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Summer Rest
by [?]

To these men, a Summer School of philosophy or theology, or anything else, must be repose of the best sort. It gives light work of the kind they love, free from all nagging, and in good air and fine scenery. At such schools, too, one finds uses for “papers” that no periodical will print, and which no audience would assemble to listen to in a city in the busy part of the year, and to many men an audience of any sort, interested or uninterested, is a great luxury.

The persons who perhaps find it hardest to get rest in summer are brokers. Their activity in their business and the excitement attending it are so great, that quiet to them, more than to most other men, is a hell; so that their vacation is a problem not easy of solution, except to the rich ones, who have yachts and horses without limit. Even to those, every day of a vacation has to be full of movement and change. An hour not filled by some sort of activity, spent on a piazza or under a tree, is to them an hour wasted. A land where it was always afternoon would be to them the most “odious section of country” on earth. The story of one of them, who in Rome lost flesh through pining for “the corner of Wall and William,” is well known. Such a man finds nearly all summer resorts vanity and vexation of spirit, because none of them provides excitement. The class known as financiers, such as presidents of banks and insurance companies, is much better off, because it has Saratoga. Its members have generally reached the time of life when men love to sit still, and when the liver is torpid, and they are generally men of means, and wear black broadcloth at all seasons, as being what they have from their youth considered outward and visible signs of “respectability” in the financial sense. What they need is a place where they can have their livers roused without exercise, and this the mineral water does for them; where they can see a good deal going on and many evidences of wealth, without moving from their chairs; and where their financial standing will follow them; and for this there is perhaps no place in the country like Saratoga. Newport has not nearly as much solidity. It is brighter and gayer and more select, but though it contains enormous fortunes, a great fortune does not here do so much for a man. It has to bear the competition of youth and beauty and polo and lawn-tennis. The young man with little besides a polo pony, an imported racquet, and good looks counts for a good deal at Newport; at Saratoga he would be nobody.