The English Fllustrated Magazine.

Author of * Unholy Matrimony,”

“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel.’’

- INNER!” shouted a_ stentorian

voice on board the _ tramp- steamer Deerfoot, which was loading at the south side of North Jetty in the Tidal Basin, Victoria Docks. The word was passed from one hatch to another, and climbing up from below to join those on deck came streams of men, who, forming into a long line, descended the ladder over the side and went out of the docks for their midday meal; a few who lived close by crossing the railway-bridge and going home, but the majority settling down to eat their food just outside the gates.

The tally clerk, the Hon. Richard Stone, lodged with a family named Brian in a small house near the Tidal Basin Station, and he went home to dinner, partly because he didn’t care to associate with the men, but also because Kate Brian cooked a good dinner for him every day, and served it to him with quite remarkable cleanliness in his own tiny sitting-room. He rented the top half of the house for 4s. 6d. per week, and paid an extra half-crown for attendance. The lower half of the house was occupied by Kate Brian, her mother, and her brother Tim, who was a stevedore’s labourer at present working on board the s.s. Deerfool as gangwayman in the gang upon which Dick Stone was attending.

Among the men who obtain employment in the docks of London are many who once held good social positions, men who once seemed favoured by fortune, scholars

No. 197. February’ 1900




Miss Tudor,” etc. |

whose Alma

their Mater, soldiers at whose word of com- mand men became machinery. These men have drifted down until at the docks they are thankful to get a few pence a day when work is to be had, earning as much perhaps in a week as they once paid ina

learning honoured

single cab-fare. More than a step above these poor toys of fate was the Hon. Dick Stone, for through the kind offices of friends he had obtained work as an assistant ship’s clerk, or tally clerk, in a firm where the work was fairly constant: The pay was six shillings a day, the hours from seven o'clock to five, with an allow- ance of a shilling an hour overtime, out of which the head ship’s clerk expected a tribute. It was the tally clerk’s business to count the pieces and packages going into a vessel and to enter the tally into a book, and he had also to see that every- thing shipped was in good condition. Sometimes the goods had to be measured with a rule or with callipers, and this was either done on deck while the goods hung in chains, or in the hold of the barge, or on the quay. The steveddres, who did not like waiting, favoured the two latter places, and so it happened that Dick was often compelled to climb down a swaying rope-ladder and cross slippery barges at considerable personal risk. Since he had been at the docks his courtesy title of ** Honourable” had fallen into disuse; and, indeed, his indolence of mind was such that he could not stiffen into dignity

when the men familiarly addressed him as Dick.”


“What does it matter?” he would say in his sluggish manner, without a gleam of interest in the subject—or in any subject.

What did it matter when he flung away his fortune? What did it matter when his friends turned him adrift? The girl who had promised to marry him broke off the engagement. What did it matter ?

A cousin who had an interest in a line of steamers had procured for him his present situation, and he was told that if he worked steadily for twelve months he should be taken into the London office and promoted to a good position ; and for a wonder he had worked without a break for half that period, though more for the reason that he was too lazy to look for anything better than for the hopes held out to him.

‘“You’re late, Dick,” said Kate Brian as he strolled in to dinner; “so don’t blame me if the meat’s too much done!”

“‘I] never blame you, my dear,” he drawled, and seated himself at the table and allowed Kate to wait upon him. He

had the air of a Sultan who indulgently

suffers the service of a beautiful slave; but Kate did not so understand his manner. She knew he was a swell,” and naturally would have *‘ swell” ways, and she admired him and his kindly insolence most enthusi- astically.

A fine handsome girl was Kate the hand - maiden, with good features, a splendid figure rather inclining towards

over-luxuriance, a high colour, and masses of glowing red hair twisted neatly about her head. Her eyes were dark and rest- less, and rather small, and the constant movement of them gave her the appear- ance of always being suspicious. A remark which she could not quite understand would bring the dark small eyes glinting upon the speaker in a weird, uncomfortable fashion. She was incapable of a ciear, steady glance, and it was the unquiet of her eyes rather than their lack of size which detracted so much from her beauty. Her admirers were legion, and before the advent of the Hon. Richard Stone she had changed from one sweetheart to another in a way that was simply audacious; but since her family had been honoured by the presence of this tall, languid gentleman,


with his colourless face and impassive expression, she had dismissed each and all of her former swains.

