Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/95

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A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

well in any other way as by helping them to help themselves. This I think they are meant to do—this I believe they can do by association and by forethought. When they do provide necessaries for their own families, I think it leaves our relation to them far better, and enables us to help them more fully in better ways. After all, what are the gifts of these outside things compared to the great gifts of friendship, of teaching, of companionship, of advice, of spiritual help? I know some people think the half-crown, or packet of tea, the best introduction to these. I cannot say I have seen it so. I do not remember a single example in any age or country in which a class in receipt of small occasional doles was in a position of honourable healthy friendship with the givers of such, or fit to receive from them any intelligent teaching. Of course the receipt of alms produces curtsies and respectful welcomes, and perhaps attendances at church or chapel from those who care more for the