By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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. 21, August, 1891" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


No. XXI.

AUGUST, 1891.

[Illustration: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (signed "Sincerely yours
Elizabeth Cady Stanton")]




     [1] "L'Allemagne lepnis, Leibniz. Essai sur le
          Développement de la Conscience Nationale en Allemagne."
          By Prof. Lévy Brühl, Paris. 1 vol. Hachette, 1890.

Since the Great French Revolution of 1789 and its immediate
consequence in the military despotism of Bonaparte, nothing has
occurred that has so convulsed the Old World and so altered the
conditions of men and things, as the establishment of the United
German Empire in 1870. The men of our time are obliged to know how
this event came about, or remain in ignorance of all that has happened
during the twenty years following it--that is, to ignore their own
political status.

Now two records of this enormous change in all our destinies exist; as
yet there are but two, and modern men are bound in duty to take
cognizance of them. One is the famous "History," written in Germany by
Heinrich von Sybel; the other the work of Prof. Lévy Brühl, published
in France. Both must be read.[2]

     [2] "History of the Creation of United Germany." 5 vols.
         Heinrich v. Sybel, Berlin, 1890.

The remarkable book of M. Lévy Brühl on the reconstruction of the
German Empire cannot be read by itself or separated from the scarcely
less remarkable one of Heinrich von Sybel, the fifth and latest volume
of which has just appeared. The two require to be studied together,
for though starting from opposite standpoints, they explain each other
and distinctly show the impartial reader where to recognize the _real
raison d' ètre_ of German unity. When Sybel speaks, as he constantly
does, of the creation of Germanic unity, after the war of 1870, he, as
a matter of fact, adopts the French theory, while the independent
French writer exposes from a far more German point of view, what have
been and what are the causes underlying the present formation of the
various component parts of Germany into a State. The title of either
tells sufficiently its own tale. Sybel proclaims at once the:--

"_Begründing des Deutschen Reiches durch Wilhelm!_" whilst Lévy Brühl
announces the progress of the "_National Conscience as Developed in a

Sybel's is the narrative of a past that is doubly ended, the past of a
country and of a political system, the past of Prussia as personified
by the Hohenzollerns, and of a military and oligarchical absolutism as
represented by Prince Bismarck and Marshal Von Moltke. It is the
chronicle of an epoch whose glories, from 1700 to 1870, none can
dispute, but whose _real life_ was extinct, and whose capacity of
future expansion in its original sense was stopped at Sédan, or a few
months later, at Versailles. Sybel conceives his history as a
thoroughly well-trained functionary must conceive it; he is brought up
in traditional conventionalities, and is rather even an official than
a "public" servant.

The foreign author, on the contrary, feels what has lurked during long
ages in the soul of the innominate throng of the people, and been
expressed in the thoughts and impulses of such men as Hagern,
Scharnhorst, Gueiseman, and Stein, _Germans_, patriots who taught
Prussia to speak, think, act, and embody the inspirations, passions,
and instincts of a whole land; arousing the conscience and vindicating
the honor of seemingly divided communities whose hearts were already

No sooner had M. Lévy Brühl's book appeared than the effect was
evident; it was felt that it told the _true truth_ (_"la verité
vraie"_) as the French say; that it set forth the real _"raison d'
ètre"_ of the astounding achievement that had taken the world by
surprise, puzzling the patented politicians on one bank of the Rhine
almost as much as those upon the other.[3]

      [3] Few events since the deceptions and catastrophes of
          the war itself ever produced the sudden impression of
          Lévy Brühl's boldly outspoken, utterly impartial book.
          Published in the first days of last September (1890),
          in one week it was famous throughout all France where
          serious literature does not reap renown quickly. M. M.
          Lairesse De Vogüé, Bourdeau, Sorel, all welcomed it as
          a revelation, in the _Débats, Revues des Deux Mondes_,
          and elsewhere, and its real title was awarded it in the
          _Temps_, by M. Albert Sorel, whose experience and
          competence as an historical critic has never been
          denied, and who unhesitatingly proclaimed it, _Le Fuit
          et l'Idée_, namely, the announcement of the ruling
          national idea whence the fact of German unity was
          immediately derived.

The public of the whole universe will remember that at the time of the
Emperor Frederick's death the great question first arose as to who
was the initiator (or inventor) of the "United German Empire," and
from all sides poured forth the declarations of eye and ear witnesses;
this was the moment of the Gessellen-incident, and the outbreak of
hostility between Prince Bismarck and Baron de Rozzenbach and Gustav
Freitag, the novelist, and the celebrated jurisconsult for whose
illegal imprisonment the high-handed chancellor had later to atone.
But there apparently resulted from all these disputes that, as the
glory of "priority of invention" was so eagerly sought for, there must
have been an "inventor!" That was in reality the point on which Sybel
"spoke," and he therefore entitled his "history" that of the
"_Creation of the German United Empire, by William_ I."

This it was not; but this was at the same time the view it suited the
vanity of the French nation to take of it; accordingly, Sybel's theory
was rapidly accepted, and French public opinion did its utmost to
cause the unity of Germany, as recognized in 1871, to be regarded as
an accident, the creation of one man, promoted, for that matter
ungrudgingly, to the rank of the "greatest European statesman," but
whose work, being that of an individual, and therefore accidental,
might quite conceivably be eventually undone. Sybel's theory, being
official and Bismarckian, puts forth in truth the French conception,
and is, as a matter of fact, the very opposite of the national German

The Germans who agreed with Sybel were the men of the old regime, with
far less, be it said, of the "cute" chancellor himself, than of
Marshal Moltke, the chancellor being far more distant from the
materialism of the "Grand Fritz" with his "big battalions" than were
the veterans (however glorious) of the drilled and disciplined
Prussian army. Bismarck was divided between two creeds: he knew too
much psychology to believe solely in the supremacy of pipeclay, but he
was at the same time not averse to the creation of a revived German
empire by his own genius.

Hence chiefly the confusion; for men's minds were confused,--in France
determinedly, and even in Germany, (owing to the still enduring force
of obsolete opinions and antiquated habits of thought and action)

When the war had once clearly shown what its end would be, they were
few who could appreciate it. In France where were they who had ever
heard the truth about "1806 and Jéna"? or who, after the 4th
September, '70, were capable of realizing that the just retribution
for Jéna was Sédan? All glory was given to one man--to Bismarck.
For the six long months, till March, '71, he was the
arch-destroyer--nothing else was taken into account; if _he_ chose to
establish a new holy Roman empire, of course he could do it; but it
would be the work of his Titanic will, and nothing on earth could
resist--_since France could not!_ Thus reasoned French vanity, and if
this curious condition of the public mind in France be not understood,
the reconstitution of united Germany into a great cohesive state will
never be rightly attained as a matter of fact.

France, therefore, continued (and did so until quite lately) to hold
to the individual or accidental theory of a military unity achieved by
fortuitous victories, to which the constant agitations of a whole
people for hundreds of years, were in no sense conducive. Another fact
that must also be acknowledged is, that this theory once firmly
established, any remorse for the mysterious crimes of Napoleon I. was
diminished if not erased. On the contrary, his conquests, his violent
despotism, his wonderful supremacy--unjust in every sense, immoral,
tyrannical, equally acquired and forfeited by the Corsican Invader,
was regarded as an example; when defeat had to be recognized as
undeniable, the national delusion soon came to take the form of
retrieval, and the notion gained ground that what _la chance_ or the
luck of a great statesman had put together, might, from the same
cause, be taken to pieces again!

Granted the principle of personal intervention, of the success of
either one man or of even a group of two or three leading spirits, who
was the original inventor, who the doer of the deed, the framer of the
fact that threatened the world with a new master?

This query was not started for eighteen long years; not until the
catastrophe that threatened the House of Hohenzollern with the loss of
its noblest son, served to recall to the mind of all Europe what a
thorough hero and citizen, what a perfect, undeviating German the
crown prince had always been.

The first emperor of United Germany, the agent of the illustrious
chancellor's will, had gone to his eternal rest when the German mind
began to reflect that only a dying man stood between the late ruler
and a boy emperor! But was not that dying man the creator (if creator
there had been) of the restored Teutonic state? Did not the revived
empire spring from the races in which Prussia was incarnate? was it
not in good earnest the Hohenzollern line, the descendant of the Great
Elector that answered for the regeneration? Thence the dispute between
the partisans of Bismarck and those of Frederick III. Supposing a
creation according to both Heinrich von Sybel and the chroniclers of
French vain-gloriousness, who was the creator? The answer of history
was, "No one." The German nation--or truer still, the thought of all
Germany, for long ages, was the genuine source, it was the very soul
of the entire people that from the ancient Germania of the Roman,
breathed anew in the remnants of its primeval entity and clamored for
its old integrity.

But we must not outstrip chronology; the first record of the events of
the war of 1870, and of the mighty changes brought on thereby, is that
of Sybel, not altogether wrongly entitled an "historical monument."
Professor Sybel's five volumes do, assuredly, constitute a _history
founded on documentary evidence_, if ever such a one existed, but for
that very reason they are, perhaps, somewhat wanting in actual life.
They are fashioned after the methods employed and approved of in
bygone days, and present rather the character of a register than a
record of deeds done by living men. As far as the testimony of hard,
dry acts went, it is probably impeachable; but we then come to the
question, Is documentary evidence in such a case sufficient to give
_all_ that is true? Is not truth, where human impulses and
irrationalities are concerned, derived from sources lying higher than
the regions sacred to "Blue Books"? Whereas it was to the certificates
vouchsafed by state papers, and instruments of such like order, that
Sybel's reliability was chiefly due. Once admit the value of these
vouchers (and their corroborative weight none can deny), and it
becomes difficult to overrate the importance of Sybel's still
unconcluded "_Begründung des Deutschen Reiches_."

The reader who for the first time takes cognizance of the contents of
these formidable volumes, is overwhelmed by the amount of attestations
they present him with, by his own inability to refute them, or by
counter statements substitute a truer appreciation of what did really
occur. The dry narrative of mere fact is thus, but the impression it
should produce as of a fact lived through is wanting.

This history of Professor Sybel's is a Prussian one; for which it is
obvious that such extraordinary materials would not have been
furnished him had it not been tacitly understood that his final
verdict must be completely favorable to the Emperor Wilhelm I. and his
powerful minister.

In the curious and wide-spreading complications, whence eventually
resulted the Franco-German war of 1870, there are two distinct parts:
the part before hostilities broke out, and the part after the victory
of the Germans might be inevitably foreseen: the first period counts
in its _dramatis personæ_ all the states and all the statesmen of
Europe. From the Crimean War to the cession of Venetia to Italy
through France, there is not an event that is not a connecting link in
a long serpentine chain. At the moment this may have escaped the eye,
but, once fixed in its one perspective of distance, the chain shows
unbroken and all is far less than has been supposed,--occasioned by
any arts, manoeuvres, or intrigues of the chief actors; the vulgar
notions of Prince Bismarck's incessant wiles, or of Louis Napoleon's
base designs against his neighbors may be discarded as relatively
subordinate. The incidents that marked the gigantic game of chess
played (not in Europe only) from the overthrow of the Orleans dynasty
to the death of Friedrich III. and the fall of Bismarck in the winter
of last year were neither the outcome of individual Machiavelianism
nor entirely attributable to chance; both were all but in equal degree
cause and effect. The actors personally in each case replied to the
suggestions of circumstances they had but indirectly helped to bring

From 1848-50 to 1889-90, observe the rapid succession of so-called
"unexpected" events: The rise to the rule of Democracy in France; the
restoration to power of the despotic Bonapartist empire, whence issued
the revival of the nationalistic theory, leading on one side to
revolution, on the other to conservative resistance and the supremacy
of a warlike state like Prussia. We need go no further for the
determining cause of the two sovereign influences! Cavour and
Bismarck, the two men who predominate our half century, spring from a
common necessity, and in reality emerge from the conference of 1856,
misnamed the "Crimean Race!"

"I was the egg," the chancellor was wont to say, "whence my royal
master foresaw that unity might perhaps be hatched;" and on Orsini's
scaffold the Piedmontese seer knew full well that the Corsican
Carbonaro could not elude the fate lying in wait for him, disguised in
the freedom of Italy. You can dissever none of these facts one from
the other, and we now approach the "one man principle." The
protagonists stand face to face, rather than side by side, but both
are equally the unconscious promoters of that antagonism between
Germany and France which, in fact, has shaped, and still shapes, the
whole policy of Europe.

From this single grand outline, all the minor lines either start, or
towards it tend, indirectly, in convergent curves.

From the vast system formed by the monster-questions--United Germany,
the Latin races, the East, the future of catholicism and the papacy,
the strife of liberty against despotism--from all these parent
problems you can detach none of the smaller incidents of the age; you
are obliged to take count of the little Danish Campaign, which taught
Prussia those deficiencies, impelling her directly to the attainment
of her future military omnipotence, and which, under the abortive
attempts of the Saxon minister, M. de Beust,* gave a timid reminder to
Germany of what her unity had been and might once again be. Each
incident, however local or however remote, formed a feature of the
whole; between 1854 and 1870, you cannot ignore the would-be secession
of the Southern Confederates, which ended in making "all America" the
counterpoise to our older world--neither dare you neglect the Indian
meeting whence England issued, clad in moral as in political glory,
and gave the noblest sign of the Christian significancy of the
Victorian Era; all holds together, men and facts succeed each other in
quick alternation; the light that fades on one hand shines with
dazzling glare on the other. Cavour dies. Greatest of all, and genuine
creator, with his disappearance the equilibrium is endangered. Right
ceases to reign, force asserts itself, and Bismarck, ironhanded,
invincible, holds sway over a scared, unresisting, one may say a
_soulless_ world.

This is the turning-point. The one man theory apparently endures; but
physically and morally, the vision of disintegration rises,
threatening all; and whence the "New Order" is to come, above all
morally, none divine.

We reach here the close of the preliminary period. Up to the 4th of
September, 1870, and for a few years beyond, State policy is the
proper name for whatever occurs; we deal to a large extent with
mathematical quantities, with impersonal obstructions. Statesmen and
statecraft are in their place, and fill it; individuals, however
distinguished, are, as it were, sheathed in collective symbols and
represented by principles. Documentary evidence suffices now!
Treaties, minutes, diplomatic reports, instruments of all
descriptions, are really the requisite agents of this inanimate
diplomatic narration. State papers are the adequate expression, the
exclusive speech of mere states, and of this speech Heinrich v. Sybel
is one of the foremost living masters.

It would be next to impossible to find anywhere a loftier, clearer, or
more minutely correct record of what preceded and caused the war of
'70, than in the earlier volumes of Sybel's "History"; for up to the
reverses of France, and the substitution of German for French
predominance, we are still--in all connected with Germany,--in
presence of the Prussia of the past, of the Prussia whose social
conditions were fixed by Frederick the Great. Men are simply pawns
upon the board; their fate has no influence on others--the fate of
kings, queens, and high chivalric orders, is alone of any import to
the constituted realm. Nations obey and question not. They are
represented by mouldy, defunct formulæ, and as yet no living popular
voice, save that of the revolution of 1789, has been raised to ask
where was the underlying life of the innominate crowd? But the
revolution spoke too loudly, and like the tragedy queen in Hamlet,
"protested too much."

In external Europe, and mostly in over-drilled Prussia, the _élite_
only spoke, and under strict military surveillance, exercised by
privilege of birth, the officer's uniform remained the sign of all
title to pre-eminence.

For these reasons this history must be accepted as the perfect
chronicle of the occurrences which marked the time before and
immediately after the fall of Sédan.

When later the dormant life that was underneath awoke, breathed, and
became manifest, Sybel's official tone no longer struck the true note;
the heart of peoples had begun to beat, and disturbed its vibrations.
Humanity was astir everywhere, and setting the barriers of etiquette
at defiance. Not only were dry registers based on blue books
insufficient, but the failure of the vital power that engenders other
and further life began to be felt. There was no pulse; the current was
stagnant, had no onward flow.

When this moment came, the truth of the narrative ceased. Henceforth,
it told of only the things of another age, and told them in the
dialect of a bygone tongue. It was the official report of what had
taken place in Old Russia written involuntarily under the omnipotent
but benumbing inspiration of the spirit of caste.


When the volume of M. Lévy Brühl appeared in September of last year,
its name was instantaneously found for it by one of the leaders of
historical criticism in France. Ere one week had passed, M. Albert
Sorel had christened it "_l' Idée elle Fait_,"[4] and the public of
Paris had ratified the title by all but universal acclaim.

      [4] "_Le Temps_," 9th September, 1890.

In those words M. Sorel proclaimed the concrete sense of the book, and
no doubt was left as to what was the meaning of the author who had so
freely undertaken to investigate the "developments of the German
national conscience."

The pith of the whole lies in Professor Brühl's own expression: "In
German unity," he says, "the idea precedes everything else, engenders
the fact _l'est l'Unité nationale d'abord; Unité l'etat ensuite_," and
nowhere in any historical phenomenon has the idea had a larger part to
claim. But here you have at once to get rid of what, in Sybel's
narrative, rests on mere documentary evidence! All anachronisms have
to be set aside. As against the vigor of Lévy Brühl's living men, the
make-believe of the past, with its caste-governed puppets, stares you
in the face. After the rout at Sédan, after the startling
transmutation of long dormant but still live ideas into overwhelming
facts, you realize how entirely the mere Prussian chronicle of events
in their official garb deals with what is forever extinct. These dead
players have lost their significancy; they but simulate humanity from
the outside,--are simply "embroidered vestments stuffed like dolls
with bran," or like the moth-eaten uniforms of the great Frederick in
the gallery at Potsdam.

When Lévy Brühl, alluding to Stein and his searching reforms after the
disasters of later years, says: "_Il voulait une nation vivante_" he
wanted a living nation! He unchains the great idea from the bondage
where it had lain for centuries, and whence the men of 1813 set it
loose; he reinstates the past even to its legendary sources, and
evokes memories which were those of heroic ages, and which had still
power to inspire the present, and re-create what had once so
splendidly lived. This life is in truth the German idea in its utmost
truth; it was life and power that these men wanted, the life born in
them from their earliest hour and kept sacred through all time by
their poetry, their song, their native tongue.

It is all this which is German and not Prussian. The Hohenzollerns
have nothing to do with all this idealism,--and it is this which
constitutes the peculiar and sovereign spirit of German unity to which
the modern philosophy of Frederick II. was so long a stranger, and to
which the Iron Chancellor became a hearty convert only at the close;
the chivalrous element of the great elector is but a link between what
had been the Holy Roman Empire and what is to be the national union
after Leipsic and the War of Freedom--culminating in its supreme and
inevitable consequence in 1871. The heroes (and they were heroes) of
the distant North were as Brandenburgers, "electors," component parts,
be it not forgotten, of a Teutonic whole, "of one great heart," (as
Bunsen wrote long years ago to Lord Houghton),[5] "though we did not
know it."

      [5] Life of Monckton Milnes, first Lord Houghton, by
          Wemyss Reid. 2 vols. London, 1891.

Perhaps the greatest superiority of Professor Lévy Brühl lies in the
unity of description he employs in order to bring home to the reader
the unity of the subject he treats. He sees the whole as a whole, as
it really is, all being contained in all, and nothing in past or
present omitted. This is the truth of the Germanic oneness of species,
and the failure to conceive it of most writers of our day is the chief
cause of confusion. It is a vast, coherent vision of things taken in
by mind and eye from the _Niebelungen Lied_ to the wholesale captivity
of the French army, in the autumn of 1870, and when not thus
conceived, incomplete. To those who lived in and through the period
comprised between the war of the Danish Duchies and the re-conquest
of Alsace-Lorraine, no item of even prehistoric times can remain
absent; the spirit of German unity is everywhere, pervades everything,
and those alone who thoroughly master this are capable of painting it
to others' senses.

It is very well to take a Leibniz or Frederick the Great for a
starting-point, but it all goes immeasurably farther back than that.
Luther and his Bible open one large historic gate. The Bible heads
all! In 1813, writes General Clausewitz to the so-called Great Gascon,
the prime impetus was a religious one, and his own words are: "If I
could only hang a Bible to the equipments of my troopers I could do
with them all that Cromwell did with his Ironsides!" Two centuries
before, this had been the feeling of Gustavus Adolphus, who fought for
Protestant Germany with his Bible at his saddle-bow.

Luther is the one predominant Teuton of the centuries, after the close
of the middle ages, and though he ceases to be present in the flesh in
1516, he never dies. The inspiration of the German soul endures and
lives in every variety of art or expression. Luther is perpetuated in
Handel, and technically, even his "_Feste Burg_" is the first note of
the "_Inspirate_" in "_I Know That My Redeemer Liveth!_"

It is only the most inattentive of historical students who can afford
to ignore this. No modern æsthetician from the Rhine to the Spree
affects to dispute the succession of Teutonic thought, in its various
forms of passion, from Beethoven to Goethe, from Schiller, Jean Paul,
or Weber, or Ravner, or Kleist, or Immermann, down to the latest high
priest of the pre-historic cult--down to Richard Wagner himself! It
was precisely this that the Emperor Frederick knew as crown prince,
and that the chancellor had to learn. With the crown prince all was
present. The farthest past was with him; the leaves of the _uralte_
forests had whispered their dream lore in his ears as in those of the
_Siegfried_ of the Niebelungen; he had seen Otto von Wittelsbach
strike dead his very Kaiser for breach of faith[6] and stood by at the
Donnersberg, when mighty Rudolph's son slew Adolf of Napan for his
base attempt at usurpation. He knew it all, legend or chronicle; no
secret was hidden from him, and the national pulse beat in him with
fiery throb from the first hour when the national conscience had been
touched. The chancellor was chilled by his own statecraft, and the
king, as he then was, had witnessed the Napoleonic wars.

      [6] The heroic founder of the Bavarian monarchy, Otho of
          Writtelsbach, was betrayed shamefully by his friend,
          the Emperor Philip, of Suabia, and slew him for his
          treachery. This is one of the oldest dramas on the
          German stage.

Between the crown prince and Bismarck, however, there existed one
point of contact. Each was a _Deutsche Student_, and there, later on,
was to be found the true conversion of the chancellor to national

As in every genuine lover of his country (and that Prince Bismarck
is), there lay latent in the famous "White Cuirassier" the same ideal
capacity of warlike action and intellectuality that so distinguished
Frederick II. No one understood better the complex son of Carlyle's
roystering barrack hero, no one knew in reality more deeply that the
ideas planted by him in men's minds were those of the majesty of
intelligence, of the royalty of humanity's brain power.

Count Bismarck proved his political foresight by the rapidity with
which he seized on the Schleswig-Holstein question as being the axis
on which turned the entire evolution (if ever it should be possible!)
of the imperial German unity. About that he hesitated not one moment.
He adopted the whole theory of Dahlmann, who alone spoke it out in
words in 1848-9, but he feared to plunge at one leap into the vortex
of his own threatening conclusions and tried for several years to
stave off the "pay day." He was somewhat slower to recognize the
identity of feeling through all the Germanic races, to realize the
equally strong vibration, the psychologic harmony quivering through
heart and soul from North to South, through the mysteriously hidden
dramas of fifteen hundred years. He believed himself a narrow
Particularist Borussian, a "Pomeranian Giant," and let a score of
years go by before clearly making out by touch that the strange change
of tonality, of sound, and significance that superposed the patriotism
of the South to that of the North was a mere inharmonic change, and
that according to the rotation of the two circles, each, in reality,
underlay the other in turn.

It would be a fatal mistake to imagine that M. von Bismarck allowed
himself to be led into the Danish campaign. He did nothing to bring it
about, but the instant it showed itself on the cards he took advantage
of it in the most predetermined, authoritative way, leaving his
Austrian accomplice and victim no possibility of escape. From the hour
when, in 1853, he boarded Count Richberg on the Carlsbad Railroad, and
forced his enemy of the _Francfort Bund_ to become his humble servant
and carry out all his designs, to the hour when, in 1865, he drove
Franz Joseph to sign the Condiminium on what he knew was a mere waste
paper, he was resolved to turn to account the extraordinary
opportunity offered him by the incredible blindness and insensate
terror of revolution of his allies. In the Austrians, the dread of
what the smaller States, encouraged by Hungary, might attempt,
paralyzed every other consideration, and besides that, the abortive
little plans of Count Beust, in Saxony, served to point out to him
what other Germans were, in a purely German sense, thinking of, and he
decided that the grand historic game thrust upon his perceptions and
waited for by all around him, should be played by himself alone. Then
he played it, not before seeing at once what it must entail, but by no
means assured that he could win.

And then, they who watched him nearest and knew him best, know how he
played that game, mindful of every event that filled the long history
of the past, living over again all the struggles, all the glories and
defeats of all the European nations far or near, finding examples both
to imitate or avoid, losing sight of nothing, from Gregory VII. to
Gutenberg, from papal obscurantism to the Reformation's blaze of
light; from Wallenstein's murder to the treaty of Utrecht; from
Richelieu to the scaffold of Louis XVI., and while calculating every
catastrophe, keeping steadily on his way.

This, the fearful period between the Crimean War, when first Cavour
stepped forth to the incident of Ems, when the die was cast, this was
the really magnificent passage in the great chancellor's career, for
this was the time of possible doubt when responsibility lay so heavy
that to elude it might be called prudence, and which to have survived
is already a proof of superiority over common humanity.

And here we assert the true grandeur of the precursor,--of the one
whom we have called the inventor, and who undeniably was so--of
Cavour! There can be no question that his own intimate familiarity
with the details of the Bond of Virtue and the War of Freedom[7] of
the glorious epoch when modern Germany headed and achieved the
victorious movement against the world's debasement,--brought
distinctly to Bismarck's mental vision the splendor of Cavour's
impossibly unequal contest for Italian freedom! The situations were
essentially much alike, but so much grander for the Italian statesman,
Italy's odds being so immeasurably longer! But still the likeness came
out, and the future chancellor could in no way aspire to be an
initiator. The end was still a gigantic one, and one to which no true,
brave patriot dared be false as an ideal,--but how as to the
execution? As to the practical means of carrying out conceptions that
might daily be doomed to alteration?

      [7] The celebrated victory of the Great Elector, that made
          Prussia into a kingdom.

There it was again that the figure of Cavour arose supreme; his long,
inexhaustible patience, his undying hopes, his sacrifices day by day
of the very springs of life for a self-imposed duty,--these were his
titles to immortal fame, these constituted his sovereign right to
success. But was not the worst probation over when Waterloo was won,
and was it not an accepted theory that the Vienna Congress had settled
all the vexed questions of ancient Europe? Any further movement,
therefore, might seem merely a disturbance. This, for conservative
statesmen above all, was a dilemma.

Germany had liberated not Germany only, but the world in 1813, and had
already had her Cavours!

There was no denying it: the Cavour of Germany was Stein. But was the
work done? Had the Congress of Vienna settled anything, for was that
still left to do without which the independence and well-being of
forty millions of Germans was unguaranteed, and the peace of all
Europe uninsured? If so, what remained to be achieved? to complete
what the German Cavour, the Precursor Stein, had begun, to embody and
make real the glorious dreams of which Queen Louise had been the
symbol, the Joan of Arc?[8]

      [8] I would recommend every student of history to read
          attentively the extraordinary article of M. Paleologue
          in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ entitled "_La Reine
          Louise de Prusse Comment se Fait une Legende_." It is a
          poetic but true suite to Professor Lévy Brühl's
          magnificent study.

That, indeed, brought the Hohenzollerns on the scene, and lent to
prosaic history its legend, giving to Frederick's "big battalions" the
white-robed heroine who should lead them on.

Whether, through the long years of indecision, during which disorder
and revolution seemed the danger to be averted, the future
"Chancellor of Iron" matured his plans after the manner of Newton, by
"forever thinking of them" is still a question to be adequately
answered by himself alone. This much is certain that when, in 1863-64,
the subject of the Duchies cast its shadow on the path, it revealed
its importance to Bismarck, as it had done fourteen years previously
to Dahlmann, and stood forth distinctly as the initial syllable of the
one mystical word, _Unity_.

_Schleswig-Holstein_ was, as a matter of fact, and by all its several
complications, the German question; it was its sign and portent, and
if action of some sort were not taken thereupon, the door set ajar was
closed upon the future, for a generation at least. Palmerston's
declaration, than which no unwiser one was ever made, touching the
insanity of the man who should seek to understand the enigma of the
Danish Duchies, was adopted in England solely from the dense and
inconceivable ignorance of the British mind on all German topics, and
the equally inexplicable but inborn dislike of all British politicians
to grapple with any serious study of them.

