Charity (Eglinton, 1917)

1.727. John Eglinton, Anglo-Irish Essays, (Dublin: the Talbot Press; London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1917), pp. 95-96. BL

An extract from John Eglinton, ‘A Way of Understanding Nietzsche’ (1904), on public charity.

The scriptural misquotation at 1.727 can be read in the light of the following passage from Eglinton’s essay:

Take, for example, public charity. The poor would fare far better at our hands were it not for that moral philosophy which at once puts up our backs by inculcating the practice as a duty. We refuse charity in the streets because we do not like the smack of self-satisfaction consequent on the performance of an action which is reputed to be virtuous. But if it were simply understood that we can do what we like with our own money we should relieve many a poor applicant simply out of a sense of freedom, or according to that maxim of “noble” as contrasted with “slave” morality, which Nietzsche might have said had lost its way among the early Christians, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”