He paid their board till employment could be obtained, and when they wished to go to their families, in distant places, he procured free passage for them in steamboats or cars; which his influence with captains and conductors enabled him to do very easily.
If they wanted to work at a trade, he purchased tools, and hired a shop, when circumstances seemed to warrant such expenditure.
After they became well established in business, they were expected to repay these loans, for the benefit of others in the same unfortunate condition they had been.
Of course, some who expected to receive money whenever they told a pitiful story, were disappointed and vexed by these prudential regulations.
Among the old gentleman's letters, I find one containing these expressions: ‘When I heard you talk in the Prison Chapel
, I thought there was something for the man that had once left the path of honesty to hope for from his fellow-men; but I find that I was greatly mistaken.
You are men of words.
You can do the wind-work first rate.
But when a man wants a little assistance to get work, and get an honest living, you are not there.
Now I wish to know where your philanthropy is.’
But such instances were exceptions.
As a general rule, gratitude was manifested for the assistance rendered in time of need; though it was always limited to the urgent necessities of the case.