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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/142

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Letters From A Railway Official.

great men, like Grant, derived their title to greatness from an ability to balance the immediate and the remote. All men are more or less a product of conditions and environment. The railroad official of today lives from hand to mouth—the hand of expediency to the mouth of rapid-fire results. When more roads are like the Pennsylvania in having the stability which admits of intelligent, far-seeing, actual control by directors and executive officers, it will be easier. The banker, from his condition and enviroment, dreads a war or a strike more than the famine and the pestilence. The former two seem to him to be avoidable, while the latter may be visitations of Providence.

A strike, like a war, is a terrible thing to contemplate. A surrender to principle and violation of the broad laws of true altruism can be even more terrible. Last year when the Pennsylvania, backed by its directors, called the bluff of the Trainmen, there was hope in many a breast that a lesson would be learned; that the rights of the community at large would be vindicated as against the unreasonable demands of the powerful few. How quickly did the Trainmen find an excuse to