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must become exceedingly strong to undertake such new duties, in addition to many of its old ones? And may we not argue with certainty, from the checks which society, as it now is, puts on the occasional violence and arbitrary power of the state, that, when society is stripped of its force in opinion and in action, a vast increase of independence, even a despotical sway, must be gained by the state from this source also?
The state, then, under socialism must become strong and uncontrollable, not only because new offices are committed to it, but also because these offices are taken away from society and from its individual members, who now will no longer be able to oppose, or correct, or enlighten the state in favor of the interests of general society. What the form of the state in its socialistic era would be is of little importance. The essential characteristic is that it must become all but unlimited; and our readers are well aware that all unlimited governments are more like one another, whether they be called monarchies or oligarchies or democracies, than they are each like to a limited government of their own name.
Robert James Walker.
BORN in Northumberland, Penn., 1801. DIED in Washington, D. C., 1869.
THE AMERICAN HOMESTEAD PRIVILEGE.
[American Finances and Resources. Letter No. II. 1863.]
S England (proper) contained, in 1861, 18,949,916 inhabitants, if our public domain were as densely settled, its population would exceed 606,000,000, and it would be 260,497,561, if numbering as many to the square mile as Massachusetts. Its average fertility far exceeds that of Europe, as does also the extent of its mines, especially gold, silver, coal, and iron, with every variety of soil, climate, mineral and agricultural products.
These lands are surveyed at the expense of the government into townships of six miles square, subdivided into sections, and these into quarter sections (160 acres), set apart for homesteads. Our system of public surveys into squares, by lines running due north and south, east and west, is so simple as to have precluded all disputes as to boundary or title. This domain reaches from the 24th to the 49th parallel, from the lakes to the gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Its isothermes (the lines of equal mean annual temperature) strike on the north the
coast of Norway midway, touch St. Petersburg in Russia, and pass through Manchooria to the coast of Asia, about three degrees south of the mouth of the Amoor river. On the south, these isothermes run through northern Africa, and nearly the centre of Egypt near Thebes, cross northern Arabia, Persia, northern Hindostan, and southern China near Canton.
Now, however, within our present vast domain, not only the poor, but our own industrious classes and those of Europe, may not only find a home, but a farm for each settler, substantially as a free gift by the government. Here all who would rather be owners than tenants, and wish to improve and cultivate their own soil, are invited. Here, too, all who would become equals among equals, citizens (not subjects) of a great and free country, enjoying the right of suffrage, and eligible to every office except the presidency, can come and occupy with us this great inheritance. Here liberty, equality, and fraternity reign supreme, not in theory or in name only, but in truth and reality. This is the brotherhood of man, secured and protected by our organic law. Here the Constitution and the people are the only sovereigns, and the government is administered by their elected agents, and for the benefit of the people. Those toiling elsewhere for wages that will scarcely support existence, for the education of whose children no provision is made by law, who are excluded from the right of suffrage, may come here and be voters and citizens, find a farm given as a homestead, free schools provided for their children at the public expense, and hold any office but the presidency, to which their children, born here, are eligible. What does Europe for any of its toiling millions who reject this munificent offer? He is worked and taxed there to his utmost endurance. He has the right to work, and pay taxes, but not to vote. Unschooled ignorance is his lot and that of his descendants. If a farmer, he works and improves the land of others, in constant terror of rent day, the landlord, and eviction. Indeed the annual rent of a single acre in England exceeds the price-$10 (£2 2s. 8d.)—payable for the ownership in fee simple of the entire homestead of 160 acres, granted him here by the government. For centuries that are past, and for all time to come, there, severe toil, poverty, ignorance, the workhouse, or low wages, and disfranchisement, would seem to be his lot. Here, freedom, competence, the right of suffrage, the homestead farm, and free schools for his children.
In selecting these homestead farms the emigrant can have any temperature, from St. Petersburg to Canton. He can have a cold, a temperate, or a warm climate, and farming or gardening, grazing or vintage, varied by fishing or hunting. He can raise wheat, rye, Indian corn, oats, rice, indigo, cotton, tobacco, cane or maple sugar and molasses,
sorghum, wool, peas and beans, Irish or sweet potatoes, barley, buckwheat, wine, butter, cheese, hay, clover, and all the grasses, hemp, hops, flax and flaxseed, silk, beeswax and honey, and poultry, in uncounted abundance. If he prefers a stock farm, he can raise horses, asses and mules, camels, milch-cows, working-oxen and other cattle, goats, sheep and swine. In most locations, these will require neither housing nor feeding throughout the year. He can have orchards, and all the fruits. and vegetables of Europe, and many in addition. He can have an Irish or German, Scotch, English, or Welch, French, Swiss, Norwegian, or American neighborhood. He can select the shores of oceans, lakes, or rivers; live on tide-water or higher lands, valleys or mountains. He can be near a church of his own denomination; the freedom of conscience is complete: he pays no tithes nor church tax, except voluntarily. His sons and daughters, on reaching twenty-one years of age, or sooner, if the head of a family, are each entitled to a homestead of 160 acres; if he dies, the title is secured to his widow, children, or heirs. Our flag is his, and covers him everywhere with its protection. He is our brother, and he and his children will enjoy with us the same heritage of competence and freedom. He comes where labor is king, and toil is respected and rewarded. If before, or instead of receiving his homestead, he chooses to pursue his profession or business, to work at his trade or for daily wages, he will find them double the European rate, and subsistence cheaper. From whatever part of Europe he may come, he will meet his countrymen here, and from them and us receive a cordial welcome. A government which gives him a farm, the right to vote, and free schools for his children, must desire his welfare.
