The Font of Liberty



THE first General Assembly ever held in Pennsylvania, by the law passed at Upland in 1682, required that ‘the laws of this province, from time to time, shall be published and printed, that every person may have knowledge thereof; and that they shall be one of the books taught in the schools of this province and territory thereof.’ Here by this ‘fit and wholesome ordinance,’ passed with the ‘providential circumspection’ of the Quakers, it was contemplated that not only lawyers but even children should be drilled in the statutes from infancy; and in our happy State ignorance of the law excuses no one, because under the Upland Statute such ignorance cannot exist.

Moreover the whole body of our Pennsylvania legislation probably does not exceed 41,736 Statutes. The last Legislature passed only 451 new Acts. So that our children by reading, say, an act a day (omitting Saturdays and Sundays, and a moderate vacation) can keep abreast with current legislation; and, by reading four additional, or a total of only five a day, can readily catch up with the past Statutory Law of Province and State in about fortytwo years, when they will be properly prepared for a review of Federal legislation. I do not guarantee this estimate, but anyone contemplating this course may count the laws for himself. He will find that (perhaps injudiciously) I have omitted joint and concurrent resolutions, in which our children would be equally interested.

At a time when ‘capacity production’ is regarded as the great desideratum, every well-wisher of his country must be interested in the widening scope of legislation, and the increased activity of our legislatures.

We stand at the threshold of a New Liberty. Liberty now consists in the voluntary subjection of the will of the citizen to law: —

Naught nobler is than to be free;
The stars of heaven are free because
In amplitude of liberty
Their joy is to obey the laws.

This sentiment must be politically true (I say nothing as to its physical truth), for the poet was seriously considered as Laureate. Webster stated the principle more prosaically in his Charleston Speech. ‘Liberty,’ said he, ‘exists in proportion to wholesome restraint. ‘

It follows from this that the more laws we have, to which to subject our wills, the freer we are. The New Liberty then is not merely a liberty regulated by law; it is a liberty created by law. Let us examine the elements of our New Liberty.


First. — We find that at its foundation lies the prohibitory principle. Government being founded for the general welfare, it follows since the days of Plato that the good citizen must be encouraged and the bad citizen restrained. This is most evidently so in a democracy, where each member has willingly committed his well-being to the State. It is a wrong, therefore, to our neighbor not to restrain him in proper bounds. In the words of the greatest of the humanitarian poets of the last century, —

. . . Where we disavow
Being keeper to our brother, we’re his Cain.

We may congratulate ourselves that the smooth and satisfactory progress of the newest and greatest application of this principle points and paves the way to its extension. The inclusion of Prohibition in the Federal Constitution has gone far to make the United States a general legislative unit, in which the rule of the majority, or even of a minority, may now be given full play.

It is hoped by many that the prohibition of tobacco in every form may be the next step. Indeed it is difficult to understand why, with liquor, we did not also do away with ‘the sooty handmaid of the vine. ‘ Let us take a moment to show that such restriction is, in fact, more logical than that of liquor.

It is especially to be noted that tobacco is very exhausting to the ground, and the economical use of our agricultural lands in the face of an increasing population demands that they be put to more productive crops — such as arrowroot and spinach, both of which are recognized as nutritious; spinach indeed, on account of the iron which it contains, may be ranked as one of the noblest of tonics.

That large proportion of my readers which is addicted to religious reading will no doubt instantly recall the encomium which the Shakespeare of Divines passes upon spinach by classing it among the articles of a robust diet: ‘And he that hath a sickly stomach,’says Jeremy Taylor, ‘admires at his happiness that can feast with cheese and garlic, unctious brewages and the low-tasted spinage.’

I do not, however, insist on spinach as the only safe and prudent substitute. It may be that the majority of the American people prefer parsnips on account of their high value as a nutrient and antiscorbutic (and certainly tobacco is neither of these). So, let the fact be determined by a general vote and the crop be limited accordingly.

