fulfilment in this country than in any monarchy.
What station in the United States
could be regarded, properly speaking, as exalted?
I can think of none except the Presidency, and even as to that such a phrase would seem too fulsome for truth.
For although this post involves far more of direct personal power than do most thrones, yet it has no permanence; it is held by a four years lease, after which the occupant reverts to the ranks of common men. By our theory the President
himself is the servant of the people, or, as the present incumbent has expressed it, “public office is a public trust.”
The question has been seriously raised by European
reformers, such as Mazzini
and Louis Blanc
, whether the same trust could not more fitly be exercised by the mere chairman of a committee, and Mr. M. D. Conway
has of late revived this theory.
Surely the phrase “exalted station” is too extravagant for a function thus temporary and derivative; and setting the President
aside, there is no one else among us on whose position it could be fitly bestowed.
We can recognize the exaltation of a great public character, but hardly of a “station.”
For there is no station which any American might not aspire to hold; and it would be the spirit in which he held it that made it exalted.
This is at least the American
habit of mind, and the interest we habitually take in what are called