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about 1s. 7d. per week each. The method used in this comparison obscures the different nature of the pauperism in the two unions. Next, as to the population. Fylde is a union where there has never been a high rate of pauperism. It contains a rapidly growing and flourishing watering-place, Blackpool. An immigrant population is not one in which much pauperism is to be found. The rural parts of the union have been described in some detail by Mr. Wilson Fox for the Royal Commission on Agriculture. ‘There are few labourers' cottages, ... because many of the farmers employ no labour, and those who do usually have hired men who live and board in the farmhouses. . . . These are unmarried men.” Bradfield, on the other hand, up to 1871, was administered on the policy which now prevails in Fylde, and had, as already stated, a high rate of pauperism. This has been reduced to a low percentage by a change of administration. Bradfield is a rural district, with a stationary population; wages are low; there is a large number of labourers' cottages, the small farmer cultivating his land with assistance from his family being almost unknown. There is no inducement to the labourer to defer marriage in the hope of acquiring a farm, as in Fylde. The conditions of tenure and labour are thus totally different. Mr. Booth's procedure entirely evades the point of the experts' argument. If in a union where pauperism is naturally high it can by administration be reduced to the low percentage shown at Bradfield, much more, they argue, could the naturally low pauperism of Fylde be reduced to vanishing point by an adoption of the Bradfield system. The argument may be answerable, but Mr. Booth neither answers nor attempts to answer it. No candid student of the subject can fail to see the fallacy of these promiscuous comparisons. On p. 103 (and here we are, glad to agree with him), Mr. Booth refers to the desirability of having some test by which the general poverty of one district can be compared with another. He suggests density of population, but this gives no sort of indication of prosperity or adversity except in the few places which are clearly overcrowded, and it assists us not at all with the rural districts. What we really want is to get some measure of the relative proneness to pauperism in various districts. We very much question if this is possible. Mr. Loch has suggested a method of correcting the recorded rates of pauperism in such a way as to make it possible to compare union with union; but his device, though ingenious, only professes to remove the uncertainty arising from a fluctuating Population. This, we have seen, is only a small part of the 2 I 2 problem. problem. Differences of race, of land tenure, of industry, depressions of local trade either permanent or temporary, are matters with which the most highly trained arithmetical fancy must fail to deal. We cannot devise any substitute for experience, common sense, and detailed analysis.
To one other of Mr. Booth's conclusions drawn from his “negative results,' we think it necessary to draw attention. On p. 422 he writes:—
“The improvement shown in the decade 1881–1891 is greatest in Wales and the West. Wales on the whole represents an outdoor, and the border counties an indoor, policy. In both divisions the rate of improvement is the same, thus suggesting that it is the result of causes other than policy of administration.’
No one, so far as we are aware, has ever argued that administration is the sole cause of the rise and fall of pauperism: but it is idle to maintain that the varying degrees of facility with which relief is administered can fail to have an effect on
the numbers who receive it.
but it is not common sense.
episode. In 1871 the urban union of Shrewsbury, with a population of 25,753, was thrown into the rural union of Atcham, with a population of 18,313. Up to this date Shrewsbury had been an out-relief union, with a comparatively high rate of pauperism. After the amalgamation the stricter policy of Atcham prevailed, and in 1893—within, that is, twenty-two years—the pauperism of Shrewsbury fell to the level of that of Atcham. The following figures are exclusive of lunatics and vagrants:–
| Percentage of Percentage | | | Outdoor to of Paupers
Outdoor. Indoor. Total. Total to Popula| Paupers, | tion. Jan. 1, 1871.
Atcham ... ... ... .. 129 138 267 48-3 1 - 4 Sony .... os Iss so | 72 30 (Still separate unions.)
