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[174] or even of the philosophic critic. His question is whether the money of the so-called benefactor is to be regarded as an actual gift or as an act of restitution-giving back to the community its rightful share hitherto withheld. If these benefactors were really publicspirited-thus the malcontents reason — they would not object to an income-tax, for instance, which would put the gift in a more unequivocal form. Probably there never was a time or place where more money was spent than is devoted here and now, by rich men, for the benefit of the community. The trouble is that the wealth increases in spite of it, and so does poverty. Moreover, the wealth does not get the credit of what it really does. Its occasional follies and extravagances and titled marriages are before all men's eyes; its acts of benevolence are less advertised, and not so interesting for purposes of gossip. Many men of profuse generosity are really simple and retiring in personal habits, but these are usually ignored. The only American millionaire whom one finds habitually reverenced in the more radical newspapers is Peter Cooper, and this not so much for the money he spent as for the way he spent it; and, in part, from his greenback and other theories.

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