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[145] American communities these other elements still count for something. In all college towns, for instance, education usually outranks wealth; and in some communities as Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, and the Southern States generally-great-grandmothers and even cousins still represent a good deal. But as to all the newer and most of the busier parts of the United States, the classification hits pretty near home.

Now we have all wished to postpone forever all talk of masses and classes in this country; but the important thing is to weigh the facts just as they are and govern ourselves accordingly. It has been pointed out several times in these papers that there is no essential difference, in origin, between the aristocracy of wealth and that of birth. Hereditary aristocracy is simply a skilful device for perpetuating the prestige of wealth; it is a longer investment, a securer mortgage, the structure being built in stone instead of wood. The rich man in this country knows that if his son loses his wealth he loses everything; the rich man in England knows that his descendants, once ennobled, can hold their own in spite of poverty, folly, and even vice. This is a very poor result for the community, as

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