Saturday, June 13, 2009

21Feb1867, Visiting the Very Poor

LONDON, February 21st, 1867.
—At the poor dinner was a pretty, bright-eyed little pussy-girl of five, whose remains of dinner I carried home for her, for fear she should come to grief with the plate. She showed me the way, trotting fearlessly along down a squalid street and court, up to the top of a wretched house. On the last landing, a door opened and out peeped another darling little girl. This was "home," and I went in. Father and mother, 4 children, and a baby were in the tiny place ; the little things all pretty and chubby, but the parents pinched and starved-looking: it was a tidy room considering ; I felt ashamed of myself, coming back to this big house, where there is not even one little baby to take up room.

We successfully entertained at dinner the Eddies, the Forsters, Agnes, Mr. Charles Howard , Mr. Tom Hughes. There was some discussion about the volunteers, who were called out illegally to, defend Chester from the Fenians the other day, and are really supposed to have saved the town from attack. The question is, whether it ought to be legal to arm them in cases of civil riots. Mr. Hughes was against it, saying they were and ought to be perfectly free to choose either side ! ! and so it might be awkward.

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