Dick admired her, of course ; he always admired fine women; and his earlier association with certain ladies of the stage had accustomed him to peculiarities of speech and manner such as distinguished Kate, which might otherwise have jarred upon his nerves. He had no affection for ner, but in his aimless way he had drifted into an entanglement which he regarded as the inevitable result of a man being brought into daily contact with a hand- some woman; she, however, looked upon the said entanglement as an engagement, and considered Dick her “* steady company.”

She was an ambitious girl, and it was only in her first youth that the attentions of her brother's friends afforded her any pleasure ; the admiration of men of her own class was offered to her so freely and generally that it soon palled upon her, and her aspirations took another course—she longed to be a lady. This ambition was unattainable, for Kate’s conception of a “‘lady was a woman married to a mat. who did not earn his living by manual labour, and who kept a servant. When Dick Stone came to the house and looked upon her with favour, she told herself that her chance had come, and she spared no pains to capture him.

Tim Brian, who had some dim idea ot what was going on, became uneasy in his mind, for his views of life were broad in the sense that he dealt in large generalities, and he was convinced that gentlemen always behaved badly to pretty girls of Kate’s rank. If there was one thing in this world that seemed really good to Tim, it was his sister, and he admired her intensely. She was not only handsome, but compared with his own slow wit, hers was brilliant, and any attempt on his part

‘to show her that she was acting wrongly

was foiled by one of her convincing arguments in two minutes. Yet Tim brooded over the matter, and it seemed to him that Dick Stone was a designing blackguard, and that Kate was an unsus- pecting angel—a vastly mistaken con- clusion. He pondered and sulked until he


saw Dick in the guise of Satan, and wondered whether he would be justified in flinging him over the ship’s side some day.

Dick finished his dinner, looked at his watch, and then stretched himself and yawned wearily.

“Another four hours!” he said in his monotonous voice.

“Is there anythin’ you specially fancy for tea, Dick dear?” asked Kitty. “A kipper ?”

“TI don’t know. Have I enough money for a grilled chicken ?” he asked.

““Q’ course you have! I’ve fourteen shillin’ o’ yours left, and it’s only Thurs- day. I’ll get youa lovely chicken, and it’ll be ready at half-past five. Now, here’s a letter for you, dear; I wouldn’t give it to you afore in case there was bad news in it, and I wanted you to have your dinner in peace. Now, dar- ling, give me a kiss for it!”

She bent her fresh-coloured face down to his and pouted her full red lips, and he kissed her cooily and without enthusiasm. Then he took the letter from her and com- menced reading it, and very soon his eyes began to shine, and he sat up in his chair.

“Good news then, Dick dear ? Kate, smoothing his hair.

He paid no attention to her, but went ox reading until he had finished the letter.

“Do tell me what it is, darling,” she said coaxingly.

‘*Confounded old wretch, though, to make that condition,” he muttered.

“What condition? What a tease you are, Dick! Do tell me!” exclaimed Kate pettishly.


“* Now, here’s a letter for you, dear.” a


“One of my aunts dead. Knew she was dead, but didn’t ask any questions because she’d told me she wouldn’t leave me anything.”

‘“And she has ?”’ lessly.

Dick nodded.

“The interest on £20,000. much, but it will keep me going.”

“How lovely; and you won’t have to work here.”

“That’s the infernal part of it. She’s made it a condition that I keep this berth

for a twelvemonth, so as to accustom myself to labour and to learn economy of living. That’s my infernal cousin’s doing; he put her up to that, for those were his very words, damn him!”

“Never Dick dear; it’s only another six months.”

“I suppose it can’t be _ helped ; it’s better than nothing.”

“TI should think it was. How much

year will you have ?”

““About nine hundred. The old girl put it in good mortgages, paying four and a half. She was a ’cute old lady.”

““Nine hundred a year! Why we— you—can have a lovely house and servants and a carriage!” and the girl’s eyes dilated, and her colour rose as she kissed him again and again.

“IT shall borrow a ‘thou.’ on the strength of it as soon as the year’s up, and then I’ll work that system at Monte Carlo. It’s a cert.,’” he said dreamily.

