Bootstrap-lifting? says the reader. It is a vision I have seen: upon a vast plain, men and women are gathered in dense throngs, crouched in uncomfortable and distressing positions, their fingers hooked in the straps of their boots. They are engaged in lifting themselves; tugging and straining until they grow red in the face, exhausted. The perspiration streams from their foreheads, they show every symptom of distress; the eyes of all are fixed, t upon each other, r upon their boot-straps, but upon the sky above. There is a look of rapture upon their faces, and w and then, amid grunts and groans, they cry out with excitement and triumph. I approach one and say to him, Friend, what is this you are doing?