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• Close to the spot where these remains were found, the Watling Street road dips down a steep bank towards the Severn, where there is a ford; but in all probability, in Roman times, a bridge here crossed the stream. Whether it was ford or bridge, however, it is certain that a strong tower--possibly a watergate-terminating the city-wall towards the river here, guarded its passage, as the foundation-walls have been excavated entire. Standing on the mound which marks its site, I saw before me the silvery Severn winding amid a thickly-wooded country, once, doubtless, a forest teeming with wild boar and red deer. On the opposite shore, the old military Roman road, as yet strongly marked, running between hedgerows, but grass-grown like the fields. The scene was so calm and little disturbed by man, that the imagination could easily picture the Roman legions wending towards the next great military station, their eagles flashing in the setting sun.
DINING-ROOMS FOR THE WORKING
IF Glasgow can teach the London artisan how to dine well for fourpence-halfpenny, the Scot will do him a great service. At the present moment the labouring man in this great metropolis pays more extravagantly for the two items of house-rent and food, according to what he gets, than any of the classes higher in the social scale, for the simple reason that he is a retail purchaser in both commodities on the smallest possible scale. But as he is at the same time a member of the largest class, and the only one that pays ready money, he has only to club with his mates to stand in the position of a wholesale customer on a scale which dwarfs to insignificance the purchasing powers of all other classes. The operatives of Glasgow, or rather those who have undertaken to cater for them, have been the first practically to appreciate this fact; hence the success of the dining-rooms for the working classes in that city. Manchester, we are told, is about to follow this good lead ; and London has already two associations threatening to compete with our cookshops and alamode-beef houses. The great merit of the Glasgow plan is, that these dining-rooms are selfsupporting. The tariff at which the refreshments are sold not only pays, but leaves a small profit. There is no petting on the part of lofty philanthropists who, on the score of a twenty-pound subscription, condescend to superintend the tastes and appetites of the working man. Another good feature of the scheme is, that only the best food is supplied. Only those who have had a long acquaintance with the artisan, know how particular he is to have the best his means will afford. This may look like extravagance on his part, but it is really true economy, and possibly lies at the bottom of that superiority he boasts over the ouvriers of other nations. A correspondent of the Times tells us that for fourpence-halfpenny he got in one of these dining-rooms “a pint of pea-soup, a plate of hot minced collops (beefsteaks minced and stewed), a plate of potatoes, and eight ounces of bread,” all far better in quality than could be got at a railway tavern, -a pretty good dinner for the keenest appetite, and infinitely more nutritious than that provided for the workman in his own home. The carte from which he has to choose is not very ample, it is true, but there is range enough, with two exceptions, to satisfy any ordinary appetite. But these two are, however, worthy of note. For instance, why should a working man be compelled, by the rules of these dining-rooms, to eat beefsteaks and roast beef from morning to night, and from one year's end to the other ? Surely, this is only repeating the error under which our soldiers so long suffered, and which not only disgusted, but physically impoverished them. We are asked to approve this bovine monopoly, on the score of the simplicity of the arrangement, by “J. O.,” in the Times ; but, on the same principle, oatmeal would have far higher claims. Variety is as essential to the working man, in the article of food, as to the rich man, who, if he had to dine off beef day by day, would, we fancy, sing that national song, “O the Roast Beef of Old England,” to a less cheerful air than he does at present. And why, we ask, is the working man to have no beer? Surely these establishments are not set up in order to carry by a side-wind what teetotal societies have failed to accomplish in a direct manner. We sincerely trust that the promoters of the London scheme will not follow the lead of the Glasgovians in this particular, as we feel confident of its failure if it does. We will back the eating-house, with its bad meat, its hot steam, its dirty benches, and its slatternly waiters, but where the guest can order his pint of half-and-half from the “Red Lion” over the way, against the best appointed workingclass dining-room that Glasgow can show that is worked on the cold-water system. We should be sorry to see these improved restaurants turned into drinking-places; but surely Temperance herself would not “ deprive a poor man of his beer” at dinner. Drunkards are not made temperate by such means, and the really temperate will not brook any such interference with their ordinary habits. It will be remembered that an attempt was made by philanthropists to put down smoking in village clubs and reading-rooms, and the total failure of these institutions in consequence should not have been lost on those who have engaged in this new movement. Nothing is more difficult than to change the food and drink of a people, and any attempt to do so suddenly or unnecessarily is sure to end in failure. These, though important errors in the scheme of management of the Glasgow Working Men's Dining-rooms, are counterbalanced by much that is excellent. The plan of pricing every article offered at a penny (with the exception of meat) is excellent, as it enables the hungry man to arrange a dinner so as exactly to suit his coppers. Let us contrast such a repast as an artisan will soon be able to get in any quarter of London, with that he at present obtains. If a carpenter, or a bricklayer, or a road-maker is engaged any distance from home, his dinner-hour is spent generally as follows :—When the bell rings to knock off work, he generally throws himself down on the ground and has a snooze, until his wife, who “stokes” him, performs this operation by means of a basin filled with potatoes and cabbage, and generally a piece of bacon; his fingers and a clasp-knife enable him to complete his rude repast in a manner but little removed from that of the hound in the kennel. To such a man the decent cloth, the seat, the wellordered room, the soup, the collops, and the slice of plum-pudding, would be so many elements of civilization, all tending to lift him in the social scale, and to give him that self-respect without which there is no true manhood.