Page images
PDF
EPUB

or

gone through as to whether a cup of worn by the artisan class - of grey or coffee at three kreuzers, or a glass of brown homespun, dark-coiored wine at four, is the better worth hav- serge. It is not uniformu ; indeed, as it ing. When they have made up their is made in the building, it is exceedminds on these and cognate points, ingly probable that they wlio wear it they give their orders, and with quite a - at least if they be women - have a lordly air, too, as befits persous who voice in deciding its façon. With the have money in hand to pay for what exception of the invalids, all are rethey wish. The choosing and ordering quired to keep their clothes in good of their own dinners is to most of these repair, and to pay a certain amount of old people a source of intense delight ; | attention to their own personal appearthe mere fact of having money to ance. These are points which, espespend gives them a feeling of indepen- cially in Vienna, are strongly insisted dence and self-importance which light- upon ; for the city does not choose to ens many a burden they have to bear. have its old peusioners going about If the Poor Law Department were to dirty or in rags. The ball-porter bas offer them regular board, with three strict orders to allow no one to yo out luxurious meals a day, instead of their unless he has“ tidied up ;” and this meagre little twenty-six kreuzers, the regulation is warmly approved of by majority of them would certainly reject the majority of the inmates then)it with scorn.

selves. To an outsider it certainly These little allowances are valued, seems superfluous, for most of the old too, for another reason : they are a people are the very picture of neatproof of trustworthiness on the part of ness. They all appear to have a good those who receive them. When a man supply of clothes. One of the inmates enters an Old Age Home his twenty-six of the Prague Home insisted on showkreuzers a day are handed to him as ing me his wardrobe. In addition to a matter of course. If, however, as the rough grey suit he was wearing, he sometimes happens, he does not turn had a pair of dark trousers and waistthem to good account - if, for instance, coat, a black coat, and a long blue overhe spends au undue proportion of them coat all in thoroughly good condition. on tobacco, beer, or wine - it is pointed He had, too, under his care a silk gown out to him that such conduct cannot be which he displayed with infinite pride. tolerated. Should he not take the hint It was his wife's wedding-dress, he told thus given, he receives an official warn- His wife, who lives in another ing. Then, unless he mends his ways, wing of the building, had, it seems, and that speedily, his kreuzers are banded it over to him for greater stopped and he is placed on rations. safety. “ She always wears it, though, Invalids, too, and the feeble-minded of course, when we pay visits,” he rehave no allowances. Their meals are marked incidentally. ordered for them by the doctor, and are Many of the inmates of these homes sent from the restaurant to their own supplement their twenty-six kreuzers a rooms.

day by earning a little money on their Those responsible for the manage- own account; and the Poor Law aument of the Old-Age Homes have thorities, far from throwing obstacles decided the clothes question in an in the way of their doing so, give them eminently common-sense fashion. I every encouragement. They even proSuch of the old people as have clothes vide work for such of the more worthy of their own, or have friends willing to among them as have the strength, and provide them with clothes, wear them ; the wish to do it; and, what is much while the less fortunate are supplied by more remarkable, they pay them regthe Poor Law Department with what ular wages. It is not much that they they require. In the latter case the give, of course, only some ten kreuzers dress, though as plain as possible, is for a six hours' day ; still, even ten warm and comfortable, and of the kind | kreuzers are not to be despised. There

me.

one

never

is many an old man in our English | force is of the very gentlest character. unious who would gladly work all day Practically the inmates may do just as for half that sum if he might but spend they like, so long as they conduct themit as he chose.

The pensioners re- selves iu an orderly fashion and do not ceive no remuneration for doing the quarrel. When once they have made lighter kind of housework, such as mak- their rooms neat, they may lounge ing their own beds and keeping their about in the sunshine, or by the stove, rooms clean ; this they are required to the whole day long if they choose. do, so long, at least, as they have the After dinner they may all go to bed for necessary strength. But, when there an hour, and this many of them do. is any carpentering to be done, the car. In each home there is a chapel in penters in the home have the option of which mass is celebrated every day ; doing it; and the same arrangement is but the old people are perfectly free to in force with regard to the dress-mak- go there or not, just as the fancy takes ing, tailoring, shoemaking, etc. ; while them. If they care to do so, they may all are free to turn their hands to gar- leave the home every day, at dening and wood-chopping. And for o'clock, and need not return until eight this work they are paid. Some of the in the evening. Then they have the women, too, earn quite a tidy little right to spend one whole day with their sum by knitting stockings and vests, friends every week ; and if they wish and helping to keep the house-lineu in to spend two, the director rarely or repair. Then such of the old people as refuses them the permission. are specially reliable may become the Once a year, too, they may go away for paid officials of the institution. At- a whole month, providing that they tached to each room is a Stube-Vater, have any where to go to. Some of or a Stube-Mutter, as the case may be, them pay quite a string of visits during who receives six kreuzers a day for the summer, and return to the home all keeping order and seeing that they the better and the more contented for who live there conduct themselves the change. These privileges, howproperly. If any one is ill, it is the ever, are strictly conditional on good duty of these officials to fetch what behavior. Should any of the pensionfood or medicine he may require, and ers show a disposition to abuse their to look after him generally and try to liberty, it is at once curtailed. If a make him comfortable. In the rooms

