Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/315

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Speaking of the Dakotas, who are politically unorganized, and who had not even nominal chiefs till the whites began to make distinctions among them, Burton says, "Ceremony and manners, in our sense of the word, they have none;" and he instances the entrance of a Dakota into a stranger's house with a mere exclamation meaning "Well!" Bailey remarks of the Veddahs, that in addressing others "they use none of the honorifics so profusely common in Singhalese; the pronoun 'to,' 'thou,' being alone used, whether they are addressing each other, or those whose position would entitle them to outward respect." These cases will sufficiently indicate the general fact that where there is no subordination, speeches which exalt the person spoken to and abase the person speaking do not arise. Conversely, where personal government is absolute, verbal self-humiliations and verbal exaltations of others assume exaggerated forms. Communities such as we find in Siam, where every subject is a slave of the king, are those in which the inferior calls himself dust under the feet of the superior, while ascribing to the superior transcendent powers, and where the forms of address, even between equals, avoid naming the person addressed. It is in social organizations like that of China, where there is no check on the power of the "Imperial Supreme," that the phrases of adulation and humility, first used in intercourse with rulers and afterward spreading, have elaborated to such extremes that in inquiring another's name the form is, "May I presume to ask what is your noble surname and your eminent name?" while the reply is, "The name of my cold (or poor) family is——, and my ignoble name is——." Or, again, if we ask where occur the most elaborate misuses of pronouns initiated by ceremony, we find them among the Japanese, over whom chronic wars long ago established a despotism which acquired divine prestige.

So, too, on comparing the Europe of past times, characterized by social structures developed by, and fitted for, perpetual fighting, with modern Europe, in which, though fighting on a large scale occurs, it is the temporary rather than the permanent form of social activity, we observe that complimentary expressions, now less used, are also less exaggerated. Nor does the contrast fail when we put side by side the modern European societies that are organized in greater degree for war, like those of the Continent, and our own society, not so well organized for war; or when we put side by side the regulative parts of our own society, which are developed by militancy, with the industrial parts. Flattering superlatives and expressions of devotion are less profuse here than they are abroad; and, much as the use of complimentary language has diminished among our ruling classes in recent times, there still remains a greater use of it than among the industrial classes—especially those of the industrial classes who have no direct relations with the ruling classes.

These connections are obviously, like previous ones, necessary. Should any one say that along with the enforced obedience which mili-