*“Oh, Dick!

asked Kate breath-



I’ve read about it, and it’s all lit up every night, and they say it looks like fairyland,” she said ; and then, clinging to his arm, she whispered in his



ear, ‘‘When are we going to get married, Dick ?”

“* Married ?” he repeated, startled out of his usual apathy.

“Yes, married,” she answered defiantly.

“Don’t make a fool of yourself, my girl,” he said quietly, rising and taking his hat from off the cheap and faded sofa.

Kate slipped round the table, and stood with her back against the door. She was flushed so deeply that her face had almost a purplish tint, and she was _ strongly excited.

*“* Now look here, Dick, don’t you think you can tréat me as you’ve treated other women. You’ve got to marry me, and that’s all about it. You promised it, and I shall make you a good wife!”

“Don’t fly into such a rage, Kate,” he said, without any appearance of being per- sonally interested in the matter, but rather posing as a friendly adviser, “‘ 1 may have promised, but you must have known I meant nothing. Our little affair has been the merest flirtation, and has never gone beyond that point.

As for marriage with you, it’s impossible, so don’t be foolish ! When I get my money you shall have some.” ~

“It’s not your money I want!” she cried shrilly, “it’s you! I always said I’d marry a gentleman, and I will. I mean to be your wife !”

“I don’t care what you mean, my girl. You never will be my wife, and you may as well make up your mind to that fact at once |”

Then Kate’s dock-breeding came out, and she lost all control over herself.

“You mean hound!” she broke out, her white teeth showing between her parted red lips in what looked dangerously like a snarl. ‘I might’a’ known you’d got no honour in you. You’re not fit to marry a decent woman, you cur!”

“I daresay you’re quite right, Kate, so it’s a good thing for you, after all. Now, let me pass; I have to get back io that beastly steamer !

‘I wish you were dead, you brute!” she shrieked, and followed up with a variety of strong expressions commonly used by the women of the neighbourhood ; then,


having reached the extreme pitch of her fury, she rushed at him with hands out- stretched. He caught her by the wrists and forced her into a chair, passing out of the room just before fat old Mrs. Brian entered to find her daughter in strong hysterics. ,

When Dick returned to the house at half-past five there was no tea ready for him, and as Kate had gone to bed ill, he was unable to get any of the money she was taking care of for him. Mrs. Brian sat over the kitchen fire and wished him and th’ loikes 6’ him at the devil with their loyin’ tongues and decavin’ ways,” and so, without a penny in his pockets, Dick marched back to the ship and lounged about until one of the mates invited him to tea.

Tim Brian reached home about nine o’clock that night rather the worse for drink, and his mother poured into his ears a lurid tale of the wrong that had been done to the family, referring to Kate as an “‘angil from Hivin desaved by a tracherous villin, whom may de Lord look sideways on!”

It was not exactly the end to Kate’s love - affair that Tim had foreseen and dreaded, but he understood that his sister had been disappointed of a grand rise in life, and had taken her defeat bitterly to heart; he understood that the family opinion was that Dick ought not to be allowed to go scot-free, and he agreed with it. His drink-inflamed brain magnified the wrong, and his mother’s vehement tirades against the murtherin’ villin” excited him still more, until he was conscious of nothing but a fierce desire to meet Dick and pound the life out of him. He tumbled into bed with his brain more muddled than ever, and when he woke he was so feverish that he sent out for some gin and beer, and drank that mixture instead of having any breakfast. And he sent a message to Kate by his mother, saying that she should be rivinged on the blaggard:”

Dick, having found the situation so un- comfortable at his lodgings, had accepted the mate’s offer to allow him to sleep on board. He was known to be a relative of


yne of the directors of the line, and as such was a favoured personage. At seven o'clock he was ready for work, and at ten minutes past the stevedores slowly came on board, Tim among them. ‘They filed through the yellow fog, with its raw, chill,


than usual, sat in the chart-room endea- vouring to warm his hands at the lamp, while, the stevies tried to make the chains run easily through the frozen blocks. After much swearing and shouting the gear was put in working order, and the

Kate slipped round the table, and stood wii fer back against the door.

and noisome odour, like a string of un- happy ghosts; one figure looming up indistinctly after the other, each one in turn forming and taking shape in the dense atmosphere as it came into sight.