George Perkins Marsh.
BORN in Woodstock, Vt., 1801. DIED at Vallombrosa, Italy, 1882.
THE DRAMATIC DICTION OF SHAKESPEARE AND HIS TIME.
[The Origin and History of the English Language. 1862.]
T is a proof of the acuteness of the English dramatists who lived a little before, and with, Shakespeare, that they perceived the necessity of a style somewhat removed from the vernacular speech of their time; but it is also a proof of the weakness of their judgment, that, instead of adopting a phraseology which was natural, idiomatic, and permanent, without being local or vulgar, they invented a conventional style of ex
pression, which not only never was used in real society, but which never could be, without a violation of the laws both of language and of thought. The dialect of tragedy is not the style which men on the stage of life, influenced as they are by temporary and accidental conditions of speech, actually use, but it is the diction which, according to the permanent and essential genius of the language, and the supposed moral and intellectual categories of the personages, constitutes the truest and most precise expression of the thoughts and purposes which animate them.
Although the phraseology which the earlier English playwrights put into the mouths of their personages is in a high degree unnatural and inappropriate, yet in the wide variety of their characters, and of the circumstances in which they placed them, they not unfrequently unwittingly strayed into a fit and expressive style, and thus there was gradually accumulated a fragmentary and scattered store of material for a copious and multifarious dramatic diction.
In speaking of the relations of Chaucer to his time and to the earlier literature of the language, I observed that his style of expression was eclectic, that he coined no words and imported few, but contented himself with the existing stock of native and already naturalized foreign terms-the excellence of his diction consisting in the judgment and taste of his selection, and his mutual adaptation of terms individually familiar.
For the purposes of Chaucer and his age, for the expression of the limited range of thought and subject with which the English nature of his time was conversant, a limited vocabulary sufficed, and the existing literature of England supplied nearly the entire stock of words demanded for the uses of the poet.
But in Shakespeare's day, though humanity, English humanity especially, was still the same, yet the philosophical conception of humanity was immensely enlarged, diversified, and enriched. The myriad-minded Shakespeare-as, by an application of a term borrowed from one of the Greek fathers, Coleridge has so appropriately called him-took in this vast conception in all its breadth, and was endowed with a faculty of self-transformation into all the shapes in which the nature of man has been incarnated. He hence required a variety of phraseologies-words and combinations of words-as great as the varieties of humanity itself
Now this compass and flexibility of expression could be found only in the language of a people who possessed such a moral and intellectual constitution, and had enjoyed such a moral and social training, as had previously fallen to the lot of no modern nation.
English life, in the sixteenth century, was full of multifarious experiThere had always been a greater number and variety of stimulating tendencies and influences, and greater practical liberty of yielding
to them, in England than in any other modern nation; and consequently, in the time of Shakespeare, the human intellect, the human heart, affections, and passions, were there more fully and variously developed, and the articulate expression of all these mental and moral conditions and impulses more cultivated and diversified, than in any contemporaneous people.
In all the facilities for the observation of human life and nature on a wide and comprehensive scale, the Englishman of Shakespeare's time was at a more advanced point than has even yet been reached in the society of any other of the Gothic or Romance nations. This is one of the reasons why the plays of Shakespeare have such an incontestable superiority over the drama of all other modern countries, and why so many thoughts which, in the recent literature of Continental Europe, have been hailed as new revelations, are, to the Englishman, but the thousandth repetition of old and familiar oracles, or generalizations which have, from time immemorial, been matters of too universal and every-day consciousness to have been thought worthy of a place in English literature at all.
Shakespeare stood, to the age of Elizabeth and of James, in just the position which Chaucer occupied with respect to that of Edward III. and of Richard II.; and in these two authors the genius and the literature of their respective ages reached its culminating point. For the excellence of each, all preceding English history and literature was a necessary preparation, and the dialect of each was composed by an application of the same principles to the philological material which earlier laborers had gathered for them.
The material thus prepared for the two great masters of the English tongue was in a very different state when it passed under their respective manipulation; and it may be seriously questioned whether, simply as a philological constructor, Chaucer were not the greater architect of the two. In Chaucer's time, every department of the language was rude, defective, and unpolished, and the task of enriching, harmonizing, and adapting was performed by him alone. Shakespeare had been preceded by a multitude of skilful artists, who had improved and refined all the various special vocabularies which make up the totality of the English language; and the common dialect which more or less belongs to all imaginative composition had been carried by others to almost as high a pitch of perfection as is found in Shakespeare himself.
Chaucer, as a linguistic reformer, had great advantages over Shakespeare, in possessing a better philological training. He grew up in an almost equal familiarity with French, then a highly cultivated dialect, and with his mother tongue, and he was also well acquainted with Latin and with Italian; but we have no reason to believe that Shakespeare had