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Title: The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891" ***

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June, 1891

  The New Columbus                                        JULIAN HAWTHORNE

  The Unknown (Part I)                                  CAMILLE FLAMMARION

  The Chivalry of the Press                                JULIUS CHAMBERS

  Society's Exiles                                            B. O. FLOWER

  Evolution and Christianity                     PROF. JAS. T. BIXBY, Ph.D.

  The Irrigation Problem in the Northwest                  JAMES REALF, JR.

  Revolutionary Measures and Neglected Crimes    PROF. JOS. RODES BUCHANAN

  Spencer's Doctrine of Inconceivability              REV. T. ERNEST ALLEN

  The Better Part                                  WILLIAM ALLEN DROMGOOLE

  The Heiress of the Ridge                                   NO-NAME PAPER

  The Brook                                                        P. H. S.

  Optimism, Real and False                                       EDITORIAL

  The Pessimistic Cast of Modern Thought                         EDITORIAL

July, 1891

  Oliver Wendell Holmes                       GEORGE STEWART, D.C.L., LL.D.

  Plutocracy and Snobbery in New York                        EDGAR FAWCETT

  Should the Nation Own the Railways?                        C. WOOD DAVIS

  The Unknown (Part II)                                 CAMILLE FLAMMARION

  The Swiss and American Constitutions                     W. D. MCCRACKAN

  The Tyranny of All the People                       REV. FRANCIS BELLAMY

  Revolutionary Measures and Neglected Crimes,
            (Part 2d)                            PROF. JOS. RODES BUCHANAN

  Æonian Punishment                                 REV. W. E. MANLEY, D.D.

  The Negro Question                               PROF. W. S. SCARBOROUGH

  A Prairie Heroine                                         HAMLIN GARLAND

  An Epoch-Marking Drama                                         EDITORIAL

  The Present Revolution in Theological Thought                  EDITORIAL

  The Conflict Between Ancient and Modern Thought in the
            Presbyterian Church                                  EDITORIAL

August, 1891

  The Unity of Germany                                   MME. BLAZE DEBURY

  Should the Nation Own the Railways?                        C. WOOD DAVIS

  Where Must Lasting Progress Begin?                ELIZABETH CADY STANTON

  My Home Life                                           AMELIA B. EDWARDS

  The Tyranny of Nationalism                          REV. MINOT J. SAVAGE

  Individuality in Education                       PROF. MARY L. DICKINSON

  The Working-Women of To-day                               HELEN CAMPBELL

  The Independent Party and Money at Cost                    R. B. HASSELL

  Psychic Experiences                                    SARA A. UNDERWOOD

  A Decade of Retrogression                  FLORENCE KELLEY WISCHNEWETZKY

  Old Hickory's Ball                                  WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE

  The Era of Woman                                               EDITORIAL

September, 1891

  The Newer Heresies                             REV. GEO. C. LORIMER, D.D.

  Harvest and Laborers in the Psychical Field         FREDERIC W. H. MYERS

  Fashion's Slaves                                            B. O. FLOWER

  Un-American Tendencies                        REV. CARLOS D. MARTYN, D.D.

  Extrinsic Significance of Constitutional
            Government in Japan                            KUMA OISHI, A.M.

  University Extension                               PROF. WILLIS BOUGHTON

  Pope Leo on Labor                                      THOMAS B. PRESTON

  The Austrian Postal Banking System                      SYLVESTER BAXTER

  Another View of Newman                                 WILLIAM M. SALTER

  Inter-Migration Rabbi                                  SOLOMON SCHINDLER

  He Came and Went Again                                      W. N. HARBEN

  O Thou Who Sighest for a Broader Field                JULIA ANNA WOLCOTT

  An Evening at the Corner Grocery                          HAMLIN GARLAND

October, 1891

  James Russell Lowell                        GEORGE STEWART, D.C.L., LL.D.

  Healing Through the Mind                                      HENRY WOOD

  Mr. and Mrs. James A. Herne                               HAMLIN GARLAND

  Some Weak Spots in the French Republic                  THEODORE STANTON

  Leaderless Mobs                                            H. C. BRADSBY

  Madame Blavatsky at Adyar                              MONCURE D. CONWAY

  Emancipation by Nationalism                          THADDEUS B. WAKEMAN

  Recollections of Old Play-Bills                        CHARLES H. PATTEE

  The Microscope                                    DR. FREDERICK GAERTNER

  A Grain of Gold                                     WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE

  Religious Intolerance To-day                                   EDITORIAL

  Social Conditions Under Louis XV                               EDITORIAL

November, 1891

  Pharisaism in Public Life                                      EDITORIAL

  Cancer Spots in Metropolitan Life                              EDITORIAL

  The Saloon                                                     EDITORIAL

  Hot-beds of Social Pollution                                   EDITORIAL

  The Power and Responsibility of the Christian Ministry         EDITORIAL

  What the Clergy Might Accomplish                               EDITORIAL


June, 1891

  B. O. Flower

  Julius Chambers

  Out of Work

  Invalid in Chair

  Cellarway Leading to Under-Ground Apartments

  Sick Man in Under-Ground Apartment

  Constance and Maggie

  Exterior of a North End Tenement House

  Under-Ground Tenement with Two Beds

  Widow and two Children in Under-Ground Tenement

  Portuguese Widow in Attic

  Portuguese Widow and Three Children

  The Victoria Square Apartment House, Liverpool, Eng.

  Rev. T. Ernest Allen

July, 1891

  Oliver Wendell Holmes

August, 1891

  Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  Amelia B. Edwards

September, 1891

  Rev. Geo. C. Lorimer

  Illustrations of "Fashion's Slaves"

  Prominent Actresses in Costume

  Kuma Oishi

October, 1891

  James Russell Lowell

  Mr. and Mrs. James A. Herne

  Mr. and Mrs. James A. Herne Illustrated in Character

November, 1891

  Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge

  Noted Members of the South Dakota Divorce Colony

[Illustration: (signed) Cordially Yours B. Orange Flower]


No. XIX.

JUNE, 1891.



History repeats itself, but on new planes. Often, a symbol appears in
one age, and the spirit of which it is the expression is revealed in
another. Each answers the need of its own time. From the creative
standpoint, which is out of time, spirit and symbol are one; but to us,
who see things successively, they seem as prior and posterior.

If this be so, it should be possible for a thoughtful and believing mind
in some measure to forecast the future from the record of the past. No
doubt, past and present contain the germs of all that is to be, were the
analyst omniscient. But it needs not omniscience roughly to body-forth
the contours of coming events. It is done daily, on a smaller or larger
scale, with more or less plausibility. All theories are grounded in this
principle. And it is noticeable that, at this moment, such tentative
prophesies are more than frequent, and more comprehensive than usual in
their scope.

The condition of mankind, during the last quarter of the fifteenth
century, bore some curious analogies to its state at present. A certain
stage or epoch of human life seemed to have run its course and come to a
stop. The impulses which had started it were exhausted. In the political
field, feudalism, originally beneficent, had become tyrannous and
stifling; and monarchy, at first an austere necessity, had grown to be,
beyond measure, arrogant, selfish, and luxurious. In science, the old
methods had proved themselves puerile and inefficient, and the leading
scientists were magicians and witches; in literature, no poet had arisen
worthy to strike the lyre that Chaucer tuned to music. As for religion,
the corruptions of the papacy, and the corresponding degradation of the
monasteries and of the priesthood generally, had brought it down from a
region of sublime and self-abnegating faith, to a commodity for raising
money, and a cloak to hide profligacy. Martin Luther was still in the
womb of the future; and so were Shakespeare, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes,
and Oliver Cromwell. Pessimists were declaring, according to their
invariable custom, that what was bad would get worse, and that what was
good would disappear. But there were, scattered here and there
throughout Christendom, a number of men of the profounder, optimistic
tendency, who saw in existing abuses but the misuse or misapprehension
of elements intrinsically good; who knew that evils bear in themselves
the seeds of their own extirpation; and who believed that Providence,
far from having failed in its design to secure the ultimate happiness of
the human race, was bringing the old order of things to a close in order
to provide place for something new and higher.

But that obstacle in the way of improvement which was apparently the
most immovable, was the geographical one. The habitable earth was used
up. Outside of Europe there was nothing, save inaccessible wilderness,
and barren, boundless seas. There was nothing for the mass of men to do,
and yet their energy and desire were as great as ever; there was nowhere
for them to go, and yet they were steadily increasing in numbers. The
Crusades had amused them for a while, but they were done with; the
plague had thinned them out, and war had helped the plague; but the
birth-rate was more than a match for both. A new planet, with all the
fresh interests and possibilities which that would involve, seemed
absolutely necessary. But who should erect a ladder to the stars, or
draw them down from the sky within man's reach? The one indispensable
thing was also the one thing impossible.

If, next year, we were to learn that some miraculous Ericsson or Edison
had established a practicable route to the planet Mars, and that this
neighbor of ours in the solar system was found to be replete with all
the things that we most want and can least easily get,--were such news
to reach us, we might comprehend the sensation created in the Europe of
1492, four centuries ago, when it received the information that a
certain Christopher Columbus had discovered a brand new continent,
overflowing with gold and jewels, on the other side of the Atlantic. The
impossible had happened. Our globe was not the petty sphere that it had
been assumed to be. There was room in it for everybody, and a fortune
for the picking up. And all the world, with Spain in the van, prepared
to move on El Dorado. A whiff of the fresh Western air blew in all
nostrils, and re-animated the moribund body of civilization. The
stimulus of Columbus' achievement was felt in every condition of human
life and phase of human activity. Mankind once more saw a future, and
bound up its loins to take advantage of it. Literature felt the electric
touch, and blossomed in the unmatched geniuses of the Elizabethan age.
Science ceased to reason _à priori_, and began to investigate and
classify facts. Human liberty began to be conscious of thews and sinews,
soon to be tested in the struggle of the Netherlands against Philip II.
of Spain, and, later, in that of the people of England against their own
Charles Stuart. Religion was heard to mutter something about the rights
of private conscience, and anon the muttering took form in the heroic
protest of the man of Eisleben. It was like the awakening in the palace
of the Sleeping Beauty, in the fairy-tale. Columbus had kissed the lips
of the Princess America, and at once the long-pent stream of old-world
life dashed onward like a cataract.

A new world! Four hundred years have passed, and the New World is less a
novelty than it was. We have begun to suspect that no given number of
square miles of land, no eloquence and sagacity of paper preambles and
declarations, no swiftness of travel nor instantaneousness of
communication, no invincibility of ironclads nor refinement of society,
no logic in religion, no gospel of political economy,--none of these and
a hundred other things will read us the Riddle of the Sphinx. _Non tali
auxilio, nec defensoribus istis!_ The elements of true life lie deeper
and are simpler. Once more, it seems, we have reached the limits of a
dispensation, and are halted by a blank wall. There is no visible way
over it, nor around it. We cannot stand still; still less can we turn
back. What is to happen? What happens when an irresistible force
encounters an impenetrable barrier?

That was the question asked in Columbus' day; and he found an answer to
it. Are we to expect the appearance of a new Columbus to answer it
again? To unimaginative minds it looks as if there were no career for a
new Columbus. In the first place, population is increasing so fast that
soon even the steppes of Russia and the western American plains will be
overcrowded. Again, land, and the control of industries, are falling
into the possession of a comparative handful of persons, to whom the
rest of the population must inevitably become subject; or, should the
latter rebel, the ensuing period of chaos would be followed, at best, by
a return of the old conditions. Religion is a lifeless letter, a school
of good-breeding, a philosophical amusement; the old unreasoning faith
that moved mountains can never revive. Science advances with ever more
and yet more caution, but each new step only confirms the conviction
that the really commanding secrets of existence will forever elude
discovery. Literature, rendered uncreative by the scientific influence,
has fallen to refining upon itself, and photographing a narrow
conception of facts. The exhausting heats of Equatorial Africa, and the
paralyzing cold of the Poles, forbid the hope of successful colonization
of those regions. Social life is an elaborate apeing of behavior which
has no root in the real impulses of the human heart; its true underlying
spirit is made up of hatred, covetousness, and self-indulgence. There
are no illusions left to us, no high, inspiring sentiment. We have
reached our limit, and the best thing to be hoped for now is some vast
cataclysmal event, which, by destroying us out-of-hand, may save us the
slow misery of extinction by disease, despair, and the enmity of every
man against every other. What Columbus can help us out of such a

Such is the refrain of the nineteenth century pessimist. But, as before,
the sprouting of new thought and belief is visible to the attentive eye
all over the surface of the sordid field of a decaying civilization. The
time has come when the spirit of Columbus' symbol shall avouch itself,
vindicating the patient purpose of Him who brings the flower from the
seed. Great discoveries come when they are needed; never too early nor
too late. When nothing else will serve the turn, then, and not till
then, the rock opens, and the spring gushes forth. Who that has
considered the philosophy of the infinitely great and of the infinitely
minute can doubt the inexhaustibleness of nature? And what is nature but
the characteristic echo, in sense, of the spirit of man?

Even on the material plane, there are numberless opportunities for the
new Columbus. Ever and anon a canard appears in a newspaper, or a
romance is published, reporting or describing some imaginary invention
which is to revolutionize the economical situation. The problem of
air-navigation is among the more familiar of these suggestions, though
by no means the most important of them. No doubt we shall fly before
long, but that mode of travel will be, after all, nothing more than an
improvement upon existing means of intercommunication. After the
principle has been generally adopted, and the novelty has worn off, we
shall find ourselves not much better, nor much worse off than we were
before. Flying will be but another illustration of the truth that
competition is only intensified by the perfecting of its instruments.
Men will still be poor and rich, happy and unhappy, as formerly. If I
can go from New York to London in a day, instead of in a week, so also
can those against whom I am competing. The idea that there is any real
gain of time is an illusion; the day will still contain its
four-and-twenty hours, and I shall, as before, sleep so many, play so
many, and work so many. Relatively, my state will be unchanged.

More promising is the idea of the transformation of matter. Science is
now nearly ready to affirm that substances of all kinds are specific
conditions of etheric vortices. Vibration is the law of existence, and
if we could control vibrations, we could create substances, either
directly from the etheric base, or, mediately, by inducing the atoms of
any given substance so to modify their mutual arrangement, or
characteristic vibration, as to produce another substance. It is evident
that if this feat is ever performed, it must be by some process of
elemental simplicity, readily available for every tyro. A prophet has
arisen, during these latter days, in Philadelphia, who somewhat
obscurely professes to be on the track of this discovery. He is commonly
regarded as a charlatan; but men cognizant of the latest advances of
science admit themselves unable to explain upon any known principles the
effects he produces. It need not be pointed out that if Mr. Keely, or
any one else, has found a way to metamorphose one substance into
another, the consequences to the world must be profound. Labor for one's
daily bread will be a thing of the past, when bread may be made out of
stones by the mere setting-up of a particular vibration. The race for
wealth will cease, when every one is equally able to command all the
resources of the globe. The whole point of view regarding the material
aspects of life will be vitally altered; leisure (so far as necessary
physical effort is concerned) will inevitably be universal. For when we
consider what have been the true motives of civilization and its
appurtenances during the greater part of the historical period, we find
it to be the desire to better our physical condition. It is commerce
that has built cities, made railroads, laws, and wars, maintained the
boundaries of nations, and kept up the human contact which we are
accustomed to call society. When commerce ceases--as it will cease, when
there is no longer any reason for its existence--all the results of it
that we have mentioned will cease also. In other words, civilization and
society, as we now know them, will disappear. Human beings will stay
where they are born, and live as the birds do. There will be no work
except creative or artistic work, done for the mere pleasure of the
doing, voluntarily. Society will no longer be based upon mutual
rivalries and the gain of personal advantage. Science will not be
pursued on its present lines, or for its present ends; for when the
human race has attained leisure and the gratification of its material
wants, it would have no motives for further merely physical

This would seem to involve a new kind of barbarism. And so, no doubt, it
would, were the discoveries of our Columbus to be limited to the
material plane. But it is far more probable that material
transubstantiation will be merely the corollary or accompaniment of an
infinitely more important revelation and expansion in the spiritual
sphere. What we are to expect is an awakening of the soul; the
re-discovery and re-habilitation of the genuine and indestructible
religious instinct. Such a religious revival will be something very
different from what we have hitherto known under that name. It will be a
spontaneous and joyful realization by the soul of its vital relations
with its Creator. Ecclesiastical forms and dogmas will vanish, and
nature will be recognized as a language whereby God converses with man.
The interpretation of this language, based as it is upon an eternal and
living symbolism, containing infinite depths beyond depths of meaning,
will be a sufficient study and employment for mankind forever. Art will
receive an inconceivable stimulus, from the recognition of its true
significance as a re-humanization of nature, and from the perception of
its scope and possibilities. Science will become, in truth, the handmaid
of religion, in that it will be devoted to reporting the physical
analogies of spiritual truths, and following them out in their subtler
details. Hitherto, the progress of science has been slow, and subject to
constant error and revision, because it would not accept the inevitable
dependence of body on soul, as of effect on cause. But as soon as
physical research begins to go hand-in-hand with moral or psychical, it
will advance with a rapidity hitherto unimagined, each assisting and
classifying the other. The study of human nature will give direction to
the study of the nature that is not human; and the latter will
illustrate and confirm the conclusions of the former. More than half the
difficulties of science as now practised is due to ignorance of what to
look for; but when it can refer at each step to the truths of the mind
and heart, this obstacle will disappear, and certainty take the place of

The attitude of men towards one another will undergo a corresponding
change. It is already become evident that selfishness is a colossal
failure. Viewed as to its logical results, it requires that each
individual should possess all things and all power. Hostile collision
thus becomes inevitable, and more is lost by it than can ever be gained.
Recent social theorists propose a universal co-operation, to save the
waste of personal competition. But competition is a wholesome and vital
law; it is only the direction of it that requires alteration. When the
cessation of working for one's livelihood takes place, human energy and
love of production will not cease with it, but will persist, and must
find their channels. But competition to outdo each in the service of all
is free from collisions, and its range is limitless. Not to support
life, but to make life more lovely, will be the effort; and not to make
it more lovely for one's self, but for one's neighbor. Nor is this all.
The love of the neighbor will be a true act of Divine worship, since it
will then be acknowledged that mankind, though multiplied to human
sense, is in essence one; and that in that universal one, which can have
no self-consciousness, God is present or incarnate. The divine humanity
is the only real and possible object of mortal adoration, and no genuine
sentiment of human brotherhood is conceivable apart from its
recognition. But, with it, the stature of our common manhood will grow
towards the celestial.

Obviously, with thoughts and pursuits of this calibre to engage our
attention, we shall be very far from regretting those which harass and
enslave us to-day. Leaving out of account the extension of psychical
faculties, which will enable the antipodes to commune together at will,
and even give us the means of conversing with the inhabitants of other
planets, and which will so simplify and deepen language that audible
speech, other than the musical sounds indicative of emotion, will be
regarded as a comic and clumsy archaism,--apart from all this, the
fathomless riches of wisdom to be gathered from the commonest daily
objects and outwardly most trivial occurrences, will put an end to all
craving for merely physical change of place and excitement. Gradually
the human race will become stationary, each family occupying its own
place, and living in patriarchal simplicity, though endowed with power
and wisdom that we should now consider god-like. The sons and daughters
will go forth whither youthful love calls them; but, with the perfecting
of society, those whose spiritual sympathies are closest will never be
spatially remote; lovers will not then, as now, seek one another in the
ends of the earth, and probably miss one another after all. Each member
of the great community will spontaneously enlist himself in the service
of that use which he is best qualified to promote; and, as in the human
body, all the various parts, in fulfilling their function, will serve
one another and the whole.

Perhaps the most legitimately interesting phase of this speculation
relates to the future of these qualities and instincts in human nature
which we now call evil and vicious. Since these qualities are innate,
they can never be eradicated, nor even modified in intensity or
activity. They belong with us, nay, they are all there is of us, and
with their disappearance, we ourselves should disappear. Are we, then,
to be wicked forever? Hardly so; but, on the contrary, what we have
known as wickedness will show itself to be the only possible basis and
energy of goodness. These tremendous appetites and passions of ours were
not given us to be extinguished, but to be applied aright.

They are like fire, which is the chief of destroyers when it escapes
bounds, or is misused; but, in its right place and function, is among
the most indispensable of blessings. But to enlarge upon this thought
would carry us too far from the immediate topic; nor is it desirable to
follow with the feeble flight of our imagination the heaven-embracing
orbit of this theme. A hint is all that can be given, which each must
follow out for himself. We have only attempted to indicate what regions
await the genius of the new Columbus; nor does the conjecture seem too
bold that perhaps they are not so distant from us in time as they appear
to be in quality. They are with us now, if we would but know it.




_Translated from the author's manuscript, by G. A. H. Meyer and
J. H. Wiggin._

  Croire tout découvert est une erreur profonde:
  C'est prendre l'horizon pour les bornes du monde.

  (To fancy all known is an error profound,--
  The sky-line mistaking for earth's utmost bound.)

The idea expressed in this distich is so self-evident that we might
almost characterize it as trite. Yet the history of every science marks
many eminent men, of superior intelligence, who have been arrested in
the way of progress by a wholly contrary opinion, and have very
innocently supposed that science had uttered to them her last word. In
astronomy, in physics, in chemistry, in optics, in natural history, in
physiology, in anatomy, in medicine, in botany, in geology, in all
branches of human knowledge, it would be easy to fill several pages with
the names of celebrated men who believed science would never pass the
limits reached in their own time, and that nothing remained to be
discovered thereafter. In the army of wise men now living it would not
be difficult to name many distinguished scholars who imagine that, in
the spheres whereof they are masters, it is needless to search for
anything new.

It may be unbecoming to talk about one's self, but as, on the one side,
some have done me the honor to ask what I think of certain
problems,--while, on the other side, I have been more than once accused
of busying myself, in a rather unscientific way, with certain vague
investigations,--I will begin by acknowledging that the maxim contained
in the two verses of my motto has been the conviction of my whole life;
and if, from my callow youth until this very day, I have been interested
in the study of phenomena pertaining to the domain of inquiries called
occult, such as magnetism, spiritualism, hypnotism, telepathy,
ghost-seeing, it is because I believe we know next to nothing of what
may be known, and that nearly everything still remains to be
apprehended; for I believe the thirst for knowledge is one of our best
faculties, the one most prolific, without which we should still be
dwelling in an Age of Stone, inasmuch as it is our right, if not our
duty, to seek the truth by all the methods accessible to our
intellectual powers.

It is for this reason that I published among other things, in the course
of the year 1865,--now a quarter-century past,--a treatise entitled
Unknown Natural Forces, and touching certain questions analogous to
those which are to occupy our attention in this paper; and so I ask my
readers to note the following quotations therefrom, as an introduction
to our present investigation:

    It is foolish to suppose that all things are known to us.

    True wisdom involves continual study.

    In the month of June, 1776, a young man, the Marquis de
    Jouffroy, was experimenting upon the Doubs,[1] with a steamboat
    forty feet long by six feet wide. For two years he had been
    inviting scientific attention to his invention; for two years he
    had insisted that steam was a powerful force, heretofore
    unappreciated. All ears remained deaf to his voice. Complete
    isolation was his sole recompense. When he walked through the
    streets of Beaume-les-Dames, a thousand jests greeted his
    appearance. They nicknamed him Jouffroy the Pump. Ten years
    later, having constructed a _pyroscaphe_ [steamboat] which
    voyaged along the Saone, from Lyons to Isle Barbe, Jouffroy
    presented a petition to Cabinet Minister Calonne and to the
    Academy of Sciences. They refused even to look at his invention.

     [1] The Doubs is a stream after which one of the Eastern
         Departments of France is named. Its principal city is
         Besançon, the birthplace of Victor Hugo.

    On August 9, 1803, Robert Fulton, the American, ascended the
    Seine in a novel steamboat, at a speed of six kilometers per
    hour. The Academy of Sciences and the government officials
    witnessed the experiment. On the tenth they had forgotten him,
    and Fulton departed to try his fortunes with his own countrymen.

    In 1791 an Italian, named Galvani, suspended from the bars of
    his window at Bologna some flayed frogs, which he that morning
    had seen in motion on a table, although they had been killed the
    night before. This incident seemed incredible, and was
    unanimously rejected by those to whom he related it. Learned men
    would have considered it below their dignity to take any pains
    to verify his story, so sure were they of its impossibility.
    Galvani, however, had noticed that the maximum effect was
    produced when a metallic arc, of tin and copper, was brought
    into contact with the lumbar nerves and pedal extremities of a
    frog. Then the animal would be violently convulsed. The observer
    believed this came from a nervous fluid, and so he lost the
    advantage of his observations. It was reserved for Volta to
    really discover electricity.

    Yet already Europe is furrowed by wagons drawn by flame-mouthed
    dragons. Distances have vanished before the patience of the
    humble workers of the world, which is reduced to pettiness by
    the genius of man. The longest journeys have become well-trodden
    promenades; the most gigantic tasks are accomplished under the
    potential and tireless hand of this unseen force; a telegraphic
    despatch flies, in the twinkling of an eye, from one continent
    to the other; without leaving our armchairs, we converse with
    the inhabitants of London and Saint Petersburg; yet these
    miracles pass unnoticed. We do not dream to what struggles, to
    what mortifications, to what persecutions, these wonders are
    due; and we do not reflect that the impossible of yesterday has
    become the actual of to-day.

    There are men who call to us: "Halt, ye small scientists! We do
    not understand you! Consequently, you cannot yourselves
    comprehend what you are talking about!" We may reply: However
    narrow your judgment, your myopia does not afflict all mankind.
    It must be declared to you, gentlemen, that in spite of
    yourselves, despite your ravings, the chariot of human knowledge
    advances further than ever before, and will continue its
    triumphal march towards the conquest of new powers.

    Like the spasms of Galvani's frog, certain crude facts, about
    which you are skeptical, reveal the existence of natural forces
    as yet unknown. There is no effect without a cause. The human
    being is the least known of all beings within our ken. We have
    learned how to measure the sun, to traverse celestial distances,
    to analyze starlight; yet we are ignorant as to what we
    ourselves are. Man is a double being, _homo duplex_; and this
    double nature remains a mystery to himself. We think; but what
    is thought? Nobody can say. We walk; but what is this organic
    action? Nobody knows. My will is an immaterial force; all the
    faculties of my soul are immaterial; nevertheless, if I will to
    raise my arm, this volition overcomes matter. How does this
    power act? What mediation serves for the conveyance of the
    mental command, in order to produce a physical effect? As yet no
    one can answer.

    Tell me how the optic nerve transmits to our mentality a vision
    of external objects! Tell me how thought conceives and where it
    resides, and of what nature is cerebral activity! Tell me...!
    But no! I could question you for ten years, without the greatest
    among you being able to solve the least of my riddles.

    In this, as in the cases before adduced, we have the unknown for
    our problem. I am far from saying that the force brought into
    play in these phenomena can some day be employed like
    electricity or steam. Such a notion would be neither more nor
    less than absurd! Nevertheless, though differing essentially
    from those, occult force is not the less real.

    Several years ago I designated this unknown force by the title
    _psychical_. This designation may well be retained.

    Can we not find the happy medium between absolute negation and
    dangerous credulity? Is it reasonable either to deny everything
    we do not comprehend, or to accept all the fantasies engendered
    in the vortex of disordered imaginations? Can we not achieve at
    the same time the humility which becomes the weak and the
    dignity which befits the strong?

    I conclude this statement as I began it, by declaring that it is
    not in favor of the Davenport Brothers that I plead; nor do I
    take up the gauntlet for any sect, for any group of people, or
    for any person whatsoever; but I contend in behalf of certain
    facts, of whose validity I was convinced years ago, though
    without understanding their cause.

I beg the reader to excuse the length of this citation; but it seems to
me to serve so naturally as an introduction to this present inquiry that
even to-day, after a lapse of a quarter-century, I really see no
important changes to be made in this old declaration, except to add that
it now appears to me to have been rather audacious on the part of a man
so very young, and that it forthwith won him many hearty enemies among
the elect of science.

The experimental method is bound to conquer here, as everywhere. Let us,
then, without partisanship, study the question under its divers aspects.


"The immortality of the soul is a matter so important," writes Pascal,
"that one must have lost all moral sensibility if he remains indifferent
as to its nature."

Why should we give up the hope of ever arriving at a knowledge of the
nature of the thinking principle which animates us, and of ascertaining
whether or not it outlives the destruction of the body? It must be
admitted that hitherto science has taught us nothing on this fundamental
subject. Is this any reason for renouncing the study of the problem? On
this, as on many other points, we are not of the same mind as those
material Positivists who declare themselves satisfied with not knowing
anything. We think, on the contrary, that we should attack the problem
by all methods, and not neglect a single hint which may aid the

Personally, I declare that I have not yet discovered for myself one fact
which proves with certainty the existence of soul as separate from body.
Otherwise, however sublime astronomical science may be,--though it stand
at the head of human researches, as the first, the most important, and
the most widespread of all sciences,--I avow that, if the inductive
method had permitted me to penetrate secrets of existence, I should
inevitably have abandoned the science of the firmament, for that which
would have dethroned the other through its prime and unequalled
importance; since it would be superfluous for us to evade the fact that
the gravest and most interesting of all questions, to ourselves, is that
of our continuous personal existence. The existence of God, of the
entire universe, touches us far less intimately. If we ever cease to
live (for what is the span of a human life in the light of eternity!) it
is a matter of utter indifference to us whether other things exist or
not. Doubtless this reasoning is severely egotistic! Ah, how can it be

If we have no clear and irrefutable proofs, we have still the aid of a
goodly number of observations, establishing the conclusion that we are
compassed about by a set of phenomena, and by powers differing from the
physical order commonly observed day by day; and these phenomena urge us
to pursue every line of investigation, having for its end a psychical
acquaintance with human nature.

Let us begin at the beginning, with a recital of observations which,
from their very nature, have the disadvantage of being very personal.


At the age of sixteen, on my way home one day from the Paris
Observatory, I noticed, on the bookseller's stand in the Galeries de
l'Odeon, a green-covered volume entitled Le Livre des Esprits (Book of
Spirits), by Allan-Kardec. I bought it, and read it through at a
sitting. There was in it something unexpected, original, curious. Were
they true, the phenomena therein recounted? Did they solve the great
problem of futurity, as the author contended? In my anxiety to ascertain
this I made the acquaintance of the high-priest, for Allan-Kardec had
made of Spiritism a veritable religion. I assisted at the séances. I
experimented and became myself a medium. In one of Allan-Kardec's works,
called Genesis, over the signature of Galilee, may be read a whole
chapter on Cosmogony, which I wrote in a mediumistic condition.

I was at that time connected with the principal circles in Paris where
these experiments were tried, and for two years I even filled the
exacting position of secretary to one of these circles, an office which
morally bound me not to be absent from a single séance.

