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preceded by his courtiers, and followed only by Owusu Kokor---the Bismarck of Ashantee-a fine, intelligent-looking man, full of characteristic feature, the whole company of magnates, from prime minister to chief executioner and king's eunuch, shaking my hand until it was well nigh paralysed.
The same night, at 11 P.M., when I had scarce lain down to rest, tired and feverish, the king was suddenly announced, and, with a portion of his retinue, including a slave child of ex-King Koffee Kalkalli, crowded the little room almost to suffocation. He had come on a private visit, to ask what 'palaver' had brought me to Ashantee, without escort or ostentation. In a few simple words I informed him that my mission was actuated purely by a desire to see the Ashantee people and their country, and was in no way whatever connected with Government. The only question his majesty put was, "When is Captain Barrow coming to settle our palaver?'
Early next morning the horns sounded the assembly, and a summons arrived for me to attend the council. On arriving at the council courtyard, a large umbrella was sent for my benefit, and after the usual formalities I was called upon to make an explanatory 'palaver' to the king, chiefs, and people assembled. My standing up to do so was the signal for loud applause, subdued eventually by officers of the court loudly shouting 'T'jéa,' resembling in English the sound of Cha-ir.' When silence was restored I reiterated the statement made overnight to the king, which my interpreter addressed to the royal interpreter, and he again to his majesty and the people. A bevy of chiefs, who sat next the king's interpreter, expressed their approval of his rendering by the word 'Yeouw,' meaning 'Yes,' continually repeated. Such was the procedure. They then said, 'How is this? no white man comes here except for Queen's palaver.' On being pressed for some proof of my words, I could only think of one thing, viz., the production of my collections, ornithological, entomological, and botanical; so round they went, from hand to hand, plants and ferns, butterflies, beetles, and birds. They certainly caused much diversion, but did not clear me, for I was marched back to my quarters, and there maintained in captivity for five days— though it mattered little, for I was down with fever the whole time and callous to everything.
Meanwhile died the sister of Osoo Ansah, a Prince of the blood, now under pension at Cape Coast. After the usual protracted ceremonies of dancing, gun firing, rum drinking, and mourning, she was laid to her rest within the precincts of the palace.
On the sixth day the king and his mother, i.e., the queen (in Ashantee the royal descent runs in the female line), called to see me, bringing presents, together with an announcement of the royal pleasure that I was free again to roam-a generous offer that was generously accepted. After six days' additional residence with the freedom of the city, I started homewards, visiting en route the Kings
of Kokufu and Becquoi, who were good enough to institute special carnivals.
Being but an amateur in natural history, I can offer no professional opinions upon the characteristics of the country in that respect. The Lepidoptera are, however, a distinguishing feature; crowds of brilliant butterflies jostled each other for supremacy everywhere, in many instances tilting against me and flying straight into my bright green net, settling there as if pleased with the novelty. Prominent in the insect world are Orthoptera, especially Mantidæ and Hymenoptera; but Coleoptera are, as far as I could judge, but feebly represented. But few wild animals are to be seen or heard, except at night, and then only small ones: jackals, leopards, antelopes, wild pigs, wild cats, foxes, armadilloes, monkeys, and a small animal (name unknown) that makes night hideous with its screechings, are A specimen of the Perodictitus potto, presented by me to the Zoological Society, was pronounced a rare animal (now dead). The birds of this region are considerably inferior, both in plumage and number, to those generally found in the tropics.
Coomassie of to-day needs little description: a large, ill-built, ill-regulated town, overgrown with weeds and grass. A dejected, demoralised people, scattered amongst a mass of almost tenantless houses, the homes once of a large population, now sadly reduced by war, the knife, and desertion. A perpetual terror pervades the population, a terror in marked contrast to the calm of their brethren in the Protectorate, who, untaught, untaxed, and protected, wallow through life in peaceful contentment.
The government, if such it is, may be described as imperium in imperio. What was formerly the great Ashantee monarchy is now a host of tributary states, united in one common bond to resist oppression and cast off the yoke that the king and chiefs of Coomassie are vainly trying to reimpose. Yet, though so bonded, and bound by ties of similar kindred, there is a vein of tribal animosity pervading their whole system-king against king, and chief against chief. Bloodshed and retaliation, strife and misery, are hidden from the world in that deep dark forest, which, for all we know, owns not a worthy deed nor a noble action. Its denizens are alike indifferent to death and glory; a wife is valued at six shillings, which her mother receives as the price of her wedding to slavery.
Bantama, the royal mausoleum and executioner's retreat, stands in the distance, reeking of murders-sacrifices to the gods, fiends, and policy. Nearer at hand, in their very midst, but hidden from public gaze, is a hideous noisome den, which receives what is left of Bantama's victims. But each day leads to a brighter future; each germ of civilisation infused into the country must bear its good fruit, and tend to propagate the sentiment that human life is sacred.
GODFREY Y. LAGDEN.
ONCE more, as happens in crises of history, rich and poor have met. 'Scientific charity,' or the system which aims at creating respectability by methods of relief, has come to the judgment, and has been found wanting. Societies which helped the poor by gifts made paupers, churches which would have saved them by preaching made hypocrites, and the crowning work of scientific charity is the working man too thrifty to pet his children and too respectable to be happy. Those who have worked hardest at planning relief and bringing to a focus the forces of charity, those who have sacrificed themselves to stop the demoralising out-relief and restore to the people the spirit of selfreliance, will be the first to confess dissatisfaction if they are told that the earthly paradise of the majority of the people must be to belong to a club, to pay for a doctor through a provident dispensary, and to keep themselves unspotted from charity or pauperism. There is not enough in this hope to call out efforts of sacrifice, and a steady look into such an earthly paradise discloses that the life of the thrifty is a sad life, limited both by the pressure of continuous toil and by the fear lest this pressure should cease and starvation ensue.
