Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/491

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475
HYPOCRISY AS A SOCIAL DEBASER.

curtains that shade our windows and form the drapery of our doors and parlors, the stockings on our feet and the mittens on our hands, the knitted underwear that guards us from la grippe, the dresses in which our wives and mothers do their shopping, the clothes that we wear, the overcoatings and even the overshoes necessitated by our inclement winters, the bunting that we display on the house-tops on the national holidays—everywhere we utilize wool, and the more of the wool and the less of cotton, silk, linen, or other fibers used in all these ways, the warmer, the healthier, the more endurable, the more satisfactory is the result.

It would be interesting, had we not already far outstripped the bounds of a magazine article, to follow the manufacture into these subordinate branches, which are more numerous than in any other industry, and several of which, particularly the manufacture of carpets and of knit goods, present unique phases of development which have not even been hinted at in these pages. Enough has been said to show that the ancient myth of the golden fleece was prophetic of an industry which has added fabulous wealth to the world, and which will continue to supply increasing employment to labor and increasing employment to capital through all time to come.

 

HYPOCRISY AS A SOCIAL DEBASER.
By Dr. R. W. CONANT.

IT is difficult to decide whether the author of Hypocrisy as a Social Elevator is to be taken seriously. That a thoughtful and conscientious man who knows the meaning of hypocrisy could seriously advocate a doctrine so Machiavellian is the worst horn of a dilemma, and it seems more likely that he is simply trying to "raise a breeze." Indeed, this would be rather implied by his final statement, that he "calmly awaits the vehement chorus of dissent from this proposition."

Hypocrisy is, indeed, an indisputable fact, ancient as Adam and Cain and world-wide; but any claim that this detestable tendency of human nature is a social elevator requires a reply, if only because some persons rather weak on their moral and intellectual pins, particularly among the young, might take these sophistries seriously, to their own great loss and detriment.

In the first place, our advocate of hypocrisy seems unaware of the meaning of the word. It is from the Greek, "to question and answer," as actors on the stage; hence, to play a part, and especially to pretend to be better than one is in virtue or religion. What has this in common with the abstinence which Hamlet recommends to his mother in the extract which Mr. McElroy