Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/180

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168
EFFECTUAL CHARITY.

The Charity Organisation Society has done something to mitigate this evil, to make you feel that you are parts of a larger whole than your ecclesiastical parish. The poor-law has compulsorily made you feel it. When it became clear that it was intolerably unjust to throw the burden of the largest number of paupers on the poorest ratepayers, poor-law areas were enlarged so as to unite rich and poor neighbourhoods; also, certain expenditure was charged to a metropolitan rate. That poor-law arrangement, however, never touched your hearts. It is doubtful whether the dwellers in Fitzroy Park feel more united with those in Somer's Town because they are both in St. Pancras parish, nor much added tenderness for the sick man in Poplar, because if he has small-pox he is carried to a hospital supported by a metropolitan rate. The alteration has done good because it has equalised burdens, and enforced the fulfilment of a duty. But the Charity Organisation Society does more—-