Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

Charity on the Cheap

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS.—We are requested to announce that the commissioners of her Majesty’s Works and Public Buildings intend to distribute this autumn among the working classes and poor inhabitants of London, the surplus bedding-out plants in Battersea, Hyde, the Regent’s, and Victoria Parks, and the Royal Gardens, Kew, and the pleasure gardens, Hampton Court. If the clergy, school committees, and other interested will make application to the superintendent of the park nearest to their respective parishes, or to the director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, or to the Superintendent of Hampton Court Gardens, in the cases of persons residing in those neighbourhoods, they will receive early intimation of the number of plants that can be allotted to each application, and of the time and manner of their distribution.—Daily News, October 13th, 1884.

Methinks that few could read without a smile,—
Though, sure, there is small reason for hilarity —
This latest effort in the pot-herb style,
Of Christian Charity.

‘Tis Christian Charity in Christian land,—
Forgive the blasphemy, ye heavenly Powers!—
That offers to a foodless, homeless band
Her—“surplus flowers.”

See yonder wretch, upon whose haggard brow
In plain deep—furrowed line is writ Starvation :
He cries for bread : and will ye give him now
A rich—carnation ?

See yonder woman, fallen, starved, debased ;
In piteous mute appeal her hand she raises ;
And Christian Charity brings forth in haste
A pot of—daisies.

Yon children, too, that in the gutters sport,
With famine-stricken eyes and pallid blue lips ;
What gift has Charity for these ? Why, nought ;—
Except some tulips.

‘Fore God, I do respect the pagan code
Of undisguised neglect and sheer barbarity,
Above the sentimental flowery mode
Of Christian Charity.

H. S. S.
Justice, October 25, 1884 - No. 41