H. Rider (Henry Rider) Haggard.

Regeneration: being an account of the social work of the Salvation army in Great Britain online

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ment, in which state he had to bear the dreadful
pain of the operation. Afterwards the surgeon
asked him if he were a drug-taker, and he told
me that he answered :

' Why, sir, I could have drunk all the lot
you have been trying to give me, without ever
knowing the difference.'

In this condition, when he was such a wreck


that he trembled from head to foot and was con-
templating suicide, he came into the hands of the
Army, and was sent down to the Hadleigh Farm.

Now comes the point of the story. At Had-
leigh he ' got converted,' and from that hour
has never touched either drink or drugs. More-
over, he assured me solemnly that he could go
into a chemist's shop or a bar with money in
his pocket without feeling the slightest desire
to indulge in such stimulants. He said that
after his conversion, he had a ' terrible fight '
with his old habits, the physical results of their
discontinuance being most painful. Subse-
quently, however, and by degrees, the craving
left him entirely. I asked him to what he attri-
buted this extraordinary cure. He replied :

' To the power of God. If I trusted in my
own strength I should certainly fail, but the
power of God keeps me from being overcome.'

Now these are only two out of a number of
cases that I have seen myself, in which a similar
explanation of his cure has been given to me by
the person cured, and I would like to ask the
unprejudiced and open-minded reader how he
explains them. Personally I cannot explain them
except upon an hypothesis which, as a practical
person, I confess I hesitate to adopt. I mean
that of a direct interposition from above, or of
the working of something so unrecognized or so


undefined in the nature of man (which it will
be remembered the old Egyptians, a very wise
people, divided into many component parts,
whereof we have now lost count), that it may be
designated an innate superior power or principle,
brought into action by faith or ' suggestion.'

That these people who have been the slaves
of, or possessed by certain gross and palpable
vices, of which drink is only one, are truly and
totally changed, there can be no question. To
that I am able to bear witness. The demoniacs
of New Testament history cannot have been
more transformed; and I know of no stranger
experience than to listen to such men, as
I have times and again, speaking of their past
selves as entities cast off and gone, and of their
present selves as new creatures. It is, indeed,
one that throws a fresh light upon certain
difficult passages in the Epistles of St. Paul,
and even upon the darker sayings of the Master
of mankind Himself. They do, in truth, seem to
have been ' born again.' But this is a line of
thought that I will not attempt to follow; it lies
outside my sphere and the scope of these pages.

After the Officer who used to consume four
bottles of whisky a day, and is now in charge
of the Salvation Army work in Greenock, had left
the room, I propounded these problems to Lieut.-
Colonel Jolliffe and the Brigadier, as I had done


previously to Commissioner Sturgess. I pointed
out that religious conversion seemed to me to be
a spiritual process, whereas the craving for drink
or any other carnal satisfaction was, or appeared
to be, a physical weakness of the body. There-
fore, I did not understand how the spiritual con-
version could suddenly and permanently affect
or remove the physical desire, unless it were by
the action of the phenomenon called miracle,
which mankind admits doubtfully to have been
possible in the dim period of the birth of a
religion, but for the most part denies to be
possible in these latter days.

' Quite so,' answered the Colonel, calmly, in
almost the same words that Commissioner Stur-
gess had used, 'it is miracle; that is our belief.
These men cannot change and purify themselves,
their vices are instantaneously, permanently, and
miraculously removed by the power and the
Grace of God. This is the truth, and nothing
more wonderful can be conceived.'

Here, without further comment, I leave this
deeply interesting matter to the consideration of
abler and better instructed persons than myself.

To come to something more mundane, which
also deserves consideration, I was informed that
in Glasgow, with a population of about 900,000,
there exists a floating class of 80,000 people, who
live in lodging-houses of the same sort as, and


mostly inferior to the Salvation Army Shelter
of which I am now writing. In other words, out
of every twelve inhabitants of this great city,
one is driven to that method of obtaining a place
to sleep in at night.

