+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

of the pure charity, to be generally traced in
a subscription list, that we measure the
extent of public Heart-benevolence. Let us
take up a list at random. Here is a subscription
in aid of a Hospital. The first name we
find is that of

Miss Letitia Latterday, of Latterborough Hall  . .  £10.

Doubtless this lady is sincerely desirous
that the hospital thus patronised should be a
couple of beds the better of her contribution;
yet the conspicuous advertisement of Miss
Latterday's name and euphonious address at
full length, betrays an anxiety that her
benevolent desires, together with the fact
of her being the possessor of Latterborough
Hall, should be extensively known to the
public at large. The next lines on the list
are:—

John Pampas, Esq  . . .  £5.
Mrs. John Pampas  . . .  £5.

If Mr. Pampas be solely anxious to extend
the usefulness of the hospital, why did he
not subscribe at once without dragging in
his wife? Is he pleased to see his name
prominently repeated in the list; or has
Mrs. Pampas insisted upon seeing herself in
print? We suspect that the Pampases look
upon the matter rather as a bit of cheap
distinction, than as a real goodness
performed by them. Mr. Pampas, we are told,
was very particular about having his name
properly spelt.

This expedient for spreading a small amount
of charity over a large surface of publicity is
more strikingly exemplified by the next
entries:—

The Right Honourable Lady Bittern  . . .  10s.Od.
The Honourable Blanche Bittern  . . .  7s.6d.
The Honourable Fanny Bittern  . . .  5s.0d.
The Honourable Alicia Bittern  . . .  2s.6d.
The Honourable Jemima Bittern  . . .  2s.6d.
The Honourable Chas. de Brandenburgh Bittern  . . .  2s.6d.

Lady Bittern is an economist. No one
knows better than her ladyship how to lay
out thirty shillings in charity with profit to
the reputation of her numerous family. What
a miracle of precocious munificence is
exhibited to those who happen to know that
Charles de Brandenburgh Bittern has not yet
arrived at the dignity of being short-coated!

The next name worthy of note is that of our
friend

Johnson Tomlinson, Esq., of Topperton Hall  . . .  £25.

We happened to be present when this
subscription was solicited. Tomlinson, an
exemplary share-broker, had recently bought
"the place" advertised above. The first
question he asked the begging secretary was
not as to the object of the fund in course of
formation; how it would be applied; what
amount of suffering it would mitigate; how
many new patients would be relievedbut,
"Who have you got?" The secretary
unfolded his list; "Well, Sir," he began, "we
have the Lord Lieutenant (fifty guineas), the
High Sheriff (fifty pounds), Lord Bramble,
one hundred and five pounds. You see, Sir?"
continued the wily solicitor, knowing his man,
and remembering his initial, "We do not
make up our list alphabetically, but according
to amounts."

"Hum!" considered Tomlinson, melting to
the cause when he remembered how
completely out of sight the "T's" were stuck in
former advertisements; "How much has
Sir Skinner Flint put down?"

"Twenty pounds, Sir."

"Very well; put down twenty-five opposite
to my name. You see," was Tomlinson's
aside speech to us, " one must do the thing a
little handsome as a new comer into this
aristocratic part of the country, or one gets
looked on freezingly by these people: I may
say, blown upon."

It is a sorry inference, thenbut, alas, a
true onethat Tomlinson's money was not
put forth to fend off suffering from the sick
poor, but as a golden shield for himself
against the cold shoulder of the rich.

"Sir," said the secretary, when he called on
the chief proprietor of the Whited Sepulchre
Chronicle. "We spend twelve hundred a
year in newspaper advertising; besides two
hundred per annum in printing circulars.
You could not have a better medium for
making your excellent publication extensively
known to the public. Let me say five." But
as the person appealed to, knew that the
notification would be repeated in just as many
impressions for less money, we find it stand
thus:

Proprietors of the Whited Sepulchre Chronicle  . . .  £2 2s.

Could the price and day of publication have
appeared, the donor candidly owned he would
have been glad to give the five.

Glancing the eye over other parts of the
subscription list, we do not find it wholly a
record of pomps and vanities. There are a
few scarcely perceptible entries almost over-
shadowed by the big letters of the great
subscribers. They are simple initials set against
small sums; the smallest, however, is greater
than either of Lady Bittern's family offerings.
"A Friend" occurs more than once, and ten
shillings is bestowed by "an Old Patient."
Such contributions speak true charity out of
the fulness of genuine gratitude.

Our former instances are, we reluctantly
own, not overcharged demonstrations of what
goes by the name of charity, in a great many
cases. A new ward is to be built in a
hospital. Experience proves that to demonstrate
the necessity and utility of such an
addition, is but a secondary necessity. The
promoters know, that to succeed, they must
get the undertaking graced with the names
and patronage of half-a-dozen peers, a sprinkling
of the House of Commons, and a judicious
selection from wealthy neighbours. The list
is published, and subscriptions flow in. Why
do they flow in? Because the undistinguished
richthe mob of gentlemen who pay with
easehave, too often, a morbid desire to find