How the Other Half Lives/Preface
The belief that every man's experience ought to be worth something to the community from which he drew it, no matter what that experience may be, so long as it was gleaned along the line of some decent, honest work, made me begin this book. With the result before him, the reader can judge for himself now whether or not I was right. Right or wrong, the many and exacting duties of a newspaper many life would hardly have allowed me to bring it to an end but for frequent friendly lifts given me by willing hands. To the President of the Board of Health, Mr. Charles G. Wilson, and to Chief Inspector Byrnes of the Police Force I am indebted for much kindness. The patient friendship of Dr. Roger S. Tracy, the Registrar of Vital Statistics, has done for me what I never could have done for myself; for I know nothing of tables, statistics and percentages, while there is nothing about them that he does not know. Most of all, I owe in this, as in all things else, to the womanly sympathy and the loving companionship of my dear wife, ever my chief helper my wisest counsellor, and my gentlest critic.
J. A. R.
- "With gates of silver and bars of gold
- Ye have fenced my sheep from their father's fold;
- I have heard the dropping of their tears
- In heaven these eighteen hundred years."
- "O Lord and Master, not ones the guilt,
- We build but as our fathers built;
- Behold thine images, how they stand,
- Sovereign and sole, through all our land."
- Then Christ sought out an artisan,
- A low-browed, stunted, haggard man,
- And a motherless girl, whose fingers thin
- Pushed from her faintly want and sin.
- These set he in the midst of them,
- And as they drew back their garment-hem,
- For fear of defilement, " Lo, here," said he,
- The images ye have made of me ! "