elevate the
wretched to more favourable conditions of life, on the principle of the
Temperance reformer who seeks to remove temptations to drunkenness; or
of the opponent of the iniquitous opium traffic, who insists upon the
prohibition of the drug which is the curse of millions; or of the
antagonist of licensed impurity, who demands that the tendency of law
shall be to make it easy to do right, and not afford facilities to do
wrong. Some passages of "In Darkest England and the Way Out" are
certainly capable of being misconstrued. But on looking at the book and
its scheme as a whole, the Christian heart is drawn into lively sympathy
with it, without being committed to every detail. If all that is
anticipated be not realized by this gigantic scheme, the attempt to
carry it out cannot do otherwise than prove a source of great and
eternal good to multitudes, as the labourers carry on their work in
dependance upon God.

_The London "Speaker" testifies to the capacity of Gen. Booth for
winning the masses._

Seeing from what the Salvation Army has grown, and to what it has grown,
we are extremely reluctant to denounce any scheme seriously and
carefully elaborated by its leader, as being "too big to be
practicable." We must remember who will be the "one head and centre" of
the scheme. There are many weak points in General Booth: he is only
human. But he is an earnest man; he has proved his talent for
organisation; he has proved his capacity for winning the sympathies of
the masses. We would say nothing against gentleness, and quiet, and
culture. We hope to attain them in the end. It is a pretty work to prune
the vine, a beautiful thing to let in the sunlight on the fruit, and to
watch the perfection of bloom, and shape, and color; but first of all
something has to be done at the roots, something at which we may hold
our noses, but which is for all that requisite.

It remains to be seen, first, whether the people concerned would accept
the scheme; secondly, whether discipline could be maintained; thirdly,
whether money can be raised. As to the first two questions, experience
in some degree answers. The people _do_ come to the Salvation Army's
establishments, and they do behave well in the Shelters and the
Workshops. Those who best know the poorer working classes of the
country, will be the least likely to despair on these points. A group of
poorer English men and women are easily led by a leader who instils
regularity and order, and of whose hearty goodwill to them, they are
assured. Organisation is in the English blood; and the rougher East End
crowd has orderly elements ready to respond at once to the word of
command from men and women whom they know and trust. Only the crowd must
be sober; and that which its leader preaches must be hope. As to the
money, some portion has come in already; and if this is used, as it will
be, in making a visible beginning, there will be plenty of people
troubled in their consciences who will be ready to give more. Let us
give General Booth money, and five years for his experiment. At the end
of that time it will be clear enough whether or no the best thing which
we can provide for the unemployed is a lethal chamber.

_The Book has an unprecedented sale._

Up to the middle of January the book had reached a total circulation of
200,000 copies, beside running through two separate editions in America.
It is now being translated into Japanese, French, Swedish and other

_The Book of the year._

I do not think I say too much when I say it will not be the attitude ten
per cent. after they have read from cover to cover the most remarkable
volume that has been issued from the press this year.


It is a book that stands by itself. In one sense it may be said that
there is nothing new in it. That many men are miserable, that it is the
duty of all calling themselves by the name of Christian, to do their
utmost to save their perishing brethren, and that if they set about the
task in earnest, certain well-known methods will have to be resorted to;
all this is familiar enough. Neither can it be said that the spirit of
exalted enthusiasm which breathes in every page of the book is one
appears for the first time in the writings of General Booth. It is on
the contrary the abiding evidence of the presence of the Divine Spirit
in men, which has never failed in this world since "the first man stood
God conquered, with his face to heaven upturned." But the unique
character of the book arises from the combination of all these elements,
with others which have never hitherto been united even within the covers
of a single volume. There is a buoyant enthusiasm in every page, a
sanguine optimism at which the youngest among us might marvel, combined
with a familiar acquaintance with the saddest and darkest phenomena of
existence. The book deals with problems which of all others are most
calculated to appal, and overwhelm the minds with the sense of
desolation and despair, yet it is instinct throughout with a joyous hope
and glowing confidence. General Booth, face to face with the devil,
still believes in God.


