The poor in great cities.

(London :  K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1896.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 87  



certain that we shall always have our full share. Yet it is equally
certain that society is coming out ahead in its struggle with this
problem. In ten years, during which New York added to her poxou-
lation one-fourth, the homelessness of our streets, taking the returns
of the Children's Aid Society's lodg¬
ing-houses as the gauge, instead of
increasing proportionally has de¬
creased nearly one-fifth ; and of the
Topsy element, it may be set down
as a fact, there is an end.

If Ave Avere able to argue from
this a corresponding improvement
in the general lot of the poor, we
should have good cause for con¬
gratulation. But it is not so. The
showing is due mainly to the per¬
fection of organized charitable ef¬
fort, that x^i'oceeds nowadays upon
the sensible principle of putting out
a fire, viz., that it must be headed
off, not run down. It is possible
also that the Bowery lodging-houses
attract a larger share of the half-
grown lads Avith their promise of
greater freedom, which is not a
pleasant possibility. The general
situation is not perceptibly improved. The menace of the Sub¬
merged Tenth has not been blotted from the register of the Pot¬
ter's Eield, and though the "twenty thousand x^oor children Avho
Avould not have known it was Christmas," but for public notice
to that effect, be a benevolent fiction, there are plenty whose brief
lives have had little enough of the embodiment of Christmas
cheer and good-Avill in them to make the name seem like a bitter
mockery.    If indeed. New York were not what she is; if it Avere


I  scrubs.

-Katie,  who  keeps  house  m  West
Forty-ninth  Street.
  Page 87