The term “charities,” or philanthropies if the Greek form is chosen as a trifle more sonorous, has been so loosely used and so often abused by the present and passing generations-like that other noble and long-suffering word, temperance-that it needs to be strictly defined by the writer who would use it specifically without appearing offensively patronizing to certain classes of the community and effusively sentimental to others.
The derivation of the phrase Charities of Cambridge
ought to show to every one that by it is meant those organizations and activities in our midst whose motive power is love
rather than greed of gain; that this meaning is obscured, overlaid in fact, by a certain stigma which attaches to the technical use of the word, is not the fault of the dignified Latin trisyllable or of the idea back of it, but is caused by the difficulty of apprehending and applying its simple beauty on the part of donors and recipients alike.
Under this heading I am to consider the institutions, not systematically connected with the various churches or with the university, which form a part of the life of Cambridge
and are carried on wholly or in part by funds contributed without hope of return other than the consciousness of promoting the common good.
The simplest method of arrangement, for once