CHAPTER X 

 moral nature of Frank Cowperwood may, at 
this juncture, be said to have had no material or 
spiritual existence.. He had never had, so far as he had 
reasoned at all, a fixed attitude in regard to anything 
except preserving himself intact and succeeding. His 
father talked, or had in earlier years, of business honor, 
commercial integrity, and so forth. Frank thought of 
this a long time at odd moments. What was honor? He 
had never been able to define it. Men seemed to think it 
referred to some state of mind which would not allow a 
man to take undue advantage of another; but life, ex- 
perience, taught and were teaching him something dif- 
ferent. Honor was almost, he thought, a figment of the 
brain. If it referred to anything, it referred to force, 
generosity, power; but these were not rules of conduct, 
but terms of temperament and condition. A man might 
be generous at times, and at such times be honorable; 
but he might not, on the face of things, be able at other 
times to be generous. Then he would not be honorable. 
Or, there were times, such as in the days of panic, when 
honor would ultimately accrue most to him who held his 
own. There was no honor for the failure. Like Tighe, 
when appealed to, a man had better say "I can't" or "I 
won't" firmly and let it go at that. You couldn't be gen- 
erous or kind in times of stress. Look at the conditions 
on the stock exchange. 
Here men came down to the basic facts of lifeā€”the 
necessity of self care and protection. There was no talk, 
or very little there, of honor. There were rules of conduct 
which men observed because they had to. So far as he 
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