Those who care about the fate of the underclass can learn much from the experience of New York's Irish in the second half of the nineteenth century. The nation's first underclass—criminal, drunken, promiscuous, and shiftless, with high illegitimacy rates and thousands of abandoned children—the Irish had so dramatically improved themselves as to enter the American mainstream triumphantly by the turn of the century. The Catholic Church, rather than any government effort, was the main agent of their reclamation, and no Catholic institution shows more clearly just how that transformation was achieved than New York's Society for the Protection of Destitute Catholic Children, which most called the Catholic Protectory. In June 1893, 30 years after the Protectory took in its first wayward child, a national conference on charity took the measure of its success. "What crimes have been prevented," the conference report declared, "what homes have been made happy, what human misery has been alleviated, what brands have been salvaged from the burning, what myriads of useful men and women have been made an honor to the state by this institution, it is beyond the power of the human pen to record."
The Protectory was the creation of a remarkable New Yorker-by-adoption named Dr. Levi Silliman Ives, whom no one could have foreseen would have fathered such a creation. But in hindsight, it's clear that several strands in his personal history went straight into the making of the Protectory.
First was Ives's own early poverty. Born a Connecticut Yankee in 1797 into a Presbyterian family whose ancestor had come ashore in Massachusetts Bay in 1635, he grew up dirt-poor in a bark shelter in West Turin, New York, where his failed-businessman father had moved the family. Ives, his parents, and some of his nine younger siblings worked as ill-paid hired hands in a sawmill. Perhaps the poverty grated all the more on Ives because his parents were related to a constellation of prosperous and well-known New England families; indeed, his Revolutionary War-hero uncle, down the road in West Turin, was a well-off farmer.
When Ives was 15, he enlisted in the War of 1812, in keeping with a family history of fierce American patriotism. After the war, he enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, but in his third year, felled by a serious respiratory illness, he dropped out. In 1815, while he was still at Hamilton, his father, "melancholy from want of prosperity," according to a contemporary, drowned himself (though one wonders whether the melancholy was the effect or the cause of the penury). Poverty, war, illness, a father's failure and suicide—these were Ives's tumultuous formative experiences. After he left West Turin, escaping his past, he had no further contact with his family and never mentioned them in his published writings or even in his surviving correspondence.
Ives's interest in religion kindled as he convalesced from illness; he soon took the first step in what would prove a long, restless spiritual quest. In this quest is visible the second of those character traits that led to the Protectory: the implacable intellectual honesty that led him to look closely at all available evidence and follow it to whatever conclusion it led.
While still in his teens, he took over a Presbyterian academy in Potsdam, New York, and gained a reputation as an electrifying revivalist preacher. But he had growing doubts about Presbyterianism, and, when he discovered the beauty of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and the writings of Episcopal bishop John Henry Hobart, rector of New York City's Trinity Church—America's biggest and richest parish—he wrote to him, confiding his doubts and asking for information about the Episcopal faith. The bishop invited him to New York, and, soon after, Ives entered Hobart's General Theological Seminary at Chelsea Square. Upon graduation in 1822, Ives became an Episcopal deacon and served in upstate New York and in Philadelphia. At the same time, he was courting Bishop Hobart's daughter, Rebecca, whom he married in 1825 and to whom he remained devoted his entire life. Two years later, he became rector of Saint Luke's Church in Greenwich Village, then still virtually suburban—and a long way from the bark shelter in West Turin. The congregation doubled during Ives's tenure and he turned down offers from bigger, more established parishes.
Tall, handsome, dedicated, and cerebral—a "practical ascetic," as his biographer John O'Grady rightly calls him—Ives was clearly a man on the rise in what was the religion of the American elites. In 1831, rising still further, he became Episcopal bishop of North Carolina.
It was among the destitute of that southern state that the last two personal qualities that bore fruit in the Protectory first blossomed: Ives's devotion to the poor and his talents as an institution builder. More missionary than theologian, he believed that to be truly Christian, one had to work directly with the poor—it was, he wrote, "what a man must do to be saved."