Yet in spite of these obvious facts, in 1922, in the United States, we had under tobacco 1,725,000 acres, which yielded 1,324,840,000 pounds of tobacco (not all of the best), equal to an allowance of one pound a month for every man, woman, and child in Continental United States. Think of 1,725,000 acres in a Christian land smoking to Heaven, like the plains of Sodom! And think, again, of 1,324,840,000 pounds of tobacco converted into 1,324,840,000 pounds of arrowroot and distributed among the undernourished children of our land!

The tobacco habit, moreover, though now more widespread, insidious, and continuous than drunkenness, is comparatively recent. Man had been the slave of wine since the days of Noah — our second universal fallen ancestor. I follow tradition, and disregard the suggestion of the Higher Criticism that there were really two Noahs — a dry Noah and a wet Noah. The Noah — our Noah, he of the water-wagon — was, according to this theory, bonedry, and depended, he and his family with him, for months on water alone. Understand me: I emphasize the evident universality of the beastly habit, and I appeal therefore from Noah sober to Noah drunk. It makes little difference in what degree of consanguinity he may stand to us, or at what generation the family-failing, by a kind of atavism, became the inheritance of all our relatives. In this I am a Lamarckian. How difficult, therefore, the complete triumph of Prohibition may prove!

Tobacco in comparison is a mere chance habit, a whim of a passing day; for it was introduced only three hundred and forty years ago — an affectation borrowed from a sluggish and savage race, unfit for civilization! It at once excited the disgust of many. Its ardent opponents counted among their number ‘the wisest fool in Christendom. ' The wisdom of James the First was canny Scotch wisdom. His proclamation of 1619 was quite in accord with the economical advice I have given above; for therein he urged the settlers of Virginia ‘rather to turn their spare time toward providing corn and stock, and toward the making of potash or other manufactures.’ He carried his opposition so far that in order to protect his people from the noxious drug he preëmpted all that was imported and sold it again at higher prices. (MACPHERSON:Annals of Commerce, II, 302.)

But that which a despotic government could not control in a distant colony may be readily achieved by a free and highly centralized democracy.

Note especially that the habit of drinking, however loathsome to the drinker, is not so offensive as that of smoking to his fellows, whom it is the function of Government to protect. What right has the smoker to discharge his by-product in my face? Why should I, drugged against my will, lose my sleep because another smokes? If the particles of smoke were larger, like stones, it would surely be assault and battery; but the size is merely a question of degree, and not of principle. No one, nowadays, throws whiskey at me in the street. There is, moreover, a real precedent in Pennsylvania for the prohibition of tobacco. (Act of October 28, 1701, Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, p. 68.) The Act is probably in force now, for I find no record of its repeal. It provides that if any person shall presume to smoke tobacco in the streets of Philadelphia, either by day or night, he or she shall, for every such offense, forfeit twelvepence, et cetera. Alas, how soon salutary legislation falls into desuetude, unless protected by heavy penalties, or enforced with eternal vigilance!

Moreover, in the ingrained prejudice of the people, liquor is, or is alleged to be, quite beneficial in some diseases, and even necessary to save life in others; but no one, I believe, or if any certainly only a few, can be considered absolutely dependent upon nicotine for existence. If by the prohibition of wine a few old, feeble, and useless members of society are rightly sacrificed to the public good, how much more readily the fewer and more offensive victims of their own vice?

There are precedents for such action in the cigarette laws of many States, in our own Act of 1901 providing that tobacco is not to be sold or given to any person under sixteen years (Act July 10, 1901, Purdon’s Digest, p. 1014) and that of 1903 against selling cigarettes to any person under twenty-one (Act April 4, 1903, Purd. Dig. p. 917.) This Act recites: ‘Whereas the smoking of cigarettes is injurious to the young.’ This opinion, being the law of the State, cannot be now legally controverted. There is also an early precedent for the absolute prohibition of the public smoking of tobacco in the Connecticut Code of 1650.

