“Old Bill” Suggests—
Reflecting on the needs of the world the other evening—a pleasant task, particularly before an open fire, and cheered by the knowledge that like criticisms of the weather, no one will do anything about it—we came to the conclusion that few things are as valuable today as the study of history.
Unfortunately, few textbooks bring out enough of the real reasons for the changes they recite. Out of 1,000 students of the battle of Marathon and the action at Salamis hardly one can be found who knows of the silver mines which furnished the wealth of Athens.
Our civil war has been studied until it is almost threadbare, but a Chicago business man who had spent at least a year in college dropped a $100,000,000 fortune in 1921 because he could not realize that the economic trend after the world war would follow the same trend as finance in America after the earlier conflict.
“Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur”—change but the name, the story’s told of you, as Horace points out. The two keys to advance are a knowledge of what has been tried before and a willingness to experiment guardedly with the new in the light of what has already taken place.