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Title: The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891" ***

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[Illustration: Geo. C. Lorimer. (signed "Yours' Respectfully, Geo. C.



It is a good thing that the Inquisition, Star-chamber, and other
compulsory institutions of the dark past have departed from Europe,
and have never been tolerated in America. Were it not so, at the
present time there would be much excellent work for the rack, the
thumbscrew, and the faggot. Heresy is in the air, especially in the
northern latitudes of the United States. We inhale it with the morning
breezes, it stimulates us to mental activity during the noon hour, and
at times stifles us as by the sultry atmosphere of a blistering day.
Everywhere it is being discussed, and by every kind of individual,
qualified or unqualified for such high contentions. Daily journals,
hitherto never remarkable for orthodoxy, have suddenly grown anxious
as to the future of the faith; and other journals, that have always
antagonized orthodoxy, are, figuratively speaking, rubbing their hands
most gleefully and smiling through their editorial columns with a most
perceptible "I told you so"; while religious papers, representing as
they do, the conservative element in this country, are apparently
staggered at the inroads which the so-called higher criticism has made
of late. Aged people ominously shake their heads, and striplings of
the limp-back Bible type are amazed at the stir which ideas are making
in the community, and which threaten to disturb the peace and quiet of
their mediocre godliness; and pious women engaged on crazy quilts, in
the interest of noble benefactions, stop with punctured and bleeding
fingers to protest against all departures from ancient doctrinal

Suspects are numerous, and, as in the days of the worthy Council of
Ten in Venice, no prominent person, especially a teacher, is beyond
surveillance. If he adventures just a little from the beaten path,
even though it may be to gather a thought, which, like a wild field
daisy, given by the bounty of the Infinite One for the delight of his
creatures, he has found growing on the wind-swept plain of natural
religion, honored possibly by heathen seers and philosophers, he is
likely to be summoned before the black draped, gloomy councillors and
familiars of modern inquisitorial conservatism.

In my opinion there is no real need for the morbid anxiety that now
prevails in certain quarters, and surely no serious alarm should be
felt for the perpetuity and stability of truth. Truth is truth, and
all the bad captains that ever sailed that bark, and all the bad
navigators that ever misdirected its course, have never been able to
run it on the lee shore, or bring it to final shipwreck, and never
can; for over and above all human devices and guidings there is a
divine hand that upholds and shields that which, next to his Infinite
Self, is the most precious blessing yet conferred upon the human mind.

Let us remember that the heresies of the hour are not of the "damnable
sort" which, as Peter declared, deny the Lord who bought us; neither
are they mixed with such immoralities as Paul condemns in his letter
to the Galatians. And if we may believe that the words of that same
apostle have any pertinency in our times, then, when he declares that
heresies or schisms must arise among us "that they which are proved
may be made manifest," we may confidently expect that out of the
present discussions and the "jangling of sweet notes out of tune" some
broader thought and some nobler conception of divine teachings,
revealed to us in Holy Scripture, will assuredly come to the church
and to the world.

I think that the leaders who are solicitous for the ark of God ought
to try to characterize the opinions which have given rise, in these
latter days, to threatened trials for heterodoxy. It is so easy to say
that a man who differs from ourselves is not orthodox, and to avoid an
actual and exact statement of what we mean; when in fact we deal
unjustly with him, and produce a wrong impression on the community at

Let us notice the three distinctive and discriminating marks of
so-called heresy in evangelical churches, and I think you will be
persuaded that it is unwise for us to be alarmists, and imprudent "to
breathe out threatenings and slaughters."

It will be observed that the newer heresies do not challenge the truth
of Scripture inspiration, only the form and philosophy of such
inspiration. The men who are suspected of entertaining erroneous
opinions concerning the method of Divine impartation of truth are the
strenuous advocates of the moral grandeur, spiritual authority, and
faith-sufficiency of the heavenly oracles. They, it is true, deny what
has been known as the verbal theory--a theory which owes more to the
post-reformers' fear of an infallible pope, than to any real,
intelligent cause--but by no recognized council or decree,
acknowledged by Protestants, has that mechanical conception ever been
made binding on the conscience. Modern scholarship is simply leading
us to recognize a more rational criticism than was possible to our
fathers; a mode of criticism which almost every Sunday-school teacher,
in his humble way, adopts, and which is common, and has been in the
most orthodox pulpits for unnumbered years, every man bringing the
passage he is discussing to the test of knowledge that he has acquired
and, in a sense, to the test even of his reason. I do not say that
scholars have uttered the final word upon this great subject, nor is
it possible for such a word to be pronounced at the present stage of
investigation, but I do insist that we should recognize the authority
of enlightenment, and that we should not carelessly brand as heterodox
men of eminent attainments, who are merely seeking to guide us to
foundations which, in the long run, shall prove absolutely

We have to decide whether the Christianity of the immediate future
shall be governed supremely by intelligence or ignorance. If ignorance
is to rule supreme, then let us found no more universities, nor open
any new theological seminaries. Let us not go through the farce of
instructing, unless it be merely to insist on the assimilating by
students of dogmas that must never be questioned, and from which they
will swear by the eternities they will never depart, either in spirit
or in letter. But, if we believe that education means the quickening
of a man's nature so that he will investigate, and if we really
believe that God has more light yet to break in upon the world,
through the casements and windows of holy scriptures, then, in his
Divine Name, let us not be alarmed when, here and there, after
infinite weariness and labor, a little ray penetrates the darkness of
the ages and promises to give us a noonday view of the origin and
influence of God's Word.

It should also be considered that the newer heresies are not primarily
defections from Christian doctrine, only from the creeds which assume
authoritatively to define such doctrine. Public teachers are being
arraigned for their departure from certain standards, such as the
Thirty-Nine Articles, the Westminster Confession, and the lugubrious
compilation known as the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. These
documents, with whatever excellency they may be accredited, were
prepared by fallible men--some of them, indeed, exceedingly
fallible--who were hardly qualified in their day to define the faith
of Christ for the guidance of future ages, and were adopted in most
cases by meagre majorities. Why we should suppose their statements are
to be regarded as infallible, and why thinkers of our times should be
strictly held to their formulas, is something that no one yet has had
courage or intelligence sufficient to explain. What right has any body
of men to insist on conformity to a creed prepared by beings like
themselves, even though it has been venerated for a century or two?
Who is Melancthon, and who is Luther, and who are the Westminster
divines but "men by whom we have believed"? But are we bound to their
word, or are we strictly held to the Word of our common Lord and
Divine Teacher? Is Chillingworth's cry, "the Bible, the whole Bible,
and nothing but the Bible the religion of Protestants," a mere
illusion? It certainly is, and the sacred idea concerning the right of
private judgment, if the withered hand of men long dead is to hold the
brain of the present in the grasp of death; if we respect ourselves
and our avowed belief in the adequacy of Scripture as a rule of faith,
then we had better make one huge bonfire of all the antiquated creeds,
than denounce the so-called heretics who are, in reality, trying to
bring us back to the position of the primitive saints who allowed no
human word to obscure or darken the divine Word given by revelation.

I think that every candid soul will admit, in addition to what I have
stated, that the newer heresies are not revolts from the scriptural
high ideal of Christian life, only a noble protest against narrow
interpretations of that life. The men who have recently been arraigned
before the tribunals of various denominations are eminent for their
uprightness, their conscientious candor and tolerance. No word has
ever been uttered to their moral detriment; they are, in this blameful
age, among the most blameless of its people. They insist, however,
that all doctrine should be regarded merely as moulds in which the
life should be cast, and are valuable only in so far as they are able
to shape the life in pattern of that one career which has excited the
admiration of the ages and the adoring wonder of the heavens.

It hardly seems in accord with any just conception of our Master's
faith that men and women who are trying to serve God and their
generation should be branded with foul names, should be sneered at as
reckless and dangerous guides, and as even denying the Lord whom they
reverence and worship. Let us be careful. Heterodoxy of conduct is a
greater evil than heterodoxy of creed, and I am free to say, though I
may not, with my convictions regarding the atonement of Christ,
understand how some eminently philanthropic people can enter the
golden gates, yet I should hardly myself appreciate a place beyond
their threshold if God could not plan, in some way consistent with His
honor, to find a radiant seat of glory for them.

I write these things because I am not a heretic. I do not, of course,
agree with the fathers, for, like other Scotchmen, I cannot agree with
anybody else in the world; but I am perfectly satisfied with my own

Occasionally I have been startled to find some adventurous soul giving
utterance to views, as being novel and hazardous, which I have
entertained, without any perturbation of spirit, for nearly twenty
years. I was somewhat amused, not long since, on hearing a venerable
theological professor, with tears in his eyes, perspiration on his
brow, and anguish in his voice, relate how, after a fearful struggle,
he had emancipated himself from certain of Calvin's dictums; but while
some clergymen present seemed astounded, I remarked at the close of
the meeting that I had accomplished that feat for myself some quarter
of a century agone, and what is more, though I did not say this to
him, I did so without any tears, and without any anguish whatever.
These personal references are merely to show that in taking up the
cause of the newer heretics I am not in any wise biassed by a
misdirected mind in their favor.

Let us have freedom. Let us think it out. Let the struggle go on, and
let us not, with pallid faces and strident voices, cry out in fear;
for the only tribunal that can righteously adjudicate the lightness of
human thought is the tribunal, as Schiller has it, of history, which
unquestionably is on earth the tribunal of the infinite God. He rules
in the world of mind as well as in the globe of matter, and eighteen
centuries ought to convince us that truth slowly emerges from warring
opinions, conflicting theories, and especially from pathetic longings
of the human soul to discover its hidden meanings and its widest and
grandest applications. Alas! perhaps our ignorance and intolerance may
render it necessary that now, as in the past, the prophets of God must
first be stoned to death before we will give heed to their message or
commemorate their greatness by the homage of our mind. But seriously,
I would advise all who have any regard for their own comfort,
happiness, and even self-respect, to have as little to do with this
wretched stoning business as possible; for I have never yet been able
to discover what satisfaction there can possibly be in helping a dear
brother or sister to a martyr's crown at the expense of one's own
fairness and kindly charity.



There is no living savant, one may say with little fear of
contradiction, who surpasses Mr. A. R. Wallace in generous readiness
to esteem at its full worth the work of other men. And one may add
that this habit of mind, so attractive in a man of acknowledged
eminence, is as a rule not attractive only, but actively serviceable
to science; that it stimulates effort, and creates an atmosphere in
which good work is zealously done.

Yet there may be cases in which this ready appreciativeness may prove
a hindrance to progress rather than a help. If wrongly received, it
may lead men who have done little to think that they have done much;
it may deter others from embarking on needful tasks which they may
suppose to have been already amply performed.

In two papers in THE ARENA for January and February, 1891, Mr. Wallace
dwelt, partly with criticism, and partly with praise, on the work
already done by the Society for Psychical Research. To his criticisms
I make no demur; they are legitimate and interesting; and indeed where
Mr. Wallace's opinions diverge from those which I have myself set
forth, I am disposed to think that we are but looking on "the two
sides of the shield,"--a shield embossed on either side with devices
so marvellous that no man's interpretation can as yet suffice to
unriddle them.

But on the other hand, I cannot let pass without protest the sentence
(ARENA, January, p. 130) in which Mr. Wallace speaks of the thanks due
to the Society for Psychical Research, "for having presented the
evidence in such a way that the facts to be interpreted are now
generally accepted as facts by all who have taken any trouble to
inquire into the amount and character of the testimony for them,--the
opinion of those who have not taken that trouble being altogether
worthless." Now in the first place I do not think that all those who
have studied our testimony are convinced by it. I received a letter
(for instance) not long ago, from a distinguished American, an old
friend of mine, who wrote in the most cordial terms to say that out of
personal regard for me he had read "Phantasms of the Living" from
beginning to end, and that he did not believe a word of it. Our
readers' scepticism is perhaps seldom quite so robust; but
nevertheless I should say that the attitude of at least half of them
is best described by saying not that they accept our evidence _ex
animo_, but that they have not yet exactly managed to see their way to
upsetting it.

Nor can I possibly treat as unimportant the attitude of that great
majority of _savants_ who have paid no attention at all to the matter.
Naturally, their opinion of our evidence does not affect my own
opinion thereof, but it decidedly affects my view as to what lines our
work ought to follow. Why is it that these men have not studied our
_Proceedings_? It will not do to talk about indolence and prejudice.
All men are more or less indolent and prejudiced; but _savants_ as a
class are certainly less indolent, and probably less prejudiced, than
any other class that one could name. We must not count upon finding
our _savant_ "_semper vacuum, semper amabilem_," any more than Horace
found his young ladies always in that condition of affable
receptivity. The main reason why so many eminent men neglect our work
may be stated in a much less offensive way. The minds of all of us
move in certain orbits, from which we are sensibly deflected only by
the approach of some new body of adequate mass. Now our "psychical"
experiments and observations have plainly not as yet attained
sufficient mass to be able to deflect the majority of those great
bodies, the luminaries of science, from their accustomed paths through
the heavens. _Tides_, indeed, we do create; there is a refluent
washing to and fro of magazine articles about our topic; but we have
not yet generated that wholesale perturbation of the scientific system
which our facts, if facts they be, must in time inevitably effect.

"Some of the best workers in the Society," says Mr. Wallace again,
"still urge that the evidence is very deficient, both in amount and in
quality, and that much more must be obtained before it can be treated
as really conclusive. This view, however," he adds, "appears to me to
be an altogether erroneous one." On the contrary, I venture to say,
this assertion of the need of more work, and consequently of more
workers, is of absolutely primary, absolutely urgent importance. What
would have become of the evolution theory itself (if I may use an
_argumentum ad hominem_ of no disrespectful kind), what would have
become of that theory itself, though urged at first by _savants_ of
such surpassing merit, had no one been able to repeat and confirm
their observations? And we who are dealing, not with plants and
animals which can be held fast and observed, but, for the most part at
any rate, with phantasmal sights, subjective impressions,--surely we
must feel a tenfold need of the multiplication of centres of
experiment and observation, of the formation of fresh bodies of record
in every country, and in each year that passes by. No single small
group can ever gain leverage enough to divert the world's prevalent
modes of thought, unless it is gradually reinforced by fellow-workers
enough to make the possible mistakes or possible death of a few
persons quite unimportant to the general result.

It has been suggested by Mr. Wallace and by other critics that we have
been too exclusively preoccupied with the idea of _telepathy_, that we
have tried to force into that category phenomena which need a
different or a further explanation. Considering the complexity of
these phenomena there may well be some truth in this criticism, yet we
should surely be unwise if we relaxed our insistence on the importance
of _telepathy_, or the transference of thought or feeling from mind to
mind without the agency of the recognized organs of sense as the very
root and basis both of experiment and of theory as concerning an
unseen world. No one, of course, can suppose that the infinitely
complex laws of which we are just now obtaining a precursory glimpse
and first faint intimation, can possibly be summarized in any single
expression. But the prime importance of telepathy lies in the fact
that here, at last, is an action of unseen, uncomprehended forces
which can be made the subject of actual experiment. Nay, more, the
very fact that in this special direction experiment turns out to be
possible, is in itself an augury that we are on a true scientific
track; for it involves a remarkable coincidence between a theoretical
conclusion and a practical discovery.

In the first place, let us try to realize theoretically what is
involved in the supposition that any sort of invisible intelligence
can become in any way known to us. I speak of the methods of
communication only, without reference to the nature of the supposed
intelligence, beyond the mere fact of its habitual invisibility. It is
plain, I think, that the said intelligence must either so act upon
visible matter as to affect our sense-organs in the ordinary way, or
else must convey messages to our minds by some director process, not
depending on the intervention of our organs of sense.

Now probably no one will assume that the first method will alone be
employed. Even those who insist, with Mr. Wallace, on the objectivity
of apparitions, do not, I think, maintain that it is _only_ by moving
material objects that unseen intelligences affect our minds. Few will
doubt that _if_ there be communication from unseen beings at all, it
will probably be at least partly in the second of the two modes
already specified, that is, that it will reach our minds in some way
more intimate and direct than by ordinary sense-perception. But if
this be so, then there must be in our minds a certain power of
reciprocity. We must be able to receive the message in the same
impalpable way in which the unseen intelligence communicates it.

But if we suppose that man possesses this power of receiving direct or
telepathic messages from unembodied or invisible intelligences, it is
natural to inquire whether he is capable of receiving similar messages
from embodied or visible intelligences. If we cannot find that he is
thus capable, our belief in the supposed messages from the unseen will
be doubly difficult; for we shall have to postulate both the new forms
of intelligence and the new mode of intercourse. But if, on the other
hand, we can show that the mode of intercourse here needed does
already exist, and appears in man's relations with his fellow-men,
then the transition to messages from the unseen will be so much the
less violent. We shall only be supposing that man can receive from the
disembodied a kind of message which he already receives from the
embodied, and which has no obvious dependence on a corporeal
embodiment. One single proved transmission, direct from mind to mind,
of the most trivial fact or percept, will do more to make communion
with the unseen _scientifically_ conceivable,--I do not say more to
make it _morally_ conceivable,--than all the poetry and all the
rhetoric which has ever stirred the hearts of men.

Such, on the one side, is my deductive argument from the very
conception of communication with unseen intelligences.

And do we, on the other hand, find, by empirical observation of the
phenomena around us, anything which indicates the existence of a
supernormal perceptivity such as theory would suggest? It is known to
readers of the Society for Psychical Research _Proceedings_ that we do
find such indications, scattered at first, and appearing unsought-for
amid the phenomena of mesmeric or somnambulic states; but now to some
slight extent isolated into distinctness, and brought under
experimental control.

To some slight extent only, I repeat; for the experiments thus far
made, although completely convincing to those who, like myself, have
witnessed many of them, under very varied conditions, have
nevertheless not yet passed into that desired stage at which one may
be able to repeat them before any observer, at any moment. At present
they are proved by the same kind of evidence as certain rare
pathological phenomena (I do not of course mean that telepathy is
itself in any way a morbid product)--phenomena such as those
surprising rises and falls of the human temperature which are
unpredictable, sporadic, and transitory, and must rest for their
evidence on the good faith and accuracy of comparatively few

Yet these telepathic experiments have a very hopeful side. Experience
has already shown that the phenomena may be developed at any moment,
between quite normal persons, and with no bad effects of any sort
whatever. Only we cannot tell except by actual trial, and trial of a
patient and careful kind, between _which_ persons, out of all mankind,
these telepathic messages can be made to run.

What we desire, then, what we ask of all who sympathize with our
efforts, is neither premature praise nor equally premature theorizing,
but active co-operation in our endeavor to improve and extend our
experiments in thought-transference. We want to get our telepathic
transmissions distant, definite, and reproducible.

It is desirable to get them _at long distances_,--not because it is
really more marvellous that thought should thus travel a million miles
than that it should travel a millimetre,--but for the merely
practical reason that at long distances it is easy to avoid two main
sources of error, namely, _hyperæsthesia_, which may be quite
unconscious, and _fraudulent codes_, which may be hard to detect.
Most, nay, probably all, of the so-called experiments in
thought-transference which have been offered by "thought-readers,"
etc., from the public platform, have really had nothing at all to do
with thought-transference, have depended either on abnormal delicacy
of tactile and other sensory perception, or on the adroit use of
preconcerted signals. It is only when the observer has complete
control of the conditions (which he never has in any public
exhibition), that it is worth while to conduct experiments between two
persons in the same room.

And even in cases where the good faith--the _conscious_ good faith--of
everyone concerned is above suspicion, it must be remembered that
there are both unconscious actions and unconscious perceptions which
may wholly vitiate an experiment. The rule should be so to arrange the
experiment that the percipient _cannot_ profit by unconscious
indications; that he cannot (for example) see the expression of the
agent's face, or hear the sound of his pencil as he writes down a
number to be guessed. Such precautions should be a matter of course;
and when they are taken, these experiments near at hand are certainly
the easiest and best for private experimenters to begin with, although
the desirability of gradually increasing the distance between the
persons concerned should always be kept in view.

Let A and P begin their trial, then, in quiet and calm of mind; let A,
the agent, sit behind P, the percipient, and not in contact. Let A be
provided with a full pack of cards, in which he replaces the card
drawn, after each trial, or with a bag of known numbers--say from ten
to one hundred--a range convenient for computation--in which bag he
replaces and shuffles up the number drawn, after each trial. Let him
draw a card (to take cards as our example) say, "Now!" and gaze
fixedly at it. Let P keep his mind as blank as possible, and make his
guess only when some kind of image of color, suit, or pips, in some
way floats into his mind. His first guess only must be counted, and
must be received in silence. Let A continue this process for some
prearranged number of times, say ten times, and record accurately all
the experiments made. Let him renew the process, with intervals of
hours or days between each batch of trials, until he has some hundreds
of results to analyze. Then let him send his results, with description
of the conditions under which the trials were made, to Dr. Richard
Hodgson, 5 Boylston Place, Boston, Mass. Dr. Hodgson will tell him if
it is worth his while to go on, and will advise as to modifications in
the form of experiment.

These hints must here suffice as to experiments made close at hand.
But experiment, or observation verging into experiment, is often
possible at long distances as well. It often happens that some one
tells me that he (or she) has so peculiar a sympathy with some given
friend that what one of the pair is actually feeling or thinking at a
distance is reproduced by the sensation or thought of the other. To
such communications my invariable reply is, "Keep a 'psychical' diary.
Put down therein at once every incident which you intend to count, if
it turns out (so to say) a telepathic success, and no incident which
you do _not_ intend to count. Let your friend keep a similar diary,
without showing it to you; after a few months let me compare the two
diaries with one another."

I am not armed with supernatural, or even with statutory powers; and
my informants have for the most part thought that they had obliged me
quite enough if they _promised_ to do as I told them. But just as I
was beginning to imitate the dictum, "Miracles do not happen," with
the dictum, "Psychical diaries are not kept," the lady termed Miss
X----, in Proceedings XIV. and XVI., came to furnish an exception, to
my rule. I shall not attempt to summarize the "Record of Telepathic
and Other Experiences" in Proceedings XVI.; but I trust that it may be
the prototype of many similar records, which can be kept the more
easily now that this example has been set.

I will give in brief, one American example (to be found at length in
S. P. R. Proceedings XVIII.) of well-recorded telepathic transmission.
The incident thus transferred is trivial and even ludicrous; the fact
of the transference was absolutely useless. But the case is not only
none the worse for this; it is all the better. When we are trying to
prove that such transmission exists, we want to keep clear, if we can,
of emotional complications. If P is brooding over A's approaching
death, and sees a figure of A, then, even if the hour coincides, we
cannot help a suspicion that the brooding may have produced the
figure. But few, I think, will explain the following incident as a
mere outcome of morbid sentimentality. We owe it to the kindness of
Dr. Elliott Coues, who knows both ladies concerned, and happened to
call on Mrs. C---- the very day on which that lady received the
following letter from her friend, Mrs. B----.

                                   _Monday Evening, January 14, 1889._

     MY DEAR FRIEND,--I know you will be surprised to receive a note
     from me so soon, but not more so than I was to-day, when you were
     shown to me clairvoyantly, in a somewhat embarrassed position. I
     doubt very much if there was any truth in it; nevertheless, will
     relate it, and leave you to laugh at the idea of it.

     I was sitting in my room sewing, this afternoon, about two
     o'clock, when what should I see but your own dear self; but,
     heavens! in what a position. Now, I don't want to excite your
     curiosity too much, or try your patience too long, so will come
     to the point at once. You were falling up the front steps in the
     yard. You had on your black skirt and velvet waist, your little
     straw bonnet, and in your hand were some papers. When you fell,
     your hat went in one direction and the papers in another. You got
     up very quickly, put on your bonnet, picked up the papers, and
     lost no time getting into the house. You did not appear to be
     hurt, but looked somewhat mortified. It was all so plain to me
     that I had ten to one notions to dress myself and come over and
     see if it were true, but finally concluded that a sober,
     industrious woman like yourself would not be stumbling around at
     that rate, and thought I'd best not go on a wild goose chase.
     Now, what do you think of such a vision as that? Is there any
     possible truth in it? I feel almost ready to scream with laughter
     whenever I think of it; you did look _too_ funny, spreading
     yourself out in the front yard. "Great was the fall thereof."

This letter came to us in an envelope addressed: Mrs. E. A. C----, 217
Del. Ave., N. E., Washington, D. C., and with the postmarks,
Washington, D. C., Jan. 15, 7 A. M., 1889, and Washington, N. E. C.
S., Jan. 15, 8 A. M. Some further letters in the postmarks are

Now the point is that every detail in this telepathic vision was
correct. Mrs. C---- had actually (as she tells me in a letter dated
March 7, 1889) fallen in this way, at this place, in the dress
described, at 2.41, on January 14. The coincidence can hardly have
been due to chance. If we suppose that the vision preceded the
accident, we shall have an additional marvel, which, however, I do not
think that we need here face. "About 2," in a letter of this kind, may
quite conceivably have meant 2.41.

The _definiteness_ of the details here reproduced, is all, I think,
that we can reasonably desire. But most important, and I fear, most
difficult to obtain, of all the qualities of our ideal telepathic
experiment, is that of _reproducibility_. This is, I think, a
difficulty which inheres in the very nature of the phenomenon itself.
We are mainly concerned here with the powers not of the waking or
empirical, but of the submerged or unconscious self. The transference
of the telepathic message, though it may be helped by conscious
concentration, takes place (as I hold) mainly in strata of our being
which lie below the threshold of ordinary consciousness. It seems as
though the influence of the _percipient's_ conscious self, at any
rate, were merely hurtful to the experiment, so that to get the
percipient at his best we have to catch him in a state of original
innocence which he cannot long maintain. It too often has happened
that so soon as his own curiosity was roused, so soon as he began to
speculate on the process which was going on, and to wonder how he
caught the impression, so soon did the impression cease to travel, and
his unconscious self could send its message upwards no more.

I am disposed to think that for the present it is to hypnotism that we
must look for cases where the telepathic message can be sent
repeatedly and at will. It is in the rare cases of _sommeil à
distance_, or such cases as those of Mrs. Pinhey, Dr. Héricourt, and
Dr. Gley, reported in Vol. II. of _Phantasms of the Living_, that
there has as yet been the nearest approach to that clock-work
regularity and repeatability which is the experimental ideal. It is,
therefore, on the medical profession that I would urge the importance
of watching for cases of this sort, which are likely to be found more
frequently as the therapeutic use of hypnotism extends.

