Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

lives the rates of mortality would be by which the company contracts to pay,
less than by ordinary statistics; and on the death of the assured, the sum
this is confirmed by the published ex- named in the policy, to the person in
perience of many companies. Here we whose behalf the assurance is made.
find a third source of profit.

In mutual (cash) companies, when In these three ways, and others in the premium has been paid in full for cidental to the business, it happens about sixteen years, judging from past that all corporations managed with or- experience, the policy-holder may exdinary prudence accumulate a much pect that his annual dividend on policy larger capital than is needed for future and additions will exceed the annual losses. The advocates of the stock premium, thus obviating the necessity plan contend that, by a low rate of of further payments to the company, premium, they furnish their assured while his policy annually increases in with a full equivalent for that division amount for the remainder of life. But, of profits which is the special boast on the contrary, when the dividends of other companies. In a corporation have been anticipated, as in the note purely mutual, the whole surplus is system, by giving a note for part of the periodically applied to the benefit of premium, the policy-holder insuring in the assured, either by a dividend in this way, although he may at first recash, or by equitable additions to the ceive a larger policy than he has the amount assured without increase of ability to pay for in cash, may lose the premium, or by deducting from future chief benefit of life insurance. For premiums, while the amount assured should he become unable, either by remains the same. The advantages age, disease, or loss of property, to of the latter system must be evident continue the payment of his premiums, to every one.

his policy must lapse, because there is It is of course important in all com- no accumulation of profits to his credit panies, whether mutual or not, that the on which it can be continued. officers should be men of integrity, sa- In other forms of life policies, called gacity, and financial experience, as well “Non-forfeitable," premiums are made as that due precautions should be tak payable in “one," “ five,” or “ten” anen in the care and investment of the nual payments. In all cash companies, company's fund; and it is now proved and in some of the note companies, by experience in this country, that, after the specified number of premiums when a company is thus managed, so have been paid, the policy-holder draws regular are the rates of mortality, so an annual dividend in cash. efficient the safeguards derived from A further advantage arising from this the selection of lives, the assumption plan is, that the policy-holder, at any of low rates of interest, and the load time after two annual payments have ing of premiums, that no company, been made, is always entitled to a when once well established, has ever "paid-up" policy for as many “fifths" met with disaster. On the other hand, or “tenths ” of the sum assured as he there has been a rapid accretion of shall have paid annual premiums. For funds, in some instances to the amount example: a “five-annual-payment poliof many millions of dollars. The char- cy" for $10,000, on which three premiacteristics of a good company are secu- ums had been paid, would entitle the rity and assurance at cost. It should holder to a “paid-up policy” for $6,000; sell, not policies merely, but assur- a "ten-annual - payment policy” for ance; and it should not make a profit $10,000, on which three payments had for the capitalist out of the widow and been made, would entitle the holder to orphan.

$3,000; and so on for any number of The policies issued by life companies payments and for any amount, in acvary in their form and nature. The cordance with the face of the policy. ordinary one is called the life policy, Another form is denominated the En

STANFORD LIBRANES

dowment Policy, in which the amount advantages which life assurance has assured is payable when the party at conferred upon the public, especially tains a certain age, or at death, should in America, whose middle classes, amhe die before reaching that age. This bitiously living up to their income, policy is rapidly gaining favor, as it pro- are rich mostly in their labor and their vides for the man himself in old age, or homesteads,- in their earnings rather for his family in case of his death. It than their savings; and whose wealthy is also fast becoming a favorite form of classes are rich chiefly through the investment. We can show instances giddy uncertainties of speculation, where the policy-holders have received magnificent to-day, in ruins to-morrow. a surplus above all they have paid to In a country like this, no one can estithe company, with compound interest mate the amount of comfort secured by at six per cent, and no charge what investment in life assurance. It is the ever for expenses or cost of insurance one measure of thrift which remains meanwhile.