- does not return set apart for invalids, the Stube-Vaters to the home by the appointed time, or Stube-Mutters are replaced by if he returns in a disorderly condition,

Even they who, from lack of he is not allowed to go out again for strength or inclination, do not work, some time to come ; nor may he unare not, as a rule, entirely dependent dertake any paid work. If he should for their support on their twenty-six stir up strife among his fellows, or in kreuzers ; for whatever presents they any other way interfere with the wellreceive, whether in money or in kind, being of those around him, he is subare their own private property. And ject to imprisonment in a room in the their visitors rarely go empty-handed. home, though for not more than fortyThe roughest of the rough likes to take eight hours. The persistently insubhis old father at least a bit of tobacco ordinate or unruly, however, are not when he drops in to see him ; and allowed to remain in the ordinary there is uo end to the mysterious-look- homes, but are sent to Mauerbach, ing little packages with which daugh- where, though only in one wing of the ters are laden when they arrive. One building, a somewhat sterner régime rule, however, is rigidly enforced : no prevails. spirit is allowed to be taken into the Each Old-Age Home is under the homes.

management of a resident director, who In all these institutions, excepting must render an account of all that the one at Mauerbach, the discipline in passes there to the head of the Poor

man - or a

woman

or

nurses.

Law Department. This director, how- are exceptional cascs ; the majority of ever, is only a constitutional ruler; the inmates seem to be as happy as his authority, though considerable, is they can be whose lives lie behind strictly limited. Once a month, in them, not before. There is not a each home, the officials, the clergyman, touch of that dull listlessness about the doctors, and a representative of them, of that just-waiting-for-death, the Poor Law Department, sit in con- which is so marked a characteristic of ference, and the inmates are invited the old people in our workhouses. On to appear before them and make known the contrary, they are quite alert, and their wishes and their grievauces. A take a lively interest not only in what full report of the proceedings upon is going ou around them, but in things these occasions must be submitted to in general. This is especially the case the head of the department. Not very in Prague. An English visitor, who long ago there was an odd little scene chanced to be there a few months ago, in one of the homes. Some dozen old was quite overwhelmed with questions women were interviewing the director as to how affairs are managed in this for the purpose of inducing him to let country. Some of the old folk were them stay where they were, whereas very curious to know how the poor are he had received orders to send them to treated here; and they were not a a home further from Vienna. One little scandalized when they heard of might have thought, from the tone one of our social arrangements. “To some of them assumed, that he was an think of sending worn-out workers to unreasonable landlord, and they ten- live in the same house as rogues and ants whom, in defiance of the law, he vagabonds !” they exclaimed, in eviwas seeking to evict. The director's dent amazement at such barbarous manner, meanwhile, was deprecative ways. One old man inquired anxiously in the extreme. He spent a good half how the word “Glädstonē" ought to be hour soothing the old dames, and striv- pronounced. ing to convince them that, even down It is noteworthy that the very arin the country, life might be well worth rangements which contribute most to living.

the comfort of these old Austrians inIt would be difficult to find a more volve no outlay whatever. The little contented set of old people than those dinners over which the inmates of the who live in these Austrian homes. Old-Age Homes linger with such keen There are grumblers among them, of enjoyment do not cost more than the

One of them complained bit- midday meals supplied in our workterly to me that, although twenty-six houses. Workmen's ordinary clothes kreuzers a day might be enough for are not one whit more expensive than bare necessities, they left nothing uniform ; nor does the fact of paupers whatever for luxuries. Another — it being allowed to see their friends every was in Prague – replied to a chance day entail any sacrifice on ratepayers. remark that he seemed fairly comfort. In the Vienna Old-Age Homes the able, by a very emphatic shake of the average cost per head is fifty-seven head. He was well cared for, he al- kreuzers (about 11d.) a day ; in the lowed, and the food was good; but London workhouses, it is some 1s. 4fd.

