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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

"The Tragedy of a Millionaire." (S555a: 1898)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: One of a number of commentaries responding to a previously appearing article by William Clarke. Printed in the 24 November 1898 issue of The Independent (New York); Wallace's remarks were recorded first, on page 1470. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S555A.htm

By Alfred Russell Wallace.

    I have read Mr. Clarke's article with pleasure, but I do not think the subject is treated in the most judicious manner. All the references to philosophers and saints who lived without even the necessaries and decencies of life are completely out of place now, when civilization is so complex; and it is, I think, calculated to excite prejudice against the whole article. To quote the deaths of the Roman emperors and of the Medici as results of riches, is also beside the question. The latter part of the article is excellent in tone, but the writer seems afraid to say what he thinks, or even to suggest any definite lines of reform. Such timidity renders the article, in my opinion, valueless. It is mere preaching--and, however good, will be dismissed as most preaching is. The present social system necessarily breeds the millionaire and the pauper. The system must be altered if any good is to be done.

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