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strong shield of a constitutional provision such as I have suggested, these corporations, great and small, could go about their business like other folks, and the only concern they could have in affairs of State would be in common with other citizens : to see that they were administered with honesty and economy.
There are sources of State revenue other than those I have indicated which should be maintained, among which I may mention the tax on offices, which has an interesting history. As long ago as 1810 it was enacted that the prothonotaries and clerks of all the courts of the commonwealth, and all the registers of wills and recorders of deeds should make annually a sworn return of all fees received by them, and pay into the treasury of the State fifty per cent. of the surplus of these receipts above the sum of fifteen hundred dollars set apart in the first instance for the officer. This law is still in operation, though modified by the Act of 1868, and the Legislature had apparently exhausted ingenuity in devising powers for enforcing it. It should have brought into the treasury at least a quarter of a million dollars annually. What it did produce was an exceedingly trivial sum, and in spite of the duties with respect to its collection imposed upon courts, auditors, governors, and auditors general, it was so completely evaded that we must suppose the vigilance shown in hunting up taxable industries to have been wearied out before it reached the case of those nimble politicians who were the favored occupants of exceedingly lucrative offices.
The Legislature of 1868, the same Legislature which grouped together and re-enacted as one measure the complicated and atrocious taxes upon the industries of the State, took pity upon the officials whose fees were taxable, and passed an Act which allowed them two thousand dollars and all office expenses before giving the State its share of fees, and relieved the governor and the auditor general from all unpleasant responsibility by making the report of auditors appointed by the courts to examine the accounts of officers the basis of settlement with the State and conclusive upon everybody. Thenceforward evasions became easy, and, though even in this modified form of the law, the State should receive a large sum as its share of the emoluments of office, it appears by the finance report of 1871 that but ten officials were found to have a taxable surplus and paid a little over twenty thousand
dollars, which was probably one-tenth of the sum honestly due to the commonwealth.
The responsibility for this evasion rests with the courts, which, with extreme complaisance, appoint, at the suggestion of the officers liable to taxation, auditors of their accounts, who will not make any unpleasant inquiries concerning the fees received by their patrons, or report any taxable surplus to the auditor general.
I think the laws taxing the emoluments of officers may be so amended as to make collection of the tax possible, but it will be quite useless, I fear, to ask the Legislature to employ its ingenuity upon this subject.
It would seem to be within the scope of such a paper as this to propose a form of constitutional provision on the subject of taxation, and such an act as would embody a complete tax system for the State. I must plead that I have not had time to prepare the former because it must be so brief, or the latter because it must be so voluminous, and I shall consider my labor well spent if it furnishes useful hints to those whose duty it is to consider and act upon these subjects.
I might continue at length to point out particular evils and suggest special remedies, but I forbear. In looking over the field, I find no power that is not constantly abused and no duty that is not generally evaded. The tax laws, based upon no principle, and in many cases the result of the ignorance and prejudice of legislators, are not felt to be of moral obligation: Conscientious citizens, who would scorn to falsify a business account or defraud a neighbor of a cent, feel justified in concealing their property from the assessor of taxes. I believe that all this can be changed, and that taxes openly and equitably levied will be cheerfully paid. I think a sentiment may be created which will stigmatize the attempt to evade taxes as being more dishonorable than any other fraud, because it robs the community. In purifying the sources of revenue its issues might be made more pure. If one side of the account is honest the other will tend to become also honest. When justice thus transforms the State, loyalty will ennoble the citizen.
It is with such lofty aims as these, and in the faith of their accomplishment, that the representatives of the people should proceed to the long-deferred duty of framing a tax system for the State of Pennsylvania.
THE CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH OF LUTHER.
THE early training and education of the men who have ex
1 erted a mighty influence upon their own times is a subject of especial interest. Especially is this true of the leaders in religious, social or political revolution; we can indeed only understand the revolution itself when we study its author as one that through his early years grew up amid the old state of things, and perhaps seemed even to himself thoroughly receptive to its influences and devoted to its ideas, although he was all the while in training for a revolt from them. We can see how some one side of the old system suggested to his mind thoughts that it had no power to awaken in minds of lesser calibre, or how he explored to all their logical consequences the methods and principles which others accepted in an acquiescent way.
