Page images
PDF
EPUB

agitation for the "taxation of land values,” When completed, the improvement will be which is the English equivalent for the sin- one of the finest roadways in the world. It gle-tax philosophy of Henry George. More has cost upward of $25,000,000. It inthan one hundred cities have united in de- volved the destruction of many of the most manding of their representatives in Parlia- unsanitary tenements in London. To the ment the right to retake for local purposes east are the law courts, and to the south, a portion of the unearned increment which flanking upon the Strand, are the fine old results from the city's growth, and the pres- parish churches of Christopher Wren, to ent Liberal ministry is pledged to such a which has been added the new Gaiety Themeasure.

atre, to whose beauty the Council contribThrough this means the County Council uted thousands of pounds. Along the enhopes to force the ducal dogs in the manger tire length of 7,000 feet plane-trees have to improve their lands if they will not sell been planted. And this stupendous imthem. By taxation the Council hopes to provement has been so financed that in force the owners to tear down the shacks sixty years' time the resale of the land and and disease-breeding tenements, to let go the rents of the property will return its entheir immense suburban holdings, and open tire cost to the tax-payers. The roadway them up to residence for the people of Lon- has been constructed as will all great roaddon. To-day the land is free from taxa- ways in the future when our cities own all tion.* By increasing the cost of holding it of their utilities. Underneath the carriage. the Council believes it can force the land way are subways for the street-cars. Beinto use. Through this means, too, the bur- neath the broad pavements on either side of den of local taxes, now paid by the tenant, the roadway are twelve-foot conduits for will be shifted in part to the landlord, and gas, water, and electric mains and wires. through the taxing away of its speculative Still farther down are immense district sewvalue, unused land, both within and with- ers. In many respects this is the greatest out the city, will be brought into occupancy. achievement of democracy in London. It

Most of the great art of the world has was bold, courageous, and intelligent. But been produced under the stimulus of de- best of all, it was an exhibition of belief in mocracy or the Christian religion. These the city as an entity, in municipal work as a were the great forces that beautified the thing which should be planned in a big, Italian cities during their age of freedom beautiful, artistic way. and dotted Europe with cathedrals. And London really stands for a new idea in the new London that is coming into exist- the world. It is a community with a conence under the inspiration of the County scious purpose. Its purpose is far more Council is expressing its aspirations in a big than the building of streets and sewers, the artistic way. For the first time in the city's maintaining of an efficient police and fire history, a comprehensive plan for the beau- department, the care of the health and lives tification of the city has been worked out. of the people. London is bent upon lifting The County Council has dared to entertain its people from ignorance, squalor, disease, the idea of a beautiful London. It has wi- and poverty. It has reared 500 new schooldened old streets, opened up parks, and houses under the new Public School Act, erected artistic public buildings. Its new which it fostered. It has opened seventy bridges across the Thames have, for the libraries. It has founded 2,000 educational most part, justified the standard set by scholarships. It has opened fifty public Waterloo Bridge, probably the finest arch baths and twelve polytechnics. There are bridge in the world. But its greatest achieve- now 300 beautiful squares, 106 Council ment has been the Kings Way improvement. parks and breathing-places, twelve royal A broad thoroughfare has been cut through parks, and 120 borough gardens. London the meanest part of the city from South- is said to be the greenest large city in the ampton Row to the Strand. The Council world. The Council has also razed many has saved the bits of ancient architecture, slum areas, and is erecting model homes for and so controlled the new as to make them 100,000 of its people. About the city broad all conform to an architectural whole. areas of land have been purchased on which

* All the taxes are paid by the tenant. Land as such is cottages are to be built for the better-to-do not assessed at all. And if the property is not improved or is vacant it pays no taxes at all.

classes. London is going to be its own land

lord. Not much has been done as yet, it is mocracy: Its work has just begun. It true, but a big start on the housing question has laid out a programme of city buildhas been made.

ing in which human life and happiness But the new democracy is not satisfied rather than business profits and dividends with the achievements it has made. It is will be the ideal. Democracy has vindinot content with two rooms and a wash- cated itself in the English city. It has bowl. For what has been done is but the found its fullest expression in the London apprentice work. The County Council has County Council. The London of toonly laid its foundations. It has spent morrow is as full of hope as the London twenty years in justifying industrial de- of to-day is full of misery.

