Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/183

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171
EFFECTUAL CHARITY.

help in the Sunday school or district? If, indeed, the decision is a deliberate choice of a near duty distinctly seen, rather than of a far off one less realised, one may respect it. But we must remember there are other claims than those arising out of proximity, and that it may be our duty to realise what is not brought under our eyes. We live upon the labours of the poor in districts far from our homes. Our fathers and brothers may have chambers, factories, offices right down among them. We are content to draw our wealth from these. Does this imply no duty? Is the whole duty fulfilled when the head of a firm draws a cheque for donations to the local charity, and are the gentle ministrations of the ladies of the family to be confined to the few pampered poor near their house? It is our withdrawal from the less pleasant neighbourhood to build for ourselves substantial villas with pleasant gardens, which has left these tracts what they are. Even when there