Brains Better Than Bets or Beer (Classic Reprint) Book

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Excerpt from Brains Better Than Bets or Beer
If repulsed one day, it returned to the attack on the morrow. It was neither depressed by misfortune nor intoxicated by success, and it was the duty of the poor to make it so powerful for good that Parliament must cease, in the interest of monopoly, obstructing it in its salvation of London. (Cheers.) The reason for the difference between Parliament and the London County Council was that hope, charity, and perseverance with the neighbourly spirit had inspired the Council in all its excellent work. To-night I speak to you upon "some social problems," not only those questions that affect your material surroundings, such as physical environment, local needs, industrial troubles, and inequalities of social life, but I intend to deal not only with some burdens that are imposed upon you by past neglect and present mismanagement, but also with those burdens and grievances you are partly responsible for, through the tastes you satisfy, the desires you gratify, the cravings you intensify, the difficulties your undisciplined conduct creates. Solomon said the destruction of the poor is their poverty. That is true, socially and individually. But poverty from its own depths cannot but bring forth the wild, disordered anarchy of despair, when its last condition is worse than its first, or it can, by hopeful volition and persistent activity, translate itself from mere animal suffering and discontent easily appeased into a conscious, well-ordered uprising for a more excellent method for the extinction of poverty by the poverty-stricken. The time has arrived when those who feel its pinch should of themselves decree that it is useless, dangerous, and ought to be abolished. (Cheers.) I am here to state the problem of London poverty as I see it, and to suggest to those who are, or will be ere you die, within its toils, how best it can be overcome. Yes, three out of five in this room will, before they die, land in the workhouse, the infirmary, or some kindred institution. Yes, of 42,440 persons in St. Luke's City Road area 9,244, or 22 percent., live in one-room tenements; whilst of a total of 9,847 tenements in St. Luke's 3,536, or 35 percent., were tenements of one room, and on these figures it is safe to say 50 percent, at least are overcrowded.
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