SARTORIUS _[pitying his innocence]_ My y...

Widowers' Houses

Sartorius

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SARTORIUS [pitying his innocence] My young friend: these poor people do not know how to live in proper dwellings : they would wreck them in a week. You doubt me : try it for yourself. You are welcome to replace all the missing bannisters, handrails, cistern lids and dusthole tops at your own expense ; and you will find them missing again in less than three days burnt, sir, every stick of them. I do not blame the poor creatures : they need fires, and often have no other way of getting them. But I really cannot spend pound after pound in repairs for them to pull down, when I can barely get them to pay me four and sixpence a week for a room, which is the recognized fair London rent. No, gentlemen : when people are very poor, you cannot help them, no matter how much you may sympathize with them. It does them more harm than good in the long run. I prefer to save my money in order to provide additional houses for the homeless, and to lay by a little for Blanche. [He looks at them. They are silent: Trench unconvinced, but talked down; Cokane humanely perplexed. Sartorius bends his brows ; comes forward in his chair as if gathering himself together for a spring; and addresses himself, with impressive significance, to Trench]. And now, Dr Trench, may I ask what your income is derived from!

Shaw, George Bernard. Widowers’ Houses: a play. https://archive.org/stream/widowershousespl00shawuoft/widowershousespl00shawuoft_djvu.txt. Retrieved January 28, 2019.

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