I have mentioned several different forms in which these telepathic
messages may be observed by careful seekers. I certainly do not assert
that the power or agency operative in each of these cases is precisely
the same. On the contrary, I think it probable that there are
varieties and complexities quite beyond our present speculation. But
at least these cases fall for us under the same primary or obvious
category; they are all cases where a thought, a feeling, an impulse, a
picture, has been transferred from one mind to another without the
agency of the recognized organs of sense.

There are some, both among friends and among opponents, who are
inclined to represent telepathic experiment as a petty thing. "What
does it come to," say the opponents, "even though you do get a few
silly thoughts or meaningless numbers out of one head into another?"
"Enough of telepathy!" say the friends; "go on to something of vaster

These friends and these opponents are not those who have best realized
the import of the telepathic claim. The true, the scientific
opposition is of a quite different type. It asserts, not that the
alleged discovery is a trifle which may be admitted with a sneer, but
that it involves a new departure in science greater than its advocates
can probably conceive, or have as yet come near to justify. Brushing
aside all our further extensions of theory, they take their stand
simply and decidedly against telepathy itself; and wisely so, for if
telepathy be once admitted, there is, as seems to me, no logical
halting-place until we reach a far-off point which I will not confuse
my present argument by attempting to specify.

And over all this far-stretching field there is a harvest of
experiment, a harvest of observation, which only needs laborers to cut
and carry, to thresh and winnow it. The reality, the extent, the
importance of the phenomena which lie around us, unnoted and
unexplained, are more fully recognized as each year's work adds at
once to our knowledge and to our corresponding consciousness of
ignorance. Such recognition, I say, is beginning to spread; but it has
thus far brought with it all too little of active co-operation in the
work of inquiry, that work which in America Dr. Hodgson, backed by
Prof. W. James and Prof. W. S. Langley, pushes forward at once with
caution and with energy. Those who wish our work to succeed must in
some way help towards its success. No enterprise, I think, could
promise more fairly. But we are still at the beginning of that great
work and the end is far.



The last session of the International Council of Women discussed no
question of greater importance to civilization than that of dress
reform. The fact that this world's congress, representing the most
thoughtful, conscientious, and broad-minded women of our age, has
taken up this subject with a firm determination to accomplish a
revolution which shall mean health and happiness to the oncoming
generation, is itself a prophecy pregnant with promise of a
substantial and enduring reform. It will not be surprising if in the
near future it is found that this earnest though somewhat timid
discussion marked a distinct step in the world's progress; certainly
it was the most significant and authoritative utterance from united
womanhood that has yet been made touching a problem which most vitally
affects civilization.

To the student of sociology nothing is more perplexing or discouraging
than society's persistency in blindly clinging to old standards and
outgrown ideals which can no longer be defended by reason; and this is
nowhere more marked than in the social world where fashion has
successfully defied all true standards of art, principles of common
sense, rules of hygiene and what is still more important, the laws of
ethics which underlie all stable or enduring civilizations.

At the very threshold of this discussion, I ask the reader to, as far
as possible, divest his mind of all prejudice arising from
preconceived opinions, and view in a perfectly candid and judicial
manner this problem upon which the last word will not be spoken until
woman is emancipated. As long as free discussion is tabooed and
conservatism finds it possible to dismiss the question with a flippant
jest, a ribald joke, or a basely unjust imputation, the old order will
stand; partly because woman feels her helplessness and largely because
so few people stop to trace cause and effect or patiently reason upon
results of the most serious character. Conservatism is strongly
entrenched in the minds of the millions, and to a certain degree
mental lethargy broods over the world. It is true that in woman's
sphere to-day mental activity is more marked than in any other age,
and the best brains and most thoughtful women of our time are boldly
denouncing the bondage of fashion and bravely pleading for such
radical reforms in dress as will secure to womanhood health and
comfort, while being genuinely artistic and graceful, breathing true
refinement and conforming to æsthetic principles rather than the
caprice of fashion. To me there is something infinitely pathetic in
the brave protests that have from time to time flashed from the
outraged sensibilities of those who represent the very flower of
American womanhood, when discussing this subject, for running through
their almost every utterance is the plaintive note of helplessness,
mingled with the consciousness of the justice of the cause for which
they plead. The talented and universally respected Mrs. Abba Woolson
Gould some years ago thus gave expression to her feelings when writing
of the long, heavy, disease-producing skirts of women:

     Do what we will with them, they still add enormously to the
     weight of clothing, prevent cleanliness of attire about the
     ankles, overheat by their tops the lower portion of the body,
     impede locomotion, and invite accidents. In short, they are
     uncomfortable, unhealthy, unsafe, and unmanageable. Convinced of
     this fact by patient and almost fruitless attempts to remove
     their objectionable qualities, the earnest dress-reformer is
     loath to believe that skirts hanging below the knee are not
     transitory features in woman's attire, as similar features have
     been in the dress of men, and surely destined to disappear with
     the tight hour-glass waists and other monstrosities of the
     present costume.... Any changes the wisest of us can to-day
     propose are only a mitigation of an evil which can never be done
     away till women emerge from this vast swaying, undefined, and
     indefinable mass of drapery into the shape God gave to His human

Mary A. Livermore voices a sad and terrible truth when she observes:

     The invalidism of young girls is usually attributed to every
     cause but the right one; to hard study--co-education--which, it
     is said, compels overwork that the girl student may keep up with
     the young men of her class; too much exercise, or lack of rest
     and quiet at certain periods when nature demands it. All the
     while the physician is silent concerning the glove-fitting,
     steel-clasped corset, the heavy, dragging skirts, the bands
     engirding the body, the pinching, deforming boot, and the ruinous
     social dissipation of fashionable society. These will account for
     much of the feebleness of young women and girls. For they exhaust
     nervous force, make freedom of movement a painful impossibility,
     and frequently shipwreck the young girl before she is out of

     We have a theory, generally accepted in civilized society, which
     we never formulate in speech but to which we are very loyal in
     practical life. This theory, put in plain language, is as
     follows: God knows how to make boys; and, when He sends a boy
     into the world, it is safe to allow him to grow to manhood as God
     made him. He may be too tall or too short, for our notions, too
     stout or too thin, too light or too dark. Nevertheless, it is
     right, for God knows how to make boys. But when God sends a girl
     into the world, it is not safe to allow her to grow to womanhood
     as He has made her. Some one must take her and improve her
     figure, and give her the shape in which it is proper for her to

     Accordingly, the young girl comes some day from the dressmaker
     with this demand: "Mme. ---- (the dressmaker) says that I am
     getting into horrid shape, and must have a pair of corsets
     immediately." The corsets are bought and worn, and the physical
     deterioration begins.

Miss Frances E. Willard thus touchingly refers to the bondage of

     "But there came a day--alas! the day of my youth--on which I was
     as literally caught out of the fields and pastures as was ever a
     young colt; confronted by a long dress that had been made for me,
     corsets and high-heeled shoes that had been bought, hair-pins and
     ribbons for my straying locks, and I was told that it simply
     'wouldn't answer' to 'run wild' another day. Company from the
     city was expected; I must be made presentable; 'I had _got_ to
     look like other folks.'

     "That was a long time ago, but I have never known a single
     physically reasonable day since that sweet May morning, when I
     cried in vain for longer lease of liberty."

Mrs. Frances E. Russell, whose significant paper read at the Woman's
Council elicited universal approbation, in the following extract from
her able essay in THE ARENA sounds a more hopeful note than her
illustrious predecessors, for she is nearer the dawn, and the horizon
of woman's freedom is broadening:

     The fiction that women have no legs is now fully discredited, for
     in the show windows of the largest dry goods stores stand dummies
     of the female figure dressed only in the combination undersuit
     made of wool or silk "tights," covering the whole body, except
     the head, hands, and feet. By this time everyone must know that
     woman, like man, is a biped. Can anyone give a good reason why
     she must lift an unnecessary weight of clothing with every step
     she takes,--pushing forward folds of restricting drapery and
     using almost constantly, not only her hands, but her mental power
     and nervous energy to keep her skirts neat and out of the way of
     harm to herself and others?

     Much discussion has been wasted over the question whether a woman
     should carry the burden of her voluminous drapery from the
     shoulders or the hips. Why must she carry this unnecessary weight
     at all?

     Now let us join hands, all lovers of liberty, in earnest
     co-operation to free American women from the dominion of foreign
     fashion. Let us, as intelligent women, with the aid and
     encouragement of all good men, take this important matter into
     our own hands and provide ourselves with convenient garments; a
     costume that shall say to all beholders that we are equipped for
     reasonable service to humanity.

Conservative critics have so frequently misrepresented those who have
honestly pleaded for dress reform, that it is no longer safe to be
frank, and this fact alone has constrained numbers of earnest writers
from expressing their sentiments who have felt it their duty to speak
in behalf of health, beauty, and common sense; indeed so certain is
one to be misrepresented who handles this subject in anything like a
reasonable and unconventional manner, and so surely will his views be
assailed as improper, owing to the age-long cast of conventional
thought, that were it not that this question so intimately affects
fundamental, ethical, and hygienic laws, and bears such a vitally
important relation to true progress, I frankly admit that I doubt
whether I should have the courage to discuss it. But I find it
impossible to remain silent, believing as I do most profoundly that
the baleful artificial standards so long tolerated must be abolished,
that the fetish of the nineteenth century civilization must be
overthrown, and that it is all-important that people be thoroughly
acquainted with the far-reaching and basic significance of this
problem, through courageous and persistent agitation and education, in
order that manhood and womanhood be brought up to the ethical plane
which marks enduring civilization. In the examination of this subject
I desire to very briefly notice it from æsthetic, hygienic, and
ethical points of view. It is a singular fact that every effort made
toward a healthful and common sense reform in woman's apparel has been
assailed as inartistic or immoral; while fashions at once disgusting,
indecent, destructive to life and health, and degrading to womanhood
have been readily sanctioned by conventionalism. This antagonistic
attitude toward any movement for an improvement in woman's attire
founded on the laws of health, art, comfort, and common sense was
characteristically expressed in a recent editorial in a leading Boston
daily, wherein the writer solemnly observed:

     The simple truth is, the great majority of the women _appreciate
     the fact that it is their mission to be beautiful_, and the
     dress reformers have never yet devised any garment to assist the
     women in fulfilling this mission.

[Illustration: From 1860 to 1865. The era of hoop-skirts.]

[Illustration: From 1860 to 1865. The hoop-skirt era. The difficult
feat of tying on a bonnet.]

The author of the above fairly represents the attitude of conventional
thought,--its servility to fashion, its antagonism to reformative
moves. The implied falsehood that fashion represents beauty and art,
or is the servant of æstheticism has been reiterated so often that
thousands have accepted it as truth.

[Illustration: 1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train
of sweeping dimensions.]

[Illustration: 1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train
of sweeping dimensions.]

In order to expose its falsity, I have reproduced in this paper plates
taken from leading American and English fashion monthlies during the
past three decades, in each of which it is noticeable that extremes
have been reached. In 1860-65, the hoop-skirt held sway, and the wasp
waist was typical of beauty. Then no lady was correctly attired
according to the prevailing idea who did not present a spectacle
curiously suggestive of a moving circus tent. During this era four or
five fashionably dressed women completely filled an ordinary
drawing-room; while the sidewalk was often practically monopolized by
moving monstrosities, save when in front or behind the formidable
swinging cages moved escorts, who with no less servility than American
womanhood bowed to the frivolous and criminal caprice of the modern

But fashion is nothing if not changeable; fancy not art guides her
mind. What to-day types beauty, is by her own voice to-morrow voted
indecent and absurd. Thus we find in the period extending from 1870 to
1875 an entirely new but none the less ridiculous or injurious extreme
prevails. The wonderful swinging cage, the diameter of which at the
base often equaled the height of the encased figure, has disappeared,
being no longer considered desirable or æsthetic, and in its place we
have prodigious bustles and immense trains, by which an astonishing
quantity of material is thrown behind the body, suggesting in some
instances a toboggan slide, in others the unseemly hump on the back of
a camel. This is the era of the enormous bustle and the train of
sweeping dimensions.[1]

      [1] During this period the ingenuity of man came to woman's
          rescue, by the invention of an interesting, and, judging by
          its popularity, exceedingly serviceable contrivance known as
          a dress elevator, which enabled ladies to instantly elevate
          their enormous trains when they came to a particularly muddy
          and filthy crossing.

When we examine the prevailing styles which marked this period, we are
struck with amazement at the power exerted by fashion over the
intellect and judgment of society. Imagine the shame and humiliation
of a woman of fashion, endowed by nature or afflicted by disease with
such an unsightly hump on the back as characterized the fashionable
toilet of this period!

[Illustration: 1870 to 1875: "Suggesting in some instances a toboggan
slide; in others, the unseemly hump on the back of a camel."]

Toward the end of the seventies, we find another extreme reached,
which if possible was more absurd and injurious than those which
marked the early days of this decade. This was the period of the
tie-back, or narrow skirts and enormous trains. As in 1860 fashion's
slaves vied with one another in their effort to cover the largest
possible circular space, now their ambitions lay in the direction of
the opposite extreme:[2] the skirts must be as narrow as possible even
though it greatly impeded walking, for as will be readily observed all
free use of the lower limbs was out of the question during the reign
of the "tie-back."

      [2] It was in the midst of the period of the tie-backs that
          _Harper's Bazar_ published two striking cartoons
          illustrating the poem given below. One represented a poor
          man's wife, "The slave of toil," and was pathetically
          powerful in its fidelity to truth; the other, drawn by the
          powerful Nast, represented a society lady of the day attired
          in the reigning tie-back, measuring at the hips a little
          more than double the width a short distance below the knees.
          This slave was chained to fashion's column.

                             SISTER SLAVES.

          You think there is little of kinship between them?
            Perhaps not in blood, yet there's likeness of soul;
          And in bondage 'tis patent to all who have seen them
            That both are fast held under iron control.
          The simpering girl, with her airs and her graces,
            Is sister at heart to the hard-working drudge;
          Two types of to-day, as they stand in their places;
            Whose lot is the sadder I leave you to judge.

          One chained to the block is the victim of Fashion;
            Her object in life to be perfectly dressed;
          Too silly for reason, too shallow for passion,
            She passes her days 'neath a tyrant's behest.
          Thus pinioned and fettered, and warily moving,
            Lest looping should fail her, or band come apart:
          What room is there left her for thinking or loving?
            What noble ambition can enter her heart?

          And one, the worn wife of a grizzled old farmer;
            She kneads the great loaves for the "men-folks" to eat.
          In the wheat-fields the green blades are springing like armor;
            Afar in the forests the flowers are sweet.
          She lifts not her eyes. Within kitchen walls narrow
            Her life is pent up. The most hopeless of slaves,
          Though weary and jaded in sinew and marrow,
            She never complains. Women _rest_ in their graves.

          Twin victims, for which have we tenderest pity--
            For mother and wife toiling on till she dies,
          Or the frivolous butterfly child of the city,
            All blind to the glory of earth and of skies?
          Is it fate, or ill fortune, hath woven about you
            Strong meshes which ye are too helpless to break?
          Shall we scornfully wonder, or angrily flout you,
            Or strive from their torpor your minds to awake?

          Yet, Venus of old, with your queenly derision,
            How you would disdain the belle's tawdry array!
          _Free footsteps untrammelled_, cool hand of decision,
            Sweet laugh like bells pealing, were yours in the day
          When you reigned over men by the might of your beauty;
            No fetters were o'er you in body or brain;
          The world would bow down in the gladness of duty
            Could you but awake in your splendor again.

          And, Pallas and Venus, if now you were holding
            A talk over womanhood, what would you say,
          The words of wise counsel while you were unfolding,
            If some one should show you these pictures to-day?
          I dream of your faces: divinest compassion
            Would yearn the poor toiler to pity and save;
          And your largeness of scorn would descend on the fashion
            Which binds, unresisting, the idler a slave.

[Illustration: 1878. The period of the tie-back, narrow skirts, and
enormous trains.]

The reaction in favor of a more sensible dress which followed was of
brief duration. During this time, however, the long trains were seldom
seen, and thoughtful women began to hope that the arbitrary rule of
fashion was over. It was not long, however, before the panier period
arrived, and what was popularly known as the pull-back was accepted as
the correct style in fashion's world. Of this latter conceit little
need be said, for it has so recently passed from view that all
remember its peculiarity, which to the ordinary observer seemed to be
a settled determination on the part of its originators to render
walking as difficult and fatiguing as possible, while fully exposing
the outline of the wearer's body below the waist at every step. What
in '60 or '70 would have been accounted the height of indecency, is in
the eighties perfectly proper in the fashionable world. During this
time it was not enough to have the skirts very narrow, they must at
every step give the outline of the limbs [or as our Minnesota solon
would put it, _nether_ limbs], hence we find the pull-backs in which
"two shy knees appeared clad in a single trouser."

[Illustration: The tie-backs of 1878 and 1879.]

[Illustration: The pull-back of 1886.]

[Illustration: Fashionable walking costume early in the seventies.
Woman appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful."
See page 405.]

[Illustration: Fashionable walking costume in the early sixties. Woman
appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful." See
page 405.]

Such have been the inconsistencies, incongruities, and absurdities of
fashion as illustrated in the past three decades, in view of which one
may well ask whether in fashion's eyes women are such paragons of
ugliness that these ever-varying styles (introduced, we are seriously
informed, to conserve to her beauty,) are absolutely essential, and by
what rule of art can we explain the fact that the ponderous hoopskirt
was the essential requirement of beauty in the sixties and the
enormous bustles demanded in the seventies. The truth is, fashion is
supremely indifferent alike to all laws of art and beauty, health and
life, decency and propriety--a fact that must be patent to any
thoughtful person who examines the prevailing styles of a generation.
I submit that the wildest extremes to which well-meaning but
injudicious dress reformers have gone in the past have been marked by
nothing more inartistic than the costume of the reigning belle in
1860. Each successive decade has been marked by an extreme which,
surveyed from the vantage ground of the present, is as ridiculously
absurd as it has been wanting in beauty Nowhere have the laws of true
art been so severely ignored as in the realm of fashion. Yet this view
of the problem palls into insignificance when we come to examine the
question from the standpoint of health and life.

One would think that after thousands of years of sickness and death,
with all the advantages of increased education and a broadening
intellectual horizon, we would have arrived at such an appreciation of
the value of health and the solemn duty we owe to posterity, as to
compel this consideration to enter into our thoughts when we adopted
styles of dress; yet nowhere is the weakness of our present
civilization more marked or its hollowness so visible, even to the
superficial thinker, as in the realm of fashion, _where every
consideration of health and even of life, and all sense of
responsibility to future generations are brushed aside as trivialities
not to be seriously considered_. In vain have physicians and
physiologists written, lectured, and demonstrated the fatal results of
yielding to fashion. The learned Doctor Trall in writing on this
subject wisely observes:

     The evil effects of tight-lacing, or of lacing at all, and of
     binding the clothing around the hips, instead of suspending it
     from the shoulders, can never be fully realized without a
     thorough education in anatomy and physiology. And if the
     illustrations[3] here presented should effect the needed reform
     in fashionable dress, the resulting health and happiness to the
     human race would be incalculable; for the health of the mothers
     of each generation determines, in a very large measure, the vital
     stamina of the next. It is obvious that, if the diameter of the
     chest, at its lower and broader part, is diminished by lacing, or
     any other cause, to the extent of one fourth or one half, the
     lungs B, B, are pressed in towards the heart, A, the lower ribs
     are drawn together and press on the liver, C, and spleen, E,
     while the abdominal organs are pressed downward on the pelvic
     viscera. The stomach, D, is compressed in its transverse
     diameter; both the stomach, upper intestines, and liver are
     pressed downward on the kidneys, M, M, and on the lower portions
     of the bowels [the intestinal tube is denoted by the letters f,
     j, and k,] while the bowels are crowded down on the uterus, i,
     and bladder, g. _Thus every vital organ is either functionally
     obstructed or mechanically disordered_, and diseases more or less
     aggravated, the condition of all. In post-mortem examinations the
     liver has been found deeply indented by the constant and
     prolonged pressure of the ribs, in consequence of tight-lacing.
     The brain-organ, protected by a bony inclosure, has not yet been
     distorted externally by the contrivances of milliners and
     mantuamakers; but, lacing the chest, by interrupting the
     circulation of the blood, prevents its free return from the
     vessel of the brain, and so permanent congestion of that organ,
     with constant liability to headache, vertigo, or worse
     affections, becomes a "second nature." The vital resources of
     every person, and all available powers of mind and body, are
     measurable by the respiration. Precisely as the breathing is
     lessened, the length of life is shortened; not only this, but
     life is rendered correspondingly useless and miserable while it
     does exist. It is impossible for any child, whose mother has
     diminished her breathing capacity by lacing, to have a sound and
     vigorous organization. If girls will persist in ruining their
     vital organs as they grow up to womanhood, and if women will
     continue this destructive habit, the race must inevitably
     deteriorate. It may be asserted, therefore, without exaggeration,
     that not only the welfare of the future generations, but the
     salvation of the race depends on the correction of this evil
     habit. The pathological consequences of continued and prolonged
     pressure on any vital structure are innutrition, congestion,
     inflammation, and ulceration, resulting in weakness, waste of
     substance, and destruction of tissue. The normal sensibility of
     the part is also destroyed. No woman can ever forget the pain she
     endured when she first applied the corsets; but in time the
     compressed organs become torpid; the muscles lose their
     contractile power, and she feels dependent on the mechanical
     support of the corset. But the mischief is not limited to local
     weakness and insensibility. The general strength and general
     sensibility correspond with the breathing capacity. If she has
     diminished her "breath of life," she has just to that extent
     destroyed all normal sensibility. She can neither feel nor think
     normally. But in place of pleasurable sensations and ennobling
     thoughts, are an indescribable array of aches, pains, weaknesses,
     irritations, and nameless distresses of body, with dreamy
     vagaries, fitful impulses, and morbid sentimentalities of mind.
     And yet another evil is to be mentioned to render the catalogue
     complete. Every particle of food must be aerated in the lungs
     before it can be assimilated. It follows, therefore, that no one
     can be well nourished who has not a full, free, and unimpeded
     action of the lungs. In the contracted chest, the external
     measurement is reduced one half; but as the upper portions of the
     lungs cannot be fully inflated until the lower portions are fully
     expanded, it follows that the breathing capacity is diminished
     more than one half. It is wonderful how anyone can endure
     existence, or long survive, in this devitalized condition; yet,
     thousands do, and with careful nursing, manage to bring into the
     world several sickly children. The spinal distortion is one of
     the ordinary consequences of lacing. No one who laces habitually
     can have a straight or strong back. The muscles being unbalanced
     become flabby or contracted, unable to support the trunk of the
     body erect, and a curvature, usually a double curvature, of the
     spine is the consequence. And if anything were needed to
     aggravate the spinal curvature, intensify the compression of the
     internal viscera, and add to the general deformity, it is found
     in the modern contrivance of stilted gaiters. These are made with
     heels so high and narrow that locomotion is awkward and painful,
     the centre of gravity is shifted "to parts unknown," and the head
     is thrown forwards and the hips projected backwards to maintain

      [3] I have reproduced the admirable cuts found in Dr.
          Trall's physiology, as they were essential to the
          understanding of the text quoted, and also because they
          convey more vividly than words the injury necessarily
          sustained by those who persist in outraging nature and
          violating the laws of their being by improper dress.

[Illustration: The internal viscera.]

[Illustration: Anterior view of thorax in the Venus of Medicis.]

[Illustration: The same in a fashionable corset-wearing lady of

In speaking of the destructiveness to health caused by woman's dress,
Prof. Oscar B. Moss, M. D., declares:

     Although the corset is the chief source of constraint to the
     kidneys, liver, stomach, pancreas, and spleen, forcing them
     upward to encroach upon the diaphragm and compressing the lungs
     and heart, its evils are rivalled by those resulting from
     suspending the skirts from the waist and hips, by which means the
     pelvic organs are forced downward and often permanently
     displaced. Now, add to these errors a belt drawn snugly around
     the waist, and we have before us a combination of the most
     malignant elements of dress which it would be possible to invent.

     The waist belt enforces the evils which the corset and skirts
     inaugurate. Every proposition of anatomy and physiology bearing
     upon this subject appeals to reason. Did the abdominal organs
     require for their well-being less room than we find in the
     economy of nature, less room would have been provided. Nature
     bestows not grudgingly, neither does she lavish beyond the
     requirements of perfect health.

     The same laws which govern the nutrition of muscles, apply also
     to the vital organs. Pressure that impedes circulation of blood
     through them must suppress their functions proportionally. With
     the lungs, heart, and digestive organs impaired by external
     devices, which force them into abnormal relations, health is
     impossible. Every other part of the body--nay, life
     itself--depends upon the perfection of these organs. The ancients
     fittingly called them the tripod of life.

     Consumption, heart disease, dyspepsia, and the multiform phases
     of uterine and ovarian diseases are among the natural and
     frequent consequences of compressing the internal organs. Men
     could not endure such physical indignities as women inflict upon
     themselves. Should they attempt to do so, they would not long
     hold the proud position of "bread winners," which is now theirs
     by virtue of their more robust qualities.

[Illustration: Street costume. Spring, 1884.]

[Illustration: Street costume. Summer, 1891. (Compare waist with
anterior view of thorax of corset-wearing lady of to-day.) See page

It is difficult to imagine a slavery more senseless, cruel, or
far-reaching in its injurious consequences than that imposed by
fashion on civilized womanhood during the past generation. Her health
has been sacrificed, and in countless instances her life has paid the
penalty; while posterity has been dwarfed, maimed, and enervated, and
in body, mind, and soul deformed at its behests. In turn every part of
her body has been tortured. On her head at fashion's caprice the hair
of the dead has been piled. Hats and bonnets, wraps and gowns laden
with heavy beads and jet have as seriously impaired her health as they
have rendered her miserable; the tight lacing required by the wasp
waists has produced generations of invalids and bequeathed to
posterity suffering that will not vanish for many decades. By it, as
has been pointed out by the authorities cited, every vital organ in
the body has been seriously affected. The heart and lungs, by nature
protected by a cage of bone, have been abnormally crushed in a space
so contracted as to absolutely prohibit the free action upon which
health depended; while the downward pressure was necessarily equally
injurious to her delicate organism. The tightly drawn corset has
proved an unmitigated curse to the living and a legacy of misery and
disease to posterity. And this cruel deforming of the most beautiful
of God's creations was said to be beautiful simply because fashion
willed it. Nor was this all; enormous bustles and skirts of prodigious
dimension have borne their weight largely upon that part of her body
which above all else should be absolutely free from pressure. By this
means the most sensitive organs have been ruthlessly subjected to down
pressing weights which for exquisite torture and for the absolute
certainty of the long train of agony that must result, rival the
heartless ingenuity of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Beyond this
generation of debilitated and invalided mothers, rises a countless
posterity robbed of its birthright of health while yet unborn.[4] A
possible genius deformed and dwarfed by the weight of a fashionable
dress; a brain which might have been brilliant rendered idiotic by the
constant pressure of a corset, and the wearisome weight of a "stylish"
dress pressing about the hips; a child whose natural capacity might
have carried him to the seat of a Webster or into the laboratory of an
Edison, condemned to drag a weakly, diseased, or deformed body through
life, with mind ever chained to the flesh, through the heartless
imposition which fashion imposed on his mother! What thought can be
more appalling to a conscientious woman? Yet until a revolution is
accomplished and a reign of reason and common sense inaugurated, this
crime against the unborn will continue. But some argue the days of
these extremes are past.