If, however, this reform is attempted, it is important that all stocks of the offending substance should be destroyed. This precaution was omitted in the present Prohibition Amendment and the Volstead Act, and the occasional infractions of that Act may be attributed to the fact that it is merely prohibitive and does not strike at the basic fact in the production of liquor. Readers of history will recall the decree of Domitian, who, on account of a plentiful wine crop attended with scarcity of grain, forbade anyone planting any more vines in Italy, and ordered the vineyards in the provinces to be cut down, or but half left standing. Unfortunately the attempt was abandoned by that Emperor.

Ahab, King of Israel, on a smaller scale but with stronger arm than Domitian, displayed a similar enlightened policy. For he expropriated the vineyard of Naboth in order to eradicate its vines and replant it with potherbs. (I Kings XXI.) It is to be noted that Ahab offered Naboth the value of his vineyard in money; but this would not be necessary in this country where the expensive method of condemnation is avoided and the property is taken under the police power. A similar policy, broader than Ahab’s, less vacillating than Domitian’s, pursued in our country would materially diminish infractions of the Prohibition law. It would only be necessary to prohibit the growth of every substance out of which alcohol can be made, such as wheat, corn, rye, barley, potatoes, apples, peaches, and other fruit.


Any act of this character will require teeth, and this brings us to the second principle of the New Liberty, which is that all reform legislation must have the sanction of severe penalties vigorously enforced.

I pause to explain that this expression ‘to put teeth into an act’ had its origin in a very early prohibitory measure. That was the act prohibiting mice from eating cheese. According to the ancient story as related in an old law book, ‘The women were much concerned at the continued depredations on their stores. A body of very wise men had an Act passed with half the words in the English language and backed by all the rhetoric of Lincoln’s Inn, that it should be death without benefit of clergy for a mouse to eat cheese. Still the pantries were robbed and the lawgivers laughed at. A sage cat armed and clad in scarlet, having crept into the Senate House through a borough, urged that he be allowed to execute the decree.’ The rest of the story is well known. Since then the language has been enriched with the phrase a ‘law with teeth in it,’ and mice are on their good behavior.

The policy of putting teeth in laws, according to the feline system was formerly very frequent. The Israelites adopted it in the law punishing with death the gathering of sticks on the Sabbath. King Charlemagne followed it in the law which made eating meat in Lent a capital crime. English law adopted it in King Henry the Fourth’s law for the burning of heretics, and it is an ascertained fact that the countries in which men do not build fires on Sunday, and never eat meat in Lent, and never turn heretic, are the same countries in which mice never eat cheese.

In order to put teeth into a law, it is, fortunately, not necessary to resort to capital punishment; according to the papers a judge at New Castle, Pennsylvania, has just sentenced one John Bowie, accused of transporting liquor, to attend church every Sunday for two years, apparently with no time off for good behavior. So I suppose the sentence will be carried out, unless the accused obtain a release by habeas corpus, on the ground of the constitutional inhibition of cruel and unusual punishments.


Third. — Another principle of the New Liberty is the principle of Administrative Authority. Under this more and more power is being granted to Federal, State, and Municipal Officers, enabling them to carry out the laws of all kinds.

The General Government has a supervision, now ripening into control, of transportation, banking, and in general of trade. These powers, joined to that over the mails, the secret service, and a number of bureaus, enable the Washington authorities to trace out and prevent any machinations of the individual that are seen to be contrary to the general interest. Closer teamwork is still desirable between the Federal and State Governments, but the latter are naturally learning that the greater must direct the less.

An example of this principle is the Act passed by the last Legislature of Pennsylvania, authorizing the Secretary of Banking, whenever he is of the opinion that a Banking Institution is ‘in an unsafe or unsound condition to continue business,’to enter upon its office and close it up. Under the present law the Commissioner takes immediate possession without recourse to the Courts and the Banking Institution is entitled to reëstablish its credit by application to the court afterward.