to atone for our extravagance in living The Term Policy, as its name im- and recklessness in trade. plies, is issued for a term of one or Henry Ward Beecher spoke wisely more years.

when he advised all men to seek life Policies are also issued on joint lives, assurance. He says : payable at the death of the first of two “It is every man's duty to provide or more parties named in the policy; for his family. That provision must and on survivorship, payable to a party include its future contingent condition. named in case he survives another. That provision, in so far as it is mate

Some companies require all pre- rial, men ordinarily seek to secure by miums to be paid in cash, while others their own accumulations and investtake the note of the assured in part ments. But all these are uncertain. payment. These are denominated cash The man that is rich to-day, by causes and note companies, and much differ- beyond his reach is poor to-morrow. ence of opinion exists as to their com- A war in China, a revolution in Euparative merits.

rope, a rebellion in America, overrule The latter is at first sight an attrac- ten thousand fortunes in every comtive system, and its advocates present mercial community. many specious arguments in its favor. “But in life assurance there are no The friends of cash payments, however, risks or contingencies. Other investcontend that the note system is detri- ments may fail. A house may burn mental and delusive, from the fact that down. Banks may break and their these notes are liable to assessment, stock be worthless. Bonds and mortand, in case of death, to be deducted gages may be seized for debt, and all from the amount assured ; also that property or evidences of property may the notes accumulate as the years roll fall into the bottomless gulf of bankon, the interest growing annually lar- ruptcy. But money secured to your ger, and the total cash payment con- family by life assurance will go to them sequently heavier, while the actual without fail or interruption, provided amount of assurance, that is, the dif- you have used due discretion in the ference between its nominal amount selection of a sound and honorable asand the sum of the notes, steadily less- surance company. Of two courses, one ens; and thus a provision for one's of which may leave your family destifamily gradually changes into a burden tute, and the other of which assures upon one's self.

them a comfortable support at your But whatever differences of opinion decease, can there be a doubt which may exist as to the comparative value is to be chosen ? Can there be a doubt of various systems, few will deny the about duty ?"

A DISTINGUISHED CHARACTER.

TN order to prevent conjectures which as many of my admirers no doubt re-
I might not be entirely pleasant to member, - I soon perceived the un-
one or two persons whom I have in my stable character of my reputation. I
mind, I prefer to state, at once and was at the mercy of the next man who
frankly, that I, Dionysius Green, am should succeed in inventing a new
the author of this article. It requires slang, or a funnier way of spelling.
some courage to make this avowal, I These things, in literature, are like
am well aware ; and I am prepared to "fancy drinks” among the profane.
experience a rapid diminution of my They tickle the palates of the multi-
present rather extensive popularity. tude for a while, but they don't wear
One result I certainly foresee, namely, like the plain old beverages. I saw
a great falling-off in the number of ap- very plainly, that much more was to
plications for autographs (“accompa be gained, in the long run, by plant-
nied with a sentiment'), which I daily ing myself — not with a sudden and
receive ; possibly, also, fewer invita- startling jump, but by a graceful,
tions to lecture before literary societies cautious pirouette – upon a basis of
next winter. Fortunately, my recent the Moral and the Didactic. I should
marriage enables me to dispense with thus reach a class of slow, but very
a large portion of my popularity, with tough stomachs, which would require
out great inconvenience ; or, rather, I ample time to assimilate the food I in-
am relieved from the very laborious tended to offer. If this were some-
necessity of maintaining it in the face what crude, that would be no ob-
of so many aggressive rivalries.

