Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/109

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97
A WORD ON GOOD CITIZENSHIP.

number of persons, ill-educated, dirty, quarrelsome, drunken, improvident, unrefined, possibly dishonest, possibly vicious. I will assume that we, too, have each of us a good many faults—perhaps we are selfish, perhaps we are indolent. I am sure all the virtue is not among the rich; but certain advantages they surely have which the poor have not—education, power of thinking out the result of certain courses of action, more extended knowledge of facts or means of acquiring it, habits of self-control, habits of cleanliness, habits of temperance, rather more providence usually, much more refinement, nearly always a higher standard, perhaps a high standard, of honesty. Have we not a most distinct place among the poor, if this be so? Is not our very presence a help to them? I have known courts nearly purified from very gross forms of evil merely by the constant presence of those who abhorred them. I know, you probably all know, that dirt disappears gradually in places that cleanly people go in