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Page 36


Speaking of this class,” said Dr. Spooner, “I am
delighted to acknowledge their excellence, and would
go far to shake such by the hand; but perhaps my estimate
of the whole-souledness of the individual might be
different from yours, for my comprehension demands
quality, as an essential element of the whole. A whole-souled
man, as some of you seem to regard it, is one of
warm, impulsive nature, open-handed and lavish; qualities,
I grant ye, that are essential,—for soul is feeling, and
not a merely cold mechanism; but generosity must be
a thing of principle as well as natural impulse — the
spiritual man in harmony with the natural man. This
leads to acts that insure the title of whole-souled fellow.
In one case, a fellow may be whole-souled in companionship,
and spend money as freely as water with you,
but his soul is vitiated; another may be generous to a
fault, and an admiring world approve him and say he is
a whole-souled fellow, but look through him a little, and
you will find a great under-current of selfishness, that,
were it known, would detract from the general admiration.
I know one who bears the reputation, who is really
a very good fellow, socially, that employs hundreds of
girls at starvation rates in the manufacture of garments,
and makes a princely salary at the expense of their life
and comfort. Though nominally a whole-souled fellow,
any man who thus for his own gain will sacrifice
others is egregiously flattered by the imputation. So
of those who give largely of money that they cannot
spend. There is no soul in it. There is craft in it,
that assumes the form of soul, which men materially
cased regard as soul, through their dim spiritual spectacles.
The widow's mite that was cast into the treasury
swells to a mountain, in comparison with such an act.


Page 37
The whole-souled fellow that I believe in is he who,
warmed by natural kindness, blossoms out and fructifies
in justice and right, ignoring self, and struggling continually
for human betterment, from the betterment law
existing in himself — whose life is a continued example
of persistent generosity.” Well, what 's the use of
talking about what everybody knows? And yet there
may be some whole-souled fellows who are not entitled
to so generous or good an appellation.