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than their habitual management. In the beginning at least, or until the improvements had taken root, some special form of authority in strict concert with the Government would have to be provided in numerous parts of the empire. A plan of this kind might, perhaps, be carried out by means consistent with Turkish practice in cases of more than common importance, although on a larger scale than any recorded precedents would warrant. The Vilayets, or districts which compose the Sultan's dominion, might be so grouped according to their respective local circumstances as to form on the whole a collection, say, of twelve or fifteen principal divisions, without altering the present limits of the provinces. A Governor of known ability and trustworthy qualities might be placed at the head of each under the accustomed title of Beglerbeg, which implies a superior degree of power and dignity; nor would it be amiss to add two secretaries, one only of whom should be a Mussulman, authorised to receive information of his Excellency's intentions, to express their opinions thereon, and to communicate with the Ministerial department on necessary occasions, their chief being duly apprised.
Furthermore, no small advantage might be derived from the establishment of rural and municipal councils, formed by popular election, limited to respectable taxpayers, and also confined to the treatment of civil affairs relating to each locality, apart from the departments of religion and justice, with the admission of two members. appointed by State authority.
In a country of mixed population and conflicting religions, the police is a matter of so much consequence that it would be a mistake to close this memorandum of notions, in great part conjectural, without a few words on that subject. Besides the general sanction of Government, each local section of the police has in such a country more than anywhere need of careful organisation and stringent responsibility. In the hands of a single party, and that party heretofore dominant, it would otherwise be inconsistent with the principle of equal laws. A mixture of elements would seem to be indispensable. The question of proportion may puzzle even a practical judgment. One thing is clear: the selection of a competent head-man, judicious, firm, and equitable, is a paramount duty in every case which regards the preservation of the public peace.
While the last paragraph is fresh from a pen which has no pretensions to skill, the daily journals teem with news of the Afghan hostilities, and the first brilliant successes of our Indian army. They also exhibit many painful signs of the part which a Power in friendly relation with England has taken in rousing the angry passions and abetting the offensive conduct of Shere Aali. This is not an occasion for entering into the question of right. We are engaged in a war which, however triumphant in its outset, is exposed to serious reverses,
to say nothing of other onerous contingencies. The language of encouragement is therefore the language of true patriotism, so long at least as a display of censure or mistrust may tend to weaken or embarrass the operations necessary for success. It is not only in Afghanistan that our responsible helmsmen have much to overcome. They are pledged to work their way elsewhere, as best they can, through a jungle of difficulties-ennobled, indeed, by grand aims, but also entangled with the rudest chances.
The time employed in dotting down these cursory remarks and suggestions owes to much interruption the advantage of closing them with the knowledge of some improvement in our political prospects both in Europe and Asia. The horizon, however, cannot be clear in Eastern quarters while Russia retains so large a force in Turkey, and a ruinous claim to indemnity hangs, like the fabled sword, over its Sovereign's head.
You take my house, when you do take the prop
This article, sketchy as it is, and disproportioned to the important and extensive subject of which it treats, can have but little claim to attention unless it be on the ground of our interest in the welfare and independence of Turkey. That interest is no fancy. It has reality for its foundation, and other countries of Europe have their share in it to no small amount. The Danube and the Black Sea, together with the countries either bordering on those waters or accessible from them, could not fail to regret the transfer of their great southern issue to the hands of a dependent or a restrictive Power. The Turkish Government acts on principles favourable to commerce, and it only wants a free command of its natural resources to carry them out to a degree which would not only augment indefinitely the passage of trade by the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, but feed European markets with increased supplies from its own productive territories. I have already noticed circumstances which threaten to impede, if not to prevent, so useful a development. Whether the war indemnity is to be forced upon Turkey without more delay, or to be staved off by the victim's most natural reluctance to undergo so fatal a crash, is not yet clear. The public journals continue to vary in their language on the subject. The Sultan has to deal with a triumphant and unsparing neighbour. The Congress, though a creation, Briareus like, of many arms, could not stretch out one of them to shield him from the most ruinous of the blows levelled at his independence. The cloud may burst into a deluge, or disperse into vapour. My wishes are given for the latter solution with little reliance on their efficacy.
It is something to have learned during the composition of this
disjointed article that the Emperor of Russia's demand of a free passage for his troops through the Dobrutchka has been withdrawn, but the state of affairs in that division of Bulgaria which is called Eastern Roumelia forms a sad counterpart to that second thought. On this subject a leader has appeared within the last day or two in one of our principal morning papers, describing the refusal of the chief local official established by the Russians at some place in Eastern Roumelia to recognise the authority of our Commissioners acting under the Berlin Treaty, and his appeal to a mob whose violence obliged our Commissioners, together with their Austrian colleague, to retire. This palpable obstruction coinciding with the persecution of Mussulman families owning places of residence in the same province may well be suspected of proceeding from a quarter hostile to the settlement of Turkish affairs according to the decision of the Berlin Plenipotentiaries. In addition to these unpleasant appearances we have still to learn what difficulties may arise out of the Greek claim, and in what manner the dissatisfaction of Montenegro and Albania will be appeased.
