[Ads-l] Saying: The test of a nation's civilization is its care of its weakest members.

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 14 14:28:18 EDT 2017


“The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities,
nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.”--Ralph
Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, 1870.

On Mar 13, 2017 4:58 PM, "ADSGarson O'Toole" <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> There is a large family of sayings that present a metric for
> evaluating a society. Here is an example.
>
> Year: 1913
> Title: Proceedings of The National Conference of Charities and
> Correction at the Fortieth Annual Session Held in Seattle, Washington,
> July 5-12, 1913
> Article: Probation, Prisons and Parole: The Honor System of Prison Labor
> Author: Mrs. Millie R. Trumbull, Portland, Oregon (Representing
> Governor Oswald West)
> Start Page 116, Quote Page 116
> Printer: Fort Wayne Printing Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana
>
> https://books.google.com/books?id=haY5AQAAMAAJ&q=%22weakest+members%22#v=
> snippet&
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> The test of a nation's civilization is its care of its weakest members.
> [End excerpt]
>
> The expression is highly variable. The first part might refer to a
> society, nation, government, or civilization. The latter part might
> refer to the poor, the less fortunate, the helpless, or the lowest.
>
> Perhaps a list member would be willing to share some earlier examples
> and/or examples from prominent individuals. I see claims that it is
> biblical or ancient, but would like precise citations.
>
> Thanks, Garson
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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