      [4] In discussing the solemn duty mothers owe to their
          offspring, Mrs. Annie Jenness Miller sensibly observes:--

          Are women ignorant of the mischief they do to their
          offspring, or are they indifferent to consequences? Has the
          true maternal love become extinct, in this age of advanced
          civilization, that women ignore all the laws of nature while
          anticipating the glory of motherhood? We know not; yet we
          often see what causes a thrill of pity in our soul for the
          future of the child yet unborn: a mother laced within stiff
          bones and steel, while the very instincts of being cry out
          against the sin of it. Surely every child has a right to be
          well born! Wealth may be a grand inheritance, but health is
          a better one, as any poor suffering creature will testify,
          whose misery the most expensive doctors have been called
          upon to alleviate without avail. And how can a child be well
          born unless its parents observe the laws of life bearing
          upon the birth and rearing of children? It is impossible. If
          a mother will so clothe herself that the vitality which
          properly belongs to her baby becomes exhausted and
          destroyed, the child is robbed, as a natural consequence,
          and perhaps the weakened, puny, distorted, fretful little
          creature, who is innocent of the cause of its own
          sufferings, will live to become a curse to the world instead
          of the blessing that it would have been had rational
          conditions been observed before its birth.

                 *       *       *       *       *

          Tight corsets grudgingly loosened a quarter of an inch at a
          time, heavy skirts, and all the evil conditions we are so
          familiar with, are still retained as the months pass,
          bringing ever nearer what should be the very happiest hour
          of woman's existence--that in which she is to be intrusted
          with the keeping, training, and guidance of a new human
          soul. Perhaps her baby comes into the world dead or
          deformed, perhaps deprived of certain of its faculties; or
          it may be that it possesses life and all of its special
          senses and organs in such a diminished degree that the whole
          of its future becomes a pain rather than a joy, while its
          miserable, puny structure remains a lasting reproach to its
          parents as long as they live.

1860, 1872, 1878, and 1886.)]

I answer not past, but they are assuming other forms. Since 1890
dawned, the evils in some respects have been aggravated; for it must
not be forgotten that the daughters of the present decade have, in
order to be fashionable, compressed beyond all healthful bounds the
flesh of their arms, retarding circulation and inviting pneumonia and
other ills. And in order to look stylish, thousands of women wear
dress waists so tight that no free movement of the upper body is
possible; indeed in numbers of instances ladies are compelled to put
their bonnets on before attempting the painful ordeal of getting into
their glove-fitting dress waists. Many young women to-day, yielding to
the spell of fashion, place the corset next to their flesh, while a
still greater number have merely the thinnest possible undershirt
between the flesh and the corset, after which they tightly draw the
dress waist until it meets. This seems incredible, but it is vouched
for by several ladies of my acquaintance, among whom are physicians
whose large practice among their sisters gives them peculiar
facilities for knowing the absolute facts. Health, posterity, and all
the instincts of the higher self are ruthlessly sacrificed to the
fickle folly of fashion's criminal caprice. And we must not forget
that even now the sweeping train is coming in vogue and correctly
attired ladies must consent to carry the germs of death with
quantities of filth from the streets of our metropolitan cities into
their homes of wealth and refinement. The corset and high-heeled
shoes, the two most deadly foes to maternity and posterity, are also
seen at the present time, on every hand.

If outraged nature could show the procession of mothers sacrificed on
fashion's altar during the past generation, or unveil the suffering
and deformity being borne by posterity at the present time, through
this slavery, the world would be thrilled with an indescribable
horror. Health, comfort, and human life have paid the penalty of a
criminal servitude to the modern juggernaut, before whose car millions
of our women are bowing in abject servility, knowing full well that at
each turn of its wheel new pains or fresh diseases will be inflicted.
And what power controls and gives life to this mistress of modern
civilization? At whose behest is this crime against reason, life, and
posterity perpetrated? _The cupidity of the shrewd and unscrupulous
and the caprice of the shallow and frivolous._

[Illustration: Vagaries of Fashion. A belle in the eighties.]

[Illustration: Vagaries of Fashion. A belle early in the sixties.]

The moral aspect of this subject is even more grave than the
hygienic. Anything which injures the physical body, whether it be
licentiousness, intemperance, gluttony, or vicious modes of dress, is
necessarily evil from an ethical point of view. Not simply because the
law of our being decrees that whatever drains or destroys the physical
vitality must sooner or later sap the vital forces of the brain; but
also because anything is ethically destructive which chains the mind
to the realm of animality, when, unfettered, it should be unfolding in
spiritual strength and glory. Thus it will be readily seen that any
article of clothing which presses upon the vitals of the body so as to
cause displacement of the delicate organism, or so cumbersome as to
cause general fatigue, anything, as is the case with high heels, which
throws the body out of its equilibrium, or any article of dress which
makes the mind ever conscious of the body by virtue of its
uncomfortableness, is injurious from an ethical point of view. This
fact which has been so generally overlooked will become more apparent,
if for the sake of illustration we suppose for a moment that a plant
is endowed with reason and sensation, and obeying the general law of
its being, and the persuasive and inspiring influence of the sun and
rain, is struggling to rise heavenward, and give to the radiant world
above its impearled wealth--its gorgeous bloom, its marvellous
fragrance and fruit; but by virtue of the bonds of a prison-house
below,--a small pot or a rocky encasement, its lifework is thwarted,
its bloom, perfume, and fruit, if they come at all, are stunted,
limited, and imperfect. For generations woman's condition has been
like that of the plant, the wealth of her nature has been dwarfed, the
marvellous richness of her life has been marred by the imprisoned
conditions of her body, and infinitely more sad and far-reaching have
been the baleful consequences upon millions of her offspring, dwarfed,
weakly, sickly, enfeebled in body and soul. _A mother whose thoughts
have voluntarily or involuntarily been held in the atmosphere of the
physical nature, necessarily imparts to her child a legacy of
animality which, like the corpse of a dead being, clings to the soul
throughout its pilgrimage._ Terrible as have been fashion's ravages on
woman's physical health, the curse which she has exerted when the
ethical aspect of the case is entertained, far transcends it.

It is a curious fact that almost all the opposition from women to
proposed reforms in woman's dress comes from two extremes in society.
Those who do no independent thinking, taking all their thoughts and
opinions from the expressed views of the men with whom they associate,
and the profoundly earnest and thoughtful, but conservative women of
society. The opposition of the former class is merely the echo of
husbands, brothers, fathers, and lovers; but the others are moved by
conviction, and for this reason their views are worthy of
consideration. They fear that any radical change will exert an immoral
influence. Their minds are swayed by ancient thought which throughout
all ages has cast its baleful shadow over the brain of the world. They
are held under the spell of a conservatism which unquestioningly
tolerates established institutions and existing orders, but has no
confidence in aught that proposes to break with these, even though the
new has reason and common sense clearly on its side. Thus time and
again fashions have been tolerated, although known to be morally
enervating and singularly repulsive to all refined sensibilities;
while proposals from without for reforms based on the laws of health
and beauty have called forth the most determined opposition from this
conscientious class, merely because the proposed innovations have not
conformed to ideas entertained by virtue of prevailing fashions, and
have been therefore regarded immoral. And herein lies an important
point to be considered. Anything which is radically unlike prevailing
standards or styles to which we have become accustomed will impress
most persons as being immodest or indecent. _The unusual in dress is
usually denounced as immoral_ because we are all prone to allow our
prejudice to obscure our reason and o'ersway our judgment. This point
_must_ be recognized before any real reform can be accomplished. When
humanity has grown sufficiently wise to reason broadly and view
problems on their own merits, aside from preconceived opinion or
inherited prejudice, real instead of false standards of morality will
prevail, and we shall cease to condemn anything as pernicious simply
because it is unusual, radically unlike that to which we have been
accustomed or revolutionary in its tendency. Let me make this if
possible more apparent by an illustration, because it bears such an
important relation to the main issue. If men had for ages worn long
flowing robes, completely enveloping their bodies, but on a certain
day with one accord exchanged them for a costume similar to that now
seen throughout the civilized world, society would experience a
distinct shock; immoral, indecent, pernicious, and vulgar would mildly
express the sentiment of conventional thought, until the same society
had become accustomed to the change. To us at the present time it is
difficult to conceive how women of sense and refinement submitted to
the swinging-cage paraphernalia of the sixties, or the Grecian bend
of a later date. Yet in those days the severely plain skirts of the
present would have seemed positively indecent. It has been necessary
to dwell on this thought in order to sufficiently remove existing
prejudice to enable a fair consideration of the question in its
broader aspects. I have also introduced fair examples of prevailing
fashions during the past generation and reproductions of Greek,
Shakespearian and other simple costumes worn at the present time by
the queens of the stage, to show by comparison how infinitely more
graceful, beautiful, comfortable, healthful, and by their very
elements of comfort and healthfulness, ethically superior, are these
costumes to those which conventionalism sanctioned in the sixties,
seventies, and eighties. Is there anything immodest, indecent, or
suggestive of impropriety in Mary Anderson in the graceful Grecian
costume of Parthenia, presented on the preceding page? Of the tens of
thousands of people who have witnessed the performances of Madame
Modjeska, Miss Anderson, Julia Marlowe, or Margaret Mather in the
costumes given in this paper, it is not probable that a perceptible
number have seen aught improper or even injuriously suggestive,
notwithstanding they are so radically unconventional. Surely no mind
accustomed to think broadly and view problems on all sides, and
unaccustomed to revel in the sewer of sensualism would see in the
attire of these estimable ladies aught but costumes at once graceful,
refined, and apparently infinitely more comfortable and healthful than
those represented in any of the fashion plates I have reproduced, and
which millions of women of good sense have under the stress of
conventionalism been compelled to wear. Let us compare Miss Anderson's
Grecian costume with the dress of a society belle in the seventies,
which required from twenty to thirty yards of material, and when
completed and fitted transformed the wearer into a monstrosity with an
unsightly hump on the back, and a street cleaner of immense dimensions
trailing for several feet in her rear.


[Illustration: _From copyrighted photo by Sarony._ MARY ANDERSON AS

From artistic, hygienic, economical, and ethical points of view, to
say nothing of common sense and comfort, is not the simple and
beautiful costume of Parthenia incomparably superior to that which
marked the second decade of the past generation? Would not woman
to-day clothed in close-fitting garments of silk or woollen fabric,
with an outer robe or loose dress fashioned something after the order
of the ancient Grecian or Roman pattern, be far more beautiful than
she is as a slave to fashion's fickle fancy, while the requirements of
life, health, and comfort would be fully met? Again, let us compare
one of the plates of the sixties with its wonderful expanse of skirt
to the simple, graceful attire of Miss Marlowe as Viola in the
"Twelfth Night," and laying aside all preconceived opinions (with the
influence which we have seen the unusual plays in fashioning our ideas
of propriety,) does not our reason and common sense sustain the view
that the latter is far more refined, simple, and less vulgarly
ostentatious than the inflated garment of the early sixties? Or if we
compare the pictures of Modjeska and Miss Marlowe in Shakespearian
roles, or that of the former in the neat and graceful gathered gown,
and Miss Mather in the simple peasant dress, are they not one and all
far more chaste, artistic, sensible, and healthful than the
hoop-skirt, bustle, and train, or the tie-back? Do not, however,
understand that I advocate the introduction of any of these costumes.
It is for woman and woman alone to decide what she will wear, and in
this paper I am merely seeking to second the splendid work that has by
her been inaugurated, and by speaking as one of the younger men of
this decade, to voice what I believe American womanhood will find to
be the sentiment of the rising generation, whenever she makes a
concerted effort to emancipate herself from the slavery of Parisian
fashions. There are many evidences that the hour is ripe for a
sensible revolt, and that if the movement is guided by wise and
judicious minds it will be a success. Two things seem to me to be of
paramount importance.

[Illustration: _From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y._ JULIA MARLOWE.]

[Illustration: HELENA MODJESKA.]

[Illustration: MARGARET MATHER.]

[Illustration: HELENA MODJESKA.]

(1.) The commission of women acting for the Council should decide
definitely upon the nature and extent of changes desired. The ideal
costume should be clearly defined and ever present in their mind. But
it would be exceedingly unwise to attempt any radical change at once.
This has been more than anything the secret of the partial or total
failures of the movements of this character in the past. The changes
should be gradually made. Every spring and autumn let an advance step
be taken, and in order to do this an American fashion commission or
bureau should be established, under the auspices of the dress reform
committee of the Women's Council, which at stated intervals should
issue bulletins and illustrated fashion plates. If the ideal is kept
constantly in view, and every season slight changes are made toward
the desired garment, the victory will, I believe, be a comparatively
easy one, for the splendid common sense of the American women and men
will cordially second the movement. _Concerted action, a clearly
defined ideal toward which to move, and gradual changes_--these are
points which it seems to me are vitally important. One reason why the
most ridiculous and inartistic extremes in fashion have been generally
adopted is found in this policy of gradual introduction, a fact which
must impress anyone who carefully examines the fashions of the past.
First there has been a slight alteration, shortly becoming more
pronounced, and with each season it has grown more marked, although
perhaps not for four or six years has the extreme been reached. At
every step there have been complaints from various quarters, but
steadily and persistently has the fashion been pushed until it reached
its climax, after which we have had its gradual decline. This was the
history of the hoop skirt and the Grecian bend, and has been that of
most of the extremes which have marked the past, and we can readily
believe that in no other way could womanhood have been insnared by
such supreme and criminal folly as has characterized fashion's
caprices in unnumbered instances.

[Illustration: _From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y._ MISS MARLOWE AS

(2.) Another very essential point is the proper education of the girls
of to-day, for to them will fall, in its richest fruition, the
blessings of this splendid reform if it be properly carried on, and if
they be everywhere instructed to set health above fashion, and seek
the beauty of Venus de Medici rather than the pseudo beauty of the
wretched, deformed invalid, who at the dictates of the modern Babylon
has trampled reason and common sense, health and comfort, the
happiness of self and the enjoyment of her posterity under foot. Teach
the girls to be American; to be independent; to scorn to copy fashion,
manners, or habits that come from decaying civilizations, and which
outrage all sentiment of refinement, laws of life, or principles of
common sense. The American girl is naturally independent and well
endowed with reason and common sense. Once shown the wisdom and
importance of this _American_ movement, and she will not be slow to
cordially embrace it. In many respects the hour is most propitious,
owing to a combination of causes never before present, among which may
be mentioned the growing independence of American womanhood; the
enlarged vision that has come to her through the wonderfully diverse
occupations and professions which she has recently embraced; the
growing consciousness of her ability to succeed in almost every
vocation of life. The latitude enjoyed by her in matters of dress in
the mountains and seashore resorts; the growth of women's gymnasiums;
the emphasis given to hygienic instruction in schools, and the recent
quiet introduction of a perfectly comfortable apparel for morning
wear, which, strange to say, has originated where one would least
expect, among the most fashionable belles of the Empire city.[5] This
significant innovation which is reported by the daily press, as
becoming quite popular among the young ladies of the wealthy districts
of New York, consists of a comfortable blouse worn over knickerbocker
trousers. Clad in this comfortable attire, the belles come to
breakfast, nor do they subsequently change their dress during the
morning if they intend remaining indoors. If a sedate or fastidious
caller is announced, a beautiful tea-gown, which is at hand, is
slipped into, and the young lady is appropriately clad to suit even
conventional requirements. The bicycle and lawn tennis costumes now
becoming so popular also exercise a subtile but marked influence in
favor of rational dress reform, not only giving young ladies the
wonderful comfort and health-giving freedom which for ages have been
denied her sex, but also by accustoming them to these radically
unconventional costumes.[6]

      [5] In speaking of this practical dress reform on the part
          of the belles of New York, the Boston _Daily Globe_ recently
          observed editorially: The great question now agitating the
          fashionable women of Fifth Avenue is: "Do you wear

          Stripped of all apologetic circumlocution, "knickerbockers"
          are simply loose, easy trousers, above which is worn a
          becoming blouse waist, and thus attired, the belles of New
          York come down to breakfast. Nor are the trousers
          subsequently removed while the ladies are about the house,
          unless some conservative caller is announced, when a stylish
          tea-gown can be jumped into in a second, and the lady is in
          faultless female costume.

          That women should be handicapped in their locomotion in
          their own homes is simply a relic of oriental slavery and
          prudery, and the revolt against it is sensible and
          wholesome. That they have come to stay is evident, while
          improved costumes for shop girls, and other women engaged in
          business every day in the year, are certain to follow in the
          order of progress.--_Boston Globe._

          It might be well also for the council to recommend the
          formation of societies in each community where social or
          society gatherings of those interested might be held at
          stated intervals, at which all members would appear in
          dresses made with special regard to health, comfort, and
          beauty, and in which all garments would conform to the
          general ideal recommended by the council.

      [6] As the paper is being set up my attention has been attracted
          to a remarkably sensible signed editorial in the Boston
          _Sunday Globe_, of July 26, by the brilliant writer and
          sensible thinker, Adelaide A. Claftin, from which I extract
          the following:

          Bishop Coxe's fulmination against the riding of bicycles by
          women has attracted considerable attention, but to the
          student of social movements it is not strange that Bishop
          Coxe should object. The real oddity is that scarcely anybody
          else, apparently, has objected.

          That young girls from the best families should within a
          short time have betaken themselves to whirling through the
          public thoroughfares, like so many boys, is certainly a new
          departure from all old fashioned canons of feminine decorum,
          at least as startling as many that have brought down all
          sorts of thunderbolts from pulpit and press. Had it been a
          prerequisite that an amendment to the United States
          Constitution, or even a statute of a State Legislature
          should be obtained, the girls would doubtless have had to
          wait many a weary year.

          It is not long since another church dignitary, Dr. Morgan
          Dix, objected to the entrance of girls into universities,
          because it was not "proper for young women to be exposed to
          the gaze of young men, many of whom were less bent upon
          learning than upon amusement."

          However little she may realize it, every girl who rides her
          steel horse is a vivid illustration of one of the greatest
          waves of progress of this century, the advancement of women
          in freedom and opportunity.

          A wise physician once said that the opinion that a good
          woman should stay closely at home had killed more women than
          any other one cause. In the days of our grandmothers the
          suggestion of regular gymnastic training or athletics for
          girls would have been received with horror. It was hardly
          proper for a woman to have any knowledge of the construction
          of her physical system.

          It is a curious historical fact that the first women
          lecturers upon physiology were women's rights women, and
          viewed by the majority of people as dangerous to female
          modesty, while the Ladies' Physiological Institute in Boston
          was at first much disapproved of by the clergy. So long,
          too, as old-fashioned "stays" (laced up sometimes by the aid
          of equally old-fashioned bed-posts) remained in vogue,
          neither physiology nor athletics stood much chance with

          But the often derided dress reformer has had her way, to a
          great extent. Bathing dresses, gymnastic and tennis suits
          which would have frightened an eighteenth century dame into
          one of her favorite fainting fits.

          Meanwhile the girls have mounted their bicycles. Bless you,
          my children; what endless vistas of good times are before
          you! What glorious landscape views and ocean moonrises, what
          freedom, what fresh, airy delight in young life and

          Already one young doctor has departed with his bride on a
          wedding tour to Texas, each upon a bicycle. Other strange
          affairs will no doubt take place. By and by the bishops will
          see no more irreverence in bidding Godspeed to girls
          starting on a journey to California upon bicycles than to
          girls departing to Europe on a steamship.

Another encouraging sign of the times is the increasing demand on the
great and fashionable house of Liberty & Co., of London, for the Greek
and other simple costumes by fashionable ladies, who are using them
largely for home wear. I have reproduced two recent styles of dresses
made by Liberty. All fabrics used are rich, soft, and elegant, and the
effect is said to be gratifying to lovers of art, as well as far more
healthful and comfortable than the conventional dress. The most
important fact, however, is the effect or influence which is sure to
follow this breaking away from the ruling fashions in wealthy circles.
When conventionalism in dress is fully discredited, practical reform
is certain to follow. The knell of the one means the triumph of the

[Illustration: Some of Liberty's recent dresses. The Grecian Costume.]

[Illustration: Some of Liberty's recent dresses. _The Juliet._]

Believing as I do that the cycle of woman has dawned, and that
through her humanity will reach a higher and nobler civilization than
the world has yet known, I feel the most profound interest in all that
affects her health, comfort, and happiness; for as I have before
observed, 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.



The monarchial conception is that a few are born booted and spurred to
ride, and that the many are born saddled and bridled to be ridden. The
republican theory is that "Everybody is cleverer than anybody," to
quote the epigram attributed to Talleyrand; and that government, in
Lincoln's phrase, should be "of the people, by the people, and for the

The United States is the only nation in history which has dared to
base itself upon an absolute trust in the people.

There have been republics (so-called) _ad infinitum_ and _ad nauseam_.
"Greece," cries one of the foremost of our orators, "had her
republics, but they were the republics of one freeman and ten slaves;
and the battle of Marathon was fought by slaves unchained from the
doorposts of their master's houses. Italy had her republics; they were
the republics of wealth and skill and family, limited and
aristocratic. Holland had her republic, the republic of guilds and
landholders, trusting the helm of state to property and education. The
Swiss republics were groups of cousins. And all these which, at their
best, held but a million or two within their narrow limits, have gone
down in the ocean of time."

The Spanish-American Republics are nondescripts. They owe their
existence to _pronunciamientos_. They are the puppets of successful
soldiers, and are administered by generals who follow one another like
the ghosts that walked in the vision of "Richard Third," and do not
hold office long enough to be photographed. They are based on mongrel
races, steeped in ignorance, cramped by superstition, and physically
rotten before they get ripe.

Our fathers built a commonwealth on the foundation of manhood. They
recognized no other qualification, save for a period of inconsistency,
_color_; which, happily, is now wiped out of the fundamental law,
though not entirely out of popular prejudice.

The faith in the people which Jefferson, Sam Adams, and the men of '76
cherished as the distinctive tenet of their political creed, has been
justified by results. Their gigantic creation launches into the second
decade of its second century, belted with power, aggrandized with _El
Dorados_, the amazement of the world, the "Arabian Nights" translated
into every-day reality.

Unfortunately, however, in the face of this unprecedented record of
prosperity, certain un-republican tendencies begin to exhibit
themselves among us. These may well give thoughtful patriots startled

Half a century ago, before time had been annihilated by the telegraph,
and distance abolished by steam, nations were comparatively isolated;
and the American most of all. Europe was three thousand miles away.
Now-a-days, the old world is next-door neighbor to the new. Saint
John's apocalyptic vision is realized; there is "no more sea." It is
bridged by steamers, and flashed out of existence by the electric
cable. What is the consequence? The consequence is that while Europe
borrows many of our ideas, America borrows more of hers. With the
increase of travel, the growth of wealth, the enlargement of our
leisurely class, there is an aping of English and German habits of
thought and modes of life which are utterly repugnant to republican
institutions. While Europe should seem to be almost ready to discard
baby-house distinctions and the embroidered rags of aristocracy,
America, strange to say, appears willing to put on and wear the
disreputable finery. We are becoming disagreeably familiar with what
Mr. Gladstone characterizes in an inspired phrase, as the _classes_ in
contrast with the _masses_.

This interchange of national customs comes inevitably from the
facilitated intercourse of our day, from the intimacy begotten by
inter-marriage, by commerce, by travel. But it is sad if we are to
borrow more than we lend, and if the balance of trade is to be
perpetually against us. We must find or invent a remedy if
republicanism is to survive. The widespread alarm felt among our
humbler citizens shows how real the danger is. Take, for instance, the
growing distrust of universal suffrage manifested by our cultivated
classes. Certain journals, the organs of wealth and monopoly;
social-science conventions, composed of pert specialists poisoned by
caste feeling; even pulpits, which should be the guardians and
exponents of democracy,--cautiously, tentatively, but as positively as
they dare, discuss the propriety of restraining the ballot, and sigh
for a property or an educational qualification.

Now, if there be one feature of American republicanism which is
supremely characteristic, it is universal suffrage. This
interpenetrates our political system as veins run through a block of
marble. The patriots and sages who framed our Constitution grouted it
with this principle. They believed and declared that it was safe to
trust men with self-government. They recognized, of course, the fact
that in every community there would be an element of ignorance and
inefficiency. But by putting the ballot in every hand they
deliberately took bonds of wealth and culture to enlighten this
ignorance and train this inefficiency. They enlisted the self-interest
of the Commonwealth on the side of popular education. They said,
practically, to the well-to-do and to those who had interests at
stake: See to it, if you would save your possessions, that you share
them with the poorest and the lowest, at least to the extent of
lifting them to the level of self-control and self-respect. In fact,
this is the meaning of our free schools, of trial by jury, and of the
ballot-box. Tocqueville, whose insight into republican institutions
was marvellous, distinctly traces our prosperity, in his survey of
American democracy, to universal suffrage, with all that it
necessitates. So on the other side of the water, when, in 1867,
Parliament doubled the English franchise, Robert Lowe leaped to his
feet and cried, amid the cheers of the House of Commons: "_Now_ the
first interest and duty of every Englishman is to educate the masses."
Previously, if the Court of St. James stooped to put intelligence on
one side and morality on the other side of the cradle rocked by
poverty and vice, it was pity that dictated the gracious act. Now it
is self-preservation. Who does not know how much stronger
self-interest is than pity as a motive? Who cannot see the far-sighted
wisdom of our fathers in thus ingrafting this powerful motive upon the
fundamental law?