It was the problem to which no German of the North could show
indifference; and it was the one subject which brought Prussia to the
fore, and put her reigning house in the van, forcing the Hohenzollerns
into predominance. This was a crucial point, and wondrous to record!
the will of Bismarck on that exceedingly curious detail brought the
Hapsburgs together with the Hohenzollerns; Frederick with
Marie-Therèse, Wallenstein's camp with Rebels, in an unescapable
atmosphere of rank Germanism!

But here again the first step of the forthcoming ruler was taken in
obedience to an irresistible, though, perhaps, unavowed, national
suggestion. The sense of _all_ that the past had given to German
history, to the power of German thought, formed a part of Bismarck's
very nature, and spite of the timidity of his experienced statecraft,
he could not disobey the promptings of the German conscience.

When the quick-witted French public applied to Professor Lévy Brühl's
work the title of "The idea whence comes the fact," they awarded it
its permanent signification; it is the development of the German
conscience that causes the imperial unity of Germany, and no one is
more thoroughly aware of that than the famous chancellor.

We feel with whomsoever was a witness of the crowning struggle, that
nothing can even paint its gigantic character more aptly than the
concluding phrase of the now famous French historian:--

... "Thus was formed the virtual German nation,--the nation that
willed to be, and for long years could not be because reality refused
to bear out practically all its ideals. It was in truth, _l'ame qui
cherche un corps_!"

These words can never be improved upon. The chancellor knows their
truth, as the _Kronprinz_ knew it, but the years lying between them
threw a certainty of glory into one which the other could not attain
to,--and Bismarck, too, was a man of old Prussia, of her ancient
traditions and formalities, while the crown prince was modern amongst
moderns--a soldier, yes! but pre-eminently a man, a citizen; but
though each felt his conviction differently, its strength was one and
the same in both.

The unity of Germany was the creation of no individual. German unity
and the imperial unity sprang from the whole past of German history
and German thought. The State existing now is the outcome of Germany's
own self, of the idea, of the soul of Germany.




      [9] The first part of this admirable essay appeared in July

First would be the stability and practical uniformity of rates now
impossible, as they are subject to change by hundreds of officials,
and are often made for the purpose of enriching such officials. State
and federal laws have had the effect of making discriminations less
public and less numerous, but it is doubtful if they are less
effective in enriching officials and their partners, although it may
be necessary to be more careful in covering tracks. That they are
continued is within the cognizance of every well-informed shipper, and
are made clear by such cases as that of Counselman and Peasley, now
before the United States Supreme Court. Counselman and Peasley--one a
large shipper and the other a prominent railway official--refused to
testify before a United States grand jury upon the plea that to do so
might criminate themselves; the federal law making it a criminal
offence to make or benefit by discriminating rates. Counselman had
been given rates on corn, some five cents less per hundred pounds than
others, from Kansas and Nebraska points to Chicago.

The outrageous character of this discrimination will appear when we
reflect that five cents per one hundred pounds is an enormous profit
on corn that the grower has sold at from eighteen to twenty-two cents
per one hundred pounds, and that such a margin would tend to drive
every one but the railway officials and their secret partners out of
the trade, as has practically been the case on many western roads.
Doubtless such rates are sometimes made in order to take the commodity
over a certain line, and there is no divide with the officials; but
the effect upon the competitors of the favored shipper and the public
is none the less injurious, and such practices would not obtain under
national ownership, when railway users would be treated with honesty
and impartiality, which the experience of half a century shows to be
impossible with corporate ownership.

Referring to the rate question in their last report, the Interstate
Commerce Commission says: "If we go no farther than the railroad
managers themselves for information, we shall not find that it is
claimed that railroad service, as a whole, is conducted without unjust

"If rates are secretly cut, or if rebates are given to large shippers,
the fact of itself shows the rates which are charged to the general
public are unreasonable, for they are necessarily made higher than
they ought to be in order to provide for the cut or to pay the

"If the carrier habitually carries a great number of people free, its
regular rates are made the higher to cover the cost; if heavy
commissions are paid for obtaining business, the rates are made the
higher that the net revenues may not suffer in consequence; if
scalpers are directly or indirectly supported by the railroad
companies, the general public refunds to the companies what the
support costs."

The Commission quotes a Chicago railway manager as saying: "Rates are
absolutely demoralized and neither shippers, passengers, railways, or
the public in general make anything by this state of affairs. Take
passenger rates for instance; they are very low; but who benefits by
the reduction? No one but the scalpers.... In freight matters the case
is just the same. Certain shippers are allowed heavy rebates, while
others are made to pay full rates.... The management is dishonest on
all sides, and there is not a road in the country that can be accused
of living up to the interstate law. Of course when some poor devil
comes along and wants a pass to save him from starvation, he has
several clauses of the interstate act read to him; but when a rich
shipper wants a pass, why he gets it at once."

From years of ineffectual efforts on the part of State and national
legislatures and commissions to regulate the rate business, it would
appear that the only remedy is national ownership, which would place
the rate-making power in one body with no inducement to act otherwise
than fairly and impartially, and this would simplify the whole
business and relegate an army of traffic managers, general freight
agents, soliciting agents, brokers, scalpers, and hordes of traffic
association officials to more useful callings while relieving the
honest user of the railway of intolerable burthens.

Under corporate control, railways and their officials have taken
possession of the majority of the mines which furnish the fuel so
necessary to domestic and industrial life, and there are but few
coalfields where they do not fix the price at which so essential an
article shall be sold, and the whole nation is thus forced to pay
undue tribute.

Controlling rates and the distribution of cars, railway officials have
driven nearly all the mine owners who have not railways or railway
officials for partners, to the wall. For instance, in Eastern Kansas,
on the line of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway Company, were two
coal companies, whose plants were of about equal capacity, and several
individual shippers. The railway company and its officials became
interested in one of the coal companies, and such company was, by the
rebate and other processes, given rates which averaged but forty per
cent. of the rates charged other shippers, the result being that all
the other shippers were driven out of the business, a part of them
being hopelessly ruined before giving up the struggle. In addition to
gross discriminations in rates this railway company practised worse
discriminations in the distribution of cars; for instance, during one
period of five hundred and sixty-four days, as was proven in court,
they delivered to the Pittsburg Coal Company, 2,371 empty cars to be
loaded with coal, although such company had sale for, and capacity to
produce and load, during the same period, more than 15,000 cars.
During the same time this railway company delivered to the Rogers Coal
Company, in which the railway company and C. W. Rogers, its
vice-president and general manager, were interested, no less than
15,483 coal cars, while four hundred and fifty-six were delivered to
individual shippers. In other words, the coal company owned in large
part by the railway and its officials was given eighty-two per cent.
of all the facilities to get coal to market, although the other
shippers had much greater combined capacity than had the Rogers Coal

During the last four months of the period named, and when the
Pittsburg Coal Company had the plant, force, and capacity to load
thirty cars per day, they received an average of one and a fourth cars
per day, resulting, as was intended, in the utter ruin of a
prosperous business and the involuntary sale of the property, while
the railway coal company, the railway officials, and the accommodating
friends who operated the Rogers Coal Company, made vast sums of money;
and when all other shippers had thus been driven off the line the
price of coal was advanced to the consumer.

On another railway, traversing the same coal-field, the railway or its
officials became interested in the Keith & Perry Coal Company--the
largest coal company doing business on the line--and here the plan
seems to have been, in addition to the manipulation of rates, to
starve other mine operators out, and force them to sell their coal to
the Keith & Perry Company, by failing to furnish the needed cars to
those who did not sell their coal to the Keith & Perry Company at a
very low price.

When the Keith & Perry Company had a great demand for coal, such
parties as sold the product of their mines to that company were
furnished with cars, but for the other operators cars were not to be
had, such cars as were brought to the field being assigned to such
parties as were loading to the Keith & Perry Company, because that
company furnished the coal consumed by the locomotives of the railway.

One operator, after being for years forced in this way to sell his
product to the Keith & Perry Company, or see his several plants stand
idle, has, in recent months, been obliged to build some seven miles of
railway in order to reach four different roads, and thus have a
fighting chance for cars, although all these railways are provided
with coal mines owned by the corporations or their officials.

In Arkansas, Jay Gould, or his railway company, own coal mines and the
coal is transported to the neighboring town at low rates, and there is
an ample supply of cars for such mines; but the owners of an adjoining
mine are forced to haul their coal some eighteen miles to the same
town in wagons, as the rates charged them over Mr. Gould's railway are
so high as to absorb the value of the coal at destination.

Not only are individuals thus oppressed, but for reasons which only
the initiated can fathom there are seemingly purposeless
discriminations against localities, as shown in the following extract
from the _Coal Trade Journal_ of March 25, 1891.

     "Capt. Thomas H. Bates, before the railroad committee of the
     Colorado Senate, said: The Grand River Coal & Coke Company
     mine their coal in Garfield County, about fifty miles west
     of Leadville, and all they sell in Denver, Colorado Springs,
     and Pueblo, has to be hauled through Leadville. At Leadville
     the individual consumer has to pay $7.00 per ton for this
     coal, while in Denver, with an additional haul of 150 miles,
     the coal from the same mines is delivered to the individual
     consumer for $5.50 per ton. The Colorado Coal & Iron Company
     produce all the anthracite coal sold in Colorado. It is
     mined at Crested Butte, which is 150 miles nearer Leadville
     than Denver, yet this coal is sold in Leadville for $9.00 to
     the individual consumer, while the same coal is hauled 150
     miles farther, and sold to the individual consumer for an
     advance of twenty-five cents per ton over the Leadville
     price, and is sold in Denver for $7.10 per ton in carload

With the government operating the railways, discriminations would
cease, as would individual and local oppression; and we may be sure
that an instant and absolute divorce would be decreed between railways
and their officials on one side, and commercial enterprises of every
name and kind on the other.

There are but three countries of any importance where the railways are
operated by corporations permitted to fix rates, as in all others the
government is the ultimate rate-making power: these are Great Britain,
Canada, and the United States; and while the British government
exercises a more effective control than we do, there are many and
oppressive discriminations, and complaints are loud and frequent, and
English farmers find it necessary to unite for the purpose of securing
protection from corporate oppression, as is shown by the following
from the Liverpool _Courier_ of January 29, 1891.


     After the counsel given them yesterday by Mr. A. B. Forwood,
     of Ormskirk, it may be expected that the Liverpool District
     Farmers' Club will be on the watch for tangible evidence of
     their grievances against the railway companies.... Under
     certain circumstances competition operates to the advantage
     of the public, and rival carriers are constrained to convey
     goods from place to place at moderate charges; but where a
     company is not held in check, the tendency is for rates to
     advance. In many cases, too, special interests of the
     companies are promoted at the expense of localities, and
     even individuals are subjected to the wrong of preferential
     charges. (There are no complaints in Britain that these
     discriminations are practised for the purpose of enriching
     the officials.) Hence the necessity for the Railway
     Commission to regulate the magnates of the iron road, who
     when left without restraint pay little regard to interests
     other than those of their shareholders.

Although Mr. Acworth fails to mention this phase of English railway
administration, it would appear that the evils of discrimination are
common under corporate management in Great Britain, and that they are
inherent to and inseparable from such management; and that the
questions of rates, discriminations, and free traffic in fuel can be
satisfactorily adjusted only by national ownership, and if for no
other reasons such ownership is greatly to be desired.

The failure to furnish equipment to do the business of the tributary
country promptly is one of the greater evils of corporate
administration, enabling officials to practise most injurious and
oppressive forms of discrimination, and is one that neither federal
nor State commission pays much attention to. With national ownership a
sufficiency of cars would be provided. On many roads the funds that
should have been devoted to furnishing the needed equipment, and which
the corporations contracted to provide when they accepted their
charters, have been divided as construction profits or, as in the case
of the Santa Fe, Union Pacific, and many others, diverted to the
payment of unearned dividends, while the public suffers from this
failure to comply with charter obligations; yet Mr. Dillon informs us
that the citizen commits an impertinence when he inquires why contract
obligations, which are the express consideration for the exceptional
powers granted, are not performed.

Another great advantage which would result from national ownership
would be such an adjustment of rates that traffic would take the
natural short route, and not, as under corporate management, be sent
around by the way of Robin Hood's barn, when it might reach
destination by a route but two thirds as long, and thus saving the
unnecessary tax to which the industries of the country are subjected.
That traffic can be sent by these round-about routes at the same or
less rates than is charged by the shorter ones is _prima facie_
evidence that rates are too high. If it costs a given sum to transport
a specific amount of merchandise a thousand miles, it is clear that it
will cost a greater sum to transport it fifteen hundred; and yet
traffic is daily diverted from the thousand mile route to the fifteen
hundred one, and carried at the same or lower rates than is charged by
the shorter line. It is evident, that if the long route can afford to
do the business for the rates charged, that the rates charged by the
shorter are excessive in a high degree.

Under government management, traffic would take the direct route, as
mail matter now does, and the industries of the country be relieved of
the onerous tax imposed by needless hauls. Only those somewhat
familiar with the extent of the diversions from direct routes can form
any conception of the aggregate saving that would be effected by such
change as would result from national ownership, and which may safely
be estimated as equal to two and a half per cent. of the entire cost
of the railway service, or $25,000,000 per annum.

With the government operating the railways there would be a great
reduction in the number of men employed in towns entered by more than
one line. For instance, take a town where there are three or more
railways, and we find three (or more) full-fledged staffs, three (or
more) expensive up-town freight and ticket offices, three (or more)
separate sets of all kinds of officials and employees, and three (or
more) separate depots and yards to be maintained. Under government
control these staffs--except in very large cities--would be reduced to
one, and all trains would run into one centrally located depot;
freight and passengers be transferred without present cost, annoyance,
and friction, and public convenience and comfort subserved, and added
to in manner and degree almost inconceivable.

Economies which would be affected by such staff reductions, would more
than offset any additions to the force likely to be made at the
instance of politicians, thus eliminating that objection; such saving
may be estimated at $20,000,000 per annum.

With the nation owning the railways the great number of expensive
attorneys now employed, with all the attendant corruption of the
fountains of justice, could be dispensed with; and there would be no
corporations to take from the bench the best legal minds, by offering
three or four times the federal salary; nor would there be occasion
for a justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas to render a decision that
a corporation chartered by Kansas for the sole purpose of building a
railway in that State has the right and power under such charter to
guarantee the bonds of corporations building railways in Old or New
Mexico, and shortly after writing such decision be carted all over the
seaboard States in one of the luxurious private cars of such
corporation. Under national ownership such judges would pay their
travelling expenses in some other way, and be transported in the
ordinary manner, and not half as many judges would travel on passes.
There are many judges whose decisions any number of passes would not
affect; but if passes are not to have any effect upon legislation and
litigation, why are congressmen, legislators, judges, and other court
officials singled out for this kind of martyrdom? If the men who
attain these positions remained private citizens, would passes be
thrust upon them?

Although the reports of the Victorian Commissioners show, in detail,
all the expenditures of railway administration, yet not one dollar is
set down for attorneys' salaries or for legal expenses, and it is
presumed that the ordinary law officers of the government attend to
the little legal business arising, and yet judging from reports made
by Kansas roads, the expenditures of the corporate owned railways of
the United States for attorneys' salaries and other legal expenses,
are at least two per cent. of the entire cost of operating the roads,
and yearly aggregate some $14,000,000, all of which is taken directly
from railway users, and is a tax which would be saved under national
ownership, as United States district attorneys could attend to such
legal business as might arise. This expenditure is incurred in endless
controversies between the corporations, in wrecking railways, in
plundering the shareholders, in contending against State and federal
regulation, in manipulating elections and legislation, and in wearing
out such citizens as seek legal redress for some of the many
outrageous acts of oppression practised by the corporations. Once the
government was in control, these lawyers would be relegated to some
employment where they would do less harm, even if not engaged in a
more honorable vocation than that of trying to defeat justice by the
use of such questionable means as the control of the vast revenues of
the corporations place in their hands.

Is it possible that the railway companies can legitimately use
anything like $14,000,000 yearly in protecting their rights in the

The president of the Union Pacific tells us that: "The courts are open
to redress all real grievances of the citizen."

There is probably no man in the United States better aware than is
Sidney Dillon that no citizen, unless he has as much wealth as the
president of the Union Pacific, can successfully contest a case of any
importance in the courts with one of these corporations which make a
business, as a warning to other possible plaintiffs, of wearing out
the unfortunate plaintiff with the law's costly delays; and failing
this do not hesitate to spirit away the plaintiff's witnesses, and to
pack and buy juries--retaining a special class of attorneys for this
work--the command of great corporate revenues enabling them to
accomplish their ends, and to utterly ruin nearly every man having the
hardihood to seek Mr. Dillon's lauded legal redress, and when they
have accomplished such nefarious object, the entire cost is charged
back to the public, and collected in the form of tolls upon traffic.
Laws are utterly powerless to restrain the corporations, and Mr.
Dillon tells us how easy it is to evade them by pleading compliance,
when there has been no compliance, and then having the expert servants
of the corporation swear there has been.

With the government operating the railways, every citizen riding would
pay fare adding immensely to the revenues. Few have any conception of
the proportion who travel free, and half a century's experience
renders it doubtful if the pass evil--so much greater than ever was
the franking privilege--can be eliminated otherwise than by national
ownership. From the experience of the writer, as an auditor of railway
accounts, and as an executive officer issuing passes, he is able to
say that fully ten per cent. travel free, the result being that the
great mass of railway users are yearly mulcted some $30,000,000 for
the benefit of the favored minority; hence it is evident that if all
were required to pay for railway services, as they are for mail
services, the rates might be reduced ten per cent. or more, and the
corporate revenues be no less, and the operating expenses no more. In
no other country--unless it be under the same system in Canada--are
nine tenths of the people taxed to pay the travelling expenses of the
other tenth. By what right do the corporations tax the public that
members of Congress, legislators, judges, and other court officials
and their families may ride free? Why is it that when a legislature is
in session passes are as plentiful as leaves in the forest in autumn?

The writer, as an executive officer of a railway company having
authority to issue passes, has, during a session of the legislature,
signed vast numbers of blank passes at the request of the legislative
agents of such company, and under instructions of the president of the
corporation to furnish such lobby agents with all the passes they
should ask for. No reports of passes issued are made either to State
or federal governments, or to confiding shareholders, and should such
reports be asked for, by State or nation, in order to measure the
extent of this evil, the Sidney Dillons would rush into print and tell
us it was a piece of impertinence for any citizen (or the public) to
inquire into the extent of or the manner in which the corporations
dispensed their favors. The only way to kill this monster is to put
the instruments of transportation under such control as only national
ownership can give. Laws and agreements between the corporations have
been proven, time and again, wholly ineffective even to lessen this
great and corrupting evil.

In every conceivable way are the net revenues of the corporations
depleted, and needless burthens imposed upon the public, but one of
the worst is the system of paying commissions for the diversion of
traffic to particular lines, often the least direct. The more common
practice is to pay such commissions to agents of connecting lines
where it is possible to send the traffic over any one of two or more
routes, and the one which may, by the payment of such commission,
secure the carrying of the passenger (or merchandise) may be the least
desirable, and the one which would never have been taken but for the
prevarications of an agent bribed by a commission to make false
representations as to the desirableness of the route he selects for
the confiding passenger.

This is but one of many phases of the commission evil, another being
that these sums are ultimately paid, not by the corporations, but by
the users of the railways, and but for the payment of such commissions
the rates might be reduced in like amounts. Aside from commissions
paid for diverting passenger traffic great sums are paid for
"influencing" and "routing" freight traffic, and these sums, while
paid to outsiders, or so-called brokers, are frequently divided with
railway officials. When the writer was in charge of the transportation
accounts of a railway running east from Chicago, it was a part of his
duties to certify to the correctness of the vouchers on which
commission payments were made, and he became aware of the fact that
one Chicago brokerage firm was being paid a commission of from three
to five cents per hundred pounds on nearly all the flour, grain,
packing house, and distillery products being shipped out of Chicago
over this railway, no matter where such shipments might originate,
many of them, in fact, originating on and far west of the Mississippi
River; and when he objected to certifying to shipments with which it
was clear that the Chicago parties could have had nothing to do, he
was told, by the manager, that his duties ended when he had
ascertained and certified that such shipments had been made from
Chicago station. From investigations instituted by the writer, he soon
learned that some one connected with the management was deeply
interested in the payment of the largest sums possible as commissions.

The corporations have ineffectually wrestled with the commission evil,
and any number of agreements have been entered into to do away with
it; but it is so thoroughly entrenched, and so many officials have an
interest in its perpetuation, that they are utterly powerless in the
presence of a system which imposes great and needless burthens upon
their patrons, but which will die the day the government takes
possession of the railways, as then there will be no corporations
ready to pay for the diversion of traffic. National ownership alone
can dispose of an administrative evil that, from such data as is
obtainable, appears to cost the public from $20,000,000 to $25,000,000
per annum.

[10]Mr. Meany, in his _Sun_ article, summarizes six causes for the
diminution of railway dividends and remarks: "It is unnecessary to
dwell at any great length upon the first five mentioned reasons, but
too much could not be said on the sixth. It is now nearly seven years
since James McHenry of London (and New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio
Railway litigation fame) openly charged railway managers, in an
interview published in the _Sun_, with criminal collusion in the
matter of securing extraordinary privileges and unapproachable
contracts with their several corporations for favored fast freight
lines, express routes, bridge companies, etc., etc., in all the
benefits of which such managers shared to a very great extent. On that
occasion Mr. McHenry was promptly cried down. Would he be cried down

     [10] Mr. John P. Meany, editor of Poor's Manual of Railroads,
          in the New York _Sun_ of January 12, 1891.

As a rule, American railways pay the highest salaries in the world for
those engaged in directing business operations, but such salaries are
not paid because transcendant talents are necessary to conduct the
ordinary operations of railway administration, but for the purpose of
checkmating the chicanery of corporate competitors. In other words,
these exceptionally high salaries are paid for the purpose, and
because their recipients are believed to have the ability to hold up
their end in unscrupulous corporate warfare where, as one railway
president expressed it, "the greatest liar comes out ahead." With the
government operating the railways, there would be no conflicting
interests necessitating the employment of such costly officials whose
great diplomatic talents might well be dispensed with, while the
running of trains, and the conduct of the real work of operating the
roads, could be left to the same officials as at moderate salaries now
perform such duties, and consolidation of all the conflicting
interests in the hands of the government will enable the public to
dispense with the services of the high priced managers now almost
exclusively engaged in "keeping even with the other fellow," as well
as with the costly staffs assisting such managers in keeping even, and
the savings resulting may be estimated at from $4,000,000 to
$5,000,000 per year.

Government control will enable railway users to dispense with the
services of such high priced umpires as Mr. Aldace F. Walker, as well
as of all the other officials of sixty-eight traffic associations,
fruitlessly laboring to prevent each of five hundred corporations from
getting the start of its fellows, and trying to prevent each of the
five hundred from absorbing an undue share of the traffic. It appears
that each of these costly peace-making attachments has an average of
seven corporations to watch.

Referring to traffic associations, and their vain endeavors to keep
the corporations within sight of commercial ethics, the Interstate
Commerce Commission says: "But the most important provisions of the
law have not so often been directly violated as they have
been nullified through devices, carefully framed with legal
assistance,--here is one of the places where the high-priced lawyer
gets in his work--with a view to this very end, and in the belief that
when brought to legal test the device hit upon would not be held by
the courts to be so distinctly opposed to the terms of the law as to
be criminally punishable." In this connection, it is well to remember
what Mr. Dillon tells us of the ease with which the laws can be

With national ownership the expenditures involved in the maintenance
of traffic associations would be saved, and railway users relieved of
a tax that, judging from the reports of a limited number of
corporations of their contributions towards the support of such
organizations, must annually amount to between four and five million

Of the six hundred corporations operating railways, probably five
hundred maintain costly general offices, where president, treasurer,
and secretary pass the time surrounded by an expensive staff. The
majority of such offices are off the lines of the respective
corporations, in the larger cities, where high rents are paid, and
great expenses entailed, that proper attention may be given to the
bolstering or depressing the price of the corporation's shares, as the
management may be long or short of the market. So far as the utility
of the railways is concerned as instruments of anything but
speculation, such offices and officers might as well be located in the
moon, and their cost saved to the public. The average yearly cost of
such offices (and officers) is more than $50,000, and the transfer of
the railways to the nation would, in this matter alone, effect an
annual saving of more than $25,000,000, as both offices and officials
could be dispensed with, and the service be no less efficient.

Moreover, with the nation owning the railways, the indirect but no
less onerous tax levied upon the industries of the country, by the
thousands of speculators who make day hideous on the stock exchanges,
would be abrogated, as then there would be neither railway share nor
bond for these harpies to make shuttlecocks of, and this would be
another economy due to such ownership.

Railways spend enormous sums in advertising, the most of which
national ownership would save, as it would be no more necessary to
advertise the advantages of any particular line than it is to
advertise the advantages of any given mail route. From reports made by
railway corporations to some of the Western States, it appears that
something over one per cent. of operating expenses are absorbed in
advertising, aggregating something like $7,000,000 per year, of which
we may assume that but $5,000,000 would be saved, as it would still be
desirable to advertise train departures and arrivals.

A still greater expense is involved in the maintenance of freight and
passenger offices off the respective lines, for the purpose of
securing a portion of the competitive traffic. In this way vast sums
are expended in the payment of rents, and the salaries of hordes of
agents, solicitors, clerks, etc., etc. Taking the known expenditures,
for this purpose, of a given mileage, it is estimated that the
aggregate is not less than $15,000,000 yearly, all of which is a tax
upon the public, that would be saved did the government operate the

Under government control, discriminations against localities would
cease, whereas now localities are discriminated against because
managers are interested in real estate elsewhere, or are interested in
diverting traffic in certain directions; again, under corporate
management, it is for the interest of the company to haul a commodity
as far as possible over its own lines (with the government owning all
the lines this motive will lose its force), and thus traffic is forced
into unnatural channels. For instance: much of the grain from Kansas
should find its way to foreign markets via the short route to the
Gulf, the distance to tide water by this route being less than half
what it is to the Atlantic, yet so opposed to this natural route are
the interests of the majority of the corporations controlling the
traffic associations, which now dictate to the people what routes
their traffic shall take, that the rates to the Gulf are kept so high
as to force the traffic to the Lakes and to the Atlantic; and as all
the railways leading to the Gulf have lines running eastward, the much
lauded corporate competition fails to help out the citizens of Kansas,
who are subjected to the domination of the new tyrant denominated a
"traffic association." With the nation operating the railways, all
this would be changed, and localities favorably located would be able
to reap the benefits which such location should give, and should such
a condition ever obtain, the farmers of western Iowa will not then
ship corn to the drouth-stricken portion of Kansas for fifteen cents
per one hundred pounds, while the Kansas corn grower, living within
seventy-five miles of the same market, is charged ten cents per one
hundred pounds for a haul one eighth as long. By such rates the
railways force the hauling of corn from Iowa to western Kansas, and
then force the corn grower of central Kansas to send his corn
eastward, the result being two long hauls, where one short one would
suffice; but then the corporations would have absorbed less of the
substance of the people.

Another, and an incalculable benefit, which would result from national
ownership, would be the relief of State and national legislation from
the pressure and corrupting practices of railway corporations which
constitute one of the greatest dangers to which Republicaninstitutions
can be subjected. This alone renders the nationalization of the
railways most desirable, and at the same time such nationalization
would have the effect of emancipating a large part of the press from a
galling thraldom to the corporations.

