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tax” say that the present system works to impoverish all who do not own land. Advocates of protection and of free trade alike claim that their ideals will be a financial blessing to “working men.” And so with other proposed changes : they deal with men in classes. Since, therefore, poverty does not affect classes of men, but is wholly individual, we must seek for its causes in something wholly independent of our social organization. In short, we must seek for individual causes.
No one doubts that our social organization can be improved. Many are willing to acknowledge that there is a certain plausibility, to say the least, in the theory of the public ownership of land, and the single tax doctrine. To some the doctrine of free trade is also very acceptable. In many ways it is clearly possible to bring about a more equitable distribution of the fruits of industry than is secured by existing laws and institutions. We can easily see, however, that all such changes must be very general in their results. They will, when perfect, secure fairness to all the various classes of society, but they can neither prevent nor cure individual poverty. Even the absolutely equal division of the aggregate wealth of society could not accomplish that result except for a brief moment. W. H. Vanderbilt's enormous income, divided amongst his employees would not have added a hundred dollars each to their annual incomes. Neither would the most equitable adjustment of taxes coupled with the fairest division of profits increase the average income of our citizens to any great degree. By all means let us have these reforms, so far as they are just and right; but let us not expect too much from them. put them all in practice and yet find that poverty has not been cured or appreciably diminished.
During a period of excessively hot weather the entire population of a city may feel physically disordered. In addition to this general depression some individuals may have contracted distinct diseases through contagion or from some other cause. With a return of cooler weather the general tone of public health will be improved. Doubtless all will be somewhat better, but the sick ones will not be cured without special treatment and medicine suited to each disease.
In like manner, while we may expect a general improvement in the conditions
of society to result from improved social organization, we may hope to cure individual cases of poverty only by applying remedies that are as specific as the disease.
That there are specific or individual causes of poverty in our land, and that they are many in number and grievous in their effects, no one will deny. They are apparent even to the dullest minds. Their comparative importance and extent are, however, often underestimated. They are considered of trifling significance in comparison with political systems and inequalities in the general organization of society. Popular reformers for the most part ignore these plain, common-place facts, and go soaring off into the upper regions of theory, where they can avail themselves of the enchanting power which distance always lends to the view. Yet these prosaic facts are not so trifling and unimportant as many would have us believe. On the contrary they constitute a force sufficient to vitiate whatever results we may obtain from the best regulated system of social organization.
We need mention only a few of the more prominent among these disturbing forces. First among them is the liquor traffic, the annual amount of which is estimated at from seven to nine hundred million dollars. To this must be added an immense sum for indirect expense caused by the traffic, if we would measure the full power of the evil. Now the effect of this traffic #pon the general wealth of the nation is not felt in any marked degree, although it diverts into useless and harmful channels a vast amount of energy that would otherwise be employed in valuable production. Neither does it perceptibly affect the original distribution of wealth among the various classes and individuals of society. It does, however, operate after the original distribution of the national wealth to entirely destroy the effect of that distribution, by transferring money from one individual to another without bringing any equivalent return. Thus the wealth of many individuals is diverted from its proper use and is practically consumed.
The same is true of the tobacco traffic. In this case the amount of wealth transferred from one part of the community to another is about six hundred millions. This is a heavy tax and one that is levied not on any particular class, but upon those individuals alone who willingly pay tribute to the tyrant.
The enormous expense
upon strikes and other social disturbances, which has of late amounted to an average of ten million dollars a year, is another force which draws the wages out of the pockets of individuals, leaving them impoverished while their neighbors grow rich.
A still greater amount wasted in useless and expensive amusements will account for the poverty of others who have received their fair share in the first distribution. And others scatter their earnings in general extravagance.
Another force operating in perfect harmony with those already mentioned is speculation. In the various exchanges and stock markets of our land, more than five hundred million dollars change hands every year, representing loss to one side and gain to the other in each transaction. Closely akin to the work done in these centres is that of the lotteries and gambling dens which amounts to one or two hundred millions annually.