Communications were received in three different ways: by writing with
our own hands; by placing our hands upon planchette, in which a pencil
was placed which did the writing; by raps beneath the table, or by
movements which indicated certain letters, when the alphabet was
repeated aloud by one of the sitters.

The first method was the only one in use in the Society for Spiritualist
Study presided over by Allan-Kardec; but it is the method leaving the
widest margin for doubt. Indeed, at the end of several years of
experimenting in this fashion, the result was that I became skeptical
even of myself, and for the reasons following.

It cannot be denied that, under mediumistic conditions, one does not
write in his usual fashion. In the normal state, when we wish to write a
sentence, we mentally construct that sentence--if not the whole of it,
at least a part of it--before writing the words. The pen and hand obey
the creative thought. It is not so when one writes mediumistically. One
rests one's hand, motionless but docile, on a sheet of paper, and then
waits. After a little while the hand begins to move, and to form
letters, words, and phrases. One does not create these sentences, as in
the normal state, but waits for them to produce themselves. Yet the mind
is nevertheless associated therewith. The subject treated is in unison
with one's ordinary ideas. The written language is one's own. If one is
deficient in orthography, the composition will betray this fault.
Moreover, the mind is so intimately connected with what is written, that
if it ponders something else, if the thoughts are allowed to wander from
the immediate subject, then the hand will pause, or trace incoherent

Such is the state of the writing-medium,--at least, so far as I have
observed it in myself. It is a sort of auto-suggestive state. We are
assured there are mediums who write so mechanically that they know not
what they are writing, and record theses in strange tongues, on subjects
concerning which they are ignorant; but this I have never been able to
verify with any certainty.

A few years previous to my commencement of these studies, my illustrious
friend Victorien Sardou had undergone similar experiences. As a medium
he wrote descriptions of divers planets in our system, principally of
Jupiter, and drew very odd pictures, representing the habitations of
that planet. One of these pictures depicted the house of Mozart, while
others represented the dwellings of Zoroaster and of Bernard Palissy,
who seemed to be country neighbors in that immense planet. These
habitations appeared to be aërial and of marvellous lightness. The first
of them, Mozart's, was essentially formed of musical instruments and
indications, such as the staff, notes, and clefs. The second was
principally bucolic. There were to be seen flowers, hammocks, swings,
flying men; while underneath were intelligent animals, engaged in
playing a novel game of tenpins, in which the sport did not lie in
bowling the pins over, but in crowning their heads, as in the childish
game of cup-and-ball. I reproduced this last design in the work
entitled, Les Terres du Ciel (Heavenly Globes), page 180.

These curious drawings prove, beyond a peradventure, that the signature,
_Bernard Palissy in Jupiter_, is apocryphal, and that it was not a
spirit inhabitant of Jupiter who guided Victorien Sardou's hand. Neither
did the gifted author conceive these sketches beforehand, and execute
them in pursuance of a deliberate purpose; but at that time he found
himself in a mental condition similar to that above described. We may
neither be magnetized nor hypnotized, nor put to sleep in any fashion,
and yet the brain may remain alien to our mechanical productions. Its
cells are functionally agitated, and doubtless act by a reflex impulsion
on the motor nerves. We all then believed that Jupiter was inhabited by
a superior race. These communications were the reflections of opinions
generally held. In these days, however, nobody imagines anything of the
kind about Jupiter. Moreover, spirit séances have never taught us the
least thing in astronomy. Such manifestations in nowise prove the
intervention of spirits. Have writing-mediums given us other proofs,
more convincing? This question we will examine later.


The second method, planchette, is more independent. This little wooden
writer became the fashion chiefly through Madame de Girardin. Its
communications soothed her last days, and prepared her for a death
fragrant with hope. She believed she was in communication with the
spirits of Sappho, Shakespeare, Madame de Sévigné, and Molière; and
amidst these convictions she died, without disquietude, without
rebellion, without regret. She had introduced a taste for such
experiments into the home of Victor Hugo, in Jersey. Nine years later,
Auguste Vacquerie, in Les Miettes de l'Histoire (Crumbs of History),
wrote as follows:

    Madame de Girardin's departure [from Jersey] did not abate my
    desire for experimenting with the tables. I pressed eagerly
    forward into this great marvel,--the half-opened door of death.

    No longer did I wait for the evening. At midday I began my
    investigations, and forsook them only with the dawn. If I
    interrupted myself at all during that time, it was only to dine.
    Personally I had no effect upon the table, and did not touch it;
    but I asked questions. The mode of communication was always the
    same, and I had accustomed myself to it. Madame de Girardin sent
    me two tablets from Paris,--a little tablet, one of whose legs
    was a pencil, for writing and drawing. A few trials proved that
    this tablet designed poorly and wrote badly. The other was
    larger, and consisted of a disk, or dial, whereon was inscribed
    the alphabet, the letters being designated by a movable pointer.
    This apparatus also was rejected after an unsuccessful trial,
    and I finally resumed the primitive process, which--simplified
    by familiarity and sundry convenient abbreviations--soon
    afforded all desirable rapidity. I talked fluently with the
    table, the murmur of the sea mingling with our conversation,
    whose mysteriousness was increased by the winter, at night,
    amidst storms, and through isolation. The table no longer
    responded by a few words merely, but by sentences and pages. It
    was usually grave and magisterial, but at times it would be
    witty and even comical. Sometimes it had an access of choler.
    More than once I was insolently reproved for speaking to it
    irreverently, and I confess to not feeling at ease until I had
    obtained forgiveness. The table made certain exactions. It chose
    the interlocutors it preferred. It wished sometimes to be
    questioned in verse, and was obeyed; and then it would answer in
    verse. All these dialogues were collected, not at the close of
    the séance, but at the moment, and under the dictation of the
    table. They will some day be published, and will propound an
    imperious problem to all intelligent minds thirsting for new

    If now asked for my explanation of all this, I hesitate to
    reply. I should not have hesitated in Jersey. I should have
    unhesitatingly affirmed the presence of spirits. It is not the
    opinion of Paris which now retards me. I know what respect is
    due to the opinion of the Paris of to-day, of that Paris so
    wise, so practical, and so positive, which believes in nothing
    but dancing skirts and brokers' bulletins; but the capital's
    shrugging shoulders would not compel me to lower my voice. I am
    even happy to say, in the face of Paris, that as to the
    existence of what are called _spirits_, I have no doubts. I have
    never had that fatuous vanity as to our race, which declares
    that the ascending ladder of being ends with man. I am persuaded
    that we have at least as many rounds above us as there are
    beneath our feet, and I believe as firmly in spirits above as I
    do in donkeys beneath. The existence of spirits once admitted,
    their intervention becomes merely a question of details. Why
    could they not communicate with man by some means, and why may
    not that means be a table? Because immaterial beings cannot move
    a table? But who can say these beings _are_ immaterial? They
    also may have bodies, but more subtile than ours,--bodies as
    imperceptible to our sight, as light is to our touch. It is
    fairly presumable that there are transitional states between the
    human condition and the immaterial. Death comes after life, as
    man supersedes the animal. The inferior animals are men, with
    less soul. Man is an animal with more equipoise and
    self-direction. Death brings a condition of less materiality,
    but still with some matter left. I know therefore no reasonable
    argument against the reality of the table phenomena.

    Nine years, however, have passed away since all this occurred. I
    gave up my daily interviews after a few months, for the sake of
    a friend whose insufficient mind could not bear these breaths
    from the unknown. I have never reperused the sheets whereon
    sleep the words which moved me so profoundly. I am no longer in
    Jersey, upon that rock lost among the waves, where the exile was
    torn from his native soil, away from life. Myself a living
    corpse, it did not astonish me to encounter the dead alive; and
    so little is certainty natural to man, that one may doubt even
    the things he has seen with his eyes and touched with his hands.

    Finally, Victor Hugo, who assisted at these experiments, has
    said: "The moving and speaking table has been greatly ridiculed.
    Let us speak plainly! This ridicule is misplaced. It is the
    bounden duty of science to sound the depths of all phenomena. To
    ignore spiritualistic phenomena, to leave them bankrupt by
    inattention, is to make a bankrupt of truth itself." (Les Genies
    [The Geniuses]: Shakespeare.)

It is table movements which are here spoken of, dictations by tipping or
rapping; that is to say, by the third method heretofore referred to.
This method has always appeared to be the most independent. In placing
our fingers on a planchette, armed with a pencil, and in aiding its
motions, we are brought into direct personal association with the
results. We may be under the illusion that an outside spirit is guiding
the hand, when we are unintentionally controlling it ourselves. We put
questions relating to subjects which specially interest us. Passively we
write things which we already know more or less about, and unconsciously
inspire ourselves with the name of the personage invoked. Far more
reliable are the answers given by a table.


Several persons place themselves around a table, their hands resting
thereupon and await results. After a given time, if the required
conditions for the production of the phenomena have been complied with,
raps are heard, apparently within the table, and there are certain
motions of the furniture. Sometimes the table tips on one or two legs,
and slowly oscillates. Sometimes it rises entirely from the floor, and
remains suspended, as if adhering to the palms lying upon it; and this
lasts during ten, twenty, thirty seconds. Sometimes the table fastens
itself to the floor with such tenacity that its weight seems to be
doubled or tripled. At other times, and almost always when so requested
by one of the sitters, a noise is heard like that of a saw, a hatchet,
or a pencil at work. These are physical effects, which have been
observed, and prove undeniably the existence of an unknown force.

This force is physical. If one perceived only movements devoid of
purpose, blind and irrelevant, or movements only in sympathy with the
will of the assistant, one might rest in the conclusion that there is a
new and unknown force, which, mayhap, is a transmutation of one's own
nervous energy, derived from organic electricity, and this fact in
itself would be important; but the blows are apparently struck inside
the wooden substance of the table, and the movements are in response to
questions put to invisible beings.

In this way did the phenomena begin in 1848, in the United States, when
the Misses Fox heard, in their chamber, the noise of raps within the
walls and furniture. When their father, after several months of
vexatious inquiry, at last bethought himself of old ghost stories, and
appealed to the cause of these noises, the cause answered the questions
asked, by means of certain raps agreed upon, and declared itself to be
the soul of a former proprietor, killed in that very house. This soul
asked for their prayers, and for the burial of its former body.

Is this invisible cause within us, or is it outside of ourselves? Are we
capable of doubling ourselves in some way, yet without knowing it,--of
unconsciously giving, by mental suggestion, the answers to our own
questions, and of so producing certain physical effects without being
aware of it? Again, is there around us an intelligent atmosphere, a sort
of spiritual cosmos? or are there invisible beings, who are not human,
but so many gnomes, hobgoblins, or imps?--for such an invisible world
may exist around us. Finally can these effects really come from the
souls of the departed, who are able to return from the other world? And
where is this other world? Four hypotheses thus present themselves.

The lifting of a table, the displacement of an object, might be
attributed to an unknown force, developed by our nervous systems, or by
some other means; at any rate, these movements do not prove the
existence of an outside spirit. But when--by naming the letters of the
alphabet or by pointing to them on a tablet--the table, by certain
sounds in the wood, or by certain tips, composes an intelligent
paragraph, we are compelled to attribute this intelligent effect to an
intelligent cause. The medium himself may be the cause; and the easiest
way would evidently be to admit that he is tricking us, either by simply
striking the leg of the table with his foot, if he operates by raps, or
by directing the movements of the table, through bearing upon it more or
less heavily.

This, indeed, happens very often, and is what discourages so many

There are conditions, however, in which fraud is not supposable. The
fact that phenomena can be counterfeited is no reason for concluding
they do not exist. In experiments with magnetism and hypnotic
suggestion, many delusions beset the experimenters, and there is more or
less intentional foolery on the part of the subjects. Thus have I seen,
at the prison-hospital of Salpétrière and elsewhere, young women
outrageously deceiving the most serious investigators, who did not in
the least suspect such insincerity. At market fairs there may often be
seen booths where sleepwalkers are exhibited, who simulate genuine
somnambulism more or less cleverly. Yet one would palpably err who
should deny the existence of real magnetism, somnambulism, or hypnotic
suggestion, because of these humbugs and mockeries.

Let us, therefore, pass by fraud, and examine cases where all the
experimenters knew one another, and did not knowingly deceive, and thus
let us consider a series of observed facts. Here are some communications
for which I can vouch. They are sentences, dictated by raps:

    God does not enlighten the world with thunder and meteors. He
    controls peacefully the stars which shine. Thus do divine
    revelations follow one another, with order, reason, and harmony.

    Religion and Friendship are two companions, who help us along
    life's painful road.

    My brother: in the Law [this communication was addressed to an
    Israelite] revive thy memory! Saul came to the Pythoness of
    Endor, and begged her to raise the spirit of Samuel; and the
    spirit of Samuel appeared, announcing to the King the nation's
    destiny and his own. (1 Samuel xxviii.) "The spirit [wind]
    bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof,
    but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth: so is
    everyone that is born of the Spirit." (John iii. 8.)

This New Testament text was the more remarkable because it was written
in Latin. Here, therefore, are intelligible sentences and accurate
quotations. Could blind chance have composed them? Without forgetting
possible imposition, our hypotheses still await explication.

Here are other specimens which demand a certain astuteness and decided
mental struggle for their dictation. One paragraph begins thus: _Suov
imrap engèr_. The other: _Arevèlé suov neib_. It is necessary to spell
these two phrases backward, commencing at the end. Here the hypothesis
of mental suggestion becomes very complicated, as also the theory of
environment, and would imply special adroitness in the medium. Someone
asked: "Why have you dictated thus?" The power replied: "In order to
give you marvellous and unexpected evidence."

Here is another communication of a different kind, beginning, _Aimairs
vn oo uu ssevt_. To the demand what this bizarre assemblage of letters
signified, the answer came: "Read every alternate letter!" This
arrangement brought out these four lines:--

  Amis, nous vous aimons bien tous,
    Car vous êtes bons et fidèles.
  Soyez unis en Dieu; sur vous
    L'Esprit Saint étendra ses ailes.

This stanza may be translated thus:

  You one and all, oh friends, we love,
    For you are good, and faithful tread.
  Be one in God; and then above
    The Holy Ghost his wings will spread.

Surely this is sufficiently innocent of poetic pretension; but the mode
of dictation was decidedly difficult. This somewhat reduced, as it
seemed to us, the supposition of fraud, but did not altogether destroy

A communication of a yet different kind is an imitation of Rabelais,
which is not so badly done, but cannot be well translated into English,
because of its grotesque and idiomatic character.

As to the identity of spirits, even if it could be demonstrated that the
preceding quotations emanated from disembodied minds, this would not be
a sufficient reason for admitting that the signatures are not entirely


In a great many cases, too long to be reported in this essay, where the
communicating cause has declared itself to be the soul of a certain dead
person,--of a father, a mother, a child, or a kinsman,--names, dates,
and details were given, which were absolutely in accordance with facts
whereof the medium was ignorant; but in the cases where the identity
appeared to be best indicated, the questioner had his hands resting on
the table, repeated the alphabet, and might have unconsciously induced
the result. You try to invoke a man who bore, let us suppose, the name
of Charles. When the letter _c_ is pronounced, you exercise your
influence without knowing it. If the experiment is made by rocking the
table; you exercise a different pressure at that particular moment. If
the communication is by raps, and the letter passes without the expected
sound, you naturally allow it to be seen that there is a mistake. We
deceive ourselves without being aware of it. This frequently happened to
me during two years with this word Charles, which was the name of my
mother's brother, living in New Orleans. During those two years he told
me how he died; yet at that very time he was in the vigor of life. This
was in 1860 and 1861, and he did not pass away till 1864. We had,
therefore, been the dupes of an illusion.

Auto-suggestion, or self-suggestion, is also extremely frequent in these
experiments, as well as with writing mediums. I have before my eyes some
charming fables, published by Monsieur Jaubert, President of the Civil
Tribunal of Carcassonne, and some delicate poems, obtained through
planchette, by P. F. Mathieu,--besides some historic and philosophical
works,--all leading to the conclusion that these mediums have written
under their own influence; or, at best, affording no scientific proof of
a foreign influence.

There remain still unexplained the raps, and the motion of objects more
or less heavy. On this point I fully share the opinion of the great
chemist, Mr. Crookes, who says:

    When manifestations of this kind are exhibited, this remark is
    generally made: "Why do tables and chairs alone show these
    effects? Why is this the peculiar property of furniture?"

    I might reply that I am simply observing and reporting facts,
    and that I need not enter into the _whys_ and _wherefores_.
    Nevertheless it seems clear that if, in an ordinary dining-room,
    any heavy inanimate body is to be lifted from the floor, it
    cannot very well be anything except a table or a chair. I have
    numerous proofs that this property does not appertain alone to
    articles of furniture; but in this, as in other experimental
    demonstrations, the intelligence or force--whichever it be that
    produces these phenomena,--cannot choose but use objects
    appropriate to its ends.

    At different times during my researches I have heard delicate
    raps, which sounded as if produced by a pin's point; a cascade
    of piercing sounds, like those of a machine in full motion;
    detonations in the air; light and acute metallic taps; cracking
    noises, like those produced by a floor-polishing machine; sounds
    which resembled scratching; warbling, like that of birds.

    Each of these noises, which I have tested through different
    mediums, had its special peculiarity. With Mr. Home they were
    more varied; but, in strength and regularity, I have heard no
    sounds which could approach those which came through Miss Kate
    Fox. During several months I had the pleasure, on almost
    innumerable occasions, of testing the varying phenomena which
    took place in the presence of this lady, and it was the sounds
    which I specially studied. It is usually necessary with other
    mediums, in a regular séance, to sit awhile before anything is
    heard; but with Miss Fox it seems to be merely necessary to
    place her hand on something, no matter what, for the sounds to
    manifest themselves like a triplicated echo, and sometimes loud
    enough to be noticeable across several intervening rooms.

    I have heard some of these noises produced in a living tree, in
    a large pane of glass, on a stretched wire, on a tambourine, on
    the roof of a cab, and in the box of a theatre. Moreover,
    immediate contact is not always necessary. I have heard these
    noises proceeding from the flooring and walls, when the medium's
    hands and feet were tied, when he was standing on a chair, when
    he was in a swing suspended from the ceiling, when he was
    imprisoned in an iron cage, and when he lay in a swoon on a
    sofa. I have heard them proceed from musical glasses. I have
    felt them on my own shoulders, and under my own hands. I have
    heard them on a piece of paper, fastened between the fingers by
    a string through the corner of the sheet. With a full knowledge
    of the numerous theories which have been brought forward to
    explain these sounds, especially in America, I have tested them
    in every way I could devise, until it was no longer possible to
    escape the conviction that these sounds were real, and produced
    neither by fraud nor by mechanical means.

    An important question forces itself upon our attention: Are
    these movements and noises governed by intelligence? From the
    very beginning of my investigations I have satisfied myself that
    the power producing these phenomena was not simply blind force,
    but that some intelligence directed it, or at least was
    associated with it. The noises, whereof I have spoken, were
    repeated a determinate number of times. They became either
    strong or feeble, at my request, and came from different places.
    By a vocabulary of signals previously agreed upon, the power
    answered questions, and gave messages with more or less

    The intelligence governing these phenomena is sometimes
    obviously inferior to that of the medium, and is often in direct
    opposition to his wishes. When a determination has been reached
    to do something which could not be regarded as quite reasonable,
    I have seen communications urging a reconsideration of the
    matter. This intelligence is at times of such a character that
    one is forced to believe it does not emanate from any person
    present. (Researches in Spiritualism, by William Crookes.)

This last sentence might be slightly modified, and the words _forced to
believe_ might be replaced by the words _disposed to believe_; for human
nature is complex, and we are not perpetually the same, even to
ourselves. What uncertainty we often find in our own opinions, upon
points not yet elucidated; and this we feel, even when called upon to
judge actions or events! Are we not sometimes contradictions to

Among the experiments made with these physical and psychical
manifestations of the tables, I will mention, as among the best, those
of Count de Gasparin, and of my sympathetic friend, Eugene Nus. The
Count has obtained rotations, upliftings, raps, revelations of numbers
previously thought of, movements without any human contact, and so on.
He concludes that human beings are endowed with a fluid, with an unknown
force, with an agency capable of impressing objects with the action
determined by our wills. (On Table-turning, Supernaturalism in General,
and Spirits.)

Eugene Nus has obtained, besides sentences dictated by the table,
certain philosophic definitions given almost invariably in exactly a
dozen words each. Here are some of them:

    Geology: Studies in the transformation of the planets in their
    periods of revolution.

    Astronomy: Order and harmony of the external life of worlds,
    individually and collectively.

    Love: The pivot of mortal passion; attractive sexual force; the
    element of continuity.

    Death: Cessation of individuality, disintegration of its
    elements, a return to universal life.

Let us note, in passing, the strangely singular fact of a departed soul
declaring that death is always the cessation of individuality!

There are whole pages of this kind. Eugene Nus had, as companions in his
experiments, Antony Méray, Toussenel, Franchot, Courbebaisse, a whole
group of transcendental socialists. Well, this is absolutely the
language of Fourier. The words _aroma_, _passional_, _solidarity_,
_clavier_, _composite_, _association_, _harmony_, _pivotal force_, are
in the vocabulary of the table. The author therefore inclines towards
the following explanation, as given in his Choses de l'Outre Monde
(Things of the Other World), Volume I. Paris, 1887.

    Mysterious forces residing in human nature; emanations from
    inmost potentiality, unknown till our day; the duplication of
    our experimental power, which gives ability to think and act
    outside ourselves.

(_To be concluded in July Arena._)



[Illustration: (signed) Yours sincerely: Julius Chambers]

In the splendid days of Rome, the editor was he who introduced the
gladiators as they entered the arena to fight the tigers.

To-day, the editor directs the newspaper and he often affects to believe
that his mission on earth is to fight the tiger himself.

The editor of this class is a barbarian who forgets that Rome is only a

The successful editor of to-day recognizes the fact that the newspaper
exists to amuse and instruct, to uphold public honor and private virtue
quite as much as to denounce fraud or expose official corruption. The
newspaper is powerful exactly in proportion as it is successful in
representing the people who read it; in following, rather than
dictating, their line of policy; and, whether it exists for the people
or not, it certainly endures only by their sufferance and good-will.
Therefore, it is well that we consider the relations of the people at
large to the newspaper; then, the editor's relation to his neighbors,
the public; and, finally, the chivalry of editors toward each other.

The newspaper is so large a part of our modern life that it would be
trivial to argue the question whether it can be dispensed with. Men who
live abreast of the age cannot consent to miss a single day's communion
with the news of the world. The non-arrival of the mail will render an
active man absent from town utterly miserable. The purchaser of the
daily newspaper of to-day receives for the price of a half yard of
calico a manufactured article that has required the employment of
millions of capital to produce,--to say nothing of genius to sustain.

And he is often somewhat grateful.

But the chivalry of the public toward the newspaper is peculiar. The
public would appear to believe that anything it can coax, wheedle, or
extort from the newspaper is fair salvage from the necessary
expenditures of life.

Recently I listened in amazement to the Rev. Robert Collyer boast at a
Cornell University dinner of having beguiled the newspapers of the
country. He told how he had schemed and got money to build a new church
after the Chicago fire. He did not make it very clear that the civilized
members of his race clamored for the new edifice, but he made painfully
apparent his ideas of chivalry to the press.

"In this matter," he began, "I have always been proud of the way in
which I 'worked the newspapers.' I succeeded in raising the money,
because I coaxed the editors into coöperating with me. I wrote long
puffs about the congregation and its pastor, and got them printed. Then
I hurried 'round with the subscription list and a copy of the paper."

Of course, this was all said good-naturedly, was meant to be funny, and
was uttered from a public rostrum with an utter obliviousness to the
mental obliquity that a moment's thought will disclose. It left upon my
mind much the same impression as that once made by hearing an apparently
respectable man boast of having stolen an umbrella out of a hotel rack.

Later in the evening, when the reverend gentleman occupied a seat near
mine, I asked, with as much naiveté as I could command, if he had
"worked" the plumbers, the architects, the masons, the carpenters, and
the bell-founders? To each of these questions he returned a regretful,

Despite his apparent innocence regarding the purport of my inquiry, I
doubt if this gentleman would have boasted that he secured his clothes
for nothing, that he wheedled his chops from his butcher, or coaxed his
groceries from the shopkeeper at the corner of his street.

And yet, he spoke with condescension of the editor and his means of

Theoretically, the editor is the public's mutton. Men who know him boast
of their influence with him, and over him. They dictate his policy for
him--or say they do, which, of course, is the same thing. Men who never
saw him claim to own him. Strangers, casually introduced, ask him
questions about his personal affairs that would be instantly resented in
any other walk of life.

An experience of my own will illustrate what I mean. At a country house,
near Philadelphia, I was introduced to a respectable-looking old man. In
the period following dinner, as we sat on the porch to enjoy a smoke,
this stranger interrogated me in the most offensive way. When he had
paused for breath I gave him a dose of his own medicine. "The deadly
parallel" column will tell the story.

      WHAT HE ASKED.                WHAT I ASKED.

  I hear you are an editor?     I am told you are a hatter?

  Do most newspapers pay?       Is hat-making profitable?

  How much do editors earn?     How much does your business net
                                you yearly?

  You began as a reporter?      Grew up in the trade?

  Does it require any           You can "block a hat while I wait"?
  education to be a reporter?

  Do you write shorthand?       You can handle a hot goose?

  Eh? used to?                  Could once?

  Please write some: let's      Please take this hat and show me how
  see how it looks?             it is put together.

  Curious-looking               Have seen a great many queerly shaped
  characters, aren't they?      hats in your time, no doubt?

  How many columns can you      How many hats can you make in a day?
  write a day?

  Do you write by the column?   Do you work by the piece?

  What? Don't write at all?     Ah? Don't work any longer? Supposed every
  How strange!--and so on.      hatter made his own hats!--and so on.

The editor may be to blame for this state of things; but if so, his
good-nature is responsible. He endures more than other men. He is often
worried by the troubles of other people; but he never has been weaned
from the milk of human kindness. He may be over-persuaded, he may be
deceived, and editors have been fooled, like judge and jurors, by the
perjured affidavit of apparently honorable men--but he still continues
to believe in mankind.

The chivalry of the politician toward the press is comprehended to a
nicety by every man who has served as a newspaper correspondent at

The average congressman thinks it clever to deceive a newspaper editor
or correspondent. He believes they are to be "used," whenever possible,
for the congressman's advantage. A correspondent is to be tricked or
cajoled into praising the statesman, revising the bad English in his
speeches, "saving the country and--the appropriations." All the
charities require and demand his aid, and, I am ashamed to say (knowing
as I do what a hollow mockery some of the alleged charities really are),
generally get the assistance they ask.

The chivalry of the press toward the public is unquestionable. The
editor keeps awake nearly all night to serve it, and the facts are not
altered because in best serving the public he serves himself.

Journalism, I regret to say, is often spoken of as a "profession," and
while we may accept the plebeian word "journalism," as describing a
daily labor, I sincerely desire to enter a protest against its
designation as a profession. It seems entirely proper to me that this
word be relegated to the pedagogue, the chiropodist, and the
barn-storming actor who so boldly assert a right to its use.

The making of the newspaper is a mechanical art. It matters very little
how much intelligence--or genius, if you prefer the word--enters into
its production, the inter-dependence of the so-called "intellectual"
branch of the paper upon its mechanical adjuncts is so great that it
cannot be maintained that the manufactured article offered to purchasers
in the shape of a newspaper is the product of any one lobe of brain
tissue. Of what value are a hundred thousand copies of the best
newspaper in this land, edited, revised and printed, if its circulation
department break down at the critical moment? And what about the
newsman? Who shall say that he does not belong to journalism? He's to
the service what the Don Cossack is to the Russian hosts. He's the
Cossack of journalism--our Cossack of the dawn!

While it is easy to determine the point at which the newspaper begins
its existence, it would be very difficult indeed to decide exactly where
it receives its finishing touches. For years, geographers wrangled
regarding the point at which the day began. In other words, this being
Monday, they quarrelled regarding the point at which the sun ceased to
shine on Monday, and began to shine on Tuesday.

Philosophers who have discussed the nice points of the daily newspapers
have claimed that it dates its origin from the paper mill; but I fail to
see why, if we are to go back to the paper mill, we shall not go much
further and seek the component parts from which the paper is originally
made, showing at once the absurdity of any such an assumption. While not
inclined to argue this point, it is my humble judgment that the
newspaper begins its existence the moment the managing editor opens his
desk for the day's work. He is its main-spring! Whatever of distinctive
character it possesses in methods of handling the news of the day it
owes to him, and it is these very features that render one journal
better or worse than others. He it is, as a rule, who establishes the
chivalry of the press toward the public. It is he who decides the line
of attack or defense when the vast interests which he represents are

The peculiar kind of mind required for such a post is probably not
developed in any other known business. The longer a man has served the
art, the more confidently he trusts to intuition and distrusts a
decision based wholly upon experience. Several of the worst blunders
ever made in American journalism have been committed after a careful
study of the historical precedents. Throughout all his troubles,
however, all his anxieties by day and by night--because his
responsibilities never end--the managing editor's thoughts are
constantly dwelling upon the public service that may be rendered to the
reading constituency behind him.

The executive head of a newspaper, great or small, lives in a glass
house, with all the world for critics. Every act, no matter how suddenly
forced upon him, no matter how careful his judgment, is open to the
criticism of every person who reads his paper. The columns of printed
matter are the windows of his soul.

These thoughts are all in the line of duty, somewhat selfish in their
character, perhaps (because fidelity to the public is the only secret of
success); but the sense of chivalry is there,--should be there and seen
of all men, on every page of the printed sheet.

This idea of the newspaper's duty to the public is a comparatively new
phase of the journalistic art. It has arisen since the brilliant Round
Table days of Bennett, Greeley, Webb, Prentice, and Raymond. Their
standards were high. Their energy was tremendous. And when they came to
blows the combat was terrific. But Greeley, the last survivor, found his
Camlan in 1872. He was ambushed and came to his end much as King Arthur
from a race that he had trusted and defended. In Greeley's defeat for
the Presidency all theorists who had dwelt upon the so-called "Power of
the Press" received a shuddering blow. The men who had affected to
believe that the press could make and unmake destinies began to count on
their fingers the few newspapers that had opposed Horace Greeley. To
their amazement they found that, excepting one journal in the
metropolis, every daily paper in the land whose editor or chief
stockholder did not hold a public office was marshalled in his support.
The echoes of their enthusiasm can be heard even to this day. Some of
those editors ranted and roared like Sir Toby Belch; but the
professional politicians, serene and complacent as gulligut friars, saw
their editorial antagonists routed--cakes, ale, and wine-coolers.

To the believers in printer's ink, that presidential campaign was a
revelation. Mr. Greeley was the most thoroughly defeated candidate this
country has ever known.