In this particular Refuge there is what is called
a free shelter room, where people are accom-
modated in winter who have not even the few-
coppers necessary to pay for a bed. During the
month before my visit, which took place in the
summer-time, the Brigadier had allotted free beds
in this room to destitute persons to the value of
.13. I may add that twice a week this particular
place is washed with a carbolic mixture !

The Ardenshaw Women's Home

I VISITED two of the Salvation Army's
Women's Institutions in Glasgow. The first
of these was a Women's Rescue Home known
as Ardenshaw. This is a very good house, sub-
stantially built and well fitted up, that before it
was bought by the Army was the residence of a
Glasgow merchant. It has accommodation for
thirty-six, and is always full. The inmates are
of all kinds, prison cases, preventive cases, fallen
cases, drink cases. The very worst of all these
classes, however, are not taken in here, but sent
to the Refuge in High Street. Ardenshaw
resembles other Homes of the same sort that I
have already dealt with in various cities, so I
need not describe it here.

Its Officers visit the prisons at Duke Street,
Glasgow, Ayr, and Greenock, and I saw a letter
which had just arrived from the chaplain of one
of these jails, asking the Matron to interest her-
self in the case of a girl coming up for trial, and
to take her into a Home if she were discharged
as a first offender.


While I was eating some lunch in this house
I noticed a young woman in Salvation Army
dress coming up the steps with a child of par-
ticularly charming appearance. At my request
she was brought into the room, where I extracted
from her a story which seems to be worth repeat-
ing as an illustration of the spirit which animates
so many members of the Army.

The young woman herself had once been an
invalid who was taken into the Home and nursed
till she recovered, after which she was sent to a
situation in a large town. Here she came in
contact with a poor family in which the mother
is a drunkard and the father a respectable, hard-
working man, and took a great fancy to one of
the children, the little girl I have mentioned.
This child, who is about five years of age, it is
her habit to supply with clothes and more or less
to feed. Unfortunately, however, when the mother
is on the drink she pawns the clothes which my
Salvation Army friend is obliged to redeem, since
if she does not, little Bessie is left almost naked.
Indeed, before Bessie was brought away upon
this particular visit her protectress had to pay
145. to recover her garments from the pawn-
shop, a considerable sum out of a wage of about
;i8 a year.

I asked her why she did not take away this
very fascinating child altogether, and arrange


for her to enter one of the Army Homes. She
answered because, although the mother would b<^
glad enough to let her go, the father, who is
naturally fond of his children, objected.

' Of which the result may be,' remarked Lieut.-
Colonel Jolliffe grimly, ' that about a dozen years
hence that sweet little girl will become a street-
walking drunkard.'

' Not while I live,' broke in her foster-mother,

This kind-hearted little woman told me she had
been six years in service as sole maid-of-all-work
in a large hovise. I inquired whether it was a
hard place. She replied that it would be easier
if her four mistresses, who are sisters and old
maiden ladies, did not all take their meals at four
different times, have four different teapots, insist
upon their washing being sent to four different
laundries, employ four different doctors, and sleep
in four different rooms. ' However,' she added,
' it is not so difficult as it was as there used to be
five, but one has died. Also, they are kind to
me in other ways and about Bessie. They like
me to come here for my holiday, as then they
know I shall return on the right day and at the
right hour.'

When she had left the room, having in mind
the capacities of the average servant, and the
outcry she is apt to make about her particular


1 work,' I said that it seemed strange that one
young woman could fulfil all these multifarious
duties satisfactorily.

' Oh,' said the matter-of-fact Colonel, ' you see,
she belongs to the Salvation Army, and looks at
things from the point of view of her duty, and
not from that of her comfort.'

It is curious at what a tender age children learn
to note the habits of those about them. When
this little Bessie was given zd. she lisped out in
her pretty Scotch accent, ' Mother winna have
this for beerP

The Women's Lodging-House


THE last place that I visited in Glasgow was
the Shelter for women, an Institution of
the same sort as the Shelter for men. It is a
Lodging-house in which women can have a bed
at the price of qd. per night; but if that sum is
not forthcoming, they are not, as a rule, turned
away if they are known to be destitute.

