The Submerged Tenth
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A CHARITABLE PERSON had a great house, the cellar of which was flooded with water, so that his servants, who lived there, were in misery.
Every day, therefore, knowing that dampness caused malaria, the Person dried them off, and dosed them with quinia. When some of the servants objected, he called the Board of Health, which "treated" them by force.
A few of the neighbours would occasionally bail out pailfuls of the water. "See," said they, "how we are relieving poverty." One man of large philanthropy contracted for a pump, at which he worked both day and night, so that he broke down his health. The water he had pumped out soaked back again through the lower walls.
Now there was a spring, which was intended to supply the house with water; but it had been diverted from its course, so that there was no water in the pipes, but only in the cellar. The Benevolent Person said, "God made these people poor, that he might arouse in me divine compassion." His Wife said: "Oh, how good you are! Besides, if there were not such poor, who would carry up water for us?" His Son said, "Yes, but let me turn the spring back into its course, so that the water will flow into all the pipes, and we will stop this wretchedness."
The charitable person answered, "I am not familiar with your theories of springs, but experience teaches me that there is no cure-all."
His Daughter, who was a sweet girl-graduate, said, "To understand the needs of people, one needs to live among them." Therefore, she made a college settlement in the cellar. After six months' residence among the poor, she said that what the lower classes chiefly needed was a boat.