Whereas this ebook is certainly not well-known it's a awesome probability to examine the United States of 1914 in the course of the eyes of an intruder.
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A man may become the chief ruler for a few years, but after leaving the White House he reverts to private citizenship; if he is a lawyer he may practise and appear before a judge, whom he appointed while he was president. There a woman may become a lawyer and plead a case before a court of justice on behalf of a male client; there freedom of speech and criticism are allowed to the extreme limit, and people are liable to be annoyed by slanders and libels without much chance of obtaining satisfaction; there you will see women wearing "Merry Widow" hats who are not widows but spinsters, or married women whose husbands are very much alive, and the hats in many cases are as large as three feet in diameter;*** there you may travel by rail most comfortably on palace cars, and at night you may sleep on Pullman cars, to find in the morning that a young lady has been sleeping in the berth above your bed.
Particular care is taken not to use a name which has a bad meaning. In Washington I once met a man in an elevator whose name was "Coffin". Was I to be blamed for wondering if the elevator would be my coffin? On another occasion I met a man whose name was "Death", and as soon as I heard his name I felt inclined to run away, for I did not wish to die. I am not superstitious. I have frequently taken dinner with thirteen persons at the table, and I do not hesitate to start on a journey on a Friday.
Still, on account of the small salaries paid, it is not to be wondered at that exceptionally good men cannot be induced to accept official positions. I have known several Cabinet Ministers who, after holding their offices for two or three years, were obliged to resign and resume their former business, and a President has been known to experience great difficulty in getting good and competent men to succeed them. These remarks do not apply to the President, not because the President's salary is large, for compared with what European Kings and Emperors receive it is very small, but because the position is, far and above any other, the largest gift the people can bestow.