I remember the period well, for I was a reporter on the _Tribune_, and
as a correspondent travelled from Minnesota to Louisiana. It seemed
utterly impossible in May that Mr. Greeley could fail of election; in
September, his defeat was assured. That revolt of the people against the
dictation of the newspapers was momentous in its results. The
independent voter thoroughly asserted himself, and those editors who
could be taught by the incident knew that the people resented their
leadership. The one sad and pitiful thing about the affair was the
ingratitude of the negro race. They deserted their apostle and champion.
(I speak frankly, for I was born an abolitionist.)

Throughout the Civil War, the newspapers had harangued, badgered, and
dictated; had bolstered up or destroyed men, character, and measures. It
was well, perhaps, that the men who directed these same newspapers
should be taught a severe lesson.

Without doubt, the stormy period in which Greeley, Bennett, Prentice,
Webb, and Raymond tilted, was necessary as a preparatory era to the more
brilliant age of chivalry that succeeded! We as a people were younger in
journalism than in any other intellectual or mechanical art. Great
statesmen had been grown in plenty--the very birth of the nation had
found them full-fledged. A constellation of brilliant preachers of the
Gospel and expounders of the law are remembered. We can all name them
over from Jonathan Edwards to Theodore Parker and from John Marshall to
Rufus Choate. Great mercantile families had been created, such as the
Astors, the Grinells, the Bakers, Howlands, Aspinwalls, and Claflins.

Large fortunes had been amassed in commerce; but not an editor had been
able to accumulate money enough to keep his own carriage!

Journalism languished until about 1840. The great public did not seem to
require editors. The people of New York, possibly, persisted in
remembering that the first man in this country to write an editorial
article had been hanged in the City Hall Park. He had died heroically,
immortalizing the occasion when he said: "I regret that I have only one
life to give for my country." But some people believed he had suffered
death because he wrote editorial articles.

The art of making the newspaper steadily gained in public appreciation.
To employ the simile chivalric, its young squires were changed into
full-fledged knights by the propagation of a new idea, a new aim--the
rendering of public service! True enough, the motto of the noblest
English princedom, "_Ich dien!_" acknowledges the high duty of service;
but, when proclaimed as a journalistic duty it took the form of a new
tender of fidelity from the best men at court to the people at large. It
was so accepted, and has drawn the people and the press closer together.
It was as if these true knights drew their weapons before the public eye
and offered a new pledge of fidelity in the thrilling old Norman usage
of the word "_Service!_"

A gleam of something higher and nobler than mere swashbuckling was in
every editorial eye. The idea developed, as did the nobility and purity
of Chivalry under Godfrey, the Agamemnon of Tasso. In all truly
representative editorial minds the feeling grew that any power which
their arms or training gave them should be exercised in the defense of
the weak and oppressed. They renewed the old vow: "To maintain the just
rights of such as are unable to defend themselves." It was a great
step--as far-reaching in its results as was the promulgation of that
oath in the age of Chivalry.

At this point rose the reporter. He had been recognized for years as the
coming servitor of the press. But a few of him in the early days had
been dissolute, had written without proper regard to facts, and had
brought discredit not only on himself but the chivalry which others
believed in. He began to brace up, to pull himself together, to be
better educated, to dress in excellent taste, and, above all, to write
better copy. Henry Murger had published a series of sketches under the
title "_Scenes de La Vie de Bohéme_." These few pictures described the
Paris life of that period, beyond a doubt; but here in New York a few
bright men sought to revive the spirit and the _couleur de rose_ of the
Quartier Latin. It was a clever idea, but it didn't last.

In one of the bleakest corners of the old graveyard at Nantucket stands
a monument to Henry Clapp, the presiding genius of the Bohemian Club
that sat for so many years in Phaff's cellar on Broadway. Its roll
contained many of the brightest names known in the history of the
American press. They were true Bohemians,--once defined by George
William Curtis as the "literary men who had a divine contempt for
to-morrow." How cleverly those choice spirits wrote and talked about
their lives away back in the fifties. Get a file of the New York
_Figaro_, or some of the Easy Chair papers in _Harper's_ of that period,
and enjoy their cloud-land life! I only quote one sentence and it is
from "the Chair," though I half suspect Fitz James O'Brien, rather than
George William Curtis, penned it:--

    "Bohemia is a roving kingdom--a realm in the air, like Arthur's
    England. It sometimes happens that, as a gipsy's child turns out
    to be a prince's child, who, perforce, dwells in a palace, so
    the Bohemian is found in a fine house and high society. Bohemia
    is a fairyland on this hard earth. It is Arcadia in New York."

Ah! yes, this is all very beautiful, but rent had to be paid; and the
literary workers of to-day never forget that journalism is the only
branch of literature that from the outset enables a man to live and pay
his way. And yet when we remember Henry Clapp, Fitz James O'Brien, N. G.
Shepherd, and Ned Wilkins, we feel that every working newspaper man is
better to-day because they struggled and starved; because they lived in
the free air of Bohemia.

With the worker in the art, "the struggle for existence" begins with his
first day's apprentice task as a reporter. No man ever became a
journalist who did not serve that apprenticeship. There is no hope for
him outside of complete success. It requires several years for him to
learn to get news and to properly write it. One failure will blight his
entire career. Unlike any other commercial commodity, news once lost
cannot be recouped.

Dr. Samuel Johnson was the first Parliamentary reporter. He got a list
of the speakers, then went to his lodgings in a dingy court off Fleet
Street and wrote out speeches for the Lords and the Commons. He did this
for years and not one of the men so honored is on record as having
denied the accuracy of the report(?). Dr. Johnson made the reputations
of half a dozen men who are to-day mentioned among the great English
orators. They were honorable men, as the world goes, but not one of
them, except Edmund Burke, ever acknowledged his indebtedness to Samuel
Johnson. I never have known a senator or congressman to thank a
Washington correspondent for making his speech presentable to educated
eyes. He has been known to grow warm in praise of all classes of
humanity, from Tipperary to Muscovy, but never a word of commendation
escapes his lips for a newspaper man. He believes in philanthropy, but
as Napoleon said to Talleyrand, he "wants it to be a long way off!" (_Je
veux seulement que ce soit de la philanthropie lointaine._)

With the rise of journalistic chivalry came the search for news. It
became a precious prize. The special correspondent and reporter sought
it. Truth was to be rescued from oblivion! Facts began to be hunted for
like the ambergris and ivory of commerce. At first the search resembled
the quest for the Oracle of the Holy Bottle,--a test as to the public's
opinion of news. What kind of service did the public want? Adventure
followed, as a matter of course, but love of adventure was not the
impelling motive.

The American newspaper, like the American railroad, developed along new
lines. Girardin, who had created all that is worth considering in the
French press, had pinned his faith to the _feuilleton_ and the snappy
editorial article, with its "one idea only." News was of no account. In
the English journal, the supremacy of the editorial page was asserted
and maintained. News was desirable but secondary; and there was no hurry
about obtaining it. In the Spanish press blossomed--and has ever since
bloomed--the paragraph. News was a good thing, if it could be told in a
few lines, but generally, alas, dangerous. A paragraph must only be long
enough to allow a cigarette to go out while you were reading it. Wax
matches cost only a cuarta per box, but cigarettes were expensive.
Beaumarchais understood the Spanish press when he put the famous epigram
into "Figaro's" lips: "So long as you print nothing, you may print

The chivalry of the editor toward his "esteemed contemporary" is a sad
and solemn phase of this true commentary.

After you have carefully reread the "editorial" pages of two
metropolitan journals from 1841 to date, and remember that the
contemporaries of Guttenberg called printing "the black art," you will
marvel that public opinion has ever changed. If the contemporaries of
the old Nuremberg printer had lived in 1882, and taken in the _Tribune_
of February 25th, they would have gone out to gather faggots to roast an
editor. The excuse for one of the most savage attacks ever made by one
American editor upon another was that a rival had printed a private
telegram, sent by an editor to the chief magistrate of the nation, which
had found its way into wrong hands or had been "taken off the wires," as
many other messages had been before. And yet, young as I am, I remember
that in 1871, the treaty of Washington was "acquired" by means even more
questionable and printed entire, to the confusion and indignation of the
United States Senators. The very same editor laid down a dictum that was
thought to be very clever at the time: "It is the duty of our
correspondents to get the news; it is the business of other people to
keep their own secrets." This was all very well in 1871, but in 1882,
the moral "lay in the application on it."

From the very moment in which the American newspaper attained a definite
policy and impulse, its direction has been forward, and it has daily
grown in wealth and popular respect.

I have called the special correspondent the knight errant of the
newspaper. Let me prove it. The greatest, noblest of them all was J. A.
MacGahan, of Khiva and San Stefano. He was an American, born in Perry
County, Ohio. I can sketch his career in a few brief sentences: He was
at law-school in Brussels when the Franco-Prussian war burst upon
Europe, in 1870. Having had some experience as a writer for the press,
he entered the field at once. Danger and suffering were his, though he
did not achieve renown in that brief campaign. He then made his
memorable ride to Khiva, and wrote the best book on Central Asia known
to our language. Another turn of the wheel found him in Cuba describing
the Virginius complications. There I first met him. Thence he returned
to England, and sailed with Captain Young in the Pandora to the Arctic
regions, making the last search undertaken for the lost crew of Sir John
Franklin's expedition. MacGahan returned to London in the spring of 1876
in time to read in the newspapers brief despatches from Turkey
recounting the reported atrocities of the Bashi-Bazouks. He determined
at once to go to Bulgaria. In a month's time, he had put a new face on
the "Eastern Question." The great trouble between Christian and Turk was
no longer confined to "the petty quarrel of a few monks over a key and a
silver star," as defined by the late Mr. Kinglake, but assumed
proportions that could be discerned in every club and in every
drawing-room of Imperial London. MacGahan had begun his memorable ride,
the results of which will endure as long as Christianity! He visited
Batak and painted in cold type what he saw. He caused the shrieks of the
dying girls in the pillaged towns of Bulgaria to be heard throughout
Christian Europe. A Tory minister, stanch in his fidelity to the
"unspeakable Turk," sent its fleet to the Dardanelles, but dared not
land a man or fire a single gun. Popular England repudiated its old
ally. And MacGahan rode onward and wrote sheaves of letters. In every
hamlet he passed through, he said: "The Czar will avenge this! Courage,
people; he will come!"

From that time history was made as by a cyclone. The Russian hosts were
mobilized at Kischeneff, and the Czar of all the Russias reviewed them.
Then the order to cross the Pruth was given, as MacGahan had foretold;
our Knight Errant rode with the advanced guard. Through the changing
fortune of the war, grave and gay, he passed. Much of his work, now
preserved in permanent form, is the best of its kind in our language.
The assault of Skobeleff on the Gravitza redoubt was immortalized by
MacGahan's pen. When Plevna fell, our hero was in the van during the mad
rush toward the Bosphorus. The triumphant advance was never checked
until the spires and minarets of Constantinople were in sight. Bulgaria
was redeemed, the power of the Turk in Europe was broken, the
aggrandizement of Russia was complete--and all because J. A. MacGahan
had lived and striven.

At San Stefano, a suburb of the capital, on the Sea of Marmora, our hero
died of fever. Skobeleff, whose friendship dated back to the Kirgitz
Steppe and the Khivan conquest, closed his eyes and was chief mourner at
his grave. To-day on the anniversary of his death, prayers for the
repose of his soul are said in every hamlet throughout Bulgaria. His
service to the newspaper and to the civilized world extended over less
than eight years, but he accomplished for the public the work of a

Hail to his memory! His was the chivalry of the press!

For years the name of Latour d'Auvergne, "first grenadier of France,"
was called at nightfall in every regiment of the Imperial Grenadier
Guard. When the name was heard, the first grenadier in the rank would
answer, "_Mort--sur le champ de bataille_."

So, when the roll is called of those that have added to the chivalry and
glory of the American press, every fellow-laborer who knew "MacGahan of
Kiva and San Stefano" will salute and answer: "Dead--and glorious!"

Philogeny, the new and brilliant science that treats of the development
of the human race from the animal kingdom, teaches that the history of
the germ is an epitome of the history of the descent. It is equally true
in journalism, that the various forms of discouragement, hope, and final
success through which the individual worker in the art passes, during
his progress from the reportorial egg-cell to the fully developed
executive-editorial organism, is a compressed reproduction of the long
series of misfortunes and interferences through which the ancestors of
the American newspaper of to-day have passed. The simile is true, aye,
to the supreme part played by "the struggle for existence!" Under its
influence, through the "natural selection" of the public, a new and
nobler species of journalism has arisen and now exists. The newspaper of
to-day, evolved from rudimentary forms, is a splendid and heroic
organism; and the last upholder of the dogma of its miraculous creation
and infallible power is dead.



It is difficult to over-estimate the gravity of the problem presented by
those compelled to exist in the slums of our populous cities, even when
considered from a purely economic point of view. From the midst of this
commonwealth of degradation there goes forth a moral contagion,
scourging society in all its ramifications, coupled with an atmosphere
of physical decay--an atmosphere reeking with filth, heavy with foul
odors, laden with disease. In time of any contagion the social cellar
becomes the hotbed of death, sending forth myriads of fatal germs which
permeate the air for miles around, causing thousands to die because
society is too short-sighted to understand that the interest of its
humblest member is the interest of all. The slums of our cities are the
reservoirs of physical and moral death, an enormous expense to the
State, a constant menace to society, a reality whose shadow is at once
colossal and portentous. In time of social upheavals they will prove
magazines of destruction; for while revolution will not originate in
them, once let a popular uprising take form and the cellars will
reinforce it in a manner more terrible than words can portray.
Considered ethically, the problem is even more embarrassing and
deplorable; here, as nowhere else in civilized society, thousands of our
fellowmen are exiled from the enjoyments of civilization, forced into
life's lowest strata of existence, branded with that fatal word scum. If
they aspire to rise, society shrinks from them; they seem of another
world; they are of another world; driven into the darkness of a hopeless
existence, viewed much as were lepers in olden times. Over their heads
perpetually rests the dread of eviction, of sickness, and of failure to
obtain sufficient work to keep life in the forms of their loved ones,
making existence a perpetual nightmare, from which death alone brings
release. Say not that they do not feel this; I have talked with them; I
have seen the agony born of a fear that rests heavy on their souls
stamped in their wrinkled faces and peering forth from great pathetic
eyes. For them winter has real terror, for they possess neither clothes
to keep comfortable the body, nor means with which to properly warm
their miserable tenements. Summer is scarcely less frightful in their
quarters, with the heat at once stifling, suffocating, almost
intolerable; heat which acting on the myriad germs of disease produces
fever, often ending in death, or, what is still more dreaded, chronic
invalidism. Starvation, misery, and vice, trinity of despair, haunt
their every step. The Golden Rule,--the foundation of true civilization,
the keynote of human happiness,--reaches not their wretched quarters.
Placed by society under the ban, life is one long and terrible night.
But tragic as is the fate of the present generation, still more
appalling is the picture when we contemplate the thousands of little
waves of life yearly washed into the cellar of being; fragile, helpless
innocents, responsible in no way for their presence or environment, yet
condemned to a fate more frightful than the beasts of the field; human
beings wandering in the dark, existing in the sewer, ever feeling the
crushing weight of the gay world above, which thinks little and cares
less for them. Infinitely pathetic is their lot.

The causes that have operated to produce these conditions are numerous
and complex, the most apparent being the immense influx of immigration
from the crowded centres of the old world; the glamor of city life,
which has allured thousands from the country, fascinating them from afar
much as the gaudy colors and tinsel before the footlights dazzle the
vision of a child; the rapid growth of the saloon, rendered well-nigh
impregnable by the wealth of the liquor power; the wonderful
labor-saving inventions, which in the hands of greed and avarice,
instead of mitigating the burdens of the people, have greatly augmented
them, by glutting the market with labor; the opportunities given by the
government through grants, special privileges, and protective measures
for rapid accumulation of wealth by the few; the power which this wealth
has given its possessors over the less fortunate; the spread of that
fevered mental condition which subjects all finer feelings and holier
aspirations to the acquisition of gold and the gratification of carnal
appetites, and which is manifest in such a startling degree in the
gambler's world, which to dignify we call the realm of speculation; the
desire for vulgar ostentation and luxurious indulgence, in a word the
fatal fever for gold which has infested the social atmosphere, and taken
possession of hundreds of thousands of our people, chilling their
hearts, benumbing their conscience, choking all divine impulses and
refined sensibilities; the cowardice and lethargy of the Church, which
has grown rich in gold and poor in the possession of moral energy, which
no longer dares to denounce the money changers, or alarm those who day
by day are anæsthetizing their own souls, while adding to the misery of
the world. The church has become, to a great extent, subsidized by gold,
saying in effect, "I am rich and increased in goods and have need of
nothing," apparently ignorant of the fact that she "is wretched, poor,
blind, and naked," that she has signally failed in her mission of
establishing on earth an ideal brotherhood. Instead of lifting her
children into that lofty spiritual realm where each feels the misery of
his brother, she has so far surrendered to the mammon of unrighteousness
that, without the slightest fear of having their consciences disturbed,
men find comfort in her soft-cushioned pews, who are wringing from ten
to thirty per cent. profit from their fellowmen in the wretched tenement
districts, or who refuse to pay more than twelve cents a pair for the
making of pants, forty-five cents a dozen for flannel shirts,
seventy-five cents a dozen for knee pants, and twenty-five cents a dozen
for neckties. I refer not to the many noble exceptions, but I indict the
great body of wealthy and fashionable churches, whose ministers do not
know and take no steps to find out the misery that is dependent upon the
avarice of their parishioners. Then again back of all this is the
defective education which has developed all save character in man;
education which has trained the brain but shriveled the soul. Last but
by no means least is land speculation which has resulted in keeping
large tracts of land idle which otherwise would have blossomed with
happy homes. To these influences we must add the general ignorance of
the people regarding the nature, extent, and growing proportions of the
misery and want in the New World which is spreading as an Eastern plague
in the filth of an oriental city.

It is not my present purpose to dwell further on the causes which have
produced these conditions. I wish to bring home to the mind and heart of
the reader a true conception of life in the slums, by citing typical
cases illustrating a condition prevalent in every great city of the
Union and increasing in its extent every year. I shall confine myself to
uninvited want as found in civilized Boston, because I am personally
acquainted with the condition of affairs here, and because Boston has
long claimed the proud distinction of being practically free from

I shall briefly describe scenes which fell under my personal observation
during an afternoon tour through the slums of the North End, confining
myself to a few typical cases which fairly represent the condition of
numbers of families who are suffering through uninvited poverty, a fact
which I have fully verified by subsequent visits to the wretched homes
of our very poor. I purposely omit in this paper describing any members
of that terrible commonwealth where misery, vice, degradation, and crime
are inseparably interwoven. This class belongs to a lower stratum; they
have graduated downward. Feeling that society's hand is against them,
Ishmael-like they raise their hand against society. They complement the
uninvited poor; both are largely a product of unjust and inequitable
social conditions.

The scenes I am about to describe were witnessed one afternoon in April.
The day was sunless and dreary, strangely in keeping with the
environment of the exiles of society who dwell in the slums. The sobbing
rain, the sad, low murmur of the wind under the eaves and through the
narrow alleys, the cheerless frowning sky above, were in perfect harmony
with the pathetic drama of life I was witnessing. Everything seemed
pitched in a minor key, save now and then there swelled forth splendid
notes of manly heroism and womanly courage, as boldly contrasting with
the dead level of life as do the full rich notes of Wagner's grandest
strains with the plaintive melody of a simple ballad sung by a shepherd
lad. I was accompanied in this instance by the Rev. Walter Swaffield, of
the Bethel Mission, and his assistant, Rev. W. J. English.

[Illustration: INVALID IN CHAIR (SEE NOTE).]

The first building we entered faced a narrow street. The hallway was as
dark as the air was foul or the walls filthy. Not a ray or shimmer of
light fell through transoms or skylight. The stairs were narrow and
worn. By the aid of matches we were able to grope our way along, and
also to observe more than was pleasant to behold. It was apparent that
the hallways or stairs were seldom surprised by water, while pure, fresh
air was evidently as much a stranger as fresh paint. After ascending
several flights, we entered a room of undreamed-of wretchedness. On the
floor lay a sick man.[2] He was rather fine-looking, with an intelligent
face, bright eyes, and countenance indicative of force of character. No
sign of dissipation, but an expression of sadness, or rather a look of
dumb resignation peered from his expressive eyes. For more than two
years he has been paralyzed in his lower limbs, and also affected with
dropsy. The spectacle of a strong man, with the organs of locomotion
dead, is always pathetic; but when the victim of such misfortune is in
the depths of abject poverty, his case assumes a tragic hue. There for
two years he had lain on a wretched pallet of rags, seeing day by day
and hour by hour his faithful wife tirelessly sewing, and knowing full
well that health, life, and hope were hourly slipping from her. This
poor woman supports the invalid husband, her two children, and herself,
by making pants at twelve cents a pair. No rest, no surcease, a
perpetual grind from early dawn often till far into the night; and what
is more appalling, outraged nature has rebelled; the long months of
semi-starvation and lack of sleep have brought on rheumatism, which has
settled in the joints of her fingers, so that every stitch means a throb
of pain. The afternoon we called, she was completing an enormous pair of
_custom-made_ pants of very fine blue cloth, for one of the largest
clothing houses in Boston. The suit would probably bring sixty or
sixty-five dollars, yet her employer graciously informed his poor white
slave that as the garment was so large, he would give her an _extra
cent_. Thirteen cents for fine custom-made pants, manufactured for a
wealthy firm, which repeatedly asserts that its clothing is not made in
tenement houses! Thus with one of the most painful diseases enthroned in
that part of the body which must move incessantly from dawn till
midnight, with two small dependent children and a husband who is utterly
powerless to help her, this poor woman struggles bravely and
uncomplainingly, confronted ever by a nameless dread of impending
misfortune. Eviction, sickness, starvation,--such are the ever-present
spectres, while every year marks the steady encroachment of disease, and
the lowering of the register of vitality. Moreover, from the window of
her soul falls the light of no star athwart the pathway of life.

     [2] NOTE ON PICTURE OF INVALID IN CHAIR. The picture given in
         this issue of this apartment represents the poor invalid
         placed by some friends on a chair while his bed could be
         made. Our artist preferred to take it this way, knowing
         that it would bring out the strong face better than if
         taken on his pallet on the floor, where for two years he
         has lain. Through The Arena Relief Fund, we have been
         enabled to greatly relieve the hard lot of this as well as
         many other families of unfortunates. Now the invalid is
         provided with a comfortable bedstead, with a deep, soft
         mattress, and furnished with many other things which
         contribute to life's comfort. When the bed, mattress, and
         other articles were being brought into this apartment, the
         tears of gratitude and joy flowed almost in rivers from the
         eyes of the patient wife, who felt that even in their
         obscure den some one in the great world yet cared for them.


The next place we visited was in the attic of a tenement building even
more wretched than the one just described. The general aspects of these
houses, however, are all much the same, the chief difference being in
degrees of filth and squalor present. Here in an attic lives a poor
widow with three children, a little boy and two little girls, Constance
and Maggie.[3] They live by making pants at twelve cents a pair. Since
the youngest child was two and a half years old she has been daily
engaged in overcasting the long seams of the garments made by her
mother. When we first called she had just passed her fourth birthday,
and now overcasts from three to four pairs of pants every day. There
seated on a little stool she sat, her fingers moving as rapidly and in
as unerring manner as an old experienced needlewoman. These three
children are fine looking, as are most of the little Portuguese I
visited. Their large heads and brilliant eyes seem to indicate capacity
to enjoy in an unusual degree the matchless delight springing from
intellectual and spiritual development. Yet the wretched walls of their
little apartment practically mark the limit of their world; the needle
their inseparable companion; their moral and mental natures hopelessly
dwarfed; a world of wonderful possibilities denied them by an inexorable
fate over which they have no control and for which they are in no way
responsible. We often hear it said that these children of the slums are
perfectly happy; that not knowing what they miss life is as enjoyable to
them as the young in more favorable quarters. I am satisfied, however,
that this is true only in a limited sense. The little children I have
just described are already practically machines; day by day they engage
in the same work with much the monotony of an automatic instrument
propelled by a blind force. When given oranges and cakes, a momentary
smile illumined their countenances, a liquid brightness shot from their
eyes, only to be replaced by the solemn, almost stolid, expression which
has become habitual even on faces so young. This conclusion was still
more impressively emphasized by the following touching remark of a child
of twelve years in another apartment, who was with her mother busily
sewing. "I am forty-three years old to-day," remarked the mother, and
said Mr. English, "I shall be forty-two next week." "_Oh, dear_," broke
in the child, "_I should think people would grow SO TIRED of living so
MANY YEARS._" Was utterance ever more pathetic? She spoke in tones of
mingled sadness and weariness, revealing in one breath all the pent-up
bitterness of a young life condemned to a slavery intolerable to any
refined or sensitive nature. Is it strange that people here take to
drink? To me it is far more surprising that so many are sober. I am
convinced that, in the slums, far more drunkenness is caused by abject
poverty and inability to obtain work, than want is produced by drink.
Here the physical system, half starved and often chilled, calls for
stimulants. Here the horrors of nightmare, which we sometimes suffer
during our sleep, are present during every waking hour. An oppressive
fear weighs forever on the mind. Drink offers a temporary relief and
satisfies the craving of the system, besides the environment invites
dissipation and human nature at best is frail. I marvel that there is
not more drunkenness exhibited in the poverty spots of our cities.

         first visited this little family he found them in the most
         abject want; a pot of boiling water, in which the mother
         was stirring a handful of meal, constituting their only
         food. Their clothing was thin and worn almost to shreds;
         their apartment but slightly heated; half of all they could
         earn, even when all were well and work good, had to go for
         their rent, leaving only one dollar and twenty-five cents a
         week to feed and clothe four persons. The day we first
         called they were poorly clothed, with sorry apologies for
         dresses and shoes laughing at the toes. In the picture we
         reproduce, they are neatly dressed and well shod from money
         contributed by liberal-hearted friends to The Arena Relief






Among the places we visited were a number of cellars or burrows. We
descended several steps into dark, narrow passage-ways,[4] leading to
cold, damp rooms, in many of which no direct ray of sunshine ever
creeps. We entered a room filled with a bed, cooking stove, rack of
dirty clothes and numerous chairs, of which the most one could say was
that their backs were still sound and which probably had been donated by
persons who could no longer use them. On the bed lay a man who has been
ill for three months with rheumatism. This family consists of father,
mother, and a large daughter, all of whom are compelled to occupy one
bed. They eat, cook, live, and sleep in this wretched cellar and pay
over fifty dollars a year rent. This is a typical illustration of life
in this underground world.

         UNDERGROUND APARTMENT. This passage-way is several steps
         down from the court or alley-way, and leads to the
         apartment seen in accompanying picture. There are many of
         these dark cellarways leading to underground tenements.

         Leading off the cellar-way shown above, is a tenement shown
         in this illustration. It consists of one room, over the bed
         the ceiling slants toward the street, and above the ceiling
         are the steps leading to the tenements above. In this one
         room lives the sick man, who for a long time, has been
         confined to his bed with rheumatism; his wife and a
         daughter are compelled to occupy the one bed with him,
         while the small sunless room is their only kitchen,
         laundry, living room, parlor, and bedroom.

         BOY. This illustration is a fair type of a number of
         lodgings. The photograph does not begin to reveal the
         extent of the wretchedness of the tenement. A little
         cubby-hole leads off from this room, large enough for a
         three quarters bed, in which the entire family of four
         sleep. The girls are remarkably bright and lady-like in
         their behavior, carrying with them an air of refinement one
         would not expect to find in such a place. They make their
         living by sewing; their rent is two dollars a week.

         This picture of a squalid underground apartment is typical
         of numbers of tenements in this part of the city. The widow
         sews and does any other kind of work she can to meet rent
         and living expenses; the children sew on pants.

         is from a photograph of one of the many tenements in the
         North End which front upon blind alleys. The illustration
         gives the front of the house and the only entrance to it.
         In this building dwell twenty families. The interior is
         even more dilapidated and horrible than the entrance. Here
         children are born, and here characters are moulded; here
         the fate of future members of the Commonwealth is stamped.
         Taxes on such a building are relatively low under our
         present system so the landlord realizes a princely revenue,
         and while such a condition remains, it is not probable that
         he will tear down the wretched old and erect a commodious
         new building, on which he would be compelled to pay double
         or triple the present taxes, merely for the comfort and
         moral and physical health of his tenants.


In another similar cellar or burrow[5] we found a mother and seven boys
and girls, some of them quite large, all sleeping in two medium-sized
beds in one room; this room is also their kitchen. The other room is a
storehouse for kindling wood the children gather and sell, a little
store and living room combined. Their rent is two dollars a week. The
cellar was damp and cold; the air stifling. Nothing can be imagined more
favorable to contagion both physical and moral than such dens as these.
Ethical exaltation or spiritual growth is impossible with such
environment. It is not strange that the slums breed criminals, which
require vast sums yearly to punish after evil has been accomplished; but
to me it is an ever-increasing source of wonder that society should be
so short-sighted and neglectful of the condition of its exiles, when an
outlay of a much smaller sum would ensure a prevention of a large
proportion of the crime that emenates from the slums; while at the same
time it would mean a new world of life, happiness, and measureless
possibilities for the thousands who now exist in hopeless gloom.

         These miserable quarters are four steps down from the
         street. There are two small rooms, one a shop in which
         kindling wood is stowed, which is gathered up by the
         children, split and tied in bundles. The mother also sells
         peanuts and candy. The back room contains a range and two
         beds which take almost the entire area of the room. In
         these two rooms several people sleep. One can readily see
         how unfortunate such a life is from an ethical, no less
         than social point of view.

[Illustration: OUT OF WORK (SEE NOTE).]

In a small room fronting an interior court we found a man[6] whose face
bore the stamp of that "hope long deferred which maketh the heart sick."
He is, I am informed, a strictly temperate, honest, and industrious
workman. Up to the time of his wife's illness and death, which occurred
last summer, the family lived in a reasonably comfortable manner, as the
husband found no difficulty in securing work on the sea. When the wife
died, however, circumstances changed. She left six little children, one
almost an infant. The father could not go to sea, leaving his little
flock without a protector, to fall the victims of starvation, and since
then he has worked whenever he could get employment loading vessels, or
at anything he could find. For the past six weeks he has been
practically without work, and the numerous family of little ones have
suffered for life's necessities. His rent is two dollars and a quarter a

     [6] NOTE ON ILLUSTRATION OUT OF WORK. The young man
         photographed in his dismal lodging is a widower with six
         small children; he is strictly sober, an American by birth,
         but parents were Scotch and Irish. Until the illness and
         death of the wife last summer, everything went reasonably
         well. The husband and father followed the sea and managed
         to provide for his family, even saving a little. The wife's
         sickness and burial expenses ate up all and more than he
         had saved, while being left with so many little children
         and no one to look after them, he found it impossible to
         engage in sea voyages; he was compelled to seek work which
         would enable him to be home at night. This winter, work has
         been very slack; for six weeks he has only been able to
         obtain employment for a few days; meantime his rent, which
         is two dollars and a quarter a week, has eaten up almost
         all the man could earn. Through the aid of the Baptist
         Bethel Mission and The Arena Relief Fund, this family has
         been provided with food and clothes.


