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such assignments. Often his authors did learn-learn things upon which they never would have ventured but for his trustful, stimulating insistence.
Taking up a newspaper one day and pointing to the obituary column, where people of minor importance were commemorated on a sliding scale-in paragraphs which at the top of the list were two or three inches long and gradually dwindled to a couple of lines at the bottom-Richard said: “I never look at this column without wondering how high up I shall be placed when I die. I hope that I'm gradually climbing!” I wish he could have foreseen what happened when he did die. No obituary notice, however long, sufficed in any of the papers. Day after day they all gave space to tributes of all kinds from all quarters until in their sum total they exceeded by far any others that within my memory have been paid in New York excepting to public men of the highest rank.
Much is said nowadays, especially for the benefit of the young, about "success" in life and the way to achieve it. Any one who thinks that to Americans it must mean something material, something bound up with rewards of money or of place, should read all he can find about Richard Gilder. Surely his was a successful life-rich in interest, rich in influence, rich in private affection and public honor. It grew to be what it was by reason partly of his acute intelligence, partly of his personal charm, partly of his indefatigable industry, but before all and most of all by reason of the moral rectitude, the disinterested conscientiousness, which, indeed, gave his other qualities their value. And all that he won he won for himself, not merely without external help, but in spite of many other handicaps besides ill health. He came to New York unknown, poor, and without influential family connections or that membership
in some highly esteemed profession which may quickly bring friends and influence; and, without any ambition save to do his best for mankind, he made himself one of the chief citizens of the big and busy city. He won from it everything that it had to give excepting wealth and office. For these he did not care and did not strive, nor did New York ever for a moment show that it would have thought more of him had he possessed them.
It is a clear proof of the strength of his personality that, although his name never appeared in his magazine as that of its editor, every one in America knew that he was its editor and that it was his voice. When he died, the whole country spoke in his honor, and his city-the city so often miscalled coldhearted and indifferent-mourned not only for a man whom it admired, but for a son and, in the best sense, a servant whom it loved.
UNDANGEROUS AGES SOME ARRESTING DISCOVERIES CONCERNING THE IDEALS
OF OUR SUPPOSEDLY WILD YOUNG PEOPLE
BY WILLIAM I. ENGLE
ERHAPS the American educational
system is going to pot. Perhaps
the youth of the Nation is threatened by inadequate instruction in school and the influence of gross materialism out of it. Perhaps everything in curricula everywhere is improper and misguiding.
Perhaps; perhaps not. When I see people hold up their hands in horror at the hopelessness of the younger generation, I think upon a test carried on some months ago in Binghamton, New York. I report the record of that test as a challenge to doubters.
In this test one thousand boys and girls, a typical group of young Americans drawn from every stratum of the conglomerate society of this country, were called upon to set down in black and white their hopes, aspirations, prejudices, determinations, and principles. A questionnaire covering twelve
personal and social problems was cir. culated by the Board of Managers among the students in the four classes of the high school at Binghamton. Among them are the children of recent immigrants, with the blood of a score of countries in their veins; the children of families with genealogical records stretching well back toward the Mayflower; sons of the rich; daughters of the poor; girls who have never been out of the city; boys who knew the city first when they went there to register as freshmen.
Unequivocal seriousness marked the attitude of the children toward changing world conditions, social relations, their future. For one who answered frivolously, there were two hundred grim and grave. Underneath the boy's baseball grin and behind the girl's party laugh, it appears, there is an idealism overlooked by a myopic older generation.
To begin, the questionnaire asked the students to name the man or woman in history or life nearest their ideal.
On every other blank filled out by the boys appeared the name Abraham Lincoln. On nearly a fifth of the girls' blanks was written Florence Nightingale.
Second in favor among the boys was Theodore Roosevelt. So the boys do not base their preferences upon information in their text-books, as the high school course gives only a page to Roosevelt. Neither do the girls, for the two persons held in highest regard by them Florence Nightingale and Alice Freeman Palmer-are granted but scant attention by instructors. Third in esteem was agreed upon
boys and girls. “Mother," they said.
Among the thousand replies, including all those from children of alien-born parents, there were three citing a for
eigner as the ideal character. Napoleon received one vote; Hannibal, one; and Rosa Bonheur, one. No young Italian mentioned Garibaldi; no Greek, Peri. cles; no Slovak, John Huss.
But sprinkled among the sheaf of ballots for the great American patriots were some more original selections.
“Nathan Hale, because he was a good sport," wrote a fifteen-year-old sophomore.
"Woodrow Wilson. Still water runs deep,” declared another fifteen-year-old sophomore girl.
"Mother. She seems to be right always," wrote a fifteen-year-old freshman girl.
"Allyn Ryan, because he beat the stock market," said a fifteen-year-old junior.
“Bill Hart, because he has got the pep," seventeen-year-old freshman chose.
"Jenny Lind, because she was famous, not egotistical, kind and true, "wrote an eighteen-year-old junior.
“Captain Alfred King, U. S. A. He did not think more of himself, but for his men. He died in France fighting on November 11, 1918," said a nineteen. year-old senior.
