The dress of a large proportion of those women of the lower orders who are not of the poorest class consists of a pair of trousers or drawers (similar in form to the shintiyán of the ladies, but generally of plain white cotton or linen), a blue linen or cotton shirt (not quite so full as that of the men), a burko’ of a kind of coarse black crape, and a dark blue tarhah of muslin or linen. Some wear over the shirt, or instead of the latter, a linen tób, of the same form as that of the ladies. The sleeves of this are often turned up over the head; either to prevent their being incommodious, or to supply the place of a tarhah.
The lower orders in Egypt, with the exception of a very small proportion, chiefly residing in the large towns, consist of Felláheen (or Agriculturists). Most of those in the great towns, and a few in the smaller towns and some of the villages, are petty tradesmen or artificers, or obtain their livelihood as servants, or by various labours. In all cases, their earnings are very small; barely sufficient, in general, and sometimes insufficient, to supply them and their families with the cheapest necessaries of life.
Those who have read Defoe’s “Colonel Jack” will remember the wonderful picture which he presents of the London street boy. That boy has never ceased to live in and about the streets. Sometimes he sleeps in the single room rented by his father, but the livelong day he spends in the streets; he picks up, literally, his food; he picks it up from the coster’s barrow, from the baker’s counter, from the fishmonger’s stall, when nobody is looking. For such boys as these there are Barnardo’s Homes, where waifs and strays to any number are admitted, brought up, trained to a trade, and then sent out to the colonies. Five thousand children are in these homes. The history is very simple. Dr. Barnardo, a young Irish medical student, came to London with the intention of giving up his own profession and becoming a preacher. He began by preaching in the streets; he picked up a child, wandering, homeless and destitute, and took it home to his lodgings; he found another and another, and took them home too. So it began; the children became too many for his own resources; they still kept dropping in; he took a house for them, and let it be known that he wanted support. The rest was easy. He has always received as much support as he wanted, and he has already trained and sent out to the colonies nearly ten thousand children.
Water-color by George Rochegrosse.
From an Engraving by Callot.
We must not forget the protobianti (master rogues), who made no scruple of exciting compassion from their own comrades
Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.
Beggar playing the Fiddle, and his Wife accompanying him with the Bones.--From an old Engraving of the Seventeenth Century.
Convicts who have been sentenced to prison, but are released early under the ticket-to-leave experimental scheme.
The sewer-hunters are again distinct, and a far more intelligent and adventurous class; but they work in gangs. They must be familiar with the course of the tides, or they might be drowned at high water. They must have quick eyes too, not merely to descry the objects of their search, but to mark the points and bearings of the subterraneous roads they traverse; in a word, “to know their way underground.” There is, moreover, some spirit of daring in venturing into a dark, solitary sewer, the chart being only in the memory, and in braving the possibility of noxious vapours, and the by no means insignificant dangers of the rats infesting these places.
Labouring Colons (Twelfth Century), after a Miniature in a Manuscript of the Ste. Chapelle, of the National Library of Paris.
At the onset, the slave only possessed his life, and this was but imperfectly guaranteed to him by the laws of charity; laws which, however, year by year became of greater power. He afterwards became colon, or labourer, working for himself under certain conditions and tenures, paying fines, or services, which, it is true, were often very extortionate.