Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 243
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 243
appealed to them, and so far as might be they imitated its ways. Dress, manners, amusements,—all were copied from Paris; and when they went to Europe, it was in Paris that they spent most of their time. To persons of intelligence and force their lives seemed equally dull at home and abroad. They took little interest in literature or politics; they did not care to explore and hunt and travel in their own country; they did not have the taste for athletic sport which is so often the one redeeming feature of the gilded youth of to-day, and which, if not very much when taken purely by itself, is at least something. Fashionable society was composed of two classes. There were, first, the people of good family,—those whose forefathers at some time had played their parts manfully in the world, and who claimed some shadowy superiority on the strength of this memory of the past, unbacked by any proof of merit in the present. Secondly, there were those who had just made money,—the father having usually merely the money-getting faculty, the presence of which does not necessarily imply the existence of any other worthy quality whatever, the rest of the family possessing only the absorbing desire to spend what the father had earned. In the summer they all went to Saratoga or to Europe; in winter they came back to New YorkFifth Avenue was becoming the fashionable street,



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