With the nation operating the railways, we may have some hope that
rates will be reduced by some system resembling the Hungarian zone
which has had the effect of diminishing local passenger rates about
forty per cent., resulting in such an increase of traffic as to
greatly increase the revenues of the roads; the average of rates by
ordinary third-class trains being about three fourths of a cent per
mile, and one and a half cents per mile for first-class express

In Victoria, the parcel or express business is done by the government
railways, and the rates are not one half what they are with us when
farmed out to a second lot of corporations. Space does not permit the
discussion or even the statement of the many salutary phases of
government control, as developed in the various countries of Europe,
and it is not necessary, as there are abundant reasons to be found in
conditions existing at home, for making the proposed change. By far
the most menacing feature of continued corporate ownership is the
power over the money markets which it places in the hands of
unscrupulous men, any half dozen of whom can, at such a time as that
following the failure of the Barings, destroy the welfare of millions,
and plunge the country into all the horrors of a money panic. Whether
it be true or not, there are many who believe that a small coterie,
who had information before the public of the condition of Baring
Brothers and that a block of many millions of American railway
securities held by that house were being (or soon would be) pressed
upon the market, entered into a conspiracy for the purpose of locking
up money and thereby depressing prices in order to secure, at low
cost, the control of certain coveted railways. The railways were
secured, and there is not much doubt that they had been lying in wait
for such a critical condition of the money markets to accomplish this
purpose, which still further enhances their power for evil. With the
railways nationalized, not only would there be no temptation for such
nefarious operations, but the power of such men over values would be
greatly lessened, if not wholly destroyed, as there would be no
railway shares for them to play fast and loose with, and as money,
instead of being tied up in loans on chromos representing little but
water, would seek investment in bona fide enterprises, their
operations would have little influence, and would certainly have no
such baleful power over the industries of the country, as their
ability to affect the value of railway shares--on which such immense
sums are now loaned on call--gives them, they being able by locking up
a few millions when the money market is in the condition, which
obtained at the time of the Baring collapse, to force the calling of
loans and the slaughtering of vast numbers of the shares, carrying the
control of the railways they covet. If only for the purpose of
divesting "The dangerous wealthy classes" of this frightful power,
national ownership would be worth many times its cost, and without
such ownership a score of manipulators are soon likely to be complete
masters of the republic and all its industrial interests; hence, the
question reverts to the form stated in the opening of this paper:
Shall the nation accept as a master a political party that may be
dislodged by the use of the ballot, or shall the republic be dominated
by a master in the form of a score of unscrupulous Goulds,
Vanderbilts, and Huntingtons, who cannot be dislodged, and who never

Assuming that $30,000 per mile is the maximum cost of existing
railways--as is shown in THE ARENA for February,--and that there are
160,000 miles, it would give a total valuation of $4,800,000,000; but
that there may be no complaint that the nation is dealing unfairly
with the owners of much water, it will be well to add twenty-five per
cent. to what will be found to be the outside value of the railways
when condemned under the law of eminent domain, and assuming that
$6,000,000,000 of three per cent. bonds are issued in order to make
payment therefor, and it involves an interest charge of $180,000,000,
to which add $670,000,000, as the cost of maintenance and operation,
and $50,000,000 as a sinking fund, and we have a total annual cost,
for railway service, of $900,000,000 as against a present cost of
$1,050,000,000 ($950,000,000 from traffic earnings, and $85,000,000
from other sources of railway revenue) resulting in a net annual
saving to the public of $150,000,000 to which must be added the other
various savings which it has been estimated would result from
government control, and which, for the convenience of the reader, are
here recapitulated, namely:--

  Saving from consolidation of depots and staffs,           $20,000,000
  Saving from exclusive use of shortest routes,              25,000,000
  Saving in attorneys' salaries and legal expenses,          12,000,000
  Saving from the abrogation of the pass evil,               30,000,000
  Saving from the abrogation of the commission system,       20,000,000
  Saving by dispensing with high priced managers and staffs,  4,000,000
  Saving by disbanding traffic associations,                  4,000,000
  Saving by dispensing with presidents, etc.,                25,000,000
  Saying by abolishing (all but local) offices, solicitors,
    etc.,                                                    15,000,000
  Saving of five-sevenths of the advertising account,         5,000,000
  Total savings by reason of better administration,        $160,000,000

It would appear that after yearly setting aside $50,000,000 as a
sinking fund, that there are the best of reasons for believing that
the cost of the railway service would be some $310,000,000 less than
under corporate management.

That $6,000,000,000 is much more than it would cost to duplicate
existing railways, will not be questioned by the disinterested
familiar with late reductions in the cost of construction, and that
such a valuation is excessive is manifest from the fact that it is
much more than the market value of all the railway bonds and shares in

Mr. John P. Meany, in the _Railway Review_ of February 7, 1891, says:
"It is safe to assume that the market valuation of the entire
$4,500,000,000 of railroad stock in existence, would not average more
than $30 per share, or, say $1,350,000,000 in all," and in his _Sun_
article he states that fully $500,000,000 of this stock is duplicated,
so that the "live" stock outstanding is really but $4,000,000,000,
which at $30 per share would have an aggregate value of
$1,200,000,000. Mr. Meany also states that there are duplications of
bond issues amounting to some $300,000,000 leaving the live
outstanding bonds at $4,500,000,000 and many corporations failing to
pay interest, some issues are selling as low as 12 per cent. of par,
making it safe to call the average market value of bonds 90 per cent.
of their face value, and their aggregate value would be
$4,050,000,000, to which add value of "live" capital stock,
$1,200,000,000, and the total market value of bonds and stock is,
$5,250,000,000, being at the rate of $32,800 per mile for the 160,000
miles in operation.

After many years of familiarity with the turgid and obscure statements
issued by American railway corporations, and which are usually of such
a character that the more they are studied the less the shareholder
knows of the affairs of the corporation, it is very refreshing to read
the report of the Railway Commissioners of any one of the Australasian
colonies, where every item of expenditure is made clear, and where
words are not used for the purpose of misleading.

The last Victorian report shows this new and sparsely settled country
as able to borrow money with which to build national railways, at
three and one half per cent. per annum. How many American corporations
are able to borrow money at such a rate? This saving in the interest
charge directly benefits the public, and is due to national
ownership, and a like saving will be made by the nationalization of
American railways.

This report also shows that while the country is so rugged that in
many cases the gradients are as great as one hundred and thirty feet
per mile, and the cost of labor and supplies more than here, the roads
are operated at less cost, as measured by the expense per train mile,
than in the favored regions of the United States. The Kansas City,
Fort Scott, and Memphis Railway is, admittedly, one of the best
managed and most economically operated railways in the West, and with
an abundance of very cheap coal;[11] low gradients and running more
trains than do the Victorian railways should be operated much more
cheaply, yet the cost of operating this road, as measured by the cost
per train mile,--and this is the best possible criterion of economy in
operation,--is one third greater than on the government owned railways
of Victoria.

     [11] Coal on the line named is worth about $1.50 per ton at
          the mines, while inferior coal is worth $3.75 per ton
          at the mines in Victoria.

An excellent measure of the efficiency of the management is the number
of casualties, as proportioned to the number of passengers carried and
men employed, which is very great in such countries as Russia,
Roumania, and Portugal; but in Victoria, and other Australian
colonies, the proportion is far less than in the United States, more
attention being given to the adoption of such safety devices as
interlocking switches, etc., and all the stations and crossings are
provided with gates, and otherwise better guarded than with us, where
the corporations are much more intent upon paying dividends than in
serving the public, or in saving life and limb, while on the
government-operated railways of Victoria, the management devotes its
attention--with a due regard to economy,--to the convenience, comfort,
and safety of railway users, and employees having no bond or share
holders to provide for. In the United States one of the useless
traffic associations pays its chief umpire nearly as much as Victoria
pays her entire commission.

Those desirous of entering the railway service of Victoria are
subjected to such a rigid examination as to qualifications and
character, that but little more than one third are able to pass the
ordeal, and a high standard of excellence in the personnel of the
service results; when these servants are disabled or worn out by long
service, they are pensioned or given a retiring allowance, and this
system tends to reduce the inclination to strike, as a man who has
been years in the service will long hesitate before he forfeits his
right to a provision of this kind.

All the Australian reports and accounts which have come under the
observation of the writer, are models of conciseness and clearness,
and show that there is nothing inherent in railway accounts rendering
it necessary that they be made obscure and misleading.

Neither in the Australian reports nor in the colonial press is there
the least evidence of discriminations against individuals or
localities, and this one fact is an argument of greater force in favor
of national ownership than all that have ever been advanced against



To the calm observer there is nothing more impressive in society
to-day than the varied and multitudinous associations for the
amelioration of human poverty, ignorance, and crime; and nothing more
depressing than the seeming immense waste of force scattered in these
innumerable directions with results so intangible and undefined. From
all the discussions we hear in the halls of legislation, and on the
popular platform, on the relations of capital and labor, finance, free
trade, land monopoly, taxation, individualism, and socialism, the
rights of women, children, criminals, and animals, one would think
that an entire change must speedily be effected in our theories of
government, religion, and social life, and so there would be if a
small minority, even, honestly believed in these specific reforms. But
alas! our reading minds are yet to be educated into the first
principles of social science; they are yet to learn that our present
theories of life are all false. The old ideas of caste and class, of
rich and poor, educated and uneducated, must pass away, and the many
must no longer suffer that the few may shine. Our religion must teach
the brotherhood of the race, the essential oneness of humanity, and
our government must be based on the broad principles of equal rights
to all. A religion that seeks to make the people satisfied in their
degraded conditions, and releases them from all responsibility for its
continuance, is unworthy our intelligent belief, and a government that
holds half its people in slavery, practically chained where they are
born, in ignorance, poverty, and vice, is unworthy our intelligent

The object of all our specific reforms is to secure equal conditions
for the whole human race. The initiative steps to this end are:--

1. Educate our upper classes, our most intelligent people, into the
belief that our present civilization is based on false principles,
and that the ignorance, poverty, and crime we see about us are the
legitimate results of our false theories.

2. They must be educated to believe that our present conditions and
environments can and will be changed, and that as man is responsible
for the miseries of the race, through his own knowledge and wisdom the
change must come. To-day, men make their God responsible for all human
arrangements, and they quote Scripture to prove that poverty is one of
His wise provisions for the development of all the cardinal virtues. I
heard a sermon preached, not long ago, from the text: "The poor ye
have always with you," in which the preacher dwelt on the virtues of
benevolence and gratitude called out on either side. Poverty, said he,
has been the wise schoolmaster, to teach the people industry, economy,
self-sacrifice, patience, and humility, all those beautiful virtues
that best fit the human soul for the life hereafter. "Blessed are the
poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Thus the lessons
of submission and content have been sedulously taught to oppressed
classes, in the name of God, with fair promises of heaven to come.

The rich must be taught that they have no right to live in luxury
while others starve. The poor must be taught that they, too, have
inalienable rights on this green earth, the right to life, liberty,
and happiness, and to the fruits of their own industry, and it is the
imperative duty of each class to concede the one and demand the other.
The apathy and indifference of the masses in their degraded conditions
are as culpable as the pride and satisfaction of the upper classes in
their superior position.

As the only hope for the lasting progress of the race and a radical
reform in social life lie in the right education of children, their
birth and development is the vital starting-point for the philosopher.
A survey of the various unfortunate classes of society that have
hitherto occupied the time and thought of different orders of
philanthropists, and the little that has been accomplished in our own
lifetime, to go no farther back, gives very little encouragement for
this mere surface work that occupies so many noble men and women in
each generation. In spite of all our asylums and charities, religious
discussion and legislation, the problems of pauperism, intemperance,
and crime are no nearer a satisfactory solution than when our pilgrim
fathers landed on Plymouth Rock, in search of that liberty in thought
and action denied in the old world. The gloomy panorama of misery and
crime moves on, a dark picture in this young civilization.

If we would use the same common sense in the improvement of mankind
that we do in the ordinary affairs of life, we should begin our work
at the foundations of society, in family life, in parenthood, the
source and centre of all these terrible evils whose branches we are
trying to lop off. A family living in an old house, on unhealthy
ground, with water in the cellar, a crumbling foundation, the beams
like sponge, the roof leaking, the chimney full of cracks, would not
spend large sums of money year after year, generation after
generation, in patching up the old house on the same old spot, but
with ordinary wisdom and economy, they would build anew, on higher
ground, with strong foundations, sound timber, substantial chimneys,
and solid roofing. True, they would patch up the old at as little cost
as possible, merely to afford them a shelter until the new home was
built. And all our special reform work to-day is but patching the old,
until with a knowledge of the true laws of social science we can begin
to build the new aright. There is much surface work we must do in
reform, for decency's sake, but all this patching up of ignorant,
diseased, criminal, unfortunate humanity is temporary and transient,
effecting no radical improvement anywhere. The real work that will
tell on all time and the eternities, is building the new life and
character, laying the foundation-stones of future generations in
justice, liberty, purity, peace, and love, the work of the rising
generation of fathers and mothers at this hour. Those of us who have
long since passed the meridian of life, can give you the result of our
experience and researches into social science, but with the young men
and women of this hour rests the hope of the higher civilization which
it is possible for the race to attain through obedience to law. The
lovers of science come back to us from every latitude and longitude,
from their explorations in the mineral, vegetable, and animal
kingdoms, from their observations of the planetary world, bearing the
same message. "All things are governed by law," while man himself who
holds in his own hand the key to all knowledge and power seems never
to be in unison with the grandeur and glory of the world in which he
lives. The picture of struggling humanity through the long past is not
a cheerful one to contemplate. What can be done to mitigate the
miseries of the masses? This thought rests heavily and with increasing
weight on the hearts of all who love justice, liberty, and equality.
The same law of inheritance that hands down the vices of ancestors,
hands down their virtues also, and in a greater ratio, for good is
positive, active, ever vigilant, its worshippers swim up stream
against the current. Could we make all men and women feel their
individual responsibility in the chain of influences that tell on all
time, we could solemnize in our own day such vows for nobler lives as
to make this seeming herculean work light as the wings of angels. If,
henceforward, all the thought, the money, the religious enthusiasm
dedicated to the regeneration of the race, could be devoted to the
generation of our descendants, to the conditions and environments of
parents and children, the whole face of society might be changed
before we celebrate the next centennial of our national life. Science
has vindicated our right to discuss freely whether our ancestors were
apes; let it be as free to ask whether our posterity shall be idiots,
dwarfs, and knaves, and if not, by what change, if any, in our social
institutions, such wretched results may be avoided. Gatton in his work
on "Heredity," says our present civilization is growing too
complicated for our best minds even to grasp, and to meet successfully
the issues of the hour, humanity must be lifted up a few degrees, as
speedily as possible. And where must this radical work begin? The best
hope for the progress of the race in political, religious, and social
life lies in the right birth, education, and development of our
children. Here is the true starting-point for the philosopher.

Let the young man who is indulging in all manner of excesses remember
that in considering the effect of the various forms of dissipation on
himself, his own happiness or danger, he does not begin to measure the
evil of his life. As the high priest at the family altar, his deeds of
darkness will inflict untold suffering on generation after generation.
One of the most difficult lessons to impress on any mind is the power
and extent of individual influence; and parents above all others
resist the belief that their children are exactly what they make
them, no more, no less; like produces like. The origin of ideas was
long a disputed point with different schools of philosophers. Locke
took the ground that the mind of every child born into the world is
like a piece of blank paper; that you may write thereon whatever you
will, but science has long since proved that such idealists as
Descartes were nearer right, that the human family come into the world
with ideas, with marked individual proclivities; that the pre-natal
conditions have more influence than all the education that comes
after. If family peculiarities are transmitted to the third and fourth
generation, the grandson clothed with the same gait, gesture, mode of
thought and expression as the grandfather he has never seen, it is
evident that each individual may reap some advantage and development
from those predecessors whose lives in all matters great and small are
governed by law, by a conscientious sense of duty, not by feeling,
chance, or appetite.

If there is a class of educators who need special preparation
for their high and holy duties, it is those who assume the
responsibilities of parents. Shall they give less thought to immortal
beings than the artist to his landscape or statue.

We wander through the galleries in the old world, and linger before
the works of the great masters, transfixed with the grace and beauty
of the ideals that surround us. And with equal preparation, greater
than these are possible in living, breathing humanity. Go in
imagination from the gallery to the studio of the poor artist, watch
him through the restless days, as he struggles with the conception of
some grand ideal, and then see how patiently he moulds and remoulds
the clay, and when at last, through weary years, the block of marble
is transformed into an angel of light, he worships it, and weeps that
he cannot breathe into it the breath of life. And lo! by his side are
growing up immortal beings to whom he has never given one half the
care and thought bestowed on the silent ones that grace his walls. And
yet the same devotion to a high ideal of human character, would soon
give the world a generation of saints and scholars, of scientists and
statesmen, of glorified humanity such as the world has not yet seen.
Many good people lose heart in trying to improve their surroundings
because they say the influence of one amounts to so little. Remember
it was by the patient toil of generations through centuries that the
Colossus of Rhodes, Diana's Temple at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at
Halicarnassus, the Pyramids at Egypt, the Pharos at Alexandria, the
Hanging Gardens at Babylon, the Olympian Zeus, the seven wonders of
the world, grew day by day into enduring monuments to the greatness of
humanity. By individual effort the grand result was at last achieved.
So the ideal manhood and womanhood, so earnestly prophesied, will
become living realities in the future. Remember it took three hundred
years to build an Egyptian pyramid. Allowing four generations to a
century we have twelve generations of men who passed their lives in
that one achievement. Was not the work of those who first evened the
ground and laid the foundation-stones as important as of those who
laid the capstones at last? Let us, then, begin in our day by the
discussion of these vital principles of social science, to even the
ground and lay the foundation-stones for the greatest wonder the world
is yet to see,--a man in whom the appetites, the passions, the
emotions are all held in allegiance to their rightful sovereign,
_Reason_. The true words and deeds of successive generations will
build up this glorified humanity, fairer than any Parian marble,
grander than any colossal sculpture of the East, more exalted than
spire or dome, boundless in capacity, in aspiration, limitless as

[Illustration: Amelia B. Edwards (signed "Amelia B. Edwards")]



It has been suggested to me that an article descriptive of my ways and
doings at home might be acceptable to readers of this journal; and it
has furthermore been proposed that I should write the said article
myself. There is a straightforward simplicity of purpose about this
proposition which commends it to me. Also, it has the recommendation
of being quite novel.

As a rule, the person whose home life is to be made the subject of an
article is "interviewed" by a gentleman of the press, who
cross-examines the victim like an old Bailey counsel, and proceeds to
take an inventory of his furniture, like a bailiff.

Now, it seems to me that the conditions under which such a visit is
paid and received are radically unsatisfactory. The person interviewed
must be more or less uncomfortably self-conscious, and one cannot help
doubting whether the interviewer ever succeeds in seeing his subject
and his subject's surroundings in exactly their normal _dishabille_.
It would ask more than Roman virtue not to make the best of one's self
and one's house when both were sitting for a portrait; and difficult
as it is to look natural and feel natural in front of a photographer's
camera, it is ten times more trying _vis-a-vis_ of a reporter's
note-book. As for the temptation to "pose," whether consciously or
unconsciously, it must be well-nigh irresistible. For my own part, I
am but too certain that, instead of receiving such a visitor in my
ordinary working costume, and in a room littered with letters and
papers, I should have inevitably put on a more becoming gown, and have
"tidied up" the library, when the appointed day and hour arrived. Not,
however, being put to this test, I will do my best to present myself
literally "At Home," and in my habit as I live.

Westbury-on-Trym is a village in Gloucestershire separated from
Clifton by about a mile and a half of open down, and distant about
four miles from Bristol terminus. It lies in a hollow at the foot of
two steep hills, one of which is crowned with the woods of Blaise
Castle, and the other with a group of buildings consisting of the
parish church, a charming little Gothic structure known as "The Hall,"
and the national schoolhouse. The church is a fine perpendicular
edifice of considerable antiquity, with a square tower surmounted, in
true West of England style, by a small turret, having a tiny Gothic
spire at one corner. The parishioners are proud of their church, and
with justice. It contains some good stained-glass windows, two
interesting mediæval monuments, and an exceptionally fine organ. "The
Hall" is quite modern, having been built and endowed, in 1867, by a
generous parishioner. The large room seats three hundred people, and
is fitted up with an organ as large and beautiful as that in the
church close by. Village concerts, penny readings, Lent lectures,
charity bazaars, and the like are held here. The building also
contains a reading-room and a small library for the use of the working
classes. My own first attempts at public reading were made on this
village platform, twenty years ago.

A little river flows through the valley, and is crossed by a single
bridge in the lower part of the village. This is the Trym,--an untidy
Trym enough, nowadays,--opaque, muddy, and little better than a ditch.
Yet it was a navigable river some centuries ago, and, according to
tradition, was not unknown to trout. On leaving the village, it takes
a southwesterly course through a pleasant bottom of meadow lands, and
thence between wooded slopes and a romantic "Coombe," much beloved of
artists, till it finally empties itself into the Avon, not far from
the mouth of that tidal river.

There are still some remains of a building at the foot of Westbury
Hill, which in olden times was second only in age and importance to
the church,--namely, "The College." This "College" was a religious
house, founded as far back as A.D. 798, and probably rebuilt some five
centuries later by that famous merchant and public benefactor, William
Canynge, of Bristol, who died there as Dean of the College, and was
buried in the church. Twenty-five years ago, when I first made its
acquaintance, this "College" (a large modernized building with corner
turrets) still presented a stately front to the road. At the back was
a square bell-tower covered from top to bottom with ivy, and a
spacious garden shut in by high walls. It was then a boy's school, and
the big garden used to echo with shouts and laughter on summer
evenings. The bell-tower is the most ancient part of the building, and
according to local tradition, a subterranean passage leads from the
cellarage in the basement to the church on the hillside above. The
story is likely enough to be correct; for a passage of some kind there
certainly is, and it leads apparently in the direction of the church.
A working-man who, with some three or four others, had once tried to
explore it, told me several years ago that, beyond the first few
yards, the tunnel was completely blocked, and the air so foul that it
put the lights out. Whether any subsequent attempt has been made to
force a passage, I do not know; but the whole place is sadly changed
since the time when I used to cast longing glances at the old green
tower from the lane that skirted the garden wall, wishing that I might
some day get permission to sit in a corner under a shady tree on the
other side of that wall, and sketch the tower. The school has long
since broken up for good, and boys and masters have gone their ways.
The old house, after standing vacant for years, was bought at last by
a little local builder, who ran up a row of smart shops in front of
the old turreted façade; let off the house itself in lodgings to poor
families; and re-sold the old bell-tower to the village blacksmith.
The garden wall being pulled down on that side, the tower now stands
at the end of a row of new cottages, forlorn and solitary in the midst
of alien surroundings, a forge and anvil in the basement.

As regards the "great houses" of the place, Westbury-on-Trym
enjoys a curious monopoly of handsome private mansions. These
mansions--spacious, finely built, each standing in its own park-like
grounds--were built for the most part by wealthy Bristol merchants
during the two last centuries--men of wealth, who needed to reside
within an easy drive of the city, and who were content to amass great
fortunes without also desiring to become land-owners. The Bristol
merchants of the present day no longer care to live so near their
business. Railways and steamers enable them to go farther afield; and
so the fine old houses of Westbury, Henbury, Redland, Shirehampton,
Brislington, and other parishes round about the great commercial
centre, have gradually passed into the possession of a class of
moneyed gentry who, having neither trade nor land, are attracted by
the fine climate and beautiful scenery of this part of England. Some
few of these old mansions are renowned for the valuable collections of
paintings and other works of art which they contain; as, for instance,
at Blaise Castle, there is a fine series of specimens of the old
masters purchased at the close of the great war during the first
quarter of the present century by Mr. Harford, grandfather of the
present owner; a series which comprises a fine Guido, several
specimens of the Caracci, Salvator Rosa, etc. At Kings-Weston Park, we
find the family portraits of the de Cliffords purchased, together with
the very fine old house built by Vanbrugh in the time of Charles II.,
by the late owner, Philip Miles, Esq. At Leigh Court, the gallery,
with its famous Leonardo, is known throughout Europe, while many other
art treasures are to be found in the possession of private owners
round about the neighborhood.

It is not to be supposed that the writer and subject of this present
paper resides in semi-royal state in one of these magnificent old
houses. On the contrary, she lives, and has lived for more than a
quarter of a century, with a very dear friend, in a small, irregularly
built house, which together they have from time to time enlarged and
improved, according to their pleasure. That friend--now in her
eighty-seventh year--used, in days long gone by, to gather round her
table many of the wits and celebrities of fifty years ago; but for
her, as for myself, our little country home has been as dear for its
seclusion as for the charm of its neighborhood.

The Larches stands, with some few other houses of like dimensions, on
a space of high-level ground to the eastward of the village. It is
approached by a narrow lane, beyond which lie fields and open country.
Having at first been quite a small cottage, it has been added to by
successive owners, and is, consequently, quite destitute of external
or internal uniformity. My own library, and the bedrooms above it,
are, for the present, the latest additions to the structure; though I
hope some day to build on a little room which I shall not venture to
call a museum, but which shall contain my Egyptian antiquities and
other collections.

The little house stands in one acre of ground, closely walled in, and
surrounded by high shrubs and lofty larch trees. It is up and down a
straight path in the shade of these larch trees that I take my daily
exercise; and if I am to enter into such minor particulars as are dear
to the writers and readers of "At Home" articles, I may mention that a
dial-register is affixed to the wall of a small grape-house at one end
of this path, by means of which I measure off my regular half-mile
before breakfast, my half mile after breakfast, and the mile or more
with which I finish up my pedestrian duties in the late afternoon. To
walk these two miles _per diem_ is a Draconian law which I impose upon
myself during all seasons of the year. When the snow lies deep in
winter, it is our old gardener's first duty in the morning to sweep
"Miss Edwards' path," as well as to clear two or three large spaces on
the lawn, in which the wild birds may be fed. The wild birds, I should
add, are our intimate friends and perennial visitors, for whom we keep
an open _table d'hôte_ throughout the year. By feeding them in summer
we lose less fruit than our neighbors; and by feeding them in winter
we preserve the lives of our little summer friends, whose songs are
the delight of ourselves and our neighbors in the springtime. There
are dozens of nests every summer in the ivy which clusters thickly
around my library windows; and we even carry our hospitality so far as
to erect small rows of model lodging-houses for our birds high up
under the eaves, which they inhabit in winter, and in which many
couples of sparrows and starlings rear their young throughout the

We will now leave the garden, and go into the house, which stands high
on a grassy platform facing the sunny west. We enter by a wooden
porch, which, as I write, is thickly covered with roses. As soon as
the front door is opened, the incoming visitor finds himself in the
midst of modern Egypt, the walls of the hall being lined with Damascus
tiles and Cairene woodwork, the spoils of some of those Meshrabeeyeh
windows which are so fast disappearing both in Alexandria and Cairo.
In a recess opposite the door stands a fine old chair inlaid with
ivory and various colored woods, which some two hundred years ago was
the Episcopal chair of a Coptic bishop. The rest of the hall furniture
is of Egyptian inlaid work. Every available inch of space on the
walls is filled and over-filled with curiosities of all descriptions.
On one bracket stand an old Italian ewer and plate in wrought brass
work; on another, a Nile "Kulleh" or water bottle, and a pair of cups
of unbaked clay; on others again, jars and pots of Indian, Morocco,
Japanese, Siût, and Algerian ware. Here also, are a couple of funerary
tablets in carved limestone, of ancient Egyptian work; a fragment of
limestone cornice from the ruins of Naukratis; and various specimens
of Majolica, old Wedgewood, and other ware, as well as framed
specimens of Rhodian and Damascus tiles.

If my visitor is admitted at all, which for reasons which I will
presently state is extremely doubtful, he passes through the hall,
leaving the dining-room to his right and the drawing-room to his left,
and is ushered along a passage, also lined with lattice-work, through
a little ante-room, and into my library. This is a fair-sized room
with a bay of three windows at the upper end facing eastward. My
writing-table is placed somewhat near this window; and here I sit with
my back to the light facing whomsoever may be shown into the room.

Sitting thus at my desk, the room to me is full of reminiscences of
many friends and many places. The walls are lined with glazed
bookcases containing the volumes which I have been slowly amassing
from the time I was fourteen or fifteen years of age. I cast my eyes
round the shelves, and I recognize in their contents the different
lines of study which I have pursued at different periods of my life.
Like the geological strata in the side of a cliff, they show the
deposits of successive periods, and remind me, not only of the changes
which my own literary tastes have undergone, but also of the various
literary undertakings in which I have been from time to time engaged.
The shelves devoted to the British poets carry me back to a time when
I read them straight through without a break, from Chaucer to
Tennyson. A large number of histories of England and works of British
biography are due to a time when I was chiefly occupied in writing the
letterpress to "The Photographic Historical Portrait Gallery,"--a very
beautiful publication illustrated with photographs of historical
miniatures, which never reached a second volume, and is now, I
believe, extremely scarce. An equally voluminous series of histories
of Greece and Rome, and of translations of the Greek and Latin poets,
marks the time when I first became deeply interested in classic
antiquity. To this phase also belong the beginnings of those
archæological works which I have of late years accumulated almost to
the exclusion of all other books, as well as my collection of volumes
upon Homer, which nearly fill one division of a bookcase. When I left
London some six and twenty years ago to settle at Westbury-on-Trym, I
also added to my library a large number of works on the fine arts,
feeling, as every lover of pictures must do, that it is necessary, in
some way or another, to make up for the loss of the National Gallery,
the South Kensington Museum, and other delightful places which I was
leaving behind. At this time, also, I had a passion for Turner, and
eagerly collected his engraved works, of which I believe I possess
nearly all. I think I may say the same of Samuel Prout. Of Shakespeare
I have almost as many editions as I have translations of Homer; and of
European histories, works of reference generally, a writer who lives
in the country must, of course, possess a goodly number. Of rare books
I do not pretend to have many. A single shelf contains a few good old
works, including a fine black-letter Chaucer, the Venetian Dante of
1578, and some fine examples of the Elizabethan period. I soon found,
however, that this taste was far too expensive to cultivate. Last of
all, in what I may call the upper Egyptological stratum of my books,
come those on Egypt and Egyptian archæology, a class of works deeply
interesting to those who make Egyptology their study, but profoundly
dull to everybody else.

