Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/78

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66
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF CHARITY.

the capacities of the applicant, no doubt a volunteer visitor would learn more thoroughly, but that can always be done separately from the preliminary and more formal inquiry.

And now to turn to the consideration of the visitors—those who must be the living links binding your committee with the poor, the interpreters of their decision, the bearers of their alms, the perpetual guardians to prevent renewed falling into want. I have spoken in so many other places of the extreme value of such a body working in concert with a wise committee, and of the mistakes they are likely to make where undirected, that I am unwilling to dwell on either point in much detail here. I will only briefly reiterate that I think no committee can do its work with real individual care unless it contains those who will watch over each family with continuous interest, interpret its decisions intelligently and kindly, and learn all personal detail which may assist the committee in judging