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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

50                THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

from the economic point of view of the proprietor as well as from
the standpoint of the moral and material welfare of the tenant.
Increasing the number of stairways diminishes that inevitable abuse
of walls and stairs where so many persons must pass up and
down. The tenants more readily learn to respect the building and
acquire habits of cleanliness and order. Not only this, but in
reducing the chances of contact among the inhabitants of the
house, especially late at night, a great advance has been made in
the matter of moral hygiene.

The division of the house into small apartments has done
much towards this moral regeneration. Each family is thus set
apart, homes are made possible, while the menacing evil of
subletting, together with all its disastrous consequences of over-
crowding and immorality, is checked in the most radical way.

On one side this arrangement lessens the burden of the indi-
vidual lease-holders, and on .the other increases the income of the
proprietor, who now receives those earnings which were the unlaw-
ful gain of the system of subletting. When the proprietor who
originally rented an apartment of six rooms for a monthly rental
of eight dollars, makss such an apartment over into three small,
sunny and airy suites consisting of one room and a kitchen, it is
evident that he increases his income.

The moral importance of this reform as it stands today is
tremendous, for it has done away with those evil influences and
low opportunities which arise from crowding and from promiscuous
contact; and it has brought to life among those people, for the first
time, the gentle sentiment of feeling themselves free within their
•own homes, in the intimacy of the family.

But .the object of the Association goes beyond even this. The
house which it offers to its tenants is not only sunny and airy, but
in perfect order and repair, almost shining, and as if perfumed
with purity and freshness. These good things, however, carry
with them a responsibility which the tenant must assume if he
wishes to,enjoy them. He must pay an actual tax of care and
good-will. The tenant who receives a .clean house must, keep it so,