Such are my books. If, however, I were to show my visitor what I
consider my choicest treasures, I should take down volumes which have
been given to me by friends, some now far distant, others departed.
Here, for instance, is the folio edition of Doré's "Don Quichotte," on
the fly-leaf of which he signs himself as my "_ami affectueux_;" or
some of the works of my dear friend of many years, John Addington
Symonds, especially "Many Moods," which he has dedicated to myself. Or
I would take down the first volume of "The Ring and the Book,"
containing a delightful inscription from the pen of Robert Browning;
or the late Lord Lytton's version of the Odes of Horace, in which is
inserted an interesting letter on the method and spirit of his
translation, addressed to me at the time of its publication. Next to
this stands a presentation copy of Sir Theodore Martin's translation
of the same immortal poems. To most persons these would be more
interesting than other and later presentation volumes from various
foreign savants--Maspero, Naville, Ebers, Wiedemann, and others.

I am often asked how many books I possess, and I can only reply that I
have not the least idea, having lost count of them for many years.
Those which are in sight are attired in purple and fine linen,
beautiful bindings having once upon a time been one of my hobbies; but
behind the beautiful bindings, many of which were executed from my own
designs, are other books in modest cloth and paper wrappers; so that
the volumes are always two rows, and sometimes even three rows deep.
If I had not a tolerably good memory, I should certainly be very much
perplexed by this arrangement, the more especially as my only
catalogue is in my head.

I fear I am allowing myself to say too much about my books; yet, after
all, they represent a large part of myself. My life, since I have
lived at The Larches, has been one of ever-increasing seclusion, and
my books have for many years been my daily companions, teachers, and
friends. Merely to lean back in one's chair now and then--merely to
lean back and look at them--is a pleasure, a stimulus, and in some
sense a gain. For, as it seems to me, there is a virtue which goes out
from even the backs of one's books; and though to glance along the
shelves without taking down a single volume be but a Barmecide feast,
yet the tired brain is consciously refreshed by it.

Although the room is essentially a bookroom, there are other things
than books to which one can turn for a momentary change of thought. In
yonder corner, for instance, stands an easel, the picture upon which
is constantly changed. To-day, it will be a water-color sketch by John
Lewis; to-morrow, an etching by Albert Dürer or Seymour Haden; the
next day, an oil painting by Elihu Vedder, or perhaps an ancient
Egyptian funerary papyrus, with curious pen-and-ink vignettes of gods
and genii surmounting the closely written columns of hieroglyphic

For, you see, I have no wall space in my library upon which to hang
pictures; and yet, I am not happy, and my thoughts are not rightly in
tune, unless I have a picture or two in sight, somewhere about the
room. In the corners, hidden away behind pedestals and curtains, a
quick eye may detect stacks of pictures, ready to be brought out and
put on the easel when needed. On the pedestals stand plaster casts of
busts from antique originals in the Louvre, the Uffizzi Gallery, and
the British Museum; and yonder, beside the arched entrance between the
ante-room and the library, stands a small white marble torso of a
semi-recumbent river god which I picked up years ago from amid the
dusty stores of a little curiosity-shop in one of the small by-streets
near Soho Square. It is a splendid fragment, so powerfully and
learnedly modelled, that no less a critic than the late Charles Blanc
once suggested to me that it might be a trial-sketch by a pupil of
Michael Angelo, or even by the master himself. Curiously enough, this
little masterpiece, which has lost both arms from below the shoulders
and both legs from above the knee, was wrecked before its completion;
the face, the beard, the hair and the back being little more than
blocked out, whereas, the forepart of the trunk is highly finished. On
the opposite side of the archway, in an iron tripod, stands a large
terra-cotta amphora found in the cellar of a Roman villa discovered in
1872, close behind the Baths of Caracalla.

As I happened to be spending that winter in Rome, I went, of course,
to see the new "scavo," and there were the big jars standing in the
cellar, just as in the lifetime of the ancient owner. I need scarcely
say that I bought mine on the spot.

It is such associations as these which are the collector's greatest
pleasures. Each object recalls the place and circumstances of its
purchase, brings back incidents of foreign travel, and opens up long
vistas of delightful memories. For me, every bit of old pottery on the
tops of the bookcases has its history. That Majolica jar painted with
the Medici arms, and those Montelupo plates, were bought in Florence;
those brass salvers with heads of Doges in repoussé work were picked
up in a dark old shop on one of the side canals of Venice. The tall
jars, yellow, green, white, and brown, with grotesque dragon mouths
and twisted handles, are of Gallipoli make, and I got them at a shop
in an out-of-the-way court at the top of a blind alley in Stamboul.

I have said that there are reasons why an intending visitor might,
perchance, fail to penetrate as far as this den of books and
bric-à-brac, and I might allege a considerable number, but they may
all be summed up in the one deplorable fact that there are but
twenty-four hours to the day, and seven days to the week. Time is
precious to me, and leisure is a thing unknown. If, however, the said
visitor is of congenial tastes, has gained admittance, and finds me
less busy than usual, he will, perhaps, be let into the secret of
certain hidden treasures, the existence of which is unsuspected by the
casual caller. For dearer to me than all the rest of my curios are my
Egyptian antiquities; and of these, strange to say, though none of
them are in sight, I have enough to stock a modest little museum.
Stowed away in all kinds of nooks and corners, in upstairs cupboards,
in boxes, drawers, and cases innumerable, behind books, and invading
the sanctity of glass closets and wardrobes, are hundreds, nay,
thousands, of those fascinating objects in bronze and glazed ware, in
carved wood and ivory, in glass, and pottery, and sculptured stone,
which are the delight of archæologists and collectors. Here, for
instance, behind the "_Revue Archeologique_" packed side by side as
closely as figs in a box, are all the gods of Egypt,--fantastic little
porcelain figures plumed and horned, bird-headed, animal-headed, and
the like. Their reign, it is true, may be over in the Valley of the
Nile, but in me they still have a fervent adorer. Were I inclined to
worship them with due antique ceremonial, there are two libation
tables in one of the attics ready to my hand, carved with semblances
of sacrificial meats and drinks; or here, in a tin box behind the
"_Retrospective Review_," are specimens of actual food offerings
deposited three thousand years ago in various tombs at
Thebes--shrivelled dates, lentils, nuts, and even a slice of bread.
Rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, amulets, mirrors, and toilet
objects, once the delight of dusky beauties long since embalmed and
forgotten; funerary statuettes, scarabs, rolls of mummy cloth, and the
like are laid by "in a sacred gloom" from which they are rarely, if
ever, brought forth into the light of day. And there are stranger
things than these,--fragments of spiced and bituminized humanity to be
shown to visitors who are not nervous, nor given to midnight terrors.
Here is a baby's foot (some mother cried over it once) in the Japanese
cabinet in the ante-room. There are three mummied hands behind
"_Allibone's Dictionary of English Authors_," in the library. There
are two arms with hands complete--the one almost black, the other
singularly fair,--in a drawer in my dressing-room; and grimmest of
all, I have the heads of two ancient Egyptians in a wardrobe in my
bedroom, who, perhaps, talk to each other in the watches of the night,
when I am sound asleep. As, however, I am not writing a catalogue of
my collection, I will only mention that there is a somewhat battered
statue of a Prince of Kush standing upright in his packing-case, like
a sentry in a sentry-box, in an empty coach-house at the bottom of the

It may, perhaps, be objected to my treatment of this subject that I
have described only my "home," and that, being myself, I have not
described Miss Edwards. This is a task which I cannot pretend to
perform in a manner satisfactory either to myself or the reader. My
personal appearance has, however, been so fully depicted in the
columns of some hundreds of newspapers, that I have but to draw upon
the descriptions given by my brethren of the press, in order to fill
what would otherwise be an inevitable gap in the present article. By
one, for instance, I am said to have "coal-black hair and flashing
black eyes"; by another, that same hair is said to be "snow-white";
while a third describes it as "iron-gray, and rolled back in a large
wave." On one occasion, as I am informed, I had "a commanding and
Cassandra-like presence"; elsewhere, I was "tall, slender, and
engaging"; and occasionally I am merely of "middle height" and, alas!
"somewhat inclined to _embonpoint_." As it is obviously so easy to
realize what I am like from the foregoing data, I need say no more on
the subject.

With regard to "my manners and customs" and the course of my daily
life, there is little or nothing to tell. I am essentially a worker,
and a hard worker, and this I have been since my early girlhood. When
I am asked what are my working hours, I reply:--"All the time when I
am not either sitting at meals, taking exercise, or sleeping"; and
this is literally true. I live with the pen in my hand, not only from
morning till night, but sometimes from night till morning. I have, in
fact, been a night bird ever since I came out of the schoolroom, when
I habitually sat up reading till long past midnight. Later on, when I
adopted literature as a profession, I still found that "To steal a
few hours from the night" was to ensure the quietest time, and the
pleasantest, for pen and brain work; and, for at least the last
twenty-five years, I have rarely put out my lamp before two or three
in the morning. Occasionally, when work presses and a manuscript has
to be despatched by the earliest morning mail, I remain at my desk the
whole night through; and I can with certainty say that the last
chapter of every book I have ever written has been finished at early
morning. In summertime, it is certainly delightful to draw up the
blinds and complete in sunlight a task begun when the lamps were
lighted in the evening.

And this reminds me of a little incident--too trivial, perhaps, to be
worth recording--which befell me so long ago as 1873. I had visited
the Dolomites during the previous summer, not returning to England
till close upon Christmastime, and I had been occupied during the
greater part of the spring in preparing that account of the journey
entitled "Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys." Time ran somewhat
short towards the last, as my publishers were anxious to produce the
volume early in June; and when it came to the point of finishing off,
I sat up all through one beautiful night in May, till the farewell
words were written. At the very moment when, with a sigh of
satisfaction, I laid down my pen, a wandering nightingale on the
pear-tree outside my library window, burst into such a flood of song
as I have never heard before or since. The pear-tree was in full
blossom; the sky behind it was blue and cloudless; and as I listened
to the unwonted music, I could not help thinking that, had I been a
pious scribe of the Middle Ages who had just finished a laboriously
written life of some departed saint, I should inevitably have believed
that the bird was a ghostly messenger sent by the good saint himself
to congratulate me upon the completion of my task.



     [12] This article is a reply to "The Tyranny of All the
          People," by the Rev. Francis Bellamy, in July ARENA.

It is a somewhat curious task to which I find myself set. To go on
with it may be to lay myself open to censure on the part of the
"Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals." What would have
been thought of the famous Davy Crockett, if he had fired his gun
after the coon had said, "Don't shoot, for I will come right down"?
But the Rev. Francis Bellamy "comes right down" before anybody is in
sight with a gun at all. He argues, indeed, in favor of nationalism;
but, before he begins, he whispers to you, confidentially, that he is
not much of a nationalist after all. Like Bottom, in "Midsummer
Night's Dream," he is anxious not to scare anybody, and so lets out
the secret that he is not a "truly" lion, but is only "taking the
part." In effect he tells the audience that "I will roar you as gently
as a sucking dove."

Let us see, from his own words, how much of a nationalist, and what
kind of a one he really is. "It is not without some question, however,
that I accept the generous challenge." (That is, to reply to the
editor of THE ARENA.) "For I am not sure that I myself believe in the
military type of socialism which the editor seems continually to have
in mind. The book ('Looking Backward') which, more than all others
combined, has brought socialism before American thought, has also
furnished to its opponents a splendidly clear target in its military
organization. It cannot be repeated too often, however, that the army
type is not conceded by socialists to be an essential, even if
nationalistic, socialism."

Later on, speaking of "the hostile critics," he says: "They delight to
picture the superb riot of corruption, if nationalists could have
their way at once. They will never listen, they will never remember,
while nationalists declare they would not have their way at once if
they could. A catastrophe by which nationalistic socialism might be
precipitated would be a deplorable disaster to human progress."

Later still, he brings out the idea that all he seeks is to begin, in
a small way, with towns and cities, and see how it works.

And once more he declares, "We certainly want no nationalism that is
not an orderly development." ... "Nationalism is only a prophecy. It
is too distant to be certainly detailed." ("For _this_ relief, _much
thanks_!") ... "We may be inspired by it as the end towards which
present movements are tending. But each age solves its own problems;
and the passage into the promised land is the issue for another
generation. A nearer view alone can determine where the passage is,
and whether the land is truly desirable....

"Meantime, what our people must vote upon in the present year of grace
is whether great private corporations shall control legislatures and
city councils, and charge their own unquestioned prices for such
public necessities of life as light and transit.... The future is in
the hands of evolution."

This latter paragraph challenges and receives my most unbounded
admiration. It is one of the neatest changes of base I ever witnessed.
I have seen remarkable feats performed by the prestidigitateur on the
stage; but they were clumsy compared with this. I thought it was
nationalism I was looking at. But, "presto, change!" I look again, and
the only thing visible is the question as to "whether great private
corporations shall control legislatures and city councils, and charge
their own unquestioned prices for such public necessities as light and
transit." I was looking for the "garden of Eden," the "kingdom of
heaven," the "promised land," or, at the very least, the fulfilment of
Mr. Edward Bellamy's dream of a Boston with poverty gone and everybody
happy, and lo! I am put off with economical electric lights and
cheaper street cars! To be sure, these latter are not to be despised;
but when one, like More's "Peri at the Gate," has been looking into
heaven, even free street lights and street cars _are_ a

But however disappointed we may be, let us turn and seriously face the
situation. The Rev. Francis Bellamy is not at all sure that he is in
favor of his brother's _kind_ of nationalism. And yet, the _kind_ and
_method_ were the only peculiar and distinctive things in his
brother's book. Dreams are old and common; but when this book
appeared, people shouted "Eureka! We have found the way. This is the
fulfilment of our dreams!" Now we are told, on authority, that it is
not. And we are just where we were before.

People may suffer from a vague discontent for any number of years,
while yet they do no more than complain and wish they were more
comfortable. So, for example, the farmers have been doing. But, so
long as they go no further, there is no definite "cause" either to
uphold or oppose. But, when they call a national convention and
construct a platform, announcing definite aims and methods, then there
is something to talk about. Now, a man is either for or against "The
Farmers' Alliance." Of course, he may be profoundly interested in the
farmers' welfare, and yet oppose their aims and methods, because he
does not believe that real help can come in the way that they, at
present, propose. But, until _some_ plan is proposed, there can hardly
be said to be any farmers' movement at all.

So of nationalism. It does not consist in an indefinite confession
that the industrial condition of the world is not all that one could
wish, and an equally indefinite dream, or hope, or trust in evolution.
If that be nationalism, then, of course, we are all nationalists. The
nationalist clubs have platforms, declarations of principles,
statements of aims and methods. The one only value of Mr. Edward
Bellamy's book--beyond mere entertainment--was in its clear statement
of _an end to be reached in certain definite ways_. Take this feature
away, and there is no nationalism left to even talk about.

As there are many different types of socialism, so, of course, there
may be many different kinds of nationalism. But there _must_ be _some_
kind, if the matter is to be intelligently discussed. But the Rev.
Francis Bellamy declines to be held to the scheme of Mr. Edward
Bellamy; and he does not give us any other in its place. He says he
wants nothing "that is not an orderly development"; nationalism is
"only a prophecy"; it is "too distant to be certainly detailed"; "we
may be inspired by it," but nobody can yet tell whether we shall want
it or not; its sudden coming would be "a deplorable disaster," etc.,

Now I submit to the candid reader as to whether this sort of thing is
not too nebulous and tenuous for the uninitiated mind to discuss. "An
orderly development"--but of nobody knows what nor in what
direction--"a prophesy," an intangible "inspiration"; these may be
very fine, but where are we, and what are we talking about? For all I
know, up to the present time, I may be in cordial agreement with the
Rev. Francis Bellamy's state of mind--if only I could find out what it
is. He does not agree with his brother; nor do I. So far we are in
accord. But I cannot tell whether I can take the next step with him,
until he tells me what the next step is. But he does not even suggest
a definite end, nor hint one definite method. I am heartily with him
in being in favor of the millennium; but the practical question
is,--_which way_?

The only definite thing he does suggest is that, as the process of
natural evolution goes on, men will be competent to decide what they
want; and if they do not want any particular thing, they will not have
it. This is all very harmless; but it is so commonplace a truism that
it is hardly worth while to get excited over it.

But while he does not define himself, nor tell us what it is, nor how
it is to be come at, it is plain, all the way through, that he is a
believer in "nationalistic socialism." Now, we cannot indict a man for
cherishing hopes, or for encouraging them in others. But, in the case
of the negroes, at the close of the war, it was a real evil for them
to be expecting "a mule and forty acres of land" from the government;
for it stood in the way of real effort in practical directions. So,
while a nobler ideal is of incalculable benefit to a people, it is a
real evil for them to be indulging in impractical dreams. They waste
effort and divert power from practical ends, and result in that kind
of disappointment that discourages the heart and unnerves the arm.
Those, then, who talk of nationalism as a solution of our troubles,
ought to tell us just what they are after, and what methods they
propose. Then we can find out whether the plans will work or not.
Otherwise time, enthusiasm, and effort may all be wasted.

But the only definite end this article hints at is the destruction of
those monopolies that make light and transportation dear. But it is
conceivable that this may be done without a resort to nationalistic
socialism. And this, which he says is the first step, may be a step in
any one of several different directions. And if what he is after is to
come only as the result of a natural evolution, when everybody wants
it, and not as the result of a social catastrophe, then it would seem
to be difficult to tell the difference between it and individualism.
"The rounded development of the greatest number of individuals," he
himself sets forth as the motive and end of his kind of nationalism.
Now if somebody is going to _make me_ take on a "sounder development,"
that is one thing, but if everybody is only going to let _me_ do it,
that is quite another thing. Mark Twain's "Buck Fanshaw" was going to
have peace, if he had to "lick every galoot in town" to get it. This
may well stand for Edward Bellamy's military nationalism. But if we
are only going to have peace when everybody wants it, and will behave
himself, why this seems like the Rev. Francis Bellamy's nationalism,
with the "military" left out. And this, I say, looks to me very much
like the kind of individualism which I believe in.

I pass by, completely, the philosophical discussion as to what
constitutes "a nation." This I do, because it does not seem to me
relevant to the matter in hand. If my individual liberty is interfered
with, I cannot see that it helps me much to reflect that a nation, or
"the nation," is not a "sand-heap," but is "an organic being." The
oppression is the matter; and I had as lief be oppressed by a
sand-heap as by an organic being. What I object to is being oppressed
by either of them. And, whatever may be in the future, when men get to
be something different from what they are, _so far_ in the history of
the world it has been true that all kinds of governments have
oppressed the individual. And, so far, the only safety of the
individual has been such guarantees of personal rights and liberties
as have limited the governmental power. And until some one can give
the world assurance that human nature is to be transformed, it will be
just as well to maintain the guarantees, instead of putting still more
power into the hands of the government--whether it be called one thing
or another. While even one wolf is abroad, the wise shepherd will not
get rid of his dog.

But, while the Rev. Francis Bellamy has "come down," to the extent of
virtually giving up any kind of nationalism definite enough to fight
about, he nevertheless goes on with his arguments against the editor's
positions just as though nothing at all had happened. He stands up for
"nationalistic socialism" as though it were something clearly in
mind. And he argues at length that the state of things covered by this
term will not be open to such dangers as have been found to exist
under all other forms of government. Either human nature is to be
changed--though he does not tell us how--or there is to be some charm
in "nationalistic socialism" that is to change the nature of
"politics," disarm prejudice, make philistinism broad-minded, and turn
bigotry into tolerance. Wonderful is the power of _my_ particular

Neither of the brothers Bellamy expect or propose any sudden change in
human nature. "Looking Backward" plainly and positively disclaims any
such expectation. So we are not only at liberty to deal with social
forces and factors as they have been, and as we know them, but we are
even compelled to do so. Let us, then, take up some of Mr. Flower's
points against nationalism, and see whether Mr. Bellamy has adequately
met them.

Mr. Flower thinks that nationalism would mean governmentalism and
paternalism--in the historic sense of those terms--raised to the
highest degree; and that these are both bad things. Mr. Bellamy admits
that they have been bad things in the past; but claims that something
in nationalistic socialism is to change their nature. As, in the
millennium, the lion is to "eat straw like the ox," so, in this coming
Edenic condition of affairs, the age-long oppressors of the individual
are to lose their man-eating proclivities. The world is open to
conviction on this point; but it will take more than words to produce
the result. When we see a lion eating grass, while the sheep play
about his feet, we will believe in his conversion. For--let the reader
take earnest heed--it is not the conscious evil in men that has been
oftenest the oppressor of their fellows; almost always the plea for it
has been the general good. Church and State both have set this
propensity down among the great cardinal virtues. As Saul of Tarsus
thought he was doing God service when he persecuted the early Church,
so the Church herself sang _Te Deums_ over St. Bartholomew, and
believed verily that the groans of the Inquisition and the fires of
her _autos de fé_ were for the glory of God and the good of man.

The curse of the whole business is just here--that a set of men should
fancy that they know better what their brothers ought to think and do
than the brothers themselves know. Mr. Bellamy himself lets out, in a
most curious way, his own advanced (?) idea of "toleration." By the
way, I would like to know how it happens to be any of his business,
for example, to "tolerate" me. Who sets him, or anybody else, up on
high to look down with "toleration" on other people?

But let us note his idea of "toleration." He says, with great
emphasis, "A man may prove to me by inductive data, reaching
uninterruptedly over ten thousand years"--I did not know he was so
old--"that my own nature is intolerant; he may even corroborate his
proof by pointing to my occasional acts of thoughtless disregard for
another's opinion; yet all this array does not overwhelm me, for _I
know_ [Italics mine] that I am not intolerant." This superlative
confidence in his own goodness makes me think of the congressman of
whom it was said, "He is the most distinguished man in Washington. I
know he is, _for he admits it himself_."

But a little later on creeps out an indication, in the light of which
we have a right to interpret this claim. Mr. Flower, in his editorial,
had shown how a Christian Scientist had been arrested in Iowa for this
offence. In the words of the indictment, "She had practised _a cure_
on one Mrs. George B. Freeman." After the physicians had pronounced
the case hopeless, and had given her up, this criminal woman had
actually dared to "cure" her. The heinousness of the offence was
admitted. It was not, in the ordinary sense, malpractice; no medicine
had been given, no pain was inflicted, no harm done. But she had been
presumptuous enough to "cure," and not after the "regular," the
orthodox way. Now the Rev. Francis Bellamy shows his "tolerance" in
regard to this crucial case, by saying, "But it is certainly true that
the State has the right to prevent malpractice--a right none of us
would wish renounced." Just what this has to do with an instance where
the _only_ malpractice even charged was that she "had practised a
cure," after all the physicians had given her up, is not very plain to
the worldly minded. But he goes on,--"And as soon as there are
sufficient data to convince an intelligent (_sic_) public opinion that
the theory, with its perilous repudiation of all medical skill, is not
fatal to human life, it will receive an ungrudged status."

"Here's richness," as Mr. Squeers would say. Mr. Bellamy's "tolerance"
then is limited carefully to what has an accepted "status" as judged
by "public opinion." It begins now to be plain as to what "tolerance"
is to be in the millennial era of nationalism.

But there is one more hint in Mr. Bellamy's article, without which
this new and improved definition of tolerance would not be complete.
He says, "It is hard to discover what individualism is surrendered
_except_ bumptiousness." But who is to decide what is "bumptiousness"?
Why, "an intelligent public opinion," of course. And who is to settle
as to what is "an intelligent public opinion," that has the right to
put down "bumptiousness"? Why, the "intelligent" public, of course. So
it comes back always to this,--we, the ruling majority, are
intelligent, and we have the right to decide as to what shall be and
shall not be permitted.

But now to go back a moment to a point that must not be lost sight of;
for it involves the whole issue between personal freedom and tyranny,
whether of a part of the people or all of them. He says, "as soon as
there are sufficient data to convince an intelligent public opinion,
etc., etc." But just how is this "data" to be accumulated, so long as
anybody who dares to have a new idea is to be arrested and imprisoned?
The very most fatal objection to this universal supervision and
control of all individual action by the governing power, which
nationalism contemplates and which is of its very essence, is that it
would become the tyranny of mediocrity, and would stand in the way of

Two forces, at work freely, are necessary to evolution: heredity and
the tendency to vary. The one conserves all the valuable attainments
of the past; and the other, like the new sprouts and twigs on a
growing tree, has in it all the promise of the future. Such a control
of life as nationalism contemplates would suppress the new twigs as
"bumptiousness," or would--while breaking them off as fast as they
appeared--ask them to accumulate "sufficient data to convince an
intelligent public opinion."

The "intelligent public opinion" of Europe thought Copernicus, and
Bruno, and Galileo, and Luther very bumptious sorts of persons. With
"an intelligent public opinion," such as existed in England and
America thirty years ago, on the subject of the origin of species,
what would have become of Darwin--provided that, at that time, the
governing power had assumed and exercised the right to put him to some
"useful" occupation, or to suppress ideas popularly believed to be

The plain fact of the matter is, that all the persecutions of the past
have grown out of just this idea, which Mr. Bellamy endorses, that an
"intelligent public opinion" has the right to tell certain individuals
what they shall believe and teach. And _all_ the growth of human
civilization thus far has been in the direction of the rise of the
individual as over against the claim of the majority to control. And
there is no safety for the individual, and no sure and swift promise
of human advance, until "intelligent public opinion" is taught to mind
its own business.

While, then, Mr. Bellamy denies that there is any danger of
"governmentalism" or "paternalism" under nationalistic control, he
himself admits and defends the principle. This he does while loudly
claiming to be tolerant. What, then, may we expect on the part of the
great mass of the people whose equal (?) tolerance he does not
undertake to guarantee? Is it just possible that his nationalism,
which is not of the military type even, is already manifesting some
symptoms of the incipient disease?

Five cases of the tyranny of the majority, that had been adduced by
Mr. Flower, his antagonist claims to deal with. I have already touched
on his treatment of Case II., that of the Christian Scientist. His
treatment of only one other is significant enough to call for notice
on my part. Case V. is that of one Powell of Pennsylvania. This man
had put a large sum of money into the business of manufacturing
oleomargarine. He had complied with all the conditions of the law. His
product was what it claimed to be, and was stamped as such. Nobody was
deceived or injured. But a later legislature--as if there were not
already crimes enough in existence--declares this manufacture a crime.
The "intelligent public" majority calmly robs him of his property and
ruins him, and feels no sort of compunction in the matter. One year it
encourages him to start a business; the next it ruins him for starting

Mr. Bellamy, however, says this "proves too much. It shows a vested
money interest controlling a legislature and voting a rival business
into outlawry." And he adds, "This is a kind of instance socialists
like to get hold of." If socialists like to play with dynamite, then I
should think they might like such cases; otherwise, not. For it
happens precisely not to illustrate what Mr. Bellamy says it does.
Instead of its having been a case of "a vested money interest
controlling the legislature and voting a rival into outlawry," it
happened to be the "intelligent public opinion" of the farmers, who
wanted their butter business protected even though it took robbery to
do it. And this is just the kind of justice any new business may
expect, under nationalistic control, until it has accumulated "data"
enough to satisfy "intelligent public opinion."

Governmentalism and paternalism have always been evils, Mr. Flower
asserts. This Mr. Bellamy admits. For this reason, Mr. Flower thinks
the power of government should be minimized, and the individual left
more and more free. This would seem to be a most logical inference.
But, no, says Mr. Bellamy, for there is something peculiar in
nationalism that is going to neutralize all these malign tendencies.
He does not make it quite plain to the uninitiated as to how this is
to be done. The chief point seems to be that, instead of one man doing
it, as in a monarchy, or a few men doing it, as in an aristocracy,
everybody is going to do, and whatever everybody does is necessarily
going to be all right. Those to whom this appears perfectly plain and
satisfactory, of course are "not far from the kingdom of heaven," as
nationalism views it. I, for one, however, would like a few of the
"data," supposed to be so efficacious in other matters.

