North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   For years it has been so.  The word
politician has stunk in men's nostrils.  When I first visited New
York - Page 150
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For Years It Has Been So.

The word politician has stunk in men's nostrils.

When I first visited New York, some three years since, I was warned not to know a man, because he was a "politician." We in England define a man of a certain class as a blackleg. How has it come about that in American ears the word politician has come to bear a similar signification?

The material growth of the States has been so quick that the political growth has not been able to keep pace with it. In commerce, in education, in all municipal arrangements, in mechanical skill, and also in professional ability the country has stalked on with amazing rapidity; but in the art of governing, in all political management and detail, it has made no advance. The merchants of our country and of that country have for many years met on terms of perfect equality; but it has never been so with their statesmen and our statesmen, with their diplomatists and our diplomatists. Lombard Street and Wall Street can do business with each other on equal footing, but it is not so between Downing Street and the State office at Washington. The science of statesmanship has yet to be learned in the States, and certainly the highest lesson of that science, which teaches that honesty is the best policy.

I trust that the war will have left such a lesson behind it. If it do so, let the cost in money be what it may, that money will not have been wasted.

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