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[133] Wall Street, but that tortuous and narrow thoroughfare, with its skyscrapers overawing the forgotten church in the graveyard at its head, has after all the one supreme virtueit is the Real Thing. No one can question its abundant vitality, its vigor, its dominating influence. It has drawn to itself the national center of gravity. It rules, and Washington is only one of its pawns. Wall Street leaves the gilded imitation organ pipes to the statesmen, and plays its own tunes behind them. It has the sense to prefer power to show. The men who rule in Wall Street do not care to have their names appear in the newspapers. They avoid it, and they leave the field of self-advertisement to the politicians who swim on the surface and carry out their behests.

Garrison was justified in his distrust of politicians and political methods, and in addressing himself to the living heart of the people and leaving their officeholders and their Capital alone. The atmosphere of Washington would have been stifling to such a frank and outspoken man, and he would have been out of his element in Congress. Service is higher than office. Someone must needs be President, but to live for others is the special gift of God. The real life of the nation is not to be found at Washington. That fair city, with its marble monuments, its memorial

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William Lloyd Garrison (1)
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