Another distinctive feature of the book is the extent to which it
combines the shrewdest and most practical business capacity with the
most exalted religious enthusiasm. The fanatic is usually regarded as
somewhat of a fool; no one can read this book through and think that
General Booth has the least deficiency in practical capacity, in shrewd
common sense and enormous knowledge of men. From one point of view it is
easy to be a saint, and it is easy to be a man of the world; the
difficulty is to combine the two qualities, the cunning of the serpent
with the innocence of the dove. There is nothing of the naive and
guileless innocence of a cloistered virtue in the book, but though the
serpent is very cunning his wiliness and craftiness coexist with a
simple enthusiasm of humanity which is very marvellous to behold. When
we read General Booth's expressions of confidence in the salvability of
mankind and note the intrepid audacity with which he sallies forth like
another David to attack the huge Goliath who threatens the hosts of our
modern Israel, and remember that he is no mere shepherd boy fresh from
the fold, but one who for forty years of his life has lived and laboured
in an atmosphere saturated with emanations from every form of human vice
and wretchedness, then we feel somewhat as did Moses when he stood
before the burning bush, "and he looked, and behold the bush burned with
fire and the bush was not consumed."


It is impossible not to be impressed by the parallel and at the same
time by the contrast between General Booth's book and the latter day
prophecies of Mr. Carlyle. For forty years and more Mr. Carlyle
prophesied unto the men of his generation, proclaiming in accents of
deep earnestness, tinged, however, by a bitter despair, what should be
done if we were not utterly to perish. I remember the bitterness with
which he told me, while the shadows of the dark valley were gathering
round him, that when he wrote his whole soul out in "Latter Day
Pamphlets," and delivered to the public that which he believed to be
the very truth and inner secret of all things, his message was flouted,
and "it was currently reported," said he, with grim resentfulness "it
was currently reported that I had written them under the influence of
too much whiskey." Now, however, another prophet has arisen with
practically the same gospel, but with oh, how different a setting! In
Mr. Carlyle's books, his prophetic message shines out lurid as from the
background of thunder-cloud amid the gloom as of an eclipse heralded by
portents of ruin and decay. Here "In Darkest England and the Way Out"
there is a brightness and a gladness as of a May day sunrise. Infinite
hope bubbles up in every page, and in every chapter there is a calm
confidence which comes from the experience of one who in sixty years of
troubled life can say with full assurance "I know in whom I have
believed." That is not the only contrast between the two. Mr. Carlyle as
befitted the philosopher in his study, contented himself with writing in
large characters of livid fire, "This is the way, walk ye in it;" but
the generation scoffed and walked otherwhere. General Booth, equally
with Mr. Carlyle writes up in characters so plain that the way-faring man,
though a fool, cannot help reading it, "This is the way, walk ye in
it." But he does more. He himself offers to lead the van, "This is the
way," he declares, "I will lead you along it, follow me!"


