Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/179

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167
EFFECTUAL CHARITY.

vast spaces of ground covered with houses Inhabited by persons at one dead level of poverty; sometimes the tracts appropriated to the houses of the wealthy seem to me in another way more terrible. All good gifts, for which we are bound to lift our hearts in praise to God, seem to retain their sanctity only when they are shared; and it seems to me often as if the luxury, the ease, the splendour, yes, even the fair spaces of lawn and terrace were almost ghastly when they are enjoyed by those who never consider the poor, in whom no spirit of self-sacrifice leads to resolute appropriation of some large share of the good things to those who are out of the way. There are few who do not recognise the duty of giving or sharing in some measure; but the subdivision of districts, leaving one poor and another rich, the ever-extending size of London making the poor farther and farther off from the rich, has a tendency to shut out many poor from this sympathy.