It is remarkable that no such law has yet been adopted for food inspection and destruction. If the Board of Health were given authority not only to seize and destroy bad food, but to close the shop of the offending seller, preferably with a padlock, it would effectually put the wrongdoer out of business, probably permanently, and thus improve the conditions of life.

If any mistake is made by the administrative official, the individual has immediate recourse to court, and the burden of proof is thereby shifted to the accused, where according to many systems of legislation it rightly belongs.

Another Act of the Pennsylvania Legislature of 1923 provides the number of pounds to the bushel in some eighty-one articles, and the close observance of this law would no doubt make for much regularity in merchandising. It provides that a bushel of spinach shall contain twelve pounds, and a bushel of sand one hundred pounds. What weight shall be satisfied when the spinach contains sand — alas! too often the case — is not provided. The Act is patterned upon the principle of the Act of 1797 (Purd. Dig. Vol. 1, p. 540), which provided that all loaf bread made for sale within this Commonwealth shall be sold by the pound avoirdupois, under penalty for infraction. This Act is still in force. It is true that the Bread Act, so far, has had no appreciable effect, except to allow a dishonest purchaser to avoid payment of his debt, but this is because the Act stands alone. If there were similar acts dealing with all articles, and requiring all to be sold by weight, and each of these acts was diligently followed up by a corps of Government Agents, zealous, patriotic, wellpaid and incorruptible, there would be a different story to tell. Some exception might have to be made in the Act as to selling by the pound such articles as gas, electric current, and real estate.

It is difficult to deal with such subjects by State Legislation, as all eyes look to Congress; and it is evident that remedial legislation on this subject should be general because there is no State in the Union in which bread is not sold. Accordingly Charles H. Brand, a Member of the House of Representatives, introduced into the last Congress a bill for the Federal Regulation of the size and sale of loaves. A survey made by the Director of the Bureau of Standards revealed a fact which few would have imagined — that one hundred and five different-sized loaves of bread are made in Pennsylvania alone; four thousand loaves of bread varying from ten to forty-eight ounces each were weighed and found to be sold to the public at varying prices.

This is quite at variance with the legislative policy of the State from its earliest times. The Act of November 27, 1700, provided that all bread should be sold by Troy-weight; that only three kinds should be baked, viz.: white, wheaten, and household, and no more; ‘and the loaves shall be a penny loaf or roll, a five-penny loaf, and a ten-penny loaf; and that if any of these exceed the assize in fineness or weight, it shall be equally seizable as if it were under the fineness or weight.’

Now it is a fact about bread that the heavier it is the more it weighs, and therefore the more it would cost if sold by weight; and the lighter it is the better it is, and yet would be sold for less; but everyone would of course buy the cheapest, so that a proper Act would not only ensure fairness in dealing, but would bring the best bread within the reach of the poorest persons — an end not always attained by legislation.

Acts of Assembly, in fact, should not be allowed to become obsolete, for laws are like bread and eggs. Pan d’un di, ovo d’un hora, says an old proverb. (Bread one day old, an egg one hour.) A number of these ‘moth-eaten ‘ laws call loudly for enforcement. I might mention those against blasphemy, gambling, baggage-smashing, pool-selling, as well as the Act of 1919, providing a penalty for selling as fresh eggs, eggs which are not fresh eggs.

There was an interesting law passed many years ago in South Carolina, which is an illustration of the dangers of laws becoming obsolete, unless reenacted. The law provided that every male citizen of age should attend church, fully armed, and this law may still be on the Statute Book, the legislators not thinking it safe, perhaps, in that jurisdiction, to repeal it. The peculiarity of this enactment is that it is directly contrary to the rule of early Christian times, which forbade bringing arms into the church.

Locke in the celebrated constitution which he drew for Carolina provided that any laws not reënacted should become obsolete in a hundred years. But as this constitution never went fully into effect no harm was done.