jection whatever : they always mistake The day may arrive, therefore, when their mental gripings for the process I shall cease to be a Distinguished of digestion. Why, bless your souls ! Character. Since I have admitted this I have known Tupper's “ Proverbial much, I may as well confess that my Philosophy" to fill one of them to rereputation - enviable as it may be pletion, for the space of ten years ! considered by the public — is of that I owe this resolution to my natural kind which seems to be meant to run acuteness of perception, but my sucfor a certain length of time, at the ex- cess in carrying it into execution was piration whereof it must be wound up partly the result of luck. The field, again. I was fortunate enough to dis- now occupied by such a crowd, (I name cover this secret betimes, and I have no names,) was at that time nearly since then known several amiable and clear; and I managed to shift my cosworthy persons to slip out of sight, tume before the public fairly knew from the lack of it. There was Mr. what I was about. I found, indeed,

for example, whose comic ar- that a combination of the two styles ticles shook the fat sides of the na- enabled me to retain much of my old tion for one summer, and whose pseu- audience while acquiring the new. It donyme was in everybody's mouth. was like singing a hymn of serious Alas! what he took for perpetual mo- admonition to a lively, rattling tune. tion was but an eight-day clock, and One is diverted: there is a present I need not call your attention to the sense of fun, while a gentle feeling of present dead and leaden stillness of its the grave truths inculcated lingers in pendulum.

one's mind afterwards. The pious can Although my earliest notoriety was find no fault with the matter, nor the achieved in very much the same way,-- profane with the manner. Instead of that is, by a series of comic sketches, approaching the moral consciousness

STANFORD LIBRARSS

of one's readers with stern, lugubrious I gain in sound knowledge and indecountenance, and ponderous or lamen- pendent common-sense,) I should like table voice, you make your appearance to describe, for the contemplation of with a smile and a joke, punch the future ages, some of the penalties atreader playfully in the ribs, and say, as tached to popularity at present. it were, “ Ha ! ha! I've a good thing I was weak enough, I admit, to be to tell you !” Although I have many immensely delighted with the first imitators, some of whom have attained which I experienced, - not foreseeing an excellence in the art which may be whitherward they led. The timid, enconsidered classic, yet I may fairly thusiastic notes of girls of fifteen, with claim to have originated this branch of the words “sweet” and “exquisite," literature, and, while it retains its pres- duly underscored, the letters of asent unbounded popularity, my name piring boys, enclosing specimens of cannot wholly perish.

their composition, and the touching Nevertheless, greatness has its draw. pleas of individuals of both sexes, in backs. I appeal to all distinguished reduced circumstances, were so many authors, from Tupper to Weenie Wil- evidences of success, which I hugged lows, to confirm the truth of this asser- to my bosom. Reducing the matter to tion. I have sometimes, especially of statistics, I have since ascertained that late, doubted seriously whether it is a about one in ten of these letters is dicgood thing to be distinguished. Alas! tated either by honest sympathy, the my dear young gentleman and lady, warm, uncritical recognition of youth whose albums would be so dismally in- (which I don't suppose any author complete without my autograph (" ac- would diminish, if he could), or the companied with a sentiment"), would craving for encouragement, under unthat you could taste the bitter with the propitious circumstances of growth. sweet, - the honey and aloes of an But how was I, in the beginning, to American author's life! At first, it is guess at the motives of the writers? exceedingly pleasant. You are like a They offered sugar-plums, which I newly-hatched chicken, or a pup at the swallowed without a suspicion of the end of his nine-days' blindness. You drastic ingredients so many of them are petted, and stroked, and called sweet contained. Good Mrs. Sigourney kept names, and fed with dainties, and carried a journal of her experiences in this in the arms of the gentlemen, and cud- line. I wish I had done the same. dled in the laps of the ladies. But The young lady correspondent, I when you get to be a big dog or a full- find, in most cases replies to your regrown game-cock, take care! If peo- ply, proposing a permanent correspondple would but fancy that you still wore ence. The young gentleman, who deyour down or silken skin, they might sires, above all things, your “candid continue to be delighted with every opinion of the poems enclosed, - be gambol of your fancy. But they sus- sure and point out the faults, and how pect pin-feathers and bristles, whether they can be improved," — is highly inthe latter grow or not; and, after do- dignant when you take him at his word, ing their best to spoil you, they sud- and do so. You receive a letter of denly demand the utmost propriety of defence and explanation, showing that behavior. However, let me not antici- what you consider to be faults are not pate. I can still call myself, without such. Moreover, his friends have asthe charge of self-flattery, a Distin- sured him that the poem which you guished Character ; at least I am told advise him to omit is one of his finest so, every day, each person who makes things! The distressed aspirant for the remark supposing that it is an en- literary fame, who only requests that tirely original and most acceptable com- you shall read and correct his or her pliment. While this distinction lasts, manuscript, procure a publisher, and (for I find that I lose it in proportion as prefix a commendatory notice, signed

