National Affairs: Innocents at Home

Charity creates a multitude of sins.

—Oscar Wilde

American travelers are often shocked at the ragged beggars who gather around the cathedrals of Europe, the mosques and holy places of the Orient. The sight of a paretic Venetian pandering his nine-year-old daughter, or of a Calcutta mendicant clutching the withered body of a dead baby with one hand, a beggar's bowl in the other, is not easily forgotten. In such situations, Americans often assume the smug attitude that such things are not done at home; in the good old U.S.A., everything is organized, charity...

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