Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/62

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A FEW WORDS TO

to questions of relief as if these were her main concerns, she has never studied what has been found to be the effect of different ways of alms-giving, she knows little about the earnings of the poor, little of their habits and expenses, little about poor-law relief, little about the thousand and one societies for granting various kinds of help, little about the individual donors at work in the neighbourhood, little about distant fields of labour and demands for workers in them. Now just pause and think of the effect of her actions when she begins—as begin she must by the very fact of her view of her duty—to deal practically with questions of relief; questions which, to say the least, are so difficult to deal with wisely that our most earnest, experienced, and thoughtful men pause in awe before them, advance slowly to practical conclusions, and speak humbly about them after years of study. Ladies would pause before they went in and offered to help a house-surgeon at a hospital