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“The provision for some plan for the employment, relief, and maintenance of the able-bodied poor being in need thereof,' and the giving the power to justices to place paupers upon the roads, I consider as pernicious in the extreme. The punishing ‘overseers or other officers or persons,' in certain cases in the same way as paupers by hard labour and as incorrigible rogues, af-pears to me highly injudicious and inappropriate ; but what overseer would be permitted to commit a 'second or other offence of the kind specified in fol. 7 ? In short, there is scarcely a provision in the Bill to which I do not see some objection, either in principle or practice, except indeed a few which existed already, but which are here encumbered with useless regulations, such as the one in fol. 6 on relief to poor in foreign parishes.

“In the Report from the Committee of the House of Commons on the Poor Laws in 1817 it is observed, 'The efficacy of any expedient which can be suggested must depend upon some of those who are most interested in the welfare of a parish, taking an active share in the administration of its concerns. Without this the Committee are convinced no benefit will be derived from any amendment that can be made in the details of the system.' The numerous and complicated regulations of Mr. Nolan's Bill and the constant interference of magistrates must operate as a powerful discouragement to such assistance as is alluded to by the Committee, and which in my opinion is the great desideratum.”

He added in a postscript : “An idea has suggested itself to me in consequence of my examination of the law, joined with my experience in practice, by which entirely to do away with the pauperising principle, and that in a very few years, provided a better management could in the meantime be introduced in the actual system, but I have not sufficiently digested the subject to speak with any degree of confidence, and I have much hesitation in mentioning it at all.”

His final plan, the wisdom of which he declared in a preface to an abridgment of his “ Observations on Pauperism,” published in 1831, to be fortified by six months' experience as a county magistrate of Middlesex at the Worship Street Police Office, and two years' uninterrupted experience in addition as a police magistrate at the Lambeth Police Office (where he succeeded Sir Daniel Williams) is fully set forth in his own words. His appointment was hailed by a host of distinguished persons-by Lord Lansdowne, the Archbishop of York, his intimate friend Sydney Smith, the Bishop of London, &c.

Fortified with his Stretford experience, he set to work in London with extraordinary vigour in the two districts over which he had magisterial control. The Worship Street district contained a population of 265,000, including Spitalfields; and that of Lambeth 152,000, amongst which was a great part of the seafaring population of London, an immense number of Irish, and "a great deal of the lowest class to be found in the kingdom.” And here is the key-note to Mr. Walker's treatise :

“I think I cannot better illustrate the effects of the Poor Laws than by the following anecdote which I once heard from a gentleman connected with Guy's Hospital. The founder left to the trustees a fund to be distributed to such of his relatives as should from time to time fall into distress. The fund at length became insufficient to meet the applications, and the trustees, thinking it hard to refuse any claimants, had recourse to the funds of the Hospital, the consequence of which was, as my informant stated, that, as long as the practice lasted, no GUY WAS EVER KNOWN TO PROSPER. So that is any individual could be wicked enough to wish the ruin of his posterity for ever, his surest means would be to leave his property in trust to be distributed to them only when in distress. Just so it has been with the legal provision for the poor in England. With slight variations, the fund required has, from its institution, been continually increasing, and the progress of moral improvement has, in consequence, been greatly retarded."

Mr. Walker laboured both at Stretford, and as a London police magistrate, to apply his poor law principles, and with remarkable effect; and it was after the publication of his remarkable pamphlet on pauperism that he was appointed a stipendiary magistrate in Whitechapel by Sir Robert Peel. He was afterwards transferred to Lambeth, where he remained till his premature death in Brussels in January, 1836. But long after Mr. Walker's writings on pauperism shall be forgotten, he will be remembered as the author of “The Original.” In this character we described him fully some years ago.




RACHE! Cochon!

Cochon! Polisson!” “ J'ai sur la poitrine deux mots, · Honneur et Patrie,' qui ont été la devise de ma vie. Je n'y ai

jamais manqué, ni à Metz, ni pendant mes quarantedeux ans de service. Je le jure par le Christ !”

Very opposite utterance, truly! The former words were hissed venomously by the populace after Bazaine's carriage, as he drove through Ars-sur-Moselle on his way to Corny on the day after the capitulation. The latter were spoken by Bazaine with his hand on his heart and his head erect, in response to the Duc d'Aumale's formal question, whether he had anything to say before the judges should retire to consider their finding. And then followed a third utterance—“Oui, à l'unanimité ”— to the question whether he was guilty on each successive charge.

