The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, June 01, 1892, Image 7

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    time of making the contract. The case is Thorn
borow vs. Whitacre. It was tried in 1705. The
facts are : Thornborow met Whitacre and said:
“Let us strike a bargain. If I pay you a note
down now, will you give me two rye corns next
Monday, four on Monday week, eight.on Mon
day fortnight, and so on, doubling it every Mon
day for a year ?”
Whitacre quickly accepted the offer. When,
however, he came to calculate the amount of rye
he would have to deliver, he found it came to more
than was grown in a year in all England. Thorn
borow sued Whitacre for failure to perform his
agreement. The court said the contract was
foolish, but was valid. The defendant claimed
the contract was an “impossible contract.” The
court held it was only so in respect of the defend
ant’s ability to perform it. The plaintiff had
The sudden furor caused by Edward Bellamy’s
Looking Backward about four years ago, has to
all appearances died out within the last few years,
and the name of Nationalism, once almost on
every lip, is now seldom heard by the ordinary
run of the people. Occasionally it will come to
our notice. Some one will refer to it in a maga
zine article or one of its believers will have some
thing to say about it in his conversation, but the
general trend of public opinion is that it has died
a natural death and gone the way of all such beau
tiful but impracticable dreams. To people, hold
ing that opinion, Edward Bellamy’s article in the
June number of the North American Review
may be somewhat of a surprise. Instead of feel
ing discouraged Mr; Bellamy seems on the other
hand encouraged. He says, and says rightly, that
the fusion of the Nationalists and Nationalistic
element with the Farmers’ Alliance and the other
organizations which went to make up the Peo
w. c. s.
onward march.
The fact of the matter is that Nationalism is not
a dead but a very live theory indeed. While we
imagined it slept, it has been gaining ground
daily; here aconvert, there a convert, here a bunch
of believers, and there a bunch of believers, till
the number of those who really believe in Nation
alism or a system on its general plan as the solu
tion of the grave problems which are every day
growing more serious would be astonishing if a
poll of them could be taken.
The People’s Party does not contain all, the
nationalists by any means. Many as good Demo
crats and Republicans as ever voted a ticket be
lieve thoroughly in Nationalism.
And why should not the theory make progress.
This century has seen a tremendous upheaval in
society, a renovation that has destroyed forever
the power of the few. In the latter years of the
18th century, England was the only country
where the common people were much better than
serfs and even there freedom was not what- it has
since become. The American and French Revo
lutions were the van of a mighty tidal wave of
destiny that bore feudalism away on its crest and
pie’s Party is a movement of much more import
ance than it is credited with.
He even goes so far as to make the statement
that half the rural weeklies of the West are Na
tionalistic at heart, and he goes on to quote the
words of one brawny farmer at the St. Louis Con
vention of the People’s Party. “Talk about Na
tionalism,” said he, “why west of the Mississippi
we are all Nationalists.” This statement was of
course an exaggeration and was recognized as
such, but it was much nearer the truth of the mat
ter than one would think at first. The free, hardy
pioneers of the western states made luxurious soil
for the tender young plant to thrive in. There
was nothing startling in such a radical theory as
that to men who had become out as mighty agri
cultural empire from the wilderness accustomed
to change and rapid growth as they are, Nation
alistic ideas are but another step forward on their