To sum the matter up, in closing, I wish to state definitely and
clearly a few objections to nationalistic socialism that seem to me

1. The world began in socialism. In the barbaric period the tribe was
all and the individual nothing. Every step of human progress has kept
pace with the rise of the individual.

2. Military socialism, such as Mr. Edward Bellamy advocates, would be
only another name for universal despotism, in which the individual, if
not an officer, would only count one in the ranks. It would be the
paradise of officialism on the one hand, and helpless subordination on
the other.

3. Nobody is ready to talk definitely about any other kind of
nationalism; for nobody has outlined any working method. If it is only
what everybody freely wishes done--and this seems to be the Rev.
Francis Bellamy's idea--then it is hard to distinguish it from
individualism. At any rate, it is not yet clear enough to be clearly

4. Nationalism, as commonly understood, could mean nothing else but
the tyranny of the commonplace. Democracy, as we know it, is limited
in all sorts of ways. It only looks after certain public affairs,
while the main part of the life of the individual is free. But suppose
the majority undertook to manage all the business of the country,
appoint each man his place and keep him in it, determine what should
be known, and taught, and done--it fairly stifles one only to think of
it! There has never been a time in the history of the world, when the
wisest and best things would not have been voted down. For it is
always the few who lead in religion, in morals, in art, in literature,
in learning, in all high service. But these few now do it, not by
despotic power, but only by influence; so all may be free. And there
has never been a time in the world's history when the most important
things that were being done were of apparent utility in the eyes of
the crowd. Consider Homer and Virgil, Isaiah and Jesus, Dante,
Shakespeare, Angelo, Copernicus, Galileo, Goethe, Luther, Servetus,
Newton, Darwin, Spencer, Galvani,--had nationalism been dominant in
their days, how long would it have been before the "intelligent public
opinion" of the governing board of their departments would have had
them up to show cause why they should not "go to work for a living"?

The progress of the world, up to the present hour, has always meant
the larger and still larger freedom of the individual. This freedom
has always had its evils. So all life has its disadvantages. But only
a few people, in any generation, believe in suicide as a cure.
Nationalism, freely chosen, would be the murder of liberty and social
suicide. When people have thought about it enough to comprehend its
meaning, they will choose to bear what ills they must, and seek some
more helpful method of cure, rather than adopt such an "heroic"
treatment as kills the patient in the hope of getting rid of the



In this day of multiplied facilities for education, a day when
training begins with the kindergarten and ends in what is called
"higher education" both for men and women, the thoughtful observer is
constantly confronted by the question, why are not the people
educated? It is quite true that a great many people are; that very
many more believe they are; and still more believe the day is coming
when they are to _be_ educated in the broad and liberal sense of the
word. Our systems, founded upon the old scholastic idea, are generally
considered satisfactory, and any failure that may be observed in
results is attributed to the fact that, in particular cases, they have
not yet had time or opportunity for successful operation. And yet,
year after year, we are passing through the mills of our public
schools and colleges multitudes of minds that come out like travellers
who climb to the top of every high tower in their journey, because
they will not come home without being able "to say they have done it."

Apparently, too many of our students go through their course for no
better reason than to _say_ they have done it. There are grand and
noble exceptions, but these are generally among those who do not care
to SAY anything about it. The great majority, however, come forth in
the mental condition of the man, who laboriously climbs step by step
of the tower, takes his bird's-eye view of the field of learning,
accepts the impressions made upon his mind by the vast picture and the
vast mixture, and comes down to his own level again with no more real
knowledge of that at which he has glanced than has the traveller who
has taken a glimpse from the heights which he climbed, because the
guide-book said this was "the thing to do."

In every walk of life, among statesmen, men of business, and artisans,
exist noble examples of exceptional profundity and reality of
knowledge, but in the great average of so-called educated people of
our own generation, we find the majority possessing very fragmentary
interest in any of the subjects which, as students, were supposed to
engage their attention. What they would have been without the
so-called education we cannot judge, and it might be unfair to infer,
but what they are no discriminating person, with a knowledge of what
our systems claim, can fail to see. We cannot ignore the fact that for
some reason they have failed to attain their natural and possible

Our educational theories, on paper and in text-books, are well-nigh
perfect; in actual operation why should they fail? Like a great
machine, fed with the material of thought, the crank turns, the wheels
go round, and the whole world is a-buzz with the work and the noise,
but the creature on whom all this power is expended, is only in rare
instances a truly educated man or woman. What, then, is the defect? If
the machine is right, then the material with which it is fed must be
defective. If the material is right, then the machine has every virtue
except that of adaptation to the use for which it was intended.

Since the whole end and aim of education is to develop, not the ideal
mental constitution, but the real mind just as we find it, the real
creature just as he is; and since we cannot change the human mind to
make it fit the machine, the effort should be to adapt the educational
process to suit the human mind. To what extent they are doing this is
one of the great questions for teachers of the present day. To what
extent,--admitting that now in some particulars they fail,--it may be
possible to modify and adapt methods to the actual and genuine needs
of human nature, is certainly a problem worthy of the earnest thought
of the broadest and best cultured minds. In attempts at adaptation we
have fallen into a process of analyzing the youthful human creature.
Having discovered that he possesses mathematical capacity, we have
supplied him with mathematical training, and have in this department
thrust upon him all, and sometimes more, hard work than he can bear.
Having found he possessed religious faculty, we have emptied upon him
the theologies and psychologies, and when we have supplied him in
these and other directions we look for the educated man. Judge of our
disappointment. We find the faculties, we find the modifications
produced by the training, but we look in vain for the man. With all
our multiplied facilities for producing a trained and disciplined
nature, what we think we have a right to expect,--but what we do not
find,--is a creature conscious of his own great heritage, conscious of
his kinship with all humanity, of his kingship over the universe, of
his power to grapple with the world outside of himself, and of his
rightful dominance over both the life without and the grander life
within. Instead, we find men weak where they should be most purposeful
and brave. We find him the slave of the body who should be able to
make the body the servant of his soul. We find hands untrained to
practical uses, minds unequal to grasping the common wants of
existence, hearts in which the high ideals of character and strong
impulses toward true usefulness are over-swept by that consideration
for self that makes one's own interests seem the very centre of the
universe of God.

The day needs giants; it produces pigmies. It needs men to fight; it
produces men to run. It needs women with minds broad enough to think
and hearts large enough to love. It needs motherhood that, while it
bends protectingly over the cradle of its own child, reaches out a
mother-heart to all the suffering childhood of the race. It needs the
capacity for heroism; it yields the tendency to cowardice. In the
midst of learning, ignorance triumphs, vice rules, and sensualism
thrives; and all this, not because of education, but in spite of it.
And when we consider that our schools in their lower grades, our
kindergartens and our primary and Sunday schools, take the infant mind
before the tendency to vice has had any chance for development, and
that the next higher grades take them on through successive years,
without being able to prevent such results as these mentioned above,
we naturally feel that, at the very outset, our educational system
must be wrong. However it may be suited to the ideal conditions it
cannot be adapted to the average human creature, taken exactly as he
is. The lack, which begins at the very basis of our so-called
intelligent discipline, runs through the whole, in constantly
increasing ratio. Brain is stimulated, and heart and soul are left to
starve, and nothing is more neglected than the cunning of the hand.
Even where some attempt is made at the training of the whole nature,
it is done without recognition of the infinite variety in the human
mind. Processes ought to be adapted, not only to the universal but to
the individual need. It does not follow that the universal need is
necessarily or invariably unlike the individual need, or that
individual needs are always identical, but any system of education
that gives, for a great variety of minds, precisely the same course of
training, is sure to be, for a majority of those minds, a pitiful and
conspicuous failure.

What then? Shall we have a separate school for every child? Shall we
have a special teacher for each mind? That would probably be
impossible, but we certainly should have so small a number of pupils
under each teacher that she (and we are taking it for granted that the
teachers of little children will largely be women) may be able to
study the whole nature of every little one committed to her care. She
should be not only in communication, but in real _communion_ with the
mother; should know the child's mental and moral inheritance, and, in
as far as her own watchful care and the help of the family physician
may enable her to do so, she should understand its physical
constitution. She should acquaint herself with the temperament, the
habits, the degree of affection, and the little germs of spiritual
insight and inspiration, all of which go to make up the nature of the
little creature in her charge. If she be the true teacher, she should
combine the threefold duties of mother, instructor, and physician for
the young life unfolding in her care. If she has not the heart to love
the child and to let the child love her, and so to lay foundation for
the larger loving, that, by and by, shall out-reach and take in the
whole humanity of God, then we will not say she has mistaken her
calling, but her own process of education has been defective and she
has much to learn.

Such threefold development for heart, hand, and brain of the little
child makes preparation for the next higher steps of educational work.
Whatever form the training may assume, the individuality of the human
soul should be kept inviolate. That individuality betrays itself in
many ways; by emotion and sentiment, by quickness or dullness of
perception, and above all, by preferences and dislikes. These minute
indications as to just what elements of spirit and mind have entered
into the nature of the child, are the little delicate fibres that show
the texture of the human soul with which we have to deal. The child
learns too soon to draw in and hide the frail, sensitive tendrils that
indicate that the life of the soul-plant is feeling its way toward the
light of God.

In the primary school, the teacher (and sometimes in the cradle, the
mother, who is, whether she would have it so or not, the child's first
teacher) begins the process of training by which the little one is
made to do as others do, to say what others say, and to conceal the
fact that it has any inward life or impulses that are not the same as
those of other children.

Instead of being able to read the God-given signs as to what the
infant nature really requires, we give it instead an arbitrary supply,
based upon what we think it ought to need, and then marvel that it
does not thrive upon its unnatural diet. We have not supplied what it
craved but that which, from our preconceived notion, we thought it
ought to want.

This process of applying our rule and line to the mind goes farther
and bears harder upon the student with every succeeding year, until,
long before the so-called education is completed, three quarters of
the students have lost the consciousness that they ever cared, or ever
_could_ have cared, for anything except that which the class supplied.
To be what the class is, to do what the class does, to be satisfied
with knowing what the class knows, to have lost the sense of the value
of the thing to be gained, and to measure by false standards, comes to
be the rule, until the conceit of knowledge takes the place of the
modesty of conscious ignorance, and the student becomes a drop in the
annual out-pouring stream of so-called teachers, many of whom, in the
highest sense, have never been genuine students at all.

Searching for causes of such results, we cannot fail to see that much
of this dead sameness of intellectual character is due to our habit of
educating in masses. We make an Arab feast of our knowledge. A dish is
prepared that contains something that might be strengthening for each
partaker. With hands more or less clean, students select their savory
morsels from the sop. As in the Arab family, for old and young, for
the babe in arms, and the strong man from his field of toil, the
provision is the same, so in all our class-work we have the sameness
of provision with almost as great disparity of capacity and need. If,
out of the whole mental "mess of pottage" that can be taken which
builds the student up in true wisdom and knowledge, it is fortunate;
but if nothing is assimilated on which the mind could truly thrive, no
fault is found with the provision, nor is resultant ignorance
considered to be specially worthy of blame.

The evil effects of educating in masses, or in classes, is
sufficiently apparent to cause us to consider the question whether
there is any possible remedy,--whether there could be a substitution
of individual for general training, or a combination of the two that
would produce a better result. That student is losing ground as an
individual who comes to be considered or to consider himself as simply
a factor of a class. If the general teaching must be that which is
applicable to the entire class, there should also be provision for
instruction that could be adapted to the individual need, and as great
effort as is made to adapt class work to the general need should be
made in the special direction also. But the objection arises that the
modern teacher is not able to work in both directions in the time
allotted for student life. We are very well aware that we have not yet
passed the stage where the value of the teacher's work is measured by
the number of hours in which he is engaged in the classroom. Trustees,
as a whole, pay for the professor's full time, and expect it to be
fully employed. Neither are the educators many who would know what to
do if simply let loose among students and left free to make their best
impressions upon the minds of the young.

To many teachers the mind of youth is, in reality, an unexplored
region, and until we have a change in this respect, and learn that the
knowledge of books is only the beginning of wisdom, and that the true
knowledge must include also that of the living book,--the student
entrusted to our care,--we have scarcely learned the alphabet of true

The day will come, though it may be long in coming, when every
institution of learning will have, besides its technical teachers, its
lecturers and its conductors of recitations,--one man or one woman, or
as many men and women as are needed, whose special province it will be
to study the individual temperament, to discover native tendencies,
tastes, and capacities of the mind, and whose knowledge will be true
wisdom in the sense that they will know not only how to ascertain, but
how to supply real needs.

That cramping and stifling of natural tastes, which is now so marked a
feature of school training, will be replaced by the cultivation of
every good natural ability, and the suppression of only that which in
itself is evil. Quite too often, even in this latter day, the
restraint is put upon the natural powers, simply because their
development calls for extra labor and special trouble, or because
these powers indicate training in lines of work not being attempted by
the class.

Let the routine work continue to be done, and, if necessary, in the
routine fashion, but let every institution have on its Faculty one
soul, at least, whose province is not to crush, but to cultivate and
develop individual traits of mind and character. Such an instructor
must not be ignorant of books, but that intricate book, the human
heart, should be his special study, and he should know, not only what
human beings are, but should be able to help them to grow into what
God meant them to be. Such a man with a large and sympathetic heart
that can be hospitable to boyhood as it is, will do more toward the
moulding of genuine manhood than can a dozen professors of the
ordinary type. One such woman in every institution for the education
of girls holds really the future destiny of those girls in her own
hand, for her life among them could have but one dominant
desire,--that of helping them to be the thing God meant. Practically
living out that desire she becomes, not the restraint and destroyer of
their natural vitality of thought and feeling, but the guide and
director of all their native forces into every beautiful field of
learning, and into the highest type of development possible for woman,
under present limitations, to attain.

Whether we recognize the fact or not, there is not a phase of our
social or national life that is unaffected by the lack of proper
development of individuality. The whole tendency of our civilization
has been in the direction of making people, as nearly as possible,
like other people. Characters of marked individuality are relegated to
the class of so-called cranks. To be above the dead level of general
sentiment and attainment is to be in decidedly bad form. This work of
taking out of people the characteristics placed within them by nature,
and making them over into the convenient and conventional types that
think as others think, and do what others do, has marked our
civilization from its earlier stages, and the more civilized we become
the more pronounced are the results. Among these results are great
loss of spiritual and mental vitality. It is time to call a halt, to
change our methods, or to supplement them by methods of individual
training. The beginning of such a work will mark an educational era,
the inception of which should not be longer delayed.



The story of working-women, of those women forced by changes in
industrial and social conditions into occupations outside the home, is
limited to the last hundred years. The division of labor resulting in
the factory system, and the multiplication of trades, has opened many
employments hitherto unknown, in which the use of female labor has
become almost a necessity. Woman has had her share of work from the
beginning, often much more than her share, but it ran usually in the
simple lines of household requirements; and if it chanced, here and
there, to be of larger scope, this was, after all, mostly tentative.
Work with deliberate intent to earn a living is chiefly a fact of the
nineteenth century, and any tangible estimate of woman as a competitor
of man in the struggle for existence must be based upon the facts of
the past hundred years. It is within hardly more than a generation
that the importance of the subject has become plain, and now we are
all questioning as to what is included in the life of the
working-woman; what is her economic and social condition; what are her
rights and her wrongs; what bearing have they on society at large, and
what concern is it of ours why or how she works, or what wage she

We are well aware that humanity has always had the enforced work of
women as an essential part of its development, enforced not by law but
by the necessities of life. In any new country, the work of women is a
vital factor in its success or failure, in its growth and general
prosperity; and in the early days of our own country this was far
truer than now. There were then no trades open to women, because the
organization of society was much less complex than it now is, and the
family represented a union of trades. This had been the case in
England and, indeed, in all civilized countries, and is even true of
those early days when skins were all that was needed, and thorns were
the only needles and pins. But from the day of that disastrous
experience in the Garden, clothing, and the necessities involved in
it, has been the synonym of sorrow for women, and the needle stands as
the visible token of disaster, sorrow, and wrong of every order--"the
asp upon the breast of the poor."

Civilization has always in the nature of things meant war. It is only
out of the conflict of class with class, interest with interest, that
advance comes. "Strife is the father of all things and the king of all
things," was the word of Heraclitus the Wise. "It hath brought forth
some as gods and others as men, and hath made some bond and others
free. When Homer prayed that strife might depart from amongst gods and
men, he wist not that he was cursing the birth of all things, for all
things have their birth in war and enmity."

It is only in this later day that we begin to realize other
possibilities, and to wonder if the world has not had enough of wars
and tumults, and cannot bring about the desired end without further
expenditure of blood and tears. With war has ever been, and ever will
be, the forcing of women left with no breadwinner into the ranks of
the earners, and only later centuries have given an opportunity beyond
domestic service. It is the last fifty years that has suddenly opened
up the myriad possibilities in the more than four hundred trades into
which women have thronged.

The field is so enormous that one is tempted aside from the real point
at issue. What we have to do is to consider work for women as a whole,
with all that it involves for womankind. It is not alone the worker
herself, but the woman who uses the product of the worker's labor that
should understand what obligation is laid upon her. She is not free
from responsibility, for certain conditions which have come to the
surface, that form part of the life of the day, and must be dealt with
in wiser fashion than heretofore, if we are to attain the
"consummation devoutly to be wished."

In the beginning of our history, women were at as high a premium as
they are now in the remote West, but this was a temporary state, and
as more and more, Fortune smiled on the struggling colonies, many
forms of labor were transferred from male to female hands. Limitations
were of the sharpest. That they were often unconscious ones, made them
no less grinding. To "better one's self" was the effort of all. Long
before the Declaration of Independence had formulated the thought
that all men possess certain inalienable rights, amongst which are
"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," this had become the
faith of those who, braving the perils of the deep, had settled in an
unknown country, that they might enjoy the rights to which they had
been born. The largest liberty for the individual consistent with the
equal liberty of others was demanded and received, nor did it lessen
as time went on. Liberty begat liberty. The ideal was always a growing
one. Less limitation, not more, was the order of each fresh day that
dawned. To every soul born into the colony, to every descendant of
these souls, was a larger hope, a higher ambition. The standard of
living altered steadily even in that portion of the country which
retained longest the old simplicity, and best knew how to combine
"plain living and high thinking," until in course of time the family
remained no longer a colony in itself. Clothing and every necessary,
which was formerly of home manufacture, could now be obtained from
without, and women found outside the family practicable work to do.

The first factory established in New England, early in the present
century, ended the old order or rather was the beginning of the end.
But long before machinery had made the factory a necessity, there had
been the struggle to break the bonds which held all women save the few
who had wealth fast to the household. The same spirit that brought the
pilgrim over the sea stirred in his descendants. The kitchen had
proved itself a prison no less than now, and women and girls flocked
into this new haven and worked with an enthusiasm that nothing could

"Oh, those blessed factories!" said to me one day, a woman, herself an
earnest worker for present factory reform, and who began her literary
life as contributor to the Lowell _Offering_. "You people will never
know the emancipation they brought. I loathed the kitchen, and life
went by in one. So many New England kitchens were built with no
outlook, and ours was one. I used to run round the house to see the
sunset over the mountain, and I can hear Aunt Nabby now: 'There goes
that child again! I'd lock her up if she were mine!' We were all
locked up! No chance for more than the commonest education; no money
for any other. And then came these blessed factories! You laugh, but
that was what they seemed then. We earned in them and saved, and in
the end got our education, or gave it to our brothers, who were almost
as shut in. They have altered--yes; but they were deliverance in the
beginning, I can tell you, and in spite of present knowledge, I never
see one of the tall chimneys without remembering and being thankful."

Such has been the story of most of man's inventions. Beginning as
blessing they have in the end shown themselves largely as instruments
of oppression. But in this case it is not the factory; it is the
principle of competition, carried to an extreme, that has brought in
its train child labor and many another perplexing problem. So many
changes for the better are also involved; the general standard of
living is so much higher, that unless brought into direct relation
with workers under the worst conditions, it is impossible to know or
realize the iniquities that walk hand in hand with betterment.

To one who has watched these conditions, the question arises, does the
general advance keep step with the special? Mental and spiritual bonds
are broken for the better class. Does this mean a proportionate
enlightenment for the one below? Has the average worker time or
thought for self-improvement and larger life? Are hours of labor
lessening and possibilities increasing? These questions, and many of
the same order, can have no definite answer from the private inquirer,
whose field of observation is limited, and who can form no trustworthy
estimate till facts from many sources have been set in order, such
order, that safe deductions are possible for every intelligent reader.

It is to Massachusetts that we owe the first formal, trustworthy
examination into the status of the working-woman, and the remarkable
reports of that Bureau of Labor, under the management of Mr. C. D.
Wright, have been the model for all later work in the same direction.
As the result of a steadily growing interest in the subject, we have
now under the same admirable management, the first authoritative
statement of conditions as a whole. The fourth annual report of the
United States Bureau of Labor, entitled, "Working-women in Large
Cities," gives us the result of some three years' diligent work in
collecting information as to every phase of the working-woman's life,
from the trade itself, with its possibilities and abuses, to the
personal characteristics of the woman who had chosen it. It is not
only the student of social science who needs to study the volume, but
the working-women themselves will find here the answer to many
questions, and to some of the charges now and then brought against
them as a class.

The value of figures like these is seldom at once apparent, since many
facts seem isolated and irrelevant. But the fact that they have not
been gathered in the interest of a theory but are set down merely as
material for deduction, gives them a value, not always attached to
figures, and will make them serve as the basis of many a practical

It is women earning a living at manual labor who are meant by
working-women, and thus all professional and semi-professional
occupations, such as teaching, stenography, typewriting, and
telegraphy, with the thousands who are employed in them, are excluded
from the report. Outside of these occupations, three hundred and
forty-three distinct industries have been investigated. Twenty-two
cities have given in returns, all representative as to locality, and
ending with San Francisco and San Jose for the Pacific slope. Personal
interviews were had by the government agents, with 17,427 women, this
being, according to the estimate of the report, from six to seven per
cent. of the whole number of women engaged in the class of work coming
under observation. I am convinced that this estimate of the United
States report is very misleading. The 17,427 women being six per cent.
of all those engaged in the three hundred and forty-two industries
investigated, the total so employed in the twenty-two cities would be
290,450, which on the face of it appears to be absurd. The New York
Commissioner of Labor, in the report of his Bureau for 1885, estimates
that there were, in 1884, over 200,000 women employed in the various
trades in the city of New York alone. Neither of these reports
includes women employed in rougher manual labor, such as scrubbing,
washing, and domestic service. If the New York Commissioner's estimate
for New York City is correct, and I confess it seems to me to be
nearly so, and if Mr. Wright's estimate is as much too low in all the
other cities as it seems to be in New York, the actual number employed
in trades in the twenty-two cities instead of being only 295,450,
cannot be far from 1,200,000. With the exception of certain statistics
on prostitution, the entire work of the United States report has been
done by women appointed by the Bureau, and Mr. Wright bears cordial
testimony to the efficiency of each one in a most difficult and
laborious task, adding: "They have stood on an equality in all
respects with the male force of the Department, and have been
compensated equally with them. It was considered entirely appropriate
in an investigation of this kind, that the main facts should be
collected by women. The wisdom of this course has been thoroughly

Here, then, for the first time since labor questions began to attract
the attention of students of social science, is an aid to stating
definitely certain facts hitherto unknown to the public at large, and
only surmised by those interested in the subject. Save for the
Massachusetts reports already mentioned, and the valuable one of the
New York Commissioner, Mr. Charles H. Peck, for 1885, with that of the
first report of the Colorado Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 1887 and
1888, prepared under the very competent and careful supervision of Mr.
E. J. Driscoll, there has been no authoritative word as to numbers
employed, ages, conditions, average and comparative earnings, hours of
labor, nationalities, and the many points most difficult to
determine.[13] Few but students, however, are likely to read these
volumes, and thus a resumé of their chief points might find place here
were I not limited as to space. Having in mind the injunction of the
editor of THE ARENA, to be brief, I shall quote only from the United
States report. As all three of the Commissioners named agree in the
most important details, except as to numbers employed, the United
States report will speak for them all.

     [13] The Report of the California Bureau of Labor, 1887-8,
          Commissioner John J. Tobin, should be included, but
          came after the above had gone to press.

In the twenty-two cities investigated by the agents of the United
States Bureau, the average age at which girls begin work is found to
be fifteen years and four months. Charleston, S. C., gives the highest
average, it being there eighteen years and seven months, and Newark
the lowest, fourteen years and seven months. The average period during
which all had been engaged in their present occupations, is shown to
be four years and nine months, while of the total number interviewed
9,540 were engaged in their first attempt to earn a living.

As against the opinion often expressed that foreign workers are in the
majority, we find that of the whole number given, 14,120 were native
born. Of the foreign born Ireland is most largely represented, having
926 and Germany next with 775. In the matter of parentage, 12,904 had
foreign born fathers, and 12,406 foreign born mothers. The number of
single women included in the report is 15,387; 745 were married and
1,038 widowed, from which it is evident that as a rule it is single
women who are fighting their industrial fight alone. They are not only
supporting themselves, but are giving their earnings largely to the
support of others at home. More than half--8,754--do this, and 9,813,
besides their occupation, help in the home housekeeping. Of the total
number, 14,918 live at home, but only 701 of them receive board from
their families. The average number in these families is 525, and each
contains 248 workers.

Of those who reported their health condition at the time their work
began, 16,360 were in good health, 883 in fair health, and 183 in bad
health. A distinct change in health condition is shown by the fact
that 14,550 are now in good health, 2,385 in fair health, and 489 in
bad health.

Concerning education, church attendance, home and shop conditions,
15,831 reported. Of these, 10,456 were educated in American public
schools and 5,375 in other schools; 5,854 attend Protestant churches;
7,769 Catholic, and 367 the Hebrew. A very large percentage,
comprehending 2,309 do not attend church at all. In home conditions
12,020 report themselves as comfortable, while 4,693 give the home
conditions as poor. "Poor" is, to the ordinary observer, to be
interpreted wretched, over-crowding, all the numberless evils of
tenement-house life, which is the portion of many. A side light is
thrown on personal characteristics of the workers, in the tables of
earnings and lost time. Out of 12,822 who reported, 373 earn less than
a hundred dollars a year, and this class lost an average of 86.5 for
the year covered by the investigation. With the increase of earnings
the lost time decreases; the 2,147 who earn from two hundred to two
hundred and fifty losing but 37.8, while 398, earning from three
hundred to five hundred dollars a year, lost but 18.8 days.

The average weekly earnings by cities is no less suggestive. In
Atlanta the wages are the lowest of any of the twenty-two cities,
being only $4.05; in San Francisco they are the highest, being $6.91.
The wages in the other cities vary between these two extremes. In New
York the average wage is $5.85; in Boston, $5.64; in Chicago, $5.74;
in St. Paul, $6.02; and in New Orleans, $4.31.

These sums represent the earnings of skilled labor. Many women under
this head can earn eight and ten dollars a week, but the general
average is only $5.24. The large proportion of unskilled workers whose
wage does not exceed one hundred dollars a year, include cash girls
and the least intelligent class. It is this class that suffer most
from the fine system, since punctuality and thoroughness are the
result of educated intelligence. The largest number earn from two to
two hundred and fifty dollars, and, as has been said, lose an average
of thirty days in the year. The highest average wage, $6.91, is little
more than subsistence, and the lowest, $4.05, is far less than decent
subsistence requires.