Another distinctive characteristic of this book is its extraordinary
catholicity. In this respect I know no book like it that has appeared in
our time. While declaring with passionate conviction the truth and
necessity of the gospel which the Salvation Army preaches, there is not
one word of intolerance from the first page to the last. It is easy to
be broad when there is no intensity of conviction. The liberality of
indifference is one of the most familiar phenomena of the day. But
General Booth is broad without being shallow, and his liberalism
certainly cannot be attributed to indifference! He is as earnest as John
the Baptist, for now and then the aboriginal preacher reappears crying
aloud, Jonah-like, messages calling men to flee from the wrath to come.
But no broad churchman of our time, from Dean Stanley downwards, could
display a more catholic spirit to all fellow workers in the great
harvest field, which is white unto the harvest, but where the labourers
are so few. This spirit he displays not only in the religious field, but
what is still more remarkable, he carries it into the domain of social
experiment. The old intolerance and fierce hatred which raged in the
churches at many great crises in the history of the world is with us
still, but it is no longer in religious dress. The rival sects of
socialists hate each other and contend with each other with a savagery
which recalls the worst days of the early church. Every man has got his
own favourite short cut to Utopia and he damns all those who do not work
therein with the unhesitating assurance of an Athanasius. Hence
catholicity is much more needed and much more rarely found in the domain
of social economics than in that of religious polemices. General Booth
as befits a practical man is supremely indifferent to any particular
fad, and constructs his scheme on the principle of selecting every
proposal which seems to have stuff in it, or is calculated to do any
good to suffering humanity. The socialist, the individualist, the
political economist, the advocate of emigration, and all social
reformers will find what is best in their own particular schemes
incorporated in General Booth's schemes. He claims no originality, he
disclaims all prejudice even in favour of his own scheme. His
suggestions, he says, seem for the moment the most practicable, but he
is ready, he tells us with uncompromising frankness, to abandon them
to-morrow if any one can show him a better way.


Another extraordinary characteristic of the book is its combination of
supreme humility with what the enemy might describe as overweening
arrogance. The General's confidence in himself and his men is superb.
Not Hildebrand in the height of his power, or Mahommed, at the moment
when he was launching the armies which offered to the world Islam or the
sword, showed himself more supremely possessed with the confidence of
his providential mission than does General Booth in his book. "For this
end was I created, to this work was I called, all my life has been a
preparation to fit me for its accomplishment." While thus speaking with
the confidence of a man who feels himself charged with a divine mission,
General Booth displays a humility and a teachableness that is as
beautiful as it is rare. Over and over again he deplores his lack of
knowledge and the insufficiency of his experience, and admits that his
most elaborate proposals may be vitiated by some flaw or some defect
which will make itself only too apparent when they get into action. So
far from being determined to thrust his scheme as a panacea down the
throats of reluctant humanity he appeals to all those who may differ
from him not to stand idly cavilling at his proposals, but to produce
something better of their own, assuring them that he will be only too
good to carry out the best of his ability any scheme which will do more
for the benefit of the lapsed classes than his own.


General Booth shows himself in the capacity of a bold and shifty mariner
who has been ordered to take a ship filled with precious cargo across a
stormy and rock-strewn ocean to a distant port. Quicksands abound, cross
currents continually threaten to carry the ship from her course, the
wind shifts from point to point, now rising to a hurricane and then
dying away to a dead calm. But alike by night and day, whether the sky
be black with clouds, or bright with radiant sunshine, in the teeth of
the wind or in a favourable gale, he presses forward to his distant
haven. He will tack to the right or to the left, availing himself to the
utmost of every favourable current and every passing breeze, supremely
indifferent to all accusations of inconsistency, or of deviating from
the straight line from the port which he left to the port for which he
is bound, if so he can get the quicker and the more safely to his goal.
Hitherto General Booth had practically been in the condition of a
Captain who relied solely on his boilers to make his voyage. "Get up
steam, make the heart right, keep the furnace fires going, and drive
ahead through the darkness regardless of a lowering tempest or of the
swift rushing current which sweeps you from your course." This book
proclaims his decision in favour of adopting a less reckless and more
practical mode of navigation. While his reliance is still placed on the
inner central fire he will not disdain to utilise the currents, the
tides, and the winds which will make it easier for his straining boilers
and untiring screw to forge its way across the sea.

The book is interesting in itself as a book, but of the bookmaking part
of it, it is absurd to speak. You might as well speak of the rivets and
the paint, in describing the performance of a Cunarder; as to speak of
the literary merits or demerits of this book. As a piece of actuality,
full of life and force, it comes to us in paper and ink and between two
covers; but the vehicle of its presentation is as indifferent as the
quality of the boards in which it is bound. The supreme thing is not the
form but the substance.--_The Review of Reviews._

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