Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/86

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74
MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

wise principles were being strenuously and faithfully worked out. Only remember, though you may send your money, and send it to those who use it wisely, the gift is a very poor one compared with that of yourselves. It is you who are wanted there, your love, your knowledge, your sympathy, your resolution—above all, your knowledge; for if you saw, you could not leave things as they are. For instance, on a summer evening sultry as this, there are thousands of families who have no place to sit in but one close room, in which the whole family has eaten, slept, washed, cooked. It is stifling. They go to the doorstep; their neighbours are at their steps. It gets hotter, the children swarm in the narrow court; the dust flies everywhere; the heat, the thirst is insufferable, the noise deafening, the crowd bewildering; they go to the public-house: do you wonder? It may be there are a few spaces unbuilt over close by, but who will open the gates for them,