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XII Personal ideals Sir Edwin Arnold, like most Englishmen of conservative proclivities, thinks that we should be better off if we had in this country a better supply of class distinctions. He thinks that these distinctions supply to Englishmen respect for authority and certain personal ideals which they follow devotedly. There is, no doubt, something to be said in defence of respect for authority, but everything depends upon the selection of the source. As a rule, the rich, the conten
so is the hostility; no American statesman, not even Jefferson or Jackson, ever was the object of such utter and relentless execration as was commonly poured on Gladstone in England a year or two ago in what is called the best society, where Sir Edwin Arnold's ideals are supposed to be most prevalent.
No class distinctions can do anything but obscure such ideals as this.
The habit of personal reverence—such reverence, for instance, as the college boy gives to a favorite teacher— is not only