Moreover, universal suffrage is educational in itself. Responsibility
educates. Nothing else does. By throwing the responsibility upon the
people they are necessarily lifted, sobered, broadened. Our women do
not vote. What is the result? Not one woman in a thousand has any
interest in, and not one in two thousand has any acquaintance with,
political affairs. Their ignorance would be laughable were it not sad.
Every father, husband, brother, can testify to the impenetrable
ignorance of his feminine belongings concerning matters of public
moment. It forms the topic of universal comment in male circles. It is
not because women are naturally incapable. It is because having no
responsibility they naturally have no interest. Why should a woman
inform herself of what does not concern her? Occasionally, some woman,
exceptionally placed, or born with a genius for politics, studies and
masters state-craft. But exceptions do not invalidate, they prove
rules. Women, like men, cannot be expected to take any intelligent
interest in affairs that lie outside of their life.

Our men, on the contrary, are politicians down to the infant in the
cradle. A boy baby cries, "Mr. Chairman!" as soon as he can talk, and
calls the next crib to order. Men know that the maturing of politics,
the selection of administrations, the distribution of offices, the
adjustment of taxes, are their function. This knowledge whets the edge
of interest. The significant fact is that it is not the people who are
indifferent to politics. This indifference is found among merchants
who are too busy making money to attend to the public weal; among
scholars buried alive in their books, with no interest in any question
that is not musty; among men of leisure, aping old world aristocracy,
and out of touch with democracy; among those who _say_ that all men
are equal and are afraid they _will_ be,--never among the people.

The plainer men are the greater is their political interest. Our
naturalized citizens, shut out in their native land from all
participation in government, and hence appreciating citizenship here,
are among the most alert. These are they who crowd the halls during
the recurring canvasses, and who are always early at the polls. And is
it possible to overrate the instruction they get at meetings where
they hear great questions discussed by master minds, when issues are
torn open and riddled with light? Thus universal suffrage is itself a
normal school, the people's college.

It is often said that, judged by its power to govern great cities,
universal suffrage is a failure. This is true. The failure, however,
is due to local causes. It does not come from the inherent incapacity
of the masses, but is the spawn of accidental and removable evils.
Chief among these is the corner grog-shop. This is the blazing
lighthouse of hell. Here it is that morals and manners are debauched.
It is over this counter that what an old poet calls "liquid damnation"
is dealt out. If the _quid-nuncs_, instead of railing at universal
suffrage, would combine to help shut that door, republicanism would
speedily lose its reproach. The constituency of the grog seller is the
ready made tool of the demagogue. A true democracy can only exist on
the basis of sobriety. A drunken people cannot be trusted with the
dearest rights and most vital possessions of freemen. Better the
merciless tyranny of the Czar, or the military despotism of the
Kaiser, far better the class rule of England, than the staggering,
hiccoughing, bedevilled government of the groggery!

Aside from the great centres of population, the common people are more
trustworthy than the corporations, the colleges, or the newspapers.
The selfishness, the preoccupation, the anti-republicanism of these,
are proverbial. We know that editors are echoes, not leaders, printing
what will sell, not what is true. Landor declared that there is a
spice of the scoundrel in most literary men. Everybody understands
that a corporation's gospel is a good fat dividend. Who would exchange
universal suffrage for college suffrage, or corporation suffrage, or
newspaper suffrage?

Our danger to-day does not lie in universal suffrage. It lies in the
steady encroachments of wealth, in the multiplication of monopolies,
in the too rapid growth of fungus millionnaires, in the increasing
number of well educated idlers, in the sinister prominence of the
saloon in politics, in the tendency of the country to submit to
bureaucracy, in the transformation of the national Senate into a club
of rich men, housed and fed at the national expense, in the change of
the House of Representatives into a huddle of clerks to register the
decrees of greedy capital, in the chronic distrust of the people felt
among book-educated and professional men; in one word, in the
appalling gravitation towards government by "boodle" in the hands of
unscrupulous minorities.

The only hope of deliverance lies in the people,--in their honesty,
fair play, and decision, No; it is not universal suffrage that has
brought disgrace on the country. If the rancor of party spirit, if the
dry-rot of legislative corruption, if the tyranny of incorporated
wealth, if the diabolism of intemperance are to be curbed, it is
universal suffrage which must hold the reins. Talk of taking the
ballot out of the hand of the poor citizen! As well fling the revolver
out of window when the burglar is in the house. One of the keenest
critics of American life has said: "Corruption does not so much rot
the masses; it poisons Congress. Credit mobilier and money rings are
not housed under thatched roofs; they flaunt at the capital." The real
scum is the so-called better class. If anybody is to be deprived of a
vote, it should be the railroad king, the mill owner, the indifferent
trader, and the Europeanized Yankee who spends abroad what his father
earned at home, and mistakes Paris for Paradise.

As another illustration of the un-republican trend, observe the
obsequious attitude of our government towards monarchs and monarchies.
We are to-day cheek by jowl with the despots of Europe. Instead of
being the torch bearer of freedom we occupy a position of apology for
what we are and of gaping admiration for what they are. When an
opportunity offered the other day to recognize the new Republic of
Brazil, the toadies at Washington equivocated and postponed. One would
suppose that the disappearance of the last monarchy from the new world
would have been greeted in the great Republic with the ringing of
bells and the blaze of bonfires--would have been answered by a regular
Fourth of July outburst. Bless you, no! The Czar was displeased. The
Emperor of Germany was in the sulks. Queen Victoria put on mourning.
Why should the Dons at Washington be out of fashion?

On the other hand, when Carlos I. was crowned at Lisbon last December,
the American Squadron of Evolution was in the harbor, and behold! the
officers of the Republic's war-ships paraded side by side with the
other flunkies of royalty in honor of the coronation--thus showing
that they belonged to the Squadron of Reaction. For so misrepresenting
their country they ought to be cashiered. Republicans refusing to
recognize a new republic, but hastening to recognize a new king! What
a spectacle! Spirits of Otis and Franklin, of Jefferson and Hamilton,
what think ye of such democracy as this?

No one would have the United States play the role of a bully, or enact
the demagogue. But surely there is a medium between that and the
despicable inconsistency of unfriendliness towards those of our own
political faith, and of lackey serviceableness towards a crowned head.
Kings do not hesitate to discourage republicanism everywhere. A
republic should not hesitate to encourage it anywhere. Self-respect in
such a matter would win the respect of the world by deserving it. But
when Americans sell their daughters to European profligates for a
title, and pay millions to boot; when republicans in profession become
tuft-hunters in practice, and haunt the back stairs of palaces; when
the United States government, the eldest born and guardian of
democracy, decredits its own political creed and parades in royal
processions,--is it not time to cry a halt?

We need in this country a revival of republicanism. There is a
tendency to flunkeyism at the bottom of human nature. Most men "dearly
love a lord," as Burns affirmed. Hence, a full-fledged aristocrat
attracts flunkies as a magnet draws iron filings. Lucian tells of an
exhibition in Rome in which monkeys had been trained to play a human
part; which they did perfectly, before the beauty and fashion of the
city--until a wag, in the midst of the performance, flung a handful of
nuts upon the stage, and straightway the actors were monkeys again.
Some of our republicans are monkeys in human attire. They get on well
enough until the nuts of class distinction are flung among them,--then
they are on all fours.

Let us make democracy the fashion. Send devitalized Americans to
Coventry. Make an unrepublican word or deed the unpardonable political
sin. Do this: or else ship the statue of Liberty Enlightening the
World back to France, and ask her to set it in the harbor of

Another of these un-republican tendencies is the current movement for
civil service reform. Every thoughtful citizen perceives and laments
the evils attendant on the present spoils system. It is the quartering
of the conquerors upon the conquered. It makes public office the
reward of party service. It loads half a dozen men (the President and
his Secretaries) with the responsible but impossible duty of filling
hundreds of thousands of offices, on the grab-bag principle.

With the best intentions, the civil service reformers would make a bad
matter worse. On their plan, the un-American method of fixed tenure by
competitive examination and appointment by irresponsible cabals would
replace the method of political appointment for party service. Thus
they would fasten upon the country a great army of permanent
officials. It is out of harmony with our whole system. Every other
officer is elected, and for a specified term. Why, even in the
ministry, the tendency is to break up the life-pastorate. The largest
of our religious denominations has deliberately adopted the principle
of rotation. And the other bodies, while nominally retaining the life
theory, have practically borrowed the Methodist plan.

No wonder civil service reform is unpopular. It goes to work at the
wrong end--works away from instead of towards republicanism. In
England, in Germany, where families reign, and where governmental
servants might consistently hold office for life, such a system has a
warrant--though even there it is found to be obstructive and
reactionary. But in a republic, where universal suffrage is the law,
nothing more intolerable could be conceived. The idea of creating a
class distinct from all other classes, independent of the
administration and unaccountable to the voters, fixed and immovable
save for causes proven--why, it is, not a _step_, it is a _stride_
towards absolutism. Such a proposition, like "Hamlet's" case,

    "----makes us rather bear those ills we have,
    Than fly to others that we know not of."

That the civil service needs reform goes without the saying. But the
reform should be pushed along consistently republican lines. The
proper, the democratic method would be a further and broader
application of universal suffrage. Make _all_ the offices elective.

Instead of _appointing_ Custom-House officials and postmasters,
_elect_ them. Put the responsibility where it belongs upon the
respective communities they serve. Then, men that are locally known
and respected would be selected. If the people are capable of electing
their own presidents, governors, representatives and judges, surely
they might be trusted to elect Custom-House officers and postmasters!
Otherwise, our republicanism is a humbug. This would abolish the
Washington grab-bag. It would also avoid the creation of a class of
life-officials than which nothing could be more dangerous and

If our fathers, with no precedents on the file, could announce their
sublime faith that all men are endowed by their Creator with the right
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; if they could discard
the probate-court idea, and adopt universal suffrage; if, in spite of
inconsistencies and imperfections, their conception has flowered in
the best, and happiest, and most prosperous nation on the
globe,--cannot their children show a faith as serene, a courage as
brave? One thing is certain, the European experiment has failed, while
ours is a miracle of success--and most successful when most
consistently worked out. In such circumstances, shall we exchange this
for that, and go back from the nineteenth century to the fourteenth?

When Hume derided his mother's faith, and exhorted her to get rid of
her Christian prejudices, she answered: "My son, can you show me
anything better?"



All students of history are aware that the revolution of 1688
succeeded in consolidating constitutional government in England; that,
though toward the middle of the last century it had not yet assumed
its present admirable aspect, the English idea of political liberty
and religious toleration attracted the attention of Montesquieu and
Voltaire, who introduced it to their country; and that, since then,
accelerated by the establishment of the federal government in America,
and the triumph of the revolutionary principle in France, the theory
has spread over the continent with astonishing rapidity.

Now that constitutional government is established in Japan, will she
not exercise the same influence over the Asiatic continent as that
which England has exercised over the European? To this, three great
objections may be raised. I. The pervading conservatism of Asia. II.
The prevailing ignorance among the Asiatic nations. III. The
doubtfulness as to their adaptability to the representative form of
government. We shall try to answer these objections in the above

I. If it be argued that the Asiatic people are conspicuously
characterized by the conservative spirit, that they seem well
satisfied with their present social and political organizations, such
as they are, it must be remembered at the same time, that this was
also the appearance which the French people presented, before their
attention was called to the political superiority of England. "In
general," says Lecky, "there runs through the great French literature
of the seventeenth century a profound content with the existing order
in Church and State, an entire absence of the spirit of disquiet,
scepticism, and innovation that leads to organic change."[7]

      [7] Lecky's History of England, Vol. V., p. 301.

[Illustration: Kuma Oishi (signed "Cordially yours, Kuma Oishi")]

That the conservative spirit and the seeming contentment of some of
the Asiatic nations are not in themselves forces strong enough,
when the time comes, to dispel the charm, as it were, possessed by the
theory of representative government, that in short, conservatism is no
match for "progress," as such a movement is popularly called, can be
illustrated by the history, not of the European nations alone, but of
some Asiatic nations themselves. To the general conservative tendency
of Asia, Japan was no exception until about twenty-five years ago. No
rational being would have then believed that in the course of a few
years, Japan would become one of the most progressive nations on the
face of the earth. The revolution of 1867, from which the birth of New
Japan is dated, was originally a dispute between the Mikado and the
Shogun for the _de facto_ sovereignty, and not the struggle of the
lower classes to rise to political eminence. The tottering dynasty of
the Shoguns came to an end, not because they were tyrannical, not
because the people felt the special need of social amelioration, but
because they saw that the Shogunate had been the instrumentality of
usurping the imperial authority, while the nominal Emperor was shut up
in his palace, and closely watched by the agents of the Shogun. In
Japan loyalty and patriotism meant one and the same thing; therefore
the people could not long tolerate this state of affairs. They needed
only an occasion to deprive the Shogun of his political power, and to
restore it to the Emperor. At last the occasion came. The demand of
the Western nations to open certain seaports of the country,
accompanied by the threats of armed force, compelled the Shogun to
yield. But this step proved fatal to him. If the people were opposed
to the Shogun's usurpation, they were still more opposed to his new
policy, simply because it was new. They were blind to the innumerable
advantages that could be derived from international commerce and
communication. As a hermit nation, the people looked down upon the
foreigners with mingled distrust and disdain. Knowing nothing of the
Western civilization they were determined that no "savage strangers"
should step upon the "sacred land of gods." To them the admission of
the foreigners signified nothing less than unprecedented disgrace and
possibly more--a prey to the ambition and treachery of the "foreign
devils." The conservative spirit of the people carried them to a pitch
of excitement as high as the exactly opposite principle carried the
French people during the revolution. The Emperor became doubly dear
to them, because he was a sovereign _de jure_, and because he was
opposed to the new policy. Thus the revolution which followed owes its
triumph to the conservatism of the people. Even with their zealous
attachment to the Emperor, and their deep hatred of the Shogun, it is
an open question whether events would have taken the same course, if
the Mikado had advocated and the Shogun opposed the new policy, so
strong was prejudice of the people. No more unfavorable condition and
time could have been chosen for the introduction of the European
civilization. However, in spite of their abhorrence of the Western
people, the Western ideas and customs, in spite of all their efforts
to shut them out, the appearance of some formidable men-of-war,
floating the flags of different nations, compelled Japan to enter into
the terms of treaty with them. Twenty years have passed since then,
and within that short period, the nation has undergone a marvellous
transformation under the magic touch of progress. It would be telling
an old story to enumerate the series of innovations that have been
written socially and politically, until the promulgation of the new
constitution, in which culminated the national pride of the people.
The matter to be noted here is that the European civilization
encountered but a few obstacles, notwithstanding its inopportune
introduction, and was soon adopted with determined zeal. The like
progressive phenomenon on a smaller scale is also recurring in Korea,
but of this later.

II. Having thus seen from well known historical examples in Europe and
Asia that the conservatism is not in itself a force strong enough to
resist progress, which leads to the establishment of constitutional
government, let us proceed to meet the second objection, namely: the
prevailing ignorance among the Asiatic nations. Here the nature of our
inquiry involves three distinct topics. 1. Was the general
intelligence of the Japanese people, before they came into contact
with the Western civilization, higher than that of the other Asiatic
nations? 2. Is there not a peculiar characteristic among the Japanese
which impels them to progress? 3. Consequent upon the exposition of
these two topics, investigation must also be made as to why the
Chinese Empire does not show a similar progressive tendency.

1. Besides being the most dangerous enemy of representative government
after its establishment, ignorance is most hostile to its
establishment. _Prima facie_, people must possess a certain degree of
capacity, mental and moral, to understand what civilization is and
what representative government is. The Batta of Sumatra may have their
own alphabet, and the Fans of the West Coast may excel in iron
work,[8] but even these fall short of the pre-requisites, not
intellectually only, but morally also. We cannot conceive of them,
seated around a camp-fire, discussing the merits of two chambers
system, or defining the rights and duties of a citizen, while their
vile lips are stained with the blood of their fellow-man, whose flesh
they have just devoured. Not to expatiate further on this self-evident
fact, it is certain that the Japanese people were sufficiently
intelligent to understand and appreciate the Western ideas, when they
were thrust to their notice. Certain, too, that in some branches of
æsthetic art, they were somewhat superior to the neighboring nations.
But beyond this, thirty years ago, a careful observer could have
detected in the Japanese people no conspicuous intellectual
attainment, except, of course, such points of dissimilarity as exist
between any two nations equally civilized. Japan, Korea, and China had
the same system of education and the same "classics," and each was
composed of followers of Confucius and believers in Buddhism. True,
Japan was then under the feudal system, and China and Korea were and
still are under monarchy, but in point of absolutism, their
governments were all alike. The greater differentiations were the
facts that the Japanese had their own system of religious belief
besides, called Shintoism, that the Japanese and the Koreans each had,
in addition to the Chinese characters, their own syllables, and that
the styles of their dress were different in no small degree. But the
former, being a belief, principally concerned with the hereafter, has
no more connection than the latter two with the subject of our
inquiry, which relates to the intellectual phases of these people only
in so far as they influence their political ideas.

      [8] Peschel's, "The Races of Man," p. 163.

2. Nor can we find any peculiar characteristic in the Japanese people,
to which we may ascribe their progressive tendency. The only
predominant characteristic that we know is their imitative power. This
they have remarkably exhibited in their adoption of the Chinese
civilization, which they modified and made their own, and more
remarkably in their recent adoption of the Western civilization. Let
us examine what relation this bears to the conservative and the
progressive spirit of the people. Mr. Herbert Spencer attributes two
motives to imitation, either reverential or competitive.[9] It is with
the latter that we are concerned. This, coming as it does from a
desire of an imitator to assert his equality with the one imitated,
implies the recognition of superiority of the latter, and the
acknowledgment of inferiority of the former. Conservatism, in the
sense we have been using the term, defies any recognition and
acknowledgment of this sort; therefore it defies imitation. In other
words, a man does not imitate what he dislikes or scorns, and since
conservatism is aversion to, or contempt for, say a new political
institution, the imitative trait has no part to play, while that
aversion or contempt continues. Evidently, then, the imitative power
of the Japanese was not the force which served to make the
conservative people progressive; only when conservatism gives way, and
admiration for what is new is awakened, can this power assume its full

      [9] "His Principle of Sociology," Vol. II., p. 209.

Were we to admit for the sake of argument that the Japanese people
were far superior in intelligence to the other people of Asia, or that
they possessed a peculiar characteristic which impelled them to the
adoption of the Western civilization, or even both, our position will
not be altered, for the progressive idea of Japan has already reached
across the sea to the continent of Asia, giving rise to an event in
Korea. In December, 1884, the two political factions of that country,
one of which was liberal and the other conservative, respectively,
representing the Japanese and the Chinese principles, disputed for
supremacy. The positive and negative currents, as of electricity, met
at the peninsula, and produced a spark of revolution.[10]

     [10] There was another agitation in Korea in 1882, but this was
          a mere uprising of the mob against the Japanese staying in
          that country, and not of grave political importance. For
          the details of both these events, the reader is referred to
          "A Korean _Coup D' Etat_," an entertaining article by
          Perceval Lowell, _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1886. This
          poverty-stricken country, with an imbecile sovereign at the
          helm of state, and with no organized array, is practically
          under the control of the Chinese government, though
          nominally she is independent. Some European powers, who seem
          to consider that the greatness of a nation is commensurate
          with its success in its territorial aggrandizement are
          casting eyes at her, in vain let us hope, for the sake of
          Korea. While the influence of China is so predominant, she
          cannot accomplish much. A _coup d' état_ might be needed a
          few times more, before she can become an independent nation
          in the fullest sense of the words. At any rate, her prospect
          is dubious enough at present.

Although, unfortunately for Korea, the liberals were vanquished, and
its chief leaders were banished from their native country, the
significance of the phenomenon does not lose its weight on that
account. The tidal wave of progress, once repulsed, is not likely to
subside forever. Meantime, it is worth while to notice, that even
under the undisputed administration of the victorious conservatives,
the nation could not remain aloof from the rest of the world. Besides
entering into treaties with some western and eastern nations, Korea is
availing herself of the services of European abilities, for the
purpose of internal improvement.

3. "But," some one may ask, "if the establishment of constitutional
government in Japan is due principally to the inherent excellence of
the institution itself, and not to the superior intelligence of the
Japanese people, nor yet to their peculiar characteristic, how can the
non-progressive tendency of China be accounted for?" The vast extent
of her dominion,[11] the immense number of her population,[12] and her
almost inexhaustible national resources, all combine to make the
question in regard to her future policy a momentous one. With the best
form of government, and under the guidance of an able statesman, it is
within her power to promote the advancement of whole Asia, and mould
the destiny of the world. Yet, to all practical intents and purposes,
she is evidently indifferent to the possibility of such a noble
mission. Nay, more; she ignores it. She reminds us of an opium smoker.
The world is awake, but she reposes in profound slumber, and little
does she care what others are doing. The doctrine of _Laissez-Faire_
is the sinew of her policy toward the European states. She lets them
alone so long as they let her alone, leaving them to wonder for what
she was born. When some one comes and strikes her on the face, she
stands up, still half asleep, slowly gathers whatever strength is in
her, returns blow for blow, but the moment her enemy disappears
torpidity again overtakes her, she relapses into dreamy indifference.
Of what is this opium composed that she smokes?

     [11] About 4,179,559 sq. miles.--_The Statesman's Yearbook_, 1891.

     [12] About 404,180,000.--_Ibid._

I must not be understood to mean _absolute_ irresistibility of
constitutional government. Already I have touched upon one exception,
viz: inadequate capacity, mental and moral, of people. Instead of
excepting Japan from the pervading conservatism of Asia, I am inclined
to make causes resisting or retarding the establishment of
constitutional government in China exceptions to its irresistibility,
side by side with ignorance. Such causes are, doubtless,
multitudinous. Nevertheless, a careful observer will be able to single
out two principal ones among many others: territorial and

We have seen that the average intelligence of the Chinese people is
not much inferior, if at all, to that of the Japanese, previous to the
revolution. Even those Chinese who come to this country for manual
labor, can read and write to some extent. Undoubtedly there is a large
number of illiterate and brutal outcasts, who are a standing disgrace
to humanity at large, but they can be found in every nation at
present. The average intelligence of the middle class in China is,
next to Japan, perhaps, the highest among the Asiatic nations. But the
greatest evil from which Chinese intellect is suffering is its
bombastic antiquarianism. This differs from conservatism, in that it
is not the cautious distrust of new institutions for the improvement
of the existing ones, but an effort to move backward, and to revive
the ancient order of things, which crumbled into dust a thousand years
before, from its inadaptability. The goal toward which modern
civilization is striving, is the attainment of justice, the security
of property and of the lives of individuals. The ideal society of the
Chinese is one in which the simplicity of primitive tribes makes the
administration of justice unnecessary, in which the possession of
property and the protection of lives are unknown. Eulogies are
lavished throughout their literature to the peaceful reigns of the
primitive kings, when no one locked his house at night, or touched
another's article which he happened to find on his way. To them
antiquity is adorable instead of venerable. They consider themselves
insignificant by the side of their godly ancestors. No doubt the
doctrine of Confucius, which the Chinese people endeavor to carry out
to a letter, has played a large part in producing this effect. Instead
of unfolding the possibilities of the future, he recapitulated the
virtues and achievements of the past. I am not attempting to
depreciate the inestimable service, which his system of philosophy has
rendered toward enhancing the standard of rectitude among his
disciples. But for him Asia might have sunk into the depths of moral
chaos. This much at least must be said in justification of his
doctrine, that evidently it was not his intention to reproduce an
exact duplicate of the primitive Chinese civilization. "Let each day
bring a new order of things," and "A sage's principles change as
time," are among the precepts he enunciated. But these aphorisms, upon
which the Anglo-Saxons would have laid a great stress, have been set
at naught by his followers to the detriment of their own welfare.

This antiquarianism also existed in Japan, before the introduction of
the European civilization, but here it had lacked much of its
intensity, through its non-originality. The Japanese had no inventive
pride, and it was with little reluctance that they abandoned their old
theories which they borrowed from China, and adopted new civilization
of the West. The Chinese cannot forget that whatever civilization they
possess is their own, and that, at one time, theirs was the "Celestial
Empire," which gave law, literature, and art to the neighboring
nations. Every one knows that all the people still believe their
civilization far superior to that of Europe. And since they do not
care to compete with the civilization which they regard as inferior,
they are striving to model themselves after the features of their own
ancient civilization, which, for aught we know, might have been purer
because younger, but which, existing in the less developed stage of
society, must have been necessarily cruder. They are not aware that a
society developed to any extent is a composite organism; that an
originally simple cluster of people had grown into a complex
community, through double methods, the multiplication of its own
offsprings, and its union with another cluster or clusters of
people.[13] This gradual growth of a society is followed by a
corresponding diversity in the division of labor, thus making the
social structure also complex.[14] Whatever else they can do, the
Chinese will never realize their ideal of ancient simplicity, with
their present complex social structure and system. A human society can
either fall backward or progress forward, but it cannot _progress
backward_. In China the active movement for social and political
amelioration is restrained by the erroneous idea that they will
aggravate evils and increase the distance between the present and the
past. The unemployed energy of the nation, like an unemployed human
muscle, is losing its vitality. Unable to go backward, unwilling to go
forward, the nation is at standstill, and its civilization is stagnant
with vices of the worst sort, the growth of which is checked by no
iron hands of heroic reformers.

     [13] Spencer's "Principle of Sociology," Vol. II., pp. 436-458.

     [14] Ibid, pp. 459-472.

Another cause acting against the susceptibility of China to the
European civilization is the vastness of her territory. The power of
resistance being equal, a force requires longer time to travel larger
distance, but when the power of resistance against the force of
civilization is much stronger, as in the case of China, in comparison
with Japan, the required length of time becomes still greater. The
vast and thickly populated Empire of China naturally contains the
various aggregates of people, with diverse inclinations and
antagonistic interests, which makes their joint effort for any
achievement extremely difficult, especially when the central authority
is weak. The disadvantages are further multiplied by the difficulty of
travelling and communication. On account of these hindrances, the
Western civilization has not as yet time to permeate the whole Empire
of China, and give the people an impetus for progressive movement. It
may be well questioned whether "the fathers" could have succeeded in
organizing the federal government, if the colonies were as large, and
contained as great a population as the present United States. As it
was, several States refused to enter into the confederation at
first.[15] Taking into consideration her better facility for
communication, and her proximity to the other European powers, perhaps
Russia owes to the size of her territory, the successful maintenance
of her absolute monarchy as much as China. But here the decisive
battle is already impending. At this moment she is trembling with
apprehension lest the palace of the Czar be at any moment levelled to
its foundation by the terrible explosion of a nihilist's bomb. The
more the employment of force is resorted to as the means of
suppression, the greater the violence of resistance. It may take the
Chinese people generations before they are seized with such political
fanaticism, but judging from precedents, it is a rational probability
that the absolute monarchy of China may yet become the object of
furious attack by her now inert and abject populace, apparently in
happy ignorance of the nature of sovereign authority, the free and
unrestrained exercise of which they may learn to covet too soon.