A fourth principle of the New Liberty is Uplift; that is that adequate laws shall be passed for the Welfare of the People. President Coolidge expressed in his message of December 1923 the opinion that the Government was not doing enough for the general welfare. Carrying out this policy the President, on April 13, 1924, appointed a Commission to formulate a National Out-of-Door Policy. We may rejoice then in one great step taken by the Pennsylvania Legislature, in passing the Act creating an Athletic Commission. This Act provides for three Commissioners, at a salary of $5000 each; and a Secretary, with a salary of $3000; also, for the appointment of Referees to superintend prize fights. It was modeled, I believe, upon the legislation of New York State. It was, indeed, somewhat of an inconsistency that the same Legislature reduced the appropriation to sundry hospitals, in which the participants in these fights may expect to be treated. Some will think it also an inconsistency that prize fighting and boxing had been made illegal by the Acts of March 16, 1866, and March 22, 1867; but we must not allow ourselves to be dismayed by those slight inconsistencies which are the essential mark of a progressive legislative policy.

Although in the right direction the Act was a mere step. The modern world fully realizes the need of clean, compensated, and professional sport, and there should indeed be similar acts providing for commissions for baseball, golf, and also, and probably especially, for games of chance. A proper encouragement should be extended to new games. Mah Jongg is struggling for recognition, and should be protected, as an infant amusement.

It is a matter of great regret that, while considerable time has been devoted by the legislators to sport, they neglected to pass an Act, presented with almost providential forethought by Representative Eaches — namely the Act allowing fishing on Sunday with one line and two hooks.

A great advance in the direction of welfare has also been made in the creation of holidays, which increase, and never diminish. In general, idleness is of benefit to a nation; Aristotle says that leisure is the first object of the legislator — which is one of the few judgments in which ancient and modern sentiment agrees. Much of this advantage is lost, unless leisure is made universal and compulsory. As the law stands now, a man may work or not on a holiday, as he pleases, and so it happens that certain people, animated by aggressive self-interest, and a plentiful lack of social instinct, work on holidays, and thereby gain an advantage over their fellows; this destroys the balance of equality, which is so essential in a free country. A law should therefore be passed, preventing work on any part of a legal holiday. This is in accordance with the policy of the Trade-unions, which is now established by general acceptance, and has become regular in all the principal trades. The Sunday laws could readily be extended from holy days to holidays, the old distinction between the two having passed away.

The suggestion that laws be passed for the sterilization of criminals is highly scientific, and there are precedents for it in our Colonial laws. Once adopted the principle is capable of extension to even more necessary fields. We all know that it is not criminal people that annoy us so much as it is disagreeable people. Criminals are rather favorites with some. Criminals are indeed a meaningless category to many in a democracy. Says ‘the good Gray Poet’ in voicing the New America: —

To me any Judge or juror is equally criminal,
and any respectable person, and also the
President is.

In fact in a democracy the popular, and therefore the true, idea is that what is disagreeable by the Vox Populi is criminal by Vox Dei. What, therefore, shall be done with bores, and talkative people, who perhaps outnumber the criminals, and often incite to crime? For those who believe that comfort and health-giving environment are necessary to civilization, the bore is a menace, not only to contemporaries but still more to succeeding ages. What particular bêtes noires should be prevented from intruding their posterity upon the next generation should be decided by a mixed commission made up of both sexes and all parties, so that no mistake could be made.

For the improvement of the race also, it would be well to enact laws based upon the laws formerly in vogue in many cities of Germany, preventing the poor from marrying without the permission of the commune. Such laws were formerly in force in Norway, the Canton of Berne in Switzerland, and in Saxony, Württemberg, and Mecklenburg, but have fallen into disuse. Indeed it may have occurred to the legislators in these cities that it would be easier to support poor children in families than in foundling asylums, but this, if it occurred, would be merely the result of enforcing the law in a lame and inconclusive manner.