As matters now stand, to pursue the subject further would be an idle task. Time has its disclosures as well as its secrets. It has also a movement of its own, and the busiest of inquirers must often take patience for his badge.
STRATFORD DE REDCLIFFE.
RICH people with tender hearts have been having a hard time of it lately, in many ways. Never surely before were so many and such harrowing appeals made every day to their feelings on behalf of sufferers of every description. The sufferings of the poor in sickness and old age, our neglected children, pining needlewomen, hard times, strikes, workhouses, crowded alleys, fever-nests, polluted water-supply, small-pox, pauperism, monotony, dreariness, and drink, haunt our thoughts by day, if not our dreams by night. Schemes for alleviations and reforms meet us at every turn; but in our attempts to solace ourselves by giving alms, we are met by innumerable difficulties, and hampered and bewildered by unanswerable admonitions both from within and without, about the danger of pauperising, till some of us scarcely dare offer a cup of beef-tea to a sick neighbour for fear of demoralising him, and offending against the canons of political economy and the organisation of charity. All this is doubtless inevitable, and for our good. The comparative conditions of rich and poor in London now are not such as we ought to be able to reflect upon with comfort. But how one longs for some outpouring of comfortable, unhesitating, old-fashioned, joyous bounty--not judicious administration of charity, but a good hearty swing of generosity-if only it might be innocently indulged in.
And by degrees, one and another, here and there, are finding out simple, harmless, priceless boons which can be given with an open hand and a glad heart-boons which are twice blessed' in the delight they afford to him that gives and him that takes:' such gifts as we should not be ashamed to offer to our most honoured friends. People have lately begun to find out the mutual delight produced by gifts of flowers, of pictures, and other decorations, by gardens and open spaces,' by excursions into the country, by concerts and readings, by any of the little embellishments of life which are such matters of course among the rich that we are scarcely aware of the influence they have on our own lives; and that few of us can guess what is the parching and sickening effect of their utter and prolonged absence. Lately a flash of pleasure lighted up many a private house and many a rich nursery, as well as the bare and cheer
less infirmaries of our huge pauper schools, when one or two kind hearts and busy brains planned and made known a scheme for collecting not guineas but toys, old as well as new, and brightening the faces of a multitude of poor little sick children with the overflowings of the nursery cupboards and toy-shops of the West End. It is an indescribable relief to know of ways of giving unlimited pleasure without the possibility of doing harm to any one.
Another such simple but fruitful discovery has been made by a lady, who last summer engaged a little four-roomed cottage close to her own garden-gate in the country, and in it received during the three summer months a succession of children from the crowded parts of London, in batches of six or seven-each batch under the care of some hard-working woman, known to the children's parentseach little party staying a week in the country, on a visit to a friend, like other people,' and returning home loaded with little gift-books, toys, little shawls, flowers, cakes, fruit:' these last being little remembrances from kind neighbours, who, by the hostess's wish, abstained from giving money to the children; the object throughout being to avoid making it a charity business,' and preserve the idea of a simple visit. Once a week
The new batch left London by as early a train as possible, with return tickets, .. and were received by the old batch as they landed, and all fourteen walked up the hill together. Then the combined forces had one cheerful dinner together; then the old ones showed the new ones their happy playing grounds, their limits or bounds; and after tea the new ones accompanied the home-going party to the steamer, they travelling home with the morning's return tickets, happy and joyous: the pleasant day they enjoyed together and the looking forward to their homes, be they never so homely, and all they had to tell and to show, making the departure as pleasant as the arrival.
This last device is an instance of one of the simplest and most abundantly fruitful of all possible ways of helping the poor, namely, If this were the exercise of simple hospitality towards them. practised to anything like the extent of our opportunities, it seems to me that it might prove almost a new hemisphere of mutual blessing for rich and poor. Hitherto almost all our philanthropy has been directed, and very naturally, to visiting the poor in their homes, or in institutions provided for them, and for them onlyschools, hospitals, asylums of all sorts. It is only here and there, accidentally as it were, and very occasionally, that we have tried welcoming them into our own homes. But let those who have tried it say how great and how pure is the joy of receiving guests to whom a visit is a balm and a cordial: not a necessary part of the labour of keeping up society, nor yet a mere amusement, but a help which enables them to go forward with renewed strength on the journey of life. Many such guests doubtless are to be found in the host's own social class. The beauty of the idea of hospitality is that it is not