Something superior in this direction will also be required for the women. Having begun, we must go on. Hitherto I have proposed to deal only with single men and single women, but one of the consequences of getting hold of these men very soon makes itself felt. Your ragged, hungry, destitute Out-of-Work in almost every case is married. When he comes to us he comes as single and is dealt with as such, but after you rouse in him aspirations for better things he remembers the wife whom he has probably enough deserted, or left from sheer inability to provide her anything to eat. As soon as such a man finds himself under good influence and fairly employed his first thought is to go and look after the "Missis." There is very little reality about any change of heart in a married man who does not thus turn in sympathy and longing towards his wife, and the more successful we are in dealing with these people the more inevitable it is that we shall be confronted with married couple's who in turn demand that we should provide for them lodgings. This we propose to do also on a commercial footing. I see greater developments in this direction, one of which will be described in the chapter relating to Suburban Cottages. The Model-lodging House for Married People is, however, one of those things that must be provided as an adjunct of the Food and Shelter Depots.
SECTION 2.--MODEL SUBURBAN VILLAGES.
As I have repeatedly stated already, but will state once more, for it is important enough to bear endless repetition, one of the first steps which must inevitably be taken in the reformation of this class, is to make for them decent, healthy, pleasant homes, or help them to make them for themselves, which, if possible, is far better. I do not regard the institution of any first, second, or third-class lodging-houses as affording anything but palliatives of the existing distress. To substitute life in a boarding-house for life in the streets is, no doubt, an immense advance, but it is by no means the ultimatum. Life in a boarding-house is better than the worst, but it is far from being the best form of human existence. Hence, the object I constantly keep in view is how to pilot those persons who have been set on their feet again by means of the Food and Shelter Depots, and who have obtained employment in the City, into the possession of homes of their own.
Neither can I regard the one, or at most two, rooms in which the large majority of the inhabitants of our great cities are compelled to spend their days, as a solution of the question. The overcrowding which fills every separate room of a tenement with a human litter, and compels family life from the cradle to the grave to be lived within the four walls of a single apartment, must go on reproducing in endless succession all the terrible evils which such a state of things must inevitably create.
Neither can I be satisfied with the vast, unsightly piles of barrack-like buildings, which are only a slight advance upon the Union Bastille--dubbed Model Industrial Dwellings--so much in fashion at present, as being a satisfactory settlement of the burning question of the housing of the poor. As a contribution to this question, I propose the establishment of a series of Industrial Settlements or Suburban Villages, lying out in the country, within a reasonable distance of all our great cities, composed of cottages of suitable size and construction, and with all needful comfort and accommodation for the families of working-men, the rent of which, together with the railway fare, and other economic conveniences, should be within the reach of a family of moderate income.
This proposal lies slightly apart from the scope of this book, otherwise I should be disposed to elaborate the project at greater length. I may say, however, that what I here propose has been carefully thought out, and is of a perfectly practical character. In the planning of it I have received some valuable assistance from a friend who has had considerable experience in the building trade, and he stakes his professional reputation on its feasibility. The following, however, may be taken as a rough outline: --
The Village should not be more than twelve miles from town; should be in a dry and healthy situation, and on a line of railway. It is not absolutely necessary that it should be near a station, seeing that the company would, for their own interests, immediately erect one.
The Cottages should be built of the best material and workmanship. This would be effected most satisfactorily by securing a contract for the labour only, the projectors of the Scheme purchasing the materials and supplying them direct from the manufacturers to the builders. The cottages would consist of three or four rooms, with a scullery, and out-building in the garden. The cottages should be built in terraces, each having a good garden attached. Arrangements should be made for the erection of from one thousand to two thousand houses at the onset. In the Village a Co-operative Goods Store should be established, supplying everything that was really necessary for the villagers at the most economic prices. The sale of intoxicating drink should be strictly forbidden on the Estate, and, if possible, the landowner from whom the land is obtained should be tied off from allowing any licences to be held on any other portion of the adjoining land. It is thought that the Railway Company, in consideration of the inconvenience and suffering they have inflicted on the poor, and in their own interests, might be induced to make the following advantageous arrangements: --
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are not as extensive as those for the United States and
of the narrative, to conduct the reader through this extensive
event in this quiet retired corner of the world; and nearly
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