     [15] New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
          Bryce's The American Commonwealth, Vol. I., p. 32.

Ignorance, antiquarianism, and large territory, then, are some
principal causes which retard the march of progress. There remains
only the third and last objection to be met--the adaptability of the
Asiatic people to the representative form of government.

III. If two thousand years of Asiatic despotism has given her people
one lesson, that lesson is obedience, and obedience is, according to
John Stuart Mill, a quality essential to the people under
constitutional government.[16] Not only they must be obeyed, but also
they must obey. Law, which is constitutional, commands their
obedience, so long as it is not repealed, whether it promotes, or is
detrimental to, their welfare. This is especially the case in England,
where parliament is supreme and not the constitution, as in the United
States, though in both countries _vox populi_ will tell in the end. On
the other hand it may be disputed that if long despotism taught the
Asiatic people to be subservient to public authorities, it also made
them meek and slavish, entirely eradicating the spirit of
independence, indispensable to self-governing people. Granted, but how
shall this defect be remedied? Because they are too slavish and not
sufficiently independent, are they to crawl under absolute despotism
for another two thousand years, which would make them all the more
slavish, and all the less independent? Slavishness is obedience plus
something more. If political liberty were given the Asiatic people,
when they had just learned to obey, slavishness would never have
become their fault. The very fact of their being slavish proves that
despotism should have ceased to exist long before, and should cease
now, in order to cure them of this despicable disease. As far as this
question is concerned, then, the slavishness of the Asiatic people,
instead of being against their adaptability to constitutional
government, is for it. In the words of Macaulay, "If men are to wait
for liberty until they become wise and good in slavery, they may
indeed wait forever."[17]

     [16] His Representative Government, pp. 85, 86.

     [17] His Essay on Milton.

There may be a thousand other infirmities among these people, but most
of them doubtless are, or were, found among the highly civilized
people of to-day. Every nation can point with pride to some men of
admirable achievement, of brilliant genius, of saintly virtues, but
that same nation also contains the countless number of inebriates,
robbers, and murderers. Differences in environments and in the stage
of civilization have contributed much in differentiating the
inhabitants of the globe, but we must bear in mind that they are all
made by the same hand of the Creator, and are, in general, striving to
do good according to the dictates of their conscience. What
characterizes civilization is not so much the quality of goodness
revealed, as its quantity. Between aborigines and highly advanced
people, there exists a wide gulf, but that gulf becomes perceptibly
narrower between the so-called semi-civilized and the civilized, much
narrower than the word "semi" indicates with the force of scientific
exactness. But behind all these arguments, there lays the most
fundamental condition of the adaptability, namely: that the people
should be desirous of establishing it. No other Asiatic nations beside
Japan have expressed their desire to this end, either by words or by
action, and therefore they are incapacitated.

This objection would be fatal, if we were advocating that the Asiatic
people ought to have constitutional government. But we have not been.
We have been arguing that since constitutional government has
irresistible attraction to those who can understand what it is, and
since it has already been established in Japan, the other Asiatic
nations will begin to desire it, notwithstanding their seeming
ignorance and conservatism; and because they are adapted for it in all
the respects but one, the want of desire to establish it, when that
desire is enkindled within their breasts, then a "great democratic
revolution," which De Tocqueville said was going on in Europe,[18] and
which is still going on there, will also go on in Asia. We may observe
in passing, that Sir Henry Maine's arguments against the
irresistibility of popular government[19] have no connection with our
position, being directed against the ultra-democratic tendency of
modern times which is beyond the scope of our present discussion.

     [18] His Democracy in America, Vol. I., p. 2.

     [19] His Popular Government, pp. 70-74.

But will this new institution of Japan possess permanency?
Constitutional government has shown in many cases the lack of
stability. In France and Spain especially it has been established and
overthrown again and again.[20] Can _Tei Koku Gi Kai_[21] prove itself
above such frailty and stand for ages a majestic monument of the
people capable of self-government? Or must it pass away in ignominy
and gloom through its own weakness, or of the constitution, or of the
people, or of all these combined? Hitherto we have been discussing the
extrinsic significance of constitutional government in Japan, but this
important question introduces us into the field of its intrinsic
excellence. To answer the question we must examine the constitution
itself in its details, besides tracing the steps which led to its
promulgation. Perhaps a volume may be necessary for this most
interesting and profitable study. At any rate, the space which we have
already occupied renders a further discussion of the subject
impossible for the present. But we cannot lay aside our pen without
expressing our fondest anticipation, and most earnest desire, that
guided by statesmen of genius, and supported by the prudent and
patriotic people, this first institution ever founded on the Asiatic
soil for the development of political liberty, may be crowned with
brilliant success, not only for the sake of Japan, but for the sake of
all Asia, whose myriad sons it is her noble duty, as well as
privilege, to rescue from the yoke of ever-detestable bondage.

     [20] Ibid, pp. 17, 18.

     [21] Literally, "The Deliverative Assembly of the Empire," being
          the comprehensive name for the two legislative chambers of
          Japan, corresponding to Parliament of England or Congress of
          the United States.



University extension is a movement intended to bring the people at
large into closer communion with the college and the university.
Though it had a lowly birth in England, it has become a great
institution permanently wedded to Oxford and Cambridge. For some years
the idea has been growing that our American colleges ought to be doing
something in this same line. The world is full of students who are
unable to attend the university; some are prevented by family ties,
and some by business relations; but mature though they be, there are
everywhere real students who are lamenting the fact that they seem
forever shut out from the light of knowledge as it is shed abroad from
our higher educational institutions. To such are added those young
people who have been by circumstances early forced into industrial
pursuits, but who are hungry after such training as will enable them
to command better situations and better salaries. The success of the
Chautauqua movement indicates how many there are that are bent upon
improving themselves.

This Chautauqua movement is only an attempt to Americanize university
extension. In various ways, however, it fails to perform the full
function of the latter institution. While Chautauqua work is carefully
planned, it is elementary; the student is left almost entirely to his
own, often misdirected, efforts; and there is little or no chance of
his coming into personal contact with the experienced educator and
specialists. Though the circles have, through lack of direction,
sometimes neglected education for entertainment, the organization as a
whole has accomplished a wonderful work in the elevation and the
instruction of great numbers of people.

University extension, on the other hand, profiting by the experience
of Chautauqua, proposes not only to plan courses of study, but to
direct, supervise, and test the work of its students as well. In doing
all this, it employs the lecturer, the syllabus, the class, the
travelling library, and the examination. It has adopted methods
whereby it can reach people of as varied occupations as those reached
by Chautauqua, and it can thus furnish them with information having a
positive educational value.

The lecturers are college-bred men or women, and specialists in
different lines of educational work. If actively engaged in teaching
at some reputable college or university, their chances of success are
greater, and the character of their work is of a better grade. It
promises well for the future of university extension to record that
some of America's most popular and celebrated professors have added to
their already heavy duties the burdens of some line of extension
teaching. But all college professors are not adapted to this work. The
successful extension lecturer must be of a versatile nature--a good
lecturer, an earnest student, a practical teacher. It is his duty to
interest a mixed, popular audience in an educational subject, and to
inspire numbers of his hearers with a determination to enter upon a
systematic and thorough course of study. The teacher who can do so
must have within him the spirit of the reformer, and the earnestness
that will enable him to arouse and to enthuse to action the numbers
that are dying of lethargy and ennui. The teacher who can do this has
here a field of labor extensive enough for the highest ambition, and
may be repaid by a success grander than can be attained in the limited
circle of the college or the university.

The work of the lecturer arranges itself into unit courses. The unit
course consists of a series of six related lecturers, so arranged that
they will cover a definite field of study. Though less comprehensive,
the unit course may be compared to a course of study in a college
curriculum. As extension students are the busy people of this world,
these lectures occur only at intervals of one week, thus giving the
student time for the extra reading and study that he is asked to do. A
unit course, then, will cover a period of six weeks; and four unit
courses, extending over a period of twenty-four weeks, constitute an
extension year. It is superfluous to attempt to estimate how much the
earnest solitary student may accomplish in a year through the
assistance and the impetus thus given his efforts. Much, however,
depends upon the personal effort of the student, and the syllabus is
intended to direct his private study.

The syllabus is much more than a carefully prepared outline of a unit
course. It must form a skeleton for the student's diligent work; it
must recall and elaborate the points brought out in each lecture; it
must give a comprehensive list of reference books upon the course--a
bibliography of the subject--with information as to the best editions
and as to how to use the books to the best advantage; it must suggest
lines of research--comparisons and parallelisms; it must outline for
the student paper work with full instructions as to how to write upon
the subject; it must, in short, be a sort of teacher, full of methods
and of suggestions, supplementing the work of the class.

The class immediately follows the lecture and is conducted by the
lecturer himself. It is here that the student comes into the most
direct contact with the educator. Just as the lecture is for the
popular audience, many of whom seek pleasure rather than information,
so the class is preeminently the earnest student's workshop. It is
here that he has the privilege of turning questioner and of putting to
the lecturer such queries as have puzzled him in his private work. The
papers that have been prepared during the week are criticised and
discussed, and experienced lecturers claim that some extension
students can and do prepare papers which show as deep an insight and
as broad an understanding of the subject as are manifested by the
ordinary college student. The class then is, from the student point of
view, the select portion of the audience, and still it often happens
that only a small proportion of this class even can be induced to do
systematic and thorough work; they are regarded as the fruit of the
lecture and measure the speaker's ability to interest a popular

As an adjunct to class work, the travelling library is proposed. In
order to do effective work, the student must have books, and
university extension proposes to arrange with public libraries so that
the necessary volumes can be furnished the isolated student at a cost
little in excess of that of transportation. There is such competition
among express companies that there will be little trouble in getting
rates of transportation which will render this feature of extension
teaching practicable. What Mudie's Circulating Library is to England,
the extension travelling library may be to America. The result will be
to place in the reach of all the best copyrighted books, and to
strangle the reprints of worthless publications that are bought only
because they are cheap.

Finally there comes the examination. For the assurance of timid and
sensitive persons, it may be stated that extension work is optional,
and may be carried to any desired stage of completion. The many enter
upon the work because it is popular and interesting; and as soon as it
assumes the character of study, the class will often dwindle down to a
small portion of the audience. The requirements for an examination
will weed this remainder until there is found but a handful that will
submit to the test. These workers are usually mature, and often prove
themselves to be thorough and proficient students. The examination is
intended to be a thorough test, and if it proves the work to have been
creditably done, a certificate to that effect is awarded.

Any community that arranges for one or more unit courses is termed a
local centre. In order to introduce and conduct this plan of work,
there must be some kind of a local organization. Often there already
exists, even in a small town, some literary club or other society
organized for purposes of education or culture. Such societies, if in
a thrifty condition, may be utilized for extension purposes. If they
prove to be responsible for the expense of one or more unit courses,
no further organization is needed; but in towns where no such society
exists, a local centre may be formed by the co-operation of a few
citizens. A public meeting may be convened or other means taken to
elect a local committee consisting of a half dozen members, with at
least a chairman, a secretary, and a treasurer as its official board.
The first work of the committee is to raise a guarantee fund to cover
the expense of one or more unit courses. Responsible persons are
willing enough to subscribe to such a fund upon the assurance that it
will not be used except in case of a deficiency caused by a limited
sale of student or course tickets. Experience in Philadelphia has
proved that, ordinarily, enough tickets will be sold to more than
cover the expense of the course.

The guarantee fund raised, the local committee is ready to secure the
services of a lecturer, and is brought into business connections with
the nearest branch, as the next higher stage in the system is
denominated. The branch is located at a railroad centre, and in the
vicinity of some college or university. For example, the Philadelphia
branch is the business centre for the entire region within a radius of
fifty miles. It draws its lecturers from the faculties of the
University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and
Swarthmore. The branch acts as the middle man between the college and
the local centre. Its functions are to supply a competent corps of
lecturers, to systematize the work within its jurisdiction, and to
organize new local centres. Already the Philadelphia branch has formed
twenty-five local centres, some of which another season will give a
full year's work consisting of four unit courses.

Located in Philadelphia in the midst of colleges, this organization is
purely national in its aims. It brings with it system out of chaos.
While university extension was groping aimlessly about, it came to the
attention of one of the leading educators of our country. As provost
of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. William Pepper has proved
himself to be a man of great executive ability. Comprehending to the
fullest extent the future of our educational system, with wonderful
foresight, he saw in the extension movement a future far more
important than for a mere matter of missionary diversion for certain
charitably inclined professors. He at once suggested plans for uniting
the efforts of those engaged in the work and of harmonizing them
throughout the country. Accordingly Mr. George Henderson was sent to
England to study the movement in all of its bearings, and to gain a
thorough insight into the English system. Upon his return the American
Society was organized with Dr. Pepper as president, and Mr. Henderson
as Secretary. But Dr. Pepper, already burdened with the executive
duties of a great university, as well as with the labors of an
extensive profession, was soon obliged to withdraw from the active
presidency, and Dr. Edmund J. James was elected to that office. Such,
in brief, is the origin of the National Society.

This American Society comes in as a helpmate to the local centre, the
branch, the college, and the university. Its functions are distinct
and various. Coming forward with the accumulated experience of a
quarter century in England, it can enable extension workers in this
country to profit thereby. It has employed a corps of practical
business men to systematize the work, and to attend to the necessary
details; it is publishing a monthly journal called _University
Extension_, for the purpose of gathering and disseminating information
regarding the movement; it publishes syllabi and furnishes them to the
student and to the public at the lowest possible cost; and employs
organizers to help in the formation of local centres, and to get them
in working order. It must be recognized at once that no single
educational institution can do this general work, and that the
American Society, instead of becoming a competitor with the university
in extension work, renders it practical for even the smaller colleges
to enter this field of usefulness.

In the performance of its functions, then, the National Society must
ordinarily deal with the greater centres of organization; still when
it is impracticable to form a branch, it may deal directly with the
local centre. Nor is its influence bounded by any conventional
barriers. It can enter the home where the solitary student sits by his
evening lamp, and direct his work. In this home work, of course, the
student rarely comes into direct contact with the educator, but
through systematized correspondence his work may be directed and
finally tested. It can thus be given a true educational value. It must
not be ignored that a startling proportion of our great business men
are what are termed self-educated. So will it be in the future; but it
is far from visionary to believe that university extension will open
paths whereby the solitary student need no longer employ an expensive
tutor nor waste his time, groping in the labyrinth paths of knowledge,
without a thread, at least, to direct his wanderings to pleasanter
fields of light and learning.

While this system of study is popular, and has all the glitter of
novelty, many insincere persons will enroll their names. Some will
seek only entertainment, and will be satisfied with the popular
lecture alone. Others, through timidity and lack of self-confidence,
may attend the class but will not attempt the paper work or the
examination. But in every community are scores of earnest, hungry
students anxious to learn but knowing not how to get the knowledge
that they crave,--mature students settled in homes and in
business,--to such university extension offers chances for improvement
and refreshing labor that were never known before. Then it is no
longer imperative to reside in the vicinity of the university, or to
forever remain ignorant of university learning, for wherever a score
or more of students may congregate, there can be brought from college
halls a master workman to direct the work.

It is easy, then, to realize the scope of the American society. It can
stretch its influence into every corner of the country; it can enter
every town and city; it can enter even the isolated home. Ordinarily
colleges and universities of the country are anxious to work with the
National Society, for in this way even the small college becomes a
link in this great chain of organization, and the efforts of its
faculty may bear fruit, whereas unsystematized work is little better
than a failure. By such co-operation the work of extension teaching
may have come to have such a positive educational value that its
certificates, when awarded by the members of a college faculty, may,
in that institution, at least, pass current for a definite amount of
the work required for a degree. At Cambridge, England, students from
centres that are in affiliation with that institution can thus save
one year's residence at the university. Is it, then, visionary to
expect as much here?

University extension, however, offers no royal road to learning; it is
as yet, as it were, laying the ties for a broad gauge track where only
those that have the strength to work their passage may travel. But
when operated by the American Society, it is far in advance of the
overland or Panama routes of the forty-niners in extension travel.
This society seems to have solved the problem, and promises to become
the great American University that Washington proposed, Jefferson
planned, and scores have, since the founding of our government,
prophesied and awaited.



In reading the encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII. on the condition of
labor, one is chiefly struck by his earnest desire for the welfare of
all mankind, his clear recognition of the existence of a grave social
problem, and the singular want of logic which he exhibits in his
attempt to solve it. His views on this subject certainly deserve
careful and thoughtful analysis on account of the influence which they
are bound to exert in the world, owing to his peculiar position as
head of the largest of the Christian churches. They should be read
without bias, each argument being given its due weight irrespective of
any conclusions but those of common sense and right reason.
Unfortunately there is much division of opinion as to the value of the
document. Those Catholics who are superstitious give to these opinions
of the Pope the force of a revelation from God. And on the other hand
there are many so-called liberals who regard these utterances as the
words of a crafty old man, ambitious of acquiring wealth, power, and
fame in the world for himself and for the hierarchy of his Church.
Putting aside all prejudice of either kind, let us examine what Pope
Leo says in the light of reason, having faith enough to believe that
the interests of true religion cannot suffer in the slightest degree
from such an examination.

In his opening sentences the Pope speaks in a tone of regret of the
"spirit of revolutionary change" predominant in the nations, and seems
to connect it with "a general moral deterioration." He does not appear
to have considered that the change may be evolutionary rather than
revolutionary, and that the "general moral deterioration" is quite as
much due to the efforts of reactionary politicians and churchmen who
aim to retain for the classes all the constantly increasing
wealth-producing power of the world, keeping the masses down to the
same bare level of subsistence as formerly, while their capacity for
enjoyment has been vastly enlarged through the increased general
average of civilization and refinement. This naturally produces on the
one side the piled-up accumulations of individuals garnered by the
few, an inordinate display of wealth and luxury, and the vices of
intemperance and immorality; while on the other, maddened and starving
crowds are likely to resort to violence, and the poorer population to
indulge whenever they get a chance in the same pleasures as the rich.
But with all these disadvantages in the modern economic situation it
may fairly be questioned whether the general moral deterioration is as
great as in the good old times, the "ages of faith," when the
Inquisition flourished along with the Borgias, the _droit du seigneur_
was a recognized custom, and bribery and violence were everywhere

"Public institutions and the laws," says Pope Leo, "have repudiated
the ancient religion." But is not this repudiation in large part due
to the refusal of the ministers of the ancient religion to accommodate
themselves to new conditions in the world's history, so that with the
growth of modern civilization the world has moved more rapidly than
the Church, and the latter has become dissociated from the masses,
chiefly owing to the ignorance and intense conservatism of her rulers
and their entirely unnecessary distrust of the discoveries of science?
Pope Leo admits that this is "an age of greater instruction, of
different customs, and of more numerous requirements in daily life,"
but he cannot divest himself of the trammels of ecclesiasticism which
seem to mould his thoughts and lead him to consider it "essential in
these times of covetous greed to keep the multitude within the line of
duty." With him it is "the multitude" who seem possessed of an insane
desire to break out of the line of duty. His theory is like that of
the man who accounted for the overcrowding in large cities on the
ground that the poor and unfortunate had a strange and uncontrollable
propensity for swarming in tenement-houses. He does not give
sufficient force to the influence of conditions upon human acts, and
apparently is chiefly anxious that "strife should cease," forgetting
that until justice be done the worst thing that could happen would be
the cessation of strife.

The flattering surroundings and aristocratic training of Pope Leo
cannot, however, dull the generous sympathies of his heart, or blind
his clear vision of "the misery and wretchedness which press so
heavily at this moment on the large majority of the very poor." He
says: "The condition of the working population is the question of the
hour." This will be a rude awakening to those conservative Catholic
churchmen who have in recent years been insisting that things as they
are were altogether lovely, and that the talk about the misery of the
poor was only the exaggeration of a few cunning agitators who wanted
to excite the people so that in a general upheaval these agitators
themselves might personally profit. Pope Leo's voice of sympathy is
heard declaring that there is a social problem, and that "it is
shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by or to
look upon them merely as so much muscle or physical power."

Charity, as Pope Leo frequently understands it, would indeed effect a
wonderful amelioration in the world. But it is that charity "which is
always ready to sacrifice itself for others' sake" and the chief
characteristic of which is the love of justice. It has been degraded
in these later years into the sense of alms-giving, so that the
Christian pulpits of every denomination have too often thus been
preaching charity while ignoring justice.

Is it any wonder the world rebelled? The victories of the Church were
won when she possessed the sublime strength of weakness, and when her
martyrs and saints in language only matched by that of the radicals of
to-day were proclaiming the essential liberty, fraternity, and
equality of all men, and denouncing the iniquities of imperial Rome.
But when she took the fatuous step, and placed on her own brow the
crown of the Cæsars, then she too became conservative, then the words
of her popes began to be regulated by policy, then charity became
alms-giving, and piety degenerated into ecclesiasticism. Authority was
strained until it snapped, and a suffering world revolted from the
outrageous assumptions of ecclesiastical power. A return to
Christianity is, indeed, needed, but the Church will have quite as
much of a journey to go as the world, so far as her methods are

With regard to the position of the family in the state, Pope Leo is
the advocate of freedom as against the interference of public
authority in domestic affairs. He admits, however, that the state
should interfere in cases of family disturbance "to force each party
to give the other what is due," herein differing from the
philosophical anarchists. He discerns clearly that the interests of
labor and of capital are not antagonistic, but what he does not see is
that the interests of labor and capital may both be antagonistic to
the interests of monopoly, and that until the latter is destroyed the
two former will be continually forced into positions of seeming
antagonism. He denounces "rapacious usury," and says that it was "more
than once condemned by the Church," conveniently overlooking the fact
that the _usuria_, which was condemned, was not only "rapacious" but
was all taking of money for the use of money, all interest on loans--a
condemnation which, if insisted upon by the Church to-day, would soon
empty her sanctuaries. He refers to the "greed of unrestrained
competition" but does not grasp the idea that under conditions of
justice unrestrained competition would be an advantage, constantly
leading men to emulate each other, and becoming a sure guarantee of
progress. It is the competition of those who have nothing but their
labor, or their brains, or their capital to sell with the owners of
vast monopolies who exact from production an ever-increasing toll that
needs to be restrained, and this not by abolishing "the custom of
working by contract," or by state interference and legislative
tinkering, to which the Pope leans in spite of his protests against
socialism, but by the abolition of the monopolies or their absorption
into the functions of the state.

The Pope is almost a Spencerian in his bias towards individualism, but
he forgets that individualism can never be maintained in practice
except through the assumption by the state of those monopolies which,
if left in private hands, would benefit the few at the expense of the
many. True individualism requires equality of opportunity. The instant
the idea of monopoly enters, equality of opportunity becomes
impossible, and individualism is destroyed. It is through want of
seeing this fact that the Pope, in common with most political
economists, goes floundering round in a sea of contradictions, now
proclaiming principles almost like those of the anarchists, and again
favoring extreme socialism, while all the time imagining himself an
individualist. Their theories remind one of the labored attempts to
explain the solar system by the old Ptolemaic method of epicycles and
deferents, when the one simple law of centripetal and centrifugal
force was enough to account for all the majestic movements of the
universe. What other outcome can there be of this want of a regulator
in economics--like a governor in machinery--than an endeavor to patch
up the machine of humanity, adding a little here, taking off a little
there, doing the best that occasion seems to allow, and all the while
impressed with a profound and sad conviction that the machine is in a
bad way, and certain to smash up, whatever is done? Consequently we
have just such weak documents as this encyclical letter, emanating now
from an eminent agnostic scientist, now from a millionnaire
"philanthropist" and now from the Pope--all conflicting with each
other, the first denying that man has any more rights than a
rattlesnake, the second lauding a "triumphant democracy" which has not
the courage to attack the monopolies through which he has acquired his
millions, the third writing a long paper full of pious platitudes and
injunctions to the rich to give to the poor, and to the poor to be
contented, and then everything will be lovely.

The main portion of the encyclical letter is directed against
"socialism," and the Pope's arguments are effective as against what he
evidently means by socialism. They are sadly weakened, however, by his
want of a logical conception of what constitutes private property. He
shows in more than one place that he believes private property to be
only the result of human labor, but when he comes to apply his ideas,
he admits of its extension to land and other monopolies, without
realizing that because such monopolies are not the creation of human
labor they cannot therefore be rightfully considered as private
property. He is like the man who would divide the human race into men,
women, and poets, or in enumerating the New England States would
include Boston after having mentioned Massachusetts. His arguments are
still further weakened by his evident leaning towards compulsory
Sunday rest, and an eight-hour day, trades-unionism, and regulation by
church societies, all of which savor of the very socialism which he is

He argues well, however, against the theory which proposes that the
state should administer individual property as common property for the
benefit of all. This would be more correctly termed state socialism
or, in its extreme form, communism. But the Pope fails to recognize
that there is such a thing as public property, created by the mere
presence of large communities, and which those communities have a
perfect right to administer. While endeavoring to uphold the rights of
private property, he impugns what Father William Barry called in a
recent review article, "The Rights of Public Property." His Holiness'
ignorance on this point can be best shown by a quotation:--

"If one man hires out to another his strength or his industry, he does
this for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for food
and living; he thereby expressly proposes to acquire a full and real
right, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of that
remuneration as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money,
and invests his savings, for greater security, in land, the land in
such a case is only his wages in another form; and, consequently, a
workingman's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at
his own disposal as the wages he receives for his labor."

It would be interesting to know what the Pope would say if the
workingman invested his savings in a slave, and whether the Holy
Father would consider the slave only the workingman's "wages in
another form." Pope Leo certainly never could have intended to state
that the mere purchase of a thing was sufficient to convey ownership.
Yet that is just what the last sentence quoted amounts to. The justice
of the ownership depends entirely upon whether the thing purchased be
rightfully capable of ownership, in the first place, and whether it be
obtained from the rightful owner, in the second.

"As effects follow their cause," Pope Leo says a little further on,
"so it is just and right that the results of labor should belong to
him who has labored."

There he strikes the key-note of the right of property upheld alike by
the best churchmen and economists in all ages. That is the natural law
of labor. It is opposed to the theory of State socialism, and to what
many in this country understand by nationalism. If the Pope had
adhered to that proposition, he would have been saved from his
illogical position. It is undoubtedly true that a man is entitled to
that of which he is the producing cause. And in some branches of labor
which are more intimately associated with the earth than others, such
as agricultural operations, it is true that the results of labor, and
the improvements made upon land, become physically inseparable from
the land itself, so that he who would own what his labor has produced
must also have security of tenure, and exclusive possession of "that
portion of nature's field which he cultivates."

