HAVE PATIENCE, LITTLE SAINT

Some considerable time must have gone by since any kind of courtesy ceased, in England , to be held necessary in the course of communication with a beggar. Feeling may be humane, and the interior act most gentle; there may be a tacit apology, and a profound misgiving unexpressed; a reluctance not only to refuse but to be arbiter; a dislike of the office; a regret, whether for the unequal distribution of s⊐cial luck or for a purse left at homes, equally sincere; howbeit custom exacts no word or sign, nothing whatever of intercourse. If a dog or a cat accosts you, or a calf in a field comes close to you with a candid infant face and breathing nostrils of investigation, or if any kind of animal comes to you on some obscure impulse of friendly approach, you acknowledge it. But the beggar to whom you give nothing expects no answer to a question, no recognition of his presences, not so much as the turn of your eyelid in his direction, and never a word to excuse you.

Nor does this blank behaviour seem savage to those who are used to nothing else. Yet it is somewhat more inhuman to refuse an answer to the beggar's remark than to leave a shop without "Good morning." When complaint is made of the modern social manner—that

-114-

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