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It is admitted by all acquainted with the subject that very many of the evils suffered by the poor in the matter of their dwellings could be reached and dealt with by the existing law if it were properly known and applied. VOL. XV...-No. 85.

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It is believed also that volunteer action might do much in spreading a popular knowledge of the law, and in helping to enforce it.

A Society having these especial objects, and acting in harmony and correspondence with all other public bodies concerned with improving the dwellings of the poor, is accordingly proposed, and the above-mentioned names have been agreed to as its Committee.

By taking charge, on the principle of the division of labour, of one department of a huge subject, such a Society may hope to relieve other bodies of part of their work, and to assist the common cause by cooperation.

A limited number of members will be invited by the Committee to join the Society, and will be expected to contribute personal effort, influence, advice, or information, rather than money.

The object of this public notice is to make known the existence of the Society to all whom it may concern, and to invite information, authenticated by names, dates and addresses, as to any particular cases of hardship or misery (in London) which are traceable to evasion or neglect of the existing law.

Communications may be addressed to the Honorary Secretary, at 17 Albert Mansions, Victoria Street, S.W.


| The Committee, which was constituted before the formation of the Mansion House Council, proposes to act in full correspondence with it, as well as with previously existing organisations.



The windows of the room in which I write look out upon a view on which, for many years past, I, for one, have never been tired of gazing. The gardens of an Egyptian Princess skirt the southern side of Shepherd's Hotel, the side where in the crisp Cairene winter season I always elect my abode. The sounds of the great city are unheard here: the modern buildings of new Cairo are shut out from view. The whole expanse, on which I gaze, is filled by a vast garden park, in which a forest of lofty palm trees grows in a sort of orderly confusion. In the intervals between the palms over-shadowed by their feathery foliage there are orange groves, ripe just now with their golden fruit, trellises laden with clustering vines, stunted gnarled olive trees, with here and there a huge live oak rising in their midst, huge fernlike shrubs with broad fan-shaped branches—all the rich, luxuriant vegetation of the Nile-watered soil. And about and around it all there hangs the air of calm, still repose which to me forms the special charm of the East. High mud walls shut out the gardens from the outer world. Even when the Princess dwelt within her palace, hard by the hotel, visitors tell, palm groves were few and far between. Every now and then I have caught glimpses, between the trees, of the swathed waddling figures of the Harem ladies flitting to and fro. But nowadays, as a rule, the garden is deserted, save by the lizards which dart across the sandy sunlit walks, and the great falcon hawks which swoop in stately flight amidst the palm trees. The scene is the same always, changing only as the sun-light flits from side to side, and the shadows rise and fall, and deepen from the grey hues of the early morn to the coal-black darkness of the eventide.

Such is, in as far as my halting words can depict it, the scene on which for many and many a day I have looked with a pleasure which never palls. But yet—though I am writing with the gardens fall in view—the picture I have thus feebly essayed to convey in words is drawn rather from my recollection of bygone days than from the outlook I have before me. The landscape is the same as of old, but it has lost, its glamour. Everything is sad, limp and cheerless. For days, almost for weeks, past, we have had a spell of chill rainy weather wellnigh without example in the weather records, if such there be, of the Egyptian capital. The sky is like that of our native land, one unbroken canopy of dull, watery, drifting cloud ; the wind blows as it blows in England, saturated with chilly moisture; the rain comes beating down with a steady drenching downpour. The branches of the palm trees droop languidly sodden with wet. The sun is hidden; there is no colour anywhere. Our climate for the nonce is that of England without the comforts of cur English homes. I know of few places more cheerless than Cairo is during such weather as we have now. There are no fireplaces in our rooms; there is not a door or window that shuts; the roofs are not water-proof, and the rain leaks in through the plaster-covered rafters. Everything is out of gear, cheerless, uncomfortable, wretched.

It is not, however, to complain of our evil plight that I write these lines. No long sojourn in the Nile land is required to learn the philosophy conveyed to the Egyptian mind by the magic word · Bukra, or “to-morrow,' the invariable date at which everything is to be done, and every evil to be redressed. • Bukra,' to-morrow, the day after, or the day after that, as Allah pleases, the sun will come forth with its rich golden glory, and all our discomforts will be forgotten. I dwell upon our forlorn position simply because it seems to me to illustrate better than any other explanation I can think of the general condition of Egypt at the present moment under the protectorate of England. The greatest boon that could be conferred upon this country would be, if such a thing were possible, the supply of a regular well-ordered rainfall. Given such a supply, the desert which surrounds the Delta would become available for culture; the costly irrigation works required to provide the cultivated land with water during the low Nile would be no longer needed; the produce of the country would be increased tenfold ; the lot of the fellaheen would be relieved of wellnigh all its suffering; the golden age would have come back again. Given such a supply, too, the economical arrangements of Egypt would rapidly become adapted to its altered conditions. Houses would be built so as to keep out rain; roads would be constructed so as to bear wet without becoming quagmires. Fires and fuel would be provided to protect health and life during the cold season. But a spasmodic, irregular visitation of rain, such as that we enjoy~Heaven save the mark !-at present, does no good, and inflicts an infinity of discomfort and misery. It upsets everything and settles nothing. The rain has not lasted long enough to give any durable fertility to the parched desert soil. There is no reliance to be placed upon its per

Under normal circumstances, it may be years before Egypt has again such a spell of rain as she has had of late; and therefore it is futile to introduce changes which can only be of use if Egypt can rely upon a steady recurrence of rainy seasons.

The only thing to be done is to keep ourselves as dry and warm as may be, with


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