Final word

November 17, 1995

This week's Final Word was written by an author who had read the whole of Herodotus in the original ancient Greek by the age of eight:

"The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interest of their mental expansion and elevation to a little more of administrative skill, or of that semblance of it which practice gives in the details of business; a State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes - will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish."

The winner of last week's competition, who identified Ivan Turgenev's Sketches from a Hunter's Album , was Nicholas Brown of London WC1.

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