Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/360

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just past the now hardly less essential requisites furnished him by systematic instruction in the sciences underlying his art and the applied sciences and the scientific methods fundamental to his profession. Now and then a man may get on and even possibly attain a high or leading rank; but it will be at enormous sacrifice of strength, energy and physical vigor; and when he reaches his goal, it will prove that he has gathered 'apples of Sodom' for a 'Barmecide Feast' and he will mourn, as have so many before him, the lack of that which makes a life of independence and of liberty in expenditure worth having. He will probably, as have so many before him, if his long life of self-seeking has not poisoned his character and killed all his sympathies, seek the next best thing and try to help other later youth of ambition and energy secure what he so greatly needs.

While it is largely true, as has been asserted by more than one such man, like the fox in the fable seeking to justify his amputated tail, that the prizes of our time and our country are now being often grasped by the uncultivated and unlearned man, the fact is mainly due to the circumstances that these men of to-day are mainly uneducated through the misfortune that they were born too soon and before higher education had come to be general and suitable to the conditions of modern life. In another generation this situation will be modified in the direction of giving these opportunities to educated men in vastly larger proportion. Meantime, every successful man, lacking education, learning and culture, recognizes to-day, either that he has also lacked wisdom if deliberately declining to secure an education when young, or that he has been extremely unfortunate if deprived of that privilege by force of circumstances. Not a man of them but envies his poorest acquaintance who possesses the essentials of content in a life outside the narrowing and engrossing pursuits of a business life. He lacks preparation for precisely what all his energies have been directed toward—making suitable provisions for a profitable and happy life on a higher plane.

Visiting the famous Homestead steel works, some years ago, the gentleman who was taking me through the mills pointed out a strong, good-looking and evidently masterful man standing on the top of a set of heavy roll-housings in the armor-plate mills and remarked, 'That man is paid more than your college president' and, indicating another who was directing work not far away and who evidently belonged to the same class, the most intelligent of mechanics, he said: 'That man is getting pay exceeding that of any one of your professors.' Both men were soiled and grimy, dressed in overalls and, as occasion arose, ready to take a hand in the work, and to the unaccustomed eye of the casual visitor they would seem to be day-workman; but one familiar with such scenes would instantly detect the bearing and manner of the born gen-