Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Article excerpt

Q. I live in a central London square and, since I am a member of the square's garden committee, I frequently come across stolen bags which have been chucked over the railings after the thieves have looted them. A couple of weeks ago, however, I was pleased to find two handbags, belonging, as I deduced from the contents, to a pair of sisters. I contacted the mother and one of the sisters came round to collect the bags. On opening her own, she was overjoyed to find that although cash and credit cards had been stolen, virtually everything else was intact, including Cutler & Gross sunglasses and one of those expensive and elegant little personal computers worth about 300. She enthused for some time about how distraught she had been and how I had saved her life, since she was a journalist and all her contact numbers and diary details had been stored in this mini-computer. We chatted for a bit and I told her I would be interested to see a copy of the magazine she worked on, and a couple of days later one came through the post. It came without compliment slip, let alone thank-you letter. Am I right in thinking that I deserved at least a bottle of champagne or a bunch of flowers in reward for my services? If you agree, how should I best nudge her conscience?

Name and address withheld

A. I have taken a straw poll amongst top moralists of my acquaintance. They have mainly pronounced that while they themselves would have sent you presents to the value of 50-75, it should not theoretically be necessary to reward virtue with material goods. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.