National Geographic : 1899 Jun
204 NATIONAL GROWTH AND NATIONAL CHARACTER in any other progressive nation, that in average expectation of life as in stature the American leads the world, and that even in this active land ten men rust out where one wears out. The faint-hearted shudder at the figment of Wall street and the phantom of the monopoly; they forget that the multi-million aire's daughter becomes an angel of mercy whose beneficence softens hundreds of sick-beds and lengthens scores of lives, and that the best organized American monopoly founds a university whence a thousand students go forth annually to diffuse higher knowledge and better capacity for self-support among a hundred thousand countrymen. Pessimists cower before the formless monster of political corruption which they conceive to gnaw at the vitals of our national institutions ; they forget that the exec utive of the state containing our so-called corrupt metropolis was elected on the sole platform of honest manhood, and that our present Chief Executive is one to whom, more than any predecessor, the will of the people is law. Today the trembling ones shrink shrieking at the self-conjured ghost of imperial ism, as if empire could grow in freedom's soil, as if the bright winged papilio of constitutional law might, forsooth, creep back to the chrysalis where the monarchical pupa grew in centuries past; these do more than forget-they never knew that the cul ture-plane of constitutional control is so far above that of impe rial rule that the subject of empires can never see its inspiring expanse; they ignore the Law of Human Progress (seen through the coordination of other sciences in the Science of Man) under which humanity moves, in ways orderly as planetary orbits or vital stages, from savagery into barbarism, thence into civiliza tion, and finally into enlightenment, never dropping backward save by extinction; they comprehend not the full significance of humanity's law, vaguely expressed as " manifest destiny," which proves that imperialism is impossible on the plane of en lightenment, and that the peoples of the earth are steadily rising from plane to plane with the certainty of ultimate union on the highest of the series. Would that the ever-present prophet of evil might always fail of honor in his own country ! " Take up the White Man's burden," chants the bard of his generation in the ballad of the century : " Take up the White Man's burden- The savage wars of peace Fill full the mouth of Famine, And bid the sickness cease."