Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 242
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 242
which of course becomes essentially ignoble when followed as an end and not as a means. It had become very easy to travel in Europe, and immense shoals of American tourists went thither every season, deriving but doubtful benefit from their tour. New York possessed a large wealthy class which did not quite know how to get most pleasure from its money, and which had not been trained, as all good citizens of the republic should be trained, to realize that in America every man of means and leisure must do some kind of work, whether in politics, in literature, in science, or in what, for lack of a better word, may be called philanthropy, if he wishes really to enjoy life, and to avoid being despised as a drone in the community. Moreover, they failed to grasp the infinite possibilities of enjoyment, of interest, and of usefulness, which American life offers to every man, rich or poor, if he have only heart and head. With singular poverty of imagination they proceeded on the assumption that to enjoy their wealth they must slavishly imitate the superficial features, and the defects rather than the merits, of the life of the wealthy classes of Europe, instead of borrowing only its best traits, and adapting even these to their own surroundings. They put wealth above everything else, and therefore hopelessly vulgarized their lives. The shoddy splendors of the second French Empire naturally



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