The class of people who frequent this Home
is a very low one; for the most part they are
drunkards. They must leave the Shelter before
ten o'clock in the morning, when the majority
of them go out hawking, selling laces, or other
odds and ends. Some of them earn as much as
2s. a day; but, as a rule, they spend a good
deal of what they earn, only saving enough to
pay for their night's lodging. This place has
been open for sixteen years, and contains 133
beds, which are almost always full.

The women whom I saw at this Shelter were
a very rough-looking set, nearly all elderly, and,
as their filthy garments and marred countenances


showed, often the victims of drink. Still, they
have good in them, for the lady in charge assured
me that they are generous to each other. If one
of the company has nothing they will collect the
price of her bed or her food between them, and
even pay her debts, if these are not too large.
There were several children in the place, for each
woman is allowed to bring in one. When I was
there many of the inmates were cooking their
meals on the common stove, and very curious
and unappetizing these were.

Among them I noted a dark-eyed lassie of
about sixteen who was crying. Drawing her
aside, I questioned her. It seemed that her father,
a drunken fellow, had turned her out of her home
that afternoon because she had forgotten to give
him a message. Having nowhere to go she
wandered about the streets until she met a woman
who told her of this Lodging-house. She added,
touchingly enough, that it was not her mother's

Imagine a girl of sixteen thrown out to spend
the night upon the streets of Glasgow !

On the walls of one of the rooms I saw a notice
that read oddly in a Shelter for women. It ran :

Smoking is strictly prohibited after retiring.

The Land and Industrial Colony
Hadleigh, Essex

/ T~ N HE Hadleigh Colony, of which Lieut.-
-L Colonel Laurie is the Officer in charge, is
an estate of about 3,000 acres which was pur-
chased by the Salvation Army in the year 1891
at a cost of about 20 the acre, the land being
stiff clay of the usual Essex type. As it has
chanced, owing to the amount of building which
is going on in the neighbourhood of Southend,
and to its proximity to London, that is within
forty miles, the investment has proved a very
good one. I imagine that if ever it should come
to the hammer the Hadleigh Colony would fetch
a great deal more than 20 the acre, inde-
pendently of its cultural improvements. These,
of course, are very great. For instance, more
than 100 acres are now planted with fruit-trees in
full bearing. Also, there are brickfields which
are furnished with the best machinery and plant,
ranges of tomato and salad houses, and a large
French garden where early vegetables are grown
for market. A portion of the land, however, still


remains in the hands of tenants, with whom the
Army does not like to interfere.

The total turn-over of the land ' in hand '
amounts to the large sum of over ,30,000 per
annum, and the total capital invested is in the
neighbourhood of ^110,000. Of this great sum
about 78,000 is the cost of the land and the
buildings; the brickworks and other industries
account for ,12,000, while the remaining 20,000
represents the value of the live and dead stock.
I believe that the mortgage remaining on the
place, which the Army had not funds to pay for
outright, is now less than ,50,000, borrowed at
about 4 per cent, and, needless to say, it is well

Lieut.-Colonel Laurie informed me on the
occasion of my last visit to Hadleigh, in July,
1910, that taken as a whole even now the farm
does not pay its way.* This result is entirely
owing to the character of the labour employed.
At first sight, as the men are paid but a trifling
sum in cash, it would appear that this labour
must be extremely cheap. Investigation, how-
ever, gives the story another colour.

It costs the Army IDS. a week to keep a man at
Hadleigh in food and lodgings, and in addition
he receives a cash grant of from 6d. to 55. a week.

* The loss is being reduced annually, that for the financial
year which has just closed being the lowest on record.


Careful observation shows that the labour of three
of these men, of whom 92 per cent, be it remem-
bered, come to the Colony through their drinking
habits, is about equal to that of one good agri-
cultural hand who, in Norfolk, reckoning in his
harvest and sundries, would earn let us say,
i8s. a week. Therefore, in practice where I, as
a farmer, pay about i8s., or in the case of
carters and milkmen nearly ji, the Army pays
^2, circumstances under which it is indeed diffi-
cult to farm remuneratively in England.

