Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/67

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55
VOLUNTEER VISITORS.

lowest class, partly because they come in like a rate in aid of wages, not so regular as that of the old poor-law, yet still appreciable—partly because they tempt large numbers who might raise themselves to hang on to low callings, and make competition fiercer in them and the chance of absolute want greater. The street-sellers and low class desultory workers usually remain what they are by choice; a little self-control would raise them into the ranks of those who are really wanted, and who have made their way from the brink of pauperism to a securer place, and one where they are under better influences. Above all is this true of the children. A little self-control would enable the daughters of most of these people to rise into the class of domestic servants; and their sons, instead of remaining street-sellers, would soon learn a trade or go to sea if they cared to do regular work. We are largely helping, by our foolish gifts, to, keep them herded together in crowded, dirty,