27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 13



am too poor to be able to buy your admirable paper, and hence the delay in this letter. You say that I wish the price of all luxuries to be divided amongst the poor. Not at all. There are luxuries which are both beautiful and useful; but a dinner to a thousand well-fed gentlemen, costing 22,500, is not beautiful, nor, I venture to think, very useful. If the Lord Mayor may do as he likes with his own, it is not an unpardon- able sin to suggest that he might do something better with his own, if he had considered the poor rather than the rich in his generous gift.

Do I eat mutton ? I do ; and I do not see that my homely and much-needed chop or bit of the neck can be quite fairly compared to a luxurious dinner, partaken of by men who have already dined. I cannot live upon bread, and am, I am bound to confess, not convinced by your somewhat personal refer- ence that I ought to make the attempt. You further say that I destroy the pleasure of accumulation, and so destroy accumulation itself, without which civilisation is impossible. How ? Is it necessary to spend 22,500 upon one dinner-party in order that accumulation may have some pleasure P Is it not possible that feeding the hungry might be quite as pleasant a way of dispensing accumulations as the method adopted at the Guildhall? You further say that I forget that, barring the money paid for wine, the whole of the money enriches certain. tradesmen. I did not forget. But surely the same remark would be equally true if 200,000 men had eaten the dinner, instead of 1,000. Had my plan been adopted, Sir R. Hanson would have lost none of the pleasures of accumulation. Many persons, butchers, &c., would have been equally benefited. The only difference in the final result would have been that 1,000 hungry

children might have been assured of a good dinner for twelve months. On the Lord Mayor's method, 1,000 of the rich had a second dinner on November 9th, which they certainly did, not need. I never thought, because I ventured to hint that there might have been a better way of spending £2,500, that I should be wanted to give up my mutton, accused myself of making civilisation impossible, and of robbing florists and fining them for the benefit of the poor. The Guildhall banquet, one of the hundreds that take place in the City every year, to which rich men get all the invitations and the poor none, is, in my humble opinion, a somewhat vulgar affair, unworthy of the installation of the Chief Magistrate of the first city in the world, and calcu- lated, like many other things in the City, to lessen and deprave the general tone of City life. I regret that the Spectator has not said something in the same line. The Lord Mayor's Show is silly, and these banquettings are selfish.—I am, Sir, Soc.,