"The Constitutional Characteristics of Those who Dwell in Large Towns as Relating to Degeneracy of Race" was the subject of a paper by Dr. G. B. Barron. The substance of this communication was that the "vital force" or "energy" of the town dweller is inferior to the "vital force" of the country man. The town man is constitutionally dwarfed, and his life is, man for man, weaker, shorter, and more uncertain than the country man, and the general tendency of his ailments is of the aesthetic type. He held the opinion that the deterioration is more in physique - loss of muscular power, attenuation of muscular fibre, loss of integrity of cell structure, and consequent liability to the invasion of disease - rather than in actual stature of inch measurement. The true causes are "bad air" and "bad habits" of life. Make people sober and moral, give them pure air and plenty of it, and away fly pale faces, dyspepsia, crooked backs (generally resulting from tuberculosis), lowered vitality, stunted development, muscular attenuation, and the imperfect elimination of functional products.
Lord Bramwell read a paper on economic science and statistics, which was a long querulous protest against advancing thought in politics. Natural rights (he said) are talked of. Nonsense! Natural rights may exist when a man is in a state of nature. What they may be I know not. But when man is in a social state his rights are what the law gives him; and if the law is wise it will give him all he can get. Poverty and misery shock us, but they are inevitable. They could be prevented if you could prevent weakness, and sickness, and laziness, and stupidity, and improvidence - not otherwise. To attempt to remedy the disparity of conditions would make the well-off poor, the poor not well-off. Socialism is not good for man till man himself is better. Nothing could compensate for the loss of the pleasure and excitement of struggling for the good of ourselves and of those dear to us, unless, indeed, we could feel an equal pleasure in working for the hive. There is a mischievous disposition abroad which is continually urging on Parliament, and Parliament is too ready in agreeing to - invasions of private liberty and of private property. Private property is not regarded with as much respect as it was. Everything that is said or written against it is listened to with favor. The land particularly is attacked.
We have not had so cool a summer since 1860; but the lowest reading observed in London on the coldest night has been higher than any similar value recorder during any summer since 1873. During the past three months the thermometer has not descended below 43 deg. Last year the summer, although so fine and warm, gave us a minimum temperature of 39 deg., while in the summer of 1880 the sheltered thermometer on one occasion fell as low as 35 deg.
During the past 13 weeks all parts of the country, with the exception of Ireland and the north of Scotland, have had very little sunshine. In the north of Scotland it has been 11 per cent. in excess of the normal, but over England there has been deficiency varying from 20 per cent. in the north-western district, including North Wales, to 28 per cent. in the north-eastern and midland counties, and to as as much as 34 per cent. over the southern and eastern counties. Over all the more central eastern and southern parts of England, in fact, the sun has not shone on an average for more than from 4 to 4 ½ hours per day, instead of a possible 14 or 15 hours.
At Westminster yesterday John Allison, of 123, New-road, Battersea, was charged with cutting his wife about the head and body with a chopper, at Ranelagh-road, Pimlico. The woman, Elizabeth Vitty, wife of a laborer, said she was employed as a shirt maker at the Army and Navy Co-operative Society's Factory, and the injured woman was also employed there as a shirt maker. That morning she was in Ranelagh-road with Mrs. Allison, and called her attention to the prisoner, who was going along with a bundle in one hand and a hatchet in the other. Mrs. Allison exclaimed, "That man is my husband," and, much alarmed, she sought to take refuge in the factory office. Prisoner followed her, and knocked her down with the blade of the chopper, which cut through her bonnet and wounded her. She became unconscious, and bled very much.
William Allen, clerk, in the employ of the Army and Navy Co-operative Society, said he was in the office at the factory when he heard screams. On proceeding outside he saw the prisoner in the act of striking his wife with the chopper.
Mr. d'Eyncourt: What did you do? - I seized the prisoner by both arms, and begged him to desist, but he would not, and dealt the unfortunate woman four or five blows with the chopper. He said he had got her and would do for her.
Did you try to get the axe away? - Yes, but I could not, and I went for assistance. On my return the woman was in a crouching position, bleeding very much, but conscious.
The woman had a cut on the head and two fingers and a thumb were cut. Allison was remanded for a week.
Crime in Whitechapel.
SIR, - As a resident in the neighborhood of Whitechapel for the last 25 years, I wish to express my opinion as regards the terrible crimes of late at the East-end. I have had it brought under my notice several times. No later than a month back a female friend of mine was attacked by ruffians outside her own residence, a burglary taking place the same night a few doors off. A week later an elderly male friend was knocked down, assaulted, and robbed at the corner of the same street. In neither case has any clue yet been found. Last week myself and a colonial friend were passing through Commercial-street when we were assailed by a gang of six ruffians, but succeeded in getting away without injury. The robberies with violence are so frequent in the district in broad daylight, as well as night time, that it makes you ask the question, "Where are our police?" - Yours, &c.,
|Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 30 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 7 September 1888|