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Page:Chesterton - Alarms and Discursions (Methuen, 1910).djvu/175

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But men have to be uncommonly unanimous in order to refuse wealth. It wants a very complete committee to burn a bank note in the office grate. It needs a highly religious tribe really to throw corn into the river. This self-denial is the test and definition of self-government.

I wish I could feel certain that any English County Council or Parish Council would be single enough to make that strong gesture of a romantic refusal; could say, "No rents shall be raised from this spot; no grain shall grow in this spot; no good shall come of this spot; it shall remain sterile for a sign." But I am afraid they might answer, like the eminent sociologist in the story, that it was "wiste of spice."