To most readers the reformer Luther is a topic of especial interest in this regard. Next to the Apostles that founded Christendom, he is the man who has most palpably given shape to the institutions and methods of our Christian society, and has most powerfully stamped his own idiosyncracy upon the thoughts of the modern world. What Comte would like to have been, Luther was. The materials for the closer study of his life are exceedingly abundant; besides three contemporary narratives by his friends (Melancthon, Mathesius and Ratzenberger), and one by a hostile critic (Cochlaeus), we have, scattered up and down through the twenty folio volumes of his works, continual and suggestive allusions to his early experiences and surroundings. Carl Jürgens, in his Life of Luther, up to the Controvei sy about Indulgences,' has collected these in a work of more than German patience and thoroughness, which leaves hardly anything more to be desired, except that its author had been briefer. We have taken him as our chief, but by no means exclusive, authority in the account which here follows, endeavoring so far as possible to let Luther
Luther von seiner Geburt bis sur Arblass-streite, 1483-1517., III. Bde. 8vo., (pp. xxxviii ar.d 698; viii and 744; viii and 696.] Leipzig: 1846-7.
tell his own story in such vigorous and idiomatic English as he himself would have employed.
“These 'friends' of mine have made such close search that they do cry out that I was born in Bohemia, brought up at Prague and taught out of Wiclif's books, in which, as they will have it, my father was well read, and, to pass by nothing, they have even explained my name from the Bohemian."
“Nobody-my Spalatin-can better tell you of my parentage than the Counts von Mansfield. I believe that those heroes have still name and honor enough in the Reich to merit credence in this matter. I suspect that this [Bohemian] fabrication has been spread by Ochsenfurt, the Leipzig theologian, the same that would have us believe that Eck was slain, that he might curry favor with us. He is a fellow that can neither be at peace himself, nor suffer others to be so, always ready to do hurt, and of no ability, either.
“But I was born at Eisleben (Nov. 10, 1483, between eleven o'clock and midnight) and was baptized (next day, being Saint Martin's Day) in St. Peter's church of that town. This I do not remember, but I take it on the word of my parents (Hans and Margaretha Ludher) and of my townsmen. My parents had come from (the village of Mohra, my father's birth-place] near Eisenach to that town. For Eisenach contains nearly all my kindred [by the mother's side chiefly), and there I am acknowledged and known to this day, because I was at school there four years. In no town am I better known. I trust that they would not be such fools as to think me the son of (Hans) Luther, and to regard meone as his nephew, another as his uncle, yet another as his cousinif they knew that my father and mother were Bohemians, and not their own flesh and blood.
“The rest of my life [after those four years] I passed in the University of Erfurt, and then in its Monastery, until I came to Wittemberg [as a professor], but was [first of all] at school at Magdeburg a year, my fourteenth."
“Luther is indeed a very common name among us, especially in Saxony, and means a lord (Herr) of the people (Leute). The name is rightly spelled with a ü or a y, followed by a th, instead of the weak d (as was once used], and the Saxons to this day call the worthy Kaiser Lothaire Kaiser Lydher. Scaliger writes his name Lutherius or Lutherus. From this name comes Lotharingia, Ludheringen (French Lorraine) i. e., Luther's abode, so called
1A Declaration of Certain Articles (1520). * Letter to Spalatin of January 14, 1520. (De Wette, Luthers Briefe, I. 390.)
after the uncle of Karl the Great, whom the historians call Lothaire."'1
Six months after Martin's birth his father fixed his home at Mansfeld, a mining town at the foot of the Hartz, and lived there till his death, in 1530. He was a hard-working man, severe to himself and to others, but affectionate and devout in a manly, undemonstrative way, and gifted with a clear, strong understanding. Not less severe, but very different in character, was Luther's mother, Margaretha Lindemann by her maiden name, a person of stern and ascetic piety, who lead a life even more full of hardship and self-denial than that of other German women of her class. His father had been born into the bauer or agricultural class—we shall call them “boors''-but being a younger son, he had to push his own fortune and chose mining. By taking up his residence in Mansfeld, he entered the burger or citizen class, to which his wife belonged, and in which Martin was brought up.
“I have often, in talking with Philip about [astrology],told him my whole life in its order, how one thing came after another, and how I passed it. I am a boor's son. My father, grandfather and forefathers were simple boors. Then he tells me by astrology, that] I would have become a head-man, magistrate, bailiff, and filled whatever other offices they have in the villages, or at any rate a man higher in place than the rest. Then, I tell him, my father was brought to Mansfield and became a miner there, therefore I am. But that I was to become a Baccalaureus, a Magister, a Monk, and so forth, that is not in the stars. . . That I was to take to wife a runaway nun, and beget of her several children—who hath seen that in the stars 22
“My father was a poor miner, and my mother 'used to carry faggots on her back, while she had us children to bring up. She led a very toilsome_blutsauer-life of it, beyond anything that we see among people nowadays.''3 . “People should not flog their children too hard. My father once Aogged me so sorely that I fled from him, and had an aversion to him, until he accustomed me to himself again.''4
"My parents dealt very severely with me, so that I thereby was made timid. My mother once flogged me for a sorry nut, until
1 Namens-buchlein (1537).