dollars and forbidding anybody else to carry them for less, although the express companies would be glad of the chance to do the same service for sixteen dollars ; and, 2, by taking toll from all purchasers of whiskey and tobacco at home, and of various other articles from foreign countries.
And yet some people don't know why the thousands of officeholders who are pulling away at the public teats are getting fat while the people are getting poorer. In fact, some people don't know anything at all except, as Josh Billings said, "a grate menny things that ain't so." It is very unfortunate that such people are intrusted with the editing of newspapers.
ERGO AND PRESTO!
[Liberty, July 7, 1888.]
In Henry George may be seen a pronounced type of the not uncommon combination of philosopher and juggler. He possesses in a marked degree the faculty of luminous exposition of a fundamental principle, but this faculty he supplements with another no less developed,—that of so obscuring the connection between his fundamental principle and the false applications thereof which he attempts that only a mind accustomed to analysis can detect the flaw and the fraud. We see this in the numerous instances in which he has made a magnificent defence of the principle of individual liberty in theory, only to straightway deny it in practice, while at the same time palming off his denial upon an admiring following as a practical affirmation. Freedom of trade is the surest guarantee of prosperity; ergo, there must be perfect liberty of banking; presto! there shall be no issue of money save by the government. Here, by the sly divorce of money-issuing from banking, he seems to justify the most ruinous of monopolies by the principle of liberty. And this is but an abridgment of the road by which he reaches very many of his practical conclusions. His simplicity and clearness as a philosopher so win the confidence of his disciples that he can successfully play the rôle of a prestidigitator before their very eyes. They do not notice the transformation from logic to legerdemain. For a certain distance he proceeds carefully, surely, and straight-forwardly by the method of ergo; and then, when the minds of his followers are no longer on the alert, presto! he suddenly
shouts, and in a twinkling they are switched off upon the track