We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it. — “The Soul of Man under Socialism”

Related Material


Wright, Thomas. “Party Political Animal: Oscar Wilde, Gladstonian Liberal and Eighty Club Member.” Times Literary Supplement. (June 6, 2014): 13-15.

Last modified 16 November 2017