who has acquired a wide reputation as a great preacher, even though his utterances may be very commonplace and would be so regarded if they came from an obscure man. Eminence gives to a person s utterances extraordinary weight even about matters concerning which he has no ex pert knowledge or special skill. Distinction, reputation, high position give authority, predispose people to belief, tend to allay doubts and questionings, and induce uncritical acceptance of the statements which come from so impres sive a source. It is a popular susceptibility to this form of suggestion which gives to great leaders in any line of thought or activity a power over the uncultured populace that is so extensive, so absolute and so permanent, and that is often so sadly in excess of their personal worth and abil ity. A man of mediocre ability may by shrewd self-adver tisement acquire on this ground an authority in religious and political bodies which would be laughable were it not so serious in its practical import. Sometimes a veritable char latan secures in this way a greater influence over many peo ple than men of sound character and ripe wisdom can ac quire. It would, however, be a capital mistake to draw from these facts an inference prejudicial to democracy; for we must remember that under a system of absolutism the monarch by reason of his exaltation possesses extravagant suggestive power over the masses of the people, and at the same time is, himself, by the very conditions of his life and training, often peculiarly suggestible along certain lines ; and cunning self-seekers flourish by exploiting this weakness of the sovereign, and their machinations are carried on in secret and are not given the publicity which they cannot wholly avoid in a democracy. Sooner or later publicity will destroy the power of a mere demagogue. " You can not fool all the people all the time."
Often, however, a man s suggestive power rests upon a foundation more secure than mere reputation or popular prestige. It may be the result of some peculiar and unde- finable quality of his personality. Some men have a strange