With its illness-breeding climate, North Carolina was a coarse and brutal place: public hangings provided a major source of popular entertainment. Among the state's illiterate, impoverished, and declining population, Ives found plenty of the poor to help. His chief rescue strategy was to found schools, as he would later do in founding the Protectory. In Raleigh, he established a school dedicated to providing faith-based values and a rigorous education to 100 or so students, most of them poor and ignorant boarders no older than 14—one of whom had traveled a month on horseback to attend the school from the banks of the Yazoo River in Mississippi. Educationally, the school was a great success, but financially, though its classes were filled to brimming, it failed, when the national economic crisis of 1837 dried up its funding. Even more ambitiously, with $400—much of it from New York friends—Ives bought an entire valley in the mountainous western part of North Carolina and set up a missionary school called Valle Crucis, modeled after an early Christian monastery and aimed at the poorest of the state's poor. But the money was too scant, and the wild mountain boys too unruly: this school failed, too. Ives learned from the failures that good intentions weren't sufficient for an institution to survive. You also had to pay attention to practical matters, such as raising money.
Ives's solicitude for the downtrodden extended to North Carolina's slaves. He was no abolitionist, but he worked to bring the Gospel both to slaves and to free blacks. He composed a catechism to use in teaching slaves, and he openly defended two plantation owners who had hired a full-time chaplain to teach their slaves religion. He encouraged plantation owners to treat their slaves well and to worship with them, believing that, as Christianity changed the culture over time, slavery might wither away. One scholar, Michael Taylor, sums up Ives's attitude thus: help individual slaves, but say nothing about the institution of slavery. We might gloss it differently: like the founder of Christianity, Ives left political revolution to others. The revolution that interested him was in the mind and heart.
While Ives pursued his philanthropic projects in North Carolina, his questing intellectual spirit was working deep, as yet subterranean, changes in his religious life. As he had risen in the Episcopal hierarchy, the Oxford Movement within the Anglican Church had taken fire in England, and it included some of the most brilliant minds in England—most notably, of course, John Henry Newman, who, like several other prominent members, later converted to Catholicism. The movement looked to the early Christian experience to grasp the true meaning of Christianity, which included, the Oxford writers believed, a strong emphasis on pastoral and charitable work. (The movement formulated the 12-step program that Alcoholics Anonymous and almost all addiction treatment groups use today.) Bishop Hobart had introduced Ives to the Oxford Movement as early as the mid-1820s. Its influence had grown within Ives as he ministered to the poor in North Carolina, and it began to lead him, waveringly though inexorably, down Newman's path to Rome.
As he later explained in his spiritual autobiography, a strangely withholding memoir that gives little real insight into the man's private self, the Episcopal Church he knew didn't answer for him the overwhelming need—if one were truly to be Christian—to walk with the poor. "Your churches and houses, and sympathies and charities," Ives wrote, stating the Gospel message as he understood it, "will be thrown widely open to them." But in the Episcopal Church of his time, Ives felt he "could see nothing which marked it as the hope and the home of the wretched; nothing which proclaimed its peculiar fellowship with the poor." Episcopal houses of worship, Ives thought, excluded the poor: "The very arrangement said aloud to the rich, 'sit thou here in a good place'; and to the poor, 'stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool.'" For Ives, who had known the humiliation of poverty, the Catholic Church satisfied his calling to help the destitute.
But imagine the painful dilemma he faced. Though conversion, he became convinced, offered him "peace of conscience, and the salvation of my soul," he later wrote, the idea of it filled him with "horror, . . . enhanced by the self-humiliation with which I saw such a step must cover me, the absolute deprivation of all mere temporal support which it must occasion, not only to myself, but to one whom I was bound 'to love and cherish until death.'" Ives indeed stood to lose the considerable worldly honor and eminence he had attained within the Episcopal Church. And Ives was right: what would it do to his wife? Her life had not been easy after she married him. The Iveses had lost both their young children to illness, a crushing blow. Rebecca Ives was frequently ill herself. She found the harshness of North Carolina and the distance from her family in New York hard to endure. And her father—Ives's great, almost fatherly, benefactor—was before his death in 1828 the very embodiment of American Episcopalianism. If Ives converted, wouldn't it betray Bishop Hobart's memory and force Rebecca to choose painfully between her husband and her late father?
