The people of the abyss
THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS
The chief priests and rulers cry:-
"O Lord and Master, not ours the guilt,
We build but as our fathers built;
Behold thine images how they stand
Sovereign and sole through all our land.
"Our task is hard--with sword and flame,
To hold thine earth forever the same,
And with sharp crooks of steel to keep,
Still as thou leftest them, thy sheep."
Then Christ sought out an artisan,
A low-browed, stunted, haggard man,
And a motherless girl whose fingers thin
Crushed from her faintly want and sin.
These set he in the midst of them,
And as they drew back their garment hem
For fear of defilement, "Lo, here," said he,
"The images ye have made of me."
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
The experiences related in this volume fell to me in the
summer of 1902.
I went down into the under-world of London with an
attitude of mind which
I may best liken to that of the explorer. I was open to
be convinced by
the evidence of my eyes, rather than by the teachings of
those who had
not seen, or by the words of those who had seen and gone
I took with me certain simple criteria with which to
measure the life of