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Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia, and then come back and tell you there is no such man. 10 Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the law of average, I will not.
Now if you are wise, you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C's, not in the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never 15 mind," and go look it up yourself.
And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for 20 themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night holds many a worker to his place.
Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten 25 who apply can neither spell nor punctuate, and do not think it necessary to. Can such a one write a letter to Garcia ?
"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.
"Yes, what about him?”
"Well, he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all
right, and, on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."
Can such a man be intrusted to carry a message to 5 Garcia ?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweatshop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," and with it all often go many hard 10 words for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne'er-dowells to do intelligent work; and his long, patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back 15 is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant
weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times 20 are, this sorting continues; only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer; and out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best,—those who can carry a message 25 to Garcia.
I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his em30 ployer is oppressing, or intending to oppress, him. He cannot give orders, and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."
Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick- 5 soled No. 9 boot.
Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are 10 not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.
Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds,the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others and, having succeeded, finds there's nothing in 20 it, nothing but bare board and clothes.
I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for day's wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recom- 25 mendation; and all employers are not rapacious and highhanded, any more than all men are virtuous.
My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly 30 takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets
"laid off" nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long, anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him 5 go. He is wanted in every city, town, and village-in every office, shop, store, and factory. The world cries out for such; he is needed, and needed badly,—the man who can carry a message to Garcia.
SUBJECTS FOR THEMES AND TALKS
My ambition in life
How I lost my job
Dowdy indifference in mathematics
Habits I ought to break
Habits I should acquire
Catching hold and lifting on the farm
(in the shop or home)
Why I am rarely late at school
My boss at the store
My opportunities for making good
How I succeeded with my garden
How I could earn a livelihood
An important errand
A Rowan on our school team
After I graduate
Why I should like to be a soldier
Studying my job
What I know about Cuba
A lesson in thrift
My Ambition in Life.
2. The encouragement I have received
b. From my teachers and relatives.
3. The qualities that will win success.
5. The obstacles to be overcome.
6. The preparations I am now making
b. At home.
c. In leisure time.
7. The inducements it offers in
8. The leaders in this field.
9. The lessons to be learned from their lives.
Resolved, That the army offers a better career than the navy.