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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

ical instruction; but, if there are grounds for regulating the prices of railroad transportation, then there are certainly reasons for regulating the prices of books and newspapers. If the fact that a railroad is paying 10 per cent dividends is a reason why its rates should be reduced, why is not the fact that a newspaper is paying ten per cent dividends a reason why its price should be reduced? If all the trusts are to be crushed, why not begin with the Associated Press? If it is a reason to legislate on the price of a patented article that the patentee has made a fortune, why not fix the price of James's or Howell's novels? or, stronger still, of the "Franklin Arithmetic" and "Appleton's Encydopædia"? In fact, if the argumentation on these matters which fills current literature had any sense in it, we might go on and make a serious argument, of a similar kind, to show how and why the writers of "good" books should be forced to charge enormous prices.

Now, so far as I know, nobody has dared to propose a censorship of literature, or a limitation on the freedom of the press, or state regulation of literature in general, although it is plain that such regulation would be the most obvious case for state interference on the broadest ethical grounds. The dogma that the state should interfere to regulate natural monopolies here fails because it includes too much; therefore it fails, both by inclusion and exclusion, to define the limits of state interference according to the most received ethical principles, and according to the historical practise of civilized states. It remains only a specimen of the fatuity with which current social discussion is afflicted.

When a man is ailing, the first thing which occurs to himself and his friends is that he shall "take something"; from a scientific point of view, however, the worst conse-