We say, that America is growing richer at the rate of more than a billion dollars every year, and we imagine that this means a great deal if we could only insure its equitable distribution. But the few items above mentioned, give a total of about two billion dollars, a sum nearly double the entire increase of wealth throughout the country. Of what avail therefore is the utmost care in the original distribution of this wealth, when it is to be frustrated by such overwhelming forces of disturbance after the distribution has been effected?
We may summarize the principal causes of poverty among Americans in two words, waste and speculation.
Waste takes place in three ways: 1. The absolute destruction of wealth, as in the case of war, riots, and the like. 2. The exchange of useful for useless commodities, illustrated in the liquor and tobacco traffic; and 3. The expenditure of labor which is unproductive, which is done by all manufacturers of useless commodities and all speculators.
Speculation signifies any form of trade in which profits are secured by artificial means, and without making any return in the form of productive labor.
Either of thses causes would appear to be sufficient of itself to account for all the poverty in America, and when both causes are present and vigorously active, poverty should not be
a matter of surprise to anyone. So long as these two forces continue to work unrestrained, we may increase our national wealth ten-fold, yes, a hundred-fold, and we may readjust our social system never so carefully, and there would still be poverty, as hard and as bitter as at present. The man who has a million dollars and throws it away, is just as poor as the man who had only ten cents and lost it. The lottery with a large capital has as many blanks as a smaller one, and they are just as blank.
It is neither true economy nor Christian charity to help those who can help themselves. He is the truest friend to one in need, who teaches him how he may supply his own needs. A man who is poor and suffering likes to be told that someone else is to blame for his unhappy condition, that he would be all right, if his neighbors would deal justly with him, or if society were established on a right basis. But the most effective way to relieve his suffering is to show him that its cause and cure lie in his own hands. This is undeniably true of the burdened thousauds in our land. All the poverty that results from causes other than the two which I have named, is a mere nothing. If the poor people of America would with one heart and voice declare against these personal habits and practices of evil, if they would take a firm stand against every form of waste and every custom or institution that fosters useless expenditure, poverty and suffering would disappear as if by magic. Then the weakest might laugh in the face of oppression and live in comfort despite all the intrigues of their fellow-men. If we could but proclaim a determined warfare of labor against waste and speculation, we should soon cease to hear of any strife between labor and capital.
GEORGE H. HUBBARD.
ARTICLE III.- EUPHUISM IN LITERATURE AND STYLE.
The subject now before us affords us a striking example of one of those topics of literary interest concerning which every student of the English mind is presumed to have an opinion, and, yet, about which, as a matter of fact, very few of our scholars have an intelligent idea. It is a word that loosely passes from lip to lip, and circle to circle. We take it for granted that we fully understand it and are not aware of our ignorance of it until called upon to define it. As to its origin, the occasion of its appearing just as it did, its true characteristics and its relations to all later literature, English and Continental, these are questions, as yet, practically unanswered. As in the case of authors in general, judgment must be based upon their careful study, so, to understand what Euphuism is, it must itself be studied. As we examine the works illustrating it, we shall be greatly surprised at the vast amount of salutary instruction and eloquent passages which they contain. To the cursory reader of our literature, and, very naturally, to the great majority of readers, Euphuism has always meant the veriest bombast—a style so overwrought and burdened with unnatural conceits, that it deserves no toleration at the hands of the intelligent student. However this may be, it is a question that deserves careful examination. Whatever the attitude of the common or educated mind may be toward it, it is binding upon literary men to subject it to a searching criticism and assume respecting it a safe and tenable position. In addition to this, we shall find it a subject fraught with no little interest in its wide relations to universal letters.
In order to reach such a result, it will be our purpose, first of all, to ascertain its origin and nature as represented in the writings of Lyly himself. Subsequently, we may note its appearance in earlier and later English literature, as well as on the Continent, and the tendency existing in modern times to a similar mode of literary expression.
(1) Of Lyly himself-author of Euphues—it is sufficient to