Great numbers of these children grow up to die under the hands of the executioner. The only instruction they receive from their parents is how to cheat and deceive; and daily practice in lying and stealing from their very infancy, renders them uncommonly expert in their infamous trade. The records of the courts of justice show in innumerable instances, that early habits of Idleness and Beggary are a preparation for the gallows; and among the numerous thefts that are daily committed in this capital, there are very few that are not committed by persons who get into the houses under the pretext of asking for charity.
What person is ignorant of these facts? and who can demand further proofs of the necessity of a solid and durable institution, for the relief and support of the Poor?
The reader would be seized with horror, were we to unveil all the secret abominations of these abandoned wretches. They laugh alike at the laws of God and of man. No crime is too horrible and shocking for them, nothing in heaven or on the earth too holy not to be profaned by them without scruple, and employed with consummate hyprocrisy to their wicked purposes.
Whence is it that this evil proceeds? not from the inability of this great capital to provide for its Poor; for no city in the world, of equal extent and population, has so many hospitals for the sick and infirm, and other institutions of public charity. Neither is it owing to the hard-heartedness of the inhabitants; for a more feeling and charitable people cannot be found. Even the uncommonly great and increasing numbers of the Beggars show the kindness and liberality of the inhabitants; for these vagabonds naturally collect together in the greatest numbers, where their trade can be carried on to the greatest advantage.
THE INJUDICIOUS DISPENSATION OF ALMS is the real and only source of this evil.
In every community there are certainly to be found a greater or less number of poor and distressed persons, who have just claims on the public charity. This is also the case at Munich; and nature dictates to us the duty of administering relief to suffering humanity, and more especially to our poor and distressed fellow-citizens; and our Holy Religion promises eternal rewards to him who supports and relieves the poor and needy, and threatens everlasting damnation to him who sends them away without relief.
The Holy Fathers teach, that when there are no other means left for the relief and support of the Poor, the superfluous ornaments of the churches may be disposed of, and even the sacred vessels melted down and sold for that purpose.
But what shall we think, when we see those very persons, who profess to live after the rules and precepts laid down in the word of God, act diametrically contrary to them?