The Secrets of the Great City, James Dabney McCabe
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The Secrets of the Great City

The following incident will show how money is worshipped in New York: A gentleman, now one of the wealthiest men of the city, some years ago found himself well off in worldly goods. He was the possessor of one million of dollars. He was living at that time in a modest house, in a modest street, and was anxious to get into society. In order to do this, he resolved to give a ball, and invite the wealthiest and oldest families in New York. These people were his customers in business; and he supposed they would not object to receiving his hospitality. He was, unlike most of those who worship society, a man of real merit. His invitations were issued, and at the appointed time his mansion was made ready for a magnificent entertainment, but, though the family waited, and the rooms were kept lighted until the “wee hours of the morning,” not a single one of those, to whom the invitations were sent, put in an appearance during the evening. The mortification of the would-be host and family, was intense, and it is said that he swore a mighty oath that he would acquire wealth and luxury, sufficient to compel the intimacy of those who had scorned him because he was less fortunate than themselves. He kept his word, and today he stands at the head of that class to which he once aspired in vain.
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