It is for want of distinguishing carefully between possession and
ownership that the Pope falls into his ludicrous economic blunders.
This part of his encyclical is absolutely self-contradictory. He is
arguing for the securing to the laborer of the fruits of his labor.
The workman on land must have ownership of those things he has
produced, and hence must have exclusive possession of that part of the
earth which he tills. He must have such disposal of it as will enable
him by the exertion of his labor to secure a proportionate reward. But
this is not ownership. Ownership carries with it something more than
this. Once "divide the earth among private owners," as the Pope puts
it, and you have this condition of things: that those who do not
happen to be among the private owners must compete for the privilege
of living on the earth, they must pay a part of the results of their
labor for permission to work, and on the other hand the fortunate
owners receive something for which they themselves render no labor. It
is strange that the Pope did not see the absurdities of his own
propositions. He says:--

"Moreover the earth, though divided among private owners, ceases not
thereby to minister to the needs of all; for there is no one who does
not live on what the land brings forth. Those who do not possess the
soil contribute their labor; so that it may be truly said that all
human subsistence is derived either from labor on one's own land, or
from some laborious industry which is paid for either in the produce
of the land itself or in that which is exchanged for what the land
brings forth."

Pope Leo is mistaken. All human subsistence is not derived either from
labor on one's own land or from some laborious industry. Some human
subsistence, as the Pope says, is derived from labor on one's own
land. Some human subsistence is derived from laborious industry on the
land of others. And--what the Pope seems to ignore--some human
subsistence is derived by owning land and letting others work upon it,
taking from them part of the fruits of their labor in exchange for the
mere permission to labor. By no construction can such ownership be
classed as a "laborious industry." Yet such owners generally enjoy the
very best of "human subsistence."

Nevertheless, a few sentences further on, the Pope naïvely asks: "Is
it just that the fruit of a man's sweat and labor should be enjoyed by
another?" Had the Pope pondered over that question more profoundly, he
might have come to far different conclusions from those which he seems
to have reached.

It is unfortunate that the Pope through a desire to uphold the just
rights of property should have been led to maintain the privileges of
monopoly, and still more unfortunate that so many Catholics will
consider his blunder an article of faith and feel it binding upon
their consciences to oppose all further efforts to impair private
ownership of land by taxation--the only way in which individual
possession can be reconciled with the common right of all mankind to
the earth.

In one place the Pope seems to doubt the extent to which the principle
of private ownership is applicable to land, for he says: "The limits
of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry
_and the laws of individual peoples_." But if the laws should tax the
monopoly value out of land, then the holder of land would not be able
to get any profit out of it except by his own labor. It would be no
longer such ownership as exists to-day which allows private owners to
confiscate the results of other's labor. The Pope here abandons the
unqualified ownership which he elsewhere maintains. It might well be
asked if he is prepared to excommunicate the legislators and assessors
who, in nearly every civilized country to-day, do tax land, and thus
to a certain extent impair ownership. And if the same principle were
extended so that the tax would equal the entire rental value there
would be no chance for the land monopolist to exploit the earnings of
labor. Man's means should not be "drained and exhausted by excessive
taxation," as the Pope seems to fear, showing that he has a vague idea
of the method by which it is proposed to destroy ownership. But as the
rental value to-day is already paid by labor, the proposed plan could
not drain or exhaust labor any more than at present, while such a tax
falling upon lands held for speculation would cause their abandonment,
and thus open new fields for labor. Workingmen would then be really
"encouraged to look forward to obtaining a share in the land," and
that prosperity which the Pope hopes for would result. He seems to be
ignorant of the fact that taxing land, unlike a tax upon any product
of labor, makes it cheaper and easier to obtain for possession and

More than all does he forget that what labor needs is not the
protecting arm of Church or State, but equal opportunity and the
fullest possible freedom of access to Nature's bounties. He is untrue
to himself and talks like the veriest socialist when he says: "Among
the purposes of a society should be to try to arrange for a
"continuous supply of work at all times and seasons." Bountiful nature
in the great storehouse of the earth has provided a "continuous supply
of work" for the whole human race for all future ages. Make monopoly,
by taxation, loosen her grip upon the earth, and labor would have
abundant opportunity for all time to come without the necessity for
paternal, socialistic tinkering on the part of either State or



There is a possibility that the plan for the establishment of postal
savings banks, so ably advocated by the postmaster-general, may result
in a radical change in our entire banking system. The demand for
postal savings-banks is so popular that it is not likely that there
will be much further delay on the part of Congress in realizing the
project. Now it happens that among the new political issues that have
arisen, the question of the currency has assumed a most prominent
place. There can be no doubt of the intensity of the feeling that has
developed against the national banks, which have supplied a large
proportion of the circulating medium since the war, and the demand for
a currency issued directly by the government, without the intervention
of the banks, is growing both in volume and in force.

The sense of the inadequacy of the national banks to the financial
necessities of the country is by no means confined to those who, by
theory or experience, have been made hostile to them, and regard them
as detrimental to our institutions, and as dangerous instruments for
the oppression of the common people. It extends to those who recognize
that the national banks have been of invaluable service to the
country, and are a vast improvement over the banking system that
preceded them. Nevertheless they feel that grave defects are showing
themselves, and that for the security of the community something
better is needed. There is not the confidence on the part of the
business community that there should be, and events like the recent
occurrences in connection with the Keystone National Bank, in
Philadelphia, are not likely to enhance that confidence. One of the
most frequent of surmises is as to how many similar cases there may
be, and a very commonly heard query is that as to the state of affairs
that a general financial panic might reveal, with the banks loaded
with collateral upon which it would be hardly possible to realize at
such a time.

Then there is the moral aspect of the case, so well expressed in an
essay[22] by one of the soundest philosophical and political thinkers
whom America has known, the late David Atwood Wasson. Said he: "At
present the government permits itself to become indirectly,--or,
if we speak of the State governments, worse, sometimes, than
indirectly,--confederate with those who amass fortunes by making
credit precarious, and forcing the hazards of the gaming-table into
all the legitimate operations of business. The comptroller of the
currency has publicly said that about one half, on an average, of the
means of the national banks, in one chief city--institutions, observe,
created by government, and charged, in effect, with one of its most
distinctive functions, that of supplying a medium of exchange--are
loaned to speculators; that is, to men who subsist largely on
artificial disturbances of credit, upon corners in the stock market
and money market, upon alternations of inflation and stringency, the
ups and downs of a disordered constitution. Without going into the
matter closely, which is aside from my present purpose, I leave before
the reader the main facts of the case: that the system of credit
centred in the modern banking system plays a vast and increasing role
in our civilization; that while of a utility not easily overstated, it
affords peculiar opportunities of fraud and exaction; that aside from
these, its unregulated condition is dangerous, resulting in
alternations of inflation and depression, like the alternate extremes
of fever and ague; that vast and growing combinations exist for
producing artificially this disorder; that those institutions which
credit has created under the express sanction of government, at once
to supply its necessities and hold it healthily in check, are managed
only as private property; that much oppression, alike of labor and
capital, and also, I fear, much demoralization--which is an interior
and worse oppression--are suffered in consequence; and that hitherto
our statesmanship wants the studious leisure, and our method of
government the stability and precision of operation, which these
exigencies demand."

     [22] "The New Type of Oppression," in "Essays: Religious, Social,
          Political." Lee & Shepard, Boston.

A truer statement of the case never was made, and these words should
be well pondered by patriotic citizens.

Probably the reason why the feeling against our present banking system
has not yet taken shape in legislation is because no sound
constructive measures have been proposed. Faulty as the system is,
what is there better that can take its place? is asked, and to this no
satisfactory reply has been given. Even though the notes of the
national banks should be retired, and currency issued directly from
the national treasury should take their place, we must have banking
facilities of some kind.

Absolute security of bank deposits is what is desired, and any measure
that would secure that end could hardly fail to be joyfully welcomed
by the business community, with the exception of the small minority
either selfishly interested in present banking corporations, or whose
prosperity is derived from operations based upon a state of
insecurity. Powerful as these interests are, there is no reason why
they should be permitted to stand in the way of the realization of a
better condition of affairs, should that prove attainable.

The leading merit of the national banking system comes from the
absolute security of its circulating medium, proceeding from the
governmental guarantee. Meanwhile the interests of the depositors, in
supplying whose convenience the bank derives its business, remain
inadequately guarded. Is not some system possible whereby in place of
this partial guarantee we may have a complete guarantee, covering both
circulating medium and deposit?

Fortunately, with the experiences of other countries furnishing
examples so available as they do nowadays, we are not left entirely to
our own resources in devising solutions for problems that confront us.
We have but to look to Austria for a most successful example of a
truly national banking system, that completely meets the demand. When
Austria established its postal savings bank, in 1882, a regular check
and clearing system was made a feature thereof. This, offering
substantially the same convenience as our ordinary private or national
banks in this country, together with the additional advantages of
absolute security of deposits, and checks good in all parts of the
country, has become enormously popular with the mercantile public, so
that the regular banking department has quite overshadowed the
savings department, important as the latter is.

Every post-office in Austria, therefore, has the function of both a
savings-bank and a bank of deposit. A permanent deposit of one hundred
florins, or forty dollars, is sufficient to make a person a member of
the check and clearing department. No limit is placed on the amount
that may be deposited, but a single check cannot be drawn for more
than ten thousand florins [four thousand dollars]. Interest is paid on
deposits at a rate not exceeding two per cent., while the interest on
savings may not exceed three per cent. A charge of two kreutzers
[eight mills] is made for each entry, together with a commission of
one fourth per mille. Another function of the postal bank is the
buying and selling of government securities, for which a commission of
two per mille is charged, with a commission of one per mille for the
cashing of coupons.

It is interesting to learn that two years before the adoption of this
system by Austria, a very similar plan was advocated by an able
American student of finance, the Hon. L. V. Moulton, of Grand Rapids,
Michigan. In his book, "The Science of Money and American Finances,"
published in 1880, he said: "The government ought to provide a deposit
system of absolute safety to depositors for all who choose to avail
themselves of it. A system of postal savings-banks somewhat similar to
the British should be adopted. The government receiving a deposit, and
allowing the depositor to check out at the same or any other office,
paying no interest and doing no loaning, receiving the use of the
funds while on deposit, as compensation for storage and transportation
of funds. No actual transportation would, of course, be required,
except to settle balances between offices. This would be the safest
possible deposit and most convenient exchange system, and is quite as
proper for the government to undertake as the postal or money-order
business. As it is, the government coins money and transfers money,
but will not take it on storage, which is absurd, and forces the
people to deposit with loan and discount concerns, liable to explode
at any time and leave them penniless."

Although interest on deposits is paid in Austria, there appears to be
no good reason why it should be paid were the system adopted in this
country. There is no need of it as an inducement, for the absolute
security and the greatly increased convenience of the system would be
sufficient for that. The present national banks pay no interest on
deposits, the facilities afforded being adequate to secure all the
deposits needed.

It appears desirable, however, to pay interest on deposits of savings.
In the bill prepared by Postmaster-General Wanamaker, it is provided
that this shall not exceed 2.4 per cent. This low rate is fixed upon
in order that the interest may be considerably less than the average
paid by private bankers to depositors. The great obstacle to the
establishment of postal savings-banks in this country has been the
lack of available means for the investment of the funds, the rapidly
decreasing national debt making government bonds out of the question
for the purpose. Mr. Wanamaker proposes to overcome this obstacle by
loaning the funds to national banks within the State where the
deposits are made. The objection to this course lies in the objection
to the national banks themselves, as heretofore stated. To give them
disposition over such a vast amount--it is estimated that the deposits
in the postal savings-banks would soon reach $500,000,000--would be to
increase vastly their power for harm.

Mr. Wanamaker's alternative proposition, to utilize the funds in the
direction of greater and much needed expenditures for public
buildings, particularly post-office structures, is, on the other hand,
a sound one. They might also be employed to advantage in providing the
means for the much needed extension of the postal service now so
widely demanded, as in the adoption of a parcels post equal to that of
Germany, England, and other countries, and in nationalizing the
telegraph and telephone and incorporating them into the postal

The deposits in the proposed check and clearing department would place
an enormous amount at the disposal of the government, in addition to
the postal savings-bank funds. Paying no interest on these deposits,
the government might utilize the money in its own expenditures, and
thus to a considerable extent reduce taxation. Or, just as the
ordinary banks loan their deposits, the government might loan this
money for mortgages on land and on staple products, somewhat as
demanded in recent agitations.

A person so eminent in the discussion of these questions as Mr. Edward
Atkinson has recently stated, in substance, that, increase the volume
of the currency as we may, still it would not be adequate to certain
exigencies of regular recurrence, like the annual moving of the crops.
He thus practically concedes the justice of the farmers' demand, as
formulated in their "sub-treasury project," but he would supply this
want through private banking institutions organized expressly to loan
money for this purpose.

Such institutions would, however, naturally take advantage of the
necessities of the farmers by obtaining the highest rates of interest
possible, while the underlying purpose of the other plan would be that
of making the loans at the lowest rates consistent with the expense of
the transactions. Is it not better, it may be asked, and more in
accordance with the principles of true self-help, for the people thus
to supply their own financial needs in the cheapest way possible
through the instrumentality of their governmental organization, rather
than depend upon "private enterprise" organized to take advantage of
their necessities for its own profit?

At first glance there might seem to be an objection in the fact that,
while the government was lending money at two per cent. it was paying
on savings deposits interest possibly as high as 2.4 per cent., which
would appear to be an unbusiness-like and unprofitable proceeding. But
on striking an average between the sums on which it was paying that
rate and the large amounts on which it was paying no interest, but
receiving two per cent., it would probably be found that it was
getting the whole at a rate considerable less than two per cent.

A more valid objection to the lending of money by the government at a
fixed low rate of interest, instead of at whatever rates it might
obtain according to the state of the money market, as private banking
institutions would do, might be found in the liability that the
parties to whom it was loaned might reloan it at higher rates, and
thus use the good offices of the government as a means of personal
profit. The measure could hardly fail, however, to lower very greatly
the general rate of interest in the business world. It would be
important, of course, to keep this large sum in circulation, and thus
avoid the evils arising from hoarding. Its utilization for the
regular expenditures of the government would be likely to do this, and
the consequent reduction of taxation would be a great public
advantage. Although the idea of loaning money at fixed low rates upon
certain securities, such as land and staple products, might prove
impracticable from various considerations--such, for instance, as the
injustice of discriminating in favor of any particular classes in the
community, as such a scheme would appear to do--there should be no
difficulty in devising some practicable system for using to the
advantage of the entire public the extensive funds which thus would be
placed at the disposal of the government.

The postal banks would doubtless very largely take the place of
present institutions of deposit. To what extent this would be the
case, it is, of course, impossible to say. For all ordinary purposes,
and for the needs of the average business man, their advantages could
not fail to be great. Their effect would probably be to withdraw from
the market large sums now available for speculative purposes, and
divert them to legitimate uses. The speculative tendency would,
therefore, be likely to be discouraged by so much. Necessary
limitations might make the postal banks unavailable for those whose
financial transactions are conducted on a great scale, and their wants
would continue to be met by private institutions, which would offer
special inducements to large depositors, just as the trust companies
now offer special inducements over the present national banks by
paying interest on deposits.



I suppose I should never have felt toward Cardinal John Henry Newman
as I do, had I not been once in a certain state of mind. It was my
lot, as a divinity student, to feel under the necessity of examining
into the grounds of my religious belief. I could not accept what my
teachers gave me, simply because it was taught, much as I revered some
of them. I had to test, examine, and conclude for myself. I evidently
felt the difficulties of belief, as most of my fellow-students did
not. At New Haven the main outlines of evangelical orthodoxy, at
Cambridge the fundamental ideas of theism, were accepted, as a rule,
without serious question. I envied my fellows their assurance; I, too,
craved assurance, but I had to get it in my own way, and I was plunged
into investigations, and beset by doubts that did not seem to occupy
or perplex them. The question was, where could I find a point to start
from; not what was the whole truth, but what was the truth I could be
immediately sure of,--what was light that I could not question (or, at
least, reasonably question)? For, once in possession of that, other
things might naturally and logically follow. It seemed to me, that if
there was any sure ground for the Christian believer, it was to be
found in Christ himself; that if ever a voice from another world had
spoken to this, it had been through him. The fundamental problem was,
Was his consciousness to be trusted? It was after three years of
examination into the origin and trustworthiness of the gospel records,
of effort to form a faithful picture of Jesus' mind, of weighing of
probabilities as to whether he could have been mistaken, and a
decision that he could not have been, and that he was, under God, my
appointed Lord, and Saviour, and Judge, as he was that of all men,--it
was at this time that I fell in with the writings of Newman, and that
he began to exercise a charm over me, which, amid all my subsequent
changes of thought, I have never been willing to disown.

I felt in the first place that he had a profound sense of the
difficulties of faith. There was no evidence that certain questions
had ever been open questions to him (such as the being of God and the
reality of a revelation), but he seemed to be as keenly aware of the
difficulties attending them as if they had been. He believed and yet
he knew the other side. Few are the apologists who have dared to say
what he has said; few are the unbelievers who could state their case
more strongly than he has stated it for them. It was this width of
imagination that, for one thing, separated him from the ordinary
theologian. One of his precepts to a zealous follower was, "Be sure
you grasp fully any view which you seek to combat." Let me illustrate.
Newman admitted in so many words that it was a great question whether
atheism was not as philosophically consistent with the phenomena of
the physical world as the doctrine of a creative and governing power.
He allowed Hume's argument against miracles to be valid from a purely
scientific aspect of things, and doubted the conclusiveness of the
design argument (though not the argument from order) for the being of
God. He knew to the full how hard it was to hold one's faith in God in
face of all that seems amiss and awry, purposeless, blind, and cruel
in the world. He held this faith, he believed there were reasons for
it (chiefly in man's conscience), it was the starting-point of his
religious system, and yet when he looked out of himself into the world
of men, the lie seemed to be given to it and the effect was as
confusing, he said, as if it were denied that he was in existence
himself. "If I looked into a mirror [these are his words] and did not
see my face, I should have the sort of feeling which actually comes
upon me when I look into this living, busy world and see no reflex of
its Creator.... Were it not for the voice speaking so clearly in my
conscience and my heart, I should be an Atheist, or a Pantheist, or a
Polytheist.... To consider the world in its length and breadth, its
various history, the many races of men, their starts, their fortunes,
their mutual alienation, their conflicts; and then their ways, habits,
governments, forms of worship, their enterprises, their aimless
courses, their random achievements and acquirements, the impotent
conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken of
a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be
great powers or truths; the progress of things, as if from unreasoning
elements, not towards final causes; the greatness and littleness of
man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over
his futurity; the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the
success of evil, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the
dreary, hopeless irreligion, that condition of the whole race so
fearfully yet exactly described in the apostle's words, 'Having no
hope and without God in this world'; all this is a vision to dizzy and
appall, and inflicts upon the mind a sense of profound mystery which
is absolutely beyond human solution." To have one's doubts, one's
misgivings, one's own blank confusion portrayed with such appreciation
and in such vivid detail by another--how could it fail to powerfully
affect me? Surely, I said to myself, whether this man's faith was true
or not, he did not hold it because the tremendous obstacles in the way
of it had not been brought home to him. Similarly he appreciated the
difficulties in connection with revelation itself, as when he said
that God "has given us doctrines which are but obscurely gathered from
scripture, and a scripture which is but obscurely gathered from
history," as when he admitted the real obstacles in the way of the
Jews admitting that Jesus was their Messiah.

But I will not linger over this point, and pass on to say that Newman
impressed me as one of those few men, in any age, who have an
intellectual life of their own. His was no hereditary belief; he had
faced the problems of religion for himself. What looks like faith in
many cases, he himself said, was a mere hereditary persuasion, not a
personal principle, a habit learned in the nursery, which is scattered
and disappears like a mist before the light of reason. His own
admiration went out evidently to the "bold unworldliness and vigorous
independence of mind" shown by one of his early teachers, Thos. Scott;
to the type of mind illustrated by an Oxford associate, who had an
intellect, he says, "as critical and logical as it was speculative and
bold." Whately, he records, had taught him to see with his own eyes
and to walk with his own feet; he thought of dedicating his first book
to him, in words to the effect that he had not only taught him to
think, but to think for himself. It was a first hand dealing with
almost all the problems he took up, that I had the sense of in
reading Newman's pages, however far ahead he was of me in the line of
(what seemed then) religious advance.

And because he had thought, he had moved, he had had a history. He
started with certain truths (as he supposed them to be), but instead
of accepting them mechanically, he thought them out; he studied to see
what they implied, what other truths were consistent with them and
what were not; in other words, he gradually worked his way out to
something like a system, and therein consisted his history. The
ordinary idea of Newman (leaving the past tense for the moment) seems
to be that he sacrificed his intellect, that out of weariness he threw
himself into the Catholic fold. Such may be a true account of some
conversions, but it is a pitiable travesty of the facts in the case of
Newman. Newman went into the Church because it seemed rational to him
to do so; and it is still the great question, whether once assuming
certain fundamental ideas held by Protestant and Catholic alike, any
other course is rational. The "trouble" with Newman, as with his
brother Francis (in some ways also a remarkable man), was simply that,
as the London _Truth_ banteringly said, neither was able to swallow
the Athanasian creed in a comfortable and prosaic way, as good Britons
should; or, as the _Saturday Review_ in all seriousness urged, that he
did not hold as his supreme principle pride in the Church of England
as such, determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with others "in
resisting the foreigner, whether he came from Rome or from Geneva,
from Tübingen or from Saint Sulpice"; in other words, that he opened
the windows of his mind, instead of keeping them shut; that he set out
on living a life of reason instead of one of prejudice; that he
determined to seek out and follow the truth on whatever shores that
quest should land him.

"Most men in this country," Newman once wrote, "like opinions to be
brought to them, rather than to be at the pains to go out and seek for
them." But Newman himself was cast in another mould; rationality,
consistency, were an imperative craving with him; and feeling that the
popular religious creed lacked these things, he went in search of them
and started, as it were, on a journey. A memorandum, written down at
the age of twenty-eight, speaks of himself as "now in my room in Orell
College, slowly advancing, etc., and led on by God's hand blindly,
not knowing whither He is taking me." His touching verses, beginning
"Lead, kindly Light," betray the same feeling. Gloom did encircle him,
but in the midst of it there was a light, which he strove and craved
to follow. Though mystical, in a certain sense, by temperament, he
resolved, he tells us, to be guided, not by his imagination, but by
his reason. He had once a strange emotional experience, but when it
was over he wished that it should not unduly influence him. "I had to
determine its logical value," he says, "and its bearing on my duty."
"What are we doing all through life, both as a necessity and as a
duty," he wrote many years afterwards, "but unlearning the world's
poetry and attaining to its prose? This is our education as boys and
as men, in the action of life and in the closet or library; in our
affections, in our aims, in our hopes, and in our memories. And in
like manner it is the education of our intellect." This is little more
than saying that the supreme rule of life is reason, that it is our
life-task to bring all the varied motions of our minds into harmony
with this ideal. The fact is that he became ultimately persuaded that
the Catholic creed was that rational and consistent creed of which he
was in search--rational and consistent that is, in the sense of being
in harmony with, and an outgrowth of, those fundamental ideas of a God
and of a revelation with which he started; and in addressing others
after he became a Catholic, he said, "Be convinced in your reason that
the Catholic Church is a teacher sent to you from God, and it is
enough. I do not wish you to join her till you are."

Yet while he was in search of the truth, while he was on the journey,
he excited no little suspicion and distrust. The very thing that lends
him charm to those who love to see intellectual movement and
development allowed apostles of prejudice and good, but narrow-minded,
men to think of him as insidious, leading his disciples on to
conclusions to which he designed to bring them, while his purpose was
veiled. But, says Froude, who tells us this, and was himself at Oxford
in those early days, he was on the contrary "the most transparent of
men. He told us what he believed to be true. He did not know where it
would carry him. No one who has ever risen to any great height in the
world refuses to move till he knows whither he is going." Such are the
words of one who, though he felt the spell of Newman, soon struck on
a different intellectual path. Matthew Arnold, too, experienced the
spell. "Who could resist," he says in a lecture on Emerson, "the charm
of that spiritual apparition, gliding in the dim afternoon light
through the aisles of St. Mary's, rising into the pulpit, and then in
the most entrancing of voices, breaking the silence with words and
thoughts which were a religious music--subtile, sweet, mournful." To
Arnold, he was a man "never to be named by a son of Oxford without
sympathy;" and this, though Arnold, too, regarded his solution for the
doubts and difficulties which beset men's minds to-day as impossible.
Once Charles Kingsley brought against him a charge of intellectual
dishonesty and falsity; but, as Mr. Conway remarks, Kingsley's sword
broke in his hands and on all sides the demolition which he received
in Newman's reply (the _Apologia pro Vita Sua_) has been regarded as
complete. Even the _Saturday Review_ says, "His conversion was
transparently honest; no one, save the most contemptible of party
scribes, can ever hint a doubt of that." "He deliberately shut his
eyes," an "intellectual suicide," "his sympathies and sensibilities
were always his ultimate test of right thought and action." Such are
the comments of a recent reviewer; but on the morning of the day in
which Newman was received into the Catholic Church, he wrote to a
friend, "May I have only one tenth part as much faith as _I have
intellectual conviction_ where the truth lies! I do not suppose any
one can have had such combined reasons pouring in upon him that he is
doing right."

But how can Newman have had _reasons_ for his course? we may
incredulously ask. And here I revert to my particular state of mind
years ago. The question for me was, holding as I did that in Jesus,
God had spoken to the world, and that under God he was the Lord, and
Saviour, and Judge of men, could I remain standing in such a position?
It was a starting-point, but did it not lead somewhere? Holding so
much, despite the difficulties, was it not possible that consistently
therewith, I must hold more, despite further difficulties? Looking
about me among Unitarians, with whom I was then associated, I felt
that even this faith had scant acceptance among them. For example,
taking a country church for a year, I found that not in a decade or
more had there been any additions to the church membership, or even
efforts in that direction; the church was, practically, simply an
assemblage of pew-holders. My own efforts to induce persons to confess
Jesus as their Lord, to take his name, to become his avowed follower
before the world (i. e. to join his church), were something novel; yet
a church, an assembly of followers, was essential to my idea of
Christianity,--Jesus having said, "Whoever will confess me before men,
him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven," and a king
without a kingdom (or right to a kingdom) being in itself absurd. I
could not help the foreboding that Unitarianism was not a finality or
more than a camp for a night; nay, the question was whether
Unitarianism was not doing more to dissipate Christianity, than to
build it up in any historical sense of the term.