In the attic in another tenement we found a widow[7] weeping and working
by the side of a little cradle where lay a sick child, whose large
luminous eyes shone with almost phosphorescent brilliancy from great
cavernous sockets, as they wandered from one to another, with a wistful,
soul-querying gaze. Its forehead was large and prominent, so much so
that looking at the upper part of the head one would little imagine how
terrible the emaciation of the body, which was little more than skin and
bones, speaking more eloquently than words of the ravages of slow
starvation and wasting disease. The immediate cause of the poor woman's
tears was explained to us in broken English, substantially as follows:
She had just returned from the dispensary where she had been
unsuccessful in her effort to have a physician visit her child, owing to
her inability to pay the quarter of a dollar demanded for the visit.
After describing as best she could the condition of the invalid, the
doctor had given her two bottles of medicine and a prescription blank on
which he had written directions for her to get a truss that would cost
her two dollars and a half at the drug store. She had explained to the
physician that owing to the illness of her child she had fallen a week
and a half in arrears in rent; that the agent for the tenement had
notified her that if one week's rent was not paid on Saturday she would
be evicted, which meant death to her child, so she could not buy the
truss. To which the doctor replied, "You must get the truss and put it
on before giving anything from either bottle, or the medicine will kill
your child." "If I give the medicine," she repeated showing us the
bottles, "before I put the truss on, he says it will kill my child," and
the tears ran swiftly down her sad but intelligent face. The child was
so emaciated that the support would inevitably have produced terrible
sores in a short time. I am satisfied that had the physician seen its
condition, he would not have had a heart to order it.

         attic with slanting roof and skylight window lives a poor
         widow with her little family of four, a full description of
         which is given elsewhere. The long-continued sickness of
         the little child has made the struggle for rent and bread
         very terrible, and had it not been for assistance rendered
         at intervals, eviction or starvation, or both, must have
         resulted. This woman and her children are sober,
         industrious, and intelligent. Cases like this are by no
         means rare in this city which claims to be practically free
         from poverty.

I thought as I studied the anxious and sorrowful countenance of that
mother, how hard, indeed, is the lot of the very poor. They have to buy
coal by the basketful and pay almost double price, likewise food and all
life's necessities. They are compelled to live in frightful
disease-fostering quarters, and pay exorbitant rents for the
accommodations they receive. When sick they are not always free from
imposition, even when they receive aid in the name of charity, and
sometimes theology under the cloak of religion oppresses them. This last
thought had been suggested by seeing in our rounds some half-starved
women dropping pennies into the hands of Sisters of Charity, who were
even here in the midst of terrible want, exacting from the starving
money for a church whose coffers groan with wealth. O religion,
ineffably radiant and exalting in thy pure influence, how thou art often
debased by thy professed followers! How much injustice is meted out to
the very poor, and how many crimes are still committed under thy cloak
and in thy holy name! Even this poor widow had bitterly suffered through
priests who belong to a great communion, claiming to follow Him who
cried, "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will
give you rest," as will be seen by the following, related to me by Rev.
Walter Swaffield, who was personally cognizant of the facts. The husband
of this widow was out of work for a time; being too ill to engage in
steady work, he found it impossible to pay the required ten cents for
seats in the church to which he belonged, and was consequently excluded
from his sitting. Shortly after he fell sick, his wife sought the
priest, imploring him to administer the sacrament, and later extreme
unction, which he positively refused, leaving the poor man to die
without the consolation of the Church he had from infancy been taught to
love and revere.

It is not strange that many in this world of misery become embittered
against society; that they sometimes learn to hate all who live in
comfort, and who represent the established order of things, and from the
rank of the patient, uncomplaining struggler descend to a lower zone,
where the moral nature is eclipsed by degradation and crime, and life
takes on a deeper shade of horror. This class of people exist on the
brink of a precipice. Socially, they may be likened to the physical
condition of Victor Hugo's Claude Frollo after Quasimodo had hurled him
from the tower of Notre Dame. You remember the sickening sensation
produced by that wonderful piece of descriptive work, depicting the
false priest hanging to the eaves, vainly striving to ascend, feeling
the leaden gutter to which he was holding slowly giving away. His hands
send momentary messages to the brain, warning it that endurance is
almost exhausted. Below he sees the sharp formidable spires of
Saint-Jean-de-Ronde, and immediately under him, two hundred feet from
where he hangs, are the hard pavement, where men appear like pigmies.
Above stands the avenging hunchback ready to hurl him back if he succeed
in climbing over the eaves. So these poor people have ever below them
starvation, eviction, and sickness. Above stands Quasimodo in the form
of a three-headed monster: a soulless landlord, the slave master who
pays only starvation wages, and disease, the natural complement of the
wretched squalor permitted by the one, and the slow starvation
necessarily incident to the prices paid by the other. Their lot is even
more terrible when it is remembered that their fall carries with it the
fate of their loved ones. In addition to the multitude who are condemned
to suffer through uninvited poverty, with no hopeful outlook before
them, there is another class who are constantly on the brink of real
distress, and who are liable at any time, to suffer bitterly because
they are proud-spirited and will almost starve to death before they ask
for aid. Space prevents me from citing more than one illustration of
this character. In an apartment house we found an American woman with a
babe two weeks old and a little girl. The place was scrupulously clean,
something very rare in this zone of life. The woman, of course, was weak
from illness and, as yet, unable to take in any work to speak of. Her
husband has been out of employment for a few weeks, but had just shipped
on board a sailing vessel for a cruise of several months. The woman did
not intimate that they were in great need, as she hoped to soon be
enabled to make some money, and the portion of her husband's wages she
was allowed to draw, paid the rent. A week ago, however, the little girl
came to the Bethel Mission asking for a loaf of bread. "We have had
nothing to eat since Monday morning," she said, "and the little baby
cries all the time because mamma can give it no milk." It was Wednesday
evening when the child visited the Mission. An investigation
substantiated the truth of the child's words. The mother, too proud to
beg, struggled with fate, hoping and praying to be able to succeed
without asking for aid, but seeing her babe starving to death, she
yielded. This case finds many counterparts where a little aid bridges
over a period of frightful want, after which the unfortunate are able,
in a measure, to take care of themselves.

I find it impossible in this paper to touch upon other cases I desired
to describe. The above illustrations however, typical of the life and
environment of hundreds of families, are sufficient to emphasize a
condition which exists in our midst and which is yearly growing, both in
extent and in intensity of bitterness; a condition that is little
understood by those who are not actually brought in contact with the
circumstances as they exist, a condition at once revolting and appalling
to every sense of humanity and justice. We cannot afford to remain
ignorant of the real status of life in our midst, any more than we can
afford to sacrifice truth to optimism. It has become a habit with some
to make light of these grim and terrible facts, to minify the suffering
experienced, or to try and impute the terrible condition to drink. This
may be pleasant but it will never alter conditions or aid the cause of
reform. It is our duty to honestly face the deplorable conditions, and
courageously set to work to ameliorate the suffering, and bring about
radical reformatory measures calculated to invest life with a rich, new
significance for this multitude so long exiles from joy, gladness, and

We now come to the practical question, What is to be done? But before
viewing the problem in its larger and more far-reaching aspects, I wish
to say a word in regard to the direct measures for immediate relief
which it is fashionable among many reformers to dismiss as unworthy of
consideration. It is very necessary in a discussion of this character to
view the problem in all its bearings, and adjust the mental vision so as
to recognize the utility of the various plans advanced by sincere
reformers. I have frequently heard it urged that these palliative
measures tend to retard the great radical reformative movements, which
are now taking hold of the public mind. This view, however comfortable
to those who prefer theorizing and agitation to putting their shoulder
to the wheel in a practical way, is, nevertheless, erroneous. There is
no way in which people can be so thoroughly aroused to the urgent
necessity of radical economic changes as by bringing them into such
intimate relations with the submerged millions that they hear the
throbbing of misery's heart. The lethargy of the moral instincts of the
people is unquestionably due to lack of knowledge more than anything
else. The people do not begin to realize the true condition of life in
the ever-widening field of abject want. When they know and are
sufficiently interested to personally investigate the problem and aid
the suffering, they will appreciate as never before the absolute
necessity for radical economic changes, which contemplate a greater meed
of justice and happiness than any measures yet devised. But aside from
this we must not forget the fact that we have a duty to perform to the
living no less than to the generations yet unborn. The commonwealth of
to-day as well as that of to-morrow demands our aid. Millions are in the
quicksands: yearly, monthly, daily, hourly they are sinking deeper and
deeper. We can save them while the bridges are being built. To withhold
the planks upon which life and happiness depend is no less criminal than
to refuse to face the question in its broader aspects and labor for
fundamental economic changes. A great work of real, practical, and
enduring value, however, is being wrought each year by those in charge
of local missions work in the slums and by individuals who mingle with
and study the actual condition of the very poor. The extent of good
accomplished by these few who are giving their lives to uplifting
society's exiles is little understood, because it is quiet and
unostentatious; yet through the instrumentality of the silent workers,
thousands of persons are annually kept from starvation and crime, while
for many of them new, broad, and hopeful horizons are constantly coming
in view.[8]

     [8] The extent and character of this work will be more readily
         understood by noting the labor accomplished by the Bethel
         Mission in the North End, which is doing more than any
         other single organization in that section of the city for
         the dwellers of the slums. Here under the efficient
         management of the Rev. Walter Swaffield, assisted by Rev.
         W. J. English, work is intelligently pushed with untiring
         zeal, and in a perfectly systematic manner. From a social
         and humanitarian point of view, their work may be
         principally summed up in the following classifications:
         [1.] _Looking after the temporal and immediate wants of
         those who are really suffering._ Here cases are quietly and
         sympathetically investigated. Food is often purchased; the
         rents are sometimes paid; old clothes are distributed where
         they are most needed, and in many ways the temporal wants
         are looked after while kind, friendly visitation of between
         one and two hundred very needy families comprise a portion
         of each month's work. [2]. _The sailors' boarding house._ A
         large, clean, homelike building is fitted up for sailors.
         Every American vessel that comes into port is visited by a
         member of the Mission, who invites the sailors to remain at
         this model home for seamen. In this way hundreds yearly
         escape the dreadful atmosphere of the wretched sailors'
         boarding houses of this part of the city, or, what is still
         more important, avoid undreamed-of vice, degradation, and
         disease by going with companions to vile dens of infamy.
         [3]. _Securing comfortable homes and good positions for the
         young who are thus enabled to rise out of the night and
         oppression of this terrible existence._ This, it is
         needless to add, is a very difficult task, owing to the
         fact that society shrinks from its exiles; few persons will
         give any one a chance who is known to have belonged to the
         slums. Nevertheless good positions are yearly secured for
         several of these children of adversity. [4]. _The
         children's free industrial school in which the young are
         taught useful trades, occupations, and means of
         employment._ In this training school the little girls are
         taught to make themselves garments. The material is
         furnished them free and when they have completed the
         garment it is given them. [5]. _Summer vacations in the
         country for the little ones_ are provided for several
         hundred children; some for a day, some a week, some two
         weeks as the exigencies of the case require and the limited
         funds permit. These little oases in the children's dreary
         routine life are looked forward to with even greater
         anticipations of joy than is Christmas in the homes of the
         rich. I have cited the work of this Mission because I have
         personally investigated its work, and have seen the immense
         good that is being done with the very limited funds at the
         command of the Mission, and also to show by an illustration
         how much may be accomplished for the immediate relief of
         the sufferers. A grand palliative work requiring labor and
         money. It is not enough for those who live in our great
         cities to contribute to such work, they should visit these
         quarters and see for themselves. This would change many who
         to-day are indifferent into active missionaries.

Let us now examine a broader aspect of this problem. So long as the
wretched, filthy dens of dirt, vermin, and disease stand as the only
shelter for the children of the scum, so long will moral and physical
contagion flourish and send forth death-dealing germs; so long will
crime and degradation increase, demanding more policemen, more numerous
judiciary, and larger prisons. No great permanent or far-reaching
reformation can be brought about until the habitations of the people are
radically improved. The recognition of this fact has already led to a
practical palliative measure for relief that must challenge the
admiration of all thoughtful persons interested in the welfare of
society's exiles. It is a step in the direction of justice. It is not
merely a work of charity; it is, I think, the most feasible immediate
measure that can be employed which will change the whole aspect of life
for tens of thousands, making existence mean something, and giving a
wonderful significance to the now meaningless word home. I refer to the
erection of model tenement apartments in our overcrowded sections, such,
for example, as the Victoria Square dwelling of Liverpool. Here, on the
former site of miserable tenement houses, sheltering more than a
thousand people, stands to-day a palatial structure built around a
hollow square, the major part of which is utilized as a large
shrub-encircled playground for the children. The halls and stairways of
the building are broad, light, and airy; the ventilation and sanitary
arrangements perfect. The apartments are divided into one, two, and
three rooms each. No room is smaller than 13 × 8 feet 6 inches; most of
them are 12 × 13 feet 4 inches. All the ceilings are 9 feet high. A
superintendent looks after the building. The tenants are expected to be
orderly, and to keep their apartments clean. The roomy character of
halls and chambers may be inferred from the fact that there are only two
hundred and seventy-five apartments in the entire building. The returns
on the total expenditure of the building, which was $338,800.00, it is
estimated will be at least 4-1/2 per cent, while the rents are as
follows: $1.44 per week for the three-room tenement, $1.08 per week for
those containing two large rooms, and 54 cents for the one-room
quarters. In Boston, the rents for the dreadful one-room cellar are
$1.00 a week; for the two-room tenements above the cellars, the rent, so
far as I heard, ranged from $1.50 to $2.50; three rooms were, of course,
much higher. The rooms also are far smaller here than those in the
beautiful, healthful, and inviting Victoria Square apartments. Yet it
will be observed that the Shylock landlords receive _more than double_
the rental paid in this building for dens which would be a disgrace to
barbarism. A similar experiment, in many respects even more remarkable
than that recently inaugurated by the Liverpool co-operation, is
exhibited in the Peabody dwellings in London. These apartments have been
in successful operation for so many years, while the results attending
them have been so marked and salutary, that no discussion of this
subject would be complete that failed to give some of the most important
facts relating to them. I know of no single act of philanthropy that
towers so nobly above the sordid greed of the struggling multitude of
millionaires, as does this splendid work of George Peabody, by which
to-day twenty thousand people, who but for him would be in the depths of
the slums, are fronting a bright future, and with souls full of hope are
struggling into a higher civilization. It will be remembered that Mr.
Peabody donated at intervals extending over a period of eleven years, or
from 1862 to 1873, £500,000 or $2,500,000 to this project of relieving
the poor. He specified that his purpose was to ameliorate the condition
of the poor and needy of London, and promote their comfort and
happiness, making only the following conditions:--

    "_First_ and foremost amongst them is the limitation of its
    uses, absolutely and, exclusively, to such purposes as may be
    calculated directly to ameliorate the condition and augment the
    comforts of the poor, who, either by birth or established
    residence, form a recognized portion of the population of

    "_Secondly_, it is my intention that now, and for all time,
    there shall be a rigid exclusion from the management of this
    fund, of any influences calculated to impart to it a character
    either sectarian as regards religion, or exclusive in relation
    to party politics.

    "_Thirdly_, it is my wish that the sole qualification for a
    participation in the benefits of the fund shall be an
    ascertained and continued condition of life, such as brings the
    individual within the description (in the ordinary sense of the
    word) of the poor of London: combined with moral character, and
    good conduct as a member of society."


Realizing that little could be hoped for from individuals or their
offspring, who were condemned to a life in vile dens, where the squalor
and wretchedness was only equalled by the poisonous, disease-breeding
atmosphere and the general filth which characterized the tenement
districts, the trustees Mr. Peabody selected to carry forward his work,
engaged in the erection of a large building accommodating over two
hundred, at a cost of $136,500. This apartment house, which is
substantially uniform with the seventeen additional buildings since
constructed from the Peabody fund, is five stories high, built around a
hollow square, thus giving plenty of fresh air and sunshine to the rear
as well as the front of the entire building. The square affords a large
playground for the children where they are in no danger of being run
over by vehicles, and where they are under the immediate eye of many of
the parents. The building is divided into tenements of one, two, and
three room apartments, according to the requirements of the occupant.
There are also nine stores on the ground floor, which bring a rental of
something over $1,500 a year for each of the buildings. By careful,
honest, and conscientious business management, the original sum of
$2,500,000 has been almost doubled, while comfortable, healthful homes
have been procured for an army of over 20,000 persons. Some of the
apartments contain four rooms, many three, some two, others one. The
average rent is about $1.15 for an apartment. The average price for
three-room apartments in the wretched tenements of London, is from $1.45
a week. In the Peabody dwellings, the death rate is .96 per one thousand
below the average in London. Thus it will be seen that while large,
healthful, airy, and cheerful homes have been provided for over 20,000
at a lower figure than the wretched disease-fostering and crime-breeding
tenements of soulless Shylocks, the Peabody fund has, since 1862, grown
to nearly $5,000,000, or almost twice the sum given for the work by the
great philanthropist. No words can adequately describe the magnitude of
this splendid work, any more than we can measure the good it has
accomplished, the crime prevented, or the lives that through it have
grown to ornament and bless society. In the Liverpool experiment, the
work has been prosecuted by the municipal government. In the Peabody
dwellings, it has, of course, been the work of an individual, carried on
by a board of high-minded, honorable, and philanthropic gentlemen. To my
mind, it seems far more practicable for philanthropic, monied men to
prosecute this work as a business investment, specifying in their wills
that rents shall not rise above a figure necessary to insure a fair
interest on the money, rather than leave it for city governments, as in
the latter case it would be in great danger of becoming an additional
stronghold for unscrupulous city officials to use for political
purposes. I know of no field where men with millions can so bless the
race as by following Mr. Peabody's example in our great cities. If,
instead of willing every year princely sums to old, rich, and
conservative educational institutions, which already possess far more
money than they require,--wealthy persons would bequeath sums for the
erection of buildings after the manner of the Victoria Square or the
Peabody Dwellings, a wonderful transformation would soon appear in our
cities. Crime would diminish, life would rise to a higher level, and
from the hearts and brains of tens of thousands, a great and terrible
load would be lifted. Yet noble and praiseworthy as is this work, we
must not lose sight of the fact, that at best it is only a palliative
measure: a grand, noble, beneficent work which challenges our
admiration, and should receive our cordial support; still it is only a

There is a broader aspect still, a nobler work to be accomplished. As
long as speculation continues in that great gift of God to man, _land_,
the problem will be unsettled. So long as the landlords find that the
more wretched, filthy, rickety, and loathsome a building is, the lower
will be the taxes, he will continue to make some of the ever-increasing
army of bread winners dwell in his foul, disease-impregnated dens.

The present economic system is being rapidly outgrown. Man's increasing
intelligence, sense of justice, and the humanitarian spirit of the age,
demand radical changes, which will come immeasurably nearer securing
equal opportunities for all persons than the past dreamed possible. No
sudden or rash measure calculated to convulse business and work great
suffering should be entertained, but our future action should rest on a
broad, settled policy founded upon justice, tempered by moderation,
keeping in view the great work of banishing uninvited poverty, and
elevating to a higher level the great struggling millions without for a
moment sacrificing individualism. Indeed, a truer democracy in which a
higher interpretation of justice, and a broader conception of individual
freedom, and a more sacred regard for liberty, should be the watchword
of the future.



In the life and letters of Charles Darwin there is a memorandum, copied
from his pocket note-book of 1837, to this effect:--"In July, opened
first notebook on Transmutation of Species. Had been greatly struck with
the character of the South American fossils and the species on Galapagos

These facts, he says, were the origin of all his epoch-making views as
to the development of life and the work of natural selection in evolving

His suspicions that species were not immutable and made at one cast,
directly by the fiat of the Creator, seemed to him, at first, he says,
almost like murder.

To the greater part of the church, when in 1859, after twenty years of
work in accumulating the proofs of his theory, he at last gave it to the
world, it seemed quite as bad as murder.

It is very interesting now to look back upon the history and career of
the Darwinian theory in the last thirty years; to recall, first the
fierce outcry and denunciation it elicited, then the gradual
accumulation of corroboratory evidence from all quarters in its favor;
the accession of one scientific authority after another to the new
views; the softening, little by little, of ecclesiastical opposition;
its gradual acceptance by the broad-minded alike in theological and
scientific circles; then, in these recent years, the exaltation of the
new theory into a scientific and philosophic creed, wherein matter,
force, and evolution constitute the new trinity, which, unless the
modern man piously believes, he becomes anathematized and excommunicated
by all the priests of the new dogmatism.

In the field of science, undoubtedly, evolution has won the day.
Nevertheless, in religious circles, old time prejudices and slow
conservatism, clinging to its creeds, as the hermit crab clings to the
cast-off shell of oyster or clam, still resist it. The great body of the
Christian laity looks askance on it. And even in progressive America,
one of the largest and most liberal of American denominations has
recently formally tried and condemned one of its clergy for heresy, for
the publication of a book in which the principles of Evolution are
frankly adopted and applied to Christianity. For a man to call himself a
Christian Evolutionist is (we have been told by high Orthodox authority)
a contradiction in terms.

I think it is safe to say to-day that Evolution has come to stay. It is
too late to turn it out of the mansions of modern thought. And it is,
therefore, a vital question, "Can belief in God, and the soul, and
divine revelation abide under the same roof with evolution in peace? Or
must Christianity vacate the realm of modern thought and leave it to the
chilling frosts of materialism and scepticism?"

Now, if I have been able to understand the issue and its grounds, there
is no such alternative, no such incompatibility between Evolution and

There is, I know, a form of Evolution and a form of Christianity, which
are mutually contradictory.

There is a form of Evolution which is narrowly materialistic. It
dogmatically asserts that there is nothing in existence but matter and
physical forces, and the iron laws according to which they develop.
Life, according to this school, is only a product of the happy
combination of the atoms; feeling and thought are but the iridescence of
the brain tissues; conscience but a transmuted form of ancestral fears
and expediences. Soul, revelation, providence, nothing but illusions of
the childish fancy of humanity's infancy. Opposed to it, fighting with
all the intensity of those who fight for their very life, stands a
school of Christians who maintain that unless the special creation of
species by divine fiat and the frequent intervention of God and His
angels in the world be admitted, religion has received its death wound.
According to this school, unless the world was created in six days, and
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and it obeyed, and Hezekiah
turned the solar shadow back on the dial, and Jesus was born without
human father, and unless some new miracle will interfere with the
regular course of law, of rain and dew, of sickness and health, of cause
and effect, whenever a believer lifts up his voice in prayer, why then,
the very foundations of religion are destroyed.

Now, of course, between a Christianity and an Evolutionism of this sort,
there is an irreconcilable conflict. But it is because neither of them
is a fair, rational, or true form of thought.

When the principle of Evolution is properly comprehended and expounded;
when Christianity is interpreted in the light that history and
philosophy require,--the two will be found to have no difficulty in
joining hands.

Though a purely naturalistic Evolutionism may ignore God; and a purely
supernatural religion may leave no room for Evolution, a natural
religion and a rational Evolutionism may yet harmoniously unite in a
higher and more fruitful marriage.

Let us only recognize _Evolution by the divine spirit, as the process of
God's working in the world_, and we have then a theory which has a place
and a function, at once for all that the newest science has to teach and
the most venerable faith needs to retain.

In the first place, Evolution is not itself a cause. It is no force in
itself. It has no originating power. It is simply a method and law of
the occurrence of things. Evolution shows that all things proceed,
little by little, without breach of continuity; that the higher ever
proceeds from the lower; the more complex ever unfolds from the more
simple. For every species or form, it points out some ancestor or
natural antecedent, from which by gradual modification, it has been
derived. And in natural selection, the influence of the environment,
sexual selection, use and disuse, sterility, and the variability of the
organism, Science shows us some of the secondary factors or conditions
of this development. But none of these are supposed by it to be first
causes or originating powers. What these are, science itself does not
claim the right as yet to declare.

Now, it is true that this unbroken course of development, this
omnipresent reign of law, is inconsistent with the theological theories
of supernatural intervention that have so often claimed a monopoly of
faith. But independent of all scientific reasons, on religious and
philosophical grounds themselves, this dogmatic view is no longer to be
accepted. For if God be the God of all-seeing wisdom and foresight that
reverence conceives him to be, his work should be too perfect from the
outset to demand such changes of plan and order of working. The great
miracle of miracles, as Isaac Taylor used to say, is that Providence
needs no miracles to carry out its all-perfect plans.

But if, I hear it asked, the huge machine of the universe thus grinds on
and has ever ground on, without interruption; if every event is closely
bound to its physical antecedent, life to the cell, mind to brain, man
to his animal ancestry and bodily conditions,--what other result will
there be than an inevitable surrender to materialism? When Laplace was
asked by Napoleon, on presenting to him his famous essay on the nebular
hypothesis of the origin of the stellar universe, "Why do I see here no
mention of the Deity?" the French astronomer proudly replied: "Sire, I
have no need of that hypothesis."

Is not that the natural lesson of Evolutionism, to say that God is a
hypothesis, no longer needed by science and which progressive thought,
therefore, better dismiss?

I do not think so. Old time materialism dismissed the idea of God
because it dismissed the idea of a beginning. The forces and phenomena
of the world were supposed eternal; and therefore a Creator was
unnecessary. But the conception of Evolution is radically different. It
is a movement that demands a motor force behind it. It is a movement,
moreover, that according to the testimony of modern science cannot have
been eternal. The modern theory of heat and the dissipation of energy
requires that our solar system and the nebula from which it sprang
should have had a beginning in some finite period of time. The
evolutionary process cannot have been going on forever; for the amount
of heat and the number of degrees of temperature and the rate of
cooling, are all finite, calculable quantities, and therefore the
process cannot have been going on for more than a certain finite number
of years, more or less millions, say. Moreover, if the original
fire-mist was perfectly homogeneous, and not impelled into motion by any
external force, it would never have begun to rotate and evolve into
planets and worlds. If perfectly homogeneous, it would have remained,
always balanced and always immobile. To start it on its course of
rotation and evolution, there must have been either some external
impelling power, or else some original differentiation of forces or
conditions; for which, again, some other cause than itself must be
supposed. For the well-known law of inertia forbids that any material
system that is in absolute equilibrium should spontaneously start itself
into motion. As John Stuart Mill has admitted, "the laws of nature can
give no account of their own origin."

In the second place, notice that the materialistic interpretation of
Evolution fails to account for that which is most characteristic in the
process, the steady progress it reveals. Were Evolution an aimless,
fruitless motion, rising and falling alternately, or moving round and
round in an endless circle, the reference of these motions to the blind
forces of matter might have, perhaps, a certain plausibility. But the
movements of the evolution process are of quite a different character.
They are not chaotic; no barren, useless circlings back to the same
point, again and again; but they are progressive; and if often they seem
to return to their point of departure, we see, on close examination,
that the return is always on a higher plane. The motion is a spiral one,
ever advancing to loftier and loftier ranges. Now this progressive
motion is something that no accidental play of the atoms will account
for. For chance builds no such rational structures. Chance writes no
such intelligent dramas, with orderly beginning, crescendo, and climax.
Or if some day, chance builds a structure with some show of order in it,
to-morrow it pulls it down. It does not move steadily forward with
permanent constructiveness.

The further Science penetrates into the secrets of the universe the more
regular seems the march of thought presented there; the more harmonious
the various parts; the more rational the grand system that is
discovered. "How the one force of the universe should have pursued the
pathway of Evolution through the lapse of millions of ages, leaving
traces so legible by intelligence to-day, unless from beginning to end
the whole process had been dominated by intelligence," this is
something, as Francis Abbot well says, that passes the limits of
conjecture. The all-luminous intelligibility of the universe is the
all-sufficient proof of the intelligence of the cause that produced it.
In the annals of science there is nothing more curious than the
prophetic power which those savans have gained who have grasped this
secret of nature--the rationality of the universe. It was by this
confidence in finding in the hitherto unexplored domains of nature what
reason demanded, that Goethe, from the analogies of the mammalian
skeleton, discovered the intermaxillary bone in man; and Sir William
Hamilton, from the mathematical consequences of the undulation of light,
led the way to the discovery of conical refraction. A similar story is
told of Prof. Agassiz and Prof. Pierce, the one the great zoölogist, the
other the great mathematician, of Cambridge. Agassiz, having studied the
formation of radiate animals, and having found them all referable to
three different plans of structure, asked Prof. Pierce, without
informing him of his discovery, how to execute all the variations
possible, conformed to the fundamental idea of a radiated structure
around a central axis. Prof. Pierce, although quite ignorant of natural
history, at once devised the very three plans discovered by Agassiz, as
the only fundamental plans which could be framed in accordance with the
given elements. How significantly do such correspondences speak of the
working of mind in nature, moulding it in conformity with ideas of
reason. Thus to see the laws of thought exhibiting themselves as also
the laws of being seems to me a fact sufficient of itself to prove the
presence of an over-ruling mind in nature.

Is there any way of escaping this obvious conclusion? The only method
that has been suggested has been to refer these harmonies of nature back
to the original regularity of the atoms. As the drops of frozen moisture
on the window pane build up the symmetrical frost-forms without design
or reason, by virtue of the original similarity of the component parts,
so do the similar atoms, without any more reason or plan, build up the
harmonious forms of nature.

But this answer brings us face to face with a third still more
significant problem, a still greater obstacle to materialism. Why are
the atoms of nature thus regular, thus similar, one to another? Here are
millions on millions of atoms of gold, each like its fellow atom.
Millions and millions of atoms of oxygen, each with the same velocity of
movement, same weight and chemical properties. All the millions on
millions on millions of atoms on the globe are not of infinitely varied
shape, weight, size, quality; but there are only some seventy different
kinds, and all the millions of one kind, just as like one another as
bullets out of the same mould, so that each new atom of oxygen that
comes to a burning flame does the same work and acts in precisely the
same way as its fellows. Did you ever think of that? If you have ever
realized what it means, you must recognize this uniformity of the atoms,
billions and billions of them as like one another as if run out of the
same mould--as the most astonishing thing in nature.