But Ives always was faithful to the truth as he saw it—in all ways—however much pain and personal cost this might entail. Tormented, the 55-year-old cleric traveled to Rome in 1852 and became the first Protestant bishop since the Reformation to convert to Catholicism. Signaling Ives's prominence, it was Pope Pius IX who confirmed him into the Church the day after Christmas in 1852. A firestorm of controversy ensued, with the Protestant press and establishment denouncing Ives as mentally ill and bereft of integrity, and the Catholic press responding with a bizarre triumphalism, as though the Church had just won a high-profile sporting event. Ives's own brother came out against him and spoke, perhaps with their father's suicide in mind, of a family history of insanity.
When Ives returned from Rome in 1854, he settled in New York, which he had left 23 years earlier. No longer an exalted Episcopal bishop but now an ordinary Catholic layman, he would find his role ministering not to the city's elite, as he had from the pulpit of Saint Luke's, but to its most down-and-out denizens. The extraordinary archbishop of New York, "Dagger" John Hughes, ignoring the controversy that swirled around Ives, saw an imposing, learned man whose many talents he could use to help the Church. (See "How Dagger John Saved New York's Irish," Spring 1997.) Hughes at once put Ives to work teaching at Saint Joseph's Seminary, at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattanville, and at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in Westchester.
Hughes knew Ives would be an asset to the Church as an educator but soon learned that he would play an even more crucial role in the Church's charitable mission. Ives immediately joined the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Manhattanville and quickly became its New York leader. Formed in Paris during the 1830s as a Catholic response to socialist anticlericalism, class hatred, and political radicalism, the society took as its motto: go to the poor. It buried the dead, brought food, provided shelter, taught Sunday school, counseled alcoholics and troubled families, and cared for orphans, among many other intense, face-to-face ministrations to the poor.
New York City—and its Catholic Church—had no more pressing concern in the 1850s than to figure out what to do about the more than 60,000 abandoned, mostly illegitimate, Irish kids who roved the city in gangs with scary names like the Forty Thieves, the B'boys, and the Roach Gang, and terrorized citizens day and night. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a tough Irish political exile, wanted to drum up opposition to the English among the New York Irish; instead, he found himself more frightened of Irish teen thugs in New York City than he was of English soldiers in Ireland. Ives was acutely aware of the depraved condition of the Irish kids. Never, he remarked, had he witnessed "a more utter disregard of honor, of truth and purity and even the common decencies of life."
Where did they come from? For Archbishop Hughes, whose views Ives shared, they were the products of Irish family breakdown—a reminder that today's underclass had a precursor with remarkably similar traits. Trying to figure out how to save the children of this broken community, Ives began to study how various charities actually worked. He was a model social scientist, for—just as in his religious quest—he let the data lead him to the truth instead of conforming it to a predisposed vision.
Nothing seemed to work, he soon discovered. If the failed policies seem familiar, it's because the modern social services industry still trots them out. One idea was to change the kids' environment and give them jobs. The government sent wild Irish city kids to midwestern farms, assuming that Calvinist hard work—and maybe the fresh air—would reform them. Ives knew it was bunk: "[I]f you take a vicious child from the streets of the city and send him to the farms," he observed, "what you get is a vicious farm worker." After all, taking a kid out of the slums isn't really changing his environment, as partisans of the farmwork solution believed; the environment that really counts for delinquent kids, Ives understood, is in their minds and hearts.
The government also tried the foster-home solution. The Saint Vincent de Paul Society did this, too, so Ives saw how it worked up close. Over time, he grew skeptical. "I had been in the practice of securing good homes for untrained and destitute Catholic children," he later said, "and although I succeeded in finding places for many, I can call to mind only a single instance where the child did not either abscond or prove ungovernable and worthless." Since these kids were largely unsocialized—no one had ever imposed structure on their lives, taught them moral values, or shown them love—they tended to be too much to handle even for the most well-intentioned family. As psychiatrist George Hogben puts it, "Most functioning families will not be willing to establish the intense psychological structure and rigid discipline such children require."
As Ives continued to search for an answer, he learned about the innovative charitable efforts of two East-Coast priests. Father George Haskins—like Ives, a former Episcopalian—ran a Catholic school in Boston that gave two years of intensive religious instruction to boys whom today we'd call "at risk." Haskins's school, Ives saw, had clearly improved the boys' behavior. In Baltimore, Father James Dolan tried something different. He stressed vocational training, but kept the boys in his home until they could support themselves. Here, too, Ives saw an improvement in the boys as they learned new skills. But both initiatives weren't by themselves enough, Ives believed. They needed to be combined.