Moreover, Protestant orthodoxy did not have any firm hold on some
fundamental parts and evident implications of the faith I already
held, and was struggling to keep. The idea of the Church itself was
weak in most Protestant mind; they "spiritualized" it, as they said;
but when Jesus spoke of confessing him _before men_, he evidently laid
the foundations of a visible Church. Again, Jesus felt that he spoke
with Divine authority, and as he was commissioned, so he commissioned
others to stand for him before the world, and to speak in his name. He
left them to be his witnesses, to continue his message and his work
after he should be gone. He had the power to forgive sins, for
example, and he conveyed it to others, solemnly saying that whatever
was bound or loosed on earth, should be bound or loosed in heaven. Was
it exactly natural, I asked myself, that divine light and guidance and
forgiveness should be thus present, as it were, on earth for a few
years, and then become entirely a matter of history and antiquarian
research? If there was reason for Jesus' commissioning the apostles,
was there not equal reason for the apostles commissioning others who
should take their places? Protestants said the revelation was in a
book; but Jesus never spoke of a book. If something else was
authoritative in the apostolic days, what absurdity was there in
supposing that something else might be authoritative in later days?
And yet, no Protestant church or synod or council ever claimed to be
such a living witness of God on the earth. The most zealous
Protestants were careful to say that they gave only their human,
fallible interpretations of the distant revelation; that it was even
blasphemous for a man to claim to forgive sins; that the Bible, and
the Bible only, was their religion. And yet, the Bible, it was
severally claimed, gave the basis to the Presbyterian creed, to the
Methodist creed, to, one might say, a hundred creeds, even including
the slender one of Unitarians. How certain words of Newman came home
to me in the midst of such reflections! "There is an overpowering
antecedent improbability in Almighty God's announcing that He has
revealed something, and then revealing nothing; there is no antecedent
improbability in His revealing it elsewhere than in an inspired
volume." I do not mean to say that I was converted by Newman; but I
was open to light on that side. I did not shut my mind, as most
Protestants seemed to, and I dimly felt, I had a sort of foreboding
that, if what I already held was true, reason might be on his side.
And it was reason--the demand for a set of views that should be
harmonious and consistent--that made me dissatisfied; and so I could
give credit to the idea that Newman in his changes, and in his final
act, was influenced by reason.

To Newman, the main difficulty of all lay in the being of God. If
there was a God, it seemed rational to him that there should be a
revelation, taking into account the actual condition of men. If there
was a revelation, the Catholic Church presented more signs of being
its bearer and custodian than any other body or institution of men. I
think if we are disposed to question the rationality of his course, we
shall find, if we examine the matter carefully, that it is because we
question his postulates, not his reasoning or results. Granted that
there is a God, as men ordinarily understand that term, and I think
that a revelation is antecedently probable; granted that a revelation
has been made, as Protestants (save Unitarians) are agreed, and I
think it but reasonable to suppose that some such body as the Catholic
Church claims to be should be its bearer and unerring interpreter to
men. We are mistaken if we think that Newman devised any short-cut to
mental peace, or used any other instrument or method for arriving at
his results than we ordinarily employ in sound reasonings of every
day. He claimed no intuitions, no vision of theological truth, and he
was less arbitrary and fanciful in defending Catholic dogma than I
have known "philosophers" to be in defending the being of God and the
immortality of the soul. He tells us in his _Apologia_ that he
believed in a God on a ground of probability, that he believed in
Christianity on a probability, and that he believed in Catholicism on
a probability, and that these three grounds of probability, distinct
from each other in subject-matter, were still, all of them, one and
the same in nature of proof, as being probabilities--probabilities of
a special kind, a cumulative, a transcendent probability, but still

But did he not by some magical metamorphosis turn these probabilities
into a certainty? No; he simply claimed that they were sufficient to
produce certitude, which is a different matter. Certitude, he held,
was a quality or habit of mind; certainty, a quality of propositions;
and probabilities that did not reach to logical certainty might
suffice for a mental certitude. We are mentally sure almost every day
of many things which could not be demonstratively proved; we are
practically as sure of them as if they could be proved; we are ready
to act on the basis of them, and that is the test of practical
certitude. The word of a friend on a matter of which we are ignorant
is an example; we may be as sure of what he tells us as if we had seen
it ourselves; yet he may be mistaken; strictly speaking, his word is
only probable evidence. But did not Newman substitute faith for
reason? Yes, in a sense; but not in a sense in which it is of itself
irrational to do so. How much could the reason of any of us tell us of
Central Africa? We know of it by testimony, do we not? not by reason.
From our own notions alone we could not tell whether it was a desert
or a forest; whether it was inhabited or uninhabited; whether
full-grown human beings or dwarfs lived there; but a Livingstone, a Du
Chaillu, a Stanley, tell us, and we accept their word. The fact is,
that trust in testimony is what we daily practise. We learn of what is
going on in a neighboring town, of much in our own town, of much in
our own house (unless we are there all the time, and in every part of
it at the same time) not by reasoning about it, any more than by
sight, but by faith in what others tell us. "Why should we be
unwilling to go by faith?" asks Newman. "We do all things in this
world by faith in the word of others. By faith only we know our
positions in the world, our circumstances, our rights and privileges,
our fortunes, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our age, our
mortality; why should religion be an exception? Why should we be
willing to use for heavenly objects what we daily use for earthly?"
There is really nothing mystical about faith; it is not peculiarly a
religious principle, nor is it the ideal way of getting knowledge. As
Newman says, "The word of another is in itself a faint evidence
compared with that of sight or reason. It is influential only when we
cannot do without it."

Now it may be difficult to suppose that God has ever spoken in the
world. But if we think He has, it cannot be irrational to take His
word and believe it; it cannot be absurd to trust a Divine message,
when we are every day trusting human messages. And one thing further.
When we trust a friend's report, we do not make our previous ideas of
what is probable, a test of how much we shall believe of what he says.
If we were already competent to say what happened, we should not go to
him for information. Unless it is impossible, or against all the laws
of probability, we assent to what he says, however much it may
surprise, or startle, or alarm us; if we cannot do this, we have not
real trust. But trusting it is irrational "to pick and choose;" to say
this we will accept and that we will reject, according as it seems
antecedently likely or not. Surely this must be also true of divine
testimony. If God, the perfect, the unerring intelligence, speaks, we
are at least to give Him the same respect we should show to a
fellow-man; we are not to say, "this is credible and I accept it; that
is strange, mysterious, and I must reject it." If we knew beforehand
what was true, to what end would God give the revelation? And if we do
thus sit in judgment, we simply show (unless we are dishonest) that we
do not believe that God has spoken. Hence, what is called the
submission of reason, which, in the large sense of the word, it is
only rational to give, if God has indeed given a message to the world.
Protestants so submit to the teachings of the Bible; Catholics do to
the teachings of the Church. If God really speaks in either, it is as
rational to do so as it is to trust Stanley's reports of the lakes and
jungles, the weird forests and strange inhabitants of Central
Africa--yes, as much more so as Stanley is a man, and God is God. Most
simply and frankly does Newman say, in speaking of early converts,
"The Church was their teacher; they did not come to argue, to examine,
to pick and choose, but to accept whatever was put before them." This
attitude of arguing, examining, picking, and choosing in relation to
things of which we really know nothing, and can know nothing, in our
mortal state (though supposedly God knows and has given a certain
amount of light) Newman calls Rationalism; and if God has spoken,
surely such Rationalism is irrational. The doctrine that there is no
positive truth in religion, that one creed is as good as another, and
that all is opinion, Newman calls Liberalism; but if God has revealed
the truth such Liberalism is false.

In writing of Newman as I have, I have been moved by old attachment
and personal veneration. But if I have incidentally contributed to
show that a Catholic need not necessarily be either a weak man or a
dishonest one, as is sometimes taken for granted among Liberals, I
shall not be sorry. My opinion is that Newman differed from the stock
Protestantism of his day, largely because he sought out light and
sought it with a mind which for eagerness, keenness, subtlety, depth,
has rarely been surpassed; that he left the Church of England because
it was neither fish nor fowl--and rationality and consistency were not
in it; that he went to Rome, because, taking his premises for granted,
reason pointed that way. And yet the guarded way in which I have
spoken has probably been noticed by my readers. I have not said that
reason, abstractly speaking, was on his side, but that starting from
his premises his course was reasonable--his premises being those to
which most Christians hold. The difference was that he took them
seriously and they became living principles, germs of ample growth in
his mind, while others held them unthinkingly; that he had the rare
power of realizing his ideas, while others took them as mechanically
as we often take the stars at night--points of light they are to us
and nothing more. But whether his premises were really sound is
another question. My mature judgment is that they were not; had I been
able to hold my Christian faith as I once held it, could I have
resisted the solvents that science, and criticism, and philosophy were
bringing to bear upon it, I should have gone I know not where; as it
is, I am a Liberal (though not in Newman's sense). The ordinary idea
of God I cannot hold, nor does it seem likely that I shall ever hold
an idea of God with which the idea of a special revelation would be
congruous; and even were the ordinary idea of God a true one, I think
that the matter-of-fact evidence of a revelation through Jesus is
insufficient. Reluctant as I was to admit it, struggle as I might
against it, the share of Jesus in the errors and illusions of his time
(the sense of which grew upon me) made it impossible for me at last to
absolutely trust his consciousness; however great, however sublime a
figure he was, it appeared that he belonged after all to our fallible
humanity. Hence in my view we were thrown back on ourselves; we may
have great and consoling beliefs about life and its purpose, about
death and what lies beyond, about the fathomless Power from which we
come and on whose bosom we rest; but a revelation we have not; they
are beliefs which we ourselves form and do not receive from without.
Rationalism, though not in the sense in which Newman used it, becomes
the only method; and Liberalism, in the sense that whatever creed one
may hold none can claim to be infallible, or of exclusive divine
authority, and that good men of different creeds should respect and
tolerate one another, becomes at once a necessity and a duty.

Newman has taken his way; other men, let us trust, with the root of
piety in them as truly as it was in him, have taken theirs; the ways
are far apart--which is truer, time, the future, perhaps the ages
alone can tell. But we are bound not to revile him, as he in sober
truth never reviled us.



The immigration problem, which I have been discussing in previous
numbers of THE ARENA, cannot be unravelled without considering one
important thread which adds to the entanglement. I shall apply to it
the term "Inter-migration," a word not found in the dictionary,
because it is freshly coined for the purpose. Let me try to define its

A person is said to migrate when he leaves his native land, seeking a
new home in some other country. Around the word emigrant or immigrant
hovers always the idea of an exchange of habits, customs, and language
of one country with those of another. The immigrant, when he arrives
at the place which he has chosen for his new settlement, appears by
his dress, his language, his manners, yea, even by his features, a
stranger; one who has apparently no right to press himself upon the
community; one who must not feel offended if he is mistrusted, until
he has shown that his arrival will not prove dangerous to the old
settlers. Around the word emigrant hovers the idea of distance; he
comes from far-off countries, from a place which cannot be easily
reached, or from which information concerning himself cannot be
readily obtained. We call a person an immigrant who comes to us from a
distance of at least a few thousand miles, and from a country that
differs from ours in the forms of government as well as in customs and
manners. We would surely not call a person an immigrant who comes from
a village of Maine or New Hampshire to Boston, nor even if he should
come from the far South or from the extreme West.

Yet, what is the difference? He is a person who has left his native
home, who is as much a stranger among us as the one who comes across
the ocean. His manners may be as different from ours, his features may
show at a glance, whether he is a southerner, a western man, or
whether he comes from down east; even his language may be strange on
account of the peculiar accent which he gives his words, and the
idioms which he uses. It may frequently happen that two people, who
both think they speak the English language will be unable to
understand each other, on account of the difference in dialect. The
new-comer may prove to be as much, or even more, of an undesirable
element among us, as the one who comes from Ireland or China; his
presence in the labor market may tend as well to reduce the rates of
wages as if he had come from Hungaria or Bulgaria. There is no denying
the fact that a locomotion has taken place, that an individual has
transplanted himself from one place to the other, either on account of
the urging of his venturesome spirit, or for the sake of finding a
better market for his abilities, or driven out by force of adverse
conditions. There is little difference whether a person leaves Russia
on account of his dissatisfaction with the government, or an arbitrary
legislation which deprives him of his opportunities; or whether he
leaves a village in Nebraska because he finds he is unable longer to
withstand the grinding process of the land sharks, or the sweating
system of the factory owners. His intentions are to better his
condition; precisely the same as are those of him who crosses the
Atlantic. The one will sell his all to pay his passage on the steamer,
the other to pay for his railroad ticket, and both will arrive
penniless. Yet the one is called an emigrant or immigrant, and the
other is not, although the distance from which the latter comes may be
the same or even greater than that from which the former hails.

In order to distinguish between these two classes of migration, I call
this latter one "Inter-migration," and desire the term to stand for a
change of habitation occurring within the boundaries of a land that is
under the same government.

Inter-migration, although it has never before reached the development
to which it has risen in the present, is not a new form of the
migratory habit of peoples. Ancient records tell us that a forced
inter-migration has frequently taken place. The conquerors of old,
desirous of making one nation out of the many peoples they subdued by
their valiant sword, would transplant large numbers of individuals
from one province to another distant one, giving their land and their
possessions in exchange to settlers, whom they drew from some other
country. Their scheme, however, rarely succeeded, because the
difficulties of a long journey made it impossible for them to
transplant a sufficiently large number of people; the masses remained
undisturbed, the few new-comers were soon absorbed by them, and the
desired change of sentiment was not produced. The moment the
government was attacked by a new conqueror, all provinces would at
once rise in revolt, and thus hasten the downfall of empires, such as
was, for instance, the Persian, before the onslaught of so small an
army as that with which Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont.

The golden era of the Roman Empire, and the prosperity and the culture
which then prevailed, were made possible solely through the facilities
which were given to inter-migration. Good roads connected the ends and
dissected the width and breadth of the great Roman Empire. Travel was
well protected. A well-drilled army suppressed highway robbery, and an
excellent navy put down piracy. A resident of Gaul could with ease
settle in Syria, while the Syrian, if he so desired, could find with
ease a home in Gaul. The residents of Brittania and Greece could with
comparative ease inter-migrate, and had not the floods of barbarians
which deluged the Roman Empire put an end to civilization, and with it
the possibilities of inter-migration, we might stand to-day on a much
higher round of culture, and our knowledge might have been much
greater than it is.

If the inventions of the nineteenth century have made possible
emigration to such an extent to-day as never before existed, it has
still more facilitated inter-migration. It has almost destroyed the
equilibrium between the centripetal and centrifugal forces, giving the
advantages to the latter. The facilities of locomotion have made
people restless; the times have passed by when grandchildren would
live in the same house in which their grandparents lived or when they
consider it a hardship and misfortune to move out of such a
habitation, or to see it change owners; time has been, when only the
adventurer left his native place, and when it was considered dangerous
to go into the world, which at that time could be circumscribed by a
radius of a few miles; time has been, when people lived for
generations in the same house, in the same street, in the same village
or town, when even the household furniture became venerable on account
of its antiquity and the remembrances connected with it. What boy or
girl in our day plays around the chair which their great-grandfather
used to occupy? To sell one house and move into another; to leave one
city and seek settlement in another, is now the rule and not the
exception; and it is mainly this inter-migration, stirring up the
masses, to which is due our increased prosperity and our progress in
all branches of knowledge. Inter-migration keeps us from stagnation;
it removes shyness and fear at the sight of a stranger, accustoms us
to an intercourse with different people, removes prejudices and
superstitions, and facilitates the exchange of thoughts and ideas.

On the other hand, it cannot be denied that intermigration has also
its drawbacks; that it will easily flood the labor market so as to
screw down wages; it will foster the venturesome spirit, induce people
to risk a certainty for an uncertainty, and especially has it tended
to draw people from the rural districts to the large cities.

All the complaints heard against immigration, and all the pressure
that is brought to bear upon the government to restrict it, do not
come from the rural districts, but from the large cities; and it is
generally overlooked that the competition, which presses down the
compensation for labor to such a degree that the wages earned for hard
work are sometimes not sufficient to support one person, and far less
a family, is not brought about solely by the immigrant who comes from
abroad, but is, to a very great extent, the consequence of
inter-migration, of the influx of villagers into the cities. While in
country places there is a scarcity of labor, thus in New England, for
example, while many farms are vacant, there are people starving in the
cities, unable to obtain work. The increase of large cities and of
their population is beyond the proportion in which it formerly stood
to that of the country. This has aroused the thoughts of many
long-headed people, and investigations are being made on every hand,
especially because some people are moved by fear that city life will
corrupt morality. They take it for granted that country people are
virtuous, and that vice finds its domicile only in the large centres
of population, and having established these premises, they argue that
the tendency of country people to move into cities shows a degeneracy
on their part, or that the abnormal growth of cities is a sure token
of the moral depravity which has taken hold of the people. This,
however, is not true. There is as much iniquity in proportion in small
communities as in large ones, and not unfrequently wickedness and
viciousness are attributed to actions which, after all, are neither
wicked nor vicious, but merely strange to one who is not accustomed to
them. The tide of inter-migration, which swells the population of the
cities, has its natural causes, of which moral corruption is the

The philosophers of the individualistic school will take exception,
when I name as the first cause of the tendency to leave the village
for the city, the fact that the more society becomes organized, the
more each individual becomes a part of a system, the easier it is to
obtain comfort, and that, having found the proper place, one can more
easily excel in that sphere of life. True, a man living in a village
may be able to secure for himself, without excessive labor, food that
would keep him from starvation, and raiment and fuel to protect him
against the inclemency of the weather; but man needs more than bread
and meat, a coat and a pair of shoes. There are a thousand other
things which bring cheer to him and make his life worth living, that
he cannot obtain in rural solitude. He claims a right to these
comforts, and tries to obtain them by seeking them where they are to
be found. If simple support, which rustic life insures, was preferable
to the insecurity of earning a livelihood in the city; if plenty of
coarse food and the healthier habitation which the village offers,
were sufficient to induce the over-worked, half-starved, and
ill-tenanted city laborer to give up for them the other comforts which
city life offers him, we should soon behold an exodus from the city to
country places, instead of observing the growth of the centres of
population. It is the tendency to work in a system and with a system
which increases as the human being rises in culture and civilization.
This is the magnet which draws people to large cities, and holds them
there, despite the many drawbacks which naturally adhere to it.

The facility of locomotion and of transportation have made possible an
interchange of commodities which has never been so before. The world
has become one marketplace, upon which the commodities are thrown, and
in which he who is able to sell an article of the same quality at the
lowest rate will have most customers. When grain can be produced in
large quantities in the West, so that it can be sold at a lower rate
in the East than the cost of its production would be there, it is
quite natural that the Eastern farmer must go to the wall, and it is
no wonder he deserts his farm. The less the raw material can be used
in its natural state, and the more our refinement demands a long
process of converting it into a commodity, the more does it require
systematic, organized, skilled labor to perform that conversion. With
sufficient land a few people can raise such an abundance of raw
material that the labor of thousands of people will be called for to
change it into useful articles. It is the system, the developed social
organization, which draws the villager to the city, and as an
illustration I shall point to the sudden and unparelleled growth of
the city of Berlin.

Twenty-five years ago Berlin was not quite as large in population as
is Boston to-day, and its area was much smaller. Berlin is situated in
a sandy, sterile country; so to say, in a desert. There is no
navigable river to connect it with the ocean, nor are minerals or coal
found in its immediate neighborhood. When Berlin was made the seat of
the German government, the first result was that thousands of
government officials were removed from other places to this city; then
the garrison was enlarged. More commodious roads were built to connect
the capital with the provinces. This attracted business men, as well
as thousands whose services in all branches of life were required. The
manufacturer soon followed, and Berlin became in a short time a
commercial centre. Leipsic lost its prestige and Nuremberg its renown.
The organized net-work of labor makes it possible now for a million
and a half of people to live and prosper on that sterile ground. Let
Berlin cease to be the capital of Germany, through any unforeseen
event, and its population will melt away at once. Like iron filings
hanging on a magnet, in which one particle attracts and holds the
other, thus are people attracted to and held in places where society,
and with it labor, is organized.

Another and weighty reason to account for inter-migration, and
especially for the increase of population in cities, is that
agriculture, too, has undergone a change. The inventive genius of our
age, which keeps on creating labor-saving machinery, has not left this
branch of occupation untouched. As the mechanic had to go in order to
be replaced by the factory owner, thus the small farmer can no longer
exist beside a syndicate which will systematically cultivate large
tracts of land. The tendency of the time is to apply system also to
agricultural pursuits, to take that art out of the sphere of instinct
and to transplant it into the sphere of science.

In this paper I have merely sought to bring before the mind of the
reader important facts which are usually overlooked in the discussion
of the problem under consideration, believing it to be necessary to
adduce all the important evidence which bears upon the subject in
order that he may form a just and enlightened opinion on a great
living question of the first magnitude, as a frank statement of a
problem is of far greater value to the honest investigator than any
amount of ingenious reasonings from a narrow or distorted point of



He was the humblest man in the world. He wore ragged clothing and
lived in the filthiest tenement-house in New York. He was unlettered,
had never opened a book, and seemed to know little of the ways of men.
His hair and beard were long, and like golden silk; his eyes held the
blue of infinite space.

When wealthy people passed him they shook their heads and said, "He is
demented;" but the poor, who knew him, lowered their voices when he
was near and whispered that he belonged to a better world, for in his
eyes they saw a strange light of eternal kindness.

"Why are you so good to me?" the poor would ask, marvelling over his
tears of sympathy.

"Because I love you," he would answer, "and love is the mother of all
that is good. If you will love men as I do your way of life will be
strewn with roses from heaven and your vision know no end."

He had never been in a church nor heard one word in the Bible, and
yet, with a far-away light in his eyes, he used to talk of immortality
and infinite love. "Love is everlasting life," he would say, "love is

His poor old mother did not understand him, and she was often troubled
on his behalf. She used to plead with him to stay with her more and
not to give up his life so completely to others.

"Why," she would argue plaintively, "even the great clergymen who
preach in the grand churches, and who are said to be the best of men,
do not risk their lives and love others as you do. They seldom come
here where everybody is so poor." Once he asked her to tell him what
the clergymen taught, and when she tried to explain the creeds of the
different denominations, he shook his head and turned pale with
perplexity and pain.

"I cannot understand," he said sorrowfully. "It all makes my heart
ache. It seems to me that the church-members, too, are in the dark.
Love is food for the soul and they are starving. People everywhere are
dying in crime and pain and no one offers to help them."

One day, after he had been laboring for a week without sufficient food
and sleep among the fever-stricken poor, he fell ill, and his mother
thought he was about to die. She ran, her gray locks streaming in the
wind, to the parsonage of a little church near by and inquired for the
minister, but was told by his wife that he had been gone for several
weeks to a watering place in the mountains. The old woman ran on
further, till she came to a great church whose majestic spire seemed
to touch the clouds. A stately rectory was near. Soft music, mingled
with merry voices, came out to her through the open doors. Awkwardly
and tremblingly she went up the polished marble steps and rang. A
servant in livery told her gruffly that his master was dining with his
bishop and other distinguished personages, and that she would have to

She replied with a groan that she feared her son was dying. The man
went to his master and came back saying, "He cannot see you now."

She sat down in the great hall and tried to pray. Before her hung a
costly painting representing Jesus with a child in his arms, a lamb at
his side. She smelt the fragrance of flowers, and heard the clinking
of wine-glasses, the tinkling of silver and rare china, short speeches
and laughter.

"The dean, it seems," she heard the bishop say, "was reproving one of
the young clergymen for becoming intoxicated. The young scamp's reply
quite took the dean off his feet. 'If I mistake not, sir,' said the
young priest, 'the liquor I drank came from your celebrated
art-gallery and bar-room.'"

This story was greeted by hearty laughter, and then the old woman
heard the bishop giving a description of a new yacht which he had just
bought. By and by the rector came out. His cheeks were slightly
flushed, his manner betrayed impatience."

"Well," said he to her, "what is it? I am very busy."

"I am afraid my son is dying," she said timidly, abashed by the
splendor of his dress and abrupt manner. "I thought some minister
ought to see him."

"Where do you attend church?" he asked, looking down at her tattered

"I do not go to any," she faltered.

"I have as much as I can attend to in my own parish," he frowned;
"besides my bishop is here as my guest; there is a young theological
student with me who will go." And he went back to the dining-room and
sent a young man out to her.

"Show me the way," said the student, and he shrugged his shoulders,
and blushed because the footman seemed to comprehend the situation.

Without a word she led him through the squalid streets to the house,
and up the narrow stairs to her miserable room. The sick man lay alone
on a hard couch.

"What can I do for you?" asked the visitor.

A look of hope came into the pallid features of the one addressed. His
voice was low and eager when he replied:--

"A poor woman downstairs has fallen and broken her spine. I fear she
is without attention, I was trying to reach her when I fell ill.
Perhaps you will go to see her; I need nothing."

"His mind is wandering," said the student, turning to the mother. "He
could not comprehend anything I might read or say now. He needs
medical treatment. You should apply to the public charities." And he
went away, brushing the sleeve of his coat which had caught a cobweb.

At her son's request the mother went below. Presently she returned
with the information that the injured woman's needs had been attended
to. Then she got a Bible and began to read to him for the first time
in life. When she had read a few passages he asked her what it was,
and she replied:--

"They say it is the Word of God, and that it shows us how to live."

When she was reading of the life of Christ he listened with a profound
look of perplexity on his pale face. But when she pronounced the
words, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," he uttered an exclamation of
surprise, and sat up in his bed.

"I have spoken those words before!" he cried, "but in a different
language. It was in another life which seems like a dream. I lived
long, long ago, in a far-away land. I had another mother there, Mary
was her name, and a good father whom the people called Joseph. I lived
there as I do here, but the world mocked me because I tried to teach
them to love one another--they could not understand. They put me to
death. They made a cross, and hung me on it, on a hill in the
direction of the setting sun from Jerusalem. A multitude gathered to
see me die."

Amazed at his radiant and transformed countenance, which held in it
the light of eternity, she fell down before him crying:--

"My Lord! My Master!"

He lifted her up, his weakness gone.

"Rise," said he gently. "Call me not 'Master,' for I am but the son of
God, as you are His daughter. The Father of us all, in His love, is
not better than the humblest of His children."

She was going out to cry aloud in the streets that Jesus, the son of
God, had come to earth, but he prevented her.

