Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 420
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 420
 
job for a friend, and all night pulling wires to keep him in it, if trouble is brewing. Mr. Beecher used to say, when pleading for bright hymn tunes, that he didn’t want the devil to have the monopoly of all the good music in the world. The saloon has had the monopoly up to date of all the cheer in the tenements. If its owner has made it pan out to his own advantage and the boss’s, we at least have no just cause of complaint. We let him have the field all to himself.
  It is good to know that the day is coming when he will have a rival. Model saloons may never be more than a dream in New York, but even now the first of a number of “social halls” is being planned by Miss Lillian Wald of the Nurses’ Settlement and her co-workers that shall give the East Side the chance to eat and dance and make merry without the stigma of the bar upon it all. The first of the buildings will be opened within a year.
  As to this boss, of whom we hear so much, what manner of man is he? That depends on how you look at him. I have one in mind, a district boss, whom you would accept instantly as a type if I were to mention his name, which I shall not do for a reason which I fear will shock you: he and I are friends. In his private capacity I have real regard for him. As a politician and a boss I have none at all. I am aware that this is taking low ground in a

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