The iron decks were covered with ice, and the donkeyman had to bring ashes to throw over them. Dick, in better spirits

winches jerkily started to lift the loaded slings, and sent the steam hissing out to clog the heavy air.

Tim was at the gangway of No. 2 hatch ready toease the sets and push themoverthe hatchway, giving the word to the winchman to “lift” or “‘ lower.” On the other side of the hatch the man at the guy hauled


the boom over, a hard job in which Tim sometimes helped him, for the steamer had only just commenced to take in cargo and was high out of water, with a two- foot list away from the quay.

Alongside was a barge laden with sixty tons of bar iron,.some round and some flat, in lengths varying from sixteen to twenty feet, and the four men in the barge made these into sets over the slings, which were tightened and attached to the hook of the chain- runner, and sent up the side to be lowered into the great yawn- ing hold of the steamer.

Taking a little red_ tally - book from his pocket, Dick began to tally, making Tim keep the sets at the gang- way while he counted the number of bars in each. The bars, bent by theirown weight, sometimes caught as they came up the side and sometimes slipped out; so that the men in the barge had to keep from under, for a bar coming thunder- ing down might have gone through one of them. Sometimes Tim pulled one or two out before he lowered the set, tightening the slings when he had done so, but on such a freezing, morning the job was a more than usua!ly dangerous one.

Dick counted the bars, sometimes twelve, sometimes fifteen, eighteen, or twenty in a set, but after a time got tired of this, and called. out to those below in the bargze—

““Can’t you fellows make your sets up all the same number ?”

Dick began to tally, making Tim keep the sets at the gangway while he counted the number of bars in cach.


‘““No!” came the reply promptly; for stevies and ship’s clerks are. natural enemies, and neither attempt to help the other.

“Steady up!” shouted Tim to the winchman as a set thundered against the iron sides, and then, rattling and steaming, the winch drew up its burden.

“Steady!” cried Tim, holding up a warning hand, and the set stopped just as the lower ends of the bars touched the deck, and_ re- mained swaying and twisting as Dick counted.

“Seventeen: All right, Tim,” said Dick cheer- fully as he entered the number in_ his book; and Tim looked with blazing eyes at this man this gentleman for whom his sister was suffering.

“Now then. me _ hearties, what yer waitin’ for?”’ shouted a hoarse voice as the foreman stevedore came up.

Waitin’ while the clerk counts the tars,” growled the old winchman.

“Ere, that won’t do! I_ain’t goin’ to be kep’ from my work by a blamed clerk! At this rate we shan’t do ten ton a day!” shouted the foreman so loudly that the chief clerk came out to ask, “‘ What’s the row 2?”

“Ere, your man’s a-delayin’ of us,” was the angry reply; ‘‘ why don’t you send ’im into the barge? I can’t ’ave my work stopped! ’Ere, up a little.” The winch lifted the bundle clear of the coamings as the boom was hauled over. ‘“ Lower,


away! Easy, lower! Now, me beauties,

send up a sling, and look slippy!” ‘*You’d better go into the barge, Mr.

Stone,” said the chief clerk, looking over


fashion, for it was white with rime, and very slippery.

‘Stand from under!” called one of the men as a set went up, bump-

He stepped backward quickly, and as he did so, slipped upon the unlevel platform

of iron, and fell.

the side to where the barge lurked in the cold fog, eighteen feet below

** Well, if I must, I must!” said Dick; and with great care he climbed down the rope-ladder until he reached the barge, along the edge of which he went crab

ing against the side, and threatening to pour out.

Dick looked at the slippery iron on which he was standing, cautiously moved a pace or two, and then stood still.

““You’d better not stand there, Mr,


Clerk,” said a man a moment later, as a set went up right over Dick’s head, and two or three of the bars slipped a quarter of their length, and hung four feet or so below the others. Tim stood at the gang- way with his right hand on the taut chain; he was breathing very hard, and he peered into the barge as the top of the iron reached the level of the deck upon which he stood.. He moved his hand up as an order to the winchman to drive on, and then, when the lower ends were just below his feet, he turned his hand so that its palm was toward the winch, and the winchman shut off steam. Tim shook the iron violently, and one of the bars shifted out a little. One of the men in the barge again called, ‘Look out, Mr. Clerk!”