Absolute violation of sanitary laws, overcrowding, and a host of other
evils are specified as part of the factory system. Deliberate cruelty
and injustice are met only now and then, but competition forces the
working in as inexpensive a manner as possible, and so makes cruelty
and injustice necessary to continued existence of the employer as an
industrial factor. Home conditions are seldom beyond tolerable. For
the most part, they must be summed up as intolerable. Inspection, the
efficiency of which has greatly increased; the demand, by the
organized charities, for women inspectors, and the gradual growth of
popular interest, are bringing about a few improvements, but the mass
at all points are as stated. Ignorance and the vices that go with
ignorance, want of thoroughness, unpunctuality, thriftlessness, and
improvidence, are all in the count against the poorer order of worker,
but for the most part they are living honest, self-respecting,
infinitely dreary lives. This fact is emphasized in every Labor Report
in which the subject of women wage-workers is treated, and impersonal
as figures are usually counted to be, from each one sounds a warning
which, if unheeded, must in the end mean the disaster to which these
returns point as inevitable. Even in Colorado, a State not included in
the government report, where opportunity is larger, it has been said,
than at almost any other point in the Union, Mr. Driscoll's report for
that State shows an average wage for women of about six dollars,
which, considering the cost of living, is less than the New York

It is a popular belief that the working class forms a large proportion
of the numbers who fill the houses of prostitution, and that
"night-walkers" are made up largely from the same class. Nothing could
be farther from the truth than the last statement, the falsity of
which was demonstrated in the fifteenth annual report of the
Massachusetts Bureau of Labor, its testimony being confirmed and
repeated in the report we have under consideration. For the first,
diligent investigation in fourteen cities showed clearly that a very
small proportion among working-women entered this life. The largest
number classed by occupations came from the lowest order of workers,
those employed in housework and in hotels, and the next largest was
found among seamstresses, employees of shirt factories, and cloak
makers, both of these industries in which under-pay is proverbial. The
great majority receiving not more than five dollars a week, earn it by
seldom less than ten hours a day of hard labor, and not only live on
this sum, but assist friends, contribute to general household
expenses, dress so as to appear fairly well, and have learned every
art of doing without. More than this. Since the deepening interest in
their lives, and the formation of working-girls' societies and guilds
of many orders, they contribute from this scanty sum enough to rent
meeting rooms, pay for instruction in many classes, and provide a
relief fund for sick and disabled members. Aids, alleviations, growing
interest, all are to-day given to the worker. "Homes" of every order
open their doors, some so hedged about by rules that self-respect
revolts and refuses to live the life demanded by them. In all of these
homes, even the best, lurks always the suspicion of charity, and even
when this has no active formulation in the worker's mind, there is
still the underlying sense of the essential injustice of withholding
with one hand just pay, and with the other proffering a substitute in
a charity, which is to reflect credit on the giver, and demand
gratitude from the receiver. Here and there this is recognized, and
within a short time has been emphasized by a woman whose name is
associated with the work of charity organizations throughout the
country,--Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell. I doubt if there is any one
better fitted by long experience and almost matchless common sense to
speak authoritatively. Within a short time she has written: "So far
from assuming that the well-to-do portion of society have discharged
all their obligations to man and God by supporting charitable
institutions, I regard just this expenditure as one of the _prime_
causes of the suffering and crime that exist in our midst. I am
inclined, in general, to look upon what is called charity as the
_insult_ which is added to the _injury_ done to the mass of the people
by _insufficient payment for work_."

Disguise this fact as we will; bear testimony to the inefficiency and
incompetency of the workers; admit every trial and perplexity of
employers, every effort to better conditions, yet there remains in the
background always this shadow, in which the woman who elects to earn
an honest living must walk. No more heroic battle has ever been fought
than this daily one, waged silently and uncomplainingly in our midst
by these workers. Their lot is all part of the general evolution from
disorder, ignorance, and indifference, into the larger life, opening
so slowly that impatient spirits demand dynamite to hasten the
process, but as surely as the earth marches forever on its round
toward that central sun that draws each smallest star of that system
we call our universe.

It is certain that this is a transition period; that material
conditions born of a phenomenal material progress have deadened the
sense as to what constitutes real progress, and that the working-woman
of to-day contends not only with visible but invisible obstacles, the
nature of which we are but just beginning to discern. Twenty years ago
one of the wisest of modern French thinkers, M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu,
wrote of women wage-earners: "From the economic point of view, woman,
who has next to no material force, and whose arms are advantageously
replaced by the least machine, can have useful place and obtain fair
remuneration only by the development of the best qualities of her
intelligence. It is the inexorable law of our civilization--the
principle and formula even of social progress, that _mechanical
engines are to accomplish every operation of human labor which does
not proceed directly from the mind_. The hand of man is each day
deprived of a portion of its original task, but this general gain is a
loss for the particular and for the classes whose only instrument of
labor is a pair of feeble arms."

Untrained intelligence finds earning a more and more difficult task,
and for all of us it has become plain, that in the mighty problem
given us by a civilization which at so many points fails to civilize,
every force must be brought to bear upon its solution. These pale,
anæmic, undeveloped girls swarming in factory and shop, are the
mothers of a large part of the coming generation, defrauded before
birth of all the elements that make strong bodies and teachable souls.
It is not alone the present with which we deal. Out of the future
comes a demand as instant, and justice to-day bears its fruit in
larger life for other days to come. For this must be two awakenings.
One for the looker-on in the struggle who has no eyes for what lies
still in shadow. The other for the worker, who must join the army
already aroused, realizing its limitations, reaching out for training
and larger opportunity, and seeking with the eagerness born of hard
conditions, some permanent way of escape. And for watcher and worker
alike the word is the same:

    "Light, light, and light! To break and melt in sunder
      All clouds and chains that in one bondage bind
    Eyes, hands, and spirits, forged by fear and wonder,
      And sleek fierce fraud with hidden knife behind;
    There goes no fire from heaven before their thunder,
      Nor are the links not malleable that wind
    Round the snared limbs and souls that ache thereunder,
      The hands are mighty were the head not blind."



A political revolution is in progress and has attained such
proportions as to command attention and repay study. The magnitude of
the movement and the definiteness of its aims are not understood and
appreciated by those who live far from its field of operation. The
reader is asked to lay aside his preconceived notions of the subject,
and consider observations made, at short range, by one whose
information is gleaned not from partisan newspapers, but from the
field of action.

Before passing to an analysis of the platform demands of the new
party, let us adjust the perspective; consider the work already done,
and the method, motive, and _personnel_ of the party.

Scarcely twelve months have passed since the birth of the party,--one
political campaign. In that short period, an organization has been
perfected which carries upon its rolls 1,200,000 voters; and an
_esprit de corps_ has been created which is worthy of comparison with
the enthusiasm of the old parties. It has elected two United States
senators and a respectable body of congressmen. It has won its
victories in the strongholds of the hitherto dominant party,
overcoming in one instance an adverse State majority of 80,000. An
army of lecturers has been set at work, most of them well equipped.
About a thousand newspapers have been established in the interest of
the movement. A national bureau of information has been created which
keeps a large force of clerks constantly busy. A committee has been
appointed on organization. Under its direction, State after State is
being organized, and the prophecy is freely made that, before the snow
flies again, an efficient branch of the central body will have been
established in nearly every hamlet in the nation.

The surprising advance already made by the Independents would not need
to concern us, were it not that the national conditions which made it
possible, in the first instance, still exist to sustain and accelerate
it. If asked to explain this advance, most partisans would say, at
once, poor crops, extreme poverty and demagogism; or, as South Dakota
campaign speakers were known to say, hot winds and Mr. Loucks. But
these are mistaken ideas. Poverty of the people made many listeners
and voters who, under other circumstances, would not have deemed it
worth their while to leave the plow. An examination, however, of the
vote in the counties of one State, from which a United States senator
has been elected, shows that the heaviest majorities for the new party
were cast in counties where farming is most diversified, and where the
people have been blessed with a succession of good crops. In the
counties where the people were poorest, they were more effectually
under the thumb of money loaners and bankers, who held chattel
mortgages over their heads. In such counties a corruption fund had a
powerful influence toward keeping voters in line. Extreme poverty is
always a menace to the purity of the ballot. In the well to do
counties, or rather the counties where good crops had prevailed, and
in which the people were reputed well-to-do, and where the heaviest
vote was cast for the party, the writer has made a careful study of
conditions and finds none that do not exist in most agricultural
districts of the United States. The herds of cattle and bursting
granaries, years ago, would have been sure indications of competence
and contentment.

A little inquiry now, however, reveals discontent and a hand to hand
struggle with adversity and against odds. Market values leave no
margin for profit. Abundance at harvest time, disappointment on market
day. Men can understand the connection between short crops and lean
pocket-books, and are easily reconciled to such conditions. They may
grumble but they are sensible enough to understand that they must sow
again and wait for the heavens to smile. But when great heaps of corn
lie in their fields awaiting sale at twelve cents a bushel, when a
mighty crop of wheat brings its possessor but fifty cents a bushel,
when cows are worth but fifteen dollars apiece, and good butter sells
for eight cents a pound, while thousands in the land are known to be
suffering because of the lack of these things, a leanness of
pocket-book results which the farmer may understand, but to which he
is not easily reconciled.

His eyes are open. The over-production theory explains nothing to him
while the mouths of a multitude go unfed; while the beef that he sold
for one and a half and two cents a pound on foot, retails in the
eastern market, when dressed, for from ten to eighteen cents a pound;
and while his corn and his wheat, at the other end of the line of
transportation, brings twice the price he received for it here. He is
able to put two and two together. He knows that primarily all wealth
comes from the soil, in response to the toil of himself and his
fellows. His eyes rest upon the 31,000 millionnaires of the land who
roll in wealth. He says, "I helped produce that. How did they get it?"
He knows that the money could not be had last fall to handle his grain
and that, in consequence, a ridiculously low price was offered him in
order to keep it off the market. He knows that a few men take
advantage of his necessities and dictate prices just at the time when
he must sell. He knows that railroads absorb nearly fifty per cent. of
crop values for transportation charges, in order to pay dividends on a
capitalization, fifty per cent. of which is fictitious, and that when
the laws forbid it the courts of the land step in and declare it
"reasonable compensation."

In a word, it does not take a very sharp farmer to see that although
hot winds, or murrain, or hog cholera increase the leanness of his
pocket-book, these things do not explain that irresistible and
invariable current which bears such a large portion of what he does
earn into the plethoric pocket-books of the few rich. The farmer has
become, perforce, a student of economics; and, although we may laugh
at some of the vagaries in which he indulges, a close study of the
situation and of his demands will probably show him to be about as
reasonable as those are who champion the present order of things.

If the symptoms of an unnatural and unnecessary agricultural
depression were confined to the Dakotas, and Kansas, and Nebraska, the
farmer student might be nonplussed in his investigations. He might be
led to consider his inexperience and extravagance as the source of
the disease so deeply fixed upon him. But the farmer of to-day reads
and travels. A Dakota farmer, a few weeks since, visited the paternal
homestead in Ohio. He found, to his surprise, that his father's farm,
which fifteen years ago lay within three miles of a thriving town of
two thousand inhabitants, paying an annual tax of fifteen dollars, and
worth a hundred dollars an acre, now pays a tax of seventy-five
dollars, and is worth but forty-five dollars an acre, although the
neighboring town has increased its population to ten thousand, and is
noisy with shops and factories. He found that this was not an isolated
case, but a fair example of the depreciation of farm values. He was
not surprised to learn that the Ohio farmers were even then gathering
to organize a State alliance. A careful survey of the United States,
we are sure, will measurably confirm the conclusion of the western
farmer, that farming, except in those localities where it has taken on
the form of market gardening, or where it yet monopolizes some
specialty, is unprofitable and disappointing.

Most farmers are ready to admit that their surroundings are better and
their comforts more numerous than in ancestral days, when stoves were
unknown, and the women slaved over the hand-loom and spinning-wheel,
when medical men bungled and schools were luxuries; but they can see
with half an eye that the mighty material advances of the last half
century in this country have been made to serve the rich rather than
the poor, the strong instead of the weak. They do not object to
railroads, and the constantly increasing facilities for travel and
transportation; but they do object to laws and customs which make
railroads a means of transferring the hard earnings of the farm to the
coffers of money kings. The farmer has received comforts at the hands
of our civilization, but he has paid a good price for them, not to the
genius which created, but to the plutocrat who bought. It is not
because the farmer is facing starvation that he moves politically; but
because, in the midst of plenty, comparative poverty is his portion.
As a legitimate result of the civilization in the presence of which he
lives, his tastes have improved, and his desire for education and
comfortable living has increased, and with this improvement and
increase has come a widening of the distance betwixt his possessions
and his desires. In other words, the shadows of contrast in social
conditions in our country are hourly deepening, and it is at such
times that the canker of discontent eats closest. It will serve no
purpose for us to spend time in condemning this spirit, and making
light of it, because it is a natural result and a political fact that
can only be remedied by a removal of the immediate cause. It is not
possible or desirable to rid the people entirely of the spirit of
discontent, but it can be so minimized that it will be no longer a
menace to national life but an incentive to progress.

It is necessary to understand thoroughly the conditions under which
the work already described has been done. We have discussed the
general social and financial condition of the farmer. How about his
intellectual standing? We hear a great deal about the stupid, foolish
farmer, easily led by demagogues. It is well to remember in this
connection that those States where the Independent party has had
greatest influence are the States where the smallest per cent. of
illiteracy exists and, by parity of reasoning, the highest per cent.
of intelligence. The fact is that the farmer of the West is not the
clodhopper, at whose expense the funny man of the modern journal likes
to crack jokes. He reads more widely and thinks more deeply than
tradesmen or city people do, as a class. Tradesmen wear better
clothes, are more urbane, and obtain a certain polish and
self-possession which comes only from close contact with one's fellows
in the business and social world; all of which is very useful to them
in improving the "main chance" in a competitive struggle, and might be
labelled finish and sharpness. They live an intense life, within a
limited circle, and have little time and less inclination to weigh
questions from the larger world. To this fact may be attributed the
slight interest such people take in municipal government and the
dominance of slum and saloon influences. It is not so with the farmer.
He reads much and widely, and the solitary plow-furrow and the quiet
country road conduce to thought. A certain sturdy intelligence
follows, which again and again has proven the salt of the world, the
re-inforcing element of society, and is to-day the hope of our nation.
While the tradesman dwells much on commercial law, trade customs, and
the means of attracting trade, the farmer thinks more naturally of the
general law of the land, under which he is protected or robbed,
prospered or ruined. His sales are made at wholesale prices. His
eyes, therefore, seek out not so much the local factors in the make up
of prices as the world-wide influences which are supposed to determine
them. It is a large world in which he lives, and his vision, from
necessity, sweeps the whole of it.

The people of the East will never understand the merit and magnitude
of the present political movement, until they give the farmer credit
for intelligence of a superior order. Those who think of him as the
easy prey of demagogues are mistaken. He has been such in the past. We
have convincing proof that it is otherwise now. Those who are familiar
with the campaign plans of the dominant parties in these days, the
shameless misrepresentation of facts by party organs, the open use of
large sums of money to keep so-called leaders in line, and the
tremendous power of public patronage can understand how much of
demagogism in every community the farmers have had to meet and
overcome in order to conquer an eighty thousand majority. It has
required patriotism, common sense, and a Spartan-like heroism to face
their organized foes and come off victorious. To their honor be it
said that few Judases have been found among them at the ballot-box, or
in the halls of legislation.

The work of the Independent party, so far, has been educational in two
directions. It has increased the sum of information and developed a
much needed self-confidence among the farmers. The alliance meetings,
to which most of us object because of their secret and exclusive
nature, are schools of economics and parliamentary tactics. The
secrecy of the order, however, is not as objectionable as some of us
have been inclined to think. As the leaders say, the veil of secrecy
in this order is quite gauzy,--intended to keep out individuals rather
than to conceal deliberations and doings. It throws the farmer on his
own resources. He becomes a chairman, an investigator, a committee
man, and a debater. If it were otherwise, the aggressive members of
the professions would frequent the meetings, and naturally assume such
functions. We are confident the farmer will come to see that these
same ends may be attained by methods less objectionable to the thought
and spirit of our people. Justice requires us to say that the secret
order of the alliance and the Independent party have no necessary
connection, although they are natural allies, and the former is the
source of the latter. In fact, scores of men belong to the alliance
who have not yet committed themselves to the political movement, and
many who are bitter in their opposition to it. Political affiliation
has nothing to do with membership, and all actual farmers and their
families are entitled to it. Freedom in the expression of opinion is
courted and strong, ready men are being developed.

The writer has met old farmers, during the last twelve months, who are
as well posted in the history of finance as the Shermans and the
Allisons of the country, and who read the lessons of that history with
as clear a vision. They do not get their facts from demagogical
documents, as many suppose. We call to mind a laughable incident in
the last campaign. A joint discussion was progressing between a bright
member of the legal fraternity, who was advocating the present order
and extolling the Republican past, and an uncouth but clever old
farmer, who took up the cudgel in behalf of financial reform. The
lawyer vociferously declared the demand notes never sold at par with
gold. The farmer calmly insisted that they did, and read from an
authority. The lawyer demanded the authority. The farmer asked the
lawyer if he would read to the audience the name of the authority, if
it was shown him. The latter could only say yes. The pamphlet was
opened at its title page, and the lawyer read with best grace he
could, to an audience that fairly rolled in the chairs with merriment,
"Report of the Treasurer of the United States." The farmers are going
to a school where imagination is given small play, and facts are
studied, uncolored by party traditions. Shall we not expect from this
some good? Have we not reason to believe that the reading, intelligent
majorities of the western prairies are to bring us some light and

It is useless to deny that these farmers have some intense prejudices.
What class has not? And these prejudices must necessarily color
opinion, and somewhat determine action. The farmer is bound to look at
things from the standpoint of the poor man rather than from that of
the corporation and the money loaner. The latter have had the thought
and service of our statesmen for years past. As a consequence, the
account between the rich and the poor is in an abnormal condition.
Perhaps it is only right that the selfishness of the laboring classes
should have its own way for a time, and even things up somewhat,
before a new start is made.

But the class prejudice and selfishness of the farmer has been greatly
over-estimated by his political enemies. His sub-treasury bill and
plan for loaning money on real estate, to be sure, are intended to
afford immediate relief to the farmer; but he believes, in his soul,
that they would result in great advantage to the whole business world.
He says, moreover, that condemnation of his plans comes with bad grace
from the men who are even now supporting a financial system which
delivers the money of the country over to the few and trusts them to
distribute it among the many. His plan may have the same selfish
ear-marks, but they are not so deep. We have been trusting a few men
to distribute the currency of the nation, and have made it extremely
profitable for them to do so. He asks now that this trust be
transferred to the many, and gives good assurances, in the nature of
things, that the many will touch the remotest needs of our people, and
so diffuse currency that competition, if such a principle ever can be
effective, will keep interest at a rate where labor can live and

That the independent movement is not considered a class movement, in a
bad sense, but decidedly in the interest of all the middle classes, we
have some proof in the citizens' alliances and the labor unions, which
have united forces everywhere with the farmers, brought about by a
recognition of the simple fact that where the farmer has money, the
tradesmen of his market town have money and industries of all kinds
thrive. Here lies the strength of the movement. The farmers are,
perhaps, the largest distinctive class of citizens, and can exercise
great political influence by themselves; but they are not numerous
enough to work radical changes without aid from other classes. As it
is, however, in the strictly political movement among the farmers, all
who sympathize with their political views are welcomed. The best
evidence of this is the election of such men as Rev. J. H. Kyle and
editor Peffer to the United States Senate. While the farmer has a
great deal to say about the utter absence of farmers from the national
halls of legislation, he is not disposed to say that farmers alone
should be sent there. He is willing to send the men who are best
fitted to do the work that is to be done, but they must be
worshippers of the common people as distinguished from the bankers and

It is not possible to discuss the platform of the new party at any
length within the necessary limits of this article. We shall be
content to undeceive, if possible, those of our readers who have been
charging that the platform is indefinite.

One of the chief recommendations of the Independent platform, to the
voters of the West, was its brevity and definiteness, refreshing
qualities in the minds of a people who had been accustomed for years
to the platitudes and straddles of the old parties. Most of the
Independent county and State platforms could be summed up under three
heads, money, transportation, land. They declare in favor of a full
legal tender currency to come direct from the government to the
people, in volume sufficient to meet the demands of business; the
government ownership and control of railroads and homes for the
American millions. The main planks were summarized in the flaring
posters which announced the great rallies of the party last fall.
"Money at Cost! Transportation at Cost!" These were the headlines
which everywhere caught the public eye, and drew the crowds. Opponents
saw in these advertisements traces of a demagogue's hand. If it is
demagogism to awaken curiosity, arouse thought, and in a terse
sentence to express the party faith, then are the Independent leaders
guilty of it. But whether guilty or not, these two expressions have
awakened echoes that will not cease reverberating until our ideas and
systems of finance and transportation are quite revolutionized. As we
are not proposing here to discuss the wisdom of the farmer's demands,
we need waste no time on the land and transportation questions. So
much has been written on these questions, and the dividing line
between disputants is so clearly drawn, and farmers have settled down
so decidedly on one side of that line, that they are no longer open to
the charge of juggling with words when they declare in favor of
"homes" and "transportation at cost."

With the money question it is different. "Money at cost" is one of
those essences of thought which will bear analysis. We desire to show
that with the farmer's party it means but one thing,--that it is a
declaration of war with the piratical system of the present. "Money
at cost" is a sentiment and conviction which has grown up in the minds
of the producing and laboring classes of this country out of a deep
sense of the injury done them during the last quarter of a century,
and a pretty clear conception of the nature of money and the duty of

Money, they say, is a medium of exchange necessary in the transaction
of business between citizens; that it is the first duty of government
to provide this medium for its citizens directly and at the minimum
expense; that it should not be considered property in any sense, and
that every incentive to the hoarding of it should be removed; that
there is no such thing as "cheap money" under a proper system, because
only commodities are cheap or dear according to the market price of
them, and money is not a commodity; that money can be issued by
government or by authority of government, safely and honestly, in but
two ways: in return for services rendered, or as a loan on adequate
security, and should always represent days of toil or material of
value; that the present bank systems by which money is farmed out for
private gain, furnishes a fairly reliable currency but an unreliable
means of distribution; that loans should be made on lands or
imperishable products to the many who have personal need of the money
with which to improve homes and develop enterprises, thus giving not
only a safe currency but providing also for a wide and safe
distribution of it; that government creates money out of anything it
chooses; that it should create only the best money, by which is meant
a stable, full, legal tender currency; that the curse of an unstable
currency is now upon us blighting our people; that an unstable
currency is one whose volume is regulated by the owners of private
banks, dependent upon the uncertain output of mines, and varying with
the caprice of the few who hold and control it; that a material scarce
by nature is not fit to receive the stamp of government, because it is
sure to vary in supply; that the medium of exchange should be of
material so plentiful that blind nature or designing men cannot reduce
the supply of it below the government demand for it; that the money so
created should be durable, easy of transportation, and difficult of
counterfeiting; that paper money is the easiest of transportation, the
most difficult to be counterfeited, and in a sense the most durable,
because so easily replaced when lost; that to base the medium of
exchange upon value is as effectual as to stamp it upon value; that
out of deference to foreign customs and the necessities of foreign
trade, our government should buy up the gold and silver bullion of the
country and hold for resale to those who have foreign balances to
settle; that the country to-day is suffering from a contracted and
contracting currency, on account of which the debtor class has had its
burden doubled, to the corresponding advantage of the creditor class;
that if contraction has been good for creditors, inflation must be
good for debtors; that any measure, therefore, which looks toward an
increase of the circulating medium is to be favored; that free silver
coinage is to be favored; that instead of flying to the relief of the
stall-fed speculators of Wall Street in times of financial stringency,
it is time that the government was coming to the relief of the common
people; that loans from the government should be made at a merely
nominal rate of interest, not to exceed two per cent., because any
higher rate is a congestor of wealth and gives capital a leverage over
labor; that money-loaning as a business, except on such a basis from
the government to its subjects, should go out of fashion, and might be
expected to disappear under a proper financial system; that the
unemployed capital of the country would then seek investment, labor
would then be employed, factories would hum and the credit system
might go to the dogs; that rates of interest cannot be satisfactorily
regulated by law until we have banks that are national in fact as well
as in name, managed by salaried officials of the nation whose duty it
shall be to make loans at cost, under wise and conservative rules, to
those needing them who can bring themselves within the rules; that the
proposed sub-treasury and land loan plans are suggestions in the right
direction and calculated, when perfected, to bring the government into
touch with the needy citizen, and make of it a distributor as well as
a creator of money; that paper in the shape of checks and drafts
already transacts ninety-one per cent. of the business of the country,
and might be trusted to properly supplement our currency and make
supply equal demand, were it not that the great bulk of our people are
not known beyond the communities in which they live, and therefore are
debarred from using checks to any extent in the outside world; and
that each piece of national currency, issued as a full legal tender,
in the hands of the people, would be in the nature of a certified
check, enabling the citizen to do business with despatch anywhere.

Running through the above statement of the independent doctrine of
finance, we see that three ideas are most prominent. First, a desire
that the government supersede avaricious man and blind nature in the
creation and distribution of money, in order that money may be a
stable purchasing power. Second, a determination that money shall no
longer be a commodity to be bought, and sold, and manipulated, a leech
upon labor in the hands of a few, but a convenience of trade,
accessible to the many at first cost. Third, a demand that the
misnamed national bank system of the present shall have its spirit of
greediness exorcised, so that it may hereafter serve the people
instead of its management. Are these ideas indefinite? Do they not
mean "money at cost"?

We would now call attention to those facts which the western farmer
says have opened his eyes, made him indifferent to the sneers of the
banking class and its servitors, and fixed him in his purpose to
effect a permanent change in the financial system of the country.

He says that the average profits of business enterprises in this
country do not exceed three per cent.; that money loaning at six and
seven per cent. of necessity congests the wealth of the nation; that
eighty cents' worth of silver, stamped by government as a dollar, or a
cent's worth of paper, bearing the same stamp, buys as much for him in
the markets of the country as a gold dollar; that it is easier for him
to pay his debts when money is plentiful; that the paper demand notes
of '62, a full legal tender, stood at par with gold while the
greenbacks, repudiated in terms by the very bill which created them,
went skyward; that a contraction of currency has preceded every
serious financial panic in the history of the country; that prosperity
for the laborer, the producer, and the debt-payer has always
accompanied currency expansion; that money loaners are strangely
interested in keeping money scarce, and for that purpose fought gold
in '50 when California and Australia threatened to flood us, the
greenback in Lincoln's administration, and silver in '73, '78, and
'91; that the farmer's products have been refused a market within a
year past because there was not money to handle them; that present
rates of interest consume him; and that, with good security to offer,
he is obliged to pay exorbitant rates for money and in many cases is
refused it altogether.

Let us remember that the last word has not yet been spoken upon the
financial question; that the world, even the financial world, has not
seen all of truth and wisdom yet; that reason is better than
authority, especially if the authority is open to a suspicion of
prejudice; and that there may be a financial bigotry as hateful and
unprogressive, and as much out of sympathy with this growing age, as
is the dry-as-dust ecclesiasticism of the day. Every citizen should
give courteous attention to the new voices that come to us from the
West, and be careful that his decision, on the whole matter, is not
influenced by his position as one of the creditors of the land.




     The statements in this paper as to what was written in my
     presence purporting to be communications from "spirits," and
     as to the circumstances under which it was written, are
     scrupulously correct. The "communications," it is certain,
     are from an intelligent source. Mrs. Underwood is the person
     by whose hand they are put in form. That she is not laboring
     under a mistake in thinking that she is unconscious of the
     thought expressed until she has read the writing,--if,
     indeed, such a mistake in a sane mind is possible,--I am
     certain. Sometimes, owing to the illegibility of the
     writing, she has to study out sentences. The writing varies
     in style, not only on different evenings, but on the same
     evening; it is apparently the writing of not fewer than
     twenty persons, and generally bearing no resemblance
     whatever, so far as I can judge, to Mrs. Underwood's
     handwriting, which is remarkably uniform. The communications
     are unlike in the degrees of intelligence, in the quality of
     thought, and in the disposition which they show. Detailed
     statements of facts unknown to either of us, but which,
     weeks afterwards, were learned to be correct, have been
     written, and repeated again and again, when disbelieved and
     contradicted by us. All the writing has been done in my
     presence, but most of it while I have been busily occupied
     with work which demanded my undivided attention. The views
     expressed are often different from my own, and quite as
     frequently, perhaps, opposed to Mrs. Underwood's views.

     Some will, doubtless, interpret these facts as evidence and
     illustrations of the multiplex character of personality, and
     will regard these communications, apparently indicating
     several distinct intelligences, as manifestations of
     different strata, so to speak, of the same individual
     consciousness. Knowledge of the facts unknown to our
     ordinary consciousness was, nevertheless, some will say, in
     the sub-consciousness of one of us, or perhaps of both. On
     this theory, of course it must be supposed that the mind has
     stored away in its depths knowledge acquired in ways
     unknown. By others all the phenomena related by Mrs.
     Underwood will be regarded as the work of disembodied,
     invisible, intelligent beings who once dwelt in the flesh
     and lived on the earth, but who are now in a higher sphere
     of existence, yet able under certain conditions to make
     their presence and their thoughts known to us. It is not my
     intention here to advocate any theory as to the cause of the
     phenomena described by Mrs. Underwood. I simply testify now
     to the accuracy of all those statements in her paper in
     regard to her automatic writing.

