Where one man has grown rich by economy, energy, and skill, and another has grown or remained poor by indolence or incapacity, there wealth seems to denote qualities that claim respect, and men do not grudge the deference shown to it. It is because men of any experience all know instances to the contrary, and have watched the many examples of tricks like that applied to this poor cobbler, that they denounce all wealth as a fraud upon the community.
Sow a victim, and you reap a socialist.
Yet it is so difficult to resist the prestige of success, and so easy to believe the great man to be also good, that people are not, in the individual case, very critical.
It is easy to convince one's self that gossip is malicious, that one does not know all the details.
At any rate, in the next generation the facts grow wholly vague; they represent old scandal; they no more vitiate the inheritor of a fortune than the nobleman or noble lady of to-day, in England
, is vitiated in reputation by the fact that the original dukedom or earldom may have been bought by the dishonor of an ancestor.
But all this, or even the fact that the privileged position is well used, does not usually propitiate the mind of the socialist