The object of the Hadleigh Colony is to supply
a place w r here broken men of bad habits, who
chance in most cases to have had some con-
nexion with or liking for the land, can be
reformed, and ultimately sent out to situations,
or as emigrants to Canada. About 400 of such
men pass through the Colony each year. Of
these men, Lieut.-Colonel Laurie estimates that
1\ per cent prove absolute failures, although, he
added that, ' it is very, very difficult to deter-
mine as to when a man should be labelled an
absolute failure. He may leave us an apparent
failure, and still come all right in the end.'

The rest, namely 91 per cent or so, regain their
place as decent and useful members of society,
a wonderful result which is brought about by the
pressure of discipline, tempered with kindness,
and the influence of steady and healthful work.


Persons of every class drift to this Colony.
Thus, among the 230 Colonists who were train-
ing there when I visited it in July, 1910, were
two chemists and a journalist, while a Church of
England clergyman had just left it for Canada.

As a specimen of the ruck, however, I will
mention the first individual to whom I happened
to speak a strong young man, who was weeding
a bed of onions. He told me that he had been
a farm labourer in early life, and, subsequently,
for six years a coachman in a private livery
stables in London. He lost his place through
drink, became a wanderer on the Embankment,
was picked up by the Salvation Army and sent
to one of its Elevator paper-works. After-
wards, he volunteered to work on the land at
Hadleigh, where he had then been employed for
nine months. His ambition was to emigrate to
Canada, which, doubtless, he has now done, or
is about to do. Such cases might be duplicated
by the dozen, but for this there is no need. Ex
uno disce omnes.

All the labour employed, however, is not of this
class. For instance, the next man to whom I
spoke, who was engaged in ploughing up old
cabbage land with a pair of very useful four-year-
olds, bred on the farm, was not a Colonist but
an agricultural hand, paid at the rate of wages
usual in the district. Another, who managed the


tomato-houses, was a skilled professional tomato-
grower from the Channel Islands. The experi-
ence of the managers of the Colony is that it is
necessary to employ a certain number of expert
agriculturalists on the place, in order that they
may train the raw hands who come from London
and elsewhere.

To a farmer, such as the present writer, a visit
to Hadleigh is an extremely interesting event,
showing him, as it does, what can be done upon
cold and unkindly land by the aid of capital,
intelligence, and labour. Still I doubt whether a
detailed description of all these agricultural opera-
tions falls within the scope of a book such as
that upon which I am engaged.

Therefore, I will content myself with saying
that this business, like everything else that the
Army undertakes, is carried out with great
thoroughness and considerable success. The
extensive orchards are admirably managed, and
were fruitful even in the bad season of 1910.
The tomato-houses, which have recently been
increased at a capital cost of about ^"1,000,
produce many tons of tomatoes, and the French
garden is excellent of its kind. The breed of
Middle-white pigs is to be commended; so much
so in my judgment, and I can give no better
testimonial, that at the moment of writing I am
trying to obtain from it a pedigree boar for my


own use. The Hadleigh poultry farm, too, is
famous all over the world, and the Officer who
manages it was the President for 1910 of the
Wyandotte Society, fowls for which Hadleigh is
famous, having taken the championship prizes
for this breed and others all over the kingdom.
The cattle and horses are also good of their class,
and the crops in a trying year looked extremely

All these things, however, are but a means to
an end, which end is the redemption of our fallen
fellow-creatures, or such of them as come within
the reach of the work of the Salvation Army at
this particular place.

I should add, perhaps, that there is a Citadel
or gathering hall, which will seat 400, where
religious services are held and concerts are given
on Saturday nights for the amusement of the
Colonists. I may mention that no pressure is
brought to bear to force any man in its charge
to conform to the religious principles of the
Army. Indeed, many of these attend the services
at the neighbouring parish church. Notwith-
standing the past characters of those who live
there, disturbances of any sort are unknown at
Hadleigh. Indeed, it is extremely rare for a
case originating on the Colony to come before
the local magistrates.