Now, among the atoms, there can have been no birth, no death, no
struggle for existence, no natural selection to account for this. What
other explanation, then, in reason is there, than to say, as those great
men of science, Sir John Herschel and Clerk Maxwell, who have, in our
day, most deeply pondered this curious fact, have said, that this
division of all the infinity of atoms in nature into a very limited
number of groups, all the billions of members in each group
substantially alike in their mechanical and chemical properties, "gives
to each of the atoms the essential characters at once of a manufactured
article and a subordinate agent."

Evolution cannot, then, be justly charged with materialism. On the
contrary, it especially demands a divine creative force as the starter
of its processes and the endower of the atoms with their peculiar
properties. The foundation of that scientific system which the greatest
of modern expositors of Evolution has built up about that principle
(Herbert Spencer's synthetic philosophy) is the persistence of an
infinite, eternal, and indestructible force, of which all things that we
see are the manifestations.

To suppose, as many of the camp-followers of the evolution philosophy
do, that the processes of successive change and gradual modification,
which have been so clearly traced out in nature, relieve us from the
need or right of asking for any anterior and higher cause of these
processes; or that because the higher and finer always unfolds from the
lower and coarser, therefore there was really nothing else in existence,
either at the beginning or at present, than these crude elements which
alone disclose themselves at first; and that these gross, sensuous facts
are the only source and explanation of all that has followed them,--this
is a most superficial and inadequate view. For this explanation, as we
have already noticed, furnishes no fountain-head of power to maintain
the constant upward-mounting of the waters in the world's conduits. It
furnishes no intelligent directions of these streams into ever wise and
ordered channels. To explain the higher life that comes out of these low
beginnings, we must suppose the existence of spiritual powers, unseen at
first, and disclosing themselves only in the fuller, later results, the
moral and spiritual phenomena that are the crowning flower and fruit of
the long process. When a thing has grown from a lower to a higher form,
its real rank in nature is not shown by what it began in, but by what it
has become. Though chemistry has grown out of alchemy, and astronomy out
of astrology, this does not empty them of present truth or impair at all
their authority and trustworthiness to-day. Though man's mind has grown
out of the sensations of brutish ancestors, that does not take away the
fact that he has now risen to a height from which he overlooks all these
mists and sees the light which never was on sea or land. The real
beginning of a statue is not in the rough outline in which it first
appears, but in the creative idea of the perfect work which regulates
its whole progress. The real nature of a tree is not to be discovered in
the first swellings of the acorn, or the first out-pushing of its
rootlets, but rather are acorn and rootlet themselves parts of that
generic idea, that _evolutive potentiality_, which is only to be
understood when manifested in its completer form in the full-grown
monarch of the forest. So to discern the real character and motor-power
of the world's evolution, we must look, not to its beginnings, but to
its end, and see in the latest stages, and its highest moral and
spiritual forms and forces, not disguises of its earlier stages, but
ampler manifestations of that Divine power and purpose which is the
ever-active agent, working through all the varied levels of creation.

The evolution theory is, also, it must be acknowledged, hostile to that
phase of theology which conceives of God as a being outside of nature;
which regarded the universe as a dead lump, a mechanical fabric where
the Creator once worked, at the immensely remote dawn of creation; and
to which again, for a few short moments, this transcendental Power
stooped from His celestial throne, when the successive species of living
beings were called into being in brief exertions of supernatural energy.
But this mechanical view of God who, as Goethe said, "only from without
should drive and twirl the universe about," what a poor conception of
God, after all, was that; not undeserving the ridicule of the great

Certainly, the idea of God which Wordsworth has given us, as a Power not
indefinitely remote, but ever present and infinitely near,

  "A motion and a spirit that impels
   All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts,
   And rolls through all things,"

is a much more inspiring and venerable thought. This is the conception
of God that Paul has given us, "the God in whom we live and move and
have our being;" this is the conception that the book of Wisdom gives
us, "as the Divine Spirit who filleth the world."

And to this conception of God, Evolution has no antagonism, but on the
contrary, throws its immense weight in its favor. Evolution, in fact,
instead of removing the Deity from us, brings him close about us; sets
us face to face with his daily activities. The universe is but the body
of which God is the soul; "the Interior Artist," as Giordano Bruno used
to say, who from within moulds his living shapes of beauty and power.
What else, in fact, is Evolution but the secular name for the Divine
Indwelling; the scientific alias for the growth and progressive
revelation of the Holy Spirit, daily putting off the old and putting on
the new; constantly busy from the beginning of time to this very day
moulding and forwarding his work?

Not long ago I came across the mental experience of a working geologist
which well illustrates this. "Once in early boyhood," says Mr. James E.
Mills, "I left a lumberman's camp at night to go to the brook for water.
It was a clear, cold, moonlight night and very still, except the distant
murmuring of the Penobscot at some falls. A sense of the grandeur of the
forest and rivers, the hills, and sky, and stars came over the boy, and
he stood and looked around. An owl hooted, and the hooting was not a
cheerful sound. The men were all asleep, and the conditions were lonely
enough. But there was no feeling of loneliness; for with the sense of
the grandeur of creation, came the sense, very real and strong, of the
Creator's presence. In boyish imagination, I could see His almighty hand
shaping the hills and scooping out the valleys, spreading the sky
overhead, and making trees, animals, and men. Thirty years later I
camped alone in the open air on the bank of the Gila. It was a clear,
cold, moonlight night. The camp-fire was low, for the Apaches were on
the warpath. An owl again hooted; but again all loneliness was dispelled
by a sense of the Creator's presence, and the night of long ago by the
Penobscot came into my mind, and with it the question: What is the
difference to my mind between the Creator's presence now and then? To
the heart, it was very like, but to the mind very different. Now, no
great hand was shaping things from without. But God was everywhere,
reaching down through long lines of forces, and shaping and sustaining
things from within. I had been travelling all day by mountains of lava
which had cooled long ages ago, and over grounds which the sea, now far
off, had left on its beaches; and with the geologist's habit recalled
the lava still glowing and flowing, and the sea still rolling its
pebbles on the beaches. But now I knew it was by forces within the earth
that the lava was poured out, and that the waves which rolled the
pebbles were driven by the wind and the wind by the sun's heat. And the
forces within the earth and the heat within the sun come from still
further within. Inward, always inward, the search for the original
energy and law carried my mind, for He whose will is the source of all
force, and whose thought is the source of all law is on the inside of
the universe. The kingdom of God is within you."

"Now this change from the boyish idea of God creating things from
without, to the manhood's view of God creating and sustaining all things
from within," is indeed as this working geologist so well says, "the
essential change which modern science has wrought in the habit of
religious thought. From Copernicus to Darwin, every important step in
the development of science has cost the giving up of some idea of a God
creating things as man shapes them from without, and has illustrated the
higher idea of God reaching His works from within. Every step has led
toward the truth that life and force come to the forms in which they are
clothed from God by the inner way; and by the same way, their law comes
with them; and that the forms are the effects of the force and life,
acting according to the law."

This is certainly a most noble, uplifting conception of the world. But
how, perhaps it will be asked, can we find justification for such a view
of the Divine Spirit as indwelling in nature? It is a question worth
dwelling upon, and when we carefully ponder it, we find that one of the
phases of the evolution philosophy that has been a chief source of alarm
is precisely the one that lends signal support to this doctrine of
Divine Indwelling.

Evolution is especially shrunk from, because it connects man so closely
with nature; our souls are traced back to an animal origin;
consciousness to instinct, instinct to sensibility, and this to lower
laws and properties of force. By the law of the correlation of forces,
our mental and spiritual powers are regarded as but transformed phases
of physical forces, conditioned as they are on our bodily states and
changes; and the soul, it is said, is but a child of nature, who is most
literally its mother.

To many minds this is appalling. But let us look it candidly in the face
and see its full bearing. We will recall in the first place, the
scientific law, no life but from proceeding life. Let us recollect next
the dictum of mechanics, no fountain can rise higher than its source.
The natural corollary and consequence of this is "no evolution without
preceding involution." If mind and consciousness come out of nature,
they must first have been enveloped in nature, resident within its
depths. If the spirit within our hearts is one with the force that stirs
the sense and grows in the plant, then that sea of energy that envelops
us is also spirit.

When we come to examine the idea of force, we find that there is only
one form in which we get any direct knowledge of it, only one place in
which we come into contact with it, and that is, in our own conscious
experiences, in the efforts of our own will. According to the scientific
rule, always to interpret the unknown by the known, not the known by the
unknown, it is only the rational conclusion that force elsewhere is also
will. Through this personal experience of energy, we get, just once, an
inside view of the universal energy, and we find it to be spiritual; the
will-force of the Infinite Spirit dwelling in all things. That the
encircling force of the universe can best be understood through the
analogy of our own sense of effort, and therefore is a form of will, of
Spirit, is a conclusion endorsed by the most eminent men of
science,--Huxley, Herschel, Carpenter, and Le Conte. There is,
therefore, no real efficient force but Spirit. The various energies of
nature are but different forms or special currents of this Omnipresent
Divine Power; the laws of nature, but the wise and regular habits of
this active Divine will; physical phenomena but projections of God's
thought on the screen of space; and Evolution but the slow, gradual
unrolling of the panorama on the great stage of time.

In geology and paleontology, as is admitted, Evolution is not directly
observed, but only inferred. The process is too slow; the stage too
grand for direct observation. There is one field and only one where it
has been directly observed. This is in the case of domestic animals and
plants under man's charge. Now as here, where alone we see Evolution
going on, it is under the guidance of superintending mind, it is a
justifiable inference that in nature, also, it goes on under similar
intelligent guidance. Now, it is the observation of distinguished men of
science that we see precisely such guidance in nature. There is nothing
in the Darwinian theory, as I said, that would conduct species upward
rather than downward. To account for the steady upward progress we must
resort to a higher Cause. We must say with Asa Gray, "Variation has been
led along certain beneficial lines, like a stream along definite and
useful lines of irrigation." We must say with Prof. Owen, "A purposive
route of development and change, of correlation and inter-dependence,
manifesting intelligent will, is as determinable in the succession of
races as in the development and organization of the individual.
Generations do not vary accidentally in any and every direction, but in
pre-ordained, definite, and correlated courses." This judgment is one
which Prof. Carpenter has also substantially agreed with, declaring that
the history of Evolution is that of a consistent advance along definite
lines of progress, and can only be explained as the work of a mind in

The old argument from Design, it has been frequently said of late, is
quite overthrown by Evolution. In one sense it is: _i.e._ the old idea
of a special purpose and a separate creation of each part of nature. But
the divine agency is not dispensed with, by Evolution; only shifted to a
different point of application; transferred from the particular to the
general; from the fact to the law. Paley compared the eye to a watch;
and said it must have been made by a divine hand. The modern scientist
objects that the eye has been found to be no hand-work; it is the last
result of a complicated combination of forces; the mighty machine of
nature, which has been grinding at the work for thousands of years. Very
well; but the modern watch is not made by hand, either, but by a score
of different machines. But does it require less, or not more
intelligence to make the watch in this way? Or if some watch should be
discovered that was not put together by human hand, but formed by
another watch, not quite so perfect as itself, and this by another
watch, further back, would the wonder, the demand for a superior
intelligence as the origin of the process be any the less? It strikes me
that it would be but the greater. The farther back you go, and the more
general, and invariable, and simple the fundamental laws that brought
all things into their present form, then, it seems to me, the more
marvellous becomes the miracle of the eye, the ear, each bodily organ,
when recognized as a climax to whose consummation each successive stage
of the world has contributed. How much more significant of purposive
intelligence than any special creation is this related whole, this host
of co-ordinated molecules, this complex system of countless interwoven
laws and movements, all driven forward, straight to their mark, down the
vistas of the ages, to the grand world consummation of to-day? What else
but omniscience is equal to this?

All law, then, we should regard as a divine operation; and all divine
operation, conversely, obeys law. Whatever phenomena we consider as
specially divine ought, then, to be most orderly and true to nature.
Religion, as far as it is genuine, must, therefore, be natural. It
should be no exotic, no foreign graft, as it is often regarded, but the
normal outgrowth of our native instincts. Evolution does not banish
revelation from our belief. Recognizing in man's spirit a spark of the
divine energy, "individuated to the power of self-consciousness and
recognition of God," as Le Conte aptly phrases it; tracing the
development of the spirit-embryo through all geologic time till it came
to birth and independent life in man, and humanity recognized itself as
a child of God, the communion of the finite spirit with the infinite is
perfectly natural. This direct influence of the spirit of God on the
spirit of man, in conscience speaking to him of the moral law, through
prophet and apostle declaring to us the great laws of spiritual life and
the beauty of holiness,--this is what we call revelation. The laws which
it observes are superior laws, quite above the plane of material things.
But the work of revelation is not, therefore, infallible or outside the
sphere of Evolution. On the contrary, one of the most noticeable
features of revelation is its progressive character. In the beginning,
it is imperfect, dim in its vision of truth, often gross in its forms of
expression. But from age to age it gains in clearness and elevation. In
religion, as in secular matters,--it is the lesson of the ages, that
"the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns."

How short-sighted, then, are they who seek to compress the broadening
vision of modern days within the narrow loopholes of mediæval creeds.
"There is still more light to break from the words of Scripture," was
the brave protest of Robinson to the bigots of his day. And as we say
Amen to that, we may add: "Yes, and more light still to come from the
whole heavens and the whole earth." If we wish to see that light and
receive the richest rewards of God's revealing word, we must face the
sun of truth and follow bravely forward.

As we look back upon the long path of Evolution up which God's hand has
already led humanity; as we see from what lowliness and imperfection,
from what darkness and grossness God has led us to our present heritage
of truth and spiritual life, can we doubt, that, if we go forward
obediently, loyal to reason, we shall not find a new heavens and more
glorious, above our head, a new earth and a nobler field of work beneath
our feet?



Unless artesian irrigation is introduced extensively in the central part
of both Dakotas, their future, unlike their skies, will be heavily
clouded. True, the valley of the Sioux, a strip about seventy-five miles
wide from the eastern border, of which Sioux Falls is the chief city,
and the valley of the lower Missouri about the same extent south of
this, of which Yankton is the metropolis, have never had a crop failure.
Also, the Red River Valley in North Dakota, about ten thousand square
miles, which contains the famous Dalrymple farm and produces the best
wheat in the world, has the same unblemished record as an agricultural
area. But these fertile and fortunate sections suffer from the general
effect on the country of the drouths in the Jim Valley adjacent, which
have been severe for four years and are increasing in severity. In the
James or Jim Valley, as it is generally called, the year 1887 showed a
partial crop failure, 1888 a little more, 1889 and 1890, a total loss.

Of course, every country is liable to crop failure at times, and must be
till man makes his own weather, which will, no doubt, some day be done
to an extent now unguessed. Nor is the record of three grievous years
out of ten in the agricultural history of a section so very bad, except
just in the way it has happened here, with a continuous and cumulative
effect. But the central Dakotans have been disheartened, and the
cumulative and often, perhaps, exaggerative, reports of their condition
spread over the country have checked immigration into the States for the
past two years, and thus retarded the growth of the fortunate valleys.

This deplorable condition lately attracted the attention of a young Yale
graduate, who is editing an evening paper in Sioux Falls, and he began
to collect the views of experts on the question of artesian irrigation.

Mr. Tomlinson, of the _Argus Leader_, had, probably, no idea of the mass
of literature with which the theme was potential, and the way the
papers, even outside the State, have followed his lead must be
flattering to him both as an editor and public-spirited citizen. My
indebtedness to Mr. Tomlinson for some of my facts being thus cheerfully
acknowledged, let me plunge _in medias res_ into the turbid waters of
the irrigation problem.

Shall we make it "rain from the earth, when the sky fails"? is now,
thanks to an editor, the great Dakotan question. It is a question of
many facets. What does it cost, will it pay, is it safe, or must it
ultimately poison the ground by sowing the land with salt like a vandal
conqueror, and creating a Sahara for immediate posterity? Finally, if it
is to be done on a proper scale, how shall the burden of the
introduction be borne; by the township, the county, the State, the
nation, or by private enterprise? Let us take up these points
_seriatum_. Professor Upham, of the United States Geologic Survey, a man
of unquestionable honesty and no mean authority generally, thinks that
the cost alone demonstrates the futility of attempting the artesian
system. He bases his opinion on the Jamestown well, which cost $7,000.
Yet if, as there seems to be no doubt, irrigation will increase the
wheat crop by at least ten bushels an acre, even this large expense
would be warranted by the increase in land value. But it is probably not
known to Professor Upham that wells between Jamestown and Huron are
being sunk now for half, in some cases one-third, and in a few cases
one-tenth of his reckoning. So with this change of former figures, the
question of cost may be said to cut no figure. But will it pay
permanently, and to what extent? Prof. G. E. Culver answers this
question with great ability. He says positively that it will not
materially change climate nor by attraction increase appreciably the
annual rainfall, though he thinks it may tend to equalize the
distribution of the rainfall. As to climate one might be inclined to
disagree with him. There has certainly been a great change in the
climate of Utah since irrigation was begun there, and an appreciable
change in some parts of Southern California, though not in Colorado, as
far as can be learned. It is a well-known fact that rain storms follow
the course of streams, and as a system of irrigation multiplies
universally the evaporation of a region, besides multiplying small
streams and enlarging others, and as hollows would often be ponded by
the waste water, an increase in the area watered by local showers is
naturally to be expected. Moreover, the burning winds that so often
scorch the crops will be somewhat softened by traversing so much moist
ground and so many streams. Trees, too, grow more readily in the
moistened land, and in turn protect the land from the hot winds. Given a
proper system of irrigation in operation for twenty-five years, and the
epithet, treeless, need not be applied to Dakota.

Let us consider irrigation a moment historically. Certainly half of the
world's population depend on it to-day. Modern Egypt has the most
extensive system ever known, except the one recently unearthed in India,
so massive in construction and vast in stretch that one writer has
declared it would take the entire wealth of the British Empire to put it
again in order. The Egyptian system cost $200,000,000, and two,
sometimes three crops, are raised for one of former times.

No division of the United States has a better credit in commercial
circles than Utah, and this is not due to the peculiar institution of
polygamy, but to the perfect system of irrigation. The careful
husbanding of the waters that come down the Wahsatch Range on mountains,
has transmuted a dreary desert of sand and sage brush into what most
travellers regard as a garden, and what possibly to the faithful appears
symbolically a Paradise.

Senator Stewart, of the United States Irrigation Committee, stated that
he had inspected nearly every irrigated region of the world, and knew of
no place supplied by so vast a reservoir of water, with either the
volume or the pressure of the artesian belt of Dakota. Much of the land
in the Jim River Valley is comparatively level and susceptible of sub
soil irrigation. It would take from two to three years to put the land
in prime condition and to make each acre that is now valued at from
three to ten dollars, worth fifty, at least, and probably seventy-five.

Now, $5,000,000 would more than cover the cost of the suggested
irrigation in the Northwest--a mere trifle, if the certainty of crops is
thereby guaranteed. Nor is the certainty of crops the only object to be
considered. According to dealers in Sioux City, Iowa, the quality of
cattle, shipped from some places in Clay and Yankton Counties since the
introduction of irrigation, has increased twenty-five per cent., which
appears not improbable when we note the difference between the warm,
sweet flow of artesian water and the icy, brackish stuff of a prairie

The next and really the most important question--for man should not work
for the present and immediate future without the keenest regard to the
rights of posterity--is whether, under Dakotan conditions, artesian
irrigation is safe; whether there is not danger of its poisoning the
ground. Professor Upham unhesitatingly declares that on account of the
alkaline and saline properties in these artesian waters a continued use
of them for many years would render the land worthless. The assertion is
a rounder one than scientific men generally make, and must be received
with caution, though emanating from so high a source, for many samples
of South Dakotan waters, tested at Brookings, have shown no alkaline
reaction at all, and the professor's reasoning seems to rest chiefly
upon the North Dakotan waters, which for some reason show larger saline
percentages than the South. Then, too, he proceeds on the theory that a
yearly supply of one foot of water is necessary, whereas half that
amount during the dryest year, supplied through the five growing months,
would insure good crops. Four inches last July would have saved the
harvest. But anyway the entire amount of saline matter in South Dakotan
waters, according to Prof. Lewis McLouth, does not, on the average,
exceed one fifth of one per cent. after substracting all inert
substances, such as sand, clay, limestone, and iron ores; so that, if
six inches of water were applied to the lands, and all evaporated on the
surface, the salty crust would be one 1/160 of an inch thick. But as a
part of the water would run off into the streams, and much of it,
diluted with rain-water, would soak into the ground, the salty
ingredients would be mixed at once with at least a foot of the surface
earth, and would form less than one fifteenth of one per cent. of the
weight of that soil. These ingredients are salts of lime, magnesia,
potash, and soda. Now Dr. Bruckner, in an analysis of some soil in
Holland, which he pronounces remarkably rich, says that it contains over
fifteen per cent. of these same ingredients, or two hundred and
twenty-five times as much as six inches of artesian water would give to
a foot of Dakotan soil within a year. So it would take two hundred and
twenty-five years for this soil to acquire as much of these saline
ingredients as the rich soil of Holland already possesses.

We might go further into this subject and show that every ingredient of
these artesian well salts is a necessary food for many plant tissues;
but even if the accumulation of salty substances were thought dangerous,
it is to be remembered that during five of the ten years since the
settlement of the Jim Valley, the rainfall has been ample, and if this
average should continue, the land could be allowed to rest from
irrigation for one half of the time so that the floods of rain-water
would wash away the surplus saline matter.

Enough has now been said to show that in South Dakota, at least, no harm
is likely to accrue to the soil under five hundred years, if South
Dakota chemists are to be trusted. By that time chemistry will have
advanced from an analytic to a creative science, and if what was once
ignorantly termed "The Great American Desert" should suddenly lapse into
a saline state, a speedy cure for that condition may be counted on with

Dismissing, then, this danger as something too dim in the distance to be
regarded even as ultimately certain, we are confronted with a really
grave question--a question fraught with serious immediate peril, if
answered practically in the way it seems likely to be, unless patriotic
Dakotans coöperate to prevent it. How shall the burden of the cost be
borne? The farmers individually are mostly too poor, and in the
Northwest, which the oppressions of the railroads and the teachings of
Donelly have honeycombed with tendencies to State socialism, the first
answer is, "By the State, of course." But the need of action in this
matter is pressing, and the State of South Dakota certainly is too poor
at present, for her debt-limit, under her constitution, is already

For the counties to attempt it would be equally difficult, for many
persons not directly benefited would be forced to share the expense, and
under the pressure of continued hard times an irrigation rebellion might
result and most certainly dissatisfaction as to the location of the
wells would ensue. There is another plan against which none of these
objections can be raised. A bill has been introduced in the legislature,
providing that when thirty voters shall so petition, the State engineer
of irrigation shall select proper sites for nine six-inch or sixteen
four and one half inch wells. An election shall then be held to vote
bonds of the township. If they carry, the supervisors shall have these
wells sunk, and shall rent the water to such farmers as wish it, at a
sum in no case exceeding a _pro-rata_ share of seven per cent. of the
value of the bonds, the title to the water to go with the title to the
land so long as the rent is paid.

The details of the bill are carefully worked out, and it would seem that
this plan is feasible. It will enable the present owners to retain their
land, and to water it at reasonable cost, while those benefited will
bear the expense.

But the great danger is that what is known as private enterprise, which
in the West has been as a rule simply the legal twin of highway robbery,
will seize the situation which this irrigation problem so temptingly
presents. Some of the investment companies are already becoming aware of
the possibilities, and are taking advantage of the farmers by buying
their land at a nominal price, and it is not improbable that speculators
within a year will appropriate ("convey" the wise it call) vast
stretches in the Jim Valley, crowding out the present owners and keeping
the land comparatively idle for years. This is the peculiar peril of the
Dakotas, and the Farmers' Alliance would do well to spend some of their
superfluous energy on a co-operative plan of introducing irrigation,
else they will be at the mercy of a greedy crowd of embryo Jay Goulds.
There is, indeed, no reason why the nation, if it can appropriate money
for river and harbor bills, should not appropriate so small a sum as
$5,000,000 to an enterprise of such moment as this, and if the
Republican party had a dying glimmer of their olden shrewdness, they
would have tightened their relaxing hold on the affections of the
Dakotans by a measure of this kind. But so cumbersome is our present
system of republican government, that it would take too long in this
case to set governmental aid in motion. So, as it is, the Dakotas are
between the devil of drouth and the deep sea of further capitalistic
oppression, their only hope of a fair solution lying in the township

Before parting with this theme, as indicative of what might be done with
the drouth belt of the Dakotas, the following table deserves a
comparative glance. It consists of the tax lists of several California
counties before and after the application of irrigation.

    COUNTIES.                1879.           1889.

    Fresno                 $6,354,596     $25,387,173
    Los Angeles            16,368,649      84,376,310
    Merced                  5,208,245      14,146,845
    Orange                  2,817,700       9,270,767
    San Bernardino          2,576,973      23,267,955
    San Diego               8,525,253      31,560,918
    Stanislaus              6,232,368      15,594,003
    Solano                  2,651,367       6,966,007
    Tulare                  5,204,777      24,343,013
                           ----------    ------------
    Total                 $55,939,928    $234,912,991

A few words more on the first question of cost, which is one a practical
mind is always asking and re-asking. The Aberdeen _Daily News_, which
ought to know, for there are several wells in its neighborhood easy to
study, states that a six-inch well can be put down for less than $2,300,
and that any of the principal wells at Aberdeen, Hitchcock, Redfield,
Woonsocket, Huron, or Yankton will irrigate six hundred and forty acres,
which would bring the cost to less than $4.00 per acre for twelve inches
of depth during the growing season. Mr. Hinds, of the Hinds ranch, has
been charging adjacent farmers, however, only $1.00 per acre for water
from his well, and considers it a paying investment. I cannot resist the
temptation of closing this brief inquiry into and commentary upon this
most important question by citing a picturesque passage from the
Aberdeen _Daily News_:--

    "The power of these wells is almost inconceivable. An iron bar
    eight feet long and two inches in diameter was accidentally
    dropped into the tubing of one of them, decreasing the flow for
    a short time, but it was soon ejected by the water with such
    force as to break the elbow of a strong iron pipe. When the well
    at Huron was first put down, no make of water mains was strong
    enough to withstand the full pressure of the water. The same may
    be said of nearly all the wells. The fact is that the artesian
    wells of this valley furnish _the mechanical power of the
    world_. This power requires no fuel, no engines, no repairs, no
    extra insurance. It never freezes up, nor blows up, nor dries
    up. _It can be managed by a girl baby_; $1,500 will furnish
    everlasting fifty horse-power. The wonder is that all the
    woolen, cotton, silk, and linen mills of the world do not rush
    to take possession of it. _It is a Niagara Falls already
    harnessed for use._ All the textile fabrics could be
    manufactured here _cheaper than in any other part of the
    universe_. The time will come when this will be recognized, and
    natural gas will be extinguished by _the giant gushing wells in

This vivid writing, this rhetoric of artesian force, may be the result
of an editorial fancy that has long bestridden a western boom, instead
of tame old Pegasus; but, leaving out the manufacturing prospectus,
there can be no gainsay of the statement that, with a million acres of
the opulent Dakotan soil under the brilliant Dakotan sun, tended by two
thousand artesian wells, the great drouth belt of the Northwest would be
the richest agricultural area in the world.



There is a crime which has run in wild unbridled career around the
globe, from the most ancient recorded time, beginning in barbaric
tyranny and robbery of the toiler, advancing with the power and wealth
of nations, and flourishing unchecked in modern civilization, sapping
the strength of nations, paralyzing the conscience of humanity,
impoverishing the spirit and power of benevolence, stimulating with
alcoholic energy the mad rush for wealth and power, and making abortive
the greater part of what saints, heroes, and martyrs might achieve for
human redemption. But alas! such has been its insinuating and blinding
power, that it has never been opposed by legislation, and never arrested
by the Church, which assumes to obey the sinless martyr of Jerusalem,
and to war against all sins, yet has never made war upon this giant sin,
but has fondled and caressed it so kindly that the pious and
conscientious, believing it no sin or crime, have lost all conception of
its enormity, and may never realize it until an enlightened people shall
pour their hot indignation upon the crime and the unconscious criminals.

This crime which the world's dazzled intellect and torpid conscience has
so long tolerated without resistance, and which antiquity admired in its
despotic rulers, splendid in proportion to the people's misery, is that
misleading form of intense and heartless selfishness, which grasps the
elements of life and happiness, the wealth of a nation, to squander and
destroy it in that OSTENTATION which has no other purpose than to uplift
the man of wealth and humiliate his humbler brother. That purpose is a
_crime_; a crime incompatible with genuine Christianity; a crime which
was once checked by the religious fervor of Wesley, but checked only for
a time. Its criminality is not so much in the heartless motive as in its
_wanton destruction of happiness and life_ to achieve a selfish purpose.

This feature of social ostentation, its _absolute cruelty_, has not
attracted the investigation of moralists and pietists. On the contrary,
the crime is cherished in the _higher_ ranks of the clergy, and an
eminent divine in Cincinnati occupying an absurdly expensive church,
actually preached a sermon in vindication of LUXURY--defending it on the
audacious assumption that it was right because some men had very
expensive tastes and it was proper that such tastes should be gratified.
A private interview with John Wesley would have been very edifying to
that clergyman, as the more remote example of the founder of
Christianity had been forgotten.

That squandering wealth in ostentation and luxury is a crime becomes
very apparent by a close examination of the act. There would be no harm
in building a $700,000 stable for his horses, like a Syracuse
millionaire, or in placing a $50,000 service on the dinner table, like a
New York Astor, if money were as free as air and water; but every dollar
represents an average day's labor, for there are more toilers who
receive less than a dollar than there are who receive more.[9] Hence the
$700,000 stable represents the labor of a thousand men for two years and
four months. It also represents seven hundred lives; for a thousand
dollars would meet the cost of the first ten years of a child, and the
cost of the second ten years would be fully repaid by his labor. The
fancy stable, therefore, represents the physical basis of seven hundred
lives, and affirms that the owner values it more highly, or is willing
that seven hundred should die, that his vanity may be gratified.

     [9] According to J. R. Dodge, there are five million
         agricultural laborers in this country whose wages do not
         average over $194 a year.

This is not an imaginative estimate. A thousand dollars would save not
one but many lives in the Irish famine. It would save more than a score
of lives in New York, if diligently used among those who are approaching
the Potter's Field, which annually receives eight thousand of the dead
of New York. It would establish, if invested at seven per cent., an
institution that would permanently sustain educating to a virtuous
manhood, two hundred and fifty of the waifs gathered in from the
pollution of the streets, sending forth fifty redeemed ones every year.
When $700,000 is squandered, such is the amount of human life destroyed,
by destroying that for want of which the benevolent are unable to stay
the march of disease, of crime, and of death.

