Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/89

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77
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

is, consider what your duty may be, and when seen do it resolutely, quietly, hopefully."

And now, leaving the subject of visitors, let us consider, in conclusion, the third point essential to wise dealing with the poor—the decisions of your committee after the facts are gathered for it by investigating agent and volunteer visitor. Now, to secure right decision, one must have a distinct object in view. What is to be the ultimate object of your decisions respecting relief? Let us at once distinctly clear the way by assuming that it must be the good of the people themselves. We have nothing to do with saving the money of the rich. It is possible—nay, probable—that in our first attempts to put charity on a right footing, we may have to spend more than we did before, and make larger demands on the purses of the wealthy. A few substantial gifts, wisely bestowed, may easily make up a larger sum than a multitude of petty careless doles. A weekly pension,