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of a quarter-million inhabitants. It is impossible for me not to notice, in every hour of my life, the contrast between the homes of the working people in these two places. I might almost say that there is no other difference of importance between the social opportunities of the two places. They are not far apart; both are active places of business, employing in about equal proportions people of enterprise and energy, in the varied work of manufacture, commerce, and transportation. But in one of these places almost every man can own his house, and half the men do. In the other hardly any man can own his house, and half the people are crowded into quarters where no man should be compelled to live.
To watch over and improve the charities of any town is the special duty of the Christian ministry in it, — to feed its hungry and clothe its naked, to open the eyes
of its blind and the ears of its deaf, to make its lame walk, to cleanse its lepers, and to preach good tidings to its poor. Will the reader imagine to himself the position of the man engaged in that duty, when he finds his sick in such tenements as they must live in in our present system, — his blind, for instance, born so, perhaps, in rooms with no window, and all his poor in such homes that the only truly good tidings are tidings which send them away from him ? Where a considerable part of the people live in such homes our best devised charities, either for moral culture or physical relief, work at terrible odds. Your
City Missions, your Ministry at Large, your Industrial Aid Society, or your Overseers of the Poor are all working against the steady dead weight which, as we all know, presses down and holds down the man who is in an unhealthy or unhappy home.
The contrast in my own life between life in a small manufacturing and commercial town and life in a large one makes me feel the bitterness of these odds the
I am sure that the suffering thus involved is unnecessary, as I am sure the labor which tries to relieve its symptoms must be in large measure thrown away. With an intense personal interest, therefore, have I attempted to show in this book how these evils may be remedied.
I do not know buc Colonel Ingham's suggestions as to his imagined Sybaris may be thought too roseate and ideal for our Western longitudes. They have been already published in the Atlantic Monthly, and, in his absence in Siberia, I have been once and again favored with criticisms upon them. It is but fair to him to say, that, so far as the paper refers to ancient Sybaris or Thurii, it is a very careful study of the best authorities regarding that interesting statę, - a study which I wish might be pushed further by somebody. And I incorporate the paper in this volume because it seems to me that we have a great deal to learn from the ancient cities and from their methods of government, were it only the great lesson of the value of training in administration.
There is a very odd habit of speech about republican government, which, like most careless habits of speech, hurts our practice. When the theory of a republic is discussed, everybody says that it worked admirably in cities of compact territory, but that it failed when it had to be extended over wider regions. This is really a commonplace in the old-fashioned sturdy books on political institutions. But when you come to talk politics with practical people to-day, the chances are nine in ten that they say, “Ah, republican institutions are admirable for the country at large; they work perfectly for a scattered population ; but when you come to compact cities you want something very different. Must have one head there, one head there,” &c., &c., &c. Now certainly this is very odd, that just as we have all learned to repeat one of these lessons from old Greek and Roman history, illustrated in the history of Greek and Roman colonies, we should all have to turn round and say exactly the other thing. Is it not probable that there is some misunderstanding ?
I believe that a careful study of the history of the Greek and Roman cities shows that their success is largely due to their attention to the science of administration. The men who discharged specific functions were trained to those functions, and knew how to discharge them. In the Roman cities no man could be a candidate for the higher grades of service, unless he had served so manv years in the lower. Any old Ro
man, asked to vote in our city elections, would take it for granted that no man could be an alderman who had not been a common-council-man for a certain number of years, nor a mayor unless he had been an alderman for a certain number. In Athens they were even more careful, and all officers were as distinctly trained to their duties as with us civil engior architects.
What followed was, that when the right man got into place, there was a reasonable probability that he stayed in.
In our elective city governments, on the other hand, with a great deal of good feeling and a great deal of public spirit, we find uncertainty, hurry sometimes, and delay in others, frequent changes in system, shyness about responsibility, and, in consequence, a great deal of discomfort and grumbling. I once asked a very able and pure man, then Mayor of Boston, why the city did not undertake a certain policy, which seemed important. “ How should I know?” said he, with a sigh. “I was chosen to this place eight months ago, with no experience in city affairs. If I am chosen again in December, I may have heart to start on some such proposal as you name. But really, the first year of a man's service as Mayor must be given to learning where he stands.” This is perfectly true.
Now, at the end of the first year who determines whether such a man shall or shall not go on? Almost always, five hundred men, united, can settle that thing
if in any way
one way or another. If he have wounded the feelings of the policemen, — if he have made a change in the management of the fire companies, - if he have crossed the track of any compact organization, he is put out and some other new man is put in, for his apprenticeship. I do not believe that this system of neophyte mayors is necessary. And I believe that whenever the public is roused to study it, it will be changed.
It does not make so much difference in Boston, however, because the Mayor has no great power, after all. He is not much more than a chairman of selectmen. The same difficulty, as it seems to me, comes in in the choice of the aldermen, who have, collectively, some power. I read a great deal of insulting language and bitter sneering about aldermen. I suppose there are bad aldermen, as I know there are bad ministers, bad painters, and bad bootmakers. But, in my experience, the aldermen with whom I have had to confer on the. affairs of the city have been hard-working, upright, intelligent, public-spirited men, doing a great deal of work, for which they got no pay and no thanks ; and doing it, under our lumbering system, very well. But they were all doing it by instinct, and not after training. They had happened upon the situation which made them a directory of twelve, governing, in nice details of administration, a city of a quarter-million people. They had never been trained in advance to do that duty. And, by the time they had learned