Combined Totals .. 767 326 1093 70 - 1 2-3 Atch Jan. 1, 1893. Atcham (now including - - i
Shrewsbury) .. o 52 352 404 12.0 0-83
| It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that under the old system Shrewsbury had a maximum of pauperism, which under the policy followed after the amalgamation was speedily reduced to a minimum. This last classification of unions by Mr. Booth can only be explained on the hypothesis that, no doubt quite unconsciously, he holds a brief for the party which in its advocacy of State Pensions argues that a reduction of pauperism is impossible by a careful administration of the Poor Law. Of Mr. Booth's desire to be fair we have already spoken. But this last argument, bearing proof of its irrelevancy on the face of it, fairly takes our breath away. Is such reasoning due to the keenness of the advocate or to the fact that Mr. Booth does not know, from concrete and practical experience, for what facts his figures stand? It is impossible not to admire the industry, public spirit, and good faith of Mr. Booth. At the same time the subject at issue has assumed national importance: and Mr. Booth is the last man to complain if those who distrust his figures and dispute his conclusions decline to swell the uncritical chorus of adulation which has accompanied all his efforts.
ART. IX.-1. Obras completas de Lope de Vega publicadas por la Real Academia Española. Tomo I. Nueva Biografía por D. C. A. de la Barrera. Madrid, 1890. Tomo II. Autosy Coloquios. Madrid, 1892. Tomo III. Coloquios. Come. dias de asuntos de la Sagrada Escritura. Madrid, 1893.
2. Ultimos Amores de Lope de Vega revelados por el mismo. Por Jose Ibero Ribas y Canfranc. Madrid, 1876.
OPE DE VEGA'S contemporaries would have been indignant, no doubt, if they could have foreseen that their ‘Phoenix” was to be kept waiting two centuries and a half for canonization in the shape of a complete and duly authorized edition of his extant works; but the reasonableness of any such
indignation is, to say the least of it, open to question. -
Lope Felix de Vega Carpio.
Of the twenty works or more that he sent to the press between 1597 and 1633, the “Arcadia’ was the only one that could be called a successful book, not, of course, in the sense o whic
which ‘Don Quixote’ or ‘Guzman de Alfarache” was successful, but as compared with other popular books of the time, like its prototype Montemayor’s “Diana, Hita’s “Wars of Granada,’ and Quevedo's ‘Buscon’ and ‘Visions.” Two or three, the “Peregrino’ and the “Shepherds of Bethlehem,' for instance, enjoyed a short spell of favour, but the rest, including those that were, in Spanish phrase, de su cosecha—his own harvest— those that owed nothing to any other man's invention, seem to have been as a rule severely let alone. And yet they were for the most part express appeals to popular sentiment. The ‘Dragontea' was a thanksgiving epic on the death of Sir Francis Drake; the “Isidro' was the story of the sainted ploughman of Madrid; and the “Corona Tragica’ glorified the martyrdom of Mary Stuart. If, therefore, posterity has not seen its way to giving Lope de Vega a place among the poets of the first order, it only shows itself to be of much the same mind as his contemporaries. They, it is true, protested that no such poet had ever been born, and there they were right. When they wanted to describe a thing as superexcellent, they called it a Lope; they crowded the balconies to see him pass; they ran after him in the streets, but it is pretty clear they did not run after his books. The Lope of their idolatry was quite another Lope, and one that we now must take very much on trust. Those of us who are endowed with the necessary stamina may no doubt read four hundred and odd plays of his which, being survivals, are probably the fittest, or at least fair representatives of his drama; but that will help nineteenth-century readers very little to comprehend what Lope was to seventeenth
century Madrid playgoers. Ferdinand Wolf's comparison of a play by Lope to a chess problem is an apt one. The dramatis persona—the galan, dama, viejo, and gracioso-have no more pretension to character or individuality than king, queen, knight, and bishop ; and any difference there may be between those of one play and those of another is in reality of no more account than the difference the turner's lathe has made between two sets of chessmen. They move on the stage, like the pieces on the board, along prescribed lines, and always in obedience to certain stock impulses—love, honour, jealousy, or revenge; and they give vent to property feelings with the help of stereotyped expressions of emotion. “The purpose of playing, as these playwrights saw it, was not to hold the mirror up to nature or show virtue her own feature, but simply to set a piquant puzzle for the audience. For plot they had a cunningly devised entanglement—enredo or maraña—brought about by misunderstandings, misconceptions, mistakes,