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[177]

Chapter 26: summer people and county people

In that very interesting book The English Peasant, by Richard Heath, the author chooses as his starting-point the fourteenth century, and calls his second chapter “In worse than Egyptian bondage.” He selects, as the crowning instance of the social extremes of that period, the account given by the old historian Holinshed of the Earl of Leicester's expenses in 1313. This earl, it seems, spent on “his family and people” an amount equal to the wages of 1825 laborers. But in a newspaper statement about an American multimillionaire, lately dead, it is said that he spent on “his family and people” about $2000 a day, which is more than would be earned in many branches of industry by 1825 laborers. If this be an illustration, it would appear that all the science and art of five centuries have not essentially diminished the disproportion which

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