"Speak not of me to them," he said softly; "they could not understand;
it would be even as it was before."

That very day he went about according to his humble wont, among the
poor and the miserable, spreading joy and comfort everywhere.
Wan-faced courtesans, with death and hate in their eyes, despairing
thieves, murderers, and would-be suicides, listened to his words of
hope and began life anew. He went to the houses of the wealthy and
plead in the behalf of suffering men and women, misguided children,
and mistreated animals, but was called a tramp and sent away.

One day his mother lead him to the corpse of a dead friend. "Make him
live again," she whispered.

He looked down at the dead and smiled infinitely. He took a flower
from a vase, and put it into the hand that was cold. "This is the
birthday of our friend," he said. "Should I wish to alter the work of
my Father, in whose eyes all things are perfect? Our friend is this
day delivered from the womb of earthly travail."

One bright morning she came and laid herself at his feet.

"I have heard strange things to-day," she said, "things I have not
learned before because I am so ignorant. They say that all the great
and good churches in Christendom have grown up upon the teachings of
Jesus of Nazareth."

"Nazareth," he repeated dreamily, "I lived in Nazareth."

"They worship him that was crucified on Calvary; ah! they would listen
to you now, my Master. You have lived in their memories for centuries.
Hear, the bells are ringing. It is the Sabbath, the Lord's day!"

"My Father's day has neither beginning nor end."

"Come, go with me," went on the woman eagerly, "we shall hear them
praise your name."

"I will go with you," said he, a strange look in his eyes.

She ran from the room and presently came back with a suit of new
clothes which she had borrowed from a dealer: Her face was aglow with
pride and joy as she spread them before him.

"What are they for?" he asked in gentle surprise.

"For you," she said, "that you may go into the house of the Lord robed
as--as others are."

A blended look of wonder and pain passed over his face.

"The spirit of the man is not clothed with the wool of the sheep that
was slain," he said gently. "I will go as I am, and fear naught in my
Father's presence."

She led him down several streets till they reached a grand
thoroughfare. Along this they went side by side, jostled by the
fashionable throng, till they came to a stately church. Going up the
broad stone steps they entered the great Gothic doors. A group of men
in the vestibule laughed at his long hair and ragged attire. Elegantly
dressed ushers were seating the people as they entered. They did not
speak to the woman and her son, but smiled at one another, and passed
some jests in undertones. After awhile one of them drew near, and said
to her:--

"Have you not made a mistake, my good woman? This is St. ---- Church.
St. ----'s is the next below."

Tears were in her eyes as she led her son away. By and by they came to
another edifice. In a niche in the stone wall near the entrance was
the figure of Jesus on a cross. He paused and looked at it for several
minutes, murmuring, "Strange! Strange!"

In the vestibule she was so awed by the imposing interior of the
structure and the fashionable congregation, that she drew him to one

"Perhaps we had better stand here," she whispered. "We seem to be
unlike the rest. We shall not be in the way out here, and through the
door we can see and hear the service."

He made no answer. He was looking at a grand window on which stood a
representation of Jesus, in a stream of light from heaven, bearing the
words, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." "Strange,
very strange!" she heard him whisper, and tears were in his eyes.

No one offered to give them seats, and they remained standing in the
vestibule against a wall. A grand organ began to peal out the music of
Gounod's Saint Cecilia Mass. Presently it died down; there was a short
pause, then, like the rising of a musical storm came the subdued
voices of the choristers from the closed vestry. The door was
gradually opened, and the music swelled out into the church. The
crucifer, a beautiful lad, attired in a blood-red cassock and a white,
lace-trimmed cotta, entered. Behind him, chanting, came a long train
of choir-boys, followed by two acolytes who swung by chains of brass
censers from which rose clouds of fragrant smoke. Two priests brought
up the rear; one, the celebrant of the Holy Communion, was
magnificently garbed. He wore a trailing black cassock of richest
silk, and over it a short lawn cotta trimmed with priceless lace, an
enormous cloth-of-gold cope on the back of which blazed a cross
wrought in jewels. About his neck he had a white stole, over an arm a
snowy maniple, upon his head a priestly beretta.

"Is it not beautiful?" asked the poor woman of her son. But he did not
hear her. His eyes, blinded by tears of infinite sorrow, were resting
on the white statue of the Virgin near the snowy altar of marble, on
which burnt a constellation of tapers and candles around the red lamp
of the "Holy Presence."

His breast heaved; a sob escaped him, and his head sank upon his

"And they do this in the name of love," he said, as if in prayer.
"They make an idol of my memory while my brothers and sisters are
dying for the lack of love and kindness. They do all this to praise me
whom they have so little understood. O God, my Father, let this trial
pass, or make me as you are that I may, this time, set them right, for
I suffer past endurance."

The short sermon ended. The celebration of Mass began. The wafer and
the wine were consecrated. The priest raised the wafer before the
eyes of the congregation and said, "This is my body," and all heads
bowed low.

"At the very instant you hear the bell strike," whispered a man to a
boy near the mother and son, "at that very instant the Saviour will be

"Father, forgive them," the woman heard her son say, and she followed
him out of the church. They had reached the street when three strokes
from a silver bell was heard.

A few minutes later, as they were passing through a squalid street on
the way home, they came to a little church. He read her wishes in her
face, and they went in. A man approached and showed them to a back
seat. On a platform a preacher was striding to and fro shouting,
singing snatches of hymns, and praying. In his excitement he would
fall on his knees and raise his hands heavenward; again he would
spring up and beat himself with his hands, and violently kick the
floor, preaching, singing, and praying alternately.

"Save yourselves from the eternal wrath of an angry God!" he cried. "I
tell you that hell is yawning for you; the burning breath of countless
devils is about you. Christ died to save you; will you not trust in
him? Now is the only time; to-morrow it may be too late!"

After awhile the congregation began to sing a hymn, and the preacher
went on: "Come forward all who want the prayers of the church. Come
now, and embrace salvation!" And men, women, and children trembling
with fear, and weeping and groaning, went to the altar and threw
themselves on their knees.

The poor woman looked at her son. His face was pale and set as with
the agony of death. She glanced over the congregation. People sat
there wrestling with the greatest problem of their lives, their faces
white, their eyes dilated. Others were smiling as if highly amused at
the preacher's actions. Members of ritualistic churches, who had come
out of curiosity, were frowning contemptuously, and congratulating
themselves on the dignity of their own form of worship.

"I must go," said the son to his mother. "I must be with those that
need me. Here they teach that the Eternal Father hates His children.
If only they knew Him they would not be afraid."

He never entered a church again. He continued his life as he had begun
it, teaching human love and gentleness to all he knew. Once he was
trying to save a half-demented drunkard from being beaten by an
inhuman policeman, and was put into prison. While he was there his
mother died, and when he was released, his health was broken.

A week passed in which he could get no food to eat. He was starving.
One moonlit night he rose and staggered out to search for bread,
suffering indescribable tortures. His voice had gone. He stood on the
corner of a street, and mutely held out his hands to passers-by, but
they paid no heed to him. Along the street he tottered till he came to
a brightly lighted building. A church was holding a festival.
Beautiful women in the height of fashion, children in the daintiest of
dresses, were promenading about. He looked in at the door, and when he
saw the long tables filled with eatables, his eyes gleamed with the
desire of a famished animal. He staggered across the threshold, but
was stopped by the door-keeper. "Ticket," said the man. The outcast
did not understand, he could see nothing but the food within. A
policeman stepped forward and laid his hand on his arm.

"This is no place for you," he said roughly. "You have no money, move

"He looks hungry, wait!" said a little girl, who was pinning some
flowers on the lapel of a young minister's coat, and she ran to a
table and brought a piece of bread to the starving man. He hugged it
in his arms, and tottered out into the night, chuckling to himself in
joy. A square where trees and flowers grew was before him. He entered
it, and sank on to a bench near a fountain. He looked at the bread,
and a savage content captured his features. He was about to break it
when a man arose from a seat across a walk, and came and sat down
beside him, eyeing the food covetously. He touched the thin hand that
held it, and the two men looked into each other's eyes.

"I am starving," said the breadless one. "I have no means. I belong to
a family who have descended from kings; I cannot beg. I thought you
looked as if you did not want it. I am dying."

The other clutched the food tightly in both his hands for an instant.
A look of ferocious desire wrung his face, and he raised it to his
lips. Then a divine smile dawned in his eyes, and he proffered it to
the other. The man took it eagerly, and slipped into the darkness,
that he might eat it unseen. As he turned away the head of the giver
sank slowly to his breast.

Brightly lighted streets stretched away in several directions. A
procession of men and women bearing banners and beating drums and
tambourines passed along, singing hymns, and pausing now and then to
kneel on the cobblestones to pray or to urge the little clusters of
idlers to join them in their march to safety. Above the wondrous stars
and moon were shining as they had shone at the dawn of eternal
thought. They shone on the Vatican at Rome, the imperial cradle of
saints; on the comfortable homes of ministers in the church; on the
"palaces" of gentle-blooded bishops; on assemblages of men who were
wrangling over creeds; on gatherings where earnest searchers after
truth were being tried for heresy; on prisons where inmates of dark,
silent cells were praying for a gleam of light, for but the voice of
an insect to keep madness from their tortured brains; on millions of
suffering human beings--on the cold, dead form of one who understood
naught but love.



    O thou who sighest for a broader field
      Wherein to sow the seeds of truth and right,
    Who fain a nobler, wider power wouldst wield
      O'er human souls that languish for the light;

    Search well the realm that even now is thine!
      Canst not thou in some far-off corner find
    A heart, sin-bound, as tree with sapping vine,
      That waiteth help its burdens to unbind?

    Some human plant, perchance beneath thine eyes,
      Pierced through by hidden thorns of idle fears;
    Or, drooping low for need of light from skies
      Obscured by doubt-clouds, raining poison tears?

    Some bruisèd soul the balm of love would heal?
      Some timid spirit faith would courage give?
    Or maimèd brother who, though brave and leal,
      Still needeth thee to rightly walk and live?

    Oh, while _one_ soul thou find'st that hath not known
      The fullest help thy soul hath power to give,
    Sigh not for fields still broader than thine own,
      But, steadfast, in thine own more broadly live!




Colonel Peavy had just begun the rubber with Judge Gordon of
Cerro-Gordo County. They were seated in Robie's grocery, behind the
rusty old cannon stove, the checker-board spread out on their knees.
The Colonel was grinning in great glee, wringing his bony yellow hands
in nervous excitement, in strong contrast to the stolid calm of the
fat Judge.

The Colonel had won the last game by a large margin, and was sure he
had his opponent's "dodges" well in hand. It was early in the evening,
and the grocery was comparatively empty. Robie was figuring at a desk,
and old Judge Brown stood in legal gravity warming his legs at the
red-hot stove, and swaying gently back and forth in speechless
content. It was a tough night outside, one of the toughest for years.
The frost had completely shut the window panes as with thick blankets
of snow. The streets were silent.

"I don't know," said the Judge, reflectively, to Robie, breaking the
silence in his rasping, judicial bass, "I don't know as there has been
such a night as this since the night of February 2d, '59, that was the
night James Kirk went under--Honorable Kirk, you remember,--knew him
well. Brilliant fellow, ornament to western bar. But whiskey downed
him. It'll beat the oldest man--I wonder where the boys all are
to-night? Don't seem to be anyone stirring on the street. Aint
frightened out by the cold?"

"Shouldn't wonder." Robie was busy at his desk, and not in humor for
conversation on reminiscent lines. The two old war-dogs at the board
had settled down to one of those long, silent struggles, which ensue
when two "champions" meet. In the silence which followed, the Judge
was looking attentively at the back of the Colonel, and thinking that
the old thief was getting about down to skin and bone. He turned with
a yawn to Robie, saying:--

"This cold weather must take hold of the old Colonel terribly, he's so
damnably thin and bald, you know,--bald as a babe. The fact is, the
old Colonel aint long for this world, anyway; think so, Hank?" Robie
making no reply, the Judge relapsed into silence for a while, watching
the cat (perilously walking along the edge of the upper shelf) and
listening to the occasional hurrying footsteps outside. "I don't know
when I've seen the windows closed up so, Hank; go down to thirty below
to-night; devilish strong wind blowing, too; tough night on the
prairies, Hank."

"You bet," replied Hank, briefly. The Colonel was plainly getting
excited. His razor-like back curved sharper than ever as he peered
into the intricacies of the board to spy the trap which the fat Judge
had set for him. At this point the squeal of boots on the icy walk
outside paused, and a moment later Amos Ridings entered, with whiskers
covered with ice, and looking like a huge bear in his buffalo coat.

"By Josephus! it's cold," he roared, as he took off his gloves and
began to warm his face and hands at the fire.

"Is it?" asked the Judge, comfortably, rising on his tiptoes, only to
fall back into his usual attitude, legal legs well spread, shoulders
thrown back.

"You bet it is!" replied Amos. "I'd'know when I've felt the cold
more'n I have t'-day. It's jest snifty; doubles me up like a
jack-knife, Judge. How d' you stand it?"

"Tollerble, tollerble, Amos. But we're agein', we aint what we were
once. Cold takes hold of us."

"That's a fact," answered Amos to the retrospective musings of the
Judge. "Time was you an' me would go t' singing-school or
sleigh-riding with the girls on a night like this and never notice

"Yes, sir; yes, sir!" said the Judge with a sigh. It was a little
uncertain in Robie's mind whether the Judge was regretting the lost
ability to stand the cold, or the lost pleasure of riding with the

"Great days, those, gentlemen! Lived in Vermont then.
Hot-blooded--lungs like an ox. I remember, Sallie Dearborn and I used
to go a-foot to singing school down the valley four miles. But now,
wouldn't go riding to-night with the handsomest woman in America, and
the best cutter in Rock River."

"Oh! you've got both feet in the grave up t' the ankles, anyway," said
Robie from his desk, but the Judge immovably gazed at the upper shelf
on the other side of the room where the boilers, and pans, and
washboards were stored.

"The Judge is a little on the sentimental order to-night," said Amos.

"Hold on, Colonel! hold on. You've _got_ 'o jump. He! he!" roared
Gordon from the checker-board. "That's right, that's right!" he ended,
as the Colonel complied reluctantly.

"Sock it to the old cuss," commented Amos. "What I was going to say,"
he resumed, rolling down the collar of his coat, "was, that when my
wife helped me bundle up t' night, she said I was gitt'n' t' be an old
granny. We _are_ agein', Judge, the's no denyin' it. We're both gray
as Norway rats now. An' speaking of us ageing reminds me,--have y'
noticed how bald the old Kyernel's gitt'n'?"

"I have, Amos," answered the Judge, mournfully. "The old man's head is
showing age, showing age! Getting thin up there, aint it?" The old
Colonel bent to his work without reply, and even when Amos said,
judicially, after long scrutiny, "Yes, he'll soon be as bald as a
plate," he only lifted one yellow, freckled, bony hand, and brushed
his carroty growth of hair across the spot under discussion. Gordon
shook his fat paunch in silent laughter, nearly displacing the board.

"I was just telling Robie," pursued Brown, still retaining his
reminiscent intonation, "that this storm takes the cake over

At this point Steve Roach and another fellow entered. Steve was
Ridings' hired hand, a herculean fellow, with a drawl, and a liability
for taking offence quite as remarkable.

"Say! gents, I'm no spring rooster, but this jest gits away with
anything in line of cold _I_ ever see."

While this communication was being received in ruminative silence,
Steve was holding his ears in his hand and gazing at the intent
champions at the board. There they sat; the old Judge panting and
wheezing in his excitement, for he was planning a great "snap" on the
Colonel, whose red and freckled nose almost touched the board. It was
a solemn battle hour. The wind howled mournfully outside, the timbers
of the stove creaked in the cold, and the huge cannon stove roared in
steady bass.

"Speaking about ears," said Steve, after a silence, "dumned if I'd
like t' be quite s' bare 'round the ears as Kernel there. I wonder if
any o' you fellers has noticed how the ol' feller's lost hair this
last summer. He's gittin' bald, they's no coverin' it up--gittin' bald
as a plate."

"You're right, Stephen," said the Judge, as he gravely took his stand
behind his brother advocate, and studied, with the eye of an adept,
the field of battle. "We were noticing it when you came in. It's a sad
thing, but it must be admitted."

"It's the Kyernel's brains wearin' up through his hair, I take it,"
commented Amos, as he helped himself to a handful of peanuts out of a
bag behind the counter. "Say, Steve, did y' stuff up that hole in
front of ol' Barney?"

A shout was heard outside, and then a rush against the door, and
immediately two young fellows burst in, followed by a fierce gust of
snow. One was Professor Knapp, the other Editor Foster, of the
_Morning Call_.

"Well, gents, how's this for high?" said Foster in a peculiar tone of
voice, at which all began to smile. He was a slender fellow with
close-clipped, assertive red hair. "In this company we now have the
majesty of the law, the power of the press, and the underpinning of
the American civilization all represented. Hello! There are a couple
of old roosters with their heads together. Gordon, my old enemy, how
are you?"

Gordon waved him off with a smile and a wheeze. "Don't bother me now.
I've got 'im. I'm laying f'r the old dog. Whist!"

"Got nothing!" snarled the Colonel. "You try that on if you want to.
Just swing that man in there if you think it's healthy for him. Just
as like as not, you'll slip up on that little trick."

"Ha! Say you so, old True Penny? The Kunnel has met a foeman worthy of
his steel," said Foster in great glee, as he bent above the Colonel.
"I know. _How_ do I know?" quotha. "By the curve on the Kunnel's back.
The size of the parabola described by that backbone accurately gauges
his adversary's skill. But, by the way, gentlemen, have you--but
that's a nice point, and I refer all nice points to Professor Knapp.
Professor, is it in good taste to make remarks concerning the dress or
features of another?"

"Certainly not," answered Knapp, a handsome young fellow with a yellow

"Not when the person is an esteemed public character, like the Colonel
here? What I was about to remark, if it had been proper, was that the
old fellow is getting wofully bald. He'll soon be bald as an egg."

"Say!" asked the Colonel, "I want to know how long you're going to
keep this thing up. Somebody's dumned sure t' get hurt soon."

"There, there! Colonel," said Brown soothingly, "don't get excited,
you'll lose the rubber. Don't mind 'em. Keep cool."

"Yes, keep cool, Kunnel, it's only our solicitude for your welfare,"
chipped in Foster. Then addressing the crowd in a general sort of way
he speculated, "Curious how a man, a plain American citizen like
Colonel Peavy, wins a place in the innermost affections of a whole

"That's so!" murmured the rest. "He can't grow bald without deep
sympathy from his fellow-citizens." The old Colonel glared in
speechless wrath.

"Say! gents," pleaded Gordon, "let up on the old man for the present.
He's going to need all of himself if he gets out o' the trap he's in
now." He waved his fat hand over the Colonel's head, and smiled
blandly at the crowd hugging the stove.

"My head may be bald," grated the old man with a death's-head grin,
indescribably ferocious, "but it's got brains enough in it to 'skunk'
any man in this crowd three games out o' five."

"The ol' man rather gits the laugh on y' there, gents," called Robie
from the back side of the counter. "I haint seen the old skeesix play
better'n he did last night in years."

"Not since his return from Canada, after the war, I reckon," said Amos
from the kerosene barrel.

"Hold on, Amos," put in the Judge warningly, "that's out-lawed.
Talking about being bald and the war reminds me of the night Walters
and I-- By the way, where is Walters to-night?"

"Sick," put in the Colonel, straightening up exultantly. "I waxed him
three straight games last night. You won't see him again till spring.
Skunked him once, and beat him twice."

"Oh git out."

"Hear the old seed twitter!"

"Did you ever notice, gentlemen, how lying and baldness go together?"
queried Foster reflectively.

"No! Do they?"

"Invariably. I've known many colossal liars, and they were all as bald
as apples."

The Colonel was getting nervous, and was so slow that even Gordon (who
could sit and stare at the board a full half hour without moving)
began to be impatient.

"Come! Colonel, marshal your forces a little more promptly. If you're
going at me _echelon_, sound y'r bugle; I'm ready."

"Don't worry," answered the Colonel, in his calmest nasal, "I'll
accommodate you with all the fight you want."

"Did it ever occur to you," began the Judge again, addressing the
crowd generally, as he moved back to the stove and lit another cigar,
"did it ever occur to you that it is a little singular a man should
get bald on the _top_ of his head first? Curious fact. So accustomed
to it we no longer wonder at it. Now see the Colonel there. Quite a
growth of hair on his clap-boarding, as it were, but devilish thin on
his roof."

Here the Colonel looked up and tried to say something, but the Judge
went on imperturbably.

"Now I take it that it's strictly providential that a man gets bald on
top of his head first, because if he _must_ get bald it is best to get
bald where it can be covered up."

"By jinks, that's a fact!" said the rest in high admiration of the
Judge's ratiocination. Steve was specially pleased, and drawing a
neck-yoke from a barrel standing near, pounded the floor vigorously.

"Talking about being bald," put in Foster, "reminds me of a scheme of
mine, which is to send no one out to fight Indians but bald men. Think
how powerless they'd--"

The talk now drifted off to Indians, politics, and religion, edged
round to the war when the grave Judge was telling Ridings and Robie
just how "Kilpatrick charged along the Granny White Turnpike," and on
a sheet of wrapping paper was showing where Major John Dilrigg fell.
"I was on his left about thirty yards, when I saw him throw up his

Foster in a low voice was telling something to the Professor, and two
or three others, which made them whoop with uncontrollable merriment,
when the roaring voice of big Sam Walters was heard outside, and a
moment later he rolled into the room, filling it with his noise.
Lottridge, the watchmaker, and Erlberg, the German baker, came in with

"_Hello_, hello, _hello_! All here, are yeh?"

"All here waiting for you--and the turnkey," said Foster.

"Well, here I am. Always on hand like a sore thumb in huskin' season.
What's goin' on here? A game, hey? Hello, Gordon, it's you, is it?
Colonel, I owe you several for last night. But what the devil yo' got
your cap on fur, Colonel? Aint it warm enough here for yeh?"

The desperate Colonel who had snatched up his cap when he heard
Walters coming, grinned painfully, pulling his straggly red and white
beard nervously. The strain was beginning to tell on his iron nerves.
He removed the cap, and with a few muttered words went back to the
game, but there was a dangerous gleam in his fishy blue eyes, and the
grizzled tufts of red hair above his eyes lowered threateningly. A man
who is getting swamped in a game of checkers is not in a mood to bear
pleasantly any remarks on his bald head.

"Oh! don't take it off, Colonel," went on his tormentor hospitably.
"When a man gets as old as you are, he's privileged to wear his cap. I
wonder if any of you fellers have noticed how the Colonel is shedding
his hair."

The old man leaped up, scattering the men on the checker-board which
flew up and struck Judge Gordon in the face, knocking him off his
stool. The old Colonel was ashy pale, and his eyes glared out from
under his huge brow like sapphires lit by flame. His spare form
clothed in a seedy Prince Albert frock towered with a singular
dignity. His features worked convulsively a moment, and then he burst
forth like the explosion of a safety valve:--

"Shuttup, dumyeh!"

And then the crowd whooped, roared, and rolled on the counters and
barrels, and roared and whooped again. They stamped and yelled, and
ran around like fiends, kicking the boxes and banging the coal-scuttle
in a perfect pandemonium of mirth, leaving the old man standing there
helpless in his wrath, mad enough to shoot. Steve was just preparing
to seize the old man from behind, when Judge Gordon, struggling to his
feet among the spittoons, cried out, in the voice of a Colonel of
Fourth of July militia:--


Silence was restored, and all stood around in expectant attitudes to
hear the Judge's explanation. He squared his elbows, shoved up his
sleeves, puffed out his fat cheeks, moistened his lips, and began


"You've hit it; that's us," said some of the crowd in applause.

"Gentlemen of Rock River, when in the course of human events, rumor
had blow'd to my ears the history of the checker-playing of Rock
River, and when I had waxed Cerro-Gordo, and Claiborne, and Mower,
then, when I say to my ears was borne the clash of resounding arms in
Rock River, the emporium of Rock County, then did I yearn for more
worlds to conquer, and behold, I buckled on my armor and I am here."

"Behold, he is here," said Foster, in confirmation of the statement.
"Good for you, Judge, git breath and go for us some more."

"Hurrah for the Judge," etc.

"I came seekin' whom I might devour like a raging lion. I sought
foemen worthy of my steel. I leaped into the arena and blew my
challenge to the four quarters of Rock--"

"Good f'r you, settemupagin! Go it, you old balloon," they all

"Knowing my prowess I sought a fair fout and no favors. I met the
enemy and he was mine. Champion after champion went down before me
like--went down like--Ahem! went _down_ before me like grass before
the mighty cyclone of the Andes."

"Listen to the old blow-hard," said Steve.

"Put him out," said the speaker, imperturbably. "Gentlemen, have I the

"You have," replied Brown, "but come to the point. The Colonel is
anxious to begin shooting." The Colonel, who began to suspect himself
victimized, stood wondering what under heaven they were going to do

"I'm a gitt'n' there," said the orator with a broad and sunny

"I found your champions an' laid 'em low. I waxed Walters, and then I
tackled the Colonel. I tried the _echelon_, the 'general advanced,'
then the 'give away' and 'flank' movements. But the Colonel _was
there_. Till this last game it was a fair field and no favor. And now,
gentlemen of Rock, I desire t' state to my deeply respected opponent,
that he is still champion of Rock, and I'm not sure but of Northern

"Three cheers for the Kunnel!"

And while they were being given the Colonel's brows relaxed, and the
champion of Cerro-Gordo continued earnestly:--

"And now I wish to state to Colonel the solemn fact that I had nothing
to do with the job put up on him to-night. I scorn to use such means
in a battle. Colonel, you may be as bald as an apple, or an egg, yes,
or a _plate_, but you can play more checkers than any man I ever met,
more checkers than any other man on God's green footstool.--With
one-single, lone exception--myself."

At this moment, somebody hit the dead-beat from Cerro-Gordo with a
decayed apple, and as the crowd shouted and groaned Robie turned down
the lights on the tumult. The old Colonel seized the opportunity for
putting a handful of salt down Walters' neck, and slipped out of the
door like a ghost. As the crowd swarmed out on the icy walk, Editor
Foster yelled:--

"Gents! let me give you a pointer. Keep your eye peeled for the next
edition of the Rock River _Morning Call_." And the bitter wind swept
away the answering shouts of the gang.

       *       *       *       *       *

[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. 412, "tranverse" changed to "transverse"

Also, several occurrences of mismatched quotes remain as published.

End of Transcriber's Notes]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891" ***

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