Other votes went to Calvin Coolidge, Edith Cavell, Douglas Fairbanks, Joan of Arc, Pershing, several Binghamton clergymen, and "father.” YOUNG AMERICA'S IDEAL CHARACTERS
Lincolu Nightingale. Roosevelt. Motlie Freshmen....263 59
61 17 Sophomores 74 30
24 12 Juniors 64 20
32 10 Seniors 20 16
so she could get new clothes,” said a “At home. They would make compethirteen-year-old freshman.
tition too keen," a nineteen-year-old "Taking care of the baby all day Sat- senior. urday while mother goes away," decided A kindred question, “Should young a fifteen-year-old sophomore.
women enter men's fields of work?" dis"Letting a boy next door have the closed a somewhat conflicting attitude. sweater I won in football," wrote a Nearly all the girls said that young seventeen-year-old junior.
women should have that privilege, and Thrift also was held in high esteem. a third of the boys agreed, both offerScores of boys mentioned earning money ing the qualification, though, that the for Liberty Bonds and many girls re- women be unmarried and forced to earn called economizing on hats and shoes. their own living.
“Working through vacation so I could The range of ideas is illustrated by come back to school," said an eighteen- these typical replies: year-old senior.
"No. They should not enter men's “Sewing and darning for shop girls work. Man was made to rule the and paying my way through schoo!," world,” a fourteen-year-old freshman said a seventeen-year-old junior.
boy. Outside of these general classifications “Yes. They have a right to choose their of achievements the choice ranged the оссі ion, and they are as capable as wide world. Typical replies are:
men," a fifteen-year-old sophomore boy. "Being well thought of."
"No. They lack stamina,” a sixteen"Stopping using slang.".
year-old junior boy. "Baking cake."
“Yes. They have more ability than the "Playing Chopin's pieces."
other sex," a nineteen-year-old senior WHAT THEY CALL THEIR BEST girl. ACHIEVEMENTS
Favorite amusements are athletics,
School Music and
reading, music, and dancing. Citing the
recreation from which they "get the Sophomores 53 49 25 19 most benefit and pleasure," the majority Juniors
75 44 30 11 of the children said either baseball, footSeniors 25 19 14 12 ball, basket-ball or tennis, and a heavy
vote from the girls brought dancing up Total 283 217 173 140
among the leaders. In all classes, how. None but young America of the
ever, reading and music were second twentieth century could answer the one and third choice, standing ahead of financial question as this typical Ameri- dancing, motion pictures, vaudeville, can school answered it. The question and the drama. was, “What would you do with $5,000 if Desire to attend college increases as you had it?” The reply three times out the pupil advances in high school. Oneof four was, “Invest it in stocks or third of the freshmen hope for a higher bonds."
Ten times as many children education; three-fourths of the sophosaid "invest" as said "save" or "put it mores; five-sixths of the juniors; in the bank."
six-sevenths of the seniors. The Next to investing and saving the question was, “Do you wish to attend choice fell successively to "a college college?" education," "help my family," and Politics obviously is dominated by "travel.”
their parents. Binghamton is a RepubHOW THEY WOULD SPEND $5,000 lican city. Republicans among the College Help
school pupils ran well ahead of Demo-
Home-town ties are not so strong as
might have been guessed. Only one
third of the students said they intended Total 428 182 58 45
to remain in the city where they were Replies to one question prove the new born. generation to be old-fashioned. The Ideas of marital conduct are rational. question was, "Is woman's place in the Answering "How big is the ideal Ameri. home or in business and the profes- can family?" the majority said, “Five sions?" The answer their great-grand- persons." Only one boy suggested “Ten fathers might have made is theirs. children," and very few spoke of fewer "Home," said nine out of ten, and the than two. tenths hesitated, quibbled, ventured, Deductions from the questionnaire re"Working for herself," with the qualifi- plies as a whole tend to show that the cation, “if she has the ability.”
overwhelming majority of the children, 8hese are typical reasons given for underneath an exterior of frivolity, are the decision:
sober and practical, and conservative “At home, to keep the aNtion pure," enough to make any good radical despair a fifteen-year-old freshman girl.
of the future of the world. "At home. They tangle things up in But, considering the fact that the professions," a sixteen-year-old sopho- world has been going to the dogs (for a more boy.
variety of opposite reasons) with every "At home. Who will bring up the rising generation since that canine family if they are neglecting their own terminus was first discovered, it is surduties?" an eighteen-year-old junior. prising how seldom it gets there,
136 50 The second question in the series was, “Will you marry for money, position, or love?" and it was quite unnecessary.
Algebra and first love are omens, school-teachers say. They presage that brief critical period when youth is wise beyond all saying, when no obstacle big or little is worth a care, no hill too high to climb or jump. The boys and girls who answered the questionnaire, in the main, are between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. It is the algebra-first-love stage.
They stand 992 to 8 in favor of love. Six said they thought they would like to marry for money, and two for position. The remainder chose love in varying degrees. Some, "plain love;" some, "absoJute love;" others, “true love;" one, "reciprocated love;" one, “love, the kind that makes your heart stop and you feel queer and empty inside.”
The question, "What do you consider your finest achievement?" educed greater diversity of ideals than any other. But standing out sharply above all other accomplishments mentioned was that of lielping others. It overshadowed thrift and excellence in school work and prowess in athletics and music. It was cited by a majority of both boys and girls.
"Giving my Liberty Bond to my sister