Dick looked up, and shouted, ‘‘ That’s all right, Tim, lower it on deck!” He saw Tim shake it again, and kick the bundle, forcing the sling round as he did so. It was a very usual act, and its purpose was to clear the iron from the projecting edge of the ’tween deck or deck, but those below

were unable to see how unnecessary it was

in this instance. There came another heavy shaking, and it seemed to Dick that one of the bars was sliding toward him. He stepped backward quickly, and as he did so, slipped upon the unlevel platform of iron, and fell. At that very moment three bars fell like great spears, and one struck him full in the face, making a horrible wound. There was a shout from the bargemen, and then in a stream came the rest of the iron, maiming and crushing the poor body in the barge. There was a rush of men to the side of the steamer, and a hurried flight of -two or three to the dock-gates.

The chief clerk and the two mates went down the side into the lighter and tried to staunch the blood which was flowing from Dick’s wounds, and the barge was let go, and pulled to the quay under the ten-ton crane. On the stone steps the dock policemen were already waiting with their ambulance, and into it poor, dis- figured, insensible Dick was lifted and carried off to the Poplar Hospital. The

murder !


surgeons looked very grave after they had’ examined the patient, and said that his friends should be sent for, but no one knew where to send, and at last it was suggested that Tim Brian or his sister might know, and so some went for them.

Dick had recovered consciousness when Kate arrived at his bedside, and he knew her voice although he could not see her. The surgeon in charge had pre- pared her for the worst, and she had abandoned herself to lowid-voiced and frantic grief.

‘““Oh, Dick, that it should come to this!” she wailed; ‘“‘now I’ll lose you, and there’s never a chance o’ winning you back. But I’ll be revinged on the villin that’s robbed me of you! I know all about it, and I’ll be revinged!

“Quiet yourself, my good woman, or you must go,” said the surgeon authorita- tively.

“Quiet, when he’s bin murdered, and that by me own brother? 17’ll speak me mind I will, for me heart’s breakin’!

“Hush! I cannot allow this. are disturbing the patient.”

‘*T’ll not hush! It’s murder! murder! I might ’a’ bin a lady but for me own brother!” ~~

“You must go outside,” said the sur- geon sternly. ‘‘ Now, go immediately, or I’ll have you removed.”

“Then send for the police! Oh, I could have coaxed him round! I knew how to humour him. He’s been mur- dered, I say, and if you don’t go for the police I will!” And then, suffering herself to be led out of the ward, she went directly to the police-station and returned with an Inspector and a constable just as Tim was brought to the dying man’s bed- side. The Inspector spoke ina whisper to the surgeon, as Kate turned viciously upon her brother.

“You told mother you ’d take rivinge on him, and I can swear you said you’d murder him! Put the darbies on him, police- man, and I’ll go and see him hanged, though he is my brother! Oh, I might ’a’ been a lady but for him!






Tim stood silent as Kate was again and once more the Inspector bent down to taken outside. He saw no escape from listen.

| r . “ec * . P °.. the gallows now that Kate had publicly Pure accident—I saw it all. Brian

accused him, and he only waited for the officers to hand cuff him and take him away. His vivid Celtic imagination picturec all the horror of the closing scene of his life, and a strong shudder ran through his sturdy

form. “Can the patient | give any account of

| the affair?” asked

the Inspector.

‘“*1’m afraid not— he won't last an hour,” murmured the surgeon.

The Inspector moved nearer to the bed, and, seeing Dick’s lips move, he bent down and asked softly if he had any- thing to say.

“A pure acci- dent,” whispered the dying man. Brian did all he could—to keep—bars from falling. I. could see.”

The Inspector re- peated the words aloud. Tim gave I one frightened stare {a 5 at the bandaged head e- REE we: ee ee, upon the pillow, ** You told mother you’d take rivinge on him, and J can swear and straightway fell you said you’d murder him!” upon his knees at the

bedside, und burst out into great gasping p’raps—blames—himself. Not his fault.

sobs of gratitude and of bitter remorse. Good-bye, Tim—know it’s all—over n “Tis the devil’s own job all round,” he The lips ceased moving and the breath muttered convulsively, ‘‘and may the saints became suddenly fainter, and then ceased. forgive us all!” There was a long pause, and then the nurse

Again the patient’s pallid lips moved, drew the sheet over the face of the corpse.


Despite all the advances of the art, the world loses £45,000,000 worth

of property a year by Fire.

