Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/102

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90
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

times — Cæsar, Napoleon, Washington, Lincoln, Grant—embodying to a supreme degree the traits previously admired in his acquaintances, supplant those nearer ideals whose imperfections are more easily perceived. Enthusiasms are aroused for those men who represent contemporary society. At fifteen years of age twenty-nine per cent of the boys and twenty per cent of the girls choose as ideals the statesmen, rulers, authors, artists, explorers, and philanthropists who are making the history of to-day. Two papers, written just before the last presidential election, emphasize this participation in social movements, often extremely partisan. A boy of thirteen

Chart No. II.—Ideal Attributes.

 
 
Seven years
of age.
Twelve years
of age.
Fifteen years
of age.
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
Goodness 25  23  22 
Goodness to self or class 27  4  0 
Truth and honesty 4  9  10 
Business and possessions 10  3  2 
Appearance 3  3  4 
The marvelous 12  1  0 
Feminine accomplishments 0  2  4 
Intellectual ability or accomplishment 3  10  12 
Bravery, freedom, adventure, war 3  10  12 
Discovery and invention 5  19  13 
Patriotism 2  1  0 
Leadership 0  6  10 
Miscellaneous 4  13  18 

writes: "William McKinley. Why? Because his whole career shows such a nobleness of character, such true patriotism, and such honest thought that history can not help but say that a grander, nobler man never breathed the breath of life."

Another boy of fifteen writes:

"William Jennings Bryan. The reason that I would like to resemble him is because I have seen and heard him, and that is what some of these 'gold people' can not say about McKinley.

"Because Bryan had too much dignity, and he went to the people and explained the 'Silver Question' to them.

"Bryan is but 36 years old. The youngest man that has ever been nominated for president of the United States.

"He is but one year past the limited age to be a candidate for president.

"Bryan is well proportioned and well built, a good looking gentleman, and one of the smartest men in the United States, or in fact in the whole world, and is, without any exceptions, the greatest orator on the face of the globe.

"He has made as many as twenty speeches in a single day.