Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/359

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THE COLLEGE-MAN.

aspirations; it has no more value, unused for noble purposes, than any other mineral, than the most common and the dirtiest of dirt.

Struggling for wealth for a great purpose glorifies the otherwise inglorious contest with all the lowest elements of greed and selfish ambitions and meanness in all its protean forms. Williamson, living a life of almost miserly frugality, seeking and saving and piling up wealth from early manhood to old age, living and dying in apparent penury that he might do a great work at the end, becomes a noble figure when seen by the reflected light of his philanthropy and the fine closing act of that long, inglorious life. The founding of the Williamson School for orphan boys where they can find homes and careful training and apprenticeship to useful trades, and later work with selected masters and employers, is a deed which renders immortal the man whose life seemed so unheroic. That act built for him a memorial that shall last as long as human respect and admiration for heroic deeds and love for self-sacrifice, self-immolation in a good cause, shall endure. He gave opportunity to humble and poverty-laden youth aspiring to educate themselves for their work.

Already we are seeing evidence of the change that is coming and of the value of careful training of the gymnastic and the educational improvement of the man through systematic and scientific instruction and drill. The leaders of even the world of business are educated men, as a rule. Morgan, the leader of finance to-day, is a college-man, a graduate of Göttingen; none of this class of men is likely to advocate the endeavor of a people to become a crowd of wealthy boors rather than a nation of gentlemen, scholars and wise men. The great financiers of the country are now usually college-men; the heads of railways are often of that class, even though they have begun at the foot of the ladder; all distinctively learned men are of that class; our greatest men in literature, science and art are practically all educated and cultivated men; the inventors of the telegraph and the telephone were both educated and, in fact, learned men; all the great men in medicine and surgery are college-men; all the great lawyers and every great jurist on the bench is of the same rating. We make our presidents of learned men and usually of college-men; the same is true of the members of their cabinets, of the judges on the Supreme Court bench, of the chiefs of bureau, and practically all men in highly responsible positions. Our foreign ministers and ambassadors where reflecting special credit upon their country, like Lowell and White and Hay and Choate, have been not only college-men but distinguished for their attainments in the highest fields of academic learning.

In engineering no man will in the coming generation have even an average chance of success professionally, without uniting to the essentials characteristic of a 'general of industry' in generations