MONG the many advances which the

new century will see, the establish-

ment of a Fire Brigade Training-School may be taken as a certainty. The old century in its throes has already thought of the scheme, for it was propounded by Commander Wells to a recent sitting of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Provincial Fire Brigades. The idea has been received with more acceptance than a passing fancy would be, for Commander Wells was requested by the Committee to make up an estimate of the cost of his idea. The only wonder is that such a scheme has not been mooted

long ere now, for the subject of the pre- vention and extinction of fire engages the attention of builders and of all civic authorities as it never did before, so that it seems impossible that the fearful con- flagrations that have devastated all great towns for centuries can ever occur again on anything like the same scale, even although the memory of the recent fire in the City of London is still fresh with us. It is appropriate that such a proposai should be formulated in London, and carried out in the greatest city the world has ever seen, for few places have suffered so much from fire as the capital. Nothing


A picture sketched at the moment when the chimes were appropriately playing “‘ There's nae luck aboot the hoose.”

HOW FIRES ARE strikes the man who wanders about Lendon with a touch of history in him more than the modernity of the Mammoth I am not speaking of the suburbs, which were yesterday so many green fields with hedgerows blossoming’ I refer to the ancient area that lies between the Tower and the Abbey When you consider the age of London, you cannot help wondering how modern its buildings are. With the exception of the Tower, the Savoy Chapel (walls only), the Abbey, and one or two other landmarks, there is scarcely a building that is more than three hundred years old _Indeed, several provincial towns half the age of London look very much older No doubt much of this modernity is due to the spirit of progress which is ever transforming London, so that a piece of Georgian brickwork is regarded with veneration. but the chief reason for the blotting out of old timbered London is to be found in the devouring fires which occasionally over the capital for centuries, culminating in the Great Fire of 1666, which gave Sir Christopher Wren his unparalleled chance

It is easy to understand how the Great Fire was possible even so late as 1666, for the art of combining for fire extinction did not really dawn on the people until 1698, when the first regular and perma- nent establishment for fire insurance was



EXTINGUISHED. 435 founded by the veteran Hand to Hand Office. Pliny, writing in 70 A.D., refers to a form of fire-engine. but it was


not until the subject of insurance was tackled that any really serious attempt was made to meet the immortal enemy. That is just two hundred years ago, and even then the organisation was so crude that it was Icft to such private enter-

prise as a fire insurance company, and

not to the community as vested with municipal power, to meet the emergency which had levelled London so often That is to say, the insurance companies, in sheer self-defence, had to establish ‘fire brigades of their own. Their stations were dotted here and there over London. For instance, the Phcenix Company had a station in Cockspur Street, of which a picture as it appeared a hundred years ago is given. The firemen belong- ing to each company had a distinguishing badge on the left arm, usually bearing the device by which his particular employers were known. These devices are still fairly familiar, as cast in iron and placed on



old houses. Thus you may sometimes catch a glimpse of the grotesque man-in-the-sun, which the Sun office used. Again, the Northern Company (though fairly modern) used to place a Scots lion rampant on the houses they insured ; and other companies had each of them a distinctive mark, so

that its particular fire brigade might hasten

to the spot with its apparatus. In view of th » development of our modern municipal brigades, the custom of marking houses with those badges has disappeared ; and the badges themselves are becoming very rare, for they have attained that dignity of age and irreplaceableness which forms the starting-point of the collecting hobby. Col- lectors have some- times taken inordin- ate trouble to possess themselves of such of the grimy plaques as have escaped the touch of decay or the demolishing hand of the decorator. I once knew a collector in a provincial town who had eyed a Sun device for many years with envious eye. It was set far above his reach, else he might have removed it, like the youth who

was in the habit of col- lecting the gilded sugar loaves that used to hang from a _ tea- merchant's signboard. At last the house came to be molished in favour of a new building which would disdain such a badge, and the collector’s heart beat high as he saw in imagin- ation that Sun - plaque shedding its once re- splendent golden rays on his collection. But all unknown to him—though the town a small one—he had another col- lector as rival, and one day when he passed he found that the tier of stone, from which the plaque had tempted him for twenty years, had been removed, and the Sun had been carried off by the other man. A well-known story is also told of a very different use to which plaques were put. A ship with a big parcel of these badges bound for a distant colony was wrecked on a cannibal island. The plaques were washed ashore and appropriated by the naked islanders, who hung them round their waists, so that a heraldic device of threatening aspect graven in metal took the place on the islanders of the fig-leaf of






SS Pee aa

‘e fi .


r out 3 a , " \ 4 FO de Le } > io ts Be ad eS we ;



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classic times. I should note that these

badges are still universal in France, and they are very popular in our own colonies.


