Italian Street Musicians in London, ca. 1870s

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Italians, sons of peasants, agricultural laborers, and others who might lead respectable lives in their own country, prefer to come over to England where they are sometimes treated as mere beggars.

(Photo by John Thomson)
They find that a beggar in England is richer than a laborer in Italy; and if he be not equally prosperous it is because he is not equally abstemious and economical.
The Italian, therefore, migrates with the knowledge that he may rely on the generosity of the English, and that, if he only receives as much as many of the English poor, he may hope to save enough to buy himself a farm in his own country.

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