It would, of course, be a serious mistake to assume that, because there are no titles and no theory of caste in the United States, there are no social distinctions worth the trouble of recognition. Besides the crudely obvious elevation of wealth and “smartness” already referred to, there are inner circles of good birth, of culture, and so on, which are none the less practically recognised because they are theoretically ignored. Of such are the old Dutch clans of New York, which still, I am informed, regard families like the Vanderbilts as upstarts and parvenues. In Chicago there is said to be an inner circle of forty or fifty families which is recognised as the “best society,” though by no means composed of the richest citizens. In Boston, though the Almighty Dollar now plays a much more important role than before, it is still a combination of culture and ancestry that sets the most highly prized hall-mark on the social items. And indeed the heredity of such families as the Quincys, the Lowells, the Winthrops, and the Adamses, which have maintained their superior position for generations, through sheer force of ability and character, without the external buttresses of primogeniture and entail, may safely measure itself against the stained lineage of many European families of high title. The very absence of titular distinction often causes the lines to be more clearly drawn; as Mr. Charles Dudley Warner says: “Popular commingling in pleasure resorts is safe enough in aristocratic countries, but it will not answer in a republic.” There is, however, no universal theory that holds good from New York to California; and hence the generalising foreigner is apt to see nothing but practical as well as theoretical equality.