Accordingly, Ives brought the Protectory into being, securing its charter from the State Legislature on April 14, 1863, and being elected president a few weeks later by an almost entirely Irish board of directors. The institution opened its doors in May 1863, in small rented quarters in two buildings on East 36th and 37th Streets. At first restricted to boys, the Protectory started its girls' division a few months later at the corner of 8th Street and Second Avenue. A little later, needing more room, the Protectory moved all its charges to two big rented buildings on 86th Street, near Fifth Avenue. The Christian Brothers, a lay group devoted to education, ran the boys' division; the Sisters of Charity, a religious order that looked after the sick and the destitute, took charge of the girls. In 1870, after Ives's death, the Protectory moved to a 114-acre site in Parkchester—then part of Westchester but now incorporated into the Bronx—that Ives had purchased in 1865. It operated there until it closed permanently in November 1938, when the city no longer had enough Catholic delinquents to fill it. Over the years, it sheltered more than 100,000 children, two-thirds of them boys.
In the Protectory's first annual report, Ives explained how it differed from other charities. It wanted to do something more for its charges, Ives suggested, "than merely rid the city of them, at great expense, for a few months, to return ... or to become to some other place a more grievous charge than when they left." Instead, it sought to raise them from a state of "indolence, stupidity and vice" to one in which they would "acknowledge their obligation to God, to their parents and to society." It would "raise them from their state of degradation and misery and . . . place them in a condition in which they have a fair chance to work out for themselves a better destiny." Ives sought, in short, to re-socialize young ruffians. "Our great aim," he stressed, "is to mould their hearts to the practice of virtue, and while we make them worthy citizens of our glorious Republic, to render them fit candidates for the heavenly mansions above." He had his work cut out for him: because of tight financial realities, he could only take in kids the courts handed over, since he would get additional public funds for them—about $120 per kid per year of the roughly $350 per-kid cost. Thus, Ives had mostly juvenile delinquents—the roughest Irish youth—under the Protectory's wing.
The key to re-socializing the children, Ives believed, lay in giving them a faith-based system of values. "Every child committed to this institution," he proclaimed, "will be thoroughly trained in the faith and morality of the Gospel as revealed and entrusted to the Catholic Church." On first sight, this might look like boilerplate, without much meaning except to believers. But recall that religion has a centuries-old experience in effectively teaching people the difference between right and wrong, and that some of the most up-to-date social thinkers have rediscovered inner-city ministries as one of the most effective agencies for redeeming underclass kids today. It's easy enough to understand what these ministers are doing, and why Ives was successful, in modern, purely psychological terms. The Protectory provided the clearest possible statement of right and wrong, confidently asserted that these values were absolute and backed up by divine authority, provided a discipline of practice and reflection that reinforced these values, held out complete forgiveness for past wrongdoing, and offered membership in a community organized around this code. Speaking more broadly still, Ives understood that at the center of the underclass condition is a moral and social void, and he knew how to fill it.
Respect was an essential component of the Protectory's moral lesson—respect for oneself, for parents, for other children, for teachers, and for God. Ives wanted to introduce the children to a world of obligations and make them aware that they weren't the sole arbiters of what they should and shouldn't do. He cultivated in them a host of ethical responsibilities where formerly there had been only caprice and impulse. Among other things, he made the Protectory children responsible for one another. "[I]t has occurred several times that a couple of our boys, having been sent on an errand to the city, have there fallen in with one who absconded, and have brought him back in triumph to the Protectory," Ives proudly observed.
One of the most effective disciplines the Protectory used to turn impulsive, often criminally inclined, children into personally responsible individuals was the sacrament of confession. Confession meant that each week the children had to examine their behavior, decide if it conformed to the ethical code they'd been taught, and take responsibility for it by confessing to a priest. Thus, they learned to reflect habitually on themselves and on morality, to lead an examined and responsible life.
