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[107] scales of a cheating pedler, then the more authority you assign to his weights, the worse for you; better guess at it or measure out by the handful. We read in Knickerbocker's New York that the standard weight of the early settlers in dealing with the Indians was the weight of a Dutchman's foot; and no doubt the Indians were told that it was their duty to pay reverence to this form of authority. In England at the present day the authority is not vested in the foot of a Dutchman, but in the coronet of a German; there seems no other difference. A word from the Prince of Wales in London determines not merely the cut of a livery or the wearing of a kid glove, but the good repute of an artist or the bad repute of an actress. If he beckons a poet across the room, the poet feels honored. Indeed, the late Mrs. George Bancroft, a keen observer, once told me that she never knew an Englishman, however eminent in art or science, who, if he had dined with a duke, could help mentioning the fact to all his acquaintances. But is there anything ennobling in this form of social authority?

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