With this it would be consistent to join a law such as existed in Sparta, fining men who married women of insufficient size. Such a fine was imposed on King Archidamus. Whereas in our own insufficiently regulated country the little women in utter defiance of all civic virtue get married without even waiting for the supply of larger specimens to be exhausted.

Speaking of uplift in general, we may say that while it is unfortunately true that we cannot elevate ourselves by tugging at our own bootstraps, it is fortunately equally true that we can elevate others by tugging at their bootstraps. Herein lies the salvation of Democracy. The spirit of the time admonishes us to abandon the attempt to improve our own lives — an irksome task carrying no salary — and to give ourselves whole-heartedly to the improvement of others, being conscious that our outlook is broader and nobler than theirs. Our country is being mobilized into innumerable groups in which each member is fully at grips with his neighbor. Let us, then, tug away valiantly, with Old Glory floating above us, and the prayer ‘Save America!’ upon our lips, knowing that no matter who is successful the national level must be raised — unless indeed the bootstraps should break, in which case there would be a lamentable loss of energy.


A fifth principle of the New Liberty is uniformity in public and private life. This can be best accomplished by standardization in various departments. The standardization of spelling and language, as well as of the tone, taste, and character of our literature, might be relegated to some central authority, some ‘sovereign organ of opinion’ as Sainte-Beuve called it, of which the French Academy may serve as an example. The benefits of the French Academy have so clearly been laid before the English-speaking people by Matthew Arnold that the advantage of a similar institution need not be here enlarged on.

The licence system opens an inviting way to standardization. It is sufficiently established to ensure its ultimate universality. We now require licences for most of the activities of our national life; inter alia, Lawyers and Dogs; Surgeons and Butchers; Bankers and Jackasses; Taverns and Detectives; Plumbers and Midwives; Carters and Accountants; Gunners and Nurses; Automobile-drivers and Undertakers; Intelligence-offices, Menageries; Dentists and Amusements in general; Omnibuses and Operas; Pawnbrokers and Clam-sellers; Dealers in Renovated Butter, and Fertilizers, which no doubt might have been appropriately included in the same act. In fact, practically the only portions of our population allowed to roam at large without licence are clergymen and cats. Yet the anarchy that prevails in religion is notorious. Hegel, nearly a century ago, pointed out the anomalous and ridiculous position of America in this respect. ‘Everyone,’ he said, ‘may have a religion peculiar to himself. Thence the splitting-up into so many sects which reach the acme of absurdity. . . . The various congregations choose ministers and dismiss them according to their pleasure. . . . ‘ Yet no reform has been attempted since this was written (1830).

The Licence Acts cited above represent an unconscious movement toward more universal regulation, and have been merely instinctive, gradual, sporadic. In the modern systems for zoning cities, now spreading over the country so rapidly as to give evident proof of the trend of the civic mind, we find a method for developing the principle into a complete and articulated system. Under this a permit may be required for the occupancy or use of any property, and by this means a complete method of centralized and scientific control of every business can be exercised by a wise and competent City Bureau; which will also, after the system has become permanent, lend itself to a complete control and elimination of methods detrimental to the civic interest.


There are many departments of legislation on which I have not even touched, for ‘a man may dive deep and long before he finds a bottom when there is none. ‘

I might speak of the ingenious invention of transferring the tariff-regulating power from the Legislative to the Executive, a power recently exercised to prevent the importation of Canadian wheat. The method is so very similar to the sliding scale of the English Corn Laws that it may reach a similar degree of popularity.

As the result of this action may be to put the price of flour up, the complementary step should now be taken, viz., a price-fixing regulation, to keep the price of flour down. This regulation might be extended to all commodities. In imitation of the famous decree of Diocletian (A.D. 303) issued in a similar period of high taxation and rising prices, we might set up a tariff inscribed in stone in every market in the Union, limiting the price of every commodity from schoolmasters’ salaries to salt. You see that by engraving the prices in stone all possibility of fluctuation is eliminated.