It would be tedious to describe the de- velopment of fire-extinguishing apparatus from the days of the primitive bucket, pain- fully dropped into the nearest well or river, down to the modern engine sucking up vast volumes of water from the mighty main pipes which thread their watery way under every street. Suffice it to say that a great improvement was made in 1698, when two Dutchmen named Van der Heide, father and son, the fire-masters of Amsterdam, intro- duced an improved engine and _ hose. They published an elaborate folio dealing with their invention, ‘“‘embellished’”—as the eighteenth century would have said—with the most beautiful engravings, of which I have reproduced two on a small scale. One of these pictures, showing the destruc- tion of the Town House of Amsterdam in July 1652, was ingenuously given by these Dutch Commanders Wells as the horrible exampie. You will note that the terrified citizens are drawn up in lines from the burning building to the quay, handing along buckets of water to be poured on the blazing mass. What could be more futile than this, even had the buckets been full to the brim? But before they reached the top of the dizzy ladder, you may be sure that each bucket had splashed half of its contents on the draggled citizens, whose excitement would make the hands unsteady. In _ contra- distinction to this scene of dreary desolation, the inventors designed a picture of their own peerless apparatus and , ‘unparalleled pluck. You are shown the


section of a remarkable building, in which all-the six floors are blazing at one and the same time, while the joists remain intact—and that, too, in an age when non-flammable wood was unknown! Not only are there two engines, worked by hand, pumping water on the fire, but sympathetic neighbours are found squirting water across the whole breadth of a street.

But why jibe at these industrious Dutch- men? Just lock at the picture on the first page, illustrating the burning of our own Royal Exchange so late as 1838—by the way, it blazed while its chimes were prophetically _ playing, “There’s nae luck aboot the hoose”— and you will see that the lapse of many years had made little difference between the Dutchmen’s ideal and the actual fact

‘in the biggest city in the world. Hogarth’s

picture of a fire in 1762 is, of course, intentionally grotesque; and yet its grotesqueness is less pronounced than the enormous change that has since taken place, and has made the manual engine impossible in a big town.

The fact is that the art of fire extinction




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fire-engine were the famous Merryweathers.

made no real progress until the intro- duction of steam for the purpose of pump- They introduced a patent double-cyclinder ing up water. The pioneers of the steam fire-engine, which won for them the first


who designed this Picture in 1762.



grand prize at the International Exhibition, held in what is now the Crystal Palace, in 1863. If the Exhibition had done nothing more than organise its committee for the Encouragement of Improvements in Steam Fire-Engines we would be grateful to it. This committee was presided over by the late Duke of Sutherland, who was an

enthusiastic amateur fireman, and used to keep an engine of his own in London. The Merryweathers named this double-

cylinder engine after him. It was capable of throwing a two-inch stream of water to a distance of 180 feet, and stood the test of lifting water through its suction-hose vertically to a height of 204 feet from the pumps. Since then we le have made great pro- gress, so that the Greenwich pattern of the steam fire-engine, such as the London Fire Brigade uses, is capable of pumping 1600 gallons of water per minute. I may note that the Merry- weathers keep a fire brigade ‘of their own for the protection of their works in Green- wich Road, and for showing Visitors the wonder of their wares. Every big town in this country has now its permanent fire

brigade, while smaller towns have volunteer brigades. Most of the big country-houses have also fire-extinguishing appara- tus. Indeed, in some cases the maids are taught to work an engine, and sometimes their mistresses join them. Six years ago a ladies’ fire- brigade tournament was held at Lord St. Leven’s house, St. Michael’s Mount. Lord St. Leven’s daughters, the Hon. Evelyn and the Hon. Eleanor St. Aubyn, both helped in work- ing the engine, which had been built by Merryweathers.

The enormous amount of damage done by fire is shown by the fact that ten millions sterling was p