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The Indian Dispossessed


THOSE of us whose Latin is of the vintage of two or three decades ago may remember Jacobs' Roman History, with its traditional fables of Italy's earliest days, done in easy Latin for beginners; and some may recall the first plunge into Latin translation: "Antiquissimis temporibus Saturnus in Italiam venisse dicitur,"—"In most ancient times Saturn is said to have come into Italy." Then the next sentence disclosed, after due persuasion, that he founded a city, and called it Saturnia; and finally, at the close of this first paragraph, the first word of the Italian people: "Hic Halos primus agriculturam docuit," from which, with much thumbing of the "vocabulary" in the back part of the book, we learned that—"He first taught the Italians agriculture." There, in a nutshell,—or, rather, in a sentence,—is the beginning of Italian civilization; and the beginning was in agriculture—the fundamental art, an art so old among the Italians that its origin was ascribed to Deity.