17 AUGUST 1944, Page 12


SIR,—In his review of Professor Laird's essay, " The Device' of. Gov ment," Professor D. W. Brogan, commenting on the Gettysburg Ad suggests that. Professor Laird has not noticed ." the real omission' its definition of democracy ; that Lincoln's phrase " Government of People " was intended to mean government deriving its authority f the people (in accordance with the preamble of the American Constitus " We, the people of the United States . . .") ; and that Lincoln fo or neglected to state the other sense of " Government of the People" a people as the object—the sense, indeed, m which the words are comm understood.

But Lincoln's complete phrase was " . . that government of people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from earth." If Professor Brogan's surmise is correct, what . meaning is io be attached to the words " by the people "? Would not -they be redundant? The whole address contains only ten sentences:- a Lincoln be likely, in a speech of such content and brevity, to mar