The Small-Holdings Settlement
Boxted, Essex

ENERAL BOOTH and his Officers are, as
I know from various conversations with
them, firmly convinced that many of the great
and patent evils of our civilization result from
the desertion of the land by its inhabitants, and
that crowding into cities which is one of the
most marked phenomena of our time. Indeed,
it was an identity of view upon this point, which
is one that I have advanced for years, that first
brought me into contact with the Salvation
Army. But to preach the advantages of bring-
ing people back to the land is one thing, and
to get them there quite another. Many obstacles
stand in the way. I need only mention two of
these : the necessity for large capital and the
still more important necessity of enabling those
who are settled on it to earn out of Mother
Earth a sufficient living for themselves and their

That well-known philanthropist, the late Mr.
Herring, was another person much impressed


with the importance of this matter, and I
remember about five years ago dining with him,
with General Booth as my fellow-guest, on an
occasion when all this subject was gone into in
detail. So lively, indeed, was Mr. Herring's
interest that he offered to advance a sum of
; 1 00,000 to the Army, to be used in an
experiment of land-settlement, carried out under
its auspices. Should that experiment prove
successful, the capital repaid by the tenants w-as
to go to King Edward's Hospital Fund, and
should it fail, that capital was to be written off.
Of this , 1 00,000, ,40,000 has now been in-
vested in the Boxted venture, and if this succeeds,
I understand that the balance will become avail-
able for other ventures under the provisions of
Mr. Herring's will. A long while must elapse,
however, before the result of the experiment can
be definitely ascertained.

The Boxted Settlement is situated in North
Essex, about three miles from Colchester, and
covers an area of 400 acres. It is a flat place,
that before the Enclosures Acts was a heath, with
good road frontages throughout, an important
point where small-holdings are concerned. The
soil is a medium loam over gravel, neither very
good nor very bad, so far as my judgment goes,
and of course capable of great improvement under
intensive culture.


This estate, which altogether cost about
per acre to buy, has been divided into sixty-seven
holdings, varying in size from 4^ acres to 7 acres.
The cottages which stand upon the holdings have
been built in pairs, at a cost of about ^380 per
pair, which price includes drainage, a drinking
well, and, I think, a soft-water cistern. These are
extremely good dwellings, and I was much struck
with their substantial and practical character.
They comprise three bedrooms, a large living-
room, a parlour, and a scullery, containing a sink
and a bath. Also there is a tool-house, a pigstye,
and a movable fowl-house on wheels.

On each holding an orchard of fruit trees has
been planted in readiness for the tenant, also
strawberries, currants, gooseberries, and rasp-
berries, which in all occupy about three-quarters
of an acre. The plan is that the rest of the hold-
ing should be cultivated intensively upon a system
that is estimated to return ^20 per acre.

The arrangement between the Army and its
settlers is briefly as follows : In every case the
tenant begins without any capital, and is pro-
vided with seeds and manures to carry him
through the first two years, also with a living
allowance at the rate of los. a week for the man
and his wife, and is. a week for each child, which
allowance is to cease after he has marketed his
first crops.


The tenancy terms are, that for two years the
settler is a tenant at will, the agreement being
terminable by either party at any time without
compensation. At the end of these two years,
subject to the approval of the Director of the
Settlement, the settler can take a 999 years' lease
of his holding, the Army for obvious reasons
retaining the freehold. After the first year of
this lease, the rental payable for forty years is to
be 5 per cent per annum upon the capital invested
in the settlement of the man and his family upon
the holding, which rent is to include the cost
of the house, land, and improvements, and all
moneys advanced to him during his period of

It is estimated that this capital sum will
average ,520 per holding, so that the tenant's
annual rent for forty years will be ^26, after
which he will have nothing more to pay save a
nominal rent, and the remainder of the lease
will be the property of himself, or rather, of
his descendants. This property, I presume, will
be saleable.

So, putting aside all legal technicalities and
complications, it comes to this: the tenant is
started for two years after which he pays about
4 a year rent per acre for the next forty years,
and thereby virtually purchases his holding. The
whole question, which time alone can answer, is


whether a man can earn ^4 per acre rent per
annum, and, in addition, provide a living for
himself and family out of a five-acre holding on
medium land near Colchester.

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Online LibraryH. Rider (Henry Rider) HaggardRegeneration: being an account of the social work of the Salvation army in Great Britain → online text (page 10 of 14)