A Poor Wise Man HTML version
citizen. He was one of the committee to welcome the Prince of Wales to the city,
and from the very beginning he took his place in the social life.
He found it very raw at times, crude and new. He himself lived with dignity and
elegant simplicity. He gave now and then lengthy, ponderous dinners, making out
the lists himself, and handing them over to his timid English wife in much the
manner in which he gave the wine list and the key to the wine cellar to the butler.
And, at the head of his table, he let other men talk and listened. They talked,
those industrial pioneers, especially after the women had gone. They saw the city
the center of great business and great railroads. They talked of its coal, its river,
and the great oil fields not far away which were then in their infancy. All of them
dreamed a dream, saw a vision. But not all of them lived to see their dream come
Old Anthony lived to see it.
In the late eighties, his wife having been by that time decorously interred in one
of the first great mausoleums west of the mountains, Anthony Cardew found
himself already wealthy. He owned oil wells and coal mines. His mines supplied
his coke ovens with coal, and his own river boats, as well as railroads in which he
was a director, carried his steel.
He labored ably and well, and not for wealth alone. He was one of a group of big-
visioned men who saw that a nation was only as great as its industries. It was
only in his later years that he loved power for the sake of power, and when,
having outlived his generation, he had developed a rigidity of mind that made him
view the forced compromises of the new regime as pusillanimous.
He considered his son Howard's quiet strength weakness. "You have no
stamina," he would say. "You have no moral fiber. For God's sake, make a stand,
you fellows, and stick to it."
He had not mellowed with age. He viewed with endless bitterness the passing of
his own day and generation, and the rise to power of younger men; with their
"shilly-shallying," he would say. He was an aristocrat, an autocrat, and a survival.
He tied Howard's hands in the management of the now vast mills, and then
blamed him for the results.
But he had been a great man.
He had had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl had been the tragedy of his
middle years, and Howard had been his hope.
On the heights outside the city and overlooking the river he owned a farm, and
now and then, on Sunday afternoons in the eighties, he drove out there, with
Howard sitting beside him, a rangy boy in his teens, in the victoria which Anthony