Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/176

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164
EFFECTUAL CHARITY.

severed in. The easily begged money has been easily spent; the powers of endurance, the habits of industry are gone; grief is her stock-in-trade; its frequent use has diminished the power of feeling strongly and sincerely. Perhaps she has discovered that professions of piety are rewarded with half-crowns, and expressions, once sincere, have become cant phrases. We are shocked at her; we say we were glad enough to help her when she was working, and was feeling simply and strongly, but now it is different. My friends, who made it different? God gave her the sacred sorrow and the difficulties of her life to soften and to train her. It might have been well that we should like true friends have stood by her, and so far diminished her difficulty as to make it just within her power to meet it; it might have been well for us to support one child, to pay school-fees, or to help in some other way by some one distinct payment, so regular as to become very natural to her, but