He gave a significant glance at a Still, it is not without reason, it must little group of old men who were laugh- be admitted, that rigid economists look ing and talking in the corridor. “They somewhat askarce on these homes; are all Czechs, you know,” he whis- for the respectable poor, when their pered, in the tone in which a Southern working days are over, go there gladly. State planter might in other days have Old men and women have been known spoken of negroes. " And for a Ger- to die of slow starvation rather than man to have Czechs around him is enter a workhouse. really very trying." These, however,

EDITH SELLERS.

course.

Sixth Series,
Volume VII.

}

No. 2672. — September 21, 1895. {

From Beginning,

VOL CCVI.

707

[ocr errors]

725

.

CONTENTS. I. LATTER-DAY PAGANS,

Quarterly Review, II. THE KING OF FOULA. By C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne,

Temple Bar, III. STARS AND MOLECULES. By Rev. Edmund Ledger,

Nineteenth Century,
IV. IN THE NEW ZEALAND ALPS,

Contemporary Review,
V. THE LAST YEARS OF A GREAT MONAS-
TERY,

Macmillan's Magazine, :
VI. ORGEAS AND MIRADOU. A Dream of

Provence. By Frederick Wedmore, Nineteenth Century, VII. CORDITE AND ITS MANUFACTURE, . Chambers' Journal, .

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

POETRY.

Rose AYLMER'S GRAVE,
THE DREAMER,

706 | WHITE MAGIC,

706

PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
LITTELL & CO.,

& CO., BOSTON.

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Draftɛ, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single copies of the LIVING AGE, 18 cents.

ROSE AYLMER'S GRAVE.

The white clouds sailing in the blue, Rose Aylmer died in Calcutta on March 2nd, The white stars peering through the 1800, and is buried in the Old South Park Street

night, Cemetery.

He loves, because they bring to view
An English grave 'neath Indian skies,

The fringes of the infinite.
Marked by a sullen stone ;
And this is where Rose Aylmer lies, He hears the music of the skies,
Far, flowerless, and alone.

The thunder's bass, the song of birds, Rose Aylmer was a poet's love,

And vainly tries to crystallize Sweet, beautiful, and young ;

His soul's rich harmonies into words. Her elegy, in melody, The poet-lover sung.

And wandering in the Autumn woods,

Far from the sight of human face, About her grave no flowers grow,

His fancy fills the solitudes No pleasant boughs are stirred ;

With shapes of beauty and of grace.
No gentle sun, no quiet snow,
No English bee or bird.

What boots his idle dreams to those
The suns of springtime scorch the stone, Who with unconquerable will
In summer, storm and rave

Toil from the dawn till daylight's close The winds that herald the cyclone,

To keep the world from standing still ? The rains, that lash the grave.

He smiles, and says his dreaming tends Rose Aylmer's sister-flowers should spring

To show the beauty of design ; In whitest bloom above;

To shape men's lives to nobler ends, The roses Landor could not bring,

And draw them nearer the divine. Far distant from his love.

Chambers' Journal.

J. SCOTT. And now, a snake lives near her bed,

The crows perch on the rail,
A kite sweeps past, and overhead

The unclean vultures sail.
"Ah what avails the sceptred race,

WHITE MAGIC. Ah what the form divine !

AGAINST the world I close my heart, What every virtue, every grace!

And half in pride and half in fear, Rose Aylmer, all were thine.

I said to Love and Lust : Depart ;
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes

None enters here.
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and of sighs

A gipsy witch has glided in,
I consecrate to thee."

She takes her seat beside my fire ; Ah, why regret the gloomy hearse,

Her eyes are innocent of sin, The land of banishment ;

Mine of desire. This is her grave ; but Landor's verse

She holds me with an unknown spell, Rose Aylmer's monument.

She folds me in her heart's embrace ; Rose Aylmer, on thy namestone lies

If this be love I cannot tell :
Love's rose immortally,

I watch her face.
The Rose of memories and of sighs,
Once consecrate to thee.

Her sombre eyes are happier
Temple Bar.

A. M. F.

Than any joy that ere had voice ; Since I am happiness to her,

I too rejoice.

And I have closed the door again,

Against the world I close my heart; I hold her with my spell ; in vain

Would she depart.

THE DREAMER.
He loves to watch the waves at play

Leap up the rocks with ceaseless roar,
And see their snowy, showering spray

Dissolve in pearls along the shore. The western sky is dear to him

When rosy day with twilight blends, And on the ocean's purple rim

The sun, a globe of flame, descends.

I hold her with a surer spell,

Beyond her magic, and above ;
If hers be love, I cannot tell,
But mine is love.

ARTHUR SYMONS,

« PreviousContinue »