What Constitutes a State

Image from the University of Duisburg Essen website


In one of his lyrics, Sir William Jones, the great oriental scholar and judge, breaks forth into the annexed statistic strain:

What constitutes a state?
Not high raised monuments or labored mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride.
Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.
No! men, high minded men!
With powers as far above dull brutes endured
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and and brambles rude;
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain,
Prevent the long aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain!
These constitute a state.

Alton Observer (Alton, Illinois) Jan 19, 1837

And what would TRUE POLITICS be without a little plagiarism? James Sidney Rollins appears to have used this verse, minus a few lines in a letter sometime around 1870. I can’t find any citation/credit in the book:

Title: James Sidney Rollins, memoir
Author: William Benjamin Smith
Publisher: Printed at the De Vinne Press, 1891
Page 253

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