The finding of the court-martial is simply the words of the wrathful Messins pronounced with the dignity of an august and solemn tribunal instead of the irresponsible abandon of a raging mob; and both equally give the lie to Bazaine's emphatic asseveration of his honour and patriotism. For my own part I believe Bazaine, but with a reservation. I have the firmest conviction that when he uttered those words he believed that he spoke the truth, and that throughout the long siege he never did anything which his conscience told him touched his honour and patriotism. But then his sense of honour was by no means chivalrous, nor was his sense of patriotism, -although as I believe quite disinterested—of the highest type. In a country where revolutions are frequent and intrigue is perpetual, the keen edge of honour is apt to get a little blunted, although not necessarily turned, and men fall into the notion that compromises do not compromise their patriotism. Once realise that Bazaine, both as a general and as a citizen, was a heavy, sluggish, unenterprising, unoriginative, morally timid man, capable of no very lofty aspirations, and without any keen sensibilities, with a dull, befogged desire to do the right while lacking the qualities which indicate intuitively to some men what is the right; and so understanding the character of the man, you get at the key to his conduct.

Bazaine, although found guilty nominally of purely military crimes, virtually stood arraigned, not as an incapable general but as a traitor to France. Three parts of the efforts of the prosecution were directed towards making good its accusation of treachery; it was because France, eager for some rehabilitating solution of her disasters, chose to hold him a traitor, that she clamoured for his trial; and it is to the problem whether he was an honest dullard or a scheming traitor, that historians of the period will address themselves. If Bazaine believes that his “honneur” is vested in the bare fact that he was not a traitor, then, as it seems to me, his "honneur,” such as it is, stands vindicated. I presume no impartial person will affirm that the evidence was worth an orange peel, by which the prosecution attempted to prove that Bazaine meant a false game from the very first : that he never intended to quit Metz, and that he laid himself out to lure MacMahon on to his destruction. The real imputations against Bazaine's loyalty must take date from after his knowledge of the fall of the Empire and the substitution for it of the Government of National Defence; and the gravamen of the accusation of treachery is that he traversed the allegiance due to the de facto Government of France by operating in various ways towards the restoration of the banished dynasty, and that he did not repudiate suggestions made by the enemy that hostilities should cease on certain terms of which this restoration was to be the basis.

How does his having done this constitute Bazaine a traitor to France ? He held his commission from the Emperor ; to him he owed his allegiance, just as the Duke of Cambridge owes his allegiance to Queen Victoria. It was not until the 11th of September, and then through the Kreuz Zeitung found on a prisoner, that Bazaine heard first of Sedan, the fall of the Empire, and the work of the 4th of September. No formal communication reached him from the band of men who had clutched the guidance of France after the Empire had toppled over. He knew them to be revolutionists; but he had no means of knowing whether France had accepted the revolution they had inaugurated, whether the question had indeed been asked, or whether, as was truly the case, they had got the command of the ship through the rough and simple process of knocking the skipper down, seizing the helm, and ordering the crew in a rough, masterful way to take to the guns. He had fair grounds for treating them as pirates ; still fairer for at least declining, whilst no substantiation of themselves came from them, to regard them as his masters. There was a fog, and Bazaine was in the midst of it ; through a rift in the fog he could get but a single clear and lucid



view: that of the dynasty which France had accepted, of France's repudiation of which he had no satisfactory evidence, and to which he himself had sworn fealty. It was natural, then, rather than culpable, that he should essay to seek counsel as to his future of those whom he recognised as having the chief interest in swaying it; for France had over and over again identified herself with the Empire. Was he a traitor in giving heed to the possibility of arrangements for peace? Bazaine, as a soldier, realised what every real soldier, not to say every man of sense, realised, that after Sedan the chance of France was gone. She might fight, indeed, and bleed, as fight and bleed she did ; but the end that came was inevitable ; and the prolongation of the struggle brought nothing to the country but a barren tatter of repute for a modified stubbornness, lengthened misery and depletion, the loss of territory, and a huge increase to its debt. Bazaine's


hemmed in as it was, could not save France, even had it been possible for it to cut its way out. Seeing all this, what more natural than that Bazaine should have desired to see peace, and that, desiring peace, he should have reckoned it reckless folly to waste his army in bootless sorties rather than conserve it as the nucleus of a restored standing army, and to give confidence to those who wished for peace against the rash and irresponsible machinations of impracticables? If Bazaine was a traitor for taking it upon him, without consulting France—as he had not the opportunity of doingto consider overtures the aim of which was a truce, one may well ask in how far Jules Favre was furnished with the sanction of France when he went to Ferrières, what authority on the part of France Thiers showed when he visited Versailles, and what credentials on the part of the country Jules Favre had to exhibit when he put his hand to the armistice-convention on the afternoon of the 28th of January True, they were civilian negotiators, and Bazaine was a soldier commanding an army; but so exceptional were the circumstances that none the less was he justified in striving to do his honest best for his army, for the dynasty to which he had sworn allegiance, and for the country which, as he was entitled to believe, factionaries were ruining by a mad course of futile struggling against the inevitable. Reverse the picture. Had Bazaine succeeded, had an armistice been signed in the beginning of October instead of the end of January, had the indemnity been smaller by two-thirds, and had Strasburg been the only loss of territory to be bewailed, would Bazaine to-day be a condemned and degraded prisoner, branded by the mass of his countrymen with the stigma of treachery? And who shall say that the prospect of such happier issues was not sufficiently


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