The reason why we see that people of the greatest capacity are not rich, is either they despise wealth in comparison to something else, or, they are not content in getting an estate, unless they may do it in their own way, while at the same time enjoying all the pleasures and gratitude's of life.
The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away unwept, unhonored, and unsung, no matter to what uses he leave the dross which he cannot take with him. Of such as these the public verdict will then be: The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced. Such, in my opinion, is the true gospel concerning wealth, obedience to which is destined some day to solve the problem of the rich and the poor.
Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth.
The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power's sake... but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one's own rules.
There are many definite methods, honest and dishonest, which make people rich; the only instinct I know of which does it is that instinct which theological Christianity crudely describes as the sin of avarice.
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.
What is the most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.