If, therefore, the fat man cannot work at physical labor, if he is not fitted for romance, if he is incapacitated by his love of the good things of life for severe mental labor, what can he do to fill his purse, supply his table, clothe his portly person, and surround himself with the elegancies and luxuries which are so dear to his heart?
Evidently the fat man found out long ago that the eager, active, restless, energetic, muscular, raw-boned soldier and workman was far more interested in the exercise of his muscles and in outdoor activity than he was in securing niceties and luxuries. He also learned that the thinker, the philosopher, the scientific experimenter, and all who took delight in mental effort were more deeply interested in their studies, in their research, in their philosophies, and in their religions than they were in money, food, clothing, and shelter. So he set about it, with his jovial personality, his persuasiveness, and keen sense of values, to organize the thinkers and philosophers under his direction, so that he could take and use for himself the product of their mental labors. He was perfectly willing to agree to feed and take care of them, to clothe and shelter them, in return for what they could give him. They didn’t eat much. They didn’t care much for fine clothing. They were perfectly satisfied in very plain and rather ascetic surroundings. They were, therefore, a rather inexpensive lot of people for him to keep.
Taking the plans, schemes, inventions, and discoveries from those who thought them out, the fat man carried them to the muscular fellows, who were just spoiling for a fight or for some opportunity to exercise their physical powers. These he organized into armies—to fight, to till the soil, and to build and manufacture. These armies carried out the ideas the fat man got for them from the lean and hungry thinkers. They gloried in hardship. They rather enjoyed roughing it, and took delight in privation. Therefore, they also were a comparatively easy burden on the hands of the fat man; who was thus enabled to sit upon a golden throne, in a comfortable palace, surrounded by all the beauties and luxuries gathered from the four winds, and enjoy himself while directing the work of both the intellectual giant and the physical giant.
Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Spencer, Emerson, and Bergson were philosophers, and were all lean and slender men. Lord Kelvin, Lister, Darwin, Curie, Francis Bacon, Michelson, Loeb, Burbank, and most of our other scientists are also of the thin, lean type. Shakespeare, Longfellow, Holmes, Ruskin, Tindall, Huxley, and a long list of other intellectual and spiritual writers were men who never put on much flesh. James Watt, Robert Fulton, Elias Howe, Eli Whitney, S.F.B.