Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/81

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69
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

I should like to add a word or two to such residents as are in good health and working here, urging them to consider the needs of more desolate districts, and pause to think whether or not they could transfer some of their time to them. I know it is a difficult question, and one to be judged in each case on its merits. I know well what may be urged on the ground of individual friendships formed with dwellers in your neighbourhood, on the score of want of strength and time, and the claims of your own parish. Weigh these by all means, but think of the other side too, if by chance you can realise it. Friendship with poor old women in your district! Respect its claims; but are there no times when it may be worth while to make a change in work, even if it cause one to see less of friends? Have you ever seen the ward of an East End workhouse, where from year's end to year's end the old women live without any younger life round them, no sons or