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[146] most Americans would agree, but it is a great convenience for the family immediately concerned. Nothing works better in American life than the promptness with which the degenerate scions of honored parents drop out of sight; in England they simply marry a fortune and retain their power. As one result, most people in England, even radical reformers, have acquired the habit of cringing more or less before hereditary rank. In America there is more or less jealousy of wealth, but very little cringing. It is doubtful whether a mere aristocracy of wealth can ever create much cringing beyond its immediate village or city. It is only an hereditary aristocracy that is sufficiently intrenched to assert such universally recognized prestige.

It is to be remembered, however, that another pillar of hereditary aristocracyland-ownership — is easily enough created in a nation of mere wealth. In the country town where this is written — a village of about a hundred permanent families, and in local situation the highest village in New England--the main territorial ownership is steadily passing into the hands of a comparatively few “city people.” There are three men who own a thousand acres apiece or thereabouts. The farms

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