The thought of snatching food from the starving, or turning out
half-clad men and women to perish in the wintry snow, excites our
horror, but which is the greater criminal, he who for avarice thus
destroys one family, or he who in riotous ostentation destroys the means
that would save a hundred lives? Does the fact that they are not in his
presence, or may be a mile or two away, change the nature or results of
his act? And does his accidental possession of the basis of life
authorize him to destroy it?

It is not unreasonable to say that every thousand dollars wantonly
wasted, represents the destruction of the one human life that it would
have saved, and while this slaughter of the innocents proceeds, society
is cursed with the presence of over 100,000 criminals, paupers, tramps,
and vagrants in the State of New York, who might have been reared into
respectable citizenship with a small fragment of the wealth that is
squandered in the hurtful ostentation that panders to a vicious taste.
While poor women in New York are fighting hunger at arm's length, or
looking through ash barrels and offal buckets, their wealthy sisters
think nothing of spending ten, twenty, or thirty thousand dollars on
their toilet, or wearing a $130,000 necklace, or half a million in
diamonds in a Washington court circle,--all of which I hope to see in
time condemned by a purer taste as _tawdry and offensive vulgarity_,
even if it were not done in the presence of misery as it is.
"Twenty-four hours in the slums" (says Julia H. Percy, in the New York
_World_)--"just a night and a day--yet into them were crowded such
revelations of misery, and depravity, and degradation as having once
been gazed upon, life can never be the same afterwards." Such is life in
New York. What it is in "Darkest England," as portrayed by General
Booth, is too wretched and loathsome to be reproduced here. But we must
not fail to understand that five sixths of the people of the
millionaire's metropolis, New York, live in the tenement-house region, a
breeding centre of intemperance, pestilence, crime, and future mobs,
where wretched life is crushed to deeper wretchedness by the avaricious
exaction of unfeeling landlords[10] worse than those against whom the
Irish rebel. Is not the splendor of such a city like the hectic flush on
the consumptive's cheek? The statistics of the past year reveal the
startling fact that New York is a decaying city; that its population has
no natural growth, but had 853 more deaths than births.

    [10] Fifteen to forty per cent. is the usual profit exacted on
         tenement-house property, according to witnesses before a
         Senate Committee,--forty per cent. being common. Is not
         this the plunder of poverty by wealth? Has Ireland anything
         approaching this or resembling the horrid conditions in New
         York? "All previous accounts and descriptions" (says
         Ballington Booth) "became obliterated from my memory by the
         surprise and horror I experienced when passing through some
         of the foul haunts and vicious hotbeds which make up the
         labyrinth of this modern Sodom." "How powerless" (said Mr.
         Booth) "are lips to describe or pens to write scenes which
         baffle description, and which no ink is black enough to
         show in their true colors."

The desire for ostentation as one of the great aims of life is inwoven
into the whole fabric of society to the exclusion of nobler motives, for
ostentation is death to benevolence. How many bankruptcies, how many
defalcations, and frauds, how many absconding criminals, how many
struggles ending in broken-down constitutions, how many social wrecks
and embittered lives are due to its seductive influence, because the
Church and the moral sentiment of society have not taken a stand against
it, and education has never checked it, for it runs riot at the
universities patronized by the wealthy.

New York has been said to spend five millions annually on flowers, which
is far more a matter of ostentation than of taste, for as a rule
"whatever is most costly is most fashionable." Nor is the cost the only
evil, for the costly dinners and parties of the ostentatious are not
only characterized by an absence of serious and elevated sentiment, but
by intellectual poverty and frivolous chatter. To waste $5,000 for an
evening's lavish display of flowers to a thoughtless and crowded throng,
almost within hearing of the never-ending moan of misfortune in a city
in which police stations shelter 150,000 of the _utterly destitute_
every year, is a picturesque way of ignoring that brotherhood of
humanity, which is gently and inoffensively referred to on Sunday.

Moralists and pietists have been so utterly blind to the nature of
CRIMINAL OSTENTATION, that society is not shocked to read in parallel
columns the crushing agonies of famine and pestilence, and the costly
revels of aristocracy, or the millions wasted on royal families, that
manifest about as much concern for the suffering million as a farmer
feels for the squealing of his pigs in cold weather. No one is surprised
or shocked to hear that in India, a land famed for poverty, famine, and
pestilence, the maharajah of Baroda could offer a pearly and jewelled
carpet, ten feet by six, costing a million of dollars, as a present to
the woman who had pleased his fancy.[11] How many lives and how much of
agony did that carpet represent in a country where five cents pays for a
day's labor? Twenty million days' labor is a small matter to a petty

    [11] This love of ostentation has much to do with the
         degradation of India. The silver money which should be in
         circulation is hoarded up or used for silver ornaments. A
         wedding in that country is not marked by proper preparation
         for the duties and expenses of conjugal life, but by a
         display of jewelry and silver. A thousand rupees' worth
         must be furnished by the bride, and two thousand by the
         bridegroom, if they are able to raise so much, and
         sometimes they raise it by going in debt beyond their
         ability to pay. This love of ostentation marks an inferior
         type of human development.

CRIMINAL OSTENTATION stands ever in the way of man's progress to a
higher condition, like a wasting disease that comes in to arrest the
recovery of a patient. All schemes of benevolence, all efforts to gain a
greater mastery of nature's forces, and thus emancipate the race from
poverty and pestilence, languish feebly, or totally fail, for want of
the resources consumed in the blaze of ostentation. The resources of a
Church that might abolish ignorance and pauperism must be given to
uphold the royal state of lord bishops, who sit in parliament, and make
a heavy incubus on all real progress, obstructing the measures which
might uplift into comfort, decency, and intelligence, England's _three
millions_ of submerged classes who live in destitution and misery.[12]

    [12] These suggestions are not offered in a hostile spirit. The
         writer fully realizes the large amount of moral sentiment
         and fervent piety assembled in the Church to uplift society
         in this country, but he deeply regrets that it is not more
         enlightened in ethics and in doctrine, and that the Church
         has never got rid of its ancient taint, mentioned by the
         Apostle James, that the brethren paid more respect to the
         man with a gold ring than a man in cheap clothing.

The upward progress of humanity is foreign to their thoughts, and the
grandest problems of human life and destiny that ever interested the
mind of man are investigated not by the aid of the millions that
ostentation wastes, but by the heroic labors of the impoverished
scholar, thankless until his only reward can be but a monumental stone.
How seldom do we hear from the pulpit so bright a remark as that of the
Rev. S. R. Calthrop, "If the governments of the world would spend on
scientific discovery a hundredth part of what they spend on killing men,
or rather in making preparation for killing men and then not doing it,
the secrets of the earth would be laid bare in a time inordinately
short." But this very warlike ambition is a matter of CRIMINAL
OSTENTATION, like that of the bullying pugilist, seeking the belt--the
desperate determination to shine and boast as the master power in the
field of war, which is to-day the insane ostentation fostered by the
leading powers of Europe. Vanity, literally meaning emptiness, is the
antithesis of wisdom, and military vanity is a half-way station on the
road to insanity.

The profligacy of private ostentation extends in this country to public
life, as was scandalously displayed in the twenty million State House
job at Albany (which our arithmetic makes equivalent to twenty thousand
lives) and renders all governmental affairs needlessly expensive[13]
(except in that admirable republic Switzerland), nor is it arrested by
the solemnity of death, for a prodigal funeral and a hundred thousand
dollar tomb for an individual eminent only by wealth is but a
fashionable matter of course to-day. Against this my moral sense
revolts. Had I the wealth of Croesus, or the power of Napoleon, I could
not consent to the evil record that my last act in life, in ordering a
funeral and monument, was the effort to destroy as much as possible, and
take from the resources of benevolence that which might gladden a
thousand lives. To look back from the enlightened upper world upon such,
a monument of base selfishness, would be the hell of conscience; but a
simple rose or hawthorn over the couch of the abandoned form would
harmonize well with the sentiments of heaven.

    [13] The salary that was sufficient for the commanding dignity
         and ability of Washington is not sufficient for the
         third-rate politician who occupies the White House to-day.
         The numerous allowances which are added to his $50,000
         salary raise it to $114,865. But why should he have any
         salary at all? Would any man require the bribe of salary to
         induce him to accept the Presidency? The honor of the
         office would be more than sufficient pay for the third-rate
         men that are accidentally chosen to a far higher rank than
         nature gave them. We have too many ideas and fashions
         inherited from old-world kingdoms, and the ridiculous rules
         and etiquette of precedence and punctilio are as carefully
         enforced in the court circle of Washington as in the old
         world which still rules our fashions. But far worse than
         they, we have the criminal ostentation of a funeral for a
         Congressman, costing from fifty to a hundred thousand
         dollars, which is simply an unconstitutional and shameful
         robbery of the people to imitate the style of royalty.

What is it but a matter of course, and fashionably proper for a minister
representing the moneyless and homeless saint of Jerusalem, to spend in
various ways ten or twenty times the average income of an American
citizen. But _has any man a right to indulge in needless and therefore
profligate expenditure for himself, while misery unrelieved surrounds
him_?[14] Could he, if he had an occasional throb of the sentiment of
brotherhood, the divine love enforced by Jesus? Suffering, intense
suffering of mind and body, is ever present in society, and _we cannot
ignore it_ or disregard it. Has any human being a right to look on at
human suffering, and turn away contemptuously? to see men drowning and
refuse to throw them the plank which lies conveniently by? to pass by
the chamber of dying, with loud, unseemly revels? to titter and laugh
alongside of the grave where an unrecognized brother is being buried? to
feast upon costly wines and far-fetched elaborate viands at tables
overloaded with fresh flowers and artistic gold, while the pallid faces
of a hundred hungry ones are looking on, and who are not even recognized
so much as the dog that receives a bone? To know that the city is
attacked by a powerful army and refuse either to enlist for its defence,
or to contribute means to help the defenders, would not be tolerated;
but to do such things is precisely what selfish and unfeeling wealth
demands, and what the aroused conscience of humanity will, ere long,
forbid. It refuses to establish the industrial and moral education for
all which would protect society from the invading forces of pauperism,
crime, and pestilence. It refuses to suspend its costly royal revels
until the voices of hunger and despair are silenced. It refuses to
moderate its giddy round of fashionable frivolity and ostentation in the
very presence of death, in the tenements where human life is reduced to
less than half its normal length, so that death and revelry confront
each other in the city.

    [14] The writer once started a society upon this principle, to
         be called the BROTHERHOOD OF JUSTICE. Its principle was the
         abnegation of selfishness by strictly limiting the
         expenditure of every member to the amount really necessary
         to his comfort, dedicating the rest to humanity. It did not
         appear difficult to gather members, and an able apostle of
         this principle would be a world's benefactor.

I can imagine the voice of the million which says to the millionaire, we
do not ask you to be a hero and leap in to save the drowning; we do not
even require you to be a manly man and bestir yourself before a life is
lost; but we do say that the drowning man shall not be doomed to drown
by your indifference? but if there is a rope which may be thrown to him,
or a plank to uphold him, that rope or that plank shall be used, even if
you forbid and claim them as your vested rights. You have no vested
rights paramount to the rights of the commonwealth. It can order you in
times of danger to all to place your body for the protection of the city
in the path of the cannon ball, and if the commonwealth can demand your
life for the benefit of all, do you think it will allow its members to
be slaughtered in order to sustain your revelry, and leave your piles of
hoarded gold and silver to accumulate as a magazine of corruption and
danger to society? No, Mr. Millionaire, poverty, pestilence, and crime,
are making war upon society and tumbling their slaughtered thousands
into Potter's Fields. And if the commonwealth does not demand your
personal service, but simply demands that you shall not make perpetual
for the sake of ostentation all of the present unnatural inequality, you
are surely treated justly and kindly.

When the planter objected to General Jackson's using his cotton bales as
a rampart for the defence of New Orleans, tradition says the General
ordered him to take a musket and stand behind them as a common soldier.
At present we ask only your _superfluous_ cotton bales, and it would not
be wise for you to oppose our demand. The people remember the unholy
distinction of classes thirty years ago, which enabled a favored few
patricians to flourish as vampires on the commonwealth, while the
plebeians were giving it their sufferings, their blood, and their lives,
and hence they seek justice through our enormous system of pensions.

Patricians would retain commanding superiority of wealth for power and
ostentation, but the people object to this power and scorn the

The immense concentration of wealth by syndicates, corporations, and
trusts alarms us all, because we see in it a formidable danger to the
republic.[15] Colonel Higginson admits the evil, but denies that any
method of counteracting it is known, yet it may easily be shown that we
have several effective methods.

    [15] It is not only in the strong language of many political
         meetings, conventions, and the independent press, that this
         danger is recognized, but in that wealthy and conservative
         body, the United States Senate, it is distinctly recognized
         and frequently expressed; the language of Senators Ingalls,
         Stewart, Call, Gorman, Vest, Berry, and others, shows that
         they are alarmed and would warn their colleagues.

         Senator Call, of Florida, said:--"It is well for the people
         to form some idea of the extent to which the powers of the
         government are becoming subject to the control of a very
         small number of people, and the extent to which these
         powers are becoming absolute, despotic, monarchical, almost
         as much so as the Czar of Russia.

         "The present system places the control of the wealth of
         this country in the hands of a very small number of
         persons, an almost infinitesimal portion of the people;
         gives them money to buy those who represent the people."

         Senator Berry said:--"So much injustice has been done to
         the people, so many wrongs have been perpetrated in the
         interests of wealth and capital by the passage of unjust
         laws, that the people are in open revolt to-day, and they
         have a right to be; they have determined to have relief,
         and they are entitled to it."

         Senator Stewart said:--"If there is no reason nor humanity
         in the possessors of accumulated capital there is power in

         Senator Gorman, the Democratic leader in the Senate,
         said:--"We stand to-day, Mr. President, upon a financial
         volcano. The labor of the country appeals through every
         channel it can to this administration and this Congress to
         stay the awful wreck that is threatened."

         The eloquent address of Senator Ingalls presented still
         more forcibly and fully the evils of plutocracy, which is
         "threatening the safety if it does not endanger the
         existence of the republic," by "the tyranny of combined,
         concentrated, centralized, and incorporated capital." "The
         conscience of the nation is shocked at the injustice of
         modern society. The moral sentiment of mankind has been
         aroused at the unequal distribution of wealth, at the
         unequal diffusion of the burdens, the benefits, and the
         privileges of society." "At this time there are many scores
         of men, of estates, and of corporations, in this country,
         whose annual income exceeds, and there has been one man
         whose monthly revenue since that period exceeds the entire
         accumulations of the wealthiest citizen of the United
         States at the end of the last century." "By some means,
         some device, some machination, some incantation, honest or
         otherwise, some process that cannot be defined, less than a
         two-thousandth part of our population have obtained
         possession and have kept out of the penitentiary, in spite
         of the means they have adopted to acquire it, of more than
         one half of the entire accumulated wealth of the country.
         That is not the worst, Mr. President. It has been chiefly
         acquired by men who have contributed little to the material
         welfare of the country, and by processes that I do not care
         in appropriate terms to describe." "The people of this
         country are generous and just, they are jealous also, and
         when discontent changes to resentment, and resentment
         passes into exasperation, one volume of a nation's history
         is closed and another will be opened."

         This feeling of resentment must arise in a community which
         is deeply in debt, and is not prospering. The last census
         shows in Iowa a mortgage indebtedness equivalent to over
         five hundred dollars upon every head of a family.

Our wealthiest are beginning to have incomes of over $5,000,000 a year,
and it is very plain from the concentration of this wealth that a few
wealthy men who could easily form themselves into close and secret
corporation, will in time outweigh the entire republic, as Mr. Shearman
says that 250,000 families are already a three fourths financial

It was thought that this was impossible in our republic because we had
no law of _primogeniture_, but we have another kind of geniture that is
very effective. Recent statistics have shown that the very wealthy
inhabitants of Fifth Avenue, New York, have in one year but one
eighteenth as many children as the same number of families in the poorer
neighborhood of Cherry Hill. Thus poverty multiplies itself rapidly,
while wealth concentrates and needs no primogeniture to hold it
together, _because its numbers do not increase_; and a similar fact, but
not so extreme, appears in the reference to our Back Bay region in our
own statistics, and in the statistics of Philadelphia. Thus it seems
that we are destined to have the richest aristocracy by far that the
world has ever dreamed of.

We know that concentrated wealth is power--and that great power is
always dangerous to its neighbors. Like the slumbering power of
dynamite, we are unwilling to have it near us, no matter how well
guarded. I hold, therefore, that a republic has a right to guard itself
against such dangers as much as the city has a right to prohibit the
establishment of powder magazines in the centre of its population.

The profound and prophetic mind of Abraham Lincoln presaged this, and he
said: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me
and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of
the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in
high places will follow, and the money power of the country will
endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the
people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic
is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my
country than ever before, even in the midst of the war. God grant that
my suspicion may prove groundless."

Wealth has a natural tendency to grow into an overwhelming power, for a
million of dollars well managed will become $1,000,000,000 in a century
and a half, and there are millionaires to-day who may become
billionaires in forty or fifty years. But this growth has always been
kept down by a generous or prodigal consumption, by ostentatious luxury,
by profligacy, by pestilence, and by war. Yet when these checks are
diminished; when, as in our republic, the danger of war is removed; when
the generous consumption is hindered by wide-spread poverty; when
pestilence is checked by sanitary improvements, and industry is enforced
on the millions by daily necessity, then that growth of wealth which has
been interrupted every few years in the old world by war, tyranny,
taxation, standing armies, ignorance, and disease, will advance in our
country as a mighty flood, impelled by the rains from heaven. The flood
from heaven which is enriching us is the inspiration of genius in every
form of science, art, and mechanical progress, which doubles and
redoubles our productive power. We must look to human wisdom for the
means of regulating the flow that it may act as a fertilizing rain, and
not as a devastating flood, wasting the hillsides into barrenness, and
sweeping away the bulwarks that the wise have erected.

It is no rhetorical exaggeration to speak of accumulated and unequal
wealth as a dangerous flood. All ancient history proves it to be a
danger. Rome, Greece, Egypt, Persia, and India, have shown by their
terrible record how wealth in a few hands has ever proved a curse
instead of a blessing to society. The pyramids of Egypt, an awful
monument of the blood and toil of slaves, are a gloomy record of the
senseless ostentation of despots, yet who ever speaks of the pyramids as
the monuments of a crime?

Immense wealth for personal use is not a normal desire. It is an
unsound, unhealthy appetite, resembling that of gluttony and
darkness--an appetite that grows by what it feeds on and becomes

It is an unsound appetite, for the increase of wealth already beyond all
human wants, adds nothing to a man's comforts or happiness--it adds only
to his cares, which it increases, to his selfishness, which it
intensifies, and to his power of indulging arrogance and ostentation. It
impairs his sympathy with his fellowman, and inflames his egotism.

The superfluous mass of wealth serves only to supply an overruling power
destructive to the social rights of others, and a haughty ostentation
that humiliates fellow-citizens. It is, therefore, a hostile and
dangerous element in a republic, although a few may hold great wealth
and resist its insidious influence.

Both extreme wealth and extreme poverty are injurious to man and
injurious to society, and if it is the law of nature that the fittest
shall survive, the extremely wealthy are not the fittest, for through
the centuries they do not survive. The extremely wealthy are dying out,
for they do not have children enough to maintain their numbers. It is
our duty so to shape our policy as to relieve the commonwealth of
possible dangers from both extreme wealth and extreme poverty. They are
twin evils; extreme wealth indicates extreme poverty, as mountains
indicate valleys. Wealth, corruption, and despotism, are grouped
together in history, as liberty has been grouped with equality,
simplicity, hardihood, the mountain and the wilderness.

Great wealth is timid, narrow-minded, and opposed to reform, its method
of opposition being corruption, and these characteristics are
intensified in hereditary wealth. Wealth everywhere gives power to
monopolize the face of the earth, and thus establish a hereditary
nobility; for the landlords of millions of acres are the most
substantial and formidable lords that society knows, and nowhere in the
world have there been greater opportunities to establish such an
aristocracy, which may be able to buy and sell the aristocracy of
Europe. Our present national wealth, which is about one thousand dollars
per capita, represents not the increased wealth of the masses but the
enormous accumulations of a few. Our gain of about two thousand millions
annually, does it represent the prosperity or the decline of the
republic? If it is but aggregation of wealth, it is a decline, it is
corpulence instead of strength.

Our social system has the elements of decay already as conspicuous as in
the tuberculous patient. Invention increases the power of wealth instead
of increasing the resources of manhood, for wealth absorbs and uses
machinery and diminishes the relative value of the man by making him a
machine attendant. In leather work he sinks from the independent
shoemaker, safe in the patronage of his neighbors, to the mere tenth of
a shoemaker who if dislodged from the factory is helpless. The
independence of the hunter and the farmer is fast disappearing.
Population is gathering in cities, and the country becoming the home of
tenant farmers or day laborers on large estates. The middle class is
declining, and society becoming slowly an aggregation of capitalists and
employers, an unhealthy social condition, premonitory of struggles and
conflicts that were not possible fifty years ago. At this moment a
strike of 150,000 is threatened. But it is not merely the laboring
classes, for all classes are threatened by our present dangerous system
which is running on to sure destruction, like a locomotive let loose and
flying wildly over the railroad. If there were no other formidable
danger, the trust or syndicate is in itself a fatality. When a thousand
millions enter the field they enter as master, in the Standard Oil
fashion. They can buy out or crush out, as they may choose, every
competitor in the field they may seize. There is _not a single form of
industry_ which they cannot monopolize, and where the monopoly is
established, demand what prices they please for that which they alone
can supply. Can we imagine the conventional brother Jonathan held down
by the throat with iron grip, and his pockets open to the holder, or
will he rebel before the grip is fastened? He does not seem aware how
well it is fastened upon him already; but something decisive will be
done long before a syndicate senate can rule the entire country. Ten
years more will introduce the struggle. The struggle must come, for
plutocracy is advancing to universal absorption, and labor is becoming
defiant, and well it may, for the COMMONWEALTH represents _not money but
man_, and when plutocracy, absorbing ninety-five per cent. of the
nation's wealth, assumes the practical government, the commonwealth with
a firm hand will thrust it aside; but will it be a peaceful change, will
the conquerors yield to the conquered? As the vampire bat fans its
sleeping victims while absorbing their life blood, the advocates of
capital deny that there is any such thing as plutocracy, or anything
going on but the natural legitimate and healthful development of trade;
and the medical corporations called colleges in seizing a stern monopoly
of the healing art, assure us that it is only for the benefit and
protection of the dear people who have not sense enough to distinguish
between a successful and an unsuccessful doctor, and have so
unpardonable a partiality for those who cure them cheaply without
college permission. There is nothing too small for monopoly to grasp,
not even the cheap dispensing of established remedies from the
druggist's counter.

It is a just and patriotic sentiment which looks with apprehension upon
the great and irresponsible power developed by extreme wealth, which
lifts the wealthy far above society, enabling them to indulge in
profligate luxury, and to squander in a single evening's pleasure (or
display without pleasure) an amount that would make life prosperous to a
hundred suffering families, or on a single piece of architectural
splendor, enough to complete the education of the entire youth of a
city--wealth enabling them to rival the despots of Europe in social
ostentation, while almost within hearing of their revelry, ten or twenty
thousand are suffering from want of employment, want of health, want of
education, want of industrial skill, which society did not give them,
suffering the slow death that comes through debility, emaciation, and
disease, from toil and poverty, the sufferer being sometimes a woman in
whom all the virtues have blossomed only to perish in the chilling
atmosphere of poverty.[16] This may be utterly senseless talk to those
in whom the sentiment of brotherhood is dead, but it expresses
sentiments to which millions respond, and it is refreshing to see that
these statements, which at last have found free expression through THE
ARENA, are also beginning to find a home in the minds of public leaders,
whose voices will compel attention. I allude to the philanthropic
expressions of the Emperor of Germany, and to the language of Mr.
Gladstone, who shows that the necessity of philanthropic action on the
part of the wealthy is increased by their changed attitude, as they are
becoming more isolated from the people, and no longer take that friendly
personal interest in their tenants and employes of every grade, which
was formerly common. In this country, social ostentation is a great
power to increase this separation of ranks, and the book of Jacob A.
Riis, "How the Other Half Lives," ought to be studied by every wealthy
citizen as well as by reformers. Herbert Spencer, in a recent thoughtful
essay, refers to this increasing interest in social welfare thus: "He is
struck, too, by the contrast between the small space which popular
welfare then occupied in the public attention, and the large space it
now occupies, with the result that outside and inside Parliament, plans
to benefit the millions form the leading topics, and every one having
means is expected to join in some philanthropic effort." This is because
the millions demand it, and they who, like the writer, have for half a
century been interested in behalf of the millions, may now be listened

    [16] And society is still organized to ensure the perpetuation
         of this poverty, no matter what the bounties of nature, or
         what the increase of wealth by art and invention. The army
         of the dissatisfied, the hungry, and the demoralized,
         continually grows and becomes more dangerous. The President
         of the National Home Association at Washington stated a few
         months since that there were _sixty thousand boy tramps_ in
         the United States.

The enormous wealth developed in our republic, in which a single city
holds a thousand millionaires, controls the press, controls legislation,
and teaches the ambitious to sell themselves to the wealthy who are the
controlling power. Under such influences arises that moral insensibility
which, in New York, could squander twenty millions on one building,
while half the children were out of school, and a large portion of the
insane were left wallowing in indecent filth, worse than that of a hog
pen, as shown in the Albany _Law Journal_.

In presenting these views, I am not assailing millionaires as men more
objectionable or censurable than any other class. It is not true that
the mere ability to gain wealth implies moral inferiority, for it
implies many substantial and honorable qualities. Reverse the social
ranks, give the wealth to the poor, and our condition would not be
improved, perhaps it would be much worse. The fault lies in our social
system of struggle and rivalry, and while that system generates, as it
always has, extreme wealth and extreme poverty, we must combat these two
evils, and to control them is the purpose of this essay. Whether a
better social system is possible that would PREVENT them, is not now
under consideration, but surely there must be a system which will make
unlimited wealth and unlimited poverty impossible, for such conditions
are incompatible with a permanent, peaceful, and prosperous republic. As
well might we expect a successful voyage from a ship with four-fifths of
its cargo on the upper deck, as from a republic top heavy with
millionaire capital. Can we believe that republics are forbidden by the
laws of progress and evolution; that they must, as Macaulay maintained,
come to a fatal crisis? I trust not. But does not our social system,
inherited from barbarism, built up on the hot ashes left where the fires
of war have desolated, necessarily develop that inequality which has
swept the great empires of antiquity to their doom. When all the wealth
of the nation has fallen into the possession of two per cent. of the
population, the period of danger has arrived. Five per cent. of our
population had, in 1880, absorbed four fifths of the national wealth,
and at present, according to the careful statistics of Mr. Shearman,
less than two per cent. hold seven tenths of our wealth, and are rapidly
advancing to nine tenths, their progress being assisted by the indirect
taxation which places the burden of government on the shoulders of
poverty. Popular ignorance of public affairs has tolerated this, and has
tolerated a financial system far worse, which has given capital all
possible advantage of labor. We are drifting in the rapids; how far off
is our Niagara? But labor is roused, and a change in our system of
taxation is imminent.

Unlimited wealth and unlimited poverty are the necessary results of the
warlike stage of progress, which develops the conquerors and the
conquered in the great battle of life. Unnumbered centuries of tribal
and international war have developed to high perfection the wolfish and
tigerish instincts of humanity. What is called peace is a state of
financial war. Beneath the smooth skin of the civilized man, we find the
wolf in undiminished vigor. The triumphant wolf rides in his chariot;
the conquered wolf sleeps in the open air along the alleys, wharves, and
streets; but what cares the wolf triumphant for that? for the 30,000
homeless in London? The policeman's club, or the bayonet, is the only
thing that keeps down riot and arson, and the uncertainty of the result
is all that hinders the French, German, and Russian wolves from turning
a continent into a pandemonium. Is Europe truly a civilized country? Not
if tried by an ethical standard. VON MOLTKE, the great man of Germany,
who has so recently passed away, considered war a _permanent_

In this wolfish stage of human development, altruism is almost unknown,
except as an eccentricity. It is safe to say, as a general rule to which
there are not many exceptions, that _no man is fit to be entrusted with
any more than he needs for his own comfortable existence_. Every dollar
beyond that sum is wasted in his hands. He has not the faintest
conception that he is a trustee of all such wealth, responsible to
heaven for its use. As he cannot consume it, he can but squander it to
gratify his vanity, and lift himself to a position from which he can, or
thinks he can, look down upon his fellows. The leading idea of the
average citizen is to construct a palace that will cost ten, twenty,
fifty, or a hundred times as much as the residence that would be amply
sufficient and pleasant.[17] His talent for the destruction of wealth
grows by indulgence, and thus the millions that the financial conquerors
have won from the conquered are thrown into the blazing flame of
ostentation, and might as well be thrown into a literal conflagration.
Such is the humanity with which we have to deal at present. Wealth, no
matter who holds it, does not restrain the destruction of the resources
of the commonwealth, but the growl of the suffering millions may, and
may lead to a recognition of the grand truth that everything beyond the
demands of human comfort is a sacred trust for humanity, and with the
millions thus aroused, I believe it may be possible to introduce laws
which will gradually change the entire condition of society, and leave
in this broad land neither an American prince nor an American beggar--a
change which will be a greater forward movement than that of 1776.

    [17] Nob Hill, in San Francisco, is crowned with five huge
         buildings in imitation of foreign palaces, utterly unfit
         for private residences, which may possibly sometime be
         utilized for public purposes. They but illustrate the crazy
         ostentation of selfish wealth. Can it be possible, as
         stated by the St. Joseph _Herald_, that "George Vanderbilt
         is building a genuine old-fashioned mediæval baronial
         castle at Asheville, N. C., at a cost of $10,000,000"?

The leading purpose of such legislation will be the controlling of that
lawless selfishness, which wantonly destroys all in which the community
is interested; which on the prairies exterminates the buffalo, in the
mountains and forests destroys the timber, bringing on as a consequence
the drouth, floods, and desolate barrenness, under which a large part of
the old world is suffering; which would exterminate the seals if
government did not interfere, and would infect every city with
pestilential odors of offensive manufactories; which would destroy the
people's national money for the benefit of private bankers, and pervert
all the powers of government for the benefit of monopoly and organized

May we not look to that struggle for justice which to-day assumes the
forms of Nationalism, Farmers' Alliance, People's Party, Knights of
Labor, and Land Nationalization, to accomplish this purpose and
emancipate the present from the barbarian ideas of the past?