                                        B. F. UNDERWOOD.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The known is finite, the unknown is infinite;
     intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an
     illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every
     generation is to reclaim a little more land; to add
     something to the extent and solidity of our
     possessions."--_Huxley in "Reception of the 'Origin of

Public attention at this time especially is being called to various
forms of psychic phenomena measurably through the efforts of the
Society for Psychical Research in investigating and sifting the
evidence for the stories of apparitions, hallucinations, forewarnings,
etc., but more because so many who have heretofore scoffed at and
doubted such stories, or who have been foiled in their efforts to
obtain for themselves any satisfactory evidence that such phenomena
really occur, are now able to testify from their own experience, in
one form or another, that such are real facts of our existence.

The questions raised by the class of facts already elicited through
this investigation are of supreme importance, and it becomes the duty
of every serious-minded enquirer who has had experience of this kind
to give the result of his investigations to the public, and thus aid
those searching for the underlying cause of all such phenomena.
Therefore after considerable hesitation, and with some inward
shrinking from an obvious duty, I have concluded to take the
consequences of publishing my own recent experience. A word of
personal explanation may here be necessary. A sincere believer in
Orthodox Christianity until my twentieth year, I have been led by
careful study and unfaltering love of truth to give up my belief in
Christian dogmas, and have for some years known no other name by which
to designate my state of mind in regard to religious belief than that
misunderstood and often misapplied term, agnostic. But at no stage in
my mental progress have I ever felt sure that I had reached any
conclusion which was final, and at no time have I been a believer in
spiritualism, or been convinced that we survive the present state of
being; while always I have felt an interest in every undecided
question in science and religion, and earlier have had some
"intimations of immortality," which have caused me to think seriously
on the subject and to long for more light. I have decided to lay the
simple facts of my most recent experience before the readers of THE
ARENA, and allow them to draw what conclusions they will without
offering any theory of my own. More than a year ago my interest in
psychic phenomena was awakened by reading the reports of the Society
for Psychical Research, but it has been my own personal experience
which has created a profound impression on my mind. If any one who
reads this will try to imagine in what spirit he would greet an entire
stranger or group of strangers, who through the telephone, for
instance, should send him genial messages full of commonsense,
philosophy, humor, and friendliness, giving him interesting details of
a strange land, he can partially understand the state of mind in
which, after many months of such intercourse, I find myself. Except on
two or three occasions no one has been present but my husband, B. F.
Underwood, and myself.

The _modus operandi_ is the simplest possible. As I remembered that
Mr. U. was rather averse to the planchette experiments of former
years, thinking them unwholesome and deteriorating in their tendency,
I at first said nothing to him of my new psychical experiments, though
these were made oftenest in his presence in the evening when we both
sat at one writing table, near each other, busied with our individual
literary work. As I experimented in his absence as well as in his
presence, I soon found that I got the most coherent writings when he
was present. Indeed I could get nothing coherent, and very frequently
nothing at all, when he was away, but when he was present the
communications began to grow strangely interesting, and as he was
called upon repeatedly, I felt obliged to invite his attention, when
the most surprising answers were given, which roused his curiosity and
interest. It has been explained that his presence is necessary for me
to obtain writing, as "blended power is best." Two or three times, at
the suggestion of this intelligence, we have asked two of our intimate
literary friends--non-spiritualists--to be present, but each time
with comparative failure; afterwards we were informed that the cause
of failure was the introduction of persons unused to the conditions,
who broke up the harmonious relations necessary to communication; in
time they could be of help.

It would take a volume to present all the interesting statements as to
an advanced stage of existence, only hidden from us because of the
inadequacy of our sense perceptions, and by the conditions imposed
upon us at this stage of our progress, which have been given from this
source. Explanations have been made why communication through the
agency of certain persons, though not through all, are possible. The
conditions, it is alleged, are not entirely dependent upon the
superior intelligence or morality of the persons with whom the
intelligences can become _en rapport_. These invisibles declare that
they are as seriously and anxiously experimenting on their side to
discover modes of untrammelled communication with us, as we on our
side ought to be, if what they write be true, and if such a thing is
possible. "Spirits" they persistently insist upon being called. In
this paper I can give only a statement of some things which do not
seem explicable on the hypothesis of mind-reading, thought
transference, hypnotism, or subconsciousness. In all these experiments
I have been in a perfectly normal state. The only physical indication
of any outside influence is an occasional slight thrill as of an
electric current from my shoulder to the hand which holds the waiting
pen. Step by step I have been taught a series of signals to aid me in
correctly reading the communications. I have no power to summon at
will any individual I wish. I have repeatedly, but in vain, tried to
get messages from some near and dear friends. It has been explained
that on their side, as on ours, certain "conditions" must exist in
order to get in "control." When "eh?" is written I know that the
operator at the other end of the line is ready to communicate. When in
the middle of a sentence or a word "gone" or "change" is written, I
understand that the connection is broken, and I must not expect the
completion of that message. When a line like this ---- is drawn, it is
a sign that that sentence is completed or the communication ended. So
with other things. Rhymes are often unexpectedly written, especially
if the "control" professes to be a poet, and they are dashed off so
rapidly that I do not understand their import until the close when I
can read them over. Impromptu rhyming is a feat utterly impossible to
either Mr. U. or myself. Names persistently recur which are unknown to
us. Many different handwritings appear, some of them far superior to
my own. When I first began to get communications I destroyed, in a day
or two after they were written, the slips of paper containing the
writing, but as the developments became more interesting, Mr. U.
suggested that they be preserved for reference. I acted on this
suggestion, and thus in the instances of facts given outside our own
knowledge, I am enabled to give the exact wording of each
communication. Our questions were asked _viva voce_, and as they were
often suggested by what had been previously written, I either at the
time or soon afterward wrote them just above the reply. I am not,
therefore, trusting at all to memory in the statements I shall make.

A gentleman of this city (whom I will call John Smith, but whose real
name was a more uncommon one) with whom Mr. U. had been acquainted
many years, but of whose family relations he knew little, died here
more than a year ago. Mr. U. had met him but once in the year previous
to his death, he having been away on account of failing health,
staying, we understood, with a daughter recently married, whose home
was in Florida. The first name of this married daughter, or of any of
Mr. Smith's daughters except one, was unknown to Mr. U. I had met one
of his daughters whose name I knew to be Jennie. I also knew that
there was another named Violet. I was not sure, however, whether this
was the name of the married one, or of another unmarried, but had the
impression that Violet was unmarried. One evening, while waiting for
automatic writing with no thought of Mr. Smith in my mind, and Mr. U.
sitting near me at the table with his thoughts concentrated on an
article he was preparing, this was written: "John Smith will now enter
into conversation with B. F. Underwood." I read this to Mr. U. who
laid aside his pen, and in order to test the matter, asked if Mr.
Smith remembered the last time they met, soon after his return from
the South, and a short time previous to his death. There was some
delay in the answer, but soon reply came "On Madison St." "Whereabouts
on Madison?" was asked. "Near Washington." "At what hour?" "About 10
A. M., raining." As it was rarely that Mr. U. was in that part of the
city at so early an hour, and especially on a rainy day, I doubted the
correctness of this reply, but Mr. U. recalled to my mind the unusual
circumstance which made it necessary for him to be in that vicinity on
the day and at the hour named, on which he and Mr. Smith, he
distinctly remembered, last met. Only a few words passed between them
on account of the rain. After this, writing, purporting to be from Mr.
Smith, came frequently. Very soon something was written which induced
Mr. U. half sportively to inquire whether there was anything which
troubled Mr. Smith, anything which he wished he had done but had
omitted, before his death. The answer came, "One thing--change deeds
on Violet's account. None of my wife's are at my daughter's disposal.
All in her own disposal." Mr. U. asked if it was meant that he had not
left his property--for he was a man of some wealth--as he now wished
he had. "You are right," was written, "want all my girls to share
alike." "Which daughter do you refer to?" was asked. "Went away from
her in Florida--Violet," was the answer. I remarked, "Why, I thought
Violet was one of the unmarried girls, but it must be that that is the
name of the married daughter." Then Mr. U. was strongly urged to call
on Mr. Smith's married son, James, with whom Mr. U. had a slight
acquaintance, and tell him of this communication. "Clearly state my
desire that my daughter Violet share equally with her sisters." Of
course this was utterly out of the question. At that time we had no
intention of informing any one of our psychic experience, and if we
had, Mr. James Smith would have thought us insane or impertinent to
come to him with so ridiculous a story, the truth of which we
ourselves strongly doubted. Pages were, however, written concerning
the matter in so earnest and pleading a manner that I came to feel
conscience-stricken at refusing to do what was asked, and to shrink
from seeing Mr. Smith's name appear. Once was written, "Say to James
that in my new position, and with my new views of life, I feel that I
did wrong to treat his sister Violet as I did. She was not to blame
for following out her own convictions, when I had inculcated
independent thought and action for all." This and other sentences of
the kind seemed to convey the idea that Violet had in some way
incurred his displeasure by doing according to her own will in
opposition to his. This was puzzling to us, as we knew that in her
marriage, at least, the daughter we thought to be Violet had followed
her father's wishes.

A few weeks later, however, came an unlooked-for verification of Mr.
Smith's messages. In a conversation between Mr. U. and a business
friend of Mr. Smith, who was well acquainted with all his affairs,
regret was expressed that so wealthy a man had left so little for a
certain purpose. Mr. U. then inquired as to what disposition had been
made of his property, and was told that he had left it mainly to his
wife and children--so much to this one, and that. "But Violet,"
continued Mr. U.'s informant, "was left only a small amount, as Mr.
Smith was angry because she married against his wishes." "Why,"
remarked Mr. U., "I understood that he approved of the match, and the
fact that he accompanied herself and husband to Florida, and remained
with them some time, would seem to indicate that." "Oh, you are
thinking of Lucy, the eldest girl; her marriage was all right, but
Violet, one of the younger daughters, going to Florida with her
husband, fell in love with a young man of whom her father did not
approve, so she made a runaway marriage, and on account of his
displeasure, Mr. Smith left her only a small sum." The intelligence
writing was aware of facts unknown, to either Mr. U. or myself, and no
other persons were in the room when these communications were given.

One evening one of us spoke of the frequently false and mischievous
statements purporting to come from spirits--predictions which did not
come to pass, descriptions which were wholly wrong, and sending
credulous believers on wild-goose chases after hidden treasure, etc.,
the occasion being an untrue statement made to us in regard to the
death of a friend who was alive and well. We asked if this unseen
intelligence would explain why this was allowed. Reply came promptly,
"Rather tough problem. There are certain phases of our existence here
which are not explainable to you on your plane, and the test we were
obliged to make of your credulity was one of these." We protested
against such tests, and I declared that I would not try to receive
communications if they practised deception. "Why do you protest," was
written, "when you already know you are but a tyro in this phase of
being? You don't now willingly do the work assigned you, and B. F. U.
is still harder to manage." Thereupon Mr. U. suggested "that without
sense organs and a material environment, conditions would be such,
perhaps, that they could not be expressed in terms known to us, nor be
even conceived by us." Immediately was written: "Many wish to answer
B. F. U.'s clear statement of the difficulties in the way of spirit
intercourse with those still in the flesh, but now comes the one soul
capable of clear answer. Blessed be they who question--gone." Next
came this--"Boehme wants to reply." Here I have to confess that never
having paid much attention to occult or mystical literature the name
Boehme was utterly unknown to me, and at this point I asked Mr. U.,
"Did you ever hear of anyone by the name of B-o-e-h-m-e?" spelling the
word. "Certainly," he replied, "Jacob Boehme, he was a German thinker
who died--" my hand began to move just then, and he paused, and while
the following was being written my mind reverted hazily to a German
philosophical writer, who had died within a few years, and of whose
life one of our friends had written a sketch. His name began with B,
and I thought he was the one Mr. U. referred to, as I had forgotten
what the full name was. I say this to explain that there could be no
thought-transference in this instance from Mr. U.'s mind to mine. This
was written rapidly. "Death and life are but two phases of one truth,
and when what mankind calls death comes, it is as we experience the
change that all our circumscribed relations to banded universalities
become clear; but when we try to explain to those not yet beyond man's
sphere we find ourselves at a loss because there is nothing parallel
in this state of existence with your knowledge." Afterwards Mr. U.
showed me in the encyclopædia a sketch of him (the name spelled Bohme,
and in several other ways) in which it was stated "he had a very
fertile imagination, and a remarkable faculty of intuition, and
professed to be divinely inspired," and that he died in 1624. Since
then I have found another sketch of his life which says that "owing to
the fantastic terminology he thought fit to adopt, his writings are
condemned by many as utterly unintelligible." This may explain the
"Banded Universalities," a phrase I never in my life saw before, and
only dimly understand now; I had never to my knowledge read a word of
his writings. In my case, as in that of many who profess to give
spirit messages, frequently names of dead thinkers and heroes are
signed. I protested against this, saying I did not believe that these
individuals were the ones who communicated, and asked for some
explanation. Immediately this answer was written: "Elaine and
Guinevere were not real beings but types--so somewhere in our sphere
are spirits who embody cleverness in creations of their fancy, and
adopt names suited to their ideas." Since this explanation was given,
I have had more patience with the communications signed by great
names, since I have imagined that these are types aspired to by the
real writers. But their "cleverness in creations of their fancy"
extends sometimes to fair imitations of the thought and style of those
whose names they borrow. For instance, since Elizabeth Barrett
Browning is one of my favorite poets, it is not at all strange that
her name and that of her husband might be suggested by my own mind; my
own mind ought also to suggest the thought of the following, written
as from Mrs. Browning, though the phraseology is not mine. "Robert
gave me life. He gave me to Love. He and I are but two sides of one
individuality. We both understand this, as you understand it." But
then followed without any apparent pause for a word, this:--

    "Let your own hearts deeply feel
      The sweet songs of older lovers,
    So shall song and sense appeal
      To all that true emotion covers."

I never saw these lines anywhere, and I doubt whether anyone has seen
them before, while I am confident that I did not compose them. I had
not then read Browning's "One Word More," but two days later in a
magazine article I came across a quotation from that poem in which
occurs the phrase "older lovers," the magazine having been brought to
the house that day, and two days after the verse was written. A day or
two later at the close of a communication from an entirely different
source, and one in no way suggestive of Browning, the words, "One Word
More" were rapidly written, followed by this verse:--

    "Round goes the world as song-birds go,
    There comes an age of overthrow--
    Strange dreams come true, yet still we dream
    Of deeper depths in Life's swift stream."

This I did not compose, nor had I ever heard or seen it before.

One evening it was promised that "Brain workers of philosophical bent"
would answer our questions. The first question asked was, "From your
standpoint do you consider death the end of conscious existence?"

_Ans._--"Death we know only as a phrase used to indicate change of

_Ques._--"Is death expected on your plane as on ours, or do all
understand that the next change is progressive?"

_Ans._--"Slow are even those on our plane to understand the law of
unending evolution."

_Ques._--"But we may apprehend what we do not fully understand or

_Ans._--"Comprehension sees farther than understanding. Comprehend
means complete understanding."

_Ques._--"Do you mean that comprehension is a word of wider
significance than understanding?"

_Ans._--"You are right."

I had never given any thought to the difference between the words
"understanding" and "comprehending," and when this was written was not
satisfied in my own mind that comprehend did mean more than
understand. On the following day I consulted Worcester's Unabridged
Dictionary and to my surprise, under the word "comprehend" found this
note: "Comprehend has a more extensive meaning than understand or
apprehend." So in this case, as in several others I have not time to
cite here, the intelligence which moved my hand to write gave me
knowledge which I did not myself possess. Very often in place of
writing, all I could get from them would be spiral lines. Sometimes a
page would be crossed and recrossed with these lines as if with some
definite purpose. This suggested to me the possibility that such lines
held some meaning unknown to me, and I put the question. The answer
was given, "We have different modes of thought from yours--and the
spiral signs are most in use with us: Some of our less advanced
scientists forget that on your plane our mode of control is not
understood by you. Lines are made of such esoteric meaning that, while
we understand at a glance, it is impossible for those on your plane to
perceive any words." Mr. Underwood here remarked: "There are numerous
spirals--all modifications of the primary straight line."

_Ans._--"Yes, the spiral is a primal law, simple yet complex, which we
who understand life's manifold ascensions grow to symbolize in our
thought, language, and writing."

I am warned by the length of this paper that I must close without
being able to give one tenth part of the many strange and surprising
revelations, or statements, philosophical and other, which we have
gained from this strange source. I have confined myself to those which
show most strongly evidence of an intelligence outside of Mr. U. or
myself, the only two persons who have been concerned in obtaining
them. To me personally these are _not_ the most wonderful phases of
this influence. The reasonable explanations given of the laws
governing another state of human existence, but very little different
from this except in being a step forward in the direction of
Mind--that is to me the most wonderful, but of that I cannot speak

I know that my experience at this time is by no means exceptional.
Before I had ever said one word to any human being except Mr. U. in
regard to it, there came to me a confidential letter from a valued
friend in another State, a lady of intellect and culture, confessing
that like, but far more varied, phenomena were occurring through her.
Like myself her position had been that of an agnostic, and the
communications to her are very similar to those I have obtained. I had
not heard from her in a year previous to the receipt of this letter. I
have been told of two or three other cases, so far unknown to the
public, all occurring within the year, and to non-spiritualists. And I
judge from magazine articles written by such well-known people as O.
B. Frothingham, Elizabeth Phelps Ward, and M. J. Savage, as well as
from public utterances of Mrs. Livermore and others, that this wave of
communication from some not fully understood source is far more
extensive than is generally suspected. It is, therefore, time that all
whose opinions may have weight, who have personal knowledge of such
phenomena, relate what they have seen or experienced in order that
these experiences may be compared, and the real source from which they
emanate may be discovered, if possible.

One other strange experience in this line came to me a few years ago
at the bedside of a dear friend at the point of death, which, perhaps,
may be related in this connection. It was near midnight; death was
momentarily expected. All the other watchers, exhausted by days of
grief and care, were snatching an hour of rest; and I stood alone
looking at the unconscious face before me which was distinctly
visible, though the light was heavily shaded to keep the glare from
the dying eyes. All her life my friend had been a Christian believer,
with an unwavering faith in a life beyond this, and for her sake a
bitter grief came upon me because, so far as I could see, there were
no grounds for that belief. I thought I could more easily let her go
out into the unknown if I could but feel that her hope would be
realized, and I put into words this feeling. I pleaded that if there
were any of her own departed ones present at this supreme moment could
they not and would they not give me some least sign that such was the
fact, and I would be content. Slowly over the dying one's face spread
a mellow radiant mist--I know no other way to describe it. In a few
moments it covered the dying face as with a veil, and spread in a
circle of about a foot beyond, over the pillow, the strange
yellowish-white light all the more distinct from the partial darkness
of the room. Then from the centre of this, immediately over the hidden
face, appeared an apparently living face with smiling eyes which
looked directly into mine, gazing at me with a look so full of
comforting assurance that I could scarcely feel frightened. But it was
so real and so strange that I wondered if I were temporarily crazed,
and as it disappeared I called a watcher from another room, and went
out into the open air for a few moments to recover myself under the
midnight stars. When I was sure of myself I returned and took my place
again alone. Then I asked that, if that appearance were real and not
an hallucination, would it be made once more manifest to me; and again
the phenomenon was repeated, and the kind, smiling face looked up at
me--a face new to me yet wondrously familiar. Afterwards I recalled my
friend's frequent description of her dead father whom she dearly
loved, but whom I had never seen, and I could not help the impression
that it was his face I saw the hour that his daughter died.



During the ten years which ended with 1889, the great metropolis of
the western continent added to the assessed valuation of its taxable
property almost half a billion dollars.

In all other essential respects save one, the decade was a period of
retrogression for New York City. Crime, pauperism, insanity, and
suicide increased; repression by brute force personified in an armed
police was fostered, while the education of the children of the masses
ebbed lower and lower. The standing army of the homeless swelled to
twelve thousand nightly lodgers in a single precinct, and forty
thousand children were forced to toil for scanty bread.

Prostitution, legalized in the purchase of besmirched foreign titles
and forced upon the attention of youth in the corrupting annals of the
daily press, was flaunted publicly as never before. Scientists
competed for the infamous distinction of inventing appliances for
murder by electricity, while in the domain of politics the sale of
votes in the closing years of the decade was more notorious than at
any period of the city's history. In a society in which all things are
commodities to be had for money, the labor power of stalwart men and
tiny children, the innocence of delicately cherished girlhood, the
marriage tie, the virtue of the servant, and the manhood of the
statesman, it is eminently fitting that the record of progress should
be kept officially in dollars and cents.

This is done in all our communities in the report of the disbursing
officer who is known in New York City under the title of the
Comptroller. His report shows what money the city spends, the sources
from which it is derived, and the purposes for which it is used. The
following data taken from statement "G" of his report for '89, may be
readily verified, and will prove, upon examination of the original, to
be but few among many conspicuous indications of retrogression.

Expressed in dollars and cents, then, the growth of pauperism and
crime was such in the decade which began with 1880, that we now spend
more than a million each year in excess of the sum spent then for the
same purposes. If we have grown in population so rapidly that the
percentages remain unchanged, the fact cannot be ascertained for want
of data. Nor is it important. The weighty fact is this, that pauperism
and crime have gained upon us. Riches are greater and poverty is

The moral and social retrogression indicated in this item of the
Comptroller's report is thrown into bold relief by another item, the
expenditures for schools. While the paupers and criminals have grown
upon us by an annual expenditure of more than a million in excess of
the sum needed in 1879, the school children's share of the public
funds has grown by less than a million in excess of the requirements
of 1879.

More shameful still is this retrogression when the item of police
expenditure is considered, for this exceeds outright the appropriation
for the Department of Education, and has grown more rapidly than the
expenditure for schools. It appears that, under existing conditions,
when property appreciates half a billion in value, it is necessary to
have four and one half millions' worth of police to watch over and
protect the half-billions' increase in assessed value from the ravages
of our paupers and criminals.

It seems also that in 1879 our police cost less than our schools,
while they now cost more. The problem assumes a still greater aspect
when the expenditure for paupers, criminals, and police are taken
together, for it then appears that they cost nearly twice as much as
the schools.

Thus the community is clearly moving in the direction of more
demoralized masses of population kept in check by the brute force of
an armed police, since each year the excess grows which is spent for
paupers, criminals, and police over the expenditure for education.

One retrogressive influence fails to find positive official
expression, and is, therefore, the more worthy of notice. This is the
collusion among officials to reduce primary school attendance. The
Board of Estimate and Apportionment never approves the full
appropriation made for the schools. The Board of Education strives to
live well within the sum allowed it, and crowds the greatest possible
number of children upon each teacher, the regular enrolment being
seventy primary pupils per teacher. Then to parry the charge of
over-filling schoolrooms, it becomes the duty of the principal to
reduce the enrolment per schoolhouse to the lowest point. Therefore,
when a zealous Sunday-school teacher finds that one of her little
charges has gone to work under age, the offices of the city's solitary
factory inspector being out of the question, she hunts up a truant
officer, who takes the child before a magistrate, who, in view of the
want of school accommodations, promptly discharges the truant. Behind
our local municipal administration lies our whole system of
capitalistic production, calling for cheap hands and profit, not
humane culture. And the school authorities do but seek to supply the
demand of that system for lads who can read the papers enough to vote
with the machine, and write and cipher enough to be available as

Everything beyond this being unprofitable, the great mass of our city
children are turned out of school at the ages of ten, eleven, and
twelve years, to furnish "cheap" hands for industrial purposes.

The Comptroller's report is substantiated, moreover, by the concurrent
testimony of the State Superintendent of Education, who laments

      [14] Report State Superintendent of Education. Report 1888,
           p. 12.

     "There is a large, uneducated class in the State, and our
     statistics show that it is growing larger. The attendance
     upon the schools has not kept pace with the advance of
     population. Recent legislation forbids the employment of
     children under thirteen years of age in any manufacturing
     establishment, but no adequate provision is made for
     gathering them into schools, and the number in the streets
     grows more rapidly than the number in the schools. Indeed,
     nothing practical has ever been done in this State by way of
     compelling attendance upon the schools. The result is sadly
     apparent and the premonitions are full of warning."

In 1889 (p. 13) the same official, Mr. Andrew S. Draper, says:--[15]

      [15] Report State Superintendent of Education. Report 1889,
           p. 13.

     "The total attendance upon the schools, when compared with
     the whole number of school age, has grown less and less with
     strange uniformity."

The factory inspectors in their report for 1886, say, p. 15:--

     "The ignorance is something alarming. Thousands of children
     _born in this country, or who came here in early childhood_,
     are unable to write; almost as many are unable to read, and
     still other thousands can do little more than write their
     own name. Possibly one third of the affidavits of the
     parents examined by us in the factory towns were signed with
     a crossmark, and it seemed to us that when the children who
     now require these affidavits grow up and have children of
     their own about whom to make affidavit, the proportion of
     crossmarks to the papers will not be decreased."

     "Children born in Europe, and who lately came to this
     country, are much better informed than the children born and
     reared in our own State, and this condition of affairs has
     also been remarked by the factory inspectors of other
     States. Very few American-born children could tell the year
     of their birth, State they lived in, or spell the name of
     their native town."

In the midst of his gloom, the Commissioner of Labor Statistics
courageously endeavors to show that wages have increased for men in
the labor organizations. But in so doing, he merely whistles to keep
up his courage, for he dare not investigate now, as he did in 1883 and
1884, the employment of women and children, lest he show how much
worse their condition has become during the intervening years, and
thereby forfeit forever his position of laureate to the powers that

The omission of a State census in 1885 was a breach of the
Constitution for which no previous decade affords a precedent, and the
absence of a school census becomes, year by year, a graver sin of
omission as the pressure of economic conditions makes child labor more
widespread and more injurious.

In default of the State census and of adequate information from the
State Bureau of Labor Statistics, and of efficient factory inspection,
an eager welcome awaited the statement touching New York City,
published in Mr. Carroll D. Wright's report of the National Department
of Labor upon the working women in twenty cities, whereof the
following speaks for itself.

Mr. Carroll D. Wright's report for 1889:--

     "As respects ventilation, a properly regulated workshop is
     the exception. The average room is either stuffy and close,
     or hot and close, and even where windows abound they are
     seldom opened. Toilet facilities are generally scant and
     inadequate, a hundred workers being dependent sometimes on a
     single closet or sink, and that, too often, out of order."

     "Actual ill-treatment by employers seems to be infrequent;
     _kindness, justice, and cordial relations are the rule_."

It would be interesting to discover the idea entertained at the
department as to what constitutes ill-treatment.

     "Out of 18,000 women investigated, the largest number, 2,647
     earn $200 and under $250 per annum, 2,377 earn from $250 to
     $300. The concentration, it will be seen by consulting the
     tables, comes on earnings ranging from $150 per year to $350
     per year."

     "_It is quite clear from the various investigations that
     have been made, that there is little, if any, improvement in
     the amount of earnings which a woman can secure by working
     in the industries open to her; her earnings are not only
     ridiculously low, but dangerously so._"

     "The summary by cities, tables xxx, pp. 530 to 531, would
     seem to indicate that _the majority are now in receipt of
     fair wages when the whole body of working women is

When such self-contradictory "information" is placed before the public
as the fruit of investigation, the question arises whether the
Department of Labor is not one more link in that chain of appliances
for confusing the voter which embraces a dozen State bureaus of
irrelevant reformation created chiefly within the last decade.
Certainly in comparison with the first report of Mr. Wright's
Massachusetts incumbency, the present one indicates a retrogression as
marked as it is injurious.

Defective as it is, however, this information is the latest that we
have, and it indicates terrible poverty among the better situated
manual workers.

The average wages of the employed during employment being decidedly
less than a dollar a day, it is not strange that homelessness grows
and the police department reports:--

     "As will be seen, the enormous number of 4,649,660 cheap
     lodgings were furnished during the year, to which should be
     added the 150,812 lodgings furnished in the station-houses,
     making a total of 4,800,472. If tenement-house life leads to
     immorality and vice, certainly the fifty-eight
     lodging-houses in the Eleventh Precinct, furnishing
     1,243,200 lodgings in one year, must have the same or a
     worse tendency. Reflection upon the figures contained in the
     above will lead to the conclusion that we have a large
     population of impecunious people (all males) which ought to
     be regarded with some concern. It is shown above that an
     average of 13,152 persons, without homes and the influence
     of family, lodged nightly in the station-houses, and in
     these poorly provided dormitories, an army of idlers willing
     or forced. It is respectfully submitted that social
     reformers would here find a field for speculation, if not
     for considerable activity."

