The Two Nations

Author of The Breakdown of Money, etc.


e-text prepared by M.B.

"Say what you like, our Queen reigns over the greatest nation that ever existed."

"Which nation ?" asked the young stranger, "for she reigns over two ... two nations;  between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy;  who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets;  who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners and are not governed by the same laws."

"You speak of" — said Egremont hesitatingly.

"The Rich And The Poor."

Disraeli’s Sybil, Book ii, Chapter 5.

To Robert McNair Wilson

My dear Wilson,

Our minds move so much along the same paths, so large is the debt that I owe to you for having brought me to those paths that it is but fitting that I should offer you the dedication of this work.

The footnotes give the authorities for the statistics and for the quotations which appear in the text.  From the text, too, it will, I think, be sufficiently clear who are the writers of the past by whose teaching I have been led to my conclusions.  Among living writers in this, as in all that I have ever written, I gratefully recognize the debt which I owe to Mr. G.K. Chesterton — a debt so large that, in accordance with the best traditions of international finance, I intend never to repay it.  This is a very different book from any book that Mr. Chesterton would himself write.  But it will not have been without its value if it serves to show — what Mr. Chesterton's own brilliance and wit have sometimes concealed — that the dullest and driest of statistics are often clamorous upon his side.  It is worth while being dull if by doing so one can prove to the British public that Mr. Chesterton, when he is brilliant, is also right.

I am under obligation, too, to many others — to some who had no notion that, when they were talking to me, they were helping me to write a book.  But in particular I should like to mention, and to recommend to those who have not come across it, A Main Cause of Unemployment, by Mr. P.C. Loftus, M.P.  When I consulted Mr. Loftus on a point, his modesty caused him to say that he owed his own theories to Holsinger's Mystery of the Trade Depression, but, if it was so, I can only reply as Voltaire replied to the quip that Homer wrote Virgil.  If Holsinger wrote Loftus, it was his best work.

Finally I should like to thank Lord Oxford and Mr. Douglas Woodruff for revising the proofs and my wife for performing the thankless task of making an index.

Christopher Hollis.