The Protectory's Catholic teaching gave more than a stern set of dos and don'ts to these emotionally shipwrecked children. It offered them love and a sense of their own worthiness. If you keep the commandments, Ives's teachers told the children, God would be father and friend, offering an infinite and unshakable love. For children who had never known a parent's tender care, this was strong solace. The sacrament of the Eucharist had an equally positive psychological resonance for Protectory dependents, dramatizing to them that an all-powerful God had been willing to sacrifice his own son for their sake—that's how much they were worth. This teaching conveyed a powerful message of self-esteem, to use today's debased term.
Ives aimed to give the Protectory's children the means of making a living. He "resolved to cause these children . . . to be trained in some industrial occupation or mechanic art while they are instructed in all the essential branches of an English education." Vocational training also had a moral purpose, Ives believed, for it "diverts young minds from the evil suggestions of the tempter." "In the workshop," he added, "we have found the most direct and effectual corrective for an idle, vicious boy." As early as 1868, the Protectory had trained 185 boys as shoemakers, 45 as gardeners, and a half-dozen as bakers; 56 girls had learned how to make dresses. Twenty years later the Protectory had added stereotyping, blacksmithing, carpentry, tailoring, and other trades to its curriculum. By the turn of the century, the Protectory even trained many of its charges in electrical engineering, masonry, and plumbing. Ives was not turning out ditchdiggers.
Ives believed that classical and sacred music were crucial to a complete education. He launched a full brass band and a string orchestra at the Protectory. Playing in a band or orchestra taught kids how to play their parts exactly in a disciplined communal activity to which they were essential. Beyond that, the message of serious music is order, harmony, and transcendence, all in tune with the Protectory's teachings.
The inner and outer worlds of abandoned children are chaotic—to them, frighteningly so—and Ives understood those kids' special need for rigid structure, to provide them with a sense that the world is secure and predictable and to bring some order to their emotional lives. Everything at the Protectory took place according to an almost military schedule, providing the all-encompassing, minute-by-minute structure whose lack, as Ives perhaps intuited, is the reason even good foster care so often fails. The weekday began at 5:30 and provided slots for chapel and prayer, for meals, for classes and study periods, for shopwork or groundskeeping, for recess and even a little evening recreation time, and for lots of regimented, military-style drill for the boys and highly structured group dance routines for the girls. During the weekend, the kids had religious instruction and music. These wayward children, who once had time hanging heavy on their hands, now used almost every waking minute for self-improvement.
In sum, Ives sought a total inner transformation of the Protectory's wards. He wanted to educate them, give them useful skills, and, most of all, change their values and worldview. A practical man, he wasn't preparing children for the monastic life; he wanted them to be "worthy, influential and prosperous" in an America he described as "unsettled and money making"—not a bad description of present-day America. He wanted to instill in them the hope that, through hard work, they might support themselves and a family and even become wealthy.
Did Ives succeed? Did his Irish charges become self-reliant? According to historian George Paul Jacoby, the answer is an unambiguous yes. Boys found jobs when they left the Protectory, and, Jacoby observes, "many soon became very prosperous in the trades for which they were trained." In the single year of 1876, Jacoby records, the Protectory found positions for 186 children throughout New York, and in almost every case, "the result was gratifying." Some of the kids even went on to study the classics at university—a remarkable fact, given that the vast majority of them were more or less illiterate when they first came to the Protectory.
Outsiders who evaluated the Protectory were warm in their approval. In 1878, Elisha H. Harris of the U.S. Health Department praised the institution for cultivating in the children "obedience, order, cleanliness, and diligence," and, above all, "a reverence for their Creator and his divine behests." An 1893 National Conference on Charity and Correction viewed the Protectory as a model philanthropic enterprise: "He who visiting the Protectory on one of its holidays, notes the many gymnastic exercises or the splendid military drill through which the boys are put; their graceful delivery in the recitation of pieces; the sweet songs they sing, and the superb band of 75 pieces that discourses music more like professionals than amateurs; observes the boys in the base-ball field; looks into the work done by boys and girls in the class-room; or he who visits the workshops of the boys, and the serving-rooms of the girls, when in full operation, notes the industry and taste with which they perform their various duties—such a one can form some conception of the good that is accomplished by both departments of this institution." The conference pointed to other evidence in making its case, including enthusiastic endorsements from philanthropist William F. Barnard of the Five Points House of Industry in 1878 and from a state committee on the causes of crime in 1882.