Into whose hands can our half a billion of added wealth have wandered,
that it leaves more than twelve thousand human beings homeless
throughout the year? And is the growth of such poverty, not

It is urged from time to time that New York is no typical study for
American conditions because of the immigration that forever flows
through it, and the abnormally large proportion of the "_un_fittest"
left as our residuum. But in comparison with the armies of the unfit
systematically produced by our industrial system, the stratum of
residuum deposited in the metropolis by the flood of immigration
rolling westward, is too trivial to disturb the equanimity of candid
observers. Only the perverted vision which leads New York's most
famous charitable institutions to imprison beggars and kidnap the
children of the very poor in the name of philanthropy, can so confuse
cause and effect. If we were civilized, if we were doing the nation's
work in an orderly manner, every recruit would be so much clear gain.
It is the disorganization of our moribund industrial system which
leaves no welcome for the immigrants save as the tenement-house agent
may bleed them, and the sweating contractor "grind their bones to make
his bread." It is this disorganization which turns the source of our
finest reinforcement into a means of demoralization and temporary

We have seen that in accumulated wealth, the city of New York
increased by nearly half a billion dollars in the past ten years. A
fair share of this material wealth was doubtless derived from the
application of electricity to human uses, for that was pre-eminently
the decade of electricity.

Yet, even in this respect the metropolis failed to hold its own. For,
while the substitution of electricity for horse power has gone rapidly
forward in the small cities of the West and South, New York has
suffered an extension of its slow, filthy, and pest-breeding
horse-car transportation. There can be little doubt that the
unspeakable state of the streets contributed largely to the deadliness
of the epidemic which raged at the close of 1889.

Nor was the electric lighting of New York more successfully developed
than the use of electricity for transportation. The last night of the
ten years found the city buried in stygian gloom, because the duty of
lighting its streets is still a matter of private profit; and the
insolent corporation which fattens upon this franchise surrendered the
privilege of murdering its linemen unpunished, only when its poles
were cut and its wires torn down. A more classic application of the
Vanderbilt motto in action it would be hard to find, or a more
thorough demonstration of the inadequacy of capitalism to rule the
genii itself has summoned. Characteristic of the low plane of humane
feeling in State and city is the substitution of the electrician for
the hangman in judicial murder, at a time when the effort is general
upon the Eastern Continent to abolish capital punishment.

As the application of electricity rose pre-eminently characteristic of
the past decade among the uses of science, so architecture towered
above all other arts. Yet, for one problem solved after the
magnificent fashion of the Brooklyn bridge and the Dacotahs, hundreds
of plans were devised with delicate ingenuity for filling up with
bricks and mortar the small remaining air space in the rear of
tenement blocks. And this noblest and most humane of all the arts was
degraded in the service of millionnaire land-owners and sub-letting
agents until the problem of to-day is, how to kennel the greatest mass
of human beings upon the least area with smallest allowance of air,
and light, and water, without infringing the building laws. One of the
simplest solutions is superimposing floor upon floor, so compelling
tired women and puny children to mount narrow, dark, and gloomy
stairs, and increasing to its maximum the danger of fire. The Egyptian
pyramids and the catacombs of Rome centuries ago were not poorer in
healthful light and air than were these homes of our fellow-citizens
in our own decade of retrogression.

But does this mean that our civilization is a failure, and the prime
of life past for the Republic? Far from it. It means, I take it, that
capitalism has done its work, and has become a hindrance, that the
old industrial and social forms are inadequate to the new requirements
and must be remodelled, and that promptly. It is now nearly half a
century since Karl Marx wrote the following words, but they apply to
the New York of to-day, as though he were among us and suffering with

     "It is the sad side which produces the movement that makes
     history by engendering struggle.... From day to day it
     becomes more clear that the conditions of production under
     which the capitalist class exists, are not of a homogeneous
     and simple character, but are two-sided, duplex; and that in
     the same proportion in which wealth is produced, poverty is
     produced also; that in the same proportion in which there is
     development of the productive forces, there is also
     developed a force that begets repression; that these
     conditions only generate middle class wealth by continuously
     destroying the wealth of individual members of that class,
     and by producing an ever-growing proletariat."



It was in the year of our Lord 1806; the season, September; in the
State of Tennessee, and the tenth year of its age, _as_ a State.

The summer was over, the harvests ripe, the year growing ruddy. Down
in the cotton fields the balls had begun to burst, and the "hands,"
with their great baskets, to trudge all day down the long rows,
singing in that dreamy, dolefully musical way which belongs alone to
the tongue of the Southern slaves and to the Southern cotton fields.
Across the fields, and the rich, old clover bottoms that formed a part
of the Hermitage farm, the buzz of a cotton gin could be distinctly
heard, adding its own peculiar note to the music of Southern nature.

A cotton gin! it was a rare possession in those days, and General
Jackson's was known from Nashville to New Orleans. Indeed, the whole
of the previous year's crop had not yet been disposed of. The great
bales were heaped about, waiting for the flat-boats that would carry
them up the Cumberland, down the Ohio and the Mississippi, and land
them at the great New Orleans market. A slow trip for the bulky bales.
Could they have foreseen the time when the tedious river's journey
would be shortened to one day's run over a steel track, what must the
big bales have thought! And those gigantic heaps of cotton seed which
all the cows in the county could not have consumed, could they have
"peered into the future" and found themselves in the _lard cans_! The
old gin would have groaned aloud could it have known that it was
buzzing itself into history as surely as was the tall, spare, erect
man coming across the field in the late afternoon to see that the
day's work was well done.

What a heroic figure! and a face that even in youth bore the impress
of a man marked by destiny for daring deeds. Imperious in temper,
majestic in courage, and unyielding in will, he was one born to lay
hold of fate and _bend_ it to his desires. Yet, there was a timidity
in the eye which no _danger_ could make quail. And when down the lane
there came the clatter of horses' hoofs striking the hard, dry earth,
and with the horses a vision of long, dark skirts waving like black
banners in the breeze made by the hurrying steeds, the owner of the
cotton gin stepped within and beyond the vision of the lady visitors.

But they were not to be out-generaled even by a general; and straight
up to the gin the horses were headed.

"General Jackson," one of the ladies--there were but two--called to
the timid hero who had run away at her approach. Instantly he
appeared. He wore a large, white beaver hat, the broad brim
half-shading the clear-cut, strongly outlined features. When he lifted
it, even Beauty could not fail to notice the high and noble forehead,
the quick, eager eye, and the delicate flush that swept across the
patrician features. "General Jackson, I have come in the name of
charity. No, no, you need not take out your wallet. We are not asking

A smile played across the strong, thin lips. "How?" said he, "doesn't
charity always mean 'money'? I was of the impression the terms were

"Then for once own yourself in the wrong," laughed Beauty. "We have
come to ask the privilege of a charity ball at the Hermitage."

"A _what_?"

"A charity ball; and at the Hermitage."

A most comically pleased expression came into the earnest eyes of the
master for an instant. Only an instant, and then a heavy frown
contracted his forehead. A flash of scorn in the clear eye, and a curl
of the proud, sensitive lip, told of the suppressed anger that had
suddenly smitten him.

"The Hermitage," said he, "is the home of my wife. _She_ is its
mistress, and to her is confided its honor and the honor of its
master. To her belongs, and to her alone, the right to choose its
guests, and to open its doors to _her_ friends. I am surprised you
should come to _me_ with your request."

Ah! she was forearmed; how fortunate. Beauty smiled triumphantly. "But
your servant who opened the gate, told us that Mrs. Jackson was not at

"Ah!" the frown instantly vanished, and the hand ever ready to strike
for her he loved with such deathless devotion was again lifted to the
broad old beaver.

"I think," said he, "in that case I may answer for Mrs. Jackson, and
pledge for her the hospitality of the Hermitage for--_charity_."

Again he lifted his hat; across the fields the sound of a whistle had
come to him, and a servant waited, with polite patience, near by with
the horse that was to carry his master down to the river where the
boats were waiting to be inspected--the new boats which, like
everything pertaining to the master of the Hermitage, were to have a
place in history.

"Ladies," said he, "charity is not the only voice calling upon the
Hermitage farmer. Our country,"--he waved his hand toward the river
where the boats were being builded,--"or one who nobly represents her,
is calling for those vessels now in the course of construction

"_Will there be war?_"

How the clear eyes danced and shone beneath that question which over
and over again he had put to his own heart,--"Will there be war?"

"We hope so," he replied. "All the West wishes it, the people demand
it, and the time is ripe for it. Already a leader has been chosen for
it; those boats were ordered by him."

"Colonel Burr?"

"Aye, Aaron Burr."

       *       *       *       *       *

The night was balmy and deliciously fragrant with the odors of cedar
and sweet old pine. Balmy and silent, save for a rebellious
mocking-bird that trilled and trolled, and seemed trying to split its
musical little throat in a honeysuckle bush before the open window of
a little "two-story" log house set back from the road in a tangle of
plum trees, wild rose-bushes, and sweet old cedars.

Every window was wide open, and from both windows and doors streamed a
flood of light, to guide and welcome the guests who came by twos, and
threes, and half dozens to the Hermitage ball. They were not in
full-dress array, for most of the guests were equestrians, or
equestriennes, and brought their finery in the little leathern
band-boxes securely buckled to the saddle-horse. Stealthily the fair
ones dismounted, and stealthily crept along the low piazza, through
the side room, carefully past the pretentious "big room," and up the
stairs, a narrow little wooden concern, each tenderly hugging her
precious band-box.

There were but three rooms below, barring the dining-room which was
cut off by the low piazza. The stairway went up from Mrs. Jackson's
little bedroom into a duplicate guest-chamber above. Two others, as
diminutive, one above and below, were tucked onto these. And this,
with the big room, was the Hermitage. A very unpretentious cabin was
the first Hermitage; the humble and honored roof of Rachel and Andrew
Jackson, the couple standing under the waxen candles in the big room
waiting to receive their guests. The master was resplendent, if
uncomfortable, in his silken stockings, buckles, and powder, and rich
velvet. For, whatever his faults, he was no coxcomb, and the knee
breeches and finery had only been assumed for that one occasion, at
the "special request" of _charity's_ fair committee.

The vest of richly embroidered silk was held at the waist with a
glittering brilliant, and left open to the throat, as if in deference
to the flutes, and frills, and delicate laces of the white shirt
bosom. There was a glitter at the knees where the silver buckles
caught now and then a gleam from the waxen candles dangling from the
low ceiling in a silver and iridescent chandelier, to the imminent
peril of the white roll of powdered hair surmounting the tall
general's forehead. At his side, proud, calm, and queenly in her
womanly dignity and virtue, stood Rachel, the beloved mistress of the
Hermitage. Her dress of stiff and creamy silk could add nothing to the
calm serenity of the soul beaming from the gentle eyes, whose glance,
tender and fond, strayed now and then to the figure of her husband,
and rested for a brief moment upon the strong, gentle face with
something akin to reverence in their shadowy depths. Her face,
beautiful and beneficent, was not without a shadow: a shadow which
grief had set there to mellow, but could not mar, the gentle sweetness
of the patient features.

There was the sound of banjo and fiddle, as one by one the dusky
musicians from the cabins ranged themselves along the wall of the big
room, which had been cleared of its furnishings, and young feet came
hurrying in when the old Virginia reel sounded through, the low
rooms, calling to the dance.

More than one set of ivories shone at door and windows where the
slaves gathered to "see the whi' folks dance." But prominent and
conspicuous, in a suit as nearly resembling his master's as might be,
and in a position at the immediate right hand of the slave who played
the bass viol, stood Cæsar, the general's favorite man-servant. He
bore himself with the same courtly dignity, the same dignified
courtesy, and had stationed himself beside the viol in order to have a
more thorough view of the dancers, and above all of his beloved
master. He had faithfully ushered in the last guest, and had hurried
to his place in order to see General Jackson step down the long line
of dancers and bow to his partner. Not for worlds would he have missed
that bow, to him the perfection of grace and dignity.

Two by two the couples entered, crossed to the centre of the room and
bowed each other to their places opposite in the long, wall-like line
which characterizes the stately reel.

The ladies dropped like drooping lilies for one brief moment in the
midst of their silken stiffness, skirts that "stood alone," and made
their courtesies to their swains with proper maiden modesty.

Cæsar saw it all from his post of vantage near the big viol, but he
was not interested in the visitors, he knew what they could do. He was
waiting to see his master "lay 'em all in the shade bimeby." Of course
he would open the ball. He wasn't fond of dancing but it was the
custom of the day, and he and Miss Rachel "knew their manners."

But for once the custom of the day was changed. Cæsar was destined to
disappointment. Mrs. Jackson's rustling silk announced her approach
before she appeared, leaning, not upon the arm of the general, but in
company with a florid, rather fleshy gentleman, no stranger, however,
to the Hermitage hospitality. Much to the negro's chagrin he led her
to the very head of the long lines of bright dresses and gay gallants,
and stepped himself, as Cæsar declared, "like a young cock," into the
general's own place opposite. The master stood at the very foot, the
escort of a lady Cæsar had never set eyes upon before, and who for the
life of him he could not forgive for being the general's partner.

He was grievously disappointed, so that when the florid fat gentleman
at the head danced down between the gay columns, and made his manners
to the lady at the foot, as gallantly as anyone could have done, Cæsar
expressed his opinion loud enough to be heard by the very gentleman

"Mr. Grundy tryin' step mighty high to-night," he said.

But it was when "Miss Rachel" danced down in her silken skirts and met
the master midway the line, and dropped a low courtesy, her full
skirts settling about her like a great white umbrella, and the stately
general bowed over his silver buckles like some royal knight of old,
that Cæsar's enthusiasm got the better of his indignation.

"Beat _dat_, Mr. Grundy!" he said, in a low, if enthusiastic, whisper,
"beat dat, sar." And Mr. Grundy pranced down again to "beat" the
master in the "swing with the right" movement of the old-fashioned

Promptly the general followed, meeting "Miss Rachel" half way with a
second courtesy over the tips of her fingers, just visible under the
lace ruffles at her wrists.

"Try _dat_, now, Mr. Grundy!" And this time Cæsar forgot his whisper
so that a burst of applause followed the challenge, to Mr. Grundy's
extreme chagrin; for he, alas! had forgotten his bow before swinging
the lady.

It was then the dancing assumed something of the appearance of real

Down the line galloped Mr. Grundy again, stopped, bowed, "swung with
the left," and _bowed again_.

The general had been outdone, even Cæsar had to admit it, and the
dancers laughed aloud and clapped their hands at the pretty little

But the master was equal to the emergency. Again the stately figure
met "Miss Rachel," the couple bowed, swung with the left, bowed again,
hands still clasped, and then the powdered head of the master dropped
for an instant over the lady's hand, that was lifted to his lips, and
the dancers parted.

Amid the spirited confusion of "chasing the fox," passing under the
gates held "high as the sky," and passing back again into line,
Cæsar's voice could be heard still sounding the challenge:--

"Beat it, _if_ you kin, Mr. Grundy. _Chas_say _to_ yer best, Mr.
Grundy! Back yerse'f _to_ de lead, Mr. Grundy!"

Clearly, Mr. Grundy was not the favorite. Cæsar's "backing" had
inspired confidence in the general.

However, if Mr. Grundy was, as he said, "a cock," he was nevertheless
a game one. Down the centre he tripped again, flushed and determined,
courtesied exceeding low, swung "with both" hands, then dropped for an
instant upon one knee while the lady tripped back into line. There was
a murmur of quick appreciation and all eyes were turned on Jackson.
Would he, _could_ he, think of anything so delightfully graceful?

Cæsar's mouth stood wide open. His confidence in his beloved and
stately master never once faltered. He knew he would never suffer
Felix Grundy to outdo him in the simple matter of a bow; but how?

Straight on came the general; bowed, extended his arms, when, as ill
luck would have it, he set the toe of his shoe upon the front hem of
"Miss Rachel's" silken gown, and, rising from her courtesy, there was
nothing to do but drop forward into the arms extended, amid the shouts
of the assembled guests, emphasized by Cæsar's emphatic--


He had done a very awkward thing. One of those _happily_ awkward
things which crown a man conqueror more surely than all the tricks of
art can do.

Nobody attempted to surpass that feat, and when the couples had each
in turn passed their parade, for such is the old Virginia reel, and
the dancers filed into the supper room, General Jackson was still, in
the judgment of his servant at all events, the master of grace and

A sumptuous supper and worthy the mistress who planned it. At the head
of the table sat Jackson; at the foot, the young statesman and guest,
Mr. Grundy.

When the company had all been seated, the master rose, his right hand
resting upon a tiny tumbler of red wine, such as stood at every plate.
He motioned Mr. Grundy, and lifted the tumbler. "The man honored by
fate, and fostered by fortune. The man chosen and set apart for the
service of the nation. A man whose name shall go down the years as the
synonym of courage and of honor. The foremost man of the age,"--and
the voice ever strong for the friend, absent or near, pronounced the
name of one at that moment tottering upon the brink of ignominious
destruction and disgrace--"Aaron Burr."

There was an instant of intense silence, but not a tumbler was lifted.
Insult to the host, or insult to conviction? was the thought which
held each guest; when quick into the breach stepped Mr. Grundy. With
one palm pressed upon the rim of his tumbler, and with head proudly
lifted in a half defiant sternness, wholly belying the careless voice
in which he offered the compromise, "No absent heroes," said he. "In
lieu of that I offer Andrew Jackson! the future President of the
United States of America." It was said in jest, yet not one but
understood that Mr. Grundy refused to drink to the man with whose
name one stinging, startling word was already cautiously

General Jackson's fine eye flashed; but courtesy could unsheath no
sword against a guest. And after all, it was nothing. A mere flash of
words. Aye! yet something whispered that the flash carried a meaning,
was, indeed, a spark from that mightier _flash of arms_ that would,
ere long, blaze out at the very mention of that name.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ball was over; still wearing their evening finery the master of
the Hermitage and his wife sat over the fading embers, smoking their
"last pipe" before retiring.

Cæsar had bowed the last guest from the door, and was about to close
it for the night, when the sound of galloping hoofs attracted his
attention. It was a single horseman, and he was making straight for
the Hermitage. The servant waited under the low piazza, curious but
not uneasy. The horse stopped at the block, and into the long line of
light streaming from the open doorway, came the figure of a man,
hurrying as if to reach the door before it should close. He had ridden
hard, and had barely arrived in time.

"Is General Jackson at home?" he asked. "I must see him to-night, at
once. Tell him so."

The servant bowed, and silently ushered the late arrival into the
deserted banquet room.

His keen eye took in the surroundings with a half-amused,
half-bewildered expression. The banquet table, despoiled of its
beauty, the half-emptied wine glasses, the broken bits of cake,
crumbled by beauty's fair fingers; the odor of dying roses, smothered
in their bloom, mingled with the scent of the undrunk wine; all told
the story of revelry and its inevitable destiny.

The stranger crossed the room to the pillaged sideboard, and with the
air of a man thoroughly at home, lifted a decanter and poured a
tumbler full of wine, lifted it carelessly to his lips, drained it,
and with the emptied vessel still in his hand turned to meet the
master of the house.

He still wore the finery in which he had decked himself for the ball.
In one hand he carried his pipe, over which he had been dozing with
Rachel. But the eye was alive now; the quick, eagle eye. The ball had
become a thing of the past. And as he stood for one brief moment in
the doorway, himself, in his gala dress, seemed but another
illustration of that indomitable grimness which hangs about a forsaken
banquet room. At that moment the stranger lifted his face. It was a
face stamped with the cunning of a fox, the courage of a lion, the
simplicity of a child, the ambition of a god.

The master met the cool, fixed eye, and into his own leaped the
smothered fire of outraged dignity. He lifted his hand, as if to

"Do you know, sir, that the world is branding you a traitor? And that
Felix Grundy refused to drink your health in my house to-night?"

A sneer flitted across the handsome features, but the low, rich voice
only said, "_Let him_."

It was the voice of Aaron Burr.



The constantly broadening sphere of woman's influence is to me the
most hopeful and important sign of our times. The era of woman has
dawned, bearing the unmistakable prophecy of a far higher civilization
than humanity has ever known. It is an incontestable fact that woman
is ethically, infinitely superior to man; her moral perceptions are
firmer and stronger, her unselfishness far greater, her spiritual
nature deeper and richer than that of her brothers. She is to-day
foremost in the great social, philanthropic, humanitarian, and ethical
reforms, in which selfishness has no place. In her widening influence,
growing liberty, and freedom, I see impearled a prophecy of an
altruistic era--a civilization triumphant--rising against to-morrow's
purpling dawn.

In the fields of intellectual and scientific research she has grandly
won her way, and that despite the marshalled forces of conservatism,
which have stubbornly contested every step that has looked towards a
broader, more independent and purposeful life. For centuries relegated
to the rear, compelled to take thought second-hand, denied a healthful
freedom and the right of a liberal education, so highly prized by man,
her marvellous attainments since she has in a measure broken the bonds
of conservatism and trampled under foot the baleful heritage of
ancient thought, have been so splendid in their reality and so
pregnant with prophecies of future triumph, that I confidently expect
to find in her the one invincible ally of the forces warring for a
higher, purer, more just and humane condition of life. In her
epoch-marking victories she has lost none of her old-time charms, the
wonderful refinement of sentiment, the delicacy of thought, the rich
soul life, the deep emotional nature, the strong moral character, pure
as the glistening snow-clad peaks in the midst of the moral
degradation which taints manhood. These have remained in their
pristine beauty since she has emerged from her age-long retirement
into a more influential sphere; in truth they have been strengthened
and made more impressive by the fuller development of her nature.

It must not be supposed, however, that her struggles are over. Before
she can or will attain an influence commensurate with her work, she
must emancipate herself from the bondage of _fashion_, which as
seriously reflects on her good judgment as it wrecks her health and
menaces the life and happiness of her offsprings. She must also
repudiate the age-hallowed insult dwelt upon in the old Edenic legend
of the fall of man, which for centuries has been brandished in her
face to teach her humility, and make her feel degraded in the presence
of her "lords and masters." An essentially barbarous conception, born
of a cowardly and brutal childhood age, and as unworthy of our day and
generation as is the hideous, old-time conception of God, in which He
was pictured as an angry and jealous Being, counselling the wholesale
slaughter of men and little children, and the prostitution of
daughters, wives, and mothers, by hordes of brutal invaders, whom He
chose to designate his _peculiar people_.

Again, womanhood must refuse to heed the admonitions of Paul, which
have for almost two thousand years been thundered from the pulpit, and
persistently preached from the fireside as though they were oracles
from heaven, rather than the natural expressions of a mind imbued with
Grecian thought and ideals concerning womanhood. There is nothing
surprising in Paul's observations on the sphere of woman; they were
the reflex of the conservative and prevailing thought among the
civilizations _with which he was familiar_. But the world has outgrown
this ancient conception, and it is worse than folly to attempt to
fasten the corpse of the past to the living body of the present. The
evolution of society, a growing sense of justice in man, and the
exigencies of life are rapidly diminishing the old-time reverence for
the Pauline theory of woman's sphere. This is nowhere more
significantly illustrated than in the expressed declaration of tens of
thousands of pious, Christian women, and the active participation of a
smaller number in public affairs, who would indignantly resent any
intimation that they did not accept the plenary inspiration of the
Bible.[16] The declarations of Paul, while in harmony with accepted
ideas in his day, are absurd, and inapplicable to our age and
generation, and as such are being discarded by enlightened public
sentiment, as was the old theory of a flat earth finally given up
after science fully exposed its falsity. Another duty of woman is to
unitedly contend for the _right of suffrage for those who wish to
exercise it_. There may have been a time when there was no pressing
duty involved in this question, but that day has passed. Recent
statistics show that there are in the United States to-day millions of
women who earn a livelihood by their own individual exertions;[17]
tens of thousands of these women are working for starvation wages,
with the awful alternative ever before them "starve or sin." This
condition will remain until women have a voice in the government equal
to man's, and their numbers are so organized as to challenge the
consideration of law-makers. The infamous "_age of consent laws_"
which place the age of consent to her own ruin from seven to twelve
years for girls _could only be enacted in man-governed States_. A
noteworthy illustration of this is found in the fact that Wyoming, the
only State where woman enjoys full franchise, has placed the age of
consent at the legal age of majority, eighteen years, while Kansas,
the State which more than any other approaches Wyoming in bestowing on
women the rights of franchise, and where she exercises a greater
influence in politics than any other American commonwealth save her
younger sister, has also placed the age of consent at eighteen years.
_All the other States trail the banner of morality in the dust before
the dictates of man's bestiality._

     [16] The hundreds of earnest organizers in the great reform
          movements of to-day; the sincere and profoundly religious
          women who preach the Christian gospel every Sunday; the
          leaders in the great temperance organizations who are also
          leaders in various Orthodox churches, have, in spite of
          their prejudices and the old-time faith which is often more
          a legacy from the past than the result of a many-sided
          investigation, yielded to the demands of their age, the
          crying needs of the hour, and in defiance of the dogmatic
          injunctions of Paul, have entered the vineyard of practical
          reform, while still maintaining the anomalous position of
          defending the verbal inspiration of the New Testament. This
          singularly illogical position, however, is always met with
          in a transition period, when a larger and more purposeful
          life is struggling with time-hallowed traditions and the
          memories and teachings made almost sacred by the childlike
          acceptation, of loved parents, and teachers who have
          vanished down the vale.

     [17] It has been variously estimated by careful statisticians
          that we have from 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 girls and women in
          the United States who are making their own livings. The
          Commissioner of Labor, in his report for 1885, estimated
          that in New York City alone, there are over 200,000
          employed in various wage-earning vocations. Mr. Carroll D.
          Wright's fourth annual report in the U. S. Bureau of Labor
          gives the results of statistics gathered from twenty-two
          cities of women engaged in manual labor, not including the
          great army engaged in professional and semi-professional
          vocations, as something near 300,000, but the glaring
          discrepancy in the figures as they relate to the Empire
          City, shown by Helen Campbell, discredits the report.
          Certain it is that in the cities mentioned if one begins at
          the scrub women and passes through the various occupations,
          such as boarding-house keepers, millinery, dressmaking,
          cash girls, clerks, sales-women, stenographers,
          type-writers, book-keepers, teachers, factory girls, and
          slaves of the clothing trade, as well as the artists,
          musicians, actresses, public speakers, physicians, lawyers,
          and the many other professions or vocations filled by
          women, that the number would be swelled to the millions.
          The last census returns for New York City reveal the fact
          that there are twenty-seven thousand married men in New
          York who are supported by their wives, who are mainly
          dressmakers, milliners, boarding-house keepers, artists,
          teachers, musicians, and actresses. Here we have an army of
          shiftless, dependent men, more than a quarter of one
          hundred thousand strong, having each a vote to cast or
          perchance to sell to the highest bidder, while the real
          bread-winners, the actual wealth-producers, in this case
          have no voice in the legislative halls.

In the various spheres of activity in which woman has engaged, her
influence has been that of a purifying, refining, and ennobling power,
and barring rare instances where the spirit of intolerance has flashed
forth,[18] her presence in public affairs has been uniformly

     [18] At times woman has shown a spirit of intolerance born
          of the intensity of her conviction which has led many
          thoughtful men and women to seriously question whether the
          right of suffrage might not prove a curse rather than a
          blessing, ending in repressive legislation and religious
          persecutions. I do not, however, fear these evils. The
          intensity of convictions is a compliment to her heart; and
          her innate love of justice and fair-play, would, I think,
          in a reasonably short time, expand the intellectual vision
          which prejudice and ancient thought has long obscured. Let
          the outcome, however, be it what it may, we have no right
          to argue on lines of policy, when a question of right or
          justice is involved. It is simple justice for every woman
          to exercise the right of franchise who desires to so enjoy
          it, and this should be sufficient to settle the question in
          the minds of those who believe in according to others what
          is demanded for themselves.

For womanhood I cherish the deepest love and reverence. Her exaltation
means the elevation of the race. A broader liberty and more liberal
meed of justice for her mean a higher civilization, and the solution
of weighty and fundamental problems which will never be equitably
adjusted until we have brought into political and social life more of
the splendid spirit of altruism, which is one of her most conspicuous
characteristics. I believe that morality, education, practical reform,
and enduring progress wait upon her complete emancipation from the
bondage of fashion, prejudice, superstition, and conservatism.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as
possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other
inconsistencies.  The transcriber made the following changes to the
text to correct obvious errors by the publisher:

 1. p. 263, "attempts of the Saxon minister, M. de Beust,*"
                original has footnote marker but no footnote text
 2. p. 287, "republicaan" changed to "republican"
 3. p. 325, "dulness" changed to "dullness"
 4. p. 340, "pased" changed to "passed"
 5. p. 383, In Footnote 16, "predjudices" changed to "prejudices"

End of Transcriber's Notes]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.