(_To be concluded in July Arena._)



[Illustration: (signed) Cordially yours, Ernest Allen]

The service rendered to humanity by Mr. Herbert Spencer in the
elaboration of the Synthetic Philosophy, should command the admiration
and gratitude of all broad-minded men. There are certain fallacies in
the argument by which Religion is relegated into the "Unknowable,"
however, to which it will be the purpose of this essay to call the
reader's attention. If Religion really be, by its very nature,
unknowable, it follows that as man grows in intelligence, the extent to
which it occupies his thought will tend to diminish towards final
extinction. It is a thoroughly wholesome state of affairs that, like all
things which claim our consideration, Religion should again and again be
compelled to step into the arena to vindicate its right to hold sway
over humanity. Nor is the attitude of many minds which places Religion
upon the defensive, unreasonable, or the outgrowth of a perverse spirit,
but, on the contrary, it results from the questionings of those eager to
find the truth and anxious to "prove all things" and cast error aside.
Let us see if Religion can withstand the fierce onslaught, threatening
its very life, which Mr. Spencer makes in his "First Principles" (pp.

Our author's first attempt is to "form something like a general theory
of current opinions," so as neither to "over-estimate nor under-estimate
their worth." As a special case from the examination of which he hopes
to derive a general method, he traces the evolution of government from
the beginning until now. It is held that no belief concerning government
is wholly true or false; "each of them insists upon a certain
subordination of individual actions to social requirements.... From the
oldest and rudest idea of allegiance, down to the most advanced
political theory of our own day, there is on this point complete
unanimity." He speaks of this subordination as a postulate "which is,
indeed, of self-evident validity," as ranking "next in certainty to the
postulates of exact science." As the result of his search for "a
generalization which may habitually guide us when seeking for the soul
of truth in things erroneous," he concludes: "This method is to compare
all opinions of the same genus; to set aside as more or less
discrediting one another those various special and concrete elements in
which such opinions disagree; to observe what remains after the
discordant constituents have been eliminated, and to find for the
remaining constituent that abstract expression which holds true
throughout its divergent modifications."

What did Mr. Spencer discover by the application of his method to
government? A postulate which he announces to be of "self-evident
validity," an "unquestionable fact"--that is all! His method is a
statement of the process of abstraction. Very useful though it is in
determining what one or more predicates may be affirmed of many objects
of thought which differ widely otherwise or in revealing truths, as he
points out, respecting which men can by no possibility disagree, it
cannot assist us in discriminating between true and false "discordant
constituents," for which purpose a simple method would be helpful.
Certainly this is not the method which gave us the most "advanced
political theory" of the day! The fact is, that when used, as Mr.
Spencer suggests, it shrivels the total content of any subject under
consideration, down to the one truth lying at the foundation of the most
primitive theory. In the case of Religion, he alleges that the one point
upon which there is entire unanimity between the most divergent creeds,
between the lowest fetichism and the most enlightened Christianity, is
this: "That there is something to be explained." An interesting piece of
information, surely! Yes, but "the Power which the Universe manifests to
us is utterly inscrutable." Over against this, we have the magnificent
superstructure of modern Science, erected by the employment of methods
quite other than the one which he esteems competent to overthrow

The postulate, a straight line may be drawn between two points, while it
makes a geometry possible, reveals nothing as to the properties of
lines; so, in the present case, the proposition resulting from the
process of abstraction, "there is something to be explained," affirms
that, at least _à priori_, Religion is possible, but decides nothing as
to the truth or falsity of unnumbered statements which millions of
people have believed for centuries to belong to the domain of Religion.
This method does not and cannot discredit Religion.

"Religious ideas of one kind or another," says Mr. Spencer, "are almost
universal.... We are obliged to admit that, if not supernaturally
derived, as the majority contend, they must be derived out of human
experiences, slowly accumulated and organized.... Considering all
faculties," under the evolutionary hypothesis, "to result from
accumulated modifications caused by the intercourse of the organism with
its environment, we are obliged to admit that there exist in the
environment certain phenomena or conditions which have determined the
growth of the feeling in question, and so are obliged to admit that it
is as normal as any other faculty.... We are also forced to infer that
this feeling is in some way conducive to human welfare.... Positive
knowledge does not and never can fill the whole region of possible
thought. At the utmost reach of discovery there arises, and must ever
arise, the question--what lies beyond?... Throughout all future time, as
now, the human mind may occupy itself, not only with ascertained
phenomena and their relations, but also with that unascertained
something which phenomena and their relations imply. Hence if knowledge
cannot monopolize consciousness--if it must always continue possible for
the mind to dwell upon that which transcends knowledge; then there can
never cease to be a place for something of the nature of Religion; since
Religion under all its forms is distinguished from everything else in
this, that its subject matter is that which passes the sphere of
experience." Religion is "a constituent of the great whole; and being
such must be treated as a subject of Science with no more prejudice than
any other reality."

It will suit our present purpose to divide the cognitive faculties into
intuitive and non-intuitive. If I rightly understand Mr. Spencer, when
he says of the subject matter of Religion that it "passes the sphere of
experience," he means that the content of Religion results from the
action of the non-intuitive faculties upon material furnished by the
intuitive faculties, and not from the immediate action of the latter
upon environment. For the sake of the argument, I will grant this
position. In order that mankind may build up sciences in which it
reposes such confidence, the action of the non-intuitive faculties must
be trusted, for it is only through such action that sciences can ever be
constructed from the materials of experience. Granting, then, the
general trustworthiness of mental operations, the mind cannot abstract
_out of_ human experiences what was not already in them; cannot evolve
what was not involved. The separation of the true from the false in
Religion, then, must be accomplished, as in the case of Science, by
verifying the intuitions and going repeatedly over the chains of
reasoning which lead to the conclusions farthest removed from
intuitions, to guard as much as possible against error. Thus, because
drawn out from given data, certain conclusions will embody to-day what
is true in Religion, and later, with an enlarged experience, more or
less modified conclusions will express what will then be seen to be
true. This is in accord with the general law of evolution which holds
for Science. From the present point of view, Mr. Spencer seems to concur
in the above, since he says of religious ideas, that "to suppose these
multiform conceptions" to "be one and all _absolutely_ groundless,
discredits too profoundly that average human intelligence from which all
our individual intelligences are inherited."

To the statement that the mind cannot abstract _out of_ human
experiences what was not already in them, Mr. Spencer could make, I
think, but one answer, to wit: that while the operations of the mind are
generally reliable, and while there has been an element in human
experience which seemed to warrant conclusions derived from them,
nevertheless, mankind has egregiously erred in thinking that it had the
power to build up a valid content to Religion, since the very nature of
Religion is such, that the mental operations which are reliable in the
realm of Science cannot be so in the realm of Religion. To answer this,
we must consider the argument for conceivability as the touchstone which
is to separate the "Knowable" from the "Unknowable." Corresponding to
small objects, a piece of rock for example, where the sides, top, and
bottom can be considered as practically all present in consciousness at
once, and large ones, like the earth, where they cannot, our author
divides conceptions into complete and symbolic. Great magnitudes and
classes of objects also produce symbolic conceptions which, while
indispensable to reasoning, often lead us into error. "We habitually
mistake our symbolic conceptions for real ones." The former "are
legitimate, provided that by some cumulative or indirect process of
thought, or by the fulfilment of predictions based upon them, we can
assure ourselves that they stand for actualities," otherwise "they are
altogether vicious and illusive" and "illegitimate" and here belong
religious ideas.

The foregoing is applied by Mr. Spencer in his argument relative to the
origin of the Universe respecting which, he asserts that "three verbally
intelligible suppositions may be made": (1) that it is self-existent,
(2) that it was self-created, (3) that it was created by an external
agency. "Which of these suppositions is most credible it is not needful
here to enquire. The deeper question, into which this finally merges,
is, whether any one of these is even conceivable in the true sense of
the word." He shows that, since the mind refuses to accept the
transformation of absolute vacuity into the existent, the theory of
self-creation forces us back to a potential Universe whose self-creation
was transition to an actual Universe, and that then, we must explain the
existence of the potential Universe and that, similarly, creation by an
external agency demands that we account for the genesis of the Creator,
so that both of these theories involve the self-existence of a
something. Therefore, I shall analyze his presentation of the first
theory only. "Self-existence necessarily means existence without a
beginning; and to form a conception of self-existence is to form a
conception of existence without a beginning. Now by no mental effort can
we do this. To conceive existence through infinite past-time, implies
the conception of infinite past-time, which is an impossibility. To this
let us add, that even were self-existence conceivable, it would not in
any sense be an explanation of the Universe.... It is not a question of
probability, or credibility, but of conceivability."

In making conceivability the supreme test as to what is knowable, Mr.
Spencer sets up a criterion which he himself violates. If it can be
shown that he places at the very foundation of Science a postulate or,
what is generally conceded to be a demonstrated truth, which, equally
with the conception of the Universe as self-existent, involves the
conception of infinite past-time, it is evident that we shall have
broken down the fundamental distinguishing characteristic which
separates his "Knowable" from his "Unknowable," and thus leave Science
and Religion standing upon the same level of validity in their relation
to the human mind. In the second part of "First Principles," which
treats of the "Knowable," Mr. Spencer says (p. 180): "The
Indestructibility of Matter ... is a proposition on the truth of which
depends the possibility of exact Science. Could it be shown, or could it
with any rationality be even supposed, that Matter, either in its
aggregates or in its units, ever became non-existent, there would be
need either to ascertain under what conditions it became non-existent,
or else to confess that Science and Philosophy are impossible. For if,
instead of having to deal with fixed quantities and weights, we had to
deal with quantities and weights which were apt, wholly or in part, to
be annihilated, there would be introduced an incalculable element, fatal
to all positive conclusions" (p. 172). Considering that in times past
men have believed in the creation of Matter out of nothing and in its
annihilation, he points out that it is to quantitative Chemistry that we
owe the empirical basis for our present belief.

Next he inquires "whether we have any higher warrant for this
fundamental belief than the warrant of conscious induction," and writes
as follows of logical necessity (pp. 172-179): "The consciousness of
logical necessity, is the consciousness that a certain conclusion is
implicitly contained in certain premises explicitly stated. If,
contrasting a young child and an adult, we see that this consciousness
of logical necessity, absent from the one is present in the other, we
are taught that there is a _growing up_ to the recognition of certain
necessary truths, merely by the unfolding of the inherited intellectual
forms and faculties. To state the case more specifically:--before a
truth can be known as necessary, two conditions must be fulfilled. There
must be a mental structure capable of grasping the terms of the
proposition and the relation alleged between them; and there must be
such definite and deliberate mental representation of these terms as
makes possible a clear consciousness of this relation.... Along with
acquirement of more complex faculty and more vivid imagination, there
comes a power of perceiving to be necessary truths, what were before not
recognized as truths at all.... All this which holds of logical and
mathematical truths, holds, with change of terms, of physical truths.
There are necessary truths in Physics for the apprehension of which,
also, a developed and disciplined intelligence is required; and before
such intelligence arises, not only may there be failure to apprehend the
necessity of them, but there may be vague beliefs in their
contraries.... But though many are incapable of grasping physical
axioms, it no more follows that physical axioms are not knowable _à
priori_ by a developed intelligence, than it follows that logical
relations are not necessary, because undeveloped intellects cannot
perceive their necessity.

"The terms '_à priori_ truth' and 'necessary truth' ... are to be
interpreted," he continues, "not in the old sense, as implying
cognitions wholly independent of experiences, but as implying cognitions
that have been rendered organic by immense accumulations of experiences,
received partly by the individual, but mainly by all ancestral
individuals whose nervous systems he inherits. But when during mental
evolution, the vague ideas arising in a nervous structure imperfectly
organized, are replaced by clear ideas arising in a definite nervous
structure; this definite structure, molded by experience into
correspondence with external phenomena, makes necessary in thought the
relations answering to absolute uniformities in things. Hence, among
others, the conception of the Indestructibility of Matter.... Our
inability to conceive Matter becoming non-existent, is immediately
consequent upon the nature of thought.... It must be added, that no
experimental verification of the truth that Matter is indestructible, is
possible without a tacit assumption of it. For all such verification
implies weighing, and weighing implies that the matter forming the
weight remains the same. In other words, the proof that certain matter
dealt with in certain ways is unchanged in quantity, depends on the
assumption that other matter otherwise dealt with is unchanged in

In answer to the above it can be said:--

First. The current explanation of the existence of Matter is that it was
created by an external agency. Mr. Spencer's lucid statement of the way
in which Matter has been proved indestructible does not go far enough.
Where he stops, logic might justly pronounce the whole procedure a
fallacious one, a begging of the whole question at issue. The binding
force of the whole argument rests upon a rational principle here
overlooked by Mr. Spencer, the principle of sufficient cause. The
chemist in making the experiment found that certain substances
counterbalanced a given weight; after combustion, the products
counterbalanced the same weight. If the weight did not change during the
experiment, then no matter had been destroyed. The weight is believed
not to have changed, because it existed under ordinary and quiescent
conditions: which, in view of past race experience, rendered it
extremely improbable that any force sufficient to vitiate the result had
come into play during the experiment. _The absence of a sufficient cause
to change the weight_, is, then, the critical point of the argument, and
the perfect trust of the mind in the principle of sufficient cause
forces us to the conclusion that Matter is indestructible.

What has really been accomplished, however, by the experiment? I do not
object to the statement that Matter is indestructible, but the meaning
of this explicitly stated, is that in the light of the present knowledge
of the race, we have experimented with Matter under certain extreme
conditions--some chemical changes seeming, at first glance, to
annihilate it--and have not been able to destroy it, therefore, Matter
is indestructible. While this is true to an extent which preserves the
integrity of the foundation for _our_ Science and _our_ Philosophy, it
is at the same time consistent with the hypothesis that a Being
surpassing man in intelligence and power, may be able to convert Matter
into a not-matter--from the standpoint of present definitions of Matter
and Space--quantitatively correlated with it, or _vice versa_; and this
statement of the case harmonizes Science and Religion. Now, what from
the point of view of Science Mr. Spencer accepts as indestructibility,
is identical with what Religion means when it affirms self-existence,
and as he has demonstrated to his own satisfaction that self-existence
in the abstract is an illegitimate conception, a conception of what by
its very nature is unknowable, because it involves the impossible
conception of infinite past-time, he is logically bound by accepting one
horn of the dilemma, to admit the conception of self-existence into the
realm of the Knowable, or by choosing the other, to transfer his
"Indestructibility," his "possibility of exact Science" into the realm
of the Unknowable! In either event, we place an ultimate religious idea
and a scientific conception whose denial he admits to be the
annihilation of exact Science, upon the same footing, and so reduce the
distinguishing characteristic which he has set up to differentiate the
Knowable from the Unknowable, to zero.

Second. We come now to the statement of some of the consequences which
follow from Mr. Spencer's view--already explained--as to how the higher
warrant, by which we know the Indestructibility of Matter to be an
axiom, a self-evident truth, originated. In his chapter upon "Ultimate
Scientific Ideas" he says that Space and Time are "wholly
incomprehensible," and that "Matter ... in its ultimate nature, is as
absolutely incomprehensible as Space and Time." He affirms, as pointed
out, that no experimental verification is possible without assuming what
we set out to prove. If the chemical balance cannot demonstrate this
truth, how, then, can we know it? It is, we are told, an _à priori_ or
necessary truth which arises in our consciousness through the
"cognitions that have been rendered organic by immense accumulations of
experiences, received partly by the individual, but mainly by all
ancestral individuals whose nervous systems" we inherit. This is Mr.
Spencer's answer. This commits us to the absurdity, that the truth of
the doctrine of the Indestructibility of Matter has come to be accepted
as axiomatic by the repetition of cognitions of an inconceivable
"absolute uniformity" of things, by an indefinite series of ancestors,
in the face of the fact that the present development of Science does not
_now_ permit us, with the aid of all its apparatus, to receive a single
logically valid cognition from the same phenomenal world which supplied
all the others; _ergo_, add together a sufficient number of cognitions
of the inconceivable, and you arrive at an axiomatic truth! To lift a
ton weight, apply a vast number of forces of one ounce intensity, acting
_successively_ in time, and the thing is done!

Mr. Spencer cannot point out the characteristics which separate those
inconceivable things and qualities which may legitimately furnish the
raw material for the development of axioms, from those which cannot,
since this would at once remove them to the category of the conceivable,
and he cannot exhaustively catalogue the axioms, since the process of
evolution which he puts forth as the sole and sufficient explanation of
their origin and growth is still going on. We therefore see that we are
justified in saying that conceivability is worthless as a test as to
whether an object of thought lies within the domain of the Knowable or
Unknowable. Further, should a theologian say to Mr. Spencer "To me, the
existence of God and his Infinite Love, Wisdom, and Power rank as
axioms," I do not see how, consistently with the above, he could deny
that these truths were valid to the theologian, even if they were not so
to his own mind. How completely we have placed Religion and Science upon
the same level is evident from our author's statement that "a religious
creed is definable as a theory of original causation" and from the fact
that a self-existent Universe is one of the three possible hypotheses
which he mentions in his argument.

Space forbids the criticism of Mr. Spencer's doctrine of the relativity
of knowledge and of the speculations concerning the Infinite and
Absolute based upon the writings of Hamilton and Mansel. I have been
restricted, also, to the negative side of the question, but so far as
inconceivability enters as a factor into the argument against Religion,
I contend that it has broken down; that so far as that element affects
the problem, Religion has as high credentials as Science.



Some barks there are that drift dreamily down stream, ever near to the
shore where the waters are shallow. Some catch the current and go
bounding on with sweep and swirl until the river, placid at last, slips
into the tideless Everlasting. Some, alas! commanded by iron-hearted
Fate, are headed _up_ stream to fight--who dares call it Folly's
battle?--against the current which yields only to the invincible will
and the tireless arm. They lie who swear that life turns on mere
accident. There are no accidents in fate. The end is but a gathering of
the means; the means but byways to the end; and at the last fate is
master still, and we its victims are, as was _she_, my Claudia.

I am an old woman, childless and loveless; I know what it is to stand
alone with life's hollow corpses,--corpses of youth, and love, and hope.
Perhaps this is why my heart turned to her in her sweet youth and
guileless innocence. I used to fancy, when I saw her, a child under the
old-fashioned locust's shade that fell about her father's modest place,
that she was unlike other children. She had a thoughtful face--not
beautiful, but soulful. I thank God now that the child was spared that
curse. Fate set snares enough without that deadliest one of beauty. Yet
she had soul; her eyes betrayed its strength and mirrored its deep
passion,--that mightiest, holiest passion which men call _genius_. Her
genius merely budded; fate set its heel against the plant and crushed

I knew her from her birth; knew her strong-hearted mother, and her
gentle father, who slipped the noose of life when Claudia was a tiny
thing, too young to more than lisp his name. Yet, with his last breath
he blessed her, and blessed the man into whose arms he placed her, and
left her to his care.

"You have said you owe me something," said the dying man; "if so, pay it
to my child, my girl-babe, in fatherly advice and guidance."

That man had been a felon and would have met a felon's doom but for the
friend whose child had been confided to his guidance. He had saved him
by silence and by loans which had beggared him in lending. He was a
strong man, and left his daughter something of his strength for
heritage, and that was all. But from her mother, her great-souled
mother, the child received enough of courage, and of hope, and faith,
and energy, to make her life a _sure_ thing at all events.

I lost her 'twixt the years of girl and womanhood, for both of us were
poor, and I took such scanty living here and there as offered. But one
day she found me out, and begged me to go with her to her old home under
the locust trees. All were dead but her; she was alone; needed me for
protection, and I, she argued, needed part of the old roof, too large
for one small head.

"There's a mortgage on it, dear," she told me, "but I am young and
strong, and have some education and some little energy; and,--" she
laughed, "the note is held by that old boy-friend of my father who
promised to look out for me, you know. So I have no fears of being
turned out homeless, Gertie."

So I went, and tried to be to her a friend. Instead, I was her
lover--her worshipper. Her soul, as it opened to me day after day,
expanding under the _visé_ of poverty, took on such strength, such
grandeur, that I almost stood in awe of her. She was so young, too, yet
strong--strong as God, I used to think--and full of hope, and courage,
and ambition. Ambition! that isn't a word often applied to women; yet I
say Claudia was ambitious. I upbraided her one day for this. She winced,
and came and knelt down at my feet, her face upon her hands, her arms
upon my knees, her sweet soul seeking mine through her eyes.

"Gertie," said she, "I wonder why God made me a woman and fixed no place
for me in all the many niches of creation. There is no room for such
women as I am; women with bodies moulded for womanhood, and souls
measured for man's burdens."

The words had a solemn sound--a solemn meaning likewise. I had no answer
for such awesome words, and so the child talked on.

"I had a mother once," she said, "who loved me, and who unfitted me--God
rest her sainted memory--for my battle with adversity. Nay, dear, don't
look so shocked. I say that she unfitted me by instilling into my heart
her own great grandeur, and her own grand courage. There is no room for
such, I tell you. As a frail female weakling the slums would have
cradled me; as a wife the world would have respected me; as a toiler for
honest bread there is _no place_ for me. My mother was to me a creature
next to God, and I have sometimes dared to put her first when I have
felt most deeply all her nobleness. My father died, then came our
struggle, hers and mine. I was her idol, she my God. We clung as only
child and parent can. I could have made good money in the shops or
factories. The neighbors said so, and advised that I be 'put to work.'

"'What need had paupers of such training as she was giving me? Poverty
was no disgrace, so it be honest poverty.'

"Aye, that's it. How long will poverty be honest in children's untrained
keeping? My mother understood, and knew my needs, as well.

"'The child is what the mother makes it,' was her creed. And so she set
her teeth against the factory and its damning influence, and she bade me
look higher, teaching by her own life that hunger of body is better than
a starved soul.

"Ambition was the food she gave my young life; that she declared the one
rope thrown by God's hand to the rescue of poor women. At last my soul
took fire with hers; my heart awoke.

"My struggles for opportunities tortured her. She sold her thimble
once,--a pretty golden one, my father's gift--that I might have a book I
needed. She did our household drudgery that the servant's wage might go
for my tuition in a thorough school. Oh, how we labored, she and I
together, cheating night of many hours o'er books and study that were to
repay us at the last with decent independence.

"The school days ended, the neighbors urged again the _shops_. But 'no'
again. She had not spent her strength to fit me for the yard-stick and
the shop-girl's meagre living. She read the riddle of my being as only
mothers can; saw the stamp upon my soul and fondly called it genius.
Pinned her faith upon that slumbering curse, or blessing, as we choose
each to interpret it.

"I had a little school some sixty miles from home. She had agreed that I
might teach; that was in the course in which she wished my life to go.
The schoolhouse was a cabin in the wood, through which flowed a river.
We cannot tell the route by which we run to fame, and mine lay through
this cabin in the woods. I scribbled bits of rhyme and broken verse,
constantly; and found it fame enough if in the hurried jingle my mother
detected 'improvement,' 'promise.'

"But one day when the river burst its banks, the cabin, deluged, lay
under water for ten days, and I became a temporary prisoner in my
miserable boarding-house, I wrote a story, a simple, earnest little
story. It sold, and more, it won a prize. Two hundred and fifty
dollars,--it would take ten months of the little school to make so much.
When it came--Gertie, I cannot tell you how I felt!--I thought that
somehow in the darkness I had reached my hands out and found them
clasped in God's; held tight and fast, and strong and safe. I kneeled
down in that cabin schoolroom, with the awe-struck children gathered
round me, and choked with sobs and happy tears, thanked God who sent the
blessed treasure.

"I had but one thought--Mother. I sent the children home--my work with
them was done. Now I could go to _her_, and with a sprig of laurel to
lay upon my brow, could silence stinging tongues while I worked quietly
on at home. Home! never would I leave its blessed roof again. Oh, how my
longing heart hurried my laggard feet. I did not write; no pen should
cheat my tongue of the blessed story. I wished to feel her arms, see her
smile, catch her heart-beat while I told her. God! I whispered His name
softly in gratitude and love. I planned my surprise well, but I was
doomed to disappointment. It was midnight when I reached the town; the
streets were silent and no one spoke to me. 'Some one must have told
her,' I said, as the hack in which I rode drew up before the door, and I
saw the house was lighted; every window was wide open; and her room,
where I, a child, had learned my woman's lesson, was filled with people.
Solemn, sitting folk; it was not a jubilee at all. 'She is sick,' I
gasped, as my trembling fingers sought the gate latch. No, I saw her
bed, the bed where I had nestled in her arms for eighteen years. It was
white and stiff in its familiar drapings. I tore the gate ajar and
bounded up the steps. My youngest sister met me in the doorway, weeping.
I brushed her aside and passed in among the friendly neighbors who had
hurried out on my arrival. I felt, but scarcely saw them as I said: 'I
want my mother.' Then some one burst in tears and pointed to the open
parlor door. Merciless heaven! resting upon two chairs stood a long,
brown box; a coffin. I gave one shriek, so wild, so full of agony that
not one who heard it stayed to offer the hollow mockery of comfort.
'Merciful God! not my mother?'

"But it was. I never saw her face again. I would not look on it in
death; that face which had been my life. But I love to think I have her
presence with me here, together with her teaching, in my bosom. And with
her help, for the dear dead always help us, I am working out my destiny
after the pattern she set me. It is a _hard_ task; grows harder every
day; but I am young yet, and strong."

Poor child. She did not know the _dangers_ of the road she travelled;
she only knew its hardships. Day after day she toiled, hopeful even in
failure. The bloom left her cheek; but faith still fired her eye. One
day she put away her manuscript, and left the house. The next day she
returned. She had been to ask for her old place in the cabin
schoolhouse. Too late; the place was filled. She sought one of her
mother's friends and asked for work, copying. She returned with white
face and set lip, and a look of horror in her eyes. I understood. God
help the poor, the respectable poor, those starvelings who cannot rise
to independence and cannot sink to vileness. And oh, I prayed, God pity
her,--my Claudia.

I watched her struggles with my own power palsied by that same old
curse, poverty. She did her best; her struggles were torture to me even
when she smiled and met them with sweet faith in her own strength and
God's goodness. She never once murmured, although I knew that many a
night she had gone hungry to her desk, and rose from it, hungry still,
at dawn.

And oh, when hope began to die, I saw it all; saw it in the weary eyes;
heard it in the step that lagging past my door, climbed to its task, its
hopeless task, again. I saw it in the cheek where hunger,--the hunger of
the common herd--had set its fangs upon the delicate bloom. To ask for
bread meant to receive a stone, a stone like unto the stones cast at
her, that one in old Jerusalem. Perhaps she hungered too; who dares
judge, since Christ himself refused to condemn.

She tried at shops at last, but no man wanted modest Quaker maids to
measure off their goods. The shop-girl's smile was part and parcel of
the bargain, and if the smile beguiled a serpent in man's clothing, why
the girl must look to that.

One night I sought her room, her tidy little nest--my poor solitary
birdling--and found her at her work, her old task of writing. She had
gone back to it. There were rings about the eyes where tears were
forbidden visitors. I took the poor head in my arms.

"Don't, Claudia," I cried. "The youth is all gone from your face."
"That's right," she said. "It left my heart long ago, and face and heart
should have a common correspondence."

And then she laughed, as if to cheat my old ears with the sound of

"I needed stamps," she said. "The question rested, stamps _vs._ supper.
Like a true artist I made my choice for art. But see here. That
manuscript when it is finished, means _no more hunger_. Something tells
me it will succeed, and save me. So I have called it _Refuge_, and on it
I have staked my last hope."

She playfully tapped the tidy page, and laughed again. But her words had
a solemn earnestness about them to which her pale pinched face lent
something still of awe.

Day after day I watched her, as day after day the battle became too much
for her. Too much? I spoke too quickly when I said so. She was a mystery
to me. I felt but could not understand her life, and its grand,
heart-breaking changes. She had planned for something which she could
not reach. The doors to it were closed. Her starving woman's soul called
for food; the husks were offered in its stead; the bestial, grovelling,
brutish swine's husks. She refused them. Her soul would make no
compromise with swine. She was so strong, and _had_ been so full of hope
I could not understand her. You who have studied the tricks of the human
heart, you who have held your own while faith died in your bosom, or you
who have felt it stabbed and crushed _refuse_ to die, perhaps you can
understand that strange and fitful strength that came and went; that
outburst of hope, that silence of despair which made, in turn, my dear
one's torture.

One night I found her sitting in the moonlight with her face dropped
forward on the windowsill. So pure, so white, so frail of body, and so
strong of soul, she might have been some marble priestess waiting there
for God's breath to move in passion through the pulseless stone.

"Claudia, dear, are you asleep?" I whispered.

"No, I was thinking if the moon would ever shine upon the night when I
shall feel no more the pangs of hunger."

I took her in my arms and wept, although her eyes were strangely
tearless. She put out her hand and stroked away my tears.

"Don't, dear," she begged. "It is all right. It is only that there is no
place for me. The niche I wish to fill has never been chiseled in the
wall of this world's matters. It is God's mistake if one is made, and
God must look to it. I tell you, Gertie," and she rose up grandly in her
pride and in her wrath, "there are but two niches made for woman in this
world. There's but one choice, wife or harlot. The poor, who refuse
still to be vile, must step aside, since honest poverty by man's decree
is but a myth. There's no room in this world for such."

She was growing bitter, bitter, driving on, I thought, to that fatal
rock from which the wrecks of lost women cry back to rail at God who
would not save them from destruction, although they prayed aloud and
shrieked their agony up heavenward, straight to His ears. I think
sometimes I should not like to sit in God's stead when such women come
to face His judgment. Women who called, and called, and never had an
answer, and so went down, still calling.

It was thus _she_ called.

One day I came upon her where she had thrown herself upon a little
garden stool to rest. A book lay on her knee, her eyes upon the page;
and as I listened, for she read aloud, slowly, as when one reads to his
own heart, I caught the meaning of the poet's words as they had found
interpretation by her:--

  "'For each man deems his own sand-house secure,
    While life's wild waves are lulled; yet who can say,
  If yet his faith's foundations do endure,
    It is not that no wind hath blown that way?'"

She was silent a moment, then repeated the first line of the stanza
again, even more softly than before,

  "'For each man deems his own sand-house secure.'"

Then, tossing the book aside, she burst out wildly, all the pent-up
patience, all the insulted and outraged womanhood within her, breaking
bonds at last. She lifted up her hand as if calling down from God a
curse, or offering at His register an oath. It might have been an oath,
indeed; who knows? Thinking of her since I think it _was_ an oath, made,
in that moment of her frenzy, betwixt her soul and God, and registered
with Him.

"Gertie," she said, "to-day a man offered me money. Offered me all I
asked, offered to make me his mistress. Do you hear? Do you? or has your
soul gone deaf as mine has? His mistress! I meet it everywhere. Yet why?
Because I am respectably poor. To-morrow the roof tumbles about my ears.
The mortgage closes. You and I alike are homeless. I went to him, my
father's friend, to whom, in dying, he entrusted me for guidance. I
begged of him that guidance, or, at the least, a little longer time upon
the mortgage. He laughed. 'Don't worry,' said he, 'and don't soil your
pretty hands with ink stains any further. Leave that for the printer, or
the devil. You and I will make an _easier_ trade.' Ease! ease! I tell
you 'tis these flowery beds of ease on which poor suffocated women wake
in hell. 'Soil' my soul and leave that for the 'devil,' too, his trade
meant. He put it in plain words, that gray-haired _guardian_ of a dead
friend's honor. Ease! _I_ did not ask for ease, but work. I am strong,
and young, and willing; but my 'sand-house' trembles with the lashing of
the tide on its foundation. O my God! what fools we women be to kick
against the pricks of fate."

