If there had been no real heroes there would have been created imaginary ones, for men cannot live without them. The hero is just as necessary as the farmer, the sailor, the carpenter and the doctor; society could not get on without him. There have been a great many different kinds of heroes, for in every age and among every people the hero has stood for the qualities that were most admired and sought after by the bravest and best; and all ages and peoples have imagined or produced heroes as inevitably as they have made ploughs for turning the soil or ships for getting through the water or weapons with which to fight their enemies. To be some kind of a hero has been the ambition of spirited boys from the beginning of history; and if you want to know what the men and women of a country care for most, you must study their heroes. To the boy the hero stands for the highest success: to the grown man and woman he stands for the deepest and richest life.
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About the Author
Hamilton Wright Mabie, A.M., L.H.D., LL.D. (December 13, 1846 - December 31, 1916) was an American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer.
He was born at Cold Spring, N. Y. in 1846. Mabie was the youngest child of Sarah Colwell Mabie who was from a wealthy Scottish-English family and Levi Jeremiah Mabie, whose ancestors were Scots-Dutch. They were early immigrants to New Amsterdam, New Netherland about 1647.
Due to business opportunities with the opening of the Erie Canal his family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was approaching school age. At the young age of 16 he passed his college entrance examination, but waited a year before he attended Williams College (1867) and the Columbia Law School (1869).
In 1890, a small collection of Mabie's essays which reflected upon life, literature and nature were published as a volume entitled My Study Fire".
He received honorary degrees from his own alma mater, from Union College, and from Western Reserve and Washington and Lee universities. Although he passed his bar exams in 1869 he hated both the study and practice of law.
In 1876 he married Jeanette Trivett. In the summer of 1879 he was hired to work at the weekly magazine, Christian Union (renamed The Outlook in 1893), an association that lasted until his death.