The poor need more than food: they need the knowledge, the character, the happiness which is the gift of God to this age. The age has received His best gifts, but their blessings have fallen mostly to the side of the rich.
It is a moment of Peace. To-day there are no battles, but the returns of the dead and wounded from accidents with machinery and from diseases connected with trade show that there are countless homes in which there must still be daily uncertainty about the father's return, and many who are made orphans and widows for their country's good.
It is an age of Knowledge. But if returns were made either of the increased health due to the skill of doctors and sanitarians, or of the pleasures due to the greater knowledge of the thoughts and acts of other men in other times and countries, it would be shown that neither length of days nor pleasure falls to the lot of the poor. Few are the poor families where the mother will not say, 'I have buried many of mine.' Few are the homes where the talk has any subject beyond the day's doings and the morrow's fears.
It is an age of Travel, but the mass of the poor know little beyond the radius of their own homes. It is no unusual thing to find people within ten miles of a famous sight which they have never seen, and it is the usual thing to find complete ignorance of other modes of life, a thorough contempt for the foreigner and all his ways. The improved means of communication, which is the boast of the age, and which has done so much to widen thought, tends to the enjoyment of the rich more than of the poor.
It is an age of the Higher Life. Higher conceptions of virtue, a higher ideal of what is possible for man, is the best gift to our day, but it is received only by those who have time and power to study, 'They who want the necessaries of life want also a virtuous and an equal mind,' says the Chinese sage, and so the poor, being without those things necessary to the growth of mind and feeling, lose also Salvation, the possession of a life at one with the Good and the True.
Thus it is that the poor miss the best things, and those who have cared for them are not content with the hope offered by 'scientific charity.' They see that the best things might be common, and they cannot stand aside and do nothing. The cruellest man living,' it has been said, 'could not sit at his feast unless he sat blindfold,' and those who see must do something. They may be weary of revolutionary schemes, which turn the world upside down to produce after anarchy another unequal division; they may be weary, too, of philanthropic schemes which touch but the edge of the question. They may hear of dynamite, and they may watch the failure of an Education Act, as the prophets watched the failure of teachers without knowledge. They may criticise all that Philanthropists and Governments do, but still they themselves would do something. No theory of progress, no proof that many individuals among the poor have become rich, will satisfy them; they simply face the fact that in the richest country of the world the great mass of their countrymen live without the knowledge, the character, and the fulness of life which is the best gift to this age, and that some thousands either beg for their daily bread or live in anxious misery about a wretched existence. What can they do which revolutions, which missions, and which money have not done?
It is in answer to this question I make the suggestion of this paper. I make it especially as a development of the idea which underlies a College Mission. These Missions, if I understand them rightly, are generally inaugurated by a visit to a college from some well-known clergyman working in the East End of London or in some such working-class quarter. He speaks to the undergraduates of the condition of the poor, and he rouses their sympathy. A committee is appointed, subscriptions are promised, and after some negotiations a young clergyman, a former member of the school or college, is appointed as a Mission curate of a district.
He at once sets in motion the usual parochial machinery of district visiting, mothers' meetings, clubs, &c. He invites the assistance of those of his old mates who will help; at regular intervals he makes a report of his progress, and if all goes well he is at last able to tell how the district has become a parish.
The Mission, good as its influence may be, is not, it seems to me, an adequate expression of the idea which moved the promoters. The hope in the College was that all should join in good work, and the Mission is necessarily a Churchman's effort. The desire was, that as University men they should themselves bear the burdens of the poor -and the Mission requires of them little more than an annual guinea subscription. The grand idea which moved the college, the idea which, like a new creative spirit, is brooding over the face of Society, and is making men conscious of their brotherhood, finds no adequate expression in the district church machinery with which, in East London, I am familiar. There is little in that machinery which helps the people to conceive of religion apart from sectarianism, of a Church which is the nation bent on righteousness.' There is little, too, in the ordinary parochial mechanism which will carry to the homes of the poor a share of the best gifts now enjoyed in the University.
Imagine a man's visit to the Mission District of his college. He has thought of the needs of the poor, and of the way in which those needs might be met. He has formed in his mind a picture of a district where loving supervision has made impossible the wretchedness of 'horrible London; ' he expects to find well-ordered houses, people interested in the thoughts of the day, gathering round their pastor to learn of men and of God. He finds instead an Ireland in England, people paying 3s. or 4s. a week for rooms smaller than Irish cabins, without the pure air of the Irish hillside, and with vice which adds depth to squalor. He finds a population dwarfed in stature, smugly content with their own existence, ignorant of their high vocation to be partners of the highest, and even the children are not joyful. He measures the force which the Mission curate is bringing to bear against all this evil. He finds a church which is used only for a few hours in the week, and which is supported at a cost of 150l. a year. He finds the clergyman absorbed in holding together his congregation by means of meetings and treats, and almost broken down by the strain put upon him to keep his parochial organisation going. The clergyman is alone, and his church work dissipates his power and attracts little outside help. What can he do to improve the dwellings and widen the lives of 4,000 persons? What can he do to spread knowledge and culture? What can he do to teach the religion which is more than church-going? What wonder if, when he is asked what help he needs, he answers, Money for my Church,' Teachers for my Sunday school,' 'Managers for my