Swift's Charity

One cold morning a poor ancient woman sat at the deanery steps a

considerable time, during which the dean saw her through a window, and,

no doubt, commiserated her desolate condition. His footman happened to

go to the door, and the poor creature besought him to give a paper to

his reverence. The servant read it, and told her his master had

something else to do than to mind her petition. What is that you say,

fellow? said the dean, putting his head out of the window; come up

here directly. The man obeyed him, and was ordered to tell the woman to

come up to him. After bidding her to be seated, he directed some bread

and wine to be given to her; after which, turning round to the man, he

said, At what time did I order you to open and read a paper directed to

me? or to refuse a letter from any one? Hark you, sirrah, you have been

admonished by me for drunkenness, idleness, and other faults; but since

I have discovered your inhuman disposition, I must dismiss you from my

service: so pull off your clothes, take your wages, and let me hear no

more of you.

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