Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
set. But the wealthiest hostesses
are proud to entertain Sarah
Bernhardt. Why? Because she
is the world's greatest actress?
No ! She might still be the great
est actress, but if she pulled down
$18 a week the doors of the rich
and great would be slammed in
"Why, I want to know, if this
rule applies to people in general,
does it not apply to pugilists in
particular? A champion of the
world must have talent. Once
champion, he gets the money.
Why does he not move in so
ciety? "Let me elaborate the point
further. If railroad presidents
got $2 a day, there would be plen
ty of section-hands willing to
take the job of the present head
of the Chicago & Milwaukee. But
if railroad presidents got $2 a
day, their duties would be com
mensurate with their pay.
"Within your recollection and
mine men fought for the price of
beer and beans.
"But the requirements of pug
ilism increased with the size. of
the purses. Young men began to
study the art and its applied
branches physical culture, an
atomy, and so on.
"If I may say without seeming
to boast," and here Mr. Corbett's
brashes were hidden by the rouge,
"I was one of the very first to
discover that a man needed, not
only brawn and courage, but
brains as well, to succeed in the
"One must think! An actor
memorizing a part has plenty of
time for thinking. A business
man even a risk-taking captain
of frenzied finance has five min
utes, at the very least, in which to
make up his mind as to the next
move in the game.
"But the world's champion,
fighting desperately to retain his
title, bone-tired, his wind gone, i
his brain a whirl, must think.
Not for an hour, not for five min
utes, or one minute, or even one
second. He must do all his
thinking in a 20th part of a sec
ond. "But if he thinks wrong, he is
a has-been and a failure.
"In what department of busi
ness, or science, or art, or sport,
is the need of rapid and accurate
thinking so great?
"Therefore, I tell you that the
day is coming and we will see it
when the champions of the
roped arena will be intellectual as
well as physical giants. They
will have the bodies of a Jeffries
and the minds of an Edison or a
Maxim or a Lombroso. They will
be as proud of their bulging'
brows as of their chest measure
ment. "And society will be compelled
to accept these champions on
equal terms, just as it now ac
cepts the corporation lawyers,
and the railroad presidents, and
the successful artists and actors.
For, to go .back to my original
contention, aristocracy is based
on dollars, and talent gets the
money every time.
"And now," concluded Mr. Cor
bett, "I must ask you to excuse
me. I go on next"