Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

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THE
RAGGED TROUSERED
PHILANTHROPISTS

BY
ROBERT TRESSALL


The Book of the Homeless (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916)-11.png


LONDON
GRANT RICHARDS LTD.
PUBLISHERS

EDINBURGH: AT THE MERCAT PRESS
1914

 

PREFACE

A few months ago a friend asked me to look at the manuscript of a novel, 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists,' the work of a socialistic house-painter, who wrote his book and died. I consented without enthusiasm, expecting to be neither interested nor amused—and found I had chanced upon a remarkable human document.

With grim humour and pitiless realism the working man has revealed the lives and hearts of his mates, their opinion of their betters, their political views, their attitude towards Socialism. Through the busy din of the hammer and the scraping knife, the clang of the pail, the swish of the whitewash, the yell of the foreman, comes the talk of the men, their jokes and curses, their hopes and terrors, the whimpering of their old people, the cry of their children.

In reducing a large mass of manuscript to the limitations of book form, it has been my task to cut away superfluous matter and repetition only. The rest remains as it came from the pen of Robert Tressall, house-painter and sign-writer, who recorded his criticism of the present scheme of things, until, weary of the struggle, he slipped out of it.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE
I. AN IMPERIAL BANQUET 1
II. NIMROD: A MIGHTY HUNTER BEFORE THE LORD 18
III. THE FINANCIERS 36
IV. THE PLACARD 54
V. OWEN AT HOME 65
VI. THE EXTERMINATING MACHINES 76
VII. THE CAP ON THE STAIRS 88
VIII. THE LONG HILL 97
IX. HANDS AND BRAINS 104
X. THE UPPER AND NETHER MILLSTONES 111
XI. THE THOROUGH MAN 131
XII. SUNDAY SCHOOL 139
XIII. THE LODGER 148
XIV. THE 'CRICKETERS' ARMS' 153
XV. THE GREAT MONEY TRICK 166
XVI. THE REIGN OF TERROR 178
XVII. THE 'OPEN AIR' 188
XVIII. RUTH 194
XIX. THE OBLONG 209
XX. THE SLAUGHTER 235
XXI. CHRISTMAS EVE 244
XXII. THE 'PANDORAMER' 251
XXIII. THE BRIGANDS 259
XXIV. THE VETERAN 265
XXV. THE NEW TENANTS 272
XXVI. THE BRIGAND'S CAVE 278
XXVII. THE BRIGANDS AT WORK 285
XXVIII. THE BEANO MEETING 293
XXIX. THE SOCIALIST VAN 306
XXX. THE BEANO 312
XXXI. THE GREAT ORATION 327
XXXII. THE 'SIXTY FIVE’ 343
XXXIII. THE GHOULS 349
XXXIV. THE WISE MEN OF THE EAST 363
XXXV. THE WIDOW'S SON 379
XXXVI. THE END 388

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.