  "Each man deems his own sand-house secure."

I repeated the words when she had left me there with the echo of her
bitter rebellious words still ringing in my ears. I felt no anger and no
fear for her, only sorrow, sorrow. My poor, proud darling. Her father's
house had sheltered many; his hand had been open and his bounty free.
And yet not one reached out a hand to her. She might have begged, or
held a hireling's place. She was 'not too good for it,' the old friends
said (so few are friends to poverty), but yet none found such a place
for her.

Through my tears I saw her go down the garden walk, stopping to pluck a
handful of the large Jack roses growing near the gate and tuck them in
her belt, so that the dullish red blooms lay upon her heart, like blots
of blood against her soft white dress. I shuddered, and drew my hand
across my eyes. Blood! those old blood-roses rise before me now, in
dreams at night. I heard the latch lift and click again into its place,
and when I looked the child was gone.

       *       *       *       *       *

She stayed a long while. Over all the garden and across the open
windows, the moon was shining when I heard her step upon the doorway. It
had a weary sound. Those feet which had begun so bravely were tired out
already. Still had I no fear for her. She might have stayed until the
gray dawn cleft the black of night and not one doubt of her could sting
my faith. She climbed the stairs wearily, as if old age had of a sudden
caught and cramped the young life in her feet; and listening thus I
swore a mighty oath against the thing called Fate.

She so young, so strong, so willing, so full of aspiration, so loyal to
faith and honor, with _every_ door barred against her. O my God! was
there none, not one human heart open to her cry? Was there but one
resource--one opening for her pure soul and her proud heart--the
harlot's door? O my God! my God! women are driven to it every day, every
day. Is it, indeed, the only door that opens to their knock? And would
she, too, seek it at last, when faith should be quite dead? No, never!
not while my palsied fingers could find strength to draw a knife across
her throat.

I arose, and went to find her in her room. The door stood slightly open,
and I entered, softly. Why so softly, I never could have told; only it
seemed the proper thing to do. She had thrown herself across the bed,
near by the open window. The moonlight flooded the room, showing me the
strong, pale face lying against the pillow. Her white dress fell about
her like a silverish shroud; and on the table near the window where she
had sat to finish her task lay a manuscript. The moonlight fell upon the
title page with mocking splendor. I stooped and read:

  "'_Thou art our Refuge and our Strength._'"

Dear heart! dear, sad soul! She had sought her refuge and indeed found
strength. Strength! I brand him liar who calls it other.

One hand lay on the coverlid beside her, and one upon her breast half
hidden by the dark blood-roses covering her heart. And that heart when I
placed my hand over it--was still.

_Broken!_ who dares say _suicide_? I say it was the grandest blow that
weakness struck for virtue,--her life, offered in the name of outraged
womanhood. The choice lay open. Shame or suicide! and like the real
woman that she was, she made her choice for virtue. Conquered by fate,
overcome by adversity, those who should have been helpers turned
tempters. Who dares meet God in his soul and say she did not choose the
better part?

  "'Thou art our Refuge and our Strength.'"

I whispered it above her grave and left her there, under the stars and
broken lily buds.

But when the grand Jack roses bloom, I always think of her, and
thinking, I ponder again the same old riddle, _Fate_, whose edict
swears, "No room for honest poverty; no niche for such as she." And
thinking thus I wonder,--where shall the blame rest? Whose shall the
crime be?



The "Ridger" is quite a different person from the Mountaineer. He looks
upon the latter individual as a sodden and benighted unfortunate, whose
inaccessible habitation entitles him to the pity of the favored dwellers
on the "Ridge."

That the Ridge is but a low out-put of the Mountain, that it is barren
and isolated, does not disturb the comfortable theory of its
inhabitants. To the people of the Valley the Ridger is a twin brother of
the owner of the hut on the top-most peak of the range.

They look alike. Their bearing and habits are similar. To the Valley eye
their clothes are of the same material and cut; but to the Ridger
himself there is as wide a difference between him and his less favored
brother on the "mounting" as that to be found by the stroller on Fifth
Avenue when he gazes with profound contempt upon the egotistic biped who
plainly hopes to deceive the elect into a belief that he, also, belongs
to the charmed circle and has not simply "run over" from Jersey City, or
St. Louis, or New Bedford.

The Mountaineer is frequently a Tunker, the Ridger rarely. Therefore the
Ridger is likely to have a shaven face, and, for the younger contingent,
a mustache is the rule, a "goatee" the fashion. To the Tunker none of
these are permissible. The beard may not be cut, a mustache may not be
worn, and, with the first of these propositions in force it will be seen
at once that "a goatee" is quite out of the question.

When I say that the Ridger is likely to have a shaven face I do not
intend to convey the impression that he ever uses a razor. He shaves his
face with the scissors. His Tunker neighbor up the mountain performs the
same feat on his own upper lip. The result is effective and satisfactory
from both a religious and artistic outlook in the eyes of these
sticklers for fashion and dogma, albeit, it might be looked upon as more
or less disappointing by the habitués of the Union League Club or the
devotees at St. Thomas.

If the rivet, which at some previous date had held the two halves of the
scissors together, happens to be lost, or if it has worn so loose that
these members "do not speak as they pass by," a jack knife or even a
butcher's knife is no stranger to the tonsorial process of these
followers of the elusive god of style.

I do not know that I have ever met a Tunker so lost to a deep sense of
religious duty, or a Ridger sufficiently devoid of the pride of personal
appearance, that he would "go to town" without having first performed
this rite.

It is a serious business.

In the house of my old friend Jeb Hilson there had once been a "lookin'
glass" of no mean proportions, if those of his neighbors may be taken as
the standard, and how else do we measure elegance or style? It had
occupied a black frame, and a position on the wall directly over a
"toilet," which was the most conspicuous piece of furniture in the room.
At the present time there was nothing to tell the tale but a large nail
(from which hung a bunch of seed onions,) and the smoked outline of
something which had been nearly fourteen inches long and not far from
the same width. In front of this drab outline Jeb Hilson always stood to
shave. His memory was so tenacious that I never observed that he noticed
the absence of the glass. He gazed steadily at the wall and worked the
scissors so deftly that the stubble rained in little showers upon the
top of the "toilet" and within the open bosom of his tennis shirt. Not
that Jeb Hilson ever heard of tennis, or knew that he was clad in a
garment of so approved a metropolitan style and make; but that was the
pattern he had worn for many years, and it was the one which his women
folk were best able to reproduce. His flannel ones were gray, and his
trousers were belted about with a leather strap. For full dress
occasions he wore a white cotton shirt of the same pattern and a brown
homespun vest. This latter garment was seldom buttoned. Why hide the
glory of that shirt? If Jeb owned a coat I have never seen it. He
appeared to think it a useless garment.

I believe I did not say that Jeb Hilson was the leader of those who
eschewed all hair upon the face. Whether this was done to show a
profounder contempt for the Tunker superstition, or whether Jeb had a
secret pride in the outline of his mouth and chin, and a desire to give
full expression to their best effects, it would be hard to say. It is
certain, however, that his motives must have been powerful, for he
underwent untold torture to achieve his results. If the blades of the
scissors clicked past each other or wabbled apart too far to even click,
Jeb would resort to his knife and proceed to saw off the offending

"Hit air saw off er chaw off," he would remark laconically, as he tried
first one implement and then the other. "I wisht ter gracious thet theer
scisser leg'd stay whar't war put; but Lide trum the grape vines with
'em las' week an' they is wus sprung then they wus befo'. But wimmen
folks is all durn fools. I'd be right down glad ef the good Lord had a
saw fit ter give 'em a mite er sense. Some folks sez it would er spilt
'em, but I'm blame ef I kin see how they could er been wus spilt than
the way they is fixed now."

He gazed intently at the smoked image on the wall, and collecting,
between his thumb and finger, a pinch of hair on his upper lip began to
saw at it with his knife. His large yellow teeth were displayed, and the
appearance of a beak was so effectively presented by the protruded lip
that words came from behind it with the uncanny sound of a parrot; but
it did not occur to him to cease talking.

"I fromised" (his upper lip was drawn too far out to form the letter p,
or any with like requirements), "I fromised the young 'squire ter be at
the cote house ter day, an' I tole him thet I'd ast the jedge fer ter
'fint a gyardeen fer thet theer _de_mented widder uv Ike's."

He grasped a fresh bunch of stubble, shifted onto the other foot, turned
the side of his face to the smoked image of the one time mirror, and
rolled his eyes so that in case a glass had hung there he might have
been able to see one inch from his left ear. The shaving went steadily
on. So did the conversation.

"Ef I don't make considdable much hase I'm gwine ter be late, an' ef the
jedge don't 'pint a gyardeen fer thet theer Sabriny she's goin' fer ter
squander the hull uv her proppity. Thet theer wuthless Lige Tummun is
goin' fer ter git the hull uv hit. Thet's thes persisely what he's a
figgerin' fer in my erpinion. He hev thes persuaged her fer ter let him
hev the han'lin uv hit, an' she air a goin' ter live thar fer the res'er
her days; but I'd thes like ter know what's a goin' ter hinder him fum a
bouncin' her thes es soon es he onct gits holt er the hull er thet theer
proppity. An' then whose a goin' ter take keer uv her? Nobody air a
hankerin' fer ter take keer uv a _de_mented widder woman onless she air
got proppity. But I hain't a wantin' ter say much, fer they is folks
mean enough ter up an' think I mout be a try'n ter git holt er thet
proppity myse'f, an' have the han'lin uv hit; so I thes tole the young
'squire abouten hit, an' he thes rec'mended me fer ter thes go ter town
nex' cote day an' erply ter the jedge fer ter 'pint a gyardeen over

The shaving was finished at last and the homespun "weskit" donned. He
stood in front of the smoked reminder while he performed this latter
feat, and, after staring intently at the wall, appeared to be perfectly
content with the result. Then he trudged away and joined the innumerable
host which would as soon think of staying away from town on court day as
it would think of standing on its head to pray.

All Ridgers of the masculine gender went to town on court day, and as
few Valley men failed to do the same--whether because they knew it would
be a good chance to see everybody in the county and talk politics, or
because few men were so destitute as to be without lawsuits of their
own,--certain it is that they all went and that it furnished topics of
conversation which lasted until court day rolled around again.

As I was a guest at the "young 'squire's" house I was privileged to hear
on the following day some further conversation on the subject of
Sabriny's guardian. I was sitting on the front porch with the sweet and
simple-hearted mother of the young 'squire when Jeb Hilson's lithe form

Jeb was still in full dress. The fronts of his vest hung beneath his
long arms as he walked, and he wore his white cotton shirt, somewhat the
worse for its "Cote Day" experiences, it must be confessed. On his head
was one of those delightfully soft straw hats which the young men of the
valley buy by the dozen for fifty cents, wear until they get damp, or
for some other reason droop about the face and head like a "Havelock,"
and then cast aside for a new one. But a Ridger does not pay out five
cents recklessly. One of these straw coverings must last him all summer.
But for all that a Ridger must see, and therefore the front of the
drooping brim is sacrificed to stern necessity when it can no longer be
kept off of the face. The effect is unique. A soft straw crown, run to a
peak; a pendant wide brim touching the back and shoulders; a few
"frazzles" of straw on the forehead which tell where a brim once was;
for the Ridger cuts the front out with the same scissors or knife with
which he shaves, and with no more accuracy of outline. The young farmers
wear these broad straw hats to protect their faces and eyes from the
down-beating sun. The Ridger appears to wear them purely for ornament,
since the only protection which they offer in their new shape is to the
back of necks already so wrinkled and tanned that even a Virginia sun
could hardly penetrate to a discomforting degree.

Jeb nodded to me. Then he took his straw ornament by the top of the peak
and lifted it high above his head, so that he could bring it forward
without scraping his hair, and "made his manners" to the young
"'squire's" mother. He seated himself on the upper step of the wide
gallery, crossed his long legs, placed his straw ornament carefully on
his knee, with the pendant portion falling toward his foot, and began a
bit of diplomatic manoeuvring.

"Howdy, Miss Brady, howdy. I hope yo' health is tollible. I thes thought
I'd like t' see the young 'squire. Air he in? Hit air thes a leetle
bisness matter twixt him an' me, thes a leetle matter uv mo' er _less_
intrust' t' us both."

But the young 'squire was not at home. His mother indicated a
willingness to convey any message to him upon his return; but Jeb,
always contemptuous of women, was in a state of elusive subtlety.
Someone in town had lent wings to his already abnormally developed
caution in the matter of the application for the appointment of the
"gyardeen" for his weak-minded sister-in-law, and had hinted that he
might have to swear to her mental condition if he became the sponsor for
such a move. Jeb was wily. He had tasted of his brother's wife's wrath
on more occasions than one, and whatever his opinion may have been of
the strength of her mind, he entertained no doubts as to the vigor of
her temper when it was aroused. Jeb wanted to be appointed her
"gyardeen." He looked upon the "proppity" as a vast and important
financial trust. If he asked the judge to appoint a guardian, and
Sabriny knew that he had said that she was of defective
intellect--well--Jeb would face much to be allowed to handle that
$134.92. (This was the "proppity" in question. It was a "back" pension
and there was to be $2.11 per month henceforth.) But Jeb was not
foolhardy, and he had trudged back from town without having done what
the young "'squire" had advised, and Sabriny's "proppity" was in
jeopardy still.

"No," he said, wagging his head and looking slyly at the young 'squire's
mother. "No, I thes wanted ter see the young 'squire fer a leetle
private talk. I thes promised him fer ter do sompin, an' then I never
done it. Not as he'd _keer_; but I thes wanted ter make my part fa'r an'

He espied a straw that had straggled out from the ragged cut in the
front of his hat. He took it firmly between thumb and finger and gave it
a quick sidewise jerk, whereupon it parted company forever with its
fellows. Jeb inserted this between two of his lower front teeth at their
very base. When it was firmly established he continued his conversation,
leaving his lower lip to struggle in vain to regain a position of
horizontal dignity. The straw was tenacious, and the lip was held at
bay. He did not want to tell his story to anyone but the young 'squire;
but an opportunity to display his mental vigor and business acumen to
the 'squire's mother did not present itself every day, and might he not
tell the tale, and yet not tell it? Could he not give an outline and
still conceal his own motives and desires? Certainly. Women were very
weak minded at best, and even the young 'squire's mother would not be
able to sound the depths of his subtle nature.

"The young 'squire, he tole me fer ter ast the jedge ter 'pint a
gyardeen over the proppity o' Sabriny, along o' her beein'--thet is ter
say--_wimmen_ bein' incompertent ter--thet is, Miss Brady, _mose_ wimmen
not havin' the 'bility fer ter hannel a large proppity--even if they
is--. I aint sayin' that Sabriny is diff'nt fum mose wimmen, you mine.
They is folks thet say her mine is--thet she aint adzackly right in her
head; but lawsy, _I_ aint sayin' thet; an' you mus' know thet wimmin'
aint in no way fit fer ter manage a proppity--a large proppity---more
especial if they is any man a-tryin' fer ter git hit away frum 'em."

"Why, is anybody trying to get poor Sabriny's money, Jeb?" asked the
young 'squire's mother in sympathetic wonder.

But Jeb had been warned that he would better not commit himself if he
hoped for fair sailing. He turned his straw over and put the stiff end
between his teeth again, glanced covertly about, concluded that the lady
was not setting a trap for him, and began again.

"I aint a sayin' as they is, an' I aint a swarin' thet they aint. Mebby
you mout o' heard uv Lige Tummun?"

"Yes, I have heard that he is a trifling fellow," said the young
'squire's mother. "I hope there is no way he can get Sabriny's little

"I aint a sayin' nothin' agin' _Lige_," said Jeb, with wily inflection
which said all things against that luckless wight. "I aint sayin'
nothing' _agin_ Lige, an' I aint sayin' thet he wants ter git hole uv
Sabriny fer ter git her proppity; but he hev drawed up a paper, an' she
hev sign hit, fer ter live with him an' his ole 'oman the res' er her
days fer, an' in consideration, uv the hull uv thet back pension _down_,
en half--er as near half as $2.11 kin be halft,--every month whilse she
live; an' he bines hisself fer ter feed, an' cloth, an pervide fer her
so long as they both do live, by an' accordin' ter the terms uv thet
theer paper he hed draw'd up and Sabriny hev sign."

"Too bad, too bad," said the young 'squire's mother; "but the judge will
appoint you, don't you think, since she is weak-minded, and Lige is so
unreliable? Poor Sabriny would have very little comfort in that
torn-down hut I'm afraid. Did the judge say he would see to it?"

Jeb took the straw from between his teeth, and his lip resumed its
normal position. He turned and twisted, seated himself on the lower
step, and readjusted his hat on his knee. Then he went on:--

"I aint sayin' I _want_ ter be 'pinted her gyardeen. Thet air fer the
jedge ter say, pervided somebody er other fetch the needcessity ter his
mine befo' all thet proppity air squandered. I haint sayin' that Sabriny
air weak-minded, nuther--thet is weakmindeder then thet she air a--she
hev the mine uv a female, an' nachully not able ter hannel proppity. An'
I haint sayin' she aint gettin' mighty well took keer uv by Lige,
nuther. The last time I war theer she war roolin' the roost. She slep'
in the bes' bed, an' et offen the bes' plate, an' had the bes' corn
dodger an' shote; but what I air--that is what _some_ air thinkin' about
air whence Lige onct gits the hull er thet proppity in bulk, air hit
goin' ter be thet away? Mine you, _I_ aint asten this yer question; but
they is them thet does, an' whilse they does hit do seem only right an'
proper fer hit ter be looked inter by the proper 'thorities. Now I tole
the young 'squire thet I'd lay the hull caste befo' the jedge las' cote
day, but the fack air that whence I git theer I met up with a few er my
bisness erquaintainces an' on _re_flection I made up my mine thet I bes'
thes say nothin' to the jedge. Thet's what I kem ter tell the young
'squire so's he won't ercuse me in his mine er lyin' ter 'im whence he
fine out thet I never tole the jedge. They was reasons--numbrous and
gineral reasons--fer me ter _re_fleck an' _re_track my plan."

He reflected for a moment now, and then lifting his hat by the peak,
turned it around, raised it high over his head, carried it back and put
it on; then from its mutilated front just above his eyebrow he snipped
off, with a deft jerk, another straw and started down the steps.

"They is some thet say Sabriny hev a temper thet don't stop ter be lit
up, Miss Brady, but lawsy, _I_ haint sayin' nothing agin' Sabriny's
temper, ner agin' Lige, ner nobody. Some folks will talk thet away. You
can't stop 'em long es they's 'live en kickin'; but _I_ got mighty
little ter say."

There was a long pause. Then with studied indifference of inflection he

"I reckon my leetle bisness with the young 'squire kin wait without
mouldin' over night. I thes reckon hit wouldn't be edzackly bes' fer ter
discuss hit with nobody else," and he inserted the straw between his
teeth with great care and precision, and took his high stepping way
toward the Ridge, secure in his self-esteem and approbation in that not
even the wiles of a lady of the position of the young 'squire's mother
could betray him into divulging his secret. For, after all, she was but
a woman, and--well--this whole matter was a question of "proppity," and
therefore quite beyond her capacity.

As he disappeared over the hill, his straw havelock flapping gently in
the wind, and his vest spread wide against his pendent arms, the young
'squire's mother laughed gently and said:--

"Poor Sabrina, she _is_ a little weaker minded than Jeb, and Jeb is a
kind soul in his way. We must let the judge know the trouble, and see if
some honest and capable person cannot be found to handle that 'proppity'
and not squander, too recklessly, the two dollars and eleven cents in
the months that are to come. The life of an heiress is, indeed, beset
with pitfalls even among the Ridgers."


BY P. H. S.

  I love the gentle music of the brook,
    Its solitary, meditative song.
        On every hill
      Some stream has birth,
        Some lyric rill,
      To wake the selfish earth,
  And smile and toss the heavens their shining look,
    Repeat and every flash of life prolong.
        In spite of play,
        Along its cheerful way
  It turns to rest beneath some sheltering tree
        In richer beauty;
        Or at call of duty
  Leaps forth into a cry of ecstacy,
        And sings that work is best,
        In brighter colors drest
        Runs on its way,
        Nor longer wills to stay
  Than but to see itself that it is fair,--
  Thou happy brook, true brother to the air.

  I fear the steady death-roar of the sea,
    Its sullen, never-changing undertone;
        Round all the land
      It clasps its heavy strength,
        A liquid band
      Of world-unending length,
  And ever chants a wild monotony,
    A change between a low cry and a moan.
        The earth is glad,
        The sea alone is sad;
  Its swelling surge it rolls against the shore
        In mammoth anger;
        Or, in weary languor,
  Beaten, it whines that it can rage no more,
        And sinks to treacherous rest,
        While from the happy west
        The sun is glad;
        The sea alone is sad.
  Its voice has messages nor words for me,
  All, all is pitched in one low minor key.

  Then take my heart upon thy dancing stream,
    O tiny brook, thou bearest my heart away.
        Run gently past
      The breaking of the stones,
        Nor yet too fast;
      And on thy perfect tones
  Bear thou my discord life that I may seem
    A harmony for one short hour to-day.
        Why wilt thou, brook,
        Not check thy forward look?
  Why wilt thou, brook, not make my heart thine own?
        The wild commotion
        Of the frantic ocean
  Will madden thee and drown thy sorry moan,
        And none will hear the cry;
        Then run more slowly by--
        Nay, for this nook
        Was made for thee, my brook,
  Stay with me here beneath this silver shade
  And think this day for thee and me was made.

  Thy present sweetness will be turned to brine;
    Thou'lt hardly make one petty, paltry wave.
        Lovest thou the sun?
      He will not know thee there.
        Is't sweet to run,
      Know thine own whence and where?
  'Tis here thy joy, thy love, thy life are thine;
    There thou wilt neither be, nor do, nor have.
        The mighty sea
        Will blindly number thee
  To bear the ships, send thee to shape the shore
        That thou art scorning;
        Or some awful morning,
  Set thee to pluck some sailor from his oar
        And drink his weary life;
        O fear this chance of strife!
        Or what may be
        Else, dead monotony.
  Give o'er thy headlong haste, dwell here with me,
  Why lose thyself in the vast, hungry sea?

  These thoughts I cast into the wiser stream,
    And lay and heard it run the hours away;
        And then above
    The beauty and the peace,
        It sang of love;
    And in that glad release
  I knew my thoughts had run beyond my dream,
    Had seen the laboring river and the bay.
        "'Tis joy to run!
        Else life would ne'er be done,
  I ne'er should know the triumphing of death,
        Nor its revealing;
        Nor the eager feeling
  Of fuller life, the promise of the breath
        That fleets the open sea:
        All this was given to me
        Once as I won
        My first great leap; the sun
  I knew my king, and laughed, and since that day
  I run and sing; he wills, and I obey."



Much has been written of late about the pessimistic spirit pervading
modern reformative literature. When an earnest writer presents a gloomy
picture of life as it really is, he is frequently judged by that most
shallow of all standards, "Is it pleasing or amusing?" His fidelity to
the ideal of truth is often overlooked or dismissed with a flippant
word. We all know that great and dangerous evils exist and menace our
civilization. They are growing under the fostering influence of the
"conspiracy of silence"; yet we are seriously informed that we must not
expose them to view; that there is so much tragedy in real life that
society should not be annoyed by sombre pictures in fiction or the
drama. "Prophesy to us smooth things or hold thy peace," is the tenor of
much of the criticism of the hour. Optimism is at present a popular
Shibboleth, hence many thoughtlessly echo the cry against every exposure
of growing evils. Writers who are popularly known as optimists belong
mainly to three classes. Those who after a general survey of life become
thorough pessimists, believing that the social, economic, religious, and
ethical problems can never be justly or equitably solved; that in the
weary age long struggle of right against might, of justice against
greed, of liberty against slavery, of truth against error, the baser
will win the battle, because there is more evil than good present in the
world, and therefore, it being useless to break with the established
order, assume a cheerful tone, crying down all efforts to unmask the
widespread and ever-increasing evils which are festering under the cover
of silence, and in substance urge us to eat, drink, and be merry, taking
no thought for the morrow or for the generations which are to follow us.

A second class, comparing the ignorance, superstition, brutality, and
inhumanity of the past with life to-day, arrive at the conclusion that
the nineteenth century is the flower of all the preceding ages, which is
true. That the present, registering the high-tide water-mark of the
centuries, is to be extolled rather than assaulted, and all efforts to
create discontent are unwise, and should be frowned upon. The mistake of
these individuals lies in the fact that they fail to see that the chief
cause of humanity's triumphs is found in the works performed by those
thinkers who in all ages have corresponded to the persons flippantly
characterized pessimists at the present time: they who have assailed the
existing order of things, who have thrown into the congregation of the
people the shells of doubt; who have confronted the priests and
potentates of conventionalism with a disturbing "Why"; _who have
compelled the people to think_.

A third class of writers who pitch their thoughts in a hopeful key,
appreciate the injustice of much that is accepted by conventional
thought as right, or which is tolerated by virtue of its antiquity, but
seeing the profound agitation which a thoughtful and earnest
presentation of the evils of the hour produces in the public mind, they
have become alarmed, fearing lest the rising tide of angry discontent
sweep away much that is good, true, and beautiful, in its blind attempt
to right existing wrongs, and inaugurate an era of justice. Old
institutions, ancient and revered thought, accepted lines of policy,
even when palpably unjust, are safer, they urge, than the sudden
blinding light of justice, the instantaneous widening of the horizon of
popular thought. The strong light of a new era thrown suddenly upon the
foul, monstrous and iniquitous systems in vogue, the awakening of the
public mind to the enormity of the injustice, hypocrisy, and immorality
of respectable conservatism of to-day will turn the brain of the
people--they will become mad; a second French Revolution will
ensue--such is their fear, and from a superficial view their
apprehensions seem reasonable. Their error lies in the fact that the
horrors of the French Revolution were the legitimate result of a policy
exactly analogous to what they are pursuing. It arose from _justice long
deferred; from wrongs endured for generations. It was the concentrated
wrath_ of the people who for many decades had been oppressed by Church,
by nobility, and by the crown. Though the motives are entirely
different, these writers, in striving to procrastinate the feud of
justice against entrenched power and established customs, are acting on
the lines of Louis XV., who, when told that a revolution would burst
forth in France, inquired, "How many years hence?" "Fifteen or twenty,
sire," was the reply. "Well, I shall be dead then; let my successor look
out for that." So in seeking to put off just and rightful demands, these
short-sighted philosophers lose sight of the fact that the longer
justice is exiled from the throne of power, the more terrible will be
the reckoning when it comes. Yet history teaches no lesson more
impressively, unless it be that a question involving justice once raised
will never be settled until right has been vindicated.

Those reformers, on the other hand, who have been popularly credited
with sounding a pessimistic note in all their writings, by virtue of
their fidelity to actual conditions and prevailing customs, are chiefly
optimists in the truest sense of the word. They are men and women who
believe profoundly in the triumph of right, liberty, and justice. Their
faces are set toward the morning. The glorious ideals that float before
and beyond the present have beamed upon their earnest gaze. They have
traced the ascent of humanity through the ages; they have noted the slow
march, the weary struggle from age to age of the old against the new, of
dawn against night, of progress against conservatism, but they have also
seen that the trend has been onward and upward, and what is far more
important, they have noted that the prophets, sages, and reformers,--in
a word, the advance guard, who have blazed the pathway and opened the
vista to broader and nobler conceptions of justice and liberty, have
been those who have assailed the popular conventionality of their times;
who have been denounced as enemies to social order, as dangerous
pessimists and wreckers of civilization. But they have also observed
that these honest and far-sighted spirits have set in motion the thought
that has borne humanity upward into a more radiant estate. Furthermore,
they realize that only by a fearless denunciation of existing evils, by
faithful though gloomy pictures of life _as it is_, by raising the
interrogation point after every wrong or unjust condition sanctioned by
virtue of its antiquity and conservatism and by appealing to the reason
and conscience of the people has humanity been elevated. They have
studied the problem of human progress profoundly; they have strong faith
in the triumph of justice, but they realize that victory can never be
attained as long as conventionalism lulls to sleep the public
conscience. They know that only by bringing the truth effectively before
the people, only by raising questions and stimulating the mind can
reforms be inaugurated. The present calls for honest thought, for true
pictures, for brave and earnest agitators. Give us these, and humanity
will soon take another of those great epoch making strides which at
intervals have marked the ascent of man.


Much of the best thought of to-day necessarily takes on a gloomy cast,
because the most wise and earnest reformers keenly realize the giant
wrongs that oppress humanity. They see the splendid possibilities
floating before mankind, even within the grasp of the rising generation,
if the heralds of the coming day are courageous and persistent; if they
sink all hope of popularity, all thought of self-interest; if they are
loyal to their highest impulses, regardless of what may follow.

_The era of the questioner has arrived._ Soon mankind will refuse to
accept anything simply because others believed it. Traditions and
ancient thought, though weighed down with credentials of past ages or
dead civilizations, will be cast aside. All problems will be weighed in
the scales of the broader conception of justice which is daily growing
in the mind of man. The twilight is passing, the dawn is upon us, and
to-morrow will be indebted chiefly to these true brave men and women
whom the superficial call pessimists, for the glorious heritage which
will fall to humanity; for they are related to the manifold reforms
which crowd upon the present, as were Copernicus and Galileo related to
the science of astronomy, as Luther was to the Reformation, Jefferson to
modern Democracy, as Wilberforce in England and Garrison in America to
the overthrow of black slavery. They denounce the iniquity of the
present hour; they unmask the carefully concealed evils which are
undermining public morals; they demand a higher standard of life. If
they aim to destroy the old wooden building, it is because they see
around them not only the quarried stone, the mortar and iron beams, but
a million hands waiting to erect upon the ruins of the old a nobler
structure than humanity has yet beheld.

    Transcriber's Note: The page numbers in the Table of Contents
    have been converted to issues in the following way:

        Issue                 Pages
        June, 1891             1-128
        July, 1891           129-256
        August, 1891         257-384
        September, 1891      385-512
        October, 1891        513-640
        November, 1891       641-768
        Index to 4th Volume  769-771

    Please note that the November issue's Contents are as printed,
    although the issue does have more articles than stated.

    Also, the illustrations are shown in the correct issue, but may
    be in a slightly different order than that listed.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891" ***

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