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I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone. Grasping this reality, I let go of my bag, drop to my knees and press my forehead against the floor. There, I offer up to the universe a fervent prayer of thanks. First in English. Then in Italian. And then - just to get the point across - in Sanskrit.
The question I propose to consider is in what way one may justify the study of English on cultural and disciplinary, and not merely on sentimental or utilitarian, grounds. My own conviction is that if English is to be thus justified it must be primarily by what I am terming the discipline of ideas.
It seems to me as good as certain that we cannot get the upper hand against England. The English — the best race in the world — cannot lose! We, however, can lose and shall lose, if not this year then next year. The thought that our race is going to be beaten depresses me terribly, because I am completely German.
All his tunk-a-tunks, his hoo-goo-boos — those mannered, manufactured, individual, uninteresting little sound-inventions — how typical they are of the lecture-style of the English philosopher, who makes grunts or odd noises, uses homely illustrations, and quotes day in and day out from Alice, in order to give what he says some appearance of that raw reality it so plainly and essentially lacks. These tootings at the wedding of the soul are fun for the tooter, but get as dreary for the reader as do all the foreign words — a few of these are brilliant, a few more pleasant, and the rest a disaster: one cannot help deploring his too extensive acquaintance with the foreign languages, as Henry James said, of Walt Whitman, to Edith Wharton.
A statute of 1344 shows some weakness; but the statute of 1391 is memorable, not merely as being the Mortmain Code of three centuries, but as extending the rule of mortmain to all bodies, religious and secular alike, having perpetual succession. For this extension marks the definite recognition by English Law of the corporation, or, as it is sometimes called, the 'fictitious person' - the legal personality which is not restricted to the limits of individual life. The gradual evolution of this institution is one of the most fascinating chapters in legal history...