BULSTRODE IN LOCO PARENTIS

D

By Marie Van Vorst

ILLUSTRATIONS BY Alonzo KIMBALL
URING the summer of a gars; for domestics without places; for poor

memorable year Mr. Bul- professors; for actors with no stages but the strode inhabited a palace. last; for laborers with no labor; in short, for Some millionaires achieve the riff-raff of the population, for those who them after much architect- no longer hold the dignity of profession or

ural tribulation; his was pay rent for a term. Sometimes Mr. Bulforced upon him. On this occasion no noble strode would look out at the tenement, or generous impulse led him to occupy his whose windows in this season were wide friend's, the Duc de Montensier's, hôtel, for open; and the general aspect indicated that when De Montensier's project was placed dislocated fortunes flourished. In one winbefore the American his love of beauty (he dow, pirouetting or dancing in it, calling so put it to himself) wouldn't let him refuse. out of it, leaning perilously over the sill of The charming rooms where no object was it, was a child-as far as Bulstrode could younger than Bulstrode's great grand- decide, a creature of about six years of age. father; the tapestries, the colors of brocade She was too small to see much of, but all he and stuffs; the Vernets, Fragonards, and saw was activity, gesticulation, and perpetual Chardins of the gallery, and the Nattiers- motion. When the day was hot she fanned the enchanting women--almost made him herself with a bit of paper. She called far for a moment lose sight of a living lady. out to the wine-merchant's wife, who sat

On the very first day he went through the with her family before the shop while her house, coming out from the salon to a ter- pretty children played in the gutter. race and a vast garden in the heart of Paris, Mr. Bulstrode accepted Montensier's offer In Paris when the weather climbs to eighto put in his traps for a few months and ty, Parisians count themselves in the tropics turn Parisian.

and the people, who lived apparently out of James Thatcher Bulstrode, born in Prov- doors altogether, wore a melted, disheartidence, educated at Harvard, cosmopoli- ened air. But the De Montensier garden, tan thereafter, could no more turn Pari- full of roses and heliotrope, watered and resian than could his clothes. But generous freshed by the fountains' delightful falling, hearts and sentiments like his lay claim to was a retreat not to be surpassed by many no country, but are cosmopolitan composite suburbs. Mr. Bulstrode gave little dinners traits of “the first rate," the "good sort,” on the terrace; little suppers after the theatre, the world over.

when rooms and garden were lighted with Directly opposite the white façade of fairy lanterns, and his chef outdid his tradiBulstrode's little palace was a French tene- tions to please his American master. ment, a hótel meublé, the hostelry for beg One day as Mr. Bulstrode sat smoking on

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

the terrace with nothing more disturbing was because I got tired stirring. See-it than the drip of the fountain and the re- says

She had, so he now saw, a mote murmur of Paris to break his reverie, book under her arm; letting fall a fold of Prosper, his confidential man, made a ten- her cumbersome dress with both hands and tative appearance.

opening a filthy cook-book, she laid it on “Would m'sieu, who is so good, see a the table, bending over it. “It says stir young lady?"

briskly half an hour.” (Her rs rolled in His master smiled as he rose, instinctively her throat like tiny cannons in a rosy holat the words "jeune

low.) “Quelle idée ! demoiselle" throwing

It was too stupid! Half away his cigar.

an hour! I just mixed "Pardon, m'sieu, I

it round once or twice thought it might amuse

and then — voila! it m'sieu—"and Pros

has white on the top and per stepped back.

shall have a candle.” Bulstrode had been

“So you've made a intently thinking of the

cake?” he said kindly. caravansary opposite

“I'm sure it's a good him, and he now saw

one." that part of the hôtel

She nodded brightly. meublé had come across

“It is for that I came the street; he recog

to thank monsieur and nized it immediately for

to ask if he would acthe smallest part. Be

cept a piece of it.” fore him stood the ridic

Poor Bulstrode, with ulous and pathetic fig

dreadful suspicion, ure of a dirty little girl

looked to see part of in rags, tatters, and fur

the horror immediately belows, her legs clad in

offered for his degustared silk stockings evi

tion. “I don't, my dently intended for

dear, understand. Why fuller, shapelier limbs;

should you thank meher feet slipped about

what had I to do with in pattens. She had on

it?" a woman's bodice, a

Her gesture was delong flounced skirt

lightful. "But for monpinned up to keep her

sieur it would not exist; from tripping. Her

for butter, eggs, and head was adorned by a

flour. Monsieur Prostorn straw hat, also

per, when he gave them, contrived and created

said it was of the kindfor the coquetry of ma

ness of 'Monsieur Balturity.

Bulstrode.

stro'." “Monsieur is so

(Oh, Prosper ! "I good," she began in a flute-like voice. "I have corrupted him," his master thought. have come to thank monsieur with all my “He is as bad as I am!”) heart.”

“Well, I'm very glad, indeed,” and he Mr. Bulstrode looked toward Prosper said it heartily. "But what did you espefor enlightenment, but that individual had cially want to make it for—with the one cleverly disappeared.

candle? That means one year old. Who's “To thank me, my child? But for what?” birthday may it then be?”

“Why, for the eggs and butter and sugar “It is the birthday of maman.” She that monsieur was so good as to send me. shut the book and as she did so raised her I have made the cake. It is beautiful! great black eyes, which dirt and neglect Monsieur le cuisinier of this house baked it could not spoil. There was in her appear

It is perhaps a little flat-but that ance so little suggestion of maternal care Vol. XL.-64

[graphic]

for me.

« EelmineJätka »