Money as inverse indicator of honorBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // August 16, 2012 in Attitude
I read some of William Dean Howells' Seven English Cities at the Seattle Public Library last week. Below is an excerpt I saved to share on this blog.
In the last chapter of the book, he notes the esteem in which the English aristocracy is held, and contrasts that with the censure and popular ridicule reserved in America for those who are extremely rich.
This book was published in 1909. A lot has changed in the last 100 years, both in England and in America.
Here's that excerpt:
"We think that family counts for much with ourselves, in New England or in Virginia; but it counts for nothing at all in comparison with the face value at which it is current in England. We think we are subject to our plutocracy, when we are very much out of humor or out of heart, in some such measure as the commoners of England are subject to the aristocracy; but that is nonsense. A very rich man with us is all the more ridiculous for his more millions; he becomes a byword if not a hissing; he is the meat of the paragrapher, the awful example of the preacher; his money is found to smell of his methods. But in England, the greater a nobleman is, the greater his honor."
Photo: Liam Cooke / Flickr.