We may gather some other cases in point.
A man who expects to go to the alms-house in his old age may regard a law of settlement as his patent of security, because it defines and secures his place of refuge. A man who is in the same status, but who is determined to better his condition by energy and enterprise, and tries to move, finds the law of settlement a curse, which may hold him down and force him to become a pauper.
If you are not able to make your own way in the world, you want to be protected by status; if you have ambition and ability to make a career for yourself, you find that status holds you down. In the former case it holds you up, or keeps you from falling; in the latter it holds you down, or keeps you from rising, on the whole, therefore, it keeps the society stagnant. If numbers do not increase very much, there may not be much suffering; if numbers do increase, there will be mendicancy, pauperism, vagabondage, and brigandage. It is a matter of great surprise that so little investigation has been expended on the vagabondage of the Middle Ages; the students of that period have kept their attention on those who were inside of its institutions, but the test of the mediæval system is to be found in a study of those who were kept out of its institutions.
If it is a mark of a free man, as in early Rome, to do military duty, every one may regard that function as a right or privilege rather than as a burden or duty; it may carry with it privileges of citizenship which make it worth more than it costs. If, however, the privileges of citizenship are lost and the burden of military duty increases, men will, as in the Dark Ages, sacrifice personal liberty as well as civil liberty in order to get rid of military duty. If, as in Russia, at least formerly, the privileges of citizenship are nil, and the burdens of mili-