Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

To convince themselves that these remarks are neither unwarrantably severe, nor in the slightest degree overcharged, let our readers not only refer to the revolting doings chronicled in the Times, but let them find the further illustration of this foreign penchant in the recent doings at the magnificently-attended ball given in behalf of the Polish Refugees, and consequently commanding the support of the humane, enlightened, and charitable English; and then let them cast their eyes over the cold shoulder turned towards a proposition for the same act of charity being consummated for the relief of the poverty-stricken and starving families of the destitute and deserving artisans now literally starving under their very eyes, located no farther off than in the wretched locality of Spitalfields!  An opinion—­and doubtless an honest one—­is given by the Lord Mayor, that any attempt to relieve their wants, in the way found so efficacious for the Polish Refugees, would be madness, inasmuch as it would, as heretofore, prove an absolute failure.  Reader, is there anything of the cuckoo and the sparrow in the above assertion?  Is it not true?  And if it is so, is it not a more than crying evil?  Is it not a most vile blot upon our laws—­a most beastly libel upon our creed and our country?  Is no relief ever to be given to the immediate objects who should be the persons benefited by our bounty?  Are those who, in the prosperity proceeding from their unceasing and ill-paid toil, added their quota to the succour of others, now that poverty has fallen on them, to be left the sport of fortune and the slaves of suffering?  Do good, we say, in God’s name, to all, if good can be done to all.  But do not rob the lamb of its natural due—­its mother’s nourishment—­to waste it on an alien.  There is no spirit of illiberality in these remarks; they are put forward to advocate the rights of our own destitute countrymen—­to claim for them a share of the lavish commiseration bestowed on others—­to call attention to the desolation of their hearths—­the wreck of their comforts—­the awful condition of their starving and dependent families—­and to give the really charitable an opportunity of reserving some of their kindnesses for home consumption.  Let this be their just object, and not one among the relieved would withhold his mite from their suffering fellows in other climes.  But in Heaven’s name, let the adage root itself once more in every Englishman’s “heart of hearts,” and once more let “Charity begin at home!”

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