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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1878)
on histories show Unit our young men me
"smart" in ciimc as well as in useful
enterprise. It Is lamentably true thai
those who are hereafter to have the first
opportunity for prominence in our bus
iness and political circles, are not being
fitted as were those who now conduct
business and forms public opinion.
The energy which giro precocious
prominence to ,oungmon, encouraged to
nu extreme, threatens society with a gen
oration of snobs young "blades'"vho hr.ve
ambition without judgment, and extiavn-
gniice without moral.'.
Whoever has an oye for character can
evorywiioro point out the counterpart ol'
the "fast" young man, who having heard
much of Niagara determined to visit the
fulls. Ho had been .absent from his ac
customed haunts scarcely long enough
to make the trip to Niagara, when his
companions had occasion to congratu
late him upon his safe return.
"Did you go through?" asked one.
"Of course I did," was the response. "I
anived at mid-night, took a lantern, and
did the thing in half an hour."
"A thing for laughter, sneers and jeers
Is American aristocracy. '
Hut it has solemn as well as satirical
phases. During one week two tnousand
one hundred adveitisements for employ
ment were published in the New York
City papers Of these not fifty specified
any pioduotivc labor for which the adver
User was competent. Little peddlers, er
rnnd boys, servants, porteis and clerks
throng the market, ami siibtain the inlel
ligenoc olllces, and put money into the
printer's pocket; but good mechanics have
no such "wants." Why? First, because
thcie is an increasing demand Ibrproduc
live labor; second, respectable society
di. courages thorough apprenticeship at
common trades. Boys must "do" their
trades as the fast young man "did" Niag
ara. Thorough work-men do not increase
willi our population, except in "genteel"
employments, because American Aristoc
racy ignores whatever smells of the shop.
Children of fortunate fathers do not learn
the trades which their parents practice,
because in the circles where they move,
mechanics are sneered at. Sillv mothers
and foolish fathers lose caste with their
own children by encouraging such
In the aristocracy of birth there is res
pect for the past an active pride in the
memory of grandfather and grand-moth-er.
To each other, American aristocrats
can only "jingle their purses."
"Tho faintly thread they can't ascend,
Without good reason lo apprehend,
They may llnd it waxed nt the other end."
It is ihe crowning virtue of American
democracy that it incites the humblest
citiv.en to aspire to the highest distinction.
It is the bitterest reproach of American
society that it oilers a high premium to
Miccessful speculation; that at whatever
risk of morals or sacrifice of industry, its
highest rate per cent, is bestowed upon
On: political system is so opposed to
tho accumulative principle of monopoly,
which concentrates wealth, and learning,
and power into the hands of the few, that
the poor and the rich, the obscure and tho
prominent, are continually changing pla
ces. There is an incentive to hasten to dis
tinction, to speculation in commerce, to
risk in trade, to the advantages which
open competition oilers wonderful suc
cess and melancholy failures are to be
expected; but they furnish no good reason
why the enjoyment of the best society
should depend upon furniture and silk,
upon jewelry and champagne.
Under the code of honor which the ar
istocracy oi display requires, social dis
tinction and even social respect, is won
or lost for a young man by his accidents.
The young men I described as leaders
in the business world, are not the leaders
of social circles, but many of those of
whom I spoke as representing "Young
America" in prison houses, have been
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