This transfer of the Legislative power to the Executive need not be confined to the tariff, for in principle it is equally applicable to internal taxes. It would furnish an obvious method to balance the budget. The rate on different articles could be left uncertain until Congress had adjourned and then raised or lowered by the President, according as Congress has spent more or less. Indeed it is not easy for members of Congress to know exactly how much has been appropriated until after adjournment.

I might mention compulsory voting, which is now advanced by many with great force. Voting in a republic is a duty, complementary to paying taxes, and it is evident that either voting should be made compulsory or taxpaying should be made voluntary.

I might mention compulsory Americanization. This would involve a special department, which, having first determined what Americanism is, would set about making over all immigrants into virile, red-blooded, two-fisted, English-speaking, one-hundred-per-cent American He-Men.

Whatever stands in the way of this ideal must go down. The Constitution was at best a compromise and is in its nature temporary. Let us press on, remembering the words of that accurate constitutionalist, H. G. Wells: ‘A time may come when the people will regard the contrivances and machinery of the American Constitution as the political equivalents of the implements and contrivances of neolithic man.’


I shall close by mentioning a necessary reform — fundamental to health and morality. This is the reintroduction of the curfew. By a mistaken policy, the curfew was abolished in the reign of Henry the First, but it is mentioned long after his time, so hard was it to do away with such an excellent custom. If it should be thought at first impracticable to adopt the ancient limit of eight o’clock, the law might at first be made for half-past eight, and the wholesome rule gradually drawn more tightly. How sweet it would be again to hear the curfew toll the knell of parting day. But as such a law might be supposed to infringe Constitutional Rights in some backward States, it could most effectively be introduced as an amendment to the Federal Constitution. In order to ensure its passage it would probably be necessary that the franchise be extended to babies. In spite of opposition in a small minority, whose alleged rights should not stand in the way of a great reform, I assume that the majority of American babies would vote for such an amendment; the theory of the curfew is quite in line with our laws for daylight-saving, and should appeal to all intelligent and patriotic infants. Its effect on the moral and physical health of the people would be prodigious. Under such an influence I see a transformation of America — ‘A noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after’ a long and well-regulated ‘ sleep, and shaking her invincible locks.’ The very idea conjures up the picture of a vigorous race, standing in the forefront of progress, a lesson to the backward peoples of the earth, realizing the picture which Pericles drew of the Athenian polity in its most glorious period: —

We live under a constitution such as no way to envy the laws of our neighbors, ourselves an example to them rather than mere imitators. It is called a Democracy, since its permanent aim tends toward the Many and not toward the Few. . . . Moreover our social march is free. . . . We are not angry with our neighbor for what he may do to please himself, nor do we ever put on those sour looks which, though they do no positive damage, are not the less sure to offend. . . . We have provided numerous recreations from toil.

But enough of Pericles. Our American statesmanship far outsoars the petty policy of Athens. Here no civic jealousy impedes the progress of the National Idea. Here slavery, the ‘Nemesis of Nations,’ has been eradicated and our colored brethren (more recently our colored sisters) have been rendered legally competent to sit in the highest councils of the land. We are in no danger of stagnation from homogeneity; with 340,000 Indians, 1,300,000 Porto Ricans, 10,000,000 Filipinos, and 10,000,000 Negroes, our population is sufficiently diversified. Our electorate is educated and able to express an opinion on every question. Bands of quick-witted men and noble-hearted women accomplish continuous reforms with a fine ‘apotheosis of instinct’ which renders the slow and laborious methods of experience and study quite unnecessary. I behold the vision of a political structure too vast to be called a nation, too democratic to be called an empire — patriotic because paternal; permanent because progressive, which devises its legislation with a noble imagination, and enforces it in serene majesty.

This future it is ours to form and to re-form. Let us address ourselves to the task, taking for our motto the apothegm of Voltaire, ‘No Government ever perished except by suicide,’