Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 173
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 173
 
have failed so far, but in the good time that is coming, when we shall have learned the lesson that the unkindest thing that can be done to a young tramp is to let him go on tramping, and when magistrates shall blush to discharge him on the plea that “it is no crime to be poor in this country,” they will succeed, and the tramp also we shall then have “druv into decency.” When I look back now to the time, ten or fifteen years ago, when, night after night, with every police station filled, I found the old tenements in the “Bend” jammed with a reeking mass of human wrecks that huddled in hall and yard, and slept, crouching in shivering files, all the way up the stairs to the attic, it does seem as if

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