Wall

with your name, to the work, writes " I thought you were aware that poets
that he or she is at last undeceived in are bound to no rules !”.
regard to the character of authors. “I What could I do with such a man ?
thank you, Mr. Green, for the lesson! What, indeed, but to return him the
The remembrance of your former strug- manuscript with that combined gentle-
gles is happily effaced in your present ness and grace which I have endeav-
success. It is hard for a heart throb- ored to cultivate in my demeanor, and
bing with warmth to be chilled, and a to suggest, in the tenderest way, that
guileless confidence in human brother- he should be content to write, and not
hood to be crushed forever! I will publish? He got up, stiffened his back-
strive to bury my disappointed hopes bone, placed his conventional hat hard
in my own darkened bosom; and that upon his head, gave a look of mingled
you may be saved from the experience mortification and wrath, and hurried
which you have prepared for another, away without saying a word. That
is the wish of, Sir, yours, "

man, I assure you, will be my secret
For a day or two I went about with a enemy to the day of his death. He is
horrible feeling of dread and remorse. no doubt a literary authority in a small
I opened the morning paper with circle of equal calibre. When my name
trembling hands, and only breathed is mentioned, he will sneer down my
freely when I found no item headed rising fame, and his sneer will control
“Suicide" in the columns. A year the sale of half a dozen copies of my
afterwards, chance threw me in the last volume.
way of my broken-hearted victim. I This is a business view of the sub-
declare to you I never saw a better ject, I grant; but then I have always
specimen of gross animal health. She followed literature with an eye to busi-
- no, he (on second thoughts, I won't ness. The position of a popular writer
say which) — was at an evening party, is much more independent than that of
laughing boisterously, with a plate of a teacher or a clergyman, for which
chicken-salad in one hand and a glass reason I prefer it. The same amount
of champagne in the other.

of intellect, made available in a differOne of my first admirers was a ent way, will produce material results gentleman of sixty, who called upon just as satisfactory. Compensation, me with a large roll of manuscript. however, is the law of the world ; He had retired from business two hence I must pay for my indepenyears before, so he informed me, and, dence; and this adventure with the old having always been a great lover of gentleman is one of the many forms poetry, he determined to fill up the in which the payment is made. tedium of his life of ease by writing When the applications for autosome for himself. Now everybody graphs first began to pour in upon knows that I am not a poet, - the few me, I gladly took a sheet of Delarue's patriotic verses which I wrote during creamiest note-paper and wrote therethe war having simply been the result on an oracular sentence from one of of excitement, - and why should he my most popular papers. After a while apply to me? O, there was a great my replies degenerated to "Sincerely, deal of poetry in my prose, he said. Your Friend, Dionysius Green," and My didactic paper called “Wait for finally, (daily blessings come at last to the Wagon!” showed such a knowl- be disregarded,) no application was faedge of metaphor ! I looked over the vored, which did not enclose a postageinnumerable leaves, here and there stamp. When some school-boy reventuring the remark that “rain" and quested an autograph, “accompanied * shame" were not good rhymes, and with a sentiment,” and forwarded slips that my friend's blank verse had now of paper on behalf of “ two other boys,” and then lines of four and six feet. I sometimes lost my patience, and left “ Poetic license, sir ! " was the reply. the letters unanswered for a month at

STANFORD LIBRANES

« FöregåendeFortsätt »