Another testament to the Protectory's success is the quality of the goods its workshops produced. The Protectory's shoes, dresses, and other products drew high praise, even from across the ocean. Leading London papers, including the Times, the Standard, and the Globe, as well as Dublin's Freeman, dispensed such praise as: "The women's shoes are of the very neatest, most finely finished, and of the best make," or "the handiwork shown is of a remarkably high order," or yet again, "these specimens of work are really startling, and go to show what may be done with the classes of youth which in earlier years have had but few, if any, opportunities for development or self-help." Skilled craftsmen are rare and the product of much cultivation, and to get such high-quality work—the kind of work that mobilizes so many human potentialities—from this human material is a sure sign that Ives's grand project was doing something profoundly right.
Additional evidence for the Protectory's success comes from the often moving testimonies from former charges that appear in the Protectory News, a literate and chatty newsletter the institution began to publish in 1910. One issue from the World War I period closed with a story of a former pupil, Edward Farley, now a soldier, who had promised his devout mother that he would wear a ribbon on his arm until he had stained his soul with mortal sin. As he lay dying from wounds received in battle, Farley told the chaplain attending to him to make sure his mother knew that he had worn the ribbon right up to the moment he died.
A 1910 issue of the News offered this success story: "After 44 years," wrote Peter M. Gillen, "I can never forget you and your kindness to me and your untiring efforts to instill in me the necessary education. I became . . . a first-class book and newspaper compositor and for more than 20 years held the post of proof reader on the World, Herald, and Tribune. I have been married 34 years, having had 12 children. . . . Two of my children are musicians (pianists) in great demand and who earn good money."
The editor praises another letter, from Archie Reilly, for its absence of all "etymological and syntactical errors." Reilly writes: "Mr. Deery is a very nice gentleman and is affording me every opportunity of learning the business of wholesale Quarry agents. I am also studying shorthand and am quite sure I shall succeed in learning it thoroughly. I find myself getting along nicely and have splendid hopes that with the blessing of God, perseverance and an abundance of energy, I may have a bright future." Reilly couldn't have offered a more fitting restatement of Ives's hopes in founding the Catholic Protectory.
Ives's influence spread. In Baltimore, Archbishop Spalding modeled the Saint Mary's Industrial School after the Protectory, and schools soon opened in California, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri that looked to it as a major influence. Parochial schools nationwide embraced Ives's approach, and Ives himself traveled the country evangelizing for his ideas on charity. In his last years, which he spent at Saint Joseph's Cottage on 138th Street near Broadway, Ives received a multitude of visitors from across the country, who sought his advice on how to establish and run charitable organizations. He died on October 14, 1867, just after his friends lifted up his head so that he could look one last time at Domenichino's sublime painting The Last Communion of Saint Jerome. Fittingly, he was buried on the grounds of the Catholic Protectory. The poet John Savage summed up Ives's dedication to New York's Irish poor: "His tender sympathies, and the necessities so sadly prominent in a great city, naturally led him to good works."
His example sheds light on the quiet struggle that has recently broken out for the soul of Catholic Charities, the $2.25 billion social services behemoth of which Ives was a founder. On one side, the organization's leadership echoes the social services industry's party line. Typical is the complaint of president Fred Kammer, a Jesuit, that the welfare-reform debate a couple of years ago had "focused almost exclusively on personal responsibility" and had ignored "the right to suitable employment and just and adequate wages." On the other side, critics like Senator Rick Santorum object that, if Catholic Charities is "only going to be a more efficient bureaucracy, if [it is] not going to feed the souls as well as the stomach, then why exist?" Santorum and his allies reflect the guiding spirit Ives brought to Catholic Charities a century ago. The fact that Ives's approach worked so well powerfully argues in favor of the Santorum point of view.
Today, as Catholic Charities USA—the central office—pursues the expansion of the welfare state, there's less and less religion in its mission and less and less understanding of Ives's central insight that for charity to succeed, it must change the cultural attitudes of its recipients. It's a pity, since the welfare state can't solve the social problems—from illegitimacy to drug addiction—that we face at the end of the twentieth century. Certainly, Catholic Charities would be immeasurably more a force for good if it rediscovered the wisdom of Levi Silliman Ives. And our entire national effort to help the underclass would benefit immeasurably from reflecting on his example of changing the inner culture of the poor, too.